Happening Today

Mass. Gaming Commission, Capuano and Tsongas on the air, Hacks v. Flacks softball showdown

U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy was scheduled to hold an anti-hate event this morning with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Setti Warren to condemn white supremacist organizations, Newton City Hall. … Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, MBTA Interim General Manager Steve Poftak and elected officials gather at a ribbon cutting to celebrate the completion of the $2.6 million project to improve the commuter rail parking lot in Framingham, 417 Waverly Street, Framingham, 10 a.m. … The Massachusetts Gaming Commission holds a public hearing for feedback on regulations regarding veterinary practices in harness horse racing and slot machine standards, 101 Federal St., 12th floor, Boston, 10 a.m. … The group of senators that has been studying health care cost containment strategies will convene a roundtable discussion with providers, business groups, academics and advocates, Room 428, 11 a.m. … U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano is a guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 12:30 p.m. … U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, who has announced she will not seek re-election in 2018, is a guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 1:30 p.m. … Rep. Tackey Chan, the new House chairman of the Consumer Protections and Professional Licensure Committee, joins the Massachusetts Brewers Guild for a tour of Barrel House Z brewery, 95 Woodrock Rd., East Weymouth, 2 p.m. … Winners of the legislative interns essay contest are honored today at the State House, Nurses Hall, 2 p.m. … Public relations professionals will try to even the score with reporters on the softball diamond this evening in the fourth annual Hacks v. Flacks softball game, Teddy Ebersol Fields, Boston, 7 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Lynch not impressed with new MBTA general manager’s ‘outsider’ credentials

The Baker administration is pumped that it’s been able to attract a private-sector executive to run the troubled MBTA. But U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch isn’t impressed with new T general manager Luis Ramirez’s outsider status, noting that President Trump was also a private-sector outsider before he became a government insider. “We’ve got a president who ran on the basis that he has never done this before, that he was a total outsider and didn’t know the first thing about passing bills or running a government agency, and we’ve got the results there,” says Lynch, according to a report by SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall).

In an editorial, the Herald says such arguments are off base: “We have to wonder, were these ‘concern trolls’ around for the Beverly Scott Era? If so then they know that Scott came to the T in 2012 positively dripping in ‘transit experience’ — at no fewer than seven transit agencies, from Rhode Island to California. She left two and a half years later with the agency in near-ruins.”

Meanwhile, Meghna Chakrabarti and Kathleen McNerney at WBUR take a look at Ramirez’s business “turnaround” record and report that there’s “substantial disagreement” whether Ramirez really turned around one company.

Beacon Hill’s warchest inequality gap

Fifteen percent of the lawmakers on Beacon Hill are carrying a negative balance in their campaign accounts heading into next year’s legislative elections – i.e. they’re broke, in debt, in the red, owe money, whatever you want to call it. Meanwhile, SHNS’s Matt Murphy at the Lowell Sun reports that the usual suspects, or mostly those in leadership positions, have positive six-figure balances in their warchests, according to the latest campaign finance reports. Matt has all the stats and names.

Lowell Sun

Permit approved: ‘No bats. No sticks. No backpacks’

The city of Boston, very reluctantly, has approved a weekend rally permit for the ‘Boston Free Speech Coalition,’ a loose confederation of right-wing groups and individuals determined to hold a rally on Boston Common in the wake of the Charlottesville violence this past weekend. The city has attached all sorts of restrictions to the permit, including, as the Globe’s Meghan Irons reports: “No bats. No sticks. No backpacks.” Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin reports even food and clothing vendors are banned from the Common on Saturday.

The Herald’s Dan Atkinson writes that issuance of the permit has convinced alt-right activist Kyle Chapman, who previously backed out of the event, to to sign back on to appear at the rally. Kristin LaFratta at MassLive has more on the rally — and on who will and won’t appear. Meanwhile, WBUR reports that John Medlar, a spokesman for the event, swears his group is not affiliated with the people behind the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.

Hate groups in Massachusetts: Oh, they’re here, all right

As the city braces for this weekend’s controversial rally on Boston Common, the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified 12 right-wing hate groups in Massachusetts, including, as the Globe reports, the “neo-Nazi Gallows Tree Wotansvolk Alliance; the racist skinhead Aryan Strikeforce; the anti-LGBT Mass Resistance and Abiding Truth Ministries; and the anti-Muslim ACT for America.” And don’t forget that the Daily Stormer has two chapters here, or should we call them news bureaus?

Antifa’s useful purpose

Speaking of hate groups of a different sort, the Globe’s Michael Levenson has a piece on the rise of the anarchist/left-wing “brigades of black-clad” activists determined to meet violence with violence in confrontations with right-wing groups. But you know what? As contemptible as Antifa may be, it’s mere existence has served a useful purpose of drawing out President Trump’s views on racism and extremism. So it’s unintentionally performed a public service this past week.

Boston Globe

‘GE’s Immelt: I quit Trump council before president disbanded it’

We went with the BBJ’s actual headline because, well, it tells it like it is, in terms of General Electric announcing that its chairman, Jeff Immelt, had actually quit President Trump’s manufacturing advisory board before the president pulled the plug on the council in a huff yesterday. Greg Ryan at the BBJ has the details. And WGBH has more on Trump’s disbanding of two business groups in the wake of Charlottesville.


Baker is sticking with Trump’s opioid commission

CEOs may have abandoned ship following President Trump’s ‘both sides’ comments on Charlottesville. But Gov. Charlie Baker isn’t – for now. From SHNS’s Matt Murphy: “Gov. Charlie Baker proclaimed himself ‘deeply disappointed’ in President Donald Trump’s response to the white nationalist violence in Virginia over the weekend, but the Republican governor’s office said he would continue to serve on the White House’s opioid task force in spite of his differences with the president. … ‘The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to battling the opioid epidemic here in the Commonwealth and will continue to collaborate with the bipartisan commission to make more life-saving resources available at all levels of government to fight the epidemic,’ (according to an administration statement).”

