House and Senate in session, marijuana licenses, police training bill, DA forum
— Governor’s Council holds a hearing on Gov. Baker’s nomination of attorney Sabine Coyne as an associate justice of the Brockton District Court., 10 a.m., and then meets in its weekly assembly, Council Chamber, 12 p.m.
— Both the House and Senate are in formal session today, starting at 11 a.m.
— Dozens of people are expected to rally today to protest the recent approval of a 2.5 percent tuition increase at UMass, One Beacon Street, Boston, 12 p.m.
— Republican U.S. Senate candidate Beth Lindstrom is a guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 12:30 p.m.
— The Cannabis Control Commission meets and is expected to start reviewing a ‘significant number’ of license applications, Health Policy Commission, Conference Room, 8th Floor, 50 Milk St., Boston, 1 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker, Undersecretary for Housing and Community Development Janelle Chan, legislators and others announce the 2018 Rental Round Awards related to affordable housing, 16 Ronald St., Dorchester, 2 p.m.
— Boston Mayor Martin Walsh is a guest on ‘Radio Boston,’ WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker signs the police training bill that contains a new $2 car-rental fee designing to pay for the program, 4 p.m.
— Boston Bar Association hosts a forum of the six candidates for Suffolk County district attorney, Boston Bar Association, 16 Beacon St., Boston, 5 p.m.
— Six cannabis advocacy groups host a job fair for people interested in the newly-legal marijuana industry, Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center, 1350 Tremont St., Roxbury, 5 p.m.
— Former Gov. Michael Dukakis talks about transportation issues on ‘Greater Boston’ with Jim Braude, WGBH-TV Ch. 2, 7 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.
Has school busing run its painful course in Boston?
The Globe’s James Vaznis has a good story this morning on the third-rail of Boston politics: School busing. He writes that a recent Northeastern University report on school segregation in Boston has sparked debate whether the city’s four decades of school busing, which was forced upon the city by the federal courts, is working as intended and whether it should be dropped. No surprise, the debate is re-opening some painful wounds in Boston.
Our very cautious third-rail opinion (for what it’s worth): School segregation existed, and still exists, and therefore some form of mandatory busing was, and still is, needed. But the question is, and has been, to what extent – and how does busing help bad neighborhood schools get better? The latter is more about funding than busing. Something isn’t working – and it’s not all about computer student-assignment algorithms.
Baker administration boasts that hydro-power plan could save consumers billions of dollars
From Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine: “Baker administration officials said a massive purchase of hydro-electricity from the Canadian province of Quebec will be priced at a levelized flat rate of 5.9 cents a kilowatt hour for 20 years, resulting in a 2 to 4 percent reduction in Massachusetts customer bills over that period and total direct and indirect savings of as much as $4 billion.” If the numbers are accurate (emphasis on ‘if’), they’re indeed very attractive.
Bitter move: NECCO candy plant in Revere shut down
This is sad news for both employees and candy lovers. From Katheleen Conti at the Globe: “The Necco plant in Revere was abruptly shut down Tuesday after the entity that bought the company at bankruptcy auction in May announced it had sold Necco to another candy manufacturer. Round Hill Investments LLC, which purchased Necco for $17.3 million at an emergency in May, confirmed the closure in a statement late Tuesday.”
In Revere, it’s amazing what an audit can find — $2M in unaccounted for funds, missing parking-meter revenue, etc.
Speaking of Revere, from the Globe’s J.D. Capelouto: “An audit of Revere’s city government found more than $2 million in previously undiscovered money and two possible cases of corruption by municipal parking meter technicians, officials said Tuesday. … The findings are the result of an audit (Mayor Brian Arrigo) commissioned in March 2016, two years after starting his term as mayor. “
State appealing court’s shock-treatment ruling
From Max Larkin at WBUR: “It’s the latest development in a 30-year legal battle over Massachusetts’ most controversial school. Late last week, state Attorney General Maura Healey began the process of appealing a judge’s finding — made late last month — that the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) in Canton can keep using so-called ‘aversive’ therapies to deter students’ violent outbursts or other unwanted behavior. Those ‘aversives’ include triggering painful electric skin shocks.”
