Happening Today

Law Enforcement Memorial, Brain Aneurysm Foundation, Warren in N.H.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Senate President Karen Spilka, Attorney General Maura Healey, Rep. Harold Naughton and Sergeant Cecil Jones participate in the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation’s 33rd Annual Memorial Ceremony, Ashburton Park, 1 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker attends a reception following the inaugural 18 for 18 Tinlin Family Golf Tournament, organized by former MassDOT Highway Administrator Tom Tinlin to benefit the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, Florian Hall, 55 Hallet St., Boston, 3:30 p.m.

— The Joint Committee on Public Health and the Food System Caucus holds an oversight hearing on ‘the impact of food insecurity and inequitable access to nutritious food on public health,’ Cohn Family Dining Common at Greenfield Community College, 1 College Drive, Greenfield, 1 p.m.

— Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren holds a town hall in Hollis, N.H., with doors opening at 4 p.m., Lawrence Barn, 28 Depot Rd., Hollis, N.H.), 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

Amid growing criticism, Baker defends vaping-products ban

Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday defended his controversial four-month ban on all vaping products in Massachusetts, saying that it was “not an easy decision” and that he ultimately acted in the public’s interest, reports the Globe’s Matt Stout and SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall). Baker’s defense comes as at least one vaping business is seeking to have the courts lift the ban immediately, reports the Herald’s Mary Markos.

The medical community seems to be generally backing the governor’s ban, but not everyone in the medical community thinks it’s a smart move, as Bob Oakes and Khari Thompson report at WBUR. And from Politico on bans in general: “State vaping bans spur a backlash from anti-tobacco advocates.”

The Globe’s Kevin Cullen is convinced the ban is going to be a boon for New Hampshire shops — and you might consider staying away from the Mall at Rockingham Park this weekend. Still, other states are looking at various vaping-product bans in the wake of Baker’s dramatic move. From a reports at WBUR: “Maine, Vermont Now Considering Bans On Vaping.” In Rhode Island, they’ve just banned the sale of flavored vaping products, according to a report at WCVB.

The governor can ‘order’ pharmacies to provide free or low-cost nicotine patches?

Huh? Gov. Charlie Baker’s emergency declaration ordering a four-month ban on the sale of all vaping products in Massachusetts also includes a “standing order for pharmacies to provide free or low-cost nicotine patches, gum and lozenges for insured customers,” reports Steph Solis at MassLive.

Banning potentially dangerous items, we get. But ordering others who have nothing to do with dangerous items to give away or sell products at low prices? Seems like pretty broad emergency powers to us.


Twenty Medford cops suspended over construction-detail pay

Shades of the State Police overtime scandal. From Danny McDonald and Travis Andersen at the Globe: “Twenty Medford police officers were suspended without pay, and must collectively repay the city thousands of dollars, for violating the department’s detail policy while working on a public construction project last year, officials said Thursday.” CBS Boston has more, including a video report.

Boston Globe

Baker ‘deeply concerned’ by move to strip Republicans of OCPF influence

Gov. Charlie Baker is joining other state Republicans in criticizing a House move to strip the GOP of a say in choosing the state’s top campaign finance regulator – just as the current campaign chief plans to step down from his post sometime in the next nine months (i.e. before next year’s elections). SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) and CommonWealth magazine’s Bruce Mohl have more on the developing OCPF brawl.

‘Gloves come off’: Markey video paints Kennedy as righteous hypocrite on PAC money

They’re already trading punches. WBUR’s Kimberly Atkins reports that U.S. Sen. Ed Markey’s campaign has released a video slamming U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III for swearing off corporate PAC money – only after he hauled in loads of corporate PAC money. Meanwhile, Politico’s Stephanie Murray tweets that things are getting testy behind the scenes among Markey and Kennedy campaign aides.


Cavell leaves AG’s office for probable run for Kennedy’s seat

He’s not the first and won’t be the last to throw his hat into the ring for U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III’s House seat. From SHNS’s Matt Murphy: “Dave Cavell, a senior advisor to Attorney General Maura Healey and a former Obama speechwriter, is taking steps toward a possible campaign for Congress in the 4th Congressional District, leaving his job as he begins to assemble a campaign team, according to an advisor for the campaign.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

The Impeachment Drive: Dems may have an enthusiasm problem

Gov. Charlie Baker, a moderate Republican, yesterday appeared to back Democrats’ move to launch an impeachment inquiry against President Trump, saying revelations that Trump tried to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden have created a “deeply disturbing situation” that justifies some sort of probe, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall).

