Happening Today

Hefner arraignment, House budget, Mount Ida hearing, Cannabis Control

— Attorney General Maura Healey speaks at the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance 2018 Victim Rights Conference, Seaport World Trade Center, One Seaport Ln., Boston, 9 a.m.

Bryon Hefner, the husband of former Senate president Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, is expected to be arraigned before a magistrate in Suffolk Superior Court on charges of indecent assault and battery, open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior, and dissemination of a visual image of a nude or partially nude person, Suffolk Superior Court, 3 Pemberton Square, Boston, 9:30 a.m.

Board of Higher Education’s Academic Affairs Committee meets and is expected to hear from students and families affected by the pending closure of Mount Ida College in Newton, One Ashburton Place, 21st Floor, Conference Rooms 1 & 2, Boston, 9 a.m.

— The Massachusetts House resumes deliberations on the House Ways and Means Committee’s $40.98 billion fiscal 2019 budget, House Chamber, 10 a.m.

— Treasurer Deborah Goldberg will chair the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission meeting, One Ashburton Place, 12th Floor Crane Conference Room, Boston, 10:30 a.m.

— The Cannabis Control Commission meets to get an update on the license application process and to discuss clarifying the commission’s definitions of indoor and outdoor cultivation, Gaming Commission meeting room, 101 Federal St., 12th floor, Boston, 10:30 a.m.

Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight will hold a hearing on three late-filed local bills, Room B-1, 11 a.m.

Reince Priebus, the former Republican National Committee chairman who spent about six months as President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, will speak at the Harvard Kennedy School, Kennedy School, Cambridge, 12 p.m.  

— Sen. Pat Jehlen and other lawmakers host a screening of the documentary ‘Unrest’ and hold a discussion on telemedicine, Room 428, 1:30 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker votes in the Swampscott town election, First Church, 40 Monument Ave., Swampscott, 4:45 p.m.

— CNN senior political analyst David Gergen gives the keynote speech at this year’s Massachusetts Bar Association annual dinner, at which Sen. Will Brownsberger and Rep. Claire Cronin, co-chairs of the Judiciary Committee, receive legislators of the year awards, Westin Waterfront, 425 Summer St., Boston, 5:30 p.m.

— Top European diplomats — Ambassador of Spain to the United States Pedro Morenés; Ambassador of the European Union to the U.S. David O’Sullivan; Ambassador of Germany to the U.S. Peter Wittig; and Julianne Smith, of the Center for a New American Security — plan to discuss what Harvard bills as the ‘Crisis in Transatlantic Relations,’ Harvard Kennedy School, 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.

Today’s Stories

Senate pays $230,000 for Rosenberg investigative report now being reviewed by lawmakers

As the husband of former Senate President Stan Rosenberg prepares to be arraigned today on various sexual-misconduct charges, the Globe’s Matt Stout and Joshua Miller report that the state Senate has paid nearly $230,000 this month to a law firm investigating whether Rosenberg broke any Senate rules in the case tied to Byron Hefner. The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld and Antonio Planas report that members of the Senate’s ethics panel are already reviewing a confidential draft of the 80-page report by investigators, but it may be a few more weeks before the report is officially released.

Former Newburyport councilor and school committee member charged with raping teen boy

Speaking of sexual-misconduct allegations, from Laurel Sweet at the Herald: “A former Newburyport official and mayoral candidate has consented to remain jailed pending a dangerousness hearing next month on charges he raped a teenage boy he met online. Bert Reed, 42, who served as both city council president and as a school committeeman, pleaded not guilty to three charges of aggravated rape of a child under the age of 16.” 

Boston Herald

Mini-media circus alert, Part II: Suffolk University to live stream judicial misconduct hearing

OK, one last sexual-misconduct item for the day. From Jim Russell at MassLive: “Suffolk University Law School will broadcast a live stream of the judicial misconduct hearing of Judge Thomas Estes before the Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday in Boston. The broadcast at Suffolk.Edu/SJC begins when court convenes at 9 a.m. The university also will archive a video of the Estes proceedings that will be available on the school’s website.”


Quincy council mulls hauling Marty Walsh before board to explain Long Island Bridge project

The Quincy City Council may slap down more ordinance hurdles to make it harder for the city of Boston to build a new bridge to Long Island — and the council may even try to get Boston Mayor Marty Walsh before the board to answer some questions, Sean Phillip Cotter reports in the Patriot Ledger. One member noted the council has subpoena power that could be used to quiz the mayor on his long-term intentions for the island. File under: ‘Fat chance.’ 

