Happening Today

Last-day of campaigning and more

— Secretary of State William Galvin, the state’s chief elections overseer, holds a pre-Primary Day press conference, 10 a.m. 

— With primary elections to be held on Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey concludes his re-election ‘Leads and Delivers’ bus tour with campaign stops in Brookline, Roxbury, Mattapan, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, and West Roxbury.

— U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy, who is challenging incumbent U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, meets voters in Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee, Worcester, Lowell, Lawrence and Roxbury, then wraps up the day with an outdoor ‘Rally the Vote’ event at IBEW Local 103 in Dorchester.

Joint Committee on Public Service will accept written testimony on two bills, the first authorizing the town of Wellesley to continue employment of Jeffrey Peterson and the second exempting certain positions of the police department of the town of Webster from the Civil Service Law.

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: 13 new deaths, 8,816 total deaths, 174 new cases

CBS Boston has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

The Markey-Kennedy race: Down to the wire

With only one day to go before tomorrow’s primary elections in Massachusetts, it’s no surprise most attention is now on the marquee primary event: The U.S. Senate race. Mike Manzoni and Nia Hamm at NBC Boston and Victoria McGrane and Danny McDonald at the Globe report on Ed Markey and Joe Kennedy’s all-out efforts to win over voters in the waning days of the campaign.

Kennedy, who is behind in most polls, tells WBZ’s Jon Keller that Markey has been on the “wrong side” of racial issues over the years. Markey’s campaign, meanwhile, is having a field day with Kennedy supporters’ having trouble spelling “Worchester,” as the Herald reports. And from the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky: “How Kennedy, Markey made their primary battle about the Kennedy family legacy after all.”

The 4th Congressional District race: Why does it seem so familiar?

The Globe’s Matt Stout reports that uncertainty reins in the final days of the crowded seven-person Dem primary race to fill the U.S. House seat being vacated by Joe Kennedy. 

CommonWealth magazine’s Michael Jonas, meanwhile, is experiencing a sense of de-ja-vu in regards to the Fourth race, harking back to 1998 when another Kennedy stepped aside and created a primary-election void filled by a crowd of candidates. And today Jake Auchincloss seems to be playing the role of Ray Flynn. Jonas explains. Btw: A Jewish Insider poll shows Auchincloss and Jesse Mermell running neck-and-neck in the Fourth.

UMass College Dems apologize to Morse, but don’t back off initially sending controversial letter

Jim Kinney at MassLive reports that leaders of the UMass College Democrats are apologizing for the ugly homophobic response to the controversial letter it sent (and was later leaked) to Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse regarding his relationships with college students while he was a part-time lecturer at the university. But Kinney reports that the group isn’t apologizing for the actual contents of the letter and deny they’re working on behalf of U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, who Morse is trying to unseat in tomorrow’s First Congressional primary election.


A voter guide to all of tomorrow’s congressional elections

Just fyi: The Boston Globe has a good voter guide to the U.S. Senate and congressional-district primary elections tomorrow. Take your pick.

Boston Globe

Further complications: Moran challenger faces host of hurdles

Switching to non-congressional primary races, Marianela Rivera’s Democratic primary challenge to four-term state Rep. Frank Moran in the 17th Essex District has faced not only a global pandemic but plenty of other hurdles. Moran has received financial backing from a PAC tied to Gov. Baker and Moran’s own battle with throat cancer has kept him away from even virtual candidate forums. Bill Kirk at the Eagle-Tribune has the details. 

Eagle Tribune

Job opening: Holyoke voters to weigh in on vacated rep. seat

The Daily Hampshire Gazette’s Dusty Christensen sets the table for Tuesday’s primary in the 5th Hampden District, where three Democrats are vying for the nod to fill the seat of retiring state Rep. Aaron Vega. 

Daily Hampshire Gazette

At State House rally, hundreds protest new flu vaccine mandate

WCVB reports that hundreds of people rallied outside the State House yesterday to protest the state’s new mandate for all students to receive a flu shot by the end of the year. There’s this line from the report: “People who were scheduled to speak at the protest told NewsCenter 5’s Josh Brogadir that they do not want to be known as ‘anti-vaccine,’ but they do want to be able to make that decision for their children on their own.”

Based on the photos and videos we’ve seen of the rally, many attendees also don’t believe in wearing protective face masks during the pandemic.


State defends pandemic emergency powers by citing the words of wisdom of Alexander Hamilton and … Donald Trump?

Speaking of pandemic mandates, the Herald’s Joe Dwinell and CommonWealth magazine’s Bruce Mohl report that the state, in a new court filing, has responded to a legal challenge to Gov. Charlie Baker’s emergency powers during the pandemic. The brief, filed by Attorney General Maura Healey effectively on behalf of the Baker administration, cites the words of the state’s Civil Defense Act, Alexander Hamilton and even Donald Trump. Yes, the same Donald Trump whom Baker and Healey are often at odds with over various and sundry matters.

Just a precaution? Governor activates 1,000 National Guard troops amid protests

Speaking of emergency powers, from Jake Levin at NBC Boston: “Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker activated up to 1,000 National Guard members in the state on Friday, though he’s yet to give a reason for the order. The measure comes amid civil unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man.”

