Baker in D.C., Boston Bruins-BPS, Senate budget, ‘Red flag’ bill
— Gov. Charlie Baker heads to Washington today and plans to meets with the Commanding General and Chief of Engineers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lieutenant General Todd Semonite, U.S. Government Accountability Office, 441 G Street NW, Washington, D.C., 10 a.m.
— Governor’s Council meets to review Gov. Baker’s nomination of attorney Neil Sherring to a Housing Court circuit judgeship, Council Chamber, 10:30 a.m.
— The Senate continues voting on amendments to its $41.4 billion fiscal year budget plan, Gardner Auditorium, 11 a.m.
— The House meets in a formal sessions with plans to consider the “red flag” gun-safety bill, House Chamber, 11 a.m.
— Boston Public Schools and Boston Bruins hold press conference to highlight their new partnership to support fitness in BPS schools, with Mayor Martin Walsh, Police Commissioner Bill Evans, Bruins Foundation President Bob Sweeney, CEO of Delaware North’s Boston Holdings Charlie Jacobs and others scheduled to attend, James F. Condon K-8 School, 200 D Street, South Boston, 11:30 a.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker meets with members of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation, Cannon House Office Building, 27 Independence Avenue SE, Washington, D.C., 12 p.m.
— Governor’s Council for a second time for possible votes on Housing Court nominees Joseph Michaud and Eric Donovan, 12 p.m.
— In preparation of the Memorial Day holiday, more than 730 volunteers have signed up to plant more than 37,000 flags on Boston Common representing the number of Bay State residents killed in the nation’s wars, Boston Common, 1 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.
Globe editor Brian McGrory accused of sexual harassment by former reporter
And you thought the #MeToo movement was petering out. From Jack Sullivan at CommonWealth magazine: “A former reporter for the Boston Globe is claiming Brian McGrory, the paper’s current editor, sent her an unsolicited, sexually suggestive text. Hilary Sargent, who started at the Globe in 1999 as a 19-year-old intern before leaving and being recruited back 15 years later, posted an undated text message on Twitter on Monday that she says came from McGrory. The context was unclear, but Sargent appeared to be seeking advice about a story she was writing.”
Emily Rooney at WGBH cautions there are still many unknowns tied to the charge. “Regardless,” she writes, “the Boston Globe cannot ignore this. A credible accusation has been levied against the editor.” Rooney’s piece is accompanied by a video of last night’s ‘Greater Boston’ show in which Rooney, media critic Dan Kennedy and host Adam Reilly discuss the matter. Fyi: McGrory has declined comment and the Globe in an email statement would only say it’s aware of Sargent’s charge and has no further comment.
Meanwhile, star economist at Harvard also accused of sexual harassment, barred from his think tank
Shera S. Avi-Yonah and Angela N. Fu at the Crimson report that Harvard economics professor Roland G. Fryer, Jr. is being investigated separately by Harvard and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination after sexual-harassment and discrimination complaints were filed against him by a woman. Fryer, who denies the allegations, has since been barred from the EdLabs think tank that he founded last decade. The Globe’s Deirdre Fernandes has more.
Report: Cops say sex traffickers are selling state foster kids on the weekends
Let’s hope this report is wrong, if only because it’s too terrible to contemplate if true. From Eric Rasmussen and Erin Smith at Fox 25: “Sex traffickers are selling foster kids on the weekends, 25 Investigates has uncovered. Investigative Reporter Eric Rasmussen found cases of kids in foster care pimped out on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and then returned to their taxpayer-funded group homes on Monday. Records obtained by 25 Investigates reveal a female staff member working with foster kids at the Eliot Atlantic House in Saugus is suspected of convincing a then 16-year-old girl at the group home to sell herself for sex on the weekends.”
So what makes a pimp a pimp? The SJC will decide
Still on the ugly subject of alleged pimps, the Supreme Judicial Court has decided to review a prostitution and human trafficking case that could decide once and for all: What exactly is a pimp? The Herald’s Brian Dowling has more on what a defendant claims is a very vague law on what constitutes a pimp and pimp-like actions.
Galvin docks the pay of three aides who performed campaign work while on the state clock
Three employees within Secretary of State Bill Galvin’s office are being “stripped of some pay” after an internal review found they performed campaign work on behalf of their boss while on state-government time, reports the Globe’s Matt Stout. That’s far short of the 19 employees the Globe recently identified as possibly crossing the line between government work and political chores. We have a hunch we’ll be hearing more on this.
Mount Ida College president hires ex-Sen. Brian Joyce’s attorney
He’s obviously taking seriously Attorney General Maura Healey’s investigation into the closure of Mount Ida College. The BBJ’s Max Stendahl reports that Mount Ida president Barry Brown is being represented by Howard Cooper, the same controversial lawyer representing ex-Sen. Brian Joyce in a federal corruption case.
