Happy birthday, National Parks
U.S. Sen. Ed Markey and U.S. Reps. Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch join others to mark the 100th birthday of the National Park Service and launch three days of celebration, Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, Boston, 11 a.m.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission holds a public hearing on proposals to require gaming licensees to use “reasonable measures” to prevent patrons from using credit to obtain cash for gambling, 101 Federal St. – 12th floor, Boston, 11 a.m.
‘Topping off’ ceremony
Gov. Charlie Baker attends a “topping off” ceremony hosted by China Railway Rolling Stock Corp., which is constructing a new Springfield facility where 284 new subway cars will be assembled for the T’s Red and Orange lines, 655 Page Blvd., Springfield, 12 p.m.
As part of his swing through western Massachusetts, Gov. Baker visits Berkshire Mountain Distillers and tours the facility with CEO Chris Weld, nephew of former Gov. William Weld, 356 South Main Street, Sheffield, 2:15 p.m.
Warren to unveil her new campaign ‘presentation’
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren delivers a talk on “how the playing field got tilted against America’s working class,” as part of her pivot to promote the issue on behalf of Democrats during the fall campaign, Roxbury Community College Media Arts Center, 1234 Columbus Ave., Roxbury Crossing, 6:30 p.m.
Progressive lawmaker wants to break up progressive rule to advance progressive cause
Massachusetts is just not blue enough for Sen. Jamie Eldridge, who is urging Bernie Sanders supporters to “take over” the state Democratic Party by unseating some Dem legislators and moving the party further to the left, reports the Globe’s Jim O’Sullivan. In an email to the Sanders supporters, the Acton Democrat also contemplated the creation of a third progressive party, but he’s apparently settling (for now) for changing the Democratic Party from within. Needless to say, state party leaders are not happy with Eldridge, described as “liberal stalwart” and top ally of Senate President Stan Rosenberg.
We can tell you someone who should be happy with Eldridge’s call for Dem political fratricide: Members of the Republican Party. They’d just love to see Democrats blow up a moderate-leftist party coalition — previously nicknamed the Hack Progressive Alliance by a certain MassterList author, thank you — that has completely dominated Beacon Hill for more than a half century and made Massachusetts one of the bluest of blue states. Even incompetent Republicans couldn’t fail to pick up a few seats if Eldridge gets his party purist way.
National Grid and Eversource: No, really, we’re still committed to pipeline project
Even though National Grid and Eversource Energy earlier this week withdrew their applications for long-term natural gas contracts tied to the controversial Access Northeast pipeline project, executives at the utilities say that they’re not giving up the fight for new pipelines, according to a joint letter they sent, along with a Spectra Energy executive, to lawmakers, as reported by State House New Service. But the execs don’t quite say how they’ll proceed now that the state’s Supreme Judicial Court has rejected a funding proposal to pay for the project. The firms are reportedly working to develop a new financing strategy in Massachusetts.
Globe lets Joyce have his say
Following news that town officials are backing Sen. Brian Joyce in a controversy over his house in Milton, the Boston Globe — whose past coverage of Joyce’s apparent home remodeling and low tax assessments has been criticized by Milton assessors – lets the embattled senator have his say this morning. But not much more. It certainly doesn’t look like the Globe is backing down from its general assertion that the home owned by Joyce, who is now the target of a federal corruption investigation, was extensively remodeled and yet was assessed by the town at $867,500, far below his current asking sale price of $1.725 million. The dispute now hinges on two contentious issues: 1.) Whether a 2002 building permit allowed extensive remodeling. 2.) Why there’s such a huge discrepancy between town-record descriptions of the home and what’ now being touted in sales brochures.
Galvin sued by Senate candidate who now wants to run as an independent
Stephen Gill, a Republican who last spring ran for former state Sen. Robert Hedlund’s vacated seat, is suing Secretary of State William Galvin, arguing that he has a right to run for the Senate this fall as an independent, reports the Herald’s Bob McGovern. Gill argues that state timing requirements are forcing him to be on the GOP ticket instead. Galvin’s office, which has essentially said that Gill was too late in switching his party affiliation, noted that the courts have sided with candidate timing laws in the past.
Amtrak threatens rail disruption if MBTA doesn’t pay up
From Adam Gaffin at Universal Hub: “A dispute over whether Massachusetts should pay Amtrak $29 million for Acela service over tracks the state owns got ugly this week when the national railroad filed a court document suggesting it might have to stop service north of Providence rather than continuing to deal with the ‘chronically delinquent’ MBTA.” If the complaint came from any other vendor, we’d have sympathy for them, knowing the lovable ways of our chronically cash-strapped MBTA. But it’s coming from Amtrak, so we’re not sympathetic. Adam has more on the dispute.
