Happening Today

Public Health Council, rally for in-person learning, and more

Public Health Council meets remotely to hear updates from Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel and to possibly vote on a final emergency regulation on the use of face masks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, 9 a.m.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hosts a webinar to discuss the redeployment of fisheries observers and monitors in the Northeast, 2:30 p.m. 

— Advocates plan to hold a “Bring Kids Back MA” rally for in-person learning and call on Gov. Baker and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to issue a ‘transparent, metrics-based approach to guide’ the reopening of schools, in front of the State House, 3:30 p.m.

Boston City Council’s Committee on Education holds a virtual hearing on Boston Public Schools’ preparation and planning around COVID-19, 5 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, 8,529 total deaths, 296 new cases

MassLive has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

The VP sweepstakes: Warren loses again but could be winner in the end

As the Washington Post reports, Joe Biden yesterday chose U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris as his VP running mate, an “historic decision that elevates the first Black woman and first Asian American woman to run for vice president on a major-party ticket.”

But the historic decision also meant Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who unsuccessfully ran for the Dem presidential nomination, won’t be on the ticket. Still, WGBH’s Adam Reilly and the Globe’s Jess Bidgood report Warren will have plenty of political clout moving forward, in or out of a potential Biden cabinet. The Herald’s Howie Carr is shedding no tears for Warren. The Globe’s Adrian Walker and Michael Cohen, meanwhile, think Biden made a wise choice yesterday.

Washington Post

Kennedy and Markey: Spirited debate over small differences

With the U.S. Senate primary election only weeks away, Dem candidates Ed Markey and Joe Kennedy went at it last night during a televised WBZ-TV debate, covering issues ranging from racial and criminal justice (MassLive and the Herald) to negative ads and the Danroy Henry Sr. controversy (CommonWealth). Here’s the full WBZ video of the spirited showdown.

The Globe’s Victoria McGrane has a good description of the debate in general: “The relatively small-bore nature of the offensives didn’t prevent both candidates from delivering them with heat.”

OK, so who won? It seems both acquitted themselves somewhat well, with debate moderator Jon Keller saying both candidates were definitely swinging away, though neither landed a knockout blow. The Globe’s James Pindelll  is a tough grader, giving Kennedy a “B” and Markey a “B-“.

Citing community-by-community virus rates, Baker ‘can’t imagine’ why schools wouldn’t reopen

There are two ways to look at the state’s new community-by-community map of coronavirus-case rates in Massachusetts: 1.) There are 33 communities with high virus rates and in need of state help 2.) The vast majority of communities have low virus rates that, according to at least one person, justify in-person classes this fall. WBUR’s Angus Chen has the 33-communities angle, while NBC Boston’s Asher Klein has Gov. Charlie Baker’s “‘can’t imagine a reason not to go back” to school angle. 

The Boston Globe has more on the state’s new rate map.

Friendly fire: GOP’s Dooley slams ‘King Charles’ on extended restrictions

Republican state Rep. Shawn Dooley is making it clear he does not support Gov. Charlie Baker’s most recent coronavirus-related restrictions, slamming “King Charles” for attempting to restrict travel to and from Rhode Island and rolling back gathering sizes, Tom Reilly reports at the Sun-Chronicle. 

Dooley took aim at the governor in a 1,200 word piece posted on his Facebook page and at the New Boston Post. 

Sun Chronicle

As UMass cancels football season, youth sports teams find a way to skirt no-play rules

MassLive’s Matt Vautour reports that UMass has cancelled the university’s 2020 football season amid coronavirus concerns, a precautionary gridiron action that other major colleges are taking (WCVB), despite objections from the president of the United States of America (CBS Boston).

But organizers of “high risk” youth sports teams have found a way to get around the Bay State’s coronavirus restrictions: They’re simply moving games to other states, as the Globe’s Kay Lazar and Jenna Ciccotelli report. Think about it: These are adults ultimately running these teams and leagues. 

Trump: Bill Belichick would make a great military general

Speaking of sports and the president, we knew New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is a big WWII buff, but we never thought of him as the second coming of George Patton. The commander in chief of America’s armed forces obviously thinks otherwise. The Globe’s Katie McInerney has more on the military genius Donald Trump sees in Belichick.

BU’s trademarked battle cry: ‘F*ck It Won’t Cut It’

Boston University is standing firm in its determination to reopen its campus to students this fall, even filing to trademark a student-suggested slogan it plans to plaster around campus as part of an anti-COVID-19 campaign: “F*ck It Won’t Cut It.” The BBJ’s Hilary Burns and the Herald’s Rick Sobey have more on BU’s unusual student-health campaign.

