Happening Today

Governor’s Council, Health Data conference, and more

New England Association of Drug Court Professionals hosts two-day conference to address impact of opioid epidemic on the courts, Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel, 181 Boston Post Rd. West, Marlborough.

— The Office of State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg holds its 8th annual Investor Conference, featuring Christopher Foote, senior economist and policy advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, as keynote speaker, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, 415 Summer St, Boston, starting at 8:30 a.m.

Health Policy Commission’s Market Oversight and Transparency Committee meets for a preview of some key analytic findings from the upcoming 2018 Health Care Cost Trends report, 50 Milk St., Boston, 9:30 a.m.

— Rep. Marjorie Decker, Sen. Joseph Boncore, and the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition host a one-hour briefing on the federal government’s proposed rule to change the definition of ‘public charge’ for potential immigrants to the U.S., Room 350, House Lobby, 11 a.m.

Health Policy Commission’s Care Delivery Transformation Committee meets for a presentation from MassHealth on accountable care organizations (ACOs) and community partner (CP) programs and to hear other matters, 50 Milk St., Boston, 11 a.m.

— The Governor’s Council holds three meetings today to review and possibly vote on judicial nominations, Council Chamber, 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Joint Committee on Revenue meets to accept testimony on two home rule bills that would authorize the town of Harvard to establish a cap on property taxes for senior citizens and the town of Hanover to grant abatement of real estate taxes to the widow of Sgt. Michael Chesna, the Weymouth police officer killed in the line of duty in July, Hearing Room A-1, 11 a.m.

Massachusetts Health Data Consortium hosts its annual conference, with Health Policy Commission Chairman Dr. Stuart Altman, Center for Health Information and Analysis Executive Director Ray Campbell and Massachusetts Health Connector Executive Director Louis Gutierrez expected to speak, Conference Center at Waltham Woods, 860 Winter St., Waltham, starting at 8:30 a.m. and a panel discussion at 1 p.m.

— The Rental Housing Association Division of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board honors Karen Fish-Will, principal and CEO of Peabody Properties, and House Speaker Robert DeLeo, InterContinental Boston, 510 Atlantic Ave, Boston, 5:30 p.m.

— Actor Michael Douglas is honored by the Howard Gottlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University and the Bette Davis Foundation with the Bette Davis Lifetime Achievement Award, Metcalf Ballroom, 775 Commonwealth Ave., Second Floor, Boston, 6 p.m.

— Massachusetts Bar Association, WBZ Call for Action, WBZ NewsRadio 1030 and WBZ-TV present the Ask A Lawyer call-in program, an opportunity for Massachusetts residents who have legal concerns or problems to call in to speak directly with one of a number of volunteer lawyers for free, WBZ-AM 1030, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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

Moulton: He’s going down with the ship

As his anti-Pelosi allies continue to jump ship, U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton signaled yesterday he’s going down with the ship, once again asserting he still has the votes to block Nancy Pelosi from becoming speaker in January, the Washington Post reports. The Globe’s Liz Goodwin counts all the ways Pelosi could end up punishing Moulton after this drama is over, up to and including denying him key committee assignments.

Btw: The NYT has an interesting story about how Pelosi’s leadership-vote haggling could boomerang on her: “By empowering newcomers like Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Jahana Hayes of Connecticut, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ms. Tlaib, Ms. Pelosi risks creating a headache for herself down the road: a Democratic version of the House Freedom Caucus, the far-right group that consistently defies Republican leadership, making life difficult for Speaker Paul D. Ryan.”

Neal eyes action on infrastructure, health-care and college-endowment tax

One person who’s looking beyond the Pelosi-Moulton leadership fight, or at least trying to look beyond the fight, is U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, who’s about to become a very powerful committee chairman in January – and he already has his eye on getting passed a massive infrastructure bill and health-care legislation, reports the BBJ’s Ellie French (pay wall). Meanwhile, Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive reports that Neal is also planning to hold hearings on the “punitive” college endowment tax passed earlier this year by Congressional Republicans.

The Globe’s Scot Lehigh writes that Neal is one of those long serving Congressional members “whose destiny has finally arrived.”

Say it isn’t so: Hospitals urged to stop serving hot dogs

Not even with brown bread and beans? From Christian Wade at the Gloucester Times: “The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit group of about 12,000 doctors who advocate for plant-based diets, says hot dogs shouldn’t be served to pediatric patients because they are a top choking risk for children, and are among foods that increase the risk of colorectal cancer.”

Gloucester Times

Sean Spicer at UMass-Amherst: Conciliatory statesmen?

Sean Spicer, the combative former press secretary for President Trump, spoke at UMass-Amherst last evening and managed the near impossible: He came across as a conciliatory statesman compared to the protesters who kept interrupting the question-and-answer period of his appearance on campus. Don’t take our word for it. Read all about it the Boston Globe and at MassLive. … Spicer may have just come up with a way to finally deal with these campus anti-free-speech types: Just smile at them, invite them on the stage, encourage actual dialogue, etc.  

