Happening Today

Early weekend voting, National Grid workers at British consulate, and more

— Secretary of State William Galvin announces the start of the only weekend of early voting; Somerville plans to hold early voting at its city hall from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and Galvin’s office says that 252 of 351 communities have opted to offer weekend hours, Somerville City Hall, 10:30 a.m. 

 — Gas workers with USW Locals 12003 and 12012 and members of Unite the Union, the United Kingdom’s largest trade union, rally outside the British Consulate to raise awareness of the U.K.-based National Grid’s profits amid its lock-out of local workers, 1 Broadway St., Cambridge, 11 a.m. 

— New England Council presents ‘New England Innovates; Leading the Way in FinTech,’ with keynote remarks from Craig Philips, counselor to the secretary of the U.S. Treasury, followed by a panel discussion, Bank of America, 225 Federal St., Boston, 11:30 a.m. 

— Executive Office of Health and Human Services holds a public hearing on regulations governing standard payments to nursing facilities, 100 Hancock St., Quincy, 12 p.m. 

— Health Policy Commission Executive Director David Seltz speaks at the 2018 Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers Leadership Summit, Boston Marriott Newton, 2345 Commonwealth Ave., Newton, 1 p.m. 

— Mayor Walsh provides remarks at the Home Base open house and ribbon cutting, One Constitution Wharf, 1 Constitution Rd., Charlestown, 2 p.m. 

— Mike Mullen, an unenrolled candidate for the Third Congressional District, is a guest on ‘Radio Boston,’ WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m. 

— Action for Boston Community Development hosts Community Heroes Celebration featuring Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr.., and the organization will also induct former Boston Celtics coach and ABCD Hoop Dreams co-founder Doc Rivers into its hall of fame, Boston Marriott Copley Place, 6 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

Non-snow Nor’easter coming our way

Just an advisory to start things off: There won’t be any snow, thank goodness, but there’s expected to be a lot of rain, wind and some flooding this weekend as a Nor’easter swings through the region, according to the National Weather Service. The Boston Globe and MassLIve.com have more on the expected wet and windy weekend.

Keeping the pressure on National Grid

Lawmakers are planning to ratchet up the pressure on National Grid to end its lock-out of 1,200 workers, by holding a hearing on a previously dormant bill that would force the company to provide health benefits to workers and deny the utility any rate increase until its settles its contract dispute with unions, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy at the Lowell Sun. Meanwhile, unions are ratcheting up their own pressures on the utility, planning to rally today outside the British consulate to protest the actions of the U.K.-based utility. (See our Happening Today listing above.)

Lowell Sun

Somerville mulls expanding voting access to non-citizens and 16-year-olds

Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone says he backs proposals to allow non-citizens and teenagers as young as 16 to vote in city elections, two ideas that were brought forward by a group charged with increasing local civic engagement, Christopher Gavin reports at Boston.com. We have a feeling more than a few people will have something to say about this. Just a hunch.


Meanwhile, civics-education bill is back in play on Beacon Hill

Speaking of civic engagement: SHNS’s Katie Lannan reports that a civics-education bill that Gov. Charlie Baker returned to lawmakers with recommendations has resurfaced at the State House and action on the legislation could come as soon as next week.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Family of teen killed in Merrimack Valley disaster plans to sue Columbia Gas

From the Associated Press at WBUR: “The family of a teen killed when a series of natural gas explosions rocked communities north of Boston plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the utility company. Attorney Doug Sheff told reporters Thursday Columbia Gas was reckless and should have to pay for last month’s death of Leonel Rondon.”

In other Merrimack Valley gas-line news, advocatess are asking why a slew of excess temporary housing brought into the Merrimack Valley after last month’s natural gas disaster can’t be used to offer temporary shelter to scores of homeless people in the area, Quincy Walters reports at WBUR. The Eagle-Tribune reports on one shelter that isn’t get much use. Meanwhile, SHNS reports (pay wall) that Columbia Gas has scheduled a series of weekend community meetings in the area to hear from residents affected by the gas-line disaster. We have a hunch they’ll be getting an earful from residents.


Don’t forget: Live gubernatorial debate on Sunday

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker will try to bounce back from a poor second-debate performance when he faces Democratic challenger Jay Gonzalez in their third debate on Sunday. The showdown will be carried live at 11.a.m. on WCVB-TV Channel 5, as a special edition of the station’s Sunday morning public affairs show ‘On the Record.’

