Keller at Large

Kennedy and Markey to voters: Hello? Are you out there?

In his latest Keller at Large at MassterList, Jon Keller says the pandemic and other news have overshadowed the U.S. Senate race between Joseph Kennedy and Ed Markey – and that’s why they’re going to need to bring their A games to the final weeks of their primary battle.

Keller at Large

Happening Today

Health Policy Commission, education leaders on reopening, Markey-Kennedy forum

Health Policy Commission Executive Director David Seltz presents findings and recommendations from the HPC’s recent prescription drug coupon study, 10 a.m.

— State and local education leaders speak on a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce virtual panel about reopening schools after COVID-19 shutdowns, with speakers including Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley and Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius, 2 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker speaks with Treasurer Deborah Goldberg for their monthly meeting. (Tuesday, 3:30 p.m.)

— U.S. Senate candidates Ed Markey and Joe Kennedy discuss their views on criminal justice reform during a virtual WGBH forum, 7 p.m.

For the most comprehensive listing of calendar items, check out State House News Service’s Daily Advances (pay wall – free trial subscriptions available), as well as MassterList’s Beacon Hill Town Square below.

Today’s Stories

Reminder to readers: SHNS Coronavirus Tracker available for free

A reminder to our readers as the coronavirus crisis unfolds: The paywalled State House News Service, which produces MASSterList, is making its full Coronavirus Tracker available to the community for free on a daily basis each morning via ML. SHNS Coronavirus Tracker.

The coronavirus numbers: 10 new deaths, 8,427 total deaths, 165 new cases

MassLive has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Back to the future: Experts urge rollback to Phase 2 reopening amid rising virus cases

Alarmed at the recent rise in coronavirus cases in Massachusetts, some epidemiologists are urging the state to roll back its Phase 3 reopening guidelines to stricter Phase 2 rules – or risk another surge in cases just as schools plan to reopen next month. The Globe’s Dasai Moore and Kay Lazar and the Herald’s Alexi Cohan have more.

Will Gov. Charlie Baker take such drastic action? On WBZ’s Keller at Large over the weekend, State House News Service CEO Craig Sandler said he believes the Republican governor will probably impose some new restrictions. The question is: How many new restrictions?

Another teachers’ union calls for remote-first reopening

On another pandemic front, this follows a recent pronouncement by the Massachusetts Teachers Association. From the AP’s Mark Pratt at WBUR: “Another major teacher’s union in Massachusetts called Monday for remote-only lessons to continue for at least the first few weeks of the new school year because of the rising levels of COVID-19 transmission in the state. The American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts, the state’s second-largest teachers’ union, also raised concerns about delays in obtaining test results.”


Meanwhile, labor coalition launches ad blitz slamming higher-ed cuts

Speaking of teacher-union matters, SHNS’s Chris Lisinski reports that labor groups, led by the Massachusetts Teachers Association, are launching an ad blitz critical of higher-education budet cuts and universities’ putting “revenue above human life” during the pandemic.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Awkward timing: Weston says superintendent has coronavirus

Michael Wyner of the MetroWest Daily News reports that as the Weston school committee met to finalize its back-to-school options to submit to state officials, it also disclosed that Superintendent of Schools Midge Connolly has been diagnosed with coronavirus and is experiencing symptoms. 

MetroWest Daily News

Three nursing homes issued initial termination notices for poor pandemic performance

The BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett (pay wall) and the Globe’s Jeremy Fox report that the state has issued initial termination orders to three nursing homes in in Massachusetts, based on their failure to meet pandemic-era care standards and past poor performances.

The Lowell Sun and Worcester Telegram have reports on two of the three targeted nursing homes. Meanwhile, from the Berkshire Eagle: “State showed no Covid cases for Pittsfield nursing home; facility told families something else.”

And speaking of long-term care facilities, the Globe’s Joan Vennochi wonders when the moral finger will be pointed at Gov. Charlie Baker for his administration’s handling of the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home debacle.

State announces first human EEE case of the year

And speaking of dangerous viruses, Cody Shepard at Wicked Local reports on the first human to test positive for the Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus this year in Massachusetts, a Middleboro resident who state officials would only describe as someone between the ages of 11 and 20.

