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Formerly the Newton-Needham Chamber

A good chamber friend is stepping down

Tripadvisor CEO Steven Kaufer will step down from the company he cofounded next year.
 
The Needham-based travel technology company began in 2000 out of a tiny office on top of Kosta's Pizza & Seafood in Needham.
 
The company went on to revolutionize how we think about and plan traveling and dining.
 
Under Kaufer, Tripadvisor also played an important role in our region’s economic development as our largest private sector employer.
 
In 2015 the company choose to locate its corporate headquarters in what was then a largely-desolate office park in the yet-to-be-named N-Squared Innovation District, an area that’s now home to many employers, hotels, co-working and hundreds of units of housing.
 
Kaufer has also been a good friend and supporter of the chamber, for which we will always be grateful.
 
“Given our strong position, the talented teams driving our plans forward, and after over 20 years at Tripadvisor, I believe now is the best time to announce my plans to step away from the company next year,” he said in a statement.
 
Kaufer plans to remain on the job until his successor is appointed.
 
Fortunately, he’s surrounded himself with a stellar team and leaves the company in excellent hands. 
 
Health care discussion added to next week's agenda
 
We’ve just added two more reasons for you to join us next Weds (Nov. 17) at 10 a.m. at our chamber’s virtual Fall Business Breakfast, with acclaimed MIT professor, entrepreneur and inventor Dr. Robert Langer.
 
Following Langer, Dr. Errol R. Norwitz, president of Newton Wellesley Hospital, and John M. Fogartypresident of Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital Needham, will join me for a conversation about the how our hospitals and their employees weathered the pandemic; the future of public health in our region; and what you should know about the pandemic in the months ahead.
 
Go here to RSVP.
 
Fuller, council leaders condemn political ambush
 
Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller, along with City Council President and VP Rick Lipof, issued strong statements over the weekend condemning an anonymous 11th hour dirty trick aimed at city council candidate Jim Cote.
 
“These tactics are wrong,” Fuller wrote. “They are divisive. They are deceptive. They are manipulative. They are inconsistent with Newton’s values.”
 
“We denounce this type of covert, dishonest behavior that does a disservice to the electorate during the process of vetting their potential representatives,” added Albright and Lipof.
 
“We understand that currently there are investigations underway that will determine what was legal or illegal but we must address the ethical issues raised by the fake email and an unattributed flyer,” they added.
 
Neither statement mentions City Councilor Emily Norton by name.
 
But, in part at least, that’s who everybody's talking about.
 
After five days of silence, Norton admitted to the Globe’s Marcela Garcia that she was the one captured in a video delivering anonymous flyers to households that sought to paint Cote as a Trump Republican.
 
An unapologetic Norton told Garcia she created the anonymous posters after she "started looking at [Cote's] Twitter feed" and discovered "some really conservative statements."
 
The problem with that is Norton has known Cote (a former Republican who’s been disowned by the GOP City Committee for not being Trumpy enough) since 2013. They served three terms together on the council and on multiple committees.
 
Norton even supported Cote when he ran unsuccessfully for reelection two years ago.
 
Garcia didn't seem to be buying Norton’s explanation.
 
“With apologies to Sir Isaac, Newton’s first law these days is: Whatever the conflict is supposedly about, it’s probably really about housing and zoning reform,” Garcia writes, noting that progressive, pro-housing groups such as Vibrant Newton and Engine 6 endorsed Cote.
 
Sure enough, Norton has long been an opponent of transit-oriented housing in her ward.
 
For his part, Cote seemed genuinely blindsided by his former ally's political ambush. (There’s even photo of Cote, smiling with Norton and other prominent pols on his campaign home page.)
 
"The bottom line is Emily got caught," Cote told Patch.

White House urges businesses to move forward while court drama plays out
 
The White House is urging businesses to move forward with implementing its vax-or-test rules for large employers, even as it fights back against a court order pause.
 
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, considered one of the most conservative appellate courts in the country, halted the requirements Saturday pending review, according to CNBC.
 
More than two dozen state attorneys general and other organizations are challenging the rule in court. On Monday the administration moved to combine all challenges filed into one federal court.
 
More about Biden's vax-or-test mandate
 
Here’s a few other elements from the 460 page document that I didn’t mention last week.

  • The rule applies to all U.S. employers with 100 or more workers, including full-time, part-time, and seasonal workers on Jan. 4, 2021. It does not include independent contractors or remote workers.
  • If you have fewer than 100 employees on Jan. 4 but then add headcount after that, the rule will then apply to your business. If you reduce your workforce after Jan. 4 to below 100 employees, you still must follow the rule.
  • For a single corporate entity with multiple locations, all employees at all locations are counted. In a traditional franchisor-franchisee relationship in which each franchise location is independently owned and operated, the franchisor and franchisees would be separate entities for coverage purposes.
 
A legacy lives on
 
The former West Street Grill in Nonantum will be reopening soon with a new name – Café Martin -- and an inspiring backstory.
 
It’s named in honor of Adrienne Martin’s late husband John, a former NECN videographer who died of ALS in 2018.
 
During his two-year battle with the disease, John would get frequent visitors at his house in Newton, including friends, neighbors and even celebs such as Pedro Martinez and Tuukka Rask.
 
“Our house got nicknamed Cafe Martin” and her new labor of love aims to capture that same spirit Adrienne Martin tells WBZ.
 
Other need to knows
 
  • Boston Restaurant Talk reports that Little Thai Cafe on Main Street in Watertown has closed for good while Condesa Restaurante Mexicano has just opened at Arsenal Yards.
  • The Needham-based Pan-Mass Challenge just donated $64 million to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the most ever.
  • LabShares Newton is in the process of doubling its Nonantum footprint. The expansion at 55 Chapel St. will feature equipment aimed to support a wide array of biotech projects as well as top-quality administrative support services. Opening is expected this winter
 
 
This last piece of news is neither surprising, nor good
 
Small retailers and manufacturers are being disproportionately walloped by delays, shortages and other supply chain disruptions ahead of the holidays, confirms the Washington Post.
 
In many cases, they’re losing out to giants like Walmart and Amazon, which are spending millions to charter their own ships and planes to move merchandise.
 
Independent merchants are often the last in line for products anyway because manufacturers prioritize larger, more lucrative contracts.
 
Of course, you and I can do our share to help this holiday season -- and all year round -- by shopping locally.
 
Really, let's all commit to thinking twice before clicking on that large online e-commerce website.
 
That’s today’s need to knows unless you need to know how to host Thanksgiving with unvaccinated friends and family
 
Greg Reibman (he, him)
President
Charles River Regional Chamber
617.244.1688
 
P.S. I'd been planning on switching to a Tuesday/Friday schedule. But I have so many items I didn't get to today. Be back tomorrow.

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