Happening Today

MBTA Control Board, LGBT Chamber, Baker in Lawrence

— MBTA General Manager Luis Manuel Ramirez, Keolis Commuter Services CEO David Scorey and Transit Police Chief Kenneth Green join with Operation Lifesaver to kick off the second annual Rail Safety Week, South Station, 10 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker visits Quinsigamond Community College with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Secretary of Education James Peyser, Commissioner of Higher Education Carlos Santiago and Quinsigamond Community College President Luis Pedraja, QuEST Center, Quinsigamond Community College, 670 West Boylston Street, Worcester, 10 a.m.

— Mass. Maritime Academy President Rear Admiral Francis McDonald join Restore America’s Estuaries to award grants to 14 recipients, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, 101 Academy Drive, Buzzards Bay, 10 a.m.

— Cambridge Mayor Marc McGovern and Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu hold a press conference to kick off the first annual climate preparedness week, Boston City Hall, 11 a.m.

Massachusetts Health Connector officials will be in Lawrence to discuss a premium waiver program that will be available to members affected by the Columbia Gas outage, Greater Lawrence Community Action Council Child Care Center, 581 Andover St., Lawrence, 11 a.m.

— The MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board meets to discuss bus service, human resources, the commuter rail, positive train control and other topics, Transportation Board Room, second floor, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 12 p.m.

— U.S. Rep. James McGovern will present Ed Daley of Shrewsbury with the Congressional Gold Medal — the highest civilian award bestowed by the U.S. government — for his service in the Office of Strategic Services during World War II, Southgate Shrewsbury Retirement Community, 3rd Floor Lounge, 30 Julio Drive, Shrewsbury, 1 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker joins the corporate founding sponsors and members of the Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce for its public launch and will be awarded the Massachusetts LGBT Business Inclusion Award, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, 600 Atlantic Ave, Boston, 1:15 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker will meet with members of the Lawrence business community affected by the gas disaster there, with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Mayor Dan Rivera attending, Salvatore’s Restaurant, 354 Merrimack St, Lawrence, 2:30 p.m.

— Author Doris Kearns Goodwin is a guest on ‘Greater Boston,’ WGBH-TV Ch. 2, 7 p.m.

For more calendar listings, check out State House News Service’s Daily Advances (pay wall – free trial subscriptions available) and MassterList’s Beacon Hill Town Square below.

Today’s Stories

Kavanaugh controversy goes local: Diehl embraces high-court nominee as Baker backs off

U.S. Senate candidate Geoff Diehl, a Republican, says he’s sticking with President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, despite Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh while in high school, reports the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter. But Diehl’s loyal stand came before yet another sexual-misconduct allegation surfaced against Kavanaugh, as Bloomberg News reports at the Globe.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, no fan of President Trump, is keeping as far away as possible from the Kavanaugh mess, saying the “serious allegations” warrant an independent investigation, Cotter reports. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez is taking swipes at Baker. “It’s typical — Charlie Baker not taking a position on anything controversial.” Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is calling on Republicans to “stop shaming” Ford, reports Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive.

In Merrimack Valley, it’s a race against time

National Guard troops and others spent the weekend distributing hot plates to Merrimack Valley residents without natural-gas service, as officials desperately try to get resources to people before the onset of cold weather, reports Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive. Officials plan to start distributing space heaters to residences later today, adds the Globe’s Cristela Guerra and John Hilliard.

But the Herald’s Alexi Cohan reports that the freebies won’t cut it for most fed-up families in the wake of this month’s devastating gas-line explosions and fires in the Merrimack Valley. In an editorial, the Herald says it’s time for state officials to start thinking of finding new accommodations for residents until the gas service is restored. As for the distribution of hot plates and space heaters, the paper asks: “Is this Andover, Mass., in 2018 or Leningrad in 1943?”

Meanwhile, Zoe Mathews and Lisa Kashinsky at the Eagle-Tribune report that the race against time is probably a race that can’t and won’t be won. At least one consultant says the goal of restoring natural-gas service by Nov. 19 is merely “unrealistic, wishful thinking,” they report. In Davenport, they know all about long recoveries, reports the Salem News.

Finally, the Globe’s Milton Valencia reports that Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera has “emerged as a central figure in the thick of chaos, both a resident who is suffering the effects of the disaster and a leader in the response.”

A recipe for disaster? The entire state’s gas-line infrastructure is in need of repairs

Suddenly, our trusty old oil-heat furnace looks mighty fine, thank you. The Globe’s Kay Lazar and Jon Chesto at the Globe report that all the ingredients are there – leak-prone and corroding underground pipes, a shortage of trained workers and lack of state inspectors – for another Merrimack Valley-like catastrophe to occur almost anywhere throughout the region. Indeed, NBC Boston reports the feds warned Massachusetts that it had too few gas-line inspectors just weeks before the Merrimack Valley blasts.

