Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, State Police Lt. Col. Edward Amodeo and Jeff Larason of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security hold a news conference on highway safety in work zones, outside Weston State Police barracks, 668 South Ave., Weston, 8 a.m.
Offshore wind discussion
MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike joins DONG Energy General Manager Thomas Brostrom and Copenhagen Offshore Partners Co. CEO Lars Thaaning Pederson in a panel discussion about offshore wind as part of the Northeast Clean Energy Council's Emerging Trends Series, Foley Hoag, Seaport West 155 Seaport Boulevard, 8:30 a.m.
Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash attends a meeting of the MassDevelopment Board of Directors, 99 High Street, 11th Floor, Boston, 10 a.m.
Brockton DA office
Gov. Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz gather for the grand opening of the Plymouth County District Attorney's Office, 166 Main Street, Brockton, 10 a.m.
Alzheimer’s treatment lobby day
Alzheimer's Association holds its annual advocacy and lobby day to advocate for passage of an Act Improving Treatment for Alzheimer's and Dementia, Great Hall, 10:30 a.m.
Capital budget announcement
Gov. Baker joins House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Secretary of Administration and Finance Kristen Lepore to make an announcement regarding the fiscal year 2018 Capital Budget Plan, Chelsea Soldiers' Home, 91 Crest Ave, Chelsea, 12 p.m.
‘An Act to End Child Marriage’
Activists gather on the steps outside the State House in support of a bill ‘An Act to End Child Marriage,’ with lead sponsors Rep. Kay Khan and Sen. Harriette Chandler speaking, 24 Beacon St., Boston, 12 p.m.
Capuano on the air
U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano is a guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 1:30 p.m.
Clark and Tsongas on the air
U.S. Reps. Katherine Clark and Niki Tsongas are guests on ‘Greater Boston,’ WGBH-TV Ch. 2, 7 p.m.
Road to Recovery gala
Gov. Baker attends the Creative Office Pavilion Road to Recovery Gala with First Lady Lauren Baker, where he will be honored with the Gavin Foundation Man of the Year award for his efforts in working to combat the opioid addiction epidemic, Chelsea Soldiers' Home, 91 Crest Ave, Chelsea, 7:15 p.m.
A number of local Dems are demanding the appointment of a special prosecutor or independent commission, or both, to investigate the Trump administration’s ties to Russia, in the wake of the White House firing of FBI director James Comey. U.S. Rep. Richard Neal is among those calling for probes, as reported by Shannon Young at MassLive. So is U.S. Rep. Bill Keating, as reported by Tori Bedford at WGBH. And you can add U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano to the growing list, as reported by the Herald’s Chris Villani. U.S. Seth Moulton says the FBI flap is ‘far worse’ than Watergate, reports the Salem News.
On the punditry front: The Globe’s Joan Vennochi is advising people to follow the tweets, not just the money. The Globe’s Yvonne Abraham wonders what has happened to the American democracy that she pledged allegiance to nine years ago. Answer: It’s alive and well, Yvonne. As Gerald Ford once said after another scandal, “our constitution works,” and it’s working now, as check-and-balance investigations spring up all around us.
The Amherst lawyer who may yet get his Trump impeachment wish
It initially looked like a quixotic, knee-jerk campaign by a disgruntled Amherst lawyer seeking President Trump’s impeachment only weeks after his inauguration, pushing local municipalities to pressure Congress to take action against Trump for all his foreign business interests. But now John Bonifaz, a Democrat, doesn’t look like such a blue-state outlier, considering what’s happening in Washington these days. Diane Lederman has more at MassLive.
Back to the drawing board: MassDevelopment candidate withdraws name at last minute
So much for the Baker administration's carefully orchestrated palace coup at MassDevelopment. From Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth: “MassDevelopment was preparing to name a new CEO on Thursday, but now officials say the candidate has withdrawn her name from consideration. State officials say Barbara Kroncke, a partner at McCarter & English in Boston, decided to withdraw her name to deal with illness in her family.”
Kroncke, a financial backer of Gov. Charlie Baker, was nominated to the post after the previous long-time agency chief was recently bounced by the board.
