Happening Today

Field of Dreams, total eclipse, Trump to address nation

Gov. Charlie Baker attends Action for Boston Community Development’s Field of Dreams, Fenway Park, Boston, 12:45 p.m. … On Monday the moon will draw a shadow from the Pacific to the Atlantic coasts in the first total solar eclipse in the United States since 1979 and the first total eclipse to span the whole country since 1918, leading up to and following 2:45 p.m. … Republican U.S. Senate candidate Shiva Ayyadurai, who agreed to be one of the speakers at this past Saturday’s right-wing rally in Boston, attends a Salem Republican City Committee meeting, Salem Willows Yacht Club, 190 Fort Ave., Salem. … Treasurer Deborah Goldberg is a guest on “NightSide with Dan Rea,” WBZ NewsRadio 1030, 8 p.m. … President Donald Trump will make a nationally televised, prime-time address to the nation on his new Afghanistan policy, 9 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Restaurant owners push to maintain discriminatory, ridiculously expensive liquor-license system

The Globe’s Janelle Nanos and Dan Adams report that restaurant owners are opposing a proposal to create 150 low-cost liquor licenses for the city, saying it would be unfair and “water down the value of their existing licenses, which are often a restaurant’s biggest asset.”

So it’s the duty of government to prop up the value of those assets? Low-cost licenses are probably just what consumers – not license holders – need, especially in lower-income neighborhoods where there are few, if any, liquor licenses.

Boston Globe

Satanists threaten legal hell if not allowed to give City Council invocation

Satanists are raising hell again over the Boston City Council’s pre-meeting prayers. From Dan Atkinson at the Herald: “Satanists are again asking city councilors to let them lead the elected body’s opening invocation, and say a lawsuit could be in the cards if they don’t get the chance to say their prayers. In a letter sent yesterday to Council President Michelle Wu and the entire council, Satanic Temple Boston chapter head Travis LeSaffre calls for one of his group’s members to lead the prayer that begins every council meeting.”

Boston Herald

Lindstrom to run for U.S. Senate, activates Trump deflector shield

Longtime Republican operative Beth Lindstrom is indeed running for U.S. Senate – and it looks like she’ll be running as much against Republican President Donald Trump as she is against Democratic incumbent Elizabeth Warren, reports the Globe’s Jim O’Sullivan and the Herald’s Hillary Chabot. In a press release, Lindstrom, a moderate Republican, takes shots at President Trump and his handling of post-Charlottesville events.  

Needless to say, Lindstrom’s candidacy may also help moderate Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, who most certainly doesn’t want a pro-Trump Republican, such as Geoff Diehl or Shiva Ayyadurai, running as the GOP’s senate nominee and on the same statewide ticket as Baker next year.

Video of Shiva Ayyadurai at Saturday’s rally praising ‘true patriots’

Speaking of Senate candidate Shiva Ayyadurai, RealClearPolitics got hold of one of the few videos of right-wingers actually speaking at Saturday’s rally on Boston Common, where police kept reporters and counterdemonstrators far away from the small band of alt-right types gathered at the bandstand. Featured in the video is Ayyadurai, a Republican, pronouncing that “all of us here are in many ways true patriots” and blasting Joe Biden, Harry Reid and Jimmy Carter etc. etc. The rally was all about free speech, Ayyadurai asserts in the video.

India New England reports how a coalition of Indian-American groups is condemning Shiva Ayyadurai’s appearance at the rally. Ayyadurai is a native off India.


‘Peace prevails in Boston as rally plays out’

Actually, it wasn’t quite that peaceful (see next post), but Saturday’s small and mercifully brief right-wing rally on Boston Common will be remembered for a long time, hopefully, for the tens of thousands of counterdemonstrators who showed up to peacefully protest racism, anti-Semitism and other divisive messages following the previous weekend’s tragic violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Boston Herald and Boston Magazine have good coverage of day overall. … The Globe’s Big Picture, not surprisingly, has some great photos from the rally and counter-rallies. … Universal Hub also has dozens of photos from the day’s events. … Among others, NECN has video of the gatherings. … The Globe’s Renée Graham writes about how “Boston was about pride, not division” on Saturday, while the Globe’s Adrian Walker praises the “resounding display of unity and harmony.” … WGBH’s Peter Kadzis has eight thoughts on Saturday, one of which is about how easily events could have spun out of control, if not for the action of police and others. … Both police and the vast majority of counterdemonstrators are being commended for their actions, the Globe reports.

