Budget overrides, Baker in D.C., Governor’s Council, Longfellow Bridge repairs
— Top Baker administration officials, including Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack, are featured at a half-day Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation forum entitled Transportation in an Era of Transition: Rethinking Resources, UMass Club, One Beacon St. – 32nd floor, Boston, starting at 8 a.m.
— Governor’s Council interviews Katie Cook Rayburn, the deputy chief of the Bristol County District Attorney’s Homicide Unit, on her nomination for a District Court judgeship, Governor’s Council Chambers, 10 a.m.
— Senate President Stan Rosenberg is interviewed in-studio for Boston Herald Radio, 70 Fargo St., Boston, 10 a.m.
— ACLU of Massachusetts holds a lobbying day in support of bills on its ‘Freedom Agenda,’ Grand Staircase, 10:30 a.m.
— House members plan to meet in a full session with probable votes to override Gov. Baker’s fiscal 2018 budget vetoes and amendments, House Chamber, 11 a.m.
— Senate Democrats gather for a closed-door caucus a day before their first formal session since July, Senate President’s Office, 11 a.m.
— Governor’s Council is expected to vote on the nomination of James Harrington, a Fall River attorney, for a Bristol County Juvenile Court judgeship, Governor’s Council Chambers, 12 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker will attend a meeting in Washington, D.C. of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Room 350, Washington, D.C., 12:30 p.m.
— Joint Committee on Election Laws takes up 30 bills, most of which relate to campaign finance, Room A-1, 1 p.m.
— MassDOT and MBTA officials give media a tour of the ongoing rehabilitation project at the Longfellow Bridge and discuss upcoming weekend service disruptions on the Red Line, Boston side of the Longfellow Bridge, 36 Cambridge St., Boston, 1:30 p.m.
— Department of Public Health holds a public hearing on Partners HealthCare System’s planned acquisition of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, 250 Washington St., Boston, 5 p.m.
— Senate President Stan Rosenberg speaks at the Boston Bar Association‘s health law section kickoff event, 16 Beacon St., Boston, 5 p.m.
— WGBH News State House reporter Mike Deehan hosts a public ‘brain-exasperating’ Trivia Night based on the news and current events, WGBH Studio at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., Boston, 6 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker is honored with the Government Advocacy Award at the Caron Treatment Center’s New England Recovery Celebration, Harvard Club, One Federal St., Boston, 6:45 p.m.
Lawrence delivers: It’s a Rivera vs Lantigua rematch in November
Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera will face off against longtime nemesis William Lantigua in November, in a much-anticipated rematch between the two bitter rivals and the last two men to hold the office, Keith Eddings of the Eagle-Tribune reports. Yesterday, Rivera drew 4,850 votes to Lantigua’s 3,730, as they easily cleared the eight-candidate field in the city’s preliminary election. The last time the two faced off in a general election, in 2013, Rivera prevailed by just 81 votes. It’s probably going to be the best race in Massachusetts this fall.
In Framingham, it’s newcomer Spicer vs veteran Stefanini
Framingham’s first general mayoral election will pit a relative political novice against a veteran Beacon Hill pol. Yvonne Spicer, a vice president at the Museum of Science in Boston whose only political experience is serving as a member of the now-defunct Town Meeting, easily bested the seven-candidate field in Tuesday’s preliminary election with 5,964 votes. Spicer will face former state Rep. and selectman John Stefanini, who finished second with 3,184 votes, Jim Haddadin reports in the MetroWest Daily News.
In Boston, it was just a bad night for Tito
Mayoral candidate Tito Jackson got to the November finals but it wasn’t pretty. Mayor Marty Walsh nabbed 63 percent of the vote in yesterday’s low-turnout preliminary mayoral election in Boston, compared to rival Jackson’s 29 percent, and the two will now, as expected, face off in the November general election. How bad a night was it for Tito? The former city councilor lost his own District 7. The Globe’s Meghan Irons and the Herald’s Dan Atkinson have details on yesterday’s wipeout – and, sad to say, the likely wipeout to come.
