Happening Today

Gaming commission, SJC hearings, ‘Clothing Collaborative’

— The Massachusetts Gaming Commission holds an agenda-setting meeting to plan for future meetings, followed by vote on its Enhanced Code of Ethics, 101 Federal St., 12th floor, 9 a.m.

Public Health Council holds a meeting, Department of Public Health, 250 Washington St., Boston, 9 a.m.

— The Supreme Judicial Court will hear six cases, John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Second Floor, Pemberton Square, Boston, 9 a.m.

— Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development holds a hearing on a bill that would create the position of ‘Musician Laureate for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,’ Room A-2, 10 a.m.

Centro Presente holds a rally in support of Temporary Protected Status program for immigrants, with Mayor Marty Walsh speaking, Piemonte Room, City Hall, Boston, 11 a.m.

— Auditor Suzanne Bump chairs a meeting of the Municipal Finance Oversight Board, Room 230, 11 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Secretary of Public Safety and Security Daniel Bennett, Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta and 100 job seekers visit Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries’ quarterly ‘Clothing Collaborative,’ 1010 Harrison Ave, Boston, 2 p.m.

— New members of the Asian American Commission are sworn in for their new terms, in a ceremony hosted by Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, Room 227, 2 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker and Treasurer Deborah Goldberg have their monthly closed-door meeting, Treasurer’s Office, Room 227, 3:30 p.m.

— Dr. Vivek Murthy, who served as U.S. surgeon general under President Obama, joins WBUR reporter Asma Khalid for a sold-out event on ‘how loneliness is bad for business,’ Ideo, 80 Prospect St., Cambridge, 6 p.m.

Today’s Stories

‘The old guard of Massachusetts politics came out in full force’

Emily Sweeney at the Globe has a nice piece on the funeral yesterday for the legendary Bob Crane, the late state treasurer. Amid the sorrow, there were a lot of laughs, which is how Crane would have wanted it.

Boston Globe

State tax revenue windfall may be just a pre-paid illusion

So much for a possible state budget surplus this year. The head of the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants has written to the Baker administration warning that the recent huge surge in state revenues is undoubtedly tied to private accountants urging clients to prepay their taxes due to Republican-approved changes in the federal tax code. And state tax refunds this April may correspondingly be much larger as a result, added Amy Pitter, head of the group. SHNS’s Michael Norton has more.

SHNs (pay wall)

Tribe’s Island victory could be opening for bigger casino gambit

With the U.S. Supreme Court having cleared the way for them to open a gambling hall on a sliver of land on Martha’s Vineyard, the Wampanoag Tribe of Aquinnah could seek to leverage its victory to win approval for a more commercially viable casino option, but probably will have to wait for the current casino building spree to play itself out, George Brennan reports in the Martha’s Vineyard Times. At least one gambling expert thinks the odds are long the state would be willing to negotiate over an off-island casino until the impact of under-construction resorts in Everett and Springfield on the overall marketplace can be assessed. 

Martha’s Vineyard Times

Galvin sets early primary date, rival cries foul

Required by law to set a new primary election date to accommodate next fall’s Jewish holidays, Secretary of State William Galvin proceeded to select Tuesday, September 4, the day after Labor Day. His Democratic rival, Boston city councilor Josh Zakim, is now crying foul, saying Galvin is deliberately trying to “depress voter turnout.” Two reactions: 1.) The day after Labor Day? We’re not too sure about that. 2.) It’s not all about you, Josh. SHNS’s Colin Young and Matt Murphy have more at the Berkshire Eagle. Fyi: Shira Schoenberg at MassLive has some of the public comments that were part of Galvin’s decision-making process.

Berkshire Eagle

Law of unintended consequences? The Lelling effect

As feared, many pot businesses in Massachusetts are starting to go all-cash these days, fearing a federal crackdown on the financing side of buying and selling marijuana, reports the Globe’s Dan Adams. This is going to be the unintended consequence of U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling’s vow to, sometimes, crack down on pot dealers: Sending industry financing underground.

Meanwhile, SHNS’s Colin Young and Matt Murphy (pay wall) report on the irony that today’s biggest defenders of leaving the state’s legalized marijuana industry alone are three constitutional officers – Gov. Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey and Treasurer Deb Goldberg – who originally opposed legalizing pot in Massachusetts. Another unintended consequence!

Finally, Baker is basically telling Lelling, without mentioning his name, that the feds should be focusing on combating opioids, not pot, reports Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive. So there’s another looming unintended consequence for Lelling to mull: By focusing on pot, would he be diverting fed resources from combating a far more dangerous drug?

