Happening Today

Sen. Flake in Boston, MBTA Control Board, Ocasio-Cortez in Brookline

— The state’s recently revised non-compete law takes effect today.

— Treasurer Deborah Goldberg attends the National Association of State Treasurers annual conference through Wednesday.

— Boston Mayor Martin Walsh joins NARAL, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, survivors of sexual assault and elected officials in calling on U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake to reject Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, City Hall Plaza, 1 City Hall Sq., 10 a.m .

Anthony Scaramucci, who briefly served as White House communications director under President Trump, will talk about the venture capital world, politics and the Trump White House as part of the Forbes Under 30 Summit, Under 30 Village at Boston City Hall Plaza, Boston, 10:10 a.m.

— The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy (MIRA) Coalition hosts U.S. Sen. Edward Markey and others for the launch of the Massachusetts Business Coalition on Immigration, HYM Investment Group, One Congress St., 11th floor, Boston, 11 a.m.

— U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, of Arizona, who’s playing a key role in the current furor over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, and Gov. John Kasich, of Ohio, appear at a Forbes Under 30 event at City Hall Plaza, with protests expected to greet Flakes, City Hall Plaza, Boston, 11:30 a.m.

— The MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board meets to discuss a Red/Orange Line program update, a bus procurement contract, Blue Line modernization and a Worcester Union Station design contract, Transportation Board Room, second floor, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 12 p.m.

— Boston Federal Reserve Bank president and CEO Eric Rosengren plans to deliver the keynote address at the 60th National Association for Business Economics annual conference, Westin Copley Hotel, Boston, 12:15 p.m.

— Former U.S. secretary of state and senator John Kerry discusses President Trump and his own political future at a Forbes Under 30 event, Under 30 Village at Boston City Hall Plaza, Boston, 1:35 p.m.

Dan Koh, a former candidate for Congress, will moderate a discussion between Zak Ringelstein, a U.S. Senate candidate from Maine, and Morgan Murtaugh, a candidate for U.S. House from California, about being young candidates running for office, Forbes Under 30 Village at Boston City Hall Plaza, Boston, 4:40 p.m.

— House Speaker Robert DeLeo, a Sons of Italy member, is scheduled to serve as the master of ceremonies at a kickoff event for Italian Heritage Month, according to event origanizers, House Chamber, 6 p.m.

 — The Jamaica Plain Forum joins with climate action groups to hold an environmental town hall event featuring Democrat candidate for governor Jay Gonzalez, with Republican Gov. Charlie Baker declining to attend, Massachusetts Sierra Club, Sustainable Wellesley, and 350 Mass are event co-sponsors, First Church in Jamaica Plain UU, 6 Eliot St., Boston. 7 p.m.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley in the primary election in New York, attends a Boston screening of the new Michael Moore film, Fahrenheit 11/9, Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St, Brookline, 7:30 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

BREAKING: Flannery ousted as General Electric CEO, board member Culp takes his place

General Electric, the struggling Boston-based manufacturing giant, this morning abruptly ousted chief executive John Flannery and installed board member Lawrence Culp as his replacement, as the company announced that it will “fall short” of financial projections and take yet another huge multibillion-dollar charge. The dumping of Flannery, who was at the GE helm for only about year, came after the conglomerate suffered another huge share loss last week. CNBC and Bloomberg News have more.

No more denials: Warren says she’ll take ‘hard look’ at running for president in 2020

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren probably wouldn’t have said this if it wasn’t for two recent back-to-back polls showing her with overwhelming leads over Republican rival Geoff Diehl in the U.S. Senate race. But she is indeed leading by huge margins – so it’s indeed somewhat safe for her to say, before the November election, that she will “take a hard look” at running for the White House in 2020. The New York Times, the Washington Post and the Globe’s Victoria McGrane are all over Warren’s open admission to what we all knew she’s been thinking for a while: She’d really like to be president.

This is actually a compliment to Warren, showing President Trump is nervous about her as a candidate, via The Hill: “Trump again goes after Warren as ‘Pocahontas.’” But, if Warren does run for president, she’ll have to first deal with fellow Democrats, many of whom are now shifting into high gear in preparation for 2020, reports the Washington Post. Former Gov. Deval Patrick is among those mentioned in the Post piece. For what it’s worth: Steve Bannon thinks the wild-card candidate in the Democratic field is Michael Avenatti, the attorney for Stormy Daniels, and HBO host Bill Maher, also for what it’s worth, agrees with Bannon, as the Washington Post reports. But the Globe’s John Hilliard reports that Warren’s main advantage in any primary fight could be an “engaged and enraged” Democratic female base.

