Keller at Large

Calling out the super-spreaders

In his latest Keller at Large on MassterList, Jon Keller notes we would be doing much better fighting the coronavirus, as a state and as a nation, if only more people wore protective face masks. But too many people refuse do so – and so the rest of us suffer. … Note: Text of Jon’s comments accompany his podcast. Check it out by clicking below!

Keller at Large

Happening Today

Transit-cut protest, Cannabis Control, and more

Massachusetts Port Authority Board of Directors holds its monthly meeting and may continue discussions about the impacts that COVID-19 has had on Logan International Airport passenger volumes and other aspects of the pandemic, 9 a.m.

Public Transit Public Good, a coalition of public transit workers and riders, holds a rolling rally outside the MBTA’s headquarters to protest planned service cuts, 10 a.m.

Mass. Gaming Commission will meet for a regular business meeting and is expected to receive quarterly reports from Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville and Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, 10 a.m.

Massachusetts Convention Center Authority Board of Directors hosts its regular meeting remotely, 10 a.m.

Cannabis Control Commission meets for a regular business meeting and will likely process dozens of business license renewals, provisional licenses and final licenses, 10 a.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: 47 new deaths, 10,177 total deaths, 2,774 new cases

WCVB has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Coincidence? Poll finds parents really hate hybrid learning as public school enrollment declines

A new MassInc poll shows that parents across the state are generally frustrated and unhappy with education policies and options during the pandemic – and they sure don’t like the topsy-turvy world of hybrid learning, as the Globe’s Meghan Irons and CommonWealth’s Michael Jonas report. The Globe piece also emphasizes the clear racial divide in access to in-person learning and parental attitudes in general.

Amid all the education frustrations, Carrie Saldo at GBH reports there’s been a 5 percent decrease in public school enrollment statewide during the pandemic. In the story, one school official says it’s not clear  why it’s happening. But, c’mon, most everyone else knows: It’s mostly about in-person vs. remote/hybrid learning.

And, finally, there’s the issue of school funding during the pandemic. From the Globe’s James Vaznis: “Mass. school committees push for full funding of low-income students, tax increases.”

New and improved: State to launch ‘rapid testing’ program in 134 school districts

This could help the in-person learning cause. SHNS’s Colin Young and CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg report that the state is launching a new rapid testing program in 134 school districts across the state, allowing officials to more quickly identify infected individuals and limit the spread of the coronavirus.

To reiterate: Small Thanksgiving gatherings – and get tested

Officials really are nervous about next week’s Thanksgiving holiday potentially turning into multiple super-spreader events. SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) reports that Gov. Charlie Baker and others are urging colleges to test students before they leave campuses for the holiday – and to keep them on campuses if they test positive.

Meanwhile, Baker, Mayor Marty Walsh and others are repeating it over and over again: Only small gatherings on T-Day, please. Universal Hub has more on Walsh’s holiday advice. Re testing, from the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky and Erin Tiernan: “Long lines as Massachusetts residents rush to get coronavirus tests before Thanksgiving.”

New guideline: People exposed to COVID-19 can leave quarantine as early as 10 days

MassLive’s Steph Solis reports that state health officials are “tweaking the state’s quarantine guidance, allowing people exposed to COVID-19 to leave quarantine as early as 10 days if they test negative beforehand.”

We could be wrong, but shortening the quarantine period might induce people to cooperate more with tracing efforts and testing in general. Just thinking aloud.


Report: DOC working on ‘responsible depopulation’ of prison during pandemic

This is interesting. After defending its previous policies regarding inmates incarcerated during the pandemic, the Baker administration is now “taking initial steps to release prisoners to home confinement” amid a recent spike in virus cases in correctional facilities, CommonWealth’s Sarah Betancourt reports.


Senate passes ROE Act and budget amid sideline fight over taxes

As expected, the Massachusetts Senate yesterday easily passed its own version of the ROE Act, which expands women’s abortion rights in Massachusetts, and now the Senate and House must iron out minor wording differences before the act can be sent to Gov. Charlie Baker, who has yet to say whether he supports it or not. CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl has more.

The act was passed as an amendment to the $46 billion state budget bill, which the Senate also passed yesterday (SHNS). The Globe’s Jon Chesto reports on an interesting sideline budget skirmish over sales tax remittances and small-business funding in Massachusetts. The lobbying is getting pretty intense on the issue.

Vogue story on glamorous Martha’s Vineyard wedding disappears after event tied to virus spike

Not so glamorous now. Brian Dowd at the Martha’s Vineyard Times reports Vogue Magazine appears to have pulled an online story highlighting a wedding on the island that may have been the source of a Covid spike on the island. The story of the October 11 wedding featured photos of maskless guests. The island has seen 118 positive cases since then, more than it experienced during the first six months of the pandemic combined. 

