Express train from Worcester
Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, U.S. Rep. James McGovern, Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack and other officials ride the new non-stop “Heart to Hub” express train from Worcester to Boston, with media events before, 7:15 a.m., Union Station, Worcester, and after, 9:15 a.m., South Station, Boston.
U.S. energy secretary at BC
U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, a BC alumnus, will give the commencement address at Boston College’s commencement, Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, 10 a.m.
Board of Education meeting
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education holds a meeting to get a progress report on the implementation of the commonwealth’s educator evaluation framework, DESE, 75 Pleasant St., Malden, 5 p.m.
Weekend polls: It’s a dead heat between Clinton and Trump
One wonders what supporters of Bernie Sanders are thinking when they see the latest presidential polls showing Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump in a statistical dead heat. They might be thinking, ‘Hey, our guy can do better against Trump.’ Or perhaps they have a pang of guilt and wonder if they’re helping Trump at the expense of Clinton. Unfortunately for Clinton, the almost guaranteed Dem nominee, it’s undoubtedly the former. Anyway, here’s a summary of the most recent survey stats from Slate’s Daniel Politi:
“Hillary Clinton’s once-comfortable advantage over Donald Trump appears to have vanished, according to the latest polls. In the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Clinton continues to hold the lead over Trump by 3 points—46 percent to 43 percent—but that is within the survey’s margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.1 percentage points. And it is a far cry from the 11-point advantage Clinton had over Trump in April. Things are flipped in the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll that shows Trump on top by 2 points—46 percent to 44 percent—and that is also well within the margin of error. That poll also shows how voters appear to be warming to Trump, as his support amounts to an 11-point gain in support since March. In contrast, Bernie Sanders leads Trump by a much more comfortable margin: 54 percent to 39 percent, according to the NBC/WSJ poll. “
Central Massachusetts tragedy
A very violent, tragic and long day came to a dramatic end in central Massachusetts yesterday, after police killed the suspect who allegedly gunned down Auburn Police Officer Ronald Tarentino Jr., 42, during a traffic stop early Sunday morning, reports The Telegram in a full recap of the day’s events.
Former Boston Police Chief Ed Davis in the Herald pays tribute to Tarentino, the father of three, and other officers who make the ultimate sacrifice.
Worcester express has hopes high in Central Mass.
The MBTA rolls out its new commuter rail schedule today, including the debut of the Worcester-to-Boston express train, known as the Heart To Hub. That new option has residents and political leaders alike hopeful that the 1-hour ride will help boost the central Massachusetts city’s economic fortunes by making it possible for people to more quickly commute from Worcester to Boston, Cyrus Moulton of the Telegram reports. “This is really making the city of Worcester more attractive to younger people,” said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito.
Hydro and wind power: You know, you can have both
The Globe had an editorial over the weekend that makes perfect sense to most people, but apparently not to others, including some environmentalists pushing hard for wind power:
“It’s unfortunate that hydro and wind have been pitted against each other when either would provide major environmental benefit compared to the current overreliance on natural gas. Indeed, the power grid of the future needs to involve both (as is so often pointed out, the wind doesn’t always blow). The fact of the matter is that right now only hydro can meet the state’s goals on the state’s timeline. But the state will need wind, too, so farsighted legislation would provide for both.”
It’s true: You really can have both hydro and wind at the same time. Hydro and wind are not incompatible. They complement each other, even if some critics of hydro strain to obscure this point.
Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Baker, RIP
Bryan Marquard has a moving story in the Globe this morning on the inspiring life of Elizabeth “Betty” Baker, the mother of Gov. Charlie Baker. Betty Baker died over the weekend at 84, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, reports CBS Boston. In a Facebook post on Saturday night, the governor wrote: “Rest In Peace mom. You raised three boys, along with tons of other kids from around the neighborhood (and some outside of it too), and along with Dad, taught everyone about life, love, service and sacrifice. God Bless.”
Our condolences to the entire Baker family.
