Second SJC nominee gets a hearing
Superior Court Judge David Lowy is the second of Gov. Baker’s three Supreme Judicial Court nominees to go before the Governor’s Council for review, Room 222, State House, 9 a.m.
Rally to repeal transgender-rights law
Massachusetts Family Institute holds a rally announcing the launch of a referendum campaign to repeal the transgender public accommodations law that was recently approved by legislators and Gov. Baker, State House Steps, 12 p.m.
Baker to mark one-year anniversary of T control board
Gov. Charlie Baker holds a press conference to mark the one-year anniversary of the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board and to give an update on reforms at the T, Room 157, State House, 1 p.m.
Gov. Baker, First Lady Lauren Baker and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash attend a ribbon cutting for Wolverine WorldWide Boston’s new headquarters, 500 Totten Pond Rd., Waltham, 2:45 p.m.
‘Founding Mother’ vigil
Former Gov. Michael Dukakis is listed as co-host of an Anne Hutchinson vigil that kicks off a five-day celebration of the “founding mother” who was born 425 years ago this month, State House West Lawn, 4 p.m.
GOP Cleveland convention
Ed Butowsky, managing partner of Chapwood Investments LLC, is scheduled to speak to members of the Massachusetts delegation as part of a daily breakfast held during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland; evening speakers includes Donald Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Eric Trump, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, and Florida Attorney General Pam Bond.
Trump officially nominated … but let’s get back to that Melania speech
It was a historic moment: Donald Trump, the outsider reality-TV host and real estate mogul, was officially nominated last night as the Republican nominee for president of the United States of America, completing his remarkable takeover of a party in turmoil and ideological drift. It was momentous night. … But, really, let’s get back to Melania Trump’s speech from the night before and the accusations that she plagiarized from a past Michelle Obama speech. From local media critic Dan Kennedy:
“I am not making any excuses for Melania Trump, and yes, I’m sure she was lying when she said she wrote her speech pretty much by herself. But let me reflect briefly on what an odd construct a political speech really is. You hire a speechwriter and read his or her words. If you’re a neophyte, like Trump, you probably just read what’s put in front of you. And if your speechwriter plagiarized, you’re a plagiarist. But if your speechwriter didn’t plagiarize, you’re not a plagiarist, even though you are passing off his words as your own—the very definition of plagiarism.”
Note: Tempers flared yet again yesterday at a meeting of Massachusetts delegates in Cleveland, after Marco Rubio delegate Peter Fariel of Rockport criticized Trump for abusing eminent domain laws, a complaint that drew hoots from pro-Trump delegates, reports the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld.
A pending ideological shift at Fox News?
Forget about the alleged power struggle between pro-Trump and anti-Trump factions at the Republican convention in Cleveland. The real power struggle for the heart and soul of the Republican party and conservative movement is taking place right now in New York, with reports that Rober Ailes, the long-time head of the staunchly conservative Fox News, may be ousted from his job over accusations of sexual harassment. Henry Grabar at Slate paints a picture of a Fox News studio in turmoil, with the possibility of a walk-out by on-air talent in support of Ailes. Meanwhile, the Herald’s Bob McGovern reports on a “critical power vacuum” at Fox News that could clear the way for on-air talent Megyn Kelly to “become the face of America’s leading conservative news outlet.”
Bottom line: The Ailes controversy could actually lead to an ideological shift in news coverage at Fox News, a development that politically ranks up there with most of what’s happening in Cleveland, considering the channel’s enormous influence within GOP and conservative circles. Note: The Globe’s Joan Vennochi has a good column on the rise of Megyn Kelly at Fox News.
Healey to crack down on sale of ‘copycat’ assault weapons in Massachusetts
In a Globe op-ed, Attorney General Maura Healey says that gun manufacturers have been getting around the state’s strict ban on the sale of assault weapons by selling “copycat” versions of guns with minor modifications that allegedly make them “state compliant.” Now her office plans to issue a directive today to gun manufacturers and dealers making it clear that the sales of these copycat assaults weapons are illegal in Massachusetts, she writes. “With this directive, we will ensure we get the full protection intended when lawmakers enacted our assault weapons ban, not the watered-down version of those protections offered by gun manufacturers.”
