Keller at Large

Baker’s formula for reviving the Mass. GOP corpse

In his latest Keller at Large on MasserList, Jon Keller knows that a return to centrist politics, both in Massachusetts and across the nation, may be a pipe dream. But Gov. Charlie Baker’s success and popularity does prove centrism is far from dead.

Keller at Large

Happening Today

PRIM meeting, Senate budget debate, and more

Department of Transportation hosts its annual Moving Together Conference virtually, convening panel discussions on pedestrian, bicycle and public transit issues, starting earlier this morning.

Pension Reserves Investment Management Board Investment Committee meets to discuss public markets performance and recommendations from co-investment managers, with Treasurer Deborah Goldberg chairing, 9:30 a.m.

— The Massachusetts Senate convenes its first formal session since July to begin deliberations on a fiscal 2021 budget bill, 10 a.m.

— Mayor Marty Walsh participates in a Climate Mayors Dialogue on Green and Equitable Recovery panel discussion, along with New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and World Resources Institute Director Dan Lashof, 2 p.m.

MBTA staff host a public meeting aimed at soliciting feedback on plans to cut service significantly amid a budget crunch inflicted by low ridership and the ensuing decline in fare revenue, with the meeting focusing today on the system’s inner core of bus and subway service in Brookline, Cambridge, Newton, Somerville and Watertown, 6 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, 10,110 total deaths, 1,967 new cases

WCVB has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Dooley to the rescue? State lawmaker to challenge Lyons for Mass. GOP chair

Rep. Shawn Dooley, a conservative who has referred to Gov. Charlie Baker as “King Charles” and yet is apparently still on friendly terms with the moderate Republican governor, plans to challenge fellow conservative Jim Lyons for chair of the Massachusetts State Republican Party, saying the divided GOP needs to pull together to avoid political obliteration after its electoral annus horribilis in 2020.

The Globe’s Matt Stout, the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky and SHNS’s Matt Murphy have more on Dooley’s attempt to save a party seemingly intent on not saving itself (see next item). 

Herald-Franklin poll: Trump voters want president to run again in 2024

How can any future Mass. GOP chairman pull together the pro-Trump and anti-Trump factions within the party when an overwhelming majority of Republicans want President Trump to run for president again in 2024? It won’t be easy. The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld has the details on a new nationwide Franklin Pierce University-Boston Herald poll on GOP (positive) attitudes toward the president.

Speaking of the Herald and Donald Trump, take a gander at the paper’s recent editorials since the presidential election. Notice anything missing? Hint: It has to do with the biggest post-election political story out there. Hint No. 2: The Herald has its own base to consider, too.

Boston Herald

Amid State House virus outbreak, Senate to go mostly remote during budget debate

As Gov. Charlie Baker urges schools to forgo remote learning in favor of in-person learning, the Massachusetts Senate is basically saying to hell with in-person legislating and opting for largely remote legislating this week during budget deliberations, following reports of one senator, three representatives and four House staffers recently testing positive for COVID-19. MassLive’s Steph Solis and the Herald’s Erin Tiernan have more on the various Senate budget-debate restrictions this week.

Tucked into the Senate budget: A measure to extend early and mail-in voting

At the Salem News, Christian Wade reports on one of hundreds of amendments tacked onto the Senate bill that will be debated this week: A measure allowing for early and mail-in voting through June 30, 2021. Voting rights groups are backing the push.

Btw: Also tacked onto the Senate budget, to Gov. Baker’s consternation, is roughly the same ROE Act measure passed by the House last week. But it’s wording is slightly different. Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine explains.

Salem News

‘Cautious optimism is in order’: The promise and potential pitfalls of new vaccines

WBUR’s Angus Chen reports that local experts are indeed excited by recent announcements by Moderna and Pfizer that the two companies are getting ever closer to developing and distributing coronavirus vaccines, after highly promising test results. But … but things can still go wrong. The Globe’s Kay Lazar and Jonathan Saltzman have a good what-you-need-to-know piece about Moderna’s big vaccine announcement yesterday. How excited should people be? “Cautious optimism is in order,” they write.

Setting aside the caution, Paul Briand at Wicked Local reports that one Portsmouth, N.H. company is already ramping up production of a new vaccine, in anticipation of its approval by regulators for emergency distribution. And from Michael Bonner at MassLive: “Stop & Shop will offer COVID vaccine when available at no cost to customers in its pharmacies across Northeast.”


