Keller at Large

The right-wing troll virus is here

In his latest Keller at Large on MassterList, Jon Keller says deep-blue Massachusetts isn’t immune from the ‘right-wing troll virus’ sweeping the nation. Just take a look at the recent failed lawsuit against the governor’s pandemic powers and the struggle for control of the state GOP. … Note: Text of Jon’s commentary accompanies his podcast. Check it out!

Keller at Large

Happening Today

Board of Education, Higher Education Board, state revenues

Board of Elementary and Secondary Education holds their monthly meeting to discuss and vote on proposed amendments to the standards for remote and hybrid learning, 9 a.m.

Board of Higher Education meets virtually with plans to hear updates on a financial assessment of public higher education in Massachusetts and discuss equity agenda matters, 10 a.m. 

— Administration and Finance Secretary Michael Heffernan, House Ways and Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz and Senate Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues invite economists and budget experts to testify on what they expect to see in fiscal 2022 from state tax collections, 11:30 a.m.

— New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen gives an update on COVID-19 relief negotiations in a virtual version of the New England Council’s ‘Capitol Hill Report’ series, 2:45 p.m.

— MSNBC and NBC News correspondent Steve Kornacki delivers a 2020 election debrief in a virtual event presented by UMass Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion and Alumni Virtual Village, 4 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: 37 new deaths, 11,135 total deaths, 3,572 new cases

MassLive has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Make that two: Harvard professor Danielle Allen is the latest to eye a gubernatorial bid

Now that members of the nation’s Electoral College, including the electors in Massachusetts, have officially declared Joe Biden the official winner of the November presidential election, it’s time to start thinking of … the 2022 gubernatorial race. And now there’s a second candidate exploring a 2022 bid – Harvard political science professor and Democrat Danielle Allen, who unveiled a new website and released a video yesterday touting her possible/likely run for governor in two years.

SHNS’s Matt Murphy, the Globe’s Matt Stout and CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg have more on Allen’s Corner Office ambitions. Recall: Republican Geoff Diehl is also eyeing a run for governor. Of course, we’re still awaiting word on whether Charlie Baker will seek a third term.

Time to celebrate: First coronavirus vaccines arrive in Massachusetts

A four-reporter team at WBUR has a good rundown of yesterday’s arrival of the first vaccine doses at hospitals across the state. They were literally celebrating outside Boston Medical Center yesterday, as Universal Hub reports (with video).

One of the first people to receive a shot in the state? A World War II veteran, as SHNS’s Katie Lannan and Michael Norton report (pay wall). COVID-19 vaccine doses are expected to arrive today and later this week at other hospitals, including at UMass Memorial and South Coast Health, reports MassLive and South Coast Today. Moderna’s second vaccine is also close to winning final approval, according to a report at the Globe.

Here’s something we hadn’t thought about, via the Taunton Gazette: “Could vaccine deliveries be disrupted by this week’s snowstorm?”

Boston and other cities band together to impose their own restrictions

Vaccine doses may be arriving in Massachusetts. But there won’t be enough vaccines to stem the current second-surge tide, so Boston, Brockton, Lynn, Newton, Somerville and other communities have banded together to impose their own coronavirus restrictions, including the closure of gyms, museums and movie theaters. The BBJ’s Gintautas Dumcius and the Globe’s Shirley Leung and Danny McDonald have more on the localized action, not to be confused with state government action.

Some say the move is too little, too late. From GBH: “Boston Epidemiologist On Further COVID Restrictions: ‘The Time To Act Was A Month Ago.’”

MBTA scales back proposed service cuts – for now

Under pressure from local polls, transit activists and riders, the MBTA yesterday scaled back its originally proposed across-the-board service cuts to plug the agency’s pandemic-era operating deficit. But some cuts will nevertheless go forward early next year, with the T taking a wait-and-see approach to future cuts. WBUR’s Zeninjor Enwemeka and CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl have more.

Meanwhile, they’re happy (somewhat) on the South Shore. From the Patriot Ledger: “MBTA will soften cuts, save some ferry service.” The T’s action and non-action came after members of the state’s local congressional delegation told the transit authority to hold off on cuts until Congress has time to pass a stimulus package, as SHNS Chris Lisinski (pay wall) reports.

