Happening Today

‘Not a creature was stirring …’

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Today’s Stories

New Hampshire set to launch sports gambling on Monday, thanks to DraftKings

The Herald’s Stefan Geller and the AP at WBUR report that New Hampshire is poised to launch mobile sports gambling next week – a month earlier than expected – while sports-betting legislation languishes on Beacon Hill in Massachusetts. The Granite State, relying on a special app developed by Boston’s DraftKings, will become the second state in New England to legalize sports gambling.

In an editorial, the Herald urges Bay State lawmakers to get going on legalized gambling here, using Gov. Charlie Baker’s previously filed proposal as a “solid starting point from which to craft comprehensive sports-betting legislation.”

Just don’t call them ‘safe-injection sites’ …

So it turns out the state Department of Public Health is indeed experimenting with the general concept of safe-injection sites, without actually allowing drug injections on sites, via new “overdose centers” staffed by medical personnel. In other words: Shoot up around the corner, then come inside. The Globe’s Felice Fryer has more on how this could be a way around federal threats to crack down on safe-injection sites.

Boston Globe

Suffolk DA Rollins: ‘#hypocrisy’

Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins does have a point, i.e. the ‘hypocrisy’ of letting off former Red Sox pitcher Rich Hill and his wife for their antics the other day at Gillette Stadium amid criticism of her policy of not throwing the book at those accused of non-violent crimes. It’s not as simple as Rollins makes it out, but … The Herald’s Stefan Geller and the Globe’s Gal Tziperman Lotan and John Element have more.

Price paid: Former mayoral staffer admits to MGM vandalism

Another case of leniency or a fitting punishment? The former communications director for Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno will avoid jail time after admitting she was responsible for vandalizing the MGM casino in an apparent late-night drunken/drug-fueled tirade, Patrick Johnson reports at MassLive. Marian Sullivan lost her job in the mayor’s office since the incident; the judge ordered her to pen an apology to the casino. 


The Lincoln Project’s first potential target: Susan Collins

The Globe’s Kay Lazar reports on the latest “small but vocal” group of Republicans determined to take a stand against Donald Trump. They’re called ‘The Lincoln Project,’ not to be confused with Never Trump, and they may target GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine if she dares to vote against Trump’s removal from office.

Boston Globe

Brownsberger to T: Focus on rush-hour ridership, not ridership in general

State Sen. William Brownsberger at CommonWealth magazine continues his campaign to get the T to focus on a few specific things to improve transit services, rather than across-the-board improvements. His latest advice regarding rail: “Maximize rush hour ridership as opposed to ridership in general.”

In other opinion pieces related to the T, from Glen Johnson at the Globe: “Boston needs an emergency summit to address epic transportation problem.” And from a four-person authored piece at the Globe: “The future of transportation in Boston could be bold — and bright.”


‘On the first day of Christmas, the MBTA gave to me …’

Speaking of the T, don’t miss Renée Graham’s mini-classic take at the on The Twelve Days of Christmas, with the lyrics slightly altered to reflect our contemporary times. It’s quite funny, picking up steam around Day 4. Definitely check it out.

Boston Globe

Massachusetts’ original War on Christmas

Attention Bill O’Reilly: The Globe’s Jeff Jacoby has a good column on the original War on Christmas, not to be confused with the modern War on Christmas bemoaned by O’Reilly, conducted by Increase Mather, William Bradford and other early colonial-era Puritans right here in Massachusetts. Btw: The Herald’s Joe Fitzgerald also has good column that historically looks back at Christmas in Massachusetts, via the personal tragedies and words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

SJC: ‘Nervousness’ and ‘fidgeting’ are not enough to warrant a car search

Tanner Stening at MassLive reports that the state’s Supreme Judicial Court ruled earlier this week that a large amount of cocaine seized during a police search of a man’s car in Boston was not obtained properly because police relied upon the observed “nervousness” and “fidgeting” of the driver to justify rummaging through his vehicle.


