Happening Today

Walk for immigrants, Health Connector, and more

— Faith leaders and advocates will kick off a six-day walk from Boston to the Strafford County House of Corrections in Dover, New Hampshire to protest the nation’s immigration policies, JFK Federal Building, 15 Sudbury St., Boston, 10 a.m.

— Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders chairs a meeting of the Health Connector Board, 50 Milk St., 8th Floor, Boston, 1:30 p.m.

— Auditor Suzanne Bump moderates a panel on federal issues at the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers 2019 Annual Conference, Room Palomino 5, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Hotel, 7575 E. Princess Dr., Scottsdale, Ariz., 4:25 p.m.

— The Boston Public Health Commission and the Suffolk County Mosquito Control Project will spray the Hyde Park and West Roxbury neighborhoods with mosquito repellent, Monday, between dusk and 11:30 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

Markey still in the ring after Kennedy’s initial KO attempt

The New York Times dropped a mini-bombshell on the Massachusetts political world over the weekend by reporting that U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III is indeed mulling a challenge to U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, in an intraparty race that “could substantially alter the state’s political landscape and has the potential to elevate a fourth member of (the Kennedy) dynasty to the Senate.”

The Globe’s Jess Bidgood and Victoria McGrane and the Herald’s Alexi Cohan were all over the story by Sunday. Kennedy, who it turns out was the force behind those mysterious polls inquiring about a possible Kennedy-Markey showdown, is expected to make a decision within a few weeks. Meanwhile, Markey isn’t showing signs of caving, suggesting that Kennedy’s initial knock-out/please-step-aside blow hasn’t worked.

Still, from the Herald’s Howie Carr: “Say goodnight, Ed Markey.” (Fyi, Howie’s nickname for Kennedy: “JoJoJo.”) The Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter reports that Mayor Walsh is standing by Markey. But U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton is mum for now on endorsing Markey, reports the Lynn Item. Politico’s Stephanie Murray was all over the Kennedy-Markey chatter before the NYT’s big story on Saturday.


Could Healey and Pressley be waiting in the wings to challenge Markey?

How much speculation has been unleashed since the news broke over the weekend that Joseph Kennedy III is mulling a run against U.S. Sen. Ed Markey? So much speculation that Attorney General Maura Healey and U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley are also getting mentions as possible challengers to Markey, should Kennedy ultimately take a pass in going after Markey’s seat, as the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld writes.

Boston Herald

Warren courts Native Americans and blacks as campaign enters new phase

Switching to the presidential race, there’s more good news for U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren: London’s bookies now think she’s the odds-on favorite to win the Dem nomination (Newsweek). Still, Warren, whose campaign has been dogged by accusations that she falsely claimed Native American heritage earlier in her career, has some damage-control to do, specifically on the ethnic-ancestry front. Late last week, she unveiled a number of policy proposals intended to help Native Americans, the NYT reports.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports Warren is trying to woo, with some apparent success, African-American voters in the critical early primary state of South Carolina.

‘Seth Moulton’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad summer vacation’

And speaking of Democratic presidential candidates from Massachusetts, the headline on Adrian Walker’s column in the Globe pretty much says it all.

Boston Globe

Second case of EEE confirmed in Massachusetts

It’s now in Worcester County, not just Plymouth County. From Hayley Johnson at MassLive: “A second case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis was identified in Massachusetts Friday by the state’s department of public health. Laboratory testing confirmed EEE in a male between the ages of 19-30 from Worcester County. The department of public health also reported a young goat in Bristol County has tested positive for the virus.”

The following towns are now considered at “critical” or “high risk” areas, according to MassLive: Hopkinton, Grafton, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Upton, Framingham, Marlborough, Millbury, Northborough and Sutton.


They came, they bought, they paid no tax

Looks like the shoppers did their part. Across the Bay State, customers flooded retail stores over the weekend, taking advantage of the now annual state tax-free holiday, though some retailers say it will take a while to know whether the event actually increases sales or just concentrates them into a two-day shopping spree, Lisa Eckelbecker reports at the Telegram. 

Lots more on the buying frenzy from Judee Consentino at the Sun-Chronicle, Dick Lindsay at the Berkshire Eagle, Kellen Brown at the Globe  and Greta Jocehcm at the Daily Hampshire Gazette. 


Audit: RMV worker saw Zhukovskyy’s records but didn’t suspend license before fatal NH crash

From SHNS’s Chris Lisinski, on the audit findings by Grant Thornton: “Almost two months before a Massachusetts man allegedly killed seven people in a crash (in New Hampshire), a Registry of Motor Vehicles employee opened an alert from Connecticut warning that the driver had refused a chemical test during a traffic stop.” WCVB has more.

Count the Herald’s Howie Carr among those not impressed with the finding, which he says is more about scapegoating the little guys at RMV.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

So what sparked the State Police OT scandal? A racist remark by a trooper

The Globe’s Matt Rocheleau reports how a state trooper trying to pull over an Asian-American driver — while yelling at her “Do you not speak English?” – prompted a complaint from the female motorist, a complaint that ultimately led to the State Police overtime scandal, aka TrooperGate.

Boston Globe

Never mind: GE shares bounce back a day after allegations of Enron-like fraud

The markets signal concern one day, then non-concern the next. It will be interesting to see how this all ends. From the BBJ’s Greg Ryan: “General Electric Co. on Friday gained back a large chunk of the billions of dollars in market value that it had lost a day earlier, as Wall Street analysts appeared to reject an investigator’s claims that GE is engaging in massive accounting fraud.”


Walsh stands by police sweeps in South End – wheelchairs and all

Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins and City Councilor Michelle Wu may have criticized “Operation Clean Sweep.” But Zoe Matthews at WGBH reports that Mayor Marty Walsh is defending the controversial police sweeps through the South End in the wake of a recent attack on a correctional officer.


