Happening Today

Gaming Commission, Governors summit, Senate budget vote

Massachusetts Gaming Commission meets to review pilot study in Boston’s Chinatown on risk factors for problem gambling and public health recommendations, 2020 draft community mitigation fund guidelines, and a Region C follow-up, 101 Federal St., 12th floor, Boston), 10 a.m.

— Attorney General Maura Healey, faculty from Boston University School of Law and representatives from the BU Spark! Initiative at BU’s Hariri Institute for Computing will discuss their joint efforts to combat labor trafficking in Massachusetts, Boston University School of Law, 765 Commonwealth Ave., Charles River Room, 5th floor, Boston, 10:30 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker joins Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont to discuss regional policy issues, Rhode Island College, Gaige Hall, Room 200, 600 Mt. Pleasant Avenue, Providence, 12 p.m.

— The Massachusetts Senate meets in formal session with plans to take up the supplemental budget that will close the books on fiscal year 2019, Senate Chamber, 1 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker visits the Massachusetts Maritime Academy for a ceremony christening what officials describe as the first offshore wind crew training vessel in the nation, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, 101 Academy Drive, Buzzards Bay, 3 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

House and Senate: Headed for ed-funding clash?

Will there be a clash? Probably. But will the bill eventually pass after the clash? We assume so. From the Globe’s Victoria McGrane and Matt Stout: “The Massachusetts House of Representatives unanimously passed sweeping legislation Wednesday to overhaul the state’s antiquated education funding system, setting up a clash with the Senate about how much power state officials should be given over the $1.4 billion in proposed additional state aid.”

SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) reports the vote came after House progressives backed off a key funding oversight amendment.

Boston Globe

Spilka: Senate will have its own health-care Rx package

Speaking of the Senate, the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett (pay wall) and SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) report that Senate President Karen Spilka is saying her chamber is now working on its own health-care reform package and may roll it out in bits and pieces to increase the odds of passage. Spilka’s comments come less than a week after Gov. Charlie Baker unveiled his own wide-ranging health-care reform bill.

Meanwhile, Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine reports that health-care industry leaders yesterday didn’t seem particularly upbeat when asked if they’ve seen any promising cost trends out there.

Baker on vape appeal: It’s about the authority of a governor to declare emergencies

It seems no one is happy with a judge’s recent ruling on Gov. Charlie Baker’s fourth-month ban on the sale of most vaping products in Massachusetts. Turns out the Vapor Technology Association is also appealing the decision, in addition to the Baker administration’s appeal for entirely different reasons. SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) has the details. 

Re the administration’s appeal, Baker says there’s a ‘bigger question at stake’ about a governor’s authority to declare a public health emergency, reports Tanner Stening at MassLive and  Felicia Gans at the Globe. And, last but not least, from Tanner Stening at MassLive: “Massachusetts health officials announce 17 new cases of vaping-related lung illness.”

Backlash to B-word backlash – and other assorted backlash items

Michael Bonner at MassLive reports that state Rep. Daniel Hunt is getting all sorts of social-media grief for filing, on behalf of a citizen as allowed by the state constitution, the controversial bill that would penalize anyone who uses the word “bitch” aimed at women in a derogatory way. In a separate MassLive story, Hunt explains why his name is on the bill – and why he wishes people were more engaged and knowledgeable about the legislative process in general.

At CommonWealth magazine, Michael Jonas takes aim at the local media for playing up the B-word controversy, saying the citizen-requested bill is a “nothing-burger” that everyone knows is going nowhere. The Globe’s Joan Vennochi respectfully disagrees with Jonas, saying Boston does have a long puritanical history of banning what it doesn’t like – and today it happens to be a word, masks, youth football, vaping products, etc.

