Happening Today

Mail-in-vote deadline, Urban League talk, and more

— Applications for mail-in ballots must reach local election offices by today for applicants wishing to vote by mail in the Sept. 1 primary. 

New England for Offshore Wind holds a press conference to announce its formal launch, with speakers including Susannah Hatch of Environmental League of Massachusetts, Hillary Bright of BlueGreen Alliance and others, 10 a.m.

Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts Leaders Over Lunch Series features National Urban League President Marc Morial, with chairman Joseph Feaster and President Dr. Keith Motley discussing ‘social economic issues plaguing Black America and the Commonwealth,’ 12 p.m. 

Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education and MassINC present new data on early college outcomes and host a panel discussion, with speakers including Pierre Lucien of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Board of Higher Education Chair Chris Gabrieli, Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Chair Katherine Craven and others, 1 p.m.

Natalia Linos and Alan Khazei, two of the candidates for the open Fourth Congressional District seat, have 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.

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, 8,729 total deaths, 349 new cases

WCVB has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Confirmed: Baker still considers himself a Republican

He doesn’t support his party’s nominee for president. He wasn’t invited to the Republican National Convention this week. And a super-PAC with ties to him seems to be supporting more Democrats than Republicans these days. But, yeah, Gov. Charlie Baker still considers himself a Republican, of the “pragmatic and practical” sort. WGBH’s Mike Deehan and the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld and CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl have more on Baker’s strange party affiliations of late.

Mostly Kennedy backers to Markey: Watch your tongue

The Globe’s Victoria McGrane and the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky report that a group of Democrats – including more than a few Joseph Kennedy backers – have written a letter to Ed Markey and his campaign manager demanding they “publicly and clearly denounce the hateful conduct and speech” aimed at Kennedy in their U.S. Senate battle. Markey is indeed denouncing the rhetoric apparently coming from lefty social-media types, but Markey’s campaign manager says the Kennedy-camp accusations against Markey are nothing more than “crocodile tears,” reports Kashinsky. 

Meanwhile, from the Herald’s Joyce Ferriabough Bolling: “Famed name and lots of blame mark Kennedy-Markey race.”

U.S. Senate race is over: Cellucci’s daughter and grandson throw their support behind Markey

It’s over, done, finis. The daughter and 13-year-old grandson of late Republican Gov. Paul Cellucci have a cut a YouTube ad backing Ed Markey in his U.S. Senate battle against Joseph Kennedy. CommonWealth’s Michael Jonas has more. Meanwhile, some guy named Al Gore has endorsed Markey, MassLive reports.

In other Senate race news, the Herald’s Jaclyn Cashman says Kennedy needs to mobilize college voters in order to win. College voters? What about Kennedy’s clearly dwindling support among adolescents? See item above.

And don’t forget: There are indeed two political parties in Massachusetts. From the Globe’s Brian MacQuarrie: “In the bluest of states, a pair of Republican candidates face off in Senate primary.”

Colliding stars in the Fourth

The Globe’s Matt Stout has a good overview piece on the crowded Fourth Congressional primary race to succeed U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy – and how Dem candidates seems to be spending less time defining themselves and more time damning others.

In other Fourth news, from Nik DeCosta-Klipa at Boston.com: “Michael Dukakis and Barney Frank defend 4th District candidate against ‘uninformed’ attack.”

Boston Globe

Still flowing: Late fundraising boosts Neal and Morse campaigns

It’s never too late to raise campaign cash. As the Democratic primary campaign lurches to a close in the state’s First Congressional District, both U.S. Rep. Richard Neal and challenger Alex Morse are reporting a last-minute surge of donor contributions, Dusty Christensen atthe Daily Hampshire Gazette reports.

Meanwhile, Morse has what some consider a priceless weapon at his disposal, via the NYT: ““Confronting a Powerful Democrat, Ocasio-Cortez Supports Morse.”

Daily Hampshire Gazette

‘Coming soon to a courtroom near you – election-year chaos’

We’re having a hard time figuring out U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling’s intention in filing a brief in the mail-in-vote count dispute now being argued in court here. So we’ll let SHNS’s Colin A. Young (pay wall) and MassLive’s Benjamin Kail try to explain the seemingly on-the-one-hand/on-the-other-hand rationale.

Meanwhile, here’s an interesting twist in the mail-in-vote controversy: Sen. Becca Rausch is defending mail-in voting as ‘a tried and true process’ – and then proceeds to advise people to drop off ballots in person at town halls, as Aidan Connelly reports at WGBH. And, finally, think what you will of the Herald’s Howie Carr, but we fear the headline on his column this morning is unfortunately right: “Coming soon to a courtroom near you – election-year chaos.” Actually, it’s already here, if you count the extra-count-time controversy.

