Happening Today

Cannabis commission, Question 2 debate, Trahan-Green debate

— Boston Mayor Martin Walsh attends the Hamilton Education Program event, Boston Opera House, 539 Washington St., Boston, 10 a.m.

— The Cannabis Control Commission meets with plans to discuss a staff report on options for home delivery of marijuana, Health Policy Commission conference room, 50 Milk St., 8th floor, Boston, 1 p.m.

— U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy endorses Lori Trahan for Congress, the Old Court, 59 Central St., Lowell, 1:30 p.m.

— ‘Radio Boston’ hosts an hour-long debate on Question 2, the November ballot initiative that would create a citizen commission to push for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court decision on campaign finance, with Paul Craney of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance arguing against the question and Jeff Clements of American Promise arguing in support, WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m.

.– Supreme Judicial Court Justice Kimberly Budd presents the Adams Pro Bono Publico awards in recognition of distinguished service and commitment to providing pro bono legal services, with attorneys David Fromm, John Hand and Alec Zadek being honored, Seven Justices Courtroom, John Adams Courthouse, One Pemberton Square, Boston, 3:30 p.m.

— Auditor Suzanne Bump will give a keynote address at the American Society for Public Administration’s 11th annual Public Performance Conference, Sargent Hall, Suffolk University, 120 Tremont St., Boston, 3:30 p.m.

Christina Romer, the former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers to president Barack Obama, delivers the annual Philip Gamble Memorial Lecture at UMass Amherst, Room 177, Lower Level, Campus Center, UMass Amherst, 5 p.m.

— Democrat Lori Trahan and Republican Rick Green, both running to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas in the Third Congressional District, debate at Fitchburg State University, Fitchburg State University, Kent Recital Hall, Conlon Fine Arts Building, 367 North St., Fitchburg, 6:30 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

The Big Waffle: Baker reels, denies, backtracks on Diehl

Michael Jonas at CommonWealth magazine and Joshua Miller and Matt Stout at the Globe report on Gov. Charlie Baker’s disastrous performance last night during his second debate against Democratic rival Jay Gonzalez, who pressed Baker hard on his fuzzy/unclear support, or non-support, for conservative U.S. Senate candidate Geoff Diehl. Jonas minces no words: The exchange was “bizarre” and the waffling reflected poorly on Baker. Miller and Stout write of the “potentially damaging bout of indecisiveness” by Baker on Diehl. SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) has more, also focusing on how Diehl became the “centerpiece” of the WGBH debate.

Speaking of Diehl: Perhaps someone can ask the governor if he agrees with Diehl’s assertion, as outlined in an opinion piece this morning in the Globe, that the Republican tax cuts are helping the economy and shouldn’t be repealed. Diehl makes no mention, none whatsoever, of the ballooning federal deficits that 99.9 percent of all economists attribute to the tax cuts.

With only three weeks to go before the election, Warren launches ads in U.S. Senate race

Speaking of Geoff Diehl and the U.S. Senate race, incumbent Democrat Elizabeth Warren hasn’t forgotten that she still has to accomplish one more thing before she can run for president in 2020: She has to win re-election next month. Shannon Young at MassLive reports on the Warren campaign’s launch of its first TV ads with less than three weeks to go before the November election. The 30-second spots tout her work on Capitol Hill on behalf of her constituents.  


Warren DNA update: She’s still on the defensive …

Hey, we just aggregate. We don’t report or write the actual stories. And most of the stories and punditry continue to be negative about U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s DNA rollout earlier this week. … The Globe’s Joan Vennochi, while sympathetic to Warren’s plight, says Democrats have some tough decisions to make: “While it’s too soon to say a 2020 run is over for Warren, the backlash to her genetic news should have Democrats thinking: Do they really want two more years of this? They can’t afford to repeat their big mistake of 2016, when they allowed Hillary Clinton to argue her e-mail was no big deal. Unfairly or not, it was.”… Meanwhile, the NYT has a piece on how some Native Americans are still steaming over Warren’s ancestry claims. Also at the NYT: Dr. Alondra Nelson, author of ‘The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations and Reconciliation After the Genome,’ has an opinion piece headlined: ‘Elizabeth Warren and the Folly of Genetic Ancestry Tests.’ One last NYT opinion piece, from columnist Ross Douthat, headlined: ‘The Elizabeth Warren Disaster.”

Shiva Ayyadurai: The perfect symbol of our times?

Back to the U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts: The Globe’s Victoria McGrane reports on how Independent candidate Shiva Ayyadurai, in so many remarkable ways, is “truly a candidate of our times.” She then lists all the bizarre, provocative, celebrity-driven, name-calling ways.

