Happening Today

Wentworth president, law enforcement awards, and more

— Boston Mayor Martin Walsh offers remarks at the inauguration ceremony of Mark A. Thompson, the fifth president of Wentworth Institute of Technology, Wentworth Institute of Technology, 550 Huntington Avenue, Boston, 10 a.m

Travis McCready, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, will serve as a moderator for the German-American Business Council of Boston’s inaugural forum on health care innovation, Northeastern University, 281 St. Botolph St., Boston, 10:45 a.m.

— The MBTA’s Rail Vision Advisory Committee, which is tasked with studying long-term projects to upgrade the commuter rail system, meets, State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 10 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker is scheduled to present the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s 36th annual Trooper George Hanna Awards along with Hanna’s daughters, Kimberly and Deborah, House Chamber, 11 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker joins Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders to introduce a health care bill proposal, Room 157, 1:30 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

‘Bombogenesis’: Nearly 70,000 still without power after storm rips through region

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency reports that nearly 70,000 customers were still without power as of earlier this morning as result of the “bombogenesis” storm that hit the region late Wednesday and early Thursday. 

The good news: That number is down from about 300,000 who lost power. The bad news: It could take till tomorrow to restore service to everyone. Michelle Williams at MassLive has more on the power outages that hit coastal areas and central Massachusetts particularly hard. Meanwhile, Boston Magazine and Universal Hub and MassLive have photos and videos of all the damage and crazy events caused by the storm.


‘Teflon Charlie’: Despite scandals, Baker still riding high in polls

The Globe’s James Pindell reports that Gov. Charlie Baker’s poll numbers in Massachusetts remain high – and we’re talking a 73-percent approval rating – despite all the controversies and scandals at the Registry of Motor Vehicles, State Police, MBTA etc.

Perhaps this SHNS story (pay wall) partially explains why Charlie Baker remains so popular among people who just want governors to do their job: “Baker: People Didn’t Hire Me to Talk Presidential Politics.”

Boston Globe

Troopers accused of taking free guns from vendor

Speaking of ongoing controversies and scandals, the State Police are back in the news again. From Scott Croteau at MassLive: “Two retired Massachusetts State Police troopers are now facing criminal charges after authorities said they took free guns from a prospective vendor and weapons from the state police armory, even though the weapons were deemed unserviceable, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced.”


The Warren-Zuck War

Facebook titan Mark Zuckerberg gave a “full-throated defense” of his social-media company yesterday amid recent criticism from Elizabeth Warren and others that Facebook is tolerating a flood of false political advertising on its platform. Zuckerberg insists his company won’t become an arbiter of free speech, even if that speech includes lies. The NYT and the Washington Post have more.

In response, Warren says Zuckerberg’s comments show how “unprepared Facebook is to handle the 2020 election” and that Facebook could end up profiting off a Trump victory next year, the Hill reports.

Massachusetts big donors sure love Joe

By at least one measure, Joe Biden is still doing well in the Dem presidential race. The former vice president has recorded more maximum-level contributions from new donors in Massachusetts than any other Democrat in the race, Callum Borchers reports at WBUR. Biden received at least 74 such contributions, nearly triple the second-place finisher, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Elizabeth Warren — who has sworn off big-ticket fundraisers — still managed to collect at least 22 such gifts. 


Acting tough: Temporary mayor fires Correia co-conspirator

He’s not just keeping the seat warm. Acting Fall River Mayor Cliff Ponte has fired the head of the Bristol County Training Consortium, who is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to charges connected to the federal indictments of Mayor-on-Leave Jasiel Correia, Jo C. Goode reports at the Herald News.

Meanwhile, the Herald News also has a fun looking at what else one could buy with the nearly $26,000 that Correia will continue to collect during his self-imposed leave of absence.

Herald News

New Hampshire’s Iwo Jima flag raiser: He was a fraud?

In so many ways, this is sad. After a long investigation, the Marine Corps has concluded that Private First Class Rene Gagnon of New Hampshire was not one of the flag raisers in the iconic photo of GIs hoisting Old Glory on Iwo Jima during WWII, as the Globe’s Brian MacQuarrie reports. So if he wasn’t one of the flag raisers, why did the now-deceased Gagnon say for years afterward that he was? His son, understandably, feels “betrayed” and wonders why his father never told him the truth.

Boston Globe

Are Kerry and Romney on the same page on Turkey?

In a Globe op-ed, former U.S. Sen. and secretary of state John Kerry is lambasting President Trump’s greenlight to Turkey to attack Kurdish allies in Syria, saying it’s led to slaughter and chaos in the region. From Kerry: “Congratulations, Mr. President: You just made it more likely that a future president will face the awful decision of whether to go back in, with fewer countries by our side.”

Meanwhile, former Massachusetts governor and current Utah Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican, is ripping into Trump’s policy, suggesting that the president may have meekly backed down on our Syria policy under pressure/threats from Turkey, according to a Washington Post piece headlined “Romney raises a troubling theory about Trump and Turkey.”

Free to a good home: Army Corps may give Cape bridges to state after rebuild

They’ve got a couple bridges to give us. The Army Corps of Engineers is considering the possibility of turning the two bridges to Cape Cod over to the state after they are rebuilt in the coming decade, Ethan Genter reports at the Cape Cod Times. The Corps is taking public comments on recently unveiled plans to build two new crossings and the state’s Congressional delegation has urged the Corps to include funding needed to keep the project on track in its budget for next year. 

