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Friday, August 11, 2017

MASSterList: Energetic debate | True customer service | Sacrificial payout


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By Jay Fitzgerald and Keith Regan
08/11/2017

Energetic debate | True customer service | Sacrificial payout

Happening Today
Massachusetts-Quebec conference, boat tour and more
Massachusetts-Quebec Cooperation Conference concludes today with Senate President Stan Rosenberg attending. ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration offers a free tour of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center's research vessel, the R/V Gloria Michelle, Harborwalk by Moakley Courthouse, Boston, running from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. ... Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan hosts a meeting of the Lowell Opioid Task Force., Lowell General Hospital, 295 Varnum Ave., Lowell, 9:30 a.m. ... Boston Mayor Martin Walsh offers celebratory remarks at the annual Dominican Festival flag raising, City Hall Plaza, Boston, 12 p.m. 

Today's News
Baker’s emissions plan sparks energetic debate
For those worried about both climate change and high energy prices, this is huge news coming out the Baker administration today. From the Globe’s David Abel: “A little more than a year after the state’s highest court ruled Massachusetts had to do more to cut carbon emissions, state officials Friday will issue sweeping new regulations that set specific limits on sources of greenhouse gases, the emissions linked to climate change. The new rules, swiftly criticized as insufficient by environmental advocates and unfair by the power industry, aim to reduce the state’s carbon emissions 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, as required by state law.”
Boston Globe
Meanwhile, here comes hydro-power from Quebec?
As if on cue, federal regulators, on the eve of the Baker administration’s release of its new carbon emissions plan, have taken action that brings Eversource’s Northern Pass transmission project one step closer to reality and one step closer to New England importing huge amounts of hydroelectricity from Quebec, reports Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine.
But how much will that hydro-power cost? It might be a bit more expensive than some people think, as Mohl reports in a separate piece at CommonWealth. Hydro, in financial terms, is considered relatively cheap compared to other clean-energy sources, but how much cheaper is the question. WGBH's Mike Deehan has more on future clean-energy options being weighed by state officials, including hydro-power.
CommonWealth
Charter proposals would add 5,400 students to charter rosters
This is curious, considering it’s been less than a year since statewide voters overwhelmingly rejected a major expansion of charters schools in Massachusetts. From SHNS’s Stephanie Murray at SouthCoast Today: “Four groups are looking to open new charter schools in Massachusetts and four existing charter schools are hoping to boost their enrollment. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said Thursday it received proposals for new schools in Lynn, Haverhill, New Bedford and Lawrence.” 
SouthCoast Today
T retreats on Wi-Fi towers
Amid intense local opposition on the North Shore, the MBTA has officially rejected construction of 320 huge Wi-Fi towers along commuter rails due to “valid concerns” about the project’s impact on historic sites and the character of their cities and towns, reports CommonWealth magazine and MassLive.
Greetings: T’s ‘customer service’ agents accused of roughing up disabled, sight-impaired rider
Speaking of the T, you can’t make this stuff up, via the Herald’s Matt Stout: “The private company hired by the MBTA to provide customer service ‘ambassadors’ in its stations quickly fired two of its agents yesterday after officials say they got into a ‘physical confrontation’ with a disabled, sight-impaired rider — including tossing away his walking stick — after he tried entering a fare gate without a pass.”
Boston Herald
Tentative good news: Fatal opioid overdoes down in some parts of Bay State
Let’s cross our fingers that this is part of a trend. From the Globe’s Catie Edmondson: “Fatal opioid overdoses have declined in parts of Eastern Massachusetts this year, health and law enforcement officials said, offering a glimmer of hope that preventative measures are helping to save lives in the ongoing epidemic.”
The news comes as President Trump declares a national emergency over the opioid epidemic, a move welcomed by many, as long as the declaration means more than just words, as the Globe’s Felice Fryer reports.
Boston Globe
Fire officials: Ten-alarm Waltham inferno was deliberately set
This certainly won’t end the debate over the safety of all-wood framing for new apartment complexes. Still, the 10-alarm blaze that destroyed an under-construction Waltham apartment complex last month is now believed to have been intentionally set and is being treated as an arson case, according to a report at WBUR.
WBUR
UMass to get $1.9 million to serve as sacrificial lambs to Auburn Tigers
Ka-ching! The upstart UMass football program will net a cool $1.9 million for agreeing to play the powerhouse Auburn Tigers during the 2020 season, Matt Vautour of the Hampshire Gazette reports. The payout for the Minutemen to travel to Jordan-Hare Stadium and play before nearly 90,000 fanatical fans is the largest in UMass history and one of the biggest on record in top-level college football. 
Hampshire Gazette
Looking back at the late Rep. Edith Nourse Rogers, champion of military veterans
With U.S. Niki Tsongas’ announcement that she won’t be running for re-election next year, the Globe’s Felice Belman takes a look at the last woman who held Tsongas’ seat, the late Rep. Edith Nourse Rogers, perhaps best known for sponsoring the GI Bill and pushing for creation of the Veterans Administration after World War II. She was an extraordinary woman. Check out her Wikipedia entry.
Boston Globe
Warren’s continuing military education
Speaking of local Congressional women interested in military affairs, the Globe’s Victoria McGrane reports that U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren “continued her overseas military education this week, traveling to Eastern Europe and Germany to discuss the Russian threat. Warren’s five-day trip started in Poland, where she met with US and Polish officials, and visited US troops stationed in Poznan and Powidz, including having dinner with a unit of Army reservists from Brockton.”
Boston Globe
Boston law firms are representing soldiers taking on Trump’s transgender military ban
And on another military front: WilmerHale and Foley Hoag, two of the largest legal firms in Boston, are representing a group of transgender soldiers who have filed a lawsuit against President Trump’s ban on transgender people in the military, reports Greg Ryan at the BBJ. The two firms, whose suit is in Washington, D.C., are working with Boston-based gay legal rights group GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), well as National Center for Lesbian Rights, Ryan writes.
BBJ

