Happening Today

Graduating firefighters

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh will attend the Boston Fire Department graduation ceremony, Florian Hall, 55 Hallet St., Dorchester, 10 a.m.

Anti-marijuana legalization kickoff

Gov. Charlie Baker joins Mayor Walsh, Speaker Robert DeLeo, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, and Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins for a Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts event to kick off opposition to the ballot question to legalize commercial marijuana, William Ostiguy Recovery High School, 19 Temple Place, Boston, 12:30 p.m.

MBTA police superintendent interview

MBTA Transit Police Superintendent Richard Sullivan is a scheduled guest on Boston public radio with co-host Margery Eagan and Jim Braude, WGBH-FM 89.7, 12 p.m.

Today’s Stories

BREAKING NEWS: The Dallas shootings — and echoes of JFK

For those looking for detailed updates on the stunning events now unfolding in Dallas, we highly recommend following the ongoing coverage at the Dallas Morning News. The newspaper is reporting that huge swaths of the city are now closed off in the wake of the killing of five police officers by snipers during demonstrations over recent police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana.

For many Massachusetts residents, the mere mention of Dallas, snipers and killings conjures up thoughts of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy so many decades ago in Dallas. Or at least that was among our initial thoughts this morning. But others are apparently thinking the same thing, such as the Dallas resident quoted in this AP story in the Herald. Meanwhile, the New York Times notes the police shootings took place only a few blocks from Dealey Plaza, where Kennedy was assassinated by a sniper in 1963. 

Why did it take the bluest of blue states so long to pass the transgender bill?

As expected the House and Senate yesterday passed the transgender-rights compromise bill that’s now headed to the desk of Gov. Charlie Baker, who most assume will sign it, MassLive’s Shira Schoenbergreports. But Emma Green at the Atlantic magazine is asking: Why did it take so long for such a liberal state to pass discrimination protections for transgender people, particularly a state that was the first to legalize gay marriage? Green suggests that recent controversies in other states over transgender issues may have prodded many state lawmakers into action, if only to avoid similar controversies here. But she also notes that the demographics of Massachusetts, one of the most heavily Catholic states in the union, may have played a role in the state’s relatively slow adoption of the transgender rights bill. “Massachusetts’s new law has advanced transgender rights, but the long struggle to get it passed presages tough times ahead for the rest of the country’s legislatures,” Green writes.

The Atlantic

Conservative group with past ties to Romney goes after Walsh over Huffington Post story

The latest in the HuffingtonGate saga: A national conservative group is demanding to see City Hall emails to determine if Mayor Walsh’s office and Huffington Post writers may have conspired to do an online hit piece on U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, reports Dan Atkinson at the Herald. America Rising, a political action committee that was founded by members of Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, has filed a public records request with the city for any emails and texts between the Walsh administration and The Huffington Post. Both the mayor and the authors of the Huffington Post deny they colluded on the story that harshly criticizes Ortiz, whose office is now investigating allegations that City Hall officials have been using strong-arm tactics on behalf of organized labor.

Boston Herald

Lower gas prices lead to higher auto insurance rates?

Massachusetts motorists are about to get hit with auto insurance rate hikes ranging from 6 to 9 percent, the fastest rise in rates in more than five years, reports the Globe’s Deirdre Fernandes. The reasons cited for the sudden increases? Lower gas prices have led to more motorists on the road – and more accidents, industry officials say. And all those new cars on the road? They’re very sophisticated and more expensive to repair, industry officials say. Our response: All these factors have suddenly occurred at the same time? Really? Sounds more like herd mentality to us. One insurer dares to go for a big rate hike, then the others quickly follow suit, and the stampede is on.

Boston Globe

Peter Howe, former Globe and NECN journalist, takes PR post at Denterlein

Peter Howe, former business editor and reporter at NECN and the Boston Globe, has joined the Boston public relations firm Denterlein as a senior advisor focusing on public affairs, corporate communication, and crisis management, reports the BBJ’s Doug Banks. The firm’s chief executive, Geri Denterlein, has nabbed a great employee. Peter is a class act all the way.


