Tax filing day, Healey town hall, Calter interview
— Today is the final day of the tax filing season for both the state Department of Revenue and the federal Internal Revenue Service, due to Monday’s Patriots Day holiday in Massachusetts and Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C.
— The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold a public meeting to receive comments on its notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement for the Vineyard Wind proposal, Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center 130 Center Street, Vineyard Haven, 5 p.m.
— Attorney General Maura Healey holds a town-hall style event on Boston College’s campus, McGuinn Hall – Room 121, 140 Beacon St., Chestnut Hill, 6 p.m.
— State Rep. Thomas Calter is among the three finalists who will be interviewed by the board of selectmen as they seek the job of Kingston town administrator, Town House, 26 Evergreen St., Room 200, Kingston, 6 p.m.
— Department of Energy Resources holds a listening session to provide the public with an opportunity to offer comment on the Mass Save programs, Salem Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, Salem, 6 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.
Congratulations, Desiree Linden (and Sarah Sellers)
So what were you doing in 1985, previously the last time an American woman won the Boston Marathon? Were you even born? It’s been a long time coming, but Desiree Linden yesterday broke the drought by winning the Boston Marathon in the women’s race, becoming the first American female to win in a generation. And what about that Sarah Sellers, the full-time nurse from Arizona who came in a surprising second place? The Boston Globe and ESPN and Boston Herald and CBS Boston have more.
The American male runners acquitted themselves quite well yesterday too, but it’s was clearly a woman’s day in Boston.
Cops on the front line, Part I: Governor reiterates support for death penalty in wake of Yarmouth cop’s slaying
Two incidents involving cops, two different public reactions, two newspaper editorials, and all following this month’s passage on Beacon Hill of landmark criminal-justice reforms.
First up: It’s not going anywhere on Beacon Hill, but Republicans, including Gov. Charlie Baker, are once again voicing support for the death penalty for convicted cop killers in Massachusetts, in reaction to last week’s fatal shooting of a Yarmouth police officer by a career criminal with more than 120 criminal charges on his record, reports the Herald this morning. The Herald, in an editorial, says some crimes merit the death penalty.
As an online petition gathers signatures in support of “judicial reform” in Massachusetts, Yarmouth Department Chief Frank Frederickson is furious with state legislators, declaring: “Our legislators need to pay attention to what we’re asking them to do to make the public safe. … Police officers across Massachusetts are doing their jobs. It’s about time legislators did their job.”
Cops on the frontline, Part II: Cambridge police commissioner defends officers accused of beating Harvard student
Here’s more on the second incident involving cops, via Meghan Irons at the Globe: “Cambridge Police Commissioner Branville G. Bard Jr. defended his officers Monday amid a growing backlash over the forcible apprehension of a visibly distressed black Harvard University student who was naked and allegedly hallucinating on drugs. The police officers’ actions Friday night drew a strong rebuke from Harvard president Drew Faust, who called the events ‘profoundly disturbing.’” The Globe, in an editorial, says the Cambridge incident deserves more scrutiny.
Police incidents like this and other perceived biases of the criminal-justice system are what partly drove many lawmakers to approve this month’s criminal-justice reforms in the first place. Btw: Marc Levy at Cambridge Day reports that charges could be dropped against the Harvard student at the center of the Cambridge incident.
GOP bill would withhold state aid from sanctuary cities
Of course, there’s always the polarizing debate over immigration. From Christian Wade at the Eagle Tribune: “Cities and towns that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration agents could lose aid from the state under a Republican proposal on Beacon Hill. A House budget amendment filed by Rep. Geoff Diehl, R-Whitman, and several other GOP lawmakers would block local aid to communities such as Lawrence that have adopted ordinances or policies restricting local police from cooperating with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.”
