Happening Today

Primary elections, Connector health rates, Baker’s opioid principles, hands-free mobile devices

— Haverhill Democrats go to the polls today to pick their party’s nominee in the race to succeed former Rep. Brian Dempsey, who resigned his House seat for a lobbying job.

— A primary election will be held today to fill the First Berkshire House seat last held by the late Rep. Gailanne Cariddi.

— The Massachusetts Health Connector administration must settle by Tuesday morning on a set of 2018 rates for its silver tier plans.

— Senate President Stanley Rosenberg attends the monthly Jobs for Mass meeting, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, 600 Atlantic Ave., Boston, 8:30 a.m.

Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security holds a hearing on bills that would require seatbelts on school buses and a bill requiring drivers to only use mobile communications devices that enable them to keep their hands free, Hearing Room B-2, 10 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker meets with Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, Department of Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharell and others and then later announces a set of core educational principles that address addiction and opioid treatment, Room 360, 10:30 a.m.

— The Cannabis Control Commission holds its latest hearing as part of a series of listening sessions around the state, this time on Martha’s Vineyard, 1042 State Road, Vineyard Haven, 10:30 a.m.

— Opponents of the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership legislation plan a press conference to knock the bill as ‘a waste of public money,’ in front of State House, 12 p.m.

Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture will hold a hearing on three bills, including Gov. Charlie Baker’s legislation enabling DEP to administer the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, Room A-1, 1 p.m.

Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities Committee holds a hearing on 16 bills, including a financial literacy bill filed by Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, Room B-1, 1 p.m.

Public Service Committee holds a hearing on several bills, including a proposal by Rep. Marjorie Decker that would require the Pension Reserve Investment Management to identify and divest from all thermal coal and fossil fuel companies in the investment portfolio, Room A-2, 1 p.m.

HUBweek, the weeklong festival ‘to explore the future being built in Boston at the intersection of art, science and technology,’ begins with a speaking program featuring Mayor Martin Walsh and Vertex CEO Jeffrey Leiden, Faneuil Hall, Boston, 2 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, Sen. Anne Gobi, and Reps. Smitty Pignatelli and Todd Smola join local leaders for the announcement of MassWorks Infrastructure awards for small and rural towns, Grand Staircase, 3:30 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker participates in the Massachusetts Health Council’s 2017 “Dining with the Stars” awards gala, Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton St., Boston, 5:30 p.m.

— U.S. Sen. Edward Markey holds a town hall meeting, Peabody City Hall, Wiggin Auditorium, 24 Lowell Street, Peabody, 6 p.m.

— Candidates in the Oct. 17 Bristol and Norfolk Senate special election debate on Medfield cable access television, Medfield High School, 88 South St., Medfield, 7 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Globe: ‘The PC knives are out for Dr. Seuss’

The Boston Globe, usually the voice of the liberal establishment in Massachusetts, is coming down pretty hard on the “overzealous scolds” who are criticizing Dr. Seuss books for allegedly promoting racist messages and it’s defending Theodor Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss), author of the beloved children’s books. “To caricature Dr. Seuss as a bigot, and to condemn his books on the basis of a tendentious overreaction, is as grinchy as it gets,” the Globe says in an editorial. But the paper isn’t as worked up over a controversy involving a Dr. Seuss mural at a Springfield museum. It explains why in the editorial.

Boston Globe

Baker: As many as 20 local bids may be submitted to Amazon

We’re assuming Amazon is really interested in only one bid from Massachusetts and we all know what it is, i.e. a Boston-Cambridge bid. But Amazon is going to have to sift through up to 20 bids from local cities, towns and regions in Massachusetts, according to Gov. Charlie Baker, as the Herald’s Matt Stout reports this morning. “I think in the end it will probably be more than 10 and less than 20,” said Baker, whose administration has taken the risky course of not backing a single state bid for the Amazon HQ2. “I would say the vast majority of the commonwealth will probably be bidding at the local or regional level.”

Here’s hoping Mayor Walsh’s team has its act together, unlike those in the Corner Office who obviously don’t want to upset other regions of the state by backing a Boston bid.

Speaking of the Boston bid, the Globe’s Tim Logan says the city has a somewhat awkward pitch to make, if it’s going to be honest with Amazon: Touting the city’s modern, hip, tech savvy culture but at the same time dealing with the reality of Boston’s cranky, rickety, resistant-to-change ways.

