Massachusetts Gaming Commission
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission meets to discuss a number of issues, 101 Federal Street, 12th Floor, Boston, 10 a.m.
Remembering the fallen since 9/11
Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh will join families and volunteers for a ceremony on Boston Common where the names of Massachusetts military heroes who have died since September 11, 2001 will be read, Sailors and Soldiers Monument, Charles and Beacon Streets, Boston Common, 10:30 a.m.
Polar Beverages tour
Gov. Baker tours Massachusetts-based Polar Beverages with president and CEO Ralph Crowley, Jr. and will discuss the administration’s efforts to diversify Massachusetts’ clean energy portfolio and meet demand for affordable energy, 1001 Southbridge Street, Worcester, 1:30 p.m.
Partners and the SEIU make peace: Ballot question off the table
A potentially costly ballot-question showdown has been averted, after the powerful SEIU Local 1199 labor union, Partners Healthcare and Beacon Hill leaders reached a compromise agreement on how to address health care pricing and funding for ailing hospitals, report the Globe’s Priyanka Dayal McCluskey and Jim O’Sullivan. The net result, politically, is that SEIU will now drop its push for a November ballot question that would have been expensive and contentious for everyone involved. The deal would create a commission to study variations in health care prices and calls for hundreds of millions of dollars in new funding for hospitals over the next five years, the Globe reports.
DeLeo: Charter schools bill? What charter schools bill?
Unlike the health-care agreement that averts one ballot-question brawl this November, it now seems almost inevitable that the issue of charter-school expansion in Massachusetts will indeed be settled by voters this fall. Realizing that opponents and proponents of charter schools probably won’t like anything passed by lawmakers, House Speaker Robert DeLeo sounds like a man who’s wiped the issue off the legislative calendar. From State House New Service’s Matt Murphy: “The Winthrop Democrat said he was not ‘holding out a lot of hope’ for movement on charter schools given the likelihood, as he sees it, that ballot petitioners will take the issue to voters in November regardless of what the Legislature might be able to agree to.”
Hillary Clinton should be thanking Elizabeth Warren
The Globe’s Evan Howowitz has a good recap of the email scandal – and, yes, it’s a scandal at this point – that’s now dominating the news cycle about Hillary Clinton. Will the State Department inspector general’s somewhat scathing report harm Clinton’s presidential campaign? Short answer: Sort of, yes. But the other shoe to drop, i.e. the FBI’s findings from its own probe of her use of a private email server while secretary of state, is the real danger to her candidacy, as Horowitz notes: “For now, it’s not clear when that FBI inquiry will be completed, but if it arrives in the fall, it could finally vindicate Clinton — or doom her hopes for the presidency.”
While the Clinton camp deals with the fallout from the State Department report, Clinton can thank Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren for aggressively protecting her flank against the likely GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. Warren has been waging a one-woman Twitter and broadcast war against Trump, who really seems bothered by, and even almost obsessed with, Warren.
In the Herald, Kevin Franck writes that Warren is gaining credibility with her attacks on Trump and positioning herself as a potential peacemaker between the Bernie Sanders and Clinton factions within the Democratic party: “(Warren) is in a unique position to start a chorus of ‘Kumbaya’ that could drown out any commotion in Philadelphia — and Donald Trump keeps handing her a microphone.”
A new political app for these sensitive political times
Two Cambridge entrepreneurs have developed a new app that would allow people to more discreetly discuss politics in an age when even the mere mention of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton can spark immediate rage. BostInno’s Dylan Martin reports: “For Jed Breed and Stephen Kemmerling, this meant it was the perfect opportunity to launch We the People, a new politics app that combines a Yik Yak-like anonymous, location-based messaging functionality with a news feed and heatmap showing which candidates your neighbors support. The app has already been out for a few weeks on Android and iOS.”
Springfield mayor calls for bail reforms
In the wake of Sunday’s murder of an Auburn police officer by an ex-con suspect recently released on $500 bail, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni are renewing their call for passage of bail-reform legislation on Beacon Hill, reports Patrick Johnson at MassLive. “We’re not talking about taking away anyone’s rights,” Sarno said. Instead, reform would put law enforcement and the public on “equal footing” with “repeat, violent offenders,” Sarno said.
Chief justice defends fellow judges in Auburn case
Paula Carey, the chief justice of the state’s trial court, came to the defense of the judges who handled the earlier cases of Jorge Zambrano, who shot and killed an Auburn police officer over the weekend, O’Ryan Johnson and Antonio Planas of the Herald report. Carey promised a “full and thorough” examination of court procedures, calling it a “major priority.” But Carey also called the judges who oversaw past Zambrano proceedings “highly competent” and emphasized there is no evidence that any laws or procedures weren’t followed.
