Budget hearing, Trooper dedication, Evacuation Day Banquet
— The House and Senate Ways and Means committees hold a hearing on all aspects of the fiscal 2019 budget, Gardner Auditorium, 10 a.m.
— Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives and Chuck Withee of Provident Bank host the annual St. Patrick’s Day luncheon that serves as a fundraiser for Link House Inc, a nonprofit that provides residential substance use services, with Auditor Suzanne Bump attending, Masonic Lodge, 31 Green St., Newburyport, 11 a.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker speaks at a ceremony dedicating a Massachusetts Turnpike bridge in honor of the late Trooper Thomas Clardy, with Public Safety and Security Secretary Daniel Bennett, Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early and others expected to speak, Charlton State Police Barracks, 272 Sturbridge Rd., Charlton, 1 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker, U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, Mayor Martin Walsh, Auditor Suzanne Bump and Rep. Nick Collins participate in the South Boston Citizens’ Association 138th Annual Evacuation Day Banquet, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, 415 Summer Street, Boston, 6:30 p.m.
— Rep. Nick Collins, who is in line to fill former Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry’s seat, 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.
DeLeo’s turn: Rep. DiZoglio sparks furor over leadership’s handling of harassment claims
After effectively taking down Senate President Stan Rosenberg with her reporting on sexual-harassment charges against Rosenberg’s husband, the Globe’s Yvonne Abraham dropped another bombshell on the State House yesterday, this time about whether House Speaker Robert DeLeo et gang effectively cloaked years of impropriety in nondisclosure and nondisparagement agreements tied to severance payouts, as the Globe’s Joshua Miller puts it in a follow-up story. It’s all tied to charges leveled by state Rep. Diana DiZoglio – and it created a huge furor yesterday in the House, as SHNS’s Colin Young reports at CommonWealth Magazine.
We’ll leave it to Abraham, Miller, Young and the Herald’s Chris Cassidy to sort out and explain everything.
But it should be noted that now leadership in both chambers, the House and Senate, are in turmoil, all tied to #MeToo movement accusations, and it’s a big mess. Unlike Rosenberg, DeLeo will probably survive this furor, but he’s definitely wounded and you have to wonder about the effectiveness, if not the future, of House leadership.
Arroyo hit with harassment suit
Speaking of sexual harassment issues (and so much more), from the Herald’s Dan Atkinson: “Ousted city health director Felix G. Arroyo ordered a City Hall employee to pressure a woman into withdrawing a harassment complaint against his father, used a smartphone app to hide communications, and believed Mayor Martin J. Walsh had sent ‘spies’ to infiltrate his office, according to a lawsuit filed this week. The lawsuit, filed in Suffolk Superior Court by former Health and Human Services employee Hilani Morales against Arroyo and the city of Boston, adds new allegations to previous claims that led Walsh to fire Arroyo last year. Morales filed a harassment claim against Arroyo last year with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination but dropped it in February.”
Perhaps Rep. DuBois has a point about that ‘General Hooker Entrance’ name?
Yet more sexual-connotation news from the State House: Rep. Michelle DuBois has gotten her share of grief for wanting to change the name of the State House’s “General Hooker Entrance,” named after the civil war general Joseph Hooker. But check out the photo accompanying the story by SHNS’s Colin Young at the Enterprise and you can see where she’s coming from, sort of, her “#MeToo movement” reference notwithstanding. It’s a silly, snort-inducing sign, for sure. She merely wants the sign re-worded and replaced at some point, she tells SHNS.
But the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld says DuBois stepped in it by associating the sign with the general issue of sexual harassment and boys teasing girls. “Just don’t tell DuBois about Hooker County, Nebraska. She might call that harassment, too.”
Coakley: Gaming Commission needs to pull Wynn’s Everett casino license
One last sexual harassment-related item: Granted, Martha Coakley, the former attorney general, is now a partner at Foley Hoag, which represents Mohegan Sun in litigation against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. Still, she makes a good case, in an op-ed this morning in the Globe, on why the commission should yank the Everett casino license from Wynn Resorts, following the sordid sexual harassment charges against the firm’s former glorious leader, Steve Wynn.
Shoring up support: Trump to New Hampshire
The White House is trying to portray President Trump’s planned trip on Monday to New Hampshire, his first visit to the state since the 2016 election, as a non-political event, as the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld reports. But no one believes them. The visit will come three days after Arizona Sen. Jeff Flakes, a potential GOP challenger to Trump, sweeps through the state today. The Globe’s Astead Herndon earlier this month also wrote about the “shoots of rebellion” that can now be seen in the Granite State.
And, of course, the president’s visit comes less than a week after the disastrous GOP setback in a special Pennsylvania House election on Tuesday.