Is Brianna Wu already conceding? Now eyeing beyond 2018
In a one-question ‘interview’ with Elle, game developer Brianna Wu, who plans to challenge U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch in next year’s Democratic primary, says “running for office is a blast” and calls being a candidate one of the best jobs she’s ever had. But Wu sounds a cautious note, acknowledging that most women who run for Congress don’t win the first time out. “I am gunning with everything I can to win in 2018, but if I don't I will be back in 2020. I am only 39 years old. If you don't succeed the first time, try it again.”
What a coincidence: Mayor Marty Walsh attended General Electric’s headquarters groundbreaking on Monday and the very next day Walsh “unearthed another treasure — a $1,000 campaign contribution from GE’s CEO Jeffrey Immelt,” the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld reports. Immelt’s donation is just one of 22 campaign contributions from GE execs to Walsh over the past month alone, writes Battenfeld. On another campaign-donation front, officials are now predicting “record-shattering levels of cash flowing” to city council candidates in Boston, reports Dan Atkinson at the Herald.
No October surprise: Trial of City Hall aides delayed till after mayoral election
Speaking of city elections: Calling it “a boon for the reelection campaign of Mayor Martin J. Walsh,” the Globe’s Milton Valencia and Meghan Irons, as well as the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld, are reporting that the start of the extortion trial of two city hall aides has been scheduled for early January, rather than October, as prosecutors had wanted. As both articles note, the January date may spare Mayor Walsh embarrassing disclosures just prior to the November election.
General Electric chief executive Jeff Immelt has said he moved his company to Boston so his employees could immerse themselves in a true innovation culture. Now it looks like GE’s Fort Point neighbor may well be Amazon.com Inc., which is currently in talks to lease about 150,000 square feet at 253 Summer St., the curved yellow-brick office building adjacent to the future GE campus, reports the BBJ’s Catherine Carlock.
Four more enter race to be Framingham’s first mayor
Framingham’s first-ever race for mayor is shaping up to be a doozy. Jim Haddad in of the MetroWest Daily News reports that four more hopefuls have pulled nomination papers, bringing the field to at least seven potential candidates. Among the new would-be candidates is a town meeting member known for his push to stop the city’s adult ESL programs—he said they make Framingham a magnet for undocumented immigrants—and for being labeled an anti-Semite by the Anti Defamation League in 2009 after he made Holocaust-denial statements on his cable access TV show.
Taunton teacher posthumously awarded medal for his heroics
This is both sad and inspiring: George Heath, the Taunton teacher who was killed while trying to protect others from a knife-wielding attacker last year, has been posthumously honored for his heroics, reports Rebecca Hyman at the Fall River Herald News. The Carnegie Hero medal was presented to his wife, Rosemary, at an event attended by U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, Gov. Bakers and other city and state officials yesterday.
The Globe’s Ty Burr takes a look at the hit podcast ‘Crimetown,’ about all things Providence, including the late Mayor Vincent ‘Buddy’ Cianci, mob violence and other corrupt matters that makes Providence Providence. You can watch ‘Crimetown’ on the web (see link below).
Trying their best to drum up their own loyal video audience, members of the Governor’s Council once again got into another rhetorical brawl. And once again it was captured on video and is available at the indispensable State House New Service.
This should provide political ammo for those pushing for comprehensive criminal justice reforms on Beacon Hill. From the Globe’s Laura Krantz: “Massachusetts voters support aggressive reforms to the state criminal justice system, according to a poll conducted by MassINC, a bipartisan policy think tank. The poll found that the plurality of respondents, 46 percent, believe judges should have more discretion in sentencing convicted offenders, rather than requiring them to sentence some offenders to a minimum period of time. Forty-two percent of respondents said they believe there are too many people in prison, and 23 percent said they think the number is appropriate.”
How bad is the opioid crisis? Nearly 450 died here last quarter – and they’re calling it progress
If 447 people died in Uber-Lyft-related car crashes, there would be a public uproar in Massachusetts. But there were 447 opioid-related deaths in the first quarter in Massachusetts – and the decline of 47 deaths from a year ago is being called progress, or “negative momentum,” whatever. Not to belittle the heroic efforts of so many trying to combat the epidemic, but the numbers are just staggering. The BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett has the details. The Boston Globe has more, including a look at prior years’ numbers, and the Boston Heraldreports that nine out of ten towns in the state are now grappling with the epidemic.
