Delayed start times, Campion funeral, student walkouts, harassment commision
— The House of Representative, Senate, and offices for non-emergency state executive branch employees operate on an 11:00 a.m. delayed start time, a day after the most recent snow storm.
— Courts in Berkshire, Hampden and Hampshire counties open at their regular times on Wednesday, but all other courts will open at 10 a.m. The court system said additional changes may be announced after 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.
— Keolis Commuter Services and the MBTA will operate a regular commuter rail schedule. Passengers should check schedules at MBTA.com/winter before departing as clean up continues and minor delays are possible.
— A funeral mass is said for the late Chuck Campion, co-founder and chairman of the Dewey Square Group, followed by a post-funeral reception at the Harvard Club of Boston, 374 Commonwealth Ave.; funeral at St. Cecilia Roman Catholic Church, 18 Belvidere St., Boston, 10 a.m.
— Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight hears testimony on a bill that would create an independent commission to field reports of harassment and assault at the State House. Meeting was postponed from Tuesday afternoon, Hearing Room B-2, 2 p.m.
— High school students across the state hold school walkouts in the wake of last month’s mass shooting in Florida, with student, activists, and Episcopal clergy also rallying at Smith & Wesson headquarters, 2100 Roosevelt Ave., Springfield, 3 p.m.
— Fisheries and Wildlife Board meets with an agenda that includes a vote regarding dog regulations, discussion of species management on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuges, and new business concerning restoration ecology, Cronin Building, One Rabbit Hill Rd., Westborough, 1 p.m.
— Massachusetts Cultural Council holds a reception to celebrate its Amplify grant program, with Reps. Jeffrey Sanchez, Mary Keefe, Denise Provost, Jay Livingstone and Carole Fiola expected to attend, Room 350, 4 p.m.
— WCVB’s Janet Wu moderates a panel with mayors Kim Driscoll of Salem, Ruthanne Fuller of Newton, Yvonne Spicer of Framingham and Lynda Tyer of Pittsfield at an event co-hosted by the UMass Boston Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy and the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus, UMass Club, One Beacon St., Boston, 4:30 p.m.
— The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources will accept public comment on its guidelines for renewable energy systems on agricultural land, 5 p.m.
— WGBH News State House reporter Mike Deehan asks trivia questions about news and current events at an open-to-the-public event at Boston Public Library’s Newsfeed Café, 700 Boylston St., Boston, 6:30 p.m.
— Pete Souza, the White House photographer to former President Barack Obama, visits the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate to discuss his book ‘Obama: An Intimate Portrait,’ Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, Columbia Point, Boston, 7 p.m.
— Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is interviewed 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.
Storm outages, damage, delays and more …
As of earlier this morning, there were still 135,000 customers without power, most of them on the Cape, following yesterday’s latest nor’easter storm, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, and utilities says it could take days to restore everyone’s electricity, reports the Herald.
The MBTA had ‘relative success’ yesterday in keeping services running, although the transit system was working on an ‘extremely reduced’ schedule, as the Globe reports.
The BBJ reports that the three storms that have hit the region of late have cost Massachusetts businesses nearly $1 billion. The BBJ also reports on the hundreds of flights that were cancelled at Logan yesterday, as well as suspended Amtrak service, all of which contributed to loss of business, obviously.
Finally, South Shore towns report they’ve plowed past their snow-removal budgets, reports the Patriot Ledger.
Is it time to starting talking again about underground electric lines?
With so many customers having lost power during the recent storms and with so much talk lately about the need for climate-change resiliency, we’d just like to ask: Is it time to also start talking about burying some of the state’s electric lines? We know it would be expensive and take decades. But if we’re talking about climate-change resiliency for shorelines and flood zones etc., shouldn’t underground electric lines also be in the climate-resiliency discussion mix? Just wondering.
OMG: St. Pat’s Day parade might be cancelled?
Speaking of storm catastrophes: Is this true? Is there an urgent update to the mayor’s comments from yesterday afternoon? From Catherine Carlock at the BBJ: “The city of Boston is debating whether to cancel Sunday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in South Boston in the aftermath of Tuesday’s blizzard, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said at a press conference (Tuesday) afternoon. The city will ‘play it by ear’ to determine whether enough snow has been removed to safely host the parade, Walsh said.”
