Happening Today

Governor heads to Florida, Hoffman at cannabis conference, Governor’s Council

— After a stop in Washington to receive an award from the American Medical Association, Gov. Charlie Baker and his family head to Florida for a vacation, with plans to return to Massachusetts on Monday.

Public Health Council meets to discuss preliminary regulations and see presentations on quality initiatives in nursing homes and the registry of vital records and statistics, 250 Washington St., 2nd Floor, Henry I. Bowditch Public Health Council Room, Boston, 9 a.m.

— Cannabis Control Commission chairman Steven Hoffman opens the second day of the National Cannabis Industry Association’s third annual ‘Seed to Sale Show’ with a discussion with NCIA Executive Director Aaron Smith, Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St., Boston, 10 a.m.

Massachusetts School Building Authority Board meets with an agenda that includes votes on project funding agreement authorizations for Cambridge, Danvers, Lynn, Nashoba Valley Tech, New Bedford, Newton, Norfolk, Springfield, and West Bridgewater, with Treasurer Deb Goldberg chairing the meeting, 40 Broad St. – 2nd floor, Boston, 10 a.m.

— The Special Commission to Study the Health and Safety of LGBTQI Prisoners will meet to discuss site visits, defining cultural competence, subcommittees and the scope of work of the commission, 50 Maple St., Milford, 10 a.m.

— U.S. Sen. Ed Markey is a guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 11 a.m.

Governor’s Council holds a hearing on the governor’s nomination of attorney Adam Baler as clerk magistrate of the Plymouth District Court, and the council later holds a meeting, with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito chairing, with a vote possible on the nomination of Michael Doherty as clerk magistrate of the Western Division Housing Court, Council chamber, with hearings starting at 10:30 a.m. and 12 p.m., respectively.

— Lawmakers will gather to raise awareness for cardiovascular disease, as part of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign, with remarks from Senate President Karen Spilka, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Sen. Cindy Friedman and Rep. Elizabeth Malia, Grand Staircase, 11 a.m.

— The Health Policy Commission meets to discuss its 2018 cost trends report, including policy recommendations to address health care spending drivers, 50 Milk St., Boston, 12 p.m.

— MassINC holds a discussion on the role of local accountability in the next chapter of education reform, with Education Commissioner Jeff Riley delivering remarks and MassINC research director Ben Forman presenting findings, Room 428, 1 p.m.

 — Former Rep. Byron Rushing presents the Massachusetts Historical Society’s annual Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize to Douglas Winiarski, author of ‘Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: Experiencing Religious Awakenings in 18th-Century New England,’ 1154 Boylston St., Boston, 6 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

Rollins: Boston prosecutors are ready and able to investigate Virginia allegations

Yesterday we expressed doubt that any local law enforcement official would get involved in the political turmoil now under way in Virginia. But that was yesterday. From Maria Cramer at the Globe: “Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins said Tuesday that she is ready to investigate allegations that Virginia’s lieutenant governor sexually assaulted a woman at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, raising the prospect of a criminal probe that could deepen the extraordinary political turmoil engulfing Virginia.”

Boston Globe

Warren makes surprise visit to Native American conference

Isn’t she supposed to be distancing herself from the Native-American heritage controversy? Apparently not. From Huffington Post: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) made a surprise appearance at a Native American conference on Tuesday.Warren spoke at the National Indian Women’s ‘Supporting Each Other’ lunch, where she introduced Cheryl Andrews-Maltais, the chairwoman of the Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts.”

The Globe’s Renée Graham says Warren is doing exactly what she should be doing: Turning a heritage-claim negative into a positive by focusing on Native American causes. Steve Almond at WBUR writes that Warren doesn’t even have a heritage/DNA problem, but rather a sexism problem aimed at her. Peter Lucas at the Lowell Sun is today’s official contrarian, arguing that Warren should be apologizing to the people of Massachusetts – not issuing more apologies to others about her past heritage claims.

Huffington Post

Professor to Warren: Give ‘The Speech’

The Globe’s Renée Graham isn’t alone in thinking it’s time Elizabeth Warren turns a negative into a positive. At Politico, Russell Arben Fox is urging Warren to ignore the conventional wisdom that she should seek to move past any historical mistakes related to her claims of Native American Indian heritage and instead rip a page out of the Barack Obama playbook and give her version of ‘The Speech.’ 