SHNS’s Chris Tiunfo (pay wall) reports that the Baker administration is confirming that it had asked Healey’s office to file an appeal.
It’s official: State hauls in $2.2B more in tax collections than originally anticipated
The final revenue numbers are in for last fiscal year – and MassLive’s Shira Schoenberg and the Globe’s Joshua Miller report that the state indeed experienced a major tax-collections windfall last fiscal year. But, if you haven’t been paying attention, lawmakers have already divvied up most of the money, with much of its going into the state’s rainy day fund.
New Hampshire is up to its old anti-Bay State tricks
Let’s put it this way: The Granite State is not exactly going to cooperate with Massachusetts in collecting online sales-tax revenues. From Greg Ryan at the BBJ: “New Hampshire politicians are not happy that the U.S. Supreme Court has required online retailers to collect sales taxes, and they’re planning to do something about it. But in the eyes of Jon Hurst, the president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, that something amounts to ‘a cross between silliness and overreaction.’” Greg has the details on what the anti-taxes N.H. is plotting.
No laughing matter: Bill Cosby may be registered as sexual offender in Massachusetts
Bill Cosby’s representative says the 81-year-old former comedian plans to fight the recommendation from a Pennsylvania board that he be classified as a sexually violent predator, following his indecent-assault conviction this past spring, reports the Associated Press at MassLive. But if Cosby is labeled as a sexual offender in Pennsylvania, that would be sufficient for Massachusetts authorities to require him to register here as a sexual offender, reports the Herald’s Joe Dwinell. Cosby owns a sprawling estate in Shelburne Falls.
Senate to vote on sales-tax holiday, non-competes and ‘patent trolls’
Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports that the Senate today will take up its own version of a $600 million economic development bill, which includes reforms of the state’s non-compete contracts and a crackdown on ‘patent trolls’ who make bogus patent and copyright claims against inventors.
SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) reports that senators will also vote on an amendment to the bill calling for a sales-tax holiday next month, a measure that was contained in an economic-development bill previously passed by the House.
Meanwhile, lawmaker wants to repeal holiday-pay provision in ‘grand bargain’ bill
Speaking of the economic development bill: The ink is barely dry on the “grand bargain” legislation recently passed by lawmakers and state Sen. Jamie Eldridge, an Acton Democrat, is already looking to undo a key provision that eliminates extra pay for employees on holidays and Sundays, reports Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive. The proposal, which Eldridge hopes to attach to the Senate economic-development bill today, is probably going nowhere this session. But the issue isn’t going away in the long-term, that’s for sure.
Compromise deals struck on civics-lessons and data-breach bills
In other Beacon Hill news: SHNS’s Michael Nortion (pay wall) reports that a compromise has been reached between conference committee members that would require a heavier emphasis on civic lessons in state schools. Meanwhile, a separate deal has been struck on a bill that would require residents to get a year and a half of free credit monitoring services if their personal data and Social Security numbers are compromised by a data security breach, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall).
Is Elizabeth Warren poised to keep the state’s presidential losing streak alive?
The Herald’s Howie Carr, in his own Howie way, raises an interesting historical point: If she indeed runs for president in 2020, can U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren actually win – or will she merely become the latest failed Massachusetts presidential candidate? Howie’s losing-streak record: Ted Kennedy, Mike Dukakis, Paul Tsongas and John Kerry. He neglected to mention Mitt Romney. Don’t forget Mitt!
Judge says there’s ‘wiggle room’ for Senate to give Hefner info to Healey
From the Herald’s Laurel Sweet and Brian Dowling: “A judge is considering an effort by prosecutors to learn the secret identities of witnesses who cooperated with a Beacon Hill investigation into former Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg, saying the promise of confidentiality they testified under has ‘wiggle room.’ Suffolk Superior Court Judge William F. Sullivan yesterday took under advisement a request by Attorney General Maura Healey’s office to order the Senate Committee on Ethics to comply with the request to aid in the criminal investigation of Rosenberg’s estranged husband, Bryon Hefner.”
