Happening Today

Updated job numbers, Auchincloss tour, and more

Today | Labor officials release an updated Massachusetts unemployment rate, labor force and jobs estimates for the month of August.

8:30 | Congressman Jake Auchincloss tours Bristol County Agricultural High School with Superintendent Adele Sands.

10 a.m. | Cannabis Control Commission holds its September business meeting, at which it is likely to process dozens of license renewals, final license approvals and new business applications. Commissioners could also discuss extending COVID-19 administrative actions.

12 p.m. | Sen. Eric Lesser hosts Chicopee Public Schools Superintendent Lynn Clark on his weekly livestream to talk about back-to-school operations as well as the outlook for in-person learning with the threat of the Delta variant this fall.

1 p.m. | Commission on Structural Racism in the Massachusetts Probation Service holds virtual public hearing, where Probation Service will give a presentation.

Today’s Stories

No signs of slowing down

At the outset of the week, we wrote about how it was going to be a whirlwind and it certainly was. From the Boston preliminary and elections across the state to a slate of committee hearings and former Rep. David Nangle’s sentencing, we’re happy to put this week behind us.

But the next few weeks show no sign of slowing down. State House News Service’s Sam Doran reports that the Senate is gearing up for a formal session next week, though what exactly they’re up to is still unclear.

A new group of cities and towns are scheduled to hold preliminary elections on Sept. 21, including Fall River, Chicopee, Holyoke, and Lowell. Dennis Hohenberger, reporting for the Springfield Republican, wrote that Holyoke City Clerk Brenna Murphy McGee expects a 20 to 25 percent turnout for the preliminary.

Two legislative committees continue their quest to figure out how to spend American Rescue Plan Act dollars with a Tuesday hearing focused on health care, mental health, substance use disorder, public health, and human services. The Joint Committee on Ways and Means and House Federal Stimulus and Census Oversight Committee meet at 11 a.m.

Something else to keep on your radar: This Sunday, Jon Keller talks with City Councilor and Boston mayoral candidate Michelle in one of the first televised interviews since she advanced to the November election.

Baker opposes same-day voter registration, cites ‘complexity’

It’s just complex. That’s what Gov. Charlie Baker said as he described his opposition to same-day voter registration, reports State House News Service’s Chris Lisinski. During an appearance on GBH’s “Boston Public Radion,” Baker said same-day registration would also create more work for election officials as they manage polling places and count ballots.

“We have lots and lots of opportunities for people to register right up until Election Day and a lot of processes that are pretty easy to use to get there,” Baker said on the radio. “But I want municipalities and the commonwealth on Election Day to focus on one thing and one thing only, which is counting the votes.”

State House News Service

More from Baker’s radio interview: proof of vaccination, resettling Afghan refugees

More on Gov. Baker’s Thursday radio appearance: The Republican governor said Massachusetts officials are talking with colleagues in other states in an attempt to figure out how to come up with a universal system for residents to prove they’ve been vaccinated, reports Boston Globe’s Travis Andersen. GBH’s Mike Deehan also has more details on Baker’s comments.

Baker also remarked on welcoming Afghan refugees in Massachusetts: “There will be people who resettle in Massachusetts.” State House News Service’s Katie Lannan reports that the Baker administration said the federal government informed them that up to 900 evacuees could end up in the commonwealth. Officials are awaiting more details on when and where the groups will arrive.

Boston Globe

Non-binding elected Boston school committee question advances to ballot

It’s on the ballot this November. Boston residents will have a chance to offer their thoughts on whether the city’s current appointed school committee change to one consisting of elected members. Boston Herald’s Alexi Cohan reports Boston City Council unanimously approved placing the non-binding question on the Nov. 2 ballot.

The question on the ballot will read: “Should the current appointed school committee structure be changed to a school committee elected by the residents of Boston?”

Boston Herald

Raytheon to mandate COVID vaccine for U.S. employees

One of the state’s largest employers will require U.S. employees to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 1. Boston Business Journal’s Lucia Maffei reports that Raytheon Technologies Corp. confirmed their decision Thursday, saying the move is “to further protect employees and communities from the risks and uncertainty of Covid-19 and its variants.”

Boston Business Journal

No more roar: Galvin slaps $4 million fine on employer in GameStop stock scheme

They should have kept a better eye on Roaring Kitty. Secretary of State William Galvin issued a $4 million fine to a subsidiary of Mass Mutual, saying the company failed to properly supervise former employee Keith Gill — aka, Roaring Kitty — who spent much of his time making online videos that pumped up the stock of GameStop, enabling him to earn hundred of thousands of dollars in the process. Matt Phillps of the New York Times has the details.

New York Times

Gone silent

A super PAC with ties to Gov. Charlie Baker hasn’t weighed-in on the Boston mayoral race, reports CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl. While more than $4 million has flowed from Super PACs into the race, the Massachusetts Majority PAC has decided not to spend on the race or other local campaigns.

