Baker leads opioid crisis discussion at NGA
Gov. Charlie Baker participates in a press event on opioids at the National Governors Association meeting in Iowa and then later leads an opioid crisis forum with New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, Des Moines, Iowa, at 12:45 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., respectively .
Festival Betances Parade
Mayor Walsh kicks-off the Festival Betances Parade at 100 W Dedham St., Boston, 6 p.m.
‘The first truly smart thing Trump has done in months’
GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump appeared ready to name Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana as his running mate today, but he suspended any announcement as a result of the latest apparent terrorist attack in France, the NYT is reporting. Of course, with Trump, you never know what he might do or say in coming hours and days, so no one is discounting the possibility of Trump changing him mind about Pence, as the Globe’s Matt Viser hilariously conveys in the lead of his Trump-Pence story this morning: “It’s Mike Pence! Or . . . maybe not. It’s Newt Gingrich! Could it be Chris Christie? Welcome to the reality show that is the 2016 presidential election.”
In an editorial, the Herald, which is no fan of Donald Trump, is going under the assumption that Pence is indeed Trump’s pick — and gives a sort of half-hearted endorsement of Pence. “It’s the first truly smart thing Trump has done in months,” the editorial says. But it also notes that many other Republicans have refused to have anything to do with Trump. “Let’s face it, the gene pool for those willing to run with Trump wasn’t exactly overwhelming.”
Rule of thumb: Terrorism incidents help Trump … maybe
The conventional wisdom is that any terrorist attack anywhere helps the Republicans more than Democrats. Thus, the horror in France — in which scores of people were killed yesterday by a crazed truck driver the French president has labeled a terrorist — should help Trump. Right? But Trump, being Trump, said yesterday it’s time for Congress to actually declare war on the terrorists and … what can you say? It’s so far over the top, so ludicrous, so reckless, so bombastic, you just don’t know if it will help or hurt him in a race some now believe is a statistical dead heat. The Herald’s Kimberly Atkins breaks down the contrasting reactions of Trump and Hillary to the news out of France, without predicting who might benefit most. But she does declare: “If it weren’t already clear, the horrific deadly attack in Nice leaves no doubt the top issue before the two candidates is terrorism.”
Pay equity bill wins House approval — unanimously
For a bill that seemingly came out of nowhere in recent weeks (at least in the Robert DeLeo-run House), this is pretty remarkable, considering the complexity of the issues at hand: The House yesterday unanimously approved a pay-equity bill aimed at helping ensure equal pay between men and women, reports the Associated Press at WCVB. The Senate has already approved its version of the legislation, so, assuming the differences between the two chambers can be resolved, the legislation seems destined for passage. And Gov. Baker, while holding his cards (and potential veto options) close to his chest, appears open to signing it, based on his past comments about pay equity in general and based on some business groups’ support of the measure. This is clearly one of the biggest, and possibly most historic, issues addressed by lawmakers this session – and it was barely on the radar until DeLeo recently and unexpectedly decided to act on it.
MBTA Control Board: Everything is under control
The five members of the MBTA’s fiscal control board have a collective op-ed in the Globe this morning announcing that, well, reforms at the T are indeed under way, as if we didn’t already know that. But board members did point out their agenda for the T moving forward: strengthening the MBTA’s senior management; working toward a “collaborative relationship” with T unions on a number of issues (with the op-ed delicately raising the issue of privatization); producing a long-term vision for the T; and recommending a permanent governance structure for the transit system.
On related T matters: Lawmakers yesterday rejected Gov. Baker’s budget amendment that would have given the MBTA more flexibility to raise fares, according to SHNS (pay wall).
Polito perks up South Coast rail advocates
Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito traveled to the South Coast to speak to business leaders and said exactly what the commuter-rail starved is aching to hear: That the Baker administration is committed to finding a way to bring train service to New Bedford and Fall River area. Mike Lawrence of the Standard-Times reports that Polito said a Middleboro extension could get done in five years, compared to as long as 20 years if the original and increasingly costly plan to extend the Stoughton line was followed. “We want something that’s both affordable and achievable, but also something that will happen in the near future, and not keep, you know, drifting off into the far distant future.”
