Happening Today

Culinary arts and more

— Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan attends a farewell coffee reception for Tewksbury Police Chief Timothy Sheehan, Tewksbury Country Club, 1880 Main St., Tewksbury, 9 a.m.

— Boston Mayor Martin Walsh offers the keynote remarks at the New England Culinary Arts Training graduation, New England Culinary Arts Training Center, 2nd Floor, 23 Bradston St., Roxbury, 1 p.m.

— U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III attends the Three Kings Day Celebration hosted by Amplify Latinx and the Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, 6:30 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

War drums: Mass. delegation condemns Iran strike as ‘reckless’

They’re not cheering. Several members of the Bay State congressional delegation were quick to make their concerns known about the Pentagon’s killing of a top Iran military commander, Peter Bailey-Wells reports at the Globe. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren called the move “reckless” while U.S. Sen. Ed Markey called for “de-escalation now.” U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton –the only combat vet in the delegation — called on the Trump administration to explain its strategy going forward to Congress. 

Boston Globe

Bernie’s blockbuster quarter

The Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky and the Globe’s Liz Goodwin report on the just-completed blockbuster quarter of fundraising by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who hauled in $34.5 million, far more than his Democratic presidential-contest rivals, including our very own Elizabeth Warren.

From the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld: “Face it, Democrats, socialist Bernie Sanders could be your nominee. And he will help re-elect Donald Trump.” Meanwhile, from David Bernstein at WGBH on the Dem race in general: “A Year Of Sound And Fury, Changing Nothing.”

Straus: Gas-tax hike is on the table, no matter what Baker says

State Rep. William Straus, co-chair the Transportation Committee on Beacon Hill, wants to make it clear: The House will indeed debate a possible gas-tax hike later this month, among other transportation-funding ideas, and Gov. Charlie Baker and his Republican colleagues will just have to deal with it. SHNS’s Matt Murphy has more on the coming transportation-funding showdown.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

After deadly NH crash, Baker administration pushes to close driver-license loopholes for truckers

In other transportation-related matters, from the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter: “The Baker administration is pushing for a new law aimed at closing some loopholes involved in the series of massive oversights that allowed a Springfield-area trucker now charged with the deaths of seven bikers to remain behind the wheel.” MassLive’s Tanner Stening has more.

In sort-of-related news, from Steph Solis at MassLive: “Petition calls for MassDOT to sever ties with Hi-Way Safety Systems after driver charged in fatal Pembroke crash.” And Sarah Betancourt at CommonWealth magazine has more on that tragic-crash front.

Boston Herald

Markey: Banned in Manila

They just made his point. From Benjamin Kail at MassLive: “Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts delivered a rebuke to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday, a day after becoming the third U.S. senator barred from entering the Philippines in response to the lawmaker’s vocal stances condemning human rights offenses in the country. The Philippines government announced the ban on Markey on Wednesday.”


Gaming Commission director heading back to law firm to focus on … gaming

File under: ‘Revolving door.’ The Globe’s Andy Rosen and SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) report that the Gaming Commission’s executive director, Ed Bedrosian, is leaving the regulatory agency to return to his old law firm, where he’ll become a partner and now head its gaming regulatory practice.

Next stop: ‘Medford/Tufts’

We would have preferred ‘JumboLand.’ Nonetheless, from SHNS’s Michael Norton: “The Green Line station in the works at the intersection of College and Boston avenues in Medford will be named Medford/Tufts, under an agreement announced Thursday by Tufts University. Tufts will make annual payments of $200,000 to the MBTA for ten years, a university official told the News Service.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

‘Big Dig 2’: The ever changing details

Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine has an update on the constantly changing updates to the massive I-90 Allston interchange project, aka ‘Big Dig 2,’ as officials discover it’s rather hard to squeeze “12 lanes, four railroad tracks, park land, a pedestrian path, and two bike lanes into a narrow 210-foot section of land between Boston University and the Charles River.”


Condemned South End building collapses 11 months after developer pays $3.9M for it

Most agree it was only a matter of time before the condemned building either collapsed or was torn down. But what strikes us as amazing is that the long deteriorating South End structure, which indeed partially collapsed yesterday, was sold last year to a developer for $3.95 million. Basically, it was a land purchase — and yet more proof of today’s insane housing-market prices. Universal Hub has the partial-collapse details. 

Universal Hub

Worcester County: Marijuana capital of Massachusetts

File under: Location, location, location. Or is it something else that’s attracting so many marijuana companies to Worcester County? Anne Kusmer at WGBH tries to find the answer to why the county has 147 applications filed with the state regulators — the most of any county in Massachusetts.


It’s so quaint: A true mom-and-pop pot shop

It’s in Worcester County, of course! The Globe’s Naomi Martin reports on the opening of Gibby’s Garden in Uxbridge, becoming the “first cannabis microbusiness licensed to open in Massachusetts, a milestone in the state’s efforts to foster an industry where small businesses can succeed.” Btw: A ‘microbusiness’ in this context is simply a mom-and-pop shop.

