Happening Today

Congestion pricing, Democratic presidential debate, and more

Joint Committee on Transportation holds a hearing to review bills on congestion pricing, vehicle emissions, commuter rail and the makeup of the MBTA board, Room B-1, 10 a.m.

— Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and other local leaders gather to celebrate the next step in a project to reconstruct the Shaw 54th Memorial in the Boston Common, Shaw 54th Regiment Memorial, Boston Common, 10:30 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker joins Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Secretary of Education James Peyser, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Jeff Riley, Undersecretary of Homeland Security Jeanne Benincasa Thorpe, Rep. Hank Naughton and local officials to host a roundtable discussion about school safety, Walsh Middle School, Library, 301 Brook Street, Framingham, 11:30 a.m.


— Gov. Charlie Baker participates in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Sanofi digital manufacturing facility, 8 New York Ave., Framingham, 12:45 p.m.

— Democratic candidates for president take part in a televised CNN/New York Times debate, Otterbein University, Westerville, Ohio, 8 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

In case you missed it …

In case you missed MassterList over the Columbus Day holiday, here’s some of what we covered in yesterday’s edition of the newsletter: Feds investigating properties linked to former ZBA member …. Warren’s deliberately fake Facebook ads … For Kennedy, thank goodness Roger Mudd isn’t around anymore … Give it up, Dan … From the Big Dig to the Big Rail: It’s time. … and much more.


Fall River’s Correia to take leave, suspend campaign – and keep his salary

He’s stepping back, but he’s not apologizing. Twice-indicted Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia will take a leave of absence from City Hall and suspend his campaign for re-election but says he’ll continue to cash his paychecks and isn’t admitting any wrongdoing, Michael Levenson reports at the Globe. Correia said he decided to step back because his legal woes were becoming a distraction for the city. “It’s certainly not an apology and it’s certainly not an admission of anything more or less than the fact that I’ve fulfilled my duties as mayor,” he says.

Boston Globe

Flipping the bird at the local paper?

Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia’s decision to give the Globe the scoop on his leave-of-absence decision — which the Herald News reports came shortly after he hired Boston PR legend George Regan — sure seems like a clear shot at the local paper, which has broken several damaging stories on the mayor during his tenure, including a report on a secret campaign meeting where Correia plotted to win re-election by drawing new candidates into the race and splitting the opposition vote.

Herald News

Pemberton quits Senate race in monumental huff

Citing ‘blacklisting’ of challengers and the ‘impenetrable wall of legacy and birthright’ favoring incumbents, Steve Pemberton says he’s ending his insurgent campaign for U.S. Senate. Alyssa Vaughn at Boston Magazine and Jeremy Fox at the Globe have more on the campaign that never took off, before or after U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III decided to challenge U.S. Sen. Ed Markey. Here’s Pemberton’s lengthy Facebook post announcing his withdrawal, a post that shows a passion that wasn’t much on display before his withdrawal announcement.

The Warren surge: Is it too early to start talking about her potential running mate? Of course not!

As Elizabeth Warren prepares for tonight’s Democratic debate (NYT) and as yet another poll shows she’s now the clear front-running in the Democratic race for president (Washington Post), it’s time to ask: 1.) Why isn’t Warren getting more endorsements from top Democrats? (NYT) and 2.) Who might she pick as a running mate if she wins the Democratic nomination?

As to the latter question, John Ellis, the former Globe columnist and Bush-clan relative, thinks Warren is now “all but certain to be the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee” and says she could well win it all if she sticks to her anti-Wall Street guns and bends a bit on most other issues – and picks a former military person to be her vice presidential  running mate.

Btw: You know those fake Facebook ads Warren deliberately took out last week to embarrass and pressure Mark Zuckerberg? Warren is spending millions of dollars on real Facebook ads, as are other Dem candidates,the NYT reports.

Silly season: Michelle Obama for president?

The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld reports that a new Franklin Pierce University-Boston Herald poll shows that former First Lady Michelle Obama would become the “instant front-runner” if she jumped into the New Hampshire Democratic primary. But she’s not going to jump into the race, so, just to be safe, the Franklin Pierce University-Boston Herald survey did ask who NH voters preferred if Michelle wasn’t a candidate and … Elizabeth Warren is narrowly leading in the Granite State.

Btw, the Herald also reports that New Hampshire voters are now leaning in support of the impeachment inquiry.

Boston Herald

With Biden faltering, Bloomberg takes another look at running

He ruled out a run not so long ago. But former New York Mayor (and proud Medford native) Michael Bloomberg is reportedly reassessing whether to throw his hat into the Dem presidential ring, now that moderate Joe Biden is stumbling badly, reports CNBC. Needless to say, the billionaire Bloomberg, formerly a Republican before he became a Democrat again, is no fan of Elizabeth Warren.


Don’t blame Marty: Globe loses two veteran reporters to the Times

You can’t blame Marty Baron and the Washington Post (BBJ) for these losses. Citing a NYT announcement, Universal Hub reports the Times has hired two current Globe reporters (Maria Cramer and Michael Levenson) and one former Globe reporter (Johnny Diaz).

Universal Hub

AI journalism: It’s definitely coming, both the real and fake kind

Speaking of the media: After our post yesterday on the Herald reportedly moving towards using Artificial Intelligence to cover high school sports (“Who gets the byline?”), this Wall Street Journal article obviously caught our attention: “Readers beware: AI has learned to create fake news stories.”

