Happening Today

Massport CEO decision, Cannabis Commission, Janus bill

— Attorney General Maura Healey speaks at the Massachusetts State Police 84th Recruit Training Troop Graduation, DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester, 9:30 a.m.

Cannabis Control Commission meets to continue its review of proposed new rules for marijuana sales and use, Hearing Room B-1, 10 a.m.

— Senate meets in formal session with plans to take up the so-called ‘Janus Bill,’ Senate Chamber, 11 a.m.

— Elected officials and experts will gather to discuss a new report highlighting Chinatown’s air quality as the worst in the state, with Rep. Lori Ehrlich and Boston City Councilors Michelle Wu and Ed Flynn among those expected to attend, Josiah Quincy Upper School basketball courts, 900 Washington St., Boston, 2 p.m.

Massachusetts Port Authority Board of Directors holds a special meeting to vote on its next CEO – either Massport’s port director Lisa Wieland or Boston Planning and Development Agency director Brian Golden, 1 Harborside Drive, Boston, 4:30 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

The debate: Did she win? Did she win?

If you want a general summary of last night’s first of two Democratic presidential debates, the New York Times has a pretty good blow-by-blow account. But we assume you’d rather get right to the “winners and losers” punditry. The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake thinks U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren was definitely a winner, if not the clear winner. The Globe’s James Pindell wasn’t as impressed, giving Warren only a ‘B’ grade, behind, of all people, Julián Castro (A-), Bill de Blasio (B+) and others with higher scores. The folks at FiveThirtyEight are promising some stats later today about voters’ views on the debate, via Morning Consult.

Lisa Kashinsky at the Herald and Jacqueline Tempera at MassLive have more on the debate. The Herald’s Hillary Chabot is already looking ahead to tonight’s second debate – and the target on Joe Biden’s back.

‘A plan to solve any problem, except …’

Just fyi: Jason O. Gilbert, a comedy writer, roasts each Democrat taking part in this week’s presidential debates, via personalized Haikus at the NYT. First, our local entry: “Warren: a plan to solve any problem, except her DNA test.” But our favorite is: “There’s an old saying: ‘He cannot win who cannot even beat Ted Cruz.’” And the runner-up: “Only New Yorker running worse than Kirsten: the mayor or C train?” There’s 17 more. Enjoy.


Interstate finger pointing breaks out over NH crash …

The Globe’s Vernal Coleman and Matt Rocheleau report that interstate finger pointing has broken out in the aftermath of this past weekend’s fatal motorcycle crash in New Hampshire, with Connecticut officials insisting they provided Massachusetts with the required information about the driving violations of the man now accused of causing the tragic collision. 

Meanwhile, lawmakers on Beacon Hill are engaging in some in-state finger pointing (sort of) by saying it’s time for an independent review of the RMV and its handling of dangerous-driver records, the Herald reports. And, oh, ICE has officially issued a detainer to deport the accused immigrant driver, reports WBUR’s Shannon Dooling. Our response: Can you imagine the uproar across New England if ICE ever deported the immigrant driver before he could be tried on seven counts of vehicular homicide?

Boston Globe

Meanwhile, poll finds voters are pointing collective finger of blame at Baker over his handling of T

So his suit isn’t made of Teflon after all. More than half of Boston-area voters disapprove of the way Gov. Charlie Baker has handled the MBTA since taking office, while just 29 percent approve of the reform-first approach he’s taken, a new WBUR poll finds. The numbers are a dramatic departure from the sky-high approval ratings Baker regularly scores with voters statewide and reflect mounting frustration among commuters, Zeninjor Enweneka reports. Meanwhile, 70 percent of those surveyed favor delaying T fare increases slated to take effect next week. 


Mr. Fix-It can’t fix it from London, that’s for sure

The Globe’s Matt Stout reports that Gov. Charlie Baker may be spending a few days in London attending an offshore wind conference and taking in a Sox-Yankees game while he’s there. But he can’t escape the increasing criticism aimed at his administration’s handling of recent controversies at the MBTA and Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Meanwhile, from Peter Lucas at the Herald: “Charlie Baker needs to get a Charlie Card.” And CommonWealth magazine’s Michael Jonas wonders how much longer Baker can hold out on providing the T with substantially more tax revenues. 

