Happening Today

Harbor dredging project, English-immersion conference committee, Marijuana rally

— House Speaker Robert DeLeo was scheduled to speak this morning at an Executive Forum hosted by Associated Industries of Massachusetts to discuss the state economy and how to address rising health care costs, Westin Waltham-Boston Hotel, 70 3rd Ave., Waltham, 8:15 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey, U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Massport officially kick off the Boston Harbor Dredging Project, Boston Autoport, 300 Terminal Street, 1:15 p.m.

— New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell holds a press conference with other participants in the U.S. Conference of Mayors summit on smart cities and new energy technologies, Waypoint Event Center – Sea Loft Room, Fairfield Inn & Suites, 185 MacArthur Dr., New Bedford, 11:30 a.m.

— U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III tours community action agency Citizens for Citizens, 264 Griffin St., Fall River, 11:30 a.m. 

 — Members of the conference committee negotiating possible changes to English-immersion education meet to go over House and Senate versions of bills, 12 p.m.

— Mayor Marty Walsh joins the Consul General of Mexico Emilio Rabasa for a flag raising ceremony marking Mexico’s independence, City Hall Plaza, Boston, 12 p.m.

Steven Hoffman, chair and interim executive director of the Cannabis Control Commission, is a guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 1 p.m.

Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition, the state affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, hosts the 28th Freedom Rally on Boston Common to celebrate marijuana and marijuana legalization in the state, Boston Common, 3 p.m.

— U.S. Rep. Richard Neal holds a town-hall style event for constituents, Berkshire Community College, Boland Theatre, 1350 West St., Pittsfield, 5:30 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Harvard revokes Chelsea Manning’s fellowship amid furor over appointment

From the NYT: “Facing harsh criticism, a Harvard dean said early Friday morning that he was revoking his invitation to Chelsea Manning, a former United States soldier convicted of leaking classified information, to be a visiting fellow at the university. The sudden turnabout by the Harvard Kennedy School came after a day of intense backlash over the university’s announcement on Wednesday that Ms. Manning would become a visiting fellow at the Institute of Politics this school year.” 

Her controversial appointment prompted a disgusted Michael J. Morell, a deputy director at the CIA under President Obama, to resign yesterday as a Harvard fellow, while CIA director Mike Pompeo, an appointee of President Trump, withdrew from a Harvard forum yesterday in protest. The Globe’s Felicia Gans has more on the revocation of Manning’s appointment, one of a number of rather weird fellowship appointments of late at the school, it should be noted.


So who did raise the anti-racism banner at Fenway Park?

After a considerable amount of confusion yesterday, one thing became clear about that anti-racism banner that was unfurled the other night at Fenway Park: The left-wing/anarchist Antifa group was not responsible, as some media outlets erroneously reported at first. But the Globe didn’t clear up matters much this morning, with a story that quotes the alleged banner hangers anonymously and only refers to their group as “the group.” Only by reading between the lines can you sort of figure out they’re probably your standard left-wing activists, though the Globe doesn’t bother to help readers out by using standard political definitions to describe what was, at bottom, a political event.

Members of the “group,” who did describe themselves as “white antiracist protestors,” say they plan more protests in the future. Let’s hope we get to know a little bit more about them at that point.

Boston Globe

Real fake news: It wasn’t Antifa, folks

The Globe’s Steve Annear and MassLive’s Dan Glaun report on how some media groups initially attributed the anti-racist banner at Fenway Park to the left-wing/anarchist Antifa group. Basically, they got suckered by YouTube and other pranksters. It was genuine fake news. Antifa had nothing to do with the banner, according to the reports. 

Flag flap: Christian group threatens suit if it can’t hang religious flag over City Hall

Speaking of banners and signs and flags, from the Herald’s Matt Stout: “A Christian group is threatening legal action if the Walsh administration doesn’t allow a religious flag to be raised on City Hall Plaza — the same spot they say where banners from ‘communist’ nations as well as transgender and pride colors are set to fly. ‘We deserve a voice, too,’ said Hal Shurtleff, founder of Camp Constitution.” Have you noticed how more and more right-wing groups are taking a page from the left-wing playbook of claiming victimhood of some sort? Just wondering.

