Sen. Brady appears in court, criminal-justice press conference, and more
— State Sen. Michael Brady will be back in Quincy District Court for a pre-trial hearing three weeks after he pleaded not guilty to operating under the influence, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and marked lanes violations, Quincy District Court, 1 Dennis Ryan Pkwy, Quincy, 9 a.m.
— Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton, Sen. Joseph Boncore, Rep. RoseLee Vincent and Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo gather to announce the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program, DCR Revere Beach, 350 Revere Beach Blvd, Revere, 9 a.m.
— The National Association of Government Employees hosts its annual Stewards Training Conference, with Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, Attorney General Maura Healey and Auditor Suzanne Bump planning to attend, the Neighborhood Club of Quincy, 27 Glendale Rd., Quincy, starting at 9:45 a.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker holds a private cabinet meeting with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and other top administration officials attending, Room 488, 10 a.m.
— Lawmakers and advocacy groups hold a press conference calling on Gov. Charlie Baker to sign the criminal justice reform bill, with Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz and Reps. Mary Keefe, Evandro Carvalho, and Chynah Tyler scheduled to attend, Room 428, 10 a.m.
— Workers, activists and elected officials gather for a tour led by the Good Jobs, Strong Communities coalition, highlighting the cost of wage theft in the New Bedford and Fall River areas, City Parking Lot on the corner of Rt.18 – 360 Coggeshall Street, New Bedford, 10 a.m.
— State Auditor Suzanne Bump welcomes students from Suffolk University’s Masters of Public Administration and Law School programs to the State House, State Auditor’s Office, Room 230, 11:30 a.m.
— Mayor Marty Walsh offers keynote remarks at the CAMTech Gun Violence Prevention Challenge Summit, Edward M. Kennedy Institute, 210 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, 2:15 p.m.
— Former Rep. James Cantwell, who left the House April 6 to join U.S. Sen. Markey’s staff, holds a ‘thank you dinner’ for his former constituents, Barker Tavern, 21 Barker Rd., Scituate, 6 p.m.
— The Black Student Union at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government hosts the 14th Annual student-led Black Policy Conference, Friday through Sunday.
For more calendar listings, check out State House News Service’s Daily Advances (pay wall) and MassterList’s Beacon Hill Town Square below.
Yarmouth police officer shot and killed while serving a warrant
They’re in shock and mourning on the Cape this morning. From the Cape Cod Times: “A Yarmouth police officer considered a rising star in the tight-knit Mid-Cape department was killed Thursday while helping to serve a warrant at a Blueberry Lane home (in Marstons Mills). K-9 officer Sean Gannon, 32, was shot by a Somerville man with a long criminal record at about 3:30 p.m. at 109 Blueberry Lane, according to police.” The story is accompanied by a photo gallery and videos of yesterday’s tragic events.
Reports: Wynn Resorts in preliminary talks to sell Everett casino to MGM
The media is all over it: Wynn Resorts is, or has been, in preliminary talks to sell its Everett casino stake to MGM Resorts International, the same company that’s building the $960 million casino in Springfield. The Wall Street Journal (pay wall) broke the story yesterday, and the Boston Globe’s Mark Arsenault and the Boston Herald’s Jordan Graham have apparently confirmed that report. The talks, the media reports stress, are in the early stages — and it’s not even clear if they’re still ongoing. The Boston Business Journal has more. Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine writes how the ghost of Steve Wynn, the former Wynn Resorts CEO and accused serial sexual harasser, hangs over everything these days concerning the Everett project.
The latest DOR screw up, Part II: Baker ‘incredibly annoyed’ and ‘incredibly frustrated’
From the Globe’s Joshua Miller: “A day after revelations of more data snafus at the beleaguered state Department of Revenue, Governor Charlie Baker said Thursday that he was ‘incredibly annoyed’ and ‘incredibly frustrated’ by the cavalcade of troubles at the tax-collecting agency. The department said Wednesday that the personal information of thousands of people who pay child support was inadvertently sent to companies that do not employ them.”
As criticism mounts, Meehan defends controversial UMass-Mount Ida deal
Amid mounting criticism from lawmakers, regulators, students, parents and faculty members, University of Massachusetts boss Marty Meehan yesterday defended UMass-Amherst’s proposed $70 million purchase of Mount Ida College in Newton, saying that “public universities acquire property all of the time” and that UMass actually didn’t propose or rush the deal with Mount Ida, according to reports at the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald and MassLive.com. Among others, Senate President Harriette Chandler wants more info on the controversial deal.
Meanwhile, the Globe’s Shirley Leung suggests that Mount Ida is indeed the “villain” in the saga and that UMass isn’t the bad guy.
