Coronavirus updates and more
— Mass. School Building Authority meets via conference call, with Treasurer Deborah Goldberg chairing the meeting, 10 a.m.
— Senate Democrats hold a private ‘tele-caucus,’ 11 a.m.
— Attorney General Maura Healey participates in an ‘Ask the AG’ segment on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 12 p.m.
— Boston Mayor Marty Walsh joins Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce CEO Jim Rooney to provide an update on Boston’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, 1 p.m.
— Sen. Ed Markey, Rep. Tami Gouveia, and Dr. Michael Goldberg hold a livestream discussion on how coronavirus stay-at-home orders and social distancing can impact mental health, 5 p.m.
For the most comprehensive listing 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.
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 numbers: 113 new deaths, 957 total deaths, 1,296 new cases
WCVB has the latest confirmed coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts, including the highest number of reported deaths in a single day.
And the new numbers: 3,400 hospitalized across the state
The Globe’s Liz Kowalczyk and Patricia Wen have gotten hold of the state’s new hospitalization numbers – and they show that 3,400 patients are currently being treated in 60 hospitals across the state and about 970 are in intensive-care units. The good news: Hospitals are not nearly full – though state officials warn the peak of COVID-19 admissions is not expected for another week.
State’s budget hole: We’re talking billions and billions of dollars
Economists and state budget experts sounded like the late Carl Sagan yesterday, estimating that coronavirus shutdown could cost the state anywhere from $4 billion to $6 billion in lost tax collections. But since no one really knows how bad it will get, the word “billions” was bandied about a lot at a social-distancing state budget hearing yesterday. And then there’s the estimates about job losses in Massachusetts, as measured in the hundreds of thousands, not billions. SHNS’s Matt Murphy, the BBJ’s Greg Ryan and CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg have the various numbers.
Btw, Treasurer Deb Goldberg is literally thanking God that the state built up a huge rainy day fund, SHNS also reports (pay wall).
‘Mutineers’: Trump accuses governors of ‘mutiny’ for setting up economic-reopening coalition
Charlie Baker as Fletcher Christian? We suppose so, considering that President Donald Trump yesterday compared himself to Capt. Bligh in ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ and described governors who have joined a new economic-reopening coalition as “mutineers,” as MassLive’s Steph Solis and the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter and Erin Tiernan report.
Baker’s reaction to the president’s latest off-the-wall tweet? It’s just “noise.” CBS Boston’s Jon Keller says “there’s a method to President Bligh’s madness”: Trump is laying the election-year groundwork for blaming governors for the nation’s economic woes.
Btw: The president and governors were also battling yesterday over Trump’s assertion of ‘total’ control over the economy, as the Hill reports.
Loyal crew member: Trump taps Bob Kraft to serve on his ‘opening the country’ council
As he beats down a “mutiny” by governors across the nation, President Donald ‘William Bligh’ Trump has put together his own loyal crew to serve on his new “opening the country” council – and New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft is on his list of non-mutineers, reports MassLive and the NYT.
Speaking of the Pats, from the Globe: “Patriots truck heads to New York for shipment of masks.”
Reports: Holyoke Soldiers’ Home one of deadliest tragedies in nation
CBS Boston reports that 44 veterans have now died at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, while MassLive’s Jeanette DeForge reports that nearly two-thirds of the veterans in the facility have contracted COVID-19.
To put the Holyoke tragedy in a group-home perspective, the NYT reports that a Richmond, Virginia nursing home, where at least 45 residents have died, is considered the deadliest long-term care facility in the nation. The Holyoke home is ranked among the 10 deadliest long-term care centers in the nation, the Times reports.
Meanwhile, state approves extra pay for nursing-home workers
Speaking of long-term care facilities, from the Globe’s Laura Krantz: “After pressure from desperately understaffed nursing homes, state officials on Tuesday said they will soon grant the facilities permission to boost some workers’ pay by 25 percent amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As the virus rips through the state, the jobs of nursing home staff have become newly hazardous.”
