What's ahead this week in state government

Suffolk Downs celebrates "what is very likely" last day of racing today - The election is a month away - Rick Perry in NH to help Scott Brown

WEEK OF OCT. 5, 2014

Baker, Coakley tied, another debate Tuesday

A month remains until the election and the race for Massachusetts governor stands as a tight affair between Republican Charlie Baker and Democrat Martha Coakley, who are set to meet again in a debate on Tuesday night. While she was fighting off other contenders before the Sept. 9 primary, Coakley held polling leads over Baker, but the most recent surveys score the race as a toss-up and Coakley has struggled to raise money. With Baker holding a significant fundraising advantage, the Democratic Party has begun pouring money into the race, which will likely have impacts elsewhere on the Nov. 4 ballot. Three independent candidates for governor have so far failed to gain traction in polls, although Evan Falchuk appears to be having some impact in part by regularly pointing out the angles of major party politics that Baker and Coakley don't discuss. While they share much in common in terms of priorities, Baker and Coakley continue to zero in on their differences as they juggle debate, scheduling, and fundraising responsibilities as well as the daily grind of campaigning and the influence of super PAC ads that are not supposed to be coordinated with the candidates but which take clear sides in the race to pick a successor to Gov. Deval Patrick. The governor has strongly supported Coakley since her Sept. 9 primary win - several of his former top aides are steering her campaign - but like her predecessors Tom Reilly and Scott Harshbarger Coakley so far has not felt the complete embrace of Massachusetts Democrats during her run for the Corner Office. Tuesday night's debate shapes up as the political event of the week, but the candidates for governor will be getting together a lot. Here's a look at other storylines:

-- With an anti-trust deal between the attorney general and the state's largest health care provider awaiting court approval, stakeholders in the industry plan to gather for annual cost trend hearings Monday and Tuesday. The hearings offer a chance for state officials to question industry leaders and experts and for everyone to get a better grasp on how Massachusetts is doing with its ongoing cost control, coverage, and care delivery experiments. The hearings this year for the first time will include a review of the state's performance against a 3.6 percent cost growth benchmark intended to keep health care cost growth at or lower than economic growth. Gov. Deval Patrick, Senate President Therese Murray, Auditor Suzanne Bump, Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez and top officials in the health care world will speak at the two-day look at cost trends in Massachusetts. The hearing is the "Super Bowl of health care in Massachusetts," David Seltz, executive director of the Health Policy Commission, quipped this week. The Health Policy Commission, an independent agency that analyzes market trends, is putting together the hearing. A Center for Health Information and Analysis report released in September found insurance premiums and benefit levels relatively stable. But the report also said health care spending rose to more than $50 billion as a shift away from fee-for-service care "stalled." "We have more people insured than ever before - more than anywhere else in the country - and the fact that there are more people insured and eligible for insurance is going to add to cost," Patrick told reporters after the CHIA report was released. "We have slowed the rate of increase, but we actually need to reduce the total cost of health care, and those alternative payment methods, which were being so widely embraced when they were first put in place - I want to see the uptake continue, so there's work to do."

-- It's been pushed back so many times now that it seems inaccurate to call next Friday a deadline for agreement between the Obama and Patrick administrations over a five-year multi-billion dollar waiver critical to the Massachusetts health care system. The last waiver, a three-year deal, ended June 30 but has been repeatedly extended.

-- With Ebola inflicting a deadly toll in West Africa, the arrival of the virus in the United States has quickly emerged as a public health concern, raising questions about response and preparedness. State officials also continue to monitor Enterovirus. On Sept. 23, officials announced an 8-year-old girl from southeastern Massachusetts had tested positive in what public health officials presumed as the first of many cases in the state of a rare strain of a virus that has caused severe respiratory infection in dozens of children around the country.

Important Cape Cod meetings & events this week

TUESDAY, OCT. 7, 2014

ARTS GRANT CELEBRATION: Several officials, including Sen. Dan Wolf (D-Harwich,) Rep. Sarah Peake (D-Provincetown) and Massachusetts Cultural Council Executive Director Anita Walker celebrate the additional $1 million within the fiscal 2015 budget for grants to nonprofit arts, humanities, and sciences programs funded through the through MCC. (Tuesday, 11:30 a.m., Provincetown Art Association & Museum, 460 Commercial St., Provincetown)

THURSDAY, OCT. 9, 2014

COUNCILS ON AGING CONFERENCE: The Mass. Association of Councils on Aging and Senior Center Directors hosts its annual conference. State consumer affairs officials plan to make a presentation. (Thursday, 10:45 a.m., Sea Crest Hotel and Conference Center, 350 Quaker Road, Falmouth)

Meeting & events in the rest of the state

SATURDAY, OCT. 4, 2014

LAST DAY OF SUFFOLKS DOWNS: Suffolk Downs will celebrate "what is very likely" its last day of racing. The track opened in 1935 and in September Mohegan Sun lost out on a bid to build a casino on part of its land, a plan that would have kept the horse track open. Local jockeys Rudy Baez and Carl Gambardella will participate. The New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has filed an application to hold races at the track, which straddles East Boston and Revere, but it's not clear if that will occur. (Saturday, 12:45 p.m., 525 McLellan Highway, East Boston)

E-ZPASS SYSTEM DOWN: Due to system maintenance, the E-ZPass website and automated phone system will not be available beginning this Friday, Oct. 3. Service will resume Monday morning at midnight. (Saturday and Sunday)

