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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

MASSterList: Tourist troubles? | Spencer racetrack | No budget overrides



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By Jay Fitzgerald and Keith Regan
03/07/2017

Tourist troubles? | Spencer racetrack | No budget overrides


Happening Today
 
Boston Pops sponsorship
 
Gov. Charlie Baker participates in the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Department of Conservation and Recreation's announcement on sponsors, broadcasting and musical performances for the annual July Fourth Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, 9 a.m.
 
 
Investment adviser training
 
Secretary of State Galvin welcomes 350 state-registered investment advisers to a training session on US Labor Department's fiduciary rule that requires all providers of retirement investment advice to act in their clients' best interest, Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel & Trade Center, Marlborough, 9 a.m.
 
 
SJC cases
 
SJC cases The Supreme Judicial Court will hear a number of cases, including Commonwealth v. Jonathan Villagran, who was apprehended at Milton High School where police allegedly found a bag of marijuana, a bottle of vodka and a silver handgun, leading to a lockdown, John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Second Floor, Pemberton Square, 9 a.m.
 
 
Mortgage lending patterns
 
Jim Campen, author of the Massachusetts Community and Banking Council's 23rd annual ‘Changing Patterns’ report on mortgage lending patterns, presents data from his latest report, Hibernian Hall Ballroom, 184 Dudley St., Boston, 9:30 a.m. 
 
 
UMass Dartmouth chancellor selection
 
 The University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees holds a special meeting to vote for the next chancellor of UMass-Dartmouth, UMass Club, Amherst Room, 32nd floor, One Beacon St., Boston, 10 a.m. 
 
 
Workforce Development Board
 
Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ron Walker, Sen. Eileen Donoghue and Rep. Joseph Wager will discuss legislation and preview the upcoming budget process for the Massachusetts Workforce Development Board at its quarterly meeting, Year Up, 45 Milk St., Boston, 9 a.m.  
 
 
Provider Price Variation Commission
 
After six months of work, the 23-member commission charged with addressing unwarranted variations in health care pricing meets for the final time before releasing its report on March 15, One Ashburton Place - 21st floor, Boston, 11 a.m. 
 
 
Transportation plan
 
The city of Boston will unveil its 2030 transport plan, which is expected to emphasize public transit, walkability, ride sharing and cycling friendly policies ahead of the city's 400th anniversary, Kirstein Business Library & Innovation Center, 700 Boylston St., Boston, 11 a.m.
 
 
ACLU chief on the air
 
 Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, will be on ‘Boston Public Radio’ for her monthly segment, WGBH-FM, 89.7, 12:30 p.m.  
 
 
FBI headquarters
 
Gov. Baker joins FBI Director James Comey, FBI Special Agent in Charge Harold H. Shaw, and General Services Administration Commissioner Norman Dong for a ceremony marking the opening of the new Boston FBI headquarters, 201 Maple Street, Chelsea, 2 p.m. 
 
 
Abandoned Housing Initiative
 
Attorney General Maura Healey, Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus and other local officials tour a property rehabilitated through the AG's Abandoned Housing Initiative, 175 Lincoln St., Worcester, 2:30 p.m.
 
 
Psych bed closure
 
Worcester City Council is scheduled to take up an order addressing the planned closure of 13 of the 28 inpatient psychiatric beds at UMass Memorial Medical Center's University Campus, City Hall, 455 Main St., Worcester, 7 p.m. 
 
 
Goldberg on the air
 
Treasurer Deborah Goldberg is a scheduled guest on ‘NightSide with Dan Rea,’ WBZ NewsRadio 1030, 8 p.m.

Today's News
 
Trump Travel Order, Revised Edition
 
The Globe’s James Pindell has good analysis piece about how President Trump’s new travel ban differs, in style and substance, from his first disastrous plan that led to widespread chaos and anger. The latest order isn’t legally bullet-proof, as Massachusetts Attorney Maura Healey weighs her legal options in fighting it, as reported by the AP at WCVB. The plan also remains highly unpopular in other quarters, as the Herald reports this morning. The ACLU, among others, is vowing a fight, as are members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation. But the plan does seem more thought out, legally and politically, as Pindell notes.
 
