Suspended ferry service, local inaugurations, nomination deadline for 3rd Senate
— The MBTA has suspended ferry service between Hingham and Boston due to damage to the dock structure at the Hingham Intermodal Facility.
— The House resignation of Rep. Paul Heroux, who will be sworn in today as mayor of Attleboro, takes effect today, enabling the House to potentially set the date of a special election to choose his Beacon Hill successor.
— Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin welcomes public feedback on when to hold the 2018 state primary without interfering with Jewish holidays this September, One Ashburton Place – 17th floor, Boston, 10 a.m.
— Newburyport Mayor Donna Holaday is inaugurated to a second term with Gov. Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey attending, City Hall auditorium, 60 Pleasant St., Newburyport, 10 a.m.
— Gardner Mayor Mark Hawke is inaugurated with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas attending, Gardner High School, 200 Catherine Street, Gardner, 10 a.m.
— Nicole LaChapelle is inaugurated as the new mayor of Easthampton with Auditor Suzanne Bump attending, 50 Payson Ave., Easthampton, 12 p.m.
— Deadline to file nomination papers with the secretary of state’s office for the special election in the 3rd Essex Senate district is today, 5 p.m.
— Acting Senate President Harriette Chandler attends Worcester’s biennial inaugural exercises., Mechanics Hall, Worcester, 5:30 p.m.
— Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria is inaugurated with Gov. Baker, state Sen. Sal DiDomenico and state Rep. Joe McGonagle attending, Everett High School, 100 Elm Street, Everett, 6 p.m.
— Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella is inaugurated with Lt. Gov. Polito and state Sen. Dean Tran attending, City Hall, 25 West Street, Leominster, 6:30 p.m.
— Thomas McGee, who steps down as a state senator today, is inaugurated as mayor of Lynn, with Auditor Suzanne Bump and Attorney General Maura Healey attending, Lynn City Hall Auditorium, 3 City Hall Sq., Lynn, 7 p.m.
Walsh sounds ‘populist’ note at inauguration
After his landslide re-election this fall, Mayor Marty Walsh yesterday was sworn in to another term as mayor of Boston, vowing to rebuild the middle class in the city and pushing a far-reaching agenda for Boston, reports the Globe’s Milton Valencia. Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin zeroes in on Walsh’s new $10-million fundraising effort to build 200 housing units for the chronically homeless and his vow to rebuild the Long Island Bridge. WGBH’s Adam Reilly noticed a distinct “populist flourish” to proceedings yesterday. WGBH has the full text and video of the mayor’s inaugural address.
And, oh, newly sworn-in city council members, led by newly elected council President Andrea Campbell, swear they’re not going to be a doormat for the mayor, a traditional flourish muttered every four years by newly minted council members. This time they may actually mean it. We’ll see. The Herald’s Dan Atkinson has more.
Fresh start: Framingham ushers in new mayor and government
With U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark holding the bible, Yvonne Spicer took the oath of office yesterday to become the first mayor of Framingham and the first popularly elected African-American woman mayor in Massachusetts history, according to a report by Brian Benson at the MetroWest Daily News. The Boston Globe and the Boston Herald have more on the historic day in Framingham, which earlier this year voted to switch from a town to a city form of government.
Did Joe outshine Liz yesterday?
Aside from Mayor Marty Walsh, former Vice President Joe Biden was the star attraction at yesterday’s inauguration festivities in Boston, and the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld thinks Biden, who some believe is eyeing a 2020 bid for president, scored major local points by showing up and dishing out a lot of “how ya doin’ pal” greetings, outshining U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, also a potential 2020 presidential wannabe, on her home turf. Warren attended inaugural activities in Framingham.
Speaking of Warren, Politico’s Gabriel Debenedetti takes a look at how Warren has positioned herself for 2020.
McGee and Heroux bid adieu to Beacon Hill
There are plenty of other local inauguration ceremonies today across the commonwealth, including swearing-in events for mayors and councilors in Everett, Gardner, Leominster, Newburyport, Worcester and other communities (see details above in our Happening Today section). But two inauguration ceremonies today in Lynn and Attleboro mean the departures of two Beacon Hill veterans – Sen. Tom McGee, who will be sworn in as mayor of Lynn, and Rep. Paul Heroux, who will be sworn in as mayor of Attleboro. Their legislative resignations are effective today.
More cold, more snow, more T delays …
Meteorologist Dave Epstein at the Globe says that, yes, it can and will get even colder this coming weekend. But compounding the frigid agony is a potential Nor’easter hitting the region over the next 48 hours, dumping up to six inches (and counting) of snow on certain areas, reports WCVB and the Boston Herald. The net result of the weather: The T is warning of service delays of about twenty minutes this morning due to the cold snap, as WCVB reports, and some school districts are delaying the start of school this morning, reports NECN. And, of course, officials are worried about the homeless in these terrible conditions, the Globe reports.
With the highest natural gas prices in the world, what added proof is needed for new pipelines?
Stephen Dodge, executive director of the New England Petroleum Council, is pointing to the fact that New England, due to the current cold snap, recently became the “world’s priciest market” for natural gas, as reported by Bloomberg News, and he says the “terrible distinction” can mean only one thing: The region needs more natural gas pipelines. He has more at CommonWealth magazine. We assume others beg to differ with his assessment.
Merchant quits Newburyport chamber over hiring of ex-sheriff
A prominent Newburyport merchant and local politician says he’s withdrawn his three businesses from the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce over the organization’s decision to hire former Essex County Sheriff Frank Cousins as its president, Richard Lodge and Jack Shea report in the Newburyport Daily News. A report from the Inspector General’s office released last month said Cousins—who is scheduled to take the helm of the chamber on Wednesday—allowed and even encouraged sick-leave abuse by employees during his tenure as sheriff.
