Happening Today

Lawrence dedication, Walsh on the air, and more

— Gov. Charlie Baker attends dedication of Leonel Rondon Square with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan and Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera., Corner of Jackson and Chestnut streets, Lawrence, 11 a.m.

— Auditor Suzanne Bump hosts a roundtable discussion focused on addressing the barriers women and families face when attempting to access benefits through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, Western Massachusetts Training Consortium, 187 High Street, Suite 304, Holyoke, 11:30 a.m.

— Boston Mayor Martin Walsh is a guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 12 p.m.

— U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III attends a groundbreaking for 2Life Communities, an affordable housing project for seniors, with MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay, Citizens Bank Senior Vice President Gene Clerkin, Brookline Select Board Chair Bernard Greene and Congregation Kehillath Israel Rabbi William Hamilton also attending, 370 Harvard St., Brighton, 1:30 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker participates in a groundbreaking ceremony for the Chelsea Commuter Rail Station, a multi-modal and accessible station on the Rockport-Newburyport line, 170 Everett Ave., Chelsea, 3:30 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

Did Warren win by not winning?

We’re not sure it was a “free-for-all” during last night’s Democratic presidential race in Texas, as the Washington Post reports. But it was lively, as the New York Times reports, with the ten candidates going at it – or, more specifically, Joe Biden going after the other candidates while the other candidates were going after Biden, mostly.

So who won? That’s all most of us want to know. From the Globe’s Jess Bidgood: “Warren may have benefited by allowing others to attack Biden.” But the Globe’s James Pindell is giving U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren only a “B” for last night, while Biden gets a “B+.” The NYT’s top take-away: “Mr. Biden exited the stage the same way he entered it: the embattled-yet-clear front-runner.” But the Washington Post says Warren was a clear winner. WGBH’s Peter Kadzis and Adam Reilly write that Biden, Warren and Bernie Sanders entered the debate as the Big 3 and left as the Big 3. But Beto O’Rourke may have left with a nice little VP bump, they write. 

Btw: Warren got a nice little endorsement bump before the debate, from Attorney General Maura Healey, as SHNS (pay wall) reports.

Oh, they knew, all right, Part II: MIT president admits signing acknowledgement of Epstein gift

The BBJ’s Hilary Burns reports that MIT President L. Rafael is admitting he signed a 2012 letter acknowledging a gift from accused sex offender Jeffrey Epstein – “in addition to being present for a senior meeting where the donations from Epstein were discussed.”

College presidents are usually made aware, it’s safe to say, when millions of dollars are donated to their schools – and that’s what happened in this case. The surprise is it took MIT so long to admit it. Speaking of controversies at MIT, from Chris Arnold at WBUR: “MIT To Settle Suit Alleging It Hurt Workers In 401(k) Plan.”


Now it’s the West Nile virus …

Eastern equine encephalitis. Now this. From Luke O’Roark at the Lowell Sun: “The West Nile virus has been found in Middlesex County, the Department of Public Health announced Wednesday evening. It is the first human case of West Nile virus in the state this year as a man in his 60s from Middlesex County was recently hospitalized due to the illness, according to a press release sent out by the Department of Public Health.”

Lowell Sun

Healey defended for taking hard line on opioid settlement

Gov. Charlie Baker is defending Attorney General Maura Healey’s decision not to take part in a multibillion-dollar settlement with opioid drug maker Purdue Pharma, reports WGBH’s Tori Bedford. Counselors for recovering addicts and their families are also defending, and applauding, Healey’s hard-line position, reports Christian Wade at the Gloucester Times. Heck, even Healey is defending her position, as WBUR’s Martha Bebinger reports.

Kennedy makes potential Senate campaign hire: A former Markey aide

As the wait continues for U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy to state his intentions, Politico’s Trent Spiner and Stephanie Murray report the congressman has made a key hire for a potential Senate run, bringing on board operative Jim Thuma, who has previously worked for Kennedy’s potential rival, none other than U.S. Sen. Ed Markey. They also report the reception Kennedy gets during the Mass. Democratic Party convention this weekend in Springfield may go a long way to deciding if he’ll run.