SUNDAY, OCT. 5, 2014

PARTISANS ANALYZE RACE ON KELLER: WBZ's Jon Keller hosts a discussion of the race for governor with Democratic analyst Sue O'Connell and GOP consultant Charley Manning. (Sunday, 8:30 a.m., WBZ)

BOTTLE BILL RALLY: Activists looking to pass the ballot question which would expand the state's bottle redemption law to cover water, juice and other kinds of recyclable bottles will gather in Worcester. Comedian Jimmy Tingle, a longtime supporter of the expanded system, will kick off the event with local officials. (Sunday, 1:30 p.m., Worcester First Baptist Church, 111 Park Avenue, Worcester)

GREEN-RAINBOW CANDIDATES IN HOLYOKE: Green-Rainbow candidates for secretary of state, treasurer and auditor will unveil a "community uplift initiative," described as a $1 billion proposal "to fight unemployment, abolish poverty, and provide low-income housing," addressing "flaws" in the state's Moving to Work program and long waiting lists for public housing. Rick Purcell, a former candidate for Holyoke City Council, will attend the event. It will be held at Lyman Terrace, which was once slated for demolition. Danny Factor is running for secretary of state; Ian Jackson is running for treasurer; and M K Merelice is running for auditor. (Sunday, 1:15 p.m., Lyman Terrace, 5 Hampden Street, Holyoke, Massachusetts)

GOLDBERG CAMPAIGN EVENT: Deb Goldberg, the Democratic nominee for state treasurer, is scheduled to kick off Democratic Coordinated Campaign events, first by appearing at the Democratic Town Committee Day of Action in Wellesley, and then by rallying alongside Joe Kennedy at the Needham Democratic Coordinated Campaign Office. (Sunday, 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., 24 Crescent St, Wellesley and 50 Central Ave, Needham)

MONDAY, OCT. 6, 2014

HOUSE AND SENATE: Both branches meet in informal sessions at 11 a.m.

LEADERSHIP MEETING: Gov. Deval Patrick, Senate President Therese Murray and Speaker Robert DeLeo sit down for a closed-door meeting of Beacon Hill's top three Democrats. While the formal legislative year has ended, the House and Senate are expected soon to take up a supplemental budget bill to officially close the books on fiscal 2014. (Monday, 1:30 p.m., Governor's Office, Rm. 360)

McGOVERN CELEBRATES BEETLELESS TREES: U.S. Rep. James McGovern and Undersecretary for Environment Martin Suuberg plan to attend the "Worcester Tree Initiative" to address the 30,000th tree planting since the massive tree removal in 2009 due to the Asian Longhorned beetle infestation. (Monday, 9:30 a.m., Burncoat High School, 179 Burncoat St, Worcester)

BUSING 40 YEARS AFTER: Harvard University's Rappaport Institute plans to bring together figures from Boston's busing history to mark the 40th anniversary of the Judge Arthur Garrity's ruling in Morgan vs. Hennigan that began the process of desegregating the Boston Public Schools. Ira Jackson, former chief of staff to Boston Mayor Kevin White and dean of the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at UMass Boston, METCO Executive Director and former Boston School Committee member Jean McGuire, and Eric Van Loon, the plaintiff's attorney in Morgan v. Hennigan, will take part in a panel discussion moderated by Harvard Economics Professor Ed Glaeser. The panel, according to organizers, will discuss the impacts the desegregation ruling had on education, demographics and development in Boston. (Monday, 5:30 p.m., Nye BC, 5th floor, Taubman Building, 15 Eliot St., Cambridge)

STEM ROUNDTABLE: Gov. Deval Patrick plans to discuss his administration's efforts to improve access to science, technology, engineering and math education. (Monday, 11:15 a.m., 21st floor conference room, Ashburton Place, Boston)

SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE: Gov. Deval Patrick plans to swear in Greg Pasquale, a partner at Pasquale & White where he practices medical malpractice litigation, as an associate justice of the Superior Court. (Monday, 11:45 a.m., Governor's Office, Rm. 360)

GORNSTEIN AT HOUSING FORUM: Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein delivers the keynote address at the National Housing and Rehabilitation Association's Fall Developers Forum. (Monday, 2:30 p.m., Bank of America, 100 Federal St., Boston)

ENERGY UNDERSECRETARY IN LAWRENCE: Undersecretary for Energy Mark Sylvia attends the Greater Lawrence Technical High School showcase of MassCEC's "Learn and Earn" program. Sylvia and Mass. Clean Energy Center leaders will tour the showcase. (Monday, 10 a.m. at 57 River Road, Andover)

SOMERVILLE UNDERPASS: Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Jack Murray and state and local officials plan to celebrate the opening of the Wellington underpass project, a federal and state-funded effort to add a pedestrian and bike underpass between the DCR's Mystic River Reservation and the new Sylvester Baxter Park. (Monday, 2:30 p.m. adjacent to Assembly Square in Somerville)

SJC MONDAY: The Supreme Judicial Court hears seven cases in oral argument, including two domestic dispute or divorce cases and one first degree murder appeal. Cases on the docket include:
SJC-11581 Commonwealth vs. Pedro Valentin
SJC-11715 Chester Chin vs. Edith E. Merriot
SJC-11726 Roberta Rodman vs. George Rodman
SJC-11727 Joseph W. Doktor vs. Dorothy A. Doktor
SJC-11516 in the matter of Suzanne T. Dwyer-Jones
SJC-11698 Mary-Kathleen O'Connell and another vs. George C. Houser Jr. and others.
SJC-11637 Impounded case
(Monday, 9 a.m., John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Second Floor, Pemberton Square, Boston)

