Blue Hill station ceremony, MLB commissioner at BC and more
— Citizens for Public Schools will host a legislative breakfast to meet with lawmakers and advocate for improvements to public education, with Rep. Tommy Vitolo hosting, State House Members Lounge, 9:30 a.m.
— Sen. Harriette Chandler and Rep. Kimberly Ferguson host a legislative briefing with the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts to ‘emphasize the importance of creating a better future for brain injury survivors and their families,’ Room 428, 10 a.m.
— The Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council and the Arc of Massachusetts will host their annual legislative reception, with Senate President Karen Spilka, Auditor Suzanne Bump and Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders expected to speak, State House, Great Hall, 10:30 a.m.
— Rob Manfred, the commissioner of Major League Baseball, will sit down with Boston Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy for a discussion about the top issues facing the national pastime at a luncheon hosted by the Boston College Chief Executives Club, Wharf Room, Boston Harbor Hotel, 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, 12 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker joins Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, and Reps. Dan Cullinane and Russell Holmes in a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the opening of the Blue Hill Avenue station on the Fairmount Commuter Rail line, 1505 Blue Hill Avenue, Boston, 1:30 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.
UMass chairman: University will likely acquire other failed colleges
An empire-building update from the BBJ’s Gintautas Dumcius: “Following last year’s decision to buy Mount Ida College, the University of Massachusetts will likely make additional acquisitions in coming years in the higher education sector, according to the chairman of its board of trustees. My guess is that over the next decade, UMass will make several acquisitions of other institutions, academic institutions,” chairman Robert Manning said.”
Did all these colleges fail before they failed?
Speaking of failed colleges, the Globe’s Laura Krantz takes a look at some of the small colleges that recently announced they were closing – Newbury College, Mount Ida College etc. etc. – and finds they had one thing in common, besides being small and financially struggling: Lousy graduation rates.
Solid February revenue numbers chip away at state’s mid-year deficit
This is welcome news. From SHNS’s Katie Lannan: “Stronger than expected tax revenue collections for the month of February took a bite out of what had been a more than $400 million gap so far this fiscal year, bringing the shortfall down to $292 million with four months left in the fiscal year. The state Department of Revenue on Tuesday announced $1.43 billion in revenue collections in February, a total that landed $111 million, or 8.5 percent, above projections for the month.”
Economists issue caution flags over state and U.S. business outlook
They’re not predicting a recession. Just warning that one could be around the corner. That seems to be the consensus of two economic reports released yesterday, one by economists at MassBenchmarks and the other by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston chief Eric Rosengren. The Globe’s Jon Chesto and SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) have more on the good-but-cautious economic outlook.
Embattled Fall River mayor won’t be reimbursing investors, thanks to feds
It appears Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II, now facing various federal charges and a recall election, won’t be paying back his SnoOwl investors any time soon “since the federal government has refused to allow him to have contact with the seven individuals who are on the prosecution’s no-contact list,” reports Jo C. Goode at the Herald News. Correia had previously promised to pay back the investors – a promise made only after he was charged by the feds.
What do you mean we’re ‘politically intolerant’ in Massachusetts? Ingrates!
The Atlantic and PredictWise, a polling and analytics firm, decided to find out which areas of the country are the most politically intolerant in these hyper-partisan times and … and they find Massachusetts and other blue-state pockets around the country may be the most intolerant of the intolerant. The Globe’s Abbi Matheson has more on this intolerable insult.
Citing Kraft charges, petition asks Gillette to drop its name from stadium
From Jonathan Ng at the Herald: “Boston-based shaving giant Gillette is being called on by internet activists to take its name off the New England Patriots’ Foxboro stadium after team owner Robert Kraft was charged in a case linked to alleged human trafficking. A web petition on Care2.com had garnered more than 13,000 signatures by Tuesday, demanding that Procter & Gamble — Gillette’s parent company — cut ties with the Patriots.”
And, yes, an organizer of the petition drive is bringing up the fact that Gillette recently ran a pious Internet commercial urging men to be better men, etc. etc.
NRC extends Seabrook license, over objections from Mass.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission appears poised to extend the operating license for the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant to 2050, despite objections from Bay State activists and lawmakers, Dan Adams and Danny McDonald report at the Globe. U.S. Sen. Edward Markey slammed the timing of the move, which comes before a public hearing on the license extensions scheduled for this summer and more than a decade before the current license expires. Attorney General Maura Healey had also urged the NRC to consider the safety of Bay State residents before it made a decision.
Bloomberg not running in 2020 (ditto Clinton)
Medford’s very own Michael Bloomberg obviously concluded that this just wasn’t the year for moderate billionaires within the Democratic Party, so the former New York mayor has decided not to run for president as a Democrat in 2020, reports the NYT. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton obviously concluded that she had her shots in 2008 and 2016 – and that no one wanted to give her a third shot, so she’s not running either, reports the Associated Press at MassLive.
Is Weld’s primary challenge already on life support?
Technically, he’s still in the exploratory stage, but there are signs that former Gov. William Weld’s early-stage primary challenge to President Trump is already on the ropes, Stephanie Murray reports at Politico. Weld has been nearly invisible after a post-announcement burst of TV appearances and has acknowledged he’s raised “not a great deal” of cash from supporters since that launch.
Care to wager whether the Everett casino will open on time this summer?
The multibillion dollar Encore Boston casino in Everett sure looks like it’s poised to open later this year. But the Globe’s Mark Arsenault counts all the legal and regulatory ways the opening could be delayed, as lawyers and others duke it out in courts and board rooms.
