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They're duking it out in Needham

They're duking it out in Needham

Nearly two-thirds of our state Legislature will be reelected this November in an uncontested race.
 
But one of the more interesting competitive contests is happening in one of our towns.
 
That would be Rep. Shawn Dooley’s (R-Norfolk) efforts to oust incumbent State Sen. Becca Rausch (D-Needham) from a seat that includes (for the first time due to redistricting) all of Needham, plus ten other communities to the south of us.
 
Politico Massachusetts Playbook’s Lisa Kashinsky calls it the “legislative race you should be watching,” and the "only state legislative race where a representative is trying to knock out a senator.”
 
Kashinsky wrote last week that the contest had “been flying under the radar" until a series of sharp-elbowed accusations surfaced between the campaigns on several fronts.
 
(And a few days after that, Kashinsky also reported that Rausch was misrepresenting Kashinsky’s own Politico reporting.)
 
The Rausch camp has been portraying Dooley as a Trump Republican, even though last year Dooley launched an unsuccessful bid to replace pro-Trump GOP Chair Jim Lyons as head of the state party. 
 
Meanwhile, Dooley has been endorsed by Needham native Gov. Charlie Baker. And Baker weighed in just yesterday on what he calls "really negative and false information" in a video.
 
But interestingly, Baker’s expected successor, Democrat Maura Healey, has not endorsed Rausch, according to this Tweet by former Globe political reporter Frank Phillips.
 
Want to learn more about both candidates?
 
On Monday (Oct. 17) at 1 p.m. via Zoom, I’ll be moderating what I believe may be their only scheduled debate.
 
 
And then there's Question 1
 
Our board is also deliberating on the three other ballot questions and may weigh in on others in the days to come. (We do not endorse candidates.)
 
On Wednesday, we hosted presentations both in favor and opposed to Question 1, the Fair Share or Millionaires' Tax, which would add a 4% tax on income over $1 million.
   
Watch the video replay here.
 
Ballot Question 1: Pro and Con
 
Retailers step up fight over credit card swipe fees
 
National retail groups are mounting a last-ditch push for a bipartisan bill before Congress to crack down on astronomical credit card “swipe fees” paid by businesses, reports the Hill.
 
But the credit card companies are warning that the bill could spell the end of credit card rewards, an argument retailers reject, saying the credit card rewards would remain because banks rely on them to attract customers.
 
 
Other need to knows
 
  • The forecast looks good for Newton’s annual Harvest Fair, with the Green Expo, this Sunday (Oct. 16), 11 a.m.-4 p.m. in Newton Centre.
 
  • The Watertown Business Coalition hosts the Future of Business in Watertown Wed. (Oct 19) at 5:30 p.m. at Mount Auburn Cemetery. Register.
 
  • The Needham Exchange Club’s annual Fruit and Chocolate Sale has long been a favorite in our house. Proceeds support the good work of the 75-year-old nonprofit. Details.
   
  • Newton’s Economic Development Commission has voted to support the city’s proposed framework for village center rezoning, suggesting that the proposal would “provide greater economic development and economic opportunities in Newton.” Read the letter here.
 
Libraries: Not just for books anymore
 
Need to retrieve something from a floppy disk or a cassette tape? Looking for walkie-talkies for your next big event?
 
Starting Monday, you can borrow floppy disk readers, cassette players, and other items from the Needham Free Public Library's new "library of things.”
 
The Watertown Free Public LibraryNewton Free Library, and Wellesley Free Library already have established collections of useful things to borrow -- from circular saws and thermal cameras to induction cooktop sets and robots.
 
Residency is not typically required to borrow from our local libraries
 
 
Clarifications and an update
 
I messed a few things up in Tuesday’s newsletter
 
First, I neglected to mention that Needham also has an affordable housing trust. I also erroneously said Wellesley had not met its 40B threshold: It has. Wellesley met the mandate in 2020 at 11.5% of housing stock.
 
That leaves only Newton among our four chamber communities that’s not in compliance with the 40B law. 
 
This week the Globe’s John Hillard has updates on several pending 40B projects that could bring Newton over the threshold, although the city could drop below again, pending updated census figures expected next year.
 
Sorry for the confusion. And please keep those emails coming, we archive all these newsletters and want them to be factually correct.
 
Happy birthday to the Captain!
 
Finally, happy birthday to Keith Marden, the founder of Wellesley’s beloved Captain Marden's Seafoods, who just turned 100.
 
Yesterday town and public safety officials, family, friends (including Shirley, his wife of 69 years), and others gathered at the Linden Street business to celebrate. (Photos and story here.)
 
Keith, aka “The Captain,” is both a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, with the U.S. Navy. The event was organized by the Wellesley Celebrations Committee which has been honoring Wellesley vets on their 100th birthdays.
 
The business was founded in 1945 by Master Mariner Captain Roy Marden and for many years operated a West Newton location. In 1960, Keith (Roy's son) opened a second shop, originally on Forest Street, in Wellesley. 
 
WCVB’s Chronicle profiled the fourth-generation family business several years ago. Asked at the time about his secret to living as long as he has, Keith said, “eat salmon, especially Scotch Salmon.”
 
Aye aye, Captain!
 
 
That’s your Need to Knows for today – 75 recess days without an Economic Development Bill -- unless you need to know what your glass can tell you about the quality of the beer you’re enjoying?
 
Shop local this weekend, okay?
 
Greg Reibman (he, him)
President
Charles River Regional Chamber
617.244.1688
 
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