 
Tourist towns fret over visas for seasonal workers
 
President Trump’s latest executive order on immigration is more narrowly defined this time around. But the whole immigration debate is freaking out Cape and other resort-area business owners who rely heavily on visas for seasonal workers to staff their tourist-dependent shops and restaurants, reports the Globe’s Deirdre Fernandes. This is a big economic issue on the Cape and other tourist destinations in New England.
Boston Globe
 
 
‘Future internment camp’ signs are work of artist
 
Signs on vacant lots in Cambridge and Roxbury purporting to reserve the land for a “future internment camp” —complete with the signature of the president —are actually the handiwork of a Los Angeles-based artist who calls himself Plastic Jesus, Adam Gaffin of Universal Hub reports. The executive order cited on the signs, 9066, is actually the order then-President FDR issued to set the stage for internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
Universal Hub
 
 
Meehan blasts immigration restrictions
 
UMass President Marty Meehan used part of his annual State of the University speech to blast federal moves to curtail immigration, Shira Schoenberg of MassLive reports. “Closing our minds and our borders does nothing to make us stronger or safer,” Meehan said, while using most of his speech—given to an audience that included legislative leaders and Gov. Baker—to emphasize the value of UMass.
MassLive
 
 
Quincy council steers clear of sanctuary proposal
 
The Quincy City Council voted down a proposal to hold formal hearings on whether to adopt sanctuary city status, Sean Phillip Cotter of the Patriot Ledger reports, with six of the council’s nine members voting against exploring changes to the city’s policy on police interactions with immigration officials.
Patriot Ledger
 
 
GOP finally unveils ObamaCare alternative plan
 
It will probably take days to sort out the true ramifications of the GOP’s plan to repeal and replace (if you can call it that) ObamaCare, as unveiled last night. But the Globe’s Evan Horowitz, in a timely analysis piece, makes clear that it “reaches into virtually every corner of the health care marketplace, with tweaks and innovations likely to affect millions of Americans.” And it will definitely impact thousands of people in Massachusetts too. Massachusetts pols, such as U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, are already ripping into the plan.
Boston Globe
 
 
Spencer eyed as site for 200-acre horse racetrack and park
 
As Suffolk Downs officials prepare to sell off the famed East Boston-Revere racetrack to local developers, movement is afoot to re-start horse racing elsewhere in Massachusetts. From Kim Ring at the Telegram: “Spencer is the leading contender for a multi-use horse park that would include an equestrian center with stadium seating, a racetrack for thoroughbred horses and boarding stables. The New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, which plans to develop the park, also wants to include facilities for retraining horses and for retired horses, along with riding trails.” 
Telegram
 
 
Looks like lawmakers won’t be overriding governor’s budget cuts
 
House Speaker Robert DeLeo isn’t quite slamming the door on potential overrides of Gov. Charlie Baker’s prior mid-year budget cuts. But after viewing February’s disappointing revenue numbers, the speaker doesn’t sound like someone itching for a mid-year budget fight, reports Matt Murphy and Katie Lannan at SHNS. "Now that we're at the end of the month and the figures were not all that good, actually bad, obviously I think it makes it very difficult for us to be talking about trying to override all, or place back, all of the 9c cuts," DeLeo said.
SHNS (pay wall)
 

Next stop: Bus maintenance privatization at the T
 
The Herald’s Matt Stout has details on the latest privatization push at the MBTA, tied to bus maintenance, marking the “the cash-strapped agency’s first foray into outsourcing core services. Transit officials asked the Fiscal Management and Control Board for approval yesterday to send out requests for proposals to maintain hundreds of buses at the Quincy, Arborway, Lynn and Fellsway garages.”
Boston Herald
 
 
Is the Baker administration almost finished with the Pacheco Law exemption at the T?
 
After it gets a few more privatization items out the way – such as privatizing bus maintenance at the T (see above item) – the Baker administration doesn’t seem all that eager to extend its Pacheco Law-exemption powers at the transit agency. From Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine: “The Baker Administration is showing no signs it will push the Legislature for an extension of the MBTA’s three-year exemption from the Pacheco Law, which regulates how state agencies can privatize services. ‘At this time we are not planning to seek any changes in that,’ said Stephanie Pollack, Baker’s secretary of transportation.” It’s not a firm yes-or-no quote, but it’s interesting that ‘yes’ isn’t emphatically stressed.
CommonWealth
 
 
MBTA eyes commuter fare gates to cut down on fare evasions
 
Also from Bruce Mohl at CommonWelath: “The MBTA’s commuter rail operator received received the green light on Monday to launch a five-year campaign to cut down on fare evasion and increase ridership, with the $9 million-a-year cost slated to come from a revenue-sharing arrangement with the transit agency. ... Keolis, the commuter rail operator, plans to install fare gates at South Station, North Station, and Back Bay Station.”
CommonWealth
 
 
Baker says it’s fine for women to strike tomorrow, as long as they ‘plan accordingly’
 
The big questions about tomorrow’s planned International Women’s Strike is exactly who and how many women will participate, reports the Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert. One thing is clear: Gov. Charlie Baker says he has no problem with women going on strike, in and out of government. “If they want to make their case on their own time, they are free to do so,” he said, though SHNS (pay wall) reports that the governor expressed hope those participating would make “plans accordingly.” At MassLive.com, Kristin LaFratta has more on the planned action tomorrow.
 
