Happening Today

SJC nominee hearing, criminal justice retreat, Summer Nights Initiative

Public Health Council get updates on Boston Children’s Hospital’s community health initiatives associated with its expansion project and on mosquito-borne diseases, 250 Washington St., 9 a.m. … State Auditor Suzanne Bump moderates a panel discussion on recent financial issues at the Association of Government Accountants Professional Development Training, Hynes Convention Center, 9:10 a.m. … The Governor’s Council plans to host a confirmation hearing on Gov. Charlie Baker’s latest pick for the Supreme Judicial Court, Appeals Court Chief Justice Scott Kafker, Council Chamber, Room 360, 9:30 a.m. … House Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets holds an oversight hearing, Hearing Room A-2, 10:30 a.m. … The Senate holds a private retreat on criminal justice reform, UMass Club, Boston, 10 a.m. … The House has an informal session tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, 11 a.m. … Health Policy Commission‘s Advisory Council meets to discuss data regarding health spending trends in Massachusetts and the nation, 50 Milk St., 8th floor, 12 p.m. … Opponents of President Donald Trump’s proposed EPA budget cuts plan to hold a “Save the EPA” bake sale demonstration outside the Massachusetts EPA office, 5 Post Office Square, 12 p.m. … Gov. Charlie Baker joins Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, local legislators and otheers to announce the 2017 Summer Nights Initiative, Roberts Park – Basketball Courts, 63 Wentworth St, Boston, 1:30 p.m. … Former Gov. Michael Dukakis is a guest on ‘Greater Boston’ WGBH-TV Ch. 2, 7 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Tufts Medical nurses go on strike

After a last-ditch bargaining session failed yesterday, more than 1,000 Tufts Medical Center nurses launched a 24-hour strike this morning, triggering a multi-day lockout by the hospital, which has brought in hundreds of replacement nurses to keep the center operating. NECN has a video of the first minutes of the strike, showing hundreds of nurses and spectators outside the Chinatown hospital.

The Globe’s Priyanka Dayal McCluskey reports talks broke down after the two sides couldn’t reach agreement on one last item: Pensions. The Herald’s Lindsay Kalter has more on yesterday’s failed talks and what lies ahead.


Junior channeling Fredo: ‘I can handle things! I’m smart! Not like everybody says’

A positive sign that the nation’s mental health is improving: People are now actually laughing at the almost imbecilic antics of Donald Trump Jr., following revelations yesterday of his ‘I love it’ emails tied to his meeting with a Russian operative. The Globe’s Ty Burr notes the eerie similarities between Junior and Fredo ‘I’m smart’ Corleone in the Godfather II movie. Of course, we can’t forget Michael’s ‘you’re nothing to me now’ admonishment to Fredo, also in Godfather II.

Meanwhile, the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld isn’t making Godfather connections, but rather making connections to the long line of presidential relatives who have embarrassed White House occupants over the years, dating back to Jimmy Carter. 

Pence channeling LBJ: ‘This is the only chance I got’

Meanwhile, the Globe’s Renée Graham sees a little bit of LBJ is Vice President Mike Pence, who Renée says “always looks like he’s humming ‘Hail to the Chief’ to himself.” His calculated acceptance of the vice presidential nomination sure looks like amazing prescience today.

Boston Globe


There’s one person not laughing at Donald Trump Jr.’s antics this morning: U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, who has tweeted: “If this isn’t treasonous, I’m not sure what is.” NECN has more on the reaction of Moulton, U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III and U.S. Sen. Ed Markey.


It’s official: Geoff Diehl is running

It’s not a surprise, but it’s still news: State Rep. Geoff Diehl, a Republican who’s been criss-crossing the state of late to gauge support for a potential run against U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, has told WRKO’s Jason Kushner that he’s running and then confirmed it later on Twitter. The announcement is expected on August 1.

Lawmakers push crackdown on prescription-drug prices

State lawmakers want to shame pharmaceutical companies into lowering their sky-high prescription drug prices, via new legislation that would “pinpoint and investigate the costliest medications from inhalers to diabetes treatments,” reports the Herald’s Lindsay Kalter. The idea is that price transparency will change behavior. But here’s the question: What if they can’t be shamed?

Boston Herald

Can Massachusetts learn from Italy how to control drug prices?

As Beacon Hill lawmakers try to shame drug companies into lowering prices, the NYT has a piece about how life-science companies are now making money-back guarantees to health-care insurers – including Harvard Pilgrim Health Care – if their products don’t work as promised. Sounds great. But Italy tried the same program and it didn’t work, the Times reports. Instead, Italy’s health-care system cleverly turned the tables on companies: No reimbursements unless their products work on a case-by-case basis.


Can Massachusetts learn from Rhode Island on how to control health-care costs?

Meanwhile, as Beacon Hill lawmakers debate how to control health-care costs in general, David Leonhardt at the NYT has advice for policymakers everywhere: Take a look at what’s happening in Rhode Island, where there’s bi-partisan support for controlling Medicaid costs via an approach that’s winning praise from the conservative Wall Street Journal and the liberal Center for American Progress. 


