Happening Today

South Coast Rail, Senate climate change bill, and more

— Treasurer Deb Goldberg plans to attend the 2018 NAST Legislative Conference, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Washington D.C.

— Massachusetts State Police and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency announce an official partnership with Nextdoor, a neighborhood social network, to improve statewide communications, safety, and preparedness, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, 400 Worcester Road, Framingham, 10 a.m.

— U.S. Senator Edward Markey holds a press conference on President Trump’s infrastructure proposal with Chris Dempsey of Transportation for Massachusetts and Geoff Beckwith of Massachusetts Municipal Association, JFK Federal Building, Room 900A, 15 New Sudbury Street, Boston, 10:30 a.m.

— The MassDOT board of directors and MBTA’s Fiscal Management Control Board will jointly discuss the draft State Rail Plan, a contract for a bridge project in Raynham, capital spending for South Coast Rail and other projects, Transportation Board Room, second floor, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 12 p.m.

— Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito joins Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash, Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo and others to announce nine Urban Agenda Grants to support economic development in Massachusetts communities, Revere City Hall, 281 Broadway, Revere, 12 p.m.

— Activists and workers will gather at a McDonald’s to push for raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, with Reps. Byron Rushing and Daniel Donahue attending, corner of Washington and Milk streets, Boston, 12 p.m.

Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change holds an event to release an omnibus energy bill, Room 428, 1 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker meets with Senate President Harriette Chandler, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and House Minority Leader Brad Jones, Senate President’s Office, Room 333, 2 p.m.

— U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, the ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, hosts a symposium on the recent federal tax bill with Thomas Barthold, chief of staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel, Mahogany Room, Second Floor, One Monarch Place, Springfield, 2 p.m.

— U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton is a guest on ‘Radio Boston,’ followed later in the show by former state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry, WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m.

— U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano is a guest on ‘NightSide with Dan Rea,’ WBZ NewsRadio 1030, 8 p.m.

Today’s Stories

It’s Bacow: Harvard picks former Tufts president – and search committee member — as its new leader

Harvard University didn’t have to look very far for its new president: Lawrence Bacow, the former president of Tufts University and chancellor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, reports the New York Times and the Globe’s Deirdre Fernandes. In fact, Harvard didn’t even have to look outside the search committee’s own room: Bacow was originally a member of the search committee, until his name popped up as a potential successor to outgoing Harvard president Drew Gilpin Faust, reports the Harvard Crimson’s Caroline Engelmayer and Michael Xie.

Fyi: Bacow is being lauded as a highly competent, pragmatic and experienced choice. But it should also be noted he’s considered somewhat of an expert on commercial real estate matters, something that should come in very handy as Harvard builds out its massive Allston campus in coming years.

Make it in Massachusetts: Alleged wife beater, wife-beater enabler, wife abuser and outright racist Holocaust denier

It’s a four-fer – and it’s not something Massachusetts can burst with pride over. The Globe and Cape Cod Times take a look at four made-in-Massachusetts men making news for all the wrong reasons in Washington D.C.: Accused wife beater and Belmont native Rob Porter (Globe), accused wife-beater enabler and Brighton native John Kelly (Globe), accused spouse abuser and Barnstable High School grad David Sorenson (Cape Cod Times), and racist troll and Holocaust denier Charles C. Johnson, who claims he was traumatized by being surrounded by so many liberals while attending Milton Academy (Globe).

Btw: We did find this old ‘Make it in Massachusetts’ video (YouTube) from the 1980s. It’s pretty amusing, though the reason why we thought of it is anything but amusing.

Now it’s DAs objecting to proposed pot regulations

The state’s top prosecutors are joining Gov. Charlie Baker and Mayor Marty Walsh in criticizing some of the Cannabis Control Commission’s proposed marijuana regulations, saying door-to-door pot deliveries and new weed cafes are just going too far, reports the Herald’s Dan Atkinson.

Meanwhile, state officials are urging regulators to impose specific environmental standards on cannabis manufacturers and farms, reports the Globe’s Joshua Miller. Last but not least: Cannabis Control Commission chairman Steven Hoffman says there’s little his agency can do, for now, about the opening of new pot “social clubs,” like the one that just opened in Worcester, reports the Herald’s Donna Goodison.

