Biotech convention, Neal at New England Council, MBTA Control Board
— Treasurer Deborah Goldberg attends the National Association of State Treasurers’ conference in Orlando, Florida, Buena Vista Palace Resort, 1900 Buena Vista Drive, Orlando, FL.
— The 2018 BIO International Convention convenes today in Boston, attracting thousands of visitors to the city, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, 415 Summer St, starting at 8:30 a.m.
— House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta celebrate Nonprofit Awareness Day, Great Hall, 10 a.m.
— Senate President Harriette Chandler travels to the nation’s capital to speak at the National Medicaid-Medicare-CHIP Oral Health Symposium, Washington Marriott Wardman Park; 2660 Woodley Road NW, Washington D.C., 10:15 a.m.
— The Alliance for Business Leadership will hold a ‘Progressive Power Hour’ with U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, CIC- Lighthouse East, 20th Floor, 50 Milk St., Boston, 11:30 a.m.
— U.S. Rep. Richard Neal will speak to the New England Council before a panel discussion about the federal tax law that President Donald Trump signed late last year, PwC, 101 Seaport Boulevard, Boston, 12 p.m.
— The MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board will discuss automatic train control design professional services, hear an update on construction planning, take possible action on early morning and late night service, and hear an update on The Ride, State Transportation Building, 2nd Floor, Transportation Board Room, Boston, 12:30 p.m.
— The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is seeking public comment until 4 p.m. on a draft of MGM Springfield’s liquor license application that includes serving alcohol on casino floors till 4 a.m., with written comments sent to Massachusetts Gaming Commission, 101 Federal Street, 12th Floor, Boston, MA 02110 Attn: Catherine Blue, General Counsel, 4 p.m.
— Sen. Byron Rushing speaks at a public forum hosted by Boston Pride and Freedom for All Massachusetts and focused on defending transgender equality in the state, NBC 10 Reporter Alison King moderating, District Hall, 75 Northern Ave., Boston, 6 p.m.
— U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark is a guest on ‘Greater Boston,’ WGBH-TV Ch. 2, 7 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.
Dems endorse Gonzalez-Palfrey ticket and Zakim over Galvin
Delegates at this past weekend’s Democratic State Party Convention in Worcester officially endorsed Jay Gonzalez for governor and Quentin Palfrey for lieutenant governor, beating out, respectively, Bob Massie and Jimmy Tingle, reports Mark Sullivan at the Telegram and Adam Reilly at WGBH. But the real shocker was the endorsement of Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim over Secretary of State William Galvin, the state’s longest serving elected constitutional officer. Entering the convention, Zakim was hoping for a strong showing in the 20-percent range. Instead, he got the endorsement on a 54.8 to 45.2 percent vote of delegates.
In other convention news:
— Cyrus Moulton at MetroWest Daily News reports that Democrats, no matter who wins the September primary for governor, still face a “formidable” Republican candidate in Gov. Charlie Baker.
— Mark Sullivan at the Wicked Local reports on U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s rip-roaring speech to delegates.
— SHNS’s Michael Norton at CommonWealth magazine reports on Attorney General Maura Healey’s bashing of Baker.
— The Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert reports state Dems are revved up like never before to rip into all things Donald Trump.
— The Telegram has a photo gallery of some of the weekend’s events.
So what now for Galvin?
After this past weekend’s upset Democratic convention endorsement of progressive upstart Josh Zakim over long-time incumbent Bill Galvin for secretary of state, the two Dem candidates engaged in a testy exchange that indicates a hard-fought primary battle ahead, reports SHNS’s Colin Young at CommonWealth magazine and Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive. Galvin is dismissing the convention vote as “just the beginning” and noting he’s won elections before without party endorsements. The Herald’s Jordan Graham and Joe Battenfeld have more. The Globe’s Matt Stout and Frank Phillips report that Zakim’s cause was boosted a bit when Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on Saturday morning signaled his support for Zakim over Galvin.
Massachusetts sending copter, two soldiers to help Trump’s border crackdown
What’s almost as good as the Friday before Memorial Day to drop politically unsavory news? Maybe the Friday afternoon before the state’s Democratic convention. SHNS’s Matt Murphy at MassLive reported Friday afternoon the news that the Massachusetts National Guard will be sending reinforcements to help with President Trump’s crackdown on illegal border crossings. The Baker administration was quick to point out that the state has backed similar border missions under both GOP and Democratic presidents. Needless to say, they didn’t point out that the Republican governor also has a feisty right-wing primary insurgency on his hands.
