Diehl Senate announcement, DOT bridge project update and more ...
State Rep. Geoff Diehl, a Whitman Republican, formally launches his U.S. Senate campaign with a party at the VFW hall in his hometown of Whitman, 95 Essex St., Whitman, 6 p.m. ... City of Worcester has invited members of the media to attend a series of addiction trainings the city's Department of Health and Human Services is offering to all Worcester firefighters. 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 1:45 p.m., 2:45 p.m., and 3:45 p.m. ... Treasurer Deborah Goldberg attends the Pension Reserves Investment Management Board Investment Committee meeting, 84 State St., 9:30 a.m. ... U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III visits the MetroWest YMCA's Family Outdoor Center and Camp and then later helps prepare lunches at Milford Summer Lunch Program, YMCA, 45 East St., Hopkinton, 10 a.m. ... Acting MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver updates on the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Replacement Project, Turnpike Park, 807 Commonwealth Ave, 10:30 a.m. ... Rep. Carlos Gonzalez, Springfield Police Commissioner John Barberi, and City Council President Orlando Ramos meet with Axon / Tasers International representatives who will demonstrate their police car dashboard cameras, Springfield Police Department, 130 Earl St., Springfield, 11:00 a.m. ... Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, will be on ‘Boston Public Radio’ for her monthly segment, WGBH-FM, 89.7, 12 p.m. ... Treasurer Deborah Goldberg speaks at the ‘Heroes Among US’ award ceremony hosted by the Boston Celtics and the Massachusetts State Lottery, Great Hall, 2 p.m. ... Sen. Sal DiDomenico's office hosts a Red Cross blood drive at the State House, Great Hall, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ... The Department of Public Utilitiesholds a public hearing on the petition of Eversource Energy for a general rate increase, Berkshire Community College, Bolland Theater, Koussevitzky Bldg., 1350 West St., Pittsfield, 6 p.m.
Boston’s very own John F. Kelly, the former U.S. Marine general and now chief of staff to President Trump, fired the bombastic Anthony Scaramucci on Kelly’s first day at the White House and Kelly told aides he’s imposing military discipline within the “free-for-all West Wing,” as the NYY Times reports.
The Herald’s Peter Gelzinis writes that, considering Kelly’s background and the loss of his son in Afghanistan, firing “a foul-mouthed pipsqueak like Anthony Scaramucci was very small potatoes indeed.” The Herald’s Howie Carr says the tough-talking Scaramucci simply ran into a genuinely tough guy in Kelly – and the Mooch lost. The Globe’s Joan Vennochi isn’t happy with all the Italian-American stereotypes swirling around Scaramucci, but she’s happy the Mooch is gone. Points well taken – though we do love hearing and saying the name “Scaramucci,” sort of the way “Joey Buttafuoco” had a nice flow to it. ... Btw: Tony isn’t sleeping with the fishes, despite what Harvard says, the Globe emphasizes.
Report: Obama and others urge Patrick to run for president in 2020
Let’s see: There’s Elizabeth Warren and Seth Moulton and now ... Deval Patrick is being mentioned as the latest potential Bay State presidential candidate in 2020. Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere reports that former President Barack Obama, David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett and other Obama insiders have nudged, talked to and/or urged the former Massachusetts governor to run for president in 2020. Patrick has not made up his mind, though he did agree to an interview whose topic he must have known about in advance. So, yes, he’s thinking about it, as he has in the past, though we thought he had dropped the idea a while back.
Arroyo put on paid leave amid internal City Hall investigation
With the mayoral primary just around the corner, Mayor Marty Walsh is dealing with yet another embarrassing controversy involving one of his top city managers, this time Felix G. Arroyo, the city’s chief of human services, who’s now been placed on paid administrative leave during an internal investigation into unspecified charges, reports the Globe’s Meghan Irons. Putting someone on paid leave is sort of the political equivalent of going on Defcon 4, perhaps Defcon 3.
As Mayor Walsh tries to put out the Arroyo political brushfire at City Hall, another City Hall-tied drama is unfolding in a federal courthouse today, i.e. opening arguments start in the Teamsters “Top Chef” trial, reports Laurel Sweet at the Herald.
DraftKings, Boston’s very own sports fantasy company, is railing against a state commission’s recommendation yesterday that it be designated as a gambling operation, reports David Harris at the BBJ. It’s only a recommendation, but it’s definitely the last thing DraftKings needs as it fends off legal assaults across the country about its game-vs-gaming status.
State Rep. Geoff Diehl plans to make it official today by announcing his Republican candidacy for U.S. Senate. If incumbent U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is nervous about a Diehl challenge, she certainly wasn’t showing it yesterday, reports the Herald’s Chris Villani.
Warren takes a victory lap over health-care bill defeat
So what was Elizabeth Warren doing yesterday as Geoff Diehl prepared to announce today that’s he’s challenging her in next year’s U.S. Senate race? She was taking a local “victory lap” after the Senate’s recent defeat of GOP efforts to repeal ObamaCare, reports Claire Parker at the Globe. Meanwhile, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, the widow of the late U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, says it’s actually possible for partisan factions in Washington to work together on health care and other issues. She explains how in a Globe op-ed.
