Happening Today:

8:30 | Lt. Gov. Driscoll attends Mass. Libraries legislative breakfast. Open to media.....Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square, Worcester

10:30 | U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm joins state and federal officials at ribbon-cutting event for Commonwealth Fusion Systems, which is building a facility in Devens to advance its attempts to develop commercial fusion energy systems. Congresswoman Trahan hosts along with Sens. Warren and Markey, Lt. Gov. Driscoll, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Tepper, Economic Development Secretary Hao, and Commonwealth Fusion Systems CEO Bob Mumgaard. Media should RSVP online or via email to Trahan.Press@mail.house.gov and check-in at 9:45 a.m.....111 Hospital Road, Devens

12:30 | Lt. Gov. Driscoll, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao, Acting Health and Human Services Secretary Mary Beckman visit the Devens Emergency Assistance Intake Center. Press will not be allowed inside the facility. Driscoll plans to hold a media availability outside the center.....Bob Eisengrein Community Center, 100 Sherman Ave, Devens

4:00 | UMass Amherst chancellor candidate Paul Tikalsky of Oklahoma State University spends a day on campus meeting with people and holds an in-person open forum that's accessible by Zoom. The open forum will follow earlier sessions held for specific groups such as students, faculty, staff, alumni leaders, and elected officials.....Great Hall - Old Chapel

Barely one week into the rollout of legal sports betting in Massachusetts, two of the state’s three casinos have already admitted foul play when it comes to college wagering.

State gaming officials on Thursday said bets were illegally placed on a Merrimack College men’s basketball game at Plainridge Park Casino and a Boston College women’s basketball game at Encore, MassLive’s Chris Van Buskirk reported.

The state Gaming Commission is investigating the self-reported instances of misplaced bets and will likely dole out an explanation and potential penalties next week.

But contrary to what the investigation into the misplaced bets might suggest, all bets aren’t off for college wagering in Massachusetts. That’s because Massachusetts implemented what sports betting analyst Bill Speros describes as a “quirky little rule” that likely led to the misdealt bets. 

The state’s freshly rolled out sports betting law says no dice when it comes to betting on in-state college teams — unless they’re playing in a tournament with at least four teams.

“Yes, you can bet on the Bean Pot,” Speros said, referring to the hockey tournament currently playing out.

Speros, a Boston Herald columnist and Bookies.com contributor said, it’s the nuance with the Massachusetts law allowing in-state college betting during tournaments that likely confused booking vendors at the two casinos.

Sports betting is now legal in 30 states plus Washington DC, with another three cleared to join the sportsbooks in the coming months, according to the American Gaming Association. But each one comes with its own specific set of rules that the relatively few industry vendors must ascribe to — making mistakes like what was reported at the Massachusetts casinos “unsurprising,” Speros said.

Speaking of tournaments… the state Gaming Commission cleared the way for a lucrative mobile sports betting rollout on March 10. The date, two weeks ahead of March Madness, means that tournament is next on the roster for legal in-state college wagering.

House arrest

A sit-in at Gov. Maura Healey’s office by a group of nonviolent climate activists looking to disrupt “business as usual” at the State House ended in arrest for 14 protestors on Thursday, MassLive’s Alison Kuznitz reports. Members of Extinction Rebellion — the environmental group responsible for a September action that blocked morning rush hour traffic across Boston — pledged to return until Healey commits to block new fossil fuel infrastructure projects including Eversource’s natural gas pipeline in Springfield. The governor, however, wasn’t there to hear their pleas. Healey was in Washington attending a National Governors Association meeting.

State House News Service

No time for term limits

State senators overwhelmingly voted on Thursday to scrap term limits for the senate presidency in a vote that included zero public debate and which came shortly after a private caucus with current Senate President Karen Spilka. The move to lift the eight-year cap drew immediate criticism from open-government advocates, who decried the action as a step backward in a Legislature that already carries a reputation of being one of the least transparent in the nation. 

State House News Service | The Boston Globe

Another day, another delay at the MBTA

T leadership was apparently left speechless by news of further delays for the delivery of long-promised new Red and Orange line cars by interim General Manager Jeffrey Gonneville, reports Jennifer Smith for Commonwealth Magazine.

Meanwhile, Alewife Station was set to resume service nearly a week after a car crashed into the top floor of the parking garage but Red Line riders are in for a longer walk and will have to enter through the Russell Field entrance as the lobby remains closed.

