The Alcohol Task Force that Treasurer Deborah Goldberg convened to review the state’s alcohol laws and regulations holds another meeting, Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., 11 a.m.
Dr. Scott Goldberg, director of emergency medical services at Brigham and Women's Hospital, talks ‘Radio Boston’ about his push for publicly accessible Narcan lock-boxes in Cambridge, WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m.
Blackstone Park groundbreaking
U.S Rep. James McGovern, Sen. Michael Moore, Rep. Daniel Donahue, Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty and others speak at a groundbreaking for the new Blackstone Gateway Park, McKeon Road and Blackstone River Road; adjacent to 115 McKeon Road, Worcester, 3 p.m.
Boston innovation festival
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh hosts the ‘Courtyard Festival,’ a one-night speaker event on the theme ‘cementing innovation,’ City Hall Plaza, 5 p.m.
Markey town hall
U.S. Sen. Ed Markey will hold a town hall meeting to talk about the impact of President Donald Trump's administration on Massachusetts, Paramount Theater, 559 Washington St., Boston, 6:30 p.m.
Rosenberg: Family leave may head to referendum if lawmakers don’t act
Senate President Stan Rosenberg is raising the stakes in the Beacon Hill battle over paid family leave, saying the issue could end up before voters as a ballot question if lawmakers balk at approving the measure this session, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan at the Recorder. "I am hopeful that the legislature will take this question up during this term and get it to the Governor's desk," Rosenberg wrote during a Facebook Q&A yesterday. "If we fail to do so, I expect there will be a ballot question putting this matter into the hands of voters. It would be far better to do it in the legislature than the ballot.”
Another day, another major Boston event down the drain. Fed up with Trump administration foot dragging and faced with the likelihood of a U.S. pullout from the Paris climate accord, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says that plans to hold a major international climate summit in Boston this summer have been scrapped, reports the Globe’s David Abel. . ... Let's see: No climate summit. No Summer Olympics. No IndyCar. Are you starting to notice a pattern here?
Local pols and activists blast Trump over U.S. pullout from Paris accords
Benjamin Swasey at WBUR has a good round-up of local reactions to reports that President Trump later today plans to announce the U.S. is pulling out of the Paris climate accord. Some samples: Mayor Walsh is calling the move “foolish,” Gov. Baker is describing it as “disappointing and counterproductive,” and U.S. Ed Markey is labeling it “an economic, security and moral failure.” SHNS’s Michael Norton at the MetroWest Daily News and Chris Villani at the Boston Herald have more reactions from conservationists, U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III and others.
To keep kids in school, Worcester offers laundry machines
School officials in Worcester plan to install laundry washers and dryers in four schools, saying an experiment at one middle school this year showed offering students clean clothes can help curb absenteeism, Scott O’Connell of the Telegram reports. At least part of the funding for the project will come from UMass Medical School.
State receiver for Southbridge schools put on leave
This is somewhat of a mystery – and the last thing Southbridge schools need at this point. From Brian Lee at the Telegram: “A school district that was taken over by the state, in part because of its record of high administrative turnover, has been hit with another disruption in its top leadership. State education officials confirm that Jessica L. Huizenga, the state-appointed receiver for Southbridge public schools, is on a leave of absence.” Officials aren’t explaining why she’s taking the paid leave, other than saying it’s a “personnel matter.”
Reverend who blessed Gov. Baker’s election caught soliciting prostitute
From the pulpit to the hoosegow, A. Livingston Foxworth, a Dorchester pastor, was among a group of would-be johns allegedly caught soliciting a prostitute during an undercover police sting, the Herald is reporting. Foxworth notably gave Baker and his wife a blessing in November 2014 after Baker’s election as governor. “Gov. Baker is saddened by this news and is confident the courts will examine the facts and reach an appropriate decision,” said a Baker spokesman. “The Baker-Polito Administration has made combating human trafficking a priority by working across state government to enact anti-trafficking policies.”
Tim Cahill, the former state treasurer who got into legal problems over his office’s airing of Lottery commercials that looked suspiciously more like political ads, has landed a key job as president and CEO of the Quincy Chamber of Commerce, according to a report at Wicked Local. Say what you will about Cahill, he knows politics and finance – and he’s probably a good fit at the chamber as Quincy undergoes major development changes.
