Happening Today

DiMasi lobbyist hearing, Cannabis Commission, and more

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Secretary of Education James Peyser, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Jeff Riley, Board of Higher Education Chair Chris Gabrieli and Bunker Hill Community College President Dr. Pam Eddinger recognize students and educators who participated in the administration’s early college programs this year, Bunker Hill Community College, Gymnasium, 250 Rutherford Avenue, Boston, 11 a.m.

— State Reps. Sarah Peake and Dylan Fernandes and Sen. Julian Cyr host an informational session about sharks off the coast of Massachusetts, with presentations from Jeff Kneebone from the New England Aquarium and Meghan Winton from the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, Room 350, 12 p.m.

— House Speaker Robert DeLeo addresses the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce, The Lanam Club, 260 North Main St., Andover, 12 p.m.

Cannabis Control Commission meets to discuss the proposed change in ownership of New England Treatment Access, final licenses for a retail store and a medical dispensary, and four provisional business licenses, Room 222, 1 p.m.

— Former House Speaker Sal DiMasi attends a pre-hearing conference in his appeal of Secretary of State William Galvin’s denial of his application to register as a lobbyist, 21st floor, One Ashburton Place, Boston, 2 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

Bruins’ Blues

No third championship for Boston fans this year. The Bruins fell to the Blues last night. Matt Porter’s short-but-sweet take at the Globe: “From the Great Wall to Game 7, the Bruins took it as far as they could.” From the Herald’s Marisa Ingemi: “The Bruins stormed back all season, except at the very end.”

Oh well. The Patriots start training camp next month.

Parents to file civil rights lawsuit over school funding

It looks like parents are going to beat local cities and towns to the lawsuit punch. From the Globe’s James Vaznis: “Parents from seven Massachusetts school districts, frustrated by the Legislature’s inability to overhaul school funding, plan to file a lawsuit against state education leaders Thursday for allegedly violating the civil rights of low-income, black, and Latino students by failing to provide them with the same quality of education as their mostly white affluent peers.”

Parents may be taking the lead, but the New England Area Conference of the NAACP, the Chelsea Collaborative, and the Council for Fair School Finance, a nonprofit comprised of teacher unions and civil rights groups, are also involved. No surprise there.  

Btw: SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) reports that representatives from 31 business groups have laid out their education reform requests in a letter to lawmakers.

Boston Globe

The T debacle, Part I: ‘No quick fix’

From the Globe’s Vernal Coleman and Kellen Browning: “The derailment of a Red Line car Tuesday caused significant damage to the traffic signaling equipment on the subway line that has forced the MBTA to operate at reduced speeds at a critical juncture, and officials do not yet know when service will return to normal operations.”

SHNS’s Chris Lisinski confirms: “Red Line delays expected for foreseeable future.” What else can be said? What a mess.

The T debacle, Part II: Baker’s third-term Achilles heel?

Not surprisingly, Gov. Charlie Baker is coming under fire for his “heading in the right direction” comment following the T’s latest derailment — and the Globe’s Matt Stout reports that House leaders are now talking about putting together a possible tax package in coming months to fund transportation projects, with or without the backing of the no-new-taxes Baker.

Meanwhile, Michael Widmer, the former head of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, asks at CommonWealth Magazine: “Where is Baker’s sense of urgency on the T?” James Aloisi, the former transportation secretary, says the T simply needs more money and he lists all the ways new revenues can be raised.

The Globe’s editorial board cuts to the political core: “The Achilles heel of Governor Charlie Baker’s potential bid for a third was on full display on Tuesday morning when a Red Line train derailed at the JFK/UMass station, causing widespread commuter chaos.”

Oh no: Wynn Resorts to urge people to take the T to Everett casino

This is not exactly reassuring, considering all the bad T news of late. Jonathan Ng at the Herald and Andy Metzger at CommonWealth magazine report that Wynn Resorts has all sorts of ideas on how to get people to and from its soon-to-open Everett casino without adding to the region’s traffic congestion, including use of ferry and shuttle bus services (though private yachts could be a problem). And it also plans an aggressive media campaign to get people to take the T.

