House and Senate in session, Comm. Ave. project update, and more
— Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver hosts a media briefing regarding the morning commute and the progress of the project to replace the westbound side of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge, in front of the Joan and Edgar Booth Theatre, 820 Commonwealth Avenue, Brookline, 10:15 a.m.
— The House and Senate meet in formal sessions with only two days left in the planned legislative session, with the Senate convening at 10:30 a.m. and the House at 11 a.m.
— U.S. Sen. Edward Markey joins health care advocates to highlight the ‘threat to health care and the Affordable Care Act’ with the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, JFK Federal Building, 9th floor, 15 New Sudbury Street, Boston, Mass, 11 a.m.
— U.S. Rep. Richard Neal holds a roundtable discussion with local labor leaders regarding the multi-employer pension crisis, IBEW Local #7, 185 Industry Ave., Springfield, 10:30 a.m.
— U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling is a guest on ‘Greater Boston,’ WGBH-TV Ch. 2, 7 p.m.
— Republican Reps. Jim Lyons, Marc Lombardo, Kevin Kuros, Geoff Diehl, Shaunna O’Connell, Nick Boldyga and David DeCoste, who are all co-sponsors of a bill seeking to have Salem Superior Court Judge Timothy Feeley removed from the bench, hold a press conference on their legislation, outside room 443, 10:30 a.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.
Lawmakers reach deal to tax Airbnb and other short-term rentals
With only a few days left in the legislative session, they finally did it: Lawmakers last evening reached a compromise deal that would tax Airbnb rentals like hotel and motel rooms, with the taxes potentially hitting as high as 17.5 percent when state and city taxes are combined. SHNS’s Matt Murphy at CommonWealth magazine and Jon Chesto and Tim Logan at the Globe have the details of the long-sought compromise.
Expect more last-minute deals as lawmakers rush to finish business by the end of tomorrow. It’s going to be a busy two days.
About that airline passenger wearing sunglasses who keeps stealing glances at you …
The Globe’s Jana Winter has a big piece about how the Transportation Security Administration has launched a secret-no-more airport and inflight surveillance program called ‘Quiet Skies,’ in which U.S. air marshals literally follow people around the country before, during and after flights, collecting information and assessing whether they might be a risk – even if citizens are not suspected of a crime or on any terrorist watch list.
To an extent, there’s a sleuthing amateur-hour feel to the TSA program, with numerous U.S. marshals denouncing ‘Quiet Skies’ as a colossal waste of time. The Washington Post has a follow-up piece, giving the Globe credit for breaking the story.
L’Italien’s gift to Lowell: ‘All pork, all for the Mill City’
Whether it’s impersonating someone else to get on TV or proving she can bring home the bacon, state Sen. Barbara L’Italien is making it very clear she really wants that Third Congressional seat. The Globe’s Matt Stout reports how state taxpayers are indirectly funding L’italian’s campaign largesse toward Lowell – to the tune of $16 million and counting.
‘President-elect Elizabeth Warren celebrated …’
Responding to a fantasy column by the NYT’s Bret Stephens that envisions a 2020 re-election win by Donald Trump, David Leonhardt pens his own fantasy column at the Times about the 2020 presidential race. This time Elizabeth Warren wins. Again, it’s silly stuff, but it’s fun.
Warren is attracting new followers: Republicans
The Associated Press at Boston.com reports that U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s GOP challengers are adopting a new tactic — showing up at her rallies in Massachusetts. And sometimes it leads to trouble, as the Berkshire Eagle reported last week.
Are some domestic-violence victims made victims again in child custody cases?
Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports that court officials, counselors, battered women and others are convinced there’s a clear “pattern of family court judges holding domestic violence against the woman in custody battles.” In other words, they’re being made victims again.
Study says evaluations of minority judges are biased and worse …
Speaking of the court system, the Globe’s Adrian Walker has a column this morning about a new study that reviewed the evaluations of judges by practicing attorneys and judges – and found racism and sexism in their assessments, with racial and ethnic minority judges the “most likely to have their intelligence questioned.”
Globe embraces the face-it-don’t-erase it approach to Faneuil Hall’s name
Still on the subject of race: In an editorial, the Boston Globe cautiously comes down on the side of not changing the name of Faneuil Hall due to its namesake’s historic ties to slavery, arguing a local artist’s idea of a slave “auction block” memorial at the historic site helps “crack the code for dealing with slavery’s legacy in modern Boston.”
