Happening Today

Boston pot shop opening, MBTA Control Board and more

— U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi talks with WBUR’s Meghna Chakrabarti as part of Northeastern University’s annual Women Who Empower Summit, Northeastern University, East Village, 17th floor, 291 St. Botolph St., Boston, 9:30 a.m.

— US. Sen. Ed Markey holds a press conference to announce a bill called the New Deal for New Americans Act, Agencia ALPHA, 20 Reed St., 4th floor, Boston, 10 a.m.

— The city of Boston’s first marijuana store, Pure Oasis, opens today in Dorchester, 430 Blue Hill Ave., 11 a.m.

Invest Now Coalition holds a protest and press conference opposing what it describes as ‘Governor Baker’s 20% cut to the MBTA maintenance workforce’ and launching a new information campaign, State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza (by Dunkin’ Donuts), Boston,11 a.m.

— U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, Suffolk District Attorney Rachel Rollins and Middlesex Sheriff Peter Koutoujian participate in a Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy panel discussion on criminal justice, with state Sen. Will Brownsberger moderating, Boston College Law School, East Wing 115B, 885 Centre St., Newton, 12 p.m.

MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board meets to review budget matters, positive train control, track upgrades on the Green Line’s B and C branches, and a commuter rail zone study, State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 12 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

Not a clue: More than 100 sex offenders worked as personal care aides without state’s knowledge

Here’s some cheerful news to start the week. From the Globe’s Matt Stout and Priyanka Dayal McCluskey: “In 2018, more than 120 personal care attendants — paid by the state to help people with disabilities eat, dress, or use the bathroom — were registered sex offenders, a state watchdog found. Thousands more had open criminal cases. Some had even faced murder charges. Yet, state officials, who pay $1 billion to these workers each year, don’t require background checks for them.”

Boston Globe

Coronavirus updates: 15 new cases, school closures, insurers to pay for tests

Do 28 cases mean the ‘low risk’ coronavirus era is over in Massachusetts? Just asking. … Anyway, the number of coronavirus cases in Massachusetts nearly doubled over the weekend, with 15 new cases reported, all of them linked to that Biogen conference, as WCVB reports. … A handful of schools are closing in Massachusetts due to the coronavirus, reports the Globe. … From SHNS: “School Cleaning Emerges as Issue as Virus Spreads.” … From MassLive: “Coronavirus exposure prompts 11 Norwood town employees including Town Manager Tony Mazzucco to self-quarantine.” … The AP at Wicked Local reports that insurers indeed will be paying for testing and treatment. …

From the Globe: “Takeda, drug maker with biggest head count in Mass., tells most employees to work from home.” … From the Herald: “Coronavirus worries could cancel campaign rallies.” … From the Herald: “Boston EMS union blasts out letter over coronavirus concerns.” …From MassLive: “Coronavirus case confirmed in Western Massachusetts.”

And, finally, from the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld: “Charlie Baker, Marty Walsh, lack will to take on coronavirus.”

When Cotton Mather actually got it right …

Speaking of the coronavirus, we have another local angle, albeit dating back to 1721 and involving a certain Puritan minister who incited local fury by pushing inoculation against another potential epidemic. The Washington Post has more on the cautionary tale of Cotton Mather and the grief he got in Boston for making a public-health suggestion way back when.

Washington Post

SJC delivers a super-quick housing win for developers

The Globe’s Jon Chesto reports on the extraordinarily fast ruling issued late last week by the state’s Supreme Judicial Court – hearing the case on Thursday, then rendering a decision on Friday – regarding land-use disputes in Massachusetts. The ruling’s bottom line: “Plaintiffs in land-use cases essentially need to prove they would suffer some kind of demonstrable harm in order to bring a legal challenge to a construction project near them.” It’s a huge win for developers.

Boston Globe

Warren’s consolation prize: Vice president?

You knew it was only a matter of time before this came up: Elizabeth Warren, now a former presidential candidate, is being mentioned as a possible vice presidential running mate. The Washington Post’s Fred Hiatt and the NYT (to a degree) are fanning the speculative flames. Other females are being mentioned too, obviously.

In other Warren-related matters, here are some quick summaries and headlines in the wake of Warren’s decision last week to drop out of the Democratic race for president. … Massachusetts Dem chairman Gus Bickford thinks Warren’s downfall all comes back to President Donald Trump – and Dem voters’ desire to defeat him (CBS Boston). … From the Globe’s Jess Bidgood and Liz Goodwin: “Prayers in Vegas, slumped shoulders in N.H. — inside the final days of Warren’s campaign.” …  From the NYT: “Why Warren Supporters Aren’t a Lock to Get Behind Sanders.” … From Adam Reilly at WGBH: “A Frontrunner’s Fall: What Brought Elizabeth Warren Down?

Elizabeth Warren meets Elizabeth Warren

Ray Kelly at MassLive reports that U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, only days after dropping out of the Democratic presidential race, made a surprise appearance on Saturday Night Live over the weekend – and she even met Elizabeth Warren, aka SNL’s Kate McKinnon. MassLive has the video.


‘The unseen and surprise Venmo economy of collapsed campaigns in 2020’

They’re all apparently doing it, i.e. former campaign workers drowning themselves in beer, shots of Jameson and Venmo donations after their respective candidates dropped out the Democratic presidential race, including Elizabeth Warren’s former campaign workers. The NYT has the details.


Patrick joins legion of Dems endorsing Biden

He’s joining the club. Former Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick joined the lengthy list of onetime 2020 Democratic contenders who have endorsed the presidential bid of Joe Biden. Matt Stout at the Globe reports Patrick’s nod came complete with an appearance at a rally in Mississippi, one of several states that will vote on Tuesday. 

