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.




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)


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)


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)

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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.


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

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

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


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


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.


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)