Happening Today

Markey presser, COVID-19 economic recovery, and more

— U.S. Sen. Ed Markey holds a press conference to discuss the ‘need to protect the Affordable Care Act and coverage for those with pre-existing conditions’ and the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, 11 a.m.

— State Rep. Claire Cronin and Matt Brewster of P2 Advisors are special guests at a COVID-19 economic recovery update hosted by Metro South Chamber of Commerce, with Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan and others, 2 p.m.

— ‘Radio Boston’ features former Newton mayor and gubernatorial candidate Setti Warren, now executive director of the Shorenstein Center at the Harvard Kennedy School, and Pioneer Institute senior fellow Charlie Chieppo, WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m.

— Cities and towns face a deadline today to report their Coronavirus Relief Fund activity to the state’s Executive Office for Administration and Finance, 4 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: 15 new deaths, 9,150 total deaths, 455 new cases

NBC Boston has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Baker: Trump’s transfer-of-power comments ‘appalling and outrageous’

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday blasted President Trump’s refusal to say whether he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the November election, calling the president’s remarks “appalling and outrageous,” reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall), 7 News WHDH and CommonWealth’s Sarah Betancourt. Attorney General Maura Healey is also calling the remarks ‘outrageous,’ reports Matt Baskin at GBH.

Of course, the White House quickly backed off the remarks and then, of course, the president returned to the same it’s-all-rigged theme later in the day, according to a report at WBUR. From the Globe’s Scot Lehigh: “America is heading toward an autocracy/Trump has clearly signaled his intention to subvert the November election. Believe him.”

Question: Has anyone questioned state GOP party leaders about the president’s remarks? After all, they’re all in for Trump these days. 

Governor activates National Guard following Breonna Taylor ruling and protests

Talk of a non-peaceful transfer of power. Now this. Even as he called the death of Breonna Taylor a ‘horrible, terrible tragedy’ and urged Beacon Hill lawmakers to pass new police reforms (MassLive), Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday activated 1,000 members of the Massachusetts National Guard due to possible protests and unrest over the highly controversial grand-jury decision in the Taylor case in Kentucky, reports Marc Foriter at NBC Boston. It’s the second time in recent weeks the governor has activated the guard amid national street protests.

Report: Massachusetts has second fewest fatal police shootings, but tell that to minorities.

As the nation reels from yet another racial police-shooting controversy, this is interesting: Massachusetts had the second-lowest number of fatal police shootings per capita in the country over the past five years. But here’s the disturbing part: Of those fatal shootings, Black and Hispanic people were disproportionately affected. GBH’s Tori Bedford has more. 

Fyi, from Boston Magazine: “The Police Shooting that Boston Forgot.” It’s about a 50-year-old case that’s still relevant, though largely forgetten, today.


Gants’ last ruling: Beware of jury deliberations ‘infected by racial or ethnic bias’

He passed away last week. But the late Supreme Judicial Court Chief Ralph Gants could be heard loud and clear in the last court decision he wrote before his death, regarding the right of people to a fair trial free of jury deliberations “infected by racial or ethnic bias.” The Globe’s John Ellement has more on the unanimous SJC court ruling issued yesterday.

Boston Globe

Globe columnist: ‘Marty Walsh intends to run for a third term’

Is this Globe columnist Kevin Cullen’s “White will run” moment? Following Andrea Campbell’s announcement she’s running for mayor and her first full-day on the campaign trail yesterday (as reported by the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter), the Globe’s Kevin Cullen writes: “By the way, Marty Walsh intends to run for a third term. He wouldn’t confirm that when I spoke to him Thursday, but I’ve talked to people close to him, and they say he’s in. Those confidantes say Walsh will wait until after the presidential election to announce.”

And he says Walsh has his own identity-politics story to tell too. So there.

One more mayoral-race item, also via the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter:“Boston mayoral challengers facing uphill battle.”

Boston Globe

Parting gift: Kennedy to co-sponsor bill limiting Supreme Court terms

What a legacy this would be. U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III and fellow Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna plan to file legislation next week that would limit the term of Supreme Court justices to 18 years, Andrew Chung at Reuters reports. Kennedy is, of course, winding down his time in Congress after an unsuccessful run against U.S. Sen. Edward Markey. 


It can happen anywhere: COVID-19 cluster reported at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

NBC Boston’s Marc Fortier and the Globe’s Felice Freyer report that Brigham and Women’s Hospital is now dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak in two of its medical units, the result of “’battle-weary’ staffers letting their guard down,” as Freyer puts it. Bottom line: It’s not all about partying high-school and college students.

Denying he’s ‘bullying’ school districts, Baker praises Quincy for doing exactly what he wants

CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg reports that Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday denied he’s using the bully pulpit to bully school districts into restarting in-person classes. He says he’s just stating his opinion. Some teachers would disagree. From CBS Boston’s Beth Germano: “Watertown Teachers Union: State’s In-Person Learning Push ‘Somewhat Threatening.’”

Baker yesterday did say schools in general are “off to a fine start” this fall and he specifically signaled out Quincy for praise for reopening with in-person classes, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall).

State OKs resumption of nursing-home and prison visits

State officials have approved the resumption of indoor visits at nursing homes (MassLive) and in-person visits at state prisons (also MassLive), with appropriate safety and infection-control guidelines in place.

Rosenberg on his return as a lobbyist: ‘I am now among the minions’

SHNS’s Matt Murphy has a wide-ranging interview with former Senate President Stan Rosenberg, who talks about a lot of issues, excluding his fall from power in 2018, as stipulated under terms of the interview. Among the topics discussed: His registering as a State House lobbyist last February and how he’s ‘now among the minions.’

