MBTA meeting, patent trolling and trades target addiction
— The MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board meets with an agenda calling for discussion and potentially votes on a Red and Orange Line contract amendment, the commuter rail locomotive contract and more, State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 12 p.m.
— UMass Dartmouth and Air National Guard officials mark their commitment to work together on education and workforce development by signing a memorandum of understanding, with U.S. Rep. William Keating and UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Robert E. Johnson attending, UMass Dartmouth Main Campus, Charlton College of Business, 285 Old Westport Road, Dartmouth, 12 p.m.
— Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee holds a hearing on 31 bills, including bills that would prohibit making an assertion of patent infringement in bad faith, known as ‘patent trolling,’ Room A-2, 1 p.m.
— Immigrant leaders and community advocates hold a press conference outside the State House to call for the state to allow undocumented immigrants to acquire driver’s licenses, State House steps, 1 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker meets privately with Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Karen Spilka and other lawmakers for a semi-regular leadership meeting, Speaker’s Office, 2 p.m.
— Mayor Marty Walsh, former Celtics player Chris Herren and members of the Building Trades Employers’ Association kick off a first-of-its-kind Building Trades Recovery Week conference aimed at improving addiction prevention and recovery efforts, IBEW Local 103 Hall, 256 Freeport St., Dorchester, 5 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.
Lelling’s bombshell, Part II: The fallout
They’re still hotly debating U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling’s move last week to pursue obstruction of justice charges against state Judge Shelley Joseph, who allegedly helped an immigrant escape through a courthouse basement door to avoid being detained by a federal ICE agent.
The Globe’s Maria Cramer and Matt Stout report on how the charges have propelled Lelling into the legal spotlight – and stunned the local legal establishment. The Herald’s Joe Dwinell reports that Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins and Attorney General Maura Healey had better watch it, if Lelling is serious about pursuing other ICE cases. Steph Solis at MassLive reports that the indictments have revived the statewide debate over how much local officials should, or shouldn’t, cooperate with ICE.
On the local punditry front, the Globe’s Adrian Walker writes that “Joseph probably is guilty of exercising very poor judgment” but he’s still highly skeptical about the appropriateness of Lelling’s action. Also at the Globe, Nancy Gertner, a professor at Harvard Law and a retired federal judge, is ripping into the federal move. The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld, meanwhile, is ripping into Healey for ripping into Lelling. And the Herald’s Howie Carr is using the controversy as a golden opportunity to rip into Gov. Charlie Baker.
They’re going for it: Feds seek early trial date in Boston Calling extortion case
Speaking of U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling’s office, from the Globe’s Danny McDonald: “In a case that once seemed all but dead, federal prosecutors on Friday signaled they will prepare for a trial on public corruption charges against two Boston City Hall aides. The prosecutors have requested that the court set a trial date of June 17. Attorneys for Kenneth Brissette and Timothy Sullivan, the two city hall aides, asked that the court move the trial to July 15 or later.”
The Herald’s Jonathan Ng has more on the corruption case that won’t go away.
Ignore those sagging polls, Elizabeth Warren!
Another day, another poll showing U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren running in the middle of the Dem presidential pack, the latest via a Washington Post-ABC News poll. But the Globe’s Renée Graham is urging Warren to “ignore the polls and the sexist dog whistle of ‘electability.’”
Speaking of dog whistles that aren’t dog whistles when applied to males, Bernie Sanders is getting hit with the “likeable” (or not) label, something political reporters and pundits far and wide condemn when applied to female candidates but is apparently OK to use when it’s about grumpy old socialists. The Globe’s Jess Bidgood has the details. BTW: The Bay State’s other Democratic president candidate, Seth Moulton, who is playing up his Iraq War combat credentials, says President Trump is ‘not a patriot,’ reports the AP.
‘MIT Avengers’: They’ve hacked the dome
Pranksters have once again transformed MIT’s Great Dome in Cambridge, this time turning it into a Captain America’s shield to mark the release of the new Avengers movie. Check out the “MIT Avengers Hack” video at Boston 25 News, with appropriate dramatic music. The Globe’s Alejandro Serrano talks with some of the alleged hackers, who say they grew up with Avenger movies and simply couldn’t resist.
