Happening Today

Cannabis Commission, Supplier Diversity Office, and more

— The Cannabis Control Commission is expected to vote on its latest suite of rewritten regulations for the marijuana industry, including a controversial proposal on new delivery licenses, 10 a.m.

— Sen. Paul Feeney, co-chair of the Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee, joins MASSPIRG Executive Director Janet Domenitz for a press conference releasing the organization’s guide to purchasing refurbished electronics, 10:30 a.m.

— Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides and Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Neil Chatterjee highlight a panel on executive perspectives on energy priorities during the third of three days of the 2020 New England Energy Summit, hosted by the New England Power Generators Association and The Dupont Group, 11 a.m.

Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight accepts written testimony on a Gov. Charlie Baker’s bill that would establish the state’s Supplier Diversity Office as an independent agency within the Executive Office of Administration and Finance, 3 p.m.

— Former Gov. Jane Swift is the guest on ‘Radio Boston’ for an hour-long special on women and work in the pandemic, WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 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: 46 deaths, 10,487 total deaths, 2,501 new cases

NBC Boston has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

More good vaccine news from Moderna: All systems go if feds say go

It looks like we’ll indeed have two coronavirus vaccines to choose from in coming months. From Richard Harris at WBUR: “The biotech company Moderna released new data Monday morning that strengthens the case for its COVID-19 vaccine. It concludes the vaccine is 94 percent effective – and strongly protects against serious illness. Based on these latest findings, the company plans to submit an application for emergency use authorization to the Food and Drug Administration today.”


Other post-Thanksgiving coronavirus news: The good and the bad

Besides the great Moderna news above, there’s other good news to report on the pandemic, including Mayor Marty Walsh’s pronouncement that the city of Boston’s data is heading in the “right direction” (SHNS) and the release of new data showing school infections dipping a bit (NBC Boston).

But there’s bad news out there too, of course, including 81 cities and towns in Massachusetts now listed as virus hotspots (Herald). There’s some good new within that bad news: Virus-related deaths aren’t increasing as fast as new cases (CommonWealth). Back to the bad news, via Universal Hub: “Massachusetts has 1,000 people hospitalized with Covid-19 for first time since mid-June.” … And from WBUR: “Fauci warns of ‘surge upon a surge’ as COVID-19 hospitalizations hit yet another high.”

Welcome to Massachusetts, good people of Hawaii

The commonwealth of Massachusetts has slapped new quarantine rules on those traveling to and from Vermont, the last state in the continental U.S.A. to get kicked off the Bay’s State’s “lower-risk” travel list, reports the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky. The only state now exempt from the Bay State’s travel restrictions: Hawaii.

Boston Herald

Going it alone: Boston commuters plan to hit the roads after the pandemic is over, survey finds

This isn’t good news for the MBTA – nor for our roadways. A new survey by the city of Boston shows that an increased number of people plan to start driving cars alone to work once the pandemic ends, possibly leading to a return of highly congested roadways in the area, reports the Globe’s Adam Vaccaro. The only hope at this point: Remote working remains in place for many, if not most, area employees.

Boston Globe

Coronavirus testing: Big lines, big bills

CommonWealth magazine’s Sarah Betancourt reports that the lines are long for free virus testing in Massachusetts. There’s a way around the long lines, but it’s going to cost you, she writes. On the subject of testing, from the Globe’s Dasai Moore: “Across the state, lengthy lines for COVID-19 testing reflect a bigger problem.”


Rhode Island’s big gamble

As officials continue to debate remote-vs-in-person learning in Massachusetts and across the nation, the Washington Post reports that one state is a prominent exception: Rhode Island, where Gov. Gina Raimondo is ordering the closure of bars, gyms, casinos, movie theaters and bowling alleys etc., while making in-person learning at schools a top priority. Btw: New York City is now moving in the in-person direction too (NYT).

Washington Post

Win-Win? Hollowed-out Berkshire Mall may host jury trials

Actual court near the food court? Berkshire County District Attorney wants the state to consider holding jury trials at the Berkshire Mall as a pandemic-driven backlog of more than 2,100 cases becomes an increasing burden on victims and prosecutors alike, Larry Parnass at the Berkshire Eagle reports.

Berkshire Eagle

Coronavirus updates: Racial disparities, big gathering fines, national mask mandate, dogs chowing down on protective masks

With so many coronavirus stories out there, we’ll go with quick headlines in this post, starting with the Globe’sLaura Krantz: “Northeastern study reveals racial disparities in navigating the pandemic.” … From MassLive’s Benjamin Kail: “Sens. Ed Markey, Richard Blumenthal call for national mask mandate.” … From Framingham Source: “Framingham Issues $7,000 Worth of Gathering Fines For 3 November Parties; City Issued $15,000 in Fines Since September.” …. From MassLive’s Heather Morrison: “Animal hospital at Tufts University has seen about a dozen dogs for eating face masks.” … From the Globe: “Governor’s office: Mass. pandemic restrictions on churches ‘consistent’ with US Supreme Court ruling.”

