Happening Today

First-responder vaccinations, MBTA-DOT meetings, and more

— Law enforcement officials and other first-responders are set to start receiving COVID-19 vaccinations under the state’s priority rollout plan.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Senate President Karen Spilka and other legislative leaders are scheduled to hold a leadership conference call, 2 p.m.

— The MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board and Department of Transportation Board of Directors meet in separate and joint sessions, with topics on the agenda including East-West Rail Study and financing for the Allston Multimodal Project, 12 p.m.

Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee for Lawyer Well-Being meets virtually, 3:30 p.m.

For the most comprehensive list 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: 77 new deaths, 12,875 total deaths, 5,396 new cases

CBS Boston has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Impeachment. But then what?

The Washington Post reports House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pushing ahead with impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump – even though some Democrats are split about how hard to push. There doesn’t seem to be much doubt among members of the state’s congressional delegation, such as Katherine Clark (Boston.com), Ayanna Pressley (GBH) and Stephen Lynch (WCVB).

Washington Post

Mass. GOP divided over Trump’s culpability

We all knew there was a schism within the state Republican Party before last week’s disgraceful assault on the U.S. Capitol. Now there’s an even deeper schism post-disgraceful assault on the U.S. Capitol, specifically over President Trump’s culpability in the attack. GBH’s Isaiah Thompson, the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky and CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg have the where-they-stand details.

They came from UMass Memorial, Somerville, Natick, Rhode Island and beyond

We’re learning the names of a lot more local people who attended last week’s pro-Trump rally that led to the assault on the U.S. Capitol. Though it’s important to identify and prosecute those accused of committing crimes, it’s also important to remember: Innocent until proven guilty. Period. … With that out of the way, some of the headlines, starting with the BBJ: “UMass Memorial fires employee for participation in Capitol riots.” … From Cambridge Day: “Somerville appointed official draws attention after tweeting from insurrection at U.S. Capitol.” … From Universal Hub: “Local Vanilla ISIS rioters traipsed through the Capitol during the failed putsch.” … From MassLive: “Massachusetts restaurant owner facing criticism for attending D.C. riots, calling event ‘peaceful.’” … And from the Globe: “R.I. state representative Justin Price faces calls for resignation after comments on US Capitol riot.”

Lousy Pats season. Now this: Trump to award Bill Belichick the Medal of Freedom

Well, he has been a long-time fan of Donald Trump. The question is whether many New Englanders will remain fans of Bill Belichick if the Pats head coach accepts the Medal of Freedom from the embattled president. Politio’s Meridith McGraw has more. Universal Hub’s headline, btw: “Insurrectionist in Chief to honor Patriots coach.”


John Kelly, Trump’s ex-chief of staff, supports removal of president

Boston’s John Kelly, the retired four-star general and former White House chief of staff, thinks it’s time for Donald Trump to go, saying last week’s Capitol riots were the “direct result of (Trump’s) poisoning the minds of people with the lies and the fraud,” reports the Globe’s Christine Mui.

Just fyi: Maybe Kelly will now fess up whether Trump really called soldiers who died for America “losers” and “suckers” (NYT)?

Boston Globe

Alan Dershowitz says he’d defend Trump all over again in impeachment trial

The Dersh says it’s about legal principles. The Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky has the details.

Boston Herald

State to roll out ‘pooled testing’ for K-12 schools

WBUR’s Kathleen McNerney and Carrie Jung report that the Baker administration is planning to make more coronavirus tests available in schools via so-called “pooled testing” practices. The hope is to make schools safer – and keep kids in in-person classes. And here’s a surprise: Teacher unions like the plan, as the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky and Alexi Cohan report.


Time to go with first-doses for as many people as possible?

Switching to coronavirus news, the incoming Biden administration is signaling plans to release all of the COVID-19 vaccine doses being held in reserve for second shots for those who have already received a first dosage. The idea: To provide first-dose shots to as many people as possible before giving recommended second shots to people. It’s a major change in policy, and the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky reports the Baker administration appears to be embracing the idea.

