Happening Today

Cannabis Control Commission, transportation survey, Kocot funeral service

— Attorney General Maura Healey plans to attend the National Association of Attorneys General winter meeting in Washington, D.C. 

Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meets to hear an update from Southbridge receiver Jeffrey Villar, vote on amendments to MCAS regulations, and discuss Gov. Charlie Baker’s 2019 education budget proposal and the state graduation and dropout rates for last school year, 75 Pleasant St., Malden, 8:30 a.m.

— A public opinion survey about transportation will be released at an event Tuesday by Steve Koczela, president of MassINC Polling Group, with Quincy Miller of Eastern Bank, Lizzi Weyant of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and Chris Dempsey of Transportation for Massachusetts attending, 50 Milk St., 20th floor, CIC Lighthouse, 8:30 a.m.

— Mayor Martin Walsh speak at the annual Light of Dawnn Awards, West End House Boys and Girls Club, 105 Allston St., Allston, 9:30 a.m.

— The Cannabis Control Commission holds another meeting today to review regulatory proposals, Massachusetts Gaming Commission meeting room, 101 Federal St., 12th Floor, Boston, 10 a.m.

— The funeral service for Rep. Peter Kocot will be held at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Northampton, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, 99 King St., Northampton, 10:30 a.m.

— Labor and Workforce Development Committee reviews a bill by Rep. Chris Walsh establishing a Statewide Center for Innovation and Change, Room B-1, 12 p.m.

— Opponents of President Donald Trump’s offshore drilling proposals will gather for a rally before participating in a Bureau of Ocean Energy Management public meeting, Sheraton Boston Hotel, Hampton Room, 39 Dalton St., Boston, 3 p.m.

— Former Boston City Councilors Tom Keane and Tito Jackson talk about whether there is ‘room for the middle class in Boston’ on ‘Radio Boston,’ WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m.  

— Sen. Jamie Eldridge, Rep. Juana Matias and representatives of the Massachusetts Major City Police Chiefs Association and the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association hold a press conference to detail a compromise over the ‘Safe Communities Act,’ Room 350, 3:15 p.m.

— Treasurer Deborah Goldberg will officially launch her campaign for re-election with House Speaker Robert DeLeo as a ‘special guest’ at the fundraiser, Omni Parker House, Boston, 5:30 p.m.

— Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is a guest on ‘Nightside,’ WBZ NewsRadio 1030, 8 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.

Today’s Stories

Cannabis Commission delays rollout of pot cafes and home deliveries

The political pressures were simply too great. From Mike Deehan at WGBH: “After criticism that they were moving to regulate too much of the new legal marijuana trade too soon, the state’s Cannabis Control Commission has agreed to delay awarding licenses for home delivery and cafe consumption of pot. The Cannabis Control Commission agreed Monday to put more time into researching public consumption services and home delivery and to decide on the issue in October.” 

 The criticism of the proposed regulations came from across the political spectrum – Gov. Charlie Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey, district attorneys, dozens of lawmakers and others. Ultimately, the commission had no choice, unless it wanted a major political confrontation that it clearly wouldn’t have won. Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive, SHNS’s Colin A. Young at Wicked Local and Dan Adams at the Globe have more. 

 Btw: In an aside, the Globe’s Dylan McGuinness reports: “The state Department of Public Health has suspended retail sales of medical marijuana products at Healthy Pharms Inc. until further notice after a sample tested positive for a pesticide, officials said Monday.” 


Principal who came out as transgender now on leave, security at school beefed up

Three weeks after making headlines by coming out as transgender, a Swampscott elementary school principal is now on leave from the school, Gayla Cawley reports in the Lynn Item. School officials say Shannon Daniels is on a “temporary leave of absence” and that Daniels will meet with the superintendent on Wednesday. And although officials say there have been no “credible threats” among the deluge of phone calls and emails about Daniels, there will also be a heightened police presence at the school for the time being. 

Lynn Item

Public unions: Bracing for a major funding and political hit

U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, Mayor Marty Walsh and other pols were standing shoulder-to-shoulder with union officials yesterday at rallies across the state, as the U.S. Supreme Court takes up an historic case that could have a profound impact on public unions’ ability to raise funds and wield political clout in elections, according to reports by SHNS’s Katie Lannan at the BBJ and Shira Schoenberg at MassLive.

