Happening Today

Gross swearing in, Kennedy at Keolis, National Night Out and more

— Mayor Martin Walsh will swear in William Gross as Boston’s 42nd and first black commissioner of the Boston Police Department,  Morning Star Baptist Church, 1257 Blue Hill Ave., Mattapan, 12 p.m.

— U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III visits Keolis Commuter Services to tour one of the commuter train company’s facilities, Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority, 100 Widett Circle, Boston, 12:30 p.m. 

— Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Attorney General Maura Healey and newly sworn-in Police Commissioner William Gross participate in the community policing celebration National Night Out, Boston, 3 p.m.

— U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III tours the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, named in honor of his great uncle, Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, 42 Cape Road, Milford, 3 p.m.

Bill Forry of the Dorchester Reporter and Larry Ellison of the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers talk on ‘Radio Boston,’ about new Boston Police Commissioner William Gross, WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m.

MBTA hosts a public meeting about the status and rehabilitation of the Braintree Station and Quincy Adams Station parking garages, Braintree Town Hall, One Kennedy Memorial Dr., Braintree, 6 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

Pike back to full capacity a day ahead of schedule

Score another win for MassDOT. Lane closures on the Mass Pike tied to the Commonwealth Avenue bridge project ended early Sunday—a day earlier than expected, reports the AP at the Herald and the Globe’s Olivia Quintana. Work—and delays—on local roadways will continue until Saturday, when the project is slated to wrap up for the year. Building on last year’s successful first stage, the $110 million project could well be one the Baker campaign points to this campaign season to demonstrate he knows how to get things done. 

Back to the future: Boston’s return to ‘intensely segregated’ schools

For both education and political reasons, this is a big story. The Globe’s James Vaznis reports on how 60 percent of Boston’s schools now meet the definition of being “intensely segregated,” up from 42 percent two decades ago, largely due to allowing “more students to attend schools in their neighborhoods as they did prior to court-ordered busing.”

We’d be curious to see how today’s school and academic numbers fare against those in the pre-court-ordered busing era more than four decades ago, not just two decades. They might tell us how much busing has, or hasn’t, changed things.

Boston Globe

Meet the new boss: William Gross

Speaking of the city’s racial history, Boston’s newest police commissioner — and the first-ever African-American commissioner — will be sworn in today and Quincy Walters of WBUR reports that those who know him best say William Gross is perfect for the job, given his 33-year career of building bridges between the department and residents. 

The Globe’s Milton Valencia profiles the 54-year-old Gross, tracing his career from his days walking a beat and his deep roots in the Mattapan neighborhood, where he’ll be sworn into office today. 


With the legislative session out of the way, Baker revs up his re-election engine

The Globe’s Matt Stout reports that Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, now that the legislative session is over, is starting to focus more on his re-election campaign, bulking up on staff, reserving multimillion-dollar ad campaigns and landing more than a little financial help from a Republican-backed super PAC.

Meanwhile, the two Democratic candidates for governor, Bob Massie and Jay Gonzalez, are sharpening their attacks on the governor, reports Jordan Graham at the Herald.

Baker does, of course, have a primary challenger of his in the form of Scott Lively, but as Christian Wade reports in the Salem News, the state GOP has long been looking past Sept. 4. The party broke with its own tradition to back Baker in the primary and is now running a Facebook survey that completely ignores Lively. 

Salem News

And, yes, Baker really is a Republican …

Ed Lyons, a longtime Republican activist and a regular contributor to WBUR, writes at CommonWealth magazine that, sure, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has signed a lot of legislation pushed by Democrats. But they would have been far worse bills if Baker wasn’t sitting in the corner office, Lyons writes, arguing Baker is indeed using a ‘creative friction’ strategy to protect GOP interests.


Is there a PawSox-to-Worcester deal waiting to be announced?

Reporters from the Telegram and Worcester Magazine tweeted over the weekend that a deal to bring the Pawtucket Red Sox to Worcester will be announced next week. But neither outlet has yet published a story to that effect. Telegram baseball writer Bill Ballou wrote that an “unveiling” of a deal is imminent and Worcester Magazine followed suit. Seems like news to us, but the lack of actual published stories makes us wonder if they got a little too far ahead of the story.  

In the meantime, it’s back to reading the tea leaves, including the decision by Minor League Baseball to apply for trademarks around the name “WooSox,” which the AP reports via Boston.com says happened in late July. 

Also, some in Lowell are starting to wonder and worry about what such a move could mean for its own minor-league team and whether having a Triple-A so close will hurt the hometown Spinners, the Red Sox’ single-A affiliates. 


