Happening Today

DeLeo on gun safety, firearm divestment, home energy scorecard

— Massport hosts Worcester Regional Airport’s ‘500,00th Passenger Runway Relay’ to celebrate the more than 500,000 passengers who have flown through the airport on JetBlue since 2013, with attendees including Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty and Massport CEO Thomas Glynn, 375 Airport Dr., Worcester, 9 a.m.

— Treasurer Deb Goldberg will chair the Real Estate and Timberland Committee meeting of the state pension board, PRIM Headquarters, 84 State Street, 2nd Floor Board Room, Boston, 9:30 a.m.

— Conference committee on the housing bond bill is scheduled to meet for the first time, Room 38, 10 a.m.

— Students and adults from across the state affiliated with the 84 Movement march from the Common to the State House for a ‘Kick Butts Day,’ part of an anti-tobacco campaign, Great Hall, 10:30 a.m.

Committee on Public Service meets to accept testimony on five late-filed bills, including legislation that would require the state pension system to divest state funds from companies that derive more than 15 percent of revenues from the sale or manufacture of firearm and firearm products, Room B-1, 10:30 a.m.

— Attorney General Maura Healey, Newburyport Mayor Donna Holaday and school officials join middle school students in Newburyport to highlight the use of Project Here, Rupert A. Nock Middle School, 70 Low St., Newburyport, 10:30 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker declares ‘No First Time’ day across the state to raise awareness about drug use and prevention, Room 360, 11 a.m.

Senate Democrats gather for a closed-door caucus in Senate President Harriette Chandler’s office, Room 332, 11 a.m.

— House Speaker Robert DeLeo makes an announcement regarding gun safety legislation, along with Rep. Marjorie Decker, sponsor of a ‘red flag’ bill, and others, Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School, 459 Broadway, Cambridge, 12:30 p.m.

Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy holds a hearing on Gov. Charlie Baker’s home energy scorecard bill, Room B-2, 2 p.m.

— U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas is a guest on ‘Radio Boston,’ WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 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

Walsh floats plan to get around Quincy’s Long Island roadblocks: Barges

Unless Quincy imposes a naval blockade, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh thinks he’s found a sure-fire way to counter Quincy’s opposition to his Long Island plans. From the Globe’s Milton Valencia: “The Walsh administration said Tuesday that it will move forward with plans to rebuild the Long Island Bridge by floating in parts of the structure on barges — hoping to assuage officials from nearby Quincy who are worried about noisy construction vehicles rumbling down their roads.”

But here’s the thing: Is Quincy really concerned about construction trucks rumbling down its roads – or who might inhabit Long Island after construction is finished? We’ll soon know if, or when, we start hearing about how Walsh’s amphibious plans violate U.S. Coast Guard rules, threaten right whales, harm fishermen, disrupt ancient mussel beds, etc. The lawsuit possibilities are almost endless.

Boston Globe

In Quincy, eminent domain battle looms

Quincy obviously doesn’t mind construction vehicles rumbling through other parts of the city. In fact, it wants them to start rumbling as soon as possible. But it may be headed for a messy legal battle over use of eminent domain powers in its efforts to speed up redevelopment of Quincy’s downtown, Sean Phillip Cotter reports in the Patriot Ledger. 

Patriot Ledger

Top regulator confirms that the retail pot market won’t exactly be booming this summer

Outside experts have already predicted that the state’s new retail pot market will be more bust than boom this summer, largely because it’s going to take time for future marijuana retailers to get up and running. Yesterday, Cannabis Control Commission chairman Steven Hoffman confirmed that he expects a “sparse” marijuana market this summer. SHNS’s Colin Young at the Greenfield Recorder has more.


But don’t blame Pittsfield …

If the marijuana market does come out of the gates a little ‘sparse,’ no one can blame Pittsfield. The Berkshire County city, which has said it would entertain as many as 35 retail licenses, gave initial approval to five new pot-related businesses on Tuesday, Amanda Drane reports in The Berkshire Eagle.

Berkshire Eagle

Averting the next Mount Ida debacle — while rescuing UMass-Boston

The Herald’s Kathleen McKiernan reports that the state Department of Higher Education hopes to increase government oversight of private colleges and universities in order to protect students at financially troubled schools – like those at the soon-to-close Mount Ida College.

Speaking of Mount Ida, the Globe’s Laura Krantz reports on just how dire the financial situation was for the Newton-based school before it decided to close shop and sell off its campus to UMass-Amherst. Meanwhile, state senators have “invited” top higher-ed officials, including UMass president Marty Meehan, to testify later this month at a State House hearing on the controversial UMass-Amherst takeover of Mount Ida’s Newton campus, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall). At the Globe, Howard E. Horton and Robert Antonucci explain in an opinion piece just how poorly the UMass-Mount Ida move has been handled by school officials on both sides.