Boston Herald

ACLU: It’s actually DAs who need to be held accountable

While Massachusetts district attorneys are admonishing cannabis regulators for allegedly running wild, Carol Rose, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, says it’s DAs who are the ones running wild on numerous issues, including the Sonja Farak drug-lab scandal, and she argues they need to be held accountable.


Rep. Scibak decides eight is enough

Open seat alert! State Rep. John Scibak told supporters Sunday he won’t seek re-election this fall, ending his State House run after 16 years, Sarah Robertson reports in the Hampshire Gazette. The South Hadley Democrat, who first won election as a write-in candidate, says he decided to announce his decision early to give others ample time to ramp up their own campaigns. 


Healey and Berkshire Museum agree on sale of artwork – with caveats

Ultimately, Attorney General Maura Healey’s office probably concluded two things when it announced an agreement on Friday that allows the Berkshire Museum to proceed with its controversial sale of 40 artworks, including pieces by Norman Rockwell: 1.) The state’s legal options to block the sale were limited and 2.) The museum really is in dire financial straits. Larry Parnass at the Berkshire Eagle and Malcom Gay at the Globe have more on the deal.

Fyi: The agreement calls for Rockwell’s “Shuffleton’s Barbershop” to be sold to a nonprofit museum in the United States and that the piece spend 18 to 24 months on display at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, the Eagle’s Parness reports in aseparate piece. There’s also a dollar cap on the overall sale.

SMILF star to councilor: If Boston can handle Ben Affleck and Ted movies, it can handle my show

Frankie Shaw, the creator and star of the show SMILF, is hitting back against City Councilor Ed Flynn’s tear-down-the-posters opposition to her show, saying he might want to view a few episodes before letting himself be blinded by his sexist male notion of chivalry. “I get it, these deep-seated unconscious judgements are centuries old and very hard to recognize,” she writes on her Facebook page, reports Universal Hub. “But just like Ben Affleck and Seth MacFarlane, who came into town to make their very male art of chasing women, robbing banks, and getting high with teddy bears, I’d like the same consideration to tell the stories that are important to me.” 

The Globe reports that Seth MacFarlane, producer of the Ted and Ted 2 movies, says Flynn’s criticism of SMILF is a form of censorship.

Universal Hub

Oh, yeah, they’re still talking about the next Senate president

Last week’s agreement to make Harriette Chandler the Senate president, and not just the acting president, through the end of the year isn’t quieting the speculation about who will be Senate president in 2019 – and Chandler herself is stoking the speculation fire. Chandler last week said that Assistant Majority Leader Mark Montigny is “open to the idea” of running under “the right circumstances,” SHNS’s Matt Murphy and Michael Norton report at WBSM Radio. Montigny quickly slammed the door on the idea –but then re-opened the door just a crack.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Eric Lesser says he would bring a new perspective and forward-thinking approach to the Senate presidency — if he decides to run and wins election, reports Shannon Young at MassLive.


And Republicans hope to have a Finneran-like say in next presidency

The Herald’s Hillary Chabot reports that the Senate’s small band of Republicans hopes to hold sway over who becomes the next Senate president, similar to how GOP members once helped elect Democrat Tom Finneran as House speaker years ago. 

Boston Herald

Utilities blow through post-Northern Pass deadline, so state sets new deadline

This time the state really means it, utilities! From Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine: “The state’s utilities blew through a deadline on Friday to come up with a decision or at least a series of next steps for dealing with the fallout from the rejection of Northern Pass by New Hampshire regulators. … CommonWealth learned that state officials and an independent evaluator hired to monitor the contracting process met with the utilities (Friday) morning, reiterated a ‘desire for swift action,’ and requested a firm timetable for reaching a decision. No firm timetable was established, but state officials promised additional information by next Friday.”


