Addiction treatment, Merrimack River ‘voyagers,’ and more
— A Better City hosts a panel of transportation experts and advocates to discuss challenges and benefits of electrifying and expanding the MBTA’s bus network and the need for a new maintenance facility modernization program, BSA Space, 290 Congress St., Boston, 12 p.m.
— U.S. Sen. Edward Markey and Middlesex Sheriff Peter Koutoujian hold a press conference to discuss the need to support and expand opioid addiction treatment for ‘justice-involved individuals,’ Middlesex County Jail and House of Correction, 269 Treble Cove Rd., Billerica, 12:30 p.m.
— Parties seeking to file ballot questions for the 2020 election cycle will need to collect signatures from 10 registered voters and submit their petitions to the attorney general’s office, the first step in the process of getting a question on the ballot, 5 p.m.
— Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Department of Environmental Protection, and Department of Transportation join Our Transportation Future, and MA TCI Table to host a regional workshop seeking public input on a regional low-carbon transportation policy through the multi-state Transportation and Climate Initiative, American International College, Schwartz Campus Center Auditorium, 1000 State St., Springfield, 6 p.m.
— The Merrimack River Valley Voyagers — a group that includes Sens. Diana DiZoglio and Edward Kennedy, Reps. Linda Dean Campbell, James Kelcourse, Christina Minicucci and Andy Vargas, Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera, and Northern Essex Community College President Lane Glenn — begin their four-day kayak and camping trip along the 117-mile Merrimack River.
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.
Losing track: Yet another T derailment
This makes three in less than two months. From the Globe’s Emily Sweeney: “A derailment was reported on the D branch of the Green Line in Newton Wednesday morning, according to the MBTA website. MBTA officials said shuttle buses will be replacing Green Line D branch service between Riverside and Newton Highlands due to the derailed train at Riverside. ‘Expect delays as buses are dispatched,’ MBTA officials wrote.”
Switcheroo scheme thwarted in Taunton: Multiple candidates declare candidacy for mayor
It seems Gov. Charlie Baker’s attempt to hand over the mayor’s office in Taunton to state Rep. Shaunna O’Connell, a fellow Republican, has failed. CommonWealth’s Andy Metzger and SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) report that three other mayoral candidates, in addition to O’Connell, managed to file in time to make it on this fall’s ballot in Taunton.
CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl had a good take yesterday on Baker’s “switcheroo” stunt (and we dearly wish “switcheroo” had sprung to our minds yesterday when covering the issue, damn it). SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) has more on Dems’ initial angry reaction to the patronage/filing-deadline ploy.
NH poll: Sanders and Warren closing in on Biden, Moulton mired at zero percent
A new Suffolk University/Boston Globe polls shows that Democratic candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are steadily closing the gap with frontrunner Joe Biden in New Hampshire, the Globe’s James Pindell reports.
The Week points out that U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton and six other Dem candidates registered zero percent in the survey, meaning not one single voter picked them. The Herald’s Howie Carr thinks Warren, for one, has probably hit her ceiling in NH. We’re not so sure about that at all.
‘This is the last time’: Lawmakers demand RMV documents – or else
From Steph Solis at MassLive: “Lawmakers investigating the failures at the Registry of Motor Vehicles leading up to a New Hampshire crash that killed seven motorcyclists delivered a stern warning to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to hand over the records they requested.”
SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall) reports the letter’s “last time” demand includes an ominous hint of first use of the s-bomb, i.e. subpoenas.
Fall River mayor paves way for pot dispensaries owned by his girlfriend’s brother
Never a dull moment in Fall River. Jo C. Goode at the Herald News reports that Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia, currently facing federal fraud charges tied to his software company, has signed non-opposition and host agreements with a marijuana dispensary firm recently started by his girlfriend’s brother. The company is the only one to receive non-opposition agreements in the city, Goode reports.
Aerial spraying to start today in high-risk EEE communities
From Mina Corpuz at the Enterprise: “Aerial spraying will begin Thursday in southeastern Massachusetts to combat the spread of the mosquito-borne eastern equine encephalitis virus. ‘Based on the findings this year combined with our experience with EEE, it is important to use aerial spraying to help reduce public risk,’ said state Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, in a statement.”
A ‘hotel-a-palooza’ on the Mystic?
The CEO of Wynn Resorts says his company has been approached by others about building a boutique entertainment center/arena on land the casino company owns across the street from its new Encore Boston Harbor complex, CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl and the Globe’s Jon Chesto report.
Meanwhile, Encore Boston Harbor’s most pressing challenge seems to be attracting more VIPs and high-rollers to its Everett casino, reports SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall).
