Happening Today

State Archives vault, Project OnRamp, and more

— Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Boston Housing Authority Administrator William McGonagle celebrate the start of construction at the Lenox/Camden Housing Development, Butler Youth and Family Center, 18 Ditmus Ct. – Rear, Lower Roxbury, 9:30 a.m.

— Secretary of State William Galvin holds a grand opening ceremony of new vault storage at the State Archives, with Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants and Major Gen. Gary Keefe, the adjutant general, attending to view some of the historical documents on display, Massachusetts Archives, Columbia Point, 10 a.m.

— Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito participates in the formal launch of Project OnRamp, a new 2019 collaborative initiative between the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and Life Science Cares, Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, MassBio Education Foundation and Bottom Line to create dedicated summer internships for students, McCarthy Student Center, Framingham State University, 100 State St, Framingham, 11 a.m.

— Representatives from the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Humane Society, the Animal Rescue League of Boston and Best Friends Animal Society will gather to promote animal-protection bills on Beacon Hill, Grand Staircase, 11 a.m.

Massachusetts Senior Action Council plans a news conference in support of a measure in Gov. Charlie Baker’s budget proposal to expand eligibility for the Medicare Savings Program, Room 428, 11 a.m.

— The Task Force on Regional Transit Authority Performance and Funding will meet, MassDOT State Transportation Building, 2nd Floor, Room 1, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 1 p.m.

— The Boston Green Ribbon Commission plans to release the ‘Carbon Free Boston Report at Carbon Free Boston: Pathways to Carbon Neutrality by 2050,’ Museum of Science, Cahners Theater, 1 Science Park, Boston, 1:30 p.m.

— The Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus will hold its annual meeting, with Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer giving the keynote, Suffolk University School of Law, 5th Floor, 120 Tremont St., Boston, 5:30 p.m.

— Treasurer Deb Goldberg appears on NECN’s ‘The Take with Sue O’Connell,’ NECN, 160 Wells Ave., Newton, 6:30 p.m.

— Sen. Patricia Jehlen participates in a panel discussion about the Fund Our Future Coalition’s support for legislation that would increase funding for public higher education by $500 million and public prekindergarten through grade 12 schools by $1 billion, University Hall UNIV Room 3-094, 1815 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 7 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.

Today’s Stories

U.S. Attorney Lelling: Safe-injection sites will not be tolerated by feds

In a Globe op-ed, U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling is bluntly warning city officials, i.e. Mayor Marty Walsh, not to open any opioid safe-injection sites for addicts, saying such centers would “effectively legalize opioid abuse” and “will be met with federal enforcement” if anyone tries to operate one.

Separately (we think), Walsh, whose once skeptical view on safe-injection sites were transformed after he recently visited addiction centers in Canada, yesterday conceded that Massachusetts is “not ready” to open safe-injection facilities, reports Felice Freyer at the Globe.

Boston Globe

In Gloucester, retired cops hired to police library

Maybe this is why so many are looking at safe-injection sites? The city of Gloucester plans to spend $140,000 a year to hire private security guards — including several retired city cops — to police the public library following a rash of complaints about drug use and other unruly behavior, Ray Lamont reports at the Gloucester Times.

Gloucester Times

‘Elizabeth Warren Does Teddy Roosevelt’

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “uber-millionaire tax” proposal is getting a big thumbs up from Paul Krugman, the NYT columnist, economist and Nobel laureate who writes that she’s “pushing her party to go big” and clearly following in the footsteps of progressive Teddy Roosevelt. 


MBTA proposes 6.3 percent increase in fares, Baker defends fare-hike process

From Simón Rios at WBUR: “The MBTA is planning to raise fares across the transportation system by an average of 6.3 percent, an increase T officials say will boost revenue by $32 million next fiscal year to help meet rising costs. The proposed increases would take effect July 1.” The plan calls for a 15 cent rise in subway fares, a 10 cent increase for buses and $5.50 for the monthly LinkPass. 

Meanwhile, Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports that Gov. Charlie Baker is defending the process that allows the T to raise rates by up to 7 percent every two years, saying it avoids a situation where fares are revisited infrequently and then hiked significantly all at once. The last T fare hike was three years ago.


