Happening Today

UMass tuition rates, ‘Renewable Communities,’ and more

American Red Cross holds a blood drive in the Great Hall of the State House through 3 p.m., hosted by Sen. Sal DiDomenico’s office, starting at,10 a.m.

University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees meets to set tuition rates for the 2019-2020 academic year, approve the university’s fiscal 2020 budget, and appoint a UMass Boston Chancellor Search Committee, UMass Club, Amherst Room, One Beacon Street, 11 a.m.

— U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark is a guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 11 a.m.

Environment Massachusetts holds a panel event to release its new report, ‘Renewable Communities,’ which looks at how cities and towns are promoting renewable energy, clean transportation and heating, and energy efficiency, the Boston Foundation, South Boston Conference Room, 75 Arlington St., #1000, Boston, 9:30 a.m.

— Activists plan to gather outside Gov. Charlie Baker’s office to protest plans for a natural gas compressor station in Weymouth, hallway outside governor’s office, State House, 12 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

RFK’s granddaughter dies of overdose at Kennedy compound

From a three-reporter team at the Boston Globe: “Saoirse Kennedy Hill, the 22-year-old granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy, died of an apparent overdose Thursday at the Kennedy compound, according to her family and law enforcement officials. A statement released by Kennedy Hill’s family Thursday night confirmed her death without providing a cause. A source familiar with the investigation said she died at the home of her grandmother, Ethel Kennedy, the 91-year-old widow of Robert F. Kennedy.”

The Herald’s Rick Sobey and Joe Battenfeld and the NYT have more. Separately, Battenfeld reviews the “unfathomable depths of tragedy” that the Kennedys have endured over the decades.

Boston Globe

Netflix and Hulu could get more expensive to watch under lawmaker’s service-fee bill

From SHNS’s Colin Young: “As more and more Massachusetts residents cut the cord and turn to streaming video services instead of cable TV, a Dedham representative has filed a bill to charge a fee on streaming services like Netflix and Hulu to support community access stations. On behalf of Massachusetts Community Media, Inc. (MassAccess), Rep. Paul McMurtry filed a bill (HD 4389) that would impose a fee on digital streaming providers equal to 5 percent of the revenue those companies earn in Massachusetts.”

Note: A bipartisan group of 85 legislators has signed onto McMurtry’s bill as co-sponsors, SHNS reports. 

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Meals tax holiday nixed at request of … the restaurant industry?

Another interesting story from State House News Service, via Matt Murphy (pay wall), who reports that it was the restaurant industry itself that requested that lawmakers remove restaurants from the upcoming state sales tax holiday. From a software standpoint, it turns out it was just too difficult to separate alcohol purchases from food purchases when ringing up customer bills.

Herald’s ‘Wok Tall’ cover draws rebukes from Wu and Globe columnist

The Herald’s Chinese takeout/public-records coverage is drawing criticism from City Councilor Michelle Wu and Globe columnist Shirley Leung, who say the tabloid’s front-page “Wok Tall’ headline and a picture of a fortune cookie stereotype and offend Asian Americans. The Herald reports on Wu’s complaints in a separate story.

Also from today’s Herald: “DeLeo breaks silence on Chinese food feast: ‘People have to eat.’” Again, is the affair about “lavish” Chinese takeout food or lawmakers’ exemption from the public-records law? It seems the paper can’t make up its mind what the story is about. Btw: The Herald’s Howie Carr is going after Rep. Mark Cusack’s bar tabs.

Intraparty strife, continued: Now even Obama is fair game?

The Globe’s Jess Bidgood and Jazmine Ulloa report on the growing unease among Democrats as the party’s presidential candidates escalate their attacks on Joe Biden – and even attack the legacy of former President Barack Obama. “This idea that you would try to attack Biden by attacking the Obama legacy is not only politically stupid for their campaigns, I think it’s not helpful for the party,” says Rufus Gifford, a former ambassador in the Obama administration and former local congressional candidate.

The Globe’s Joan Vennochi takes a closer look at the Democrats now eating their own. The Globe’s Scot Lehigh, meanwhile, thinks Biden sort of redeemed himself during the second presidential debate earlier this week, in a Biden sort of way.

Boston Globe

It’s never too early: A Warren-Buttigieg ticket?

