Happening Today

Board of education, Democratic unity rally, and more

Board of Elementary and Secondary Education holds its monthly meeting, with plans to elect a new vice chair, discuss new Education Commissioner Jeff Riley’s goals for the school year, and hear an update on the next-generation MCAS test, 75 Pleasant St., Malden, starting at 8:30 a.m.

— Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matt Beaton and Mass. Clean Energy Center CEO Stephen Pike attend a center board meeting, Wind Technology Testing Center, 80 Terminal Street, Charlestown, 10 a.m.

— Democratic Party holds a ‘unity event’ supporting 3rd Congressional District nominee Lori Trahan following completion on Monday of the primary election recount, UMass-Lowell Inn and Conference Center, Lower Locks Conference Room, 50 Warren St., Lowell, 11 a.m.


Joint Committee on Health Care Financing holds an oversight hearing on the current ‘functionality and ongoing development’ of MassCompareCare.gov, Room A-1, 1 p.m.

— The Boston City Council Committee on Ways and Means holds a hearing regarding the approval of a Declaration of Trust for the ‘My Way Cafe Trust Fund,’ fifth floor, Iannella Chamber, Boston City Hall, Boston, 1:30 p.m.

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management hosts a public meeting in New Bedford to discuss feedback received for potential offshore wind energy leasing and development in the New York Bight, Waypoint Event Center at Fairfield Inn and Suites, Sea Loft Room, 185 MacArthur Dr., New Bedford, 5 p.m.

— Auditor Suzanne Bump joins the Alliance for Business Leadership for what her office describes as a ‘candid conversation about the importance of government data,’ 510 Kendall St., Cambridge, 5:30 p.m.

Evan Falchuk, a 2014 candidate for governor and founder of the United Independent Party, and former Democratic Attorney General Scott Harshbarger who affiliated with the UIP in 2016, are guests 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

About time: Trahan declared official winner after Third Congressional recount

From Lisa Kashinsky at the Eagle-Tribune: “Nearly two weeks after voters hit the polls for the state primary, Lori Trahan officially has secured the Democratic nomination for the 3rd Congressional District seat. Daniel Koh conceded the race Monday afternoon, shortly before the conclusion of the 37-community recount he requested after he finished second to Trahan by a razor-thin margin on primary day.”  

Trahan’s margin of victory: 145 votes. She now faces Republican Rick Green and Independent candidate Mike Mullen in the general election. The Globe’s Matt Stout, WGBH’s Mike Deehan and Boston Magazine’s Spencer Buell have more on the big recount victory by Trahan.


Deval Patrick’s pals launch PAC with eye on 2020

From the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld: “Campaign operatives for former Gov. Deval Patrick are running a new political action committee but can’t mention the obvious: It’s a move that could end up promoting Patrick’s presidential ambitions. The name of the PAC is ‘Reason to Believe,’ which also happens to be the title of Patrick’s 2011 autobiographical tome.’”

As the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter notes in a sidebar piece, the former Patrick operatives involved in the PAC launch are John Walsh and Doug Rubin. Others at a “Patrick love-fest” last night in Somerville weren’t bothering to disguise their hope that Patrick runs in 2020.

Boston Herald

Meanwhile, Medford’s very own Michael Bloomberg eyes run for president as Democrat

Speaking of presidential politics: Forget the fact that he’s a billionaire media mogul and former mayor of New York. Michael Bloomberg is a native of Medford, damn it, and he’s now contemplating a run for president as a Democrat, so Massachusetts can now lay claim to six people with local ties being mentioned as possible contenders in 2020. The NYT has the details on Bloomberg – including how many progressives may not like the former Republican’s past stands on issues.

P.S. – Is Hillary Clinton thinking of running again? It appears so, or at least she’s keeping her options open by keeping her name in the news, with her new Atlantic piece on the fate of American democracy. The Washington Post has more.


Politics of gas, Part III: In the wake of gas-line explosions, Warren, Markey and Gonzalez keep up the pressure for answers

U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey are keeping the heat on Columbia Gas after last week’s devastating gas-line explosions in the Lawrence area, demanding answers from the company about what exactly caused the disaster, report the Globe’s Milton Valencia and Matt Rocheleau. Meanwhile, legislative leaders also want answers and may hold public hearings on the catastrophe, reports SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall).

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez yesterday blasted state regulators overseeing the natural gas system for being too “cozy” with utilities and said that, if he had his way, the entire Department of Utilities board would be shown the door, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall). In related news, Gov. Charlie Baker and other officials yesterday announced the formation of a new disaster relief fund to help coordinate relief efforts in the Merrimack Valley, reports Zoe Matthews at the Eagle-Tribune. The Eagle-Tribune also reports that police are retracting information about a purported second fatality.