Patriot Ledger

Senate candidate sues Cambridge over ban on ‘Fake Indian’ signs

Independent U.S. Senate candidate Shiva Ayyadurai has filed a lawsuit against the city of Cambridge after he was ordered to remove two campaign signs depicting incumbent Elizabeth Warren wearing an Indian headdress and tagged with the line, “Only a real Indian can defeat the fake Indian,” Valerie Richardson reports in the Washington Times. The signs—attached to a bus parked in front of property the candidate owns—have been found out of compliance with local zoning, but Ayyadurai believes the crackdown is “a political vendetta” by city officials who support Warren.

Ayyadurai is no stranger to lawsuits, of course, having tried without success to sue a publication for mocking his claim that he is the true inventor of email. 

Washington Times

Job swapping: Kingston selectwoman declares candidacy for Calter’s House seat after he nabs town post

Less than a week after the Kingston board of selectmen tapped state Rep. Thomas Calter to be its new town administrator, Selectwoman Kathy LaNatra announced yesterday that she wants Calter’s old legislative job, after he officially resigns, of course. Tréa Lavery has more at Wicked Local.

Wicked Local

Reports: State Police payroll chief was in debt, desperate for pension and pleads not guilty to theft

MassLive.com is all over the State Police payroll-chief scandal: Dan Glaun reports on how the civilian director was sued for over $20,000 in debt before she allegedly swiped nearly $24,000 from the agency; Scott Croteau reports how she applied for a state pension just prior to being charged with theft; and Scott Croteau also reports on how she entered a not-guilty plea to theft in Framingham court yesterday.

Cape lawmakers want State House hearing on why accused cop killer was allowed to roam free

From Geoff Spillane at the Cape Cod Times: “The Cape and Islands legislative delegation wants to know why Thomas Latanowich, the career criminal charged with killing Yarmouth police Sgt. Sean Gannon, was not behind bars at the time of the fatal shooting April 12. The region’s eight state senators and representatives are pushing for an oversight hearing to be convened on Beacon Hill to scrutinize and identify lapses in the state’s criminal justice system that allowed Latanowich to avoid jail time.”

Cape Cod Times

Sen. Brownsberger and Setti Warren square off over mandatory sentencing in criminal-justice bill

Speaking of criminal justice: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Setti Warren didn’t exactly endear himself to Democrats on Beacon Hill for saying he would have vetoed, if were governor, the recently passed criminal-justice bill because it included mandatory minimum sentences for some opioid dealers. Warren and Sen. Will Brownsberger, architect of the landmark legislation, go at it (well, sort of) over at CommonWealth magazine.


The Guns of April: Hospitals warn nurse-staffing question will cost $881M and ‘destroy the ecosystem of health care’

It’s only April, but the ballot-question guns are already booming, as evidence by this and the following post. From Jessica Bartlett at the BBJ: “The state’s largest hospital organization says that passage of a ballot initiative to cap the number of patients per nurse would cost Massachusetts hospitals $881 million in the first year, sending some hospitals into the red and threatening the closure of at least a dozen of them. … ‘It will destroy the ecosystem of health care in Massachusetts,’ said Steve Walsh, president and CEO of the MHA, in an interview.”


The Guns of April, Part II: New union-backed group formed to oppose sales tax cut

SHNS’s Matt Murphy at Wicked Local has a field report from the sales-tax battlefront: “A new group made up largely of organized labor has formed to oppose a proposed ballot question that would reduce the state sales tax by 20 percent, further solidifying the campaign as one pitting unions against Bay State retailers. The Save Our Public Services Committee warned that reducing the state sales tax from 6.25 percent to 5 percent would eliminate $1.25 billion in annual tax revenues.”

Wicked Local

The state ain’t budging on West Station opening date

Despite pressure from former transportation czar Fred Salvucci and other transit advocates, the Baker administration isn’t budging on its plan to wait until 2040 to open the proposed West Station in Allston, saying ridership estimates don’t justify an earlier opening, reports Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine.

In other transit news, Mohl also reports that bicyclists are worried someone might get killed if the state proceeds with its current traffic-lane plans for Boston’s refurbished Longfellow Bridge, set to reopen next month.

Dem gubernatorial candidates go after Baker on environment and transportation

Speaking of the Baker administration and transportation, the Globe’s David Abel reports that there wasn’t much difference between the three Democratic candidates for governor – Jay Gonzalez, Robert Massie and Setti Warren – on various issues discussed yesterday at a Suffolk University forum. But they collectively did differ with Republican Gov. Charlie Baker on how “take more aggressive action to combat climate change, promote public transportation, and protect the environment,” Abel writes.

