Gaming Commission, Chappaquiddick remembered, and more
— Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security meets to review 22 bills, including legislation regulating drone aircraft and a bill that would require every structure in the state to be equipped with sensors that could detect the presence of combustible gas, Room B-1, 9 a.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy, Undersecretary for Housing and Community Development Janelle Chan, Sen. Brendan Crighton, Rep. Lori Ehrlich and others participate in the 2019 Affordable Rental Round awards announcement, Jackson Park, 200 Essex Street, Swampscott, 9:30 a.m.
— Gaming Commission meets and is expected to discuss 2019 mitigation fund applications at the meeting, Gaming Commission, 101 Federal Street, 12th Floor, Boston, 10 a.m.
— Mass Defenders hold a rally to advocate for the passage of a bill that would give public defenders the right to collectively bargain, Grand Staircase, 12 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker, Mayor Marty Walsh, Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders, Rep. Kevin Honan and others participate in the 2Life Communities ribbon cutting ceremony, Weinberg House, 132 Chestnut Hill Avenue, Boston, 3 p.m.
— ‘Radio Boston’ features a special hour on the 50th anniversary of the Chappaquiddick car crash that led to the death of Mary Jo Kopechne and doomed U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy’s presidential dreams, with former Edgartown police officer Bob Bruguiere, former Globe reporter/editor Matthew Storin, Globe columnist Joan Venocchi and BU professor Thomas Whalen participating, WBUR-FM 90.9, 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.
Pressley just wants to get back to work, but Trump won’t cooperate
After days of being in the national spotlight, U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley is trying to get back to her congressional business, reports Laura Krantz at the Globe. But a certain guy at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. has different ideas, once again launching an all-out verbal attack on Pressley and her three other “squad” members, saying they and other liberals are seeking “destruction” of America, as the NYT reports. Check out this Washington Post piece about how crowds cheered on the president yesterday in North Carolina, chanting “Send her home!” and “Leave!” etc.
But Pressley can take heart that her former boss, John Kerry, is standing by her (Globe). The Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus is also standing by Pressley (SHNS – pay wall). Still, there are some not-completely-supportive local voices out there, including the Globe’s Joan Vennochi, who knowingly risks getting slapped with the “Betsy” label for pointing out that Pressley has been saying some divisive things too. And from the Herald’s Michael Graham: “Pressley: Only the ‘right’ voices are welcome to speak.”
‘The feral genius of Trump’
Just fyi: Reuters reports that preliminary polling shows that Trump’s racial and ideological divide-and-conquer strategy appears to be working, at least from a firing-up-the-GOP-base perspective.
Meanwhile, in a NYT piece about how the House yesterday balked at launching impeachment proceedings against Trump, David Axelrod, a Democratic strategist, delivers another gem of a quote that’s hard to argue with, to wit: “Part of the feral genius of Trump is that even when he has not fully thought it through, by behaving outrageously, he demands a response.”
Walsh and Wu take turns slamming T (and by extension Baker)
Another day, another T disaster, this time yesterday’s Blue Line debacle, as Alyssa Vaughn reports at Boston Magazine. It seems Uber and Lyft didn’t miss a beat yesterday, jacking up prices in Boston after T riders were forced to abandon the Blue Line, as WGBH’s Isaiah Thompson reports.
But this is a political newsletter, so let’s get to the politics of the matter. From SHNS’s Chris Lisinski(pay wall): “Boston mayor questions functionality of MBTA.” Meanwhile, from the Herald’s Hillary Chabot: “Wu singles out Baker for MBTA train blame.”
Warren’s making gains in NH polls but … there’s still Bernie
The Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky reports that Elizabeth Warren has definitely made strides in the Granite State, as measured by recent polls, but it “doesn’t mean the Massachusetts senator has the state locked down.” Why? Because fellow progressive and New Englander Bernie Sanders isn’t going away.
