Cannabis Commission, Road safety bill, and more
— The Alliance of YWCAs of Massachusetts, representing nine different YWCAs across the state, meets with legislators to advocate their budget priorities and gender-specific programming, Room 222, 10:30 a.m.
— The Boston Municipal Research Bureau holds its annual meeting, with guest speaker Mayor Martin Walsh, Seaport Hotel, Plaza Ballroom, 1 Seaport Lane, Boston, 11 a.m.
— The Cannabis Control Commission is expected to meet, Department of Transportation Board Room, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 1 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker joins MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver, Registrar of Motor Vehicles Erin Deveney, AAA Northeast CEO John Galvin and others to highlight the administration’s recently filed road safety legislation, AAA Boston Office, 125 High St., Boston, 1:30 p.m.
— Salem State University holds a tribute to Charlotte Forten, the first African-American graduate of Salem State, then known as the Salem Normal School, with WGBH host Callie Crossley and University of New Hampshire professor Kabria Baumgartner participating in a panel discussion, Recital Hall, Central Campus, 71 Loring Ave., Salem, 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.
Baker to T: Focus on fare hikes, not new pie-in-the-sky revenue sources
Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine reports that while some MBTA board members are balking at new T fare hikes, saying increases should be made only in conjunction with finding news funds elsewhere, Gov. Charlie Baker is digging in: “Right now people should be focused on the fares at the T,” he says. “As we said when we released our future of transportation report, we are going to pursue a multistate conversation around a cap-and-invest program, which we plan to do. But those are the only things on our radar now.”
In other words: Bite the bullet, MBTA board members. Btw: Bruce Mohl has a separate piece looking at whether riders will finally see actual improvements in T service this year. Short answer: No.
MBTA officers charged in connection with brutal beating of homeless man
In other T news, from the Associated Press at WBUR: “Prosecutors say a former transit police officer who allegedly beat a homeless man and two sergeants who allegedly tried to cover up the excessive use of force are facing charges. Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins and MBTA Police Chief Kenneth Green announced the indictments Wednesday.”
Walsh to propose 20 mph speed limit in neighborhoods and Uber pickup sites
And speaking of transportation matters, from the Globe’s Milton Valencia and Adam Vaccaro: “Mayor Martin J. Walsh plans to roll out a set of transportation initiatives Thursday, including proposals to lower speed limits in neighborhoods to 20 miles per hour and create designated pickup and drop-off sites in certain areas for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft.”
The mayor might also want to address the oldest of old roadway complaints in Boston: Out-of-sync traffic lights that drive motorists nuts. The Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter has more.
Uniting against a common foe: Quincy and tribe to meet on Long Island concerns
Is this a classic case of ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’? The Quincy city council plans to meet with native American Indian tribe representatives about the city of Boston’s plans to redevelop mental health facilities on Long Island. Erin Tiernan at the Patriot Ledger reports representatives of the Muhheconneuk Intertribal Committee will discuss their concerns about how work on the island could impact sacred burial grounds and how their efforts may overlap with Quincy’s attempts to block Boston from rebuilding the shuttered bridge to the island.
The UMass-Boston vs UMass-Amherst civil war: An update
It’s as close as you can get to academic civil war. Fred Thys at WBUR reports that UMass-Boston faculty, known for their rather outspoken ways, are furious that UMass-Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management plans to offer a degree-granting program on the former campus of Mount Ida College in Newton, saying it will directly compete with UMass-Boston’s own business-school offerings.
Meanwhile, Baker renews push to minimize student disruptions caused by college closures
It all ties back to Mount Ida, of course. From the BBJ’s Gintautas Dumcius: “Gov. Charlie Baker is renewing efforts to forestall abrupt higher education closures with a bill — similar to one he filed last year — requiring colleges to notify the state if they face financial difficulties.” SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) has more.
Pressley proposes lowering voting age to 16, Baker and GOP chair not impressed
U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley yesterday proposed lowering the voting age to 16 in federal elections, citing the need to get teens engaged in civic life, reports Spencer Buell at Boston Magazine. But the state’s GOP chair, Jim Lyons, says the idea is “simply wrong,” while Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said of the plan: “I did raise three teenagers, and based on that I’d be pretty dubious about lowering it to 16,” reports the Herald’s Marky Markos and Sean Philip Cotter.
Btw: Boston city councilors are also pushing to lower the voting age to 16 in city elections, reports Universal Hub.
Fall River mayor rakes in money from pot companies – and just in time
Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia, now facing federal fraud charges and a recall election, appears to have found a reliable source of funds to pay for both his campaign and his legal defense: The pot industry. He’s recently raised $55,000 in donations from pot-tied industry officials, most of whom are trying to do business in the city, reports Jo C. Goode at the Herald News.
Circular firing squad: Pot project has Charlton boards blaming each other
This is getting uglier by the day. The Charlton Planning Board has taken a vote of no confidence in the town’s selectmen and town administrator, accusing them of discrimination and causing undue stress to board members by not approving legal counsel to defend against a lawsuit from the proponents of a major pot-growing facility. Debbie LaPlaca at the Telegram has the details.
