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10/20/2017

‘Amazon Downs’ | Going at it | House Speaker Moulton?

 
http://www.necleanenergyconnect.com
 
 
Happening Today
 
Deportation hearing, USS Constitution turnaround, Baker in D.C.
 

-- The ACLU and Nixon Peabody LLP are in federal court to argue against deportation of a group of Indonesian nationals, Moakley Courthouse - Suite 2300, One Courthouse Way, Boston, 9 a.m.

-- The USS Constitution gets underway for her first turnaround cruise since 2014 -- from Charlestown Navy Yard to Fort Independence on Castle Island where she fires a 21-gun salute around 11:30 a.m., Boston Harbor, 10 a.m. 

-- Gov. Charlie Baker attends a meeting of the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Washington, D.C., 11 a.m. 

 -- Representatives from Deepwater Wind join New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell and city and state officials to announce New Bedford's role in the developer's Revolution Wind project, Gifford Street Boat Ramp, 112 Gifford St., New Bedford, 11 a.m. 

 -- State Sen. Anne Gobi and Reps. Jeffrey Roy, Jonathan Zlotnik, Donald Berthiaume Jr. and Susannah Whipps tour Advanced Cable Ties' facility in Gardner, 245 Suffolk Ln., Gardner, 11 a.m. 

 -- Boston Mayor Martin Walsh offers remarks at a birthday celebration of Mel King's life and accomplishments, McKinley South End Academy, 90 Warren Ave., Boston, 11:30 a.m. 

 -- Treasurer Deborah Goldberg provides the keynote address at the MA Jump$tart teacher financial literacy training event, Fidelity Headquarters, 245 Summer St., Boston, 12 p.m. 

 -- Senate President Stan Rosenberg attends the Franklin County Youth Legislative Forum, Four Rivers Public Charter School, 28 Colrain Rd., Greenfield, 3:30 p.m. 

 
 
 
 
Today's Stories
 
‘Incredibly disgraceful and discouraging and depressing’
 

From the Globe’s Joshua Miller: “Republican Governor Charlie Baker unleashed some of his strongest criticism of President Trump Thursday, saying the exchange the commander-in-chief had with the family of a fallen soldier and the follow-up ‘was incredibly disgraceful and discouraging and depressing.’”

Boston’s very own John F. Kelly, the president’s chief of staff, is defending Trump’s remarks, saying the criticism of Trump’s condolences to the family is unfair, the NYT reports. Still, the president, once again, allowed himself to get dragged into a tawdry mess. How many more days till January 20, 2021? Talk about discouraging and depressing.

 
 
Former convenience store exec Peter Tedeschi to run against Keating
 

After selling off Tedeschi Food Shops Inc. to 7-Eleven two years ago, he certainly has the time, and we assume the money, to pursue new ventures. From SHNS’s Colin Young at Wicked Local: “Peter Tedeschi, whose family's Tedeschi Food Shops empire grew from the South Shore across New England, is planning to run next year for Congress. The former convenience store executive, a Republican, is plotting a run for the 9th Congressional District seat currently held by Democrat Rep. Bill Keating.”

Wicked Local
 
 
‘Amazon Downs’
 

Universal Hub has already changed the station name, and the MBTA subway map, in anticipation of Amazon possibly choosing Boston as the site for its new ‘second’ headquarters.

Speaking of the city’s Amazon bid, CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl reports that the owner of Suffolk Downs already has a design-plan sketch of how an Amazon headquarters might fit into the 161-acre site that’s now the centerpiece of Boston’s HQ2 bid proposal. The BBJ’s Catherine Carlock notes that the city’s bid does mention two other “clusters” where Amazon might build in Boston – “South Boston Waterfront and downtown Boston” and “South End, Back Bay, Roxbury, and Widett Circle.” In other words, throughout most of Boston. The BBJ’s Greg Ryan reports that the city’s bid holds out the possibility of one day connecting the Blue and Ride lines. 

Courtesy of the Boston Globe, here’s the city’s full bid submitted to Amazon. The Globe’s Tim Logan and Jon Chesto have their own overview piece on the Boston bid. The Globe’s Shirley Leung wonders whether Suffolk Downs is really the right choice for Amazon. Last but not least, the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld is busy priming the blame-game pump should Massachusetts strike out on getting Amazon. Gov. Charlie Baker is at the top of Joe’s preliminary blame-and-shame list.

 
 
So many other bids …
 

Besides Boston, other communities across the commonwealth have submitted bids to Amazon. Here’s a sampling: Leominster, with offers of 400 acres and $405M (Worcester Business Journal); Worcester, with the support of Route 20 businesses (Telegram); Weymouth, with an outside-the-box pitch (Boston Herald); Merrimack Valley, with a marriage proposal (Eagle Tribune); and the MetroWest (MetroWest Daily News).

