Keller at Large
Will trolling the Kennedy legacy work for Ed Markey?
In his latest Keller at Large on MassterList, Jon Keller wonders, among other things, what will resonate with voters in the U.S. Senate race: Joseph Kennedy’s hauling out the famous family name in ads or Ed Markey’s attacks on Kennedy’s famous family name? Questions, questions.
Markey-Kennedy forum, and more
— Mass. Lottery Commission meets to receive an update on Lottery sales and to vote on a handful of five-year contracts, with Treasurer Deborah Goldberg chairing, 10:30 a.m.
— MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak is on ‘Radio Boston,’ WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m.
— Randolph Education Association holds rally as they push for the school district to rehire educators and counselors who were let go earlier this summer, 4 p.m.
— U.S. Senate Democratic primary candidates Ed Markey and Joe Kennedy III participate in a forum hosted by the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, moderated by Crystal Haynes of Boston 25 News, 6 p.m.
— Fourth Congressional District candidates Chris Zannetos and Jesse Mermell sit for one-on-one interviews with WGBH’s Adam Reilly on ‘Greater Boston,’ WGBH-TV Ch. 2, 7 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.
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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: 27 new deaths, 8,717 total deaths, 571 cases
MassLive has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts. Note: The state didn’t release coronavirus data over the weekend as the Department of Public Health updated its electronic laboratory reporting system.
Death threats? Kennedy’s camp ties tone of Markey’s campaign to beefed up security
Things are getting serious, or caustic, or both, in the U.S. Senate race, with the campaign and wife of Joseph Kennedy openly accusing Ed Markey’s campaign of using “toxic online” rhetoric that’s allowed/encouraged death threats against Kennedy and prompted beefed up security for the congressmen, report the Globe’s Victoria McGrane and the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld.
Needless to say, Markey’s side is vehemently pushing back against the claims, saying they have no control over the social-media crazies out there, some of whom are apparently going full anti-Kennedy, with references to Lee Harvey Oswald, Kennedy’s wife as a “widow” etc. There’s a lot of back-and-forth going on in a race that’s now officially gone from heated to red-hot.
Separately, from the Globe’s Joan Vennochi: “Joe Kennedy is pitching himself as a racial justice warrior. Is he?”
Baker-tied PAC: An anti-Trump and anti-AOC hybrid?
Cue the ‘RINO’ lines. CommonWealth magazine’s Bruce Mohl and Michael Jonas report that a super PAC with ties to Republican Gov. Charlie Baker is dishing out cash to candidates in 17 primary elections – and most of the contributions are going to Dems fending off Dem rivals in primary battles.
The centrist fund has sort of morphed into hybrid anti-Trump and anti-AOC PAC, when you think about it.
‘Will you put the machines back?’
It wasn’t exactly a “have you no decency” or “what did the president know” moment in congressional hearing history. But U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch and Postmaster General DeJoy sure went at it yesterday during a contentious congressional hearing on postal service delays. CBS Boston and the Boston Globe have videos of the back-and-forth exchange between Lynch and DeJoy.
Galvin: Mail-in extension would upset general election timetable
SHNS’s Chris Van Buskirk (pay wall) and MassLive’s Steph Solis report that Secretary of State Bill Galvin and others warned yesterday that a 10-day extension of the mail-in count for next Tuesday’s primary election could end up disrupting the calendar for the November general election. They issued the dire warnings during a court hearing in a case brought by congressional candidate Becky Grossman.
Cue the transportation taxes/fare debate: MBTA facing $308M deficit
Somewhere, somehow, this will all tie into the overall state debate over transportation funding in Massachusetts. WBUR’s Zeninjor Enwemeka and CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl report that the T’s recent pandemic-era plunge in ridership has ripped a $308 million hole in the transit agency’s budget – and the budget gap could actually be as high as $577 million. Thus the talk of possible layoffs, fare hikes and other budget-cutting measures at the T.
Meanwhile, T awards $403M contract for South Coast rail project
This is not coming from operating funds, we presume (see post above). From SHNS’s Chris Lisinski: “Work to bring commuter rail service to New Bedford and other communities well south of Boston cleared another major hurdle Monday when the MBTA agreed on a nearly $404 million contract rounding out the South Coast Rail project’s first phase.” The winning contractor is SCR Constructors.
Move over, Chelsea: Lynn emerges as state’s top coronavirus hotspot
It’s a public-health distinction we’re sure Chelsea is glad to relinquish. The Globe’s Dasai Moore reports that new data suggests the city of Lynn has become the state’s top coronavirus hotspot, although the city of Chelsea continues to have depressingly high rates of infections.
But here’s some good news from another city, via Peter Goonan at MassLive: “New coronavirus cases dip to single digits in Springfield for first time since pandemic began.”
