Happening Today

SJC hearings, teacher protests, and more

— The Supreme Judicial Court hears oral arguments in seven cases before the court, 9 a.m. — Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board meets to get an update from Executive Director Michael Trotsky, with Treasurer Deborah Goldberg chairing, 9:30 a.m.

Governor’s Council meets in a virtual assembly with a vote possible on the confirmation of Tamara Lee Ricciardone as an Industrial Accident Board administrative judge, 12 p.m.

Sharon Teachers Association holds informational picket to urge the community to opt for remote learning, 4:30 p.m.

Lawrence Teachers Union hosts educators for an outdoor protest and car caravan prior to a Lawrence Alliance for Education meeting on the reopening of schools, 5 p.m.

Mass. Action Against Police Brutality plans a ‘Massachusetts to Kenosha’ Justice For Jacob Blake rally and march starting outside the State House, 5 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: 8 new deaths, 8,933 total deaths, 168 new cases

NBC Boston has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

How seriously should Walsh take Wu? Seriously, very seriously or panic-button seriously?

The Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter reports that Mayor Marty Walsh yesterday was thrown on the defensive for the way he let drop that City Councilor Michelle Wu plans to run for mayor next year. The Globe’s Adrian Walker says he really doesn’t care how or why Walsh spilled the beans on Wu’s intentions, saying Wu called a bunch of people to inform them she was running and rumors were already running rampant as a result. Instead, Walker said it’s time to size up a potential race between Walsh, who hasn’t said if he’s running again, and Wu, who Walker says is “easily one of the most effective councilors of the past 25 years — is a much stronger candidate than most mayors have faced” in the past. 

City Councilor Julia Mejia on Twitter thinks Wu won’t be the only challenger throwing his/her hat in the mayoral ring next year. The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld says anyone who counts Walsh out doesn’t know Boston politics. One word explains it all: Incumbency. Meanwhile, from the Globe’s Milton Valencia: “For Walsh, Wu, the campaign trail looks close.”

Galvin: More money needed for mail-in voting in November

Secretary of State Bill Galvin says last week’s expanded mail-in voting in Massachusetts was a “great success.” But … but he’ll need more money to ensure that the November elections run smoothly. We’re talking ‘more than a million’ dollars. SHNS’s Matt Murphy has more.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Markey and Kennedy make nicey nice as Dems unite for fall battle

They have their eyes on a new political prize, now that the U.S. Senate primary race is over. The Globe’s Jeremy Fox reports that U.S. Sen. Ed Markey and U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy, a week after the former defeated the latter in their hard-fought primary contest, went out of their way to praise each other yesterday at a remote event aimed at revving up regional and national Dems for battle this fall.

Boston Globe

Fair warning: Ad blitz on tap as automakers pool $25M to fight ballot question

Automakers have donated $25 million to the ballot committee formed to defeat the November ballot question that would expand the state’s ‘right to repair’ law, Shira Schoenberg at CommonWealth Magazine reports. The question’s backers have more than $9 million and both sides are ready to spend more on advertising as Election Day draws closer. 


Shaky school-year start: Amherst cops issue $9K in fines over holiday weekend

Police in Amherst, home to UMass and other colleges, issued 30 citations for loud parties over the three-day weekend as the town deals with the first wave of college students returning to campuses in the area, Scott Merzbach at the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports. Officials say the tickets–which could total $9,000 in fines–are a first step in enforcement in many cases and that student violators will be reported to their schools. 

Daily Hampshire Gazette

Return the stolen tuition loot, Northeastern

Speaking of higher education, Eileen McNamara at WBUR says Northeastern may have been justified in suspending 11 first-year students for partying amid the pandemic. But she says the university is going too far by not refunding their tuition. “It is nothing short of theft,” she writes.


Don’t rush them, Mr. President: Nine biopharma firms, including Cambridge’s Moderna, sign vaccine safety pledge

President Trump may be promising a pre-election rollout of a new COVID-19 vaccine, but nine companies developing those vaccines are pledging that safety will come first (and not, by implication, the president’s re-election hopes). MassLive’s Jackson Cote has the details.


The three-way reopening showdowns between teachers, school committees and parents

It’s the biggest, most sprawling story out there. School reopening plans, or lack thereof. And there seems to be hard feelings across the state, such as in Sharon, where the school committee and teachers are locked in a no-show showdown regarding the start of classes, as the Herald’s Marie Szaniszlo reports.

Meanwhile, from CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl: “Parent frustration about schools is rising/‘Families cannot live in a state of uncertainty.’” And if you’re both a parent and a medical worker, the angst levels are higher than high, as WBUR’s Martha Bebinger reports. The Globe’s Joan Vennochi tackles an interesting issue: “Is Zoom kindergarten really possible?”

It’s not all showdowns out there. From the MetroWest Daily News: “Framingham teachers union, administration reach tentative deal on work expectations.” From the Patriot Ledger: “Duxbury students welcomed back to school.” Then again, from the Cape Cod Times: “Yarmouth-Dennis school board balks at delayed school opening.”

