Look, folks. Here's the deal:
This is a big week for your chamber.
This afternoon at 1 p.m., join me for a conversation with Congressman-elect Jake Auchincloss
I’ll get his reaction to the national election, but also ask about his transition from Newton City Council (and the contest to fill his seat) and his
priorities for representing the 4th Congressional District. Your questions will be welcome.
Also, just announced, we're hosting a Zoom briefing Friday at 10 a.m. to discuss COVID testing, the critical role it it can play in reopening businesses
and our efforts
to open a testing site in the Newton-Needham-Waltham-
Wellesley area with Project Beacon.
We’re not divulging the list until Thursday. But we have released the names of five of our honorees because they will be participating on a panel we’re
calling “The ROI of DEI: Why diversity, equity and inclusion are essential to success in the suburbs.” Here's who's speaking:
- Mohamad Ali,
CEO, IDG, Inc.
- Michael J. Bobbitt,
Artistic Director, New Repertory Theatre
- Latoyia Edwards,
News Anchor, NBC10 Boston
- Juan Lopera,
VP Marketing, Business Diversity Officer, Tufts Health Plan
- Yvonne Spicer,
Mayor of Framingham
GK Marketplace to launch today
Our Business People of Color list partner, Get Konnected !
is launching the GK Market, Boston's first online multicultural marketplace for small businesses today. The project aims to create a platform for businesses
in the Greater Boston area to promote their goods and services, restaurants and shops, and everything in between especially for the holidays.
This site is open to companies of every size, but will be most useful for those who do not have an operational website and want more than a Yelp page to
showcase their business. Sign your company up here
About face masks
Last week, I asked
readers of this newsletter to let me know if they felt local police should start enforce mask wearing, now that Gov. Charlie Baker has made face covering in public mandatory
for everyone over five years old.
The feedback was more mixed than I expected.
Some felt the threat of a $300 fine would take the burden off of store clerks, restaurant staff, fitness instructors and others who often find themselves
acting as enforcers.
Another respondent said she’d go shopping more, and turn to Amazon less, if she felt the mandate was being enforced.
Some supported reasonable enforcement, but not outdoors, which the data says is scientifically unnecessary.
Others felt their civil liberties were being ripped-away simply by my asking the question.
And one local municipal leader, who asked to remain anonymous, said mask wearing needs “social control,” not policing. “There is already enough stress
on both sides of the police/public relationship.”
More about masks
Business groups around the country commended President-elect Joe Biden yesterday for calling on all Americans to wear masks, the Hill reports
"I won’t be president until Jan. 20, but my message today to everyone is this: It doesn’t matter who you voted for or where you stood before Election Day.
It doesn’t matter your party or point of view. We could save tens of thousands of lives if everyone would just wear a mask for the next couple months,"
Biden said. "Not Democrat or Republican lives, American lives."
Deep cuts proposed by MBTA
Starting this spring, the MBTA would eliminate commuter rail service on weekends and after 9 p.m. on weeknights, 25 bus routes, halt subways and buses
at midnight, and scale back more transit options under a package of service cuts officials unveiled Monday.
The T published an interactive map
on its website laying out the line-by-line and route-by-route cuts on the table.
Officials plan the steepest cuts on routes where ridership has declined the most during pandemic and in areas where commuters have access to alternatives.
But the vast majority of the system -- which hosted upwards of 1.2 million rides a day before COVID struck -- will be affected in some way.
Opponents argued that the cuts would make commuting more difficult for riders who rely on public transit to get to essential jobs. They also warned that
making transit less accessible could push more workers onto roadways, exacerbating traffic and greenhouse gas emissions.
The changes are likely to remain in place for years, although MBTA officials said they will monitor trends and respond accordingly if they notice increasing
demand or crowding.
Both subway and bus service would stop at midnight, affecting more than 2,000 riders based on September figures.
Sen. Becca Rausch, a Needham Democrat, tweeted
that she "will be fighting this" after she learned about "seriously concerning + frustrating service cuts" during a morning briefing.
Today’s three need to knows
- Looking for Thanksgiving dinner options now that you won’t be going over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house? We’ve created a directory of area restaurants offering dining or a special takeout menu on Thanksgiving. (If you're a restaurant owner/manager and you would like to be added to this list, let
us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
- Crews continue to work most weeknights (8:30 p.m. to 5 a.m.) and most weekends through December along the MBTA’s D-Line between Riverside and Beaconsfield
stations. Here's details.
Biden taps Newton doc for COVID task force
Congratulations to Newton resident Atul Gawande
on his appointment to President-elect Joe Biden's COVID Task Force.
Gawande is a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, as well
as a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine.
He previously served as a senior advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services in the Clinton Administration. (BBJ story here
The COVID-19 Advisory Board is a team of leading public health experts who will advise Biden and his transition team.
We lost a good guy this weekend
Ciccone was serving his seventh term on the council and had been a member of the Sherborn Police Department for 17 years. His passion and compassion (along
with that special twinkle in his eye) will be missed. Information about services here.
President, Newton-Needham Regional Chamber