Happening Today

Markey presser, Walsh on the air, and more

— U.S. Sen. Edward Markey joins immigration advocates concerned about the immigration crises at the border and in our communities for a press conference, 11:30 a.m.

Special Commission on Improving Efficiencies Relative to Student Transportation will meet to discuss ‘existing challenges in the current education transportation landscape and student transportation system,’ State House, Room 222, 11 a.m.

— Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is a guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 12 p.m.

— Boston Federal Reserve president and CEO Eric Rosengren will speak on a panel about central bank independence at the annual meeting of the Central Bank Research Association, Columbia University’s International Affairs building, 420 W. 118th St., New York, NY, 4:30 p.m.

Conservation Law Foundation and the Boston Waterfront Partners will celebrate Boston’s public open spaces by co-hosting the third annual ‘Pitch A Blanket’ event, The Public Green, The Seaport District, 1 Marina Park Drive, Boston, 5:30 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

London calling: RMV scandal? What RMV scandal?

The Globe’s Matt Stout reports that a certain RMV leader (and Braintree mayoral candidate) was vacationing in London, taking in the Sox-Yanks game there, when the RMV records-keeping scandal was unfolding back in Boston. Thomas Bowes, take a bow. Btw: Gov. Charlie Baker was also in London, taking in the Sox-Yanks game, at the same time, but we already knew that.

Speaking of the RMV scandal, the heads of the Legislature’s Transportation Committee are asking for all sorts of documents in advance of a planned oversight hearing next week. They’ve also requested all sorts of Baker administration people to testify, reports Shira Schoenberg at MassLive.

Boston Globe

MBTA Watch: Baker ‘not surprised’ by ridership survey, Walsh and Poftak to powwow, Red Line update

Switching to another state agency in crisis, some quick updates on the T. From SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall): “Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday he is ‘not surprised at all’ that the MBTA’s monthly rider poll shows its lowest approval rating since the feature was launched more than three years ago, but reiterated support for his transportation secretary.”

Meanwhile, the Herald,in an editorial, reiterates its view that transportation chief Stephanie Pollack must go. … The Herald’s Mary Markos reports that Mayor Marty Walsh and MBTA GM Steve Poftak plan to meet about Walsh’s call for fast-track fixes at the T. … The Globe’s Shirley Leung has a good piece updating readers about repairs under way on the Red Line. … And from CommonWealth’s Michael Jonas: “Calls grow to put brakes on Eastie land deal.”

Budget Impasse, Day 19: Baker ‘more optimistic’ a deal is near

It’s official: Massachusetts (again) is the last state in the union to pass a new fiscal year budget. But SHNS’s Matt Murphy reports Gov. Charlie Baker is “more optimistic” that a deal is in reach after the governor talked with various legislative players.

The Herald’s Mary Markos reports that the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, a conservative government watchdog group, is calling for new State House leadership due to the last-in-the-nation budget “embarrassment.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Vineyard Wind says offshore project now in jeopardy due to fed inaction

From Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine: “Vineyard Wind says its offshore wind farm could be in jeopardy if the federal government fails to approve its environmental impact statement over the next six weeks. In a carefully worded statement issued early Thursday morning, the company appeared to be prodding federal officials at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to move quickly to approve the environmental impact statement.”

So why would a delay of six weeks or more jeopardize the entire project? Milestone payments. Mohl explains.


Unplugged: Despite growth, state’s electric car goal may not be reached

Speaking of clean-energy/climate change matters: They’re selling like hot cakes, but will it be enough? The state’s goal of having 300,000 zero-emission, electric-powered vehicles on the road by 2025 — as part of an eight-state climate change pact — may be in jeopardy and the state’s own policies could be to blame, Cesareo Contreras reports at the Telegram. A plan to phase out a tax credit for electric vehicle purchases in September is one of the culprits. 


Ten is enough: Hunt will leave House at end of term

Open seat alert: Republican state Rep. Randy Hunt of Sandwich says his current term representing the 5th Barnstable District at the State House will be his last, Geoff Spillane reports at the Cape Cod Times. Hunt announced his decision now because it will become apparent next week when his new campaign finance reports will show his reelection account is down to just $64. “Ten years is a good amount of time,” Hunt said, adding that the nasty turn in the national political discourse helped make his decision easier. 