Dirty tricks alleged in Cape Senate race
A feisty weekend candidates’ forum among Democrats vying for the Cape and islands Senate seat has sparked cries of dirty tricky, according to a report from Sam Mintz of the Cape Cod Times. It was revealed during the event that Rep. Brian Mannal, D-Barnstable, had a civil arrest warrant issued for him earlier this year—he says it was due to a clerical oversight—while one of his opponents, Julian Cyr, acknowledged he had hired a firm to dig up dirt on his primary opponents. “I am profoundly disappointed that someone in my own party would attempt to use dirty tricks to win an election,” Mannal said.
Massachusetts schools struggle with transgender issues
Though the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued anti-discrimination guidelines to schools in 2013, officials continue to grapple with how to handle transgender issues at the local level, reports Christian Wade at the Gloucester Daily Times: “Transgender students still face widespread discrimination and harassment from their peers and misunderstanding from school officials who often don’t know what their obligations are under state and federal law, advocates say.”
Towns ordered to investigate alleged health agent fraud
The state’s inspector general is telling three communities to do a better job of investigating whether Mark Oram, Ashland’s full-time health agent who is also a member of the Marlborough City Council, double-billed the towns, Brittney McNamara of the MetroWest Daily News reports. Oram denies any wrongdoing, but Inspector General Glenn Cuhna says the towns have not kept accurate-enough records to determine if overlapping billing took place.
Lottery’s growth raises questions of who is playing (and paying) more
The Massachusetts State Lottery is coming off its best year ever, which saw $5 billion worth of tickets sold, but some are questioning whether the growth is coming at the expense of those who can least afford to play, Gerry Tuoti of GateHouse News Service reports. Less-affluent communities typically see heavier lottery sales than those with higher incomes.
Why so few cameras in cruisers?
As Boston and other police departments begin rolling out police body cameras, Allison Manning of Boston.com reports that few Massachusetts cruisers are outfitted with dashboard cameras. Experts say resistance from police unions and a perceived lack of need for the technology are some of the reasons the Bay State lags behind the rest of the country in adoption rates.
The most powerful military officer in the world returns to BC High
How’s this for a high school graduation speaker: the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States military. Boston College High School nabbed him as its speaker over the weekend. But they had a small advantage: Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. is a BC High alum, reports the Patriot Ledger’s Liam Hofmeister at Wicked Local. Still, it was impressive.
Our second most impressive commencement speaker from this past weekend: Hank Azaria, the voice actor for The Simpson, dispensing advice, in character, at Tufts University. YouTube video of Azaria’s Tufts address is at Inside Higher Ed.
Monday’s MASSterList Review of Book Reviews
Before getting into this week’s review of reviews, we found this NYT item interesting: Bill Gates’ review of his favorite books. The list is somewhat heavy on business and energy subjects. Instead, our attention drifted toward Gates’ pick of Neal Stephenson’s sci-fi novel “Seveneves.”
Homecoming and Belonging, by Sebastian Junger, reviewed by Jennifer Senior in the New York Times. The local author of best-sellers such ‘The Perfect Storm’ and ‘A Death in Belmont’ takes on a somewhat different topic this time around: How veterans returning home from war find a society that seems to have lost its sense of community and interdependence. “Mr. Junger has raised one of the most provocative ideas of this campaign season — and accidentally written one of its most intriguing political books,” write Senior. “All without mentioning a single candidate, or even the president, by name.” Though the book is dull at times, Senior says, it raises urgent questions that deserve addressing.
The Politicians and the Egalitarians: The Hidden History of American Politics, by Sean Wilentz, reviewed by David Shribman in the Boston Globe. From Thomas Jefferson on, many have complained about the rise and dominance of political parties in America, but Wilentz, a Princeton historian, thinks otherwise, Shribman writes. “Wilentz’s verdict, fortified by examples from Jefferson to Jefferson Davis, and from Grover Cleveland presumably through the conventions in July: Partisanship is not only good, it is also productive.” Though Shribman doesn’t give a clear thumbs up or down on the book, he appears to admire Wilentz for making the non-consensus argument that political parties matter and that they contribute to American democracy.
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