Cannabis Control Commission, Tedy Bruschi, Democratic gubernatorial debate
— Massachusetts District Attorneys Association holds its annual Prosecutors Conference, which will run through Friday, Seaport Hotel, 1 Seaport Ln., Boston, starting at 8:30 a.m.
— A community and union delegation will to ask the airline to hire ‘responsible contractors’ in the wake of sexual harassment claims against JetBlue’s Logan Airport subcontractor ReadyJet, East Boston Memorial Park, and then JetBlue’s offices in Logan Airport, Terminal C, 9 a.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker joins Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta, Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders and others for the grand opening of the Nancy L. and Richard Donahue UTEC Hub for Social Innovation, 15-17 Warren Street, Lowell, 10:15 a.m.
— The Cannabis Control Commission meets, Health Policy Commission Conference Room, 50 Milk Street, 8th Floor, Boston, 10:30 a.m.
— Stroke survivor and former New England Patriot Tedy Bruschi addresses American Heart Association volunteers at the group’s annual ‘Heart on the Hill’ lobby day, Great Hall, 11:15 a.m.
— Massachusetts Clean Energy Center CEO Stephen Pike, UMass officials, Sen. Anne Gobi and Rep. Smitty Pignatelli gather for a tour and demonstration of a mobile water testing lab, State House, 12 p.m.
— Senate meets in formal session to handle bills dealing with the rights of custodial and other non-teaching employees at school, protecting biometric information and establishing a commission on young professionals, among other pieces of legislation, Gardner Auditorium, 1 p.m.
— Democratic gubernatorial candidates Jay Gonzalez and Bob Massie take part in a debate moderated by Radio Boston co-host Meghna Chakrabarti and Boston Globe political editor Shira Center, UMass Boston Campus Center, 3rd Floor, Ballroom B and C, 100 William T. Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, 3 p.m.
— Democratic gubernatorial candidates Jay Gonzalez and Bob Massie attend an event hosted by Our Revolution Somerville, Somerville City Club, 20 Inner Belt Rd., Somerville, 6 p.m.
— Attorney General Maura Healey is the speaker at MassBay Community College’s commencement, 50 Oakland St., Wellesley Hills, 6:45 p.m.
— Senate President Harriette Chandler is the keynote speaker at the Worcester Community Action Council’s 12th annual Action Hero Awards Celebration, Mechanics Hall, 321 Main St., Worcester, 7:30 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.
The coming 24/7 Sports-betting Digital Industrial Complex
The Globe’s Andy Rosen has a good story this morning about how the coming sports-betting industry here and elsewhere is not going to be your old man’s place-a-bet-with-a-barroom-bookie style of gambling. Think of today’s typical obsessive video-gamer player, stuck in front of a screen for hour after hour, instead plunked in front of multiple screens making real-time digital bets on live sports games. It’s going to be non-stop 24/7 sports gambling.
Fyi: Rep. Keiko Orrall, the Republican candidate for state treasurer, believes the Lottery should be looking for ways that it can become an “active participant” in sports betting, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall). The Globe’s Yvonne Abraham, meanwhile, is declaring that principled opposition to gambling is now almost futile in Massachusetts and elsewhere.
Lowell legislative race literally turns into a barroom (or restaurant) brawl
From Rick Sobey at the Lowell Sun: “A challenger to state Rep. Rady Mom is accusing Mom of choking him at a party at Pailin City Restaurant earlier this month. ‘I tapped (Mom) on the shoulder, and he went ballistic,’ Sam Meas told The Sun on Wednesday. A police report filed on May 8 includes a five-sentence narrative of the alleged 30-second incident. Meas said he was not hurt, but fears for his safety.’”
Mom is expected to appear today in Woburn District Court, where Meas is seeking a harassment protection order against Mom, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy at the Globe. Mom couldn’t be reached for comment by either the Sun or SHNS. Btw: Meas is Mom’s former campaign manager, so this one looks personal.
UMass now eyeing its next Mount Ida-like deal?
As expected, the Senate hearing yesterday on the controversial Mount Ida College closure, and its campus takeover by UMass Amherst, turned into, at times, a bash-Mount-Ida fest, with lawmakers expressing frustration that the private college’s top brass, including its president, didn’t show up for the hearing. Committee chair Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives even said that lawmakers would consider issuing subpoenas to get college leaders to testify, reports the BBJ’s Max Stendahl and SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall).
But what we found interesting is that UMass president Marty Meehan isn’t ruling out future UMass takeovers of struggling colleges, as smaller private schools across the state experience increasing demographic and financial pressures, as SHNS’s Katie Lannan reports at CommonWealth magazine. “There are going to be other closures, and there ought to be some kind of standards set up for when private universities close,” Meehan told lawmakers. “This is going to happen over and over and over again. It’s around the corner.”
