Happening Today

Trump’s tax returns, housing legislation, and more

— Gov. Charlie Baker joins Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito for an open cabinet meeting at Gloucester City Hall, which will include discussions with local officials and organizations, 9 Dale Ave., Gloucester, 10 a.m.

— U.S. Rep. Richard Neal talks with Jim Braude and Margery Eagan about the Ways and Means Committee’s request for President Trump’s tax returns, WGBH-FM 89.7, 11 a.m.

— The Workers’ Memorial Day ceremony honoring Massachusetts workers who were killed, injured or made ill on their jobs in 2018 will be held, with the release of the annual report, ‘Dying for Work in Massachusetts: The Loss of Life and Limb in Massachusetts Workplaces,’ State House steps, 12 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, Administration and Finance Secretary Mike Heffernan, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll and Beverly Mayor Michael Cahill gather to promote the governor’s housing legislation, Notch Brewery, 285 Derby St., Salem, 12 p.m.

— Boston Mayor Martin Walsh participates in his regular ‘Ask the Mayor’ radio segment with Jim Braude and Margery Eagan, WGBH-FM 89.7, 12 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

‘Havlicek stole the ball!’

Sad news this morning: Boston Celtics legend John Havlicek, 79, has passed away after a long bout with Parkinson’s Disease. The Globe’s John Powers and the Herald’s Mark Murphy have more on the life and death of a true sports star. The New York Times also pays homage to Havlicek and, like all other media outlets covering the story this morning, recounts that unforgettable ‘Havlicek stole the ball!’ moment.

Lelling’s bombshell: Feds charge judge with helping immigrant escape ICE

U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling dropped a legal and political bombshell yesterday when his office charged Newton District Court Judge Shelley Joseph and recently-retired Trial Court Officer Wesley MacGregor with obstructing justice for allegedly helping an immigrant slip out a courtroom back door to avoid detention by a federal ICE agent. Shannon Dooling at WBUR has the details. Here’s the full indictment, via the Globe.

Attorney General Maura Healey is ripping Lelling’s move, calling it a “radical and politically-motivated attack on our state,” reports Scott Croteau at MassLive. But Lelling is not backing down, saying he thinks it’s not the first time a Massachusetts judge has helped people evade ICE, reports Jacueline Tempera at MassLive.

The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld thinks Gov. Charlie Baker, who appointed Joseph to her current position, now finds himself smack dab in the middle of the immigration debate. The headline on Howie Carr’s Herald column this morning: “Finally, accountability in the courtroom.”


Biden’s call to Anita Hill didn’t go over so well

A day after Joe Biden announced he’s running for president, the New York Times reports that he recently called Anita Hill, the Brandeis University law professor and subject of brutal treatment during the long-ago Clarence Thomas hearings, to his express his regrets over how he handled the Hill-Thomas affair. The call didn’t go well for Biden.

In other Biden-related news, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are already pouncing on Biden, with Warren reminding everyone about their decades-old feud, CNN reports. Meanwhile, Lisa Kashinsky at the Herald reports that Biden’s formal entry into the race has prompted a flurry of fundraising among other Dem candidates. The Globe’s Scot Lehigh doesn’t sound very confident that Biden can avoid all the pitfalls ahead of him.


Salem’s Satanic Temple: A tax-exempt church?

From the AP at Boston.com: “The Satanic Temple says it’s been designated a church by the Internal Revenue Service. The Salem, Massachusetts-based organization provided The Associated Press with a notice it recently received communicating its new tax-exempt status. The letter used a code that classifies it as a ‘church or a convention or association of churches.’ The group is now listed in an IRS database for tax-exempt organizations.”


Spilka: Let’s talk about tolls on more roads

This is music to our fed-up-with-Pike-toll-hike ears. From SHNS’s Chris Lisinski: “Expanding road tolls across Massachusetts and to the state’s borders could be a way to generate new revenue to address growing transportation woes, Senate President Karen Spilka said Thursday. In remarks at a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce breakfast Thursday, Spilka, an Ashland Democrat, told business leaders that tolls similar to those along Interstate 90 deserve consideration for other places.” 

We eagerly await the response of congestion-pricing advocates, who not-so-boldly always seem to tiptoe around the topic of toll fairness.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Comeback kid? Tierney eyes challenging Moulton for his old Congressional seat

Go ahead, call it a comeback. Former U.S. Rep. John Tierney is considering a bid to reclaim the Congressional seat he held for 18 years and lost five years ago to Seth Moulton — whose own political future in the Sixth District is uncertain as he mounts a longshot bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, James Pindell at the Globe reports. Tierney may run regardless of whatever happens to Moulton in the presidential race, as he uses several upcoming speaking gigs to test the waters for a return, Pindell writes.

Meanwhile, Ethan Forman reports at the Salem News that at least three potential candidates — including state Rep. Lori Ehrlich and former state Sen. Barbara L’Italien — are now among those mulling run in the Democratic primary for Mouton’s seat.

