Keller at Large
Keller at Large
In his latest Keller at Large, Jon Keller breaks down a new poll of the Boston mayoral race from Suffolk University and the Boston Globe. His takeaway: “The Suffolk survey has good news and bad news for all the leading candidates.”
PFAS Task Force, Veterans Affairs, and more
9 a.m. | Club De Madrid and Boston Global Forum hold first day of policy lab “Fundamental Rights in AI and Digital Societies – Towards an International Accord” to build “consensus around a rights-based agenda for the global governance of artificial intelligence and digital societies.”
10 a.m. | PFAS Interagency Task Force meets virtually to explore questions around the sources of water and ground contamination by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and discuss who is responsible for mediation and cleanup efforts.
10 a.m. | Gov. Charlie Baker joins UMass President Marty Meehan, UMass Medical School Chancellor Michael Collins, and other officials for an announcement.
11 a.m. | Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs holds a hearing on legislation related to honor and recognition.
11 a.m. | House and Senate hold informal sessions.
11:15 a.m. | Boston Acting Mayor Kim Janey joins Boston Housing Authority for a groundbreaking of the Orient Heights state public housing property.
The leader and the pack: With week to go, Globe poll shows Wu well ahead of tight pack
File under: Further confirmation. A Boston Globe/Suffolk University poll of the Boston mayoral race shows City Councilor Michelle Wu poised to advance to the November final election, Meghan Irons of the Globe reports.
Wu was the top choice of 31 percent of voters polled, with the second-place scrum featuring Acting Mayor Kim Janey at 20 percent, Councilor Annissa Essaibi George at 19 percent and Councilor Andrea Campbell at 18 percent. The results mirror earlier polls showing a tight race for the second slot on the November ballot.
Masks required in all Worcester schools
Starting today, masks are now required in all Worcester schools — public, private, parochial, and charter — and employers and businesses inside the city’s limits will need to report all positive COVID cases among employees and patrons to the city’s Division of Public Health, reports Telegram & Gazette’s Rick Eggleston. Worcester Medical Director Dr. Michael Hirsh issued two emergency orders Friday setting the new requirements.
More from Eggleston: “Previously, all employers in the state were required to report COVID-19 cases under Gov. Charlie Baker’s Emergency Declaration. However, since being lifted in June, the regulation is no longer required, except now in Worcester, which is making it mandatory again for the purpose of contact tracing and quarantine requirements.”
Vote by mail could ‘reshape’ local elections
Election advocates are hopeful new voting by mail options will help increase turnout in a slate of local elections that typically draw low numbers, reports WBUR’s Simón Rios. Under the old rules, Massachusetts residents could only vote by mail if they were out of town or had a good excuse. After the pandemic forced much of life to be conducted from home, Beacon Hill lawmakers moved to temporarily allow anyone to take advantage of the option.
More from Rios: “Indeed, some believe the new vote-by-mail rules could even reshape local politics in cities like Lynn, where most of the city councilors are white, but most of the residents are not.”
Janey: Housing issues are ‘deeply personal’
Boston Acting Mayor Kim Janey said housing issues are “deeply personal” to her as she recalled growing up in subsidized housing and living in a homeless shelter. Boston Herald’s Erin Tiernan reports that Janey made those comments as she was defending her administration’s decision to implement a citywide moratorium on evictions.
Total recall: Warren stumps with Newsom ahead of California vote
She was there to rile up the base. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren joined a parade of national political figures wading into the California gubernatorial recall election, with the Los Angeles Times’ Phil Willon and Julia Wick reporting Warren warned voters from the stump that allowing the Golden State to be put into the hands of a Republican could endanger women’s rights, science-based COVID responses, and the earth’s climate.
Allen leads Democratic candidates in August fundraising
Danielle set the pace of the cash game this past month for the 2022 Democratic gubernatorial candidates. State House News Service’s Matt Murphy reports that she pulled in over $100,000 in August, topping Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz’s $35,849 and former Sen. Ben Downing’s $23,600.