Pennsylvania race too close to call
Fyi: A much-watched special U.S. House election in Pennsylvania was too close to call as of this morning, the NYT and the Washington Post report. The race is of national and even local interest, considering U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton’s support of the Democratic candidate in the contest, and expect a blizzard of analysis about what the eventual outcome means for this fall’s mid-term elections.
The war isn’t over: Attleboro police say opioid deaths up 200 percent
We’re bumping this up because of the startling numbers involved. Read it. In a stark deviation from data suggesting some slowing of the opioid epidemic statewide, police in Attleboro say that city saw a 200 percent spike in fatal overdoses in 2017, Rick Foster reports in the Sun Chronicle. The department says it recorded 39 overdose deaths last year, while the overall number of overdoses rose about 10 percent.
Thirty-nine overdose deaths in Attleboro alone? If these were local casualty numbers from a far-off war, there would be angry anti-war protests in the streets demanding a stop it.
Sen. Donoghue officially applies for Lowell post, race to replace her unofficially begins
This was expected but it’s still news. From Christopher Scott at the Lowell Sun: “Sen. Eileen Donoghue could make history later this month by becoming the city’s first female city manager. Ending weeks of speculation, Donoghue said Tuesday she’s a candidate for the job that another former state legislator, Kevin Murphy, is vacating April 1. ‘I am looking forward to the process,’ the former city councilor and mayor said. ‘We’ll see how the City Council wants to proceed.” Fyi: There is almost no doubt that the council will “proceed” by hiring her, thus sparking a major scramble for her Senate seat.
Last stand: Feds try to salvage City Hall extortion case today
The federal extortion case against two top City Hall staffers will all come down to how a judge interprets federal laws in his jury instructions – and federal prosecutors today will argue the judge has it wrong. The Herald’s Bob McGovern has the details on prosecutors’ “last-ditch bid” to save their case.
Deval Patrick: A true mensch?
The Globe’s Jeff Jacoby, as a conservative, surveys the Democratic field of potential presidential candidates for president and concludes that former Gov. Deval Patrick isn’t all that bad compared to others, including U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren. “What we do know is that he is a mensch, and that he knows how to disagree in politics without being disagreeable. These days, that’s no small thing.”
Patrick could also run just to the right of most other Dems, stressing economic-growth and other centrist issues, and still pick up a huge portion of the progressive and, especially, African-American vote.
True fact: Republican Diehl was once (and rather recently) a true-blue Democrat
The Globe’s Frank Phillips casually reviews the voting record of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Geoff Diehl, who served as Donald’s Trump’s campaign co-chair in Massachusetts in 2016, and finds a curious thing: Diehl was pretty much a reliable Democratic until recently. A lot of tap dancing takes place after Phillips lays out the facts.
Student walkouts planned for today (though not on the Cape)
Students across the state plan to stage a school walk-out today in support of gun control measures in the wake of last month’s mass school shooting in Florida. The action, part of a nationwide student protest supported by political groups in support of gun control, will include students in Boston (Herald) and across the state (SHNS – pay wall), some of whom plan to protest outside the headquarters of Smith & Wesson in Springfield. Walkouts are also planned in, among other places, Chicopee (MassLive) and central Mass. (Telegram).
The Globe’s Michael Levenson reports on how some school administrators are struggling to “strike a balance between giving students space to express their beliefs while not endorsing views that might offend some other students and parents.”
But yesterday’s storm has scuttled plans for walkouts on the Cape, the Cape Cod Times reports.
Is Harvard Broken? Let some alums count the ways
Boston Magazine lets five prominent Harvard University alums, one of them Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu, uncork a bit about what they’d like to see from Harvard, now that it’s about to get a new president, Lawrence Bacow. Wu wants closer ties to Boston. Two alumni are furious at what they see as a PC culture run amok at the university. Another wants Harvard to open a campus in China.
In Lexington, South Asians score election gains
Arun Rath at WGBH looks at how residents of South Asian origin have gain outsized political power in the historic town of Lexington, where such residents make up just 5 percent of the population but hold 10 percent of the seats in local government. Rath points to local leaders and community groups that helped get candidates involved and says the success in Lexington could soon be replicated in other communities with growing South Asian populations.
Baker: Expanded Springfield to New Haven rail, yes; Springfield to Boston, not so fast
From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “Expanding passenger rail service between New Haven and Springfield is looking good. But expanding service from Boston to Springfield is far less certain, Gov. Charlie Baker said in a meeting with editors and reporters from The Republican/MassLive.com on Friday.”
