Happening Today

Fourth of July festivities

— Secretary of State William Galvin holds a media availability to promote the July Fourth viewing of Massachusetts’ original copy of the Declaration of Independence, which is displayed year-round at the Commonwealth Museum, Massachusetts Archives and Commonwealth Museum, 220 Morrissey Blvd., Boston,  Wednesday, 11 a.m.


— Elected officials join the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company for a Fourth of July flag-raising on Boston’s City Hall Plaza, followed by an Independence Day Parade to the Granary Burying Ground on Tremont Street, where patriots like Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock are buried, and the parade then marches to the Old State House where the Declaration of Independence is read, City Hall Plaza, Thursday, 9 a.m.

— Visitors to the Massachusetts Archives and Commonwealth Museum can see one of the 14 original copies of the Declaration of Independence, which was sent by the Continental Congress to Massachusetts during the Revolutionary War, Massachusetts Archives and Commonwealth Museum, 220 Morrissey Blvd., Boston, Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

— The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is held at the Hatch Shell, featuring headliner Queen Latifah, Thursday, concert at 8 p.m. and fireworks at 10:30 p.m.

Today’s Stories

No budget by the Fourth

Just fyi: There will be no state budget deal by the Fourth. Sarah Betancourt at CommonWealth magazine and Colin Young at SHNS (pay wall) have the details. One of the apparent hang-ups: Disagreement over Medicaid drug pricing legislation. Fyi, II: There’s talk of maybe, just maybe, action on Friday. But don’t count on it.

Baker’s bad case of the second-term blues

It seems safe to say that the recent RMV and MBTA disasters will likely take their toll on the most popular governor in America – and the Globe’s Matt Stout and Joshua Miller report that Gov. Charlie Baker’s tolling seems to be occurring right on schedule: “It’s a well-worn pattern in Massachusetts politics: In a governor’s second term, the number of problems seems to rise exponentially — just as the ability to blame others dips to near zero.”

The Herald’s Howie Carr is definitely taking his toll: “Did it ever occur to Gov. Charlie Baker last week that maybe he should cut short his exotic junket to the United Kingdom and come home to the mess he left behind here in Massachusetts? Nah, apparently not.” Still, the governor is feeling some love this morning in some parts of the state. CommonWealth magazine’s Bruce Mohl explains.

Boston Globe

Pollack now in the media crosshairs

State RMV director Erin Deveney has already walked the plank for the Baker administration. Is Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack next? The Globe’s Adrian Walker says it’s hard to believe Gov. Charlie Baker is still defending Pollack after all the recent RMV and MBTA controversies. “For God’s sake, why?” he asks of Baker’s continued support for Pollack.

Meanwhile, the Herald, in an editorial, says bluntly: “Secretary Pollack should be fired immediately.” And it takes a harsh shot at Baker as well: “Baker attends to situations with bureaucratic sloth rather than a sense of urgency and vigor. This too, needs to change.

While we’re at it, let’s blame some South Shore pols too

Forget Erin Deveney and Stephanie Pollack. The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld has identified other potential candidates to walk the RMV plank. They include Thomas Bowes, a former Braintree town councilor and mayoral candidate, and Debra Eaton, the sister Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch.

We eagerly await word of a Worcester angle. There has to be a Worcester angle, right?

Boston Herald

Not a one-time thing: The RMV’s long history of screw ups

The controversy currently engulfing RMV isn’t the only time the registry has gotten into trouble over the issuance of driver’s licenses and poor record keeping, reports Ally Jarmanning and Christine Willmsen at WBUR and Sean Philip Cotter at the Herald.

Meanwhile, a three-reporter team at the Boston Globe reports that the current furor at RMV merely highlights “weaknesses in the state and federal systems designed to keep unsafe drivers off the road.”

