UMass-Dartmouth chancellor, Army-Navy baseball and more …
— Senate President Harriette Chandler speaks at the Department of Mental Health’s central Massachusetts legislative breakfast, Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital, large conference room, 309 Belmont St., Worcester, 10 a.m.
— Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, U.S. Rep. William Keating and UMass President Martin Meehan attend the inauguration of UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Robert Johnson, Main Auditorium, 285 Old Westport Rd., Dartmouth, 10:30 a.m.
— Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux visits Wellspring Greenhouse, an urban agriculture farm, as part of a farm tour to celebrate Earth Week, 143 Main St., Springfield, 10 a.m.
— Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton and Office of Coastal Zone Management Director Bruce Carlisle make a funding announcement about the Coastal Resiliency Grant and Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant programs, Stage Fort Park Visitors Center, 24 Hough Ave., Gloucester, 1 p.m.
— Attorney General Maura Healey will participate in the opening ceremony of the Army-Navy baseball game at Fenway Park, Fenway Park, Boston, 5:45 p.m.
— U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat, joins U.S. Rep. James McGovern for a town-hall style discussion of immigration and Puerto Rico relief, Central Community Branch YMCA, 766 Main St., Worcester, 6 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker attends the second annual Heroes Cup Hockey Tournament with Marlborough Mayor Arthur Vigeant and State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey, New England Sports Center – 2nd floor, 121 Donald Lynch Blvd., Marlborough, 7:45 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.
Baker: State Police scandals ‘belong to me,’ sort of
Gov. Charlie Baker appeared to own up to the fact that he’s ultimately the guy in charge when it comes to the State Police and all its scandals of late, declaring on WGBH yesterday “stuff that goes on on my watch belongs to me,” as reported by SHNS’s Matt Murphy at Wicked Local. But you have to read the whole quote to get the context of what he’s also saying: Don’t blame me. Here are some of the quotes from Metzger’s story:
“State government is a very big enterprise. It’s forty billion dollars, it’s forty thousand employees. The executive branch is a big place. Stuff that goes on on my watch belongs to me, and what I would hope people would do would respect the fact that I can’t possibly know everything about everything, but that once issues are raised we will do whatever we can to fix them and address them … I’ve said many times that I don’t think blame serves a lot of purposes. There were a lot of things we’ve fixed since we took office, and I got asked a lot, ‘Well, whose fault is that,’ and I try pretty hard not to get into that business.”
Democrats are having a field day with this one, as Gintautas Dumcius reports at MassLive.
The old travel-and-training reimbursement scam …
The Globe’s Matt Rocheleau and Kay Lazar and MassLive’s Dan Glaun have more details on how the State Police payroll chief allegedly clipped nearly $24,000 from agency coffers. It comes down to her allegedly transferring money disguised as travel-and-training reimbursements directly into her own personal bank account.
Meanwhile, Baker tries to put the brakes on hiring rail engineers with really bad driving records
From Andrea Estes at the Globe: “Governor Charlie Baker said Thursday that he is taking immediate steps to make sure Massachusetts commuter rail engineers with terrible personal driving records don’t jeopardize the safety of the millions of people who ride the rails each year.”
The T can definitely do a lot more to screen out bad drivers from its rail operators. But, as SHNS’s Andy Metzger reports at MassLive, the federal government is also part of the problem. He explains.
Atlas shrugged: RMV sends out false license suspension notices to thousands of motorists
Speaking of motorists, driving records and the Baker administration: Remember that new computer system that the Registry of Motor Vehicles recently installed to get ready for the new ‘REAL’ driver’s licenses? The Atlas computer system has apparently spit out incorrect notices to nearly 10,000 motorists saying their licenses would be suspended due to unpaid fees. The Globe’s Joshua Miller and the Herald’s Dan Atkinson have the details on the Atlas “technical glitch.”
Rumble on the Charles: Gertner vs. Dershowitz et al
Nancy Gertner, a former federal judge in Boston, has written in the New York Times that Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and lawyer Alan Dershowitz are just dead wrong for trying to link Robert Mueller with an infamous wrongful-imprisonment case in Boston. Gertner should know. She presided over the mobster-tied case against the government.
But what catches the eye of the Globe’s Mark Arsenault is how the dispute is pitting two Harvard Law School-tied attorneys, Gertner and Dershowitz, against each other, a sort of legal version of the Thrilla in Manila or Rumble in the Jungle of old. And it now looks like Rudy Giuliana may be indirectly getting involved, though he’s a mere NYU law grad. The NYT has more on the Rudy angle.
