Happening Today

U.S. Rep. Clark at New England Council

U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark speaks to business leaders about recent issues before Congress at a New England Council Congressional Roundtable breakfast, Bank of America, 225 Franklin St., Boston, 8-9 a.m.

MBTA Control Board

The MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board meets to hear Perkins School for the Blind president W. David Power preview an application designed to help visually impaired customers better navigate the transit system, vote on a contract to administer the MBTA advertising program, and discuss commuter rail schedule adjustments and Red Line capacity issues, 10 Park Plaza, suite 3830, Boston, 12 p.m.

Conley Terminal Awards

Gov. Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito attend the Massport Conley Terminal Awards Ceremony, Conley Container Terminal, 940 East First St., Boston, 12:30 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Mass. bucked national trend on painkillers, resisted intense lobbying efforts by drug industry

The Associated Press is singling out the Bay State for its resistance to efforts by deep-pocketed lobbyists backed by drug makers who wanted to water down restrictions on opioids. The AP, in a report at the Cape Cod Times, says drugmakers and related lobbying groups poured at least $122,000 into the coffers of state candidates and parties since 2006 but that the state has still passed some of the country’s toughest restrictions on opioid prescriptions.

Cape Cod Times (AP)

Baker: Patience needed on opioid efforts

Meanwhile, Gov. Charlie Baker says many of the legislative actions taken to address the state’s opioid crisis will take a while to show results, Todd Feathers of the Lowell Sun reports. In an interview focusing on opioids, Baker said the rise of fentanyl use has thrown a monkey wrench into efforts, but he believes over time the state’s moves will curb the crisis. “I’m pretty clear-eyed about the fact that some of this is just going to take awhile to sink in and settle and kind of move the number in the way we want to.”

Lowell Sun

Police evidence handling may need new state standards

As an investigation continues into the bungled handling and likely theft of evidence from the Braintree Police Department, similar issues in Framingham and elsewhere may suggest that the lack of a single statewide standard for how police handle evidence in criminal cases underlie the issues, Neal Simpson of the Patriot Ledger reports. Departments may also lack the manpower and resources needed to voluntarily pursue accreditation, which includes scrutiny of how departments should handle evidence.

Patriot Ledger

Baker’s campaign driver navigates his way to a $130K state job

Can you guess which state agency Charlie Baker’s campaign driver ended up getting a job in? If you guessed the party-hearty Department of Conservation and Recreation, you’d be … wrong. Technically, it’s with the Office of Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, which only oversees DCR, now known for employing more than a handful of politically wired Republicans. The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld has the details.

Boston Herald

Pay to Play, Boston real estate style

It’s long been known that Boston’s torturous zoning laws and building codes allow various civic groups to squeeze developers for everything they can get, from new playgrounds to affordable housing to you name it. But the Globe’s Mark Arsenault and Andrew Ryan show that sometimes civic and church groups settle for just cash to drop their opposition to development projects. A couple grand here, a couple grand there and – poof – away goes the indignation and deep concerns. From the Globe: “The system was laid bare in a Suffolk Superior courtroom this summer in a defamation lawsuit. At the trial, real estate agent Joyce Lebedew alleged that Brian R. Mahoney, longtime leader of an influential civic association, strong-arms developers for money. ‘It is known in South Boston,’ Lebedew said under oath, ‘that if you don’t pay Brian Mahoney cash in an envelope, then your job gets opposed.’ Mahoney, an officer of the St. Vincent Lower End Neighborhood Association, strongly denied taking cash from developers.”

Boston Globe

Three teammates and a cheerleader join high school football player in kneeling during anthem

No matter what your views are on protests during the playing of the national anthem (and we happen to be old school on such matters), you have to admire the guts of the kids at Worcester’s Doherty Memorial High School, where three football teammates and a cheerleader joined Mike Oppong, a junior who refused to stand during the anthem the week prior, in kneeling during the national anthem before Friday night’s game, reports Simon Rios at WBUR. All five are African Americans and are following the lead of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s similar pre-game anthem protests.


