Happening Today

Kavanaugh nomination, Lt. governor candidates’ forum, Spilka on the air

— Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash moderates a panel discussion on economic growth in the suburban market, 290 Concord Road, Billerica, 9 a.m.

— Pension Reserves Investment Management Board Real Estate and Timberland Committee meets, with Treasurer Deborah Goldberg expected to attend, 84 State St. – 2nd floor, Boston, 9:30 a.m.

— U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) hold a telephone press briefing on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, 11 a.m.

— Attorney General Maura Healey visits organizations that are the recipients of 2018 Healthy Youth Summer Jobs grant — the Girls Inc. of Worcester, 10 a.m., the Holyoke Parks and Recreation Department, 12 p.m., and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Westfield, 1:30 p.m.

— Clean Water Trust Board meets, Treasurer Deborah Goldberg chairing, Room 227, 1:30 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker joins Robert Lewis, Sam Kennedy and Adam Franklin for the opening day ceremony of the BASE Boston UrbanClassic, a four-day event meant to be a showcase for urban student athletes, Grand Staircase, 4 p.m.

— With the Land and Conservation Fund set to expire next month, U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy has teamed up with the ELM Action Fund, Mass Audubon, the Nature Conservancy, and the Appalachian Mountain Club to call for the permanent reauthorization of the program, Fisher Hill Reservoir Park, 78-144 Fisher Ave., Brookline, 5 p.m.

— Democrat candidates for lieutenant governor Quentin Palfrey and Jimmy Tingle participate in a candidates’ forum hosted by the Binienda Center for Civic Engagement at Worcester State University, Worcester State University, Student Center Blue Lounge, 486 Chandler St., Worcester, 5:30 p.m.

— Attorney General Maura Healey and U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern attend an event in support of ‘Yes on 3,’ a statewide ballot initiative, Democracy Brewing, 35 Temple Place, Boston, 6 p.m.

— Senate President Karen Spilka is a guest on ‘Greater Boston,’ 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.

Today’s Stories

Opioids bill? Check. Health care, education and housing legislation? Maybe next year

It was a busy night for lawmakers on Beacon Hill. From the Boston Globe: “As its formal session barreled toward a close early Wednesday, the Massachusetts Legislature passed broad changes to how the state targets the opioid epidemic, but it failed to reach deals on major legislation addressing health care and the state’s school funding formula. The success — and death — of several closely watched pieces of legislation buffeted state lawmakers’ dash to wrap any remaining formal business from the past 19 months.”

SHNS’s four-reporter team (pay wall) has more on what was passed and not passed on the last day of the session, including these items: “Lawmakers left unfinished bills to ban the use of conversion therapy to change the sexual orientation and gender identity of minors, to allow residents to list their gender as ‘X’ on a driver’s license, and to respond to the U.S. Supreme Court decision that dealt a blow to public sector unions.”

The Herald’s Brian Dowling reports that Gov. Charlie Baker saw his housing bill “die on the vine when it did not make it out of a House committee yesterday.” He also notes that Republicans are blasting the last-day rush to pass legislation.

Lawmakers pass sales tax holiday and non-compete compromise in pumped up economics bill

Lord knows what was tucked into the economic development bill, which somehow nearly doubled in size before lawmakers passed it yesterday, as Shira Schoenberg reports at MassLive.

But we do know this from the Boston Globe, in the same story as linked to above: “In the early hours Wednesday, lawmakers did manage to finalize a $1 billion economic development bond bill that establishes a two-day sales tax holiday on Aug. 11 and 12.  It also includes a Senate proposal that would ban noncompete agreements for lower-wage hourly employees and student workers, limit them to one year for other workers, and bar companies from enforcing them against people they have laid off.”

The SHNS (pay wall) also reports on passage of the “previously elusive agreement to restrict businesses’ use of non-compete agreements in employee contracts.” This is a big deal in the tech community, so we await their reactions to the non-compete compromise.

Energetic debate breaks out over compromise energy bill

As expected, lawmakers yesterday passed a compromise energy bill on the last day of the legislative session, prompting all sort of reactions. In a statement, Ben Hellerstein, state director for Environment Massachusetts, said lawmakers could have “knocked it out of the park” in terms of more aggressive clean-energy requirements. “Instead, they only got a base hit,” he said. At Blue Mass Group, Charley at the MTA  sees dark forces at work in the House. “Once again, Robert DeLeo makes his progressive representatives look like ineffectual dupes,” he writes.

But Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine reports that business groups generally like the “go-slow approach” taken by lawmakers. The Globe’s Jon Chesto reports on the reactions to not lifting solar net-metering caps. Finally, Sen. Marc Pacheco can’t wait to get back to work on new initiatives. “The day after the session ends, my office will be beginning again to pull together clean energy legislation for the next session,” he says, as reported by SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall).

