Happening Today

Local elections, SJC hearings, Cannabis Control Commission

— Today is election day in 73 cities and towns across Massachusetts, with big mayoral elections in Boston, Lawrence, Framingham, Newton, Lynn and elsewhere. 

— The Supreme Judicial Court will hear six cases, including Han Duy Nguyen v. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a wrongful death case, John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Second Floor, Pemberton Square, Boston, 9 a.m. 

— The Public Health Committee meets to consider bills dealing with professional licensure and scope of practice, including legislation that would allow nurse practitioners to prescribe, dispense and distribute controlled substances, Room A1-A2, 10 a.m.

Department of Public Utilities continues its evidentiary hearing on Eversource Energy’s request to construct a controversial transmission line in Sudbury, Hudson, Stow and Marlborough, Hearing Room A, One South Station – 5th floor, Boston, 10 a.m.

— Senate President Stanley Rosenberg is interviewed on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 11:30 a.m.

— The Cannabis Control Commission meets to discuss its fiscal year 2018 supplemental budget request, its hiring process and an extension of its public comment period on future regulations, Minihan Meeting Room, Hurley Building, 19 Staniford St., Boston, 12 p.m. 

— Political commentator E.J. Dionne, a visiting professor this year at Harvard Divinity School, talks on ‘Radio Boston’ about his new book, ‘One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet-Deported,’ WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker and Treasurer Deborah Goldberg hold their regular monthly meeting, Room 227, 4 p.m. 

Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist and national commentator on campus free speech issues, delivers the Pioneer Institute’s 2017 Lovett C. Peters Lecture at the institute’s members-only annual dinner, Hyatt Regency Boston, 1 Avenue de Lafayette, Boston, 5:45 p.m.

Sally Yates, who was briefly the acting U.S. attorney general before President Donald Trump fired her earlier this year, will speak at the Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, 6 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Election Day across (most of) the state

As Callie Crossley at WGBH notes (as have others in recent years): “Elections have consequences.” So here’s hoping turnout is high today in 73 local cities and towns across Massachusetts, from Boston in the east to Pittsfield in the west. 

SHNS’s Matt Murphy reports that Secretary of State William Galvin sounded pessimistic about turnout in Boston, where Mayor Marty Walsh is way ahead in polls against rival Tito Jackson. But Galvin also said local races for mayor in Lawrence, Lynn, Newton, New Bedford, Fall River, Attleboro and Framingham should help drive turnout. “These are really important elections at every level,” he said. “Certainly at the local level, these are where the decisions that affect people where they live are made, whether it’s zoning issues, public education, transportation. These are all very significant races so we hope that people will remember that and take the time to participate.”

State House News Service via WBUR also has a good roundup of the major mayoral elections across the state. 

The House’s more modest criminal-justice reforms

Before we let the media summarize the House criminal-justice reform bill that was unveiled yesterday on Beacon Hill, check out this legislative summary of the package and make up your own mind whether it’s too little, too much or just right. Compared to the Senate’s ambitious package, it’s indeed more modest. But some of the House proposals would have been unthinkable only a few years ago, showing how far the debate has shifted toward reforms.

Anyway, from the Globe’s Jim O’Sullivan: “House leaders, little more than a week after the Senate passed a dramatic overall of the the state’s criminal justice system, released a pared-down version on Monday that would nonetheless allow for expunging certain juvenile and criminal records.”

Meanwhile, SHNS’s Andy Metzger (pay wall) reports that the House has a separate bill that would offer inmates more opportunity at getting out early from prison. Mike Deehan of WGBH also has a roundup of what’s in the House bill and how it differs from the senate’s package. 

The House plans to debate criminal-justice reform Monday and Tuesday next week.

Take that, Amazon. CVS to launch same-day delivery in Boston

CVS Pharmacy is trying to pre-empt Amazon.com’s likely entry into the pharmaceuticals-delivery business, announcing it plans to launch free same-day delivery from CVS locations in Boston and in other select cities starting early next year, reports the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett. And the R.I.-based CVS expects to offer next-day delivery nationwide starting early next year. How freaked out is CVS about Amazon jumping into pharmaceuticals? It’s now in talks to possibly buy Aetna Insurance as a way to diversify and hedge its bets against Amazon.