But there’s debate over whether it’s the correct policy. From GBH: “Local Public Health Experts React To Possible Coronavirus Vaccine Dosing Changes.” The NYT has more on the growing pressure to get as many people as possible vaccinated.

Boston Herald

Report: MGH/Brigham among hospitals giving shots to non-frontline health workers

The NYT reports that elite hospitals across the country, including Boston’s MGH and Brigham and Women’s hospitals, are giving coronavirus vaccinations to a lot of non-frontline health care workers, such as administrators and young graduate students, contrary to state and federal guidelines. And MGH and BW have “announced plans to immunize the rest of their employees beginning Monday.”


BPD’s Gross mulling race for mayor along with just about everyone else in Boston

If he indeed runs, Boston Police Commissioner Bill Gross would instantly become a favorite, if not the favorite, to win the race to replace Marty Walsh as mayor of Boston. The Herald’s Rick Sobey and Joe Dwinell report Gross is “90%” sure to run, according to their sources, while a three-reporter team at the Globe reports he’s ““95 percent sure” sure to run, according to their sources.

Why would he be a favorite? Because Gross, who African American, would A.) appeal to many, though not all, Blacks B.) appeal to many, though not all, whites and other ethnics and he C.) possesses good name recognition – and it all adds up to wide potential appeal. But he’s also never been tested on the campaign trail and he’ll be up against very formidable opponents. See post below. 

The growing list of mayoral candidates …

Besides BPD’s Bill Gross, there’s a lot of other people eyeing a run for mayor, obviously. The Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert and Matt Stout and the Herald’s Rick Sobey have updated lists of those thinking of running. Among the latest potential candidates being mentioned:  City Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George, Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins, State Rep. Jon Santiago, state Sen. Nick Collins and Jon Barros. 

Of course, there’s also the already declared Michelle Wu and Andrea Campbell and future interim mayor Kim Janey, who hasn’t declared (yet). Btw, from the Globe: “Elizabeth Warren endorses Wu in Boston mayoral race.”

Arroyo: Do we really need two mayoral elections this year?

City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo doesn’t think Boston needs to hold both a special mayoral election and then another general mayoral election this year to fill Marty Walsh’s seat. So Arroyo is starting the process of getting the Legislature’s permission to nix a probable special election, reports Adam Gaffin at Universal Hub.

Universal Hub

Andrew Lelling: Oh, he has his eye on running for elective office, all right

Giving exclusive media interviews in his last days as U.S. Attorney and confirming once again his interest in possibly running for political office? Check. Burnishing his law-and-order credentials while practicing the art of taking partisan swipes? Check. The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld has two pieces this morning on Andrew Lelling’s post-prosecutorial interests.

Just so you know: Baker’s campaign fundraising surges ahead of 2022 decision

You never know when you might need it. After a brief lull, Gov. Charlie Baker appears to be back at work building his campaign war chest ahead of a possible re-election bid in 2022, Christian Wade reports at the Salem News. Baker reported raising $165,000 in December–his largest monthly haul in two years. 

Salem News

Lawmakers wary of taking pay raises

From Christian Wade at the Eagle Tribune: “Lawmakers are eligible for pay raises this year but many are wary of taking the extra cash as their constituents struggle amid the pandemic.”

Eagle Tribune

DOC plans to temporarily close two under-used prison facilities

The Department of Correction is planning to suspend operations at two under-used housing units holding minimum security and pre-release inmates, releasing some inmates to home confinement and transferring the rest to other facilities – with plans to reopen the units after the pandemic subsides, reports CommonWealth’s Sarah Betancourt and the Globe’s John Hilliard.

The Allston I-90 project: The barebones option

After all the Plan As and Plan Bs and design proposals and counter-design proposals, is it possible the state may just throw up its hands and go with a “barebones” approach to rebuilding the Allston I-90 interchange? CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl has the details.


