Happening Today

Police officer protections

Public Safety and Security Secretary Daniel Bennett is scheduled to testify before the Judiciary Committee in support of Gov. Baker’s bill to crack down on those who commit assault and battery on police officers, Room A-2, 9 a.m.

Baker and Walsh at ribbon cutting

Gov.  Baker and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh attend a ribbon- cutting ceremony for the One Canal Apartments, 1 Canal Street, Boston, 11 a.m.

Senate Session

Senate meets in a formal session to take up legislation concerning municipal finance and government reform, handling of terminally ill inmates, and anti-wage theft measures, 11 a.m.

Today’s Stories

Liz out as VP candidate? Was she ever in?

Based on irrefutable evidence, it now looks like U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is out as a vice presidential candidate. What irrefutable evidence? DNC TV schedules, of course. From the NYT: “In an apparent sign that Senator Elizabeth Warren will not be named Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Ms. Warren was invited by Mrs. Clinton’s campaign on Tuesday to deliver a prime-time address on the first night of the Democratic convention this month — a marquee speaking slot but one that is earlier than vice-presidential picks typically appear.”

OK, it’s nearly irrefutable. For the record, Warren and other speakers at the DNC have been told their speaking slots are subject to change based on the final VP selection. Yet the NYT doesn’t sound like it expects the DNC TV schedule to change much. But here’s the question: Was Warren ever really a serious contender for the VP slot? Maybe for a fleeting minute or two in Hillary’s mind. But no more.

BTW: Donald Trump is expected to announce his own VP pick on Friday, according to a wire report in the Herald. Not mentioned on Trump’s alleged short list of potential running mates: Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown. No big surprise there either. 

BTW II: The Herald is going full Herald, as they say, in an anti-Warren bombardment this morning, with three stories and a major graphic dumping all over the senator. (Here’s the main story about how Bernie groupies are still furious at Liz for endorsing Hillary.) The entire package comes across as trying to spoil Warren’s slim chances of landing the VP spot, but it’s more like pundits bombing the rubble at this point.

The final insult: Tufts dean is getting vetted for VP by Clinton

Adding insult to injury to those yearning for Warren to land on Clinton’s ticket, James G. Stavridis, dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University and a retired four-star Navy admiral, is now apparently getting vetted for vice president by the Clinton Campaign, the NYT reports. Stavridis might add some foreign policy and military luster to Hillary’s ticket, but what swing state or demographic group would his candidacy attract? Stavridis has to be considered the longest of long-shot VP contenders.


Bernie endorses anti-Trump campaign (not necessarily Hillary)

By now the whole world — or maybe just the political-junkie sliver of the world — knows that Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton met yesterday in Portsmouth, N.H. at a unity rally for Dems. Technically, Bernie endorsed Clinton. But their body-language yesterday, as the Globe’s Victoria McGrane and James Pindell hilariously note, conveyed something entirely different: “Awkwardness permeated the symbolic moment. Sanders looked pained. Clinton nodded through his notably long remarks, which sounded an awfully lot like his stump speech. Afterward, Sanders mopped the sweat from his forehead with a white cloth. The inelegant optics underscored that this is a union of necessity, not true love — a coming together of two opposing threads of the Democratic Party driven by fear of Trump and what he could do.”

Boston Globe

Senate’s Airbnb tax plan could raise up to $20M

The Massachusetts Senate is using the huge economic development bill to push for a new tax on Airbnb and other short-term home rental operators to pay for a boost in the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit, reports Shira Schoenberg at MassLive. The Senate proposal would raise between $13 and $20 million by imposing the existing hotel room tax on short-term rentals, like AirBnb. “We are helping to lift hundreds of thousands of working families out of poverty,” Senate President Stan Rosenberg said of using the money to partially increase the earned income tax credit.

Two big hurdles await the tax proposal, if it ultimately passes the Senate: The more conservative House and a Republican governor who hates new taxes. The Senate is expected to take up the economic development bill on Thursday.


