Happening Today

Senate session, eviction legal help, and more

Office of the Child Advocate convenes a virtual meeting of the Mandated Reporter Commission, which plans to review and vote on a draft status report to submit to the Legislature, 9 a.m.

— The Massachusetts Senate meets without a calendar, 11 a.m.

— COVID Eviction Legal Help Project holds a virtual legislative briefing sponsored by Sen. Sal DiDomenico, Sen. Brendan Crighton and Rep. Kevin Honan, 11 a.m.

Charles River Watershed Association and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will release the latest report card for the quality of the Charles River, 1 p.m. — Boston Mayor Martin Walsh appears on WBUR Radio Boston, 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: 60 new deaths, 11,717 total deaths, 4,162 new cases

The Boston Herald has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Mariano vs Holmes: Is it even a contest?

As expected by many, House Speaker Robert DeLeo on Friday officially disclosed he’s in talks to take a position at Northeastern University, and now the struggle for his speakership post is out in the open. Well, sort of. When it’s not behind closed doors. In any event, state Rep. Ron Mariano is still considered the heavy favorite to be the next speaker, but state Rep. Russell Holmes is challenging Mariano, all but saying that Mariano is part of the “culture of corruption” on Beacon Hill and that lawmakers need to “uproot this poisonous tree.” GBH’s Mike Deehan and the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter and Lisa Kashinsky have more.

State Reps. Jonathan Hecht and Denise Provost, both Dems, write at CommonWeath magazine that House progressives “need to cry foul’” about the backroom dealings that are paving the way for Mariano’s ascension. But the progressive wall has already cracked. From SHNS’s Chris Van Buskirk: “Progressive caucus co-chairs supporting Mariano for speaker.” From the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld: “The fix is in.” From the Globe’s Yvonne Abraham: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

Former DeLeo intern files to run for his House seat

The you-know-what are circling above in the 19th House district and one has already swooped in early. SHNS’s Colin Young reports Juan Pablo Jaramillo, a former aide to Sen. Joseph Boncore and former intern for House Speaker Robert DeLeo, filed papers on Friday to run for DeLeo’s expected soon-to-open House seat. 

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Stimulus deal reached in Washington

The AP’s Andrew Taylor at the Globe reports that congressional leaders in Washington have finally reached a deal on a new $900 billion stimulus-relief package. But it doesn’t include what Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Karen called for in a Saturday op-ed in The Hill: Aid to states and cities.

The Washington Post has the details on what’s in the stimulus package.

Moderna vaccine arriving in the nick of time amid Pfizer dosage delays and mounting cases

As expected, the FDA on Friday approved Cambridge-based Moderna’s new COVID-19 vaccine (BBJ’s Allison DeAngelis), the second vaccine approved by the agency, and it couldn’t come soon enough. Late last week, Gov. Charlie Baker bemoaned the unexpected delay in the delivery of Pfizer’s already-approved vaccines to Massachusetts and other states, as the BBJ’s DeAngelis also reports.

The Globe’s John Hilliard reports the Moderna shipments, which are already under way, come as coronavirus cases continue to soar in the Bay State. How bad is it getting? From Universal Hub: “91% of Boston-area hospital beds now occupied as Covid-19 patients continue to come in.”

First in line: Local congressional members get vaccinated ahead of most everyone else

We’re surprised this isn’t getting more attention, locally and nationally: All members of Congress are now entitled to get COVID-19 shots, and Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey, Ayanna Pressley, Katherine Clark and James McGovern have already done so, with most of them citing the recommendation of the “Office of the Attending Physician for the continuity of government” and the need to set an example for others, reports the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky.

In particular, Clark says “I am no more deserving of the vaccine than anyone else.” But that’s exactly what the federal Office of the Attending Physician has said: She and other members of Congress are more deserving. So they get to go the front of the line. Question: Is there an Office of the Attending Physician for Grocery Workers?

Btw, via Politico: “CDC panel: Frontline workers, 75-plus seniors should get Covid shots next.” The oldest member of the state’s congressional delegation, Markey, is 74.

Boston Herald

Baker seeks to freeze employers’ unemployment payments

With the state’s unemployment-insurance fund scraping bottom and with employers’ contributions to the fund scheduled to rise dramatically next year, Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday filed legislation to put a hold on the employer-payment hikes, proposing a bond sale to pay what it owes to the feds, the BBJ’s Greg Ryan reports.

Speaking of helping businesses, via the Herald: “Marty Walsh, 50 municipal leaders push Massachusetts lawmakers for more coronavirus economic aid.”


Five state lawmakers call for closure of all non-essential indoor activities

CBS Boston reports that five state representative are calling on Gov. Charlie Baker to shut down all non-essential indoor activities amid the soaring number of coronavirus cases across the state. 

CBS Boston

‘If it’s not Roger, is it Legal?’ Berkowitz selling off Legal Sea Foods

The Globe’s Larry Edelman reports on the imminent sale of Legal Sea Foods, the loss of yet another Boston institution, and whether Legal Sea Foods will be the same without Roger Berkowitz. 

Boston Globe

Legal scramble: Dems jockeying to succeed U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling

The Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky reports that U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey have established an advisory committee to recommend a replacement for U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling after Joe Biden is sworn in as president next month. Some of the candidates being mentioned (and floating their own names): SEC lawyer Rachel Hirshfang, Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins, Boston defense attorney Joshua Levy and former war-crimes prosecutor Kim West.

Whoever gets the nod, a Globe editorial is adamant about one thing: “New US attorney shouldn’t let up the pressure on State Police.”