Martha’s Vineyard Times

The next Tip? Katherine Clark elected to fourth highest post in U.S. House

We may be getting a little ahead of ourselves, but you do have to wonder what’s next for U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, after she was elected yesterday to the fourth highest position in the U.S. House. After all, Nancy Pelosi can’t be House speaker forever. The Herald’s Rick Sobey has more on Clark’s big political promotion yesterday.

Boston Herald

Stay away: Petition seeks to keep Trump officials from landing at Harvard

A petition is circulating on the campus of Harvard University calling for the school’s leadership to establish “accountability guidelines” before allowing members of the Trump administration to land on campus to teach, speak or even learn, Camille Caldera and Michelle Kurilla at the Crimson report. Retired law school professor Alan Dershowitz, a Trump legal defender, says he’s ready to return to the school to fight any attempt to blacklist Trump associates. 

The Crimson

Pollack punts on Allston I-90 project decision till next year

After all the plans and follow-up plans and follow-up-follow-up plans, Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack says she’s postponing until next year a decision on a final design plan for the massive Allston I-90 project. CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl and SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall) have more on Pollack’s punt.

Bill Belichick calls for U.S. to take action against Turkey and Azerbaijan for Armenian attacks

A potential secretary of state candidate? New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick yesterday veered away from all things XXXs and OOOs on the gridiron to urge the U.S. to “take action against Turkey and Azerbaijan for their unprovoked and deadly attacks on Armenians,” according to a report at CBS Boston. Belichick has spoken out before in support of Armenia and Armenian causes.

CBS Boston

With unanimous council vote, Budd makes history as SJC’s first Black female

The vote was expected, but it’s still big news. The Governor’s Council yesterday unanimously approved Gov. Charlie Baker’s nomination of Kimberly Budd as the next chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court, making the first Black female to head the state’s highest court, as SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay was) and MassLive’s Steph Solis report.

Meanwhile, the council is reviewing Baker’s other two SJC picks, one of whom was interviewed yesterday.From SHNS: “SJC Nominee Backs Mandatory Racism Training For Judges/Council Vetting Wendlandt Unanimously Approved Her in 2017.”

‘Justice Alito, the city of Cambridge welcomes you’

In a letter to the editor at the Globe, Richard Lester, an associate provost at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is cordially inviting U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito to visit his fair city of Cambridge to view for himself that it isn’t entirely the wild-eyed liberal bastion that he recently mocked in a speech (Globe). The NYT has more on Alito’s controversial speech to the conservative Federalist Society.

Globe (letter to editor)

Tufts study: TCI pact would likely lead to higher gas prices than thought

This isn’t going to help Gov. Charlie Baker make the case for a regional approach to climate change that involves a new carbon tax, to wit: A new Tufts University study that says a “Transportation Climate Initiative” pact could be more than twice as expensive for motorists than previously estimated. SHNS’s Matt Murphy has more. Btw: Before release of the study, Baker said he’s “still very much a fan” of TCI, even though he’s re-evaluating TCI models in light of the pandemic.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Death of Fall River boy puts DCF in spotlight again

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: The Department of Children and Families has one of the most thankless, lose-lose tasks in all of state government – balancing the needs and rights of both children and parents in cases involving possible abuse. And the agency is in the spotlight again over its role in the shocking case dealing with the death of a 14-year-old autistic boy in Fall River. CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg has more.


Linda Pizzuti Henry takes CEO reins at Globe amid labor strife

Linda Pizzuti Henry, managing director at the Bosotn Globe and wife of publisher/owner John Henry, is taking over as CEO of the region’s largest newspaper. Her appointment came just hours after the paper’s editorial and business union, which is locked in tough contract talks with management, sent a not-so-friendly letter to the Henrys demanding they stop using a certain law firm, as the BBJ’s Don Seiffert reports.

GBH’ Dan Kennedy lists three reasons why her appointment is important. One of the reasons: There’s now no longer a management buffer between the Henrys and angry unions.


Intersecting crises: Fatal opioid overdoses on the rise during pandemic, data show

More red arrows. Massachusetts recorded 1,517 opioid overdose deaths during the first nine months of the year, a 3 percent increase from the same period a year ago, Martha Bebinger at WBUR and Joe DiFazio at the Patriot Ledger report. Officials say the pandemic has hampered outreach efforts that were showing progress in recent years.

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


No Christmas tree lights display at Faneuil Hall this season – Boston Herald

Lynn breaks single-day record for new virus cases – Lynn Item


Ethics Commission lawyer: Early, assistant wanted Bibaud statements to ‘disappear’ – Telegram & Gazette

Easthampton mayor to vote as an Electoral College member – Daily Hampshire Gazette

Worcester Railers cancel 2020-21 season amid COVID pandemic – MassLive

Dozens of workers at Brookline marijuana dispensary exposed to coronavirus – Boston Globe


Boeing 737 Max cleared to fly again by FAA – New York Times

Trump seeks to settle scores in final days – The Hill

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