Museum hires ex-AG Harshbarger to investigate racial incidents

From the BBJ’s Greg Ryan: “Casner & Edwards LLP LLP senior counsel Scott Harshbarger has been tapped by the Museum of Fine Arts to lead an external investigation into the racist comments and treatment allegedly directed at local middle school students on a recent visit to the museum. The appointment of the former state attorney general comes weeks after (the museum) completed an internal investigation into the incidents.”

The Globe’s Zoe Greenberg also reports: “Lawyers for Civil Rights Boston said they had been retained as pro bono counsel by three families and an educator from the Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy and were pushing for a separate investigation by state Attorney General Maura Healey.”


On the rise: Warren leapfrogs Bernie in two new polls

The trend is her friend. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren got good news from two new polls that for the first time show her running second among Democratic presidential hopefuls, leapfrogging her Senate counterpart and fellow progressive icon Bernie Sanders in the process, Nolan McCaskill reports via Politico. In a national poll from Economist/YouGov, Warren scored 16 percent support, 4 points better than Sanders and 10 points behind frontrunner Joe Biden. The Bay State senator also landed in second in a poll of Nevada voters, a full six percentage points ahead of Bernie.  


Are Massachusetts Democrats suffering from ‘post-presidential traumatic stress disorder’?

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren may be doing better in various polls around the country. But the Globe’s Joan Vennochi is still mulling a recent Suffolk/Globe poll that shows Joe Biden with a comfortable lead over Warren among Dem voters right here in Massachusetts. Among other things, Vennochi wonders if local Dems might be “suffering from post-presidential traumatic stress disorder,” considering previous presidential losses by Michael Dukakis and John Kerry, etc.

Cannabis board member slams do-gooder ‘prohibitionists’

Shaleen Title, a member of the state Cannabis Control Commission, is slamming a group of scientists, pediatricians, addiction experts etc. who have warned about the health effects of marijuana, saying their recent “Statement of Concern” was nothing more than a “big publicity stunt” by a bunch of “prohibitionists,” reports Marie Szaniszlo at the Herald. Meanwhile, the Globe’s Naomi Martin reports that dozens of pot advocates, including Title, rallied at the State House yesterday, protesting the same group’s health criticisms of weed.

What do the King of Bahrain and a Texas billionaire have in common? They both own high-profile properties here

Banker & Tradesman has a couple of interesting real estate stories this morning. B&T’s Steve Adams reports (pay wall) that a Texas billionaire whose family made its fortune in oil is the behind-the-scenes main investor in the massive Suffolk Downs racetrack redevelopment. Meanwhile, B&T is also reporting (pay wall) that a company with apparent/probable corporate ties to the King of Bahrain has purchased the hotel portion of the newly built Four Seasons Hotel & Private Residences, i.e. the One Dalton Street tower in the Back Bay. The purchase price: $215 million.

YWCA puts its long-time Back Bay home up for sale

Speaking of real estate deals, this is another biggie: The country’s first YWCA, now known as YW Boston, has put its long-time Back Bay headquarters building up for sale in a deal that could fetch upwards of $50 million in today’s hot Boston market. The BBJ’s Catherine Carlock and the Globe’s Tim Logan have the details.

Massachusetts leads nation in the number of illegal immigrants?

From the Herald’s Rick Sobey: “The illegal migrant population grew more in Massachusetts than any other state from 2007 to 2017 — a 60,000 spike that costs Massachusetts taxpayers and risks public safety, legal immigration advocates say.”

OK, the Herald puts a negative spin on the data — and there’s no shortage of others who could just as easily put a positive spin on the data, including employers desperate for workers, though they’d never admit so publicly. Still, no one seems to be disputing the migrant data in general from the Pew Research Center. Interesting.

Boston Herald

Sturbridge homeowner raises Nazi flag on his property, stirring outrage days after D-Day anniversary

The Telegram’s Brian Lee makes the right connections, i.e. the recent commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings to liberate Europe from Nazi tyranny and a Sturbridge man who thinks it’s his patriotic right to raise a Nazi Germany flag on his property. The town’s police chief, responding to numerous complaints, calls the flag “disgusting” and “inappropriate,” but “unfortunately, he’s flying a flag in the United States, and he has that right.”


