Ride-hail bill signing
Gov. Charlie Baker will sign legislation regulating Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing services into law. Baker will be joined by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and others. State House Room 360, 12 p.m.
House Speaker Robert DeLeo and other lawmakers participate in the Intern Tech Trek, held in conjunction with the Massachusetts Tech Collaborative, as part of an “interactive discussion” about “getting the most out of internship experiences, starting careers in Massachusetts, and keeping tech talent” in Massachusetts. The talk will be open to the media only between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Greentown Labs, 28 Dane St., Somerville.
Heroes Among Us
The Boston Celtics and Massachusetts State Lottery, represented by Treasurer Deb Goldberg, will honor winners of the “Heroes Among Us” award, presented to “an individual or individuals who, through their unique commitment and humanitarian spirit, have made exceptional and lasting contributions to our community,” Great Hall, State House, 2 p.m.
Obamas arrive on Vineyard
SATURDAY: President Barack Obama and his family are expected to arrive on Martha’s Vineyard on Saturday for a two-week vacation on the island.
Trump Nantucket and Cape Cod fundraisers
SATURDAY: Donald Trump is scheduled to attend a 3 p.m. fundraiser on Nantucket and later a 6 p.m. fundraiser in Oyster Harbors on Saturday on Cape Cod.
Uber bill gets governor’s blessing
Gov. Charlie Baker will sign ride-hailing legislation that landed on his desk in the waning moments of the legislative session on Sunday into law today and Joshua Miller of the Globe reports that Uber and its competitors and taxi groups alike are okay with the move. Taxi industry groups had pushed back some after the compromise legislation emerged without a requirement that Uber drivers be fingerprinted—as are cabbies—but their complaints were softened by the decision to dedicate a nickel of the 20-cent per ride surcharge to a fund designed to help the taxi industry innovate. And while some speculated that the governor’s anti-tax and fees stance might put him in a bind, Gov. Baker’s signature will make Massachusetts the 35th state to put formal ride-hailing regulations in place.
Lynch: State and nation need far more money to fight Zika outbreak
Massachusetts has been awarded $200,000 by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor the mosquito-borne Zika virus that’s now been discovered in parts of Florida, reports Michael Norton and Antonio Caban at State House News Service. But the center could only release a total of $16 million nationwide for anti-Zika efforts, due to Congress’s failure to allocate more funds before it recessed for the summer. U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, a South Boston Democrat, says Congress should be called back into session to act on President Barack Obama’s $1.9 billion Zika funding bill originally filed in February. Lynch called Zika a “growing national security and public health crisis.”
Boston police want more guns, safety equipment
The three unions representing Boston police are calling on the department to provide them with more weapons, more officers and additional safety equipment to reflect the enhanced dangers beat cops face, Antonio Planas of the Herald reports. In a harshly worded letter that calls out both President Obama and Gov. Charlie Baker, the police unions also say they want department members’ names and addresses scrubbed from public databases and say their requests have been languishing for 18 months.
Few cops volunteer for body cameras
Meanwhile, Travis Andersen of the Globe reports that few rank-and-file officers have stepped forward to voluntarily take part in the department’s body camera pilot program, which is set to launch on Sept. 1. Police Commissioner William Evans—himself no huge fan of the technology—says getting volunteers has been “a hard sell” despite a $500 stipend being dangled and said the union’s resistance to the program may be one reason why. Civil rights groups have already raised concerns about the proposed test, especially a provision that allows officers to review body camera footage before it is made public.
The charter schools TV bombardment to commence
Beginning today, Great Schools Massachusetts is launching its TV campaign to lift the cap on public charter schools in the state, with an ad called “Best in the Country.” The ad will appear in “heavy rotation” during broadcast and cable Olympic programming, the pro-charter schools group says. “Expanding access to public charters will strengthen our education system by bringing better school options and more money to our public education system.” said Eileen O’Connor of Great Schools Massachusetts said in a statement. Both the pro- and anti-charter school factions are expected to spend huge sums this fall in the fight over the November ballot question – and Great Schools’ new ad is just a taste of what’s to come.
