Keller at Large

Twitter spats don’t matter

In his latest Keller at Large on MassterList, Jon Keller takes note of a Twitter spat between progressives and centrist Dems over tax increases during a pandemic in Massachusetts – and how it does and doesn’t fit into the 2022 gubernatorial race.

Keller at Large

Happening Today

Budget debate, Budd SJC hearing, State Dem chair vote

— The Massachusetts House plans to hold its second day of deliberations on its proposed $46 billion fiscal 2021 state budget, 10 a.m.

Governor’s Council holds a public hearing on Gov. Charlie Baker’s nomination of Justice Kimberly Budd as chief of the Supreme Judicial Court, filling the role held by the late Chief Justice Ralph Gants until his death in September, 9 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker joins Mayor Marty Walsh, the Boston Housing Authority and Trinity Financial for a virtual ribbon-cutting event marking phase two of the Overlook Terrace at Orient Heights affordable housing development, 1:30 p.m.

— Former Gov. Deval Patrick is the keynote speaker at the Northeast Clean Energy Council Clean Energy Back to Work Challenge awards ceremony, 4 p.m.

— The Massachusetts Democratic State Committee will gather remotely to select a chair of the party who will lead Democrats into 2022 when they hope to retake the governor’s office, 7 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: 37 new deaths, 9,994 total deaths, 2,994 new cases

WCVB has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

‘Biden won the middle’

We figure a lot of readers would be interested in this Washington Post piece on what exit-polls say about last Tuesday’s presidential election. Basically, Independent and moderate voters broke for Biden and gave him the victory. But there were intriguing shifts in support among Catholics, Latinos and Black male voters, among others, the Post finds. As they say, dig in.

Washington Post

Baker’s ‘man bites dog’ stand for democracy

The entire world – or at least a portion of it – is marveling at Gov. Charlie Baker’s stand, along with a few other Republicans, against President Trump’s assertion that the presidential election was stolen. And the Globe’s Yvonne Abraham writes we’ve reached a new ‘man-bites-dog’ low if standing up for democracy is now big news.

Meanwhile, from CommonWealth’s Michael Jonas: “Baker really is a RINO.” Others aren’t focusing on Baker’s words. They’re focusing on Trump’s words (and deeds). From GBH: “Rep. Moulton On Trump’s Refusal to Concede: ‘Frankly, We’ve Got to Be Concerned.” … From the Globe’s Joan Vennochi: “Trump’s plot against America.” … And from Timothy Synder,also at the Globe: “Trump’s big election lie pushes America towards autocracy.”

We still maintain it will all pathetically come down to this, via Vanity Fair: ‘A half-eaten cheeseburger on a presidential plate.’

Still dreamin’: Secretary Warren? U.S. Sen. Pressley or Healey?

We tried substituting “Washington Dreamin’” for “California Dreamin’” but it’s just not the same. Anyway, the Globe’s Matt Stout has the latest are-they-leaving-or-staying piece now that Joe Biden has lots of jobs to offer in Washington, D.C.

The Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter has more on the Walsh-for-labor-secretary buzz out there. But Walsh doesn’t even appear on the NYT’s speculation list, though he does appear on CNN’s list. WBZ’s Jon Keller thinks it’s all just shy of fantasy: “Most speculation right now is focusing on the possibility Biden might poach major Massachusetts political figures to serve in his administration. On that front, color me skeptical.” Instead, he’s thinking about the 2022 gubernatorial race (see his Keller at Large on MassterList above). There was one local appointment yesterday by Biden. MassLive’s Tanner Stening reveals the name.

Boston Globe

To do list: Warren suggests first-day moves for Biden administration

In a Washington Post op-ed piece, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has some advice for Joe Biden (and it’s not about her becoming the next treasury secretary): Be bold. Arguing that election results show Americans embracing the Democratic party’s progressive policy stances, Warren pushes for Biden to use executive orders or other avenues to cancel billions in student debt, raise the minimum wage for all federal contractors, declare the climate crisis a national emergency and put tough new ethics rules in place. 

Washington Post

Et tu, Fox News?

We missed this from yesterday, i.e. Howie Carr’s epic rant at the Herald against the news media, even Fox News, for daring to call the presidential election for Joe Biden. At the Globe, Mark Shanahan notes Fox News’s somewhat fair-and-balanced coverage of the election results, but he’s not buying Fox News has fundamentally changed.

Meanwhile, the NYT reports how many conservatives are now turning to alternative-alternative news sites, such as Newsmax, Howie’s last remaining favorite cable channel. GBH’s Dan Kennedy has some thoughts on how local news can help ease today’s political polarization.

