Happening Today

Municipal elections, MCAS results, and more

— Boston, Taunton, Westfield, and Lowell are all holding municipal elections today, while other communities like Chelsea and Lawrence are holding preliminary elections only in certain wards. 

Department of Elementary and Secondary Education plans to release 2019 school and district MCAS results and accountability designations, while the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meets to discuss Education Commissioner Jeff Riley’s goals for 2019-2020, 2019 MCAS and accountability results and other matters, Taconic High School, 96 Valentine Rd., Pittsfield, 9:30 a.m.

Economic Development and Emerging Technologies Committee is on the road at Springfield Technical Community College for a hearing on 15 bills, most of them sponsored by lawmakers from western Massachusetts, One Armory Sq., Springfield, 10 a.m.

Cannabis Control Commission meets to vote on the final version of its newly rewritten regulations for the medical marijuana industry and the recreational side of the still developing market, Room 437, 10 a.m.

— Senate President Karen Spilka is a scheduled guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ Boston Public Library Studio, WGBH, 89.7FM, 11 a.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

Just a reminder: There’s another round of elections today

Voters in Boston, Taunton, Westfield, Lowell and other communities head to the polls today for another round of preliminary elections. The Globe’s Jeremy Fox and John Hilliard have a good “meet the candidates” summary of the Boston City Council races, while WGBH’s Michael Deehan reports on the council races to closely watch today.

Changing his tune: Lynch ready to consider impeachment after Ukrainian disclosures

He’s been a holdout, but not anymore. Todd Prussman at the Herald reports U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch is now open to proceeding with an impeachment investigation into President Trump in the wake of reports that the White House leveraged military aid to get Ukraine to investigate the son of former VP Joe Biden. Lynch has been among the last holdouts in the Bay State delegation on formal impeachment, telling a town meeting last month in Braintree that he worried it would lead to Trump being re-elected. 

He’s far from alone, meanwhile. The Wall Street Journal reports that a batch of nine lawmakers, seven of whom won seats previously held by Republicans last November, now say the Ukraine allegations, if true, warrant impeachment action. 

Boston Herald

Weld says Trump has committed ‘treason, pure and simple’

Trump’s Ukrainian action is enraging another pol from Massachusetts. From the Washington Post: “Former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, who is challenging President Trump for the Republican nomination next year, on Monday accused him of ‘treason’ for pressing the leader of Ukraine to investigate former vice president Joe Biden and his son.”

Washington Post

Third Mass. resident dies from EEE virus

From CBS Boston: “A third person has died from Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Massachusetts, health officials confirm. The victim is among the 10 EEE cases that have already been diagnosed this year. The Department of Public Health says a hospital recently reported the death. No other information has been released about the victim.”

CBS Boston

Kennedy v. Markey: A Pressley-Capuano fight in reverse?

Maeve Duggan and Richard Parr, research directors at the MassINC Polling Group, have an interesting piece on the Joseph Kennedy and Ed Markey clash for the U.S. Senate. It’s tempting to compare the showdown to the Ayanna Pressley-Michael Capuano battle last year. But Kennedy is actually taking on the incumbent Markey from the center, not from the left, as was the case last year the Pressley-Capuano fight, Duggan and Parr conclude.

Btw, from the Washington Post: “The Energy 202: Ed Markey’s climate chops may be critical in Joe Kennedy challenge.”


Why wait? Grossman declares for Kennedy’s House seat

She’s the first, but won’t the last. Newton city councilor Becky Walker Grossman declared her intentions to seek the 4th District House seat currently held by Joseph Kennedy III, becoming the first candidate to declare since Kennedy took the U.S. Senate plunge, Matt Stout reports at the Globe. Grossman is a former prosecutor whose father, Steve Grossman, is the former state treasurer and former head of the Democratic National Committee. She will declare Tuesday and can expect plenty of company in a field that already includes Democratic Socialist Ihssane Leckey of Brookline, who declared in May. 

