Happening Today

Governor’s Council

The Governor’s Council holds a hearing on the nomination of Superior Court Judge James Lemire to the Appeals Court, Council Chamber, Room 360, 10:30 a.m.

New housing partnership

Gov. Charlie Baker joins with state and local officials to announce a new housing partnership in Chelsea and Somerville, Innes Apartments, corner of Central Avenue and Willow Street, Chelsea, 12 p.m.

Freedom Trail restoration

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh offers remarks at an event celebrating extensive restorations and improvements made to the Freedom Trail, Granary Burying Ground, Tremont Street, Boston, 12:30 p.m.

Rosenberg interview

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg is scheduled for his monthly interview on Boston Public Radio at 1:30 p.m.

South Coast rail hearing

The Department of Transportation and MBTA hold another public meeting to discuss the South Coast Rail project to restore passenger rail service between New Bedford and Boston, Bristol Community College, Building G, Commonwealth College Center, Faculty Lounge, 777 Elsbree St., Fall River, 6:30 p.m.

Accountability site goes live

Comptroller Thomas Shack today launches CTHRU, a new website designed to make government data more accessible to the public.

Today’s Stories

Special health-care commission is off to unhealthy start

WGBH’s Adam Reilly reports how the state’s new Special Commission on Provider Price Variation seemed to be getting off to a smooth start – until Partners Healthcare’s chief executive, Dr. David Torchiana, spoke out at the commission’s first meeting. Torchiana objected to the basic premise suggested by others about the problems associated with health-care pricing discrepancies, saying the commission’s “fact base” is “incomplete and non-representative of the issue that we’re called upon to address.” So right from the start, the head of the state’s most powerful and prestigious health-care provider served notice that Partners is most definitely going to be protecting its turf, inch by inch, fact by fact.


Warren’s high-profile Trump bashing not resonating with everyone

First, it should be noted that U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has a very solid approval rating among constituents in Massachusetts, at 57 percent, according to a summer poll that was released yesterday by Morning Consult, reports SHNS’s Sam Doran at New Boston Post. But she also gets a solid 33 percent disapproval rating from other Massachusetts residents and ranks at number 25 of all U.S. senators in terms of home-state approval ratings. Of New England’s 12 senators, Warren ranked eighth in her approval rating. Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey had a 52 percent approval in his home state and a 20 percent disapproval rating.

New Boston Post

Poll: Clinton up 26 points in Mass.

Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 26 points among likely Massachusetts voters, a WBUR/MassInc poll finds. Clinton earns the support of 54 percent of voters, compared to 28 percent for Trump, 9 percent for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson (whose running mate is former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld) and 4 percent for Green Party hopeful and Lexington resident Jill Stein. The same poll finds Gov. Charlie Baker maintaining sky-high approval numbers (62 percent favorable) and that more than half of those polled believe he deserves a second term.


Moulton angling for Clinton cabinet post?

With his recent high-profile pronouncements on the Islamic State and other foreign policy issues, U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton is stoking rumors about his potential ambitions for higher office, reports the Herald’s Kimberly Atkins: “Moulton’s willingness to challenge even those within his own party — a reputation which began with his successful bid to unseat longtime Democratic U.S. Rep. John Tierney — has spurred speculation that he may seek a role in Clinton’s administration should she win in November.”

Boston Herald

Rosenberg ‘very partial’ to Kerrigan replacing McGee

Senate President Stan Rosenberg appears to have a favorite candidate to replace state Sen. Tom McGee as the Democratic State Committee chairman. Rosenberg said yesterday he is “very partial” to Steve Kerrigan, the lieutenant governor nominee in 2014 who ran the Democratic National Convention in 2012 and who announced his candidacy for the party post on Monday, a day after McGee said he would not seek re-election, reports Andy Metzger at State House News Service (pay wall). “The field isn’t set yet, and I think we should give time so that the field can get set before locking in on any particular position,” said Rosenberg. “(But) I have to say that I am very partial to Steve. I’ve worked closely with him. I think he’s very, very good.”

Other potential candidates include former Fitchburg Mayor Lisa Wong, Gloucester Governor’s Councilor Eileen Duff, Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins and Democratic National Committee members Dave O’Brien, of Concord, and Gus Bickford, of Westford. WGBH’s Mike Deehan has a full run down on all the candidates – and even the non-candidates.

Braintree’s very own Annie Dookhan problem

Hundreds of criminal cases may be tainted as a result of an emerging evidence-room scandal within the Braintree police department. An officer in charge of the evidence room committed suicide earlier this year after he learned of a planned audit of his office – an audit that ultimately revealed missing drugs, guns and money, reports the Globe’s Andrea Estes and Jim O’Sullivan. And now Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey is looking at the possibility of numerous cases being tainted. “We won’t and don’t use tampered evidence. It’s that simple,” Morrissey told the Globe. “We play by the rules, as painful as it is to let some of these people go.” His office has already begun dropping cases tied to the department, WCVB TV is reporting.

As the Globe rightly notes, the case “invites comparisons to the mishandling of drug samples by former state chemist Annie Dookhan. Her widespread tampering with drug evidence forced the dismissal of thousands of cases and the closure of the state forensic lab where she worked.” But let’s not forget good old Sonja Farak, the drug-fueled former chemist at a state crime lab whose antics will also wreak havoc with many cases. What is it about evidence-room and crime-lab technicians these days? Remember the Wall Street Journal dictum: Three examples make a trend.