Farewell to the Mattapan Line’s 1940s-era trolley cars?

Though they have many sentimental fans, it looks like the days are numbered for the circa-1940s trolley cars on the Mattapan Line, with an MBTA analysis concluding that the line requires extensive infrastructure investments over the next decade and that the “historic-but-broken-down trolleys that currently carry passengers should be replaced – most likely with redeployed Green Line vehicles,” reports Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine.

Btw: Erin Tiernan at Wicked Local reports that long-stalled Red Line projects in Quincy appear to be back on track.


MassHousing director Kornegay joins T’s control board

And speaking of the T, Catherine Carlock at the BBJ reports that Gov. Charlie Baker has tapped Chrystal Kornegay, executive director of MassHousing, to serve on T’s Fiscal Management and Control Board and the Department of Transportation’s board, replacing Steve Poftak, who recently became the T’s general manager.

BBJ (pay wall)

Meanwhile, MassHousing’s taste for pricy hotels, lobster dinners, and octopus and beef tartare

The Boston Herald is going after MassHousing again, this time over its executives’ past out-of-state junkets, staying at pricy hotels and enjoying fancy dinners. They even threw a $4,808 “welcoming party” for executive director Chrystal Kornegay — who, as the Herald notes, was just appointed to the MBTA board (and see our post above). Joe Dwinell and Joe Battenfeld have the details, as well as a sidebar piece on that octopus and beef tartare.  

Shutdown showdown: Warren ‘not confident’ another shutdown can be avoided

As federal employees returned to work yesterday after the temporary end of the more than month-long government shutdown, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren was warning that she’s “not confident at all” that another shutdown can be avoided next month, reports Shira Schoenberg at MassLive. Other state lawmakers are also nervous about a potential resumption of a shutdown in three weeks, Schoenberg reports in a separate story.

In an editorial, the Globe has an idea on how to prevent future shutdown showdowns: The Stop Stupidity Act (Shutdowns Transferring Unnecessary Pain and Inflicting Damage In the Coming Years), sponspored by U.S. Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia. Meanwhile, the Globe’s Joan Vennochi has a question for one member of the state’s congressional delegation: “Tell us again, Seth Moulton — why shouldn’t Nancy Pelosi be speaker of the House?”

Lap dance for doctor who prescribed opioid painkiller?

OK, we’ll start off with the obligatory serious story about the first day of the Insys Therapeutics trial in Boston, via Jerome Campbell at WBUR: “A federal prosecutor said a pharmaceutical company founder ‘put profits over people’ by bribing doctors around the country to prescribe a highly addictive fentanyl spray.” But we can’t resist the story by the Herald’s  Marie Szanszlo, headlined: “Prosecutors: Insys execs gave doctors bribes – and a lap dance – to prescribe drug.” 

And it was apparently an exotic dancer, not just any other lap dancer. And we’ll repeat: When are law-enforcement officials going to start publicly naming the doctors involved in these schemes?

Lawmakers and city officials unveil ambitious goals for cutting carbon emissions

First, on the state front, via SHNS’s Chris Lisinski at WGBH: “Warning of dire consequences if no action is taken to combat climate change, lawmakers are again making an ambitious push to transition Massachusetts to all-renewable energy sources within two and a half decades. Legislation unveiled Monday by a group of elected officials and activists outside the House chamber would move the state to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2035 and 100 percent clean power for transportation and heating by 2045.”

Meanwhile, the Globe’s Milton Valencia writes that a new report is calling for the city of Boston to go carbon-neutral by 2050, via electric cars, congestion fees and other steps.

Fear not: Scooters are on the way to Boston’s streets

We’re not sure this will contribute to a carbon-neutral future in Boston, but it’s still interesting from a transportation standpoint. From Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin: “Mayor Walsh has filed a proposed ordinance that would let scooter companies begin lining city sidewalks with their for-hire two wheelers – as long as register with the city and promise to get their users not to block sidewalk ramps, crosswalks, fire hydrants and building entrances.”

