Happening Today

Trump’s acceptance speech

Donald Trump is scheduled to accept the Republican nomination for president of the United States in a primetime speech at the Republican National Convention. In the morning, Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, is scheduled to speak to members of the Massachusetts delegation in Cleveland.

Massachusetts Gaming Commission

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission holds a public meeting regarding workforce development and training programs and is expected to vote on a series of horse racing-related matters, 101 Federal Street, 12th floor, Boston, 10 a.m.

‘Ask the Guv’

Gov. Charlie Baker is scheduled to appear on Boston Public Radio’s monthly “Ask the Guv” segment with co-hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan, WGBH-FM 89.7, 12 p.m.

Tour of addictions and recovery program

Gov. Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, and Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore tour the new unit of the Women’s Recovery from Addictions Program at Taunton State Hospital, Chambers Building, 60 Hodges Ave., Taunton, 4 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Baker supports new housing – for au pairs on State House property

This looks awful: Gov. Charlie Baker is seeking authorization to turn over a small sliver of the State House lawn to a developer for new au pair suites at a neighboring luxury condo complex on Beacon Street, reports the Globe’s Frank Phillips. The request for a property easement –and it isn’t clear for how much land is involved – was tucked into a supplementary budget the governor filed with the Legislature late last week, Phillips reports.

Hello, governor? Anybody home? Does anyone realize how elitist this looks? … Oh, but they soooo need those au pair suites!

Boston Globe

Cruz rocks Cleveland

Say what you will about Ted Cruz, the Texas senator and former presidential candidate who’s despised by just about everyone in his Republican party, it took some guts for Cruz to stand before the entire GOP convention last night and refuse to endorse Donald Trump, despite a thunderous cascade of boos, jeers and chants of “Say it!” and “Vote for Trump!” and “Traitor!” by pro-Trump supporters, as reported by the NYT.  “I’ve seen some crazy things,” said Brandon Bell, the chairman of the Rhode Island Republican Party, who was in the hall last night in Cleveland. “I don’t think this is going to play well.” 

No, it’s not going to play well with voters. But it was, for a change, real news from Cleveland and it showed how deeply divided Republicans are these days. 


A trial balloon or inaccurate report on exam schools? You decide

Mayor Marty Walsh and the Boston Public Schools are flat-out denying a WGBH report yesterday that said officials were considering banning students from parochial, private and charter schools from city exam schools, as a way to increase diversity at Boston’s most prestigious educational institutions. “There is absolutely no truth to a report published on WGBH today that claims that the Boston Public Schools are proposing changes to the admissions to our exam schools,” Walsh said in a statement, reports the Globe’s James Vaznis.

But WGBH’s Peter Kadzis is defending his story, saying he relied both on documentation and interviews for the story’s assertions. We’re in absolutely no position to say who’s right or wrong in this spat. But we will note that the bad idea: A.) sounds like something only bureaucrats in a hermetically sealed cocoon could dream up B.) there is indeed deep resentment within some public-school quarters toward Catholic schools in particular (they’ll deny it, but it’s there and it ties all the way back to the busing era of the 1970s) C.) Kadzis did cite very specific documentation. Then again, it’s such an awful idea – with ugly legal and political implications written all over it – that it’s hard to imagine that Walsh, though not necessarily public school officials, would ever seriously consider such action.

Warren rides to Healey’s defense in climate-change spat

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is warning a Texas lawmaker to back off his committee’s subpoena of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey over her investigation into what ExxonMobil and other oil companies have known about climate change over the years, reports Michelle Williams at MassLive. “This is an outrageous abuse of Congressional subpoena power to threaten a state AG and help a campaign contributor,” Warren, a Democrat, said in a social-media blast aimed at U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, who Warren claims is backed by the oil industry. “Let me offer a word of advice to Rep. Smith and his ExxonMobil buddies: You picked a fight with the wrong state and the wrong Attorney General.”

House Republicans say the investigation by Healey, as well as by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, is intended to punish those who don’t agree with her views on climate change.


Someone cut sunroofs into two MBTA armored cars?

On the one-year anniversary of the creation of the new MBTA Fiscal Control Board, Gov. Baker yesterday touted recent reforms aimed at improving T operations and reducing the agency’s staggering costs, reports Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive. But Baker warned there’s still plenty of work to be done, particularly within the T’s pension system, which the governor said is now in financial “freefall” and needs to be transferred to state control.

But the governor dropped a mini-bombshell, so to speak, when he started talking about specific dysfunctions within the T’s money-counting operations, which agency officials now want to outsource to private vendors. “In fact, someone cut sunroofs into two of the armored trucks used by the T to transport money,” Baker said at a State House press conference. Sunroofs? In armored cars? Ah, traveling in style. Did they have Bose sound systems installed too?


Healey’s crackdown on assault weapons leads to surge in gun sales

As expected, Attorney General Maura Healey yesterday issued a new edict that declares the sale of “copycat” assault weapons are illegal in Massachusetts. As expected, the new directive, aimed at gun manufacturers and dealers getting around allegedly strict assault-weapon bans already on the books in the Bay State, prompted a surge of assault rifle sales yesterday in anticipation of Healey’s new order, the Herald’s O’Ryan Johnson reports.

Boston Herald

News to us: Republican delegates told US is suffering from ‘stagflation’

At a morning meeting yesterday of Massachusetts Republican delegates in Cleveland, Dallas-based investor Ed Butowsky issued a dire warning about the state of the US economy. “The enemy, you will see, is the economy right now,” said Butowsky, adding the U.S. is now living through modern day “stagflation,” reports Matt Murphy at SHNS.

