Happening Today

Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meets to discuss the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, an action plan to revise regulations around educator evaluations and updates on the review of the state’s curriculum frameworks and development of the “next-generation” MCAS exam, 75 Pleasant St., Malden, 8:30 a.m.

Health Policy Commission

The Health Policy Commission meets to discuss “a variety of matters related to its statutory authority to oversee cost growth in the Commonwealth’s health care market,” 50 Milk St., 8th Floor, Boston, 10 a.m.

Massachusetts Manufacturing Summit

Gov. Charlie Baker delivers the keynote address at the Massachusetts Manufacturing Summit, DCU Center, 50 Foster St, Worcester, 2 p.m.

Nashoba Valley Winery

Gov. Baker visits Nashoba Valley Winery, the beneficiary of a new law Baker signed that allows the winery to sell the wine it produces at its on-site restaurant, 100 Wattaquadock Hill Road, Bolton, 3:30 p.m.

The official BRA re-branding

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Boston Redevelopment Authority Director Brian Golden will officially unveil a “new identity, vision, and roadmap” for the BRA, City Hall Plaza, City Hall, 4 p.m.

‘Yankee Doodle Town’

Gov. Baker will be in Billerica to celebrate the signing of a bill declaring the community the “Yankee Doodle Town,” Billerica Public Library, 15 Concord Rd., Billerica, 5 p.m.

Today’s Stories

‘No knockout’

That’s today’s Boston Herald headline following last night’s big presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – and we’d have to agree with the assessment. But if there was no knock out, who won on points and might benefit so we can switch from a boxing metaphor to a horse-race analysis metaphor? It’s all in the eyes of the beholders, judging by local pundits’ reactions this morning:

Eric Fehrnstrom in the Globe: “Clinton needed a big, defining moment and didn’t get it. The best she could do was point people to her website for fact-checking.”

Joan Vennochi in the Globe: “As usual, the Republican presidential nominee was angry, rambling, bullying, condescending, uninformed, and undisciplined. … By any conventional standards, Clinton won.”

Kimberly Atkins in the Herald: “Hillary Clinton’s debate game plan — focusing on policy and rising above the attacks of rival Donald Trump, all while letting him hang himself with his own tempestuous temperament — earned her a victory in the most anticipated campaign night of the year.”

Peter Gelzinis in the Herald: “What this former reality TV star (Trump) attempted to do for most of the night was desperately try to fuse his rally shtick into a debate format. He essentially blew past moderator Lester Holt to frown, roll his eyes, ramble on, shake his head and interrupt at will. It didn’t work.”

James Pindell in the Globe: “It wasn’t even close: Clinton landed more punches and won more rounds.”

Strange, but it appears all the pundits’ views of the debate just so happen to reflect their personal political views going into the debate. … We’ll know more about who really won in coming post-debate polls.

Low blow

It’s hard to outdo Donald Trump when it comes to going low, but former Vermont governor and Dem presidential candidate Howard “Scream” Dean managed to do it last night, when he tweeted during the debate: ‘“Notice Trump sniffing all the time. Coke user?” The Globe’s Tracy Jan has the reacts to the react.

Boston Globe

Weld: Drop-out rumors ‘completely planted by the Clinton campaign’

Libertarian vice presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld isn’t quite seeing a vast left-wing conspiracy. But he is accusing the Clinton campaign for him being inundated with dozens of phone calls and emails last week telling him to drop out of the race, reports the Herald’s Matt Stout. “Obviously the call had gone out from somewhere,” Weld said. “And I’ve got to think directly or indirectly, it’s from the Clinton campaign.” He was later more blunt, saying the rumor was “completely planted by the Clinton campaign” to create discord within libertarian ranks.

Boston Herald

Is DeLeo opening the door to new taxes? Answer: Yes

House Speaker Robert DeLeo, known for his reluctance about raising taxes in general, has opened the door to possible tax increases next year. He didn’t come right out and say so, but he did signal his intent over the weekend when he said he wants to hear from economists before rendering an updated opinion on higher taxes, amid reports of state revenue shortfalls and looming mid-year budget gaps, reports SHNS’s Michael Norton and Andy Metzger at CommonWealth magazine. DeLeo said on Sunday’s “Keller at Large” that it’s “only fair for me to listen to the economists around the state” to see what they think. Of course, he could always slam the tax door shut after he listens to the economists, but he clearly just nudged the door ajar an inch or two.


Yes on 4 cries foul on voter guide

Yes on 4, the campaign pushing for voters to legalize recreational marijuana, says an election guide produced by the office of Secretary of State Bill Galvin contains misleading information about the fiscal implications of the move, reports Gintautus Dumcius at MassLive. The guide says the budget impacts of passing the question are “difficult to project due to the lack of reliable data,” a statement that Yes on 4 says ignores solid numbers coming out of Colorado and instead relies on calculations made by the legislature’s special committee, which is headed by an outspoken opponent of the initiative.


