Happening Today

Jimmy Fund, Public Health Council, Governor’s Council

— Gov. Charlie Baker takes a break from his vacation to participate in the Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon on WEEI’s ‘Greg Hill Show, while Treasurer Deborah Goldberg participates later in the day, WEEI-FM 93.7, 7:45 a.m. 11:30 a.m., respectively.

— The Massachusetts Public Health Council meets to receive an update on new opioid overdose data for the second quarter of 2019 and an informational presentation on mosquito-borne illness surveillance and response, 250 Washington St., 2nd Floor, Bowditch Public Health Council Room, Boston, 9 a.m.

Governor’s Council meets twice today, the first to interview Jennifer McNulty, nominated by Gov. Baker as a circuit justice of the Juvenile Court’s Worcester Division, and the second to possibly vote on Kimberly Foster as clerk magistrate of the Somerville District Court and to review the nomination of Taunton Mayor Thomas Hoye as Bristol County interim register of probate, with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito chairing, Council Chamber, 10:30 a.m. and 12 p.m.

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— U.S. Reps. Lori Trahan and Chris Pappas take acting regional EPA administrator Deborah Szaro on a boat tour of the Merrimack River, UMass Lowell Bellegarde Boathouse, 500 Pawtucket Blvd., Lowell, 2 p.m.

— U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan, Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini and several state lawmakers host a forum to discuss the importance of a fair 2020 Census process, with state Reps. Andy Vargas, Linda Dean Campbell, Christina Minicucci and Lenny Mirra attending, Barking Dog Ale House, 77 Washington St., Haverhill, 5 p.m.

— U.S. Sen. Edward Markey and U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark host a town hall focused on climate change, Framingham High School, 6:30 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

‘Hit job’: RMV official fired amid charges of scapegoating

As expected, Thomas Bowes, director of the RMV’s controversial Merit Rating Board, was canned yesterday by his board overseers who, it appears, hadn’t previously overseen anything since 2015. The move was criticized by Bowes’ attorney, who said the Baker administration was merely targeting Bowes for primary blame for the records-keeping scandal at RMV. Meanwhile, state Rep. Mark Cusack, a Braintree Democrat, went further, saying the firing decision was a “hit job.” WGBH’s Michael Deehan and SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall) have the details. 

Btw: Bowes, a Braintree town councilor, says he will remain a candidate for mayor of Braintree following his firing, according to a report at the Patriot Ledger.

Kennedy’s trial balloon reveals one thing: A lot of people really want his job

The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld writes that U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III’s “trial balloon” bid to oust U.S. Sen. Ed Markey isn’t going as planned – with blowback now coming from some liberal quarters (or at least one liberal quarter).

But Kennedy’s trial balloon has accomplished one thing: Potential candidates for his House seat are coming out of the woodwork, should Kennedy decide to challenge Markey, as the Globe’s Michael Levenson reports. Among the names being dropped: Treasuer Deb Goldberg, state Rep. Tommy Vitolo, state Sens. Becca Rausch and Paul Feeney, Jesse Mermell, the president of the Alliance for Business Leadership, and Chris Dempsey, director of Transportation for Massachusetts. State Sen. Marc R. Pacheco is declining to discuss matters, saying “I don’t play what-if games.”

Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux is also downplaying a run for Kennedy’s seat, reports the Sun Chronicle.

Things are getting testy between Kennedy and Markey

File this one under: ‘Ugly.’ Or perhaps: ‘Truly ugly.’ A top aide in U.S. Sen. Ed Markey’s campaign actually tweeted the following: “@EdMarkey, co-author of the green new deal, is a great Senator. @joe kennedy  should focus on his family’s considerable mental health issues.” The Globe’s Victoria McGrane has the details. The aide is apologizing, acknowledging the “tweet was despicable and abhorrent.”

Scratched: Lottery supervisor fired for allegedly cashing unsold winning scratch tickets

This is serious stuff. From the Globe’s Andrea Estes: “A longtime sales supervisor for the Massachusetts State Lottery was fired Tuesday after he was seen cashing winning instant tickets, a state official said, sparking fear that the lottery’s supposedly strict security protocols may have been violated.”

David Cannistraro, a lottery employee since 2002, was first put on leave two months ago after another lottery employee reportedly saw him cashing tickets at a store on Cape Cod, as Estes reports.

Boston Globe

The odds seem stacked against $300M Wareham gambling complex

Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine reports that the proposed $300 million gambling-center/horse track proposal for Wareham isn’t exactly receiving a warm reception on Beacon Hill.

Meanwhile, the BBJ’s Catherine Carlock has the details on “Wareham Park,” as proposed by Quincy developer Thomas O’Connell, including a ballpark for the Cape Cod Baseball League’s Wareham Gatemen and a hotel.

CommonWealth Magazine

More aerial spraying this week after EEE alerts

Linda Roy at South Coast Today reports that officials are planning a second round of aerial spraying for mosquitoes in the southeast region of Massachusetts, starting tonight, as public health officials become increasingly concerned about EEE risks across eastern Massachusetts.

How seriously are officials taking the EEE alerts? From the Herald’s Marie Szaniszlo: “EEE threat prompts Southboro to close all town-owned outdoor spaces.

South Coast Today

Cambridge police officer skunked trying to help skunk

Yet another wildlife alert, from the Cambridge Police Department (with accompanying video): “Officer McGinty went the extra mile yesterday morning by helping remove a yogurt container that was stuck on a distressed skunk’s head at the Danehy Dog Park in #CambMA. But, his good deed did not go without punishment. See how the scenario played out.” Via Universal Hub.

