Happening Today

Unemployment data, Mayor Walsh on radio, more

MBTA staff host a virtual meeting to review the Overall Triennial Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program Rationale and Methodology that will govern federal fiscal years 2021 through 2023, 10 a.m.

Federal labor officials publish state-level data on total employment changes and the unemployment rate for July, 10 a.m.

Middlesex DA Ryan offers closing remarks to summer interns in her office as the program ends for the year, 11 a.m. 

Boston Mayor Walsh participates in an “Ask the Mayor” segment on “Boston Public Radio” on WGBH, 12 p.m.

On Saturday, the 7-day early voting period ahead of the Sept. 1 primary begins. It is the first time Bay State voters could cast votes early in a primary election. Polling locations and other information can be found on a Website set up by Secretary of State William Galvin’s office

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: 12 new deaths, 8,657 total deaths, 262 new cases

The Globe has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Nancy’s Nod: Pelosi endorsement of JKIII reverberates among Democrats

It’s the endorsement heard around the party. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threw her support behind Congressman Joe Kennedy III in his primary bid to unseat Sen. Edward Markey, a move that may say as much about the state of the Democratic party as it does about the local race, Victoria McGrane of the Globe and Clare Foran of CNN report. Progressives, including U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, were enraged, calling Pelosi a hypocrite for squashing primary challenges against House Democrats. 

So why did she do it? Paul Kane of the Washington Post reports Pelosi decided to jump into the fray after Markey began attacking the Kennedy clan as a whole. The speaker noted her personal connections to the family, which date all the way to back to 1960 when her father helped get JFK elected president.  

WGBH’s Peter Kadzis speculates that Pelosi’s endorsement may be a helping hand for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden because it will make it less likely he’ll have to deal with Markey pressing ahead with the Green New Deal. 

Markey, for his part, collected endorsements from the editorial boards of the Dorchester Reporter and the Greenfield Recorder on a day that featured both candidates criss-crossing the state in last-minute campaign blitzes. 

Opposing view: Protest planned over flu vaccine mandate

Here comes the push back. Brynne Connolly of WHDH-TV and Melissa Hanson of MassLive report organizers have already scheduled a protest at the State House to oppose the flu vaccination mandate ordered by Gov. Charlie Baker this week. Organizers of the protest say they don’t see the connection between the flu and the coronavirus pandemic and want the decision on whether to vaccinate to be left to parents.  

Gov. Baker addressed the new mandate at his coronavirus briefing on Thursday, saying mandating flu shots will help prevent a surge of cases that could overwhelm hospitals, especially if combined with another spike in Covid cases, Kay Lazar and Felice Freyer of the Globe report. Baker’s administration also said the vaccination requirement would likely be made permanent going forward. 

Meanwhile, the state’s medical community has begun to mobilize in response to the new mandate, with Nantucket Hospital saying it would expand its annual flu clinic to make it easier for parents to comply, the Inquirer & Mirror reports. 

Barr says feds will not drop death penalty pursuit in marathon bombing case

U.S. Attorney General William Barr made it clear Thursday that the Justice Department has no intention of dropping its pursuit over the death penalty for convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Herald’s Sean Phillip Cotter and the Globe’s David Abel and Jeremy Fox of the Herald report. Barr said the recent decision to toss out the death penalty ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court and if necessary will pursue a new penalty phase of the trial, a decision likely to divide victims and observers alike. 

Rapid response: Baker unveils Covid-19 testing blitz plan for school outbreaks

Is this meant to be comforting to parents? Gov. Baker on Thursday unveiled a rapid-response mobile Covid testing plan that will send crews into schools where coronavirus cases pop up, Sarah Bettencourt of CommonWealth and Colin Young of State House News Service report. Baker, of course, has been a strong proponent of getting kids back in schools as soon as possible. 

Waiting game: Cambridge public schools will stay remote until October

They’re not ready to go back. Cambridge Public Schools will remain fully remote at least until the start of October because safety practices agreed upon with the local teachers’ union can’t be put in place in time, Alex Bowers and Marc Levy of Cambridge Day report. It’s a big, if temporary win, for teachers associations pushing for more remote learning to start the school year.

Cambridge Day

It’s official: Biden accepts Democratic nomination as virtual convention wraps

Not a single gaffe. Former Vice President Joe Biden accepted the Democratic party’s nomination for president Thursday night in a speech that got high marks both locally and nationally. 

James Pindell of the Globe says Biden offered voters reasons to support him beyond their opposition to President Trump, while Natasha Korecki and Christopher Cadelago of Politico report the flawless delivery of the speech undercuts Republican efforts to portray Biden as “sleepy” or “slow.” 

Not so much the Herald’s Howie Carr, who says he did his part by not watching. 

