Happening Today

Pressley on the air, Baker in D.C., DeLeo in Somerville

— U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley talks about President Trump’s national emergency declaration on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 11 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, who is in the nation’s capital for the National Governors Association winter meeting, and First Lady Lauren Baker attend a lunch for governors and spouses hosted by Vice President Mike Pence as part of the NGA conference, Naval Observatory, 1 Observatory Circle, Washington, DC 11:20 a.m.

— Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter, Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance executive director André Leroux and Massachusetts Housing Partnership director of community assistance Susan Connelly discuss housing, transportation, infrastructure and economic development on a panel hosted by the Metro South Chamber of Commerce, Southeastern Technical Institute, 250 Foundry St., South Easton, 11:45 a.m. 

— House Speaker Robert DeLeo visits the Greentown Labs Global Center for Cleantech Innovation to announce a resilient communities initiative, 444 Somerville Ave., Somerville, 1 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker attends a private National Governors Association Executive Committee meeting, Marriott Marquis, 901 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC, 2 p.m.

— New Hampshire Democratic Party hosts the 60th annual McIntyre-Shaheen dinner with U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren as the keynote speaker, DoubleTree by Hilton, 700 Elm St., Manchester, NH, 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

Minority leaders slam Chang-Diaz’s ouster as education chair

From Michael Jonas at CommonWealth magazine: “The removal of Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz as co-chair of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Education drew harsh words on Thursday from leaders of four organizations serving communities of color, who charged that the move weakens advocacy for vulnerable students and waters down the already limited clout minority lawmakers wield on Beacon Hill.”

SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) has more on the Chang-Diaz ouster and calls for more diversity on Beacon Hill.


Healey and Baker administration seek hearing on Pilgrim sale and shutdown

From SHNS’s Colin Young at the BBJ: “Citing concerns about public health, public safety and financial risks, Attorney General Maura Healey and Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton have asked federal nuclear regulators to allow the state to intervene in the federal review of the proposed sale and license transfer of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Staton in Plymouth.” 

BBJ (pay wall)

Going there: Warren embraces reparations for black Americans

The New York Times is reporting that U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is now the latest Dem presidential candidate to quietly come out in support of reparation payments for black Americans impacted by slavery, a “policy that experts say could cost several trillion dollars, and one that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and many top Democrats have not supported.”

This may well help her as she pursues black and progressive votes in the Democratic primary, but it’s going to hurt in a general election if she ever secures the Dem nomination. Though he doesn’t mention the reparations issue, the Globe’s Scot Lehigh writes on the deepening rift between pragmatic liberals and progressives within the Democratic Party.

Still, Warren continues to get all sorts of praise (at least from center-left types) for her positions on other issues, such as from NYT columnist and economist Paul Krugman, who calls her child-care proposal “impressive” and pragmatic: “It’s workable, affordable, and would do a huge amount of good.” Margery Eagan at the Globe is just happy that Warren and other female presidential candidates are talking about things important to mothers.


Report: Warren was on hit list of Coast Guard member arrested as ‘domestic terrorist’

This is scary stuff. From Spencer Buell at Boston Magazine: “A hit list compiled by alleged right-wing ‘domestic terrorist’ Christopher Paul Hasson, a Coast Guard lieutenant, included Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, court documents show. … Hasson referred to Warren in his spreadsheet as ‘poca warren,’ a reference to Trump’s ‘Pocahontas’ nickname for the senator, it says.”

Boston Magazine

Is Warren rattled by Bernie’s fundraising prowess?

One last Warren item, via Hillary Chabot at the Herald: “Sen. Bernie Sanders’ record-busting $5.9 million presidential campaign haul has clearly rattled his progressive-colleague-turned-2020-rival Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Team Warren hastily sent out a fundraising email Thursday, just hours after Sanders grabbed headlines for his avalanche of support from 299,000 small donors.”

Boston Herald

Springfield police commissioner retires amid non-stop controversies

MassLive’s Peter Goonan reports on the sudden retirement of Springfield’s police commissioner amid numerous controversies swirling around the department, from an ongoing federal civil rights investigation to cops brawling outside a bar to a desk officer man-handling a man who showed up to file a parking-ticket complaint (see post below). At least one city councilor is demanding a new commission to oversee the department, Goonan reports. Matt Szafranski at Western Mass Politics & Insight has more on the SPD turmoil.


