Happening Today

Holder in N.H., Longfellow Bridge ceremony, plastic foam ban, Democratic Party Convention

— Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee and considered a potential presidential candidate, is the featured speaker at a ‘Politics & Eggs’ event in the Granite State,  New Hampshire Institute of Politics, 100 Saint Anselm Drive, Manchester, N.H., 10 a.m.

— Massachusetts Trial Court celebrates the renaming of the Plymouth Trial Court as the Therese Murray Trial Court, in honor of Therese Murray, the first women ever elected Senate president, 52 Obery St., Plymouth, 11 a.m.

Environment Massachusetts holds an event to announce the launch of a new campaign to ban plastic foam, including polystyrene cups and takeout containers, end of Long Wharf, Boston, 11 a.m.

— US EPA Regional Administrator Alexandra Dunn announces this year’s improved water quality grade for the Charles River, with DCR Commissioner Leo Roy, DEP Deputy Commissioner Stephanie Cooper, Austin Blackmon of the City of Boston, Robert Zimmerman of the Charles River Watershed Association and MWRA Director Fred Laskey attending, Fiedler Dock, Charles River Esplanade, Boston, 11 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano, Cambridge Mayor Marc McGovern, Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack, Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver, Sen. Joseph Boncore, Rep. Jay Livingstone and others celebrate the newly-renovated Longfellow Bridge, Charles River Esplanade, Frances Appleton Pedestrian Bridge, Boston, 1:30 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker attends Boston Pride’s annual raising of the rainbow pride flag at City Hall Plaza to kick off Pride Week, City Hall Plaza, Boston, 2:15 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker participates in the Best Buddies Football Challenge with First Lady Lauren Baker, Harvard Stadium, 65 North Harvard Street, Allston, 6 p.m.

— The Massachusetts Democratic Party begins its 2018 nominating convention, with speeches from the four incumbent candidates for statewide office who do not have primary opponents: U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Attorney General Maura Healey, Auditor Suzanne Bump and Treasurer Deb Goldberg, DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester, doors open at 6:30 p.m.

— Pre-convention parties: A number of pre-convention parties will be hosted by Democratic candidates today, as Democrats from around the state gather in Worcester: Secretary of State William Galvin’s party, 8 p.m., the Ballot Box, 11 Kelley Square; Jay Gonzalez, a candidate for governor, 8 p.m., Citizen Wine Bar, 1 Exchange St.; Quentin Palfrey, a candidate for lieutenant governor, 8:30 p.m., Mezcal Cantina, 30 Major Taylor Blvd.; and Jimmy Tingle, a candidate for lieutenant governor, Shangri-La, 50 Front St., 9 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

Double dipping, double trouble

The Globe’s Matt Stout reports that lawmakers have slipped measurers into the proposed House and Senate budgets that would ease restrictions on “double dipping,” i.e. the practice of government retirees returning to public-paying jobs while still collecting public-paid pensions. 

There’s all sorts of rationales for the move, including the need to bring back qualified workers to fill key job vacancies. Then again, maybe it points to the fact that overly generous retirement rules create key job vacancies in the first place. Or as Kevin Blanchette, a former state representative who now serves as the chief executive of the Worcester Regional Retirement System, puts it: “With some of these folks, they retire early and go right back to work in the same job. It raises, for me, the question of, why retire then?”

Boston Globe

Getting a little carried away with those offshore wind numbers …

CommonWealth magazine’s Bruce Mohl has a good piece this morning about Gov. Charlie Baker’s recent boast that a new offshore wind farm will offer “terrific pricing.” If the governor is comparing future prices to the absurd proposed rates for the now defunct Cape Wind project, he’s right. But if he’s comparing future prices to existing forms of power generation, he’s way off. Bruce has the numbers. 

As attractive and welcome as offshore wind-farm energy may be in terms of fighting global warming, it’s important to remember that offshore wind farms are nothing more than power stations built on stilts in the middle of the ocean – and they cost a lot. 


