Happening Today

Fallen Heroes, Walsh on the air, and more

— Gov. Charlie Baker, U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and members of the military to attend the rededication of the Massachusetts Fallen Heroes Memorial, 100 Northern Avenue, Boston, 10 a.m.

Department of Public Utilities holds a evidentiary hearing on the petition of National Grid for approval of general increases in base distribution rates for electric service, One South Station, Boston, 10 a.m.

— Boston Mayor Martin Walsh is a guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 12 p.m.

— Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito joins local and elected officials to participate in the Dartmouth Maritime Facility ribbon cutting ceremony, Dartmouth Maritime Center, 0 Water Street, Dartmouth, 2 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

Feds launch civil-rights probe of inmate treatment in state prisons

From Maria Cramer at the Globe: “Federal prosecutors are investigating the Massachusetts prison system over its use of solitary confinement, and the treatment of elderly and severely ill prisoners, according to several attorneys who have spoken with federal investigators. The investigation, launched by the civil rights unit of the US attorney’s office in Massachusetts, is focused on reports of mistreatment of inmates in order to identify potential patterns and practices of abuse, those familiar with the investigation said.”

Boston Globe

Not so fast: House blocks New Bedford charter-school compromise plan

File under: ‘Message in a bottle.’ From Michael Jonas at CommonWealth magazine: “A plan touted by state education leaders as a breakthrough compromise aimed at healing the rift between district and charter schools has instead inflamed passions on Beacon Hill where the proposal is faltering and has reignited one of the state’s most enduring education debates. … The proposal has the backing of New Bedford city leaders, but requires approval by the Legislature, where prospects look decidedly more shaky after a procedural move by opponents on Thursday to bottle up the bill in a House committee.”

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell is not happy, Jonas notes.


That’s a wrap: Senate approves new budget, sticks by UMass tuition-freeze proposal

The Massachusetts Senate wrapped up its budget business yesterday, approving a new $42.8 billion state budget after adding about $74 million in extra spending above what was originally proposed by the Ways and Means Committee, reports SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall).

Of intense interest to those at UMass, the Senate decided to stand by language effectively calling for a tuition freeze at UMass, a proposal that has infuriated UMass President Marty Meehan. SHNS’s Katie Lannan has more in a separate pay-wall piece. One other budget item of note: The Senate approved spending $600,000 for increased security at religious and nonprofit facilities “at risk of terrorism and violent threat” (SHNS).

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

DeLeo: Students using ‘Trumpian tactics’ in funding debate

It seems protesters are getting under House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s skin these days. Last week, he complained about the “juvenile tactics” of the Massachusetts Teachers Association (WBUR). Now this, via SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall): “House Speaker Robert DeLeo has accused college students and organizers frustrated with his response to their higher education funding protests this week of using ‘Trumpian tactics,’ miffed by allegations being spread online that he had threatened their arrest and that the State House uses facial recognition software.”

And just before Memorial Day: Vietnam veterans monument vandalized yet again

First, the ugly news, via the Globe’s Breanne Kovatch and Danny McDonald: “The Dorchester Vietnam Veterans Memorial was defaced with a swastika and other graffiti Thursday, just one day after repairs to the monument were completed from when it was vandalized in October. Several dozen recent plantings of shrubs and flowers were torn out of the ground and American flags were removed and thrown into water near the memorial.”

Now the encouraging get-‘em news, via the Herald’s Brooks Sutherland: “A surveillance video image of a suspect wanted in connection with vandalism at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Morrissey Boulevard could finally help stop the ‘deranged’ desecration of the monument, the head of a city vets group said.”

And just before Memorial Day, Part II: A sea of flags …

Don’t let the acts of deranged individuals get you down (see post above). Instead, take a gander at WBUR photographer Jesse Costa’s beautiful and striking photos of the sea of American flags planted on Boston Common for this weekend’s Memorial Day festivities. It will put you in a good mood.


John Henry also sought to buy the Everett casino?

One has to wonder how Major League Baseball would have reacted had he succeeded. The Globe’s Mark Arsenault reports that John Henry, the billionaire owner of the Red Sox and Boston Globe, inquired not once but twice about possibly buying, along with other investors, the Encore Boston Harbor casino from the embattled Wynn Resorts. The long-shot deal obviously went nowhere.

Btw: It looks like the Globe’s Yvonne Abraham has another twist-and-turn chapter that she could add to a possible MGM-Wynn romance novel. Don’t forget our working title for such a novel, via the Romance Title Generator: ‘Trained to Sin.’

Boston Globe

National conservative group eyes ballot question targeting gerrymandering in Mass.

This one may have legs if they word the ballot question right. From the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky: “A national conservative group focused on government reform says it wants to take on gerrymandering in deeply blue Massachusetts. … Take Back Our Republic plans to follow the model that was adopted in Michigan last year — using a ballot initiative to create a 13-member independent commission that would redraw district lines based on the 2020 census.”