Boston’s Wayfair finds itself at center of online sales tax debate
In a legal dispute that will be heard today by the U.S. Supreme Court, Wayfair, the Boston-based online furniture seller, and two other e-commerce firms are battling it out with South Dakota over whether they should be paying sales taxes in that state, reports the Globe’s Jon Chesto. The court is revisiting a prior decision that requires retailers to collect sales taxes only in states where they have a physical presence.
Holyoke Treasurer on getting scammed: ‘Do I have to like burn myself at the stake because I made an error? Do I?’
Holyoke Treasurer Sandy Smith feels awful about getting scammed by someone impersonating an official at the Holyoke Gas and Electric Department who asked that she make a wire-transfer of $9,997 – which she promptly did. But she’s not taking guff from city councilors calling into question her integrity, reports Mike Plaisance at MassLive. “I was human and I made a mistake,” she said last week. “Do I have to like burn myself at the stake because I made an error? Do I? Type that up. Really. I didn’t keep it a secret.”
About those slam-dunk midterm elections for Democrats …
The Washington Post is reporting that the Democratic advantage heading into the midterm elections has eroded by half since the start of the year, according to new poll data that signals to “party leaders and strategists that they could be premature in anticipating a huge wave of victories in November.” Then again, data from the Pew Research Center presented at the National Press Club last week shows that the wind is still at the back of Democrats, reports Domenico Montanaro at WBUR.
Israeli-Palestinian dispute coming to … the Cambridge City Council
In an opinion piece, Jeff Robbins at the Herald bemoans the “hypocrisy” of those in Cambridge pushing for a boycott of Hewlett-Packard for doing business with the state of Israel. A boycott resolution is scheduled to go before the Cambridge City Council next week, Robbins writes, and both sides are gearing up for the vote, including the Jewish Community Relations Council and Mass. Peace Action.
Three years after licensing, Greenfield medical pot dispensary to open doors
If you’re looking for reasons to be optimistic that recreational marijuana shops can be up and running on schedule by this summer, this isn’t the story for you: Patriot Care says it will finally open the doors to its Greenfield medical marijuana dispensary, more than three years after the community approved its license, Mary Serreze reports at MassLive. The company says some of the delay stemmed from the extra work it had to do to bring the dispensary’s new home — a former American Legion hall — up to code.
Meanwhile, Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports on how the owner of three western Massachusetts dispensaries that received preliminary approvals in 2016 are encouraged that the Cannabis Control Commission might speed things up.
What a coincidence: Jim Smith at CommonWealth magazine was warning just the other day not to expect a quick rollout of pot shops this summer.
State-approved loan dings Lynn’s credit rating
Turns out, borrowing big to run daily operations is bad for your credit rating. Lynn is learning that lesson the hard way, with Moody’s dropping the city’s credit rating and changing its long-term financial outlook for the community to negative, Thomas Grillo reports in the Lynn Item. Mayor Thomas McGee, the former state senator, laid blame at the feet of his predecessor, who he says left the city in a financial pickle that he’s trying to get out of by winning legislative approval for a plan to borrow $9.5 million against future trash fees and other revenue sources to plug the current year’s budget.
While Kareem Abdul-Jabbar gets $55K for a college speech, human service workers seek student-loan relief
We’re not sure if CommonWealth magazine meant to juxtapose these two stories, but sitting side by side yesterday was one piece by Colman Herman about Bunker Hill Community College paying pretty hefty speaker fees at the college (including $55,000 to former NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) while another opinion piece by Mia Alvarado and Michael Weekes calls for college student-loan relief for human-service workers who can barely make ends meet.
Worcester pols not trumpeting these losses
Worcester leaders are understandably proud, even boastful, about the ‘renaissance’ under way in their central Massachusetts city. But they’ve been largely mum when it comes to two major employers leaving the city. The Telegram’s Nick Kotsopoulous thinks he knows why: The inconvenient truth of Worcester’s high commercial property taxes.