The Herald’s Kimberly Atkins and Public Radio’s Nina Totenberg at WBUR have good summaries of what’s at stake in Janus vs. AFSCME, a case that focuses on whether an employer can force a worker to pay dues to a public employee union. The is a big political deal, ultimately pitting left versus right in a fight legally instigated by conservative groups. The Globe’s Michael Levenson has more, including how public unions are expecting the worst in Janus vs. AFSCME.

The Telegram and South Coast Today and the Gazette have more on the union rallies held across the state yesterday.

T official: ‘There is a vision’

With transit mishaps occurring now at almost a daily rate, MBTA officials are urging patience, saying recent reforms will soon bear results, and a T board member is asserting: “We are building reliability in the system and we are improving the system and we are doing it every day … I think it’s important for folks to understand, there is a vision.” The Herald’s Matt Stout has more.

Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine reports how Keolis, overseer of the T’s commuter rail system, does seem to be turning a corner in improving operations. In a separate piece, Mohl reports that T vice chairman Steven Poftak “wants to execute on projects in the pipeline before considering whether new revenues are needed.” To be clear: Poftak is not ruling out the need for new revenues, i.e. fare increases, just that they’re not a priority now.

Boston Herald

No ticket, no rail ride

Speaking of mass transit, from SHNS’s Andy Metzger: “Commuter rail riders departing from South Station will need to show their tickets before boarding evening trains starting this spring under a program designed to boost revenues on the system. Ticket checks began at North Station last September but they were suspended in January due to winter weather, according to Keolis Commuter Services, which runs the commuter rail for the MBTA. The so-called Fare is Fair checks will start for the afternoon rush hour at Back Bay in March, and then at South Station in May.”

SHNS (pay wall)

Carvalho now gunning for DA post, leaving path clear for Collins to win Senate seat

As Jennifer Smith at the Dorchester Reporter writes: “The race for the First Suffolk District got a lot more streamlined on Monday, as state Rep. Evandro Carvalho announced he will no longer pursue the senate seat left vacant by former state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry, instead opting to seek the Suffolk County District Attorney’s post.” 

And his move now clears the way for Rep. Nick Collins of South Boston to win the open Senate seat in a special election, as SHNS’s Michael Norton reports (pay wall). Here’s Carvalho’s full statement, via CommonWealth magazine, about why he made the switch. Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin has more.

Dorchester Reporter

Video of police confrontation with black man raises lots of questions

This isn’t a Rodney King-like video, that’s for sure. But it does raise the question: Is this community policing? The Globe’s Meghan Irons reports on a video posted on Facebook that reportedly shows a heated exchange between a white Boston police officer and black Roxbury man, with the cop grilling the guy about where he lived and why he wasn’t working, etc. and the Roxbury man verbally pushing back and even calling the cop a pig, etc. “Why are you bothering me?’’ the man asked the officer, as Irons reports. A good question. And, again, our question: Is this really community policing?

Boston Globe

Long missing tapes of MLK Jr. speaking at Worcester temple

WGBH has the recordings of a speech that Martin Luther King Jr. gave at the Temple Emanuel in Worcester in 1961, courtesy of Laura Klein-Weiner, granddaughter of Rabbi Joseph Klein, who invited King to speak at the temple. The tapes had been stored for decades in a box by Rabbi Klein and his granddaughter only learned of their existence in 2013. The rest, as they say, is history. King’s opening words: “Whenever I return (to) the New England states, I never feel like a stranger …” Enjoy.


Felix Arroyo: Trapped in perpetual limbo?

Now that a woman has withdrawn a sexual harassment charge against Felix Arroyo, a former department head under Mayor Walsh, the Globe’s Joan Vennochi rightly wonders if justice has been served: “With #MeToo as the contextual backdrop, power has shifted enormously in these cases. Men used to have the upper hand, but for now, that’s no longer true. In Arroyo’s case, his accuser’s identity is protected. He’s exposed. She’s working. He’s not. She’s believed. He’s doubted. Is that progress or another kind of injustice?”

Boston Globe

Avid CEO ousted over ‘workplace conduct’

No one knows if this is a #MeToo-related action or what. But the chief executive of Avid Technology, whose video-editing software is used by movie directors across the globe, has been ousted after an investigation found he violated company policies around workplace conduct, reports the BBJ’s Kelly O’Brien.


