Happening Today

Emergency loan fund, Cable channels fight, Question 1 radio debate

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera, North Andover Town Manager Andrew Maylor, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and others make an announcement regarding an emergency loan fund for businesses directly impacted by the recent gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley, Papi Grocery, 205 South Union Street, Lawrence, 8:30 a.m.

— State Rep. Adrian Madaro of East Boston and House Speaker Robert DeLeo tour the East Boston Social Center in celebration of the settlement house organization’s 100th anniversary, East Boston Social Center, 68 Central Square, East Boston, 9:30 a.m.

Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement System holds its annual system review and constituents forum, with Auditor Suzanne Bump attending, 500 Rutherford Ave., Suite 210, Charlestown, 9 a.m.

— U.S. Sen. Edward Markey holds a press conferences with Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer, North Adams Mayor Thomas Bernard and state Reps. Smitty Pignatelli, Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Paul Mark and John Barrett to announce new legislation that will authorize the Charter Communications to carry WWLP and WCVB on cable in western Mass., Pittsfield City Hall, 70 Allen Street, Pittsfield, 11 a.m.

— Bristol County Superior Clerk of Courts Mark Santos holds a naturalization ceremony for 20 new U.S. citizens, with Bristol Superior Court Judge Thomas McGuire presiding, Fall River Justice Center, 186 Main St., Fall River, 12 p.m.

— Officials gather for the 32nd annual memorial ceremony held at the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial on the State House grounds, with Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Attorney General Maura Healey, Senate President Karen Spilka, Boston Police Commissioner William Gross and others attending, Ashburton Park, 12:30 p.m.

Lenin Moreno, the president of Ecuador, holds a public address as part of the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at the Institute of Politics, Harvard Kennedy School, 79 JFK Street, Cambridge, 4 p.m.

— Radio host Dan Rea moderates a debate on Question 1, a ballot initiative to impose mandatory nurse staffing levels in hospitals, with Regis College nursing professor and associate dean Donna Glynn arguing against the proposal while Massachusetts Nurses Association president Donna Kelly-Williams argues in favor; separately, Rea talks with Attorney General Maura Healey, WBZ 1030, 8 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

Former Sen. Brian Joyce found dead in his Westport home

From the Globe’s Matt Stout and Danny McDonald: “Brian A. Joyce, the former state senator who was awaiting trial on federal corruption charges, was found dead in his Westport home Thursday, according to authorities. He was 56. Foul play is not suspected, and the state medical examiner is expected to conduct an autopsy in ‘the coming days’ to determine the cause and manner of his death, said Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for the Bristol district attorney’s office.”

WHDH and WCVB have more, including how Joyce had recently been in a car accident. From SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall): “Senate President Karen Spilka shared her condolences on Twitter. ‘I’ve just learned of the sudden death of former Senator Brian Joyce. As authorities handle the appropriate investigations, my thoughts are with his family,’ Spilka Tweeted.”

Baker: ‘I believe Professor Ford’

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, running for re-election and under pressure from Democratic rival Jay Gonzalez to take a tougher stand on the Supreme Court nomination drama now unfolding in Washington, yesterday reiterated his support for a full investigation into the allegations of sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh – and then Baker went a big step further by openly declaring of Kavanaugh’s main accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford: “I believe Professor Ford.”

Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive and Joshua Miller at the Globe have more. But so does the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter, who brings up the highly thorny subject of Baker’s own son, A.J. Baker, who himself is now facing sexual-misconduct allegations. The Herald’s Howie Carr is ripping into Baker this morning on the Kavanaugh-A.J. angle.

Bottom line: While protecting his left political flank, Baker left open his right political flank. 

Local pundit class reacts to Kavanaugh hearing …

There was no shortage of national and local reactions to yesterday’s dramatic Kavanaugh hearing in Washington yesterday. We’ll stick to a sampling of local punditry from the Globe and Herald. From the Globe’s Joan Vennochi: ‘Brett Kavanaugh and the tears of a bully.’ From Evan Slavitt at the Herald: ‘Senate hearings a debacle for public.’ From former Attorney General Martha Coakley at the Globe: ‘Angry and defiant, Kavanaugh brings heat but no light.’ FromScot Lehigh at the Globe: ‘Christine Blasey Ford was more credible.’ From the Herald’s Jessica Heslam: ‘Christine Blasey Ford shares chilling details courageous testimony.’ And from Jennifer Braceras at the Globe: ‘Feinstein played Ford like a pawn.’  

