Happening Today

Wynn hearing, Travel tips, DOT-MBTA meeting

— A judge in Nevada will hear arguments on a motion in embattled former casino magnate Steve Wynn’s bid to prohibit the Massachusetts Gaming Commission from releasing the findings of the commission’s months-long investigation into Wynn’s alleged sexual misconduct.

— Violence in Boston Inc., an activist organization, is organizing a citywide school walkout to protest gun violence and proposals to close West Roxbury High School and McCormick Middle School, Boston City. 

— Treasurer Deborah Goldberg and U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton host a town-hall style meeting about financial issues for veterans, service members and their families, North Shore Community College, 300 Broad St., Lynn, 9:30 a.m.

— State officials gather with the media to outline travel tips and information for the travel-heavy Thanksgiving week, MassDOT Highway Operations Center, 50 Massport Haul Road, South Boston, 10 a.m.

— U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, state Sen. Jason Lewis, state Rep.-elect Maria Robinson, Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer and U.S. Small Business Administration New England regional administrator Wendell Davis will tour Jack’s Abby Brewing to ‘raise awareness about the importance of shopping local this holiday season,’ Jack’s Abby, 100 Clinton Street, Framingham, 10:30 a.m.

— Massachusetts Gaming Commission holds a meeting to coordinate with staff about what topics will be covered at which upcoming Gaming Commission meeting, 101 Federal Street, 12th Floor, Boston, 10 a.m.

— The Department of Transportation Board of Directors and MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board hold a joint meeting to discuss transportation modeling in Massachusetts, the I-90 Allston Multimodal Project and the proposed North-South Rail Link, State Transportation Building, 2nd Floor, Transportation Board Room, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 12 p.m.

Today’s Stories

P-Day: Retail marijuana shops to open tomorrow

They’re expecting traffic and media jams in Leicester and Northampton tomorrow. From Jack Sullivan at CommonWealth magazine: “More than two years after voters approved legal recreational marijuana sales and use, the doors of the first retail outlets east of the Mississippi will finally swing open on Tuesday just in time for the long Thanksgiving weekend. Cultivate in Leicester and New England Treatment Access in Northampton were given the green light Friday by the Cannabis Control Commission to begin operations.”

CommonWealth Magazine

Vets to the front of the line

By the way, we already know who the first two recreational pot customers will be on Tuesday, thanks to the Globe’s Dan Adams, who reports a pair of military veterans have been tapped to make the first buys. 

Boston Globe

Is pot the victim of an age-based town meeting disconnect?

One more pot-related item: At CommonWealth magazine, policy attorney Jim Smith argues that local pot shop rollouts would be more robust if not for the fact that younger voters—who overwhelmingly favor legalization of marijuana—by and large take a pass on local governmental affairs.

CommonWealth Magazine

It’s over: Striking Marriott workers to return to work on Wednesday

Now if they can only resolve the National Grid lockout. From Jordan Graham at the Herald: “A 45-day hotel strike in Boston, the first in the city’s history, is over after union members overwhelmingly approved a new contract yesterday that will give workers at the seven Marriott-owned hotels in the city higher wages and better benefits, including paid parental leave.”

Boston Herald

Moulton faces liberal (and gender) backlash over Pelosi coup attempt

The Washington Post reports that U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton is now facing both a local and national backlash for his latest coup attempt against Nancy Pelosi – and there’s more than a few hints he may yet face a Michael Capuano-like primary challenge in two years.

Here’s some particularly harsh quotes from U.S. Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.): “Is he rubbing people the wrong way with how he’s perceived in this? I would say, yeah.  Let me get this straight — 17 or 18 who aren’t happy can block the will of over 200 members of the caucus? Where does that end? … With his zeal for revolution, there’s a lot of wounded left on the battlefield.”

This is what you get when you launch a coup attempt without a having a successor in place. It comes across as personal and pointless.

Washington Post

She’s learning fast: Pressley’s masterful fence sitting on Pelosi

Speaking of the leadership fight in the U.S. House, the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld says U.S. Rep.-elect Ayanna Pressley isn’t exactly standing up to the status quo by not taking sides in the battle over Nancy Pelosi’s leadership of House Democrats.

