Happening Today

Clark support, MBTA-DOT meeting, justice reform bill and more …

— U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, SEIU32BJ officials and community allies hold a press conference in support of Rosa Morban, a former employee of JetBlue’s subcontractor ReadyJet, who is filing sexual harassment charges against the firm, One Ashburton Place, Boston 10 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Secretary of Public Safety and Security Daniel Bennett, Undersecretary for Law Enforcement Jennifer Queally, Department of Corrections Commissioner Thomas Turco and elected officials gather for the DOC’s Employee of the Year Awards Ceremony, House Chamber, 11 a.m.

— Amendments to the fiscal 2019 Senate budget proposal, which will be debated beginning May 22, are due by 12 p.m.

— The MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board will meet jointly with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board to talk about the capital investment plan; earlier in the meeting the MassDOT board will meet on its own, receiving a report on the multi-year Longfellow Bridge renovation project and implementation of REAL-ID licenses at the Registry of Motor Vehicles, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 12 p.m.

— Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash, Undersecretary of Housing and Community Development Janelle Chan and MassHousing executive director Chrystal Kornegay make an announcement about the administration’s Housing Choice Initiative, Grand Staircase, 1 p.m.

— The Judiciary Committee reviews Gov. Charlie Baker’s criminal justice reform bill and Rep. Kay Khan’s legislation prohibiting police officers from engaging in sexual relations while on duty, Room B-1, 1 p.m.

— Treasurer Deborah Goldberg chairs a meeting of the Economic Empowerment Trust Fund Board, One Ashburton Place, 12th Floor, Boston, 1 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Senate President Harriette Chandler, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and House Minority Leader Brad Jones hold a leadership meeting, Speaker’s Office, 2 p.m.

— The Massachusetts Poor People’s Campaign kicks of a 40-day stretch of direct action and voter mobilization with a State House rally, State House steps, 2 p.m.

Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meets to continue its discussion of the state’s new district and school accountability system, 75 Pleasant St., Malden, 5 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

What a deal: Scratch tickets for sale well after top prizes claimed

Christian Wade at the Salem News reports that the state Lottery is continuing to tout and sell tickets to its ‘Diamond Dazzler’ scratch-ticket game with potential winnings of up to $10 million — even though the game’s two $10 million grand prize tickets have already been claimed. The Lottery’s response: Players can still win non-grand-prize awards. 

Our mind drifts back to recent reports of the Lottery vowing to crack down on potentially rigged games and how it fears the public could lose confidence in games if it didn’t so so.

Salem News

MIT’s Junot Díaz steps down as Pulitzer chairman amid review of sexual-misconduct charges

From the NYT: “The Pulitzer Prize board has opened an independent review of sexual misconduct allegations against the award-winning novelist Junot Díaz, who is stepping down as chairman, the board said on Thursday. ‘Mr. Díaz said he welcomed the review and would cooperate fully with it,’ the Pulitzer board said in a statement.” The Globe has been all over the Diaz story since earlier this month, btw.


Meanwhile, city hires outside counsel to review female firefighters’ harassment and discrimination claims

From Meghan Irons at the Globe: “The city has hired an outside counsel to review the Boston Fire Department’s handling of harassment and discrimination allegations brought by women on the force, Mayor Martin J. Walsh revealed on Sunday. Walsh, who is traveling in Ireland, reached out to attorney Kay Hodge, a partner at Stoneman, Chandler & Miller LLP, to conduct the review after being informed by a Globe reporter recently about allegations from some of Boston’s female firefighters, city officials said.”

Boston Globe

Is the ghost of Ray Shamie haunting Charlie Baker?

In retrospect, maybe we were little too hard on the Globe’s Yvonne Abraham last week for suggesting that Gov. Charlie Baker needs to debate, and demolish, right-wing gubernatorial candidate and bigot-extraordinaire Scott Lively. The Globe’s Margery Eagan this morning has a good column in which she talks to a number of GOP stalwarts and voters and finds that Lively may indeed be more of a primary-race problem for the Republican Baker than many people, including us, think.

Todd Domke, a long-time Republican analyst who resigned from the GOP after Donald Trump’s election, says the Trump surge is quite real in Massachusetts and he recalls, as a sort of warning, Ray Shamie’s upset victory over former Attorney General Elliot Richardson in the state’s GOP primary in 1984. Bottom line: By embracing Trump, Scott Lively is tapping into something much larger than Scott Lively, Margery writes.

Fyi: Lively was on WCVB’s ‘On the Record’ show over the weekend and, among other things, was saying he’ll do everything he can to roll back the legalization of pot in Massachusetts.

Is a backlash against liberals going to get Donald Trump re-elected?

Speaking of backlashes and Donald Trump, a rainy and clammy Saturday afforded us the time to finally read Bari Weiss’s long and much talked about piece in the NYT about the so-called “intellectual dark web,” or basically non-traditional media venues where a number of scholars, pundits, pols and others are now congregating to speak frankly about political and social issues they feel are too quickly denounced and demonized in today’s media – and they’re mostly, though not exclusively, left-leaning types ostracized by the left. Don’t feel too sorry for them, if you’re so inclined. Some have discovered being ostracized is the best thing, financially and intellectually, that ever happened to them.

