UMass trustees, Wynn hearing, Buttigieg at Northeastern
— University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees meets at its medical school campus and is scheduled to vote on a 1.5 percent tuition increase at the UMass Medical School, 55 Lake Ave. North, Worcester, 9 a.m.
— Boston Fed’s New England Public Policy Center releases a report highlighting the shortage of rental housing available to households with extremely low income at a breakfast forum hosted by CHAPA, MetroHousing|Boston and Homes for Families, Mass Housing, One Beacon St., 4th floor, Boston, 9:30 a.m.
— The second day of the Gaming Commission’s adjudicatory hearing on the suitability of Wynn Resorts to hold its Everett casino license, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Room 156 A&B, 415 Summer St., Boston, 10 a.m.
— The Health Policy Commission is scheduled to vote on the health care cost growth benchmark for next year, 50 Milk St., 8th floor, Boston, 3 p.m.
— Northeastern University will host presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg for a conversation about millennials in politics, Ell Hall, Blackman Auditorium, 342 Huntington Ave., Boston, 4 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker attends the MassEcon Corporate Welcome Reception to recognize companies new to Massachusetts and acknowledge organizations that invest in the Commonwealth, Sanofi Genzyme, 10th Floor, 50 Binney Street, Cambridge, 5:15 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 Wynn report: ‘Rape … pregnancy … significant, repetitive failures … mishandled harassment complaints … covered his tracks’ etc.
The Gaming Commission let it all hang out yesterday, or at least most of it, regarding its investigative findings into alleged sexual misconduct by former Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn and what other company officials knew about his alleged sexual escapades. Here’s the full report. Frankly, we don’t know where to begin. There’s a lot of ugly stuff in the report and from testimony yesterday at a commission hearing. So we’ll just throw the headlines out there for you to decide what salacious and sometimes shocking topics you want to read. Here goes:
From MassLive: “Rape, pregnancy and ‘sensual massage’” … From CommonWealth magazine: “How Steve Wynn covered his tracks.” … … From the Globe: “Wynn Resorts covered up sexual harassment allegations against CEO, report says.” … From the Herald: “Investigators slam ‘corporate failures’ in Wynn report.” … From CommonWealth again: “Report cites significant, repetitive ‘failures’ at Wynn Resorts.” … From SHNS (pay wall): “Former Wynn execs mishandled harassment complaints.” … From MassLive: “Steve Wynn has defamation attorney on retainer.” … And one of our personal favorites, from MassLive again: “Wynn Resorts manager admitted to touching incident, then demonstrated it to lone female in room during investigation.”
There. That about covers it. Or perhaps not. From the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld: “Meet the new Wynn Resorts … brought to you by the old Wynn Resorts.”
Curaleaf: The latest big pot company to push state law to the limit?
Following up on a Globe Spotlight report, Todd Wallack reports on how one of the nation’s largest pot operators, Curaleaf, is the “latest company to test Massachusetts rules designed to prevent a few large corporations from dominating the market.”
The whole issue, it seems, comes down to interpretation of the word “control,” versus “own,” and whether the corporate structures of companies are legitimate or mere shams designed to get around state laws.
Meanwhile, feds bust woman for running illegal marijuana delivery business
There doesn’t seem to be much doubt about the legality of this, assuming the charges are true. From Manoella Macedo at Boston 25 News: “A Milton woman was arrested and charged in connection to a black-market marijuana delivery service. Deana Martin, 51, allegedly owned and operated Northen Herb, an illegal cannabis retailer that employed at least 25 people. Martin was charged with one count of conspiring to distribute more than 100 kilograms of weed.”
The Globe’s Laura Crimaldi reports that an unsealed criminal complaint alleges that Martin failed to report $14 million in online marijuana delivery income.
Sackler family: Healey’s suit is false, misleading, riddled with inaccuracies, etc. etc. etc.
