Happening Today

Post-tornadoes tour, Sand Sculpting Festival, and more

— The Cannabis Advisory Board, which provides input on marijuana policy to the Cannabis Control Commission, will convene a meeting of its Cannabis Market Participation Subcommittee, Auburn Town Hall, 102 Central St., Auburn, 10 a.m.

— The Green Party will continue its annual national meeting, with an agenda that includes an “ecosocialist green new deal” panel with 2016 Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein participating, Salem State University, 352 Lafayette St., Salem, 10 a.m.

— U.S. Sen. Edward Markey joins House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Reps. Sarah Peake, Tim Whelan and William Crocker for a media availability and tour of affected areas in the wake of Cape Cod tornadoes, Griffen Room, Harwich Town Hall, 732 Main Street, Harwich, 11:45 a.m.

Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight holds a hearing on 52 bills,  including legislation that calls for changing stations to be equally accessible in bathrooms ‘regardless of gender’ in all new or renovated buildings and a bill creating a commission to review the effectiveness of the Pacheco Law, Room A-1, 1 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker joins Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Leo Roy, Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo, Revere Beach Partnership president Jeff Turco and elected officials to participate in the welcome ceremony on the opening night of the Revere Beach International Sand Sculpting Festival, Revere Beach (between Beach Street and Chester Avenue), Revere, 5:45 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

Clark and Markey join calls for impeachment just as impeachment prospects dim

U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark and U.S. Sen. Ed Markey have jumped off the impeachment fence and are now calling for impeachment proceedings to commence against President Trump, citing special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony to Congress earlier this week. WBUR’s Benjamin Swasey and Kimberly Atkins have the Clark angle, while MassLive’s Jacqueline Tempera has Markey covered. The reaction of the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld is quick and merciless, as far as Markey is concerned: “Ed Markey jumps on the impeachment bandwagon to secure his left flank.”

Not that Clark and Markey’s change of course will be decisive, based on media reports. From the NYT: “Lack of Electricity in Mueller Testimony Short-Circuits Impeachment.” From the Washington Post: “Democrats struggle to figure out next move against Trump after Mueller hearing falls flat.”

Here it comes: Another UMass tuition hike

SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall) reports that it “looks like a 2.5 percent tuition increase is likely for University of Massachusetts students this fall,” according to UMass president Marty Meehan, after passage of a new state budget earlier this week by lawmakers.

CommonWealth magazine’s Andy Metzger reports that at least UMass can now start alerting students about financial-aid packages, now that lawmakers have passed a belated state budget.

Baker unveils $18B transportation bill with telecommuting component

From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “As criticism mounts over problems at the MBTA, Gov. Charlie Baker held an hour-long press conference Thursday to defend his administration’s record and lay out his proposal for a new 10-year, $18 billion investment in transportation projects.”

The most talked about component of Baker’s bill? A telecommuting provision that calls for “giving Massachusetts employers up to $50 million a year in tax breaks if they allow employees to work remotely and stay off the roads,” reports the BBJ’s Greg Ryan. The Globe’s Jon Chesto makes a nice catch, i.e. the “proposed policy changes in the back of the bill” intended to “streamline the procurement process and to better integrate design work with construction,” measures sure to draw interest from business leaders.


Oh, so Baker is ‘encouraging’ staffers to testify, not ordering them

There seems to be a difference between “allowing” staffers to testify at a legislative oversight hearing of the Registry of Motor Vehicles and “encouraging” staffers to testify. The Herald’s Mary Markos and SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) have more on the Baker administration’s attempt to portray its foot-dragging as non-foot-dragging on the RMV front.

Senate votes to ban child marriages in Massachusetts

From SHNS’s Colin Young: “The Massachusetts Senate on Thursday unanimously passed a bill outlawing all child marriage in Massachusetts, an occurrence that lawmakers and advocates have been drawing attention to for years on Beacon Hill.” The legislation now heads to the House.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Report: Russia targeted election systems in all 50 states

Any comment, Bill Galvin? The NYT reports that a Senate Intelligence Committee has concluded that “election systems in all 50 states were targeted by Russia in 2016, an effort more far-reaching than previously acknowledged.” It appears many of the Russian moves were mere probing actions. In the past, Galvin, whose office oversees elections in Massachusetts, has said the Bay State’s system is relatively safe compared to other states due to our reliance on paper ballots.