New field hospitals going up in Lowell and Dartmouth
As the state braces for the coming surge peak of coronavirus cases, Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday touted the planned opening on Monday of a new 94-bed field hospital at Joint Base Cape Cod – and announced new field hospitals will also be set up at the UMass Lowell Recreation Center and on the campus of UMass-Dartmouth, WCVB reports.
Move aside Chelsea and Lynn: Brockton’s COVID-19 cases hit 1,206
Another working-class city with a large number of people of color is under pressure. Cody Shepard at the Enterprise reports officials in Brockton now say that 1,206 residents have tested positive for the coronavirus and 36 have died.
Why wait? Brockton area landlords file nearly 100 eviction notices during pandemic
Speaking of Brockton, they’re not standing down. Ben Berke at the Enterprise reports nearly 100 new evictions have been filed in Brockton’s housing court since the coronavirus pandemic began, even as lawmakers prep a bill to halt evictions and foreclosures temporarily. The good news for tenants: The actions aren’t going anywhere as the court’s aren’t taking non-emergency cases.
Notable deaths: Boston police officer, concentration camp liberator, Dorchester photographer, nursing home whistle-blower
Nearly 1,000 people have died as a result of the coronavirus in Massachusetts – and here are four of them. …From the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky and Sean Philip Cotter: “Boston police mourn ‘hero’ officer who died from coronavirus.” … From Anne-Gerard Flynn at MassLive: “Concentration camp liberator David Cohen and wife Muriel die within hours of each other at nursing home.” … From the Dorchester News: “Dot photographer Steve Allen dies at 62.” … From the Globe’s Emily Sweeney and John Hilliard: “Family mourns nurse who died after contracting coronavirus.”
SJC to weigh in on signature-gathering dispute
Someone has to settle this debate. From the Globe’s Victoria McGrane: “Massachusetts’ highest court will hear oral arguments Thursday over whether it should relax the legal requirements for candidates to get on the ballot, wading into an issue bogged down by partisan squabbling in the state Legislature.”
In other SJC news, from the Globe’s John Ellement and Danny McDonald: “SJC justice says Hyde Park murder defendant should remain free; rejects plea from DA Rollins.”
The $1,200 stimulus checks start arriving today – with Trump’s name on them
About 80 million Americans today should start receiving those $1,200 direct payments from the federal government — and in an “unprecedented” move the checks will have President Donald Trump’s name on them, reports the Washington Post. Consider it an all-politics-are-local version of governors and mayors putting their names on public-construction signage.
Mass. businesses snag billions in PPP loans
Here’s some good news – assuming they actually get the approved funds. From the BBJ’s Greg Ryan: “As of Monday, Massachusetts businesses had been approved for more than 27,000 loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program that are worth a combined $7.07 billion.”
But the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett reports that non-pot businesses that have worked with recreational cannabis companies may find themselves on the outside looking in as federal stimulus cash is distributed.
Government updates: Vote-by-mail bill, Domestic violence initiative, Boston rental assistance program
Some quick summaries and headlines from the governmental front. From SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall): “Senate Majority Leader Cynthia Creem has filed a bill that would make early voting by mail an option for registered voters ahead of the state primary and general elections later this year.” … From SHNS Katie Lannan (pay wall): “House Dems Assembling Domestic Violence Initiative.” … From the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter: “Boston coronavirus rental assistance program draws thousands of applications.”
Awaiting intervention: Pot firms’ fates in hands of judge
A Superior Court judge could rule as soon as today on a bid by recreational marijuana companies to get Baker’s order to close non-medical pot shops overturned after the two sides sparred over video conference on Tuesday, Dan Adams reports at the Globe.
Back to pitching pot: Weld pushes for opening of retail marijuana shops
Speaking of pot: Now that he’s no longer running for president and back at his old Mintz law firm job in Boston, former Gov. Bill Weld, who has served as a director and pitchman for a Canadian marijuana company, has penned an opinion piece at CommonWealth magazine calling for the opening of retail pot shops during the coronavirus emergency. No mention of Gov. Charlie Baker, who ordered the pot stores closed.