Cape Cod Times

Back in time: Ex-Rep. Lawton says he’ll return to Brockton to run for mayor

Maybe you can go home again. Former state representative and retired judge Mark Lawton says he’s returning to Brockton in order to seek the mayor’s office, Marc Larocque at the Enterprise reports. Lawton, a longtime friend and adviser to the late Mayor Bill Carpenter, is now one of many candidates running for the open seat. Just fyi: Lawton may face some questions about his ties to the recent probation department patronage scandal. Just pointing out what others are already pointing out.


Warren gets what she wants and needs: A face-to-face showdown with Bernie

Elizabeth Warren desperately needs to peel away more progressive votes from Bernie Sanders if she’s going to win the Democratic nomination for president – and she’ll have a chance to do so in the second-round of presidential debates to be held later this month. Warren will face off against Sanders (and other candidates) on July 30. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (and other Dem candidates) face off on July 31, reports the AP at the Globe and the New York Times.

Some of Elizabeth Warren’s economic plans resonate with … conservatives?

Speaking of Elizabeth Warren, the AP’s Elana Schor at the Lowell reports that the presidential candidate has rolled out her latest public-policy plan of the day: New regulations on the private equity industry. It’s sure to appeal to many liberals. But Helaine Olen at the Washington Post writes that some conservatives actually (though grudgingly) admire Warren’s populist economic messages – and they politically fear her and them as a result. Olen explains. Btw: Olen dives pretty deep into Warren’s proposed PE regulations and generally likes what she sees.

Washington Post

Dems have found another issue to tear themselves apart over: Health care

It’s Friday. So what interparty issue is dividing Democrats today? Health care. The Globe’s Jess Bidgood reports that the ObamaCare-versus-‘Medicare for All’ debate has become the latest flashpoint between Dem candidates vying for president. Tomorrow’s interparty divisive issue of the day? Stay tuned.

Has Blue Cross found a better (and less expensive) way to reimburse doctors?

Speaking of health care, this is both encouraging and interesting, from a policy-wonk perspective. From the Globe’s Priyanka Dayal McCluskey: “A decade-old experiment to put a dent in Massachusetts health care costs by changing the way doctors are paid appears to be working — offering a potential strategy to combat one of the most vexing problems in today’s economy. In a new study, researchers at Harvard Medical School found that a payment plan from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts that rewards doctors who control costs is linked to smaller increases in health care spending and better-quality care.”

‘Trump vs. the Squad — voters weigh in’

Diane Hessan, who’s been tracking the views of hundreds of the same voters nationwide over recent years, has an interesting column at the Globe in which she lets members of her survey group uncork on the “go back” controversy. There’s the predictable partisan/ideological reactions. But there’s also a lot of smart observations by regular people.

Fyi, from the Globe’s Kevin Cullen, who’s not a big fan of the ‘squad’: “In a confrontation with Trump, my money’s on Ayanna Pressley.”

Boston Globe

‘Sick vandalism’: Someone’s leaving fake bloody legs at Cape memorial for shark-attack victim

The Cape has more in common with ‘Jaws’ than just Great White Sharks. It seems some aspiring artist, and/or general all-around wiseass, thinks it’s funny to leave fake legs, complete with fake blood, at the beachside memorial for the man killed by a shark last summer on the Cape. Arianna MacNeill at Boston.com has the details. … Cue the “sick vandalism” scene from Jaws. 

Btw: The Herald’s Alexi Cohan reports that the swimming-pool installation business is booming on the Cape these days.


It’s Alsace-Lorraine, Kashmir and Gaza Strip all rolled into one

The Globe’s Alison Kuznitz has an update on the epic power struggle between Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph McDonald and Plymouth County commissioners over control of a popular country farm that includes a petting zoo and produce and flower operations. No mention of UN peacekeeping forces.

‘Boston is no longer a city under sustained sonic assault’

Speaking of epic conflicts, Globe columnist Scot Lehigh pronounces that obnoxious motorcyclists and their unmuffled beasts seem to be in full retreat in Boston, thanks to decisive action by Bill Gross and the Boston Police Department. He explains.

Cannabis regulators question pot firm’s change in ownership without state permission

From the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett: “A Massachusetts-based cannabis business is drawing scrutiny from state marijuana regulators after completing an acquisition without state approval. The scrutiny comes as the company, Curaleaf, announced an unrelated new deal that would make it the ‘largest cannabis company in the world by revenue and the largest in the U.S. across key operating metrics.’”  

