Happening Today

Early voting starts in Massachusetts, MBTA Control Board and more

Early voting starts today for the March 3 presidential primary in Massachusetts, and Secretary of State Willliam Galvin visits Brookline Town Hall to kick off the five-day early voting period, 333 Washington St., Brookline, 9 a.m.

U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportations holds a field hearing at Boston Logan International Airport to discuss cargo security at the airport, an issue U.S. Ed Markey has pushed in recent years, Boston Logan International Airport, 15 Transportation Way, Boston, 9 a.m.

— U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy joins volunteers from Elizabeth Warren’s campaign for president in Cambridge on the first day of early voting in Massachusetts, 1369 Coffee House, 757 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, 10 a.m.

MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board meets to discuss the fiscal year 2021 operating budget and capital investment plan, fare transformation, bus network redesign and means-tested fares, State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 12 p.m.

— Former Gov. William Weld, who is challenging President Donald Trump for the GOP presidential nomination, hosts a town hall-style event at UMass Boston, University of Massachusetts Boston, Campus Center, Ballroom C, 100 Morrissey Blvd., Dorchester, 5:30 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


After his huge win in Nevada over the weekend, is there anything or anyone who can stop Bernie Sanders  from winning the Democratic presidential nomination? The Globe’s Jazmine Ulloa and Jess Bidgood report that the big Sanders triumph on Saturday has “triggered considerable angst among moderates” within the party. The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld thinks Joe Biden may be the only Democrat who can stop the socialist Sanders at this point.

What about Elizabeth Warren? She came in a disappointing fourth place on Saturday, nabbing just 9.6 percent of the caucus votes in Nevada, according to final results published at the Globe. She’s now turning her attention to next week’s Super Tuesday contests. And she’s is still polling quite strong nationally, according to a report at the Hill.

Btw, this Washington Post headline definitely caught our attention: “As Bernie Sanders’s momentum builds, down-ballot Democrats move to distance themselves.” It’ll be curious to see how some local Dems react to a possible Sanders nomination.

Sanders and Warren in tight race for the hearts, minds and votes of Massachusetts Dems

WBUR’s Wilder Fleming reports that a UMass Lowell Center For Public Opinion poll shows Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren running neck and neck heading into next Tuesday’s president primary in Massachusetts. Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden and Michael Bloomberg are bunched together in third, fourth and fifth place, respectively.

Sanders, who plans to pay a visit to Massachusetts before the March 3 primary, is hoping to deliver a “symbolic” defeat of Warren here, the NYT reports. Meanwhile, Bernie’s local army ismobilizing. But Warren is conceding nothing. From Lucas Philips at the Globe: “As Warren’s campaign ramps up on home turf, supporters remember a personal touch.” And U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy is getting out there for Warren (see above Happening Today calendar item).


Mighty Mike: Can he make it in Massachusetts?

He may be in fifth place in the latest UMass-Lowell poll of Massachusetts Democratic voters. But fear not: Michael Bloomberg had actor Michael Douglas riding to his rescue in his home town of Medford over the weekend, reports the Herald’s Rick Sobey.

Meanwhile, Mike Deehan at WGBH reports that Bloomberg’s campaign is trying to reassure local moderate Dems within the business community that Bloomberg’s disastrous Nevada debate performance last week was an aberration and not the real mighty Mike. The Herald’s Hillary Chabothas more on the Bloomberg campaign in Massachusetts, while David Bernstein at WGBH finds that Bloomberg relies an awful lot on male consultants for campaign advice.

One last Bloomie headline, via Benjaimin Kail at MassLive: “Bloomberg responds to pressure from Elizabeth Warren: offers to release 3 women from confidentiality agreements.”

Charlie Baker: He’s popular, but not Tom Brady popular

SHNS’s Chris Lisinski dug into the same UMass Lowell polling data and found that Republican Gov. Charlie Baker is still quite popular among local Dems, something that must bug state Democratic leaders to no end. But keep in mind: Baker is no Tom Brady popular. Lisisnki has more, including how Columbia Gas, Wynn Casinos and the MBTA have their share of PR challenges to overcome.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

‘The Foul Area’: How do you dispose of highly dangerous materials left over from the Manhattan Project?

