Happening Today

United Way fundraiser

Gov. Charlie Baker gives the keynote address at the United Way’s 23rd annual Private Equity and Venture Capital Leadership Breakfast, Boston Marriott Copley Place, 110 Huntington Ave.

UMass Haverhill initiatives

Rep. Brian Dempsey of Haverhill, a UMass Lowell alumnus, and UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacqueline Moloney speak at the announcement of academic programs and an “economic development” initiative for the university’s new Haverhill satellite campus, with Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini also scheduled to attend, Harbor Place lobby, 2 Merrimack St., Haverhill, 10 a.m.

Open Government Awards

The Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association will present the inaugural William L. Plante Jr. Open Government Award to Sen. Joan Lovely and Rep. Peter Kocot for their efforts to spearhead reform of the state’s public records law, Bastille Kitchen, 49 Melcher St., Boston, 11 a.m.

Women’s Suffrage Celebration

Auditor Suzanne Bump tours the Commonwealth Museum as part of the Women’s Suffrage Celebration Coalition of Massachusetts, Commonwealth Museum, 220 Morrissey Blvd., Boston, 2 p.m.

Opening ‘Boston Winter’

Mayor Walsh offers remarks at the grand opening of Boston Winter at City Hall Plaza. Later, the mayor kicks off the 21st annual Mayor’s Enchanted Trolley tour from City Hall, 1 City Hall Sq., 3 p.m.

Today’s Stories

‘Shouting match’

What do you get when you put the campaign manager for Donald Trump and the communications director for Hillary Clinton in front of a live audience? The Jerry Springer Show, minus Jerry Springer. Here’s the Globe version of the rock ‘em sock ‘em event at Harvard and here’s the Herald version.

Liz backs Brown for VA, Brown thanks Liz, Howie sees conspiracy

Elizabeth Warren had kind words for Scott Brown in his quest to be the next head of the Veterans Administration. Brown expressed kind thanks for Liz’s support on Twitter. Howie Carr has unkind words all around and sees a potential conspiracy.

Btw: Brown does hit back on Twitter against “all the haters once again twisting my words” regarding his assertion of voter fraud in N.H. We won’t get into that until Brown provides actual proof of said fraud. He hasn’t yet. Probably never will.

‘Mean Tweets’

Definitely check out the video accompanying Gintautas Dumcius’s MassLive story on Liz Warren and Maura Healey reading aloud all the mean tweets they’ve received from less-than-admiring tweeters. Actually, Healey can’t even read one of ‘em aloud. Fun stuff. The duo’s video was part of MassInc’s Serious Fun II event last evening.

MassLive (video)

Neal in line for coveted Ways and Means post

Here’s one member of the state Congressional delegation who has come out on top following this week’s Dem leadership scramble: U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, who’s now in line to be the ranking Dem on the influential House Ways & Means Committee, reports Matt Szafranski at Western Massachusetts Politics and Insight.


Is David Petraeus a dark-horse rival to Mitt for State?

He has his share of “blemishes,” for sure, but former general and CIA director David Petraeus is being pushed hard for secretary of state by some Republicans who apparently aren’t wild about Mitt Romney filling the post, the NYT reports. Gotta love this Washington Post headline about all the Petraeus talk: “Hillary Clinton wasn’t charged with mishandling classified information. Trump might appoint someone convicted of it.”


Health data agency reeling from loss of funds, slashes payroll by a quarter

After lawmakers and Gov. Baker agreed to siphon away some of its funding to help support hospitals, the Center for Health Information and Analysis has shed about a quarter of its staff and is reconsidering its Back Bay lease as part of its ongoing cost-cutting efforts, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan at the Telegram. The independent agency’s staff has been reduced from 197 people to 155 people and could decrease further to about 135 people by the end of the fiscal year, its executive director Ray Campbell said.


Chamber is open to $15 minimum wage?

The Boston Business Journal’s Greg Ryan is reporting that the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce could support raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, as activists are now pushing. Needless to say, other business groups – including the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Retailers Association of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Restaurant Association – are against it.


Yes, you can still get fired for smoking weed at work

MassLive has a good info slide-show on the do’s-and-don’ts of marijuana legalization. Such as: Can employers still administer drug test to workers to see if they’re smoking pot? Answer: Yes, and don’t bother asking the next question because, yes, they can still fire your butt if they detect pot in your body.


Grrrrr: Boston to test $4 an hour ‘surge’ parking meters

Under a plan announced yesterday by Mayor Marty Walsh, the city is testing a new program that would slap “surge pricing” on parking spaces depending on demand, sometimes charging as much as $4 an hour to park in spots in the Back Bay and Seaport, reports the BBJ’s David Harris. The idea is to “reduce the search time for parking and reduce street congestion.” No mention of eventual higher parking-meter revenues for the city.


Drea-ea-ea-ea-eam, dream, dream, dream: Protesters invite Obama and Trump to flag rally

Organizers of this weekend’s flag protest at Hampshire College have asked President Obama, President-elect Trump and others to attend their rally aimed at putting increasing pressure on the school to fly the American flag again, reports Diane Lederman at MassLive. Meanwhile, West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt says that if the American flag can still fly on the moon, then, damn it, it should still be flying at Hampshire College, MassLive also reports.

OK, you can’t resist. Here’s the lyrics to ‘All I Have to Do is Dream’ by the Everly Brothers.


The populist Trump sure loves his Harvard grads

This must be Trump’s idea of tacking to the center. From Boston magazine’s Kyle Scott Clauss: “Trump and his followers may rail against the trappings of elitism, but a considerable portion of his closest advisers and department heads have studied at Harvard University, that bastion of Yankee sensibility, on their way to the Trump administration… In fact, Trump’s inaugural Cabinet counts more Harvard alumni than that of President Barack Obama.” 