Meanwhile, the state’s other newly minted member of Congress has moved off the fence in the speaker’s race, with Lori Trahan telling the Lowell Sun’s Chris Lisinski she will back Pelosi, citing her “experience and proven track record.”

Boston Herald

Moderates still hold sway in blue Massachusetts

Massachusetts may be among the bluest of blue states, but the November elections once again showed that moderates and conservative Democrats still hold the key to statewide elections, reports the AP’s Bob Salsberg at the Sentinel & Enterprise.

Sentinel & Enterprise

Your winnings, sir: A once shocked Charlie Baker will now take the pay raise

He was shocked, disappointed and vowed not to accept a hefty pay hike approved last year by lawmakers for themselves and other elected officials. But that was before his re-election a few weeks ago – and now Gov. Charlie Baker will accept his $100K bump in salary to $250,000 a year, reports the Globe’s Matt Stout. 

Boston Globe

Howie Carr’s lawyers seek to quash $800K lawsuit by former employee

Boston Herald columnist and radio host Howie Carr is embroiled in a legal fight with a former radio-program employee who has filed a $800,000 breach-of-contract suit in New Hampshire – and now Carr’s lawyers are seeking to have the suit tossed, reports Paul Cuno-Booth at the Keene Sentinel.


Backyard brawl: How New Hampshire could make or break local presidential hopefuls

These 2020 stories should come with a trigger warning. With just over a year before the New Hampshire presidential primaries, James Pindell of the Globe delves into the importance of that race to the New England-based Democratic presidential hopefuls. A big win in the Granite State could catapult a contender to the front of the pack, while losing in one’s own backyard could also be a death knell for a nascent campaign. 

Boston Globe

Dear Liz: Don’t do it

Speaking of potential presidential wannabes, Thomas Gagen, a former editorial writer at the Globe, is urging U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren not to run for president in 2020. Why? Because the rest of the nation is not like Massachusetts – and there’s no way she’s going to win key swing states. He explains.

Incoming Democrats rally around Warren’s CFPB

As they plan to take control of the U.S. House in January, national Democrats are plotting to save and rebuild the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has been the focus on an all-out assault from the Trump administration, Katy O’Donnell reports at Politico. The CFPB is, of course, the brainchild of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, but is seen as a regulatory overreach by many on the right.


Fearing state opposition, Partners and Harvard Pilgrim call off merger talks

Yeah, it’s a safe to say this potential merger would have attracted the attention of regulators. From Priyanka Dayal McCluskey at the Globe: “Massachusetts’ largest hospital system, Partners HealthCare, has halted merger talks with the insurer Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, bowing to the reality that a deal would be extremely difficult if not impossible to pull off in a state where Partners has long been under the microscope.”

Keep in mind: Partners already owns an insurer, i.e. Neighborhood Health Plan.

Boston Globe

ACLU sues Holyoke over new lawn sign restrictions

From Patrick Johnson at MassLive: “The Massachusetts chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Holyoke, charging the city’s recently enacted ordinance restricting lawn signs is a violation of the First Amendment protections of free speech.”


Martha Sheridan tapped to succeed Moscaritolo at Visitor’s Bureau

After complaints it wasn’t searching beyond the old boys network for new leaders, the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau has tapped Martha Sheridan to replace local legend Pat Moscaritolo as CEO of the bureau, Catherine Carlock reports in the Boston Business Journal. Sheridan comes from a similar role in Rhode Island and will be only the second woman to lead the visitors association in a major city when she takes the helm in February. 

Boston Business Journal (pay wall)

Students plan walkout as opposition to school-closing plan mounts

Quick question: Are we going to see more of this with the new state civics-lessons law and its call for student civic-engagement projects? We think you know the answer. Anyway, Boston public school students plan to walk out of classes Monday and march to City Hall to protest Mayor Marty Walsh’s plan to close and consolidate some schools, arguing any such move should wait until a permanent superintendent is in place, Taylor Pettaway reports at the Herald. Fyi: Please note our Happening Today section above and its reference to Violence in Boston Inc., an activist group claiming credit for organizing the walkout. 

