Keller at Large
Money talks. Anything else walks
In his latest Keller at Large on MassterList, Jon Keller says boxing champion Willie Pastrano had it right: “Money talks. Anything else walks.” And it’s time major corporations and others in the private sector help promote social justice with real money, real jobs and other real action.
Cape Cod reopening, Patrick on voting, and more
— Cape Cod Reopening Task Force holds its weekly media availability call to discuss COVID-19 testing expansion plans and other issues, 9 a.m.
— Mass. Gaming Commission meets and is expected to receive Plainridge Park Casino’s renewal application, 10 a.m.
— Mass Cultural Council’s governing board convenes remotely to consider fiscal 2020 artist fellowships and to mark the 13-year tenure of executive director Anita Walker, who is retiring June 30, 1 p.m.
— Former Gov. Deval Patrick joins a virtual panel discussion, hosted by the Voter Protection Corps, on a new nationwide plan to protect in-person voting and voting rights in the era of COVID-19, 2 p.m.
— Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities holds a virtual hearing on a bill establishing a COVID-19 Local Food Access Emergency Fund, 3:30 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.
The flip side of certifying police: Decertifying police
As expected, Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday unveiled his police reform proposals that include the first-time certification of cops across the state and other measures. But the media is rightly focusing on the flip side of certifying police, i.e. decertifying bad cops. And that, ultimately, is what the reform is all about. WGBH’s Kaitlyn Locke and SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall) have more on the governor’s reform package.
Meanwhile, MassLive’s Steph Solis reviews what could get a police officer’s license revoked if the new certification law is passed. And the Globe, in an editorial, has a reminder: Don’t forget the State Police when it comes to reforms.
Dueling police protests in West Roxbury, non-dueling pro-police support on South Shore
Universal Hub has lots of photos from yesterday’s dueling police protests in West Roxbury, where pro-police backers and Black Lives Matter supporters faced off, peacefully so. The Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter has more on the West Roxbury action.
Meanwhile, Mary Whitfill at Wicked Local reports that South Shore police departments are seeing a surge in support for cops in various communities, from an organized “stand out” event in Quincy to simple expressions of thanks by residents.
If you’re looking for a place to defund police budgets, look no further …
Amid all the talk of defunding police budgets, the Globe’s Matt Rocheleau and Dugan Artnett identify one area for possible cuts in Boston (hint, hint, hint): The BPD’s ballooning police payroll, which now includes more than two dozen officers making more than $300,000 a year and which has seen an 84 percent increase in overtime pay since 2011.
Emerging trend? Framingham chief retires on heels of Newton counterpart
One more and it’s a trend. A day after Newton Police Chief David MacDonald said he would resign his post this summer, Framingham Police Chief Steven Trask has given his notice, saying his 33 years in the city department will come to an end next Friday, Norman Miller at the MetroWest Daily News reports.
But as the Globe’s Matt Berg reports, Trask’s retirement announcement came the day after the mayor ordered a review of the department’s use of force policies.
‘Juneteenth’: America’s next paid holiday?
Amid anti-racism protests across the country, the BBJ’s Greg Ryan reports that a “small but growing” number of area businesses are now giving their employees time off to observe the unofficial “Juneteenth” holiday marking the end of slavery in America. Meanwhile, the Globe’s Jeremy Fox reports on a similar move by Harvard. And the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter reports some city councilors went to make Juneteenth an official paid holiday in Boston.
Beacon Hill lawmakers eye possible interim state budget amid revenue uncertainties
Because no one really know where the battered economy is headed in coming months, let alone over the course of the next year, Beacon Hill lawmakers are now considering a number of novel approaches towards stitching together a state budget amid falling tax revenues. Among the ideas: An interim budget. And one assumes it could be a series of interim budgets. Shira Schoenberg at CommonWealth magazine has the details.
Meanwhile, in other state budget news, CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl looks into whatever happened to Gov. Charlie Baker’s $1 billion supplemental budget request that he filed last month. And from SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall): “State Releases Details of $2.45 Bil Capital Spending Plan.”
The coronavirus numbers: 69 new deaths, 7,734 total deaths, 226 new cases
WCVB has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.
‘No craps. No roulette. No poker’
MassLive’s Jim Kinney has some of the preliminary reopening guidelines for the state’s three casinos, if and when Gov. Charlie Baker gives them permission to reopen. Besides no craps, no roulette and no poker, casino operators envision lots of masks and plexiglass dividers once the doors swing open.
Mass. General Brigham, aka Partners, plans to cut executive salaries and freeze pay after network loses $800M
From the Globe’s Larry Edelman: “Mass. General Brigham, the state’s largest network of hospitals and doctors, said Wednesday it would temporarily cut executive compensation and freeze pay for thousands of employees after losing $800 million in revenue during the coronavirus pandemic.” Those and other cost-cutting measures will impact all 50,000 workers at the network.
