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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

MASSterList: Hashing it out | Missed goals | White House Watch




By Jay Fitzgerald and Keith Regan
05/02/2017

Hashing it out | Missed goals | White House Watch


Happening Today
Law Day
Gov. Charlie Baker delivers the keynote address at Quincy District Court's observance of Law Day, One Dennis Ryan Pkwy., Quincy, 9 a.m.
SJC hearings
The Supreme Judicial Court hears Commonwealth v. Jahmal Brangan; Commonwealth v. Michael Wolfe; George Koshy v. Anupam Sachdev; Micahel Langan v. Board of Registration in Medicine; and Commonwealth v. Anthony Ortiz, John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Second Floor, Pemberton Square, 9 a.m.
PRIM meeting
The Pension Reserve Investment Management Board's Investment Committee meets, with Treasurer Deborah Goldberg attending, 84 State St. - 2nd floor, Boston, 9:30 a.m.
Development Corps Lobby Day
Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations holds its annual lobby day, Great Hall, 9:30 a.m.
Opioid addiction grants
Attorney General Maura Healey, Rep. Paul Tucker, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll and others announce grant funding for opioid addiction prevention in Essex County schools, Collins Middle School, 29 Highland Ave., Salem, 10 a.m.
Kids First
Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, Sen. Sal DiDomenico and members of the Kids First Working Group release ‘Kids First: A Vision for a Stronger Commonwealth,’ Grand Staircase, 10 a.m.
Municipalities Committee
Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government reviews a number of bills, including one that would require cities and towns to provide at least one district where dense family housing is permitted, Room A-2, 10:30 a.m.
Rosenberg on the air
Senate President Stanley Rosenberg is interviewed on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 12 p.m.
ACLU director 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.
Wiretap law
Gov. Baker joins Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Attorney General Maura Healey, Public Safety and Security Secretary Daniel Bennett, State Police Colonel Richard McKeon, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe, and others to announce legislation updating the state's wiretap law, Room 157, 12:30 p.m.
Environment Committee
The Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture meeting to review bills, including one that would ban certain animals from performing in circus acts, Room B-1, 1 p.m.
Baker, Goldberg meet
Gov. Baker meets with Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, Treasurer's Office, Room 227, 2 p.m.
Big Brothers, Big Sisters
Gov. Baker gives remarks at the Big Brothers Big Sisters Big of the Year's inaugural leadership forum, Westin Boston Waterfront - concourse level, 425 Summer St., Boston, 4:45 p.m.


