Happening Today

DeLeo’s climate-change bill, Mayflower Sails

— House Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets will hold a hearing with just one bill on the docket — House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s bill on climate change action and funding, Room B-2, 11 a.m.

— Boston Mayor Walsh participates in a press conference for the 2020 Mayflower Sails event, Charlestown Navy Yard, 12:30 p.m.

— Lawmakers on the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure consider 29 bills, with several legislation targeting the burden of college and university tuition, Room A-2, 1 p.m.

— Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren holds a town hall in Peterborough, New Hampshire, Peterborough Town House, One Grove St., Peterborough, N.H., 4:15 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

Ex-MBTA safety chief says he was canned for flagging transit hazards

Welcome back! Hope you enjoyed the Fourth. And now it’s back to all things MBTA and RMV, etc., courtesy this morning of the Globe’s Nicole Dungca and Vernal Coleman: “The former chief safety officer of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority says the agency fired him in retaliation after he called attention to serious safety hazards and pushed executives to stop suppressing information about dangerous mishaps, according to a federal complaint filed in May and obtained by the Globe.”

In related T news, from CommonWealth’s Andy Metzger: “Derailment video: Bright flashes at back of train immediately preceded crash?” And from CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl: “Red Line ridership off 10% after derailment.”

Boston Globe

Pollack: Her job is safe – for now

Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack may be in the crosshairs of some members of the media, but the Globe’s Matt Stout and Joshua Miller report that Pollack retains solid support within the Baker administration, despite the recent MBTA and RMV debacles.

Speaking of the RMV, from SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall): “Hundreds more drivers have had their Massachusetts licenses suspended as a result of a review of the state’s mishandling of out-of-state violation notices as Gov. Charlie Baker and his top transportation adviser announced Friday a ‘reprioritization’ of public safety at the RMV.” The Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter reports that lawmakers are considering holding oversight hearings in the wake of recent RMV disclosures. Meanwhile, the Herald’s Howie Carr takes aim at the “Quincy crowd” within RMV.

Bromance on the rocks: Walsh miffed at Baker over Massport pick

Speaking of Stephanie Pollack, the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld reports that Mayor Marty Walsh is miffed that his candidate to head Massport didn’t get the nod – and he’s blaming Pollack and, by extension, Gov. Charlie Baker. 

Boston Herald

Sorry, Somerville. The FBI and ICE may already have your facial-recognition data

This is a big story – and, we assume, it may involve our very own RMV. The Washington Post reports that the FBI and ICE have regularly tapped into state driver’s license databases across the county, “scanning through hundreds of millions of Americans’ photos without their knowledge or consent” and that “neither Congress nor state legislatures have authorized” the action.

The piece notes that Somerville, along with San Francisco, recently banned its police and government agencies from using facial-recognition technology, citing government overreach and privacy concerns. But, well, Somerville officials don’t control the FBI and ICE. And neither do federal and state lawmakers, it would appear.

Washington Post

His third term or her first term? Polito out-raises Baker in first-half of year

This doesn’t exactly look like a governor gearing up for a third-term bid. It looks more like a passing of the fund-raising baton. In any event, the AP at WBUR is reporting that Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito has pulled in more campaign funds in five of the first six months of the year and has more cash stashed in her war chest than Gov. Charlie Baker. State data shows Polito with more than $1 million in her account, while Baker is sitting on $728,000. 


Salem city councilor to challenge Moulton

She isn’t the first and she won’t be the last. From the Globe’s Liz Goodwin: “As Representative Seth Moulton spent the Fourth of July shaking hands in Nevada in an attempt to drum up support for his presidential campaign, a city councilor in his Massachusetts congressional district put the finishing touches on her announcement to take him on in the Democratic primary next September. Lisa Peterson, a financial planner who was first elected to the Salem City Council in 2017, will announce Monday in a video that she intends to battle Moulton for the nomination in the district.”

‘The Rollins Revolution’: Going too far?

The Globe seems to have buried the lead on this story, starting out with the old news that Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins’ controversial “do not prosecute” list is getting pushback and only later revealing the new news: “A Globe review of Rollins’s record reveals that, not only is the Suffolk DA dropping more cases than before, but some of the cases don’t seem ‘low-level’ at all, involving serious bodily injury, major thefts, and career criminals.”

