Crosby at MassEcon
Massachusetts Gaming Commission chair Stephen Crosby is the featured speaker at MassEcon’s September members meeting, 200 Friberg Pkwy. – 2nd floor conference room, Westborough, 8:30 a.m.
Treasurer Deb Goldberg holds her annual performance recognition awards ceremony, Room 222, 2 p.m.
Gov. Charlie Baker says reports that members of his administration attempted to retaliate against a state employee whose fiancé was challenging a sitting Republican senator are “unbelievably disturbing.” From the Globe’s Joshua Miller: “Baker, voice anguished, said, ‘No one in our administration should ever, ever threaten anybody [for] engag[ing] in civic endeavors as a private citizen. Period. And I take that type of allegation really seriously.” But the Herald is reporting this morning that the administration apparently took its time in taking the allegation seriously, waiting nearly three months before launching an investigation into the charges that GOP loyalists were retaliating against the state employee whose fiancé, a Democrat, was running against a Republican.
What a mess. Btw: Howie Carr reviews the long tradition of Massachusetts governors finding their campaign drivers cushy jobs in state government, including Baker’s very own Jim McGinn, who’s now at the center of the controversy at the embattled Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
Your student-loan dollars at work: Springfield College’s ex-president awarded $4.1M payout
From the Globe’s Laura Krantz: “Former Springfield College president Richard B. Flynn shepherded the small private school through 14 years of growth and prosperity, and for that the school wanted to thank him. So after Flynn retired in 2013, he was handsomely rewarded — with $4.1 million. That payment of deferred compensation is 12 times his base salary in his final year on the job, according to tax documents filed this year with the state.” Needless to say, some people aren’t happy about Flynn’s going-away present, which, as Krantz notes, is the equivalent of the combined tuition of 87 full-paying students.
UMass enrollment surges to record level
Speaking of local higher-ed institutions, enrollment at the five University of Massachusetts campus has soared by 27 percent over the past decade and this year exceeded 74,000 students for the first time, reports SHNS’s Michael Norton at the Patriot Ledger. “UMass continues to grow as more and more students and their families recognize the value that our university provides,” UMass President Martin Meehan said in a statement. By value he obviously means lower tuition prices at UMass compared to what parents and students are charged at private schools such as, oh, Springfield College.
Healey’s crackdown on copycat assault weapons heads to court
The controversy over Attorney General Maura Healey’s crackdown on ‘copycat’ assault weapons is not going away soon. The firearms industry and gun shop owners have filed a suit in federal court claiming Healey’s edict is unconstitutional, reports the Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert. A Healey spokeswoman says the attorney general had the legal authority to issue the order, which she said is already showing signs of curbing the sale of copycat assault weapons in Massachusetts.
New solar incentives are coming
The Baker administration plans to unveil a new solar power incentive program today, hoping to strike a compromise among those who feel solar incentives should be reduced as costs fall and those who want to continue to foster its adoption, Bruce Mohl of CommonWealth Magazine reports. The proposal would call for the development of 1,600 megawatts of new solar power.
Walsh is more popular than even Baker, if you believe this Kremlin-like poll
Internal polling shows that Mayor Marty Walsh has a favorability rating of 74 percent across the city of Boston, higher than Gov. Charlie Baker’s recent 70 percent approval rating across the state, the Globe’s Frank Phillips reports. The mayoral survey was conducted in house. The gubernatorial survey was conducted by Morning Consult.
Make what you will of Walsh’s polling. The numbers sound conveniently high heading into next year’s city elections. But even if you shave off 20 points, it would still put Walsh in a good re-election position. They also indicate, as Phillips notes, that Walsh has so far made it through recent controversies at City Hall, including the U.S. Attorney’s probe into the administration’s union dealings.
Walsh backs his commissioner
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh yesterday voiced confidence in Police Commissioner William Evans, who is taking flack for recent comments that have upset some in the city’s minority community, Dan Atkinson of the Herald reports. Evans this week backed an officer seen manhandling a pedestrian in Kenmore Square and also railed against a Supreme Judicial Court ruling that essentially said racial profiling exists in Boston, prompting some community activists to suggest it may be time for Evans to go. But Walsh is standing by is man. “He has my full confidence and support as police commissioner,” Walsh siad. “Hopefully, for as long as I’m in this position he’s willing to be police commissioner.”