Boston magazine

Meanwhile, right-wing site puts five locals on its ‘Professor Watchlist’

While their hero Donald Trump is stocking his cabinet with Ivy League grads, a right-wing site has established a ‘Professor Watchlist’ that tracks the “radical agenda in lecture halls” and has put five local professors on its initial list, BostInno’s Olivia Vanni reports. And one of them is from – eek! – Harvard. But the rest are from those little-people, non-Ivy League colleges like BU, Brandeis and UMass, so we suppose the Trump populists are at least being consistent in their hypocrisy.


Eyeing busing costs, Boston considers school time changes

Boston school officials are considering changes to school start times in a move that could reduce busing costs but cause havoc for some families, James Vaznis of the Globe reports. The city’s teachers union has passed a resolution calling on officials to be more transparent as it considers changes that could take effect next fall.

Boston Globe

Duck boat safety bill lands on Gov. Baker’s desk

Lawmakers have finally OK’d legislation that calls for new safety rules for sightseeing duck-boat vehicles, following last spring’s tragic death of a 28-year-old woman who was killed by a Boston Duck Tours vehicle while riding a scooter in Boston, the Associated Press reports at CBS Boston. According to the AP, the measure would require all duck boat operators to separate the duties of drivers and talking tour guides and it also calls for blind spot cameras and proximity sensors.

CBS Boston

Kennedy co-sponsors bill that limits racial and gender factors in civil-suit awards

U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy is co-sponsoring a bi-partisan bill in Congress that would limit the consideration of a victim’s race and gender in determining their compensation in civil suits, the Washington Post reports. Called the Fair Calculations Act, the bill follows a Washington Post report that found “rampant use of racial and gender income averages in determining (civil) damages,” resulting in lower awards.

Washington Post

City officials eye Seaport rail spur

Boston officials are floating a plan to extend the Fairmont commuter rail line into South Boston’s Seaport district, but significant hurdles remain—not the least of which is the dismal performance of the Fairmont line, Jon Chesto of the Globe reports.

Boston Globe

State distributes Narcan as standards eased

Massachusetts distributed 8,500 doses of the anti-overdose drug naxolone to cities and towns in fiscal year 2016, using its bulk purchasing power to save communities at least $186,000 in the process, according to data released by the Department of Public Health, reports Christian Wade at the Salem News. Communities are paying the state just $20 per dose of the antidote, well below the $75 to $100 market rate. 

Salem News

Ah, they’re so beautiful: Brockton taxpayers’ flower tab exceeds $5,000

Documents obtained by the Brockton Enterprise show Mayor Bill Carpenter spent more than $5,000 in taxpayer funds on flowers sent to mourning families and others, much of it at a local florist owned by a member of the City Council, Marc Larocque reports. The documents seem to expand the scope of the flower-buying arrangement beyond purchases already being reviewed by city officials, the Enterprise reports. 


Adidas to run 300 jobs out of Boston

In news that could scuff up the region’s reputation as an emerging hub for athletic footwear, Adidas says it will cut 150 jobs and move another 150 from the Boston area to Oregon ahead of a planned move by the company of its Reebok subsidiary to the city, Matthew Kish of the Boston Business Journal reports.


All is lost

We end the week on a down note: All is lost. Rob Gronkowski is likely out for the season. A catastrophe of the highest order. Even worse than if Stan and Bob hadn’t reached their historic “Joint Rule 10 Day” agreement.


Sunday public affairs TV

This Week in Business, NECN, 11 a.m. Jon Hurst, president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, talks all about the holiday shopping season; On-Call International CEO Mike Kelly talks about his New Hampshire based business which helps travelers and organizations travel troubles and risk; and Shirley Leung of the Globe talks about the top business stories of the week.  

On The Record, WCVB TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. Treasurer Deb Goldberg talks with anchor Ed Harding and features State House reporter Janet Wu.

CEO Corner, NECN, 11:30 a.m., Winston Flowers owner David Winston talks about what it takes to stay innovative in the floral industry.

CityLine, WCVB TV Channel 5, With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s focus: ‘Fences,’ Fidel Castro and Collaborative Boston, 12 p.m.    

Today’s Headlines


Parking rates to jump in Boston’s hot spots – Boston Globe

Boston area to lose 300 Adidas workers in company shakeup – Boston Business Journal

Boston considers changing school start times to save on busing costs – Boston Globe

Take a look at Watertown’s Arsenal Mall redesign – Boston Business Journal


In two years, Brockton mayor spent over $5,000 in city money on flowers for people – Brockton Enterprise

Lowell patrolmen schedule no-confidence vote on Supt. Taylor – Lowell Sun

Probe urged over alleged drug use at Bedford, Lowell VA sites – Lowell Sun

Mass elector Marc Pacheco weighs in on Electoral College – Standard-Times

Why do Massachusetts municipalities make meeting transparency harder than it has to be? – MuckRock

Attleboro area women get pointers on how to run for political office – Sun-Chronicle

12 reasons why Springfield is in a city on the rise – MassLive

State distributes thousands of doses of naloxone – Salem News

41 deer killed in first two days of Blue Hills Reservation hunt – Patriot Ledger

More delays for Hingham’s T ferry terminal – Patriot Ledger

Great Barrington aims to put immigrants at ease – Berkshire Eagle

Meeropol brothers call on Obama to exonerate their mother, Ethel Rosenberg – Hampshire Gazette

At Trump’s Cincinnati rally, ‘lock her up’ chants – Politico


Obama administration declares support for women in military draft – Associated Press

Trump choses an outspoken ex-Marine to lead Defense – New York Times

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