Happening Today

Governor’s Council, health policy meeting, and more

Governor’s Council holds a hearing on the nomination of Boston Municipal Court Judge Serge George Jr. to the Supreme Judicial Court, 9 a.m.

— The 10 states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative will hold the 50th quarterly carbon dioxide allowance auction, 9 a.m.

Supreme Judicial Court meets via videoconference to hear oral arguments in four cases, including one involving whether testimony is valid in a murder case, 9 a.m.

Health Policy Commission Advisory Council meets to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on health care spending and costs, as well as the commission’s health equity framework and other issues, 12 p.m.

MBTA holds the final in a series of public meetings to solicit feedback on proposed service cuts ahead of a final vote on the package scheduled for Dec. 7, 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: 30 new deaths, 10,542 total deaths, 2,845 new cases

CBS Boston has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Confirmed: Vaccines may arrive this month …

Gov. Charlie Baker said yesterday the feds have informed the state that new COVID-19 vaccines could arrive later this month, report SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) and the Globe’s Robert Weisman and Deanna Pan. And that leads to the next question: Who get the shots first – and when? It looks like health-care workers and long-term care residents, among others, will be first in line, reports CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl. But the general population may have to wait till early spring, assuming the feds approve the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in coming days and/or weeks.

Btw, from the Washington Post: “Britain grants Pfizer coronavirus vaccine emergency authorization.” Btw, II: You may recall Martha Bebinger’s piece last week at WBUR about how the state is already informing local hospitals how to handle the vaccines.

Huh? More than a third of Mass. adults may decline vaccinations, poll says

Not everyone is excited about the arrival of new coronavirus vaccines. From SHNS’s Michael Norton: “More than a third of Massachusetts adults would be unlikely to get the vaccine for COVID-19, according to new poll results, with adults who feel that way citing a lack of trust in the approval process and concerns about side effects.” The poll was conducted by the Western New England University Polling Institute.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

As the governor bemoans ‘too many’ church virus clusters …

He’s not picking battles with houses of worship, not after last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down New York’s gathering restrictions at churches and temples etc. But Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday was pointing out that epidemiologists have indeed identified dozens of clusters tied to houses of worship in Massachusetts, clusters that have led to hundreds of confirmed cases in the state. But … see next item. 


… Baker says closure rumors spread by the ‘guy your sister knows who used to work with a guy who knew your friend’ simply aren’t true

He may be warning of virus clusters here, there and just about everywhere in Massachusetts, but Gov. Charlie Baker said yesterday there are no current plans for additional lockdown restrictions amid a spike in coronavirus cases across the state – despite rumors spread by “the guy your sister knows who used to work with a guy who knew your friend.” The BBJ’s Greg Ryan has more.


Coronavirus updates: Hampden Jail outbreak, nurses to picket, call for National Guard help, more Soldiers’ Home cases

Here are some quick headlines from the coronavirus front, starting with MassLive: “Nurses at Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester set to picket outside facility to highlight unsafe conditions.” … From WBUR: “At Least 99 People At Hampden County Jail Positive For Coronavirus.” … From the BBJ: “Bank of America CEO urges Congress to help industries hit hardest by Covid-19.” … From MassLive: “Amherst Rep. Domb urges Gov. Baker to deploy National Guard to test for COVID-19.” … From MetroWest Daily News: “Community spread of Covid in Framingham now at Spring levels.” … And from MassLive: “Resident, 3 Holyoke Soldiers Home staff infected with COVID-19.”

Get moving: Gun groups say communities stalling gun permits amid pandemic

The Gun Owners Action League and other groups say Massachusetts cities and towns continue to use the pandemic as an excuse to delay or deny requests for new permits to carry firearms and are urging both the Legislature and the courts to do something, reports Christian Wade at the Gloucester Times.

Gloucester Times

Divided Legislature passes police reform bill; cop unions urge Baker to veto measure

The votes were closer than we expected. The Globe’s Matt Stout reports that a divided Legislature yesterday approved the landmark police reforms bill – without a veto-proof majority in the House due to opposition by many Democrats. As a result, all eyes are on Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, who isn’t saying if he’ll sign the 129-page bill (though he apparently likes portions of it). The Herald’s Erin Tiernan reports angry police unions are “launching a last-minute appeal” to Baker to veto the sweeping measure.

SHNS’s Matt Murphy and Chris Lisinski (pay wall) and CommonWealth’s Sarah Betancourt have more on yesterday’s action. Meanwhile, WBUR’s Steve Brown and Ally Jarmanning have a good summary about what’s in the package.

Emerson’s Lee Pelton to become Boston Foundation’s new CEO

After a successful nine-year tenure as president of Emerson College, Lee Pelton has been named as the next CEO of the Boston Foundation, the powerhouse charitable organization, saying he’s “been training for this for many, many years.” The Globe’s Dasia Moore has the details.

Boston Globe

‘Trump lawyer uses Howie Carr show to call for execution of fired Trump cybersecurity official’

Joe diGenova, the attorney for President Trump’s campaign, created a stir when he appeared on The Howie Carr Show earlier this week and said Trump’s former cybersecurity chief should be “drawn and quartered” and/or “taken out at dawn and shot” for saying the Nov. 3 election was free of fraud, CNN reports. DiGenova later said he was being sarcastic. You know, ha, ha, ha. That type of thing.

CNN item via Universal Hub, whose headline we borrowed.


Feds: RMV ‘dropped the ball’ in the years before horrific NH motorcyclists crash

From the Herald’s Rick Sobey: “The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles ‘dropped the ball’ in the years before a crash that killed seven motorcyclists in New Hampshire — ‘egregious gaps’ that failed to get the driver off the road, the National Transportation Safety Board chairman said on Tuesday.”

