Happening Today

White Ribbon Day, Cannabis Control, Boston Massacre commemoration

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Celtics star Enes Kanter and others participate in the 13th Annual White Ribbon Day Campaign Launch, hosted by the Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, Grand Staircase, 10 a.m.

— Cannabis Control Commission meets and is expected to review applications for business licenses and renewals, Cannabis Control Commission, Union Station, 2 Washington Sq., Worcester, 10 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker participates in the ‘Saving by Shaving’event, in support of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Granite Telecommunications, 150 Newport Avenue Extension, Quincy, 11 a.m.

— House meets in a formal session to consider a $14.5 billion transportation bond bill one day after considering a roughly $600 million tax hike package designed to fund transportation needs, House Chamber, 11 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Mayor Marty Walsh, Police Commissioner William Gross, NAACP Boston Chapter President Tanisha Sullivan and others deliver remarks at an event to commemorate the 250th Anniversary of the Boston Massacre, Old South Meeting House, 310 Washington Street, Boston, 6:30 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

House passes $612M transportation bill with tax and fee hikes

There was indeed some non-election news yesterday. From SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall): “The Massachusetts House of Representatives approved a major tax bill Wednesday night that Democratic leaders say will generate more than half a billion dollars for transportation infrastructure by increasing taxes or fees on gasoline, corporations, ride-hailing services and vehicle purchases by rental car companies.’”

MassLive’s Steph Solis and the Herald’s Mary Markos have more on the vote – and how Republicans unsuccessfully tried to block/limit the tax and fee provisions. As Solis notes, the legislation now heads to an uncertain future in the Senate and, as SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) notes, the Baker administration is no fan of the legislation.

The Warren Watch: Will she or won’t she drop out?

With Michael Bloomberg bowing out of the presidential race and throwing his support behind moderate Joe Biden (NYT), all eyes (well, many of them) are now on U.S. Elizabeth Warren following her disastrous Super Tuesday showing and amid growing pressure for Warren to drop out in order to help progressive candidate Bernie Sanders. She’s now weighing what to do, as the Globe’s Liz Goodwin and Jess Bidgood report. 

Sanders says he talked with Warren s and she’s indeed “assessing her campaign’s future,” the Washington Post reports.

Boston Globe

So what the heck happened to Warren on Tuesday?

There’s no shortage of stories this morning on why Elizabeth Warren fared so poorly in Super Tuesday’s elections, here in Massachusetts and elsewhere. The Globe’s Hanna Krueger and Danny McDonald and the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsy report that late-deciding voters in Massachusetts, many of them apparently former Pete B and Amy K supporters, ultimately put Joe Biden over the top, surprising and burying both Bernie Sanders and Warren.

But that’s the voting-mechanics explanation of what happened. What were voters actually thinking? The Globe’s Joan Vennochi has a good column that takes a stab at explaining the stunning results, saying it was a little of the “woman thing” and a little of the “Warren thing” – and you’re just fooling yourself if you think it wasn’t a little of both. Still, the Globe’s Yvonne Abraham is focusing on the “woman thing.”

The Herald’s Michael Graham thinks it was definitely a Warren thing. The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld thinks it was an out-of-touch liberal elite thing. WBUR’s Joanna Weiss thinks it was the winning thing. Eileen McNamara at WBUR just thinks “it’s time, Senator Warren.

Trump’s impartial analysis of Bernie’s woes: It’s all Elizabeth Warren’s fault!

This is pretty amazing – and suggests President Trump really wants to face off against Bernie Sanders, not Joe Biden, to wit: Trump’s post-Super Tuesday tweet storm, calling Democrat Elizabeth Warren “selfish” and a “SPOILER” for not stepping aside to make way for poor Bernie Sanders. “Wow! If Elizabeth Warren wasn’t in the race, Bernie Sanders would have EASILY won Massachusetts, Minnesota and Texas, not to mention various other states,” he tweeted in one tweet.