Balancing act: Fed pollution rules vs protecting businesses

From the type of paint used in boatbuilding to emissions from laboratory burners, the Baker administration has embarked on what one official describes as a “monumental effort” of attempting to comply with fed pollution regulations while at the same time protecting businesses, reports Christian Wade at the Gloucester Times: “Baker is trying to square the changes with his agenda to lift the weight of ‘onerous’ business regulations. ‘We’re trying to become consistent with federal requirements but also improve the regulations,’ said Marc Wolman, an engineer at the state Department of Environmental Protection.”

Gloucester Times

Baker’s hush-hush conference with Republican governors in Boston

Did you know that Gov. Charlie Baker hosted a multiday meeting of Republican governors last week in Boston? Probably not, because he and his staff kept it all hush-hush, reports the Globe’s Jim O’Sullivan. No mention of the conference of the Republican Governors Association, which spent more than $11 million helping Baker get elected two years ago, was on Baker’s official schedule last week. “It is not the first time since he was elected that Baker did not disclose his attendance at a right-leaning gathering,” reports O’Sullivan.

Boston Globe

Howie: No mercy for Teamsters member

Howie Carr is pulling out the small violin – a very, very small violin – for Mark Harrington, the Teamsters member who last week pleaded guilty to effectively shaking down the crew of the “Top Chef” television show and who’s in line for a surprisingly lenient sentencing deal that a federal judge has subsequently questioned.

Boston Herald

Emissions testing firm with prior spotty record wins new contract

Applus Technologies Inc., which developed the state’s faulty first pass at an auto emissions inspection program, has again won a $29 million, five-year contract to deploy new testing equipment in nearly 2,000 garages, Stephanie Ebbert of the Globe reports. The awarding of the contract raised some eyebrows, since the Globe reported back in 2003 that Applus’ systems were not working accurately for years after first being deployed, but the company said it has since parted ways with a subcontractor and is now building its own testing systems. 

Boston Globe

T exec: Shutdown waits cost only $500K a year

Disputing an assertion by former Transportation Secretary James Alioisi that the T spends some $3.8 million annually on idling and waiting subway trains as the lines shut down each night—enough to fund late-night service—MBTA Chief Operating Officer Jeff Gonneville counters at CommonWealth magazine that the actual cost of the nightly ritual is closer to a half million dollars annually. Gonneville also takes issue with Alioisi’s characterization of the process as haphazard and inefficient, calling it instead a “deliberate, impressive, and well-synchronized process.”  

Alioisi, however, has since issued his own rebuttal of the rebuttal, saying he stands by his original cost estimates and noting that Gonnveille’s figure is not backed with any details.


Rivera will seek second term

Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera announced Saturday he will seek a second term, the Eagle-Tribune reports. Rivera, who won election in 2013 by just 81 votes citywide — and later outlasted a recall effort led by a police official he sought to fire — made the announcement to the Mt. Vernon Neighborhood Association. “I am running because I want to continue fighting for families in every neighborhood to make Lawrence safer,” he said.

Eagle Tribune

Akamai seeks state tax breaks to stay in Cambridge

We’ve heard of tax breaks being used to attract companies and their employees to move to towns and cities. But tax breaks to stay in towns or cities they’re already in? In this case, Akamai Technologies is planning to move into a new 19-story building in Kendall Square, in one of the biggest leasing deals in the Boston area in recent years, but Akamai is seeking an unspecified state tax break for the move, reports the Globe’s Hiawatha Bray and Tim Logan. The Massachusetts Economic Assistance Coordinating Council is slated to vote on the tax credit proposal on Wednesday, the Globe reports.

Boston Globe

Today’s Headlines


Needing community support, some developers pay for it – Boston Globe

Owner of Curious George store in Harvard Square creates petition to save store – MassLive

Education co. eyes state site for expansion – Boston Herald


Dairy farmers squeezed by milk prices, drought – Gloucester Times

With no state standard, local police make their own rules for handling evidence – Patriot Ledger

Mass. pot tax would be way lower than other states – Boston Herald

Baker: Opioid measures will take a while to sink in – Lowell Sun

Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera announces plans to run for second term – Eagle Tribune

Massachusetts bucking efforts to weaken anti-opioid measures – Cape Cod Times


Clinton’s lagging Hispanic support raises concerns about her strategy – Washington Post

Trump’s empire girded with $885 million in tax breaks – New York Times

Testimony of WWII probe of Tribune could go public – Cape Cod Times

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