Happening Today

MBTA board meeting, DCF hearing, Markey at Tufts

— The Joint Committee on Education reviews bills dealing with charter schools, Room A-1, 11 a.m.

— The MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board meets with an agenda calling for discussion of the Rail Vision study of potential commuter rail investments, pilot programs, the T retirement fund’s board of directors and more, State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 12 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker will address more than 1,100 human services workers and nonprofit executives at the Provider’s Council’s 44th Annual Convention and Expo, Marriott Copley Place Hotel, 110 Huntington Ave., Boston, 1:15 p.m.

Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities meets to consider legislation that would overhaul how the state Department of Children and Families submits regular accountability reports to lawmakers, Room A-2, 3 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker joins Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, state officials, public safety leaders, and advocates for an event highlighting the Administration’s proposed impaired driving legislation, Room 360, 3 p.m.

— U.S. Sen. Ed Markey participates in a conversation on climate change and the senator’s Green New Deal with Tufts Professor of Economics Gilbert Metcalf, Cohen Auditorium, Aidekman Arts Center, Tufts University, 40 Talbot Avenue, Somerville, 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

Dana-Farber/Harvard researcher among trio to win Nobel Prize

First off, a big congratulates to William G. Kaelin Jr., the Harvard and Dana-Farber researcher who has won, along with two others, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work on cell metabolism. Scott Neuman at WBUR and Emily Sweeney at the Globe have the details.

Education bill hits snag after Senate’s last-minute amendments

The Globe’s Matt Stout reports that last-minute amendments by the Senate to the $1.5 billion education funding bill is eroding some of the support for the legislation on Beacon Hill. How much erosion isn’t clear, but the Senate’s reworking/watering down of school accountability measures in the bill have ticked off many, Stout writes.

Boston Globe

RMV’s Friday audit dump: Lots of questions remain on Monday

An independent audit of the Registry of Motor Vehicles finds that its shoddy records-keeping actually goes back decades and that a DOT board panel deserves some of the blame for RMV’s recent administrative problems, according to reports by Tanner Stening at MassLive and Andy Metzger at CommonWealth magazine.

But the Herald is pounding into the timing of the audit’s release on a Friday (of course) and the fact that DOT apparently withheld thousands of documents from auditors. The Herald’s Howie Carr says the audit is nothing more than a “not my fault” spin by Gov. Charlie Baker.

Warren campaign fires a top staffer for ‘inappropriate behavior’

No one knows exactly why, but U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign has fired Rich McDaniel, a top staffer, after receiving “multiple complaints regarding inappropriate behavior,” reports the Washington Post. Well, at least there’s this, we suppose: “The complaints about McDaniel did not involve sexual assault or rape, according to a person familiar with the investigation.”

Washington Post

So is Warren struggling to attract black voters or not?

The New York Times has the latest story on U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s apparent failure to attract significant African-American support. But the NYT’s take comes only days after this Politico story: “Warren gets ‘dramatic shift’ in support from black voters.”

Btw, from the Washington Post: “Will Medicare-for-all hurt the middle class? Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders struggle with questions about its impact..” Btw II, from the Globe: “If Warren wins, former UN ambassador Samantha Power says she wouldn’t ‘rule out’ a run for her Senate seat.” Keep in mind she’s also not ruling out becoming the next Sox GM. Btw III, Dem presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has an op-ed in Warren’s hometown newspaper this morning, headlined: “My bold plan for affordable prescription drugs.”


Federal judge: Vaping ban stays – for now

WCVB reports that a federal judge has ruled that Gov. Charlie Baker’s emergency four-month ban on the sale of all vaping products in Massachsetts can remain in place – at least until the next hearing later this month.


Boston Center for the Arts chief resigns amid allegations of inappropriate conduct

Another “inappropriate” case. The head of the Boston Center for Arts, Gregory Ruffer, has suddenly resigned amid allegations of inappropriate behavior while he worked at a college in Florida several years ago. Cristela Guerra at WBUR, which first broke the story on the controversy, and John Hilliard at the Globe have more.

While we’re at it, the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett reports that South Shore Health’s CEO, previously placed on leave after a tumultuous management time at the hospital, is now gone for good.