Writer’s cramp? Baker refuses to release prisoners with ‘stroke of pen,’ as Pressley and Rollins have demanded

You knew this showdown was inevitable. From Mary Markos at NBC Boston: “Gov. Charlie Baker insisted that the state’s Department of Correction is doing a ‘terrific job,’ keeping coronavirus under control Tuesday, despite arguments from Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins that prisons act as ‘petri dishes’ for spreading it.”

Recall: Pressley and Rollins previously said Baker could release more inmates with the ‘the stroke of a pen’ (CommonWealth). WBUR’s Deborah Becker has more.

NBC Boston

Boston plays hardball with Faneuil Hall tenant that’s played hardball with tenants

The Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp., which has been criticized for not forgiving rent owed by Faneuil Hall Marketplace merchants, is now itself the target of an eviction notice from the city of Boston, which says Ashkenazy is effectively behind in its own rent, reports the BBJ’s Catherine Carlock.

File under: What goes around comes around. CBS Boston has more on the showdown.


‘Terrible idea’: Opposition to T service cuts grows

Not surprisingly, opposition to severe service cuts at the T is intensifying across the region. CommonWealth magazine’s Sarah Betancourt reports on criticism of the T’s proposal to slash area ferry services starting in January. Meanwhile, the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter report on a rally yesterday, attended by veterans and local pols, against proposed Green Line cuts.

Grand alliances: Hospitals swap competition for collaboration

WBUR’s Martha Bebinger has a good piece on how Massachusetts hospitals, often tribal to a fault in their network attitudes and allegiances, are actually cooperating as a second COVID-19 surge sweeps across the region.

But all hospitals are struggling with staffing problems, partly due to many employees having kids at home taking remote classes, rather than in-person classes at schools, reports Jessica Bartlett at the BBJ.


Infectious disease experts back Baker’s cautious pandemic-rule changes

Some people adamantly oppose any new pandemic restrictions. Others say we need many more restrictions. But a group of infectious disease experts, in an op-ed at the Globe, says Gov. Charlie Baker has it just about right in terms of a balanced approach towards blunting the second COVID-19 surge. They generally agree with the push for more in-person learning and frown upon a full lockdown that say is unnecessary and perhaps even counter-productive.

Boston Globe

Coronavirus updates: Sewage samples confirm surge, hospital visits limited, charts and maps galore

A lot of other news is out there regarding the second coronavirus surge. Here are some headlines and summaries from around the state, starting with MassLive: “Traces of coronavirus in Greater Boston wastewater samples approaching spring levels.” … From the Globe: “Wellesley High School to switch to remote learning after 6 new COVID-19 cases confirmed.” …. From CBS Boston: “UMass Memorial Medical Center Tightens Rules For Visitors.” … From MassLive: “Holyoke’s virtual Veterans Day honors those lost at Soldiers’ Home.” … Also from MassLive: “Springfield reports record number of new COVID-19 cases.”

And, finally, WBUR has an excellent page on all-things pandemic, in terms of data, charts and maps.

Center stage: Worcester considers hosting federal court trials at DCU Center

It’s not exactly a U2 concert, but it’s something. Worcester officials are exploring a plan to allow federal court trials to be held in the ballroom of the all-but-shuttered and financially struggling DCU Center, Nick Kotsopolous at the Telegram reports. Court officials believe the space will enable trials to resume by offering more space for social distancing. 


State House budget updates: GOP leader balks at abortion amendment, opioid funds dispute, dental coverage

Besides disputes over raising taxes, Massachusetts House members are debating other budget-related issues at the State House, including an amendment that House Minority Leader Brad Jones says has no business being included in a budget debate: The proposed abortion-access bill. SHNS’s Chris Van Buskirk (pay wall) reports on the GOP leader’s objections to the planned debate of the ROE Act during budget delibertions. … Meanwhile, from Christian Wade at the Gloucester Times: “Budget plan seeks expanded dental coverage.” …Also, from Christian Wade, this time at the Eagle Tribune: “Baker, lawmakers at odds over opioid fund.”

Casinos aim for total control of sports betting

They want it all. From SHNS’s Colin A. Young: “The companies that have invested millions of dollars and hired thousands of employees to work at Massachusetts gaming facilities should be the ones to control the sports wagering world here if lawmakers legalize the activity, two of the state’s three casino operators told Beacon Hill leaders.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

So close: Pittsfield mayor’s home repair loan plan slowed by procedural move

Not yet. Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer appears to have the votes on the city council to use stashed-away GE clean up funds to establish a low-cost loan program for homeowners who improve their blighted properties. But Amanda Burke at the Berkshire Eagle reports approval will have to wait after one councilor put a temporary hold in place. 

