Happening Today

GOP Senate debate, One Dalton topping off, Capuano-Pressley debate, UMass dining

— A chef from the University of Massachusetts Amherst is a guest on The Today Show following the release of The Princeton Review’s annual ranking of campus dining services, with UMass Amherst once again earning the top spot, for the third the straight year, NBC, 10 a.m.

— Health Policy Commission executive director David Seltz joins Sen. James Welch, Rep. Carlos González and others to highlight BMC’s successful Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Care Program, Baystate Medical Center, Lundy Board Room, Wesson Women’s Building, 1st Floor, 759 Chestnut St., Springfield, 10 a.m.

— Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Richard Friedman, chief executive of Carpenter and Company, and John, Fish, chief executive of Suffolk Construction, travel to the top of the new One Dalton building for a topping-off ceremony, Christian Science Plaza Fountain, corner Huntington Avenue and Belvidere Street, Boston, 11 a.m.

— The three Republicans running for U.S. Senate — Geoff Diehl, Beth Lindstrom and John Kingstondebate on Boston Herald Radio, moderated by the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld and Hillary Chabot, 70 Fargo Street, 6th floor, Boston, 12 p.m.

— WBUR, UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies and the Boston Globe host a debate between the two Democrats running in the 7th Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano and City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, UMass Boston Campus Center, 100 William T. Morrissey Blvd., Boston, 3 p.m.

— Treasurer Deborah Goldberg participates in the ‘Heroes Among US’ award ceremony hosted by the Boston Celtics and the Massachusetts State Lottery, Great Hall, 2:30 p.m.

— Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Police Commissioner William Gross participate in the community policing celebration National Night Out, with stops across the city, starting at 3 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

Union may pursue ballot question to repeal Sunday-holiday pay provisions in ‘grand bargain’ bill

For your post-November election planning. From Greg Ryan at the BBJ: “One of the state’s largest labor unions plans to push for legislation — and possibly a ballot initiative — that would restore time-and-a-half pay for retail workers on Sundays and holidays, a perk that is set to be phased out in Massachusetts under the recent ‘grand bargain’ law. … The United Food and Commercial Workers union, a member of the Raise Up coalition, was opposed to the grand bargain because of its elimination of premium time-and-a-half pay.”


How Dems can beat Baker by emphasizing true reforms

Liam Kerr, Massachusetts director of Democrats for Education Reform, has some advice for the state’s two Democratic candidates for governor, Jay Gonzalez and Bob Massie: Run on reforms, such as those implemented by former Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick, and bring up as often as possible the State Police scandals, cushy police construction-site details and law-enforcement union endorsements of Gov. Charlie Baker.


Margaret Heckler, RIP

She was one of the original glass-ceiling breakers. From the Globe’s Brian MacQuarrie and Travis Andersen: “Margaret M. Heckler, a former Republican diplomat, secretary of US Health and Human Services, and eight-term Massachusetts congresswoman who advocated for women’s issues for decades, died Monday at a hospital in Arlington, Va. She was 87. ‘She was an inspiration to all who knew her,” a family statement said of the daughter of Irish immigrants who eventually became ambassador to that country.”

From the Washington Post: “Throughout much of her career, Ms. Heckler was a groundbreaking figure who often forged her way in law and politics as one of the few women in the male-dominated fields. In 1966, she unseated a former speaker of the House to win the Republican nomination for her district in suburban Boston. She was the first woman elected to Congress in her own right from Massachusetts and, when she took office in 1967, was one of only 11 women in the U.S. House of Representatives.”

Of course, many of us fondly recall the tale of Heckler downing the remainder of President Reagan’s mug of beer during his visit to Dorchester’s Eire Pub in 1983. It was indeed an “impressive” performance, as was her entire career.  

State tax collections off to fast fiscal-year start in July

More good news on the fiscal front. From SHNS’s Colin Young at the Lowell Sun: “On the heels of a tax windfall in fiscal 2018 that left Massachusetts with a surplus, fiscal year 2019 got off to a solid start for state tax collections in July. The Department of Revenue said tax collections of $1.899 billion last month were up $102 million or 5.7 percent over July 2017 and came in $7 million above the monthly benchmark.”

Lowell Sun

Obamas return for Vineyard vacation

They’re back. Former President Barack Obama and family are back on Martha’s Vineyard for a summer sojourn and will likely spend most of August on the island, Rich Salzberg reports in the Martha’s Vineyard Times. Wonder if they’ll run into Alan Dershowitz. 

