Happening Today

MLK Holiday

Today is the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, with most government agencies and many private institutions closed for the day.

MLK Day of Service

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton is scheduled to participate in Lynn’s 6th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, Washington Street Baptist Church, 256 Washington St., Lynn, 9:30 a.m.

Boston Cares

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Superintendent Tommy Chang kick off a day of service with Boston Cares and more than 650 volunteers, including many Boston Public Schools students, Boston Latin School, 78 Avenue Louis Pasteur, 10 a.m.

MLK Day at Museum of Fine Arts

Museum of Fine Arts hosts a Martin Luther King Jr. Day Open House, with Reps. Jeffrey Sanchez and Nick Collins, Mayor Walsh, City Councilor Annissa Essaibi George, and Citizens Bank Massachusetts president Jerry Sargent expected to attend, 465 Huntington Ave., 10 a.m.

Goldberg, Clark at MLK celebration

Treasurer Deborah Goldberg joins U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark to celebrate the life and work of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church, Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, 11 a.m.

MLK Oration

Mayor Walsh delivers welcoming remarks at the annual MLK Oration, Faneuil Hall, 1 p.m.

Boston Children’s Chorus

Mayor Walsh delivers opening remarks at the 14th Annual MLK Tribute Concert, performed by the Boston Children’s Chorus, Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough St., Boston, 6:45 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Trump’s contribution to MLK Day

It’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a time to reflect on the civil-rights icon’s accomplishments and, as the Herald puts it, on the work that remains to be done. But what’s President-elect Donald Trump doing? He’s getting into a fight with civil-rights icon John Lewis, telling the congressman, who questioned the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency, to focus instead on his “crime-infested” district. (Don’t you just love the knee-jerk association of blacks with crime?) The Globe’s Adrian Walker this morning is being way, way too nice to Trump. Then again, it’s a day for celebration, not Twitter and pundit combat, so he keeps the focus on the accomplishments of Lewis instead.

Baker’s rocky road to re-election

As the Globe’s Frank Phillips notes, Gov. Charlie Baker may be riding high today, but he still faces a tough re-election campaign for a number of reasons. High on the list of concerns: The aforementioned Donald Trump and the potential local blowback from his presidency.

Boston Globe

No sanctuary counties: Bristol, Plymouth sheriffs to team up with ICE

Democrats may be calling for sanctuary cities and other steps to combat the incoming Trump administration’s plans to deport some immigrants. But the Republican sheriffs from Plymouth and Bristol counties will announce this week they are entering a partnership with Immigrations and Custom Enforcement that will enable employees of their departments to detain and process immigration offenders, Wesley Sykes of the Standard-Times reports. 


Maybe the problem is too many state boards?

The Globe’s Todd Wallack has an excellent story on one area of state government that appears to need weeding: “About one-third of the seats on the state’s nearly 700 state boards and commissions are vacant or held by ‘holdover’ members, whose terms have expired but remain on the board because officials have yet to name a replacement.’It’s a huge problem,’ said Pam Wilmot, executive director of Common Cause Massachusetts. ‘There are so many seats to fill.’” But maybe the problem can be solved by eliminating some, or many, or most, of the boards whose existence have just been proven meaningless by sitting dormant for so many years? 

Boston Globe

Man stabbed at home of UMass Boston chancellor

A 20-year-old man was rushed to a hospital after a stabbing at a party over the weekend at the Stoughton home of UMass Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley, who apparently was away during the incident, according to a report at WCVB. Police said the victim had four stab wounds; his condition was unknown as of last night. In a statement, Motely said that he was “very concerned” about the incident and victim and that he will be returning as “quickly as possible so that I can fully understand what happened and respond accordingly. I will have more to say at that time.”


‘Rally to save health care overflows Faneuil Hall’

If yesterday’s Boston rally is any indication, Democrats’ anti-Trump mobilization plans are running smoothly and effectively. From Universal Hub: “So many people showed up at Faneuil Hall for a rally to save the ACA (Sunday) they had to set up a screen outside for all the people who couldn’t get in, as Molly Lanzarotta shows us.” The Globe is estimating that 6,000 people attended the rally, including Mayor Walsh, U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, and other members of the state’s Congressional delegation.

Universal Hub

‘Repeal and run’

Besides attending yesterday’s health-care rally at Faneuil Hall, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren also penned an op-ed on the issue at the Boston Globe, blasting the GOP’s “repeal and run” strategy on ObamaCare and leaving states such as Massachusetts holding the financial bag. 

Boston Globe

Warren plans to fight populism with populism

No, it’s not Elizabeth Warren Day at MASSterList. She’s just been in the news a lot lately, such as making it obvious she’s going to position herself – as her 2018 re-election campaign gets under way and as she allegedly eyes a possible 2020 presidential bid – as Donald Trump’s chief tormentor, the Associated Press reports at CBS Boston. The Herald, meanwhile, makes clear she’s going to run a populist “pro-working people” campaign to counter Trump’s own version of populism.