LEXINGTON SCHOOL RIBBON-CUTTING: State Treasurer Steven Grossman, chairman of the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), and MSBA Executive Director Jack McCarthy are scheduled to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Estabrook Elementary School. The MSBA will contribute up to $12,395,684 of eligible expenses towards the new elementary school. (Monday, 10:30 a.m., Estabrook Elementary School, 117 Grove Street, Lexington)

GUV. CANDIDATES TO ATTEND MASSBIO FORUM: Gubernatorial candidates Charlie Baker and Attorney General Martha Coakley plan to attend the 2014 MassBio Forum, according to organizers. The event, open to MassBio members by invitation only, will focus on candidates' positions on issues affecting the biopharma and life sciences industries and will include questions collected from MassBio member organizations. (Monday, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Royal Sonesta Hotel, 40 Edwin H Land Boulevard, Cambridge)

FOOD WASTE BAN: The Patrick administration marks the implementation of the state's new commercial food waste ban. Under new regulations, entities that produce at least one ton of food waste per week are now required to recycle, reuse or donate excess food waste instead of sending it to landfills or incinerators. MassDEP Commissioner David W. Cash will be joined by RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts Director of Green Business Services Lorenzo Macaluso and others. (Monday, 11 a.m., 74 Parker Street, Gardner)

DEPT. OF FIRE SERVICES GROUNDBREAKING: State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Springfield Fire Commissioner Joseph Conant, and western Massachusetts fire chiefs and state building officials plan to break ground on the Department of Fire Services Springfield Campus. The project is being built on the site of the former Springfield Fire Training Center that the state bought from the city. (Monday, 2:15 p.m., Department of Fire Services Springfield Campus, 100 Grochmal Road, Springfield)

TEXAS GUV IN N.H.: Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who ran for president in 2012, will visit New Hampshire Monday for The "Politics & Eggs" forum, an event frequented by Oval Office hopefuls. The Republican dropped out in January of the 2012 run to endorse Newt Gingrich, the former U.S. House speaker. Perry was the lieutenant governor under Gov. George W. Bush, taking over after Bush became president in 2000. Perry is the state's longest serving governor and his state has fared exceptionally well economically recently, with a 5.3 percent unemployment rate and more jobs added in 2013 than any other state. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney recently fanned speculation for a potential third try for the presidency, telling the New York Times Magazine, "We'll see what happens." (Monday, 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., The Bedford Village Inn, 2 Olde Bedford Way, Bedford, N.H.)

HEALTH COST TRENDS HEARING, DAY ONE: The first day of the Health Policy Commission's 2014 cost trends hearing kicks off with remarks from Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, co-chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health, and Dr. Stuart Altman, chair of HPC, which analyzes market trends. Gov. Deval Patrick is expected to speak at 10 a.m., followed by Michael Chernew of Harvard Medical School. A morning panel will cover meeting the cost growth benchmark, with officials from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Partners HealthCare System, and UMass Memorial Medical Center. The afternoon will feature a speech from Alan Weil, editor in chief of Health Affairs, and a panel on alternative payment methodologies, with officials from Beacon Health Strategies, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Harrington Hospital, Steward Health Care System and Tufts Health Plan. Opportunity for public testimony will occur at 4:30 p.m. (Monday, 9 a.m., Suffolk University Law School, 120 Tremont St., Boston)

STEM ROUNDTABLE: Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rachel Kaprielian is scheduled to attend a meeting of the STEM Roundtable. (Closed press with a media availability immediately following.) (Monday, 10 a.m., 21st Floor Conference Room, One Ashburton Place, Boston)

TUESDAY, OCT. 7, 2014

UMASS BOSTON TURNS 50: The University of Massachusetts' Boston campus will mark its 50th anniversary Tuesday with an event outside the State House. Scheduled speakers including Victoria Reggie Kennedy, former Senate President Robert Travaglini, Education Secretary Matt Malone and UMass Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley, UMass President Robert Caret, and UMass Board Chair Henry Thomas III. A "grand academic procession" will start at the State House and follow Beacon Street into the Common. UMass Boston has 11 colleges and graduate schools that serve more than 16,000 students. (Tuesday, 10:30 a.m., Boston Common)

PENSION RESERVES INVESTMENT BOARD: The Pension Reserves Investment Management Board (PRIM) meets. It is chaired by Treasurer Steve Grossman. The agenda includes a market analysis, an update on the performance of the Pension Reserves Investment Trust (PRIT) fund, and a fiscal 2014 performance evaluation of PRIM's executive director and chief investment officer, Michael Trotsky. Board members could vote on the results of PRIM and PRIT audits and a technology adviser contract, and receive updates on travel, staff development and legislative affairs. (Tuesday, 9:30 a.m., 84 State St., Boston)

UK TRADE MINISTER VISITS: Gov. Deval Patrick plan to meet with United Kingdom Minister of State for Trade and Investment Lord Livingston to build on the state's trade relationship with the U.K. PHOTO ONLY (Tuesday, 9:30 a.m., Governor's Office, Rm. 360)

