TRACK groundbreaking, MBTA meeting, Title X funding
— State and business leaders, including Gov. Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, New Balance Chairman Jim Davis, NB Development Group Managing Director Jim Halliday and others participate in the groundbreaking for The TRACK at New Balance, a multi-sport athletic event space and concert venue, 77 Guest Street, Boston, 10:30 a.m.
— At separate events, Secretary of State William Galvin attends an event by Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer to kick off the one-year countdown to the 2020 Census, at Nevins Hall, 150 Concord St., Framingham, and Mayor Marty Walsh and others hold a one-year-to-launch census event at the East Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library, 365 S Bremen St., East Boston, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. respectively.
— U.S. Sen. Ed Markey will host a roundtable discussion and press conference in his Boston office to discuss the importance of local access television, Office of Sen. Markey, JFK Federal Building, 9th Floor, 15 New Sudbury St., Boston, 11 a.m.
— The MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board hosts its weekly meeting to discuss the Green Line Transformation project, accessible transit infrastructure, cleaning contracts and more, State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 12 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker meets with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Karen Spilka, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and House Minority Leader Brad Jones, Senate President’s Office, Room 322, State House, 2 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Senate President Karen Spilka, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and others gather for a ceremonial signing of a bill that provides state funds to offset the potential loss of federal funding to women’s reproductive health organizations under Title X; Baker officially signed the bill on Friday, Grand Staircase, 3:00 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.
Hydro transmission line gets Maine boost
This just in from SHNS’s Michael Norton, who reports the staff of the Maine Public Utilities Commission has recommended that regulators allow a controversial transmission line to run through Maine, bringing with it huge amounts of hydro power from Canada to Massachusetts and other parts of New England. If it’s finally approved (and there’s still a long way to go before that happens), the project would be a major victory for the Baker administration and others pushing for more clean hydro power in the region.
The political rise and fall of Elizabeth Warren?
The NYT isn’t writing the political obituary of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, but a story by Astead Herndon and Jonathan Martin does chronicle Warren’s fall from top progressive darling to back-of-the-pack progressive darling in the Dem presidential race, focusing on her recent fundraising woes and, well, her other woes.
It’s a somewhat surprising turn of events for Warren, considering she’s established herself as the policy pacesetter in the race, as exemplified by this recent Globe editorial: “Elizabeth Warren says we should take a big swipe at Big Tech. She’s right.” And Warren’s camp probably welcomes this headline from the Hill: “Koch group launches ads against Warren plan to break up tech giants.”
Warren appears to be trying to right the campaign ship with her recent meeting with U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose potential endorsement of Warren would be huge in some circles, as the AP reports at the Herald. Then again, the Springfield Republican, in an editorial, is warning that Warren may pay a price for politically getting too close to AOC’s socialist views.
Warren: I believe Joe Biden’s accuser
And things aren’t going so well for another Dem candidate, albeit a would-be presidential candidate. From the NYT: “Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. scrambled on Sunday to contain a quickly growing crisis for his likely presidential bid, putting forward several former female aides and allies to praise his treatment of women after Lucy Flores, a former Nevada legislator, accused Mr. Biden of kissing and touching her.”
In Iowa yesterday, Warren said she believes Flores – and that it’s now up to Biden to decide whether he should join the race, the Associated Press reports at the Herald. In other words, she’s letting him dangle. Rick Sobey at the Herald has a piece on Biden’s touchy-feely ways in general – and the accompanying cringe-worthy photo says it all about the challenges Biden now faces.
Pete Buttigieg, the candidate whose last name you can’t pronounce, is coming to Northeastern
Spencer Buell at Boston Magazine reports that Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana who’s suddenly skyrocketed from obscurity to the top ranks of the Dem presidential primary race, will be attending a “Millennials in Politics” forum on Wednesday at Northeastern University. As Buell notes, Buttigieg is “sometimes known by the shorthand ‘Mayor Pete,’ thanks to his impossible-to-pronounce last name.”
Pronunciations aside, we’re hearing a lot of street chatter about Buttigieg these days, most of it positive. Keep an eye on him.
Consolation prize: Ex-Rep. Orrall to head tourism office after failed state treasurer bid
From the Globe’s Matt Stout: “Keiko M. Orrall, a former lawmaker and leading Republican Party figure, has been tapped by Governor Charlie Baker’s administration to return to state government, this time to take over the state Office of Travel and Tourism. Orrall, 51, started her new $124,248-a-year role (last) week, months after she gave up her legislative seat to launch an unsuccessful run for state treasurer last fall.”
