05/31/2016

Close race up north | Three against Trump | Conley’s embarrassing lawsuit

 
https://aclum.org/uncategorized/massachusetts-raises-grade-open-government/?
 
 
Happening Today
 
Tax Amnesty deadline
 

The state Department of Revenue’s tax amnesty program ends Tuesday and DOR officials are urging those with unpaid taxes and past due returns to file an amnesty return online before the deadline to avoid penalties.

 
 
Committee to review SJC emissions ruling
 

The Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change meets to discuss the Supreme Judicial Court’s recent ruling on the state’s compliance with the 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act and carbon emissions, Room 222, 1 p.m.

 
 
Building for the Future campaign
 

Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton, Commissioner Leo Roy of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg and Rep. Ellen Story will announce "significant support" for the Hitchcock Center's Building for the Future campaign, 845 West Street, Amherst, 10 a.m.

 
 
Lottery’s ‘All or Nothing’
 

The Massachusetts Lottery Commission meets and is expected to vote on adopting the "All or Nothing" game, in which players can win the $100,000 top prize, One Ashburton Place, 12th floor, Boston, 10:30 a.m.

 
 
 
 
Today's Stories
 
Close races up north
 

They’re really battling it out up north, as New Hampshire’s U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte, the Republican incumbent, tries to fend off a very strong challenge from Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat. A new Franklin Pierce University/Boston Herald shows the two in a statistical dead heat, the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld reports. As Joe notes: “The Ayotte-Hassan fight is one of the marquee Senate races this fall and along with a closely-fought presidential contest should make New Hampshire a critical battleground in November.”

Also in New Hampshire, the same poll shows Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton almost running neck and neck in their unpopularity, Battenfeld also reports. That’s not the way normal campaign contests are measured in polls. But this isn’t a normal campaign. So it will do.

 
 
‘Drip, drip, drip’
 

The Walsh administration pulled a cute one late last week, dumping some embarrassing email news just as everyone was headed out the door for the long Memorial Day weekend. The old good-day-to-bury-bad-news ploy didn’t quite work, as most media outlets, such as WCVB, ended up reporting on how City Hall emails show that other high-ranking administration officials may have been involved in controversial talks between the city, music festival organizers and a union official. Those talks are at the heart of an ongoing fed investigation that’s already led to the indictment of Kenneth Bissette, Walsh’s tourism chief, for allegedly strong-arming festival officials to hire union workers in exchange for city permits.

“I’m confident we can get a deal for a dozen or so stagehands especially with Mayor Walsh’s backing,” Colleen A. Glynn, business manager for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 11, wrote in one email. That’s not a smoking-gun quote. But it does activate alarms that this investigation is getting very serious.

This morning, the Globe is calling for Mayor Walsh to come clean: “Brissette’s indictment called into question the integrity of Boston’s permitting under Walsh. The best way for the mayor to repair that impression would be to hold his staff accountable and level with the voters about who at City Hall knew what, and when.”

Maybe such a move would repair some political impressions. But it’s not going to dissuade prosecutors from pursuing this case right up the City Hall ladder.

 
 
‘It seemed like a good place to be on Memorial Day’
 

There were so many moving events, ceremonies and the occasional non-washed out parades yesterday commemorating Memorial Day. But one quote in particular caught our attention, from Gov. Charlie Baker, who visited the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home. “It seemed like a good place to be on Memorial Day," said Baker, as reported by Mike Plaisance at MassLive. Yes, it was a good place to be on Memorial Day. And it was nice to see the veterans touched – and more than a little surprised – by the governor’s visit.

MassLive
 
 
http://hydrotruthma.com?utm_source=ML&utm_medium=EML&utm_content=TRANSPORTATION&utm_campaign=HYDROBILL16
 
 
What do Warren, Romney and Weld have in common?
 

The answer to the above question: They’ve all from Massachusetts, they’ve all thrust themselves into today’s presidential politics and they’ve all recently traded insults with Donald Trump, the unofficially official GOP nominee for president. What is it about Massachusetts politicians that keeps landing them on center stage? The local pols in Idaho don’t do this.

Anyway, Boston.com’s Nik DeCosta-Klipa has a good summary of the insult-fest between Trump and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who eked out the nomination for vice president at this past weekend’s Libertarian Party convention. And, yes, the summary covers the weekend’s references to Kristallnacht and Trump calling Weld an alcoholic. The Herald’s Kimberly Atkins of the Herald also sorts through the insult mayhem. And here’s the weekend take by the Globe’s Danny McDonald and John Hilliard.

Meanwhile, the New York Times has an excellent piece on exactly what Libertarians hope to achieve in this election. Most of them know their ticket isn’t going to win. But they’re hoping to maybe win a state or two – or at least gain a lot of visibility and credibility for the party.

 
 
‘A conservative’s epic #NeverTrump tweetstorm’
 

Dan Kennedy caught and compiled a blast of anti-Trump tweets by conservative Tom Nichols, identified as a professor at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., and adjunct professor at Harvard Extension School. From Nichols: “I am 55 and lived through LBJ, Nixon's resignation, Carter, two Clinton terms and two Obama terms. I can survive four years of Hillary … What I do not think the country or the conservative movement can survive is someone who makes George Wallace look like Churchill.”

That’s the first time we’ve ever heard or seen George Wallace compared to Winston Churchill. Impressive.