Elizabeth Warren calls for Wells Fargo firing investigation
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is one of eight lawmakers calling on the Department of Labor to investigate the firing of more than 5,000 employees at Wells Fargo bank, Ahiza Garcia of CNN reports. The employees were let go after revelations that some two million fake bank accounts had been created to help the bank meet growth targets. Earlier this week, Warren lambasted Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf at a Washington hearing and called on him to resign and repay millions of dollars in bonuses paid to executives based on the fudged numbers.
As evidence scandal roils, Braintree police chief to retire
Braintree Police Chief Russell Jenkins informed city officials he will retire on Oct. 7, adding further confusion to a department already consumed by a controversy over the mishandling of evidence, Fred Hanson of the Patriot Ledger reports. Jenkins did not give a reason for his decision to retire now.
Amazon boosts hiring target for Fall River
E-retail powerhouse Amazon opened the doors of its sprawling Fall River distribution center this week and now says it will double the size of its workforce there to as many as 1,000 employees, Kevin P. O’Connor reports at the Herald News. Amazon had initially dangled the prospect of a thousand jobs, but backed off that figure after saying the new facility would focus on handling and shipping larger packages. Now it’s talking again about 1,000 employees.
Still among the worst
Nothing to be proud of here: Massachusetts continues to rank among the worst states in overall highway performance and cost-effectiveness, according to a new report by the Reason Foundation, reports SHNS’s Colin Young and Michael Norton at Wicked Local. The Bay State ranks 46th in overall performance, higher than only Alaska, New Jersey, Hawaii and Rhode Island. The report grades state highway systems in a number of categories, from pavement condition to deficient bridges to spending per-mile. One very good piece of news: Massachusetts has the lowest rate of fatal crashes in the country.
Honoring police bravery
As Gov. Charlie Baker notes, the word “extraordinary” pops to mind when you read the state’s official list of police officers who yesterday were awarded medals for their bravery at an annual ceremony at the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial. Baker awarded medals to 22 police officers from six police departments, including Boston, Webster, Chelsea, Tewksbury, Bourne and the Massachusetts State Police, reports MassLive’s Gintautas Dumcius. “The stories we will all hear today are extraordinary,” Baker said before handing out the awards. “The mundane can turn into mayhem at a moment’s notice.” Check out the list of the George L. Hanna Award winners – and what they did to earn their medals — when you have a chance.
Eric Rosengren: Pragmatist
MASSsterList starts a new feature today on our Facebook page: running periodic items that we find interesting but, for whatever reasons, didn’t make it into our morning email blast. Yesterday, we posted an item on Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. The Globe’s Deidre Fernandes took a look at Rosengren’s current support for raising a key Fed interest rate, something he previously opposed when the economy was still recovering from the Great Recession. Is Rosengren being inconsistent? Nope. He’s just being pragmatic. We explain at MASSterList Facebook.
Sunday public affairs TV
Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. Jon Keller welcomes guest House Speaker Robert DeLeo, who will discuss “liberal dissent” in the Legislature, the Baker administration coming under fire after recent controversies and his take on the November ballot questions.
On The Record, WCVB TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Mayor Marty Walsh, who talks with anchor Ed Harding and State House reporter Janet Wu.
This Week in Business, NECN, 11 a.m. Ed Kaye, interim CEO of Sarepta Therapeutics Inc., talks about the company’s experimental drug for Duchenne muscular dystrophy that’s caused a surge in the firm’s share prices; Michael Carucci, EVP Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty, discusses Boston’s high-end real estate market; and Shirley Leung of the Boston Globe on the Fed’s interest rate policies, the Wells Fargo controversy and other issues.
CEO Corner, NECN, 11:30 a.m. Robert DeSalvio, president of Wynn Boston Harbor, brings viewers up to date on the construction of the $2.1 billion dollar casino project in Everett.
CityLine, WCVB TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes, this week’s focus: Queen of Katwe, Bessie Stringfield, and BLIFF.
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