Joyce pre-trial conference, firefighters ceremony, opioid-addiction announcement
— Federal prosecutors and lawyers representing former state Sen. Brian Joyce are expected to hold an initial status conference as both sides brace for his corruption trial, Courtroom #1, Fifth Floor, Donohue Federal Building, 595 Main Street, Worcester, 10 a.m.
— Massachusetts eHealth Institute at MassTech is a co-organizer of the United States Department of Health and Human Services Startup Day, COOP at Hatch Fenway, 401 Park Drive, 8th Floor, Boston, 10 a.m.
— State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey and Massachusetts Firefighting Academy Director David Evans present certificates to a new class of firefighters, 1 State Road, Stow, 1 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders and local healthcare advocates hold a press conference to highlight the CARE Act to combat opioid addiction and announce grant funding for local substance misuse programs, Gavin Foundation, Inc., Devine Recovery Center, 70 Devine Way, Boston, 3:15 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker is honored as a ‘community advocate champion’ by the Brain Aneurysm Foundation; Tom Tinlin, former MassDOT highway administrator, will receive the organization’s survivor champion award; and Nestor Ramos, a Boston Globe columnist who wrote extensively about Tinlin’s brain aneurysm and recovery, will accept the organization’s media champion award, UMass Club, One Beacon St. – 32nd floor, Boston, 5:30 p.m.
— Thomas Piketty, author of ‘Capital in the Twenty-First Century,’ gives the inaugural James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Lecture in Economic Inequality at the Harvard Kennedy School, 79 JFK St., Cambridge, 4 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.
The Hefner indictment: ‘One of the toughest periods in the history of the state Senate’
Since she originally broke the story on Bryon Hefner’s alleged State House antics, we’ll let the Globe’s Yvonne Abraham have first say on this one: “A grand jury Thursday indicted Bryon Hefner, the husband of Senator Stanley C. Rosenberg, on multiple charges of sexual assault, criminal lewdness, and distributing nude photographs without consent. The indictments, issued by a statewide grand jury, follow a joint investigation by the attorney general and the Suffolk district attorney into allegations by several men, first reported by the Globe, that Hefner assaulted and harassed them during the past few years, when Rosenberg was Senate president.” SHNS’s Katie Lannan at CommonWealth magazine has more.
Understatement of the day: Senate President-elect Karen Spilka is calling the Hefner indictments “the latest turn in one of the toughest periods in the history of the state Senate.”
Most brutal quote of the day: Sen. Barbara L’Italien told WGBH’s Mike Deehan that the next step for Stan Rosenberg is up to him “but he’s had a wonderful career and he ought to consider calling it a career.”
Rosenberg’s new primary challenger, Chelsea Kline, probably couldn’t agree more. Kline and Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday were expressing support and admiration for the victims who stepped forward against Hefner, reports Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive.
Are other Beacon Hill Democrats now vulnerable thanks to Bryon Hefner?
The Herald’s Hillary Chabot writes that Beacon Hill Democrats could “now face more intense questions about State House abuses of power” and that Massachusetts Republicans are trying to make hay of the Hefner scandal.
Saying the “Rosenberg scandal has sucked the life out of the Senate,” the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld writes that the Bryon Hefner indictment is “an indictment of the political culture” on Beacon Hill: “Lawmakers are either fleeing, feuding, fending off ethics investigations, or off to rehab. It’s unclear who is in charge.”
Healey on State Police scandals: Baker needs to ‘lead on this’
Beacon Hill Democrats may have their share of political problems these days, thanks to Bryon Hefner. But so does Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, thanks to Troop F. From Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive: “Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey lit into the State Police and called on Gov. Charlie Baker to take a more aggressive stance in cleaning up the troubled law enforcement agency. … ‘These are significant issues and the public is understandably upset and concerned about what continues to come out and what continues to be reported,’ Healey told reporters on Thursday. ‘I think this is a matter of transparency, accountability, and I think it’s time that the Baker administration take a leadership role in this issue.’”
The administration is responding that it has appointed a new State Police chief and that the new chief is reviewing “accountability and supervisory policies to determine opportunities to improve the department’s performance,” etc. etc. SHNS’s Colin Young at Wicked Local has more.
Btw: The Globe’s Nestor Ramos has a good column this morning on how it’s going to be a little more difficult for some people to put up with Troop F staties telling them to “move along” while picking up and dropping off passengers at Logan.
A familiar name is named in State Police OT scandal
Speaking of State Police scandals, Scott Croteau of MassLive reports that the identities of several of the State Police troopers in the thick of the overtime scandal have been confirmed. Among them is none other than Trooper Matthew Sheehan, who was already on suspension for posting racially insensitive remarks online when the overtime audit was released. Sheehan, who the Globe earlier reported called himself “Big Irish” in online postings, used overtime shifts to push his annual pay above $230,000 in each of the last two years.