Cornavirus updates: Medford’s Thanksgiving outbreak, stimulus negotiations, Northeastern tuition suit

Here are some coronavirus summaries and headlines, starting with one of the most read pieces at the Globe, via Shelley Murphy: “Medford COVID-19 outbreak — with over 700 recent new cases — traced back to two Thanksgiving gatherings.” The sources: A popular restaurant and a large home gathering. … From SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall): “Clark skeptical of breaking up COVID-19 (stimulus) package.” … From Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin: “Northeastern students can continue to make their case that they should get a tuition refund for online education.” … From MassLIve: “New community COVID testing site opens at UMass Amherst.” … Also from MassLive: “New COVID cases in Springfield dipped last week, but WMass hospitalizations increase.”

Does Deval Patrick have the ‘right temperament’ to be Biden’s AG?

Right stuff. Right temperament. It’s the same thing in Washington, and some believe former Gov. Deval Patrick has it. WBUR’s Callum Borchers reports that Patrick, who headed the U.S. Justice Department’s civil rights division during the Clinton administration, is among those under consideration for U.S. Attorney General – and he may not be the long-shot pick as some think.


Another Biden pick? Patrick Kennedy pitches himself as future ‘drug czar’

From Lev Facher at STAT News: “Patrick Kennedy, the former congressman and mental health care advocate, has launched a public push to serve as the incoming Biden administration’s ‘drug czar.’ He’s the highest-profile candidate to join the early jockeying for the post.”


Beacon Hill updates: Campus sexual assault bill, pipeline safety, crime victims aid

Things appear to be perking up at the State House as the current session winds to a close and lawmakers try to finish business. Here are some headlines on Beacon Hill matters, starting with SHNS’s Katie Lannan: “Lawmakers Eye Guv’s Desk for Campus Sexual Assault Bill.” … From CommonWealth’s Sarah Betancourt: “Senate bill would to aid crime victims and witnesses with visas.” … From SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall): “Climate bill lobbying includes gas pipe safety.” … From the Herald’s Erin Tiernan: “Fights on abortion, police reform loom in Legislature.”

Challengers or not, state lawmakers spent big bucks on re-election

Speaking of Beacon Hill: No opponent? No problem. Christian Wade at the Salem News reports the 150 state lawmakers who ran for re-election in November without opposition still managed to spend $3.3 million worth of campaign funds during the past year. 

Salem News

‘The silent assassin’: Katherine Clark’s fast rise to the top

CommonWealth magazine’s Michael Jonas reports on the fast rise of U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark to the top-tier of leadership in the U.S. House, only seven years after first winning election to Congress. The outwardly modest congresswoman’s moniker among House colleagues: ‘The silent assassin.’


Georgia is most definitely on their minds

SHNS’s Matt Murphy reports that Massachusetts Dems have two more high-priority races to attend before they turn their full attention to the 2022 elections: The two U.S. Senate runoff races in Georgia. The state party and elected officials are sending out fundraising appeals, organizing phone banks and taking other steps to help the two Dem candidates win their respective races in the Peach State, Murphy reports.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Closing in: Correia’s chief of staff pleads guilty to extortion, related charges

She did it. Gen Andrade, the former chief of staff to former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia, formally changed her plea to guilty on several federal counts stemming from alleged efforts by city leaders to extort payments from cannabis entrepreneurs, turning up the heat on the former mayor ahead of what is now slated to be a solo trial early next year. Jo C. Goode of the Herald News has the details.

One of the charges Andrade pleaded to: That she kicked back a portion of her chief-of-staff salary directly to Correia. 

Herald News

No joy to the world here: Massachusetts residents aren’t exactly in a merry mood this holiday season

They’re not quite saying ‘humbug’ to Christmas. But the Globe’s Victoria McGrane reports that a new Suffolk/Globe poll shows Massachusetts residents are not exactly in a jolly mood this holiday season — for somewhat obvious reasons.

Boston Globe

Mission accomplished: Coughlin to step down as head of influential Mass. Biotech Council

Bob Coughlin, the former state lawmaker who became head of Massachusetts Biotech Council in 2007, has announced he’ll be stepping down as head of the influential business group early next year. The BBJ’s Allison DeAngelis has more on Coughlin’s move, coming as the local life-science industry basks in the global Moderna spotlight, and the council’s search for a successor. 