The punditry class is piling on this morning. From the Globe’s Kevin Cullen: “At the Registry of Motor Vehicles, deadly inefficiency.” And the Globe’s Shirley Leung has an intriguing column: “Shorter lines at the RMV shouldn’t come at the expense of safety.” She’s wondering the same thing we were wondering about the deployment of resources at RMV.

Neal files lawsuit seeking Trump’s tax returns

This probably won’t shut up billionaire activist Tom Steyer, even though all his political demands have now been met. Anyway, from the Washington Post: “House Democrats filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court seeking access to President Trump’s tax returns, accusing the Trump administration of an ‘extraordinary attack’ on Congress in preventing the disclosure of the president’s personal financial records. Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, filed the lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department after months of feuding with the administration over the returns.”

Washington Post

Now it’s three polls showing Harris and Warren on the rise

In addition to a recent CNN survey, polls by Suffolk University and Quinnipiac University also confirm that Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren got big bumps in support due to their Democratic presidential debate performances last week, as the NYT reports.

And who were the big losers? The guys. From the Washington Post: “Some bad — and some even worse — poll news for Bernie Sanders.” And also from the Washington Post: “All of the various ways this new national poll is particularly bad for Joe Biden.”


Protesters draw parallels between detention centers and Holocaust death camps

The Globe’s Zoe Greenberg and Danny McDonald and Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin have reports and photos of yesterday’s downtown protest by young Jewish activists who clogged city streets while denouncing conditions at border detention centers and drawing historical connections to Holocaust concentration camps.

We’re as horrified as anyone at the squalid conditions at the centers. Check out these photos and videos posted by the BBC. It’s a national shame. But are we the only ones who think comparisons to Nazi death camps and genocide are simply over the top?

Btw: Haley Johnson at MassLive reports of a detention-center protest yesterday at Rep. Jim McGovern’s Northampton offices.

Wayfair isn’t the only Mass. business making a buck off of border detention centers

Speaking of detention centers, Sarah Betancourt at CommonWealth magazine reports that a number of Massachusetts firms, particularly Billerica’s American Science and Engineering Inc., have been doing business with US Customs and Border Protection – to the tune of $180 million collectively over the past five years. So it’s not just Boston’s Wayfair doing business with the border agency, as she writes.

Meanwhile, from the BBJ’s Lucia Maffei (pay wall): “UMass Boston officials question Salesforce’s ties to U.S. border patrol agency.”


Lawsuit claims Lawrence police chief falsified overtime records

This sounds familiar. A whistleblower has filed a federal lawsuit against Lawrence Police Chief Roy Vasque, claiming he was aware of a coordinated effort to falsify overtime records for detectives ostensibly working on drug investigations, Jill Harmacinski reports at the Eagle-Tribune. The suit by a former lieutenant also claims superior officers took seized drug money from a department safe and that he was retaliated against when he raised questions about the practices.

Eagle Tribune

Would-be pot shop offers neighbor a piece of the action

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. The team behind a proposed pot shop in Lynn say they’ll offer the community a chance to own a piece of the action if the city approves its application to open a store on the Lynnway. The Harvest Club LLC is vying for one of eight marijuana business licenses in the city and the “community owned” concept could help it stand out in a crowded field of hopefuls, Bella DiGrazia reports at the Lynn Item. 

Lynn Item

Do you miss Michael Capuano yet?

Lowell Sun columnist Peter Lucas writes that Charlie Baker and legislative leaders, confronted with T derailments and monumental transit woes in general, sure could use Michael Capuano these days. But Capuano, the former congressman who was in line to become chair of the U.S. House Transportation Committee, was defeated last year by Ayanna Pressley, a “social justice warrior” who can’t offer much in terms of securing transportation funds, Lucas writes.

Lowell Sun

Citing miscalculation, state says Braintree not exempt from 40B

What a difference eight acres makes. The state’s Housing Appeals Court has ruled the town of Braintree is not exempt from Chapter 40B’s housing production goals because it miscalculated how much land the town has set aside for lower-income homes, Fred Hanson reports at the Patriot Ledger.  The town had sought to use a ‘safe harbor’ provision of 40B to deny an apartment and townhouse proposal that sparked fierce neighborhood opposition. The decision comes as the pace and density of residential development is shaping up as an election issue in this year’s mayoral race. 