Walsh to the UMass-Boston rescue?
It was relatively all quiet on the UMass-Boston front yesterday, a few days after the brouhaha over the faculty’s inglorious role in getting three finalists to withdraw their names from consideration to be the next chancellor of the school. Still, the Globe’s Adrian Walker writes that UMass ought to take up the offer by Mayor Marty Walsh, a former labor negotiator, to help defuse tensions at the Dorchester school. Meanwhile, the Globe’s Shirley Leung can’t make up her mind about who deserves the most blame for the turmoil at UMass Boston. Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive reports that Gov. Charlie Baker is ‘disappointed’ with how the chancellor search ended.
House to vote on ‘red flag’ gun bill today amid strong opposition and ‘hysteria’
Democrats wouldn’t be holding the vote today if they didn’t think the so-called ‘red flag’ gun bill would pass. Still, gun-rights activists are mounting a spirited campaign against the legislation, prompting bill sponsor Rep. Marjorie Decker to say opponents are spreading “hysteria” surrounding the bill. The Herald’s Kathleen McKiernan and SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) have the details.
ICE says it’s no longer targeting immigrants at government offices
This is a significant development in the ongoing battles over immigration. From Maria Cramer at the Globe: “Federal agents in Massachusetts have halted the controversial practice of arresting undocumented immigrants who are visiting government offices in hopes of gaining legal status, an immigration official told a federal judge Tuesday. The decision represents a reversal by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and follows sharp questioning by a federal judge in Boston over the practice.”
Got milk? Not in Lynn … but the city will get a new high-end apartment building
Lynn city leaders say they were blindsided by the decision of Garelick Farms to close a plant in the city and eliminate scores of jobs, Thomas Grillo reports in the Lynn Item. The company says long-term trends away from milk-drinking are behind the decision to shutter the plant, which has operated in Lynn since 1928. Mayor Thomas McGee said the city has reached out to Garelick’s parent company, Dean Foods, to “get our hands around what’s happened.”
Still, Lynn also got some good economic news when a developer unveiled plans to build an $80 million, 189-unit high-end apartment building in downtown, the first project of its type in at least a generation, Grillo reports. The developer believes the units can attract workers from the Boston area pushed out of the urban core by rising rents.
Over the objections of Warren, Congress approves partial rollback of Dodd-Frank financial reforms
Despite a last-minute Twitter appeal from U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren to oppose the legislation, the U.S. House yesterday sent to President Trump’s desk a bill that partially rolls back the Dodd-Frank financial reforms passed in the wake of the Wall Street meltdown ten years ago. The rollback applies to small- and medium-sized banks, but some fear the loosening of restrictions for larger banks is next on the agenda. The NYT has the details.
Why the State Police no-show scam festered undetected for so long: Retaliation against honest troopers
If true, this partly explains why it took so long to uncover the no-show scam and other controversies at the State Police. From Dan Glaun at MassLive: “A retired Massachusetts State Police Trooper says he was targeted with a campaign of retaliation for reporting a sergeant’s on-shift absence from his barracks in 2014, including a frivolous disciplinary report, a fabricated workplace violence allegation and the denial of a hardship transfer to be closer to his dying father.”
Bill Kristol learns the hard way: It’s not nice to poke fun of Boston
Didn’t conservative pundit Bill Kristol know that only Bostonians are allowed to make fun of Boston? Apparently not, even if his jokes about Boston being “full of liberals” and Cambridge “full of communists” were more than a little lame. Felicia Gans at the Globe has the indignant social-media reaction of some Bostonians to Kristol’s criticisms/jokes, whatever.
Woods Hole researchers credit the REMUS 6000 for helping find sunken Spanish treasure
Researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanic Institute can now officially reveal how they helped find the underwater wreck of a Spanish ship sunk 300 years ago off the coast of Columbia – and they’re crediting a 12-foot long autonomous underwater vehicle known as a REMUS 6000, reports Christine Legere at Wicked Local. Spencer Buell at Boston Magazine says the sunken ship, the San José, was discovered three years ago and contains gold, silver, emeralds and other objects worth billions of dollars.
Jared Kushner getting ripped by classmates in Harvard reunion book
Jared Kushner is getting “brutally, savagely burned by his former Harvard classmates” as their 15th graduation anniversary approaches, reports Spencer Buell at Boston Magazine. The less-than-flattering remembrances are contained in a Harvard reunion Red Book – and let’s just say the classmates are not big fans of Jared’s father-in-law.