Pressure builds on Baker over pay-equity issue

Proponents of a pay-equity bill designed to close the wage gap between men and women got a major boost yesterday when the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, one of the most influential business groups in the state, said it could go along with a House version of the legislation now poised to win passage in the later this week. Assuming the House and Senate eventually hammer out a compromise bill in the waning weeks of the session, the question comes down to: What will Republican Gov. Charlie Baker do? “Baker, being Baker, won’t show his hand until the bill lands on his desk, but it’s hard to imagine the Republican getting on the wrong side of history on pay equity,” the Globe’s Shirley Leung writes.

Actually, it may be more a case of Baker listening to legitimate concerns and advice of business groups and policy makers, rather than his calculating whether or not he’s on the wrong side of history as defined by gung-ho supporters trying to shame him into a decision. Just a thought.

Boston Globe

Breaking the suspense: Councilor predicts panel will confirm Baker’s first of three SJC nominees

Governor’s Councilor Mike Albano said yesterday that he expects his panel will approve Gov. Baker’s nomination of Superior Court Judge Frank Gaziano to the Supreme Judicial Court at a council hearing today, according a State House News Service report. “I am going to vote for Judge Gaziano on Wednesday, and I do believe he will have a solid majority of members of the Governor’s Council and be confirmed to replace Judge Francis Spina,” Albano said. Two other Baker nominees to the high court — — Judge David Lowy and Judge Kimberly Budd – are scheduled for confirmation hearings later this month and in early August, respectively.

SHNS (pay wall)

Question of the day: Can the MBTA do basic math?

The Globe’s Thomas Farragher is troubled that more people aren’t upset that the MBTA is forking over an extra $66 million to help the struggling French firm Keolis operate the state’s commuter rail system. He notes that the T has had other projects in which it initially underestimated costs, such as, oh, the Green Line extension and the proposed New Bedford-Fall River commuter rail project. Now Keolis’s rail contract is being revised upward. “You begin to wonder if anyone can count over there,” writes Farragher of the T.

Meanwhile, the Baker administration and lawmakers are on a collision course over the governor’s slipping into the state budget an amendment that would make it easier for the T to raise transit fares, reports the Globe’s Nicole Dungca.

Body cams on the way for Boston police

The Boston Police Department will launch a body camera pilot program after the city reached a deal with the police officers union, O’Ryan Johnson of the Herald reports. Under the test program, 100 officers will be outfitted with the cameras, though no launch date has been set for the six-month rollout.

Boston Herald

NAACP backs ride-hailing firms

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, normally associated with civil rights issues, weighed in yesterday on proposed regulations of ride-sharing firms, such as Uber and Lyft, saying ride-sharing firms provide needed transport and jobs for people of color, reports Colin Young of State House News Service. Specifically, the group opposes proposed restrictions on where ridesharing drivers can operate in the city. “Any provision within the bill that limits ride-sharing from any picking up of passengers at any location ties the hands of this transportation option and doesn’t allow it to grow in the natural way business should grow,” said Michael Curry, president of the Boston branch of the NAACP. “Me speaking specifically for the city of Boston, we see very clearly what this option is doing to transform our communities.”

SHNS (pay wall)

Brissette and Sullivan plead not guilty in City Hall extortion case

As expected, Kenneth Brissette, Boston’s director of the Office of Tourism, Sports and Entertainment, and Timothy Sullivan, chief of staff of intergovernmental affairs, pleaded not guilty yesterday to extortion charges in the ongoing federal case over alleged strong-arm tactics by city officials on behalf of unions, reports Allison Manning at Boston.com. Both Brissette and Sullivan are accused of pressuring the organizers of the Boston Calling music festival in 2014 to hire union labor in order to receive needed permits.


Springfield weighs joining CPA

Springfield took the first steps toward placing a question on the November ballot about whether to join the Community Preservation Act and raise additional revenue for historic preservation and open space conservation, Jeannette DeForge of MassLive reports. An advisory committee is recommending that the City Council adopt a 1.5 percent surcharge, which would generate about $1.2 million annually. Boston is also expected to vote in November on whether to enact the program.


