Happening Today

Life-science bill, Mount Ida College hearing, and more

Solar workers from throughout the state plan to rally to urge lawmakers to act in support of their industry, State House steps, 10 a.m.

— The BIO international convention returns to Boston June 4-7 and local leaders, including Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash, gather to preview expected highlights, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, North Lobby, 415 Summer St., Boston, 10 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Public Safety and Security Secretary Daniel Bennett, Department of Correction Commissioner Thomas Turco, Department of Mental Health Commissioner Joan Mikula, Bridgewater State Hospital patients and others participate in a roundtable discussion, Bridgewater State Hospital, 20 Admin Road, Bridgewater, 10 a.m.

Cannabis Advisory Board‘s Subcommittee on Market Participation meets to discuss the status of licensing and the delivery and social consumption of marijuana, Health Policy Commission meeting space, 50 Milk St., 8th floor, Boston, 10 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker participates in the Plymouth County Drug Abuse Task Force 2018 Annual Conference, Bridgewater State University, Rondileau Campus Center, Grand Ballroom, 19 Park Avenue, Bridgewater, 11:15 a.m.

Governor’s Council holds three hearings today: on the nomination of attorney Joseph Michaud as an associate justice of the Housing Court’s Metro South Division; to take a possible vote on the nomination of Gustavo del Puerto and Donna Toman Salvidio as associate justices of the Housing Court; and on the nomination of attorney Eric Donovan as clerk-magistrate of the Boston Municipal Court Brighton Division, Council Chamber, respectively starting at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 1:15 p.m.

— Rep. Stephen Kulik hosts a legislative briefing in connection with Clean Water Action, Mothers Out Front and the Mass Power Forward coalition, House Members Lounge, 11 a.m.

— The House plans to take up a roughly half billion life sciences bond bill, a redrafted version of Gov. Charlie Baker’s original proposal, House Chamber, 11 a.m.

Senate Committee on Post Audit and Oversight holds a hearing on the pending acquisition of Mount Ida College by the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Gardner Auditorium, 12 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker delivers the commencement address at Mount Wachusett Community College, Campus Fitness Center, Mount Wachusett Community College, 444 Green Street, Gardner, 5:30 p.m.

— Senate President Harriette Chandler participates in a town hall meeting to discuss legislative priorities of the environmental community, Belmont A.M.E. Zion Church, 55 Illinois St., Worcester, 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.

Today’s Stories

Mount Ida deal: Let the scapegoating begin

Attorney General Maura Healey yesterday announced she’s effectively allowing the proposed UMass-Amherst takeover of Mount Ida College to proceed, making the narrow legal argument that the only other option for Mount Ida College was to declare bankruptcy, a move Healey says would cause massive and unfair disruptions for students and staff, reports the Globe’s Joshua Miller and the BBJ’ Max Stendahl.

But Healey also announced she’s launching an investigation into whether Mount Ida College leaders violated their fiduciary duties in connection with the Newton school’s decision to abruptly close and sell its land to UMass. In other words: The issue is now about Mount Ida’s actions, not the long-term wisdom of the UMass-Amherst and Mount Ida merger. The Mount Ida deal will be reviewed today at a Senate hearing.

Speaking of the Mount Ida controversy, count U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch among those who think a city of Boston takeover of UMass-Boston might be a good idea, reports Jennifer Smith at the Dorchester Reporter. Many believe the Mount Ida’s takeover by UMass-Amherst will only harm nearby UMass-Boston. But supporters of a city takeover might want to take a gander at the item below. It’s a cautionary tale about a city-run college.

Quincy College president resigns after school’s nursing programs are shut down

In other higher-ed news, the president of Quincy College, Peter Tsaffaras, has resigned in the wake of the state’s move to shut down its nursing programs due to chronically low scores, reports Sean Philip Cotter at the Patriot Ledger. Meanwhile, Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch has been tapped to temporarily lead the city-own college. 

Patriot Ledger

Scott Lively says he’d ‘mop the floor’ with Baker in any debate

Fringe right-wing Republican candidate Scott Lively is accusing GOP Gov. Charlie Baker of being afraid to debate him and bragged he’d “mop the floor” with Baker if the two ever faced off on stage, reports the SHNS’s Matt Murphy. Lively is also calling Baker “wonkish” and “thuggish.” By the looks of it, Baker is not taking the bait.

