Happening Today

Budget hearing, Pot shop opening, and more

— Gov. Charlie Baker plans to spend a week in Utah with his family, starting today and ending next Thursday.

Joint Ways and Means Committee meets to review the education and local aid components of Gov. Baker’s $44.6 billion fiscal 2021 budget, Malden Senior Center Auditorium, 7 Washington St., Malden, 10 a.m.

— Mayor Marty Walsh, Cannabis Control Commission chairman Steven Hoffman and representatives of Pure Oasis, the marijuana retailer set to open Monday as the city’s first legal pot store and the state’s first economic-empowerment applicant to open for business, hold a press conference on company’s opening-day plans, Pure Oasis, 430 Blue Hill Ave., Dorchester, 10:30 a.m.

— U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton hosts a press availability on coronavirus, South Station, east of the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Summer St., Boston, 1:45 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

The Warren Watch: She’s gone but won’t be forgotten

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren yesterday emerged from her Cambridge home to announce what many viewed as inevitable after her Super Tuesday wipeout: She’s dropping out of the Democratic race for president. The Globe’s Jess Bidgood and the NYT have the details.

But Warren wouldn’t say who she might endorse in the race, either Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders – and the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky reports that means Warren remains a factor in the race. MassLive’s Michelle Williams has more on Warren’s decision to take a “deep breath and spend a little time” before she makes what could be a highly influential endorsement. The Washington Post looks at where Warren’s supporters might go (hint: he hails from north of here).

Warren also won’t be forgotten because of all the policy plans she pushed to the forefront during her campaign, as WBUR’s Benjamin Swasey reports, and those plans also give her leverage moving forward.  

Of course, the gender issue is rearing its head this morning. From the Globe’s Jazmine Ulloa and Laura Krantz: “Women react with anger, dismay to Warren’s departure.” From Kimberly Atkins at WBUR: Warren Promises To Talk Sexism Later, But Others Aren’t Waiting.” But then there’s this from Megan McArdle at the Washington Post: “Elizabeth Warren is out. And no, it’s not because of her gender.”

Finally, WGBH’s David Bernstein takes a look at the non-gender factors that doomed Warren’s White House dreams – and there are some doozies on his list.

Trump’s impartial analysis of Warren’s withdrawal: ‘THREE DAYS TOO LATE’

He really is bitter that he may end up facing Joe Biden rather than Bernie Sanders. MassLive’s Michelle Williams has the latest on the blame-Warren tweeter in chief from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. And, yes, Republicans, not just the president, were indeed dreaming of a Trump-Sanders showdown – until Super Tuesday came around. From The Hill: “Republicans, rooting for Sanders, see Biden wins as setback.”


Romney’s revenge? Mitt could sink Biden subpoenas

Speaking of Joe Biden, U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, the only Republican who voted last month to remove President Trump from office, could cast the deciding vote next week when the Senate’s Homeland Security Committee considers potential subpoenas for an investigation into the overseas consulting work done by Hunter Biden, son of you-know-who, Andrew Desiderio reports at Politico. Romney said Thursday he’s concerned that the move appears political.


Coronavirus updates: Biogen workers test positive, MIT’s ban, school and hospital self-quarantines

A lot is happening on the local coronavirus front. So we’ll just go straight to the headlines. From Boston.com: “Health officials announce 3rd coronavirus case in state.” … From WCVB: “Workers who attended Boston Biogen meeting test positive for coronavirus.” … From Boston 25 News: “Baker: Tennessee man on Boston flight with coronavirus is Biogen employee.” … Also from Boston 25 News: “4 employees to stay home after South Shore Medical Center patient tests presumptive positive for coronavirus.” … From the Globe: “MIT bans events with 150 or more people.” … From MassLive: “Multiple Springfield Public Schools staffers quarantined for possible coronavirus exposure.” …  From the Globe: “Legislators press Baker to waive co-pays on coronavirus testing.” … From MassLive: “Coronavirus prompts Peter Pan Bus Lines, PVTA to step up cleaning.”

And, finally, SHNS reports (pay wall) that Gov. Baker is off to Utah for a week with his family but plans to have “daily briefings with staff and public health officials to monitor the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.”

State GOP showdown: ‘It’s the ultimate shootout in the rubber life raft’

With Elizabeth Warren taking a final bow as a presidential candidate, this becomes the best political show in town (until Ed Markey and Joseph Kennedy take center stage): Moderate Republican Gov. Charlie Baker versus conservatives over control of the Massachusetts Republican Party – and the act is quite a mess, as Bruce Mohl reports at CommonWealth magazine. Or, as state Rep. Shawn Dooley of Norfolk puts it: “‘It’s the ultimate shootout in the rubber life raft.”

Meanwhile, the Herald’s Howie ‘Robocall’ Carr gloats over the shellacking Baker is taking – and he makes clear this fight is indeed partly about who will represent the GOP in the 2022 gubernatorial election.


As House passes transportation bond bill, Baker vows to veto gas-tax hike

As expected, the House, a day after approving new gas, corporate and ride-sharing tax and fee hikes, yesterday approved an $18 billion transportation bond/spending bill with all sorts of earmarked goodies stuffed into it, as SHNS reports (pay wall).

But Gov. Charlie Baker was openly declaring yesterday that he’ll veto the gas-tax hike provision that the bond bill depends upon for revenues, as WCVB’s David Bienick reports. Meanwhile, Senate leaders say they have their own idea on how to proceed with improving the state’s transportation system – and it doesn’t mesh with the House’s vision, reports SHNS’s Chris Lisinski. Finally, from the Globe’s Jeff Jacoby: “Beacon Hill to riders and drivers: Drop dead.”

