Happening Today

Baker back from Arizona, ExxonMobil suit, UMass-Dartmouth dorm

— Gov. Charlie Baker returns to Massachusetts after attending the annual Republican Governors Association conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Boston City Council Planning, Development and Transportation Committee holds a hearing on South Boston Seaport Waterfront & South Boston Seaport Transit Strategic Plan, City Council Chamber, City Hall, 10 a.m.

Conservation Law Foundation is in court to argue against ExxonMobil’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the group that alleges the company has endangered the state by failing to fortify its Everett oil distribution terminal against the impacts of climate change, John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse, Courtroom 10, 5th floor, 1 Courthouse Way, Boston, 10 a.m.

— Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is a guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 12 p.m.

— Former Newton mayor and gubernatorial candidate Setti Warren and political analyst Jennifer Braceras are guests on ‘Week in Review’ on ‘Radio Boston,’ WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m.

— The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth breaks ground on a $134 million student housing and dining facilities project, with UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Robert Johnson, UMass President Marty Meehan and others expected to speak, UMass Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Rd., Lot 7, Dartmouth, 2 p.m.

— Boston Mayor Martin Walsh kicks off his annual Enchanted Trolley Tour as he travels around helping to light holiday trees in neighborhoods throughout the city, 5:30 p.m.

— The Seaport Common holds its third annual tree lighting, featuring live music, food from local restaurants and giveaways, Seaport Common, 85 Northern Ave., Boston, 6 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

With ‘Individual 1’ now in Mueller’s legal crosshairs, McGovern plans hearings on Russian collusion

With legal bombshells seemingly falling every day regarding the Mueller investigation into Team Trump’s ties to Russia, the Washington Post reports it’s now obvious that President Trump has emerged as the central figure in the probe and even has a legal code name: “Individual 1.”

It’s also obvious to U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, now in line to head the U.S. House’s powerful rules committee, that hearings should and will be held into all Russian-related matters, reports Shannon Young at MassLive.

Fyi: The Washington Post has an excellent “four takeaways” piece on why yesterday’s plea agreement involving former Trump attorney Michael Cohen is so significant, to put it mildly.

‘The enduring miracle of the American Constitution’

We’re not sure if the Washington Post intended this or not, considering all the legal drama now unfolding in Washington. But this morning the Post prominently displayed on its website a column from a posthumous book by the late Charles Krauthammer headlined: “The enduring miracle of the American Constitution,” which, intended or not, conjures up memories of Gerald Ford’s famous post-Nixon-resignation quote: “Our constitution works. Our great republic is a government of laws, not of men.”

These are indeed dramatic times. Pay close attention, folks.

Washington Post

Healey and feds reluctantly approve Beth Israel-Lahey merger – with caveats

It’s safe to say this was done with great reluctance. From SHNS’s Colin Young and Michael Norton at Wicked Local: “The path has been cleared at the state and federal levels for a mega-merger that would create the Beth Israel Lahey Health System, which will represent the state’s second-largest care network, behind Partners HealthCare. Attorney General Maura Healey on Thursday announced the conditions that will be placed upon the creation of Beth Israel Lahey Health System, which will be formed through the merger of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Lahey Health System.”

Two of the conditions are a seven-year price cap and $71.6 million in financial commitments over eight years to support health care services for low-income and underserved communities. The BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett (pay wall) has more on the controversial merger.

Wicked Local

Of pronouns and dress codes: The Swampscott transgender settlement

We have to say this is probably the most unusual legal settlement we’ve seen in a while, i.e. the settlement agreement with the transgender former principal (and now teacher) at a Swampscott elementary school, complete with provisions on what type of gender-fluid titles and pronouns Thomas Shannon Daniels intends to use at any given time and notifications about what type of clothing Daniels will be wearing, etc. And, oh, Daniels has received a lump sum payment of $90,000, a third of which went to his lawyer, reports Colman Herman at CommonWealth magazine.


Moulton: He’s a rebel with a cause

In an editorial, the Globe notes that, yes, U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton’s attempt to dethrone Nancy Pelosi in the U.S. House was probably doomed from the start. Nevertheless, he’s not a rebel without a case, for the House leadership rules indeed need a shaking up, the Globe writes.

Boston Globe

Quite an honor: Baker thrilled to be called ‘the most boring governor in the history of Massachusetts’

Covering the Republican Governors Association in Arizona, the Washington Post quotes Gov. Charlie Baker as he dished advice to other Republicans on how to succeed in Democratic states: “Baker joked that he tried to be boring and bipartisan. ‘I’ve been called the most boring governor in the history of Massachusetts by the media in Massachusetts,’ said Baker. ‘You know what? I think that’s great!’”

At the same RGA session, Baker also revealed: A.) That he’s ruled out a primary run against Trump in 2020. B.) That his Democratic mother never admitted whether she voted for him for governor in 2010. C.) That he had an ulterior motive for winning the governor’s race in 2014 after getting “smacked pretty good” by Deval Patrick in 2010: “When I ran a second time, I recognized that I might not win and that the first line of my obituary, no matter what I did for the rest of my life, would be something like, ‘Charlie Baker, who ran for governor twice and lost both times, went on to find a cure for cancer blah blah blah.’”

