Happening Today

Climate Change Lobby Day

The Massachusetts Climate Action Network will hold a lobby day to support legislation that would address climate change, promote green infrastructure, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create new industry jobs, Old West Church, 131 Cambridge St., Boston.

Atlantic health care event

The Atlantic magazine will host an event featuring those in the health care industry, in partnership with STAT, with speakers expected to include Massachusetts Department of Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, Louisiana Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy, Atlantic Editor in Chief Jeffrey Goldberg, and MIT Professor Feng Zhang, among others, 8600 State St., Boston, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Alcohol Task Force

The Alcohol Task Force, convened by Treasurer Deborah Goldberg to review the state’s regulatory framework of the alcoholic beverage industry, holds its final hearing, Andover town offices, third floor, 36 Bartlet St., Andover, 11 a.m.

Rally to comply with Paris Climate Accord

Rep. Dylan Fernandes and others will rally for a bill to register Massachusetts as a non-party stakeholder in the Paris climate agreement, State House steps, 12:30 p.m.

Paid Family Leave

Three bills that would make employees eligible for job-protected paid family leave will be before the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, Hearing Room B-2, 1 p.m.

Postpartum Depression Awareness Day

Sen. Joan Lovely, Rep. James O’Day and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito recognize Postpartum Depression Awareness Day, Great Hall, 2 p.m.

Seaport groundbreaking

Gov. Charlie Baer joins Boston Mayor Martin Walsh to participate in the groundbreaking of the latest development in Seaport, a 700-unit apartment complex, 145 Seaport Boulevard, Boston, 4:15 p.m.

MassChallenge awards

Gov. Baker gives a keynote address at the MassChallenge PULSE Awards and makes an announcement regarding grant awards that are part of the Massachusetts Digital Health Initiative, Wilbur Theater, 246 Tremont Street, Boston, 6 p.m.

Lauren Baker on the air

First Lady Lauren Baker is a scheduled guest on ‘Greater Boston’ in her first-ever television interview, WGBH-TV, Ch 2, 7 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Will incoming General Electric CEO actually shore up company’s ties to Boston?

Considering how recently General Electric moved its headquarters to Boston, it’s somewhat understandable that some are left nervous by yesterday’s news that chief executive Jeff Immelt, the corporate driver of the GE relocation, is stepping down later this summer. But the Globe has an excellent package, via columnist Shirley Leung and its team of business reporters, about how John Flannery’s elevation to CEO may actually bode well for GE’s commitment to the city, especially its booming health-care business now headquartered in the health-care R&D capital of the nation, if not the world. WGBH’s Marilyn Schairer has more on the same angle, quoting Shirley Leung quite extensively.

Though Mayor Walsh admits he was “caught off guard” by Immelt’s announcement, the Herald’s Dan Atkinson is reporting that Walsh isn’t worried at all about GE’s commitment to Boston. The BBJ has a “seven things you should know” piece about Flannery, including the fact that he vacations on Nantucket, acting as sort of local anchor keeping him here, we presume. He’s also a huge Red Sox fan and his parents and grandparents grew up here, according to published reports.

‘Hartford is not ever going to be New York or Boston’

Speaking of GE’s flight from Connecticut to Massachusetts, the NYT has a big story on the city of Hartford’s agony over the prospect of losing Aetna Insurance to another state, perhaps Massachusetts, and the long decline of Hartford as the insurance-capital of the world. It’s a sad tale of a once-proud New England city. Then again, Connecticut has become the poster-child for how not to treat corporations – and lawmakers there still seem reluctant to confront harsh political and economic realities.


House to roll out joint pot-reform measures

We’re impressed. State House lawmakers have managed to keep under wraps details of their proposal to reform Question 4’s legal-marijuana stipulations, even though just about every news service on Beacon Hill – including MassLive and the Boston Globe and SHNS at Wicked Local – caught wind of the plan yesterday to pop the package tomorrow for a Thursday vote. The plan is expected to address retail-marijuana taxes, local government regulations of pot, and other matters.

Newbury Street pot dispensary, anyone?

As Beacon Hill lawmakers prepare to unveil proposed marijuana regulations, Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim has filed paperwork for a hearing on a nonprofit’s proposal to open a pot dispensary in Boston’s tony Back Bay, specifically at 331 Newbury St., writes Antonio Planas at the Herald. Surprisingly, there’s no immediate NIMBY alert to report.

Boston Herald

‘Shadow deal’ paves way for Winthrop Square tower and Greenway funding

We’re not quite sure how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together, but the Globe’s Tim Logan and Joshua Miller say they fit, so we’ll trust their judgment: “The City of Boston, Baker administration officials, and key Beacon Hill lawmakers have reached a tentative agreement on a deal that would smooth the way for a massive skyscraper to rise over Winthrop Square and could help finance the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway over the next decade.”

Boston Globe

Dennis Rodman and Trump joining forces?

