Happening Today

Laura’s Law, vaccination clinic, and more

— Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to sign the ‘Laura’s Law’ bill that would implement statewide minimum requirements for lighting and signage at hospitals at a private ceremony, 1:30 p.m.

— Sen. Eric Lesser holds a livestream discussion with Black Economic Council of Massachusetts executive director Segun Idowu on the council’s work, 12 p.m.

— The cities of Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop partner with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council to hold a three-day COVID-19 vaccination clinic for 600 first responders, 12 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: 74 new deaths, 13,156 total deaths, 5,545 new cases

WCVB has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

As governor vetoes climate bill over housing-construction concerns …

Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday called legislative leaders’ bluff, vetoing the major climate-change bill passed in the waning days of the legislative session and all but inviting Democrats to pass another bill that would allow him to offer amendment changes. One of the governor’s top complaints about the bill he vetoed: That it might stymie housing construction by giving local governments too much regulatory power over development proposals. SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) and MassLive’s Steph Solis have the details. 

CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl reports there were a lot of other gubernatorial objections in the bill.

… Baker signs $626M economic development bill he says will spur housing construction

At least he’s being consistent on the housing-construction front. SHNS’s Michael Norton and CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg report that Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday signed the $626 million economic development bill passed by lawmakers – a bill that contains a version of his “Housing Choice” zoning proposal that he says will spur housing construction in Massachusetts. The bill also provides funds for, among other things, pandemic-recovery efforts in Massachusetts.

MassLive’s Steph Solis reports that bill also codifies a “Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights.” And the legislation includes a provision that would allow hotels to assess guest fees for new tourism marketing districts, as CommonWealth’s Schoenberg reports separately.

Nearly 1,000 National Guard troops from New England headed to Washington

SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) reports Gov. Charlie Baker has approved sending 500 Massachusetts National Guard troops to assist with security for Joe Biden’s inauguration next week in Washington. Meanwhile, NBC Boston reports Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are also sending National Guard troops to D.C. 

The post-riot roundup, literally and figuratively: BPD investigating cop, NH man arrested, and more

The FBI has launched an effective nationwide manhunt for those who took part in last week’s storming of the U.S. Capitol. And investigators are busy here too, as well as local officials who are busy with various post-rally/riot controversies. From the Globe’s Milton Valencia: “Boston police investigating whether officer attended Capitol siege, posted threats on social media.” … Separately, from Boston 25 News: “New Hampshire man arrested for alleged participation in riots at the U.S. Capitol.” … From WBUR: “Natick Says Town Has No Authority To Remove Official Who Posted About Organizing Buses, Traveling To D.C.” … From the Herald News: ‘Caught up in the moment’: Fall River store owner regrets his actions at Capitol riots.” … 

And from the Globe: “After police chief’s attendance at Capitol rally, a New Hampshire town has its own Trump controversy.”

Breaking news: Dershowitz won’t be defending Trump at second trial

Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz now says he won’t be representing President Trump at a second U.S. Senate impeachment trial. But he will be defending him “in the court of public opinion,” reports the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky.

Boston Herald

He warned us about Trump. Now prepare for Trump 2.0

As the Globe’s David Scharfenberg notes, UMass professor Lawrence Douglas, well before the November election, accurately warned of all the shenanigans President would pull regarding the 2020 election outcome. And now Douglas is warning of “Trump 2.0,” whether it’s Trump himself, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley or someone else in the years leading up to 2024.

Boston Globe

Uninsured and unapologetic: Schilling warns of ‘Nazis’ after insurer cancels his policy

Former Red Sox pitcher and walking controversy machine Curt Schilling took to Twitter to announce that AIG Insurance had canceled his insurance policy, citing his post-riot social media rants of late, Dan Canova at Fox Business reports. The conservative Schilling warned his followers that more cancellations–and worse–are coming “if we let the Nazis win and the fraud is allowed to stand.”

Fox Business

Curious timing: ‘Biden should consider pardon for Trump’

It’s pretty amazing for a newspaper editorial board that has remained absolutely silent, one way or the other, on President Trump’s divisive charges that the presidential election was stolen from him is now advising Joe Biden to consider giving Trump a pardon. But that’s exactly what a Herald editorial is advising this morning.

We’re a long, long way from the sane Pat Purcell/Rachelle Cohen editorial days at the Herald, folks.

Boston Herald

Biden’s $1.9T relief plan: So what’s in it for Massachusetts?

As the pandemic continues to rage across the nation and Massachusetts, President-elect Joe Biden last evening outlined a $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief proposal yesterday, according to a report at WBUR. It’s too early to tell how Massachusetts might fare under the plan. But based on the fact that Massachusetts received $9 billion from the last $900 billion stimulus relief bill (SHNS – pay wall), the amount could be significant.


Community hotspots continue to spike amid slow vaccine deliveries

MassLive’s Scott Croteau reports that the number of communities listed as “high risk” for the coronavirus rose to 229 in Massachusetts last week, up from 219 the week prior. And the increase comes as the delivery of vaccines to the state is slowing, as CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl notes.