National Guard deployment cheered. Utility worker deployment not so much

They’re getting a heroes’ welcome. Cape Cod residents cheered the decision by Gov. Charlie Baker to call up 500 members of the Massachusetts National Guard to help speed cleanup and recovery in the wake of two tornadoes on the Cape, Cynthia McCormick reports at the Cape Cod Times.

But not all recovery personnel were getting a cheerful welcome. Kristin LaFratta at MassLive reports that Chatham police had to take to Facebook to tell residents to be kind to utility workers after reports that some were being harassed by homeowners frustrated over the wait for service to be restored.  Btw: SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) reports U.S. Sen. Edward Markey today will lead a delegation of state lawmakers, including House Speaker Robert DeLeo, on a tour of the destruction sites.

Cape Cod Times

Don’t touch: Residents urged to avoid contact with Charles River’s algae-toxic water

Has someone alerted Community Boaters? Boston Magazine’s Spencer Buell reports that public health officials have issued an advisory not to come in contact with water in the Charles River Basin, due to a “green and weird” algae that just so happens to be toxic.

Boston Magazine

Can the governor please explain where he stands on wind-price provision?

Asking the cautious Gov. Charlie Baker to tip his hand before he studies an issue to death? Not likely to happen. From SHNS’s Colin Young: “While the offshore wind industry waits for Gov. Charlie Baker to act on the budget sent to him Monday, an industry group is urging his administration to telegraph how it will handle the proposed temporary suspension of a price cap on wind projects.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

The Blob: The ever expanding Department of Fire Services budget

Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth Services reports on the “ballooning” budget at the Department of Fire Services, the recipient of “earmarks for a potpourri of local fire projects” and whose overall spending level is up 22 percent from last year alone.


Budget provision will make it easier to get to New York City

Speaking of the budget: A longtime bid to expand North-South rail service through the Pioneer Valley — connecting the area’s colleges directly to New York City — got a $250,000 boost in the new spending blueprint approved by lawmakers earlier this week, Anita Fritz reports at the Daily Hampshire Gazette. The funds will help market the so-called ‘Knowledge Corridor’ and clear the way for additional train runs between the region and New York. 

Daily Hampshire Gazette

MGM Springfield to change security-staff logo after complaint of Holocaust imagery

From Peter Goonan at MassLive: “MGM Resorts International has announced that it will change the design of its security officer shirts, including those worn at MGM Springfield, after a complaint from a Jewish woman in Ohio that a six-pointed star logo evoked imagery of the Holocaust.”


Mommie Dearest, reprised: Faye Dunaway fired from play in Hub for ‘hostile and unsafe work environment’

File under: ‘Life imitating art.’ From Andrea Shea at WBUR: “Faye Dunaway has been fired from the one-woman play ‘Tea at Five.’ The Oscar-winning actor reportedly created a hostile and unsafe work environment while it was in production at the Huntington Avenue Theatre in Boston earlier this month.” The NY Post reports Dunaway reportedly slapped a crew member.

Needless to say: Cue the ‘Mommie Dearest’ headlines.


Warren’s ‘radical’ economic plan to topple Trump

Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s Joshua Green has more on Elizabeth Warren’s plan-of-the-day strategy, this time focusing on her “radical” economic plans designed to recapture working-class voters and to beat President Trump.

And some breaking news from 2016: “Warren reportedly says she would have accepted VP offer from Clinton had she been asked” (Globe). Is there some reason to suspect she wouldn’t have accepted?  


The MGH nickname search: We got it! How about MaHo?

The BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett reports that Massachusetts General Hospital, aka MGH, MassGeneral, MassGen, is undertaking a rebranding focused on the hospital coming up with a standardized nickname to be used on building logos. The marketing research is being conducted “in tandem” with Partners HealthCare’s own rebranding efforts. Tessa Yannone at Boston Magazine has more.

The hipsters probably have a nickname already in mind, we’re sure.

BBJ (pay wall)

Poll: Overwhelming public support for tackling prescription drug prices

From SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall): “A new survey out Thursday indicates overwhelming support for legislation to tackle prescription drug prices in Massachusetts, highlighting what a pollster described as a rare point of consensus in the often contentious debate around health care.” The poll was conducted for Health Care for All.