Baker continues his union-endorsement roll, nabbing the support of two big police unions

Speaking of the governor’s race, Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito have picked up some key law-enforcement endorsements, including two from police unions that backed Baker’s opponent four years ago. As the SHNS’s Matt Murphy at the Salem News notes: “The endorsements are the latest example of labor and progressive rights groups, which have been key to Democratic statewide victories in the past, deciding in this year’s governor’s race to either back the Republican or sit it out.”

Btw: The Globe’s Joshua Miller has a story on a long endorsement of the governor’s handling of the opioid crisis in a somewhat unusual TV ad that Baker’s campaign has put out.

Btw, II: Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports that Democrat Jay Gonzalez and lieutenant governor candidate Quentin Palfrey have received another $84,000 in public financing, bringing their total public funds to $626,000 in the general election. By comparison, Baker and Polito, who aren’t accepting public funds, had a combined $7.3 million in the bank as of mid-October.

Salem News

Baker’s transportation record: A triumph of hope over substance?

The Globe’s Adam Vaccaro reports that patience is wearing thin for many T riders who have seen little, if any, service improvements under the reforms implemented by Charlie Baker since he became governor. But whether that simmering discontent will translate into actual votes against Baker next month is the big political question.

Boston Globe

Curt Schilling suggests his conservative beliefs were tied to his non-invite to Fenway the other night

Former Red Sox star Curt Schilling, now an outspoken conservative talk-show host (among other things), says it “sucks” he wasn’t invited to participate in a World Series opening-pitch ceremony along with his other 2004 teammates, reports the Herald’s Laurel Sweet. At one point, Schilling says on Facebook that the non-invite was “100% on purpose and completely expected” and he blamed a “few ‘weak’ men who’ve spent their entire lives paying and watching other men achieve.”

Boston Herald

Cabral’s pot-shop plan not going over well in Brookline

Former Suffolk County sheriff and public safety secretary Andrea Cabral, who is now chief executive of Ascend Massachusetts, is running into opposition over her firm’s proposal to open a retail pot shop in Brookline, reports Alexi Cohan at the Herald. The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld is not impressed with Cabral’s pursuit of local and state approvals for the Brookline pot shop, saying she has “no experience in running a business, let alone one that sells drugs.”

Boston Herald

Industry official on local towns’ pot-approval demands: ‘Disgusting … pure idiocy … extortion and bribery’

Speaking of pot businesses , Peter Bernard, president and director of the Massachusetts Grower Advocacy Council, is pulling no punches about what he thinks of some of the demands towns and cities are making as part of the “host community agreement” process with pot companies: “Some of it is just disgusting … it turns into extortion and bribery … it’ll get to a point of pure idiocy.” Mike Plaisance at MassLive has more.


Raytheon CEO is ‘pretty confident’ defense contractor will ride out the Saudi storm

It looks like Waltham-based Raytheon Co., now under some pressure to cut its business ties to Saudi Arabia due to the grisly murder of a Saudi journalist, is opting instead to simply “weather the complexity” and maintain the state quo until the U.S. government tells the defense giant what to do. The BBJ’s Kelly O’Brien has the details.

Meanwhile, the Globe’s Michael Levenson takes a closer look at the extensive ties Harvard and MIT have with Saudi Arabia. We’re talking about tens of millions of dollars in academic ties with the Middle East country and its ruling elite.

BBJ (pay wall)

Two-wheel approach: Rep. Moran seeks new regulations for shared bikes and scooters

From SHNS’s Katie Lannan at the BBJ: “Rep. Michael Moran of Boston, who in 2015 sponsored one of the bills that sought to impose background check and insurance requirements on the ride-hail apps, this month filed a bill to regulate ‘shared micro-mobility devices’ — bicycles and scooters offered for rental by companies like Lime and Bird. ‘I just find it odd that in this micro-economy we’re living in, that people just think they can walk in and do stuff,’ Moran told the News Service.”

BBJ (pay wall)

Is it too much to ask for follow-up analysis on whether ballot-question measures actually work as promised?

The Globe’s Evan Horowitz raises a good point: Massachusetts does a lousy job of assessing whether approved ballot-question measures work as planned. “Rather than follow the experimenters’ creed — try, fail, improve — we tend to take a more complacent approach to politics in Massachusetts: Act slowly, mostly when forced by lobbyists or voters, and don’t bother assessing the impact.”

The same can be said of other laws and ordinances passed by legislators and local elected officials: There’s little, if any, follow-up analysis of their true impact, positive or negative.

