SJC hearings, Education Committee, Markey’s DACA defense
The Supreme Judicial Court will hold its first hearings since Scott Kafker joined the seven-member court, which now includes five jurists appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker, John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Second Floor, Pemberton Square, 9 a.m. … Joint Committee on Education takes up 32 bills covering an array of subjects, including legislation dealing with learning time, technology and the Massachusetts School Building Authority, Rooms A-1 and A-1, 10 a.m. … Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito joins Sen. Michael Moore, Rep. Kate Campanale and local officials to make a MassWorks grant announcement related to the Stearns Tavern Relocation Project, Coes Park, 72 Coes Street, Worcester, 10:30 a.m. … Senate President Stanley Rosenberg is a guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 11:30 a.m. … Boston Mayor Martin Walsh speaks at the release of a case study reviewing the impact of a city-sponsored series of salary negotiation workshops, 75 Arlington St., 3rd floor, Boston, 12 p.m. … U.S. Sen. Edward Markey holds a press conference with Eva Millona, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, 12 p.m. … Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, will be on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ for her monthly segment, WGBH-FM, 89.7, 12:00 p.m. … Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans is a guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 1 p.m. … Environment Massachusetts Research and Policy Center holds a conference call with members of the media to discuss findings of drinking water tests at schools in Massachusetts, 1 p.m. … Gov. Charlie Baker will meet with Treasurer Deborah Goldberg for their regular monthly meeting, Treasurer Office, Room 227- State House, 4 p.m. … Candidates for two open House seats – in the Third Essex and First Berkshire districts — must file their nomination papers, including enrollment certificate and Ethics Commission receipt, with Secretary of State William Galvin’s office today by 5 p.m. … Early Canada goose and black bear hunting seasons open statewide today, according to the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.
Baker’s DACA burden: Opposing Trump, once again
Gov. Charlie Baker has been put in the politically uncomfortable position, once again, of having to distance himself from a policy move by his own party’s president, this time Republican President Donald Trump’s plan to eliminate the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. “Well I’m hoping the president doesn’t repeal the DACA program, I’m hoping that he continues the DACA program,” said Baker, as reported at CBS Boston. “I know there’s been a lot of back-and-forth on this issue but my hope is that he continues to operate the program on a go-forward basis.” … The Globe’s J.D. Capelouto has more reactions from Baker, Mayor Marty Walsh and other Bay State pols.
Community colleges to Trump: Hands off DACA
The heads of 15 community colleges in Massachusetts, as well as the chief of the Boston Public Schools, have also issued a statement opposing President Trump’s expected move today to eliminate the Obama administration’s DACA program that puts off deportation of illegal immigrants who arrived here as children, reports Patrick Johnson at MassLive. “We stand together to fight for the continued protection of all the young people with and eligible for DACA,” the statement reads.
And Scripture says …
Attorney General Maura Healey and Cardinal Sean O’Malley co-author an op-ed in the Globe this morning criticizing President Trump’s DACA move and noting that “Scripture teaches us that we should welcome the stranger, for we were once strangers ourselves.”
Liz Warren’s quiet faith in faith
Speaking of Scripture, the Globe’s Victoria McGrane has a piece on U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s quiet but surprisingly strong religious views in general. Surprising because she doesn’t publicly talk much about her religious beliefs, though she can and will quote from Matthew 25:40 at the Ebenezer Baptist Church and elsewhere. McGrane has the details.
Shaheen: Woburn’s Kaspersky Lab is a ‘threat to our national security’
In a New York Times op-ed, New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen is pushing hard for legislation that would ban the federal government from using software by Kaspersky Lab, the Moscow-based cyber-security firm with a major office presence in Woburn. She says the founder’s KGB and Kremlin ties make the firm’s software a clear “threat to our national security.”
Post-Labor Day Items and Thoughts …
Here’s some Labor Day-related stories, a day after the holiday, of the non-barbecue and end-of-summer variety: Fast food workers rallied outside a Tremont Street McDonalds in Boston yesterday to push for union rights, paid family and medical leave, and a $15 minimum wage, reports CBS Boston (with video). … U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren issued her own Labor Day report yesterday and, not surprisingly, it scolds President Trump for his policies toward working Americans, reports Alban Murtishi at MassLive. … Those at yesterday’s Greater Boston Labor Council’s annual Labor Day Breakfast also blasted the president for portraying himself as a friend of working people, reports Mark Herz at at WGBH. … And here’s a much-read and emailed NYT story about two janitors, from two different eras, working at two different tech giants, and how their lives and fortunes have differed so greatly. It’s a terrific, simple look at how corporate labor policies have shifted over the years and fueled generational inequality within professions.
Impressive jobs growth, not very impressive income growth
Speaking of labor issues, here’s some good news for Massachusetts: The state’s labor force has grown faster than any other state in the nation, with employers adding 300,000 jobs here since the start of the Great Recession in 2007. But the growth in median household income hasn’t kept pace, not even close, reports SHNS’s Michael Norton at the Gloucester Times.