As home prices hit $400K, Baker administration mulls Plan B housing push

The Herald’s Erin Tiernan and Sean Philip Cotter report on the new Warren Group data showing the median home sale price in Massachusetts has hit a new threshold: $400,000. So what are lawmakers doing about it? Not much, when it comes to Gov. Charlie Baker’s ‘Housing Choice’ bill. But the Globe’s Jon Chesto reports the administration is now putting together a Plan B housing package to be tucked into an upcoming economic-development bill. Details to come. But there’s a hint what might be in it: A lot of Christmas Tree goodies to attract support.

Biden is back in the lead?

She’s no longer the front-runner. She’s just one of the front-runners. Or so says a new CCN poll showing Joe Biden with a commanding national lead over rivals Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders in the Dem presidential race. Make of it what you will. Other polls show Biden fading and Warren surging. Hey, it’s early.

Btw: According to a Washington Post electoral analysis, Warren is the most electable of Dem candidates running for president. Btw, II: Corporate America is still freaking out over a possible Warren presidency, reports Politico. Btw, III: Did you know Elizabeth Warren’s campaign has a poet on staff? Yes indeed (NYT).


‘Anthony!’: Famous Prince Spaghetti ad turns 50

Yes, Anthony Martignetti is still around, though he no longer lives in the North End, where he gained enduring fame as “Anthony!” in the famous Prince Spaghetti television ad that first ran 50 years ago. Jamie Bologna at WBUR has more on the iconic ad and Martignetti’s non-acting acting skills.


Ted Landsmark – 43 years after the ‘Soiling of Old Glory’

Speaking of past memories captured on film, WGBH has a two-minute “short story” video of Ted Landsmark talking about the entirety of his life and career – not just the terrible moment when he was caught on film being attacked by a flag wielding anti-busing protester near the entrance of Boston City Hall in 1976. He’s so much more than the man in the iconic photo, as you’ll discover listening to him speak.


Harvard’s best and brightest protest Crimson’s practice of basic journalism

File under: “Sigh.” From Ruoqi Zhang at the Harvard Crimson: “More than 650 people have signed onto an online petition condemning The Harvard Crimson’s coverage of a protest demanding the abolition of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The petition — started by student-led immigration advocacy group Act on a Dream earlier this month — criticizes The Crimson for requesting comment from an ICE spokesperson for its Sept. 13 article.”

Here’s the offending line buried in the original story: “ICE did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday night.”

Harvard Crimson

Kennedy balks at pre-Labor Day primary

He’s already balked over the details of a climate-change debate. And he’s now balking at a pre-Labor Day primary election. The Globe’s Matt Stout has more on Rep. Joseph Kennedy III’s objections to holding the state primary on Sept. 1, a date the U.S. Senate candidate says will inconvenience many voters.

Boston Globe

Activists back Senate approach to traffic-stop data in safe-driving bill

They’ll come to agreement on the bill one of these days. From SHNS’s Chris Lisinski: “Civil rights groups and racial justice activists urged lawmakers Wednesday to keep demographic data-collection requirements in a distracted driving bill, voicing support for the Senate’s approach to a debate that appears to have halted progress on a key public safety proposal.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Legislation would give state more control over school vaccine exemptions

Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports on new legislation, sponsored by Sen. Becca Rausch and Rep. Paul Donato, that would transfer vaccine-exemption authority from local schools to the state amid a national measles outbreak and resistance to vaccines by some parents.


What, exactly, is Mitt Romney up to?

He’s speaking out, but is that all? Kimberly Atkins of WBUR tries to read the tea leaves to determine how far U.S. Sen. Mitt ‘Pierre Delecto’ Romney is willing to go in opposing President Trump and finds some observers who think he could sway some fellow GOP senators to vote in favor of removing Trump from office if the House votes to impeach. 

Writing at the Atlantic, meanwhile, Sarah Longwell says because Romney has the least to lose, he may make the perfect “human shield” should senate Republicans decide they want to back away from their staunch support of Trump. 


Beacon Hill’s transparency problem …

The Herald this morning unveils Part II of its series on the lack of transparency on Beacon Hill. Today’s installment in a nutshell: “The same public records exemption that allows lawmakers to spend freely on roast beef subs and craft furniture also shields them from detailing their daily schedules, providing copies of their emails or handing over notes from closed-door meetings.” And we’re the only state that does so. The Herald is definitely fighting the good fight on this one, though we doubt it’s going to lead to lawmakers making changes any time soon.

