Happening Today

In-person early voting ends, campaign events, and more

In-person early voting ends today across the state, four days before next Tuesday’s general election.

— Yes on 2 Campaign, election advocacy organizations and union representatives rally and hold a media availability in front of Boston City Hall in support of ranked-choice voting, 10 a.m.

— Senate President Karen Spilka joins Reps. Jeffrey Roy and Michael Soter, and Sen. Becca Rausch for a bike ride on the South New England Trunkline Trail, ending at a ribbon cutting ceremony for a tunnel located on the trail, 1 p.m.

— U.S. Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib hold a virtual ‘Our Streets, Our Vote’ rally to emphasize national and local elections, with guests including U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, 6 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: 27 new deaths, 9,727 total deaths, 1,243 new cases

MassLive has the latest coronavirus numbersfor Massachusetts.

Massachusetts eclipses 2.1 million votes as in-person early voting winds to a close

One word: Impressive. The Globe’s Matt Stout and the Herald’s Erin Tiernan report that more than 2.1 million people have already voted in Massachusetts – with more votes expected today before in-person early balloting officially ends this evening.

Because the presidential outcome is not in doubt in Massachusetts, local pols were campaigning in New Hampshire yesterday, including U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, as the Herald reports. Trump supporters in the Granite State are confident of a “red wave” victory up north, the Herald also reports.

Tense times: Walsh, businesses and colleges tighten security as Tuesday’s election approaches

Voter turnout in Massachusetts has been inspiring. But this isn’t inspiring. WCVB reports that Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is planning ‘unprecedented’ security steps to make sure next Tuesday’s election is both safe and peaceful. Meanwhile, in a post headlined “Prudential Center bracing for post-election looting and rioting,” from Universal Hub: “Pru management sent a memo to tenants that they can expect to see boarded-up entrances, barriers and increased security starting today.”

Meanwhile, from the Globe’s Bob Hohler: “Far-right militias heed Trump’s call for poll watchers, and law enforcement is worried.” And from the Globe’s Deirdre Fernandes: “Colleges are preparing for parties and protests on election night and in the following days.”

We’re not saying he will, but we wouldn’t be surprised if the governor puts the National Guard on alert – at the request of municipal officials. He’s done so in the recent past before and after various protests, remember.

Meanwhile, parents literally try to screen children from ugly pro-Trump rally

No, they’re not overly hyper-sensitive parents trying to keep their precious children from hearing and seeing different viewpoints. They just don’t want their kids to see signs such as “Say No to Joe and the Ho” and hear bullhorn chants such as ““Michelle Obama has a d***k,” and various “Heil Hitler” and “Long live the Aryan race” salutes, etc. So parents have resorted to shielding their children, via sheet screens, from far-right pro-Trump rallies in Swampscott, as Leigh Blander reports at Wicked Local.

Wicked Local

One for a Republican, one for a Dem: Environmental groups split in state Senate race

You don’t see this very often: Environmental groups, which normally support Democrats, split on whether to back a Republican or Democratic candidate in a local race. But it’s happening in the Plymouth and Norfolk state Senate race, reports CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl.


‘She wants it’: Report says Warren will push to become Biden’s Treasury secretary if he wins

If Roger Ailes was still alive, we’d swear this was a Republican plant to rev up the GOP base before the  election. But it doesn’t appear to be a plant. Alex Thompson and Megan Cassella at Politico report U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren plans to lobby to be named Treasury Secretary in a Joe Biden administration, a prospect that thrills progressives but has centrist Dems on edge.

MassLive’s Benjamin Kail reports on a recent WCVB-UMass poll on who might replace Warren in Massachusetts if she vacates her seat. And the preliminary leader is … U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley.


‘The 3 most likely paths to victory for Biden and Trump’

Think next Tuesday’s election is a lock for Joe Biden? Think again. The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake has an excellent breakdown, complete with maps, on how either Biden or Donald Trump can win the electoral-college contest next week.

So what are the pollsters thinking? A repeat of 2016? Reuters reports that many pollsters are confident they have it right this year. Then again, CNN reports how “data journalists” are both mighty nervous and defensive about their numbers.

