Happening Today

Gaming Commission, Rollins-Maloney on the air, and more

Massachusetts Gaming Commission meets and is expected to discuss a ‘mid-term license review’ for Plainridge Park Casino and a baseline public safety study in Springfield, 101 Federal St., 12th floor, Boston, 10 a.m.

— Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson joins Massachusetts Clean Energy Center CEO Stephen Pike for a ribbon cutting and tour of the Braintree Electric Light Department’s new energy storage system, Braintree Electric Light Department, 150 Potter Road, Braintree, 10 a.m.

— Boston Mayor Martin Walsh provides remarks at the Mothers for Justice & Equality Annual Conference, Boston University Brookline Campus, 43 Hawes St., Brookline, 11 a.m.

— Treasurer Deborah Goldberg chairs the Massachusetts State Retirement Board meeting, MSRB Headquarters, Retirement Board, One Winter St., 8th Floor, Boston, 11:30 a.m.

— The Massachusetts High Tech Council hosts a lunch event exploring the ‘Evolving Healthcare Landscape: Innovative Solutions for Employers,’ with top health-care experts speaking, AllWays Health Partners, 399 Revolution Drive, Somerville, 12 p.m.

— U.S. Rep. Richard Neal addresses the Massachusetts Mayors Association, where he will speak about the federal response to opioid misuse, Jon Zon Community Center, 35 Pleasant St., Greenfield, 12:30 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker joins Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders, Lynn Community Health Center CEO Dr. Kiame Mahaniah and Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers CEO James Hunt Jr. visit the Lynn Community Health Center and make an announcement regarding investments in Community Health Centers, 269 Union Street, Lynn, 1:45 p.m.

— Suffolk County district attorney candidates Rachael Rollins and Michael Maloney are guests on ‘Radio Boston,’ WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m.

— U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Democratic nominee for governor Jay Gonzalez and U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern host an early voting event, Tilton Hall, Clark University, 950 Main St., Worcester, 4 p.m.

— Democrat David Robertson, Republican Pina Prinzivalli and independent candidate Patricia Meuse participate in a debate for the House seat last held by the late Rep. James Miceli, hosted by Wilmington Community Television and the Wilmington-Tewksbury Chamber of Commerce, Wilmington High School auditorium, 159 Church St., Wilmington, 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

Local police boost security at State House after pipe-bomb scares nationwide

From Mary Markos at the Herald: “Police in Massachusetts are stepping up security for politicians after explosive devices were sent to Hillary Clinton, President Obama, CNN and others yesterday. A team from the state police Bomb Squad went to the State House yesterday as a precaution, spokesman David Procopio said, as a result of the suspicious packages received at multiple locations in the New York and Washington, D.C., areas and Florida. … The state police Fusion Center has been in contact with federal law enforcement, Procopio said, and will pass on any relevant information to local police.” No suspicious items have been discovered at the State House, Procopio stresses.

The Herald’s Kimberly Atkins and the Washington Post have more on the pipe bombs sent primarily to Democrats and  the ensuing debate over the divisive and angry tone of American politics today.

Boston Herald

Columbia Gas probably won’t hit deadline to restore gas

This is really bad news for thousands of people in the Merrimack Valley. From Milton Valencia at the Globe: “Massachusetts officials Wednesday cast doubt on the likelihood Columbia Gas would meet a Nov. 19 deadline to restore service to some of the thousands of residents who have been without heat or hot water since the September explosions and fires rocked the Merrimack Valley. Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera acknowledged that the work replacing appliances and heating systems is going much slower than expected because so many older homes have plumbing or electrical systems that are outdated or not up to code.”

Meanwhile, from the Herald’s Jordan Graham: “Attorney General Maura Healey’s office blasted Columbia Gas yesterday, saying the company is not doing enough in its efforts to restore service to the Merrimack Valley as some elected officials expressed doubt that Columbia Gas will be able to meet its Nov. 19 deadline.” SHNS is reporting (pay wall) that Columbia officials plan to meet with Healey today.

National Grid-union standoff: ‘Both sides in the labor dispute are playing hardball’

Speaking of natural-gas controversies, Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine and Allison Hagen at the Globe report on how the battle over National Grid’s lock out of 1,200 steelworkers is increasingly being played out in public, with both sides pressing their cases and trying to sway the public over to their side. In other words: It’s now a flat-out political and public-relations war.

Opioid crisis takes center stage in AG debate

Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey and Republican Challenger James McMahon went at it yesterday in a debate that centered on who was tougher in battling the opioid crisis, with McMahon saying Healey was “soft on crime” and Healey defending her office’s policies, reports Laura Crimaldi at the Globe. Anthony Brooks at WBUR has more, including how the sometimes raucous debate did address other issues, such as Donald Trump and guns.

Getting back on script: Maloney resumes criticisms of Rollins’ list of crimes she won’t prosecute

After a series of embarrassing stories about various restraining orders issued against and by him in the past, Michael Maloney, the independent candidate for Suffolk County district attorney, is back to lobbing criticisms at Democrat Rachael Rollins over her do-not-prosecute stand on some crimes. Mary Markos at the Herald has the details.

