Happening Today

Voter registration deadline, JUUL announcement, and more

— Today is the last day to register to vote or change your party status for the March 3, 2020 presidential primaries; early voting for the Massachusetts presidential primary runs from Feb. 24 through Feb. 28.

Massachusetts Public Health Council meets with an agenda calling for review of a new batch of opioid-related overdose death data and discussions of other issues, Public Health Council Room, 2nd Floor, 250 Washington St., Boston, 9 a.m.

Right to Repair group hosts Rep. Paul McMurtry and others for a briefing on advances in automotive technologies and the need to update the 2013 right-to-repair law, Room 437, 11 a.m.

— Attorney General Maura Healey makes a ‘major announcement’ about her office’s investigation into alleged misconduct by e-cigarette manufacturer JUUL Labs, Attorney General’s Office, One Ashburton Place, 20th Floor, Boston, 11:30 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, Education Secretary James Peyser and Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta hold an evening roundtable discussion after visiting Worcester Technical High School’s adult program, Worcester Technical High School, 1 Skyline Drive, Worcester, 7 p.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

New Hampshire I: And the big winners were … Sanders, Buttigieg and Klobuchar

Let’s get this out of the way quickly, for we know what you really want to read about (see next three posts): Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg and, surprisingly, Amy Klobuchar were yesterday’s big winners in the New Hampshire primary, as WGBH’s Paul Singer and Angela Fu report. The Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert has more on the new Klobuchar phenomenon. The Globe’s James Pindell has a candidates’ scorecard. And here’s the partial Dem results from CNN. … Now onto our local candidates!


New Hampshire II: And the huge losers were … Warren and Biden

Even before yesterday’s polls closed in New Hampshire, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign was conducting proactive damage control, vowing in advance to continue the fight after what turned out to be Warren’s humiliating fourth-place showing with only 9.3 percent of the vote. The NYT and the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky have more on the campaign’s mid-afternoon memo leak and Warren’s plans for a possible/probable Super Tuesday last stand. Our quickie reaction to Warren’s results: 1.) Only 9.3 percent? 2.) Will she even make it to Super Tuesday?

But there was someone who was even more humiliated yesterday: Joe Biden, who came in fifth place and didn’t even stick around New Hampshire for the results. Kudos to the Herald’s Erin Tiernan for buttonholing Biden before he bolted the Granite State and getting this quote from the former VP: “And why are you so negative?” Well, because …

The Globe’s Jess Bidgood and Jazmine Ulloa have more on the Warren-Biden debacles yesterday – and intensifying talk about how long they can last as candidates.

New Hampshire III: So when will Patrick join Yang and Bennet as former candidates?

After his poor showing in N.H. yesterday, former Gov. Deval Patrick says he will now “reflect” on his lackluster performance and soon “make some decisions” on the future of his presidential candidacy, the AP reports at WGBH. 

If his decision goes in the direction we think it will go, Patrick will soon be joining Andrew Yang (WGBH) and Michael Bennet (WBUR) as former candidates. The two dropped out of the race last night.


New Hampshire IV: Technically, Weld performed as well as Warren

He didn’t deliver a Eugene McCarthy-like blow to President Trump’s re-election hopes. But former Gov. Bill Weld did nab 9.3 percent of the Republican vote yesterday in New Hampshire, promoting one MassterList reader to “raise a glass of amber-colored liquid to Bill Weld.” Weld obviously didn’t match Warren’s overall vote count, but he did match her percentage count, it should be noted.

WBUR’s Lisa Creamer has more on the Trump-Weld primary contest (if you can call it that) in New Hampshire. And from the Globe’s David Abel: “In GOP race, Bill Weld harbored no illusions.” 

Massachusetts poised to maintain its impeccable presidential losing streak

The Herald’s Michael Graham is “absolutely loving” last night’s New Hampshire results – with Massachusetts residents Elizabeth Warren, Deval Patrick and Bill Weld not exactly faring well.

They may still be candidates, but it sure looks like they’ll soon be joining our state’s modern list of presidential losers, from 1980 onward: Kennedy, Dukakis, Tsongas, Kerry, Stein, Romney, Moulton etc. Gov. Charlie Baker seems determined not to join the august list, at least not yet, via SHNS (pay wall): “Baker ‘not focused’ on nation’s race for the White House.”

Boston Herald

Local capitalists for socialist Sanders: They really do exist

They’re small in numbers, but the BBJ’s Greg Ryan tracks down some of the local CEOs who are backing socialist Bernie Sanders, via campaign contributions.


‘Good news, bad news on offshore wind’: Lower prices, more delays

Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine has yesterday’s “good news, bad news” regarding the offshore wind industry in Massachusetts: The super-low electric prices that Mayflower Wind is willing to charge for its offshore wind energy – and yet more delays for Vineyard Wind’s planned offshore-wind project in local waters. 

Quickie observation: Rarely do you see both environmentalists and business leaders agreeing on something – and in this case they agree that the low electric prices offered by Mayflower and Vineyard are both impressive and most welcome. And yet the Trump administration is dragging its feet on approvals. 


