Happening Today

Islamic Society, marijuana dispensary, medication disposal

— Acting Senate President Harriette Chandler attends the Massachusetts Association of Residential Care Homes Forum, Dodge Park/Oasis Rest Home, 101 Randolph Rd., Worcester, 9 a.m.

— Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants speaks to the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center following the mosque’s midday prayer service, 100 Malcolm X Blvd., Roxbury, 12:30 p.m.

— State Sen. Patricia Jehlen and Rep. Mike Connolly tour Revolutionary Clinics’ Somerville medical marijuana dispensary, 67 Broadway, Somerville, 1:30 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey, Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders and CVS Health executive vice President Tom Moriarty make an announcement regarding the expansion of the CVS Health Medication Disposal Program in Massachusetts, CVS Pharmacy, 590 Fellsway, Medford, 12:30 p.m.

— U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III is a guest on ‘Radio Boston,’ WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m.

— Lawyers backing the proposed ‘milionaire’s tax’ ballot proposal plan to file a brief with the Supreme Judicial Court in favor of the referendum initiative.

Today’s Stories

The comeback kid: Will Stan regain the Senate presidency?

This would almost rival the Pats’ Super Bowl LI comeback victory (almost), if Stan call pull it off. From the Globe’s Frank Phillips: “Close allies of Stan Rosenberg see a path for him to potentially return to the presidency in the state Senate, where a coalition of some of his colleagues is ready to support his reinstatement to the post he lost amid a scandal created by his husband’s alleged sexual misbehavior. However, their support — gauged through interviews with senators and senior staff — is contingent at least on Rosenberg being cleared by the internal Senate investigation into allegations raised in a Globe story that his husband, Bryon Hefner, sexually harassed four men.”

Based on Frank’s story, it sure sounds like a lot of senators want Stan back, largely because of the refreshingly civil and balanced way he’s run the Senate. “I think there is a silent majority who hopes Stan is exonerated and can return,’’ said Sen. Michael J. Barrett, a Lexington Democrat. “We really like the change he has brought to the Senate.”

Rosenberg apparently wouldn’t be bringing back certain baggage, i.e. he’s officially separated from his husband, reports WBUR’s Lisa Creamer and Steve Brown. Rosenberg is remaining mum, only saying that he’s been told to “minimize contact” with other senators during the pending Senate ethics investigation, reports Shira Schoenberg at MassLive. SHNS’s Matt Murphy has more at CommonWealth magazine.

Boston Globe

Holy crap: Of shitholes and the use of ‘shitholes’ in headlines

As the Herald’s Jules Crittenden puts it in his story, President Trump’s “shitholes” comment yesterday, as it relates to Haiti and African countries, may indeed “prove his most shocking statement yet.” We’ll let others debate the deeper racial and racist meaning of the president’s latest coarse outburst. But what intrigues us is how the media is handling the word “shitholes.” The New York Times didn’t use it in its online headline, though “shitholes” appears in the lead of its story. The Washington Post put “shitholes” front and center in its headline, but not in its lead. The Boston Globe used the Washington Post story, but didn’t put “shitholes” in its online headline. The Herald went “shithole”in one wire piece, but went dash-dash in the body of Jules’ Herald piece.

As a separate Washington Post story notes, use of “shitholes” varied from media outlet to media outlet, it seems. So we went to the nation’s arbiters of taste, the New York Daily News and the New York Post, to see how they handled it all. The NY Daily went the dash-dash “sh – -tholes” route, but the Post went full “shitholes.” We’re not passing judgment on those who did or didn’t use the word. We grappled with the issue ourselves, ultimately going the hybrid route — a crap here, a shithole there, etc. 

Btw: One of the better early pundit pieces about the increasing vulgarity of the President of the United States of America comes from the Herald’s Kimberly Atkins: “For all of the talk of President Trump’s mental state, his failure to grasp the gravity of his actions and his vacillating policy stances, there are times — like yesterday — when he paints a crystal clear picture of his true beliefs.”

Baker: Keolis needs to ‘up their game’

From Matt Stout at the Herald: “Gov. Charlie Baker is ramping up pressure on Keolis, the MBTA’s private commuter rail operator, saying the company has to ‘up their game’ after last week’s snowstorm and extended cold snap triggered widespread delays and cancellations.”

Boston Herald

Meanwhile, Baker rejects idea of making people work for Medicaid

The Trump administration yesterday said it would permit states to impose work requirements on those receiving Medicaid assistance, but Gov. Charlie Baker isn’t on board with the idea, SHNS reports at WBUR.