Kennedy rejects debate hosted by Environmental League at Tufts

U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III agrees in principle with the idea of holding a climate-change debate against U.S. Sen. Ed Markey and other Senate candidates. Just not a debate this year sponsored by the Environmental League of Massachusetts at Tufts University. Nik DeCosta-Klipa at Boston.com has Kennedy’s reasons for why he does and doesn’t want a climate-change debate.

Meanwhile, the Globe’s Victoria McGrane ponders why the Kennedy-Markey contest hasn’t reached the slugfest stage yet. Hey, it’s early. Give ‘em time. Meanwhile, from WBUR’s Kimberly Atkins: “Here Are The Issues Markey And Kennedy Have Focused On In D.C.” And Matt Szafranski at WMP&I provides his assessment of Markey’s recent swing through western Mass.


Encore Boston Harbor: Now offering incentives to drive to the casino?

After winning praise for its traffic mitigation plans that may have led to far less car congestion than anticipated (CommonWealth), Encore Boston Harbor is now offering free parking at its glitzy new casino in Everett. Douglas Hook at MassLive has more on what sure looks like a move that’s encouraging people to drive more, not less.


Trick-or-treating hours moved due to EEE concerns in Methuen

CBS Boston reports that the city of Methuen has decided that Halloween trick-or-treating will be held a little earlier this year, before dusk, to avoid mosquito exposure amid the EEE scare. But moving it smack in the middle of the afternoon traffic rush? Just thinking aloud.

Here’s some good news on the EEE front, via WBUR: “5-Year-Old Sudbury Girl Who Contracted EEE Released From Hospital.”

CBS Boston

The long arm of Turkey: Celts’ Kanter says he was harassed outside local mosque by Erdoğan backers

Mike Pascaro at NECN reports that new Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter is saying he was harassed outside a Cambridge mosque by backers of Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whose increasingly authoritarian regime has been criticized by Kanter. The native of Turkey says the incident was “crazy and scary,” reports Steve Hewitt at the Herald.

Oh, look, via the NYT: “Trump Endorses Turkish Military Operation in Syria, Shifting U.S. Policy.” Shifting policy, it should be said, against our steadfast Kurdish allies in the region.


Lawmakers weigh ‘nuclear option’ for Columbia Gas

Christian Wade at the Gloucester Times reports that some Merrimack Valley lawmakers think it’s time to go “nuclear,” so to speak, against Columbia Gas, stripping the utility of its license to operate gas pipelines in the state. Speaking of Columbia Gas, from the Eagle-Tribune: “Hearing on $143 million gas disaster settlement set for Monday.”

Gloucester Times

New Englanders invade Washington, seize stadium during Pats game

Tom Brady is calling it “ridiculous” (Washington Post) while Bill Belichick exhibited what appears to be an emotion by exclaiming “Oh my God” (MassLive). What are they reacting to? The thousands of Pats fan who descended on Washington’s FedEx Field yesterday, making the Pats feel right at home during their victorious showdown against the Redskins.

‘The Florida spa raids were aimed at men, but women paid a far steeper price’

Speaking of the Patriots, the team’s owner, Robert Kraft, and other guys seem to be getting off rather light in the Orchids of Asia Day Spa case compared to the women who allegedly provided certain services to them in Florida. Kraft hasn’t even set foot in a courtroom, let alone a jail, unlike the ladies, as the Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert reports. 

Boston Globe

Mystery solved: Haymarket ‘garbage’ art is salvaged

Isabella Stewart Gardner heist sleuths, take note: It took only days for authorities to find the missing “garbage” art that was installed in the ground near Boston’s Haymarket, exonerating DOT in the process. Andy Metzger at CommonWealth magazine has the details on the dinged-up-but-safe sculpture pieces.


Keeping with tradition, Wu calls for abolishing development agency

The name may change, but not the long tradition of hostility towards it. The Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter reports that City Councilor Michelle Wu is now joining a decades-long list of mayoral hopefuls calling for elimination of the Boston Planning & Development Agency, previously known as the Boston Redevelopment Agency. The Globe’s Tim Logan has more.

Boston Herald

The perfect image, Part II

The Globe’s Tim Logan has a piece this morning on that parcel of landthat straddles the Boston/Brookline border – the one where a developer wants to put multifamily housing on one side (Boston) and two single-family homes on the other (Brookline). The Globe’s apt headline “The Boston-area housing crunch, distilled in one property.”

