Happening Today

Opioid-abuse announcement, Governor’s Council, Halifax Explosion centennial

— Senate President Stanley Rosenberg has his monthly in-studio interview on Boston Herald Radio, 70 Fargo St., Boston, 9 a.m.

— Acting U.S. Attorney William Weinreb and DEA New England Field Division Special Agent in Charge Michael Ferguson and MBTA Transit Police Chief Kenneth Green announce the launch of a new public awareness campaign targeting opioid abuse prevention, outside Moakley Courthouse, Northern Avenue, 10 a.m.

Governor’s Council members interview Judge Mark Green, Gov. Baker’s nominee for chief justice of the Appeals Court, Council Chamber, 10 a.m.

— The Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee’s reviews maritime bills concerning fisheries, oceans and waterways, Room A-1, 11 a.m.

— Boston Police Commissioner William Evans is interviewed on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 12 p.m.

— Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito chairs a weekly meeting of the Governor’s Council, Room 360, 12 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker is billed as the special guest at an event for Republican state Senate candidate Dean Tran in the Worcester and Middlesex district, The Fay Club, 658 Main St., Fitchburg, 5 p.m.

— Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and his partner Lorrie Higgins host a VIP reception that includes dishes by a local celebrity chef and a live auction, ahead of the 7th annual HubNob event, House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston, 5 p.m.

— Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders speaks at a centennial commemoration of the Halifax Explosion, which occurred Dec. 6, 1917 and which later led to Nova Scotia’s annual gift to Boston of 50-foot Christmas Tree for the city’s assistance 100 years ago, Grand Staircase, 6 p.m.

— House Speaker Robert DeLeo gives the keynote address at the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting, Café Escadrille, 26 Cambridge St., Burlington, 6 p.m.

— Former Gov. Michael Dukakis moderates a North-South Rail Link town-hall style meeting, Quincy High School – Adams Lecture Hall, 100 Coddington St., Quincy, 7 p.m.

— U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III is a guest on ‘Greater Boston,’ WGBH-TV Ch. 2, 7 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Mooch in full retreat – again

After threatening to sue a student columnist and student-run newspaper at Tufts University, Anthony Scaramucci, the former White House communications chief, has resigned from an advisory board at the university’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, reports WBUR’s Meghan Kelly and MassLive’s Michelle Williams. According to our crack source at Tufts, the Mooch’s departure set off celebrations at Tufts, with proud alumni even buying pizza for student staffers at the Tufts Daily and Tufts Observer.

Final score: Student journalists 1, former White House communications director 0. We think students also deserve Brigham’s Mocha Chip Ice Cream to go along with the pizza, but that’s just our opinion.

Now back to anti-free-speech normality on campuses …

As Tufts University students showed how to stand up for free-speech rights, University of Connecticut students were displaying, once again, that the new norm on most campuses is to deny free-speech rights to those with unpopular views. Notice all the heckling students and the one stealing the conservative speaker’s notes off the podium. Who gets arrested? One guess.

Boston Globe

Baker makes the unofficial official: He’s running for re-election

Surrounded by Table Talk Pies, it was an odd setting to announce that, yes, he’s running for re-election. But Republican Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday did confirm a prior SHNS report that he and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito plan to run for re-election next year, focusing on education, housing and the MBTA as priorities in a second term, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy at the Telegram and the Herald’s Matt Stout and Chris Villani. A more formal announcement, presumably not at the Worcester headquarters of Table Talk Pies, will be made next year.

While yesterday’s news was not the least bit surprising, it does sort of act as an unofficial starting gun for the 2018 gubernatorial race – and the Herald’s Howie Carr was wasting no time labeling Baker as a “RINO’s RINO” candidate.

Legal prostitution, anyone?

Right now, enforcement of anti-prostitution laws unfairly targets the prostitutes, not the johns and pimps. A new bill on Beacon Hill would rectify that inequity by targeting the johns and pimps, not prostitutes. They’ll get it right one day. Anyway, SHNS’s Andy Metzger at the Salem News has more on Rep. Kay Khan’s legislation that would decriminalize prostitution in Massachusetts for prostitutes, not for johns and pimps. The bill has about 20 co-sponsors.

Salem News

Beacon Hill intern and visitor were accused of sexual harassment, Rosenberg says

Speaking of sex and Beacon Hill, they’re starting to release more details of past sexual harassment charges at the State House. SHNS’s Katie Lannan at WBUR reports that an intern and State House visitor were recently accused of sexual harassment, according to information provided by Senate President Stan Rosenberg. Neither of the allegations involved lawmakers. Lannan has all the details.