T says it needs more time to fix new Orange Line cars

The MBTA’s new Orange Line cars were supposed to return to service late last week, after being pulled last Tuesday due to a problem with steel beams. But SHNS’s Chris Lisinski reports that the T tweeted on Friday that it needs “additional time” to fix the problem and didn’t give a new target date for when the trains might return.

In other T news, from SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall): “Armed with job reduction data, unions and other advocacy groups are launching a radio and TV ad blitz calling for investments in the MBTA workforce at a time when the safety of the transit system has been called into question.” Backers of the “Safe Transit Now” campaign plan to hold a press conference today on the matter (see Happening Today section above).

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Bill would outlaw body size discrimination

From CBS Boston: “Lawmakers and advocates are planning to gather at the Massachusetts Statehouse (on Tuesday) to push legislation that would ban body size discrimination. The bill is sponsored by Democratic Sen. Becca Rausch of Needham and Democratic Rep. Tram Nguyen of Andover. … The bill aims to make discrimination on the basis of height and weight illegal in Massachusetts.”

CBS Boston

Are the days numbered for His Majesty Robert the First, by the Grace of God, Lord of the House, King of Beacon Hill and Earl of Winthrop?

David Bernstein at Boston Magazine wonders if Speaker Robert ‘King of the Hill’ DeLeo’s iron-fisted leadership of the House is a relic of a bygone era, considering the non-white-male winds of change now sweeping City Hall and the state’s Congressional delegation. “The House he built is increasingly looking like an anachronistic living-history museum,” Bernstein writes of DeLeo.

Boston Magazine

Vocational schools: How selective should they be?

The Globe’s Malcom Gay has an update on the ongoing debate within education circles about suddenly popular vocational high schools in Massachusetts – and whether they’ve drifted too far from their past tradition of helping non-college-bound students land blue-collar jobs.

At CommonWealth magazine, April Brunelle, a guidance counselor at Tech Boston Academy, thinks there’s something wrong when a 7th grader who wants to work in the HVAC field can’t get into a vocational school today.

Sorry, Charlie: It’s Lyons’ party now

CommonWealth magazine’s Bruce Mohl and the Globe’s Frank Phillips report on Gov. Charlie Baker’s failed putsch at the Mass. GOP, where conservative Jim Lyons still stands supreme despite Baker’s attempt to replace him with a moderate party chairman.

Following precedent, indicted Nangle could always try the Correia route

State Rep. David Nangle is refusing to answer questions about whether he’ll seek re-election this fall following his 28-count federal indictment. If he does run, he could follow the playbook used by former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia, who, if you recall, was also indicted and yet managed to stay in office longer than anyone anticipated. Christopher Scott at the Lowell Sun reports that Nangle remains highly popular in his hometown, even though he has already drawn at least two potential Dem challengers. 

Lowell Sun

So where’s the savings from criminal-justice reforms? It’s all in the data

Ben Forman, research director of MassINC and a member of the Special Commission on Correctional Funding, dives deep – very deep – into the data to find where some of the savings may have gone from recent criminal-justice reforms in Massachusetts. Hint: It’s not being reinvested in behavioral health treatment and other services to reduce recidivism.

Meanwhile, Christian Wade at CNHI News has an update on a state panel that recently balked at raising the age of juveniles who can be charged with adult crimes, though the panel is calling for more money and programs to keep young adults out of prison.


Fall River police chief steps down day after bar video comes to light

He’s out. Fall River Police Chief Albert Dupere resigned on Friday, a day after news broke that he had been captured on video in a city bar during work hours, Peter Jasinski reports at the Herald News. Dupere said he resigned after Mayor Paul Coogan informed him his contract would not be renewed and will activate a clause that allows him to be demoted but remain on the force. Reminder: All this fallout stems from a WPRI TV under-cover investigation that has still yet to air. 

Herald News

Another British massacre of our brave patriots …

Kristin LaFratta at MassLive has a story and a lot of accompanying photos on the special re-enactment of the Boston Massacre outside the Old State House on Saturday, marking the 250th anniversary of the historic revolutionary event. … Two words: Damn Redcoats!


Bridgewater State professor charged with raping student in his office

A Bridgewater State University professor has been suspended after his arraignment on charges that he raped a female student in his office last fall, Cody Shepard of the Enterprise reports. Nicholas R. Pirelli was released on bond after pleading not guilty and has been suspended with pay and barred from campus. The Globe’s Travis Andersen has more.


Workers at state’s largest power plant go on strike

The lights aren’t out, but dozens of workers are out on the picket line at the state’s largest power plant, Exelon Mystic Generating Station in Charlestown, where Utility Workers Union of America Local 369 members launched a strike over the weekend, the AP reports at WBUR. Managers are currently keeping the plant running, according to the report.


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. In Massachusetts, the system is failing.

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

An Evening With Paul Tremblay

Celebrated horror author Paul Tremblay comes to Millbury to read from his work, talk about writing, answer some questions, and sign books.

Jeff Raymond

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’s 1st Pot Shop Opens Monday, More Than 3 Years After Legalization Vote – WBUR

Boston’s priciest real estate is sinking into the earth – Wall Street Journal


Hands-free law rolls out slowly on Cape – Cape Cod Times

33 apply for Peabody schools’ top job – Salem News

In 1958, two boys discovered a national treasure in Pittsfield – Berkshire Eagle


Erik Prince recruits ex-spies to infiltrate liberal groups – New York Times

Trump’s mismanagement helped fuel coronavirus crisis – Politico

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