We have a feeling Maura Healey isn’t shaking in her boots this morning as a result of this. From the AP’s Geoff Mulvihill and Alanna Durkin Richer at WGBH: “The Sackler family says a lawsuit filed by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey that accuses Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma and the family of hiding the risks of opioids from doctors and patients is riddled with inaccurate and misleading statements. The Sacklers are accusing Healey of cherry picking from hundreds of internal documents in an attempt to wrongly vilify the family for the public health crisis.”
Don’t forget: There’s yet another corporate opioid-peddling case under way in Boston. WGBH’s Gabrielle Emanuel has a good summary piece on the separate Insys Therapeutics trial in Boston federal court.
Baker and lawmakers urge change to prescription opioid labeling
Speaking of the peddling of prescription opioids, from SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall): “As Massachusetts continues to seek ways to combat opioid addiction and reduce overdose deaths, Gov. Charlie Baker and other top state officials are asking the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for help. Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Karen Spilka on Tuesday wrote to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, requesting the agency’s ‘immediate assistance in stemming the tide of opioid prescriptions which have fueled this epidemic.” Bottom line: They want changes to labeling and marketing rules.
Buttigieg-mania? Get a grip people
Here’s one person not falling for Buttigieg-mania, as Mayor Pete storms Northeastern University later today (see Happening Today section above): The Globe’s Renée Graham, who makes a good point about how it’s too ridiculously early to pronounce that a mayor of South Bend, Indiana is a legitimate frontrunner in the Dem presidential race, though we’re not so sure about Graham’s contention that everything needs to be seen through the prism of race.
Btw: U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton is probably hoping for an outbreak of Mouton-mania this weekend in Vegas. SHNS (pay wall) has the details on the congressman’s latest out-of-state trip as he mulls his own potential presidential bid
Meet John Delany, the latest obscure candidate you’ve never heard of (until now)
Speaking of the presidential race, Adam Reilly at WGBH takes a look at yet another Dem presidential candidate who’s trying to rise from obscurity to stardom in the crowded Democratic presidential field, following in the once obscure footsteps of Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke, etc.: John Delaney, a “pragmatic progressive” from Maryland.
Embattled Westfield State president clings to office amid complaints about his leadership
Jim Kinney at MassLive reports that Westfield State University trustees met yesterday in a closed-door executive session to discuss complaints brought against President Ramon S. Torrecilha, who’s mighty unpopular these days on campus, with the faculty and staff complaining about his “authoritarian and bullying style” and last month passing a ‘no confidence’ resolution against Torrecilha. Yesterday’s hearing was apparently about one specific complaint, but the whole affair is really about Torrecilha in general.
The Hampshire College meltdown
Alexa, give us HQ2 without the headaches: Amazon plans expansion into Medford
Who needs Amazon’s HQ2 when it plans to expand here anyway? The Globe’s Tim Logan has the scoop on Amazon’s lease of 50,000 square feet of space in Medford, where about 200 staffers will largely work on Amazon’s Alexa voice-operated systems. This is not to be confused with Amazon’s other recently announced expansion plan in Boston (Boston.com).
A consensus among business groups on a transportation tax? Don’t hold your breath
Gintautas Dumcius at the BBJ reports on all the separate business-group factions that are toiling away to come up with their own separate consensus ideas on transportation taxes, as requested by House Speaker Robert DeLeo. It looks like there’s going to be a lot of ideas for the speaker to choose from, based on the number of factions out there. Dumcius explains.
Former transportation chief in line to take over struggling P&B bus company
The Globe’s Max Reyes reports that the longtime owners of the struggling Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway Co., which is actually a bus company, plans to sell the 123-year-old business to a group that includes former state transportation secretary John Cogliano, pending state approval, that is.
Thanks, Bob: Worcester working on tougher ‘bodyworks’ regulations
Here come the crackdowns. Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus says his staff is drafting new, tougher regulations aimed at so-called “bodyworks” spas amid heightened public awareness of human trafficking in the industry following charges against New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft for allegedly soliciting prostitution at a Florida spa. Mark Sullivan at the Telegram says a working group is prepared to recommend a number of changes to the city council, though the city says some change in state law may also be needed to close loopholes.
