Happening Today

Immigration hearing, private college monitoring, and more

— The American Civil Liberties Union will be in federal court today, seeking class certification in a lawsuit and a decision in favor of detained immigrants, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Courtroom 19, 1 Courthouse Way, Boston, 9:30 a.m.

Department of Higher Education holds public hearings on proposed regulations related to financial review and risk monitoring at private colleges and universities, with the first at Quinsigamond Community College, 670 West Boylston St., Harrington Learning Center Room 109A, Worcester, at 10 a.m., and the second at the Springfield Public Library, Mason Square Branch, Community Room, 765 State St., Springfield, at 2 p.m.,

— The Alliance for Health and Environment will hold a press conference to show support for the Saugus Board of Health as it discusses the noise from the Wheelabrator Incinerator, ahead of the Board of Health meeting, outside of Saugus Town Hall, 298 Central Street, Saugus, 5:45 p.m., with the board meeting starting at 6:15 p.m.

–Boston Mayor Marty Walsh attends National Night Out, recognizing the importance of community policing. 

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

Markey, Clark and Trahan pressure McConnell following latest mass shootings

Predictably, the horrible shootings in Texas and Ohio over the weekend has generated yet another intense political debate over gun control. Laney Ruckstuhl at WBUR has the reactions of the state’s all-Democratic congressional delegation, including U.S. Sen. Ed Markey and U.S. Reps. Katherine Clark and Lori Trahan calling on Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow lawmakers to vote on gun-control measures.

Members of the delegation are also blaming President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric for the tragedies, reports Andrew Martinez at the Herald. Separately, Martinez reports that U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, just back from a trip to the El Paso border area, is calling on Trump to end his hateful rhetoric.  Jazmine Ulloa of the Globe has more on the renewed push for gun control measures in the wake of the brutal weekend of violence. President Trump, who was out of sight for most of Sunday, plans to address the shootings on Monday morning. 

And Marc Caputo of Politico seeks to sort out how the tragedies may impact the 2020 Democratic primary by giving more oxygen to lower-polling candidates who hail from the states impacted. 


Memorial service to be held today for Saoirse Kennedy Hill, granddaughter of RFK

It was a long weekend of mourning for the Kennedy family, following last week’s overdose death of Saoirse Kennedy Hill, the 22-year-old granddaughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy. A memorial service will be held today at Our Lady of Victory Church in the village of Centerville, followed by a private burial service, according to an AP report at WGBH.


Vetoed, again: Baker spikes pro-union Janus bill a second time

From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday vetoed a bill that would expand the power of public sector unions, citing employee privacy. It is the second time Baker has returned the bill, H.3854, to the Legislature unsigned. … The Legislature passed the bill in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Janus vs. AFSCME, which ruled that government workers cannot be forced to pay union dues.”

Matt Murphy of State House News Service (pay wall) reports Baker cited privacy concerns in his veto message. Based on past action on the issue, it appears likely both chambers can muster the votes for an override — after their summer vacation, of course.


Intraparty strife, continued: Now they’re praising Obama

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is among the Democratic presidential candidates who are now going out of their way to praise the legacy of former President Barack Obama, after last week’s party debates in which some candidates went after the record of Obama, who remains overwhelmingly popular among Democratic voters, the NY Times reports. U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, who didn’t qualify for the debates, is blasting away at Obama’s now-former critics.

But the praise goes both ways: Former Obama campaign advisor David Axelrod writes at CNN that Warren is running “a strategically brilliant campaign” by “positioning herself as Big Change versus the status quo. Yes We Can versus No We Can’t.”

New York Times

‘One backer at a time’: Warren chips away at Sanders’s support

Speaking of Elizabeth Warren, the Washington Post has the latest on Warren making serious inroads, via key defections, into U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’s progressive base of support.

Washington Post

Lawmakers: RMV’s failures go higher than mere mid-level managers (hint: they work for a tall guy)

Without naming names, the two co-chairs of the state transportation committee, Rep. William Straus and Sen. Joseph Boncore, say responsibility for the RMV’s records-keeping scandal go beyond just mere managers within the agency, reports the Herald’s Mary Markos. Meanwhile, the Herald’s Howie Carr says Gov. Charlie Baker is no Harry ‘The Buck Stops Here’ Truman. Not even close, he says.

And N.H. Gov. Chris Sununu is making it clear that Massachusetts, not the Granite State, owns this scandal, reports Vernal Colman at the Globe. And Steph Solis at MassLive has an everything-you-need-to-know summary of the RMV mess.

Boston Herald

Documents highlight delay in reporting of Cohasset child sex charges

This situation is calling out for some sunlight-style disinfectant. Joe DiFazio of the Patriot Ledger reports that documents show a tangled mess of conflicts and questionable decisions that led to a three-month delay before allegations of child sex abuse at a Cohasset middle school were reported to police. After police were finally notified, Jeffrey E. Knight was charged with indecent assault and battery on a child under 14; not long after, a second accuser came forward. 

Patriot Ledger

A pot shortage? Sort of

From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “As medical marijuana dispensaries have begun selling to the newly legal recreational market, medical marijuana patients say they have had mixed experiences buying marijuana at dispensaries that sell to both markets. While some dispensaries have maintained adequate inventory, many patients say they have fewer choices for medical marijuana than they used to.”