Btw: Warren faces a separate challenge, as measured by fundraising, in her home state of Massachusetts, where Pete Buttigeg last quarter raised more money from Bay State donors than Warren. WBUR’s Ally Jarmanning has the dollar details. Btw II: Where’s Seth Moulton on WBUR’s accompanying state fundraising list? He’s not even mentioned. Btw III: Moulton is mentioned in this Post piece about his questioning of the DNC’s rules for participating in debates.
Feeding hungry minds: Warren rolls out food-stamp plan for college students
Speaking of the senior senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren joined with Congressman Al Lawson of Florida to file legislation that would enable more low-income college students to qualify for food stamps, Steph Solis at MassLive reports. The legislation, which quickly gained a number of co-sponsors, comes after a federal study found some 2 million additional college students could qualify for food stamps.
So Walsh is now endorsing a limited form of rent control?
WBUR’s Simón Ríos and SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) report on Mayor Marty Walsh’s support for various housing bills on Beacon Hill, including legislation that would protect seniors from evictions and another that would cap rent increases for seniors at 5 percent per year. Granted, it’s not full-fledged rent control, but the same logic for rent caps could just as easily be applied to other hard-pressed residents. Just pointing it out.
Councilor accuses Fall River mayor of taking pot-business kickbacks
He went there. During a discussion about how many pot-business licenses Fall River should issue, City Councilor Shawn Cadime accused embattled — and federally indicted — Mayor Jasiel Correia of taking kickbacks from would-be licensees, Jo C. Goode reports at the Herald News. Cadime declined to elaborate on his claim, but appeared to be referring to the $55,000 worth of donations to his campaign and legal defense funds from individuals with ties to local cannabis businesses.
Derailed? Defense bill could cut off future contracts at trolley-car factory
File this one under: ‘Caught in the crossfire.’ The long-term future of the Springfield factory built to produce subway cars for the MBTA is in jeopardy because of language inserted into a defense spending bill, Mike Deehan at WGBH reports. Red and orange line cars being produced there for the T aren’t impacted because state funds are paying for them, but lawmakers barred federal funds from being spent on China-owned companies such as CCRC, which Springfield-area pols had hoped would grow the factory to take on more contracts from other state in the future.
Pumpsie Green, first black player on Red Sox, RIP
Sad on so many levels. From Jimmy Golen at WGBH: “Former Boston Red Sox infielder Elijah ‘Pumpsie’ Green, the first black player on the last major league team to field one, has died. He was 85. A Red Sox spokesman confirmed the death Wednesday night, and the team observed a moment of silence before its game against the Toronto Blue Jays.”
Artist withdraws proposed Faneuil Hall slave memorial amid flap with NAACP
Speaking of past racial injustices, artist Steve Locke has decided not to proceed with his memorial highlighting how slave-trade profits helped fund Boston’s Faneuil Hall. He doesn’t sound too happy with the local chapter of the NAACP, which opposes the memorial. Jerome Campbell at WBUR has the details.
Prosecutors drop groping charge against Spacey, but questions remain
Actor Kevin Spacey still faces multiple sexual-misconduct allegations and investigations elsewhere, but he definitely won a major victory yesterday when Cape prosecutors dropped groping charges against him in the highly charged Nantucket case. Alyssa Vaugh at Boston Magazine has the details.
Still, the Herald’s Wendy Murphy continues to ask pointed questions about the case, including why the charges were brought in the first place and whether the case was a “money grab” from the start.
It’s now a Delta vs JetBlue smackdown at Logan
The Globe’s Jon Chesto reports on Atlanta-based Delta’s plans to turn Logan Airport into one of its coveted hubs – a move that could significantly boost the number of Delta flights in and out of Boston and puts the airline on a competitive collision course with JetBlue. The ultimate winner in all this: Airline passengers.
Regulators approve Boston’s first pot shop – and the state’s first economic-empowerment license
The BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett reports that the Cannabis Control Commission has signed off on the first recreational marijuana license issued in Boston – and in the process approved the first economic empowerment application in the state.