Local political storm watch: Protests expected as Sen. Flake hits Boston

The Kavanaugh-hearing cyclone blows north into Boston today, as U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, who’s now at the center of the storm over Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, arrives in the city to appear at a Forbes Under 30 event. The Arizona Republican is expected to be greeted by protestors and others upset at his potentially decisive support for Kavanaugh’s nomination. The venue for Flake’s appearance has already been relocated to City Hall Plaza because of the expected protests, the AP reports at the Lowell Sun. The Berkeley Beacon’s Chris Van Buskir reports that Mayor Marty Walsh, U,S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and City Councilor Ayanna Pressley are among the confirmed speakers at the protest.

In other Kavanaugh-related news, the Globe’s Jaclyn Reiss has more on that elevator confrontation that Flake was involved with protestors in Washington last week. The Globe’s Adrian Walker has a few questions he’d like to ask Flake while he’s in Boston. And, btw, Maine Sen. Susan Collins is at the center of her own Kavanaugh storm, the Globe’s Joshua Miller reports.

UMass football coach suspended for describing a referee call as a ‘rape’

Wrong word at the wrong time. UMass football coach Mark Whipple has been suspended for a week for criticizing the officiating during Saturday’s loss at Ohio and describing one call as a “rape,” reports the Herald’s Stephen Hewitt. Definitely a poor choice of words, or word, singular. But isn’t an apology enough? Not these days.

Boston Herald

‘Secret Courts’: How thousands of court cases are settled by clerks behind closed doors in Massachusetts

Everyone, if they have time, should try to read the Globe’s excellent Spotlight story about the state’s effective “secret court” system, in which clerks, many of them without law degrees, are given enormous behind-the-scenes powers to decide which legal cases proceed to prosecution – and which cases are effectively wiped clean from the books. We’re talking thousands of cases. “No other state in the country has anything like it,” report the Globe’s Jenn Abelson, Nicole Dungca and Todd Wallack.

The Globe’s Wallack and Dungca also have a sidebar on how reporters pieced together a story in which there’s little, if any, direct public documentation of what’s happening behind closed doors. It’s an amazing, and disturbing, Spotlight package.

Boston Globe

Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn make cameo appearances in Suffolk DA race

The black candidate points out during a forum that the white candidate is white. The white candidate says he was shocked and hurt that the black candidate pointed out he’s white. Then there’s a skirmish over Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn and race and … welcome to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s contest between Rachael Rollins and Michael Maloney. Maria Cramer at the Globe has the details. Btw: No, it’s not the “old Boston” rearing its head. It’s too weird for that.

Boston Globe

Beacon Hill’s very own climate denialists (sort of)

They’re not quite like the outright climate-change denialists found in other states. But Craig Altemose, executive director of Better Future Project and 350 Mass Action, writes at CommonWealth magazine that Gov. Charlie Baker, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and others at the State House have adopted a different form of climate denial by, he argues, denying the seriousness of the climate-change problem. So, if someone disagrees with the course of action and solutions offered by folks like Altemose, that makes them denialists? That seems to be what he’s ultimately arguing.


Red Sox, First Nation unveil plans for 5,000-seat music venue near Fenway Park

From Catherine Carlock at the BBJ: “Fenway Sports Group and Live Nation are jointly exploring development of a 5,000-seat music venue, to be called the Fenway Theater, on the corner of Lansdowne and Ipswich streets near Fenway Park.  … The theater would be owned by Fenway Sports Group and operated by Fenway Music Co., a partnership between Fenway Sports Management and Crossroads Presents, a Live Nation affiliate that’s managed by Live Nation New England President Don Law.”

This makes sense from the Red Sox’ standpoint, since they’ve been expanding into new entertainment fields for a while now. Whether it makes sense for Fenway residential neighbors is another matter.

BBJ (pay wall)

State Police union chief resigns amid expanding fed probe

It never stops. The Globe’s Andrea Estes and Matt Rocheleau at the Globe have the latest on the scandals plagued State Police. “The president of the union that represents Massachusetts State Police troopers has resigned amid a federal investigation into possible illegal reimbursement of campaign donations by union members. Dana Pullman, who led the powerful State Police Association of Massachusetts, known by its acronym SPAM, for six years, stepped down Friday, citing ‘personal reasons.’”

It’s apparently an offshoot of the feds’ ongoing investigation of overtime abuses at State Police.

State troopers retiring at fast clip, raising concerns about filling the ranks and public safety

Speaking of State Police and retirements: It’s not just state troopers caught up in the overtime scandal who are retiring at a fast clip at State Police. Other troopers are retiring at an unexpectedly high rate as well, so much so that agency officials wonder how they’ll fill State Police ranks in coming months and years. The Globe’s Matt Rochereau has the details. One has to wonder how much staff morale, or lack thereof, is factoring into the trend.

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of web, forms new firm to battle tech giants over data

This is interesting. Tim Berners-Lee, the MIT and Oxford professor who famously helped invent the world wide web three decades ago, is starting a new VC-backed firm, Inrupt, whose goal is to create a new online system in which users, and not tech giants like Facebook and Google, control their own data. The Herald’s Jordan Graham has the details.

