Happening Today

SJC hearings, MBTA Control Board, ‘The Power of Muppets,’ Truck Day

— State marijuana regulators from the Cannabis Control Commission hold public hearings today in Pittsfield, 8:30 a.m., and in Holyoke, 2 p.m., to give residents a chance to weigh in on the 107 pages of draft regulations the agency has proposed.

— The Supreme Judicial Court will hear four cases: Phone Recovery Services LLC v. Verizon of New England Inc. and others; W. Robert Allison v. Elof Eriksson and others; Commonwealth v. Justino Escobar, a drug case; and an impounded case, John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Second Floor, Pemberton Square, Boston, 9 a.m.

— The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition hosts a roundtable with officials from refugee resettlement agencies, legal experts and immigrant groups, 600 Washington St. – 4th floor, Boston, 10 a.m.

Poor People’s Campaign hosts a news conference as part of ‘A National Call for Moral Revival,’ which will be held at over 30 state capitols and the U.S. Capitol, State House steps, 10 a.m.

— A Senate task force convened to help the state’s retail sector meets in Northampton, Union Station, 125A Pleasant St., Northampton, 10:45 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Secretary of Public Safety and Security Daniel Bennett announce over $5 million in Shannon Grants to communities and other to bolster efforts to combat gang violence, Grand Staircase, 11:30 a.m.

— The MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board will meet to discuss ridership, Focus40, the fiscal 2018 operating budget, and other topics, Transportation Board Room, second floor, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 12 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Acting Senate President Harriette Chandler, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and House Minority Leader Brad Jones gather for a weekly leadership meeting, Governor’s office, 2 p.m.

Dan McNichol, former spokesman for the Big Dig project and author of the book ‘The Big Dig,’ talks on ‘Radio Boston’ about 10 infrastructure projects he says could have landed Amazon’s HQ2, WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker joins Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack and Appeals Court Chief Justice Mark Green for the swearing-in ceremony of Appeals Court Justice John Englander, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Boston, 4:15 p.m.

— Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer delivers her city’s first State of the City Address, in which she’ll discuss Framingham’s transition to a city government and other issues, 150 Concord St., Framingham, 6 p.m.

— U.S. Army Gen. George Casey Jr. (Ret.) and Sesame Workshop CEO Jeffrey Dunn speak at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics about ‘The Power of Muppets: Bringing Hope to the World’s Most Vulnerable Children,’ 79 JFK St., Cambridge, 6 p.m.

Department of Public Utilities holds a public hearing on the petition of Boston Gas Company and Colonial Gas Company, each doing business as National Grid, for approval of general increases in base distribution rates for gas service, Barnstable High School, Senior Cafeteria, 744 W. Main St., Hyannis, 7 p.m.

— The Red Sox equipment truck leaves Fenway Park for Florida today, a traditional event that’s come to mark the first step toward the start of the 2018 season.

Today’s Stories

How not to react to a Super Bowl loss …

Crying after an epic Super Bowl loss is OK. Seeking therapy and counsel is also OK and even encouraged on this dark morning in New England. But near rioting after a Super Bowl loss? Not OK. Universal Hub and the Boston Globe have details on the post-Super Bowl reaction of thousands of UMass students in Amherst. Six were arrested and 12 transported to hospitals. Universal Hub has lots of photos and videos of the “chaotic scene.”

Here’s one thing that’s definitely OK: Demanding to know why Malcom Butler was benched last night. What the …? … Hey, the Patriots are already the Super Bowl favorites for 2019.

Pats’ Krafts and McCourty push juvenile justice reforms

Before last evening’s heartbreaking Super Bowl loss, the Pats’ Devin McCourty, Robert Kraft and Jonathan Kraft took some time out to push for juvenile justice reforms in Massachusetts and across New England. In a Globe op-ed, they specifically advocate changes to what they say are outdated juvenile age categories that are applied to youths within the justice system. … And we will repeat: Why the heck was Malcom Butler benched last night? … Oh, sorry. Wrong post.

Boston Globe

Jockeying resumes for Senate presidency after latest Rosenberg-Hefner revelation

For a moment there, it looked like Sen. Stan Rosenberg might well return as president of the Massachusetts Senate. Not anymore. A day after the Globe’s Yvonne Abraham reported that Rosenberg’s much vaunted “firewall” to keep his husband out of Senate business was anything but a firewall, Democratic Sens. Sal N. DiDomenico of Everett and Karen E. Spilka of Ashland ramped up their behind-the-scene bids to become the next permanent president of the chamber, report the Globe’s Joshua Miller and the Herald’s Hillary Chabot.