Hampden DA to review Springfield cop’s arrest of man who tried to file a parking-ticket complaint

An update on yet the latest police controversy in Springfield, via Scott Croteau at MassLive: “The actions by Springfield police surrounding the arrest of 48-year-old Jerry Bellamy, who was grabbed by the throat by an officer while attempting to file a complaint about a parking ticket in 2017, are now under review by the Hampden District Attorney’s office.”

Check out the accompanying video of the incident. It’s pretty outrageous.


Regulators explore interest-free loans to help minority pot entrepreneurs

This is not a bad idea, for it’s all about access to capital. From the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett: “The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission is looking into the possibility of establishing interest-free loans for minorities as a way to bolster industry participation from women- and minority-owned businesses.  The suggestion was one of several that commissioners discussed at their hearing on Thursday, as state regulators attempt to ‘course correct’ the current trajectory of the market, which has largely been dominated by businesses owned by white men.” Shira Schoenberg at MassLive has more on one regulator’s insistence that a “course correction” is needed.

BBJ (pay wall)

Prominent psychiatrist accused of sexually exploiting patients: ‘I own you … You are my slave’

And we thought we had heard it all. From Michael Rezendes at the Globe: “A prominent North Shore psychiatrist is facing lawsuits from three female patients who say he lured them into degrading sexual relationships, including beatings, conversations about bondage, and, in one case, getting a tattoo of the doctor’s initials to show his ‘ownership’ of her, according to court documents. The women allege that Dr. Keith Ablow, an author who was a contributor to Fox News network until 2017, abused his position while treating them for acute depression.”

Boston Globe

Support builds for campus sexual-assault legislation and action

After reading the above depressing post, no wonder they’re rallying for more protections. From SHNS’s Katie Lannan: “College students from across the state plan to gather in Cambridge Saturday for a summit on addressing campus sexual violence, with Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo slated to join them. The event, hosted by the Every Voice Coalition with Jane Doe Inc., the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, Know Your IX, and NO MORE, comes as the Trump administration has proposed changes to the federal rules around how schools respond to sexual harassment and assault.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Oversight board cans developer of former South Weymouth Naval Air Station

This was somewhat expected, considering the firm was already in default. But it still comes as a shock to those who once had high hopes for the massive redevelopment project. From Jessica Trufant at the Patriot Ledger: “The firm once lauded for its progress on the long-stalled redevelopment of former South Weymouth Naval Air Station is on its way out, making it the third developer to fail at seeing the massive project through to fruition. The Southfield Redevelopment Authority’s board of directors on Wednesday night moved to terminate the disposition and development agreement with LStar.”

The Globe’s Jon Chesto reports that it will probably take a long time to untangle the financial and legal mess left behind by LStar.

Patriot Ledger

Meanwhile, Hanscom and Westover base projects may fall victim to wall emergency

In other military-base development news: A $90 million plan to build a semiconductor laboratory at Hanscom Air Force Base is in jeopardy if President Trump’s plan to raid the military construction budget to fund a border wall goes forward, members of the state’s Congressional delegation said Thursday. Emma Murphy reports at the Lowell Sun that a $42.6 million plan to build a new hangar at the Westover Reserve Air Base in Chicopee — which Rep. Richard Neal announced just weeks ago after years of cajoling — could also be on the chopping block.

Lowell Sun

For sale: Prime Brookline property, 7.8 acres, soon-to-be former college campus.

Speaking of real-estate development deals, the Globe’s Max Reyes reports that the 7.8-acre Brookline campus of Newbury College, which plans to close after the spring semester, is already up for sale – and potential developers are licking their chops. “The Brookline address is highly, highly desirable,” said Christopher Sower, Colliers’ senior vice president. “It’s going to be extremely attractive.”

Boston Globe


One more real-estate item: As Newbury College sells off its prime Brookline property, UMass president Marty Meehan and UMass-Boston interim chancellor Katherine Newman are doing a victory lap at CommonWealth magazine over the recent Bayside Expo mega-development deal that will fetch $235 million for the struggling Boston school, saying it’s an historic “win-win-win” transaction for everyone. They’re right. It’s indeed a great deal. A victory lap is warranted


Details but no cause released in plane crash that killed former mayor

Investigators from the NTSB say the plane being flown by former Newburyport mayor Al Lavender when it crashed into a Methuen apartment building nearly two years ago had previously experienced fuel leaks, but stopped short of identifying a cause for the deadly incident, Breanna Edelstein reports at the Eagle-Tribune. 

