Baker at Tri-Town Chamber
Gov. Baker attends the Tri-Town Chamber of Commerce Breakfast at the Deutsche Bank Championship with Reps. Jay Barrows and Elizabeth Poirier, TPC Boston, 400 Arnold Palmer Boulevard, Norton, 8:30 a.m.
Boston Transportation Department creates an experimental plaza from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Franklin and Arch streets in Downtown Crossing, with city workers temporarily widening sidewalks using planters and fencing and filling the space with tables and chairs, Franklin and Arch streets.
Treasurer Deborah Goldberg chairs the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission meeting, One Ashburton Place – 12th Floor, Robert Crane Conference Room, Boston, 10:30 a.m.
Healey at Gillette
Attorney General Maura Healey attends the New England Patriots Foundation premiere event, Gillette Stadium, 1 Patriot Pl., Foxborough, 6 p.m.
Dudley waives right to buy would-be Muslim cemetery land
A day after the town of Dudley was subject of a big New York Times piece on its controversial opposition to a Muslim cemetery, town selectmen yesterday decided not to exercise the community’s right to buy the 55 acres of farmland where the Islamic Society of Greater Worcester wanted to build a cemetery, Debbie LaPlaca of the Telegram reports. In their fifth meeting over the land’s status, the board was told that no town agencies expressed interest in the land and that no clear reason existed for the town to purchase the property. How this all impacts the proposed cemetery is unclear. The story doesn’t directly address the issue. But it definitely seems as though it’s to the Islamic Society’s advantage, if only from a legal standpoint.
Re the NYT piece: Dudley isn’t the only community battling new Islamic cemeteries. “From Minnesota to Texas — and even last week in Georgia — such proposals have been met with swells of opposition, similar to disputes over new mosques or schools, raising the specter of exclusion even for the dead.”
The Paul LePage Show
The Paul LePage Show came to Boston yesterday – and the Maine governor certainly didn’t disappoint. In town for a conference with other New England governors and Canadian premiers, LePage et gang were supposed to be talking about energy policy and other weighty issues of importance to the region – and they did talk about those items. But the Republican governor ultimately, inevitably, stole the show yesterday, doubling down on his earlier remarks that black and Hispanic people “from Lowell and Lawrence” are partly responsible for the heroin and fentanyl in his state, prompting one Lawrence official to call for a Maine boycott until LePage apologizes, the Herald’s Matt Stout and Lindsay Kalter report.
LePage didn’t just double down, he double doubled-down, sort of like a double-dog-dare you. “What I said was this: Meth lab arrests are white. They’re Mainers. The heroin-fentanyl arrests are not white people. They’re Hispanic and they’re black and they’re from Lowell and Lawrence, Massachusetts; Waterbury, Connecticut; the Bronx and Brooklyn,” LePage told the State House News Service’s Matt Murphy. “I didn’t make up the rules. That’s how it turns out. But that’s a fact. It’s a fact. What do you want, me to lie?”
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy was none too happy about the remarks, while Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker was sent tap dancing with a “more muted response” that didn’t address the charges against Lowell and Lawrence, reports Murphy. Meanwhile, the Globe’s Jim O’Sullivan looks at the contrasting style of Baker and LePage. And if you haven’t seen it yet, you gotta check out Adrian Walker’s brutal takedown of LePage yesterday, before his latest command performance.
Foreclosures finally start to ease in Massachusetts
Here’s some good news: After 28 straight months of relentless increases in foreclosure filings in Massachusetts, foreclosure petitions actually dipped by 1.1 percent last month compared with July 2015, according to the Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman. “While a 1 percent drop in this case equates to a difference of 12 petitions – which is well within the margin of error – it’s still an encouraging sign that foreclosures are still stabilizing in the state,” said Tim Warren, chief executive of the Warren Group. It seems almost unbelievable that the real estate market – at least in the non-tony parts of Massachusetts – has taken this long to heal from last decade’s housing market debacle.
Meanwhile, foreign buyers sure love those condos at Millennium Towers
As noted, many parts of the state are still slowly recovering from last decade’s housing market crash, but other areas are red hot. Buyers from Asia, Greece and the Middle East are among those snapping up luxury units in the new Millennium Tower in Downtown Crossing, part of a larger trend of foreign investment in certain parts of the Boston real estate market, Tim Logan of the Globe reports. Most foreign buyers are making the purchases as investments, with some planning to rent out the apartments. One recent Chinese immigrant purchased at least 16 units at the tower, paying a total of $15.6 million, all in cash.
