The Supreme Judicial Court hears Commonwealth v. Moses Ehiabhi; Energy Express Inc. v. Department of Public Utilities; Commonwealth v. Richard Jones; Commonwealth v. Peter Duart; and an impounded case, John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Second Floor, Pemberton Square, 9 a.m.
Progressive Mass Lobby Day
Progressive Massachusetts holds a lobby day to promote the bills on its legislative agenda, including criminal-justice reform legislation and a bill raising the hourly minimum wage to $15 an hour, State House, 9 a.m.
Senate Dems caucus
Ahead of their first formal session since April 5, Senate Democrats will huddle for a private caucus, Senate President's office, 11 a.m.
The Senate plans to meet in a full formal session and is likely to enact a one-year $200 million local road repair bill that the House has already advanced, Gardner Auditorium, 1 p.m.
Sen. Whitehouse on the air
U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island talks about his new book, Captured: The Corporate Infiltration of American Democracy,’ WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m.
MIT Digital Economy
House Speaker Robert DeLeo participates in the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy panel ‘Building Skills for an Inclusive Economy,” with other panelists including Eric Schmidt of Alphabet, Inc. (Google), Erik Brynjolfsson of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, and Shawn Bohen of Year Up, MIT's Wong Auditorium, 3:30 p.m.
Book launch party
Gov. Charlie Baker, First Lady Lauren Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Secretary of Veteran's Services Francisco Urena attend a book launch party for ‘The Siren's Call and Second Chances’ by Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Tom Kelley and his wife Joan, Boston Harbor Hotel, 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, 6:45 p.m.
Herald staffers boycott Twitter over reporter’s suspension
A Herald reporter has been suspended for blasting a breaking-news tweet that apparently wasn’t first reviewed by an editor – and now the Herald’s staff and newsroom union are up in arms, reports Chris Sweeney at Boston Magazine. The content of the tweet itself, an update on the Aaron Hernandez suicide, isn’t at issue, but rather the fact it violated the paper’s social-media editing protocol, Sweeney reports. A furious newsroom thinks the rule is antiquated in an age of instant digital news. The Globe has more on the incident.
What a way to start Kindness Month in Massachusetts. Gov. Baker isn’t happy at all over reports that Orioles outfielder Adam Jones was the target of racist slurs hurled at him during a Monday night game, reports Shira Schoenberg at MassLive. "The incident as it's been reported at Fenway is outrageous and disgraceful," Baker said. "I'm glad they kicked the guy out. I hope they never let him in ever again."
Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox have issued an apology to Jones, reports Benjamin Swasey at WBUR.
The Globe and Herald are going all-out on their coverage of the incident. By our count, the Globe, whose front page is dominated by the ugly controversy, has at least eight pieces on the Adam Jones incident, including an editorial (“Thanks a lot, Anonymous Racist”) and a reliably good column by theGlobe’s Adrian Walker. The Herald, which also leads with the Adams Jones incident, has at least six stories, including a piece on how some people actually booed Jones when he came to bat last night at Fenway Park. As they say: WTF?
Dusty Baker: ‘I’ve been called that word in almost every city that I’ve played in’
Before Bostonians have a collective nervous breakdown over the embarrassing Adam Jones incident at Fenway, Dusty Baker, the 67-year-old Nationals manager, has a few thoughts on the matter: “It doesn’t really surprise me too much because I’ve been called that word in almost every city that I’ve played in,” Baker tells the Washington Post. “Minor leagues, big leagues, letters. So it don’t really shock me too much. From L.A. to New York. It’s more apparent in some places than other places.”
It won’t stop the national media’s coming Boston-is-so-racist narrative. But Dusty’s speaking the truth, of course.
Governor steps up criticism of GOP health-care cuts
From the Globe’s Joshua Miller: “Governor Charlie Baker on Tuesday came out against a revised health care overhaul drafted by Washington, D.C., Republicans, warning that the legislation would result in “a massive loss of critical funds for the Commonwealth.”
The governor is certainly walking a political tightrope on this one, trying to preserve federal funds flowing to Massachusetts while maintaining diplomatic ties with his fellow Republicans in Congress and the White House. At some level, he’s going to be held responsible, fair or not, for possible/probable GOP cuts, based on recent local polls.
Capuano: Baker needs to rally fellow non-‘whackjob’ moderates
Speaking of Baker’s tightrope walking, he’s getting advice from U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano, a Democrat, who thinks Baker may want to rally other moderate Republican governors against President Trump’s budget cuts in general, reports Mike Deehan at WGBH. "I think Charlie's best approach is to do what he can with the administration, but also make sure he forms a coalition with other moderate Republicans and Democrats,” Capuano said. “Not every Republican is a whackjob right-wing nut. As a matter of fact, most of them are not. They're pretty moderate.”
Why no takers for DOT property? High asking price, lots of conditions
The Globe’s Tim Logan looks at why there were no bidders for a prime piece of DOT land in downtown Boston: “People in the real estate community said the property had too many challenges to justify the $167 million price the state had originally sought for it: building a new steam plant, a deck over Interstate 93, and a new park for Chinatown, while meeting high affordable-housing requirements.” A new steam plant? A deck over I-93? Not exactly an easy fixer-upper flip.