Report: State Police’s scandalous OT practices stretched far and wide

We kind of already knew this, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded. From the Globe’s Matt Rocheleau: “Payroll violations and lax oversight are common across the Massachusetts State Police force and extend far beyond the corrupt unit that patrolled the Massachusetts Turnpike, according to a new report from the inspector general’s office.”

Boston Globe

Developer envisions massive redevelopment of UMass’s Bayside site

From the BBJ’s Catherine Carlock: “Boston-based Accordia Partners has plans to build a 5.9-million-square-foot mixed-use development, including housing, office, lab and retail and restaurant space, at the Bayside Expo Center site and Santander Bank offices at 2 Morrissey Blvd. in Dorchester, according to a letter of intent filed Thursda.”

As Carlock notes, the University of Massachusetts Building Authority, owner of the 20-acre Bayside site, had previously named Accordia as the site’s master developer.


The little political engine that could: The Libertarian Party?

All they need is a zero at the end of their membership count – and then they’ll be taken seriously. From Christian Wade at the Gloucester Times: “Driven by voter dissatisfaction with the two major parties, the state’s Libertarians have seen a surge in numbers in recent years, even as other parties shrink. The Libertarian Party of Massachusetts had 19,851 members as of Feb. 12 — a more than 130% increase from 2017 when it regained its party status.”

Gloucester Times

Dem Party looks into Natick caucus won by Markey

SHNS’s Matt Murphy reports that state Democratic Party officials, responding to complaints by 14 people who say they were barred from participating in a recent political caucus in Natick, have launched an “inquiry” into the contest won by U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, who’s now running against U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

The Bowdoin T Station: Its lonely existence is a reminder of broken promises

It’s one of the least used subways stations and the T has tried to close it in the past. But Boston Magazine’s Spencer Buell says the Bowdoin T Station does serve an important purpose: “Alone and nearly useless, its existence is a reminder that commuters deserve better, starting with the Red-Blue connector.”

Boston Magazine

This bubble won’t burst: State set to add 60 more breweries in 2020 

Personally, we’re approaching hops overload. But apparently others are not. Massachusetts could see as many as 60 new breweries, microbreweries and beer gardens open in 2020 as the ongoing trend shows little signs of slowing, Jessica Bartlett reports at the Boston Business Journal. 


He’s out: West Stockbridge cans embattled fire chief

As bad weeks go for local government officials, this one ranks pretty high. The West Stockbridge Select Board dismissed Fire Chief Peter Skorput on Wednesday night, just days after he was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine by the State Ethics Commission, Heather Bellow reports at the Berkshire Eagle. The board cited the volunteer fire department’s bungled response to a February house fire, an event which led some nearby towns to say they wouldn’t ask for mutual aid from West Stockbridge going forward.

Berkshire Eagle

Details wanted: Boston schools unveil new student-data protection policy but specifics are scant

Meet the new policy, different from the old policy? Boston public school officials unveiled what they called an updated framework for protecting student data, but when pressed by reporters declined to detail what’s changed, Sarah Bettencourt reports in CommonWealth Magazine. 

Sunday public affairs TV: Gus Bickford, Kim Janey and more

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Massachusetts Democratic Party chair Gus Bickford, who talks with host Jon Keller about Joe Biden’s comeback, Elizabeth Warren’s future and other campaign developments.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Jennifer Schwartz, MD, medical director at Wellesley College Health Services, and Michael Lew, MD, infectious disease specialist at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, discuss planning for coronavirus; GasBuddy CEO Sarah McCrary on finding the best prices at the pump; and the Globe’s Jon Chesto on the local economic impact of the coronavirus.   

CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. A look at the women’s power gap in corporate Massachusetts with Andrea Silbert of the Eos Foundation and Betty Francisco, Amplify Latinx co-founder and general counsel at Compass Working Capital.   

On The Record, WCVB-TV, Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Boston City Council President Kim Janey, who talks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu, followed by a political roundtable discussion with analysts Mary Anne Marsh and Rob Gray.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s main topic: Women Leading the Way, featuring Deborah Hughes, president and CEO of Brookview House, and others.  

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

Screening; Seven Communities, Seven families, One story: The Opioid Crisis

This compelling film, created through the generosity and civic-mindedness of Wareham Community Television, and produced by Queen Banda and Andrea Pergament, shares first hand accounts from seven parents who’ve endured the unimaginable heartbreak and trauma of losing a child to the Opioid Crisis now raging across the United States.

Queen Banda and Andrea Pergament (producers)

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

13th Annual Good Apple Award Reception

Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice invites you to the 13th annual Good Apple Award Reception at the Boston Harbor Hotel. We are pleased to announce that this year’s recipient of the Good Apple Award will be Enrique Colbert, General Counsel of Wayfair.

Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice

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


Boston schools COO resigns after being placed on leave – Boston Herald

Boston officials unveil new student privacy policy – CommonWealth Magazine


General Dynamics expanding Pittsfield operations – Berkshire Eagle

Aging and automation shaping workforce, labor secretary tells Worcester business group – Telegram & Gazette

Peter Pan defends policy of allowing law enforcement access to buses – MassLive


Judge Calls Barr’s Handling of Mueller Report ‘Distorted’ and ‘Misleading’ – New York Times

Bloomberg releases new anti-Trump ad – Politico

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