Happening Today

Health insurance open enrollment

The open enrollment period, during which Massachusetts residents can buy their own insurance for 2017 through the Health Connector marketplace, begins today and runs through Jan. 31, 2017.

STEM summit

U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan, iRobot Corp. chairman Colin Angle, and Kelli Wells, executive director for education at the GE Foundation, will be featured speakers at a day-long summit hosted by the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council, the Massachusetts Business Roundtable and UMass Donahue Institute, DCU Center, Worcester, 7:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

U.S. Attorneys’ conference

The United States Attorneys of the six New England districts host the New England Reentry Conference, a day-long event to highlight ongoing reentry initiatives, with U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz providing welcoming remarks, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Morris Auditorium, 600 Atlantic Ave., starting at 8 a.m. and running through the day.

MassWorks Westfield announcement

Gov. Charlie Baker joins Westfield Mayor Brian Sullivan and local legislators and leaders for an announcement concerning MassWorks in Westfield, 99 Springfield Road, Route 20, Westfield, 8:30 a.m.

Yes on 2

Gov. Baker joins Springfield Urban League President Henry Thomas III and other supporters of the Yes on 2 charter school initiative to canvass for the ballot question, 97 Mill St., Springfield, 9:45 a.m.

DiMasi early release hearing

U.S. Judge Mark Wolf will hold a hearing on the federal government’s motion for the compassionate release from prison of former House Speaker Sal DiMasi, Moakley Courthouse, Courtroom 10, 10 a.m.

Another MassWorks announcement

Gov. Baker joins Lt. Gov. Polito, Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty, Marlborough Mayor Arthur Vigeant, president and CEO of MassDevelopment Marty Jones and members of the Legislature and local leaders for an announcement about MassWorks investments in Worcester and Marlborough, 72 Coes St., Worcester, 11:45 a.m.

Healey, Herren talk opioids

Attorney General Maura Healey and former Boston Celtics player Chris Herren discuss the opioid epidemic and overcoming addiction, T3 Advisors, 1 Marina Park Dr., Suite 315, Boston, 12 p.m.

ACLU’s Rose on the air

Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, will be on Boston Public Radio, WGBH FM, 12 p.m.

Governor and Cardinal O’Malley

Gov. Baker is scheduled to join Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Sen. Viriato deMacedo, and local faith leaders in opposition to the Question 4 marijuana legalization initiative, Deliverance Temple Worship Center, 232 Columbia Rd., Boston, 2 p.m.

Mayor Walsh rallies with opponents of Question 2

Mayor Martin Walsh, NAACP New England Area Conference president Juan Cofield and Boston city councilors Ayanna Pressley and Tito Jackson join other opponents of the Question 2 charter school initiative at a rally, William E. Reed Auditorium, 24 Washington St., Dorchester, 6:30 p.m.

New England Council awards

The New England Council will present its annual New Englander of the Year awards to former Ambassador R. Nicholas Burns, General Electric chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt, and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center, One Seaport Ln., Boston, 6 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Pikeocalypse, fear thee not! For now

As long as motorists stay away from the Mass Turnpike, there should be no problems moving forward in terms of a traffic ‘Pikeocalypse,’ as was the case yesterday when MassDOT crews tore down old toll booths amidst light traffic, reports the Globe’s Nicole Dungca. But what if motorists decide to use the Pike in droves while the switchover to all-electronic tolling continues? Well, it’s going to be … a Pikeocalypse! How much do you want to bet that a Pikeocalypse is imminent? In western Massachusetts, MassLive reports all went well too yesterday. The Herald reports that toll booth and canopy demolitions will occur in Auburn, Millbury and Westboro tonight, near the critical 495 interchange, the potential site of the mother of all Pikeocalypses.

Giving back: Dems scramble to return law firm donations

From Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Dems were scrambling yesterday to return tainted campaign donations from a Boston law firm that allegedly reimbursed partners right around the time contributions were made, which may have been a big no-no under some elections laws, the Globe reports this morning. But U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who often calls for tough enforcement of campaign spending laws, is a notable hold out. She says she’ll return the money only if it’s proven the donations were illegal.

