Happening Today

Pandhandling case, Election Eve update, and more

— Under state guidelines, fifteen Massachusetts cities and towns today must close indoor performance venues, shutter several recreational activities, and scale down gathering limits following increases in their COVID-19 case rates.

— The Supreme Judicial Court meets to hear oral arguments for five cases including one seeking to challenge the constitutionality of a law prohibiting panhandling on public roads, 9 a.m.

— Secretary of State William Galvin hosts his traditional election eve media availability, with plans to talk about actual turnout to date and turnout expectations, safety protocols for in-person voting, and to answer questions about voting and the vote-counting process, 10:30 a.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: 22 new deaths, 9,788 total deaths, 1,139 new cases

NBC Boston has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts .

For what they’re worth: The swing state polls

Less than 24 hours until Election Day – and we thought readers might like to see some of the last-minute polls out there. And … they’re inconsistent. Sort of. Yes, Joe Biden has a big lead over Donald Trump in most popular-vote polls. But it’s not so clear on the electoral-college front. The NYT has Biden pulling head in the four key swing states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida and Arizona. Then again, a WSJ/NBC polls shows the race in battleground states is narrowing. The Washington Post-ABC poll has Biden with a slight lead in Pennsylvannia, but Florida is a toss-up. Ditto Ohio, reports Bloomberg at MSM.

Btw: We know we’re not supposed to like polls at this point, but we can’t help ourselves. Sorry. Btw II, from WBUR: “’I Moved Because Of The Election’: Mass. Expats Relish Chance To Vote In Swing States.”

New England’s very own battleground states

Believe it or not, there are some battleground states right here in New England, though they may not be as important as swing states elsewhere. A three-reporter team at the Globe takes a look at the presidential contests in Maine and New Hampshire, where Trump supporters are confidently predicting a last-minute red wave and where Dems are trying to get out the vote.

Trump supporters definitely seem more visible here and elsewhere in general. An example, via MassLive: “Hundreds of Trump supporters travel to Western Massachusetts for rally ahead of Election Day.” But from the Globe’s Liz Goodwin: “Is there a quiet majority of exhausted voters who are ready to boot Trump out?” Put another way: Is there a hidden Biden vote?

Boston Globe

The biggest guessing game heading into tomorrow: When will we know the results?

Secretary of State William Galvin is relatively confident we should find out tomorrow night who won various races here in Massachusetts. But the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky and Sean Philip Cotter report that town clerks are not so sure about down-ballot races. Meanwhile, Edgar Herwick at GBH looks at the presidential results – and how it could take days, weeks and even months to determine a true winner.

GBH’s ‘Beat the Press’ had an excellent show the other night on what the media is facing when it comes to reporting election results on Tuesday. Among other things, panelists agree that exit-polling is out this year, gone the way of the dodo bird, and yet that may not stop some media outlets from trying to call the election.

Election updates: Baker ‘mailed it in,’ Bobby Orr endorsement, coup talk, environmental accusation

There’s a lot going on with the election now less than a day away. So we’ll just go with some quick headlines and summaries in this post, starting with Matt Murphy’s report at SHNS (pay wall) that Gov. Charlie Baker opted went with mail-in voting this year. … Then there’s the politically earth-shaking news that Boston Bruins legend Bobby Orr has endorsed Donald Trump for president (Globe) and at least one adult Orr fan has responded with his own say-it-aint-so-Bobby ad in the Union Leader (Globe). … This one might go down in the Guinness Book of World Records: A federal judge has actually sided with (sort of) Shiva Ayyadurai in his legal suit against Bill Galvin (Universal Hub). … From the New Boston Post: “MassFiscal Says Two Environmentalist Groups Are Violating Campaign Finance Law In Massachusetts.” … And from Laurence Tribe and Steven Mazie, in an op-ed at the Globe: “Conservative Supreme Court justices are threatening a post-election coup.”

Lelling’s main concern: ‘Spontaneous unrest following a closely-contested vote’

The Globe is confirming that some area businesses are boarding up windows and taking other precautions amid fears about what could unfold on and after Election Day. U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling is also concerned – and he’s most concerned about “spontaneous unrest following a closely-contested vote,” as he tells WBUR.

Here are some other signs of the tensions out there. From the Lynn Item: “Swampscott Trump rally organizer Ploss arrested.” And from the Telegram: “Talk radio station frequency hijacked by Trump message in Warren.”


Local legislative races may come down to … Donald Trump?

The Herald’s Erin Tiernan reports on the top state Senate and House races to watch on Tuesday – and many of those legislative races may come down to one thing: Donald Trump. And Democratic Party Chairman Gus Bickford is having a grand old time pointing out the “albatross” hanging around the necks of many Grand Old Party candidates.

Boston Herald

Red wave: The president may win at least one precinct in Boston

RGBH’s Adam Reilly reports that it’s really a matter of how big Joe Biden wins on Tuesday in Boston. Yet … yet there’s a least one precinct in Boston — tucked way down in the southeastern-most tip of the city, right across the Neponset River from Quincy and Milton – that may go red tomorrow.


As coronavirus cases spike, Boston considers re-imposing lockdown on indoor dining

The number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in Massachusetts, alarming experts across the state, reports the Globe’s John Hilliard. And latest data has the city of Boston considering new steps to control the spread of the virus, including possibly new restaurant restrictions and lockdowns, as the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter reports. Needless to say, restaurant owners think it’s a very bad idea, as CBS Boston reports.

Tit for tat? Massachusetts slaps quarantine rules on Connecticut and New Jersey travelers

Take that, Connecticut and New Jersey. Days after the two states slapped quarantine rules on those entering their states from Massachusetts, the Bay State followed up with its own travel rules applying to those from the Nutmeg and Garden states, according to a report at WBUR. 


