Happening Today

Pro-Gonzalez meeting, public records, union rally

— The Public Health Council meets, 250 Washington St., Boston, 9 a.m.

— U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and U.S. Rep. Richard Neal host a Congressional delegation meeting in support of Jay Gonzalez for governor and the 2018 Massachusetts Democratic coordinated campaign, Massachusetts Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign HQ, 150 Mount Vernon Street, 2nd Floor, Dorchester, 10 a.m.

Environment Massachusetts holds a press conference at Boston Long Wharf Plaza to highlight recent clean energy legislation and the need for more ambitious action, Outside the Aquarium, One Long Wharf, Boston, 10 a.m.

— Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito participates in the Kraft Group’s Rand-Whitney container manufacturing facility ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the facility’s 45,000 square-foot expansion, Rand-Whitney Container, One Agrand Street, Worcester, 10 a.m.

— The board of directors of the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation meets, Schrafft’s City Center, 529 Main St., Suite 201, Charlestown, 10 a.m.

— A group of 20 Massachusetts voters selected to closely match the demographics of the state electorate will convene the second iteration of the Citizens’ Initiative Review, studying the nurse-staffing Question 1, Watertown Public Library, Savings Bank Room, 123 Main St., Watertown, 10:30 a.m.

— The Special Legislative Commission on Public Records, co-chaired by Rep. Jennifer Benson and Sen. Walter Timilty, meets, Room B-1, 11 a.m.

— Union gas workers with United Steel Workers Locals 12003 and 12012 rally outside the Department of Public Utilities amid an ongoing lockout of workers by National Grid, One South Station, Boston, 12 p.m.

— Center for Health Information and Analysis executive director Ray Campbell will present major findings from CHIA’s 2018 Annual Report on the Performance of the Massachusetts Health Care System, 50 Milk St., Boston, 12 p.m.

Udit Batra, CEO of MilliporeSigma, will speak to 200 immigrants at a U.S. Naturalization Ceremony, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Columbia Point, Boston, 1:30 p.m.

— Boston Mayor Martin Walsh appears live on ‘Nightside,’ WBZ NewsRadio 1030AM, 8 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

Remembering 9/11 …

There were numerous 9/11 remembrance ceremonies across the state yesterday, including one at the State House, where Andrew Card, former chief of staff for President George W. Bush, was the keynote speaker and recalled the events of that terrible day 17 years ago. His message: Never forget. Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive has more.

Other solemn ceremonies were held yesterday in, among other places, West Bridgewater (Wicked Local) and Acton (Wicked Local). The Enterprise has a piece on the two Bridgewater “snow angels” who received bravery awards named after a flight attendant on one of the hijacked planes flown into the World Trade Centers.

Marijuana growers threaten lawsuit over local pot agreements

A group representing the state’s marijuana growers says it is prepared to head to court to force the Cannabis Control Commission to review whether communities are demanding too much when negotiating local pot license agreements, SHNS’s Colin Young reports at MassLive. With the CCC saying state law does not clearly give it the authority to rule on such agreements, Peter Bernard of the Massachusetts Grower Advocacy Council tells Young “it’s going to take a judge to sort it out.”

Meanwhile, CCC chairman Steven Hoffman said yesterday that “it’s possible” the commission could finally green-light some retail pot shops when it meets on Sept. 20, reports Tori Bedford at WGBH.


Pressure builds on Cardinal O’Malley over sex-abuse allegations

He seemed safe from criticism – until recently. The Herald’s Mary Markos reports on the mounting criticism of how Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley has handled recent clergy sexual-abuse allegations. The criticism comes only days after U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren dared to mention the equivalent of the “r” word (i.e. resign) if it’s shown O’Malley was aware of assault allegations at a Catholic seminary in Brighton, as WGBH’s Tori Bedford reports.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press at the Herald is reporting this morning that Pope Francis is “summoning the presidents of every bishops conference around the world for a February summit to discuss preventing clergy sex abuse and protecting children.”