Eagle Tribune

Nick Cafardo, Globe sportswriter, RIP

This is terrible news. From the Globe’s Bob Hohler: “Nick Cafardo, the Boston Globe’s nationally recognized and widely respected baseball columnist, died Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla. He was 62. Cafardo’s love of baseball and commitment to his craft compelled him to report to JetBlue Park, the spring training home of the Red Sox, on one of his rare days off. He was apparently stricken by an embolism at the park, and members of the Sox medical team were unable to revive him.”

The Globe’s Bryan Marquard has the official obituary. Meanwhile, Cafardo, who started his career at the Enterprise and Patriot Ledger, is remembered at Wicked Local.

Kitty Hawk moment: MIT engineer unleashes robotic snowblower in Cambridge park

CBS Boston reports that a Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineer this week tested out a remotely operated snowblower at Danehy Park in Cambridge, turning more than a few heads as the unmanned contraption performed its storm duties. CBS has video of it in action. A Twitter user also shared a video of the historic moment at Danehy Park, the new Kitty Hawk of northeast America. We can only hope mass production is around the corner. 

Btw: LA Mayor Eric Garcett is noting that his “dear friend and brother mayor” Marty Walsh has graciously offered to send plows if snow indeed overwhelms his southern California city, the Globe reports. No mention of automated plows.

CBS Boston

Commission torn over supervised injection sites

From Andy Metzger at CommonWealth magazine: “Members of a state commission see some theoretical benefits from establishing supervised drug injection sites, but when it comes to the feasibility of actually establishing such programs, consensus was harder to find. Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, who chairs the Harm Reduction Commission, was the most vocal skeptic at a meeting Thursday, but even she agreed that supervised drug consumption sites are a tool that has had beneficial effects when used in other countries.”

SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall) has more on the summit and the safe-consumption debate. Meanwhile, Patrick Johnson at MassLive reports on a $1.5 million study on opioid treatments for inmates in jails in Franklin and Hampshire counties.


Operation Exit – RENEW: ‘They don’t hate me. They really want to help’

This has got to be the feel-good story of the week, via MassLive’s Jacqueline Tempera, who writes about a man (among others) who served time for drug trafficking and who can barely believe he was actually given a second chance. His gratitude, enthusiasm and praise are infectious. Read it. The ‘Operation Exit – RENEW’ program definitely seems to work for some.

Feds: Lower state higher-ed funding has led to higher tuition and student debt

It’s been said before. But it might as well be said again. From Kristin LaFratta at MassLive: “A reduction in state funding for public higher education in Massachusetts and other New England states has resulted in increased tuitions, fees and student debt, according to a new analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. A report shared by the Federal Reserve of on Thursday, conducted by a team of researchers, found that in 2017, state funding per public college student in New England was lower than in 2008.”


Add some zeroes, presto: Counterfeit $100 bills flood southeastern Massachusetts

CBS Boston reports that police are searching for men allegedly passing around phony $100 bills at local packies, coffee shops, drug stores and other establishments south of Boston. Apparently, the fake bills are actual $1 bills that have been bleached and adorned with a few extra zeroes. They look pretty damn real to us. Anyway, Ellen Gerst at Boston Magazine has more.

CBS Boston

From Brockton (via Russia) with dirt?

Is the Trump-Russia story about to get a new Massachuetts connection? CNN reports the Senate Intelligence Committee is eager to question an American businessman now based in Russia who could shed light on Donald Trump’s business dealings there dating back to the 1990s. Investigators have sent questions to Brockton-native David Geovanis, but have not received answers. CNN says the last time Geovanis was known to be in the U.S. was when he returned to Norton to attend the funeral of his mother.


Markey defends Green New Deal and warns against invading Venezuela

U.S. Sen. Ed Markey seems to be making the media-interview rounds these days, the latest taking place at WGBH, where earlier this week he defended his Green New Deal, warned against invading Venezuela and provided an update on changes to pipeline safety laws.


To make room for casino traffic, Route 1 project moves forward

Just don’t mess with the dinosaur. State transportation officials say they’ll pay to design improvements to Route 1 in Saugus and Revere after leaders in those communities asked for help in getting the heavily used road ready to handle even more traffic once the Encore Boston Harbor casino opens in Everett, Bridgette Turcotte reports at the Lynn Item. But the work remains in the preliminary design stages and appears unlikely to be completed until after the casino has opened its doors.

Lynn Item

Commission’s Wynn settlement vote will only lead to ‘farce’

Speaking of the Everett casino: In an editorial, the Boston Globe is blasting the state Gaming Commission’s vote earlier this week to effectively settle a thorny lawsuit filed by casino mogul Steve Wynn, saying it will lead to a “farce” decision regarding Wynn Resort’s fitness to keep its Everett casino license.

