Happening Today

New Hampshire primary, ‘Black Excellence,’ budget hearing

New Hampshire residents take to the polls to vote in the state’s Democratic and Republican primaries for president.

Supreme Judicial Court hears oral arguments for five cases, John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Second Floor, Pemberton Square, Boston, 9 a.m.

— Advocates hold a briefing urging lawmakers to pass legislation that would close the ‘SNAP GAP,’ with Rep. Jay Livingstone among those expected to speak, Room 428, 10:30 a.m.

Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus hosts the second annual ‘Black Excellence on the Hill’ in celebration of Black History Month, with Reps. Carlos Gonzalez (MBLLC chair), Treasurer Chynah Tyler (treasurer) and Bud Williams (clerk) and Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Senate President Karen Spilka and Speaker Robert DeLeo attending, Great Hall, 11 a.m.

Joint Committee on Ways and Means holds its first hearing to discuss Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposed   fiscal 2021 budget, Gardner Auditorium, 11 a.m.

For the most comprehensive listing of calendar items, check out State House News Service’s Daily Advances (pay wall – free trial subscriptions available), as well as MassterList’s Beacon Hill Town Square below.

Today’s Stories

Decision day in New Hampshire

Unless the folks in New Hampshire screw up the count like they did in Iowa last week, we should have a better idea tonight who’s emerged as the true frontrunner(s) in the Democratic presidential primary – and we should know if U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren remains a viable candidate or an effective has-been candidate. She certainly isn’t giving up the fight.  From Jess Bidgood at the Globe: “Elizabeth Warren says she can win Democrats’ ‘unwinnable fight’ against President Trump.” 

But she’s facing a last-minute problem from an unexpected source. From the Globe’s Victoria McGrane and Stephanie Ebbert: “Klobuchar surges in N.H., shaking up race.” The Globe’s Joan Vennochi openly wonders of Warren: “If she loses in the Granite State, is her campaign over?” Finally, from the AP at WCVB: “Warren’s New Hampshire challenge: Breaking out of murky middle.” 

Trump was right: Massachusetts residents have indeed flooded into NH!

Arjun Singh at WGBH and Joe Battenfeld at the Herald report on President Trump’s attempt yesterday to steal the New Hampshire show on the eve of today’s big primary elections in the Granite State. And MassLive’s Benjamin Kail noticed a familiar refrain from the president: “Trump renews claim Massachusetts residents bused into New Hampshire during 2016 election.” 

That 2016 claim has been largely debunked. But it’s true that Bay State residents have indeed been flooding into N.H. — for the president. From the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky: “Massachusetts cops show up for Trump at N.H. rally.” But the big question is: Were they bused in? 

Don’t forget: Patrick and Weld are running today too

While most local attention is centered on how U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren does in today’s New Hampshire primary election, don’t forget that two former Massachusetts governors – Deval Patrick, a Democrat, and Bill Weld, a Republican – are also running. 

The Herald’s Jaclyn Cashman wonders if Patrick’s late-entry/long-shot bid will merely siphon votes away from Warren. Rachel Rock at WGBH reports that Patrick’s supporters are keeping the faith despite the polls. Meanwhile, Jonathan Soroff at Boston Magazine talks with Weld, who says he’s dead serious about wanting to win the GOP nomination – or at least damage Donald Trump’s chances of winning re-election.

Ukraine conspiracy: Trump world tries to dirty-up Romney after conviction vote

It seems to be working on Joe Biden, so why not Mitt Romney? Tina Ngyuen at Politico reports President Trump and his allies are actively trying to sully the reputation of U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, our former Massachusetts governor, by suggesting that he, too, is connected to a controversial Ukraine energy company –and that Romney’s vote to convict the president on an impeachment charge was really just a cover-up move. And … they have no shame. Really. It has to be said.


In Berkshires, GE river-cleanup deal gets mixed reception

In the end, they split the baby. After a year-and-a-half of negotiations aimed at finally closing the book on a decades-long cleanup of the Housatonic River, the EPA says it will allow GE to dump some PCB-contaminated soil in Berkshire County, but will also require the most heavily contaminated dirt to be trucked out of state. Nancy Eve Cohen at WBUR has details on the agreement.

