Baker in Washington, Obama talks sports, and more
— Gov. Charlie Baker is in Washington, D.C. for the National Governors Association Winter Meeting, attending Council of Governors meetings this morning, a luncheon hosted by Vice President Mike Pence and a reception this evening at the Australian Embassy.
— Massachusetts Food Policy Council meets, One Rabbit Hill Rd., Westborough, 9:30 p.m.
— Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President and CEO Eric Rosengren speaks at a presentation on the bank’s balance sheet at the U.S. Monetary Policy Forum, 109 East 42nd St., New York City, 10:15 a.m.
— Boston Mayor Martin Walsh visits Red Hat Open Innovation Lab to hear from students, 300 A St., 3rd floor, Boston, 10:30 a.m.
— Former President Barack Obama addresses sports data-analytics enthusiasts at the 2018 Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, with a discussion moderated by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey and Kraft Analytics Group CEO Jessica Gelman, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, 2 p.m.
For more calendar listings, check out State House News Service’s Daily Advances (pay wall) and MassterList’s Beacon Hill Town Square below.
Rep. Peter Kocot, RIP
The State House is in mourning today after yesterday’s sad death of Rep. Peter Kocot, 61, the long-time state representative from Northampton and House chair of the Committee on Health Care Financing. He died after a long illness. Shira Schoenberg at MassLive and SHNS’s Matt Murphy and Michael Norton at WBUR have more. Our condolences to his family and loved ones.
Panned in Boston: Teachers, pols, even a local gun group reject Trump’s call to arm teachers
President Trump’s call to arm teachers, in the wake of last week’s mass school shooting in Florida, is not going over well in Massachusetts. Gov. Charlie Baker and Mayor Marty Walsh don’t like the idea, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan at WBSM and Kathleen McKiernan and Matt Stout at the Herald. School teachers don’t like the idea, reports the Globe’s Michael Levenson. Boston schools superintendent Tommy Chang thinks the idea is “utterly illogical,” reports Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive. Heck, even the head of the state’s largest gun owner advocacy group is balking at the idea, reports the Herald’s O’Ryan Johnson.
Btw: U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is blasting back, figuratively speaking, at gun-control critics, calling the head of the NRA a “radical extremist,” reports the Globe’s Felicia Gans.
But if we were to arm teachers …
The Globe’s Kevin Cullen thinks arming teachers is a fabulous idea and he’d go a step further: Arm students. He prefers Uzis, but thinks two-shot Derringers might be more appropriate for students. Kevin is obviously not a regular reader of Guns & Ammo, which recommends for children: “Follow the Three L’s: Lightweight, Light Trigger Pull and Low Recoil. The best handgun type to answer all three L’s is a .22 Long Rifle semi-auto pistols.”
Socialist kids planning gun-control rallies next month
To the NRA, they’re socialists — and this is socialism. From Kathleen McNerney at WBUR: “What is normally a sleepy school vacation week for most students in Massachusetts has been filled with activism as students respond to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last week. According to a WBUR tally, students at at least 40 middle and high schools from Eastham to Williamstown are planning to participate in a national school walkout on March 14.”
Medford principal put on leave after loaded ammo magazine gets tossed with trash
One last gun-related item: If you found a gun magazine with three or four bullets in it in a school auditorium, what would you do? Perhaps call the police? Not at the McGlynn Middle School in Medford, where Principal Jake Edwards was put on leave yesterday for not reporting to authorities the discovery of an ammunition magazine at the school in December. Officials now fear Edwards may have tossed the magazine out with the trash. Emily Sweeney at the Globe and Miranda Wilson at Wicked Local have the details.
Baker: Latest T debacle ‘unacceptable’
Gov. Charlie Baker, who has made an overhaul of the MBTA a top priority of his administration, yesterday blamed this past week’s Red Line derailment fiasco on an antiquated T system and declared the mishap “unacceptable.” He also said the T needs to do its “homework” to determine what other problems may be lurking within the system. SHNS’s Katie Lannan at the Patriot Ledger and the Herald’s Matt Stout have the details.
