Democrats begin to converge on Worcester today for this weekend's Democratic State Party Convention that will attract thousands of delegates, top Democratic political leaders, gubernatorial candidates and others at the DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester.
Healey at Concord Academy
Attorney General Maura Healey delivers the commencement address at Concord Academy, 166 Main St., Concord, 9 a.m.
Rainbow flag raising
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh sponsors a rainbow flag raising at City Hall to kick off Boston Pride Week. The event will honor the designer of the first pride flag, Gilbert Baker, who died in March,City Hall Plaza, Boston, 12 p.m.
Senate President Stanley Rosenberg participates in a roundtable discussion of the challenges to the innovation economy in Berkshire County hosted by Sen. Adam Hinds, 1 Berkshire, 66 Allen St., Pittsfield, 2 p.m.
Our Revolution Massachusetts hosts a meet-up and cocktail party on the eve of the state Democratic Convention, Hilton Garden Inn, 35 Major Taylor Boulevard, Worcester, 7 p.m.
Jay Gonzalez for Governor Convention Party, Hilton Garden Inn, Garden AB, 35 Major Taylor Boulevard, Worcester, 7 a.m.
Trial court CFO also swept up in prostitution sting
A high-profile Boston pastor wasn’t the only prominent person caught soliciting a prostitute during an undercover police sting earlier this week. William Marchant, the chief financial officer of the Massachusetts Trial Court, was among the would-be johns arrested in Chinatown on Tuesday after answering a decoy online advertisement for paid sex with a woman, reports Maria Cramer at the Globe. Marchant has been placed on unpaid administrative leave. Meanwhile, the Herald’s Jessica Heslam has more on the arrest of Pastor A. Livingston Foxworth, who was swept up in the same sting.
More than 5,000 Democratic delegates, candidates, consultants and media members descend on Worcester this weekend to rally the troops and hammer out a new party platform prior to next year’s gubernatorial and other election showdowns. And what would a Democrat convention be without a little dissension, infighting and, in particular, progressives throwing fits about why the rest of the party won’t rubber-stamp their agenda?
Former state Sen. Dan Wolf, a potential gubernatorial candidate, is getting into the swing of things by blasting House Speaker Robert DeLeo as being “tone deaf” to the progressive agenda and for recently not stating categorically that he’ll support the Democratic nominee for governor, reports SHNS’s Andy Metzger (paywall). Meanwhile, Bernie Bakers at Our Revolution Massachusetts will be trying to hammer out the the purest of pure platforms.
Gus Bickford, head of the Democratic Party, isn’t worried at all about the splits within the party. “As chair of the party, I confidently — and enthusiastically — predict that we will not all agree on everything. We’re not supposed to!” he writes at CommonWealth magazine. “We must, however, continue to actively engage new, old, no-longer, and never-been Democrats concerned about the future of our Commonwealth and country.” So let the convention begin!
Business leaders, pols, academics sound off on climate-pact pullout
From General Electric’s Jeff Immelt to Gov. Charlie Baker to the head of the MIT Energy Initiative, a lot of people aren’t happy about the Trump administration’s pullout from the Paris climate accord. Extensive coverage can be found at the Boston Business Journal (which actually has a second reax story) and the Boston Globe and MassLive and State House News Service (pay wall). Take your pick. The dissatisfaction is deep and widespread.
Environmentalist: Baker is MIA when it comes to regional carbon limits
Speaking of climate change and the environment, Ben Hellerstein, state director for the Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center, thinks Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has been “missing in action” of late when it comes to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). He has more at CommonWealth magazine.
Besides regional carbon-emission issues, it’ll be interesting to see how Baker, who has vowed to keep working with other states on climate-change matters, responds to the new “U.S. Climate Alliance” formed by Democratic governors from California, New York and Washington in response to the U.S. pullout from the Paris climate accord, as the Associated Press reports at the Globe. State Sen. Eric Lesser is already urging Baker to join the alliance.
Is Marty going too global?
The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld is wondering if Mayor Walsh is spending a bit too much time railing against Donald Trump and the White House’s climate-change policies: “Walsh is on a roll. He’s getting so good at grandstanding he should have a section named after him at Fenway.” Meanwhile, in a separate piece, the Herald rounds up people who just so happen to agree with Battenfeld that maybe the mayor needs to focus more on traffic, parking, crime and education, though they do seem to agree that climate-change, especially in a seacoast city like Boston, is a legitimate issue for the mayor to be stressing.
No more ‘I don’t want to tick off the mayor’ whispers
Some may be unhappy about Mayor Marty Walsh’s focus on global issues these days. But the Globe’s Scot Lehigh has a good column this morning about a very unheralded local achievement by Walsh since he took office: “It’s been a long time since we’ve heard someone whisper: I’d better not say anything; I don’t want to tick off the mayor,” Lehigh writes. We’ve been hearing the same thing, over and over again, from City Hall types: People are no longer afraid, like they were under the late Mayor Thomas Menino, of speaking their minds on even the most mundane issues.
Time zone change: It’s up to you, New York, New York
Members of the state commission looking into changing the state’s time zone – effectively eliminating the “fall back” part of Daylight Saving Time, keeping just the “spring forward” time – are signaling it’s unlikely they’ll recommend any change, reports Mike Deehan at WGBH. The main reason cited by Sen. Eileen Donoghue and Rep. Paul Frost: Massachusetts, as well as the rest of New England, can’t do it alone. New York needs to go along with the change to make it work.
