Happening Today

Winter preparations, housing forum, and more

— U.S. Sen. Edward Markey joins Sen. Eric Lesser and Rep. Brian Ashe for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Longmeadow rail crossing, 227-251 Birnie Road, Longmeadow, 11 a.m.

— Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and city officials hold press conference to discuss preparations for winter weather and resources available to residents, Public Works Department, 400 Frontage Rd., Boston, 12 p.m.

Janelle Chan, undersecretary of housing and community development, speaks at Housing + Innovation: Lessons From the Ivory Prize, an event hosted by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, Harvard University, Gund Hall, Piper Auditorium, 42 Quincy St, Cambridge, 1 p.m.

— The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and non-profit organization Women in Government present Senate President Emerita Harriette Chandler the ‘Outstanding Woman State Legislator Supporting the Arts’ award, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F St., Washington D.C., 5 p.m.

Callie Crossley hosts ‘Basic Black,’ which looks at the presidential impeachment hearings, with panelists Ivan Espinosa-Madrigal, director of Lawyers for Civil Rights, Paul Watanabe, UMass Boston professor, and WGBH reporter Phillip Martin, WGBH-TV Ch. 2, 7:30 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

There’s always next year: House delays transportation-tax debate till 2020

In the end, it got too big, too complicated, too contentious. CommonWealth magazine’s Bruce Mohl and Andy Metzger report that House Speaking Robert DeLeo, who was hoping to tackle transportation-tax issues this fall on Beacon Hill, has opted to put off debate until next year – and some wonder if it will be debated even then.

Here’s one reason for the legislative punt: A new MassINC poll showing that voters are “divided over some of the key methods that lawmakers are weighing to generate funding” for transportation-related work, reports SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall). Ultimately, voter divisions merely reflect legislative divisions.

Speaking of legislative punts into next year, from SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall): “Pacheco: Spilka Agrees to Climate Bill Vote in January.”

Sen. Brady stripped of committee chairmanship over DUI arrest

MassLive’s Shira Schoenberg and CommonWealth magazine’s Andy Metzger report that Sen. Michael Brady, a Brockton Democrat, was stripped of his chairmanship of the Joint Committee on Public Service because of his drunken driving arrest earlier this year, after a Senate Ethics Committee investigation and last evening’s voice vote in the Senate.

We found this line interesting, via Metzger: “The (ethics) committee headed by Sen. Eric Lesser zeroed in on when and why Brady handed the arresting officer his State House identification card, and his apparent dissembling about where exactly he drank before getting behind the wheel.”

The Patrick Campaign, Day 1: Taking aim at Warren

Former Gov. Deval Patrick officially launched his White House bid yesterday, filing for the New Hampshire primary, giving media interviews, positioning himself as a centrist alternative and taking veiled shots at fellow Massachusetts resident Elizabeth Warren and Vermont’s Bernie Sanders, without naming names, over Medicare for All, the wealth tax, big plans in general and ideological purity tests (our words, not his). He also revealed he had a “hard conversation” with Warren prior to his announcement. The NYT has the details.

Meanwhile, the Herald’s Hillary Chabot reports that Patrick’s candidacy could be a “fatal factor” for Warren in New Hampshire, under the presumption he may siphon votes away from her in the Granite State. Then again, Patrick may end up harming Joe Biden, as Politico reports. Of course, he may not harm anyone in New Hampshire, as the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky reports.

Other local headlines of note – From David Bernstein at WGBH: “Four Reasons Deval Patrick Decided To Run For President.” From Alex Green at WBUR: “The Saviors We Never Asked For.” And from the Globe’s Kevin Cullen: “On Patrick, conventional wisdom might just be wrong.”


Patrick’s Bain-in-the-neck problem

The Globe’s Andy Rosen has more on what’s expected to be a potentially thorny problem for Deval Patrick as he runs for president: His recent work at Boston’s Bain Capital and its connection to Republican Mitt Romney. Btw, from the Washington Post: “Will Deval Patrick have a Mitt Romney problem?”

Boston Globe

Warren’s anti-billionaire attack ads get pushback from media and Goldman Sachs honcho

As the New York Times reported earlier this week, presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has launched new TV ads criticizing billionaires – four of them by name – upset about her proposed wealth tax. Now Warren is getting pushback from: A.) The Washington Post’s fact checkers (“Warren’s misleading pitch for her tax on billionaires”) and B.) Lloyd C. Blankfein, the former chief executive of Goldman Sachs, via CNBC (“Lloyd Blankfein mocks Elizabeth Warren after attack ad: ‘Maybe tribalism is just in her DNA’”).

Old North Church to remove name of parishioner tied to slave trade

Khari Thompson at WBUR reports that the iconic Old North Church, of the one-if-by-land/two-if-by-sea fame, has decided to remove most references at the church to colonial-era donor Newark Jackson, who was tied to the slave trade in the mid-1770s. The move includes dropping the “Captain Jackson’s Historic Chocolate Shop” name as well. Thompson explains the chocolate angle.


