Happening Today

Marine science project, Gross on the air, and more

— Gov. Charlie Baker is in London as part of his multi-day trip to the U.K and today meets with Woody Johnson, U.S. ambassador to Britain, U.S. Embassy, London.

— UMass Dartmouth and the SouthCoast Development Partnership will host a discussion about its U.S. EDA-funded Southeastern Massachusetts Marine Science and Technology Corridor project, with state Rep. Patricia Haddad, U.S Reps. Bill Keating and Joseph Kennedy, and Vineyard Wind’s Erich Stephens planning to speak, 836 South Rodney French Blvd., New Bedford, 9 a.m.

— U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III attends the SouthCoast Development Partnership’s Blue Corridor event, UMass Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology East, 836 South Rodney French Blvd., New Bedford, 10 a.m.

— Boston Police Commissioner William Gross is a guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 1 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

Lisa Wieland gets nod for Massport CEO post

Amid debate over lack of gender diversity in private- and public-sector leadership posts, Lisa Wieland yesterday beat out a male rival to become the next chief executive of the Massachusetts Port Authority. A divided MassPort board chose Wieland, head of the port system at the agency, over former state representative and city planning czar Brian Golden, reports the Globe’s Jon Chesto and CommonWealth magazine’s Andy Metzger.

By most accounts, the two finalists were well-matched in terms of qualifications – and so it seems gender may well have been the deciding factor in Wieland’s favor. And so … who cares? Borrowing from baseball, a tie went to the diversity runner. As the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld notes, going with Golden would simply have triggered all sorts of criticisms.

Biden’s ghost of anti-busing past

Not surprisingly, Joe Biden, the moderate frontrunner in the Democratic presidential race, came under withering attack last night from progressive rivals trying to tear him down. But it wasn’t Bernie Sanders doing the tearing down during the evening debate. It was U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, who the NYT reports launched a passionate assault on Biden’s claim that he could be ‘civil’ with even segregationists – and, of particular interest to Bostonians, the old and uncomfortable word ‘busing’ came up in the debate, as in Biden’s anti-busing history.

Some samples from around the web this morning. From Jacqueline Tempera at MassLive: “Kamala Harris grills former Vice President Joe Biden on history with busing.” From the Washington Post: “Biden’s controversial history on busing for school integration crashes to the forefront.”

Of course, many pundits have already determined last night’s winners and losers. Suffice to say, from both Aaron Blake at the Post and James Pindell at the Globe: Harris was the big winner, Biden the big loser. The Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky has more on the debate, including the busing angle.

DA investigates deaths of three children under DCF care

Three deaths since April? From the Globe’s John Ellement and Kay Lazar: “The deaths of three children in separate incidents since mid-April, all while in the care of the state’s child protection agency, are under investigation by the Essex district attorney’s office, officials said Thursday. The deaths come amid a push to beef up child protection services at the state’s Department of Children and Families, which has struggled with high caseloads for swamped social workers, a severe lack of foster families, and archaic technology to track children in state custody.”

Melissa Hanson at MassLive has more on the investigation, which includes a look at two other recent infant deaths not involving DCF. Officials stress the causes of the deaths have not been determined.

Boston Globe

Review of casino records leads to marijuana trafficking and money laundering charges

From SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall): “An investigation that began when State Police troopers noticed activity consistent with money laundering while reviewing records from MGM Springfield resulted in charges of marijuana trafficking and money laundering against a pair of Braintree brothers, according to Attorney General Maura Healey’s office.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

No face time: Somerville takes lead on banning facial recognition tech

Somerville became just the second major U.S. city to ban the use of facial recognition technology after the city council unanimously voted to bar city agencies from using it on privacy and racial fairness grounds, Steph Solis at MassLive reports. Somerville follows the lead of San Francisco and may give a boost to efforts by the ACLU and others to ban the technology’s use. 


It’s official: Belsito announces challenge to Moulton

She’s in. Jamie Zahlaway Belsito formally announced she would be running for the 6th Congressional District seat held by Seth Moulton, who she slammed for running for president instead of focusing on the needs of his district, Ethan Forman at the Salem News reports. The 45-year-old Belsito, who was appointed as a trustee at Salem State University by Gov. Baker, could soon be joined by several other potential candidates. 

Salem News

Healey and others hail high court’s ruling on census question

From Sarah Betancourt at CommonWealth magazine: “In a blow to the Trump administration, the Supreme Court on Thursday blocked a citizenship question from being added to the 2020 Census, partially because the Commerce Department’s initial explanation for why it decided to include it appeared to be ‘contrived.’”

Attorney General Maura Healey, whose office was party to the suit, hailed the decision as a “huge win,” while activists also praised the ruling, reports Haley Johnson at MassLive.


Caroline Kennedy puts mother’s Martha’s Vineyard estate on block for $65M

From a report at Wicked Local: “Red Gate Farm, formerly the private estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis on Martha’s Vineyard, is on the market for $65 million, according to Christie’s International Real Estate.   The 340-acre estate at Aquinnah includes more than a mile of private Atlantic Ocean beachfront, freshwater ponds, and an abundance of wildlife. Onassis purchased the property in 1979. It is now owned by her daughter Caroline Kennedy.”

Wicked Local

Federal court upholds ban on Christian flag flying over City Hall Plaza

And from Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin: “A federal appeals court (Thursday) upheld a judge’s decision not to force Boston to let a right-wing activist from West Roxbury fly an explicitly Christian flag from one of the three flagpoles outside City Hall while his suit over the issue remains open.”