College exodus: Westfield and Clark universities tell their students to scram amid virus spikes

They’re not quite saying ‘go and don’t come back,’ but Westfield State University (MassLive) and Clark University (Telegram) are indeed asking students to temporarily leave campus after reports of new COVID-19 cases.

Meanwhile, the town of Amherst probably wishes UMass students would also leave campus. MassLive’s Jim Russell reports that new data shows that’s 89 percent of the town’s COVID-19 case can all be traced back to UMass. Tufts University has its own new restrictions, amid increasing virus cases on its Somerville-Medford campus, Universal Hub reports. Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, writing at the Globe, thinks schools of all varieties should try “pooled COVID-19 testing” as a way to improve safety and save money.

Boss gives each employee $10K bonus with one proviso: Shop local

This should warm the holiday hearts of retailers in western Massachusetts. The Eagle Tribune’s Larry Parness reports that Dalton money manager Allen Harris has awarded his 11 staffers a special pandemic-year bonus of $10,001, with one catch: They should spend it locally. It’s not the first time Allen has awarded extra “go as ‘mom and pop’ as you can” bonuses, as CBS Boston reports.

Fyi: There are some retail-shopping obstacles out there for some, and not just in western Massachusetts, having to do with requirements that all customers wear protective masks in stores. New England Public Media’s Nancy Eve Cohen at WBUR explains.

Berkshire Eagle

The Resistance: Opposition grows across region to severe T service cuts

The Globe’s Adam Vaccaro has more on the spreading opposition, from Bourne to Boston and beyond, to the MBTA’s proposed severe service cuts. Meanwhile, the issue of new transportation taxes keeps bubbling up. From the CommonWealth magazine’s Shira Schoenberg: “Senate still not taking up transportation revenues/Advocates say transit needs exacerbated by pandemic.”

Boston Globe

Healey report: Pandemic has exposed huge health inequities in Massachusetts

From the Herald’s Erin Tiernan: “A new report from Attorney General Maura Healey’s office paints a ‘bleak picture’ confronting communities of color already suffering from higher rates of coronavirus and recommends broad measures to address health and economic disparities.”

MassLive’s Jackson Cote and SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) have more on the report and its recommendations, which include equitable provider payment rates and flexible payment schedules, among others.

Boston Herald

Looming battles on Beach Hill over paid sick time and Uber workers

State House News Service has good stories this morning on two looming battles on Beacon Hill. SHNS Colin Young (pay wall) has the details on calls to provide all Massachusetts workers with access to paid sick time during the pandemic. SHNS’s Chris Lisinski has the details on Uber-Lyft’s expected lobbying push here and elsewhere, following their major referendum victory in California to keep their drivers classified as contract workers.

Divided unions: Walsh has backing of AFL-CIO head to become labor secretary but …

He’s their guy.  Eleanor Mueller and Megan Cassella at Politico report the country’s most powerful labor union leader, Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO, is actively lobbying to have Boston Mayor Marty Walsh tapped to become Secretary of Labor in a Biden administration. But other major union groups are backing Democratic U.S. Rep. Andy Levin of Michigan. 


En-garde: Ex-Harvard fencing coach and pathetic Maryland businessman arrested over $1.5M admissions scam

How status-conscious pathetic can you get? So pathetic that you’d fork over a reported $1.5 million in bribes – in the form of buying a house, renovating a condo, paying off utility bills and a car loan etc. – to a fencing coach in order to get your sons into Harvard. And now that Maryland businessman, Jie “Jack” Zhao, and the now ex-Harvard fencing coach, Peter Brand, are facing federal charges for their alleged antics, as a three-reporter team at the Globe reports.  The NYT also hasmore.

Recall one of the best headlines of 2019 regarding the unfolding ‘Varsity Blues’ drama, via the Globe: “He bought the fencing coach’s house. Then his son got into Harvard.”

Boston Globe

Ups and downs: Numbers show mixed October for state’s casinos

Still struggling. The state’s three casinos reported about $1 million less gaming revenue in October than the month before as continued coronavirus restrictions hamper efforts to lure back gamblers at anywhere near pre-Covid levels, Peter Goonan at MassLive reports. The monthly outlier was Plainridge Park, Tom Reilly at the Sun Chronicle reports.


