Cannabis commission chair, Massachusetts Maritime to the rescue, Trump’s tax records
The University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees holds a meeting of its Advancement Committee, at 8 a.m., and later the board’s Committee on Academic and Student Affairs holds its meeting, UMass Club, One Beacon St., Boston, 10 a.m. … Attorney General Maura Healey provides opening remarks at the National Opioid Abuse Training hosted by the National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute, Battery Wharf Hotel, 3 Battery Wharf, Boston, 8:30 a.m. .. The Supreme Judicial Court will hear four cases: Roma III v. Rockport Board of Appeals; Benjamin H. Miller v. Joanna Isabella Miller; Commonwealth v. Edward Curran; and SCVNGR, Inc. v. Punchh, Inc., John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Second Floor, Pemberton Square, 9 a.m. … Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Sen. Vinny DeMacedo and Massachusetts Maritime Academy President and Rear Admiral Francis McDonald gather for the activation of the academy’s training ship, the TS Kennedy, to assist in rescue efforts in Houston, 101 Academy Dr., Buzzards Bay, 9:30 a.m. … Attorney General Maura Healey is interviewed on Boston Herald Radio’s ‘Morning Meeting,’ Boston Herald, 70 Fargo St., Boston, 9:30 a.m. … Massachusetts Gaming Commission meets to set the agendas for future meetings, 101 Federal St., 12th floor, 10 a.m. … Cannabis Control Commission chairman Steven Hoffman holds an introductory media availability, Crane Conference Room, 1 Ashburton St., 10:30 a.m. … The Governor’s Council will meet with a potential vote on Kathleen Sandman, an Agawam attorney nominated by Gov. Baker to a circuit position on the Probate and Family Court, Governor’s Council Chambers, 12 p.m. … The Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery will solicit testimony on three bills, including legislation that would create a ‘safer drug consumption program,’ Rooms A 1 and A 2, 1 p.m. … The Elections Law Committee will hear testimony on a bill that would compel President Trump to disclose his own tax records to appear on the 2020 Massachusetts ballot, Room B 1, 1 p.m. … Those hoping to get a question on the 2018 ballot or a constitutional amendment on the 2020 ballot will learn whether Attorney General Maura Healey has certified their initiative petition.
With Meehan out of race, is Koh now the favorite to win Tsongas’s seat?
Ellen Murphy Meehan, the former wife of UMass chief and former Congressman Marty Meehan, unexpectedly announced yesterday she won’t be running for Congress to fill the seat of retiring U.S. Rep Niki Tsongas, reports the Lowell Sun. With state Sen. Jamie Eldridge having previously declared he won’t be a candidate, that means two big names are now out of contention – and that’s good news for Boston City Hall wunderkind Dan Koh, who yesterday made it clear he’s indeed a candidate and who promptly won Mayor Marty Walsh’s endorsement, though you have to wonder how much a Walsh endorsement means in Lowell. Others reportedly eyeing a run include, among others, Sens. Barbara L’Italien and Eileen Donoghue, both of whom would make formidable candidates. So Koh may have gotten a boost yesterday, but it may not last long
The Globe’s Frank Phillips reports that, with Meehan’s withdrawal, Lori Loureiro Trahan, who once served as Marty Meehan’s congressional chief of staff, is expected to take a serious look at running. Meanwhile, the Herald’s Matt Stout reports that Republican Rick Green said last night on Twitter that he plans to launch an exploratory committee to determine whether he should run.
Field at six—and counting —for Flanagan senate seat
Fitchburg City Councilor Dean Tran announced Tuesday he’ll seek the state Senate seat being vacated by Jennifer Flanagan so she can join the newly formed Cannabis Commission, the Sentinel & Enterprise reports. Tran is the sixth candidate, and the second from the city council, to enter the race.