Universal Hub

Spilka refers Brady’s DUI case to Senate ethics committee

Senate President Karen Spilka isn’t letting Sen. Michael Brady off so easily for his drunk driving arrest last year, despite his case being dismissed after Brady admitted to sufficient facts. Andy Metzger at CommonWealth magazine reports Spilka has read transcripts of Brady’s court hearing earlier this month – and has now referred the Brady matter to the Senate’s Ethics Committee.


Suffolk Downs West?

Suffolk Downs will hold its last horse races on Sunday, ending 84 years of racing at the East Boston track. But the Globe’s Jon Chesto reports that the head of Sterling Suffolk Racecourse, Chip Tuttle, will waste little time mourning, as he heads to the State House on Monday to lobby for thoroughbred racing in Great Barrington while retaining the firm’s simulcasting rights here in Boston. File under: Suffolk Downs West.

Boston Globe

Hearing officer OKs permit for controversial Weymouth compressor station

Is anyone really surprised? From Jessica Trufant at the Patriot Ledger: “Opponents of a natural gas compressor station proposed for a site in Weymouth were dealt another blow Thursday as a state adjudicator recommended the approval of an air-quality permit for the project. Hearing officer Jane Rothchild of the state Department of Environmental Protection said the department should uphold a permit issued to gas company Spectra Energy-Enbridge and reject an appeal filed by Weymouth, Quincy, Braintree, Hingham and a citizens group.”

Patriot Ledger

For $29,287, he lost a nearly $80,000 annual pension for life

For his $29,287 in bogus overtime claims, former state trooper Paul Cesan is paying a hefty price for his criminal greed, i.e. his $79,673-a-year (for life) state pension, which a state board suspended yesterday following his sentencing in the ongoing State Police overtime-pay scandal. Melissa Hanson has the details.


Will Partners HealthCare by any other name still be Partners HealthCare?

The answer to the above question: Yes. The BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett reports that the new CEO of Partners, Anne Klibanski, is working on a rebrand of the state’s largest hospital network that will include a name change for the organization. Klibanski says the changes are intended to better reflect Partners’ mission. 

But a switch to a kinder and gentler name won’t change the fact that a future Partners will still probably butt heads with regulators over its alleged monopolistic practices, etc.

Lawmakers plan to shine a light on shadowy prescription-drug middlemen

Speaking of health care, SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall) reports that so-called “pharmacy benefit managers” – those murky middlemen who negotiate prescription-drug deals on behalf of insurers and who reportedly make a killing on the transactions — are coming under scrutiny in the Massachusetts House with a planned legislative hearing next month on PBMs. File under: ‘About time.’

The ‘Janus bill’ takes another step towards becoming law

It was expected, though not necessarily by a 38-1 margin, i.e. the Senate’s passage yesterday of the so-called Janus Bill, which would allow public sector unions to charge non-members for services and representation provided on their behalf, as SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall) reports. And now the Senate and House have to reconcile their respective bills – and, assuming they do, one can assume the compromise legislation will be passed with veto-proof majorities.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Second thoughts: Gloucester councilors to revisit straw ban they just passed

Then again, maybe not. Just a day after the Gloucester City Council voted unanimously to ban plastic straws from the city starting next year, two members of the board have filed motions to reconsider, saying the move didn’t adequately take the concerns of local businesses or certain residents into account, Ray Lamont reports at the Gloucester Times. 

Gloucester Times

Ferrante to fellow lawmakers: Please come to Gloucester to witness what Trump’s tariffs have wrought

Speaking of Gloucester, SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall) reports that state Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante, the co-chair of the Legislature’s Economic Development Committee, wants other lawmakers to visit Gloucester to see firsthand how the state’s lobstering industry “has become collateral damage in the Trump Administration’s trade war with China.” Among other things, she wants a field hearing in Gloucester.

Cannabis commission rejects company over compliance issues

It wasn’t just a rejection, but a resounding rejection. From the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett: “The five-member Cannabis Control Commission denied a marijuana business’s request for provisional licenses, citing compliance issues with the application.  Commissioners unanimously denied four applications from Sheffield-based Ten-Ten LLC for indoor cultivation, outdoor cultivation, product manufacturing and retail.”


Sunday public affairs TV: Peter Cohan, Stephen Lynch and more

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Peter Cohan, Babson College management expert and author of ‘Scaling Your Startup,’ discusses the Wayfair walkout, the anniversary of the Market Basket protest and other economic-political issues.  

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Wendy Northcross of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce discusses expectations for the summer season on the Cape; ISlide CEO Justin Kittredge provides an update on customizable shoes; and a look at the stories behind the Bravery Brand with CEO and founder Lindsay Tia Reilly.   

CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. Lindsay Skilling, CEO of Gifford, and J.C Gifford, vice president of sales at the company, discuss the ice cream industry and the family-based ice cream company.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, who talks with hosts Janet Wu and Ed Harding, following by a discussion with Boston Globe political reporter Frank Phillips and Republican political analyst Virginia Buckingham.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s topic: Immigration, with Ivan Espinoza-Madrgal, executive director of Lawyers for Civil Rights, among the guests.  

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


Wentworth’s new head to grow graduate programs, eyes partnerships with businesses – Boston Business Journal

Chinatown has worst air quality in Mass., report says – Boston Globe


Powers drops out of Braintree mayor’s race – Patriot Ledger

State gives final approval to Nantucket pot shop – Cape Cod Times

Report: Brockton is most affordable city in greater Boston – Brockton Enterprise


New York City declares a climate emergency – CNN

Kamala Harris makes the case that Joe Biden should pass the torch to her – New York Times

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