Boston Globe

‘A growing number of Republican candidates are sounding a lot like Democrats’

We just thought you’d like to know. From the Washington Post: “A growing number of Republican candidates are sounding a lot like Democrats as they face midterm elections, co-opting Democratic talking points on issues such as health care, education funding and the #MeToo movement.” Meanwhile, the NYT has a piece on how Republicans are suddenly running ads about pre-existing conditions.

Bottom line: Perhaps Republicans in other parts of the country are learning something from the uber-moderate and popular Charlie Baker? Unlikely. But they’re certainly not embracing what Mitch McConnell is saying these days.

Washington Post

Galvin: State should see a ‘strong and healthy’ turnout on Nov. 6

From SHNS’s Matt Murphy at the Telegram: “With early voting set to begin in communities across Massachusetts on Monday, Secretary of State William Galvin on Wednesday said key indicators like registrations and absentee voting activity point to a ‘strong and healthy turnout in November.’ … He said 4.4 million residents are registered, and 73,000 people have registered online this month alone, including 4,000 on Wednesday morning.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

It’s begun: Residents officially launch effort to recall Fall River’s mayor

Fall River residents have a different election in mind for after November. Jo C. Goode at the Herald News reports that the petition process to recall Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia, arrested last week on federal fraud charges and who’s refusing to step down, has officially started with the dropping off of a preliminary petition at the city clerk’s office. The next step: Collecting about 2,500 signatures. Stay tuned.

Herald News

Baker set to roll out major pharmacy pricing legislation

Does the Massachusetts Biotech Council know about this? Anyway, from Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine: “The Baker administration is developing a legislative proposal to rein in pharmacy prices or at least shed more light on what’s fueling the rising cost. Marylou Sudders, the governor’s secretary of health and human services, said her agency is crafting legislation that would allow the state to negotiate prices directly with drug manufacturers, call them in for hearings when warranted, and increase overall transparency in the pricing process.”


A look at Harvard’s Asian-American lawyer defending the school against Asian-American discrimination complaints

He’s none other than Bill Lee, Harvard’s lead lawyer in the ongoing discrimination case brought against the school by Asian-American students, and Lee is an Asian American who likes to say that he was the only Asian-American lawyer in the city when he first arrived in Boston. He’s now going up against four white lawyers who all clerked for conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Ah, the ironies. The NYT has the details.


And a peek at how donors’ kids get special treatment at Harvard …

Enough with ironies. Let’s get to the juicy part: How donors’ kids get special treatment from the Harvard admissions office. And they do get special treatment – and Harvard department heads who benefit from the donations couldn’t be happier. The Globe’s Deirdre Fernandes has the latest embarrassing details to spill out of the ongoing Harvard-admissions trial in Boston.

Boston Globe

How the ‘wow factor’ may have led to today’s Wynn Resorts licensing mess

Michael Damiano has a big piece at Boston Magazine on how the state’s Gaming Commission, then led by chairman Steve Crosby, ultimately succumbed to casino mogul Steve Wynn’s vision of grandeur in Everett – and failed to see troubling signs along the way. Blame it on the “wow factor” policy Crosby and commissioners committed themselves to before issuing the Everett casino license.

Boston Magazine

Quincy council votes to subpoena National Grid president

The Quincy City Council will enact a rarely used provision of state law to issue a subpoena to National Grid President Marcy Reed to answer questions about local gas construction projects—which the council earlier voted to halt amid the ongoing lockout of union workers at the utility. Erin Tiernan at the Patriot Ledger has the details on what happens next.  

Patriot Ledger

The latest excuse: Worcester police say records release would hurt legal defense

The Worcester police department says it can’t comply with repeated orders from state officials to turn over public records being sought by the Telegram without harming its strategy in several lawsuits against the city. Brad Pertrishen has all the arguments and counter-arguments made before a judge weighing whether to issue an order to the department to release the information.


Mr. Fix-It: A tutorial on how to make traffic citations disappear

The Globe’s Matt Rocheleau got hold of some internal environmental police emails and follows the cyber trail on just how traffic tickets seem to bureaucratically and magically disappear at the state agency whose boss was recently suspended amid a probe into “operational issues.” Rocheleau reports there’s apparently more than one traffic ticket involved.

SeedMA Baby spawning Fast Bastard and online jokes galore

The Globe’s Christina Prignano has a fun piece following all the online fun people are having with the name of the state’s new college-savings plan: ‘SeedMA Baby.’ A spokesman for Treasurer Deb Goldberg said the reaction wasn’t necessarily intended, but the treasurer’s office is having fun with the name too.