Gaming Commission taps Cameron as interim chair, as agency braces for Wynn Resorts hearings

A day after Stephen Crosby’s surprise resignation as chairman of the state Gaming Commission, the board yesterday turned to one of its members, Gayle Cameron, formerly deputy superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, to replace Crosby on an interim basis. The commission also tackled procedural issues related to future deliberations over the fate of Wynn Resorts’ casino license in Everett. Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive and Cathreine Carlock at the BBJ (pay wall) have the details.

Meanwhile, Brockton may not be in the cards for southeast casino license

The state Gaming Commission will solicit public input on how to move forward with a potential casino license for the southeast part of the state, but the agency indicated that the developers behind a proposal to build a resort in Brockton face an uphill climb in having their plan revisited, Marc Larocque reports at the Enterprise. Commission officials reminded Mass Gaming and Entertainment that its bid was previously found to lack the quality needed to get a license. 


Mashpee tribe sues Interior Department over land decision

One last gaming-related item: The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe has filed a lawsuit suit against the U.S. Department of the Interior over its decision to invalidate an earlier ruling allowing the tribe to take land in Mashpee and Taunton—where it wants to build the First Light casino — into trust, saying the agency decision was “arbitrary and capricious,” Tanner Sterling reports at the Cape Cod Times.  

Cape Cod Times

Columbia Gas sued by Lawrence family that lost home and suffered injuries

Needless to say, we’re going to see a lot more stories like this in coming months and years. Jill Harmacinski at the Eagle-Tribune reports on a new lawsuit filed against Columbia Gas by a Lawrence family that lost their home and suffered extensive personal injuries after the recent gas-line explosions and fires in the Merrimack Valley. 


After Merrimack Valley disaster, opponents of Weymouth natural-gas compressor press their case

The recent gas-line explosions and fires in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover have only increased the sense of urgency among those who oppose a proposed natural-gas compressor station in Weymouth, reports Barbara Moran at WBUR.


Sandisfield says no thanks to Kinder Morgan’s $50K ‘gift’

Speaking of natural-gas pipelines, the tiny Berkshire County town of Sandisfield (population: 905) is saying ‘no thanks’ to a $50,000 donation from pipeline giant Kinder Morgan after learning the supposed gift came with strings attached—namely, that the town give up its rights to sue the company if problems arise with a pipeline installed last year in the community, Heather Bellow reports at the Berkshire Eagle. 

Berkshire Eagle

Do as we say, not as we do: Higher education’s gender ‘power gap’

From Ellie French at the BBJ: “The broader business community on Thursday reacted to an alarming new report finding that women hold relatively few president and chancellor roles at colleges and universities in Massachusetts. ‘Change at a college or university is like trying to move a cemetery,’ said Emerson College President Lee Pelton.”

SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall) has more on the report and a forum yesterday on its stark findings. Here’s the full Eos report (pay wall), btw, courtesy of SHNS.

BBJ (pay wall)

Not an option: Despite calls to kill off sharks and seals, Cape residents told they’ll just have to live with them

Hundreds of people packed a Wellfleet meeting yesterday to debate and hear what might be done in the wake of the recent fatal shark attack at a Cape Cod beach. Even though a few people were out for shark or seal blood, state and local officials were blunt: Federal laws prevent the killing of great white sharks and seals that attract them. Period. It’s not an option. Doug Fraser at the Cape Cod Times and Marie Szaniszlo at the Boston Herald have the details.

Holding their noses, HPC members pass along Beth Israel-Lahey merger plan to Healey

The BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett and SHNS’s Michael Norton at CommonWealth magazine report that an “apprehensive” HPC voted yesterday to refer the proposed Beth Israel-Lahey Health merger plan to Attorney General Maura Healey and Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, suggesting they take a closer look at the controversial deal, after their own report showed the merger could raise health care spending in the state by up to $230.5 million annually.

‘The city of Boston has a $102 million check to cash’

It’s now all systems go for Millennium Partners to start construction of its planned Winthrop Square tower – and, as the Globe’s Tim Logan notes, the city of Boston suddenly has a big check from Millennium to cash. He has the details.

Boston Globe

Crowdfunding a campaign ad? Orral tries it out against Goldberg

State Rep. Keiko Orrall, a Republican treasurer candidate, is asking supporters for money to launch a full ad campaign that criticizes Democrat Treasurer Deb Goldberg’s handling of the state Lottery’s planned headquarters move. SHNS Colin Young has the details.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

MCAS scores for 2018 released … and here are the results

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released 2018 MCAS results yesterday – and the Globe has all the school-by-school, grade-by-grade, subject-by-subject links to the results. Boston Magazine’s Spencer Buell notes some good news: Four schools, including one in Boston, will no longer be considered ‘underperforming.’

