Happening Today

MBTA meeting, renewables bill, and more

MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board meets to with plans discuss a report from the independent Safety Review Panel formed in June in the wake of a Red Line derailment to review other incidents and the T’s safety practices, State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 12 p.m.

— Reps. Marjorie Decker and Sean Garballey host a panel discussion on their bill calling for the state to transition to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2035 and 100 percent renewable energy by 2045, House Members’ Lounge, 12 p.m.

— Members of the North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters hold an event to announce their endorsement of Congressman Joe Kennedy in his campaign for U.S. Senate, The Carpenters Center, 750 Dorchester Ave., Boston, 12 p.m.

— Boston Mayor Marty Walsh participates in the Salvation Army’s ‘Celebrity Bellringer’ campaign as part of its Red Kettle donation drive, corner of Washington and Summer streets, Downtown Crossing, Boston, 1:30 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

Follow the money: Warren discloses she made nearly $2M in outside legal work

Elizabeth Warren likely added more fuel to the disclose-it-all fire with this Sunday night news dump. From the Globe’s Liz Goodwin and Jess Bidgood: “Senator Elizabeth Warren on Sunday night released new details about the legal work she took on during her years as a law professor, revealing she made about $1.9 million on cases dating back to 1985. The disclosure comes as she faces fire from South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg.”

Fyi: Buttigieg is facing his own disclose-it-all pressure tied to his past consulting work at McKinsey.  

Boston Globe

Will the brawl with Buttigieg hurt Warren in the end?

The Washington Post’s Annie Linskey and the Globe’s Jess Bidgood and Liz Goodwin have more on the ongoing skirmishing between Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg. This line in the Globe story caught our attention: “Although her shot at Buttigieg paled in comparison to criticism she has received from him and other rivals, it carries risk because her reluctance to engage in infighting has won plaudits from voters who say they don’t want to see Democrats squabbling.”

Peter Lucas at the Herald has his own bottom line: “You know the Democrats are in trouble when a young mayor of a city best known for its college football team has emerged as a leading candidate for the Democrat nomination for president.” Well, the brawl can’t be hurting Warren too much. Joe Biden says he’s graciously added her to his list of potential running mates, reports John Bowden at The Hill.

Btw, from the Globe’s Larry Edelman: “Elizabeth Warren has ‘a plan for that’ — more than 50 expensive ones.”

The world awaits word: City council recount results expected today

They stated recounting on Saturday and hope to announce today who won the fourth at-large city council race in Boston between candidates Julia Mejia and Alejandra St. Guillen. Erin Tiernan at the Herald has the recount details. 

Boston Herald

Climate crisis collides with housing crisis at obscure state board

CommonWealth magazine’s Andy Metzger reports that the state Board of Building Regulation and Standards finds itself in a public policy bind, as climate activists pressure it to adopt strict “net-zero” building-code rules and as real estate and construction industry officials warn such restrictions will only exacerbate the state’s housing crisis. We’re going to see lots more of this clash of priorities, folks. We’re  already seeing it in Brookline (Boston.com).


Meanwhile, dozens of climate demonstrators arrested at State House after media ordered to leave

Speaking of the climate debate, this is one way to control the narrative. From the Herald’s Mary Markos: “Nearly 30 climate protesters were arrested for refusing to leave the State House at closing time Friday, police said, after news reporters and photographers were ordered out of the building.” 

Did we mention that the demonstrators were sitting outside the governor’s office? Yes, they were. The reaction from the corner office: “Gov. Charlie Baker’s office declined to comment on the removal of the press, referring a reporter to State Police.” Steph Solis at MassLive has more on the demonstration.

Boston Herald

Long Wharf International Airport?

OK, they wouldn’t be international flights. But the BBJ’s Catherine Carlock reports that Cape Air, run by former state Sen. Dan Wolf, has its eye on possibly using Boston’s Long Wharf as a docking station for future seaplane flights, loading passengers at the “tip of Long Wharf before taxiing one mile out to Boston Logan International Airport’s Runway 1432 and taking off, Bonney said. The flights would use the same spot for landing.”

Boston Business Journal

Feds: Russian hackers ensnared tiny town of Egremont in malware attack

How did they even find it? The tiny Berkshire County town of Egremont — population about 1,200 — was among the communities targeted by the Russian hackers indicted last week for malware attacks that cost cities and towns nationwide around $70 million, Haven Orecchio-Egresitz reports at the Berkshire Eagle. 

Berkshire Eagle

Confusing clarifications: Is there or isn’t there a black-market link to pot-vaping illnesses?

Maybe another clarification is needed? First, from the Globe’s Dan Adams: “State health officials conceded Friday night that six Massachusetts patients suffering from probable cases of vaping-related lung illnesses may have used illicit marijuana vapes in addition to legal ones, a surprising revision from the day before when officials suggested products sold at licensed cannabis retailers were to blame for the ailments.”

But, wait, the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett has an apparent Saturday clarification of the Friday clarification of the original Thursday pronouncement. Meanwhile, WBUR reports that one state pot regulator is expressing “concern over a lack of additional information about the new cases.”

Boston Globe

More angels, please: Tarr wants state to adopt Gloucester drug-treatment model

The angels need some help. State Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr wants lawmakers to create policies that would support the type of ‘angel initiative’ used by Gloucester police to divert opioid addicts into treatment programs, Christian Wade reports at the Gloucester Times. 