‘In a chorus of indignation’
From Gov. Charlie Baker to Attorney General Maura Healey to U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (and we might as well throw in Mayor Marty Walsh), the state’s political establishment was in an uproar yesterday — or engaging in a ‘chorus of indignation,’ as the Globe puts it — over President Trump’s preliminary move yesterday to eliminate the DACA program that shields roughly 800,000 immigrants from deportation. MassLive’s Shannon Young has more on the local political reaction to the Trump administration’s announcement. Meanwhile, Senate President Stan Rosenberg says the state needs to act to protect DACA students here, reports Amanda McGowan at WGBH.
Looking at the issue from a purely political perspective, the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld is astounded that President Trump even picked this fight. One of the rules of politics that Trump violated: “Never do anything that makes it look like you’re harming kids.” Meanwhile, a Herald editorial says Congress now needs to fix two presidential mistakes: President Obama’s constitutionally flawed creation of DACA and President Trump’s politically bone-headed move to eliminate it.
The potential DACA hit to Mass.: It’s bigger than you think
Approximately 7,000 “Dreamers” in Massachusetts would be effected by President Trump’s proposal to eliminate the DACA program – and the economic hit to the state could be quite serious, reports David Harris at the BBJ, citing Cato Institute estimates. The total economic cost to the Bay State could hit nearly $1 billion from 2018 through 2028 – and it may cost the state budget $258 million over the same time period.
Report: Massachusetts businesses fed up with regulations and may bolt state
Associated Industries of Massachusetts reports that business confidence dipped again in August, amid employer complaints that they feel “under siege” by new and proposed state regulations, from the recently passed health-care surcharge to proposals for paid family leave, a $15 minimum wage and a new millionaire’s tax, reports SHNS’s Michael Norton at the Telegram. Richard Lord, the president of AIM, said pending proposals, if passed, may force some companies to relocate. Warning: Don’t think it can’t happen. Connecticut has already found out the hard way that major corporations mean it when they say there’s a limit to how much they’ll take. Think: General Electric and Aetna.
After the charter-school defeat, the next big thing: ‘Empowerment zone partnerships’
State House New Service’s Katie Lannan takes a look at yesterday’s legislative hearing at which new “empowerment zones” were touted as the next big thing in education. In testimony reprinted at CommonWealth magazine, New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell loves the idea of giving school districts more autonomy and flexibility to experiment. “Innovation zones also are a viable alternative to charter schools,” he writes. “There is no reason charter schools should be the only schools given the advantage of full autonomy to meet the needs of students.”
Not high enough: Cannabis Control Commission’s measly $2M budget
CommonWealth’s Jack Sullivan takes a look at whether it’s really possible for the new Cannabis Control Commission to function on a budget of only $2 million, considering that $750,000 of it will be used just to pay the salaries of the five new commissioners. Short answer: No, it can’t. Coincidently, the new commission chairman, Steven Hoffman, holds a press availability this morning in Boston. For some reason, we have a feeling the topic of money will come up.
Thanks, Harvey: Gas prices spike by 36 cents in just one week
From Dan Glaun at the BBJ: “Gas prices in Massachusetts have surged 36 cents to $2.72 for a gallon of regular fuel in the last week, as refineries in the gulf states continue to deal with the fallout of Hurricane Harvey. Massachusetts’ increase was the 10th highest in the country, according to data included in a new AAA gas price survey.”
SpyGate II: The Red Sox edition
You might as well read up on this now, for you’re never going to hear the end of it over coming days, weeks and months, i.e. the New York Yankees have accused the Boston Red Sox of stealing their signs via video cameras and a handy-dandy Apple Watch in the dugout, as the whining New York Times reports. … Instead of pronouncing “My team, right or wrong,” the Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy and the Herald’s Steve Buckley are wringing their holier-than-thou hands, wondering what the rest of the nation is thinking of us, etc. etc. etc.
The latest item on the MBTA’s TTD list: New signal system
There’s got to be a bottom somewhere. The MBTA just hasn’t found it yet. Its latest problem: Having to replace the subway system’s aging signal system, the cause of yesterday’s massive delays on the Red Line, as the Globe’s Adam Vaccaro reports. The price tag to fix the system is in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin was all over the delays during rush hour yesterday morning and again in the afternoon. The Globe’s Nestor Ramos has a pretty funny blow-by-blow account of his own joy-ride-from-hell on the Red Line. After the signals problem is resolved, maybe the T can address the finicky air-conditioning system.