Boston Herald

And they’re off: DeLeo backs Suffolk Downs as Amazon site while techies and state mobilize for HQ2

House Speaker Robert DeLeo is openly supporting Suffolk Downs as a potential site for Amazon’s envisioned “second” headquarters, reports the BBJ’s Catherine Carlock. Meanwhile, state officials and the tech community are putting together bids to entice Amazon to build its giant HQ2 somewhere in the Boston area, reports Jordan Graham at the Herald. The board at MassDevelopment yesterday also set aside $200,000 to help chase Amazon, reports the Globe’s Jon Chesto.

And, last but not least, Metheun is the latest community outside the immediate Boston area to mull submitting its own Amazon bid, reports the Eagle Tribune.

Timing is everything: Pro-charter donor opposes new hotel, Baker administration kills off new hotel

Amos Hostetter Jr. donates $2 million to a pro-charter group pushing for expansion of charter schools. Gov. Charlie Baker favors expansion of charter schools. Amos Hostetter Jr. opposes new hotel next to his harborside office. The Baker administration opposes a new hotel next to his harborside office. All of this happening at roughly the same time. The Globe’s Frank Phillips has the details on the curious timing of events.

Boston Globe

First Democratic gubernatorial debate to be held this weekend in East Longmeadow

Here we go. Three Democrats running for governor – Jay Gonzalez, Setti Warren and Robert Massie – are set to go head-to-head this weekend in the first debate of the 2018 gubernatorial contest, reports Shannon Young at MassLive. The Saturday showdown, sponsored by the East Longmeadow Democratic Town Committee, will be held at the East Longmeadow High School and is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.


Shark-hating ex-convict may challenge Baker in GOP primary

As Democratic candidates for governor prepare for tomorrow’s debate in East Longmeadow, it turns out that Republican Gov. Charlie Baker may yet face a challenger in the GOP primary: Barnstable County Commissioner Ronald Beaty Jr., an ex-convict (he once served time for making death threats against President George H.W. Bush and U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, among others) and a recent advocate of killing Great White Sharks off the coast of Cape Cod, the Boston Herald reports. Beaty, who has filed preliminary campaign paperwork, says he’s “exploring a run.” He has $4.05 in a previous campaign account, compared to Baker’s $6.2 million, Stout notes.

Boston Herald

Attention Republican state workers: Shrewsbury is calling

Speaking of Republicans: The Herald’s Howie Carr takes note that there’s a “Baker-Polito End of Summer Picnic” tomorrow in Shrewsbury, home of Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, and he anticipates a lot of GOP state workers will be attending. Now why would Howie think that? We can’t imagine.

Boston Herald

Did you say ‘clean,’ or ‘clean out’?

Methuen police say a woman assigned to clean a city vault took her job a little too far, walking away with seven antique silver plates—artifacts that have since been pawned and melted down, Melissa Hanson of MassLive reports. Shortly after first being asked about the missing items, the city worker filed paperwork to start the retirement process. Officials are now looking into whether her pension could be tapped to help repay the city, assuming she qualifies for a pension after this incident. 


In other town-employees-behaving-badly news …

Nancy Dutton, the former assistant tax collector in Tyngsboro has been indicted on larceny and money-laundering charges, Kori Tuitt of the Lowell Sun reports. Dutton is accused of pocketing residents’ tax payments and doctoring the town’s books to hide the subterfuge, which the officials say resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars being pilfered over the course of a decade-plus. 

Lowell Sun

Former Rep. Steve Walsh named chief of Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association

Ex-state Rep. Steven Walsh, the former Democratic chair of the House Committee on Health Care Financing, has been named president and CEO of the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association, a large and powerful force on health care issues on Beacon Hill, reports the BBJ’s Catherine Carlock. Walsh, who currently is executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals, left the legislature in 2014 and takes up his new assignment at MHHA later this fall. He replaces Lynn Nicholas, who is retiring after a decade at the helm of MHHA.


Stating the obvious: T blames broken coupler for runaway train car

Most people kind of figured this was the case from thee start:  The T is now confirming that a broken coupler was at least partly to blame for a commuter rail car breaking away from a moving train last week, in just the latest embarrassing incident at the T, as the Herald’s Matt Stout reports. Saying a coupler was broken is not enough, as the T knows full well.  How and when are these couplers maintained, inspected and replaced? Who made the coupler and what is its industry history? Those are the real questions that need answers.

Boston Herald

Bonanza: Boston Foundation lands $50M donation, largest in its history

Boston Foundation is soon going to be the recipient of its largest charitable donation in its history, thanks to a $50 million gift from the sale of majority shares in a Billerica education tech firm, Curriculum Associates, the Globe’s Katheleen Conti reports. The ultimate sale value of Curriculum Associates’ shares was beyond most everyone’s wildest expectations, making for a lucrative payday for the Foundation.

