Happening Today

MLK Jr. Day celebrations and more

— Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal and state holiday, with most federal, state and local governments offices closed; stock markets and banks are also closed, though most retail stores will be open.

— City of Boston holds celebratory events in honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with remarks from Mayor Martin Walsh, Boston University President Robert Brown, Karen Holmes Ward, and Ibram Kendi of Boston University, among others, 12 p.m.

Museum of African American History and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras hold their 14th annual celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr., 1 p.m.

— ‘Radio Boston’ focuses an hour-long program on rising Black leaders in Boston and upholding Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy, with guests including Rep. Liz Miranda, incoming Mass Cultural Council executive director Michael Bobbitt, King Boston executive director Imari Paris Jeffries, and Roxbury activist Monica Cannon Grant, WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m.

Act on Mass holds a Zoom session to provide an update on its Transparency is Power campaign, which supports legislative rules changes that the organization says will make the lawmaking process more accessible, 6:30 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: 67 new deaths, 13,372 total deaths, 4,283 new cases

CBS Boston has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Baker signs transportation bill after slamming the brakes on Uber fees and other items

Before getting into all things insurrection and pandemic, first some State House news, specifically Gov. Charlie Baker’s signing on Friday of the mammoth state transportation bonding bill – after he took a veto ax to provisions that called for higher fees on ride-hailing companies like Uber, means-tested fares on public transit and other items in the $16.5 billion package.

SHNS’s Chris Liskinski, the Globe’s Adam Vaccaro and CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl have more on the governor’s transportation-bill vetoes that lawmakers can’t reverse due to the timing of the end of the last legislative session.

State House jitters: Police briefly fortify Beacon Hill after report of possible demonstration

It was a false alarm. But the false alarm did show that law enforcement officials are on high alert at the State House over reports of possible violent assaults by far-right-wing thugs against state capitols across the nation. A three-reporter team at the Globe and Erin Tiernan and Rick Sobey at the Herald report on the extraordinary steps taken by police yesterday – including temporarily cordoning off most of Beacon Hill – after they received a report of a possible demonstration outside the state capitol.

AP News has the national scene covered: “State capitols boarded up, fenced up, patrolled by troops.”

Lynch and Trahan: Expel them all

They mean business. U.S. Reps. Stephen Lynch (GBH) and Lori Trahan (Wicked Local), both Democrats, say any Republican congressional member who is found to have helped the Capitol-building rioters should be expelled from Congress.

In related post-riot news, from CBS Boston: “Trahan Says Some GOP Colleagues Have Acted ‘Irresponsibly And Dangerously.’” From the Globe: “McGovern worries Trump could pardon ‘domestic terrorists’ who stormed US Capitol.” And from GBH: “’Absolutely Terrifying’: Congressional Leaders Remember Jan. 6 Insurrection.”

Where oh where does the GOP go after Trump and the Capitol-riot debacle?

The Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky reports Massachusetts Republicans are engaging in some collective “self-reflection” amid the political rubble left behind by the outgoing Trump administration.

One high-ranking state GOP official says all should be fine once the orange man is gone. To which we’d point out this inconvenient truth, one of numerous truths, of what the party is facing both nationally and locally: “Some in the GOP parrot far-right talk of a coming civil war” (AP News). Like we said, it’s just one of numerous truths.

Boston Herald

Will road-rage incident sink Rollins’ U.S. attorney chances?

The Globe’s Andrea Estes reports that Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins is on a short list of finalists to become the next U.S. attorney for Massachusetts. But the list was drawn up before reports of an alleged road-rage incident involving Rollins – and before an apparently tense confrontation between Rollins and a Boston 25 News team on Friday, as the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld reports.

Boston 25 News has more on the alleged media-rage incident.

Boston Globe

Biden picks Broad Institute’s Lander to head new science cabinet post

Eric Lander, president and founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, has been tapped by President-elect Joe Biden to serve as chief science adviser in a newly created Cabinet position, reports the BBJ’s Don Seiffert and the Globe’s Jonathan Saltzman and Jeremy Fox. 

Oh, we have clout in Washington, all right

For a while there, it looked like Massachusetts might not gain as much clout as thought and hoped within the incoming Biden administration. But Kimberly Atkins, a Globe opinion writer and former WBUR correspondent in Washington, says Massachusetts has more than its fair share of clout in D.C., if you include the most recent Biden appointments and Congressional clout.


It’s here: First case of U.K. virus variant confirmed in Massachusetts

The state Department of Public Health has confirmed that a Boston woman who recently returned from Britain has been diagnosed as the first resident in the state with the new COVID-19 strain that spreads more easily among people, reports Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin and NBC Boston’s Alec Greaney.

‘Operation Snail Speed’: Baker and others bemoan slow pace of vaccine deliveries

Gov. Charlie Baker isn’t happy. Neither is U.S. Sen. Ed Markey. They’re among the growing chorus of critics frustrated with the federal government’s slow distribution of coronavirus vaccines – and the mixed signals about how many vaccines are awaiting to be distributed, according to reports by Ted Wayman at WCVB and Katie Lannan at SHNS (pay wall).

Needed: Vaccination sites near where people actually live

Gillette Stadium opened its gates over the weekend for first responders to get COVID-19 vaccination shots. But the state will need plenty more vaccination sites to serve all those living in ‘high risk’ communities, many of which currently have no vaccination sites, reports Michael Bonner at MassLive.