Boston Herald

Councilor brags about defeating ‘women’ and ‘minorities’ and all those ‘nonsense people’

Boston City Councilor Tim McCarthy is apologizing while at the same time criticizing those who he says are taking “out of context” his primary-election night comments about defeating ‘women’ and ‘minorities’ and all those endorsed by the ‘nonsense people.’ But you decide. Spencer Buell at Boston Magazine and Adam Gaffin at Universal Hub have the details, including a video of the comments.

Turf war: Cyr decries attempt to weaken Cape Cod Commission

Stay on your side of the canal. That’s the message of state Sen. Julian Cyr after two lawmakers from central Massachusetts filed amendments to the supplemental budget that would defang the Cape Cod Commission–apparently at the behest of a developer who is also a major GOP donor. Geoff Spillane at the Cape Cod Times has details. 

Cape Cod Times

Hack attack stalls block grant distribution in New Bedford

They’re still waiting. Community organizations in New Bedford say federal Community Development Block Grant funding normally distributed in late summer is at least three months late and the ransomware attack that crippled the city’s computer network is being blamed,  Jennette Barnes reports in the Standard-Times. 

South Coast Today

Seeking counter help: Berkshire County scrambling to find census workers

It doesn’t add up. The U.S. Census Bureau says it will need to hire more than 800 part-time workers to help count Berkshire County residents next year and so far it is falling well short of that goal, Larry Parnass reports at the Berkshire Eagle. So far, about 250 people from the region have applied for the $18 an hour gigs. 

Berkshire Eagle

Massport tests out its new Uber-Lyft drop-off center at Logan

Andy Metzger at CommonWealth magazine reports on Massport’s dry run of its new centralized Uber-Lyft drop-off center at Logan Airport, in preparation for Monday’s phased-in start of the new ride-sharing system at Logan.


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

Quincy Democratic City Committee Breakfast

Please join the Quincy Democratic City Committee for our 31st Annual Breakfast. The breakfast will be held Sunday October 27, 2019 at 10 AM at the Quincy Sons of Italy. U.S. Senator Ed Markey will be our keynote speaker. 2019 Dennis F. Ryan Community Award will be presented to State Senator John F. Keenan.

Quincy Democratic City Committee

Launch Your Clinical Program in Australia: The Many Upsides of Going Down Under

Nucleus Network to Highlight Benefits of Conducting Early-Stage Clinical Trials in Australia during MassBio Event

Nucleus Network

Open House: Boston Common Master Plan

The Boston Parks and Recreation Department & the Friends of the Public Garden invite you to the first Boston Common Master Plan Open House on Oct. 29th between 5:30 & 8pm at the Bordy Theater, 216 Tremont Street. A short speaking program will begin at 6:30pm. The public will have the opportunity to provide meaningful feedback, which is incredibly important in shaping the future of the Common.

Boston Parks and Recreation Department and the Friends of the Public Garden

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.


EdVestors’ 14th Annual School on the Move Prize Ceremony

EdVestors to present prestigious $100,000 School on the Move Prize. Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, BPS Superintendent Cassellius to attend Oct. 31st ceremony that will recognize three finalist Boston schools for outstanding progress toward improving performance and announce the winner of the coveted award.


Today’s Headlines


Cambridge, Somerville, Medford officials urge FAA, Massport to change flight paths – Boston Herald

Lynnfield’s first recreational marijuana store opens on Saturday – Lynn Item


Somerset residents air grievances with Brayton Point – Herald-News

Downtown Turners Falls to have first new building since 50’s – Greenfield Recorder

Worcester County homes continue prices gains as more homes sell – Worcester Business Journal


House Democrats look to take impeachment probe public as soon as mid-November – Washington Post

Democrats torch Zuckerberg for 5 hours – Politico

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