Study: Transgender law didn’t lead to crime wave, mayhem and gang wars in public bathrooms

It was a bogus argument from the start – and this just confirms it. From the Globe’s Stepanie Ebbert: “A first-of-its-kind study being released Wednesday refutes the premise that the state’s transgender antidiscrimination law threatens public safety, finding no relation between public transgender bathroom access and crimes that occur in bathrooms.” Btw: We had never heard of “restroom crime reports” until now. You learn something new every day.

Boston Globe

No-show of support: Nearly a quarter of Dem voters left their ballots blank for governor

This doesn’t bode well for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jay Gonzalez. From Joe Battenfeld at the Herald: “Nearly one quarter of Democratic primary voters blanked their gubernatorial ballots rather than vote for either of the two candidates — a stunning show of discontent that could hurt the party’s chances in November. Final primary results provided by the Secretary of State’s Office to the Herald show that a total of 169,509 Democratic voters decided to leave the governor’s race blank.”

Then again, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker had his own 36-percent ballot problem last week.

Boston Herald

Forget the People’s Pledge: Baker poised to spend $20M in campaign

This also doesn’t bode well for Jay Gonzalez. The Associated Press at WCVB reports that Gov. Charlie Baker has set a spending cap of $20 million on his re-election campaign, after rejecting public financing and the limits that come with it. Meanwhile, Gonzalez, Baker’s Democratic opponent who has agreed to the public limits, had a measly $188,000 in his campaign account as of Aug. 31 and will receive only about $743,000 in public funds.

The Herald’s Howie Carr says, on the surface, things don’t look good for Gonzalez. But he notes that Baker, who Howie despises, is still vulnerable to “some kind of now unforeseen major national story that would bring out the Democrat base.” 


Threefer: African Americans poised to control top three law-enforcement posts in Boston

The Globe’s Adrian Walker notices something historic about to happen: African-Americans may soon control the top three law-enforcement posts in Boston – Suffolk County sheriff, Boston police commissioner and Suffolk County district attorney, assuming Democrat Rachael Rollins wins in November. Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins says he’s fielding a lot of phone calls from impressed out-of-state people asking how Boston did it, Walker writes.

Boston Globe

But it could be a twofer … if Rollins’ opponent has his way

Democrat Rachael Rollins may be a heavy favorite to win the Suffolk County DA race in November. But the Herald’s Hillary Chabot reports that many “outraged” people, alarmed at Rollins’ progressive reformist agenda, are now reaching out to her Independent opponent Michael Maloney. Separately, Ally Jarmanning at WBUR takes a look at progressive DA reformers elected in Chicago and Philadelphia – and how Boston may soon be following in their footsteps if Rollins is elected.

Ayyadurai says his exclusion from U.S. Senate debates is ‘racist’

V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, the man who claims to have invented email and is now running for U.S. Senate as an Independent, is claiming his exclusion from planned U.S. Senate debates is “racist,” according a piece by Peter Lucas at the Lowell Sun. “Shame on them,” Ayyadurai says of debate organizers. “This is total corruption.”

Fyi: You have to read through most of the column’s kid-gloves treatment of the oddball Ayyadurai before you get to the debates part. Fyi, II: Attorney General Maura Healey and her Republican opponent Jay McMahon have agreed to two broadcast debates – with a third possibly on the way, reports SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall).

Lowell Sun

Healey seeks DPU probe of National Grid lockout

From the Herald’s Brian Dowling: “Attorney General Maura Healey is calling on regulators to investigate alleged pipeline safety violations, service quality issues and potential added costs of National Grid’s lockout of 1,250 United Steel Workers since late June. In a letter sent yesterday to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities demanding the investigation and public hearings, Healey’s office says oversight is needed into how the company is getting by with its workforce on the sidelines.”

Boston Herald

Environmental advocate: Hey, give us credit too for knocking off Jeffrey Sanchez

Craig S. Altemose, executive director of 350 Mass Action, wants the world to know that climate-action activists also played a role in last week’s defeat of Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez. “Our contribution to this monumental victory should not be overlooked,” he writes at CommonWealth magazine. As they say, success has many fathers … 


State continues to hide the pay of hundreds of workers

Despite vows to make state payrolls fully transparent, Massachusetts continues to hide the pay records of hundreds of workers – possibly more than 400 of them – totaling $28 million, under an obscure state policy that allows employees to keep their information secret if they or a relative have ever been a victim of a crime, reports the Globe’s Todd Wallack.  Basically, if they ask, they get, when it comes to disclosure exemptions, Wallack reports.

