Happening Today

Columbus Day holiday

— Today is Columbus Day. Most federal, state and local government offices are closed, as are banks.

— Gov. Charlie Baker delivers remarks at the American Council of Life Insurers Annual Conference, Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton Street, Boston, 12:15 p.m.

— The Fenway Alliance hosts its 2019 ‘Opening Our Doors’ festival, where businesses and cultural landmarks across the neighborhood will offer free performances, art displays, tours and more, Christian Science Plaza, 10 a.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

More Nobel hardware headed to Cambridge

Three Cambridge-based researchers have been named winners of this year’s Nobel Prize for Economics, as more hardware from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences heads to the Boston area. The Associated Press reports at Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo of MIT will share the prize with Harvard’s Michael Kremer for their “experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.’’


Columbus Day: Dying on the vine?

As more and more communities ditch Columbus Day for Indigenous People’s Day (Boston Herald), Elaine Thompson at the Telegram reports that, in Worcester, the holiday we celebrate today is sort of fading away for another reason: Lack of interest. Specifically, lack of interest in the city’s annual Columbus Day parade. But organizers say the’ll be back next year.

Speaking of October holidays (official and non-official), the Globe’s Maria Lovato has an update on the towns rethinking this year’s Halloween trick-or-treating due to EEE fears.


Report: Feds investigating properties linked to former ZBA member

This isn’t exactly the audit angle the Walsh administration had hoped the media would take. From Isaiah Thompson at WGBH: “Federal law enforcement authorities are looking into properties linked to a former member of Boston’s Zoning Board of Appeal, according to an independent audit of the ZBA released by city officials Friday.”


For Kennedy, thank goodness Roger Mudd isn’t around anymore

His great uncle once infamously bungled a “Why do you want to be president” question from Roger Mudd way back when. U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III isn’t exactly repeating the same campaign mistake, but he’s nevertheless struggling to frame his candidacy for U.S. Senate, as Michael Jonas reports at CommonWealth magazine.

Btw: Roger Mudd is now long retired, as noted by Wikipedia, which has a segment on Mudd’s famous “Ted Kennedy interview.”


Give it up, Dan

Speaking of candidates struggling to come up with a clear campaign message, Brian Jencunas, a Republican strategist writing at CommonWealth magazine, says Dan Koh once against lacks a compelling case for why he, and not Lori Trahan, should represent the Third District in Congress. From Jencunas: “The minor campaign finance issue involving Trahan that Koh wants to use as to justify his campaign is the kind of process story that only matters to political insiders. A winning answer to ‘Why should I vote for Dan Koh?’ isn’t ‘Lori Trahan commingled her campaign funds with her husband’s money.’” 

Warren’s deliberately fake Facebook ads

To make her point that Facebook regularly runs political ads that are filled with false claims, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren ran her own fake ads on Facebook, i.e. that Mark Zuckerberg was backing Donald Trump. But … but isn’t he? Effectively so, we thought. Anyway, the NYT has the details.

Btw: Bernie Sanders is asserting that Warren is a flat-out capitalist, MassLive reports. Strangely, he left out the standard “running-dog” qualifier before “capitalist.” Btw, II: In terms of campaign offices in key battleground states, Warren and Pete Buttigieg are crushing the competition, the NYT reports.


Who gets the byline? Herald to use Artificial Intelligence to cover high school sports

And we thought the Globe hit rock bottom when it recently announced it was using journalism students to cover news. Media critic Dan Kennedy reports on the latest staff cuts at the Herald – and the reported plans by the paper’s hedge-fund owner to outsource copy editing and use Artificial Intelligence to cover local high school sports. We have no idea what the latter entails, but we’re pretty sure it costs less than the already below minimum wage that papers routinely pay high-school sports stringers.

Dan Kennedy

From the Big Dig to the Big Rail: It’s time

James Aloisi, the former secretary of transportation, and Stan Rosenberg, the former Senate president, say it’s time to think big again, as in “Big Rail,” i.e. an all-out effort to expand and improve rail service throughout Massachusetts as a way to deal with congested roadways. They know it will cost a bundle (no numbers provided), but they say it’s time to act aggressively and they have a list of preliminary and long-term projects they’d like to see tackled.

