Happening Today

Offshore wind conference, MBTA meeting, and more

— Massachusetts General Hospital launches its Center for Gun Violence Prevention, with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Attorney General Maura Healey, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and others expected to attend, Mass General, Bulfinch Tent, 55 Fruit St., Boston, 9 a.m.

— Major players in the offshore wind industry will descend upon Boston for the U.S. Offshore Wind Conference and Expo, with Gov. Charlie Baker scheduled to deliver the day’s keynote address, Boston Marriott Copley Place, 110 Huntington Ave., Boston, wth Baker speaking at 9:30 a.m.,

Massachusetts High Technology Council will hold its annual meeting, with Gov. Charlie Baker and U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy among the scheduled speakers, Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center, Plaza Ballroom, One Seaport Lane, Boston, 11 a.m.

MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board hosts its weekly meeting with an agenda calling for discussion of the new automated fare collection 2.0 system, climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies, a commuter rail zone study and more, State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 12 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Karen Spilka, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and House Minority Leader Brad Jones attend a private State House leadership meeting, Speaker’s Office, 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

David Ortiz shot in Dominican Republic, family expects ‘total recovery’

Here’s a Monday morning shock to the system: Retired Red Sox star David Ortiz was shot in the back yesterday in the Dominican Republic while sitting at an outdoor patio in Santo Domingo. The Globe’s Jaclyn Reiss has more on the shocking incident, while the Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato writes that Big Papi is expected to make a ‘total recovery.’

Universal Hub has a video of the shooting. Pay attention to the circled portion at the very top. It looks like a deliberate hit job of some sort.

Raytheon to merge with United Technologies in blockbuster deal

Has Massachusetts just poached another corporation from Connecticut? Or has it in the long-term potentially lost control of a company that calls Massachusetts home? Those are some of the questions being raised amid the huge news that Waltham’s Raytheon Co. and Connecticut’s United Technologies plan to merge, creating a new defense and aerospace industry colossus. The Globe’s Larry Edelman and Jon Chesto and the New York Times have the details.

The new company will be known as Raytheon Technologies and will be based in the Boston area, company officials say. Yet, as the Globe notes, the new partners may bill the deal as a “merger of equals,” but United Technologies is “clearly the more equal” of the two in terms of control of the company. The AP at the Boston Herald reports the merger will close in the first half of 2020, after United Technologies spins off two of its units.

Boston wins key round in Long Island Bridge battle, but Quincy vows to keep fighting

The state Department of Environmental Protection has handed Boston Mayor Marty Walsh a major victory in his bid to rebuild the Long Island Bridge in Boston Harbor, approving a permit for the controversial project. But Joe DiFazio at the Patriot Ledger says the city of Quincy definitely plans to appeal the DEP decision. The Herald’s Brooks Sutherland, meanwhile, reports that Mayor Thomas P. Koch isn’t wavering in his opposition to the project. “The reality is, Boston has always treated Quincy like a poor stepchild,” Koch said. “There’s a long history of Boston not being kind to their neighbor.”

Patriot Ledger

Another derailment, another ‘wake up’ call for T

There was another T derailment over the weekend, this time injuring 10 people on the Green Line, and the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter reports that activists say it’s yet another “huge wake up call” for the T to get its act together. Meanwhile, the Globe’s John Hilliard reports the T’s is still investigating the Saturday derailment. Cotter reports separately that T officials have ruled out mechanical failure as the cause of the mishap. Meaning it might be the driver? Who knows.

Warren and other Dems’ bold policy ideas: ‘Aspirational to the point of delusional’?

The Globe’s Liz Goodwin and the Washington Post’s Paul Samuelson note all the pricy public policy positions Democratic candidates for president are embracing these days, particularly those proposed by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren. But do they stand a chance of ever being passed? Not really. Samuelson, an economics columnist, says Dems are merely “promoting fairy tales” at this point.