Washington Post

It’s the economy, stupid? State and national GDPs boomed in third quarter

If this news had come out a week or two earlier, it might have made a difference in the election. But it didn’t. The BBJ’s Greg Ryan and CNBC report on the booming state and national economies in the third quarter, with each growing at an annualized rate of more than 33 percent, though some economists warn a second virus surge could easily wipe out those gains. 

The White House is definitely touting the numbers.

Unswayed: Third party presidential voters stay the course

Believe it or not, they still exist, i.e. third party candidates for president. And Steve Pfarrer at the Daily Hampshire Gazette tracked down a handful of Pioneer Valley voters still willing to check the box for the Green Party and other third-party candidates in Tuesday’s election. 


Mail call: Newspaper experiment finds mixed results for Postal Service

It’s hit and miss. With mail-in voting still under way in Massachusetts, the MetroWest Daily News sent out a passel of packages and other mail to see how long the U.S. Postal Service took to deliver it — and found there’s no rhyme or reason to how long mail takes to arrive at its destination, as Zane Razzaq reports.

MetroWest Daily News

More than a third of state’s towns and cities now listed as hotspots

This is the type of trending data that prompted Connecticut, New York and New Jersey to recently issue various travel advisories about Massachusetts, to wit: More than a third of the state’s towns and cities – or 121 municipalities – are now listed as “high-risk” pandemic communities, according to the latest state numbers, as MassLive’s Tanner Stening and the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky report.

How bad is it getting? Even hospitals are having problems containing the virus. From MassLive: “UMass Memorial Health Care sees spike in employee COVID cases as Worcester remains in high risk category with ‘no end in sight.’” Meanwhile, you can blame college and high school students, irresponsible wedding hosts, sports organizers and others for various clusters. But the Globe’s Kay Lazar reports many clusters start in … homes.

Coronavirus cases in schools up sharply in Massachusetts

The number of cases is still small, but it’s nevertheless a disturbing number – and the numbers are rising. CommonWealth’s Sarah Betancourt has more on the spike in coronavirus cases at schools across the state.


Should districts extend school year through next summer to catch up on studies?

Speaking of schools, here’s something you’ll probably hear more about in coming months, i.e. the idea of extending the school year through next summer so that kids can catch up on their disrupted education during the pandemic. SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) has more on the idea floated at a Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy panel discussion yesterday. We’d be curious to hear what teacher unions think.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

The agony of defeat: MIAA cancels winter sports tournaments for 2020-2021

First, the Boston Marathon. Now this. From the Herald’s Danny Ventura: “The coronavirus pandemic forced the MIAA to end the 2019-2020 winter season just days before basketball and hockey championships were going to be determined. … All 20 committee members in Thursday’s Zoom meeting voted in favor of last week’s recommendation of the Tournament Management Committee not to hold winter championships.”

Boston Herald

Assumption University orders campus lockdown after COVID outbreak

With more than one out of five of its residential students now in isolation or quarantine, Assumption University ordered a lockdown of its Worcester campus yesterday in an attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus, according to reports at the Telegram and MassLive.

But hope spring eternal on other campuses. Via MassLive: “Amherst College to allow 1,200 students on campus in spring.”

Local hospitals brace for possible ransomware attacks after FBI warning

The FBI has put out an alert about possible cyber-attacks, specifically ransomware attacks, on hospitals around the country – and local hospitals say they’re taking the warnings seriously, as SHNS’s Colin Young reports. Can you think of anything more sick and demented than this type of criminal activity? 

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Holyoke Soldier’s Home update: ‘There is a toxic culture in our state government’

Two former Holyoke Soldiers’ Home executives yesterday blasted the Baker administration — and specifically Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders – for their handling of the veterans center long before the COVID-19 deaths of scores of veterans at the facility. It’s the harshest language we’ve set yet on the long-term management of the center. MassLive’s Stephanie Barry has more.