OK, blame us: Biogen event was a virus ‘superspreader’ for the region, nation and entire world

At any moment, we’re expecting President Trump to start referring to the coronavirus as the “Boston virus,” not the “Chinese virus.” The Boston Globe’s Jonathan Saltzman reports that a new study says the infamous Biogen conference last winter in Boston spread the coronavirus far wider than previously thought in Massachusetts. And WBUR’s Angus Chen and the Washington Post report the Biogen event was actually a “superspreader” of the virus across the nation and entire world.

The bottom line: They’re cursing us in Luxembourg.

Unemployment devastating minority-dominated communities across Massachusetts

SHNS’s Chris Lisinski has an excellent story looking at the unemployment rates in individual cities and towns across the state and found a common thread: Where there’s a lot of working-class minorities, there’s high unemployment. We’re talking 30 percent unemployment in Lawrence alone. The accompanying chart is a real eye-opener.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Report: Renters and mortgage payers facing a cruel September

Speaking of tough economic times, this warning isn’t coming from some activist group. It’s coming from Metropolitan Area Planning Council, which has issued a new report detailing how nearly 109,000 Massachusetts households will need help paying rents and mortgages starting in September, WBUR’s Beth Healy reports. We’re talking $117 million a month in help or else.


Baker to consumers: Shop local!

WGBH’s Mike Deehan reports that the Baker administration, tapping into some federal pandemic relief funds, has launched a $2 million ad campaign to promote the upcoming sales-tax-free weekend and to urge people to shop local in general.


After showdown with Mass. Bail Fund, Suffolk DA Rollins restrategizes

Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins and the Mass. Bail Fund have been butting progressive heads in recent days over bail-related matters. And now Rollins says she’s going to start doing something she’s always wanted to do: Relying less on high bails for keeping dangerous people off the streets and relying more on dangerousness hearings. The Globe’s Andrea Estes has the restrategizing details.

Boston Globe

Celtics mull boycott following Jacob Blake shooting, pols call for renewed reform push in Mass.

MassLive’s Peter Goonan reports that several Massachusetts minority leaders, in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin, have created a new statewide coalition “with the mission of building political power in Black and Latino communities and dismantling racism.” Meanwhile, Chris Burrell at WGBH reports the shooting is “reverberating around Boston,” with elected leaders and Black Lives Matter activists calling for a renewed push to pass police reforms here.

But the biggest local headlines related to the tragedy are coming from the world of sports, specifically the Boston Celtics, with some of the players discussing a possible boycott of the first game of the playoffs against the Toronto Raptors, as a protest against the shooting, reports NBC Boston.

‘Rebel With a Cause’: The one and only Joe Curtatone

Boston Magazine’s Jonathan Soroff interviews Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, whose role these days seems to be the foil of conventional wisdom on the reopening of the state’s economy.

Boston Magazine

Take a bow: Catching up with Attleboro native who oversaw DNC

Tom Reilly at the Sun-Chronicle caught up with Joe Solmonese, the chief executive of the Democratic National Convention, as he unwinds on Martha’s Vineyard and finds the Attleboro native feeling confident the all-virtual event delivered the intended message.

Sun Chronicle

Dividing line: Thin Blue Line flags continue to spark controversy

It’s down in Danvers, where Town Manager Steve Bartha says he’s banned the display of Thin Blue Line flags in the community’s police and fire departments, saying the banner has become “a form of political speech,”  the Salem News reports. 

Salem News

More than a makeover? Residents weigh in on Eversource buyout of Columbia

Gas  Will anything change? That’s the question being asked by critics of the state-brokered deal for Eversource Energy to purchase Columbia Gas as part of the larger settlement of the Merrimack Valley gas-explosions debacle. Bill Kirk at he Eagle-Tribune reports a hearing held by the Department of Public Utilities also drew criticism for not including the voices of victims as the agreement was being made. 

Eagle Tribune

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

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.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

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.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

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.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Virtual 2020 Corporate Citizenship Awards

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

Boston Business Journal

Today’s Headlines


Harvard Square traffic to go down to one lane, with added bike lane after recent crash death – Cambridge Day

Boston Public Library in Copley Square will allow people inside to use computers – Boston Globe


Ex-Centerfolds dancer injured in 2010 Worcester crash with off-duty officer paid $8.6M – Telegram & Gazette

Three new coronavirus cases reported on Nantucket Tuesday–two connected to beach party – Nantucket Inquirer & Mirror

Two Fall River businesses censured for liquor license violations – Herald News


Trump uses tools of government in re-election campaign – Washington Post

Six days after reopening, University of Alabama has over 500 coronavirus cases – Business Insider

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