Happening Today

SJC meets, Hurd at Tufts, and more

Supreme Judicial Court meets, John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Second Floor, Pemberton Square, Bosto, 9 a.m. 

Housing Committee holds a public hearing on one bill related to affordable housing in the city of Chelsea and the apparent exemption of construction-related laws related to a Innes Apartments public housing project, Room B-2, 10 a.m.

— Treasurer Deborah Goldberg speaks at the annual meeting of the Retired State, County And Municipal Employees Association off Massachusetts, more commonly known as Mass. Retirees, The Lantana, 43 Scanlon Drive, Randolpp, 11 a.m.

— Texas Congressman Will Hurd, the only African-American Republican in the U.S. House, speaks at the Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University, Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Hall, 10 Upper Campus Rd., Medford, 2 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker attends MIT delta v Program Demo Day, an exhibition of products and services developed by MIT student entrepreneurs, Kresge Auditorium (MIT Bldg. W16), 48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, 5 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

Walsh orders zoning board review amid bribery scandal

Every mayor since World War II could have, and should have, done this, but it took the feds to finally force at least some action. From the Globe’s Milton Valencia and Tim Logan: “Mayor Martin J. Walsh has ordered a comprehensive review of the city’s Zoning Board of Appeal process, amid a bribery scandal at City Hall that suggests wrongdoing within the board.”

Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin has more on the hiring of Sullivan & Worcester LLP to review the city’s zoning and development policies so politically beloved, until now, by so many mayors. Meanwhile, City Councilor Michelle Wu, who’s often mentioned as a potential mayoral candidate, knows an Achilles’ heel when she sees one, via Walter Wuthmann and Chris Citorik at WBUR: “Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu Calls For Further Action In ZBA Bribery Case.”

Boston Globe

The new target: Judge Sinnott

A group of lawyers and legal organizations are now calling for an investigation of Judge Richard Sinnott, after he ordered a defense lawyer to be hauled away in handcuffs for contempt during a courtroom session tied to the Straight Pride Parade case, reports Phillip Martin at WGBH. Meanwhile, who is Judge Sinnott? A fair but tough judge? A courtroom autocrat and all-around curmudgeon? Opinions are mixed, as a three-reporter team at the Globe finds.

Meanwhile, the pundits are out in force this morning over the Straight Pride controversy and the judicial handling of the lefty counter-protesters who tangled with righty protesters and police over the weekend.  The Globe’s Shirley Leung sees gender bias in the hauling away of defense attorney Susan Church. The Globe’s Adrian Walker, who snagged an interview with Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins, writes that Rollins isn’t backing down from her reformist ways, judge or no judge. The headline on a Globe editorial this morning: “Judge picks wrong fight with DA over protest arrests.” But the Herald’s Howie Carr is more than happy to see someone taking on those trouble-seeking, trust-fund antifa types. 

And, finally, we suspect more than a few people will agree with much of what the Globe’s Kevin Cullen has to say this morning, starting with: “I wanted to go to the Straight Pride parade, but then I remembered I had something more important to do. I got a haircut.” 

Shut out? Republicans cancel primaries in blow to Weld

The long shots just got much longer. Republican parties in several states are poised to cancel their primary elections or caucuses ahead of the 2020 election in a move the party says will save money but appears aimed at protecting President Trump from two upstart challenges, Alex Isenstadt reports at Politico. Nominating contests in South Carolina, Nevada, Arizona and Kansas could all be off the calendar as soon as this weekend. Former Mass. Gov. William Weld, the first to launch a primary challenge, said the moves are part of an effort by the president to make the GOP “his own personal club.” 


On Martha’s Vineyard, Dershowitz book drop greeted by protests

A year after he complained about being socially shunned on Martha’s Vineyard for defending President Trump, Harvard lawyer Alan Dershowitz was greeted by a crowd of protesters Thursday as he debuted his latest book on the Israel-Palestinian conflict at the West Tisbury library, Lucas Thors reports at the Martha’s Vineyard Times. Dershowitz briefly engaged with the protesters, who this time are focused on his legal defense of the late Jeffrey Epstein, and said he would defend their right to speak out against him.

Martha’s Vineyard Times

Thanks, Dad: Will Joe II spend leftover campaign cash to help Joe III?

The Globe’s Michael Levenson has an interesting story about certain funds sitting in a certain father’s old campaign war chest and whether a certain son could benefit from the $2.8 million should he decide to run for U.S. Senate.

