Wynn suitability hearing, Baker and Goldberg in NY, and more
— The Supreme Judicial Court meets to hear four cases, John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, 2nd Floor, Pemberton Square, Boston, 9 a.m.
— The Gaming Commission holds the first of three adjudicatory hearings on the suitability of Wynn Resorts to hold a casino license, following sexual misconduct charges against its former CEO, Steve Wynn, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Room 156 A&B, 415 Summer St., Boston, 10 a.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker and Treasurer Deborah Goldberg will meet in New York with representatives from rating agencies Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s, and Fitch, W New York Downtown Hotel, 8 Albany St., New York, 10 a.m.
— Massachusetts Department of Transportation news conference in connection with release of newly enhanced guide to support teen driving, 10 Park Plaza, 2nd Floor, Transportation Board Room, Boston, 10 a.m.
— The Housing Committee holds a hearing with testimony from Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy, Acting Undersecretary of Department of Housing and Community Development Jennifer Maddox and others, Room A-2, 10 a.m.
— Lobsters, recycling and plastic bags are on the docket before the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, Hearing Room A-2, 1 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.
Wynn hearings to finally start – with or without the star attraction
After months of delays and controversy, the public will finally learn at least some of what state investigators have learned over the course of their long probe into Wynn Resort. From Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine: “The Massachusetts Gaming Commission opens a series of hearings this week on the sexual misconduct of Steve Wynn, but the gambling mogul is unlikely to attend and unlikely to face any disciplinary action despite allegations of rape and sexual harassment. The Gaming Commission on Tuesday is expected to release its report on Wynn’s sexual misconduct.”
State issues warning on measles
From the Globe’s Abigail Feldman: “State public health officials Monday reported the first confirmed case of measles in the state this year and warned those who are not immune about the risks of exposure to the highly contagious virus. The person lives in the Greater Boston area and was diagnosed Sunday, according to a statement from the state’s public health department. The person went to several restaurants and stores last week during the infectious period, the statement said.” Jeanette DeForge at MassLive has more on the state warning.
The Biden Affair: The local reaction
As former Vice President Joe Biden fends off yet another charge that he inappropriately touched a woman years ago (Washington Post), Mayor Marty Walsh yesterday was defending his good bud, saying Biden is a “very emotional person” (CBS Boston). But U.S. Sen. Ed Markey is the latest local pol to say he believes the allegations by Biden’s first accuser, Nevada Democrat Lucy Flores (SHNS – pay wall).
The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld writes that Biden “needs to come up with a better apology or his budding White House campaign won’t even get off the ground.” The Herald’s Wendy Murphy says Democrats need to take a stand against Biden’s “creepy” behavior. But the Globe’s Joan Vennochi isn’t buying that argument, not with a far worse groper-in-chief sitting in the Oval Office these days.
Baker distances himself from GOP chair’s abortion ‘infanticide’ claim
It took a few days, but Gov. Charlie Baker is now distancing himself from GOP Party Chairman Jim Lyons’s recent claim that lawmakers who back legislation that would expand late-term abortion rights are “supporting infanticide,” reports the Associated Press at the Herald.
The governor said he supports current state abortion laws and opposes “late-term abortions,” but added “inflated language that exists on all sides in politics” makes it harder for people to do their jobs. Shira Schoenberg at MassLive and SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) have more on the abortion debate on Beacon Hill.
The Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert, meanwhile, reports the state GOP has even “launched Facebook ads accusing individual Democratic cosponsors of supporting ‘infanticide’ through the bill that would permit abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy in cases where the fetus has a fatal anomaly and is not expected to survive.”
Charges dropped against high school student at center of false police report controversy
If you watch the video of the incident, you’ll know that the assault charges against a Springfield high school student were bogus – and that arguably the police officer in question should have been the one charged. Dan Glaun at MassLive has the story and the video.
Hampshire College chairwoman resigns, citing vitriol and ‘slanderous attacks’
Things are getting tense at Hampshire College. From Jim Russell at MassLive: “The chairwoman of Hampshire College’s board of trustees resigned during a board meeting on Sunday, saying she and her colleagues have been slandered and attacked as the school struggles with long-term financial challenges. ‘I’ve become a lightning rod for criticism and felt it was time to step away,” Gaye Hill said in a written statement Hampshire College released on Monday.”