Boston Globe

The take-it-slow approach to selling off the Hynes

Gov. Charlie Baker may be pumped up about selling the Hynes Convention Center, saying there’s “a tremendous amount of interest amongst the developer community” to buy the Back Bay facility. But House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Karen Spilka are taking more of a wait-and-see approach towards a sale, reports SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall).

Meanwhile, James Rooney, the former head of Massachusetts Convention Center Authority and current chief of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, isn’t sold on the Hynes sale, saying the idea “came out of nowhere,” reports Gintautas Dumcius at the BBJ.

DeLeo floats idea of breaking up hands-free bill to get at least something passed

File under: ‘Something is better than nothing’? From SHNS’s Chris Lisinski: “With a distracted-driving bill stuck in private negotiations for more than three months and frustrated advocates ramping up their criticism, House Speaker Robert DeLeo said the solution might be splitting off the more contentious components of the legislation.” Lisinski has the details on DeLeo’s tentative idea.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Republicans on Lawrence drug busts: We told you so

First the criminal-justice side of the story, from Rick Sobey at the Herald: “Feds trying to cut off the ‘Devil’s Highway’ of drugs into New Hampshire have rounded up nearly 40 people and seized large amounts of fentanyl and cocaine in Lawrence — the city that U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling has promised he’d keep ‘hammering away’ at as long as it’s a transfer point for narcotics.”

Now the political side of the story, also via the Herald’s Sobey, who reports Republicans are boasting how President Trump (as well as other Republicans) have been right in the past to point fingers at Lawrence for its drug ties.

Boston Herald

‘Red Flag’: Probation officer put on leave after threatening courthouse killings

From Scott Croteau at MassLive: “A probation officer for the Massachusetts Probation Service has been placed on administrative leave and his guns taken away by a judge after he allegedly made statements about assaulting and imagining killing some staff members at the East Brookfield District Court.” And, yes, a ‘red flag’ petition was involved based on the state’s recently passed gun law.


Feeling ‘abandoned,’ Lynn appeals for low-cost commuter rail

They’re tired of waiting. With a Blue Line extension still a long-term pipe dream and local traffic worsening, Lynn Mayor Thomas McGee and the city’s legislative delegation called on MBTA officials to offer the city commuter rail service at subway prices, Gayla Cawley reports at the Lynn Item. It currently costs commuters $14 for the round-trip from Lynn to Boston. Their proposal would cut that cost to less than $5. 

Lynn Item

Cambridge cannabis equity push likely to be met with lawsuits

Here we go. The Cambridge City Council voted Monday to allow only qualified economic empowerment and social equity applicants to seek cannabis shop licenses in the city for two years–essentially locking larger, more established companies out of the market, Marc Levy reports in Cambridge Day. Some observers say it could take some applicants nearly that long to navigate the local and state permitting processes. 

Meanwhile, Dan Adams reports in the Globe that the owners of medical marijauana dispensaries already operating in the city are likely to sue to block the measure.

Cambridge Day

UMass to get trove of Daniel Ellsberg’s private papers

The Globe’s Thomas Farragher writes that the massive archive of papers of Daniel Ellsberg, of the Pentagon Papers fame, will be held by the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where researchers will now be able to pore over all the materials tied to the famous leaker of once top-secret government documents related to the Vietnam War.

Boston Globe

Spring forward: Hampshire to admit another batch of students next semester

Back to normal? Not quite, but Hampshire College says it will return to “business as usual” at least when it comes to admitting new students, starting with allowing a class of freshmen and transfer students in the spring, Dusty Christensen reports in the Daily Hampshire Gazette. Hampshire admitted just a dozen students in the fall and says it will use the next four years to build its enrollment back up to 1,000 students from current levels of about 700. 

Daily Hampshire Gazette

Numbers game: Election results show Correia trending in wrong direction

Is it all finally catching up to him? Peter Jasinski at the Herald News digs deeper into Fall River’s preliminary election results and finds lots of trouble for indicted Mayor Jasiel Correia, despite his second-place showing that put him in the November final election. Correia reached a high-water mark of support in 2017, when he garnered 8,966 votes; last week, he received just 2,777 votes — the fewest in his career in local politics, including an early run for city council. 


