Happening Today

ISO power update, Gaming Commission, and more

— Boston Mayor Martin Walsh attends the City Academy EMT and CDL Track Graduation, Faneuil Hall, 4 S Market St., Boston, 9:30 a.m.

Gordon van Welie, president and CEO of ISO New England, updates the media on the state of New England’s power grid during an informational conference call, 10 a.m.

— Mayor Marty Walsh announces new funding for affordable housing, 41 Margin St., Boston, 10:45 a.m.

— After setting the agenda for future meetings, the Gaming Commission is expected to meet for the sole purpose of going into executive session to discuss the lawsuit former casino magnate Steve Wynn has filed against the commission and its chief investigator, Gaming Commission, 101 Federal St., 12th floor, Boston, 11 a.m.

— The Treasurer’s First Deputy Jim MacDonald will be sworn into office by Gov. Charlie Baker, with Treasurer Deb Goldberg attending, State House, Governor’s Office, Room 360, Boston, 11 a.m.

— The Municipal Finance Oversight Board meets to consider requests for bonds from the Pioneer Valley Regional School District, Revere and Springfield, Room 222, 11 a.m.

— Senate President Karen Spilka meets with the Canadian Consul General to New England David Alward, Room 332, State House, 1 p.m.

— The Alliance for Business Leadership hosts a panel discussion focusing on the all investments once proposed across the region as part of the bidding to host Amazon’s second headquarters – and asks why the proposal still can’t be done, Venture Cafe Kendall, One Broadway, 5th floor, Cambridge, 5:30 p.m.

For more calendar listings, check out State House News Service’sDaily Advances (pay wall – free trial subscriptions available) and MassterList’s Beacon Hill Town Square below.

Today’s Stories

The ‘win or die’ state: Warren and Sanders to duke it out in NH

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders made it official yesterday: He’s running for president again. And that means he’ll be taking on U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a fellow progressive and New Englander, in the “win or die” New Hampshire primary battle for both candidates next year, reports the Globe’s James Pindell.

But does Bernie still have his 2016 mojo? This time around he won’t be going head-to-head with only one Democratic candidate in a primary. He’ll be going up against a number of progressive Dems, reports the Globe’s Michael Levenson. The Globe’s Adrian Walker wonders if Sanders appreciates “just how hotly disputed” the Democratic primary will be this time around. 

Btw, from the Daily Hampshire Gazette: “Valley residents ready to ‘feel the Bern?’ Yes, no and meh.”  Btw, II: The Herald’s Adriana Cohen says it all probably doesn’t matter: “Hold the presidential election today — Trump wins in a landslide.”

But is the real Dem battle between Warren and Harris?

The Globe’s Liz Goodwin and Jess Bidgood report that U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris may share a lot of progressive views as candidates in the Dem race for president. But one thing they don’t share is the way they approach politics, i.e. Warren as revolutionary, Harris as restorer of decency in politics.

For the Globe’s Renée Graham, she wants to make one thing clear: Harris is “black enough.” Period. Now on to more pressing political matters, please.

Boston Globe

Bill Weld: True NeverTrumper or mere stalking horse for Charlie Baker? You decide

Speaking of local presidential candidates: Liz Mair writes at the NYT that former Gov. Bill Weld’s preliminary move to run for president as a Republican offers a “glimmer” of hope that the NeverTrump movement may still be alive. But she admits GOP opponents of President Trump are “now the political equivalent of a doomed exotic species.”

Meanwhile, columnist Peter Lucas at the Lowell Sun wonders aloud whether Weld, consciously or unconsciously, might be acting as a stalking horse for moderate Republican Gov. Charlie Baker to run for president. Then he all but dismisses the notion, but asserts Weld may yet “spur anti-Trump Republicans to look for a more viable candidate to dump Trump.”

Btw: Baker isn’t saying whether he might support Weld for president, the Globe’s Matt Stout reports. Btw, II: Weld was on “Morning Joe” yesterday pounding away at Trump’s foreign policy, reports the Globe’s Jeremy Fox.