Facing deficit, Brockton schools look to cut nearly 200 positions
Facing a $16 million budget shortfall, Brockton public schools will send pink slips to 189 employees, Anna Burgess of the Enterprise reports. Superintendent Kathy Smith expressed hope that the district could work with both city and state leaders—as well as the business community—to backfill the deficit in time to save some of the jobs before the next school year begins.
Holyoke council adds ‘God bless’ to official rules
By a vote of 10-4, the Holyoke City Council adopted a rule that officially adds the words “God bless” to the council’s meeting-opening ritual, Mike Plaisance of MassLive reports. After reciting the Pledge of Allegience, the council has traditionally added: “God Bless America, God Bless the city of Holyoke and all its citizens and God Bless the City Council." The vote made that phrase a formal rule.
Former state Sen. Jajuga will run for mayor of Methuen
Former state senator and onetime state secretary of public safety James P. Jajuga says he will announce on Thursday he is running for mayor of Methuen, Lisa Kashinsky reports in the Eagle-Tribune. Jajuga, currently a city councilor, is the first candidate to declare for the office, which current Mayor Stephen Zanni will vacate after three terms.
Warren responds to Trump's latest ‘Pocahontas’ taunt
We missed this one yesterday, via Tori Bedford at WGBH, in which U.S. Elizabeth Warren responds to President Trump’s now familiar derogatory reference to her. “He’s the master of distraction here,” Warren said during an interview with Boston Public Radio Monday. “No matter how many slurs he throws or 3 a.m. tweets he does, right now, he’s got power. We’ve got to stay focused on what he actually does because now it’s really about accountability.”
Baker and Healey support updating state’s wiretap law
From the Herald’s Antonio Planas: “Gov. Charlie Baker is hoping to bolster the state’s nearly five-decade old wiretapping law that will expand a list of crimes that the electronic surveillance can be used for, including human trafficking, use of chemical or biological weapons, and gang-related murders.” The bill is being support by Attorney General Maura Healey, district attorneys and police chief across the state.
While Boston small business owners’ confidence in the national economy has risen over the past six months, as BBJ’s David Harris reports on a new Bank of America survey, a separate survey by AIM shows that major state employers’ confidence dipped in April, as SHNS Colin Young reports at the Newburyport Daily News.
As economist and NYT columnist Paul Krugman notes, there’s “hard” economic data and then there’s “soft” economic data – with survey results falling into the latter category.
The Globe’s Felice Freyer has a good story on how nearly 40 percent of Massachusetts residents live in areas where it’s difficult to get to a supermarket to buy nutritious foods, i.e. they live in ‘food deserts’ and have to buy the bulk of their food at corner grocery stores not exactly known for selling fresh vegetable, fruits and other non-processed foods.
From Katie Lannan at SHNS: “Raising wages for early educators, eliminating the waiting list for early education and care, ensuring access to after-school and summer programs, and expanding state education aid to cover younger children are among the pricy ‘short-term’ priorities of a Senate working group seeking to strengthen childhood development.” But the ‘Kids First’ agenda faces a big hurdle: Finding available revenue to fund it, Lannan reports.
Responding to a Herald series on local Veterans Administration blunders in diagnosing GI brain injuries, U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton has fired off a letter to the House Veterans Affairs Committee, asking it to “fully examine” whether the same problems exist nationwide, reports the Herald’s Jack Encarnacao.
From Shannon Young at MassLive: “Responding to President Donald Trump’s recent offshore energy executive order, senators from Massachusetts and other East Coast states announced legislation this week that would ban oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, joined 14 colleagues Monday in reintroducing the so-called Clean Ocean and Safe Tourism Anti-Drilling Act.”
State Police detective among those honored on Law Day
State Police Lt. Steven McDonald, a detective who solved a 2011 murder of a Quincy man, was among those honored yesterday by Gov. Baker and others at a Law Day ceremony inside Quincy District Court yesterday, reports Benjamin Paulin at Wicked Local. “On Law Day, we all have an opportunity to remember that ‘We are a nation of laws and not of men,’” Baker said, quoting John Adams. “[Those honored] are the people who, every single day, represent what I believe public service is all about and the represent the very best among us.”
Ex-U.S. Attorney helping Trump select top local prosecutor
Former U.S. Attorney Mike Sullivan says he’s been making recommendations to the Trump administration about the next top federal prosecutor in Boston, though a final fed selection isn’t expected till this summer, reports the Herald’s Bob McGovern.
Mattapoisett town meeting to weigh U.S. constitutional change
It’s peak town-meeting season and this year, in the SouthCoast town of Mattapoisett, that means looking to start the process of amending the Constitution of the United State of America. Michael DeCicco of the Standard-Times reports that voters will take up an article that would put the town behind efforts to urge Congress to amend the Constitution to essentially overturn the Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United decision, which found that corporations have the same rights as individuals and that campaign donations are a form of free speech.
Here comes summer: CapeFlyer to start its fifth year shuttling passengers to Cape
Celebrating its fifth year of service, the MBTA’s summer weekend train service to and from the Cape is scheduled to start Friday, May 26, for the big Memorial Day weekend, reports Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive. Running between Boston and Hyannis, the CapeFLYER service leaves Boston's South Station and stops in Braintree, Brockton, Middleboro, Wareham and Buzzards Bay before ending in Hyannis.