Pressley blasts new Dem rules that protect incumbents
She has a point. From Kimberly Atkins at WBUR: “Rep. Ayanna Pressley is pushing back against a new Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rule that penalizes pollsters, strategists and other campaign vendors if they work for Democratic candidates challenging incumbents in primaries. The Boston Democrat, who unseated longtime Rep. Mike Capuano in the Bay State’s 7th District in November, said the rule ‘slams the door’ on future campaigns just like hers.”
Evictions are skyrocketing in Gateway cities
Think the tenant eviction rate is high in high-priced Boston? Check out the eviction rates in Gateway cities across the state. They’re much worse — and the problem of evictions remains largely ignored, writes Samarth Gupta at CommonWealth magazine.
Group calls for investigation of Trahan’s mystery funds
From the Globe’s Andrea Estes: “An election watchdog group has called on federal regulators to open an investigation into US Representative Lori Trahan’s 2018 campaign spending, saying she may have used illegal donations to make large loans to her campaign during a heated 10-way primary race.”
SJC: Yes, Massachusetts gun laws apply to a NH man shacking up with girlfriend in Tewksbury
A mini-classic lead from Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin: “The Supreme Judicial Court today rejected a man’s Second Amendment challenges to his conviction for illegal gun possession, ruling he failed to obtain a gun license within 60 days of moving here as required by state law, and never mind that he allegedly used the gun to threaten his Massachusetts girlfriend at least twice during the six months they shared her apartment, the last time during a drunken rage that forced her to flee her apartment and call 911.” Adam’s headline is also pretty darn good.
Twice as nasty: 800 million gallons of wastewater dumped into Merrimack last year
File under ‘gross.’ State officials and environmental groups say aging infrastructure allowed 800 million gallons of wastewater to pour into the Merrimack River last year, twice as much as the previous year — a situation that has lawmakers eyeing both temporary fixes and a long-term solution, Christian Wade reports at the Eagle-Tribune.
Baker to dive into another major policy fight: Health care
Since his landslide re-election last year, Gov. Charlie Baker has been a little more bold in tackling thorny public issues, from school funding to sports gambling in Massachusetts. Now he’s poised to dive into the middle of another hotly contested issue: Health care reform. Details of his plan will be unveiled later this spring, but health and human services secretary Marylou Sudders is signaling an interest in improving access to mental health care and tackling prescription drug costs, reports the Globe’s Matt Stout and Priyanka Dayal McCluskey.
Meanwhile, pharmaceutical firms ready to spend millions more to block price controls
Gov. Charlie Baker may be about to dive into the health-care debate on Beacon Hill, but he’ll have formidable opponents should he move to cap prices on prescription drugs, i.e. the pharmaceutical companies that make prescription drugs. Last year, pharma companies spent $4 million in lobbying at the State House, reports Mary Markos at the Herald.
Springfield Police Department promotes officer who pleaded guilty to assaulting two supervisors
Another day, another controversy for the Springfield Police Department, to wit: Acting Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood late last week announced the promotion of five patrol officers to the rank of sergeant – and it turns out one of them had been previously arrested for his role in the “on-duty pummeling of two supervisors inside the station,” reports Patrick Johnson at MassLive. The officer later pleaded guilty to reduced charges of misdemeanor assault.
In other SPD news, from MassLive: “Springfield City Council President Justin Hurst calls on Hampden County DA Anthony Gulluni to resign over handling of Nathan Bill’s police beating allegations.”
Ex-Quincy cop loses appeal of conviction for double dipping
Still on the subject of police, from Wicked Local: “A jury in U.S. District Court in Boston had found Thomas Corliss, 55, guilty of 10 federal felony counts of mail fraud and one of embezzlement. He was accused of exploiting the department’s payment systems so he was paid $8,000 for overlapping shifts of work, training and compensation time in 2015.”
Marty Walsh’s headache that won’t go away: The City Hall corruption case
The Globe’s Milton Valencia takes a look at the challenges facing both Mayor Marty Walsh and U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling now that the City Hall extortion case is back in play. The Globe’s Adrian Walker thinks that Lelling should probably drop the matter, but he says that doesn’t mean the players involved didn’t engage in obnoxious behavior.
Will Big Pot simply treat minority partners as fronts?
Ted Siefer at CommonWealth magazine has a good piece that looks at how big marijuana companies are so eager to help people of color start up cannabis shops – and he wonders if minority entrepreneurs will ever have the capital (and the chance) to start their own marijuana operations without the domineering assistance of major corporations.
Separately, Felicia Gans at the Globe reports on how one pot dispensary in Jamaica Plain plans to provide customers with something else at its shop: “A social justice museum that highlights the effects of marijuana prohibition on the community.” We’re pretty sure many minorities would prefer to own their own shops, rather than being mentioned in passing at a social justice museum.
