A report from T captivity

BROADWAY MBTA STATION — We hoped, as usual, to bring loyal Download readers pithy thoughts on an important news story of the day.

We understand Donald Trump said he wouldn’t be surprised (or particularly blame them) if someone blew up the White House if ISIS co-founder Hillary Clinton is elected — or something like that.

Marty Walsh, whose office insisted three ways to Tuesday that he had not considered moving the botched IndyCar race to East Boston, says he sort of did consider that. And he met a week after the race collapsed with its huckster promoter to see if the grift could somehow be salvaged.

Those are all worthy enough of being chewed over. But they are not today’s topic. To borrow a line that keeps ringing in our ears, we regret any inconvenience this may cause.

Your correspondent can’t avoid pondering another gripping story, something that seems so unbelievable it may just be dog days of August imagings running wild. In this surely fictitious delusion brought on by the morning heat, said scribbler was engaged with several thousand fellow straphangers in the humdrum ritual of a Red Line ride to work.

You remember, of course, that winter that the snow never stopped but all the trains did? We were all mad as hell about the collapse of the T — and vowed not to take it anymore. Gov. Charlie Baker said he would make everything right. But it was also a once-in-a-lifetime act of God, the good governor and other state leaders told us.

At least the summer months offer a bit of reprieve from our fear of snowmageddon-induced T trauma. No need to worry about the system falling apart on a beautiful August morning.

It’s possible a handful of gullible rubes had that outlook this morning — before the Red Line ground to complete halt for 45 minutes during the morning rush hour. It turns out this was the MBTA’s way of telling us not to be so sore about yesterday morning’s 15-minute delay due to the ever-cited “signal problems.”

While mired at Broadway Station, we were told a train ahead of us at South Station was disabled. “We will be moving as soon as we leave,” the disembodied T voice helpfully told us several times. We left 45 minutes later.

The most remarkable thing was not the consternation and loud voices of frustration on our car, but the somber faces of resignation. Few people said anything or showed visible anger because, well, what’s the point? We were once again hostages to a public transit system that, were it a sovereign entity, would be declared a failed state.

Though the hostages were outwardly calm, the health consequences of all this were surely mounting — from mental health anguish to elevated blood pressure. With nothing to be done to free us from this government-sanctioned, subterranean detention, sarcasm was the only viable balm.

That’s what led Julie to share that everything was completely fine because, doesn’t everyone want their usual commuting time tripled on what looks like a normal summer morning? “That’s cool. It only took me an hour and ten minutes instead of 25 to get to work,” she tweeted.

Another rider reminded us that “60% of the time the #mbta works everytime.”

Then there was the T hostage with the temerity to laugh out loud at the idea that our humble burg — and its fleet full of little engines that often can’t — might have been able to host the Summer Olympics.

And one captive, in effect, wondered whether Gov. Baker, Mayor Walsh, and the honchos at General Electric they convinced to come build  the Internet of Things in Boston realize that they are anchoring a global innovation company in a city with a public transit thing held together by bailing wire and bubble gum.

NECN helpfully curated a set of further Twitter reports from the field, as near-comatose riders tweeted their frustrations while twiddling their thumbs.

All this Twitter kidding aside (and remember, the “kidding” is just a coping mechanism employed to not have one’s head explode), Baker and the legislators who have just been dismissed for their biennial five-month vacation need to understand: The T has not been fixed. It is not close to being fixed. It needs more money to be fixed. The regional economy — and the sanity of its residents — depends on it.

Your constituents sweating their way through another disastrous commute hope you’re enjoying the beach. But putting your heads in the sand is not a solution.



Parsing Gov. Charlie Baker’s tax and fee policy isn’t easy. He rigidly opposes increasing taxes and fees, but does so in a way that suggests he would change his mind if presented with the right evidence. (CommonWealth)

Jay Ash, the Democrat who serves as Baker’s secretary of housing and economic development, is seeking the well-paid city manager’s job in Cambridge. (State House News)

Baker signs an economic development bill into law. (State House News) The new law ensures daily fantasy sports remain legal in Massachusetts. (Masslive)

Baker also signs into law a mandate requiring health insurers to cover treatments for the side-effects of early HIV treatments. (Masslive)

The Governor’s Council confirms Kimberly Budd for the Supreme Judicial Court, Baker’s third pick to the court to win approval. (State House News)


Boston mayor Marty Walsh tells the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld that he met with John Casey to try to salvage the doomed IndyCar race a week after the race promoter pulled the plug on the project and said dealing with City Hall was like being in an “abusive relationship.”

