Happening Today

Gaming commission, gun violence summit, Lovejoy Wharf ribbon cutting

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission holds a regular meeting to vote on requests by Suffolk Downs for additional racing days and purse money and review Wynn Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield quarterly reports, 101 Federal Street, 12th Floor, Boston, 10 a.m. … MassDevelopment‘s board of directors hold their monthly board meeting with Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash expected to attend, 99 High St. – 11th floor, Boston, 10 a.m. .. Inspector General Council meets with Auditor Suzanne Bump chairing and Inspector General Glenn Cunha expected to attend, One Ashburton Place – 13th floor, Room 1311, Boston, 11 a.m. … Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Police Commissioner William Evans attend the New England 4th Regional Gun Violence Summit, with a press availability offered afterward, Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building, 2300 Washington St., Roxbury, 12 p.m. … National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration offers a free tour of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s research vessel, the R/V Gloria Michelle, Harborwalk by Moakley Courthouse, 12:30 till 5 p.m. … Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack will join Related Beal President Kimberly Sherman Stamler to cut the ribbon on Lovejoy Wharf, 1100 Lovejoy Place, Boston, 1:30 p.m. … U.S. Sen. Edward Markey holds a town hall forum to talk with constituents on Nantucket, Nantucket Atheneum, 1 India St., Nantucket, 5:30 p.m. … Fred Weichel, who was recently freed from prison after his 1980s murder conviction was overturned, speaks on “Nightside,” WBZ NewsRadio 1030, 8 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Tsongas opens the floodgates

U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas’ surprise announcement yesterday that she won’t seek re-election next year has opened the floodgates of speculation about who will or may run for her seat next year. Lots of names are floating out there. Here’s a handy-dandy list of probable and/or possible contenders, based on reports at the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, the Eagle Tribune, the Lowell Sun and SHNS (pay wall) and other publications:

On the Democratic side, in no particular order: State Sens. Barbara A. L’Italien, Eileen Donoghue and James Eldridge; Ellen Murphy Meehan, former wife of ex.-U.S. Rep. Marty Meehan and current UMass president; Daniel Koh, Mayor Marty Walsh’s chief of staff; former state Sen. Barry Finegold; state Rep. Jennifer Benson; Stephen Kerrigan, a former candidate for lieutenant governor; and Michael Gallager, a co-chair of Tsongas’s campaign committee and a prominent local lawyer.

On the Republican side, in no particular order: Rick Green, an auto-parts executive who once mulled running for U.S. Senate; Sal’s Pizza shop owner and developer Salvatore Lupoli; Gardner Mayor Mark P. Hawke; and state Reps. Sheila Harrington and Ann Wofford.

We think that covers most everyone.

The husband-wife tradition

In a story on how Ellen Murphy Meehan is being mentioned as a potential candidate for Niki Tsongas’ seat, the Globe’s Frank Phillips explores the district’s history of electing wives to succeed husbands. Think: Rogers and Tsongas. A run by Meehan, the ex-wife of Marty Meehan, who once held the seat and is now head of UMass, is following in that tradition, sort of. Tsongas isn’t endorsing Meehan or any other candidate. But she does suggest in her statement yesterday that she’d like to see a female win her seat – and there’s no shortage of women, it appears, who agree with her. See above post.

Boston Globe

Do Republicans even have a chance of winning Tsongas’ seat?

It’s going to be an uphill battle for any Republican thinking of running for the U.S. House seat to be vacated by retiring Rep. Niki Tsongas. But the Herald’s Hillary Chabot says the GOP may have a better chance than many think. She explains.

Boston Herald

Congressional colleagues are sad to see Tsongas go

U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas’ surprise announcement yesterday that she won’t be running for re-election next year stunned and saddened her local Congressional colleagues, including U.S. Reps. Richard Neal, Joseph Kennedy III, Jim McGovern and others. Shannon Young as MassLive has their reactions.


Moulton trying to shakeup ‘status quo’ with vet endorsements

Forget about who might replace U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas in Massachusetts. Seth Moulton has bigger changes in mind. From SHNS’s Stephanie Murray at the Lowell Sun: “U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton is trying to change the ‘status quo’ in Washington — and he’s looking beyond his home state to do it. The Massachusetts congressman announced on Wednesday he’s backing three more veterans, ramping up his out-of-state endorsements to 11 candidates in an effort to challenge Republicans and reshape his own party.”

Lowell Sun

Humphrey: Is there a mental health doctor in the house?

Former Republican U.S. Sen. Gordon Humphrey of New Hampshire is urging the Granite State’s congressional delegation to pass legislation that would create a commission to determine if President Trump is bonkers. OK, that last word is ours, not reporter James Pindell’s. But you get the picture. James has the details.

Boston Globe

Pot and safe-driving: ‘This isn’t like a Cheech and Chong movie’

Massachusetts has launched a new ad campaign warning about the dangers of driving high on marijuana, as part of the overall “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” roadway program, reports CBS Boston. “We’re not here to demonize users of marijuana,” said National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regional administrator Art Kinsman at a briefing yesterday. But he added that “this isn’t like a Cheech and Chong movie.”

