Happening Today

Public Health Council, Governor’s Council, and more

Massachusetts Public Health Council holds its monthly meeting remotely, with plans to hold an informational overview of proposed amendments to long-term care facilities, 9 a.m.

— Attorney General Maura Healey delivers remarks at the start of her office’s People’s Law Firm Outreach Day, 9:30 a.m. 

— The Governor’s Council holds two hearings today, the first a rescheduled hearing for District Court nominee Robert Harnais, whose initial hearing was postponed after an anonymous allegations were lodged against him, and the second hearing to interview Susan McNeil, a nominee to the Lawrence District Court bench, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.

The Health Equity Task Force, a panel the Legislature created to address health disparities amid the COVID-19 pandemic, meets virtually to approve an interim report recommending short-term legislative actions, 12:30 p.m.

Department of Conservation and Recreation holds the first of two virtual public hearings to present information on a proposal that would see the use of curbside parking meters expanded in the Boston’s metropolitan area, 6:30 p.m.

For the most comprehensive listing of calendar items, check out State House News Service’s Daily Advances (pay wall – free trial subscriptions available), as well as MassterList’s Beacon Hill Town Square below.

Today’s Stories

Reminder to readers: SHNS Coronavirus Tracker available for free

A reminder to our readers as the coronavirus crisis unfolds: The paywalled State House News Service, which produces MASSterList, is making its full Coronavirus Tracker available to the community for free on a daily basis each morning via ML. SHNS Coronavirus Tracker.

The coronavirus numbers: 12 new deaths, 9,413 total deaths, 632 new cases

NBC Boston has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

As critics urge moratorium extension, Baker readies ‘eviction machine’

Gov. Charlie Baker’s $171 million eviction relief package isn’t allaying fears of an evictions tsunami in coming weeks and months. From Mike Deehan at GBH: “House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s top housing chairman wants to double funding for rent stabilization and is asking the governor to extend the state’s moratorium on evictions for another 90 days while lawmakers work on a bill to solve the state’s pandemic eviction crisis.”

Meanwhile, from the Herald’s Erin Tiernan: “Gov. Charlie Baker is firing up what one critic calls the ‘eviction machine,’ hiring back 15 highly paid retired judges to help the courts process a ‘critical backlog’ of cases once a temporary ban blocking tenant removals expires on Saturday.”

MassLive’s Steph Solis reports that the governor is defending his decision to let the moratorium expire this week, saying an extension would merely deepen the debts for both tenants and landlords. At least regarding tenants’ debts, Baker may have a point. From the Globe’s Zoe Greenberg: “A ‘debt crisis’ among renters mounts in Massachusetts.”

Baker: State in ‘strong position” for second virus surge

As coronavirus cases and rates increase in Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker is now acknowledging the likelihood of a second surge either later this fall or this winter – and he says the state is in a “strong position” to withstand another wave of infections, as measured by available medical equipment and services, reports MassLive’s Steph Solis and SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) .

Massachusetts’ high per capita death rate from virus: Why?

As Gov. Charlie Baker reassures residents that the state is in good shape to withstand another coronavirus surge, the Globe’s Dasia Moore looks into why Massachusetts has recently had a higher per capita COVID-19 death rate than other nearby states – and there’s no clear answer.

Boston Globe

Deadly delay: State blamed for slow response to COVID outbreaks in nursing homes

Speaking of coronavirus deaths, from Chris Burrell at GBH: “The state’s slow response in March to the coronavirus pandemic is one reason why Massachusetts has one of the country’s highest rates of COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents and workers, according to testimony state lawmakers heard Tuesday afternoon.” CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl has more on yesterday’s legislative hearing.


Man accused of breaking into Gov. Baker’s Swampscott home, leaving behind letter and documents

To say this is disturbing is an understatement, coming at a time of security threats against other governors in general: WBZ’s I-Team reports that a man with a reportedly “violent criminal history” last week broke into Gov. Charlie Baker’s Swampscott home while his wife and daughter were inside, leaving behind “a letter addressed to Baker along with documents and photos.” Lane Forman, 59, who somehow got into the home despite a gubernatorial security detail outside, was arrested the next day.

From WBZ: “In the last few months, the governor’s home has been the scene of several protests. Sources say in the wake of this last incident, security has been stepped up and additional surveillance cameras are being installed.” The Globe’s Adam Sennott has more.


Coronavirus updates: Restaurants plan winter hibernation, maskless lap dancers, Baker defends inmate counts

Back to all things coronavirus, here’s some quick summaries and headlines from the pandemic front in general, starting with a report by CBS Boston’s Rachel Holt that some beleaguered restaurants are planning to simply close down for the winter, rather than stay open and endure operational losses. …. From MassLive’s Heather Morrison: “Maskless lap dances, other COVID violations cited as state suspends liquor license for Mardi Gras strip club in Springfield.” … From the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky: “Baker rejects calls to carve jails, colleges out of Massachusetts town coronavirus risk data.” … And from the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter: “Boston city councilors take aim at large house parties amid coronavirus hike.”

Walsh commits to police oversight board with actual subpoena power

This was almost unimaginable a year ago. But that was before George Floyd. From Ally Jarmanning at WBUR: “Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said Tuesday that he will accept and adopt all the final made by the Boston Police Reform Task Force he convened this summer, including creating a new office with subpoena power that will provide oversight and investigate the police department.” 

Speaking of reforms, from the Globe’s Andrew Stanton: “State Police announce reforms to make inspections, internal investigations more efficient.” We’d rather see legislative reforms, but this will have to do for now.