Crushing it: Baker and Warren enjoy massive leads heading into summer

From ballot questions to statewide races, there may be plenty of electoral intrigue in this fall’s elections, but the two biggest races appear poised for slam-dunks. A WBUR/MassInc poll finds that both U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Gov. Charlie Baker are enjoying massive leads over their opponents – with the Democrat Warren up 35 points over her GOP rivals and the Republican Baker up a whopping 40 points over his two Dem rivals. It’s amazing how little the needle has budged for both of them.

Still, Democratic gubernatorial candidates Jay Gonzalez and Robert Massie were hammering away at Baker during a WGBH debate last evening, reports Antonio Caban at ‘GBH.


Meanwhile, only a slim majority supports keeping transgender-rights law

This is a surprise in this bluest of blue states. From Yasmin Amer at WBUR: “A new WBUR poll out Thursday finds that a slim majority of Massachusetts voters do not want to repeal a 2016 state law that offers greater protections for transgender individuals in public accommodations. … According to the WBUR poll, 52 percent of voters oppose getting rid of the law, while 38 percent support its repeal.” The referendum question will very likely be on this fall’s ballot, as Amer notes, and supporters of the law appear to have a closer-than-expected fight on their hands.


Best side show in Worcester this weekend? Galvin vs Zakim

It’s not the main show. But it will probably be the best side show at this weekend’s state Democratic Party Convention in Worcester: Secretary of State William Galvin versus Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim. The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld writes that Galvin is “fighting to avoid an embarrassing setback” when delegates vote to endorse a secretary of state candidate. “If Zakim comes close to Galvin or even beats him, it would be a devastating outcome for the longtime secretary of state,” Joe writes.

Meanwhile, Galvin is on the defense on the issue of … abortion? It has nothing to do with being secretary of state, but a former executive director of the Massachusetts Democratic Party has been circulating letters critical of Galvin’s past stance on the issue, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall).  

Btw: The Telegram’s Mark Sullivan has a good overview on what to expect at the Democratic State Convention in Worcester, where more than 6,000 candidates will start gathering today. There will be a lot of Trump-era passion at the convention. But where (and who) will it be directed at? The Globe’s Frank Phillips and Matt Stout report “there are limited prospects for directing that energy.”

UMass email chain shows how faculty killed chancellor search – and yearned for Deval Patrick

The Dorchester Reporter’s Jennifer Smith obtained a slew of emails from UMass Boston that shows how opposition to the finalists in the search for a new chancellor grew from grousing to an outright revolt. Faculty openly express their problems with each of the candidates—all of whom eventually withdrew—and pine for at least one high-profile dream candidate for the job: Former Gov. Deval Patrick. 

Dorchester Reporter

Eric ‘Long Shot’ Holder heads to NH

As noted in our Happening Today section above, former U.S. Attorney Eric Holder will be in New Hampshire today at the “Politics & Eggs” breakfast often used as a platform to test the presidential waters. Dan Atkinson at the Herald reports Holder is considered a “long shot” presidential hopeful by most observers.

Boston Herald

Why he drives Dems crazy: Baker explains his on-one-hand, on-the-other-hand stand on new fees

So where does Republican Gov. Charlie Baker stand on the tens of millions of dollars in new fees that lawmakers have approved? On the one hand, he says he’s against them if they’re merely meant to balance the budget. On the other hand, he’s not against them if they’re “fact specific.” SHNS’s Matt Murphy at the Salem News has more on the governor’s long pull-a-gun-out-and-shoot-yourself explanation on fees. Fyi: The Globe’s Joshua Miller reports how all seven Republican senators voted in favor of the new fees.

Gertner blasts Baker’s ‘Trump lite’ criticism of judge

Speaking of the governor, Nancy Gertner, a retired federal judge and a professor at Harvard Law School, isn’t impressed with Gov. Charlie Baker’s recent criticism of a local judge who gave a convicted drug dealer probation rather than prison time, writing at the Globe that Baker was unfairly engaging in a “Trump lite” trashing of a judge who made an “unremarkable” ruling.