Public records bill called a ‘solid compromise’
The House and Senate yesterday passed a public-records reform bill, sending the measure to Gov. Charlie Baker for approval. The measure should make it easier for members of the public and press to get hold of public records in Massachusetts, a state not exactly known for its progressive approach toward releasing government information. From a Globe’s editorial this morning: “Although the compromise bill comes up short in several respects, it is a solid improvement and promises to provide citizens more of the information they rightfully deserve.”
UMass divests from fossil fuels
Under pressure from student activists, the board of directors at the University of Massachusetts has unanimously voted to divest its endowment from direct holdings in fossil fuels, reports Kirk Carapezza at WGBH. UMass will become the first major public university in the country to divest its $770 million endowment from fossil fuel companies. “We won,” members of the Umass Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign wrote on the group’s Facebook page. “This decision by the board was a direct result of the immense power and support of student and community organizing.”
Spaceman is running for governor of Vermont, vows to lure Expos back to Montreal
Ex-Red Sox star Bill Lee, known as the ‘Spaceman’ for his zany on-field and off-field antics, is now running for governor of Vermont, declaring: “I’m so far left, I’m right, because the earth is round,” reports Jack Thurston at NECN. Lee, 69, is running under the banner of Vermont’s small Liberty Union Party, which is self-defined as a “nonviolent socialist party.” One of Lee’s platform goals is intriguing: Luring the Expos back to Montreal. “When the Expos come back, the Red Sox will come [to Montreal], and we can go up for 75 cents on the dollar, get some good beer and watch the Red Sox play.” For those sick of high ticket, beer and hot dog prices at Fenway Park, the idea makes a lot of sense.
T parking plot thickens
Parking revenues at several of the largest MBTA parking lots surged in March and April—shortly after the T began looking into potential discrepancies between parking lot receipts and actual number of cars in the lots, Bruce Mohl of CommonWealth Magazine reports. Revenue at North Quincy and Lechmere Stations surged by more than 50 percent compared to average levels over the past year.
Why does it take so long to repair and build bridges in Massachusetts?
Larry Summers and Rachel Lipson note how the Anderson Memorial Bridge, connecting Boston and Harvard Square, took less than a year to build early last century. But it’s taken five years to repair the bridge a century later, despite all our alleged technological advances. Writing in the Globe, the duo say public construction delays and cost overruns harm the credibility of government: “In an era when public trust in government remains near all-time lows, every public task is freighted with consequence. The relationship is cyclical — if government can start being more effective, it will win more trust, leading to more effectiveness. If, on the other hand, projects such as the Anderson Bridge repair project become the norm — then we are fated to increasing cynicism and distrust.”
Marty gets his (data) man
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has hired Andrew Therriault, formerly of the Democratic National Committee, as the city’s first chief data officer, Beth Treffeisen of the New Boston Post reports. Therriault will oversee efforts to leverage data to make city operations more efficient and effective.
Green Line extension’s tricky economics
The Green Line Extension could end up hurting the very people it was designed to help by boosting real estate prices in the areas the pending project will service, Adam Reilly of WGBH reports. Some say housing prices are already rising and predict they’ll continue to move higher as completion of the project nears.
Healey whacks Suffolk Board
The office of Attorney General Maura Healey has written to the Suffolk University board of directors, criticizing them for their handling of relations with the school’s president and laying out nearly a dozen recommendations for improving procedures going forward, Laura Krantz of the Globe reports. “We believe that the board’s failure to timely implement good governance reforms, including the adoption of new bylaws and other changes called for by the university’s accreditors two years ago, placed the school in a difficult position,” the letter said.
But Suffolk University’s former board chairman is hitting back at the report, hinting it was a politically motivated attempt to keep Suffolk University president Margaret McKenna McKenna at her job, the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld reports.
‘Is the Lynnway the ugliest street in America?’
As they say: If you have to ask the question, you already know the answer. So, yes, the Lynnway is the ugliest street in America. But developers are vowing to do something about it by proposing to transform portions of the Lynnway into a neighborhood for waterfront apartments and amenities “that rival Boston’s Seaport District,” reports Tom Grillo in the Lynn Daily Item.
You have to admire the honesty of James M. Cowdell, executive director of the Economic Development & Industrial Corp. in Lynn: “Why is it ugly? It happened. A place opened and an ugly sign went up. Another place opened, another ugly sign went up. Now it’s a splattering of ugly signs that blend … and the one sign that should stand out, Starbucks, gets blended in with the ugliness. What message does that send as we are trying to change our image?”
In yesterday’s email, we spelled the name wrong of Jim Haddadin of the MetroWest Daily News – and have apparently done so in the past as well. Our apologies, Jim. We’ll remember next time: Haddadin.
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