WGBH’s Peter Kadzis has 10 things to consider about yesterday’s preliminary election and the upcoming general election. He has some encouraging news for Jackson. Just a little, mind you.
Gone: Brockton official resigns over ‘monkey dance’ post
Days after his ugly Facebook comments about NFL players who knelt during the national anthem on Sunday, Brockton’s Stephen Pina resigned from his post on the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission and was asked to give up his role as a coach of a local football club, reports Marc Larocque of the Enterprise. But it’s not over for Pina. His full-time employer—the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, where he earns more than $120,000 annually—says it will also take “appropriate” action. Pina, a combat veteran, used Facebook to call protesting players ‘turds’ and wrote ‘dance, monkey dance’ under one photo of African-American players.
Agreed: State needs to improve transportation system. Not agreed: How to pay for it
As senators released a new survey yesterday showing that residents are willing to pay more for transportation-system improvements, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation released its own report raising alarms about the state’s ability to maintain and improve the commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure. SHNS’s Michael Norton at the Telegram covers the Senate-survey side of the story, while Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine and Shira Schoenberg at MassLive have the foundation report covered. Bottom line: No one is proposing a specific plan on how to raise new funds for transportation improvement. Which is where we were before yesterday’s reports were released.
Education chief admits he sought to keep secret his huge charter-school donations
Speaking via Skype from Eastern Europe, Paul Sagan, the education chief now at the center of controversy over his nearly $500,000 donation to a pro-charter school group, basically admitted yesterday that, yeah, he tried to keep his mega-donation secret from the public during last year’s Question 2 referendum campaign. The Globe’s James Vaznis and SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) have the details.
‘ObamaCare For Life – Republicans Concede Defeat’
We can’t send a screen capture over ML. So you should check out, before it’s taken down, how the Drudge Report is handling this morning’s news that Republicans have given up on their latest attempt to gut ObamaCare. It shows a smiling Barack Obama in green physician scrubs brandishing a huge hypodermic needle, over the headline ‘ObamaCare For Life – Republicans Concede Defeat.’ It’s pretty funny. But, wait, Lindsay Kalter at the Herald writes that the GOP war against ObamaCare will go on and on, a sort of forever war.
Emotional day: ‘Aid-in-dying’ bill gets a hearing on Beacon Hill
As the Herald’s Meghan Ottolini reports, it was standing room only at yesterday’s State House hearing on right-to-die legislation, also variously referred to as ‘aid-in-dying’ and ‘physician-assisted dying.’ Among those testifying was Timothy Shriver, son of the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver, on behalf of his late aunt Rosemary Kennedy, Ottolini reports. The Associated Press at WBUR has more on the heart-wrenching arguments presented by both sides at the hearing.
Summer is over, but not the Cape’s labor shortage problem
Cape businesses were groaning this past summer about how hard it was to find seasonal workers, but, now that the summer is over, they’re still groaning. The Globe’s Katie Johnston looks at the Cape’s extended, post-summer labor-shortage blues.
Paul Revere’s outhouse found
From an archeological standpoint, this is actually pretty cool. From CBS Boston: “Workers digging at the Paul Revere house in the city’s North End believe they may have found an archaeological jackpot that could give them a unique window into history–the Revere family outhouse. The possible privy site was discovered Monday, and diggers were attempting to open it up Tuesday to investigate.”
Huh? As it courts Amazon, the state takes Amazon to court
This is a novel way to court a company to locate its headquarters here. From Greg Ryan at the BBJ: “Massachusetts has brought a legal action against Amazon.com Inc. over the company’s alleged refusal to hand over the business records of vendors that sell products on its website. The court action, filed Monday in Suffolk County Superior Court, comes as the Baker administration and cities and towns across the commonwealth attempt to persuade Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) to build a massive new headquarters in Massachusetts.”
We sort of assume the Department of Revenue passed this by the governor’s office first.
Walsh takes a swipe at Setti Warren’s Amazon-Worcester pitch
Lots to report on the Amazon front, the political juiciest of which is Boston Mayor Marty Walsh taking swipes at Democratic gubernatorial candidate Setti Warren’s backing of Worcester as a potential site for Amazon’s new headquarters. “It would be better for somebody running for governor to advocate bringing Amazon to the commonwealth, not necessarily to a certain area … it alienates five or six other areas,” said Walsh, a fellow Democrat who’s pushing Boston, obviously, as a potential Amazon site, reports the Herald’s Chris Villani.