Deep blue sentiment: We don’t need no stinkin’ hedge fund money
Reacting to news that hedge-fund billionaire Seth Klarman is now giving money to Democrats instead of Republicans, Joel Patterson at Blue Mass Group says Democrats don’t need, nor want, his Question 2-tainted money – and a lot of commentators agree.
Springfield and Worcester transit agencies say they need state funding
We missed this one from the other day. From Adam Vaccaro at the Globe: “While the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority receives massive attention from Beacon Hill and the public, the providers of public transit in Worcester and Springfield say they are being starved by years of financial neglect. Transportation officials and local advocates say that underfunding of the regional transit authorities is affecting riders, resulting in cuts in bus service in the state’s second- and third-largest cities.”
Lowell is the latest municipality to sue opioid manufacturers
From the Herald’s Bob McGovern: “Lowell has joined the avalanche of Bay State cities and towns bringing federal lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors for their ‘aggressive sale, misleading promotion and irresponsible distribution of opiates.’ ‘The shadow of the crisis hangs over every part of the city,’ wrote attorneys for Lowell, in a 172-page complaint filed yesterday in Boston’s federal court.”
Never mind: CVS’s shares rise on news Amazon won’t be shipping drugs
Let’s get this straight: CVS Health Corp. moves to acquire Aetna insurance for $69 billion, partly out of fear that Amazon.com was getting into the discount pharmaceutical drug-delivery business. But now Amazon is saying it may not, and probably won’t, be getting into the drug-delivery business. CVS’s share rose yesterday on the news, reports Jessica Bartlett at the BBJ. And about that $69 billion Aetna purchase? It’s facing its own regulatory problems, as reported by Business Insider.
That’s not amore: Bertucci’s declares bankruptcy, plans to close 15 restaurants
In other high-profile corporate news, from Bloomberg: “Bertucci’s Inc., the chain of Italian eateries rooted in the Boston area, will be auctioned off after filing for bankruptcy protection amid intense competition for diners who have less time for sit-down dining. The closely held restaurant company, based in Northborough, Massachusetts, may close about half its locations and plans to hold an auction where the opening bid will be worth about $19.7 million, Chief Financial Officer Brian Connell said in court papers filed Sunday.”
City approves $200M redevelopment of old Globe headquarters
From Catherine Carlock at the BBJ: “The Boston Planning and Development Agency on Thursday evening approved Nordblom Co.’s proposed rehabilitation of the former Boston Globe headquarters at 135 Morrissey Blvd. in Dorchester, a $200 million project that will bring 695,000 square feet of creative office and light industrial space online by 2019. Dubbed ‘The BEAT’ (Boston Exchange for Accelerated Technology) the property’s new owner aims to cater to ‘new economy’ tenants.”
Homeless count shows increase on Cape and Islands
The number of homeless staying in shelters and short-term housing such as motels on Cape Cod and the Islands grew 10 percent over a year ago, when the count hit a five-year low, Cynthia McCormick reports in the Cape Cod Times. The U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development’s recent count found 95 adults living in shelters, up from 64 last year, and 358 homeless altogether.
Cops to cattle: ‘Moove over,’ please
In cruisers rather than on horses, police conducted a round-up yesterday in Greenfield. From Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive: “A wayward herd of cattle, clearly ignoring the moove over law, prompted police to close Adams Road in Greenfield for a short time Monday morning. Police were summoned to the snowy road about 8:30 a.m. to deal with the bovines who somehow escaped from their enclosure, Sgt. Todd Dodge said.” And, yes, there’s video of cruisers gently guiding the cattle down the trail, so to speak.
Drum heard ‘round the world: Minuteboy’s dream comes true in Concord
John McConnell, an Alaska resident who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy and is wheelchair bound, has been practicing his Revolutionary drum commands since last fall and yesterday he got his dream, via Make-A-Wish: Drumming out the command to Redcoat and Minuteman companies to fire their muskets at Old North Bridge in Concord. Henry Schwan at Wicked Local has the details (with photos and video).
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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