With home delivery in the wings, Baker calls on Congress to allow marijuana banking

With the Cannabis Control Commission poised to green light home delivery services, Gov. Charlie Baker is renewing his calls for Congress to open banking services to marijuana companies currently shut out by federal law. Baker and other state officials are worried about the security risks associated with home delivery because all pot sales are cash-based, Shira Schoenberg reports at MassLive. “I would much rather have this get fixed at a federal level, so we don’t have to worry about people walking around with $10,000 of cash,” Baker said.


Making the case: Neal challenger Morse releases tax returns

He’s pressing the issue. Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Richard Neal in the Democratic primary, has released eight years worth of personal tax returns, calling for transparency from all “federal elected officials,” Steph Solis reports at MassLive. Neal has yet to release his most recent tax returns, even though as chairman of the House Ways and Means Commission he has led the push to get President Trump to turn over six years’ worth of records to Congress. 


State releases plan for latest Blue Hills deer hunt

State officials have finalized plans for the fifth straight year of deer hunting in the Blue Hills Reservation, Mary Whitfil reports in the Patriot Ledger. This year’s hunt will again feature several weeks of archery hunting followed by a brief shotgun season, which this year will be allowed on 1,600 fewer acres than in the past. Past hunts–which wildlife officials say is necessary to cull overcrowded herds–have been met by protests. 

Patriot Ledger

Mixed signals at the Globe on contract talks

Cue the jokes about the Globe not getting the story straight. From Sarah Betancourt at CommonWealth magazine: “The parent company of the Boston Globe sent out an email Friday to union members claiming the two sides have reached tentative agreement on a number of issues, but the union downplayed the progress and said key financial areas of the contract remain unresolved.”


Governor Puppet: He’s ready for his big tour

And finally: Christopher Gavin at Boston.com reports that climate and transportation activists are now hauling around a 9-foot-tall puppet of Gov. Charlie Baker, as part of the “Charlie’s Climate Catastrophe Tour.” Well, it’s sort of a puppet, we guess. Check out the photo.


Boston Speakers Series: John Kerry

Kerry served as United States Secretary of State during President Barack Obama’s second term. He represented Massachusetts in the United States Senate for nearly thirty years, and was the Democratic Party’s nominee for president in 2004.

Lesley University

12th Annual Public Performance Conference

This year’s National Center for Public Performance (NCPP) Public Performance Conference marks the 12th year the nation’s top government and nonprofit performance professionals and academics will convene to emphasize the use of data to improve efficiency and efficacy of public services.

Suffolk University

ADL’s Breaking Barriers Speaker Series Presents: Survivor’s Club with Michael & Debbie Bornstein

ADL’s Breaking Barriers Speaker Series presents: Survivors Club with Michael and Debbie Bornstein. Please join us on Thursday, September 26, 2019 to hear from Michael Bornstein, one of the youngest survivors of the Auschwitz death camp, and his daughter Debbie Bornstein, co-author of Survivors Club. Register by Wednesday, September 25: www.adl.org/breakingbarriers2019

ADL New England

Starr Forum: Iran Reframed

A discussion about the evolution of the Islamic Republic and its reaction to President Trump’s Iran strategy

MIT Center for International Studies (CIS)

Boston Speakers Series: John Kerry

Kerry served as United States Secretary of State during President Barack Obama’s second term. He represented Massachusetts in the United States Senate for nearly thirty years, and was the Democratic Party’s nominee for president in 2004.

Lesley University

Today’s Headlines


Elderly Lynn man gets prison for leading multi-million dollar lottery scheme – Boston Herald

Laver Cup 2020 in Boston could bring $100 million windfall – Boston Business Journal


MGM Springfield Advisory Committee slates first meeting – MassLive

NOAA to vet buyers as Codfather sells assets – Gloucester Times

Wayfair plans Monday grand opening for Pittsfield customer service center – Berkshire Eagle


Can someone be fired for being gay? The Supreme Court will decide – New York Times

Dems moving to formally condemn Trump as impeachment fever grows – Politico

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