Btw: The son, U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, yesterday swore off accepting future PAC money. But the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld isn’t exactly impressed, considering Kennedy’s vow comes after he’s already raised millions from business-related special interest groups.

Kennedy’s now awkward relationship with Warren

Speaking of U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, he was campaigning in New Hampshire yesterday for presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, who, as of now, won’t be returning the favor by campaigning for Kennedy should he decide to run for U.S. Senate against incumbent Ed Markey, who Warren has endorsed for re-election. The Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky and the Globe’s Matt Stout have more on the awkward endorsement situation shaping up. 

Can a blind juror serve in Massachusetts? SJC to decide

They say justice should be blind. But is justice served if blind people are excluded (or included) on a jury? Shira Schoenberg at MassLive has a story on an interesting case that the Supreme Judicial Court will hear next week about whether blind people can or can’t serve on juries when physical evidence, such as photos, are key to a case.


No blarney: Warren bashes Pence’s stay at Trump property in Ireland

She’s giving them no rest, literally. From Kimberly Atkins at WBUR: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren is demanding the State Department disclose its role in Vice President Mike Pence’s trip this week to meet with Irish leaders in Dublin, which included a stay at the Trump International Hotel in Doonbeg, some 175 miles away.” She says taxpayers were ultimately helping to enrich the Trump business empire.


Turning off the lights: EEE scare forces gridiron teams to abandon Friday night games

The Globe’ Hanna Krueger reports that the spread of EEE cases across Massachusetts is forcing nervous high-school officials to switch football games from “Friday night lights” to Saturday days. It’s the right – and necessary – public-health move, clearly. But we sort of get a kick out of hearing some bemoaning the loss of tradition. There was a time, believe it or not, when high-school football games were routinely played on autumn Saturday afternoons, just fyi.

Boston Globe

Dorian expected to slam Cape tonight as a tropical storm

Hurricane Dorian is expected to be downgraded to a tropical storm over the coming day, but it will still pack a punch when it hits the Cape with heavy rain and strong winds as early as tonight. Bruce Castleberry at the Herald has the details.

Boston Herald

But will Revere Beach withstand future storm?

Forget Hurricane/Tropical Storm Dorian. We’re talking longer term here: Can Revere Beach’s fancy new developments withstand future storms caused by climate change? WGBH’s Adam Reilly takes a look at the coastal building boom in Revere – and what officials say they’re doing to avoid future climate-change catastrophes.


Doubling down: Baker looks to increase state exemption for dependents

From Matt Stout at the Globe: “Governor Charlie Baker — a Republican who once pledged to hold the line on taxes and fees, only to sign new ones into law — will file legislation Friday to double the state exemption taxpayers can claim for dependents, a break his administration says could affect roughly 1 million taxpayers and save families $87 million a year.” The proposal will be included in a $650 million supplemental budget bill the governor plans to file, Stout writes.

Another hotel strike is underway in Boston

Boston Magazine’s Spencer Buell reports that workers at the North End’s Battery Wharf Hotel officially went on strike yesterday, a year after hundreds of hotel workers walked off the job at Marriot properties in Boston over a contract dispute. One more strike and we’ll most definitely have a labor-market trend.

Boston Magazine

Activists march against firms doing business with ICE, drawing parallels to the Holocaust

From the Boston Globe: “A spirited group of hundreds of Jewish activists and their allies marched from downtown Boston to Amazon’s Cambridge office Thursday evening, gathering to protest private companies doing business with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ‘Never again means abolish ICE,’ the protesters chanted as they walked past rush hour commuters and cars stopped in their tracks. ‘I was just following orders,’ read one sign. ‘Close the camps,’ read others.”

Boston Globe

Meanwhile, documents show Amazon plans to hire 235, spend $5.6M on Holyoke distribution center

Speaking of Amazon, we suspect there will be no protests over this, to wit: More details are emerging on Amazon’s plans for a distribution center in Holyoke, including plans to hire as many as 235 people and spend $5.6 million to improve and upgrade facilities, Jim Kinney reports at MassLive. Holyoke says Amazon has not asked for any local or state tax breaks for the project.  


The now popular Back Bay-Logan bus service

It’s amazing what lower prices and more convenient service can do for business. Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine reports that Massport’s Back Bay-Logan bus route has more than doubled its ridership – and stolen away business from Uber and Lyft etc. — since it dramatically slashed prices, changed stops and added a special security-line perk for passengers.