Finally, how long will many residents in the impacted area go without natural-gas service? WBUR reports that Columbia Gas plans to replace 48 miles of gas pipeline in Andover, North Andover and Lawrence. In other words, it could take a while to get service back.

Just a concerned citizen: Orrall takes her campaign to Lottery meeting chaired by rival Goldberg

State Rep. Keiko Orrall, a Republican running to unseat Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, showed up yesterday at a Lottery Commission meeting chaired by Goldberg to voice concerns about the agency’s plans to relocate its operations from Braintree to Dorchester. The state comptroller, Thomas Shack, who sits on the commission, and Lottery executive director Michael Sweeney basically acted as Goldberg’s wingmen at the meeting, defending the agency’s honor and leadership, etc., reports SHNS’s Colin Young.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

They’re not taking it anymore: Chelsea riders vent frustration with T’s bus service to Boston

State officials plan to study ways they can improve the T’s heavily used bus service between Chelsea and Boston, a service riders say is plagued by delays and congestion, reports Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine and SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall). One thing the T doesn’t plan to do: Lower fares for Chelsea riders.

State to toll evaders: You can run but you can’t hide

Massachusetts transportation officials say they now have “toll reciprocity agreements” in place with Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island – and perhaps soon with New York – that will help authorities track down and collect money from toll scofflaws, reports Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine.


So what can be done about Cape sharks, other than slaughtering thousands of seals?

In the wake of this past weekend’s fatal shark attack on the Cape, the Globe’s Steve Annear, the Herald’s Marie Szaniszlo and the Cape Cod Times’ Geoff Spillane have pieces this morning on the various ideas being bandied about on how to deal with all the great white sharks now lurking off the coast of Cape Cod. Of course, there are calls for commissions and meetings, more warning signs, and increased aerial and sea monitoring systems, etc. 

But Spillane reports that officials are against culling the seal population along the Cape. “I get the emotional response of doing this,” state Sen. Julian Cyr said of those who believe in eliminating the prime food source for sharks, i.e. seals. “But there’s a barrier (U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act) to doing that and there’s a long history of unintended consequences when humans stumble into ecological territory.”

Not a bad start: MGM Springfield hauls in nearly $10M in first week

From Peter Goonan at MassLive: “The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has reported that MGM Springfield, which opened its resort casino on Aug. 24, generated $9,456,976.90 in gross gaming revenue in the month of August. The MGM Springfield slots generated $7,347,491.15 in revenues and the table games generated $2,109,485.75, the Gaming Commission reported. Of that amount, $2,364,244.23 was generated in taxes, the commission said.”

Btw: Plainridge Park casino reported its best August ever with $15.4 million in gross gaming revenue in August, up more than $1 million from last year, Jim Hand reports at the Sun Chronicle. 


Newton school chief denies anti-Israel bias in schools, denounces critics

We’re 100 percent sure we haven’t heard the last of this. From Aimee Ortiz at the Globe: “The superintendent of the Newton public schools Monday denounced claims of anti-Israel bias in the district’s history curriculum as baseless, saying recent online criticism by conservative commentators had become ‘increasingly and unjustly personal.’”

Boston Globe

More than 1 million voted on primary day, far exceeding expectations

This is impressive: Despite being held the day after Labor Day, more than 1 million people voted in the September 4 state primary, far more than the 700,000 Secretary of State Bill Galvin had anticipated and nearly double the 2016 primary count. Shira Schoenberg at MassLive has the details.


Here we go again: UMass employee questioned by police after a call about a ‘very agitated’ black man

All Reg Andrade, a 14-year employee at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, did was walk across campus to work. But he’s black and someone thought he looked “very agitated” and so a call was made to the university’s anonymous tip line. You know what happened next. Dusty Christensen at the Daily Hampshire Gazette has the details.

In a well-timed piece, the Globe’s Deirdre Fernandes reports on what life has been like for Smith College sophomore Oumou Kanoute since her own encounter with campus police earlier this year, following yet another call about a suspicious looking black person on a campus.


Finalists for MLK memorial unveiled

Based on the above post, we may need this memorial more than ever: The Globe’s Michael Levensen reports on the five finalists for a memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. in Boston, with design sketches accompanying the article. All five submissions are striking, but we sort of like the third one, “Avenue of Peace” by Yinka Shonibare, though that one, like the other four, doesn’t really shout MLK.


Legendary pilot Chuck Yeager and MassMutual in legal dogfight

As the BBJ’s headline describes it, this really is a “bizarre legal dispute” between Springfield’s Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. and Chuck Yeager, the famous U.S. pilot who became the first to break the sound barrier. It has something to do with use of Yeager’s name in a trade publication article and Yeager’s wife allegedly making “outrageous demands for payment,” reports the BBJ’s Max Stendahl.