Martha’s Vineyard Times

Lindstrom calls on Warren to apologize for saying justice system is ‘racist … front to back’

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Beth Lindstrom is calling on U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat, to apologize for saying the justice system is “racist … front to back,” arguing Warren’s remarks are “polarizing and divisive,” tied to a possible 2020 presidential bid and an insult to law enforcement officials tasked with “keeping us safe and administering justice,” reports Shannon Young at MassLive.

Actually, we think the remarks were so far out there, in terms of attracting future centrist voters in a presidential general election, that it makes us wonder if she’s really planning to run in 2020.


Pundit: Warren falling into Trump’s 2020 trap

Speaking of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the Herald’s Jaclyn Cashman argues that Warren, by playing to the hard left and hinting she’s going for it in 2020, is falling into President Trump’s goad-her-into-running trap. “It’s the oldest political trick in the book — antagonize a potential opponent you want to challenge you because you think you can win,” she writes.

Anyone who’s read Michael Wolff’s ‘Fire and Fury’knows that Trump is constitutionally incapable of long-term strategic planning, let alone implementing long-term strategic plans. He just hates Warren. But we get Cashman’s point.

Boston Herald

Judge refuses UMass students’ request to block Amherst town elections

A Hampshire superior court judge has refused a request by two UMass students to block Amherst’s September 4 primary and November 6 general election for new town-government offices. The two students contended that, because of the academic calendar for most college students in Amherst, the scheduling ‘violates their right to participate equally in the electoral process as candidates,’ according to court documents,” reports Diane Lederman at MassLive.


District court filings are down 36 percent over 20 years, thanks largely to fewer arrests

This is interesting. From Eli Sherman at the Metrowest Daily News: “A Wicked Local review of Trial Court data from the last two decades shows new cases filed in District Court fell 36.5 percent between 1998 and 2017. The trend has accelerated within the last 10 years and is relatively consistent across the 62 district courts in Massachusetts, which excludes Boston. The capital city, nonetheless, is realizing similar decreases.”

Fewer arrests are cited as the main reason for the decline. Sherman explains why, including how marijuana legalization has played a role, as well as different approaches in handling substance-abuse and mental-illness cases.

MetroWest Daily News

Mayor says he’s taking BPL probe ‘seriously,’ even though he won’t say what the serious investigation is about

The mystery continues. From Sean Philip Cotter at the Herald: “Mayor Martin J. Walsh yesterday refused to give out more information about the investigation into three Boston Public Library administrators who remain on unpaid leave, insisting his administration is saying all it can and is ‘taking it seriously.’ ‘It has nothing to do with transparency,’ Walsh said when approached by the Herald at a community event yesterday.”

Boston Herald

Clampdowns: Harvard sorority closure, big tech deletions, restaurant protests

Whether you agree with the specific policies and practices or not, let’s be clear: All these actions are tied to sensitive free speech and association issues – and they shouldn’t be taken lightly. First up, a Harvard sorority says it’s closing due to a new university rule meant to curb single-gender social clubs, reports WBUR. Facebook, Apple and YouTube are now blocking and deleting content by far right-wing nutcase Alex Jones and InfoWars, reports the NYT. And protesters recently swarmed conservative super PAC leaders at a Philadelphia restaurant, reports the Washington Post.

None of these incidents involved government action and censorship, so we can be thankful for that. But still, as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Police academy director hit with $5,000 ethics fine

From Rick Sobey at the Lowell Sun: “A former Lowell police sergeant who led the Lowell Police Academy and is now director of the Northern Essex Community College police academy, has paid a $5,000 fine for recommending that the college purchase training gear from his private employer, All Sports Heroes in Lowell.”

Lowell Sun

Korean Air lured to Logan with $1M in Massport incentives

Korean Air is the latest foreign airline to commit to flying out of Boston’s Logan International Airport. But it took about $1 million in Massport incentives to lure the airline to Boston, reports the Globe’s Jon Chesto.

Boston Globe

Massachusetts faces worst construction-workers shortage in nation

And just when we need them most, with the economy booming and the region in desperate need of more housing. From Abigail Summervile at the BBJ: “A decade after the housing bust, the construction workforce is still recovering — particularly in Massachusetts, which faces the worst construction worker shortage in the country, according to a new report. Now the industry is ramping up recruitment efforts targeting younger workers, and in the process, seeking to change perceptions of the construction trade.”


About those ‘misguided’ ICE protests at Northeastern …

In an editorial, the Globe is calling recent ICE protests at Northeastern ‘misguided’ and says pols like Ayanna Pressley, Elizabeth Warren and other #AbolishIce supporters have an “affirmative responsibility” to make sure legitimate opposition to ICE immigration policies are “not turned into scapegoating.”

