Happening Today

House session, legislative hearings, Arroyo fundraiser

Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight holds a public hearing to consider legislation dealing with state assets, the treasury and lobbying, including a bill to establish a Massachusetts municipal lobbying policy that local governments could vote to adopt, Hearing Room A-2, 10 a.m.

— Treasurer Deborah Goldberg chairs a meeting of the Mass. School Building Authority Board, 40 Broad St. – 5th floor, Suite 500, Boston, 10 a.m.

Massachusetts Gaming Commission‘s Racing Division holds a hearing on the application of Plainville Gaming and Redevelopment to conduct harness horse racing from April through November 2018, Plainville Council on Aging, 9 School St., Plainville, 10 a.m.

— Sens. Eric Lesser, Joe Boncore, Julian Cyr and Patrick O’Connor — members of the Senate’s Millennial Caucus — join Senate President Stan Rosenberg to unveil a report from their Millennial Engagement Initiative, Senate President’s Office, Room 332, 10:30 a.m.

The House meets in a formal session to consider bills dealing with handicapped parking, worker safety and regional commissions on the status of women and girls and possibly other bills, House chamber, 11 a.m.

Senate Democrats meet in a private caucus, Senate President’s office, 3rd floor, State House, 11 a.m. — Youth from across the state will share their 21 reasons to pass bills that would raise the tobacco-buying age to 21, Nurses Hall, 11 a.m.

— Mayor Mary Walsh offers remarks at Suffolk Construction’s headquarters expansion opening, 65 Allerton St., Roxbury, 11 a.m.

— Rep. Geoff Diehl, a Republican U.S. Senate candidate, holds a press conference on taxes, Elephant and Castle, 161 Devonshire St., Boston, 11 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker joins Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito for a roundtable with Undersecretary of Public Safety and Security Jennifer Queally, Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan, Greenfield Police Chief Robert Haigh Jr. and Safe Passage Director of Program Anthia Elliott to discuss the work of the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, Room 360, 1:30 p.m.

Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs holds a hearing on 17 veterans-related House bills, Rooms B-1 and B-2, 2 p.m.

Lt. Gov. Polito chairs a weekly meeting of the Governor’s Council, Room 360, 2 p.m.

— Declaring victory in his feud with the Trial Court and looking for help with his legal fees, Suffolk Register of Probate Félix Arroyo is holding a fundraiser today, Merengue Restaurant, 160 Blue Hill Ave., Roxbury, 6 p.m.

— The Highlands Coalition of Lynn hosts a debate between Lynn Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy and mayoral challenger Sen. Tom McGee, Kipp Academy, 90 High Rock St., Lynn, 7 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker and First Lady Lauren Baker attend the St. Francis House All the Way Home Gala, Fairmont Copley Plaza, Grand Ballroom, 138 St James Ave, Boston, 7:15 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Jackson gets in last punches at last mayoral debate

There seems to be a media consensus that underdog mayoral candidate Tito Jackson landed a lot of solid punches during last evening’s WGBH-hosted mayoral debate, but Mayor Marty Walsh largely stood his ground at the last of their one-on-one showdowns. Here’s coverage by the Globe’s Milton J. Valencia and Meghan Irons and by the Herald’s Dan Atkinson. WGBH’s Peter Kadzis and Adam Reilly also share their thoughts on the debate. Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin has an excellent subject-by-subject rundown of the debate.

Of course, you can just make up your own mind about how proceedings went by watching the entire debate on WGBH’s video. And, last but not least, James Aloisi at CommonWealth laments how predictably dull mayoral contests have become over recent years.

It’s that serious: Lawrence orders sundown curfew at parks and public spaces in wake of shootings

One has to wonder what impact this action – and city violence in general — will have on the hotly contested race between Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera and former mayor Willie Lantigua. From Jill Harmacinski at the Eagle Tribune: “City police are imposing a strict sundown curfew at all public property and city parks after two shootings Monday which left one man dead and three wounded. … ‘We encourage members of the community to call police if they see any activity after dark in any city park,’ the (police) release said.” Kristen LaFratta at MassLive has more.

Eagle Tribune

Right-wing rally organizer files slander suit against Walsh

Are we taking a legal chance by even calling it a ‘right-wing’ rally? We know it wasn’t a ‘left-wing’ rally. Anyway, here’s the Globe’s Danny McDonald on the latest ridiculous suit to clog up the state’s court system: “An organizer of August’s controversial Boston Free Speech Rally is suing Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh for slander, saying the mayor repeatedly mischaracterized the event’s speakers as white supremacists,’ ‘hate group members,’ and ‘neo-Nazis,’ and suggesting that such comments caused him to lose his job.” The Herald’s Dan Atkinson and Laurel Sweet, you’ll notice, also initially refer to it as the ‘Free Speech Rally.’ Bob Dunn at the Berkshire Eagle also goes the ‘Free Speech’ route. The suit, by the way, was filed in Berkshire Superior Court.

