NGA meeting, free college tuition, cannabis convention and more …
The National Governors Association convenes this morning in Providence, R.I. for its summer session, with Gov. Charlie Baker attending the Council of Governors Briefing, Omni Providence Hotel, Providence, 10 a.m. ... Higher Education Committee meets to review proposals for public higher education affordability, including bills calling for free college, Room A-2, 10 a.m. ... Gaming Commission meets to review a new initiative aimed at increasing diversity in the construction trades and other commission matters, 101 Federal St. - 12th Floor, Boston, 10 a.m. ... Marijuana industry-focused convention CannaCon kicks off with a cannabis job fair and a session focused on how to start a marijuana business, Hynes Auditorium, 900 Boylston St., Boston, 11 a.m. ... The House convenes in a tentative informal session while the Senate meets at same time, 11 a.m. ... Gov. Baker attends the Council of Governors Lunch, Omni Providence Hotel, 12:05 p.m. ... Boston Mayor Martin Walshpresents Boston's first citywide Resilience Strategy, Thelma D. Burns Building, 575 Warren St., Roxbury, 12:30 p.m. ... Gov. Baker attends the NGA ‘Curbing the Opioid Epidemic: A Discussion with Governors on the Front Lines,’ Omni Providence Hotel, 4:15 p.m. ... House Speaker Robert DeLeospeaks at ‘Dell Technology and Massachusetts: One Year Together,’ Museum of Science, One Science Park, Boston, 6 p.m. ... WGBH’s Mike Deehan hosts WGBH News Trivia Night at the station’s studio at the Boston Public Library, 6 p.m.
Collusion timeline: Remember when candidate Trump promised to dish the dirt on Hillary?
Many of you may already have seen this, but it’s worth pointing out: Philip Bump at the Washington Post recalls a campaign speech last year by then candidate Donald Trump in which he promises a “major speech” to dish the dirt on Hillary Clinton. The comment occurred at the same time his son, Donald Jr., was preparing to meet up with his Russian contacts. Coincidence? Scroll down to June 7 in Bump’s timeline piece for the sequence of events. The New York Times is also jumping on this curious timeline. Josh Marshall’s Talking Points Memo has a handy video of Trump Sr.’s comments last year.
Needless to say: If they find an email and/or text linking Junior’s meeting to Senior’s speech, Mike Pence will be humming ‘Hail to the Chief’ a little louder, as the Globe’s Renée Graham has memorably put it.
‘My God, every day is like a ‘Gong Show’ with this crew’
Via the Herald’s Peter Gelzinis, it’s hard not to laugh at former Gov. Michael Dukakis’s take on what’s happening these days on the Russkie-collusion front. Remember: Laughter is the best mental-health tonic in times like these. Fyi: The Herald’s Michael Graham has to have the strangest and most strained opening analogy of the week. But we get his point: Conservatives, stop defending Junior.
The 24-hour strike by 1,200 nurses at Tufts Medical Center was scheduled to end this morning, but, as the Herald’s Lindsay Kalter notes, the battle will drag on through the week due to a lock-out (or “suspension,” as Kalter calls it) by the hospital. In the meantime, there are a lot of political questions that need answering, such as: Where was Marty? The Globe’s Meghan Irons reports on how Mayor Walsh was so involved in resolving last year’s labor dispute between nurses and Brigham & Woman’s Hospital, but was absent in this year’s Tufts Medical standoff. Short answer: The former labor union leader says he wasn’t formally invited to mediate. He’s definitely bemoaning the fact the strike even occurred, reports Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive.
In other political news related to the strike, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez is bashing Republican Gov. Charlie Baker for not doing enough to avert the strike, the Herald reports. Baker counters that his administration has been closely monitoring the situation and the level of care at Tufts Medical, reports WGBH’s Mike Deehan.
Ho hum: Another day, another T fiasco
The Herald’s Jessica Heslam relays the tale of a T rider who was among the passengers “forced to walk through a dungeon-like tunnel in yesterday’s sweltering heat after power woes halted Green Line trains.” Sounds like the Poseidon Adventure.
