Happening Today

MBTA-MassDOT meeting, and more

— As part of a national series of ‘Moral Monday Caravans’ at state capitols mourning the nearly 250,000 American lives lost to COVID-19, Massachusetts Poor People’s Campaign holds its caravan at the State House, 1:30 p.m.

— Massachusetts State Retirement Board meets, with Treasurer Deb Goldberg chairing, 10 a.m.

— Department of Public Utilities Chairman Matthew Nelson and Alliance for Business Leadership President Jen Benson participate in a panel discussion on state de-carbonization opportunities during the second of three days of the 2020 New England Energy Summit, 11 a.m.

— MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board and Department of Transportation Board meet in a virtual joint session, with plans to discuss an update on the Baker administration’s congestion study, the Green Line Extension project, the Silver Line bus fleet, and the T’s budget, 12 p.m.

— Supporters of legislation dubbed the ‘Work and Family Mobility Act,’ which would allow undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses, hold a roundtable discussion as they look ahead to 2021, with Black and Latino Legislative Caucus Chair Rep. Carlos González among those participating, 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: 24 new deaths, 10,281 total deaths, 2,721 new cases

MassLIve has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

The new COVID-19 chatter: More lockdown measures on the way?

With the total number of confirmed virus cases since the start of the pandemic climbing above the 200,000 mark on Sunday in Massachusetts, the Globe’s John Hilliard and the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter report on the increased chatter about “more measures,” i.e. various restrictions and partial lockdowns, possibly being needed to combat the spread of COVID-19. Municipal leaders were briefed yesterday on the “worrisome projections on the course of the pandemic,” as Hilliard writes, and it doesn’t look good in coming months, with or without new vaccines.

Yet another problem moving forward, via the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky: “Coronavirus ‘testing deserts’ are plaguing parts of Massachusetts.”

Just in time for Thanksgiving: N.H. and Maine added to state’s quarantine list

Speaking of new restrictions, NBC Boston’s Asher Klein and Jeff Saperstone report that Massachusetts has started requiring that people arriving in the state from New Hampshire and Maine stay in quarantine for two weeks, the Department of Public Health has announced. 

Bottom line: Two can play at this game, at least as far as Maine is concerned.

NBC Boston

Justice delayed isn’t necessarily justice denied during a pandemic. Or is it?

In a post headlined “Resumption of Massachusetts jury trials delayed again,” Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin reports on the latest failed attempt to restart jury trials during the pandemic. They’re now shooting for jury trials in early January.

Universal Hub

Statistical and cartographical absurdity: Relying on ancient town borders to set pandemic policies

At GBH, Craig LeMoult tries to explain how a new state metrics system led to 80 communities being downgraded to lower-risk coronavirus status even as coronavirus cases skyrocket in Massachusetts.

But Garrett Dash Nelson, curator of maps and director of geographic scholarship at the BPL’s Norman B. Leventhal Map and Education Center, thinks it’s even crazier that state pandemic policies are partly based on town-by-town borders drawn up centuries ago. At CommonWealth magazine, he provides an aerial map showing one border line slicing through neighborhood streets and even individual homes, with different pandemic policies on each side of the line.


State’s jobless rate falls to 7.4 percent, but warning signs abound

First, the good news. From the BBJ’s Greg Ryan: “The state’s unemployment rate fell again last month to 7.4%, moving more within the historic bounds of a recession instead of the record-breaking numbers seen earlier in the pandemic.”

Now the bad news, from SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall): “New Jobless Claims At Highest Level Since June.” U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch tells WBZ’s Jon Keller that the country is in a “desperate condition” requiring a new stimulus package ASAP.


Uh-oh: Second earthquake hits Massachusetts

The U.S. Geological Survey reports a minor earthquake was registered Sunday in Massachusetts in roughly the same area where a more significant one struck earlier this month, according to an AP report at WBUR. No damage was reported as a result of the Sunday’s quake about 5 miles from the Bliss Corner section of Dartmouth.

Is it time to start getting a little nervous? From a LA Times story last year: “Scientists finally know how big earthquakes start: With many smaller ones.” Just pointing it out.


Feds: DCF repeatedly discriminated against parents with disabilities

First, DOC. Now DCF. What other state agencies are in the fed crosshairs? From the Globe’s Matt Stout: “The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families repeatedly discriminated against parents with disabilities, and must reshape its policies so to not rely on ‘unsupported stereotypes’ when deciding whether to separate children from their parents, according to a watershed settlement with federal authorities.”

Boston Globe

Andrew Lelling says he ‘wouldn’t rule out’ running for office

As his term as U.S. attorney draws to a close, Andrew Lelling said over the weekend that he “wouldn’t rule out” running for office in the future, reports the Herald’s Rick Sobey, quoting from Lelling’s appearance on WCVB’s On the Record. His connections to Donald Trump will hurt him. But there is one notable precedent for a Republican-appointed U.S. attorney successfully winning office in this bluest of blue states.

Btw: Lelling isn’t going down with the Trump-election-challenge ship, also telling WCVB that it “sure looks like Joe Biden won the election.”

Don’t hold your breath for Warren landing a Biden cabinet post

As President-elect Joe Biden starts announcing his cabinet positions this week (starting with his new secretary of state – Post), the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld says U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders aren’t going anywhere in terms of new gigs. Sorry, progressives. It just ain’t going to happen, Battenfeld writes.

