Women of valor, Markey on GOP tax-cut plans and more …
— Gov. Charlie Baker is vacationing in California and will be returning to Massachusetts on Monday.
— Anti-Defamation League holds its 11th annual Women of Valor Luncheon, this year honoring Boston Globe editorial page editor Ellen Clegg; Treasurer Deborah Goldberg is expected to attend, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 776 Boylston St., Boston, 11:30 a.m.
— MIddlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan is the keynote speaker at the 2017 Massachusetts Association of School Committee’s conference to address the impact of the opioid epidemic, Resort & Conference Center at Hyannis, 35 Scudder Avenue, Hyannis, 10:30 a.m.
— U.S. Sen. Edward Markey joins Geoff Beckwith of the Massachusetts Municipal Association for a press conference discussing the impact on Massachusetts of the tax plan released Thursday by U.S. House Republicans, JFK Federal Building, 9th floor, 15 New Sudbury St., Boston, 11 a.m.
— Lt. Gov. Polito joins Methuen Mayor Stephen N. Zanni, Reps. Linda Dean Campbell and Diana DiZoglio and local officials for a MassWorks Infrastructure Program announcement, City Hall, 41 Pleasant St., Methuen, 1 p.m.
— Lt. Gov. Polito joins Sen. James Eldridge, Rep. Kate Hogan and local officials for two MassWorks Infrastructure Program announcements for Maynard and Hudson, Maynard Public Library, Roosevelt Room, 77 Nason St., Maynard, 2:30 p.m.
— U.S. Senate candidate and state Rep. Geoff Diehl speaks at a campaign event with fellow Rep. Peter Durant, 14 South St., Southbridge, 7 p.m.
— Jay Gonzalez, the former state budget chief who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, canvasses in Cambridge with City Councilor Marc McGovern, 180 Fawcett St., Cambridge, 2 p.m.
Lawmakers reach compromise on bump-stock ban and budget
They were busy at the State House late yesterday. From Danny McDonald at the Globe: “The state Legislature took a significant step Thursday toward making Massachusetts the first state in the nation to ban bump stocks. Beacon Hill lawmakers sent a bill to Governor Charlie Baker that would outlaw the sale, purchase, or ownership of such devices, which can be attached to a semiautomatic firearm to increase its firing speed.”
The same legislation also includes a long-sought supplemental budget compromise to close out spending for last fiscal year, as the Globe and SHNS’s Matt Murphy report.
Massachusetts gets zinged in GOP tax plan
From caps on mortgage deductions to limits on tax deductions, Massachusetts residents, especially those in the upper middle-class, will be taking it on the financial chin if the federal tax-cut plan outlined yesterday by House Republicans is approved by Congress.
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has “serious concerns about the impact that eliminating the state and local tax deduction would have on Massachusetts families,” a Baker spokesman says, as reported by the Herald’s Jordan Graham. Meanwhile, the Globe’s Tim Logan reports how affluent home buyers in Massachusetts would get hit by proposed caps on the amount of mortgage loan interest and property taxes that homeowners can write off. The Globe’s Evan Horowitz cites a number other ways Bay State residents would lose out under the bill, including proposals to eliminate the deduction for medical expenses and for student-loan interest. In a joint Facebook video, U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders give their own views on the tax plan. Hint: They don’t like it.
Btw: Here’s a tax-plan “winners and losers” piece from the Washington Post and a good explainer piece from the New York Times, which notes there are indeed some benefits in the tax package that would help non-affluent families, though apparently not many.
Lawmakers want say over how gas pipelines are (and aren’t) financed
They haven’t pulled out the pitchforks yet. But a lot of rank-and-file lawmakers on Beacon Hill are making clear they want to vote on a bill that would slap restrictions on how controversial gas pipelines are financed in Massachusetts. From SHNS’s Colin Young at the Berkshire Eagle: “About two-thirds of the Legislature has signed onto letters making the case for passage of legislation to impose a permanent prohibition on utility companies making electric ratepayers help finance the construction of gas pipelines and to shake up the way the Department of Public Utilities considers gas pipeline financing.”
Eversource’s ‘certainty’ over Northern Pass transmission line
Speaking of energy projects, from Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth: “Eversource Energy on Thursday once again insisted its problem-plagued Northern Pass transmission project is on track and the best solution to Massachusetts’ clean energy needs. … ‘No other project that exists is as far along as we are and has the certainty that we have,” said Lee Olivier, an executive vice president at Eversource.”