We can’t resist: Is former NBA star and potential intergalactic-alien refugee Dennis Rodman on a secret mission to North Korea for President Trump? The Washington post investigates the speculation. Now back to local news and politics. …

Washington Post

Legislative committees in overdrive, Part II

Due to the crush of committee hearings these days at the State House, we’ve taken most of the legislative committee hearings that would normally go in our ‘Happening Today’ section and put them here for easier reader reference:

— Revenue Committee — About 50 bills dealing with local property taxes and exemptions for senior citizens are up for a hearing before the Joint Committee on Revenue, 10 a.m., Hearing Room B-2.

— Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery – The committee will hear bills addressing the Department of Mental Health, children and forensic patients, as well as legislation from Rep. Ruth Balser and Sen. Cynthia Creem that would transfer Bridgewater State Hospital out of the jurisdiction of the Department of Correction and to the Department of Mental Health, 10 a.m., Room A-2.

— Joint Committee on Education – The committee takes up bills relating to financial literacy and civics curriculum, 10 a.m., Room A-1) .

— Joint Committee on Health Care Financing – The committee holds a hearing on six bills addressing health disparities, 11 a.m., Room B-1) .

— Utilities Committee – Proposals to expand the bottle bill, defeated in a blowout 2014 ballot referendum, are among the bills before the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee for a hearing, 1 p.m., Room A-2)

— Joint Committee on Financial Services – The committee solicits testimony on about two dozen bills dealing with insurance regulations, 1 p.m., Room 437.

— Joint Committee on Transportation – The committee holds a hearing on 35 bills covering topics including pedestrian and bike safety, disability placards, driver’s licenses and commercial vehicles and commercial driver’s licenses. 2 p.m., Room A-1.

Salem State faculty to speak out against Keenan’s appointment

Several members of the faculty at Salem State University are expected to speak out next week against the nomination of John Keenan as the school’s next president, when the state’s higher education board meets to vote on the appointment, Paul Leighton of the Salem News reports. Many faculty support having the school led by a non-white president to better reflect the student and faculty populations. 

Salem News

Amherst lawmaker wants to let non-citizens vote in local elections

Ah, freshman lawmakers. From SHNS’s Stephanie Murray at MassLive: “Amherst Rep. Solomon Goldstein-Rose has filed a bill that would grant voting rights to noncitizens in town elections, a move he says would make the town more inclusive for the many international professors and graduate students living permanently in the college town.”


Baker’s new cabinet-level tech office will need $15M to get up and running

Gov. Baker’s plan to elevate the state’s IT agency to a cabinet-level position will require an annual $15 million if it’s going to do its job right, administration officials are saying, according to a report by SHNS’s Colin Young.

SHNS (pay wall)

Dem Super PAC to ‘bird-dog’ Diehl and other who challenge Warren

American Bridge PAC, a pro-Democratic group funded partly by billionaire George Soros, has confirmed it plans to track/hound/bird-dog state Rep. Geoff Diehl and any other challengers to U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren in her bid for re-election next year, the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld is reporting. Does this mean they’re nervous about her re-election – or just acting as a sort of counter-weight to the anti-Warren onslaught recently launched by right-wing groups? Probably a little of both. They’re taking no chances.

Boston Herald

Warren touts financial-advisers reform

As a Dem Super PAC acts as her new campaign wingman, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren continues to focus her fire on finance-related issues, touting a new financial-advisers rule in an op-ed in the Boston Globe this morning.

Boston Globe

Hearing, schmearing: Warren calls for Sessions to be fired

One more Warren item: All eyes may be on the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing featuring Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she doesn’t need more evidence to know Sessions must go. Jennifer Hansler of CNN reports that Warren called for Sessions to lose his job for giving misleading testimony during his confirmation hearing.


Capuano invites transportation secretary to behold Logan noise levels

How nice of Michael Capuano. Think she’ll accept? From Meghan Ottolini at the Herald: “The roar from planes flying over East Boston has become so unbearable U.S. Rep. Michael E. Capuano has invited U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao to a barbecue at his home to enlighten her on the headache-inducing racket.”

Boston Herald

Remove the Confederate propaganda, leave a dignified marker for the dead

BlueMassGroup’s Charley on the MTA has a common-sense, dignified idea about how the state should handle the Confederate marker on Georges Island: Either add another marker that explains the biased Confederate marker – or, better yet (our preferred option), replace the marker with a new one: “Something simple, factual, humane and specific.” They were human beings, and fellow Americans, and their Civil War fates deserve to be treated with respect and dignity – just without the propaganda.


‘Oh, for simpler days, when sob-story people just asked for money to get to Worcester’

There’s been an explosion of Tissue People on the T and Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin has the details on the latest sob-story scam confronting riders. Lots of reader comments on the phenomenon, as well.