Trades leaders gear up to battle addiction among construction workers
It’s a major problem among construction workers – and now building trades leaders are planning an all-out offensive against addiction among their members, reports the Globe’s John Hilliard. In a Herald opinion piece, Tom S. Gunning, director of labor relations for the Building Trades Employers Association, outlines what his group is planning – with the apparent help of Mayor Marty Walsh, a former union boss within the building trades.
Critics blast closed-door state budget deliberations
When you have Jim Lyons and Russel Holmes actually agreeing on something, perhaps it warrants attention. The Herald’s Mary Markos reports that critics are blasting the just-completed House budget process as a “joke” and “scam” after most of the business was conducted behind closed doors at the State House.
Meanwhile, Andy Metzger at CommonWealth magazine reports that, despite the tightly controlled budget debate, progressives did manage to score some modest victories last week.
‘Creeping anti-Semitism ugly new normal’
The Herald’s Rick Sobey and Brooks Sutherland and the Globe’s Amanda Kaufman report on the local reactions to the latest deadly attack on a Jewish synagogue in the U.S., including the sad fact that some Jewish temples have concluded they must now literally bar their doors for security reasons.
As the Jewish community reels from the weekend shooting in California, a separate controversy has erupted over a political cartoon that recently ran in the NYT’s international editions, a cartoon even the Times says played on old-fashioned “anti-Semitic tropes.” At the Herald, Jeff Robbins bemoans the creeping anti-Semitism that both the California and cartoon incidents represent.
Boards of Old State House and South Meeting House seek merger
The BBJ’s Gintautas Dumcius reports that the nonprofit boards separately overseeing the Old State House and the Old South Meeting House have voted to allow the two groups to write up a formal consolidation agreement that could lead to a merger announcement in a few months.
Time to limit those ‘carry over’ campaign war chests?
Writing at CommonWealth magazine, MassINC’s Rachel Adele Dec says the practice of legislative leaders stockpiling huge campaign war chests needs to end if we’re ever going to have truly competitive elections in Massachusetts – and she points to reforms in Minnesota as the possible way to go.
Amazon eyeing former Lucent site for massive distribution center
The BBJ’s Catherine Carlock can’t quite come out and say it, but we can, based on the between-the-line information provided: Amazon is eyeing the former home of Lucent Technologies in North Andover for a massive fulfillment center. And if it’s not Amazon, then we’ll stand corrected.
Party poopers? Massachusetts among states aiming to knock air out of party balloons
It’s not as silly as it sounds. From the AP’s David Sharp at Boston 25 News: “The tradition of releasing balloons at weddings, birthdays and memorials may soon get deflated by lawmakers in more than half a dozen states. Environmental groups want to put the kibosh on the tradition that has the unintended consequence of hurting the environment and threatening wildlife.”
Bills to limit the intentional release of a large number of helium-filled balloons — which can float hundreds of miles away and land in environmentally sensitive areas, such as forests and ocean fisheries — are now being considered in Massachusetts and other Northeast states, reports Sharp.
So whatever happened to all those State Police reforms?
Massachusetts State Police Colonel Kerry Gilpin and Gov. Charlie Baker may have vowed to reform the State Police in the wake of the OT and other scandals that have recently rocked the agency. But the Globe’s Matt Rocheleau reports that changes have been very slow in coming: “Some proposed reforms have suffered setbacks or remain uncertain amid union pushback. And though the agency conducted several internal studies, it also ignored some of the recommendations outlined in these reports.”
The right and wrong ways to deliver pot in Massachusetts
The Globe’s Naomi Martin reports on a growing debate over cracking down on unlicensed pot companies in Massachusetts, such as a pot delivery service run out of a Milton mansion, now that pot is legal in Massachusetts. Supporters say they’re merely meeting an unmet market need caused by the slow rollout of licensed pot firms.
Meanwhile, the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett writes that Massachusetts cannabis regulators last Friday gave initial support to providing minority groups with at least two years of exclusivity on marijuana delivery licenses.
‘Havlicek stole the ball,’ Part II
In memory of the late John Havlicek, a MassterList reader sent us this highlights video of one of the greatest Celtics games ever — the double-overtime sixth game of the 1974 playoff series between the Celts and Bucks — and one of John Havlicek’s greatest “Mr. Clutch” moments. Warning: If you’re a big Celts and basketball fan, you might want to watch this video later, for you won’t stop once you start.