If you had a billion dollars, what would you do with it?

No, state leaders have not forgotten about that $1 billion budget surplus – and Finance Secretary Mike Heffernan says talks are under way on how to allocate the cash. Needless to say, local governments want a cut of it. SHNS’s Matt Murphy has the details.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Andrew Card: ‘President Trump is tarnishing the noble call of public service’

When the former chief of staff for a Republican president blasts a sitting Republican president, it’s hard to ignore – and Andrew Card, George W. Bush’s chief of staff and former state representative, was hard to ignore yesterday when he said “President Trump is tarnishing the noble call of public service.” Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive has more.

Btw: U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern fired off his own Trump insult yesterday, saying he “makes Richard Nixon look like a Boy Scout,” reports Shannon Young at MassLive.


UMass Boston’s vision for a ‘mini Kendall Square’

From Tim Logan at the Globe: “More than a year after launching its search, the University of Massachusetts Boston is close to selecting a developer to remake the old Bayside Expo Center site, a project that could anchor the rapidly changing area where Dorchester and South Boston meet. UMass Boston officials on Tuesday described a vision for the site that is something like a mini Kendall Square.”

Electric scooters could be back on Cambridge streets – with permits

From Callum Borchers at WBUR: “Rentable electric scooters could be back on the streets of Cambridge as soon as next month — legally this time. The city’s Community Development and Traffic, Parking and Transportation departments have assembled the framework of a pilot program and will present it Wednesday at a public meeting of the City Council’s Transportation and Public Utilities Committee.”


Treasurer candidate Orrall wants House to examine Lottery’s move to Dorchester

We have a feeling this is going nowhere in the Democratic-controlled House. From SHNS’s Colin young at South Coast Today: “As she wages a campaign to unseat Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, Rep. Keiko Orrall asked that a House committee look into Goldberg’s handling of the planned Massachusetts Lottery move from Braintree to Dorchester.”

South Coast Today

Rosenberg asks judge to dismiss lawsuit counts against him

It’s not clear whether he’s legally leaving his husband in the lurch or partially in the lurch. Either way, former Senate president Stan Rosenberg is asking a judge to dismiss all the counts against him in a civil lawsuit filed by a former State House staffer, reports the Globe’s Joshua Miller.

Boston Globe

Military history of a different sort: Studying possible toxic chemicals on the Cape

Avory Brookins at WBUR reports that University of Rhode Island researchers have begun testing drinking water on the Cape for possible toxic man-made chemicals that may have been left behind by military training materials.


Republicans say Bump using audits as campaign weapon

Some members of the GOP are accusing Auditor Suzanne Bump of using her office—and its power to issue often-stinging audit reports—for political purposes, Christian Wade reports in the Salem News.  One lawmaker said Bump’s release of a scathing audit arguing the RMV issued hundreds of drivers licenses to deceased people—findings both Gov. Baker and the registry said were inaccurate—represents “an abuse of her office.”  

Salem News

No comeback just yet for Greyhound Friends

Greyhound Friends, the rescue organization mired in controversy after it was abruptly shut down by local officials in early 2017, lost its bid to reopen in Hopkinton after selectmen unanimously voted to deny it a kennel license, Jonathan Phelps reports in the MetroWest Daily News.

MetroWest Daily News

The bill for Annie and Sonja’s state lab antics: $10 million and counting

The state hasn’t finished paying for the misconduct of former state-lab chemists Annie Dookhan and Sonja Farak. The Globe’s Danny McDonald reports the final price tag may well be “north of $10 million” to reimburse defendants convicted of crimes based on tainted drug-lab evidence.

