9:30 | Mayor Wu joins Sen. Markey to announce that the City of Boston has received $11.4 million from the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Grant program. At Valley Gates off Pierpont Road, Franklin Park, Dorchester
9:30 | Gov. Healey speaks at the Mass Black Expo, hosted by the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, along with Lt. Gov. Driscoll. Near North Lobby, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, 415 Summer Street, Boston
10:00 | U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan addresses the New England Council for a "Capitol Hill Report" breakfast. Hampshire House, 84 Beacon St., Boston
11:00 | Congresswoman Pressley is a guest on "Radio Boston" — WBUR-FM 90.9
11:00 | Attorney General Campbell is on the GBH News program "Boston Public Radio" for her "Ask the AG" segment — WGBH-FM 89.7.
t’s a tale as old as time, or at least 2003, when Barbra Streisand inadvertently attracted the entire internet’s attention with a lawsuit over a little-seen photo of her home: trying to suppress something can only make people more interested.
So it goes for the MBTA, which managed to step on a rake by quickly deleting a brand-new podcast the agency itself produced within 90 minutes of its publication, as my colleague Colin A. Young reported.
The first episode of the show — cleverly or cringe-inducingly titled “Spilling the T,” depending on your tastes — apparently featured MBTA General Manager Phil Eng sitting for a 20-minute-plus discussion with Andrew Cassidy, who works in the agency’s customer and employee experience departments.
We’re left scratching our heads about what kind of political calculus might have been at play here. Would such a softball interview with a fellow T employee really have generated more, or more intense, scrutiny than did the act of making it disappear? It’s especially jarring to see a lid slammed onto an MBTA-produced podcast that pitched itself as an act of “transparency, open communication, and continuous improvement.”
Maybe something Eng said raised eyebrows at the Department of Transportation or in the office of Gov. Maura Healey, who, coincidentally, has bristled at past criticism of her administration’s approach to transparency.
The MBTA says it still plans to release the podcast at some point and simply listed it by mistake yesterday, so allow MASSterList to offer some unsolicited recommendations for new episodes: how about one explaining how the Green Line Extension tracks are so narrow that trains can only travel 3 mph, or another explaining why it’s been such a challenge to get new Red and Orange Line cars delivered?
CCC Chair Shannon O’Brien will receive public hearing in Nov.
Cannabis Control Commission Chair Shannon O’Brien, who sued state Treasurer Deborah Goldberg over the procedures used in O’Brien’s removal from her position in September, will get to give her side of the story publicly without judicial intervention, her lawyer announced yesterday. A court hearing on the matter had been scheduled for today. O’Brien, a former state treasurer and gubernatorial candidate, said she filed the suit because Goldberg wouldn’t hold a public hearing on the matter — and Goldberg now has offered to do so. The hearing is scheduled for Nov. 7. — Boston Globe
Feds to examine Massachusetts special education programs
A unit of the U.S. Department of Education is going to investigate whether the state is properly overseeing public and private special education programs, WBUR reported, citing a letter from the agency to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The letter states that the agency is taking the action after months of complaints from parents and other stakeholders. — WBUR
Legislature has new gun regulations in sight
Lawmakers in the state House and Senate will send a proposed law that would roll back some gun-owner rights before the end of the current legislative session, leaders of both houses said. The legislation is being advanced without the usual hearings where lawmakers hear public input, State House News Service notes. The Boston Herald reports that leaders of groups opposed to gun control were critical of the new measure — explicitly a proposed ban on the new sales of guns similar in design to military assault rifles. — Boston Herald
Voter ID requirement could come to Massachusetts
Some conservative activists are working to put before voters a ballot question whose outcome would determine whether the state would require proof of identification at polling places. Among the leaders driving the effort is Joanne Miksis of Wakefield. — New Boston Post
Inquest clears Cambridge police officer in January shooting of student
Middlesex County DA Marian Ryan has determined that a still-unnamed Cambridge police officer was “justified” in his fatal shooting of a 20-year-old Sayed Faisal in January, a decision that clears the officer of criminal wrongdoing but is unlikely to end protests in the city calling for more transparency. — Cambridge Day
Amherst council backs single-payer health care
The Amherst Town Council has voted to support a push to bring single-payer healthcare to Massachusetts, a ceremonial move that comes after similar measures were approved at town meeting and the ballot box five years ago, Scott Merzbach of the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports. —Daily Hampshire Gazette
Massachusetts watchdog says CNN’s Israel coverage is biased
Camera, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit whose mission is to call out news organizations that engage in biased coverage of the Middle East in general and the Arab-Israeli conflict in particular, released a new report blasting CNN. The report is titled “Tracking CNN’s bias: CNN’s obsession with Israel.” The report’s authors concluded that 44 percent of CNN’s online articles from July through September that didn’t focus on the United State focused on Israel. Iran was in a distant second place. Camera stands for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis. — Camera
Holyoke Mayor announces increased surveillance after fatal shooting
A day after a stray bullet struck a pregnant woman riding a city bus and claimed the life of her unborn baby, Holyoke Mayor Joshua Garcia pledged to increase police presence and boost the use of surveillance technology to tackle crime on city streets. — MassLive
Lesley University lays off faculty amid restructuring
Lesley University has begun carrying out a plan announced earlier this year to restructure and save money, laying off an unspecified number of faculty in areas of study no longer considered “not core” to the school’s mission. The Globe’s Hilary Burns has the details. — Boston Globe
No longer Taxachusetts? How about the Tax Shark?
New Hampshire’s state-run lottery is running a television advertisement amid the rising Powerball fever that shows a woman opening her door only to be bitten by a shark — think Saturday Night Live’s “Land Shark” sketches — and a host asking: “Why play the lottery in Massachusetts where taxes, including the new ‘millionaires tax,’ cost you an extra 9%? Instead, live free and play in New Hampshire where your income and winnings are always state tax free.” WBZ reported it didn’t get a requested response from the Massachusetts lottery. — WBZ
U.S. Open returning to Brookline CC
Mark your (very large) calendars: The Brookline Country Club will once again host the U.S. Open golf tournament–but not until 2038. Too soon? No worries, the club will also host the U.S.Women’s Open, in 2045. — ESPN
Weekend political talk shows
Keller@Large, Sunday, 8:30, WBZ-TV. Political analyst Jon Keller interviews Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. She will discuss her Mass & Cass plan, policing in the city, and the MCAS controversy.
On The Record, Sunday, 11 a.m., WCVB-TV. State Senator Lydia Edwards will be the guest. Among the topics will be the growing criticism from Beacon Hill about the Biden Administration’s handling of the migrant crisis. We’ll also talk Tax Relief passage and the new Gun Reform legislation. Ben Simmoneau and Sharman Sacchetti host. Democratic political analyst Mary Anne Marsh and Republican political analyst Rob Gray join the roundtable discussion.
@Issue, Sunday, 11:30 am on NBC10 Boston; also at noon, 2:30, 5 p.m. on NECN. Guests: Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley on the ouster of Kevin McCarthy from position of House Speaker, plus her fight for student debt relief. Plus, celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with Rep. Judith Garcia of Chelsea, Secretary of Veterans’ Services Jon Santiago and former Secretary of Labor & Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta. Hosts: Cory Smith, Sue O’Connell and Bianca Beltran.