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09/21/2017

Fence sitting | Lopsided races | It’s time

 
http://DontGiveAwayTheMBTA.org
 
 
Happening Today
 
Sessions in Boston, Baker-Wolf meet-up, ‘In the Name of Peace’ premiere
 

-- State Ethics Commission holds its monthly meeting and continues deliberations in a case involving longtime Stoughton town moderator Howard Hansen, One Ashburton Pl. - Room 619, 9 a.m.

-- Acting Highway Administrator John Gulliver holds a press conference about traffic impacts coming this weekend on Route 3, stemming from the $6.3 million bridge replacement project in Braintree, Transportation Board Meeting Room, 10 Park Plaza - 2nd floor, 10:00 a.m.

-- Gov. Charlie Baker visits Cape Air, where he meets with founder and former Sen. Dan Wolf, a Democrat who has considered running for governor, and president Linda Markham, 660 Barnstable Rd., Hyannis, 10:30 a.m.

-- U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III calls in to the ‘Morning Meeting’ show, Boston Herald Radio, 11:30 a.m. 

-- Auditor Suzanne Bump speaks at the Massachusetts Town Clerks Association fall conference, Sheraton Hotel, One Monarch Pl., Springfield, 12 p.m.

-- About 25 Massachusetts-based researchers from biopharmaceutical companies participate in a ‘Researcher's Day’ on Beacon Hill.

-- Gov. Charlie Baker is a guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 1 p.m.

-- State Rep. Smitty Pignatelli hosts The Moving Company, a mixed-ability dance company featuring dancers with disabilities and classically-trained performers, Grand Staircase, 1:15 p.m. -- Friends of Armenian Heritage Park host a welcome reception for newly-naturalized U.S. citizens following a naturalization ceremony at Faneuil Hall, Armenian Heritage Park, Boston, 2 p.m.

-- U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks to federal law enforcement officers about transnational criminal organizations, Moakley Courthouse, Suite 9200, 3 p.m.

-- Mayor Marty Walsh signs an environmental MOU with Copenhagen's Mayor of Technical and Environmental Affairs, Morten Kabell, Eagle Room, City Hall, Boston, 3:30 p.m.

-- The U.S. premiere of the documentary ‘In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America’ will be shown on the opening night of the Boston Film Festival, followed by a panel discussion with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, the Boston Globe’s Kevin Cullen, film director Maurice Fitzpatrick and former Lt. Gov. Thomas P. O’Neill III, Revere Hotel, 200 Stuart Street, Boston, with screening at 7 p.m. and panel at 8:15 p.m.

-- Bob Cappucci, a Boston mayoral candidate, is interviewed on ‘NightSide,’ WBZ NewsRadio 1030, 8 p.m.

 
 
 
 
Today's Stories
 
Time-zone commission: It’s time for just one time in Massachusetts
 

Citing economic, health and social benefits, the state’s time-zone commission, chaired by Lowell Sen. Eileen Donoghue, has concluded that the time is coming when the state needs to junk the spring-forward/fall-back tradition of switching clocks twice a year – and instead just leave clocks alone at the Atlantic Time Zone year-round, reports J.D Capelouto at the Lowell Sun. The commission didn’t propose formal legislation and it cautioned the state should proceed cautiously – and in coordination with other New England states. But … You know what? We initially thought this idea was daffy, but we’ve been won over by the arguments. Still, it shouldn’t be done without New York. It can’t be just New England.

Lowell Sun
 
 
The final insult: Even council candidates have more campaign funds than Tito
 

He’s down 31-points in the polls. But how far down is mayoral candidate Tito Jackson in fundraising aganst incumbent Mayor Marty Walsh? Let’s put it this way: Two city council candidates have more money in their campaign coffers than Jackson, reports the Globe’s Milton Valencia. And let’s not forget Payaso the Clown’s potential loan to himself of $1 million.

Still, the Globe’s Joan Vennochi and Yvonne Abraham say it’s a shame, no matter how lopsided the mayoral election may appear, that Walsh won’t debate Jackson and two lesser-known mayoral candidates.

Boston Globe
 
 
Lopsided race for fundraising in Framingham’s first mayoral race
 

Speaking of lopsided fundraising: State Rep. John Stefanini, one of the seven candidates seeking to become Framingham’s first mayor, has raised more cash than all six of his opponents combined, with more than half of the cash coming from outside the community, Jonathan Dame of the MetroWest Daily News reports. Stefanini reports having raised nearly $79,000 as of early September, twice the amount drummed up by Yvonne Spicer, who had raised $39,000. Framingham’s preliminary election is scheduled for Tuesday. 

MetroWest Daily News
 
 
Baker, Kennedy expected to play role in state Senate race
 

Gov. Charlie Baker and U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy are expected to be among the political heavyweights trying to sway voters in the Norfolk and Bristol state senate race now that the field is set, Jim Hand of the Sun-Chronicle reports. Kennedy will canvass for Democrat Paul Feeney this weekend, while GOP officials say a visit from the governor is being arranged on behalf of Republican Jacob Ventura. Independent candidate Joe Shortsleeve tells Hand he doesn’t have any similar endorsements coming but will focus on voters who want a middle-ground lawmaker in a race that features a Bernie Sanders-supported Democrat and a conservative Republican. 

