Keller at Large

The gender gap: It’s alive and well amid the pandemic and protests

In his latest Keller at Large on MassterList, Jon Keller looks deeper into Suffolk University’s recent poll numbers on the pandemic, recent protests and Gov. Baker’s handling of affairs of late – and finds that the gender gap in attitudes is alive and well in Massachusetts.

Keller at Large

Happening Today

Senate session, Gaming Commission and more

Cape Cod Reopening Task Force holds a remote media availability focused on the challenges facing child care facilities, with Sen. Julian Cyr and Rep. Sarah Peake participating, 9 a.m.

Mass. Gaming Commission meets and will receive an update on research and responsible gaming initiatives and will review applications for Community Mitigation Fund money, 9:30 a.m.

Boston Foundation holds an online discussion on how cities maintain infrastructures of spatial segregation and creating a more inclusive urban fabric in Boston, 10:30 a.m.

— The Massachusetts Senate meets with plans to approve legislation that includes telehealth, out-of-network billing, and scope of practice reforms, 11 a.m.

State Administration and Regulatory Oversight Committee holds virtual hearing on Gov. Baker’s bill to expand opportunities for minority and women business enterprises in public construction projects and other legislation. 1 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.

The coronavirus numbers: 48 new deaths, 7,938 total deaths, 172 new cases

The Herald has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

‘Utterly baffling:’ Scathing Soldiers’ Home report has blame to go around

As expected, it’s very bad. The long-awaited report on what happened inside the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home when the coronavirus outbreak began blames a lack of leadership, poor communication and series of “life threatening missteps,” many of which could have been avoided. The Globe’s Brian MacQuarrie breaks down the report’s tick-tock of what went wrong, starting with the first diagnosed case on March 21 and ultimately leading the loss of 76 lives. 

Bruce Mohl of CommonWealth Magazine writes that the report is damning not only to the home’s leadership but to state oversight in general, up to and including Gov. Charlie Baker.  The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld thinks the report allowed Baker and Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders to skate on responsibility — and wonders if Attorney General Maura Healey will be so accommodating after her separate investigation.

Meanwhile, the lawyer for Bennett Walsh, the former superintendent of the facility, slammed the report and said his client was not afforded an opportunity to respond to the accusations it contains, reports Stephanie Barry of MassLive

The ABCs of school reopenings; Teacher masks, classroom meals, no temperature checks

The Globe’s James Vaznis and Meghan Irons got their hands on the new state guidelines for reopening schools this fall, which, it should be noted, are a “mix of requirements and recommendations for local school districts.”

Boston Globe

Help needed: Cape employers say visa ban latest blow to recovery efforts

The notoriously tricky task of finding summer help to run Cape businesses, made more difficult this year by the pandemic, got a lot more difficult this week when President Trump announced an extension of a ban on employment visas. Ethan Genter at the Cape Cod Times reports one seafood restaurant was expecting as many as 15 overseas workers, none of whom are now expected to arrive.

Cape Cod Times

Council passes Walsh’s budget over heated objections

The Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter and the Globe’s Danny McDonald report the city council yesterday narrowly passed a $3.6 billion budget despite criticism it didn’t do enough to address racial-equity concerns.

Separately, Walsh, using the pandemic Boston Resiliency Fund as a model, plans to launch a new Boston Racial Equity Fund aimed at raising tens of millions of dollars to address racial inequities in Boston – with Emerson College president Lee Pelton chairing the new organization, reports the Globe’s Jon Chesto.

Defunding denied: Worcester budget takes effect as push to cut police funding stalls

Here’s a clear defunding defeat: A bid by some members of the Worcester City Council to reconsider its approval of an operating budget that includes an increase in police department funding fell short, meaning the proposal put forward by City Manager Ed Augustus will automatically take effect, Nick Kotsopolous at the Telegram reports. The move–or lack of it–comes as protesters continue to press the city for more sweeping changes. 

Telegram & Gazette

Defunding done: Northampton reduces police workforce after budget cut

It’s an entirely different story in Northampton, where the police department says it will cut five positions after the city council voted to reduce the public safety budget by 10 percent, Michael Connor at the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports. 

And there was yet another local victory for police-reform backers. From Elizabeth Dobbins at the Lowell Sun: “Council backs citizens advisory panel for police.”

