Here’s your afternoon 69 proof peanut butter flavored vodka shot of politics, from Joshua Miller of the Boston Globe at the Massachusetts State House.
DRIP, DRIP, DRIP — YOUR TRANSPORTATION TAX DOLLARS AT WORK! via a tweet from reporter Gintautas Dumcius with a photo of buckets in the shiny, new Government Center station: “So, uh, can someone at @mbta explain why Govt Center is leaking weeks after opening?” http://bit.ly/1UTO2Xs
The T’s Twitter account replies: “Hello! Thx for reporting this. We’ll fwd this to maintenance personnel asap.” http://bit.ly/1TA4qdP
And Gin writes back: “Area above tracks leaking too” http://bit.ly/1N7bGr8
FLASHBACK, from the Globe’s Eric Moskowitz two weeks ago: “For a moment, at least, the MBTA’s checkered on-time performance record and its scuttled late-night service, its billions in needed infrastructure repairs and its beleaguered Green Line extension project all faded into the past. Amid a throng of onlookers and a pack of reporters inside the rebuilt Government Center Station Monday, officials beamed. Here was good news: Not just the reopening of a busy subway station that had been shuttered for two years, but the completion of a major infrastructure project in the heart of the city, a gleaming new installation of contemporary architecture above and beneath some of Boston’s busiest streets, on time and on budget. ...” http://bit.ly/1q4my3G
MASS. CHARTER SCHOOL TALKER, posted by David Scharfenberg on BostonGlobe.com this afternoon: “Three-quarters of Boston parents in a new poll support a proposed ballot question to allow more charter schools in the state, according to a survey paid for by charter advocates. The poll, commissioned by the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association, shows support is particularly strong among black, Latino, and low-income parents.
But not all parents, of course, are voters: The survey finds support tailing off substantially among white, highly educated parents, who are more likely to cast ballots than black, Latino, and poorly educated parents. ...” http://bit.ly/1UTPlFQ
PRESIDENTIAL — GAME TIME IN THE BADGER STATE, via WashingtonPost.com: “As Wisconsin voters headed to the polls Tuesday, the front-runners in the presidential race — Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton — braced for results that could deliver embarrassing setbacks and further unsettle contests on both sides. ...” http://wapo.st/1XfizMD
PRESIDENTIAL — YOU ALREADY KNEW THAT DONALD TRUMP PROBABLY WON’T CARRY MASSACHUSETTS IN NOVEMBER, SHOULD HE BE THE GOP NOMINEE. But this, “Trump Finds Support In Mass., But Would Likely Face Long Odds Here In November,” is still a really interesting listen for your ride/drive/walk home. Seven minutes and 30 seconds piece from WBUR’s Fred Thys, with a cameo from Steven A. Tolman, president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO: http://wbur.fm/1S8TqyU
HOT ONLINE —
NEW STATE POLICE UNIT TO TARGET CHILD TRAFFICKING, from me on BostonGlobe.com: “Top state officials announced Tuesday a new four-person State Police unit targeting human trafficking cases that involve children. At a State House event, officials also announced policies clarifying that minors who are sexually exploited — paid for sex, for instance — are not criminals, but victims of child abuse who should be aided by the state Department of Children and Families. ...” http://bit.ly/1RWSFvS
SKIP IF YOU’RE ALLERGIC TO NUMBERS — OR READ IF YOU’RE A STATE BUDGET NERD LIKE ME, via Michael Norton of the State House News Service: “State tax collections surged in March, providing a revenue boost that state officials are counting on for a balanced budget. Strong business tax collections fueled a total monthly collection of $2.277 billion, up 12.4 percent or $252 million over March 2015, according to the state Department of Revenue. Collections beat the monthly benchmark for March by $37 million, but remain $86 million behind for fiscal 2016 heading into April, a large month for collections. Despite strong job growth in recent years, tax collections over the first nine months of fiscal 2016 are up only 2.9 percent, or $502 million over the same period in fiscal 2015. Gov. Charlie Baker in January proposed a $39.55 billion budget for fiscal 2017 that raises spending by 3.5 percent. House Speaker Robert DeLeo said last week that the House Ways and Means Committee will recommend a $39.4 billion annual budget boosting spending by 3 percent.”
YOUR MBTA-DELAY LONG READ, which was, at times, uncomfortable for me to read because of the extraordinary invasion of privacy it describes. By Gay Talese in the April 11th issue of the New Yorker: “I know a married man and father of two who bought a twenty-one-room motel near Denver many years ago in order to become its resident voyeur. With the assistance of his wife, he cut rectangular holes measuring six by fourteen inches in the ceilings of more than a dozen rooms. Then he covered the openings with louvred aluminum screens that looked like ventilation grilles but were actually observation vents that allowed him, while he knelt in the attic, to see his guests in the rooms below. He watched them for decades, while keeping an exhaustive written record of what he saw and heard. Never once, during all those years, was he caught. ...”
Obviously some not-safe-for-work content described: http://bit.ly/1RWODUi
ADORABLE ANIMAL VIDEO, via the Associated Press: “An orphaned cheetah cub from a wild animal park in Oregon has joined a litter of cheetah cubs at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden” https://youtu.be/ASzaQyE97uM