More progressive ballot questions: Minimum wage and paid-leave
With polls showing strong support for next year’s statewide “millionaire’s tax” referendum, a union-backed group is now pushing for yet more progressive initiatives on the 2018 ballot: An increase of the minimum wage to $15 an hour and new paid-leave for employees. The BBJ’s Greg Ryan has more on the wage/leave ballot push. Needless to say, 2018 could be a banner year for progressives, assuming all the measures get on the ballot and pass.
Church of Scientology sells off landmark Hotel Alexandria to local real estate firm
Yes, it’s the church of Tom Cruise. From the BBJ’s Catherine Carlock: “A Cambridge-based property-management firm has agreed to purchase the Hotel Alexandra, a landmark dating back to 1875, from the Church of Scientology Boston for an undisclosed price.”
Psychiatric hospital to re-open after patient care woes
From the Globe’s Liz Kowalczyk: “Westwood Lodge, a psychiatric hospital cited for repeated patient care problems, will be allowed to reopen Tuesday under increased oversight, the Baker administration has decided.”
Healey collects additional $1.1 million from T parking lot operator
From CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl, who’s been all over this story: “Attorney General Maura Healey’s office reached a settlement on Monday with the MBTA’s former parking lot operator, requiring LAZ Parking to pay the state $1.1 million to resolve allegations that its failure to monitor 13 lots caused significant revenue losses. ... The agreement with Healey’s office comes on the heels of a separate $4.5 million settlement between LAZ Parking and the MBTA.” The settlements are tied to allegations of previous widespread theft at T parking lots.
The Globe’s Renée Roth was wondering yesterday why the heck the NRA and others on the alt-right are now politically obsessed with modern architecture. By pure coincidence, Greg Cook at WBUR reported yesterday on how the authors of “Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston,” now have a handy new “Brutalist Boston Map,” showing tourists and the architecture-minded where they can find the city’s lovely array of all-concrete buildings. The NRA must see a connect-the-dots conspiracy here somewhere.
Dukakis—and a possible rail link—draw a crowd in Salem
North Shore residents packed a room at Salem City Hall to hear former Gov. Michael Dukakis moderate a forum on the North-South Rail Link, Dustin Luca of the Salem News reports. Advocates are hoping to build political momentum for the project ahead of the 2018 gubernatorial election.
When Boston’s Brahmins were pushing their own opioid-like epidemic … in China
Martha Bebinger at WBUR has a terrific piece looking at Thomas Handasyd Perkins and other merchants who were peddling opium in the early 1800s in China. Bebinger: “Those who worked for Perkins and a few other firms became the city's elite — otherwise known as Boston Brahmins. The Cabots, Cushings, Welds, Delanos (the grandfather of Franklin Delano Roosevelt) and Forbes all built fortunes on opium. ‘That money changes the face of Boston and makes it possible for Boston to develop a reputation as one of the world's true civic cities,’ said Salem State University historian Dane Morrison.’”
Considering how some federal officials today are decrying China’s ties to Mexican drug cartels peddling toxic opioids in the U.S., one can’t help but think, in a sickening way: What comes around goes around.
The New York Post is reporting that Massachusetts-based Staples Inc. is considering selling off its 1,500 bricks-and-mortar office supplies stores to rival Office Depots, which Staples tried to merge with not so long ago. The once mighty Staples reportedly wants to focus solely on selling office supplies to mid-size and big corporations, reports Anthony Notto at the BBJ. If that’s the case, then it’s following in the business-to-business footsteps of Brockton’s very own W.B. Mason, the local office-supplies underdog that sure looks smart today.
Paul A. Restuccia, RIP
Paul A. Restuccia, an old friend and colleague of a MassterList author, has sadly passed away. A long-time Boston Herald copy editor and real estate columnist -- and a published playwright, among his many fascinating side interests -- Paul was simply one of the kindest, most professional guys around. As Herald editor Joe Sciacca said of Paul in the paper’s obit on Sunday: “He truly loved the Herald and journalism, and valued those in the newsroom as family. We were so blessed to have Paul with us so many years as a colleague and a friend. He will be deeply missed.”
The Bay State’s economy grew by an impressive 4 percent in the second quarter, well outpacing the nation’s 2.6 percent expansion rate, Jim Kinney of MassLive reports, citing MassBenchmarks data. The report portrays a recent rise in the state’s unemployment as a good sign that additional labor supply is entering the workforce. Now, if only those pesky tax revenue numbers would go up accordingly ...
Voters in Cambridge could be asked to support a nonbonding referendum calling for public financing for elections, John Hawkinson of Cambridge Day reports. The City Council could advance the questions at its meeting next week or else proponents—a group called Cambridge Residents for Responsible Elections—will have to collect 6,500 signatures to get the question on the ballot.
Brockton auto-repair ban moves forward after rare mayoral veto
The Brockton City Council plans to move forward with an ordinance to ban new auto-repair garages from opening in the city, despite Mayor Bill Carpenter’s decision to veto the rule—the first action of its type by the city’s mayor in a generation—Mark Lecesse of the Enterprise reports. The council’s measure is aimed at capping what it sees at a glut of such garages—the city has 174 in place and six more are awaiting licensing.