Legislative testimony, behavioral health services
— Joint Labor and Workforce Development Committee accepts written testimony on four bills, two addressing COVID-19 worker protections and two calling for creation of a Massachusetts Works Progress Administration, 10 a.m.
— U.S. Rep. Richard Neal plans to announce a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to expand access to behavioral health services for families affected by opioids and other substance-use disorders, Holyoke Community College, 11:30 a.m.
— Officials at the Bedford VA Medical Center host a virtual town hall to update veterans on the center’s operational status and what they can expect when visiting to receive services, 2 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.
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: 32 new deaths, 8,470 total deaths, 162 new cases
MassLive has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.
UMass Amherst reverses reopening course, tells most students to stay home
They’re not retreating – just advancing in the opposite direction. From Greg Saulmon at MassLive: “Citing ‘worsening conditions of the COVID-pandemic nationally,’ the University of Massachusetts on Thursday reversed course on a plan to allow students to live on campus this fall while taking courses remotely.” Bottom line: Most students have been told to stay home, unless they absolutely need in-person classes.
Who’s next to reverse course? BU, Northeastern, Tufts, Emerson?
Btw, from the Globe’s Laura Krantz and Deirdre Fernandes: “At Harvard, other elite colleges, more students deferring their first year.”
Meanwhile, it’s full-remote ahead for increasing number of school districts
WCVB reports that Lynn and Revere, two cities hit hard by the coronavirus, have announced plans to keep schools remote in the fall, citing an uptick in COVID-19 test rates. And they’re not alone. The Globe’s Felcia Gans reports other school districts – including Swampscott, Gov. Charlie Baker’s home town — are opting for full-remote (or near full-remote) amid concerns about the coronavirus.
The go-remote pressure is definitely building. From Tori Bedford at WGBH: “’Is The District Ready To Have Blood On Their Hands?’ Educators Denounce Boston Public Schools’ Hybrid Reopening Plan.” From SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall): “New Bedford Mayor: Full School Reopening Poses ‘Unacceptable Risk.’” And, finally, also from SHNS’s Chris Lisinski: “Road to School Reopenings Filled With Anxiety, Concerns.”
Birx: Boston needs to ‘get on top’ of uptick in coronavirus cases
From the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky: “Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, has called out Boston as one of a handful of cities nationwide that need to “get on top of” concerning upticks in coronavirus cases.” CBS Boston has more on Birx’s warnings to Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Washington D.C. and other metro areas.
State’s July tax haul: It’s bad, but not worst-case bad
It looks like the state will end last fiscal year with a shortfall somewhere around $700 million. That’s bad. But it’s not as bad as feared, thanks to stronger than expected tax collections in July. SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) and CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl have the revenue details.
Gardner hotel fined after hosting 300-person wedding event
The Telegram’s George Barnes reports that the Gardner Board of Health has slapped the town’s Colonial Hotel with $600 in fines for violating COVID-19 regulations by holding a wedding with more than 300 people on Saturday and an event with 190 guests on Sunday.
So the Wedding Bridge Industrial Complex isn’t omnipotent after all.
Convicted rapist set free by anti-bail group charged with kidnapping and raping woman
The nonprofit Massachusetts Bail Fund has some explaining to do, except it’s not responding to requests for comment. From the Globe’s Andrea Estes: “Three weeks after being freed from the jail where he was being held on rape charges, Level 3 sex offender Shawn McClinton faced new allegations Thursday that he kidnapped, beat, and raped a woman he met walking along a Quincy street. The new charges against McClinton, 39, sparked immediate criticism of the Massachusetts Bail Fund, the group that posted the $15,000 bail to set him free.”
The Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter reports that both Suffolk County DA Rachael Rollins and Police Commissioner William Gross are criticizing McClinton’s bail release.
And then there were five …
SHNS’s Michael Norton reports that the House and Senate have established a fifth major conference committee during the extended legislative session, the latest one tasked with reaching a compromise on climate-change issues. The other conference committees are tackling legislation related to police reform, health care, transportation bonds and economic development.
Re police reforms, the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter reports that Massachusetts police chiefs are backing a reform package on Beacon Hill, but there’s a caveat that starts with the letter “q”.
With all due respect to her Globe bosses, columnist prefers someone else in the 4th congressional race
Globe columnist Shirley Leung wonders how it’s possible that Jake Auchincloss, a white guy and recovering Republican, is the perceived frontrunner in the Dem 4th Congressional District primary in this MeToo/BLM age – and a white guy and recovering Republican endorsed by her own newspaper. Leung prefers Jesse Mermen.
Fyi: The Globe is definitely feeling the heat elsewhere for its Auchincloss endorsement, with plans to appease the anyone-but-Auchincloss masses with a virtual re-interrogation of the candidate, though an endorsement retraction is not in the offing.
Fyi, II: Doesn’t Auchincloss remind you of someone, in both substance and style? Maybe it’s just us.
Susan Collins watch: Can New England’s last GOP congressional member survive?
The Globe’s Christina Prignanoreports that a new poll shows Maine U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, New England’s last remaining GOP congressional member, narrowly trailing Democratic rival Sara Gideon. WGBH’s David Bernstein writes that Collins, under attack from both the left and right, may well be headed for defeat this November.
More than 12,000 still without power, thanks to Tropical Storm Isaias
They were hoping to restore power to everyone by yesterday, but, as of early this morning, there were still more than 12,000 customers without electricity in western and central Massachusetts, according to MEMA. MassLive’s Jeanette DeForge has more on the post-Isaias power-restoration and clean-up efforts.