Boston Globe

U.S. Supreme Court hears Martha’s Vineyard deportation case

It’s ultimately about when the deportation clock starts ticking – and the case involving a Brazilian immigrant living on Martha’s Vineyard was before the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday. Shannon Dooling at WBUR has the details.


So what’s behind Airbnb’s ham-handed attacks on Wu and others?

The Globe’s Tim Logan and Milton Valencia take a look at what’s driving the social-media feud between Airbnb and City Councilor Michelle Wu and others. It’s more than just proposed regulations. It’s ultimately about the future of two economic sectors in Boston: hospitality and housing.

Boston Globe

Philips Lighting to close Fall River plant – and a way of life for many

If you want to get a better idea why so many blue-collar workers are frustrated and fed up, check out this story by the Herald’s Jessica Heslam on Philips Lighting’s decision to shutter its Fall River plant and move operations to Mexico, leaving long-time local workers without jobs and yet plenty of bills to pay.

Boston Herald

What do Sheryl Sandberg, Deval Patrick, Jake Tapper and Rita Dove have in common?

The BBJ’s David Harris has the most up-to-date list, via a slide show, of commencement speakers at Massachusetts colleges and universities this spring.


House members push to lift cap on welfare for newborns

More than half of House lawmakers are backing an additional boost to welfare funding in next year’s state budget and a change in rules that would allow families to receive additional money if a child is conceived after the family is already receiving public assistance, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan. According to the Coalition to Lift the Cap on Kids, Massachusetts is one of 17 states that has such a restriction on benefits.

SHNS (pay wall)

MassPort’s driving-to-Logan fee idea dispatched to junk yard

MassPort said Monday it has dropped consideration of a plan to assess an additional fee for driving a private vehicle to Logan Airport, Adam Vaccaro reports in the Globe. The potential new charge was floated as part of a larger deal with the Conservation Law Foundation, which dropped its opposition to the addition of 5,000 new parking spaces at the facility. 

Boston Globe

Decision on offshore-wind contract delayed by a month

This was somewhat expected. From SHNS’s Colin Young: “Faced with a Monday deadline to select a project that can deliver between 400 and 800 megawatts of offshore wind energy to the Bay State, utility companies working with the state instead have extended their deadline a month, until May 23. In a letter to the Department of Public Utilities on Monday, the team evaluating the bids for a long-term offshore wind energy generation contract said it needs the extra 30 days but still expects to submit a negotiated contract for state approval by July 31.”

SHNS (pay wall)

Nightmare on Comm. Ave.

We saw this story out of the corner of our eye yesterday but didn’t think much of it, until Halley Glatter at Boston Magazine got hold of it and made clear how this summer’s planned closures of the BU Bridge and a portion of Commonwealth Avenue are going to create a transportation nightmare for two weeks. 

Boston Magazine

Bailing on the state’s bail system

Another criminal-justice system item: Writing at WGBH, Chris Burrell of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting takes a look at the small band of people trying, with some recent successes, to change a state bail system that sometimes keep people in jail for days, weeks, months and even years because they can’t afford a few hundred bucks for bail.


With wrecking ball ready, groups launch last-ditch effort to save Worcester church

The developers who now own Worcester’s Nortre Dame des Canadien Church have the green-light to demolish the historic structure starting this week, but residents are still scrambling for an 11th-hour reprieve that will save the building, Aviva Luttrell reports at MassLive. The demolition is expected to take some time and the Save Notre Dame Alliance hopes to use some of it to pressure city officials into stepping into the fray again or to find a white knight buyer. 


The State of Clean Energy Innovation and Opportunities for Growth on the North Shore

North Shore Technology Council

Educational Program on Guardianship in Braintree

Guardian Community Trust

Grid Modernization in Massachusetts: International Insights to Meet 2050 Carbon Goals

Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE)

Educational Program on Guardianship in South Dennis

Guardian Community Trust

Free Open House Networking Event

North Shore Technology Council

IEEE 2018 International Symposium on Technologies for Homeland Security

IEEE Boston Section

Today’s Headlines


While not quite gold standard, Chelsea welcomes new Silver Line service – WGBH

The winter’s storms cost Lynn more than just salt – Lynn Item


Sunderland to vote on anti-corruption resolution – Daily Hampshire Gazette

Church denied preservation funds amid court case – Eagle-Tribune

SSA board visits Vineyard Haven and gets an earful – Martha’s Vineyard Times

Cape legislators call for review after Gannon killing – Cape Cod Times


New allegations could threaten Trump VA pick – The Hill

Can this millennial mayor make universal basic income a reality? – Politico

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