But the bold policy ideas seem to be working for Warren …

They may not have a snowball’s chance in hell of becoming reality, but U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s expensive public-policy proposals definitely seem to be helping her presidential campaign. The NYT reports that Warren is steadily moving up in the polls in Iowa, as Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden’s numbers fall. Meanwhile, the Washington Post says Warren’s campaign is gaining “new momentum” largely as a result of her policy-wonk strategy.

Chris Gabrieli’s ‘blue ATM’ on Beacon Hill

The Globe’s James Pindell reports that there’s a new stop for Dem presidential candidates in the New Hampshire primary: Boston’s Louisburg Square on Beacon Hill. Specifically, Chris Gabrieli’s home, where big donors and political activists have been hosting regular invitation-only, off-the-record sessions with White House hopefuls, as part of the long tradition of Massachusetts acting as a sort of a “blue ATM for progressive and liberal political candidates.”

Boston Globe

Sour grapes? Moulton downplays importance of debate he’ll miss

The Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky reports that U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, who recently put out a social-media appeal for help to qualify for the early presidential debates, is now pooh-poohing the importance of the Dem debates – now that he’s likely to be excluded from them.

Boston Herald

Hampshire College given five months to get its leadership and finances in order – or else

Dusty Christensen at the Daily Hampshire Gazette and Deirdre Fernandes at the Globe report that the New England Commission of Higher Education has given struggling Hampshire College five months to stabilize its finances and school leadership – or it may lose its accreditation.

Brad Pitt to ‘Straight Parade’ organizers: Stop using me as a prop

Actor Brad Pitt is objecting to the use of his name and image by “Straight Pride Parade” organizers, who, very weirdly, have been calling Pitt an honorary “mascot” for the proposed Boston event, reports the Herald’s Alexi Cohan reports. And from the Globe’s Renee Graham’s: “A ‘parade’ of straight white male fragility.”

From Chicago to Framingham: Markey’s fast moving primary challenger

The Globe’s Victoria McGrane reports that Steve Pemberton, a onetime foster kid from New Bedford turned successful executive and author, quickly changed addresses after news started leaking out that he was mulling a potential run against U.S. Sen. Ed Markey. I.e. He stopped calling Chicago home after purchasing an abode in Framingham last month.

Boston Globe

Feds to Merrimack River sewage-plant operators: Clean up your act

The discharge rules can’t come soon enough for downriver communities, we can tell you that. From Christian Wade at at the Salem News: “Regulators are pressing the operators of three sewage treatment systems along the Merrimack River to reduce the bacteria flowing into the river and to issue more timely alerts when raw sewage discharges through aging outfall pipes.”

Salem News

From Whitey, with punditry: Prison letters reveals gangster’s Trump approval

Who knew? James ‘Whitey’ Bulger was a fervent supporter of President Trump and a close follower of conservative media figures, letters written by the late gangster before his murder last fall reveal, NBC News reports. The outlet gained access to a cache of Bulger’s handwritten letters from behind bars and they reveal he was a big fan of Trump’s no-nonsense approach towards things and a critic of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. 

NBC News

Report: Catholic church lobbying against sex abuse laws

Why are we not surprised? From Christian Wade at the Gloucester Times: “The Roman Catholic Church has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years lobbying in Massachusetts, and a new report suggests the effort was aimed at derailing proposals to extend the statute of limitations for survivors of clergy sexual abuse. The report, commissioned by several law firms that represent victims of clergy abuse, found the church has spent more than $10.6 million collectively on lobbying in several northeast states since 2011.”

Gloucester Times

Invisible advice: Springfield casino committee has yet to meet

Is it even a committee if it never meets? A Community Advisory Committee formed as part of the host community agreement between Springfield and the MGM has yet to meet, more than nine months after the casino opened its doors, Peter Goonan reports at MassLive. Community activists want the panel — which can only make recommendations to the city council — to get to work making sure the casino company is keeping promises made to the community ahead of its licensing.


