Chester memorial, Jackson, Sanders on radio
Both branches of the Massachusetts legislature hold informal sessions beginning at 11 a.m. … Gov. Charlie Baker joins Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Congressman Mike Capuano to participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Nova Apartments, 1505 Commonwealth Avenue, Brighton …. Gov. Baker, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and others will attend the “celebration of life” in honor of late Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester, Monday, 3 p.m., Harvard Memorial Church, 1 Harvard Yard, Cambridge ….U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont discusses his new book, “Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution,” on “Radio Boston” with host Deborah Becker., 3 p.m., WBUR-FM 90.9 … Republican U.S. Senate candidate and state representative Geoff Diehl appears on “City Life,” a live weekday public affairs program on Lowell Telecommunications Corporation, Monday, 7 a.m., 246 Market St., Lowell …. Treasurer Deborah Goldberg speaks to the Marblehead Democratic Town Committee picnic, 5 p.m., 210 Beacon St., Marblehead … Boston City Councilor and mayoral candidate Tito Jackson talks with Dan Rea in the “NightSide” studio. 8 p.m., WBZ NewsRadio 1030.
Helping Houston after Harvey hits
Now-Tropical Storm Harvey is delivering exactly the cataclysmic direct hit forecasters worried about, deluging the Houston area with feet of rain and causing once-in-a-millennium flooding.
Crews from Massachusetts are among those already on the soggy ground providing search-and-rescue assistance, including 14 members of a search-and-rescue team based in FEMA’s Beverly office who WBUR reports were slated to leave Sunday for Texas.
Also on the ground and in the air over the floods are personnel and equipment from Air Station Cape Cod, Sean Driscoll of the Cape Cod Times reports.
As for local impacts, for now you can almost certainly plan on spending more to fill your car with gas. And the Associated Press is reporting there are reasons to believe the national economic impacts will be even greater in the long run.
Harvey provides extra cover for Great Friday News Dump
If you chose this past weekend to unplug, you have some serious catching-up to do. In a Friday news dump that resets the bar, President Trump and the White House used the looming landfall of Hurricane Harvey to grant a federal pardon to former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, to start the process of implementing a ban on transgender people serving in the military and to announce that supposed terrorism expert Sebastian Gorka had departed/quit/been fired.
The news came so fast and furious there was hardly time for reaction stories to be wrought before all eyes turned to Texas—though the Globe did editorialize against the Arpaio pardon, calling it “outrageous” and saying that Congress must act before Trump’s power grab becomes “the new normal.”
And with Monday headlines touting Trump’s focus and energy in directing the Harvey response, the cover-of-night-and-storm approach seems to have worked to at least some extent. It all makes us wonder what the Trump administration will do for a follow-up when the Friday before Labor Day comes around on the calendar later this week.
For sale: Building with killer views, golden dome
It’s a proposal so modest it could make Jonathan Swift blush. Former Boston City Councilor suggests in Boston Magazine the Commonwealth put the State House on the market—asking price: $1 billion—and move the whole dog-and-pony show 90 miles west to Springfield, which he helpfully calls “New England’s version of Detroit.”
If you build it, they will glide
Millennium Partners is touting a new approach to the vexing problem of traffic congestion into the fast-growing Seaport District: A $100 million aerial lift system that could move as many as 15,000 people in and out of the neighborhood every day. Adam Vaccaro and Tim Logan of the Globe report the developers have the necessary land under control and are starting to brief city officials on the idea. U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch says he is open to the idea and says a logical owner/operator would be the MBTA.
Walsh looks to move past Arroyo fallout ….
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says he’ll “pretty quickly” fill the vacancy created by the firing of Felix G. Arroyo late last week, Laurel J. Sweet of the Herald reports. Walsh says he’s already heard from candidates interested in the $130K-per-year gig and will likely make hire someone within a couple weeks. Walsh’s comments leave little doubt he’s eager to put the episode in the rear-view as the mayoral campaign is set to kick into post-Labor Day gear. “It’s a sad situation, and I’m not going to dwell on that,” Walsh said of the criminal investigation ongoing into charges that Arroyo sexually harassed another city hall employee.