State GOP distances itself from Brockton Republican chair (and ex-con)
Lawrence who? The state’s Republican party leadership is seeking to distance itself from Lawrence Novak, who recently reclaimed the chairmanship of the Brockton Republican City Committee despite being disbarred and spending six years in federal prison on money laundering charges, Marc Larocque of the Enterprise reports. Novak compares himself to Gandhi and other political prisoners and says he will again be “a force to be reckoned with” on the local political scene. But Democrats have a different view. “You have a convicted felon leading the Republican Party in Brockton because no one else wants to,” said Steve Kelley, chairperson of the Brockton Democratic City Committee.
In DA texts, no smoking gun on Troopergate case
After three tries, Worcester Magazine obtained texts and emails from the office of Worcester County DA Joseph Early relating to the arrest of a Dudley District Court judge’s daughter and the subsequent scrubbing of the police report on the incident and … and they found nothing suggesting Early involved himself directly in the case, Walter Bird Jr. reports. Instead, the messages show Early tracking the case and later commenting on some of the media reports on it.
Democrats eye legal challenges to provisions in GOP tax bill
No mention of Massachusetts in this story, so it would be interesting to see what Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, and Democratic Beacon Hill leaders think about this. From the NYT: “Democrats in high-cost, high-tax states are plotting ways to do what their states’ representatives in Congress could not: blunt the impact of the newly passed Republican tax overhaul. Governors and legislative leaders in New York, California and other states are considering legal challenges to elements of the law that they say unfairly single out parts of the country.”
T blames driver error for Orange Line trolley crash
From Jordan Graham at the Herald: “The Mattapan trolley crash that injured more than a dozen people Friday was the result of a driver error, the MBTA said, and will force rush-hour commuters to wait longer between rides until the trains can be repaired. ‘Preliminarily, the collision that occurred appears to be due to operator error,’ said Jeff Gonneville, deputy general manager of the MBTA, in a statement. ‘In accordance with standard procedures, the operator will remain out of service as the investigation proceeds.’”
What to expect on Beacon Hill and across the state in 2018
The AP’s Bob Salsberg at Boston.com and the Herald’s Dan Atkinson take a look at what to politically expect at the State House and across the commonwealth in 2018, including the Rosenberg probe, the Senate presidency, the U.S. Senate and gubernatorial elections, Amazon HQ2, ballot questions and more. Another thing to watch out for: A possible push for sports gambling here and elsewhere, depending on how the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a key case, as the Globe’s Mark Arsenault reports.
Trump’s presidency was actually a blessing in disguise for many New England pols
They may or may not like President Trump, but many New England pols, from U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren to former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, have politically benefited from Trump’s arrival in the White House in 2017, reports the Globe’s James Pindell. Other pols who have felt the Trump bump (or anti-bump) include Seth Moulton, Paul LePage, Gina Raimondo and more.
‘Pick up the pace, Beacon Hill’
The Boston Globe, in an editorial, basically agrees with Gov. Charlie Baker: Can lawmakers, please, pick up the legislative pace on Beacon Hill in 2018? The Herald, in its own editorial, is also complaining about the Legislature’s “deeply unproductive” 2017 and is urging more aggressive action on a number of bills this year.
Is Partners facing another merger rejection?
Paul Hattis, associate professor of public health and community medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, writes at CommonWealth magazine that state regulators would be justified in rejecting the proposed merger between Partners HealthCare and the Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary, but they may end up slapping conditions on any deal instead. He explains why.
Minutemen Pride – and they even nailed the 105-degree turn at the Rose Parade
They’re mighty proud of the Minuteman Marching Band in Amherst this morning, after the UMass band’s participation in the New Year’s Day Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif. Band members even ‘nailed’ an apparently notorious 105-degree turn in the parade route, the rough equivalent, we get the impression, of surviving Heartbreak Hill in the Boston Marathon. Diane Lederman at MassLive has more.
Globe endorses ‘night mayor’ for Boston
Amsterdam, San Francisco and New York have variations of them, i.e. “night mayors,” or appointed managers, to oversee nightlife events and activities in their cities. In an editorial, the Globe says Boston should have one too. How a night mayor/manager will overcome Boston’s early-to-bed/early-to-rise ethos, we don’t know, and then there’s the sum of everyone’s fears in Boston: College students carousing later into the nights if bar hours are extended.
Deirdre Anne Roney, RIP
The State Ethics Commission lost a beloved colleague and friend, Deirdre Anne Roney, the commission’s general counsel, just prior to the holidays. Her memorial service was last week. The obituary is not exaggerating the outpouring of sorrow over her sad death.
Is the state’s Valor Act merely a legal shield for some law-breaking veterans?
It’s a good-intentioned law: Helping veterans navigate the thicket of red tape in order to obtain services that they and their families need. But the Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert zeros in on one aspect of the law –giving the courts leeway to steer veterans into treatment programs, rather than into jails – and finds, in at least one harrowing case, how the state’s Valor Act can apparently end up shielding veterans against criminal charges.
Northeastern professor: The best way to keep New Year’s resolutions (and it’s not willpower)
Now that most everyone is straggling back to work this morning, post-holidays, David DeSteno, a professor at Northeastern, has some tips on how to keep those New Year’s resolutions, assuming you haven’t blown them off already, to wit: Via use of ‘social emotions,’ such as gratitude and compassion, rather than brute willpower. It makes a lot of sense. We’d add a sense of social/family ‘responsibility’ to that general line of reasoning. Anyway, check out his thoughts at the NYT.
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