Happening Today

Opioids forum, #MeToo founder, Berry visiting hours

— The preliminary October 2018 and revised September 2018 unemployment numbers for Massachusetts will be released today.  

— Gov. Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey speak about the opioid epidemic at a Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation forum titled ‘The Economic Impact of the Opioid Epidemic: An Issue of Substance,’ with U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy providing a taped interview, Bank of America, 225 Franklin St., 5th floor, Boston, with Baker speaking at 8 a.m. and Healey at 11 a.m.

— The Third Biennial New England Women’s Policy Conference is held, featuring keynote speaker Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Suffolk County District Attorney-elect Rachael Rollins, state Rep.-elect Nika Elugardo and others, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, 9 a.m.

— Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan hosts a meeting of the Lowell Opioid Task Force, Lowell General Hospital, 295 Varnum Ave., Lowell, 9:30 a.m.

— Treasurer Deborah Goldberg’s Office of Economic Empowerment holds a free workshop on financial education and security, in partnership with People’s United Bank, Worcester Senior Center, 128 Providence St., Worcester, 12:30 p.m.

— Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito joins Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack, Keolis Commuter Services general manager David Scorey and lawmakers for a briefing on investments on the Worcester Commuter Rail Line, Howland Chamber, Worcester City Hall, 455 Main Street, Worcester, 1 p.m.

— The Salvation Army Massachusetts Division kicks off its annual Red Kettle Campaign with a concert featuring the New York Staff Band, Faneuil Hall Rotunda, Quincy Market, Boston, 2 p.m.

— Visiting hours will be held for former Sen. Fred Berry, who died Tuesday at the age of 68, Peabody City Hall, 24 Lowell St., Peabody, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., while a funeral Mass will be held at noon tomorrow at St. John the Baptist Church at 16 Church St. in Peabody.

For more calendar listings, check out State House News Service’s Daily Advances (pay wall – free trial subscriptions available) and MassterList’s Beacon Hill Town Square below.

Today’s Stories

Feds issue ‘urgent’ recommendations in wake of Merrimack Valley disaster

From SHNS’s Katie Lannanat the BBJ (pay wall): “As federal investigators continue their probe into the Sept. 13 Merrimack Valley gas disaster, the National Transportation Safety Board on Thursday issued a series of safety recommendations it classified as ‘urgent.’ The NTSB released a  report with four recommendations for NiSource, the parent company of Columbia Gas, and one for the state.”

The Globe’s Milton Valencia reports that fed investigators are specifically signaling out a Columbia Gas engineer with “limited knowledge” for errors that led to September’s disastrous explosions and fires in the Merrimack Valley. 

Meanwhile, Shannon Young at MassLive reports that all 11 members of Massachusetts’ congressional delegation are calling on President Trump to declare the parts of the Merrimack Valley a “major disaster” area.

Editorial: It’s time for Baker and Walsh to put the lockout screws on National Grid and union

Still on the subject of utilities and pipelines: Saying the months-long National Grid lockout of 1,250 union workers is now threatening millions of dollars in economic activity, the Boston Business Journal says in an editorial that the labor standoff has to end – and that Gov. Charlie Baker and Mayor Marty Walsh need to apply increased pressure on the utility and union to reach an accord. “We don’t advocate for government intervention into private-sector matters often, but this threat to the state’s economy must be overcome, and quickly.”

BBJ (pay wall)

Ayanna holds the key, Part II: The John Kerry angle

The New York Times is confirming a prior report that freshly elected women in the U.S. House, such as Rep.-elect Ayanna Pressley, may now hold the key to whether Nancy Pelosi will be the next speaker – and it turns out that U.S. Rep. Marcia L. Fudge, a member of the House’s black caucus, could end up challenging Pelosi. But what we found interesting in the NYT piece is that, somehow, former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State John Kerry has gotten involved in the leadership fight, with Kerry described as one of the “high-powered allies” deployed to lobby fellow Dems to back Pelosi. 

Meanwhile, the Herald’s Kimberly Atkins has an update on the speakership coup attemp, led by U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton and now openly supported by U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, who has singed a never-Nancy letter. Lynch has opposed Pelosi’s leadership in the past, so his current position is no big surprise.

Forget Baker. Markey’s main threat could be from fellow Dems

Now that the governor’s office has formally shot down the far-fetched idea that Republican Charlie Baker might run for the U.S. Senate in 2020, let’s turn our attention to another scenario, i.e. a potential primary threat from the left to incumbent U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, a Democrat. The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld thinks it’s a real possibility, considering what happened to Michael Capuano in September.

Boston Herald

Massport taps John Hynes’ firm for ‘quirky’ development in Seaport

The BBJ’s Catherine Carlock (pay wall) and the Globe’s Jon Chesto report that Massport has awarded the development rights to a key Seaport parcel to the John Hynes-connected Boston Global Investors. Chesto notes the final design of the planned 600,000-square-foot building could be “quirky,” in refreshing contrast to the soulless “Houston-by-the-Sea” architecture in the Seaport district.