But it seems that some Dems (outside Massachusetts, that is) remain worried about a backlash against an impeachment drive, reports the Washington Post. Meanwhile, from NHPR’s Sarah Gibson at WBUR: “Some N.H. Democrats At Warren Rally Express Concern Over Impeachment Push.” One of the worries: The country might end up with Mike Pence as president.

Lawyers seek $24M in fees for Columbia Gas pipeline settlement

From the BBJ’s Greg Ryan: “Attorneys are asking for roughly a sixth of a $143 million settlement as compensation for their work representing Merrimack Valley residents and business owners in litigation against Columbia Gas of Massachusetts over last year’s gas explosions. The lawyers are seeking up to $23.6 million in attorneys’ fees.” The AP at the Eagle Tribune has more.

BBJ (pay wall)

MGM Springfield loses nearly 200 employees to Encore Boston Harbor

The vice president of human resources at MGM Springfield isn’t mincing words: Her casino is the victim of “theft,” via Encore Boston Harbor’s recruitment of nearly 200 full-time employees from the smaller Springfield gambling joint. Elizabeth Roman at MassLive has the details.


Warren gets big boost from white college-educated females

Hilllary Clinton nearly lost the white college-educated female vote in 2016 – and that poor showing contributed to her defeat by Donald Trump. Today, Elizabeth Warren seems to be doing better with such voters, whose support accounts for much of Warren’s recent surge in Dem polls, reports the Washington Post. 

Washington Post

Meanwhile, Wall Street donors whine: Anyone but Warren!

Here’s one group of voters adamantly against Elizabeth Warren – and we have a hunch Warren doesn’t care one iota what they think: Wall Street Democratic donors, who say they’ll sit out, or even back Trump, if Dems nominate Warren for president, reports CNBC.


World War II Club in Northampton put up for sale due to declining membership

This is sad. From Jim Kinney at MassLive: “The nonprofit veterans’ group that owns the World War II Club, known as “The Deuce,” on 50 Conz St. (in Northampton), put the building on the market this week following years of financial uncertainty.” The group is hoping, among other options, that it might be able to lease back the building in order to maintain its veterans-assistance mission, Kinney reports.


Baker on lucky plate winners: ‘We had nothing to do with it’

It was all luck. Pure coincidence. That’s what Gov. Charlie Baker is saying after Shrewsbury’s James and Nancy Coghlin, big campaign donors for years, just so happened to both win low-license plate numbers in the state’s annual license-plate lottery. SHNS’s Michael Norton has the details.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Alex Jones sues Brianna Wu over child-porn accusation tweet

Conservative firebrand and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is suing Brianna Wu, who’s challenging U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, for libel over a June tweet “in which Wu suggested Jones had sent child pornography to the parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting,” as Spencer Buell reports at Boston Magazine. Her tweet was based on this Connecticut Post story, fyi.

Boston Magazine

State retraction: There’s actually been three EEE deaths, not four

This is sort of good news. The Globe’s Danny McDonald reports that state health officials have retracted a previous statement that a fourth person has died of EEE in Massachusetts, saying a hospital filed incorrect information. Now the bad news: The state has confirmed the 12th case of EEE this year in Massachusetts.

Boston Globe

‘Paul Revere, Beyond the Midnight Ride’

Here’s a good reason to make a weekend trip to the Big Apple: The New York Historical Society has a new exhibit on our very own Paul Revere, “Beyond Midnight: Paul Revere,” organized by the American Antiquarian Society. “The display includes more than 140 objects from the antiquarian society’s extensive Revere holdings; the New-York Historical Society’s own collection; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Massachusetts Historical Society, among others,” reports the NYT.


Boston-New York bus rides are about to get much cheaper

And here’s how you can get to New York to see the Revere exhibit: Via bus, now that one of the biggest names in European bus travel is starting daily bus service between Boston and New York, offering super-cheap (at least initially) rides, as Adria Ma reports at WBUR.


