Mueller Report, Biden rallies with workers, and more
— U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr plans to hold a news conference this morning in Washington to discuss the expected release of a redacted Mueller Report, Washington D.C., 9:30 a.m.
— State Sen. Jamie Eldridge of Acton will host the 39th annual Senior Conference, with Auditor Suzanne Bump, Treasurer Deb Goldberg, Secretary of State Bill Galvin, Assistant Secretary of the Executive Office of Elder Affairs Carole Malone and others expected to attend, Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School, 215 Fitchburg St., Marlborough, starting this morning at 8 a.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker participates in the 5th Annual Senior Spectacular hosted by Rep. Betty Poirier, North Attleboro Middle School Cafeteria, 564 Landry Avenue, North Attleboro, 11:45 a.m.
— U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley is a guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 12:30 p.m.
— U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III joins Nicole Ramos of Al Otro Lado and Sarah Sherman-Stokes, associate director of the Immigrants’ Rights and Human Trafficking Clinic at Boston University School of Law, for a panel discussion titled ‘The Humanitarian Crisis at the Border and Beyond,’ with Boston Globe reporter Maria Cramer moderating, Barristers Hall, BU Law, 765 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 1 p.m.
— Former Vice President Joe Biden will rally with striking Stop & Shop workers represented by United Food and Commercial Workers, with Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, U.S. Sen. Edward Markey and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh also attending, Stop & Shop, South Bay Center, Dorchester, 2 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.
R-Day: Mueller report to be released this morning
It’s easily the biggest political story of the day: U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr this morning plans to release special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s final report on all things Russia and campaigns etc. etc. The Globe’s Martin Finucane and the New York Times and the Washington Post all have stories on what to expect (such as redactions) and not to expect (non-partisanship).
Btw, from the Globe’s Nestor Ramos: “Redacting? Why stop at the Mueller report?”
Report: Moulton expected to announce presidential bid early next week
WCVB’s John DiStaso reports that sources say U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton will indeed announce within the next week that he’s a candidate for president.
Meanwhile, the Globe’s James Pindell reports that the paper has gotten hold of a photo of Moulton taping a presidential-candidacy video, i.e. the same photo reported yesterday by Axios. In addition, from Politico’s Daniel Strauss and Stephanie Murray: “Moulton hires staff for expected presidential campaign.”
Btw: The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld isn’t dismissing the possibility of yet another Massachusetts pol entering the presidential race, i.e. former U.S. Sen. John Kerry, if Joe Biden opts not to run.
The Globe sets its digital sights on Rhode Island
Media critic Dan Kennedy reports that big changes are coming to Boston Globe digital subscribers, as the paper switches to a new digital content-management system. The change comes, Dan notes, as the Globe prepares to digitally expand into Rhode Island by “hiring three veteran reporters (so far) at a time when The Providence Journal is being decimated by GateHouse Media, its corporate chain owner.”
Btw, here’s some news about the Herald’s ultimate owner, Alden Global Capital, via the Washington Post: “The hedge fund trying to buy Gannett faces federal probe after investing newspaper workers’ pensions in its own funds.”
Massachusetts hospitals not wild about Medicare for All
Democratic candidates for president may be jumping on the Medicare for All bandwagon these days. But Michael Jonas at CommonWealth magazine reports that local hospitals aren’t wild about the single-payer idea and are now openly expressing opposition to it. Why? Because they would lose lots of money by switching to Medicare for All. Jonas explains.
Btw: The dirty little secret about both the Medicaid and Medicare systems: Neither is really a “single-payer” system. They both rely on indirect subsidies from overcharged private-insurance policy holders who make up the difference for the low reimbursement rates paid by Medicaid and Medicare.
For Deb Goldberg, whose family started Stop & Shop, this strike is personal
Former Vice President Joe Biden will be in town today to rally with striking Stop & Shop workers in Dorchester. But this is interesting too: Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, whose family founded Stop & Shop as a single grocery store in Boston’s North End, will attend the same rally in support of workers, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy. Goldberg is not happy with how the current owners are treating workers.