ACLU going after DAs where it counts: The ballot box
After releasing a poll that shows residents believe the state’s criminal justice system is "biased and ripe for reform,” the ACLU and its allies plan to launch a campaign this fall to educate voters about the powers of district attorneys over criminal-justic matters and how voters can hold elected prosecutors accountable, SHNS’s Michael Norton reports. I.e., It’s an old-fashioned throw-the-bums-out tutorial as tied to criminal-justice reform.
Are they selling marijuana-infused snake oil in pot dispensaries these days? The reason we ask: The Globe’s Kathleen Conti reports that a South Boston billboard ad -- blaring the dubious message ‘States that legalized marijuana had 25% fewer opioid-related deaths’ – has been pulled by Clear Channel Outdoor after a citizen complaint that it fell within an ‘exclusionary zone.’ The ad was paid for by Weedmaps, a California-based company that runs an online marijuana dispensary rating service, of course.
Lawrence voters may see pot-ban question in November
Tipping point alert! Lawrence could become one of the largest communities yet to ban retail sales of recreational marijuana after the City Council voted to start the process that could put the question before voters in November, Keith Eddings of the Eagle-Tribune reports.
Banned at Harvard: Frats, sororities and social clubs?
After banning students belonging to single-gender frats, sororities and social-clubs from holding campus leadership posts, Harvard may be poised, based on a new panel recommendation, to outright ban students from joining such clubs, reports Spencer Buell at Boston Magazine. He’s right to note: “This isn’t likely to go over well. ... An outright ban on membership could turn Harvard upside down.”
At the Globe,Laura Krantz reports that the real goal of the proposed ban is to kill off seven all-male final clubs. OK. But here’s the question: Why were frats and sororities thrown into the mix? Answer: They’re an old campus bugaboo of the left stretching back to the ‘60s, sort of like how ROTC was a long-time campus bugaboo. At the Globe, Nathaniel Brooks Horwitz, a Harvard student, says the proposed ban is overkill.
UMass Trustees are likely to approve a 3 percent hike in tuition and fees for the coming school year when they meet on Monday, Diane Lederman reports in MassLive. Trustees delayed a vote last month citing the yet-unresolved state budget picture.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren raised $3.45 million between April and June, boosting her campaign war chest to more than $11 million, Lauren Dezenski of Politico reports. It’s looking increasingly likely that Warren will have ample opportunity to spend her campaign cash with Republican challenger Geoff Diehl saying this week that he’ll formally take the plunge and run against her in 2018.
The town of Falmouth could be on the hook for millions of dollars in state loans and other costs now that selectmen in the Cape town have decided not to appeal a judge’s decision that found its two municipal wind turbines are a nuisance to neighbors. Christine Legere of the Cape Cod Times has the details.
Rockwell sales to help fund Berkshire Museum reinvention
The Berkshire Museum will sell off as many as 40 paintings, including two Norman Rockwell works, to raise as much as $50 million to help fund a reinvention of the 114-year-old institution in downtown Pittsfield, Carrie Saldo of the Berkshire Eagle reports.
Will the state’s $60M investsment in Mass MoCa really pan out?
The Berkshire Museum move comes on the heels of the massive expansion of Mass MoCa in North Adams, where Linda Enerson at CommonWealth Magazine digs into whether the sprawling complex— and the $60 million worth of state funds pumped into it—will actually become an engine for sustained economic change in the area.
Markey: ‘Big Broadband and their Republican allies want to turn back the clock’
U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, along with two other lawmakers, is calling on the Trump administration to preserve net neutrality, reports Shannon Young at MassLIve. Markey doesn’t sound like he expects much from the White House or the GOP-controlled Congress and FCC. "Big Broadband and their Republican allies want to turn back the clock so they can be the gatekeepers of internet access,” Markey said.
It’s started: Rep. Higgins hit with anti-pay-raise mailer
From Peter Jasinski at the Sentinel & Enterprise: “Rep. Natalie Higgins is among at least five House members targeted in a Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance mailer sent to constituents that blasts the lawmakers' votes in January to boost legislative pay.”
Eversource to replace undersea cable for harbor dredging project
Eversource has reached an agreement with the Massachusetts Port Authority and US Army Corps of Engineers to replace an underwater cable to make way for a long-sought, $310 million dredging project for Boston Harbor, reports the Globe’s Jon Chesto.