Happening Today

Cannabis Control, infrastructure bill, and more

Joint Committee on Education accepts written testimony today on a bill concerning summer courses at virtual schools and legislation authorizing the Nauset regional school district to enter into renewable energy agreements. 

— The Cannabis Control Commission meets to hold a discussion on regulatory policy issues, 10 a.m.

— Boston Federal Reserve Bank president and CEO Eric Rosengren discusses the U.S. economy and current financial conditions in a virtual talk hosted by the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, 10:15 a.m.

— U.S. Rep. Richard Neal holds a press conference to discuss the Moving Forward Act, an infrastructure funding bill, 11 a.m.

Ibram Kendi, the director of Boston University’s new center for Antiracist Research, joins Boston Globe editorial page editor Bina Venkataraman for a conversation on how to build an antiracist movement, 2 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.

Today’s Stories

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.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

The coronavirus numbers: 36 new deaths, 7,770 total deaths, 271 new cases

CBS Boston has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Caution flag: Emergency child-care facilities have been hit with dozens of coronavirus cases

Granted, many of these cases occurred during the peak surge period of the pandemic, but they do scream caution when it comes to reopening child-care centers. From the Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert: “At least 64 cases of coronavirus have been reported at Massachusetts emergency child care centers over the past three months, forcing temporary closures and quarantines at some of the programs set up to care for children of essential workers, state officials said this week.”

Boston Globe

From pandemic emergency to permanent policy: Senate bill would make telehealth coverage mandatory

CommonWealth magazine’s Shira Schoenberg and SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) report how the state Senate hopes to make at least one temporary emergency measure imposed during the pandemic a permanent policy – insurance coverage of telehealth. The legislation also addresses those beyond frustrating “out of network” bills insurance companies charge people and it resurrects past controversial proposals about who gets to practice what types of medical services.

State universities say they’ll reopen this fall (kind of)

MassLive’s Michelle Williams reports that UMass will start classes earlier than normal this coming year – and end the fall semester earlier than normal – as part of its modified reopening plan. Meanwhile, SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall) reports that the state’s other universities plan to reopen this fall, offering a “blended model of instruction with face-to-face and remote coursework.”

Btw: Universal Hub reports that Boston University’s on-campus students and professors will have to take weekly coronavirus tests this fall as part of its reopening plans.

Restaurants: Delaying state tax-filing deadline simply isn’t enough

SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall) reports Beacon Hill leaders have decided to further delay tax-filing deadlines for small businesses until September, as a way to help business owners get through tough financial times caused by the COVID-19 lockdown. But the Herald’s Erin Tiernan reports many restaurateurs say the delay isn’t enough and they have some suggestions on what else can be done.

Meanwhile, Cape businesses stage ‘Boston Tea Party’ protest over restrictions

It’s come to this. Scores of Cape Cod business owners gathered Thursday to stage a makeshift recreation of the Boston Tea Party, arguing the Cape and state economies will end up underwater if restrictions aren’t lifted immediately, Christine Legere at the Cape Cod Times reports.

Separately, Julie Manganis at the Salem News reports Peabody resident Vincent Delaney has filed a federal lawsuit seeking an immediate end to any coronavirus-related restrictions on the state’s economy, saying the rules are harming his HVAC business. 

Cape Cod Times

Grounded: Logan Airport scales back ambitious expansion plan due to air-travel woes

Another casualty of the coronavirus-caused economic downturn. From the Globe’s Jon Chesto: “The Massachusetts Port Authority on Thursday sharply cut back its ambitious multibillion-dollar renovation and expansion of Logan Airport in the face of a worldwide slowdown in air travel brought about by the pandemic. Massport’s board voted to reduce its five-year, $3 billion construction plan by a third” Among other things, it has shelved plans for a “monorail-like people mover.”

Boston Globe

Neal rolls out $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill that includes funds for rail expansion in western Mass.

Speaking of infrastructure projects, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal and other House Democrats yesterday unveiled a sweeping $1.5 trillion infrastructure improvement bill, setting up a potential battle with Congressional Republicans, though President Trump is apparently eyeing his own infrastructure legislation. SHNS’s Chris Lisinski has details of the Dem plan, which includes funds for a rail expansion connecting Boston and western Massachusetts.  

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

After shutting off water and power, officials resort to changing locks at defiant Oxford gym

Shutting off the water and power didn’t work. So officials yesterday resorted to changing the locks on an Oxford gym, whose owner has openly defied Gov. Charlie Baker’s closure order during the coronavirus pandemic, reports the Telegram’s Brad Petrishen. The question everyone is asking: What if even the changed locks don’t work?


Supreme Court’s DACA ruling draws praise – and calls for making the program the law of the land

A three-reporter team at WBUR reports that local residents and politicians yesterday were praising the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, in a clear rebuff to the Trump administration. But U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and others say it’s time for Congress to codify DACA into law.


Juneteenth: It’s day has come

The momentum to make ‘Juneteenth’ a regular holiday is gaining steam, with the mayor of Lawrence ordering City Hall closed today to mark the end of slavery in America. Meanwhile, the state Senate has passed a resolution celebrating the unofficial holiday in Massachusetts, reports WCVB, while lawmakers have filed legislation that would make Juneteenth an official holiday, reports MassLive. Mayor Marty Walsh also now supports making Juneteenth a holiday, reports Paul Singer at WGBH.

