Happening Today

Insulet Global, Peace Institute, and more

— Gov. Charlie Baker participates in a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Insulet Global Headquarters & US Manufacturing Facility, 100 Nagog Park, Acton, 10 a.m.

— Dr. Mark Klempner from University of Massachusetts Medical School’s MassBiologics Division will give a briefing, Sen. Harriette Chandler and Rep. John Mahoney, on Lyme disease in Massachusetts and research toward prevention, Room 222, 10:30 a.m.

Joint Committee on Financial Services holds a hearing on 17 bills dealing with topics including debt collection, fees for inactive bank accounts, check-cashing and creation of the position of ‘Student Loan Ombudsman’ within the Division of Banks and establish a ‘bill of rights’ for student borrowers, Room A-1, 11 a.m.

— Attorney General Maura Healey, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Dr. Kevin Tabb and others join the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute to celebrate the Peace Institute’s 25th anniversary, Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, 15 Christopher Street, Dorchester, 11 a.m.

— Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito participates in the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Business & Government Forum, Fuller Conference Room, Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, 311 Main Street, Suite 200, Worcester, 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

‘The influence peddlers’: They’re all over the pot industry

The Globe’s Spotlight Team confirms what we all knew but still needed in-depth chronicling, i.e. how the state’s new emerging marijuana industry is dominated by companies with strong political connections: “At least 12 of the 17 recreational pot stores open as of May 1 hired lobbyists or former politicians. The Boston Globe Spotlight Team obtained, through public records requests, thousands of e-mails relating to pot shop proposals in a host of communities. The fingerprints of influence peddlers — consultants, lawyers, lobbyists — are all over them.” Bill Weld, Thomas Finneran, Michael Ross, etc. all get mentions. And lobbyist Frank Perullo, too.

Btw: It’s obviously all about money, as in hundreds of millions of dollars per year in future pot sales. In the first six months alone of legalized retail marijuana in Massachusetts, cannabis sales topped $100 million, reports Shira Schoenberg at MassLive, and the pace of sales will only increase as more pot shops are opened in coming months and years.

Boston Globe

Trump: Rollins and Ryan ‘don’t mind crime’

Egged on by Boston Herald Radio talker Adriana Cohen, President Trump yesterday took swipes at Suffolk and Middlesex DAs Rachael Rollins and Marian Ryan over their new ICE-courthouse lawsuit, saying they obviously “don’t mind crime,” as reported by the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky and CommonWealth magazine’s Sarah Betancourt.

Fyi: The president didn’t mention them by name (as far as we can tell), for we seriously doubt he even knew Rollins and Ryan existed before yesterday’s Herald Radio interview. But a scrum is scrum in politics, and this was a good one.

Fyi, II: Trump also lobbed his old “Pocahontas” insult at U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and demanded that she resign. 

Fyi, III: Here’s the full interview at Herald Radio.

Bet on it: Lelling’s ‘grandstanding’ case against judge is a legal loser

Speaking of the ICE-courthouse controversy, civil liberties lawyer Harvey Silverglate at WGBH is blasting U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling’s “ill-considered, vengeful and over-heated indictment” of state Judge Shelley Joseph for allegedly helping an immigrant escape detention by an ICE agent, saying that she committed “no crimes” and that the “grandstanding” case against her will be dismissed.

Meanwhile, Yvonne Abraham at the Globe takes the moralistic route on the controversy, saying ICE arrests at courthouses is “making a mockery of values this nation is supposed to revere.”


Looking up? Polls suggest some traction for Warren’s policy-wonk approach

Speaking of Elizabeth Warren, a new batch of national polls on the 2020 Democratic presidential primary contain some hints Warren’s policy-heavy campaign may be gaining some steam, Elizabeth Goodwin and Jess Bidgood report at the Globe. Warren inched up an average of 3 points in each of four polls released this week and saw an 8 percentage point bounce in one survey that ranked her second among Democrats only to former VP Joe Biden. The good news contrasts her fourth-place standing in a recent Globe poll of New Hampshire primary voters. 

Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight has more Warren’s slowly rising poll numbers and the numbers for other Dem candidates.

Meanwhile, the Globe’s Joan Vennochi asks: “Is it sexist not to love Elizabeth Warren?” Joan’s answer: “Nope.” And she’s right. Joan explains.

As confusion reigns, state gives businesses more time on paid-leave decision

Another botched rollout of a program? From the BBJ’s Greg Ryan: “The Baker administration said Wednesday it would give businesses nearly three more months to obtain a private-sector alternative to the state’s new paid family and medical leave program, if the businesses want to go that route. The delay comes after Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) and other business lobbying groups expressed concern about the timing of the program’s rollout.”

Bottom line: There’s been widespread confusion in the business community about who’s supposed to pay what after the program (and its accompanying new payroll tax) starts July 1. And it appears AIM isn’t all that satisfied with the delay granted yesterday.


BPS superintendent search: Cassellius gets the nod

It’s official. From the Globe’s James Vaznis: “The Boston School Committee Wednesday night selected former Minnesota education commissioner Brenda Cassellius as the system’s next superintendent, believing she was the best candidate to repair bruised relationships with the community and boost student achievement.”

The Herald’s Taylor Pettaway reports that “cheers erupted” when the committee selected Cassellius, who apparently was the “fan favorite” at last night’s meeting.

Wynn wins, Part II: The collective $100M sigh of relief

A day after the Gaming Commission ruled that Wynn Resorts can keep its Everett casino license – as long as it pays a $35 million fine within 30 days and abides by strict new rules – Beacon Hill budget writes can now breathe a sigh of relief that, yes, the casino will indeed open next month and, hopefully, generate as much as $100 million in state tax revenues. SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) has the tax details, including how local governments are also in line for potentially big tax-revenue boosts after Encore Boston opens.

Fyi: There’s a lot of good stories out there about the commission’s ruling on Wynn Resorts, such as one by MassLive’s Shira Schoenberg, who reviews all the new conditions slapped on the company and its CEO, Matt Maddox. CommonWealth’s Andy Metzger also has an everything-you-need-to-know piece on the commission’s ruling.

‘Private debate, few votes’

Speaking of the budget, SHNS’s Katie Lannan and Colin Young have an excellent report on how the House budget process unfolded this year, i.e. by unfolding behind closed doors. It’s an efficient system for lawmakers, but not exactly transparent for the public, that’s for sure.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Ken Burns to Hampshire College alums: Give till it hurts

Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, an alum of Hampshire College, says he’s calculated how much money he could donate to his struggling alma mater based on how much it would “really hurt” – and now he’s pushing other alums and patrons to give until it hurts in order to save Hampshire College. Zoë Mitchell and Kim Atkins have more at WBUR.


Worcester maverick calls it quits after 30 years as city councilor-at-large

Konstantina B. Lukes, perhaps the longest-serving city council member in Worcester’s history, has decided it’s time to pass the at-large baton to someone else, after serving 30 years on the council. Nick Kotsopoulos at the Telegram has more on the maverick Lukes, known as a proud fiscal hawk and general political gadfly. Btw: She also served stints as mayor and on the school committee during her extraordinary public-service career.


Massport pulls out the carrot to fight traffic congestion at Logan

As the Globe’s Adam Vaccaro notes, Massport’s fight against traffic congestion at Logan has so far mostly entailed use of the proverbial stick (fees, fines, banishment etc). But it’s now using the proverbial carrot to reduce traffic at the airport, via promises of passengers jumping to the front of the airport security lines if they use buses to get to terminals. File under: “More carrots, please.”

Barry Finegold wants to save, not kill, youth tackle football

State Sen. Barry Finegold is our new hero. Finegold, who played football throughout his youth, says he’s concerned about legislation that would ban youth tackle football in Massachusetts and bemoans the potential demise of a great sport. “I honestly wouldn’t be the person I am today if I didn’t play football,” said Finegold, as reported by Bill Burt at the Eagle Tribune.

Btw: Finegold’s daughter recently suffered a concussion playing … soccer.