Walsh vs Wu: Of public lands and soccer stadiums

The Globe’s Jon Chesto has an interesting story on how Mayor Marty Walsh wants to push ahead with development of a vast public works yard along the Southeast Expressway, perhaps for a future soccer stadium for Bob Kraft’s New England Revolution. But city councilor Michelle Wu wants to first hold some public hearings on the idea. She’s really not asking for too much. What’s the hurry?

The wheel literally falls off T commuter train

Let the “wheels falling off the T” analysis commence. From the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter: “Keolis is taking heat from officials and advocates again after a Commuter Rail train derailed when a wheel fell off yesterday morning, stranding hundreds of straphangers during the morning commute. ‘We’re lucky that nobody was injured or seriously injured,’ said TransitMatters’ Ari Ofsevit, a frequent Fitchburg Line rider.”

Boston Herald

Does Markey have a white-male-incumbent bullseye on his back?

After U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano got knocked off in the September primary by Ayanna Pressley, is U.S. Sen. Ed Markey next on the white-male-incumbent hit list? The Globe’s Victoria McGrane reports on how Markey may be vulnerable to a primary challenge in 2020. Lots of potential challenger names are being dropped, some of them white males (Seth Moulton and Joseph Kennedy) and some of them not (Maura Healey, Michelle Wu and Juana Matias). 

But the big problem for some challengers, as we see it: Unlike the Capuano-Pressley district race, this would be a statewide primary battle – and that would work against a Pressley-like city councilor or state rep challenger.

Boston Globe

The evolution of Howie Carr: From muckraker to money-grubbing Trump backer

Simon Van Zuylen-Wood doesn’t break much new ground in his long piece at Boston Magazine about Howie Carr’s decades-long transformation from bad-boy muckraker to Howie Carr Inc. and ideological cheerleader for Donald Trump. But we never heard the stories about his absconding with toilet paper and paper towels from the ‘RKO bathrooms and hoarding empty bottles and cans to collect the 5-cent deposits.

Boston Magazine

Holiday greetings: ‘We’re dreaming of a white Dorchester’

It was apparently an innocent mistake, but it’s not a mistake you should make in Boston. The Dorchester Historical Society is apologizing for a holiday greeting card that read “We’re dreaming of a white Dorchester” along with a picture of a building inside a snow globe, reports the AP at WBUR.

Tory Bullock is having a hilarious/stunned field day with this one. “I can’t make this stuff up,” he says in a video episode that’s he’s dubbed “Don’t you have any black people working for you?” 


Centuries later, original Boston Tea Party participants are finally honored

We’re surprised this wasn’t done long, long ago: City and historical groups are marking the upcoming 245th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party by putting markers on the graves of 70 “ordinary people” who participated in the historical event, reports the AP at the Herald. It’s the first time any sort of special marker has been placed on the gravesites located in four colonial-era burial grounds in Boston.

Boston Herald

Uber boss embraces congestion pricing for Boston

In an opinion piece at the Globe, Andrew Salzberg, head of transportation policy for Uber, says that congestion pricing, combined with a robust public transit system, is the way to go when trying to de-clog city streets. We agree. But we’re against congestion pricing if it’s not equitably applied, such as imposing it only where there are already tolls (i.e. the Pike and Tobin) and not where it’s most needed on non-toll roads (i.e. I-93 and 128 and downtown Boston etc.).

Judge orders Middleton jail to provide methadone for inmate’s opioid addiction

If this ruling stands and is adopted elsewhere, this is big news. From the AP at WGBH: “A Massachusetts jail must provide methadone to a man recovering from opioid addiction, a federal judge in Boston has ordered. U.S. District Judge Denise Casper, in a preliminary decision  Monday, said 32-year-old Geoffrey Pesce would likely prevail in his civil lawsuit against the Essex County House of Correction in Middleton.”


Healey giving urgent attention to hospitals’ urgent-care pricing practices

More evidence hospitals treat money like it’s play money with no connection to reality: The Globe’s Liz Kowalczyk reports how Attorney General Maura Healey’s office is now looking into, and cracking down on, so-called “urgent care” centers that charge people full hospital fees and prices for services. Remember: Going to your primary care doctor or urgent care centers are supposed to be preventative ways to avoid going to expensive hospitals. 

Boston Globe

Seeing green: Pots shops rake in $2.2M over first five days

We sort of assumed weed sales would slow down after the state’s two new pot shops hauled in more than $400,000 on their opening days. But sales haven’t slowed down, as the stores in Leicester and Northampton saw $2.2 million in sales over their first five days, reports the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett.

BBJ (pay wall)

Expensive traffic control: Marijuana stores spend nearly $40K on police details

So how much car traffic are the state’s two lone pot shops generating? So much traffic that the weed stores in Leicester and Northampton have spent about $39,000 in just one week on paid cop details outside their establishments, reports Jaqueline Tempera at Masslive. They can afford it. See post above.


