Happening Today

Rosengren on recovery, Gaming and Cannabis Control meetings

Cape Cod Reopening Task Force meets to provide updates on administering the COVID-19 vaccine to first responders as well as the future of the vaccination process in the region, 9 a.m.

— Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren is the keynote speaker for the Boston Business Journal’s virtual event “Recover Boston: The Road Ahead – Economic Issues in 2021,” 9 a.m.

Mass. Gaming Commission meets for the first time in 2021, 10 a.m.

Cannabis Control Commission meets for the first time in 2021, 10 a.m.

— U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark holds a tele-town hall with public health experts to discuss the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, with other speakers including Juliette Kayyem, former Department of Homeland Security assistant secretary, 6 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: 86 new deaths, 13,082 total deaths, 5,278 new cases

WCVB has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Trump impeached for second time. But was it really a ‘bi-partisan’ vote?

As expected, the U.S. House yesterday voted to impeach President Trump for a second time, accusing the president of ‘incitement of insurrection,” as the Globe’s Jess Bidgood and the Washington Postreport. But was it really a ‘bi-partisan’ vote or rebuke as some of the headlines and stories say? Yes, if you include the ten Republicans who voted for impeachment. But, no, if you count all those Republicans who didn’t vote for impeachment. Bottom line: The math tells us this is still a very, very divided nation.

The Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky reports that local Republicans are indeed divided over impeachment, but many are nevertheless furious with the president and can’t wait for him to leave office. So maybe there’s more unanimity out there than yesterday’s vote count suggests. And a report at MassLive says Mitch McConnell hasn’t ruled out voting to convict Trump in the Senate. We’ll see.

Mass. National Guard set to deploy in D.C. amid ‘ongoing and violent threats’

Gov. Charlie Baker has received a request to send hundreds of Mass. National Guard troops to Washington to help protect the nation’s capital as Joe Biden prepares to be sworn in as president – and the deployment appears likely to happen. MassLive’s Steph Solis and NBC Boston’s Marc Fortier have more.

Think officials are overreacting? U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch says he and other congressional members were briefed yesterday by the FBI and federal prosecutors about “grave” security concerns and later issued a statement about the “ongoing and violent threats to our democracy,” reports SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall).

Quote of the day: ‘More troops right now in Washington, D.C., than in Afghanistan’

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton has the quote of the day on the sad state affairs in our nation’s capital these days. Scroll down for quote. Via the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky.

Boston Herald

Hitting them where it hurts, II: MassMutual PAC suspends donations to pols who challenged election results

MassMutual isn’t rethinking its campaign donation policies. It’s already made up its mind. MassLive’s Michelle Williams reports that one of the state’s largest and most influential employers is suspending campaign donations, via its PAC, to any politician who voted against certifying the Electoral College votes for the 2020 presidential election.


Trump is truly done: Boston City Council says president must go

It’s non-binding. But the Boston City Council just wants everyone to know: Trump must go. Universal Hub has more on the council vote yesterday.

Universal Hub

After her husband contracts coronavirus, Pressley lashes out at maskless GOP colleagues

U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley is mad – and it sure sounds like she has good reason. MassLive’s Melissa Hanson and the Globe’s Martin Finucane and Brittany Bowke report that Pressely and her husband were among those who were whisked away to secure locations during last week’s assault on the U.S. Capitol – and her husband has since tested positive for COVID-19. Pressley herself is now in quarantine. And … MassLive and the Globe have the rest of the tale.

Meanwhile, from Linda Roy at the Standard-Times: “New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell tests positive for COVID-19.”

State’s slow vaccination rollout: Galvin and dentists to the rescue?

As SHNS’s Colin Young reports (pay wall), Gov. Charlie Baker has been thrown on the defensive over the slow rollout of vaccinations in Massachusetts – and the governor is defending the state’s approach towards inoculations.

Enter Secretary of State Bill Galvin and Delta Dental, as the Globe’s Robert Weisman and Kay Lazar report. The former is suggesting that the state use local polling places as sites for mass inoculations, while the latter says its 5,000 dentists can give shots. They’re not bad ideas at all.

Next up for vaccinations: Prisoners, homeless and others in residential group settings

After first responders finish getting their COVID-19 shots, the Baker administration says the state is preparing to start vaccinating those next on the priority list: People living in residential group settings, as GBH’s Mike Deehan reports. 

And among those in group settings are prisoners, which could cause some blowback for the administration even though it shouldn’t. Here are two examples why it’s important to act, via Cody Shepard at the Enterprise: “2 Bridgewater prisoners die after contracting COVID inside prison experiencing outbreak.” Another reason: Prison guards’ health is also at stake, as Baker has noted. CommonWealth’s Sarah Betancourt has more.