‘Walsh Will Run,’ Part II: Walsh talks of being ‘mayor for the many years to come’

More evidence that Kevin Cullen’s prediction may indeed prove true: The Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter reports that Mayor Marty Walsh is talking in terms of being “mayor for the many years to come.”

Boston Herald

Wendlandt confirmed to join what’s looking like a very centrist Supreme Judicial Court

SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) reports that the Governor’s Council last week unanimously approved the appointment of Judge Dalila Argaez Wendlandt for a seat on the Supreme Judicial Court. The approval was expected.

The Globe’s Matt Stout, meanwhile, takes a look at what will soon be a high court completely comprised of picks by Gov. Charlie Baker – and how a future SJC could reflect Baker’s own centrist, non-ideological views on political and legal matters

Black market vs. legal pot market: And the winner is …

We’ll let you guess which marijuana market – the legal one or the illegal one – is thriving more these days. Hint: One is regulated and has higher prices. CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg has the details, including how kids are still getting their hands on banned marijuana edibles, such as Fred Flintstone-inspired “Magic Fruity Pepples.”

In other pots news, from the Telegram: “Webster police: suspect put black market marijuana inside dispensary packaging.” From the Globe’s Dan Adams: “Two sons of Boston were arrested for marijuana. Now they plan to open Hyde Park’s first legal cannabis shop.” And from the Herald’sErin Tiernan: “Cannabis retailers vow to fight marijuana delivery regulations poised for passage Monday.”


Mass. lawmakers push for higher tax deductions for business owners

The BBJ’s Greg Ryan reports there’s a tax goodie tucked into the Senate’s proposed budget bill that could let some business owners avoid the $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions signed into law by President Donald Trump in 2017. 


Feds give green light to compressor station after two emergency shutdowns

This was almost pre-ordained. From SHNS’s Chris Lisinski: “Enbridge will start pumping natural gas through its Weymouth compressor station next month after federal regulators (last week) gave the final green light, ruling that the company sufficiently corrected any issues behind two emergency shutdowns this fall.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

So what did the opioid-tied Sackler family see in Warren, Markey and McGovern?

Tom Joyce at New Boston Post takes a look at campaign contributions and finds something curious: An apparent affinity by members of the Sackler family, of OxyContin infamy, towards certain Massachusetts pols. What gives?

New Boston Post (pay wall)

‘Bot-based fraud,’ Part II: Lelling to hire jobless-claims fraud prosecutor

We missed this story from last week, via SHNS Coronavirus Tracker, on U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling’s plan to hire a new prosecutor to help with the flood of fraudulent unemployment-benefits applications that Gov. Charlie Baker was complaining about just prior to Thanksgiving.

SHNS Coronavirus Tracker (free)

Point-counterpoint: Did climate-change issues fare well or not in the election?

In an old-fashioned point-counterpoint debate, Mass. Fiscal Alliance’s Paul Diego Craney writes at CommonWealth magazine that supporters of a proposed carbon tax to reduce climate change didn’t exactly fare well in the Nov. 3 election. But Clare Kelly, executive director of the Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund, takes the au-contraire position, saying climate-change issues were key in winning many elections.

Still fighting: Suffolk Downs files new suit against Wynn casino license

A cool billion. The owners of Suffolk Downs are taking their complaints about how the Boston-area resort casino license was issued to Wynn’s Encore Boston Harbor to state court, seeking $1 billion in damages because of what they say was manipulation of the licensing process, Jon Chesto at the Globe reports. 

Boston Globe

Welcome to the jungle: Are non-party primaries the way to improve elections?

With ranked-choice voting soundly rebuffed by the state’s voters, Tom Keane at WBUR suggests it may be time to look at so-called ‘jungle primaries’ — non-partisan preliminary elections — to address the issues the ranked-choice push was meant to address. 


Rollins: Sean Ellis case ‘is not over’

Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins says she’s “deeply invested” in the Sean Ellis case and won’t stop working until he’s completely exonerated of charges that led to his being imprisoned for 22 years for the killing of a police detective, Rollins said on WBZ’s “Keller at Large” over the weekend. 

Ellis’ case has become a media sensation since the recent release of the Netflix series “Trial4,” which paints a damning picture of Ellis’ first conviction and which was eventually overturned by the courts.


One week, 160 years: Veteran journalists hit the exits in Worcester, Brockton and Taunton

Just like that,160 years of experience is gone. A trio of journalists with 40 years of experience each bid their farewells to the Telegram & Gazette over the weekend. Columnist George Barnes, Worcester City Hall reporter Nick Kotsopolous and sportswriter Bill Doyle are all calling it a career. Joining them is Jim Fenton of the Brockton Enterprise, who is retiring after 39 years in the sports department. All are leaving Gannett-owned papers. 