No special election for Donoghue’s Senate seat
Back to the Massachusetts Senate: For those of you who can’t take another legislative special election, relax. State Sen. Eileen Donoghue, who has been tapped as the city of Lawrence’s next city manager, won’t be stepping down before April 1, or this Sunday, so there won’t be a special election to fill her Lowell-based seat, she says, as reported by SHNS’s Katie Lannan. One contender for her First Middlesex post, Lowell city councilor Rodney Elliot, is expressing disappoint the seat will apparently sit vacant until after this fall’s elections.
As Sen. Boncore mulls throwing hat into Suffolk DA ring, a fifth Democrat declares for the office
Yet another state senator leaving Beacon Hill? Maybe. State Sen. Joseph Boncore, a former public defender, is seriously considering giving up his Senate seat after just one term to run for the open Suffolk County district attorney’s office, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall). He would become the sixth Dem in the race if he goes for it. The fifth Democratic candidate to enter the race is Boston attorney Linda Champion, a former assistant DA in the office, who has confirmed she’s running, reports Jennifer Smith at the Dorchester Reporter.
‘Rascal ghost of politics past,’ Part II: The Bulger-era angle
The Herald’s Howie Carr has a follow-up column to the news, first reported by the Globe’s Frank Phillips, that it was indeed Nick Rizzo, of campaign-coffer plundering infamy, who died in a recent fire. Among other things, Howie reveals that Nick, a rouge’s rouge who somehow got appointed to the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, was a source for Howie on all the long-ago Bulger-era shenanigans at the MCCA.
The most politically partisan baseball fans in America are …
To hell with the Cambridge Analytica scandal over the misuse of Facebook data. The Washington Post’s Philip Bump dives deep into Facebook and 2016 election data to determine who has the most politically partisan baseball fans in America. His conclusion: Cincinnati and Oakland. The Red Sox have a surprisingly purplish-tint fan base, if you were to mix the pie-chart red and blue together. The truly disturbing news: Yankees fans appear to be lurking everywhere.
Only in Boston: City postpones decision on Yawkey Way name change
Speaking of baseball and politics: With reclusive former Red Sox owner John Harrington making an “emotional plea to retain” the Yawkey Way street name outside Fenway Park, a city commission yesterday unexpectedly delayed a vote on the renaming of the street, writes Jack Sullivan at CommonWealth magazine. Three words: Only in Boston.
Wynn Resorts giving ‘serious consideration’ to dropping its name from Everett casino
Speaking of name changes: Wynn Resorts, whose former namesake leader is now embroiled in all sorts of sexual-harassment controversies, is ‘seriously considering’ changing the name of its now under-construction ‘Wynn Boston Harbor’ casino in Everett. Zeninjor Enwemeka at WBUR and Sharman Sacchetti at WHDH-TV (via her Twitter feed) have more.
But is a name change enough to satisfy the Massachusetts Gaming Commission? The Globe’s Mark Arsenault reports that commission chairman Stephen Crosby is warning that Wynn Resorts is proceeding with construction of the Everett casino on an “at-risk basis.” In other words, it’s casino license is still at risk.
Harvard pencils out ‘Puritans’ from its alma mater song
Harvard signaled a year ago it might scrub the reference to ‘Puritans’ from its alma mater song – and now it’s gone ahead and done so, as it attempts to be more welcoming to all students, reports Max Larkin at WBUR. The song, officially titled “Fair Harvard,” ends with “Be the herald of Light, and the bearer of Love, till the stock of the Puritans die.”
Mystery portrait solved: It’s Lemuel Shaw, the state’s chief justice from 1830 to 1860
As mere mortals, it’s sort of depressing to think that even a man who served 30 years as the chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court – and was also the father-in-law of author Herman Melville of Moby Dick fame – can slip into historical oblivion so easily. But he seemingly did – until the mystery portrait hanging outside SJC Chief Justice Ralph Gants’ office was tentatively identified as, yes, Lemuel Shaw. Adam Gaffin at Universal Hub has more on the solved mystery.
Healey puts electricity providers in crosshairs
Claiming they target vulnerable clients with misleading sales promises about lower bills, Attorney General Maura Healey called for the state to ban companies that sell electricity directly to residential customers, Bruce Mohl reports at CommonWealth Magazine. Healey cites a report she commissioned showing the 50 such companies in the state target low-income, elderly and minority customers and use aggressive door-to-door sales techniques to convince them to change the source of their electric power—and, in most cases, customers ended up paying more than if they had not made the change.
