Happening Today

Vehicle inspection rollout, east-west rail, sex-offender registry, mayoral debate

Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meets to review a number of issues, including the influx of students from post-hurricane Puerto Rico and its fiscal 2019 budget proposal, 75 Pleasant St., Malden, 8:30 a.m.

— First Lady Lauren Baker and John Hancock employees help sort child clothing items for future Wonderfund Welcome Bags for DCF-engaged children, John Hancock Financial Services, 601 Congress Street, Boston, 9 a.m.

— Senate President Stan Rosenberg offers remarks to the Citizens Legislative Seminar, Room 428, 9:15 a.m.

Transportation Committee will hear from Registrar of Motor Vehicles Erin Deveney about problems in rolling out new vehicle inspection technology, Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack testifies about highway maintenance costs and supporters of a Sen. Eric Lesser bill directing MassDOT to study the feasibility high-speed rail connecting Springfield to Boston, Room A-1, 10 a.m.

Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security holds an oversight hearing on the Sex Offender Registry Board after a critical state audit by Auditor Suzanne Bump, who is among those expected to attend the hearing, Room B-1, 10 a.m.

— Sen. Cynthia Creem and Rep. Patricia Haddad give keynote remarks at a League of Women Voters of Massachusetts lobby day, Great Hall, 10 a.m.

— Senate President Stan Rosenberg, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito provide remarks at the annual award ceremony of the Massachusetts Legislative Manufacturing Caucus, Grand Staircase, 10:30 a.m.

— The Cannabis Control Commission meets to discuss the budget appropriation it will need from the Legislature, among other items, Minihan Meeting Room, Hurley Building, 19 Staniford St., Boston, 10:30 a.m.

Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture meeting to review issues tied to plastic bags, waste oil and recyclables pitched into the garbage, Room A-1, 1 p.m.

Committee on the Judiciary accepts testimony on dozen of bills dealing with motor vehicles, including a bill backed by Gov. Charlie Baker to address a court ruling he believes favors repeat drunk drivers, Room B-1, 1 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker joins Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch, Sen. John Keenan and local officials for a MassWorks Infrastructure Program announcement, Rear of 1515 Hancock St., Quincy, 1:30 p.m.

Gov. Baker joins Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash and Massachusetts Life Sciences Center president and CEO Travis McCready to celebrate the grand opening of the newly expanded LabCentral, 700 Main St. North, Cambridge, 4:30 p.m.

— Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and City Councilor Tito Jackson go head-to-head in a mayoral debate moderated by Jim Braude and Margery Eagan in front of a studio audience, WGBH-FM 89.7, WGBH-TV Ch. 2, 7 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Warning shot: Hospital leaders decry ‘legislative attack’ on their revenues

Leaders of the state’s two largest hospitals are warning lawmakers not to proceed with health-care reforms, as outlined in new Senate cost-containment package, if it leads to slashing their revenues in the name of reducing overall health-care spending, according to reports by the Globe’s Priyanka Dayal McCluskey and SHNS’s Katie Lannan at CommonWealth magazine. It’s the first major private-sector warning shot fired across the bow of health-care reformers since the Senate bill was unveiled  – and it won’t be the last shot fired, for sure. 

Warning shot, Part II: DAs blast Senate criminal-justice bill

On another Senate-reform front: For a short time there, it appeared most state prosecutors might be amenable to compromise on some key provisions within the Senate’s sweeping criminal-justice reform bill. Now it looks like outright war. From the Globe’s Joshua Miller: “In a blistering public rebuke, nine of Massachusetts’ 11 district attorneys came out Monday against major parts of the state Senate’s sweeping criminal justice bill, which is aimed at reducing the number of people caught in the system.” Josh has the details.

Boston Globe

Smart move: MBTA to use smart technology to speed buses and trolleys through traffic lights

The MBTA is expanding its use of new technology that allows T trolleys and buses to zip through traffic more easily, basically by turning traffic lights to green more often when buses and trolleys approach. The Globe’s Adam Vaccaroand SHNS’s Andy Metzler at the BBJ have more. This is most welcome. Many transportation experts firmly believe the use of smart technology on roadways can go a long way toward reducing traffic congestion in general, not just for buses and trolleys. 

Judge who issued controversial sexual-assault sentence is charged with sexual harassment

The Berkshire Eagle’s Larry Parnass was one of the first to break the news that a western Massachusetts judge who left the bench abruptly in August now stands accused of sexual harassment by a social worker once assigned to his Pittsfield courtroom. But soon after other reporters – including Patrick Johnson at MassLive and Andrea Estes at the Globe – started connecting other dots: District Court Judge Thomas H. Estes is also the same judge who last year was at the center of intense controversy over what some considered his light sentence of a star East Longmeadow high-school athlete charged with sexually assaulting two unconscious classmates. 