Don Seiffert at the Boston Business Journal reports that the Enterprise also lost two news reporters to buyouts, that three editors are leaving the Cape Cod Times and that the chain is planning to sell its Taunton office. 

The First 100 Days: A Conversation with Jacqui Patterson on Climate and Environmental Policy in the Biden Administration

Please join the Center for Public Leadership for a discussion on climate policy with Jacqui Patterson, Senior Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program. The program will be hosted by Rand Wentworth, the Louis and Gabrielle Bacon Senior Fellow in Environmental Leadership, and moderated by Rani Murali, MPP 2021 and Salina Abraham, MPP 2022. RSVP by 9;00 a.m., Tuesday, 12/1.

Harvard Kennedy School of Business

4th Biennial New England Women’s Policy Conference

The New England Women’s Policy Initiative is a longterm, nonpartisan effort to advance economic security, health, & wellbeing of women & their families. NEWPI is spearheaded by the Center for Women in Politics & Public Policy and co-convened by regional partners including Women’s Commissions, Women’s Funds, & nonprofit orgs serving women, & particularly women of color, in the 6 New England states.

Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy

Study Group: China’s Financial System – similarities and differences to the Western markets

Study Group hosted by Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government Senior Fellow, Marlene Amstad, with guest Prof. Dr. Darrell Duffie, Dean Witter Distinguished Professor of Finance at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Harvard Kennedy School of Business

Reimagining Community-Police Partnerships

Dr. Tracie Keesee, Senior Vice President of Justice Initiatives and Co-Founder of the Center for Policing Equity, will explain what conditions are needed to allow for such partnerships to develop and co-production of safety to emerge, to the benefit of all communities, including those who have historically been marginalized.

Harvard Kennedy School of Business

A Climate Policy Revolution: What the Science of Complexity Reveals about Saving Our Planet

This seminar will be given by Roland Kupers, author of A Climate Policy Revolution: What the Science of Complexity Reveals about Saving Our Planet. He is also an advisor on Complexity, Resilience and Energy Transition, as well as a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Amsterdam and a Professor of Practice at the Thunderbird School of Global Management as ASU.

Harvard Kennedy School of Business

Violence After Victory: Explaining Human Rights Outcomes After Conflict Termination

What stops human rights abuse? Christopher Shay explores this question in the context of conflict terminations, moments when leaders can plausibly turn away from repressive tactics. Many leaders fail to seize this opportunity, however, even in cases of democratization. Speaker: Christopher Wiley Shay, Research Fellow, International Security Program.

Harvard Kennedy School and Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

LeaderImpact Summit 2020

This annual event is geared to bring leaders together from around the world for the purposes of inspiration and encouragement, challenge, and practical action. Each speaker brings their unique perspective and will help us focus on the integration of our personal, professional, and spiritual lives.


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

Emerging Evidence on the Socio-Economic Impacts of Covid-19 on Households

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated economic crisis on households are significant, pervasive, and worsening in some cases. The design and implementation of an effective policy response required that decision makers have access to timely information about who is affected and how. Speaker: Carolina Sanchez-Paramo, Global Director, Poverty & Equity, Global Practice, World Bank.

Harvard Kennedy School

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

BioPharma Manufacturing in Massachusetts: A Talent Powerhouse Continues to Fuel Growth

Massachusetts has long been the epicenter of biopharma research and development. Years of investment and collaboration between industry, education, and government has provided biopharma manufacturers a rich and deep talent landscape in Massachusetts.


Beyond 2D: The Rise of Immersive Commerce

Now more than ever, consumers miss shopping beyond the 2D limitations of technology. Cue, immersive commerce. Brands are exploring new ways of bringing consumers closer to the in-store experience, blending physical and virtual experiences. Join us as we explore how immersive commerce could change consumerism for years to come.


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

Empowering Women in Business Conference

Join us for an inspirational virtual conference, the annual Empowering Women in Business Conference, hosted by Nichols College. We invite you for a day of inspiration and education. Be inspired by our keynote speaker Valerie Weisler the founder and CEO of The Validation Project.

Nichols College

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.

WBJ Webcast: Cybersecurity: Protecting Your Business from Cyber Threats

The Covid pandemic has exposed a whole new range of obstacles for businesses, including new risks with cybersecurity. With cyber crime and fraud on the rise, it is vital that businesses of all sizes take their cybersecurity seriously. Protecting systems, networks, devices and your employees and customers is critical in the fight to protect our businesses.

Worcester Business Journal

Today’s Headlines


Brockton considers agreement for controversial Meadow Woods project in West Bridgewater – Brockton Enterprise

Suffolk Downs owners files new suit against Wynn over casino license – Boston Globe


Group seeks national designation for Deerfield River – Greenfield Recorder

Great Barrington Oks pot shop near school – Berkshire Eagle

State high court rules for Attleboro mobile home tenants in rent dispute – Sun Chronicle


NRA reports alleged misspending by current and former executives to IRS – Washington Post

Empowered by an odds-defying win, Susan Collins is ready to deal – New York Times

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