Today's News
Is the supervised injections idea headed to further-study oblivion?
There are two ways to look at the Beacon Hill response the Massachusetts Medical Society’s call for new clinics where opioid addicts could shoot up under medical supervision: 1.) State House leaders are cautiously open to the idea and want to study the issue more or 2.) They’re not open to the idea and likely will shuffle it off to further-study oblivion. Based on today’s story by the Globe’s Michael Levenson and Joshua Miller, we get this distinct impression it’s the latter, though SHNS’s Andy Metzger’s piece at the Telegram strikes a slightly more optimistic tone.
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As Walsh pans independent pot commission idea, DeLeo offers up hybrid proposal
Mayor Marty Walsh is joining those criticizing a State House push to create an independent commission that would oversee marijuana matters in Massachusetts, rather than handing over regulatory authority to Treasurer Deb Goldberg, reports the Herald’s Matt Stout and Dan Atkinson. “I’m concerned about creating another bureaucracy,” Walsh said. “There’s no need to create another board and entity to regulate this issue.” Meanwhile, House Speaker Robert DeLeo emerged from a leadership meeting yesterday suggesting that some sort of compromise “almalgamation” idea might be in the works, reports Katie Lannan at SHNS (pay wall). The Globe’s Joshua Miller has more on the pot-commission wrangling.
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Foxboro voters approve pot ban
Voters in Foxboro added that town to the growing list of communities that have banned recreational pot shops, Bera Dunau reports in the Sun-Chronicle. The outright ban passed by a margin of 681 to 415, with less than 10 percent of the town’s voters going to the polls in an election that saw just one contested race for selectman.  Meanwhile, besides electing new selectmen, Groveland voters overwhelmingly rejected a plan to locate a medical marijuana cultivation center in an industrial zone, according to an Eagle-Tribune report.
Sun Chronicle
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The Moulton White House Watch
The Globe’s Jim O’Sullivan delves into the growing speculation that U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton has his eye on a possible White House bid in 2020, a move that might generationally pit him against another state pol believed to be angling for a presidential run: U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Moulton’s communications director is flatly stating that he’s “not running for president,” but the speculation genie is now out of the bottle, thanks to a NYT report on Monday that said Moulton “has not ruled out running in private conversations.”
Boston Globe
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MBTA missing repair goals
The MBTA is falling far short of its own capital spending targets to repair buses, trains, subway cars and other key systems at the T, Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine reports.
CommonWealth
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Meanwhile, Boston Properties to pony up $6M for Kendall Square transit projects
The item above is technically not connected to this transit-related item. Then again, maybe they are connected, in a way: Under a deal tentatively reached with city and state officials, Boston Properties, a private real estate development firm, would set aside $6 million for transit improvements in Cambridge’s booming Kendall Square area, reports the Globe’s Jon Chesto.
Boston Globe
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Highway chief undergoes emergency surgery for brain aneurysm
Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery for state highway administrator Thomas Tinlin, who administration officials said yesterday had to undergo emergency surgery related to a brain aneurysm, as reported by SHNS’s Colin Young.
SHNS (pay wall)
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VA bumbling, Part II
The Herald’s Jack Encarnacao has another piece in the paper’s ongoing series on medical screw-ups by the Veterans Administration. Today’s installment: How the VA apparently missed brain damage to U.S. Marine combat vet Brian Callahan of Dracut.
Boston Herald
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High lead levels in hundreds of Mass. schools
From the Globe’s Matt Rocheleau: “Water testing at more than 1,000 Massachusetts schools found that a majority had at least one sample showing lead levels above regulatory limits, and in a few cases results rivaled or exceeded levels measured during the crisis in Flint, Mich. In many of the worst instances, school officials said that the source of the water had not been used for years. They have taken steps to address cases of high lead levels and have notified parents of the results.”
Boston Globe
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Poll: Voters looking to Baker to keep fed funds flowing
Maybe this is why Gov. Charlie Baker isn’t so eager to bash away at President Donald Trump. A new poll by the Novus Group shows that voters are looking to Baker, a Republican, to protect federal funds flowing to Massachusetts while the Republican Trump is in the White House, reports Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive. Voters have higher expectations for Baker on this score than for U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, both Democrats, the poll shows.
MassLive
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Rewarded: Trump’s Mass. campaign chair lands administration post
The chairman of President Donald Trump's campaign last year in Massachusetts, Vincent DeVito, a partner at Bowditch & Dewey LLP, has landed a post as senior counselor for energy affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior, reports Greg Ryan at the BBJ.
BBJ
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Senators’ pleas go unanswered as pipeline clearing begins
Crews have begun clearing trees in Otis State Forest to make way for a Tennessee Gas Pipeline project, dimming hopes that a federal agency would intervene after members of the state’s congressional delegation asked for a re-hearing, Heather Bellow of the Berkshire Eagle reports. Both of the state’s U.S. senators, Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, had asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to revisit its pipeline approval after discovering its initial OK came at a meeting where there was no quorum of the commission present. 
Berkshire Eagle
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The state’s economy actually shrank last quarter
This is an item that we had to leave on the cutting room floor yesterday due to our technical glitches. But it’s worth pointing out a day late, to wit: The state’s economy shrank during the first three quarters of this year, mirroring a similar major slowdown in the nation’s GDP growth, according to a new UMass report contained in the economic journal MassBechmarks, as the Boston Globe and Boston Herald report.
We’ll defer to economists who say this isn’t a big deal. But our gut still tells us this is indeed a big deal, coupled with the national economic slowdown. The NYT’s Paul Krugman, while bashing away at Donald Trump and Trump supporters, makes an interesting point about the difference between “soft” and “hard” economic data, and this UMass report strikes us as hard data indicating something’s amiss.
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Holding that cell phone in the car may soon cost you …
We were just thinking about this subject when navigating a crowded mall parking lot and forced to swerve out of the way of a distracted SUV driver yapping away on a hand-held cell phone. Anyway, with this rant out of our system, SHNS’s Andy Metzger at WCVB: “Drivers in Massachusetts would be barred from holding a cellphone to make a call, use the phone's camera or access social media under legislation unanimously supported by the Transportation Committee.”
WCVB
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No bidders?
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is scratching its head why not one bidder stepped forward to redevelop 5.5 acres of prime downtown property along Kneeland Street near Chinatown, reports the Herald’s Matt Stout.
Boston Herald
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May Day rallies on Beacon Hill and across state
Shira Schoenberg at MassLive has a brief story and accompanying photos of yesterday’s May Day rally by immigrants outside the State House. Other May Day and immigrant rallies, as well as job walk-outs, were held across the state yesterday, as covered by the Gazette and MassLive and Enterprise.
MassLive
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Kathryn White, RIP
George Regan, the PR guru and former press secretary to the late Mayor Kevin White,remembers Kathryn White, the glamorous First Lady of Boston in the ‘60s and ‘70s who has sadly passed away. The Globe has moreon Kathryn White, the daughter of a politician who once vowed never to marry a politician.
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Insurers ask Baker to junk Obamacare risk-adjustment program
How Gov. Charlie Baker can get rid of something within the federal Affordable Care Act, we’re not quite sure. But the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans sure wants to the governor to do something, anything, to get rid of ObamaCare’s controversial risk-adjustment program, reports the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett.
BBJ
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Holyoke councilor: Panhandling may be human trafficking
A Holyoke city councilor wants the Hampden County District Attorney to come before the council to discuss whether widespread panhandling in the city is the work of human trafficking organizations, Mike Plaisance of MassLive reports. "It's too well organized to be homeless people,” said Councilor-at-Large James M. Leahy.  The full council is expected to vote Tuesday on whether to formally ask the DA to appear before them to discuss the issue.  
MassLive
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Zoning review urged amid condo creep in Southie
Boston City Councilor Michael Flaherty is asking planning officials to require stricter review of proposals to convert stand-alone homes to multi-unit condos as residents push back on the trend, Dan Atkinson of the Herald reports. Flaherty says developers are exploiting loopholes in recently passed zoning laws to redevelop properties without any neighborhood input or review. 
Boston Herald
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