Filling deadline, lottery commission meets
Today is filing day for potential candidates to submit their nomination papers for two open House seats: The First Berkshire District seat left vacant by the passing of Gailanne Cariddi and the Third Essex seat vacated by former Ways and Means Chairman and now-lobbyist Brian Dempsey …. The Mass. Lottery Commission meets and is expected to hear how the agency fared in July. One Ashburton Place – 12th floor, Boston 10:30 a.m. … Lt. Gov. Polito joins Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson, Rep. Leonard Mirra and state and local officials to tour West Newbury’s Public Safety Facility and learn about the projects made possible as part of the town’s participation in the Department of Energy Resources Green Communities Program. Public Safety Facility, 401 Main St, West Newbury 2:45.p.m. … Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is a guest on “Radio Boston,” WBUR-FM 90.9 3 p.m.
Helping hands reach Texas
Help is flowing from the Boston area to the coast of Texas, where President Trump plans to visit Tuesday even as former hurricane Harvey continues to unleash unprecedented rainfall and flooding.
Houston’s Democratic mayor is already extending thanks to his Boston counterpart for assistance and the Cape Ann town of Rockport, meanwhile, is extending a hand to the Texas town with the same name that was in the direct path of the storm as it came ashore, the Gloucester Times reports.
Meanwhile, Shira Schoenberg of MassLive asks the question we probably don’t want to hear the answer to: Could a hurricane Harvey happen in Massachusetts?
Mark Herz of WGBH has details on how members of the Mass. National Guard are assisting in storm relief by using imaging technology to steer rescue crews in the right direction.
Patriots Owner Robert Kraft personally pledged $1 million to match donations to the American Red Cross
Lisa Weidenfeld of Boston Magazine has a rundown of other ways to help those impacted by Harvey.
Baker plans to steer way around GOP Senate primary
Gov. Charlie Baker is going to stay well out of the way of the GOP senate primary next year, because … well, why would he go anywhere near it? Baker says he stays out of primaries “as a general rule and I certainly won’t get involved with that one,” State House News Service’s Andy Metzger and Matt Murphy report. With Trump backers Geoff Diehl and Shiva Ayyadurai likely competing against moderates such as John Kingston and Beth Lindstrom who like Baker have sought to keep Trump at arm’s length, the primary has the potential for collateral political damage for anyone, even the country’s most popular governor.
Logan fee plan reverberates locally, nationally
MassPort’s plan to study whether to charge vehicles that are arriving at Logan Airport to pick up or drop off airline passengers is making national headlines and becoming a hot topic on talk radio. Adam Vaccaro of the Globe reports that the Conservation Law Foundation will help study how such a fee would impact traffic congestion at the airport. The study is part of a larger agreement between MassPort and the CLF over a plan to add 5,000 more parking spaces at the airport.
Shores launches AG bid
Daniel Shores, an attorney from Sandwich who ran an unsuccessful bid to secure the GOP nomination for Congress in 2014, launched a campaign to unseat Attorney General Maura Healey, Geoff Spillane of the Cape Cod Times reports. The 45-year-old says Healey has spent too much of her time and resources fighting political battles against President Trump and gun owners. He is the second Cape-based lawyer to enter the fray, after James “Jay” McMahon of Bourne declared last week.
Northampton officers received training in Sheriff Joe’s jail
Local connection alert: Police in Northampton have been receiving training in drug recognition at Arizona jails formerly run by the recently pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Amanda Drane of the Hampshire Gazette reports. The city’s chief of police says three officers have gone west for the training—which involves teaching officers to recognize signs of various types of drug intoxication among the actual jail population—and had their way paid with state grant funds.
Special election set for Flanagan Senate seat
Mark those (already crowded) calendars: Voters in Fitchburg, Leominster and other North Central and Central Massachusetts communities will go to the polls Dec. 5 in a special election to replace outgoing State Sen. Jennifer Flanagan. The preliminary election will be held Nov. 7, reports Michael P. Norton of State House News Service via the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise. Flanagan is stepping down so she can serve as the gubernatorial appointee to the newly created Cannabis Control Commission and a handful of potential candidates have already said they’ll be in the running.
