Keller at Large
The coming fiscal apocalypse
In his latest Keller at Large on MassterList, Jon Keller is worried that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts may be headed for a “brutal, politically volatile” time as the state grapples with a potential multibillion-dollar budget deficit caused by the coronavirus crisis.
Elected officials protest, COVID-19 relief update, and more
— Elected officials of color from different levels of Massachusetts government – including U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, District Attorney Rachael Rollins, Suffolk Sheriff Steven Tompkins, Boston City Council President Kim Janey, Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera and members of the Black and Latino Legislative Caucus — gather at the African Meeting House before proceeding to the State House for a press conference to voice support for those protesting against police brutality and racism, 10 a.m.
— Attorney General Maura Healey remotely speaks to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce as part of its Government Affairs Forum, 10:30 a.m.
— Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius takes listeners’ calls on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 11 a.m.
— Joint Committee on Health Care Financing will accept testimony on a bill that would provide access to MassHealth coverage for all people who become unemployed as a result of COVID-19, 4 p.m.
— U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren remotely updates New England business leaders on the status of federal pandemic relief efforts as part of the New England Council’s ‘Capitol Hill Reports,’ webseries, 4 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.
Tensions high in cities across state; Worcester riot police fire rubber bullets and tear gas at post-protest crowd
It was another day of peaceful protests, followed by nighttime violence, this time in Worcester, where late last evening riot police “fired multiple rounds of rubber bullets and tear gas into the crowd of about 70 people” who stuck around hours after a peaceful protest ended in the city’s downtown, reports Tom Matthews at MassLive (you have to scroll down to the full police-response part). From the Telegram: “Worcester Police make arrests after protest.”
Meanwhile, elsewhere across the state, starting with MassLive: “Northampton march sees tensions rise as police and protesters clash, but ends in a show of unity.” … From the Standard Times: “More aggressive second day New Bedford demonstration blocks bridge and occupies streets.” … From the Martha’s Vineyard Times: “Vigil ends in violence” … From the MetroWest Daily News: “Police respond to social media threats of Natick Mall looting.”
And from Rhode Island, via the Globe: “Protesters converge in Providence overnight, looting stores and setting a police car on fire.” But things were calm in Boston last night, “save for a heavy presence of police and the Massachusetts National Guard,” the Globe reports.
Baker calls out Trump for ‘incendiary’ rhetoric
Gov. Charlie Baker is no fan of Donald Trump and yet has largely toned down the rhetoric against him over the past three years. He wasn’t toning it down much yesterday, calling the president’s recent remarks on street protests and violence “incendiary” and driven by “bitterness” and “self-interest.” And he added: “When the country needed compassion and leadership the most, it was simply nowhere to be found.”
Moulton warns of ‘tyranny’ after Trump threatens to deploy federal troops to American cities
The AP at WGBH reports that President Trump last night declared himself “the president of law and order” and threatened to deploy federal troops to U.S. cities to stop any violent protests. And within hours U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, in tweets and a press release, warned of presidential “tyranny” if the U.S. military is used against peaceful protesters and he openly urged “all our proud young men and women in uniform” if deployed to “lay down your arms, uphold your oath, and join this new march for freedom.”
Bottom line: We’re in serious rhetorical territory here. Let’s hope it stays in the rhetorical realm.
Other reactions: Walsh on ‘attack on our city,’ Rollins on ‘burning rage,’ Pressley calls for peaceful activism and condemnation of police brutality
Across the political spectrum yesterday, there seemed to be a clear consensus among city and state leaders in Massachusetts: Praising the numerous peaceful demonstrations attended by thousands of people over the death of George Floyd – and blasting the violence of a few over the weekend. Here’s a sampling of some of the headlines. From WGBH: “Mayor Marty Walsh: Violence After Boston Protests ‘An Attack On Our City And Its People.’” … From Universal Hub: “Walsh and Gross say they’re not going to let violent outsiders ruin Boston; Rollins says rampagers will be prosecuted, but tells whites that black rage is real.” … From WGBH: “Rep. Ayanna Pressley Calls For Focus To Remain On Peaceful Activism, Passing Legislation That Condemns Police Brutality.”
Feds threaten to charge some of those arrested in Boston
WCVB reports that Boston police have released the names of the 53 people arrested during Sunday night’s violence, looting and rioting in Boston. Fyi: By our quick count, a majority of the 53 are out-of-towners.
Meanwhile, U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling is rattling his legal sword, threatening to press federal charges against some of the accused and praising law enforcement officials. “I support them (police) completely and, if needed, I will use federal charges to make that point,” he said, reports Scott Croteau at MassLive.
U.S. Senate debate: Is all about ‘absent leadership’?
As WMPI’s Matt Szafranski notes, the U.S. Senate race last night returned to life, as incumbent Ed Markey and challenger Joseph Kennedy III debated a number of issues, including the current pandemic, street protests, police violence and … and whether Markey is guilty as charged by Kennedy of “absent leadership.” SHNS’s Matt Murphy, CommonWealth magazine’s Michael Jonas and the Globe’s Victoria McGrane and Matt Stout have more on the second debate between the Dem candidates, whose campaigns, until last night, have been largely overshadowed by the coronavirus crisis and the recent street protests and violence following the death of George Floyd.
Child care centers and summer camp could soon reopen — with lots of restrictions
From SHNS’s Colin A. Young: “Child care centers, summer camps and youth programs could be allowed to reopen as soon as next week under executive orders Gov. Charlie Baker issued Monday alongside more specific guidelines that businesses in the second wave of reopenings will have to follow.”