Towering over the Pike: One project proceeds, the other gets cancelled

The Globe’s Tim Logan reports that development firm Samuels & Associates has gotten the go-ahead to proceed with two new buildings over the Massachusetts Turnpike, just west of Mass. Ave. in Boston. But the BBJ’s Catherine Carlock reports that a separate air-rights project over the Pike by Weiner Ventures has been cancelled. She has the details.

Is Chelsea’s ‘nip’ bottle ban actually working? Looks like it

Sarah Betancourt at CommonWealth magazine reports that Chelsea’s controversial (or controversial from the perspective of liquor stores) ban on the sale of “nip” liquor bottles “appears to be having the desired effect” – with public drunkenness and alcohol-related ambulance responses etc. way down. And a public fountain once overflowing with nip bottles is now gushing just pure water, for a change.

CommonWealth Magazine

Captain of commuter ferry that ran aground placed on leave

The AP at WBUR reports that the captain of the T commuter ferry that ran aground late last week in Boston Harbor, in an incident that led to four minor injuries, has been placed on leave pending drug test results. Meanwhile, SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall) reports that the U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the incident involving the MV Lightning and a sport fishing boat that the ferry reportedly tried to avoid hitting during foggy weather.

Free for all? Worcester transit authority will look at going fare-free

Maybe there is such a thing as a free ride. The Worcester Regional Transit Authority will study whether to make its bus services entirely fare-free, an idea that already has the support of the Worcester Research Bureau, Cyrus Moulton reports at the Telegram. The move comes as the system faces a double-digit drop in ridership — and the analysis will include finding other ways to make up the $2 million to $3 million in lost revenue if the authority indeed goes fare-free.


Jewish groups seek state grants for security upgrades at synagogues and schools

It’s a sad sign of the times. From the Globe’s Matt Stout: “As a wave of anti-Semitic incidents rises in Massachusetts and beyond, Jewish day schools, community centers, and houses of worship are seeking out funding for advanced security measures that once would have seemed unthinkable.”

Boston Globe

Somerville’s proposed safe-injection site: The pros and cons

Two Newspaper Town Alert: Somerville’s plan to open a new safe-injection site next year, despite warnings from the feds that it would be illegal, has our two daily newspapers at odds again. From a Herald editorial: “Somerville mayor shouldn’t wade into fed face-off.” From a Globe editorial: “Somerville takes on a failing status quo.”

Flying high and low: Bald Eagle gets an upgrade on state’s protected-species list, but not so the bumble bee

The Bald Eagle, the symbol of America, and the peregrine falcon are now doing well enough in the wild in Massachusetts to have their status switched from “threatened species” to a “special concern species,” reports SHNS’s Michael Norton. But all is not well for two types of bees in Massachusetts, including the American Bumble Bee, which are now officially listed by the state as endangered.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Dukakis on Baker’s ‘not so hot’ transportation plans

From Arjun Singh at WGBH: “Former Gov. Michael Dukakis thinks that when it comes to managing transportation in the state, Gov. Charlie Baker has been doing ‘not so hot.’ To Dukakis, who was famous for being spotted on the MBTA, the governor has no vision when it comes to the potential of public transportation throughout Massachusetts.”


They want to count: Tribal outreach begins ahead of 2020 census

A statewide effort is underway to ensure an accurate count of members of Native American tribes in the 2020 census, a population that experts say is notoriously hard to track accurately, Christian Wade reports at the Salem News. Keep in mind: Tallies of tribal members will impact federal funding for the state’s Wampanoag tribes in Mashpee and on Martha’s Vineyard — at a time when both are looking to casino gambling to help balance their budgets. 

Salem News

UMass researchers track increase in pot-related poison control calls

Researchers say cannabis-related calls to the poison control hotlines doubled in the years after medical marijuana was first legalized in the state, and they warn the numbers are likely to grow now that recreational cannabis is legal as well, Jacquelyn Voghel reports at the Daily Hampshire Gazette.


Authors@MIT | Nolen Gertz in Conversation with Robin James

Nolen Gertz in Conversation with Robin James discussing Gertz’s new book Nihilism

The MIT Press Bookstore

Town Hall Meeting on Climate Change with Sen. Edward Markey and Rep. Katherine Clark

A community discussion will be held at Framingham High School with Sen. Edward Markey and Rep. Katherine Clark, with plans to discuss “the Green New Deal resolution, a bold set of goals that calls for a national mobilization to transform the economy, fight climate change, and create millions of jobs.”

City of Framingham

Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

A housing professional will provide an overview of tenant rights and responsibilities.

City of Boston’s Office of Housing Stability

2019 Malden Democratic City Committee Annual Summer BBQ

We hope you’ll join us for our summer BBQ! This annual event is always a lot of fun and a great chance to catch up with old friends while supporting MDCC.

Malden Democratic City Committee

Global Engagement Networking Night

Join WorldBoston, BNID, and UNAGB, three local international relations organizations, for an exciting evening on international affairs!


Today’s Headlines


Hundreds rally at City Hall Plaza against gun violence – Boston Globe

WBUR eliminates news director position as part of ‘restructuring’ – Boston Business Journal


Amherst police accidentally publish social security numbers of 26 individuals in online log – MassLive

Election date set for Sept. 15 to unseat Mashpee Wampanoag tribe’s top officers – Cape Cod Times

Lawrence school district toughens attendance rules – Eagle-Tribune


As mass shootings rise, experts say high-capacity magazines should be the focus – Washington Post

Cook Political Report moves Susan Collins’ Senate race to ‘toss up’ – The Hill

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