… as Tito gets his Globe profile
Meanwhile, Walsh challenger Tito Jackson is still considered a long shot to unseat the mayor, but his public image got a boost from a buoyant Globe profile by Mark Arsenault over the weekend. The piece details Jackson’s often-challenging upbringing, his political coming-of-age and notes that he could become the city’s first black mayor in November.
From Meehan, strong indications she’ll run for Congress
It’s not a yes yet, but it’s close: Ellen Murphy Meehan tells the Eagle-Tribune’s Christian Wade she’s in discussions with family and friends about running of the Congressional seat to be vacated by Niki Tsongas—the same seat held for 14 years by her former husband and now UMass President Marty Meehan. “I’ve had a lifelong interest in politics,” Meehan said. “Obviously I know the district well and I know what it takes to run for elected office and be successful.” The 3rd District seat was previously held by another husband-and-wife duo: the late Paul Tsongas held the seat for two terms in the 1970s, well before his wife was elected for the first time in 2007.
Lobbyists outnumber lawmakers on Beacon Hill
OK, it may not come as a huge shock that there are more lobbyists than lawmakers patrolling the State House halls. But a seven-to-one ratio? Well yes, actually, according to this AP story that ran in the Boston Herald. Roughly 1,550 people registered as lobbyists in 2016, up by a whopping 1,000 since 2006. That’s compared to 200 state senators and lobbyists. Some of the change has to do with more stringent lobbyist reporting requirements. Still, who would have thought that politics would someday be a growth business?
Police beef up patrols for Chicopee Powerball winner
Chicopee police are taking good care of the city’s richest resident, Mavis L. Wanczyk, who collected a check Thursday for $336.3 million (post tax), after winning the largest Powerball payout in the game’s history. Cops have added extra patrols around Wanczyk’s neighborhood, with officers parking in her driveway when they have to fill out paperwork or do reports, according to a story by Jeanette DeForge of MassLive.
Former student sues high school over reaction to rape report
A former Newburyport High School student has filed a Title IX lawsuit against the city’s school department in federal court, claiming administrators didn’t protect her from harassment after she was raped and sexually assaulted by two other students four years ago, Jack Shea of the Newburyport Daily News reports. The former student’s lawyers say the district had a responsibility to act even though no criminal charges have been filed in the case.
Mayweather win a gut punch for Brockton
Some sports analysts are saying that only winners emerged from the 10-round TKO of Conor McGregor by Floyd Mayweather on Saturday night, but they’re overlooking poor Brockton: The City of Champions, home of Rocky Marciano, saw their late hometown champ hand over the best-record-in-professional-boxing crown to Mayweather, whose record of 50-0 is now one better than Marciano’s career tally. Tom Relihan of the Enterprise has the local reaction.
Another day, another pot shop ban
Massachusetts voters were all for the concept of recreational pot when they passed last year’s ballot question by a comfortable margin, but when it comes to having pot shops open in their particular suburbs and towns, many are having second thoughts. Bridgewater’s pot study committee plans to recommend to the Town Council a temporary moratorium on cannabis establishments through 2019, Sara Cline of the Enterprise reports.
Berkshires urge budding entrepreneurs to head West
Ipswich Pharmaceuticals has rolled out plans for what could be called a seed-to-joint/edible operation in the Berkshires, Eoin Higgins of the Berkshire Eagle reports. The company wants to grow marijuana in Hinsdale and sell it at a dispensary in West Stockbridge and is preparing to announce the location of its planned production facility. Ipswich is just one of a number of marijuana operators that have won state certification to set up various pot-related businesses in the Berkshires, which is becoming quite a haven for ambitious cannabis entrepreneurs.
Feds put squeeze on New England Compounding Center co-founder
The co-founder of a Framingham pharmacy sentenced to nine years in prison for his role in a deadly, nationwide, outbreak of meningitis now faces demands by the feds for millions in restitution. The U.S. Attorney’s office went to court Friday in a bid to seek more than $13 million from the personal assets of Barry Cadden, co-founder of the New England Compounding Center, Danny McDonald of the Globe reports.
Magazine places editor on leave amid inquiry
Worcester Magazine has placed editor Walter C. Bird Jr. on leave as it investigates claims of sexual harassment that came to light through a former city councilor and the controversial local blog Turtleboy Sports, George Barnes of the Telegram reports. The weekly’s publishers says both the claims and the sources are being investgiated and that Bird is cooperating with that inquiry.
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