Speaking of those “other areas,” you can now count Billerica (and Tewksbury and Lowell) as an official “longest of long shots” bidder for Amazon, reports Nick Greenhalgh at Wicked Local. Meanwhile, the developer of Suffolk Downs says his firm is locked and loaded for an Amazon bid, the Herald reports. Ditto for the owners of the former U.S. Naval Air Station in Weymouth, the Herald also reports.
The Globe’s Shirley Leung now counts more than a dozen cities and towns vying to land the grand Amazon prize and she concludes that the Baker administration, amidst so many local proposals, is probably right to pitch Massachusetts in general for the Amazon headquarters, rather than choosing one local proposal over another.
Warren to Equifax CEO: You can’t quit now!
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren wasn’t cheering the ouster yesterday of Equifax CEO Richard Smith, following his company’s epic data breach. Just the opposite. She was upset. “It’s not real accountability if the CEO resigns without giving back a nickel in pay and without publicly answering questions,” she said in a statement, reports Shannon Young at MassLive.
But here’s something unusual for a disgraced corporate CEO, via the NYT: “Mr. Smith will not receive a bonus in 2017 and will serve as an unpaid consultant to the company for up to 90 days, according to a regulatory filing. Mr. Smith will not receive a severance package or accelerated vesting of any stock that might have been due to him, (a spokesman) said.” At least he’s not getting another dime.
Clark University hit by racist and anti-Semitic stickers posted by white nationalist group
There’s just too much of this going on to dismiss it as a blip on the sociological radar screen. Something very disturbing is stirring out there. From Scott Croteau at MassLIve: “Officials at a Worcester college say a white nationalist group posted racist and anti-Semitic stickers on buildings around campus, but the stickers and posters have been removed. Clark University President David Angel said in a Facebook post that Vanguard America is the group responsible for posting the racist and anti-Semitic material.”
Carson taps his former NH campaign director to head local HUD office
The appointment came after a nationwide search, we’re sure. From the BBJ’s Catherine Carlock: “The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has named longtime Republican political consultant David Tille as New England Regional Administrator overseeing Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. Tille was previously New Hampshire state director for Dr. Ben Carson’s presidential campaign. Carson, a neurosurgeon, now serves as HUD secretary.”
How small is small? Newton debates size of its city council
It looked like Newton was poised to vote this November on a plan to reduce the size of its City Council from 24 members to 12 members. But, wait, there’s now an alternative proposal to reduce the council to 16 members. Can you guess who’s backing the alternative plan? Fourteen city councilors. Andy Levin at Wicked Local has the details.
Man dies after attack by swarm of bees while blowing leaves in Foxboro
This is awful. From David Linton at the Sun Chronicle: “A routine New England autumn chore turned deadly for a local father of two, who was fatally attacked by a swarm of bees over the weekend. Eric Dahl, 48, was blowing leaves from his immaculately kept lawn on Keryn’s Way on Saturday afternoon when he was stung by a swarm of bees, his family said in a brief interview Monday.” He leaves behind a wife and two daughters, 14 and 12.
Haverhill hopes Bloomberg can deliver gang-fighting help
The city of Haverhill is looking for help fighting the scourge of gang violence in the city from an unlikely source—former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Peter Francis of the Eagle-Tribune reports. The city is taking part in the Bloomberg Challenge in the hopes of securing funds—past winners of the challenge have taken home as much as $5 million—for its gang-fighting efforts, and officials say the process of applying itself could be beneficial.
So you think you know your trivia? Prove it
Yes, once again, WGBH’s Mike Deehan will test your knowledge of news and current events, if you dare, at tonight’s regular Trivia Night at the Boston Public Library. If you need liquid courage to participate, that’s available too (with valid ID) at the Newsfeed Café. Check-in for the event starts at 6 p.m. and Mike starts firing questions at 6:30 p.m.
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