Priceless find? Eastham Historical Society finds Samuel Adams signature

It’s a blast from the distant past. Members of the Eastham Historical Society have found a document bearing the signature of Revolutionary War figure and Massachusetts Gov. Samuel Adams. Denis Coffey at the Cape Cod Times reports the document dates to 1785 and was later apparently used as scrap paper to tally election votes in the nation’s first presidential election.

Cape Cod Times

Literally shooting for the moon: Boston astronaut’s dream mission

At WBUR, NASA astronaut and Boston native Stephanie Wilson talks about possibly becoming one of first women to walk on the moon, thanks to the new Artemis moon-exploration program.


Investors find gold along Fairmont Line – and tenants pay the price

Is this how transit-oriented development is supposed to work? Jenifer McKim and Stefania Lugli report at GBH that investors are apparently snapping up properties along the Fairmont commuter line, amid the opening of new rail stops, and long-time tenants are now getting hit with massive rent increases.


Watchful eye: Springfield to use artificial intelligence to monitor people in custody

Springfield police say they will be among the first departments in the country to deploy a technology-based monitoring system to keep an electronic eye on prisoners in custody as the department looks to build back its reputation after a scathing Justice Department report, reports Nancy Asiamah at WWLP. 


Tech and the Environment

Join General Assembly in this discussion with top figures from some of the most innovative projects in the United States, developing technologies to tackle major challenges in agriculture, health, security, the environment, and industry.

General Assembly Boston

8th Annual Food is Medicine Symposium

The 8th Annual Food is Medicine Symposium continues with a third virtual session titled, “Supporting Innovation: The Role of Philanthropy in Advancing Food is Medicine.”

Community Servings & Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School

MBRACE and Improving Outcomes

This online conference is about improving outcomes. The MBRACE report highlighted that Black and Asian women are up to five times more likely to die in maternity care than white women. Doing nothing is not an option. There is a need to educate, learn , and develop knowledge further on this topic.

Staffordshire University

Women Speaking Truth to Power: Inspired by the movie Radium Girls

Lydia Dean Pitcher, Academy Award Nominee film producer who’s directing debut is Radium Girls, brings together fellow director and writer Ginny Mohler, actress Colby Minfie, and former EPA Official Elizabeth Southerland to discuss the making of her independent movie, a powerful feature film that is steeped in Environmental Justice, Women’s History, and Science.

Climate Reality NYC Metro Chapter

International Services: International Humanitarian Discussion Group

This monthly forum will feature discussions of the ICRC and IFRC’s response to conflicts, disasters and forced migration. Hear news from around the world on such topics as the state of Ebola, the Syrian crisis, Iran, and Venezuela, as well as our very own United States border crisis. Donna Duvin will talk about her humanitarian career and her current work with the International Rescue Committee.

American Red Cross

James Snyder in Conversation: Antique Inspirations, Fresh Creations

James Snyder in conversation with award-winning Palestinian-Israeli architect Senan Abdelqader on the influence of Arab culture across time on art, architecture, and design in Israel, Palestine, and the world today.

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

Scientific Seminar: Building Resilient & Equitable Cities

Join Fuschia-Ann Hoover for a discussion on Building Resilient and Equitable Cities: Implications of decision-making processes behind urban green infrastructure. The promotion of green Infrastructure (GI) as a tool for creating resilient and sustainable communities occurs across all levels of government.

Cary Institute of Ecosystems Studies

The Best of ProductCon 2020: The Product Management Conference

ProductCon is the largest product management conference series in the world. It is organized by Product School and takes place six times a year in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, London, and online. The speaker lineup features product leaders from Google, Slack, Amazon, Airbnb, Netflix, Facebook and more. This year, you will be able to join live from every corner of the earth.

Product School

Healthcare in Retirement

Healthcare concerns increase as we reach retirement age, and ensuring you have the right healthcare coverage can make a huge impact on your financial health. In this session, we will learn about Medicare and how you can put it to use to help cover rising healthcare costs during retirement. Join Dabney Baum, Baum Wealth Advisors with Janney Montgomery Scott, LLC., for this important presentation.

