Summer safety, DOT-MBTA meeting, and more
— Gov. Charlie Baker tours the Price Center to highlight the Turning 22 Program, Price Center, 27 Christina Street, Newton, 9:45 a.m.
— University of Massachusetts Boston Interim Chancellor Katherine Newman will announce a ‘major gift’ to the university at an event that includes a panel discussion on the role of Hispanic-serving institutions in advancing ‘Latinx student college success,’ Alumni Lounge, Campus Center, 2nd Floor, University of Massachusetts Boston, 100 Morrissey Blvd., Boston, 11:30 a.m.
— U.S. Sen. Ed Markey participates in a congressional roundtable with the New England Council, Boston Harbor Hotel Wharf Room, 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, 12 p.m.
— Mayor Marty Walsh, Boston Police Commissioner William Gross and Chief Gregory Long will meet with local clergy to discuss public safety plans and initiatives the city will implement for youth and communities in the upcoming summer months, Boston Police Headquarters Meeting Room, 1 Schroeder Plaza, Boston, 12:30p.m.
— The Department of Transportation Board and the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board meet with an agenda that calls for discussion of commuter rail service to the South Coast, administrator salaries, the capital investment plan and emergency access ramp use for Silver Line buses and more, State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 12 p.m.
— Boston City Council President Andrea Campbell is a guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 12:30 p.m.
— Boston Mayor Martin Walsh is a guest on ‘Radio Boston,’ WBUR-FM 90.9, 3:30 p.m., and then later appears on ‘Greater Boston,’ WGBH-TV Ch. 2, 7 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.
A possible MGM takeover of Everett casino: Can it be done?
They’re not exactly happy about this in Everett and Springfield. From the Globe’s Mark Arsenault: “The chief executives of casino giants Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts are discussing a possible sale of Wynn’s nearly finished Encore Boston Harbor casino complex in Everett, a potentially colossal deal that would dramatically change the gambling landscape in New England and ripple through the industry, the companies acknowledged to the Globe on Friday.”
But can a deal be worked out, considering state law requires that companies can hold only one casino license? Arsenault writes that such complications “could be hard to surmount.”
Meanwhile, Peter Goonan at MassLive reports that Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, whose city currently hosts the new MGM Springfield casino, says that MGM has assured him that “myself and the Mass Gaming Commission would have a big and ultimate say in what might or might not happen.” The Herald’s Brooks Sutherland has more on the takeover-talk fallout. The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld is blasting the Gaming Commission for “getting blindsided on the deal, only weeks after ruling that Wynn Resorts could keep the Everett license.”
Meanwhile, Brockton developer rolls the casino dice by buying Silver City Gallerie
Speaking of casino moves, Taunton’s long-suffering Silver City Galleria sold at auction for $7.5 million on Friday and the man who placed the winning bid says a casino is one possible future use of the property, Jordan Deschenes reports at the Brockton Enterprise. Chris Carney, son of Brockton Fairgrounds owner and would-be casino developer Jay Carney, says he made the bid on behalf of a developer partner and made note of the fact that a resort casino license for the Southeastern region of the state remains in a state of limbo at the Mass Gaming Commission. “Nothing is off the table,” Carney said.
Defying state law, some government agencies simply refuse to release 911 transcripts
Melissa Hanson at MassLive conducted an experiment by asking various government agencies for recorded transcripts of 911 calls, which are supposed to be public records under most circumstances. What she found, in most circumstances, were rejection letters. Then there’s this: “In another case, the State 911 Department said it considers 911 calls exempt from release.” Bottom line: They either don’t know the law – or they simply make up the law.
Retired SJC chief justice clears police in handling of screaming naked Harvard student
We had forgotten all about this controversy. From Adam Gaffin at Universal Hub: “Cambridge Police did what they had to do and did not use excessive force to subdue a naked, black Harvard student standing on a Massachusetts Avenue traffic island screaming and making what appeared to be threatening motions on April 13 of last year, retired Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick Ireland concludes.”
The zoning war against children
Lawrence DiCara, a former Boston city councilor, and Conor Ahern, a staff attorney for the New York City Commission on Human Rights, write at CommonWealth magazine that it was wrong years ago to pass zoning laws against blacks and others – and it’s wrong today to pass zoning laws against families with children: “We would suggest that, going forward, all jurisdictions provide zoning options for all citizens. We should not ghettoize old people, we should not ghettoize poor people, and we should not exclude people with children.”
Meehan’s huff-and-puff campaign: Is it working on Beacon Hill?