Boston Globe

In a surprise move, Massport approves scaled back anti-congestion plan at Logan

The Massport board did indeed pass new anti-congestion measures aimed at ride-sharing cars at Logan Airport, but they were scaled-back measures amid fierce opposition from Uber and Lyft, reports Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine.

Which leads to the question: Did Gov. Charlie Baker flip on his support for a tougher anti-congestion plan –or did the media simply get it wrong that Baker was backing a tougher anti-congestion plan? Separately, Bruce Mohl explores that issue as well.

Cannabis regulators target ‘corporate shenanigans’

From the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett: “In an effort to crack down on operators who may be controlling more than the allowed number of marijuana licenses, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission is strengthening the language that prohibits the practice and proposing regulations that would temporarily ban violators.”

Separately, the commission, in a first, has also rejected an application for a pot-shop license, saying a Pittsfield company’s plans for diversity and inclusion were insufficient, Bartlett writes.


The Improper Bostonian is no more

Improper Bostonian publisher Wendy Semonian Eppich has announced that the glossy lifestyle magazine is shutting down and will no longer be reporting on all-things glamorous in somewhat glamorous-challenged Boston. Spencer Buell at Boston Magazine has the details on Improper Bostonian’s demise.

Boston Magazine

UMass Amherst students file suit over Palestinian event on campus

From Rick Sobey at the Herald: “University of Massachusetts Amherst students outraged that the campus is set to host an event featuring Palestinian activists are hoping a judge boots the event off campus. A lawyer for the students on Thursday filed an emergency motion against UMass officials in Suffolk Superior Court, asking the court to order UMass Amherst to kick the May 4 forum off the Western Mass. campus.”

In an editorial, the Herald seemed poised to twist itself into a pretzel over free speech on college campuses, starting off by bemoaning how conservative speakers are unfairly treated versus liberal speakers. But it does come down on the side of letting speakers speak, including pro-Palestinian speakers.

Boston Herald

‘Sixth time is the charm’

It’s now the law of the land. From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “After many votes and multiple vetoes, Massachusetts lawmakers have finally lifted the ‘cap on kids,’ which denies additional welfare benefits for children born while a family is already receiving welfare. … The Massachusetts Senate on Thursday voted 37-3 to override Gov. Charlie Baker’s veto and lift the cap. The House previously voted on April 10, by a 155-1 vote, to override Baker’s veto. The cap lift will become law retroactive to Jan. 1, 2019.”


Senate passes ‘Gender X’ designation on driver’s licenses

Speaking of Senate action, from the AP’s Bob Salsberg at NBC Boston: “The Massachusetts Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill Thursday to allow state residents to make a gender-neutral designation on their driver’s licenses and birth certificates. The bill, which passed by a 39-1 vote, would allow people to choose ‘X’ rather than ‘M’ or ‘F’ on the state documents.” The legislation still has a long way to go, via the House and governor’s office, before it becomes law.

NBC Boston

Galvin: Good old-fashioned paper ballots should keep Vladimir Putin et gang at bay in 2020

Arjun Singh at WGBH reports that Secretary of State Bill Galvin is confident in the security of Massachusetts’ election system in the wake of new revelations about Russian interference in the 2016 election. Among the state’s firewall weapons: Paper ballots. Singh explains.


Spy drama: Charlton searches for source of leak in cannabis case

What started as a dispute over a massive cannabis production facility has devolved into a spy drama in Charlton. Debbie LaPlaca at the Telegram reports selectmen want to find out who told Valley Green Grow that a town official may have illegally recorded a court hearing on the company’s lawsuits over the town’s denial of its permits — an allegation the company has since retracted. 


Pressley backs Bernie on inmate voting rights

She goes there – and with indignant gusto. U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley is defending Bernie Sanders’ support for allowing prison inmates to vote, including “terrible people,” like the Boston Marathon bomber. “Don’t dare invoke one of the darkest days of terrorism in MY city to stoke fear and derail a meaningful conversation about fundamental rights,” Pressley tweeted yesterday, as reported by the Globe’s Victoria McGrane.

Boston Globe

Question of the day: How much is the state spending on detaining immigrants? Don’t ask

Steph Solis at MassLive reports on the unsuccessful effort by state Rep. Antonio Cabral to pry financial information from county sheriffs about how much money is involved in the detention of immigrants in local jails – and how much ICE is paying local jails to house immigrants awaiting deportation.


Baker steps up pressure on housing bill – but is it enough?

The Globe’s Jon Chesto takes a look at Gov. Charlie Baker’s barnstorming campaign to get his housing legislation passed, but Chesto doesn’t sound optimistic the bill will pass this year. 

Sarah Palin’s ‘death panels’: Alive and well in Massachusetts?

Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports that the debate over former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s “death panels” has come to Massachusetts, in the form of cost-effective measurements in the massive Medicare program. Rep. Angelo Puppolo, D-Springfield, is leading the charge.


In Sandwich, historic house will finally get a modern makeover

Just one word: Plastics. A Sandwich property owner is finally able to claim victory after a 37-year quest to have the town’s Historic District Commission to allow her to use non-wood shingles on the historic property she owns, Tanner Stening reports at the Cape Cod Times. Yvonne Anderson first requested the waiver in the 1980s and appealed the denial all the way to the Supreme Judicial Court, which upheld the local ruling. The commission voted 4 to 1 to allow the plastic shingles on the Newcomb Tavern, which was built in 1693. 

Cape Cod Times

Lights out: Philips Light selling off Fall River plant

After laying off 160 workers last year in Fall River, Philips Lighting is now selling off its 300,000-square-foot plant in the city’s industrial park and cutting its last ties to Fall River, reports Kevin O’Connor at the Herald News.

Herald News

MGH lands $200M in largest gift in its history

File under ‘yikes.’ From the BBJ: “Massachusetts General Hospital has received a $200 million gift — the largest in its history – to support the 10-year-old Ragon Institute. Phillip and Suan Ragon initially founded the center in 2009 with a $100 million gift, which was the biggest in the history of MGH at that time. The center is aimed at finding ways to cure and prevent ‘some of the world’s most complex and burdensome diseases’ using the immune system.”


Michael Flaherty’s five-home rant gets five-star treatment on social media

City Councilor Michael Flaherty’s rant earlier this week against proposed new parking-permit fees – and his comments about his family’s five cars and how much room T bus stops take up – is getting the full hashtag treatment, reports Universal Hub, in a post headlined: “Michael Flaherty hasn’t gotten this much social-media attention since he and his KitchenAid mixer announced a run for mayor.”

Universal Hub

Meet Luna, State Police’s new ‘comfort dog’

She doesn’t go after bad guys. She doesn’t sniff out drugs at airports. She’s just here to give comfort to civilians and first responders after traumatic incidents. She’s none other than Luna, an English black labrador and the newest member of the State Police team. Aviva Luttrell at MassLive has the detail’s on the agency’s new ‘comfort dog.’

Sunday public affairs TV: Trahan, Baker and more

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan, who talks with host Jon Keller about the controversy over her campaign finances, her legislation cracking down on gas company safety violations, impeachment talk and U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton’s entry into the presidential race.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Jim Major, president of the Greater Boston Association of Realtors, and Anne Meczywor, president of the Mass. Association of Realtors, weigh in on the spring housing market; Jody Rose, president of the New England Venture Capital Association, on the region’s VC footprint; and Jon Chesto of the Boston Globe on the new Uber/Lyft Logan rules, the end of the Stop & Shop strike and other local business stories.  

CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. Junior Achievement Worldwide CEO Asheesh Advani updates viewers on the mission and impact of his organization as it celebrates 100 years.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Gov. Charlie Baker, who talks with anchor Ed Harding and co-anchor Janet Wu, followed by a discussion with Democratic analyst Mary Anne Marsh and Republican state Rep. Hannah Kane.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s main topic: Arts Show.

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.

Nahant Public Library

Excellence in the Law

Excellence in the Law celebrates achievement throughout the legal community. Individuals are honored in the following categories: Excellence in Firm Administration/Operations, Marketing, Paralegal Work, Legal Journalism, and Pro Bono. We also honor our Up & Coming Lawyers.

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

Banned in Boston

Banned in Boston, the annual comedy and music revue hosted by WGBH’s Margery Eagan and Jim Braude, is Rehearsal for Life’s signature fundraising event. For one-night-only, local Boston celebrities, media personalities, politicians, and business, arts and community leaders rally together to put on a show of hilarity, musical satire and skits.

Rehearsal for Life

Offshore Wind Panel

YPE is excited to announce that we will be hosting a panel discussion on offshore wind energy at WilmerHale later this spring! Our panelists and moderator represent a diverse group of stakeholder interests from the growing offshore wind industry here in Boston, from finance and development to engineering and manufacturing.

YPE Boston

Intro to Construction Management Onsite Course

This is a two-part course that will be held on May 10, 2019, and May 17, 2019. Introduction to Construction Management will provide students with a practical understanding of the planning, design and construction processes from project initiation to closeout.

NAIOP Massachusetts

Today’s Headlines


Boston receives 1,000 housing vouchers for homeless – Boston Herald

Quincy center property owner decries redevelopment push – Patriot Ledger


State Sen. Anne Gobi proposes disaster relief for farmers – Telegram & Gazette

Bill aimed at creating Merrimack River commission – Salem News

Recount in Ware selectmen’s race set for Monday – MassLive


The fight to unveil Mueller’s final mysteries – Politico

Biden ties himself closely to Obama on day one – The Hill

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