Ah, enter Gov. Charlie Baker and other state Republicans, who are gleefully calling for just such an investigation to see if election laws were indeed violated. Meanwhile, a pro-Clinton super PAC says it’s giving back $250,000 that it accepted from contributions from a charity backed by a Boston-based construction firm already in trouble this year for its political donations, the Center for Public Integrityreports. Everyone seems to be giving back these days.

Boston Globe

Mayoral rematch in Lawrence?

He just doesn’t give up: Former Lawrence mayor and state representative William Lantigua is said to be mulling a local political comeback bid but would apparently first have to move back to the city from the Dominican Republic, according to a report by Keith Eddings of the Eagle-Tribune. Lantigua lost his mayoral re-election bid to current Mayor Daniel Rivera by 81 votes in 2013. Rivera has told supporters he will seek re-election next fall. 

Eagle Tribune

Galvin called it: Early voting reaches half-million milestone

Secretary of State William Galvin was expecting the number of early voters to hit 500,000 this year – and that’s exactly what has happened. More than 10 percent of the state’s registered voters have now cast ballots under the state’s new early voting system, Isaiah Thompson of WGBH reports. Early voting in Massachusetts ends on Friday, so the vote count will only get larger. 

WGBH

Tough day for Evan Falchuk

Meanwhile, the party is over for Evan Falchuk, for his party is no more, reports Politico’s Lauren Dezenski: “Not even two years old, the United Independent Party has lost its official party status. The state’s newest third party needed to register 1 percent of the state’s registered voters, roughly 45,000, as party members before the November election. The party fell short, with 30,368 registered voters as of Oct. 19, according to the party and just-released registration data from the secretary of state’s office.”

Politico

If the mafia’s Jerry Angiulo can get released from prison early, so can Sal

With a compassionate release hearing set today for former House Speaker Sal DiMasi, the Globe’s Kevin Cullen isn’t necessarily bashing U.S. Judge Mark Wolf for balking at releasing DiMasi early from prison. But if mobster Jerry Angiulo can get a compassionate release from the feds, then “surely Sal DiMasi can” too, Kevin writes. … And both Jerry and Sal both came from the North End and Sal used to … er, well, never mind. Maybe that’s not the best comparison to bring to Wolf’s attention today. The Herald’s Laurel Sweet has more on the Sal’s early release saga, including his attorney saying Sal  has lost 45 pounds in prison as he battles cancer. That’s the old tried-and-true method for arguing for early release: Stress the medical conditions.

For Bernie, one more campaign swing for old times’ sake (and Hillary’s)

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who came up short in his bid to win the Democratic nomination for president, will make one last campaign swing this year, this time for his former Dem rival, Hillary Clinton, and other Democratic candidates. Today, Sanders will be at Plymouth State University, Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and finally at Deering High School in Portland, Maine, all part of a 12-state blitz by the Vermont senator, reports the Bangor News and other media outlets. “I am working as hard as I can to see that Donald Trump is defeated, that Hillary Clinton is elected president and that Democrats gain control of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate,” Sanders said in a statement.

Bangor Daily News

The long shadow of the state’s anti-shadow law

Millennium Partners’ planned 750-foot skyscraper at the site of the city’s now closed Winthrop Square Garage has run into a not-so-small problem: The long shadows cast by the future tower might violate several state anti-shadow laws, reports the Globe’s Tim Logan. Mayor Walsh, eying a $153 million pot of gold if the city sells the garage to Millennium, wants to tweak the state laws. Not so fast, says Rep. Byron Rushing and others worried about the height of the development.

Boston Globe

Study finds widespread ride-sharing discrimination against African Americans in Boston

Lucky for Uber and Lyft this didn’t come out four months ago when lawmakers were still mulling the new ride-sharing law: Researchers studying rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have found patterns of racial and gender discrimination in Boston and Seattle, according to a recently published study, as reported at WCVB. The study, which is now posted at Cambridge’s National Bureau of Economic Research, found that Uber trips hailed by passengers in Boston with African American-sounding names were far more frequently canceled by the drivers.

