Happening Today

Only one calendar item today, the morning after Christmas: 

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh joins Boston Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara in donating socks to local shelters, New England Center and Home for Veterans, Pine Street Inn, and Rosie’s Place, Boston, 9:30. a.m.

Today’s Stories

Will the Wall Street carnage resume today?

Starting off the morning with a little national (and international) news, economists and others are bracing for the post-holiday resumption of trading today on Wall Street, after a brutal Christmas Eve market blood-bath that many believe was tied, at least partially, to all the political chaos and weirdness in Washington these days, symbolized by President Trump’s “I’m all alone (poor me)” Christmas Eve tweeting. The Herald’s Alexi Cohan, the New York Times and the Washington Post all have pieces on the almost surreal convergence of political and economic events of late.

Btw: We’re now looking at a global economic slowdown, not just a few bad days and weeks on Wall Street, as the Washington Post reports

Btw, II: If you haven’t already, check out this Politico story about the day a certain occupant of the White House learned how to tweet on his own, with no staff input or guidance. It was a true “Dr. Grant” moment.

Waiting game: Baker holds off signing National Grid bill to see if two sides can settle dispute by Friday

As expected, the House and Senate, after preliminary votes late last week, on Monday approved a compromise bill that would extend unemployment benefits to more than 1,200 locked out National Grid workers, in a move lawmakers hope will put pressure on the utility to settle its labor dispute with unions. But Bruce Mohl reports at CommonWealth magazine that Gov. Charlie Baker is signaling he’ll hold off on signing the legislation, apparently to see if the two sides can reach an agreement by this Friday, the new “shared intent” date to end the months-long feud.


Minimum wage hike: Ready or not, here it comes

The BBJ’s Ellie French (pay wall) and the Globe’s Jon Chesto take a look at the state’s planned minimum-wage hike on Jan. 1, as part of a longer-term effort to eventually bump it up to $15 an hour by 2024. Most businesses are gnashing their teeth over the hikes, especially restaurateurs. But the Globe’s Katie Johnston reports that some business owners aren’t waiting to phase-in the wage to $15, figuring they’ll gain a competitive advantage by implementing it right away.

Oh, she’s running, all right: Warren steps up outreach to blacks

The NYT reports that U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren stands out among Democratic presidential hopefuls when it comes to her “aggressive wooing of black leaders,” beyond her recent much-publicized appearance at Morgan State University.


The odds of Correia staying in office: 20-1? 100-1?

The Fall River City Council will hold a special meeting next week to select an official date for a recall election to remove a defiant Mayor Jasiel Correia from office, reports WLNE TV. Meanwhile, the Globe’s Matt Stout reports that the odds of Correia, who’s facing federal fraud charges, staying in office are pretty slim, based on the history of other criminally charged Massachusetts pols who tried to cling to office to the bitter end.

Spilka has bold plans (repeat: bold) for New Year

The Globe’s Victoria McGrane and Matt Stout report on new Senate President Karen Spilka’s ambitious agenda to address the state’s transportation infrastructure, climate change and an overhaul of the school funding system. She isn’t offering details, but “bold” is the new watchword, or was until McGrane and Stout noticed a “page of printed notes in front of her during the Globe interview (that) included the word ‘bold’ hand-written in all caps and blue ink.”

Boston Globe

UMass: On second thought, student can keep vulgar anti-Nazi sign in dorm window

A UMass-Amherst student wanted to make clear, in no uncertain terms, that Nazis aren’t welcome in Amherst, putting up a “Fuck Nazis” sign in her dorm window and prompting a residence director to suggest she take down the message for “reasons of inclusion.” Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin has the details, including the administration’s retreat from the “poorly worded” note from the residence director.

Universal Hub

Merry Christmas, Kevin: Spacey to face sexual assault charges over alleged Nantucket groping incident

Frank Underwood would figure a way to get out of this mess, but we’re not so sure about Kevin Spacey. From the Globe’s Matt Rocheleau and Jaclyn Reiss: “Actor Kevin Spacey is facing a felony charge in an alleged sexual assault of the teenage son of former Boston news anchor Heather Unruh at a Nantucket bar in July 2016, the latest legal entanglement for the two-time Academy Award winner over claims of sexual misconduct.”

Speaking of the F.U. character in the (once) hit “House of Cards” show, Spacey is still in method-acting mode, posting a bizarre video in apparent anticipation of/reaction to the Nantucket case, according to a report at WGBH. The Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter and the NYT have more on the pending Spacey legal action.

Healey hits ‘middle mile’ broadband builder with $450K fine for lying about payments

The company that built part of the state’s broadband network way back in 2011 has paid a $450,000 fine after Attorney General Maura Healey accused the firm of making false statements about how promptly it paid subcontractors on the project, Larry Parnass reports at the Berkshire Eagle.