They actually did it: State trooper is the first to lose his pension in OT scandal

It’s very rare indeed. From the Globe’s Matt Rocheleau: “The state’s retirement board on Thursday stripped the pension of a veteran Massachusetts State Police trooper convicted in a high-profile payroll fraud scheme, marking the first time the panel has punished an officer implicated in the sprawling scandal. The five-member board voted to take away former trooper Paul Cesan’s pension, which would have paid the 52-year-old from Southwick and his former wife nearly $80,000 a year for the rest of his life.”

Boston Globe

Do they get a blindfold? DPU orders utilities to come up with plans for their own demise

CommonWealth magazine’s Bruce Mohl reports that the state Department of Public Utilities has ordered the state’s natural gas utilities to “jointly hire consultants and come up with a way to dramatically phase down or eliminate their businesses over the next 30 years.” Yes, it’s asking them to plan for their own closures, in preparation for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

‘The luckiest Republican on earth’: Scott Brown

He won by losing. And former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown and his family still have a few more months left, at least, barbecuing away in one of the nicest countries on earth, New Zealand, where they’re not too worried about viruses, presidential tweets, D.C. hyper-partisanship, etc. The Globe’s Joshua Miller has more on Brown’s relaxed lifestyle as U.S. ambassador to NZ.

Boston Globe

Sunday public affairs TV: Joe Mathieu, Bill Galvin and more

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: WGBH Radio’s Joe Mathieu, who previews the election with host Jon Keller.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. CyberArk’s Lavi Lazarovitz discusses election cyber security and the ransomware threat to hospitals; Helen Greiner, chairman and CEO of Tertill, talks about a robot for gardeners that does the weeding for you; and the BBJ’s Doug Banks reviews the top local business stories of the week.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Secretary of State William Galvin, 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: Voting 2008, with guests including Cheryl Crawford of MassVote and Rahsaan Hall of the ACLU.

Defense Project Series: Civil-Military Relations during a US Election

The atmosphere around the national elections to be held on Tuesday, November 3, has brought to the fore many important issues of how the US military interacts and is viewed by the public and civilian leadership in government.

Harvard Kennedy School

Energy Policy Seminar: John Holdren on “Thawing Permafrost: A Local and Global Disaster”

Join us for an Energy Policy Seminar featuring John Holdren, Teresa and John Heinz, Professor of Environmental Policy at HKS. Professor Holdren will speak on “Thawing Permafrost: A Local and Global Disaster”. The seminar will be hosted by HKS Professor Joe Aldy.

Harvard Kennedy School of Business

Virtual 2020 Power 50: Extraordinary Year, Extraordinary People

We often look from a different lens each year as issues as circumstances shift. 2020 is truly an outlier and a year like none other in recent memory. This year’s Power 50 will take on a different title and goal, as we look to recognize those people whose influence, innovation, commitment, and courage are making a difference in the community during an extraordinary time.

Boston Business Journal and Webster Bank

Challenges and Opportunities of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Policy Over the Next Decade

Please join Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government for a Regulatory Policy Program seminar featuring Michael Fitzpatrick, Head of Global Regulatory Affairs at Google. Registration is required.

Harvard Kennedy School of Business and Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government

The Buchanan Channel: How the Pro-Apartheid Movement Undercut the Reagan Administration’s Anti-Sanctions Effort, 1985-1987

International Security Brown Bag Seminar Series: This seminar examines how the institutional failure of the Reagan White House to invigorate a sterile sanctions debate created a window of opportunity for pro-South Africa conservatives. Augusta Dell’Omo, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program, speaker.

Harvard Kennedy School and Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

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

Tamara Payne on The Dead are Rising: The Life of Malcolm X – Central Library Author Talk Series

Join the Boston Public Library together with the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the Museum of African American History, and the GBH Forum Network for another virtual event in the American Stories, Inspiration Today author series. Learn about the epic biography produced from 30 years of research by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Les Payne.

Boston Public Library

Critical Conversations: Racial Justice and the Immigrant Rights Movement

The Binger Annual Immigration Law Forum brings together lawyers, students, advocates and community members to learn from each other and develop tools to continue the struggle to protect human rights, basic dignity, and the rule of law.