Walsh: Charging residents for parking isn’t fair
He’s drawing a line in the parking-curb sand. Amanda McGowan at WGBH reports that Mayor Marty Walsh is now openly opposing Councilor Michelle Wu’s proposal to introduce residential parking fees, saying it’s unfair to ask city taxpayers to pay an additional fee to park their cars in their own neighborhoods. In an editorial, the Globe is siding with the councilor: “Michelle Wu’s right: Parking permits should not be free”.”
Five-car Flaherty’s rant prompts activist with no car to run for city council
Speaking of the parking-permit brouhaha in Boston, City Councilor Michael Flaherty’s recent lament about lack of parking spaces for his family’s five cars has spurred Mary Church, a Jamaica Plain resident and transportation advocate, to run for the city council, reports Universal Hub.
French priest’s 150-year-old heart will be on view this week
From the AP at Boston.com: “Roman Catholics in Massachusetts will have a rare chance to worship before the literal heart of a saint. The 150-year-old ‘incorruptible heart’ of Saint Jean Vianney (vyah-NEH’) will be displayed starting Tuesday at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, the Boston Archdiocese’s mother church. It also will be on view in the week in Braintree, Walpole, and Salem.”
United they stand: Globe and Herald blast new congestion rules at Logan
This is a somewhat rare occurence in our two-newspaper town: In separate editorials, both the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald are blasting the new anti-congestion rules at Logan Airport, saying they unfairly target customer-friendly ride-sharing vehicles while, curiously, carving out exemptions for taxis and limos.
Fighting massage parlors, one town at a time, one bill at a time
Neal Simpson at the Herald News reports on the days when proposals to crack down on massage parlors in Massachusetts were greeted with laughter and catcalls on Beacon Hill – but they’re not laughing any more.
Meanwhile, the Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert reports how members of the Wayland Moms Pup Walk recently took matters into their own hands when they learned that massage parlors that apparently provided more than mere massages were operating in plain sight in their suburban town.
Bill: Freeze tuitions, boost funding for public universities
From Michelle Williams at MassLive: “State lawmakers are set to hear a plan that would boost state funding for public colleges and universities while freezing tuition and fees for the next five years. Dubbed the Cherish Act’ by its supporters, the bill scheduled for a hearing Tuesday before the Legislature’s Higher Education Committee aims to increase spending by about $500 million a year.”
Franchisees hopping mad at Craft Beer Cellar chain
All is not well in craft beer land, or least among franchisees of Craft Beer Cellar, who “accuse the owners of providing them with overly rosy financial projections, and of belittling them instead of offering guidance when the numbers didn’t pan out,” reports Janelle Nanos at the Globe.
Just build it: Trump told Neal he wants a $2 trillion infrastructure package
President Donald Trump told U.S. Rep. and House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal that he wants to roll out an infrastructure package that includes $2 trillion of federal spending — a move away from his own administrations embrace of a public-private approach towards infrastructure work, Jonathan Swan reports at Axios. The president made the comments to Neal at a St. Patrick’s Day luncheon but Swan reports the subject is not expected to get much of a discussion when Democratic leaders meet with Trump on Tuesday. Neal, of course, has since aunched a quest to obtain copies of Trump’s tax returns.
Score one for Healey: Appeals court throws out lawsuit against assault weapons ban
We missed this one from the other day: A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court’s decision to throw out a lawsuit from gun rights groups and sellers challenging the state’s ban on assault weapons, Danny McDonald reports in the Globe. The suit was in 2017, not long after Attorney General Maura Healey expanded the state’s 1998 ban on automatic weapons to include so-called copycat models. Healey called the decision “a defeat for the gun lobby and a victory for families.”
Summer bummer: Citing new minimum wage, employers see fewer teen jobs
Cyrus Moulton at the Telegram finds a number of Worcester-area workplaces where teens often land summer jobs –think: ice cream stands and mini golf etc. — plan to reduce hiring this year as the first of several steps up in the state’s minimum wage requirements take effect. Business groups had warned that one of the consequences of the move, which came as part of the “grand bargain” among lawmakers last year, could be a reduction in teen employment.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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