Digital Health, Wollaston Station, and more
— An interview that Gov. Charlie Baker did with WGBH host Joe Mathieu on Friday airs this morning, covering transportation, education, the 2020 presidential race first and other issues, WGBH-FM 89.7, 7:20 a.m. and 9:20 a.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack, MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak and legislative leaders celebrate the reopening of Wollaston Station, 53 Woodbine Street, Quincy, 9:30 a.m.
— Massachusetts Biotechnology Council hosts its first-ever Digital Health Impact event, a day-long conference discussing digital health and challenges facing the industry, with Gov. Charlie Baker speaking at mid-day, InterContinental Boston, 510 Atlantic Ave., Boston, 12:30 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, Governor’s Office, 2 p.m.
— Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins is a guest on ‘Radio Boston,’ WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m.
— Former Rep. Byron Rushing introduces a 30th-anniversary screening of ‘Glory,’ the Academy Award-winning film about the first northern military unit composed of black soldiers during the Civil War, Boston Common Parade Grounds, 7:30 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.
Like dominoes: Top aide takes leave, zoning board member resigns amid bribery scandal
Story No. 1 from the Globe’s Milton’s Valencia and Tim Logan: “Top Walsh aide to take leave amid bribery investigation.” Story No. 2 from Valencia and Logan, not to be confused with Story No. 1: “Zoning board member resigns amid bribery scandal.”
Meanwhile, things are starting to get rather testy between Mayor Walsh and Michelle Wu over ZBA-related matters, as the BBJ reports.
‘Dumb as bricks’: Fall River mayor faces yet more charges, the latest for shaking down pot firms
Speaking of scandals, we’ll just go with Bruce Mohl’s lead at Common Wealth Magazine: “U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling on Friday accused Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II of running the city as a ‘pay-to-play institution,’ using the leverage provided by the state’s marijuana law to shake down marijuana vendors for hundreds of thousands of dollars in return for approvals they needed to advance their projects.”
And, yes, it’s the same Fall River mayor already facing federal charges of defrauding investors in a startup he launched, as Mohl writes. All of which prompts the Globe’s Yvonne Abraham to wonder if Correia is as “dumb as bricks.” The Herald’s Howie Carr says it’s a case of “amateur hour” in Fall River.
The Herald Review’s Peter Jasinski reports the latest charges against the mayor are sparking calls for revamping city government in Fall River. Maybe they should start with the city’s recall-election system? Just a thought.
The state’s pot law: Ripe for ‘petty corruption’
The BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett (pay wall) and the Herald’s Alexi Cohan and Joe Dwinell report how U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling and others say the arrest of Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia for allegedly shaking down pot entrepreneurs was merely a corruption case waiting to happen, thanks to the state law that allows local pols to negotiate “community agreements” before pot licenses are issued. In Worcester, from the Telegram: “Local officials walk fine line in search of marijuana pot of gold.”
‘Andrew Lelling sort of runs Boston right now’
The Boston Calling verdicts. Judge Shelley Joseph. The City Hall bribery scandal. The Fall River mayoral indictments. Yeah, you can say U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling is sort of running things these days, writes the Globe’s Adrian Walker.
Pressley: From City Hall to Capitol Hill to City Hall?
There’s far-fetched. Then there’s far far-fetched. The Herald’s Hillary Chabot is floating the idea of U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley possibly running for mayor in 2021, potentially challenging a vulnerable Mayor Marty Walsh, assuming he decides to run again. It’s not that far-fetched. But check out the last two words of Chabot’s column about Pressley’s potential long-term ambitions (i.e. “Oval Office”). Now that’s far-fetched.
Poll: Kennedy comfortably leads in match-up against Markey
U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III told WBZ’s Jon Keller over the weekend that he’s still mulling a potential primary race against U.S. Sen. Ed Markey but he’s “encouraged” by what he’s hearing. Well, here’s more encouragement, via the Globe’s Matt Stout, who reports that a new Suffolk/Globe poll shows Kennedy leading Markey by 9 points in a possible matchup – and the lead grows if were to become a one-on-one contest.
If he runs, there’s no shortage of candidates to fill Kennedy’s seat
David Bernstein at WGBH has lots and lots of names of potential candidates for Joseph Kennedy III’s U.S. House seat should he decide to run for U.S. Senate. The most interesting name at the top of the list (and others’ lists, too): Treasurer Deb Goldberg.
Sudbury to start spraying for mosquitoes after 5-year-old girl contracts EEE
It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. A 5-year-old Sudbury girl has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis, just the latest confirmed EEE case in Massachusetts, and now Sudbury will start spraying for mosquitoes today to try to avert more tragedies. Fausto Menard at WBUR has the details. Meanwhile, the AP at CBS Boston reports that U.S. Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren are pressing federal health officials for more research efforts to combat EEE.
Splash down: Historic Mayflower II floating again after restoration
Dave Kindy at the Patriot Ledger reports that the Mayflower II is once again floating on water after undergoing an extensive three-year restoration in Connecticut. Next stop: Plymouth (we presume).
Standing out: Warren surging in N.H., Mass. and nationally
Of all the Dem presidential candidates at this past weekend’s New Hampshire Democratic Party Convention, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren received the most enthusiastic response, reports the NYT. The Globe’s James Pindellconfirms that Warren is indeed doing rather well in the Granite State, though there’s still Joe Biden to contend with in the Granite State.