Rosenberg, whose husband has been accused of sexually harassing various State House players, questioned the accuracy of Abraham’s latest bombshell – that hubbie Bryon Hefner had been given access to Senate emails, even after Rosenberg said he had created a “firewall” between Hefner and Senate affairs. Globe editor Brian McGrory said the newspaper would be happy to address any complaints about the story, but Rosenberg hasn’t offered any specifics.

The Residences at the BPL?

They’re doing it in New York, Washington and San Francisco. So why not here? The Globe’s Tim Logan reports how the Walsh administration is asking for ideas to redevelop more than 80 city-owned buildings –such as community centers, firehouses and libraries –with the goal of including new housing on the properties.

Boston Globe

Torn between two lovers no more: Walsh won’t support brofriend Baker in gubernatorial election

His heart is torn, but he just can’t bring himself to leave his first love. From Tori Bedford at WGBH: “Mayor Marty Walsh won’t be supporting a candidate before the primary election for governor, but he plans to support the Democrat who comes out on top, despite a close personal relationship with Gov. Charlie Baker. ‘I’m a Democrat, and I’ll be with the Democrat,’ Walsh said during an interview Friday with Boston Public Radio. ‘I get along — I love the governor, he’s a friend … [but] I’ll be with the Democratic candidate in the final.’”


Charlie’s tough week …

Besides getting jilted by his mayoral brofriend, Gov. Charlie Baker, returning home from his mini-vacation in Utah, has a handful of state Plan A debacles he needs to to deal with and explain – and Plan B options to possibly implement regarding the Northern Pass and Wynn casino fiascos. At least one other Plan A setback, i.e. the GIC’s now aborted health-plan changes for public employees, has been addressed. Experts say the controversies probably won’t hurt the governor’s re-election bid this year, but that hasn’t stopped Democratic gubernatorial candidates from pouncing. The Globe’s Joshua Miller and CommonWealth magazine’s Bruce Mohl have the details.

Steve Wynn: Not suitable

Speaking of the Wynn fiasco, the Globe’s editorial board and columnist Adrian Walker both say it’s time for Steve Wynn to go in the wake of sexual-misconduct allegations against the casino mogul. But lawyers for casino rival Mohegan Sun are asking a state judge to toss out the gaming license awarded to Wynn Resorts, not just fire Steve Wynn, reports the Herald’s Jordan Graham.

Post-Northern Pass Plan B? Not if Eversource has a say

Speaking of Northern Pass: In the wake of New Hampshire regulators’ surprise rejection of the proposed hydropower project, the Baker administration is clearly distancing itself from the mess, giving Eversource and two other utilities a week to determine if Northern Pass is still viable “or else consider moving on to another transmission project,” reports the Globe’s Jon Chesto. However, as Chesto and CommonWealth magazine’ Bruce Mohl report, Eversource, a partner in the Northern Pass project, will have a major say, by law, on what the next step will be.

Holy Cross sticks with Crusaders. No, not those Crusaders

The student newspaper may have dropped the Crusaders name, but the College of the Holy Cross’s board of trustees has voted to keep the Crusaders nickname, despite its historic association with rampaging anti-Muslim warriors of millenniums past. Cyrus Moulton at the Telegram has the details on how college leaders are making a distinction between those crusaders and today’s crusaders.


The nerve: Koch brothers trying to change political dynamics at Hillary’s alma mater

With billions of dollars at their disposal, the conservative Koch brothers can afford to wage political battles on numerous fronts across the country, even a seemingly minor conservative initiative at Wellesley College, the alma mater of Hillary Clinton. The Globe’s Annie Linskey has the details.

Boston Globe

Lowell Sun and Denver Post’s parent company eyeing Boston Herald

The bankrupt Boston Herald apparently has another suitor. Digital First Media, the hedge-fund backed owner of the Lowell Sun, Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise and the Denver Post, is apparently dispatching visitors to the Herald’s Seaport offices this week to kick the tires and see if it’s worth making a bid for the paper, according to David Harris at the BBJ and Brian Dowling at the Herald. GateHouse Media and Revolution Media Group have already submitted public bids for the Herald ahead of a bankruptcy auction set for Feb. 13.

Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise to close newsroom in city as it pursues ‘virtual’ model

Speaking of Digital First Media, cost cutting and its local holdings, Don Seiffert at the BBJ reports that, for the first time in 180 years, the daily Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise may no longer have a physical presence in Fitchburg, as the paper switches over the next few weeks to a ‘virtual newsroom’ model.


Curse of the Boston City Council: Capuano and Galvin can rest easy

WGBH’s David Bernstein and the Herald’s Howie Carr are not exactly optimistic about Ayanna Pressley’s chances of knocking off U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano in this year’s Democratic primary. Ditto for Josh Zakim’s bid to oust Secretary of State William Galvin, as far as Howie is concerned. The reason: Pressley and Zakim are cursed city councilors.

