Homelessness discussion, Walsh on the air, Markey and Kennedy in Cambridge
— Members of the Boston legislative delegation meet at Pine Street Inn to discuss solutions to individual homelessness in Boston and the need for state-funded resources, Pine Street Inn, 444 Harrison Avenue, Boston, 10 a.m.
— Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is a guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 12 p.m.
— Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito joins Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy, Senate President Karen Spilka, Ashland Town Manager Michael Herbert and Massachusetts Office of Business Development senior regional director Peter Milano to participate in the Regional Economic Development Organization Program Roundtable Discussion and Celebration, Town Hall, 101 Main Street, Ashland, 1 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh participate in the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center’s Tea Ceremony, kicking off the Center’s 50th Anniversary, Pao Arts Center, 99 Albany Street, Boston, 1:15 p.m.
— Dr. Linda Nathan gives this month’s State Library author talk about her book ‘When Grit Isn’t Enough: A High School Principal Examines How Poverty and Inequality Thwart the College-for-All Promise,’ Room 341, 12 p.m.
— U.S. Sen. Ed Markey and former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy will speak at ‘America and the World,’ at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, 79 John F. Kennedy St., Cambridge, 4 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.
Markey and Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Green New Deal’ wish list: Going nowhere fast?
As expected, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unveiled their “Green New Deal” resolution – and it’s an ambitious liberal wish list of proposals that include going 100 percent renewables within 10 years, retrofitting every single building in the U.S. to make them more energy efficient, eliminating air travel with massively expanded train service, etc. etc. Reuters and MassLive’s Shannon Young have the details.
But before anyone gleefully/hysterically/alarmingly shouts “socialism,” keep this in mind: It’s a non-binding resolution, it’s a non-binding resolution that may not even get a vote in the Democratic House, and it’s a non-binding resolution with no spending or funding-source details in it. It’s a pure wish list that the NYT and the Washington Post and WBUR report isn’t going anywhere, or at least the vast majority of it isn’t going anywhere.
Elizabeth Warren’s bad week … month … winter … fall
As an undaunted U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren prepares to formally announce her candidacy for president this weekend (Herald), the Globe’s Jess Bidgood and Liz Goodwin take a look at Warren’s heritage-claim woes stretching all the way back to last fall – and all the lost opportunities she had to publicly apologize for her past Native-American claims, not just highly qualified and nuanced apologies. The Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky and Joe Dwinell report Warren’s heritage claims/apologies aren’t playing well in New Hampshire, while the Herald’s Howie Carr can’t get enough of the controversy.
State pension takes a $4.5B hit due to Wall Street turmoil
The state’s pension fund took a $4.5 billion hit in the final months of 2018, thanks to the late-year trading carnage on Wall Street, reports SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall). The fund is not alone. The New York Times reports the market turmoil likely ripped a $1 billion hole in NYC’s budget – and we suspect we’ll be hearing more local, state and national casualty reports in coming months, especially after officials add up final April 15 tax-filing monies.
Chicago casino magnate tries to hit Brockton jackpot by throwing cash around on Beacon Hill
The Globe’s Jon Chesto reports that Chicago’s Neil Bluhm has emerged as a major lobbying power on Beacon Hill, right up there with the big spenders like Partners HealthCare and MassBio. His goal? To secure a casino in Brockton for his Mass Gaming and Entertainment venture.
Lawmakers eye facial recognition moratorium
This would be a first-in-the-nation law if passed. From Christian Wade at the Salem News: “A bipartisan group of lawmakers want to put the brakes on use of facial recognition and other biometric systems by the state and local law enforcement until there are rules for its use. The proposal, filed by Sen. Cynthia Creem, D-Newton, would make it illegal for any state entity to ‘acquire, possess, access, or use any biometric surveillance system.’”
Boston cop stripped of duties after strippers strip him of his Glock
This sounds like something out of Super Troopers. From the Herald’s Joe Dwinnel: “A Boston cop has been suspended after his gun was allegedly stolen by two strippers after a night out bar-hopping last week in Rhode Island, police confirmed. The unnamed officer’s .40-caliber Glock 22 service weapon was taken while he was with the women when they stopped at a hotel bar and later a strip club before ending the night at a hotel in Pawtucket, R.I., reports state.”