At least Baker wins one at the Governor’s Council …

After some controversy over Gov. Charlie Baker’s nomination of yet another prosecutor to the state’s parole board, the Governor’s Council yesterday did indeed approve the appointment of Springfield chief prosecutor Karen McCarthy to the board, on a 5-3 vote and after some council members took shots at McCarthy for taking shots at the council. Shira Schoenberg at MassLive has the details.


Is a boycott next for Wayfair after yesterdays’ employees walkout?

Hundreds of Wayfair workers indeed walked off the job yesterday to protest their company’s sale of beds to the operator of immigrant detention centers along the U.S.-Mexican border, as the BBJ’s Lucia Maffei reports. 

There’s a sort of point-counter-point debate going on at the Globe over the walkout. From the Globe’s Shirley Leung: “Business as usual was a bad look for Wayfair execs.” Meanwhile, from the Globe’s Larry Edelman: “Let’s give a nod to Wayfair’s bosses for avoiding the empty, feel-good gesture.”

But what we find interesting is the possibility that Wayfair, the giant online furniture retailer based in Boston, may soon find itself the target of a social boycott campaign, as the New York Times reports.

Fyi: At WGBH, U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressely defends her vote against a $4.5 billion border aid package overwhelmingly supported by other House Democrats.


No, not that restaurant …

Swansea’s Aviary Restaurant had a wild day yesterday, getting bombarded with hostile emails and responding to social-media attacks after more than a few people mistook the local eatery for a restaurant in Chicago, also called the Aviary, where President Donald Trump’s son reported a waiter spit on him Tuesday night. Linda Murphy at the Herald News has the unsavory details.

Herald News

The pot industry’s diversity problem comes down to this: M-O-N-E-Y

The BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett, who attended yesterday’s SHNS Marijuana Policy Forum, writes that regulators, lawmakers and others agreed on one point yesterday: The primary problem preventing more diversity in the industry is money. I.e. access to capital, or lack thereof, so minorities and others can start pot businesses.


No, you can’t use your EBT card to buy a joint

This isn’t a surprise, but it’s still interesting that some out there actually think they can buy pot via their EBT cards, as Christian Wade reports at the Eagle Tribune.

Eagle Tribune

Report: Massachusetts employees paying more out of pocket for health care

File under: ‘Tell us about it …’ From SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall) on a new report via the Center for Health Information and Analysis: “Employees in Massachusetts are paying substantially more toward their health insurance premiums, covering a larger percentage of their premiums, and also paying higher out-of-pocket deductibles, newly released state data shows.”

Unfortunately, one of yours truly here at MassterList knows all too well about the rising out-of-pocket costs of health care. After a recent annual doctor’s checkup with standard blood tests, the out-of-pocket bill came to $600 (six hundred). For a doctor’s visit! The bill is being contested, btw.

Report, II: Suburban zoning restrictions entrench racial segregation

Speaking of reports, someone, finally, is stating the obvious. Simon Ríos at WBUR and Isaiah Thompson at WGBH report on a new Boston Foundation study that says suburban towns’ strict zoning codes are not only exacerbating the housing shortage in Greater Boston, they’re also further entrenching racial segregation. Obviously, we don’t believe towns are intentionally promoting segregation with their zoning laws meant to keep people out in general, but that’s the clear effect, a fact that a mere stroll or drive through Cohasset, Concord, Lincoln, Wellesley, etc. would confirm.

Moving on up: Cambridge boosts rental subsidies so recipients can live in tony neighborhoods too

Speaking of housing and segregation: Spread it out. That’s the goal of a new policy approved by the Cambridge Housing Authority which would base the federal housing subsidies paid to Section 8 renters on the city’s various ZIP codes, theoretically enabling them to afford housing in all parts of the city, reports Sue Reinert at Cambridge Day. The move–which increases subsidies in some neighborhoods by more than 50 percent to $2,400 per month for a studio apartment–is meant to open up all parts of the city to Section 8 recipients and avoid concentrating low income residents in certain areas.  

Cambridge Day

Oh, great: Health officials warn of new fungal ‘superbug’

Marilyn Schairer at WGBH reports on a new superbug, i.e. a drug-resistant germ, that Massachusetts healthcare facilities are dealing with – and the concerns that the deadly pathogen called Candida auris, a yeast-like fungus, could spread locally and globally.