In other strike news, Callum Borchers at WBUR has a good story about how both the company and union members stand to lose if the strike lasts much longer. Bottom line: The financial clock is ticking for all parties concerned. Meanwhile, the Globe’s Katie Johnston reports on the dilemma food shoppers face on Nantucket, where there’s only one supermarket chain: A Stop & Shop. Finally, the BBJ, in an editorial (pay wall), isn’t impressed with the union’s demands, especially its call for new worker pensions.
Going out of business: Hampshire Council of Governments to close — and sell off prized courthouse
You don’t see this every day: A quasi government body going out of business. In this case, it’s the Hampshire Council of Governments, the last vestige of the old Hampshire County Government, which has announced it’s effectively closing shop due to financial woes. It plans to either sell or transfer its assets and services to other government agencies and non-profits, including its prized asset: A former courthouse, which it hopes to sell to the state. Bera Dunau at the Daily Hampshire Gazette has the details.
Meanwhile, from Jim Russell at MassLive: “The 11,000 municipal employees with health insurance under the Hampshire County Group Insurance Trust will not be impacted by the Hampshire Council of Governments’ decision to disband.”
Judge blocks release of Kraft video – for now
After Palm Beach prosecutors announced they eventually plan to release highly embarrassing videos of Robert Kraft and others frequenting a Florida spa that allegedly offered much more than mere massages, a judge yesterday temporarily blocked release of the videos, at least until a hearing later this month. The Herald’s Laurel Sweet and Sean Philip Cotter have the details.
Globe: Wynn Resorts should keep gaming license
It’s a close call (sort of) for the Globe, but the newspaper has an editorial this morning saying that Wynn Resorts should keep its Everett casino license: “The evidence gathered by the investigation isn’t damning enough to apply the corporate death penalty. A sizeable fine for the company — and some kind of personal consequences for two of the (executives) — would best balance fairness, accountability, and the state’s desire to keep the casino on track.”
Where small is big: Inside ActBlue’s billion-dollar fundraising juggernaut in Somerville
WBUR’s Kim Atkins has a good piece on Somerville’s little-known (outside political circles) ActBlue, where they raise a lot of money for candidates via a lot of small donations. “We like to keep a low profile,” says Erin Hill, ActBlue’s executive director.
C’mon, lawmakers: Just $10 million more, please
To avoid potential tuition increases at the University of Massachusetts, lawmakers and advocates are planning to push for another $10 million in funding for the system, saying the budgets proposed by Gov. Charlie Baker and the House fall just short of what’s needed to avert tuition hikes, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall).
Tag team: Baker and Trahan to give UMass commencement addresses
Speaking of the University of Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker will deliver next month’s UMass-Amherst commencement address (MassLive), while U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan will give the commencement address at UMass-Lowell (Lowell Sun).
The Paranormal Industrial Complex in Massachusetts: Alive and well
There really are professional Ghostbusters in Massachusetts. Edgar Herwick at WGBH has the non-paranormal proof – and they’re ready, willing and able to investigate the next Market Basket ghost sighting.
Follow the money: Richard Neal’s ‘Richiepalooza’ friends
In a column at the Daily Hampshire Gazette, David Daley recommends that people “follow the money” when it comes to determining who U.S. Rep. Richard Neal really represents in Congress. Hint: They recently attended a “Richiepalooza” in Boston.
Galvin: Adviser bilked millions from investors in medical marijuana scheme
Proof that the marijuana industry is indeed maturing in Massachusetts, albeit in an unwanted way. From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “An investment adviser who hoped to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Revere allegedly bilked investors out of millions of dollars, according to Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin.”
Fix this: Medical marijuana patients say recreational pot getting all the attention
Speaking of medical marijuana, advocacy groups for medical marijuana patients are pushing for changes to the state’s marijuana regulations and say their needs are being overrun amid the excitement over the arrival of the adult-use recreational market, Shira Schoenberg reports at MassLive.