Amherst diary: Of fights, large parties and drunks

Police were busy with young scholars behaving badly over the weekend in Amherst. From Diane Lederman: “Police confronted fights, large parties, drunks and an obscenity shouting student among the approximate 200 calls they received this weekend. Police arrested seven University of Massachusetts students for violating the town’s noise bylaw at two separate parties that involved trash, fights, and large quantities of liquor.” Lederman has more.


State purchases BMC building so it can move Shattuck patients to new site

From Martha Bebinger at WBUR: “The Baker administration plans to purchase the former university hospital on Boston Medical Center’s (BMC) campus and transfer patients currently treated at Lemuel Shattuck Hospital on the edge of Franklin Park there in 2021. The main reason: Moving the 260 patient beds will cost about half as much as renovating Shattuck would.” 


Healey reaches settlement with Care.com over background checks

From the Herald’s Jordan Graham: “Care.com will pay nearly half a million dollars to settle claims by Attorney General Maura Healey that the website misled customers about the thoroughness of the background checks performed on potential caregivers for children and the elderly. ‘When families pay for a background check service, they should get what they paid for,’ Healey said in a statement. ‘This settlement will provide restitution for families who were misled.’”

Boston Herald

Does Warren or other Dem presidential wannabes possess the magical ‘Trump antidote’?

Aaron Blake at the Washington Post reports that the Democratic race for president, though still two years away, is already shaping up as a contest to see who would be the best ‘Trump antidote’ candidate. He notes former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s recent ‘Who better to take on Trump than me?’ statement and Warren’s recent Native-American speech as examples of potential candidates testing out their anti-Trump credentials.

Washington Post

‘Get ready for the ugly, Trumpish side of politics, Massachusetts’

Speaking of U.S. Elizabeth Warren, David Bernstein at WGBH is warning that a slew of right-wing groups and PACs are gearing up for an ugly election-year push in Massachusetts, primarily aimed at Warren but potentially at other down-ballot candidates as well. 


Kerrigan withdraws from Third Congressional race

From Chris Lisinski at the Lowell Sun: “Former lieutenant governor nominee Steve Kerrigan announced Monday that he would withdraw from the 3rd Congressional District race. Kerrigan, whose mother died a few weeks ago, sent an email to supporters detailing his decision, saying he hopes to ‘focus on other ways to have an impact in (his) community.’ ‘I have learned a lot about myself — from my family and many friends — over these past trying weeks,’ Kerrigan wrote.”

Some speculate that Kerrigan also saw the writing on the wall, having raised only $159,240 through the end of last year. Think about it: Nearly $160,000 is now considered chump change in this district election.

Lowell Sun

Feds seek to bounce Joyce’s lawyer from corruption case

From Andrea Estes at the Globe: “Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to disqualify prominent defense attorney Howard Cooper from representing Brian Joyce in his corruption trial, arguing that the former senator ‘entangled’ him in a coverup. Cooper submitted ‘false and misleading’ answers to the state Ethics Commission, including a backdated invoice for Dunkin’ Donuts coffee that Joyce had received for free, prosecutors alleged in a motion filed Monday.”

Boston Globe

Audio of secret Obama sports talk smuggled out at great risk …

OK, our dramatic Checkpoint Charlie-like spin in the headline isn’t deserved. But Reason.com does have a transcript of the secret talk former President Obama gave last week at an MIT sports analytics conference, despite the somewhat ridiculous disclosure restrictions organizers imposed on conference goers. And Reason’s transcript shows, beyond any shadow of doubt, that … no real news was made. You decide. The Globe’s Jaclyn Reiss has more.


Poll: Mass. residents in no rush to pay higher rush-hour tolls but …

A new poll paid for by the Barr Foundation shows that local voters are not wild about the trendy idea of hiking rush-hour tolls to cut down on traffic congestion, reports the Globe’s Adam Vaccaro. But voters did embrace an intriguing idea: Giving motorists discounts if they travel during non-rush-hour times of the day.

Boston Globe

WSJ on Baker’s acceptance of Local 25 support: ‘Bad call’

The Wall Street Journal, in an editorial, is criticizing Gov. Charlie Baker for accepting Teamsters Local 25’s recent endorsement in this year’s gubernatorial race, calling Local 25 a “pariah union” and citing its members’ thuggish behavior in the now infamous ‘Top Chef’ controversy in 2014. Last week, a Boston Globe editorial also criticized Baker’s acceptance of the Teamsters endorsement.