Cape commissioner slammed for poll asking if gay pols are too ‘self-absorbed and self-centered’

File under: “OMG.” Cape Cod Commissioner Ron Beaty is facing calls to resign after posting a Twitter poll that asked whether “gay politicians” are “too self-absorbed and self-centered” to represent their constituents fairly, Geoff Spillane reports at the Cape Cod Times. Two members of the Cape and Islands delegation are openly gay — and both were recently elevated to leadership posts in the House — but Beaty says he wasn’t thinking of anyone in particular with his post.

Btw: The Republican has survived past scandals related to his social media behavior, but did lose his own bid for a House seat last year after a campaign in which he called a Parkland school shooting survivor “an absolute idiot.”

Cape Cod Times

Sheathe the sword? Hadley poised to add voice to calls for change to state seal, motto

Should the sword stay in the seal? The town of Hadley could become the fifth community — all clustered in the Pioneer Valley — to call for changes to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ seal and state motto ahead of the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ arrival. Voters at Town Meeting will be asked to support a resolution backing legislation filed by two Northampton lawmakers to study changes to the seal and motto, which many say are disrespectful to Native American Indians, Scott Merzbach reports at the Daily Hampshire Gazette. 

The sword dangling over a Native American is a bit much, you gotta admit.


Another video, another Springfield cop controversy

Check out the video that accompanies Dan Glaun’s piece at MassLive. You decide if a police officer merely “escorted” a person out of the Springfield police station after he showed up to file a complaint.

Btw: Police are involved in other news in Springfield, via Dan Glaun at MassLive. It involves off-duty cops in a brawl outside a city tavern.


State Street sues ‘Fearless Girl’ sculptor over replica statues

From the BBJ’s Greg Ryan: “The feel-good arrangement between State Street Corp. and the sculptor it commissioned to make the famous ‘Fearless Girl’ statue has taken a bad turn. The Boston-based company (NYSE: STT) has filed a lawsuit against the sculptor, Delaware artist Kristen Visbal, claiming that she’s made and sold replicas of the statue in violation of her contract with State Street.”

BBJ (pay wall)

Running out of gas in Massachusetts towns

First Holyoke. Now Middleborough. SHNS’s Colin Young at the BBJ looks at the growing number of towns where homeowners can’t natural-gas hookups due to pipeline constraints in Massachusetts. Meanwhile, SHNS Michael Norton (pay wall) reports that opponents of a natural-gas compressor station in Weymouth finally got a meeting with Baker administration officials.

BBJ (pay wall)

Spilka hints she dumped Chang-Diaz to get education-reform results

She didn’t quite say it, but Senate President Karen Spilka acknowledged yesterday that the decision to replace the progressive Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz with the more moderate Sen. Jason Lewis as the new chair of the Senate education committee was all about finally getting education-reform results, not more rhetoric and deadlock. The way Rep. Angelo Scaccia sees it: “They want to put a pragmatist there to get something done.” CommonWealth magazine’s Bruce Mohl and Andy Metzger have the details.


Finished attacking our waitress? Stay for another drink

The headline at Universal Hub says it all: “Manager at waterfront club loses job after he let guy who’d just sexually attacked a server stay for more drinks with his pals.” Pretty amazing. The bar in question is the Grand on Northern Avenue.

Universal Hub

You don’t say: ‘Adult entertainment industry is a very powerful lobby in R.I.’

We’re not picking on Rhode Island. We like Rhode Island. We vacation in Rhode Island. But … The Providence Journal stirred up things in Rhode Island over the weekend by revealing that strip-club owners have allegedly been funneling campaign contributions to top Democrats via a law firm with its own ties to the adult-entertainment industry. It appears Dems didn’t know where the money ultimately came from, but Republicans are still having a field day. “This sounds like another sad episode of Rhode Island Vice,” state Republican Party chairman Brandon S. Bell says.