Carman Ortiz lands at Anderson & Kreiger
The next-stop-for-Carmen-Ortiz guessing game is over. The former U.S. attorney has decided to join the relatively small firm of Anderson & Kreiger, where she’ll handle “internal investigations, corporate compliance, and litigation, as well as to expand the 30-attorney Boston law firm into a new area: white-collar defense,” reports the Globe’s Jon Chesto.
Question 4 opponents: They lose, but they win
As the Globe’s Katheleen Conti notes, the last-minute appointments to the Cannabis Control Commission, made just prior to the Labor Day weekend, means that four of the five commission seats are now held by people who voted against the Question 4 referendum that legalized marijuana. Pro-marijuana advocates aren’t happy. The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld says that it’s now clear that the state’s political establishment is going to treat implementation of legalized marijuana “like an ingrate in-law they just want to go away.”
The Democrats’ clogged pipeline
A lot of young Democrats are raring to take on the Donald Trumps of the world. But their career opportunities are stymied by the fact that, in blue-state Massachusetts, there’s not a lot of open offices to run for these days, resulting in a clogged political pipeline, reports Jim O’Sullivan at the Globe. One quick aside: Please note Mayor Walsh’s quote about what Democrats have to do if they want to take back control of the governor’s office. The sage advice is a little odd coming from a guy who’s been rather non-committal about supporting the party’s eventual nominee for governor. Just pointing it out.
Forget the election: Looking ahead to Marty Walsh 2.0
Boston Magazine’s David S. Bernstein is ready to fast-forward beyond the imminent election season and ponder the all-but-inevitable second term of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. As Bernstein notes, “incumbent mayors don’t lose here,” which he writes means Walsh should get busy thinking about what the next four years will look like.
North Adams becomes political junkie nirvana
Those who love electoral politics could do a lot worse than setting up shop in North Adams for the next few weeks. The city will essentially have four elections between now and Nov. 7, including a primary for an open state representative seat, a preliminary city election and combined city and state elections with two ballots on the same day in November, Adam Shanks of the Berkshire Eagle reports. All told 26 candidates are in the running, including five each for mayor and state rep.
Moderates vs conservatives in GOP tag-team showdown …
We hadn’t thought of it this way before: In one corner of the Massachusetts Senate Republican primary ring are two moderates, John Kingston and Beth Lindstrom, and in the other corner are two conservatives, Geoff Diehl and Shiva Ayyadurai, and all four want to represent the GOP in taking on U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren in 2018. The real wildcard in this is Ayyadurai. Assuming Kingston and Lindstrom divvy up the moderate vote, Diehl is in a good position to eke out a victory if he nabs the lion’s share of the conservative vote – assuming Ayyadurai doesn’t attract many conservative voters. The AP’s Steve LeBlanc has more on the GOP contest at the Greenfield Recorder.
Is Bernie running?
He’d be 79 years old if he runs for president again in 2020 and actually wins the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. But age isn’t a concern at all for die-hard Bernie backers, who turned out in force yesterday at two Labor Day rallies in New Hampshire, where U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders sure looked and sounded like he’s a candidate for something, reports the Herald’s Chris Villani.
The good old days of journalism …
George Donnelly, a communications consultant at Northwind Strategies and former editor of the Somerville Journal, Boston Business Journal and MassterList, recalls those inefficient days of manual typewriters, rotary phones, X-Acto knives and wax machines, weekly deadlines, and wonders: If the digital age is so much more efficient, why isn’t it producing more and better local news stories?
T claims $400M in privatization savings over next decade
The MBTA is estimating big savings over the next decade — $400 million, to exact – from its various privatization efforts at the transit agency, reports Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine. But James O’Brien, president of the Boston Carmen’s Union Local 589, isn’t impressed with the savings and writes at CommonWealth that privatization is not the solution to all of the T’s woes.
On Bridgewater State campus, a sad sign of the times
In a somber reminder of the ubiquity of the opioid crisis, Bridgewater State University will become the first college campus in the country to stock supplies of Narcan that will be available to everyone, Sara Cline of the Enterprise reports. By the time classes begin Wednesday, Narcan will be accessible at 50 locations campus-wide. The school reported one overdose death during the last school year.
Performance-based pay for teachers is so yesterday
It looked great in theory, but didn’t exactly turn out as expected in reality, i.e. performance-based pay for teachers at charter schools. The Globe’s James Vaznis has the details on how, and why, charter schools are mostly sticking to traditional pay scales for their teachers.
Politico floats the Kennedy balloon
Maybe it was just about the need for content on a long holiday weekend. Whatever the reason, U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy has once again gotten the will-he-run-in-2020 treatment, this time from Politico’s Heather Caygle, who notes that while Kennedy has sought to avoid the natural spotlight cast by his famous family name, he could face pressure from his grassroots supporters to be more open about his political ambitions.
The Future of Jewish Journalism
Sanctuary Cities, the Massachusetts Safe Communities Act and Federal Efforts to Block Funding – A Discussion
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