Meanwhile, the Globe’s Scot Lehigh asks regarding Lively: “When you are dealing with a crackpot, must you immerse yourself in crackpottery?” To a degree, his answer is ‘yes’ and proceeds to examine Lively’s past contention that gays are to blame for Nazi horrors. 

SHNS (pay wall)

State Rep. Madaro accuses priest of making disparaging remarks about Columbians during mass

Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin reports that East Boston Rep. Adrian Madaro is criticizing a priest for allegedly making disparaging remarks about Columbian residents of East Boston during a mass at Our Lady of the Assumption Church. Madaro didn’t specify exactly what was said, but he says on his Facebook page that he was “appalled” and “disappointed” by the “nature of these comments.”

Universal Hub

So why is Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria spending so much on criminal lawyers?

From Joshua Resnek at the Everett Leader Herald: “Mayor Carlo DeMaria has paid $130,000 in legal fees to criminal attorneys which appears to coincide with a Federal investigation into wrongdoing that remains ongoing, published reports and a review of his campaign finance expenditures reveal. The bulk of the payments disbursed for legal fees were paid from the mayor’s campaign account to a major national law firm specializing in criminal defense.” In the past, the FBI has indeed been crawling all over Everett, as the media has reported. It’s not clear what they may be looking at now, if they’re looking at all.

Leader Herald

Sports gambling in Massachusetts: Not ‘if’ but ‘when’ and by ‘whom’

The Globe’s Mark Arsenault reports on how the coming Beacon Hill debate over sports gambling could turn into a “free-for-all,” as one expert describes it, and he lists all the interests that will likely be angling for sports-betting licenses, i.e. professional sports leagues, casino license holders, racetracks and simulcast parlors, and daily fantasy league companies.

Meanwhile, the Herald, in an editorial, is coming down on the side of caution when it comes to passing new sports-betting legislation.

Boston Globe

In reversal, Steamship Authority board calls for outside review of management

The board that oversees the Steamship Authority has backed an outside review of the agency’s management, saying it will spend as much as $1.5 million to get to the bottom of the poor recent performance of its ferries between Cape Cod and the islands, George Brennan reports in the Martha’s Vineyard Times. The move reverses an earlier decision to allow General Manager Robert Davis a month to complete an internal review and it comes after a stream of criticism aimed at the authority.

Martha’s Vineyard Times

X marks the spot: Senator proposes adding third gender option on licenses and IDs

State Sen. Patricia Haddad is proposing that people be offered a third gender designation on driver’s licenses and identification cards – an ‘X,’ in lieu of ‘male’ or ‘female,’ to accommodate the preferences of some transgender residents. Michael Holtzman at South Coast Today has the details on the bill.

South Coast Today

Senate panel calls for tougher harassment rules and ban on nondisclosures

Christian Wade at the Eagle Tribune and Matt Stout at the Globe report that a Senate committee has recommended stronger anti-harassment policies at the State House, including a ban on nondisclosures agreements in harassment settlements. The recommendations come in the wake of the recent Rosenberg-Hefner controversy on Beacon Hill.

Has the public rehabilitation of Stan Rosenberg begun?

Speaking of the Rosenberg-Hefner controversy: It’s been less than two weeks since Stan Rosenberg resigned from the Senate after release of a devastating ethics report on the alleged sexual misconduct by his husband – and the former Senate president’s failure to stop him. But Rosenberg is still respected and supported by many in his home town of Amherst, reports the Globe’s Joshua Miller. Some hold out hope he’ll run for office again.

Meanwhile, civil liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate at WGBH doesn’t have kind words to say about how Attorney General Maura Healey, Gov. Charlie Baker, state senators and, to a degree, the Boston Globe handled the Rosenberg-Hefner sexual-misconduct saga. Basically, he says everyone missed two key points: A.) That Bryon Hefner, Rosenberg’s husband, was “palpably mentally ill” and B.) Rosenberg ultimately acted out of devotion and love, making him the “lone sympathetic actor” in the saga. Re Harvey’s piece: It’s a very moving and persuasive column … until you realize something’s missing: Hefner’s alleged victims. Are they not sympathetic actors too, albeit very unwilling actors? Did Stan ultimately show them sympathy and support when it counted? He didn’t. He chose his husband over them.

Meanwhile, academics say MIT professor is a victim of a ‘media-harassment campaign’

Two dozen professors – including two from Harvard University and one from Wellesley College – are rushing to the aid of embattled MIT professor Junot Diaz, who has been accused of sexual harassment, reports Mark Shanahan at the Globe. The profs say the aggressive coverage of the controversy ‘amounts to a full-blown media-harassment campaign’ and they suggest Diaz may be a victim of Latino stereotypes.