Boston Herald

New non-compete law’s ‘garden leave’ provision may sprout a big loophole

The state’s new non-compete law takes effect today and the AP’s Bob Salsberg has a good piece at WBUR on the statute’s highly unusual (at least in America) “garden leave” provision that allows employees to get paid even after leaving a job, i.e. they can theoretically get paid to tend their own gardens. But there’s a potentially big loophole that could render the “garden leave” provision virtually meaningless, as Salsberg reports.


‘Disaster could be a turning point in energy debate’

Christian Wade at the Eagle-Tribune reports how the Merrimack Valley gas-line explosions and fires have renewed debate over the state’s increasing use of natural gas as a source of fuel. We predicted this from Day One – and it’s indeed happening.

Separately, from Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “A coalition of public and private lenders have joined together to provide a $1 million emergency loan fund to businesses affected by the Merrimack Valley gas explosions. The fund will offer loans to businesses with no payments and no interest due for the first six months. For businesses that extend beyond that, market rates will apply.”  


‘Boring ol’ Governor Baker’

Speaking of the governor,A.J.B. Lane at the Globe has a funny cartoon on the frustration many Democrats feel about “boring ol’ Governor Baker,” whose secret to political success seems to be relentless, low-octane dullness. We liked the Baker line in the last box: “Ahh, a nice glass of warm milk while watching paint dry. What could be better?!”

Back to the future: New Bedford’s brawl over charter-school expansion, two years after Question 2

Michael Jonas at CommonWealth magazine reports on the major fight over a charter school’s proposal to expand in New Bedford, pitting Mayor Jon Mitchell against charter proponents. In a separate CommonWealth piece, Jim Stergios and Charlie Chieppo of the Pioneer Institute blast New Bedford’s opposition to the expansion plans by Alma del Mar Charter School.


Green on defeating Trahan: ‘As a Republican, you’ve got to work harder’

Chris Lisinki reports at the Lowell Sun that Republican Rick Green knows he faces an uphill battle to defeat Democrat Lori Trahan in the Third Congressional District race – and that means he’ll just have to work harder. But a GOP strategist is wondering if Green, a businessman, is willing to put some of his own money where his mouth is in the race.

Lowell Sun

Wayland residents take aim at Rod & Gun club

This should be interesting to watch. Two Wayland residents have begun collecting signatures in a bid to put stricter restrictions on discharging guns in the town, a move both sides admit is aimed at curtailing activity at the Wayland Rod & Gun Club. Henry Schwan of the MetroWest Daily News reports the clash is headed for a mid-November special town meeting showdown. 

MetroWest Daily News

Shooting the messengers: Berkshire school official rips social-media and others over Confederate flag flap

He has a point about protecting the privacy of students. But he’s simply living in a dream world if he thinks the cell phone, social-media and 24/7 media genies can be put back in their bottles. Heather Bellow at the Berkshire Eagle has the details on a school committee member’s complaints about coverage of a recent Confederate flag flap at his local high school. Btw: Parents played a role as messengers too. What’s he going to do about them?

Berkshire Eagle

More Cape towns offering tax breaks to year-round residents

Citing the sky-high cost of housing and other factors, the three outermost communities on Cape Cod have all extended tax breaks to residents who stay put year-round, Ethan Genter reports at the Cape Cod Times. Full-time residents in Provincetown, Truro and Wellfleet can all apply for tax breaks of at least 20 percent, a move that has sparked pushback from some part-time residents who say they are unfairly shouldering more of the tax burden. 

Cape Cod Times

Webster tornado cleanup stalls amid property owner disputes

Properties ravaged by a tornado that swept down the main street in Webster remain in a state of disarray nearly two months later as property owners dispute who is responsible for the costly cleanup operation, Brian Lee reports at the Telegram. 


MBTA savings prompt calls for more privatization

Some government watchdog groups want lawmakers to clear the way for more privatization efforts across state government, citing the MBTA’s recent revelation that it will save $450 million over the next 10 years from its outsourcing efforts, Christian Wade reports in the Eagle-Tribune. State Sen. Marc Pacheco (Herald) would obviously beg to differ. 


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


Warren, Walsh and Pressley to join Emerson students, others in Kavanaugh protest outside City Hall – Universal Hub

Cambridge lost 19 percent of tree canopy since 2009, according to task force report – Cambridge Day


Salem officials want to expand tax breaks for developers – Salem News

Devens housing complex nearing reality – Lowell Sun

Worcester gears up mass transportation, but long road lies ahead – Telegram & Gazette

Mediator’s effort to resolve river cleanup dispute moves forward – Berkshire Eagle


A promise Trump can’t keep? Window to ‘build the wall’ is closing – Los Angeles Times

Housing market slows as rising prices outpace wages – New York Times

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