Will Baker get on the T revenue train?
For Charlie Baker, when you’ve lost Bob DeLeo and Marty Walsh, along with leading business voices, those infernal MBTA countdown clocks that can’t give Red Line riders a clue to when the next train is coming are instead flashing a big warning to you that time’s up.
And so it came to pass, after a surreptitious late-night visit to the scene of the latest transit calamity, that the governor stood in a Medford train garage and proclaimed that the troubled agency would get an emergency infusion of $50 million to speed along repair work as well changes to procurement policies to also aid infrastructure improvement efforts.
Baker wasn’t budging from his stand that new tax revenue isn’t needed to fix the system, but the scene nonetheless marked a significant change in posture from the comment he offered immediately following the June 11 Red Line derailment that repair work at the T is moving in the “right direction.”
The same, one could aver, has been true of construction work on Barcelona’s famed Sagrada Familia.
In 2013, DeLeo balked at then-Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposal for a sweeping $1.9 billion tax package to fund transportation and education needs. Walsh, then in his last months in the House, dutifully went along. Fast forward six years and Walsh shifted over the course of a few days from supporter to opponent of the T’s planned fare hike, while demanding a local seat on the T oversight board. Meanwhile, DeLeo issued a strong statement only hours after Baker’s announcement saying the T is “in crisis” and in need of more than the “one-time revenue solution” the governor put forward.
The speaker said the House will engage in a wide-ranging debate this fall about revenue options to fund the state’s transportation infrastructure.
On Monday, CEOs of businesses in Cambridge’s Kendall Square, the epicenter of the state’s biotech and innovation economy, declared the T to be in a “state of emergency,” and said in a letter to Baker, DeLeo, and Senate President Karen Spilka that it “is time to raise revenue for transportation and end this crisis.” Their call came on the heels of Jim Rooney, president of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, tweeting that the T needs “major & urgent investment” — “#NOW.”
The caucus calling for more money for the T feels like it’s getting as crowded as subway car full of passengers sardined onto a stalled Red Line train, waiting with the doors still open to be manually cleared to crawl to the next station.
It’s already a tight fit — and the crowd has heard he’s not too familiar with the ways of bedraggled daily straphangers — but they’re all signaling an eagerness to make room for a tall guy from Swampscott to squeeze on board.
Erin Deveney, the state’s Registrar of Motor Vehicles, resigned after it was discovered her agency failed to act on OUI information that would have triggered the revocation of the commercial driver’s license of Volodymyr Zhukovskyy before he allegedly killed seven motorcyclists in New Hampshire. (CommonWealth) ICE files a detainer against Zhukovskyy. (Boston Herald)
Advocates testified at the State House about the Massachusetts End of Life Options Act, or medical aid in dying, which has not had much success via the ballot box or Legislature. (Cape Cod Times)
Segregation, income inequalit,y and homelessness are byproducts of the state’s zoning laws, according to a report from The Boston Foundation, which recommends ratcheting down local control over housing and commends Boxborough for making housing affordable in town. (WBUR)
Former special counsel Robert Mueller has agreed to testify on July 17 before two different House committees. (Washington Post)
If the country truly cared about sexual assault, Donald Trump would not be president, says Renee Graham in the wake of the latest charge against him, this one from advice columnist E. Jean Carroll who says Trump raped her in a New York department store dressing room. (Boston Globe) A Washington Post editorial says her allegation deserves attention, calling it credible and it entirely consistent with the sort of behavior Trump himself bragged about in the “Access Hollywood” recording.
Hours before her first presidential debate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren will visit one of the detention centers in Florida holding migrant children, and she invited her supporters to go with her. (CNN)
Congressman Seth Moulton didn’t make the cut to appear on Wednesday or Thursday’s debates, but the first TV ads of his presidential campaign will air during the commercial breaks. (Salem News)
Judge Douglas P. Woodlock scheduled the trial of Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II for February 24 during a pre-trial conference Tuesday. Correia is accused of defrauding investors of his startup app SnoOwl. Meanwhile, Correia says he is running for reelection. (Herald News)
In protest of their company selling furniture to BCFS, a government contractor that manages detention facilities for migrant children, employees of Wayfair plan to stage a walkout in Copley Square today – a move cheered on by Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (WGBH)
Former New England Carpenters Union chief Mark Erlich, who sits on the MassINC board, may be retired but he’s still pushing hard at the issue of improper classification of workers as contractors rather than employees to skip out on benefits and other protections of employment. (Boston Globe)
Cedar’s Mediterranean Foods plans to double its hummus output to 208 million pounds with a $100 million expansion of its facility. It also plans to hire 125 new workers, making it Haverhill’s largest employer. (Eagle-Tribune)
Hampshire College in Amherst, emboldened by its fundraising success, plans to enroll a full class in 2020. (Daily Hampshire Gazette)
Dr. Anne Klibanksi, who has been serving as acting CEO of Partners HealthCare, has been named the permanent chief executive of the sprawling health care network. (Boston Globe)
A lawyer for three students and one teacher from a Boston charter school who say they were subjected to racist taunts from employees and patrons at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts has issued a set of demands to the museum, including funding a college scholarship fund for students and offering them paid summer internship at the museum. (Boston Globe)
The film Made in Rhode Island is being filmed in — Worcester. (Telegram & Gazette)
Unionized bus drivers at the Vineyard Transit Authority plan to strike on Friday in protest of its contract negotiations with vendor Transit Connection Inc. (WBUR)
The state’s capital spending plan includes $40 million to make the Natick commuter rail station handicap accessible and $145 million for the makeover of the interchange between the Mass Pike and I-495. (MetroWest Daily News)
Despite emission accounting concerns, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities approves utility contracts to purchase hydroelectricity from Quebec delivered into New England via a power line in Maine. (CommonWealth)
Wheelabrator’s trash-to-energy plant in Saugus is bringing in equipment to reduce noise at the facility after Saugus and Revere residents complain. (Daily Item)
The “sustainable forestry” practiced in Massachusetts calls for cutting down trees when they are about to hit their biggest growth spurt, and Tufts University professor emeritus Bill Moomaw contends that is bad management for the global climate. (WGBH)
Local health officials are asking the Baker administration to gauge public health risks of proposed natural gas infrastructure projects. (Gloucester Daily Times)
The Eagle-Tribune details how law enforcement zeroed in on Jocheiry Acevedo Hernandez and his girlfriend, Maricely Carrion Ramos, who was a civilian dispatcher for the Lawrence police, for their alleged roles in a massive drug-dealing operation.
Claudio DeBrito of Brockton is being held without bail on charges that include second-degree murder and intimidating a witness in Brockton in connection to the death of Marco Rodrigues, the city’s first homicide victim in 2019. (Brockton Enterprise)
A 45-year-old Burlington man was hospitalized and will be facing charges for a bizarre series of events where he ranted in gibberish, poured gasoline on a boat, and swam into the Merrimack River – all while naked. (Lowell Sun)
Toxicology results and shifting accounts of the alleged victim have cast doubt on a woman’s claims that she was kidnapped and forced into prostitution in a Beverly apartment. (Salem News)MEDIA
GateHouse Media, which owns many newspapers in Massachusetts, announces the launch of a 30-member national investigative reporting team that will be embedded in local newsrooms.