Town poised to take near-empty Berkshire Mall over unpaid taxes

The owner of the Berkshire Mall missed a Wednesday deadline to pay nearly a million dollars worth of unpaid property taxes, opening the door to the town of Lanesborough taking control of the mostly vacant property, Larry Parnass reports at the Berkshire Eagle. Last year, the mall’s owner rushed a nearly $1 million check into Town Hall just before the deadline, but this year tax collectors say they’ve heard nothing and will list the mall– valued at $16 million — among the properties poised to be taken. 

Berkshire Eagle

Legislature passes ‘millionaire’s tax,’ setting up probable statewide vote in 2022

This was expected, but it’s still a big deal and will dominate public debate right through 2022, when voters will likely decide the constitutional matter in a statewide ballot vote. From Mary Markos at the Herald: “Massachusetts legislators approved the ‘millionaire tax’ without a single adjustment, voting down amendments that would specify that the new money be spent on what proponents of the measure have said it will be spent on — education and transportation.”

Shira Schoenberg at MassLive and SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall) have more on the lopsided 147-48 vote to amend the state constitution to allow the tax.

Food workers serving Logan flights poised to strike

From Callum Borchers at WBUR: “Hundreds of union workers who prepare food served on American Airlines and United Airlines flights from Logan Airport plan to vote on a strike authorization Thursday. Unite Here Local 26, the union representing the workers, expects the resolution to pass and is organizing a demonstration at Logan on July 3, when the airport is likely to be crammed with Independence Day travelers.”


Weymouth compressor-station decision delayed until July

Swamped with new data and testimony, officials have agreed to delay an appeal decision on the controversial natural-gas compressor station in Weymouth until July 12, rather than June 28, a deadline most parties agree is no longer achievable. SHNS’s Chris Lisinski has more on the contentious debate over the compressor station.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Cape Cod bridge replacements raise traffic concerns

WGBH’s Bob Seay reports that some Cape residents and town officials are worried about the traffic impact of replacing the Sagamore and Bourne bridges over the Cape Cod Canal – both during and after the potential projects. Yes, after the projects. Seay explains. Hint: Route 6 will still be Route 6.


Massachusetts has a thing or two to learn from Germany

In a Globe opinion piece, Suffolk County DA Rachael Rollins and Miriam Aroni Krinsky, a former federal prosecutor and executive director of Fair and Just Prosecution, say Massachusetts can learn a lot from Germany when it comes to how its judicial system handles so-called “emerging adults,” i.e. offenders between the ages of 18 and 24. Among other things, they note that the rate at which young people return to prison in Germany is lower than it is in Massachusetts.

Boston Globe

Massachusetts Food is Medicine State Plan Launch Event

The event, co-sponsored by Sen. Julian Cyr and Rep. Denise Garlick, will mark the release of the Massachusetts Food is Medicine State Plan, a two-year initiative to create a vision for fully integrating food and nutrition interventions into the state’s health care system.

Community Servings and the Center for Health Law & Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School

31st Annual Charitable Golf Tournament Benefiting Heading Home

Join us for NAIOP’s 31st Anniversary Golf Tournament at The International! If you haven’t played there yet, it is a golfer’s paradise that features two award-winning 18-hole golf courses, including The Pines, designed by Robert Trent Jones.

NAIOP Massachusetts

Author Talk and Book Signing with Christine M. DeLucia

History professor and author Christine M. DeLucia will speak about her recent book, Memory Lands: King Philip’s War and the Place of Violence in the Northeast.

State Library of Massachusetts

Launching Young Leaders: An Intensive Workshop

For CRE professionals with less than five years business experience.

NAIOP Massachusetts

Suffrage Centennial Kick-Off Celebration

Kicking off a year of commemorations celebrating 100 years since the 19th Amendment was adopted in 1920, enabling women to vote.

The Women’s Suffrage Celebration Coalition of Massachusetts and The Greater Boston Women’s Vote

Today’s Headlines


One of the highest points in Brighton could get a residential tower – Universal Hub

Boston Teachers Union ratifies new contract – Boston Globe


Renters searching to leave Boston look to Worcester as a potential top choice, a new report says – MassLive

Clark University to launch cannabis regulation program – Worcester Business Journal

Fall River public schools offering free lunch and breakfast to students next year – Herald News


Trump open to accepting dirt from foreign governments on his opponents – Washington Post

Romney says he has a new plan to replace Obamacare – The Hill

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