SJC TUESDAY: The Supreme Judicial Court hears six cases in oral argument, including a case appealing an action of the Department of Revenue. Cases on the docket include:
- SJC-11616 Commonwealth vs. Amanda Kelly and others
- SJC-11619 Commonwealth vs. Angel Santiago
- SJC-11617 Commonwealth vs. Larry Housewright
- SJC-11608 Bay Colony Railroad Corporation vs. Town of Yarmouth and another
- SJC-11609 The First Marblehead Corp. and another vs. Commissioner of Revenue
- SJC-11651 Bank of America and another vs. Victoria Babcock and others.
(Tuesday, 9 a.m., John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Second Floor, Pemberton Square, Boston)

PATRICK SPEAKS AT GREGOIRE'S HARVARD GROUP: Gov. Deval Patrick will speak to former Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire's Harvard class as part of her "Leading and Governing in the Political Arena" study group series. According to the school's website, Patrick will discuss education reform. The event's website says all study groups "are off-the-record and not for media coverage." (Tuesday, 4 p.m., L166, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge)

BARBARA WALTERS AT HARVARD: The Harvard Kennedy School's JFK Jr. Forum hosts a conversation with television icon Barbara Walters. Walters was co-anchor and contributor for ABC News from 1976 to 2014 and created and co-hosted The View from 1997 to 2014. She is set to discuss her career with Center for Public Leadership co-director David Gergen. Tickets for the event were distributed by lottery last week. (Tuesday, 6 p.m., JFK Jr. Forum, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge)

GAMING COMMISSION WEIGHS CHANGES TO REGULATIONS: The Massachusetts Gaming Commission holds a public hearing on new regulations and changes to current regulations. The hearing will include new regulations dealing with the surveillance of a gaming establishment, as well as policies and standards for administrative search and seizures by the commission. The commission is also seeking to amend capital investment regulations to allow "greater inclusion" of expenditures in the calculation of the required minimum capital investment for a Region C (southeastern Massachusetts) casino applicant. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., 1000 Washington St., Room 1-E, Boston)

BUMP IN EAST BRIDGEWATER: State Auditor Suzanne Bump will visit East Bridgewater Community Television to record an interview. (Tuesday, 3 p.m., East Bridgewater Community Television, 143 Plymouth St., East Bridgewater)

BETTER CITY AWARDS: At A Better City's 2014 Norman B. Leventhal Excellence in City Building Awards, the organization plans to honor Gov. Deval Patrick with the distinguished leadership award for his work to promote economic growth, quality transportation and infrastructure and to combat climate change. (Tuesday, 6 p.m., Boston Harbor Hotel, 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston)

BUMP IN BROCKTON: Auditor Suzanne Bump will attend the Summerfest 2014 Juried Art Show Winners Reception at Bernardi Auto Group. (Tuesday, 5 p.m., 300 Manley St., Brockton)

HEALTH COST TRENDS HEARING, DAY TWO: Auditor Suzanne Bump and Senate President Therese Murray will offer opening remarks for the second day of the Health Policy Commission's 2014 cost trends hearing. The attorney general's office will be offering a presentation that is expected to include examinations of insurance market trends and tiered health care products, and the impact of consumer insurance provider choices. Thomas Lee, chief medical officer at Press Ganey Associates, will speak at 10:30 a.m. Four panels will follow focusing on behavioral health, post-acute care, insurance market trends and provider market trends. Public testimony will be taken at 4:45 p.m., according to the schedule. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Suffolk University Law School, 120 Tremont St., Boston)

YOUTH DEER HUNT RULES: Regulations regarding the state's designation of a Youth Deer Hunt will be up for discussion at a Division of Fisheries and Wildlife public hearing. (Tuesday, 3 p.m., 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough)

PROTECTED ANIMALS, PLANTS: The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife is proposing to amend the state's list of species of animals and plants protected by the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act. A public hearing on the proposal will be held. (Tuesday, 3 p.m., 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough)

FIRST BOSTON TV DEBATE FOR GUV CANDIDATES: All five candidates for governor will take part in the first TV debate of the general election season to air in the Boston market. Moderator Jon Keller will host independent candidates Jeffrey McCormick, Scott Lively and Evan Falchuk, as well as Democratic nominee and Attorney General Martha Coakley and GOP nominee Charlie Baker, at WBZ's studio in Allston. According to WBZ, the format will allow candidates up to 45 seconds to respond to questioning from Keller followed by extended periods of open debate and rebuttal, and candidates will be free to question one another and engage in direct exchanges. (Tuesday, 7 p.m., WBZ studios, 1170 Soldiers Field Road, Boston)

CROCKER AT HARVARD: As part of the Future of Diplomacy Project's new "Negotiator Series," former U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker will discuss political developments across the Middle East and examine the aftermath of the Arab Spring uprisings, the civil war in Syria, the ISIS threat in Syria and Iraq and more at Harvard's Kennedy School. Crocker has served the U.S. as a foreign ambassador six times, in Afghanistan from 2011-2012, Iraq from 2007-2009, Pakistan from 2004-2007, Syria from 1998-2001, Kuwait from 1994-1997, and Lebanon from 1990-1993. (Tuesday, 8:30 a.m., Malkin Penthouse, Fifth Floor, Littauer Building, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge)

CARET HITS THE ROAD: University of Massachusetts President Robert Caret and UMass trustees chairman Henry Thomas III embark on a statewide bus tour to highlight contributions made to the state's social, cultural and economic life by UMass graduates. The university reports that nearly 270,00 of the systems 450,000 graduates live in Massachusetts. The bus tour runs Tuesday through Thursday, and will take Caret and Thomas from Boston and Haverhill through Lowell, Fall River, New Bedford, Springfield, Amherst and Worcester. (Tuesday 8 a.m., Element Productions, 316 Stuart St., Boston)

