Happening Today

Senate campaign swings, and more

— U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy continues his ‘Jobs & Justice Tour,’ with stops in Lee, West Stockbridge, Pittsfield, West Springfield, Springfield and Worcester, starting a 9 a.m.

— U. S. Sen. Ed Markey continues his ‘Leads and Delivers Tour,’ with stops in Wellesley, Needham and Weston, 12:15 p.m.

Mosquito Control for the Twenty-First Century Task Force, created earlier this summer, is scheduled to hold its first meeting remotely to discuss legislation, appointments to the task force, and the status of the EEE in Massachusetts, 1 p.m.

Cannabis Control Commission will accept public comment on revised medical and adult-use regulations, as well as the potential elimination of colocated adult-use and medical-use regulations, until 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: 21 new deaths, 8,568 total deaths, 319 new cases

MassLive has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Fourth District race: It’s now Anyone but Auchincloss time

The Globe’s Matt Stout and CommonWealth magazine’s Michael Jonas report that Dave Cavell has suddenly withdrawn from the crowded Fourth Congressional primary race and thrown his support behind “similarly progressive” Jesse Mermell, in a move intended to block the less-than-progressive candidacy of Jake Auchincloss. Meanwhile, from SHNS’s Matt Murphy: “AG Healey Backs Mermell as Sept. 1 Primary Nears .”

Bottom line: It’s Anyone but Auchincloss time in the Fourth.

Markey ad turns JFK’s ‘Ask not’ phrase on its head

In a new spot produced with the Sunrise Movement, Ed Markey’s campaign has released a video turning JFK’s famous line “ask not what your country can do for you” into, yes, feel free to “ask what your country can do for you.” Besides reflecting a core progressive belief, it’s obviously a “with all due respect” dig at U.S. Senate rival Joseph Kennedy’s family lineage. Check out the spot on Twitter .

Twitter (Markey)

Meanwhile, Moulton challengers go on offensive in Sixth District debate

The Sixth Congressional District race is also heating up. From Christian Wade at the Eagle Tribune: “Two Democrats running to unseat incumbent U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton in the upcoming primary ripped into the two-term congressman over a range of issues during a livestreamed debate Thursday night.” yes, Moulton’s past coup attempt against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was among the issues raised.

Eagle Tribune

Mission Possible? Morse tries to turn controversy tables on Neal

This is somewhat surprising, considering the #MeToo times we live in: Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse is slowly turning, or trying to turn, attention about allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct against him towards his First Congressional District rival, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, as the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotterand CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg report. And Morse and his progressive allies are doing it partly by going after the controversy’s messenger, i.e. College Democrats, something that’s supposed to be a no-no in #MeToo dramas.

The Globe’s Laura Krantz has more on the eleventh-hour controversy that has thrown the Fist campaign into “chaos and finger-pointing over accusations of serious misconduct by Morse — followed by evidence that young supporters of Neal may have ginned up the controversy to take down their opponent.” Again, there’s that mention of the messenger. So is this a controversy over alleged serious misconduct, the motive of the messenger – or both?

Poll: Voters split on ranked-choice voting ballot question

We missed this story from the other day, via Simón Rios at WBUR: “Massachusetts voters are evenly split on a ballot question that would fundamentally change how they select candidates for state and federal office. A new WBUR poll conducted by the MassINC Polling Group, found that the voters surveyed were evenly split over the use of ranked-choice voting with 36 percent for and against.”


The ‘hybrid’ school reopening option: It may be popular, but it also could be dangerous

WBUR’s Kathleen McNerney reports that a new poll shows about half of likely voters support some sort of “hybrid learning” this fall, i.e. part remote learning, part in-person classes, an option many school districts have either already embraced or indicated they plan to embrace. But the Globe’s Hanna Krueger and Felicia Gansreport that some infectious disease experts say “hybrid” models could lead to a potential public health disaster, as kids shuttle back and forth between schools and homes, further spreading the coronavirus far and wide. Today is the deadline for school districts to submit their reopening plans for the fall.

At CommonWealth magazine, Mark L. Bail is criticizing the Baker administration’s leadership on the school reopening issue, saying it waited way too long to issue metrics-based guidelines.

Congressional delegation to Baker: Fork over the child-care data

From the Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert: “The 11-member Massachusetts congressional delegation wrote to Governor Charlie Baker on Thursday urging him to release data on cases of coronavirus at child-care centers after the Globe reported that the administration has been denying public record requests.” The data could be useful in figuring out how to reopen schools, the letter says.

Boston Globe

For your reading pleasure: New ‘guidance’ rules for youth sports and R.I. travel

We won’t even attempt to describe all the requirements, exceptions, nuances and risk tiers outlined in the Baker administration’s new guidance rules for summer youth sports in Massachusetts. So we’re dumping the responsibility on SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) to explain some of the guidelines for football, cheerleading, basketball, wrestling, tennis, golf etc. Or you can dive into the actual rules as written right here.

Meanwhile, the administration has also released new easier-to-understand guidance for those traveling to and from Rhode Island, including quarantine exemptions for activities like grocery shopping, visiting a doctor or attending to the needs of a family member, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall).