Middlesex prosecutors won’t ask for bail in minor criminal cases

Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan says her office will end the practice of asking for cash bail for nonviolent and low-level offenses. According to MassLive’s Dan Glaun, the policy will apply to crimes where no jail time would be sought by prosecutors and comes as lawmakers consider a sweeping changes within the state’s criminal justice system.  As the Globe’s Maria Cramer notes, other prosecutors across the country have also been adopting no-bail policies for minor offenses.


Swan boats or golden goose boats?

A watchdog group says the contract to operate the Swan Boats in the Public Garden lagoon is so specific that competitive bids are all but impossible, Dan Atkinson reports in the Herald. That may or may not be by design. The same family has long operated the summertime attraction which last year generated $655,000 worth of revenue and turned back more than $25,000 to city coffers. 

Boston Herald

Walsh: Be nice to each other or I’ll eliminate space savers … or maybe not

After threatening to eliminate parking space savers amid growing tensions and even vandalism of cars on snow-clogged city streets, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh quickly backed off his hard-line space-saver stand. But he still insists Bostonians have to be nicer to each other. WCVB has the dramatic details.


Back for more punishment? Chang now proposing elimination of middle schools

Give Tommy Chang credit: He’s not afraid to take on potentially controversial issues. But if there’s major blowback on this one too, it could be the end of him at BPS. From James Vaznis at the Globe: “Parents still reeling from a failed proposal to change the opening and closing bells at schools across Boston are now facing another proposal that could dramatically alter the fabric of their children’s schools, generating a mix of outrage and support. Superintendent Tommy Chang is renewing his push to reduce the variety of schools across the city, a move that could eliminate Boston’s six remaining middle schools as elementary and high schools absorb the middle grades.”

Boston Globe

Peabody puts decade-old case involving mayor’s father to rest

The city of Peabody has finally closed the book on a decade-old dispute with a former police lieutenant who was fired from his job for posing as his co-workers to find out their civil service test scores — and, oh, he also happens to the father of the city’s mayor, Mary Markos reports in the Salem News. Edward Bettencourt won a Supreme Judicial Court case in 2016 that found the loss of his pension and other benefits amounted to an excessive fine. The city will pay out just over $154,000 to settle the matter, which required Mayor Ted Bettencourt to temporarily recuse himself. 

Salem News

Warren and Markey file bill to repeal medical-device tax

Take that, Beth Lindstrom. U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey have filed legislation that would repeal the newly reinstated 2.3 percent tax on medical devices, a tax that’s hated by the local life-science sector and that was recently included in the GOP tax-overhaul bill. SHNS’s Katie Lannan has more. Lindstrom, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, has recently been chiding Warren to take a more firm stand on the GOP tax bill – and Warren just gave Lindstrom her answer.

SHNs (pay wall)

They’re not Amazon, but DraftKings and Phillips are also making big real estate plays

As Amazon gobbles up more space in Boston, two other local firms are making big real estate plays: DraftKings, which is doubling the size of its headquarters with its move to the Back Bay, as reported by the BBJ’s Catherine Carlock, and Royal Phillips, which is moving its North American headquarters and 2,000 employees from Andover to Cambridge’s NorthPoint, Carlock also reports.

Btw: That Phillips news was not so welcome in Andover, where just 300 manufacturing jobs will remain, Kelsey Bode reports at the Eagle-Tribune. Local officials have already reached out to state development agencies for help finding replacement tenants. 

Gifford reports raising $500K in first six weeks of his Third District campaign

He seems to be giving rival Dan Koh a run for his money, literally. From Chris Lisinski at the Lowell Sun: “Rufus Gifford, a former U.S. ambassador to Denmark who set fundraising records when he worked for Barack Obama, brought in $500,000 in the first month and a half of his campaign for the 3rd Congressional District seat, Gifford’s campaign announced Thursday. Almost 75 percent of those supporters contributed $100 or less, which Gifford’s campaign described as a sign of ‘strong grassroots support.’?

We’re not sure all this bragging by Gifford, Koh and others about their fundraising prowess will play that well in lower-income Lowell, but we’re not the ones with the hired political strategists and PR types.

Lowell Sun

There’s just one small problem with supervised injection sites: They’re ‘completely illegal’

From SHNS’s Katie Lannan at MassLive: “The Baker administration’s health and human services chief said Thursday she’s ‘open to understanding more about’ supervised injection sites for drug users, but that federal law would pose a challenge to launching any in Massachusetts. ‘It’s just completely illegal federally, so it’s hard for me to sort of make the leap of how you actually do that in our state at this time,” Secretary Marylou Sudders said in an interview on WGBH Radio.”


