Health Connector, Gaming Commission, Boston’s opioid litigation
— Massachusetts Health Connector board meets, One Ashburton Pl. – 21st floor, Boston, 9 a.m. — Massachusetts Gaming Commission meets, 101 Federal St., 12th Floor, Boston, 10 a.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker joins Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Petronelli Way Municipal Garage in Brockton, Brockton Downtown Parking Lot, 28 Petronelli Way, Brockton, 10 a.m.
— The board of the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency meets, 99 High St., 11th floor, Boston, 10 a.m.
— The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority board of directors holds its monthly meeting, Boardroom 201, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, 415 Summer St, Boston, 10 a.m.
— Division of Banks holds a public hearing on the adoption of proposed amendments to regulations to grant state-chartered credit unions certain expanded powers in parity with federally-chartered credit unions, 1000 Washington St., First Floor Hearing Room, Boston, 11 a.m.
— The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce hosts former city councilor and candidate for mayor of Boston Tito Jackson as part of its Lunches on Leadership series, 17th floor, 265 Franklin Street, Boston, 11:45 a.m.
— Boston Mayor Martin Walsh joins city officials and health care leaders to announce next steps in pursuing litigation against the pharmaceutical industry for its role in the opioid crisis, Woods-Mullen Shelter Parking Lot, 749 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, 1 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker tours the newly expanded site of youth development and job training program, More Than Words, in the South End, 242 East Berkeley Street, Boston, 4:30 p.m.
— The Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth meets, 250 Washington St., 2nd floor, Boston, 5:30 p.m.
— United Steelworkers Local 12012 president John Buonopane talks about the National Grid lockout of workers 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.
Conley to resign early as DA to join Mintz Levin
Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley — whose announcement earlier this year that he wouldn’t seek re-election sparked a political free-for-all to replace him – announced yesterday he’ll be leaving office more than three months earlier than expected to take a litigation and lobbying job at Mintz Levin and its consulting arm ML Strategies. Michael Jonas at CommonWealth magazine and Sean Phillip Cotter at the Herald have the details.
Meanwhile, Rollins appears to retreat from her ‘decline to prosecute’ stand
So it’s no longer just the Boston Herald covering the controversy over Suffolk DA candidate Rachael Rollins’ “decline to prosecute” list of crimes she won’t pursue if elected. The Globe’s Maria Cramer jumps into a fray this morning, noting how Rollins’ candidacy is winning praise across the nation – and yet attracting criticism locally. In the story, Rollins said her no-prosecute list of crimes is only “aspirational” and “not a blanket commitment.” But she makes a good point: Many of these crimes aren’t prosecuted anyway.
Groups urge changes to legislative committee process
From posting agendas earlier to giving advocates more time to speak at hearings, a coalition of groups is urging lawmakers to make changes to rules governing Massachusetts’ legislative process, particularly how committees handle bills and conduct meetings, reports Shira Schoenberg at MassLive. But at least one lawmaker says changes are easier said than done, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall).
Jaws, the Reverse Revenge: Ex-Trump lawyer wants to cull seal population to rid Cape of sharks
He’s actually saying aloud what a lot of Cape residents are thinking privately. In a letter to the Cape Cod Chronicle, John Dowd, a former top lawyer for President Trump, said it’s time to retake the Cape coastline by culling the seal population to “end the era of the shark.” The Globe’s Steve Annear has more.
As Raimondo fends off liberal challenger in R.I., one-time refugee dispatches curmudgeon incumbent in N.H.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo defeated a progressive challenger in a Democratic primary election yesterday, but her problems aren’t over, as she faces a tough general election rematch against Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, the Washington Post reports.
Meanwhile, one-time refugee Safiya Wazir defeated a veteran Granite State representative, who has railed against immigrants, in a landslide 329 to 143 vote earlier this week, shocking even Wazir, reports Michael Levenson at the Globe. “When I heard the results, I was shocked, and I had this look, like, ‘Did I hear that right?’ she said Wednesday.” Good for her.