Meanwhile, from Universal Hub: “Higher coronavirus numbers again being foretold in the sewage we produce.”


State House Covid Watch: Two more state reps and a staffer test positive for COVID-19

They’re not providing names yet, but SHNS’s Chris Van Buskirk has confirmed that two more state lawmakers and a House staffer have tested positive for COVID-19, according to emails obtained by the news service.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Stay in line: Berkshires officials say ineligible people are taking up vaccine slots

We’re going to see a lot more of this, guaranteed. Health officials in the Berkshires are asking area residents to cool their jets when it comes to signing up for coronavirus vaccines, reminding more than 100 people who signed up for a shot that for now only first responders are being vaccinated, Francesca Paris at the Berkshire Eagle reports. 

Berkshire Eagle

Coronavirus updates: Business loans, Cape frustrations, Norton cop and BC professor die of Covid complications

Once again, it’s busy on the pandemic front this morning, so we’ll go with quick summaries and headlines in this post, starting with NECN: “Baker Rolls Out $78 Million in New Loans for Pandemic-Hit Small Businesses.” … But the Globe’s Jon Chesto reports that legislators want to add small-business franchisees to a state grant program … From SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall): “Cape Officials Hearing Frustration Over Vaccine Rollout.” … From CommonWealth’s Sarah Betancourt: “Distribution of housing assistance funds lagging.” … From Wicked Local: “Norton police officer dies after contracting COVID-19.” … And from the Globe’s Deirdre Fernandes: “A BC professor died last week from complications from COVID-19.”  

Healey launches review of road-rage complaint against DA Rollins

We’re pretty sure she sighed when this landed on her desk. Attorney General Maura Healey is launching a review of a citizen’s road-rage complaint against Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins, who allegedly threatened a female motorist and flashed her car’s blue lights during an incident last month at the South Bay Shopping Center in Boston. WBUR’s Deborah Becker has more.


Mayoral race updates: Baker favors one election, Michlewitz out, Martinez a maybe

Beacon Hill lawmakers allowed the city of Lawrence to skip a planned special election when its mayor recently quit. So why not let Boston skip a special mayoral election? A three-reporter team at GBHsays it may well happen, with Gov. Charlie Baker and legislative leaders apparently receptive to the idea of holding only one general fall election for mayor of Boston this year. SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) has more on Baker’s signal that he’d sign a one-election bill for Boston. … In other mayoral-race news, via SHNS (pay wall): “Michlewitz Won’t Be Candidate for Mayor in Boston.” … But another yet person may run. From CBS Boston: “Boston Health Chief Marty Martinez ‘Absolutely Considering Running For Mayor.’”

New gig: Patrick joins San Francisco software firm’s board

Former Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick has a new part-time gig. Lucia Maffei at the Boston Business Journal reports Patrick has been tapped to join the board of publicly traded commonuications software firm Twilio Inc. in San Francisco.


No applause, please: Baker to give remote State of the State address

As SHNS’s Sam Doran reports, there will be no pageantry, invited guests or applause breaks when Gov. Charlie Baker delivers his State of the State address on Jan. 26 from the “quiet social distance of his office.” He’s going remote due to you-know-what.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Still plenty of room, gamblers: Crowds at casinos under 25 percent cap

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission says occupancy at the state’s three casinos is staying well below the 25 percent cap ordered by Gov. Charlie Baker, Jim Kinney at MassLive reports. The news means no one is being turned away from the casinos, but certainly doesn’t bode well for the gaming revenue data for December that is set to be released as soon as today. 


Sunday public affairs TV: Lori Trahan, Jim McGovern, Sonia Chang-Diaz

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan, who talks with host Jon Keller about the U.S. Capitol riot investigation, impeachment, and the state of partisan mistrust in the House.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce CEO Jim Rooney discusses how business can help the nation heal and Mayor Mary Walsh headed to D.C.; Robert Lewis, Jr., president and founder of The Base, discusses how the program evens the playing field beyond sports; and the Globe’s Shirley Leung reviews the top local business stories of the week.  

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. Live edition. This week’s guest: U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, chairman of the House Rules Committee, who speaks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu, followed by a political roundtable discussion with analysts Mary Anne Marsh and Rob Gray.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s main topic: MLK Weekend, with guests including state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz and Imari Paris Jeffries, the new executive director of King Boston.

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


Judge denies motion to dismiss case against Baker intruder – Lynn Item

Removal of panic buttons from Ayanna Pressley’s office being reviewed by House committee – Boston Globe


State jobless claims continue to climb – Gloucester Times

Release of Methuen police audit delayed again – Eagle-Tribune

Framingham schools are hiring people to fill several ’emergency COVID-19 response positions’ – MetroWest Daily News


Trump impeachment crashes Biden’s first 100 days – Politico

White House communications staff getting snubbed as they job hunt – Business Insider

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