Fyi: Teamster members were legally found not guilty in the ‘Top Chef’ case, but the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld has an update on the upcoming City Hall-union extortion trial tied to a Boston music festival.

WSJ (pay wall)

Video of Springfield’s runaway transit bus …

The November crash of a runaway Pioneer Valley Transit Authority bus in Springfield was caught on video – and, yes, it shows its driver running after the bus before it crashed in front of the U.S. District Court building. Patrick Johnson at MassLive has more details, along with the accompanying video, of course. Notice the nearby police cruiser and bystanders who immediately responded to the bus crash that injured two passengers.

MassLive (Video)

State Street to seek ‘greater transparency’ from Springfield’s Smith & Wesson and other gunmakers

Another post-Florida-shooting aftershock. From David Harris at the BBJ: “Boston-based financial services giant State Street Corp., which holds stakes in two gunmakers, said on Monday that it would ‘seek greater transparency’ from those companies on how they ‘will support the safe and responsible use of their products.’ The move comes after the Business Journal reported last week that State Street (NYSE: STT) holds shares worth millions of dollars in gun manufacturers including American Outdoor Brands (Nasdaq: AOBC), formerly known as Smith & Wesson.”


Struggling GE shakes up its board, ex-MIT president gone

In other corporate news, General Electric, whose stocks have been pounded amid numerous financial woes confronting the conglomerate, has shaken up its governing board, reducing its size from 18 to 12 members and jettisoning, among others, former MIT president Susan Hockfeld, reports the BBJ’s Greg Ryan. GE did add a new member with some Boston connections: Former Danaher Corp. chief executive H. Lawrence Culp Jr., senior lecturer at Harvard Business School and a senior adviser to Boston’s Bain Capital Private Equity. 


For sale: Yet another newspaper building

Three makes a trend, right? The Globe recently did it. So did the MetroWest Daily News. Now comes the Salem News, which says it will put its Beverly headquarters up for sale and search for cozier digs. Paul Leighton reports the paper’s owners—Community Newspaper Holdings Inc.—say the 68,000-square-foot building is far too big for the 35 staff members left from a peak of 150 in the days after the Salem News merged with the Beverly Times in 1995. 

Salem News

Columnist Williamson says she’s leaving T&G

After 25 years as a columnist and 35 years in total at the Telegram & Gazette, Diane Williamson announced—on Facebook, no less—that she will be leaving the Worcester paper by the end of the week. Williamson shed little light on the reason for her departure, but Walter Bird Jr. of Worcester Magazine notes that she is one of several veteran journalists who have decamped since the T&G was acquired by GateHouse Media. Williamson’s farewell column will run in Sunday’s Telegram. 

Worcester Magazine

Vineyard Wind dangles $2 million in workforce funds

The development team behind the Vineyard Wind project say they’ll spend $2 million to train Massachusetts residents to work in the offshore wind industry—if their project is chosen to provide wind energy to the state’s utilities. Kristen Young of the Cape Cod Times reports the program—dubbed Wind Workforce—would set up classes at Cape Cod Community College, Mass. Maritime Academy and other schools and would launch as soon as the company signs on the dotted line to build out its wind farm. 

Cape Cod Times

A Board of Directors – Making Your Company More Successful and You a Better Leader

North Shore Technology Council

Grassroots Speaker Series: Women Encouraging Empowerment, Inc.

TSNE MissionWorks

Leaders in the Law

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly and New England In-House

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


Michelle Obama is coming to Boston – Boston Magazine

Commissioner Evans: We need more ‘city kid’ police officers in Boston – WGBH

GE shakes up board—and leaves off ex-MIT president – Boston Business Journal


Andover selectmen get combative over effort to oust chairman – Eagle-Tribune

Foes of Berkshire Museum art sale to file with top court Tuesday – Berkshire Eagle

Dem governor candidates take aim at Baker at Worcester forum – Worcester Magazine

State Police scandal is rocking Baker’s boat – Lowell Sun

Chairman of Worthington Democratic town committee files for Kulik seat – Hampshire Gazette


Bernie Sanders’ son launches congressional campaign in New Hampshire – The Hill

As GOP tax cuts take hold, Democrats struggle for a line of attack – Washington Post

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