Eagle Tribune

Crowded and getting more crowded: The city council races

It’s going to be a wild and crowded election the year for Boston City Council posts, as 55 hopefuls have now signaled their official intention to run for council seats, reports Jennifer Smith at the Dorchester Reporter. Smith has the names and identifies the key races to come.

Dorchester Reporter

One and done: Majority of Framingham council not seeking re-election

The council crowd is heading in the opposite direction in Framingham. Seven of the 11 members of the city council, including current Chair Dennis Giombetti, say they will not seek re-election in this fall’s election, Susan Petroni reports at Framingham Source. Giombetti said he always intended to serve only a single term with a goal of helping the community make a smooth transition from a town to a city form of government.  

Framingham Source

All aboard: Council votes to support Springfield-to-Boston high speed rail

Back to the Boston city council: We were tempted to go with Universal Hub’s headline on this one (“Could Springfield become a western suburb one day?”), but we resisted. Still, we’ll go with UH’s lead: “The Boston City Council today endorsed the idea of high-speed rail between Boston and Springfield, saying it could become something that transforms the state.”

Universal Hub

‘It was the Clintons, again, spinning the Clintons, again’

In a Globe op-ed, Margery Eagan writes that Bill and Hillary Clinton’s apparently listless performance the other night at the Opera House was “disheartening, even sad,” as the two went through the motions of effectively spinning themselves.

Boston Globe

Cost of Merrimack Valley gas explosion: At least $1.6 billion

The parent company of Columbia Gas says last fall’s natural-gas explosions and fires could potentially cost $1.6 billion – and that may be a low figure at this point. Lisa Kashinsky at the Herald and Milton Valencia at the Globe have the details.

Hoping to move past scandals, Rockland names new administrator

Congratulations — and good luck. Doug Lapp, who currently serves as assistant town manager in Sandwich, was chosen by Rockland selectmen to become that town’s new town administrator, saying he’s the best person to bring stability back to a Town Hall racked by a year’s worth of assorted scandals. Mary Whitfil at the Patriot Ledger reports Lapp’s hiring comes as Allan Chiocca is still technically on paid leave following the Town Hall sex scandal that ensnared two members of the select board as well as Chiocca, who was eventually cleared of wrongdoing.  

Patriot Ledger

State misses deadline to cinch ‘union loophole’

From Chistian Wade at the Salem News: “State campaign finance officials missed a deadline Wednesday to propose new rules aimed at closing a loophole for contributions from labor unions.  … A spokesman for the independent state agency said the new rules won’t be available this week, despite a self-imposed May 1 deadline to release them.

Salem News

The Worcester Worcesters? PawSox trademark potential team names

The Wicked Worms? That’s one of three potential names recently trademarked by the Pawtucket Red Sox ahead of the team’s move to Worcester in 2021, Zachary Comeau reports at the Worcester Business Journal. The other two names — the Ruby Legs and the Worcesters — refer to historic teams that played in the city more than a century ago and the team says it has yet to make a final decision. 

We still like the “WooSox.”


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

Advanced Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Impact on Healthcare

This forum will provide attendees with the opportunity to hear both pros and cons as the healthcare industry moves forward with these types of advancements in technologies. In light of Governor Baker’s comments regarding the space, we welcome further dialog as to what is real and what is science fiction.

Sen. Jo Comerford, Rep. Paul Mark, and SAS

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

Book Talk: Boston’s 20th-Century Bicycling Renaissance

Author talk and book signing with Lorenz J. Finison, author of the new book Boston’s Twentieth-Century Bicycling Renaissance.

State Library of 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


Crowd forms for council seats – Dorchester Reporter

Saugus schools to implement new shooter safety measures – Lynn Item


Appointment of Polito associate draws criticism – Boston Herald

Mashpee tribe bill headed to House floor for vote – Cape Cod Times

State officials give employers more time on paid leave decision – Boston Herald


Maine becomes the first state to ban stryofoam – CNN

Trump’s deal with Democrats leaves GOP rolling its eyes – Politico

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