Berkshire Eagle

Walkout averted: Rockport says it will meet training demands ahead of planned strike

An emergency meeting in Rockport has apparently yielded an agreement to avoid a planned walkout by the town’s all-volunteer firefighters, the Gloucester Times reports. Firefighters said they would resign en masse if their demands about reconfiguring how the department is overseen and training deficiencies weren’t addressed. 

‘Unstuffed murderbird’: Turkey taunts and terrorizes Hyde Park and WBZ reporter

Tales abound of terrorist turkeys running rampant. And then there’s the elite stormtroopers of terrorist turkeys, such as the one taunting and terrorizing poor Hyde Park and even WBZ-TV reporter Bill Shields, who was just doing his job. ‘Unstuffed murderbird’ update via UH.


Virtual-Revolutionizing Retail: The Omnichannel Experience

Omnichannel is a word we’ve heard tossed around the industry, but what does it really mean? Some years ago, in-store was the only channel, then we moved into multi-channel and now it seems omnichannel is the way to go. Join us to learn about which technologies are supporting the omnichannel approach, how 5G is opening up a word of consumer insights, and how retailers can use those takeaways.


Baxter Lecture with author Nathaniel Philbrick: Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

Join for an online talk with Nathaniel Philbrick about his book Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War as part of the BPL’s Baxter Lecture Series. Ryan J. Woods from NEHGS will be the moderator and a representative of the State Library will be a co-host. BPL President David Leonard will introduce this program. Registration is encouraged.

Boston Public Library, American Ancestors/New England Historic Genealogical Society, the State Library of Massachusetts, and the GBH Forum Network

Policymakers Live: Virtual Briefing with Representative Hannah Kane, Ranking Minority, Joint Committee on Public Health

MassBio is launching “Policymakers Live”, a series of virtual briefings with a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Massachusetts Senate, or a member of the Governor’s Alliance. Policymakers will outline initiatives they are working on and attendees will have the chance to ask questions.

MassBio (Massachusetts Biotechnology Council)

8th Annual 2020 Startup of the Year Summit

For the first time in its eight year history, the Startup of the Year Summit will be held online, allowing a global audience to participate from afar in the annual conference and have a behind-the-scenes experience for the 2020 competition. Date: November 16-18,2020. We are waiving all fees this year. We want you to join us.


Energy Policy Seminar: Brenda Mallory on “Clean Energy Priorities in the Southeast”

Join us for an Energy Policy Seminar featuring Brenda Mallory, Director of Regulatory Policy at the Southern Environmental Law Center. Ms. Mallory will speak on “Clean Energy Priorities in the Southeast”. The seminar will be hosted by HKS Professor Joe Aldy.

Harvard Kennedy School and Belfer Center for Science and International Afffairs

The State of the State Department & Transatlantic Diplomacy

WorldBoston’s annual State of the State Department is a high-level speaking event, serving as an annual occasion to assess the strength of a critical instrument in the pursuit of U.S. national interest within a policy context. In addition to critically evaluating the current of the State Department, we will also look at the U.S diplomacy through the lens of the transatlantic relationship.

Harvard Kennedy School and Belfer Center for Science and International Afffairs

Make Shift Happen with EDIE

Join MassBio’s Edie Stringfellow for a bi-weekly conversation on equity, diversity, inclusion, and engagement (EDIE). For the month of November, MassBio is dedicating Make Shift Happen to support and salute our life sciences colleagues who are service members in observation of November National Veterans & Military Families Month.

MassBio (Massachusetts Biotechnology Council)

Local Voices Network Conversation: Civic Engagement (Honan-Allston)

Join the Boston Public Library and Local Voices Network for an online discussion about civic engagement. LVN conversations are focused on sharing our lived experience, rather than beginning the conversation with our positions on issues. We are doing this in order to help build connections and to foster conversations that improve our understanding of one another.

Boston Public Library

Modern Mobility Aloft: Elevated Highways, Architecture and Urban Change in Pre-Interstate America

Join the Boston Public Library and the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library for an online talk with Amy D. Finstein, author of Modern Mobility Aloft: Elevated Highways, Architecture and Urban Change in Pre-Interstate America.

Boston Public Library

Managing Change to Grow Business – Part II: Growing Your Business in a Virtual World

Please join Middlesex Savings Bank and the Boston Business Journal for this conversation about managing business change in our new normal.

Boston Business Journal and Middlesex Savings Bank

Data + AI Summit Europe 2020

Data and AI are converging. The Success of Apache Spark has accelerated the evolution of data teams to include data analytics, science, engineering, and AI. Date + AI Summit brings together thousands of data teams to learn from practitioners, leaders, innovators, and the original creators of Spark. Delta Lake, MLflow and Koalas.