Shattering all records: New Lowell high-school price tag balloons to $343M
A new downtown Lowell High School will cost as much as $343 million to build, Kori Tuitt reports at the Lowell Sun, though the city will only be footing about $130 million of the tab. And who, pray tell, will pay the rest? Non-city taxpayers, of course. Anyway, the bottom line: The proposed school would be the costliest school construction project in state history and likely among the most expensive ever built nationally, the Sun reports.
Vineyard Wind throwing weight around – and so far it isn’t working
With Gov. Charlie Baker at its back, Vineyard Wind has decided it’s time to start throwing its weight around within the energy sector and … the big energy boys are pushing back. Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine has the details on Vineyard Wind’s loss of round one in the energy-power fight.
Weld on Trump: ‘He has gone well past what Nixon did’
Scot Lehigh at the Globe thinks former Gov. William Weld may be more of a thorn in the side of President Trump than people may think, assuming Weld decides to challenge Trump in the 2020 GOP primary. It sure sounds like Weld is raring to go, telling Lehigh that Trump is worse than Richard Nixon.
Report: WBUR and BU are ‘fighting tooth and nail’ to block unionizing efforts
The BBJ’s Don Seiffert reports that WBUR and Boston University appear ready to challenge details of employees’ plans to form a union at the station. An emailed statement by the union organizing committee says it’s not merely a case of challenging details here and there, but rather “BU and WBUR are fighting tooth and nail to stop all content creators at the station from unionizing,” period.
Shutdown’s impact will be felt for years in Boston’s immigration court
So you thought the government shutdown was over? For some, yes. For others, its effects will be felt for years to come, specifically those caught in immigration courts. The shutdown merely added to the number of backlogged cases in an already overburdened immigration court in Boston, reports Maria Cramer at the Globe.
Quickie observation: No matter where you stand on the issue of immigration, remember that justice delayed is justice denied. And justice is not being served here.
Opposition intensifies over proposed Weymouth gas compressor
SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall) and WBUR’s Barbara Moran report that opposition to a proposed natural-gas compressor station in Weymouth is spreading, gaining strength and not going away, despite (or perhaps due to) the Baker administration’s recent approval of an air quality permit for the controversial project.
Use of ‘n’ word during talk on racial slurs lands Cambridge official in heap of trouble
This is not quite Orwellian, but it’s close. A Cambridge school committee member has created an uproar because she used the “n” word during a high school classroom discussion on racial language and “why the district’s computers block certain websites that include some slurs but not others,” reports Meghan Irons at the Globe.
MassHousing spent $10K on a going-away bash for executive
CommonWealth magazine’s Colman Herman is horning in on the Herald’s bash-MassHousing turf, reporting that agency officials threw a $10,000 going-away soirée last fall for former vice president of external affair Thomas Lyons, although a MassHousing spokesman said it wasn’t a going-away party but rather a “celebration of more than three decades of [Lyons’] public service.”
Bars, betting and booze. Why not?
Dan Glaun at MassLive reports that a group of western Massachusetts bars have formed a new organization, called Fair Play Massachusetts, to push for future sports betting in taverns across the commonwealth. We have a hunch that not even the full weight of the liquor industry can get this one passed, but we’ll see.
He’s going for it: Dooley’s bill targets Chinese-made subway cars
State Rep. Shawn Dooley, who’s been warning about Chinese ‘Trojan horses’ of late, has filed a bill that would prohibit the state from doing business with firms subsidized by foreign governments with closed economies, a reaction to new espionage concerns over the state’s plan to buy a fleet of subway cars from the China Railway Rolling Stock Corp., Jim Hand reports at the Sun Chronicle. Though officials say the potential spying issue was addressed when the contract was awarded, Congress has raised similar concerns that Dooley has aired in the past.
Coming soon: A genuine mom-and-pop pot shop with a ‘country-inspired cannabis boutique’ feel
Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports that the Cannabis Control Commission has issued its first retail pot license to a genuine “mom-and-pop” owner, not to a major marijuana company, and the entrepreneur says she’s planning a “country-inspired cannabis boutique store” in Uxbridge. So we assume that means wood counters and floors, etc.
