U.S. Transportation secretary in Lowell
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx visits Lowell to see the impact of the $13.4 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant the city received last year, then joins UMass and city officials for a ‘roundtable discussion on transportation issues, 286 Salem St., Lowell, 9 a.m. for tour; UMass Lowell event, 9:45 a.m., press availability, 10:45 a.m.
State Sen. Flanagan at Women’s Political Caucus
Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus hosts its Commonwealth Commentary Breakfast Series with guest speaker Sen. Jennifer Flanagan, 24 Beacon Street, Senate Reading Room, 10 a.m.
Walsh and Chang kick-off STEM week
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Boston Public Schools Superintendent Tommy Chang will kick off STEM Week, which runs from October 3 through October 7, Oliver H. Perry School – Second Floor Auditorium, 745 E 7th St., South Boston, 10 a.m.
Mayor Walsh makes an announcement relative to Vision Zero, Copley Square (in front of Trinity Church), Boston, 11:30 a.m.
Animal Rescue League
Gov. Charlie Baker joins Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore at the Animal Rescue League of Boston to “highlight significant changes in state regulations as part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s extensive regulatory review process,”10 Chandler St, Boston, 1:30 p.m.
Miss Universe and sabotaged mics get swept aside by Trump’s tax return tsunami
Donald Trump can talk and tweet all he wants about the former Miss Universe and sabotaged debate microphones. But when the NYT reports that Trump declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns — a tax deduction that could have allowed him to legally avoid paying federal income taxes for up to 18 years – that’s going to drown out other issues for a while, don’t you think?
The Herald’s Kimberly Atkins reports how Republican strategists say Trump can “flip the narrative” on the tax returns story, noting he should stoke anti-IRS sentiment and pound on the issue of fundamental tax reform. It’s not bad advice. But it’s certainly last-ditch defensive advice. Meanwhile, the Washington Post dives into the story behind the story: So just how did the NYT get hold of Trump’s allegedly private tax returns?
Rick Steves strikes: Pro-marijuana forces to roll out first TV ad
PBS travel guru Rick Steves is partly paying for Yes on 4’s first TV ad blitz in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana in Massachusetts, reports the Globe’s Astead Herndon. Technically, Thomas Nolan, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at Merrimack College, is the star of the 30-second spot to air on network and cable stations. But Steves, who has pushed pro-marijuana measures in other states, is effectively one of the behind-the-scenes directors of the $650,000 campaign. Frankly, we’re more surprised it took this long for a TV ad to run at all in the debate over Question 4.
Note: If polls are accurate, voters may well approve Question 4, but then there’s the question of how marijuana might be regulated by government officials after the election, as shown by the reluctance of town officials to allow pot dispensaries in communities despite voter approval of medical marijuana, reports the Gobe’s Kay Lazar this morning.
Obama remembers Martha Coakley’s ‘Fenway Park?’ quote like it was yesterday
In a New York magazine interview with Jonathan Chait, President Obama goes over five moments that he believes helped define his presidency, one of which was passage of ObamaCare and which initially hinged on the outcome of a certain election up here in Massachusetts in early 2009, involving Martha Coakley and Scott Brown. Obama on realizing that Coakley was probably going to lose the Senate race: “Well, the first thing that’s happening is I’m talking to Rahm [Emanuel, then chief of staff], and Jim Messina [then deputy chief of staff] and saying, ‘Okay, explain to me how this happened.’ It was at that point that I learned that our candidate, Martha Coakley, had asked, rhetorically, ‘What should I do, stand in front of Fenway and shake hands with voters?,’ and we figured that wasn’t a good bellwether of how things might go.” The NY mag piece, via the Globe, has other choice quotes by the president.
Globe delays downtown move
The Boston Globe will not be moving its newsroom to its new downtown digs as soon as expected, Don Seiffert of the Boston Business Journal reports. While reports had pegged Jan. 1, 2017 as the Globe’s move-out date from Morrissey Boulevard, Globe CEO Mike Sheehan says a mid-2017 departure date is more realistic. One reason for the delay: the future home of the Globe at Exchange Place will require more renovation work than originally thought.