Boston Herald

MFA: ‘Under Siege’

From a three-member reporting team at the Globe: “The Museum of Fine Arts found itself under siege Thursday as educators, politicians, and civil-rights activists assailed the renowned institution over reports that minority students from a Dorchester middle school were subjected to racial insults and close security during a field trip.”

The Globe’s Renée Graham writes that students, sadly, got an unexpected lesson in racism during the field trip. Meanwhile, from Jeneé Osterheldt at the Globe: “What happened to the academy students is not an isolated event. The MFA is merely a microcosm of America. It is an institution of affluence and elitism.”

Boston Globe

Impeachment: Not all of the state’s congressional members are gung-ho about it

Elizabeth Warren, Ayanna Pressley and Seth Moulton are in favor of launching impeachment proceedings against President Trump. But other members of the state’s all-Democratic congressional delegation are taking a more cautious approach. The Globe’s Christina Prignano has all the nuanced impeachment details.

A harbor seal frolicking in the Connecticut River near Holyoke?

The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife is confirming that a harbor seal spotted frolicking in the Connecticut River near Holyoke in western Massachusetts is indeed A.) A harbor seal. B.) He’s none other than MME18-031Pv, aka Laysan, who was tagged last year by wildlife officials and treated at the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut. Jim Kinney at MassLive has the details. 

Btw: It’s apparently not too unusual for harbor seals to swim so far inland. If there’s fish to catch, they’ll go just about anywhere.


Passenger seaplanes set to splash down soon in Boston Harbor

Looks like Cape Air’s plan for seaplanes to take off and land in Boston Harbor is a go, after the company run by former state Sen. Dan Wolf secured all the permits it needs to start service, reports the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter. But critics are still concerned about noise and maritime safety issues associated with the seaplanes, Cotter notes.

Boston Herald

DeLeo says Janus fix is coming in June

House Speaker Robert DeLeo plans to bring a bill before lawmakers next month to restore some of the funding sources Massachusetts unions lost with last year’s Janus ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, Mike Deehan reports at WGBH. The bill is a top priority of labor unions, some of whom have complained the legislature is not moving fast enough on a host of issues critical to their workforces. 


Suspended Newton judge rejected plea deal on obstruction of justice charge: Can you blame her?

The Boston Globe and Boston Herald are reporting the feds had originally offered suspended Newton Judge Shelley Richmond Joseph a seemingly attractive deal: Admit she helped an immigrant escape detention by an ICE agent – and avoid prosecution. But her attorney said she rejected the deal because she’s innocent. And she may have also rejected the deal because maybe it wasn’t such as sweetheart deal. This line from the Globe story caught our attention: “If Joseph had accepted the deal, it is unclear whether she could have kept her job as a judge or her license to practice law, according to state law.”

Kitchen not-so-confidential: Nantucket vows crackdown on housing hospitality workers under cupboards

You can’t do that. Officials on Nantucket are warning the island’s food and hospitality industry that it will yank licenses from businesses found to be illegally housing seasonal workers, David Creed reports at the Inquirer & Mirror. The town’s health department says it has received two complaints already, including one of a worker being housed in a working kitchen.

Inquirer & Mirror

Count ’em: Weld’s plan to unseat Trump relies on non-GOP voters in 20 states

Votes are votes. Former Mass. Gov. William Weld says he has a plan to defeat President Trump in the 2020 GOP primary that focuses on the 20 states where voters are allowed to cast ballots cross party lines, Daniel Strauss reports at Politico. Weld used a C-SPAN interview to lay out his geographical path to victory, predicting the northeast, mid-Atlantic and even California could provide him the votes to make his long-shot bid more realistic.


What a relief: Martha’s Vineyard bus strike averted

Cooler heads and all that. Drivers at the Vineyard Transit Authority have voted to postpone a possible strike that could have crippled Martha’s Vineyard as the summer season unofficially kicks off this holiday weekend. The decision came after negotiating sessions were scheduled for the coming week between drivers — who first authorized a strike in April — and Transit Connection Inc., which operates the island’s fixed bus routes for the local transit authority.  

Martha’s Vineyard Times

Does Trahan’s latest disclosure shine enough light on finances?

We seem to be getting closer to the truth, but you decide. From Christian Wade at the Eagle Tribune: “A newly filed personal financial disclosure by U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan suggests she had more than enough revenue and assets to secure sizable loans to her campaign last year, but watchdog groups that filed complaints against the congresswoman say her story still doesn’t add up. Trahan, a Westford Democrat, has been accused by two groups of violating campaign finance laws by loaning her campaign $371,000 in the months ahead of a contentious primary election.”