As Yawkey Way goes, so goes Yawkey Station
In other transit news, the Herald’s Matt Stout reports that if Fenway’s Yawkey Way street name is indeed renamed, so will the nearby Yawkey commuter rail station, as state officials confirm.
Local Charlottesville rally goer flees to Japan after death threats
Saying he’s not a member of the Ku Klux Klan nor a neo-Nazi, Massachusetts native Matt Colligan, who gained less-than-flattering notoriety when a photo turned up of him participating in last month’s controversial Charlottesville rally in Virginia, has fled to Japan, reports Kristin LaFratta at MassLive. “I decided to distance myself from them, distance myself from everything that’s going on right now. And sort of hide out in a place that might not have seen my photo,” Colligan says.
Professor Corey Lewandowski
Actually, Corey Lewandowski, a Lowell native and Donald Trump’s former presidential campaign manager, will only be a visiting fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics. But we thought the title ‘professor’ looked better in the headline. The Globe’s James Pindell has more on the scholarly appointment.
Art sale plan costs Berkshire Museum its Smithsonian ties
Raising money can be costly. The controversial plan to sell as much as $50 million worth of art work from its collection – including two works by Norman Rockwell — has now cost the Berkshire Museum its affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution, Amada Drane of the Berkshire Eagle reports. The Pittsfield museum says it has voluntary withdrawn from the national museum’s affiliate program because its planned art auction would run afoul of ethics guidelines.
Framingham State, Danforth Art museum merger comes with $2.2M building buy
Speaking of museums: Framingham State University has a plan in place to merge with Danforth Art, a move that would enable it to buy the museum-and-art-school’s home from the city, Jim Haddadin of the MetroWest Daily News reports. In all, FSU plans to invest $4.5 million on the merger, including $2.2 million to buy the downtown Maynard Building.
Lowell’s existential question: To gentrify or not to gentrify?
The Globe’s Catie Edmondson takes a look at the city of Lowell – actually, the two cities of Lowell, one that envisions transforming its old downtown mills and other buildings into higher-end apartments and boutique shops, and the other Lowell, made up of gritty ethnic enclaves where the inhabitants want more from the city than just attracting yuppies. Hovering in the background, of course, is a federal lawsuit challenging Lowell’s at-large city election system that’s politically divided the city into the haves and have-nots.
Drug defendant seeks $5.7M in suit over botched crime labs, alleged evidence-room shenanigans
Rolando Penate is mad – and now he’s seeking compensation from just about everyone and anyone associated with law enforcement in Massachusetts over his five-year imprisonment in a case that his attorney long contended had been corrupted on several levels, reports Stephanie Barry at MassLive. And, yes, the suit involves disgraced former forensic chemist Sonja Farak. What a mess.
Mort Zuckerman sells off the NY Daily News
Boston Properties co-founder and executive chair Mort Zuckerman, who previously owned the once Boston-based Atlantic Monthly and Fast Company, has finally sold off the NY Daily News to a newspaper chain that owns the Chicago Tribune, according to a report at WBUR. The NY Post is reportedly having a field day with the apparent bargain-basement sale of its tabloid rival.
Galvin to back presidential-candidate tax disclosure law
Secretary of State William Galvin will throw his support behind moves to require presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns in order to appear on ballots in the Bay State, Jim O’Sullivan of the Globe reports. Galvin plans to back such a law when he appears today before a legislative committee, even as Attorney General Maura Healey decides whether to allow an initiative petition effort with the same aim to move toward the 2018 ballot.
The Future of Jewish Journalism
Attleboro Democratic City Committee Meeting
Sanctuary Cities, the Massachusetts Safe Communities Act and Federal Efforts to Block Funding – A Discussion
MHSA YPG 2nd Annual Homecoming: Let’s Bring Our Neighbors Home!
Fearless Compassion: Buddhism in the Modern World
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