‘Tale of Two Chambers’
The Associated Industries of Massachusetts has arrived at a not-so-shocking conclusion after grading lawmakers on their performance over the past two years: The state Senate is more liberal than the House, reports SHNS’s Andy Metzger at Commonwealth magazine. “While the House of Representatives and Speaker Robert DeLeo successfully forged consensus on important measures such as wage equity and energy, the Senate hewed to a more progressive, ideological approach that produced a steady stream of bills with the potential to harm the Massachusetts economy,” the business-backed AIM wrote in a scorecard released yesterday.
Of course, some might go as far as calling the House “conservative,” but only in Massachusetts would the House be considered conservative. It’s more a case of one Democratic-controlled chamber being “moderate progressive” and the other Democratic-run chamber being “progressive.” Just pointing this out before the Bernie Sanders types start targeting “conservative” Dem lawmakers.
City councilors to Baker: Stop trashing the T
Boston city councilors Michelle Wu and Josh Zakim pen a joint op-ed this morning in the Globe in defense of contract janitors at the T who fear possible layoffs – and the two take direct aim at Gov. Charlie Baker. “Once again, the Baker administration is heading in the wrong direction on public transportation. We understand the longstanding budgetary challenges plaguing the MBTA, but these challenges should not be resolved by shortchanging our lowest-paid employees, their families, and the millions of riders who depend on a clean and sanitary transit system — especially when sanitation is a marginal but essential expense for a $2 billion agency.”
Not all local VCs are saying ‘F*ck Trump,’ but many are indeed backing Clinton
Cambridge-born venture firm CRV has made its views on the presidential race unmistakably clear with its prominent “F*ck Trump” campaign of late. Other local venture capitalists are approaching the race in distinctly more subdued way. But their political sentiments are still roughly in line with CRV’s view: They’re mostly backing Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, reports the BBJ’s Sara Castellanos. Executives at Sigma Ventures, Converge Venture Partners, Atlas Venture, Battery Ventures and Flybridge Capital Partners have all donated money to Clinton, according the a BBJ slide show that accompanies Castellanos’ piece.
Has Trump given up on New Hampshire – or is his campaign just incompetent?
The Globe’s Tracy Jan has a good piece this morning that asks the right question: Why isn’t Donald Trump advertising more in New Hampshire, considered a key swing state for the Republican presidential nominee? Granted, he’s had trouble raising money. And, granted, he recently did announce he’s launching a $10 million ad campaign in nine swing states across the country, including New Hampshire. But Trump’s Granite State strategy is still baffling. Ferus Cullen, former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Part and who doesn’t support Trump, thinks he has an answer: “His lack of advertising is more a manifestation of a lack of overall strategy than a deliberate choice. … There are state Senate campaigns in New Hampshire with more sophistication than the Trump for president campaign. The fact (Trump) won our primary is the political equivalent of the rooster taking credit for the sun rising.”
Key Lime Pie Marijuana, anyone?
Based on what’s happening in Colorado, Massachusetts better be prepared to draft a lot of new regulations down the road if voters approve the November ballot question that would legalize marijuana here, particularly rules over future food products and other edibles laced with marijuana, reports MassLive’s Shira Schoenberg. In Colorado, where marijuana is already legal, one bakery owner says there are 69 pages of regulations governing the use of marijuana in her industry, which is already producing butter shortbread, oatmeal raisin cookies and other edibles infused with marijuana. Out of pure curiosity, MASSterList wondered if the crazy types out west were even infusing marijuana into one of our all-time favorite deserts: Key Lime Pie. We didn’t see any such products. But we did learn that there’s an actual marijuana strain called “Key Lime Pie,” not to be confused with the “ever-popular Girl Scout Cookie strain,” according to AllBud.com.
FBI: Holliston man talked of targeting Obama and mosques for attacks
A 40-year-old Holliston man was held by Federal authorities after a raid at his Holliston home found a stockpile of weapons, Bill Shaner of the MetroWest Daily News reports. Numerous assault weapons, ammunition and ingredients for homemade bombs were taken from the home of Joseph Garguilo, who is being held on charges of being a prohibited person in possession of ammunition. But more charges could be coming, as authorities say Garguilo spoke about various attacks, including burning a mosque after chaining the doors shut and shooting homeland security officers and even targeting President Obama during his recent Martha’s Vineyard vacation.
Faster trains are coming, slowly
A $2.45 billion loan from the U.S. government will enable Amtrak to install faster trains in the Northeast Corridor starting in 2021, Gintautus Dumcius of MassLive reports. Amtrak says the Acela service improvements will also include larger passenger cars, improved wireless internet service and “enhanced” food options.
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