Twitter (CPD)

‘Seeing double’: Warren meets her doppelganger

Check out the amazing Twitter photo, via the Star Tribune in Minnesota, and see if you can tell who’s who without looking at the caption: U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren or Stephanie Oyen. Yes, Warren has met her very own ‘doppelganger,’ as the paper notes. Michael Bonner at MassLive has more. 

Twitter (Star Tribune)

Warren campaign updates: Targeting crime (and Biden and Harris), corn kernels and a humming HQ

Some quickie notes on U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign: The surging Warren was greeted by huge crowds in a recent visit to Minnesota (Fox 9). … But she came in only third place in the 2019 Cast Your Kernel poll in Iowa (WHO TV). Btw: U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton got 60 kernels, one less than Bill DeBlasio, it should be noted. … From the Washington Post: “Warren takes aim at crime policies once embraced by Biden, Harris and Booker.” … And from the Globe’s Victoria McGrane, a “work space” story: “Inside Elizabeth Warren’s Charlestown campaign HQ.”

Justice in Mass.: It depends on which clerk magistrate you get

The Globe’s Todd Wallack has a follow-up story on the state’s “secret courts” run by clerk magistrates. It seems justice varies from courthouse to courthouse in Massachusetts, as “clerk magistrates and assistant clerks continue to differ widely in how they handle requests for criminal charges reviewed during confidential hearings, according to new court data provided to the Globe.”

Franklin County jail secures methadone clinic license

In a first for the state, the Franklin County House of Corrections in Greenfield has earned a federal license to become a methadone clinic, a move that underscores the overlap between the opioid epidemic and the criminal justice system. Franklin County Sheriff Chris Donelan said the facility undertook the effort to earn the license because many inmates arrive at the facility in the midst of methadone treatments and until now had to be weaned off once they arrived, Grace Bird reports in the Greenfield Recorder. 

Question: Is there a way “safe-injection” sites might also get special fed licenses? Just a thought.

Greenfield Recorder

Somewhat good news: Commuter rail riders ‘somewhat satisfied’

Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine reports that a new poll by commuter-rail operator Keolis shows that passengers are “somewhat satisfied” with the rail service, amid “steady but slow” improvements to the lines.

CommonWealth

Meanwhile, Brockton transit authority considers Uber subsidies

On another transit front, the Brockton Area Transit Authority is considering subsides for Uber and Lyft rides as a way of filling in hard-to-reach gaps in the agency’s bus network and boosting ridership numbers that have been steadily dropping for nearly a decade, Ben Berke reports at the Enterprise.

Enterprise

MIT Media Lab director to bolt, saying he’s ‘ashamed’ of center’s ties to Jeffrey Epstein

Saying he’s “ashamed” of the MIT Media Lab’s past ties to the late billionaire and accused sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, Ethan Zuckerman, director of the lab’s Center for Civic Media, last week told MIT officials that he plans to pack his research bags and leave, perhaps to another school center or elsewhere, reports the Globe’s Deirdre Fernandes.

Boston Globe

Maybe GE’s whistleblower critic was on to something?

From the BBJ’s Greg Ryan: “General Electric Co.’s long-term care insurance business, the main target of investigator Harry Markopolos’ scathing report on GE last week, rates among the riskiest in what is already a risky industry, according to a Fitch Ratings report published Tuesday.”

BBJ

Report highlights uninsured ‘hotspots’ around state

Bob Oakes and Martha Bebinger at WBUR report on a new Blue Cross Blue Shield study that has identified regional “hotspots” around the state where there’s still large numbers of people without health insurance, despite the state’s universal health-care mandates. Not surprisingly: They’re in lower-income communities with low high-school graduation rates and lots of non-citizens and young adults.

WBUR

Moulton teams with Republican lawmaker on suicide hotline push

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton and a Republican from Utah are co-sponsoring legislation that would establish a three-digit 911-like emergency suicide prevention hotline, CBS Boston reports.

Moulton and his co-sponsor — GOP Rep. Chris Stewart — unveiled their proposal in a Washington Post op-ed that emphasized the crisis-level impact of suicides on the country’s military veterans population. 

CBS Boston

Mayoral ties in crosshairs at Fall River pot shops meeting

Residents turned out at a Fall River public meeting to hear details of two proposed recreational marijuana shops in the city – and, after raising the usual concerns about traffic and parking, some expressed worry their issues would fall on deaf ears thanks to the close relationship the would-be shop’s owners enjoys with Mayor Jasiel Correia, Peter Jasinski reports in the Herald News. Fyi: Shop proponent New Leaf Enterprises is run by Pedro Fernandes, the brother of Correia’s girlfriend. 

Herald News

High grades for state’s pension fund and Michael Trostsky

Finally, congratulations to PRIM and its executive director, Michael Trotsky. SHNS’s Colin Young reports how the state pension fund’s private-equity returns and Trostsky have received high praise for their respective performances, as judged by the American Investment Council and Institutional Investor magazine.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

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!

WorldBoston

Today’s Headlines

Metro

Boston would need up to 100 safe injection sites for plan to work, councilor says – Boston Herald

Longtime Walsh friend and ally coordinates city response in the South End – Boston Globe

Massachusetts

Financial boost gives plans for Eagle Mill complex ‘credibility and capability’ – Berkshire Eagle

Deadline looms for Lynn and Saugus to settle lawsuit over Boston Street pot shop – Lynn Item

Lowell election system options detailed at meeting – Lowell Sun

Nation

Trump appears to back away from stronger background checks – USA Today

After 25 years, world’s oldest Webcam shutting down – San Francisco Gate

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