Shira Schoenberg at MassLive has more on Wakefield-based Curaleaf’s most recent takeover, in a deal valued at $875 million.


Encore and regulators: Everett casino is not cheating players out of blackjack and slots payouts

The BBJ’s Max Reyes and MassLive’s Steph Solis report that the Encore Boston Harbor president and state regulators say that the new Everett casino is in “compliance” with all gaming rules tied to gambling payouts and that allegations in a recently filed lawsuit are “unfounded.”

Government Management, 101: ‘Keep a lid on things’

The Herald Howie Carr, who reviewed former Environmental Police chief Robert McGinn’s lawsuit against the state over his firing, thinks he’s found a new motto for the Baker administration: “Keep a lid on things.” 

Boston Herald

‘Harvard’s continuing coup d’état’

Civil liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate writes at WGBH that Harvard administrators have found new ways to circumvent tenured faculty members’ job protections – and the recent bouncing of Ronald Sullivan, Roland Fryer and Rick Snyder from university posts is proof of a slow-motion bureaucratic ‘coup d’état’ under way Harvard.


Man sentenced to prison for threatening to shoot black students at Harvard commencement

Speaking of Harvard, from NBC Boston: “An Arizona man authorities say threatened to bomb Harvard University and shoot people who attended black commencement has been sentenced to more than a year in prison. A federal judge in Boston sentenced 25-year-old Nicholas Zuckerman on Wednesday to a year and three months behind bars and three years of probation.”

NBC Boston

Myrtle the Turtle to be moved to shadier spot to prevent scorching kids

Newsflash: The Myrtle the Turtle sculpture – the one that gets so hot that it burns little tots who dare sit on it – will be moved to a shadier section of a Beacon Hill playground, reports Joe Walsh at the Boston Guardian. Just to be safe: “Neighbors are requesting that the city surround Myrtle with new shrubbery and a low fence, separating it from the rest of the playground.”

Boston Guardian (Facebook)

Sunday public affairs TV: Don Khoury, Marty Meehan and more

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Body language expert Don Khoury, who analyzes Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other leading Democratic candidates.

CEO Corner, NECN, 1 p.m. Jim Klocke, CEO of the Mass. Nonprofit Network, and Yi-Chin Chen, executive director of Friends of the Children, discuss the economic impact of the nonprofit sector in Massachusetts.

This week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Carolyn Ryan, senior vice president of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, discusses casino profits, the MBTA, and state budget delays; Shabbir Dahood, Tracelink CEO, on drug supply chain safety; and Janelle Nanos of the Boston Globe on Delta’s new airline hub in Boston, Amazon prime day results, Boston’s first retail pot license and concerns over Faceapp.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: UMass President Marty Meehan, who talks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu, followed by a discussion between former Massachusetts congressional candidate Rufus Gifford and Republican political analyst Rob Gray.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s topic: Changing Scenes, a look at the latest version of ‘The Lion King’ and a visit to the North Shore.

Masters of Scale Live Podcast Event

Join the first-ever live recording of the Masters of Scale podcast! Host Reid Hoffman will lead a captivating conversation with a legendary founder (and some special guests) in an evening full of illuminating stories, hard-won truths and high-level insight on growing a business.

Reid Hoffman

CFO of the Year Awards Luncheon

Don’t miss your chance to meet & learn from Boston’s top CFOs at the 11th annual CFO of the Year Awards!

Boston Business Journal

YoungDemsRead Book Club: The Fifth Risk

Join #YoungDemsRead in reading “The Fifth Risk” by Michael Lewis in July Meet new friends in Boston and discuss this spellbinding piece.

Greater Boston Young Democrats

Today’s Headlines


Why Boston’s first designated bus lane project went bust – WGBH

Roslindale school gets a big gift from an unlikely source: the United Arab Emirates – Boston Globe


Tardy budget earns dubious honor – Salem News

Vineyard bus drivers, parent company to talk – Cape Cod Times

Hiring underway for Wayfair’s planned PIttsfield hub – Berkshire Eagle


Judiciary chair demands Hope Hicks clarify closed-door testimony – The Hill

Trump officials pressing to slash refugee admissions to zero next year – Politico

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