Green New Deal, MBTA meeting, Pilgrim Nuclear hearing
— Hundreds of social workers and students will gather at the State House for the National Association of Social Workers Massachusetts Chapter’s annual Legislative Education and Advocacy Day, Faneuil Hall, Boston, 9:30 a.m.
— U.S. Sen. Ed Markey holds a press conference with climate, environmental, labor and clean energy leaders in support of the Green New Deal Resolution, Office of Sen. Markey, 9th floor, JFK Federal Building, 15 New Sudbury Street, Boston, 10 a.m.
— The MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board meets for discussion of station brightening, bus networks and warehousing, State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 11 a.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker huddles privately with Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Karen Spilka, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and House Minority Leader Brad Jones for a semi-regular leadership meeting, Governor’s Office, 2 p.m.
— Nuclear Regulatory Commission Region Administrator David Lew holds a briefing on oversight of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station ahead of the NRC’s annual assessment meeting for Pilgrim, which takes place Tuesday evening in Plymouth, Hilton Garden Hotel, Four Home Depot Dr., Plymouth, 3 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.
The Mueller Report: Round 1 to Trump?
The U.S. Justice Department yesterday released a summary of Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election – and President Trump and Fox News were practically doing cart wheels over the fact that the summary says the probe didn’t find evidence of collusion. The Associated Press at the Globe has the details of the summary.
Of course, the full report hasn’t been released yet, and local Democrats are pressing hard for its full disclosure, as Shannon Young at MassLive and John Hilliard at the Globe report. There’s also the murky question about whether or not the president may have engaged in activities that could be seen as obstructing justice. But the consensus seems to be the president has dodged a legal bullet on this one, leaving Democrats sputtering, as this headline on a Globe piece makes clear: “Democrats seize on new mantra after Mueller gut punch: ‘No exoneration.’”
The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld says the summary is a clear victory for Trump: “Mueller’s conclusion that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia gives the president a prime opportunity to win a second term, ginning up his base with the ultimately failed coup attempt.” The key now, for Dems, is to get hold of the full report. There may not be any legal smoking guns in it. But there could be highly damaging political news in there. We’ll see. Round 2 is coming up.
House to vote on new family-planning funds in wake of Title X rule change
From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “The Massachusetts House plans to vote on a bill that would set aside state money to fund women’s reproductive health centers if they lose federal funding under a new rule proposed by the Trump administration.” House Speaker Robert DeLeo said the House is “deeply troubled” by the Trump administration’s “irresponsible” funding decision. SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) has more.
Brookline pot shop overwhelmed by calm and order
Is it possible the media hyped the possibility of total and complete chaos that would unfold once the new Brookline pot shop opened on Saturday – only for total calm and order to break out after the Brookline pot shop opened on Saturday? We can’t believe it. We’re blaming the police and T for this. Anyway, Quincy Walters at WBUR reports on the “breezy wait times” that prevailed on Saturday.
One thing is clear after education hearing: The way forward on education funding is not clear
As expected, hundreds of people showed up for the big education hearing on Friday at the State House, including Gov. Charlie Baker, and Steph Solis at MassLive reports how just about everyone agreed that the state’s 25-year-old funding formula needs to be updated. “How the Legislature will get there, however, may not be so clear even after Friday’s education hearing at the State House,” Solis reports.
The Globe’s Victoria McGrane reports that several members of the education committee made clear they think Baker’s funding proposal doesn’t go far enough. The Herald’s Mary Markos provides a quick summary of the three main bills now under consideration. Meanwhile, Steph Solis at MassLive reports on the New England Patriots players who promoted Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz’s “PROMISE Act.”
‘The original old boys club’: Alive and well in Massachusetts
Laura Colarusso at WGBH reports that the old boy network at the local governmental level is alive and well in Massachusetts, thank you. From Colarusso: “Across the Bay State — well known for its progressive politics — town select boards are still largely dominated by men. Of the almost 1200 board members statewide, a little over 300 are women, according to statistics compiled by WGBH News. Eighty-five towns have boards with no female members, while only two — Berlin and Shutesbury — have boards without men. The pattern is repeated in the cities, where 176 of 603 council seats are held by women. Ten of 47 mayors are female. (The total number of women mayors is actually down from 2008, when there were 11.)”
Cambridge goes Houston? City mulls ‘radical’ zoning idea to promote affordable housing
The Globe’s Jon Chesto reports that the city of Cambridge, in what he describes as a radical move, is considering establishing an entirely new citywide zoning code that would allow construction of taller and denser residential buildings, as long as they’re “100-percent affordable.” Some say the change is needed to produce more housing. Others believe it will destroy the character of city neighborhoods.
