College closures, Climate resiliency, and more
— Board of Higher Education meets for a possible vote authorizing Higher Education Commissioner Carlos Santiago to solicit public comments on proposed regulations related to sudden college closures, UMass Boston, Alumni Lounge, Campus Center, 2nd Flood, 100 Morrissey Blvd., Boston, 10 a.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker and Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Director Samantha Phillips participate in the MEMA 2019 All-Hazards Emergency Management Conference, Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel, Royal Ballroom, 181 Boston Post Road West, Marlborough, 10:30 a.m.
— The Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses holds a hearing on small business bills, including legislation that would create a commission to study journalism in ‘underserved communities,’ Room B-1, 11 a.m.
— The Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development will consider 44 bills related to wages, tips and overtime, Room B-1, 1 p.m.
— Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy holds a hearing on about two dozen municipal bills, including a bill filed on behalf of Speaker Robert DeLeo to create a $1 billion environmental grant program that would fund municipal efforts to build renewable-energy infrastructure and invest in climate resiliency programs, Hearing Room A-1, 1 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker and Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Kathleen Theoharides offer testimony before the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Revenue about climate-change infrastructure investments, Room B-2, 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.
T rejects Walsh’s call for fare hike freeze in wake of derailment
Mayor Marty Walsh was on the Twitter warpath yesterday, demanding that the T put off a planned fare hike next month until train service is fully restored after last week’s Red Line derailment, reports the Globe’s Matt Stout and the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter. Transit officials have rejected the demand.
Walsh has also called for the city to have greater say in T operations – and this one could get interesting on Beacon Hill over coming months with the current oversight board’s term set to expire next year.
Btw: Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine reports how the T is now focusing on the train itself as the possible cause of the Rail Line derailment. Meanwhile, from SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall): “MBTA also launching systemwide safety review.” Finally, from the Globe’s Joan Vennochi: “Wanted for the T: more urgency and empathy from Baker.”
The Beacon Hill abortion debate: Not as ‘cut and dry’ as it appears
Pro- and anti-abortion activists descended on the State House yesterday for a public hearing on legislation that would expand abortion rights in Massachusetts – with plenty of passionate and sometimes over-the-top rhetoric flying around. MassLive’s Shira Schoenberg and the Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert have the details.
But WGBH’s Mike Deehan reports that the “politics of the bill, and what an eventual law may look like, aren’t as cut and dry” as portrayed by opposing sides in the debate. Think: “Moderate to conservative Democrats.” And one can add, via Shira Schoenberg at MassLive, a certain pro-choice corner-office occupant: “Gov. Charlie Baker ‘concerned’ about ROE Act’s expansion of abortion access.”
The ‘Serious Contenders’ List: Bernie, Warren and Biden make it
WGBH’s David Bernstein lays out the odds, as he sees them, of Democratic presidential candidates making it to the “serious contenders” stage of the primary process next winter. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden make the cut. Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg are “on the bubble.” And Seth Moulton? Well, at least he’s not in David’s “no apparent path” category.
Elizabeth Warren’s ‘radical’ and ‘serious’ plans …
Yet two more stories on U.S. Sen. Elizabeth’s flood of public policy pronouncements of late. From Robert E. Scott at the NYT: “Elizabeth Warren’s Radical Plan to Fix the Dollar.” It’s actually a very good policy-wonk column that explains a complicated issue quite well – and if Warren’s dollar plan is indeed radical, then Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan were also radicals. Scott explains. Also, from the NYT’s Emily Bazelon: “Elizabeth Warren is completely serious.” It’s a puff-piece rehash of Warren’s populist economic views, but it’s a pretty good puff-piece rehash.
Hopkinton eyes Cooperstown-like hall of fame for marathon runners
This is a great idea, i.e. a proposed International Marathon Center in Hopkinton, where the Boston Marathon begins every year, with a hall of fame, interactive exhibits, conference room, etc., sort of like baseball’s Cooperstown. Jonathan Phelps at MetroWest Daily News has more on the town’s preliminary moves to establish a new marathon center.
Somerville mayor sues Barstool Sports for interview in which host pretended he was a Globe columnist
From Adam Gaffin at Universal Hub: “Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone sued Barstool Sports and contributor Kirk Minihane (on Monday) for an interview about the Barstool/Bruins towel controversy he claims Minihane conducted without his permission – while pretending to be the Globe’s Kevin Cullen.”
Curtatone is suing under the state’s anti-wiretap law. Which raises the question: Do recent court rulings on secret recordings, including this federal decision, apply in this case? Probably not. But you have to wonder if, sooner or later, these gotcha-type interviews will become the norm as secret-recording laws are weakened.
Bayside Expo developers buy Santander site for $110M
This is an interesting development over by UMass-Boston. From Jennifer Smith at the Dorchester Reporter: “The developers of the former Bayside Expo Center site are expanding their footprint around Columbia Point. Accordia Partners and Ares Capital closed on the 2 Morrissey Blvd. property, currently home to a Santander Bank, on Monday. … According to Suffolk Registry of Deeds records, the new owners of 2 Morrissey paid $110,000,000 for the parcels, which include five buildings and a total of 425,000 rentable square feet.”
Speaking of developments, Tim Logan at the Globe has an update on the planned redevelopment of the Suffolk Downs racetrack – and how residents and developers don’t exactly see eye to eye on what can and should be built at the site after the racetrack officially closes this summer.
