Happening Today

Gaming Commission, Governor’s Council, and more

Mass. Gaming Commission meets and is expected to provide an update on its decision to let Wynn Resorts keep its Everett casino license, 101 Federal St., 12th Floor, Boston, 10 a.m.

House Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets holds a hearing on Gov. Charlie Baker’s $200 million Chapter 90 local road funding proposal, Hearing Room A-1, 10 a.m.

— Sen. James Welch and Rep. James Murphy, co-chairs of the Financial Services Committee, sponsor a briefing by the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans on health insurance and the Massachusetts market, Room 428, 10 a.m.

Governor’s Council holds its weekly assembly, with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito presiding and with votes scheduled on the nominations of former gubernatorial deputy legal counsel Sharon Casey as clerk magistrate of the Cambridge District Court and Jonathan Kane to the Housing Court bench, Council Chamber, 12 p.m.

— The Health Policy Commission will release two new publications at its board meeting, the first on the availability of care for patients with co-occurring disorders and the second focusing on insulin affordability, 50 Milk St., 8th floor, Boston, 1 p.m.

— Washington Post executive editor Marty Baron, former editor of the Boston Globe, speaks at Suffolk University’s Ford Hall Forum, moderated by WBUR’s Meghna Chakrabarti, and will be honored with the First Amendment Award, Sargent Hall, Suffolk University, fifth floor Blue Sky Lounge and Commons, 120 Tremont St., Boston, 6 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

Wynn wins: Company to keep Everett casino license, though it will cost it $35M

From Kaitlyn Locke at WGBH: “The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has fined Wynn Resorts $35 million but will allow them to keep their state gaming license, the commission decided Tuesday after a year-long investigation into allegations of sexual assault and misconduct within the company.”

The company’s CEO Matt Maddox was also fined $500,000 as part of the commission’s ruling. The Herald’s Jonathan Ng and CommonWeath’s Andy Metzger have more on the not-so-surprising decision by the apparently divided commission.

Here’s one group of people happy with the commission’s finding: the folks in Everett, where more than 5,000 people will be employed once Encore Boston opens next month, as the Globe reports. But here are two institutions that can’t be happy: Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort, as the Herald reports.

From the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld: “Wynn Resorts got away with a massive cover-up and paid a hefty price but well worth it to keep their lucrative license for the Encore Boston Harbor casino in Everett.”


Is Cassellius the lead candidate for superintendent?

We’ll know the answer to the question today. From James Vaznis at the Globe: “As the School Committee prepares to vote on a new superintendent Wednesday night, many educators, parents, and community activists are coalescing around one candidate: Brenda Cassellius, a former Minnesota commissioner of education whom they describe as a consensus builder with a strong commitment to remedying educational inequities.”

We do know this: A lot of activists and community leaders aren’t happy with the superintendent search process in general, as this multi-bylined opinion piece at CommonWealth magazine makes clear. Meanwhile, Joyce Ferriabough Bolling at the Herald has a suggestion: “Elected Boston school board would provide accountability.”

Boston Globe

McGinn says he was the scapegoat in environmental-police scandal, vows to file whistleblower claim

From the Globe’s Matt Rocheleau: “The former head of the Massachusetts Environmental Police, who was fired last fall for allegedly fixing two traffic tickets, claims he was ousted in retaliation for reporting misconduct in the agency and was made a scapegoat during the gubernatorial campaign. Former colonel James McGinn asserts he repeatedly flagged unethical and illegal conduct under his watch, but his complaints went unheeded by his superior, outgoing state Environmental Secretary Matthew Beaton, according to letters released Tuesday by McGinn’s attorney.”

WCVB and MassLive report he’s now planning to file a whistleblower claim against the state

Is Hasbro Worcester bound?