Baker appoints McNamara as new comptroller

From SHNS’s Colin Young: “Bill McNamara, who joined the Baker administration in 2016 after a career at Fidelity Investments and the Norton Company, will take over as state comptroller at the end of next week, the administration announced Tuesday. McNamara will replace Andrew Maylor, who is resigning at the close of business Friday, Feb. 21 to become vice president and chief business officer at Merrimack College.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Report: More nursing-home closures needed to ‘right-size’ industry

This isn’t going to sit well with some industry officials. From SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall) “With nursing home demand on the decline and many facilities struggling financially, a state panel has suggested closing underperforming homes, creating a streamlined rate structure and offering higher caretaker wages to revitalize the industry.” The political backdrop of all this: Recent talk of a possible/probable nursing-home referendum in Massachusetts (Lowell Sun).

Burger King: Peter Pan CEO reaches tentative deal to save White Hut

They’ve got a deal in principle, but now the real work begins. Peter Picknelly, CEO of the Peter Pan bus company, and a group of partners have a handshake agreement to buy and reopen the legendary White Hut burger joint after its abrupt closure last week in West Springfield, Jim Kinney at MassLive reports. But Picknelly warns that significant work remains, including negotiating with creditors, before the burgers start flipping again.


MBTA: Good-bye ‘structural deficits,’ hello reality?

We’re definitely entering policy-wonk territory here, but Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine has a good story about the MBTA’s subtle (and yet important) shift in how it defines ‘structural deficits’ – and it just so happens to come as debate heats up on Beacon Hill over new transportation revenues. Which may partly explain the sudden disappearance of ‘structural deficits.’


Watertown’s Hecht won’t seek re-election to House

Another legislative seat will be up for grabs this fall. SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall) reports that Watertown Rep. Jonathan Hecht, who first joined the House in 2009, has announced that he won’t seek re-election in November, saying it’s “time for me to move on to new challenges and time for someone else to take up this job.” 

Tewksbury’s twofer, Part II: School chairman ordered to stay away from Andover schools

From the Globe’s Stephanie Purifoy: “The chairman of the Tewksbury School Committee has been ordered to stay away from all Andover public school buildings following his arraignment on a trespassing charge Tuesday in Lawrence District Court, according to the Essex district attorney’s office. Keith Sullivan was arrested at Andover High School around 8 p.m. Friday following a ‘verbal altercation’ with some students during the Tewksbury-Andover boys’ basketball game.” Next up: A Tewksbury selectman’s OUI court hearing.

Boston Globe

Cape Air: Up, up and away from Boston Harbor?

Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin reports that Cape Air, founded and run by former state Sen. Dan Wolf, has received FAA approval for a one-year test of seaplane flights between Boston Harbor and New York’s East River. Next up before the seaplanes can take off: City approval, with the BPDA scheduled to review the plan tomorrow.

Universal Hub

BU professor ends hunger strike over Weymouth compressor

Boston University Professor Nathan Phillips has declared partial victory in his fight against the Weymouth natural-gas compressor station and has ended his two-week-old hunger strike, reports WBUR’s Miriam Wasser. Phillips didn’t stop ongoing construction of the controversial project, but he said opponents have made “some progress” on safety-related issues at the site.


New wage promise helps Table Talk secure tax deal

They’re cutting workers a bigger slice of the pie. Table Talk Pies secured unanimous support from the Worcester City Council for a tax increment financial deal to support a relocation of its headquarters within the city, after agreeing to pay all new workers at least $15 after a six-month ramp-up period, Nick Kotsopolous reports at the Telegram. 


In Methuen, they want heads on a pike (figuratively speaking)

Members of the Methuen city council say they want someone held responsible for the two-year-old sweetheart police contract that has put the city in dire financial straits, Bill Kirk reports at the Eagle-Tribune. Some councilors say they’re ready to activate a charter provision giving them subpoena power if the mayor doesn’t act quickly. Of course, as union officials point out, it was the council itself that ultimately approved the contract — against the recommendation of the city auditor. 

Eagle Tribune

Land war: Westport voters strengthen right-to-farm bylaw after outcry

The only thing missing was the pitchforks. Westport voters have pushed back hard against local government efforts to enact stricter rules on keeping of livestock, overwhelmingly approving updates to the SouthCoast town’s Right to Farm bylaw at a special Town Meeting. Jeffrey Wagner at the Herald-News reports petitioners sought the protections for farmers after a 2016 case of animal abuse at a local farm led to a crackdown by the local board of health.   

Herald News

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


Uber debuts pet-friendly rides in Boston area – Boston Globe

Weymouth wants to buy 13 acres for affordable housing – Patriot Ledger


UMass to pay $185,000 yearly to Amherst schools – Daily Hampshire Gazette

Cape Cod RTA to roll out Uber-style smartphone app – Cape Cod Times

Framingham State’s Chris Walsh Center to ‘enact a dual mission’ in supporting families and educators – MetroWest Daily News


Prosecutors quit as Justice Department moves to lessen Roger Stone sentence – New York Times

JFK might not have really written Profiles in Courage, but he certainly promoted it. – Politico

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