Meanwhile, the ACLU and media protest Boston’s banishment of reporters away from ‘Free Speech Rally’

The Walsh administration is getting it from both sides. From Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive: “Officials with the city of Boston violated the First Amendment rights of reporters at the Aug. 19 ‘Free Speech’ rally, the Massachusetts ACLU and media organizations said in a letter to Mayor Marty Walsh and his police chief. In the Oct. 24 letter, the groups said ‘journalists were improperly excluded from the buffer zone around the Boston Common’s Parkman Bandstand during the rally on August 19, 2017.’” There’s that ‘Free Speech’ reference again. At least he put it in quotes. 

Btw: The ACLU and media groups want assurances the same policies won’t be imposed at a similar rally scheduled for Nov. 18.  


Scott Brown’s not-so-diplomatic Samoa comments under investigation

Let’s face it: You can’t count on ambassadors to always say the right thing. Former U.S. Senator and now U.S. Ambassador Scott Brown confirmed that an investigation is under way into comments he made during his first trip to Samoa over the summer, when he complimented the appearance of guests at a party and told them they could make big bucks working in the hospitality industry in the U.S.  The Guardian’s Eleanor Ainge Roy reports the complaints came from two female peace corps members. The former-model Brown and his wife Gail Huff both called the dust-up a learning experience about the difference in cultures, though Brown did allude to the lack of Trump fans at the gathering.

The Guardian

UMass’s exquisite dining but fatty meal-plan prices

A few months after University of Massachusetts-Amherst student Bradley Polumbo ripped into increasing tuition rates and administrative costs at UMass (including its award-winning student and faculty meal plans), the Globe’s Nestor Ramos decided to visit the campus to sample its dining-hall fare that’s been rated No. 1 in the nation by the Princeton Review. Although the falafel can get a little dry sometimes, he found the food offerings very attractive, though not necessarily the meal-plan prices, for those on a middle-class budget, of course.

Boston Globe

Time for Plan C: Feds reject state’s alternative subsidies proposal

The federal government has rejected a request by the state to redistribute money into a new fund in the wake of the Trump administration’s announcement it was cutting fed subsidies to health insurance plans for the needy, reports Jessica Bartlett at the BBH. The result will likely mean dramatically higher premium rates next year for tens of thousands of people in Massachusetts, unless Congress overrules the administration on the subsidies or the state pulls a fiscal rabbit out of the hat. The Herald’s Lindsay Kalter has more.


Bump pressures Baker administration to improve monitoring of sex offenders in Massachusetts

From the Globe’s Martin Finucane: “State Auditor Suzanne Bump called Tuesday for the state’s Sex Offender Registry Board to step up its efforts to keep track of the convicted sex offenders who are scattered in communities across the state, saying the board was ‘falling short’ in its responsibility to protect the public. But Public Safety Secretary Daniel Bennett said Bump was ignoring the ‘reality of how this agency is set up.’”

Still, SHNS’s Katie Lannan at CommonWealth magazine reports Bennett “outlined changes that could be made at the agency tasked with monitoring sex offenders, including the fingerprinting of Level 1 offenders.” The sparring took place at a State House hearing on a recent harsh audit of the registry by Bump’s office.

As advocates rush to Elizabeth Warren’s ‘Me Too’ defense, Howie gives her the Howie treatment

Women’s rights advocates are defending U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s ‘Me Too’ revelation that she was sexually harassed as a young law professor, even though she’s portrayed the incident in starkly different tones over the years, reports Joe Dwinnel at the Herald. The Herald’s Howie Carr, needless to say, isn’t buying anything Warren says.

Boston Herald

Kingston to run a ‘different kind of Republican campaign’

John Kingston will officially launch his Republican campaign for the US Senate today, bashing incumbent Democrat Elizabeth Warren as a ‘divider-in-chief’ and promising to run ‘a different kind of Republican campaign,’ reports the Globe’s Jim O’Sullivan. What type of ‘different’ campaign? Kingston is hosting a ‘diverse’ event at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the US Senate, i.e. the virtual memorial to the late Democratic ‘liberal lion’ on the Senate. “We’re going there to the home turf of the Democrats to say, ‘You know what, nobody owns the Senate,’ ” Kingston said. 

Boston Globe

Somerville’s Bernie-groupies and development headaches

WGBH’s Isaiah Thompson takes a closer look at exactly who and what those Bernie Sanders-backed candidates want in Somerville, the former home of the Winter Hill Gang and today the home of warring factions of progressives. In a general, the Bernie groupies want power. Specifically, they’re pounding away at a controversial Assembly Square development deal and development policies in general pushed by Mayor Joe Curtatone.


The Senate’s high expectations, Baker’s low expectations

The Senate may have high hopes of addressing major criminal-justice and health-care issues this fall, but Gov. Charlie Baker is talking bonds and deferred maintenance and … zzz … SHNS’s Matt Murphy at the Sentinel & Enterprise has the exciting details.

