Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 180]: When Dukakis, Bulger and Trump collide

Former Bay State governor and Democratic nominee for president Michael Dukakis has not been shy in his critiques of the Tweeter-in-Chief, Donald Trump.

In a recent Boston Herald column, Dukakis says his wife, Kitty, “sees all the signs” of a serious personality disorder in the president. Billy Bulger, another power broker from years past, knows a thing or two about dangerous personalities.

So, Hitch thought it wise to bring everyone together to get to the bottom of this.

Michael Moore Lisa Nelson

Inbox [July 12]: News and notes from WCCA-TV, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, UMass Medical School, Clark and Sen. Moore

Have news you or your group would like to share? Let us know by emailing it to info@worcester.ma. Be sure to include a link to the full release on your site or Facebook page so we can include it and send Sun members your way.

WCCA-TV runs “Worcester in 10” contest

WCCA-TV is holding a contest to find out what people love about Worcester.

Post a 10-second video on Facebook describing what you love about Worcester. It can be complicated or simple, serious or silly. Every day for 10 days, WCCA-TV will pick a video posted that day to win $10. At the end of the contest, which runs until July 19, one person will win a $100 grand prize.

For more information, or to enter a video, visit WCCA-TV Facebook event page

Kickoff reception set for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk

A Mother’s Journey [Part 48]: The look of leadership

Editor’s note: Since September 2015, Worcester Sun has chronicled the trials and triumphs of Sun contributor Giselle Rivera-Flores as she explores ways to help her daughter and other Worcester families find affordable educational support and assistance. We used to describe her as an aspiring business owner; now, she’s an inspiring one. During her journey to establish and grow her nonprofit tutoring collaborative she has, you could say, stepped beyond the walls of her dream.

Giselle Rivera-Flores

In the past I rarely found myself looking at the participants in a meeting and questioning the balance of ethnicity and gender in the room. But nowadays, it seems that is all I can focus on.

Raised by a strong woman, I never paid close attention to the roles Latinas played in my environment. I never doubted my abilities to accomplish things, because I was raised to view myself as a capable human being and not a statistical figure in society.

As I get older, though, and more involved in the community, more vocal about how I envision my future, I can’t help but realize how concerned I should be with the lack of diverse representation in my entrepreneurial community.

While my inner feminist is thrilled to read statistics from a recent Harvard Business School study, “Diversity in Innovation,” which claims that the “female labor market participation in the United States has nearly doubled from 1950, going from 33 percent to 57 percent in 2016,” my inner Latina is crushed by the same study.

Read Giselle’s previous chapter, The new home frame of mind, or scroll down to explore more of her story.

Inbox [July 9-15]: News and notes from Railers HC, U.S. Navy, WPI, Assumption, Clark and African Community Education

Have news you or your group would like to share? Let us know by emailing it to info@worcester.ma. Be sure to include a link to the full release on your site or Facebook page so we can include it and send Sun members your way.

Railers games to be broadcast on 98.9-FM

The Worcester Railers Hockey Club games will be broadcast on 98.9-FM NASH ICON for the 2017-18 and the 2018-19 seasons.

All 72 regular-season games will be broadcast live on 98.9 and streamed live on www.nashicon989.com and through www.RailersHC.com. Each broadcast will include a 30-minute pregame show.

Eric Lindquist, Railers play-by-play voice and vice president of communications and marketing, returns for his ninth season of calling professional hockey in Worcester.

Worcester man ‘Makin’ the most of Navy time

Editorial: A week’s worth of fireworks in Worcester

Worcester just enjoyed a week of dazzlers — and that’s not even counting Friday’s Independence Day fireworks display.

The succession of positive news flashes runs the gamut, and in some cases calls for patience or for optimism tempered by caution. But in the glow of a holiday stretch and with summer just getting started, we might as well sit back and enjoy it.

In terms of practicality and overall impact, the Central Building at 332 Main St. may be the biggest cause for celebration in Worcester’s good-news week.

Until a couple of years ago, the former office building had been on the demolition list. On Wednesday, the state announced that it will help redevelop it for housing. Of 55 apartments planned, 14 will be “workforce housing,” meaning they will go to people who have jobs but still can’t afford market-rate rents.

