Happening Today

Salem precautions, Lelling roundtable, Ranked-choice podcast

Association for Behavioral Health Care holds its annual ‘Salute to Excellence’ awards, featuring recorded remarks from Gov. Charlie Baker, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, Senate President Karen Spilka, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and others, 9:30 a.m.

— Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, acting Police Chief Dennis King and health agent David Greenbaum hold a press conference to provide details on additional steps to protect the public during the pandemic, 10 a.m.

— U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling holds a media roundtable to announce the establishment of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Civil Rights Task Force, with speakers including Undersecretary for Law Enforcement Terrence Reidy, Boston Police Department Commissioner William Gross, Mass. Chiefs of Police Association President Jeff Farnsworth and Gina Kwon of the Attorney General’s Office, 10:30 a.m.

State House News Service releases its weekly podcast ‘State House Takeout’ featuring a conversation on ranked-choice voting with Yes on 2 Campaign Policy Director Greg Dennis and former Maine Congressman Bruce Poliquin, 12 p.m. 

— Applications are due at noon to the Judicial Nominating Commission from individuals seeking Gov. Baker’s consideration to fill the open Supreme Judicial Court seat previously held by the late Ralph Gants, 12 p.m.

For the most comprehensive listing of calendar items, check out State House News Service’s Daily Advances (pay wall – free trial subscriptions available), as well as MassterList’s Beacon Hill Town Square below.

Today’s Stories

Reminder to readers: SHNS Coronavirus Tracker available for free

A reminder to our readers as the coronavirus crisis unfolds: The paywalled State House News Service, which produces MASSterList, is making its full Coronavirus Tracker available to the community for free on a daily basis each morning via ML. SHNS Coronavirus Tracker.

The coronavirus numbers: 23 new deaths, 9,452 total deaths, 568 new cases

CBS Boston has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

‘Nosedive’: Logan’s revenue plunge may lead to deep cuts at Massport

Massport’s revenue outlook is worse than its worst-case scenario as a result of plunging passenger volume at Logan International Airport and now the agency is thinking the once unthinkable: Layoffs and other deep cuts. The BBJ’s Greg Ryan and the Globe’s Jon Chesto have the details. The Herald’s splash page-one headline on Erin Tiernan’s piece: “Nosedive.”

Let the record show: Legislature leaves eviction crisis to Baker and courts

Cambridge Rep. Mike Connolly and a few others at the State House yesterday tried to get the Legislature to act on the looming end of the state’s eviction moratorium, as GBH’s Mike Deehan and SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) report. But they failed. And so lawmakers can no longer say Gov. Baker owns the moratorium expiration. They own it too.

Forget Somerville. The entire state has slipped into the red zone

The Globe’s Dugan Arnett and Steve Annear take a look at how even uber-cautious and uber-progressive Somerville has entered the high-risk category for coronavirus infections, joining 62 other communities in the “red zone.”

But forget about Somerville and other coronavirus hotspots. CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl and the Herald’s Rick Sobey and Lisa Kashinsky report the entire state has entered the red zone, based on the state’s own statistical definition of a hotspot.

He’s had it: Walsh threatens crackdown on pandemic parties

The Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter reports that Mayor Marty Walsh, seeing virus cases skyrocket in Boston, is vowing a crackdown on “dozens and dozens” of South Boston house parties and other breaches of coronavirus protocols. Universal Hub has more on Walsh’s frustrations with all the “covidiot events.”

Boston Herald

Baker to former T riders: All aboard! It’s safe!

SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall) reports that Gov. Charlie Baker, in his newly revised state budget, is earmarking fewer funds to the MBTA than he had earlier proposed before the pandemic hit. No matter. The governor yesterday was urging people to start riding the T again (and paying badly needed fare money), saying: “I can’t think of a less risky activity.” CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl has the details on Baker’s call for more riders – and his apparently becoming a regular Blue Line rider.