Cambridge’s food composting not quite what it seems
The city of Cambridge last month expanded it curbside food-scrap collection and composting program. But Craig LeMoult at WGBH reports that some of the waste is actually sent to the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District wastewater treatment plant in North Andover and mixed with sewage sludge, the end product being fertilizer. But is this really “food composting” and is the sludge-based fertilizer really safe? Some aren’t so sure.
More about those guaranteed government jobs that Warren and other Dems now support
The New York Times takes a further look at that “big idea from a bygone era” that many Dems eyeing a run for president, including U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, are now embracing: guaranteed employment, via the government.
Separately, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal is pushing for funding to help low-income parents overcome employment barriers and train for in-demand jobs, reports Shannon Young at MassLive.
Kennedy officially gets a Democratic primary challenge
Yet another sitting Congressman is facing a primary challenger this year. Gary Rucinski of Newton said he has earned a spot on the September 4 Democratic primary ballot against U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III, Jim Hand reports at the Sun Chronicle. Rucinski plans too make climate change a centerpiece of his campaign.
MoveOn’s Comerford is fourth write-in to bid for Rosenberg seat
Jo Comerford, a longtime director for MoveOn.org, launched a write-in campaign for the state Senate seat being vacated by former Senate President Stan Rosenberg, Bera Dunau reports at the Daily Hampshire Gazette. Comerford is the fourth write-in candidate to announce, while Chelsea Kline of Northampton is the only Democrat who will officially appear on the primary ballot.
Quincy College sets aside $4.5M to reimburse some nursing students
Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch said he will set aside funds in the reserve account at Quincy College to reimburse nursing students left in the lurch by the termination of the school’s nursing degree program, Sean Phillip Cotter reports in the Patriot Ledger. Koch got approval from the college’s board to possibly distribute up to $4.5 million to students who took classes that can’t be transferred to other institutions.
Opioid-related deaths continue to fall in Massachusetts
It’s not time to declare victory. Still, this is encouraging, via Anne-Gerald Flynn at MassLive: “The (state’s) quarterly report found that for the first three months of 2018, opioid-related overdose deaths declined by an estimated 5 percent over the first three months of 2017, according to preliminary data. The report also found that the total number of estimated and confirmed opioid-related deaths for 2017 is 2,016, which is 133 fewer deaths than the 2,149 estimated and confirmed deaths in 2016, or a 6 percent decline.”
Remembering Melnea Cass on ‘Melnea Cass Day’
As Rachel Paiste notes at WBUR, Melnea Cass is probably best known for the street bearing her name in lower Roxbury. But yesterday was officially ‘Melnea Cass Day’ in Boston, as it has been for the past 52 years, and Paiste takes a look at the extraordinary life of a civil rights legend known as the ‘First Lady of Roxbury.’ Cass’s activism stretched from the 1930s right through the ‘70s.
Meet one of the most expensive inmates in the state’s county jail system
Jenifer McKim, a reporter at the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, reports at WGBH how expensive it can get, largely thanks to medical-related costs, to house prisoners in the state’s county jail system. One example: The $2 million the Essex County Sheriff’s department has spent in overtime pay to guard a 41-year-old detainee now in a locked wing of the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in Jamaica Plain.
Photos of relatives receiving ‘Massachusetts Medal of Liberty’ on behalf of lost loved ones
They served in World War II, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq – and yesterday their ultimate sacrifices in war were recognized by state officials, including Gov. Charlie Baker, who presented surviving relatives with the ‘Massachusetts Medal of Liberty.’ MetroWest Daily News has photos of yesterday’s moving Memorial Day-tied ceremony at the State House.
Discussion panel Crossroads: Identity, motion and migration
The New World of Work: Leveraging Benefits Strategies to Shape the Future
New England Employee Benefits Council
Massachusetts Clean Energy Day
North East Clean Energy Council (NECEC)
Opening Doors to Federal Government Contracting
Community Choice Energy – Boston City Council Hearing
Getting to the Point with Eric H. Holder Jr., 82nd Attorney General of the United States
Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate
Why is Boston Common so … common? – Boston Magazine
ICE agents in Mass. end controversial practice of office arrests – Boston Globe
Michael Hand indicted for murder in 1986 killing of Tracy Gilpin, sister of Massachusetts State Police Col. Kerry Gilpin – MassLive
Pot moratorium moves forward in Framingham – MetroWest Daily News
Berkshire Museum’s European works don’t hit Sotheby’s auction estimates – Berkshire Eagle
Nantucket hospital agrees to $50,000 settlement on opioids – Cape Cod Times
Once again the state pension fund is one of the nation’s best – Boston Globe
Congress approves first big rollback of Dodd-Frank – New York Times
Top takeaways from Tuesday’s historic primary night – Politico
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