Coakley for US Attorney?
Colin Reed is reading an awful lot into former Attorney General Martha Coakley’s recent criticism of US Attorney Carmen Ortiz in a Huffington Post earlier this month. Writing in the Herald, the basic argument of Reed, who is Scott Brown’s former Senate campaign manager and currently the executive director of the Super PAC America Rising, is that Coakley is sucking up to Hillary Clinton by defending Mayor Marty Walsh amidst Ortiz’s investigation of pro-union activities at City Hall. Got it? Yes, it’s a pretty wild case of connecting dots. But … but can you see Coakley one day being appointed US Attorney if Clinton eventually wins the presidency? We can.
Black and Latino lawmakers: How about new laws to police the police?
As Gov. Charlie Baker and others call for tougher penalties on those who assault police officers, black and Latino lawmakers says it’s time to start taking action to police the police in the wake of recent lethal shootings of blacks by cops, reports State House News Service’s Katie Lannan at New Boston Post. In a letter to Baker and legislative leaders, the lawmakers are asking for updates to law enforcement training, certification and data collection; special prosecutors for police-involved shootings; amendments to wiretapping statutes “to empower citizen watchdogs”; and criminal justice reforms.
Note: The Globe reports this morning on a new poll– conducted by MassINC Polling Group and aired on WCVB-TV last night – that shows a generally positive view of police by a solid majority of Bostonians. But there are racial differences, not surprisingly, in the poll results. About 82 percent of white residents had a positive view of the police, compared to 65 percent of black residents, but 32 percent of African-Americans and 24 percent of other minorities said they do not believe that Boston police treat minorities fairly, reports the Globe’s Michael Levenson.
Rebutting a Harvard police-shootings study — and rebuttals of rebuttals
Harvard economist Roland G Fryer Jr. created a mini-sensation earlier this month with release of a study that shows there is no racial bias when it comes to fatal police shootings – and yesterday we linked to a Christian Science Monitor piece about the buzz among some in the academic world about his findings. An alert MASSterList reader has since sent us Mona Calabi’s Guardian piece that offers some persuasive rebuttals about some of Fryer’s research methodologies and assumptions.
Then again, yet another reader alerted us to this NYT piece in which Fryer, who is African American, stands by his work as he answers readers’ questions about his study. BTW: Fryer’s study is available via the Cambridge-based National Bureau of Economic Research, but it requires qualified subscription registration to access it.
Organizers launch a 43-mile, multi-day march to protest natural gas pipelines
Whether you support or oppose new pipelines in Massachusetts to meet the state’s growing demand for natural gas, the organizers at People Over Pipeline deserve credit for putting together an innovative protest march that spans multiple days over 43 miles. The march started yesterday, and heads through Stoughton today, among other towns, as reported at Wicked Local. For a more general description of the protest march, check out the Blue Mass Group post on the event. And here’s the full schedule of the march.
Baker pushes yet again to raise insurance contribution on state workers
Tucked among the many budget vetoes issued by Gov. Charlie Baker is a provision that is being viewed as a key piece of the governor’s attempt to get state workers to chip in more for their health-care insurance premiums, reports State House New Service’s Matt Murphy. The administration is portraying the $30 million savings from the move as a way to help balance the state budget. But Baker has already twice before filed to raise the contribution rate for all employees to 25 percent, in line with what many private sector employees now pay, but the legislature has rejected those proposals.
Trustees bump UMass tuition 5.8 percent
As expected, trustees at the University of Massachusetts voted yesterday to increase tuition across the board, with the average in-state student facing a $750 increase and those from outside the Bay State facing an even larger jump, Michelle Williams of MassLive reports. The trustees cited increasing costs and called on state lawmakers to boost funding for the system. The increase is the third in six years. “We believe this is a reasonable and responsible course of action,” said University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan.
Health Connector to eliminate addiction co-pays
The Massachusetts Health Connector says it will require its insurance carriers to eliminate all co-pays for outpatient addiction treatment starting next year, a move made in response to the ongoing opioid crisis and one the agency hopes the private sector will emulate, Felice J. Freyer reports in the Globe. Advocates applauded the move—although it applies only to the small percentage of residents who receive subsidized health insurance—saying the burdens of co-payments can be a deterrent to seeking treatment for some addicts.
