Return of the Swans, UMass commencements, and more
— Boston Mayor Martin Walsh attends the 31st annual Return of the Swans event, Boston Common, Public Garden Lagoon, Boston, 10:30 a.m.
— University of Massachusetts Dartmouth will hold two undergraduate ceremonies, with U.S. Rep. William Keating and Massachusetts Life Science Center President and CEO Travis McCready honored with the Chancellor’s Medal and Supreme Judicial Court Justice Elspeth Cypher and Tufts Medical Center CEO Emeritus Ellen Zane receiving honorary degrees, Cressy Field, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Road, Dartmouth, 10:30 a.m.
— Department of Transportation Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver and MBTA Chief Operating Officer Todd Johnson announce the closure of 1 of 3 southbound travel lanes on Route 1 in Chelsea and the Tobin Bridge and the expansion of the one-lane northbound closure on the Tobin Bridge and Route 1, Transportation Board Room, Second Floor, State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 2 p.m.
— Senators by noon must file their amendments to the Senate Ways and Means Committee‘s fiscal 2020 budget recommendation, with the amendments to be considered by the Senate next week, starting Tuesday, 12 p.m.
— Senate President Karen Spilka delivers remarks at the dedication celebration for the Franklin Cultural District, Franklin Historic Museum, 80 W. Central St., Franklin, 3:45 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker is scheduled to deliver 15-minute commencement address at the University of Massachusetts Amherst undergraduate commencement ceremonies, UMass Amherst, McGuirk Alumni Stadium, Stadium Drive, Amherst, 5:45 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.
Iffy start: Everett casino opening could be delayed ‘a week or two’
And now this. From Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine: “Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox told financial analysts on Thursday that the company’s Everett casino and hotel are on schedule to open as planned on June 23, but he indicated the opening could be delayed a week or two to make sure there are no loose ends.”
On schedule to be delayed? Got it. The Herald’s Jonathan Ng and MassLive’s Steph Solis have more on the now apparently “iffy” opening date for the Everett casino, even though Maddox said 90 percent of the future casino’s staff has been either hired or “with offer.”
Fyi: Encore Boston will be offering new $7 ferry rides from Boston to the Everett casino when the casino eventually opens, reports MassLive. Fyi, II: the Globe’s Mark Arsenault takes a look at the staying power of Elaine ‘Team Wynn’ Wynn.
Lobstermen win, right whales lose
In the face of angry protests by local lobstermen, state Division of Marine Fisheries officials have reversed themselves and rescinded their decision to extend the ban on lobster traps in Cape Cod Bay – a ban intended to protect nearly extinct right whales. David Abel at the Globe has the details, including how officials now say the whales are migrating out of the area, making it safe for lobstermen to go after lobsters.
Trump: Kerry ‘should be prosecuted’ for meetings with Iranian officials
Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Only weeks after the Mueller report made it pretty clear that Trump campaign officials were playing footsie with a foreign power during the 2016 election, President Trump yesterday was blasting John Kerry’s alleged contacts with a foreign power, i.e. Iran, and says Kerry “should be prosecuted,” the Washington Post reports. Kerry’s people almost sound like they don’t know where to start in rebutting the allegations – and you can’t blame them.
UMass officials call up student reinforcements in funding fight
It seems UMass leaders are trying to pressure State House lawmakers for more money via sending emails to university students bemoaning proposed funding levels in the Senate and House budgets, as SHNS’s Katie Lannan reports. One gets the impression they’d threaten to turn off the lights of the Zakim Bridge, assuming they operated the Zakim Bridge, if they don’t get what they want. Just a thought.
Anyway, the Globe, in an editorial, likes the Senate budget, calling it “bigger, bolder” than the House budget. Just fyi.
Home-state donors are not exactly pulling out the checkbooks for Warren
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren isn’t getting a home-state boost in fundraising in her bid for president, perhaps because there are so many other Democratic president candidates out there to dazzle and tempt local donors. The Globe’s Todd Wallack, Jess Bidgood and Liza Goodwin have the details, or lack of thereof, when it comes to dollars.
Warren’s pie-in-the-sky tax proposal?
Speaking of the senior senator from Massachusetts, Lisa Kashinsky at the Herald talks with a number of assorted experts and economists who say Elizabeth Warren’s proposed “ultra-millioniaire tax” on the wealthiest stands little or no chance of ever passing – but they do have other soak-the-rich tips for Warren and others to ponder.
The Capuanonize Syndrome: How shifting demographics spell trouble for Marty Walsh
The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld has more on how the city of Boston’s changing demographics could spell trouble for Mayor Marty Walsh, should he seek a third term, and how the changing face of Boston could help potential mayoral candidates like Michelle Wu or other minority candidates seeking to be the next Ayanna Pressley-like incumbent slayer.
