Today: Fast food workers rise up; STEM summit; pipeline hearing
Today not be the best day of the year to line up for a Big Mac. Boston will be one of 500 protests across the US with organized strikes calling for the $15 per hour wage, according to organizers. Workers in other industries, including retail and home care, plan to join a rally at 3:30 at Faneuil Hall march to the State House at 4:30.
Massachusetts STEM Summit in Worcester will feature remarks from Gov. Baker at 1:15. It is being held at the DCU Center, 50 Front St. Other speakers include Jay Ash, Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, and UMass President Marty Meehan.
The Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight holds a hearing on Rep. Garrett Bradley’s conveying easements in Sandisfield to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, LLC, a Kinder Morgan company. The easement is not connected to the controversial Northeast Energy Direct project, but instead part of its Connecticut Expansion Project. 11 a.m., Gardner Auditorium.
Also today: Michael Brady gets sworn in as Sen. Michael Brady; Republicans debate in Milwaukee, 9 pm; The Bay State Banner, a weekly paper and news company serving Greater Boston’s African-American community, holds its 50th anniversary celebration at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute.
The T and Millennials: A tragic love affair
A survey just out from MassINC and the Urban Land Institute confirms deep public transportation sentiment — and a strong interest in bicycle options — among Millennials, defined as 20 to 37 year olds. In a survey of 660 Millennials, 80 percent said access to public was “very important” when choosing a neighborhood in which to live, and 78 percent of them said it was important their workplace be near public transit. Boston magazine’s Garrett Quinn has more numbers from the survey here.
While the survey makes it clear Millennials want to love the T, it apparently didn’t measure their satisfaction with the relationship. The T, frankly, doesn’t love them back, and it would be interesting to see in-depth customer satisfaction data. The subtext for the survey is as the city’s population expands, more needy transportation customers are gravitating toward a system that delivers second-rate service at best. Millennials are looking to embrace the T, but it feels like an abusive relationship.
Will probe lead to the Globe?
Ask and sometimes you shall receive. Speaker Bob DeLeo, furious that testimony he gave five years ago to a special investigative commission was leaked to the Globe, asked Chief Justice Ralph Gants late last month to conduct an investigation into the leak. Yesterday it was reported that Gants has asked three investigatory agencies to look into the matter: The US Department of Justice, the Attorney General’s office, and the State Ethics Commission. Do they all conduct their own probe? It’s unclear, but if the investigative is taken up in earnest, but if it is, the first stop very likely would be Morrissey Boulevard, an inference not reported in this Globe story. http://bit.ly/1WJXXjl
STAT riles the status quo at the Globe
Speaking of the Globe, publisher John Henry’s new initiative, the health and life sciences publication STAT, has raised some troubling questions for incumbents at the Globe, the Boston Business Journal’s Craig Douglas reports. STAT is being funded separately from the Globe operations and seems to exist in a parallel universe at the Globe. Unidentified union sources “said they field daily complaints and questions from their Globe peers about STAT and whether its very existence is an attempt by Henry to supplant the Globe’s news coverage while marginalizing its union workforce.” Read more here: http://bit.ly/1O1flbT
Our paltry rainy day fund
A prolonged economic recovery has not sufficiently padded the state’s rainy day Fund, which stands at a mere $1.25 billion. The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation says that’s not enough cushion for an economic downtown – for the fund only equals about 3 percent of state funding. Gov. Baker borrowed a page from his predecessor’s book and siphoned off capital gains revenue that would have been destined for the fund when he inherited a large budget shortfall early this year. MassLive’s Shira Schoenberg runs more rainy day numbers here: http://bit.ly/1MT7XSU
Meehan completes whirlwind UMass tour
In advance of his inauguration Thursday, UMass President Marty Meehan visited all five UMass campuses yesterday, culminating at the UMass Boston campus in the evening. Laura Krantz of the Globe has details on his travels: http://bit.ly/1SegnCk
Massive wind farm on the horizon?
A Danish firm with a lengthy history of building wind farms in Europe is weighing plopping 100 turbines about 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. DONG Energy A/S envisions a project that would generate 1,000 megawatts of energy, double the output of the Cape Wind plan, which fell apart early this year after two utilities pulled out of the deal. Globe correspondent Jay Fitzgerald reports that the Danish initiative is calling itself Bay State Wind, and the group that fought Cape Wind finds the proposed location of the wind turbines “far superior.” http://bit.ly/1MICnRk
Uber and the Ride will ‘definitely’ team up
The Ride, a state transportation program for people with disabilities, could save $47 million next year by raising fares, reducing service and creating partnerships with ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. Colin Young of the State House News Service reports the MASSDoT’s Michael Lambert told the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board that the program was on track to spend $108 million next fiscal year without changes. Lambert said “there will ‘definitely’ be some sort of partnership between The Ride and Uber in the future, Young reports. http://bit.ly/1OBwNqF
Brockton councilor eyes State House
The scramble for State House spots vacated by last week’s special elections has begun. Brockton At-Large City Council or Shaynah Barnes says she’ll make a run for the vacant 9th Plymouth District state representative seat —a vacancy created by the election of Michael Brady to the state senate on Nov. 3, the Enterprise reports. http://bit.ly/1OBp5g5
Time for a time zone change?
Among the items the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies will take up today at a hearing in Holyoke is a proposal to fund a study on whether to move Massachusetts into the Atlantic Standard time zone, MassLive reports. First proposed by a Quincy resident, the proposal is aimed at evaluating whether moving into the more eastern time zone would be a prudent way for the Commonwealth to avoid the pre-6 p.m. darkness that envelopes the state once Daylight Savings Time ends. http://bit.ly/1MxbZ1c
Panhandle laws struck down
Two Worcester ordinances aimed at addressing complaints about aggressive panhandling have been struck down by a federal court judge in a ruling with impacts that extend beyond Worcester, the Telegram reports. The ACLU challenged the city’s new rules—which banned panhandling on roadway median strips and at nigh—back in 2013 on behalf of two homeless people and a candidate for school committee who wanted to hold campaign signs in city intersections. http://bit.ly/1kJ10ab
Marijuana backers say signatures in hand
One of the two groups pushing referenda on legalizing recreational marijuana says it has enough signatures to move to the next stage of the initiative petition process. According to MassLive, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana lLike Alcohol has collected 100,000 signatures, well above the 64,000 or so needed to put the question before the legislature on its way to the 2016 ballot box.http://bit.ly/1HEHPU6