Happening Today

Film tax credit, State of the State, and more

— Municipal officials visit the State House to tout the benefits of the state’s film tax credit and call for elimination of a sunset clause, with Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera among those expected to attend, Room 428, 10:30 a.m.

Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers holds a legislative luncheon and will honor Rep. Josh Cutler as one of its Legislators of the Year, Great Hall, 10:30 a.m.

Senate Global Warming and Climate Change Committee meets to hear recommendations for a climate bill from the Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions, Room 222, 12:30 p.m.

Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs holds a hearing on legislation that would establish a medal of loyalty for the next of kin of service members who died, or later died of injuries, while in the line of duty, Hearing Room B-2, 2 p.m.

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate launches its new ‘Citizen’s Senate’ program, which aims to highlight moments in American history when citizens have compelled the U.S. Senate to act, EMK Institute, 210 Morrissey Blvd., Boston, 6:30 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker delivers his State of the State address in the House chamber, House Chamber, 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

In case you missed it …

MassterLIst indeed came out yesterday. If you missed it, check out our Monday web page, where we were aggregating and curating away on Bernie’s electability, Alan Dershowitz’s legacy, Green Line trolley cars for sale and that caught-on-camera photo of a city official allegedly accepting a $5K (all cash) bribe. …


Poll: It’s Biden-Sanders in NH, with Warren dropping fast

This just in from the Globe’s Victoria McGrane: “Senator Bernie Sanders has the slimmest of leads among a knot of four top presidential contenders, with Senator Elizabeth Warren dropping to the rear of the top tier amid significantly weaker support among men than she enjoyed two months ago, according to a Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll of likely New Hampshire Democratic primary voters.”

The Globe has all the NH numbers. But the Hill has some interesting Iowa numbers that show Warren doing rather well. 

Boston Globe

About ‘that rant’ …

It’s a little over dramatized but it’s fun, so we’ll go with Sean Philip Cotter’s Herald lead on this one: “Gov. Charlie Baker clumsily stepped into controversy again — and is taking heat from top elected officials for calling U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s identity politics speech a ‘rant’ in a cringeworthy moment that drew groans and gasps at Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast.”

There were no shortage of folks jumping on the “rant” remark. But the Globe’s Matt Stout reports Baker later apologized to Pressley and her office had no further comment on the rant-reference matter. Btw: The Herald has a full list of Baker’s past gaffes, though some of them are not really gaffes per se.

Boston Herald

Baker’s agenda tonight: Education, transportation, housing, climate change etc.

Speaking of the governor, Michelle Williams at MassLive reviews the topics Gov. Baker will likely cover during his State of the State address tonight on Beacon Hill. These lines caught our attention: “Baker is expected to lay out the first year of potential spending under the education plan. The governor is also expected to discuss means to invest in transportation projects to reduce congestion. “


Democratic feuding update: Bernie’s self-exploding cigars …

Back to the Democratic presidential race, U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders set aside their electability dispute yesterday, marching arm in arm at a Martin Luther King Jr. event in South Carolina, as the NYT reports. But Bernie found himself in yet another dispute – or actually multiple disputes – with Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden and one of them exploded in his face like a prank cigar. From the Washington Post: “Sanders apologizes to Biden for supporter’s op-ed alleging corruption.”

Meanwhile, from the NYT’s Paul Krugman: “The Sanders campaign has flat-out lied about things Biden said in 2018 about Social Security, and it has refused to admit the falsehood.” 

Rotten tomatoes: NYT’s double-endorsement gets panned left and right

The reviews are in and the critics are having a field day with the NYT’s rather odd (cough, cough) double endorsement of both Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, an event that the NYT treated as if it was announcing the Oscar winners. …. From CNN: “The New York Times utterly confusing 2020 endorsement.” … From the New Republic: “The New York Times’s Endorsement Charade.” … From NY Magazine: “All the Problems with the New York Times’s Televised Endorsement Special.” … From Vanity Fair: “The New York Times splits their endorsement, pleasing no one and inspiring Twitter bonanaza.” … From Variety magazine: “The New York Times’ Made-for-TV Endorsement Missed the Mark.” … And last but not least, from Boston’s very own Joe Battenfeld at the Herald: “New York Times’ laugh-out-loud ‘endorsement’ wants anyone but a man.”