Twofer: Warren against charter question, Baker against slots parlor question

Even though she’s been a big proponent of school vouchers in the past, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has come out against the November ballot question that would lift the cap on charter schools, reports the Herald’s O’Ryan Johnson. Her pronouncement came amidst growing criticism from anti-charter forces that she wasn’t taking a clear stand on the ballot issue. “Many charter schools in Massachusetts are producing extraordinary results for our students,” Warren said in a statement. “But after hearing more from both sides, I am very concerned about what this specific proposal means for hundreds of thousands of children across our Commonwealth.”

Meanwhile, Gov. Charlie Baker, who happens to be a big proponent of charter school expansion, came out yesterday against a ballot question that would allow an additional slots parlor in the state, reports Katie Lannan at State House News Service (pay wall). But he said he still hasn’t made up his mind about the Question 3 ballot initiative that would restrict farm animal confinement in Massachusetts. “As I understand this one, it’s a much bigger issue for purchasers in Massachusetts than it is for farmers in Massachusetts,” Baker said. “While I worry a little bit about what that might mean to the cost of eggs here in the commonwealth, I’m quite sympathetic to the perspective that’s being offered by the Yes on Question 3 people.”

No nostalgia for the state mental institutions, please

Frederick E. Berry, a former state senator who once lived at a state institution and later worked at one, credits the Globe’s Spotlight Team for recently exposing how the state never followed through on promises to create a truly robust community health system after the dismantling of the old mental health institutions across Massachusetts. But Berry, writing at CommonWealth magazine, wants to make one thing clear: Shed no tears for those old institutions: “Anyone making the case today, however, that individuals living with a mental illness were better served in the era of institutionalization, doesn’t know what really happened inside the walls of those institutions. I am fearful that the Globe Spotlight series may inadvertently fuel nostalgia for an idealized time long-ago where our family members and neighbors living with a mental illness were ‘treated in a safe environment where their greatest needs were met with expertise and compassion.’”


Healey: I would have fired the whole politicized party-hearty bunch

Attorney General Maura Healey has weighed in on allegations of politically motivated harassment at the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, saying that anyone facing similar accusations under her watch would be “fired now,” Tori Bedford of WGBH reports. “If there were folks who worked for me and engaged in this kind of behavior —same thing with the golf carts in the DCR in the fourth— they just wouldn’t be working for me anymore,” Healey said. 


Even Baker’s own former employer thinks he needs to be more transparent

The Pioneer Institute, a conservative think tank where Gov. Charlie Baker worked as executive director in the 1980s, is suggesting that Baker voluntarily make the governor’s office subject to the state’s public records laws, a move the institute said would be a “bold act” that would set a “high bar for transparency and good government,” reports Shira Schoenberg at MassLive. The Pioneer Institute wrote a letter to Baker asking him to issue an executive order or gubernatorial memo to make his office subject to public records requests. But Baker has previously said he would abide only by current law, which currently exempts his office from the laws.


After listening to horror-story testimony from janitors, T decides to rethink vendor contracts

After disgruntled janitors working for T contract vendors threatened to “storm” an MBTA board meeting yesterday, one expected a rather raucous session to ensue. Instead, the janitors gave sometimes poignant testimony about mistreatments they’ve endured under private T contractors – and board members listened, reports Colin Young at SHNS. Joseph Aiello, chairman of the T’s fiscal management and control board, said he was “disturbed” by what he heard and requested that the T “begin preparing an (request for proposals) for re-bid of these services and put in there some reasonable protections.” Don’t you wish all labor-management issues could be handled this way? In the case of the T, the janitorial contracts, if the abuse claims are indeed true, are also a black-eye for supporters of privatization. So the T is right to act on both humanitarian and pragmatic grounds.   

SHNS (pay wall)

T late night service debate lingers

Lawmakers and transportation advocates continue to press the MBTA to restore some form of late-night bus service to the city, but the agency says it is not clear if the demand for such an offering exists, Jack Sullivan of CommonWealth Magazine reports. Rep. Adrian Madaro of East Boston told the T’s control board he found it would cost residents of his neighborhood ten times as much to get to downtown at night than with T service. 