Connecticut Lottery is getting Massachusetts film tax credits?
Is it an outrage that Massachusetts taxpayers are dishing out funds, via the state’s film tax-credit program, to the Connecticut Lottery? Or is it an outrage that high-cost/high-taxed Connecticut has to film its lottery ads in Massachusetts for affordability reasons? Maybe it’s both – or maybe it’s neither. Anyway, CommonWealth magazine’s Bruce Mohl has more on the strange relationship.
Amazon’s Seaport move comes with tax break
Speaking of tax credits/breaks: The Boston Planning and Development Agency has approved a deal giving Amazon up to $5 million in tax breaks over the next 15 years in exchange for bringing 2,000 new jobs to the Seaport district, Jordan Graham reports in the Herald. The agency approved the deal Thursday night, granting the tax breaks to the developer, WS Development, which has pledged to pass the savings along to the e-tail giant in the form of lower rents.
Bill would force pension fund to sell gun-company stocks (including those of Smith & Wesson)
Seeing that Smith & Wesson’s headquarters are based in Springfield, it’ll be curious to see how western Mass. lawmakers respond to this legislation in coming weeks and months. From SHNS’s Matt Murphy at the Lowell Sun: “Treasurer Deborah Goldberg has partnered with two Democratic lawmakers to file legislation that would require the state pension fund to divest from companies that manufacture guns and ammunition. The bill is the latest salvo in the fight against gun violence following the tragic shooting at Florida high school that killed 17 and sparked a nationwide debate over access to firearms.”
Has MassLive.com found the digital elixir for newspapers?
Because the Springfield Republican and its digital cousin MassLive.com are owned by a private company, it’s hard to say how they’re financially faring, particularly MassLive.com. But Matt Szafranski, writing at Western Mass. Politics and Insights, thinks a recent promotion at MassLive indicates that Advanced Publications believes its experiment in turning MassLive.com into a statewide digital force is working. He explains.
Globe’s Leung: I’m responsible for Toys ‘R’ Us’s demise, not Bain Capital
Forget all the theories about the demise of Toys ‘R’ Us, the once-mighty kids-toy mecca that was bought out by Boston’s Bain Capital and other private equity firms, as the Globe’s Janelle Nanos reports this morning. Instead, the Globe’s Shirley Leung falls on the sword, admitting to all: “As a parent, I hardly shopped there. No time. Santa Claus ordered from Amazon.” Thousands of jobs lost, all due to one mother.
After three nor’easters pound the region, Baker unveils $300M in climate-resiliency measures
From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday released a $1.4 billion bond bill that would authorize spending on climate change preparedness and environmental protection. The money would be allocated for a range of projects, from planting trees to repairing dams. … The bill includes authorization for $300 million to respond to the impacts of climate change — $170 million to repair dams and seawalls and help coastal communities, and the rest split between grants to communities and implementation of a statewide plan to adapt to climate change.”
A month after coming out, transgender principal ousted in Swampscott
Swampscott elementary school principal Shannon Daniels is out of a job just a month after coming out as transgender. School officials said Thursday Daniel’s contract will not be renewed and that Daniels will spend the rest of the school year on paid administrative leave, Gayla Cawley reports in the Lynn Item. Both school leaders and Daniels were tight-lipped about the reasons, citing personnel confidentiality, but parents at the school had made a major push for the ouster, claiming they had complaints about Daniels’ leadership prior the transgender announcement.
Half of Wheelock’s faculty and staff will lose their jobs in merger with BU
This merger doesn’t sound like a good deal for the folks at Wheelock. From Max Stendahl at the BBJ: “More than half of Wheelock College’s faculty and staff members will be laid off as a result of its merger with Boston University, the schools announced on Thursday. In a lengthy press release, the schools announced that the merger, which was announced last October and is set to take effect on June 1, would result in 72 Wheelock staff members and 39 full and part time faculty members losing their jobs.”
Worcester Chamber begs city: Do something about panhandling
Panhandlers are driving customers away from Worcester businesses, the city’s Chamber of Commerce says, and the organization is pleading with the city to tackle the problem as it addresses the larger issue of chronic homelessness, Nick Kotsopolous reports in the Telegram. Worcester’s earlier efforts to limit panhandling with local ordinances were tossed out of court and the city was stuck with a hefty legal bill in the process.
Galvin: Two men ran Ponzi scheme out of Peabody trailer park
Charles Ponzi, who loved his fancy downtown office and mansion in Lexington, would never have tolerated this setup. From Greg Ryan at the BBJ: “Two men have been accused by Massachusetts’ securities regulator of running a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme out of a Peabody trailer park, including an adviser who had allegedly already been banned from the securities industry. Thomas David Renison, Timothy James Allcott and their firm, ARO Equity LLC, have taken in more than $5.8 million from investors since 2015, but have only invested about half of the money and have suffered significant losses on most of those investments, according to an administrative complaint filed by Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin’s office.”
