GE Life Sciences opening
Gov. Charlie Baker joins GE Healthcare Life Sciences chief executive Kieran Murphy, Marlborough Mayor Arthur Vigeant and Massachusetts Life Sciences Center chief executive Travis McCready at the grand opening of the GE Life Sciences headquarters, 100 Results Way, Marlborough, 9: 30 a.m.
Gaming Commission meeting
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission meets to discuss the PayMyWay program at Plainridge Park Casino, vote on regulations pertaining to ATM withdrawals at gaming facilities and review other matters, 101 Federal Street, 12th floor, Boston, 10 a.m.
Foes of marijuana legalization
The Campaign for a Safe & Healthy Massachusetts holds a press conference to discuss the impact of marijuana edible products and the focus of the marijuana industry on marketing and selling such products, 945 Concord St., first floor, Framingham, 10:30 a.m.
Workers impacted by wage theft tell their personal stories and help launch a campaign to pass legislation to combat the problem, State House Steps, 12 p.m.
Governor heads to Springfield
Gov. Baker attends the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council’s Developers Conference, MassMutual Center, 1277 Main St., Springfield, 12:00 p.m., and Baker later announces the new director of the Governor’s Western Massachusetts Office in Springfield, 436 Dwight Street, Springfield, 3:30 p.m.
Stadium fight déjà vu
Familiar political battle lines are forming over Robert Kraft’s push to build a new soccer stadium for his New England Revolution at the site of the old Bayside Expo Center in Dorchester, on property now owned by the University of Massachusetts-Boston. The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld reports how a number of local pols – including U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry and state Reps. Nick Collins and Dan Hunt – are voicing concerns about the project.
Meanwhile, the Globe’s Dan Adams and Kathleen Conti report on all the moving pieces and tangle of competing interests Kraft faces in building a new stadium in the area, including nearby development projects proposed by others, in addition to the the growing chorus of objections from local residents and politicians. If this all sounds familiar to some, it’s because a very similar fight broke out about twenty years ago when Kraft tried to build a stadium for the New England Patriots in South Boston amidst intense local opposition. And let’s not forget: This is classic Boston “no” behavior toward big projects, such as saying no to the Summer Olympics, no to IndyCar, and no to a lot of other major events and development ideas. The chances of Kraft winning this fight: Approximately zero.
House sit-in protest succeeds in driving GOP leaders nuts
In Washington, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey joined their Bay State colleagues in the House in a highly unusual sit-in protest demanding votes on gun-control legislation in the wake of the Orlando massacre earlier this month, reports the Herald’s Kimberly Atkins. The protesters failed miserably in their stated aim of forcing any gun-control vote. Earlier this morning, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan adjourned the House until July 5.
But tensions were high throughout the day, including one near fisticuffs encounter, and Dems appeared to absolutely drive Republicans up a wall by pulling out every ‘60s protest cliché in the books, including singing variations of “We Shall Overcome” and chanting “Shame! Shame! Shame!” and generally annoying Republicans to no end with lefty college-campus-like protest tactics that most conservatives despise with seething passion. From that psychological perspective, the day was an unqualified success for Dems.
Senators to unveil a new ‘pro-Uber’ bill
Ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft would be the big winners under a new Senate bill that’s expected to be unveiled today, the Globe’s Joshua Miller and Nicole Dungca report. Unlike a competing House bill, the Senate legislation would allow ride-for-hire vehicles to pick up passengers at Logan International Airport and Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and would not subject drivers to state-conducted background checks or fingerprinting. The legislation would, however, require a 10-cents per ride “assessment” fee, with funds going to local towns and cities, and allow passengers to tip drivers. One senator privately described the Senate bill as taking the “pro-Uber approach” toward ride sharing.
NYT: Why Clinton is unlikely to choose Warren
Amy Chozick and Jonathan Martin of the New York Times draw up a list of why it’s unlikely U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren will be tapped as Hillary Clinton’s running mate. The reasons include “chemistry” (we had no idea just how critical Warren has been of Clinton in the past); the need to attract more male voters, not female voters; Warren’s lack of ethnic or swing-state appeal; ideological differences; and “ambition,” which is the NYT’s delicate way of saying Hillary might get insanely jealous of Warren’s proven ability to attract and hog the limelight.
New low: Governor’s Council squabbles over the sign outside its chamber
You can’t make this stuff up: The Governor’s Council, some of whose members are upset that Lt. Karyn Polito is stealing their publicity thunder by presiding over upcoming SJC nominee hearings, is now squabbling over the size, style and wording of the sign outside the council’s chamber. We’ll let State House New Service’s Andy Metzger take it from here:
“At a recent meeting, Councilor Marilyn Devaney told Polito that the door to the room in which the council meets used to say ‘Governor’s Council Chamber’ in large black letters, and there used to be a sign placed outside the chamber when the council was in session. The fact that the letters are no longer on the door and the sign is no longer outside, Devaney said, is disrespectful to the council. … On Wednesday, Polito presented the eight-member elected council with three alternative room name designs to paint on the door to the council chamber. One said ‘Governor’s Council Chamber’ and the other two said ‘Council Chamber.’”
