Happening Today

Budget hearing, Warren in New Hampshire and more

— The House and Senate Ways and Means committees will hear from Baker administration public safety officials about their recommendations for the fiscal 2020 budget, Hanover Theatre Conservatory and Event Center, McDonough Room, 551 Main St., Worcester, 10 a.m.

— Senate President Karen Spilka delivers remarks at the MetroWest Advocacy Coalition breakfast, Framingham City Hall, 150 Concord St., Framingham, 10 a.m.

— U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign brings her back to New Hampshire for a house party in Salem, N.H. at 3:15 p.m. and an organizing event at Exeter Town Hall at 7 p.m.

— Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria and Rep. Joseph McGonagle host the city’s annual Friendly Sons of St. Patrick Dinner, with comedian Dave Russo acting as emcee and with Auditor Suzanne Bump and Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan expected to attend, tickets are $40, Edward G. Connolly Center, 94 Chelsea St., Everett, 6 p.m.

— On ‘Beat The Press,’ the panel discusses Fox News and Tucker Carlson, Twitter as a platform for an anti-vaxxer, and whether the media played a role in the college admissions cheating scandal, with host Emily Rooney and panelists Dan Kennedy, Callie Crossley, Jon Keller, and Lylah Alphonse, WGBH-TV Ch. 2, 7 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

About those Gaming Commission redactions: Do they really matter?

The Herald is going wild this morning over the fact that the Gaming Commission yesterday released heavily redacted documents tied to its settlement of the Steve Wynn lawsuits. Check out its front page. Not bad. Clever design. The Herald’s Jonathan Ng has the story and the Herald’s Joe Batttenfeld is blasting away at the commission’s lack of transparency.

But here’s the thing: Do the redactions matter? Unless it’s found the commission is actually covering up its own incompetence, the redactions really don’t change the fact that we already know that Wynn Resorts knew of Steve Wynn’s sexual-harassment ways when he was CEO of the company and when Wynn Resorts was issued its Everett casino license. Perhaps that’s why the Globe seems to be downplaying the story a bit, not even mentioning the redactions angle in the lead. Shira Schoenberg at MassLive has more on the redacted documents and what they appear to tell us about the case.

In Fall River, it’s ‘revenge politics’ time

After his bizarre recall-reelection miracle earlier this week, Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia apparently hasn’t wasted time punishing those who dared oppose his staying in office. The headline on Jacqueline Tempera’s story at MassLive: “Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia kicks opponent off committee hours after re-election.” Says one of Correia’s challengers: “We have a word down here for this – revenge politics.”

Meanwhile, the Herald News reports that City Councilor Shawn Cadime, citing recent “political retaliation,” is calling for another council vote to remove the mayor from office. U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, whose district includes Fall River, is suggesting that Correia resign for the good of the city, reports Tori Bedford at WGBH.

From the Globe’s Nestor Ramos: “If democracy means the people get the government they deserve, then what did the people of Fall River do to deserve this?” In an editorial, the Globe surveys the political mess in Fall River and comes to a conclusion: It’s time for ranked-choice voting.


Beto O’Rourke: A white male threat to both Warren and Sanders?

The Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky reports that Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke’s plunge into the 2020 presidential race could spell trouble for progressive candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Meanwhile, the Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert and James Pindell have a piece that asks the all-important question in the wake of Beto’s announcement: Is this the right time for a white guy to run? It’s a strange piece that seems self-aware that it’s wallowing in a double-standard for white males, similar to the female “likeable” double-standard, but plows ahead with the double-standard anyway. Bottom line: It’s a contender for the top local identify-politics story of the month, if not year.

Baker: Happy St. Pat’s Day – and watch the impaired driving

Gov. Charlie Baker and police officials yesterday appeared to be using the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day festivities to warn motorists of impaired driving – and specifically to push lawmakers to pass legislation that would suspend the license of any driver stopped by police who refuses a drug test, reports Shira Schoenberg at MassLive. Fyi, the headline on State House New Service’s story (pay wall): “Stoned driving bill touted ahead of St. Patrick’’s Day.”

Hmm. Is Guinness now a gateway substance to pot? We’re just trying to make sense of the timing of this legislative push.


Car cell-phone bans and profiling: Do they go hand in hand?

Speaking of impaired driving, Andy Metzger at CommonWealth magazine reports on the concern by some that the proposed ban on handheld cell phones in cars could lead to more police stops of minority drivers – and how the issue could come to a head in the Legislature this session.


