Cannabis Control Commission, Fourth fireworks security, motor vehicle emissions, and more
— The Cannabis Control Commission meets and may award the state’s first retail pot license to a Leicester dispensary company, Health Policy Commission conference room, 8th floor, 50 Milk St., Boston, 10:30 a.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and law enforcement officials brief the media on security measures ahead of the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular to be held July 4 on Boston’s Esplanade, Esplanade, Boston), 11 a.m.
— The 215th Army Band of the Massachusetts National Guard will be performing at Faneuil Hall Marketplace as part of Harborfest, a week-long celebration of the colonial and maritime heritage of America’s independence in Boston, Faneuil Hall Marketplace in the West End and South Market, Boston, 11 a.m.
— U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano will join environmentalists to call for the preservation of states’ authority to limit motor vehicle emissions, Offices of The Strategy Group, Inc., 40 Court Street, 11th Floor, Boston, 1 p.m.
— Treasurer Deborah Goldberg and Gov. Charlie Baker are scheduled to hold their regular monthly meeting, Treasurer’s Office, Room 227, 2 p.m.
— Senate President Harriette Chandler speaks at the Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra’s Independence Holiday Concert, East Park, Worcester, 7:30 p.m.
For more calendar listings, check out State House News Service’s Daily Advances (pay wall – free trial subscriptions available) and MassterList’s Beacon Hill Town Square below.
Warren calls for ICE elimination as thousands protest immigration policies in Boston and elsewhere
Protesters were out in force over the weekend in Boston and across the state and nation, rallying against the Trump administration’s immigrant policies. Twenty protesters were arrested outside the Suffolk County jail, where some immigrants are detained, report the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald. Otherwise, it was a day of chants, signs, speeches and more in Boston. Universal Hub and the Boston Business Journal have lots of photos of the protests. There were also protests in Springfield, as reported by Shannon Young at MassLive, and in Bridgewater, as reported by Amanda Irwin at the Enterprise.
Perhaps the biggest news, other than the fact that thousands of people took the time to express their outrage over the controversial family-separation policy, was that U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren effectively has now embraced the new “eliminate ICE” mantra of progressive Democrats, as Gintautas Dumcius reports at MassLive. “We need to rebuild our immigration system from top to bottom, starting by replacing ICE with something that reflects our morality,” Warren said. Other potential Democratic presidential candidates are also calling for abolishing ICE, reports the Associated Press at the Herald.
How eliminating ICE became a ‘hashtag-ready’ rallying cry for Dems
Speaking of ICE, the New York Times and the Globe’s Liz Goodwin have good stories about how a policy proposal that wasn’t even on the political radar screen a few weeks ago has all of a sudden become a “hashtag-ready rallying cry” for Dems, i.e. eliminate ICE. The radical proposal is obviously in reaction to the Trump administration’s own radical policy of separating immigrant families at the border. But it’s also a case study of, for lack of other words, pack mentality when it comes to modern politics. Fyi: President Trump says he loves the fact that Dems are embracing “eliminate ICE,” arguing it’s going to be a mid-term boon for Republicans, the NYT reports. He has a point, unfortunately. Right-wing pundits, like Michelle Malkin at the Herald, are already honing their Democrats-want-open-borders attack lines.
The pitched battle for the soul of the Democratic Party
U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton told CNN on Friday that the Democratic Party is “literally in the worst position as a party since the 1920s,” the Daily Caller reports. He may be exaggerating the problem, but not too much. Both the New York Times and the Washington Post have stories about the internal battle now raging within the Democratic Party on how to respond to Donald Trump – and whether the party should continue its drift leftward or put the brakes to more radical ideas advocated by the progressive wing of the party. U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano and City Councilor Ayanna Presley make cameo appearances at the end of the Times piece. Bottom line: Capuano is sprinting to the left, not just drifting to the left, in his primary fight against Pressley.
Springfield reporter resigns after post-Capital Gazette shooting tweet
Conor Berry, a reporter at the Springfield Republican, has resigned after posting an anti-Trump joke on Twitter following last week’s tragic shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Maryland, the Springfield Republican has announced, via its MassLive.com website. The caustic tweet falsely suggested/joked/whatever that the suspect who was charged with killing five people at the Capital-Gazette was wearing a President Trump-inspired “Make America Great Again” hat, reports Matt Szafranski at Western Mass Politics and Insight. As Matt notes: “Twitter is many things, but among them is a land of sarcasm, hot takes and sick burns.”
Only in Boston: Fight over land parcel could delay new Red Line cars
The Globe’s Adam Vaccaro reports that the Contos family, owner of the iconic No Name Restaurant, is legally digging in its heels about allowing the state to use an empty lot for future tests of new Red Line cars in Boston’s Seaport District. The possible result: A delay in the deployment of hundreds of new Red Line cars.