We knew that the Baker administration was trying to lure Rhode Island-based Hasbro to Massachusetts. But it appears Worcester, in particular, is making a push to lure Hasbro’s world headquarters to the city, offering up a newly revealed office building that will feature future views of the future Polar Park, as well as manufacturing space, Grant Welker reports at the Worcester Business Journal, citing emails obtained through a records request. If you recall, Worcester also recently lured the PawSox to the city, so this is yet a second raid attempt on poor Little Rhody.


Hampshire College cuts another 82 positions as it fights for survival

Jim Kinney at MassLive reports that 82 jobs are being eliminated at Hampshire College, as the small western Massachusetts school continues to grapple with a budget crisis that threatens the college’s survival. Hampshire College had already announced nine layoffs among its administrative staff.

Fyi: UMass obviously isn’t facing anything like Hampshire College’s financial meltdown, but students, educators and advocates yesterday were almost pleading with lawmakers to allocate more state funds to the UMass system to keep tuitions affordable, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall).


‘Some warning signs for Elizabeth Warren’

File under ‘You don’t say …’ The Globe’s James Pindell reports that the latest Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll of likely New Hampshire primary voters may have additional “warning signs for Senator Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 campaign,” beside the fact that she’s running fourth in the Granite State. Among voter concerns about Warren: She’s not the one who can beat Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, the Globe’s Adrian Walker is not so sure the current Dem frontrunner, Joe Biden, is the guy to beat Trump. He hopes he’s wrong about Joe.

Boston Globe

Why Seth Moulton’s candidacy matters — empirical evidence aside

David Bernstein writes at WGBH that U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton may not be attracting headlines and big crowds as he travels across the country as a Democratic candidate for president, but Moulton is going after college students and veterans – and those voters matter in this campaign, Bernstein says.

Meanwhile, Peter Lucas at the Lowell Sun gives former-Marine Moulton a big “Oorah!” for at least emphasizing foreign policy and veterans in his bid for president. Fyi: Pete Buttigieg, also a veteran running for president, is pushing for generational change as well. Arjun Singh at WGBH has the details.


Report: Massachusetts is top state for high schools

Spencer Buell at Boston Magazine has the details on U.S. News and World Report’s latest survey showing that Massachusetts, on average, has the best high schools in the nation, even though none of our high schools landed on the top 30 list.

But there was one tiny New England school that not only cracked the top 30 list, it nearly led the list, i.e. the Maine School of Science and Mathematics, as the Globe’s Matt Rocheleau reports.

Boston Magazine

‘The point of the event appeared to be simply that people were willing pay’

The Globe’s James Pindell strains to find a compelling news peg about last night’s appearance of Bill and Hillary Clinton at the Boston Opera House, as part of the couple’s multi-city Live Nation tour, and Pindell concludes: “The point of the event appeared to be simply that people were willing to pay to see the pair and the pair was available.” Fyi: The headline on the piece (“Clintons talk marriage, Mueller, and a little politics at Opera House”) practically screams: NO NEWS HERE.

Border war: Saugus files suit over Lynn-line pot shop

The town of Saugus has made good on its threat to sue the neighboring city of Lynn for approving a recreational pot shop on the border between the two communities, Bridget Turcotte and Gayla Cawley report at the Lynn Item. Saugus — which has a town-wide ban in place on recreational cannabis businesses — says the building where Lynn officials approved a dispensary is partly in Saugus and that the applicant’s traffic mitigation proposals were not properly vetted. 

Lynn Item

David McCullough: ‘What a New England story this is’

Interviewed by Thomas Stackpole at Boston Magazine, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough has just sold us, literally, on buying his new book ‘The Pioneers,’ about how New Englanders such as Rufus Putnam, Manasseh Cutler and Samuel Hildreth played leading roles in settling the Ohio territory in the 1700s – and then narrowly defeated efforts to bring slavery into the territory. Fyi: The would-be pioneers hatched their initial Ohio plans at the old Bunch of Grapes Tavern in Boston, as McCullough proudly notes.