Boston Globe

Public sector computer algorithms: Can’t live with them, can’t live without them

David Scharfenberg at the Globe has a good Ideas-section piece on how computer algorithms can do amazing things, handling reams of data and spitting out options for all sorts of complex public policy matters. But no computer, nor any MIT computer whiz, can ever predict the outrage of parents when they learn of changes to school start times and new bus routes developed with the help of algorithms. 

Mystery BPL investigation explained? Police reportedly probing custodian OT scam at city library

The Herald was pounding away at a mysterious BPL investigation earlier this summer and couldn’t get an answer. Now Paul Singer at WGBH may have one: “Custodians at the Boston Public Library have routinely been paid for overtime hours they did not work, according to a library janitor who said he was terminated in July for leaving work early. No other custodians were fired, but Calogero Russo told the New England Center for Investigative Reporting his firing has triggered a police investigation into the library’s overtime practices and the suspension of three senior managers.”


Boston billionaires sure are throwing a lot of money around this election cycle

Senate Democrats have billionaire Boston hedge fund manager Seth Klarman on their fundraising side in the mid-term elections, as the Washington Post reported last week. Now the NYT is reporting that Boston native and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his wife have donated $55 million in recent months to help Republicans retain control of Congress. File under: Battle of Boston Billionaires.


Must have escaped his mind: Top UMass official neglected to tell bosses he was moonlighting for rival

During a three-year stint as a top University of Massachusetts Dartmouth official, Gerard Kavanaugh allegedly never disclosed to UMass officials that he had a $5,000-per-month consulting gig “peddling a plan on behalf of a private North Carolina company to draw students to a wholly different college campus that would compete with the University of Massachusetts for students from the region,” reports Andrea Estes and Laura Krantz at the Globe.

Boston Globe

Walsh pans BHA letter that suggested residents move out of Boston

A Boston House Authority employee shot off a message to residents earlier this month that suggested there were greener pastures outside city limits – and now Mayor Marty Walsh says he’s “certainly not happy about it,” reports Jordan Graham at the Herald.

Boston Globe

Nine years is enough: Harvard students demand a return to hot breakfast meals

It’s something right out of ‘Oliver’ and it tears your heart out. In an editorial, the Harvard Crimson says it’s time to bring back hot breakfast meals to upperclassmen Houses, after the hot stuff was cut from the menu nine years ago when the university got hit by the financial crisis. The headline on Adam Gaffin’s post at UH: ‘Feed the children.’ First line: ‘Won’t you help?’ The BBJ’s Max Stendahl (pay wall) also has more.

The Crimson

Nothing here, move along: Framingham officials deny gang activity in city

City leaders in Framingham are seeking to reassure worried residents by declaring that there is no active gang problem in the city, even though police reports about a recent violent home invasion involving up to 20 suspects described the incident as a possible clash between rival gangs, Norman Miller reports at the MetroWest Daily News. 

MetroWest Daily News

Au contraire: Giant education and au pair firm gets state tax credits despite contract and wage disputes

Margaret Monsell, a Boston attorney, writes at CommonWealth magazine that Education First (better known as just EF), has been showered with praise and tax credits over the years. But the company has also butted heads with Attorney General Maura Healey and others over contract and wage issues involving employees, theoretically putting its tax credits in danger.


UMass fraternity indicted for hazing and supplying booze to minors

From Patrick Johnson at MassLive: “A Hampshire grand jury has indicted the Theta Mu chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at the University of Massachusetts with multiple counts of hazing and supplying alcohol to minors. The charges are the result of an incident from a year ago where a UMass student was hospitalized for alcohol poisoning.” Separately, Lucas Ropek at MassLive reports that the national fraternity has suspended the Amherst chapter.


Cape businesses worry shark attacks will bite into tourism next summer

Cape Cod businesses that rely on tourists for their livelihood say they’ve seen no impacts yet from this summer’s surge in shark attacks and related incidents, but some worry would-be visitors will plan vacations elsewhere when the 2019 season rolls around, Mary Ann Bragg reports at the Cape Cod Times. 

Cape Cod Times

‘Urine big trouble’

Adam Gaffin has another classic headline and lead: “Transit Police report arresting a Malden man (um, of course?) at the Oak Grove Orange Line station last night after he allegedly urinated on a parked Transit Police cruiser and then, with that out of his system, ripped off one of its license plates and tried to smash in a window.”

Universal Hub

Disability advocates rally against Red Line shuttle conditions

Speaking of transit issues, advocates say the MBTA is failing disabled riders because third-party shuttle buses being used to replace Red Line T service on weekends are inadequate, Jessica Trufant reports at the Patriot Ledger. One rider says it can take as long as 45 minutes for a bus driver to load a single wheelchair passenger. 

Patriot Ledger

Groups band together for another shot at school funding changes

Lawmakers failed to reach an agreement in June on changes to the school funding formula. Now more than a dozen advocacy groups have formed a new coalition to push for additional school funding and changes aimed at addressing education disparities, James Vaznis reports at the Globe.