Wicked Local

Gaming out a contested vote-by-mail election: It isn’t pretty

Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. That seems to be the conclusion of experts who “gamed out” possible scenarios of a contested presidential election this year and … the Globe’s Jess Bidgood reports the results weren’t pretty. We’re talking possible Florida-hanging-chads controversies and protests on a mass national scale.

As we’ve said before, we favor expanded voting-by-mail, viewing it as a logical extension of absentee mail voting. However, as we’ve also noted, we can’t get out of our minds Barbara Tuchman’s classic “March of Folly,” in which she defines government folly as proceeding with a policy despite numerous, repeated and clear warnings of trouble ahead.

Boston Globe

No mail island: Martha’s Vineyard post office strains under high demand

Is this a glimpse of the future? Amid national concern about the weakening of the U.S. Postal Service, residents of Martha’s Vineyard say they are waiting weeks for packages to be delivered and spending hours standing in line to get questions answered. Post office workers cite the holiday-like workload the pandemic has created, Clare Lonergan and Shelby Regan at the Martha’s Vineyard Times report. 

Martha’s Vineyard Times

Court banishes ‘grandfathering’ legal term as racist

From Universal Hub: “In an otherwise routine ruling on a zoning dispute between two Gloucester neighbors over a proposed garage replacement, the Massachusetts Appeals Court announced today it will no longer use ‘grandfathering’ or ‘grandfathered’ in its decisions.” And the court explains the term’s racist history and why it’s now banished from its legal lexicon.

Universal Hub

Ex-Massport chief Buckingham looks back in order to look forward

Leigh Blander at the Marblehead Reporter talks with Virginia Buckingham, who was head of Massport on 9/11 and has lived with the infamous terrorist attacks launched from Logan Airport ever since. Buckingham recently released a new memoir, “On My Watch,” which chronicles “not only the events after 9/11 but her journey toward resilience.”

Marblehead Reporter

Markey apologies to parents of Easton man killed by police

We have a feeling this issue will come up during future U.S. Senate race encounters, perhaps as soon as tonight (see Happening Today section above). From the Globe’s Victoria McGrane: “Senator Edward J. Markey on Monday evening reached out to the parents of Danroy ‘DJ’ Henry, a young Black man from Easton killed by police 10 years ago, to apologize after Henry’s father contended that the Malden Democrat failed to help seek justice for their son.”

Boston Globe

After flag flap, Hingham police chief says time is right for retirement

He’s following the flag out of town. Hingham Police Chief Glenn Olsson has retired after 40 years with the department, Joe DiFazio at the Patriot Ledger reports, and his retirement comes after he had a role in forcing the town’s fire department to stop flying ‘thin blue line’ flags. He also extends a streak of local police chiefs bolting their jobs amid calls for police reforms.

Patriot Ledger

Qualified police immunity: It’s not exactly what you think

You may think you know what “qualified police immunity” is all about, as lawmakers debate police reforms on Beacon Hill. However, as Ally Jarmanning at WBUR shows, the contentious legal issue is more complicated than both critics and supporters may suppose. • 


Boston’s latest racial equity push has a familiar ring to it

It seems like deja vu all over again for Atyia Martin, who a few years ago helped draft racial-equity recommendations for the city of Boston, long before recent BLM protests, and now very similar ideas are resurfacing at City Hall. Will they meet the same languishing fate? Adam Reilly at WGBH has the details.


‘Floating restaurant’ idea grounded for now

The restaurant actually doesn’t float. It’s a platform hoisted in the air by a crane. Whatever, it’s not going to fly or float as proposed in Boston, not during a pandemic, as the BBJ’s Greg Ryan reports.

BBJ (pay wall)

Pro-choice PAC targets two Dem incumbents

SHNS’s Matt Murphy reports that NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts PAC has endorsed the rivals of state Sen. Walter Timilty of Milton and state Rep. John Rogers of Norfolk, citing the “two lawmakers’ history of voting against or skipping votes on key legislation to support family planning clinics and reproductive health.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Bulging pensions

The Herald runs its annual/semiannual/triannual review of state pensions – with the current review focusing on those six-figure pensions regularly doled out to UMass types, including a certain former UMass and Senate president whose bulging $272,000-a-year pension gets special attention, both in the headline (sort of) and in the lead graf (explicitly).