As noted yesterday, the focus of the Mount Ida-UMass Amherst controversy is now shifting away from merits of that two-college merger that’s upset many at nearby UMass-Boston. Still, if state Sen. Nick Collins has his way, UMass Amherst’s takeover of Mount Ida’s Newton campus will come at a big cost, reports Marie Szaniszlo at the Herald.
City cracks down on bike-sharing upstart to protect bike-sharing monopoly
This is a unique way of promoting a new industry. The city of Boston has begun impounding the bright-green bikes belonging to Ant Bicycle, a dockless bike-sharing startup from Cambridge, saying they violate the city’s exclusive agreement with Blue Bikes, Adam Vaccaro reports in the Globe. The city has scooped up as many as 30 of the Ant bikes in the last week alone and more issues are likely to arise when dockless services launch in a host of suburbs this summer.
Is Bernie losing his mojo?
The Washington Post reports that Tuesday’s primary results in several states may have been good news for progressives – but not necessarily good news for progressive champion U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders. It seems progressive voters like Bernie’s progressive message more than Bernie himself, and that’s good news for other Dem presidential hopefuls, including U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren. The Post’s David Weigel and Michael Scherer explain.
‘Elizabeth Warren steals show at 2020 audition’
Speaking of Warren: She may say she’s not running for president – and that’s technically true as of this millisecond. Nevertheless, from Niall Stange at the Hill: “Democratic jockeying for the 2020 presidential race was on full display Tuesday as a host of likely contenders addressed liberal activists in Washington. It was Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) who ultimately won the day with a full-throated assertion of the need for Democrats to hew closely to a base she characterized as ‘angry and scared’ about President Trump’s impact on the nation.”
Rep. Kulik: Pipeline proponents don’t have the votes in the House
From Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine: “The leader of the anti-pipe forces in the House said on Wednesday that the coalition remains strong and could probably defeat any legislative bid to have electric ratepayers finance a new natural gas pipeline. ‘There’s still a lot of resistance,” said Rep. Stephen Kulik of Worthington, the vice chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. ‘I think we could defeat that.’”
Then again, lawmakers might have a change of mind if, or when, Exelon Generation either closes two power plants in southeast Massachusetts or gets permission to jack up electric prices to subsidize the money-losing plants. Exelon says the two plants are uneconomic because of their reliance on more expensive imported liquefied natural gas, reports Mohl in separate piece.
Walsh slams Airbnb’s PR blitz, accuses firm of ‘ginning up opposition’
Mayor Marty Walsh has had it. From Dan Atkinson at the Herald: “Airbnb and its critics are gearing up for a final push next week, as the City Council prepares to vote on strict new short-term rental regulations — but Mayor Martin J. Walsh is slamming the latest PR efforts from the home-sharing giant as ‘ginning up opposition’ against city officials. …’It’s not the way to go,’ Walsh said yesterday.”
Is campaign-funded babysitting progressive or merely another perk?
The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld is going after Sen. Patricia Jehlen’s budget amendment that would allow state candidates to use their campaign cash to pay for child care expenses incurred doing campaign-related work, an expense the Federal Election Commission last week ruled is permissible. From Battenfeld: “Like politicians don’t have enough perks already, here’s the latest: free babysitting. … Of course, ordinary people could never get away with charging their employer for child care.”
Tale of two media owners: As the Herald downsizes, MassLive.com beefs up its regional sports staff
This is interesting: MassLive.com, the digital offshoot of the Springfield Republican, is touting its hiring of three more reporters to cover professional sports in the region, including the Celts and Sox. The move by MassLive, which sees itself as an emerging regional media force, comes as the Boston Herald goes through cutbacks hell. MassLive.com is ultimately owned by Advance Publications, while the Herald, well, it’s ultimately owned by the squeeze-‘em-dry Alden Global Capital hedge fund.
Massie and Gonzalez go head-to-head in Dem debate today
The Globe’s James Pindell has a preview story about this afternoon’s head-to-head debate between Democratic gubernatorial candidates Bob Massie and Jay Gonzalez at UMass-Boston, touted as the first major faceoff between the two since former Newton mayor Setti Warren dropped out of the primary race.
Apple of their eye: In Charlton, orchard poised to become $100 million pot facility
The rural town of Charlton could see as much as $2 million in annual revenue from a proposed $100 million marijuana growing, research and sales facility on what is now an apple orchard, Debbie LaPlaca reports in the Telegram. The developer, Valley Green Grow LLC, may also kick in another half-million for a public safety building. “I’ve heard from many people that it shouldn’t be about the money, and yet sometimes it is about the money,” said Selectman Deborah B. Noble.
Globe editorial: Off-peak toll pilot program deserves a try
In an editorial, the Globe is backing a proposal to test out a new off-peak discount toll program designed to get commercial trucks off the Tobin Bridge during peak traffic hours. As the paper rightly notes, the pilot program is really about determining whether a more extensive (and potentially expensive) “congestion pricing” program should be put in place on other state roadways.
