Happening Today

Congressional debate, DNC kicks off, more

Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan will speak with Lowell-area teenagers about social justice and equity at a virtual meeting held in partnership with YWCA Lowell and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lowell, 10 a.m.

Both branches of the Massachusetts legislature meet in informal sessions starting at 11 a.m.

Fourth Congressional District candidate Ihssane Leckey will join with activist Rabbi Abby Stein and community organizer Shira Tiffany to hold a Zoom town hall on issues affecting Jewish Americans, 5 p.m. 

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U.S. Rep. Neal and Democratic primary challenger Holyoke Alex Morse face off in a debate broadcast on New England Public Media as the two compete in the First Congressional District. The debate, organized by The Springfield Republican and MassLive, New England Public Media, and The Berkshire Eagle, comes two weeks before the Sept. 1 primary. 7 p.m., Channel 57 and 88.5 FM. 

Globe political reporter James Pindell joins with pollsters for “Understanding Polling Numbers in 2020,” a panel discussion hosted by Laura Colarusso, digital managing editor of WGBH News, 7 p.m.

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. 

State House News Service

The coronavirus numbers: 11 new deaths, 8,607 total deaths, 303 new cases

MassLive has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Mail wars: Healey mulls suit and lawsuit lands in 4th as ballot requests pile up

The battle is being joined. Mass. Attorney General Maura Healey says she and a handful of her counterparts in other states may launch a legal challenge to operational changes at the U.S. Postal Service that officials say could slow ballots in the Bay State even as voters have already begun sending back their primary ballots. The Globe’s Matt Stout reports a lawsuit could come as soon as this week. 

Also heading to court: 4th Congressional District Democrat Becky Grossman, who says she will file a suit against the Commonwealth to get current rules loosened to allow ballots postmarked by the date of the Sept. 1 primary to be counted, even if they arrive at a local election office as many as 10 days later, Ted Nesi of WPRI-TV reports.  

Meanwhile, the head of the Mass. Postal Workers Union tells the Herald’s Rick Sobey that mail delivery is being “purposely delayed,” much to the frustration of rank-and-file carriers. 

Also: Christopher Gavin of Boston.com reports the postal service says a social media blowup over photos of mail drop boxes being removed from their location is a simple case of older boxes being spruced up or replaced. 

All this comes as local election officials say they’re being flooded with ballot applications and as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called lawmakers back to Washington to tackle the post office fiasco. 

Crunch time: Senate race gets nastier as debate, start of in-person voting loom

It’s getting personal. Stephanie Murray of Politico and Alex Rogers of CNN check in on the Bay State senate primary battle and find elbows getting sharper as the final scheduled debate looms this week and early in-person voting starts next Saturday. Joe Kennedy III is expected to respond today to recent attack ads from Sen. Ed Markey lobbed at the Kennedy clan writ large. 

Meanwhile, the candidates have been barnstorming the state and generating plenty of local coverage. Zane Razzaq of the MetroWest Daily News reports Markey’s message leans heavily on his Green New Deal leadership. Douglas Hook of MassLive reports Kennedy’s pitch to Western Mass. voters focuses on fostering emerging industries in the region. James Kukstis of the Patriot Ledger reports Markey used Marshfield Harbor as a backdrop for his climate message. And Judee Cosentino of the Sun Chronicle reports Kennedy plied the Attleboro area–part of the district he represents in Congress–for votes in a series of weekend stops. 

Christian Wade of the Salem News reports the two candidates are running about even in the campaign finance race–and, apparently, in the polls. 

Finally, Markey collected the endorsement of the Everett Leader Herald, with Publisher Joshua Resnek citing Markey’s working class roots and legislative track record while arguing “Joe Kennedy can wait until next time to do his thing.”

Digging in: UMass taps Tidwell to investigate Complaints Against Morse

She’s on a very tight deadline. UMass Amherst has asked former federal prosecutor Natashia Tidwell to investigate allegations of inappropriate conduct against Holyoke Mayor and congressional candidate Alex Morse, Jim Kinney of MassLive and John Hilliard of the Globe report. Seems highly unlikely Tidwell will be able to sort out the allegations and the ensuring counter-claims about how it was spread in time for voters to know what really happened–or didn’t–before Primary Day. 

Meanwhile, a trio of reporters for The Intercept reports lawyers for the state Democratic Party coached the students who launched the Morse allegations, news sure to fuel claims that Rep. Richard Neal’s campaign had a hand in the reports coming to light.

Elsewhere, Jack Lyons of the Berkshire Eagle reports Morse’s plan to unseat Neal–using his well-honed door-knocking skills–has been complicated but not abandoned in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Unconventional: Democrats wade into the unknown with virtual confab

Here we go. Democrats take the virtual plunge starting tonight with the first night of a national convention that will underscore just how disruptive the coronavirus pandemic has been to traditional politicking. Don Gonyea of WGBH traces the history of conventions and tries to look into the future. 

The Bay State will have to wait for its moments in the spotlight: Former Secretary of State John Kerry is slated to speak Tuesday and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is slotted to appear during prime time on Wednesday. 

WGBH

Party police: BC to hire Boston cops to help stamp out off-campus parties

Boston College says it will hire Boston Police Department details to patrol off-campus areas around campus to keep superspreader parties from happening, but city councilors say the fact that on-campus students will have more access to testing and quarantine options makes the return of students less safe, Adam Gaffin of Universal Hub reports. 

Deirdre Fernandes of the Globe, meanwhile, reports many universities are asking students to sign waivers or consent agreements before they return to their dorms and apartments, a move critics say is a thinly veiled effort to shift responsibility away from school leaders. 

