RTA meeting, Health Policy Commission, and more
— Regional Transit Authority Council meets virtually to discuss state and federal funding amid the pandemic, 10 a.m.
— Health Policy Commission meets with plans to review new state and federal health care legislation, vote on proposed standards for ACO certification 2022, and to hear an update on the recent merger of Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan, 12 p.m.
— MassINC Polling Group holds a Zoom webinar to detail the results of a new poll that asked Massachusetts voters for their opinions on issues related to the state’s budget priorities, revenue sources and more, 12 p.m.
— Governor’s Council holds its first formal assembly of the new term, with its eight-person membership back to full strength, 12:30 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.
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: 67 new deaths, 12,996 total deaths, 4,906 new cases
NBC Boston has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.
Impeachment Day: Republicans buckling under the pressure
Vice President Mike Pence has refused to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office (MassLive), so it seems almost certain the U.S. House today will vote to impeach the president. And some key Republicans, though certainly not all, are now backing the move. From the NYT: “McConnell is said to be pleased about impeachment, believing it will be easier to purge Trump from the GOP.”
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports a number of senior Republicans in Congress, including U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, are planning to vote in favor of impeachment. Locally, Peter Torkildsen of Massachusetts is among two dozen former Republican members of Congress calling for impeachment, reports Mary Blake at GBH.
And, almost needless to say: “Mass. Democrats back second impeachment” (via Christian Wade at Salem News).
‘It was like looking at evil’
The Globe’s Jazmine Ulloa and Steve Annear have one of this morning’s most-read pieces at the paper – an account of last week’s assault on the U.S. Capitol as seen through the eyes of members of the state’s congressional delegation.
Baker: State to use facial recognition to ID locals who took part in D.C. mayhem
He threatened to veto the recently passed police-reform legislation if, among other things, language that would have effectively banned facial-recognition technology wasn’t removed. And he prevailed. Now Gov. Charlie Baker is saying the state is in talks with the feds to use the technology to identify and possibly prosecute Massachusetts residents who took part in last week’s violent storming of the U.S. Capitol, reports CommonWealth’s Sarah Betancourt.
In other law enforcement and security matters, Baker reiterated once again yesterday: “No known threats to Massachusetts State House” (MassLive).
Was Massachusetts used as a pre-riot staging area for some violent protesters?
The Washington Post reports that the FBI received an “explicit internal warning” from its Virginia field office before last week’s sacking of the U.S. Capitol, spelling out fears that many who planned to attend a pro-Trump rally last Wednesday were intent on “war.” And the memo mentioned Massachusetts as among the states possibly being used as a rallying point for right-wing extremists.
It may or may not be true. But we do seem to have our share of people here who partook in the breeching of the Capitol (see post above). And then there’s this arrest from earlier this week in Boston, via CBS Boston: “NH Man Accused Of Threatening To Hang Lawmakers For Not Supporting President Trump.”
Harvard cuts ties with N.Y congresswoman who challenged Electoral College results
U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York has effectively gotten the boot from Harvard’s Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics following last week’s Capitol riots, according to a report at CBS Boston. Her transgression: Challenging last week’s count of the presidential Electoral College. You know, the electoral count that violent protesters were also challenging, in their own demented way.
More backlash: Cape restaurateur getting death threats after Trump rally radio interview
The owner of a popular Eastham restaurant says he’s been the subject of death threats after being interviewed on the Howie Carr radio show about last week’s rally-turned-riot on Capitol Hill. Kathi Scrizzi Driscoll at the Cape Cod Times reports Nathan Nickerson says he’s hired an attorney and private investigator in the hopes of bringing charges in the future.
The state’s latest stimulus bill haul: $9 billion
Switching over to pandemic-related news, the state is hoping to get more federal pandemic-recovery funds after Joe Biden is sworn in as president. But the state did get a major infusion of cash from the latest fed stimulus-relief bill: $9 billion. That includes funds for individuals’ $600 checks and PPP loans, etc.
But it also includes: $814.9 million for K-12 schools and $471.8 million for higher-ed institutions, among other areas, reports SHNS’s Michael Norton. And Christian Wade at the Eagle Tribune reports the state is eyeing another revenue source, sort of: “State seeks $190 million in ‘overpaid’ jobless benefits.”
Looks like elderly residents may get shots earlier than expected
The New York Times reports that the Trump administration, in a major shift in policy, is now releasing all available coronavirus vaccines so that as many people as possible can get their first vaccine shots. And those extra doses couldn’t come soon enough for Massachusetts officials, who want to start vaccinating people 65 and over as soon as possible, reports CBS Boston.
But the Globe’s Robert Weisman reports that many in the medical community (not to mention your average Joes eager to get shots) are still not clear when and where shots would be given en masse. Also from the Globe, via David Abel: “When will people be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and how will they know?”