Massport’s $850M upgrade of port facilities: Build it and they will come?

The state and federal governments are spending $850 million to upgrade the port of Boston’s Conley Terminal as part of an attempt to lure major shippers, jobs and business to Boston. But the BBJ’s Greg Ryan reports that MassPort hasn’t “yet received any commitments from international shippers” – and the uncertainty may be tied to the current trade war launched by the Trump administration.


It’s unanimous: Senate passes drug-pricing bill

Needless to say, the life-science lobbying juggernaut will now be turning its attention to the House. From SHNS’s Katie Lannan: “The Massachusetts Senate on Thursday unanimously agreed to impose new oversight on the pharmaceutical industry and cap consumer costs for insulin. The 40-0 vote drew praise from the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, which said the bill “contains necessary provisions for making the costs of prescription drugs more transparent.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Cannabis industry’s challenges? Public health, safety, capital, legal issues, you name it.

Susan Spencer at the Telegram reports on a recent forum hosted by the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and Clark University’s School of Professional Studies on the challenges facing the state’s emerging legalized marijuana industry – and the challenges are indeed unique, considering that, among other things, the sale and possession of pot is still illegal under federal law.

Meanwhile, SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall) reports on Clark University’s new offer of free cannabis certificates for municipal and state government employees in Massachusetts. Not a bad deal at all – and it’s needed, frankly.


We knew it! Mass. College of Pharmacy degree worth more than a Harvard degree

You gotta love it. A new report by Georgetown University reports that attending the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has more economic value than attending Harvard. And MIT and Babson College also rank higher than you-know-who, as Deirdre Fernandes reports at the Globe.

Boston Globe

Baker signs college ‘early warning’ legislation

Speaking of higher education, Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday signed legislation that establishes a new ‘early warning’ system for financially struggling colleges on the verge of closing, reports Roberto Scalese at WBUR. File under: ‘Mount Ida College, RIP.”


Dunkin’s latest outrage: Eliminating ‘double-cupping’

This isn’t as bad as Dunkin’s infamous elimination of the cruller donut way back when. But it is up there, i.e. its planned elimination of “double cupping,” or the practice of inserting a plastic cup into a foam cup to keep ice-coffee cool to the taste and touch. The Globe’s Janelle Nanos and Edward Fitzpatrick have more on the ‘de-cup-ling.’

Boston Globe

Local running legend Alberto Salazar is in the news again for all the wrong reasons

Blast-from-the-past time: Alberto Salazar — the long-ago track-and-field pride of Wayland and long-ago winner of the Boston Marathon and Falmouth road races – is now at the center of controversy over doping and other matters tied to Nike’s now abandoned ‘Oregon Project’ for elite runners. The NYT has the latest accusation tied to Salazar’s unique training style, so to speak.


Empty threat? E-cigarette bill calls for hefty fines and car seizures for smugglers

The Globe’s Dan Adams and Naomi Martin report that the Supreme Judicial Court has basically upheld lower-court rulings that partially lifted the marijuana portion of Gov. Charlie Baker’s total ban on all vaping products, effectively keeping in place what’s now currently in place.

But what we find interesting is Christian Wade’s report at the Gloucester Times that the vaping/e-cigarette bill passed earlier this week by the House calls for hefty fines and seizure of vehicles for anyone caught bringing untaxed e-cigarettes into Massachusetts. Which means … it won’t stop people from buying e-cigarettes in New Hampshire, etc., just as current cigarette-tax enforcement hasn’t worked. If passed, the bill will merely increase cross-state purchasing/smuggling, not reduce it, and we all know this to be true.

Gloucester Times

On second thought: Newly re-elected Garner mayor decamps for Westminster

Less than two weeks after being elected to a seventh term, Gardner Mayor Mark Hawke announced he is resigning to become the town administrator in nearby Westminster, Stephen Landry reports at the Gardner News. City Council President Scott Graves will serve as acting mayor until, you guessed it, a special election can he held. 

Gardner News

Changing of the guard: Correia’s write-in ally out in Fall River

She’s out. Fall River City Administrator Cathy Ann Viveiros has left her post ahead of the arrival of mayor-elect Cliff Ponte, who she ran against as a write-in candidate in this month’s election, Amanda Burke and Jo C Goode report at the Herald News. Viveiros, who has run unsuccessfully for mayor six times, held the administrator role since 2014 and entered this year’s race just a few days after word leaked that former Mayor Jasiel Correia wanted to flood the field with write-in candidates. 

Meanwhile, the Herald Reviewalso reports that members of the city council are questioning how the city’s only recreational marijuana dispensary won permission to grow cannabis at its location given the underlying zoning only allows retail operations. Northeast Alternatives says it got the OK from … indicted Mayor Correia. 

Herald News

Report: One in four nursing homes at risk of closing

From SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall): “One quarter of the nursing homes in Massachusetts are at risk of closing, according to an industry trade group. The Massachusetts Senior Care Association reported Thursday that an analysis conduct by the firm and presented at the group’s annual meeting in Worcester concluded that 95 nursing homes are in danger of closing across the state.” Bottom line: They want more state funding.

