8 a.m. | Big players blow in for the Reuters Events US Offshore Wind 2023 conference.| Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St., Boston
10 a.m. | Metropolitan Beaches Commission hosts a virtual public hearing to discuss efforts to improve coastal resilience at the region's public beaches.
10 a.m. | Gov. Maura Healey will shoot some hoops at the launch of the DCR's Summer Nights Program | Francis D. Martini Memorial Shell Park, 1015 Truman Parkway, Hyde Park
11 a.m. | Gov. Maura Healey salutes lifeguards. | 95 Turtle Pond Parkway, Hyde Park
12:15 p.m. | Drivers for ride-hailing platforms Uber and Lyft plan to rally at the State House in support of legislation giving them collective bargaining rights. | State House
6:30 p.m. | Gov. Maura Healey toasts the Gloucester 400th Anniversary Celebration. | Hammond Castle Museum, 80 Hesperus Avenue, Gloucester
Beaches are shrinking in the Bay State. Sand lining Massachusetts’ 1,500-mile coastline is slipping into the sea as coastal erosion — driven by climate change and rising waters— accelerates. Beaches across the state are losing anywhere from 1 to 10 feet of land per year, experts say.
It’s a troubling trend in a state where barely 12% of beaches are open to all members of the public. In the Hub, The Metropolitan Beaches Commission and Save the Harbor/Save the Bay are leading the charge to help the state and local communities develop strategies to strengthen coastlines and preserve public access.
Today, the groups launch a series of public hearings on efforts to improve coastal resilience on the region’s public beaches. The 10 a.m. virtual hearing will feature state and local officials and a preliminary report on coastal infrastructure and storm surge inundation for each of the Metropolitan Beaches from Nahant to Nantasket.
Commission consultant Bruce Berman, “The design strategies and visualization tools to help people understand and agree on the scope of the challenges facing each beachfront community.” Berman says the event is an “important first step” in combating climate change and protecting local beaches.
The report suggests a variety of ways to mitigate rising waters at some of the commission’s 15 metro-area beaches. But the state-funded Shoreline Change Project warns seawalls and other coastal hardening can make flooding worse.
“The Commonwealth’s greatest assets and attractions — beaches, dunes, barrier beaches, salt marshes, and estuaries — will be threatened and slowly disappear as the sand sources that feed and sustain them are eliminated,” the report states.
Coastal erosion is already costing the state about $1 billion a year, says environment group SeaLevelRise. Waterfront neighborhoods are also increasingly at risk as flooding from storm surges and Nor’easters become more frequent.
Pembroke Rep. Josh Cutler has filed a bill that attempts to address the issue and would “develop, identify, research, advance and deploy innovative means, methods, technologies and approaches for protecting and strengthening.”
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Keller @ Large
After a decade in Congress, WBZ political analyst Jon Keller says Rep. Seth Moulton has “matured” since his somewhat ageist run-in with California Rep. Nancy Pelosi. For example — the Massachusetts politician and veteran is stepping up to preserve funding for troops in need of abortion services.
House, Senate at odds over gun-safety policy
House and Senate lawmakers can’t agree on where to land on gun reform legislation filed by Rep. Michael Day, reports State House News Service. The House wants it in front of the Judiciary Committee co-chaired by Day and the Senate would send it to the Joint Committee on Public Safety.
Teachers union could put nixing MCAS graduation requirement on ballot
The MCAS graduation requirement debate may be coming before voters as a 2024 ballot question, the Massachusetts Teachers Association indicated, releasing poll results showing significant support for the idea, reports Grace Zokovitch for The Boston Herald. The union released results from an Echo Cove Research poll of 800 registered voters aged 21 and older at the end of June showing 73% support for eliminating the requirement.
Bill would regulate federal benefits for children in DCF care
The state Department of Children and Families takes about 90 percent of children’s federal benefits and directs it to the state’s general fund — totaling about $15 million in the last three calendar years, writes a two-reporter team with The Boston Globe. Many states, including Massachusetts, lean on a provision in federal regulations that allows the money to be used for costs related to a child’s care.
Banked: Liz Warren raises $1.2 million for reelection while pushing abortion
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is delivering on her proclamation that “Roe will be on the ballot in 2024” — and it appears to be helping her fundraise, reports Samantha J. Gross. Warren is backing efforts in red states to amend state constitutions to shore up abortion rights. She has no viable challenger as of now.
Driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants spikes nonprofit need
Workers at a Massachusetts nonprofit organization that provides services for immigrant communities have been in overdrive since a new law allowing all state residents to get a driver’s license, regardless of their immigration status, took effect earlier this month. The Framingham-based nonprofit the Brazilian-American Center, or BRACE, has been helping license-seekers navigate the required paperwork and book appointments.
Connolly leaves Democratic Socialists of America ahead of expulsion vote
State Rep. Mike Connolly said Monday that he’s leaving the Boston chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America after the group moved to expel him for, among other things, endorsing Maura Healey in the 2022 Democratic gubernatorial primary and twice supporting Ron Mariano for speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, writes Adam Reilly for GBH.
Crappy situation: Environmental groups demand end of sewage overflows
Environmentalists are calling on state officials to take steps to stop sewage overflows and pollution runoff after new data shows 274 Massachusetts beaches were potentially unsafe for swimming on at least one testing day, reports Christian Wade for The Newburyport News. That’s nearly half of the state’s public beaches.
Gaming Commission picks Grossman as interim head
Regulators landed on a pair of internal applicants to temporarily lead the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, tapping agency general counsel Todd Grossman to serve as its interim executive director starting at the end of the week, reports State House News Service. After deliberations that featured one member wishing both Grossman and MGC Racing Director Alexandra Lightbown could get the job, commissioners settled on a compromise: Lightbown will report directly to the commission itself, not Grossman, for the foreseeable future.
Touting Covid response and fiscal stability, Vieau launches re-election bid in Chicopee
Chiocpee Mayor John L. Vieau has confirmed he will seek a third two-year term in office and plans to emphasize his track record over the last four years, which includes shepherding the city through the pandemic and a stabilization fund that now contains a record-high $27 million. MassLive’s Jeanette DeForge reports Vieau faces a challenge from City Councilor Delmarina Lopez.
National group eyes referendum to legalize psychedelic mushrooms in Bay State
A Washington, D.C.-based political action committee is backing an effort to legalize the use of psychedelic mushrooms in therapeutic settings in Massachusetts by taking their case directly to voters. Massachusetts for Mental Health Options, which is backed by the New Approach PAC, has alerted regulators it is laying the groundwork for a possible referendum, though Christian Wade of the Eagle-Tribune reports time is running out to make the 2024 ballot.
Lynn eyes receivership to boost housing stock
The city of Lynn is using a state grant to step up its use of court-ordered receivership to force the sale of homes that have been neglected or abandoned by their owners. The Item’s Paul Halloran reports the city hopes having the tool at hand will prompt more property owners to make repairs on their own.
Never mind: Strip club shelves plan for topless pot shop
It seemed like a good idea at the time. The owners of Club Castaway say they are no longer actively pursuing a proposal to turn their Whately strip club into the state’s first topless cannabis dispensary and instead will turn their attention to reopening the club, which has been closed since the pandemic began.
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