Universal Hub

Councilor blasts ‘fascists’ after attorney denied ZBA seat

Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney took to YouTube to blast members of the city’s Citizen Advisory Committee after the group voted to deny a seat on the Zoning Board to a local attorney with ties to the controversial Turtleboy Sports blog, Bill Shaner reports in Worcester Magazine. The city council is expected to weigh in on the controversy tonight.

Worcester Magazine

Waltham drug firm’s lobbying, donations raising concerns

Waltham-based Alkermes’s nationwide lobbying and campaign donations – including contributions to officials here in Massachusetts – are raising questions about the marketing and political influence surrounding a drug used to treat opioid addiction, according to a NPR investigation, reports Deborah Becker and Yasmin Amer at WBUR.


Ride sharing at Logan: The numbers

This isn’t a huge surprise: Allowing ride-sharing cars, like those from Uber, to pick up passengers at Logan has changed the traffic ballgame at the airport. But CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl has the numbers – and they’re pretty impressive, for ride-sharing companies, that is, not taxi companies.


Providence’s hit ‘Crimetown’ is coming to Boston

As if we didn’t have our own share of wiseguys, cops and shady pols in Massachusetts, the folks who produced the hit ‘Crimetown’ podcast are bringing Providence’s own cast of wiseguys, cops and shady pols to The Wilbur this July, reports Alex Weaver at BostInno. We haven’t heard Crimetown yet, but it’s definitely on our binge-watching/listening list.


Report: Millionaires will find their own sanctuary state if the millionaire’s tax is approved

We used to think this argument – that passage of the millionaire’s tax would boomerang on the state as millionaires fled the state in droves – had merit, as the argument is presented by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation in a WBUR story by SHNS’s Michael Norton. But now we’re not so sure, after reading this piece by Josh McCabe about the federal government’s regressive state and local tax (SALT) deduction.


The Things That Wouldn’t Leave: Cape Wind and its opponents

Believe it or not, they’re still battling over the old Cape Wind project, even though developers have no customers, no financial backers per se, and very few, if any, friends left on Beacon Hill these days. The Cape Cod Times has the details on the fight over Cape Wind’s lingering federal license.

Cape Cod Times

The state of the state’s beaches

Just as sand-in-your-toes season begins in earnest, lawmakers are sounding the alarm about the level of investment in the state’s public beaches, where some $1 billion worth of maintenance has been deferred over the years, Mike Deehan of WBGH reports. 


Cottonwood Management Parcel M1&M2 Groundbreaking and Celebration

Join Cottonwood Management as they break ground on their premiere Boston development located in the heart of Seaport Square on Parcels M1&M2. Cottonwood’s ceremony will include remarks from Governor Charles D. Baker and Mayor Martin J. Walsh, and will be attended by various members of the Boston City and State delegation.

Cottonwood Management, LLC

The Art of Health Care at East Boston Neighborhood Health Center

East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) will hold its fifth annual “The Art of Health Care” celebration, honoring its mission of providing easily accessible, affordable, high-quality health care to East Boston and surrounding communities. The night will include a reception, silent auction, and guided art tours of the building.

East Boston Neighborhood Health Center

BBJ & Constant Contact Smart Reader Seminar

Join us for a 1-hour power breakfast to learn how to find more leads and minimize cold calling using the Boston Business Journal. And then, put lead generation and prospecting to good use with marketing techniques from Constant Contact.

Boston Business Journal

Tzedek Salon: Confronting Islamophobia

Join us on June 14 for an important conversation on understanding and confronting Islamophobia, nationally and in Massachusetts. We’ll be joined by the Shannon Al-Wakeel, Executive Director of the Muslim Justice League, to talk about the way that Muslim communities are targeted structurally and ways to advocate for policy change.

Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action

Gearing Up Conference

This one day intensive conference for emerging women leaders is presented by the Center for Women and Business at Bentley University.

Center for Women and Business at Bentley University

Today’s Headlines


Greenway deal could clear the way for Winthrop Square tower – Boston Globe

Capuano ready to make some noise over Logan racket – Boston Herald

Tito Jackson blasts plan to double sizeof Dorchester shelter for vets – Boston Herald


Faculty to speak out on Keenan vote – Salem News

Quincy police Lt. Corliss found guilty of fraud – Patriot Ledger

Bill to combat nip bottle litter set for hearing – Cape Cod Times

Hilltown group uses ‘missing person’ ad to needle Rep. Neal – Hampshire Gazette

Local beaches test clean but lawmakers warn budget cuts are eroding quality – WGBH

Inmate commits suicide at Bristol County House of Corrections – Standard-Times

Studio founder: Castle Rock bring TV series work back to Mass. – Lowell Sun

Brockton firefighters agree to a drug test policy – Brockton Enterprise


Gianforte sentenced to 40 hours of community service for assaulting reporter – Politico

Senate hearing poses test for embattled Sessions – Washington Post

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