The Globe’s Rachelle Cohen writes that lawmakers on Beacon Hill are growing weary of UMass president Marty Meehan’s “empire building” and sky-is-falling antics regarding state funding, saying his constant “whining” and threats of tuition hikes are wearing thin. However, the Globe,in an editorial, is supporting Meehan in his opposition to the Senate’s tuition-freeze proposal, which the paper says “could wind up doing more harm than good.”
Vigil held outside home of rabbi after three fires intentionally set at local Jewish institutions
From Quincy Walters at WBUR: “Community members gathered for a vigil Saturday night outside the home of a rabbi who was affected by one of three fires intentionally set at local Jewish institutions in Arlington and Needham in the past week. The vigil was held outside the Chabad Jewish Center in Needham, where Rabbi Mendy Krinsky and his family live. The center was set on fire Thursday.”
Meanwhile, more depressing anti-Semitic news, via CBS Boston: “Swastika Found On Jewish Student Union Sign At Brookline.”
Schumer seeks probe of Chinese firm making T’s new subway cars
More espionage worries (or so they say) about the Chinese company making new subway cars in Massachusetts and elsewhere. From the AP at the Washington Post. “The Senate’s top Democrat is calling on the federal government to step in and investigate whether a plan for new subway cars in New York City and Boston designed by a Chinese state-owned company could pose a threat to national security. Senator Charles Schumer of New York said in a statement on Sunday that he has asked the Commerce Department to conduct a ‘top-to-bottom review’ after CRRC, one of the world’s largest train makers, won a design contest for new subway cars that would include ‘modern train control technology.’”
Nothing personal: Healey returns political donation from Coakley over Juul ties
An AG spokeswoman stresses: It’s nothing personal. From the Globe’s Matt Stout: “Attorney General Maura Healey has returned a donation that her predecessor, Martha Coakley, made to her political campaign, adding to the fallout from Coakley’s decision last month to join the e-cigarette giant Juul Labs. Healey, who is investigating Juul’s alleged marketing and sales to minors, had taken a $200 donation in late March from Coakley, the maximum amount a state lobbyist — such as Coakley — is allowed to give under Massachusetts law.”
DeLeo decries ‘juvenile tactics’ aimed at Peisch
From SHNS’s Matt Murphy: “With tensions mounting between education advocates and Beacon Hill leaders over school funding, House Speaker Robert DeLeo is accusing the state’s largest teachers union of resorting to ‘juvenile tactics’ by appearing to mock House Education Committee Chairwoman Alice Peisch during a rally.” The offense: A photo of protesters clutching pearl necklaces with the caption: “Alice Peisch, let go of the wealth and #FundOurFuture.” Peisch wears pearls. She’s from Wellesley. Get it?
Unemployed GOP officials find happy dumping grounds in Norfolk County
The Globe’s Matt Stout reports that Norfolk County Sheriff Jerry McDermott, a Democrat-turned-Republican, has turned a once Democratic patronage dumping group into a GOP patronage dumping ground with the hiring of some Republican operatives of late.
Senators pack budget with all sorts of district goodies
As the Senate prepares to debate its proposed state budget this week, Christian Wade at the Eagle Tribune takes a peek at all the local goodies stuffed into the fiscal blueprint by Sens. Bruce Tarr and Barry Finegold, among others.
Ah, the old Friday documents dump trick …
From SHNS’s Chris Lisinski: “State environmental regulators on Friday introduced hundreds of pages of air quality testing data, surprising parties at a days-long appeals hearing on an air quality permit for a controversial natural gas compressor station project in Weymouth. The 759-page data packet, based on air samples from August near the site of the planned station, was provided to the state Monday and released to parties in the appeals hearing Thursday night. Its introduction added tension to an already-controversial process.”
From Taegan Goddard’s political dictionary: “Releasing bad news or documents on a Friday afternoon in an attempt to avoid media scrutiny is often called a‘Friday news dump’ by members of the media.”
Ten years later, Pelosi receives JFK Profile in Courage Award for passage of ObamaCare
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday accepted the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in Boston for her work in getting the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, passed ten years ago. And she took care not to mention President Trump and talk about impeachment etc., reports Saraya Wintersmith at WGBH.
The 2020 presidential campaign: Youth service, Weld endorsement and ‘Order of the Kong’
It was a relatively quiet weekend in terms of our local (and not-so-local) candidates for president. So we’ll just bunch all the news together in one easy-to-read post. From the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky: “Seth Moulton unveils service plan for America’s youth.” From the AP at the Globe: “Elizabeth Warren calls on Congress to pass law enshrining Roe v. Wade.” From Politico: “Vermont Republican governor backs Weld over Trump.”
