Happening Today

Markey to discuss gun control

U.S. Senator Edward Markey holds a media availability on the Senate’s vote on four gun safety amendments to the Commerce, Justice, Science and Relative Agencies Appropriations Act, plaza outside the JFK Federal Building, 15 New Sudbury Street, Boston, 11 a.m.

Mass Home Care meeting

House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Elder Affairs Secretary Alice Bonner, Joint Committee on Elder Affairs chairwomen Rep. Denise Garlick and Sen. Pat Jehlen are among featured guests at the Mass Home Care annual meeting, Boston Marriott Burlington, 1 Burlington Mall Rd., Burlington, 11:30 a.m.

Experts discuss north-south rail link

Two urban-rail experts from Canada and Germany will speak about tunnel-boring technologies at a briefing held by the North South Rail Link Working Group and the office of U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, Room 428, 12 p.m.

Better Government awards

Gov. Charlie Baker is among those expected to attend the Pioneer Institute’s annual Better Government Competition Awards Dinner, at which Pennsylvania Congressman Tim Murphy, who introduced the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of Pennsylvania, will be the keynote speaker, Hyatt Regency, Boston, 6 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Bad timing for backers of north-south rail link

Did Gov. Charlie Baker time this? Just as two urban-rail experts arrive in Boston today to discuss tunnel-boring technologies that might be used to build a new tunnel connecting North and South stations in Boston – an idea Baker isn’t exactly thrilled about – along comes news that 16 round-trip MBTA commuter trains were canceled on Sunday due to a staffing shortage, the Globe’s Reena Karasin reports. Needless to say, we were only joking when we wondered aloud if Baker had anything to do with this convenient timing. But the Sunday cancellations do seem to confirm the governor’s assertion that the T needs to focus on “reliability, modernization and expansion, in that order.”

Cancellation of 16 round-trip trains in one day falls under the “reliability” category, don’t you think?

Boston Globe

Irony alert: DeLeo is pushing hard for fast action on the transgender bill

House Speaker Robert DeLeo, who earlier this session delayed taking a final House vote on the transgender-rights bill, is stepping up pressure on Senate President Stan Rosenberg to quickly accept the House version of the bill, apparently so Beacon Hill lawmakers can send a message of support to the LGBT community following the Orlando terrorist attack, the Herald’s Hillary Chabot reports.

In case you didn’t notice, there’s more than a little irony here, with Rosenberg, who is openly gay, being portrayed by DeLeo, a socially moderate Democrat, as dragging his feet over minor differences in the Senate and House bills. But Rosenberg doesn’t sound like he’s going to be rushed into anything, saying yesterday he was “certain we will be able to work out the differences soon.”

Boston Herald

Dear Legislature: There’s still time to get things done

With lawmakers facing an unexpected budget crunch with only weeks to go in the current session, a Globe editorial outlines a legislative wish list that it hopes lawmakers can act upon before going on vacation. Note: An early online headline urges lawmakers to “pass these worthy bills,” but the actual editorial makes clear that some bills deserve to be deep sixed ASAP.

As for the wish list’s top priority item, we agree that, in an ideal world, lawmakers would tackle the issue of local zoning reform to boost much-needed construction of new housing in Massachusetts. But we’d be shocked – though pleasantly so – if lawmakers actually tackled zoning this session. Zoning reform is compelling, but it’s also complicated and highly controversial.

Boston Globe

Regulators reinterpret rules, yank Nashoba Valley Winery’s restaurant license

The Nashoba Valley Winery in Bolton could be a poster child for agritourism, but it could also be a poster child for how regulators can devastate a 20-year-old business via bureaucratic re-interpretations of rules, WBUR’s David Boeri reports: “Suddenly the state’s Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) has announced it won’t be renewing all the farm’s licenses for making and pouring alcohol. Its owner, Rich Pelletier, says that’s going to put the family farm out of business, so he’s taking the regulators to court. … ‘You know it’s great that GE is coming into the state and we’re willing to give GE thousands,’ Pelletier says. ‘I don’t want any money. Rich Pelletier just wants to stay here and be left alone.’”

Of his court action, Pelletier said he is counting on the judge to side with him against regulators. “I hope he slaps them silly.”


For the days when political junkets were true political junkets

There are political junkets – such as Mayor Marty Walsh’s recent brief trip to China for a climate-change summit or the one taken last week by Senate President Stan Rosenberg, Sen. Marc Pacheco and other pols to study climate-change policies in Europe – and then there’s real political junkets, writes the Lowell Sun’s Peter Lucas:

“Be bold, the way the late Boston Mayor Kevin H. White was when he went to Beijing 34 years ago, a time when the People’s Republic of China was still mysterious and closed off to most Americans. He did not travel alone, of course, but with an entourage, including press aides, and television and print reporters. And he did not go for 44 hours. He went for three weeks, first class, which included a side trip to Hawaii. He knew how to travel.”

Lowell Sun

‘Exxon’s Inquisitors’

Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal is going after Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, whose office has issued a subpoena to ExxonMobil requesting info about what the giant oil company has known over the years about climate change. Noting the subpoena asks about Exxon’s correspondence with conservative organizations – including Boston’s Beacon Hill Institute – Strassel says there’s more to the legal action than just finding out what Exxon has known about climate change:

“The real target is a broad array of conservative activist groups that are highly effective at mobilizing the grass-roots and countering liberal talking points—and that therefore must (as the left sees things) be muzzled. This is clear from the crazy list of organizations Ms. Healey asked for information about in her subpoena. She demanded that Exxon turn over decades of correspondence with any of them.”