Anti-tax group takes aim at Dems for merely talking about gas tax hike
From the Herald’s Brooks Sutherland: “An anti-tax organization took aim at state Democrats Monday after the party’s leadership floated the possibility of a gas tax hike, a move tried once and overturned by voters five years ago. “Beacon Hill does what it wants,” said Holly Robichaud, a member of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Best Ally political action committee.”
Meanwhile, SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall) reports that House Speaker Robert DeLeo is reiterating that lawmakers are indeed looking at “everything and anything” to fund transportation programs. DeLeo, appearing on WBZ’s Keller at Large over the weekend, also said that the state can’t continue to “pick up all the slack” of federal government budget cuts.
DeLeo: Yeah, some lawmakers ‘may be unhappy with me’
Speaking of the speaker, Robert DeLeo appears to be lending some substance to a column by the Lowell Sun’s Peter Lucas that asserted the now discredited sexual-harassment charges against Rep. Paul McMurtry were filed by lawmakers out to embarrass the speaker. During a weekend interview on WBZ’s Keller at Large, DeLeo said he did not know “exactly what the intent was” of those who first brought the allegations, but he acknowledged that some lawmakers “may be unhappy with me” regarding the investigation, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall).
Auto shop owner accused of taking a sledgehammer to vehicles to drive up repair costs
It confirms all our primordial fears about auto shops in general. From Elaine Thompson at the Telegram: “A Shrewsbury man who owns automotive businesses in Worcester and Everett has been indicted in connection with an extensive motor vehicle fraud scheme in which he further damaged vehicles he was to repair, Attorney General Maura Healey announced Monday. The man is accused of the theft of $170,000.” There’s apparently surveillance footage of him wielding mallets, sledgehammers and pieces of wood to cause damage.
Residents file lawsuit over Newton’s alleged anti-Semitism in school curriculum
We told you this issue wasn’t going away. From Sean Savage at the Jewish News Syndicate: “Several residents of the Boston suburb of Newton, Mass., have filed a lawsuit in a local superior court over what they alleged as bias in the school district’s teaching of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the public school’s system.” The complaint is 469 pages long and purportedly details the history of residents attempting to address and correct bias in the curriculum, Savage writes.
Bump seeks power to combat bureaucratic ‘feet-dragging’
State Auditor Suzanne Bump yesterday pushed for new legislation that would give her more power in dealing with uncooperative government agencies resisting audits. “The work of my office is often slowed by bureaucratic feet-dragging when we request information from auditees,” she said at a State House hearing yesterday. “These delays sometimes stretch for months.” SHNSs Colin Young has the details.
As he expands Boston Landing empire, NB’s Jim Davis jettisons professional lacrosse teams
The Herald’s Marie Szaniszlo reports on the groundbreaking ceremonies yesterday on New Balance’s new “TRACK” facility at Boston Landing. The Globe’s Jon Chesto reports that it’s just one piece of the overall huge legacy that NB founder Jim Davis will leave behind in Boston.
But the BBJ’s Don Seiffert reports that Davis is pulling back a bit in one area by agreeing to cut three of his teams from Major League Lacrosse’s schedule in 2019. The Boston-based league is now down to six teams, including the Boston Cannons.
‘Dear MBTA, We Gotta talk’
We could have filled most of today’s MassterList with tidbits from the T. But we’ll just roll ‘em all together in one post. Here goes. From CommonWealth magazine: “The great employee exodus.” From SHNS (pay wall): “Rep wants hearing on Orange Line delay.” Back to CommonWealth: “Red Line meltdown juxtaposed with on-time discussion.” And back to SHNS (pay wall): “Many MBTA stops still inaccessible.”
Finally, Tory Bullock, no fan of the T’s new fare hikes, has a funny video over at Universal Hub, merrily ranting about the T to the tune of the old Brady Bunch theme song.
Healey strikes down Brewster’s ban on pot shops
From Jessica Bartlett at the BBJ: “Attorney General Maura Healey has struck down Brewster’s ban on recreational marijuana establishments, citing a similar decision by land court judge about a ban in Charlton. … (In) a decision issued Monday afternoon, Healey’s office said because the town had already passed zoning around recreational cannabis, the town was prohibited from passing a subsequent ban through a general bylaw.”
