Happening Today

Fourth fireworks security, Education Committee, South Coast Rail

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Kathleen Theoharides and others hold a media briefing on security measures ahead of the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular to be held July 4 on Boston’s Esplanade, Hatch Memorial Shell, Esplanade, Boston, 9:30 a.m.

— Mothers Out Front, Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station and other groups rally outside the State House to call for an independent investigation into the Weymouth Compressor Station permitting process, State House steps, 10:30 a.m.

— The Education Committee holds a hearing on bills dealing with early education and care, with legislation including universal kindergarten and pre-kindergarten, payment rates and funding for early education, Room A-2, 10 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack, MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak, Sen. Michael Rodrigues, Reps. Bill Straus, Paul Schmid, Carole Fiola and local officials participate in a ceremonial groundbreaking marking the beginning of Phase I construction work on the South Coast Rail Project, New Bedford Main Line, 65 Chance Road, Freetown, 1:30 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Services Francisco Ureña and others participate in the ceremonial groundbreaking of the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Wall, Bicentennial Park, 1080 Davol Street, Fall River, 3 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

Baker’s RMV nightmare: Worse by a factor of thousands

Gov. Charlie Baker’s ‘Mr. Fix-It’ image took another hit yesterday – and this one was quite a damning hit. From the Herald’s Mary Markos and Sean Philip Cotter: “The Registry of Motor Vehicles let tens of thousands of alerts on Massachusetts drivers’ violations in other states accumulate for more than a year, unprocessed in 53 bins, in a deadly bureaucratic failure that Gov. Charlie Baker admits has tested public confidence in his administration.”

The “deadly bureaucratic failure,” of course, is a reference to last month’s horrific deaths of seven motorcyclists in New Hampshire, allegedly caused by a Massachusetts truck driver who had a long record of interstate traffic violations. The Globe’s Matt Stout and Matt Rocheleau and CommonWealth magazine’s Andy Metzger have more on the RMV debacle. 

From the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld: “Sorry Charlie, your third-term dream just collided with the RMV.” Meanwhile, the Herald’s Rick Sobey reports that the state may well be held liable for the records fiasco, or at least that’s what trial lawyers are saying.

Boston Herald

Nine years in a row without a budget. Can they make it ten?

State House leaders were sending mixed signals yesterday about whether negotiators were close or not to a state budget deal, with SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) reporting that lawmakers were hopeful at one point Monday that a compromise plan was near. Then again, Gov. Charlie Baker was also saying that he wouldn’t mind if it took another week or two to hammer out an agreement, as long as it’s a good agreement, reports Shira Schoenberg at MassLive.

One thing was clear yesterday: This is now the ninth year in a row that lawmakers have failed to have a permanent budget in place at the start of the new fiscal year, i.e. July 1, reports the Globe’s Victoria McGrane. Massachusetts is one of just two states (the other being Ohio) without a new budget at this point, McGrane notes.

Poll: Biden and Sanders slipping, Harris and Warren gaining

The guys are faltering and the gals are rising. That’s the main finding of the latest CNN poll, which shows big bumps for Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren since last week’s Dem presidential debates in Florida, as reported by CNN. 

The Washington Post has more. The Globe’s Scot Lehigh says Harris was the clear winner last week, though we suspect Warren is actually in a better position than Harris in the long run.


Go ahead, Dems. Make forced busing an issue – and kiss victory good-bye next year

Speaking of the presidential race, the Globe’s Kevin Cullen writes that you can be against segregation, racism and forced busing at the same time – but some Dems don’t seem to get that and the party may pay the price in 2020 as a result.

Boston Globe

Optimism, thy name is Seth Moulton

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton has plans to spend the Fourth of July in early caucus state Nevada as he presses on with his presidential bid despite missing the first round of Democratic debates, Ethan Forman reports at the Salem News. Moulton says he’s not dismayed at his poor poll numbers, which could shut him out of future debates as well. 

Salem News

South Shore Hospital and Tufts Medical in merger talks

Hey, if MGH-Brigham & Women’s and Beth Israel-Lahey can do it, why not South Shore Health and the parent company of Tufts Medical Center? The BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett reports on the latest hospital-merger proposal in Massachusetts. Assuming talks lead to an actual deal, we assume this plan will get necessary state approvals, considering regulators only just recently OK’d the Beth Israel-Lahey merger. Anything else would be closing the barn door after the horses have bolted.