Boston Herald

One word explains why Amazon might choose Boston: Robotics

Sure, there may be some great sites for Amazon to potentially develop in Boston for a second headquarters. But if Boston ultimately wins the Amazon HQ2 sweepstakes, it will be because of the region’s competitive edge in robotics and other unmanned-systems that companies like Amazon increasingly see as the future, writes Jeffrey Adams, president of AUVSI New England and co-founder of Unmanned Aerial Systems Development at the BBJ.


Rep. Heroux, running for Attleboro mayor, discloses 2010 assault arrest

The race for Attleboro mayor may have had its October surprise over the weekend. State Rep. Paul Heroux disclosed that he had been arrested for assault in 2010 after a dispute with his sister’s former boyfriend, Jim Hand of the Sun-Chronicle reports. Heroux said he made the decision to disclose the arrest because he was concerned it would be raised by surrogates of his opponent, Mayor Kevin Dumas. The case was later dropped. 

Sun Chronicle

Another Mayor for Life?

Though Marty Walsh has yet to defeat/trounce/slaughter Tito Jackson in next month’s mayoral election, the Globe’s Joan Vennochi is already looking ahead and wonders what Walsh’s next move will be after he wins re-election: Become Boston’s next “mayor for life” or actually run for higher office, i.e. the governorship? Political history indicates the former. Btw: Joan drops a nice political factoid in her column about the last Boston mayor who served as governor in Massachusetts. Can you name him? It’s a good trivia question that WGBH’s Mike Deehan might consider for his next Trivia Night at the BPL.

Boston Globe

The Islands’ dilemma: How to get pot past the U.S. Coast Guard

The state’s new Cannabis Control Commission is facing a host of regulatory issues, including figuring out how to get enough legal marijuana to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard without running afoul of federal law or the U.S. Coast Guard, Jack Sullivan reports in CommonWealth magazine. Sky-high land costs make cultivation on the islands problematic, while transporting weed to the islands would technically violate federal law. 


Sorry, Geoff and Shiva, only a squishy moderate Republican is going to defeat Warren

The Herald’s Michael Graham breaks the bad news to Republicans Geoff Diehl and Shiva Ayyadurai: Their firebrand conservative politics won’t cut it in a general election against U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren. The evidence, he says, is overwhelming that New England voters can and will back moderate Republicans, but not Trump-diehard Republicans.

Boston Herald

AG Healey to sue Trump, again, this time over power plant emissions

Last week, it was a suit against the Trump administration over a controversial decision on insurance coverage of contraceptives. This week, it’s a planned lawsuit by Attorney General Maura Healey over the Trump administration’s withdrawal of a rule meant to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Shira Schoenberg has the details at MassLive.


Primary day draws a shrug in Haverhill

Election officials are predicting a modest turnout in the 3rd Essex District for Tuesday’s primary ahead of a Nov. 7 special election to fill the House seat held until recently by now-lobbyist Brian Dempsey, Peter Francis of the Eagle-Tribune reports. The only race is on the Democratic ballot, where Haverhill city councilor Andy Vargas and school committee member Paul Magliocchetti will face off. 

Eagle Tribune

Boston police organizing New England-wide gun tracking program

This is interesting – and it makes sense. From Antonio Planas at the Herald: “Boston is launching an unprecedented New England partnership to track down the guns that cross state lines and land in the hands of trigger-squeezing criminals in Hub neighborhoods. Through a pilot program between the city, Burlington, Vt.; Worcester; and Hartford, Conn., a database is in the works that would provide current information detailing whether a gun confiscated by police had been used in previous crimes in one of the cities.”

Boston Herald

Keep an eye on GE, folks

It’s becoming clear that General Electric meant it when it said it was moving to Boston in order to reinvent itself. Why? Because it desperately needed to reinvent itself. The old industrial/conglomerate model wasn’t working – and it’s now dragging GE down. GE’s stock hit a two-year low yesterday upon news that an activist investor had been named to its board, reports the Herald’s Donna Goodison. The move comes as GE launches a companywide cost-cutting initiative and reshuffles the top players in its corporate offices, as the BBJ reported late last week.