Supplemental Budget Bill Held Hostage: Day 138

Another week has ended without lawmakers closing the books on last fiscal year’s budget that ended June 30 – and the delay could end up costing taxpayers $1 million, as SHNS’s Colin Young reports.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Sunday public affairs TV: Charlie Baker, Desh Deshpande and more

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Gov. Charlie Baker, who talks with host Jon Keller about transportation reform and the debate over raising the gas tax; this is Part 1 of a two-part interview with the governor.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Rick Dimino, CEO of A Better City, discusses his organization’s $50 billion transportation proposal; Kate Drake, head of product marketing for Corindus, talks about remote operated robots; and Jon Chesto of the Boston Globe on the House’s passage of legislation banning flavored-tobacco products.  

CEO Corner, NECN, 10: 30 a.m. Entrepreneurship For All (EforAll) founder Desh Deshpande and others discuss bringing business opportunities to people in underserved communities.  

DC Dialogue, NECN, 11:30 a.m. Neil Levesque, executive director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, offers analysis of the Granite State presidential primary races.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Gov. Charlie Baker, with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu, followed by a roundtable political discussion with Globe columnist Adrian Walker and Republican political analyst Rob Gray.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s main topic: Around Town, a look at upcoming cultural and community events.

Book Signing with Cynthia Levinson, author of Fault Lines in the Constitution

Lesley University will host Cynthia Levinson award-winning author of Fault Lines in the Constitution, We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March, and Watch Out for Flying Kids!: How Two Circuses, Two Countries, and Nine Kids Confront Conflict and Build Community, for a book signing event.

Lesley University Center for Advanced Professional Studies

Empowering Future Leaders: The Steps to a Successful Political Campaign

The 2019 Conference on Gender and International Affairs and Fletcher LEADS are excited to host the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus (https://mwpc.org/).

The 2019 Conference on Gender and International Affairs and Fletcher LEADS

Mayor Walsh to Dedicate City Bridge in Honor of the Grimké Sisters

Mayor Martin J. Walsh will dedicate the newly-reconstructed Dana Avenue Bridge in Hyde Park after Sarah and Angelina Grimké, known for being prominent activists for abolition and women’s rights.

Greater Boston Women’s Vote Centennial; Barbara Lee Family Foundation

Somerville Town Hall with Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley

Congresswoman Pressley deeply believes that in order to build lasting and sustainable solutions, we must bring the voices of those most impacted by the issues to the decision making tables. She believes that we must be intentional about creating spaces to lift unheard voices and unheard narratives — which is exactly why Congresswoman Pressley is excited to hear directly from friends and neighbors across the 7th Congressional District.

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressely

A Conversation with Ash Carter

Ash Carter, former Secretary of Defense and director of Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, discusses his distinguished career and new book, Inside the Five-Sided Box: Lessons from a Lifetime of Leadership in the Pentagon with David Martin, national security correspondent for CBS News.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Boston Speakers Series: Bob Woodward

A journalistic icon, Woodward is associate editor of The Washington Post. He, along with Carl Bernstein, uncovered the Watergate scandal detailed in their Pulitzer Prize-winning book, All the President’s Men. Woodward has written 19 bestselling books on American politics, most recently: Fear: Trump in the White House.

Lesley University

2019 New England State and Local Tax Forum

The New England State and Local Tax Forum is a one-day conference designed to provide an annual update on significant state and local tax developments from across the nation with a particular focus on New England.

New England State and Local Tax Forum

The Ninth Annual Massachusetts Investor Conference

The Ninth Annual Massachusetts Investor Conference: Featuring presentations on the state’s economy as well as panels pertinent to the MA credit and credits of statewide issuers.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy Career Panel

Four alumnae of the GLPP with careers in the government, non-profit, and social service sectors will discuss their career paths and lessons learned along the way.

Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy

Boston Speakers Series: Bob Woodward

A journalistic icon, Woodward is associate editor of The Washington Post. He, along with Carl Bernstein, uncovered the Watergate scandal detailed in their Pulitzer Prize-winning book, All the President’s Men. Woodward has written 19 bestselling books on American politics, most recently: Fear: Trump in the White House.

Lesley University

What is a Safe Community? A Learning Panel

Come learn about the Network for Social Justice’s efforts to ensure all residents and visitors feel safe and protected.

Network for Social Justice

Today’s Headlines


Hynes Convention Center sale sparks call for a performing arts center – Boston Herald

Lynn School Committee votes to allow birth control, condoms to be offered in high schools – Lynn Item


MCC trustees approve outside evaluation of president Mabry – Lowell Sun

Central Mass. tourists spent $626 million in 2018 – Worcester Business Journal

Wendell State Forest Alliance to meet with AG – Greenfield Recorder


Giuliani Faces U.S. Probe on Campaign Finance, Lobbying Breaches – Bloomberg News

Amazon suing Pentagon over $10B cloud contract, alleging ‘bias’ – Politico

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