Happening Today

‘Dangerousness’ bill, MCCA meeting, and more

— State Rep. Alan Silvia hosts a meeting with other South Coast lawmakers and Public Safety and Security Secretary Tom Turco, Undersecretary Terrence Reidy, Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey, and Bristol County District Attorney Tom Quinn to discuss Gov. Charlie Baker’s “dangerousness” legislation and a state grant program to help fire departments purchase safety equipment, Fall River Police Department, 685 Pleasant St., Fall River, 10:30 a.m.

— The city of Boston, the Salvation Army Massachusetts Division and TD Garden’s philanthropic arm hold the 8th annual Back-to-School Celebration and backpack giveaway for Boston-area youths and their families, with Boston Public Schools superintendent Brenda Cassellius and Major Marcus Jugenheimer of the Salvation Army attending, Salvation Army Boston Kroc Center, 650 Dudley St., Dorchester, 10 a.m.

— The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority will hold a board meeting to discuss reports from the Administration, Finance and Personnel Committee and the Development and Construction Committee, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, 415 Summer St., Boardroom 201, Boston, 10 a.m.

— Officials from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Transportation join advocacy groups Our Transportation Future and MA TCI Table to host a regional workshop to accept public input on the state’s consideration of a regional low-carbon transportation policy, Bristol Community College, Building G – Atrium, 777 Elsbree St., Fall River, 6 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

‘Piggy bank’: Ex-State Police union boss charged with acting like old-fashioned mob boss

Another black eye for the State Police. Saying he ran the State Police union “like an old-school mob boss” and as a “personal piggy bank,” federal prosecutors yesterday charged Dana Pullman, the former head of the State Police Association of Massachusetts, with, well, corruption. Anne Lynch, a Beacon Hill lobbyist, also get caught up in the fed net. The Herald’s Andrew Martinez and Mary Markos and MassLive’s Michelle Williams have the details.  

Some of the eye-catching headlines out there – From Universal Hub: “Imagine if Sal DiMasi had also had an affair funded by union money.” … From MassLive: “Flowers, caviar and payments toward a $75K Chevy Suburban.” … From SHNS (pay wall): “Feds allege former State Police Association head used union like a ‘piggy bank.’” … From CommonWealth magazine: “Feds: Ex-State Police union chief ran criminal enterprise.”

Three indicted for alleged kickback scheme at UMass

Speaking of criminal-justice matters: Is it time to bone up on our Ward Commission history? From Jeanette DeForge at MassLive: “Two University of Massachusetts employees who worked in the Physical Plant department were indicted for accepting payments and other kickbacks – including vacations to Mexico and a motorboat – from a contractors they were overseeing who were doing millions of dollars in work. The owner of Compass Restoration, of Ludlow, was also indicted for making the payments, according to a statement released by Attorney General Martha Healey.”  

SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall) has more.


City councilors decry Boston Calling ruling, saying it’s chilling their relationships with advocates

We didn’t see this coming, i.e. Boston city councilors effectively rallying around Mayor Walsh’s two aides who were recently convicted of shaking down a concert promoter on behalf of unions. The councilors say the verdict sets a “damaging precedent” and is already having a chilling effect on their relationships with various community advocates, reports Milton Valencia at the Globe and Jerome Campbell at WBUR.

The Globe’s Joan Vennochi has a contrarian view: “Democracy chilled by campaign against Boston Calling verdict.” Btw, from the Herald’s Andrew Martinez: “Convicted City Hall aides file motions for acquittal, new trials.”  

Markey vs Kennedy: It would be a fight to the finish

U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III’s internal polls may show him beating U.S. Sen. Ed Markey in any primary fight. But the Globe’s Joshua Miller reports that, anecdotally in Framingham, voters seem split on who to support should Kennedy challenge Markey. Meanwhile, environmentalists are stepping up their warnings to Kennedy about taking on Markey, who they view as a true green ally, via an opinion piece at CommonWealth magazine. The Globe’s Yvonne Abraham says Kennedy needs to be more clear about why Markey shouldn’t be re-elected.

Btw: Politico’s Stephanie Murrary has spotted yet another draft-someone web site, this time for Attorney General Maura Healey. The last time we dismissed a draft-someone web site, it turned out Kennedy was ultimately/sort of  behind it, so …

Bravo: Warren’s theatrics get high praise, literally

As obscure Dem presidential candidates fight for name recognition (Herald) and fight to get on the debate stage next month (Globe), U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is getting the star treatment at the Washington Post, where theater critic Peter Mark reviews Warren’s campaign rallies in Arizona and Nevada, calling her an “oratorical rock star” and praising her “powerhouse performances” worthy of a “one-woman Broadway play.” No mention of Tony awards.

Washington Post

But black voters aren’t necessarily applauding Warren …

Two recent polls showing U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren with single-digit support among black voters underscore what may be the biggest hurdle to her campaign breaking through to the next level, Amie Parnes at The Hill reports. Still, Warren is making a concerted effort to boost her support among key African-American voters.

The Hill

Weld could soon see some GOP company on the anti-Trump campaign trail

Speaking of the presidential campaign, the Washington Post reports that a number of Republicans are now thinking of entering the GOP primary race for president, primarily for two reasons: 1.) To defeat President Trump and 2.) Because they don’t think former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld is gaining any traction in his anti-Trump bid.

Washington Post

As a candidate, she nearly snapped after knocking on one too many doors

Hélène Vincent, a city council candidate in Boston, says she wanted to sit down in a stairwell and just give up after she knocked on one too many doors for votes and endured a familiar encounter like this: “’Can I count on your vote?’ ‘Yes, if no one knocks on the door who’s more attractive’ – said a 77 year old man wearing an open bathrobe and no pants.” But she’s not giving up, despite “dealing with shit like this every single day.” Via Universal Hub.