Warren’s ban on big donors: A political plus and minus at the same time?
The Globe’s Jess Bidgood and Liz Goodwin report that U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s personal ban on accepting donations from millionaire bigwigs may play well with some voters. But it may also be hurting Warren’s already faltering fundraising efforts in her bid for the presidency.
Good-bye Fifth Amendment? SJC orders accused sex-trafficker to unlock phone records for police
With the Robert Kraft charges in the news, some may hail this decision. But the Herald’s Laurel Sweet reports that not everyone is cheering: “In a decision one justice called a ‘death knell’ in the digital age, the state’s highest court ruled Wednesday that an alleged pimp be ordered to unlock a cellphone seized from him so it can be searched by police. Supreme Judicial Court Justice Barbara Lenk, though she concurred with the finding, remarked, ‘The court’s decision today sounds the death knell for a constitutional protection against compelled self-incrimination in the digital age.’”
The changing face of Massachusetts: State’s Latino population could hit 15 percent by 2035
Elizabeth Roman at MassLive and SHNS’s Chris Lisinkski (pay wall) report that a new study projects that the Latino population in Massachusetts could rise to 1.15 million in less than two decades, accounting for 15 percent of the total state population by 2035.
Lawmakers may drop wind price caps after firm files super-low rate plan
This is an odd one. The Globe’s Jon Chesto reports that Beacon Hill lawmakers, led by Rep. Pat Haddad, are scrambling to change a state law that requires ever lower prices for energy produced by wind farms. The problem: Vineyard Wind recently filed a plan that calls for prices far lower than anyone ever anticipated – and some think those prices will be hard to beat and may discourage others from entering the market.
In related wind-energy news, Gov. Charlie Baker is pumped up about the future of wind energy in Massachusetts, saying it will only get better after energy storage technology improves, he said at a SHNS-sponsored event yesterday.
Healey and other AGs move to block seismic testing for offshore oil and gas
Speaking of energy, from Mary Serreze at MassLive: “Massachusetts on Tuesday joined eight coastal states in a legal effort to temporarily block seismic testing for oil and gas reserves beneath the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. … (The latest) effort asks a judge to halt the testing until that lawsuit is heard. Attorney General Maura Healey joined her peers in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Virginia to file a supporting brief.”
Getting the Green New Deal message out via jet-setting trips and limo rides
One last energy-related item, from the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld: “U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, who has teamed up with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to sponsor the Green New Deal, spent more than $33,000 on airfare and $3,350 on limo rides during his jet-setting trips across the country just last year, according to campaign finance records.”
Longtime Boston pollsters launch new firm steps away from State House
From the BBJ’s Gintautas Dumcius: “Two veteran Democratic pollsters who have worked for some of the biggest names and issues in Massachusetts politics are hanging a new shingle. Chris Anderson, a pollster for Fox News and Attorney General Maura Healey, and Matthew Shelter, who has worked for 30 years at Kiley & Co., on Wednesday launched Beacon Research. The firm is located steps from the State House at 6 Beacon St.”
‘Boston City Council to unionized Boston journalists: We’ve got your back’
Though the vast majority of journalists firmly believe in the separation of powers in our democracy, we have a hunch many privately appreciate this gesture. From Universal Hub: “The City Council today approved a resolution in support of journalists at the Globe and WBUR who are battling management over workplace conditions and pay and benefits.”
Baker uses Lawrence rape case to push for tougher pre-trial detention law
From Christian Wade at the Salem News” “Gov. Charlie Baker cites the possible release on bail of a Lawrence police officer charged with raping a teenage boy as he makes the case for a proposal to keep potentially dangerous criminal defendants locked up as they await trial.”
Advocates: Developmental disability staff shortage at ‘crisis’ level
From SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall): “Advocates pressed lawmakers on Wednesday to support a bill that would increase pay for those who work with people with developmental disabilities, citing a staff shortage that borders on a “crisis” and leaves people in need under served.”
No limits: Attleboro council rejects mayoral term cap
The Attleboro city council unanimously rejected a plan from Mayor Paul Heroux to cap mayoral service at four two-year terms, saying the proposed process he was following was not the way to go, George Rhodes reports at the Sun Chronicle. Heroux wanted to ask the state legislature to approve a home rule petition making the change, but councilors say the proposal needs to go through the much longer process of a formal change to the city’s charter.
In Framingham, debate over who has power over what
The Framingham City Council is asking for state help in sorting out who exactly has authority on matters previously granted to selectmen before Framingham switched to a city form of government. At issue is whether Mayor Yvonne Spicer has the power to authorize the sale of the Nobscot Chapel as part of a larger redevelopment project. Before Framingham switched to city status in 2017, town meeting granted selectmen control of the historic structure, Jim Haddadin reports at the MetroWest Daily News.
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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