Cannabis commissioner abstains to make a point

Speaking of marijuana, she’s taking a stand by sitting out. Shaleen Title, one of five members of the state’s Cannabis Control Commission, has abstained from most of the commission’s final votes on marijuana business licenses as a form of protest against what she sees as abuse of the host community agreement process, Jack Sullivan reports at CommonWealth Magazine. 

Meanwhile, Tanner Stening of the Cape Cod Times reports a Mashpee dispensary is on track to become the Cape’s first adult-use pot shop and is now awaiting only final state approval. 

CommonWealth Magazine

’Targeting October’: T says Red Line signal fix will last weeks longer

A month here, five minutes there. … The MBTA now says it will likely be October before the Red Line is back to full normal operation after the June 11 derailment at JFK/UMass station, Kellen Browning of the Globe reports. While hardly a surprise, it’s at least a month later than the Labor Day target the agency put up in the days after the incident.  One rider had a pitch perfect reaction to the most recent delay: “Oh my gosh.”

Boston Globe

After seven weeks, commuters in Quincy and Winthrop still ferry-less

Meanwhile, commuters in Quincy are being left high and dry as a seasonal ferry service, operated via a partnership with the town of Winthrop, sits idle, Erin Tiernan at the Patriot Ledger reports. The service has been billed as the fastest route from Quincy to downtown Boston and Mayor Thomas Koch has pushed for the city to get a permanent, year-round service of its own. 

Patriot Ledger

UMass tuition to rise for the fifth straight year

SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) and Shira Schoenberg at MassLive report that the University of Massachusetts trustees on Friday approved a 2.5 percent tuition increase for in-state undergraduate students, making it the fifth straight year that tuition has risen at UMass. The increase adds about $360 to in-state students’ tuition bills.

State House News Service (paywall)

Curses! Foul-mouthed school board member stirs things up in New Bedford

They’re learning to live with it. New Bedford School Committee member John Oliveira is drawing the ire of some fellow board members for his profane tendencies, which recently including him flipping the bird in the middle of a televised meeting, Aimee Chiavaroli of the Standard-Times reports. Oliveira, a Navy vet who acknowledges he suffers from PTSD, recently issued an apology for one outburst, but insists while it may make other school committee members uncomfortable, his constituents don’t mind his abrasive style. 


Faneuil Hall artist takes parting shots and NAACP and others over slave-memorial criticism

In an opinion piece at the Globe, Steve Locke, the artist who recently withdrew his design for a slave memorial outside Faneuil Hall, isn’t going quietly, taking shots at the NAACP and others who “mischaracterized and maligned” his motives and art as they pursued their own political agendas.

Boston Globe

Haverhill company pulls the plug on bottled-water business after contamination reports`

Gabrielle Emanuel at WGBH reports that Spring Hill Water, a bottled-water company in Haverhill, is shutting down after reports its water contained high levels of chemicals linked to numerous health problems.


At last, lawmakers provide funds for ‘justice reinvestment’

Ben Forman at CommonWealth magazine writes how lawmakers, in the just-passed state budget, are making $25 million available for “justice reinvestment,” or funds redirected to help ex-cons adjust to life outside prison, rather then spending money to merely incarcerate them. “It is hard to overstate how transformative this change could be,” he writes.

CommonWealth Magazine

Housing blame game: Are investors hurting housing affordability?

It’s the flippers’ fault. Matthew Reid at the Telegram digs into the impact on housing affordability by an apparent rise in investor purchases of homes in Massachusetts. While some see the investors as interlopers blocking would-be homeowners, others say the investors are improving homes and neighborhoods in the process.  

Telegram & Gazette

It’s getting messy: Hampshire Council of Governments misses pension payment

It’s going out of business – and it’s potentially leaving behind some big financial problems. Jim Russell at MassLive reports that the Hampshire Council of Governments last week was unable to pay a $310,901 assessment to the county retirement system – and its chairman is warning things could get messier if proposed legislation to dissolve the council isn’t passed by lawmakers by the end of this month.


‘Biogen on the brink’

First GE. Now Biogen? Allison DeAngelis takes a look at one of the pillars of the state’s biotech industry and economy as a whole, Biogen, and reports that analysts are increasingly gloomy about its long-term prospects due to huge drug-development and competitive setbacks.

Boston Business Journal

Pressley: Trump is ‘absolutely’ a racist

U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley said over the weekend that she “absolutely” believes President Trump is a racist. She made the remarks on WCVB’s “On the Record” show with co-hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu. The Globe’s Jeremy Fox has more on Pressley’s comments.


Trinity Financial and Harvard Club eye 200-room hotel on Newbury Street

From Banker & Tradesman: “A Boston real estate developer is exploring plans to build a 200-room hotel behind the Harvard Club of Boston in Back Bay, accelerating the potential transformation of the western end of Newbury Street. … At an outreach meeting held Thursday at the club, Trinity Financial executive Abby Goldenfarb and club officials outlined the vision for the property, said Parker James, co-founder of the Charlesgate Alliance community organization.”

Banker & Tradesman (pay wall)

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’s Operation Exit provides pipeline from courtrooms to new careers – WGBH

Harvard biologist apologizes for meetings with Epstein – Boston Globe


Gloucester mayor running unopposed – Gloucester Times

State budget includes $5 million increase for Pittsfield schools – Berkshire Eagle

Fall River Redevelopment Authority will explore uses for city pier – Herald-News


Trump is planning new tariffs. You’ll feel this round. – New York Times

String of gun deaths reshapes Democratic primary – Politico

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