State Street’s ‘Fearless Girl’ statue gets a new home
State Street Corp’s hugely popular, and sometimes controversial, ‘Fearless Girl’ statue will no longer be facing off against Wall Street’s iconic “charging bull” statue. Her new home will now be in front of the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan, reports the BBJ’s Greg Ryan. But wait. Shirley Leung at the Globe reports the ‘charging bull’ statue may also be moved the NYSE site, meaning the ‘Fearless Girl’ and ‘charging bull’ standoff may not be over.
The high-stakes poker game over ballot questions
The Globe’s Scot Lehigh has a good column this morning on why it’s so hard on Beacon Hill to reach legislative agreements that would avert statewide ballot questions on the minimum wage, paid family and medical leave, and a sales tax cut. The fate of the proposed ‘millionaire’s tax,’ now before the Supreme Judicial Court, is a major wild card in the poker-like negotiations between labor and business groups, he writes.
High court on DOC’s new dog-search policy: Heel
For now, the dogs can stay. But the Supreme Judicial Court ruled yesterday that the state’s Department of Correction overstepped its authority when it began using dogs to search prison visitors for drugs without giving the public a chance to weigh in, the AP reports at WBUR. The court is allowing DOC to continue using the dogs while it follows the proper regulatory procedures.
Gil Santos, RIP
Gil Santos, the long-time play-by-play radio announcer for the New England Patriots, passed way yesterday on his 78th birthday, reports the Boston Herald and the Boston Globe. For years, Santos teamed up with Gino Cappelletti in the radio booth, calling Pats games so well that many fans preferred listening to them over the TV announcers of games. “My philosophy of broadcasting is simple,’’ Santos told the Globe in 2001. “I tell the people where the ball is, who has it, and then what they’re doing with it. Then I let my partner talk.’’ That’s really how it worked between Santos and Cappelletti – a simple, informative and addictive formula.
Ride-hailing services: Now the top way for passengers to get to and from Logan
Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine reports how Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing services are now the leading way passengers get to and from Logan Airport – and officials expect their market share will keep growing. And so who’s losing market share to Uber and Lyft? Taxis and limousine services.
New bridges over the Cape Cod Canal?
In other transportation news: Bob Seay at WGBH takes a look at proposals being pushed by business groups for new bridges over the Cape Cod Canal, possibly replacing the existing Bourne and Sagamore bridges with wider spans designed to relieve traffic. The big obstacle: A possible $1 billion price tag.
Worcester councilor wants to bring vintage trolleys back to downtown
Yet more transportation news: It’s no gondola proposal, but almost 75 years after the last trolley ran in Worcester, a city councilor is proposing a return of sorts of the vintage transportation system, Nick Kotsopolous reports in the Telegram. City Councilor Sean Rose is pitching a modified bus service with lines extending a mile out from City Hall to the city’s neighborhoods and colleges.
The Silver Line extension to Chelsea: ‘Those property values just went up’
One last transportation item: As the Globe’s Shirley Leung notes, it was decades in the making, but this weekend the T’s Silver Line bus service finally extends to Chelsea, providing (hopefully) much faster transit service to and from downtown Boston. It could be an economic – and real estate — boon for Chelsea, as the T’s general manager notes.
Amherst chamber pulls ‘margarita madness’ video after complaints
The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce is apologizing after a video promoting its annual “margarita madness” event – a video that showed people donning sombreros and straw hats — was deemed ethnically offensive by some, Scott Merzbach reports in the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
Independent liquor-store owners bemoan common-sense purchasing and marketing practices
Speaking of liquor: Paige Smith at the BBJ reports how independent package-store owners are concerned about legislation that would allow “chain stores” to purchase their alcohol together, coordinate marketing, share accounting and insurance services, etc. etc., rather than acting as single entities even though they’re not really single entities. In other words, they’re against chain stores in general.
Weymouth Mayor ‘irate’ over Uber rape case
From Antonio Planas at the Herald: “Weymouth Mayor Robert L. Hedlund is blasting Quincy District Court for bungling the case of an Uber driver charged with rape who was here illegally and now is believed to have fled back to his native Ghana. ‘I’m absolutely irate,’ Hedlund told the Herald. ‘This woman has to endure this kind of assault. … We have a situation where someone can just walk out of the country — it’s completely absurd.”
Report: State’s older industrial areas showing signs of recovery
A new Brookings Institute report takes a look at older urban industrial areas across the country – and finds in Massachusetts that Lynn (Essex County), New Bedford (Bristol), Quincy (Norfolk), and Worcester (Worcester County) are seeing “strong” signs of post-industrial recovery. Springfield, in Hampden County, is listed in the “emerging” category. Benjamin Swasey at WBUR has more.