Our quickie reaction: Who would have thought? The People’s Republic of Cambridge mulling a Houston-like laissez faire zoning code. Well, not quite laissez faire, but similar in its build-what-you-want way.
Maybe Moulton can knock some sense into other ‘free stuff’ Dems
Peter Lucas at the Lowell Sun isn’t a big fan of U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton. But if Moulton indeed runs for president, Lucas writes, perhaps his candidacy will serve the purpose of countering all the promises of “free” government services (health care, higher education, child care etc.) that other Democratic candidates are touting on the campaign trail.
Again? North Andover warns third student to mind her ways after complaining of sexual assault
There has to be more to this than meets the eye. There’s no other explanation. From Breanna Edelstein at the Eagle-Tribune: “School officials have threatened a third North Andover High student who alleges she was sexually assaulted by a fellow classmate with suspension or possibly a call to police if she fails to comply with the terms of a School Safety Plan. The North Andover School District’s practice of using School Safety Plans became public last week when several students came to The Eagle-Tribune with documents supporting their allegations of sexual assault and the contracts the school asked them to sign.”
Now we know: Ex-principal who suddenly resigned two years ago left after misconduct allegation
Speaking of education, David Wheeler, principal of Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School in Easton, resigned suddenly two years ago, saying it was “just time to go.” But Marc Larocque at Wicked Local reports that newly disclosed documents show that Wheeler was actually forced to leave “‘after being confronted by the district regarding allegations’ of misconduct involving at least one student.” Wheeler also later agreed to forfeit his educator’s license.
Robert Kraft says he’s ‘truly sorry’ following prostitution charges
Jackson Cote at WBUR reports the New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft over the weekend said, without admitting guilt, that he’s “truly sorry” for letting down family, fans and friends after being charged more than a month ago with soliciting prostitution at a Florida massage parlor.
Based on the reactions of some local pundits, his non-apology apology isn’t going over so well. Wendy Williams at the Herald said it would be nice if he directly admitted wrongdoing and, in the future, not drag his late wife into the controversy. From the Globe’s Adrian Walker: “At the risk of seeming churlish, Kraft’s apology didn’t do much for me. There’s so much it doesn’t address, including what he was doing at a strip-mall massage parlor in the first place.”
Baker opts to hang on to the wolf’s ear of solitary confinement
Borrowing a phrase from Thomas Jefferson about the dilemma of holding a wolf by the ears, Margaret Monsell writes at CommonWealth magazine that the Baker administration has effectively opted to hang on to the wolf when it comes to solitary confinement of inmates in state prisons, despite a new state law designed to let the wolf go.
Another victory for Correia as judge allows recall election to be certified
Fall River taxpayers who sued to block the certification of the election results that saw Mayor Jasiel Correia recalled from office and then re-elected say they’ll continue their legal challenge despite losing a round in court on Friday. A judge refused to issue an injunction halting certification, but the taxpayers who filed the action say they plan to take the case to trial, Amanda Burke reports at the Herald News.
Fall River to sell ‘indoor billboards’ in its Government Center
Speaking of Fall River, Mayor Jasiel Correia’s attempt to raise funds by erecting billboards on city-owned land and along Interstate 195 and Route 24 hasn’t been greeted with open arms by residents and the state. So it’s Plan B time: Selling billboard space within Government Center. Peter Jasinski at the Herald Review has the details.
Good for business: Dozens of area lawyers land work tied to college-bribery scandal
The BBJ’s Greg Ryan reports that more than 30 local lawyers have been hired by the parents, coaches and others caught up in the college-bribery scandal. They’re all fine lawyers, we’re sure, but it should be noted that, per court rules, those facing charges here have to hire at least one lawyer admitted to the Massachusetts bar, in addition to any out-of-state attorneys, as Ryan notes.
MassFiscal’s self-funding fundraising
From the Globe’s Matt Stout: “Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, the vocal conservative group that has long fought efforts to identify its donors, quietly created a separate nonprofit that in less than a year became its single biggest source of cash, adding a new layer to its already guarded financing. The $460,000 in contributions that Fiscal Partners Inc. gave MassFiscal in 2017 tether together what tax experts call an unusual relationship between nonprofit organizations.”
Bills on tap at State House target lead in school water
From the Associated Press at New Bedford’s WBSM: “Lawmakers on Beacon Hill are pushing legislation aimed at improving the safety of drinking water in schools in part by requiring schools and child care centers to test every drinking water outlet each year for elevated lead levels. Legislation on tap in the Massachusetts House and Senate would force schools to immediately shut off drinking water outlets that show elevated lead levels.”