Sun Chronicle
 
 
Sessions to address law enforcement officials in Boston today
 

The only question is: How many? In terms of protesters greeting Attorney General Jeff Sessions today in Boston. From SHNS’s Colin Young: “U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will visit Boston on Thursday to speak to federal law enforcement officers about transnational criminal organizations. Sessions, a former U.S. senator from Alabama who was tapped by President Donald Trump to serve as the nation's top law enforcement officer, will speak at 3 p.m. Thursday at the U.S. attorney's office.” The Trump administration’s main target: The MS-13 gang.

SHNS (pay wall)
 
 
New England Clean Power Link
 
 
Warren: Trying to bait an unhinged dictator isn’t exactly a good idea
 

Though not a trained psychiatrist, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is probably right to say that it’s not a good idea for President Trump to be going around baiting an “unstable dictator who has nuclear weapons,” i.e. Kim Jong “Rocket Man” Un. Shira Schoenberg at MassLive has more on Warren’s armchair pyscho analysis.

MassLive
 
 
Baker on the fence on $15 minimum wage
 

As activists threaten to go directly to the voters absent legislative action to raise the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour, Gov. Charlie Baker, a moderate Republican, is sitting on the political fence on the issue, saying he wants to hear more about how the last minimum-wage hike has impacted the economy, reports SHNS’s Colin Young. In other words: He’s leery of a hike but can’t and won’t say so in the current political climate.

SHNS (pay wall)
 
 
SJC changes definition of felony murder
 

From the Associated Press at WBUR: “The highest court in Massachusetts has overturned the first-degree murder convictions of a man who provided the gun used in a double homicide but who was not present when the victims were shot. The Supreme Judicial Court's ruling Wednesday narrows the definition of the state's felony murder law, which said anyone involved in a crime in which someone is killed can be charged with first-degree murder.”

The court effectively said a second-degree murder charge, not a first-degree murder charge, would have been more appropriate in a case involving defendant Timothy Brown and the horrible shooting of two brothers during a home invasion. So it’s not as if the court is saying Brown wasn’t culpable.

WBUR
 
 
L'Italien defends living outside 3rd Congressional District
 

She may have deep roots in Andover and she may know the Merrimack Valley as well as any other pol around. But, technically, state Sen. Barbara L'Italien, who’s considering a run for the Congressional seat to be vacated by retiring U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, doesn’t live in the Third Congressional District, though she’s damn close to living in the district. Christian Wade at the Eagle Tribune lets L'Italien explain and defend her residency.

Eagle Tribune
 
 
Team Boston: Pagliuca, GE and others biz types mobilize for all-out Amazon push
 

Boston Celtics co-owner, Bain Capital chief and former U.S. Senate candidate Steve Pagliuca, General Electric and the somewhat secretive Massachusetts Competitive Partnership are among those forming an informal coalition of business types determined to lure Amazon to Boston, reports Jordan Graham at the Herald. The partnership’s members, by the way, include none other than Brian Moynihan, chairman and CEO of Bank of America, Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, and Abigail Johnson, president and CEO of Fidelity Investments. The Boston Foundation is also ready to help out, reports the BBJ.

Here’s another thing to consider: Will Amazon conclude that Boston can’t provide the 50,000 workers it says it needs for a new ‘second’ headquarters? The Globe’s Andy Rosen notes that current tech firms are scrambling to find tech talent amid fierce competition for workers in Boston. Btw: We still maintain Amazon's 50,000-employee number is ridiculously high. But even if it's half that (or probably lower), Amazon would have to fight for every job it wants to fill.

Boston Herald
 
 
 
 
Massachusetts Cultural Council blasts Berkshire Museum’s planned art sale
 

The Massachusetts Cultural Council is accusing the Berkshire Museum of violating its public trust by trying to sell off some of its art, including artworks by Norman Rockwell, and has put a hold on a $20,000 grant to the institution, reports the Globe’s Malcolm Gay. The council is just the latest critic to blast the museum’s planned sale of some of its finest art to raise funds.

Boston Globe
 
 
Franklin progressive targets DeLeo’s ‘undemocratic’ rule
 

Another day, another progressive gripe about House Speaker Robert DeLeo, via SHNS’s Katie Lannan at the Milford Daily News: “A grassroots campaign organizing in communities southwest of Boston hopes to draw attention to what its founder calls a ‘third-rail’ issue: the level of influence House Speaker Robert DeLeo holds over his chamber. The group, called Massachusetts Voters for Legislative Reform and launched by Franklin resident Maxwell Morrongiello, plans to hold an organizing meeting at the Milford Library on Oct. 7.”

Ultimately, it’s really not about DeLeo’s power. It’s about how he’s not using that power to follow a certain agenda.