‘Governor Baker’s Nothingburger,’ featuring eight ounces of genuine beef on a bed of hydroponic green bibb lettuce

The Student Prince Cafe and The Fort Dining Room, a well-known Springfield hangout where Gov. Baker has stopped by on occasion, is now offering on its menu a “Governor Baker’s Nothingburger,” a nod to Baker’s recent dismissal of a ballot-question controversy as a “nothingburger,” reports Michelle Williams at MassLive. Seems the establishment’s co-owner, Andy Yee, is an incurable newshound and admirer of Baker — and he wanted to commemorate Bake’s remark with, well, a nothingburger. It’s just a plain old burger with a pile of green lettuce representing money, in reference to the $100,000 that Paul Sagan, the chair of the state’s elementary and secondary education board, donated to the pro-charter schools ballot campaign, Williams writes.


Shocking news: LePage’s three-ring binder doesn’t implicate Lowell and Lawrence

As Spencer Buell points out at Boston magazine, Maine Gov. Paul LePage has been running around saying that “90-plus percent” of the drug trafficking suspects, as identified in his official gubernatorial three-ring crime binder, came from blacks and Hispanics hailing from New York, Connecticut and the Bay State’s very own Lawrence and Lowell. Well, it seems the Portland Press Herald got hold of the now famous 148-page binder and … it appears fewer than half the suspects are minorities. We’re stunned. Our only question: Was the binder embossed? If it wasn’t embossed, it’s not officially official, in a West Wing sort of way, and maybe LePage just didn’t notice.

Boston magazine

Higher calling: Health Care For All’s director steps down to pursue priesthood

Amy Whitcomb Slemmer, the long-timed executive director of the influential Health Care For All, is stepping down to become an Episcopal priest, reports Jessica Bartlett at the Boston Business Journal. Slemmer is currently completing her studies for ordination to the Episcopal priesthood. Robert Rustuccia, the executive director of Community Catalyst and a former executive director at Health Care For All, will serve as transitional director until an interim director is hired.


Feds cite discrimination at Latin, but no crime

Boston Latin School violated the Civil Rights Act at least once amid a climate of racial discrimination and harassment, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said in a report released Monday, but no one will face criminal charges as a result, the Globe reports. The violation came in connection with the school’s lax handling of a report that a male student had threatened a black female student with lynching. Ortiz also cited some changes already put in place as positive moves in the 13-page report.

Meanwhile, Boston Latin received a second dose of bad news in the form of a downgrade in its status. The Herald’s Dan Atkinson reports that both Boston Latin School and Boston Latin Academy were downgraded from Level 1 to Level 2 schools, mainly because of insufficient participation in a new testing program. Mayor Marty Walsh blasted the move and called on parents to express their dismay directly to state officials. ““I am not happy about this, the people of Boston should not be happy about this,” Walsh said. 

UMass Lowell and city agree on deal terms

UMass Lowell has agreed on terms of a long-term agreement with its host city in which it pledges not to buy any more private residential properties and agrees to make payments over the next 20 years, Grant Welker of the Lowell Sun reports. The agreement does not contain a formal payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement, but does call for the university to make payments toward fixing city infrastructure, including bridges and a parking facility. 

Lowell Sun

New ALS license plates unveiled

Somewhere in heaven, Paul Cellucci is smiling. Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito yesterday unveiled a new license plate supporting ALS research and the new plates could be hitting the roads in Massachusetts by early next year, reports State House News Service’s Katie Lannan at the Lowell Sun. The announcement at the State House struck home, so to speak, because Cellucci, the former governor, died two years ago of complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. “This issue has some personal history for the commonwealth of Massachusetts,” said Baker, who served as secretary of administration and finance under Cellucci.

Lowell Sun

Today’s Headlines


Federal probe finds discrimination at Boston Latin – Boston Globe

Advocates urge MBTA to offer late-night bus service – Boston Globe

State lowers ranks of two exam schools – Boston Herald

City realty proposes 64 condos in East Boston – Boston Herald

In Boston, opioid hack-athon generates novel ideas to fight crisis – WBUR


AG Healey On EEA Controversy: “If Any Of These People Worked For Me, They’d Be Fired Now” – WGBH

Mass. ranked second-best state for teachers – Boston Magazine

Free to a good owner: historic Dartmouth house – Standard-Times

No more apartment complex purchases by UML – Lowell Sun

Elizabeth Warren against charter school increase – Boston Herald

‘Yes on 4’ campaign cries foul over state-issued voter guide – MassLive

New WBZ/UMass Poll: Hillary Clinton beating Donald Trump by only 13 points in Mass. – MassLive

Pioneer Institute urges greater transparency from Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker – MassLive

As debate smoke clears in Worcester, views on candidates largely unchanged – Telegram & Gazette

AAA to offer RMV services – Gloucester Times


Clinton gets under Trump’s skin – Politico

Clinton’s evolution: Cautious to bold – New York Times

Trump starts out subdued, then his cool quickly melts – Washington Post

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