Sales tax holidays: Popular with consumers, not always so with store owners
MassLive’s Jim Kinney has a good story on the fallout from legislative leaders’ decision not to hold a state sales tax holiday this year. Clearly, consumers are losers, since they would have saved an estimated $26 million by not having to pay sales taxes on items. And many retailers quoted by Kinney said they’ve benefited in the past from August sales tax holidays. But then there’s Vincent Salemi Jr., owner of Salemi Appliance in Springfield, who has some interesting thoughts. “It was always a consumer-driven event,” Salemi said. “The moment the state announced when the tax holiday would be, business would drop right off. Then we’d do half a million dollars of business for tax free. Then we wouldn’t do any business for another two weeks. You would think you’d done all this business for tax free, but when you looked at the end of the month, it really wasn’t any different.”
By selling Globe HQ, Henry will more than recoup what he spent to buy the newspaper
The Boston Business Journal’s Catherine Carlock is reporting that David Ridini, a New York developer who’s done projects in Boston, is the buyer of the Boston Globe’s 16.5-acre headquarters on Morrissey Boulevard, for a purchase price that could top $80 million. Though that sounds awfully high, let’s review the numbers: Billionaire John Henry spent $70 million three years ago to buy the Globe and Worcester Telegram, then he turned around and sold the Telegram for about $17.5 million, according to published reports. Now the Globe property may fetch $80 million or more and … not bad. “(Henry) has created a remarkable value here,” Brendan Carroll, market researcher at Encompass Real Estate, tells the Herald. “He turned this into an incredible real estate play.”
Fyi: Dan Kennedy was also recently doing the math on Henry’s pending real estate transaction and concluded: “So it is likely that Henry will have ended up getting the Globe for free. On the other hand, he’s losing money—or, as Globe editor Brian McGrory put it in a memo announcing buyouts, ‘The Globe’s numbers aren’t as good as our words (or photos, videos, and graphics).’”
In a related development: The Dorchester Reporter’s Bill Forry reports that Herb Chambers, who owns adjacent Morrissey Boulevard property, has told community leaders that he intends to scrap earlier plans to convert a defunct TV station studio into a used car lot and instead build a massive building that would house a new Jaguar and Land Rover dealership.
Rosenberg: ‘Quite a few’ overrides are coming
During an interview on WGBH’s Boston Public Radio, Senate President Stan Rosenberg said yesterday that legislators are poised to make “quite a few” overrides of Gov. Charlie Baker’s $256 million in vetoes to the state budgets, according to a SHNS report. Rosenberg didn’t identify what vetoes will be challenged, though he did say that Baker’s vetoes of arts and early-voting funding should be overridden.
Adoption bill appears stuck in committee
Legislation to limit so-called “re-homing” of adopted children without state oversight appears to be headed to a quiet death in committee when the current legislative session ends, Mike Deehan of WGBH reports. The bill is now one of more than 500 pieces of legislation awaiting their fates before the House Ways and Means Committee. “We honestly have no idea why this bill is not moving right now,” said Erin Bradley, executive director of the Children’s League of Massachusetts.
Why the legislative deadline, anyway?
So why is the legislature racing the calendar to finish the session? Steve Brown of WBUR reminds us of the passage of joint Rule 12A in 1995, which set up the race to July 31 each year. B this year the session’s always-hectic end is being compressed even further by the presence on the calendar of the two major parties’ national conventions smack in the middle of the month, Brown notes.
Pot question faces uphill battle with voters – and the same for potential Baker opponents
Fifty-one percent of Mass. voters say they plan to vote against Question 4, which would legalize the recreational use of marijuana for residents over the age of 21, a new poll shows, report Jim O’Sullivan at the Globe. The poll conducted by Gravis Marketing on behalf of Jobs First found 41 percent in favor of the question and 9 percent undecided. Btw: The same poll found Gov. Charlie Baker would romp over most Democratic challengers in hypothetical 2018 faceoffs. The hypothetical challengers includ Attorney General Maura Healey and U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy II. No surprise in those numbers, though the gubernatorial election is far, far away in the minds of most voters.