On Beacon Hill: A watched pot never boils

Recap and analysis of the week in local, state and federal government
from State House News Service

BOSTON — The Fourth of July holiday, with any luck, may be just the dash of salt legislative negotiators need to bring to a simmer deals over a new annual budget and marijuana legalization legislation that proved elusive as the hours peeled away on fiscal 2017.

Shuffling off into the weekend, tails tucked between their legs, important decisions hanging over their heads, not even the enticement of fireworks, parades and an unencumbered four-day break could pull a compromise out of the back rooms of the State House, where frustration between the branches was mounting.

Two issues were in play this week, both with looming — if inconsequential — deadlines. Anticipation, unrequited, was high.

The new fiscal year began Saturday, but with an interim budget in place to pay $5.5 billion worth of bills in July, state lawmakers had the luxury of not trying to rush a deal if there was no deal to be made. Not only are lawmakers trying to decide what to do with Gov. Charlie Baker’s comprehensive Medicaid reform plan dropped on the conference committee last week, but unreliable tax projections have complicated the math.

As for the overhaul of the voter-approved marijuana legalization law, the House and Senate have been at odds over taxes, local control of the siting of retail shops, and the makeup of a regulatory panel known as the Cannabis Control Commission.

Leadership of the House and Senate set an artificial deadline of June 30 to complete their work, but nothing happens if talks spill over into next week, or the week after that.

The tax rate, according to some close to the negotiations, remained at least one of the sticking points, with the House entering talks at 28 percent and the Senate asking for an unchanged 12 percent tax rate, as prescribed in the ballot law.

Asked if a deal over marijuana was imminent late Friday afternoon, Sen. Patricia Jehlen, D-Somerville, shrugged. “How should I know?” said one of the few people actually in a position to be able to answer that question with any authority.

As Beacon Hill waited, last week provided enough actual news to fill what Gov. Baker described in an interview with State House News Service as the “black hole” that is the conference process.

President Donald Trump left mouths, including Baker’s, slack-jawed by the cruelty of his Twitter fusillade against MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski last week; Eversource and National Grid shelved plans to bring a $3.2 billion natural gas pipeline into New England; state Revenue Commissioner Michael Heffernan revoked a directive that would have required many online retailers to begin collecting sales taxes on July 1; and long-serving Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester passed away after a battle with cancer.

— Matt Murphy

ALSO ON THE AGENDA

  • Senate again passes bill to ban device use while driving
  • Warren tweaks CEOs on health care, Polito lauds Worcester investment
  • Eldridge teams up with Republican to close healthcare loophole
  • State rebuffs White House election panel’s request for voter information

Worcester Weekly: Cars of Summer, WikiLeaks vigil + more, July 2-8

The most fun you’ll have with a calendar of events all week. And you just might learn something, too. 

Sunday, July 2 — Cars of Summer Car Show, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Green Hill Park, 50 Skyline Drive  Well, since it’s summer in New England and there’s road work in progress on every possible route GPS can imagine for you, might as well recalculate yourself to Green Hill Park for a chance to get bumper to bumper with scores of cars you actually want to look at. Last year’s Best in Show was a 1955 Nash Ambassador, but there will be dozens of roadsters, pickups, muscle cars, hot rods and specialty vehicles to suit any enthusiast’s taste.

Sina-cism: The right slant on the First Amendment

Although the First Amendment may be back in vogue at The New York Times, at least for now, not everyone agrees with Matal v. Tam.
Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

Last Monday was a very good day for the First Amendment. In Matal v. Tam, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the disparagement clause of the Trademark Act of 1946 is unconstitutional.

The case involved Simon Young, aka Simon Tam, the 36-year-old lead singer of “The Slants,” an all-Asian-American band whose members chose their name as expressive of three things — their views on life, their music, and their desire to reclaim and empower a phrase traditionally seen as derogatory.

After the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office sought to deny the band a trademark on the grounds that its chosen name was offensive, Tam went to federal court and won on appeal. The Supreme Court ruling affirmed that decision.

In the December 2015 appeals court ruling, Judge Kimberly A. Moore wrote: “It is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment that the government may not penalize private speech merely because it disapproves of the message it conveys.”

In the minds of activists and their lawyers, of course, there are always other considerations, including the idea that trademarks are government speech.

Related Sina-cism: Muzzling the First Amendment on campus