Last but not least, the Globe,in an editorial, asks Gov. Charlie Baker and legislators not to forget UMass-Boston’s own dire financial problems, as UMass-Amherst pushes ahead to spend $70 million to acquire a potentially competing campus in Newton.

Pelosi: Sorry, Seth, I’m running for speaker again

In Boston yesterday for a Democratic fundraiser hosted by U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says she intends to remain leader of House Democrats and run for speaker again next year, assuming Dems regain control of the House, critics be damned, reports the Globe’s Liz Goodwin. But what if Dems don’t regain control of the House this year? The Globe’s Scot Lehigh can’t get a straight answer from Pelosi. But U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton is making it pretty clear: She’s gone if Dems don’t win this fall.

Boston Globe

Eric Holder for president?

Speaking of national political players blowing into Boston yesterday: In his visit to a state with no shortage of presidential wannabes, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder made news at Harvard by admitting he’s mulling a run for president himself. “I’m thinking about it,” said Holder. The Globe’s Maddie Kilgannon has more.

Environmentalists and real estate agents going at it over Baker’s home energy scorecard bill

From Paige Smith at the BBJ: “As Gov. Charlie Baker’s home energy scorecard bill is slated for a Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy public hearing (today), environmentalists and the real estate community stand at odds. Baker’s late-filed legislation (H 4371) would call for mandatory energy efficiency audits to determine a property’s energy usage” before the sale of homes .


Romney praises first year of Trump, says it’s similar to how he would govern

Less than ten months after Mitt Romney condemned President Trump’s stand on racial tensions in Charlottesville, Virginia and demanded an apology from the White House, the former Massachusetts governor and now Utah Senate candidate is praising Trump’s first year in office and saying it’s similar to how a Romney administration would look, reports The Hill.

The Hill

Rentin’ on the Ritz in Southie

It’s the most-viewed piece in the Globe as of this morning – and for good reason. Adrian Walker has a terrific column on the South Boston public-housing tenant who’s been advertising and subletting his somewhat shy-of-the-Ritz-Carlton abode in Southie – and who’s now in trouble with the Boston Housing Authority. “Undeniably, the tenant’s side project is at odds with the mission of public housing,” Walker writes. “And yet, I can’t help having some admiration for a tenant who figures out how to get a foot into the new economy.”

Boston Globe

The old Play-Doh fingerprint theft mistake …

What’s better than a stupid-criminal story to brighten up the day? Answer: A stupid-criminal story with a child-like twist. In Leicester, police say they found a man who allegedly shoplifted from the local Walmart because he left behind a perfect fingerprint. Where? In the Play-Doh he used to try to cover an anti-theft device on the products he wanted to steal. Brian Lee of the Telegram has the details. Now back to all things political …


Republican stalwart: ‘My heart was broken on Saturday at Mass GOP convention’

In a letter to the editor at the Springfield Republican, Jon Fetherston, a former Ashland selectman and long-time conservative GOP activist and candidate, writes that his ‘heart was broken’ at the Massachusetts Republican Party convention over the weekend when Scott Lively won a spot on the GOP gubernatorial ballot. “I would ask that those who voted for him, do a little research on this man,” he writes. “Dr. Lively is anti-LGBTQ and has been tied to multiple hate organizations.”

Meanwhile, the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld writes that Lively’s candidacy could actually help Republican Gov. Charlie Baker “solidify his moderate credentials and appeal to Democratic voters.”


The Fall River plant closing: At least Markey tried

U.S. Sen. Ed Markey says he personally called a top executive at Philips Lighting to see if the Dutch-owned company would reconsider its plans to close its Fall River plant.The answer he got: No. The Globe’s Jon Chesto has more. Meanwhile, experts say it’s highly unlikely President Trump will intervene to stop the plant closing, reports the Herald’s Dan Atkinson.

Is Bernie Sanders ‘woke’ enough to fend off Elizabeth Warren and other potential Dem presidential rivals?

T.A. Frank at Vanity Fair has an interesting piece about the political shift since Donald Trump was elected president, specifically the shift leftward by Democrats and toward Bernie Sanders’ socialist economic views. The question is how “woke,” i.e. how committed to social and racial justice, are Sander, Elizabeth Warren and other Dems on the non-economic issues. He explains it all via where candidates’ political views fall a vertical and horizontal matrix.

On the subject of the ‘woke’ movement, former Gov. Deval Patrick, a card-carrying member of the small-but-growing ‘conscious capitalism’ movement, tells Fortune magazine: “The woke need to make room for the still waking.” Hmm. So that puts him where are Frank’s Dem presidential-wannabe matrix?