Moulton burnishes his foreign policy credentials

Speaking of presidential candidates (or potential presidential candidates), Shannon Young at MassLive reports on U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton’s major foreign policy speech yesterday in Washington. He has some interesting ideas. Read the story. 

But, of course, the news is that the speech comes as Moulton mulls a run for president – and everything he says and does now will be seen through that political lens. Exhibit A: At Boston.com, Nik DeCosta-Klipa is already asking: ‘What sort of presidential campaign would Seth Moulton run?’ Meanwhile, the Herald’s Howie Carr seems to already know what type of campaign Moulton would run.


Hampshire College says layoff announcements coming

Hampshire College says it will announce what is expected to be just the first round of staff layoffs in coming days, Dusty Christensen reports at the Daily Hampshire Gazette. The financially struggling Hampshire College has already said it will not admit a full class in September and has let it be known that it desperately needs a merger partner or other financial lifeline in order to survive.


Changing the script: Backers push to make film tax credit permanent

No more playing defense every year against those who want to eliminate the state’s film tax credit. Backers of the credit are going on the offensive, proposing that the tax break be made permanent and ending (or so they hope) the annual debate over the measure’s merits, reports the Globe’s Matt Stout.

Harvey Weinstein’s Harvard connection …

Speaking of Hollywood, Harvard students are not exactly bursting with pride that a Harvard faculty dean and law school teacher is part of a legal “dream team” defending movie mogul Harvey Weinstein against charges of serial sexual misconduct, reports the Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert. The students are demanding that Ronald Sullivan be immediately removed from his post as Winthrop House faculty dean.

Boston Globe

Gloucester adds to chorus of communities calling for nip-bottle deposit — with a twist

Three makes a trend, right? The Gloucester City Council is poised to join two other North-of-Boston communities in calling for the legislature to expand the state’s bottle deposit bill to include single-service liquor bottles. But as Ray Lamont reports at the Gloucester Daily Times, unlike Salem and Woburn, which targeted only nip bottles, the Gloucester resolution will also include a demand that plastic water bottles be slapped with deposits.

Gloucester Times

Lelling is still ‘100 percent’ in favor of appealing City Hall case, even though he sounds less than 100-percent enthusiastic

The Globe’s Scot Lehigh has a column on U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling’s continued pursuit of the extortion case against two top Walsh administration officials, even though a federal judge has dismissed the charges. While saying he’s “behind that case 100 percent,” Lelling acknowledges there’s two sides to a coin in every argument and, well, we sort of get the impression this case is now about saving prosecutorial face. You decide.

They braved the weather when others didn’t …

These people deserve recognition for just showing up. SHNS’s Colin Young reports on the surprising number of people who attended a State House event yesterday to push for more funding for the Head Start program – despite yesterday’s storm and despite the fact that many other State House events were cancelled. House Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad rightly heaped praise on attendees for caring so much.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

… and they didn’t brave the weather when others did

Impeaching President Trump is important to some, but apparently not that important. From Shannon Young: “Need to Impeach, a national effort which seeks to push President Donald Trump out of the White House, postponed its Tuesday town hall in Springfield due to concerns over inclement weather, officials have confirmed. The evening event, featuring Need to Impeach founder and billionaire Tom Steyer, was set to take place at the Cedars Banquet Facility on Island Pond Road. Need to Impeach officials said the Springfield town hall will be rescheduled to a future date, likely in early March.”


‘Like a shepherd leading a flock of sheep’

If you haven’t seen it already, definitely check out Beacon Hill Roll Call’s Bob Katzen’s piece at the Sentinel & Enterprise about how 63 Democratic lawmakers in the House suddenly, in lock-step unison, switched their votes on Beacon Hill after they noticed how House Speaker Robert DeLeo was voting. Katzen’s “follow the leader” piece via Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine.

Sentinel & Enterprise

At a mother’s urging, lawmakers to consider toughening restaurant food-allergy requirements

Spurred by a Sudbury mother who almost lost her son after he ate a peanut-laced pastry at a restaurant, state Sen. Cindy Creem is pushing legislation that would require restaurants to improve communications between kitchen staff and customers with food allergies. The Globe’s Kara Baskin has the details.