All aboard? Quincy floats ferry idea to avoid Long Island bridge rebuild

Who needs a bridge? The Quincy city council is expected to take up a proposal for the city to fund a ferry service to and from Long Island, in the city’s latest bid to avoid the reconstruction of a bridge opposed by local residents, Mary Whitfill of the Patriot-Ledger reports.

Patriot Ledger

Webinar – How to Successfully Raise a Friends and Family Round

Founders, are you considering raising a friends and family round? Wondering where to start and how to structure the raise? Want to know what it means for your startup and what kind of impact it has on your future rounds of funding? Looking for tips to avoid common pitfalls?

The Capital Network

Breathless in Boston: An Exploration of Lung Function in the Era of COVID-19 with Dr. Christopher Fanta, MD

Join the Boston Public Library in partnership with Beacon Hill Village for this online program. Dr. Fanta will take us on a tour of how our lungs work in health and disease, including strategies to keep our lungs healthy and strong throughout our lives. Dr. Fanta will discuss several issues relating to the lungs including the special effects of COVID-19 on lung function.

Boston Public Library and Beacon Hill Village

“The 1964-65 NY World’s Fair and the Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” Webinar

Join the New York Adventure Club as we travel back in time to explore the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair held at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in the borough of Queens. Led by licensed NYC guide Lloyd Trufelman, out digital showcase of the fair will be presented in all of its retro-glory as well as the past, present and future of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

New York Adventure Club

Virtual Author Talk with Eric Jay Dolin

Virtual Author Talk with Bestselling Author Eric Jay Dolin

American Ancestors/NEHGS and the State Library of Massachusetts

The New Administration: Opportunities and Challenges

Panelists including Lisa Lerer, reporter at the New York Times, and Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University and CNN Political Analyst, discuss opportunities and challenges for the incoming administration as well as reflections on the significance of the Biden-Harris victory in 2020 elections. NBC News Correspondent Harry Smith moderates.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

It Came From Space: Why We Think an Asteroid Killed the Dinosaurs with Jesse Mason

In 1980, a team of scientists discovered something astonishing in Earth’s crust: evidence of a cataclysmic impact that coincided with the extinction of three of Earth’s plant and animal species.

Northville District Library and Plymouth District Library

Enhancing Resilience: 2021 Climate Change Symposium

Kingston Climate Change in partnership with the City of Kingston will bring together climate champions and inspire action while we showcase the latest developments on community-based climate initiatives.

Sustainable Kingston

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

Alicia Garza- The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart-Lowell Lecture

The Boston Public Library welcomes Alicia Garza, co-founder of Supermajority and co-creator of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, for an online conversation moderated by BPL President David Leonard. This program, presented in partnership with the GBH Forum Network, is part of the Lowell Lecture Series sponsored by the Lowell Institute and the BPL’s Repairing America Series.

Boston Public Library

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

EmpowHERment Conference

A conference inspiring women of all backgrounds to be proactive leaders through workshops, scholarships and more! Opening Keynote Speaker is Nita Singh Kaushal, Founder of Miss CEO, Stanford University Lecturer.


Harriet Tubman & Maryland’s Underground Railroad Sites-Livestream History Tour

Join us for an online/virtual tour of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad sites in Maryland/ Learn how Harriet successfully escaped from slavery and how she then heroically led others to freedom. The program is hosted by Robert Kelleman, the founder/director of the non-profit community organization Washington, DC History & Culture.

Washington D.C. History & Culture

Lost Wonderland: The Brief and Brilliant Life of Boston’s Million Dollar Amusement Park

Stephen R. Wilk, author of Lost Wonderland, will discuss the story of Wonderland’s creation and wild, but brief success which is full of larger-than-life characters who hoped to thrill attendees and rake in profits.

Boston Public Library

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

Live Chat with Google Product Manager

Join in and get all your product questions answered during our online event with Neil Joglekar, Product Manager at Google. He is a product manager at Google where he leads teams to improve consumer experience. He is also a YC founder.

Product School

Alex Zamalin – Against Civility: The Hidden Racism in Our Obsession with Civility

Join the Boston Public Library in partnership with the Museum of American History for an online conversation with author Alex Zamalin moderated by MAAH Direcror of Education and Interpretation L’Merchie Frazier. This program is part of the BPL’s Repairing America Series.