Clark Booth, RIP
WCVB reports on the death of Clark Booth, 79, the award-winning print and TV journalist whose elegant and spell-binding sports and news reporting set the standard in Boston for decades. As WCVB, where Booth worked for years, puts it: “Despite his considerable intellect, love of the English language and countless accolades, Clark Booth always saw himself a humble reporter.” The Globe’s Danny McDonald and the Herald’s Joe Fitzgerald have more.
For those of you who never saw or heard his essay-like reports in his broadcast prime, you missed out. They were that good. Here’s a random collection of some of his ‘Clark Booth Reports’ at YouTube. Maybe someone will compile some of his more poignant reports, if they haven’t already.
Rosenberg’s return to the public eye – in Los Angeles
Even though he’s no longer a member of the state Legislature, former Senate President Stan Rosenberg will apparently be facilitating a panel on redistricting tomorrow at a meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures in Los Angeles, according to SHNS’s ‘Daily Advances’ report (pay wall). Just pointing it out.
Even though the alleged big news is Harvard’s call to dismiss a potentially landmark admissions-discrimination suit against the university (BBJ), the New York Times and the Boston Globe can’t resist the juicy part contained in court filings, i.e. disclosure of Harvard’s ‘Z-list’ of connected students who enter the school through a deferred, backdoor process. They’re basically legacy kids or the children of major donors. We don’t see anything wrong or shocking about it. It’s how the world works. But it is fascinating.
A new dad, a Marine combat veteran, killed in car crash after visiting wife and newborn in hospital
This is horrible. From the Herald’s Brooks Sutherland: “A Marine combat vet who had just left his wife and newborn daughter at the hospital was killed in Cotuit early Saturday morning in a head-on crash with a man who reportedly was fleeing from police and also was killed. Kevin Quinn, 32, of Mashpee was killed when his SUV was struck head-on by a 2000 Toyota sedan driven by Mickey Rivera, 22, of Fall River, who was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a Barnstable police statement.” Can you imagine the family and daughter’s thoughts every year for rest of her life when she celebrates her birthday? It’s beyond sad.
U.S. attorney: ‘It’s true the RMV often gets duped’
Federal and state cooperation at its finest. From Joe Dwinell at the Herald: “U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling said the RMV needs to pick up the phone and call the feds to help catch fraud. ‘It’s true the RMV often gets duped,’ said the top federal prosecutor in Boston a day after announcing the arrest of 25 mostly illegal immigrants swept up in a fraud bust. The suspects allegedly tricked the Registry of Motor Vehicles into giving them driver’s licenses. ‘They could call us or the FBI,’ Lelling told the Herald.”
A statewide referendum on a hand-held cellphone ban?
From the Globe’s Adam Vaccaro: “As another legislative season approaches an end without new rules to curb distracted driving in Massachusetts, frustrated activists are considering a ballot question to ask voters whether to ban hand-held cellphone use while driving. The proposed ban suffered a major setback last week, when negotiations between police and a key lawmaker broke down over the issue of racial profiling.”
Sean Spicer’s bad weekend
First, they cancelled Sean Spicer’s book-signing event in Seekonk due to the ‘political climate,’ as the Herald reports. Then Spicer caught all sorts of grief at a book-signing event in his native Rhode Island, with one man accusing Spicer of using the n-word before a boxing match in high school, reports USA Today. The Newport Daily News has a YouTube video of the n-word confrontation. The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld says political polarization, at least in Massachusetts, has simply gotten ‘out of control.’
Masshole alert: ‘Man stopped on Maine highway driving scooter and using cell phone as headlight’
Masshole alert, code red: A 26-year-old man from Massachusetts drove all the way from New Bedford to Kittery, Maine, on a scooter while using only his cell phone as a headlight, before he was finally stopped by Maine police. Meaning he was never stopped in Massachusetts. Scott Croteau at MassLive has more.
Lawmakers junk statewide ban on plastic bags
The Sierra Club is not happy. From the Associated Press at WBSM: “Massachusetts lawmakers have decided against a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags by retail stores. House and Senate negotiators dropped the proposal Friday from the compromise version of an environmental bond bill now awaiting final votes in the Legislature. The Senate had included the ban in its version of the bill.”
