Open meeting rules, Cannabis conference, DiMasi honored
— Updated open meeting law regulations intended to increase transparency and make the law easier to follow and enforce will take effect, according to Attorney General Maura Healey’s office.
— The second day of the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition includes a 12 p.m. panel with Massachusetts legalization proponents from the Marijuana Policy Project, Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St., Boston, starting at 8 a.m.
— As part of its series of meetings across the state, the Cannabis Control Commission will hold a listening session in Roxbury today, Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building, School Committee Chamber, 2nd floor, 2300 Washington St., Roxbury, 8:30 a.m.
— The Supreme Judicial Court will hear first degree murder appeals in four cases, John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Second Floor, Pemberton Square, Boston, 9 a.m.
— Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts hosts a municipal health forum with speakers including U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, Sen. Jim Welch and Brien Center Medical Director Dr. Jennifer Michaels, Storrowton Tavern, 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, 9 a.m.
— Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Ron Amidon joins Sen. Michael Rodrigues, Reps. Paul Schmid, Alan Silvia and Carole Fiola, and others for the Cook Pond Boat Access groundbreaking ceremony, 151 Henry Street, Fall River, 11 a.m.
— U.S. Reps. Jim McGovern and Niki Tsongas attend the North Central MA Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Great Wolf Lodge, 150 Great Wolf Drive, Fitchburg, 11:45 a.m.
— Treasurer Deborah Goldberg’s office shows off valuable unclaimed property like gold, silver, jewelry and collectible currency for the last time before it goes up to bid on eBay on Saturday, Worcester State Lottery Office, 151 West Boylston Drive, Worcester, 12 p.m.
— Rev. Jim Antal, president of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ, joins environmentalists calling on Gov. Baker to issue an executive order opposing new natural gas infrastructure, Outside Room 360, 12:15 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker and Delaware Gov. John Carney meet with teachers, principals, and leadership teams at schools involved with turnaround efforts as part of the Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership, High School of Commerce, 415 State St., Springfield, 2 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash, University of Massachusetts Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy and others make an announcement in connection with the Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative, IALs Conference Center – 3rd floor, Life Science Laboratories, 240 Thatcher Rd., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 4:15 p.m.
— Former House Speaker Sal DiMasi and Boston City Councilor Sal LaMattina are lauded with Nazzaro Public Service Awards at a North End Columbus Day Celebration Committee cocktail reception, Harbor View Room, Marriott Long Wharf, Boston, 6:30 p.m.
Bi-partisan support on Beacon Hill — and Capitol Hill — for cracking down on ‘bump stocks’
Even the NRA and Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan are now saying something should probably be done about so-called ‘bump stocks,’ or devices that allow guns to be fired like automatic weapons, in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, reports the Washington Post. It’s a pretty amazing turnaround for Congressional Republicans, who initially looked like they were once again digging in their heels on gun-control measures after yet another mass shooting.
In Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker and House Speaker Robert DeLeo are lining up in support of a local bill, filed by Rep. David Linsky, that would close a state loophole on ‘bump stocks.’ DeLeo even intends to fast-track the legislation, reports SHNS’s Andy Metzger (pay wall). Said Baker yesterday: “(Bump stocks) should be outlawed, and if that were to pass tomorrow we would sign it.”
Las Vegas shooter scouted out Boston
The potential threats from terrorists and nutcases seem to be getting worse by the day – and this one is just plain scary: Mass killer Stephen Paddock apparently scouted out Boston, specifically the Fenway Park area, before he went on his weekend shooting rampage that killed 59 and wounded hundreds of others in Las Vegas, according to numerous media reports, including those at NBC News, the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald.
The Boston Red Sox are now planning to increase security at Fenway Park for this weekend’s Sox-Astros playoff game, reports SHNS (pay wall). Here’s the reaction of Gov. Charlie Baker, police officials and others to the chilling news, as reported at WBUR. The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld is not impressed with local officials’ response yesterday.
Setti Warren on Puerto Rico help: Do as I say, not as I do
From SHNS’s Matt Muprhy: “Newton Mayor Setti Warren has been highly critical of what he considers to be a lackluster effort by Gov. Charlie Baker to send hurricane relief resources to Puerto Rico, but as the state put together a team of police officers to deploy to the island Warren’s police department was not among those contributing personnel. The Newton Police Department volunteered one bilingual police officer from the city to deploy with a contingent of 69 law enforcement officers from 11 local departments and the State Police, but did not make the offer until a day after Baker’s office announced that the Massachusetts relief package had been accepted by Puerto Rico.”
Newton’s offer was made only yesterday morning and its officer is now on a standby list.
