Happening Today

Skills Capital Grants, renewable energy contracts, Rene Rancourt

Department of Public Utilities holds a hearing on petitions by major utilities seeking approval of ten long-term contracts for renewable energy procurement and certificates, One South Station – 5th floor, Boston, 10 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta, Secretary of Education Jim Peyser, Lynn Mayor Thomas McGee and others announce $2.3 million in Skills Capital Grants to seven local technical and public high schools, Lynn Vocational High School, 80 Neptune Blvd, Lynn, 1 p.m.

— Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash, Rep. Hannah Kane and local officials announce the second round of Site Readiness Program Awards, Town Hall, 100 Maple Avenue, Shrewsbury, 3 p.m.

Department of Public Health holds a hearing on Steward Health Care’s plan to close the maternity unit at Steward Morton Hospital in Taunton, Holiday Inn, 700 Myles Standish Blvd., Taunton, 4 p.m.

Rene Rancourt, who is retiring at the end of the Bruins season after decades of belting out the national anthem at the Garden, talks with Dan Rea in the WBZ studio, WBZ NewsRadio 1030, 9 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Getting nowhere fast on gun control

Even though Massachusetts already has among the strictest gun laws in the nation, the Florida mass shooting this week has galvanized local gun-control advocates, who are pushing for a further tightening of state firearm laws, including legislation that would temporarily reduce an individual’s access to guns if they pose a danger to themselves or others, according to reports by the Herald’s Meghan Ottolini, SHNS’s Michael Norton at Wicked Local and MassLive’s Shira Schoenberg.

Meanwhile, school districts across the state are getting increasingly nervous about a mass shooting possibly happening one day here, despite the state’s tough gun laws, reports the Globe’s Michael Levenson and James Vaznis.

But Congressional Republicans and President Trump are holding firm against calls for more nationwide gun restrictions in the wake of the Florida mass killing. The Boston Globe and the Boston Herald, usually far apart on most issues, have editorials urging Congress to take action. The Herald is even agreeing with U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton’s call for Trump to “get off his ass” and do something. U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano says Democrats need only a handful of Republicans to get legislation passed, if only they can find those Republicans, reports Jason Turesky at WBBH. Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley at the Herald says Congress should view Massachusetts as a model for sound gun-control laws, though we’re pretty sure lawmakers in Montana and elsewhere would beg to differ.

The same gun-control divisions …

Given the timing, there was no getting around the question. The five candidates seeking to fill the state representative seat vacated by Paul Heroux were asked about how to respond to the latest school shooting and, not surprisingly, the responses pretty much broke down along party lines, just like in Washington, with Dems advocating for tighter controls and Republicans emphasizing the need for improved mental health services. Rick Foster of the Sun Chronicle has the details.

Sun Chronicle

With so many claims on unclaimed property, Treasurer’s office slows it down

From Jack Sullivan at CommonWealth magazine: “If you have unclaimed property listed with the state treasurer’s office, don’t make plans to spend it – or even get it – any time soon.  After years of urging people to search the listings and put in a claim for money or property they may have forgotten about or been unaware of that was left by a deceased relative, officials in the office’s Unclaimed Property Division are slowing down the process and ratcheting back the formerly ubiquitous radio ads because the department is overwhelmed with inquiries.” 


Revved up: Healey wants to use VW settlement money for electric-car incentives

From the Herald’s Brian Dowling: “Attorney General Maura Healey urged state environmental officials to inject millions of dollars from a settlement over Volkswagen’s diesel fraud scandal into richer electric vehicle incentives and new charging infrastructure in the hopes of getting the Bay State ready for a coming transportation revolution.” Meanwhile, Healey has also endorsed more aggressive targets for replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy, reports Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine.

Boston Herald

The pot ‘intimidation campaign’ widens to include Healey and 78 lawmakers

Backers of marijuana legalization in Massachusetts lashed out yesterday at Gov. Charlie Baker and others for their recent full-court press against proposed regulations by the Cannabis Control Commission, reports Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive and SHNS’s Colin Young at Wicked Local. “We are witnessing a coordinated intimidation campaign that threatens the independence of the Cannabis Control Commission,” said Jim Borghesani, spokesman for the local chapter of the Marijuana Policy Project.