But not everyone is happy with the outcome, and Larry Parnass at the Berkshire Eagle reports one group is already mobilizing to protest the agreement’s plan to create a low-level PCB dump in Lee — and it says it stands ready to sue to block the move if necessary.


Prison-guard union accuses Eldridge of siding with inmates

This is getting nasty. From the Herald’s Marie Szaniszlo: “The Massachusetts Correction Officers Federated Union blasted state Sen. James B. Eldridge, accusing him in a letter of taking the side of inmates at the state’s maximum-security prison in the wake of a crackdown that followed an attack that left three officers seriously injured.”

Eldridge, a proponent of reforms within the prison system, is countering that he’s condemned the attack and that he hopes to meet with correctional officers. Meanwhile, Deborah Becker at WBUR reports that a court judge is trying to get to the bottom of who’s basically telling the truth when it comes to the DOC crackdown at Souza-Baronowski.

Boston Herald

Pundit prosecutor: Lelling blasts sanctuary cities and Chinese spies in two op-eds

We’re not sure we’ve seen this before (or at least lately), to wit: Not one, but two, opinion pieces on the same day in two local papers by a sitting U.S. attorney in Boston. In an opinion piece at the Herald, U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling warns that sanctuary cities have “become a genuine and persistent threat to our communities and the rule of law.” Meanwhile, in a joint Globe opinion piece with local FBI chief Joseph Bonavolonta, Lelling warns of the growing threat of Chinese espionage here in Boston and across the nation.

We’ll refrain from speculating about  possible political aspirations at work here.

The Allston-Pike megaproject: Second thoughts … and third thoughts … and fourth thoughts

CommonWealth magazine’s Bruce Mohl and SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall) report on the various factions, ideas and second thoughts etc. that surfaced yesterday regarding that proposed Allston/Pike reconfiguration project, which now appears as far from settled as ever.

Confirmed: Massachusetts residents blow more money on lottery than anyone else in U.S.

There’s got to be some regional psychological/sociological explanation for this, to wit: Massachusetts residents lead the nation in lottery ticket purchases, spending an average $933.33 a year, nearly $650 more than the national average, according to a new study, as reported by Michael Bonner at MassLive.


Suarez-Orozco confirmed as new chancellor of UMass Boston

And so ends the very long – and very contentious – search for a new head of the school. From Max Larkin at WBUR: “On Monday afternoon, the board of the University of Massachusetts system voted unanimously to appoint Marcelo Suárez-Orozco — dean of UCLA’s school of education and information studies — as the next permanent chancellor of UMass Boston.”


Au Pair agency reaches settlement to rebate host families

SHNS’s Katie Lannan reports that a Cambridge-based au pair agency has agreed to offer $4.4 million in refunds to Massachusetts host families as part of a settlement agreement with Attorney General Maura Healey’s office. Next up in the ongoing au-pair minimum-wage controversy: Getting back pay to the actual au pairs.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Tewksbury’s twofer: Selectman faces OUI charge, school chair arrested at basketball game

You might say these are interesting times in Tewksbury. Last Friday night, the town’s school committee chairman was arrested at a high-school basketball game in Andover for refusing to leave his seat as requested by police. He’s scheduled to be arraigned today in district court, a day before a town selectman is scheduled to appear in court for a hearing on an OUI charge. Emma Murphy at the Lowell Sun has the details.

Lowell Sun

A white knight for the White Hut?

Is Peter Pan going to save the White Hut? Peter Picknelly, CEO of Peter Pan Bus Lines, said Monday he’s in talks to rescue the legendary White Hut burger joint in West Springfield from closure, Peter Goonan reports at MassLive. Picknelly, who has used his cash and connections to keep other Pioneer Valley eateries from closure in the past, said the 80-year-old landmark is worth saving. “There is nothing like the White Hut.”


Judge: State regulators can review pot-shop information in Correia case

He’s gone but he’s not forgotten. From Jo C. Goode at the Herald Review: “A federal court judge granted a motion filed by federal prosecutors in the criminal case against former mayor Jasiel Correia II and co-defendant Gen Andrade Monday that would allow the Cannabis Control Commission access to protected discovery evidence involving five city marijuana vendors.”

