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Today on Beacon Hill

10:00am Home for Little Wanderers' Center for Early Childhood Presentation, Senate Reading Room

10:30am House Session, Informal Session

10:30am Senate Session, Informal Session

10:30am House Committee on Ethics, Task Force on Integrity in State and Local Government

11:00am House Session, Formal Joint Session

12:30pm Mass. Business Roundtable Presentation, Senate Reading Room

2:00pm Mass. Cultural Council Commonwealth Awards, Second Floor

Must-Reads

Lawsuit claims Lahey Clinic bribed former Bermuda leader » Boston Globe The Lahey Clinic is the target of a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday by the government of Bermuda, which is accusing the Burlington hospital of bribing the island's former leader in order to secure healt…

Does dental profession need something like a nurse practitioner? » Boston Globe They look so collegial, the dental hygienist who often finds the cavities and the dentist who always fills them. But on Beacon Hill, these professionals, who typically work side-by-side, drill-by-pick…

Liberal Activists Join Forces Against a Common Foe: Trump » New York Times Progressives are exchanging civil disobedience tactics, pooling resources and attending demonstrations about issues that they may not have previously focused on.…

Democrats on Beacon Hill push anti-Trump agenda » Boston Globe Since the president took office just over three weeks ago, lawmakers have filed a host of bills to combat policies ranging from his immigration order to his threat to repeal the Affordable Care Act. L…

New plum Senate position ridiculed as 'taxpayer-funded gift' by critics » Boston Herald The state Senate has added a second assistant majority whip position that'll let another lucky Democratic member pull down a $35,000 leadership stipend — riling Republicans and government watch…

GE hires former Patrick adviser 'Mo' Cowan » Boston Globe William “Mo” Cowan, who was a top advisor to former Governor Deval Patrick and an interim US senator, will join General Electric Co. as vice president of legal policy and litigation, the c…

What Trump Is Doing Is Not O.K. » New York Times If Republicans want to know how they should be behaving on this issue, they should ask themselves what they would be saying and doing right now if a President Hillary Clinton had behaved toward Russia…

Do voter identification laws suppress minority voting? Yes. We did the research. » The Washington Post The Justice Department just got a new boss: Jeff Sessions. He is raising alarms in the civil rights community. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is concerned about his “record …

Panel leaning toward regulation of health care prices » State House News Service Officials examining variations in prices charged by medical providers on Tuesday floated the idea of setting a minimum rate for hospitals at the bottom end of the price spectrum.…

As Elizabeth Warren dominates the news, GOP searches for challenger » Boston Globe For Republican leaders in Massachusetts who are trying to find a credible candidate to challenge Senator Elizabeth Warren, the timing couldn't have been worse.…

Baker environmental funding pledge may ride on his last budget » State House News Service Decrying budget cuts and staff reductions at environmental agencies, the Environmental League of Massachusetts on Tuesday renewed its call for greater environmental funding in order to maintain public…

Auditor Suzanne Bump: State, not towns, should pay for early voting costs » The Republican Massachusetts cities and towns paid an estimated $720,000 in costs mandated by the state to hold early voting in the 2016 election, and Auditor Suzanne Bump believes the state should pay for those cos…

“We still believe that Boston should continue to consider a heliport . . . for its competitiveness and for attracting jobs to Boston. We’ve heard from a number of companies that have operations in Boston or are considering a move to Boston that a heliport is important.”

