Happening Today

Christmas holiday

The week starts with a day off as the Christmas holiday is observed on Monday.

Cahill hosts ‘Nightside’

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

Today’s Stories

Metco chief: ‘I did not resign. They fired me.’

Jean McGuire, the long-time head of the Metco desegregation program, wants to make one thing clear about her departure from Metco: “I did not resign,” the 85-year-old says. “They fired me.” The Globe’s James Vaznis and Andy Rosen have more, including the board’s assertion it wanted and needed to move in a new direction.

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Boston Globe

Peace on earth – with armed security

As Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley delivered a Christmas homily on the need to remember society’s homeless and as a Jewish menorah was lit on Boston Common, law enforcement officials over the weekend had to contend with heightened security threats against Boston-area churches and synagogues “after federal authorities warned houses of worship across the United States may be targeted by terror groups in the coming days,” reports the Herald’s Jordan Graham.

Boston Herald

Peace on earth – with the exception of pulpit politics

The Rev. Gregory Morisse let loose on Donald Trump during a recent pulpit sermon – and his Plymouth Church in Framingham has never been the same since. There are signs of hope, though, that church members, including Morisse, are trying to understand the “murkiness of politics and partisanship” when people with differing views gather together to worship. The Globe’s Lisa Wangsness has more.

Boston Globe

U.S. Reps. McGovern and Neal hope for best, prepare for worst

From Shannon Young at MassLive, on the impending inauguration of Donald Trump: “Stressing that it’s important to give Trump the chance to lead, both U.S. Reps. Jim McGovern, D-Worcester, and Richard Neal, D-Springfield, said there are certain issues on which they hope to work with the new president. The congressmen, however, said they will not sit back and be silent if Trump and congressional Republicans go after social programs or attempt to make other controversial policy changes.”

MassLive

Top 10 political stories in Massachusetts: Competing lists

Matt Murphy at State House News Service and Alison Bauter at Beacon Hill Patch have compiled lists of the top political stories in Massachusetts in 2016. The SHNS list (pay wall) is based on voting by state political reporters while the Patch list is based on its most heavily read stories. There’s some overlap, but we’ll note they differ on the No. 1 stories – marijuana legalization at SHNS and a summary of this year’s four ballot questions at Patch. One mild surprise: The MBTA, particularly its privatization push, is not on either list.

The Bilderberg Coup

Democrats are not the only ones taking shots at Donald Trump’s cabinet picks. U.S. Sen Rand Paul, a Republican who ran for president, is dishing out his own pointed tweets at Trump’s expense: “New administration is lookin good. Haven’t seen this many billionaires in 1 place since I staked out Bilderbergs w/ Alex Jones. Good times.” In case you’re wondering: Here are the Wikipedia entries on Alex Jones and the Bilderberg Group.

Twitter (Rand Paul)

In Berkshire County, Airbnb is thriving

Airbnb’s home-sharing network generated $13 million in spinoff economic activity in Berkshire County over the past year ending in October, pumping more than $3 million directly into local homeowners’ pockets, Tony Dobrowolski of the Berkshire Eagle reports. Overall, the Berkshire County saw a 43 percent year-over-year- growth in Airbnb guests, with 22,600 people finding rooms through the service—which is releasing specific non-metropolitan data for the first time as lawmakers continue to kick around ideas on how to regulate and tax the service.

Berkshire Eagle

Lawmakers target educators who sexually abuse students

State lawmakers across New England are pushing legislation that would crack down on educators who sexually prey on their students, reports members of the Globe’s Spotlight team, which has uncovered widespread abuse of students at schools across the region. Locally, state Sen. Joan B. Lovely, a Salem Democrat who says she was a victim of sexual abuse as a youth, is planning to introduce a “comprehensive bill” next month that will include “making it illegal for high school teachers to have sex with their students, strengthening requirements to report abuse, and eliminating the criminal statute of limitations for cases involving sexual violations of children,” the Globe reports.

Boston Globe

SJC to judges: Avoid overt displays of politics

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s Committee on Judicial Ethics is warning sitting judges to watch it when it comes to overt displays of politics, both on Twitter and by attending political rallies, reports the Herald’s Bob McGovern in a pair of weekend pieces, one on how judges should conduct themselves on Twitter and the other about a planned women’s rally in Washington D.C. the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration. They’re ultimately common-sense rules designed to avoid someone questioning a judge’s impartiality.

Deal reached on Muslim cemetery in Dudley

After a yearlong fight, the town of Dudley and the Islamic Society of Greater Worcester have reached a settlement that will finally allow a Muslim cemetery in the central Massachusetts community, reports David Boeri at WBUR. “Today is a good day for citizens of all beliefs,” Khalid Sadozai, trustee of the Islamic society, said in a statement. “Our right to practice our religion and honor loved ones in accordance with our Islamic faith has been affirmed.”

WBUR

One more time: Minimum wage to increase next week

The clock is ticking toward another $1 increase in the state’s minimum wage, as of January 1, the last of three scheduled dollar-per-year hikes in Massachusetts. The latest increase will bring the state’s minimum wage to $11 an hour. Advocates argue it will help lower-income residents, but retailers say it’s going to cut into stores’ profits, particularly the higher time-and-a-half rate that businesses will have to pay employees to work on Sundays and holidays, the Herald’s Donna Goodison reports.

Boston Herald

BU biolab OK’d for deadliest toxins

Federal officials have cleared the way for a Boston University lab in the South End to begin studying the world’s deadliest pathogenic organisms, though the lab is still not finished getting the local approvals it began seeking in 2013, Evan Allen and Felicia Gans of the Globe report. Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin has more.

Boston plants seeds for ‘smart traffic’ network

City officials will soon power up traffic and pedestrian sensors at one of Boston’s busiest intersections, part of what is envisioned as a city-wide network of smart traffic controls, Jordan Graham of the Herald reports. An agreement with Verizon, tied to the rollout of Fios service in the city, will help fund the initiative, which is starting with traffic readers at the intersection of Beacon Street and Massachusetts Avenue. 

Boston Herald

The City of Lights: Somerville

The old argument over white Christmas lights versus multi-colored lights? As noted at New Boston Post,  it’s a non-issue in Somerville, the proud home of the most garish Christmas light displays in the entire world. Take that, Paris.

New Boston Post

Today’s Headlines

Metro

Longtime Metco director says she was forced out – Boston Globe

City security upped after ISIS threat to churches – Boston Herald

Tracking Boston traffic – Boston Herald

Massachusetts

Ashland seeking funds for elementary school opioid education – MetroWest Daily News

Consumer groups criticize deal on auto recalls – Salem News

Airbnb’s homestay network flourishes in the Berkshires – Berkshire Eagle

U.S. Sen. Ed Markey urges Presdident-elect Trump against expanding nuclear capabilities – MassLive

World’s deadliest pathogens may soon be studied in Boston – WCVB

Nation

Following negotiations, no Rockettes will be forced to perform at inauguration – NPR

Trump in position to reshape judiciary with more than 100 vacancies – Washington Post

Killer robots await Trump’s verdict – Politico

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