The NYT’s Michelle Cohen, a liberal’s liberal, thinks some of the IDW types have a point about how modern liberalism’s denounce-and-shame tactics may be backfiring. In a Times op-ed piece, Gerard Alexander, an associate professor of politics at the University of Virginia, thinks the tactics are more than just backfiring. He believes they’re going to get Donald Trump re-elected.


Tapper makes news at UMass by not mentioning Trump

Speaking of Donald Trump, CNN anchor Jake Tapper gave the UMass-Amherst commence speech over the weekend and managed to make news by not mentioning President Trump even once – even though everyone knew he was talking critically about Trump. The Boston Globe and MassLive.com have more.

R.I.’s Chafee: ‘I am not a Russian spy’

One is tempted to say “only in Rhode Island.” But it’s true that former R.I. Gov. Lincoln Chafee, trying to make a political comeback in his home state, once accepted more than a little money from a shady Ukrainian organization and once said on Russian TV that a speech by Vladimir Putin critical of the U.S. was “brilliant” – and now he’s been forced to pronounce: “I am not a Russian spy.” The Globe’s James Pindell has more on a crazy U.S. Senate race that’s barely even begun.

Boston Globe

Two of three UMass-Boston finalists are minorities

Let’s face it: The search for a new chancellor of UMass-Boston is not only about finding a capable person who can turn around the financially struggling university. It’s also about finding someone who can best lead the minority-majority school and diversify a not-so-diversified public higher-education system in Massachusetts – and that’s why it’s significant that two of the three finalists for the UMass-Boston chancellorship are minorities. The Herald’s Kathleen McKiernan and the BBJ’s Max Stendahl have more on the UMass-Boston leadership search. The Herald also has a handy sidebar about the three finalists.

Road testing the Warren messages …

The Washington Post’s Michael Scherer has a story about how the potential Democratic presidential candidates – and there are a lot of them at this point – are out there testing their messages. In the case of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, she’s testing her “fight back” theme and how to better appeal to African Americans, Scherer reports.

Washington Post

Kitty Dukakis’s shock treatment and Boston Scientific’s legal woes featured on 60 Minutes

There were two stories of local interest on CBS’s ’60 Minutes’ last night. In separate pieces, Globe correspondent J.D. Capelouto reports that the show featured: A.) Kitty Dukakis discussing her use of shock therapy to overcome her depression and B.) Boston Scientific’s epic legal battles over its controversial gynecological mesh implant, now the subject of more than 48,000 lawsuits from over 100,000 women alleging that the plastic strips inflict serious pain and injury.

To end controversy, former MCC president asks that his name be dropped from school library

Former Middlesex County Community College President Evan Dobelle has asked the school to drop his name from the school library, saying he wants to bring an end to the controversy sparked by the Inspector General Glenn Cunha’s unusual call to rename the facility because of Dobelle’s troubled leadership at Westfield State University. Aaron Curtis of the Lowell Sun reports Dobelle wrote to the college trustees over the weekend saying he was fine with his name being dropped, but he also used the missive to take a swipe at the IG’s report, calling it “neither fair nor balanced.” 

Lowell Sun

Senate backs call to electrify Providence and Fairmount rail lines

Transit Matters strikes again. The Globe’s Adam Vaccaro reports that the Senate, in a proposal tucked into its state budget, would require the state to study a possible switch from diesel to electric power on the Providence and Fairmont rail lines, an idea first floated by the advocacy group Transit Matters.

Boston Globe

On Nantucket, former nuke bunker eyed as new Kennedy museum

An underground bunker on Nantucket where then-president John F. Kennedy would have been whisked by helicopter to ride out any nuclear attacks may become a new museum, Peter Sutters of the Inquirer & Mirror reports via the Cape Cod Times. The bunker, part of the Tom Nevers naval base, could be furnished with Kennedy-era items from a similar fallout shelter in Palm Beach. 

Inquirer & Mirror

Menino-era report becomes ammo in Boston-Quincy Long Island standoff

The latest volley from Quincy over Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s plan to build a new bridge to Long Island comes in the form of a consultant’s report Boston commissioned in 2002, which found the Squantum neighborhood in Quincy could not handle a surge in vehicle traffic, Sean Phillip Cotter reports in the Patriot Ledger. Then-Mayor Thomas Menino ordered the study as he considered opening Long Island up to more public visitors and recreational opportunities. Meanwhile, the Quincy City Council is poised to take up two proposed ordinances today that could limit construction traffic and require permits from the city for any bridge-building activity. 