Boston Herald

Investigation launched after release of ‘troubling’ footage from BPD body camera

We’ll let NBC Boston’s Kaitlin McKinley Becker tackle this one: “A Boston police sergeant has been placed on leave and the Suffolk County district attorney is investigating after body cam videos released in a report Friday appeared to show officers using excessive force, bragging about attacking demonstrators, discussing arrest quotas and the use of police cruisers as weapons, and relentlessly targeting protesters with pepper spray and batons.”

NBC Boston

Hodgson on Chang-Diaz: ‘most pro-illegal rep.’ Chang-Diaz on Hodgson: ‘sickening’

Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson isn’t just tangling with Attorney General Maura Healey these days. He’s also tangling with state Sen. Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz over last May’s mini-riot at the Bristol County Jail, reports CommonWealth’s Sarah Betancourt.

Meanwhile, from the Globe’s Jeremy Fox: “Senate investigation finds Bristol sheriff’s office broke law in denying state senator access to jail.”


Senate rejects Baker’s abortion amendments

It was expected, but it’s still important news. From the Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert: “The Massachusetts Senate voted overwhelmingly Friday to reject Governor Charlie Baker’s changes to their measure expanding abortion access. With only eight of 40 members voting to adopt the governor’s amendments, the Senate returned the measure in its original form to the governor’s desk.”

Now it’s up to Baker about what he’ll do next. He isn’t saying.

Boston Globe

Sen. John Velis: Opening up about his alcoholism

In an interview with CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg, state Sen. John Velis opens up about his struggles with alcoholism and the “importance of mentors like Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, and the factors that led to his recovery.” It’s a moving piece. Definitely check it out. 


Michael Bobbitt, artistic director of Watertown theater, tapped to lead Mass Cultural Council

SHNS’s Katie Lannan reports that Michael Bobbitt, a director, choreographer and playwright who now heads the New Repertory Theatre in Watertown, has been named the new director of the Mass Cultural Society. As the Globe’s Don Aucoin reports, Bobbitt, who is Black, will take command amid a pandemic that’s devastated the arts community and amid calls for more diversity in the arts.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

How Massachusetts can regain energy-efficiency top spot: Appliance standards

It’s not sexy, but it just might work. Reacting to a recent report that Massachusetts has lost its long-time claim as the most energy efficient state in the nation (Globe), state Rep. Josh Cutler and Charlie Harak of the National Consumer Law Center write at CommonWealth magazine that the key to regaining the top spot could be summed up in two words: “appliance standards.” 

Rumor control: Encore shoots down report casino is on the block

Not true. Encore Boston Harbor President Brian Gullbrants took the unusual step of telling employees directly that a published report suggesting the resort casino is for sale is just plain not true, Melissa Hanson at MassLive reports.

Josh Resneck at the Everett Leader Herald had reported Friday that the $2.6 billion resort could be up for sale for as little as $800 million — a cut-rate valuation that would have severe repercussions for the host city’s budget. 


Call back: Warren revives stock-trading ban bill from presidential platform

She didn’t forget. U.S.Sen. Elizabeth Warren is working to turn parts of the sweeping anti-corruption platform she introduced during her presidential run into legislation. Maggie Severns atPolitico reports Warren has filed a bill that would, among other things, prevent lawmakers from being able to buy and sell stocks while in office. 


Goodbye and see you soon: Allen lays out reasons for possible governor run

Something had to give. Harvard professor Danielle Allen has penned her final column for the Washington Post, a gig she is giving up after announcing her intentions to explore a run for governor of Massachusetts in 2022. Allen laid out some of her credentials — emphasizing her non-academic work — and wrote that she’s eager to “directly pay back the immense privileges I’ve been granted.” 

Washington Post

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

The Future of Cities Virtual Event and Panel Discussion

Richard Florida, a renowned urbanist and thought leader on the sustainability of America’s cities, will share his expertise on the opportunities and difficult choices ahead for the country’s major cultural and economic centers as they navigate unprecedented challenges amid a global pandemic.

Boston Business Journal

Recover Boston: The Road Ahead – Economic Issues in 2021

As the country looks ahead at the days when a vaccine will be available to wider parts of the community and as a new administration gains its foothold in Washington, D.C., a distinguished panel of business leaders will discuss the issues they’re expecting in 2021. What will economic recovery look like in Greater Boston? How will businesses move forward safely?

Boston Business Journal

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.


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

2021 Economic Outlook

Join the Boston Business Journal and CIBC for an expert look at the latest information concerning global, national and regional trends impacting the economy. The 2021 Economic Outlook will offer unique access to economic insights from world-class experts and professionals to help translate economic trends into competitive intelligence to grow your business and find opportunity in the coming year.

Boston Business Journal and CIBC Commercial Banking

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


National Development gets green light for new WBZ studio in Allston – Boston Business Journal

A Polluted Pond In Cambridge Is Poised For Cleanup — But Its Future Is Under Debate – WBUR


Peabody mayor tests positive for Covid-19 – Lynn Item

Framingham schools aim to shift to full hybrid model Jan. 27, despite health metrics – MetroWest Daily News

Beverly city council to pick Ward 6 replacement – Salem News


Congress strikes stimulus deal after days of frantic talks – Politico

GOP lawmakers are showing up more frequently on Newsmax – The Hill

How to Contact MASSterList

Send tips to Matt Murphy: Editor@MASSterList.com. For advertising inquiries and job board postings, please contact Dylan Rossiter: Publisher@MASSterList.com or (857) 370-1156. Follow @MASSterList on Twitter.

Subscribe to MASSterList

Start your morning with MASSterList’s chronicle of news and informed analysis about politics, policy, media, and influence in Massachusetts. Plus, get an inside look at Beacon Hill’s hottest new job postings.