Feds: ‘Don’t drive baked’

As the town of Leicester braces to become a sort of “pot pilgrimage” destination for retail marijuana customers (Boston Globe), a top federal highway official is warning Massachusetts residents not to drive “baked” with the onset of retail weed sales across the state, reports Brooks Sutherland at the Herald. The actual quote from the federal official: “Don’t let a friend drive baked.”

Baker’s ‘no muss, no fuss’ plans for his second term

The Globe’s Joshua Miller and Matt Stout landed a post-election interview with Gov. Charlie Baker and discovered that Baker 2.0 is going to look an awful lot like Baker 1.0, i.e. a “no muss, no fuss,” in the governor’s words, approach toward governing in his second term. “The big message from the voters is constructive friction, fiscal discipline, bipartisanship works,” he said. “We heard that message loud and clear.”  In other words, hold all those pundit ‘spend some political capital’ recommendations.

Boston Globe

Howie throwing a fit over lack of male judges nominated by Baker

Speaking of Gov. Baker, the Herald’s Howie Carr is furious over Baker’s recent string of judicial nominations that, damn it, hasn’t included one male with or without ties to Democrats. What can you say? Pull out the small violin?

Boston Herald

Maine Dem wins in ranked-choice voting, wiping out New England’s last remaining GOP House member

He lost by a plurality vote, but won by Maine’s new ranked-choice voting system, so Democrat Jared Golden was declared the winner yesterday in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, reports Steve Mistler and Domenico Montanaro at WBUR. Republican incumbent Bruce Poliquin, who tried to legally block the ranked-choice tabulation, says he plans to proceed with his lawsuit against the new voting system that he says is unconstitutional.

Assuming Golden’s win stands, New England will now have no Republican members in the U.S. House, with Maine U.S. Sen. Susan Collins the only Republican from the region left in Congress.


Packed house for Oprah brings windfall for UMass Lowell scholarship fund

She came. She inspired. She left a bag of cash. Oprah Winfrey’s appearance at UMass Lowell on Thursday left audience members stirred and put $3 million into a student scholarship account after Oprah said she would match the $1.5 million raised by the Chancellor’s Speaking Series event.  

Lowell Sun

Hold that Chick-fil-A order

Reports of the opening of a Chick-fil-A store in the Back Bay may be premature, reports the Herald’s Jordan Graham, who writes that the Boloco burrito chain is signaling it isn’t ready to leave its Boylston Street location. In case you’re wondering, this is news because Chick-fil-A’s CEO once expressed opposition to gay marriage and, well, this is Boston.

Boston Herald

Warren goes after Boston Consulting Group over its Saudi ties

Saying Saudi Arabia has effectively become a rogue nation that’s brutally silenced critics and waged a bloody war in Yemen, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is calling on Boston Consulting Group and two other firms to detail the services they provide to the Saudi government, reports Shannon Young at MassLive. According to Young, the Boston-based BCG, one of the nation’s top management consulting firms, has landed a contract to help overhaul the country’s defense ministry procurement systems.


Twitter war: JFK vs Trump

From the AP at WCVB: “The JFK Library Foundation has launched a new project they’re calling ‘Words Count’ that takes quotes from the nation’s 35th president and tweets them out using the JohnFKennedy Twitter handle. The account features exact quotations said or written by Kennedy as president.”

Steven Rothstein, executive director at the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, won’t say if the project is a subtle swipe at President Trump’s own proclivity for tweeting. No matter. We’d love to see similar Twitter accounts tying historical figures to daily news events. Perhaps quotes from Abe Lincoln and MLK Jr., etc.?


Spreading the blame: Polish government going after local investor over failed margarine venture

It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature – or the Polish government. From Universal Hub: “An investment in Polish margarine that went sour could cost a Boston venture capital firm and its principal owner more than $3 million in arbitration costs, if a federal judge here agrees to enforce an international tribunal’s decision against them. The Polish government this week filed a lawsuit in US District Court in Boston against Vincent Ryan and his Schooner Capital.”

Universal Hub

ACLU sues Boston police over gang membership database

From Maria Cramer at the Globe: “Mayor Martin J. Walsh has touted Boston as a sanctuary city for unauthorized immigrants. But a lawsuit filed Thursday accuses Boston police of labeling Central American teenagers and young men as gang members or gang associates, often with little cause, and entering that information into a database that can be accessed by federal immigration authorities.” The Herald’s Taylor Pettaway has more on the ACLU move.

Going to the dark side? TransitMatters co-founder takes job with Keolis rail

The co-founder and president of TransitMatters, the influential nerdy group that uses data analytics to second guess many decisions by the MBTA, is taking an entry level job at Keolis Commuter Services, which operates commuter rail for the T, reports Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine. Marc Ebuna will work as a passenger information center specialist at Keolis.


NFL hands off $14.7M to Boston hospitals for concussion research

Tessa Yannone at Boston Magazine reports that Boston Children’s Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center are getting a $14.7 million grant from the National Football League for a five-year research project on concussions.