Double trouble: Healey going after VW – again
Weeks after helping to strike a major settlement with Volkswagen over its marketing of cars that cheated emissions tests, Attorney General Maura Healey is going after VW again, this time filing a lawsuit charging that the automaker violated state environmental laws, reports Greg Ryan at the Boston Business Journal. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a similar lawsuit against VW on Tuesday.
State troopers charged after getting caught on video pummeling car-chase suspect
New Hampshire authorities have charged two state police officers – one from New Hampshire and the other from Massachusetts — with simple assault stemming from their pummeling of a suspect after a dangerous, high-speed, multi-state car chase, reports Lisa Eckelbecher at the Telegram. The post-chase beating was caught on video – and the link below has that now infamous clip. There is no doubt about two things: 1.) The suspect was no sweet and innocent victim. 2.) But he clearly had surrendered and was lying on the ground when he was beaten. This was a no-brainer case for NH prosecutors.
Cliff the Mailman is right: We need more skilled blue-collar workers
There may have been a dust-up between pro- and anti-Trump delegates yesterday at a Massachusetts-delegation meeting at the Republican convention in Cleveland. But the same breakfast gathering did feature a rather odd choice for a speaker to address delegates: actor John Ratzenberger, who played mailman Cliff Clavin in the Boston-set “Cheers” TV series. You know what? Setting aside his outspoken support for Donald Trump, Ratzenberger’s message was actually spot on: America needs more skilled blue-collar workers. “We’re running out of people who know how to use tools,” he said, urging delegates to pressure local boards to bring back “shop class” and expand access to vocational and technical high schools, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall).
A certain MASSTERList author has written about this same subject in the past for the Globe, such this piece about the need for more highly trained CNC (computer numerical control) machine operators and this piece about the strong demand for advanced-manufacturing talent in Massachusetts. But the biggest obstacle to expanding the number of skilled manufacturing workers in Massachusetts, besides a lack of public funding for vocational schools, is: Prejudice against blue-collar jobs in general, even though most of today’s highly skilled (and well paying) jobs aren’t the dirty, dead-end manufacturing jobs of yesteryear. Somehow, society has to overcome this prejudice, because these are good and decent jobs that are going unfilled.
Natick cab company shuts down, blames Uber
The owner of Natick Cab Company said ride-hailing services such as Uber proved impossible to compete with and forced him to shutter his business last week, Brian Benson of the MetroWest Daily News reports. David Stone said 22 people are out of work as a result of the shutdown and tells Benson that he fears other taxi services will be forced to follow suit.
Gloucester activist told to stay away from officials
A Gloucester activist is claiming the city is violating her First Amendment rights by limiting her access to two city officials, Ray Lamont of the Gloucester Times reports. The town’s attorneys told Susanne Altenburger she cannot contact the city’s economic development director and fisheries commissioner by phone and that if she wants to meet them face-to-face, a city police officer must be present.
Brockton Mayor defends police detail driver
Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter is defending his decision to use a police driver at times, an issue that has been raised by city councilors amidst a fiery debate over the police overtime budget, Marc Larocque of the Brockton Enterprise reports. Carpenter said he has had incidents where he was grateful for the detail’s presence, and added the protection is important because he often makes public appearances scheduled and announced in advance. “If I’m attending an event where people know in advance that I’m going to be there, I think I am at risk,” he said.
Favorite gone-but-not-forgotten bars and nightclubs: The Memorial
As promised, we’ve compiled MASSterList readers’ nominees for their favorite gone-but-not-forgotten bars and nightclubs that have closed over the years in eastern Massachusetts (click on the Gone But Not Forgotten prompt below). Thanks to everyone who contributed last week to the list. It was fun. We’re already thinking of another list, sort of tied to Ty Burr’s smackdown over the weekend of Woody Allen. But we’ll save that one for later.
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