Bristol County sheriff sued over solitary confinement of mentally ill

From Maria Cramer at the Globe: “Three inmates with serious mental illness filed a lawsuit against officials at the Bristol County Jail Tuesday, alleging they were placed in solitary confinement for at least 22 hours a day while receiving little treatment for their conditions. ‘It should be obvious to defendants and to any reasonable person that the conditions imposed [on the inmates] cause tremendous mental anguish, suffering and pain to such individuals,’ asserts the lawsuit, filed against Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson and other jail officials in Plymouth Superior Court.”

Boston Globe

Pride of Springfield: Arpaio running for U.S. Senate in Arizona

Speaking of right-wing sheriffs: Springfield native Joe Arpaio, 85, “America’s toughest sheriff,” pardoned criminal and controversial lightening rod for all things immigration, is running for the U.S. Senate in Arizona, reports Shannon Young at MassLive. Consider him Massachusetts’ gift to Arizona.


He’s no Trump when it comes to tweets: MBTA GM’s Twitter follies

White House staffers can’t keep Donald Trump away from Twitter. But maybe MBTA officials can gently exert a little more control over their new general manager? SHNS’s Andy Metzger (pay wall) and the Globe’s Adam Vaccaro have the details on Luis Ramirez’s strange Twitter activity of late, including blocking reporters from following him, changing his account to private and then making it public again, etc.

Hotels by any other name: Big investors are converting existing housing into short-term Airbnb rentals

The is a great story by CommonWealth’s Jack Sullivan, who reports how investors are snapping up properties in the Back Bay, Chinatown, North End, Bay Village, Dorchester, Roxbury, you named it, and turning the existing housing units into short-term Airbnb rentals, creating virtual hotels and putting added pressure on the overall housing market in the process. Estimates of the number of converted units range from 1,500 to 2,000, though Airbnb claims the number is actually about 300.


Purcell paid nearly $1 million as Herald lurched toward bankruptcy

This is a surprisingly tough piece by the Herald about Herald owner Pat Purcell’s compensation prior to the newspaper’s recent bankruptcy filing: “The Herald paid substantial salaries to its publisher and top executive as the newspaper’s finances grew dire and management directed the company to a bankruptcy sale, according to court papers. Patrick J. Purcell, the Herald’s publisher, took home $970,092 in the year prior to the company’s Chapter 11 filing in Delaware on Dec. 8, according to papers in the ongoing bankruptcy case. His compensation included fringe benefits of a golf membership and use of a company vehicle.”

In the big corporate scheme of things, it’s not that much money and he deserves enormous credit for keeping the Herald alive longer than anyone ever imagined possible. But his compensation is still more than one would have thought and the golf membership is sure to irk staffers.

Boston Herald

Breaking news: Baker continues to defy political gravity

WBUR has a new poll that shows 74 percent of Massachusetts voters approve of the job Gov. Charlie Baker is doing, confirming numerous previous polls of Baker’s nearly off-the-charts popularity. And how’s President Trump faring in Massachusetts? Basically, flip Baker’s numbers upside down and you have the answer.


Healey sues mental health company over Medicaid charges

Attorney General Maura Healey is suing Brockton-based South Bay Mental Health Center Inc., accusing the firm of providing services by unlicensed staff and filing millions of dollars in bogus Medicaid reimbursement claims, according to reports by Priyanka Dayal McCluskey at the Globe and Kori Tuitt at the Lowell Sun.

Kornegay tapped to lead MassHousing

From SHNS’s Andy Metzger at the BBJ: “A top Baker administration policymaker will take the reins of MassHousing, a quasi-public agency that has provided more than $22 billion for affordable housing since it was created more than 50 years ago. Chrystal Kornegay, the undersecretary of housing and community development, will become the first woman and the first person of color to lead MassHousing, according to the agency’s board chair. Kornegay is African American and the MassHousing board voted 5-0 Tuesday afternoon to appoint her executive director.”

SHNS (pay wall)

Love that dirty water, not: Raw sewage routinely spilling into state rivers after storms

From Meghan Ottolini and Joe Dwinell at the Herald: “Some 2.8 billion gallons of untreated wastewater — including raw sewage — is pouring into Bay State rivers and streams annually during heavy rainfall, state records show. One severe trouble spot is the Merrimack River, where the problem threatens progress from decades of work to clean up what was once declared among the nation’s Top 10 dirtiest waterways.”

That’s 2.8 billion, with a ‘b.’ The Herald has a sidebar on legislation by state Sen. Patricia D. Jehlen that would allow residents to sign up for email alerts about spills.

Boston Herald

Provincetown’s ‘overwhelming’ flooding woes

Keep in mind that Provincetown is just one of many communities still grappling with post-storm flooding problems. K.C. Myers at the Cape Cod Times has the details.