House passes economic development bill – without a sales tax holiday

After a long debate that stretched into the evening yesterday, the Massachusetts House approved the $915 million economic development legislation aimed at boosting jobs and workforce development across the state, reports Colin Young at State House New Service. Among other things, the bill, which now heads to the Senate for debate next week, includes Gov. Charlie Baker’s request for $500 million to recapitalize the MassWorks infrastructure program, $45 million for the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund and $45 million to stimulate development in the state’s Gateway Cities. But missing from the bill was authorization of a sales tax holiday this year, Young notes. An amendment calling for a two-day sales tax holiday next month was withdrawn during the House debate.

SHNS (pay wall)

Chinese firm building MBTA’s new subway cars cited for subpar work in Singapore

CSR Qingdao Sifang Locomotive, a subsidiary of China’s state-owned CRRC, has won the highly lucrative $566.6 million contract to build 284 subway cars for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. But it’s running into troubles in Singapore, where the transit authority there has found that 26 of the 35 trains delivered to it “had cracks in the structure connecting the car body and the framework for the wheels, which is known as a bogie,” according to the Financial Times, as reported by the BBJ’s David Harris. A MBTA spokesman said the firm’s Singapore woes have “no bearing” on the T contract due to different designs and materials. In addition, the MBTA says it will have inspectors at the manufacturer’s Springfield facility to ensure quality work, Harris writes.


Editorial: UMass tuition and fee hikes could price the middle class out of college

While not outright rejecting University of Massachusetts president Marty Meehan’s suggestion that university tuition and fees may rise by 5 to 8 percent, an editorial in the Republican says public higher-education costs are approaching the breaking point for many middle-class families: “How high is too high? According to Meehan, applications to the five campuses have quadrupled since 2010. The cost of a UMass education is still enticing when compared to higher costs at private institutions. If rising tuition is not yet a crisis, though, it is an alarming and growing problem. … If tuition and fee increases become an annual custom, large numbers of students will be priced out. That may be happening already.”


Partial Grand Prix refunds coming, along with lawsuit

IndyCar will pay $925,000 toward refunds to ticket holders of the cancelled racing event under an agreement reached with Attorney General Maura Healey, who will also sue local race organizers to recover the remaining $700,000 still owed to would-be racegoers, Donna Goodison of the Herald reports. Healey lauded the parent organization for “stepping up,” while saying she’d use the courts to try to recoup the remaining funds from local race promoters who filed for bankruptcy earlier this week. 

Boston Herald

Sightseeing industry: Some firms may go bust if overregulated

At a State House hearing yesterday on possible new regulations for sightseeing vehicles driving around town, lawmakers experienced pushback from company officials who say some of the proposed rules – such as banning vehicle drivers from talking to tourists while driving – could harm the industry, reports SHNS’s Andy Metzger at WGBH. “It is likely to drive some trolley operators out of business,” said City View Trolley Tours president Michael Thomas. Lawmakers are eyeing more regulations in the wake of a woman who was run over and killed by a Duck Boat vehicle this spring.


Baker fundraiser Matt LeBretton may help Trump and Weld

Matt LeBretton, who heads up Gov. Charlie Baker’s impressive fundraising operation, has talked with Donald Trump, the GOP presidential candidate, and Bill Weld, the Libertarian candidate for vice president, about possibly doing some work for them, the Globe’s Frank Phillips reports. LeBretton’s recent chat with Trump is particularly interesting because Baker has adamantly refused to endorse Trump. “(But) Charlie is not my boss,’’ LeBretton told Phillips. “I would not ask his permission, just like he did not ask my permission when he endorsed Chris Christie.”

Boston Globe

Weld: Terrorists need to be treated like members of a ‘criminal conspiracy’

In an interview with the Jewish Week, former Massachusetts governor, US attorney and current Libertarian vice presidential candidate Bill Weld says terrorists and their organizations need to be systematically monitored, hunted down and broken, similar to how law enforcement went after the mafia: “We should get a thousand FBI agents and send them abroad as needed — seasoned counterterrorism guys. We should establish the world’s biggest hotlines and whistleblower lines and do what we did back in the ’80s to take down the top three echelons of organized crime — that is, to treat this as a huge criminal conspiracy. So you have all this information coming in from all over and have the smartest brains in the Justice Department sifting it.”