In the unlikely event the latest proposed soda tax lands on his desk, Gov. Charlie Baker is making it clear he’s very sour on the idea. "I don't think we should be raising taxes, and I've said that before, especially not a tax that hits low-income people a lot harder than it hits everybody else," Baker told reporters yesterday, reports Matt Murphy at SHNS.
Sweet deal: Developer snaps up Necco site in Revere
Speaking of sweet, Atlantic Management and VMD have teamed up to buy the 50-acre site where NECCO makes its candy delights in Revere, reports the Globe’s Jon Chesto. It isn’t clear if Necco, which currently has a lease on the site till August 2018, will stay, go or reduce is presence at the site. But developers want to keep the building, no matter what, Chesto writes.
In other development news, the Globe’s Tim Logan reports how the redevelopment of the L Street Power Station in South Botson is definitely going chic – perhaps working-class chic, for lack of other words, with potentially beautiful waterfront views beyond the new heavy-truck freight road being developed by the state.
About that towering inflatable pig outside the Melrose-Wakefield hospital …
Union workers have plunked a giant inflatable pig – we’re talking a Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade-scale pig, or nearly that size – outside the Melrose-Wakefield Hospital as Hallmark Health builds a new medical office building at on Main Street in Wakefield. Members of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades are protesting the use of subcontractors who aren’t paying workers prevailing wages, reports Jeanette Hinkle at Wicked Local.
Baker’s ‘damaging and ill-thought-through tax’ on employers, Part V
In case he didn’t make himself clear in four prior op-eds in the Boston Globe and CommonWealthmagazine, Michael Widmer, the former head of the Taxpayers Foundation, wants to make it absolutely crystal clear he’s still not happy with Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposed employer-assessment plan to help fund Medicaid, calling it a ‘damaging and ill-thought-through’ tax.
‘Heart to Hub’ ridership stabilizing but still rather small
We can see why the MBTA is tempted to add more stops to the Worcester-Boston ‘HeartToHub’ rail service, with morning ridership running at just under 170 passengers and the evening ridership at only 64. A spokesman for the MBTA said the numbers show that the service has “developed a loyal customer base, with fairly consistent ridership levels,” reports Alban Murtishi at MassLive.
Pregnant Workers Fairness Act passes House, heads to Senate
As expected, the House yesterday passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which offers more protections in the workplace for pregnant employees, and the legislation will now be taken up by the Senate.
Teachers union shooting for the school-spending moon after anti-Question 2 triumph
The Massachusetts Teachers Association, the state's largest union that played a critical role in defeating last year’s Question 2 referendum on charter schools, is now throwing its weight behind a bill that could hike school spending by as much as $2 billlion, as well as putting a three-year moratorium on standardized testing requirements and mandating recess for grade schoolers, reports Mike Deehan at WGBH. Mike has the details.
The Worcester City Council has asked administrators to draft an ordinance that could limit the number of pawn shop licenses issued by the city, Nick Kotsopolous of the Telegram reports. There are currently six shops operating in Worcester and City Councilor Konstantina Lukes said that may be more than enough, citing the shops’ role in property crimes. “Probably not too many people are interested in this until they have their house broken into and all their valuables have been taken, and you wonder where they went,” Lukes said.
Report paints positive picture of Plainridge hiring
Half of the workers employed by the state’s first legal gaming hall at Plainridge Park had been unemployed or working part-time before the slots parlor opened, according to a report from the UMass Donahue Institute that also shows the vast majority of workers were hired from local communities. Rick Foster of the Taunton Gazette reports that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which released the report, said it demonstrates that the casino gaming law is achieving it hiring goals.
Sex traffic victim fund sees only trickle of money
The state’s Victims of Human Trafficking Trust Fund has amassed just $16,000 in the five years since it was created—the vast majority from a single sex trafficking case, Matt Stout of the Herald reports. Attorney General Maura Healey has expressed support for a legislative tweak that would funnel fines paid by ‘johns’ into the fund, which currently relies on forfeitures from trafficking-related cases.