The Massachusetts Drought Management Task Force plans to get updates on conditions around the state and consider changing the drought level index for some parts of the state, 100 Cambridge St., 2nd Floor, Room B, Boston, 10 a.m.
The 2016 National Conference of State Legislatures in Chicago will wrap up with a Bay State-themed luncheon to give attendees a “taste of what they might expect” at the 2017 national conference in Boston, McCormick Place, West Building, Chicago, 12:15 p.m.
Southie land conveyance
Gov. Charlie Baker joins former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn, Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry and Rep. Nick Collins in the signing of bill conveying land at East First Street in South Boston, Thomas J. Butler Freight Corridor and Memorial Park, State House, Room 360, 12:30 p.m.
Moonlighting at City Hall
As if Mayor Walsh needed more City Hall headaches, it turns out that Carl Hyman, a longtime senior property manager at the city’s Department of Neighborhood Development, has been moonlighting on the side for years now, reports the Globe’s Astead Herndon. Since the late 1990s, Hyman and a former city employee, Harold Raymond, have led a real estate firm named Melbourne Street Partners, which has bought, developed, and sold properties in areas that Hyman’s agency has previously “helped nurture.” And in 2000, the city agency also awarded Raymond discounted Roxbury public property – with Hyman, who oversees unused city property, never disclosing that Raymond was his business partner, Herndon reports.
It’s all perfectly legal, say neighborhood development officials and an attorney for the company. Hey, it’s just a little moonlighting on the side. As they say: Move along, folks. Nothing here to see. Move along, please …
Republican presidential blues
The Globe’s Beth Healy has a piece this morning on how many members of Greater Boston’s business community, which normally tilts right when it comes to fundraising and voting, just can’t bring themselves to support GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, let alone Democrat Hillary Clinton. “I don’t worry about Donald Trump launching a nuclear missile or wreaking havoc for Wall Street,’’ said Scott Sperling, co-president of Thomas H. Lee Partners in Boston. But he’s not exactly crazy about some of Trump’s recent comments either. “It’s not my style, and I think it’s one of the things that makes him someone that lots of people can’t support,” said Sperling.
Meanwhile, MassLive’s Shira Schoenberg reports how Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican who has refused to endorse Trump, is basically saying “I told you so’” about both Trump and Clinton. “I said I think in March I thought Secretary Clinton had some trouble with believability and Donald Trump had some issues with respect to his temperament, and I think both of them have managed to live up to my concerns on that one,” Baker told reporters on Wednesday. “I find the whole thing enormously disappointing.”
Big day for economic development – in more ways than one
How’s this for timing: On the very day Gov. Baker signed a nearly $1 billion economic development bill that he and his staff ushered through the Legislature, news leaks out that his economic development czar, Jay Ash, has applied for a job to be the next city manager of Cambridge, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy at CommonWealth magazine. If Ash gets the Cambridge post, it would be the Baker administration’s first high-level cabinet departure since Baker took office in 2015. Ash, a Democrat, is the former city manager of Chelsea.
Everett casino unveils $1 billion in construction bid opportunities
And also on the same day Baker was signing the nearly $1 billion economic development bill, Suffolk Construction was issuing $1 billion worth of subcontracting bids for the giant Wynn casino project in Everett, reports Catherine Carlock at the Boston Business Journal. Wynn Resorts said in an announcement Wednesday that Suffolk’s bid package is “among the highest ever issued for any private, union-built, single-phase development in the history of Massachusetts.” To say the least, it’s an amazing figure.
It’s official: DraftKings is legal in Massachusetts
Thanks to yet another provision tucked into the giant economic development bill signed yesterday by Gov. Baker, it’s now official: Boston-based DraftKings is beyond-any-doubt legal in Massachusetts, reports the Herald’s Jordan Graham. The little-noticed measure effectively codifies a previous ruling by Attorney General Maura Healey, whose office has deemed that daily fantasy sports playing for money is legal in the Bay State. Just to be sure, a provision was put into the bill to ensure DraftKing’s legal status was set in law, not interpretive rulings. “It takes away any ambiguity or uncertainty as to the legality of daily fantasy sports,” said state Rep. Joseph Wagner, co-chairman of the House Economic Development Committee. “What we were doing was simply taking what the attorney general put out there as sort of directional guidance and turned it into a statute so a company like Draft- Kings, which is a big and successful player in the consumer online business, can continue to be headquartered here in the commonwealth,” Baker said.