Conspicuously absent: Obama endorsement shines light on Warren’s future Biden move
Not if, but when? Former President Barack Obama has endorsed Joe Biden and the former VP’s campaign is honing in on getting U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren to follow his lead, Natasha Korecki and Quint Forgey at Politico report. Warren’s nod appears to be locked and loaded, with only the timing to be finalized.
Or, Warren could zig when everyone expects her to zag by following the advice of Sharlee Glenn, who writes in The Hill that the senator should resume her campaign in the wake of sexual assault allegations being levied against Biden.
ELM Wednesday Webinars | Session 2: Climate Justice
Join ELM for Session 2 with the Reverend Mariama White-Hammond, Climate Justice Fellow with the Green Justice Coalition and Associate Minister for Ecological Justice at the Bethel AME Church in Boston. COVID-19 has highlighted the longstanding inequities among our residents. Initial data shows that people of color are contracting the disease and dying at much higher rates than whites.
Environmental League of Massachusetts
ROAR Web Series with Josefina Bonilla and Special Anne Marie Pizarro
Known in the Old and New Testament as the Book of Life, the Akashic Records is a library of knowledge that holds the collection of all human events, thoughts, words, emotions and intent ever to have occurred in the past, present or future.
Conference with Greg Sullivan of Pioneer Institute: Study on MA Unemployment Predictions
MassFiscal will be hosting an online video web forum with Greg Sullivan, former MA Inspector-General and the current Research Director of the Pioneer Institute.
ROAR Web Series with Josefina Bonilla and Special Guest Aniesia Williams
Join us as we discuss the emergence of new leadership styles and importance of keeping connected and managing your social media platforms. Aniesia will also discuss how she became a social media influencer.
Making a Digital Marketing Strategy for Unpredictable Times
Entrepreneur Melinda Emerson shows us why marketing and social media are essential in difficult times—and how to be ready when those times are over.
Verizon Small Business Webinar Series
Technology trends to help your small business stay the course
71 percent of small- to medium-sized businesses are addressing the forecasted slow growth by making long-term plans, taking into account anticipated technological, demographic and economic changes over the next 5-10 years*. A secure, sustainable approach to technology and innovation will help business owners combat future challenges.
2020 Robert C. Wood Visiting Professor of Public and Urban Affairs Lecture featuring Christiana Figueres
Each year, the Robert C. Wood Professorship brings a distinguished public leader to campus for a lecture and conversation to engage students, faculty, and community members in discussions of public policy and public service. The McCormack Graduate School is pleased to announce Christiana Figueres as the 2020 Robert C. Wood Visiting Professor of Public and Urban Affairs.
Jewish Social Justice Study Session
Join JALSA for a weekly Jewish social justice themed conversation, facilitated remotely every Thursday evening at 7:00 PM. This Thursday, we’ll be discussing food justice and equity: how we can make sure all members of our community have what they need to grow and thrive.
Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action
Public Health Update w/ Dr. Ashish Jha
Newton City Councilor Jake Auchincloss will speak again with Dr. Jha, Newton resident, physician, and Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute for a COVID-19 public health update.
Newton City Councilor Jake Auchincloss
Graduate Student Conference 2020
The John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies hosts a Graduate Student Conference 2020 on Policy and Global Studies. The conference includes several panels and flash talk presentations on the theme: “Policy and Politics Across Public Spaces: Building Communities from the Local to the Globa
Art Happy with Katie series
Join Art Happy with Katie for fun, stay-at-home activities for the family!
Aquarium, zoo and museums appeal for federal aid – CommonWealth Magazine
Rollins slams high court’s decision to free accused murderer amid coronavirus epidemic – Boston Herald
State audit: Mount Wachusett College foundation spending checks out – Telegram & Gazette
In pandemic, Markey, Kennedy push messages online – Daily Hampshire Gazette
At first virtual meeting, Pittsfield City Council allocates $300,000 for coronavirus spending – Berkshire Eagle
Biden didn’t listen to the left. He won anyway – Washington Post
Trump promised a big announcement. Then he read off a long list of names. – Politico
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