WBUR

Baker’s rejected judicial nominee hit with domestic abuse charge

Maybe the governor’s vetting process needs vetting. From Frank Phillips at the Globe: “A controversial Gloucester lawyer, who cleared Governor Charlie Baker’s judicial vetting process but was rejected by the state bar, is facing domestic abuse charges after his wife obtained a restraining order against him Friday. Helen O’Reilly, the estranged wife of North Shore trial attorney Edward J. O’Reilly, told an Ipswich District Court judge she has suffered a series of violent encounters with her husband over the last five years, according to public court documents.”

Boston Globe

Governor pushes bill to shield texting teens from felony charges

Lawmakers have begun considering proposed legislation from the Baker administration that would steer minors who share sexually explicit images away from the criminal justice system, Mike Deehan reports at WGBH. The administration says teens facing felony charges and resulting sex-offender registration are not what lawmakers intended when they strengthened the state’s child pornography statutes. 

WGBH

Bill would close ‘loophole’ on sexual assaults by medical professionals

From SHNS’s Andy Metzger: “A ‘loophole’ in the state’s sexual assault laws makes it impossible to prosecute a medical professional who inappropriately touched someone after obtaining their consent through fraud, according to Rep. Kate Hogan, who is the House chairwoman of the Public Health Committee. … Hogan’s bill would punish medical professionals who commit indecent assault and battery through fraud with up to five years imprisonment.”

SHNS (pay wall)

TrooperGate into DefamationGate?

They’re going to lose public support and sympathy if they go much further down this defamation road. From Laurel Sweet and Matt Stout at the Herald: “Past and present brass at the state police and members of the Worcester DA’s office are now being sued individually — as well as professionally — as part of the Troopergate scandal, court records show. … All of the defendants — except for (State Police Major) Anderson — are also being sued for defamation for knowingly making ‘false and defamatory statements to third parties about the plaintiff and relating to the plaintiff’s character.’” Meanwhile, Gov. Charlie Baker says getting at the truth of TrooperGate will “take as long as it takes,” reports Melissa Hanson at MassLive.

Boston Herald

So dishonest …

You have to see the competing videos to believe how dishonest Project Veritas’s James O’Keefe is regarding his “confrontation” with Washington Post staffer Aaron Davis, who couldn’t get O’Keefe off his gotcha script to answer simple questions about PV’s attempt to entrap the Post. O’Keefe has one of those smarmy ‘I’m so clever’ looks on his face, but there’s also nervous tension there. He knows he’s in full damage control after the Post gives him a taste of own sting-operation medicine.

Washington Post

Are we criminalizing politics in America?

In a NYT op-ed piece, Harvard professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz bemoans the “criminalization of politics” in America and proclaims: “I raise this alarm as a loyal liberal who has supported every Democratic candidate for president since I campaigned for Adlai Stevenson in 1952. Yet because of my strong opposition to open-ended criminal laws, some critics on the left have accused me of becoming ‘President Trump’s attack dog.’ Nothing could be further from the truth.”

NYT

Boston smacked with $1M in penalties for operating shadow budgets

This is serious stuff. These aren’t just under-the-table payments. They’re virtual shadow budgets. From James Vaznis at the Globe: “The city of Boston paid nearly $1 million in penalties to the federal government after an IRS audit revealed wide-ranging problems with the city’s payrolls, from schools paying stipends to individuals under the table to the city failing to deduct Medicare withholding taxes for many employees, according to findings released Tuesday by the city. In all, the IRS issued seven findings, four of which centered on mismanagement of student activity accounts at more than a dozen Boston schools.”

Boston Globe

Would-be state reps piling up in Attleboro race

A 23-year-old Democrat is the latest to say he’ll run for the House seat to be vacated by Rep. Paul Heroux in January in what is shaping up to be another crowded special election field, Jim Hand reports at the Sun Chronicle. Paulo Salguiero announced his bid just a day after fellow Democrat Ty Waterman, a social worker, said he would run. At least one Republican—Attleboro City Councilor Julie Hall—is already in and other candidates are expected to declare in coming weeks. 

Sun Chronicle

UMass leaders warn that GOP tax-cut plan could financially destabilize universities

From SHNS’s Colin Young at the Greenville Recorder: “If the tax code overhaul expected for a vote in the U.S. Senate this week passes, it would threaten the financial stability of universities, stifle research, and financially harm graduate students and young alumni, the University of Massachusetts system said Tuesday. UMass President Martin Meehan and the heads of each of UMass’s five campuses on Tuesday sent a letter to the state’s congressional delegation registering concerns with the U.S. House-passed tax bill and similar legislation that has cleared the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.”

Meanwhile, former Harvard University president Larry Summers and graduate student Rachel Lipson, in a Globe op-ed, are warning that tax-cut plans would hurt financial aid assistance provided by university endowments.

Recorder

Hillary welcomed to Boston like a conquering hero

Hillary Clinton failed to conquer the nation, but she did conquer the Opera House crowd last night while pitching her new book ‘What Happened,’ reports Mark Shanahan at the Globe. She also took swipes at the GOP’s tax-cut plan and President Trump’s Russian policies, reports Matt Stout at the Herald.