Among some of the more serious charges dismissed: “18 drug cases, including cases of possession of heroin and crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute, and 11 assault or assault and battery charges, including one case alleging assault and battery on a police officer.”

Separately, from the AP at WGBH: “Rollins declines prosecution of 18 ICE protesters.” Before anyone gets upset, former DA Dan Conley usually didn’t prosecute protesters, though his office would typically ask for “continuances without a finding,” meaning protestors had to stay out of trouble for a few months, reports Universal Hub.

Boston Globe

State sees surge in requests to seal criminal records

Speaking of the criminal-justice system, from Christian Wade at the Gloucester Times: “A new law making it easier for people to seal their criminal records has prompted a surge of requests, overwhelming state officials. … Since October, when the changes went into effect, the Office of the Commissioner of Probation has received 4,283 petitions from individuals to seal adult and juvenile criminal records — averaging more than 500 requests a month — and another 1,737 court orders to seal records, according to data obtained through a public records request.”

Gloucester Times

Former Lt. Gov. Murray helped restrain man after horrific restaurant stabbing

Tim Murray, the former lieutenant governor and former Worcester mayor, was among the patrons who rushed to restrain a man who fatally stabbed his girlfriend at the O’Connor’s Restaurant & Bar in Worcester last Wednesday, reports Dan Glaun at MassLive. “I was at the restaurant with my wife having dinner and obviously heard some horrible screaming and ran to the area that it was coming from,” Murray said in an interview.


Bill Carpenter, Brockton mayor, RIP

The Enterprise’s Josie Albertson-Gove reports on the shocking death of Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter, 62, who was found dead in his car last Wednesday after dropping off his grandson at a local school. No foul play is suspected. Needless to say, they’re in mourning and shock in Brockton, where Carpenter was serving his third term as mayor. 

Mina Corpuz at the Enterprise has more on the leadership transition in Brockton. At WGBH, Bob Buckley, Carpenter’s former chief of staff, remembers his former boss. The Globe’s Diamond Naga Siu and John Ellementhave more on the late mayor, who, among other things, was a “high-visibility leader who worked to stem the opioid crisis in his community and beyond.” What a loss. 


Richard Neal’s favorite billionaire eyes run for president

Tom Steyer, the billionaire hedge-fund activist and recent nemesis of U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, is privately telling friends and associates that he plans to enter the crowded Democratic race for president, the Washington Post is reporting. We’re sure Neal is thrilled.

Washington Post

Moody’s: State’s late budget sign of ‘governance weakness’

And it’s happening even as state coffers overflow with tax revenues, it should be noted. From the Herald’s Jonathan Ng: “As the state again begins a new fiscal year without a permanent budget, credit rating agency Moody’s said Massachusetts’ late budgets, along with six other states in similar situations, are a sign of ‘governance weakness.’” SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) has more.

Boston Herald

Longmeadow declares state of emergency after ‘microburst’ storm thunders through town

Jeanette DeForge at MassLive reports that the Longmeadow Select Board officially declared a state of emergency yesterday following a “microburst” thunder storm that roared through town over the weekend, felling trees, blocking roads and pulling down wires. From DeForge: “Officials initially suspected a small tornado had touched down in the town’s center, but the National Weather Service later ruled a microburst caused the damage.”

Basically, a microburst is an intense thunderstorm with extremely high winds in a very concentrated area – and it was accompanied in Longmeadow with a “big boom,” reports Greg Saulmon at MassLive.

In a separate storm incidenet: Check out a viral video, via the Globe, showing a bolt of lightning striking a boat in South Boston over the weekend. We’re surprised the boat was still intact after the strike.


So what’s up with the accuser dropping the civil suit against Kevin Spacey?

They’ll be battling it out – or perhaps not – in a Nantucket courtroom today, as the two sides in the Kevin Spacey groping case face off over whether criminal charges should be dismissed against the Hollywood actor, as the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter reports. The action comes a few days after the accuser dropped a separate civil suit against Spacey, leaving the Herald’s Wendy Murphy wondering if a little legal footsie is being played to get the criminal charges dismissed as well. She explains.

Sal and Bill: They used to be Beacon Hill pals but now …

CommonWealth magazine’s Michael Jonas takes a look at the long-ago friendship between then state representatives Sal DiMasi and Bill Galvin – before they found themselves as adversaries over whether to allow DiMasi to lobby on Beacon Hill.


