Happening Today

Harvard virtually hosts Fauci, Tufts reopening plan, 6th District debate

Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health will host an online conversation with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 1 p.m.

Somerville City Council holds a virtual public hearing to discuss Tufts University’s reopening plan, 7 p.m.

— U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton and his two Democratic challengers, Topsfield residents Jamie Belsito and Angus McQuilken, are scheduled to meet in a debate sponsored by a coalition of 12 Democratic committees, with the debated streamed on community cable channels and on social media, 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: 9 new deaths, 8,436 total deaths, 438 new cases

CBS Boston has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Isaias wallops western Mass., thousands without power

According to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, more than 130,000 customers were still without power earlier this morning as a result of Tropical Storm Isaias, which tore through the state last evening, knocking down trees and power lines. 

MassLive and the Berkshire Eagle have more on the powerful storm, which hit Hampden, Berkshire and Worcester counties particularly hard.

Going full progressive: Markey and Kennedy embrace letting prisoners vote, decriminalizing sex work and ending life without parole

WGBH’s Tori Bedford and the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky report that U.S. Senate candidates Ed Markey and Joe Kennedy – as well as activists – went at it during an online forum last night that focused on criminal justice. The Globe’s Victoria McGrane reports the two clearly “staked out progressive ground” last night,  throwing their support behind “ending prison sentences of life without parole, decriminalizing sex work, and giving incarcerated felons the right to vote.”

Meanwhile, at the Atlantic, Russell Berman asks a now familiar question about the Senate race in general: “Why is Joe Kennedy doing this?”

The Justice Democrats: They really want Neal gone

In other election news, Matt Szafranski at Western Massachusetts Politics & Insight reports that the Justice Democrats PAC, the same progressive folks who helped Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez win her primary in 2018, has purchased at least $30,000 in air time in its quest to unseat U.S. Rep. Richard Neal in the First Congressional District.

The betting money is still on Neal fending off challenger Alex Morse. But then you read this, via the NYTon yesterday’s election results in Missouri: “Cori Bush Defeats William Lacy Clay in a Show of Progressive Might.”


R.I. gets the boot from state’s quarantine-exemption list

We’re expecting full retaliatory action from Rhode Island any time now, considering our own rising case numbers. From WCVB: “Rhode Island was removed Tuesday from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s list of states at ‘lower risk’ for COVID-19 transmission, making it the only neighboring state subject to Gov. Charlie Baker’s new travel order.”

Not that Rhode Islanders should be overly concerned about the sanction, considering Massachusetts isn’t really enforcing its new out-of-stater quarantine and testing rules, as MassLive’s Tanner Stening reports.


Faster, please: State joins coalition seeking expansion of rapid-testing for virus

Another example of states filling a federal-government void. From SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall): “Massachusetts is among seven states that are entering formal talks with manufacturers with the goal of facilitating rapid point-of-care antigen tests that could more quickly detect COVID-19 outbreaks in workplaces, schools and congregate care settings.” The Washington Post has more on the first-of-its-kind purchasing compact.

Phase 3 rollback: The many unknowns

Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday said the state is indeed looking at possibly new business and large-gathering restrictions amid the latest signs that coronavirus cases are on the rise again in Massachusetts. MassLive’s Tanner Stening has more on Baker’s non-specific comments, while CommonWealth magazine’s Bruce Mohl digs into yesterday’s data showing the highest one-day increase in new coronavirus cases since early June.

The Globe’s Dasia Moore looks at exactly what may trigger a full or partial rollback of current Phase 3 reopening rules – and finds there is no set trigger for a rollback. It’s entirely up to the governor what happens next – and he’s not saying much. 

Not playing: Arcades push back on Phase 4 designation

As medical experts encourage Gov. Charlie Baker to revert back to Phase 2 reopening rules, lawmakers representing Salisbury Beach are among those pushing the governor to reconsider his decision to place arcades in the post-vaccine Phase 4 reopening category, Jim Sullivan at the Newburyport Daily News reports.

At the Cape Cod Times, Christine Legere  reports Ryan Family Amusements has joined with other arcade owners to lobby for an earlier restart. 

Indirect enforcement? Plymouth mulls fining businesses if customers eschew masks

They definitely have an enforcement plan in Plymouth, where the board of health has advanced a proposal to issue $100 fines to business owners if customers don’t wear face coverings, David Kindy reports at the Enterprise. The town’s select board still must approve the plan, which the police chief says raises its own enforcement issues. 


Is the MTA nudging local teachers to go on strike this fall?

As Somerville officials announced yesterday that their schools will initially go all-remote this fall (Universal Hub), the Globe’s James Vaznis reports teacher union leaders in Quincy are refusing to endorse a resolution by the Massachusetts Teachers Association calling on local affiliates to refuse to enter school buildings this fall unless adequate safety measures are in place.

