How Boston 2024 documents went public

The secret Boston 2024 bid documents that surfaced this week in Boston Magazine and the Boston Business Journal found their way into the public domain via a circuitous route.

Boston 2024 released most of its bid documents in January after being selected by the US Olympic Committee to represent the country in the international Olympic sweepstakes. But Boston 2024 withheld portions of the bid, claiming the USOC insisted those sections be kept confidential for competitive purposes. As a private organization, Boston 2024 didn’t have to release the information.

But the full bid document was turned over to the Donahue Institute at the University of Massachusetts when it was retained by the Boston Foundation to do a report on the economic impact of a Boston Olympics. The report, released in March, indicated a Boston Olympics would offer a short-term economic boost to the region but was noncommittal about any long-range impact.

Not long after the report surfaced, activists opposed to a Boston Olympics began peppering UMass with public records requests because, as a public institution, it was subject to the Public Records Law. Joel Fleming, a Cambridge resident, said he filed requests for emails between the Donahue Institute researchers and officials at Boston 2024 and the Boston Foundation. He said the emails that were turned over to him contained references suggesting the full bid document had been provided to the institute. Fleming said he passed that information along to Kyle Clauss at Boston Magazine, who followed up and requested the bid document.

J. Lynn Griesemer, executive director of the Donahue Institute, which often conducts research for private clients, confirms the organization received a number of public records requests for the Boston 2024 bid document. She said the organization complied with the requests. “It is in our contracts with all of our clients that we are subject to the Public Records Law,” she said.

The Donahue Institute, and UMass in general, are exempt from public records requests on certain topics, however. The exemption, identified as “u” in the Public Records Law, applies to “trade secrets or other proprietary information of the University of Massachusetts, including trade secrets or proprietary information provided to the University by research sponsors or private concerns.” That exemption apparently didn’t apply to the Boston 2024 information.

–BRUCE MOHL

 

BEACON HILL

At the request of Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera, the House and Senate both renewed an expiring $1 million grant to retain 10 police officers and added a new $1 million grant to hire more. (Eagle-Tribune)

Barbara Anderson condemns the Senate for defying voters by freezing the income tax rate at 5.15 percent. (Salem News)

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

Mayor Marty Walsh and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans told a community meeting in a Dorchester neighborhood where a 7-year-old boy was shot on Sunday that the city wants to see more surveillance cameras installed in the area to aid in solving crimes. (Boston Herald) Earlier this year, CommonWealth spotlighted the increasingly vital role surveillance cameras are playing in crime investigation.

Worcester officials rule out using public funds to build a stadium for the Red Sox Triple A affiliate, which is planning to move out of Pawtucket. (Associated Press)

Gold coins are evidently also missing from the Boston Public Library. (Boston Globe)

The opening of a Roche Bros. supermarket in Boston’s Downtown Crossing is a promising sign for the area, write Larry DiCara and Rosemarie Sansone. (CommonWealth)

Hudson residents contemplate a dog park. (MetroWest Daily News)

CASINOS

The state Gaming Commission gave the developers of a proposed New Bedford waterfront casino until June 9 to get their financing finalized, calling it a “guillotine” deadline. (Standard-Times) Commission officials also voted to eliminate a rule that barred local officials in a community in which a gambling facility is located from placing bets. (State House News)

Wynn Resorts still faces “significant hurdles” related to traffic plans before its Everett casino plan is in the clear, reports the Boston Herald. The Las Vegas company plans to file its paperwork again for an environmental permit this summer. (State House News)

Analysts at a gambling conference in Atlantic City say the casino market is saturated in the Northeast. (Associated Press)

OLYMPICS

The revelation that Boston 2024 organizers proposed public financing of land and infrastructure costs is creating a stir. (Boston Globe) The Boston Business Journal consults bond experts on what tax-increment financing means.

Greg Sullivan of the Pioneer Institute says the Olympics could be great — if it there is no financial risk to the state or local government. (Boston Herald)

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

Lobbyist and former US House speaker J. Dennis Hastert is indicted on federal charges. (New York Times)

Lowell Sun columnist Peter Lucas says Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s very public battles with President Obama have made her a national figure, but he says she hasn’t done the hard, behind-the-scenes work in Washington to help Massachusetts.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has vowed to veto a measure backed by powerful fellow Republicans in the legislature that would allow public officials to opt out of performing marriages if it goes against their religious beliefs, a bill many say is aimed at discriminating against same-sex marriage. (New York Times)

USA Today examines lax safety regimens at Level 3 and 4 biolabs nationwide as Boston University’s biolab facility heads toward ramping up its operations.

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

It may be unsexy and risky, but funding research and development may be the best way for cities and states to boost economic development. (Governing)

Robert Kraft is continuing to angle to build a Boston soccer stadium for the New England Revolution. (Boston Globe)

Massport may ratchet down by half the size of a hotel near the state convention center in the wake of Gov. Charlie Baker’s move to freeze expansion plans for the center. (Boston Globe)

EDUCATION

A female student at Nashoba Regional High School is facing multiple charges after threatening online to “pull a Columbine.” (Lowell Sun) Meanwhile, an Andover high school student is removed from school after officials learn of a video in which the student contemplates a violent act. (Eagle-Tribune)

Many researchers are puzzled by Harvard’s abrupt decision to shutter its primate research facility in Southborough. (Boston Globe)

A sixth grade science teacher at Roxbury’s Orchard Gardens school receives a $25,000 prize. (WBUR)

Federal prosecutors have indicted 15 Chinese nationals with charges of cheating on college entrance exams by using imposters to take the tests using fake passports, the latest incidents of suspected cheating among Asians seeking student visas in the United States. (New York Times)

HEALTH CARE

Dr. Tiffany Moore Simas urges the Legislature not to cut funding for a lifeline for pregnant women and new mothers. (CommonWealth)

TRANSPORTATION

CommonWealth fact-checks the Boston Carmen’s Union radio ad and finds a mistake.

A $3 billion state program to fix structurally deficient bridges is coming to end — even though an estimated $14.4 billion of needed repairs remain. (Boston Globe)

The Washington, DC, transit authority has banned all issue-related advertising after receiving an anti-Muslim ad featuring a cartoon depicting the prophet Muhammed that won first place at a controversial Texas convention earlier this month. (U.S. New & World Report)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

Giant wind turbines in Gloucester’s Blackburn Industrial Park aren’t bringing in as much revenue as expected. (Gloucester Times)

Cape Wind is asking for a two-year extension on a state deadline to begin construction after the two big utilities pulled out of their agreement to buy power from the would-be offshore wind farm. (Boston Globe)

Debris in the channel approaching New Bedford Harbor is obstructing dredging operations and poses a threat to navigation. (Standard-Times)

A 4-foot pet boa constrictor that got loose in Braintree last weekend was found in Weymouth Thursday. (Patriot Ledger)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

The New York Times takes a look at 17 officer-involved shootings around the country since the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, last summer that triggered a nationwide debate on deadly force encounters.

MEDIA

Politico is building a sponsored content division. (Advertising Age)

Longtime WBZ radio afternoon anchor and business editor Anthony Silva has signed off after 35 years at the station. (Keller@Large)