SJC agrees to take up Carter suicide-text case
The state’s highest court will hear an appeal from Michelle Carter, who was convicting of involuntary manslaughter for texts she sent encouraging an 18-year-old acquaintance to take his own life, David Linton reports in the Sun Chronicle. The decision means that the case will not have to wend its way through the appellate court system and that oral arguments in what is sure to be a precedent-setting case could come before the SJC as soon as late summer.
An already interesting Suffolk DA race just got more interesting
This is going to be a good race to follow, as yet another candidate, Rachel Rollins, who has served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Boston and an assistant DA in Plymouth County, has announced she’s joining the race to succeed retiring Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley, as Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin reports.
Other candidates already in the race include Rep. Evandro Carvalho, Greg Henning, who led the gang unit in the Suffolk DA’s office, and attorney Shannon McAuliffe. City Councilor Michael Flaherty and Eugene O’Flaherty, Mayor Walsh’s chief legal counsel, are mulling throwing their hats in the ring.
So how’s that MBTA wi-fi project going? Don’t ask
From SHNS’s Michael Norton at the MetroWest Daily News: “To the tens of thousands of commuter rail riders who struggle daily with inconsistent wireless connectivity years after state officials promised a smooth new system, the MBTA has a message. ‘There is no update on this project to report at this time.’” State House News Service, which has filed a Freedom of Information Act for internal T emails on the matter, has also been told that it will cost an estimated $231.25 for the T to fully comply with its public records request.
Traditional controversies precede traditional St. Pat’s Day parade in Southie
The organizer of South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, is maintaining its tradition of stirring up controversy before the parade, this year, once again, barring an anti-war group from marching, according to an Associated Press report at the NYT. Meanwhile, the same group is still steaming over Mayor Walsh’s post-snow storm decision to shorten the parade route on Sunday, the Globe’s Sarah Betancourt reports. FyI: NECN will be providing live coverage of both the St. Pat’s Day Breakfast and Parade on Sunday. See details below in our ‘Sunday public affairs TV’ post.
Advocates want to bar immigrant arrests at Mass. courthouses
From Shannon Dooling at WBUR: “Advocates in Massachusetts say U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials are targeting courthouses in the state and arresting undocumented immigrants who are showing up for scheduled court dates. On Thursday, a group of immigration advocates filed a petition in Supreme Judicial Court seeking an injunction against such arrests, saying the fear of deportation is preventing some immigrants who are in the country without documentation from showing up for court business.”
States with highest and lowest property tax rates (yes, we’re on the high end)
Massachusetts is not in the “Taxachusetts” range in WalletHub’s ranking of the highest and lowest states in terms of property tax rates, but it is on the high end, coming in at No. 34 (or the 17th highest tax rate with D.C. included in the rankings). The state with the highest rate: New Jersey. The lowest is actually not a state: The District of Columbia. WalletHub via the NYT.
Sunday public affairs TV
St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast, NECN, 10 a.m. Live coverage of the annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast in South Boston, hosted this year by U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, followed by parade coverage at 12: 30 p.m.
Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8: 30 a.m. This week’s guest: Dan Kennedy, media critic and associate professor at Northeastern University, who discusses his new book ‘The Return of Moguls: How Jeff Bezos and John Henry are Remaking Newspapers for the Twenty-First Century” and other topics with host Jon Keller
On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: House Speaker Robert DeLeo, who talks with anchor Ed Harding and co-anchor Janet Wu.
CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s topic: ‘Fierce Females,’ featuring Ava Duvernay, director of ‘A Wrinkle in Time.’
This is New England, NBC Boston Channel 10, 11:30 a.m. With host Latoyia Edwards, this week’s main topic: The school walk-outs and the March For Our lives on March 24.
DC Dialogue, NECN, 8.p.m. David Alward, the consul general of Canada to New England, talks about President Trump, Prime Minister Trudeau, tariffs and NAFTA; James Pindell of the Boston Globe discusses the Pennsylvania special election, the midterms and the Trump White House.
This Week in Business, NECN, 8:30 p.m. Jim Rooney, CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, talks about the Amazon tax break decision for Boston, the costs of traffic congestion and the MBTA’s performance in the latest storm; Michael Simon, CEO of Finally Light Bulb Company, discusses his company’s aims to ‘disrupt’ the lighting industry; Boston Business Journal editor Doug Banks reviews the top business stories of the week.
Understanding the Baker-Polito Housing Choice Initiative
Renegotiating NAFTA: Partners for a Prosperous Economy – BOSTON
Pay for Success
Vietnam 1968: The War, the Turmoil, and the Presidential Election
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