CBS Boston

Prosecutors seek more resources to handle child abuse reports

More stringent reporting requirements around child neglect and abuse have resulted in more work for prosecutors, who are asking lawmakers and Gov. Baker to free up more budget funds to help them respond to the law-enforcement trend, Christian Wade of the Salem News reports. The Massachusetts District Attorneys Association says abuse reports rose 18 percent last fiscal year. 

Salem News

Pot breathalyzers are on the way but …

From the Herald’s Lindsay Kalter: “The first marijuana breath test could be ready for use by the end of the year, but researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School — now planning a massive study on the effects of pot use on drivers — say it could be years before cops will be able to get an accurate read on the level of impairment.”

Hopefully, they can hurry it up. As the Herald also reports, a California company is now blitzing the area with roadway billboards touting its Yelp-like app that allows users to rate and review pot shops and dispensaries for the quality of their weed.

Boston Herald

Boston police back off social media surveillance plan – for now

From WBUR: “Boston Police will not be contracting with a vendor for a social media surveillance program — for now — the department announced late Friday. The police department’s plan to spend $1.4 million on software that will help officers scan social media websites has drawn heavy criticism. And last month, several civil rights groups called on the department to drop the program.” Note: Police threw in a big “at this time” caveat about their decision.


Incumbents beware: Contested council races shaping up across the city

The mayoral contest between Marty Walsh and Tito Jackson is not the only political game in town this year. The Herald’s Dan Atkinson reports that Hyde Park Councilor Tim McCarthy and possibly North End Councilor Sal LaMattina are being targeted by challengers, while the race for Jackson’s open District 7 seat keeps attracting more candidates.

Boston Herald

Good news and bad news on the anti-opioids front

First, the good news: First responders on Cape Cod answered fewer overdose calls in 2016 and some say the wider availability of the overdose-reversing drug Narcan may be the reason why, KC Myers of the Cape Cod Times reports

Now the bad news, via Evan Allen at the Globe: “Law enforcement and veterinary officials are planning an outreach campaign to educate veterinarians about a new frontier in the opioid epidemic: people so desperate for drugs that they take medication that had been prescribed to pets.” 

New trail policy raises hikers’ hackles

Word of a new policy toward hiking trail access on Division of Fisheries and Wildlife land, a policy reportedly put in place in August without public input, is starting to reach groups impacted by the change and they aren’t happy, Elaine Thompson of the Telegram reports. The policy calls for six trails to be recognized and licensed to cross state Wildlife Management Areas. But other trails will be barred and discontinued, so that lands can return to their intended purpose as wildlife habitats. 


Next stop, Emerson?

Some Emerson College students want the MBTA to say bye-bye to Boylston and rename the Green Line stop after their school, Adam Gaffin reports at Universal Hub. An online petition supporting the move has nearly 800 signatures, but Gaffin notes a missing piece may be the funds for any change: Tufts Medical Center ponied up $150,000 to change signs throughout the system when its stop on the Orange Line was renamed in 2010. 

Universal Hub

Pats win, so Baker wins

Gov. Charlie Baker won a Texas BBQ as a result of his friendly wager with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott over the outcome of Saturday’s Pats-Texans playoff game, Scott Croteau reports at MassLive. Needless to say, the Pats won (though not impressively so, we should note) and now Abbott is graciously paying up: “Congratulations @MassGovernor on the impressive @Patriots win. You’ve earned Texas BBQ. From Austin to Boston.” Fyi: Baker bet Boston Cream Pie cupcakes from Springfield’s Koffee Kup Bakery and Legal Sea Foods clam chowder.


Today’s Headlines


Thousands protest health care repeal at Faneuil Hall – Boston Globe

Leaders agree: Boston still has work to do – Boston Herald

Time for Emerson College to have its own T stop, some say – Universal Hub


More in Mass. opting out of labor force – Boston Herald

Some walking trails to end under controversial policy – Telegram & Gazette

Can a hip-hop musical save Hamilton Hall? – Salem News

Prosecutors overwhelmed by child abuse reports – Salem News

Spectra says its willing to meet with Weymouth council about gas leak – Patriot Ledger

Barnstable named one of the most dangerous places in U.S. – Cape Cod Times

On YouTube and in the courts, the city and a cop do battle – Eagle-Tribune

Markey joins call for Rosenberg’s exoneration – Hampshire Gazette

Taunton’s Silver City Galleria is at a crossroads at Macy’s departs – Taunton Gazette

Lowell cop faces heat over use of force on student – Lowell Sun

Plymouth, Bristol County sheriffs join forces with ICE on immigration law enforcement – Patriot Ledger


Trump team may eject press corps, alarming reporters – New York Times

Why Russia loves the idea of California seceding – Politico

RI students to get free tuition for two years at state colleges under Raimondo budget – Providence Journal

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