‘Great Western Mass. Yak Escape of 2019’: It’s over

Why can’t wildlife officials act as decisively against Great White Sharks on the Cape as they did against rampaging yaks this week in western Massachusetts? It’s just mystifying. Anyway, the Associated Press at WGBH and the Globe’s Zoe Greenberg report that the escaped yaks menacing residents in West Springfield have indeed been recaptured, thank goodness.

Rapid response: Pressley says she’ll file bill ending death penalty after Justice moves to resume executions

On the same day the U.S. Department of Justice said it would move to resume executions of those already sentenced to death under federal law, U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley said she would introduce legislation to ban the death penalty, reports Tal Axelrod at The Hill.

The Hill

That’s a dicey meatball: Norwood firm recalls 53,000 pounds of mislabeled frozen meatballs

Norwood’s Home Market Foods Inc. has recalled more than 53,000 pounds of frozen ready-to-eat meatballs due to its failure to list known allergens (in this case wheat and milk) on its labels, reports Anne-Gerard Flynn at MassLive. Btw: You know you can’t resist.


Museum of Science cuts 29 positions via layoffs and retirement packages

The BBJ’s Alison DeAngelis (pay wall) and the Globe’s Danny McDonald report that the Museum of Science has eliminated 29 of its positions, via layoffs and retirement packages, as part of what officials are calling a routine budget evaluation. The cuts amount to about 7 percent of the museum’s staff. Which is quite a budget re-evaluation.

While the council’s away, taxpayers could pay

These could be some costly vacations. The lack of a working quorum of the Greenfield City Council may mean that end-of-year bills will be tacked on to next year’s tax rate, Melina Bourdea reports at the Greenfield Recorder. Just six members of the 12-person council were on hand for the last meeting before the deadline to make the $500,000 worth of budget transfers without them affecting the tax rate. 

Greenfield Recorder

Sunday public affairs TV: Roger Berkowitz, Robert DeSalvio and more

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: NAACP Boston Branch president Tanisha Sullivan, who talks with host Jon Keller about the NAACP political role, next year’s NAACP convention coming to Boston, and the recent controversy over Faneuil Hall slave trade memorial.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation president Eileen McAnneny shares her take on the recently passed legislative budget; Temescal Wellness CEO and founder Ted Rebholz on the cannabis industry in Massachusetts; and the Globe’s Jon Chesto on the Cape Cod tornado, record Lottery profits, the Blue Line extension and the latest NECCO news.  

CEO Corner, NECN 10:30 a.m. Legal Sea Foods president and CEO Roger Berkowitz talks about the evolution of the company and how tastes in Sea Food have evolved.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Robert DeSalvio, president of Encore Boston Harbor, who talks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu, followed by a political discussion with analysts Mary Anne Marsh and Patrick Griffin.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s main topic: Take Me To Church, with interviews with religious leaders. 

NAIOP @ Night at Alcove

Join NAIOP at Alcove, a modern neighborhood restaurant on Lovejoy Wharf that is a welcoming port on the edge of Boston’s West End. Expand your network and develop valuable business relationships while enjoying signature drinks and appetizers.

NAIOP Massachusetts

Rugelach with Ruth

Representative Balser will join us at a home in Newton for an intimate discussion on immigrant justice and progressive issues. Your ticket to this event is a donation of any amount, which will go to support JALSA’s efforts to create a more just, compassionate, and equitable society. Your invitation for our Rugelach with Ruth Balser will be emailed to you once a donation has been made.

Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action

Sail Away with NAIOP: 9the Annual Harbor Cruise

Join NAIOP as we sail away on the Annual Summer Harbor Cruise. Come dressed in your summer whites to savor incredible harbor views aboard the Spirit of Boston.

NAIOP Massachusetts

Today’s Headlines


Mayor McGee: Hate does not have a home in Lynn – Lynn Item

Boston ranks no. 1 in America for energy efficiency – Boston Globe


Plans for South Coast Rail Fall River station under review – Herald-News

EMTs staffing Gloucester beaches as lifeguards stage sick out over supervisor firings – Gloucester Times

State officials unveil preferred design for overhaul of I-495, Mass Pike interchange – MetroWest Daily News


Russian hack of election system was far-reaching, Senate report says – New York Times

Democrats get ready to rumble in next week’s debates – Politico

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