So what are some of the child-care conditions? From CommonWealth magazine’s Shira Schoenberg: “Children returning to daycare will no longer be encouraged to play together. Caregivers will wear face coverings. Public playgrounds will be off limits. Class sizes will be smaller.”
Loved ones can now visit nursing home residents – also with lots of restrictions
WBUR’s Mariam Wasser reports that the Baker administration is lifting the ban on visitors at the state’s battered nursing homes, starting tomorrow. But visits by loved ones must be scheduled in advance – and take place in designated outdoor areas. Other restrictions apply as well, as Wasser explains.
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.
Lawsuit challenges Baker’s emergency powers during pandemic
A new lawsuit filed by a small group of business owners and pastors is challenging Gov. Charlie Baker’s assumption of emergency powers during the pandemic, saying he overstepped his authority by using the Civil Defense Act of 1950 to declare a state of emergency, reports CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl and SHNS’s Chris Lisinski.
Legislative committee gives bi-partisan approval to expanded voting-by-mail bill
SHNS’s Chris Lisinski reports that the Election Laws Committee yesterday voted 14-0 to endorse a bill that would expand voting-by-mail in this fall’s primary and general elections, with two Republicans voting in favor. But three lawmakers – two Democrats and one Republican – neither supported nor opposed the bill.
Take your pick: BU gives students a choice between online and in-person classes this fall
An obvious solution to the dilemma facing higher-ed institutions this fall? From the Globe’s Deirdre Fernandes: “Boston University will give its more than 18,000 undergraduate students the choice of in-person and online classes when it reopens the campus this fall. On Monday, BU officials said they would offer this hybrid teaching model for students who can’t make it to campus and to meet social distancing guidelines.”
Salem investigating ‘completely inappropriate tweet’ by police aimed at Walsh and Baker
Salem police have launched an internal probe after a “completely inappropriate tweet” was sent via a SPD Twitter account criticizing Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Gov. Charlie Baker’s handling of recent street protests and coronavirus business closures. Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll is not happy, reports WCVB.
Soft restart: Offices reopen, but workers stay away
Open, but still empty. On the first day that offices in Boston were allowed to welcome employees back, the city’s core business district remained all but shut down as pandemic-wary workers chose to continue their new work-at-home routines, Jon Chesto and Anissa Gardizy at the Globe report.
Tom Reilly of the Sun Chronicle rode the train from Attleboro to Boston and found a commute that resembles the peak of the pandemic shutdown more than a typical hectic Monday morning.
They’re back: Police say criminal activity on the rise again, creating future court backlog
After a deep lull at the start of coronavirus lockdown, criminal activity is making a comeback in Bristol County and District Attorney Thomas Quinn III warns the area’s courts are accumulating a daunting backlog of cases, Curt Brown at the Standard-Times reports.
Civic pride and a free pen: Taunton, Easton head to polls amid precautions
Cast a vote, get a pen. Clerks expect a low turnout in today’s special election to fill the state representative seat vacated by now-Taunton Mayor Shauna O’Connell but say they are prepared with plexiglass dividers, crowd limits and a free pen for anyone who casts a vote. Charles Winokoor of the Taunton Gazette sets the stage for the faceoff between Democrat Carol Doherty and Republican Kelly Dooner.
Tech Adoption for Small Business through Covid-19 and Beyond
Ramon Ray hosts Shelly Palmer, advising how your small business can adopt new tech to help you pivot for the future.
JALSA Schmoozefest with Joan Venocchi
Joan Vennochi, Boston Globe Associate Editor, discussing the impact of COVID-19 on journalism; Clark Ziegler, MA Housing Partnership, on the challenge of affordable housing; with Music from Chava Mirel, internationally touring folk, world music, and jazz musician
Virtual Coffee with Governor Baker
Join ABLE’s CEO, Marian Walsh, and our Board Chairperson, Lydia Greene, as they salute Governor Charlie Baker for his leadership, voice of calm, and clear guidance throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
A Virtual Conversation with Michael Douglas & Senator Ed Markey
Join Senator Ed Markey for a virtual conversation with Michael Douglas.
The Future of Work: Pivoting Your Business for a Strong Reopening
The health and economic crisis caused by the COVID pandemic requires our businesses to adapt and transform the way we operate. In this session, learn from business experts and resource partners on how you can pivot your operating model, integrate technology tools and enhance your marketing strategies to operate successfully in the new normal.
MassHire Central Region Career Center Virtual Job Fair
It’s Central Massachusetts “Back to Work” Day! More than two dozen employers from diverse industries will participate in the Central Region Career Center’s Virtual Job Fair on June 4th from noon – 4:30PM. The Virtual Job Fair is FREE for all job seekers and employers; no pre-registration required for job seekers.
Virtual Author Talk with Honor Moore
Virtual Author Talk with Honor Moore, Moderated by Claire Messud
Protecting Cystic Fibrosis Patients from Discrimination by ICER Through COVID-19 & Beyond
Pioneer Institute and the Boomer Esiason Foundation will host an educational webinar, Protecting Cystic Fibrosis Patients from Discrimination by ICER Through COVID-19 & Beyond, on the importance of protecting patients with cystic fibrosis and any other complex condition from the harms of ICER and other one-size-fits-all value assessment methodologies both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
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