But the intimidation campaign widened yesterday to include Attorney General Maura Healey and 78 lawmakers who are also concerned about proposed regulations allowing new pot cafes, home delivery services and mixed-use pot venues, such as art galleries and theaters selling weed to patrons, reports Dan Adams at the Globe and Matt Stout at the Herald.

Target, Capuano: A defiant Pressley kicks off her campaign for U.S. House

She’s confident, passionate, defiant and yesterday Ayanna Pressley officially launched her primary campaign to unseat U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano, only a day after a new poll shows she’s within surprising striking distance of potentially knocking off the Democratic incumbent. Michael Jonas at CommonWealth magazine has more. Pressley got a further boost yesterday when Democratic gubernatorial candidate Setti Warren endorsed her candidacy, the Globe’s Danny McDonald also reports.


Even Democratic primary voters in the Seventh are wild about Charlie Baker

As the Globe’s Frank Phillips notes, this has to be the final insult to Democratic party stalwarts in Massachusetts. Even in the uber-liberal Seventh Congressional District – the very one that includes parts of Boston, Cambridge and Somerville – Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s favorability rating is at a sky-high 66 percent among likely Democratic primary voters, as a new WBUR poll finds. “Yes, Democratic primary voters,” Phillips notes. Maybe Michael Capuano should seek Baker’s endorsement?

There is one person left in Massachusetts hopping mad at Baker: conservative gadfly and LGBT-obsessed Scott Lively. Phillips explains in the separate piece.

Boston Globe

Poll finds split opinions on Wynn casino

One more Seventh District item: Half of likely Democratic voters in the 7th district say the Wynn Boston Harbor casino project in Everett should go ahead as planned now that accused serial sexual harasser Steve Wynn is no longer helming the company that’s building it, according to a WBUR poll. But it’s only a slim majority.

Btw: The same WBUR poll finds strong support for bringing Amazon’s HQ2 to the Boston area, with 71 percent in favor, but there’s a big catch: More than half don’t want the government extending tax breaks to land the company. 


The Herald’s new ‘vulture capitalist’ owner

Joshua Bento, director of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard, says Boston has been blessed to have two daily newspapers in town, but he fears that will effectively end after Digital First Media gets its ‘vulture capitalist’ hands on the Boston Herald. “Just short of setting the place on fire, being bought by Digital First is about the worst outcome possible,” he writes at the Globe. “It’s less the Herald being saved than the Herald being stripped for parts.”

Boston Globe

The real power at Harvard? The permanent bureaucracy, not the president

Harvey Silverglate at WGBH says Harvard’s new president, Lawrence Bacow, is more than qualified to head the world’s most prestigious university, issuing lofty pronouncements, influencing local and national public affairs, raising ever more funds for the school. But let’s be clear: He won’t be running Harvard. That’s the fiercely protected turf of the growing administrative bureaucracy at Harvard – and at all other major universities in the U.S., for that matter, Silverglate argues.


Galvin goes after Scottrade, accuses Trump administration of ignoring brokerage violations

From Greg Ryan at the BBJ: “Massachusetts Secretary of State Bill Galvin’s office is targeting Scottrade Inc. for allegedly holding sales contests that posed a conflict of interest for its agents, with Galvin claiming the Trump administration is failing to police such misdeeds. Twice in 2017, the brokerage firm held contests that awarded those agents who brought in the most assets to the firm, including retirement assets, Galvin’s office said in an administrative complaint filed Thursday.”


Lawmakers eye closing loophole that exempts interns from harassment policy

Unpaid interns working for lawmakers on Beacon Hill are not covered by the state’s sexual harassment policies, but some lawmakers say that’s likely to change as a result of an ongoing review sparked by the MeToo# movement. So why aren’t interns already covered? Because they are unpaid and technically not considered state employees, Christian Wade reports in the Gloucester Times.

Gloucester Times

Phew! Boston is not in a housing bubble

Boston should be flattered that it’s included in such an august list of international cities. But Boston should also be relieved it’s not considered a housing-bubble risk, unlike London, Hong Kong, Amsterdam and Paris, according to the latest UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index. Riley McDermid at the BBJ has more.


