Happening Today

High school chorale

Peabody Veterans Memorial High School Chorale performs at the State House, Grand Staircase, 12:30 p.m.

Gas infrastructure

Boston Mayor Walsh joins city councilor Matt O’Malley and Clean Water Action’s Joel Wool for the signing of an ordinance designed to coordinate with gas companies the maintenance and replacement of leaking gas infrastructure, Eagle Room, 5th floor, Boston City Hall, 1 p.m.

Cahill guest hosts ‘NightSide’

Former state Treasurer Tim Cahill guest hosts “NightSide,” WBZ NewsRadio 1030, 8 p.m.

Public comments deadline

Public comments are due today for the following: Department of Children and Families’ regulations on the department’s governing principles and mission; the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing’s regulations dealing with criminal offender record checks that have been replaced by a rule covering all health and human services agencies; MassHealth’s proposed regulations to update provisions related to provider eligibility requirements and covered services.

Today’s Stories

Holiday cheer for Dems: Healey may be reconsidering guv run

She may be saying no, no, no. But the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld sees hints, hints, hints that Attorney General Maura Healey may be reconsidering her decision not to run for governor in 2018. If she does change her mind, many Dems would welcome it, though not necessarily Newton’s Setti Warren.

Boston Herald

Baker has his New Year’s eye on selling off more state properties

Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday was touting his administration’s “Open for Business” initiative to sell off surplus state property for private development to spur more jobs, housing, revenues and other benefits, reports Michael Jonas at CommonWealth. At MassLive, Shira Schoenberg takes a look at what’s already been accomplished under the program, while the Herald’s Jordan Graham takes a look at what could (or couldn’t) happen at an attractive state-owned site on Kneeland Street in Boston.

Joy to the World: Christians, atheists go at it over Nativity scene

State Rep. James Lyons’s Nativity scene at the State House has caused the predictable stir over the issue of separation of church and state, with Christians defending the Nativity and atheists criticizing it. Take your pick of coverage: New Boston Post or Boston Globe or MassLive or WWLP or Boston Herald.

Snow scofflaws beware: Failure to shovel sidewalks could lead to big fines

Before breaking for the holiday weekend, lawmakers delivered a present to Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk yesterday: A bill that would increase fines to as high as $1,500 for failure to shovel snow from sidewalks in the city of Boston, the Herald is reporting. The mayor’s office requested the legislation, ultimately filed by Rep. Dan Hunt of Dorchester, following the snowmageddon of 2015. Backers cite some rather extreme examples of poor sidewalk snow etiquette two years ago, granted, but they sure seem to be responding with extreme remedies.

Boston Herald

Mayor Walsh’s Dan Koh: The next Barney Frank?

In the third of three profiles on Mayor Marty Walsh’s key advisors, the Globe today, via Andrew Ryan, takes a look at chief of staff Dan Koh, who’s upfront about his ambitions to one day run for office (any office, within reason). If he’s successful, he’d be following in the footsteps of the last mayoral chief of staff to carve out his own political identity and career: Barney Frank, as Ryan notes. The mayor appears to be encouraging Koh’s ambitions, something we can never imagine the late Mayor Tom Menino ever doing, it should be noted.

Boston Globe

Chang-Diaz: ‘I’ve never been actually made nauseous by the handiwork of government—until yesterday’

From MassLive: “A Boston state senator said Thursday that she was ‘made nauseous by the handiwork of government’ after watching a criminal justice working group ignore pleas by black and Latino activists to expand the scope of their work. The comments by state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, a Boston Democrat, were made on her website  in response to Wednesday’s meeting of the Council of State Governments Justice Center task force.” Meawhile, CommonWealth magazine has more on how activists disrupted the task-force meeting when it became apparent members were not going to address state sentencing laws and prison incarceration rates. 

Federal judge dismisses suit by taxi owners against Boston over Uber rules

A federal judge yesterday tossed a suit by the Boston Taxi Owners Association against the city of Boston, saying a recently passed state law stripped the city of powers to regulate ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft, reports Adam Gaffin at Universal Hub. As a result, US District Court Judge Nathaniel Gorton ruled that the suit against the city is now effectively moot because of the state action, Gaffin writes.

Universal Hub

MBTA Annual report is now available

Here’s a link to the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board’s second annual report, issued last week, for your perusal. Because we know you want to sit down by a fire this holiday weekend and read it from cyber cover to cover. (Actually, it is kind of interesting, for transit policy wonks and others concerned about the T.)


Gee, why is T parking revenue suddenly on the rise?

Here’s something the T’s annual report won’t be able to explain: The MBTA is likely to bring in an additional $2 million in revenue from parking at T stations this year over last, though it’s still not clear whether it’s because potential theft suddenly ceased once it became known the AG’s office was looking into possible skullduggery, Bruce Mohl of CommonWealth Magazine reports. 


Worcester line seen improving

More on the T front: Commuter trains have run on time more often on the Worcester and Framingham commuter rail line since September, posting a nearly 50 percent increase in on-time performance, Melissa Hanson of MassLive reports. Keolis, the private operator of the T’s commuter rail system, formed a working group to focus on the Worcester line after an earlier report found it to be the worst-performing commuter corridor. In addition to overall performance improvements, Keolis says 100 percent of morning trains have run on schedule over the past two months. 