After the ‘Red Socks’ invitation, it was all downhill at the White House yesterday
At Boston Magazine, Spencer Buell marvels at yesterday’s official announcement that the “Red Socks” would be coming to the White House later in the day to celebrate their 2018 championship – and the Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy writes that it was all downhill from there on what turned out to be a very “regrettable and awkward” day in which most non-white Sox personnel opted not to attend the ceremony hosted by a certain guy with orange hair.
GE sells headquarters property for $252M, sending a decent profit back to the state
Not bad for an otherwise failed business investment. From the Globe’s Jon Chesto: “General Electric Co. has sold its headquarters property in Fort Point for $252 million, a deal that yields a modest profit for the state and helps soften the blow following the company’s decision to scale back its once-bold Boston ambitions of just three years ago. The sale to Alexandria Real Estate Equities and National Development closed Thursday, and will allow a state agency that partly owns the site, MassDevelopment, to recoup the $87 million in public funds sunk into the property so far, as well as an additional $11 million in profit.”
The BBJ’s Catherine Carlock has more.
Symphony Hall’s ‘wow’ boy found – and hailed
He touched a collective chord when he exclaimed ‘wow’ at the end of a Mozart piece at Symphony Hall earlier this week, prompting laughter and loud cheers and then a search for the identity of the orchestra’s newest and biggest fan. And he’s none other than 9-year-old Ronan Mattin, who’s on the autism spectrum and usually doesn’t talk much, unless, well, he’s wowed by what he hears and sees. Kaitlyn Locke at WGBH has the details on one the of the best feel-good stories of the year. Definitely check out the audio recording of Ronan’s ‘wow’ moment.
Unions dealt campaign-funding blow by regulators
It will be interesting to see how this pans out in coming local elections. From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “Massachusetts campaign finance regulators have reduced the amount of money unions can contribute to political candidates, ending the controversial ‘union loophole.’ As of May 31, a union or nonprofit will no longer be able to donate up to $15,000 to a single candidate, party or PAC.”
The Globe’s Matt Stout has more, including how there’s a sort of new loophole to the now closed loophole: Giving to super PACs.
Not to be confused with the B-52’s ‘Love Shack,’ the Herald’s Howie Carr reviews U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch’s “hack shack” collection at the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority. So many friends, so many jobs.
Influential AIM has a new boss: John Regan
The Associated Industries of Massachusetts, one of the most powerful lobbying groups on Beacon Hill, has promoted its long-time government affairs chief, John Regan, to CEO of the business organization, replacing longtime chief Rick Lord, who is retiring, reports the BBJ’s Greg Ryan.
The Globe’s Jon Chesto reports that Regan will have a “full plate” after he takes the helm later this month, such as dealing with the state’s new family-leave program and the reemergence of the “millionaire’s tax” proposal.
Forget it: Globe drops out of media’s legal fight for Kraft massage parlor video
Never mind. The Boston Globe has apparently withdrawn its support for a media-led push to force the release of the hidden camera video that prosecutors say shows Robert Kraft paying a prostitute inside a massage parlor, Diana Moskovitz reports via Deadspin. The Globe’s lawyers filed a motion to withdraw as an intervenor in the case and appears to be the only one of about 20 media outlets to do so. The Globe did not offer an explanation for the move.
Troopergate: Was it a conspiracy? Part II
The Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter digs further into recent federal court filings and finds that prosecutors believe State Police “lieutenants” (plural) coordinated overtime schemes with rank-and-file troops, such as sending troopers home on bad-weather days and then not ticketing motorists too much on other days to avoid attracting attention, etc. etc. We suspect these latest legal tidbits just might pique the interest of a certain sitting U.S. judge (Globe).
Gallager tapped as state’s new banking commissioner
As SHNS’s Michael Norton notes, Massachusetts has its first female banking commissioner in 40 years: Mary Gallagher, the COO of the state Division of Banks who previously worked for 17 years in the financial services sector. She was appointed yesterday by the Baker administration and replaced Terrence McGinnis, who stepped down late last year.
Banned from Harvard
The threw the book at him, so to speak. From Deirdre Fernandes at the Globe: “For the first time in recent memory, Harvard University has stripped a top academic of the privileges granted to retired faculty after a yearlong investigation found a pattern of sexual misconduct by him spanning four decades. Jorge Dominguez, a onetime vice provost and noted Cuban scholar who climbed the ranks of leadership at Harvard despite several complaints and allegations of sexual harassment, has also been barred from campus and from off-campus events, the university said Thursday.”