Climate Change, Survival, and Deepening Our Humanity

City of Boston’s Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola leads a panelist discussion on how the belief systems that define and maintain our societies impact the planet and influence our survival. Register for this free virtual Kennedy Library Forum to receive an email reminder with a viewing link before the event.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

MIT: AI and the Work of the Future Congress

Join MIT’s Task Force on WOTF, MIT CSAIL, and MIT Digital for this year’s Congress which will be a virtual event highlighting research findings from the MIT Task Force on WOTF’s final report that will be released in November. Given the rapidly changing environment brought on by Covid-19, this topic is more important and relevant that ever.

MIT Work of the Future Task Force; MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab; MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy

Disinformation and Digital Citizenship: Disinformation and Election Psychology

Disinformation and Digital Citizenship is a Learning Circle that meets weekly to discuss disinformation and its effect on civic institutions and society during an election year. Learning circles are small groups of individuals who explore and area of shared interest through discussion in a collaborative, friendly and mutually supportive environment.

Boston Public Library

Managing Climate Risk in the US Financial System

This webinar will be given by Robert Litterman, Chairman of the Risk Committee and Founding Partner, Kepos Capital, and Stephen Moch, MBA and MPP candidate at HBS and HKS. It is part of M-RCBG”s weekly Business and Government Seminar series. Registration is required.

Harvard Kennedy School of Business/Mossavar-Rahmani center for Business and Government

Interrupting Hatred Can Save Someone’s Life

This presentation, part of the Town of Lexington’s No Hate November series, will focus on lessons learned after the killings of Ahmaud Arbery and Vincent Chen. The event is co-sponsored by the Lexington Human Rights Committee, Association of Black Citizens of Lexington, Chinese American Association of Lexington.

Town of Lexington

The Future of Higher Education

As schools around the country plan, react, and adapt during the Covid-19 pandemic, the presidents of Greater Washington’s top universities will gather virtually to discuss health and safety, diversity and inclusion, and budgeting and development of the future of higher education. Join the Washington Business Journal for a look behind the scenes with the decision makers.

Washington Business Journal

AARP Innovation Labs’ Innovation Challenges

AARP Innovation Labs and Mass Challenge HealthTech are excited to offer themed innovation challenges. Do you have an innovative entertainment solution that curates the fun in life for older adults? We are highly encouraging our 50+ entrepreneurs and founders to apply to this challenge.

AARP Innovation Labs and Mass Challenge HealthTech

Virtual Job Fair: MassHire Central Region Honors Our Veterans

Virtual Job Fair featuring 45 employers from diverse industries throughout Central Massachusetts. Free and open to the public and veterans!

MassHire Central Region Career Centers

17th Annual Team Massachusetts Economic Awards: Celebrating 2020’s Massachusetts Corporate Heroes

With our Corporate Heroes Award, MassEcon will honor a sampling of employers, large and small, in every region of the state, that reflect the spirit of Massachusetts businesses to solve problems, serve their communities and provide for the livelihoods of their workers. Register:


Inno on Fire

The Inno on Fire Awards is our annual celebration of innovators, big and small, people, and organizations in Boston. What makes a company or individual on fire? We are looking at startups that have had a banner year, people and companies with hew funding, recent product launches, hot hires, innovative approaches to solving problems, and creative leaders who think out of the box.

Boston Business Journal

WBJ Central MA Health Care Forum

Healthcare Post Pandemic: The Covid-19 pandemic has not only claimed over 200,000 lives in our country, but has been a disruptive force to many industries, including healthcare. Join us for this timely and informative webcast where our panel of experts will discuss what has changed since the beginning of the pandemic and what lies ahead.

Worcester Business Journal

The State of Innovation: Electrification presented by Analog Devices

Across the network, Innos State of Innovations meetups focus on a specific industry, category, theme or individual and will feature a keynote, fireside chat, panel, pitch, demo or a combination of the five. Join us for a conversation with local innovators and experts.

The Boston Business Journals

2020 Women Who Mean Business

Join us as we celebrate outstanding women at our fourth Women Who Mean Business awards program. These women represent the scale of business in Greater Boston and have demonstrated significant growth in their companies.

Boston Business Journal and Webster Bank

Today’s Headlines


Quincy continues compressor station fight – Patriot Ledger

Campbell says newly announced Boston tourism campaign ‘makes absolutely no sense’ – Boston Globe


Surge of cases in Pittsfield brings warning; in-person learning paused at two high schools – Berkshire Eagle

Worcester Regional Research Bureau tackles funding fare-free WRTA buses – Telegram & Gazette

Worcester names new chief diversity officer – Worcester Business Journal


Money to support Trump court fight could flow to president – Associated Press

Biden’s policy agenda rests heavily on Senate battle – New York Times

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