Happening Today

Massport CEO search, Revere’s concerns, and more

— The Massachusetts Port Authority’s board hosts its monthly meeting, where a preliminary screening committee is scheduled to recommend finalists to take over as the agency’s permanent CEO, 1 Harborside Drive, East Boston, 9 a.m.

— State Rep. Alice Peisch, co-chair of the Joint Committee on Education, and Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley recognize award-winning teachers, including the teacher of the year, Great Hall, 10:30 a.m.

— Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo holds press conference to announce he’s creating a commission to track Encore Boston Harbor impacts on Revere, Revere City Hall, 281 Broadway, Revere, 11 a.m.

— Attorney General Maura Healey, along with federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, announces the takedown of a major fentanyl/heroin and cocaine trafficking operation, Attorney General’s Office, One Ashburton Place, 20th Floor, Boston, 11:15 a.m.

Committee on Election Laws takes up 32 bills related to election-day registration, early voting and voting rights, Room A-1, 1 p.m.

— House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate Majority Leader Cynthia Creem, House Ways and Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz and Reps. Liz Malia, Dan Cullinane and Jon Santiago participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially reopen McGrath House, the only community-based residential reentry program in Massachusetts that exclusively serves women, 699 Massachusetts Ave., Boston2:30 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

Biden invokes Ted Kennedy amid working-with-segregationists controversy

The Hill is reporting that former Vice President Joe Biden is now invoking the late Ted Kennedy as he tries to contain the controversy over his remarks that that the Senate used to get “things done’’ with ‘‘civility,” even with segregationists. Now Biden says he and Kennedy used to fight segregationists tooth and nail in the Senate. And, oh, Biden says he’s not apologizing for his original remarks, the AP reports at the Globe. The Globe’s Joan Vennochi is having a field day with the controversy, saying Biden’s “comfort food” rhetoric is getting hard to swallow these days.

Fyi: The criticism of Biden is little unfair in general. After all, FDR, JFK and LBJ routinely worked with segregationists to get New Deal, New Frontier and Great Society legislation passed. But Biden, well, he’s just being classic Biden, i.e. dopey, sloppy, silly etc., and it’s one of the reasons why a Biden Implosion Watch is so necessary.

The Hill

Sorry, Bernie, but Warren is gaining voters from you, not moderates

The Washington Post’s Philip Bump is rebutting a recent Politico story that reports Dem centrists are starting to break for progressive Elizabeth Warren, saying a new Monmouth University poll shows that Warren is actually drawing votes away from Bernie Sanders in the Dem primary race. And Bump says Sanders’ camp is simply wrong when it suggests that Warren’s recent gains are a function of moderates.

Washington Post

Report: Climate change will cost state $18 billion

And they’re not just talking about the Seaport District. From Christian Wade at the Gloucester Times: “Massachusetts will have to spend more than $18 billion to fortify its coastline against rising seas and monster storms fueled by a changing climate, according to a new report. The report estimates the state would have to spend that much over the next 20 years to fortify seawalls and other barriers to defend against erosion, flooding and other impacts of a warming planet.”

Suddenly, Gov. Charlie Baker and House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s competing climate-change resiliency bills don’t sound so ambitious.

Gloucester Times

Meanwhile, it’s been nice knowing you, Barnstable

The Center for Climate Integrity is also reporting that the town of Barnstable is facing the most daunting financial challenge in Massachusetts when it comes to rising sea levels caused by climate change. Barnstable’s estimated sea-wall bill to protect its shores: $889 million, making it one of the most expensive at-risk communities in the nation. The NYT has more.

Btw, the headline on the NYT’s piece: “With More Storms and Rising Seas, Which U.S. Cities Should Be Saved First?” Hmmm. Boston or Barnstable? 


Baker and Healey’s blunt rebuttal to Purdue Pharma claims

This is interesting: Gov. Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey, who theoretically could face each other in a 2022 gubernatorial battle, have penned a joint op-ed in the Wall Street Journal rebutting Purdue Pharma chairman Steve Miller’s contention in a prior opinion piece that suing pharmacy companies isn’t the answer to the opioid crisis. Massachusetts, of course, is suing Purdue Pharma over its opioid sales.