Berkshire Eagle

State seizes Lantigua’s ‘inactive’ mayoral campaign cash in Lawrence

Reminder to candidates: You really do have to file those pesky campaign-finance reports. The state treasurer’s office has seized more than $17,000 from the campaign account of former Lawrence Mayor — and current mayoral candidate — William Lantigua, declaring the money unclaimed property after the campaign failed to file finance reports due as far back as 2015, Keith Eddings of the Eagle-Tribune reports. Lantigua, who is facing current mayor Daniel Rivera in next month’s election, says he’ll soon start the process of trying to reclaim the cash. 

Eagle Tribune

Elizabeth Warren’s ‘Me Too’ moment, Part II: The ‘lighthearted’ side

It seems U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren had previously talked about a long-ago sexual-harassment incident she once experienced as a young professor, before she discussed the incident on Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” According to a Globe report by Julia Jacobs and Victoria McGrane, Warren spoke about the encounter in a “more lighthearted manner in which she described the same incident two decades after it occurred, during the memorial service for the senior University of Houston faculty member she accused of pursuing her around his office.”

Our reaction: 1.) The memorial-service remembrance confirms that a sexual-harassment incident likely did occur as she’s described it, albeit in two vastly different and seeming contradictory tones. 2.) We’re not buying her “power” explanation for why her tone changed over the years 3.) But we do believe a lot of people subjected to a trauma, any type of trauma, often try to dismiss it away with humor and/or by other emotional means, i.e., they engage in a form of denial. And that’s our psychobabble for the day. 

Boston Globe

Walsh calls for ‘dedicated’ tax to pay for transportation component of Amazon bid

In an interview last evening on Bloomberg Radio, Mayor Marty Walsh said he favors a “dedicated” state tax of some kind to help pay for infrastructure improvements in the city’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters, according to a summary of the Bloomberg interview. “I think you have to come up with a dedicated revenue source, it has to be dedicated, and it has to be a source people are OK with,” Walsh said. 

We’re wondering if the No Boston Olympics folks are aware of this.  


Jeff Bezos ate here

Speaking of Amazon: He came. He saw. He ate. But will he soon conquer Boston? We don’t know yet, but Kelly O’Brien at the BBJ reports that Amazon’s Jeff Bezos last year ate out at the swanky Liquid Art House in Boston’s Bay Village and talked a lot about robotics with fellow robotic enthusiasts, indicating he does indeed recognize and respect the area’s expertise in a field he’s very interested in these days. No mention of what they had for dinner.


Kingston pronounces himself better than Lindstrom, asks her to drop out of Senate race

Hey, why wait for the voters to decide? From the Globe’s Frank Phillips: “Republican John Kingston called a meeting late last month with his party rival for US Senate, Beth Lindstrom, and strongly urged her to drop out of the primary, arguing he was the stronger candidate to defeat Democrat Elizabeth Warren. Lindstrom, who announced her Senate candidacy last weekend, firmly resisted the proposition — as well as another Kingston proffer, according to a source close to her — one that could well run up against state law.”

Meanwhile, the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld is asking what’s up with Kingston’s planned appearance at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute later this week. You know, “Ted Kennedy,” aka the “liberal lion” Kennedy.

Boston Globe

In Salem, sanctuary on the ballot twice …

  WGBH’s Adam Reilly takes a look at how the question of being a “peace sanctuary” is impacting the upcoming city election in Salem, where voters will decide on a referendum and choose between two candidates with opposition views on the divisive issue.  


… while Groton keeps the welcome rocks out

Groton town meeting voted down a petition article that would have scrubbed the word “all” from decorative stones installed at town entrances earlier this year bearing the message “all are welcome,” Anne O’Connor reports at the Lowell Sun. Some in town worried the wording was too too sanctuary city-like for their tastes. But after 90 minutes of sometimes-heated debate, voters chose to keep the wording intact. 

Lowell Sun

All aboard (again) for Senator Eric Lesser’s rail-study push

State Sen. Eric Lesser is organizing a busload of people to drive from Springfield to Boston today to attend a State House hearing on his pet project of all pet projects: A study of the feasibility of high-speed rail between Springfield and Boston. Matt Szafranski at Western Massachusetts Politics & Insight has the details on Lesser’s latest publicity tour for the study – and more on the whole issue of high-speed rail in general.