Warren is also faring better in Massachusetts these days, following a humiliating poll last spring showing she might not even win in her own state. But that was then and this is now, reports Christina Prignano at the Globe. Nationally, she’s running second among Dem presidential candidates, now narrowly ahead of Bernie, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll.
Warren: She was for big money before she was against it
The NYT’s Shane Goldmacher reports that U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s early and energetic pursuit of big campaign donations is paying off, effectively allowing her to launch her campaign for president with big money and then allowing her to swear off big money once she hit cruising speed. In other words: She was for big money before she was against it.
Weld slams efforts to cancel GOP primaries to ensure Trump nomination
Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld will soon have more company on the GOP campaign trail for president, with former Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina saying on Sunday that he also intends to challenge President Trump for the Republican nomination, the NYT reports. But the question is: Where will they run? The Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter reports Weld is slamming the president’s allies for cancelling Republican primary contests in a number of states.
Wampanoag Tribe set for first recall election in history
The stage is set. Years of internal squabbling and dissatisfaction are likely to come to a head next Sunday when the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe holds a recall election that could see the tribal Chairman Cedric Cromwell and Treasurer Gordon Harris both removed from office, Tanner Stening reports at the Cape Cod Times.
Baker’s supplemental budget includes funds for water-contamination inspections and fixes
Besides his previously reported $175 million tax relief proposal (SHNS – pay wall), Gov. Charlie Baker is proposing using some of the state’s budget surplus to step up inspections of town and city water supplies for possible contamination from the family of chemicals known as polyfluoroalkyl, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan.
MIT Media Lab chief finally quits after report he tried to hide extent of financial ties to Jeffrey Epstein
Score one for the New Yorker magazine. The head of the MIT Media Lab, Joichi Ito, who previously apologized profusely for his financial ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, finally resigned over the weekend after a devastating article at the New Yorker about how he concealed the true extent of his financial dealings with the late financier. The Globe and the NYT have the details on Ito’s resignation.
‘Running out of legal theories’
Maybe there’s one last Hail Mary the taxi industry can throw? From the Globe’s John Hilliard: “A federal judge in Boston handed a win to Uber, legal experts said Sunday, by rejecting a complaint from area taxi companies that the ride-hail giant violated the state’s consumer protection law by operating in Boston during a three-year period starting in mid-2013. … Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, said the ruling means taxi companies ‘are running out of legal theories’ to use against ride-hail companies.”
SJC to hear online sales tax case
This is a big one not just for the software industry. Theoretically, it could blow the door wide open for sales taxes on a wide variety of services and products. From Christian Wade at the Salem News: “The Supreme Judicial Court is set to take up a case that could determine whether certain online software companies are required to pay the state’s 6.25 % sales tax. In a lawsuit, Florida-based Citrix Systems Inc. argues that its online products — GoToAssist, GoToMeeting and GoToMyPC — aren’t considered ‘tangible personal property’ under state law and shouldn’t be subject to the sales levy.”
UMass Amherst to spend $20M to replace two student apartment complexes
From the AP at Western Mass News: “The University of Massachusetts Amherst is moving ahead with a $200 million project to replace two aging student apartment complexes with more modern units. The university will seek proposals from private developers to construct the housing at the site of the current 115-unit Lincoln Apartments and the 170-unit North Village apartments. North Village is occupied mostly by graduate students with families.”
Facing his own challenge, Lynch decries Democratic primary frenzy
Can’t we all just get along? U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch says Democrats are “playing right into Trump’s hands” by launching challenges against incumbents and urged the party to focus on unity heading into the next election cycle, Ben Berke reports at the Enterprise.
Methuen DPW worker promoted after suing mayor
File under: ‘Getting a promotion the hard way.’ A worker in the Methuen Department of Public Works has been promoted — and given a $30,000 raise — after suing Mayor James Jajuga, Breanna Edelstein reports at the Eagle-Tribune. Daniel Tulley claimed he was blocked from the better gig by Jajuga because Tulley’s stepson, a city councilor, criticized the mayor. While the terms of the settlement of the suit were not disclosed, Tulley is now in his new, at $98K a year.
Deadly delay? Hands-free advocates say legislature must act fast
Iron out the details already. Advocates pushing for lawmakers to pass a bill banning the use of handheld devices by drivers say continued legislative delays could cost lives, Monica Sager reports at the MetroWest Daily News. Lawmakers say they are almost there — all that remains is to find the right language.
Policy Breakfast Highlighting Fail First Reform in Massachusetts
Join us for a breakfast to learn about fail first policies impacting patients in Massachusetts. Delayed treatment can mean disease progression. That’s why “fail first” reform for patients with arthritis, cancer, Crohn’s and colitis, and other chronic diseases is so critical.
Stone Social Impact Forum
Innovative education leader Geoffrey Canada, president and founder of Harlem Children’s Zone, is the inaugural speaker for the Stone Social Impact Forum, a new signature series highlighting civic change agents who advance social change and innovatively address areas of inequality in our society.
The Somerville Surge
Join NAIOP for a deep dive into the transformative projects underway in Somerville, including Assembly Row, Boynton Yards, Union Square and more.
Author Talk and Book Signing with Anthony Abraham Jack
Author talk and book signing with Dr. Anthony Abraham Jack, who will be speaking about the overlooked diversity among lower-income students in our colleges and universities.
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