Worcester considers changing war memorial eligibility
We missed this story from the other day by the Telegram’s Nick Kotsopoulos, who reports that Worcester is considering changing eligibility rules to be listed on city war memorials, after one man complained that the name of his uncle, who died from injuries two months after he was wounded in World War II, wasn’t on the city’s WWII memorial. Via the AP.
Lessons not learned: ACLU sues Fall River over crackdown on panhandlers
The ACLU has sued the city of Fall River, saying the city discriminated against the poor by aggressively enforcing a state statute the group says is unconstitutional, Amanda Burke reports at the Herald News. The lawsuit, brought on behalf of two local homeless people, aims to block police from arresting panhandlers and seeks to have the statute, which governs solicitation from inside motor vehicles, ruled out of bounds.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because a number of other cities — from Lowell to Worcester to neighboring New Bedford — have been over this panhandler ground before. Spoiler alert: All of them have lost, sometimes costing taxpayers millions in the process.
State to Roxbury charter school: Enough with the suspensions!
From the Globe’s James Vaznis: “Roxbury Preparatory Charter School, long known for strict discipline, has been ordered by the state to lower its suspension rates, an unusual move aimed at keeping more students in class. The charter school has the second highest out-of-school suspension rate in the state, with 21.1 percent of students receiving that punishment during the last school year. That’s far higher than the state average of 2.9 percent.”
High stakes showdown: Gaming Commission tees up Wynn hearings this week
Here we go. Craig LeMoult of WGBH sets the table for this week’s hearings before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission aimed at determining the suitability of Wynn Resorts to hold the Boston area’s only resort casino license.
Healey’s never-ending battle with Trump administration over ObamaCare
Tori Bedford at WGBH reports that Attorney General Maura Healey and a coalition of other attorneys general were declaring victory last week in their seemingly never ending fight against the Trump administration’s attempts to shut down ObamaCare. Healey indicated it was just one skirmish won – and that she expects more battles ahead and that ObamaCare will be a central issue in the 2020 presidential race.
S-Day in Brookline: The scooters invasion
Kristin LaFratta at MassLive has everything you need to know and more about today’s launch of legalized electric scooters in Brookline – and how other community and state officials are monitoring the situation to see what works and doesn’t work.
Galvin to roll out strategy to ace 2020 census
One year out from the start of the door-to-door counting, Secretary of State Bill Galvin is convening a meeting Monday to plot strategies for ensuring as many Massachusetts residents as possible are accounted for in the 2020 U.S. Census, Bob Salsberg of the Associated Press reports at the MetroWest Daily News. The meeting will take place in Framingham, where Mayor Yvonne Spicer has already promised to devote resources to ensuring that everyone is counted, including the city’s large populations of recent immigrants and college students.
Brockton mayor vows to veto ‘sanctuary city’ ordinance
Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter is vowing to veto a “sanctuary city” ordinance – and there appears to be more than a little mayoral-election positioning swirling around the issue, according to a report at the Brockton Enterprise.
ICE slaps detainer on Uber driver accused of rape
Speaking of immigrants and ICE etc., from the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky: “Officials from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have slapped a detainer on an Ugandan Uber driver facing arraignment Monday for allegedly raping a woman in his vehicle on the Esplanade, state police said. Daudad Mayanja, 37, who state police said is a Ugandan citizen, also had his $25,000 bail raised to $100,000, police said.”
Impact & Opportunity – The North Shore Innovation Economy
The Biotech and the Tech industry have long been strong drivers of economic growth and job creation. Massachusetts is home to a biotechnology supercluster that is second to none. In recent years, the two industries have converged to create new industries that leverage the strength of each… empowering new fields, such as digital health and synthetic biology.
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.
Health and Life Sciences Conference 2019
The Health and Life Sciences Conference (HLSC) aims to provide people of color with a window into the life sciences industry. HLSC convenes and connects communities of color and industry experts to raise awareness of breakthrough medical advances, explore business and career opportunities, as well as enable new networks.
8th Annual Transportation Innovation Conference
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is pleased to announce that its 8th Annual Transportation Innovation Conference will include presentations and exhibits on a wide-range of topics.
What’s New in the Woo
When thinking of Worcester, Bostonians may see visions of abandoned mill buildings, but New England’s second largest city is long overdue for a revision of that reputation. Join NAIOP to hear from Worcester’s movers and shakers, as they discuss the development of housing, mixed-use, recreation and business/cultural happenings in the heart of the Commonwealth.
Religion, Science and Ecology
This conference supports the goal of the coalition to bring religious leaders and scientists into dialogue to amplify the urgent call for ecological responsibility. Keynote speaker: Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, now professor at Chan School of Public Health.
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