Boston Globe

Baker: Lively’s lawsuit? What Lively lawsuit?

OK, one last Baker item: Either he really didn’t know or he’s a damn good actor. SHNS’s Andy Metzger has the details on how Gov. Charlie Baker “appeared unaware” yesterday that his far-right Republican rival for governor, Scott Lively, has threatened to file a lawsuit against the state Republican Party on Monday unless his seven demands are met. Someone should tell the governor that one of the “concessions” demanded by Lively is for Baker’s campaign to fork over $1 million to a pro-life group. SHNS’s Andy Metzger has more.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Chapman battle heats up at SJC

The legal memos are flying at the Supreme Judicial Court, as attorneys for serial rapist Wayne Chapman, his victims and the state argue over whether Chapman should be released from prison based on psychological reports about his fitness to return to society, reports Marie Szaniszlo at the Herald. An SJC ruling is expected any day now. Meanwhile, Gov. Charlie Baker says he supports making the full psychological reports on Chapman public, reports Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive. 

New Yorkers’ top preference if they have to move: Boston?

As the Globe’s Jaclyn Reiss reports, more than a third of New Yorkers are looking for homes outside the city — and their leading potential destination is Boston, according to a study by Redfin. The New York Post is shocked, calling Boston “our city’s archrival.”

Just in time: Senate passes life-science funding bill ahead of next week’s big biotech conference

From SHNS’s Colin A. Young at the BBJ: “The Massachusetts Senate passed a bond bill Thursday meant to re-up the $1 billion, ten-year initiative launched by Gov. Deval Patrick in 2007 to support the state’s life sciences industry. The Senate’s passage of a bill that’s already cleared the House could give Gov. Charlie Baker a chance to sign an industry-friendly bill into law at next week’s international biotech conference in Boston, a possibility that two senators suggested led to the Senate considering the bill sooner than anticipated.”


Now two of RFK’s children are asking for a new probe of their father’s assassination

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the former lieutenant governor of Maryland and daughter of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, is joining her brother, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., in calling for a new investigation of their father’s assassination 50 years ago, reports Michael Levenson at the Globe. RFK Jr. has questioned the lone-gunman theory of his father’s murder and has even recently visited convicted killer Sirhan Sirhan in prison.

Boston Globe

Cranberry growers and other firms warily watch unfolding trade war

Cranberry growers and local businesses that rely on steel and aluminum are among those in the corporate world worried that President Trump’s escalating trade war will deliver a gut punch to the Bay State, Jordan Graham reports in the Herald. Mexico has said it will slap new tariffs on cranberry imports in response, a move that could undermine that industry’s efforts to grow its international footprint. 

Boston Herald

L’Italien’s rails against insider donations to others while collecting insider donations on Beacon Hill

State Sen. Barbara L’Italien, a Democratic candidate in the Third Congressional District, is vacuuming up donations from scores of lobbyists, insiders and others with ties to a State House committee that she co-chairs, even as she criticizes other Third candidates for raising funds from insiders with ties elsewhere, reports the Globe’s Frank Phillips.

Boston Globe

The slow and agonizing demise of Sears …

The BBJ’s Max Stendahl reports that Sears Holdings, after a brutal $424 million loss in the first quarter of 2018, is closing yet more Sears and Kmart stores across the country, including outlets in Peabody and Springfield. MassLive has more on the closing of the Sears store in the Eastfield Mall in Springfield. How much longer the rest of the company can last is anyone’s guess.


Faulkner Hospital president to take the helm at UMass Memorial

The talent often flows from Worcester to Boston, not the other way around, so this is impressive and a testament to Worcester’s growing clout within the health-care/life-science sector. From Jessica Bartlett at the BBJ: “UMass Memorial Health Care has a new leader for its flagship hospital, with executives choosing Dr. Michael Gustafson as the president of UMass Memorial Medical Center. Gustafson has served for the past three years as president of Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital.”

