Middleboro Review: MASSterList: State House solar battle flares up …
Friday, November 13, 2015
By George Donnelly (@geodonnelly) with Keith Regan Today: Canadian energy talk from the Premier * Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard is in town today, meeting with Gov. Baker early this morning and speaking at noon on energy and climate change at the U.S.-Canada Energy Trade and Technology Conference at the Seaport. * Mayor Marty Walsh will field calls on WGBH’s Boston Public Radio (89.7) program at noon. * Lt. Gov.
Karen Polito will speak at the Mothers Against Violence national conference, at the Seaport Hotel, 2:00pm. * Congressman Joe Kennedy sits down for a Q&A with Globe political reporter Joshua Miller, 3:00pm at Suffolk Law School, 120 Tremont St. Breaking: Drug tampering, loss reports rise sharply This story by Katie Lannan is breaking this morning on the State House News Service site: “From January of this year through the end of August, more instances of drug loss and tampering were reported to the state’s prescription monitoring program than in all of 2014.” http://bit.ly/1O6TxM51 State House solar battle intensifies Utilities and solar energy advocates are in a pitched battle at the State House, reports Matt Murphy of the State House News Service. The struggle surfaced in a press conference yesterday urging “passage of legislation and to call out what they see as the outsized political influence of the major utility companies,” Murphy reports on proposals to lift the solar energy net metering cap. Murphy adds: “While the solar industry says utilities are protecting their own profits in the quest to slow the expansion of solar, National Grid said Thursday that Bay State consumers are paying double what neighboring states pay for the same clean energy.”http://bit.ly/1MbxfIk2 (paywall) Footbridge resistance is futile They say it’s hard to build in Massachusetts, but this is taking it to a whole new level.
Wynn Resorts’ proposal to build a footbridge over the Mystic has received caustic reviews from Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, a leading casino opponent. The bridge would help people use the T to get to the casino, which also would keep some people out of cars. But when you’re fighting the casino like Curtatone is, a strategically installed bridge is instead a plot to drain business away from Assembly Square.
To borrow from a famous psychologist, sometimes a footbridge is just a footbridge. The Globe’s Sean Murphy has more here: Baker — fantasy sports not gambling Reasonable minds continue to disagree about fantasy sports. Gov.
Baker played a free game on the DraftKings platform just to check it out and declared to reporters yesterday that fantasy sports is a game of skill. “I don’t think it’s gambling,” he said. Is it possible that it is a game of skill that is also gambling? One thinks of poker, for instance, where the skilled players tend to win.
The governor’s research conclusions differed from those of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who declared fantasy sports illegal in the state and issued cease and desist orders. Here’s a take from Baker’s State House chatter by MassLive’s Gintautus Dumcius:http://bit.ly/1OIghoR3 Meanwhile, the Globe’s Joan Vennochi again wonders why Attorney General Maura Healey is seemingly going soft on fantasy sports, especially in light of the New York crackdown. Healey’s consumer protection regulations are coming soon, and Healey suggested to Vennochi that it’s up to lawmakers to ban fantasy sports.http://bit.ly/1N1dgzJ4 Nearby in the Globe newsroom, the Globe’s Shirley Leung criticizes Schneiderman’s take-no-prisoners approach, making the point that other disrupters, such as Uber and Airbnb, have been allowed to operate while regulators devise news rules for the startups. http://bit.ly/1lmPhP45 Meehan calls for higher ed innovation, affordability UMass President Marty Meehan was officially installed yesterday at a ceremony at the Edward Kennedy Institute at UMass Boston campus.
One of his priorities is to find new, and more affordable, ways to provide education, including expanding online options and accelerating degrees. Shira Schoenberg of MassLive has more from the inaugural. http://bit.ly/1QlP63a6 For an in-depth backgrounder on Meehan and his vision, see this profile from Evan Lips of NewBostonPost. http://bit.ly/1LciT6K7 Another call for $15 per hour — for Logan workers Sen. Sal DiDomenico and Rep.