Wall Street Journal (pay wall)

Report: Wall Street donors warn Hillary about Warren as VP pick

After reading this piece by Politico’s Ben White, one is tempted to say, “Go ahead, Hillary, offer Liz Warren the VP slot.” Standing up to Wall Street types isn’t a bad political move these days. Then again, think about it: There are many, many moderate Republicans and independents (and Wall Street types) now willing to hold their noses and vote for Clinton to keep Donald Trump out of the White House. But they draw the line at voting for a Dem ticket that includes Elizabeth Warren. The bottom line: Warren on the ticket may galvanize the left, but it will also galvanize opposition.


Scott Brown emerges as Warren’s second favorite target

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren used her speech at the New Hampshire Democratic convention Saturday to bash not only Donald Trump but her former opponent, Scott Brown, Nik DeCosta-Klipa of Boston.com reports. Warren apologized for sending the former Massachusetts senator to the Granite State after defeating him in 2012 and cited a number of reasons why Brown would make a good vice presidential running mate for Trump: “Let’s face it: Nobody know more about losing to a girl than Scott Brown.”


Claiming he wanted to ‘fulfill Allah’s wishes,’ inmate indicted for plotting to kill Obama

Alex Hernandez, 31, of Worcester, who is already serving prison time on gun and drug charges, will be arraigned tomorrow in U.S. District Court in Boston on charges of threatening to kill and inflict bodily harm on the president, after a grand jury handed down indictments late last week, reports the Telegram’s George Barnes. Tipped off by another inmate about Hernandez’s intent, an undercover federal agent met with Hernandez and received two letters from him, one of which reportedly read: “I am a brother in faith, a martyr; and as a martyr I wish to fulfill Allah’s wishes and not live among infidels. The mujahedeen movement is hard but pure. I need your help and hope to meet with you in person.”

Fyi: Threatening the president’s life clearly crosses a big legal line, especially in this era of terrorism. Still, the Globe’s Milton Vilencia has a good story this morning on why it’s so hard, in other cases, to press charges against rambling Islamic extremists who might one day become “lone wolf’ terrorists, like the accused shooter in Orlando.

Environmentalists protest Baker at home

Gov. Charlie Baker’s work followed him home over the weekend, with about 30 protestors gathering outside his Swampscott home to call for the governor to stop gas pipeline expansions and to act on climate change, Gayla Cawley of the Lynn Item reports. The same protestors, who carried a Father’s Day card for Baker, also briefly protested outside the home of House Speaker Robert DeLeo in Winhtrop.

Lynn Item

What’s behind the mess in Mendon?

Brad Petrishen of the Telegram unpacks the back story behind the pending departure of Ernest Horn, who has served for more than a decade as both police and fire chief in the town of Mendon. Horn has submitted his retirement notice, but selectmen say they planned not to extend his contract anyway, citing a growing number of complaints about how much time he spends on his two day jobs—which pay a combined $167,000—versus his private work running a law firm and operating a municipal consultancy.

The Telegram

New York puts DraftKings back on track

The move by lawmakers in the state of New York to legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports has put Boston-based DraftKings back on a strong growth trajectory, Dan Adams of the Globe reports. CEO Jason Robbins said he thinks other states could follow New York’s lead and help return the company “back on the path to hyper-growth.” He also expressed openness to a merger with rival FanDuel, which published reports last week suggested are under discussion.

Boston Globe

Attack of the killer tree-eating bugs

Gypsy moth caterpillars are enjoying a resurgence in parts of the state, particularly MetroWest and the South Shore, Jeff Malachowski of the MetroWest Daily News reports. Experts say there is little homeowners can do to protect trees from the hungry caterpillars and say next year could see an even larger infestation.

Meanwhile, in Worcester, a new tree pest has become a concern. Cryus Moultonof the Telegram reports that foresters have found the emerald ash borer in the city, not to be confused with the Asian longhorn beetle, which forced officials to spend tens of millions of dollars to remove and replace trees in response to an earlier infestation.

Today’s Headlines


Several empty Seaport sites fit bill – Boston Herald

Brigham nurses to meet again Monday with hospital to avert strike – Boston Business Journal

Herb Chambers revved up to get his cash back – Boston Globe


CEO says NY win puts DraftKings back on growth path – Boston Globe

Turmoil surrounds exit of Mendon police/fire chief – Telegram & Gazette

US grand jury indicts Worcester inmate for threatening to kill the president – Telegram & Gazette

The winners, losers in Mass. economic development bill – Boston Globe

Uxbridge water department issues boil water order; schools closed Monday – Telegram & Gazette

Protest hits home for Baker – Lynn Item

Brockton police superior officer file grievance over community relations job – Brockton Enterprise

Lyme disease victims lobby for long-term coverage – Eagle Tribune

Widespread commuter rail cancellations strand hundreds – Boston Globe


Trump says US should consider profiling Muslims – Boston Globe

Elizabeth Warren keeps peppering her speeches with Scott Brown jokes – Boston.com

Anti-Trump delegates to raise cash for staff, legal fund – Boston Globe

How to Contact MASSterList

Send tips to Matt Murphy: Editor@MASSterList.com. For advertising inquiries and job board postings, please contact Dylan Rossiter: Publisher@MASSterList.com or (857) 370-1156. Follow @MASSterList on Twitter.

Subscribe to MASSterList

Start your morning with MASSterList’s chronicle of news and informed analysis about politics, policy, media, and influence in Massachusetts. Plus, get an inside look at Beacon Hill’s hottest new job postings.