But here’s a question that keeps nagging at us: Why can’t UMass-Amherst use UMass-Boston as its “satellite” campus for its internship and co-op-like programs in the Boston area, using some of that $70 million to build/upgrade what it needs to make UMass-Boston’s more transit-friendly campus work for those programs? Is this too obvious? Too simplistic? As Chandler told the Globe: “There are just a lot of questions, none of which seem to have any answers. … [UMass] has a campus in Boston that needs help, needs a lot of help. When you’ve got a financially troubled campus, is it appropriate to buy another one? Does that make any sense? I can’t answer that.”
Suffolk University tries to steal Mount Ida’s controversy thunder
Suffolk University is back in the news, once again for all the wrong reasons. From Laura Krantz at the Globe: “Suffolk University trustee John McDonnell has resigned from the board, citing the school’s recent presidential search, which he called ‘inappropriately tainted.’ … The search process was marked by sharp dissension and hard feelings.”
First her, now him? Rep. Calter among finalists for Kingston administrator post
Eileen Donoghue ealier this week left the Senate to become Lowell’s city manager. Now longtime state Rep. Tom Calter is one of three finalists who will be interviewed next week by selectmen for the job of Kingston town administrator, Kathryn Gallerani reports in the Patriot Ledger. Calter, a Democrat who has represented the 12th Plymouth district for more than a decade, and his fellow finalists were recommended to selectmen by a search committee.
Former lobbyist: Senate should release Hefner emails that may have targeted him
Al Norman, the former long-time advocate for Mass Home Care, says he only recently learned that he’s the subject of emails sent by former Senate President Stan Rosenberg’s husband Bryon Hefner, now the subject of a legislative investigation over alleged sexual misconduct at the State House, and he’s urging the Senate Ethics Committee to make those messages public. SHNS’s Katie Lannan at the Greenfield Recorder has more.
House spent $243K on sexual-harassment review, with Coakley getting a fair chunk of it
Speaking of sexual-harassment issues at the State House, from Hillary Chabot and Joe Battenfeld at the Herald: “Speaker Robert A. DeLeo doled out $243,066 on an independent study that led to major sexual harassment reforms in the House — but only a quarter of that payout went to former Attorney General Martha Coakley, who got top billing when the investigation was announced last year.” Hmm. “Only a quarter” is still $60,000.
Herald taps ‘unwavering cheerleader’ for Trump as editorial page editor – and the pom-poms come out
The Boston Herald announced yesterday a number of newsroom staff moves, including the promotion of Jules Crittendon, a long-time reporter and editor at the Herald, to managing editor of news.
But what caught the eye of Michael Jonas at CommonWealth magazine was the promotion of columnist Tom Shattuck as the new editorial page editor, replacing long-time page editor Rachelle Cohen. As Jonas notes, readers might be seeing more pro-Trump editorials under Shattuck, described by Michael as an “unwavering cheerleader for President Trump.” Judging by today’s editorial – ‘Investigators reveal bias against Trump’ – he certainly has a point. The Rachelle Cohen era is most definitely over.
Baker and Vertex: Connecting the dots?
The Globe’s Frank Phillips merely points out some factoid dots: Donations from Vertex Pharmaceuticals officials to Gov. Charlie Baker’s campaign in late March and a full-throated Baker defense of Vertex charging up to $300,000 for its new drugs in early April. Baker’s campaign aides are pushing back against any notion that there’s a connection between the dots.
McGovern: If welfare recipients have to take drug tests, so should Trump
U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern isn’t mincing words over reports that the Trump administration is, or has been, considering plans that would allow states to require food-stamp recipients to take drug tests, calling the idea “insulting and unconscionable,” reports Shannon Young at MassLive. “If the president wants to advocate for this, he ought to advocate that everyone in the White House gets drug tested. And if members of Congress want to support this, they ought to advocate that every member ought to get drug tested,” he said. “This is ridiculous.”
Endorsements: Rivera backs Baker, unions throw support behind Pressley and Gonzalez
We’re not big into reporting on endorsements, but these three are interesting: Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera, a Democrat, has crossed party lines to endorse Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, Keith Eddings at the Eagle Tribune reports. Meanwhile, Ayanna Pressley, running against U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano in the Democratic primary, yesterday picked up her second major union endorsement this week, this time from UNITE HERE Local 26, SHNS reports (pay wall). And Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez has landed the coveted endorsement of the state’s largest public employees union, the National Association of Government Employees, SHNS also reports (pay wall).
Sanchez ‘bummed out’ by Setti Warren’s stand on justice bill
Speaking of the governor’s race: Yet another prominent Beacon Hill Democrat is expressing disappointment in Democratic gubernatorial candidate Setti Warren for saying that, if he were governor, he’d veto the criminal-justice reform bill because it contains a mandatory sentence for those convicted of selling fentanyl. “I’m bummed out,” said Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, chair of the powerful House budget writing committee. “I’m bummed out that he would take such a strong position, especially since so many of the people that are in this building and that are in the communities are applauding such an incredible bill.” SHNS’s Matt Murphy has more.