Boston Globe

Methuen taxpayers unload on mayor, council over police pay hike

As many as 60 Methuen residents packed into City Hall last night to let the city cCouncil know they are not happy about the massive raises the city’s higher ranking police officers are due to receive, Paul Tennant reports at the Eagle Tribune. Mayor James Jajuga said he was “kind of tired of taking the abuse” for the sweetheart deal. 

Eagle Tribune

Dem race for former Rep. Cantwell’s seat goes down to the primary wire

Mary Whitfall at the Patriot Ledger takes a look at the two Democratic candidates, Sean Costello and Patrick Kearney, battling it out in the primary to fill the seat once held by former state Rep. Jim Cantwell, who stepped down earlier this year to take a job with U.S. Sen. Ed Markey. 

Patriot Ledger

‘At Smith College, the racist incident that wasn’t’

It took a lot of courage for the Globe’s Jeff Jacoby to write this. We weren’t previously aware of some of the details that Jacoby cites, though we remain sympathetic to the legitimate outrage of blacks who are indeed frequent victims of clear-cut cases of cops being called when blacks look “out of place.”

Boston Globe

‘Away from me Satan’: The Boston angle

It turns out the guy who created a sensation in the Big Apple by popping out of restaurant’s walk-in freezer yelling ‘Away from me, Satan’ was a defendant in a 1988 double-murder in Boston and was only recently released from jail after a Suffolk judge ruled that evidence tying him to the case was improperly obtained. The Herald’s Brian Dowling has the details.

He’s back: Former Cape Wind developer now pitching solar project

From SHNS’s Michael Norton: “After a long, unsuccessful effort to build a wind farm in Nantucket Sound, Jim Gordon has new renewable energy plans that are tied to the sun rather than wind. Gordon emailed Cape Wind supporters Monday to tout SmartFlower Solar, a 1,500-pound home or business solar energy system shaped like a sunflower and inspired by his work on Cape Wind, a project defeated by area opponents.” And it was defeated by financial realities too, it should be noted.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Lahey Health chief stepping down as merger debate intensifies

The head of Lahey Health, Dr. Howard Grant, announced yesterday he will be retiring on Sept. 30. His retirement was expected. But as the Globe’s Priyanka Dayal McCluskey and the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett point out, it comes at a very sensitive time, as Lahey tries to merge with Beth Israel Deaconess and other hospitals, amid growing opposition to the planned mega-merger. Dr. Richard Nesto, Lahey’s chief medical officer, will serve as interim chief executive. 

National GOP upgrades Tedeschi as potentially serious Congressional candidate

This is interesting, if it leads to more GOP resources devoted to the race. From SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall): “The National Republican Congressional Committee has its eye on the Massachusetts Ninth District, upgrading GOP challenger Peter Tedeschi to the ‘Contenders’ list in its Young Guns program. Tedeschi, who is running against U.S. Rep. Bill Keating, is one of ten candidates currently on the Contenders list, the second level of a three-tiered program.”

Central Mass. tourism officials warily eye casino opening

Grant Welker at the Worcester Business Journal talks to venue owners and tourism officials in Central Massachusetts about how they plan to counter what is expected to be the strong draw of the new MGM Springfield casino. The biggest fear appears to be the unknown. “A lot of us don’t know what the impact will be. I think we’re a little bit worried,” the board chairman of Discover Central Mass. tells Welker. 

Meanwhile, just weeks before it is set to open its doors, MGM Springfield is winning praise from the Mass. Gaming Commission for meeting and exceeding hiring and diversity goals for the casino, reports Peter Goonan at MassLive.

Worcester Business Journal

From Gloucester to P-town, derelict boat leaving trail of bills

The old saw says that a boat is a hole in the water the owner pours money into, but in the case of The Artemis, it’s taxpayer money being taken out with the tides, via Coast Guard clean up and salvage efforts, Sean Horgan of the Salem News reports. 

Salem News

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


Boston Mayor Walsh ‘concerned’ after community center blocks police – Boston Herald

Greater Boston rents tick down for priciest units, tick up for everything else – WBUR


Lynn City Council may ban smoking pot in public – Lynn Item

Westport to see $230K cut in state beach reimbursement – Standard-Times

Hopkinton’s Greyhound Friends reaches deal with AG on oversight – MetroWest Daily News

Eversource offered to drop out of offshore wind procurement team – CommonWealth Magazine


Guliani preparing letter to Mueller expressing ’real reluctance’ over obstruction questions – Washington Post

Meet the Vermont CEO vying to be the nation’s first transgender governor – Politico

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