Roxbury residents say they are facing intimidation from a man overseeing a series of development projects in the neighborhood — one-time Whitey Bulger underling Kevin O’Neil. (Boston Herald)

A longtime Boston housing official is also part of real estate investment enterprise that has snapped up and sold properties in areas that he has helped revive through his city job. (Boston Globe)

Lawrence City Councilor Sandy Almonte resigns for personal reasons; her decision follows her arrest in New Hampshire for assaulting a woman having drinks with a man Almonte once dated. (Eagle-Tribune)

Fairhaven officials are adding portable toilets and cigarette disposal canisters as well as locking the gates earlier at Fort Phoenix because of complaints by neighbors over increased activity from players of the popular Pokemon Go game trying to capture two of the rarest characters that are located at the fort. (Standard-Times)

Lowell officials launch a new effort to clear homeless camps. (Lowell Sun)

Swansea selectmen want to expedite an investigation into whether the part-time assessor is “double dipping” while holding a full-time assessing position in Attleboro. (Herald News)


A former aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he lied about Bridgegate. (Governing)


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump accuses President Obama of being the founder of ISIS. (Time)

While some GOP officials may be abandoning Trump because of his missteps, the NRA is standing by their man with organizational and financial aid. (New York Times)

The hack of the Democratic National Committee appears to have been much wider and broader than initially thought, capturing private emails of many Democratic officials. (New York Times)

Former Democratic state rep Marty Walz, who cochaired the Legislature’s education committee, pens an op-ed supporting the November ballot question raising the cap on charter schools. (Boston Herald)

Police in Marblehead are seeking a woman who stole a Trump sign from a home on Tuesday night and was caught on security video. It was the seventh time Trump signs have been stolen from the same home. (Salem News)


A massive 656-unit development project in Andrew Square could get final approval today from the Boston Redevelopment Authority. (Boston Globe)

The owner of Shoppers World in Framingham says building a seven-story apartment complex at the venerable retail site is key to the financial success of the mall. (MetroWest Daily News)


An incident of racial harassment at the renowned Marine Biology Laboratory in Woods Hole has triggered a wider discussion of racism and discrimination against people of color in the scientific research community. (Cape Cod Times)

The federal government is upping its monitoring of foreign high school and college students studying in the US. (Boston Globe)

Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch is proposing changing the name of Sterling Middle School to reflect the section of the city where it sits to restore neighborhood pride. The family of the former principal for whom the school is named said it “would be a shame” if the school is renamed. (Patriot Ledger)


A physician allegedly removed a kidney from the wrong patient at Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester. (Telegram & Gazette)


Deepwater Wind, one of three companies likely to be bidding on offshore wind contracts issued by Massachusetts utilities, hired Matthew Morrissey as its point person for the Bay State. Morrissey, the former executive director of the trade group Offshore WindMA, helped navigate through the State House the energy bill that paved the way for the contracts. (South Coast Today)

Barnstable officials say another $1.1 million is needed to construct facilities to clean contaminants from the town’s water supply. (Cape Cod Times)


The owner of the Brockton Fairgrounds says a proposal for horse racing at the facility “went down in flames” after the Gaming Commission denied a request for funding to revitalize and operate the track. (The Enterprise)

Wynn Resorts is ready to solicit bids for more than $1 billion in subcontracted services and supplies for its $2.1 billion casino project in Everett. (Boston Herald)


One-time New England mob boss Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme was arrested and charged with the 1993 murder of witness in a federal investigation. (Boston Globe)

Falmouth District Court Judge Michael Creedon, a former longtime state senator from Brockton, has been suspended while court officials investigate allegedly insensitive remarks he made from the bench. (WCVB)


Arianna Huffington is leaving the Huffington Post to focus on a health and wellness startup. (CNBC)
Dan Kennedy is the latest voice to say that, despite what John Oliver says, free-riders are not what ails newspapers. (WGBH)