‘Chicken’: Warren says Trump avoiding second debate because he ‘got spanked’ in first one

From The Hill: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren is mocking President Trump for declining to participate in a second debate with Joe Biden, calling him a ‘chicken’ for rejecting the digital event. ‘He knows that he just got spanked in that first debate,’ the Massachusetts Democrat said of Trump in a Tuesday interview.”

The Hill

Meanwhile, Mitt on modern politics: ‘A vile, vituperative, hate-filled morass’

We’re not sure what exactly prompted this, but former Mass. Gov. and current Utah Sen. Mitt Romney yesterday decried today’s politics as a ‘vile, vituperative, hate-filled morass’ and urged political leaders to ‘tone it down,’ specifically referring to Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi, reports MassLive’s Benjamin Kailand the AP at the Globe. And the 2012 Republican presidential nominee credited Joe Biden for not ‘stooping as low as others.’ It’s not an endorsement of Biden, but … 

GOP’s best chance of regaining a legislative seat doesn’t look so promising

CommonWealth magazine’s Michael Jonas reports that the beleaguered state GOP would love to win back a “purple” House district seat once held by Republican Jim Lyons, before he was bounced two years ago by Democrat Tram Nguyen. But GOP candidate Jeff Dufour faces two huge hurdles in the Andover-based district: Lack of funds and Donald Trump. 

Speaking of legislative races, voter in the 9th Norfolk District may have a strong sense of deja vu all over again when they cast votes for state representative. Stephen Peterson at the Sun Chronicle reports Plainville Democrat Brian Hamlin is challenging GOP state Rep. Shawn Dooley for a third straight time.  In other election news, from SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall): “GOP Leaders Form PAC in Election Stretch Run/Kaufman: Strategy Creates New Outlet to Help GOP Candidates.”


In Norfolk County, it’s McDermott vs McDermott

Who does this help or hurt more? We’re not quite sure. The Patriot Ledger’s Joe DiFazio reports on the Norfolk County sheriff’s race that’s pitting Republican incumbent Jerry McDermott against Democratic challenger Patrick McDermott, the county’s register of probate. And, no, they’re not related.

Patriot Ledger

The Avenger: Shiva Ayyadurai

In a post headlined ‘Some people might quit while they’re behind, but not the Man Who Says He Invented E-mail,’ Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin reports that Shiva Ayyadurai now appears to be running a write-in campaign for U.S. Senate, based on robo-calls some have recently received, and he’s positioning himself as an avenging candidate. Gaffin explains.

Universal Hub

Randolph congressional candidate says she was assaulted at New Bedford Trump rally

From Tim Dunn at Wicked Local: “Rayla Campbell, of Randolph, a Republican candidate in the 7th Congressional District running against incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep Ayanna Pressley, has filed a complaint with New Bedford police saying she was assaulted by two women and broke her tibia.” And where exactly was she assaulted? At a Trump rally.

A video of the incident reportedly shows “Campbell was taunting one of the women through a megaphone shortly before pushing and shoving started.”

Wicked Local

No more delays: Correia gets January trial date on federal charges

Get the popcorn ready. After months of Covid-related delays, former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia and his former chief of staff will go on trial for federal corruption charges on Jan. 13, Jo C. Goode at the Herald-News reports. Defense attorneys wanted additional delays, but Judge Douglas Woodlock cited “a public interest” in moving the proceedings forward. 

Herald News

One flag too many: Thin Blue Line backers decry Confederate banner at rally

Backers of the Thin Blue Line flag that Danvers officials have ordered removed from town vehicles say they aren’t affiliated with a teenager who waved a Confederate flag at a recent downtown rally. Erin Nolan at the Salem News reports rallies in support of the flag honoring first responders have overlapped with rallies in support of President Trump. 

Salem News

Gaming Commission sues insurer over payout for Everett land dispute

From Greg Ryan at the BBJ: “The Massachusetts Gaming Commission sued its insurance company on Friday for refusing to cover costs racked up by the agency in a separate legal dispute over a land deal at the site of Encore Boston Harbor in Everett.”

BBJ (pay wall)

Farewell Columbia: Eversource looks ahead as it completes utility takeover

And, finally: it’s official. Eversource executives promised a “new beginning” in the Merrimack Valley as the utility officially took control of assets formerly owned by Columbia Gas — two years and a month after gas pipeline explosions and fires rocked the area, Jill Harmacinski at the Eagle-Tribune reports. 

Eagle Tribune

100th Anniversary Virtual Awards Gala

We will stand together, virtually, to celebrate our 2020 Health Care Stars who, while deserving the utmost praise and recognition pre-COVID-19, have maintained their commitment to improving and protecting the lives of MA residents since the outbreak began. We are planning a showcase of celebration and resilience and ask for your sponsorship support of our 2020 honorees and of MHC’s work.

Massachusetts Health Council

Today’s Headlines


Boston schools staff and students ‘shivering’ in cold classrooms with windows open for ventilation – Boston Herald

Former Boston city councilor Josh Zakim launches new prohousing nonprofit – Boston Globe


With Question 1, voters must navigate a high-stakes, complex industry battle, report says – Boston Gobe

Hatfield officials waive various fees for businesses in 2021 – Daily Hampshire Gazette

Worcester teachers object to timeline for in-person schooling – Telegram & Gazette

Facebook post controversy grows in Braintree – Patriot Ledger


Census count can be cut short, Supreme Court says – New York Times

The pandemic’s next wave could already be here – Washington Post

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.