Speaking of cabinet posts, Jesse Collings at Wicked Local reports that an Arlington man’s petition asking Biden to appoint a Native American representative as secretary of the interior has garnered over 25,000 signatures so far.

Boston Herald

Jim Lyons, you’ve lost the support of this young Republican

Dismiss him all you want due to is age. But Mike Brodo, a junior at Georgetown University, says in a Globe op-ed that he can no longer relate to a Massachusetts Republican Party under chairman Jim Lyons as long as it seems more interested in Donald Trump and national politics than it is in local elections and issues.

Party lines: Democratic party election results point to generational division in ranks

Speaking of state political parties, are these warning signs for establishment Dems? Danny Jin at the Berkshire Eagle digs into the details of the data behind last week’s Massachusetts Democratic State Committee election and finds party members who supported challengers to Gus Bickford tended to be younger and more progressive, pointing to future fault lines within the party. 

Berkshire Eagle

It’s not over: Auto makers sue to block recently passed ‘right to repair’ measure

As Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin reports, President Trump isn’t the only one trying to overturn election results these days. From UH: “An association of auto manufacturers (Friday) filed suit against Massachusetts to block the access to computerized vehicle information that voters just this month decided the companies have to provide.”

Universal Hub

Rebranding of Tufts University’s Fletcher School not going over so well

Even though Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy has a long and distinguished history, it seems the university has a compulsion to try to rebrand the school every other decade or so – and the latest rebranding, like previous rebranding efforts, isn’t being received well. An online petition to keep the old name has already gathered more than 800 signatures. And they’re not too happy at Reddit either. Via Universal Hub.

Patriots join the call for legal sports betting in Mass.

The Massachusetts Senate last week may have rejected a budget amendment calling for the legalization of sports betting in Massachusetts, as SHNS’s Colin Young reports (pay wall). But this issue isn’t going away on Beacon Hill. Not if they New England Patriots have their way, as the Globe’s Andy Rosen reports.

Rollins investigating sexual assault allegations against former prosecutor

From Deborah Becker at WBUR: “District Attorney Rachael Rollins said she has retained an outside law firm to investigate claims that former prosecutor Adam Foss, who is now a prominent criminal justice reform advocate, ‘engaged in behavior that was either inappropriate, an abuse of authority, unethical or illegal.’ Foss denies the allegations.”


From slave to sailor to leading Dedham citizen: William Benjamin Gould

Attention history buffs: The Globe’s Brian MacQuarrie reports on a long-forgotten Civil War veteran, a leading citizen of Dedham and father of six sons who served in the U.S. military. He’s the late William Benjamin Gould, an escaped Black slave and Navy sailor who only recently, thanks to a discovery of his diary, has been getting the recognition he richly deserves.

Boston Globe

Wilbraham native poised to become first Black female district judge in western Mass.

Speaking of history, Gov. Charlie Baker later this week will make a little history when he officially swears in Danielle Williams as district court judge, making her the first Black female district court judge ever in western Massachusetts, reports Stephanie Barry at MassLive.


For Boston police, it’s a ‘kinder, gentler justice system’ when they’re the ones charged with crimes

Accusations of assault, DUIs, fraud, theft, money laundering, etc. Such charges seem to just melt away if you’re a Boston police officer, report the Globe’s Evan Allen and Andrew Ryan, who have identified dozens of cases of city cops who have gone unpunished for deeds that would have landed most other people in jail or at least gotten them fired.  

Boston Globe

Big reveal: Franklin officials to publicly address cyber attack

People want answers – and they may get some soon. The Franklin Town Council says it will finally discuss in public, at forthcoming meeting, last month’s cyber attack that led to the theft of $522,000 from town coffers, Lauren Young at the MetroWest Daily News reports. Councilors say the public is clamoring for more insight into what the heck happened. 

MetroWest Daily News

Making a stand: Northampton man withholds taxes until potholes filled

No taxation without smooth pavement. Greta Jochem at the Daily Hampshire Gazette talks with Northampton resident John Martine, who is staging a one-person property tax boycott, saying he won’t pay his taxes until the city addresses the dismal state of the street on which he lives. 

Daily Hampshire Gazette

Francis Duehay, former Cambridge mayor, RIP

And, finally, sad news. Cambridge Day’s Marc Levy reports on the death of Francis H. (“Frank”) Duehay, 87, the former three-time mayor of Cambridge, long-time city councilor and known by many as simply “Mr. Cambridge.” 

Cambridge Day

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: https://massecon.z2systems.com/np/clients/massecon/eventRegistration.jsp?event=61&


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


Boston to review Main Streets programs with an eye on equity – Boston Globe

Quincy community answers call for Thanksgiving miracle for families amid unprecedented need – Boston Herald


Attleboro mayor, union chief clash over COVID coverage for firefighter – Sun Chronicle

Unions call for funding at UMass Dartmouth rally – Herald News

Massport cuts could impact Worcester Regional Airport – Telegram & Gazette


Biden chooses Anthony Blinken, defender of global alliances, as secretary of state – New York Times

Liberal dark money behemoth raised $140 million last year – Politico

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