Beaton’s move to energy consulting firm: Does it pass the ‘smell test’?
From SHNS Katie Lannan (pay wall): “Opponents of a planned natural gas compressor station in Weymouth are seeking more information about the departure of former Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton, arguing his move to the private sector doesn’t ‘pass the smell test.’” Beaton, a former state representative who had served in the Baker administration since 2015, stepped down as secretary last week to become senior vice president of renewable energy and emerging technology at TRC Companies.”
Minority police officers express concern over captain’s suspension
From Sean Philip Cotter at the Herald: “The state’s minority police association is calling for more transparency as the Boston Police Department remains mum on the suspension of a popular captain who’s the first Muslim to hold that rank. There’s been no reasons why. He’s just gone — and it’s hard to ask questions,” Larry Ellison, president of the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers, said of Boston police Capt. Haseeb Hosein.”
Worcester man sues array of police officers over 2016 beat-down caught on video
Speaking of police controversies, a Worcester man who eluded police for several days before being caught and arrested in a violent confrontation with police caught on video from a news helicopter has filed suit against multiple state and local police officers, Dan Glaun reports at MassLive. Richard Simone Jr. claims his civil rights were violated in the arrest. One New Hampshire state trooper was previously tried and acquitted for assault in connection with the videotaped arrest and Simone’s civil actions targets officers from Holden and Millbury.
Healey and other AGs ask feds to ease up on banking rules for pot firms
Attorney General Maura Healey is among 38 state AGs asking congressional leaders to let banks safely do business with pot companies – without fear of the feds cracking down on them. Laurel Wamsley at WBUR has the details.
Staying the course: Worcester school board backs embattled superintendent
After weeks of protests and calls for change, a divided Worcester School Committee has backed Superintendent Maureen Binienda with a three-year contract extension that bumps her annual salary to $215,000, Walter Bird Jr. reports at Worcester Magazine. Community groups have called for Binienda to be replaced because of what they saw as her slow response to concerns about racial equity in the city’s schools.
Split decision: Mowhawk Trail retains Warriors nickname, ditches mascot
They’re still Warriors, but … The Mohawk Trail School Committee has voted to remove the last vestiges of the regional district’s Native American Indian mascot — including a massive mural in the school gym — but its sports teams will keep its Warriors nickname, Grace Bird reports at the Greenfield Recorder. The committee also voted to look for ways to include more information about indigenous populations in its educational curriculum.
No prior experience needed: Allston-Brighton’s open city council race attracts newcomers
Arjun Singh at WGBH takes a look at the race to fill the Allston-Brighton city council seat to be vacated by Councilor Mark Ciommo, who isn’t seeking re-election, and so far three candidates with no prior public-office experience are running.
Where have all the newsrooms gone? Long time passing …
Most of you know what’s happened to the former Boston Globe and Boston Herald newspapers plants, i.e. closed, sold and redeveloped (or to be redeveloped). But Jim Morrison at the Real Reporter tracks down what’s happened to other former newspaper properties across New England, as the newspaper industry relentlessly shrinks. They’re all there (or were): The Providence Journal, Concord Monitor, Union Leader etc.
Sunday public affairs TV: Baker, Walsh and more
Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8: 30 a.m. This week’s guest: Gov. Charlie Baker, in the second of a two-part interview with the governor, who talks with host Jon Keller about the ideological gulf between him and the state GOP leadership and his thoughts on the pros and cons of a third term.
This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Shirley Leung of the Boston Globe and Doug Banks of the Boston Business Journal share insights on some of the week’s top business stories, including the debate over the state budget, efforts to open Encore Boston Harbor, a buyer for the GE property in South Boston and the Uber IPO.
CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. Travis Grillo, the founder and CEO of Grillo’s Pickles, tells the story of growing his business from a Boston push-cart to a nationwide brand.
Boston College Chief Executive Club, NECN, 1 p.m. At an event recorded earlier this week, Philip Morris International CEO Andre Calantzopoulos talks about his company’s efforts to move away from cigarettes and build alternative products.
On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Mayor Marty Walsh, who talks with Ed Harding and co-anchor Janet Wu, followed by a discussion with Democratic analyst Mary Anne Marsh and state Rep. Hannah Kane, a Republican.
This is New England, NBC Boston Channel 10, 11:30 a.m. Host Latoyia Edwards talks with Clementina Chery, from the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, on the group’s annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace.
CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s topic: Gentrification and Displacement
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Fletcher School Class Day Ceremony address
The Fletcher School is welcoming Susan Rice, former U.S. National Security Advisor and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, will deliver the Class Day speech at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University on Saturday, May 18.
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