Breaking unchanged news: Baker still most popular governor in America
Speaking of bummed or not-bummed-out attitudes, from Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker remains the most popular governor in America, according to a new poll by Morning Consult. … The Morning Consult poll found that 71 percent of voters approve of the job Baker is doing and only 16 percent disapprove. Coming in second to Baker was Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, another Republican governor in a Democratic-leaning state, who had an approval rating of 68 percent to 17 percent.”
The ‘missing piece’ of justice reform bill: Post-prison reentry programs
And speaking of the criminal-justice bill: In a Globe op-ed, State Rep. Byron Rushing and John Larivee, president and CEO of Community Resources for Justice, identify what they consider the ‘missing piece’ of the just-passed criminal justice bill now sitting on Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk: Comprehensive programs for former inmates reentering society. They make a lot of good points.
Warren vs. Mulvaney: ‘An epic throwdown’
Chris Arnold at WBUR reports on yesterday’s “epic throwdown” in Washington between Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Democrats, led by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has long championed the bureau as the chief consumer protector against predatory financial firms. A sample of a Warren barb thrown Mulvaney’s way: “You are hurting real people to score cheap political points.”
‘Developer tries less bland version of proposed Winthrop Square tower’
A number of other media outlets have reported on the latest design submission for the proposed Winthrop Square tower in Boston, but we’ll go with Universal Hub’s report because we liked the headline. It happens to be accurate, too.
Presidential buzz alert: Kennedy to give keynote speech at major NH dinner
This one made the Drudge Report yesterday, fyi. From James Pindell at the Globe: “Even as he repeatedly denies any interest in running for president in 2020, US Representative Joe Kennedy III will head to New Hampshire, a state that kicks off the presidential primary season, to deliver a keynote speech at a major Democratic Party dinner this fall. … He will headline the event with onetime US Senate candidate Jason Kander of Missouri, who is making moves to run for president.
Cannabis Commission hires MCAD chief to head pot enforcement unit
The Cannabis Control Commission has hired Yaw Gyebi, Jr., most recently chief of enforcement at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, to oversee its new investigations and enforcement division. Gyebi, who started at the CCC earlier this week, is also a former assistant Suffolk County district attorney.
Hot off the press: ‘Massport at 60: Shaping the future since 1956’
The Ed King history sounds like the most interesting part of the book, if you ask us. Anyway, Renée Loth reviews Jim Aloisi’s new book ‘Massport at 60: Shaping the future since 1956,’ a tome that covers the oftentimes controversial history of the Massachusetts Port Authority. As Loth notes, Aloisi was commissioned by Massport to write the limited-edition book at the cost of $24,000. That’s not much money and probably worth it, considering Aloisi, the former state transportation chief, definitely knows his transportation stuff.
NECCO-Mania: Fans stocking up in case candy company goes belly up
Craig LeMoult at WGBH reports on the ‘NECCO mania’ outbreak among fans of the company’s candies, as they stock up on the sweet goodies amid reports that the financially struggling New England Confectionery Company may close if it doesn’t find a buyer later this spring.
Pelosi to deliver commencement address at Mount Holyoke College
Jim Russell at MassLive reports that Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic House minority leader from California, will be the keynote speaker at Mount Holyoke College’s 181st commencement ceremony on May 20.
A skybridge too far: Worcester to settle lawsuit for $12.5 million instead of building walkway
Concluding it costs less to break a promise than keep a promise, the city of Worcester will pay a local hotel owner $12.5 million over the next four years to settle a lawsuit that claimed the city reneged on its long-ago promise to build a skybridge connecting the Hilton Garden Inn with the DCU Center and a parking garage, Nick Kotsopolous reports in the Telegram. The city will recoup some of the money: a side deal calls for the hotelier to resume paying $15,000 a month for parking spaces reserved for employees and guests of the hotel.
Sunday public affairs TV
Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Kirsten Hughes, chair of the Massachusetts Republican Party, who talks with host Jon Keller about the upcoming state party convention, recent woes facing Gov. Charlie Baker and recent state Senate turmoil.
On the Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: John Kingston, Republican candidate for US Senate, who talks with anchor Ed Harding and co-anchor Janet Wu.
This is New England, NBC Boston Channel 10, 11:30 a.m. With host Latoyia Edwards, this week’s main topic: A special episode marking the five-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings.
CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s main topic: ‘The Power of Radio,’ with Eric Jackso, jazz radio personality and host of WGBH’s ‘Eric in the Evening,’ among other guests.
Renegotiating NAFTA: Partners for a Prosperous Economy – BOSTON
Spring 2018 Robert C. Wood Lecture of Public and Urban Affairs
33rd Annual New England AFP Conference
Educational Program on Guardianship in Worcester
Educational Program on Guardianship in Pittsfield
Innovation Bioscience: Solve-It, Open Innovation Challenge
Exploring the Future of Transit-Oriented Development in Gateway Cities
Grid Modernization in Massachusetts: International Insights to Meet 2050 Carbon Goals
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