Harvard Square Theater may be revived – after nearly an entire block is demolished
File under ‘They had to destroy it in order to save it’: The Globe’s Dan Adams reports that the former Harvard Square Theater would be demolished and replaced with a five-story, 50,000-square-foot office and retail complex under a plan being floated by owner Gerald Chan. Let’s put it this way: The design rendering accompanying the story sure doesn’t look like Harvard Square-style architecture – and yet many leaders in the normally argumentative Cambridge are praising the plan. Go figure.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has announced that she’s launching a new “DeVos Watch” project to keep track of U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, reports Shannon Young at MassLive. "We'll raise questions and concerns and when we get reasonable answers everybody will benefit from hearing them,” Warren said in a video. “And, when we don't? Everybody's going to see that too.”
Ethics Commission would gain more regulatory power under task force plan
From SHNS’s Colin Young at the Globe: “The task force set up by the Legislature to review state ethics laws is expected to throw its support behind granting the State Ethics Commission full regulatory authority, and will hand its work off to legislative committees to consider further changes to the ethics laws.”
Bills seek to limit ‘wild west’ of drone use
Two bills before the state legislature would place limits on how law enforcement uses drones, including requiring warrants for their use in surveillance, Andy Metzger of State House News Service reports. Both Republican Sen. Patrick O’Connor and Democrat Sen. Michael Moore have filed bills to regulate what O’Connor calls a “‘wild west” situation with no restrictions on the aircrafts’ use.
The MBTA has unveiled its plan to get commuters and beach-goers to and from the North Shore this summer when it shut downs the Newburyport and Rockport lines for repairs and, much to the chagrin of some riders, the alternative is buses, Dustin Luca of the Gloucester Times reports. But lawmakers from the region lauded the T for coming up with any kind of plan at all.
One would think that textile manufacturing is largely a thing of the past in Massachusetts. But it’s not – and the University of Massachusetts Lowell, armed with a $11.3 million grant from the state, is planning to open a new Fabric Discovery Center to help with the development, testing and manufacturing of consumer and commercial fabrics that are increasingly being blended with flexible electronics, reports the Globe’s Deirdre Fernandes.
Even though they bombed at the box office, three made-in-Massachusetts flicks received more than $42 million in state tax credits last year, reports the Herald’s Matt Stout. It’s almost as if Hollywood producers, knowing they may have a lemon on their hands, film here to hedge their financial bets, a sort of pre-emptive damage control move.
Undocumented immigrant seeks refuge in Cambridge church
A woman facing deportation back to her native Ecuador and her two children are seeking refuge from immigration authorities inside a Cambridge church, the first case of its type to emerge in the state, Lisa Wangsness of the Globe reports.
Meanwhile, Shannon Dooling at WBUR reports that the number of arrests of undocumented immigrants with no criminal record has tripled so far this year. As of April, 335 non-criminals have been arrested by federal immigration officials, up from 104 during the same period last year.
We were worried that we drifted too far off the local political path the other day when we posted on President Trump’s disastrous summit meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European leaders. But it seems the Globe’s Joan Vennochi and Scot Lehigh, both of whom normally cover all things local, were also shocked at the president’s boorish behavior overseas. Joan is now referring to Merkel as the ‘new leader of the free world’ – and she’s probably right.
The ghost of Aaron Hernandez: Bill would ban wiping away convictions if inmates commit suicide
From the Herald’s Matt Stout: “Convicts who commit suicide would forfeit their right to an appeal — thus keeping their conviction intact — under a new bill a Boston lawmaker said would change the antiquated law that wiped away Aaron Hernandez’s murder conviction. ‘This highlighted a problem in our system,’ said state Rep. Evandro Carvalho, a Dorchester Democrat. ‘I think this is beyond symbolism adding ... We’re trying to say, in the future it shouldn’t happen.”
Eversource wants to reduce the rate increase it planned for its customers in Western Massachusetts, saying it was responding to public feedback on its draft plan for $96 million in rate hikes, Larry Parnass of the Berkshire Eagle reports. But the details of the new rate structure are not yet in place, which could complicate a review by Attorney General Maura Healey before the Department of Public Utilities begins its hearings on them later this month.