Take your pick, newspaper employees: ‘Strong-arm tactics’ or the guillotine?
Boston Magazine’s Spencer Buell and CommonWealth’s Sarah Betancourt report that dozens of Globe staff members indeed briefly walked off the job yesterday to protest the “draconian proposals” and “strong-arm tactics” of management in current contract talks.
At least Globe management isn’t using (yet) what might be described as the non-negotiable “guillotine tactic” favored by other newspaper companies, such as Gannett-Gatehouse, where a long-time local executive is apparently next in line for a short haircut, as the BBJ’s Don Seiffert reports.
State to progressive group: Admit it, you’re a PAC
If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it’s …. etc. From SHNS’s Matt Murphy: “The grassroots organizing group Progressive Massachusetts was forced this month by campaign finance regulators to set up a political action committee, but avoided further disciplinary action or disclosure requirements after being faulted for acting like a PAC without registering.”
Wanted: FBI offers reward money for would-be arsonist of rabbis’ homes
From Universal Hub: “The FBI today announced a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever tried – and failed – three times to set Chabad centers in Arlington and Needham on fire. That’s in addition reward money previously put up by Jewish and Islamic groups.” UH has a FBI description of the suspect .
MWRA: ‘Greedy’ Massport is ‘extorting’ funds for dredging project
Now they know how tax- and ratepayers feel. From the Herald’s Rick Sobey: “The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority advisory board is accusing Massport for ‘extorting’ $8 million from MWRA communities for the Boston Harbor dredging project — a plan that will be a boon to Massport’s coffers at ratepayers’ expense, board members said Tuesday.” They’re also calling Massport just plain ‘greedy.’
The twilight struggle of good vs. evil: State thwarts 34 attempts to use EBT cards at pot shops
The Herald’s Joe Dwinell has a front-page update on the epic battle to keep people from using tax-funded EBT cards to purchase pot. The latest count: 34 thwarted attempts. … Never in the course of history have so many owed so much to so few.
New commission set to study the health of 117-mile long Merrimack River
We assume any study will include a review of the raw sewage regularly dumped into the river by certain upstream entities. From SHNS’s Katie Lannan: “A new panel — whose funding has already been secured through a budget earmark — would be created to study the health of the Merrimack River and given guidelines to govern its work under a bill the Senate passed Monday.”
Fired up: Environmental groups assail state’s ‘deeply flawed’ review of biomass rules
Peter Goonan at MassLive reports that six environmental groups are unhappy with the state’s “deeply flawed” review of proposed changes to rules for wood-burning power plants.
Report: MBTA is ‘straight jacketed’ by state procurement laws
See first item above, obviously. From Stefan Gelller at the Herald: “The MBTA’s effort to make progress on its capital improvement plan and recover from derailments, system-failures and deferred maintenance is going to continue to lag behind benchmarks unless the agency changes the way it hires out contracts and manages projects, according to a recent (Pioneer Institute) report.”
Separately, the Globe recently dispatched a team of reporters to follow riders on three branches of the Red Line to see how their commutes go. For some, it’s not pretty.
Neal vs. Morse: Only one of them knows how to bring home the bacon
Political columnist Peter Lucas at the Lowell Sun says it would be a “disaster” for the First Congressional District’s 87 communities if U.S. Rep. Richard Neal is knocked off by Democratic challenger and Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, who Lucas says could never duplicate the bring-home-the-bacon clout of Neal.
Hampden County sheriff to fight efforts to end involuntary addiction treatment at jail
Saying the involuntary addiction treatment program at his jail has been a success, Hampden County Sheriff Nicholas Cocchi is signaling his intention to fight any and all legal and political attempts to eliminate the program, reports Deborah Becker at WBUR.
Vehicle repair coalition files for 2020 ballot question
This was expected, but it’s still news. From SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall): “Backers of a proposed initiative petition that would require vehicle manufacturers to make digital repair information easily accessible took one of their first steps Wednesday toward putting their question before voters next year. The Right to Repair Coalition, made up of auto repair and parts shops, submitted its first round of paper work to Attorney Genral Maura Healey’s office.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Transportation and Climate Community Engagement Workshop – Chelsea
We have an opportunity to address two of our greatest challenges together — transportation and climate change.
Make Our Voices Heard – “Our Fight For Healthcare”
This event is designed to discuss the disparities that Black Women, the elderly, and other underserved demographics in America face during their experiences with the American healthcare system.
Commercial Leasing Onsite Course
The course will provide an overview of the commercial leasing process and educate students on pertinent leasing issues and clauses in lease transactions for office, industrial and retail.
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