National Grid-union talks, Healey at Tufts, State House leadership meeting
— National Grid and union officials are set to meet for more negotiations in an attempt to end their months-old contract dispute and utility lockout of 1,250 gas workers.
— Boston City Councilor Annissa Essaibi George holds a public hearing to ‘examine mental health resources, de-escalation and treatment services for suicide prevention,’ Iannella Chamber, Boston City Hall, 9 a.m.
— This year’s student holiday concert series kicks off with a performance by students from Chelmsford’s South Row Elementary School, with at least 16 other performances planned in the coming weeks, Grand Staircase, 11:15 a.m.
— Attorney General Maura Healey participates in a conversation with Tufts political science professor Jeffrey Berry about state and national politics, Tufts University, Granoff Music Center, 20 Talbot Ave., Medford, 12 p.m.
— Millennial-led initiatives to grow the renewable energy sector will be shared at an event that will include state Sen. Eric Lesser, Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu, Transportation for Massachusetts Director Chris Dempsey, Resonant Energy Co-president Isaac Baker and others, BUild Lab, Boston University, 730 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 2:30 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Karen Spilka, Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, Secretary of State Bill Galvin and others gather for the ceremonial lighting of a 15-foot Chanukah Menorah in celebration of the eight-day Jewish festival, Grand Staircase, 2nd Floor, 4 p.m.
— The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education holds a public hearing to hear the final application for the proposed Massachusetts Wildflower Montessori Public Charter School, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Haverhill Campus, Innovation Hub Haverhill, 2 Merrimack St., Third Floor, Haverhill, 4 p.m.
— Treasurer Deborah Goldberg chairs a meeting of the Economic Empowerment Trust Fund Board, Crane Conference Room, McCormack Building – 12th floor, 1 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Karen Spilka, Rep. Brad Jones and Sen. Bruce Tarr hold a private State House leadership meeting, Room 360, 2 p.m.
For more calendar listings, check out State House News Service’s Daily Advances (pay wall – free trial subscriptions available) and MassterList’s Beacon Hill Town Square below.
George H.W. Bush, RIP: The local reactions
The sad news of former President George H.W. Bush’s death on Friday was felt across New England, where the late president was born and raised and left enduring political marks. A sampling from the local media:
Fred Thys at WBUR has a good piece on Bush’s deep family roots in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maine – and how he even played a role in getting Boston Harbor cleaned up. … Beth Treffeisen at the Cape Cod Times talks with people who remember Bush’s memorable visit to Cape Cod, as president, to campaign in 1990 for then gubernatorial candidate (and later governor) Bill Weld. … The Globe’s Jess Bidgood reports on how many local pols remember Bush for his civility, despite his fierce partisan competitiveness. … The Herald’s Howie Carr is still pumped that Bush defeated Gov. Michael Dukakis for president way back in 1988. … Dukakis, unlike Howie, is taking the high road, saying the man who defeated him for president 30 years ago will be remembered for his role in bringing the Cold War to an end, reports the AP’s Susan Haigh. … The Globe’s Adrian Walker and the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld both contrast Bush’s political style to that of the current White House occupant. … Craig LeMoult at WGBH covers the reaction of Bush’s death in Kennebunkport, Maine, where he was viewed as a kind, though very prominent, neighbor. … MassLive.com has the reaction of Gov. Charlie Baker, who says Bush will be “sorely missed.” … And, finally, this story by the U.K.’s Telegraph was making the Internet rounds over the weekend, regarding Bush’s WW II heroics – and how it was more harrowing than even Bush knew at the time.
Grand jury probing whether Newton judge helped immigrant to flee ICE agents
This is potentially a big deal if the feds actually bring charges against a sitting state judge. The Globe’s Andrea Estes and Maria Cramer report that a federal grand jury has been to convened to investigate whether Newton District Judge Shelley M. Joseph, after hush-hush bench meeting in which the audio recorder was ordered shut off, allowed an undocumented immigrant defendant to flee through a courthouse back door while an ICE agent sat in the courtroom waiting to start the deportation process.
And the feds believe this is not the first time a Newton judge has allegedly done something like this.
‘The 7-Eleven of marijuana’
Jacqueline Tempera at MassLive takes a look at Boston-based TILT, a marijuana company you’ll probably hear more about in coming days, weeks, months and years. Set to go public in Canada tomorrow, the well-financed TILT already has a nickname: “The 7-Eleven of marijuana.”
Meet Phil Satre, the man hired to save Wynn Resorts’ Everett license
Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine interviews Phil Satre, the long-time gaming industry veteran who became the compromise pick to serve as chairman of Wynn Resorts as it fights to keep its Everett casino license. Satre was in town to be interviewed by the Gaming Commission – and apparently decided a pre-interview interview was in order. He indeed makes his case in an “amiable, matter-of-fact way,” as Mohl notes, something Wynn Resorts sure needs these days.