Patriot Ledger

Pioneer report backs Baker’s ed-funding approach

From the Globe’s James Vaznis: “Governor Charlie Baker’s proposal to overhaul state education aid would provide enough money to reduce the spending inequities between affluent and poor districts and takes appropriate steps to tie that money to specific efforts to boost student achievement, according to a report released Tuesday morning ‘Some additional tweaking [of the funding formula] is warranted, but the fact remains that wholesale changes are not in order,” according to the report by the Pioneer Institute.”

Shira Schoenberg at MassLive has more on the study by the institute, a conservative-leaning think tank. Here’s the full report, fyi.

Boston Globe

To save Plum Island’s salt marshes, just pull the plugs

Well, maybe it’s not as simple as pulling the plugs. But it seems the solution to Plum Island’s salt-marshes problem wasn’t the solution after all – and the latest solution calls for a more natural flow of seawater over the marshes. Miriam Wasser explains at WBUR.


The Muzzle Awards: The good, the bad and the ugly of free-speech controversies

Civil liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate et gang and media critic Dan Kennedy at WGBH have come out with their annual Muzzle Awards, presented to those people and institutions that went out of their way to muzzle free speech over the past year. Silverglate and his co-writers focus on the anti-free-speech antics on campuses, while Kennedy polices mostly public officials. Among others, UMass and State Police, take a bow.

Harvard’s ouster of Ronald Sullivan: An act of ‘institutional cowardice’?

Speaking of college administrators behaving badly, Andrew Grainger, a retired associate justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court, writes at WBUR that Harvard’s recent ouster of housing dean Ronald Sullivan and a controversy at Oberlin College were not about liberal bias per se on campuses, but rather about “institutional cowardice.” He explains. We happen to believe ideological beliefs and institutional cowardice are closely intertwined, but Grainger makes good points.


Compressor station opponents say they’ll go to court if necessary

It’s not going away. From SHNS’s Chris Lisinski: “Slamming a ‘broken process’ unfolding at the Department of Environmental Protection, about 50 environmental activists protested Tuesday outside the State House and called for an independent investigation into the administration’s permitting of a controversial natural gas compressor station.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

WSJ wonders why Warren hates capitalism

The conservative editorial board of the Wall Street Journal (pay wall) is taking aim at what it calls U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s disdain for the private sector after she called for former Food & Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb to resign from the board of drug maker Pfizer.

Warren called for Gottlieb to resign in a public letter earlier this week, saying his relatively swift move to the private sector — he left the FDA less than three months ago — “smacks of corruption,” the NYT reports.

Good news: Wachusett Brewing to replace John Harvard’s in Cambridge

It’s a passing of the baton in Harvard Square, so to speak. Jacqueline Cain at Boston Magazine reports that Wachusett Brewing Co. will be taking over the space of the former John Harvard’s Ale House in Harvard Square. We were concerned yet another national chain might take the space, but it’s a local following a local – and the beer will still be flowing. Cheers!

Boston Magazine

Happy Fourth of July – and see you next Monday

We want to wish our MassterList readers a happy Fourth of July holiday. We’ll be taking both tomorrow and Friday off, so we’ll see you first thing Monday morning.

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


No charges will be filed in fatal 2016 bike crash in Cambridge – Boston Globe

Crackdown on Dudley Square gypsy cabs – Bay State Banner


Four school committee members vie for seats on the Framingham City Council – MetroWest Daily News

Compressor foes stage Boston protest, vow court battle – Patriot Ledger

Worcester Red Sox and city to break ground on Polar Park on July 11 – MassLive


NRA meltdown has Trump campaign sweating – Politico

Citizenship question won’t be on census, as Trump administration drops fight – New York Times

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