Happening Today

Wynn suitability hearing, coyote hearing, WGBH Trivia night

— The Gaming Commission holds its third adjudicatory hearing on the suitability of Wynn Resorts to hold the Everett casino license, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Room 156 A&B, 415 Summer St., Boston, 10 a.m. 

— Gov. Charlie Baker joins Sen. Jo Comerford, Rep. Mindy Domb, UMass President Marty Meehan and UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy to participate in the University of Massachusetts Amherst Physical Sciences Building ribbon cutting ceremony, Physical Sciences Building, UMass Amherst, 690 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, 10:15 a.m. 

— Senate President Karen Spilka is a guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 12:30 p.m. 

Cannabis Control Commission is scheduled to meet, Department of Transportation, Board Room, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 1 p.m. 

— Division of Fisheries and Wildlife holds a public listening session about coyote population management, coyote hunting, and coyote hunting contests, Cape Cod Community College, 2240 Iyannough Rd., Science Building, Lecture Hall A, West Barnstable, 6 p.m. 

— WGBH News State House Reporter Mike Deehan at the WGBH Studio in the Boston Public Library hosts an evening of trivia questions based on the news and current events, WGBH Studio at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston Street at the corner of Exeter Street, inside the Johnson Building and adjacent to the Newsfeed Café, 6:30 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

He did it: Neal finally demands Trump’s tax returns

U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, who has taken heat from activists for not aggressively demanding President Trump’s back tax returns, yesterday, as chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, officially requested that the IRS turn over six-years of returns for the president. Trump is “not inclined” to do so, setting up what is expected to be a long and hard-fought legal battle over the records.

Jeanette DeForge at MassLive, Matt Murphy at SHNS (pay wall) and Danny McDonald at the Globe have the details. Matt Szafranski at Western Mass Politis & Insight looks at some of the local implications for Neal.

State tosses controversial MCAS question on ‘Underground Railroad’

SHNS’s Chris Lisinki (pay wall) and the Globe’s James Vaznis report that, after student and union protests, state education officials have apparently yanked a controversial MCAS question that asked students to write a journal entry from the perspective of an openly racist character from the novel “The Underground Railroad.”

It was a stupid and insensitive question that deserved to be yanked. Unless you believe students should regularly strive to get into the mindset of people like, oh, KKK members, Nazis, ISIS fanatics, Gulag guards etc. etc. 

Roller-coaster revenue ride: Is the state now running a small surplus?

Surplus. Deficit. Now surplus again? SHNS’s Matt Murphy reports that the state’s revenue shortfall has disappeared after $2.67 billion in taxes were collected last month, exceeding projections by $316 million, or 13.4 percent. He has all the numbers.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Pete Buttigieg uses up some of his 15-minutes of fame at Northeastern

The Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky and the Globe’s Matt Stout and Martin Finucane reports on Pete Buttigieg’s appearance yesterday at Northeastern University, where the Dem presidential candidate encouraged a large crowd of young people to be more politically active. Yes, we know. Pretty dull fare. Buttigieg, the current hot commodity in the Democratic primary, was mildly more interesting when he told the Herald’s Hillary Chabot that the thinks it’s OK for Joe Biden to run for president, despite Biden’s touchy-feely ways.

David Bernstein at WGBH is keeping any eye on the clock to see when, or if, Buttigieg’s 15 minutes of fame runs out. 

Was Dershowitz right about a ‘devastating’ Mueller report to come?

The NYT reports that some of Robert Mueller’s investigators are saying that the Mueller report is actually more damaging to President Trump than portrayed so far by Attorney General William Barr. 

Our mind drifts back to what Harvard’s Alan Dershowitz predicted last November (Real Clear Politics), i.e. that the report would be politically “devastating” to the president, though not criminally devastating, and that “I know that the president’s team is already working on a response to the report.” Hmm. A response that included initially emphasizing the criminal conclusions as opposed to the troubling political aspects of the report? Just thinking aloud.


For heaven’s sake, just fine Wynn Resorts $100M and get it over with

There were more revelations and questions raised at yesterday’s Gaming Commission about the suitability of Wynn Resorts retaining its Everett casino license in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against its former chief executive, Steve Wynn. Among the headline that caught our attention: “New Wynn Resorts CEO under fire over knowledge of misconduct allegations” (SHNS – pay wall) and “Wynn Resorts executives say they’ve cleaned house after accusations against Steve Wynn” (Boston Globe).

The Globe’s Joan Vennochi makes a good point about the current Wynn Resorts leadership team: “Don’t be fooled by the new look, which includes a ‘refreshed’ board and updated corporate policies. This is a company whose current CEO, Matthew Maddox, was best man at one of Wynn’s weddings, and whose first reaction to the allegations about Wynn was denial.” But the Globe’s Larry Edelman makes a better point: Are regulators really going to yank the license of Wynn Resorts, risk legal chaos and a possible indefinite delay in the opening of the Everett casino? No, they’re probably not – and probably shouldn’t. He has some realistic ideas on how to resolve the issue – and move on, sort of. Btw: Massachusetts Democrats are making hay of past political donations by Steve Wynn to Republicans, reports SHNS (pay wall).

Forget about progressive caucus numbers. Just show us the results

Charley on the MTA at Blue Mass Group really isn’t interested in who and how many members belong to the Progressive Caucus on Beacon Hill. “The title ‘progressive’ will be earned by results,” he writes. “It will not be earned by ‘sorry, we wanted xyzgood thing but we ran out of time.’” 

Blue Mass Group

Fed report: It will only get worse for low-income renters if more housing isn’t built

WBUR’s Simón Ríos and the Globe’s Tim Logan reports on the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s latest housing study, this one painting a bleak picture for low-income renters if more affordable housing isn’t built in the region.