Berkshire Eagle

Cannabis Commission’s Hoffman banks on Warren’s support

The free flow of capital is ultimately the essence of capitalism, so he has a point. From Hillary Chabot at the Herald: “Cannabis Control Commission Chair Steven Hoffman has asked Sen. Elizabeth Warren for federal-level help encouraging jittery bank officials to work with recreational marijuana businesses in the Bay State’s budding industry.”

Hoffman is referring to jittery banks like Century Bank, which will not offer services to retail pot shops even though it does business with medical marijuana dispensaries, reports the BBJ’s Greg Ryan and Jessica Bartlett (pay wall). The reason: Federal laws.

Btw: The AP’s Bob Salsberg at the Herald reports that the focus of state regulators moving forward, besides getting banks more involved in the industry, is expanding pot shops geographically and, perhaps, into other “new frontiers,” like social consumption, i.e. pot bars.

Boston Herald

Protecting the jobs of workers who like to toke at home

Speaking of pot, the Globe’s Dan Adams reports that state Sen. Jason Lewis plans to introduce a bill next month that would prevent workers from getting fired from their jobs solely for consuming marijuana on their own time. From Adams: “If the new measure is enacted, pot would be treated more like alcohol: Employers would still be permitted to dump workers who show up high but could no longer police their private, legal consumption of the drug.”

Boston Globe

Goldstein-Rose declares one-term career at State House ‘wildly successful’

Amherst’s Solomon Goldstein-Rose may have only served a single two-year term in the House, but he says he’s leaving feeling pretty good about what he helped accomplish in that time. Setting aside his shock at learning how the legislature actually works, Goldstein-Rose, who was just 22 when first elected, says he’s proud to have had a hand in  passage of a civics education bill during his time on Beacon Hill, reports Scott Merzbach at the Daily Hampshire Gazette.


Citing mechanical problems, Steamship Authority cancels five ferries on Christmas Eve

Can you imagine getting stranded on the docks, with wrapped presents and suitcases forlornly at your side, on this of all nights? The Globe’s Felicia Gans reports that the beleaguered Steamship Authority canceled five ferry trips between Hyannis and Nantucket on Christmas Eve, including the last two scheduled trips of the night. The reason: Mechanical failures.

Dartmouth police to public: ‘Don’t shoot your eye out’

Michelle Williams at Masslive reports on a video the Dartmouth police department put together for Christmas, spoofing famous holiday movies like “Home Alone” and “A Christmas Story.” Definitely watch to the double-dog-dare-you moment at the end.


Holiday gift return: Walmart withdraws ammo offer after pushback in Northampton

Speaking of Christmas and police, Northampton’s police chief says that a local Walmart has withdrawn its offer of $13,000 worth of free ammunition after pushback on the gift from both the public and members of the city council, Elise Linscott reports at MassLive. Chief Jody Kasper informed the mayor the superstore decided to cancel its proposed donation earlier this week and said she worried opposition to the donation–which would have been used for officer training–reflected a larger tendency toward “anti-police rhetoric” from the council. 


Somerville zaps sale of vaping products to teens

We missed this story from NECN last week (with video): “A Massachusetts city is becoming the first one to restrict the sale of vaping products and menthol cigarettes. The Somerville Board of Health recently voted to restrict the sale of e-cigarettes and menthol cigarettes citing health concerns on young users.” The Globe’s Michael Levenson has a follow-up piece this morning.


Quincy bike-sharers logged nearly 12,000 miles in five months

  If you just leave them, they will be ridden. Bicycles offered by sharing service Lime in the city of Quincy were ridden a total of 11,470 miles in just five months, with more than 3,500 people taking advantage of the service, Neal Simpson reports at the Patriot Ledger. 

Patriot Ledger

With anti-Mariano Rivera screed, Worcester writer injects new life into Sox-Yankees rivalry

In case you missed it, Telegram baseball scribe Bill Ballou opened a new front in the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry over the weekend. Ballou meticulously breaks down his reasons for believing former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera isn’t Hall of Fame-worthy – and why the accomplishments of closers in general are wildly overestimated. He makes some really good points.

Still, he says he decided not to send in his ballot— a non-vote that clears the way for Rivera to become the first-ever unanimously elected inductee into the hall. The column has garnered national attention, especially in the Big Apple, where NY Daily News writer Mark Spitzer spits out: “Leave it to a Red Sox scribe to rain on Mariano Rivera’s historic quest.”

Thank you for reading Beacon Hill Town Square…

We appreciate your readership and hope you have a happy holiday season & New Year’s! January events will be listed soon.

Today’s Headlines


Somerville beomes first Mass. city to restrict e-cigarette sales – Boston Globe


Framingham panel will study charging fee for bags – MetroWest Daily News

Which MBTA line was the least reliable in 2018? – MassLive

11, 740 miles of bike-sharing in Quincy – Patriot Ledger


The government shutdown will hit home for many after Christmas – Los Angeles Times

Did a Queens podiatrist help Donald Trump avoid the draft? – New York Times

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