PRIM meeting, climate-change bonds, Orange Line car tour, gun-violence forum
— Treasurer Deborah Goldberg chairs a meeting of the Massachusetts Pension Reserve Investment Management board, PRIM Headquarters, 84 State Street, 2nd Floor, Boston, 9:30 a.m.
— The Joint Committee on Education meets to accept testimony on three bills dealing with school resource officers and the promotion of student nutrition, Hearing Room B-1, 10 a.m.
— Sen. Karen Spilka, MASSPIRG Education Foundation and Find the Cause Breast Cancer Foundation hold a briefing on environmental causes of breast cancer, House Members’ Lounge, 10:30 a.m.
— Alzheimer’s Association holds an advocacy day to support of the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Act, with speakers including Rep. Danielle Gregoire and Sens. Jason Lewis, Barbara L’Italien, Patrica Jehlen and Michael Moore, Grand Staircase, 10:30 a.m.
— Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Community Development Undersecretary Janelle Chan, Sen. Julian Cyr, Rep. Tim Whelan and others announce funding from the National Housing Trust Fund for housing across the state, Parking Lot, 131 Hokum Rock Road, Dennis, 1 p.m.
— House Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets holds a hearing on the latest draft of Gov. Charlie Baker’s $1.4 billion environmental bond bill, which includes increased bond authorization for climate change preparedness, Hearing Room A-1, 1 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker, Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, MBTA General Manager Luis Ramirez, CRRC Massachusetts Vice President Jia Bo and others tour a new Orange Line car, Wellington Yard, 37 Revere Beach Parkway, Medford, 1:50 p.m.
— Cannabis Control Commission chairman Steven Hoffman will be the featured speaker at the inaugural meeting of the Massachusetts Cannabis Business Association, UMass Club, 1 Beacon Street, 32nd Floor, Boston, 5:30 p.m.
— Three gubernatorial candidates will attend a forum on gun violence sponsored by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Alumni of New England, with Democrats Bob Massie and Jay Gonzalez and Republican Scott Lively expected to attend, Boston Public Library, 6 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker is among the speakers at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce annual meeting, this year themed ‘Boston Now, Boston Next,’ Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, 415 Summer St., Boston, 6 p.m.
— Attorney General Maura Healey holds a town hall meeting in Kingston to discuss her office’s priorities, Kingston Intermediate School, 65 2nd Brook St., Kingston, 6:30 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.
State leaders take it slow (for now) on sports betting
As other states vow to move as quickly as possible to approve sports betting in the wake of yesterday’s big Supreme Court ruling, state leaders seem to be taking a slower wait-and-see approach in Massachusetts. Gov. Charlie Baker said yesterday that gambling on sports is “certainly something we should look at,” reports Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive. House Speaker Robert DeLeo seems cautious, saying it remains a “big question” whether action can or will be taken this session, reports SHNS’s Colin Young at the Sentinel & Enterprise. Ditto Senate President Harriette Chandler.
But the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld and Hillary Chabot write that Beacon Hill is merely experiencing a calm before the storm, predicting there will be a “feeding frenzy” of lawmakers, lobbyists and gaming interests battling over the “spoils of the lucrative new business.”
Indeed, the state’s gaming companies are already mobilizing to get a piece of the sports-betting action, including MGM and the Plainridge Park Casino, reports Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive. The lead of the day goes to the BBJ’s Kelly O’Brien: “After spending several years and millions of dollars convincing state legislatures that it’s not a gambling operation, daily fantasy sports startup DraftKings Inc. says it will start pursuing gambling licenses. The turnaround is a result of a Supreme Court decision on Monday.”
The Globe’s Andy Rosen has a good summary of what the Supreme Court ruling means for Massachusetts.
Kerry Healey to step down next year as head of Babson College
Kerry Healey, the former lieutenant governor and the first female president of Babson College, will be stepping down as head of the Wellesley-based business school next June, six years after taking the helm at Babson. The BBJ’s Max Stendahl has the details.
UMass-Boston faculty vote no confidence in Meehan and trustees
Speaking of higher education: As senators prepare for tomorrow’s State House hearing on the planned UMass-Amherst takeover of Newton’s Mount Ida College, the faculty at nearby UMass-Boston want to make one thing clear: They’re not happy with the proposed deal. Yesterday, the university’s faculty council declared “no confidence” in UMass president Marty Meehan and trustees, saying the Mount Ida deal will only weaken UMass-Boston, reports the Globe’s Aimee Ortiz.