Btw: Who was the last city councilor to jump from the council directly to a Congressional seat? Answer: Louise Day Hicks in 1971 (via Bernstein).

Mr. Popular: Sanchez’s campaign donations spike after his House Ways and Means appointment

One day he’s just an average lawmaker, the next day he’s chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, and then the money starts rolling in from lobbyists, corporate lawyers, labor leaders, environmental advocates and other special interests, more than what his campaign committee had raised over the previous two election cycles, reports Christian Wade at the Gloucester Times.

Gloucester Times

Kennedy and Moulton: Two colliding stars?

They’re rising political stars. But will the two stars collide one day? The Globe’s Victoria McGrane takes a look at the political career paths of U.S. Reps. Joseph Kennedy III and Seth Moulton — and how they may cross one another at some point in the intergalactic political future.

Boston Globe

Al Gore to speak about climate change and politics at Tufts

From the Associated Press at Boston.com: “Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore is speaking about climate change and politics at Tufts University. The 69-year-old Democrat is slated to appear Wednesday at the university in the Boston suburbs. The event is open to the Tufts community but will also be livestreamed online.”


Andover board will weigh independent investigator in hockey-team controversy

The Andover School Committee will consider hiring an independent investigator to look into the controversy surrounding the high school’s hockey team, where players were allegedly denied food and water, Zoe Matthews reports in the Eagle-Tribune. 

Eagle Tribune

In MassPike redo, activists see recreational opportunity

The state’s billion-dollar plan to revamp the Mass Pike as it winds through Allston represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve recreational access to the shores of the Charles River, activists Harry Mattison and Wendy Landman write in CommonWealth magazine. The duo write in favor of using an approach from other cities that would widen the biking and jogging path along the river, using boardwalks in the Charles where necessary to provide safe access alongside highway and rail infrastructure. 


SJC to hear challenge to millionaire’s tax

From AP’s Bob Salsberg at Boston.com: “Opponents of a so-called ‘millionaire tax’ are banking on the state’s highest court to stop the issue from going before Massachusetts voters in November. The Supreme Judicial Court is scheduled on Tuesday to hear arguments on the legal challenge which, if successful, would likely derail supporters’ hopes of raising nearly $2 billion for improvements in public education and transportation.”


Not for you: DPU orders utilities to fork over their tax-cut windfalls to ratepayers

It’s no longer voluntary. The Department of Public Utilities has ordered all of the state’s gas, electric and water companies to submit plans to lower their customers’ bills based on how big their windfalls were from the recently passed Congressional tax-cut law, reports Mary Serreze at MassLive. Attorney General Maura Healey is pumped. The same can’t be said of most of the utilities.


Rep. Collins goes for it — again

He’s the first and won’t be the last. From Jennifer Smith at the Dorchester Reporter: “The race for the First Suffolk Senate seat is officially underway. State Rep. Nick Collins will seek the senate post left vacant by former state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry, the Collins campaign confirmed Friday. ‘Today, I will file nomination papers to be your next State Senator,’ Collins said in a statement Friday. He ran for the seat in 2013, losing in a tight primary race against the former Sen. Forry.”

Dorchester Reporter

Healey opens online portal for data-breach reports

From the Associated Press at the Herald: “Attorney General Maura Healey has unveiled a new online portal to let businesses and organizations report data breaches. The Democrat said the online portal should make it easier to alert her office to the potential theft of information. Since November 2007, the attorney general’s office has received notice of more than 21,000 breaches, with 3,821 breaches reported in 2017 affecting more than 3.2 million residents.”

Boston Herald

Cannabis commission to get an earful from would-be pot farmers

Don’t forget about the farmers. That’s the message the Cannabis Control Commission is likely to hear when it starts a listening tour on its proposed recreational pot regulations in Pittsfield on Monday. Larry Parnass of the Berkshire Eagle reports that draft regulations allow for small farms to band together to reduce costs, a carve-out western Mass. farmers are eager to see preserved and expanded. 

Berkshire Eagle

The New Shape of Boston’s Historic Neighborhood

NAIOP Massachusetts

Author Talk and Book Signing with Rosalyn D. Elder

State Library of Massachusetts

Harvard National Model United Nations Conference in Boston

Harvard University

Today’s Headlines


Wayfair is about to sign a huge lease in the Back Bay – Boston Magazine

Mayor seeks developers’ ideas for housing in 83 city buildings – Boston Globe


Haverhill joins national lawsuit against drugmakers – Eagle-Tribune

Overdose calls rise; deaths drop on Cape and Islands – Cape Cod Times

Small farmers want state promise kept on craft cannabis – Berkshire Eagle

One-man race in Tuesday’s Senate primary – Lynn Item


Lobbying by pay day lenders pays off on Trump’s watch – New York Times

Democrats slam Ryan over ‘1.50’ tweet – Politico

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