Boston Globe to lay off workers at Taunton facility

Not all new business initiatives work. Case in point: The BBJ’s Don Seiffert reports that Globe owner John Henry’s vision of using a Taunton printing, mailing and distribution facility to transform his newspaper business isn’t exactly going as planned. The Globe is now planning job cuts in Taunton.


ACLU files lawsuit seeking to block termination of immigrant medical care

From Sarah Betancourt at CommonWealth magazine: “The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and Lawyers for Civil Rights on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over the termination of a government program that allows immigrants with severe health conditions to remain in the US for treatment.”

Bump: State must pay up to cover towns’ extended voting hours

From Jim Kinney at MassLive: “Auditor Suzanne M. Bump said Thursday the state must pay cities and towns $3,165,097 to cover the cost of mandated extra polling hours in 2020 for the March presidential primary, September state primary and November general election.”

Report: Healey balked at proposed Purdue settlement

She’s holding firm. From SHNS’s Colin Young: “Talks between state attorneys general and Purdue Pharma over a possible $12 billion settlement to resolve thousands of lawsuits brought against the opioid manufacturer have stalled, in part because Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is not on board, according to a national media report this week.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Walsh endorses two in crowded at-large council race

Um, thanks? The timing may not be ideal given the mayor’s bumpy summer, but two candidates for at-large city council seats received public endorsements from Mayor Marty Walsh on Thursday, according to Katie Trojano at the Dorchester Reporter. Walsh endorsed the campaigns of Alejandra St. Guillen — a first-time candidate who worked in his administration — and incumbent Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George, who are among the 15-candidate field that will be culled to four in the Sept. 24 preliminary election.

Dorchester Reporter

Sunday public affairs TV: Joseph Kennedy, Shannon Liss-Riordan, and more

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, who talks with host Jon Keller about his potential run for Senate and his agenda for government reform.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Everbridge CTO Imad Mouline on how cities all along the Eastern Seaboard are using their platform to share emergency alerts with the public as they deal with Hurricane Dorian; Babson College president Dr. Stephen Spinelli Jr. shares his vision for the institution; and Boston Business Journal editor Doug Banks on the top local business stories of the week.  

CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. Gillian Meek, the president of Keds, discusses the company’s vision for the future.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: U.S. Senate candidate Shannon Liss-Riordan, who talks with host Ed Harding, followed by a round-table discussion with Democratic political analyst Mary Anne Marsh and Republican political analyst Rob Gray.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m.  With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s main topic: Temporary Protected Status (TPS), with Dr. Geralde Gabeau of the Immigrant Family Services Institute and other guests.

Model UN Professional Development Workshop @ Democracy Center

Whether you’re an experienced MUN Advisor or brand new to Model UN, you’ll walk away from this workshop with time-saving tools, tactics, and strategies to help your students succeed in Model United Nations.

Best Delegate Model United Nations

Policy Breakfast Highlighting Fail First Reform in Massachusetts

Join us for a breakfast to learn about fail first policies impacting patients in Massachusetts. Delayed treatment can mean disease progression. That’s why “fail first” reform for patients with arthritis, cancer, Crohn’s and colitis, and other chronic diseases is so critical.

The Arthritis Foundation, CSRO, and the Mass Medical Society

Stone Social Impact Forum

Innovative education leader Geoffrey Canada, president and founder of Harlem Children’s Zone, is the inaugural speaker for the Stone Social Impact Forum, a new signature series highlighting civic change agents who advance social change and innovatively address areas of inequality in our society.

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate

The Somerville Surge

Join NAIOP for a deep dive into the transformative projects underway in Somerville, including Assembly Row, Boynton Yards, Union Square and more.

NAIOP Massachusetts

Author Talk and Book Signing with Anthony Abraham Jack

Author talk and book signing with Dr. Anthony Abraham Jack, who will be speaking about the overlooked diversity among lower-income students in our colleges and universities.

State Library of Massachusetts

Today’s Headlines


Another Boston hotel strike is now underway – Boston Magazine

Walsh, labor leaders talk addiction with construction workers – Boston Herald


These are the 25 most charitable companies in Mass. for 2019 – Boston Business Journal

UMass moves ahead on $200 million plan to replace two apartment complexes – Daily Hampshire Gazette

Amid economic development, why is there only one gay bar in Worcester? – MassLive


More than two years later, Trump’s wall remains unbuilt – Washington Post

Scientists unveil weed breathalyzer, launching debate over next steps – NPR

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