Harvard rescinds admissions for Parkland student over racist comments, conservatives cry foul
Alyssa Vaugh at Boston Magazine reports that Harvard University has yanked its acceptance of Kyle Kashuv, a survivor of the 2018 Parkland, Florida school shooting, over racist remarks he made when he was 16 years old – despite Kashuv’s profuse apologies. Harvard’s move is being blasted in conservative circles because Kashuv was one of the few survivors to call for gun rights after the shooting – while other students, like David Hogg, called for more gun controls. Hogg has been accepted to Harvard.
From the NYT’s David Brooks: “These days many people seem to think that the way to prove virtue is by denouncing and shunning, not through mercy and rigorous forgiveness. Harvard could have but didn’t take the truth-and-reconciliation approach — confronting the outrage, but trying to use it to get to a deeper eventual embrace.”
A hundred thousand visitors at Sunday’s casino opening? Don’t bet on it
CommonWealth magazine’s Bruce Mohl reports that the state’s highway administrator is preparing for possibly 100,000 visitors at Sunday’s grand opening of the new Everett casino, but Wynn Resorts, while obviously hoping the state is right, says it’s actually anticipating around 20,000 to 30,000.
Despite solid spring numbers, MGM Springfield’s cash flow still below pre-opening predictions
Speaking of casino projections, Jim Kinney at MassLive reports that MGM Springfield saw an encouraging 2.4 percent bump in gross gambling revenues last month, but the new casino’s cash flow is still well below pre-opening projections.
But the revenue picture is looking a little brighter at the Plainridge Park Casino, which had its best May in three years, bringing in $14.8 million in gross gaming revenue, Jim Hand reports at the Sun Chronicle.
SJC to state agencies: Think of the ‘public interest’ when assessing records requests
When weighing public versus private interests on record requests, the latter usually prevails in terms of government bodies looking out for themselves. So we question if this will really make a difference. From the Globe’s John Ellement: “The state’s high court Monday instructed state agencies to broaden their understanding of the ‘public interest’ when deciding requests under the state’s public record law, a ruling that increases the grounds the public can invoke when fighting to get information released to them.”
Message sent: State may step in as towns reject regional school budget
Upset that the school district is keeping savings realized through the closure of an elementary school, four towns in the Pioneer Valley Regional School District shot down the district’s proposed budget at town meetings Monday, setting the stage for state officials to assert fiscal control for at least the time being, Max Marcus reports at the Greenfield Reporter. Some towns also took a protest vote against the new contract approved for the shrinking regional district’s superintendent.
A chance to vent: Compressor station critics blast plan in Lynch-arranged hearing
They came, they listened, but will it matter? The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration last night heard from Weymouth residents and officials alike who want a proposed natural gas compressor station moved because it allegedly poses a risk to thousands people in a densely populated area, Jessica Trufant reports at the Patriot Ledger. U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch arranged the hearing in the hopes of pressuring federal officials to reconsider the plan, though the immediate impact is probably zero: The agency oversees existing facilities and is not directly responsible for those in the permitting pipeline.
Walsh announces pilot program to distribute free menstrual products in schools
From the Globe’s Ysabelle Kempe: “Mayor Martin J. Walsh has taken a stance in the fight for accessible menstrual products, rolling out a pilot program providing free tampons and pads to all 77 Boston Public Schools serving students in grades 6 through 12. While touted as a step forward by Walsh and Interim Boston Public School Superintendent Laura Perille, some have already criticized the attempt as inadequate.”
Springfield council approves $450K for police brutality settlement
They’re paying for at least one of the controversies swirling around the SPD these days. From Peter Goonan at MassLive: “The City Council on Monday approved spending $450,000 to resolve a police brutality case in which a jury previously ruled the city was ‘deliberately indifferent to the civil rights of its citizens.’”
Going for two: Easthampton’s LaChapelle to seek re-election
She’s running, again. Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle officially launched a bid for a second two-year term in an election that could feature the city’s first-ever pass at ranked-choice voting, Dusty Christensen reports at the Daily Hampshire Gazette. If state lawmakers act in time, voters in November could also adopt ranked-choice voting and choose to double the length of mayoral terms to four years.
Cambridge Crossing Street Unveiling Ceremony
Join DivcoWest, Mayor Marc McGovern and other distinguished guests to celebrate the ceremonial unveiling of Jacobs Street and Morgan Avenue at Cambridge Crossing. The new street names will not only improve wayfinding in the area, they pay homage to Harriet A. Jacobs and Gertrude Wright Morgan, prominent African-American women with ties to the City who were involved in the suffrage movement.
Launching Young Leaders: An Intensive Workshop
For CRE professionals with less than five years business experience.
Boston Unity Cup – Kick Off Party
Boston Unity Cup is a citywide World Cup style adult soccer tournament powered by the City of Boston and Mayor Walsh to bring together Boston’s diverse and immigrant communities around the shared passion for sport. Join us for a live viewing of the Women’s World Cup knockout round match (teams to be determined), meet the teams and event organizers, and learn more about the tournament weekend.
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
Sick of plane noise, strangers join together to fight the FAA – Boston Herald
Designing a neighborhood from scratch: The stakes are high at Suffolk Downs – Boston Globe
Springfield city council approves $450,000 for police brutality settlement – MassLive
Statewide group pushing ‘save the bees’ legislation – Gloucester Times
Shuttered Papa Gino’s in Framingham to become marijuana shop – MetroWest Daily News
Trump interview on ABC was a ratings bust – Politico
Pentagon sending 1,000 more U.S. troops to Middle East – NPR
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