Baker signs anti-abortion and tobacco-purchase bills
As expected, Gov. Charlie Baker last Friday signed a bill that wipes the state books clean of an old anti-abortion law and other statutes concerning women’s health, as Spencer Buell at Boston Magazine reports. Meanwhile, Baker also signed legislation raising the tobacco-buying age in Massachusetts to 21, reports Lisa Creamer at WBUR.
Meanwhile, critics decry governor’s ‘devious’ family-cap move
Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports that activists are furious with Gov. Baker’s “devious” move not to sign a measure that would have eliminated the family cap on children receiving welfare benefits, instead sending the provision back to lawmakers with an amendment that changes welfare eligibility laws tied to the income of parents.
Now this is going too far: Baker sinks yacht club tax breaks
From Brian Dowling at the Herald: “Gov. Charlie Baker has sunk a generous House proposal tucked into the state budget that slashed state rents for yacht clubs on public land. The governor, returning the budget measure back to lawmakers, said the rent levels they sought would have led to taxpayers never getting fair compensation for the private use of the public land.”
Zakim blasts Galvin’s record on election cybersecurity – even though Mass. still relies on paper ballots
Writing at CommmonWealth magazine, City Councilor Josh Zakim, a candidate for secretary of state, says Secretary of State Bill Galvin is failing to provide adequate election-system security and hasn’t even spent all the federal grant money awarded to the state for such purposes. He quotes a Boston Globe story in which Galvin says he’s planning on “picking up the pace” of security. But he doesn’t quote what Galvin also told the Globe: “We’re all concerned, of course, but we feel we’re in a better position than most,” he said. “We only use paper ballots, and our system is not on the internet.”
In New Hampshire, Moulton calls for ‘new generation of political leadership’
Granted, it was only a small gathering in New Hampshire that U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton attended – and he’s previously pushed for new leadership in the House and denied he’s running for president. But … the Globe’s James Pindell has the details on Moulton’s latest trip to the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state.
Brockton hit with civil rights lawsuit over racial slur and ‘malicious’ arrest
Brockton resident Sean Williamson has filed a federal lawsuit against the city and its police department, alleging that a parking officer used a racial slur against him and that police later pursued false assault charges against him, Marc Larocque reports in the Enterprise. Williamson was cleared of those charges and is now seeking unspecified damages from the city.
The split-the-vote ghost of 2013 haunts the Suffolk DA race
We missed this one from the other day: CommonWealth magazine Michael Jonas’s has a piece on the efforts by some black and progressive voters, including former state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson, to rally around just one candidate in the Suffolk DA race, rather than split their votes and allow a non-progressive/non-minority win the Democratic primary. Hovering in the background is the ghost of the 2013 mayoral primary.
Senate’s ‘Beagle bill’ would give research dogs and cats a break
The state Senate has passed a bill that could clear the way for hundreds of dogs and cats used in medical and scientific research to be put up for adoption, Brynne Connelly reports at WHDH. The legislation, now before the House with only a few days left in the session, has been dubbed the ‘Beagle Bill’ because the majority of dogs used in such settings are indeed beagles.
Lyft’s subscription model test seen as evolving threat to public transit
Ride-hail service Lyft is testing a subscription-style service offering unlimited rides for a flat monthly fee, a move that could threaten to lure more passengers away from the MBTA, Bruce Mohl reports at CommonWealth Magazine.
Emily’s List faces a tough choice in 3rd District race
With just 36 days until the Sept. 4 primary, Emily’s List has yet to endorse or announce its support for any of the candidates running in the 3rd District Decmoratic primary, Chris Liskinski of the Lowell Sun notes. The powerful political action committee says it has been following the race closely but may choose to withhold an endorsement with five women, all with strong pro-choice bona fides, still in the race. The Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert was writing about this general topic last week.
She blew it: You mean, Ivanka could have had Tom?
From Kenneth Singletary at the Globe: “It looks like President Trump really is a big fan of Tom Brady. The New York Times reported Saturday that Trump wished that his daughter Ivanka had married Brady instead of Jared Kushner. Several times Mr. Trump joked that he ‘could have had Tom Brady’ as a son-in-law. ‘Instead,’ the president said, according to five people who heard him, ‘I got Jared Kushner.’” The president, apparently, used to not-so-jokingly push his then-single daughter to “meet” the pre-Gisele No. 12, according to the report.
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.
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.
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