Gillette Stadium and possibly Fenway Park to serve as mass-vaccination sites
Gillette Stadium in Foxboro will soon become the first mass-vaccination site in Massachusetts, initially for first-responder personnel getting shots, SHNS’s Chris Lisinski reports (pay wall). But most see the first-responder inoculation blitz as a mere prelude to the mass inoculation of the public at large.
And Red Sox owners are working with state officials to turn Fenway Park into a mass-inoculation site as well, reports Chris Costillo at MassLive.
Coronavirus updates: Celts get hammered, maskless lawmakers, state’s Covid rate among highest in nation
It’s another busy day on the coronavirus front, so we’re going with quick summaries and headlines in this post, starting with Asher Klein’s report at NBC Boston about how the Celtics are getting hammered by COVID-19 and have now postponed three games in a row. … From MassLive: “Massachusetts daily COVID rate among highest in country.” … From the BBJ: “Dentists press for quicker administration of Covid vaccine.” … From SHNS (pay wall): “Early Ed Virus Testing Pilot in the Works, Peyser Says.”
And, finally, from the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky: “Pressley, Clark, Markey slam maskless colleagues as more lawmakers test positive for COVID after U.S. Capitol lockdown.”
Is Baker poised to veto the climate-change bill? Developers certainly hope so
SHNS’s Matt Murphy and CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl report that Gov. Charlie Baker appears to be seriously considering a veto of the major climate-change bill passed by lawmakers in the waning days of the legislative session. And the Globe’s Jon Chesto reports developers are lobbying for gubernatorial action due mostly to “one sentence in the 57-page that would allow cities and towns to adopt rules requiring new buildings to be ‘net zero,’ presumably with regard to greenhouse-gas emissions.”
Governor signs campus sexual assault and craft-beer bills
In other legislative action, Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday did sign a batch of bills recently passed by lawmakers, including the campus sexual-assault legislation and the compromise deal between craft brewers and liquor distributors, reports Shira Schoenberg at CommonWealth. Fyi, from the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett: “Here’s the story behind the decade-long battle to reform beer distribution laws.”
Walsh bids farewell, praises COVID response and says he’s ‘taking Boston with me’ to D.C.
Normally, we’d play this story up much higher. But these aren’t normal times. In any event, Mayor Marty Walsh turned his annual State of the City address last evening into a farewell address as he prepares to leave office for a cabinet post in the Biden administration. GBH’s Adam Reilly and the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter have more on Walsh’s sometimes emotional speech last evening.
Aftermath: Report says Morse inappropriately pursued relationships at UMass
An investigator hired by UMass Amherst will report today that Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse inappropriately pursued relationships with students at the school but violated no school policies in place at the time, Jim Kinney at MassLive reports.
Little known fact: Healey has more campaign cash on hand than Baker and Polito combined
Most of the talk surrounding the 2022 gubernatorial election has centered on whether Republican Gov. Charlie Baker will go for a third team – and what Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito will do if he doesn’t. But CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl notes that one potential candidate, Democratic AG Maura Healey, is financially positioned quite well for 2022.
Sheldon Adelson, casino mogul and billionaire donor to GOP, RIP
Sheldon G. Adelson, 87, a cabdriver’s son who grew up in Dorchester and later became a casino mogul and major donor to Republican candidates and causes tied to Israel, has passed away. The NYT has the details.
UMass taps one of its own to serve as interim head of Dartmouth campus
Mark Fuller, a UMass administrator and former dean at UMass Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management, has been named the interim chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, reports the BBJ’s Hilary Burns.
First mover: Martinez-Dominguez says she’ll run for mayor of Lawrence
She’s out front. Lawrence Community Development Director Vilma Martinez-Dominguez is the first to formally announce she will seek election as the city’s mayor in the November election, while a phalanx of likely fellow candidates waits in the wings, Allison Corneau of the Eagle-Tribune reports.
Not just us: Worcester lawyer says paper’s records lawsuit could chill investigations statewide
An attorney for the city of Worcester argued in court Tuesday that forcing the city to turn over documents about internal investigations of police officers to the Telegram & Gazette could have a chilling effect, causing communities statewide to back off thoroughly investigating claims of police misconduct, reports Brad Petrishen at the Telegram.
Showtime, again: More movie and TV productions coming to Mass.
More star-gazing and show-making is in the state’s future. Mary Byrne at the Greenfield Recorder reports officials in the Berkshires are preparing to host the Showtime production of a ‘Dexter’ reboot in Shelburne Falls. Meanwhile, John Castelluccioat the Salem News reports George Clooney has been spotted in Ipswich, presumably scouting locations for an upcoming Amazon film.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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