Getting it wrong and right in western Massachusetts
State Sen. Adam Hinds writes at CommonWealth magazine that western Massachusetts definitely faces a number of economic and demographic challenges, but there are also “incredible signs of revitalization” that suggest policy makers are doing something right – and maybe other areas of the country can learn something from western Mass.
Btw: Stephanie Leydon at WGBH talks to state Sen. Eric Lesser about his bill that would provide $10,000 in relocation expenses for anyone moving to western Mass. to work.
Northern Mass. mayors eye ‘something big’ for Route 2 fix
The mayors of Fitchburg and Leominster want to go big as they pursue improvements to Route 2, which connects the (relatively) affordable Gateway Cities to Greater Boston and is having trouble handling an influx of traffic, Mina Corpuz reports at the Sentinel & Enterprise. A task force hoping to jump-start the project after a decade of discussion says both federal and state funds are being targeted to address bottlenecks through both cities and at the Concord Rotary, where backups are a daily reality.
Alan Dershowitz has another bestseller – and he hasn’t even written it yet
The Globe’s Nestor Ramos has a fun piece about how a new book by Harvard Law’s Alan Dershowitz – ominously titled ‘The Mueller Report: The Final Report of the Special Counsel into Donald Trump, Russia, and Collusion’ – is selling rather well on Amazon. The only problem(s): The report hasn’t come out yet and Dershowitz hasn’t written a word yet.
Cambridge pumps brakes on plan to let Ubers use taxi stands
Score one for the taxi industry. The Cambridge city council is hitting the brakes on a proposal that would have allowed ride-share drivers to use taxi stands around the city, an idea that taxi drivers said would only hasten the destruction of their business. Marc Levy at Cambridge Day reports that some councilors now want to revisit the city’s entire approach to handling ride-share companies.
Lawmakers face mounting pressure to act on skyrocketing drug prices
Reining in prescription drug prices has become one of the biggest issues on Beacon Hill and in other states this year – and yesterday consumer advocates were ramping up pressure on State House lawmakers to take action this session on drug prices. The Globe’s Priyanka Dayal McCluskey has the details.
Unions mobilize against changes to state’s campaign finance law
The Globe’s Matt Stout reports that unions and political organizers yesterday called on the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance not to pass a proposal that would restrict how much money unions can donate to political campaigns. The proposed changes come in the wake of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision about union dues and campaign donations.
Massachusetts union membership now at a 10-year high
Speaking of unions, from SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall): “An estimated 464,000 Massachusetts workers counted themselves as union members in 2018, the most since 2009, according to new federal data. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that union members accounted for 13.7 percent of wage and salary workers in Massachusetts last year. The U.S. average was 10.5 percent.”
Worcester locks down city manager through 2025
Five more years. The city council has voted to extend the contract of Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus Jr. until 2025, a sign of confidence in his work after helping to land the Red Sox Triple-A affiliate and spurring other developments in the city. Nick Kotsopolous at the Telegram reports the deal includes annual raises from his current salary of about $213,000 as well as other sweeteners for the former state senator and Congressional aide.
Never mind: Councilor decides not to challenge Springfield mayor
From Matt Szafranski at Western Mass. Politics & Insight: “Less than a week after missing his self-imposed decision deadline, Springfield Ward 8 Councilor Orlando Ramos announced he would not run for mayor. Last month, the three-term councilor said he was ‘seriously considering” challenging Domenic Sarno this year. However, in a statement released early Tuesday evening, Ramos said he would seek reelection to his current office.”
No denial: Slavery played a role in Boston’s early development
From the Globe’s Brian MacQuarrie: “Boston officials and the National Park Service are partnering to better educate the public about the outsize role that slavery played in the city’s nascent economy. Pending City Council approval, which is expected soon, Boston will use $315,000 from its community preservation fund for a display of archeological artifacts at Faneuil Hall that will highlight the city’s early maritime history and its links to domestic slavery and the slave trade.”
Needless to say, this is long overdue – and it’s a much better approach than simply wiping from history the names of buildings, in this case Faneuil Hall.
Author Talk and Book Signing with Dina Vargo
Author Talk and Book Signing with Historian Dina Vargo, Author of Hidden History of Boston
The Codcast LIVE: Celebrate Women’s History Month
In honor of Women’s History Month, CommonWealth magazine presents a live recording of The Codcast highlighting women’s political engagement from the suffrage movement to the present, hosted by Jesse Mermell, former Communications Director for Gov. Deval Patrick, and Jennifer Nassour, CEO of ReflectUS, a non-partisan coalition of the leading women’s political organizations in the country.
Meet the New Boston, Same as the Old Boston
On March 13th from 7:30-9:30am, the WPG Initiative and the Boston Business Journal are presenting a powerful program highlighting the power gap in Boston business organizations. We will release data about gender and racial diversity both in the leadership and on the boards of these groups, which have major influences on business, tax, and economic development policies in our state.
2019 North Shore Business Expo
Connect with over 2500 potential customers in one day at the largest business expo north of Boston on March 14th. The show is held at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Grand Ballroom – 50 Ferncroft Road – Danvers, MA 01923. Call 978-774-8565 to Sponsor or Exhibit or visit www.northshorechamber.org/2019expo
Starr Forum: From Cold War to Hot Peace
With speaker Michael McFaul, a former US ambassador to the Russian Federation.
Real Estate Development Fundamentals Onsite Course
This course is focused on planning and implementing real estate development projects and what it means to be a real estate developer.
STEM and the Massachusetts Workforce Challenge
Already, the college degree pipeline in Massachusetts is inadequate to meet demand, and workforce supply, especially in STEM fields, must be better cultivated in the Commonwealth’s own backyard. Join us as we bring together business, education and public policy leaders to discuss the critical topic of the interconnection between STEM education, public policy and the changing needs in Massachusetts’ workforce.
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