No COVID-19 deaths in Boston over past week

This has to be a milestone of some sort in the fight against the coronavirus: No COVID-19 deaths have been recorded in Boston for a week now, as Mayor Walsh announced yesterday. SHNS’s Katie Lannan has more. Maybe other cities can learn a thing or two from Boston?

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Is that apartment real? Healey warns of remote ‘bait-and-switch’ rental scams

The Globe’s Tim Logan reports that Attorney General Maura Healey’s office is seeing a pandemic-era surge in rental scams in which “people advertise apartments they don’t own and rip off a month’s worth of rent, or more, from tenants who are eager to find a place.”

We’re also hearing of online ads which can make a pigsty look like Versailles with the right technology. At least the scams are coming at a time when rental rates continue to fall in some communities, as the Herald’s Erin Tiernan reports.

Boston Globe

SJC’s Gants undergoes surgery after Friday heart attack

Here’s wishing for his speedy recovery. From SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall): “Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants underwent surgery after suffering a heart attack on Friday, but said Tuesday that he expects to be discharged soon and return to the court in a limited capacity. Gants, 65, has been the top judge on the state’s highest court since 2014 when he was elevated to the role of chief justice by then-Gov. Deval 

BPD’s Gross calls for courts to open to handle repeat violent offenders

After 12 shootings in Boston over the Labor Day weekend, Boston Police Commissioner William Gross has had it and says “we need the courts to be open” to handle “the same group” of people committing crimes in Boston, CBS Boston reports.

Meanwhile, in an increasingly familiar pandemic-meets-BLM moment, from Isaiah Thompson at WGBH: “Boston City Council Hears Testimony For Civilian Police Oversight Proposal.”

CBS Boston

Attleboro considers banning plastic food containers as part of major environmental push

They’re going beyond banning single-use plastic water bottles. Under a plan unveiled by Mayor Paul Heroux, Attleboro is now considering what some consider one of the most far-reaching anti-pollution ordinances in the state – including the banning of plastic food containers, disposable Styrofoam food containers and plastic straws, as well as single-use water bottles and other items. George Rhodes at the Sun-Chronicle and Hannah Chanatryat WBUR have more.

‘Open season on Boston TV journalists’

The stabbing of WCVB reporter Ted Wayman over the weekend was just one of a series of recent attacks on TV reporters this summer in the Boston area. Universal Hub has compiled a list of the recent disturbing incidents.

Universal Hub

On the shelf: Pandemic halts Cape Cod Hospital tower project

Add it to the list. A plan to build an $180 million addition to Cape Cod Hospital is being shelved indefinitely as the institution deals with the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, Cynthia McCormick reports at the Cape Cod Times.

Cape Cod Times

Congress launches investigation into Fort Hood deaths

Army Sergeant Elder Fernandes of Brockton isn’t the only soldier to recently die under suspicious or unusual circumstances at Fort Hood Army Base in Texas. Nearly 30 soldiers have died at the base this year, nine of whom fall into the suspicious/unusual category, and now Congress and local pols want answers, according to NPR and an AP report at WBUR.

Celtics commit $25M to fight racism in Boston area

From WCVB: “The Boston Celtics and the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation announced Tuesday they were committing $25 million over the next 10 years to addressing racial injustice and social inequities in the Greater Boston area.”


Galvin: Please, please, please check mailbox for census forms

He’s right to be concerned. From SHNS’s Chis Lisinski (pay wall): “Warning that a decade of federal funding is on the line, Secretary of State William Galvin alerted Massachusetts residents who have not responded to the 2020 U.S. Census that mail is once again headed their way.” The response rate in some communities has been disappointing – and Galvin is trying to change that.

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

Virtual Author Talk with Pam Fessler

Virtual Author Talk with NPR Correspondent Pam Fessler

American Ancestors/NEHGS together with the Boston Public Library and the State Library of Massachusetts

Priorities Primary Debrief: 2022 & The Future for Massachusetts Democrats

Please join us at 12pm on September 15 for a Priorities Primary Debrief: 2022 & The Future for Massachusetts Democrats. This event will feature a legislative primary overview, a look at some polling we’ve conducted on the 2022 gubernatorial election (campaigns are likely to start as early as November!), and a discussion of voter attitudes.

Priorities for Progress

Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America

Senator Sherrod Brown discusses his new book, Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America, which explores the careers of senators who have also sat at Desk 88 on the Senate floor, including Hugo Black, George McGovern, and Robert F. Kennedy. Senator Jeanne Shaheen moderates.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Today’s Headlines


Exodus of renters from Boston, Cambridge pushes some prices down by 7% – Boston Herald

Nahant removes Northeastern University articles from town meeting – Lynn Item


Vineyard Wind partners with Nantucket for support – Cape Cod Times

Pats reopening Hall of Fame in Foxboro – Sun-Chronicle

Winter is coming. What are restaurants doing to get ready? – Boston Globe


Astra-Zenica Covid-19 vaccine study put on hold due to a suspected adverse reaction – Stat News

Justice Department intervenes in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit to help Trump – New York Times

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