Boston Public Library

Light, Land, and Water; Native and non-Native Visions of New England

This lecture will attempt to honor diverse definitions of :landscape” by examining Wabanaki baskets and beadwork alongside canvases by New England painters such as Fitz Henry Lane and Martin Johnson Heade, It will raise questions about depictions (or embodiments) of natural resources, relationships between humans, and the environment and entanglements of Native non-Native histories.

The Courtauld Research Forum

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

Malcolm Gladwell and the New Normal after COVID-19

Join Arent Fox for a one hour virtual event with Malcolm Gladwell, the celebrated journalist and best-selling author of Tipping Point, Outliers, and Talking to Strangers, who will talk about life after COVID-19. There will also be a Q&A with Arent Fox Partner Anthony V. Lupo.Malcolm Gladwell and the New Normal after COVID-19 JAN 27 2021 12:00 PM Hosted by: Arent Fox LLP Online Event www.eventbrite.com/e/malcolm-gladwell-and-the-new-normal-after-covid-19-tickets-132113604347?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch Join Arent Fox for a one hour virtual event with Malcolm Gladwell, the celebrated journalist and best-selling author of Tipping Point, Outliers, and Talking to Strangers, who will talk about life after COVID-19. There will also be a Q&A with Arent Fox Partner Anthony V. Lupo.

Arent Fox LLP

lo T in Sports: Changing the Game

Join us as we hear from industry experts about the integration of lo T in the world of live sports, how major leagues like the NFL are utilizing wearable technology and connected devices, what features fans can expect from stadiums as they become more connected, and how 5G & MEC are changing the game for years to come.


Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings & James Dale – “We’re Better Than This”

Join the Boston Public Library for an online talk with distinguished political expert, Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings and longtime non-fiction writer James Dale, co-authors of We’re Better Than This: My Fight for the Future of our Democracy, primarily authored by the late Elijah Cummings.

Boston Public Library

Community Read Book Group: An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States

Let’s read together! Join your friends, family and fellow Yearlong Reading Challenge participants at the Boston Public Library as we discuss the January Community Read for adults: An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. The discussion will be moderated by a librarian and will take place on Zoom.

Boston Public Library

Global Mobility and the Threat of Pandemics: Evidence from Three Centuries

Researchers at the Center for Global Development test predictions across four global pandemics in three different centuries: the influenza pandemics that began in 1889, 1918, 1957, and 2009. They find that in all cases, even a draconian 50 percent reduction in pre-pandemic international mobility is associated with 1-2 weeks later arrival and no detectable reduction in final mortality.

Harvard Kennedy School

Human Rights and the Future World Order

Speakers include Hina Jilanni, former United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Human Rights Defenders; Samuel Moyn, Henry R. Luce Professor of Jurisprudence, Yale Law School and Professor of History, Yale University; Zeid Ra’ad, Perry World House Professor of the Practice of Law and Human Rights, University of Pennsylvania.

Harvard Kennedy School and Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Social Media for Government Agencies and the Public Sector: Everything You Need to Know but are Afraid to Ask, a Digital CP

Come learn the basics of the Social Media platforms and how you can use them effectively to achieve your goals. Whether you’re a Tik Tok influencer or just learned that the symbol # isn’t a “pound sign”. This workshop is open to all levels.

Harvard Kennedy School

Today’s Headlines


Suffolk DA denies road rage incident detailed in citizen’s report – Boston Herald

Judge: Quincy doesn’t own Adams Academy – Patriot Ledger


A new era in Lawrence: Rivera says goodbye, Vasquez becomes new mayor – Eagle-Tribune

Newcomers in state legislature lay out visions – Telegram & Gazette

Judge Ok’s former Mayor Correia’s trip to Florida – Herald News


Inside a Deadly Siege: How a String of Failures Led to a Dark Day at the Capitol – New York Times

Trump allies urge him not to run in 2024 – Politico

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