Locals believe the resolution is about as close as you can get to calling for a strike without explicitly calling for a strike – and in a state in which teacher strikes are illegal.

Boston Globe

City councilor to BU and Northeastern: Keep the students at home

Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin reports that Boston City Councilor Kenzie Bok is urging the city’s two largest universities, BU and Northeastern, to reverse course and not let any students return to campuses this fall. We have a hunch Tufts University may get a similar message today in Somerville (see our Happening Today section above). 

Universal Hub

Baker signs interim budget, but rejects some spending requirements

As he said he would, Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday signed an interim $16.5 billion budget that will keep state government running through October. But what the governor didn’t’ previously say is that he objects to some spending deadlines and requirements in the three-month budget. SHNS’s Matt Murphy has more.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

The horror: Salem cancels many Halloween events

They’re already thinking about Halloween in Salem – and how it won’t be the same this year, thanks to the pandemic and new city edicts. WCVB has the scary canceled details.


Courts weigh how – and when – to resume jury trials

From Universal Hub: “A committee of Massachusetts judges has published a series of recommendations for how to re-start jury trials in Massachusetts that would balance the right to public trials with the need to reduce the risk of jurors, defendants, lawyers, court officers and judges not to contract a potentially fatal virus.”

SHNS’s Chris Lisinski(pay wall) reports one of the restart ideas includes using smaller juries in civil cases.

Hospital chief’s $8.5M stock haul isn’t sitting well with Brigham employees

Brigham and Women’s Hospital chief Elizabeth Nabel’s stock haul from Cambridge-based Moderna was considerably bigger than originally estimated — $2 million bigger – and a number of Brigham employees are angry that her total $8.5 million stock bonanza as a company director came as administrators imposed budget cuts at the hospital. The Globe’s Jonathan Saltzman has more.

Boston Globe

Not on tap: Craft-beer distribution deal stalls in House

Did it merely get lost in the hectic legislative shuffle last week? Or are there mysterious Machiavellian forces on Beacon Hill out to thwart a legislative deal ending a longstanding feud between craft brewers and wholesale distributors? It’s probably the former, but you never know. SHNS’s Matt Murphy has more on the stalled passage of the craft-beer deal.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Galvin: Boston needs to pick up its census-count game

The clock is ticking and someone is getting nervous. From Jenifer McKim at WGBH: “Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth Bill Galvin on Tuesday said he is ‘disappointed’ by Boston city efforts to count residents for the United States census. While the state has counted about 65 percent of households, Boston’s response rate is just over 53 percent, according to data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.”


Mayflower II detours to New Bedford to ride out Tropical Storm Isaias

The original Mayflower was detoured. Why not Mayflower II? The recently restored replica of the famous ship, which is slowly making its way home to Plymouth from Connecticut, made an unexpected stop yesterday in New Bedford in order to ride out Tropical Storm Isaias, reports Linda Roy at SouthCoast Today.

SouthCoast Today

‘Breakfast after the Bell’ and MLK memorial signed into law

CommonWealth magazine’s Shira Schoenberg reports that Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday signed the “Breakfast After the Bell” legislation that would require high poverty schools to offer breakfast after the start of the school day. Meanwhile, SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) reports that Baker has also signed a measure to “erect a memorial in the House chamber containing the text of the speech Martin Luther King Jr. delivered on April 22, 1965 to a joint assembly of the House and Senate.”

Thrice as nice: Fall River voters embracing mail-in voting by hundreds

They really like it. Election officials in Fall River say they’ve received more than 7,000 requests for mail-in ballots for the state primary on Sept. 1–more than triple the number of votes actually cast in the same election two years ago. Jo C. Goode at the Herald News has the details. 

Herald News

Fast action: ‘Thin blue line’ flags quietly removed from Somerville fire trucks

WHDH-TV reports ‘thin blue line’ flags meant to commemorate fallen police officers have been removed from city fire trucks at the order of Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone after a weekend complaint that came in via Twitter. The move comes after a similar move sparked controversy and dueling rallies in Hingham last week. 


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


Lynn, Revere see double-digit surge in virus cases – Lynn Item

NBC Sports Boston hit by massive layoffs at parent company – Boston Globe


WPI donor’s ex-wife can pursue funds given to university – Telegram & Gazette

2 more laid off Methuen officers brought back – Eagle-Tribune

Tent facility set up for potential surge in COVID-19 cases among homeless population taken down; Springfield officials thankful it stood ready – MassLive


Trump’s campaign knocks on a million doors a week. Biden’s knocks on 0. – Politico

Lawmakers aim for Covid-19 relief deal this week – The Hill

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