Courts and Baker clash over stripping gun licenses from owners
This is one those off-the-radar-screen tussles that’s no longer off the radar screen. From Matt Stout at the Globe: “Governor Charlie Baker’s administration is resisting a mounting number of court orders from judges charging that it overstepped its legal authority, or misinterpreted the law, when it pushed to strip firearm licenses from hundreds of people it previously cleared to own a gun.” And here’s another twist, besides the fact that it’s a Republican administration doing this: Local law enforcement people are none too pleased.
Facing blowback, Northampton cancels police chief’s training in Israel
Amid an outcry from activists, Northampton leadership has reversed course and says it will no longer send the city’s police chief to Israel for anti-terrorism training with the country’s special forces, Dusty Christensen reports in the Daily Hampshire Gazette. Last week, WGBH’s Mike Deehan reported that activists were pressuring Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to cancel plans to send two members of the Boston PD to the training as well.
We understand that activists are concerned about the militarization of police tactics — and we share those concerns. But we can’t help but wonder if the Israeli-Palestinian dispute has something to do with all this, similar to the ongoing battles over teaching Israeli-Palestinian history in schools, the latest flare-up on this front occurring at Tufts University, where a former Tufts professor is blasting what he calls a biased (i.e. anti-Israel) class on colonialism at Tufts.
Economists and antitrust experts skeptical about Healey’s hospital merger conditions
It sounds like a tough regulatory condition: A seven-year price cap in exchange for Attorney General Maura Healey’s approval of the controversial Beth Israel-Lahey hospital merger. But economists say Healey is merely asking the two health care giants to do what they’re already required to do, i.e. control costs. Jessica Bartlett at the BBJ (pay wall) has the details.
Meanwhile, antitrust specialists wonder how the “great experiment” will turn out, i.e., the theory that a combined Beth Israel-Lahey entity will be in a better position to compete against the quasi-monopolistic Partners Health. But the big question is: Are we merely replacing a monopoly with a duopoly? The Globe’s Priyanka Dayal McCluskey has more.
Fall River mayor case features heavy legal hitters
This almost sounds like a proxy war between old adversaries in the Whitey Bulger legal battles. Anway, prosecutors who helped put Whitey Bulger and Rafael ‘The Cofdather’ Rafael behind bars are handling the prosecution of Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia, while a Burger defense attorney is among those on the mayor’s legal dream team, Jo C. Goode reports at the Herald News.
That Merrimack River stench: It might help if buildings were actually hooked up to the sewer system
This could partially explain the Merrimack River’s notorious downriver stench that’s left hundreds of thousands of people gagging for years. Keith Eddings at the Eagle-Tribune reports two prominent commercial buildings in Lawrence aren’t even hooked up to the city’s sewer system and apparently have been dumping raw sewage into the Merrimack River for perhaps a decade – and the state has allowed it.
From Eddings: “The story of how it happened is one of finger-pointing and foot-dragging, reversals and contradictions, improbable explanations, lax enforcement, a few well-timed campaign contributions and daily assaults on an iconic river already suffering from the more sizable discharges of sewage by municipal systems that occur with almost every rainfall.”
Can Patrick’s soothing message resonate in a polarized political environment?
The Globe’s Yvonne Abraham wonders whether Deval Patrick’s optimistic message of unity, sacrifice and progress will resonate with enough voters should he run for president in 2020. “He would have to be confident that America is not yet too broken to embrace a second black president. To my eye, such optimism is willfully blind. But, oh, how I’d love to be wrong.”
Actually, we happen to agree with Michael Curry, former head of the Boston NAACP, who says that “the middle is waiting for someone inspiring” and that Patrick may fit the bill.
And can Patrick and Warren even win in their own state?
The Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter takes a look at recent UMass polling data showing that Massachusetts voters are not exactly wild about U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Gov. Deval Patrick running for president in 2020 – and how those numbers could hinder their plans for a White House bid.
Meanwhile, Harry Enten at CNN reports how Warren’s re-election win over Republican Geoff Diehl in Massachusetts wasn’t as impressive as some may think. Our quickie analysis of both stories: It’s too early in the process for non-candidate candidates to worry too much about such numbers.
Moulton calls Ocasio-Cortez’s comment on Pelosi opponents ‘offensive’
Progressive darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s assertion that Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic opponents are “coming from her right” and want to make the party more conservative isn’t playing well with anti-Pelosi ringleader Seth Moulton, who’s calling her comments “offensive.” Arjun Singh has more on the intraparty dust-up.