Is it ‘King Charles’ or ‘King Baker’? Either way, Dooley says enough with his pandemic tyranny

Speaking of pandemic rules, SHNS’s Sam Doran (pay wall) reports on state Rep. Shawn Dooley’s ongoing feud with fellow Republican Charlie Baker over the governor’s use of emergency powers to combat COVID-19 in Massachusetts. Dooley says his recent reference to Baker as “King Charles” was only tongue-in-cheek. But, wait, the Herald’s Erin Tiernan is using the nickname “King Baker” in a piece about Dooley. Two tongue-in-cheek nicknames?

Ground-zero of coronavirus rule violations: Allston-Brighton bars?

Forget overcrowding on Cape beaches, huge wedding events in Gardner and impromptu keg parties in Brockton. Allston-Brighton bars may have them beat in terms of “egregious” violations of coronavirus restrictions, as the Boston Licensing Board has apparently discovered. And most college students haven’t even returned yet for school. The Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter has more.

Boston Herald

How to solve the state’s budget crisis: Pass Accelerated Sales Tax Remittance

In an opinion piece at the Herald, Robert Cordy, the retired Supreme Judicial Court justice and a former deputy revenue commissioner, says one way to partly solve the state’s pandemic-era budget crisis is to upgrade the state’s antiquated tax-collection system and implement Gov. Charlie Baker’s Accelerated Sales Tax Remittance proposal.

Maine challenge to Mass. hydro-power project yanked from ballot

In normal times, this would be top news. But, as we’ve noted before, these are normal times. From CommonWealth magazine’s Bruce Mohl: “The Supreme Judicial Court of Maine on Thursday yanked a referendum question off the November ballot that could have derailed a Massachusetts proposal to import hydro-electricity from Quebec using a power line running from the Canadian border to Lewiston, Maine.” The court said the ballot question was an unconstitutional encroachment on executive-branch powers.


Retired chief SJC justice Roderick Ireland to review troubled Springfield Police Department

Springfield has hired retired Supreme Judicial Court justice Roderick Ireland to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the scandal-plagued Springfield Police Department, reports Stephanie Barry at MassLive.


SJC’s Lenk delays planned retirement until December

Speaking of the Supreme Judicial Court, SHNS’s Sam Doran reports that SJC Justice Barbara Lenk, in a surprise move, has decided not to retire this month and instead will step down Dec. 1, a day before she reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70. The move gives the Baker administration more time to review candidates to fill her seat on the high-court bench.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Healey’s office cracks down on real estate firms accused of rental discrimination

Score one for Suffolk University Housing Discrimination Testing Program’s investigation into housing discrimination against low-income renters. MassLive’s Douglas Hook reports that Attorney General Maura Healey’s office, following up on the probe, has reached a settlement with four real estate brokers accused of rental discrimination on the South Shore.

No dice: Gaming Commission keeps table games off limits at casinos

The Mass. Gaming Commission has rejected a request from the state’s casinos to allow the return of roulette, craps and poker, saying the risk from the coronavirus is still too high, Peter Goonan atf MassLive reports. 


Pressing the issue: ACLU sues for Boston police records

They’re tired of waiting. The ACLU of Massachusetts has sued the Boston Police Department in a bid to pry loose records it has sought about the department’s use of force and surveillance activities, the Associated Press reports via Boston.com. The organization says it has filed nine public records requests that have gone unanswered, some for as long as a year-and-a-half.


Sunday public affairs TV: James Pindell, Rachael Rollins and more

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 5, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Boston Globe political reporter James Pindell, who discusses the Kennedy/Markey debate and U.S. Senate race, the 4th Congressional District contest, and the controversy over school reopenings.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Jim Rooney, CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, discusses local business issues; John Fees, CEO of GradGuard, discusses his college tuition insurance companyl and Douglas Bankers of the BBJ reviews the top local business stories of the week.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins., who talks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu, followed by a roundtable political discussion with analysts Mary Anne Marsh and Virginia Buckingham.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s major topic: Education Matters, with Erica Kouka, at the Holmes Innovation School, and Beverly Timothy, at the William E. Russell School.  

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 Author Talk with E. Dolores Johnson

Virtual author talk with E. Dolores Johnson, author of Say I’m Dead: A Family Memoir of Race, Secrets, and Love

Boston Public Library and American Ancestors/NEHGS, together with the State Library of Massachusetts and the Museum of African American History

Creating Equity in Education in the Age of COVID: New Data on Early College

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on inequality in Massachusetts, particularly in educational opportunities and outcomes. Join us for a presentation of compelling new Early College outcomes data prepared for the Early College Joint Committee, and a discussion with state policymakers and program leaders about how Early College is driving greater equity in education.

Mass Business Alliance for Education & MassINC

Virtual 2020 Corporate Citizenship Awards

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

Boston Business Journal

Today’s Headlines


City councilor launches startup incubator in downtown Quincy – Patriot Ledger

Former Boston police union head arraigned on charges of indecent assault on child – Boston Herald


Cape and Islands bumped into ‘significant drought’ category – Cape Cod Times

Easthampton Mayor LaChapelle picked as Democratic elector in Electoral College – Daily Hampshire Gazette


The recession is over for the rich, but the working class is far from recovered – Washington Post

Susan Collins asks postmaster general to address delays of ‘critically needed mail’ – The Hill

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