Commission: No, funding an oyster festival doesn’t count as helping people harmed by the war on drugs
One last pot-related item: Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports that the Cannabis Control Commission isn’t too keen on the idea that funding an oyster festival counts as complying with a state law requiring pot companies to help areas disproportionately affected by past drug laws. Schoenberg explains.
Chappaquiddick: ‘The political honeymoon of Edward M. Kennedy was over’
With the 50th anniversary of the infamous Chappaquiddick crash approaching, Matthew Storin, the former Globe editor and reporter, writes how he covered the tragedy so many decades ago – and how it forever changed the course of Ted Kennedy and the nation’s political trajectory. Meanwhile, the Globe re-publishes its front pages from July 1969 – when Chappaquiddick and the Apollo moon landing were competing for the headlines. The paper also runs old photos of the events as they unfolded fifty years ago on Martha’s Vineyard.
Massachusetts National Guard: Transgender troops will continue to stand guard
Responding to inquiries from several Beacon Hill lawmakers, Secretary of Public Safety and Security Thomas Turco has pronounced that the “Massachusetts National Guard and the Baker-Polito Administration will continue to support transgender Soldiers and Airmen in serving our Commonwealth with dignity and respect.” So there, Donald Trump. Shira Schoenberg has the details.
This town manager knows all too well about online bullying
Stephanie Leydon at WGBH reports on the vicious online attacks aimed at Billerica Town Manager John Curran, who was born with a rare condition called “hemifacial macrosomia,” which prevented the right side of his face from fully developing. Curran wonders: If he has to put up with online bullying as an adult, can you imagine what it’s like for kids?
Fyi, as Leydon notes: Curran recently penned a Lowell Sun op-ed (“I look different. That makes me a target online”) that went viral.
Medical board Oks new rules on simultaneous surgeries
From the Globe’s Jonathan Saltzman: “Surgeons will have to document each time they enter and leave the operating room, and who took over in their absence, under a rule approved Wednesday by the state medical board amid controversies over doctors who perform more than one surgery at a time.”
Trahan blasted for post on ICE raids
A flap over reminding people about their rights? Anyway, from Christian Wade at the Gloucester Times: “Democratic Rep. Lori Trahan is being criticized for offering advice over social media to legal or illegal immigrants on how to deal with federal immigration crackdowns. A post on Trahan’s Facebook page titled ‘Know Your Rights’ warned immigrants that if approached by police or agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, “you don’t have to reveal your immigration status and have the right to remain silent.”
Apparently, she’s a “traitor” to some for “putting illegal immigrants ahead of her constituents.”
Embattled Hampshire College names new president
The financially struggling Hampshire College has a new president, its third in four months: Edward Wingenbach, who’s coming from Ripon College in Wisconsin. NEPR’s Sam Hudzik has the story at WBUR.
Health officials lambasted for nixing Cub Scouts day-camp at gun club
As we suspected, there were more than a few angry citizens at a hearing last night in Granby, where public health officials got an earful from residents upset with a last-minute ban on Cub Scouts attending a day camp at a local gun club. Jim Russell at MassLive has the details.
Petition to ban bee-killing pesticides creates a buzz on Beacon Hill
From SHNS’s Michael P. Norton: “With bee colonies in distress, grassroots support appears to be growing for legislative intervention.Environment Massachusetts on Wednesday announced that 20,000 Massachusetts residents had signed petitions that are being delivered to every legislator asking for the use of pesticides known as neonicotinoids to be restricted.”
Toothless county commissioners field range of Great White Shark proposals
The board that runs Barnstable County fielded a host of proposals for addressing the Cape’s shark issues, even though it currently lacks the authority to do anything, Geoff Spillane reports at the Cape Cod Times. Still, an East Boston firm offered a free trial of a loudspeaker warning system, while two men urged the commission to get behind a plan to remove seals from the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, which would allow the shark’s food source to be culled. At least one lawmaker thinks the pitches are a distraction, but the commission could get directly involved if the shark problem starts to impact the county’s economic outlook, officials say.
Masters of Scale Live Podcast Event
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CFO of the Year Awards Luncheon
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YoungDemsRead Book Club: The Fifth Risk
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