Happening Today:

2 p.m. | Gov. Maura Healey joins the Black and Latino Legislative Caucus to commemorate the 75th anniversary of President Truman's executive order desegregating the U.S. Armed Forces. | Governor's Office

10:30 a.m. | U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan announces $1.5 million in federal COVID-19 relief dollars for a Marlborough water tank project. | Sligo Water Tank, 91 Arnold St., Marlboroug

Noon | U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark and Charles River Watershed Association announce $400,000 in federal funding to reduce flood risks. | Natick High School, 15 West St., Natick

1 p.m. | Ticket resale is on the agenda at a Committee on Consumer Protection Committee hearing alongside other bills on retail, solicitation and advertising. | Room B-2 and Virtual

2 p.m. | A U.S. EPA assistant administrator and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Watter, U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark and state officials announce $58 million in grant funding to get lead out of school drinking water. | The Kennedy Center, 23A Moulton St., Charlestown

5:30 p.m. | Community members will testify before the Department of Public Health on UMass Memorial Health's decision to shutter the Birthing Center at Leominster Hospital.| Hilton DoubleTree Hotel, 99 Erdman Way, Leominster

Soaring rents: Are luxury buildings driving rents up or down?

In a quest for more affordable housing in Massachusetts, there is passionate debate over housing production strategies as advocates and policymakers agree the solution involves building more homes and apartments, reports GBH. Some activists argue the state’s most immediate need is homes for lower-income residents while others want to increase the supply of market-rate housing, which comes with a higher price tag. The debate over which method is more conducive to lowering housing costs isn’t new, but Gov. Maura Healey’s administration is aligning with developers on new housing policies that allocate state money to build more homes and apartments.


NAACP is in town, bringing visibility to plight of Black business in Boston

The annual NAACP kicks off in Boston later this week, picking the Hub as its host city for the first time in 41 years. Each year, the organization that advocates for Black people and people of color gathers its delegates to vote on its policy platforms and brings national policymakers and community leaders together. The Globe’s Shirley Leung writes that the conference could breathe more equity into the state’s Black businesses she says don’t currently have equal opportunity.

The Boston Globe

Black business leaders are energized by the NAACP, says a team of Boston Globe writers who report business leaders agree the NAACP convention brings an opportunity for change.

The Boston Globe

Massachusetts jobless rate sinks to 2.6% — lowest in 47 years

The state’s unemployment rate has hit a 47-year low as it continues to sink in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic — and with employers across the state still struggling to fill open positions. Labor officials reported the statewide jobless rate ticked downward one-fifth of a percentage point to 2.6 percent in June, reports Chris Lisinski for State House News Service

State House News Service

Bills would cover first responders exposed to needles at Mass and Cass

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would provide coverage to first responders who get sick from on-the-job exposure to uncapped needles — a particularly prevalent risk around the Mass and Cass area in Boston. The Herald’s Gayla Cawley reports the legislation would add a section to state law that includes disabling or fatal infectious diseases suffered in the line of duty.

The Boston Herald

Religious exemptions for vaccines for Massachusetts kids up for debate

A new law would mean religion would no longer be an accepted reason to exempt a child from mandatory vaccinations in Massachusetts. Jason Laughlin for The Boston Globe reports that these types of exemptions are rare, but the number of parents seeking waivers for religious reasons has grown over the past 20 years and accounts for the majority of unvaccinated children in Massachusetts.

The Boston Globe

Where in the world is Southern Mattapan?

In the era a sky-high housing costs, developers and realtors are trying to rebrand parts of Boston in an apparent effort to push prices even higher. Universal Hub reports that “somebody out there is trying to make ‘Southern Mattapan’ exist.” If you Google “Southern Mattapan” the first thing that comes up is a Realtor.com overview of the neighborhood, that includes interesting facts about the alleged neighborhood.

Universal Hub

With less Boston traffic, would people choose cars or MBTA?

Car traffic is back to pre-pandemic levels — bad news for carbon emissions — and MBTA ridership has largely plateaued at about two-thirds of pre-pandemic levels. The Globe reports that while just about everyone in Massachusetts supports climate change mitigation efforts few will choose the train or the bus if they have a car that will get them where they need to go more quickly and less miserably.

The Boston Globe

State says Eversource has more work to do on Springfield gas-line plan

Eversource has more work to do before it can move forward with controversial plans to install a new gas line through Springfield and Longmeadow after state environmental regulators found its environmental impact report inadequate. MassLive’s Jeanette DeForge reports the $65 million project to add more than 5 miles of new pipe to its gas network has been opposed by environmental groups and several local agencies who have questioned whether it is needed.


Fall River paper heads to court over city’s refusal to explain firing 

Attorneys for Gannett will head to Superior Court next month to argue that the city of Fall River improperly blocked release of public records that would explain why the city’s director of community maintenance lost his job. Jo C. Goode of the Herald-News reports the paper has been seeking an investigator’s report and a resulting separation agreement for more than a year.

Herald News

Off the shelf: Housing market jolts long-abandoned Worcester housing project back to life

A Southborough housing developer hopes to revive a long-shelved plan to build 50 single-family homes not far from downtown Worcester. Kendall Homes will be before the city’s planning board this week hoping to win approval to bring more of a neighborhood first approved in 1985 to market.

Telegram & Gazette | Worcester Business Journal

Erin Tiernan was a Editor and Author of MASSterList