Alleged assault victim student says she was forced to sign ‘stay away’ contract by school

It might take more than a ‘no comment’ to address this. Breanna Edelstein at the Eagle-Tribune reports that North Andover school officials required a girl who said she was assaulted by a fellow student to sign an agreement that she would take steps to avoid coming into contact with her alleged attacker or face school discipline for failing to do so.

Eagle Tribune

Romney joins former Mass. colleagues in opposing Trump’s ‘emergency’ declaration

From Shannon Young at MassLive: “U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, a Utah Republican and former Massachusetts governor, crossed the political aisle Thursday to join Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey and other Democrats in voting to block President Donald Trump’s declaration of a federal emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border.”

Group of men involuntarily committed for addiction say they’ve been dumped in prison hellholes

WBUR’s Deborah Becker and the Globe’s Felice J. Freyer report that ten men who were involuntarily committed for drug-addiction treatment are suing the state, claiming they’re treated like regular convicted criminals and dumped into a “perversely oppressive environment that is punitive, humiliating and detrimental to treatment.” They’re also claiming gender discrimination, apparently. Read the stories. They do have a point about this thing called “presumption of innocence.”  

Republicans: Time to livestream monotonous ‘informal’ sessions that Dems use to make mischief

Christian Wade at the Eagle Tribune reports that Republican lawmakers want to shed some light on the inner-workings of the Democratic-controlled state Senate by broadcasting all of its meetings – and that means those tedious, sleep-inducing “informal sessions” that only a handful of lawmakers attend and that occasionally pass major pieces of legislation when no one is paying attention.

Btw: Is there a video of this? From SHNS (pay wall): “Second roll call enables Athol, Southwick repos to reverse votes.” Apparently, they hit the wrong buttons when voting the first time around on the gay conversion-therapy bill.

Eagle Tribune

‘March madness’: Markey and health-care leaders blast Trump’s proposed NIH cuts

The BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett reports that U.S. Sen. Ed Markey and leaders at MGH, Brigham & Women’s Hospital and other local institutions are blasting President Trump’s proposal to slash NIH funding by $5.5 billion. Markey is referring to the administration’s overall budget cuts as “the real March Madness.”

Btw: These types of cuts are how we’re ultimately paying for those tax cuts for the wealthy. Just pointing it out.


DraftKIngs to lawmakers: Let us legally do what you already know we’re kind of doing, i.e. sports gambling

SHNS’s Colin Young reports that representatives from DraftKings, the Boston-based game company that comes as close as one can get to betting on sports without technically betting on sports, visited the State House yesterday to press lawmakers to allow the firm to cross the thin legal line into actual sports betting.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Past and future merge: Fenway taxi stand to be joined by ride-share stand

File under ‘The more things change the more …’ From Universal Hub: “The city is marking off four spaces on Boylston Street at Kilmarnock for a pilot evening ride-share pick up and drop off area that starts Friday night. The four spaces will be reserved for the use of Uber and Lyft vehicles between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. … The goal is to see if creating these 21st-century equivalents of taxi stands can reduce the amount of block circling and double parking ride-share drivers now often do to pick up fares in a city where all the bars close at once.”

In other new-fangled transportation news, NBC Boston reports that electric scooters will indeed be coming to Brookline on April 1.

Universal Hub

Hail, yes: Cape Ann transit to test on-demand system

Speaking of Uber, it’s not exactly Uber for buses, but it’s close. The Cape Ann Transportation Authority says it will use a $400,000 state grant to test a ride-hailing program that will use a mix of public and private transportation options, Sean Horgan reports at the Gloucester Times. The QRyde pilot program will last about 18 months and is designed to round out the authority’s transportation offerings, particularly at times when buses aren’t running on regular routes.

Gloucester Daily Times

The smoking letter? Quincy officials say memo shows Long Island Bridge rebuild not safe

Quincy officials say a four-year-old letter they obtained through a court case is the latest evidence the bridge to Long Island cannot safely be rebuilt on existing pilings, Erin Tiernan reports at the Patriot Ledger. The 2015 letter came from the construction company hired to demolish the old bridge and could, in the view of rebuild critics, bolster Quincy’s argument that reconnecting the island to the mainland will be a much bigger project than currently proposed. 

Patriot Ledger

NLRB: Hospital’s button ban broke the law

Talk about hot button issues. The National Labor Relations Board has found that Heywood Hospital in Gardner violated federal law when it disciplined nurses who wore ‘Yes on 1’ buttons ahead of last November’s vote on the staffing question, reports the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett.

Meanwhile, in other hospitals-behaving-badly news, a judge has found Baystate Health officials guilty of attempted union-busting for actions they took after security and trades workers began organizing at its Greenfield hospital, reports Joshua Solomon at the Greenfield Recorder.