Boston Herald

So what is ‘environmental justice’? Developers may soon find out

Miriam Wasser at WBUR reports that advocates are celebrating the House’s passage of so-called “environmental justice” provisions within recently passed legislation – and how they hope the provisions will not only become law but also transform the review and approval process for major development projects in Massachusetts.


Freed from quarantine: Cannabis vapes may be sold after months under lockdown

State regulators are paving the way for millions of dollars worth of marijuana vaping products to be re-tested and possibly sold after they sat on the shelves under lockdown for months by a gubernatorial public-health order, Shira Schoenberg at CommonWealth Magazine reports.


Correction: It’s a three-month budget, not a three-year budget

It was one of those mistakes we recognized within seconds after hitting “send” for the newsletter yesterday: a mistake in one of our headlines. For the record, Gov. Baker intends to sign the three-month state budget recently approved by lawmakers, not a “three-year budget.” Our apologies.

Virtual Discussion – Office of the Future

Join the BBJ for a discussion on the future of office space in Boston.

Boston Business Journal

Learn the Lingo: Make your small business pop with the right audience.

Jeffrey Shaw, author of “LINGO,” joins our next webinar with host Ramon Ray to discuss a 5-step process to crafting brand messages that cut through the noise and create instant connections. See how speaking your customer’s language can help give your small business the edge.

Verizon Small Business Webinar Series

Education and the Economic Recovery

Please join the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education and the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership to hear from national experts about how the Massachusetts education system can provide high quality learning in this uncertain environment, rebound to address widening racial and socio-economic achievement gaps, and better prepare students for the future of work.

Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education

ROAR Web Series with Josefina Bonilla and Special Guest Wallace Johnson

Wallace Johnson, author of “20/20 DIVISION,” discusses Building Community


Beyond Recovering: Preparing your business for new directions and growth

It’s impossible to ignore the long-lasting effects Covid-19 will have on your business. Small- to mid-sized businesses are working twice as hard to adapt for the rest of 2020 and the unforeseeable future. But you don’t have to do it alone. Understanding the difference between temporary disruptions and fundamental changes is key to planning for what’s next.

Boston Business Journal

Maximizing your chamber membership

Whether you’re a new member, new employee of a member business/nonprofit, or a prospective member wanting to learn more about us, join this information session to get to know the Newton-Needham Regional Chamber. Learn what being a member entails and how the chamber can work for your employer and for you.

Newton-Needham Regional Chamber

Getting Back to Work: Keeping Your Staff and Customers Safe

Looking for guidance reopening your business? Join us for a program from experts at Newton-Wellesley Hospital designed to help small- and medium-sized businesses reopen their facilities in the safest way possible for employees and customers.

Newton-Needham Regional Chamber

Lawn vs. Leary: A conversation with the state rep candidates

Join us for a conversation with the two candidates competing for the Democratic nomination for the 10th Middlesex District House seat: incumbent Rep, John Lawn and challenger, Newton City Councilor Alison Leary.

Newton-Needham Regional Chamber

Is Retail Really Open for Business? What our Merchants are Telling us

Back in April, when the COVID shut down had just begun, we assembled a panel of local merchants and asked them to share their thoughts about survival and the future of retail. It’s been four months and we’ve decided to call back our panel to see how their businesses are holding up and to share current concerns and challenges.

Newton-Needham Regional Chamber

Virtual 2020 Corporate Citizenship Awards

Join the Boston Business Journal for our annual Corporate Citizenship Awards.

Boston Business Journal

Today’s Headlines


MFA lays off 57; other workers agree to take early retirement – Universal Hub

Somerville’s Slumbrew closes – Boston Globe


Kennedy visits Springside Park homeless – Berkshire Eagle

Cohasset graduation canceled after gathering with no social-distancing – Patriot Ledger

Gov. Charlie Baker announces ‘Stop the Spread’ testing expansion into Framingham – MassLive


D.A. Is Investigating Trump and His Company Over Fraud, Filing Suggests – New York Times

Census Bureau to halt counting operation a month earlier than expected – CNN

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