Btw, here’s the type of problem a Big Rail push will inevitably encounter, via Wicked Local: “Sudbury rail corridor dispute reaches Supreme Judicial Court.”


Judge hands setback to Healey and other AGs in Purdue Pharma case

It’s technically a temporary setback. But it’s still a setback that could get worse for Attorney General Maura Healey and other AGs legally going after the Oxycontin Gang. The Associated Press reports that a judge in New Jersey has decided to “pause litigation” against Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family – and the judge sure doesn’t sound like a fan of pending lawsuits in general against the duo.

AP News

MGH to create mock-up of a safe-injection site

It’s just a mock-up, Andrew Lelling. Just a mock-up. From Seth Daniel at the Charlestown Patriot Bridge: “In the battle against the opiate epidemic, the Charlestown MGH Health Center is taking a big step in creating a mock Safe Injection Facility (SIFs) at the High Street facility next week – putting together what a real SIF might look like and talking about the benefits of this controversial tool in the opioid fight.” Daniel’s piece via Universal Hub.

Patriot Bridge

Cannabis firm sues Springfield, citing ‘hot mic’ comment

File under: Anything you say can and will be used against you. Insa Inc. has sued the Springfield City Council after its proposal for a dispensary in that city was denied by a single vote — and claims that live microphones picked up what the company claims is an incriminating conversation during a meeting break. Jim Kinney of MassLive has the details. 

Meanwhile, the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett (pay wall) reports that some patients trying to buy cannabis think the entire system is a “big fat failure.”


Working overtime to deny overtime?

Gov. Charlie Baker’s move to slip a provision into the supplemental budget that would deny certain commission-paid employees overtime pay isn’t going unnoticed by Yvonne Abraham at the Globe and Philip Gordon at CommonWealth Magazine, both of whom are separately criticizing Baker’s stand against the car, mattress and furniture sellers of the world, or at least those in Massachusetts.

Straus to Baker: We want those RMV documents

Gov. Charlie Baker has denied that the Registry of Motor Vehicles is withholding key documents related to the records-keeping scandal at the agency. But Rep. William Straus thinks otherwise, saying he has “every reason to believe” there are more documents to air, reports the Globe’s Matt Stout. Meanwhile, the Herald’s Mary Markos reports that some RMV employees knew as far back as 2011 that the state was ignoring out-of-state license suspension notifications, yet another timeline twist that Straus wants to know more about.

Friends in high places: Still-striking Marshfield trash collectors gain Bernie’s nod

He’s with them. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders has lent his support to a six-week long strike by trash collection workers in Marshfield and neighboring towns, Shaun Robinson reports in the Patriot Ledger. Sanders cited the millions of dollars in stock dividends paid out annually by Republic Services while workers “struggle to put food on the table.” Union reps and the company have met at least eight times since the walkout began with no apparent progress toward ending the strike. 

Patriot Ledger

Lewandowski: Still toying with voters in N.H.

He’s still thinking of running for U.S. Senate? We thought he had given it up. Apparently not. The Globe’s Michael Levenson and James Pindell have the latest on Corey Lewandowski’s continued exploration of a Senate bid in the Granite State, as he, apparently, tries out his imitations of his former boss, Donald Trump.

Boston Globe

Boston Marathon bomber files death-penalty appeal, claims he didn’t get a fair trial

From a report at 7News Boston (WHDH): “Lawyers for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev filed an appeal of his death sentence on Thursday. In the 207-page briefing, his lawyers claim Tsarnaev could not receive a fair trial in Eastern Massachusetts because much of the region was affected by the April 15, 2013 attack. They also say the government used inadmissible evidence during the trial and that Tsarnaev’s constitutional rights were violated.”


Lelling’s latest target: ID theft by illegal immigrants

Christian Wade at the Eagle-Tribune reports how U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling’s office is increasingly going after undocumented immigrants who suddenly find proper ID documents. Except they’re not proper ID documents.