Hey, while we’re at it, the Globe’s Adrian Walker is bashing the allegedly progressive Brookline for its handling of a racially-charged case involving its police department.

Baker hit for thinking small on solar

Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine reports that Sen. Marc Pacheco of Taunton is among those prodding Gov. Charlie Baker to think bigger when it comes to his plans for an 800-megawatts expansion of the so-called SMART solar program, saying climate change demands faster and more aggressive action.


Free the poles: Lawmakers says dropping fees would boost broadband uptake

Good luck with this one. North Adams state Rep. John Barrett III has proposed legislation that would eliminate “make ready” fees that utilities charge to allow new wires on their networks, a move he says would be a major boost to cities and towns still struggling to provide broadband connections to homes and businesses, Larry Parnass reports at the Berkshire Eagle. Barrett’s late-file bill has gained multiple co-sponsors but is likely to see strong pushback from utilities, which have reaped tens of millions of dollars from the fees in recent years. 

Berkshire Eagle

Growing pains? Framingham mayor, council spar over economic development plans

The city of Framingham, which only a short while ago was a mere town, has been without an economic development director for three months, raising alarms from some city councilors who are pointing the finger at Mayor Yvonne Spicer, Jeannette Hinkle reports at the MetroWest Daily News. Councilors are upset that some federal block grant funds are going unspent but Spicer points to recent successes as evidence the department is running smoothly even without a director. 

MetroWest Daily News

Train building: Sarno blasts T for bypassing Springfield factory

We can build ‘em. That’s the message from Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno to the MBTA, which late last month issued a $279 million contract for new commuter rail train cars to a South Korean company rather than the Chinese-based company that operates a factory in his city. Jim Kinney at MassLive reports Sarno wants more explanations for why the T chose Hyundai Rotem over CCRC, which built a $95 million factory in East Springfield in part to build cars for the MBTA. 


Marlborough voters will eliminate one candidate from mayor’s race Tuesday

If you’re favorite season is election season, you’re in luck. Marlborough holds one of the state’s last preliminary municipal elections on Tuesday and voters will pare the mayoral field from three to two heading into November. Jeff Malachowski at the MetroWest Daily News reports two challengers–business owner Keith St. John and local police officer David Garceau–are seeking to bump incumbent Paul Vigeant, who is seeking a fifth straight term. 

MetroWest Daily News

Boston Speakers Series: John Kerry

Kerry served as United States Secretary of State during President Barack Obama’s second term. He represented Massachusetts in the United States Senate for nearly thirty years, and was the Democratic Party’s nominee for president in 2004.

Lesley University

Discussion: Building Urgency and Political Will

There are many policy solutions that could have impact, but their viability is challenged by the lack of urgency and broad political will that is needed to get municipal leaders to lead on a crisis that their constituents may not currently feel.

Next Level Housing Solutions

Forever at Home – An Evening to Celebrate and Support Boston Senior Home Care

Boston Senior Home Care’s Annual Fundraiser will be held at the beautiful Mandarin Oriental in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood on October 16, 2019. This annual event raises about $175,000 each year for BSHC thanks to our sponsors, donors and attendees. The event is a fun night filled with music from Boston’s own Rich DiMare, delicious food and drink, and amazing auction items to bid on!

Boston Senior Home Care

Race in the Public Dialogue: History, Free Speech and Civil Rights

Panelists will focus on the history of free speech and civil rights in the context of academia and the university campus.

Museum of African American History

Boston Speakers Series: Zanny Minton Beddoes

Named one of the “Most Powerful Women in the World” by Forbes, Beddoes is the first female editor-in-chief of The Economist, a post she has held since 2015. Prior to her 25-year tenure with The Economist, she was an economist at the International Monetary Fund.

Lesley University

Today’s Headlines


Cambridge fire inspectors pointed to irrelevant state law to threaten bar with shutdown, judges declare – Cambridge Day

Surprise recovery: Five years after Quincy hospital’s closure, many fears go unrealized – Boston Business Journal


Estimate for Barnstable wastewater plans tops $1 billion – Cape Cod Times

Questions raised about Parallel Products contributions to Mayor Mitchell – Standard-Times

Gordon College receives $75.5 million gift – Boston Globe


Nine states that could legalize marijuana in 2020 – Motley Fool

Trump pins Ukraine call on Energy Secretary Rick Perry – Axios

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