The Uphams Corner development strategy: Buy up buildings to avoid red-hot development

This is a very odd, although intriguing, approach toward an expected development surge in Boston’s Uphams Corner: The city buying up properties to avoid out-of-control gentrification that would likely push out long-time residents. It might work – but, looking all the way back to the ‘50s, one should be skeptical about the government’s ability to properly use and dispense with properties once it buys them. The Globe’s Laura Crimaldi has more on the city’s bold experiment in Uphams Corner.

Boston Globe

ICE raids escalate against non-criminal immigrants

Federal immigration officials are increasingly arresting undocumented immigrants without criminal records in Massachusetts, reports the Herald’s Bob McGovern, and across the country as well, reports the Washington Post. So much for the Trump administration’s much ballyhooed focus on immigrant criminals. 

Cape police snag the ‘Obit Bandit’

You can’t get much lower than this. Police in Barnstable say a man arrested Friday night in connection with a burglary in Cotuit is also responsible for other Cape Cod break-ins last year – all of which took place at the homes of recent widows who were attending the funeral of their spouses, Tanner Stening of the Cape Cod Times reports. The suspect, Randy Brunelle, has already served time for a break-in at the home of a Sandwich police officer’s mother during her funeral in 2012. 

Cape Cod Times

Supporters of transgender-restroom rights law have the money edge

Advocates hoping to overturn the recently passed transgender-rights bill that bans discrimination in public bathrooms may have raised $145,000 for their ballot initiative, but that pales in comparison to the $457,000 raised by Freedom for All Massachusetts, which supports the law, reports Christian Wade at the Eagle Tribune.

Eagle Tribune

Why Linda Dorcena Forry will be missed …

The Globe’s Adrian Walker explains why Linda Dorcena Forry’s departure from the Massachusetts Senate leaves a gaping political hole in the African-American community in Boston.

Boston Globe

So what are Mass. companies doing with their tax-cut windfalls?

After Massachusetts companies collectively lost more than $100 billion in value due to recent stock market gyrations (BBJ), we’ll see how long this generosity lasts, i.e. how many state companies are using their tax-cut windfalls to raise the pay of their minimum-wage employees, hand out bonuses and bolster corporate pension funds, among other things The BBJ has the details.


BU throws its non-monetary support behind West Station

They’re not exactly putting their money where their mouth is. From the Globe’s Adam Vaccaro: “Boston University on Friday joined a chorus of abutters and advocates calling for quick construction of a new train station between its campus and Harvard University, but stopped short of pledging a dollar amount to help build it. In comments submitted Friday to the state, BU senior vice president Gary Nicksa said the university supports building the so-called West Station ‘sooner rather than later,’ as opposed to the more-than-a-decade delay contemplated by Massachusetts officials.

Boston Globe

Potential Worcester transit cuts could strand methadone patients

Methadone patients, many of whom rely on once-daily doses of the medication from local clinics to treat their opioid addictions, are fretting over possible cuts to weekend service as the Worcester Regional Transit Authority prepares to deal with a $1 million budget shortfall driven by level-funding from the state budget, Cyrus Moulton of the Telegram reports. The irony of limited state funding hampering efforts to treat addiction at a time when Gov. Charlie Baker seeks increased funding to attack the opioid crisis is not lost on those impacted. 


Rally – Run by Concerned Citizens for Newton

Christians and Jews United for Israel

Harvard National Model United Nations Conference in Boston

Harvard University

Mass. Marijuana Summit II: New regs, federal threat, financial hurdles

A dynamic and controversial industry is only months from launching in Massachusetts. The regulations are complex and the barriers to entry formidable. How can we make sense of the arrival of recreational marijuana, an industry that may soon exceed $1 billion annually?

State House News Forum

Today’s Headlines


City approves first phase of Suffolk Downs redevelopment, with a caution – Boston Business Journal

The Herald gave me a shot. Now will someone give the tabloid one? – WGBH


Pot commission can’t yet regulate smoking lounge – Boston Herald

U.S. Rep. McGovern: Farm bill being ‘written in secret’ in Washington – MassLive

Worcester city manager seeks new push for housing the homeless – Telegram & Gazette

Attleboro rules on pot shops spark outcry from business owners – Sun Chronicle


Trump officials do damage control after staff turmoil – The HIll

Kansas scrambles to change rules after six teens enter governor’s race – NPR

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