Boston Herald

Why is Gonzalez letting Baker off the hook when it comes to raising taxes?

During the current gubernatorial campaign, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has rarely had to defend the fact that he’s violated his 2014 pledge not to raise taxes and fees. Democratic challenger Jay Gonzalez is simply not pressing the issue hard, reports the Globe’s Matt Stout, perhaps because he’s “built his campaign on promising to pursue tax hikes on the wealthy.”

Sure enough, in a Globe opinion piece this morning, Gonzalez is touting his plan to tax college endowment funds to pay for some of the promises he’s made on the campaign trail. …Fyi: Steve Brown at WBUR reports that taxes are indeed a dividing line between Baker and Gonzalez – and that Baker, with “few exceptions,” has resisted new taxes and fees.

Boston Globe

Chelsea liquor store owners want their nips back

A group of nine liquor stores has hired a lawyer to press the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission to overturn Chelsea’s ban on the sale of single-serving hard liquor bottles, better known as nips, Seth Daniel reports at the Chelsea Record. The local licensing board passed the ban to address both littering of the tiny bottles and loitering around liquor stores. 

With other towns mulling bans and a grassroots push underway to require a deposits on nip bottles, the Chelsea case could have statewide implications, Daniel notes. 

Chelsea Record

Against the grain: Democratic consulting firm hauls in $1.1M opposing Question 1

The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld reports how the Dewey Square Group, a prominent Democratic consulting firm, has raked in $1.1 in fees representing hospitals and others opposing the nurse-ratio Question 1, even though almost every major Democratic politician in the state has endorsed the controversial measure.

Boston Herald

Boston Magazine’s ‘endorsement guide’ to Question 1

Speaking of Question 1, Boston Magazine dispenses with the typical voter-guide approach of explaining Question 1 to its readers. Instead, it presents an “endorsement guide” of where all the polls and bigwigs stand on the controversial ballot question. It’s actually kind of handy.

Boston Magazine

Despite new rules, Ali Jaafar keeps hitting it big, racking up his 1,246th lotto win so far this year

They don’t know how he and his relatives do it, though they have their suspicions. Still, Massachusetts Lottery officials do know that Ali Jaafer has already won 1,246 lotto scratch games so far this year, putting him on track to be the “winningest lotto player in Massachusetts for a third consecutive year, and nothing yet seems to be getting in his way when it comes to winning,” not even new lottery rules designed to crack down on frequent winners like Jaafer, report Lisa Creamer and Jeff Kell at WBUR.


Hello? Anyone there? The hunt for the last two voters in Boston’s ‘Phantom Electoral Precinct’

WGBH’s Curiosity Desk, i.e. Edgar B. Herwick III, prodded by a newsroom editor, went on the hunt for the remaining two voters in Ward 1, Precinct 15, and … he found them! Mystery solved. He has the names and even talked to them.


Healey to review allegations that led to McGinn’s firing as state’s top environmental cop

From Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive: “Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, the state’s top law enforcement official, said an internal agency report on Col. James McGinn, the fired head of the Environmental Police, raises ‘serious concerns.’ … Healey, a Democrat, said she plans to review the internal report. ‘Obviously this raises serious concerns about the conduct of the former colonel,’ Healey said. ‘The right decision was made,’ she added. ‘He should have been fired and those sort of things should not have happened.’”


‘Nobody ever voted for William F. Galvin because of his charm’

The Globe has come out with a ringing endorsement of Bill Galvin for secretary of state. Well, sort of ringing. … Fyi: We happen to like Bill. No one can ever say he’s inauthentic. 

Boston Globe

SJC’s Gants deplores calls for judge’s removal, asserting it threatens judicial independence

Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports that Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants is forcefully pushing back against a legislative movement to remove a state judge due to his unpopular rulings, arguing that it’s a “threat to the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law.”


Even Democrats are getting sick of Democrats

In a Globe opinion piece, Diane Hessan, who has been conducting an extraordinary survey of voters nationwide since 2016, finds that a lot of Democrats are growing tired of the “get angry and own it” antics of progressive Democrats. From Hessan: “Certainly in deep blue districts, it pays for a candidate to be mad as a hornet, but recent studies conclude that this resonates with only about 8 percent of Americans.”

Fyi: Former-Republican-turned-Democrat Michael Bloomberg, who’s eyeing a bid for president, is planting his flag firmly in the political center – and it appears to be resonating with many Dems, reports the Washington Post.

Boston Globe

Non-candidate candidate Patrick off to South Carolina this weekend

Speaking of potential presidential candidates, from SHNS (pay wall): “It’s off to South Carolina this weekend for former Gov. Deval Patrick where he will campaign with Democratic Congressional candidate Joe Cunningham in Charleston, Awendaw and Summerville. CNN analyst and South Carolina native Bakari Sellers will also join Cunningham and Patrick on the trip.”

Nothing really new here, but worth noting, from BuzzFeed: ‘Top Obama Allies Are Ready To Support A Deval Patrick Presidential Campaign.’