Anti-vaxxers win? State drops flu-shot mandate for students

Citing a milder than expected flu season and the need to focus attention and recourses on the coronavirus pandemic, state officials have abandoned the requirement that all students must get a flu shot in order to attend school, according to a report at CBS Boston. It’s a common-sense move, but let’s be honest: It’s also a public policy retreat in the face of intense anti-vaxxer opposition.

CBS Boston

The amazing disappearing state budget crisis

The finances of the MBTA, MassPort and numerous other state and local agencies are in a shambles as a result of the pandemic and subsequent economic downturn. But the damage done to the state’s overall budget “may not be as severe as once thought,” so much so that lawmakers are now assuming that tax revenues will rise an impressive 3.5 percent over previously upgraded projections for the current fiscal year, reports SHNS’s Colin Young.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

‘Queenmaker’ Pressley

The Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert reports on the most sought after endorsement in the Boston mayoral race – a nod from U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley. Meanwhile, the Globe’s Adrian Walker says the mayor’s race will be like no other, due to a diverse field made up of “nothing but diverse candidates.”

Boston Globe

Far out: Somerville city council embraces psychedelic mushrooms

More proof that Somerville is trying its best to be the true People’s Republic of Massachusetts. The Herald’s Marie Szaniszlo reports the Somerville City Council has approved a resolution forbidding police officers and other city employees from enforcing laws regarding the possession of psychedelic mushrooms and other entheogenic plants.

Boston Herald

Bay State skippers: Taking pass on inaugurations is a Massachusetts thing

Skipping your successor’s presidential inauguration? Turns out Donald Trump won’t be the first to skip one. In fact, it’s kind of a Massachusetts thing. Fred Hanson at the Patriot Ledger digs into the history books to find that the country’s second president, John Adams, was traveling back to Quincy when his successor took the oath of office way back in 1801, and John Quincy Adams later steered clear of the inaugural ceremony in 1829. 

Further confirmation: Long-awaited audit of Methuen police slams former chief

No surprises. An outside audit of the Methuen police department found a culture of “favoritism, racism and mismanagement” and laid much of the blame at the feet of former Chief Joseph Solomon, Bill Kirk at the Eagle-Tribune reports. The report says Solomon handed out “specialist” titles to reward loyalty and says a lack of written policies exacerbated mismanagement. 

Eagle Tribune

Pulling the plug: Court halts construction of $1B hydro-power transmission line until further review

The $1 billion transmission line project that’s supposed to pump huge amounts of clean hydro power to Massachusetts from Quebec is in trouble again. A federal appeals court has halted preliminary construction to give conservationists time to make their case against the line that would cut through Maine, the AP reports at MassLive.


Biden boom? Offshore wind may reap benefits of new administration

They’re expecting a sea change. Offshore wind advocates and developers expect a big boost for their industry after the Biden administration takes over on Wednesday, Doug Fraser at the Cape Cod Times reports. The change could mean alignment between state and federal policies after four years of the Trump team aiming to direct resources to legacy technologies such as coal. 

Cape Cod Times

Rush job? Springfield police, union leaders say implementing reform bill no small task

They agree–so there’s that. Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Claprprood and the heads of the city’s two largest police unions say the police reform bill that recently passed by state lawmakers appears to have been rushed through the legislature and say they aren’t at all clear on how they’re supposed to go about implementing some of its requirements,Patrick Johnson at MassLive reports.

By Us For Us Beyond Cultural Competence: Decolonizing Clinical Constructs

Adaptations to clinical thought & practice to address the needs of BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ clients by clinicians who serve and belong to these communities. This working group is focused on developing what may become a recurring training series where clinicians of color critically examine the current treatment modalities available and how those can be adapted to most effectively work with BIPOC clients.

New Perspective Psychological Services

A Testament of Hope: A Celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Museum of African American History (MAAH) and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras (BYSO) are proud to present our 14th annual celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Please come together with us as we share this special video celebration with you and honor Dr. King with A Testament of Hope!

The Museum of African American History (MAAH), the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, (BYSO), & WGBH

Roar Webinar Series with Josefina Bonilla

The Roar Daily Webinar Series at 1:00 p.m. is inspirational and aspirational. Join industry Leaders as we discuss innovation and leadership, definition of success, and the emergence of new leadership styles in trying times. All Webinars are complimentary.


39th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Keynote and Awards Celebration

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration commemorates the legacy of Dr. King and allows the Oregon State community to reflect on his work in today’s context through engaging workshops, presentations, and service opportunities. This year’s keynote speaker is Angela Davis, American political activist, philosopher, academic and author.

Office of Institutional Diversity

Mindful Tuesdays

The ROAR Daily Webinar Series is inspirational and aspirational. Join industry Leaders as we discuss Innovation & Leadership, Diversity, Inclusion & Equity, Corporate Social Responsibility & The Community, and the definition of success and the emergency of new leadership styles and techniques to stay connected, healthy and happy. All Webinars are complimentary.

The ROAR Webinar Series with Josefina Bonilla

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


Mossimo Giannulli, husband of ‘Full House’ star Lori Loughlin, asks to finish prison sentence at home – MassLive

Broad Institute’s Eric Lander stepping away to become Biden’s science adviser – Boston Globe


New trial date set in corruption and fraud case against former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II – Herald News

Clark University students staging tuition strike to disarm campus police, lower university cost – Telegram & Gazette

Revenues at Plainridge rise in spite of capacity – Sun Chronicle


Biden taps Warren ally Chopra to lead Consumer Bureau – Politico

How Joe Biden was Donald Trumps’ kryptonite – CNN

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