Dr. Seuss in trouble again …
Here we go again. From Dan McDonald at the Globe: “The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum in Springfield plans to remove a mural of a Chinese character after three authors said they would boycott a children’s book festival because the image reinforced racial stereotypes. Mike Curato, Mo Willems, and Lisa Yee said the mural from Seuss’ first book, ‘And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,’ features a ‘jarring racial stereotype of a Chinese man, who is depicted with chopsticks, a pointed hat, and slanted slit eyes.’”
Pretty please: Baker administration pushes lawmakers to pass capital budget
From SHNS’s Katie Lannan: “Construction projects at public colleges and universities — as well as upgrades at a soldiers’ home, State Police barracks and Boston courthouse — will not be able to proceed unless more borrowing is authorized, Baker administration officials told lawmakers Thursday. ‘We have a lot in the pipeline now. We really need immediate authorization so that we can move forward,” Administration and Finance Secretary Michael Heffernan told the House Bonding Committee as he testified in support of a five-year, $3.795 billion borrowing bill.”
Just two billionaires chatting: Abby Johnson to interview Michael Bloomberg at HUBweek
It should actually be a fascinating session. From Kelly O’Brien at the BBJ: “The normally press shy CEO of Fidelity Investments, Abigail Johnson, will take over the interviewer’s seat next week for an event with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Johnson and Bloomgerg are scheduled to talk together on stage on Friday, Oct. 13 as part of HUBweek, a conference focused on art, science and technology in Boston. The billionaires plan to touch on topics like economic mobility, climate change and technology.”
Poll: Majority of Boston residents support Amazon bid but …
Bostonians overwhelmingly support the city bidding for Amazon’s ‘second’ headquarters that could bring thousands of jobs to Boston, according to a new WBUR poll, as reported by Zeninjor Enwemeka at WBUR. But they want the process to be transparent and they’re not wild about big tax breaks for Amazon.
Here’s one person not wild about going all out to attract Amazon to the state: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bob Massie who, modestly, refers to himself as a “bold progressive with a doctorate from Harvard Business School,” as the Herald reports. The Globe’s Shirley Leung, who last week seemed to embrace the Baker administration’s let-many-offers-bloom approach to the Amazon courtship, is now wondering if maybe a pitch should be more focused, such as centered around MIT.
Add Middlesex DA Marian Ryan to the growing list of prosecutors softening their stance on drug sentences
From Michael Jonas at CommonWealth magazine: “Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said she supports many pieces of the Senate criminal just bill unveiled last week, including the repeal of some mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses. ‘I support elimination of mandatory minimum sentences for certain non-violent, low-level drug offenses that do not include distribution of opioids or distribution to minors,’ Ryan said in a statement.”
Palmer schools ban displays of Confederate flag and symbols
After someone objected to a high-school student wearing a bandanna adorned with a Confederate flag, Palmer Public Schools officials flew into action, banning any display of Confederate flags or symbols at all schools in the town, reports Patrick Johnson at MassLive.
Green Line extension was not the only T project beset with contractual woes
The skyrocketing cost of the Green Line extension project, which many now attribute to a ridiculously worded contract that almost encouraged cost overruns, may not have been an anomaly at the MBTA. CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl has the details.
Debating debates: Tito wants four, Marty wants two
We’ve reached the obligatory how-many-debates stage of the mayoral campaign. Tito Jackson wants four debates moving forward – and incumbent Marty Walsh, who’s way ahead in polls, has made it “perfectly clear” he’ll only settle for two. Did you hear that, Tito? The mayor was “perfectly clear.” The Globe’s Meghan Irons and the Herald’s Dan Atkinson have more.
Charlie Baker, take note: GOP’s popularity ‘is in freefall’
This can’t be good news for Gov. Charlie Baker and other state Republicans as they gear up for next year’s elections. From The Hill: “Registered voters are increasingly turning away from the Republican Party and looking to the Democrats to solve America’s biggest problems, according to a new poll. A Suffolk University-USA Today survey released Thursday shows that 62 percent of respondents now have an unfavorable view of the GOP, a 7-point jump in unpopularity for the party since the same poll in June. Just under half, 48 percent, feel the same way about the Democrats.” Here’s the full report from Suffolk.
Bill Weld is cozying up to Republicans again
Bill Weld was a Republican as governor, a Libertarian as a vice presidential candidate, and now he’s cozying up to Republicans again, helping to head up a big state GOP fundraising event next week in Cambridge, reports the Globe’s Frank Phillips. He’ll be there along with Gov. Charlie Baker and former Governors Mitt Romney and Jane Swift – and he won’t be attending the annual Massachusetts Libertarians convention in Westborough four days later, though he’s taping a message for that gathering.
Harvard Square kiosk gets landmark nod
The Cambridge Historical Commission voted unanimously to grant landmark status to the Harvard Square news kiosk, Marc Levy of Cambridge Day reports. The commission did not lay out specifically which attributes of the tiny building should be protected, but suggested the status cover its time as the home of Out of Town News and not its origins much earlier as a subway station.