No Christmas card for Howie this year

Howie Carr is very sad that Ralph DeMasi, 80, arrested last week for a 1991 murder, won’t be sending Howie a Christmas card this year. Howie also explains how the relationship between DeMasi and Whitey Bulger is a little more complicated than portrayed by the media. Does this mean the two aren’t really pen pals? We’re shocked.

Boston Herald

Punter’s Pub: Another dive bites the dust

It appears we’ll be, sooner or later, updating our list of Gone But Not Forgotten Bars and Nightclubs to include one of the original, incomparable dive bars of diver bars, Punter’s Pub. As the Globe reports, Northeastern University has paid $5.3 million for the property on Huntington Ave that houses the well-known watering hole, beloved (or not so beloved) by so many Northeastern alum. The fate of Punter’s Pub has not been disclosed.

Boston Globe

Foreclosure crisis lingers in Worcester

Foreclosure starts may be on the decrease statewide, but the numbers continue to climb in Worcester, with the city taking on the unwanted mantle of being the state’s foreclosure capital, Tom Matthews reports in Worcester Magazine. Matthews cites RealyTrac.com data showing that one of every 834 homeowners in the city of seven hills is in danger of losing their home. 

Worcester Magazine

Report lauds Gloucester’s ‘Angel ‘program

The Gloucester police program that diverts opioid addicts into treatment programs has helped 376 people since it launched and is more effective at getting patients help than hospital-based programs, according to a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, as cited by the Gloucester Times. According to the Times’ Ray Lamont, the report also praises the leadership of Police Chief Leonard Campanello, who was fired by the city’s mayor before striking an agreement to retire in the New Year. 

Gloucester Times

Great Barrington pledges protection to undocumented

With a population of just over 7,000, the town of Great Barrington may be too small to declare itself a ‘sanctuary city’ but the community’s board of selectmen has adopted a resolution affirming the community’s commitment to all residents, including undocumented immigrants, Eoin Higgins reports in the Berkshire Eagle.

Berkshire Eagle

RIP, Thomas F. Galvin

Our condolences to Secretary of State William Galvin, whose father, Thomas F. Galvin, died this past weekend “in his 100th year.” The funeral and mass for Thomas F. Galvin, a World War II veteran, were held yesterday. More details at SHNS (pay wall). Here’s the Legacy obituary.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah

We’d like to wish all our MASSterList readers Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and happy holidays in general. We’ll be returning first thing Monday morning, though with an abbreviated edition of MASSterList. Have a joyous weekend. See you Monday.

Sunday public affairs TV

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. Guests Christin Tebaldi, director of clinical business development and director of psychiatric emergency services at McLean Hospital, and “Meg G,” a 27-year-old nanny who suffers from borderline personality disorder, discuss McLean’s “Deconstructing Stigma” campaign.  

This Week in Business, NECN, 11 a.m. A repeat of a recent show in which the Boston Globe’s Shirley Leung and the BBJ’s Doug Bank review the top local business stories of 2016.

CEO Corner, NECN, 11:30 a.m. A repeat of an earlier show featuring JIm Koch, founder and chairman of Boston Beer Company.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s focus: An encore presentation of “Take it to the Streets: Brockton.”  

Today’s Headlines


Is ‘Boston Winter’ the best thing to happen to City Hall plaza? – Boston Globe

Northeastern purchases Punter’s Pub building for $5.3 million – Boston Globe

Watch Dan Koh run— but for what? – Boston Globe


Mass. Attorney General concerned with rise in hate crimes – Fox25

T parking revenue up 22 percent – CommonWealth Magazine

Baker misses key problem with Electoral College – CommonWealth Magazine

Sales of state-owned property to create 1500 units of housing and $413 million in revenue – MassLive

Pioneer Valley cities and towns to get help with ‘murkiness’ of new law regulation marijuana sales – MassLive

Keolis says Worcester Commuter Rail trains arriving on time rises by 50 percent after student drop in performance – MassLive

Betting money on Maura Healey – Boston Herald

State study: Food waste ban helps economy, but composting not addressed – Telegram & Gazette

New report enthusiastically praises angel program – Gloucester Times

FEMA eases up on flood zoning for Quincy – Patriot Ledger

Cape prosecutor nominated as judge – Cape Cod Times

Great Barrington reaffirms commitment to undocumented citizens – Berkshire Eagle

Worcester’s woes: Foreclosures on the rise – Worcester Magazine

Carmen Ortiz: Triumphs, Controversies, And The Lingering Impact Of Aaron Swartz – WGBH

Lowell native Lewandowski not joining Trump team – Lowell Sun

New Bedford named state’s most creative community – Standard-Times


Will ‘drain the swamp’ be Trump’s first broken promise – Politico

Trump says U.S. should expand nuclear capability – New York Times

Facing criticism, Eric Trump will stop actively fundraising for his foundation – WGBH

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