MBTA Control Board
The MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board meets in a closed-door executive session to discuss strategy related to non-union personnel, 10 Park Plaza, 2nd Floor Board Room, 8:30 a.m.
Sullivan and Brissette arraignments
Tim Sullivan and Ken Brissette, two aides to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh accused of extorting a music festival to hire union labor, are scheduled to be arraigned on a superseding federal indictment, Courtroom 14, Moakley Courthouse, 10:45 a.m.
The Senate meets in the first of three formal sessions planned for the week, with today’s agenda including bills dealing with juvenile justice, solar laundry drying and expanding protections for Massachusetts consumers with outstanding debts, 11 a.m.
Police Commissioner Evans
Boston Police Commissioner William Evans is expected to talk about recent tragedies in Dallas and elsewhere in a scheduled appearance on Boston Public Radio, WGBH-FM 89.7, 12 p.m.
Veterans Affairs announcement
U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald visits VA Boston’s West Roxbury and an announcement is expected on strategic partnerships with Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation and IBM Watson, 1400 VFW Parkway, West Roxbury, 12 p.m.
Mayors Martin Walsh of Boston and Joseph Petty of Worcester, Sen. Eric Lesser, representatives from the Boston Foundation and others hold a press conference to announce the launch of Futurecity Massachusetts, Boston City Hall, Mayor’s Office, Eagle Room, 2 p.m.
Goldberg places a big bet on online lottery
Treasurer Deb Goldberg, who oversees the state lottery, is pushing ahead with a proposal for new online sales of lottery games on mobile phones and computers, reports the Globe’s Sean Murphy. Goldberg is convinced that online sales are key to the Lottery’s future in winning over digitally savvy young adults who aren’t playing traditional in-store games as much and in reversing recent lottery revenue declines. So her office is now seeking a legislative OK to launch a pilot online program.
The move is certain to draw plenty of anti-gambling hoots and hollers, but lawmakers will also be looking at potential state budget holes created by not pushing into online lottery gambling. Care to make a bet which argument will prevail? Ultimately, the bottom line is the bottom line when it comes to the state’s dependence on lottery revenues.
The T crosses its fingers as it hands over more cash to Keolis
The MBTA’s decision yesterday to give an extra $66 million to Keolis, the financially struggling French company that operates the T’s commuter rail system, is akin to a homeowner very reluctantly handing over more dough to an incompetent remodeling contractor who can’t quite finish the job. You could always cut your losses and not pay up, but then you’d be stuck with an unfinished mess. It’s not the perfect analogy, but it’s close enough when describing what the T did yesterday for the money-losing Keolis, which hopefully will use the extra money to at least improve services.
Sanders and Clinton will pretend to like each other at a Portsmouth, N.H. rally today
In coordinated statements that undoubtedly took tense negotiations rivaling anything at Panmunjom, the presidential campaigns for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders announced on Monday that they will campaign together today in Portsmouth, N.H. From their joint armistice communiqué: “On Tuesday, July 12, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders will join Hillary Clinton for a campaign event at Portsmouth High School to discuss their commitment to building an America that is stronger together and an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.”
WGBH’s Tamara Keith interprets the statement: “The phrasing is significant, in that it references both Clinton’s general-election campaign slogan, ‘Stronger Together,’ and the animating issue and the heart of Sanders primary bid — income inequality.” How many pencils do you think were broken during talks over that joint statement alone?
In related news, a political armistice may be in reach between previously warring Democrats, but the Herald’s Kimberly Atkins reports that the GOP is still riven with political strife, as some operatives scheme to deny Donald Trump the presidential nomination at this month’s planned GOP convention in Cleveland.
Gov. Baker a conspicuous no-show at transgender rally
Top Democratic politicians and transgender activists held a rally outside the State House yesterday to celebrate passage of the new transgender-rights bill and to hold an unofficial “citizens’ bill signing” ceremony. But MassLive’s Shira Schoengerg notes the absence of one person at the event: The governor who actually signed the legislation into law to little fanfare last Friday, i.e. Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican who has previously expressed opposition, then reservations and then reluctant acceptance of the final compromise bill.