State brought in $2.49B in tax collections last month
The state hauled in $2.49 billion in tax collections last month, 26.9 percent more than August 2020 but only 0.4 percent more than predictions for the month, reports the Associated Press’ Boston Bureau.
More from the AP: “Year-to-date collections for the 2022 fiscal year totaled approximately $4.745 billion, which is $639 million or 15.6 percent more than collections in the same period during the 2021 fiscal year, and $10 million or 0.2 percent more than year-to-date predictions.”
All five Boston mayoral candidates united at Labor Day rally
They all came together for Labor Day. The five Boston mayoral candidates attended a rally to celebrate workers and push for their protections, reports Boston Globe’s Diti Kohli. The event was held outside the Marriott Copley Place and the Prudential Center and drew hundreds from local unions and cultural associations.
GBH News’ Paul Singer reports that all of the candidates backed the boycott of Marriott Copley Place for firing 230 employees last fall as the pandemic halted tourism to the state and hotels struggled to survive. Singer writes that workers who lost their jobs have been told they will need to reapply for them with no guarantee of returning with the same pay rate.
On a related note, federal COVID benefits expired Monday and GBH News’ Esteban Bustillos reports that UNITE HERE Local 26, which represents workers in the hospitality industry, is worried about what the loss of benefits will mean for employees in the hotel sector.
‘Transformational:’ UMass Medical School lands $175M gift, new name
The family foundation of billionaire Gerald Chan says it will donate $175 million to UMass Medical School, the largest-ever donation to the state’s public university system and one that will double the med school’s endowment overnight, Priyanka Dayal McCluskey of the Globe reports. The donation comes just a week after a Lowell couple said it would donate $50 million to the UMass system.
Substitute shortage in Central MA reaches another record high
Schools may have a hard time finding a substitute teacher in Central Massachusetts. Telegram & Gazette’s Nicole Shih reports that as COVID cases are once again on the rise, substitute shortages have climbed to a record high at school districts in the area as potential candidates weigh health risks with often times low wages.
More from Shih: “At Worcester Public Schools, finding enough subs to cover teacher absences was an issue even before the pandemic, according to Superintendent Maureen Binienda. Currently, Worcester has a little more than 200 names on its subs list, but that does not mean that all 200 people are available every day, Binienda said.”
Protest scheduled today at Springfield City Hall
Get ready for a noon protest at Springfield City Hall today as city councilors and labor unions plan to accuses Mayor Domenic Sarno’s administration of not moving quick enough on COVID-19 merit pay bonuses for union employees, reports MassLive’s Peter Goonan. Sarno’s administration said they will continue to hand out up to $5,000 in one-time merit pay though critics say union workers should automatically receive the maximum amount.
Too much: Citing mental health, South Hadley school board member quits
He’s tired of being a target. South Hadley School Committee member Charles Miles has resigned, citing online harassment in response to his vote to require masks in schools and blaming “failed leadership at the state level” for putting local school board members in the crosshairs of COVID deniers. Jim Russell of MassLive reports Miles is a disabled veteran who has been diagnosed with PTSD and that fellow members applauded him for making his own mental health a priority.
Corrections & Clarifications
MassterList’s Friday, Sept. 3 edition incorrectly identified Biddy Martin’s professional position. She is the president of Amherst College. We don’t know whom we offended more, the UMass kids or the Amherst College kids.
As Barnstable hunts for new sources of public drinking water, PFAS contamination rears its ugly head – Cape Cod Times
Boston averaged more than 1 ‘Storrowing’ a day last month – WCVB
Protesters rally in Harvard Square to denounce Texas abortion law – Boston Globe
FBI: Hate crimes decline in Massachusetts – Eagle-Tribune
Labor Day promise: St. Vincent Hospital nurses won’t return to work unless promised old jobs – Telegram & Gazette
Judge prohibits use of North Attleboro gun range until safety improvements made – Sun Chronicle
Five tax issues to watch as Democrats craft $3.5T bill – The Hill
Nicholas Kristof starts reaching out to staff for Oregon run – Politico
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