Judge signals landlords unlikely to prevail in evictions suit
It’s not over, but it’s close to over. From SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall): “A federal court judge said Monday that three landlords who have sued the state over its moratorium on evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic are unlikely to prevail on their claim that the law unconstitutionally infringes on their lease agreements with tenants.”
The Herald’s Alexi Cohan reports that U.S. District Court Judge Mark Wolf will make a preliminary-injunctions determination later this week.
Doing just fine: UMass Memorial expects to break even this year despite pandemic
This was not supposed to happen. The BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett reports that UMass Memorial Health Care is bucking the hospital-losses trend and is hoping to break financially even this year – and its finances may even best last year’s pre-pandemic numbers. Bartlett explains how and why.
Activists protest lack of minorities in Brigham and Women’s vaccine trial
From 7 News Boston: “An activist group is protesting Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s coronavirus vaccine testing, saying not enough minorities are represented in trials even though they have been affected more by the pandemic.” The Globe’s Jonathan Saltzman has more on the small protest yesterday.
It’s not $600, but $300 will have to do
The Herald’s Rick Sobey reports that those receiving Massachusetts unemployment checks will soon get a $300 boost due to a federal grant amid the coronavirus crisis. It’s not the extra $600 benefit that recently expired, but it will have to do.
Never mind: Rollins withdraws higher bail in case involving Bail Fund
CommonWealth magazine’s Michael Jonas reports that Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins, facing criticism amid a debate over the fairness of the bail system, is “withdrawing a motion seeking a steep increase in bail for a homeless defendant whose original bail was about to be paid by a nonprofit fund.”
The homeless defendant, it should be noted, is accused of armed robbery.
State secret: Botanist finds rare orchid not seen in Mass. in 19 years
Here’s a genuinely nice story to pass along. From CBS Boston: “A state botanist has rediscovered a flower so rare in Massachusetts that its exact location is being kept a secret. MassWildlife said the state-endangered crested fringed orchid (Platanthera cristata) has been found for the first time in 19 years in a ‘shrubby wetland thicket’ in Bristol County.”
Former Walsh aide Felix Arroyo sues over his firing three years ago
Here’s a delayed-action follow-up to a blast-from-past story. From Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin: “Felix Arroyo, who served as Mayor Walsh’s chief of health and human services, is now suing Walsh and the city for his termination in 2017 over sexual-harrassment allegations he says are completely false.”
Raytheon given the boot from Dow Jones list
Waltham’s Raytheon Technologies, along with Exxon Mobil and Pfizer, was kicked off the list of companies that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average, as part of a major shakeup of the famous stock benchmark to boost the influence of tech companies, reports Bloomberg News at the Globe.
Anthony Martignetti, of iconic Prince Spaghetti ad fame, RIP
From Boston 25News: “Anthony Martignetti, who played the young boy from the iconic 1969 Prince Spaghetti commercial, has died at the age of 63. At 12-years-old, he starred in the popular ad for Prince Spaghetti where he ran home through the streets of the North End because Wednesday night was ‘Prince Spaghetti Night.’”
Check out the accompanying video. The commercial is still appealing and effective all these years later.
Unhappy anniversary: Furloughed MGM Springfield workers to lose health coverage
As MGM Springfield marked the two-year anniversary of its opening Monday, hundreds of workers who were furloughed back in May are set to lose their company-sponsored health benefits later this week, Jim Kinney at MassLive reports. The casino furloughed more than 1,900 workers in May and recalled just 700 to help it operate at reduced capacity.
Returned to senders: Spicer vetoes Framingham apartment project moratorium
She may see it again before long. Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer issued her second-ever veto Monday, shooting down a City Council-approved temporary moratorium on large-scale apartment projects, Jeannette Hinkle at the MetroWest Daily News reports. The council appears to have the votes to override Spicer, who said she worried the shutdown would unravel progress made in the city’s slowly rejuvenating downtown.
Follow the leaders: Amherst schools latest to push back in-person learning
The Amherst-Pelham regional school district is the latest to delay in-person education for its students until at least the start of October, Scott Merzbach at the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports. In pushing things back at least two weeks, the district follows the lead of Boston, Cambridge and other communities seeking to buy more time to get buildings ready for students and teachers.
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.
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
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.
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.
His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham discusses his new book, His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope with Michelle Miller, co-host of CBS This Morning: Saturday and CBS News national correspondent.
US Foreign Policy and Europe
Ambassador (Ret.) Nicholas Burns, Harvard professor of diplomacy and international relations; Robert Mauro, director of the Boston College Irish Institute and Global Leadership Institute; and Alexandra Vacroux, executive director of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, discuss US foreign policy challenges and opportunities in Europe.
JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917-1956
Fredrik Logevall, Harvard University professor of history and international relations and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, discusses his forthcoming book JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917-1956 with George Packer, staff writer at The Atlantic.
Virtual 2020 Corporate Citizenship Awards
Join the Boston Business Journal for our annual Corporate Citizenship Awards.
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