Meanwhile, the Globe, in an editorial, is blasting Mount Ida president Barry Brown for planning to skip tomorrow’s Beacon Hill hearing.
GOP candidate makes Rosenberg scandal an issue in race against Eldridge
Margaret Busse, an Acton Republican who’s challenging Democrat Sen. Jamie Eldridge, is going there. From SHNS’s Katie Lannan: “In a campaign newsletter, Margaret Busse calls for ‘some new thinking and fresh blood in an institution that needs to change,’ saying ‘the scandal surrounding ex-Senate President Stan Rosenberg pulled the curtain back on the corruption that exists in our state government.’”
Romney blasts ‘bigot’ pastor chosen for U.S. embassy prayer in Jerusalem
Mitt Romeny, who only a few weeks ago was praising President Trump’s first year in office, was blasting the Baptist minister who gave a prayer at yesterday’s official opening of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, saying Robert Jeffres is an open “bigot.” From the former Bay State governor and current Utah Senate candidate’s tweet: “Robert Jeffress says ‘you can’t be saved by being a Jew,’ and ‘Mormonism is a heresy from the pit of hell.’ He’s said the same about Islam. Such a religious bigot should not be giving the prayer that opens the United States Embassy in Jerusalem.” Romney is a Mormon running in a heavily Mormon state, btw. The New York Times and the Times of Israel have more on the Jeffress controversy.
‘Court to Texans: Leave your AK-47s at home if you come to Massachusetts’
From Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin, of course: “The Supreme Judicial Court (yesterday) upheld a Texas native’s conviction for illegal possession of an assault weapon and illegal possession of another gun, ruling that the Second Amendment still gives Massachusetts the right to ban assault weapons and regulate ownership of other guns.”
Handy who’s-who guide to Dem presidential hopefuls …
It’s not a chart. It’s not a list. It’s more like a one-dimensional bobbing heads summary by the Washington Post of all the potential Democratic presidential candidates, including U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Gov. Deval Patrick, and there sure are a lot of potential candidates. Curiously, Seth Moulton, Joseph Kennedy III and John Kerry aren’t listed/seen/portrayed, whatever.
The incredibly shrinking Boston Herald …
Bob McGovern recounts what it was like to work at the Boston Herald after it declared bankruptcy and ultimately was sold off to Digital First Media earlier this year. “At one point the Herald encompassed two floors — now advertising and editorial are separated by a little more than 77 inches of carpet,” he writes. He also recounts the strange way Digital First informed people they no longer had a job by not informing them.
How Brian McGrory helped convince John Henry to buy the Globe
Speaking of newspapers: Maybe this has already been out there, but we hadn’t heard it before, i.e. how former Boston Globe columnist and later editor Brian McGrory played a rather extensive role in convincing Red Sox owner John Henry to buy the Globe from the New York Times. In an excerpt at WGBH from Dan Kennedy’s new book ‘The Return of the Moguls: How Jeff Bezos and John Henry Are Remaking Newspapers for the Twenty-First Century,’ Kennedy explains.
Cambridge puts brakes on Amazon’s Central Square ‘campus’
Cambridge officials say a long-planned Amazon pickup location in Central Square cannot open without a special permit from the city’s planning board and it’s not clear if the e-retailer is willing to go that route, John Hawkinson reports in Cambridge Day. The city has determined the ‘Amazon Campus’ storefront a ‘formula business,’ meaning it is essentially one of a chain, and therefore is subject to stricter rules. Amazon spent about a half-million dollars to outfit the vacant storefront last year and has been cooling its heels ever since.
Long lines persist at RMV for new driver’s licenses
Nearly two months after the launch of the state’s new system for renewing driver’s licenses, the lines at RMV branches remain “definitely slower” than state officials expected, reports the Globe’s Adam Vaccaro. The waits vary from branch to branch, but, if you’re in Boston, Lawrence or other crowded cities, you better bring a battery recharger for your cell phone.
Rep. Moran calls for halt to Lawrence superintendent search, citing conflicts of interest
It is Lawrence, after all, so of course it couldn’t be that easy. As the two finalists for the job of superintendent of schools in the city prepare for final interviews, state Rep. Frank Moran is asking the state’s education commission to put the process on hold, saying two members of the search committee have unspecified conflicts of interest, Keith Eddings reports in the Eagle-Tribune.