Jewish Week

The ongoing drought and gypsy moth infestation: Connecting the dots

Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin is running a cool map provided by the U.S. Drought Monitor that shows severe drought conditions gripping the North Shore, Merrimack Valley, central Massachusetts and parts of western Massachusetts. The immediate Boston area is suffering from moderate drought conditions, while the South Shore and Cape are classified as only abnormally dry. But Adam adds another interesting factoid: “Experts say one of the reasons for our current gypsy-moth explosion is that the dry weather over the past year or so has limited the growth of the fungus that normally consumes them.” File under: Now you know.

Universal Hub

Taunton backs tribe in court

The city of Taunton is backing the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe in its court battle over its First Light casino, filing a brief that supports the decision of the U.S. Department of the Interior to allow the tribe to take into trust 151 acres of land where its casino is already under construction, George Brennan of the Cape Cod Times reports. Initial proceedings are scheduled to begin Monday in federal court on a challenge to the casino filed by group of East Taunton residents.

Cape Cod Times

Cuba: You can’t get there from here

Federal transportation officials approved the establishment of direct flights from ten U.S. cities to Havana, Cuba, but despite a request from JetBlue, Boston is not among them, Greg Ryan of the Boston Business Journal reports. New York, Los Angeles and several Florida cities were among those approved for the new flights, which are expected to begin operating this fall. Boston-Havana flights could be approved at a later time.


Lowell lawmaker wants nonprofits to pay property taxes

Lowell state Rep. David Nangle has filed legislation that would require nonprofits to temporarily pay property taxes on privately owned property they acquire, Kori Tuitt of the Lowell Sun reports. The bill would require nonprofits pay 100 percent of the tax bill in the first year and a declining amount over the next three years. The bill comes after the city of Lowell says it was blindsided when the University of Massachusetts-Lowell purchased a massive apartment complex after the taxes from the property were already baked into next year’s budget.

Lowell Sun

Sunday public affairs TV

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV, 8:30 a.m. Guest: Karen Firestone, a Boston-area investment manager and author of ‘Even the Odds: Sensible Risk-Taking in Business, Investing and Life,’ discussing the role of risk in choosing a president and reacting to market swings.

On The Record, WCVB TV, 11 a.m. Guest: Kirsten Hughes, chair of the Massachusetts Republican Party and current president of the Quincy City Council.

CityLine, WCVB TV, 12 p.m. Guests Michael Curry of the Boston NAACP and Kim Janey of Massachusetts Advocates for Children discuss the recent changes at Boston Latin School; plus a look at Boston Youth Wrestling and Boston Student Advisory Council.  

This Week in Business, NECN, 11 a.m. Note: Due to the holiday week, NECN this Sunday is repeating its show from last week: The Boston Globe’s Shirley Leung and Boston Business Journal editor Doug Banks look back at some of the top business stories from the first half of 2016, including the UK’s Brexit vote, gambling issues, GE’s move to Boston, biotech highlights, the MBTA and some of the biggest public relations debacles so far this year.

CEO Corner, NECN, 11:30 a.m. Note: Due to the holiday week, NECN this Sunday is repeating its show from last week: Mike Nikitas talks with Boston Red Sox president Sam Kennedy about the team, his priorities, the most important player of all time, the future of the franchise and Fenway Park, the Citgo sign, and other issues.

Today’s Headlines


Bureaucracy ties up Seaport span’s fate – Boston Globe

Airport, BCEC help keep taxi industry afloat – Boston Herald

Sorry, Boston, no flights to Cuba for now – Boston Business Journal


SouthField redevelopment rechristened Union Point – Brockton Enterprise

Taunton files brief in Mashpee Wampanoag casino fight – Cape Cod Times

SouthCoast’s Middleboro option may lead to Route 93 expansion – Patriot Ledger

Lawmakers introduce 183 amendments to $915M economic development bill – MassLive

Lawmakers hear testimony on duck boat fatality – Boston Globe

Mass GOP distancing itself from homophobic-slur using senate candidate – Boston Magazine

Anti-marijuana legalization effort kicking off campaign – MassLive

Lawmakers send transgender bill to Gov. Charlie Baker – Boston Globe

Auto insurance rates climbing for Mass. drivers – Boston Globe


Plans for Trump convention still lack promised pizzazz – Boston Globe

Bernie Sanders expected to endorse Hillary Clinton on Tuesday – WBUR

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.