Happening Today

Sex education, MBTA meeting, and more

— Lawmakers and advocates with the Healthy Youth Act Coalition will gather before am Education Committee hearing in support of a bill requiring public a more ‘comprehensive’ way of teaching sex education; the Education Committee later review the legislation and other bills at a hearing, Room A-1, with pre-hearing gathering at 9:30 a.m., the hearing itself at 10 a.m.

— Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Robert DeLeo plan to join local non-profit and business leaders to celebrate the impacts of non-profits at an event hosted by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, State House, 10 a.m.

— The MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board meets with an agenda calling for discussion of pilot programs, ridership and positive train control, State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 12 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker meets privately with House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Karen Spilka, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and House Minority Leader Brad Jones, Senate President’s Office, 2 p.m.

Mary Connaughton of the Pioneer Institute and former Transportation Secretary James Aloisi talk about transportation issues 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.

Today’s Stories

‘Welcome to the Offshore Gold Rush’

Hey, if the price is right, why not? From Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine: “The Baker administration is pushing ahead with plans to double the procurement of offshore wind power over the next several years, a move that will increase wind’s share of the state’s energy portfolio to 30 percent while locking Massachusetts into long-term contracts for nearly two thirds of its electricity. The announcement was another sign of just how bullish the state is on offshore wind.”

SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) has more on the administration’s move. Meanwhile, the Globe’s Jon Chesto takes a look at the new “offshore gold rush” – and how this newest round of offshore wind contracts may differ from the first.


Riley on New Bedford charter school plan: That’s it, folks

State education commissioner Jeff Riley late last week effectively withdrew his brokered New Bedford charter-school compromise, amid intense acrimony and opposition on Beacon Hill. SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) and CommonWealth magazine’s Michael Jonas have more on Riley’s bring-down-the-curtain move.

Warren swings away in California after getting swung at in New York, figuratively speaking

A lot was happening on the Democratic presidential front over the weekend, involving, of course, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who the Washington Post reports is among the progressive candidates now regularly taking pot shots at moderate front-runner Joe Biden. Meanwhile, the Globe’s Liz Goodwin reports that Warren attracted the largest, and arguably most enthusiastic, crowd at a state Democratic convention in California.

But the Boston Herald, proving we’re still a two-newspaper town, opted to focus on the rough treatment Warren got late last week from a New York radio host over her past claims of Native American heritage, as the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky reports. The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld and the Herald’s Howie Carr are all over the radio host’s comparison of Warren to Rachel Doleful.

Fyi, from Politico: “Inside Warren’s battle plan to win Iowa–and the nomination.” 

Fact-Checking Elizabeth Warren: ‘Maybe … true … exaggerated …’

The New York Times decides to fact check some of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign-trail claims on issues ranging from how much her proposed ultra-millionaire tax will raise to when she first endorsed legalized pot in Massachusetts. The latter most definitely falls into the “exaggerated” category, fyi.


MGM Springfield official blames lack of high rollers for low revenues

At least MGM Springfield is now openly admitting it: Revenues at its new Springfield casino are lower than projected. One of the reasons why? Fewer high rollers than expected are visiting the casino. Dan Glaun at MassLive has the details. h


GateHouse Media to consolidate 50 weekly Massachusetts newspapers into 18

GateHouse Media, which has been in recent talks with Gannett about a possible merger, announced in a classic Friday-night memo dump that, as of this morning, it will be consolidating 50 of its weekly newspapers in Massachusetts into 18 papers, reports Jacqueline Tempera at MassLive, citing a memo first posted online by media critic Dan Kennedy. So just like that – poof! – many towns will lose their long-time local newspapers. 


But it’s a different story at the Berkshire Eagle …

While GateHouse Media relentlessly downsizes its newspaper holdings, Mark Shanahan at the Globe reports that a group of private investors, led by a retired state judge, has performed a mini-miracle at the Berkshire Eagle since they purchased the paper: Print subscriptions are holding steady, digital subscriptions are up, the newsroom staff has been expanded and they’ve even added new sections. Who would have thought? Genuinely caring about the product works!