Our immediate reaction was: Stagflation? We’re going through an historic bout of high inflation and high unemployment, as “stagflation” is generally defined? So we checked: Sure enough, the nation’s inflation rate through the 12 months ending June 2016 was a mere 1 percent and the US unemployment rate in June was 5.5 percent, a level historically considered by economists as being near “full employment.” But then Butowsky’s comments made perfect sense when he stated that stagflation can only be solved by lowering taxes. Ah, it always comes down to lowering taxes, the all-purpose solution to every economic problem, even when the identified problem isn’t even remotely a problem.

SHNS (pay wall)

Kennedy, Walsh added to DNC lineup

U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh have been offered speaking slots at next week’s Democratic National Convention, according to a report at WCVB. Kennedy will apparently introduce Sen. Elizabeth Warren—who he said reached out to him about appearing on the stage in Philadelphia—on Monday night. Details of Walsh’s slot are apparently still being worked out.


SJC orders new trials for those convicted in Annie Dookhan drug cases

In the latest fallout from the Annie Dookhan case, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled yesterday that people convicted of drug charges with evidence tied to Dookhan – the disgraced state chemist who has admitted she tampered with drug samples and forged materials – can now seek new trials, the Globe’s John Ellement reports. It’s just the latest high-court ruling related to the Dookhan fiasco, which has thrown thousands and thousands of court cases into question.

Boston Globe

Watch out Kendall Square: UMass-Lowell pumps up start-up scene in Lowell

The University of Massachusetts-Lowell’s push to create a tech cluster in the city is starting to pay dividends, reports Olivia Vanni at BostInno. The recent launch of the alumni-backed River Hawk Venture Fund and the school-backed Innovation Hub and New Venture Initiative have played direct or indirect roles in helping new start-ups take off in the city. Vanni highlights five small tech firms now operating in Lowell, including Invitrometrix and AquaTerrene.


Suffolk County inmates develop green thumbs

The Boston Guardian reports on how prisoners at the Suffolk County House of Corrections have started a new morning routine of tending to gardens with vegetables and flowers in hand-crafted planters and a miniature greenhouse. While you’re at it, check out the Twitter site for the entire Boston Guardian, the resurrected version of the recently closed Boston Courant.

Boston Guardian

Curtatone says Black Lives Matter banner will stay

Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone said he will not remove a Black Lives Matter banner hanging on City Hall, despite a request from the city’s police union to take it down, reports CBS Boston. The police union argued the banner implies Somerville police have targeted minorities and said it was “deeply troubled” by the mayor’s decision to hang the banner. “My unwavering support for our police officers does not and cannot preempt our commitment to addressing systemic racism in our nation,” countered Curtatone.

CBS Boston

Filings detail heavy lobbyist spending on Beacon Hill

An early round of filings show Uber, Lyft and General Electric spent heavily on lobbyists in the first half of 2016, Matt Stout of the Herald reports. Combined, Uber and Lyft dropped $317,000 on lobbying efforts as the legislature crafts bills setting out regulations on their services. GE spent $135,000 over the same time period, $120,000 of it going to the Mo Cowan-led lobbying firm ML Strategies. All told, ML Strategies raked in $1.7 million in lobbying fees since January, with both Wynn Resorts and Brockton Power Co. spending $125,000 or more with the firm.

Boston Herald

Worcester council eyes language limits

The Worcester City Council is seeking legal advice on whether it can place restrictions on language used in official city records after one councilor stirred controversy by submitting a job review of the city manager that contained some choice words, Nick Kotsopolous of the Telegram reports. Some councilors wanted to reprimand Councilor Michael Gaffney for his inclusion of “the c-word” in background material that was part of his own 186-page city manager job evaluation. Gaffney shot back, citing his constitutional rights. “Freedom of speech defines our democracy,” Mr. Gaffney said. “It cannot be limited because of its tone or tenor.” 


New Bedford police change approach to ODs behind the wheel

Police in New Bedford will take a new approach to handling calls involving drivers who apparently overdose while behind the wheel, Curt Brown of the Standard-Times reports. While they had been handled as medical calls in the past, police will now begin arresting and charging drivers found overdosed. Since February, the city has seen at least eight such cases, including two involving the same man.


Study backs $1.2B regional rail expansion through Springfield

A federal study aimed at anticipating ridership needs in 2035 proposes $1.2 billion worth of state and federal investment to expand passenger rail service across the Northeast, with the city of Springfield serving as a key hub, Peter Goonan of MassLive reports. The Northern New England Intercity Rail Initiative report calls for daily service connecting Boston, Springfield, Montreal and New Haven. U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield, said both state and federal funding sources would need to be tapped to make the ambitious proposals reality but said that is not a bridge too far in the long-term. “It is eminently doable,” he said.


Today’s Headlines


Baker seeks to sell part of State House lawn to condo complex – Boston Globe

Walsh, Chang dispute report on exam schools – Boston Globe

A booming boulevard? Wave of development coming to Morrissey – Boston Globe

Joe Curtatone stands with Black Lives Matter banner – Boston Herald

Walsh: Seaport ought to see more affordable housing units – Boston Herald

Dorchester Brewing Co. opens doors to new kind of brewery – Boston Business Journal


Report: Lowell lagging in household income – Lowell Sun

Sex ed bill stirs debate on Beacon Hill – Lowell Sun

New Bedford police to pursue charges when drivers OD behind the wheel – Standard-Times

Some Worcester councilors cry foul over use of bad words – Telegram & Gazette

Firms fattens lobbyists’ coffers – Boston Herald


Crowd boos Ted Cruz at GOP convention – Boston Globe

Mayor Walsh, Joe Kennedy to speak at Democratic convention – Boston Globe

US Rep. Richard Neal not worried about proposed probe of CRRC subway car company – MassLive

Clinton search focus is Kaine, Vilsack, Perez – Boston Globe

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