BU center: Late Auditor Joe DeNucci suffered from CTE
The late Joe DeNucci, the long-time state auditor and former professional boxer, suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a progressive brain disease that researchers have linked to hard-hitting sports like football, boxing and hockey, according to the CTE Center at Boston University School of Medicine, reports Lindsay Kalter at the Herald. The center also studied the brain of NHL Hockey player Jeff Parker and found he had CTE as well. Herald columnist Joe Fitzgerald writers how DeNucci’s widow, Barbara, now has some answers about her husband’s last difficult years.
In Methuen, police-pay controversy complicated by family ties that bind
That situation in Methuen with the sky-high police raises? It’s worse than it appears at first glance. Lisa Kashinsky of the Eagle-Tribune reports on a series of personal conflicts of interest that are complicating resolution of the budget-busting police contract that took officials by surprise. It starts with Mayor James Jajuga, who can’t directly negotiate with unions because his son is a police captain, but also includes several members of the City Council whose own relatives hold jobs in city government.
Seventeen troopers tied to overtime scandal have locked in their lucrative state pensions
Speaking of lucrative police compensation deals, the Globe’s Matt Rocheleau reports that, so far, 17 state troopers tied to the overtime scandal at State Police have conveniently retired and secured their state pensions. That includes two of the three troopers who were arrested last week by the feds on embezzlement charges tied to the ongoing case. The net result: Troopers will be collecting anywhere from $68,000 to $105,000 per year for life, unless the state and pension officials find a way to legally pry the prized pensions from them. What a racket.
Baker: State Police overtime ‘conspiracy’ has been going on for years
Speaking of the overtime-abuse scandal, from the Globe’s Matt Stout: “The arrest of three State Police troopers and the investigation of dozens of others for alleged overtime fraud is part of a ‘conspiracy’ that may go back years, Governor Charlie Baker said Friday. ‘My own opinion is, given the widespread nature of this, [and] once we started investigating this — remember, we sent 40 names that we considered to be severe violators here to the attorney general’s office for criminal review — I anticipate this conspiracy goes back a long time,’ Baker told reporters after an unrelated event at Fenway Park.”
Evans says he’s not leaving BPD: ‘I hate these rumors …’
Still on the subject of police: Boston’s top cop says WBZ’s report of his career demise at BPD was greatly exaggerated. From the Herald’s Dan Atkinson and Antonio Planas: “An exasperated police Commissioner William B. Evans denied that he’s leaving his post as rumors about him departing to Boston College dogged the city’s top cop on the eve of one of the most violent times of the year. WBZ reported Thursday that Evans, who Mayor Martin J. Walsh named commissioner when he took office in 2014, was leaving to take over the Boston College police force. Walsh and Evans have furiously denied the reports and a BC spokesman said the university had no comment.”
NBC Boston refrained from taking digs at its local CBS rival, btw.
DPU orders utilities to pass along tax-cut savings to customers
From Christian Wade at the Gloucester Times: “The state is ordering more than a dozen electric, gas and water companies to fork over $116 million in tax savings to their customers. A directive issued Friday by the state Department of Public Utilities requires 14 publicly regulated companies — including National Grid, Eversource and Unitil — to reduce their distribution rates, effective July 1, to reflect savings from a cut in the federal corporate tax rate.”
Report: Pot tax could raise $216M in first two years
Assuming retail pot sales get off the ground relatively soon (and that’s far from a sure thing at this point), the state could get a nice short-term bump in tax collections, reports the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett: “The state is expecting recreational marijuana sales to generate $216 million in revenue for the state and up to $3 million for local municipalities in the first two years alone, a figure slightly behind earlier projections.” Btw: The Cannabis Control Commission today may award the state’s first recreational license to a Leicester company, but the lack of state testing labs may delay the rollout of pot shops.
Pot use in Massachusetts: ‘Off the charts …’
To hell with waiting for legal retail pot shops to finally open. One out of five Massachusetts residents say they’ve used pot over the past 30 days, an extraordinarily high number driven by an even more extraordinary finding that half of young adults between 18 and 25 have used pot in the past 30 days, according to a new state report, writes Martha Bebinger at WBUR. “Those numbers are off the charts,” says one expert, “just massively higher than those you see recorded in data sets like the National Study on Drug Use and Health.” He seems to be calling into question the accuracy of the state findings.
Charlton residents demand special town meeting over pot zoning
More than 200 Charlton residents have signed a petition demanding a special town meeting be called to rescind the town’s pot-business friendly zoning regulations, though it’s not clear the change would apply to a massive pot-growing operation that motivated the move. Selectmen are expected to call the town meeting for August 1, but officials say the review of the $100 million plan by Valley Green Grow will continue under existing zoning rules for agricultural lands.
MIT’s Junot Díaz may be making reverse #MeToo history
Junot Díaz, the Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and MIT professor, is one of those rare high-profile males, it seems, who has been effectively exonerated by his employers of #MeToo-era charges and he’s now pushing back against his accusers, saying that he never bullied women nor tried to ‘forcibly kiss’ writer Zinzi Clemmons. The Globe’s Mark Shanahan and Stephanie Ebbert have more on his PR counter-offensive launched from the offices of Boston’s Liberty Square Group, a communications firm.