Boston Globe

Lawmakers urge state to include Allston turnpike area on its high-priority congestion list

Five elected officials — state Sens. William Brownsberger and Sal DiDomenico, state Reps. Kevin Honan and Michael Moran and City Councilor Mark Ciommo – want the state to put the area near the Allston turnpike exit on its 2040 transportation “priority” list for action to combat expected future traffic congestion, reports Adam Gaffin at Universal Hub.

Universal Hub

Six retired troopers ensnared in OT scandal now receiving $44K per month in pensions

We’ve already done the math for you: It comes out to an average of $7,300 per retired trooper each month. Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive has more. The Herald’s Howie Carr was railing against the State Police pension/OT scandal issue the other day.

Meanwhile, the ex-State Police payroll director who pleaded guilty to larceny earlier this year has opted to take a $150,000 buyout – effectively getting back what she put into the system – rather than legally fight for a full pension, Dumcius reports in a separate story at MassLive.


Wayne Chapman wasn’t the only one

The recent controversy over the proposed release of convicted sex offender Wayne Chapman may have dominated the headlines for a while. But the Globe’s Laura Crimaldi reports that the state Department of Correction has routinely released scores of criminals over the years who were once deemed sexually dangerous – and only one has been returned to prison.

Boston Globe

Extreme Family Feud: Six siblings endorse opponent of their brother in Arizona race

There’s got to be an family inheritance dispute involved. From the AP at Yahoo: “Six siblings of U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar have urged voters to cast their ballots against the Arizona Republican in November in an unusual political ad sponsored by the rival candidate. The television ad from Democrat David Brill combines video interviews with Gosar-family siblings who ask voters to usher Paul Gosar out of office because he has broken with the family’s values. They do not elaborate.”

OK, while we’re at it, via the Washington Post: “Minnesota legislator quits race after daughter says he molested her”

Yahoo News

Brockton officials dig in on withholding parking-garage investigation records

Officials in Brockton say they won’t release records from a $30,000 investigation into potential malfeasance at the city’s parking garage despite a recent order to do so from the state’s Public Records Division. Marc Larocque at the Enterprise reports the city is claiming client-attorney privilege in withholding or redacting records surrounding the investigation. 


He hit his home run 73 years ago: WW II vet to be honored at Fenway

He fought in the Battle of the Bulge, served in George Patton’s Third Army, and once shared a bomb crater with a Boston newspaper reporter who later turned him into a local war-time hero. Now the local hero John Leoncello, 94, of Hyde Park, will be honored at Fenway Park before the Red Sox game on Tuesday, reports Joe Dwinell at the Herald. A big congrats, and thank you, to John Leoncello .

Boston Herald

2018 Better Government Competition Awards Gala

Join Us on Sept. 24th at the 2018 Better Government Competition Awards Gala! Remarks by Governor Charlie Baker Keynote Speaker: John Sexton 2018 Topic: Making higher education & career training options affordable & effective.

Pioneer Institute

Starr Forum: The Assault on Intelligence

Starr Forum: The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies. A book talk with Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA.

MIT Center for International Studies (CIS)

Launching the Next Big Thing (Successfully) – A Panel of Experts Share Their Experiences

A panel of product development experts and serial entrepreneurs will share their experiences and guidance on the essentials of successful product development.

North Shore Technology Council

HIPAA Privacy Rule Compliance-Understanding New Rules and Responsibilities of Privacy Officer

New York Events List

Women in Science and Politics featuring Obama EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy

Gina McCarthy, former head of the EPA under President Obama, Nandita Scott, cardiologist and elected member of Hingham’s Rec Commission, and Katie McBrine, pediatrician and current candidate for State Senate, Plymouth and Norfolk, will discuss the importance of having science-literate women in public office.

Committee to Elect Katie McBrine

2018 Inner City 100 Conference & Awards

2018 Inner City 100 Conference & Awards – the premier networking and management education event for fast-growing urban businesses. Timed with its 20th anniversary of recognizing America’s fastest growing urban small businesses, the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) has expanded its 2018 Inner City 100 Award ceremony (IC 100) into a two-day event.

Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC)

11th Annual Public Performance Conference

Please join us for the 11th Annual Public Performance Conference. The goal of the conference is to examine and discuss performance management research and models for the adoption and implementation of compelling practices in the public sector.

Suffolk University

Today’s Headlines


Janitor makes claim of phony overtime at BPL – WGBH

Kendall Square biotech in talks for big Cambridge Crossing expansion – Boston Business Journal


Springfield eyes fiber optic internet, winces at $50 million cost – MassLive

Activists rally against nuclear waste transport – Greenfield Recorder

Student housing an issue this year at UMass – Daily Hampshire Gazette

Sheriff defends substance abuse treatment for prisoners – Gloucester Times


Kavanaugh confirmation in renewed peril after second assault claim – Politico

Poll: Democrats hold the advantage in November’s elections – NBC News

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