Activists seek to limit outside campaign money
Mass. voters may get decide in 2018 whether to limit outside spending on state ballot questions, but the changes would not come before the so-called millionaire’s tax referendum is decided, Christian Wade reports in the Newburyport Daily News. Pass Mass Amendment has cleared early hurdles in its bid to get a referendum of its own, saying the record-setting outside spending in the 2016 campaigns to lift the cap on charter schools and legalize recreational marijuana underscored the issue of large sums of money from uncertain sources affecting local decision-making.
Boston ranks high in millionaire count
Speaking of millionaires … there’s a lot of them in Greater Boston. In fact, the region has the third-highest share of households with $1 million in wealth in the country, Matt Rocheleau of the Globe reports, citing new data from Phoenix Marketing International. The report focuses on wealth, not income—meaning housing and other assets are part of the question—but the data point is nonetheless sure to be injected into the debate over whether to change the state constitution to allow for a surtax to be slapped on those who earn seven figures.
Green Line Extension contractor given the boot
After a tumultuous couple years, the Green Line extension has been relatively quiet as of late, with the long-delayed project finally gaining momentum, mostly behind the scenes. But now the Globe’s Adam Vaccaro reports that the $2.3 billion planned subway extension through Somerville has now run into a “speed bump” with the sudden dismissal of a company hired just a few months ago to oversee construction. Colorado engineering firm CH2M Hill Cos. had just inked a $57 million contract with the MBTA in May, but is now off the job after it was acquired by another firm, creating a potential conflict of interest.
Could bus breakup lead to fare wars?
After nearly 20 years of partnership, Peter Pan and Greyhound bus lines announced Monday they had severed ties, setting the stage for Greyhound to begin running its own standalone service to Boston from Peter Pan’s hometown of Springfield, Jim Kinney of MassLive reports. Peter Pan will likely want to defend its home turf, especially since it is making an investment to move into the newly renovated Union Station in the city’s downtown.
SJC ready to hear church-funding case
It’s a basic civics lesson for every American: Church and state are supposed to be separate. But reality is never quite that cut-and-dry, which is why the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court will hear oral arguments next week on the question of whether taxpayer funds can be used for historic preservation of old churches. Shira Schoenberg of MassLive reports the case in question involves Community Preservation Act funds in the town of Acton but could have implications for communities across the Commonwealth.
In Milford, yes means no
Milford voters will go to the polls in a special election on Sept. 19 to decide whether to ban recreational pot sales and the group behind the proposed ban may have an extra hurdle to get over—getting voters to understand that a yes vote on the referendum means no pot shops. Jonathan Phelps of the Milford Daily News reports that the group has been highly visible in recent weeks and hopes to draw a large crowd at a public forum leading up to the vote.
Lowell opioid deaths drop sharply
The city of Lowell saw a 50 percent drop in the number of deadly opioid overdoses in the first half of 2017, the latest hopeful sign that prevention, treatment and law enforcement efforts may be starting to stem the crisis. Lowell saw 40 overdose deaths in the first half of 2016 and 23 in the six months that ended in June, Todd Feathers of the Lowell Sun reports, citing Department of Public Health data that showed a more modest 5 percent reduction statewide.
Citing Bella Bond case, lawmaker wants stiffer sentences
State Rep. RoseLee Vincent wants lawmakers to put stronger sentences in place for those convicted of being an accessory to the murder of a child, drafting legislation in the wake of the Bella Bond case, Matt Stout of the Herald reports. Despite her conviction on an accessory charge, Rachelle Bond was sentenced to time-served—less than two years—after her former boyfriend was convicted of murder. “I think that punishment should fit the crime. In this case I don’t think it did,” Vincent said.
Three Stoughton selectmen face ouster
A trio of Stoughton selectmen is facing a recall effort by local voters, the Enterprise’s Tom Relihan reports. The town clerk has certified a recall petition that requires the three selectmen – David “Spanky” Sousa, the board’s chairman, vice chairman Robert Cohn and member Peter Brown – to schedule a town election or resign within five days. The furor stems from a split vote by the board to replace former Town Manager Michael J. Hartman.
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