Then there’s this: “She has Zero chance of even coming close to winning, but hurts Bernie badly. … Will he ever speak to her again? She cost him Massachusetts (and came in third), he shouldn’t!” And there’s more from the sitting president of the United States of America, if you can believe it

Coronavirus updates: Test kits on the way, Baker urges schools to cancel trips, California declares state of emergency

This is getting serious indeed. California has declared a state of emergency and ordered that a cruise ship be held off the coast of San Francisco amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus (NYT). … Locally, from the Globe: “Baker administration says coronavirus test kits are coming to Mass., but many questions remain.” … From SHNS (pay wall): “Baker Urges Cancellation of International School Trips.” … From MassLive: “MBTA to disinfect station equipment every 4 hours, vehicles daily.” … From the Hill: “Markey questions Amazon on price-gouging due to coronavirus.” … And from the NYT: “A New Hampshire patient was told to isolate himself. He went to a Dartmouth College mixer instead.”

Lawmakers and former inmates press Baker to launch probe of prison violence

From Jackson Cote at MassLive: “Two former inmates at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center as well as several advocates and state representatives walked to Gov. Charlie Baker’s office in the Massachusetts State House this week to demand he support an investigation into conditions at the maximum-security prison in the wake of recent allegations of violence.” 


Baker unveils $242M economic development bill

From the BBJ’s Greg Ryan: “The Baker administration on Wednesday unveiled the latest version of the economic development legislative package that’s traditionally come from the corner office every two years, and has tucked inside of it one of the governor’s most sought-after proposal — changes aimed at making it easier for cities and towns to approve new housing.”


Progressives and conservatives storm the committee Bastilles

It got buried beneath the Warren campaign rubble, i.e. the gains of progressives and conservatives at the hyper-local level of ward and state committee elections on Tuesday. Two items from Universal Hub. First: “Progressives wrest control of Ward 18 Democratic committee from old-timers.” Second: “Right wingers take over the Republican party in West Roxbury.”

Meanwhile, CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl confirms that Gov. Charlie Baker “appeared to lose ground Tuesday night in his bid to seize control of the Massachusetts Republican Party” from conservative backers of GOP chair Jim Lyons.

No matter who wins Senate seat, the Cape wins, Plymouth loses

They’ve already won already. Cape Cod pols are cheering the fact that no matter who wins the March 31 special election face-off between Democrat Susan Moran and Republican James McMahon III, the Plymouth & Barnstable District senate seat will finally be filled by a real live Cape politician – and not someone from Plymouth, damn it. Geoff Spillane at Cape Cod Times has the details.

Meanwhile, the political fins are circling a certain state representative having troubles with the feds. From Elizabeth Dobbins at the Lowell Sun: “2 pull papers for Rep. Nangle’s seat.”

Cape Cod Times

Bad look: Police chief denies drinking on job after video catches him in bar

Need a break from election news? Fall River always delivers. The city’s police chief is on the hot seat after Mayor Paul Coogan viewed video footage apparently showing him inside a city bar during work hours, Jo C. Goode reports at the Herald-News. Chief Albert Dupere confirmed he was in the bar with fellow officers and admits driving his cruiser to the bar was a bad idea, but denies ever drinking on the job.  

Herald News

Aquarium gets greenwashing grief over anti-tower tweet

We’re all just one tweet away from being shamed. In the case of the New England Aquarium, it recently tweeted its opposition to Don Chiofaro’s controversial plan to build a new tower at the site of a current parking garage next to the aquarium – and all hell broke loose about NEAQ’s motives and “greenwashing” etc. As a bonus, Boston Magazine’s Alyssa Vaughn also explains “got ratioed” to all the Twitter-challenged types out there.

Boston Magazine

Henry Cobb, architect who designed Hancock Tower, RIP

Boston has lost a giant of modern architecture. From the Globe’s Emily Sweeney: “Henry N. Cobb, a renowned architect who designed several landmark buildings in Boston and was a founding partner of the Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, died in his Manhattan home March 2 at the age of 93, according to a spokesman at the New York-based architectural firm.” Among his landmark designs: The 62-story Hancock Tower (which we still refuse to refer to as 200 Clarendon, thank you). 