Baker moves to designate 138 neighborhoods as ‘opportunity zones’
Speaking of economic development: Gov. Baker has officially designated 138 neighborhoods across the state as “opportunity zones,” a move that makes them eligible for a new federal program aimed at spurring investments in hard-scrabble communities, the Globe’s Tim Logan reports. Shannon Young at MassLive reports that Springfield has been declared one of the new zones created under the new GOP tax plan.
Neal to give Democratic response to Trump’s radio address
Another Massachusetts pol is giving the Democratic rebuttal to an address by President Trump. U.S. Rep. Richard Neal has been tapped to counter the president’s expected defense of GOP tax-law changes in his weekly radio address this weekend, reports Shannon Young at MassLive. Earlier this year, U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III gave the Democratic response to Trump’s State of the Union address.
Baker says criminal justice reform bill could prevent another cop ‘assassination’
Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday reiterated his support for the death penalty for cop killers, or “assassination of a police officer,” as he called it on WGBH, and said the package of criminal justice reforms he signed into law last week could help avoid future attacks in general on police officers, reports Tori Bedford at WGBH.
AG looks into questionable ‘Boston Strong’ license plate solicitations
The office of Attorney General Maura Healey says it will be ‘reaching out’ to a New Jersey nonprofit that has been soliciting donations for a ‘Boston Strong’ license plate that has not yet been approved by the Registry of Motor Vehicles, Dan Atkinson reports in the Herald. Funds raised through sale of the plates would benefit the Boston Strong Disaster Relief, which was founded in 2015 and reported raising just $540 in 2016. The group’s founder says he does in fact have a go-ahead from the RMV to collect pre-orders for the plates.
Rutland man uses high-school wrestling technique to get attacking coyote off his back
Coyotes are certainly getting bolder these days. From Kim Ring at the Telegram: “Locked in a struggle with an 80-pound coyote Wednesday night, Brian Hutchins used a wrestling technique he learned in his high school days and flipped the animal off his head after it attacked him in his yard. ‘It jumped on my back,’ said Mr. Hutchins, 49, of Glenwood Road. ‘It was trying to bite through my coat and it scratched me all up. I ripped it over my head. I’m kind of a roughneck.’”
He also had a handy knife and stabbed the coyote multiple times.
Parents-kids weekend activity suggestion: Army-Navy baseball game at Fenway
Putting together this morning’s ‘Happening Today’ section above, we noticed that Attorney General Maura Healey is participating in the opening ceremonies of this evening’s Army-Navy baseball game at Fenway Park. Curious, we looked it up. Sure enough, here are the details. Only ten bucks. Not bad.
Sunday public affairs TV
Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: House Speaker Robert DeLeo, who talks with host Jon Keller about criminal justice reform, the murder of Yarmouth police officer Sean Gannon, legalized gambling and the upcoming budget debate.
This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce CEO Jim Rooney on the Mount Ida controversy, Wynn Resorts and other issues; Whoop founder and CEO Will Ahmed on his company’s wearable health device; and BBJ editor Doug Banks on the top business stories of the week.
CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. A look at BRIGADE, a branding, marketing and design company, and its founder and CEO Kirsten Modestow.
DC Dialogue NECN, 11:30 a.m. Andrew Dreyfus, CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, on efforts to control health care costs and fight opioid addiction; Mary Grant, president of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate, on the latest plans for the organization as it enters its fourth year; and Jim Brett, New England Council CEO, on trade and the Barbara Bush legacy.
This is New England, NBC 10 Boston, 11:30 a.m. With host Latoyia Edwards, this week’s main topic: Earth Day and spring clean-ups.
Innovation Bioscience: Solve-It, Open Innovation Challenge
Munevar & Associates, Inc./Innovation Bioscience
Exploring the Future of Transit-Oriented Development in Gateway Cities
Grid Modernization in Massachusetts: International Insights to Meet 2050 Carbon Goals
Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE)
Meet the man who saves snowy owls from Logan Airport – WGBH
Outside firm to investigate Suffolk president search – Boston Globe
Gov. Charlie Baker looks to spur investments in Springfield, other ‘Opportunity Zone’ communities – MassLive
Cancer remains state’s top killer – Salem News
Falmouth committee hopes to avoid beach buzzkill – Cape Cod Times
Presence of endangered snail halts plans to remove invasive weeds from Stockbridge Bowl – Berkshire Eagle
Probe uncovers no hostile work environment at Easthampton city hall – Hampshire Daily Gazette
On 4/20 Schumer to introduce bill to decriminalize marijuana – NPR
Giuliani to join Trump legal team – New York Times
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