Rockland residents launch recall campaign against selectman
The Rockland sex-lies-and-videotape scandal may claim yet another town leader. With its town administrator on leave and a selectwoman having already resigned earlier this month, residents are now gunning for Selectman Edward Kimball, collecting roughly 700 signatures to get the recall process under way, reports Mary Whitfill at Wicked Local.
Meanwhile, Sutton selectman resigns after his epic DUI detention in Vermont
Sutton Selectman Michael Kenney has officially resigned his seat after reports of his arraignment in Vermont on drunken driving charges, reports Susan Spencer at the Telegram. If you recall, Kenney, according to Vermont police, was not exactly a model prisoner after he was arrested on DUI charges, hurling obscenities at cops, threatening to sexually assault them, vowing to shoot them if they ever came into Massachusetts, etc. etc.
Sean Spicer’s on-again-off-again book signing event in Seekonk
Here’s some classic confusion for you. Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer was scheduled to have a hometown book signing Saturday at the BJ’s Wholesale Club in Seekonk, but Spicer’s publisher said Tuesday the gathering had been canceled. WPRI, citing a statement from the publisher of “The Briefing,” said the store pulled the plug because of the “political climate.” But then the publisher later said the event was a go – and yet the store itself is apparently still saying it’s not a go. Got it?
Healey launches investigation of vaping company
From WBUR: “Attorney General Maura Healey has launched an investigation against Juul, the largest vaping company in the country, to determine whether it intentionally markets to minors and whether it tracks underage use of its products. ‘They’re engaged in an effort to get kids addicted,” Healey claimed in a news conference Tuesday.’” Juul is denying the allegation.
Sen. Eldridge says opposition to sanctuary state is rooted in misinformation, including use of the term ‘sanctuary state’
Brendan Deady at WGBH reports that Sen. Jamie Eldridge thinks much of the opposition to the immigrant Safe Communities Act is rooted in misinformation – and he doesn’t sound as though he likes the ‘sanctuary state’ term anymore to describe, well, sanctuary-state proposals. “Sanctuary city and a sanctuary state is really a political term,” he said. “It doesn’t mean anything.”
Really? That’s not what activists here and elsewhere had been saying until recently, such as in California, where lawmakers officially passed the nation’s first ‘sanctuary state’ law in September. “That word, ‘sanctuary,’ has deep meaning. It suggests refuge, safety, a place of belonging,” said one activist at the time, as reported by Governing.com. What’s changed? The political term ‘sanctuary,’ introduced and embraced by the left, is now firmly fixed in the public’s mind – and not fixed in the way activists want. So some are now trying to change the terminology, though the ACLU is still using the ‘sanctuary city’ term on its local web site. See Orwell, George, ‘Politics and the English Language,’ for more on this general topic.
As his nose grows by the minute, Evans explains why he initially denied that he was leaving BPD
Speaking of the English language, from Tori Bedford at WGBH: “Outgoing Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans says he originally denied claims that he was moving on to a new post at Boston College because he was afraid to ‘jeopardize the opportunity’ in its early stages.” Read on. He’s still blaming WBZ.
CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl had a good post yesterday about the “whole lot of lying going on” involving Evans and state Sen. Barbara L’Italien, who hoodwinked Fox News into letting her on its morning show earlier this week.
Is state’s long-time ban on secret recording of conversations about to come to an end?
And speaking of language and deceptions: At WGBH, Joe Mathieu talks with Northeastern law professor Daniel Medwed about a pending case in which the ACLU is challenging a Massachusetts law that bars people from secretly recording conversations with others without their consent, specifically arguing that activists have a First Amendment right to secretly record police activities.
We’re most definitely entering permanent James O’Keefe-Sacha Baron Cohen (NYT) political and legal territory if the state law is completely overturned. And the ACLU may rue the day when/if the secret-recording tables are turned on local activists, as O’Keefe has already done in other states.