 
DeLeo backs bill accommodating pregnant employees
 
From the Globe’s Jon Chesto: “House Speaker Robert DeLeo plans to tell the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday that he will support a bill that would require companies to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees and protect them from discrimination, according to a person familiar with DeLeo’s speech.” Boston Globe
 
 
Is Smith & Wesson getting Trumped?
 
Theoretically, these should be boon times for American Outdoor Brands, the Springfield company that makes the venerable Smith & Wesson firearms brand, but the company’s stock has dropped 30 percent since election day, David Harris of the Boston Business Journal reports. The company lowered its outlook for future sales amid speculation that a surge in retail sales during the Obama administration, when Second Amendment advocates feared tighter restrictions, may not continue under a pro-gun rights Trump administration.
BBJ
 
 
What liberals today can learn from William F. Buckley Jr.
 
Rich Barlow at WBUR thinks today’s liberals, angry and frustrated as they are with President Trump and his policies, might learn a lesson or two from a long-ago shredding of George Wallace by the late conservative pundit William F. Buckley Jr. Barlow: “What does this decades-old brawl teach us about handling Trump? The lesson for liberals seething at the president is that there are more ways to skin a strongman than just venting rage. As necessary as the outrage-fueled mass protests against Trump are, Buckley shows how calm reason and humor can also dismantle a foe.”
WBUR
 
 
Mandatory characteristic for the next MBTA chief: ‘High tolerance for pain’
 
As the MBTA embarks on its search for a new “turnaround” chief, WGBH’s Mike Deehan talked to some insiders about the characteristics that an ideal candidate will need to lead the troubled transit agency. Listed at the top of Deehan’s list: ‘High Tolerance For Pain.’ He or she will need other skills too, obviously. Deehan explains.
WGBH
 
Of course he knew about the pay raises
 
Gov. Charlie Baker has suggested, signaled, whatever that he knew back in 2016, before legislative leaders publicly unveiled plans for a controversial pay raise, that lawmakers were up to something on the pay-raise front, reports SHNS’s Andy Metzger. We kind of figured that was the case, based on Baker’s half-hearted, go-through-the-motions opposition to the pay raises once they become public early this year. But it’s nice to have a semi-confirmation on it.
SHNS (pay wall)
 
 
Middlebury professor takes swipe at fellow faculty members
 
Writing on her Facebook page, Allison Stanger, the Middlebury College professor who was assaulted and briefly hospitalized after she and guest speaker Charles Murray barely escaped from a chaotic event at the Vermont school, says she doesn’t want the incident to serve as some sort of indictment of higher education in general. But she does take a swipe at some of her fellow faculty members for revving up the student protestors: “As the campus uproar about (Murray’s) visit built, I was genuinely surprised and troubled to learn that some of my faculty colleagues had rendered judgement on Dr. Murray’s work and character, while openly admitting that they had not read anything he had written. With the best of intentions, they offered their leadership to enraged students, and we all now know what the results were.”
Facebook (Stanger)
 
 
Uber’s woes a potential boon to local ride-sharing companies
 
Uber’s string of PR and legal nightmares may turn into dream-come-true opportunities for some upstart ride-sharing companies in the Boston area, such as Fasten, though at least one local expert says Uber’s worldwide brand recognition will still be very hard to overcome, reports Natash Mascarenhas at BostInno.
BostInno
 
 
When Larry Bird blew off a White House appearance
 
There used to be a time when it wasn’t a big deal for championship athletes to blow off an appearance at the White House, such as when the Celtics’ Larry Bird, Robert Parish, and Cedric Maxwell skipped a meet-and-greet with President Reagan in 1984, writes the Globe’s Dan Shaughnessey. Today? It’s all politics, all the time, he writes. Definitely check out Cedric’s reason for missing the Rose Garden gathering 33 years ago – and his regrets today.
Boston Globe
 
 
Small act of defiance: Healey refuses to pose for photo with Trump
 
Unlike some professional athletes, Attorney General Maura Healey didn't boycott a recent meeting at the White House. But she certainly didn't want to be seen with the president. From the Herald’s Hillary Chabot: “Attorney General Maura Healey yesterday said she refused to pose for a photo with President Trump at a recent conference, instead vowing to fight his policies and uphold ‘the rule of law’ as she shuns a run for governor to seek re-election.”
Boston Herald
 
 
Boston unveils transportation plan for future
 
 City officials will unveil the Go Boston 2030 Vision and Action Plan today, laying out an ambitious plan with 58 individual transportation policies and projects designed to reduce commuting times and increase transportation choices amid continued population growth, Meghan E. Irons reports in the Globe. The plan sees fewer cars on the roads, traffic lights synced to keep traffic flowing and the creation of ‘microhubs where commuters can share a bus, bike, or car.’
Boston Globe

Today's Headlines
 
Metro
 
 
Massachusetts
 
 
Nation
 

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