T trolley driver paid masked man to attack him in order to collect disability and workers’ comp
We’ll go with this Associated Press version of the story so you can read what the rest of the nation is reading, egged on by the Drudge Report: “Authorities say a Massachusetts trolley driver paid a man $2,000 to attack him while wearing a Halloween mask so the driver could fraudulently collect workers’ compensation and disability insurance. A Suffolk County grand jury on Wednesday indicted Thomas Lucey on charges of insurance fraud, workers’ compensation fraud, misleading a police investigation and perjury.”
Spencer Buell at Boston Magazine adds some local nuance and flavor to this most distinctly Boston story.
Retail pot delay?
After all the debate and recent regulatory work? From Christian Wade at the Salem News: “Members of the state’s Cannabis Control Commission are warning that they could delay the anticipated July 1 start of retail marijuana sales if regulators lack the technology or staff to oversee the multimillion-dollar weed industry, but pot advocates say there’s no reason for a delay.”
Journalist is first to seek Kulik’s state rep seat
Kate Albright-Hanna, a former TV journalist and Obama campaign staffer, is the first candidate to step forward to seek the 1st Franklin district seat to be vacated by Rep. Stephen Kulik later this year, M.J. Tidwell reports in the Hampshire Gazette. An Emmy award winner for her work on post-9/11 documentaries at CNN, Albright-Hanna acknowledges her limited experience as a politician and says she wants to extend Kulik’s work on environmental sustainability and other issues important to the 19-community district. “This is the year of regular people running for office,” she said.
Arroyo accuser withdraws sexual-harassment complaint but …
This is interesting. From Meghan Irons at the Globe: “A woman who accused Felix G. Arroyo of repeated sexual harassment while he headed the city’s health and human services department has withdrawn her complaint with the state. In pulling her complaint, the woman indicated she would pursue civil action against Arroyo, according to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.”
‘Althea’s time has finally come’
Both the Globe’s Frank Phillips and the Herald’s Howie Carr have pieces this morning on how political gadfly Althea Garrison, who has run for more offices than people can count, may actually end up on the Boston City Council by default if either Councilor Michael Flaherty or Councilor Ayanna Pressley win their respective races for Suffolk County district attorney or Congress. “After all these years, don’t you think it’s about time I had a little luck?” she tells Howie.
State trooper with a somewhat curious past put on paid leave
You get to decide which story you want to read first. The headline on the Globe story: “State trooper placed on paid leave after internal affairs investigation.” The headline at Turtleboysports.com, where the story first broke: “State Trooper Leigha Genduso: Admitted Drug Dealer, Perjurer, And Tax Evader, Friends With Former MSP Colonel Marion McGovern, Dated Lt. Colonel Prior To Being Hired” .”
Galvin and Weld in winner-take-all fight
Secretary of State Bill Galvin yesterday harshly criticized a lawsuit filed by former Gov. William Weld that claims the state’s current winner-take-all electoral system for presidential elections is unconstitutional, describing the suit as “mischievous” and “misguided” and claiming it’s part of a “scheme” to help candidates like Donald Trump, reports the Herald’s Chris Cassidy and the Globe’s Victoria McGrane.
Dems slam Gaming Commission ruling on donations
From Brian Dowling at the Herald: “The Gaming Commission’s finding that a $2 million Wynn Resorts donation to the Republican Governors Association did not violate state law has sparked calls from Democrats for an ‘unbiased review’ into money they claim was illegally “’unneled’ to then-gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker.”
Miracles do happen: Many public employees will actually see a decrease in health premiums
Someone must have misplaced a decimal point. This isn’t supposed to happen in health care. From SHNS’s Andy Metzger at CommonWealth magazine: “About half the enrollees in the Group Insurance Commission will see a decrease in their premiums in fiscal 2019 and on average there will be zero increase in premiums, GIC Executive Director Roberta Herman said Thursday. ‘This is kind of unheard of,’ Herman told the GIC board Thursday. She said, ‘This is not something that you should expect to see year after year.’”
The Globe’s Priyanka Dayal McCluskey notes the good news follows the recent controversy over the GIC’s attempt to change health plans for hundreds of thousands of public workers, dependents and retirees.