Taking time out from coup plot, Moulton touts regional rail for state

He does have a job to do other than plotting Nancy Pelosi’s downfall. In an opinion piece at the BBJ, U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton outlines a vision of a modern regional rail system that might one day attract the next Amazon that comes knocking on the development door in Massachusetts.

BBJ (pay wall)

‘Paper warriors,’ part III: The point-counterpoint stage

The Globe’s Kevin Cullen and Adrian Walker have sort of dueling columns this morning on Police Commissioner Bill Gross’s recent “paper warriors” attack on the ACLU, i.e. one for, one against, tastes great, less filling, etc.

Ex-Barre tax collector gets year in jail for gambling away $250K in stolen town funds

Gary Murray at the Telegram reports that a former Barre tax collector has been sentenced to a year in jail and ordered to pay restitution for stealing $250,000 in town funds and then blowing it all away, apparently at the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos. Documents show she had some pretty bad luck at the casinos, prosecutors say.


Threatened veto of Springfield’s sanctuary-city ordinance sparks war of words

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno is defending himself from claims of bias against immigrants after he said he would veto a ‘Welcoming City’ (i.e. sanctuary city) ordinance approved by the city council that would limit how much information local authorities share with federal immigration officials. City Council President Orlando Ramos accused Sarno of harboring “contempt” toward immigrants, Peter Goonan reports at MassLive.

Conservatives on Beacon Hill: Lonely and getting lonelier

With Republican Geoff Diehl leaving voluntarily and James Lyons leaving involuntarily (thanks to Tram Nguyen), it’s going to get even more lonely on Beacon Hill for conservative lawmakers, reports WGBH’s Mike Deehan.


Berkshire Museum calls halt to art sales after raising enough money

The Berkshire Museum says the controversial sale of artworks from its collection, which sparked lawsuits and condemnations galore, is officially over after raising $53.2 million for the Pittsfield institution, Larry Parnass reports at the Berkshire Eagle. The museum sold 22 works in a series of auctions since April and critics of the sale say their advocacy ensured that some of the major works will remain accessible to the public in their new homes. 

Berkshire Eagle

On Martha’s Vineyard, tax-exempt status is yanked from playhouse but …

The operators of the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse say they are floored by the decision of the town of Tisbury to yank the group’s tax-exempt status after a quarter century and slap it with an annual tax bill of nearly $8,000. George Brennan fills in the plot details at the Martha’s Vineyard Times.

Martha’s Vineyard Times

… in Pittsfield, the city tries to help arts venue

Meanwhile, the city of Pittsfield is going in the exact opposite direction in terms of helping an arts venue. The city council is backing a proposal by Mayor Linda Tyer to forgive $2.55 million in debt accumulated by the Beacon Cinema in the hopes that wiping the redevelopment loans off the books will help the small downtown movie house—which is facing foreclosure–stay in business, Amanda Drane reports at the Berkshire Eagle. 

Berkshire Eagle

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

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

Dreidels with Deb Goldberg

Make any donation to the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action and receive a special invitation to our Chanukah party: Dreidels with Deb Goldberg on Monday, December 3, 2018!

Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action

From Boston to Yorktown: Tales of the National Trails

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the National Trails Act of 1968, Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Hurricane’s Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown, and other panelists explore key events at historic sites featured in National Historic Trails and National Recreation Trails.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

NAIOP Annual Holiday Party

Join NAIOP for an evening filled with holiday cheer, entertainment and networking at the NAIOP Annual Holiday Party, presented by the NAIOP Developing Leaders and open to all ages.

NAIOP Massachusetts

#RunforIt: Practical Tips for Political Beginners

So you’re thinking about running for office, but where do you start? Hear from door-knocking and handshaking experts on how to be successful.

Net Impact Boston

Getting to the Point with John Kerry

68th U.S. Secretary of State, United States Senator and author John Kerry will participate in a wide-ranging moderated conversation at the Institute. Secretary Kerry will discuss his recent memoir, Every Day is Extra, reflect on the current challenges facing our nation, and offer insights on the major milestones from his 50 years in public service and what lessons they offer today.

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate

Questioning U.S.-Saudi Alliance: Yemen and the Politics of Famine

In this panel discussion, we will be joined by experts on U.S.-Saudi relations, our questionable alliance, the terrible consequences the war has had on civilians in Yemen, our own impact by creating weapons and selling them to Saudi Arabia, and how we should stop this and other disastrous human rights abuses in the future.

Massachusetts Peace Action: Next Gen

Today’s Headlines


Future of city’s public works yard stirs debate – Boston Globe

Quincy City Council considers LGBTQ commission – Patriot Ledger


FBI statistics show crime decline in Fall River – Herald News

30 seek to be Gloucester’s top cop – Gloucester Times

Government asks for extension in Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe lawsuit – Cape Cod Times

So long, Amherst select board – Daily Hampshire Gazette

New Bedford Coalition makes passionate plea to Save Our Schools – Standard-Times


The NRA Just Reported Losing $55 Million In Income – The Daily Beast

Trump says he is ‘not even a little bit happy’ with Fed chair – Washington Post

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