Did lawmakers just accidentally ban horse racing in Massachusetts?

If you think this is bad, they probably also forgot to turn off the lights and coffee makers. From Mike Deehan at WGBH: “A bill that would have extended (horse) racing’s legality into 2019 seems to have been lost in the shuffle at the end of the session and wasn’t enacted before lawmakers broke from significant legislative work for the rest of the year. The law as it stands bans racing starting Aug. 1, 2018. The Plainridge Casino has a race set for Thursday and Suffolk Downs races on Saturday.” Suffolk Downs Chief Operating Officer Chip Tuttle told ‘GBH early this morning that it “looks like hundreds of peoples’ jobs fell victim to the clock here.”


Lawmakers fall just short of overriding 100 percent of Baker’s budget vetoes

The Massachusetts Legislature overrode virtually all of Gov. Charlie Baker’s nearly $50 million in spending vetoes, apparently giving Baker only one measly veto victory, perhaps as a sop of some sort. Shira Schoenberg at MassLive has the override-juggernaut details.


DAs pointing fingers at others, and even themselves, in fatal Cotuit car-crash case

The Herald’s Howie Carr is trying to keep the blame-the-judges narrative going in the fatal Cotuit car crash case that involved the death of a new dad returning home from the hospital after visiting his wife and newborn daughter. But local DAs are spoiling the blame-the-judges plot line. Yesterday, Bristol District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III was blaming the state probation department for not alerting his office about a prior DUI case involving the crash suspect, who himself was facing charges tied to a Fall River murder, the Globe reports. Meanwhile, Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe is admitting his office erred by not asking for higher bail in the DUI case, the Globe reported yesterday.

And, oh, O’Keefe’s office is referring all questions about the high-speed chase that preceded the tragic Cotuit crash to State Police, reports the Herald.

Methuen mayor: Damn the layoffs, full steam ahead on police pay raises

Lisa Kashinsky at the Eagle-Tribune reports that Methuen Mayor James Jajuga wants to push ahead with a compromise pay package for police, over the objections of councilors and despite warnings it could lead to layoffs. And, yes, this is the same Methuen that originally agreed to pay its top police captains more than $400,000 each, before a public outcry led to a compromise plan that most everyone agrees is still too high.


Is a forthcoming book by Seth Moulton a sign he’s going to you-know-what in 2020?

The Daily Beast has a piece that tracks all the ways Dem pols are signaling they may be running for president in 2020 – and one of the tells is writing a book that conveniently comes out next year. Among the budding authors: U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, who has announced that his book about his military service in Iraq will be released in early April 2019. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is obviously mentioned, too, for appearing more often on cable news shows, including on Fox News, of all places.

Daily Beast

No need for recall: Rockland selectman resigns before residents kick him out

Rockland selectman Edward Kimball, accused of lying about his involvement in the sex-lies-and-videotape scandal rocking the town, has resigned in the face of a recall movement backed by hundreds of angry residents, reports Mary Whitfill at Wicked Local. He’s the second selectman to quit the board amid seemingly non-stop political intrigue and turmoil in Rockland.

Wicked Local

Prosecutor’s description of Haverhill as a ‘war zone’ not going over well with councilors

City council members are not happy with an assistant district attorney’s recent courtroom description of Haverhill as a “war zone” and a judge’s remark that violence in the city had gotten ‘out of control,’ reports Kiera Blessing at the Eagle-Tribune. Not that councilors are denying that street-gang shootings and stabbings are plaguing the city. Blessing has the details.


The case of the mysterious state rep cell-phone poll messages …

Universal Hub reports on the mysterious cell-phone poll messages that some people are apparently getting in the 4th Suffolk state representative race. Both candidates in the race say the messages are not from them. Meanwhile, some UH readers say they’re getting annoying campaign texts allegedly from a local district attorney candidate. 

Universal Hub

Healey accuses defunct Brookline arts college of fraud

The BBJ’s Greg Ryan reports that Attorney General Maura Healey has filed a fraud lawsuit against the now defunct New England Institute of Art, accusing the former for-profit school of mispresenting how many of its students had found post-graduation jobs. But whether she can obtain financial relief for former students is another matter. The school’s parent company recently filed for bankruptcy.


‘The Sam Adams of Cannabis’

Mario Signore, great-grandson of the founder of Brookline Ice & Coal, has returned to the family business and he’s determined to expand into the marijuana cultivation business, becoming the local ‘Sam Adams of cannabis’ in the process. The Globe’s Jon Chesto has more.