NBC Boston | State House News Service

Curbside cannabis to stay — for now

A trio of temporary policies intended to make access to legal cannabis safer during the COVID-19 pandemic will remain in place — for now. The regulations extended Thursday by the state Cannabis Control Commission allow for curbside pick-up at dispensaries, let doctors dole out medical marijuana cards via telehealth and grant applicants for pot business licenses permission to do online outreach meetings. Industry leaders are pressing to make the measures permanent. 

The Boston Globe

Development whiplash in ‘this economy’

When it comes to building new housing in the current economy, developers appear split on whether to invest in condos or apartments. Two separate Hyde Park developments recently filed requests for changes with the Boston Planning and Development Agency in as many weeks citing the same reason — “the economy.” But developers landed on opposite sides, with one Fairmount Avenue project scrapping plans for an apartment building in favor of condos while a proposed 151-condominium project on Hyde Park Avenue is now looking to build out rental apartments instead, Universal Hub reports.

NIMBY effect in Cape Cod

Some Cape Codders are sounding off on the state’s plan to replace a pair of aging bridges that are the sole access on and and off the peninsula. The state’s plan for the Sagamore Bridge replacement would send the roadway directly through the Round Hill subdivision off Sandwich Road, Jennette Barnes reports for GBH

Trying again: Amherst will renew push for noncitizen voting rights

The Amherst Town Council is poised to try once again to allow noncitizens the right to vote in local elections. Scott Merzbach of the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports the push is just the latest in the town, which has been making similar overtures since 1996, only to have the measures languish in the legislature.

Daily Hampshire Gazette

Housing help: Barnstable County tees up housing initiatives with ARPA funds 

Barnstable County is finalizing plans to spend more than $11 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds, setting aside nearly $7 million to build affordable housing and other $3 million to fund anti-homelessness initiatives. Zane Razzaq of the Cape Cod Times has details on where the money could flow.

Cape Cod Times

Lawmakers take aim at online harassment like that targeting Boston Children’s Hospital 

State lawmakers are floating proposals aimed at addressing the growing problem of online harassment such as the flood of threats unleashed against Boston Childrens’ Hospital last year over its gender-related treatments, the Eagle-Tribune’s Christian Wade reports.  


Weekend politics and policy talkshows

Talking Politics, Friday, 7 pm on GBH or on the GBH YouTube channel. Adam Reilly and his panel will dig into Boston Mayor Wu’s renewed call for more state help to address the problems at Mass and Cass, as well as Wu’s appointments to the city’s reparations task force. Plus, the Massachusetts Teacher’s Association and a group of state lawmakers are pushing to make it legal for teachers in the state to go on strike – but should they? 

Basic Black, Friday, 7:30 pm on GBH with an extra half-hour on Facebook. Black Americans are shot at a disproportionate rate, and are killed by police at more than twice the rate of white Americans. This week on Basic Black, a discussion with Black men on the impact of police involved shootings and street killings after the murders of Tyre Nichols in Tennessee and Tyler Lawrence in Mattapan. Plus, how do they counsel and speak to young Black men about encounters with the police, crime and day-to-day living. Callie Crossley hosts a panel with Dr. Charles Daniels, Jr., a licensed therapist and Co-Founder and CEO, Father’s UpLift, a mental health clinic and treatment facility; Steph Lewis, President and CEO, The BASE; and Shawn Brown, Executive Director, Youth Guidance Boston, with flagship programs, BAM – Becoming a Man and WOW – Working on Womanhood.  

On The Record, WCVB, Sunday, 11 a.m. — Ed Harding and Sharman Sacchetti host Congressman Jake Auchincloss. Topics include Auchincloss’ appointment to the Special Committee on China, and the incident with the spy balloon. Democratic Political Analyst Mary Anne Marsh and Republican Political Analyst Rob Gray join the Roundtable discussion.

Subscribe to MASSterList

Start your morning with MASSterList’s chronicle of news and informed analysis about politics, policy, media, and influence in Massachusetts. Plus, get an inside look at Beacon Hill’s hottest new job postings.

Avatar photo

MASSterList editor Erin Tiernan is an award-winning reporter who brings a decade's worth of experience covering state and local politics from the halls of the State House to city streets. Her work can be found in The Boston Herald, The Patriot Ledger, MassLive and Wicked Local. She was the New England Newspaper and Press Association's 2019 Reporter of the Year.