Speaking of payroll cuts amid the coronavirus outbreak, from the Globe’s Katie Johnston and Shirley Leung: “Four Seasons reverses course on severance pay, promises full package to laid-off workers.”
Pink slips tally: At least 66 school districts have sent out layoff notices
More cost-cutting news during these coronavirus times: The Herald’s Rick Sobey reports that at least 66 school districts have now sent out layoff notices to teachers and other educators, with some school systems warning of a 100 or more layoffs. It’s pretty safe to say the pink-slip tally of layoff notices will likely grow in coming days, weeks and months.
Media meltdown update: WBUR plans to lay off 29 people and end ‘Only a Game’ production
Another media outlet is taking a pandemic-era hit. This time it’s WBUR FM, the Boston University-owned NPR radio station that announced yesterday it’s slashing 10 percent of its staff, or 29 people, and ending production of the long-time ‘Only a Game’ sports show, reports WBUR’s Callum Borchers.
Curiously, the WBUR piece plays up the recent formation of a newsroom union at the station. The BBJ’s Catherine Carlock and the Globe’s Larry Edelman focus on the economic woes the station and other media outlets face these days.
Complex math: MIT will keep some students off campus in the fall
No more roommates. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has previewed its plan for the fall semester and it involves allowing just 60 percent of undergrads to return to campus, giving all those students single rooms and sending everyone home by Thanksgiving, Laura Krantz at the Globe reports.
Not bluffing: Oak Bluffs vows to enforce mask order after weekend of non-compliance
They saw what the summer could look like and didn’t like it. The select board in Oak Bluffs has approved an action plan designed to encourage compliance with Gov. Baker’s order requiring face coverings in public after officials watched hundreds of scofflaws swarm its downtown during recent sunny days, Brian Dowd at the Martha’s Vineyard Times reports. Larger signs are being installed and more police will be on the ground during weekends, though official fines will remain a last resort.
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.
Agreement reached on decommissioning of Pilgrim nuclear station
Attorney General Maura Healey and the Baker administration have reached a settlement with Holtec International on guidelines for decommissioning the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, including minimum funding levels for cleanup activities and other payments. Dave Kindy at the Patriot Ledger has the details.
That UMass goal of launching a new online college? Never mind
The BBJ’s Hilary Burns reports that the recent partnership deal between UMass and a California higher-education institution is more than just a move to boost online learning at the state system. It’s a full retreat from the idea of creating a full-fledged online college at UMass.
Boston’s next mega-development project? Widett Circle
Here’s proof there’s still life in the economy. The Globe’s Tim Logan reports that developer Bill Keravuori and a group of other investors are set to close on the purchase of the 25-acre Widett Circle, where some once dreamed of building an Olympics stadium and where many now envision embarking on Boston’s next mega-development project.
Growth story: CommCann tees up marijuana expansion
Here’s another glimmer of positive economic news. The Commonwealth Cannabis Company says it’s ready to press forward with plans to expand its Medway marijuana growing operation, a move that will see it add 50 jobs to its payroll in coming months, Monica Bush at the Worcester Business Journal reports.
From acting to permanent chief: Tesler to head state’s RMV
MassLive’s Benjamin Kail reports that Jamey Tesler, who became acting head of the state’s Registry of Motor Vehicles after his predecessor resigned following the deadly N.H. crash that exposed serious data-collection problems at the agency, is now the permanent registrar.
CX Summer Nights
For the 5th straight year, Cambridge Crossing (CX) is kicking off the summer with CX Summer Nights, a virtual celebration of local food, local music, community and, of course, summer! CXSN also highlights the important work done by non-profits.
A Virtual Conversation with Sally Field and Senator Ed Markey
A Virtual Conversation with Sally Field and Senator Ed Markey will be held on a video conferencing platform for everyone to enjoy safely from their homes.
Zoom Webinar – How To Build An Anti-Racist Movement
The protests in response to George Floyd’s killing have raised the nation’s consciousness about the historical legacy of slavery and the deep-seated racism that plagues policing and criminal justice in the United States. The country is poised, perhaps now more than ever, to build a broad anti-racist movement. How will that look, and how can we hasten its progress?
The key to fierce loyalty: An amazing customer experience.
Set your small business apart by creating amazing customer experiences. Shep Hyken will break down his six “Convenience Principles” to improve your customer satisfaction and create fierce loyalty.
Free Webinar: Digital Schooling During COVID-19 & Beyond
We are pleased to offer a free webinar featuring Julie Young, founder of the highly successful Florida Virtual School (the country’s largest statewide Internet-based public high school) and current Vice President of Education Outreach at ASU and Managing Director of ASU Prep Digital.
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