In Barre, it’s down to the last selectman standing

The town of Barre is down to a single member of its board of selectmen and is looking at waiting nearly a month to have a voting quorum back in place, James F. Russell of the Telegram reports. Former chairman Lief Ericson resigned on Tuesday night and a second member was ousted in a recall vote in May. An August 9 special election will give the board a second member again.

The Telegram

Wayland board’s six-hour ‘recess’ violated open meeting law

State officials say the Wayland School Committee violated the open meeting law twice in the span of eight days, Michael Wyner of the MetroWest Daily News reports. The latest violation came after the committee opened a meeting at 10 a.m., recessed at noon and resumed meeting at night, a break the Attorney General’s office found was too long to be considered a recess and should have warranted notice to the public.

MetroWest Daily News

Favorite gone-but-not-forgotten bars and nightclubs, Part III

The email nominations keep coming in for our list of favorite bars and nightclubs that have closed over the years in eastern Massachusetts. Before getting to the readers’ nominations, we’d like to express our personal shock and dismay at learning that Copperfield’s near Fenway Park has closed to make way for Tilted Kilts, some sort of “Scottish Hooters” chain bar, as it’s described. So Cask ‘n Flagon outlasted Copperfield’s. Who would have thought?

Anyway, to the readers’ nominations:

From JB: “From the young ‘uns: River Gods is closing! In central square. And James’s Gate in JP.” … Indeed, River Gods’ demise was blasted out on Wicked Localjust yesterday. 

From RB: “Psychedelic Supermarket, Jack’s, Paul’s Mall, Plough ‘n Stars, Oxford Ale House” From SC: “Eb Burke’s – Mission Hill. Gritty as hell. Awesome acts. Couldn’t stay afloat after I quit drinking.”

From JK: “I’d like to suggest a couple of Boston’s gone-but-not-forgotten gay bars, Sporter’s and the 1270. I also miss the old Fritz, though happily its management and staff soon opened Cathedral Station half a mile away on Washington Street with its own parking lot, on the site of the former Red Fez (not gay, but the new bar retains a hint of its ambiance).”

From DDE: “Lost watering holes – gay edition: The Napoleon Club (Bay Village), Fritz (South End), ManRay, the Milky Way (the old one in Jp), Dyke Night @ Toast (Union Square Somerville), Club Dido (Bay Village), Luxor and Chaps (Theater District), Lava Bar – now a BU DORM! (former Howard Johnson’s in Kenmore Square).”

From AR: “Who’s on First – across from Fenway Park”

From BD: “Not a bar, but it was an absolute abomination to replace Curious Liquids with Fox25.”

We’re still accepting nominations, so send ‘em in if you have any to jay@massterlist.com.

Today’s Headlines


Avalon Bay plans 250 apartments in Brighton – Boston Herald

ISD descends on squalid buildings – Boston Herald

Boston police diversity program hitting old roadblock: promotions – WGBH

Deal reached on body cameras for Boston Police – Boston Globe

Iconic Citgo sign is one step closer to landmark status – Boston Globe

Walsh aides arraigned on extortion charges – Boston Globe


Governor, lawmaker in dispute over T fare increases – Boston Globe

Springfield advisory committee recommends 1.5 percent surcharge to fund open space, historic preservation – MassLive

Loss of state grant jeopardizes 21 kindergarten aide position in Worcester – Telegram & Gazette

Lowell council backs legislation to reap some tax revenue from nonprofits – Lowell Sun

Wayland committee violates open meeting law for second time in eight days – MetroWest Daily News

Opponents to Blue Hills deer hunt voice concerns at Milton hearing – Patriot Ledger

Westfield mayor launches ‘business tour’ of city businesses – MassLive


Donald Trump calls for Ruth Bader Ginsburg to resign from high court – Boston Globe

Obama tells mourning Dallas: ‘We are not so divided’ – Boston Globe

In show of party unity, Bernie Sanders endorses Hillary Clinton – WBUR

Elizabeth Warren invited to speak during first night of DNC – Boston Globe

Hillary Clinton reportedly vetting Tufts dean for Vice President – Boston Globe

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