Warren: Yes, the Dem primary was ‘rigged’ in Hillary Clinton’s favor
Now she tells us, after not mentioning it during the campaign and after endorsing Hillary Clinton. From Jaclyn Reiss at the Globe: “Senator Elizabeth Warren said twice Thursday in separate interviews that she believed the 2016 Democratic primary was rigged in Hillary Clinton’s favor. Warren’s comments came after Donna Brazile, who served as the interim Democratic National Committee chairman in 2016, published excerpts of her of her book in Politico in which she detailed an ‘unethical’ financial deal between the party and Clinton’s campaign.”
Warren’s quote in an interview with PBS News Hour: “What we have to focus on now as Democrats is we recognize the process was rigged, and now it is up to Democrats to build a new process — a process that really works and works for everyone.”
The Gaffneys non-withdrawal withdrawal from Worcester race
If we’re confused, imagine how Worcester voters must feel. A month after announcing they had withdrawn from the city council race because of an undisclosed “opportunity,” City Councilor at-large Mike Gaffney and his wife Coreen now say they would serve their terms “to the best of our ability” if elected on Tuesday, Walter Bird Jr. reports in Worcester Magazine. Bird has the confusing details.
Howie’s field trip to the White House
There’s so many things the Herald’s Howie Carr could have talked about during his visit to the White House to see the president of the United States of America. He chose to talk about the “dossier.” It’s not what most people would have brought up if given the same one-on-one chance. But most people aren’t Howie Carr and the “dossier” is apparently very important to him.
Bump: Legislature needs a ‘code of conduct’ on sexual harassment
Reacting to reports of rampant sexual harassment on Beacon Hill, Auditor Suzanne Bump, a former legislator, has a suggestion: Some sort of code of conduct for lawmakers. “They have to adopt their own code of conduct and decide what they’re going to do about violations by members,” Bump told the State House News Service, via WBUR. “Right now there is no forum, no forum to effectively deal with complaints against members, or lobbyists for that matter.”
Polito: Society needs to treat domestic violence as public health issue
From SHNS’s Katie Lannan at the Lowell Sun: “A change in thinking around domestic violence — like the shift toward viewing drug addiction as health issue — is needed to help ensure victims get the support they need, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito told lawmakers. Polito said a public health approach to domestic violence from state government would mean there is ‘no wrong door’ for a victim to turn to when he or she needs support or services.”
Discrimination suit: Fidelity running ‘old boys club’ and ‘locker room-like’ operation
These aren’t good days for one of the state’s largest and most prestigious employers. The latest news regarding Fidelity and some of its unhappy past and present female employees, via Greg Ryan: “A former analyst at Fidelity Real Estate Group claims in the lawsuit — which was filed in 2015 but was not previously covered in the media — that she was marginalized and ultimately pushed out of the company in 2011 after she told Fidelity human resources personnel and others that she believed she had been discriminated against because of her gender.”
Among other things, the complaint accuses Fidelity of running a “very locker room-like” company with an “old boys’ club atmosphere at work,” and the Globe’s Shirley Leung notes how women who “didn’t drink beer, watch football, or eat meat” were excluded from that club.
Rare art find: A female portrait at the State House
The Globe’s Jim O’Sullivan has a good story on the recent unveiling of the State House portrait of former Senate president Therese Murray – and why and how Murray posed for the painting. Murray is the first woman to lead either branch at the State House – and only the second woman whose portrait hangs in the building.
Female lawmakers want more than ‘dead white guys’ artwork in State House
Speaking of rare artwork at the State House, from Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “Walk down the Statehouse hallways and, in the words of Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, D-Pittsfield, ‘The corridors are lined with dead white guys.’ Now, top female lawmakers are calling for the creation of a task force to study the art in the Statehouse ‘to ensure that it is reflective of the people of Massachusetts.’”
We know where they’re coming from, especially with all the charges of sexual harassment these days on Beacon Hill and elsewhere. But you’d think they’d find a more considerate way to describe human beings who served their commonwealth, long ago or not so long ago, rather than just dismissing them with the ugly “dead white guys” epithet.
Banned at Brandeis: Play about campus PC pressure gets the PC treatment
Still on the subject of politics and art: A noted playwright alum, Michael Weller, was asked to write a play specifically for Brandeis University and so he wrote “Buyers Beware,” described by a school newspaper as dealing “with the modern atmosphere of college protest movements at Brandeis. In the play, a white college student wants to use the n-word in a comedy routine, which spurs on a national movement for Black Lives Matter.” Some students thought the script was racist. The school cancelled the production. The play will now premiere at an off-campus location with professional actors. Fred Thys at WBUR has the details.
Mass Maritime cadet faces discipline for Nazi costume on Halloween
Then again, there is indeed racism and anti-Semitism on campuses these days. From Geoff Spillane at the Cape Cod Times: “A Massachusetts Maritime Academy cadet faces disciplinary action for wearing a Nazi uniform on campus on Halloween, a traditional ‘dress down’ day at the school. The cadet wore the costume to breakfast, outraging other students who brought it to the attention of academy staff, according to a statement from Adm. Francis McDonald, the school’s president.” The other cadets should be congratulated for their action.