Oligarch no more? Treasury reaches deal with Oxford CEO over appearance on list

The U.S. Dept. of the Treasury has reached a deal with the CEO of an Oxford laser company over his appearance on a list of Russian oligarchs who are subject to U.S. financial sanctions, Zachary Comeau reports at the Worcester Business Journal. Valentin Gapontsev sued the government after it named everyone on a Forbes magazine list of Russian millionaires as sanctions targets. Details of the agreement are expected to be released in coming weeks. 


Detention center inspection: ‘It feels like a jail’

The Globe’s Jaclyn Reiss and the New York Times report on the visit yesterday to southern border detention facilities by Democratic members of Congress – including U.S. Reps. Lori Trahan, Ayanna Pressley and Joseph Kennedy – and what they found wasn’t encouraging. Fyi: In a separate piece, the Washington Post reports on the “vulgar” comments posted on a secret Facebook site for U.S. Border Patrol agents targeting migrants and some lawmakers.

Judge tosses Lively’s suit against Baker and state GOP

We were wondering when, not if, this would happen. From SHNS’s Matt Murphy: “A lawsuit brought by conservative Springfield pastor Scott Lively against Gov. Charlie Baker, the state Republican Party and others has been dismissed in Superior Court, resolving allegations that the party violated its neutrality rules by helping Baker during the 2018 primary.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Our sympathies: State looks to double cremation ‘view fee’

The latest proof that there’s nothing certain in life except death and taxes, via the Globe’s Matt Stout, who reports the state’s chief medical examiner’s office plans to double the fee it charges next of kin to examine a body before it’s cremated. That’s $200 per viewing.

Boston Globe

Our sympathies, Part II: New short-term rental taxes take effect

Speaking of death and taxes, the state’s new rules and taxes on short-term rentals via firms like Airbnb went into effect this week, slapping a 5.7 percent tax on short-term rentals, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) and WBUR’s Zeninjor Enwemeka. The law also gives local cities and towns the option to impose their own rental taxes.

‘I Love You, Now Die’: HBO documentary examines the Michelle Carter suicide-texting case

The AP’s Alanna Durkin Richer at WBUR reports on HBO’s new documentary — “I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth V. Michelle Carter” – that centers on the now infamous suicide-texting case that led to Michelle Carter’s conviction of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Conrad Roy III. It comes down to, HBO says, whether Carter’s barrage of texts was illegal or just immoral. Then again, maybe it’s both – or neither. Only a disturbed person could have sent so many terrible messages.


Trump to award Celts legend Bob Cousy with Medal of Freedom

Celtics legend Bob Cousy, 91, will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Donald Trump, decades after the Hall of Famer hung up the sneakers and began a long career as a sportscaster. Nick Kelly and Dan Shaughnessy have the details at the Globe.

Correia draws another challenger; Braintree mayor’s race gets more crowded

They’re running. Community activist Erica Scott-Pacheco says she’s joining what is now a three-way race for Fall River mayor, setting up a September preliminary election with many of the same players as the recent recall election that saw Jasiel Correia unexpectedly triumph, Peter Jasinski atf the Herald-News reports. 

Meanwhile, in Braintree, where incumbent Mayor Joseph Sullivan is not seeking re-election, town councilor Charles Kokoros on Monday became the fourth candidate in the mayoral race, saying he wants to leverage his quarter century of local government experience to help preserve the community’s small-town appeal amid increasing development pressure, according to a report at the Patriot Ledger.

Herald News

Suspicious letters sent to organizers of Boston’s ‘Straight Pride Parade’

From CBS Boston: “Organizers of a ‘straight pride’ paged planned for this summer in Boston said they received suspicious letters, prompting large responses from Massachusetts State Police bomb squad, the FBI and fire departments in three communities. The calls came from Woburn, Salisbury and Malden. … The FBI said there is no immediate threat to the public.”

CBS Boston (video)

‘Look at these beautiful boys’

We missed this WBUR piece from last week, i.e. Alex Ashlock’s look back at the 50th anniversary of a Life Magazine issue that ran the photos of 200 young soldiers who had been killed in the Vietnam War in just one week, including Quincy’s James P. Hickey, 19. Ashlock talks with Hickey’s relatives, who all these years later are still dealing with his tragic death.