Patriot Ledger

Dorchester man who stopped school bus in the middle of Pike traffic loses his license

From the Herald’s Joe Dwinell: “A Dorchester man facing numerous charges for stopping his car in the middle of the Mass Pike earlier this month to scold a school bus driver for having tinted windows has lost his driver’s license. The Registry of Motor Vehicles reports Kevin Crowe, 42, had his license suspended this past week after state police requested he be banned from driving.” He faces numerous other charges, so we haven’t heard the last of this strange incident.

Boston Herald

Pipeline proponents and opponents now fighting about the weather

Actually, they’re not quite fighting about the weather per se. Instead, proponents and opponents of new natural gas pipelines are battling it out over two studies related to natural gas supplies during a two-week cold snap in December and early January. Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth has the details.

Meanwhile, Robert Golledge Jr., an environmental consultant and former secretary of environmental affairs, thinks the all-or-nothing debate over natural gas is off. Writing at CommonWealth magazine, he’s urging the Legislature to adopt a compromise approach embraced by the Obama administration.


Elizabeth Warren joins the Fall River plant-closing protests

Count U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren among those now protesting the proposed closing of a Fall River lighting plant, reports Brian Dowling at the Herald. She now joins U.S. Reps. Joseph Kennedy III and Bill Keating and U.S. Sen. Ed Markey in blasting the decision to move 160 local jobs to Mexico.

Boston Herald

Putting a stop to ‘meal shaming’

From the Associated Press at CBS Boston: “Lawmakers are considering proposals that would prohibit Massachusetts school districts from denying hot lunches to children who don’t have money to pay for them or whose parents have fallen behind on meal plan installments. Critics call the practice ‘meal shaming’ because of the embarrassment it can bring to students.”

CBS Boston

Trudeau coming to town …

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be in Cambridge this Friday to speak to a gathering of technology entrepreneurs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, specifically at MIT’s annual meeting of the Solve initiative, the AP reports at the Herald.

Mount Ida bids adieu as senators gear up for State House hearing

WBUR’s Fred Thys reports on the last graduation ceremony to be held by Mount Ida College, which is shuttering its doors and tentatively planning to sell its Newton campus to UMass-Amherst. Meanwhile, the Senate Post Audit and Oversight Committee has scheduled a hearing this Wednesday on Beacon Hill to review the controversial $70 million purchase of the Mount Ida campus by UMass-Amherst, the Associated Press reports at the Herald.

Can Massachusetts also be top marijuana researcher?

Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports that some are firmly convinced Massachusetts can be a national leader in marijuana research, not just biotech and other scientific research, with the state having embarked on its legal marijuana course and many others expected to follow. “My vision is Massachusetts could be the number one leading cannabis research state in the world,” says Marion McNabb, a doctor of public health and former global health worker.


Roxbury to get its first new bank branch in decades

This is encouraging and embarrassing at the same time. The BBJ’s Greg Ryan reports that Eastern Bank today will open the first bank branch in Roxbury in more than 20 years. As he notes, Roxbury is home to 8 percent of the city’s population, but is home to only 3 percent of the city’s bank branches.


Worcester: Hey, where’s our state office leases?

Touting his group’s recent report ‘Brokering a New Lease: Capturing the Value of State Offices for Massachusetts’ at CommonWealth magazine, Timothy J. McGourthy, executive director of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau, says cities like Worcester would economically benefit a lot if the state would only lease more office buildings outside of Boston. The state would also save money, he notes.


For a good cause: Pols try out their lines at Urban Improv’s ‘Banned in Boston’

They put aside political differences to pull together Friday night for the 25th annual ‘Banned in Boston’ gala to raise $700,000 for Urban Improv. The Boston Globe and MassLive.com have the details. Did Jonathan Bush, the CEO and co-founder of Athena Health, really portray a shirtless Vladamir Putin? 

Raising state appliance standards could reduce state’s electric use by 3 percent

The odd couple of Robert Rio, senior vice president at the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, and Charlie Harak, the senior energy attorney at the National Consumer Law Center, are endorsing a state bill that would raise the energy standards on dozens of products in Massachusetts, from computers to hot-food holding cabinets, and say the somewhat simple changes could end up reducing overall state electricity consumption by 3 percent by 2025.


MA Department of Youth Services (DYS) Youth Arts Showcase: “Share Your Art, Share Your Voice”


In the Thick LIVE: A Podcast about Politics from a POC Perspective

PRX Podcast Garage

Criminal Justice Reform Coalition Policy Summit 2018


Solar is Working for Massachusetts Rally

Vote Solar

Today’s Headlines


City hires outside counsel to review Fire Department’s handling of women’s cases – Boston Globe

Do all state offices need to be in Boston? – CommonWealth Magazine


First artworks from Berkshire Museum to be sold at auction Monday – Berkshire Eagle

Forced treatment gaining support – Salem News

Shrewsbury town meeting is asked to dump Styrofoam – Telegram & Gazette

DA: Most fatal overdoses happening at home – Lowell Sun


A narrow path awaits a surge of female candidates – New York Times

Five rulings to watch at the Supreme Court – The Hill

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