Transit Matters gives its stamp of approval to T’s Green Line strategy, so it’s a go
Ted Pyne, a member of the wonky TransitMatters, is impressed with the MBTA’s ambitious plan to revamp key portions of the Green Line’s tracks to make way for the multibillion-dollar purchase of new light-rail cars — and he expresses hope at CommonWealth magazine that the T takes a similar approach to transforming the commuter rail system.
Also at CommonWealth, Bruce Mohl reviews the T’s new capital budget – and notes how Gov. Charlie Baker sure loves coming attractions at the T. The governor will be reviewing today a prototype of the T’s new Orange Line cars, btw (see our Happening Today listing at the top).
Don’t count out Jonathan Bush in battle over Athenahealth
Many assume it’s only a matter of time before Elliott Management Corp., a New York hedge fund that’s offered nearly $7 billion to take over Watertown’s Athenahealth, gets its way. But Andy Rosen at the Globe reports some observers think Jonathan Bush, the firm’s long-time CEO and member of the famous Bush political family, still has a shot at keeping control of the company. Bush sounds like a real character, according to Rosen’s report, and our suspicion is Bush knows a thing or two about exercising power, as his family has repeatedly demonstrated over the years.
Doctors urge Baker to speak out against food-stamp cuts and restrictions
The Massachusetts Medical Society, the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians, along with 170 doctors from acoss the state, are urging Republican Gov. Charlie Baker to speak out against GOP plans to restrict and possibly cut food stamps, reports Shira Schoenberg at MassLive. “Restricting access to SNAP or cutting benefit levels threaten the health of our patients and make our job treating illness more difficult and costly,” the doctors wrote.
Rockport files for bankruptcy. People with high-arch feet in near panic mode
The Newton-based Rockport Group LLC has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and the footwear company has announced it has entered a deal to sell all its assets to a unit of Charlesbank Capital Partners, the BBJ’s Doug Banks reports. This isn’t exactly what Berkshire Partners and New Balance Holding Inc. envisioned when they purchased Rockport from Adidas in 2015. Even worse: It’s not how people who have bad feet and love Rockport shoes wanted things to turn out, though the company isn’t closing, managers say.
Report: Free lunches lead to more opioid prescriptions
They go cheap, apparently. A new study conducted by Boston Medical Center finds that physicians who were treated to lunch worth as little as $13 by pharmaceutical reps wrote more prescriptions for opioids, Lindsey Kalter reports in the Herald.
CBS lawsuit pulls in all sorts of Boston business leaders
It’s complicated, but basically CBS Corp., in a new lawsuit, is going after Norwood’s National Amusements in an order to thwart Shari Redstone’s latest attempt to merge CBS with Viacom – and the running feud is dragging in local business figures Chad Gifford, the former Fleet Financial CEO and Bank of America chairman, Gary Countryman, the former Liberty Mutual CEO, and Martha Minow, the former Harvard Law School dean, reports the BBJ’s Doug Banks. The Hollywood Reporter, somewhat appropriately, has more on the seemingly never-ending corporate drama involving the Redstone family.
First two Berkshire Museum auction pieces fetch $1.16 million
The first two pieces of art sold via auction by the Berkshire Museum after a long legal battle fetched a combined $1.16 million on Monday, Benjamin Cassidy reports in the Berkshire Eagle. ‘Force Comique,’ a piece by Francis Picabia, brought in $920,000, while Henry Moore’s ‘Three Seated Women,’ sold for $240,000. The auction sales happened as a small group of protestors rallied outside Sotheby’s New York action house. The museum has already sold, in a private transction, Norman Rockwell’s ‘Shuffleton’s Barbershop,” which may have brought in as much as $30 million.
Changing a casino’s name doesn’t change a company’s corporate culture
Elaine Wynn, the ex-wife of disgraced casino mogul Steve Wynn, may be presenting herself as a reforming crusader within Wynn Resorts, now struggling to convince state regulators to let it keep its license for the now renamed ‘Encore Boston Harbor’ casino in Everett. But the Globe’s Joan Vennochi writes that Elaine Wynn is part of the problem, not part of the solution, at Wynn Resorts.
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