The bottom line: GE came here to hopefully be reborn. But one can’t help but wonder how long it will take – and whether GE might have come here only to wither on the vine like other corporate giants of the past (yes, we’re thinking DEC). It probably won’t come to the latter. Still, GE is going through tough times that bear very close watching.

Refusing to let the legislative pay-raise fade away …

The conservative Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance is on the warpath again over the recent pay raise lawmakers voted for themselves. From Christian Wade at the Newburyort Daily News: “The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, founded by GOP businessman and congressional candidate Rick Green, is targeting nearly 40 Democrats up for re-election to the House of Representatives and Senate next year, including Reps. Theodore Speliotis of Danvers and Ann-Margaret Ferrante of Gloucester.” In all, the group has already target 29 House districts and nine Senate districts.

Newburyport Daily News

Easthampton mayor: No, I will not order police to defy ICE – it would be ‘insulting’

Easthampton Mayor Karen Cadieux is digging in her heels against activists pushing her to order police not to cooperate with ICE on immigration matters. “I will not be issuing an executive order,” Cadieux wrote in an email to reporters. “I had the police chief attend several meetings with me in order to clearly explain our policies and procedures, and it seemed insulting to order the police department to do exactly what they are doing and practicing now.” Put another way: They’re not going to do what activists want them to do.


Dem gubernatorial candidates band together to get signatures for ‘millionaire’s tax’ initiative

This is indeed unusual. From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “In an unusual move Friday, all three Democrats running for governor in 2018 joined together in downtown Boston to collect signatures to put a question on the 2018 ballot that would raise taxes on income over $1 million. The agreement among the candidates on the proposed constitutional amendment reflects a larger agreement among the Democrats — Newton Mayor Setti Warren, former health insurance executive and state budget chief Jay Gonzalez and environmentalist and entrepreneur Bob Massie — that Massachusetts needs new revenue.”


On health care, Democrats seem to be making the same litmus-test mistake as Republicans

Richard North Patterson writes at the Globe that some Democrats, i.e. left-wing progressives, seem determined to emulate right-wing Republicans by demanding doctrinal purity on health care. For conservative Republicans, it was ‘repeal and replace’ ObamaCare. For progressive Democrats, it’s demanding devotion to single-payer health care. The problem, says Patterson, is that neither side was, or is, dealing with political and health-care realities. He explains.

Boston Globe

How not to reform the U.S. health system …

Speaking of health care: Say what you will about all the U.S. health-care system’s faults, the one thing it does better than any other nation is developing the most innovative, cutting-edge medical products – and the trick moving forward is how to maintain that innovative edge while reforming the entire system, writes Austin Frakt, a director at the V.A. Boston Healthcare System and a professor at the Boston University and Harvard schools of public health, and Aaron E. Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine, writing at the NYT.


Amherst and Northampton to consider end-of-life resolutions

An emotional debate on Beacon Hill is now spreading to other parts of the state. From Diane Lederman at MassLive: “Government bodies in Amherst and Northampton will consider in coming weeks the ‘End of Life Options Act’ pending in the state Legislature. Amherst Town Meeting members will be asked to support the initiative next month, and the Northampton City Council is expected to consider supporting the same initiative next week.”


Relics from St. Anthony of Padua

St. Anthony Shrine

Creating Great Advocacy Content in Boston

Speakers: Joshua Habursky, Matthew Wright

Aging & Caregiving Digital Health Reverse Pitches

The Massachusetts eHealth Institute at MassTech (MeHI) and Aging 2.0 (A HUBweek Spoke Event)

In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum

A Faith That Does Justice First Community Meeting

A Faith That Does Justice, Inc.

The Possible Project’s 2017 Annual Gala

The Possible Project

Mass. Marijuana Summit: Understanding the challenges and opportunities in the new age of legalization

State House News Forum

Today’s Headlines


Boston campaign aims to end youth homelessness – Boston Herald

GE stock sinks after activist investor gains board seat – Boston Business Journal


Student activists push for renewable energy on campus – Standard-Times

Framingham rep pushes bill to protect immigrants – MetroWest Daily News

Williams College has its last Columbus Day off as the school removes holiday from schedule – Berkshire Eagle

Political fervor won’t trickle down to local races – Patriot Ledger


Democrats see path to senate majority in 2018 – Politico

Trump aides scramble to manage the president’s outbursts – Washington Post

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