Boston Magazine

DCR hiring a debt collection agency to go after rent deadbeats

The state Department of Conservation and Recreation has had it with rent shirkers – and it’s planning to hire a collection agency to recover some of the more than $400,000 it’s owed by tenants on its lands, reports Colman Herman at CommonWealth magazine. Mary Connaughton, director of government transparency at the Pioneer Institute, isn’t impressed, wondering why it took the agency so long to take action against the deadbeats.


Baker’s latest health-care reform push could come as soon as January

As Christian Wade at the Gloucester Times noted earlier this week, Gov. Baker plans to renew his push for health-care reforms – and now we learn that the legislative campaign may come as soon as January, with some of the reform measures possibly tucked into the governor’s proposed budget. Shira Schoenberg at MassLive and SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) have the details.

Report: Feds also probing payroll records of former State Police union boss

From Dan Glaun at MassLive: “The payroll records of former Massachusetts State Police union president Dana Pullman have been drawn into a federal investigation, amid a wide-ranging inquiry into the union’s spending, nonprofit foundation and political contributions.”


Not taking it: Ousted Milford chief takes town to court

This was inevitable. Milford Police Chief Thomas O’Laughlin has filed suit against the town, seeking more than a half-million dollars in damages and asking the court to declare selectmen’s split decision not to renew his contract invalid, Alison Boma reports at the MetroWest Daily News. 

MetroWest Daily News

Remembering Harvard’s 29-29 ‘win’ over Yale – and MIT’s win over both of them

As Harvard and Yale prepare for their annual gridiron showdown this weekend, the Herald’s John Connolly and the Globe’s John Powers look back at the famous “Harvard Beats Yale, 29-29” game 50 years ago. But Kyle Bonagura at ESPN wants the record to show that MIT actually won a Harvard-Yale game, in 1982, via its famous weather balloon prank. Enjoy all three articles.

Sunday public affairs TV

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Mayor Marty Walsh, who talks with host Jon Keller about the recent election, the Amazon HQ2 decision, and his own political future.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Jim Rooney, CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, talks about the Amazon HQ2 decision, the UMass Boston dorm problems, and other issues; Bob Luz, CEO of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, discusses dining trends, pizza problems and foodie philanthropy; and Doug Banks of the Boston Business Journal reviews the top business stories of the week   

CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. Max Hodges, the executive director of the Boston Ballet, discusses the business side of ballet.  

DC Dialogue, NECN, 11:30 a.m. Political Analyst Mark Shields talks with New England Council CEO Jim Brett about the impact of the midterm elections; ICIC CEO Steve Grossman and Guardian Healthcare CEO Jose de la Rosa talk about bringing jobs to the inner city; and Jim Brett and Denterlein’s Peter Howe talk about New England’s new Congressional clout.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Attorney General Maura Healey, who talks with anchor Ed Harding and co-anchor Janet Wu.  

This is New England, NBC Boston Channel 10, 11:30 a.m. With host Latoyia Edwards, this week’s main topics: Local reporter stories in the community, showcasing the 2018 Verma Foundation Capwalk, Portland, Maine’s best foods, and the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel donating toiletries to families in need.


On November 17, TEDxBeaconStreet will return to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum for a second year! Some of the most inspiring minds and speakers in the world will come to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum for the final day of TEDxBeaconStreet.


2018 Newman Civic Fellows National Conference

The Newman Civic Fellows National Conference is an annual conference exclusively for current Newman Civic Fellows that provides opportunities for networking, collaboration, and shared learning among Fellows. Only members of the 2018 Newman Civic Fellowship cohort may attend the 2018 Newman Civic Fellows National Conference.

Campus Compact

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Epiphany School’s Early Learning Center

Governor Charlie Baker and Mayor Martin J. Walsh, among other state and city officials and guests, will join the Epiphany School to celebrate the opening of its innovative Early Learning Center (ELC) for infants, toddlers, and their families. Epiphany partners with low-income families to help them get on their feet and provides long-term support for their children through college and beyond.

Epiphany School

The Rise of Populism in the US and Europe

Panelists including Salena Zito and Brad Todd, authors of The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Shaping Contemporary Domestic Politics, and John Judis, author of The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics, examine the rise of populism in the US and Europe with Heather Cox Richardson, Boston College professor of history.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Today’s Headlines


Not so fast with that Chick-Fil-A in Copley Square – Universal Hub

Massport makes first Seaport office deal with ‘public realm’ requirement – Boston Globe


Framingham faces $161K deficit as recycling costs soar – MetroWest Daily News

Mass. retailers see holiday sales rising 3.8 percent – MetroWest Daily News

Amid ongoing strike threat, BRTA service intact through the weekend – Berkshire Eagle

Payroll records of former Mass. State Police union president Dana Pullman related to federal investigation – MassLive


Julian Assange has been charged, prosecutors reveal inadvertent in court filing – Washington Post

GOP pushes Trump for new attorney general amid Mueller uproar – Politico

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