Boston's Economic Development Chief John Barros

Speaking about the proposed General Electric helipad in Boston.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

Some people love Elizabeth Warren so much, they sent her $1,600 in flowers » Boston Globe Sending flowers on Valentine's Day is a common act of love among partners, friends, parents, and children.…

Can Moulton Play The Outsider, Without Alienating The Insiders? » WGBH An earnest, moralizing, Ivy League-educated military hero — young and handsome — returns to Massachusetts, ambitiously shops for political opportunity, and wins election to high office a…

Reports: U.S. Intercepted Calls Between Trump Campaign Staff And Russian Intelligence » WBUR Russian intelligence officials made repeated contact with members of President Trump's campaign staff, according to new reports that cite anonymous U.S. officials. American agencies were concerned abo…

White House Narrows List Of National Security Adviser Candidates To Replace Flynn » WBUR The White House is narrowing its list of candidates to replace former national security adviser Michael Flynn and has already interviewed former CENTCOM deputy director Robert Harward about the vacanc…

Conway Should Be Investigated For Plugging Ivanka Trump Products, Ethics Agency Says » WBUR Office of Government Ethics Director Walter M. Shaub Jr. is recommending an investigation and possible disciplinary action be taken against Kellyanne Conway, senior adviser to President Trump, for urg…

Russia questions mount for Trump White House reeling from Flynn » Andover Townsman Questions about ties between President Donald Trump's team and Russian intelligence agents deepened Wednesday after new reports of extensive contacts between the two, which are sure to fuel Republican…

Business

Never mind about that helipad, GE tells Boston » Boston Globe General Electric Co. has told city and state officials that it no longer needs a new publicly accessible helipad, taking the pressure off of them to find a suitable location for the controversial proj…

Harvard Square newsstand, on verge of eviction, gets offer for a new location » Boston Globe Crimson Corner, the outdoor newsstand being forced out of its iconic Harvard Square location to make way for a pizza chain, may get a new home just around the corner on Brattle Street.…

A last chance to add life to Seaport » Boston Globe The pressure is on to do something special in the Seaport District, and Dick Marks feels it.…

Chicopee sees new businesses, rebuilt hotels, mill conversion for 2016-2017 » The Republican This year has seen a number of new business proposals in the city and all signs are pointing to 2017 continuing in that trend.…

One of Boston's wealthiest men has clear vision for waterfront » Boston Globe As a boy growing up in New Jersey, Amos Hostetter spent much of his childhood around the ocean, fishing, sailing, and lifeguarding in the unfussy beach town of Bay Head.…

GE hires former Patrick adviser 'Mo' Cowan » Boston Globe William “Mo” Cowan, who was a top advisor to former Governor Deval Patrick and an interim US senator, will join General Electric Co. as vice president of legal policy and litigation, the c…

Boston Landing lands first restaurant, a candlepin bowling alley and more » Boston Business Journal Boston Landing, a mixed-use development on the Allston/Brighton line that's home to the global headquarters for New Balance Athletics and a Boston Bruins practice facility, has landed three food-servi…

Sen. Eric Lesser: High-tech manufacturing experiencing renaissance in Western Mass. » The Republican There are many reasons for optimism about our region's economy. Springfield's skyline is dotted with cranes, and the next two years will see Union Station, the CRRC rail-car plant and the MGM Springfi…

Pot Shop 'Opt Out' to go Before Bourne Voters » Cape Cod Online

Education

Holaday knocks Baker school aid hike as lowest since 1993 » Wicked Local Newburyport Disappointed by Gov. Charlie Baker's latest recommendation for state aid to local schools, city and town officials impressed upon Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito on Tuesday that communities will continue to str…

Lessons from Singapore » Commonwealth Magazine ON DECEMBER 6, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released the results of the 2015 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), an assessment administered in 72 …

Environment

Let's go renewable » Commonwealth Magazine More than a quarter of the Massachusetts Legislature has signed on in support of bills that would require the state to obtain all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2035 and the rest of its …

Bill for 100-percent renewable energy gaining legislative support » Worcester Business Journal Massachusetts would need to get all of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2050 under legislation filed last month and backed by more than a quarter of state lawmakers.…

Advocacy group releases “Green Budget” proposal at State House » WWLP 22 The Environmental League of Massachusetts wants to make sure state parks and forests are not only well maintained, but safe for people to enjoy year round. …