Boston Globe

Fomer MCLA president tapped to run Edward M. Kennedy Institute

Mary K. Grant, the former head of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams and the current chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Asheville, has been named the new president of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate, reports Jenn Smith at the Berkshire Eagle. “How nice to think of having Mary back in Massachusetts, and in such an important role,” said former Gov. Deval Patrick, a Richmond resident and friend of Grant. “Her ability to convene and engage competing interests will serve the Institute well.”

Berkshire Eagle

Ex-Patrick lawyer to defend millionaire’s tax if business groups sue

The legal battle lines are forming. Sugarman Rogers Barshak & Cohen — including Kate Cook, the former chief lawyer for Gov. Deval Patrick – has been hired by proponents of the millionaire’s tax to defend the controversial referendum initiative if business groups, led by the Massachusetts High Tech Council, try to legally block the proposal from being on the 2018 November ballot, reports Greg Ryan at the BBJ. Ryan reports business groups could legally strike as soon as next month.


Another wood-frame residential building goes up in smoke, this time in Weymouth

Under-construction residential buildings in Dorchester, Waltham and now Weymouth have been hit with devastating fires of late – and all them have one thing in common: They were wood-frame multifamily buildings. Fire Chief Keith Stark in Weymouth — where the Union Point development was completely destroyed by fire yesterday morning, a month before it was due to be occupied – said wood-frame construction was not to blame. Instead, the sprinkler system hadn’t been activated yet, reports Neal Simpson at Wicked Local. But that’s the point: Wood-frame buildings are highly susceptible to fire while they’re under construction and sprinkler systems aren’t activated yet.

Wicked Local

Not bad: Household income up, poverty rate down in Massachusetts

Here’s positive news: Median household income in Massachusetts increased by a hefty 6 percent in 2016, to $75,297, while the state’s poverty rate fell a percentage point, to 10.4 percent, according to new government data, as reported by Benjamin Swasey at WBUR.

And more positive news: The state’s jobless rate also fell last month, the first monthly decline in 2017, the BBJ reports


Conservative group targets Feeney over union dollars

The conservative Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance has filed a complaint with the state’s Office of Campaign and Political Finance, saying state senate candidate Paul Feeney is using a “loophole” to take sizable contributions from unions, Jim Hand of the Sun-Chronicle reports. Feeney, a Foxboro Democrat and union representative who this week received an endorsement from U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, defended the contributions and said his campaign has followed the law to the letter.

Sun Chronicle

Sunday public affairs TV

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. Guest: Mayor Marty Wash, who talks with host Jon Keller about the mayor campaign, economic development, taxes and policing.

This is New England, NBC Boston Channel 10, 9:30 a.m. With host Latoyia Edwards, this week’s focus: Jimmy Fund/ Milagros para Niños.  

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Jim Rooney, chief executive of Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, talks about what Boston is doing to woo Amazon and changes in the Seaport; Mark Malinowski, National Amusements VP of marketing, discusses how to get more people into theatres; and Jon Chesto of the Boston Globe discusses the top local business stories of the week.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Boston School Superintendent Tommy Chang, who talks with anchor Ed Harding and co-anchor Janet Wu.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s topic: The 17th Annual Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival.

AIM Executive Forum

Associated Industries of Massachusetts

Ales and Tails at Stone Zoo!

Stone Zoo

Arlington Town Day

Town of Arlington

ELDTC Massachusetts Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate’s Forum

East Longmeadow Democratic Town Committee, Chicopee Democratic Town Committee

A Roast of George Bachrach

Environmental League of Massachusetts

Today’s Headlines


No fly zone: City Hall refuses to fly Christian flag – Boston Herald

Walsh, BPD assailed over camera program – Boston Herald


Methuen considers submitting Amazon proposal of its own – Eagle-Tribune

Bike-sharing program rolled out in Worcester – Telegram & Gazette

Joe Kennedy supports single-payer but only in theory – WGBH

Hudson officials say no to pot moratorium – MetroWest Daily News

Tynsgsboro official indicted on larceny, money laundering charges – Lowell Sun


Democrats cling to the impossible: Winning the Senate in 2018 – Politico

Humiliated, Sessions planned to resign after Trump’s insults – New York Times

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