Boston Globe

DeCordova Museum asks for Lincoln town-meeting OK of rescue plan

On the verge of financial collapse, Lincoln’s DeCordova Museum has agreed to a takeover by the non-profit Trustees of Reservations that already oversees 116 properties across the state, from parklands to museums. But the agreement needs the approval of Lincoln Town Meeting. Greg Cook’s Wonderland and the Globe’s Mark Feeney have the details.

Commission hearing on Wynn casino license won’t take place until early December – after elections

The BBJ’s Catherine Carlock (pay wall) reports that the state Gaming Commission is expected to hold a much-anticipated hearing on the Wynn Resorts casino license in the first weeks of December, months later than originally anticipated and about a month after the November elections. Ed Bedrosian, the commission’s executive director, told commissioners that the agency’s investigators are still finishing their report on whether Wynn should keep its Everett license in the wake of sexual-misconduct charges against the firm’s former CEO, Steve Wynn.

Btw: Encore Boston Harbor, as Wynn’s Everett casino is now called, tweeted yesterday that “reservations are coming later this year” to the $2.4 billion gaming resort now under construction, Carlock reports.

Another graduate of the Elizabeth Warren School of Law and Politics

Bill Belichick has his share of understudies who have gone on to bigger and better things (or at least they’ve tried to). So why not Elizabeth Warren’s understudies? Victoria McGrane at the Globe reports that if Democrat Quentin Palfrey prevails in winning his race for lieutenant governor he would become the fourth of Warren’s former Harvard Law School students to win elected office. Trivia Question: Can you name the other three?

Boston Globe

Maybe the developer didn’t hear them …

Neighbors and city councilors in Quincy are growing frustrated by the fact that, despite numerous meetings and complaints and suggestions, a developer is still proposing a massive housing complex – which would include 598 rental units in 36 rowhouses, 17 townhouses and six multi-family buildings – at the old Quincy Medical Center. Erin Tiernan at the Patriot Ledger has the details.

Patriot Ledger

Springfield’s Mercy Medical plans layoffs and closure of departments

From Robert Rizzuto at MassLive: “Citing a challenging economy and financial pressures spurred by the ever-changing health care industry, the president of Mercy Medical Center notified staff this week of coming layoffs and the closure and reorganization of some departments. The letter, sent by President Mark Fulco to staff on Wednesday, said the coming changes were necessary to allow the hospital to continue its mission.”

Exact numbers and most other details were not disclosed, though the hospital did say it plans to close the Mercy Hearing Center with locations in Springfield and Agawam.


Bourne health board declares Plymouth wind turbines a nuisance

The Bourne Board of Health has determined that four wind turbines operating in Plymouth near the town line are a nuisance to the health and well being of Bourne residents, though it doesn’t appear there’s much the town can do about it without help from state officials, Beth Treffeisen reports at the Cape Cod Times. 

Cape Cod Times

Sunday public affairs TV

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: U.S. Rep. Steve Lynch, who talks with host Jon Keller about the midterm elections, the letter bombs and the overall political climate, and immigration issues.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. A discussion about the next steps in the Massachusetts pot industry with Jim Smith of Smith, Costello & Crawford, and Jon Chesto of the Globe reviews the top local business stories of the week, including gas restoration efforts in the Merrimack Valley and whether Boston is still on Amazon’s HQ2 sweepstakes list.     

CEO Corner, NECN, 10: 30 a.m.  Steve Fredette and Aman Narang, co-founders of Toast, a restaurant management platform, talk about their five-year sprint from start-up to $1.4 billion.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. Special live gubernatorial debate between Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and Democratic challenger Jay Gonzalez.

This is New England, NBC Boston Channel 10, 11:30 a.m. With host Latoyia Edwards, this week’s main topic: Celebrating Halloween in New England with the Four-Handed Illusions, the Jack O’ Lantern Journey at the Franklin Park Zoo, and how to get the perfect Halloween makeup.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s main topic: Fabulous Women, with talks with Rebekah Salwasser, the first woman of color to serve as executive director of the Boston Red Sox Foundation, and a look at other notable women.  

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


City plan for Dot waterfront resilience rests in state hands – Dorchester Reporter

Harvard and MIT are flush with Saudi money . Now that’s coming under scrutiny – Boston Globe


Assumption College announces partnership with Worcester Red Sox – Telegram & Gazette

Judge OKs lawsuit against Hingham by former employee – Patriot Ledger

Early morning train from Boston to Framingham being eliminated – Worcester Business Journal

Orange and Athol will temporarily share a police chief – Greenfield Recorder


Is Bitcoin secretly messing with the midterms? – Politico

Trump considering plan to ban entry of migrants at southern border – Washington Post

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