As Baker sees it, the problem with the Springfield-Boston line comes down to three things: 1.) Freight service now runs on the Worcester-Boston tracks. 2.) Thus the need to possibly build new tracks. 3.) Lack of fed money.
Silver Line to expand next month to Chelsea
We missed this one from the other day. From Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine: “The first major service expansion at the MBTA since 2007 – an extension of Silver Line bus service (which currently runs between South Station and Logan Airport_ to East Boston and Chelsea – is set to launch April 21. The so-called SL3 bus will offer a one-seat ride from Chelsea and parts of East Boston to the Seaport District and South Station.” SHNS’s Andy Metzger at the BBJ has more.
Rutland selectman refuses to resign after getting busted in police prostitution sting
Rutland’s now most famous accused john, Selectman Wayne Walker, is refusing to resign after being arrested for trying to pay an undercover police officer $20 for sex, saying the “alleged charges against me are personal in nature” and a “private matter for me and my family.” Here’s a Twitter video of Walker reading his statement, posted by the Telegram, and a story by the Telegram’s Craig Semon on his arrest.
Nor’easter winds uncover turn-of-century horse and carriage tracks on Cape
This is pretty cool. Orleans police have posted some photos on Facebook of old horse and carriage tracks, probably from the late 1800s or early 1900s, that were in a peat bed that was covered in sand until recent nor’easter storms and winds whipped away the sand. Check out the photos. They look like ancient fossils. OPD post via Melissa Hanson at MassLive, which has more.
As Taser use explodes among Mass. police, so do complaints
Massachusetts police departments now own more than 6,000 Tasers, double the number from just three years earlier, and as the less-than-lethal weapons explode in popularity, so have the complaints about their deployment, Matt Stout reports in the Globe. The State Police spent $1 million on the devices in 2016, though some local police departments are more likely to put them to use.
Tarr bill suggests tougher sex offender registry rules
Legislation on Beacon Hill would require even the lowest-level sex offenders in the state to register in person with police and have their information made available to the public, a response to a harsh audit that found the state could not pinpoint where hundreds of such offenders lived, Christian Wade reports in the Salem News. The bill, filed by Sen. Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, is likely to see strong pushback from advocates.
Healey joins other AGs in calling for restoration of TPS
From Antonio Planas at the Herald: “Attorney General Maura Healey has joined a coalition of 19 attorneys general in sending a letter to U.S. congressional leaders calling for the restoration of temporary protective status for natives of El Salvador and Haiti. ‘The Trump administration’s cruel decision to end Temporary Protective Status for these countries is a tragedy for thousands of families in Massachusetts and across the country,’ Healey said yesterday in a statement.”
Meanwhile, judge tosses Healey’s suit against Trump administration over birth control
From the Associated Press at WBUR: “A federal judge has tossed the Massachusetts attorney general’s lawsuit against President Trump’s administration over rules allowing more employers to to opt out of providing no-cost birth control to women. U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton ruled against Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey on Monday. Gorton said the state lacks standing to sue.”
About that $100,000 bathroom, Part III: Baker says costs not out of line
From Shannon Young at MassLive: “Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said he has ‘full faith and confidence’ in how the state’s Department of Transportation handles taxpayer dollars in wake of criticism the agency has received for adding a $100,000 bathroom to its downtown Boston office. The governor told The Republican’s editorial board last week that while he understands why some may be upset by MassDOT’s decision to install the restroom, he believes it was needed and that the costs associated with the project seem on par with that type of construction.”
Great Decisions 2018 – U.S. Global Engagement and the Military
Getting to the Point with Pete Souza
2018 North Shore B2B Expo
Internet of Things (IoT): Enabling Technologies & Emerging Trends
The Uncounted: Civilian victims of America’s wars
Understanding the Baker-Polito Housing Choice Initiative
Renegotiating NAFTA: Partners for a Prosperous Economy – BOSTON
Vietnam 1968: The War, the Turmoil, and the Presidential Election
How to Contact MASSterList
Send tips to Matt Murphy: Editor@MASSterList.com. For advertising inquiries and job board postings, please contact Dylan Rossiter: Publisher@MASSterList.com or (857) 370-1156. Follow @MASSterList on Twitter.