By signing grand bargain’s $800M payroll tax, Baker says he didn’t break his no-new-taxes pledge
Even though he’s campaigned on the promise of no new taxes or fees, Gov. Charlie Baker says his signing of the ‘grand bargain’ bill last week – the one with a new $800 million payroll tax to pay for family and medical leave – doesn’t constitute the type of new tax covered by his promise. “I said during the campaign . . . that a new fee to support a new program, especially one in this particular case that clearly had the support of the public, is a lot different than just raising taxes just to balance the budget,” Baker said. The Globe’s Matt Stout has more on his apparent campaign caveat.
Grand bargain was no bargain for workers, says AFL-CIO chief
Speaking of the grand bargain, Steven Tolman, head of the AFL-CIO, says he doesn’t think the bill was a good bargain for workers, noting the compromise takes away Sunday and holiday overtime for workers, he teller Jon Keller at CBS Boston’s Keller at Large. “Unfortunately, many of us feel that the retail industry held the legislature hostage,” Tolmon said of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts’s now-abandoned threat to proceed with a sale-tax-cut ballot question.
Howie Carr: Tom Turco, come on down!
Howie gives DOC commissioner Tom Turco et gang the Howie treatment. The only reason we highlight this particular Howie-treatment column is because we didn’t know that Turco has donated at least $4,250 to Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito over the years. You learn something every day.
Is your company ready for the state’s new equal pay law?
The Globe’s Katie Johnston takes a look at what companies are doing, or not doing, with the start of the state’s new equal pay law, effective as of this month. Some firms appear to be in good shape, having already conducted audits and adjusted salaries, etc. But you know many don’t have a clue there’s a new law of the land when it comes to pay.
Wendell to have state’s first cooperative-owned solar array
Here’s one to lock away for that next political trivia night: This fall, the town of Wendell (population: 800) will become the first in the state to operate a community-owned solar power array, David McLellan reports in the Daily Hampshire Gazette. The power station will be operated as a cooperative, offering 50 local residents whose own properties aren’t suitable for solar the opportunity to become part owners and access the tax credits that come with it.
Original copy of Declaration of Independence to be displayed at state archives
Finally, with the Fourth of July holiday only two days away, here’s some good news from SHNS’s Michael P. Norton: “Visitors to the Massachusetts Archives and Commonwealth Museum on the Fourth of July will be able to see one of the 14 original copies of the Declaration of Independence. Secretary of State William Galvin on Thursday announced that the copy, which was sent by the Continental Congress to Massachusetts during the Revolutionary War, will be on display from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.”
MASSterList Campaign Ca$h
We’re introducing a new feature to MASSterList, via our researchers, focusing on campaigns throughout the state as election season gears up. This week we are looking at the race for Secretary of State, which features long-time incumbent William Galvin vs. challenger candidate and Boston City Councillor Josh Zakim. Click the banner ad above to review a complete list of their expenditures and donors since 1/1/2018. All information taken from Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance (ocpf.us). Stay tuned for more races throughout the year! If there’s a particular race that you’d like us to consider for upcoming coverage, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Candidate’s Forum: Jeffrey Sanchez and Nika Elugardo (Suffolk 15th District)
On July 9th, JP Progressives, Our Revolution Boston, NAACP Boston, and Amplify LatinX will host a forum with State Representative Jeffrey Sanchez and Nika Elugardo, his challenger to represent the Suffolk 15th District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.The Suffolk 15th District includes parts of Jamaica Plain, Mission Hill, Roslindale and Brookline.
Space Spotlight at Pier 4
Join NAIOP on Pier 4’s expansive rooftop terrace as we hear from Jessica Hughes, Brooks Brown and Dave Wilkinson.
The Climate Action Business Association’s Annual Cookout
Join the Climate Action Business Association for an evening of grilled cuisine, refreshments, and lawn games. Learn what our organization has been involved with this year, and engage with fellow member businesses and environmental professionals
5th Annual Strategic Internal Communications–East Coast
For the past 4 years this highly anticipated conference has continued to bring over 100 internal communication professionals together to benchmark best practices. Together, over 3 days, attendees have brainstormed solutions for their biggest challenges, shared cost-effective resources, and gained an inside look at internal communication strategies from leading organizations.
South End By Foot: A NAIOP Summer Walking Tour
Visit some of the South End’s most exciting commercial & residential projects, including completed developments & those to come. Following a presentation by Jonathan Greeley of Boston Planning & Development Agency, attendees will be guided on a walking tour to hear from developers of the Flower Exchange, Harrison /Albany Block Developments & AC Hotel / 7INK by Ollie at Ink Block.
Suffolk County Candidate’s Forum: District Attorney & Registry of Deeds
Please join Boston’s Ward 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 19 Democratic Committees for a joint forum with the candidates running for Suffolk County District Attorney and Suffolk County Registry of Deeds.
CFO of the Year Awards 2018
Don’t miss your chance to meet & learn from Boston’s top CFOs at the 10th annual CFO of the Year Awards!
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