Mass Audubon reduces services, personnel at Blue Hills Museum » Wicked Local Canton In response to cuts in the Massachusetts state budget by Gov. Charlie Baker, Mass Audubon has found it necessary to reduce services and personnel at the Blue Hills Trailside Museum in Milton. …

Baker criticized on environment funding » Sentinel & Enterprise Decrying budget cuts and staff reductions at environmental agencies, the Environmental League of Massachusetts on Tuesday renewed its call for greater environmental funding in order to maintain public…

Federal

Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey Call for Action on Russia » Boston Magazine

Gaming

Beginning With Soil Cleanup, Wynn Casino Construction Is In Full Swing » WBUR The Wynn casino construction site along the Mystic River is a massive operation. Just getting from construction headquarters to the site itself takes a five-minute ride in an ATV, past hundreds of yar…

Watch: MGM Springfield casino rises from the ground in city's South End » The Republican It has been almost two years since the ceremonial groundbreaking for the MGM Springfield casino project and the 14-acre site has been transformed into a sea of steel. Watch the video above to view th…

Health Care

Special panel recommends regulating hospital rate increases » Boston Globe In an effort to tackle one of the biggest challenges to the Massachusetts economy, members of a special state commission on Tuesday called for regulating the growth in hospital rates to contain health…

Government of Bermuda files suit against Lahey, alleging bribery over contracts » Boston Business Journal The government of Bermuda has filed a lawsuit against Lahey Health, alleging that Lahey conspired with a Bermuda official in a bribery scheme to focus the island health services to the Massachusetts h…

Panel considers hospital price floor » Commonwealth Magazine OFFICIALS EXAMINING VARIATIONS in prices charged by medical providers on Tuesday floated the idea of setting a minimum rate for hospitals at the bottom end of the price spectrum. The potential policy…

The Perplexing Psychology Of Saving For Health Care » WBUR Spending your own money on health care might mean that you'll be more frugal with it. That's the theory behind health savings accounts, a decades-old GOP concept that's sparking renewed interest on Ca…

Does dental profession need something like a nurse practitioner? » Boston Globe They look so collegial, the dental hygienist who often finds the cavities and the dentist who always fills them. But on Beacon Hill, these professionals, who typically work side-by-side, drill-by-pick…

Human Services

Baker says state doing all it can to stop suspected welfare abuse » Boston Herald Gov. Charlie Baker said his administration is doing everything in its power to crack down on suspected welfare abuse in the wake of a FOX25 Investigates report that exposed food stamps for sale on Fac…

Centro Presente brings together Latin American, Muslim communities in solidarity at State House » The Daily Free Press A line of people stretched across the front steps of the Massachusetts State House, holding signs that spelled out “Walls Divide!” in front of a crowd of more than 100 people Tuesday night…

Legislative

Fiscal Watchdog Group Blasts Beacon Hill Dems Over Pay Hikes, Talk Of Tax Increases » New Boston Post One of the state's leading fiscal responsibility watchdogs is hopping mad after leaders on Beacon Hill broached the possibility of raising taxes in order to meet budget demands, weeks after lawmakers …

Another Senate leadership job, another hefty stipend » Boston Globe Senate President Stan Rosenberg thinks he needs more help whipping into line what has generally been a very compliant Senate membership. And for that, he is adding a new leadership position: an additi…

Beacon Hill legend was no favorite of leadership » Boston Globe A Beacon Hill legend from years ago, despised so much by legislative leaders that they redistricted him out of his seat, has died. …

Jehlen tapped for pot panel, Lewis and Barrett get key posts » State House News Service

Local Government

Brookline to change immigration policy? » Wicked Local Brookline Brookline town officials have ordered a review of local policy pertaining to cooperation with federal immigration officials in the wake of a national debate on the issue.…

Townsend meeting arrested by angry, overflow crowd » Sentinel & Enterprise A regularly scheduled Board of Selectmen meeting had to be canceled Tuesday night because too many residents showed up to voice concerns -- many about the town's relationship with its police departmen…