The last straw: DCR deputy resigns after using car siren to get through city traffic
It’s the agency that keeps on giving: Matthew Sisk, the Department of Conservation and Recreation deputy commissioner who was one of two agency leaders suspended last month for using state resources for a private GOP party, resigned late last week after State Police received a complaint that Sisk used his public car lights and siren to get through busy city traffic, the Herald’s Brian Dowling reports. Greg Sullivan, former state inspector general, called the misuse of the state car “blindly arrogant.” “The very people who are paying your salary, paying for the car, are stuck in traffic and you’ve forced them to pull over by virtue of your government authority,” Sullivan said.
‘The Club Med of weed’
Ah, the squeaky clean politics of New Hampshire: A former Granite State lawmaker charged with trying to lure a 14-year-old girl into a sexual encounter also smoked marijuana in Concord’s Statehouse and peddled pot to several other legislators, according to the state’s attorney general, reports the Associated Press at CBS Boston. Kyle Tasker, who resigned in March after his arrest on drug charges and for trying to lure a minor to have sex, was described by one lawmaker as “the ‘Club Med of weed’: he had a variety of high-end strains of marijuana and charged accordingly,” the AG’s report says.
Middleboro selectmen to DOT: A little common courtesy would be appreciated
Middleboro selectmen are a little miffed that they weren’t on the invite list for a recent hearing on the proposed South Coast Rail extension that would go right through their town and feel they’re in the dark in general about the project, reports the Enterprise’s Eileen Reece at Wicked Local. The board has voted unanimously to send a letter to MassDOT stating they want to be kept better informed about the multibillion-dollar rail project.
O’Brien bows out of Dem chairman race
Democratic national committee member David O’Brien has pulled out of the race for chairman of the state Democratic party, leaving three candidates vying for the post, SHNS’s Michael Norton reports. O’Brien cited his commitments to an “international client experiencing a just now currently critical challenge.” Still standing are former lieutenant governor nominee Stephen Kerrigan, Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins and Democratic national committeeman Gus Bickford.
AFL-CIO: ‘Top Chef’ case could have chilling effect
The Massachusetts AFL-CIO is seeking permission to argue for the dismissal of federal corruption charges against members of the unaffiliated Teamsters, in the Top Chef case that has already engulfed Boston City Hall, Laurel Sweet and Antonio Planas of the Herald report. The AFL-CIO argues that prosecuting the four Teamsters opens up the possibility that others who are “engaged in lawful peaceful picketing” will be subject to charges in the future.
Charlie Baker, GOP savior?
Writing in the October edition of Boston Magazine, David Bernstein asks whether Gov. Charlie Baker can save the state’s Republican party by molding it in his own pragmatic, get-things-done image amid a surge of burn-it-all-down, anti-establishment ire fueling Donald Trump’s prez candidacy—and possibly Curt Schilling’s future Senate candidacy. Bernstein cites data showing the party’s difficulty in finding a foothold beyond the governor’s office and recalls some of the GOP’s past high-profile in-fighting. “For shorthand, think of it as Baker versus the Trumpians,” he writes.
Outcome of Stoughton HR director’s case in dispute
A judge’s decision to continue without a finding charges against the town of Stoughton’s human resources director has both sides in the case claiming victory, Cody Shephard of the Brockton Enterprise reports. James F. Kelley had been charged with obstructing a compliance inquiry by telling town employees not to speak to investigators looking into a 2015 party held at a town-owned golf course.
Clerks fret, but prepare for early voting anyway
Some clerks in central Massachusetts are preparing for an onslaught of voters when the state takes it first pass at early voting three weeks from today, Kim Ring of the Telegram reports. Some are predicting that 30 percent of voters could cast ballots in the window before election day and are fretting about the impact preparing for all those ballot-casters will have on the bottom lines of their budgets.
City janitors strike averted
For a while there, it looked as though 13,000 city janitors and other workers would indeed go on strike at the end of last month. But negotiators reached a contract deal on Friday, averting the showdown. The Globe’s Kathleen Conti has all the details.
State backs controversial $1B expansion of Boston Children’s Hospital
The Health Policy Commission didn’t like the deal on cost grounds. Backers of a beloved garden on the Longwood campus didn’t like the deal on aesthetic grounds. But in the end, the state Department of Public Health is poised to approve the $1 billion Boston Children’s Hospital expansion after an agency recommendation that the proposal should proceed as planned, reports Jessica Bartlett at the Boston Business Journal.
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