If not for immigrants, Massachusetts would have lost population over the past decade

So you thought the state’s population has recently grown because of the booming economy here? That may be true. But what’s also true is that the state has been attracting lots of immigrants to fill jobs in the booming economy, more than enough to offset net outmigration of residents, according to a new Boston Foundation report. Sara Betancourt at CommonWealth magazine has the details.


About that idea to lengthen city councilors’ terms in office …

TheGlobe’s Adrian Walker is rooting for the Boston City Council to exert more influence at City Hall. And he also likes many of Council President Andrea Campbell’s proposals to reform city elections. But the call to extend city councilors’ terms from two to four years? Not so good. Bottom line: “The city doesn’t need more deeply entrenched city councilors.”

More damning testimony in Insys opioid-painkiller trial …

Yes, the racketeering trial of five former Insys Therapeutics executives, accused of bribing and bullying their way to opioid-prescription riches, is still ongoing in Boston. And, yes, the testimony is still damning. The Herald’s Marie Szaniszlo reports how the company’s chairman allegedly fumed about the launch of the firm’s opioid-painkiller product because it was being prescribed in too low a dose – and not hooking people on opioids longer. Read the story. He sounds like a street-corner dealer right out of ‘Wired,’ except he operated out of a corporate boardroom.

Boston Herald

Marijuana CEO dismisses charges of racism, homophobia, misogyny and financial misconduct as ‘silly and disgusting’

Adam Bierman, co-founder of marijuana conglomerate MedMen, which recently scored a contract to open a pot shop in the Fenway, had a message for fellow attendees at yesterday’s National Cannabis Industry Association convention in Boston: A former CFO’s lawsuit claim of racism, homophobia, misogyny and financial misconduct at the company are “absolutely silly and disgusting.” So there. Dan Adams at the Globe has more.

Boston Globe

No new charters this year …

SHNS’s Katie Lannan at WCVB reports on the unusual case of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education not taking any action on new charter schools in the state. There were indeed three applicants in the pipeline, but Lannan explains why the board opted yesterday not to proceed with any of them.


Papa Gino’s gets a new CEO and corporate name

The BBJ’s Gintautas Dumcius reports that Papa Gino’s Pizzeria, which recently shuttered shops across the region and filed for bankruptcy, has hired a long-time veteran of the pizza industry, William Van Epps, to serve as its new CEO and he already has plans for new locations beyond New England. The parent company of Papa Gino’s Pizzeria and D’Angelo’s Grilled Sandwiches, btw, has also changed its name from PGHC Holdings to New England Authentic Eats LLC. Does all this imply they’re going to keep PG’s rustic pizzas? We can only hope so.

BBJ (pay wall)

He won’t be buried alone …

Finally, this is a sad but inspiring story at the same time. SHNS’s Colin Young at South Coast Today reports that James McCue, 97, a veteran who fought in Normandy during World War II, will be laid to rest tomorrow in Lawrence – and many initially feared that members of a military honor guard detail would be the only attendees at his burial. Then other veterans found out – and now many new friends will be attending his burial. RIP, James McCue.

South Coast Today

“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?

Cambridge Historical Society

Power Breakfast: Health Care

Boston Business Journal

Winter Activity Fun Fair

This “Winter Activity Fun Fair” – hosted by First Teacher and sponsored by Boston School Finder – will bring together families and their children for a morning of fun activities and an opportunity to learn about their Kindergarten options and register for school.

First Teacher

Congressional Roundtable with Rep. Ann Kuster

Please join us for a Congressional Roundtable with Rep. Ann Kuster. The Congresswoman was elected in November 2018 to serve her fourth term representing New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District. She currently serves on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and the House Agriculture Committee.

The New England Council

Today’s Headlines


The Daily Free Press, BU’s student newspaper, no longer able to print weekly edition – Boston Globe

Councilor Michelle Wu calls for corporate tax break transparency – Boston Herald


Heroux to seek second term as Attleboro mayor – Sun Chronicle

Education commission ‘optimistic’ about New Bedford charter deal – Standard-Times

Wormtown tapped as official brewery of Worcester Red Sox – Telegram & Gazette


The 70% top tax rate, explained with potatoes – Vox

Dixville Notch’s first-in-the-nation midnight voting tradition may end over election rules – NPR

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.

Subscribe to MASSterList

Start your morning with MASSterList’s chronicle of news and informed analysis about politics, policy, media, and influence in Massachusetts. Plus, get an inside look at Beacon Hill’s hottest new job postings.