Once more, with feeling: Neal, Morse mix it up one last time

In their last debate before the Sept. 1 primary, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal and challenger Alex Morse blasted one another on their records and the tone of the campaign, and once again touched only briefly on the controversy that is defining the race, Ray Kelly of MassLive and Dusty Christensen of the Daily Hampshire Gazette report. 

Meanwhile, Eoin Higgins, Daniel Boguslaw, Ryan Grim of The Intercept report there is evidence Democratic operatives were working to bring allegations that Morse behaved inappropriately with UMass students to light as far back as April. 

Advocates: Out-of-staters making Cape Cod even less affordable amid pandemic

Yes, it could get worse. Officials on Cape Cod are increasingly concerned the summer destination is about to become even less affordable and more unequal as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Doug Fraser of the Cape Cod Times reports. Officials at a virtual summit said home prices have spiked this summer, thanks in large part to out-of-state buyers scooping up high-end home–even as the Cape’s unemployment rate spiked and affordable housing for seasonal workers became even more scarce.  

Cape Cod Times

Hammer falling? Fall River establishments face licensing penalties over Covid violations

Some potentially serious enforcement of coronavirus restrictions on restaurants and bars in Fall River: Jo C. Goode of the Herald News reports the city’s licensing commission will hear cases against three liquor-license holders for alleged violations of various coronavirus restrictions. 

Herald News

Will the state’s true cannabis capital please stand up?

Move over Worcester. You have competition as the potential pot capital of Massachusetts. Worcester had been in the lead, and is now home to 28 recreational marijuana licenses, reports the Boston Business Journal’s Jessica Bartlett. But now Holyoke has emerged as the new hotspot for the cannabis industry. The Western Massachusetts city now has 40 completed recreational marijuana licenses, or 5 percent of the total to date in the state. File under: high hopes. 

Boston Business Journal

In Mass, Trump’s blessing is a curse when it comes to school reopening

Ok, it’s not exactly a shocker. A large chunk of voters in Massachusetts–45 percent –say President Trump’s push to reopen schools has made less likely to support having students return to their actual, as opposed to virtual, classrooms this fall, Katie Lannan of State House News Service reports. Just 13 percent in Education Reform Advocacy Now’s poll were more likely to support in-person instruction due to the president’s outspoken stand on the issue, while 32 percent said the president’s views didn’t really sway them one way or another.

State House News Service

Turning the tables: Moulton in new territory as incumbent candidate

He’s on the other side of the debate now. The Globe’s Matt Stout checks in on the re-election campaign of U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton and finds the congressman, who burst onto the political scene by unseating a nine-term incumbent, is now the one answering questions about his record–and his brief, ill-fated run for the presidency. 

Boston Globe

Brockton joins effort to provide lawyers for at-risk renters

With what some fear will be a looming eviction crisis, Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan is teaming up with a group of other local municipal leaders on a pilot program to provide lawyers for those facing homelessness, Bern Berke of the Enterprise reports. Sullivan is one of 22 mayors and city and town managers who signed onto a letter calling for a pilot program to provide free attorneys for tenants facing eviction in communities that have been the hardest hit by Covid-19. The proposal would be paid for using $6 million in federal funds provided for coronavirus relief. 

Brockton Enterprise

Crime cluster: Cases continue against three Tewksbury officials

Just a coincidence. Stefan Geller and Emma Murphy of the Lowell Sun update the unrelated criminal cases involving the chair of the school board, a select board member and the director of the senior center. 

Lowell Sun

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!


Women Leading the Way on Democracy Reform

Please join us on Wednesday, August 25th from 6pm to 7pm for a virtual fundraiser hosted by Leadership Now CEO Daniella Ballou-Aares, who will lead a conversation between business leader and author Katherine M. Gehl and Harvard University Professor and YES ON 2 campaign co-chair Danielle Allen.

The YES on 2 Campaign for Ranked Choice Voting

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 Grassroots Voter Education Launch

Join the YES on Question 2 campaign to learn more about our voter education strategy and how you can help win Ranked Choice Voting for Massachusetts this November.

The YES on 2 Campaign for Ranked Choice Voting

Virtual 2020 Corporate Citizenship Awards

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

Boston Business Journal

Today’s Headlines


Quincy’s new superintendent vows to diversify staff, involve parents – Patriot Ledger

Curtatone: A color-coded map is not a plan – CommonWealth Magazine


Framingham school board disappointed equity audit did not include more comments from students – MetroWest Daily News

Easthampton issues downtown mask order – Daily Hampshire Gazette

New Bedford terminal wins staging contact with wind-turbine companies – Standard-Times


‘When you’re late, you’re late’: Kayne West fails to get on ballot in Wisconsin – Politico

Judge rejects Trump’s latest bid to shield his tax returns from investigators – Washington Post

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