Boston Business Journal

Here come the Widett Circle properties

Will the Boston 2024 folks get a commission on this sale? The New Boston Food Market plans to put 20 acres of land at Widett Circle up for sale this week and analysts are expecting multiple bidders and a sky-high sale price on property that languished in relative obscurity until the city’s ill-fated Olympics bid put it in the spotlight. Tim Logan of the Globe reports that estimates of what the land could fetch are all over the map, and that any development would mean relocation for the food distribution businesses that currently call the site home. 

Boston Globe

Anthony Weiner starts prison time at Devens

We were tempted to run a variation of the New York Post’s headline from September when Anthony Weiner was first sentenced to prison. But we chickened out and opted for the boring. From the AP at CBS Boston: “A sexting compulsion that cost Anthony Weiner his seat in Congress and a chance to be New York City’s mayor has now cost him his freedom too. Weiner, a Democrat, arrived at Devens Federal Medical Center in Ayer (Mass.) Monday morning to serve a 21-month sentence for illicit online contact with a 15-year-old girl.”

CBS Boston

Weiner’s new neighbor: The Codfather

This sounds like the makings of a Netflix show to us: Turns out Weiner isn’t the only new infamous resident of Devens. Sean Horgan of the Gloucester Times reports that Carlos Rafael, known to many as the Codfather, turned himself in on Monday to begin serving his 46-month sentence for conspiracy, tax evasion and other charges and that he was granted his request to serve his time at FMC Devens. 

Gloucester Times

Does RNC want to rebuild Mass. GOP – or just bash Warren?

The Republican National Committee says it plans to hire a new Bay State director and staff members to coordinate 2018 congressional campaigns and remain here through the 2020 presidential election, as part of a move to build the party ‘mechanism’ in Massachusetts, the Herald’s Hillary Chabot reports. But this is ultimately and primarily an anti-Elizabeth Warren move should she run for president in 2020, as Chabot points out. Who really believes the RNC will be sticking around these parts after 2020?

Boston Herald

Tufts students wants to give ‘The Mooch’ the boot

Some students at Tufts University are pressuring the school to drop former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci from his position on an advisory board to the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Deirdre Fernandes of the Globe reports. An online petition is circulating and its creator says he was motivated to launch the effort after Scaramucci’s new media venture posted an online poll asking the question: “How many Jews were killed in the Holocaust?” The Mooch has held the position since 2016, well before he came to infamy for his Hindenburg-like two-week stint helping to craft the Trump administration’s public message.

Boston Globe

Bridgewater zoning change would ban tobacco sales

A proposed zoning change in the town of Bridgewater would effectively make it the first Massachusetts community to ban the sale of tobacco, Sara Cline reports in the Brockton Enterprise. Existing tobacco outlets would be grandfathered, but no new stores could open their doors if the ordinance, slated to be taken up by the town council on Tuesday, passes. 

Brockton Enterprise

Amherst adopts pot-shop cap, maximum local tax

The college town of Amherst has, for, ahem, some reason, been closely watched by recreational marijuana advocates and critics alike for how it would handle retail sales and the results are in: On Monday, Town Meeting members voted to cap the number of shops that can open in town at eight and also to adopt the maximum local-option tax of 3 percent. The town also put a ban on public consumption of marijuana in place. 

Hampshire Gazette

Healey OKs Amherst’s sanctuary bylaw that restricts police

Speaking of Amherst, from Diana Lederman at MassLive.com: “Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has approved the town of Amherst’s Sanctuary Community Bylaw approved by Town Meeting in May. The bylaw limits police investigatory authority based on immigration status, prohibits police detentions based on civil immigration detainer requests or ICE administrative warrants and requires reports of the number of civil immigration detainer requests lodged with the town and the town’s response to the requests.”

Remember: The Trump administration has already gone out of its way to target communities with strict sanctuary rules, so we’ll see if this does more harm than good in Amherst.


Pollack: Expect to finally see T improvements starting next year

Can we hold them to this? No doubt, Democrats will. From SHNS’s Colin Young at the BBJ: “Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack conceded Sunday that T riders have not yet benefitted from more than two years of work at the transit agency and said she expects the improvements to become more apparent in 2018, when the jobs held by Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito are up for re-election.”