Robert Kiley, former MBTA ‘superchief,’ RIP
The MBTA’s Fiscal Management and Control Board could sure use a guy like Robert Kiley, the legendary T “superchief” who almost single-handedly turned around the transit system in the 1970s amid concerns the T was beyond operational reform. Because of his success in Boston, Kiley was later hired to run the transit systems in New York and London. “(He) put together a superb team which for four years gave the T strong new leadership,” recalls former Gov. Michael S. Dukakis, who appointed Kiley CEO of the T in 1975, reports the Globe’s Bryan Marquard. “The T didn’t collapse during the Blizzard of 1978. It stepped up and provided thousands of people with solid public transportation at a time when the city was virtually paralyzed.” Kiley, 80, passed away earlier this week in Chilmark from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Our deep condolences to his family and loved ones.
MGC puts Brockton racing plans out to pasture
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has effectively euthanized languishing plans to stage two weeks’ worth of live horse racing at the Brockton Fairground by denying a request to fund improvements at the racetrack, Marc Larocque of the Enterprise reports. The Carney family, which previously lost its effort to win a casino license for the same property, says it will drop the effort to return racing to the same grounds following the commission’s decision not to release more than $1 million from the casino-supported Horse Racing Development Fund for planned track improvements.
Yes, Marty Walsh briefly tried to save the IndyCar race
Despite denials by his staff, Mayor Marty Walsh is now acknowledging that he did, in fact, try to rescue the Boston IndyCar race after its collapse, even meeting with the event sponsor’s CEO to try to move the race to Suffolk Downs from the Seaport District, the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld reports.
Herb Chambers details Morrissey plans
Car magnate Herb Chambers detailed revised plans for a Land Rover and Jaguar dealership on Morrissey Boulevard and says his project is independent of plans for the sprawling Boston Globe headquarters property just next door, according to a piece by Jennifer Smith of the Dorchester Reporter. But Chambers also indicated he would be willing to press pause on development of his four-story glass dealership capable of holding 659 cars if the soon-to-be new owners of the Globe property wanted to work with him.
Baker goes three for three with Budd’s SJC confirmation
Gov. Baker’s third and last nominee to the Supreme Judicial Court, Kimberly Budd, won unanimous confirmation yesterday, despite last-minute objections from a Taunton Republican that she had made “ideological statements” and was “unfit” to serve on the court. Members of the Governor’s Council obviously disagreed with that assessment. “(Budd) has been a law and order judge on the Superior Court, and she will continue to be a law and order judge on the Massachusetts Supreme Court,” Councilor Jennie Caissie said yesterday, as reported by SHNS’s Katie Lannan at Wicked Local. The vote followed the council’s unanimous confirmations earlier this summer of judges Frank Gaziano and David Lowy, whose nominations Baker announced with Budd’s in June.
SJC eases access to court records
A month after sparking an outcry by limiting access to court data, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has given preliminary approval to new rules making it easier for the public to access some criminal records, Todd Wallack of the Globe reports. The new rules will allow the public to learn the status of criminal cases if they have a docket number, but will not allow searching by defendant name only in person at court houses. The new rules also allow members of the public to take photos of court documents to avoid paying the $1-per-page copying fee.
Prestige doesn’t pay: Worcester Polytech kids makes more than Harvard and Tufts grads
Granted, Harvard and Tufts universities produce a lot of English, history, political science and other liberal arts majors who are often destined for a few post-graduation months (and even years) of underemployment and crashing on friends’ couches. But like BostInno’s Olivia Vanni, we were still surprised by the results of a SmartAsset survey that shows Worcester Polytech grads with higher starting pay than those at Harvard, Tufts, Northeastern etc. Only MIT grads averaged more. We’re impressed.
Fairhaven passes Pokemon-Go limits
The SouthCoast town of Fairhaven has limited parking and taken other steps in the hopes of minimizing damage to a historic fort being overrun by hordes of Pokemon Go players, Sandy Quadros Bowles reports in the Standard-Times. The town also plans to reach out to the game’s maker to see how it can steer players away and asked town counsel to look into whether the town can seek compensation for damage already suffered.
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