BLUEPRINT FOR THE NEXT CENTURY MEETINGS: Associated Industries of Massachusetts plans to hold a series of meetings/networking receptions to discuss the steps that business, government and other institutions must take to ensure that the next generation of Massachusetts residents will be able to be economically successful. AIM is developing The Blueprint for the Next Century, a plan to create jobs, prosperity and long-term economic growth in the Commonwealth. They are seeking to identify creative and compelling ideas from employers across the state to improve the economy. The meeting will include a moderated discussion followed by the opportunity to network with other business leaders. (Tuesday, 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m, Salem Five Bank, 424 Essex Street, Salem)

MASSDOT VALUE CAPTURE: MassDOT's Value Capture Commission is scheduled to meet. According to MassDOT spokesmen Michael Verseckes, value capture is the practice of gaining the benefits of infrastructure investment. Transportation investments often lead to increases in local tax revenue. The value capture panel will look at ways for the state to create long-term benefits from its own investments. The panel will discuss a draft mission statement for the commission. Transportation Secretary Richard Davey is scheduled to give opening remarks before the commission hears an introduction to value capture. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., Massachusetts Dept. of Transportation, Board Room, 3rd Floor, 10 Park Plaza, Boston)


GUBERNATORIAL FORUM ON ENVIRONMENT: The Environmental League of Massachusetts and other environmental groups are holding a forum with four of the gubernatorial candidates - Republican Charlie Baker, Democrat Martha Coakley, and independents Evan Falchuk and Jeff McCormick. The candidates have already received the questions. They will be asked about the potential for natural gas as a "bridge fuel" as the state seeks to become more reliant on renewable energy; the potential of a requirement for a free energy audit as part of a home sale; preparations the candidates would make as governor for climate change and the potential for flooding of coastal areas; a query as to whether the candidates think the state should get back on track for its greenhouse gas reductions target; a revenue-neutral carbon tax; efforts to protect water resources; how the candidates would implement land conservation included in a $2.2 billion environmental bond bill; stances on housing density and planning; safety from toxic chemicals; the proposed expansion of the bottle bill, which will share room on the ballot with the four candidates; and the proposed repeal of the statute that indexes the gas tax to inflation, which will also appear on the Nov. 4 ballot. Independent Scott Lively is not listed as an attendee. Lively has said global warming is "nonsense," suggesting that, "Most of what's happening is related to the sun." (Wednesday, 12:30 p.m., Suffolk Law School, 120 Tremont St., Boston)

HONG KONG FINANCE SECRETARY VISITS: Gov. Deval Patrick plans to meet with the Financial Secretary of Hong Kong John Tsang. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Governor's Office, Rm. 360)

NORTH END PARCEL MEETING: Staff from MassDOT will hold a public meeting on the department's upcoming release of requests for proposals on two properties in Boston's North End. The first parcel is adjacent to Mother Anna's restaurant and the second is at 128 North Street, also known as the Tunnel Administration Building. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., Nazzaro Community Center, 30 North Bennet Street, Boston)

GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL - SUPERIOR COURT NOMINEE: The Governor's Council interviews Judge Robert Tochka, Gov. Patrick's nominee for a seat on the Superior Court. Tochka has been on the municipal court since 2002 and the Boston bench since 2004. He was an assistant district attorney in Suffolk County for 18 years. The Milton resident graduated from Boston College in 1978 and earned his law degree from St. Louis University Law School in 1981. Tochka's appointment would fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Sandra Hamlin. (Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., Governor's Council Chamber)

DOI SESSION ON NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING: The Division of Insurance hosts an information session on neuropsychological testing. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Division of Insurance, Room 1-E, 1000 Washington St., Boston)

GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL: The Governor's Council, chaired by Gov. Deval Patrick, meets. (Wednesday, 12 p.m., Governor's Council chamber, Rm. 360)

INNOVATION ECONOMY EVENT: Gov. Patrick plans to drop by Venture Café's Innovation and the City conference to discuss the state's growing innovation economy. (Wednesday, 4:45 p.m., 75 Northern Ave., District Hall, Boston)

DOI SESSION ON BEHAVIORAL INPATIENT BEDS: The Division of Insurance hosts an information session on unfilled behavioral inpatient beds. (Wednesday, 1 p.m., Division of Insurance, Room 1-E, 1000 Washington St., Boston)

COATS FOR KIDS EVENT IN WORCESTER: Auditor Suzanne Bump will attend the 2014 Coats for Kids Event hosted by the Worcester Public Schools/Worcester Public Educational Development Foundation, Inc. (Wednesday, 4 p.m., Coral Seafood Restaurant, 225 Shrewsbury St., Worcester)

ST. PETER'S HOUSE GRAND OPENING: Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh plan to attend the grand opening of Pine Street Inn's newest supportive housing location, the renovation of the former St. Peter's convent into housing for 31 homeless men and women. (Wednesday, 1:30 p.m., 307 Bowdoin St., Dorchester)

OPEN HOUSE ON FEDERAL STREET: There's an open house Wednesday for the new location of Community Catalyst, Health Care for All and Health Law Advocates. Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs Barbara Anthony plans to attend. (Wednesday, 4 p.m., One Federal St., Boston)