Gloucester Times

‘Sometimes it makes sense to jail addicts’

Then again, there’s always the ‘tough love’ approach toward drug-addiction treatment. Stephen J. Morse and Scott O. Lilienfeld write at CommonWealth magazine write that pending legislation on Beacon Hill that would prohibit judges from incarcerating drug addicts is misguided and could end up harming some of those the bill is trying to help.

Man who offered $500 for killing an ICE agent is acquitted

From the AP’s Philip Marcelo at CBS Boston: “A man who tweeted that he would give $500 to anyone who would kill a federal immigration officer was acquitted Friday in a case that centered on whether a threatening social media post is protected speech. A federal jury at U.S. District Court in Boston cleared Brandon Ziobrowski, 35, of New York City. He had faced up to five years in prison and a fine of as much as $250,000 if convicted.” Ziobrowski lived in Cambridge at the time of his controversial tweet.

CBS Boston

Commission approves plan allowing betting on horse races over mobile apps

We missed this story from late last week, via the Globe’s Andy Rosen: “The Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Thursday approved a proposal by Suffolk Downs that will allow the daily fantasy sports operator FanDuel to offer wagers on horse races to Massachusetts customers through its mobile apps.” 

Of course, there’s this potential complication, from SHNS (pay wall): “Gaming regulators made plans Thursday to send a letter to legislative leaders reminding them that the legal authority for horse racing and simulcast wagering expires earlier than normal this session, on Jan. 15.”

Boston Globe

State tells Supreme Court nothing to see here on Michelle Carter case

The office of Attorney General Maura Healey has responded to Michelle Carter’s request for the U.S. Supreme Court to take up her case, arguing there is no First Amendment issue that requires its review. David Linton of the Sun-Chronicle has the details. 

Sun Chronicle

Where oh where has the T’s Automatic Fare Collection 2.0 gone?

The Orange Line isn’t the only thing experiencing chronic delays these days. Robin Washington at WGBH looks into the mysterious delay of the T’s once much-touted Automatic Fare Collection 2.0 system. Its disappearance has yet to be explained.


Doctor’s orders? UMass Medical CEO comes out in favor of Medicare for All

He’s an outlier. While much of the medical profession is skeptical, UMass Medical Center CEO Dr. Eric Dickson has nothing but praise for Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Medicare For All proposal, calling it ”bold and courageous” and the best policy framework for improving access to health care he has seen during the presidential campaign, according to a report at the Telegram.


Remembering Pearl Harbor – and the Battle of the Bulge

The Herald’s Joe Dwinell looks back at the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 78 years ago, through the eyes of Mashpee’s Alfred Benjamin, who was only 17 when the bombs fell on Dec. 7, 1941.Meanwhile, the Globe’s Steve Maas talks with Gerry Goolkasian and other local veterans of WWII’s epic Battle of the Bulge, which marks its 75th anniversary this year. 

Boston Herald

The new ‘grand bargain’ in public education is more ambitious than the number suggests

Sure, the $1.5 billion price tag of the recently passed state school-funding law is getting most of the headlines. But state Rep. Alice Peisch, House chair of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Education, writes at CommonWealth magazine that the new “grand bargain” on education funding is even more ambitious and idealistic than the impressive number suggests. 

CommonWealth Magazine

PRIM’s Michael Trotsky honored with ‘lifetime achievement’ award

Finally, congratulations to Michael Trotsky, executive director and CIO of the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, for being awarded Institutional Investor’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He’s spent nine years overseeing the state’s nearly $75 billion pension fund.

Institutional Investor

Community Forum on the Future of Education

With the Student Opportunity Act signed into law, now is the time to celebrate what’s been accomplished and think about what comes next. What programs and services do students need to succeed? How can schools better reflect the priorities of community members? The Rennie Center is hosting a community forum to raise these questions and gather input from students, parents, and others.

Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy

The Constitution: Changes and Challenges in US History

Akhil Amar, professor of law and political science at Yale University, and Eric Foner, professor emeritus of history at Columbia University and author of The Second Founding: How Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution, discuss constitutional changes and challenges throughout our nation’s history.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Getting to the Point: The Next Frontier of Public Health in Massachusetts

State and local leaders will discuss public health issues facing communities across Massachusetts, including gun safety, substance abuse, mental health, and the social determinants of health. The panel will highlight how the Commonwealth addresses each of these issues and will reflect on opportunities for the state to continue to lead and expand on support for strong public health policy.

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate

JP Progressives 10 Year Anniversary & Holiday Celebration

JP Progressives is 10 years old!! Come celebrate with the founders of JP Progressives and with our many amazing partners. We are proud to be increasingly working in collaboration with other organizations around the city to build progressive political power together.

JP Progressives

Think/Write/Speak: Activism in Action

Join the Bostonian Society and nomadic arts incubator Brown Art Ink for a workshop on raising your voice for local issues.

Brown Art Ink

Swampscott, Marblehead & Nahant RTC Holiday Party

Please join us for our annual Swampscott, Marblehead & Nahant Republican Town Committees holiday party with special guest Governor Charlie Baker.

Swampscott Republican Town Committee

Today’s Headlines


The bathrooms in Boston schools are a big mess – Boston Globe

Boston neighborhood considers ‘Little Saigon’ designation – WBUR


Worcerster councilor wants to cap tobacco sales permits – Telegram & Gazette

Cape faces winter without Pilgrim power – Cape Cod Times

$10 million project slated for New Bedford’s historic district – Standard-Times


Democrats leveraged Trump’s fixation on Space Force to pursue parental leave victory for federal workers – Washington Post

Here are the Senate Republicans who could vote to impeach Trump – The Hill

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