More from Mohl: “In fact, it’s reported no expenditures or receipts at all since October 2020. Super PACs can raise unlimited amounts of money, including from corporations, and can use their funds to support or oppose candidates. Super PACs, however, cannot coordinate their activities with the campaigns they are supporting.”


The key to teacher retention

How has one Western Massachusetts town managed to boast a high teacher retention rate? MassLive’s Melissa Hanson reports that Lee Public Schools Superintendent Michael Richard credits a formula of culture and climate as well as proximity to the Massachusetts Turnpike. The town has one of the highest teacher retention rates among districts in the state: out of 74 teachers, 71 stayed in the same position from one year to the next.


More on Boston election results delay

Still wondering what caused the election results delay in Boston? Look no further than a story from GBH News’ Sean Corcoran and Meghan Smith, who report collecting 7,000 ballots from drop boxes took time. This was the first time voters in the city could choose to vote by mail or submit ballots at drop boxes.

More from the GBH duo: “[Secretary of State William Galvin’s] office supervises elections across the state, and Boston presents more of a challenge because of its large pool of voters. Plus, officials can’t start officially counting ballots until the polls close at 8 p.m.”

GBH News

Good month: Nursing school gift caps off $200M month for UMass

Pretty, pretty good. A charitable foundation named after an alum has donated $21.5 million to the UMass Amherst College of Nursing, Ron Chimelis of MassLive reports. The gift from the Elaine Nicpon Marieb Charitable Foundation comes on the heels of a $175 million grant to rename the system’s medical school and a $50 million donation from a pair of UMass Lowell grads.


Border war: Bay State pols want to respond as Rhode Island expands its closest casino

Rhode Island is going big and some in the Bay State want to follow suit. Bruce Mohl of CommonWealth reports on the nascent debate about whether the Bay State should allow an expansion of gaming options at the Plainridge Park slots parlor in the wake of Bally’s Gaming breaking ground on a significant expansion of the Twin River Casino just 15 miles and one state border away.


‘Very alarming and scary’

A jump in COVID cases in Springfield prompted renewed calls from city officials for residents to wear masks and get vaccinated, reports MassLive’s Peter Goonan. The number of new COVID cases jumped 265 in the past two days.


Do it again: AG hits Hadley Select Board over open meeting law in Covid policy-making

The office of Attorney General Maura Healey says it agrees with residents who complained that the Hadley Select Board violated the Open Meeting Law when they voted in May to allow access to town facilities to all, regardless of vaccination status or mask-wearing, Dusty Christensen of the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports. The AG’s office says the board must meet again in a more clearly posted meeting in order to reinstate the policy.

Daily Hampshire Gazette

Interactive map shows where Boston mayoral candidates got their support

Love maps, data, and the Boston preliminary? Boston Globe’s John Hancock and Martin Finucane put together a really cool interactive map showing where the mayoral candidates got their support from. The dot density map reveals where each of the five major candidates drew support down to the precinct level.

Boston Globe

Sunday public affairs TV: Michelle Wu, Michael Flaherty, and more

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Ch. 4, 8:30 a.m. Guest is Boston City Councilor and mayoral candidate Michelle Wu, discussing the practicality of her plans for rent control and free MBTA access, police reform, and her vision for Boston’s future.

This Week in Business, NECN, Sunday, 10 a.m. This week’s topic: Charles River Regional Chamber President & CEO Greg Reibman talks about the new federal COVID testing and vaccination mandate; the opening and building of the Omni Boston Hotel with Managing Director Mike Jorgensen and Larry Smith of the Taylor Smith Group; and Doug Banks on the business beat looking at key issues in the race for mayor of Boston, the growth of gateway cities, and why people are shopping now for the holidays.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Ch. 5, Sunday, 11 a.m.  Boston City Councilor Michael Flaherty speaks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu followed by a roundtable discussion with political analysts Mary Anne Marsh and Rob Gray. 

CityLine, WCVB-TV, Ch. 5 Sunday 12 p.m. This week’s topic: A food tour in and around Boston to support local businesses that continue to serve delicious meals.

Corrections & Clarifications

MassterList’s Sept. 16 edition incorrectly listed the date and time of a Cannabis Control Commission meeting. The meeting was rescheduled for Friday, Sept. 17 in observance of Yom Kippur.

Today’s Headlines


WBZ-TV reporter Bill Shields is retiring after 41 years at the station – Boston Globe

Wu, Essaibi-George clash on MBTA ‘fiscal calamity’ heading inbound – Boston Herald

Restoration eyed for key Fields Corner site – Dorchester Reporter


Holyoke to distribute $14.9M in COVID relief funding in coming weeks – MassLive

Are students of color disciplined more severely on Cape Cod? Here’s what the data shows. – Cape Cod Times

Two police cruisers destroyed by suspicious fire in Dracut – Lowell Sun


Democrats brace for toughest stretch yet with Biden agenda – The Hill

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, a Republican who voted to impeach Trump, won’t seek re-election – NBC News

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