 
 
Baker bewildered by N.H.’s Massachusetts-bashing bid
 

Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday was still trying to make sense of New Hampshire’s strange attempt to lure Amazon by bashing Massachusetts, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan at the Telegram. "I don't see how that benefits New Hampshire, I really don't,” Baker said during his monthly appearance on WGBH Radio “I mean, if I'm sitting there and I'm Amazon and I'm reading these proposals, I want to judge your proposal based on you. I don't want to judge it based on how you think you stack up against somebody else."

Telegram
 
 
MJ Event v2
 
 
Wanted: Way to spend $12 million
 

With Suffolk Downs galloping away into horse-racing history, the state may be even more hard-pressed to find ways to divvy up $12 million worth of casino revenue set aside for racing purses—and that in turn could put the money at risk of being grabbed by lawmakers furiously backfilling budget gaps, Bruce Mohl of CommonWealth Magazine reports. 

CommonWealth
 
 
SJC to hear case on corporate-donation ban in Massachusetts
 

This could be a campaign-finance game changer if the court sides with the plaintiffs. From the Herald’s Bob McGovern: “Corporations can’t make political donations under Massachusetts law, but the state’s highest court is prepared to hear arguments from two business owners who say the ban on company cash is unconstitutional. The Supreme Judicial Court earlier this week agreed to hear the appeal from the owners of 126 Self Storage in Ashland and 1A Auto Inc. in Pepperell — two companies that are seeking to make contributions to candidates or political action committees.”

Boston Herald
 
 
Is Moulton really running for House speaker?
 

Speaking of campaign finances, the Globe’s James Pindell takes a look at the campaign-finance records of U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton and concludes that maybe Moulton is telling the truth when he says he’s not running for president in 2020. But maybe he’s running for something else? “This aggressive fund-raising for House colleagues is also a time-honored path by which one becomes a committee chairman or even House speaker,” writes Pindell. 

Boston Globe
 
 
Sanchez and Spilka going at it over anti-gang funding and budget
 

We missed this one yesterday, via CommonWealth’s Michael Jonas, who reports on how Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, the new House budget chief, is upset with the Senate for not including funds in the close-out FY 2017 budget bill for the state’s Safe and Successful Youth Initiative program. “For all the talk the Senate’s been doing across the way (on criminal-justice reform), they didn’t include this in their supplemental budget,” said Sanchez, who’s also critical of Senate procedural matters on the budget. The Senate’s budget chief, Sen. Karen Spilka, is defending her chamber’s action and warning about tough budget times ahead for the state.

CommonWealth
 
 
New England Clean Power Link
 
 
Wellesley wins public-records exemption due to a real pain-in-the-ass filer
 

From Colman Herman at CommonWealth magazine: “The state’s supervisor of public records for the first time has allowed a governmental entity to ignore a citizen’s bid for documents because the request was a form of harassment or intimidation. The ruling by Rebecca Murray dealt with Wellesley resident Ronald Alexander, who has filed more than 200 public records requests with the town since 2013.”

Wellesley officials finally snapped when he made a public-records request for all the public-records requests that were mentioned at a school committee meeting since 2013.

CommonWealth
 
 
Bridgewater officials apologize for photo showing black child on leash
 

It sounds terrible. It looks terrible. But was it really terrible? The Herald’s Marie Szaniszlo reports that Bridgewater school officials have apologized for a photo of two white elementary students, dressed in 17th Century garb, holding a black classmate by what appears to be leashes. The posted photo sparked outrage. While he apologized for the photo, Bridgewater-Raynham superintendent Derek J. Swenson noted that the students’ teacher shared the photo after a “Plimoth Plantation presentation last Friday in which her students donned 17th-century attire, including garments with tethers used to keep toddlers safe as they learned to walk.” 

Boston Herald
 
 
State’s jobless rate dips below 4 percent …
 

We were getting a little nervous there with the steady increase in the state’s jobless rate earlier this year, but it appears the jitters weren’t warranted, with the latest data showing the state’s unemployment rate falling to 3.9 percent in September, below the national average. SHNS’s Colin Young reports at the Salem News that employers added 9,300 jobs to payrolls last month in Massachusetts.

Salem News
 
 
… while Athenahealth announces it’s cutting 500 jobs
 

Unfortunately, Watertown’s Athenahealth has announced it is eliminating 500 jobs. It’s being driven not by the economy, but by a billionaire hedge fund manager who has pushed the company to pursue “numerous operational and strategic opportunities to maximize shareholder value,” reports the Globe’s Andy Rosen.

Boston Globe
 
 
 
 
Cannabis Control Commission taps top Goldberg aide as its new executive director
 

From Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive: “The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission on Thursday picked Shawn Collins, a top aide to state Treasurer Deb Goldberg, as the executive director of the new state agency tasked with overseeing the marijuana industry in the Bay State. Collins, a Suffolk Law School graduate, previously worked in the office of state Sen. Richard Moore, D-Uxbridge. Collins has also served on the Webster School Committee.” CommonWealth magazine’s Jack Sullivan writes that Collins is a known, and respected, quantity on Beacon Hill.