Boston Globe

Bailing on eliminating cash bail

They took a pass. From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “A special commission formed to evaluate Massachusetts’ cash bail system will not recommend eliminating the practice or making any major changes. Rather, the commission said policymakers should give more time for recently implemented reforms to go into effect.” WBUR’s Deborah Becker has more.


Tennessee man allegedly breaks into Boston City Hall

The oddest story so far in this young New Year. From the Globe’s Danny McDonald: “A Tennessee man is facing charges after allegedly breaking into Boston’s City Hall early Thursday and ransacking offices inside the building before authorities found him in a nearby police wagon, an official said.” He escaped to a paddy wagon? OK.

Baker plans State of State address on Jan. 21

Mark it on your political calendar: Gov. Charlie Baker plans to give his State of the Commonwealth address on Tuesday, January 21, the day before his annual budget proposal is due. SHNS’s Sam Doran (pay wall) has more.

Jesse Brown jumps into race to fill Plymouth Senate seat

From SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall): “Jesse Brown, a Marine who went on to establish his own wireless construction firm, has joined the field of candidates vying for the state Senate seat last held by Republican Vinny deMacedo of Plymouth. Brown, a Republican, announced his candidacy on Thursday.” Btw: He’s not exactly a political novice, as Norton explains.

They see prison in her future: Palm reader accused of promising to banish daughter’s demon for $70K

Exorcisms sure are getting expensive these days. From CBS Boston: “Somerset police have arrested a psychic palm reader, accusing her of tricking a client out of over $70,000 by convincing her that her daughter was possessed by a demon. Tracey Milanovich, 37, of Somerset, has been charged with six counts of obtaining property over $250 by trick, larceny over $1,200 and intimidation of a witness.”

CBS Boston

Fall River housecleaning

Fall River Mayor-elect Paul Coogan continues to sweep out city employees closely tied to indicted Mayor Jasiel Correia, Jo C. Goode reports at the Herald-News. Among those to get their walking papers this week: Corporation Counsel Joseph Macy, who defended Correia against efforts by the city council to remove him from office, and special mayoral assistant  Monica Sousa, who helped manage two of Correia’s campaigns. 

Herald News

In Gloucester, new city position is sign of opioid-crisis times

Once again, they’re out front. The city of Gloucester has created the position of ‘community health navigator,’ a paid staffer whose sole job it will be to help residents pursue treatment for substance addiction problems, Taylor Ann Bradford reports at the Gloucester Times. Earlier in the opioid crisis, Gloucester championed the ‘Angel Program’ model that enabled police to divert addicts to treatment rather than criminal prosecution. 

Gloucester Times

The old Achilles’ heel of Boston politics: The school committee

The Herald’s Alexi Cohan reports that Mayor Marty Walsh has reappointed two members to the Boston School Committee, sparking complaints about the fairness of the nominating process and prompting the Herald’s Hillary Chabot to wonder whether Walsh has handed “potential rivals a juicy opposition narrative just as the 2021 mayoral election nears.”

Limpy the Turkey, the pride of Reading, RIP

He survived the Thanksgiving and Christmas carving tables. But he couldn’t survive the New Year’s Day car traffic in Reading. Sarah Betancourt at CommonWealth magazine reports on the shocking and tragic demise of Limpy the Turkey, the wild fowl of Reading who turned his foul-tempered ways into local celebrityhood.


Sunday public affairs TV: Elizabeth Warren, Dan Rivera, Lonnie Bunch

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: U.S. Sen Elizabeth Warren, who talks with host Jon Keller about her candidacy for president, including her support for the Green New Deal and her differences with her chief opponents.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera, who talks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu, followed by a roundtable political discussion with Democratic political analyst Mary Anne Marsh and Republican political analyst Rob Gray.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s main topic: A conversation with Lonnie G. Bunch, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute and the first African American to head the 173-year-old institution.

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

January 8th Executive Breakfast – What’s Ahead for 2020

“What’s Ahead for 2020 – Finance, Health Care, Non-Profits & Higher Ed”, Moderated by Patrick Sullivan, MA President, People’s United Bank featuring Panelists: Phil Cormier, President, Beverly & Addison Gilbert Hospitals at Beth Israel Lahey Health; Patricia Ahern, President & CEO, Care Dimensions; John Keenan, President, Salem State University

North Shore Chamber of Commerce

Today’s Headlines


McGovern won’t seek re-election as Cambridge’s mayor – Cambridge Day

A legislative aide talks of his odyssey to a State House desk – Dorchester Reporter


Worcester State seeks 5 percent increase in fees – Telegram & Gazette

Asbestos cleanup cost Natick taxpayers $1 million – MetroWest Daily News

Short-term rentals help fuel banner tourism season in Lenox – Berkshire Eagle


Democrats enter 2020 awash in cash, brace for long primary – New York Times

Castro allies lash out after his exit – Politico

How to Contact MASSterList

Send tips to Matt Murphy: Editor@MASSterList.com. For advertising inquiries and job board postings, please contact Dylan Rossiter: Publisher@MASSterList.com or (857) 370-1156. Follow @MASSterList on Twitter.