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Campaign Ca$h

In MASSterList’s Campaign Ca$h feature, our research team takes a look at the finances in the Senate election between Elizabeth Warren and Geoff Diehl. Click the banner to view a mobile-friendly, complete PDF list of expenditures and donors since 1/1/2018. All information is from the Federal Election Commission (fec.gov). Stay tuned for more races throughout the election cycle. If there’s a particular race that you’d like us to consider for upcoming coverage, email dart@massterlist.com.

Download the report here (desktop – XLSX format)

Taking bets on Wynn Resorts keeping its Everett casino license

The Globe’s Joan Vennochi looks at all the arguments, facts and jockeying taking place over whether Wynn Resorts will lose its Everett casino license due to the sexual antics of its former CEO, Steve Wynn. She senses Wynn Resorts will indeed keep the license. Fyi: Former Gov. Bill Weld, now representing Wynn Resorts, makes a cameo appearance in the column.

Poll sheds light on Warren DNA rollout impact

More evidence that her big DNA gambit didn’t quite work as planned: Almost half of all voters say the release of DNA test results by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren in a bid to prove her Native American heritage did nothing to change their opinion of her while most of those whose minds were changed came away with a less favorable impression of Warren, a new Politico/Morning Consult poll finds. Stephanie Murray has the details. 


Actress Lavern Cox adds glamor to the pro-transgender rights cause

Laverne Cox, a transgender activist and actress best known for her role in the Netflix series ‘Orange is the New Black,’ swept into Boston yesterday to push to uphold the state’s new transgender-rights law, as outlined in Question 3. Shira Schoenberg at MassLive and SHNS’s Katie Lannan at CommonWealth magazine have the details.

Launch of Seaport-North Station ferry service delayed until early next year

The BBJ’s Greg Ryan reports that an employer-funded ferry service connecting the Seaport District and North Station is now expected to launch early next year, not this fall as previously planned. Among the reasons for the delay: The dock at Lovejoy Wharf isn’t ready yet.

BBJ (pay wall)

This is a ‘red wave’ that even blue-state Dems can love

And we thought the rest of America hated us. Spencer Buell at Boston Magazine reports that SportsBetting.ag has analyzed social-media posts and found that the vast majority of states across the country are pulling for the Red Sox to win the World Series over the Dodgers. He has a map of the “red wave” of Sox states. Only four states are rooting for the Dodgers.

Boston Magazine

State Senate candidate removes Facebook photo of filled-in ballot

John MacDonald, a Republican a candidate for the state Senate, removed a Facebook post that included part of a completed ballot after questions were raised about its legality, Rick Sobey reports at the Lowell Sun. MacDonald says he did nothing wrong and state election officials admit a state law banning photos of completed ballots may not be all that enforceable. “It’s such a minor, minor, minor thing to point out,” MacDonald said of the incident.

Lowell Sun

No escaping him: Donald Trump casts shadow over every major election and candidate in Massachusetts

Anthony Brooks at WBUR takes a look at how just about every major election in Massachusetts is being influenced by just one man, Donald Trump, as candidates are measured by how much they’re either for or against him. Resistance is futile. There is no hope of escaping him.


Kelley Square redesign hones in on ‘traffic peanut’ fix

They’re building a ballpark, so it might as well be a peanut that fixes the traffic in Worcester’s infamous Kelley Square. Cyrus Moulton of the Telegram reports a redesign that uses an oversized island—called a peanut—to make it safer for pedestrians to safely cross one of the most insane intersections in the state is proving more popular than traditional fixes at public forums on the project. 


The Grim Reapers of local newspapers: Hedge funds

It’s grim out there for local newspapers – and it’s even grimmer than grim for those working at papers owned by hedge funds. Media critic Dan Kennedy at WGBH takes a look at a new report that says newspapers controlled by private equity and hedge funds cut more deeply than owners at other papers. And that means you, GateHouse Media and Digital First Media.


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

School on the Move Prize Ceremony

EdVestors to present prestigious $100,000 School on the Move Prize. Three Boston public schools will be lauded for outstanding progress toward improving performance and are finalists for the coveted award.


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

2018 Distinguished Real Estate Awards Gala

Join NAIOP Massachusetts for the 2018 Distinguished Real Estate Awards Gala as we honor Related Beal for their achievements in real estate, charitable activities and community betterment. David Begelfer will be honored with this year’s Edward H. Linde Public Service Award in recognition of his 27 years of service to NAIOP.

NAIOP Massachusetts


On November 17, TEDxBeaconStreet will return to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum for a second year! Some of the most inspiring minds and speakers in the world will come to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum for the final day of TEDxBeaconStreet.


Today’s Headlines


Developers break ground at Winthrop Square – Boston Herald

‘They’re bold and fresh’: The millennials disrupting Boston’s transit system – Politico


Rehoboth selectmen approve natural gas pipeline moratorium – Sun Chronicle

Lowell superintendent ‘most likely’ suing over termination – Lowell Sun

Mass. home sales slowed in September, as price increases moderated – Boston Globe


When Trump Phones Friends, the Chinese Listen and Learn – New York Times

New York sues Exxon-Mobil over climate change – Politico

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