MassLive
 
 
Thank you, Mr. President: Health Connector customers could see rate hike of up to 26 percent
 

Everyone knew this was coming, but it's still a shock: A week after the state Health Connector approved an 8 percent boost in insurance rates for those on its plans, the Connector yesterday unveiled even steeper rate increases, thanks to President Trump’s decision to end federal subsidies for health-insurance coverage for lower-income people, reports Jessica Bartlett at the BBJ. Some individuals purchasing plans on the state’s health insurance market could see rates increases of 26 percent.

BBJ
 
 
Secretary of state: Two-fisted town meeting voter didn’t break law
 

Two votes really are better than one—and totally legal. A Westboro man spotted double-voting at Town Meeting earlier this week did not violate state law by casting a vote on behalf of his wife, who was out of the room at the time, Elaine Thompson of the Telegram reports. The state’s secretary of state’s office did, however, recommend that Westboro tighten up its own voting rules. 

Telegram
 
 
Bay State has the highest percentage of inmates over 55
 

This is interesting: A new study by the Pew Charitable Trusts says that Massachusetts has the highest percentage of inmates over 55 in the nation, reports Deborah Becker at WBUR. Maria Schiff, senior officer in correctional health for Pew, suggests that the Bay State’s higher spending on prison health-care services may explain our older inmate population.

WBUR
 
 
Job Board
 
 
Boston lawsuit targets Devos’s guidance on college sexual assaults
 

From the Associated Press at WBUR: “A national women's rights group and three Massachusetts women filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging the U.S. Education Department's new guidance on investigating campus sexual assaults. The Los Angeles-based Equal Means Equal and the three women, who have separately accused their colleges of mishandling complaints of sexual assault, say the new guidance is discriminatory and violates state and federal civil rights laws. They're asking the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts to suspend the rules.”

WBUR
 
 
Westfield exploring its legal options on opioid crisis
 

The Westfield City Council voted Thursday to explore joining with state attorneys general and other local communities seeking legal options on how to address the nation’s opioid crisis, Brian Steele of MassLive reports. 

MassLive
 
 
Walsh backs off charter bill bearing his name
 

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is seeking to distance himself from a charter school enrollment bill circulating on Beacon Hill that bears his name, Jule Pattison-Gordon of the Bay State Banner reports. Walsh says the bill, which deals with the concept of dual enrollment—offering Boston students both public and charter-school seats at the same time—has changed from the original intent that earned his co-sponsorship. 

Bay State Banner
 
 
Sunday public affairs TV
 

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, who discusses with host Jon Keller an effort to repeal a law hampering the war on opioids, the federal response to post-hurricane Puerto Rico and local airplane-noise issue.

This is New England, NBC Boston Channel 10, 9:30 a.m. With host Latoyia Edwards, this week’s show will include a discussion of current events and then a look at the ‘The Pink Tie’ guys and the New England Center and Home for Veterans.  

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Jim Rooney, chief executive of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, discusses the Amazon bids, GE troubles, the #metoo campaign, health-care costs and other issues; Patrick Boyaggi, chief executive of RateGravity, discusses how his firm is working to change the way people get their mortgages; Boston Business Journal editor Doug Banks reviews the top local stories of the week.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Steven Hoffman, chairman of the Cannabis Control Commission, who talks with anchor Ed Harding and co-anchor Janet Wu.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. This week’s main topic: Sunday October 22, 2017: Criminal justice reform, with guest Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz.

 
 
BHTS
 
 
Today's Headlines
 
Metro
 

Archidocese floats dorm concept for Columbia Point - Dorchester Reporter

 
Massachusetts
 

Chelmsford TM bans pot businesses - Lowell Sun

City announces $3.6 million HUD loan to help finance Paramount Theater rehab - MassLive

Northampton council takes stand against cameras downtown - Hampshire Gazette

Massachusetts poised to lift ban on bilingual education - WGBH

Climate change impacts coming to Crane Beach - Salem News

 
Nation
 

Senate approves budget in crucial step for GOP tax cuts - Washington Post

Trump blindsides advisers with promised opioid plan - Politico

 
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Oct. 20, 7 p.m.
40 & Under: What Do You Want To See In Boston- Black Millennial Mixer
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Cloud Connection
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Oct. 21, 9:00 a.m.
Boston College Women's Summit
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Oct. 21, 12:00 p.m.
Processing Community Day
Hosted by: MIT Media Lab
 
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Nov. 15, 7:30 a.m.
Mass. Marijuana Summit: Understanding the challenges and opportunities in the new age of legalization
Hosted by: State House News Forum
 
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  • Wide ranging summary of the latest news on Massachusetts politics, public policy, and government
  • Rich array of sources, both conventional and niche
  • Beacon Hill's most comprehensive Calendar of upcoming political, policy and advocacy events
  • Check our Job Board identifying Beacon Hill's best new positions available in government, politics and public policy