Too much? Regulators eye whether retired administrator’s salary exceeds pension-payout limits
The Globe’s James Vaznis reports that state and local regulators are examining whether former Boston school administrator Linda Nathan, who’s now collecting a $105,000 annual city pension, is effectively making too much post-retirement pay while working at the Conservatory Lab Charter School in Dorchester.
Claw back: HUD says Worcester must repay for housing projects
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is ordering Worcester to pay back $553,000 in federal funds after two housing projects failed to produce the required affordable housing units, Nick Kotsopolous reports at the Telegram. The city has already recovered the bulk of that amount from the private developers on the two downtown projects and the city council will look to secure the remaining funds with a budget transfer this week.
What’s in a name? Lowell debates park moniker amid changing demographics
Call it a sign of the changing times. The Lowell city council plans to take up a proposal to change the name of a major city park, an idea that has been kicking around the demographically fast-changing city for several years, Elizabeth Dobbins reports at the Lowell Sun. Residents want the city to rename Roberto Clemente Park–which got its name way back in 1973, shortly after the first Puerto Rico-born MLB player lost his life in a plane crash–to reflect its current use by members of the city’s Cambodian community. Those residents, who most heavily use the park, already refer to it as “Pailin” park.
Healey reaches $600K settlement with real estate firm over housing discrimination
From the Globe’s Emily Sweeney: “A property management company has agreed to pay $600,000 to settle allegations that it ‘systematically discriminated’ against minority and low-income applicants and tenants of a Malden apartment complex, Attorney General Maura Healey announced Friday.”
‘Sprawl buster’ takes aim at Greenfield’s ‘great compromise’
Greenfield resident who gained national notoriety for his work in stopping a proposed Wal-Mart almost two decades ago has filed petitions seeking to stop the city from enacting more relaxed commercial zoning approved last week as part of a ‘great compromise’ that also saw local funding for a new library approved, Anita Fritz reports at the Greenfield Recorder. City officials predicted the petitions from Al Norman will likely be rejected after a legal review.
President Carter: The White House Years
Stuart E. Eizenstat, former chief White House domestic policy adviser to President Jimmy Carter, Ambassador to the European Union, and Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, discusses his new book, President Carter: The White House Years.
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
New Insights: Native American History in the Colonial Period
Colin Calloway, author of The Indian World of George Washington: The First President, The First Americans, and the Birth of the Nation and Dartmouth professor of history, and Julia A. King, St. Mary’s College of Maryland professor of anthropology, discuss recent historical research into Native American life with Philip Deloria, Harvard professor of history.
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Kindness and Civility in Society: A Call to Common Purpose
A discussion about kindness and civility in society with leaders from Boston College and A Faith that Does Justice.
Women’s Network Breakfast: Sandi Fenwick, Boston Children’s Hospital
Boston Children’s is the leading recipient of pediatric research funding from the National Institutes of Health, and is home to the world’s largest pediatric research enterprise. Much of this consistent excellence can be credited to the outstanding leadership, of Boston Children’s first female Chief Executive Officer, Sandra Fenwick, and the team she has assembled.
Lobby 101 – Methuen
Wondering how to get involved in improving animal protection in Massachusetts? At this event, we will discuss the legislative process, current legislation you can take action on, and different ways that you can effectively use your voice to make a difference for animals.
Energy Efficiency & CRE: Ambitious New Goals, Codes and Technologies
Passive house, carbon-free, increased electrification, solar rooftop requirements, a new energy code, new energy efficiency goals, and greenhouse gas reductions for buildings…what does it all mean for commercial real estate and how do we get there?
Invite Your Legislator to School Day
The Massachusetts Association of 766 Approved Private Schools (maaps) is hosting 6 “Invite Your Legislator to School” Days at special education schools across the Commonwealth.
Massachusetts Association for 766 Approved Private Schools (maaps)
Two developers propose nearly 200 units of housing near Logan Airport – Boston Business Journal
Nightmare on Tobin Bridge about to begin – Boston Globe
Markey airs Green New Deal in town hall at NHS – Daily Hampshire Gazette
Cannabis country: Marijuana drives new industry in central Mass. cities and towns – Telegram & Gazette
Framingham councilor Cheryl Tully Stoll will not seek re-election – MetroWest Daily News
Where are the children of outer Cape Cod? – Cape Cod Times
After the report: More investigations, more division–and an election – Washington Post
Recording reveals oil execs laughing at Trump access – Politico
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