Baker’s big-bucks Francophiles
Some of the state’s wealthiest residents – including the wife of a Baker administration cabinet member who just bought a 1872 manor house and a vineyard in Épernay, France, it should be noted – have ponied up big buck to the Republican Governors Association, a major fundraiser for Gov. Baker in 2014, reports the Globe’s Frank Phillips. You have to read the article to find out which cabinet member is now the proud co-owner of the 49-room ‘Royal Champagne’ in France.
On-the-block Rockwells to get worldwide viewings
Berkshire Museum is obviously not heeding the advice of Norman Rockwell’s relatives. A trove of artwork being auctioned off by the museum – including two Rockwell paintings -- will get a public viewing before being sold by Sotheby’s. The closest public display will likely be in New York City, but the most valuable of the art, including the two Rockwell works, may get additional pre-auction viewings in London, LA or Hong Kong to pump up interest, Carrie Saldo of the Berkshire Eagle reports.
Rockwell’s descendants have urged the museum to halt the sales. Meanwhile, a local group says it intends to hold a protest against the sale outside the museum this weekend. 
Berkshire Eagle
Inspector General gets 7 percent bump in salary to $170K
Lawmakers and others got pay raises earlier this year, so why not the man charged with watching over all state pennies and policies? The Inspector General Council yesterday approved a salary hike for Inspector General Glenn Cunha from $158,727 to $170,000, an increase of 7 percent, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan at the Salem News.
Salem News
They’re watching: Police have used new Pike gantries seven times to track people
Dan Glaun at MassLive is reporting that police have used the new toll gantries along the Mass Turnpike seven times to track people, including those involved in murder, kidnapping and arson cases, as well as missing senior citizens and children. “All the cases so far appear to fit the regulatory restrictions on the surveillance, which can only be used in ‘limited emergency situations,’ Glaun writes.
MassLive

Reports: MGM Springfield making good on diversity pledges
MGM Springfield has told the Massachusetts Gaming Commission that it is well ahead of its diverse-hiring goals as work progresses on its $950 million casino in downtown Springfield, Peter Goonan of MassLive reports. Just over 24 percent of all hires have been minorities, compared to a stated goal of 15 percent. 
MassIve
GE’s new CEO bets on himself
New GE chief executive John Flannery has placed a multi-million dollar bet that he’ll be able to turn the company’s financial performance around, buying $2.7 million worth of stock this week, Greg Ryan of the Boston Business Journal reports. Flannery now owns nearly $16 million worth of GE shares and is on the hook in more ways than one for reversing GE’s recent stock slide. 
BBJ
Sunday public affairs TV
Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson, who talks with host Jon Keller about immigration policies and other issues.
This is New England, NBC Boston Channel 10, 9;30 a.m. With host Latoyia Edwards, this week’s topic: Clear the Shelters, a nationwide pet adoption drive.  
This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Jon Chesto of the Boston Globe and Doug Banks of the Boston Business Journal weigh in on some of the top business stories of the week, including GE’s plan to delay construction of a new building in the Seaport and a new idea for the old Bayside Expo.  
CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. Alison Nolan, the general manager of Boston Harbor Cruises, talks about the role of commuter ferries in the region’s transportation future. 
On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Mayoral candidate Tito Jackson, 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: An Encore Presentation of the Ride Hailing Economy -- Can we learn from Bridge


Today's Headlines
Metro

Massachusetts
Nation
To view more events or post an event listing on Beacon Hill Town Square, please visit events.massterlist.com.
Beacon Hill Town Square



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