Boston Globe

Farmers raise a stink over composting provision in environmental bill

From Jonathan Phelps at the MetroWest Daily News: “Farmers across the state want Gov. Charlie Baker to veto a portion of environmental legislation that imposes tougher regulations on large-scale agricultural composting. The provision requires the Department of Environmental Protection, which oversees commercial and other composting operations, to do the same for farms.” The provision was inserted in the bill after neighbors of one farm complained of “noxious odors, noise, truck traffic and growing numbers of bugs and varmints,” Phelps writes.

MetroWest Daily News

Cautious Charlie strikes again …

The Globe’s Shirley Leung unloads on Gov. Charlie ‘Cautious’ Baker for nixing the pilot congestion-pricing toll plan that some say is needed to get the ball rolling on experimenting on ways to reduce traffic congestion in eastern Massachusetts. We happen to think the governor did the right thing, but we won’t get into that now.

Boston Globe

Massachusetts schools ranked No. 1

The is great news. From a report at Wicked local: “Massachusetts schools rank number one in the country, according to WalletHub, a personal finance website. The state’s schools were top ranked in four of the categories: math test scores, reading test scores, highest median ACT test scores and the lowest percentage of threatened and injured high school students. The top five is rounded out by New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont.” 

Wicked Local

Cape Cod Community College to take over Mount Ida’s academic funeral-services program

This is interesting. From Max Stendahl at the BBJ: “Cape Cod Community College has received state approval to carry on the funeral services program of Mount Ida College, giving former students at the defunct Newton school an option to continue in a hard-to-find major. Cape Cod Community College said the Massachusetts Department of Education approved its request on Monday for so-called ‘teach-out authority,’ allowing the college to run the program through September 1, 2022.”


Boston Islamaphobia campaign had splashy debut – and then just faded away

Claire Sadar at DigBoston does some digging to find out what happened to a much-hyped public service campaign that sought to educate Bostonians on how to react if they witnessed an act of Islamaphobia. The city spent $3,000 to print posters but the few that were actually posted at bus shelters and similar locations were soon replaced by commercial ads, she notes.


Murphy drops out of race for Rosenberg’s seat

Would-be write-in candidate David J. Murphy is ending his campaign for the Democratic nomination in the race to succeed former Senate President Stan Rosenberg, Bera Dunau reports in the Daily Hampshire Gazette. The 47-year-old, who moved back to his native Amherst to campaign, says he no longer sees a path to victory.


Verizon lands at North Station in largest office deal of 2018

Verizon will lease 440,000 square feet of space at The Hub on Causeway now being built over North Station, displacing Amazon in the process, in the largest office lease in the city so far this year, Catherine Carlock reports in the Boston Business Journal.

Meanwhile, Greater Boston has landed a recently acquired subsidiary of Boeing. Tim Logan of the Globe reports that Boeing will lease 100,000 square feet in a yet-to-be-built Kendall Square building for Aurora Flight Services, which develops unmanned aircraft technology.

Another mass resignation averted with fire chief salary deal in Shutesbury

A day after police quit their jobs en masse in tiny Blanford, a second public safety walkout was averted when Shutsesbury officials announced the fire chief had agreed to a new contract with an additional $8,200 raise, James Villalobos reports at Western Massachusetts News. All 10 of the town’s volunteers firefighters said they were prepared to quit if Chief Walter Tibbetts didn’t get a more significant pay bump. 


Great White Shark shadows unsuspecting Cape paddleboarder

Finally, here’s our official shark clickbait of the week: A paddleboarder off Nauset Beach in Orleans had no idea that a Great White Shark was shadowing him only feet away until he got back on the beach and someone told him how close he was to becoming breakfast for a hungry Carcharodon carcharias. Tanner Stening at the Cape Cod Times has the story and accompanying photo taken via a drone.

Cape Cod Times

Candidate’s Forum: 7th & 8th Congressional + 11th & 15th Suffolk Representative

Please join Boston’s Ward 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 19 Democratic Committees for a joint forum with the candidates running for the 7th and 8th Congressional Districts and the 11th and 15th Suffolks Representatives.

Boston’s Ward Committees (Wards 8,9,10,11,12, and 19)

Scale Up

Join the Boston Business Journal and BostInno for Scale Up: Boston sponsored by CDW.

Boston Business Journal and BostInno

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

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.


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.

NAIOP Massachusetts

The Business of Sports

Join us for our very first Business of Sports discussion!

Boston Business Journal

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

Today’s Headlines


No consensus on Capuano-Pressley showdown – CommonWealth Magazine

Faneuil Hall boycott looming – Salem News


Billerica dispatcher resigns over alleged affair – Lowell Sun

Shutesbury strikes salary deal with fire chief, avoiding department walkout – Daily Hampshire Gazette

Reactions on Cape Cod mixed to short-term rental tax – Cape Cod Times


Judge temporarily blocks release of 3D gun plans – The Hill

Facebook finds fake accounts trying to muddy 2018 election – New York Times

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