Miracles don’t happen: Tuitions at local colleges pass $70K mark
At least financial normalcy reins within higher education. The Globe’s Jaclyn Reiss reports how tuitions at Trinity College, Dartmouth, Harvard, Tufts and other schools have now risen above $70,000.
Special elections picked the last three senators in the First Suffolk – and the fourth is on the way
Steve Lynch, Jack Hart and Linda Dorceena Forry. They all initially won the First Suffolk Senate seat via a special election – and now the next holder will continue the tradition of obtaining office via a special election. CommonWealth magazine’s Michael Jonas has more on what many think is a messed up special-election system that gives too much power to insiders and incumbents.
Third time is the charm: Teamsters Local 25 endorses Republican Baker for governor
They didn’t endorse him in 2010 and 2014, but that was then and this is now, and the now includes Gov. Charlie Baker’s sky-high polls as he gears up for re-election this year. And so … Gintatuas Dumcius at MassLive has the details on Teamsters Local 25’s endorsement yesterday of the Republican Baker, bypassing the three Democrats vying to face Baker this fall.
In an editorial, the Globe asks: “What is Charlie Baker thinking? By accepting the endorsement of Teamsters Local 25 on Thursday, the governor has effectively ended the union’s political ostracization — and done so with a bipartisan exclamation point.”
Free Speech Rally suit against Walsh moved to Middlesex County court
A $50 million defamation lawsuit filed by one of the organizers of a free speech rally held in Boston law summer against Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has been moved from Berkshire County to Middlesex County Superior Court, Haven Orecchio-Egresitz reports in the Berkshire Eagle. Lawyers for Walsh had asked the judge overseeing the case to dismiss, saying it was filed in the wrong jurisdiction.
Citing racism, local immigrants sue Trump administration over immigration policy
From Shannon Dooling at WBUR: “Immigrants and advocates in Massachusetts are suing the Trump administration, saying its decision to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians and Salvadorans is racially motivated. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice partnered with the advocacy group Centro Presente to file the lawsuit.”
Gatehouse buys Worcester Magazine, other central Mass. publications
GateHouse lost out in the bidding war for the Boston Herald, but it’s put its money elsewhere: Gatehouse Media said Thursday it was buying the Holden Landmark Corp., which publishes Worcester Magazine and five dozen other weekly papers in central Massachusetts, Zachary Comeau reports in the Worcester Business Journal. Terms were not disclosed, but Gatehouse—which already owns the Telegram & Gazette— didn’t have to go far to strike the deal: The publishing company was owned by Gatehouse CEO Kirk Davis.
Sunday public affairs TV
Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, who talks with host Jon Keller about the politics of gun violence, U.S. foreign policy and the 2018 election.
This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Newton-Wellesley Hospital president Dr. Michael Jeff talks about the flu outbreak, opiates and the cost of health care; Toast-co-founder and president Aman Narang discusses his company’s new partnership with TripAdvisor and BBJ Editor Doug Banks reviews the week’s top business stories.
CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. Will Aubuchon talks about what’s new at Aubuchon Hardware as the independent chain and family-run business turns 110 years old.
On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano, who talks with anchor Ed Harding and co-anchor Janet Wu.
DC Dialogue, NECN, 11:30 a.m. Paul Gentile, president and CEO of the Cooperative Credit Union Association, discusses proposed changes to Dodd-Frank, the state economy and the idea of a state run ‘pot bank’; RSM Tax Partner Dave DiGuisto reivews the biggest changes in the new tax federal law; and New England Council CEO Jim Brett weighs in on the future of DACA legislature and gun control.
CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, the show reviews a recent report on how much hunger and food insecurity effect the state economy and other issues.
This is New England, NBC 10 Boston, 11:30 a.m. With host Latoyia Edwards, this week’s main topic: Black History Month and inspiring stories.
Bridging the Bonded: Faith, Politics, and Diplomacy in a Polarized Age
Starr Forum: Is Democracy Dying?
Strategies for a debt-free workforce: How business and higher education can collaborate to address college affordability
Beyond Standardized Tests: Assessing Learning and School Quality for Student Success
Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless Legislative Action Day
A Board of Directors – Making Your Company More Successful and You a Better Leader
Grassroots Speaker Series: Women Encouraging Empowerment, Inc.
Leaders in the Law
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?
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