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08/23/2017

Baker’s pick | ‘Hook ‘em, kill ‘em’ | Felix’s frolics

 
New England Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association
 
 
Happening Today
 
Governor’s Council, Capuano on T privatization, Warren town hall, Blue Hills deer hunt update
 

The Massachusetts School Building Authority's Board of Directors meets, 40 Broad St., fifth floor, Boston, 10 a.m. … U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano joins a rally and press conference opposing MBTA privatization, MBTA Arborway Yard, 3570 Washington St., Jamaica Plain, 10:30 a.m. … U.S. Rep. James McGovern continues his annual tour of central and western Massachusetts farms, starting in the morning at UMass Amherst's Cold Spring Orchard and with later stops in Amherst, Hatfield, South Deerfield, Montague and Turners Falls. … Governor's Council holds a confirmation hearing on Kathleen Sandman, a Springfield attorney nominated for a Probate and Family Court judgeship, Council Chambers, Room 360, 10:30 a.m. … A group of senators planning to develop new health care cost containment legislation holds a roundtable discussion focusing on long-term care, Room 428, 11 a.m. … Lt. Gov. Polito chairs a meeting of the Governor's Council. Calendar includes votes on nominations of attorney Frederick Baran Jr. as clerk-magistrate of Chicopee District Court, attorney Bruce Melikian as a circuit judge on the District Court, attorney Randy Chapman as a Salem District Court judge, and Superior Court Judge Edward McDonough to the Appeals Court bench, Council Chamber, 1 p.m. … U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren tours Portugalia Marketplace, 489 Bedford St., Fall River, 2:30 p.m. … Governor's Council to Address Sexual and Domestic Violence meets, with Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders attending; the meeting is closed to the press, Room 157, 2:30 p.m. … Geraldine Hines, who retired last Friday from the Supreme Judicial Court, is a guest on ‘Radio Boston,’ WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m. … U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren holds a town hall at UMass Dartmouth, UMass Dartmouth Main Auditorium, 285 Old Westport Road, North Dartmouth, 6:30 p.m. … Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Department of Fish and Game provide an overview of outcomes from the last year's deer hunt at the Blue Hills Reservation and provide information on the proposed deer management plan for 2017, Milton High School Auditorium, 25 Gile Road, Milton, 6:30 p.m.

 
 
 
 
Today's Stories
 
Baker defends T's GM pick amid reports he left his old firm in ruins
 

Gov. Charlie Baker, whose administration was only recently touting the private-sector experience of the T’s new incoming general manager, was thrown on the defensive yesterday after reports that Luis Ramirez’s former company is now facing bankruptcy after years of erroneous financial filings while Ramirez was CEO. “I’m quite confident in Luis’s ability to both do the job and to succeed mightily in doing it,” Baker said, as reported by the Globe’s Adam Vaccaro and Evan Horowitz. State Democratic Party boss Gus Bickford yesterday blasted Baker’s pick of Ramirez, saying Baker “clearly made a mistake” in choosing him, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall). 

WBUR’s Meghna Chakrabarti and Kathleen McNerney have been way out front in covering Ramirez’s most recent private-sector job. Here’s the lede on their latest excellent story: “Global Power Equipment Group, the corporation run previously by incoming MBTA General Manager Luis Ramirez, has had to sell off assets, lay off employees, and risks declaring bankruptcy as a result of erroneous financial statements it filed with federal regulators while Ramirez was CEO.”

 
 
Baker-Dems love fest: Et tu, Michael Capuano?
 

Speaking of Governor Baker: U.S. Rep. Michael Capuana is just the latest Democrat who’s not saying whether he’ll vote for the Democratic nominee for governor – and he’s also the latest Dem to praise Baker, a Republican, reports the Herald’s Matt Stout. “I can’t remember the last time, if ever, I voted for a Republican, you know. But it happens and guess what? I judge people on who they are,” said Capuano, calling Baker a “good guy.”

Boston Herald
 
 
DeLeo expects a ‘very busy’ fall on Beacon Hill
 

Enjoy the dog days of summer while you can. House Speaker Robert DeLeo told reporters yesterday that they should expect to be “very busy this fall” at the State House, though he said “hopefully” they’ll have enough time to watch some Pats games. Well, that’s a relief. Anyway, as reported by SHNS’s Colin Young at the Lowell Sun, atop DeLeo’s autumn to-do list are tackling MassHealth and criminal-justice reforms.

Lowell Sun
 
 
Woman accuses Felix Arroyo of sexual harassment, claims he spanked her and made inappropriate comments
 

Now we have an idea why Felix G. Arroyo was suspended by the Walsh administration. From Meghan Irons at the Globe: “A woman who worked for Felix G. Arroyo, the city’s chief of health and human services, has accused him of repeated sexual harassment, alleging in a discrimination complaint that he ‘spanked her buttocks, made inappropriate sexual comments, and grabbed her by the back of her neck when he learned she was planning to formally complain about his behavior to city officials.”