The NYT’s Nicolas Kristof admits it’s “ridiculous” at this early stage to start thinking of potential presidential tickets, but he thinks about the ridiculous anyway – and he’s intrigued by a potential Elizabeth Warren-Pete Buttigieg pairing. But Amber Phillips at the Washington Post thinks Warren still has to win the Dem nomination – and that means taking on former Vice President Joe Biden, preferably in a soon-as-possible debate showdown. But Dan Kennedy at WGBH thinks the current debate format has to go first. He explains why.


Pressley blasts N.C. billboard targeting ‘4 Horsemen’ – and she gets action

U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley put the pressure on U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, a Republican from North Carolina, to help get rid of a controversial billboard ad in his district that targeted Pressley and other members of the “squad,” referring to them as the “4 Horsemen” and “idiots.” The sponsor of the ad: A gun shop in North Carolina. The billboard’s owner is now saying it will take down the ad, according to a report at MassLive. The Washington Post has more on the controversy.

Meanwhile, from WGBH: “Pressley: Trump’s Tweets ‘Fan The Flames Of White Supremacy And Xenophobia.’”

Corey Lewandowski for U.S. Senate?

Corey Lewandowski, the Lowell native and former presidential campaign manager for Donald Trump in 2016, is seriously considering a run for the U.S. Senate seat in New Hampshire now held by Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, the Globe’s James Pindell reports, noting that Lewandowski is now a Granite State resident. If he does run, it would instantly make for one of the most intriguing and, yes, entertaining races in New England.

Boston Globe

Report: Truck driver was high on drugs and reaching for a drink when he slammed into NH motorcyclists

This is both infuriating and pathetic. From the Globe’s Laura Crimaldi: “Volodymyr Zhukovskyy was high on drugs and said he was reaching for a drink on the passenger side of his 2016 Dodge pickup truck when the vehicle crossed the highway’s yellow center line and crashed into a group of motorcyclists in New Hampshire in late June, according to a federal inspection report obtained by the Globe.”

Panel to study whether to let more foreign doctors practice in Massachusetts

This is interesting. From SHNS’s Katie Lannan: “With an eye on improving and expanding health care services offered in rural and otherwise underserved areas, a new commission established in this year’s state budget will dive into issues surrounding the licensing process for medical professionals trained in other countries.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Could Boston’s population hit 760,000 within ten years?

Universal Hub reports that a new city study projects that Boston’s population could rise to as high as 760,000 by 2030, a number not seen since the 1950s, thanks largely to an influx of immigrants.

Universal Hub

Healey: ‘Time to put an end to whack-a-mole electricity sellers’

At CommonWealth magazine, Attorney General Maura Healey has resumed her offensive against “whack-a-mole” electricity suppliers who she says are effectively preying on residents via house-to-house salesmen pitching overly expensive utility contracts. “The only defenders of these practices are the companies themselves,” she writes.


Thanks to board vacancies, Indian Affairs panel has effectively ceased functioning

We missed this one from the other day. From Christian Wade at the Salem News: “More than four decades after the Massachusetts Commission on Indian Affairs was created to give tribes a voice on Beacon Hill, the agency’s governing board has all but stopped functioning. The seven-member commission has struggled to fill three vacancies on the board. Often without a quorum of four members, the commission has not met formally in more than two years.”

Salem News

Interim Brockton mayor pushes City Hall dress code, reopens pot shop talks

He’s not just keeping the seat warm. Brockton’s new mayor, Moises Rodrigues, who will serve until a new mayor is installed next January, says he’s already working to improve customer service at City Hall –starting with a mandatory dress code, Marc Larocque reports at the Enterprise. And, oh, he’s crackding down on city employees parking in visitors’ spaces at City Hall.

Separately, Larocque reports that Rodrigues is open to issuing more host pot-shope agreements with marijuana companies.


Bicycle activists: DCR just doesn’t get it

Isaiah Thompson at WGBH reports on why bicycle activists are so frustrated with the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s policies on bike-lane barriers –policies they say pose dangers to cyclists.


Buying time: Great Barrington sees opportunity in horse racing bill delay

They’re breathing a bit easier in Great Barrington. Residents there hope the decision by the state legislature to kick down the road a proposed overhaul of horse racing laws will buy more time for debate and deliberation over how and when to bring live racing back to the town’s fairgrounds, Heather Bellow at the Berkshire Eagle reports. 