CBS Boston

Advocates say new pot commission budget and salaries are too low

Speaking of pot: As state leaders review potential candidates to serve on the new Cannabis Control Commission, advocates for legalized marijuana are questioning the salary caps for future board members and warning that the overall $2 million set aside for the commission may not be enough to adequately regulate the industry, reports Christian Wade at the Gloucester Times.

Gloucester Times

Are county jails actually profiting off of immigrant detentions?

Proof that it literally pays to cooperate with the feds on immigration matters, via Chris Burrell at the New England Center for Investigative Reporting at WGBH: “Nearly all five county jails in Massachusetts and New Hampshire that detain immigrants facing possible deportation are filling up beds in increasing numbers and watching millions of dollars pour in from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, according to data recently obtained by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting. More than 600 immigrants are detained in the county-run jails, a 28 percent increase over last year.”


Baker’s vulnerable right

Adam Reilly at WGBH is the latest to warn that Gov. Charlie Baker, as popular as he may be across the state, could be facing a serious problem holding together his Republican base when he seeks re-election next year. “You know, maybe this isn’t going to go the way that people think,” says Republican activist and commentator Ed Lyons. WGBH’s Peter Kadzis was thinking roughly the same thing earlier this month.


Brace yourself: Impact of climate change may be worse than feared

From the Globe’s David Abel: “The Northeast will experience warmer temperatures, higher seas, and greater amounts of rain and snow than federal scientists forecast only three years ago, according to a draft of a major report about climate change awaiting the approval of the Trump administration.”

Boston Globe

Walsh isn’t worrying about a GE pullout – and neither should you

It seems some are worried that General Electric’s latest headquarters-completion delay may mean that GE isn’t fully committed to Boston. Mayor Marty Walsh is not among the worrywarts, saying General Electric CEO John Flattery has assured him that the headquarters construction delay is just that – a construction delay, reports Catherine Carlock at the BBJ. Even the Globe, which broke the construction-delay story yesterday on its front page, has a follow-up story this morning headlined: ‘Despite delay, GE committed to new Boston headquarters.’


Kennedy: Trump’s North Korea rhetoric needs to be ‘dialed back’

U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III is effectively saying President Trump needs to take a deep breath and calm down, if that’s possible, after his ‘fire and fury’ threat earlier this week against North Korea. “I think the rhetoric being used by the administration and by the president himself needs to be dialed back a bit so we don’t get to a point where a young (North Korean) ruler miscalculates,” Kennedy said, as reported by the Herald’s Chris Villani.

Boston Herald

Mass. law professor signs on to suit blocking Trump’s transgender ban

The lawsuit line forms to the left: Jennifer Levi, a law professor at Western New England University, has joined the legal team behind one of two lawsuits seeking to preemptively block President Trump’s efforts to ban transgender individuals from serving in the military, Shannon Young of MassLive reports. 


Downtown Hudson’s amazing comeback story

Despite the recent opening of big-box retail stores in and around Hudson, the central Massachusetts town of 20,000 is seeing a downtown resurgence, as more retails shops and restaurants open along a recently spiffed up Main Street, reports Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive. More than $10 million in additional downtown projects are on the way as well in Hudson, he writes.


Ten more protesters arrested at pipeline site in western Mass.

Activists aren’t giving up the battle over Kinder Morgan’s construction of a new natural-gas pipeline in western Massachusetts, with State Police arresting ten more protesters yesterday for trying to block an access road to a work site, reports Michelle Williams at MassLIve. 


The end of (snow) days?

Assuming Armageddon is avoided long enough, more Massachusetts school children may have a new option for making up days missed due to weather this upcoming winter, though they’re probably not going to like it. Gary Tuoti of the MetroWest Daily News reports that more districts are giving students assignments to complete at home on days off in lieu of pushing missed days to the end of the school year.

MetroWest Daily News

Newton Mayoral Candidate Business Forum

Newton-Needham Regional Chamber

Refugee Crisis in Europe in Boston

Beacon Hill Friends

Today’s Headlines


Opening up at Faneuil Hall marketplace – Boston Herald

City reports show downtown housing is booming, while outer neighborhoods see gradual growth – WBUR

Boston pulls Snapchat filters after outcry from Eastie residents – Boston Globe

Conservative Koch brothers are secret investors in Wonder Woman movie – The Hollywood Reporter


Pilgrim owner avoids citation for violation – Cape Cod Times

Nearly 100 Worcester businesses join PawSox push – Worcester Business Journal

Lowell-area opioid-addiction efforts lauded as fatal ODs decline – Lowell Sun

Pipeline protest blocks road leading to Otis State Forest – Berkshire Eagle

Pricing hints on Hydro-Quebec power – CommonWealth Magazine

Smash the room: Worcester venue to offer destruction as entertainment, energy release – Telegram & Gazette


‘Fire and fury’ took aides by surprise – New York Times

McConnell, Trump point fingers – The Hill

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