Lawmakers hope for quick action on (and changes to) Baker’s revised budget

SHNS’s Matt Murpy reports that Senate Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues is aiming to produce a final state budget in the “next few weeks” – after lawmakers review and make probable/inevitable changes to Gov. Charlie Baker’s revised $45.5 billion budget for this fiscal year. His timeline may be a bit optimistic, but we’ll see. An invite-only budget hearing is set of next Wednesday.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Compassion: After hay bale fire uproar, a human connection is made

Feel down about the state of politics today in America? You’ll feel better after reading this piece by the Berkshire Eagle’s Larry Parnass, who reports how the owner of Holiday Brook Farm — which landed in the national spotlight after a hay-bale display supporting Joe Biden was set afire — reached out to the suspect in the crime while he sat in a local jail. The suspect’s own story of deep personal loss changed how he viewed the entire episode. Remember: Politics is ultimately about human beings.   

Berkshire Eagle

Amherst Rep. Domb: OK, I’ll create my own higher-ed virus dashboard if the state won’t

She’s frustrated and disappointed that the Baker administration doesn’t break down COVID-19 cases by individual college campuses, so Rep. Mindy Domb of Amherst is creating her own higher-ed virus dashboard, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan(pay wall). We’re more than sure the demand is there for such data.

After straightening out Holyoke Soldiers’ Home debacle, Poppe appointed permanent veterans secretary

Cheryl Lussier Poppe, the interim veterans’ services secretary who helped respond to the lethal pandemic tragedy at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, has been appointed permanent secretary of the department. She replaces former chief Francisco Urena, who resigned amid outrage over the deaths of scores of veterans at the Holyoke center. MassLive’s Steph Solis has more.


If Question 1 was decided by newspaper endorsements, it would be the law of the land

The Boston Business Journal has become the latest paper to advocate a ‘yes’ vote on Question 1, which calls for an update to the state’s existing Right to Repair law. To the BBJ, it’s all about competition – and the need for independent auto repair shops to access key technical data in cars to make repairs. The Globe endorsed Question 1 earlier this week.


‘Perfect storm’: Businesses brace for minimum wage hike, insurance increases, paid leave

As if the pandemic isn’t bad enough. Christian Wade at the Salem News counts all the ways employers will soon be paying more to operate their businesses, thanks to a “perfect storm” of new mandates and ever-increasing health-care costs.

Salem News

Five New England governors zap grid operator over climate-change priorities

It’s a shot across the bow of ISO-New England. From Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine: “The governors of five of the six New England states, including Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, issued a statement that appeared to criticize the operator of the region’s power grid for failing to partner with them in combatting climate change by bringing renewable energy to market.”

The governors are rather vague about their complaints and demands, but their message is clear: Work with us, not dictate to us. SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) has more on the governors’ obvious frustrations with ISO-New England.


Rep. Tran’s self-inflicted reelection wounds

Democrat John Cronin could run a campaign touting his West Point credentials, two tours in Afghanistan and highlighting his views on a host of public-policy issues. But he doesn’t mind much if Donald Trump and Rep. Dean Tran’s ethics problems dominate the legislative race in the Fitchburg area. CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl has more on Tran’s self-inflicted reelection wounds heading into the November election.


Not even close: Markey raised 11 times more money than O’Connor through September

Republican challenger Kevin O’Conner can always take comfort in knowing the final vote tally can’t possibly match the fundraising ratio disparity between him and U.S. Sen. Ed Markey. Or could it? The Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky has more on the lopsided fundraising contest between the two U.S. Senate candidates.

Boston Herald

‘Sorry, Charlie — this election is no time to sit on the sidelines’

The Globe’s Renée Graham isn’t impressed with Gov. Charlie Baker merely saying he won’t vote for President Trump. He needs to vote for Joe Biden. Anything less is “a typical Baker two-step between principles and defending his flank,” she writes.

Boston Globe

Cut! Channel 7 anchor Alaina Pinto fired over appearance in Adam Sandler’s ‘Hubie Halloween’ movie

It’s a wrap for WHDH Channel 7 anchor Alaina Pinto, who apparently crossed a fine line between TV news and entertainment by appearing in Adam Sandler’s Netflix movie “Hubie Halloween.” Pinto admits she “mistakenly violated my contract” and got the boot from ‘HDH. Kevin Slane at Boston.com has more.