Do they have a special “out to lunch” sign to hang outside the chamber?
Debate over wage-theft bill escalates
Employees frustrated by wage theft problems plan to gather today to exchange stories about how they weren’t fairly compensated for their work, as Community Labor United tries to increase pressure on lawmakers to pass a wage-theft bill in the waning weeks of the legislative session, according to a SHNS report at the Boston Business Journal. Backers of the legislation say employers are stealing a total of $700 million a year by violating overtime, minimum wage and other wage laws. But businesses counter that the best way to combat such abuses by a minority of firms is to enforce current labor laws, not add costly new regulations that would burden all companies.
Second resignation deepens turmoil at Boston Latin
A second administrator resigned from Boston Latin School yesterday, leveling criticism at the city’s mayor and school superintendent for their handling of racial tensions at the institution, James Vaznis and Meghan E. Irons of the Globe report. Assistant headmaster Malcolm Flynn resigned a day after headmaster Lynn Mooney Teta announced she was stepping down. The departures leave behind a deeply divided Boston Latin, Vaznis and Irons report, with some believing Teta was pressured to resign to serve as scapegoat for deep-seated issues in the school system.
Is CitySquare groundbreaking a turning point for Worcester?
Developers formally broke ground Wednesday on a $90 million, 128-unit apartment complex in downtown Worcester, a project that many say could help spark additional interest and investment in the city, Lisa Eckelbecker of the Telegram reports. City officials say a larger influx of new residents will help make the downtown an around-the-clock destination. “We need more critical mass to build density downtown, to build a vibrant downtown,” said Craig Blais, CEO of the Worcester Business Development Corp.
Weld gets one-liners in at Libertarian forum
Former Gov. William Weld joined his Libertarian ticket running mate Gary Johnson in a CNN voters’ forum last night and got in his share of zingers aimed at the major party candidates and the election itself, Meg Bernhard of the Globe reports. Asked to described Donald Trump in a single word, Weld went with “huckster,” and asked to come up with a title for a would-be novel about the current election, Weld offered up “monkey business.”
Meanwhile, Newsmax reports Johnson was stumped in finding an adequate way to describe Trump. “I’m sure there’s something good to say about Donald somewhere, I’m sure.” He just couldn’t find the words.
Was Weld already a Libertarian on Beacon Hill?
Meanwhile, Mike Deehan of WGBH tracks down some of Weld’s former colleagues from his Beacon Hill days and finds that some saw his Libertarian streak emerging years ago. Weld was “always a libertarian at heart, even when he was Republican,” said former Attorney General Francis Bellotti. “He goes to his own drummer.”
Climate change could hit Boston even harder than thought
A new report says sea levels on the Boston waterfront could rise by as much as 10 feet by the end of the century—twice as much as previously thought, reports David Abel of the Globe. The new report completed by researchers at the University of Massachusetts and commissioned by the city also says Boston could see as many as 90 days a year that top 90 degrees, compared with the current average of 11 days per year.
Barnstable court overwhelmed with opioid cases
Barnstable County District Court employees say the Cape Cod courthouse is overwhelmed by a surge of cases stemming from the opioid crisis, Haven Orecchio-Egresitz of the Cape Cod Times reports. Workers at the court told Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants, who toured the facility, that they needed help sourcing beds for addicts seeking treatment and additional translation support.
Is 21-year-old tobacco limit inevitable?
Lawmakers appear poised to make Massachusetts the third state in the country to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21, Evan Lips of the New Boston Post reports. The Senate has already passed a bill to boost the age and the House could vote before the current session ends. A number of cities and towns have already taken the step and more are considering it.
Worcester working up Airbnb regulations
The Worcester City Council has authorized City Manager Edward Augustus to develop a set of regulations for property owners who rent out rooms and homes through Airbnb, Sam Bonacci of the Worcester Business Journal reports. The council has suggested that rules include the requirement that property owners obtain a license from the city and that areas where rooms can be rented through the site be limited to non-residential neighborhoods.
Dizzy’s Great Escape, Day II: The old girlfriend ploy
Dizzy the monkey, who daringly escaped from his enclosure at Springfield’s Forest Park Zoo, was still on the lam yesterday and resisting all sorts of ploys to get him to turn himself in, reports MassLive’s Lucas Robek:
“A number of strategies to lure the monkey back home, such as leaving out apricots – which Dizzy ‘loves’ – have so far been unsuccessful. Dizzy’s mate – Mitzy – was also brought into their shared enclosure as a means of encouraging the monkey to return, but the strategy hasn’t worked yet. ‘It’s actually a really good sign that he’s still in the zoo, because that means he wants to be back in his enclosure,’ said Meghan Rothschild, a board member for the Forest Park Zoological Association, which runs the zoo.”
The zoo may be closed today so officials can focus exclusively on getting Dizzy to surrender.
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