PUBLIC HEALTH COUNCIL: The Public Health Council is scheduled to meet. An agenda indicates the council will vote on regulations concerning food manufacturing, hospital licensure and birth centers, as well as updates on opioids and safe-sleeping. World health officials are focusing attention on West Africa, where an Ebola outbreak has killed thousands. A man in Texas who had traveled from Liberia contracted the disease. Gov. Deval Patrick said it is unlikely for cases to turn up in Massachusetts. Locally, health officials are also concerned about EV-D68, a rare form of enterovirus, which mostly affects children and can create severe respiratory problems. The state has had a confirmed case, and on Wednesday the Rhode Island Department of Health confirmed a child had died of a combination of EV-D68 and a staph infection. Those topics were not on the agenda. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Department of Public Health, 250 Washington St., Boston)

MeHI CONSUMER IT RESEARCH RESULTS: Laurance Stuntz, director of the Massachusetts eHealth Institute, is scheduled to speak about the results of a study done by the Massachusetts eHealth Institute and how MeHI is using its findings in efforts to promote and disseminate health information technology across the state. The 2014 MeHI Provider and Consumer Health IT Research Study, released in July, focuses on the ways that eHealth and health information technologies are used and perceived by consumers and health care providers. The study found significant adoption of health IT among Massachusetts primary care and specialty care providers, but highlighted the need to focus on increasing EHR adoption in other sectors, particularly behavioral health and long-term/post-acute care organizations. The research also suggests that consumers are excited about health care technology. (Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Massachusetts Health Data Consortium, 460 Totten Pond Rd, Ste 690, Waltham)

M. PATRICIA CRONIN FOUNDATION ANNIVERSARY: The M. Patricia Cronin Foundation, which provides support to ovarian cancer patients and their friends and family, plans to host its 13th Anniversary Reception. The foundation board voted to honor Senate Majority Leader Stanley Rosenberg for his work in prevention and education on behalf of the state Senate and in bringing information about early diagnosis and other recovery support services to the citizens of Massachusetts. The Cronin Foundation also plans to honor Anne Levine, Vice President for External Affairs at the Dana-Farber Institute, as the longest serving member of the Department of Public Health's statewide cancer advisory committee and for her prevention work. Senate President Therese Murray is scheduled to serve as the honorary chair and emcee. (Wednesday, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Scollay Square Restaurant, 21 Beacon Street, Boston)

COAKLEY AND BAKER ONE-ON-ONE: The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce hosts a debate between leading gubernatorial candidates Charlie Baker and Martha Coakley. Part of the Chamber's Government Affairs Forum series, the "interactive discussion" event, moderated by WBUR's Bob Oakes, will be the first time the Democratic and Republican nominees for governor have faced one each other in a one-on-one scenario. Other debates and forums have included at least two of the three independent candidates for governor. (Wednesday, 7:30 a.m., Westin Copley Place Hotel, America Ballroom)

GUPTA ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA: Harvard Kennedy School's JFK Jr. Forum hosts a conversation with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent for CNN on medical marijuana. Dr. Staci Gruber, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at McLean Hospital, will moderate. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., JFK Jr. Forum, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge)

BLUEPRINT FOR THE NEXT CENTURY MEETINGS: Associated Industries of Massachusetts plans to hold a series of meetings/networking receptions to discuss the steps that business, government and other institutions must take to ensure that the next generation of Massachusetts residents will be able to be economically successful. AIM is developing The Blueprint for the Next Century, a plan to create jobs, prosperity and long-term economic growth in the Commonwealth. They are seeking to identify creative and compelling ideas from employers across the state to improve the economy. The meeting will include a moderated discussion followed by the opportunity to network with other business leaders. (Wednesday, 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m, Ocean Spray, 1 Ocean Spray Drive, Lakeville)

NAIOP COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE CONFERENCE: Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, is scheduled to deliver a presentation at the NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Conference. The conference will include speakers from business, government, and real estate to share insight and analysis of the latest trends affecting commercial real estate globally and locally and what they mean for the state's economy. David Fialkow, managing director at General Catalyst Partners, is scheduled to deliver the opening keynote address, and the CEO Corner will include Arthur Segel, professor at Harvard Business School, Charles Leitner III, president of Berkshire Group, and Owen Thomas, chief executive officer of Boston Properties. (Wednesday, 7:15 a.m. to 1 p.m., Westin Waterfront Hotel, 425 Summer Street, Boston)

FED CABINET MEMBERS IN SPRINGFIELD: Federal Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez and federal Education Secretary Arnie Duncan join Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rachel Kaprielian at Springfield Technical Community College to highlight grants to community colleges and to tour their Advanced Manufacturing Lab. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Scibelli Hall, 7th Floor, Springfield)

IMPROVING HIGH SKILLED IMMIGRATION FORUM: New research profiling the demand for H-1B visas in New England and its major metropolitan areas done by the Boston Fed's New England Public Policy Center is scheduled to be presented. Panelists also plan to discuss the extent to which the program is accomplishing its goals and explore policy reforms that could promote better outcomes. The forum will discuss H-1B visas, a vehicle for attracting skilled immigrants, and their possible benefits for New England's economy, research and development, and opportunities for policy improvement. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Connolly Center, 4th Floor, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, 600 Atlantic Avenue, Boston)

HEALTH CONNECTOR NAVIGATOR EVENT: Mass. Health Connector officials plan a press conference to "reinforce the importance of health care access and affordability for everyone, and detail opportunities for residents to access help applying for health coverage starting Nov. 15." (Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., New Bedford City Hall, 133 William St., New Bedford)

LABOR SECRETARY TOURS AVON COMPANY: Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rachel Kaprielian tours AccouRounds in Avon. (Wednesday, 3:15 p.m., 74 Bodwell Street, Avon.)