Locals fret as EPA mulls GE river cleanup plan
The Environmental Protection Agency could still be months away from issuing a decision on how it will require General Electric to dispose of PCB-contaminated materials being removed from the Housatonic River, but local environmental advocates are already ramping up to protest if the agency allows local disposal of the dredging, Clarence Fanto of the Berkshire Eagle reports. GE wants the EPA to allow it to dump the material in landfills and other locations near the river.
Brockton weighs passage of immigrant ‘Trust Act’
The Brockton City Council is mulling whether to become the sixth Massachusetts city to adopt a Trust Act, which allows undocumented immigrants to report crimes and interact with police without fear of deportation, Marc Larocque of the Brockton Enterprise reports. While the move enjoys support among the council, some residents have expressed fear the action will make Brockton essentially a sanctuary city and cause an influx of undocumented immigrants.
Springfield mayor proposes buying cash-strapped community center
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno is proposing the city buy the Dunbar Community Center, which is facing imminent foreclosure, Peter Goonan of MassLive reports. Sarno said the center is an essential resource for young people and senior citizens alike and said the city has been working since April to find a solution to keep the center’s doors open.
Sunday public affairs TV
Keller at Large, WBZ-TV, 8:30 a.m. Guests: Francy Wade, backer of legalizing marijuana, and Rep. Hannah Kane, who opposed legalization, discuss the upcoming Question 4 ballot question on allowing the commercial sale of marijuana in Massachusetts.
On The Record, WCVB Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Gov. Charlie Baker.
This Week in Business, NECN, 11 a.m. Jim Rooney, head of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, talks about equal pay legislation and other issues; Jesse Brackenbury, Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy executive director, talks about everything from public art to food trucks; Craig Douglas, Boston Business Journal managing editor, on business-related news.
CEO Corner, NECN, 11:30 a.m. Cyberark founder, CEO and chairman Udi Mokady talks about his company’s unique approach to protecting businesses and governments from cyber-attacks.
CityLine, WCVB Channel 5, 12 p.m. This week’s show focuses on the stations’s “5 On: Race in Boston” series and the racial issues it raised. Also discussions on the presidential race and the upcoming party conventions.
Favorite gone-but-not-forgotten bars and nightclubs, Part IV
Here’s our final batch of readers’ favorite gone-but-not-forgotten bars and nightclubs that have closed over the years in eastern Massachusetts. There are more than a few here that we’re surprised were missed over the previous two days:
From FC: “Cantone’s on Broad Street. I think I saw the Cars there in the 1970s. Hasn’t anyone mentioned it yet? Another one nearby which I didn’t frequent was THE SPACE.”
From: DS: “Joe’s Place, amazing blues club next door to the Turtle Café in Inman Square.”
From KC: “My favorite haunts from the past include classic lesbian bar Somewhere Else on Franklin Street, the Rat with a particular shout out to their Hoodoo Barbecue, exploring the four floors including roof deck at the 1270, Man Ray….Hated Copperfields but they took my fake ID when I first got to Boston.”
From AFJ: “Gone but definitely not forgotten: The Performance Center in The Garage in Harvard Square. Saw Patti Labelle and numerous other great shows there as a (high school) student! I can’t believe it was only open for 9 months–it seemed like way longer than that!”
From JC: “How could I forget? Nightstage in Cambridge – Club Indigo one night a week. Zanzibar at the Transportation Building. The Bat Cave in New Market Square. Studio 4 in Lynn. And then everyone to Buzzy’s Roast Beef. Ummm….Rick’s Cafe in Wellfleet along with the Beachcomber. Catch a Rising Star, Grendels, Jacobs Ladder in Lynn, Celebrations in Kenmore Square, Faces on Route 2 in Cambridge, Gatsbys near Boston Common, there was a club where the Hard Rock Cafe was… It was a hopping Disco, but I forget the name.”
From PH: “Okay I’ll play…in the glbt realm: Somewhere Else on Franklin St, Greystones, across from Macy’s, Bobbys near the Garden and I think you have Manray in Cambridge or is that still open?”
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