Actually, he did give a reason, sort of, saying he was doing so “in the event that municipal leaders” request help. He’s just not saying exactly why they might need help. The Herald’s Joe Dwinell and Sean Philip Cotter have more.

NBC Boston

Are we witnessing a ‘pod’ education revolution in Massachusetts?

The Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert reports that state education officials announced late last week that parents can now form remote-learning co-ops (also known as “pods”) and various after-school programs to help educate their children during the pandemic. Churches and community centers will also be allowed to “host students who might otherwise be unsupervised when out of school this fall,” Ebbert writes.

At CommonWealth magazine, Paul Reville, the former Massachusetts secretary of education now at Harvard, writes that formally allowing so-called “pods” – or small non-school groups to help remotely teach children – represents a “tipping point in education” and a “new form of choice,” not unlike charter schools.

Boston Globe

Sorry, Rhode Island, you’re still quarantined

The state Department of Public Health last week announced that four more states will be exempt from the Massachusetts Travel Order – Colorado, Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, reports CBS Boston. Notably absent from the updated exemptions list: Rhode Island, the sole New England state that hasn’t gotten an exemption nod yet from Massachusetts.  

Not that everything’s hunky-dory in Massachusetts. From the Globe’s Adam Sennott: “Second Steamship Authority employee tests positive for COVID-19.

CBS Boston

The Mass. jail and prison infection rates: Are they accurate?

We’re curious to see how this plays out. From WBUR’s Deborah Becker: “Despite a surge in COVID-19 cases in jails and prisons around the country, Massachusetts public safety officials are touting few cases behind bars. But some doctors are raising questions about the testing — and the data.”


High stakes: MGM Springfield lays off 1,000 employees

This isn’t a total surprise, but the magnitude of the action is still shocking. From Jim Kinney at MassLass: “MGM Springfield will lay off 1,000 furloughed employees, part of 18,000 job cuts being made by its parent company nationwide. The workers had been on temporary furlough since the coronavirus shutdown hit in March, according to a spokeswoman for MGM Springfield.” 

Local rallies mark historic march, protest police shooting and push for reforms

There were a lot of rallies, protests and vigils over the weekend amid heightened racial tensions and awareness across the country. WGBH’s Isaiah Thompson reports on Friday’s gathering of community leaders and activists at the State House marking the 57th anniversary of the historic March on Washington. The Globe’s Abigail Feldman reports that protesters in Nubian Square on Sunday demanded justice for Jacob Blake, a Black man recently shot by police in Wisconsin.

The Globe’s Milton Valencia, meanwhile, reports on the renewed demands for police and other reforms in Massachusetts. And, while not directly tied per se to the causes of recent rallies and protests around the state and country, Cristela Guerra at WBURreports on continued protests over the decision to sell Boston’s Harriet Tubman house for development.

Tax free weekend: A pandemic success story

The Patriot Ledger’s Anastasia Lennon and MassLive’s Jeanette DeForge report that the state’s tax-free weekend was a hit among shoppers, some of whom made their first major pandemic-era foray out of their abodes to nab a retail bargain or two.

Giving an old State House lease a new lease on life

We keep forgetting that a small sliver of the State House grounds is actually privately owned (or, more precisely, leased). And SHNS Sam Doran reports on a bill now on Beacon Hill that would effectively extend the century-old lease because, well, it’s probably the only fair option at this convoluted point. 

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Honing in: Grand jury seeks more documents from Mashpee Wampanoag tribe

A federal grand jury has subpoenaed more documents from the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, this time seeking information on past tribal elections, Jessica Hill at the Cape Cod Times reports. In response to the latest demand, tribal leadership met Friday in an emergency session and narrowly voted to keep Chairman Cedric Cromwell in his position. 

Cape Cod Times

Blowback: Shaming tactic actually worked in favor of shamed Gloucester couple

Here’s story with a happy ending via WCVB: An elderly couple in Gloucester was the recipient of an anonymous “shaming” note from a neighbor who wasn’t happy with the condition of their admittedly in-bad-need-of-a-paint-job home. But when the shaming tactic was revealed on social-media, the generosity floodgates opened – to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars pledged to help the struggling couple paint and repair their home.


Quincy Market updates: Good-bye Cheers, hello pot shop?

CBS Boston is reporting on the weekend closure of the “Cheers in Boston” at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, yet another victim of the pandemic. But the “original Cheers” on Charles Street will remain open.

Meanwhile, the Globe’s Dan Adamsreports that a recreational pot shop could soon join the ranks of retailers at Quincy Market, thanks to a group of “local businessman whose team includes several former top city officials.” Adams names the names.

CBS Boston

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


Protesters demand justice for Jacob Blake during Sunday rally in Nubian Square – Boston Globe

Needham officials debate whether town common graffiti was ‘healthy form of expression’ – MetroWest Daily News


Amherst town-gown forum will discuss students flouting Covid-19 rules – Daily Hampshire Gazette

Mayor requests state reopen RMV in Greenfield – Greenfield Recorder

Danvers to hold discussion on Thin Blue Line flag controversy – Salem News


Trump favorability flat after convention: Poll – The Hill

House tees up marijuana legalization vote – Politico

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