Judge on controversial play: It was about on-stage nudity, not Jewish circumcision

We had forgotten all about this lawsuit. From Universal Hub: “A federal judge ruled yesterday that Harvard University was within its rights to turn up the lights in Sanders Theater and end an employee’s performance while he was nude and having intercourse with a sex doll on stage and a video played showing him ejaculating in the doll’s mouth, all somehow connected to his argument that Jewish circumcision is evil.”

And, yes, it’s an actual court ruling in an actual federal legal case.

Universal Hub

Big target: Labor unions see opportunity in Amazon expansion plans

Here comes the pressure. A coalition of labor unions led by building trades groups in the Merrimack Valley plans a major public relations push aimed at getting Amazon to use union labor as it builds out and staffs its fast-growing network of distribution centers in the state, as Tim Logan and Janelle Nanos report at the Globe.

Boston Globe

Sluggish restarts: Casinos see slumping revenue in September

Revenue at the Plainridge Park slots parlor fell to $9.4 million in September, lower than the month before and just half of what the casino took in during its best month on record, Tom Reilly at the Sun Chronicle reports.

A similar story is unfolding at MGM Springfield, where revenue was $17.6 million in September, down from August and off 17 percent from the same month last year, Jim Kinney at MassLive reports

Sunday public affairs TV: Kim Driscoll, Andrea Campbell and more

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, who talks with host Jon Keller about her city’s Halloween plans, school and financial issues during the pandemic, and the future of local economy.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Tom Anderson, CEO of The Paper Store, and Erik Smookler, WS Development CFO and co-CIO, on the future of retail and WS’s acquisition of The Paper Store; Ocean Spray CEO Tom Hayes on the Viral TIkTok publicity and the future of the company; and the BBJ’s Doug Banks on the top local business stories of the week.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Boston City Councilor and mayoral candidate Andrea Campbell, who talks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu, followed by a roundtable political discussion with analysts Mary Anne Marsh and Rob Gray.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s main topic: Community Activism.

100th Anniversary Virtual Awards Gala

We will stand together, virtually, to celebrate our 2020 Health Care Stars who, while deserving the utmost praise and recognition pre-COVID-19, have maintained their commitment to improving and protecting the lives of MA residents since the outbreak began. We are planning a showcase of celebration and resilience and ask for your sponsorship support of our 2020 honorees and of MHC’s work.

Massachusetts Health Council

Navigating the Rapids: Swing State Secretaries and the 2020 Elections

As we approach the final weeks of the election campaign, Secretaries of State – particularly in swing states – face tremendous pressures as they fulfill their responsibilities to provide a smooth, inclusive, and safe election that delivers a trusted result.

Harvard Kennedy School

City Awake: Empowering Youth to Vote

Join City Awake, in partnership with the Kennedy Institute, for a timely discussion on the importance of civic engagement, empowerment, and how it is imperative that we all vote in the upcoming election, especially the next generation. The conversation will feature Kennedy Institute Board member, and global human rights activist, Martin Luther King, III.

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate

Philanthropy and Inequality

Please join the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy for its signature weekly series this fall, The Fierce Urgency of Now, featuring Black, Indigenous, People of Color scholars, activists, and community leaders, and experts from the Global South.

Harvard Kennedy School

Today’s Headlines


Lynn council backs racial justice, mayor urged to consider police reforms – Lynn Item

Boston police union pushes back on planned reforms, believes little will change – Boston Globe


Fire at Bondi’s Island landfill in Agawam could burn for days – MassLive

Edgartown Harbor gets Underground Railroad designation – Martha’s Vineyard Times

Large illegal pot operation busted in Rehoboth – Sun Chronicle


Trump refuses to disavow Q Anon – The Hill

Trump was warned Giuliani was peddling Russian disinformation – New York Times

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