Cape Cod Times

Is this good? Business confidence hits high not seen since dot-com era

Associated Industries of Massachusetts reports that local employers are the most confident they’ve been since the height of the dot-com bubble in 2000. The BBJ’s David Harris has the details on what we hope isn’t another round of irrational exuberance.


Led by Markey, Senate Dems score small legislative victory on net neutrality

From the Washington Post: “Senate Democrats led by Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) have now amassed 40 co-sponsors for a congressional measure that, if successful, would invalidate the FCC’s recent vote (to repeal net neutrality rules). In doing so, the lawmakers passed a critical 30-member threshold allowing them to use the Congressional Review Act to seek to overrule the FCC.” 

Washington Post

Amazon set to lease 1 million in Seaport, separate from HQ2

From Catherine Carlock at the BBJ: “Technology giant Amazon. Inc. has progressed beyond early conversations and is now in active negotiations to lease up to 1 million square feet at WS Development’s Seaport Square development, a deal that’s separate from its ongoing HQ2 search, according to several sources with knowledge of the negotiations.”

Interesting aside: The BBJ’s Greg Ryan reports that a city official did talk to a top-ranking executive about Boston’s formal HQ2 bid, but the official is downplaying the phone call.


‘The operative words here, of course, are drug addicts’

We missed this one yesterday: The Globe’s Kevin Cullen defending Mayor Marty Walsh’s decision to rebuild Long Island bridge for a drug-treatment center on the island – and Kevin isn’t impressed with the anti-bridge arguments of opponents. “The operative words here, of course, are drug addicts. The opposition isn’t really about traffic. It’s about people addicted to opioids. Before the bridge closed, many of them were picked up or dropped off at some of the Quincy MBTA stations by the various recovery programs on the island. No one wants them. They are not a constituency.”

Boston Globe

Dough still rolling in for Koh

Is he almost risking alienating voters in the Third? Anyway, Dan Koh, the former chief of staff to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, had another blockbuster quarter on the fundraising front, doubling his congressional campaign war chest to $1.6 million by raising more than $800,000 in the last three months of 2017, Frank Phillips of the Globe reports. A more detailed report due out later this month will show whether the cash came from the same base of developers and other business interests more closely tied to Koh’s time in City Hall than his aspiration in the 3rd Congressional district. 

Boston Globe

State: Billerica schools violated campaign finance laws

The Billerica school district violated campaign finance laws by blasting out an informational email ahead of a vote on a plan to fund playing field maintenance. But the state’s Office of Campaign and Political Finance said it would issue no fines in the case and noted that scant public resources were deployed, Rick Sobey reports in the Lowell Sun.

Lowell Sun

Excuse Generator, MassterList version

Apologies for misspelling the name of the Globe’s Jim Pindell in yesterday’s MassterList. No excuses, except we have an excuse: The spell check on our Constant Contact system, after we merely tapped the space bar after Jim’s last name, automatically changed his name — and we didn’t catch it. Which leads us to a rant: We thought complaints about spell-check software went out with the 1990s. But has anyone else had it with modern algorithm-driven spell checks? Anyway, that’s our sorry excuse and rant of the day. Now back to the MBTA Excuse Generator.

Webinar: Carbon Pricing & Transportation Emissions

Business Leaders for Climate Action

Sen. Patricia Jehlen, Rep. Mike Connolly to Tour Revolutionary Clinics’ Somerville Dispensary

Revolutionary Clinics

2018 NE/SAE Annual Management Conference

New England Society of Association Executives

Author Talk and Book Signing with Mimi Graney

State Library of Massachusetts

Today’s Headlines


Amazon’s looking to grow in Boston’s Seaport. Here’s where it could go – Boston Business Journal

This mobile health van, funded by Robert Kraft, is ‘literally going to save lives,’ Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says – MassLive


State could pay back early voting money – MetroWest Daily News

Beverly, marina settle decades-old lawsuit – Salem News

Falmouth wind turbine could become cell tower – Cape Cod Times

MEMA assesses storm damage and recovery costs – WGBH

Lawsuit alleges Worcester police officer battered 14-year-old girl during 2011 arrest – Telegram & Gazette


Trump administration says no oil drilling off Florida coast – Washington Post

Dems roil probe with release of Fusion GPS transcript – The Hill

How to Contact MASSterList

Send tips to Matt Murphy: Editor@MASSterList.com. For advertising inquiries and job board postings, please contact Dylan Rossiter: Publisher@MASSterList.com or (857) 370-1156. Follow @MASSterList on Twitter.

Subscribe to MASSterList

Start your morning with MASSterList’s chronicle of news and informed analysis about politics, policy, media, and influence in Massachusetts. Plus, get an inside look at Beacon Hill’s hottest new job postings.