Boston Globe

Markey renews push to put Massachusetts news back on Berkshires TV

Speaking of the Berkshire news media: A year after a similar push hit a roadblock, U.S. Sen. Edward Markey says he’ll once again push legislation meant to prompt western Massachsuetts cable companies to restore local TV news stations to cable lineups in the Berkshires. Haven Orecchio-Egresitz at the Berkshire Eagle reports Markey plans to raise the issue at a Senate committee hearing this week, saying he continues to hear from residents upset their lineups are dominated by local news programming out of – gasp — New York. 

Berkshire News

Dubious awards: Three Massachusetts government bodies nominated as most secretive in the nation

Massachusetts State Police, district attorneys and court system officials in general: Congratulations! You’re all finalists for the Investigative Reporters and Editors’ Golden Padlock Award, granted annually to the most secretive government agency or individual in these United States. And you’re right up there with Michigan State University, accused of covering up serial sexual abuse by Larry Nassar. Amanda Kaufman at the Globe has the exciting details.

Boston Globe

Massport admits the obvious: Its CEO search committee violated the open meetings law

OK, one more secretive item: Massport officials got caught red-handed last week holding a CEO-search meeting only hours after informing the public that a meeting was being held, rather than advertising the gathering two days in advance. So now an agency spokeswoman is admitting the obvious: Yeah, Massport violated the state’s open meetings law. The Herald’s Marie Szaniszlo has the details.

Boston Herald

Springfield cop charged with assault and filing false report in video-taped high school incident

We’re not sure about the assault charge, but the false-report charge is clearly backed up by the video. From Dan Glaun at MassLive: “The Springfield school resource officer caught on video shoving a High School of Commerce student into a wall has been charged with assault and battery and filing a false report. Officer Angel Marrero’s arrest of the 15-year-old student sparked public outcry in February when video of the confrontation circulated on social media, showing the officer grab the boy by the back of the neck and forcefully push him against the side of a school hallway.”


BPD to launch body-camera program today in Dorchester and Southie

Speaking of police and video cameras: It’s not quite lights, camera, action. But it will include cameras and action today when Boston police roll out the first phase of a city-wide body camera program, starting in Dorchester and South Boston, reports Jennifer Smith at the Dorchester Reporter

Dorchester Reporter

It’s OK to be a Republican in Massachusetts. Really. No kidding

Jeanne Kangas, vice chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, provides a psychological profile of what many newcomers contemplate and experience when they move to Massachusetts from other less-than-blue states: Political repression of one’s true self. But it’s OK, she writes at CommonWealth magazine: “Be Republican. Don’t be intimidated.”


Import products that may get more expensive if tariff war escalates out of control

Greg Ryan at the BBJ takes a look at Massachusetts’ top import products from Mexico, by industry category, that could get a lot more expensive for Bay State consumers and corporations if President Trump’s threatened tariff war indeed erupts. The second category caught out attention in this healthcare-focused state: “Medical and surgical instruments, optic and photo instruments, etc.”


TrooperGate: ‘A full-blown conspiracy’

In an editorial, the Globe says the evidence is in: The State Police OT scandal isn’t about isolated incidents of troopers behaving badly, but rather a “full-blown conspiracy that deserves an equally full-blown investigation and prosecution.” The paper says the feds should heed the advice/hint from U.S. Judge Mark Wolf to start treating the scandal as a RICO-like case.

Boston Globe

Rosenberg and Hunter: Learning to follow an Ikea instruction manual is not learning

Stan Rosenberg, the former Senate president, and Dan Hunter, a playwright, songwriter and teacher, write at CommonWealth magazine that rote learning doesn’t prepare students for an unknown workforce future, comparing it to following an outdated Ikea instruction manual to nowhere. The solution: Teaching creativity.


Ed Markey’s lucky break: Shannon Liss-Riordan

Political columnist Peter Lucas writes at the Herald that, if U.S. Sen. Ed Markey had to have a challenger in the Senate Democratic primary, he’s lucked out that a fellow progressive, Shannon Liss-Riordan, is running against him, not a prominent moderate. And if Markey is really lucky, a second progressive challenger will enter the race, further splitting the anti-incumbent vote, Lucas writes.