Hospital leaders mobilize to lobby GOP lawmakers over NIH cuts
The city’s top hospital and medical-school leaders huddled yesterday at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to strategize how to block President Trump’s proposed NIH budget cuts and to lay the groundwork for a lobbying campaign targeting Republican lawmakers nationwide, reports Jordan Graham at the Herald.
Traffic warning: Turnpike ‘dry run’ to reduce lanes near Boston this weekend
A MASSterList reader alerted us to an email MassDOT has sent out to motorists warning them of a “I-90 Dry Run” it plans to conduct on the Pike this weekend in preparation for the massive Commonwealth Avenue bridge replacement project this summer. The dress-rehearsal, which starts at midnight tonight and runs through Monday at 5 a.m., entails reducing the Pike to two lanes in both directions between the Allston Interchange and the Beacon Street overpass. As it is, MassLive, of course, had a story on this a few days back.
Education commissioner Mitchell Chester scaling back workload due to illness
From Doug Page at Bay State Parent: “Commissioner Mitchell Chester, who leads the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), which oversees the Bay State’s K-12 public schools, has scaled back his workload due to illness and Deputy Commissioner Jeff Wulfson was appointed acting commissioner, sources close to DESE tell baystateparent.” A DESE spokesman confirms that Chester has indeed “temporarily cut back on his schedule for medical reasons” but is denying Wulfson is now acting commissioner.
Showing class: Boston Teachers Union welcomes National Teacher of the Year
Snubbed by the Massachusetts Teachers Association, Sydney Chaffee, the Dorchester charter school educator who was recently named National Teacher of the Year, has been instead invited to address the Boston Teachers Union, which just proved it has the graciousness and class to recognize education excellence and the ability to set aside policy differences when it counts. CommonWealth’s Michael Jonas has the details.
Amid widespread concerns about cyber security, privacy and reliability, Gov. Charlie Baker is proposing the creation of a new cabinet-level secretariat to oversee IT services across much of state government, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan at the BBJ and Joshua Miller at the Globe. Whether it deserves to be a cabinet position or not, there’s no doubt the state needs a go-to person to coordinate and oversee all the IT-related issues facing state government – and a go-to person with genuine clout.
Tufts nurses’ strike looks imminent
Barring a last-minute blink by one of the negotiating sides, a nurses’ strike – and a subsequent four-day lockout of any nurses that participate in a one-day strike -- is looking imminent at Tufts Medical Center after the two sides failed to reach a final contract agreement earlier this week, reports Jessica Bartlett at the BBJ.
Ex-banking commissioner lands post at home mortgage start-up
David Cotney, who stepped down as the state’s commissioner of banks last fall after a more than 25-year career at the agency, is joining a small Boston start-up, RateGravity Inc., whose software automates parts of the home financing process, the BBJ’s Kelly O’Brien reports. Cotney will serve as a regulatory advisor.
North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright will not seek a fifth term in office, meaning the city will have new leadership for just the third time in more than 30 years, Adam Shanks of the Berkshire Eagle reports. Alcombright has been in office since 2009, when he defeated longtime incumbent John Barrett III, who held the office for a quarter-century.
Charter school bans media from its first graduation
Local newspapers across the Bay State are brim-full of high school graduation stories and photo spreads this week, but there is one commencement no reporter will have to worry about covering. Dusty Christensen of the Hampshire Gazette reports that the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School will hold its first-ever graduation today and plans to bar the media from watching its first 11 graduates receive their diplomas. Despite the school’s taxpayer funding, executive director Richard Alcorn told the Gazette the event was already “oversubscribed” and that parents asked to keep the event private.
With editing jobs long-ago shifted to Texas, printing presses moved to Auburn and dozens of employees laid off, GateHouse Media said Thursday it will begin seeking a buyer for its property in a Framingham office park. Executives told employees the chain is seeking a more size-appropriate location somewhere in the western suburbs. The MetroWest Daily News has been based at the 95,000-square-foot facility since 1979.
Pinning down Tito Jackson’s neighborhood no small feat
Boston mayoral candidate Tito Jackson says he represents Roxbury on the City Council, but pinpointing where Jackson hails from is far more complicated, Michael Jonas reports in CommonWealth magazine. Jackson’s home and its surrounding Grove Hall neighborhood was reassigned from Roxbury to Dorchester by the U.S. Postal Service in 1967, a shift many a longtime Bostonian rejects outright. Michael has more on the border confusion.
Gaming Commission fines Plainridge $65K over security issues
From Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive: “The Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Thursday hit Plainridge Park Casino, the state's sole slot parlor, with a $65,000 fine over security staffing issues. The commission said the gaming facility was repeatedly non-compliant with minimum security staffing requirements, leading to the civil penalty.” Plainridge “fully cooperated” with commission agents, authorities said.
Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. Guest: Kirsten Hughes, chair of the Massachusetts Republican Party, who discusses the governor’s race, tax hike proposals, friction between Gov. Baker and President Trump and other issues with host Jon Keller.
This is New England, NBC Boston Channel 10, 9:30 a.m. With host Latoyia Edwards, this week’s focus: Boston Pride Week, with guests Sylvain Bruni and Linda DeMarco of Boston Pride.
This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Former DEP and DPU commissioner David Cash talks about the global and local impact of President Trump’s pullout from the Paris climate accord; Alnylam president Barry Green discussses his company’s technology products, and BBJ editor Doug Banks reviews the week’s top business stories.
CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. Jen Faigel, executive director of Commonwealth Kitchen talks about the business incubator for the food economy.
On the Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Gov. Charlie Baker, who talks with anchor Ed Harding and co-anchor Janet Wu.
CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s focus: Ruling the Workforce.