Cape Cod Times

Is a ‘regressive’ gas tax really the way to fund transportation?

Speaking of transportation matters, Michael Jonas at CommonWealth magazine reports on a new study that argues boosting the gas tax is a regressive and unfair way to pay for the state’s transportation needs. But if a gas-tax hike is necessary, there are ways to lessen its burden on lower-income residents. Jonas has more.


Meanwhile, Pressley pushes to make ‘equity’ center stage in transportation debate

Another transportation-related (and equity) item: Fresh of her launch of a “Future of Transportation Caucus” in Congress, U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley co-writes a Globe opinion piece with Michelle Wu and Stacy Thompson arguing that a more equitable transportation policy is needed in general, one that doesn’t ignore the needs of lower-income communities. Among other things, they basically say that enough is enough when it comes to new transportation projects. It’s time to focus on fixing what we have.

Sweet or bittersweet? Amazon turning old NECCO candy plant into distribution center

Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin and the BBJ’s Lucia Muffei (pay wall) report that Amazon has leased the old NECCO candy factory in Revere and plans to turn it into a “deliveray station,” potentially bringing hundreds of jobs to the site.

Rebuffed in the House, Baker turns to Senate to save tax relief plan

SHNS’s Colin Young reports that Gov. Charlie Baker, whose income-tax exemption plan was effectively rejected by the House earlier this week, is now hoping he can get the Senate to go along with his tax-relief proposal.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

SJC justice criticizes state’s handling of Sonja Farak lab case

File under: ‘No kidding.’ The Globe’s Maggie Mulvihill and Beverly Ford report that a Supreme Judicial Court justice has ruled the state “failed in its duty to investigate the work of the drug-addled chemist at a Boston laboratory whose flawed tests at another state lab led to the dismissal of thousands of convictions.” We’re talking about disgraced lab chemist Sonja Farak, not to be confused with her disgraced lab co-worker Annie Dookhan.

‘PAC man Markey’

We assume U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III’s team now has (or had)  this one in their oppositional-research file. From the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld: “U.S. Sen. Edward Markey continues to rake in special-interest PAC money and contributions from fossil fuel lobbying firms, despite a pledge to turn down corporate PACs and ‘dirty’ money with a big carbon footprint, records show.”

Boston Herald

Senate passes the once controversial caregivers registry bill

Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports that the Massachusetts Senate has unanimously passed legislation that would create a registry of care providers accused of abusing disabled people they’re supposed to be serving. It’s a bill that’s been somewhat controversial in the past – but, judging by yesterday’s unanimous vote, it’s controversial no more.

Btw: SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall) reports that the Senate yesterday also passed a wide-ranging bill aimed at improving children’s health. 


Meehan aide tapped to lead Mount Ida campus

Kind of think of the appointee as a Roman Empire-like praefectus. From SHNS’s Michael Norton: “UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy has appointed a top communications aide to system President Marty Meehan to serve as managing director of the Mount Ida Campus of UMass Amherst.” 

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

What’s with John Henry’s continued interest in Everett casino?

He’s previously expressed interest in buying the Encore Boston Harbor casino in Everett. Now Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine is reporting that Wynn Resorts has also held some preliminary discussions with Henry, owner of the Red Sox and Boston Globe, about joining in the development of land across the street from the casino.


Brady ethics probe nearly completed

All that’s really left is the timing of the final report’s release, apparently. From SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall): “Nearly four months after opening an investigation into Brockton Sen. Michael Brady’s drunk driving case, the Senate Ethics Committee is close to issuing its report that could recommend additional discipline for the Democrat after he entered a plea deal in June to resolve charges.”

Sunday public affairs TV: Maura Healey, Brenda Cassellius and more

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Attorney General Maura Healey, who talks with host Jon Keller about the Purdue Pharma battle, the vaping ban and other issues.  

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Jim Rooney, head of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce on jobs growth, congestion pricing, Encore Boston Harbor and other issues;  Stephanie Kaplan Lewis,  co-founder and editor of Her Campus, and Lakshmi Balachandra, assistant professor of entrepreneurship at Babson College, discuss what it takes for women to overcome challenges to business growth.  

CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. Lola.com chief executive Mike Volpe and chief technical officer and co-founder Paul English discuss their firm’s business travel app.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius, who talks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu, followed by a roundtable political discussion with Democratic political analyst Mary Anne Marsh and Republican political analyst Rob Gray.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s main topic: A special edition honoring Harriet Tubman.  

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


Lynn candidates debate for a 9th time – Lynn Item

Berklee President Roger H. Brown To Step Down In 2021 – WBUR


Framingham city council consider first-ever noise ordinance – MetroWest Daily News

Attleboro records $7.5 million surplus, largest in a decade – Sun Chronicle

State report: Student discipline down in Worcester in 2019 but racial gaps persist – Telegram & Gazette


‘Get over it’: Mulvaney’s twin admissions put Trump at the center of emoluments and Ukraine controversies – Washington Post

Shoelaces, ice cream and flower power: The weirdest things the 2020 candidates bought – Politico

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