Boston Globe

‘Do we really want giant corporations policing political speech?’

Media critic Dan Kennedy is no fan of right-wing crank Alex Jones and doesn’t believe his First Amendment rights were violated when he was booted off various social-media sites. Still, he writes at WGBH that he’s queasy about the idea of giant tech companies policing political speech at what’s become new digital civic commons.

The Herald’s Adriana Cohen has a column this morning on her testimony yesterday at a Congressional subcommittee hearing on social media’s handling of conservative viewpoints. As usual, she’s very, very angry at liberals.


Man accused or urinating on American flags turns himself in, pleads not guilty

From John R. Ellement at the Globe: “A Boston man who allegedly uprooted four American flags installed at the Somerville Veterans Memorial Cemetery and urinated on them while on a date pleaded not guilty to three charges in Somerville District Court Wednesday.”

Scott Croteau at MassLive notes he allegedly made an “anti-government” remark while committing the act. In related despicable news, from the Enterprise: “Teens caused $50,000 in damage to Hanson home for disabled vet.”

Perfectly legal slush funds

Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia has one. So does Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera and others. They’re separate legal defense funds that pols are allowed to set up under state campaign laws – some attracting tens of thousands of dollars from donors. In Correia’s case, executives at a medical marijuana dispensary donated $20,000 only days after the firm signed a host community agreement with Fall River. Jack Sullivan at CommonWealth magazine has the details.


After $885K settlement revealed, Springfield councilors lash out at slow police response

The city of Springfield earlier this week agreed to pay $885,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by four men who say they were beaten by off-duty police officers — and now members of the city council are pinning at least part of the financial blame on the police department’s slow response to the three-year-old incident, reports Dan Glaun and Peter Goonan of MassLive.


‘This is HOLY [expletive] territory’

Tired of all things political? Just want to read a fascinating story that sounds like something right out of Raiders of the Lost Ark? Then check out the Washington Post’s piece about how surveyors, using the latest laser-detection technology, took flight over thick Guatemala forests to map out what they believed might be the remnants of an ancient Maya civilization – only to discover 61,800 new ancient sites, including causeways, roads, canals, large maize farms, houses large and small, and defensive fortifications. It’s blowing away scientists – and altering past assumptions about civilizations in the Americas pre-Columbus. 

Washington Post

Sunday public affairs TV

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 5, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: State House News Service reporter Matt Murphy and freelance writer Joanna, who Weiss discuss with host Jon Keller the governor’s race, the Trump factor in Massachusetts, and the controversy at the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.  

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Andrea Silbert, EOS Foundation president, discusses the power gap for women in higher education; Jack Lynch, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt president and CEO, on the publishing company evolving into a learning company; Doug Banks of the Boston Business Journal on the Dunkin’ Donuts name change, the resignation of state Gaming Commission Chair Steve Crosby and other local business stories.   

CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. Denis Gagnon, owner and president of Excel Dryer in Longmeadow, and his son, Bill Gagnon, vice president of marketing and sales, discuss what’s attracting everyone from restauranteurs to Grand Central Station to use their products.  

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Anthony Amore, Republican candidate for secretary of state, who talks with anchor Ed Harding and co-anchor Janet Wu.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s topic: Community Engagement, with a look at Whittier Street Health Center, the West End House Boys and Girls Club, and Rosie’s Place.

Boston College Chief Executives Club, NECN, 1 p.m. A replay of a speech by Al Kelly, CEO of VISA, earlier this week at the Boston College Chief Executives Club, in which he talks about the credit card company and its latest developments and products.

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


Two named to lead search for Boston school chief – Boston Globe

Boston’s food hall frenzy: These aren’t your average food courts – Boston Business Journal


Six arrested after armed robbery at Framingham High – WCVB

Two unsold Berkshire Museum works slated for November auction – Berkshire Eagle

Enough signatures gathered to bring downtown Business Improvement District to Worcester council – Telegram & Gazette

Candidates for Plymouth and Norfolk senate seat getting campaigns into high gear – Patriot Ledger


SEC sues Elon Musk, seeking to bar him from running any public company – New York Times

California governor vetoes law allowing undocumented immigrants in public office | TheHill – The Hill

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