Shocking: Baker-Polito donor nominated as clerk magistrate
The Herald’s Mary Markos just presents the facts, in order, in two sentences: “The Baker-Polito Administration nominated Sharon Shelfer Casey to the position of Clerk Magistrate of the Cambridge District Court Wednesday. Casey and her husband, Christopher Casey, donated the majority of a $5,700 total to Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito from employees at Casey & Lundregan, PC in the past five years, according to campaign finance records.” SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) has more.
BCAE says Saugus selectman took much more than mere classes
The Boston Center for Adult Education is suing a member of the Saugus board of selectmen, saying he fraudulently siphoned more than half a million dollars from the nonprofit while serving as its controller, money that found its way in part to a local baseball team, Bridgette Turcotte reports at the Lynn Item. Mark Mitchell, who has worked at the BCAE since 2011 and was put on leave along with its executive director last fall, has denied the accusations.
He really wants that superintendent job (and the Herald is helping him get it)
The Globe’s James Vaznis takes a look at the three finalists for the Boston school superintendent job. But what caught our attention (and it was hard to miss) is the Herald’s glowing front page coverage of one of the three finalists, local native Oscar Santos, who has a column in the paper headlined: “Why I want to be Boston’s school superintendent.” We searched around and didn’t see similar Herald pieces by the two out-of-town finalists. Maybe we missed them.
Prosecutors: Not one but two State Police ticket quotas
State Police keep denying that troopers ever had ticket quotas – and federal prosecutors keep insisting there were indeed tickets quotas within troubled units at the agency. In fact, there were two separate ticket-quota schemes, not just one, the feds now allege, according to a report by the Globe’s Matt Rocheleau.
Rarity: Environmentalists actually like what they see in House budget
This does not compute. Advocates are not supposed to say they’re largely satisfied with proposed funding. From SHNS’s Chris Lisinski: “Environmental advocates routinely seek increased funding for state agencies that have felt the impact of years of tight budgets and staffing cuts, but this year they believe their suggestions were received by lawmakers ‘loud and clear.’ Three of the four top priorities outlined by the Green Budget Coalition were funded at or above the group’s requested amount in the Ways and Means Committee budget released last week.”
And they may yet get their fourth wish.
Off schedule: South Coast rail funding plan blows past deadline
More than four months into 2019, a plan to fund the nearly $1 billion first phase of the long-languishing South Coast Rail extension — which Baker administration officials promised by the end of 2018 — has yet to arrive, Ted Nesi reports at WPRI. Local officials are growing frustrated at the pace of progress while a spokesperson for MassDOT tells Nesi a funding plan “will be released soon.”
City Hall joins 21st Century with new lobbyist registration rules
From Milton Valencia at the Globe: “For the first time in Boston’s history, anyone attempting to do business with the council or the administration will have to register their work with the city clerk’s office as lobbyists. The new rules went into effect on Tuesday, although the city has established a 10-day grace period for registration, said City Clerk Maureen Feeney.”
Senators worry that Trump rule change will raise Medicare premiums
We missed this one from the other day. From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “Two state senators are joining with advocates in raising concerns that a new rule proposed by President Donald Trump’s administration will hurt Massachusetts seniors with Medicare coverage. … State Sens. Anne Gobi, D-Spencer, and Ryan Fattman, R-Webster, wrote a letter to U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, D-Springfield, chairman of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, urging him to review the rule.”
Confirmed: It’s going to be a free-for-all for council seats this fall
The Globe’s Milton Valencia reports that a “plethora of candidates officially expressed interest” yesterday in running for open city council seats, filing for various races and confirming prior media reports that it’s going to be a crowded city ballot this fall.
The Humanitarian Crisis at the Border and Beyond
A hallmark of President Trump’s tenure has been the demonization of immigrants and asylum seekers at the US-Mexico border. Earlier this year, partly in response to a caravan of refugees hoping to seek asylum in the United States, President Trump declared a National Emergency. Before that, he effectively shut down lawful avenues for asylum for bona fide refugees.