Boston Magazine

Rosenberg: Time to fix foster care – and stick with it

Former Senate President Stan Rosenberg, who grew up as a foster kid, reacts to the Globe’s recent series on the broken foster-care system in Massachusetts, saying the state can no longer follow “shifting political winds” and needs to come up with best-practice policies – and then stick with them. He has some good ideas on what needs to be done, broadly speaking.

Fyi: The Globe, in an editorial, doesn’t seemed impressed with the Baker administration’s reform efforts of late.

At an intersection near you: The top 100 crash sites in Massachusetts

MassLive has all the DOT data and information about the most crash-prone sites in Massachusetts – and Brockton, Springfield and Worcester seem to have more than their fair share of dangerous intersections.


Pot investor donates $9M to Harvard and MIT for marijuana research

From Carey Goldberg at WBUR: “In what is believed to be the largest private gift yet to support scientific research on cannabis, a donor is giving $9 million to support Harvard and MIT work on cannabis and its effects on the brain. The money comes from the marijuana industry itself, in a way. The donor, Manhattan-based investor Bob Broderick, made tens of millions of dollars by investing in the legal marijuana industry in Canada, he says.”

We could make some skeptical/cynical remarks, but we’ll resist, instead just pointing out why we’re skeptical/cynical, fairly or unfairly, about academic-research donations in general these days.


Pioneer Institute: End the discrimination, allocate tax dollars to religious schools

Christian Wade at the Gloucester Times reports that the conservative Pioneer Institute of Boston has signed onto a Montana lawsuit challenging restrictions on tax dollars flowing to private religious schools, saying current limits can trace their legal roots back to anti-Catholic fervor in the late 1800s.

Gloucester Times

They aren’t giving up: Unions press lawmakers to pass Janus ruling response

From SHNS’s Matt Murphy: “The labor community presented a unified front to lawmakers on Tuesday, hoping to convince House and Senate leaders to quickly pass a law to strengthen unions in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling last year that knocked down a union’s right to charge fees to non-members. AFL-CIO President Steve Tolman told legislators that action was ‘long overdue’ as he sat at a table surrounded by more than three dozen labor leaders to testify.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Anti-Semitism’s disturbing trend lines

From the AP at WBUR: “A Jewish civil rights organization says while the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Massachusetts was down last year compared to 2017, there were some disturbing upward trends. The Anti-Defamation League said Tuesday it recorded 144 anti-Semitic incidents in Massachusetts in 2018, a nearly 20% decrease compared to 2017. Of those, 82 were acts of vandalism that included anti-Semitic messages, and 59 were harassment. … The ADL said there were three reported assaults against Jews in the state last year, compared to none in 2017.”

Unfortunately, this will be included in next year’s stats. From the Herald Review: “Weeks later, Fall River police still searching for suspects in Hebrew Cemetery vandalism.”


Lesser gains allies in war against ‘patent trolls’

We missed this story from the other day, i.e. Jon Chesto’s report in the Globe on how support is building on Beacon Hill for Sen. Eric Lesser’s war against ‘patent trolls,’ or those trying to shake down local tech companies by threatening them with bogus patent claims and lawsuits. Lesser’s latest ally in the fight: Rep. Lori Ehrlich.

Charles River Labs apparently victim of ‘spearfishing attack’

Speaking of low-life scoundrels preying on technology companies, Charles River Laboratories is reporting that an unidentified group of hackers recently broke into its computer system, copying drug-development plans as part of what appears to be a “spearfishing attack” to obtain intellectual property. The BBJ’s Allison DeAngelis has the details.


Home health care firms settle AG’s fraud claims for $10M

This is no small settlement, folks. From the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett: “Two home health companies will pay over $10 million in settlements to resolve allegations that they improperly billed the state’s Medicaid program. According to Attorney General Maura Healey’s office, Amigos Homecare LLC of Lawrence will pay $2.13 million, and Avenue Homecare Services Inc. in Dracut will pay $8.3 million. The AG’s office said both companies submitted claims to MassHealth for home health care services that hadn’t been properly authorized by a physician.”