Meanwhile, Rausch rules out run for Kennedy’s seat

For the record: She’s staying put. State Sen. Becca Rausch says she will not mount a campaign for Congress if U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy takes the plunge into the race for Senate, Jim Hand reports at the Sun Chronicle. The Needham Democrat released a statement saying she is “staying right here in the state Senate.” 

Sun Chronicle

So single drivers aren’t taking over carpool lanes?

It seems Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack may have been, well, exaggerating the problem of single drivers taking over designated carpool lanes. Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine and Matt Stout at the Globe report that the data, not Pollack’s anecdotal observations, indicates that the overwhelming majority of carpool users are NOT single drivers, though there are indeed a large number of lane scofflaws out there.

In Quincy, everybody will soon know that vapin’ ain’t allowed in schools

With apologies to Brownsville Station, officials in Quincy are about to make clear that vapin’, in addition to smokin’, ain’t going to be allowed in the city’s two high schools, with plans to “install high-tech devices in bathrooms and locker rooms to detect the vapor produced by e-cigarettes,” as Mary Whitfil reports at the Patriot Ledger.

Speaking of vaping, from SHNS’s Chris Young (pay wall): “The agency in charge of overseeing the legal marijuana industry will begin requiring that all vaporizer cartridges, marijuana extracts and concentrates sold in Massachusetts come with a more detailed list of the chemicals and ingredients they contain.”

Patriot Ledger

Regulators to Brockton casino developer: The answer is still no

Marc Larocque at the Enterprise reports that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is refusing to reconsider its previous rejection of a proposed new casino at the Brockton Fairgrounds. SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) reports that the billionaire casino developer behind the proposal may, finally, be getting the message.


It’s not quite over: Columbia Gas to re-inspect 700 abandoned gas lines in Merrimack Valley

It was exactly a year ago when Merrimack Valley was hit with devastating gas-line explosions and fires that left thousands in the energy lurch. And now, a year later, Columbia Gas is being pressured to inspect 700 home and business service lines abandoned during restoration efforts, according to CBS Boston. The utility says the re-inspections are merely a precaution. The mayor of Lawrence calls the whole situation “ludicrous”

CBS Boston

Newbury College campus to be converted into … senior housing

Nothing against senior housing, but aren’t there better uses for such a coveted piece of land? Anyway, from the Globe’s Tim Logan: “Long a place for the young, the Brookline campus of Newbury College will now become a place for the old. The now-closed college has sold its 10-acre campus on Fisher Hill, near Route 9, to Welltower, a firm that invests in senior housing and assisted-living developments, for $34 million, according to deeds filed in Norfolk County. It’s one of the final steps in the winding down of the liberal arts college, which closed at the end of the classes this spring.”

Boston Globe

The computer ate her homework? Healey seeks extension after missing NRC deadline

Attorney General Maura Healey is asking the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for extra time to request a temporary hold on the transfer of the Pilgrim Station plant license after a technical snafu caused her to miss the deadline by 22 minutes. Christine Legere at the Cape Cod Times reports the NRC’s server couldn’t handle the documents Healey filed just ahead of the Sept. 3 deadline, while the two companies involved in the transfer say the AG’s office should have anticipated delays and planned better. 

Cape Cod Times

And the winners of the coveted Healey endorsements are …

Speaking of the AG, this has nothing to do with her endorsement yesterday of Elizabeth Warren. These ones actually matter. From the Globe’s Milton Valencia: “In the race for endorsements before the municipal Sept. 24 preliminary election, Boston City Councilors Annissa Essaibi-George and Michelle Wu have landed one of the most coveted seals of approval in Massachusetts politics: from popular Attorney General Maura Healey.”

Boston Globe

Doyle’s: A victim of archaic liquor license laws

The Globe editorial does have a point: The city’s archaic liquor licensing system is partly to blame for the pending demise of Doyle’s, the beloved Jamaica Plain bar that’s been in business since 1882. Meanwhile, the Globe’s Kevin Cullen is yet the latest to bid a fond farewell to Doyle’s.