WSJ (pay wall)

Musket that fired first shot at Battle of Bunker Hill may fetch $300K at auction

Emergency alert to local history buffs: A colonial-era musket reportedly once owned by John Simpson, who is believed to have fired (against orders) the first shot at the Battle of Bunker Hill, is being put up for auction by descendants and could fetch $300,000, reports Bob Scaffer at WBUR. One quibble with the story: When did the line “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes” become “infamous”? As we said, just a quibble.


He’s got the goods: Straus charges Baker administration with RMV coverup

From Mike Deehan at WGBH: “House Transportation Committee Co-Chairman Rep. William Straus says he has evidence that Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration is withholding documents related to the Registry of Motor Vehicles’ backlog of unprocessed out of state road violations like the one connected to the fatal crash in New Hampshire that claimed seven lives.” The administration is adamantly denying it’s withholding documents. Stay tuned.


Taunton man becomes state’s fourth EEE fatality of year

Citing a Taunton Gazette article that we’re having trouble accessing, WCVB is reporting that a Taunton man who contracted EEE more than a month ago has passed away, his family has confirmed. Scott Mosman, a Raynham native and Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School graduate in his 50s, died of EEE on Friday. He is the fourth person to die this year of EEE in Massachusetts.


Framingham kids create ‘Kill the Jews’ social-media page

What the f*&#? Framingham police are now investigating anti-Semitic social media posts – including “Kill the Jews” and “release the gas” — allegedly made by middle school students, reports the Framingham Source and MetroWest Daily News. As we’ve previously suggested after similar anti-Semitic incidents, these kids should be subjected to first-hand talks/lectures from Holocaust survivors and WWII vets (if there’s any still around) who liberated concentration camps. That should be part of any punishment.

The last straw? Lawmakers consider more statewide plastic bans

We’ve got one word for you: Plastics. Lawmakers are slated to hear testimony on a host of bills that would ban or restrict the use of a host of plastics–from single-use shopping bags and straws to helium balloons, Adrian Ma reports at WBUR. The Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture is slated to hear input on some 30 bills on Tuesday.  Christian Wade at the Salem News has more on the proposed plastics bands.


It’s about time: Rating opioid-addiction treatment programs

Deborah Becker at WBUR has an interesting story about a pilot program in which the state will begin collecting data on various treatment programs for opioid addicts. It could lead to the first national quality rating system for such programs. We don’t know if this is part of the motivation for the program, but we do know of some past complaints about subpar treatment programs out there.


Markey picking up support and endorsements in Senate race

If the U.S. Senate race was ultimately decided by the number of endorsements and key staff hires that a candidate receives and makes, incumbent Ed Markey would be the clear front-runner today. Last week, he picked up the endorsement of former state Treasurer Steve Grossman (SHNS – pay wall) and his campaign has now announced that the Rev. Willie Bodrick, associate pastor at the historic Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury, and Sathya Mandjiny, past political director for MassEquality, have joined his re-election team.

The dark side of Springfield’s commentariat

Matt Szafranski at Western Massachusetts Politics & Insight has been sleuthing around the dark side of the Internet – i.e. Facebook and newspaper online comment sections – and finds “racist and homophobic/transphobic comments of a candidate for City Council in Springfield” and nasty comments by others.  


Worcester mother says son, 12, was suspended for hugging gym teacher

Scott O’Connell at the Telegram reports that a Worcester mother is fighting the school suspension of her 12-year-old son, who apparently was hit with a time out for “goofing off” while playing dodgeball and then going out of his way to hug the female gym teacher. But was it a genuine hug of contrition or a smart-aleck hug? You decide.


Columbus Day: Dying on the vine? Part II

Alyssa Vaughn at Boston Magazine and the Associated Press at the Eagle Tribune report on the vandalism of a statue of Christopher Columbus in Providence and other similar incidents across the country, obviously all tied to yesterday’s Columbus Day holiday and the ongoing controversy over honoring a man whose explorations led to enslavement and death for many.

On Vineyard, cooler heads prevail–eventually

It was all one big misunderstanding. A retired Tisbury police officer is back on the job helping school kids cross the street just a couple days after being dismissed and having his personal firearms confiscated after someone reported overhearing comments he made about gaps in school security, Rich Saltzberg reports at the Martha’s Vineyard Times. Local officials say they heard an outpouring of support for 84-year-old Stephen Nichols, who claimed his comments were taken out of context, among other things.

Martha’s Vineyard Times

Full disclosure: Weymouth mayoral candidate reveals 2012 arrest

Ed Cowen, who is seeking to unseat Weymouth Mayor Robert Hedlund next month, has disclosed a 2012 arrest for breaking-and-entering, saying he was battling substance abuse at the time and seeking to focus on his recovery since, Jessica Trufant reports at the Patriot Ledger. Cowen was charged with breaking into a Foxboro convenience store after hours, taking gum and cigarettes and leaving a $5 bill on the counter. The Marine Corps veteran later had his case diverted to a VA drug treatment program. 

Patriot Ledger

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


$20 million gift will launch Harvard autism research center – Boston Business Journal

’The problems could not be more glaring’; Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone joins call for changes to MBTA – MassLive


Tobey Hospital in Wareham breaks ground on $25 million emergency department expansion – Standard-Times

Political notes: Keyes announces run for 5th Barnstable district seat – Cape Cod Times


Exclusive: Trump lawyer Giuliani was paid $500,000 to consult on indicted associate’s firm – Reuters

WeWork reportedly expected to lay off 2,000 workers as early as this week – CNBC

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