GOP candidates wince over Trump’s ‘Pocahontas’ taunt but …

Republican U.S. Senate candidates Geoff Diehl and John Kingston won’t call U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas,” as Republican President Trump loves doing, but they both made clear yesterday that Warren’s past claim of Native-American heritage is fair game in the election, reports Meghan Ottolini of the Herald and Joe Battenfeld of the Herald, in separate stories. Herald columnist Joe Fitzgerald is blasting Warren and others for pulling the race card over Trump’s “Pocahontas” taunts.

Warren and others rally outside CFPB headquarters in D.C.

Speaking of Elizabeth Warren, one has to be reminded that this is a fight over an interim post. Anyway, from the Huffington Post: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Tuesday rallied progressive activists against President Donald Trump’s appointment for interim head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.Warren, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and leaders of major liberal groups, including the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, MoveON and Demos, rallied outside the consumer agency’s headquarters in downtown Washington, D.C., as CFPB employees congregated at their office windows to watch.”

Huffington Post

Worcester panel favors 15 pot shops and 3 percent tax on weed

From Nick Kotsopoulos at the Worcester Telegram: “A City Council standing committee favors limiting the number of establishments selling recreational marijuana in the city to 15 and having a 3 percent local tax assessed on their sales. Tuesday night, the Economic Development Committee unanimously endorsed those recommendations made by City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr.”

Telegram

Rosenberg hopes legislative action can pare down number of ballot questions

Senate President Stan Rosenberg is holding out hope that lawmakers can take action on paid leave and a minimum-wage hike to avert statewide ballot questions on the issues next year, reports Shira Schoenberg at MassLive. “My general view is as few questions on the ballot as possible is the best state of affairs,” said Rosenberg, a Democrat. The problem: Both policies are opposed by business groups. The opportunity: Lawmakers may offer business groups a better deal than voters, luring them to the negotiating table. The second problem: Progressives sense victory and may not want to compromise.

MassLive

Economists: Massachusetts’ economy can’t outdo itself for much longer

The good times aren’t over, just slowing down. From SHNS’s Michael Norton at WBUR: “While housing and immigration trends loom as obstacles, the Massachusetts economy is poised to experience low unemployment rates in the coming years although job growth is expected to slow in the face of labor force constraints, according to a newly released economic outlook.”

WBUR

Healey joins suit over fed contraceptives-coverage cutback

Massachusetts may have recently passed a law guaranteeing birth-control insurance coverage, but the battle isn’t over in Washington. From Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive: “Referring to birth control as basic preventative medical care, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and 18 of her counterparts in other states on Tuesday hit President Donald Trump’s efforts to stop requiring employers from including contraceptive coverage in health insurance plans. Healey and the other attorneys general filed an amicus brief in federal court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, backing Pennsylvania’s lawsuit against the federal government.”

MassLive

Will Boston ban the bag?

The Boston City Council could vote today to join neighbors Cambridge, Brookline and Somerville and ban single-use plastic bags at retailers in the city, Hayley Glatter of Boston Magazine reports. The measure comes up for a vote as some communities are starting to consider backing off their own bans in the face of objections from consumers and business owners alike. 

Boston Magazine

Stonehill College says it should have been more transparent about campus shooting

No kidding. Stonehill College is now saying it shouldn’t have kept the details of an October campus shooting involving two employees under wraps as long as it did, Joe Pelletier of the Enterprise reports. The school had earlier cited an ongoing investigation as the reason it labeled the shooting a “workplace incident” – and the only reason the truth came out was because of the dogged work of local reporters. 

Enterprise

Report: Cape the ‘drunkest’ part of Massachusetts

We thought it would have been Allston, but the world is full of surprises. K.C. Myers reports that Barnstable County has a higher rate of drinking than anywhere else in the state, though even Barnstable County falls far short of being the heaviest binge drinking area of America. Take a bow, Green Bay, Wisconsin. Myers has the details.

Cape Cod Times

40 Under 40 After Hours

Boston Business Journal

From cocoon to silk: Transformation lessons from an early-stage biotech start-up

North Shore Technology Council

Today’s Headlines

Metro

Developer coughs up $2 million for slice of Seaport sidewalk – Boston Globe

Residential project approved for West Broadway; South Boston to lose another gas station – Universal Hub

Massachusetts

Worcester panel favors 15 pot shops at most, and 3 percent local tax on sales – Telegram & Gazette

Dell: EMC merger working out better than expected – Boston Globe

Where’s Healey on sexual harassment at Statehouse? – Lowell Sun

Patriots seek to block resale of luxury-suite tickets in lawsuit – Boston Business Journal

Beverly parking plan may force commuters to pay – Salem News

Cape Wind fight spins on – Cape Cod Times

Nation

Tax bill clears Senate panel as GOP support widens – New York Times

Inside the tweet that broke Trump’s day, again – Politico

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