Washington Post

Cambridge’s Draper Labs shoots for the moon in NASA competition

This is, as they say, cool, especially if they win the contract: The Globe’s Hiawatha Bray reports that Cambridge’s Draper Labs, which played a key role in putting a man on the moon in the 1960s, is one of nine U.S. companies selected by NASA to bid for a $2.6 billion contract to deliver scientific instruments to the moon as part of an effort to one day establish a permanent moon base for people. 

Boston Globe

Instagram and Facebook shut down local pot-shop accounts

Zachary Comeau at the Worcester Business Journal and Nick DeCosta-Klipa at Boston.com report that the Instagram and Facebook accounts of several marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts have been shut down, apparently because of the clash between federal and state weed laws.

This is one of those many things that was hard, if not impossible, to anticipate after Massachusetts legalized retail marijuana. We’re sure there are more surprises ahead.

Panel will take a peek at state’s ‘secret courts’

The Globe’s Spotlight Team strikes again. From Nicole Dungca at the Globe: “A top court official has appointed a committee to evaluate potential changes to the state’s confidential clerk magistrate hearings, following the Globe’s Spotlight Team reports that highlighted uneven outcomes and potential abuses within the system. Trial Court Chief Justice Paula Carey convened a ‘Trial Court Working Group’ to review the way these hearings operate.”

Boston Globe

State Rep.-elect Elugardo: House is ‘structurally racist’ with a master-and-slave mindset

Two weeks after accusing the Democratic Party of being “straight-up racist,” state Rep.-elect Nika Elugardo is now saying that the way the Massachusetts House operates is “structurally racist” with a master-and-slave mindset at work. SHNS’s Katie Lannan has the details. And fyi: Elugardo compares corporations to slave plantations.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Putting her foot down: After locomotive fire and wheel falling off train, Pollack blasts ‘unacceptable’ rail service

After all, there are limits to patience. From a three-member reportorial team at the Globe: “On Tuesday, a wheel came off. On Thursday, it was a fire. It’s been a rough few days on the commuter rail, highlighted by a derailment on the Waltham-Belmont border and an engine fire in Hanson. On Thursday afternoon, state Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, whose office oversees the rail network, criticized recent service as ‘unacceptable.’” Fyi: Universal Hub has a brief video of the ‘smoky loco’ in Hanson.

‘Thinking about it’

The New York Times has a fun story about all the ways Democrats try to avoid saying outright that: A.) They really want to be president. B.) Are angling to run for president. So they mutter things like “I’m thinking about it” and “at this point” and other stock phrases. John Kerry, Elizabeth Warren and Deval Patrick make cameo appearances in the piece. But we liked this exchange the most: “‘There are no circumstances under which I will run,’ Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii tweeted days earlier. ‘Zero.’ A reporter asked if the percent chance was truly zero or a fraction that rounded to zero. ‘Absolute zero,’ the senator said.”


Non-candidate candidate Warren promises a progressive foreign policy

As the NYT notes in the post above, one of the ways non-candidate candidates for president let it be know they want to be president without saying so is by making a “major announcement,” with advance drum-rolling, and that sure seemed to be the case with U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren yesterday, who used a speech at American University to lay out her vision of a U.S. foreign policy that seeks to foster democracy around the world, downplays the role of defense contractors and brings a swift end to U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, Adam Reilly reports at WGBH.

Btw: So how did Warren start her journey to the precipice of a presidential run? Politico’s Michael Kruse says the die was cast in 2004, when Dr. Phil booked her on his TV show to talk about the financial struggles of America’s middle class. Wow. Is there anything Dr. Phil can’t do?


Chelsea’s great nips prohibition experiment

The Globe’s Michael Levenson has an update on Chelsea’s somewhat controversial first-in-Massachusetts move to ban the sale of nip bottles of booze, as part of an effort to cut down on public drunkenness in its downtown. From Levenson: “In pulling nips from store shelves last March, the city took a step that many others have considered without any real success, given the opposition from the package store industry.”

Mohegan Sun: We’ll gladly buy the Everett casino if the state strips Wynn Resorts of its license

Officials at Mohegan Sun have held “initial meetings” with at least one “neighboring community” about it possibly buying the Encore Boston Harbor casino if the state’s gaming commission ever strips Wynn Resorts of its license, reports Jordan Graham at the Herald. Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria is not amused. Ditto, by the sound of it, for Wynn Resorts.

Boston Herald

U.S. Attorney Lelling warns doctors about opioid prescribing practices

A day after a former sales executive admitted in federal court in Boston to participating in a nationwide scheme to bribe doctors to prescribe opioid medications (WBUR), we learn that U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling has sent letters to physicians warning that their opioid prescribing practices are a “source of concern,” as Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports. 