Befriending the stranger, in more ways than one
Rachelle Cohen has a nice op-ed in the Globe this morning, headlined ‘Befriending the Stranger,’ about Passover and how our nation has become a less welcoming place for immigrants. But what caught our attention is that, well, Shelly, until recently the editorial page editor of the Boston Herald, is now writing in the Globe. The Herald’s loss is the Globe’s gain, that’s for sure. Fyi: Shelly’s new job is listed as “a consultant to government agencies and NGOs on international judicial-press relations.”
Wayfair and TripAdvisor pull adds from Laura Ingraham show on Fox News
Two Massachusetts companies – Wayfair Inc. and TripAdvisor Inc. – said yesterday they’ll stop buying ad time on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show, after the conservative talk-show blabber taunted a high-school student who survived the recent Florida mass shooting, reports Kelly O’Brien at the BBJ. No word on what another Boston company and show advertiser, Liberty Mutual, plans to do, reports O’Brien.
Just in case: Mansfield group wants to stop a 495 off-ramp idea that no one is proposing
If they don’t build it, no one will come. A group of Mansfield residents want selectmen to take a stand against a possible second off-ramp into the town from Interstate 495, even though there is no formal proposal to construct one, Rick Foster reports in the Sun-Chronicle. The idea of another ramp leading into the town, which sees massive traffic backups during the summer concert season at the Xfinity Center, has been floated at times in the past, it should be noted.
Boston judge orders accused war criminal deported to Guatemala
Few are shedding tears over this immigration action. From Simón Rios at WBUR: “An immigration judge in Boston has ordered the deportation of a Guatemalan immigrant accused of atrocities during the country’s civil war. Five months after Juan Samayoa was arrested by immigration authorities, Judge Jose Sanchez ordered him deported to Guatemala. … Members of the Guatemalan community in New Bedford and Providence — many of whom originate from the same area in Guatemala where Samayoa is from — were celebrating the judge’s decision.”
Action in Congress has tribe’s hopes rising on First Light casino but …
The Bay State’s two U.S. Senators, Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, have filed legislation that would bypass a lawsuit-stalled Interior Department review process and grant reservation status to the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe’s property in Taunton, clearing the path for a long-sought casino to open, Craig LeMoult reports at WGBH. Similar legislation had previously been filed in the House, but even the sponsor of that bill, U.S. Rep. Bill Keating, acknowledges the prospects of passage before the November mid-term elections look slim.
Senate approves $1.8 billion housing bond bill
From SHNS’s Andy Metzger at the Greenfield Recorder: “After adopting an environmentally friendly provision, the Senate on Thursday passed a roughly $1.8 billion housing bill that would recapitalize affordable housing programs and extend tax credits. Leaders in both parties have sounded the alarm about the high and rising cost of housing in Massachusetts.” The House passed a version of the housing bond in January and a House-Senate conference committee could be appointed to develop a consensus bill, reports Metzger.
Warren: Treat the opioid crisis like the HIV/AIDS epidemic
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland have co-written an op-ed in USA Today calling on Congress to “show the same political courage on the opioid crisis” that lawmakers did when first confronted with HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. They’re right, of course. It’s terrible what’s happening out there today. USA op-ed via MassLive, where Shannon Young has more on Warren and Cummings’ call to action.
Sunday public affairs TV
Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guests: State House News Service reporters Katie Lannan and Matt Murphy, who talk with host Jon Keller about the Bryon Hefner scandal, turmoil in the Senate and Gov. Charlie Baker’s State Police woes.
This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Jim Lowell, CIO of Adviser Investments, discusses volatility of the markets and other issues; Bertrand Loy, CEO of Entegris, a $1.3 billion advanced manufacturing company in Billerica, talks about his company and its products; Doug Banks, Boston Business Journal editor, on Hancock leaving the Seaport for the Back Back, the RMV delays and more.
CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. Pat Sullivan, CEO of Insulet, discusses his medical device company’s Omnipod product for diabetes patients and why his firm is bringing manufacturing jobs back to Massachusetts from China.
On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Senate President Harriette Chandler, 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 main topic: Puerto Rico, six months after the devastating Hurricane Maria.
Think Different: Class and Politics in Puritan Massachusetts
MWPC Political Action Committee Kickoff Fundraiser
Plunge into Politics
Politics and Pandemics: Exploring Global Health
Author Talk and Book Signing with Amber Moulton
Immigrants’ Day at the State House 2018
The Rule of (Online) Law: Cybersecurity and Management in the Digital Age
Candidating with Beej Das, Rufus Gifford, Barbara L’Italien, Juana Matias, Keith R. St. John, and Lori Trahan
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