Jumbo power: Tufts stands firm on reopening

It turns out the proud pachyderms at Tufts University also aren’t budging from their determination to reopen the school’s Medford/Somerville campus this fall, despite pressure from the mayors of the two cities to roll back the university’s plans, as MassLive’s Tanner Stening and the Globe’s Jeremy Fox report.

Meanwhile, Fisher College is proceeding with its own reopening plan, using the hotel-room-rental model that other colleges have adopted, as Universal Hub reports.

For Morse: You win some, you lose some

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, thrown on the congressional campaign defensive by allegations he engaged in “inappropriate behavior” with students while a college lecturer, got some good news yesterday when a progressive group (MassLive) and a nurses union (MassLive) reaffirmed their support for the embattled progressive trying to unseat U.S. Rep. Richard Neal.

Then again, also via MassLive: “New York congressional candidate Jamaal Bowman ‘pauses’ Alex Morse endorsement; Mount Holyoke College Democrats disinvite mayor from events.”

Cool million: Four in 10 Mass. voters plan to mail ballots

Town clerks better be ready. Forty percent of Massachusetts residents plan to vote by mail in the presidential election in November, Callum Borchers at WBUR reports, citing a new poll from MassInc. That means that local officials will be faced with the daunting task of counting as many as 1 million mailed ballots. Btw: The poll also found Joe Biden enjoying a 61 percent to 27 percent lead over President Trump in the Bay State. 


Baker on Trump’s alternative stimulus proposal: Thanks, but no thanks

SHNS’s Katie Lannan and CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl report that Gov. Charlie Baker isn’t a fan of President Trump’s alternative pandemic-relief proposal, effectively saying the plan would take away funds from current anti-COVID-19 efforts to pay for future COVID-19 stimulus efforts.

Speaking of the governor and money, Baker said yesterday he too is perplexed, and pleasantly perplexed, by July’s unexpected spike in state tax collections. But he warned the state still faces monumental financial problems. CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl has more.

Trump touts vaccine deal with Cambridge’s Moderna

From SHNS’s Michael Norton: “The federal government has reached an agreement with Cambridge-based Moderna to manufacture and deliver 100 million doses of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, President Donald Trump announced early Tuesday evening. ‘The federal government will own these vaccine doses,’ Trump said. ‘We’re buying them..’”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Progressive vs progressives: Rollins renews criticism of Mass. Bail Fund

It’s not over. Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins yesterday resumed her criticism of the Mass. Bail Fund for recently putting up the funds to get a convicted rapist released from jail –  a convicted rapist who allegedly proceeded to rape again once out of jail, report the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter and WBUR’s Liam Knox.

The interesting political angle(s): Some progressives are criticizing the progressive Rollins for criticizing the lefty Bail Fund, while other progressives are siding with the progressive Rollins for criticizing the lefty Bail Fund.

Racing the clock: Census counters descend on Brockton as response lags

U.S.Census officials say they are partnering with local community groups and hiring local counters to help count more Brockton residents as the city’s response rate lags well behind many neighboring communities, Ben Berke at the Enterprise reports.


Leadership in Trying Times with Josiane Martinez, CEO & Founder at Archipelago Strategies Group (ASG)

Join industry Leaders as we discuss innovation and leadership, definition of success and the emergence of new leadership styles in trying times.


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


When will a woman be president? We’ll ask the one who nearly was, another working to get more conservative women to run, and the experts and academics working to debunk the electability myth.

The 19th

On Race and Gender

Join us for a final day of programming to examine the intersection of race and gender in America and the role women must play in building a more equitable future.

The 19th

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

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.

Ed Markey for Senate

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.”

Boston Broadside

Jewish Voices, Jewish Values: Keeping the Faith in Our Democracy

In every generation there is a moment when we are called to fight against bigotry and anti-Semitism, to fight for democracy and our social justice values. This is our moment (and our movement). Support JALSA Impact — Engaging the MA Jewish Community in the fight to Hold the House, Flip the Senate and Win the White House!


Virtual 2020 Corporate Citizenship Awards

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

Boston Business Journal

Today’s Headlines


What will become of the beheaded Christopher Columbus statue in the North End? Boston Arts Commission embarks on study – MassLive

P&G puts more of Gillette’s Fort Point plan up for sale – Boston Globe


Worcester police chief backs body cameras – Telegram & Gazette

Easton entrepreneur opens chain of pro-Trump merchandise stores throughout New England – Brockton Enterprise

After it was postponed five times, Plymouth town meeting finally went virtual – Patriot Ledger


A new clash over mail-in voting: The cost of postage – New York Times

In picking Harris, Biden makes history and plays it safe – Washington Post

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