Happening Today

Armenian genocide anniversary

A State House ceremony and reception marks the 101st anniversary of the Armenian genocide; former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Gov. Charlie Baker, Auditor Suzanne Bump and lawmakers will be among those attending, House Chamber, 10:30 a.m.

Air Force partnership

Gov. Baker joins U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas and Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James for an announcement about a new state-federal partnership opportunity for Massachusetts businesses, Cambridge Innovation Center (Boston), 50 Milk Street, Boston, 3 p.m.

Urban League gala

The Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts will honor its president and CEO, Darnell Williams, as well as other community leaders at its 24th Annual Awards Gala, Boston Park Plaza Hotel, 50 Park Plaza, 6 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Amazon’s Roxbury problem

Let’s say you’re a black man or woman who’s long tried to convey to your white friends and colleagues all the daily indignities and prejudices faced by African Americans. Sometimes the message gets through. Sometimes it doesn’t. It can be a hard thing to convey to people who don’t live the experience. Then along comes Amazon.com, making the point crystal clear in the statistically most simple way, as reported in the Globe by Dan Adams, Meghan Irons and Megan Woolhouse: “Eleven months after its debut, Amazon’s same-day delivery service is available to nearly everyone in Greater Boston — everyone, that is, except for residents of three ZIP codes in predominantly black Roxbury.”

Three excluded ZIP codes. They stick in the mind. OK, there are indeed other predominantly black neighborhoods in Boston getting Amazon’s Prime same-day service, as the Globe reports. And there are indeed many other businesses that shun Roxbury for a variety of seemingly sound economic and business reasons. But those three excluded ZIP codes say so much. Read the Globe’s story for local reactions.

In addition, it was Bloomberg’s David Ingold and Spencer Soper who originally discovered Amazon’s ZIP code “anomaly” here and elsewhere. So check out their story too.


Suffolk expands in Roxbury

While Amazon seemingly shuns Roxbury, Suffolk Construction is embracing the neighborhood, announcing plans to build a $22 million, 38,000-square foot expansion at its current 65 Allerton Street headquarters, Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin reports. From a statement on the expansion: “The vacant and dilapidated warehouse buildings at 79-91 Allerton Street will be replaced by a dramatic new building, designed by noted design firm Elkus Manfredi Architects, which will set a new standard for the design quality for the area.” No data-driven anomalies here.

Universal Hub

Baker Signals Update: Baker signals yet again he won’t veto transgender bill

Has there been a local media-driven story of late that comes even close to the parsing-of-every-word attention given to Gov. Charlie Baker’s non-stance stance on the transgender-rights bill that almost everyone assumes will eventually pass into law anyway? We can’t think of one. But just in case you need a non-update update on Baker’s position, there’s this Globe story headlined “Baker sends signals he wouldn’t veto transgender bill” and this Herald story headlined “Charlie Baker expresses support for transgender protections.” About the only reason to keep covering this story is to see if Baker eventually snaps. We’re talking a full sobbing, I-can’t-take-it-anymore, begging-for-mercy snap of epic proportions as he’s hauled out of the State House in a straight jacket. Now that would be news.

The Millennials challenge

The Patriot Ledger’s Neal Simpson has a story on the upcoming Monday panel discussion on all things Millennials, the generation of Americans aged 18 to 35 who face a unique set of challenges these days — and present challenges to those trying to understand what they need and want. George Donnelly, the former MASSterList editor who will host the panel discussion with political leaders on Monday morning, is quoted in the story. ‘Millennials: The Fresh Challenge to the Political Status Quo’ is a MASSterList and State House News Service event sponsored by GateHouse Media. The event starts at 7:30 a.m., Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education center, 10 Winter Place, Boston. For free registration and more info, go here.

Thanks to State House News Services’s Antonio Caban, viewers can also watch proceedings live via this YouTube feed. 

Millennials event

Grand Prix slowed by conservation commission

Boston’s Conservation Commission has stopped organizers of the Boston Grand Prix from completing construction work in flood zones, a potentially damaging ruling that organizers plan to appeal to state officials, Joe Battenfeld of the Herald reports. The ConCom rejected arguments from organizers that obtaining a new permit could put the Labor Day race in jeopardy, admonishing them for not starting the process sooner.

Boston Herald

Former state economic czar Greg Bialecki lands a new gig

Former Gov. Deval Patrick’s economic development secretary Greg Bialecki has landed a partnership at Redgate, a Boston real estate advisory and investment firm, reports the Boston Business Journal.


