Happening Today

FBI director at BC, transportation hearing and more …

— FBI Director Christopher Wray will discuss cyber security at the Boston Conference on Cyber Security, hosted by Boston College, Gasson Hall, Room 100, 140 Commonwealth Ave., Chestnut Hill, 9:15 a.m.

— Attorney General Maura Healey leads the swearing-in of members of the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth, Room 222, 10:10 a.m.

Gaming Commission meets, 101 Federal Street, 12th floor, Boston, 10 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to speak at the 40th legislative reception hosted by the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council and The Arc of Massachusetts, with Sen. Jamie Eldridge and Rep. Denise Garlick also being recognized as legislators of the year, Great Hall, 10:30 a.m.

Senate Democrats meet for a private caucus in the Senate President’s Office, Room 332, 11 a.m.

— Jeanne Atkins, who championed automatic voter registration in Oregon while she was secretary of state, will promote the policy to a Massachusetts audience, including lawmakers, Room 428, 12 p.m.

Transportation Committee reviews legislation authorizing $200 million in state spending to repair local roads and bridges, Room A-2, 11 a.m.

— The Governor’s Council, which certifies election results, meets the morning after Rep. Brendan Crighton ran unopposed for an open state Senate seat on Tuesday, 12 p.m.

Brooke Barbier gives the State Library’s monthly author talk about her book ‘Boston in the American Revolution: A Town versus an Empire,’ Room 341, 12 p.m.

— Former Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins talks on ‘Radio Boston’ about that state’s automatic voter registration system and options for Massachusetts, WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 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

Western Massachusetts, it’s your turn

After last week’s nor’easter battered coastal areas of Massachusetts, it looks like today’s storm will hit western and central Massachusetts hardest, possibly dumping more than a foot of snow in some places, according to reports at NECN and WBUR and the Globe.

It’s Hawkins vs. Hall (likely) for Attleboro state rep seat

Democrat Jim Hawkins and Republican Julie Hall will face off in an April special election after each won their primary battles on Tuesday. Hawkins, a former teacher in the city, cruised to the win; Hall’s victory was a narrow one, with just 21 votes separating her from Jeff Bailey, who may request a recount, Jim Hand reports in the Sun Chronicle. Just over 10 percent of voters went to the polls Tuesday. 

Meanwhile, Rep. Brendan Crighton, a Lynn Democrat,  is the newest Massachusetts state senator after running unopposed in the special election to fill the seat formerly held by now Lynn Mayor Thomas McGee, Thomas Grillo reports at the Lynn Item. The competition should be more vigorous for the House seat Crighton is vacating, with multiple candidates expected to be in the mix. 

Sun Chronicle

Feds to drop City Hall extortion case?

Mayor Walsh must be crossing his fingers on this one. From Maria Cramer at the Globe: “Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that they may have to drop extortion charges against two city officials accused of strong-arming organizers of a Boston music festival if a judge does not reconsider his planned instructions to the jury, the latest twist in a public corruption case that has dogged the Walsh administration for two years.” The case was weak from the start, so the feds, who have already lost a major Teamsters-related case in Boston, may be looking for an out of any kind.

Boston Globe

Globe eyes major boost to home-delivery rates

Already one of the most expensive newspapers in the country, the Boston Globe is about to get even pricier for customers who still want papers delivered to their homes, Don Seiffert reports in the Boston Business Journal. Rates may be going up as much as 80 percent for some subscribers, which means that some customers will pay more than $1,300 a year to receive the Globe at home. Given the paper’s on-again, off-again struggles in the home-delivery space over the past year-and-a-half, Seiffert notes the move may be part of a larger strategy to get more customers to digital subscriptions. 

If that’s indeed the strategy, it’s huge gamble. A lot of subscribers, we suspect, will be dumping their print subscriptions when they find out how much they’ll be paying.


In the fight against opioid addiction, MGH takes a non-abstinence stand

Martha Bebinger at WBUR has an important story coming out of Massachusetts General Hospital: “The hospital has just become the first ED in Massachusetts to offer buprenorphine to patients with an opioid use disorder who want to start treatment on the spot. There will be at least one doctor in the ED, 24/7, trained in a protocol that guides patients through the transition from active drug addiction to managed addiction with MAT. It’s a basic, but profound shift.”