Everett councilors pressure Black female member to show up at meetings – or resign

There’s Stephanie Ebbert’s report at the Globe on Everett city councilors pressuring the board’s first Black female member to show up at meetings during the pandemic – or resign. Then there’s Universal Hub’s account of the showdown, as summarized in its headline: “Old white people on the Everett City Council who hate masks demand black councilor with vulnerable father at home spend four hours breathing in their exhalations or quit.”

‘Ghost town’: Halloween crowds down in Salem after haunt-someone-else warnings

Hundreds of Halloween enthusiasts did show up in Salem on Saturday night, but they didn’t hang around for long, and so officials are claiming victory in their attempt to warn celebrants to stay away from the Witch City on All Hallows’ Eve, according to reports at the Salem News and Wicked Local. Lousy weather also had something to do with the small crowds.

In other Halloween news, Gov. Charlie Baker personally hosted a 9-year-old girl (and a friend) at the State House after she wrote to him with some pandemic-era tips for trick-or-treating, reports SHNS (pay wall). 

Weymouth drops compressor fight in exchange for $10M

They’re literally cutting their losses as they count their money. From SHNS’s Chris Lisinski: “The town of Weymouth will drop its ongoing legal fight against a controversial natural gas project, and energy giant Enbridge will pay the municipality $10 million as part of a newly reached host community agreement that immediately drew condemnation from opponents of the compressor station.” The compressor station is going to open no matter what, thanks to the feds, so they might as well get what they can.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Hurry up: Gas workers call on lawmakers to move on pipeline safety bills

Speaking of energy issues, the New England Gas Workers Alliance is urging Bay State lawmakers to roll proposed improvements to gas pipeline safety regulations into climate bills moving through the legislature, Christian Wade at the Salem News reports. The group says policy tweaks made after the Merrimack Valley gas explosions didn’t go far enough to protect workers. 

Salem News

Friendly’s to sell restaurant locations, file for bankruptcy

Is this the end of another New England institution? From Michelle Williams at MassLive: “Friendly Ice Cream Corporation, the Western Massachusetts-based parent company of Friendly’s restaurants, announced late Sunday that the company entered into a sale agreement and will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Amici Partners Group, a Connecticut-based entity of restaurant operators and investors, will buy “substantially all” of Friendly’s assets, the company said of the sale.”


‘Live long and prosper’: Leonard Nimoy’s daughter proposes Spock memorial in Boston

Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin reports that Julie Nimoy, daughter of the late Leonard Nimoy of Spock/Star Trek fame, is proposing a “25-foot-high memorial in Boston to her father, in the form of the ‘live long and prosper’ hand gesture he made famous.” And none other than William Shatner, aka Captain Kirk himself, is endorsing the idea: “This needs to happen!”

Universal Hub

Early warning: Natick sees overrides in its future

Here’s some likely future election news: Officials in Natick are warning that the town will likely require a Proposition 2 ½ override to balance its fiscal year 2023 budget, Henry Schwan at the MetroWest Daily News reports. The early warning is likely aimed not only at residents but lawmakers, who have a couple budget cycles to come up with help for in-the-red local budgets. 

Meanwhile, Hadley Town Meeting will take up a plan later this month to use the town’s cash reserves to avoid any tax increases on residents next year, Scott Merzbach at the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports. 

MetroWest Daily News

Massachusetts Life Sciences Center taps Massport executive as next chief

From the BBJ’s Gintautus Dumcius: “he Massachusetts Life Sciences Center board has offered the president and CEO job of the state quasi-public agency to Kenneth Turner, a longtime Massachusetts Port Authority executive and a U.S. Navy veteran. Turner is the director of diversity and inclusion at the Massachusetts Port Authority.” Final details need to be worked out, apparently, but it looks like a done deal.


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

Interpreting the 2020 Elections

Award-winning author Evan Thomas moderates a panel discussion on interpreting the results of the 2020 elections. Register for this free Kennedy Library Forum to receive an email reminder with a viewing link before the event. Reservations are strongly recommended.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

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

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

Building a Better Business Through Diversity and Inclusion

In this panel discussion we’ll explore steps large and small organizations can make to further promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. How are companies going about building a more diverse and inclusive work environment, and what have been the major challenges, as well as best practices that assure a strong program.

Worcester Business Journal

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

Climate Change, Survival, and Deepening Our Humanity

City of Boston’s Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola leads a panelist discussion on how the belief systems that define and maintain our societies impact the planet and influence our survival. Register for this free virtual Kennedy Library Forum to receive an email reminder with a viewing link before the event.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

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

Managing Climate Risk in the US Financial System

This webinar will be given by Robert Litterman, Chairman of the Risk Committee and Founding Partner, Kepos Capital, and Stephen Moch, MBA and MPP candidate at HBS and HKS. It is part of M-RCBG”s weekly Business and Government Seminar series. Registration is required.

Harvard Kennedy School of Business/Mossavar-Rahmani center for Business and Government

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


Quincy Medical Center closes for good – Patriot Ledger

A new model for affordable housing? Tenants and landlord in Mattapan reach a long-term contract on rents – Boston Globe


Amherst College inviting all but sophomores back to campus in Spring – Daily Hampshire Gazette

State slaps Wayland with three open meeting law violations in October – MetroWest Daily News

Attleboro-area election campaigns not big spenders – Sun Chronicle


Fueled by cash, health care and Trump’s woes, Democrats aim for Senate control – New York Times

Rhode Island is voting on removing ‘Plantations’ from the state’s official name – CNN

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