Universal Hub was all over the name a few days ago in a post headlined: “No, Marty, we don’t want to seed ya baby” and with a link to a Fast Bastard scene from an Austin Powers movie. Btw: People generally like the program. And the name.

Veterans sue state over denial of ‘welcome home’ bonuses

From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “Three veterans are suing the state treasurer for denying them a veterans bonus for receiving a discharge that was not honorable after multiple tours of duty. … The case pending in Suffolk Superior Court, which will have a hearing (today), is about whether someone who served multiple tours of duty but was not honorably discharged from the final one is eligible for the benefit.” It’s not a lot of money — $1,000 each. But the law is apparently pretty clear, or so believes Treasurer Deborah Goldberg and the Veterans’ Bonus Appeal Board.


Of seawalls and elevated roads: Walsh unveils ambitious plan to combat effects of climate change

Craig LeMoult at WGBH and Bruce Gellerman at WBUR have stories on Mayor Marty Walsh’s big plans to combat the impact of climate change in Boston. He’s proposing new seawalls, natural barriers, elevated roads, more open spaces and other measures along the city’s 47-mile shoreline. One thing he’s not proposing: A giant sea barrier in Boston Harbor.

Seekonk aquaculture plan now sleeps with the fishes

Speaking of sea-related matters: Strong pushback from neighbors has prompted a developer to drop plans to build a fish-and-shrimp farming operation inside a shuttered movie theater in Seekonk. The proposal didn’t even get a chance to be reviewed by local authorities, notes Joseph Siegel at the Sun Chronicle. 

Sun Chronicle

Healey won’t take sides in Question 1 debate, citing future enforcement duties

This makes sense, via SHNS’s Michael Norton: “Attorney General Maura Healey is not taking a position on Question 1, which would limit how many patients could be assigned to registered nurses, because her office would have an enforcement role to play under the proposed ballot law, she said Wednesday.” Speaking of Question 1, there were a lot of clashing views yesterday at a state hearing on the potential impact of the nurse-staffing measure. Michael Jonas at CommonWealth magazine has the conflicting details.


Lawsuits allege beatings, assaults and forced ‘fight clubs’ at state youth facility

Casa Isla may be closed, but it certainly is not forgotten. From Shira Schoenberg: “The alleged abuse of teenagers at a Department of Youth Services facility in Boston has spawned multiple lawsuits against staff members, the state and the organization that ran the facility. The lawsuits detail allegations of mistreatment at the facility, which include beating boys’ naked buttocks, violent physical assaults and forced ‘fight clubs.’”


It’s a BPS proposal, so there must be opposition … and there is

As anticipated, there’s a lot of opposition forming to the BPS’s plans to close and consolidate schools across the city of Boston. The Globe’s James Vaznis has the details. Whether the outcry rises to the level of fury seen during the school-hours debate remains to be seen.

Universal Hub reports the city is trying to explain why the moves are necessary, like, oh, how the West Roxbury Education Complex building almost didn’t open for classes last month because it was in such terrible condition.

Attleboro mayor uses legislative approach to corner office

Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux appears to be leaning on his legislative background as a former state representative in his approach to leading the city, submitting his fourth proposed local ordinance to the city council in less than a year—more than any other mayor in the city’s history, George Rhodes reports in the Sun Chronicle. The latest pitch from Heroux is to change a local law to allow for the installation of speed tables to slow down traffic across the city. 

Sun Chronicle

How Baker aims low while Gonzalez promises the moon when it comes to education

WBUR has a pair of stories looking at the education positions of the two gubernatorial candidates, Republican Charlie Baker and Democrat Jay Gonzalez. Max Larkin’s piece notes how Baker, stung by the ballot defeat of expanding charter schools, is focusing on smaller-scale initiatives these days, while Carrie Jung’s reports how Gonzalez is making big promises but with few specifics.

Maybe it’s not a good idea to have pot shops next to substance-abuse centers

She has a point. From Adam Gaffin at Universal Hub: “City councilors agreed today to study possible zoning changes that would bar temptation from people going to substance-abuse facilities. Councilor Lydia Edwards (East Boston, Charlestown, North End) proposed a hearing on amending a zoning code that already limits marijuana shops and dispensaries from being located within a half mile of each other to include drug- and alcohol-treatment programs.”