Third District recount starts today in Methuen
Secretary of State William Galvin has released a city-by-city, town-by-town schedule of public recounts in the Third Congressional District, with a Monday deadline for counting all votes. The process starts this morning in Methuen and continues right through the weekend, reports Mike Labella at Eagle-Tribune.
Making a splash: Third candidate Rick Green jumps into river to make a point
Rick Green, the Republican candidate in the Third Congressional District, isn’t waiting to find out who his Democratic opponent will be in November. Green has launched his first campaign ad in which he appears to jump into, and then swim across, the Merrimack River in order to avoid traffic-clogged streets. The Globe’s Joshua Miller has the details on the election season’s first memorable ad.
The good news and bad news on health care costs
The good news, as Mike Deehan reports at WGBH, is that Massachusetts finally seems to be getting a handle on growing health care costs, with new state data showing costs increasing by only 1.6 percent last year, well below expectations. But the bad news is that consumers aren’t seeing the savings in their premium payments. Deehan explains why.
Partners says nurse-staffing question could cost its hospitals $140M
Speaking of health care costs, from SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall): “The volley of claims from proponents and opponents of nurse-to-patient staffing requirements continued Wednesday, with Partners HealthCare saying Question 1 on this year’s ballot would add $140 million in costs at its many care providers.”
Meanwhile, Patrick Johnson at MassLive reports that western Massachusetts hospitals say passage of Question 1 will cost them $40 million.
As his dad conducts a sit-in at Warren’s office, Ayyadurai sues UMass over debate exclusion
Independent U.S. Senate candidate Shiva Ayyadurai has sued the University of Massachusetts, asking a judge to order the school to allow him to take part in three upcoming debates between U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and her GOP challenger, Geoff Diehl, the Lowell Sun reports. Ayyadurai–who claims to have invented email and whose campaign slogan is “only a real Indian can defeat the fake Indian” —claims the school violated his 1st Amendment rights.
Meanwhile, the Washington Times reports that the candidate’s 85-year-old father, Vellayappa Ayyadurai, held a sit-in at Warren’s Boston office, saying on Twitter he would occupy the spot until his son was allowed to take part in the debates. Safe to say they really want in on these debates.
Medical marijuana industry bemoans state crackdown on pesticides used to grow pot
More growing pains for the young, slowly growing industry. From the Globe’s Dan Adams: “Members of the Massachusetts medical marijuana industry are warning that a state crackdown on their use of pesticides — including natural compounds used widely on organic food — would cripple growing operations and threaten the supply of cannabis to patients who rely on the drug.”
BBJ editorial: Maybe it’s time to start taxing those empty luxury-tower condos
You know we may have reached a housing tipping point when the Boston Business Journal, no liberal rag, openly wonders in an editorial if it’s time to start taxing empty luxury condos purchased by the uber-rich as investments and using the money for more affordable housing. The paper says the housing crunch in Boston is starting to harm businesses – and something needs to be done.
Meanwhile, rising home prices in Roxbury prompt calls for council action
From Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin: “The City Council today approved holding a hearing to figure out ways to keep longtime Roxbury residents from being forced out of their homes as developers increasingly snap up local parcels. Councilor Kim Janey (Roxbury) said housing prices in Roxbury rose at twice the rate of the rest of the city between 2010 and 2015 and that she now regularly hears from constituents who are being forced to move.”
The state’s one and only zero-rated bridge
Forget about student moving trucks getting ‘Storrowed’ every fall. Motorists year-round on Storrow Drive have to drive through the state’s bridge/tunnel/whatever to get a zero rating from the feds in terms of its poor condition and need for repairs. We’re talking rock-bottom here – and the Globe’s Matt Rocheleau has the details.
Warren and other Dems rally around Gonzalez – and again try to tie Baker to Trump
Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine reports that most of the state’s Congressional delegation, some of whom have had kind words for Republican Gov. Charlie Baker in the past, are now rallying around Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez and attempting to tie Baker to Donald Trump via his endorsement of Geoff Diehl in the U.S. Senate race.
SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) has more on how leading Dems also want to run a “coordinated campaign” to help defeat Baker, Diehl and, of course, anyone and anything to do with Donald Trump.
Pressley’s winning formula: Social and ethnic media, word-of-mouth and a district that changed
Anthony Brooks at WBUR has a good piece about how the underdog Ayanna Pressley, heavily outspent by incumbent Michael Capuano, ran an unconventional campaign that tapped into changing technology and district demographics to win the Seventh Congressional primary.
City Council gives WooSox development its blessing
That was easy. The Worcester City Council overwhelmingly supported the $101 million financing package that paves the way for a new minor league ballpark in the city where the now-Pawtucket Red Sox will play starting in 2021. Nick Kotsopolous of the Telegram reports the lone holdout on the vote, and on a second that paved the way for tax-increment financing deals for additional development around the ballpark, was Councilor-at-large Konstantina Lukes, who argued the council did not have enough information yet to support the decision.
Politico’s Lauren Dezenski leaving to join CNN’s ‘The Point’
Lauren Dezenski, Politico’s local reporter extraordinaire in Boston, has announced she’s leaving to join CNN’s political team, co-writing‘The Point’ national newsletter. It’s a big career jump for her – and she’s earned it. A hearty congratulations to Lauren.
Groups want to bar interim BPS superintendent from permanent post
The Herald’s Kathleen McKiernan and the Globe’s James Vaznis report that nearly a dozen education, community and civil rights groups are calling on Mayor Marty Walsh not to consider interim Boston Public Schools superintendent Laura Perille for the permanent job. The demand is meeting some resistance.
Report: MBTA privatization has saved $450M
From Sean Phillip Cotter at the Herald: “The MBTA’s recent privatization initiatives have allowed the cash-strapped transit agency to save nearly half a billion dollars — but a government watchdog says the T needs to keep its momentum going. The T’s annual report to the Legislature this month pegs the savings from the so-called Pacheco waiver of the past three years at $450 million over the next 10 years, up from the $400 million expected over the same time frame a year ago.”
Lottery revenue hits record high, but profits down
From SHNS’s Colin Young at Boston Patch: “The Massachusetts Lottery provided less local aid for cities and towns in fiscal 2018 than it did the previous year, even as the Lottery’s revenues climbed to a record high, the agency announced Wednesday. After a record-setting year in fiscal 2017, Lottery profits took a dip in fiscal 2018 and the agency returned $997 million in net profit to the state for use as general local aid, the Lottery said. In fiscal 2017, the Lottery generated $1.039 billion for municipal aid.”
Healey claims win after court ruling against DeVos on student borrowing
Attorney General Maura Healey is claiming victory after a court sided with her and 18 other states attorneys general in a lawsuit brought after U.S. Secretary of Education Besty DeVos tried to delay implementation of rules meant to protect students who take loans to attend some for-profit colleges. Shira Schoenberg of MassLive has the details.
UMass Amherst seeks developer for 1,000 new dorm rooms
UMass Amherst is seeing a development partner to build 1,000 new dormitory rooms on the edge of campus and Jim Kinney of MassLive reports the push could become the latest skirmish in the ages-old war between town and gown in the Pioneer Valley.
Brockton plans to fire parking officer accused of using racial epithet and lying about ugly incident
Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter is planning to fire a parking officer accused of using the ‘n’ word in an altercation with a man and then lying that he was threatened by the man with a knife during a confrontation over a handicap parking spot, reports Cody Shepard at the Enterprise. Carpenter is also apologizing to the man who said he was unfairly accosted by the city employee.
Muslim woman complains that search at Logan ‘bordered on sexual assault’
From the Associated Press at WBUR: “A Muslim woman has filed a complaint against the federal Transportation Security Administration alleging that a search she was subjected to at Boston Logan International Airport ‘bordered on sexual assault.’ The complaint filed with the TSA on Wednesday by the Massachusetts chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says the woman believes agents targeted her because she’s Muslim.”
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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