All this as the first Boston University students quietly moved in over the weekend, Quincy Walters of WBUR reports

Universal Hub

Romney’s reviews: Senator slams Trump on Covid response, mail-in vote attack

Former Mass. governor and current Utah Sen. Mitt Romney took another pass at being a vocal inside-the-party critic of the president, slamming him for undermining faith in mail-in voting without cause and calling the administration’s coronavirus response “really, very, very disappointing,” Jason Laljee of USA Today reports. 

USA Today

Rats! Parents Hit With Neglect Complaints After Kids Skip Virtual School

Amid the stress of the pandemic, this has to be a working parent’s worst nightmare. Social workers from DCF have called dozens of families across Massachusetts to follow up on complaints of neglect filed by local school districts, reports Bianca Vaczquez Toness of the Globe. Complaints have been heavily concentrated in “in high-poverty, predominantly Black and Latino school districts in Worcester, Springfield, Haverhill, and Lynn” while officials in mostly white suburban communities say such complaints are rare.

Boston Globe

Our bad: Faulty tests landed SouthCoast on naughty list

Turns out the push back was warranted. The big uptick on coronavirus cases in Fall River and Taunton was the product of faulty test results, Bruce Mohl reports in CommonWealth Magazine. The Department of Public Health is blaming a surge of false positive results by a commercial lab or a three-day period for its decision to raise Fall River’s Covid-19 risk level to red while also boosting Taunton to yellow. State public health officials are now rechecking 700 tests. So far, the review of 460 of these tests has turned up 130 false positives. DPH has since lowered Fall River’s risk level to yellow, or moderate, while Taunton was bumped down to green. 

CommonWealth Magazine

Too dark? Mock Coffins draw blowback for teachers’ union

Many teachers and the unions that represent them have argued vociferously against a return to in-person instruction this fall as the coronavirus pandemic rages on. But the head of the teachers’ union in Haverhill is facing complaints from some parents and a school board member after a protest featuring faux coffins they say went too far, Allison Corneau of the Eagle-Tribune reports. 

Eagle-Tribune

Nursing Homes, Senior centers lose polling places amid Covid-19 concerns

More coronavirus impacts for the upcoming elections. Seniors in Massachusetts now face another obstacle to voting as Covid-19 prompts communities to shift polling places away from senior centers and nursing homes–for obvious reasons. The Herald’s Marie Szaniszlo reports Boston has made changes in 20 different precincts while Haverhill has moved polling places out of the community rooms in senior housing projects. 

Boston Herald

Long gone: State police lost thousands of emails related to Trooper overtime fraud case

Matt Rocheleau of the Globe reports the prosecution of a Massachusetts State Police lieutenant charged with overtime pay fraud may be on the ropes after the agency said it can’t find thousands of emails that may be relevant to the case. 

Boston Globe

Not too late: Activists press Healey for action on 2011 death of Eurie Stamps

Activists are now calling on Attorney General Maura Healey to review the circumstances that led to the death of Eurie Stamps in 2011 at the hands of a Framingham police officer as pressure to reopen the case has grown amid nationwide protests against police violence. Phillip Martin of WGBH reports the new demands were made during a rally Saturday that drew 200 people. 

Lauren Young of the MetroWest Daily News reports rally-goers also want the officer involved in the shooting to be fired. 

WGBH

Long memories: In 8th District, Lynch vote against Obamacare boomerangs

Never forget. Rachel M. Cohen of The Intercept reports that U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch’s bid for re-election in the state’s 8th Congressional District is facing a challenge from medical doctor Robbie Goldstein, who is trying to make Lynch’s 2010 vote against the Affordable Care Act a focus in the race. 

Danny McDonald of the Globe reports that Lynch, 65, and Goldstein, 36, offer a host of contrasts to voters, and notes that Lynch has been considered vulnerable in the past–only to see challengers fade when voters finally pulled the lever in the largely middle-of-the-road district. 

Outdated? Norton latest to consider ditching town meeting

A charter review committee is Norton is likely to recommend doing away with town meeting and moving to a town council form of government, Stephen Peterson of the Sun-Chronicle reports. Nearby North Attleboro took the same step recently. 

Sun-Chronicle

Bubble burst: Basketball Hall of Fame moves induction ceremony out of state

Add it to the pandemic’s tab. The coronavirus crisis has prompted the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to move its delayed 2020 induction ceremony to the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut, saying it can provide a bubble-like environment, MassLive’s Ron Chimelis reports. The move is obviously a blow to the Springfield economy, as are the layoffs and pay cuts the hall also announced. 

MassLive

Send ‘em home: Quincy asks Boston for Adams books as first step to presidential library

The city of Quincy is asking the Boston Public Library to return the book collection of John Adams to the City of Presidents, where Mayor Thomas Koch hopes the 3,000-volume trove will become the foundation of a presidential library. Mary Whitfil of the Patriot Ledger has the details. 

Patriot Ledger

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!

JALSA

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

Metro

Big voter numbers expected in Lynn – Lynn Item

‘It’s been uncontrollable’: Loud, late Brockton parties persist despite complaints, coronavirus – Brockton Enterprise

Massachusetts

Weymouth residents say billboard company hasn’t lived up to its promises – Patriot Ledger

Hampshire Regional superintendent resigns – Daily Hampshire Gazette

Outdoor shows frustrate Provincetown residents – Cape Cod Times

Nation

Pelosi calls for House to return this week over USPS crisis – The Hill

Harris jolts Biden campaign to life – Politico

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