Eagle Tribune

Judge: ICE ‘behaves illegally’

Speaking of immigration and documentation matters, from Fred Thys at WBUR: “A federal judge in Boston is considering the release of three people being held by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after determining they were not interviewed as required by regulation. Judge Mark Wolf of the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts had harsh words for ICE’s treatment of the detainees during Friday’s hearing. The three individuals, all married to Americans, were arrested as they tried establish legal residency.


Here we go again: Wu’s tired idea of abolishing the BPDA

Count the Globe’s Adrian Walker among those not terribly impressed with Councilor Michelle Wu’s call to eliminate the Boston Planning and Development Agency, saying she’s mostly airing long-ago complaints about the agency and offering long-ago solutions for fixing those long-ago complaints.

Watch your step: Hundreds file claims against Boston’s sidewalks

Feel like Boston’s infrastructure is crumbling under your feet? You might be right. WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports more than 550 claims have been filed against the city over trips and falls taken on sidewalks in disrepair in the past five years. Some 140 of the claims remain unresolved and the city says it’s doing its best to address the issue, with 14 miles worth of sidewalks repaired this year alone. 

CBS Boston

What health insurance will and won’t cover: One never knows

The Globe’s Sean P. Murphy, as part of the paper’s excellent “Fine Print” feature, reports how a Mashpee woman called Harvard Pilgrim to find out if her planned ankle surgery would be covered by her insurance. Yes, she was told, with caveats. The caveats won, of course. She got socked with a $2,800 bill.

Note: Don’t get us started on the games insurers now play when it comes to co-pays, deductibles, caveats galore. No one really knows these days what a simple doctor’s visit will cost, let alone hospital surgery. The word “outrageous” does spring to mind.

The Shaw 54th: Restoring the Memorial & Dialogue on Race

Positioned strategically on Boston Common opposite the Massachusetts State House, the Shaw 54th Regiment Memorial is at the heart of a powerful narrative that unfolds along Boston’s Black Heritage Trail. The restoration of the Shaw 54th coincides with the solemn year-long commemoration of the 400th anniversary of slavery in North America.

Friends of the Public Garden, Museum of African American History, National Park Service, Commissioner of Boston Parks and Recreation and City of Boston

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

2019 Financial Experience Design Conference

FXD, 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.


Revolutionize – Presented by Aging2.0 Boston & Age Friendly Foundation

The Boston Chapter of Aging 2.0, together with the Age Friendly Foundation, is pleased to announce “Revolutionize”. Join us on October 25, 2019 at the Seaport Hotel in Boston for our inaugural conference. Let’s revolutionize our approach to aging by promoting creative collaborations among the varied sectors engaged in aging services.

Aging2.0 Boston & Age Friendly Foundation

The Good Fight, ADL’s Forum on Confronting Anti-Semitism

Join the Boston community for an informative and hands-on day dedicating to combating anti-Semitism. This one-day forum will include presentations by leading experts on anti-Semitism and skill building workshops for adults, students, and families. Participants will leave with an actionable toolkit for confronting anti-Semitism.

ADL New England

WorldBoston 10th Annual Consuls Reception

The Consuls Reception convenes the 60-member local Consular Corps and some 200 leaders from business, government, academia, and the arts for a lively evening of networking, hors d’oeuvres, and drinks – all against the sparkling backdrop of Boston Harbor by night. Ambassador Susan E. Rice, the former National Security Advisor and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, will provide remarks.


Today’s Headlines


Wealth report shows Boston ready for more luxury growth – Boston Business Journal


Worcester mom says son, 12, suspended for hugging teacher – Telegram & Gazette

Cape schools see sharp rise in number of English language learners – Cape Cod Times

Porreca says Heroux tried to ‘sabotage’ Attleboro High project; mayor fires back – Sun Chronicle

Woman dies of apparent overdose on commuter rail train – MassLive


Press organization condemns fake massacre by Trump depicted at pro-Trump event – Politico

Amazon Is Firing Its Delivery Firms Following People’s Deaths – BuzzFeed News

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