But the RMV’s failures only contributed to the tragedy. There’s plenty of blame to go around, as the AP at WBUR and MassLive’s Benjamin Kail report.

Boston Herald

‘Waltham on edge’: Random attacks on men unnerve city

The recent unprovoked attacks on men in Waltham is starting to get national attention, via CNN, among other media outlets. The Globe reports on the disturbing story too. WCVB reports Waltham police are now offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.

SJC will decide whether it likes Healey’s Facebook demands

CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg reports that the Supreme Judicial Court this Friday will hear arguments in a case that will decide whether Facebook must hand over to Attorney General Maura Healey internal documents that tie back to the Cambridge Analytica scandal of 2018.


Moving on: Morse says current term as Holyoke mayor will be his last

Four, apparently, are enough. Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, who failed to knock off U.S. Rep. Richard Neal in the bruising Dem primary battle earlier this year, announced he will not seek a fifth term as mayor, Jim Kinney at MassLive and Lisa Kashinsky at the Herald report. Morse, who was 22 when first elected as the city’s youngest and first openly gay mayor, gave no indications of his immediate future plans. 

Western Massachusetts Politics & Insight’s Matt Szafranski has more on Morse’s announcement.

Former Suffolk County sheriff Cabral endorses Campbell for mayor

Suffolk County DA Rachael Rollins may be holding off on any mayoral endorsements for now. But not former Suffolk County sheriff Andrea Cabral, who announced she’s backing City Councilor Andrea Campbell for mayor, in the most high-profile endorsement yet among candidates challenging a possible/probable re-election bid by Mayor Marty Walsh, the Globe’s Adrian Walker reports.

Boston Globe

Legal industry forms fund to honor late Chief Justice Gants

The Globe’s Jon Chesto reports that the state’s legal community, including the Massachusetts Bar Association, has established a new ‘Access to Justice Fund,’ in honor of the late SJC Chief Justice Ralph Gants and aimed at furthering his ambitious agenda of ending racial disparities within the state’s court system. The group has already raised $100,000.

Btw: MassLive’s Steph Solis reports that Gants’s replacement as SJC chief, Kimberly Budd, was officially sworn in yesterday by Gov. Charlie Baker, who nominated her to the post. Budd becomes the first Black woman to serve as chief justice of the high court.

Get out: Middleboro wrestles with summer residents now staying year-round

If you stay, definitely don’t drink the water. The Middleboro Select Board wants residents of local campgrounds to know their dwellings are not set up for year-round occupancy after the town saw a number of summer-only residents decide not to leave when the weather changed, Daniel Schemer reports at the Standard-Times. The camps have only seasonal water supplies and the town plans to send a health agent door-to-door to get the message out. 

Standard Times

Let ‘em be: Pittsfield councilor says campers in city park should be allowed to stay

What’s the rush? Pittsfield City Councilor Anthony ‘Tony’ Maffuccio says homeless people living in makeshift encampments in a city park should be allowed to stay and said he’d be willing to challenge the city’s efforts to force them to leave on ‘human rights’ grounds, Danny Jin at the Berkshire Eagle reports. 

Berkshire Eagle

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

Virtual Author Talk with Nicholas Basbanes

Author Talk with Nicholas Basbanes, author of Cross of Snow: A Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

American Ancestors/NEHGS, the State Library of Massachusetts, and GBH Forum Network

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

Living Room Conversations: Coronavirus: Life in the Time of Corona

Covid-19 has touched all aspects of our personal and community life. Our health, civic, social, work, academic, and financial systems are struggling to cope with uncertainty and the need for rapid readjustment. We are physically distancing ourselves from our friends, family, co-workers, and other people to prevent being infected or spreading the infection. Registration is required.

Boston Public Library

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

Schism 2.0: China and America’s Trade Conflict in the Next U.S. Administration

This seminar is part of the Special Series on Japanese Economic Statecraft. Moderated by Christina Davis, Director, Program on U.S.-Japan Relations: Professor of Government; and Susan S. and Kenneth L.Wallach Professor, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.

Harvard Kennedy School of Business and Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government

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

Data & Donuts (Virtual)//Melissa Jones on Data Visualization of Racial Disparities During Covid

Melissa Jones is an undergraduate at Harvard and a member of the Coronavirus Visualization Team. As this session, Melissa will present her work and lead a discussion around data visualization of socioeconomic and health disparities within marginalized communities.

Harvard Kennedy School

Smart Work-X: Japan’s Transformations in the New Normal

Speaker: Hirotaka Takeuchi, Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School. Moderator: Christina Davis, Director, Program on U.S.-Japan Relations; Professor of Government; Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

Harvard Kennedy School

Coping with Covid-19: The Role of Telehealth Services

Moderated by Grant Welker, News Editor, Worcester Business Journal. Join us for this special session as we explore the role of telehealth during the Covid-19 outbreak, its astounding level of adoption and what the future of technologies like it hold for the future of healthcare delivery.

Worcester Business Journal

Today’s Headlines


Boston councilors, administration tussle over civilian review board – Boston Herald

New Lynn plan will focus on housing, economic development – Lynn Item


Orleans voters back 5 of 6 ballot questions in special election – Cape Cod Times

Hotel Northampton closing until February – Daily Hampshire Gazette

Plainville town meeting postponed due to virus – Sun Chronicle


Barr Acknowledges Justice Dept. Has Found No Widespread Voter Fraud – New York Times

Trump teases 2024 run at White House event – Politico

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