Making college more affordable

State officials yesterday unveiled a new program that could help Massachusetts students save an average of about $5,000 off the cost of obtaining a bachelor’s degree, reports Louise Kennedy at WBUR. Called “Commonwealth Commitment,” the program would give qualifying undergraduates a 10 percent rebate at the end of each semester they complete and allow students who earn an associate’s degree at a community college to transfer with a tuition waiver to a four-year Massachusetts university, according to the WBUR report. Tuition and mandatory fees also would be frozen at the date a student starts the program.


Kinder Morgan’s pipeline cancellation may boost push for hydropower

Gov. Charlie Baker was never a big fan of Kinder Morgan’s now-suspended plan to build a new natural gas pipeline across the state. But yesterday he did note that cancellation of that controversial pipeline project puts pressure on lawmakers to pass an energy bill that would boost use of hydroelectric and wind power in Massachusetts, reports MassLive’s Shira Schoenberg. “If we pass no bill, we are going to be creating an enormous problem for the people of Massachusetts and the people of New England,” Baker said.


Faneuil Hall rented at rock-bottom prices

Boston rents Faneuil Hall for as little as $250 a day, a rate far below the market for similar event venues but one the city says is just right, Colman Herman of CommonWealth magazine reports. The city can charge extra for security and other costs, but a recent Hillary Clinton rally cost the campaign $700 in rent—a fraction of what other city-run venues charge.


Braintree considers giving teen drinkers a break

The town of Braintree is considering following in the footsteps of Duxbury and changing local laws to allow for non-criminal fines to be issued to teens busted for underage drinking, Fred Hanson of the Patriot Ledger reports. Braintree is waiting to see if Duxbury’s bylaw—approved by town meeting last month—passes muster with the Attorney General.

Patriot Ledger

Baker backs EPA on GE cleanup

Gov. Charlie Baker says his administration supports the Environmental Protection Agency’s position in its ongoing dispute with General Electric over the scope of cleanup work on the Housatonic River, Gintautas Dumcius of MassLive reports. General Electric, which earlier this year announced it was moving its headquarters to Boston, is locked in a dispute resolution process with the EPA over the details of the remaining portion of the cleanup work, including whether contaminated soils dredged from the river must be trucked out of state.


Brockton eyes Urban Revitalization plan

The Brockton City Council has approved a plan to create an Urban Revitalization plan, expanding the areas where the state’s 40R high-density smart-growth zoning can be used, Marc Larocque of the Enterprise reports. The city believes bringing more residents into the area will help jump-start efforts to bring businesses back to the city.

The Enterprise

Barnstable may ban drones on beaches

As the weather heats up, the town of Barnstable is close to shutting down the use of drones at all 14 of its beaches, Geoff Spillane of the Cape Cod Times reports. Local officials say drones have been spotted flying over yoga and exercise classes held on town beaches.

Cape Cod Times

Sunday public affairs TV

This Week in Business, NECN, 2:30 p.m., Jim Lowell, CIO Investment Advisors; Wayne Lamson, Steamship Authority general manager; Shirley Leung, Boston Globe associate editor.

CEO Corner, NECN, 8:30 p.m. Focus on East Boston Savings Bank CEO Richard Gavegnano.

On The Record, 11:00 a.m., WCVB Channel 5, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

Matter of Fact with Fernando Espuelas, WCVB Channel 5, 11:30 a.m. Guest to be announced.  

CityLine, WCVB Channel 5, 12 p.m., hosted by Karen Holmes.

Today’s Headlines


Why doesn’t Amazon offer same-day delivery in Roxbury – Boston Globe

At City Hall, a makeover on the cheap – Boston Globe

Despite rap, hired by city yet again – Boston Herald

Boston Grand Prix hits roadblock – Boston Herald


Brockton council debates 40R expansion, recommends Urban Revitalization Plan – Brockton Enterprise

Former Mass. economic development chief named real estate firm partner – Boston Business Journal

Mass. community college grads could see state tuition breaks – WGBH

Court says ex-Speaker DiMasi should get retirement contributions – WGBH

Baker nominates top AG prosecutor to Superior Court – WGBH

Reefer madness 2.0 takes over Massachusetts – Boston Magazine

Braintree considers non-criminal fines for teen drinkers – Patriot Ledger

Proposal bans drones over town beaches – Cape Cod Times

Framingham Selectmen cleared in Open Meeting complaint – MetroWest Daily News

Gov. Charlie Baker: Administration backs EPA on GE and Housatonic – MassLive


Former Ted Kennedy aide will help raise money for GOP – Boston Globe

Why big crowds don’t equal big votes for Bernie Sanders – Boston Globe

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