Window Into The State House


Walsh floats plan to get around Quincy’s Long Island roadblocks: Barges
Unless Quincy imposes a naval blockade, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh thinks he’s found a sure-fire way to counter Quincy’s opposition to his Long Island plans. From the Globe’s Milton Valencia: “The Walsh administration said Tuesday that it will move forward with plans to rebuild the Long Island Bridge by floating in parts of the structure on barges — hoping to assuage officials from nearby Quincy who are worried about noisy construction vehicles rumbling down their roads.”

But here’s the thing: Is Quincy really concerned about construction trucks rumbling down its roads – or who might inhabit Long Island after construction is finished? We’ll soon know if, or when, we start hearing about how Walsh’s amphibious plans violate U.S. Coast Guard rules, threaten right whales, harm fishermen, disrupt ancient mussel beds, etc. The lawsuit possibilities are almost endless.

In Quincy, eminent domain battle looms
Quincy obviously doesn’t mind construction vehicles rumbling through other parts of the city. In fact, it wants them to start rumbling as soon as possible. But it may be headed for a messy legal battle over use of eminent domain powers in its efforts to speed up redevelopment of Quincy’s downtown, Sean Phillip Cotter reports in the Patriot Ledger.
Rentin’ on the Ritz in Southie
It’s the most-viewed piece in the Globe as of this morning – and for good reason. Adrian Walker has a terrific column on the South Boston public-housing tenant who’s been advertising and subletting his somewhat shy-of-the-Ritz-Carlton abode in Southie – and who’s now in trouble with the Boston Housing Authority. “Undeniably, the tenant’s side project is at odds with the mission of public housing,” Walker writes. “And yet, I can’t help having some admiration for a tenant who figures out how to get a foot into the new economy.”
But don’t blame Pittsfield …
If the marijuana market does come out of the gates a little ‘sparse,’ no one can blame Pittsfield. The Berkshire County city, which has said it would entertain as many as 35 retail licenses, gave initial approval to five new pot-related businesses on Tuesday, Amanda Drane reports in The Berkshire Eagle.


Averting the next Mount Ida debacle — while rescuing UMass-Boston
The Herald’s Kathleen McKiernan reports that the state Department of Higher Education hopes to increase government oversight of private colleges and universities in order to protect students at financially troubled schools – like those at the soon-to-close Mount Ida College.

Speaking of Mount Ida, the Globe’s Laura Krantz reports on just how dire the financial situation was for the Newton-based school before it decided to close shop and sell off its campus to UMass-Amherst. Meanwhile, state senators have “invited” top higher-ed officials, including UMass president Marty Meehan, to testify later this month at a State House hearing on the controversial UMass-Amherst takeover of Mount Ida’s Newton campus, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall). At the Globe, Howard E. Horton and Robert Antonucci explain in an opinion piece just how poorly the UMass-Mount Ida move has been handled by school officials on both sides.

Last but not least, the Globe,in an editorial, asks Gov. Charlie Baker and legislators not to forget UMass-Boston’s own dire financial problems, as UMass-Amherst pushes ahead to spend $70 million to acquire a potentially competing campus in Newton.

Pelosi: Sorry, Seth, I’m running for speaker again
In Boston yesterday for a Democratic fundraiser hosted by U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says she intends to remain leader of House Democrats and run for speaker again next year, assuming Dems regain control of the House, critics be damned, reports the Globe’s Liz Goodwin. But what if Dems don’t regain control of the House this year? The Globe’s Scot Lehigh can’t get a straight answer from Pelosi. But U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton is making it pretty clear: She’s gone if Dems don’t win this fall.
Eric Holder for president?
Speaking of national political players blowing into Boston yesterday: In his visit to a state with no shortage of presidential wannabes, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder made news at Harvard by admitting he’s mulling a run for president himself. “I’m thinking about it,” said Holder. The Globe’s Maddie Kilgannon has more.
Environmentalists and real estate agents going at it over Baker’s home energy scorecard bill
From Paige Smith at the BBJ: “As Gov. Charlie Baker’s home energy scorecard bill is slated for a Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy public hearing (today), environmentalists and the real estate community stand at odds. Baker’s late-filed legislation (H 4371) would call for mandatory energy efficiency audits to determine a property’s energy usage” before the sale of homes .


Romney praises first year of Trump, says it’s similar to how he would govern
Less than ten months after Mitt Romney condemned President Trump’s stand on racial tensions in Charlottesville, Virginia and demanded an apology from the White House, the former Massachusetts governor and now Utah Senate candidate is praising Trump’s first year in office and saying it’s similar to how a Romney administration would look, reports The Hill.
The old Play-Doh fingerprint theft mistake …
What’s better than a stupid-criminal story to brighten up the day? Answer: A stupid-criminal story with a child-like twist. In Leicester, police say they found a man who allegedly shoplifted from the local Walmart because he left behind a perfect fingerprint. Where? In the Play-Doh he used to try to cover an anti-theft device on the products he wanted to steal. Brian Lee of the Telegram has the details. Now back to all things political …