End around? Amherst schools eye optional opening in face of union resistance

They want to open the doors, one way or another. The Amherst-Pelham regional school district is exploring a plan that would open schools by allowing staff and teachers to voluntarily return – even though most of them have made abudently clear they don’t want to return. Scott Merzbach at the Daily Hampshire Gazette has the deadlock details. 

Daily Hampshire Gazette

Showdown: Mariano and Spilka vow to refile climate bill if Baker rejects current version on his desk

SHNS’s Matt Murphy and CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl report that Beacon Hill leaders are threatening to immediately refile and pass a climate-change bill should Gov. Charlie Baker decide to veto the same version of the bill now sitting on his desk. The idea: To put pressure on Baker to simply sign what’s he got.

But how does this put pressure on the governor? A refiled bill would give him an opportunity to suggest amendments, an option he currently doesn’t have. Or maybe we’re reading this all wrong. Which is very likely the case.

Baker signs ‘Laura’s law,’ plans to refile UI rate bill

As he spars with legislative leaders over climate-change legislation, Gov. Charlie Baker did sign the “Laura’s Law” bill yesterday, reports Steph Solis at MassLive.

Meanwhile, SHNS’s Chris Lisinkski (pay wall) reports that Baker intends to refile his bill that would provide unemployment-insurance rate relief to employers. The legislation failed to pass during the warning days of the last legislative session.

Mayoral race updates: Tompkins says no, Flaherty says maybe, Gross asks mom, doubts about one election

Since there’s a lot going on in the now wide open mayoral race in Boston, we’ll got with some quick summaries and headlines in this post, starting with Universal Hub’s report that Suffolk Sheriff Steve Tompkins is saying he won’t be a candidate. … Also from Universal Hub: “Michael Flaherty not ruling out another run for mayor; says some donations would make his decision easier to make.” … From the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter: “Proposal to eliminate Boston special mayoral election could be bad look, some councilors say.” … From SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall): “Lawmakers May Be Pulled Into Boston Mayoral Election Debate/City Council Not United on Home Rule Petition.”

And, finally, the Herald’s Joe Battenfeldis the latest local pundit who thinks Boston Police Superintendent Bill Gross won’t be as formidable a candidate as some think, should he decide to run. One of Battenfeld’s reasons to doubt: “Gross reportedly is waiting to get clearance from his mother before he runs. That’s usually never a good sign.”

Maybe developers are right to be nervous over political changes in Boston?

The BBJ’s Catherine Carlock reports how commercial developers are nervous about the changing of the mayoral guard at Boston City Hall. But as Carlock rightly notes, developers are always Nervous Nellies whenever there’s a mayoral change in Boston.

But … but maybe developers should be worried for other political and public-policy reasons. From the Globe’s Jon Chesto: “Legislature grants Boston flexibility to extract more affordable housing commitments from developers.” And from Simón Ríos at WBUR: “With City Board Approval, Boston Set To Implement ‘Fair Housing’ Zoning Amendment.”


Battle over gig employees to heat up in Mass.

The Globe’s Andy Rosen reports how the political and legal stars are aligned for a major fight in Massachusetts this year over whether Uber/Lyft drivers are contract workers or effective employees of ride-hail companies. 

Boston Globe

Shocking non-surprise: Poll shows residents want to tax millionaires but not themselves

A new poll by MassINC provides yet more evidence that the proposed “millionaire’s tax” would probably pass easily in Massachusetts if it ever gets on the statewide ballot. And, of course, an overwhelming majority of those polled don’t want to pay more in taxes themselves. SHNS’s Michael Norton has more.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

What now? Worcester wonders how to enact police reform law

It’s their turn now. The Worcester City Council has begun the process of figuring out how the recently enacted police reform legislation will be implemented in the city, Steven Foskett Jr. at the Telegram reports. Officials acknowledge hurdles remain, including negotiations with the local police unions. 


Better off: Methuen councilors express relief over police chief’s resignation

Basically, they’re saying good riddance. Some members of the Methuen City Council say controversial Police Chief Joseph Solomon’s decision to retire is a positive development for the city and its police force, Bill Kirk at the Eagle-Tribune reports. One longtime critic said Solomon’s resignation was essentially a “white flag” of surrender. 

Eagle Tribune

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


Boston police clerk forged neary $30K in overtime slips, feds say – Boston Herald

Plan to redevelop Edison power plant site finally poised to advance – Boston Globe


New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell tests positive for coronavirus – Standard-Times

State Sen. John Kennan has decided to turn down pay bump – Patriot Ledger

Panel: Red Raider mascot, name must be dropped in Barnstable – Cape Cod Times


Trump’s grip on the GOP loosens ever so slightly – Politico

Biden forgoing Amtrak trip to Washington over security fears – Associated Press

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