To avoid layoffs and massive raises, Methuen mulls reorganization of police department

Some members of the Methuen city council are pushing plans to reorganize the town’s police department, a move that would help it avoid paying massive raises coming due to several superior officers and avoid layoffs of patrolmen, Lisa Kashinsky reports at the Eagle-Tribune. The push comes amid a standoff between the council and Mayor James Jajuga, who wants the city to pony up for a compromise pay increase that would pay captains around $188,000 a year, rather than the $435,000 they were scheduled to make under a sweet-heart deal struck by Jajuga’s predecessor. 


Worcester City Council steps to the plate on WooSox package

The Worcester City Council could vote tonight on whether to support the package of incentives and guarantees underpinning the $240 million plan to build a minor league ballpark and a slew of infrastructure upgrades and follow-on developments, Zachary Comeau reports in the Worcester Business Journal. Ahead of that meeting, the city’s auditor reports that Worcester can handle the payments on that borrowing without dipping into existing tax revenue, Nick Kotsopolous reports in the Telegram. 


Harvard Alum Stuart Eizenstat will discuss “President Carter: The White House Years”

The definitive history of the Carter Administration from the man who participated in its surprising number of accomplishments―drawing on his extensive and never-before-seen notes.Stuart Eizenstat was at Jimmy Carter’s side from his political rise in Georgia through four years in the White House, where he served as Chief Domestic Policy Adviser.

The Coop Event Series…Authors, Coop Kids & More!

Development Unicorns: Neighborhood Game Changers

The most transformative multi-phase developments in recent Boston history started with a vision, taking decades to design, entitle, plan and execute. Join NAIOP to hear from the original visionaries behind three of these game-changing projects (Assembly Row, The Fenway and Seaport Square) to hear how they started and what has changed along the way.

NAIOP Massachusetts

Ales and Tales at the Stone Zoo

Don’t miss Stone Zoo’s fourth annual beer-tasting event, Ales & Tails! Sample offerings from breweries and learn about the amazing animals at the Zoo – including black bears, Caribbean flamingos, North American river otters, white-cheeked gibbons, sloths, and more.

Stone Zoo

Anatomy of a Commercial Building

The session will be divided into three parts: architectural design issues (the skin and personality of a building); mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection and building control systems (the organs and brain of a building); and structural systems (the skeleton of a building).

NAIOP Massachusetts

America is Watching: Response to the Opioid Crisis in New England

William James College will convene a public forum focused on novel treatments and early intervention programs aimed at curbing the opioid epidemic that continues to devastate communities across the region. Attendees will include policymakers, academics, business and community leaders, clinicians, families and first responders.

William James College

Slums: New Visions for an Enduring Global Phenomenon

Slums: New Visions for an Enduring Global Phenomenon is a symposium that challenges its participants to discuss the range of perceptions and systemic changes needed to re-imagine integrative urban and social landscapes, as well as the labor and land markets that most often underpin the formation of slums.

Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

Navigating the Permitting Maze: A Crash Course On Permitting in Massachusetts

What does it take to successfully navigate a development project through the permitting process? Find out at this in-depth two-day (September 21 + 28) educational workshop where some of the real estate industry’s foremost experts will provide a close look at the ins and outs of environmental review and permitting in Massachusetts.

NAIOP Massachusetts

2018 Better Government Competition Awards Gala

Join Us on Sept. 24th at the 2018 Better Government Competition Awards Gala! Remarks by Governor Charlie Baker Keynote Speaker: John Sexton 2018 Topic: Making higher education & career training options affordable & effective.

Pioneer Institute

Starr Forum: The Assault on Intelligence

Starr Forum: The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies. A book talk with Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA.

MIT Center for International Studies (CIS)

Today’s Headlines


Electric scooters could return to Cambridge in October – WBUR

Walsh says he plans to look at policies affecting high-end construction – WGBH


Third marijuana grower proposing operation in Charlton – Telegram & Gazette

Priest accused of sexually abusing child in Randolph – Patriot Ledger

Two Berkshire Museum pieces up for auction Wednesday at Sotheby’s – Berkshire Eagle

Amherst College receives $50M gift – Daily Hampshire Gazette


GOP worries about losing Senate in midterms as candidates struggle and support for Trump tumbles – Washington Post

Bernie Sanders’ son trounced in New Hampshire primary  – Politico

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