Roger Berkowitz: All politics is Legal Sea Foods<br/>
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We've got plenty of choices this Super Tuesday: Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Marco Rubio, Roger Berkowitz.
That's right. The Boston restaurateur known for his wacky advertisements is at it again. A new round of Legal Sea Foods ads will appear on Tuesday on local news stations and in the Globe, promoting "Berkowitz for President." And yes, they're as irreverent as you might expect if you're familiar with some of the Legal chief executive's previous campaigns.
One spot declares: "If we build a wall on the border, who will eat our delicious fish tacos?" Another: "My first act in office will be to legalize sea weed." That TV ad features a photo of what's ostensibly a drug bust going down.
The spots are the latest in a long line of Legal ads from New York agency DeVito/Verdi. Berkowitz hired the agency more than a decade ago, making Legal the agency's first Boston-area account. Others followed. Herb Chambers and Suffolk University have used the company in the past; Bernie & Phyl's Furniture and Tribe Mediterranean Foods currently do.
Agency president Ellis Verdi says these ads will run throughout the week, and there will be more election-themed spots to come for Legal. "This election is unlike any other election in history," Verdi says. "It's a cultural phenomenon. From an advertising standpoint, you can't resist it."
Berkowitz knows DeVito/Verdi's ads can raise eyebrows. That's the point.
"They go to the edge, sometimes," Berkowitz says. "[But] the purpose of advertising is to get a message across, and you don't get it by blending." — JON CHESTO
Robert Beal to retire
One of the biggest names in Boston real estate is bowing out.
Robert Beal is retiring from his role as president of Related Beal, the development firm that bears his family name.
In nearly four decades at the company, Beal and his brother Bruce — who remains chairman of Related Beal — launched high-profile projects ranging from the rehab of the Custom House Tower to some of the first life-science developments in Cambridge and Lexington. Three years ago they partnered with New York-based real estate giant Related Cos., to form Related Beal, which has pushed ahead a slew of major projects in Boston's current building boom.
Beal — who's long been a fixture on lists ranking the most powerful Bostonians — also serves on a who's who of civic boards, including the local United Way and the Museum of Fine Arts.
He plans to stay active in those efforts, even as — at age 74 — he steps back from the day-to-day grind of development work, handing the reins to a younger generation, including nephew Bruce A. Beal Jr. and Boston-office chief Kimberly Sherman Stamler.
"I am extremely proud of the impact we as a firm have had on the Greater Boston area," Beal said.— TIM LOGAN
Lewis Wharf opponents to grill candidates
What's a good way to make sure your future state senator sees things your way on a controversial development in the district?
Get in their face while they're still a candidate.
That's what opponents of a controversial hotel proposed on Lewis Wharf are planning Thursday, holding a candidate's forum to focus on waterfront development and climate preparedness. The hosts — Save Our North End Waterfront — say four of the seven candidates running to replace retiring state Senator Anthony Petrucelli will be in attendance, as will State Representative Aaron Michlewitz, who's not running but represents the North End and has come out against the project.
It's a savvy move. To get built, the project will eventually need state environmental approvals — which a state senator can influence. And getting in said senator's ear before they're even elected can't hurt. But then the Waterfront group has proven themselves a savvy bunch, hiring Northwind Strategies — led by top Deval Patrick aide Doug Rubin — to handle their PR and work the halls of power. And if Thursday's meeting, and April's Democratic special election primary, go their way, they could soon have another friend in those halls.— TIM LOGAN
‘When the wind doesn’t blow, hydro will flow’
Matt Beaton is a familiar face to most of the crowd at the Restructuring Roundtable, the meeting series for local energy industry insiders. But when the state energy secretary returned to speak at the Roundtable on Friday, he brought a friend with him who isn't quite as well known locally: his counterpart in Quebec.
Pierre Arcand trekked to Boston in part to make the case for bringing more hydropower into Massachusetts. Beaton and his boss, Governor Charlie Baker, are pushing for a bill that would prompt utilities to enter into long-term contracts for power from dams in Canada. The biggest beneficiary could be Hydro-Quebec, the government-owned utility in Quebec.
So Arcand helped make Beaton's case to the crowd of roughly 250 people gathered at law firm Foley Hoag's office on the South Boston waterfront. Hydropower, he said, is more environmentally friendly than natural gas and more reliable than wind. "I said, when the wind doesn't blow, hydro will flow," Arcand said.
Arcand responded to concerns. Yes, he said, hydro is good from an ecological standpoint. And no, New England would not be at risk of getting cut off on particularly cold days. The Baker bill could potentially more than double the amount of hydropower coming into New England now.
This was Arcand's first visit to the Roundtable, according to Jonathan Raab, the event organizer. Raab says he typically holds five of these events every year.
Arcand wasn't just coming to Boston to talk up Baker's bill. He also met with Stephen Pike, the head of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, to learn more about the state's energy efficiency efforts. Arcand sees that as a key way of helping the environment without getting in the way of business growth. "To try to lower greenhouse emissions is quite a job," he says. "You can't just say we are going to shut down the economy." — JON CHESTO