Eagle Tribune

Cannabis regulators approve first marijuana company sale

From the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett: “The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission greenlighted the first large-scale acquisition under its purview, allowing Sira Naturals to be acquired by Cannabis Strategies Acquisition Corp., a Canadian company. … The vote comes a week after the commission delayed voting on the acquisition, saying that they needed more information about the sale before they could proceed.”

In other commission news, chairman Steve Hoffman says he hopes the CCC can move into it new Worcester headquarters before the end of this years, Shira Schoenberg reports at MassLive.


Down to one: Worcester Magazine lays off editors, leaving editorial staff with just one reporter

We could joke that the last remaining staff writer at Worcester Magazine now has the best job in journalism: No editors overseeing him. But staff reporter Bill Shaner now has to put out a weekly paper by himself – and that’s no joking matter. Melissa Hanson at MassLive has the details on the layoffs of two editors at the publication, leaving Shaner as the sole surviving editorial employee.


Ex-chief medical examiner just fades away …

At least he got a letter explaining the move. From the Globe’s Matt Stout: “The state’s chief medical examiner is phasing out her predecessor, Dr. Henry Nields, from his role as a part-time contractor — a move that has surprised staff in an office that’s struggled to quickly complete death investigations. Dr. Mindy J. Hull, who replaced Nields in October 2017, told him in an e-mail last week that ‘at this time . . . we do not anticipate needing your services’ because the office has been able to hire several new full-time examiners.”

Another mayoral candidate emerges to challenge Springfield’s Sarno

Linda Matys O’Connell, a journalist and activist, has pulled papers to run against Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, becoming the second female candidate who hopes to challenge the long-time incumbent. But O’Connell and Yolanda Cancel both face an immediate daunting task: Collecting 500 signatures by Tuesday at 5 p.m. to appear on the September preliminary-election ballot, reports Matt Szafranski at Western Mass. Politics & Insight.

In other mayoral-election news, via the Patriot Ledger: “School committee chairwoman joins race for Braintree mayor.”


Have a wonderful Memorial Day – and see you next Tuesday

We hope all our MassterList readers have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day weekend. We’ll be taking the Monday holiday off like most everyone else, so we’ll see you all on Tuesday morning.

Sunday public affairs TV: Steven Hoffman, Ed Markey and more

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Steven Hoffman, chair of Cannabis Congrol Commission, who talks with host Jon Keller about recent pot store openings, pilot social consumption plans, and police ticketing smokers at outdoor events.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Martha Sheridan, the new head of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitor Bureau, provides an outlook for the summer season and her priorities for the job; Randall Lyons, executive director of the Mass. Marine Trades Association, discusses the business of boating in Massachusetts; and Jon Chesto of the Boston Globe provides an update on the Encore Boston Harbor project and a new digital-print subscription milestone for the Boston Globe.  

CEO Corner, NECN, 10 a.m. TD Garden president Amy Latimer on what it’s like to run an arena that hosts more than 200 events a year for more than three million people — all while undergoing renovations.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, who talks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu, followed by a discussion of political events with guest analysts.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s topic: Higher learning, with Anthony Benoit, president of Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, and other guests.

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.

NAIOP Massachusetts & SIOR New England

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.

Old North Foundation

NAIOP Bus Tour – The Science of Success: Today’s Development DNA

Jump on board the NAIOP Bus Tour to observe, identify and analyze some of the most exciting office, multifamily, lab and mixed-use developments in Waltham, Watertown, Newton and Needham!

NAIOP Massachusetts

Let’s have Breakfast with Mayor Marty Walsh

Join Mayor Marty Walsh in supporting Operation ABLE, which provides training and employment services for job seekers.

Operation ABLE

Pipeline Partnerships: Early Entry into Talent Development

Pipeline Partnerships: Early Entry into Talent Development. This event is an opportunity to learn about innovative ways businesses, schools and nonprofit partners are working together to educate and prepare a skilled future workforce. Featured Speaker is Rosalin Acosta, Massachusetts Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development.

Apprentice Learning

MSDC Advocacy Day

Please join the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress (MDSC) in celebrating the lives of individuals with Down syndrome and learn about critical policies and funding that will help them to lead meaningful, fulfilling lives at the 6th annual MDSC Advocacy Day on Thursday, June 6 from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in front of the Grand Staircase in the Massachusetts State House.

Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress (MDSC)

Today’s Headlines


Two more Seaport spaces to be filled with buildings – Universal Hub

Neighbors sound off on Encore’s 4 a.m. last call – Boston Herald


Holy Cross professors to demonstrate at graduation – Telegram & Gazette

Clarksburg town administrator resigns after contract dispute with select board – Berkshire Eagle

Brockton apartment proposal geared toward car-less generation – Brockton Enterprise


Poll: Women move up the leader board in Democratic primary – The Hill

Julian Assange indicted under Espionage Act, rising First Amendment concerns – New York Times

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