Healey: Home health operators swiped $3M from Medicaid

Of course, there’s Attorney General Maura Healey’s tried-and-true approach toward controlling Medicaid costs: Arrest the swindlers, as was the case yesterday when two people were charged with allegedly defrauding MassHealth out of nearly $3 million, reports the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett.


Cariddi’s parting gift puzzles

Late Rep. Gailanne Cariddi left the North Adams library a nearly  $7,500 donation upon her death in June, funds that come with a puzzling restriction—the cash can only be used for materials relating to astronomy, a subject even her closes political allies don’t recall her broaching much. Adam Shanks of the Berkshire Eagle has the details. 

Berkshire Eagle

The shadows looming over booming Boston

Did Secretary of State Bill Galvin read yesterday’s NYT piece on how Boston’s building boom is threatening the city’s quaintness and its historic sites and waterfront? Probably not. But Galvin did ask lawmakers yesterday to delay a key vote on the so-called “shadow law” that would allow the controversial Winthrop Square tower project to proceed, reports Tim Logan at the Globe.

As for the NYT piece, reporter Katharine Seelye takes a look at the proposed “shadow law” – and how the Winthrop Square tower and other projects may be pushing the city “down a road of no return by trading away, one piece at a time, its intangible assets, like sunlight on its signature parks and public access to its gleaming waterfront.”

Boston pushes developers to create more open space

Now here’s an irony: As Mayor Walsh pushes the “shadow law” on Beacon Hill that some say threatens the Boston Common and Public Garden, the administration is pushing developers to build more parks and open space, reports the Globe’s Tim Logan. Isn’t this something that should have been done a decade ago?

Btw: Massport was definitely thinking ahead, by quietly building early last decade a pedestrian tunnel that will soon link a planned Seaport hotel with the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Did you know that such a tunnel even existed? We didn’t. The Globe’s Shirley Leung has the details.

Quincy Market lease in Walsh’s crosshairs

The jugglers can stay—for now. The Walsh administration is ready to play hardball with the operators of Quincy Market, seeking to renegotiate the company’s lease on the tourist destination even though the current agreement doesn’t expire for another 57 years, Colman Herman reports in CommonWealth Magazine. 


Governor signs rushed bill to compensate lawyers for the poor

From Maria Cramer at the Globe: “Massachusetts lawmakers Tuesday swiftly approved $26.1 million in retroactive funds that would compensate private lawyers who represent the poor and had gone without pay for weeks. Governor Charlie Baker later signed the bill.”

Boston Globe

Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera’s surprisingly tough re-election bid

As Ted Sieffer notes at CommonWealth, a lot of things are going right for the city of Lawrence these days – falling unemployment, improving schools, rising revenues and credit ratings. But three things are working against Mayor Daniel Rivera’s re-election bid: Crime, seven opponents vying for the job (including wily ex-Mayor William Lantigua) and the perception that the Hispanic Rivera is out of touch with the Hispanic community.


Think you know your trivia? Prove it

WGBH’s Mike Deehan hosts WGBH News Trivia Night tomorrow evening at the station’s studio at the Boston Public Library, starting at 6 p.m. The trivia contest will cover a wide variety of topics, but, for all you political junkies, it will also include a healthy dose of local and national politics and maybe some political history. More info available at the event’s Facebook page.

Facebook (WGBH News)

Election machine start-up raises $18M from Peter Lynch, Michael Porter and others

Some high-profile investors – including legendary ex-Fidelity manager Peter Lynch, Harvard professor Michael Porter and Endeca’s founder Steve Papa – have invested in Clear Ballot, a Boston startup that makes advanced voting machines and accompanying software, reports Kelly O’Brien at the BBJ. It must be one hell of a voting machine.


Kaspersky software booted from GSA list

The Government Services Administration is urging agencies not to use computer security software made by Woburn-based Kaspersky Lab because of the company’s Russian links, Eric Geller of Politico reports. The company called it “completely unacceptable” that it was being “unjustly accused without any hard evidence.” Last month, the Herald reported that federal investigators were sniffing around Kaspersky premises.


Campaign Rally and Kick Off

Yvonne Spicer – Candidate for Mayor of Framingham

Happy Hour with a Cause

The Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance Young Professionals Group (MHSA YPG)

The Fierce Urgency of Now or Else


Today’s Headlines


Tito Jackson bashes Mayor Marty Walsh over Boston violent crime – Boston Herald

50 at troubled UMass Boston take buyouts – Boston Globe

Plan provides road map for what Boston should look like in 2030 – WBUR


Fidelity lays off hundreds following buyouts – Boston Business Journal

Mayor signs city’s submission for Lowell High project – Lowell Sun

Topsfield fire captain to become North Shore’s first female chief – Salem News

Officials seeking to boost support for Foxboro train – Sun-Chronicle

UMass Trustees to set tuition, fee rates Monday in Worcester – MassLive

Northampton Mayor David Narcewicz endorses Setti Warren’s gubernatorial bid – MassLive


Senate GOP plans to try again with revised health bill – New York Times

Five questions raised by the Trump Jr. email – The Hill

White House plunges into chaos as Trump fumes over fallout from son’s Russia revelations – Washington Post

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