Warren: Criminal justice system is ‘racist … front to back’

From the Associated Press at WBUR: “Senator Elizabeth Warren has a message about the U.S. criminal justice system. Speaking at Dillard University in New Orleans, a historically black college, she delivered what she called ‘the hard truth about our criminal justice system: It’s racist … front to back.’” She made the remarks at the liberal gathering of Netroots Nation.


In national spotlight, Patrick keeps 2020 options open

Not yet. Former Mass. governor Deval Patrick told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday that he is “not ready to be a candidate” for president in 2020 just yet. But despite his insistence he is focused on boosting Democrats in the looming midterm, Kenneth Singletary reports in the Globe that Patrick also served up several answers that sure make it sound like he’s running. 

In the CNN interview, Patrick defended his work at Bain, saying he’s never had to leave his conscience at the door. He also called Medicaid-for-all a “terrific idea” and declined an opportunity to call for the abolition of ICE, CNN reports. 

Boston Globe

Baker proposes changes to civics bill to head off potential partisanship

We were wondering what Republican Gov. Charlie would do with the recently approved civics-lesson bill – and now we know. Late last week, Baker sent back the bill with an amendment that he says makes it more non-partisan and protects the rights of students with minority viewpoints, reports Shira Schoenberg at MassLive.

Without saying so, Baker appears to share the conservative Pioneer Institute’s concern that bill’s emphasis on student-led civics projects is nothing more than an “exercise in progressive educational propaganda and vocational training for how to be a political activist.” Btw: Bianca Vazquez Toness at WGBH reports on how some teachers are eager to start emphasizing civics in classrooms.


As homeless gather on town common, Greenfield mayor, council differ on response

As a makeshift homeless camp on Greenfield Common grows to some 20 people, Mayor William Martin says he will form a rapid re-housing team to address the situation with an eye toward having a solution in place before winter, Dan Desrochers reports in the Daily Hampshire Gazette. Last week, the City Council voted to place a portable toilet behind City Hall to accommodate the homeless who have moved into the encampment. 

Daily Hampshire Gazette

Amatul-Wadud voted for Scott Brown over Elizabeth Warren in 2012?

Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, a Democrat trying to unseat U.S. Rep. Richard Neal in the September primary, confirms she voted for Republican Scott Brown over Democrat Elizabeth Warren in the U.S. Senate race in 2012 — but she now regrets her decision. Shannon Young at MassLive has her explanation, which may or may not suffice for some progressives in the First District.


UMass police slam plan to use private security at Mount Ida campus

Mount Ida College in Newton may become a satellite campus of UMass Amherst this fall, but it will be patrolled by a private security force and not campus police, a decision that has the union representing Amherst campus cops fired up, Diane Lederman reports at MassLive. The union called the private security plan an ‘outrage’ while the university claims it offered shifts at the Newton campus to the union, which in turn said officers would need to paid overtime to make the journey. 


Capuano and Pressley: Still not many differences

We were expecting, or at least hoping for, more fireworks from Michael Capuano and Ayanna Pressley in their first televised debate in the closely watched Seventh Congressional primary race, compared to their previous appearances together at forums. But the Globe’s John Hilliard reports that the two Dem candidates “saved their toughest words for President Trump and his administration, instead of each other.” The debate, which was filmed Thursday, aired on Sunday morning on WCVB-TV’s ‘On the Record.’

Boston Globe

Democratic centrists versus progressives: The never ending tension

Boston College’s David Hopkins and Harvard’s Ryan Enos are among those quoted in Tom Edsall’s piece at the NYT about the ongoing debate over the future of the Democratic Party. Among others things, the numbers cited by Edsall show that Democrats must, not just should, find a way to attract non-college educated whites in order to win in 2020. Obama found a way in 2016. But can today’s crop of Dem presidential candidates find a way?


Green Party is spoiling for a fight again – in more ways than one

Speaking of the 2020 elections, the NYT has another piece about how the Green Party, the leftist offshoot of the Democratic Party, is mobilizing for the fall’s midterm elections and may play a decisive role in a few Congressional races. But the real aim of the Greens is to gather enough votes this fall to qualify to be on the ballot in more states in 2020. The Times paraphrases Lexington’s Jill Stein, the party’s three-time presidential nominee, as saying she has “no plans” to run again in 2020. But if you read her actual quotes, it’s not so clear what she intends to do in two years.


Suffolk DA race spills over into Plymouth County …

Linda Champion, a former prosecutor and attorney who is running for Suffolk County District Attorney, is speaking out against Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter’s stand on panhandling in his Plymouth County city, calling it a criminalization of the poor, reports Marc Larocque at the Enterprise.


