Baker, Bump continue to clash over DCF audit

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker delivered a forceful rebuke of Auditor Suzanne Bump’s review of the Department of Children and Families, calling the claims in the audit released last week “irresponsible” and in some cases “simply not true” in a letter to DCF staff.

Baker wrote a nearly two-page letter to the DCF staff thanking them for their work and applauding their efforts over the past two years to improve the agency. But he also outlined his problems with Bump’s focus and messaging.

“I appreciate that the Auditor also cares about ensuring these children are safe. But for this report to ignore nearly everything you have done for the past two and a half years to improve the agency’s ability to do its work strikes me as wrong,” Baker wrote.

The charges and counter-charges back and forth between Baker’s administration and Bump over the days since the audit was released highlight the sensitivity around an agency whose well-documented problems at the end of Deval Patrick’s eight years in office served to sour his standing with the public.

From the Sun archives: The road to tragedy at DCF

Chandler’s staff moves into Senate president’s office

Monday was moving day in the Senate president’s office.

Much of Acting Senate President Harriette L. Chandler’s staff moved into the president’s third-floor suite Monday as they take over operations of the office, but at least for now Chandler, D-Worcester, plans to continue working out of the majority leader’s office and will use the suite for meetings, caucuses and other official business, according to an aide.

As a rank-and-file member of the Senate, Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, D-Amherst, will retain a small staff, while the remaining staff who worked for him while he was president will stay on to assist Chandler. It is expected that Rosenberg’s chief of staff Natasha Perez and communications director Mara Dolan will remain with Rosenberg.

Marotta: Time for education system to evolve — just ask the teachers

“The system that I teach in is not designed for how my students grow up,” says one veteran Worcester Public Schools teacher. “They all have phones; they grew up in a digital age … [but] we still have to teach them in a form that they are not going to encounter when they enter the workforce. This is how they grew up taking in information, and it’s the opposite of what we do in our classroom.”

Mass. buoys transportation security following Manhattan bus bomb

Massachusetts planned to up the visibility of law enforcement at transportation hubs following the detonation of a bomb in New York City’s main bus terminal Monday, but Gov. Charlie Baker said there were no known threats to the state.

Baker told reporters his administration had been in touch with the Fusion Center, an information-sharing cooperative of state and federal law enforcement, following the morning explosion that injured five, according to the New York Times, including the suspect who was taken into custody.

Social consumption, home delivery marijuana rules debated

BOSTON — The first day of policy debate among state marijuana regulators indicated that the Cannabis Control Commission is working toward industry regulations that would give consumers more options for how they obtain marijuana and where they will be able to use it.

The commission worked through policies Monday dealing with home delivery of marijuana products and social consumption of marijuana, among others. The policies, some of which were agreed to, will be enshrined into draft regulations for the newly legal industry, which the CCC plans to put on file with the state by the end of the month.

Inbox [Dec. 13]: News and notes from Worcester Common Oval, People’s United Bank and UMass Memorial Health Care

Have news you or your group would like to share? Let us know by emailing it to info@worcester.ma. Be sure to include a link to the full release on your site or Facebook page so we can include it and send Sun members your way.

Worcester Common Oval opens for public ice skating

The Worcester Common Oval public ice-skating rink has opened for the season. The Oval has piped-in music, skate rentals, concessions, holiday lights and more, making it a fun and affordable family-friendly activity.

New this year is the WOOville Winter Wonderland, a series of wooden sheds set up on the Worcester Common that will host pop-up shops every weekend throughout the skating season and feature local food and craft vendors. Kids can have their picture taken with Santa for free every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 2 p.m. through Christmas.