Vanity Fair

State Police chief orders independent investigation of fatal crash

Another State Police investigation, this time over the agency’s controversial handling of a fatal crash last year and the “missteps allegedly made by troopers in the moments leading up to the crash,” reports the Globe’s Shelley Murphy. The Herald’s Laurel Sweet has more on the tragic case and death of a Bedford father of three.

Make it a dozen: State troopers tied to overtime scandal lining up for pensions

Speaking of the State Police and scandals, from Scott Croteau at MassLive: “Twelve troopers who filed for retirement in the wake of the Massachusetts State Police overtime scandal are now seeking pension benefits from the state. The troopers, who were among 30 who are accused of receiving money for overtime shifts they never showed up to, could begin receiving pension payments, if approved. A MassLive review of those applications through the Massachusetts State Retirement Board, however, show as of April 26 all of them were still ‘pending.’”


Worcester DA Early to be added to Troopergate lawsuit, attorney says

What the heck. One more State Police-tied item. From Gintautas Dumciusat MassLive: “Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr.’s name will be added to a federal lawsuit sparked by edits to the arrest report of a judge’s daughter, according to the attorney for two Massachusetts State Police troopers. ‘We intend to flesh out the complaint to name the people we now understand were involved in the conspiracy, and he certainly was involved,’ Leonard Kesten, the attorney, told MassLive.”

The wonders and horrors of political campaign technologies to come

As part of his monthly column on the campaign industry, SHNS’s Craig Sandler reports on the cool political software and other analytical and outreach tools displayed at the recent Campaign Tech East conference. All the tech products are going to change how political campaigns are run in the future, but Sandler isn’t sure if it’s really going to be for the good or bad.

SHNS (pay wall)

State Sen. Nick Collins, confirmed

t was just assumed that state Rep. Nick Collins would win yesterday’s special First Suffolk senate race against two independent candidates. But winning with 86 percent of the vote? The Globe’s Danny McDonald has the details.

Boston Globe

Also confirmed: Amazon adding 2,000 more employees in Seaport (and not of the HQ2 variety)

From the BBJ’s Kelly O’Brien: “Amazon.com Inc. announced (Tuesday) it will hire for 2,000 new tech jobs in the Seaport once it takes over 430,000 square feet of office space at the next phase of office development in Boston’s Seaport Square. The announcement confirms Boston Business Journal reporting from February and is independent from the Seattle company’s ongoing search for a location for its second headquarters.”


State approves Boston waterfront guidelines, clearing the way for two towers

Speaking of new developments, two planned towers in Boston – one by the Chiofaro Co. at the site of Boston’s Harbor Garage and the other at the site of the old James Hook Lobster company – are the main beneficiaries of Energy and Environmental Secretary Matthew Beaton’s approval of a key planning document that outlines the city’s waterfront development guidelines, reports Catherine Carlock at the BBJ.


Bay State ahead of the national curve when it comes to banning questions on job-salary history

The New York Times has a story on the growing movement by states and cities to shrink the gender pay gap by banning questions during job interviews about an applicant’s pay history. Massachusetts is mentioned, along with California, New York City and other cities and even Amazon and Google, that have banned the job-interview practice that many believe has led to women getting lower salary offers.


Healey warns additional cases may have been tainted by disgraced lab chemist Sonja Farak

One kind of assumed the number would ultimately go higher, if not much higher. From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: State prosecutors have already dismissed 8,000 drug cases touched by Amherst drug lab chemist Sonja Farak’s misconduct. But Farak may have tampered with more cases than that, Attorney General Maura Healey wrote in a court brief in which she urged the court to consider dismissing additional cases.”

In New Bedford, some call leaning cobblestone approach to panhandlers ’inhumane’

Sticks and crooked stones? Some city leaders in New Bedford are lashing out at an effort to keep panhandlers from approaching vehicles at one busy intersection by using cobblestones turned at a 45-degree angle, making standing on the surface virtually impossible, Michael Bonner reports in the Standard-Times. Some city councilors called the move ‘inhumane’ while others credit leadership with at least trying to address the panhandling issue. 

South Coast Today

Educational Program on Guardianship in West Roxbury

Guardian Community Trust

Author Talk and Book Signing with Kathleen Teahan

State Library of Massachusetts

Leonard Bernstein and President John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Today’s Headlines


This Boston startup wants to give you a $30 gift card – Boston Magazine

Nick Collins cruises to victory in state Senate special election – Boston Globe


Workers rally in Worcester for equity, fair wages – Telegram & Gazette

Opioid crisis very personal to one Lynn city councilor – Lynn Item

Worcester officials, business leaders to hold PawSox talks this week – Worcester Business Journal

AG Healey: More cases may have been affected by Amherst lab chemist Sonja Farak – MassLive


States sue the EPA to preserve Obama-era fuel efficiency standards – NPR

Court orders civil arrest for RI gubernatorial candidate Feroce – Providence Journal-Bulletin

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