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Cannabis chair to disgruntled pot-shop owners: It’s capitalism. Deal with it

The Cannabis Control Commission yesterday inched closer to approving a new pot-delivery service that effectively allows delivery firms to buy marijuana directly from wholesalers and resell the weed to consumers, something owners of retail bricks-and-mortar pot shops say is unfair. To which CCC chairman Steve Hoff says, as reported by CommonWealth’s Sarah Betancourt: ““This is the way every market works. There’s competition, there’s new forms of businesses that compete with existing forms of business, and successful companies adapt to that.”


It’s official: Florida prosecutors drop sex-solicitation charges against Kraft

Considering how this story once dominated the local headlines, it’s somewhat surprising it barely registers a media blip now that it’s officially over, i.e. Florida prosecutors yesterday officially dropped charges against New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft for soliciting sex at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in the Sunshine State, reports the AP at WBUR. Is it stating the obvious to note that charges against others in the case haven’t been dropped?


Nevermore, again: State limits ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water

From Christian Wade at CNHI News: “Drinking water systems will be required to remove contamination from ‘forever chemicals’ under new statewide rules that go into effect next month.  The regulations, finalized Thursday by the state Department of Environmental Protection, require public water systems to test for so-called PFAS compounds and remove the contamination if the concentrations of six chemicals test above 20 parts per trillion.”


Voices from our past

If you’ve ever lost a loved one and yearn to just hear their voice again, definitely read Ty Burr’s moving piece this morning in the Globe. He recently digitized an old cassette recording he made with his mother, who has since died, and listening to it was “an out-of-body experience more profound than any other piece of sound or vision I’ve encountered all year.” His description of listening to her talk about the history of old family furniture and other household artifacts is so spot on and true.

Yet another media casualty: North End news site to cease publishing

This time it wasn’t the result of the pandemic. But it’s still another pandemic-era media casualty and a blow to local news coverage. Universal Hub has more on the demise of Matt Conti’s digital NorthEndWaterfront.com.

Universal Hub

Too close? Springfield NAACP calls for removal of police commissioner amid reform push

The head of the Springfield chapter of the NAACP is calling for the removal of Police Commissioner Cheryl Claprood, saying she is too close to the department’s leadership to carry out reforms expected as the city reacts to a scathing Justice Department review. But Patrick Johnson of MassLive reports Mayor Domenic Sarno has pledged “110 percent” support for keeping Claprood at the helm. 


Feds give all clear for Weymouth compressor station startup

This was almost a foregone conclusion, despite concerns about its safety and pressure from pols to block its opening. From Miriam Wasser at WBUR: “The controversial Weymouth Natural Gas Compressor overcame its final regulatory hurdle Thursday afternoon as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave the company behind the facility, Enbridge, permission to put the station ‘into service.’”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Drought conditions worsen in Massachusetts

Yes, there’s a severe drought in Massachusetts and it’s getting worse, as the Herald’s Rick Sobey reports.

Boston Herald

Still idling: With PPP check in bank, bus line awaits return of demand

They’ve got the money to operate, but no riders to carry. The owners of the Plymouth & Brockton bus company say the Paycheck Protection Program loan–of at least $1 million–they got from the federal coronavirus relief package is parked in the bank even as its fleet of buses remains largely idled awaiting the return of commuter demand, Joe DiFazio at the Patriot Ledger reports. 

Patriot Ledger

Sunday public affairs TV: Michelle Wu, Jake Auchincloss and more

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Boston City Councillor and mayoral candidate Michelle Wu, who talks with host Jon Keller about her mayoral run, the city’s pandemic response and police reform.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. A look at the Greater Boston arts and culture sector and the economic impact of Covid with ArtsBoston executive director Catherine Peterson; New Repertory Theatre Artistic director Michael Bobbitt on building an anti-racist theatre; and Boston Casting’s Angela Peri and Lisa Lobel on their pandemic pivots.  

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Jake Auchincloss, Democratic candidate in the Fourth Congressional District, talks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu, followed by a political roundtable discussion with analysts Mary Anne Marsh and Rob Gray.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s main topic: That’s the Ticket, a look at how art organization are adapting during the pandemic, featuring David Dower and David Howse of ArtsEmerson, among others.  

Virtual 2020 Best Places to Work

The BBJ hopes you can join us as we celebrate the Best Place To Work!

Boston Business Journal

Faith and the National Elections: A discussion of how faith informs our voting

Join us for a discussion with faith leaders and the media to discuss: How faith shapes the issues that matter most to us; Balancing issues, political party and personal attributes when deciding how to vote; Accurate and reliable reporting in the age of social media; and The impact of a candidate’s own faith.

A Faith That Does Justice

Virtual Author Talk with David Michaelis

Virtual author talk with David Michaelis, author of the new biography Eleanor

American Ancestors/NEHGS together with the State Library of Massachusetts and Porter Square Books

100th Anniversary Virtual Awards Gala

We will stand together, virtually, to celebrate our 2020 Health Care Stars who, while deserving the utmost praise and recognition pre-COVID-19, have maintained their commitment to improving and protecting the lives of MA residents since the outbreak began. We are planning a showcase of celebration and resilience and ask for your sponsorship support of our 2020 honorees and of MHC’s work.

Massachusetts Health Council

Today’s Headlines


10,000-unit Suffolk Downs, largest development in Boston history, approved – Boston Herald

Campbell run in synch with racial reckoning – CommonWealth Magazine


Greenfield schools have served 202,868 meals to children since pandemic hit – Greenfield Recorder

Worcester to keep stricter restaurant guidelines in place as state loosens seating limits – Telegram & Gazette

Nantucket in-class learning resuming Oct. 1 – Inquirer & Mirror


Trump again refuses to commit to accepting election results – New York Times

Democrats prepare bill limiting Supreme Court terms to 18 years – Reuters

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