‘Massive decline in bankruptcies leaves lawyers with less work’
Pull out the small violin: The Boston Business Journal’s Greg Ryan reports that the number of bankruptcy filings have plunged in Massachusetts by 60 percent over the past five years, thanks to an improving economy and several changes to state law in recent years that have made it easier for consumers to avoiding declaring bankruptcy. The net result: Less bankruptcy business for local lawyers. “People in bad straits who have nothing else to lose, they just ignore it and they don’t file,” said Richard Blumenthal, a Newton-based bankruptcy lawyer.
Running late on early voting
Fewer than half of the Commonwealth’s 351 cities and towns are on track to be ready for the state’s first foray into early voting in November, according to a group of voting rights organizations, Mike Deehan of WGBH reports. The Election Modernization Coalition says 40 percent of communities are in the final stages of planning for early voting, while 35 percent have started planning and 13 percent had no plans in place at all as of July 20. Lawmakers last week overrode Gov. Baker’s veto of funds to help communities prepare for the advent of early voting.
Wynn sets largest private building job in motion
The state’s largest-ever private construction project formally got under way Thursday in Somerville, where Steve Wynn plans to transform an industrial parcel into a $2.1 billion resort hotel and casino. CommonWealth Magazine’s Bruce Mohl reports that about 150 construction workers are now on site, as many as 500 will be there by the end of the year and that 4,000 construction jobs total will be created before the resort is completed and opened in 2019. One notable absence from the groundbreaking: Steve Wynn himself, who Mohl reports is in Macau, China for the opening of a casino with an even bigger price tag: $4 billion.
Goodfellas, bad luck: Members of Genovese crime family busted in Springfield
How often does MASSterList get to delve into goodfellas in general and members of New York’s Genovese crime family in particular? Not often. So we couldn’t resist. As reported by George Barnes at the Telegram: Five alleged members of New York’s Genovese crime family in Springfield, dubbed the “Springfield Crew,” were arrested yesterday after an investigation by state police, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI. The agencies were targeting loan sharking, extortion and illegal gambling. And then there’s this detail: Two of the reputed wiseguys threatened to cut off the head of the owner of a local towing business and bury his body in his backyard, according to the fed indictment. So there you go: We got mentions of “goodfellas,” “Genovese,” “reputed,” and “wiseguys” into one item, though we didn’t get to use the terms “whack,” “capped” and “on the lam” that would have truly established our reportorial street-smart creds.
Big boy: Six-foot alligator removed from backyard
Who keeps a six-foot long hissing and struggling alligator in a “backyard enclosure” in New England? Apparently someone who confused land-locked West Springfield for Florida. The alligator was a well-fed tubby reptile, judging by the photo that accompanies the MassLive story by George Graham, who reports it took Springfield and environmental police, as well as personnel from the Springfield’s Forest Park Zoo, to capture the beast with one noose around its neck and the second around the base of its tail.
Sunday public affairs TV
Keller At Large, WBZ Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. With host Jon Keller, guests Darnell Williams, CEO Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, and Marcela Garcia, editorial writer at The Boston Globe, take part in a roundtable discussion on the latest developments in the presidential race.
This Week in Business, NECN, 11 a.m. Labor lawyer Amber Elias of Fisher Phillips talks about how businesses may go about implementing the new gender pay equity bill and what complications may arise; Pillpack co-founder and CEO TJ Parker discusses how his firm is reinventing the way medicine is packaged and distributed for patient ease. Plus: resumption of construction of the Wynn casino in Everett; the latest US jobs report; implications of a potential Biogen takeover; and GE’s plans for its Boston global headquarters.
On The Record, WCVB TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
CityLine, WCVB TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. Hosted by Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s focus: Preserving History, with a look at the photographic narrative of Frederick Douglas on display at the Museum of African American History on Beacon Hill; and with President Obama and his family making their seventh trip to Martha’s Vineyard this month, a look at the island’s long tradition of hosting a summer get-away for African Americans.
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