Providence Journal

GOP’s Lyons slams ‘socialist’ and ‘corrupt’ Dems at national and state levels

Maybe Gov. Charlie Baker, a moderate Republican who stresses bi-partisanship at the State House, has an opinion on this. From Joe Battenfeld: “Taking a cue from President Trump, Massachusetts Republican Party chief Jim Lyons slammed Democrats for ‘pushing a socialist agenda’ and called the Democratic-controlled Legislature ‘corrupt’ in a blistering attack on the opposition party.” Actually, his assessment of House Speaker Robert DeLeo is not that much different from the views of progressives.

Boston Herald

High rents, high eviction rates, high tensions

There are two good stories this morning about the terrible housing crunch in Massachusetts. The first, by Jennifer McKim and Alejandro Serrano at the New England Center for Investigative Report (the story is available at both WGBH and at the Boston Globe), looks at how high rents have led to high eviction rates in Massachusetts. How high is the eviction rate? It averages out to about 43 evictions per day in Massachusetts.

Meanwhile, Qainat Khan at WBUR looks at how the changing demographics in Boston’s Egleston Square are leading to housing displacement pressures. Again, it’s all about higher rents.

An offer they can refuse? Fall River mayor seeks to pay back investors he’s accused of defrauding

Wasn’t he recently living at his parents’ home because he didn’t have enough money? Anyway, from Marie Szaniszlo at the Herald; “Three weeks before voters will decide whether to recall him, embattled Fall River Mayor Jasiel F. Correia II wants to repay the lenders he is accused of criminally defrauding, provided they agree to release him from any civil claims they may have against him or his tech startup, SnoOwl.”

Boston Herald

Healey weighs joining other states suing Trump over ‘emergency powers’ border-wall

From Shannon Young at MassLive: “Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said Tuesday that her office is looking into what role it could play in a multi-state lawsuit brought against President Donald Trump’s declaration of a federal emergency at the United States’ southern border with Mexico. Healey, who has previously joined other states in trying to block controversial Trump administration policies, announced in an afternoon statement that her team has been in contact with officials behind the lawsuit challenging the federal emergency declaration.”


Fed-up lawmakers propose solutions for Eastie traffic jams

State Rep. Adrian Madaro and Sen. Joseph Boncore have had with East Boston’s now notorious traffic jams. From SHNS’s Chris Lisinki: “The duo filed a package of bills that would require the state to conduct an in-depth traffic study, implement a pilot program to change the Sumner Tunnel’s tolls based on travel time and add new fees on ridesharing trips.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Not as bad as feared? Hampshire College lays off nine employees – but more are on the way

There are two ways to look at yesterday’s announced layoffs at struggling Hampshire College: The raw numbers and the proportionality of the cuts. The raw number is nine layoffs. Doesn’t sound like a lot. But it’s nine out of 19 employees in just two divisions. As Jim Kinney at MassLive notes, more substantial layoffs are expected in April. Karen Brown has more at WBUR.


State Police under scrutiny again, this time for destruction of gun evidence

At least they’re not accused of stealing the firearms. From Shelly Murphy and Matt Rocheleau at the Globe: “The disappearance of an antique gun that was seized from a passenger at Logan Airport last year has brought more scrutiny on the Massachusetts State Police, sparking a judicial inquiry and the removal of the trooper who oversees the handling of evidence at the airport.” The word “disappearance” could also read “destruction,” assuming State Police are telling the truth about destroying gun evidence from seizures.

Boston Globe

Baystate Health and US HealthVest propose a large behavioral hospital at Holyoke site

This is a big health-care deal out west – and for the state as well. From Dennis Hohenberger at MassLive: “Baystate Health and US HealthVest have chosen the former Geriatric Authority of Holyoke property as the site of their planned 70,000 square-foot behavioral hospital. The hospital project beat out two other proposals for reuse of the facility at 45 Lower Westfield Road.” Seventy-thousand square feet is a lot of space for a behavioral hospital, a largely welcome behavioral hospital too, it appears.