Universal Hub

McGovern calls for arms ban to Saudi Arabia over journalist’s death

From Shannon Young at MassLive: “U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern , D-Worcester, called Wednesday for the United States to stop all military sales and aid to the government of Saudi Arabia, unless the Trump administration determines that Saudi officials had no involvement in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.”


Park dedicated to Boston police officer who died from injuries tied to marathon bombings

Boston city officials and Dorchester residents earlier this week officially opened a new playground named after Boston Police Sergeant Dennis ‘DJ’ Simmonds, who officials say died as the result of an injury sustained in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, writes Meagan McGinnes at WBUR. Mayor Martin Walsh was among those at the celebration.


Adding insult to injury: Merrimack River’s raw sewage problem

After the Merrimack Valley recovers from the gas-line disaster, maybe officials should turn their attention to another disaster: The raw sewage being dumped straight into the Merrimack River, a practice that one environmentalist says has caused a “dire” downstream emergency. The Herald’s Meghan Ottolini has the details.

Boston Herald

Warren and Sanders hammer Amazon over potential ‘anti-union behavior’

This can’t be too helpful for the state’s bid to land the Amazon HQ2. From the Washington Post: “Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are asking Amazon to explain reports of ‘potentially illegal anti-union behavior,’ challenging the corporate giant’s labor practices shortly after it agreed to raise its minimum wage.”

Washington Post

Beverly man pleads guilty to mailing threatening letters to Trump’s sons

The Globe’s Travis Andersen reports that a 25-year-old Beverly man, who apparently is a “prolific letter writer” to celebrities and public officials, has pleaded guilty to going a little too far by sending threatinging notes with white powder in them to President Trump’s adult sons.

Boston Globe

Divest to Invest: Divesting from the Prison Industry to Invest in Our Communities

Please join New Leaders Council Boston and community organizers, including the Corrections Accountability Project and College Bound Dorchester, on Thursday, October 18th to discuss a Boston-wide campaign to divest public and private funds from the prison industrial complex.

New Leaders Council

Negotiating Skills: Art, Science or Luck?

Learn how to identify the appropriate tactics and counter tactics employed for any type of negotiators to reach a more leveraged position (even when you think you’re at a disadvantage).

NAIOP Massachusetts

Fight Night Boston: Demetrius Andrade vs Billy-Joe Saunders

Matchroom Boxing USA and Murphys Boxing Promotions announce a major world championship boxing event to be held at Boston’s TD Garden on October 20, 2018.

Matchroom Boxing USA and Murphys Boxing Promotions

Financial Experience Design Conference

The 2018 FXD Conference, a one-and-a-half-day conference, is a select gathering of more than 150 executives, experts, visionaries, and progressive thinkers from across the insurance, banking, wealth management, and fintech industries.


Boston Trade Compliance and Policy Seminar

International trade regulations change constantly—old rules are updated and new regulations are added every day. Attend one of the full-day seminars in a location close to you to stay up to date on the latest information. Learn about changing international trade regulations with industry experts—C.H. Robinson’s Kevin Doucette —who is passionate about this subject.

C.H. Robinson

We The People’s For Creators, By Creators

We The People, the world’s only multi-channel crowdfunding retail chain and community, is hosting a kick-off crowdfunding event where local entrepreneurs from companies such as Rocketbook, Think Board and allocacoc will provide tips on how to leverage crowdfunding to launch products. They will also discuss how to create crowdfunding campaigns and some lessons learned.

We The People

Real Estate Finance Fundamentals Onsite Course

This is a two part course that will be held on October 26, 2018 and November 2, 2018. This 2-day course will focus on debt and equity financing of income-producing real property. The course will look at both the private debt and equity markets for real estate finance, and the commercial mortgage-backed securities market for debt financing.

NAIOP Massachusetts

Back from the Brink: A Call to Prevent Nuclear War (Gonson Lecture)

Experts say we are closer to accidental or intentional nuclear war than at any time since the 1950s – and yet, at the same time, also closer than ever to an international ban to dismantle all of these immoral weapons. Come hear about the race for human survival, and what citizens can do to help.

Cambridge Center for Adult Education

Today’s Headlines


GE throws support behind Walsh’s new coastal resilience plan – Boston Business Journal

Boston City Council backs striking hotel workers – Universal Hub


Worcester argues releasing police records would harm litigation strategy – Telegram & Gazette

Baker waffles on Diehl during debate – CommonWealth Magazine

Wayland marijuana vote is invalid – MetroWest Daily News

Salem eyeing ban on dockless bikes – Salem News


Mitt makes his move – Politico

U.S. officials are increasingly sure of Saudi prince’s ties to journalist’s murder – New York Times

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