Basically, state regulators want to know a tad bit more about those very curious pot-shop agreements negotiated by the now-indicted Correia while he was in office.

Herald Review

Legalizing for-profit debt service firms raises concerns

This is interesting. From Jenifer McKim at WGBG: “A proposal to legalize for-profit debt relief services in Massachusetts could win approval by the Legislature over the next few weeks, raising concerns among consumer advocates and nonprofit competitors, who say these firms prey on the poor, indebted, and desperate.”


Beer and wine sales: It’s all about location, location, location

The Herald’s Mary Markos and the Gloucester Times’ Christian Wade report on the escalating battle over whether to allow convenience stores to sell beer and wine – with liquor store owners and public health officials on one side and Cumberland Farms et allies on the other. They were going at it yesterday at a State House hearing.

Bidding farewell to the ‘hoary tradition’ of newspaper political endorsements

Media critic Dan Kennedy at WGBH takes a look at the recent decisions by the Concord Monitor and the Boston Globe not to endorse a presidential candidate in the NH primary – as well as the weird NYT decision to endorse two candidates at the same time – and wonders aloud if the world will really miss political endorsements by newspapers. At least at the national level.


Meanwhile, Tufts Daily retreats from its solidarity with Harvard Crimson over ICE coverage

Speaking of newspaper editorials, Monika Greco at WGBH discovers that editorials/endorsements at student newspapers don’t mean a whole lot these days either. In the case of the Tufts Daily, Greco bemoans the student newspaper’s ‘disappointing’ retreat from its prior support of the Harvard Crimson, which has been battling the campus woke types over its coverage of a recent ICE protest.

Regional Economic Update from the Federal Reserve

What are the current trends in the New England economy and what can we expect in the future? Come hear Osborne Jackson, PhD., Senior Economist, New England Public Policy Center, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston discuss the latest in employment figures, what type of jobs are growing, where the highest wages are, and how the economy is faring since the last recession.

North Shore Technology Council

Our Shared Work: Lifting up Democracy from Grassroots to Grass Tops

During challenging times in the socio-economic and political landscape, how does and can the university work with communities to engage individuals in efforts to lift-up democracy through grassroots organizing, public policy and institutional reforms, and civic engagement?

UMass Boston Office of Community Partnerships

Boston Speaker Series: Peter Diamandis

Fortune named Diamandis one of the “World’s Greatest Leaders.” A space entrepreneur turned innovation pioneer, he founded the XPRIZE Foundation to fund big money competitions to inspire groundbreaking developments in science and technology, and to solve some of the planet’s most pressing challenges.

Lesley University

Being a Republican on College Campuses

Come and hear Jamie Gass of the Pioneer Institute who will present 2019 Math and English Common Core disappointing results and explain why, as well as Kaila Webb from Wellesley College present her non-profit which aims to bring diversity of thought on college campuses.

Wellesley Republican Town Committee

Boston Speaker Series: Peter Diamandis

Fortune named Diamandis one of the “World’s Greatest Leaders.” A space entrepreneur turned innovation pioneer, he founded the XPRIZE Foundation to fund big money competitions to inspire groundbreaking developments in science and technology, and to solve some of the planet’s most pressing challenges.

Lesley University

Getting to the Point with Richard Blanco

Presidential inaugural poet Richard Blanco will visit the Institute to discuss the themes in his poetry collection, How to Love a Country.

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate

ADL’s Breaking Barriers Speaker Series Presents: An Evening with Andrea Campbell

Please join us on Thursday, March 5, 2020 to hear from City Councilor Andrea Campbell.

ADL New England

Today’s Headlines


Last fall’s one-vote election shows need for easier way to get a recount, Boston councilor says – Universal Hub

Imprisoned Former Boston English Dean Pleads Not Guilty To Gang Charge – WBUR


Westford school committee member quits mid-meeting – Lowell Sun

Mayflower Wind will stage in New Bedford: 2nd wind turbine company looking for lease agreement for South Terminal – Standard-Times

Attleboro area lawmakers join bipartisan coalition for 5-cent deposit on nip bottles – Sun Chronicle


Justice Department sues over sanctuary laws in New Jersey and California – New York Times

The quirky, the odd and the baffling in the Trump budget shuffle – Politico

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