Boston Business Journal

A History of the Electoral College

The original concept for the electoral college; how it has gotten to be the way it is today and what possible reforms would make it seem more fair in the future.

Cary Memorial Public Library

Lexvets: Wartime Lessons that have Informed Medicine

Learn of the many lifesaving medical advances commonly used today which came about from treating battlefield casualties.

Cary Memorial Public Library

David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet

Join Arit Anderson and guests for a free festive screening of David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet. This is a crucial time for our natural world. As the first generation with a clear and understanding of our undeniable impact on nature, we must work now to restore nature: to protect our planet and our future.

Landscape Institute

An Overview Experience with Astronaut Ron Garan

Join us for an Overview Experience – an experiential journey into the wonders and possibilities of the Overview Effect. Astronaut Ron Garan will talk about his own experience in space and his work with the Orbital Perspective, and how this perspective can influence and astronaut’s earthly values and actions.

Space for Humanity

Resistance: Voices of Exiled Writers Book Launch

We are thrilled to invite you to the launch of Resistance: Voices of Exiled Writers, published by Palewell Pres in honor of the 20th anniversary of Exiled Writers Ink. Writers and editors featured in the collection will present their work in celebration of the theme of Resistance and 20 years of Exiled Writers Ink advocating for human rights through literature and literary activism.

Exiled Writers Ink and Palewell press

Home with History: Stepping Stones Virtual Exploration

Explore the New York home, archives, and lives of Bill & Lois Wilson through an illustrated, live presentation with Stepping Stones historians. Get to know the memorabilia-filled residence of the Alcoholics Anonymous Cofounder Bill Wilson and Al-Anon Family Groups Cofounder Lois Wilson.

Stepping Stones-Historic Home, Bill & Lois Wilson

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal 10-Year Anniversary Celebration

Join service members, veterans, their families, and special guests from around the world to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the repeal of Don’ t Ask, Don’t Tell and to support the fight for transgender service members. Celebrate this virtual event with the White House and Congressional leaders who led the fight for repeal in 2010.

Modern Military Association of America

A League of Their Own: The Future of Network Partnerships

Verizon is unveiling the 5G network’s potential for venues with features like real-time access to video highlights, screening of multiple angles, instant updated stats and fantasy scores on players, and immersive fan experiences. Having just been named the official technology partner of the NHL, Verizon is paving the way for the future of network partnerships.


How to Pivot Your Small Business During Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges for small businesses in the Boston area and all over the country. Consumer habits have changed and small businesses have to be able to adapt to the new dynamic. Join Beth Ann Dahan, Project Manager for COVID Business Recovery as she shares ways that you can pivot your small business and survive during difficult times.

Virtual Minority Small Business Conference and Expo

How to Pivot Your Small Business During Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges for small businesses in the Boston area and all over the country. Consumer habits have changed and small businesses have to be able to adapt to the new dynamic. Join Beth Ann Dahan, Project Manager for COVID Business Recovery at CWE as she shares ways that you can pivot your small business and survive during difficult times.

Virtual Minority Small Business Conference and Expo

Making a Ruckus: Volunteer Managers as Activists for Change

Explore strategies to create a new path forward for volunteer engagement in your organization in these changing times. VolunteerNow is collaborating with TVMC to offer free professional development webinars to provide guidance, networking and practical ideas to help you move forward during these challenging times. Upon registration you will receive instructions to join the webinar via WebinarJAM.


Human Trafficking 101

The Key2Free is committed to education and increased awareness with the goal of preventing trafficking before it starts. Across all states, victims of sex trafficking are enslaved every day through force, fraud, or coercion. Together, we can call attention to and fight the shocking realities of the injustice happening right here in our communities.

The Key2Free

Today’s Headlines


These 4 hospitals are the first in Massachusetts to get COVID vaccine doses – Brockton Enterprise

Braintree pauses school reopening plan – Patriot Ledger


LaChapelle nods to women with Electoral College vote – Daily Hampshire Gazette

New Bedford receives grant to improve cybersecurity – Standard-Times

Testimony ends in T& G lawsuit over Worcester police records – Telegram & Gazette


DHS, State and NIH join list of federal agencies — now five — hacked in major Russian cyberespionage campaign – Washington Post

Michigan congressman quits GOP over Trump’s election fights – Politico

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