Dershowitz: ‘It’s like I’m playing special teams in the Super Bowl’

At WGBH, Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz explains his role as a constitutional expert on President Trump’s impeachment-trial legal team. “I have a limited but important role: as somebody analogized, it’s like I’m playing special teams in the Super Bowl,” he tells anchor Arun Rath, who has more on the Dersh.  


UMass Boston eyes redevelopment of old pumping station site

The Herald’s Erin Tiernan reports that UMass-Boston is looking to do more redevelopment deals, this time asking developers for proposals to rehab the historic Calf Pasture Pumping Station on Columbia Point, as part of a “public-private partnership” that could include a new admissions center, theater, boutique hotel, restaurants and shops etc.

Boston Herald

The urgent push to regulate urgent care facilities despite lack of urgent problems?

The Globe’s Priyanka Dayal McCuskey reports on the push to license urgent care facilities in Massachusetts. Why? Well, because … because … they’re currently not licensed! And because … because … there’s no standard definition of them! … OK, we’re being a little bit unfair. But not too unfair, since few specific medical and financial problems are cited when it comes to those touting more regulations. Read the article. Decide for yourself.

Boston Globe

Seeing the health-care bureaucracy up close and personal

Before lawmakers slap new regulations on urgent care clinics, they might want to take a gander at Carey Goldberg’s excellent piece at WBUR on heavily regulated and licensed hospitals in Massachusetts, specifically Tufts Medical Center, where the CEO recently gave Goldberg a literal tour of the bureaucracy there and compared it (unfavorably) to what he found when he worked at a Toronto hospital. Lots of jaw-dropping stats on the bureaucracy are provided. But at least they’re licensed! We know that.


Not fake news: Judge dismisses Somerville mayor’s suit over fake interview

Spencer Buell at Boston Magazine reports that a state judge has thrown out a lawsuit by Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone against Barstool Sports personality Kirk Minihane, who duped Curtatone into thinking he was talking to Globe columnist Kevin Cullen. The judge’s bottom line: Curtatone at least knew he was being recorded. Our bottom line: We almost hoped Curtatone prevailed, if only to discourage similar cheap stunts.

Boston Magazine

Civil War sword awarded to soldier by Abraham Lincoln put up for auction

George Barnes at the Telegram reports that a sword once awarded by President Abraham Lincoln to a Union solider will be auction off in Worcester. The sword is from an estate in the Boston area. No potential price is mentioned, but Lincoln items often fetch big bucks. And so …


Western Massachusetts to Greater Boston’s rescue?

The Globe’s Joan Vennochi toured parts of western Massachusetts with state Sen. Eric Lesser acting as her guide, and she came away convinced Lesser is largely right: The solution for Boston’s housing and traffic congestion problems lies west, as in “western Massachusetts,” that distant and mysterious land somewhere beyond Worcester where no high-speed trains travel and where housing is reportedly cheap and plentiful.

Boston Globe

The battle for Hampshire County

Speaking of western Massachusetts, Matt Szafranski at Western Massachusetts Politics & Insight reports that Hampshire County may be Ed Markey country (lots of students, climate change, etc.), but Joseph Kennedy isn’t conceding ground and votes in the U.S. Senate primary race. 

Fyi: Another battle is brewing out west, with Springfield councilor Adam Gomez announcing he plans to once again challenge state Sen. James Welch, Szafranski reports separately.


How to improve T service in three easy steps

Speaking of transit matters, Ari Ofsevit of TransitMatters offers up three suggestions on how the MBTA can improve its current “sub-optimal service” when it shuts down stations for weekend repairs and shuttles passengers around every which way.


Judge halts deportation of Iranian student attending Northeastern

This issue flared up rather quickly last night, as more than 100 activists descended on Logan Airport to protest the planned deportation of an Iranian student attending Northeastern University. Sarah Betancourt at CommonWealth reports a judge has temporarily blocked the deportation for 48 hours until a federal court hearing is held this morning.