Rollins: ‘Everyone making money from cannabis is white’
Speaking of pot, add Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins to the growing chorus of people complaining about the lack of minorities within the marijuana industry in Massachusetts. “It is disgusting and we need to speak out loudly about it,” Rollins said at a recent Tufts University event, reports the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett.
Clark to DeVos: Leave. Just leave
The Globe’s Danny McDonald reports that U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark is demanding the resignation of U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, “saying she used a purportedly racist study to justify revoking a 2014 policy that aimed to reduce racial disparities in school discipline.”
Cape towns’ shark season wish list partially fulfilled
The state will pony up nearly $400,000 to help lower Cape Cod towns — including Wellfleet, the site of a fatal Great White attack last summer — prepare for the upcoming beach and shark season with new emergency call boxes, satellite phones for lifeguards and other emergency equipment, Doug Fraser reports at the Cape Cod Times. Cape lawmakers praised the contributions but said they’ll continue to press for more resources.
You can live here too: State makes another push for housing at Devens
State officials are hoping to breathe new life into a long-languishing plan to add more housing to the otherwise successful redevelopment of the former Devens military base, Grant Welker reports at the Worcester Business Journal. MassDevelopment has its sights set on bringing up to 300 units of housing to Vicksburg Square, where thousands of soldiers were once housed. Remaining barriers include community resistance — zoning changes have failed in the past — and the cost of refurbishing the old structures, which was pegged at $120 million back in 2012.
Walsh slams Trump’s ‘immature and childish’ criticism of census
As Mayor Marty Walsh and other Dems held events to promote participation in the 2020 U.S. Census, President Trump’s thumbs were mighty busy yesterday, tweeting about ‘Radical Left Democrats’ opposed to a census question about citizenship. Walsh called the president’s remarks “immature and childish” and accused Trump of politicizing the census, reports Brooks Sutherland at the Herald.
Meanwhile, the Globe’s Michael Levenson reports local officials are becoming increasingly worried that it will be particularly hard next year to get an accurate population count in Massachusetts. Among the reasons: “Fears of deportation in immigrant communities.”
Never mind: Turns out progressive caucus at State House hasn’t grown
It seems Rep. Tricia Farley Bouvier miscounted heads when she announced last month that the progressive caucus on Beacon Hill had grown to a record 60 members. Yesterday, she acknowledged the number is 58, the same as last year, reports Andy Metzger at CommonWealth magazine.
Here’s one way to address women’s pay equity in Massachusetts
In a Globe op-ed, Mayor Marty Walsh, Rep. Liz Malia and former Lt. Gov. Evelyn Murphy bemoan the pay gap between men and women in Massachusetts – and promote a Malia bill that would require organizations with more than 100 employees to report the gender and race of employees holding specific management titles.
Out of the starting gate: Woman injured at e-scooter launch ceremony
It’s the rough equivalent of someone tripping on a rug at an awards ceremony. From CBS Boston: “A woman was injured while participating in an e-scooter demonstration in Brookline Monday. The town is the first in Mass. to launch a rentable e-scooter program. She was treated on the scene and then taken away in an ambulance but is expected to be OK.”
A bridge too far? Quincy pledges help to tribes with Long Island connections
Quincy city councilors promised to help Native American tribes protect ancestral burial grounds on Long Island even as the city battles in court with Boston over rebuilding the only bridge connecting it to the mainland, Erin Tiernan reports at the Patriot Ledger. One councilor said the city should press its congressional representatives to pass legislation protecting burial grounds on the island, regardless of how the bridge battle unfolds.
Buffer zones: Brockton becomes latest city with anti-panhandling ordinance
Try, try again: The Brockton City Council has approved an anti-panhandling ordinance that bars people from asking for money within 25 feet of an ATM, supermarket, church or people inside cars, Marc Larocque reports at the Enterprise. The city’s legal department is now reviewing the rules to ensure it doesn’t invite the same type of lawsuit that has thwarted similar efforts in a number of Massachusetts cities.
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.
Movie, “Alive Inside”
Everyone knows someone who is experiencing serious cognitive decline. This poignant movie, “Alive Inside,” explores how music can be therapeutic for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Additional information will be available. 80 minutes, FREE, as part of Nahant Public Library’s Dementia Friendly Nahant project.
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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