Universal Hub

Lawrence charter school accused of faking support letters

The leaders of two nonprofit organizations say they never wrote or signed letters of support submitted to the state’s board of education endorsing a charter school proposal in Lawrence, Keith Eddings reports at the Eagle-Tribune. The office of Education Commissioner Jeff Riley says it is investigating the reported letters of support for the Equity Lab Charter School, which Mayor Daniel Rivera strongly opposes. 


Wynn Resorts admits executives knew of sexual misconduct claims – and even rape claims?

The executives involved are no longer with the company. But this is still shocking. From Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine: “Nevada gaming officials released a complaint against Wynn Resorts on Monday identifying at least seven instances where employees were either raped, forced into sexual relationships, or sexually harassed by Steve Wynn between 2005 and 2014 and another situation where an employee facilitated sex between cocktail servers and Steve Wynn and his guests.”

Rape? They didn’t even report allegations of criminal rape? Yikes. Dan Glaun at MassLive has more.  


Makes sense to us: Growing marijuana and making hemp-laced shoes in the same factory

Gary Leonard has a dream. From Marc Larocque at the Enterprise: “Leonard, a longtime Brockton businessman, and former Main Streets Manager for the city, is pitching the idea of turning the old Brockton Sole factory, a 100,000-square-foot building at 53 Spark St., into a state-permitted marijuana grow operation. … A long-term plan involves the production of hemp, using the stock of the cannabis plant, to manufacture a wide variety of items, including shoes.”


Meanwhile, the Cannabis Wedding Expo is coming to Boston!

The Wedding Bride Industrial Complex strikes again. The Globe’s Felecia Gans reports on the “latest trend in wedding planning,” i.e. cannabis-infused weddings, and now the Cannabis Wedding Expo is coming to Boston this fall. Yes, this fall. Mark your calendars.

Boston Globe

Healey wins a round in battle over Purdue Pharma documents

From the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett: “A Massachusetts judge has ruled for the release of the full complaint Attorney Genera Maura Healey filed against Purdue Pharma, exposing redacted allegations that the company has called ‘egregious mischaracterizations.’  The lawsuit against Purdue was first filed by Healey in June, accusing the company and 16 current and former executives of misleading doctors and patients about the risks of OxyContin, an opioid manufactured by Purdue.”

Meanwhile, the BBJ’s Allison DeAngelis (pay wall) reports that Purdue Pharma, as it fights Healey’s office, has announced a partnership deal with a Boston-based startup to develop a new painkiller. This time it’s not an opioid-based painkiller, btw.

BBJ (pay wall)

Franklin Institute to sell South End campus, relocate elsewhere

This one doesn’t fall into the Mount Ida-closure category, but it does trigger silent alarms about the state of small education institutes in general: The Globe’s Tim Logan reports that the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology is plotting to take advantage of the red-hot real estate market by selling off its century-old building in the South End and moving to a yet undetermined location elsewhere in Boston. Institute officials stress Franklin’s finance are stable.

Boston Globe

Healey’s office reviewing Boston Language Institute’s abrupt closing

This one most definitely falls into the Mount Ida-closure category. From the Globe’s Deirdre Fernades: “The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office is reviewing the abrupt closure earlier this month of the Boston Language Institute, a Kenmore Square school that for nearly 38 years helped students learn Spanish, Vietnamese, and dozens of other languages, along with teaching English-language learners.”

Meanwhile, Gintautas Dumcius at the BBJ (pay wall) has more on how the school’s president was reportedly warned by advisors about accepting students’ money and not meeting payroll obligations.

Pike road-rage video stars plead not guilty to road-rage-related madness

It’s not quite up there with the golfer who bit off another duffer’s finger during a fairway brawl in Plymouth last summer. Then again, maybe it is. Check out the now viral video accompanying the WBUR story on the duo appearing in court yesterday on charges related to the wild man-on-the-car-hood Pike incident. Btw: The Globe takes a close look at what exactly happened to produce one of the most jaw-dropping/OMG videos of this young year.