Feeling sorry for Scott Brown
The Globe’s Joan Vennochi says what a lot of other people are probably thinking in the wake of a former Fox News host’s accusation, filed in a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News, that former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown made sexually inappropriate comments to her while on set and put his hands on her lower waist. “Brown can’t even file a response to the complaint, since he’s not a defendant,” Vennochi notes. “You don’t have to like Scott Brown or his politics to feel a little sorry for him.”
Meanwhile, Brown continues to vehemently deny the charge, saying he was “flabbergasted” to read about it and “a little PO’d, that’s for sure,” as he told Boston Herald Radio yesterday, according to SHNS’s Matt Murphy at WWLP. “For somebody who’s a survivor of sexual abuse myself, I take these issues in particular very, very seriously, so I would’ve never helped perpetuate an environment or a conversation or a situation as she’s alleging because of my own personal experiences,” said Brown, who has previously said he was once abused as a youth at a summer camp.
Baker: Opioid crisis behind DCF case surge
Gov. Charlie Baker says the opioid crisis is driving a surge in children under the oversight of the Department of Children and Families, which the state’s child advocate says is already at capacity, Matt Stout of the Herald reports. Baker, who said he plans to meet with DCF’s leaders soon, also noted he’s awaiting data that could shed light on how changes he put in place are affecting the agency.
Mayoral money mismatch
If City Councilor Tito Jackson decides to challenge Mayor Marty Walsh in next year’s mayoral election, he’ll face not only a massive financial disadvantage but also a structural problem in terms of where he’ll be able to raise funds from, Kyle Scott Clauss of Boston Magazine reports. Digging through campaign finance reports to get beyond the top-line advantage—$3 million for Walsh compared to $14,000 for Jackson—Clauss finds Walsh with more than 100 donations from Boston police officers, while Jackson has none, and a reliable stream of cash from developers connected to the city.
Feds ask court to reconsider tribe-casino decision
The U.S. Justice Department has asked a court to reconsider the ruling that dealt a damaging, if not fatal, blow to the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe’s efforts to open a casino in East Taunton, Bruce Mohl of CommonWealth magazine reports. A federal judge recently ruled that the Department of the Interior erred in allowing the tribe to take the Taunton land into trust and treat it as a reservation. The tribe is now cheering the Obama administration’s request to reconsider that ruling, saying more clarity is needed from the courts after conflicting decisions in its case.
Coming soon in Boston: Grades for restaurants
Boston restaurants and food trucks will start getting letter grades on their cleanliness and food safety in a matter of weeks following a favorable vote from the city council on Wednesday, Matt Rocheleau reports in the Globe. Restaurants will not be required to display the grades in their front windows for the first year of the program, when the grades will be posted only on the city’s web site. But after that one-year grace period, restaurants would face $300 a day in fines if they fail to post their grades. The Globe said its analysis shows about 40 percent of the city’ eateries would receive A grades and almost as many would get the lowest grade possible, a C.
That’s amore: South Station pizzeria raises $4.5M in venture funding
The pizza at the tiny Oath Craft Pizza kiosk at Boston’s South Station must be pretty good, for the Nantucket-born Oath Craft just landed $4.5 million in venture funding for its planned expansion, reports Sara Castellanos at the Boston Business Journal. Then again, maybe it’s about the ovens, not the taste, as Castellanos reports: “Oath Craft differs from other pizzerias in that its ovens are powered by electricity, as opposed to traditional gas ovens, which need a lot of physical space to meet ventilation requirements. The ovens, made by Wisconsin-based Hatco, are what allow Oath Craft Pizza to open kiosks in unique locations, bake pizzas in 90 seconds or less and save money on space.”
Meanwhile, Olivia Vanni at BostInno reports there are a number of food tech startups that are popping up on local college campuses these days. “While all of them are still early stage, some are already generating a buzz.” She looks at five foodie startups at Babson, MIT and Harvard.
Handy-dandy toll calculator
MassLive.com has a nifty calculator to help you determine how much you’ll pay in tolls on the Mass Pike once all-electronic tolling starts in October. With the switchover, some motorists will see toll increases, while others will see declines, so it’s been confusing. Hopefully, this will help clear matters up. Note: You have to know the right Pike exit numbers in order to use the calculator. If you’re like us, you can take the same exit every day for years without knowing it’s actual number, so this confounded us at first, but we figured it out.
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