Rising tensions: Seven arrested at anti-abortion rally on Boston Common

In the big scheme of things, it was ultimately a small affair, but it’s a small affair that’s representative of the rising tensions over abortion. From Andrew Martinez at the Herald: “A demonstration turned violent Sunday afternoon on the Boston Common when protesters clashed with anti-abortion March for Life demonstrators, leading to seven arrests. … Boston police confirmed seven arrests. The charges and identities of the arrested people were not immediately available.”

Boston Herald

Band of sisters: Female council candidates (two of them rivals) share campaign HQ space

To increase the odds of women winning seats on the Boston City Council, three women of color, led by Councilor Michelle Wu, are sharing their campaign headquarters and other resources. But Wu is taking it a step further: Providing support even for a rival in her own race. The Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert has the details.

Boston Globe

Parking ticket hell: Boston

How bad is it in Boston when it comes to parking tickets? So bad that a young Seattle couple who moved here for graduate school say they had to take out a small loan to pay off their residents-only parking violations, reports the Herald’s Alexi Cohen. In all, the city of Boston last year issued more than 1.38 million parking tickets, raising $61.3 million in revenue, according to a report by a three-reporter team at the Herald.

Cards on the table: Island gambling hall has its day in court

Now, they wait. The immediate future of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head’s push to build a gambling hall on Martha’s Vineyard is in the hands of a federal court judge who had previously ruled against the tribe only to have his ruling overturned by an appeals court. The question now before Judge F. Dennis Saylor is whether the town can require the tribe to follow local permitting rules as it seeks to resume converting a community center into a mini-casino. Josephine Brennan atthe Martha’s Vineyard Times has all the legal details.

Martha’s Vineyard Times

Still watching: Activists, lawmakers say shuttered Pilgrim still requires close scrutiny

Pilgrim Station Nuclear Plant may be done producing electricity following its scheduled shut down last week, but watchdog groups and lawmakers say they’ll continue to scrutinize operations, citing the thousands of spent fuel rods that will remain on site for years to come, Christine Legere reports at the Cape Cod Times. 

Cape Cod Times

BPS Citywide Arts Festival

The Boston Public Schools (BPS) Citywide Arts Festival is a three-day celebration on Boston Common featuring more than 1,1700 BPS student performers and exhibitors.

Boston Public Schools, EdVestors and BPS Arts Expansion

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)

Farming While Black

Join award-winning author, activist, farmer, and co-founder of @soulfirefarm Leah Penniman for a discussion of her new book “Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Guide to Liberation on the Land”. Penniman will share highlights from her book, followed by a Q&A and book signing. Food from @freshfoodgeneration is included courtesy of Boston Medical Center. All proceeds benefit @ufiboston.

Urban Farming Institute

Agrus Enterprise Training

This one day course is designed for new-to-intermediate users of ARGUS Enterprise or anyone who will be responsible for entering leases, budgets, market assumptions or valuation and yield parameters on a repetitive basis.

NAIOP Massachusetts

31st Annual Charitable Golf Tournament Benefiting Heading Home

Join us for NAIOP’s 31st Anniversary Golf Tournament at The International! If you haven’t played there yet, it is a golfer’s paradise that features two award-winning 18-hole golf courses, including The Pines, designed by Robert Trent Jones.

NAIOP Massachusetts

Launching Young Leaders: An Intensive Workshop

For CRE professionals with less than five years business experience.

NAIOP Massachusetts

Suffrage Centennial Kick-Off Celebration

Kicking off a year of commemorations celebrating 100 years since the 19th Amendment was adopted in 1920, enabling women to vote.

The Women’s Suffrage Celebration Coalition of Massachusetts and The Greater Boston Women’s Vote

Today’s Headlines


Tariffs could cost Massport millions on infrastructure project – Boston Herald

Pressley calls UMass Boston grads “President Trump’s worst nightmare” – Boston Globe


Northeastern University submits new Nahant plan to EPA – Lynn Item

Worcester says school board did not violate open meeting law – Telegram & Gazette

Physicians want stricter limits on pot – Gloucester Times


Insurgent Democrats, many of them women, worry a new party policy will block them – New York Times

Pentagon tells WHite House to keep politics away from military – Washington Post

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