Opinion

Our Opinion: State physicians have role in gun safety » Berkshire Eagle Massachusetts had the lowest gun death rate in the country in 2015 and for good reason. A new initiative announced Monday by state Attorney General Maura Healey should further reduce gun-related injur…

Flynn's resignation is a sign of chaos » Boston Globe WITH AMERICAN FOREIGN policy leadership in disarray, President Trump's next national security adviser must insist on receiving the autonomy to restore stability.…

If not Curt Schilling for US Senate, then who? » Boston Globe So whatever happened to the Curt Schilling-for-Senate campaign?…

People aren't protesting Trump for money, but love of country » Boston Globe HOW WOULD ONE go about hiring protesters that Republicans insist are getting paid to do what, in fact, they are eagerly doing for free?…

What Obamacare's drafters could have learned from a hairdresser » Boston Globe LAST WEEK'S CNN debate between Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders on the future of Obamacare was a first-rate political broadcast. …

Editorial: Get tougher on taxes » Boston Herald Massachusetts taxpayers can't afford for House Speaker Robert DeLeo to go weak in the knees on the issue of a tax increase. …

Instead of 'parking' trains, keep them rolling (Letters) » The Republican The proposal by State Senator Eric Lesser to study the expansion of rail service between Springfield and Boston deserves widespread support, "Eric Lesser: Proposal for East-West rail study is 'picking…

Thank You, President Trump, For Bringing Me Back To My Democracy » WBUR Talk about unintended consequences: It turns out I owe a debt of gratitude to President Trump. Had he not threatened every single value I hold, I would never have rediscovered the joys of citizenship …

Let's fix our flawed democracy » Sentinel & Enterprise

State Democrats keep feathering their nest (Editorial) » The Republican

Politics

Reactions to Flynn's resignation from across the Berkshires » Berkshire Eagle "This resignation is the first crack in the vase." That was how state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, D-Pittsfield, described the resignation of retired Gen. Michael Flynn from his position as President …

Public Health

Fight Over Hyannis Needle Exchange Program Goes Before Mass. High Court » WBUR The state's highest court is considering a case that could have implications for needle exchange programs across Massachusetts. Justices for the state's Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday heard argume…

Why your doctor might ask you about guns » Berkshire Eagle After asking about drug and alcohol use at your next checkup the doctor may ask similar questions about gun safety, part of an effort to further curb gun violence by treating it as a public health iss…

Public Safety

Devil's in details for Boston cops with OT » Boston Herald Boston police officers and detectives earned millions of dollars in detail pay last year — with 17 pulling in more than $100,000 — in what some law enforcement experts warn is risky on-t…

State Government

Audit: Early voting law imposes unfunded mandate on cities » Boston Herald Auditor Suzanne Bump has determined portions of the state's early voting law impose an unfunded mandate on local governments and those costs should instead be picked up by the state.…

Auditor Determines Early Voting Was Unfunded Mandate On Mass. Municipalities » WAMC The first early voting held in Massachusetts last year was very successful, but it proved expensive for cities and towns, and the state auditor said Tuesday the state should pay some of the costs. …

Baker Cannot 'Speak To' Unsubstantiated Trump Claims About Fraud By Mass. Voters In N.H. » WBUR As President Donald Trump and senior White House aides stand by assertions of widespread voting fraud in New Hampshire, Gov. Charlie Baker said Monday he could not judge the validity of claims that th…

Mass. auditor says state should pay cities and towns for early voting costs » The Sun Chronicle State Auditor Susan Bump has determined that early voting in last year's presidential election constituted a state mandate on cities and towns, and the state should pay for it. Bump made the determin…

Taxation

Carr: First pay hike, then a tax hike – surprised? » Boston Herald House Speaker Bob DeLeo had the operation on his stomach to take away his appetite — for food, that is. …

Transportation

A ferry good chance of service returning » Lynn Daily News Item A private consulting firm was confident Tuesday that ferry service could return to the city's waterfront. But a timetable and a way to pay for it remain uncertain.…