Fare Hike Day: The protests

As expected, there were lots of protests and grumblings about the MBTA’s new fare hikes that went into effect yesterday, with City Councilor Michelle Wu leading an “outreach” campaign along with other pols at T stations across the region. Spencer Buell at Boston Magazine has the details.

WGBH’s Callie Crossley is calling Wu a “modern-day Samuel Adams,” except, obviously, yesterday Wu was engaged in a ‘T Party’ protest, not a ‘Tea Party’ protest. The Lowell Sun is running an editorial advocating public referendums on future fare hikes, sort of a modern twist on the old no-taxation-without-representation argument.

Boston Magazine

Flint water crisis comes back to haunt former Michigan governor at Harvard

Will Harvard administrators buckle on this appointment too? From Deirdre Fernandes at the Globe: “Former Michigan governor Rick Snyder, who oversaw the Flint water crisis, began a one-year fellowship at Harvard’s Kennedy School on Monday under a swell of criticism. Harvard’s decision to award Snyder a prestigious post at the Taubman Center for State and Local Government spurred an immediate backlash on social media, with calls for Harvard to rescind it.”

Boston Globe

There’s still rooming houses in Boston? Yep – and real estate investors have found ‘em

Real estate investors miss nothing – and they haven’t missed Boston’s last remaining rooming houses, which are getting snapped up by investors and displacing long-time poor resident in the process, reports Chris Burrell at WGBH. Fyi: We tend to associate rooming houses, technically known as SROs (‘single room occupancy’) with old Hollywood flicks dating back to the ’40s and ‘50s, but they’re still around, though officials are not quite sure how many of them are left in Boston, as Burrell reports.


Heating up: Tensions rise as Vineyard bus strike collides with holiday

The Vineyard Transit Authority is expressing confidence it can use replacement workers to get to full service by the July Fourth holiday as a drivers’ strike enters its second week, Brian Dowd reports at the Martha’s Vineyard Times. The story suggests the strikers are winning at least some hearts and minds on the increasingly crowded island, noting that one out-of-work driver has taken to shutting would-be passengers around the island in his private vehicle — for free. 

Martha’s Vineyard Times

‘The Paul Revere of women’

The Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert takes a look at Barbara Lee, “dubbed the Paul Revere of women, Massachusetts’ noisy heralder of women’s long-anticipated arrival in politics.” It’s been 20 years since Lee founded her Barbara Lee Family Foundation to advance women’s equality in politics, Ebbert writes.

Nichols College Business Breakfast

Join us for a morning of conversation and insight into current industry trends from one of the world’s top executives in the finance industry, PIMCO’s Group Chief Investment Officer, Daniel J. Ivascyn.

Nichols College

ADL’s Glass Leadership Institute Info Session & Happy Hour

Join us to learn more about ADL’s Glass Leadership Institute (GLI) and meet recent graduates!


CMO Breakfast with Massachusetts General Hospital

Register for a CMO Breakfast with Misty Hathaway, the Chief Marketing Officer of MGH.

The Ad Club

RCV Lobby Day

Join us July 16 as we gather with other electoral reform advocates and meet at the State House with legislators and representatives from across the state, urging them to support RCV! Hear from our expert speakers, then meet with your own representatives and tell them that you want RCV in MA!

Voter Choice MA

Evaluating Creative: How to Get the Best from Your Creative Team- Professional Development

This full day workshop will focus on best practices for evaluating creative; why, when and how to evaluate creative work (and how not to!), comparing work against your brief, asking the right questions, giving productive feedback, and understanding and valuing team members roles.

The Ad Club

Today’s Headlines


Developer proposes residential building in Roxbury that would generate more electricity than it consumes – Universal Hub

Boston schools chief to have ‘executive coach,’ annual moving costs covered – Boston Herald


David Starr, longtime publisher of The Republican, dies at 96 – MassLive

Atlantic College, closed last year, is selling off parts of its campus in Lancaster – Telegram & Gazette

Stockbridge selectman claims ‘clear violation’ of Open Meeting Law, asks for probe in complaint to AG – Berkshire Eagle


New study shows Russian propaganda may really have helped Trump – NBC News

Trump pushes for military tanks on the Mall as part of grandiose July Fourth event – Washington Post

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