As Sofia Rivera writes at Boston Magazine: “To stare into the massive mirror of the Hancock Tower (ok, 200 Clarendon) and see the Gothic beauty of Trinity Church reflected back at you is a defining Boston moment.”

Boston Globe

Bill calls for no-interest loans for minorities seeking to open pot businesses

From Melissa Hanson at MassLive: “Social equity legislation that would establish no-interest loans for marijuana business disproportionately affected by the war on drugs has been favorably reported by the legislature’s Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy.” I.e., it’s largely aimed at minority communities, as it rightly should.

Meanwhile, the Dorchester Reporter’s Katia Trojao reports that Mayor Marty Walsh has appointed five people to Boston’s newly created cannabis advisory board.

The Boston Massacre: Yet more revisionist propaganda about our original propaganda!

In addition to Boston Magazine’s Spencer Buell, the Globe’s Brian MacQuarrie is also revealing himself as a British Tory sympathizer and propagandist who dares to question our handed-down propaganda truths about the Boston Massacre, on this, of all days, the 250th anniversary of the Boston Massacre.

Boston Globe

About that MBTA advertising contract …

From Dan Atkinson at Dig Boston: “A consulting firm led by the son of Gov. Charlie Baker’s 2018 reelection campaign chairman is getting $5.5 million to ‘humanize the brand’ of the MBTA as it embarks on a massive capital projects plan—and deals with bad publicity on a near-daily basis.” The dad in question: Advertising guru and power broker Jack Connors.

Dig Boston

Hands off: Attorneys ready to argue for full payday in Columbia Gas case

Preserve our payday. Attorneys who worked on the Columbia Gas disaster fallout on behalf of victims are asking a judge to hear their arguments for why their fees should not be reduced, as Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera and others have demanded. Jill Harmacinski reports Rivera wants the judge to cut the $28 million lawyers are due to receive by at least 75 percent to ensure more cash goes to people impacted by the explosions and fires. 

Eagle Tribune

Farm food benefits program revived with $2M infusion

The popular program that allows SNAP recipients to receive additional money to buy fresh produce has been revived after it ran out of money a few weeks back. CommonWealth magazine’s Shira Schoenberg reports on the extra $2 million that the administration and lawmakers have approved for the program.


Martha’s Vineyard high schoolers learning civics the hard way

They’re getting a civics education all right. Members of Plastic Free Martha’s Vineyard — a group of high-schoolers pushing for a plastic bottle ban — stormed Tisbury Town Hall after learning the select board had quietly removed their proposal from the town meeting warrant, Lucas Thor reports at the Martha’s Vineyard Times. The kids got results: The board scheduled an emergency meeting for Friday to consider putting the measure back on the warrant.  

Martha’s Vineyard Times

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

Boston Massacre 250th Anniversary Commemoration

Revolutionary Spaces invites you to a Commemoration of the 250th Anniversary of the Boston Massacre to honor those who lost their lives that night and to reflect on how our most difficult national memories can inspire us to reach for our highest American ideals.

Revolutionary Spaces

Babson Latin American Forum

The Babson Latin American Club is proud to invite you to join their 12th annual forum at Babson College. The forum is a full day event where speakers, students, and faculty members from our Boston community come together to have meaningful discussions about Latin American business, culture, economics, and politics in an entrepreneurial way. This year’s topic is “Success Stories in Latin America”.

Babson Latin American Club

Africa Day 2020: Challenges to Pan Africanism: Afrophobia and Migration Across African Borders

The Africa Scholars Forum, The Pan African Graduate Student Association, African Student Union, and Ghanaian Student Associations at UMass Boston presents: AFRICA DAY 2020 “Challenges to Pan Africanism: Afrophobia and Migration Across Borders” The African Continent ‘s attempts to achieve integration and unity across its deeply plural and diverse borders are fraught with challenges such as Afrophobia, which refers to a form of Xenophobia directed by Africans toward other Africans. Evidenced by the surge of violent xenophobic attacks against African migrants to South Africa in 2019, Afrophobia has led to severe discrimination against fellow African migrants and it challenges Africa’s Pan Africanism.