THURSDAY, OCT. 9, 2014

HOUSE AND SENATE: Both branches plan to meet in informal sessions at 11 a.m.

CONNECTOR BOARD: The Massachusetts Health Connector Authority Board meets, with an update expected from Maydad Cohen on progress with the state's health insurance signup website. (Thursday, 8 a.m., One Ashburton Place, 21st floor, Boston)

ASK THE GOVERNOR: Gov. Deval Patrick participates in his monthly radio call-in show "Ask the Governor" on WGBH radio, with host Jim Braude and Margery Eagan. (Thursday, 12 p.m., WGBH radio)

HOMELESSNESS - SOUTH SHORE: Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein plans to meet with the South Shore Regional Network to End Homelessness. (Thursday, 9 a.m., United Way of Greater Plymouth County, 934 Chestnut St., Brockton)

MASSDEVELOPMENT: The MassDevelopment Board meets. (Thursday, 10 a.m., 33 Andrews Parkway, Devens)

KAPRIELIAN ON WORKER'S COMP: Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rachel Kaprielian offers opening remarks at the "Workers' Comp and Circumstances: Practising in MA, RI and in Between" educational conference. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Dedham Hilton, Dedham)

IMMIGRATION DEBATE AT JFK LIBRARY: As President Obama plans to issue executive orders on immigration sometime after the November elections but before the end of the year, a panel of experts will gather at the JFK Presidential Library to discuss immigration's "humanitarian challenges." Marcela Garcia, who writes for the Boston Globe op-ed pages, will moderate a discussion between "The Lemon Orchard" author Luanne Rice; Paul Bridges, the former mayor of Uvalda, Georgia; and Harvard University Professor Jennifer Hochschild. In remarks at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute gala on Thursday, Obama said laid out the timeline for his orders. "For any action to last, for it to be effective and extend beyond my administration -- because I'm only here two more years -- we're going to have to build more support of the American people so that it is sustainable and lasting," he said. "And so I am going to be spending the next month, month and a half, six weeks, eight weeks -- I'm going to be spending that time not just talking about what we've done for the economy, but explaining why immigration reform is good for our economy, and why it's good for everybody." Obama also pointed to the "wave" of unaccompanied minors who crossed the southwest U.S. border over the summer, which became an "urgent humanitarian problem." "Today, fewer parents are sending their children on that perilous journey than they were at this time last year, and we're working to give more kids the chance to apply for asylum in their home countries and avoid that journey altogether," he said. Gov. Deval Patrick had offered Massachusetts as one of the places to temporarily house up to 1,000 unaccompanied children while they have been detained for immigration processing. The Obama administration later told Patrick the use of local military bases would not be necessary. (Tuesday, 6 p.m., JFK Presidential Library, Columbia Point, Boston)

SJC THURSDAY: The Supreme Judicial Court hears six cases in oral argument. Cases on the docket are:
- SJC-11634 Commonwealth vs. Maurice Bolden
- SJC-11594 Shelly Cohen vs. M. David Cohen
- SJC-11630 Commonwealth vs. Michael Cowels
- SJC-11631 Commonwealth vs. Michael Mims
- SJC-11570 Commonwealth vs. Enfrid Brown Jr. and another
- SJC-11601 Commonwealth vs. Adam Simpkins
(Thursday, 9 a.m., John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Second Floor, Pemberton Square, Boston)

BUMP AT LAWYERS WEEKLY EVENT: Auditor Suzanne Bump will attend Top Women of Law "Carats and Cocktails" event hosted by Mass Lawyers Weekly. (Thursday, 5:30 p.m., Revere Hotel, Emerald Lounge, 200 Stuart St., Boston)

SPANISH LIFE SCIENCES COMPANY EXPANDING: Life sciences company Oryzon, which is based in Spain, plans to make an announcement regarding expanding in the US. (Thursday, 12:30 p.m., Hotel Marlowe, 25 Edwin Land Blvd., Cambridge)

JAPANESE LI-SCI COMPANY EXPANDING: Japan-based life sciences company Nihon Kohden makes an announcement about its US expansion plans. (Thursday, 5 p.m., 237 Putnam Ave., Cambridge)

ENVIRO CHIEF CELEBRATES CONSERVATION: Undersecretary for Environment Martin Suuberg will address the $1.2 million grant for the Leyden Landscape Partnership. According to the Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Suuberg's remarks will focus on the large-scale conservation effort. (Thursday, 4 p.m. Angel's Rest Retreat Center, Leyden)

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS SOCIAL: As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Publicity Club of New England is joining forces with Susan G. Komen Massachusetts to host its annual social to support breast cancer research and awareness. Komen MA, one of over 120 Komen Affiliates across the U.S. and Europe, works to reduce breast cancer by funding education, screening and treatment programs, as well as other programs that help those facing barriers to care. Anne Morris, CEO of Komen MA, is scheduled to be the evening's guest speaker. Morris will discuss how the foundation uses social media and grassroots public relations to help spread the word, particularly around the annual Race for the Cure®. (Thursday, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Beantown Pub's Blue Room, 100 Tremont Street, Boston)