Win some, lose some: Sue O’Connell’s news show cancelled only days after winning ‘Best of Boston’ award

Days after NECN’s Sue O’Connell won Boston Magazine’s ‘Best TV News Host’ award, the local station nixed her show ‘The Take,’ reports Kevin Slane at Boston.com. But fear not: It appears O’Connell may make a quick comeback with a new political show at NECN, as she noted yesterday on Facebook.


Straight Pride Parade gets a permit – but not a flag

From the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter: “The controversial Straight Pride Parade can move forward, the city has deemed, though Mayor Martin Walsh won’t attend it or fly the “straight pride flag” at City Hall. ‘The City of Boston cannot deny a permit based on an organization’s values,’ Walsh spokeswoman Samantha Ormsby said. ‘Mayor Walsh will not be attending these events.’”

Boston Herald

State lottery poised to surpass all-time high for revenue

More good news on the state tax revenue front. From SHNS’s Colin Young: “With an entire month of sales still to be counted this fiscal year, the Massachusetts Lottery appears on track to easily surpass its all-time high for annual revenue. Through May, the Lottery has counted $1.044 billion in profit, Executive Director Michael Sweeney told the Lottery Commission on Tuesday.”

Just a passing thought: This doesn’t exactly strengthen Treasurer Deb Goldberg’s argument for allowing online Lottery games and future sports betting at the Lottery.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Breaking the silence via a bus ride …

Sarah Betancourt at CommonWealth reports on the bus load of women, all of them undocumented survivors of domestic violence, who journeyed to the State House yesterday to try to persuade lawmakers to pass the Safe Communities Act.


Party lines: State’s three GOP sheriffs renew ICE cooperation agreements

The Republican sheriffs of Bristol, Plymouth and Barnstable counties have renewed agreements with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that train local deputies to perform some ICE duties, Joe DiFazio at the Patriot Ledger reports. Advocates for immigrants say the agreements erode trust in law enforcement and the ACLU claims it leads to racial profiling. 

Patriot Ledger

Too much of a good thing?

Mount Holyoke College seeks CIO as endowment swells  Nearby colleges may be taking drastic measures to make ends meet, but Mount Holyoke College has a different type of money problem on its hands, reports Dusty Christensen at the Daily Hampshire Gazette. The college has launched a search for its first-ever chief investment officer, a move it says it needed as its endowment bumps up against the $1 billion mark. 

Daily Hampshire Gazette

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)

Is anyone listening? How PR Pros Respond to Reporters & Build Relationships

Learn how to become a source for the media and solidify relationships. What are reporters going through in the current media environment and how PR pros can help them succeed.

PRSA Boston

The Ethics of Public Memory: Professional Development for Educators

In this half-day professional development workshop, explore a unique way to teach about the Civil War, racism, and slavery while considering how perception and public memory evolves over time. Learn from teachers who have used the curriculum and plan a student-centered civic project to reimagine a memorial or monument.

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate

Queer Academics & Activism – reception

Friday – June 28 at 10 a.m. Brandeis University hosts a free reception at the Mandel Center for Humanities to celebrate the work of teens attending the first in the nation offering of Queer Academics & Activism. The teens will be joined by college staff, course faculty and Brandeis supporters. All welcome.

Brandeis University

Greater Mattapan Meeting with Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley

Congresswoman Pressley is excited to partner with the Greater Mattapan Neighborhood Council in hosting an event geared towards directly listening to and engaging with Mattapan residents.

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley

Massachusetts Young Republican Biennial Convention

Join the Massachusetts Young Republicans as we host our biennial convention!

Massachusetts Federation of Young Republicans

Today’s Headlines


Subcontractors claim Wynn not paying bill for extra work on Everett casino – Boston Herald

National Guard to assist with security at Logan Airport during summer months – Boston Globe


Union Hospital ER will close in the fall – Lynn Item

Study: Worcester ripe for more breweries – Worcester Business Journal

Island braces for VTA strike – Martha’s Vineyard Times


‘Heartbreaking’ image shapes debate on immigration – New York Times

Mueller’s team may think it’s done, but Democrats have other ideas – Politico

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