The Globe’s David Abel has the official OMG story of the weekend, to wit: The federal government’s plans to use sediment from the Boston Harbor dredging project to bury thousands of rotting barrels at the bottom of the ocean, only 19 miles east of the harbor. And the barrels contain what? Oh, highly dangerous materials, such as possibly plutonium dumped after completion of the Manhattan Project during World War II.

But some are warning the bury-it-all solution could actually exacerbate the problem and contaminate huge swaths of the adjacent Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.

Boston Globe

Brady gets a primary challenger for his state senate seat

Maybe being mayor for a few months got him thinking bigger. Brockton City Councilor Moises Rodrigues has launched a Democratic primary challenge against embattled state Sen. Michael Brady, Marc Larocque reports at the Enterprise. Rodrigues made history last year as Brockton’s first minority mayor, while Brady was recently stripped of his committee chairmanship role after details of a 2018 arrest on drunken driving charges came to light. 


Come back: Walsh asks Sony to reconsider pulling out of PAX East show

After the alarming news coming out of Italy (NYT), we have a feeling the mayor’s appeal will fall on deaf ears. According to a report at WCVB, Mayor Mary Walsh has written to Kenichiro Yoshida, Sony’s president and chief executive officer, requesting that his company reconsider its decision to pull out of the upcoming PAX East gamer conference in Boston due to global fears over the spreading coronavirus.


After a few tweaks, Galvin issues new broker-dealer regulations

From the BBJ’s Greg Ryan: “Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galivn on Friday finalized his proposal to hold broker-dealers to a higher legal standard when interacting with investors — but not before making some changes to make it more friendly to financial services firms.” The Globe’s Jon Chesto has more on the new rules that sparked an outcry in the local financial community and that led to Galvin making some last-minute tweaks


Still on the books: The capital crime of ‘petit treason,’ a remnant of colonial slave days

Attention history buffs: Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin has a post on a curious law that’s still on the books here in Massachusetts and that hasn’t been used since the mid-1700s, when two slaves were executed under the “petit treason” statute. The motivation for the slaves’ treason: They ultimately wanted freedom. … Btw: Massachusetts wives might also want to read up on this still-on-the-books statute. It applies to them too, though not their husbands.

Universal Hub

From the folks who brought you Straight Pride Parade: Blue Lives Matter

The same people who organized the recent Straight Pride Parade were at it again over the weekend in Boston, this time holding a “Blue Lives Matter” rally outside the Boston Police headquarters and once again attracting counter-protesters who don’t think it’s hilarious to poke fun of causes associated with gays and African Americans, etc. Walter Wuthmann at WBUR has the details, along with the Herald’s Stefan Geller.


Oh great: Nearly 30,000 OUI convictions could get tossed due to faulty breathalyzer machines

Is it fair to compare this to the Sonja Farak-Annie Dookhan crime lab debacles? Answer: Yes. From the Globe’s Travis Andersen: “Thousands of convicted drunk drivers in Massachusetts are being informed they may be eligible to have their convictions vacated due to past problems with the type of breathalyzer machine used statewide, according to a lawyer who has been litigating the matter for years.” 

Boston Globe

State envisions massive mixed-use project to replace Hynes Center

The Globe’s Jon Chesto and the BBJ’s Greg Ryan report that the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority is touting new studies showing that a massive mixed-use redevelopment of the Hynes Convention Center in Boston’s Back Bay could lead to far more jobs than maintaining it as an under-utilized conference facility. As Chesto notes, critics of the Hynes sale are unlikely to be swayed by the arguments.

Local ICE chief: There are no SWAT-like units in Massachusetts

So the Trump administration’s grand announcement that “tactical teams” from Border Protection would descend upon Boston and other sanctuary cities across the U.S. was nothing more than political show business? Anyway, Sarah Betancourt at CommonWealth magazine reports that Todd Lyons, acting field director for the New England office of ICE, says that there are no SWAT-like teams – repeat: no SWAT-like teams — from Border Protection in Massachusetts.