State Sen. Eric Lesser files bill to tighten privacy protections on Mass. Pike all electronic tolling data » The Republican

Utilities

OF NUCLEAR INTEREST: NRC came, saw, but did not conquer » Wicked Local Wareham The Nuclear Regulatory Commission came to Plymouth last month to placate concerns raised by an internal memo about Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station that was mistakenly emailed to the public.…

Social Media Spotlight

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Yesterday's Late-Breaking News

Senate adds one more leadership post, of course with a $35,000 stipend » Lowell Sun

Green groups push energy plan » Newburyport News

Uxbridge selectmen authorize special counsel for soil projects » Worcester Telegram

Mass. law firm launches marijuana blog » The Herald News

Baker keeps distance from Trump claims about Bay State voters » Gloucester Times

GE Doesn't Need a Helipad Anymore » Boston Magazine

Residents voice concern over well contaminates » Worcester Telegram

Spiros Hatiras: Holyoke Medical Center, community hospitals face 'David vs. Goliath' battle with insurers » The Republican

Energy costs factor into business development, expansion decisions » The Republican

Business group says fair share assessment is unfair » The Salem News

Gov. Baker retreats from goal of 1% of budget for environment » Worcester Telegram

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Recipe of the Week

Lobster Mac & Cheese

Yankee Magazine

Makes 6 Servings

Ingredients

For the pasta:

Ingredients

  • 1 pound shaped pasta, such as elbows or shells
  • 8 tablespoons salted butter, divided
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups light cream
  • 2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces cooked lobster meat (from about two 1-1/2-pound lobsters), cut into bite-size pieces
  • For the topping:

  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain in a colander, set into the sink, and rinse with cold water to cool. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic; cook until onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Melt remaining 5 tablespoons butter in the saucepan. Whisk in flour and stir until mixture is light golden-brown and glossy, 8 to 10 minutes. Gradually whisk cream into flour mixture, increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring, until mixture is thick, creamy, and smooth, 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir onion/garlic mixture and cheeses into cream mixture until melted and smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper; then gently stir in lobster and reserved pasta. Pour mixture into a 4-quart casserole and smooth the top.

Next, make the topping: In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add breadcrumbs and parsley; cook, stirring , until lightly toasted. Sprinkle evenly over casserole.

Bake in preheated oven until sauce is bubbly and the top is golden-brown, 10 to 12 minutes. 


Press Releases

AIM Offers Downloadable Employer Guide to State Ballot Questions » Associated Industries of Massachusetts

Massachusetts Association of Realtors Recognizes Realtor Tanisha Salmon for her Community Service Efforts » Mass. Association of Realtors

Mattapoisset Broker Named 2018 Massachusetts Realtor of the Year » Mass. Association of Realtors

Cambridge Broker Receives Massachusetts Realtor Distinguished Service Award » Mass. Association of Realtors

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Improvement Project at Flynn Memorial Rink » Mass. Department of Conservation & Recreation

Federal Judge Denies Motion from For-profit School Industry to Delay Critical Protections for Student Loan Borrowers » Office of Attorney General Maura Healey

AG Healey Sues Starion Energy Over Deceptive Sales Tactics, Overcharging Residents by $30 Million » Office of Attorney General Maura Healey

AG Healey Joins Multistate Effort to Stop Illegal Robocalls » Office of Attorney General Maura Healey

Baker-Polito Administration Awards $3 Million in Community Compact IT Grants to 44 Cities and Towns » Executive Office of Administration & Finance

Treasurer Goldberg Announces SeedMA Baby » Office of Treasurer Deb Goldberg

Legislature passes FY18 close-out bill with $40M for local roads » Mass. Municipal Association

Franklin Line Weekend Shuttles during Two Weekends for East Street Bridge Rehabilitation Work » MBTA

Weekend Daytime Closures of Chelsea Street Drawbridge for Standard Maintenance » MBTA


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