Charlie Baker

In wake of Virginia violence, officials leery of Saturday “free speech” rally [with video]

Charlie Baker

State House News Service/Sam Doran

Gov. Charlie Baker said that “there is no place here for that type of hatred — period — that we saw in Virginia.”

State and city officials denounced the racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend and pledged to keep Boston safe during a planned rally this Saturday, while acknowledging they know very little about the event or its organizers.

With an event billed as a “free speech rally” planned for Boston Common on Saturday, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh on Monday said he discourages the organizers from coming to the city while the “emotion and the wound and the pain are very fresh” after three people died in Charlottesville.

“Don’t hand hatred a megaphone and pretend you can’t hear it,” Walsh said at a press conference on City Hall plaza surrounded by a diverse group of civic leaders. “Leaders call out hate and reject it before it becomes violence. That’s why we’re here today. That’s why this weekend myself and the governor spent nearly about 10 or 15 different phone calls talking about how do we reject hate in the commonwealth and the city of Boston.”

Editorial: When will we say, ‘Enough!’ ?

Charlottesville showed us an almost unrecognizable country over the weekend.

In that pretty, usually quiet Virginia city, the flaming torches, gun-toting marchers, and ugly, hateful chants — instigated by far-right outsiders and outliers — were “disturbing and sickening,” Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said in Boston on Monday.

We can’t think of two more apt descriptions.

“It’s disturbing and sickening to turn on the news and see that there are people in this country who believe that the color of their skin or their place of birth makes them superior to their neighbors, and we as a commonwealth flatly denounce and reject this intolerance,” the governor said during a press conference about what could be a similar rally planned for Saturday in Boston.

The events in Charlottesville were also unusual. Unlike a surprise attack, such as when Dylann Roof slayed nine African-Americans in a Charleston, S.C., church two years ago, a sense of foreboding grew starting Friday night. The frightening clashes that erupted then and the next day sent people across the country into an unmooring sense of helplessness — and then, thankfully, for many, the opposite of helplessness.

Bill would allow police to issue tickets for misdemeanors

A police officer would be able to issue a ticket instead of criminal charges for offenses like disorderly conduct, public drinking and littering under a bill endorsed last month by a legislative committee.

According to the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Michael O. Moore, D-Millbury, state law already allows for the decriminalization of such offenses but only once a defendant appears in court. Moore’s bill would give police the option to issue a civil citation on eligible charges, allowing the offender to avoid court entirely by paying their fine.

Moore said the bill (S 1146) would let someone who committed a minor offense avoid the long-term consequences of having a criminal record, while also cutting court costs and providing flexibility for police departments with tight finances.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 189]: On pot, Mass. lawmakers show green thumb

Maybe it was an earnest and honest diligence that kept state lawmakers from finishing their rewrite of the voter-approved legal marijuana bill that wallowed behind closed doors for months.

Or maybe they just figured most of the interested parties were busy restringing their ukuleles and crushing it on the ultimate Frisbee course.

Either way, what the joint committee came up with finally earned the governor’s signature. But, Hitch wonders, does it leave any room to grow?

Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field

Inbox [Aug. 16] News and notes from Primetals, Bravehearts, Youth Council, WCLOC, Mass. Academy of Math & Science, and You Inc.

Primetals receives $228K state training grant

Recipient of one of the largest training grants from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, Primetals Technologies will implement training for both new and existing employees at its Worcester facilities.

Training will include problem-solving skills, continuous improvement, lean certification, tooling and time and task management and will continue through the end of 2019. The grant, worth nearly $228,000, was one of 111 awarded, totaling $7.9 million. Grants are matched by award recipients.

Production employees will attend interactive online classes for specific competencies, engaging with video, audio and relevant images that include CNC simulators mirroring existing equipment at its manufacturing facilities at 40 Crescent St., Worcester.

Charlie Baker

Worcester Sun, Aug. 16: Officials plan for Saturday ‘free speech’ rally, when will see say, ‘enough’? + Hitch, most popular & more

In wake of Virginia violence, officials leery of Saturday “free speech” rally [with video] | With an event billed as a “free speech” rally planned for Boston Common on Saturday, state and Boston officials discussed safety and logistical concerns. Meanwhile, the group organizing the rally, Boston Free Speech, wrote, “While we maintain that every individual is entitled to their freedom of speech and defend that basic human right, we will not be offering our platform to racism or bigotry. We denounce the politics of supremacy and violence.”

Editorial: When will we say, ‘Enough!’ ? | Displays of brash, extreme hate and violence are the opposite of the America the vast majority of us believe in. But instances have been on the uptick.