Meschino drops Senate rematch bid, opts for House run
Former Hull Selectwoman Joan Meschino, who lost a special Senate election earlier this year to Sen. Patrick O’Connor and was planning a rematch this fall, has opted instead to run for the House seat to be vacated later this month by Rep. Garrett Bradley, reports Matt Murphy at State House News Service. A Democrat, Maschino had been backed in her Senate bid by Attorney General Maura Healey, Treasurer Deborah Goldberg and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg.
DeLeo and Rosenberg plot strategies to override Baker budget vetoes
House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stan Rosenberg were regrouping yesterday following Gov. Charlie Baker’s move late last week to slash $256 million from the new $39.1 billion state budget. In particular, Rosenberg seemed taken aback by the sheer number of Baker’s vetoes and proposed amendments. “Wow, too many,” said Rosenberg, as reported by Katie Lannan at State House News Service (pay wall). “We thought we sent a good budget to the governor’s desk and anything that got removed is a disappointment.” In a separate SHNS piece (pay wall), DeLeo said he and other House leaders will also be grappling with the Baker’s amendments to 23 areas of the budget. Budget overrides require a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate, and all overrides must originate in the House.
Senate advances its version of non-compete reforms
The Senate’s Rules Committee advanced legislation yesterday that would restrict the use of non-compete contracts by employers trying to prevent workers from leaving firms for rival companies or to found start-ups, but the Senate bill differs in significant ways from legislation passed by the House, reports the Globe’s Jon Chesto. The Senate bill would more strictly limit the time period during which a non-compete can be enforced and it includes more generous pay to departing employee if non-competes are enforced by companies, Chesto reports. The Senate is expected to debate the bill Thursday.
Bostonian plans feature film about birth of biotech and Vertex Pharmaceuticals
Yael Beals, a Boston native and graduate of Emerson College, is planning to make a feature movie about one of the seminal books describing the birth of the biotech industry, Barry Werth’s “The Billion Dollar Molecule,” reports Don Seiffert at the Boston Business Journal. The film will focus on the founding of Vertex Pharmaceutical by Josh Boger in 1989.
Local police overwhelmed by gifts of pizza, flowers, cards – and appreciation
In the wake of last week’s killing of five police officers in Dallas, many police stations in Massachusetts have been inundated with gifts of pizzas, doughnuts, flowers, cards and other goodies as a sign of appreciation and support from the public, reports Scott O’Connell at the Telegram. “We’ve gotten something pretty much every shift, every day – it started with coffee and donuts, and it’s continued on all weekend,” said Sutton Police Chief Dennis Towle. “It’s not something we always see – it’s certainly appreciated.”
In central Massachusetts alone, similar shows of support have occurred in Millbury, Westboro, Sterling, Westminster, Hubbardtown, Uxbridge, Gardner, Lunenburg, Upton, Sutton, Oxford and Webster, O’Connell reports.
Note: State Rep. Michelle DuBois is pushing a bill in the waning weeks of the legislative session that would make police officers a protected group in the state’s hate crimes, though civil liberties advocates say police already enjoy sufficient legal protections, reports the Herald’s Dan Atkinson. Note II: The Herald’s Peter Gelzinis has a good column this mornings on the words of Dr. Brian Williams, a young black trauma surgeon at Parkland Memorial hospital in Dallas, who eloquently explains why he supports both police and those protesting recent police shootings of African Americans.