Milford Daily News
 
 
The Dome of City Hall
 

This is actually pretty cool – and maybe something permanent might come out of it, to wit: HUBweek organizers next month will start building six geodesic domes on Boston’s City Hall Plaza “as part of an effort to turn the barren, brick expanse into a futuristic staging ground for a weeklong festival devoted to art, science, and technology,” reports the Globe’s Michael Levenson. Check out the accompanying design sketch.

Boston Globe
 
 
Lawmakers want to change how state grades schools
 

From the Herald’s Kathleen McKiernan: “Some lawmakers are pushing to change how the state ranks and holds schools accountable for student performance, arguing that the current system harms poor communities with large numbers of English language learners and homeless kids by labeling them failures. ‘It is very, very bad for students, teachers, schools and communities to have schools labeled based on a measure that really measures income and not school quality,’ state Sen. Patricia Jehlen.”

Boston Herald
 
 
ACLU asks SJC to toss out all cases tied to Sonja Farak fiasco
 

As it did in the tainted-evidence controversy involving state drug-lab chemist Annie Dookhan, the ACLU is now asking the Supreme Judicial Court to toss out all the drug cases tied to the disgraced former state chemist Sonja Farak, reports Shira Schoenberg at MassLive. Let’s hope the SJC rejects the ACLU motion like it did in the Dookhan case. Not because the ACLU is wrong. It’s just that it’s still hard to grasp that one person, Sonja Farak, could do so much harm. We're in denial, we know.

 
 
iLottery
 
 
Questions remain about Globe’s epic printing woes
 

Media critic Dan Kennedy at WGBH welcomes this past Sunday’s front-page story by the Globe on its Taunton printing woes. But he says a lot of questions still need answering and he fears that the paper could really be hurt if owner John Henry et gang don’t find solutions soon to the production fiasco. The BBJ’s Don Seiffert, meanwhile, is pretty harsh in his assessment of the Globe piece, saying it “glossed over — or ignored entirely — a number of factors that have led to the crisis.”

 
 
Techie on digital-disclosure bills: Why not just give hackers your passwords and be done with it?
 

Matt Mincieli, Northeast regional executive director for TechNet, says seemingly well-intentioned legislation on Beacon Hill to give consumers the power to fix their own digital products, via providing them with more detailed software and diagnostic information, would, if passed, be a gift from hacker heaven for cybercriminals. “It would provide them with access to sensitive technical information about the devices and networks they are targeting,” he writes at the BBJ.

The issue sort of sounds like the recent debate on Beacon Hill over whether auto manufacturers and dealers should be required to hand over information on auto-engine software to independent car mechanics. 

BBJ
 
 
Report: Baker crafting new legislation to confront opioid crisis
 

From SHNS’s Colin Young at SouthCoast Today: “Gov. Charlie Baker said his administration is likely to file new legislation this fall to deal with the opioid epidemic. The governor on Wednesday did not detail what aspects of the opioid crisis his legislation would address, but said they all fall ‘into that same set of strategies -- prevention and education, intervention, and treatment and recovery.’”

SouthCoast Today
 
 
Boston will try again to host an international climate summit
 

File under: ‘If at first you don’t succeed …’ After a planned U.S.-China Climate Leaders Summit in Boston unraveled earlier this year, Mayor Marty Walsh announced yesterday that Boston is now aiming to host a climate-change conference next summer exclusively for cities from around the world to discuss how to combat global warming at the local level, reports Bruce Gellerman at WBUR. 

WBUR
 
 
‘Cops search for poop-and-run jogger whose mess angers neighbors’
 

Even though ‘The Mad Pooper’ is on the loose in Colorado, how could we not run this wire story after seeing it in the Lawrence Eagle Tribune? Authorities in Colorado, btw, are setting a trap for the poop-and-run jogger, including setting up a hidden camera to catch her in the poop-and-run act.

Eagle Tribune
 
 
 
 
Today's Headlines
 
Metro
 

Northeastern dining workers say they’re ready to strike - Boston Magazine

Family of boy who drowned at camp to sue Marty Walsh, Boston - Boston Herald

Domes to dot City Hall Plaza for innovation-themed festival - Boston Globe

 
SHNS Trial
 
 
Massachusetts
 

NYC/Berkshire passenger rail working group will hold 1st meeting Thursday - Berkshire Eagle

Brockton election chief ‘depressed’ by low voter turnout - Brockton Enterprise

City certifies enough signatures to place non-biding Lowell High question on ballot - Lowell Sun

Kelley Square project moves ahead after 10-1 vote for multi-year tax exemption plan - Telegram & Gazette

 
Nation
 

Confident Fed sets stage for rate hikes - New York Times

Mueller request for records includes Trump’s private talks on Comey and Flynn - Washington Post

 
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September 22nd, 8:30 a.m.
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Hosted by: NAIOP Massachusetts
 
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September 22nd, 2 p.m.
Cape Cod Scallop Fest
Hosted by: Cape Cod Canal Region Chamber
 
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  • Wide ranging summary of the latest news on Massachusetts politics, public policy, and government
  • Rich array of sources, both conventional and niche
  • Beacon Hill's most comprehensive Calendar of upcoming political, policy and advocacy events
  • Check our Job Board identifying Beacon Hill's best new positions available in government, politics and public policy