Pro-Trump coup d’etat in West Roxbury?

They know they’re not popular in the bluer than blue Boston. But they’ve spotted an easily defensible outpost in the far southwest corner of the city, so pro-Trump activists are trying to seize it: A takeover of the Republican Ward 20 Committee in West Roxbury. The Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter has more on the dramatic mouse-that-roared showdown.

Boston Herald

Towns to pot firms: We want you!

The Herald’s Erin Tiernan reports that some communities, such as Dartmouth, really want pot firms to open shops in their towns – and they’re taking “proactive” steps, including advertising, to attract them (and to attract their tax revenues, of course).

Meanwhile, Cambridge has, reluctantly, reversed its ban on issuing new pot licenses, under legal pressure from applicants fed up with the city’s overall approach towards licensing, reports the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett.

Not yet: Worcester RTA says no free bus service in 2020

Better luck next year. The Worcester Regional Transportation Authority says it won’t be offering fare-free bus service this year, citing the need to find more than $3 million to fund the effort as well as other work that would be required to make free rides possible, Sam Bonacci reports at the Worcester Business Journal. The agency is leaving the door open to at least a trial of fare-free service next year. 

Worcester Business Journal

Costly error: Glitch means Taunton taxpayers will pay more

As far as whoopsies go, this one’s a doozy. Taunton officials say a combination of human and technical errors led to the city’s industrial tax base being over-valued by $137 million — and taxpayers will be footing the bill for the fix. Charles Winokoor at the Taunton Gazette has all the details. 

Taunton Gazette

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

Author Talk and Book Signing with Christian Di Spigna

Author Talk and Book Signing with Christian Di Spigna, author of: Founding Martyr: The Life and Death of Dr. Joseph Warren, the American Revolution’s Lost Hero.

State Library of Massachusetts

The Future of the Republican Party

As the nation’s demographics continue to shift, hear from Republican leaders about how the party can build a broad, sustainable coalition. Panelists include George P. Bush, Texas Land Commissioner; Evan McMullin, executive director, Stand Up Republic and former Policy Director for House Republicans; and Mark Sanford, former governor and congressman from South Carolina. Moderated by Betsy Woodruff.

Northeastern University, Office of External Affairs

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

U.N. Perspective Series: Gender Equality (International Women’s Day)

Celebrate International Women’s Day with Impact Hub Boston and United Nations Association of Greater Boston.

United Nations Association Of Greater Boston

Mikhail Minakov: Post-Soviet Eastern Europe: A Comparative Analysis of the Six Eastern Neighborhood Nations

Please join the Fletcher Eurasia Club for a lunch conversation with Mikhail Minakov about the Eastern Partnership initiative and the political environment of Eastern European countries after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Fletcher Eurasia Club

Mikhail Minakov: Political Development of Post-Euromaidan Ukraine

Please join the Russia and Eurasia Program at The Fletcher School for a conversation with Mikhail Minakov about revolutionary cycles of independent Ukraine and post-Euromaidan political development of the country.

Fletcher Russia and Eurasia Program

Authors@MIT | Benjamin J. Pauli presents Flint Fights Back

MIT Press author Benjamin J. Pauli discusses his new book Flint Fights Back.

The MIT Press Bookstore

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


Quincy leaders show support for Asian businesses amid coronavirus fears – Patriot Ledger

Organizers Of Pro-Police Rally Largely Outnumbered By Counter-Protesters – WBUR


Smith, UMass students hustle to spread Sanders’ message and mobilize voters – Daily Hampshire Gazette

Ashland post office closed through the spring – MetroWest Daily News

Peadody mayor takes King’s Residences fight to Boston – Salem News


Dueling narratives emerge from muddied account of Russia’s 2020 interference – New York Times

Clyburn poised to endorse Biden ahead of South Carolina primary – Politico

How to Contact MASSterList

Send tips to Matt Murphy: Editor@MASSterList.com. For advertising inquiries and job board postings, please contact Dylan Rossiter: Publisher@MASSterList.com or (857) 370-1156. Follow @MASSterList on Twitter.