Setting aside the local political angles, what’s fascinating about the Baker-Healey piece is how blunt it is, asserting Purdue Pharma’s “insidious” sales practices led directly to the deaths of hundreds of people, etc. Sample: “The company deceived prescribers and patients about its drugs. Purdue sold more than 70 million doses of opioids to Massachusetts patients, generating more than $500 million. Those patients struggled with overdoses and relapses. More than 670 died.”

No “allegedly” or “reportedly” or “may have” or “suggests” and other qualifiers. They state it all as facts. Period. Any response, Chairman Miller? We doubt it. SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) has more on the op-ed feud.

WSJ (pay wall)

Revere’s watching you, Encore Boston Harbor

Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo is planning to set up a commission to track Encore Boston Harbor’s impact on his city, after the Everett casino eventually opens this Sunday, reports SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall). Meanwhile, Everett’s mayor and police chief are practically begging people not to drive to the casino – and most definitely “don’t dump your car” in a residential neighborhood, reports Steph Solis at MassLive.

But here’s an idea: Maybe casino patrons can swim to Encore Boston Harbor? Well, perhaps not. But the river sure is cleaner these days, reports Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine.

As House approves hemp farming, state agency cracks down on hemp-derived CBD

MassLive’s Shira Schoenberg reports that the Massachusetts House yesterday voted 152-0 to allow farmers to grow hemp on land designated as agricultural, a move that could be a financial boon for local farmers. But then there’s this from the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett: “Massachusetts regulators have outlawed the sale of products containing hemp-derived cannabidiol, sowing confusion among farmers and retailers who say the move upends the emerging hemp market. Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a derivative of both hemp and cannabis that some say has health benefits, but no accompanying high.”

File under: “Left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing”?

Meanwhile, Galvin issues warning on pot investment scams

Speaking of pot, also from the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett: “The top securities regulator in Massachusetts has charged a second marijuana entrepreneur with fraud and released a bulletin warning potential investors of scams within the state’s burgeoning industry.”

Fyi: The marijuana entrepreneur in question is also getting the heave from a former Holyoke paper mill for nonpayment of rent, reports Shira Schoenberg at MassLive.


The plot thickens: Sought-after cellphone in Kevin Spacey case missing

File under: ‘Further complications.’ The man accusing actor Kevin Spacey of sexual assault on Nantucket in 2016 says he can’t find the cell phone a judge ordered him to turn over to the defense, which believes it would show that exculpatory messages were deleted from the device, Wheeler Copperthwaite reports at the Cape Cod Times. A judge wants the accuser and his attorneys in court on July 8 for an update.

Cape Cod Times

Patience tested: Liberal group plans new pressure campaign on Neal to get Trump taxes

Here comes more heat. Progressive activist group Stand Up America says it will launch a campaign next week designed to move House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal to go to court to enforce a subpoena seeking President Trump’s tax returns, Ramsey Touchberry reports at Newsweek. The group says its volunteers will send texts to Democrats in Neal’s home district in western Massachusetts asking them to call on the congressman to pick up the pace already.


Is the political pressure on Smith & Wesson working?

We doubt there’s a direct connection between recent gun protests by students and nuns outside Smith & Wesson’s headquarters in Springfield and its parent company’s recent dip in earnings. But the CEO of American Outdoor Brands Corp. is acknowledging that “changes in the political environment” and lower demand for gun products is indeed having some effect on its bottom line, reports Jim Kinney at MassLive.


Next up: ‘Housing for All’

As Gov. Charlie Baker barnstorms the state to push for his housing legislation, SHNS’s Chris Lisinski reports that Rep. Mike Connolly of Cambridge is offering up his own housing bill: “Housing for All,” a measure that would “revive the option of rent control, spend an additional $1 billion on affordable housing, and tax large businesses to finance a homelessness prevention fund.”

