The Codcast: Sneak peek at new issue

CommonWealth’s Winter issue comes out Tuesday, but we give you a sneak peek in today’s Codcast. We run down our stories Airbnb, Uber/Lyft, ed reform’s 25th birthday, Worcester’s renaissance, Yvonne Spicer and much, much more.

It’s all pretty easy to follow, but for those of you relatively new to Boston it may help to watch this commercial from 1969 about Prince Spaghetti. Otherwise, you may not understand why I keep yelling out, “Anthony!”

BRUCE MOHL


BEACON HILL

Auditor Suzanne Bump fired three employees for potential conflicts of interest and referred the matter to the State Ethics Commission. (MassLive)

Gov. Charlie Baker provided additional funding for school districts that have taken in children from Puerto Rico. (Telegram & Gazette)

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

A Globe editorial says Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s plan to rebuild Long Island Bridge may be a good one — but the city needs to show that it’s the best alternative available before pushing ahead with it.

Walsh is not convinced yet about the need for a permanent police body camera program. (WGBH)

Former Worcester city councilor Michael Gaffney sued Turtleboy Sports. (Telegram & Gazette)

Cardinal Sean O’Malley and Walsh join parishioners at St. Peter’s Church in Dorchester to call for an end to violence plaguing the city’s Cape Verdean community. (Boston Globe)

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

The Golden Globes award show and red carpet turned into a major political statement by the #MeToo movement. (New York Times)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, often held up as a purveyor of partisanship, turns out to be working with a lot of Republican senators on various issues where they find common ground. (Boston Globe)

Stephen Bannon tried to back away from his explosive comments about the Trump administration after he became isolated from his political allies and financial patrons. (New York Times)

Kimberly Atkins says Washington is heading for a DACA showdown. (Boston Herald)

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

Federal fishing officials unveil new rules that open up a large area east of Nantucket for scalloping. (Boston Globe)

EDUCATION

With the cost of constructing high schools soaring, a Lowell Sun editorial calls on the state to examine the practices and policies of the Massachusetts School Building Authority. Lowell High School, which needs to be replaced, is open Monday after being closed last week to resolve heating issues. (Lowell Sun)

A hoax threat made against a school identified as MHS in Virginia stirs concerns at MHS (Methuen High School) in Massachusetts. (Eagle-Tribune)

HEALTH/HEALTH CARE

Sector leaders are bullish on the biotech industry heading into 2018. (Boston Globe)

Nurses at Berkshire Medical Center urge hospital trustees to bolster staffing levels. (Berkshire Eagle)

TRANSPORTATION

MBTA General Manager Luis Ramirez, facing criticism over problems with the MBTA and commuter rail, tweeted over the weekend that no transit system in North America is designed to withstand “Siberian” temperatures — but then quickly deleted the messages. (Boston Herald)

The MBTA’s Wollaston Station closed for 20 months as renovations begin. (Patriot Ledger)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

More pipeline aren’t the answer to winter price spike, says Greg Cunningham of the Conservation Law Foundation. (CommonWealth) Former utility executive Carl Gustin argues the opposite point. (CommonWealth)

A Herald editorial cheers the fact that the federal tax bill is prompting Eversource to reduce rates — even if it is hitting Massachusetts taxpayers hard in many other ways.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/COURTS

An “anonymous porn website” carried pictures of naked and partially naked local women and the women had a tough time getting the pictures removed until one of them posted pictures of the men she believed were responsible. (Sun Chronicle)

The state Trial Court bans fentanyl from being brought into courtrooms in almost all cases, even as evidence during trials, because it is so dangerous even at very low doses. (Boston Globe)

MARIJUANA

Advocates for marijuana legalization ask for an unambiguous statement from US Attorney Andrew Lelling on his plans for prosecuting the state’s on-the-verge pot industry. (MassLive) Here’s what US attorneys are saying in states around the country that have legalized marijuana.

Take a tour of Garden Remedies Inc., a Fitchburg-based marijuana growing facility that is expanding rapidly and employs 70 people. (Telegram & Gazette) Tourism officials are trying to decide whether to promote Massachusetts as a marijuana-use destination. (Salem News)

MEDIA

A security guard at a state office building in Springfield told MassLive reporter Patrick Johnson that he couldn’t take a picture of the building from the sidewalk and insisted he delete his snap. Johnson recounts what happened next.

The Sunday Globe offers up the paper’s editorial page resolutions for 2018 — a set of issues on which it vows to push for change, including transportation, more transparency and local civic engagement from Facebook and Google, and race issues.

Jake Tapper’s interview with Stephen Miller on CNN goes off the rails. (Business Insider)

PASSINGS

Former state treasurer Robert Crane died at 91. (Boston Globe) The Herald’s Joe Fitzgerald pays tribute.

 

  • Mhmjjj2012

    The Codcast was a preview of the winter issue coming out. At 9:55 the education article came up. The author stated: “There’s a big funding dimension… I should apologize ahead of time…The story doesn’t really get into the funding issues and there is a real question the funding formula is out of whack. There’s a lot of feeling it does need revision. I didn’t focus on that…” LOL! How is it possible to write an article on public education in Massachusetts without going into the funding? The Education Reform Act of 1993 set up the Foundation Budget……the mechanism distributing state aid to local public schools…and established the Foundation Budget Review Commission in that same law. Incredibly, the Commission was supposed to review the Foundation Budget every three years and report its findings BUT THE COMMISION WAS NOT SET UP FOR THE FIRST TIME UNTIL 21 YEARS LATER! Its 2015 report should have rocked the state. The Foundation Budget needs to be fixed and fully funded. That funding shortfall means Massachusetts is not meeting its financial obligations to the local public school districts under the Education Reform Act of 1993! One area noted in that report was special education: “Because special education is a legal entitlement, districts must fund individual education plans for all students in special education. Therefore, any gap between the foundation budget categories and actual legal obligations results in funds being diverted from other instructional priorities of the district to fund obligatory special education costs.” Other funding areas that article should have gone into is how charter schools drain money from local public school districts and the charter school reimbursement formula is broken and not fully funded. CommonWealth owes its readers an informing series of articles on preK-12 public education funding.

  • Mhmjjj2012

    So, what’s the story about Gov. Charlie Baker providing “additional funding for school districts that have taken in children from Puerto Rico?” The Governor found $60,000 of federal money and awarded $5,000 grants to twelve public school districts that enrolled more than 50 students from Puerto Rico. So far, more than 2,100 students…evacuees… from Puerto Rico have enrolled in Massachusetts public schools. How much does that $5,000 work out to on a per student basis? Fitchburg enrolled 71 students which translates into $70.42 for each student; Leominster has 57 students so its per student windfall is $87.72; Southbridge’s 80 students’ funding is $62.50 per student; Worcester’s 200+ students is about $25 per student. Not mentioned in the article are the other school districts awarded that $5,000 nothing burger grant: Boston, Chicopee, Fall River, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, New Bedford, and Springfield. How much did that $5,000 grant work out per student for the 546 students enrolled in Springfield’s public schools? Wait for it…$9.15 per student. OMG! 546 students have enrolled in Springfield over the past 3 months and that’s all Springfield received to help its public schools so they can help those students? Come on! Somebody at CommonWealth has to wake up on the public education funding issue. Stop hitting the snooze button…just stop!