Fairs forever: Big E to sell lifetime tickets

When in doubt, go full Wonka. The operators of the Big E fair are hoping to build excitement, and their dwindling cash reserves, with a promotion to sell 100 lifetime “golden tickets” to the annual event in West Springfield for $1,000 each, Jim Kinney at MassLive reports. 


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.


“Virtual” 125th Annual Meeting and Awards

You are cordially invited to join members of the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce , its Board of Directors, and our special guests as we celebrate the 125th Anniversary of the Chamber. Our theme this year is Resiliency & Recovery. We will feature a Virtual night of sharing, recognition, and ceremony, celebrating our members and their contributions to the community.

MetroWest Chamber of Commerce

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

An Evolving Retail Revolution: Gen Z and Beyond

Gen Z navigates the digital landscape just as often as the physical, treating technology as an extension of themselves. Join us as we explore how this generation is reshaping retail, what they are expecting from the industry and how 5G technology could help brands keep up with Gen Z demands. Once you RSVP, you will receive the attendee link.


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

35th Annual Meeting of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau

On November 18th, the WRRB will host its 35th Annual Meeting via Zoom to celebrate another year of activity and hear from keynote speaker, nationally renowned author & thought leader: Dr. Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Arbuckle Professor, Harvard Business School; Founding Chair & Director, Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative (2005-2018).

Worcester Regional Research Bureau

Israel and Palestine on Screen

James S. Snyder, HKS/MEI Senior Fellow, in conversation with Israeli and Palestinian filmmakers Joseph Cedar and Tawfik Abu Wael. This is part of the fall 2020 MEI series, James Snyder in Conversation: A series of dialogues on art, culture, politics, and the possibilities for transcending conflict through cultural connections in the modern Middle East.

Harvard Kennedy School and Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

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

The State of Race: Police Reform

The State of Race is a virtual forum cosponsored by The Boston Globe, NAACP Boston and World Channel that addresses the impact racial disparities have on key social issues. This month, The State of Race focuses on the controversial topic of police reform. This event is free but space is limited and registration is required.

GBH and The Boston Globe

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

Policymakers Live: Virtual Briefing with Senator Joan Lovely, Assistant Majority Leader, Massachusetts State Senate

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 Administrations. MassBio will host these one hour virtual briefings in the upcoming months. Policymakers will outline initiatives they are working on and attendees will have the chance to ask questions.

MassBio (Massachusetts Biotechnology Council)

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

Author Adam Davidson with The Passion Economy The New Rules for Thriving in the Twenty-First Century

Boston Public Library and the GBH Forum Network present this virtual program in “The Arc of History: Contested Perspectives” series featuring BPL President David Leonard, who will moderate the program.

Boston Public Library

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

Author Neal Gabler with Catching the wind: Edward Kennedy and the Liberal Hour, 1932-1975

Join the Boston Public Library and the GBH Forum Network for an online talk with Neal Gabler, author of Catching the Wind: Edward Kennedy and the Liberal Hour, 1932-1975. BPL President David Leonard will moderate this program, which is part of the Arc of History: Contested Perspectives series.

Boston Public Library

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

Kay Ulanday Barrett Performing and Answering Questions at the Intersections of Disability, Trans and Racial Justice

LexPride is thrilled to welcome the one-and-only Kay Ulanday Barrett (they/them) to Lexington. Kay is a poet, performer, and educator, navigating life as a disabled pilipinx-amerikan transgender queer in the U.S. with struggle, resistance, and laughter. They are the author of When the Chant Comes and More Than Organs. Kay will perform and answer questions from the audience.

LexPride. Co-sponsored by Boston Pride, Cary Memorial Library, and the Network for Social Justice.

Today’s Headlines


Lynn will spend $5.5 million to fix ventilation issues in 10 school buildings – Lynn Item

Boston Public Library spent $75K to increase anti-racism books, libraries across Massachusetts are looking to do the same – MassLive


In Framingham, residents rally for more in-person learning – MetroWest Daily News

South Shore officials push back against MBTA cuts – Patriot Ledger

OSHA investigating Table Talk pies over workplace safety concerns – Worcester Business Journal


Republicans livid over Trump’s plan to reduce troops in Afghanistan – Politico

Trump officials rush to auction off rights to Arctic National Wildlife Refuge before Biden can block it – Washington Post

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