Refighting the Civil War

We missed this column last week by the Globe’s Alex Beam (‘In defense of the Confederate Dead’), but many Globe readers didn’t miss it – and some of them are unloading on Beam in letters to the editors. We like Alex, a lot, but he really stepped into it with this column. He doesn’t seem to grasp that a crisis over slavery became a crisis over whether democratic government could survive after a violent faction (i.e. the South) decided it wasn’t going to abide by a democratic election outcome.

Progressives criticize Bernie for dividing progressives by endorsing progressives in overly progressive cities

Speaking of civil wars: U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders was in Somerville yesterday to endorse 18 local candidates for city-level political posts, according to a report at WBUR. But we’ll leave it to Amy Saltzman at Wicked Local to explain why local progressives were not happy that one of the nation’s top progressives was endorsing some local progressives over other local progressives.

Wicked Local

Brighton’s Oak Square, Part II

A MassterList reader, who was raised and still lives in Brighton, reacts to Brighton’s Oak Square getting dragged into the debate (scroll down in the Herald story for Brighton angle) over President Trump’s phone call to a relative of a fallen U.S. soldier — and whether the phrase “empty barrel” is racist and whether Brighton was/is racist:

“That ‘empty barrel’ phrase was a favorite of my sixth grade teacher, a nun.  She was also a bit unhinged, and would go into rants and hit kids. That said, I heard the n-word pretty much every day from someone or other, particularly once busing started.  Black people didn’t need to be afraid for their safety in Oak Square, or anywhere in Brighton, that I know of, like in South Boston or Charlestown, but there was a high level of distrust, suspicion and clannishness.”

AIM calls for mobilization against ‘progressive activists’

Associated Industries of Massachusetts chief Rick Lord doesn’t care if they’re Bernie progressives or non-Bernie progressives. He worried about all progressives — and the progressive-backed state ballot questions next year, including the proposed millionaire’s tax initiative, that he says in an email blast presents employers with an “unprecedented public-policy crisis.” We couldn’t find the text of the email message on a web site, but it was blasted out yesterday to business types.

Framingham’s first mayoral race could see 50 percent turnout

Framingham’s first mayoral race, following the former town’s recent decision to switch to a city form of government, is most definitely under way, with the two candidates, Yvonne Spicer and John Stefanini, focusing on voters’ concerns over schools, business growth and better representation, reports Tina Martin at WGBH. The town clerk (or is it now the city clerk?) is expecting an historic turnout of more than 50 percent.


Local officials demand state action on pit pulls

Following the off-the-charts vicious pit pull attacks of late in Massachusetts, local leaders are planning to renew their demand that state lawmakers allow them to specifically regulate the pit-bull breed in their communities, reports Michael Levenson at the Globe.

Boston Globe

Berkshire Museum reduces size of art auction, but keeps Rockwells on the block

The Berkshire Museum has reduced the number of works from its collection it will sell in the first wave of actions starting next month from 40 to 19, but the planned sale of two Norman Rockwell works will remain the stars of the Sotheby’s auction, Larry Parnass of the Berkshire Eagle reports. The two Rockwell paintings are at the heart of the intense controversy over the sale of artworks by the museum.

Berkshire Eagle

MAC’s Annual Celebrating Voices Gala

Massachusetts Advocates for Children

Ward 4 Forum

Auburndale Community Library, Ward 4 Democratic Committee, & Lasell College

Developing STEM Workforce Skills with Internships

The MetroWest STEM Education Network

7th Annual Job Fair for Individuals with Visual Impairments

Vision Works Consortium, National Braille Press & Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study

Dissident Speaker Series: “Nemtsov” with Vladimir Kara-Murza

MIT Center for International Studies (CIS)

Mentor Recruitment Fair

Mass Mentoring Partnership, My Brother’s Keeper, and the City of Boston

Mass. Marijuana Summit: Understanding the challenges and opportunities in the new age of legalization

State House News Forum

Today’s Headlines


Seabiscuit and the Beatles: A look at Suffolk Downs’ history – Boston Globe

Traffic woes may hurt Boston’s Amazon HQ2 pitch – Boston Herald


Tougher drunken driving laws pushed by Baker, lawmakers – Salem News

Northampton city council approves resolution in support of medical-aid-in-dying – Hampshire Gazette

MBTA ridership on downward trend – CommonWealth Magazine

Worcester, Middlesex home prices still on the rise – Worcester Business Journal


Key progressive group makes first 2018 endorsements – The Hill

The Trump administration is holding a teenager hostage over abortion – Washington Post

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