Boston Herald

At Holy Cross, inclusion summit replaces classes for a day

Speaking of student protests, Sarah Connell at Worcester Magazine has a report from inside the summit on inclusion and race and gender relations that shut down classes at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester on Friday, with more than 1,000 students and faculty taking part.  

Worcester Magazine

Accusations of payroll fraud fly amid UMass, police union talks

Amid stalled contract negotiations, the union representing UMass Amherst campus police says the school has engaged in “potential payroll fraud,” Dusty Christensen reports at the Daily Hampshire Gazette. The school denies the claim. 

Daily Hampshire Gazette

Ranked-choice gets the Globe seal of approval

The Boston Globe gets behind the push to expand ranked-choice voting, saying the recent experience of Maine’s Second Congressional District proves it can work, though the editorial writers admit the legal challenges to the approach need to be worked out. The paper concludes that “other states would do well to follow Maine’s lead – including Massachusetts.” 

Actually, we’re starting to have second thoughts about ranked-choice voting as a result of what happened in Maine. But we want to think about it a bit more. Perhaps more later.

Boston Globe

Worcester sees influx of Puerto Rican students subside

Fewer than 100 of the 400 students who surged into the Worcester public school system in the wake of Hurricane Maria last year-prompting state officials to boost funding for the district–remained on the rolls as of Oct. 1 of this year, Scott O’Connell reports at the Telegram. 

Telegram & Gazette

To settle or not to settle: Two sides in Lowell voting rights lawsuit to privately meet next month

From Rick Sobey at the Lowell Sun: “After months of city councilors and the Law Department heading behind closed doors to discuss the voter rights lawsuit, the city will head to federal court next month to face the plaintiffs who argue that Lowell’s at-large election system discriminates against minority communities. The two sides in the lawsuit Huot v. City of Lowell will engage in private mediation on Dec. 18 in Boston at the Moakley Courthouse. ‘It’s an opportunity for both parties to explore whether there’s a resolution to the satisfaction of both sides,’ City Solicitor Christine O’Connor said Friday.”

Lowell Sun

Dukakis’s North-South Rail Link odyssey goes old-school

Michael Dukakis. A rusty 1949 Hudson. Building support for the North-South Rail Link.  Steve Annear and Adam Vaccaro at the Globe put the pieces together. 

Boston Globe

The Arc Tank 2.0

Northeast Arc is hosting the Arc Tank 2.0, a competition that seeks to fund innovative and positively disruptive ideas that enhance the lives of persons with disabilities. The event will be held from 2-5pm on Nov. 27 at the JFK Library in Boston.

Northeast Arc

What Your Company Is Saying – What Your Customers Are Hearing .. The Art of Corporate Communications

Join North Shore technology entrepreneurs and leaders for a discussion of the art and practice of corporate communications.

North Shore Technology Council

Religion and Politics in America

E.J. Dionne, Washington Post columnist, political commentator, and visiting professor at Harvard Divinity School, examines the role of religion in American politics with Margery Eagan, co-host of WGBH’s Boston Public Radio.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Power Breakfast: Life Sciences

Join the BBJ for our last Power Breakfast of 2018 as we discuss the business of biotech and the life sciences of the Boston area.

Boston Business Journal

NAIOP – SIOR Annual Market Forecast

Join NAIOP and SIOR for the Annual Market Forecast, one of the industry’s leading market updates.

NAIOP Massachusetts & SIOR New England

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


City councilors bitter over new smoke shop in South Boston – Boston Herald

Former Somerville school to be transformed into ‘inclusive urban village’ – Boston Globe


Plymouth clean-ups turn up 500 nips – Wicked Local Plymouth

After 30 years in Lowell, Sun editor calls it a career – Lowell Sun

Bay State Wind plans open houses on Vineyard, Nantucket – Cape Cod Times

State looks to boost funding for after-school programs – Gloucester Times


Michael Bloomberg gives Johns Hopkins a record $1.8 billion for student financial aid – Washington Post

Republicans battle to defend Trump from impeachment – Politico

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