Patrick on running for president: ‘It’s on my radar screen’

He’s already signaled he’s interested in running for president, but former Gov. Deval Patrick broadcast that signal a bit louder during a recent interview with a radio station in Kansas City, reports the Herald’s Matt Stout and the Globe’s Michael Levenson. “It’s on my radar screen,” Patrick told KCUR. “I am trying to think through 2020, and that’s a decision I’m trying to think through from a personal and family point of view and also whether what I believe is going to be on offer by somebody.” Hmmm. “On offer”? Is he referring to a possible vice president-ticket offer? We might be misreading it. Here’s the KCUR interview.

Warren, Markey et gang bail on Capuano

From the Globe’s Joshua Miller: “Giving an unexpected cold shoulder to a colleague and fellow Democrat, both Massachusetts senators and two of its representatives are declining to back 10-term incumbent Michael E. Capuano in his congressional primary fight against Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley.” They are Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey, Seth Moulton and Niki Tsongas. Other members of the Congressional delegation, all within relatively safe districts, are with Capuano.

Fyi: In a primary contest in which the race and gender of the two candidates are playing a major role, Capuanao has picked up some key support of late – from civil rights icon John Lewis (Globe) and Maxine Waters (SHNS – pay wall). Capuano seems happy, via Twitter, with the latter’s support.

Boston Globe

Dan Koh’s impeccable resume. But can he win in the Third?

Speaking of Congressional races, Dan Koh is clean cut, earnest, polite, thoughtful, a graduate of Andover and Harvard, and a former wunderkind at Boston City Hall. But can the 33-year-old Koh win in the gritty, albeit changing, Third Congressional District? Malcolm Burnley at Boston Magazine takes a look at Koh and his candidacy.

Boston Magazine

The eyes of Texas are upon you, Republicans

Still speaking of Congressional races, the big story coming out of primary-election Texas yesterday was not that we now know Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and will be facing a somewhat tough re-election race against U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat. Instead, it’s about how Democrats came out in force in Texas yesterday, “providing fresh evidence that liberal enthusiasm could reshape even deeply Republican states come November,” reports the Washington Post.

Washington Post

Trump administration targets California’s ‘sanctuary’ laws. Is Mass. next?

 One more national item of potential/likely local importance, via the NYT: “The Trump administration escalated what had been a war of words over California’s immigration agenda, filing a lawsuit late Tuesday that amounted to a pre-emptive strike against the liberal state’s so-called sanctuary laws.” The action comes as Massachusetts lawmakers push for a compromise “sanctuary state” bill here. Now back to local politics of the immediate kind …


Keenan goes for it: Quincy senator says he’s ‘actively seeking’ Senate presidency

The Herald’s Matt Stout and SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) report that Sen. John Kennan, a Quincy Democrat, is now an open candidate for the Senate presidency on Beacon Hill, joining a crowded field of candidates who include Sens. Karen Spilka, Sal DiDomenico, Eileen Donoghue (if she stays in the Senate), Eric Lesser and Mark Montigny (perhaps).

SJC hears two big cases tied to state elections

The Herald’s Bob McGovern reports on yesterday’s hearings before the Supreme Judicial Court on two key cases dealing with voter registration and the state’s ban on corporate campaign donations. The voter registration case stands to benefit Democrats, while the corporate donation case stands to benefit Republicans. McGovern has more.

Boston Herald

Will the state now have to reimburse Annie Dookhan defendents millions in court fees and fines?

The damage done by disgraced former state-lab chemist Annie Dookhan could grow even bigger if drug defendants win a new federal lawsuit asking that the state reimburse them for their court fees and fines, reports Shira Schoenberg at MassLive. Defendants believe a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision backs up their claims. Considering that the tainted Dookhan cases involved more than 20,000 people, we’re talking potentially millions of dollars here.


DPH recommends Beth Israel-Lahey mega-merger

If Partners HealthCare wasn’t so big, one wonders if regulators would have approved this counter-mega-merger by other hospitals. From Max Stendahl at the BBJ: “The state Department of Public Health has recommended approval of a massive merger involving Lahey Health, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and three community hospitals. Staff at the DPH issued a report on Monday finding that the deal, one of the largest hospital mergers in state history, “is likely to improve health outcomes and quality of life.” The deal still must be approved by the state’s Public Health Council, though it typically accepts staff recommendations.”


Hinds brings good news on Berkshire Flyer to district

State Sen. Adam Hinds brought good news back to his district for supporters of a push to connect the western-most part of the state with New York City. He says that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has expressed support for a trial run of the Berkshire Flyer, Kristin Palpini reports in the Berkshire Eagle. Hinds said the DOT is open to backing a seasonal pilot run, but probably not until the summer of 2019. 