James H. Binger Center Annual Immigration Law Forum

ICP – Breaking the crime-poverty cycle

Panel Debate – The event will feature an overview by Professor Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay, Director, Center for Crime, Justice and Policing, University of Birmingham, a quick historical recap of antiquated laws and contributions by the panelists.

ESRC IAA – University of Birmingham

Virtual Discussion – Women Who Lead: Navigating the Challenges of 2020 and Beyond

Join us for a virtual live-streamed panel discussion with four female business leaders moderated by Carolyn Jones, publisher of the Boston Business Journal. Women have unique perspectives to offer on leading through these current turbulent times from how to build organizational resilience to how to advocate for themselves in a politically charged environment to maintaining a work/life balance.

Boston Business Journal and Santander Commercial Banking

Local Voices Network Conversation: Civic Engagement (Honan-Allston)

Join the Boston Public Library and Local Voices Network for an online discussion about civic engagement. LVN conversations are focused on sharing our lived experience, rather than beginning the conversation with our positions on issues. We are doing this in order to help build connections and to foster conversations that improve our understanding of one another.

Boston Public Library

Modern Mobility Aloft: Elevated Highways, Architecture and Urban Change in Pre-Interstate America

Join the Boston Public Library and the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library for an online talk with Amy D. Finstein, author of Modern Mobility Aloft: Elevated Highways, Architecture and Urban Change in Pre-Interstate America.

Boston Public Library

Managing Change to Grow Business – Part II: Growing Your Business in a Virtual World

Please join Middlesex Savings Bank and the Boston Business Journal for this conversation about managing business change in our new normal.

Boston Business Journal and Middlesex Savings Bank

MIT: AI and the Work of the Future Congress

Join MIT’s Task Force on WOTF, MIT CSAIL, and MIT Digital for this year’s Congress which will be a virtual event highlighting research findings from the MIT Task Force on WOTF’s final report that will be released in November. Given the rapidly changing environment brought on by Covid-19, this topic is more important and relevant that ever.

MIT Work of the Future Task Force; MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab; MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy

Disinformation and Digital Citizenship: Disinformation and Election Psychology

Disinformation and Digital Citizenship is a Learning Circle that meets weekly to discuss disinformation and its effect on civic institutions and society during an election year. Learning circles are small groups of individuals who explore and area of shared interest through discussion in a collaborative, friendly and mutually supportive environment.

Boston Public Library

The Future of Higher Education

As schools around the country plan, react, and adapt during the Covid-19 pandemic, the presidents of Greater Washington’s top universities will gather virtually to discuss health and safety, diversity and inclusion, and budgeting and development of the future of higher education. Join the Washington Business Journal for a look behind the scenes with the decision makers.

Washington Business Journal

Inno on Fire

The Inno on Fire Awards is our annual celebration of innovators, big and small, people, and organizations in Boston. What makes a company or individual on fire? We are looking at startups that have had a banner year, people and companies with hew funding, recent product launches, hot hires, innovative approaches to solving problems, and creative leaders who think out of the box.

Boston Business Journal

The State of Innovation: Electrification presented by Analog Devices

Across the network, Innos State of Innovations meetups focus on a specific industry, category, theme or individual and will feature a keynote, fireside chat, panel, pitch, demo or a combination of the five. Join us for a conversation with local innovators and experts.

The Boston Business Journals

2020 Women Who Mean Business

Join us as we celebrate outstanding women at our fourth Women Who Mean Business awards program. These women represent the scale of business in Greater Boston and have demonstrated significant growth in their companies.

Boston Business Journal and Webster Bank

Today’s Headlines


Former Boston city councilor David Scondras dies at 74 – Boston Globe

5 Takeaways From Boston’s Climate Resilience Plans For Downtown, North End And Dorchester – WBUR


Agawam schools close for 2 weeks due to rising COVID-19 infections, all children to learn remotely – MassLive

Hopedale files complaint against railroad in controversial land case – MetroWest Daily News

Covid cases in Mass. schools up sharply – CommonWealth Magazine


Walmart pulls guns, ammo from displays in US stores, citing potential for civil unrest – Wall Street Journal

Georgia senator to skip debate after Democratic rival goes viral – The Hill

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