Face it: Facial-recognition technology is spreading faster than privacy-protection laws

From the Herald’s Marie Szaniszlo: “Facial recognition technology is spreading fast in Massachusetts — you may have already been scanned at Logan International Airport, at the Registry of Motor Vehicles, while shopping, and even on the street — giving police a new crime-fighting tool but raising privacy alarms among civil libertarians.”  

Szaniszlo has a sidebar piece on attempts to limit the spread of the technology, including legislation on Beacon Hill filed by Sen. Cynthia Creem and Rep. David Rogers.

Boston Herald

Medical errors are costing the state hundreds of millions a year

Here’s another thing the medical community might want to focus on moving forward. From the Globe’s Liz Kowalczyk. “In Massachusetts, a state that prides itself on its top-quality health care, 20 percent of residents have experienced a recent medical error, and most of them said they ‘still feel abandoned or betrayed by their doctor,’’ a new survey shows. Researchers also calculated that errors in the state totaled 61,982 in one single year and that it cost $617 million to provide the follow-up care.”

Boston Globe

Hydro power: Let’s do it right

Like Amy Boyd and Deborah Donovan at CommonWealth magazine, we’re fans of increased use of hydro power in Massachusetts. But Boyd and Donovan make good points about how easily the import of hydro power from Quebec could turn into an energy-import shell game if the state isn’t careful about how it words clean-energy laws and regulations.


State’s 911: Still not connecting

Globe correspondent Peter DeMarco, whose wife died from an asthma attack three years ago after frantically calling 911 from outside Somerville Hospital, personally tested the 911 system from the exact same spot in Somerville — and found the system still fails to accurately and/or quickly pinpoint where an emergency call is coming from, he writes at the Globe.

Surprise pick: Anti-poverty advocate tapped to host WBUR’s ‘Radio Boston’

Tiziana Dearing, a longtime anti-poverty advocate and past commentator on WBUR and its website, is the somewhat surprise pick to host WBUR’s “Radio Boston,” the station’s daily flagship show. The BBJ’s Gintautas Dumcius has the details.


VA denies home loan to disabled Army veteran due to his pot-shop job

This story was posted online a week ago but only appeared in print this morning, i.e. Naomi Martin’s Globe article about a Revere couple with two kids getting denied a VA home loan due to the fact one of them, a disabled Army veteran, has a job as an assistant manager at a licensed cannabis store. As Martin notes: “The man’s experience highlights one of the many ways that federal cannabis prohibition harms veterans who either consume marijuana or work in the marijuana industry. “

Medford students unveil memorial for unmarked graves of slaves

Gives these kids an ‘A’ for effort. From Sharon Brody and Hannah Chanatry at WBUR: “A memorial honoring about 50 slaves believed to be buried in unmarked graves in a Medford cemetery was unveiled Saturday at the site historians consider to be one of the oldest standing slave quarters in the northern U.S. The ceremony for the large grey memorial stone at Salem Street Burying Ground was organized by Medford Public Schools students in the Center For Citizenship & Social Responsibility.”


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

Author Talk and Book Signing with Christine M. DeLucia

History professor and author Christine M. DeLucia will speak about her recent book, Memory Lands: King Philip’s War and the Place of Violence in the Northeast.

State Library of 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


Newbury College is having a closeout sale – WBUR

Glenda Colon to become first hispanic principal in Lynn schools – Lynn Item


Former Worcester Mayor Murray’s portrait unveiled – Telegram & Gazette

Pedal bus hits the rail trail, causing some concerns – Daily Hampshire Gazette

Springfield Rep. Carlos Gonzalez fined for shoddy campaign finance record keeping – MassLive

Sheffield keeps its word, removes disputed UFO marker – Berkshire Eagle


NRA money flowed to board members amid allegedly lavish spending by top officials and vendors – Washington Post

How Trump Could Be Prosecuted After the White House – Politico

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