BBJ (pay wall)

Honey Fitz: JFK Library releases an ‘expansive and quintessentially’ Kennedy photo album

Don’t roll your eyes. It’s not your standard Camelot photos. Instead, it’s an intriguing gallery of family photos of the Kennedys dating back to the early 1900s, including shots of former Boston Mayor John F. Fitzgerald and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, among others. The JFK Library just released the photos online. The AP at MassLive has more on what it calls an “expansive and quintessentially” Kennedy photo album .

JFK Library

Washington Post scoops up Globe’s Viser

Boston Globe national political reporter Matt Viser is moving to the Washington Post next month, the Post has announced. Viser has been at the Globe for 16 years, most recently stationed in its Washington bureau. He’ll definitely be missed at the Globe and by Globe readers.

Washington Post

Herald may be boosting home subscription rates by hefty amount

In other media news, John Carroll, a media critics and long-time subscriber to the Herald, recently got a letter informing him, and apparently other subscribers, of what could be a pretty hefty increase in the struggling paper’s home-delivery subscription rate. By Carroll’s calculation, the new rate could be as high $572, considerably more than what he now pays. Our own home Herald subscription cost only $322 earlier this year. But the rates seem to shift from month to month and from deal to deal, so it’s hard to make strict comparisons. The BBJ’s Don Seiffert (pay wall) has more

Fyi: By comparison, a home-delivery subscription to the Globe costs about $900 a year, on a month-by-month basis.

Fyi II: The Herald has announced two promotions on its editorial/production desk.

John Carroll (blog)

Downeaster to expand rail service to Boston

From the Associated Press at WBUR: “Passenger rail service between Boston and Brunswick, Maine, is expected to expand by the end of this year with the completion of a critical rail project. Amtrak’s Downeaster expects to make five round trips per day on its entire line as soon as it finishes the $9.4 million construction of a secondary passing rail line in Falmouth and Cumberland.”


That’s a big building: Construction to start on nearly 1 million square foot pot facility in Freetown

Mike Plaisance at MassLive has all the details about the planned start of construction later this month of a new “cannabis campus” in Freetown, courtesty of Denver-based AmeriCann Inc.


Ayyadurai seeks to block planned U.S. Senate debates over his exclusion

He’s already filed a lawsuit over his exclusion from planned U.S. Senate debates between Democrat Elizabeth Warren and Republican Geoff Diehl. Now Shiva Ayyadurai, an Independent candidate, is seeking a preliminary injunction against the University of Massachusetts to stop the scheduled debates, reports Chris Lisinski at the Lowell Sun.

Lowell Sun

New prison visitation rules spark lawsuits and complaints

Shira Schoenberg at MassLive has the latest on all the complaints about the state’s new rules that limit the number of visitors who can see inmates in correctional institutions. Four lawsuits have been filed, in Middlesex, Suffolk and Worcester counties, by inmates challenging the policies, Schoenberg reports.


WGBH poll: Strong majority oppose considering race in college admissions, but still value diversity

This is interesting in the context of the ongoing suit by Asian Americans over Harvard’s admissions policies. From Kirk Carapezza at WGBH: “Nearly three in four Americans disagree with using race in college admissions, although even more value racial diversity on campuses, according to a new WGBH News poll.”


Warren bill would require companies to disclose more about their climate risks

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she will file legislation that would require publicly traded companies to make more disclosures about how their operations could be impacted by climate change, Benjamin Swasey reports at WBUR.


New lunch-payment policy amps up deficit in Framingham

There is, truly, no such thing as a free lunch. Just ask Framingham schools, where a new policy of not refusing meals to students, even if their accounts are overdrawn, is leading to monthly deficits in the food services account of nearly $8,000, Zane Razzaq reports in the Metrowest Daily News.

MetroWest Daily News

Amherst delays demolition of former Bertucci’s building

The Amherst Historical Commission has imposed a one-year demolition delay on a 1940s-era building that long housed a Bertucci’s restaurant in the downtown area, Scott Merzbach reports at the Daily Hampshire Gazette. The commission would like to see the quirky, one-story building preserved or adapted for re-use as part of a commercial and apartments complex planned for the site. 


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


Final cost of Longfellow Bridge is just a tad over budget – Boston Globe

Marty Walsh to keep most pot money – Boston Herald


Baseball fans pack Worcester common to welcome the Worcester Red Sox – Telegram & Gazette

Peabody council says no to Route 1 sex shop – Salem News

Meetings planned in wake of fatal shark attack – Cape Cod Times

Company eyes Whately land for marijuana farm – Daily Hampshire Gazette


Trump’s growing legal team has a problem: They are operating partly in the dark – New York Times

Congress’ latest opioid bill won’t solve the crisis – Politico

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