Lawmakers weigh Thanksgiving booze sales
A bill to legalize alcohol sales on Thanksgiving Day is making its way through the legislature, though liquor stores that would presumably benefit aren’t necessarily on board with the change, J.D. Capelouto reports in the Lowell Sun. Similar legislation petered out in 2015 amid opposition from the state’s package store association.
The great marijuana ‘gold mine’
The Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition’s conference in Boston has made one thing abundantly clear about the emerging legalized marijuana industry in Massachusetts: It’s a potential “gold mine” for non-pot businesses serving pot growers, retailers and other marijuana-related customers, reports Jordan Graham at the Herald. What type of businesses? Electric utilities such as National Grid, Eversource and Unitil, as SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) reports, noting pot growers use enormous amounts of electricity in their greenhouses.
There are concerns that some businesses may be left out of the pot gold rush, i.e., minority owned firms. The Rev. Al Sharpton was at the conference yesterday urging industry officials to be inclusive moving forward, reports the Herald.
Brockton police drug-testing deal excludes now-legalized pot
Another sign of the times: The union representing Brockton police officers have agreed, for the first time, to a drug-testing program in contract negotiations, but the screening program will exclude now-legal marijuana, Marc Larocque of the Enterprise reports. City officials have been trying to get a testing protocol in place for a quarter century and the new language allows testing only when drug abuse is suspected and emphasizes treatment and rehabilitation over punishment.
‘Saving the elites’
Neil Swidey at the Globe bemoans Republicans’ constantly changing, ever-evolving definition of “elites” to complain about and how the word, or at least the need for, “elites” should be defended and rescued. OK. We get it. But Democrats, along with hypocritical Republicans, do, in fact, have an “elite” problem, i.e.: The massive establishment disconnect with, for instance, working-class voters and how it’s simply hard to imagine either party ever nominating a non-college educated presidential candidate, let alone appointing a non-college educated person to a cabinet position. Abraham Lincoln wouldn’t stand a chance in today’s political world.
‘Something else must be down there’
You have to hand it to Joe Bagley, the city of Boston’s archaeologist: He’s really into digging up an old outhouse found near Paul Revere’s house in the North End. He’s recently found, as Hayley Glatter reports at Boston Magazine, a ceramic piece from northern Italy dating to around 1630 (a genuine early settlement Italian connection!) and he’s discovered a underground slab of concrete that may lead to … he doesn’t quite know. It’s sort of a mystery. Stay tuned.
Candidates prepare for final pre-primary push to fill Dempsey seat
If you live in Haverhill, expect a knock on the door this weekend. It’s the last burst of campaigning before the special primary elections Tuesday to set the field for the 3rd Essex district state representative seat vacated by Brian Dempsey. Peter Francis of the Eagle-Tribune reports the race hasn’t drawn the number of candidates or attention some had assumed, with no race on the Republican side and just two Democratic candidates entering the fray, Haverhill School Committee member Paul Magliocchetti and City Councilor Andy Vargas.
Company cars on the way out for GE execs
Maybe things are bleaker at GE than we knew? Christina Farr and Matt Rosoff of CNBC report GE has eliminated corporate cars for senior executives, part of a massive push to save $2 billion in operating costs that already includes elimination of the company’s private jet fleet. Executives have some time to get used to the idea and line up alliterative transportation: The company car leases will be phased out by the end of 2018.
Ambushed officers and others honored at State House
From SHNS’s Andy Metzger at the Lowell Sun: “The state’s highest honor for police bravery was awarded posthumously Thursday to Auburn officer Ronald Tarentino Jr. who was killed during a traffic stop in May 2016. The three troopers who located Tarentino’s killer were also given the high honor as were four Boston Police officers who were shot at in two incidents last year.”
Sunday public affairs TV
Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Auditor Suzanne Bump, who talks with host Jon Keller about veterans services, waste in health-care programs, and future privatization at the T.
This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. This week’s guests are Mass. Lodging Association president and CEO Paul Sacco, Saunders Hotel Group president Daniel Donahue, and Islide President & CEO Justin Kittredge; the Boston Globe’s Shirley Leung reviews the top business stories of the week, including the latest unemployment report, the millionaire’s tax lawsuit, healthcare prices, and Amazon HQ bids.
CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. Anthony Consigli, CEO of Consigli, on his family’s construction business.
On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, who talks with anchor Ed Harding and co-anchor Janet Wu.
CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s topic: Women leading the charge in Health and Wellness.
PRSA International Conference
A Day with Dr. Stu
Mass. Marijuana Summit: Understanding the challenges and opportunities in the new age of legalization
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