NY attorney general: Dunkin’ failed to notify customers of ‘brute force’ cyberattacks

Another New York-related story. Gintautas Dumcius at the BBJ reports that New York’s attorney general is suing Dunkin’ Brands Inc., the Canton-based parent company of you-know-what coffee and donut shops, for failing to notify tens of thousands of customers that their accounts had been compromised by a series of “brute force” cyberattacks.


Correia: Ignore those rumors of my resigning!

Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia is shooting down “rumors” he’s preparing to resign, following an all-hands meeting of his campaign team that sparked talk he might walk away from City Hall to focus on his legal defense. At least two people had been planning write-in campaigns for mayor should Correia drop his bid for re-election, but Peter Jasinski at the Herald News reports Correia waved off any such talk as he left the meeting

Correia isn’t the only Fall River pol facing some uncomfortable questions. City Councilor Steven Camara is busy these days trying to prove he’s a resident of Fall River, as the Herald News reports.

Herald News

Grieving families plea for lawmakers to pass hands-free driving bill

The Herald’s Jessica Heslam and SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall) report on yesterday’s emotional State House plea by those whose family members have been killed by distracted drivers for lawmakers to pass the hands-free driving legislation as soon as possible.

Sunday public affairs TV: Karen Spilka, Brianna Wu and more

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Senate President Karen Spilka, who talks with host Jon Keller on funding the education bill, pressure for new taxes, the status of the distracted driving bill, and the new vaping ban.

This Week in Business NECN, 10:00 a.m. Jim Smith, an attorney who represents cannabis businesses, discusses the Cannabis Control Commission’s approval of pot home deliveries and cafes; Tracey Zhen, president of Zipcar, talks about the future of the Boston-based company; and Jon Chesto of the Globe reviews the college admissions scandal, the future of the Hynes Convention Center future, and other business issues.

CEO Corner, NECN 10:30 a.m. REPEAT: Wayfair CEO Niraj Shah talks about the importance of technology to his mostly online furniture and home décor company, while his wife, Jill Shah, president of the Shah family foundation, discusses the work they’re doing to provide healthy and fresh foods to students in the Boston Public Schools.   

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: 8th District Congressional candidate Brianna Wu, who talks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu, followed by a roundtable political discussion with Boston Globe columnist Adrian Walker and Republican political analyst Rob Gray.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s topic: Ticket to the Arts.

Cocktails and Public Policy: On Artificial Intelligence, Human Rights, and Ethics

This event explores the ways artificial intelligence affects human life, and the emerging ethics and human rights-related questions. Please see website for full speaker bios and info.

Harvard Kennedy School New England Alumni Association

Author Talk and Book Signing with Edwin Hill

Mystery writer Edwin Hill will speak at the State Library about his new psychological thriller, The Missing Ones. To register: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SLM-Edwin-Hill

State Library of Massachusetts

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)

In Pursuit of Equity, Accountability and Success: Latinx Students in MA

In Pursuit of Equity, Accountability and Success (PEAS) seeks to unite multiple systems and sectors around community, policy, and practitioner-centered solutions to addressing the current system of unequal outcomes in educational attainment and institutional treatment. There will be 10 workshops and we will have three dynamic speakers.

Worcester State University, University of Massachusetts Boston, American Student Assistance in collaboration with DESE, EEC, and DHE, The Worcester State University Latino Education Institute (LEI) and Department of Urban Studies, UMass Boston Gaston Inst.

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

Discussion: Building Urgency and Political Will

There are many policy solutions that could have impact, but their viability is challenged by the lack of urgency and broad political will that is needed to get municipal leaders to lead on a crisis that their constituents may not currently feel.

Next Level Housing Solutions

Today’s Headlines


Brookline proposal would ban new natural gas hookups in town – WBUR

Boston Calling convict’s legal fund gets boost from Boston bigwigs – Boston Herald


Pittsfield leaders past and present endorse Mayor Tyer’s re-election bid – Berkshire Eagle

New rules proposed for political signs in Salem – Salem News

MassDOT has paid $1.1 million so far to private firm Grant Thornton to audit RMV in wake of the crash that killed 7 motorcyclists – MassLive


Biden advisers weigh new Wall Street tax as Warren, Sanders pitch aggressive levies on wealthy – Washington Post

Support for impeachment grows in new poll – Politico

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