The president’s fixation on lefties …

So tens of thousands of fellow Americans peacefully rally on Boston Common to protest a small band of right-wing nutcases – but who does President Trump focus on? The small minority of left-wing nutcases. From the president’s tweets, as reported by the Globe: “Looks like many anti-police agitators in Boston. Police are looking tough and smart! Thank you. Great job by all law enforcement officers and Boston Mayor.” Tells you about how his mind works and what he sees – and doesn’t see.

Boston Globe

… though there were lefty troublemakers on Saturday

Troubles at the otherwise peaceful rally and counter-rallies on Saturday mostly occurred after the official event ended and people were starting to drift home, according to media reports. Thirty-three people were arrested, four of them with weapons, according to a report at the Boston Globe. … CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl has more on the after-rally tensions. … Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin has a brief report on rocks apparently being thrown at police and reports of pepper spray being used. … WGBH has a series of short videos showing tense confrontations between police and left-wing protestors in Downtown Crossing. … Mayor Walsh estimated that there were about 200 determined counter-demonstrators causing most of the grief. “They were just there to start trouble,” Walsh told WCVB News. “They were throwing bottles, they were throwing urine at police officers.” … MassLive’s Dan Glaun has his own video of the confusion and tension following the rally, including a shot of a bleeding man being led away from one confrontation. … At the Boston Herald, former Mayor Ray Flynn is praising Boston police for their handling of crowds in general on Saturday. As far as we can determine, they definitely deserve the praise. Events could have easily spun out of control, as Peter Kadzis noted.

‘Free speech took a back seat to public safety’

Media critic Dan Kennedy makes two important points: 1.) Police had a very difficult job at Saturday’s rally and counter-rallies on Boston Common but 2.) He questions the policy of keeping reporters so far away from the right-wing speakers at the rally. At minimum, police should have allowed credentialed pool reporters to get closer to the bandstand. Meanwhile, the Globe’s Beth Healy touches on many of the same media/public access issues.

Dan Kennedy

Oliver on Boston: ‘They only just got unracist yesterday

File under “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”: Yes, comedian John Oliver was only cracking a joke (sort of), just as SNL comedian Michael Che was only making a joke (sort) about Boston’s racist past and image. But Oliver does bring up an interesting point in the aftermath of Saturday’s huge counterdemonstrations over the weekend: Did Boston, which only a short while ago underwent a near nervous breakdown over one lone fan’s racial taunts at Fenway Park, suddenly flip a switch and become ‘unracist’ over the weekend, to use Oliver’s phrase, as reported by the Globe’s Jaclyn Reiss? Answer: No, because the city isn’t as racist or unracist as regularly portrayed by the media and comedians.

Boston Globe

Romney to Trump: Apologize for post-Charlottesville reaction

It’s not going to happen. Still, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, before this past weekend’s rally in Boston, was urging President Trump to apologize for causing “racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn” over the president’s reaction to the violence in Charlottesville, reports the New York Times. Here’s Romney’s Facebook statement in full. 


While Koh leaves mayor’s office to run for Congress …

He’s going for it. After two weeks of speculation, the 32-year-old Daniel Koh, described as the “wunderkind” chief of staff to Mayor Marty Walsh, is indeed leaving his City Hall post to run for next year’s open seat now held by retiring U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, reports the Globe’s Milton Valencia and the Herald’s Matt Stout. Koh is moving back to the 3rd District to qualify for what’s expected to be a crowded and expensive race.