Hacking Public Health
Join us at the first-ever hackathon at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health! A hackathon is a time-bound “invention marathon” where people come together to learn, build, and share their creations in a supportive setting. We seek graduate and undergraduate students from diverse personal & professional experiences to cultivate a dynamic, inclusive, and innovative environment.
MIT-Harvard Conference on the Uyghur Human Rights Crisis
This conference aims to present the police state in China, where over one million innocent Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims have been forced into concentration camps; explore China’s use of technology to escalate the crisis by conducting surveillance on the Uyghur; introduce the biopolitics of China’s “war on terror”; and open a dialogue on our role in engaging with China.
Community Conversation: Local Experiments in Land Trusts
Land trusts are an important way to make land and housing permanently affordable and to begin undoing centuries of housing segregation and discrimination. Join local leaders in activism, finance and public policy for a community conversation connected to the new Undesign the Red Line interactive exhibit.
The Environmental Science & Policy Impacts of Remote Sensing on Governance & Land Use in Tropical Forests
The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future and the Land Use and Livelihoods Initiative at the Global Development Policy Center invite you to attend an upcoming series of keynote lectures titled “The Environmental Science & Policy Impacts of Remote Sensing on Governance & Land Use in Tropical Forests.”
Harvard Healthcare Debate
US Healthcare & Drug Pricing Debate with Moderator Vivek Ramaswamy, Founder & CEO, Roivant Sciences and Panelists Peter Kolchinsky, Ph.D., Co-founder, Portfolio Manager, & Managing Director, RA Capital Management; John Maraganore, Ph.D., CEO and Director, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals; and Shawn Bishop, Vice President, Controlling Health Care Costs and Advancing Medicare, The Commonwealth Fund.
Retail’s Changing Landscape
The reports of the ‘retailpocolypse’ are far from true. Join NAIOP to learn how retail is evolving and thriving while dispelling some of the myths. Hear from expert panelists on what they are seeing here and across the country and learn how architects are helping to transform malls for the future.
Government Affairs Speaker Series featuring Congresswoman Katherine Clark
Join us for our second Government Affairs Speaker Series featuring a conversation with Congresswoman Katherine Clark. Congresswoman Clark has served as the United States Representative for Massachusetts’ 5th Congressional District since 2013.
Cannabis 101: Molecules, Markets, … Mayhem?
In 2016, Massachusetts voted to legalize recreational marijuana. We wanted laws that empower disenfranchised communities and grow a healthy stream of taxes. But not all of our dreams came true. Now that stores are opening, many of us are wondering about weed…
Offshore Wind: Power, Policy, and Promise
This is a free presentation seminar and discussion event hosted by the Center for Student Coastal Research (CSCR), a non profit organization located in Cohasset on Boston’s South Shore. CSCR educates students in environmental sciences, encourages environmental awareness, and promotes activism. Details are available at www.ccscr.org.
Public Service Symposium
The purpose of this symposium is to bring together a cross-sector of participants and their organizations to discuss the role of individuals, universities, nonprofits, and the private sector in best practices around engaging our respective populaces in civic life.
The Smart, Connected Commonwealth: Data-Driven Research and Policy Across the Region
BARI’s 2019 Spring Conference will bring together academics, policy makers, and practitioners to highlight work being conducted throughout Greater Boston as a way to share insights and methods, catalyzing inter-disciplinary, intercity collaboration in the use of data and technology.
Harvard Neurologist Rachel Bennett on the Science of Dementia
Everyone knows someone who is experiencing serious cognitive decline. Harvard neurologist Rachel Bennett will speak on the current science of Alzheimer’s and other dementias, including diagnostic and treatment options, and will take questions afterward. 60 minutes, FREE, as part of Nahant Public Library’s Dementia Friendly Nahant project.
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