Coincidently, the Globe’s Renée Graham writes about the ethnic component of the #MeToo campaign in general – and she’s not rushing to the aid of the accused. “Even within communities of color, women who speak against abusive men are considered traitors, as if defending themselves makes them pawns for racists.”

Can Boston learn from the Seattle-Amazon tax brawl?

The Globe’s Tim Logan takes a look at the furor in Seattle over that city’s move to impose a special tax on major employers, including Amazon.com, in order to pay for homeless programs – and how Amazon is furious at the city. With Boston now pursuing Amazon’s proposed HQ2, some believe there are local lessons to be learned from the Seattle-Amazon tax showdown. Fyi: Amazon yesterday was showing off its new Fort Point digs, where it plans to house nearly 1,000 non-HQ2 employees in Boston. The Herald’s Jordan Graham has the details.

The behind-the-scene fight over sanctuary state amendments

Two state senators — Democratic James Eldridge and Republican Ryan Fattman – are dueling, via state budget amendments, over whether Massachusetts should be a sanctuary state, reports Marie Szaniszlo at the Herald. The Herald’s Hillary Chabot is accusing Eldridge of using the budget as a “backdoor resuscitation for the explosive sanctuary state issue.”

Boston Herald

Why not a state musician laureate?

SHNS’s Katie Lannan at the Newburyport Daily News reports that a Senate bill passed last week would create the new position of “musician laureate” in Massachusetts. The artist would be appointed to a two-year term to serve as the governor’s advisor on musical matters and could even write and perform pieces to commemorate important state events. Lannan has the details.

Daily News

Moody’s: State’s economy is strong – but showing signs of aging

From Greg Ryan at the BBJ: “First, the good news: Massachusetts’ strong economy has positioned the state to withstand the high level of debt and pension liabilities it carries, at least for now, according to a new report from Moody’s Investors Service analysts. Now, the bad news — or potentially bad news, anyway: There are signs the commonwealth’s economic growth is slowing down, thanks in part to its aging population, Moody’s analysts said.”


Warren demands answers from Novartis and AT&T on their payments to Trump’s lawyer

Arguing that reported payments by Novartis and AT&T to President Trump’s lawyer spark questions about possible corruption, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has sent letters to the two firms demanding answers about their business relationships to the consulting firm owned by Michael Cohen, reports Shannon Young at MassLive.


And they’re off: Senate once again proposes raiding state’s horse-race fund

From State House News Service’s Colin Young: “For the second year in a row, the Senate is eyeing a pot of money meant to support horse racing in Massachusetts as an additional revenue source to support its $41.4 billion spending plan. Tucked into the Senate’s fiscal year 2019 budget proposal is an outside section that would sweep $15 million from the Race Horse Development Fund into the General Fund by June 30, 2019.”

SHNS (pay wall)

How Boston’s ambitious rental reform shrunk until it finally hit its Beacon Hill demise

Meghna Chakrabarti and Jamie Bologna of WBUR chronicle three years of efforts by activists in the city of Boston to put rental reform regulations in place in response to what they call an eviction crisis. Their effort ended with their home-rule petition being sent to legislative purgatory earlier this month. 


Democratic Gubernatorial Debate

McCormack Graduate School at UMass Boston | WBUR | The Boston Globe

2018 FAST50 Awards

Boston Business Journal

Chief Chat: Sheila Dillon, Chief of Housing

SPARK Boston

MIT Sloan CIO Symposium

MIT Sloan

Discussion panel Crossroads: Identity, motion and migration

Boston University

Today’s Headlines


Amazon at home in new Boston digs – Boston Herald

Boston Children’s hospital open rooftop garden promised after demolition of Prouty Garden – WBUR


Senate committee recommends updating sexual harassment policy after Stan Rosenberg scandal – MassLive

GOP Senate hopefuls, in Worcester, press the case against Warren, differ on Trump enthusiasm – Telegram & Gazette

Open meeting violation against West Bridgewater selectmen upheld – Brockton Enterprise

Foxboro approves Route 1 zoning changes – Sun Chronicle


Women win big in House primary races in Pennsylvania – New York Times

Trump’s team ready to ‘pressure’ Mueller at probe’s one-year mark – Politico

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