From the MassLive piece: “The U.S. Attorney’s office did not establish that these doctors broke any laws. Lelling said the goal is to get physicians to look at their prescribing practices and make any necessary adjustments.” Huh? Make adjustments? Like stop taking speaking fees from suspicious-looking drug company salesmen peddling opioid medications? Just wondering .


Unions say UMass broke promises on pay bumps

Four unions representing workers at UMass Amherst say the school is breaking a promise to deliver salary increases and retroactive pay bumps—cash that some workers were expecting to see in this week’s checks, Diane Lederman reports at MassLive.


Framingham is latest to put Columbus Day on the chopping block

The Framingham School Committee will hold a meeting in December to consider changing the Columbus Day holiday to Indigenous Peoples Day on its 2019 calendar, Zane Razzaq reports at the MetroWest Daily News. Several other Massachusetts cities have made similar moves, including Amherst, Somerville and Northampton. 

MetroWest Daily News

Plymouth has wish list for new Pilgrim owners

The donation of 1,600 acres of forest land tops the list of benefits the town of Plymouth will seek from the new owners of Pilgrim Nuclear Station as the plant winds down its operating life in 2019, Christine Legere reports at the Cape Cod Times. The town also wants the new owners to continue paying $9.5 million annually to the city in lieu of property taxes, and additional public-safety support payments, until all spent fuel has been stored, which could take until 2022. 

Cape Cod Times

House revives Equifax bill, no word on emergency Dunkin’ Donuts data-breach bill

SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) reports that the so-called “Equifax bill,” which is intended to protect consumer data from security breaches, resurfaced in the House yesterday and was quickly dispatched to the Senate with slight modifications to Gov. Charlie Baker’s amendments.  

Next up: A Dunkin’ bill? From MassLive: “Dunkin’ is advising customers who have a DD Perks account to change their passwords after a security breach last month may have compromised their data.”

Another state trooper pleads guilty in OT-abuse scandal

From Kristin LaFratta at MassLive: “Retired Massachusetts State Police Trooper Paul Cesan pleaded guilty to embezzlement charges in federal court on Thursday in connection to the agency’s widespread overtime abuse scandal.” The Globe’s Danny McDonald reports that five of the nine current or former troopers charged in the scandal have now either pleaded guilty or agreed to plea guilty.

Healey’s office files charges against Springfield cop in ugly beating case

This stems from a case that’s rocked Springfield for more than three years now. From Dan Glaun at MassLive: “The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office has filed nine criminal charges against Springfield Police Officer Jose Diaz in connection with an alleged 2015 beating of four men by off-duty Springfield officers after a barroom argument. … Diaz is the first officer to face charges in a saga of violence, investigations, lawsuits and alleged cover-ups that has plagued the Springfield Police Department for three-and-a-half-years.”


Massport’s Glynn lands on his feet at Harvard

This sounds like a good fit for both of them. From Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine: “Tom Glynn, who just left his job as CEO of Massport, is moving over to Harvard University on Monday to run a subsidiary that will oversee the planning and development of a new, 36-acre neighborhood in Allston.”


Walsh rejects landmark designation for Citgo sign but, yes, it’s staying, Sox fans

Mayor Marty Walsh is opposing a proposal to designate Kenmore Square’s Citgo sign an official landmark. But don’t have a heart attack: The mayor’s office says that the Citgo Petroleum Corp. and the developer of the property, Related Beal, have reached a long-term agreement to keep the sign. Spencer Buell at Boston Magazine has the details.

Boston Magazine

Sunday public affairs TV

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Will Kaiser of the Baker campaign talks with Jon Keller about the recent election and Gov. Baker’s political future.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Jim Smith, founding partner of Smith, Costello & Crawford, on the launch of the recreational pot industry; Christine Marcus, the CEO of Alchemista, talks about the holiday party season; and Jon Chesto of the Boston Globe reviews the top business stories of the week.  

CEO Corner, NECN, 10: 30 a.m. The story of MassChallenge and how this nonprofit startup accelerator is expanding and helping entrepreneurs create jobs.

On the Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guests: Secretary of State Bill Galvin, Democratic analyst Mary Anne Marsh and the Boston Globe’s Adrian Walker.

This is New England, NBC Boston Channel 10, 11: 30 a.m. With host Latoyia Edwards, this week’s main topic: Staying healthy during the holidays.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s topics include a look at the cultural highlights of Dudley Square, the Founders Project and the play “Unto this House: The King of King is Born.”

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


For developers in Boston, it may pay to blow off inclusionary building requirements – Dig Boston

Walsh asked to stop BPD from attending Israeli training – WGBH


Trailers removed as need for shelter declines – Eagle-Tribune

City reveals properties wanted for Worcester Red Sox ballpark – Telegram & Gazette

It’s homecoming time for 18 Berkshire Museum works – Berkshire Eagle


The Trump Organization planned to give Vladimir Putin the $50M penthouse in Trump Tower Moscow – BuzzFeed News

Sandberg is said to have asked Facebook staff to research George Soros – New York Times

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