And, last but not least, from the Globe’s Liz Goodwin: “Mayor Pete and the Order of the Kong: How Buttigieg’s Harvard pals helped spur his rise in politics.”
Just a pet-peeve: Have you noticed how the Globe rarely runs stories about how someone’s experience at Tufts, Boston College, Brandeis etc. shaped their lives? But if you go to Harvard, well, well, well …
Not just wage workers: Salaried employees deserve OT pay too
Jeremy Thompson, a senior policy analyst at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, says it’s time to pass legislation on Beacon Hill that addresses the problem of lower-level salaried managers having to regularly work more than 40 hours a week without overtime pay. Stronger overtime rules could protect as many as 435,000 salaried workers in Massachusetts, he writes at CommonWealth magazine.
In Cambridge, scores of families face uncertain future amid HUD proposal
Some 200 people from about 60 families could find themselves booted out of public housing in Cambridge if the department of Housing and Urban Development moves forward with a rule that would bar any undocumented immigrants from living in federally subsidized digs, Sue Reinert reports via Cambridge Day. Under existing rules, undocumented immigrants can live with documented tenants in subsidized housing — but receive no direct subsidy themselves.
In other housing news, from the Globe’s Milton Valencia: “In attempt to stem displacement, city will set value of housing vouchers by ZIP code.
Southie residents think Seaplane service idea is all wet
It hasn’t really taken off yet, but the turbulence has already begun. Jon Chesto at the Globe reports that Dan Wolf — CEO of Cape Air, former state senator and onetime gubernatorial candidate — has won Federal Aviation Administration approval for his plan to operate a seaplane service between Boston and New York. But he now faces the wrath of South Boston residents who have noise and public safety concerns and aren’t happy about being consulted on the project so late in the game.
Never mind: Fall River mayor pulls plug on lawsuit days before trial to begin
Fall River has settled a head-scratcher of a lawsuit that pitted the city against a non-profit agency that focused on economic development in the city — averting a trial that could have seen Mayor Jasiel Correia and others take the stand, Jo C. Goode reports at the Herald News. The settlement of the two-year-old lawsuit limits who can say what and requires no admission of wrongdoing, but it’s clear the city is giving up a chance to collect $113,000 worth of unpaid rent from the agency — now known as Bristol County Economic Development Consultants.
Amazon vs. Braintree: A sign-of-the-times lawsuit
It sure looks like Amazon is trying to distance itself from taking responsibility for its contract employees, in this case its contract delivery drivers in Braintree, where the town has asked that Amazon delivery vans be identified as, well, Amazon delivery vans. The town is also asking for extra driver safety checks and insurance. The giant tech company initially agreed to the rules, but is now suing Braintree over the requirements, reports the Globe’s Tim Logan.
I.M. Pei’s other design influences across Boston
Sofia Rivera at Boston Magazine has a good post on how the late I.M. Pei’s architectural influence in Boston extended well beyond his design of the JFK Library and Museum in Dorchester, directly and indirectly influencing designs of the Harbor Towers and Hancock Tower (now boringly called 200 Clarendon), among other buildings.
Wrong county: Shoplifter thought he was in Rollins’ no-prosecute zone
A few MassterList readers sent us “why didn’t you run” emails about Sean Philip Cotter’s story in the Herald last week, so here it is, i.e., how a career crook thought he could walk out of a Stop & Shop with $126 in goods because Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins has put shoplifting on her do-not-prosecute list. The only problem: He shoplifted in Norfolk County. And he was arrested.
Conversation in Civic Innovation: The Role of Apprenticeships in the MA Innovation Economy
Is there another path to preparing candidates for tech careers? Apprenticeships have served as a thoughtful method of workforce development in the US for decades. In Europe apprenticeships have evolved to support careers in the innovation economy. Some states in the US – South Carolina and Washington state – are thinking about how apprenticeships can help prepare more candidates for tech jobs.
NAIOP/SIOR Mid-Year Market Roundup
Please join NAIOP and SIOR for one of the industry’s premier market forecasts. Explore the drivers and market fundamentals behind the statistics, including trends, new growth areas and a general outlook for the future.
Old North Speaker Series: James Farrell – The Child Independence is Born
Did the Revolution begin with the writs of assistance trial? To answer that question, we will review the purpose and function of writs of assistance within the political, legal, and economic environment of colonial Massachusetts, and discuss the constitutional dispute over writs of assistance in the 1761 trial.
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