Dan Kennedy
 
 
Discrimination suit shines embarrassing spotlight on Conley’s office tensions
 

It must be one of the more humiliating things that can happen to a politician: Getting dragged into court and forced to testify in an embarrassing legal case. That’s the situation Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley has found himself in, as he defends his office against charges he paid a former prosecutor less than her male colleagues and then fired her when she complained, reports the Globe’s Milton Valencia and Maria Cramer in a front-page story.

Christina Corda, who worked as a prosecutor in the gang unit of the Suffolk district attorney’s office, apparently wasn’t the first to complain about unfair treatment in Conley’s office. From the Globe: “In May 2013, a group of top female prosecutors met with (chief of staff John) Towle and other supervisors to complain about how raises and promotions were decided.”

Fyi: Conley testified Corda was shown the door because she was drunk, cursing, and hostile when she approached his chief of staff, the Globe reports.

Boston Globe
 
 
 
 
Can the Herald survive?
 

Boston Magazine’s Chris Sweeney goes in search of Herald readers—and clues to the question of how long the tabloid can continue to hang on and keep Boston a two-newspaper town. He finds signs of strength in Herald Radio and other initiatives but long-declining circulation and signs that the paper has no room left to cut budgets. Of course, the old Herald-is-going-under story has been around for decades now – and yet it still manages to stick around.

Boston Magazine
 
 
Lawsuit seeks to halt work on tribal casino
 

Lawyers representing property owners in Taunton have asked a federal court to issue an injunction to halt construction of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe’s First Light casino, Charles Winokoor of the Taunton Gazette reports. Work began in April and the tribe has said it hopes to open the first phase of the casino by next summer.

Taunton Gazette/Enterprise
 
 
http://www.masscleanelectricity.org/get-involved/
 
 
Teacher ratings getting low marks from school committees and unions
 

The state’s push to start evaluating teachers and schools based largely on students’ test scores is getting panned by unions and some school committees alike, reports the Globe’s James Vaznis. The main complaint: Whether the new rating system can truly reflect an individual educator’s performance. “In theory it sounded like a good idea, but in practice it turned out to be insurmountable task,” said Glenn Koocher, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees. “How do you measure a music teacher’s impact on a student’s proficiency in music? How do you measure a guidance counselor’s impact on student achievement?”

Boston Globe
 
 
How well do you know your Massachusetts economic history?
 

Speaking of evaluation tests, check out Scott Kirsner’s test to see how well you know Massachusetts’ economic history. One quibble: Question No. 19 is actually multiple questions rolled into one – and it hurt our score! We’re lodging a formal complaint.

Boston Globe
 
 
Taxpayer foundation chief pans millionaire tax
 

Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation President Eileen McAnneny believes state lawmakers are not doing enough to prepare the state’s finances for the next economic downturn and she makes clear her own opposition to the proposed “millionaire’s tax” proposal, Alana Melanson of the Lowell Sun reports. McAnneny also told the Sun that last year’s MBTA meltdown had positive long-term impacts, by forcing the state to acknowledge the need to invest in transportation and other infrastructure projects.

Lowell Sun
 
 
 
 
Addiction center becomes issue in sheriff race
 

An attorney plans to file a second lawsuit seeking to stop construction on the Western Massachusetts Correctional Addiction Center -- and this time the legal challenge is being financially backed by Hamden County Sheriff candidate Mike Albano, Elizabeth Roman reports in MassLive. The challenge will focus on whether the treatment center, which has long been opposed by residents of the Springfield neighborhood where it is proposed, qualifies for protection under the state’s Dover Amendment, which provides exemptions from zoning limitations for educational institutions.

MassLive
 
 
How Baker wants to tackle the housing crunch
 

The housing crunch that Gov. Charlie Baker has pledged $1.1 billion over five years to address is affecting both renters and buyers across the state, Christian Wade at the Salem News reports. A recent Harvard study found that the state has only 29 affordable rental units for every 100 low-income renters. 

Salem News
 
 
Methuen police blaze trail on body cams
 

The Methuen Police Department is now fully equipped with body cameras, a year after a pilot program that put the town at the forefront in use of the technology, Allison Manning of Boston.com reports.

Boston.com
 
 
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Today's Headlines
 
Metro
 

Emails link scandal to Walsh’s inner circle - Boston Globe

Lawyer: City Hall cybertrail leads to more questions - Boston Herald

T’s opioid campaign doesn’t ad up to best - Boston Herald

 
Massachusetts
 

New Bedford police led state in taser use in 2015 - Standard-Times

Protesting parishioners in Scituate hold final service before ending 11 and a half year vigil - WGBH

How body-worn cameras work for one Massachusetts police department - Boston.com

Political experts weigh in on Cape campaign tactic - Cape Cod Times

Housing crunch leaves renters, buyers waiting - Salem News

New lawsuit seeks to halt construction of Western Massachusetts addiction center - MassLive

Springfield casino seeks to blend into historic downtown - Boston Globe

Teachers raise ire over being rated based on test scores - Boston Globe

DeGallo running for Senate as Sanders progressive - Berkshire Eagle

Taxpayer foundation head has her eye on the bottom line - Lowell Sun

Mass. medical marijuana shops face scrutiny - Boston Globe

 
Nation
 

Trump on Weld: ‘I don’t talk about his alcoholism’ - Boston Globe

 
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