Boston 25 is on the sale – and possibly chopping — block
From Mollie Simon at the BBJ: “Cox Enterprises Inc. Inc. may soon be saying goodbye to Boston 25 News and its 13 other television stations under the Cox Media Group brand. The Atlanta-based media giant said Tuesday it is ‘exploring strategic options for its ownership or other interest in 14 broadcast television stations, including partnering or merging these stations into a larger TV company.’”
Meanwhile, Henry says Globe not for sale
In an interview with WGBH’s Dan Kennedy, Boston Globe owner John Henry says the paper is not for sale, voices confidence in editor Brian McGrory but declines to answer questions about the paper’s handling of the sexual harassment allegations against McGrory or the pending return of suspended columnist Kevin Cullen. Henry also manages to avoid directly answering most of Kennedy’s questions about revenue and profitability, but says he remains committed long-term to figuring out how to make the paper sustainable financially.
So Bart Simpson doesn’t live in Springfield? What about Shelbyville?
Sometimes the Massachusetts angle is that there’s no Massachusetts angle. Turns out that despite decades of rumors and hopeful speculation, the city of Springfield depicted in The Simpsons is definitely not the one located 90 miles west of Boston. Simpsons writer Mike Reiss dashed those dreams in a TV appearance, saying the city on the show is, alas, purely fictional, the Globe’s Martin Finucane reports.
Greenfield finance director abruptly ousted
Something’s brewing in Greenfield. The City Council has called an emergency meeting for Thursday after the mayor said he had decided not to renew the contract of the city’s finance director—essentially firing her, according to a story by Dan Derochers of the Greenfield Recorder.
Blatant e-newsletter click bait: Great White Shark snatches bass from fisherman!
We make no apologies. Neither does MassLive, which has the video that you know the average reader can’t resist.
A Job Fair & CORI Sealing Clinic for a New Economy
The Massachusetts Cannabis Business Association, the Commonwealth Dispensary Association, the Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council, the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance, Equitable Opportunities Now, and ELEVATE NE are pleased to collaborate and co-host a special event connecting prospective employees to one of Massachusetts’s fastest growing sectors.
Massachusetts Cannabis Business Association, the Commonwealth Dispensary Association, the Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council, the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance, Equitable Opportunities Now, and ELEVATE NE
Coffee with the BBJ Editor & Publisher
Join Boston Business Journal Editor Doug Banks and Publisher Carolyn M. Jones for coffee at our office. You’ll get the chance to network with business professionals from various industries & introduce yourself and/or your business to our team.
2018 Summer Institute in Global Leadership: Advanced Public Speaking
Advanced Institutes bring together older students who are passionate about global issues and are in, or aspire to be in, leadership roles that demand advance communication skills. This week, students will work together to develop public speaking skills through the format of Model UN crisis simulations. There will be a particular focus on presentation tips and tricks and extemporaneous speaking.
United Nations Association of Greater Boston
NAIOP 8th Annual Harbor Cruise
Mix business with pleasure on the decks of the NAIOP Harbor Cruise, featuring networking, an 80’s theme party, and cocktails. Connect with friends and colleagues while enjoying a 360-degree view of Boston’s ever-changing waterfront.
2018 #FlipMyFunnel B2B Marketing and Sales Conference
Each year, more than 1,000 B2B marketing and sales professionals gather together to learn about the latest in B2B marketing and sales, network with one another and explore the latest technologies to power their programs.
Malden Democratic City Committee Annual Summer BBQ
We hope you’ll join us for our summer BBQ! This annual event is always a lot of fun and a great chance to catch up with old friends while supporting MDCC.
Malden Democratic City Committee
Income-restricted housing development in Boston is opened – WBUR
Once again school busing is under scrutiny in Boston – Boston Globe
Baker officials tout hydro contract benefits – CommonWealth Magazine
Braintree approves Amazon facility – Patriot Ledger
Study: Income gap steep in Berkshire County – Berkshire Eagle
One-third of registered voters on Worcester ‘inactive’ list – Telegram & Gazette
Cohen releases tape of Trump, inflaming feud – New York Times
Pompeo faces GOP grilling on Russia, North Korea – The Hill
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