Galvin favors scrapping partisan affiliations in primary elections

This is interesting: “Secretary of State William Galvin, the state’s top elections official, is supporting a major reform of the primary election system that would effectively scrap most partisan races by allowing the top two candidates to advance regardless of party, he told the News Service Thursday.” The issue involves Galvin’s brother, Patrick, described as a “lead sponsor” of a proposed 2020 ballot question on the matter.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

The gun-control debate seeps into the business community

The top executives of 150 companies, including the head of Boston’s Bain Capital (of Mitt Romney fame), may have gotten all the headlines for their recent letter urging action, almost any action, on gun control in America (NYT). But the BBJ, in an editorial, has also been urging more action by local companies on the gun-control front. Needless to say, members of a pro-gun group aren’t happy with the BBJ’s call to partially disarm.

It’s electric: Transit group wants updated rail line to offset Mass Pike traffic armageddon

Plug it in. Transit advocates want the state to offset what is expected to be years’ worth of traffic delays as the Mass Pike is rebuilt in Allston by converting the Worcester line of the commuter rail to an electrified service that could become part of a regional light rail network, Cyrus Moulton reports at the Telegram. TransitMatters proposes paying for the $500 million project with funds diverted from a planned renovation of South Station. 


Can the electric-car industry survive without a government financial jolt?

Speaking of electric-transportation matters, Stephanie Leydon at WGBH reports on the pending expiration of various government incentives to boost the nascent electric-car industry – and supporters say it’s simply too early to pull the plug on such incentives, including a $1,500 Massachusetts rebate program for e-car buyers.


Going through the legal corruption formalities …

They were mostly formalities, but it should be noted that the former president of the Massachusetts State Police union yesterday was indeed indicted on a host of federal corruption charges, as expected and as reported at the Boston Globe. And former city real estate official John Lynch yesterday indeed pleaded guilty to accepting a bribe on behalf of a developer, as expected and as reported by Callum Borchers at WBUR.

Sunday public affairs TV: James Pindell, Michael Dukakis and more

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: The Boston Globe’s James Pindell, who talks with host Jon Keller about the New Hampshire presidential primary and a possible Kennedy-vs.-Markey matchup.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. The Boston Business Journal’s Doug Banks and the Boston Globe’s Shirley Leung weigh in on the e-cigs controversy, CEOs backing gun control, the MIT Media Lab fallout and the planned closure of Doyle’s.  

CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. Emerson College President Lee Pelton and VP for Academic Affairs Michaele Whelan talk about the university and the Little Building’s big presence at the school.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Former Gov. Michael Dukakis, who talks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu, followed by a roundtable discussion with Globe columnist Adrian Walker and Republican political analyst Rob Gray.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s main topic: Interracial adoption.

Boston Idealist Grad Fair 2019

Learn about admissions requirements and application deadlines for graduate programs in social work, public policy, nonprofit management, international affairs, public interest law, social entrepreneurship, and many more. Speak with graduate admissions advisors from local, national and international universities.


2019 Better Government Competition

Please join Pioneer Institute at an awards gala recognizing the winner and finalists of the 2019 Better Government Competition, which sought proposals to transform our transportation system from a constraint on economic growth to a driver of prosperity.

Pioneer Institute

Old North Speaker Series: Kellie Carter Jackson – Forcing Freedom

Her book Force & Freedom examines one of the perennial questions in political thought: is violence a valid means of producing social change? In her lecture, Kellie Carter Jackson address how black abolitionists answered this question.

Old North Church & Historic Site

Today’s Headlines


Walsh sends Boston affordable housing bill to Beacon Hill – Boston Herald

MIT to settle suit alleging it hurt workers with 401K plan – WBUR


Ferry service sees steady gains in ridership – Cape Cod Times

Farmers speak out against Westport animal regulations – Standard-Times

MCR Labs of Framingham fined $225,000 for improper disposal of marijuana – MassLive


Inside the military’s five-star layovers at a Trump resort in Scotland – New York Times

Inside the gun lobby’s push to sway Trump – Politico

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