… Sweeney steps in as Walsh’s new chief of staff

Daniel Koh’s replacement at City Hall is a familiar face to many on Beacon Hill. David Sweeney, the city’s current chief financial officer, will be appointed Mayor Walsh’s new chief of staff after Koh leaves to run for Congress, reports Jennifer Smith at the Dorchester Reporter. The Herald’s Dan Atkinson reports that Sweeney, a Dorchester resident, is a former budget director at the State House and ex-CFO of the state Lottery.

Dorchester Reporter

Home sellers could be required to disclose lead in drinking-water pipes

A bill filed by state Rep. Russell Holmes and backed by a dozen lawmakers would require home sellers to disclose lead in plumbing and drinking water pipes, reports Christian Wade at the Eagle Tribune. For decades, homeowners have been required to inform potential buyers about lead paint or plaster detected in home tests, but that mandate currently doesn’t apply to pipes.

Eagle Tribune

New Hampshire definitely has us beat on this one: Rest stops that are actually open

This is embarrassing to the commonwealth, which, as the Globe’s Brian MacQuarrie notes, isn’t exactly doing a great job keeping public rest stops open – and clean. By comparison, New Hampshire looks like it actually cares about such things. 

Boston Globe

Healey: Opening up offshore areas to drilling could ‘devastate’ fishing industry

Attorney General Maura Healey is opposing the creation of a new federal offshore oil and gas leasing program, saying in a filing that offshore drilling could lead to oil spills that could “devastate” Massachusetts’ commercial fishing industry, harm the state’s economy as a whole and wreak havoc on the environment, the Associated Press reports at CBS Boston.

CBS Boston

Barnstable County jail deaths under investigation

The apparent suicide deaths of two inmates at the Barnstable County House of Corrections has sparked an investigation and some inside the jail are saying recent policy and supervision changes may underlie the deaths, K.C. Myers of the Cape Cod Times reports. 

Cape Cod Times

In this corner: Lawrence boxers take political pugilism to new levels

Was it fixed? Does it matter? Saturday night saw mayoral candidate William Green literally square off against outspoken critic Debo Brown in a boxing match that raised about $2,000 to support local youth boxing programs. Keith Eddings of the Eagle-Tribune has the blow-by-slap report on the three-round showdown.  

Eagle Tribune

Transit officer convicted of beating to be sentenced today

From Lucas Phillips at the Boston Globe: “The former Transit Police officer convicted of beating a Roxbury woman during a 2014 arrest and lying about it in official reports will be sentenced in Suffolk Superior Court on Monday afternoon, the district attorney’s office said in a statement. Jennifer Garvey, 35, was found guilty in July of two counts of assault and battery and two of filing a false report.”

Boston Globe

Hope and concern after Trump’s opioid ’crisis’ declaration

Some opioid treatment advocates worry that President Trump’s recent declaration that the drug scourge is a national crisis could bring a renewed emphasis on putting drug dealers and users in jail instead of additional resources for treatment and recovery, Christian Wade reports in the Gloucester Times. Most are ready to take a wait-and-see approach, however. “The devil is always in the details,” said state Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante of Gloucester. 

Gloucester Times

Traffic-stop search data shows racial disparity

Non-white motorists in southeastern Massachusetts were 88 percent more likely to be searched by State Police during routine traffic stops than their white counterparts, Tom Relihan of the Brockton Enterprise reports, citing data from Stanford University’s Open Policing Project. However, police were actually less likely to turn up contraband when searching minority drivers. 


Today’s Headlines


New plan to boost liquor licenses concerns restaurants – Boston Globe


Homeowners could be required to disclose lead in pipes – Eagle-Tribune

Both sides make case in Milford recreational marijuana battle – MetroWest Daily News

State Police more likely to search non-white drivers, less likely to discover contraband – Brockton Enterprise

Marshfield ‘vampire killer’ loses suit against parole board – Patriot Ledger

Denlea to resign from Attleboro city council – Sun-Chronicle


Trump will announce ‘path forward’ on Afghanistan – Washington Post

Women are a huge reason Trump’s poll numbers are so bad – NPR

Amateur sleuths hunt for Trump bombshells – Politico

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