WCVB

Question 4 funding: The slide show

From travel expert Rick Steves (pro-marijuana legalization) to casino mogul Sheldon Adelson (anti-marijuana legalization), the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett announces a slide show of all the major funding players in the Question 4 ballot battle that now tilts distinctly in favor of the pro-legalization campaign, $6.3 million raised versus $2.8 million.

BBJ

Not a bad endorsement for a state legislator: Obama backs Lesser

The president of the United State of America and the leader of the free world has endorsed state Sen. Eric Lesser in his re-election bid in the First Hampden and Hampshire District against Republican James “Chip” Harrington, reports Dan Glaun at MassLive. Of course, Lesser launched his career in politics working with Obama’s 2008 election campaign and later continued to work as a White House aide before returning to Massachusetts to attend Harvard Law School in 2011. Matt Szafranski at Western Mass Politics and Insight has more on the relationship between Lesser and Obama, who once unexpectedly dropped in to attend a Passover Seder with Lesser and friends while on the 2008 campaign trail.

MassLive

Councilor: Suburban families lying to get into Boston schools

Boston City Councilor Annissa Essaibi George says wealthy suburban families are lying to get their children placed in the best Boston public schools, an issue that will be the subject of a hearing on today, Astead Herndon of the Globe reports. Essaibi George want the city to enforce penalties that could charge families $15,000 for each out-of-district student.

Boston Globe

Environmental police perk questioned

Criminal justice experts are questioning the wisdom of a 10-year-old perk in the contract with the state’s Environmental Police Officers that allows them to interrupt their shifts in order to work private details, Todd Feathers of the Lowell Sun reports. A similar provision was called out in New Orleans as potentially leading officers to prioritize earning cash over their main duties. So public money is being paid to give top priority to private employers? OK. 

Lowell Sun

Globe critic’s pay will come from nonprofit

A trio of nonprofits will pay the salary of a Globe music critic for the next ten months, part of a growing trend within the newspaper industry as it searches for a sustainable business model, Dan Kennedy reports on his blog. Zoe Madonna will write about classical music while Jeremy Eichler is on leave to study at Harvard. Globe Editor Brian McGrory says the partnership could continue beyond that time period. 

Dan Kennedy

Huh? Massachusetts’ favorite Halloween candy is what?

According to product review site Influenster, the favorite Halloween candy in Massachusetts is … Starbursts? That’s what they say. And it’s apparently Maine’s favorite trick-or-treat candy too, as reported by Wicked Local’s Alice Coyle. Here’s the rundown on other New England states: New Hampshire, Tootsie Rolls; Vermont, Almond Joy; Connecticut and Rhode Island, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, which happens to be the nation’s overall favorite Halloween candy. Personally, we’re partial to Butterfingers and old reliable itself, Snickers.

Wicked Local

Today’s Headlines

Metro

Are families lying to get their kids into top Boston schools? – Boston Globe

Sister of man killed by cops says shooting wil deter mental health calls – Boston Herald

Study finds racial discrimination by Uber drivers – Boston Globe

Massachusetts

Eastleigh Farm in Framingham seeks to gauge development rights – MetroWest Daily News

Political notes: Marquee names boost local campaigns – Cape Cod Times

Lantigua hints at a comeback campaign for mayor – Eagle-Tribune

Worcester warms up to early voting – Worcester Magazine

Nonprofits will fund the Globe’s newest music critic – DanKennedy.net

Mass. Early Voters Top 500K Over Weekend – More Than 10 Percent – WGBH

Health Care for All picks former Dukakis staffer as interim director – Boston Business Journal

Ruffled feathers—chicken fight to continue at Brockton meeting – Brockton Enterprise

Unusual policy allows Mass. Environmental Police Officers to interrupt shifts to work private details – Lowell Sun

Nation

Democrats go pedal-to-the-medal on early voting – Politico

Trump’s tax dodge stretched law ‘beyond recognition’ – New York Times

Trump refusing to pay campaign pollster – Boston Globe

CNN drops Donna Brazile over WikiLeaks revelations – Washington Post

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