The Africa Scholars Forum at University of Massachusetts Boston

2020 Social Enterprise Conference at Harvard

The 21st annual Social Enterprise Conference (SECON) at Harvard will bring together leaders, practitioners and students on March 7-8, 2020 to engage in rigorous dialogue and debate around social enterprise.2020 Social Enterprise Conference at Harvard.

HKS + HBS Students’ 2020 Social Enterprise Conference

2020 Boston Massacre Reenactment

Join us as tensions between the citizens of the Town of Boston and the British soldiers stationed in town build and eventually boil over resulting in the “Boston Massacre.” This day long event allows visitors to meet with reenactors portraying a variety of citizens of 1770 Boston who are eager to share their perspective on the events in Boston since the landing of the troops in Oct. of 1768.

Revolutionary Spaces

ADL’s “A Nation of Immigrants” Community Seder

ADL New England welcomes you as we continue our tradition of bringing diverse communities together to build bridges of understanding.

ADL New England

Reflecting Democracy: Reclaiming Equity in the Political Process

A reflective democracy will bring equity to our schools, communities & commonwealth. Learn about our strategy for civic engagement in 2020.

Massachusetts Voter Table & MassVOTE

Author Talk and Book Signing with Representative Josh Cutler

Author talk and book signing with Representative Josh S. Cutler, author of the recent book, Mobtown Massacre: Alexander Hanson and the Baltimore Newspaper War of 1812

State Library of Massachusetts

Starr Forum: Russia’s Putin: From Silent Coup to Legal Dictatorship

With speaker Yevgenia M Albats, a Russian investigative journalist, political scientist, author and radio host. A session of the Focus on Russia Lecture Series co-chaired by Carol Saivetz and Elizabeth Wood.

MIT Center for International Studies (CIS)

A Conversation on Female Agency

Writers Marjan Kamali and Katrin Schumann present “A Conversation on Agency: Displacement and Power During Political Turmoil.”

Boston Athenaeum

Sanguinary Theatre: Evening with Dr. Joseph Warren & his Massacre Oration

With an exciting blend of modern context and costumed interpretation, join us to relive Joseph Warren’s fiery oration 245 years later.

Revolutionary Spaces

Boston Speaker Series: Susan Rice

Rice served as National Security Advisor from 2013 to 2017. She also served as the United States ambassador to the United Nations from 2009 to 2013. Under President Clinton, Rice worked for the National Security Council and was Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

Lesley University

Predicting the Democratic Nominee

Welcome to the Democracy Studio! Join us as we combine politically-inspired images and words to provoke a deeper understanding of the state of our democracy.

Tom Manning, Harvard ALI Senior Fellow 2020

Boston Speaker Series: Susan Rice

Rice served as National Security Advisor from 2013 to 2017. She also served as the United States ambassador to the United Nations from 2009 to 2013. Under President Clinton, Rice worked for the National Security Council and was Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

Lesley University

Jane Swift: The History of Women in Politics

Jane Swift was the youngest woman ever elected to the Massachusetts State Senate and the First Woman Governor of Massachusetts.

Aliali Belkus, Dean of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity

The Centenary of the 19th Amendment: New Reflections

Join legal and political science scholars to discuss lessons learned from the centenary of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

Boston University School of Law

Election 2020: The Crucial Questions – Conversations on the Edge

A discussion on the crucial questions of the 2020 Election with seasoned political pros.

Cambridge Center for Adult Education

Today’s Headlines


FBI Director Wray Calls For More Cooperation From Tech Companies In Boston Appearance – WBUr

Meet the new Boston Cannabis board – Boston Globe

Two pull papers for Nangle’s state rep seat – Lowell Sun


Worcester area plummets in job market rankings – Worcester Business Journal

Group looks seaward to grow ‘blue economy’ – Salem News


Raimondo backs Biden after Bloomberg drops out – WPRI

Sanders campaign hatches comeback plan – Politico

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