The final insult: Mayflower II skips Rhode Island
They couldn’t have just waved from the decks? Apparently not. CBS reports that the refurbished Mayflower II skipped a planned visit to Newport, R.I. yesterday after Massachusetts yanked Little Rhody from its quarantine-exemption list. Tropical Storm Isaias may also have played a role in the snub.
Connecting the speculative dots: Walsh campaign appointment, Walsh headed to D.C.
It doesn’t take much to get the political-speculation wheels spinning these days. The latest example: Joe Biden’s appointment of Mayor Marty Walsh to head an obscure campaign economic roundtable is sparking more speculation that Walsh is cabinet-bound if Biden wins in November. The Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky has more.
On the cusp of citizenship, they may not get to vote this fall
They played by the immigration rules, sought citizenship, and now … they may not get to vote this fall due to a pandemic-caused backlog in naturalization proceedings. WBUR’s Shannon Dooling has more on the 10,000 would-be voters in Massachusetts caught in bureaucratic limbo.
Dershowitz: Media is withholding exonerating information on his ties with Jeffrey Epstein
From Emily Rooney at WGBH: “In a passionate interview with Beat the Press, Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz claimed certain journalists are intentionally withholding documents, interviews and tape-recorded phone calls that would corroborate his denials of sexual misconduct against Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers.”
Marijuana home delivery: Is the state’s model workable?
CommonWealth magazine’s Shira Schoenberg reports that some critics are questioning whether current regulations governing home deliveries of marijuana are realistic and beneficial to minorities who hope to get a piece of the new pot-industry pie in Massachusetts.
We agree with the goal of boosting minority pot businesses, but what some are pushing for – deliveries direct from pot wholesalers – looks an awful lot like creating a new class of pot retailers, not pot delivery firms. We could be wrong.
Speaking of pot regulations, from the Telegram’s Cyrus Moulton: “Fitchburg company Revolutionary Clinics slapped with fine, probation.”
Qualified praise: Moulton credits Baker on pandemic, with some caveats
Amid an election season in which two Democratic U.S. Senate candidates declined to say they’d vote against Republican Gov. Charlie Baker if he sought a third term, U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton tells the North of Boston Media Group’s editorial board that Baker “did everything right this spring, just about two weeks too late” in response to the pandemic. He also questioned whether the Bay State moved into Phase 3 of reopening too soon, John Castelluccio at the Salem News reports.
Did he mean it? Kennedy’s visit with homeless debated in Pittsfield
At least one of the homeless people living in Pittsfield’s Springside Park believes U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy’s surprise visit to the makeshift encampment was little more than a publicity stunt, while others say the hour-long visit yielded real benefits. Danny Jin of the Berkshire Eagle has the details.
Use your imagination: Sudbury cops say political sign for unnamed candidate prompted vandalism
One guess. Sudbury police say someone vandalized the car of a 90-year-old man because of a presidential campaign sign in his front yard — but police aren’t saying who the victim was supporting, Norman Miller at the MetroWest Daily News reports.
Sunday public affairs TV: Steve Tolman, Deval Patrick and more
Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: AFL-CIO President Steve Tolman, who talks with host Jon Keller about school reopening policies, workplace safety, and the US Senate primary.
This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Jon Hurst, president for the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, discusses the impact of COVID-19 on small businesses; ISLIDE CEO Justin Kittredge on company growth despite the pandemic; and Shirley Leung of the Globe on the top local business stories of the week.
On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Former Gov. Deval Patrick, who talks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu, followed by a roundtable political discussion with analysts Mary Anne Marsh and Rob Gray.
CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s main topic: Arts and Social Justice, with six-time Grammy winner Bebe Winans and Kai Grant, founder of Black-Market Nubian, which organized the Black Lives Matter street mural in Roxbury.
Getting to the Point with Larry Tye
New York Times bestselling author Larry Tye will join Lisa Mullins, host of WBUR’s All Things Considered, and the Kennedy Institute for a discussion on his new book, “Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator McCarthy”, and the parallels to today’s political leadership.
Radical new ideas, for the new normal.
Peter Shankman, best-selling author and entrepreneur, joins us to share exciting new ways to approach customer service and answer your questions in an interactive Q&A. Learn how your small business can create a customer experience that surprises, delights and rises to the challenges of today.
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.
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.
COVID Impact on the Massachusetts Latino Community: Developing a Path For Recovery
MassINC and the MassINC Polling Group will present the results of a survey of public opinion among Latino residents of Massachusetts. The survey covered a range of policies questions, including voting, the Census, impacts of COVID-19, remote learning experiences, and the pandemic’s impact on family financial security.
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.
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.
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.
Join Senator Ed Markey for a Virtual Event with Ken Burns
Filmmaker Ken Burns and Senator Markey will be discussing some of the lessons learned from our country’s stories explored in Ken’s documentaries and how they inform our response to today’s challenges including addressing civil rights, achieving racial equality, fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, and combating the climate crisis with the Green New Deal.
Rally: Black Ribbon Day – Rejection of Extremism, Intolerance, and Oppression
Black Ribbon Day is an international day of remembrance for victims of totalitarian regimes, specifically Stalinism, communism, Nazism and fascism. It is observed on August 23rd and symbolizes the rejection of “extremism, intolerance and oppression.”
Virtual 2020 Corporate Citizenship Awards
Join the Boston Business Journal for our annual Corporate Citizenship Awards.
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