Commenting on Bill Cosby case in Bay State, Justice Thomas calls for reconsideration of landmark libel ruling

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is calling for the high court to reconsider its landmark New York Times v. Sullivan libel ruling in 1964. Curiously, Thomas’ remarks came in his concurring opinion in an appeal case involving Kathrine McKee, who has accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault and sued him for libel in US District Court in Massachusetts, according to a NYT report in the Globe.

Legislation would require first-responders to carry anti-overdose Narcan drug

From SHNS’s Katie Lannan: “Almost half the state Legislature has lined up behind a bill that would require all first responders in Massachusetts be equipped with an opioid antagonist like Narcan .Rep. William ‘Smitty’ Pignatelli’s bill (HD 1136) would require all local and state police, firefighters and first responders to receive training on administering opioid antagonists and to be equipped with a Department of Public Health-approved opioid antagonist while they are on duty.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Eyeing census count, Framingham to draft ‘welcoming’ ordinance

The state’s newest city wants immigrants to know they’re welcome –and to be counted. The Framingham City Council voted unanimously to form a committee to draft a “welcoming city” ordinance that will lay out how the community–and its police department– will interact with immigrants, Jim Haddadin reports at the MetroWest Daily News.

Metrowest Daily News

Rockland Chamber Annual Breakfast: Rockland Moving Forward

Rockland and South Shore Chamber members are invited to attend the Rockland Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Breakfast. This year’s theme is “Rockland Moving Forward” and will feature the key leadership who are guiding the community forward.

South Shore/Rockland Chamber of Commerce

Diverse Professional Roundtable – Business Meeting

Diverse Professionals Roundtable is a professional association, sponsored by the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, committed to the development of professional and personal relationships among senior leaders of racial and ethnic diversity in Central Massachusetts. DPR members grow and expand their influence and make a positive impact on the Worcester community.

Worcester Chamber of Commerce

NPO Group’s 2019 Annual Meeting

You’re invited to our first meeting of 2019! The NPO Group’s Annual Meeting agenda includes: networking, discussion on hot topics affecting NPOs, and the election of Steering Committee Officers and Members.

South Shore Chamber of Commerce

Business After Hours – February 2019 – Redemption Rock Brewing Co.

Business After Hours is an opportunity for you to network with other Chamber members and guests. Meet new contacts, develop new leads, and exchange ideas. Join us and hundreds of area professionals for a fun, informal networking event!

Worcester Chamber of Commerce

Building and Furthering a Career in Commercial Real Estate

Hear dynamic young professionals from NAIOP’s Developing Leaders program discuss their careers, how they got started, and the many opportunities available in the industry today.

NAIOP Massachusetts

Water: The Global Crisis and What Must Be Done Now

There is a global water crisis — increasing drought, desertification, floods, migrations, and social justice stressors. This forum will focus on the connection between the unfolding climate catastrophe and the water crisis; outline a global view of the ecological problems; focus on places that serve as case studies of resource scarcity and conflict; and point toward possible solutions.

Massachusetts Peace Action

herNetwork Women Mean Business Spring Conference 2019

herNetwork cordially invites you to our Women Mean Business conference! Our theme this year is “The Power of You.” The purpose of our conference is to empower, educate, and connect our students of all majors and years with other students and with professionals across a broad range of fields.


Rally: US Hands off Venezuela!

Join us as we support Venezuelan sovereignty and oppose US meddling in Venezuelan affairs, through sanctions and military threats.

Massachusetts Peace Action

Today’s Headlines


State Police seizure of guns at Logan under scrutiny – Boston Globe

High rent, hard times – WGBH


Markey, Warren reintroduce Seashore legislation – Cape Cod Times

Kaepernick poster at Abby Kelley due to go back up after break, administration says – Worcester Magazine

Snow ticket? No problem. New Bedford is voiding snow ban parking tickets – Standard-Times


Intimidation, Pressure and Humiliation: Inside Trump’s Two-Year War on the Investigations Encircling Him – New York Times

Microsoft says it has found another Russian operation targeting prominent think tanks – Washington Post

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