Baker helps Tedeschi raise funds in battle against Keating
From SHNS’s Matt Murphy: “Gov. Charlie Baker doesn’t want to campaign for himself just yet, but he’s alright with the idea of campaigning for others. Baker will be the featured guest at a fundraiser Thursday night at the Indian Pond Country Club in Kingston for Republican Congressional candidate Peter Tedeschi. Tedeschi, whose family owned the chain of convenience stores by the same family name, is challenging U.S. Rep. William Keating, a Democrat, in the Ninth Congressional district on the South Shore and Cape Cod.”
An enviable problem: Finding enough biotech workers to hire
Ahead of next month’s big Bio International Conference in Boston, the nonprofit MassBioEd has released a report predicting that the state’s biotech sector will continue its rapid expansion over the next five years. The only problem: Finding enough qualified workers to fill jobs. The BBJ’s Max Stendahl has the details. Fyi: Also ahead of next month’s biotech conference, the House yesterday passed a major life-sciences funding bill, reports SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall – free trial subscription available).
A messy problem: Curbside recycling pickup threatened by China policy
This could get messy—literally. A New Bedford-based recycling hauler has told five communities it serves that it will stop curbside pickup services if the cities and towns don’t agree to pay more, a threat that has some of the communities claiming breach of contract. Jeannette Barnes of the Standard-Times reports the standoff stems from changes to China’s policies on imported recycled materials.
Nantucket’s wealthy, including Liberty Mutual’s CEO, oppose housing for the little people
The Nantucket Land Bank has proposed converting an eyesore piece of property near the Miacomet Golf Course into a seasonal-employee dormitory for workers who can’t afford the resort island’s ridiculously high rents. But, whoa, the property’s abutters, including Liberty Mutual CEO David Long, are “aghast,” reports David Abel at the Globe.
On a roll: Could yet a third airline start service out of Worcester Airport?
First JetBlue. Then American Airlines. And now Worcester Regional Airport is eyeing possibly adding a third airline to its lineup, with an announcement perhaps coming this summer, according to Worcester City manager Edward Augustus, as reported by Melissa Hanson at MassLive. Massport officials confirmed that the agency is having conversations with other airlines, Hanson writes.
GE and Teradyne oppose Trump’s China tariffs, but another local firm says it’s about time
Speaking of China: Massachusett-based General Electric and Teradyne Inc. are among companies calling on the Trump administration to reconsider imposition of tariffs on Chinese goods, saying they’ll lead to job losses. But Devens-based American Superconductor Corp. is praising President Trump’s move, saying it’s fed up with China’s theft of U.S. intellectual property, reports Greg Ryan at the BBJ.
U.S. Senate gives symbolic support to preserving net neutrality
The U.S. Senate yesterday passed a symbolic resolution to nullify the FCC’s planned rollback next month of net neutrality, making U.S. Sen. Ed Markey a very happy man. But it was only a non-binding resolution and the House has no intention of taking similar action anyway, according to a NPR report at WBUR. As a result, Democrats are now planning to use net neutrality as an issue against GOP Congressional candidates this fall.
Four more stops added at new Boston Landing station
We missed this one from the other day. From Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth: “The MBTA’s commuter rail operator said that four additional trains will stop at Boston Landing Station starting Monday to accommodate increased passenger traffic, which advocates for a proposed West Station say is a positive sign of customer demand in the area.”
Markey and Warren blast decision not to offer housing assistance to Puerto Ricans
From Shannon young at MassLive: “U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, expressed frustration Wednesday over FEMA’s decision to not offer Disaster Housing Assistance Program to Puerto Rican families displaced by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, offering that the federal government owes these evacuees better.”
Long Island bridge wins first local permit, over Quincy’s objections
The Boston Conservation Commission granted the city’s plan to rebuild the bridge to Long Island its first approval Wednesday night, ignoring the objections of Quincy officials determined to block the project, Sean Phillip Cotter reports in the Patriot Ledger. The commission said some of the issues Quincy is raising—such as whether a ferry service is a better long-term alternative—were not within the board’s purview at this time.
For a limited time, Rockwell masterwork will be on display in Stockbridge
Catch it while you can. ‘Shuffleton’s Barbershop,’ the highly acclaimed Norman Rockwell painting that the Berkshire Museum recently sold for as much as $30 million as part of its controversial artwork sale, will begin a residency at the museum bearing the artist’s name in Stockbridge next month, Carrie Saldo reports in the Berkshire Eagle. The painting will go on display at the Norman Rockwell museum on June 9 and remain there until it shipped to the still-under-construction Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles in early 2020.
Democratic Gubernatorial Debate
2018 FAST50 Awards
Chief Chat: Sheila Dillon, Chief of Housing
MIT Sloan CIO Symposium
Discussion panel Crossroads: Identity, motion and migration
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