Twitter (Vincent)

Opioid overdose deaths are down despite spread of super-lethal fentanyl

File under: ‘Good news, bad news.’ From Martha Bebinger at WBUR: “Opioid-related overdose deaths in Massachusetts are down an estimated 11% in the first six months of 2019, compared with the same period last year. The preliminary data from the state Department of Public Health show a trend that started in 2016, despite a continued increase in the presence of fentanyl in fatalities. It’s now in 92% of overdose deaths.”

The increased availability of the anti-overdose Naloxone is being given partial credit for the overall decline in deaths.


‘Very concerning’: Governor’s Council balks at Baker’s nomination of Taunton mayor to probate job

From Mary Markos at the Herald: “The Governor’s Council slammed the brakes on an attempt to confirm Taunton Mayor Thomas Hoye without a hearing as Bristol County’s interim register of probate Wednesday in a heated discussion over Gov. Charlie Baker’s appointment.” Council members say need to learn more about Hoye’s qualifications.

Meanwhile, SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) reports that one council member is saying the entire nomination process is “very concerning,” an apparent reference to the governor’s curious appointment of Hoye only a day before the filing deadline for mayor in Taunton.

Globe to beef up coverage of Newton with … BU journalism students?

So it’s come to this. Apparently seeing a news-coverage opening in Newton due to GateHouse’s relentless staff cutbacks at its local papers, the Boston Globe has announced that it is expanding its coverage in the tony suburban city with the help of Boston University journalism students, reports Adam Gaffin at Universal Hub.

Hey, we’re glad coverage will be increased, with or without students. However, as Callum Borchers points out at WBUR, nothing beats an old-fashioned beat reporter covering local news in communities such as, oh, Fall River, where veteran journalist Jo C. Goode is almost single-handedly keeping the mayor’s feet to the fire and would be dearly missed if she ever falls victim to the GateHouse ax.

Universal Hub

Now it’s their turn: Aerial spraying set for Sunday in Middlesex and Worcester counties

The aerial spraying is no longer confined to southeastern Massachusetts, as officials announced yesterday that they’ll start mosquito spraying this Sunday in parts of Worcester and Middlesex counties amid mounting concerns about mosquito-borne Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in eastern Massachusetts, reports Samantha Mercado at the Patch.


Mass. lawmakers mull even tougher gun laws

A slew of proposals to further toughen the state’s gun control laws will be heard by a legislative committee next week, Christian Wade reports at the Salem News. Several of the bills — including one to require universal background checks on all guns sales and to ban 3D-printed guns — already enjoy bipartisan support, while gun rights groups are decrying some of the proposals as “soundbite legislation.”

Salem News

Trumponomics: Local business leaders don’t see, let alone mention, the ‘r’ word

Recession? What recession? The Globe’s Shirley Leung has a good column this morning in which she talks to local business leaders – and most of them are upbeat about the economy and don’t see the recession storm clouds that economists say are hovering on the horizon. The Globe’s Scot Lehigh, meanwhile, writes that next year’s presidential race will ultimately come down to whether Trumponomics is seen to be working or not working.

Boston Globe

Fidelity’s Abby Johnson resists call to testify in MIT’s retirement-funds case

Speaking of local business leaders, from the BBJ’s Greg Ryan: “Fidelity Investments CEO Abigail Johnson is asking a federal judge to block an attempt by a handful of current and former MIT employees to force her to testify at an upcoming trial over the university’s use of Fidelity to administer its 401(k) plan.” The plaintiffs say Fidelity is charging excessive and unreasonable fees.


Coincidence? A day after big casino/horse-track announcement, Wareham hit by an earthquake

Michael Bonner at MassLive reports that the Wareham Department of Natural Resources confirmed an earthquake struck the town early Wednesday morning, with a magnitude of 2.0 in strength. And just the day before? This. OK, it’s just a coincidence. Btw: Mike Deehan at WGBH reports on yet more negative reactions to the proposed “racino,” this time from Marc Pacheco. 


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!


MWPC Young Professionals Summer Soirée

The MWPC Young Professionals group provides young women with the skills and resources they need for professional and personal success and effective civic engagement. Join us for an evening of networking with like-minded people, meeting our endorsed candidates running for office, and learning about opportunities to help women get elected this fall.

Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus

Summer Series | Public Art Tour

Join MIT List Visual Arts Center on a public art tour showcasing highlights of east campus. This tour will begin with a short preview of the Student Lending Art Program exhibition, a unique and popular MIT tradition that allows MIT students borrow original works of art from the MIT List Visual Arts Center.

MIT List Visual Arts Center

Authors@MIT | Jay Bolter: The Digital Plenitude

Please join the MIT Press Bookstore in welcoming author Jay David Bolter to discuss his book, The Digital Plenitude: The Decline of Elite Culture and the Rise of New Media.

The MIT Press Bookstore

Today’s Headlines


Methadone Mile problems mounting on Boston Common – CommonWealth Magazine

Convicted city hall aides file motions for acquittal, new trials – Boston Herald


Ballot Box bar at Kelley Square purchased for $650,000 – Telegram & Gazette

Attleboro mobile home park owner defends rent hikes, opposes rent control board – Sun Chronicle

Trahan,Pappas call on federal government for help with Merrimack River – Lowell Sun


Joe Walsh to mount primary bid against ‘absolutely unfit’ Trump – Politico

Jay Inslee drops out of 2020 race – The Hill

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