Boston Globe
 
 
Jackson on Arroyo revelation: ‘This really reeks of mismanagement’
 

Mayoral candidate Tito Jackson was quick to go on the attack yesterday after the revelation that Mayor Walsh’s health and human services chief Felix G. Arroyo has been hit with a sexual harassment allegation, the latest administration official to come under a legal or administrative cloud. “This really reeks of mismanagement and not doing what should be done,” Jackson said, as reported by the Herald’s Dan Atkinson.

The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld is wondering when all the City Hall controversies will start taking their toll on Walsh. So far, they haven’t, he notes.

Boston Herald
 
 
Job Board (do not remove)
 
 
Healey: TD Garden deal with sleuthing kids may fall short
 

Attorney General Maura Healey says that, after meeting with the students who discovered that TD Garden has been neglecting a fundraising requirement for decades, she’s concerned the $2.65 million settlement offer by the Garden’s owners falls short, report Tori Bedford at WGBH. “I am concerned that the amount that was worked out is not sufficient," Healey said.

WGBH
 
 
Stop the presses: Malia Obama and her dad spotted in Harvard Square
 

The Globe’s Steve Annear had a job to do, so he tried to talk to Malia Obama yesterday on her first day at Harvard. She politely declined to be interviewed, but she did shake his hand. Some guy named Barack Obama, apparently her father, was also spotted in Harvard Square yesterday.

Boston Globe
 
 
Barnstable commissioner: Time to hook and kill Great White Sharks
 

Following release of a spectacular video showing a Great White Shark attacking a seal only feet from two surfers and beachgoers at Nauset Beach, Barnstable County Commissioner Ron Beaty says enough is enough. It’s time to bait drum lines, hook the sharks and, if they’re still alive after being caught, shoot ‘em dead, as is done in South Africa and Australia, reports Marie Szaniszlo and Owen Boss at the Herald. “There is a clear and present danger to human life as a result of this growing problem,” Beaty said.  

The reaction of Greg Skomal, a state Division of Marine Fisheries biologist: “I’m wondering what the shark hazard is.” Um, has he seen the video? Wicked Local has it. It’s a scene right out of the movie Jaws, specifically the boy-on-the-inflatable-raft scene. Except no kid was killed at Nauset. Just a seal -- only feet from the shore line and two teen surfers in the water. NECN has more on the shark incident.

 
 
Max Kennedy accused of throwing tantrum, inciting ‘crowd into an angry mob’
 

The lead on John Ellement’s Globe story speaks for itself: “Matthew Maxwell Kennedy, a 52-year-old scion of the Kennedy family, was arrested early Sunday after he argued with police officers who had responded to a loud party on Cape Cod. He threw himself into a wall, smashed a shelf full of glass objects, and refused to cooperate when officers tried to place him in handcuffs, police said.” His daughter was also arrested. Read more for the ‘inciting’ part.

Boston Globe
 
 
Rep. Whipps ditches Republican party, declares herself an independent
 

The Republican minority on Beacon Hill just became a smaller minority. From SHNS’s Matt Murphy at the Salem News: “Rep. Susannah Whipps, an Athol Republican who has voted with Democrats on a number of key issues in recent months, has withdrawn from the GOP and will return to Beacon Hill after the summer recess as the Legislature's only independent elected official.” Said Whipps in a statement: "I want my party affiliation to reflect my position as an independent voice for the people of my district,” where she says two-thirds of voters are unenrolled.

Salem News
 
 
The Celtics’ blockbuster trade: One whiz-kid nephew’s assessment
 

If you’re a normal human being enjoying a late-August vacation like most everyone else, you may not have heard about last evening’s blockbuster, head-spinning trade between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics – with the Celts getting guard Kyrie Irving in exchange for, gulp, Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Celts’ first-round draft pick next year from the Brooklyn Nets, according to reports at the Boston Globe and Boston Herald.

Highly alarmed and agitated by the trade, a MassterList author immediately contacted his sports whiz-kid nephew to get his view, not caring about the reactions of professional pundits. His response to the trade: “I like it. The way I see it, Thomas was gone next year, wasn’t going to be any better than he was last year, and now we have a top 3-point guard in the league.” 

So it’s Irving, Hayward and Horford: The new Big Three? Now back to political news.

 
 
Pioneer
 
 
Kraft gives Trump championship ring, but not THAT ring
 

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft did indeed give President Trump a championship ring, engraved with Trump’s name, after the Pats’ Super Bowl victory earlier this year, according to a report at WEEI. But, no, it wasn’t Kraft’s personal championship ring (forever known in these parts as the Putin Ring), as former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci initially suggested yesterday. The Globe has the details on the ring confusion.

WEEI
 
 
Turning the tide? Opioid deaths down in first half of 2017
 

Some good news, albeit very tentative good news, on the opioids-crisis front, via Jessica Bartlett at the BBJ: Opioid-related deaths in the first six months of 2017 were down 5 percent in Massachusetts, from 1,031 last year to 978 this year. That’s still an incredibly high and disturbing number, but it also means 53 fewer people are dead.