Ideo-Tribalism: Robbing the blue-state rich to pay for red-state rich tax cuts

David Brooks at the New York Times makes a compelling case that the House Republicans’ tax cut plan is ultimately about taking money away from affluent professionals and institutions in blue states to pay for tax cuts for corporations and rich people in red states. “The Republican vision is that the corporate sector is more important to a healthy America than the professional and nonprofit sector,” he writes. “The Republican vision is that companies that thrive in the red states, like manufacturing and agriculture, are more important for the country than the industries that thrive in blue states, like finance, media, the academy and the movies.” The word “vision” is too kind. The words “ideology” and “tribalism” combined together to make a new word – “ideo-tribalism” – would be more appropriate. And remember: You read about ideo-tribalism here first.


Baker re-establishes hate crimes task force

In a sad sign of tense times, Gov. Charlie Baker has re-established the governor’s task force on hate crimes, Shira Schoenberg of MassLive reports. The group—which first formed under Gov. Bill Weld in 1991 but later faded away—will advise the Baker administration on prevention and response to hate crimes and comes on the heels of a report by the Anti-Defamation League that found anti-semitism on the rise both locally and across the country. 


Pot head alert: State looking to hire full-time cannabis inspector

The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources is looking to hire a new pot inspector, someone with the right academic, field and regulatory credentials, according to a posted listed on the state’s career site. The listed pay range: $42,391.44 to $57,762.90. “This Inspector position will enforce the laws and regulations involving hemp and overlapping laws and regulations that impact the cultivation of marijuana,” the listing states.


More millionaires for a future millionaire’s tax?

The number of millionaires calling the city of Boston home rose to just over 2,130 in 2015, up 100 from the previous year, or about 5 percent. That’s the most of any municipality in Massachusetts, reports the BBJ’s Greg Ryan, citing Department of Revenue data. Some communities actually saw a decline in the number of residents making $1 million in income, but overall the number of Massachusetts million-dollar filers rose by just over than 5 percent, the DOR data shows. The BBJ story has an accompanying slideshow of the communities with the most millionaires, btw.

Boston Business Journal

CEOs for Marty

When you have one candidate with $2.6 million in the bank and the other with only $19,681, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that those in the business community – specifically local CEOs – have been showering big bucks on Mayor Marty Walsh, as the BBJ’s David Harris reports. Meanwhile, Isaiah Thompson at WGBH checks out which city firms and their employees (not just CEOs) were donating to Walsh over the course of the now nearly-completed campaign – and some of the firms may surprise you

Boston Business Journal

BTU vs Democrats for Education Reform: Trading salvos over ‘excess pool’

Jessica Tang, president of the Boston Teachers Union, took shots at the Democrats for Education Reform last week at CommonWealth Magazine over the city’s controversial ‘excess pool’ for teachers. A dumbfounded Liam Kerr, head of the Massachusetts chapter of Democrats for Education Reform, is now firing back via CommonWealth, saying Tang is weaving a “fact-free narrative” and desperately trying to find scapegoats for its contradictory policy positions. Btw: He’s also not impressed with her dropping a Harvard reference in her piece.

CommonWealth Magazine

The Republican Civil War Update: Trumpers vs Never Trumpers

OK, we’ve previously covered the Democratic Civil War. Now it’s time to turn our attention to the Republican Civil War. Bari Weiss, a former book review editor at the Wall Street Journal and now an opinion-page editor and writer at the NYT, provides a sort of insider view on the battles now being waged at conservative think tanks between ‘Trumpers’ and ‘Never Trumpers’ – with the Never Trumpers prevailing at the moment.

New York Times

Nordblom details plans to redevelop Globe site into offices, light industrial space

Nordblom Development Co. has filed papers officially outlining its plans to transform 16 acres of property in Dorchester that formerly served as the Globe’s headquarters into “light industrial, creative office, technology, life sciences, small retail, food and beverage, and other commercial uses,” as Catherline Carlock at the BBJ reports. The BBJ has an accompanying slide show of design sketches.

Boston Business Journal

Politics & Polarization on American Campuses

Pioneer Institute

Witnessing Hope: Cristo Rey Schools & Catholic Education

Pioneer Institute

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

State House News Forum

Today’s Headlines


It’s official: Bose to lease big office at Boston Landing – Boston Business Journal

City seeks affordable housing for midtown – Boston Herald


Falmouth town meeting members say ‘no’ to recreational pot – Cape Cod Times

House eyes flexible sentencing, sealing records and slamming opiate dealers – WGBH

Uncertain future makes T planning difficult – CommonWealth Magazine


Air Force error let gunman buy weapon – New York Times

Steyer claims breach of contract after Fox pulls Trump impeachment ads – Politico

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