Speaking of betting, Marc Larocque at the Enterprise reports that Sen. Marc Pacheco will push for simulcast locations — such as Raynham Park — to win the right to offer live sports betting, assuming sports betting is ever approved in Massachusetts.

Berkshire Eagle

How a bureaucratic relabeling led to – poof! – the disappearance of poor students in Massachusetts

No, it’s not another RMV-like records-keeping scandal. Still, Max Larkin at WBUR reports how a seemingly innocuous move by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to relabel students living in poverty may have led to a serious undercount of exactly how many low-income students there are in Massachusetts. And it could complicate current attempts to re-write the state’s education funding formula.


Buyout is a sell out at Salem State

They’re out. Salem State University says 82 employees, including 22 members of the faculty, have accepted a buyout offer that is aimed at reducing costs amid demographic headwinds pressuring many smaller schools, Paul Leighton at the Salem News reports.

Salem News

We’re ‘Massachusettsans’?

Boston Magazine’s Spencer Buell isn’t buying a U.S. government style guide on what to call residents of our fair state: “Let’s just get this out of the way right now. No one, exactly no one, from Massachusetts uses the term ‘Massachusettsan.’ You know it and I know it and I’d guess the rest of New England knows it.”

Boston Magazine

Sunday public affairs TV: Trahan, Poftak and Pressley

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan, who discusses with host Jon Keller her decision to back impeachment, the Columbia Gas settlement, and the debate over Medicare for All.   

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Greater Boston Chamber CEO Jim Rooney discusses the state budget, the transportation bond bill, Massport kicking off major capital projects, and NAACP convention coming to Boston; Paragonix CEO Bill Edelman on the system which safeguards transplant donor hearts; and Shirley Leung of the Globe on the Fed interest rate cut, a new fund to help Cape businesses and more.  

CEO Corner, NECN, 10: 30 a.m. This week: A wide ranging conversation with MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak, who discusses the frustrating pace of recovery of the Red Line, the North-South rail link proposal and other issues.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, who talks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu, followed by roundtable discussion with Democratic political analyst Mary Anne Marsh and Republican political analyst Rob Gray.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s topic: Boston’s Chinatown.

2019 Summer Institute in Global Leadership: Advanced Public Speaking

This advanced institute brings together older students who are passionate about global issues and aspire to be in leadership roles that demand advanced communication skills.

United Nations Association Of Greater Boston

Democracy School: Central Mass.

Effective organizing takes knowledge and skills. To build and execute a successful campaign, you need to set clear goals, build strong partnerships, and engage your target audience with a compelling message. It’s hard, time-consuming work. And it’s how we change the world.

Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition

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

Democracy School: Merrimack Valley

Effective organizing takes knowledge and skills. To build and execute a successful campaign, you need to set clear goals, build strong partnerships, and engage your target audience with a compelling message. It’s hard, time-consuming work. And it’s how we change the world.

Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition

David & Ben’s BBQ for Annissa (Essaibi George running for reelection to the Boston City Council at-Large)

David and Ben invite you to our house for a summer BBQ to hear from Annissa Essaibi George as she runs for reelection to the Boston City Council as an at-large councilor.

David Brown and Ben Perkins

Codman Square Health Center Public Annual Meeting 2019

Join Codman Square Health Center as we honor U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley and Boston Police Commissioner Willie Gross. We’ll hear about current issues in health care, the role that community health centers play, and a recap of Codman’s accomplishments over the past year.

Codman Square Health Center

Today’s Headlines


Boston keeps growing; population could reach 760,000 by 2030 – Universal Hub

Joe Kennedy II unveils solar power program in Revere – Boston Herald


Amherst College moves endowment office to Boston, Mount Holyoke considering Boston or New York, report says – MassLive

Essex County prosecutors will resume use of breath test – Gloucester Times

Shark detection technology gets quiet rollout on outer Cape – Cape Cod Times


Jeff Bezos just sold $1.8 billion worth of Amazon stock. Here’s our best guess as to why – Business Insider

Will Hurd, only black Republican in the House, will not seek re-election – Politico

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