BBJ
 
 
No Army-Navy football games for Boston
 

Too bad. The Army-Navy football game won’t be played in Boston in the near future, despite state officials’ pitch to host the classic showdown at Fenway Park or Gillette Stadium. Event organizers opted instead to return the game to Philadelphia for four of the next five years, reports Kenneth Hilario at the BBJ. A host city for 2021 was not part of Tuesday's announcement. So maybe there’s still a chance for Boston?

BBJ
 
 
Ayyadurai: Walsh, Baker and media spouted ‘complete bulls&*t’ about Saturday’s rally
 

Shiva Ayyadurai, a Republican candidate for US Senate and a keynote speaker at Saturday’s right-wing rally, has a theory: Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Gov. Charlie Baker and the media concocted a fiction that the rally was about white supremacy and racism, not about free speech. “It was complete bullshit,” Ayyadurai tells CommonWealth magazine’s Bruce Mohl. “The whole thing was a racket for Walsh and Baker to set up for their reelection, as if they care for black people. Both of them need to get liberal votes so they mischaracterized this as a neo-Nazi, white supremacist event.” So, if we got it right, he’s basically spouting a conspiracy theory about a conspiracy theory.

CommonWealth
 
 
Harvey Silverglate: Boston rally was a ‘massive failure’ of First Amendment rights
 

Many people may be proud of how Boston handled this past weekend’s small right-wing rally held on the Common. But civil liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate said there’s nothing to be proud of when speakers were restricted and isolated by police, drowned out by angry and threatening protesters and stereotyped and dismissed by a media that should have been standing up for their rights, no matter how offensive their views. “Those who sought to silence the free speech rally won,” Silverglate writes at WGBH. “Debate was squelched, cut off, prohibited.”

The Globe’s Jeff Jacoby was making the same impassioned point the other day in a column, which is now one of the top read pieces at the Globe.

WGBH
 
 
SafeRide
 
 
Parking with the fishes
 

Problem solved? Boston could address its chronic parking shortage and decrease traffic in one fell swoop by building parking garages under the Charles River, Boston Harbor and other water bodies, Matt Rocheleau of the Globe reports. The cities of Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Geneva are already doing something similar, he notes.

Boston Globe
 
 
Lawmaker touts first-responder home loan program
 

State Sen. Kathleen O’Connor testified Tuesday on behalf of legislation she filed to create a home loan program specifically for police, firefighters and EMTs, SHNS's Katie Lannan reports (pay wall). O’Connor first floated the idea in a Valley Patriot editorial earlier this year, saying the program would benefit both first-responders and the communities they serve. 


 
 
Warren, Markey push to ban menthol cigarettes
 

Saying that research shows menthol cigarettes are medically more dangerous than other types of cigarettes, U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey have written to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in support of banning the menthol-laced butts, reports Shannon Young at MassLive.

MassLive
 
 
BHTS
 
 
Today's Headlines
 
Metro
 

It’s official: South Station now has a New York owner - Boston Business Journal

City employee files sexual harassment complaint against Felix Arroyo - Boston Globe

 
 
 
Massachusetts
 

Some sanctuary city police chiefs back Baker ICE detainer bill - CommonWealth Magazine

Rematch of 2015 Marlborough election to highlight ballot - MetroWest Daily News

State police suspend Brookfield trooper for traffic-stop taping - Telegram & Gazette

New Salem State president eyes science building, diversity - Gloucester Times

North Attleboro officials seek moratorium on pot sales - Sun-Chronicle

All state reviews of proposed Weymouth compressor station on hold - Patriot Ledger

 
Nation
 

A wounded Trump lashes out at Phoenix rally - Politico

Trump’s feuding with McConnell becomes hostile - New York Times

Treasury secretary’s wife apologizes after sparking furor with online post - NPR

 
Beacon Hill Town Square

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August 24th, 5:30 p.m.
Malden Democratic City Committee Annual Summer BBQ
Hosted by: Malden Democratic City Committee
 
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August 26th, 10:30 a.m.
Talk on Autism and Other Neurological Disorder
Hosted by: Marriott Boston Newton Hotel
 
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August 26th, 1 p.m.
Summer Clean Up at the Democracy Center
Hosted by: The Charles Hotel
 
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August 26th, 3 p.m.
Hotel 9/11: An Oral History from Survivors of 3 World Trade Center
Hosted by: Barnes & Noble Booksellers Framingham
 
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August 26th, 3:30 p.m.
Make a 3D Print with Blender!
Hosted by: Artisan's Asylum
 
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  • Wide ranging summary of the latest news on Massachusetts politics, public policy, and government
  • Rich array of sources, both conventional and niche
  • Beacon Hill's most comprehensive Calendar of upcoming political, policy and advocacy events
  • Check our Job Board identifying Beacon Hill's best new positions available in government, politics and public policy