Happening Today

11 a.m. | Congressman Jake Auchincloss visits Mansfield small businesses to promote the importance of shopping locally and discuss economic recovery from COVID-19. Sen. Paul Feeney and Reps. Adam Scanlon, Fred Barrows and Edward Philips join him.

11 a.m. | House holds informal session and Senate meets without a calendar.

8 p.m. | Prospective voters in the First Suffolk and Middlesex Senate District have until 8 p.m. to register if they wish to cast a ballot in the Dec. 14 primary special election. Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards and Revere School Committee member Anthony D’Ambrosio are set to face off in the Democratic primary election.

Today’s Stories

Is it 2020 or 2021? We’ll soon find out

Winter is coming. So are the turkey dinners.

And with that, the idea of another surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Case averages have already jumped 59 percent in New England, reports a trio of reporters at the Boston Globe, and in Massachusetts, the seven-day daily case average has spiked 83 percent in the past 14 days.

It’s concerning news considering Thanksgiving is tomorrow, plenty of people plan to travel to and from the state, and last year — before vaccines were available — the holiday proved to be a major contributor to new cases.

After Thanksgiving 2020, the state witnessed a rapid increase in cases, and at one point in early December 2020, more than 10,000 COVID cases were confirmed in a single weekend. Following that sharp increase, Gov. Charlie Baker curtailed elective procedures at hospitals to make more beds and staff available.

But it’s not all grim news and Massachusetts is certainly in a different position than it was 12 months ago. Vaccines are available to a wide range of age groups, booster shots are now in the mix, and public and private entities are using vaccine mandates to curb case counts.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu suggested during a radio appearance Tuesday afternoon that city officials could soon implement an indoor vaccine requirement for places like restaurants and performance venues. GBH News’ Adam Reilly reports that Wu said the city is “following the data very closely and thinking about every tool.”

In the vein of thinking back to Thanksgiving 2020, the Baker administration announced yesterday that hospitals will once again start to slow down non-essential and non-urgent procedures to free up more beds if there are a limited number available.

State House News Service’s Colin A. Young reports that Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders said the strain on hospital capacity is a result of longer than average hospital stays and workforce shortages, “separate and apart from the challenges brought on by COVID.”

As the days grow colder and shorter, the next few weeks will be crucial in understanding if this year’s holiday travel leads to another concerning rise in infections.

Daily Counters:

State House Closed: 618 days

Gubernatorial Election: 349 days

More than a dozen elected officials back Edwards’ Senate bid

A dozen plus elected officials endorsed Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards in her run for the first Suffolk and Middlesex Senate District. MassLive’s Alison Kuznitz reports that Edwards faces Revere School Committee member Anthony D’Ambrosio in a Democratic primary on Dec. 14. Among those at the State House Tuesday morning: Boston Mayor Michelle Wu (who previously endorsed Edwards), Sens. Becca Rausch and Nick Collins, and Reps. Aaron Michlewitz, Adrian Madaro, and Liz Miranda.


Wu and Baker discussed rent control during meeting last week

Rent control. It’s a controversial topic championed by Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. And last week when the freshly minted mayor met with Gov. Charlie Baker, the two discussed the measure. State House News Service’s Matt Murphy reports that Wu did not suggest she changed Baker’s mind about the policy but said there could be a new approach to the idea rather than the “old style of rent control.”

State House News Service

Maine lawmakers urge Baker to help end hydro project

They’re turning up the heat. A group of 50 Maine lawmakers have written to Gov. Baker to urge him to help terminate the New England Clean Energy Connect hydropower transmission line through the Pine Tree State, Amy Sokolow of the Herald reports.

Boston Herald

Long shot: Mass General employees seek Supreme Court help on vaccine firings

A group of former Mass General Brigham employees fired over refusing to comply with the hospital’s vaccine mandate is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to order them back on the job while their lawsuit over the mandate makes its way through the courts, Adam Gaffin of Universal Hub reports.

Universal Hub

The three options for how Worcester could elect its school committee

There’s a change in store for the way Worcester residents elect their school committee, though what exactly that will look like is still a work in process. MassLive’s Melissa Hanson reports that following a federal lawsuit last year, the city is moving away from an at-large system and is now considering three different structures: mayor and six district seats; mayor, seven district seats, and one at-large seat; and mayor, six district seats, and two at-large seats.


Worcester doc wants you to remember these key things when traveling this week

Make sure you have commonsense when traveling over Thanksgiving. That’s the message from Worcester Medical Director Dr. Michael Hirsh, reports Telegram & Gazette’s Craig S. Semon, who said people who haven’t been vaccinated should consider getting jabbed before hitting the road.

More from Semon: “In addition, Hirsh said wearing masks indoors in public spaces is still critical to combat the pandemic. COVID infections have been on the rise in several states, including Massachusetts, with the U.S. averaging well over 80,000 cases per day, according to John Hopkins University.”

Telegram & Gazette

Not done fighting: DiZoglio continues push to ban non-disclosure agreements

She plans to keep pushing. While past efforts have stalled before they reached the finish line, state Sen. DiZoglio continues to push fellow lawmakers to ban the use of non-disclosure agreements in cases involving discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, Christian Wade of the Gloucester Times reports.

Gloucester Daily Times

Former Suffolk County District Attorney to retire from Northeastern

After a decade as Northeastern University’s general counsel, former Suffolk District Attorney Ralph Martin is retiring, according to NU. Boston Business Journal’s Grant Welker reports that Mary Strother will take over for Martin. Strother previously worked as first assistant attorney general for AG Maura Healey.

Boston Business Journal

Historic find: $30 estate sale find may fetch $50 Million

A Bay State man who paid $30 at an estate sale in 2017 for what turned out to be an artist’s sketch dating from 1503 will soon find out what the drawing is actually worth — some experts say it could fetch as much as $50 million. Taylor Dafoe of Art Net has the details.

Artnet News

Today’s Headlines


Wu to have public process on police commissioner search, which will start in the new year – Boston Herald

In win for residents with disabilities, Boston must upgrade curb ramps across the city – WBUR


Hanson selectman agrees to pay $5,000 fine for state ethics violations – Patriot Ledger

Racism in the courts: Massachusetts Chief Justice of the Trial Court Paula M. Carey says courts ‘thoroughly investigate’ allegations – MassLive

Springfield councilors propose $5M transfer to ease rising tax bills – MassLive


Jan. 6 Organizers Used Anonymous ‘Burner Phones’ to Communicate with White House and Trump Family, Sources Say – Rolling Stone

Charlottesville rally organizers found liable by jury – The Hill

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