FOUNDATION BUDGET REVIEW COMMISSION: The Foundation Budget Review Commission, chaired by Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Jamaica Plain) and Rep. Alice Peisch (D-Wellesley), meets. The commission, reestablished in the fiscal 2015 budget, is tasked with examining the adequacy of local education aid, known as Chapter 70. The funding level is currently at $4.4 billion. The commission's agenda includes an overview of the foundation budget, and discussions of a public hearing schedule and format. According to Chang-Diaz's office, the commission was first established in the 1993 education reform law and has only produced two reports since then, despite a requirement to report every two years. In the fiscal 2015 budget, the commission is asked to file its report on or before June 30, 2015. (Thursday, 10 a.m., Room 350)

GAMING COMMISSION - HORSERACING APPLICANTS: The Mass. Gaming Commission is expected on Thursday to discuss applications for live thoroughbred racing in 2015. The New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and George Carney, the owner of Raynham Park, submitted "placeholders" ahead of an Oct. 1 application deadline for 2015 live horse racing. Carney filed applications under the Brockton Agricultural Society and the Middleborough Agricultural Society for racing days at Brockton Fairgrounds, which he owns, while the horsemen's association filed for live thoroughbred racing at Suffolk Downs, a racetrack that had unsuccessfully partnered with Mohegan Sun in the hopes of bringing a resort casino to the Revere side of the property. Springfield Gaming and Redevelopment LLC put in a separate application, asking for 105 days of live harness racing at Plainridge Racecourse, which is being converted into a slots parlor. Public hearings within the host communities are expected to take place in late October, and the commission is required to grant or dismiss each application by Nov. 15. A Gaming Commission spokesman said on Friday the rest of the commission's Oct. 9 meeting agenda was still being finalized. (Thursday, 10:30 a.m., Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Boston)

FRIDAY, OCT. 10, 2014

HEALTH CARE WAIVER: The latest extension of the state's three-year health care waiver with the federal government is scheduled to end on Friday. The Obama administration has repeatedly extended the waiver as secret talks continue with the Patrick administration. Gov. Patrick recently said certain hospital reforms - administration officials declined to specify which ones - had not been implemented and that was one of the barriers to an agreement.

RECOMMENDATIONS ON WOMEN IN WORKPLACE: A task force on women in the workplace, first formed in March 2014, will release its findings. Gov. Patrick had charged the task force with coming up with recommendations for public and private employers. Fourteen percent of directors of the Bay State's 100 largest public companies are women, below the national average of 17 percent, according to a Boston Club report. According to Bentley University's Center for Women in Business, Patrick will issue a corporate challenge to business leaders "to take action to better support women and enable them to realize their leadership potential, thereby enhancing the competitive position of Massachusetts companies in the global economy." Labor Secretary Rachel Kaprielian plans to attend. (Friday, 9 a.m., Bentley University, LaCava Conference Center, 175 Forest St., Waltham)

SJC FRIDAY: The Supreme Judicial Court hears four murder appeal cases in oral argument. Cases on the docket are:
- SJC-10837 Commonwealth vs. Elysee Bresilla
- SJC-11426 Commonwealth vs. Luis Ortiz
- SJC-11523 Commonwealth vs. Edward Corliss
- SJC-11376 Commonwealth vs. Anthony Eugene Jessup
(Friday, 9 a.m., John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Second Floor, Pemberton Square, Boston)

DOI SESSION ON SUBSTANCE ABUSE: The Division of Insurance holds an information session on treatment for non-opioid addiction substance abuse. (Friday, 10 a.m., Division of Insurance, Room 1-E, 1000 Washington St., Boston)

MEDICATION ADHERENCE PANEL DISCUSSION: Prescriptions for a Healthy America is set to release a report and hold a panel discussion on the importance of proper medication adherence as well as its effects on reducing health care costs and improving the lives of patients. Neighborhood Health Plan's work to combat this problem, focus on solutions that improve patient medication adherence, and develop medication and disease management programs for members with asthma and for those who utilize antidepressants is highlighted in a recent study and the results will be discussed during the event. Panelists include Dr. Paul Mendis, Chief Medical Officer, Neighborhood Health Plan; Joel White, Executive Director, Council for Affordable Health Coverage; Joel Menges, Chief Executive Officer, The Menges Group; Amira Mouna, Managing Consultant, The Menges Group; Deborah Whalen, RNP, Boston Medical Center - Cardiology American Heart Association, and Tom Hubbard, Vice President of Policy Research, NEHI. (Friday, 10 a.m. to 11:30 am, Fenway Community Health Center, 1340 Boylston Street, 9th Floor, Boston)

SATURDAY, OCT. 11, 2014

THE LION KING AUTISM FRIENDLY PERFORMANCE: Boston Mayor Martin Walsh will serve as honorary chairman of the event committee for the first-ever autism-friendly performance of Disney's The Lion King. The event, hosted by Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, in partnership with Broadway In Boston and Disney Theatrical Productions, will host 2,500 local autism community members. Modeled after similar performances presented by the Theater Development Fund on Broadway, the performance features slight alterations in the production and theater experience to create a sensory-friendly and judgment-free environment for individuals with autism, including the reduction of jarring sounds, intensity, and volume level, the elimination of strobe lights focused on the audience, and the addition of a "Calming Area" for audience members. Trained staff & volunteers will also be there to provide support. Autism Speaks and their sponsors, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Boston Red Sox, SynapDx and Arbella Insurance collaborated to underwrite expenses related to this performance. (Saturday, 2 p.m., Boston Opera House, 539 Washington Street, Boston)

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