Kraft’s lawyers: Investigators used ‘fake bomb threat’ to install hidden spa cameras

He’s not giving up. From the Globe’s Travis Andersen and John Ellement: “Florida investigators in January used a ‘fake bomb threat’ to get inside a spa to install hidden cameras that allegedly captured New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and 24 other men receiving sexual favors at the massage parlor for money, legal filings assert. The details surfaced in a memo that lawyers for Kraft, 77, filed Tuesday in Palm Beach County, Fla., in support of their motion to toss the video evidence.”

Boston Globe

City Hall fever on Beacon Hill? Rep. Brodeur the latest to run for mayor of his hometown

First state Sen. Donald Humason announced he’s running for mayor of Westfield. Now state Rep. Paul Brodeur has announced he’s going to run for mayor of Melrose. SHNS’s Matt Murphy has the details on the City Hall fever that’s apparently broken out on Beacon Hill. Don’t forget: Two other former lawmakers, Tom McGee and Paul Heroux, now reign in their respective city halls.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Central Massachusetts fans snap up PawSox season tickets to ensure best seats in two years

Some central Massachusetts fans are thinking strategically by buying season tickets now to PawSox games in Rhode Island, apparently in an attempt to get the best possible seats when the team eventually moves to the future Polar Park in Worcester in two years. Melissa Hanson at MassLive has the details.


Aquinnah takes legal step toward possibly challenging tribal bingo hall

Not so fast. The town of Aquinnah is starting to push back on the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head’s efforts to build a bingo hall on Martha’s Vineyard, with an attorney retained by selectmen questioning whether the land the facility sits on is in fact eligible to host the mini-casino, Brian Dowd reports at the Martha’s Vineyard Gazette. It’s the first real sign of resistance from the community, which says it wants only to have clear lines of communication with the tribe so it can make informed decisions about how to protect the community.

Martha’s Vineyard Times

Editorial to business groups: United we stand, divided we fall

In an editorial, the Boston Business Journal is urging disparate business groups to come up with one consensus plan on new transportation taxes, rather than splitting off into factions and presenting lawmakers with a potpourri of choices that can only lead to trouble. 

BBJ (pay wall)

‘To be high or not to be high’

Now this sounds like a fascinating contemporary interpretation and portrayal of one of Shakespeare’s most famous characters: A stoned Hamlet. The Globe’s Felicia Gans has the details on the Improv Asylum’s new “High Hamlet,” described as true “intoxication theater.” Up next: A stoned Julius Caesar and Marc Antony? The possibilities are endless.

Of Hollywood stars, autographs and federal bribery charges

Speaking of local theatrics, from the AP’s Alanna Durkin Richer at WBUR: “Hollywood stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin appeared in federal court (in Boston) alongside other wealthy parents Wednesday to face charges in the college bribery scandal that has roiled the world of admissions and amplified complaints the system is stacked in favor of the rich.”

The Herald and the Globe report that some groupies were asking for autographs outside the courthouse – and Lori graciously obliged.


How to reform the welfare reforms that tried to fix what didn’t need fixing

Endicott College’s Joshua McCabe writes at CommonWealth magazine that the Baker administration is actually on the right track with some of its welfare reform ideas – and off track on other reform ideas The biggie welfare item that needs to be addressed, he writes: The Temporary Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) program. Warning: Serious policy wonk stuff.


Simmons and Regis presidents: Don’t make matters worse by overregulating small colleges

Speaking of reforms, Helen G. Drinan, president of Simmons University, and Antoinette M. Hays, president of Regis College, write in a Globe op-ed that they understand why people might want to step up regulation of struggling smaller colleges in the wake of Mount Ida College’s sudden closure last year. But they warn that “publicly identifying an institution on a ‘watch list’ will preclude any chance of a turnaround (by struggling colleges) and potentially cause undue harm to institutions that are working hard to succeed.”

In a sort of counterpoint op-ed in the Globe, two former Mount Ida students, John Driscoll and Gabrielle Wenners, write of the “lies” and “scam” pulled by Mount Ida administrations – and they sure don’t sound like the types who trust college administrators to do the right thing for students, parents and faculty members.

Are Boston cops turning to higher charges to get around Rollins’ ‘15’ list?

They were told this would happen, so they shouldn’t be surprised. From Marie Szaniszlo at the Herald: “Prosecutors have seen an increase in the number of people charged with assaulting police since Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins included resisting arrest among the 15 ‘non-violent’ offenses that her office now looks to dismiss unless a supervisor’s permission is obtained.”

Boston Herald

They all count: Canton select board race decided by single vote

Here’s your regular reminder that every vote counts. A race for a seat on the select board in Canton was decided by the slimmest margin possible, with Michael Loughran receiving 1,033 votes to 1,032 for Lisa Lopez, Stuart Green reports at the Patriot Ledger. Lopez has until next Friday to request a recount.

Patriot Ledger

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.

Nahant Public Library

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.

COLOR Magazine & Bridgetower Media

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.

NAIOP Massachusetts

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.

Merrimack College

Today’s Headlines


Boston city council to look at letting officers stay on the job past 65 – Universal Hub

Riders weigh the future of the Mattapan trolley – WGBH


TJX closes in on GE as largest Mass.-based worldwide employer – Boston Business Journal – Boston Business Journal

Union Point redevelopment board chairwoman steps down – Patriot Ledger

Super Town Meeting sought for Vicksburg Square redevelopment – Sentinel & Enterprise

Framingham oks marijuana dispensaries, pot-infused ice cream maker – MetroWest Daily News


Some on Mueller’s team say report more damaging than Barr revealed – New York Times

Jared Kushner identified as senior White House official whose security clearance was denied – Washington Post

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