Meanwhile, Gloucester’s police chief is put on leave

And in other local police department news: Gloucester police Chief Leonard Campanello, who has gained national attention for his department’s treatment-focused approach to battling the opioid crisis, has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation, WCVB is reporting. Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken announced the action without elaboration. Last year, the department launched its “ANGEL” program, in which any addict who walks into the Gloucester Police Department with the remainder of their drug equipment or drugs and asks for help would not be charged with any crime, WCVB notes.

WCVB (video)

Boston puts addiction help a call away

Addicts in Boston seeking help can now use the city’s 311 hotline to social services agencies offering recovery help, WBUR reports. Operators at the hotline—which has traditionally been used to report potholes and other issues—will be connected with professionals at the Boston Public Health Commission’s addiction services agency. “A lot of families… don’t know who they should call or when they should call—they’re desperate,” Mayor Marty Walsh said at the launch of the service.


Glenn Beck cuts his potential losses, settles suit with Boston student

Conservative talk show host Glenn Beck has settled a defamation lawsuit with a Saudi national who was studying in Boston at the time of the Boston Marathon bombings, Josh Gerstein of Politico reports. Last month, the judge in the case ordered Beck to reveal his sources for his claims that Abdulrahman Alharbi was the money man who bankrolled the attacks at the finish line of the iconic race. Details of the lawsuit settlement were not disclosed.


Boston mulls bag ban with statewide implications

A Boston City Council subcommittee held its first public meeting on a possible plastic bag ban and environmentalists say if the city joins the 30-plus communities that already prohibit them, a statewide ban would likely be close behind, Dan Atkinson of the Herald reports. Boston could become a tipping point that makes a single, statewide standard more palatable to retailers and others who have opposed earlier ban bids.

Boston Herald

Judge orders Worcester to build hotel footbridge

Slamming the city for more than a decade of foot dragging, a Superior Court judge is ordering Worcester to build an elevated pedestrian walkway to a downtown hotel, something the city said it would do under a 2003 agreement, Cyrus Moutlon of the Telegram reports. The city has twice started the process of bidding the project—which would connect the Hilton Garden Inn to several other downtown locations—only to run into bids substantially higher than it expected. The project is now expected to cost $10 million.


Let’s hope self-driving cars aren’t your typical Massholes

Boston has signed a deal to test self-driving cars on city streets, perhaps starting within months, under a program by the World Economic Forum to assess the promise of autonomous vehicles and develop policies for the technology, the Herald’s Jordan Graham reports. “If this technology is going to yield benefits for the consumer, we want to make sure it works in the city of Boston,” said Chris Osgood, the city’s chief of streets. It will be a bit strange seeing self-driving cars whirring about the city, but we can take solace in knowing this: They can’t possibly be as dangerous and obnoxious as the average Boston motorist.

Boston Herald

Liberty Mutual Insurance jumps into … lawn mowing and house cleaning?

Boston-based Liberty Mutual’s investment arm is helping to launch a local company called All Set, a startup that’s being described as “Uber for home service providers,” though it seems more like a variation of Angie’s List. BostInno’s Dylan Martin has more on the venture: “Turns out, All Set was actually developed at Solaria Labs, Liberty Mutual’s startup incubator that opened WeWork’s South Station location back in January, according to Liberty Mutual spokesman Glenn Greenberg. And it’s actually the first startup created within Solaria Labs, where All Set is still based, to go to market. All Set’s CEO is Erin Breslin, a former product manager for Amazon in Seattle, and she helped develop All Set originally as a Liberty Mutual employee.”


Today’s Headlines


Chipotle settles with sickened diners – Boston Magazine

Plastic bag ban in Boston could carry statewide – Boston Herald

Hood to pour housing on ex-dairy Boston site – Boston Herald

City Hotline Now Connects Bostonians With Addiction Recovery Services – WBUR

GE picks five teams to tackle Boston’s opioid crisis – Boston Business Journal


Shaquille O’Neal bows out of performing as DJ at The Big E opening night party – MassLive

Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz proposes $1 per hour parking meter fee – MassLive

Judge orders Worcester to build footbridge for downtown hotel – Telegram & Gazette

Charter debate focuses on funding, equity issues – Boston Globe

Out of state bigwigs back charters – Boston Herald

Worcester begins buying water to alleviate droughts conditions – Telegram & Gazette

Protestors ordered to stay away from State House – Cape Cod Times

Taunton officials speak out against Middleboro rail option at MassDOT hearing – Taunton Gazette

WBUR Poll: Clinton Is Trouncing Trump In Mass. – WBUR

Amazon.com is delivering itself to Fall River this week – Standard-Times

Sites food trucks can operate broadened in Lowell – Lowell Sun


Glenn Beck reaches settlement with Saudi student over Boston Marathon accusations – Politico

Record rise in incomes could boost Clinton – Politico

Trump unveils plan to lower child-care costs – Washington Post

Colin Powell Calls Trump A “National Disgrace” In Personal Emails – BuzzFeed News

The Trump Organization’s Secretive Global Financial Web – Newsweek

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