Judge dismisses cab drivers’ anti-trust suit against Uber

A similar case filed by taxi-medallion owners was dismissed late last year. Yesterday, it was the turn of cab drivers to have their anti-trust case against Uber dismissed, reports Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin.

Universal Hub

Sunday public affairs TV

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Cannabis Control Commission chairman Steve Hoffman, who walks with host Jon Keller about pot legalization matters, including new retail marijuana licenses.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Eastern Bank CEO Bob Rivers on its new Roxbury Crossing branch and fighting sex trafficking; the creative director of Yankee Barn Homes talks about the firm’s pre-fab work; and Shirley Leung of the Boston Globe weighs in on some of the top business stories of the week.   

CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. Diana Nole, CEO of Wolters Kluwer Health, talks about how her company tries to mix the best of medicine with the best of tech.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Peter Tedeschi, Republican candidate in the Ninth Congressional District, who talks with anchor Ed Harding and co-anchor Janet Wu.

This is New England, NBC Boston Channel 10, 11:30 a.m. With host Latoyia Edwards, this week’s topics: A look at Boston Pride Week in New England and how local ten-year old Hannah Grace is inspiring little girls to be themselves and create change via her BeYOUtiful Campaign.  

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s topics: A talk with Grammy award winner Bebe Winans, who grew up with nine siblings in a house full of gospel music.  

Apollo Club of Boston in Concert

Friends of Nahant Public Library

Boston Wear Orange Party at Lena Park Community Development Center

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

ACSC Campaign Cyber Defense Workshop

The Advanced Cyber Security Center (ACSC) Campaign Cyber Defense Workshop will focus on effective cyber security practices for campaigns, bringing together experts from the region’s industry, university, and government organizations to address campaign security and effective practices for maintaining campaign integrity — covering everything from data security to countering reputation attacks.

Advanced Cyber Security Center

Paying for Innovation in the Coming Age of Breakthrough Therapies

The 2018 Hewitt Healthcare Lecture will focus on value-based payment arrangements and other creative reimbursement solutions for innovative therapies. New England is home to the world’s greatest cluster of life sciences companies. Many are developing specialty or higher cost therapies that treat rare diseases with smaller patient populations.

Pioneer Institute

AgTech Nexus USA 2018

AgTech Nexus USA is a two-day conference where agribusinesses, investors, and tech companies will be immersed in the innovations and investment opportunities surrounding this exciting sector.

AgTech Nexus

Educational Program on Guardianship Set for Brockton

Guardian Community Trust, a nonprofit created to improve the lives of seniors and individuals with disabilities in Massachusetts, is partnering with the VA Boston Healthcare System, Brockton Campus, to convene an educational program for local caregivers about resources and tools for enabling care in the community, including guardianship and alternatives to guardianship.

Guardian Community Trust

The Business of Pride

Join the Boston Business Journal as we present our second Business of Pride event. This celebration will recognize the LGBT businesses in our community and their commitment to a diverse and inclusive workforce. This year’s program includes a brand-new component: The 2018 LGBT Corporate Ally Awards – recognizing a company that demonstrates commitment to the LGBT community. Don’t miss this event!

Boston Business Journal

Today’s Headlines


Boston Calling returning to Harvard in 2019 after smooth sophomore year, planners say – Cambridge Day

Downtown Boston will get a new master plan for zoning – Boston Globe


Gov. Baker discusses his vision for Worcester – Telegram & Gazette

Bike-sharing program rolls into Quincy – Patriot Ledger

New police HQ for Lawrence advances in Boston – Eagle-Tribune

Sears closing stores in Springfield, Peabody – MassLive


Hatch: Trump steel and aluminum tariffs are a ‘tax hike on Americans’ – The Hill

California town becomes laboratory for basic income – New York Times

How to Contact MASSterList

Send tips to Matt Murphy: Editor@MASSterList.com. For advertising inquiries and job board postings, please contact Dylan Rossiter: Publisher@MASSterList.com or (857) 370-1156. Follow @MASSterList on Twitter.