Your very own Pokémon Go cheat sheet is right here, right now
For some of you, we assume your eyes have glazed over recent headlines about the new Pokémon Go phenomenon. But the Globe’s Hiawatha Bray has performed a great public service by explaining exactly what Pokémon Go is all about, for those of you who were and are afraid to ask. Now you’ll be able to say: “Ah, yes, the mobile augmented reality game that can trace its tech lineage back to Japanese game designer Satoshi Tajiri and that was created by Ninantic, a spinoff by Alphabet Inc., aka Google.” And then you can pretend to understand and care about “Pokestops” in Quincy, as reported in the Patriot Ledger, or in Holyoke, as reported by MassLive, or in Boston, as reported by Boston magazine.
Heliport idea may not get off the ground
State transportation officials appear to be skeptical about a proposal to build a state-run heliport, questioning whether the facility would be a money-loser for the already cash-strapped department, Matt Stout of the Herald reports. City and state leaders promised General Electric they would pursue the amenity while working to lure the company to the city. No specific site—or cost—has been identified. While the Baker administration believes the heliport can generate income by attracting more users beyond GE, MassDOT board member Robert Moylan Jr. said the agency needs money-makers. “At the end of the day, I don’t know why we would be looking to subsidize a heliport in any shape or form,” he said.
Worcester bans smoking in nursing homes
In today’s edition of “That’s not already a law?” Worcester has passed an ordinance that will prohibit smoking in nursing homes starting on January 1, Nick Kotsopolous of the Telegram reports. The Board of Health voted unanimously to add nursing facilities to the list of places where smoking is banned but paused before voting to add outdoor seating and patio areas of restaurant to the ban.
MGM announces ‘casino school’
MGM Resorts International says it will partner with two community colleges to create a casino game-dealer school in Springfield that will open a year ahead of expected debut of the $950 million casino, Jim Kinney of MassLive reports. The training center will be run by Springfield Technical Community College in cooperation with Holyoke Community College and as many as 1,000 gaming staff will be trained before the first card is dealt.
Quincy mayor doles out raises, new job titles
Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch gave seven city employees new job titles and significant raises—with some workers seeing their salaries rise by 70 percent, Patrick Ronan of the Patriot Ledger reports. The biggest winner is Paul Hines, who will move from assistant city solicitor with an annual salary of $69,000 to commissioner of public buildings, which comes with a pay rate of $118,473. Some city councilors are miffed that the mayor did not review the changes with them first, but Koch insists the council had its bite at the apple when it reviewed and approved the city’s operating budget.
UMass doubles down on overseas recruitment
The University of Massachusetts has tripled the number of international students studying at its flagship Amherst campus over the past decade— a trend that has drawn some criticism—and hopes to attract even more as it faces reductions in state funding, Kirk Carapezza of WGBH reports. UMass is among the schools partnering with Boston-based Shorelight Education to recruit overseas students. The company will pay recruiting costs and then share in the tuition payments of the students it helps attract, Carapezza reports.
Favorite gone-but-not-forgotten bars and nightclubs, Part II
Yesterday, we posted a MassLive item about all the great bars and nightclubs that have closed in the Springfield area over the years. So we began our own gone-but-not-forgotten list for the Boston area, starting with The Channel, Inn-Square Men’s Bar and Jonathan Swifts. MASSterList readers have sent in even more nominees that will undoubtedly bring tears to many readers’ eyes.
From Jan: “How about ManRay, Ground Zero, Spit, the Rat, and Storyville… Oh yeah…. Jonathan’s in Salem too!”
From Paul: “Axis/Spit/DV8, Metro, Avenue C, The Rat, ManRay”
From IF: “1.) The Gallery on Mass Ave 2.) Estelle’s on Tremont St 3.) Joe’s Jaguar in Dudley Square”
From JH: “List of bars gone but not forgotten …….. Inman/Harvard/Central Square would fill the 25 list”
From Jamie: “MANRAY in Central Square. Now inhabited by condos!”
From RG: “The Grog Shop. Scituate, MA.”
Frankly, we can’t believe we missed a few of these yesterday, particularly the Rat. We’re not quite at 25 dearly departed watering holes yet, so if you have other nominees, send ‘em in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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