Berkshire Eagle

Playing cat and mouse with Baker

This is a somewhat overly dramatized piece that actually shows how pols and their aides, frequently, refuse to let reporters ask government leaders and political candidates even the most mundane questions, this time focusing on Gov. Charlie Baker’s refusal (via his aides) to answer questions by the Globe’s Laura Krantz and Shirley Leung. The same story could have been (and has been) written about the media-dodging antics of Mitt Romney, Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, etc. etc. etc. 

Boston Globe

Warren: Revisions to Dodd-Frank are ‘dangerous’ and may lead to recession

U.S.  Sen. Elizabeth Warren — fighting not only Republicans but also swing-state Democrats – is decrying a bill that would water down Dodd-Frank financial regulations passed after the 2008 Wall Street meltdown, saying it’s dangerous and could lead to a recession, reports Shannon Young as MassLive. “The bill lets lenders make peoples’ lives a lot more miserable for one reason only: So that lenders can make bigger profits,” she said.


The Cannabis Control Commission’s next mission: The actual rollout of pot shops

The Cannabis Control Commission yesterday largely wrapped up its work on new regulations for the retail sale and distribution of marijuana in Massachusetts – and CCC chair Steve Hoffman says he remains confident the retail rollout will proceed as planned on July 1. But he says there’s still a lot of work to do, including coordinating efforts with local towns and cities. Steve Brown at WBUR.


Banned in Boston (and Massachusetts): Cannabis leaf logos

Speaking of pot, from SHNS’s Colin Young at the Herald News: “The image of a marijuana leaf has been banned for marketing purposes from appearing on the packaging or advertising for pot products, but the Cannabis Control Commission voted Tuesday to require the image of a marijuana leaf be displayed on every legal marijuana product sold in Massachusetts. The leaf will appear as part of an icon intended to warn consumers that the product contains THC, the psychoactive compound that gives marijuana users a high feeling.”

Herald News

Zakim razzes Galvin over angry phone call to Lawrence mayor

From SHNS’s Matt Murphy at New Boston Post: “Secretary of State William Galvin’s silence following claims made by Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera that Galvin asserted to have played a role in his winning 2013 mayoral race is ‘very troubling,’ the secretary’s Democratic opponent Josh Zakim said on Tuesday. ‘It’s pretty disappointing that he hasn’t offered any explanation for what he meant by his claim to have influenced the election in Lawrence. People need to have complete faith that our elections are being administered freely and fairly,’ Zakim said on Tuesday.”

It’s not the best punch he could have thrown, but …

New Boston Post

John Farrell, former Globe reporter and Tip O’Neill biographer, wins national award for Nixon biography

Congratulations to John A. Farrell for winning a major American history award, i.e. the New York Historical Society’s Barbara and David Zalaznick Book Prize, awarded annually to the best work in the field of American history or biography, for his ‘Richard Nixon: The Life.’ Farrell, a former correspondent and Washington editor at the Globe and a former member of the paper’s Spotlight team, is also the author of ‘Tip O’Neill and the Democratic Century.’ The NYT has more.


USS Lexington, built in Quincy and sunk in WWII, found off coast of Australia

There are two local angles to this: The aircraft carrier was named after 1775 Battle of Lexington and it was built in Quincy – and now the USS Lexington, sunk during the Battle of the Coral Sea in World War II, has been found off the coast of Australia, thanks to an expedition funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Elise Takahamaat the Globe and CNN (with video) have more. Fyi: The Lexington was severely damaged by Japanese forces, but was actually scuttled by a U.S. destroyer to avoid imminent capture.

Author Talk and Book Signing with Brooke Barbier

State Library of Massachusetts

Persuasive Business Writing Workshop

John Sturtevant

Nature for Water: Exploring Water Challenges in Our Commonwealth

Foundation for a Green Future

Today’s Headlines


Boston Calling prosecutors worry they may have to drop case – Boston Globe

Study: Schools shame kids for unpaid meals – Boston Herald


Bourne selectman resigns after arrest – Cape Cod Times

Kezer named Framingham’s first chief operating officer – MetroWest Daily News

Tom Merolli of Mendon challenges Ryan Fattman for Senate seat – Telegram & Gazette

9 percent of region’s power bill incurred in one week – CommonWealth Magazine

South Coast rail hearing sparks varied responses – Standard-Times

Brockton tree program is taking root in the city – Brockton Enterprise


Justice Department sues California over impeding immigration enforcement – NPR

Stormy Daniels files suit, claiming Trump never signed ‘hush agreement’ – New York Times

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