Meamwhile, some headlines from around the state, starting with the BBJ: “Boston construction sites to stand down Friday to honor Black Lives Matter.” … And from the Worcester Business Journal: “YWCA, Santander to honor Juneteenth in Worcester.” … And, finally, the Globe’s Adrian Walker has a good column this morning explaining the significance of Juneteenth, how it slowly came about, and why it’s become significant to African Americans.

AG Barr’s meeting with Gross sparks criticism – and counter-criticism

U.S. Attorney William Barr made a surprise visit yesterday to Boston, where President Trump’s top prosecutor met with Boston Police Commissioner William Gross – and, considering these protest times, the mere fact Gross met with Barr has created a stir. But Gross isn’t backing down. ““I’ll be damned if I’m going to hide from a conversation with anyone,” he said. The Globe’s Jeremy Fox and Travis Andersen and the Herald’s Sean Phillip Cotter have more.

Btw: Gov. Charlie Baker has a proven tactic for avoiding such controversies. He simply avoids having anything to do with the White House, a tactic he deployed yesterday, as SHNS reports (pay wall).

Former city councilor and mayoral candidate calls West Roxbury pro-police rally ‘ignorant, insensitive’

Universal Hub reports that John Connolly, the former city councilor and mayoral candidate, isn’t exactly proud of some of those from his native West Roxbury, calling a recent pro-police rally there ‘ignorant,” “insensitive” and ultimately disrespectful to “everyone, especially our black neighbors and neighbors of color in West Roxbury.”

Universal Hub

Rebels no more: Walpole school board drops controversial nickname

After years of resistance, the Walpole School Committee voted unanimously to drop the nickname ‘Rebels’ from the town’s sports teams, John Laidlerat the Globe reports. Facing mounting pressure from high school students and other residents, even officials who once defended the monicker now admit it is too closely associated with the old Confederacy and racism to be rebranded.

The latest evidence of widespread inequity: The college graduation gap

As the nation grapples with the issues of racism, police brutality and inequities in general, CommonWealth magazine’s Michael Jonas and the Globe’s James Vaznis report on a new study showing a huge gap in the college graduation rates of white students versus Black and Latino students in Massachusetts.

Herald resurrects Baker’s son’s airline groping case

The Herald’s Joe Dwinell and (oddly) Herald columnist Howie Carr report the newspaper has obtained a redacted State Police report that sheds some new light on the airline groping case involving Gov. Charlie Baker’s 26-year-old son. The documents don’t exactly represent a smoking gun, but they do raise the issue (which is ultimately the point of the Herald piece): Whatever happened to that two-year-old groping case?

Boston Herald

Jean Kennedy Smith, last surviving sibling of JFK and former ambassador to Ireland, RIP

Jean Kennedy Smith, 92, the last remaining sibling of the famous Kennedy clan that dominated American politics for decades, has passed away, reports the AP at WBUR. The Globe’s Kevin Cullen writes that she was much more than just the sister of the late President John F. Kennedy and U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy. As ambassador to Ireland, she played no small role in helping bring peace to Northern Ireland, Cullen writes.  

Remains of JFK’s PT-59, not to be confused with PT-109, find new home in Fall River

Speaking of the Kennedy family, this is interesting. Greg Sullivan at the Herald News reports that the salvaged remains of John F. Kennedy’s old PT-59 boat, which he commanded after losing his more famous PT-109 during fighting in World War II, are being shipped to Fall River’s Battleship Cove. The boat was salvaged not from the Pacific, but from Manhattan’s North Cove. Sullivan explains.

Herald News

Sunday public affairs TV: Marty Walsh, Elizabeth Warren, Colette Phillips

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Mayor Marty Walsh, who talks with host Jon Keller about race and policing in Boston, and the status of efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Thea James MD, associate chief medical officer at Boston Medical Center, discusses what it means now that Mayor Walsh says racism is a public health emergency in Boston; an update on the King Boston, both the memorial and Center for Economic Justice, with executive director Imari Paris Jeffries and founder Paul English; and BBJ editor Doug Banks reviews the top business stories of the week.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who talks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu, followed by a roundtable political discussion with analysts Mary Anne Marsh and Virginia Buckingham.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s topic: Remembering and Creating History, with guests Colette Phillips of Colette Phillips Communications and Mary Tiseo, former founding executive director of South African Partners.

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 Boston Globe

Wayland, MA Rally to Support our Police, Fire, and Veterans

Join us for a Rally to Support our Police, Fire, and Veterans. This rally comes on the heels of a very successful pro police/fire/veteran rally held yesterday in Newton, Mass. (and another held in West Roxbury, Mass.).

Wayland Republican Town Committee

Trump – Back the Blue Rally

Join the United Cape Patriots this Saturday. Bring your Trump and Blue Lives Matter gear!

United Cape Patriots

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.

Verizon Small Business Webinar Series

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.

Senator Ed Markey

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.

Pioneer Institute featuring Julie Young

Today’s Headlines


Quincy city councilors hold discussion series on diversity, racism – Patriot Ledger

Outdoor dining is all the rage as Dot eateries ease out of shutdown – Dorchester Reporter


Vineyard Wind encouraged by federal signals – Cape Cod Times

Holyoke mayor issues executive order calling racism a public health crisis – Daily Hampshire Gazette

Uncertainty surrounds development of site of last summer’s downtown fire in Natick – MetroWest Daily News


Klobuchar shuts down VP speculation, urges Biden to choose woman of color – Politico

Facebook removes Trump ads displaying symbol used by Nazis – New York Times

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