Bill would make it a felony to assault nurses, ambulance attendants and other health providers

Speaking of health care, from Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “A bill sponsored by Rep. Paul Tucker, D-Salem, and Sen. Michael Brady, D-Brockton, would change assaults on health providers, emergency medical technicians or ambulance attendants from a misdemeanor to a felony offense, punishable by up to five years in prison. Tucker said the legislation ‘will set a tone that the assaults on these workers who are trying to do their job will not be tolerated.’” The Massachusetts Nurses Association is pushing for the bill, Schoenberg writes.


Pressley joins Angela Davis and others in support of Ilhan Omar

From the Hill: “Activist Angela Davis and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) joined numerous other black women activists and members of Congress in a rally Tuesday to support Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). Davis and Barbara Ransby, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and adviser to the Movement for Black Lives, told Democracy Now they planned the event, called Black Women in Defense of Ilhan Omar, in response to escalating attacks against the freshman Democrat, who said death threats against her spiked after conservatives accused her of minimizing the 9/11 attacks and President Trump tweeted a video interspersing her words with images from the attacks.” 

The Hill

Sponsor this: Haverhill councilor wants private sponsorships for all things city-funded

Wait until beer and e-cigarette makers hear about this. A member of the Haverhill city council wants the city to expand an existing sponsorship program to include everything from city parks to individual school classrooms, Mike LaBella reports at the Eagle-Tribune. Councilor Joseph Bevilacqua wants the city to create a database of sponsorship opportunities to help leverage private money, similar to the way a local ambulance company sponsors the city’s football stadium.

Eagle Tribune

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

BAA Honors

Boston Arts Academy (BAA), Boston’s only public school for the visual and performing arts, will host its annual BAA Honors celebration at the Rose Kennedy Ballroom, InterContinental Boston, featuring an array of arts dignitaries from Boston and beyond. The celebratory, creative black-tie event honors prominent leaders across industries, including arts, entertainment and education.

Boston Arts Academy

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

NETWORK Conference

The Massachusetts Coalition for Adult Education (MCAE) brings together over 500 adult educators, counselors, administrators, volunteers, and activists for its annual NETWORK Conference, the largest gathering of its kind in New England.

Massachusetts Coalition for Adult Education (MCAE)

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

A Conversation With Bill Cummings

Young professionals are invited to hear from Cummings Properties founder Bill Cummings as he discusses his career, dedication to philanthropy and new self-written memoir.

NAIOP Massachusetts

Poverty and Inequality in Boston: A Tale of Two Cities?

Join us for a discussion about what we can do about income inequality in Boston.

A Faith that Does Justice

JALSA 2019 Annual Meeting

The Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action is devoted to engaging the community in promoting civil rights, protecting civil liberties and achieving social, economic, racial, and environmental justice.


Massachusetts Clean Community Awards Gala

The Massachusetts Clean Community Awards Gala recognize volunteers, nonprofit leaders, government leaders, businesses, and educators for exceptional environmental protection and community improvement efforts. This celebration will be chock full of inspiring stories, good food, drink, and entertainment! WCVB news anchors Emily Riemer and Ben Simmoneau will emcee the event.

Keep Massachusetts Beautiful

Today’s Headlines


Apartments next to Ashmont T stop approved; residents will be barred from residential parking permits – Universal Hub

Quincy College biotech program gets $750,000 boost – Patriot Ledger


Recreational marijuana ban on Charlton ballot Saturday – Telegram & Gazette

Worcester council considering 3-D crosswalks to put brakes on dangerous intersections – Telegram & Gazette

In visit, Polito lauds Williamstown for affordable housing efforts – Berkshire Eagle


Trump: I Can Ignore Subpoenas Because Congress Is Mean – New York Magazine

Medicare For All gets boost from first Congressional hearing – The Hill

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