Sentinel & Enterprise

Oh boy, another study: Business bigwigs back Moulton letter urging North-South rail study

Even though the Baker administration earlier this year awarded a contract to study a possible North-South rail link in Boston, U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton and some business bigwigs have signed a letter urging Gov. Charlie Baker to conducted a full-fledged study of the benefits of a tunnel link between North and South Stations, reports the BBJ’s Don Seifert.

Let’s see: While Moulton et gang yesterday were demanding one major transit-project study, Sen. Eric Lesser was on Beacon Hill once again pushing for an east-west rail study and Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack was touting the administration’s own five-year cycle statewide rail plan (SHNS – pay wall). which we assume is different from the recently announced formation of a transportation-infrastructure commission (Salem News) that, you guessed it, will study the state’s transportation needs. We’re pretty sure we’ve left out a study or two or three.


Study this: T ridership down over past three years

Speaking of transportation: MBTA ridership has generally trended downward over the past three years, thanks partly to “more competition” from ride-sharing services, bicycles and old fashioned walking, according to transportation officials, reports Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine. The declines range from just over 3 percent on the Red, Orange and Blue lines to 6.5 percent on bus lines. Green Line and commuter ridership has held steady. This are not the type of trend lines the T wants and needs, obviously.


So long Charlie Card?

Also from Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth: “The MBA is planning to build a new automated fare collection system using what officials are calling a public-private partnership. The new fare collection system, dubbed AFC 2.0, is expected to replace the existing CharlieCard and CharlieTicket and allow cashless-only payment using smart phones, bank cards, and possibly a new MBTA fare card.” 


Boston self-driving startup NuTonomy acquired for $450M

OK, one last transportation post: British auto-parts giant Delphi has snapped up Boston’s self-driving startup NuTonomy for an impressive $450 million, reports Dylan Martin at BostInno. Not a bad return on $20 million in venture investments. BTW: Delphi is one of three firms to receive approval to test self-driving cars in Boston.


Booted from town meeting, Billerica selectman strikes back with special-election gambit

That was fast. Less than two weeks after Billerica Selectmen George Simolaris was escorted out of Town Meeting by police, he has gathered more than enough signatures to force a special election to consider rolling back funding for a town parks and trees department, Rick Sobey reports in the Lowell Sun. The special election could be held within a matter of weeks.

Lowell Sun

Gonzalez crashes board meeting to lambaste education secretary’s charter donation

From SHNS’s Matt Murphy: “One of Gov. Charlie Baker’s highest profile defeats since taking office almost three years ago came at the hands of voters who last fall rejected a ballot question to expand access to charter schools. But if the governor was hoping to put the episode behind him, Democrat Jay Gonzalez is determined not to let him. Gonzalez, one of three Democrats running for his party’s nomination for governor next year, appeared before the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on Tuesday to directly confront Education Secretary Jim Peyser on what role he may have played in the failed ballot campaign.”

SHNS (pay wall)

City hopes credit-boost program brings good karma

Boston officials will announce a program on Wednesday that aims to boost the credit scores of 25,000 city residents over the next eight years, Katie Johnston of the Globe reports. In partnership with a number of non-profits, the city will offer free one-on-one credit counseling.

Boston Globe

Landslide victory for pricey Cape tech project

They may well have been in ‘school sticker shock,’ but voters in a dozen communities overwhelmingly backed a $128 plan to build a new Cape Cod Regional Technical High School in a special election on Tuesday, Doug Fraser of the Cape Cod Times reports. The project passed by a three-to-one margin overall and turnout in some towns nudged 30 percent. 

Cape Cod Times

Dissident Speaker Series: “Nemtsov” with Vladimir Kara-Murza

MIT Center for International Studies (CIS)

Mentor Recruitment Fair

Mass Mentoring Partnership, My Brother’s Keeper, and the City of Boston

Annual Scientific Meeting

American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

Examining the Life of Arthur Schlesinger Jr.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum

Real Estate Finance Fundamentals Onsite Cours

NAIOP Massachusetts

Women in Politics: Past, Present, & Future

Mid-Hudson Library System

Harvard Graduate Conference in Political Theory

Harvard University

Beer Mansion

Brooklyn Brewery

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

State House News Forum

Today’s Headlines


Organizer of Common ‘free speech’ rally sues Mayor Marty Walsh for slander – Boston Globe

GE down billions more in market value after blue Monday – Boston Business Journal

City Oks nuTonomy testing in Seaport – Boston Herald


Key downtown Worcester parcel ready for market – Telegram & Gazette

Berkshire Museum chief Van Shields on medical leave through 2017 – Berkshire Eagle

Clerk: No early voting for Framingham’s city election – MetroWest Daily News


Dear Mr. Bezos: Have I got a deal for you – Washington Post

Consumer bureau loses fight over class action suits – New York Times

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