The debate over letting 16-year-olds vote is getting a little partisan

The Herald’s Marky Markos has the latest on the debate over lowering the voting age in municipal elections to 16, a topic expected to be discussed tomorrow at a legislative hearing on Beacon Hill. The article doesn’t say so explicitly, but the emerging partisan battle lines are generally becoming clear: Dems, for; Republicans, against. However, the Herald’s Hillary Chabot does note that, outside political circles, polls show a vast majority of state residents oppose the idea, particularly parents.

Back for more: Former Quincy mayor will run for Norfolk county sheriff

Once a politician, always a politician? Bill Phelan, who served three terms as mayor of Quincy last decade, says he’ll challenge Norfolk County Sheriff Jerome McDermott in November, Jim Hand reports at the Sun Chronicle. At least two others have expressed interest in the race, so Phelan, a Democrat, may have to win a primary before going up against the GOP’s McDermott.  

Sun Chronicle

Tiny bottles, big problem: Lawmakers to take up nip legislation

As state lawmakers prepare to hear testimony on a nearly three-year-old proposal by a Cape lawmaker to add single-serving alcohol bottles–aka nips–to the state’s bottle deposit law, one Bourne select board member wants the state to go even further: Completely banning sales of the mini-booze bottles, Beth Treffeisen reports at the Cape Cod Times. 

Cape Cod Times

Cue the lobbyists: Hopkinton mulls limiting tobacco-sales licenses

The town of Hopkinton is considering following the lead of other communities that have limited the number of licenses available to sell tobacco products — and the town’s health director is bracing for strong push back from lobbyists and lawyers for tobacco companies and convenience-store owners alike, Henry Schwan reports at the MetroWest Daily News. 

Metro West Daily News

Open (and shut?): Romney says he’s undecided heading into impeachment trial

He’s persuadable. At least he says he is. Former Mass. governor and current Utah Sen. Mitt Romney claims his mind is wide open as the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump begins, telling constituents he will “put political biases aside” and “thoroughly review facts and evidence,” Jordain Carney reports at The Hill. Romney has called the allegations that Trump abused his office “very serious” but also says he’s on board with the GOP’s plan to delay a vote on calling witnesses until after opening arguments. 

The Hill

Condition of Education in the Commonwealth

The Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy is hosting a discussion on the status of education in Massachusetts. The event will explore the latest data on educational progress in the Commonwealth and look at innovative approaches to measuring student success. Education Secretary James Peyser and Commissioner of Early Education and Care Samantha Aigner-Treworgy will be among the speakers.

Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy

Boston Speaker Series: Douglas Brinkley

An award-winning historian, Brinkley has written on a wide range of topics, including D-Day, Hurricane Katrina, President Kennedy, and the Great Space Race and the lives of Ronald Reagan, Bob Dylan and Walter Cronkite. Brinkley serves as a CNN Presidential Historian, and as a contributing editor at Vanity Fair.

Lesley University

Boston Speaker Series: Douglas Brinkley

An award-winning historian, Brinkley has written on a wide range of topics, including D-Day, Hurricane Katrina, President Kennedy, and the Great Space Race and the lives of Ronald Reagan, Bob Dylan and Walter Cronkite. Brinkley serves as a CNN Presidential Historian, and as a contributing editor at Vanity Fair.

Lesley University

The Impact of Latinos in Massachusetts

The Impact of Latinos in Massachusetts incorporates a dialogue with executive leaders around the buying power and impact of Latinos in community and business.

El Mundo Boston

Today’s Headlines


Walsh hits unions for public spat over Southie Edison plant project – Boston Herald

The solution to Boston’s housing and congestion crisis? Western Mass. – Boston Globe


Northampton, Easthampton mayors canvass for Warren in NH – MassLive

Marijuana applicants get CCC’s ear with forum set for Thursday – Telegram & Gazette

Panel to hear arguments for keeping Pilgrim’s emergency planning zone – Cape Cod Times


Marijuana legalization may hit 40 states. Then what? – Politico

How Trump twisted Iran intel to manufacture the ‘four embassies’ threat – The Daily Beast

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