Boston Globe

Baker-Polito campaign aides shift to State House jobs

SHNS’s Matt Murphy reports that Terry MacCormack, the Baker-Polito campaign communications director, is joining the governor’s official press staff at the State House, while Maura Driscoll, a deputy digital director on the Baker-Polito re-election team, has also landed a gig in Baker’s press office.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Off to Cape Verde …

Finally, from the Globe’s Milton Valencia: “Mayor Martin J. Walsh will lead a delegation Friday 3,333 miles across the ocean to Cape Verde, the African country that’s served as home to more than 15,000 Bostonians. Walsh and a coalition of city and state officials, as well as business and nonprofit leaders, are aiming to solidify what the mayor called cultural and business ties with local residents.”

Sunday public affairs TV

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, who talks with host Jon Keller about the Green New Deal, the Mueller probe, and his re-election campaign.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Michael Carson, the new CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, gives his first television interview and talks about containing health care costs and weighs in on some of the proposals from the campaign trail. Plus: Meet the CEO of SeeClickFi; the Boston Globe’s Jon Chesto also discuss the top business stories of the week.    

CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. A discussion with two women CEOs who founded and lead Massachusetts life-science companies: Zoe Barry of ZappRx and Erika Ebbel Angle of Ixcela.   

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guests: U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, followed by a discussion with Boston Globe columnist Adrian Walker and WCVB Republican Political Analyst Rob Gray. 

DC Dialogue, NECN, 11:30 a.m. Boston Globe political reporter James Pindell talks about presidential politics; and AICUM president Rich Doherty talks about campus closings and other higher-ed challenges.    

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s main topic: Oscar Sunday, with a look at some of the films up for awards.  

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

Bizwomen Mentoring Monday

The event will offer attendees the opportunity to choose from 40 mentors who are the most influential women in the community for one-on-one coaching sessions for seven minute conversations.

Boston Business Journal

Government Affairs Forum: Governor Charlie Baker, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Since taking office in 2015, Governor Baker has been making Massachusetts a great place to live, work and raise a family while delivering a customer-service oriented state government that is as hard working as the people of the Commonwealth.

Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce

Women’s Network Breakfast: Tiffani Faison, Chef & Restaurateur

She’s made a name for herself nationwide for her dynamic personality, creative cuisine, and for being the runner-up on the first season of Bravo’s wildly popular Top Chef series.

Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce

Capital Conversations with Rep. Bill Keating

Please join us for Capital Conversations with Rep. Bill Keating. Rep. Keating is currently serving his fifth term representing Massachusetts’ 9th Congressional District. He is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The New England Council

Whose University is it?

MIT and Harvard rolling out the red carpet for the Saudi Crown Prince in March, 2018 was no fluke: it is symptomatic of the lack of democracy on campuses across the US. Increasingly, university administrators act in our name, but without our involvement.

Massachusetts Peace Action

Professionals of Color Career Summit

The Professionals of Color Career Summit (PoC) is a one-of-a-kind engagement providing world-class professional insights and career connections for Greater Boston’s diverse workforce. PoC connects mid-level and executive professionals with industry-leading inclusive organizations.

COLOR Magazine

Boston Divest/Reinvest Hearing

The Boston City Council will hold a hearing on pension fund disclosure, socially responsible investment and reinvestment. Join the Divest/Invest Campaign to raise issues of divestment from fossil fuels, private prison companies, weapons manufacturers and the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and of the need for productive investment in Boston jobs and neighborhoods.

Massachusetts Peace Action

NAIOP @ Night at Bully Boy Distillers

Join NAIOP at Bully Boy Distillers, Boston’s first craft distillery, specializing in Whiskey, Rum, Gin, Vodka and Amaro.

NAIOP Massachusetts

Today’s Headlines


Civil rights group files group against BPD, says hair testing unreliable – Boston Herald

New Mass. General buildings would be designed to survive battering from a superstorm–or terrorists – Universal Hub


Braintree ‘smart growth’ plan criticized – Patriot Ledger

Cape legislative delegation to Beaty: ‘Enough is enough’ – Cape Cod Times

Attleboro city councilor aims to get rid of ‘councilman’ – Sun Chronicle

Worcester’s first recreational marijuana shop wins state approval – Worcester Business Journal


Republican governor blasts RNC for ‘unprecedented’ steps to shield Trump from primary challenge – Washington Post

Sanders has early lead on Warren in battle of the far-left – Politico

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