SHNS (pay wall)

But how much longer will Boston’s John Kelly last at the White House?

The Washington Post reports that’s Boston’s very own John F. Kelly, the president’s new chief of staff, is “deeply frustrated and dismayed” by the uproar caused by the President Trump’s combative stand on the violence in Charlottesville. The Globe’s Joan Vennochi wonders where the red line is for Kelly and others working for Donald Trump.

Washington Post

Ex-Suffolk University president compares herself to ousted White House chief Reince Priebus

Speaking of John Kelly, former Suffolk University president Margaret McKenna, who was ousted from her post after barely 12 months on the job, sees parallels between her fate and that of Reince Priebus, the ousted White House chief of staff, noting they were both fired on July 28 (a year apart) and both were replaced by people with the last name Kelly, the Globe’s Laura Krantz reports. … And did you know that Abraham Lincoln’s secretary was named Kennedy and that John F. Kennedy’s secretary was named Lincoln? And did you know …

Boston Globe

Besides boarding up Confederate memorial on Georges Island, what else can the state do?

The memorial to the 13 Confederate soldiers who died on Georges Island in Boston Harbor during the Civil War has been boarded up, as Universal Hub reported earlier this week (with a photo). But now the hard part comes: What to do with the boarded up memorial? As Louise Kennedy reports at WBUR, it’s not a simple matter and involves getting approvals from the Massachusetts Historical Commission, which is overseen by Secretary of State William Galvin. Kennedy explains.


Palmer gives green light to potential $5M medical marijuana greenhouse

From SHNS (pay wall): “A Colorado-based company planning a $5 million medical marijuana growing and processing facility in Massachusetts cleared a key hurdle with the Palmer Town Council on Monday night. The council voted 7-0 to issue a letter of support for Altitude Organic Corporation’s plan to retrofit a 10,000 square foot building on Chamber Road and add a 13,000 square foot ‘light deprivation’ greenhouse.” MassLive has more on the council action and Altitude Organic’s plans.

Hydro-electricity is still worth it, even if it costs more than power generated by fossil fuels

Ron Gerwatowski, the state’s former assistant secretary for energy and a former executive at National Grid, says news that hydro-power from Quebec might cost a little more than expected – and cost more than electricity generated by natural gas and oil-fired power plants – isn’t alarming at all. Hydro-power is still a great deal – and, btw, clean-energy sources were never supposed to compete in prices with carbon-burning fossil fuels anyway, he writes at CommonWealth.


Kathy Kelley, first woman to lead Boston Teachers Union, RIP

From SHNS at the Dorchester Reporter: “Labor officials this week will mourn Kathy Kelley, who was president of the Boston Teachers Union and the longtime president of the American Federation of Teachers chapter in Massachusetts. Kelley died Sunday at the age of 72. There will be a wake Thursday and a funeral Mass on Friday in Dorchester.” The Globe’s Emily Sweeney has more on Kelly’s life and groundbreaking career.

Dorchester Reporter

Report: Business groups lack leverage in talks to avert paid-leave ballot question

Lawmakers have urged business groups and supporters of paid-leave to try to hammer out a compromise on the thorny issue, rather than letting the dispute be decided by voters in a statewide referendum. But RaiseUp Massachusetts, a coalition of labor, religious and community groups, has a district advantage in negotiations: If a compromise can’t be reached, it can simply move forward with the ballot measure it drew up — and it’s confident it will pass, reports Greg Ryan at the BBJ.


State Police helicopter nearly hit by drone

From the Eagle Tribune: “A state police helicopter nearly collided with a drone in the vicinity of Lawrence Municipal Airport (Wednesday) morning, officials said. … While flying at 600 feet, the helicopter’s crew saw a large drone approach them from the side, flying toward the area in front of the helicopter. The drone came within 100 feet of the helicopter before suddenly dropping to the ground.”

Eagle Tribune

New England’s ‘nightmare scenario’: A major storm endangering area food supply

With climate change potentially wreaking havoc on future weather patterns, many urban planners are becoming increasingly concerned that a Hurricane Sandy-like storm could flood railroad tracks, roadways and, perhaps most importantly, the low-lying New England Produce Center, causing critical food-supply disruptions in the region. Yasmin Amer and Bob Oakes at WBUR have the details.


Galvin launches probe of possible stock exchange ‘kickbacks’

Reacting to a recent NYT op-ed about how brokers choose stock exchanges based on whether they pay “rebates” to brokers for making trades, Secretary of State William Galvin’s office is now probing A.) whether such rebates actually exist and B.) whether they’re a form of kickbacks that can harm clients that are supposed to be represented by brokers, the BBJ is reporting.


Young Government Leaders Social Hour in Allston


Creating VR Experiences With Simmetri

Brookline Interactive Group

Millionaire Mind Intensive

46th Annual FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS in Chatham

First United Methodist Church Chatham

150th Annual Marshfield Fair 2017

Marshfield Fairgrounds

Cook for Charity: Amaka Ubaka in Chestnut Hill


Today’s Headlines


Permit approved for ‘Free Speech’ rally on Boston Common – MassLive


Massachusetts State Police helicopter nearly hit by drone – MassLive

Galvin’s office probes possible kickbacks to brokers – BBJ

Bay State hospital execs see double-digit pay increases – BBJ


Trump Disbands 2 Business Advisory Councils After String Of Resignations – WGBH

Sessions makes sweeping attack on Chicago’s sanctuary city policy – Washington Post

China and India are dangerously close to military conflict in the Himalayas – Washington Post

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