Wu’s greatest challenge: Curse of the City Councilors

The Globe’s Joan Vennochi takes a look at City Councilor Michelle Wu’s prospects if she indeed runs for mayor of Boston. Wu has a lot going for her. But she also has a lot going against her, i.e. the miserable track record of city councilors taking on sitting incumbents. It’s sort of like the Curse of the Massachusetts AGs, i.e. the distinct inability to move up the political ladder in Massachusetts.

‘The midnight flight delay of Paul Revere’

They’re having all sorts of fun at Universal Hub over President Trump’s assertion that our brave Continental Army, fighting for our independence, “manned the amperts, ran the ramparts and took over the airports” during the American Revolution.

Universal Hub

Go big or go home: Attleboro mayoral hopeful has a billion-dollar idea for downtown

No one can accuse her of thinking small. Attleboro City Councilor Heather Porreca wants to unseat Mayor Paul Heroux and says she has a plan to leverage a billion dollars — that’s billion with a ‘B’ — worth of private development money into a complete makeover the city’s downtown, George Rhodes at the Sun-Chronicle reports. For his part, Heroux says the plan is all “pretty pictures and wishful thinking.” 

Meanwhile, Marlborough Mayor Paul Vigeant, who is seeking his fifth straight term in office, has also drawn a challenger. Small business owner Keith St. John — who was briefly part of the massive field of Democrats running for Congress in the state’s Third District last year — says he wants to improve how the city is run and ramp up Marlborough’s green initiatives, Jeff Malachowski reports at the MetroWest Daily News. 

Sun Chronicle

Another Harvard appointee bites the dust …

Ex-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Harvard administrators have decided to cancel Snyder’s planned Harvard Kennedy School fellowship, following a political backlash over his past handling of a water contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan, reports Boston Magazine’s Spencer Buell, who adds the controversy is the latest evidence that Harvard seems to be “vulnerable to public pressure campaigns.” As this Washington Post story makes clear, the cancellation was indeed a joint Snyder-administration decision.

Boston Magazine

‘The most Massachusetts menu in all Massachusetts’?

Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin has discovered the Agawam Diner in Rowley, where it serves up perhaps the “most Massachusetts menu in all Massachusetts” — American Chop Suey on Tuesdays, boiled dinner on Thursdays, etc. We also noticed franks and beans on Saturdays, ‘tonic’ instead of ‘soda,’ and, drum roll please, liver and onions. Yes, liver and onions, truly the oldest of old-school New England fare out there.

Universal Hub

Twice as nice: Amazon says job creation in Fall River nearly doubles forecast

Did they underpromise or overdeliver? Maybe both. Since opening its massive fulfillment center in Fall River in 2017, Amazon has hired more than 950 people, almost double the 500 it promised as part of its tax-break deal with the city, Peter Jasinski reports at the Herald News. The hiring spree has helped reduce the city’s unemployment rate, which has fallen from 8.3 percent when the $20 million tax break was signed in 2015 to 4.6 percent last year. 

Herald News

Janus bill sent to Baker …

Legislators did get a few things done before the holiday break. From SHNS’s Chris Lisinski: “Lawmakers finalized legislation allowing public-sector unions to seek reimbursement from non-members for representation in certain circumstances Wednesday, sending it to the governor’s desk two days after he expressed doubt that the two branches were on the same page.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

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!


Boston Unity Cup

Join us to honor and celebrate the immigrant communities of Boston. Boston Unity Cup is citywide World Cup style adult soccer tournament designed to bring together Boston’s diverse and immigrant communities around the shared passion for sport. There are 21 nations represented across the men’s and women’s tournaments. This event is powered by the City of Boston and Mayor Walsh.

City of Boston

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


Union sues Boston police department, claiming unnecessary mental evaluations – Boston Herald

Long Island bridge battle costing Quincy, Boston thousands – Patriot Ledger


Legislation eyes statewide standard for body cams – Gloucester Times

Away game for Worcester property owners facing ballpark redevelopment – Telegram & Gazette

Pete Buttigieg makes campaign stop in Provincetown – Cape Cod Times

Lee’s first recreational pot shop opens – Berkshire Eagle


Pelosi on disagreement with Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib, Pressley: ‘They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got’ – The Hill

Best way to fight climate change? Plant a trillion trees – Associated Press

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