History in the making: DeLeo to become longest continuously serving speaker

From SHNS’s Sam Doran at the Newburyport Daily News: “An era of turmoil and turnover in the state Senate has coincided with a period of historic consistency in the House, where Rep. Robert DeLeo on Saturday becomes the longest continuously-serving speaker in state history. The 14-term Winthrop Democrat will KO a record held since 1985 by the late Lynn Democrat Thomas McGee, father of current Lynn Mayor Thomas McGee.”

Daily News

Baker once again vetoes pilot congestion-pricing bill

For a second time, Gov. Charlie Baker has rejected a pilot congestion-pricing program, or what supporters refer to as a pilot “toll discount” program, designed to ease traffic congestion, according to WBUR. Good riddance. Until backers get serious – i.e. propose tolls on I-93, I-95 and other commuter roadways other than the Pike and Tobin Bridge – any pilot program that sets the stage for future peak-hour toll hikes exclusively on the Pike and Tobin deserves rejection.

Btw: Over the weekend, we embarked on an epic investigation of traffic congestion on area roadways by Googling “busiest highways in Massachusetts.” Guess what? We found this 2015 Globe story that names I-93 South into Boston and I-93 North into Boston as, by far, the two worst traffic bottlenecks/congestion points in Massachusetts. We also found this 2016 Boston.com story that identifies a stretch along I-95, between MA-2 in Concord and MA-28 in Reading, as having the longest traffic delays in Greater Boston. Needless to say, none of these roadways have tolls.


Maine’s LePage accuses Mass. of toll-collection ‘shakedown’ scheme

Speaking of tolls, Maine Gov. Paul LePage, whose state tollway system regularly shakes down Bay State motorists visiting his state, is accusing Massachusetts of a tardy-billing “shakedown” scheme designed to sock it to out-of-state toll drivers, reports the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter. Maine’s own turnpike chief is knocking down LePage’s conspiracy theory.

Boston Herald

Lawmakers send animal protection bill to Baker

We missed this story from the other day. From SHNS’s Katie Lannan at the Gloucester Times: “State lawmakers on Thursday sent Gov. Charlie Baker a compromise bill that adds new requirements for reporting animal abuse, steps up penalties for animal control violations, and requires vacant properties be checked for abandoned pets.” If you’re wondering, the bill was passed during informal sessions.

Gloucester Times

Both candidates in state Rep. primary paid campaign finance violation fines

The two Democrats vying for the nomination to replace state Rep. Juana Matias have paid $10,000 worth of fines for failing to comply with state campaign finance regulations, Keith Eddings reports in the Eagle-Tribune. Former Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua has paid $8,350 in fines for missing deadlines to file campaign finance reports, while Marcos Devers paid $1,675 in penalties for being late with his own forms. Both Devers and Lantigua have held the 16th Essex District rep seat in the past. 


PBS hits home run with Ted Williams documentary

After reading this piece by Bill Turpie at Wicked Local, you’re going to want to watch the new PBS documentary on Ted Williams, if you haven’t watched it already. Despite his numerous flaws (including his “fits of temper and even rage” toward women, as Turpie notes), Williams was at the forefront of fighting racism and helping children and life’s underdogs in general, in addition to being an off-the-charts hitter for the Sox. 

Wicked Local

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

US Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang in Boston

The Boston Futurist Society invites you to a special Conversation with 2020 Presidential candidate, Andrew Yang.

Boston Futurist Society

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

Sheriff Cocchi’s Annual Summer Cookout

At the Springfield Elks: 11 a.m. – Hot dogs, hamburgers, clam chowder, grinders with sausage, peppers, and onions 5 p.m. – Beef kabobs & chicken dinner, baked potato, corn on the cob Live music! Games! Raffles and more!

The Committee to Elect Nick Cocchi

Digital Summit Boston 2018: Digital Marketing Conference



VOTER SUPPRESSION IN THE 21ST CENTURY: Richard Cohen, President, Southern Poverty Law Center

We Are America the Beautiful is pleased to host Richard Cohen, President of Southern Poverty Law Center to discuss: Voter suppression trends; Issues with voter ID, early voting, purges of voter rolls and restrictions in registration processes; Court rulings

We Are America the Beautiful

Today’s Headlines


UMass Boston’s top government relations official to depart – Boston Business Journal

Nonstop flights from Boston to Seoul to begin in spring – Boston Globe


Blandford police selling t-shirts to highlight cause – MassLive

Tariffs loom large over some North Shore businesses – Salem News

Orleans eyes bank office for affordable housing – Cape Cod Times

Methuen residents to protest council over police salaries – Eagle-Tribune


Dirt on Clinton was focus of Trump Tower meeting, Trump admits – New York Times

Newseum pulls ‘fake news’ shirts after backlash – Politico

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