Ciommo becomes the latest councilor to announce he won’t seek re-election
They’re dropping like flies at City Hall. From Universal Hub: “Mark Ciommo, who has represented Allston/Brighton as a city councilor for almost 12 years, announced (Tuesday) he will not run for re-election to his District 9 seat this fall. He joins Councilors Tim McCarthy (Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale) and Josh Zakim (Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Mission Hill, Fenway, Bay Village) in not seeking re-election.” Two people have already announced they’ll seek Ciommo’s seat.
Nice timing: Healey calls out Juul after Coakley joins vaping firm
A mere coincidence? You decide. From Abbi Matheson at the Globe: “Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey tweeted Tuesday about the ‘epidemic’ of vaping in state schools just hours after her predecessor, Martha Coakley, announced she was taking a full-time job with e-cigarette giant Juul Labs.”
Animal rights activists to state: Call off the coyote-hunt contests!
The Herald’s Mary Markos reports that animal rights advocates are demanding that state wildlife officials call off coyote-hunting competitions in which “hunters are rewarded for bagging the biggest beasts with cash prizes.” And that means you, folks in Granby and Hyannis. Markos explains.
Employee-owned firms: The Harpoon collectivist capitalism model
The Globe’s Jon Chesto reports that lawmakers have revived efforts to help company owners sell their businesses to their employees, following the example of Harpoon brewery a few years back. Read the story. What Harpoon did was pretty cool, a twist on capitalism that might best be called collectivist capitalism. And it seems to be working.
She wants ‘he’ changed to ‘they’
SHNS’s Katie Lannan reports on Rep. Mindy Domb’s push to amend the Massachusetts Constitution to make the language gender neutral. “For me, it’s really about making sure that the constitution is as inclusive a document as we can make it,” the first-term Amherst Democrat says.
The horror, the horror: Progressives slowly tightening their grip over Beacon Hill
Though he cites now discredited numbers showing progressives increasing their numbers on Beacon Hill (CommonWealth), Lowell Sun columnist Peter Lucas’s point nevertheless stands: Progressives are nudging aside moderate Dems on Beacon Hill these days, potentially unleashing lord knows what horrors on the good people of Massachusetts.
Citing ‘carnage’ of Lawrence blasts, Moulton and Trahan press Congress for pipeline protections
Two members of Congress who represent the Merrimack Valley urged fellow lawmakers to act quickly to update the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act to avoid a disaster like the one that unfolded last September in Lawrence and surrounding communities. Breanna Edelstein at the Ealge Tribune reports that U.S. Reps. Seth Moulton and Lori Trahan addressed a committee considering an update to the act, with Moulton comparing what happened in Lawrence to the “carnage” he witnessed while a soldier in Iraq.
In Brockton, diversity commission slams mayor for lack of minorities among pot firms
Circling back to the issue of pot, Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter is pushing back against criticism from the city’s Diversity Commission over an apparent lack of black and Latino business owners among the 10 firms that have struck community host agreements to open pot-related businesses in the city, Marc Larocque reports in the Enterprise.
Ho-hum: Greenfield is latest to get adult-use marijuana store
It’s become so routine they hardly draw attention (or a crowd) anymore, but another outlet was added to the state’s recreational pot roster on Tuesday when Patriot Care opened in Greenfield, Joshua Solomon reports at the Recorder. The store is the 15th adult-use outlet in the state but the first in Franklin County. It’s also the closest to the Vermont border, where rumor has it there are more than a few adult marijuana users.
Giving the disabled a Lyft
From SHNS’s Chris Lisinski: “Transit leaders launched a pilot program Monday to increase the number of wheelchair-accessible vehicles available for riders using Uber and Lyft. The one-year pilot program offers subsidies to the companies, funded by the state’s transportation-network company fee implemented in 2017, based on how many hours they run vehicles that can be used by passengers in wheelchairs.”
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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