Btw, the irreplaceable SHNS has three other housing-related stories of note this morning (both pay wall): Katie Lannan’s “Eviction sealing bill nets city council approval” and from Lannan again: “House passes bill to regulate appraisal companies.” And from SHNS’s Chris Lisinski: “Mass. Rental price burden higher than New York and D.C., report finds.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Building blocked: Judge says Vineyard tribe must follow local permitting rules

Score one for Aquinnah. A federal judge says the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head must follow local permitting rules for the physical construction of a bingo hall on the island, even though it has the right under federal law to operate the gaming facility. The ruling was hailed by Aquinnah officials who insist they’re not trying to block the project but only want local rules followed, though many expect additional legal proceedings lie ahead.

Martha’s Vineyard Times

Boston ICE chief: No, we’re not running ‘concentration camps’

What goes around comes around? The Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter reports that Boston’s top ICE official is slamming Democrats (i.e. U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) for comparing immigration detention centers to “concentration camps.” Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is urging Democrats (i.e. U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) to cool it on the rhetoric, reports the Washington Post.

What we find curious is how today’s concentration-camp rhetoric eerily sounds like last decade’s concentration-camp rhetoric. Remember good old Glenn Beck and his Obama-era concentration-camp conspiracy theories

Boston Herald

‘The Trump Effect’: Law schools see surge in students studying immigration law

Speaking of immigration, Shannon Dooling at WBUR reports that Northeastern and Boston University’s laws schools are among those seeing an uptick in students studying immigration law, all in response to President Trump’s controversial immigration policies.


Independent auto shops press for ‘right-to-repair’ update

We missed this from the other day. From Jonathan Ng at the Herald: “A coalition of independent repair shops is reigniting the ‘right to repair’ campaign in hopes that state policymakers will update the 2013 law to provide the same information to diagnostic data as the manufacturers give authorized dealerships.”

Boston Herald

Ticket to slide: Northampton’s smoking bans have few teeth

While its bid to prohibit outdoor smoking in its downtown area has grabbed national headlines, the city of Northampton’s track record suggests it won’t be handing out fines for violations of the ban, Bera Dunau reports at the Daily Hampshire Gazette. The city has issued just one ticket since passing a 2014 smoking ban in many public areas — and that was for someone who was smoking a joint in a public park. The city’s police chief said most people comply with the bans once they are informed of their existence. 


Cambridge Crossing Street Unveiling Ceremony

Join DivcoWest, Mayor Marc McGovern and other distinguished guests to celebrate the ceremonial unveiling of Jacobs Street and Morgan Avenue at Cambridge Crossing. The new street names will not only improve wayfinding in the area, they pay homage to Harriet A. Jacobs and Gertrude Wright Morgan, prominent African-American women with ties to the City who were involved in the suffrage movement.

Cambridge Crossing (CX)

Launching Young Leaders: An Intensive Workshop

For CRE professionals with less than five years business experience.

NAIOP Massachusetts

Boston Unity Cup – Kick Off Party

Boston Unity Cup is a citywide World Cup style adult soccer tournament powered by the City of Boston and Mayor Walsh to bring together Boston’s diverse and immigrant communities around the shared passion for sport. Join us for a live viewing of the Women’s World Cup knockout round match (teams to be determined), meet the teams and event organizers, and learn more about the tournament weekend.

Boston Unity Cup

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


In ‘hypergrowth mode,’ DraftKings is expanding again in Boston – Boston Business Journal

Boston exam schools and their admissions standards are again the focus of controversy – Boston Globe


Barnstable senior center rebrands itself to reflect changing clientele – Cape Cod Times

Moulton, Trahan seek timely sewer spill notice – Eagle-Tribune

Easthampton shuts down Pedal N’ Party on Manhan Rail Trail – Daily Hampshire Gazette


Biden invokes Ted Kennedy in defending remarks about working with segregationists – The Hill

Judge says census citizenship question merits more consideration – Washington Post

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