Adrian Madaro called a $15 minimum wage for workers at Logan airport, where hourly wages often are under $11 for baggage handlers and cabin cleaning crews. “Knowing the personal anecdotes that I hear in my community, with folks working three, four, five jobs to make ends meet, having to choose between staying home with their sick child or going to work, because if they don’t go to work they lose their job — that’s not right,” Madaro told Katie Lannan of the State House News Service. http://bit.ly/1kRdLQ58 Baker seeks to mold state GOP in his image Gov. Charlie Baker wants to mold the state’s Republican party in his own political image, backing moderate candidates for the state GOP committee and putting a bullseye on the party’s conservative activists, the Globe’s Jim O’Sullivan reports. Baker says he is just repaying political supporters who helped elect him but the move — which has annoyed some conservative operatives — could have wide-ranging impacts that reach to the 2016 presidential primary, O’Sullivan writers. http://bit.ly/1HGpNpY9
Lynch takes on FAA over Logan routes U.S.
Rep. Stephen Lynch threatened to cut $25 million out of the Federal Aviation Administration’s public outreach budget if the agency didn’t do more to reach out to Logan Airport neighbors upset about new flight pattens, WGBH’s Mike Deehan reports. The move helped prompt the FAA to schedule a hearing in Milton next month to hear input from neighbors who say new technology aimed at allowing more direct flight paths have made it next to impossible for them to enjoy their homes and yards. http://bit.ly/1HM8Tki10
IndyCar chief says no public funds sought The CEO of Grand Prix of Boston says reworked deals with the city will guarantee no taxpayer dollars are used for its IndyCar races in South Boston.
Mark Perrone told WGBH’s The Scrum podcast that race organizers are now “picking up all of the municipal costs so there will be no taxpayer dollars” required to alter roadways and provide security for the Labor Day 2016 event. Perrone also acknowledged that Boston residents may be suffering from an “Olympic hangover” that makes them more suspicious of major events. http://bit.ly/1SNivSl11
But the IndyCar plot thickens: The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld reveals that Boston tech darling HubSpot has booked the Boston Exhibition and Convention Center for the proposed dates of the race in 2018, a fact that has taken city officials unawares.
Education commissioner: Keep, improve MCAS Ahead of a key vote next Tuesday, the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Mitchell Chester says he will recommend the state move to a next-generation version of the MCAS test that incorporates elements of the PARCC assessments, MassLive reports. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will take public comments on the issue one more time Monday before voting on Tuesday and if approved, the new test could be in place by Spring 2017. http://bit.ly/1HMhmUC12
More on late-night bar hours: A plan most cities and towns didn’t want The sponsor of a bill that would allow cities and towns served by the MBTA to set their own closing hours for bars and restaurants explains why he is backing away from the legislation, saying it is too broad to be effective, Boston Magazine reports.
Sen. William Brownsberger tells BoMag’s Garrett Quinn that his original bill gave authority to cities and towns that they didn’t seek and most don’t want. Only Boston officials came out in support of the move, he said. http://bit.ly/1lmV1sd13 Sunday public affairs shows WCVB TV — On The Record, 11:00am This week’s guest: Rep.
Niki Tsongas. Hosted by NewsCenter 5 Anchor Ed Harding and State House reporter Janet Wu.
NECN — CEO Corner, 8:30pm Constant Contact and Endurance International Group are merging. CEOs-Gail Goodman and Hari Ravichandran will be talking about the deal, their synergy, and the ups and downs of doing business in Massachusetts. NECN — This Week in Business, 12:30pm and 8:00pm In this edition of the monthly Boston business editors roundtable, NECN’s Peter Howe, Shirley Leung of the Boston Globe, and Doug Banks, Boston Business Journal Editor, focus on the future of DraftKings, the MBTA’s plans for the winter, the Grand Prix of Boston, and other stories they’ve been covering independently. REMEMBER: To send your tips to me at email@example.com.
Op-eds and other commentary invited for publication on Massterlist.
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