The Codcast

All-night service on the T

The inaugural episode of our podcast, named The Codcast after the sacred cod hanging in the chamber of the House of Representatives, tackles a proposal by three advocates for all-night service on the MBTA.

The plan was originally put forward in an article in CommonWealth by James Aloisi, the former secretary of transportation; Ari Ofsevit, a transportation planner and blogger; and Jeremy Mendelson, the cofounder of TransitMatters. After the T’s trains and buses stop running, the three outsiders call for the development of roundtrip, hourly bus service on eight routes from various points around the metropolitan area into Copley Square. The service is targeted at workers, not partiers, and its cost is pegged at about $1 million.

T officials were initially skeptical but, pressed by members of the Fiscal Control and Management Board, have started crunching numbers. Cost estimates have risen, but the advocates say the tab will probably end up in the $2 million to $3 million range.

“It will never cost zero, so that shouldn’t be the benchmark,” said Aloisi. “It’s a very solid plan that can enable the  T to prove something it needs to prove. The T right now, in the aftermath of a lot of recent events, really needs to show that it can provide meaningful service to people cost effectively.”

–BRUCE MOHL

 

BEACON HILL

The Massachusetts Republican Party is going to field candidates in 40 percent of the legislative races this year. (State House News)

Lawmakers urge the Baker administration to keep an unemployment call center in Springfield open. (Masslive)

The Senate gives the green light for officials to explore moving a county jail in Billerica. (State House News) The Senate also passes an agriculture bill that includes a ban on plastic bags at farmers’ markets (State House News) while allowing beer sales at those markets. (Masslive)

The Environmental League of Massachusetts hits six lawmakers or their votes. (Masslive)

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

Lawrence Fire Chief Brian Moriarty says he is at a loss on what to do about a homeless encampment that has reemerged under the Casey Bridge. (Eagle-Tribune)

Dante Ramos says the onslaught of opposition to a Starbucks in South Boston, including from the Walsh administration, is a more troubling sign of Boston’s culture of “no” than the scrapping of the IndyCar race in the Seaport or Olympics. (Boston Globe)

Alex Beam mulls the matter of what would be Jane Jacobs‘s 100th birthday and all the attendant worshipping of the iconoclastic urban thinker that has broken out as a result. (Boston Globe)

Joe Battenfeld says IndyCar’s local promoter took a quick look at Suffolk Downs in a last-ditch effort to see whether there was a way to salvage the race, but the idea was quickly nixed. (Boston Herald)

The Fall River Parks Commission voted to keep the cemetery policies in place about removing “non-conforming” memorials without notice despite protests by families. (Herald News)

Two students at Marblehead High School speak out against a Snapchat swastika. (Salem News)

CASINOS

Steve Wynn confidently predicts construction will start on his Everett casino this summer. He also reveals the management team of Suffolk Construction, which is building the Everett facility, held a retreat at his hotel in Las Vegas without telling him they were coming. “They paid retail,” he says. (CommonWealth)

An Enterprise editorial says Brockton deserved more from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

David Bernstein writes that one result of Donald Trump atop the Republican ticket could be a growing bloc of women Democratic senators, with Elizabeth Warren as the undisputed power player. (Politico)

ELECTIONS

Shira Schoenberg goes to Revere, a Democratic enclave represented in part by House Speaker Robert DeLeo, and finds a hotbed of support for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. (Masslive) DeLeo told the Boston Herald in March that he wouldn’t rule out Trump carrying the state in November. But MassINC Polling Group’s Steve Koczela looks at the numbers and concludes a Trump victory here is a pretty far-fetched notion. (WBUR)

Enough parochial punditry about our fair Commonwealth. Let the national election soothsaying begin! A Trump victory in November? Ain’t gonna happen, says Scot Lehigh. (Boston Globe) Will to, says Tom Keane. (WBUR)

House Speaker Paul Ryan isn’t backing Trump yet; he says the candidate first must do more to unify the party. (NPR)

William Kristol, the influential editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, says his 44-year streak of voting for the Republican nominee has ended but says Hillary Clinton is not a choice, either.

It’s not just Republicans who have a unity deficit. (Greater Boston)

Mother Jones examines this Trump tweet — “Happy #CincoDeMayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!”

The Herald editorializes against passage of the Community Preservation Act in Boston this fall.

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

A Suffolk Superior Court judge has issued an injunction stopping the state from classifying Portuguese-owned companies as minority-owned businesses as he hears a suit from a woman-owned concrete firm in Hopedale challenging the classification for preference in awarding contracts. (Standard-Times)

EDUCATION

Lowell schools begin to address a serious lag in minority hiring. (The Sun)

The superintendent of Framingham schools finally received his license from the state 11 months after his preliminary certification lapsed. (MetroWest Daily News)

HEALTH/HEALTH CARE

Leaders of Partners HealthCare are negotiating with a large health care workers union in a bid to avert a November showdown over a ballot question that would regulate hospital pricing and cost the high-cost provider some $440 million. (Boston Globe) Harvard health policy expert John McDonough explained the looming ballot battle in CommonWealth.

There are indications that many health plans under Obamacare will raise premiums significantly next year after several years of below average increases. (New York Times)

In the debate over marijuana as a gateway drug, science is on the side of those in favor of legalizing pot. (CommonWealth)

An Eagle-Tribune editorial sees signs of hope in the latest grim opioid statistics. Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello is surprised by the stats, but says the uptick in Gloucester is a bit misleading. (Gloucester Times)

Stringent new regulations on e-cigarettes announced Thursday by the FDA will drive vapers underground and spawn a dangerous black market, industry officials predicted. (U.S. News & World Report)

TRANSPORTATION 

Cambridge and Somerville are offering to kick in $75 million toward the Green Line Extension in an effort to save the faltering project, which could prove too expensive for a belt-tightening-focused MBTA. (Boston Globe)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

The state’s energy debate shifts to the Supreme Judicial Court, as the justices are asked to decide if electricity ratepayers should finance a new gas pipeline. (CommonWealth)

A right whale calf, one of just 14 confirmed births this winter off the coast of Georgia, was found dead in the channel off a Chatham beach. (Cape Cod Times)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/COURTS

A shortage of lawyers to serve low-income parents means many of them are waiting days or weeks for hearings to contest decisions by the state Department of Children and Families to remove a child from his or her home. (Boston Globe)

The Supreme Judicial Court ponders whether people picked up for drunk driving should be given a chance to consult an attorney before taking a Breathalyzer. (WBUR)

Duxbury police are searching for the person who posted a series of photos of nude and partially nude teenaged girls from the town on the open file-sharing site Dropbox. (Patriot Ledger)

Pittsfield police say gangs are likely responsible for the recent spate of violence in the city. (Berkshire Eagle)

Weekend preview from the New York Times Magazine: Should prostitution be a crime?