The news didn’t go entirely unnoticed by Democrats, as gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez called the move “wrong” just prior to his winning the party’s endorsement. Gonzalez said any support at all does not reflect the will of Massachusetts residents, reports Shannon Young at MassLive.
Healey demands loan-deal documents from Mount Ida College
On another investigative front, from WBUR: “State Attorney General Maura Healey is giving Mount Ida College officials until the middle of June to turn over a cache of documents as she investigates the school’s abrupt closure.” Somewhat ominously for Mount Ida officials is Healey’s request for documents related to a controversial multimillion-dollar loan given to the school by an elderly New York women with ties to Mount Ida’s president, reports Max Stendahl at the BBJ.
Grand jury probes State Police overtime abuse as five additional troopers are implicated
The feds are now involved in the investigation into allegations of State Police overtime abuse, via a federal grand jury that’s looking at potential misconduct by both troopers and their supervisors, reports the Globe’s Andrea Estes and Shelley Murphy. Meanwhile, the Associated Press at WBUR reports a state audit has found additional potential cases of troopers being paid overtime for shifts they didn’t work.
Talk radio host sues Attleboro mayor over ‘gag order’
One has to wonder if Paul Heroux ever wishes he’d kept his State House gig. The former state rep turned mayor of Attleboro is now the subject of a small claims lawsuit filed by a local talk radio personality who says Heroux has prevented the city’s police chief from appearing on his show, Jim Hand reports in the Sun Chronicle. The suit filed by Dave Kane extends the controversy over whether Heroux slapped a ‘gag order’ on Chief Kyle Heagney after he talked to the Providence Journal about a spike in crime. Heroux claims no such gag order exists.
Springfield mayor lashes out at judicial system and criminal ‘animals’
Another politician is blasting the state’s judicial system, the latest salvo coming from Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, after police last week found three bodies at the home of career criminal Steward Weldon, 40, who is currently charged with kidnapping, raping and brutally beating a woman, report Shannon Young at MassLive and Mary Markos at the Herald. “Stewart R. Weldon is another ‘choir boy’ let go by our judicial system,” Sarno said. “When will some of our judges realize that ‘animals’ like this have no respect for life, our courts, or GPS devices.”
Sarno’s remarks follow controversies over the judicial system’s handling of other cases, including a judge’s recent decision to give an opioid dealer probation rather than prison.
Group wants to drop ‘Faneuil’ from historic hall’s name due to slave-trade ties
From Marie Szaniszlo at the Herald: “Clergy members and other activists are calling on Boston officials to rename Faneuil Hall because a portion of the money used to fund the so-called “Cradle of Liberty” came, ironically, from the profits of its namesake’s slave trade.” The namesake being Peter Faneuil, the 18th century merchant and slave trader. As recently noted at the Bay State Banner and at other publications, state Rep. Byron Rushing is no fan of changing the name of Faneuil Hall.
Pioneer Institute and UMass going at it over state funding
Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine reports on the escalating war of words between the Pioneer Institute and the University of Massachusetts over whether state funding for the five-campus system is really inadequate.
Hostess Twinkies owner buys Necco after bankruptcy deal sours
The winning bidder of the recent bankruptcy auction for New England Confectionery Company (Necco) effectively pulled out of the deal last week, allowing Sweetheart Candy Co., owned by the Metropoulos family, to swoop in to buy the Revere candymaker, reports CBS Market Watch. And that may be very good news for Necco fans, for the Metropoulos family is known for revitalizing famous brands, including Hostess, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Bumble Bee, Chef Boyardee, Vlasic, Ghirardelli and Perrier Jouet.
Dime dropping: Athenahealth’s Bush hit with another embarrassing disclosure
In other business news, someone seems to be dropping dimes on Jonathan Bush, nephew of former President Bush I, cousin of former President Bush II and CEO Watertown’s Athenahealth, which is the target of a takeover attempt by a New York hedge fund. A week after a British newspaper reported Bush had physically attacked his then wife multiple times, the New York Post is reporting that Bush has previously been accused of “ogling the breasts of a female employee and ‘making comments about his sex life.’” The Globe’s Andy Rosen has more.