Ayanna Pressley: From outsider to insider in just a matter of weeks
She ran as an outsider. But U.S. Rep.-elect Ayanna Pressley is already proving she knows how to play the inside game, wringing small concessions from Nancy Pelosi in the House leadership fight. Liz Goodwin and Jess Bidgood at the Globe have more.
New Bedford leaders are deluded if they think charter schools aren’t needed
At CommonWealth magazine, Keri Rodrigues, founder of Massachusetts Parents United, says that after charter school critics finish their umpteenth million victory lap following the defeat of Question 2 two years ago, they might want to check how New Bedford schools are really doing – and listen to parents who want more charter-school options in the city.
Kennedy overwhelmed by response to his call for ‘moral capitalism’
Jon Chesto at the Globe reports that U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III wasn’t expecting the huge (and largely positive) response to his call last week for a new “moral capitalism.” But Chesto says Kennedy shouldn’t be too surprised, considering there’s already a number of local CEOs who have long agreed with the sentiment. Indeed, a certain author of MassterList recently wrote a piece for the BBJ about Fidelity Bank CEO Ed Manzi’s commitment to the “conscious capitalist” movement, which has a Boston chapter.
John Marttila, RIP
A virtual who’s who of the local political establishment – as well as the national political establishment – attended yesterday’s Back Bay church service for John Marttila, “one of the most influential political consultants of a generation,” reports James Pindell at the Globe. Among those attending: U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, former U.S. senator and secretary of state John Kerry, former Vice President Joe Biden, former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, former Gov. Michael Dukakis and Gov. Charlie Baker.
Nobel Prize winning activist Malala Yousafzai to be honored at Harvard
From the Associated Press at WBUR: “The woman who became a worldwide advocate for educational opportunity after surviving a Taliban assassination attempt is being honored by Harvard University. Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai will be awarded the 2018 Gleitsman Award at a ceremony Thursday at Harvard’s Kennedy School for her work promoting girls’ education. The award comes with a $125,000 prize.”
USS Thomas Hudner officially commissioned in Boston
The Herald News has a nice photo gallery of Saturday’s official commissioning of the USS Thomas Hudner, named after Medal of Honor recipient Captain Thomas Hudner, a Fall River native and long-time Concord resident who passed away a year ago.
Lawsuits allege pay bias, hostile environment at BPS
From James Vaznis at the Boston Globe: “The Boston school system is facing two lawsuits from female administrators in the central offices who describe a difficult work environment, offering a rare glimpse at the culture inside the notoriously dysfunctional School Department headquarters.”
Two GOP party chief candidates: Time to expand the appeal of Republicans in Massachusetts
File under “GOP comeback plan, Plan XXXVIII.” State Rep. Peter Durant of Spencer and current Mass. GOP Treasurer Brent Andersen are vying for for the chairmanship of the state Republican party and both say they want to expand the appeal of the party to more voters, Cyrus Moulton reports in the Telegram. U.S. Senate candidate Geoff Diehl says he’s still “considering” a run for the post, which party leadership will fill in January after current chair Kirsten Hughes announced she won’t see another term.
Suspended: Holy Cross halts investigation into reported hate attack
The College of the Holy Cross says it has suspended a probe into an alleged bias-motivated assault on campus because all investigative “leads have been exhausted” without bearing conclusive results, Walter Bird Jr. reports at Worcester Magazine.The school says its police department spent 200 hours investigating the claims, including reviewing 100 hours of surveillance video.
Dreidels with Deb Goldberg
Make any donation to the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action and receive a special invitation to our Chanukah party: Dreidels with Deb Goldberg on Monday, December 3, 2018!
From Boston to Yorktown: Tales of the National Trails
In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the National Trails Act of 1968, Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Hurricane’s Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown, and other panelists explore key events at historic sites featured in National Historic Trails and National Recreation Trails.
NAIOP Annual Holiday Party
Join NAIOP for an evening filled with holiday cheer, entertainment and networking at the NAIOP Annual Holiday Party, presented by the NAIOP Developing Leaders and open to all ages.
#RunforIt: Practical Tips for Political Beginners
So you’re thinking about running for office, but where do you start? Hear from door-knocking and handshaking experts on how to be successful.
Getting to the Point with John Kerry
68th U.S. Secretary of State, United States Senator and author John Kerry will participate in a wide-ranging moderated conversation at the Institute. Secretary Kerry will discuss his recent memoir, Every Day is Extra, reflect on the current challenges facing our nation, and offer insights on the major milestones from his 50 years in public service and what lessons they offer today.
Questioning U.S.-Saudi Alliance: Yemen and the Politics of Famine
In this panel discussion, we will be joined by experts on U.S.-Saudi relations, our questionable alliance, the terrible consequences the war has had on civilians in Yemen, our own impact by creating weapons and selling them to Saudi Arabia, and how we should stop this and other disastrous human rights abuses in the future.
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