Senator Warren, here’s a better way to break up big tech companies

The NYT’s Kevin Roose doesn’t think U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is necessarily wrong in calling for the break-up of big tech companies like Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook, etc. But he does think her plan needs tweaking – and he provides suggestions. Two of them make sense: Splitting off their cloud businesses and getting rid of “app taxes.” He explains.


Ex-transportation chief and congressman to head safety panel for Columbia Gas’ parent company

From the Associated Press at NBC Boston: “The utility company blamed for September’s natural gas explosions and fires in Massachusetts is enlisting former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to oversee its safety efforts. NiSource said Thursday that the former Republican congressman from Illinois will chair a new board charged with reviewing the company’s rollout of a new safety management system across the seven states it serves.”

NBC Boston

Adorable Bear Cubs Video Alert

OK, we couldn’t resist – and neither can you. MassLive has a video released by state wildlife officials of crews moving a 206-pound mother bear and her two cubs after they were discovered hiding out in highway median in Templeton. What can you say? The cubs are, well, adorable.


Sunday public affairs TV

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 p.m. In honor of St Patrick’s Day, this week’s guest is Sen. Nick Collins, host of the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast, discussing how political correctness has affected the event and his views on Mayor Walsh’s 20 mph speed limit proposal.

St. Patrick’s Breakfast and Parade, NECN, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Once again this year, NECN will provide live coverage of Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast and Parade. The breakfast and parade will also be streamed live on NECN.com and in the NECN app.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guests: U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, who talks with anchor Ed Harding and co-anchor Janet Wu, followed by a discussion with Democratic analyst Mary Anne Marsh and Republican analyst Rob Gray.

This is New England, NBC Boston Channel 10, With host Latoyia Edwards, this week’s topic: Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in New England, with Sen. Nick Collins and Fionnuala Quinlan, the Boston consul general of Ireland.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s main topic: The Muslim community in Massachusetts.

This Week in Business, NECN, 8 p.m, and 11 p.m. Natasha Warikoo, associate professor of education at Harvard, discusses this week’s college admissions scandal and the underlying problems surrounding it; Jim Rooney of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce digs into the MBTA’s most recent price hike, while Janelle Nanos from the Boston Globe reviews the Boeing planes-grounding saga and other business issues.

Note: On Saturday, WCVB-TV Channel 5 introduces “Conversation With the Candidate,” a series that focuses on each presidential candidate, with this week looking at Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend Indiana and Democratic presidential candidate, 12:30 p.m.

Exploring Race Through Drama

Keith Hamilton Cobb, actor and author of American Moor, and David Howse, executive director of ArtsEmerson, examine the powerful role performance can play in catalyzing conversations on race, equality, and social challenges with Lizzy Cooper Davis, a professor at Emerson working at the intersection of arts and social justice.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Reimagining the Economic Future Is All About Technology

Engage in a discussion with Dr. Robert A. Gough, Jr. Managing Director of Chatham Hill, about the questions which now must be considered in understanding the economic landscape over the next several years at the North Shore Technology Council’s Annual Economic Forum. Wednesday, March 20, 2018, 7:00-9:00 AM, 100 Cummings Center, Suite 221E, Beverly, MA. Register at www.nstc.org.

North Shore Technology Council

Women’s Legislative Breakfast

The Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus will host our first annual Women’s Legislative Breakfast at the State House on Thursday, March 21, 2019 in celebration of Women’s History Month.

Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus

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.

State House News Forum

Kathy Kelly: Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan: What’s happening and what can we do?

Kathy is just coming off her fast to call attention to the need for the U.S. to end its joint war with the Saudis against Yemen. She is the founder of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, and for many years has visited the war-torn countries of the Middle East and supported those working for peace in those countries.

Massachusetts Peace Action

Fun in the Tropics at Franklin Park Zoo

Escape to the Tropics with the Zoo’s young professionals group, The Wild Things, at Franklin Park Zoo! Join us in your best luau gear as you dance and limbo your way through the Tropical Forest with friends!

Franklin Park Zoo

Today’s Headlines


GE says 209 will be a ‘reset’ year – WBUR

Tufts dining hall workers authorize strike – Boston Globe


Neal spokesman: Strong case emerging to request Trump tax returns – Berkshire Eagle

Lynn parents unhappy over school food – Lynn Item

Blarney flies at Lowell St. Patrick’s Day dinner – Lowell Sun


Court rules gun maker Remington can be sued in Sandy Hook case – USA Today

Congress has a breaking point. This week, Trump might have found it – New York Times

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