Cultural Council got an early Christmas gift from lawmakers: Gambling funds

From Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth: “The long-delayed closeout spending bill that finally passed on December 15 contained a provision funneling 2 percent of the tax revenue from the state’s two resort casinos into a fund that the Massachusetts Cultural Council hopes will support arts institutions as well as low-income people who can’t afford to patronize them.”  As Mohl notes, the measure’s passage followed a relentless pounding from the Herald of the council’s oftentimes extravagant spending.


OK, boomers: Demographics point to more housing opening up in Worcester

As solutions to the housing crisis go, this one’s pretty grim, from a Boomer’s perspective. Zillow estimates as many as one in four homes in the greater Worcester area could come onto the market over the next two decades as members of the baby boom generation move into nursing homes or shuffle off this mortal coil, Grant Welker reports at the Worcester Business Journal. 

Worcester Business Journal

Meet the Guv: NYT gives Deval Patrick the info-graphic treatment

He might have wished for better timing than the not-a-creature-was-stirring night before Christmas, but beggers can’t be choosers. Stephanie Saul at the New York Times introduces readers to former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick through an info-graphic that cites his ‘classic rags-to-riches’ biography and calls him a ‘potentially formidable candidate,’ albeit one still polling below 1 percent nationally. 


Chuck Turner, former city councilor, RIP

City Councilor Kim Janey tweets that Chuck Turner, 78, the former city councilor, has passed away. “Our community is better because of your activism and the lessons you shared,” she writes of Turner. Universal Hub brings up an uncomfortable truth about Turner’s legacy, noting the “council voted to expel him following a conviction for taking a bribe.”

‘Thirty years ago …’

The Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert takes a look back at the historic enactment of a gay and lesbian civil rights bill in Massachusetts 30 years ago – and how it really was a “slippery slope of acceptance” for new rights, including the right of gays to marry.

Boston Globe

‘Cash of the Titans’: Kennedy vs Markey

The Herald’s Hillary Chabot writes about the coming (or has it already arrived?) battle for cash by the two leading candidates for U.S. Senate, Joe Kennedy III and Ed Markey. And don’t forget attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, who has funneled a fair amount of her own cash into her campaign.

Boston Herald

‘Please stop the Russians from bombing the North Pole’

One last Christmas-themed post: The AP’s Philip Marcelo at CBS Boston reports that the Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston is featuring holiday-themed archival materials related to the late president, including a 1961 letter from a young girl beseeching the leader of the free world to save Santa Claus from getting bombed by the Russians. The president’s response: “You must not worry about Santa Claus. I talked with him yesterday and he is fine.”

CBS Boston

Medford 2020 – The Inauguration

MEDFORD 2020 is a celebration of community at the Historic Chevalier Theatre in Medford, Massachusetts.

Medford 2020 Inauguration Committee

Civic Practice Symposium: Reimagining Community Futures Through Arts & Philanthropy

How can creative people in place-based communities catalyze economic change, bridge divisions, and foster meaningful connections between people? How can philanthropic efforts be reoriented toward social weaving, toward participatory democracy, and toward the slow push in communities to integrate and reconnect—to build shared interests and shared purpose in heart and mind?

Adam Erickson

State of the City 2020

Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s annual State of the City address will review the City’s progress and lay out his agenda for his next year in office.

Mayor’s Office of the City of Boston

A Political Discussion As We Enter 2020

Author, politician, raconteur, Larry DiCara., former Congressman Michael Harrington and Government Relations Strategist Peter Mazareas will lead an interactive discussion on what is going on with our democracy. Come on January 7 and let us reason together. We’ll try to find common ground and avoid the harsh tones of current political divisiveness.

Harvard Club of the North Shore

Today’s Headlines


Massive South Station air-rights tower to start construction – Boston Business Journal

Christmas in the City thrives as founder battles ALS – WBUR


Milford doctor’s license revoked over opioid prescriptions – Telegram & Gazette

Spectrum launching channel serving Berkshire County, hires Pittsfield-based reporter – Berkshire Eagle


US cybercom contemplates information warfare to counter Russian interference in 2020 election – Washington Post

The ballad of Don and Nancy – Politico

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