That’s a take: Film tax credits cost the state $91M, more than other tax incentives combined

Hollywood couldn’t have written a better script for itself. From Greg Ryan at the BBJ: “Massachusetts paid more than twice as much through its film tax incentive program last fiscal year than it did through its two other main tax-credit programs that together cover every industry in the state, according to the commonwealth’s annual financial statement. In fiscal 2017, the state lost an estimated $91 million in tax breaks to the film industry.”


Citing new tax law, National Grid reduces its rate hike request

First Eversource. Now National Grid. From SHNS’s Colin Young at WBUR: “National Grid will seek a smaller rate hike in Massachusetts than it originally requested, the utility company said Thursday, citing the benefit of the recent federal tax reform bill. The company announced that it will reduce its proposed rate hike for Bay Staters by $36 million. … Last week, Eversource announced that it will lower its existing rates for eastern Massachusetts by $35.4 million.”


The state’s rather novel clean-energy procurement process

Later this month, we’ll see if the state’s rather unusual procurement process for clean energy actually works – or whether it’s sheer procurement madness. CommonWealth magazine’s Bruce Mohl has the details on a clean energy procurement process that has most definitely diverged from the norm.


Gonzalez snaps up well-known Dem pollster

Hey, if Attorney General Maura Healey won’t use him for a gubernatorial bid, Jay Gonzalez might as well. The Globe’s Joshua Miller reports that Gonzalez, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate, has hired well-known Democratic pollster Chris Anderson to conduct survey research for his campaign, the same Chris Anderson who does polling for Healey. As Josh puts it: “Yes, that same Maura Healey who many progressive advocates hope against hope will run for governor this year.”

Boston Globe

‘Worcester comeback seems for real’

It’s sort of a business-journalism sport: Chronicling all the media stories touting the latest ‘renaissance’ under way in some hard-scrabble city or neighborhood – renaissances that never seem to come true. Well, we may be looking at the real renaissance deal in Worcester, whose current ‘comeback’ involves billions of dollars pouring into various developments in the city. John Dyer has the details at CommonWealth magazine. … Fyi: Our all-time favorite ‘renaissance’ story — repeated year after year for decades by the media – centered on Kenmore Square. Is Kenmore Square still in its renaissance phase – or did we miss something?


Sunday public affairs TV

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Nicholas Burns, of the Harvard Kennedy School and former US Ambassador to NATO, discusses the NAFTA talks, our relations with European allies, and the Trump administration’s gutting of the State Department.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Shirley Leung of the Boston Globe and Doug Banks of the Boston Business Journal weigh in on some of the top business stories of the week including questions about the future of the Massachusetts marijuana industry, the future of Dreamers and Amazon’s plans for Boston.  

CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. B.Good co-founder and CEO Anthony Ackil on this growing farm-to-table, fast-casual “Food With Roots” business.

On The Record, WCVB TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Mayor Marty Walsh, who talks with anchor Ed Harding and co-anchor Janet Wu.

This is New England, NBC Boston, Channel 10, 11:30 a.m. With host Latoyia Edwards, this week’s topic: Martin Luther King Jr Day and reporter stories in the community.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. This week’s topic: The Political Power of Women.

Sen. Patricia Jehlen, Rep. Mike Connolly to Tour Revolutionary Clinics’ Somerville Dispensary

Revolutionary Clinics

2018 NE/SAE Annual Management Conference

New England Society of Association Executives

Author Talk and Book Signing with Mimi Graney

State Library of Massachusetts

Today’s Headlines


Boston EMS reports overdose deaths were way up in 2017 – WBUR

Salary board votes for up to 30 percent bump – Boston Herald


Officials discuss solutions to housing shortage in central Mass. – Telegram & Gazette

Braintree taxi company shuts down, citing rail-hailing apps – Patriot Ledger

Long wait on GE appeal decision on river toxins cleanup rattles nerves – Berkshire Eagle

Lynn Mayor Thomas McGee says goodbye to Beacon Hill – Lynn Item

Salem wants to tax Airbnb, other home share rentals – Salem News


Walmart raised wages. Then it closed 63 stores – New York Times

Trump touts delivery to Norway of ‘F-52s’ —but they only exist in a computer game – Washington Post

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