Markey seeks $1 billion to develop ultimate flu vaccine

From SHNS’s Colin Young at the Berkshire Eagle: “Amid one of the worst flu seasons in recent years, U.S. Sen. Edward Markey on Thursday proposed a $1 billion investment towards developing a ‘universal influenza vaccine.’ Markey’s idea is to provide is to provide $200 million to the National Institutes of Health from fiscal 2019 through fiscal 2023 and give the agency the assignment to ‘conduct or support comprehensive research for the creation of a universal influenza vaccine that could be administered once or twice and provide a lifetime of protection.’”  

Berkshire Eagle

As for Markey’s love for acronyms … no vaccine

Speaking of U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, he loves acronyms. Absolutely loves them. Nik DeCosta-Klipa at Boston.com has the story covered.


Worcester transit agency plans cuts, prompting fears of ‘death spiral’

The board of the Worcester Regional Transit Authority is advancing a series of planned service cuts, but some members worry that reducing service will start a ‘death spiral’ of lower ridership and even bigger budget gaps, Bill Shaner reports in Worcester magazine. The agency, which is facing a nearly $1 million budget gap, also wants city leadership to pressure lawmakers to boost funding to the WRTA. 

Worcester Magazine

Developer scraps 4,000-seat music venue at Hood Park, but another could be rising nearby

Charlestown Patriot-Bridge’s Seth Daniel reports that a developer has scrapped a controversial plan for a 4,000-seat concert venue at Hood Park in Charlestown. But the music hasn’t completely died in the area: State Rep. Michael Connolly earlier this month presented a redesigned Draw Seven Park, about two miles from Hood Park, and one of the concepts suggested an outdoor music venue, reports Catherine Carlock at the BBJ.


‘Jack Hynes was one of the classiest guys’

The Herald’s Howie Carr pays tribute to Jack Hynes, the legendary former news broadcaster and son of the late Mayor John B. Hynes: “Jack Hynes was one of the classiest guys I ever worked with. Jack, who died Monday at age 88, was an old-school gentleman, always understated, never losing his cool.”

Boston Herald

Sunday public affairs TV

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Former state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry, who in an ‘exit interview’ discusses the turmoil in the state Senate, the governor’s race and economic development issues.  

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Greater Boston Chamber CEO Jim Rooney on the potential impact of President Trump’s infrastructure plan, possible MBTA fare hikes and other issues; Jason Frishman, NetCapital CEO, and Eric Janszen, Virzoom CEO,  talk about connecting early stage companies with individual investors; and Doug Banks of the Boston business Journal on the top business stories of the week.   

CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. Rockport Trust CEO Chris Oddleifson talks about the future of his bank.  

Boston College Chief Executives Club, NECN, 1 p.m. Fidelity CEO Abigail Johnson talks with Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Geoff Diehl, the state representative and GOP candidate for U.S. Senate, 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 main topic: The current harsh flu season. 

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. This week’s main topic: Page Turners, a look at new books exploring diverse topics.

Rep. Mike Capuano on the Young Jurks Show

The Young Jurks

Kick Butts Day 2018

The 84 Movement

Bridging the Bonded: Faith, Politics, and Diplomacy in a Polarized Age

Fletcher Initiative on Religion, Law & Diplomacy

Starr Forum: Is Democracy Dying?

MIT Center for International Studies

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


Cuts probably won’t end for Boston Herald under new owner – Boston Globe

In her own words: Dorcena Forry reflects on her public life, and what’s ahead – Dorchester Reporter


Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse hits ‘false assertions’ of ex-auditor – MassLive

Wheaton College gets $10M donation for social entrepreneurship – Sun Chronicle

Rockwell sons drop Berkshire Museum suit; other plaintiffs file with SJC – Berkshire Eagle

Matias raising campaign cash from charter school advocates – Eagle-Tribune

Beacon Hill interns not covered by sexual harassment policy – Gloucester Times


Poll: Republican barely leading in Pennsylvania special election – Politico

Bannon refuses to answer questions not pre-approved by the White House – The HIll

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