Business coalition takes aim at pro-immigration agenda (or at least a pro-H-1B agenda)

The Globe’s Jon Chesto reports that the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition is “leading a fast-growing network of businesses that want to foster more inclusive immigration policies on the federal and state levels.” Their top priority: H-1B work visas, “not surpringly,” as Chesto notes.

Report: Chinese scientist told UMass Nobel laureate about gene-edited babies

We’re not quite sure what to make of this one.  From the AP’s Candice Choi and Marilyn Marchione at WBUR: “Long before the claim of the world’s first gene-edited babies became public, Chinese researcher He Jiankui shared the news with a U.S. Nobel laureate who objected to the experiment yet remained an adviser to He’s biotech company. … Emails obtained by The Associated Press under a public records request show that  Nobel Prize winner Craig Mellow of the University of Massachusetts learned about the pregnancy last April from He in a message titled ‘Success!’”  To his credit, Mello made clear his objections to the experiments, but … 


Connecticut toll deadbeats, Part II: The Baker crackdown

Well, it’s not really a crackdown per se. More like a polite request by Gov. Charlie Baker for a “reciprocity agreement” with Connecticut to collect more than $5 million in unpaid Massachusetts tolls owed by Nutmeg State motorists. SHNS’s Chris Lisinski has the details.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Goldberg makes case for online lottery

State Treasurer Deb Goldberg is taking her case for allowing the state lottery to go digital directly to the people, writing in a Globe op-ed that the flow of money it provides to cities of towns is at risk if lawmakers don’t allow it to modernize. 

Promise kept: Heroux tees up term-limit proposal

Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux has submitted a proposal to cap the amount of time a mayor can serve, following through on an often-promised but rarely delivered campaign staple. George Rhodes at the Sun Chronicle reports Heroux’s proposal to the City Council would limit a mayor to four two-year terms, though he says he’ll serve no more than six years himself.  

Sun Chronicle

Instant Issues After Hours: Eric Lesser on Leadership & Negotiation Challenges in the World of Politics

The World Affairs Council will present Massachusetts State Senator Eric Lesser in conversation with Dr. Joshua Weiss, program director for Bay Path University’s Master of Science in Leadership and Negotiation, at an Instant Issues After Hours event on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at 5:30 p.m at Merriam-Webster, Inc.

The World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts

Live Webinar: Brown Bag – Policy Update

John Regan, AIM’s executive vice president for government affairs, will give an update on the Associations’ legislative agenda for 2019/2020 and provide a brief update on the state’s new Paid Family and Medical Leave law.

Associated Industries of Massachusetts

Q1 Briefing: HR Technologies Changing the Workplace for the Better

The BWWC, Mayor’s Office of Women Advancement, and Boston University’s Hariri Institute invite you to kick off the new year with us and gain a deeper understanding of tech solutions advancing women in the workplace!

Boston Women’s Workforce Council

ADL’s Breaking Barriers Speaker Series with Carmen Ortiz

What to expect at this event? The event will begin with a brief networking reception followed by a conversation between Carmen Ortiz and ADL New England’s Regional Director, Robert Trestan. Time will be reserved at the end to take questions from the audience. Light appetizers and soft drinks will be served.

ADL New England

Changemakers: How Women Can Change The World

We can change the world but we can’t do it by ourselves. In this BostonSpeaksSeries, we chat with leading changemakers in Boston about lessons they have learned in their personal and professional journeys while fostering real and honest conversations about what it takes to lead and create impact.


2019 Pinnacle Awards

The annual Pinnacle Awards have become one of the premier business gatherings in the region, attracting more than 1,200 attendees annually.

Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce

Today’s Headlines


Mayor has plan to make electric scooters street legal in Boston – Universal Hub

Boston wants to go carbon neutral by 2050. Here’s how that could happen – Boston Globe


Framingham mayor renews call for diversity officer – MetroWest Daily News

Convicted deputy now suing Codfather for $600,000 – Standard-Times

More state control possible in Methuen – Eagle-Tribune


Republicans may block Trump from another shutdown – Politico

Nevada: Wynn execs ignored sexual misconduct claims – Wall Street Journal

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