Innovative Massachusetts? Economically, yes. Politically, no
This is sort of a tale of two columnists at the same paper. The Globe’s Evan Horowitz reports on a new study that shows the glory days of the state leading in cutting-edge public policy innovations are long gone. But the Globe’s Scott Kirsner, in a Globe piece timed for this week’s big Bio International convention in Boston, writes that those past public policy innovations laid the groundwork for the state’s current innovative economy.
Fyi: In a third Globe column, Mayor Marty Walsh and Vertex Pharmaceuticals chief executive Jeffrey Leiden brag about Boston’s innovative biotech sector, though they say we must do much more to educate future workers.
‘The Copenhagen Model’
Here’s a way for Massachusetts to blaze an innovative trail (at least nationally) in housing and transportation at the same time: Adopting the ‘Copenhagen model’ of establishing publicly owned, but privately run, corporations to raise money for infrastructure improvements and new housing. Jake Auchincloss, a Newton city councilor writing at CommonWealth magazine, even has a potential name for the entity, if the state pursues the idea: The Eastern Massachusetts Housing and Transportation Corporation (EMHAT).
The incredibly shrinking Boston Herald, Part II: Plunging circulation
Following news of deep staff cutbacks at the Herald, now comes this from the BBJ’s Don Seiffert: “The Boston Herald’s weekday print circulation saw a bigger drop in the first three months of 2018 compared to the previous quarter than it’s seen anytime in at least the past three years. The newspaper’s weekday average print circulation fell to 40,914 during the first quarter of 2018, according to a report the Herald filed this week with the Alliance for Audited Media.” The plunge came as the paper was transitioning to its new owner, Digital First Media.
Ex-Herald ed-page chief Rachelle Cohen now on board at Globe
Speaking of the Herald: BU professor John Carroll reports at his blog that Rachelle Cohen, the former editor of Boston Herald’s editorial page who’s recently been writing op-eds at the Globe, is now listed in her columns as the “contributing member of the Globe’s editorial board.” Jack Sullivan at CommonWealth magazine confirms Cohen’s new advisory gig and notes the political/ex-rivalry ironies.
Returning Army sergeant surprises his son at high school graduation
If you have to watch one video today, make it this one of Army Sgt. Damon Solomon surprising his son, Tyler, at the younger Solomon’s graduation ceremony at Marshfield High School on Saturday. Sgt. Solomon had been overseas for a year and hadn’t told any of his relatives that he was coming home. CBS Boston has the story. MassLive has the full video at YouTube.
Globe: ‘Retiring more nuclear plants could hurt Mass. climate goals’
The Globe has already angered a lot of anti-pipeline folks with its editorials calling for increased natural gas pipeline capacity to meet the state’s energy needs. Now it’s saying the region needs to go slow on closing nuclear plants – specifically New Hampshire’s Seabrook nuclear station – and it’s even urging Massachusetts to do what it can to keep Seabrook open in order to meet climate goals. As for keeping the Plymouth nuclear plant open? It’s basically a hopeless cause, the paper says.
In the state Senate, fewer women despite female candidate surge elsewhere
There may be a record number of women running for office across the country, but the Massachusetts state Senate has seen a move in the other direction as several high-profile women have left the body in recent months, Samantha Gross reports at the Lowell Sun. Several of those who left—including now Cannabis Control Commissioner Jennifer Flanagan, Linda Dorcena Ferry and Eileen Donoghue–have or will be replaced by men.
Gun-rights protesters and counterprotesters clash outside State House
Three people were arrested for disorderly conduct outside the State House on Saturday as police tried to keep competing protesters – those favoring gun rights versus those who think the gun-rights folks are Nazis — away from each other, reports Jordan Frias the Herald and Laura Crimaldi at the Globe. Both sides live for this stuff, thinking they’re replaying the Berlin street brawls of the early ‘30s, etc. etc.
DraftKing signs agreement with Atlantic City casino on sports betting
DraftKings, the Boston sports fantasy game company that’s sworn up and down it’s not a gambling operation, has signed an agreement with Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino Hotel to pursue a sports betting license in New Jersey, the first such pact DraftKings has reached since a U.S. Supreme Court decision cleared the way for sports betting across the country. CBS New York and the Boston Business Journal have more.
Nichols College’s unique master’s degree: ‘Countering violent extremism’
Technically, Nichols College last month graduated its first class of master’s degree students in counterterrorism. But Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports the degree is a little different from other counterterrorism programs: It focuses on countering violent extremism in general and is not to limited to purely political terrorism. She explains.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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