Meanwhile, via the Boston Globe: “Wheaton College’s president denounced a female soccer player for wearing blackface as part of a Halloween costume and punished her and her teammates by barring them from playing a game Saturday, effectively ending their season.”
Massachusetts sees surge in anti-Semitic incidents
Speaking of anti-Semitism, from Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “Massachusetts is seeing a large spike in anti-Semitic incidents this year, according to a report released Thursday by the Anti-Defamation League. According to the ADL, there were 117 anti-Semitic incidents in Massachusetts between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30 — an increase of 44 percent over the same time last year. ‘Anti-Semitism is sadly becoming a daily reality for thousands of Massachusetts residents,’ ADL New England Regional Director Robert Trestan said in a statement.”
‘Reports of Monkey Business Swirl’
David Bernstein notes that the last weeks of a city election “always swirl with strange mini-sagas and side stories, if you know where to look for them,” and he recounts some of them at WGBH: MAMLEO’s revenge, Marty’s non-endorsement endorsement, vote farming. But what caught our attention was how, as of the week before the election, “not a single Boston broadcast television station has received a single order for a campaign television ad.” That’s what lop-sided races will do.
Fyi: The Globe’s Meghan Irons and Milton Valencia have more on the sleepy mayoral race.
Amazon quietly scouts out Boston, but not necessarily for HQ2
Amazon is mulling a major expansion of its presence in the Boston area apart from its search for a second headquarters, Catherine Carlock of the Boston Business Journal reports, citing sources that say the e-tail giant is quietly searching for more real estate in the city. The below-the-radar search is in sharp contrast to the public spectacle of bidding that has accompanied the HQ2 search.
Gloucester mayor walks out of debate during challenger’s closing statement
Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken had her drop-the-mic moment yesterday. Ray Lamont of the Gloucester Times reports Theken and challenger Francisco Sclafani had a relatively cordial hour-long back-and-forth debate before Sclafani began reading his closing statement, which blasted the city’s widely hailed Angel Program for opioid addicts as a “cover for sexual exploitation” and said he’d shut it down if elected. Theken then walked out of the room — to a round of applause from the audience.
Berkshire Eagle: We should have disclosed owner’s campaign donation
The Berkshire Eagle acknowledged it should have disclosed a $250 donation one of its owners made to North Adams mayoral candidate Thomas Bernard after his opponent, Robert Moulton, called out the newspaper on the omission, Adam Shanks reports. Executive Editor Kevin Moran said the story published Thursday on the top donors to each campaign should have noted the funds from Hans Morris, who owns a share of the paper through his role at venture firm Nyca Partners, even though it was not one of the largest donations to either camp.
Getting a little full of itself: Sam Adams unveils 28-percent alcohol, $200 beer
It’s so strong, it can’t be sold in twelve states (though it’s available in Massachusetts). It also sells for $200. It’s none other than the new Sam Adam beer Utopias, described as an “extreme barrel-aged beer.” CBS Boston has the details.
Senate schedules two-day health care reform debate for next week
As you prepare to bolt for the weekend, remember to mark this down on your calendar: The Massachusetts Senate plans to debate the massive health-care reform bill over two days next week. SHNS’s Andy Metzler (pay wall) has the details.
Sunday public affairs TV
Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, who talks with host Jon Keller about the progress of MBTA reform, the new auto-inspection system and the future of privatization.
This is New England, NBC Boston, 9:30 a.m. With host Latoyia Edwards, this week’s focus: Long-time Boston educator Roger Harris, a Marine veteran of the Vietnam War who dedicated his life to elevating city children.
This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. New England Development president Douglas Karp on the future of shopping malls, plus the $30 million renovation of Cambridgeside; MassChallenge Boston managing director Kiki Mills Johnston on this year’s crop of winners; and Doug Banks of the Boston Business Journal on the top business stories of the week.
CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. A look at The Grommet, a web site that launches undiscovered products made by individual entrepreneurs, and a discussion with CEO and co-founder Jules Pieri.
On the Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. A one-hour show in which Mayor Marty Walsh and mayoral candidate Tito Jackson talk about the election and issues with anchor Ed Harding and co-anchor Janet Wu.
CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. This week’s topics: Boston voter turnout, Puerto Rico and discovering John Brown at Tufts University.
EMBL in the USA
Let’s Be Great Tour: Swampscott
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Mass. Marijuana Summit: Understanding the challenges and opportunities in the new age of legalization
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