In other pot news: The CCC chairman says he’s satisfied with the rollout pace of retail pot shops, despite the continued huge presence of a marijuana black market in Massachusetts (SHNS – pay wall), and the commission has opted to delay its “social equity program” so it has time to better train would-be pot entrepreneurs (Globe).
Tribe restores leader’s financial power after three weeks
File under ‘never mind.’ Three weeks after stripping Tribal Chairman Cedric Cromwell of his financial authority–citing reports of unpaid federal taxes and a scathing audit–the Mashpee Wampanoag tribal council has restored those powers, saying the issues raised aren’t so serious after all. Tanner Stenning reports at the Cape Cod Times.
Central Mass. lawmakers to T: Scrap the fare hikes
From SHNS’s Katie Lannan at CommonWealth magazine: “Fifteen central Massachusetts lawmakers are asking transportation officials to scrap a proposed increase in commuter rail fares, saying it will ‘result in a disparate financial burden’ on people in their part of the state.”
Celebrating City Hall’s 50th brutalalist anniversary …
Mayor Marty Walsh and others yesterday celebrated the Brutalist-designed Boston City Hall’s 50th anniversary – and the Globe’s Sabrina Schnur reports how the mayor, who once wanted to tear the concrete behemoth down, is getting credit for revitalizing it.
Standing firm: Correia not even talking plea deal with feds
He’s fighting to the end. Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia has not engaged in any talks about a potential plea agreement with federal prosecutors who have charged him with wire and tax fraud, Laurel Sweet reports at the Herald, citing recent court filings. Prosecutors also told the judge in the case that a trial could take as long as three weeks – and almost certainly happen after Fall River’s mayoral recall election next month.
Methuen moves money to avoid cop layoffs
Crisis averted –for now. Facing the prospect of widespread layoffs from the police department, the Methuen City Council has voted to move another $1.2 million into the department’s account, a sum that one councilor said should keep everyone on the payroll through the end of the fiscal year, Danny McDonald reports at the Globe.
Worcester hopes to get last laugh after Conan’s diss
Looks like the folks at Worcester City Hall understand there’s no such thing as bad publicity. The city has responded to some good-natured ribbing from late-night comic Conan O’Brien, clearly hoping to use it to tell the world about its turnaround story. As Walter Bird Jr. reports at Worcester Magazine, O’Brien dissed the central Mass. city during a post-Super Bowl TV appearance, telling an audience that hooted at his mention of Worcester–where his family settled in the 1800s–that “no one woo’s Worcester. It’s unwoo-able.”
Sunday public affairs TV
Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Attorney General Maura Healey, who talks with host Jon Keller about the Purdue Pharma case, litigations against the Trump administration and presidential politics.
This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Doug Banks of the Boston Business Journal Editor and Shirley Leung of the Boston Globe weigh in on some of the top business stories of the week, including the ‘Green New Deal,’ Gov. Baker’s calls for bipartisan climate change policy and WeWork taking a big chunk of the State Street building.
CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. Lovepop co-founder and CEO Wombi Rose talks about his start-up and working to shake up the greeting card market with pop-up 3d messages.
Boston College Chief Executives Club, NECN, 1 p.m. Record of a speech earlier this week in Boston: A conversation with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia founder Martha Stewart.
On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: State Rep. Alyson Sullivan, who talks with anchor Ed Harding and co-anchor Janet Wu.
CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes War, this week’s main topic: A conversation with Melvin Miller, publisher of the Bay State Banner.
Politics & Eggs with the Honorable John Delaney
Please join the the New England Council and the New Hampshire Institute of Politics for Politics & Eggs with The Honorable John Delaney. Mr. Delaney is a former member of Congress having represented Maryland’s sixth Congressional District. He was the first announced Democratic candidate for President in the 2020 election.
“How Does Cambridge Engage?” Opening Conversation & Annual Meeting
What does this story of everyday people in Cambridge and Boston, who took collective action to stop top-down highway projects, and envision a different future for themselves have to teach us today? What collective memory of this time lives on, and where does it live?
Power Breakfast: Health Care
How to Contact MASSterList
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