Daily Hampshire Gazette

When it comes to police reforms, there’s not much difference in the U.S. Senate race

WBUR’s Kimberly Atkins takes a look at the policy positions of U.S. Senate candidates Ed Markey and Joe Kennedy when it comes to the issues of police reforms and addressing systemic racism – and there’s not much of a difference. Which is true of a lot of other issues in the primary race.


Troopergate returns: Commission finds DA Early and ex-Statie chief violated conflict of interest law in judge’s-daughter arrest caper

Remember Troopergate? State regulators haven’t forgotten it, that’s for sure. From Melissa Hanson at MassLive: “The State Ethics Commission’s Enforcement Division has alleged that Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. and Former State Police Col. Richard McKeon, among other officials, violated conflict of interest law when handling the arrest report involving a judge’s daughter.” The Telegram’s Nick Kotsopoulos has more. 

Early is hitting back. From the Herald’s Joe Dwinell: “Worcester DA slams ethics commission Troopergate allegation.” 


Making changes: Springfield diocese lays out reforms after judge’s report

A day after a retired judge concluded a year-long review by finding past sexual abuse allegations against Bishop Christopher Weldon were “unequivocally credible,” the Springfield Diocese says it is making a host of changes. Jeanette DeForge of MassLive reports all honorary references to the late bishop will be removed by the diocese, which is also putting new procedures in place for fielding and reviewing abuse complaints. 


Boston becomes second largest city in U.S. to ban facial recognition

This is making national news. From WBUR’s Ally Jarmanning: “Boston has banned the use of facial surveillance technology in the city, becoming the second-largest community in the world to do so. The city council unanimously voted on Wednesday to ban the use of the technology and prohibit any city official from obtaining facial surveillance by asking for it through third parties.”

FYI: The measure was passed by a veto-proof majority, so it doesn’t matter what Mayor Walsh decides to do.


The non-collaborator Mitt: Doing his father’s legacy proud?

The Globe’s Scot Lehigh writes he’s previously been pretty harsh in his criticism of Mitt Romney’s flip-flopping ways. But Lehigh says Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and current Utah senator, is “doing his father’s legacy proud” as a lone Republican senator standing up to President Trump.

Along the same lines, historian Anne Applebaum, writing at Atlantic magazine, describes Romney as one of the few “non-collaborators” within a Republican Party dominated by Trump “collaborators.” Applebaum acknowledges that Trump-era comparisons to collaborators in Vichy France and East Germany etc. may “seem over-the-top,” but she insists the comparisons are apt today.

Staying focused: Salem mayor still working on housing crisis

Remember the housing crisis? It may seem like a distant memory given the state of the world, but Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll tells Dustin Luca of the Salem News that finding a way to encourage production of affordable housing remains a major focus and that she’ll continue to press forward with zoning updates and other policies that have had trouble winning city council approval.

Salem News

Massachusetts courts get go-ahead for partial reopening next month

After nearly three months of courthouses being largely closed, the state Supreme Judicial Court yesterday issued a new order that will allow, starting July 13, clerks, registers and recorders’ offices to conduct in-person business, among other resumed duties. WBUR’s Deborah Becker has more.


BU to student workers: Show up to work this fall or face loss of health benefits and salary

Oh, how nice and considerate of them. From WGBH’s Tori Bedford: “Graduate students at Boston University could be forced to take a leave of absence and lose their health insurance if they do not comply with new guidelines requiring them to return to campus in the fall.”


Here’s an idea: How about companies giving employees a paid day off to vote?

How often do you see a newspaper with a normally pro-business slant urging companies to give employees a new paid day off? In the case of the Boston Business Journal, the paper says firms across the state should follow the example of Twitter, Walmart and Cambridge biotech Arrakis Therapeutics by giving their employees paid time off to vote this fall, saying it’s time for companies to “go beyond public relations rhetoric” when it comes to supporting minorities and racial equality issues in America.

BBJ (pay wall)

Contested primary or free ride? Race for Provost seat could hinge on state ruling

The race to fill the 27th Middlesex District seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Denise Provost could evaporate before it even starts, Zach Huffman of Cambridge Day reports. The State Ballot Law Commission is expected to rule soon on charges from hopeful Catia Sharp that her rival, Erika Uyterhoeven is not eligible to run in the district.  

Cambridge Day

Curt Schilling’s tweet too far?

From CBS Boston: “It would appear Curt Schilling, who is no stranger to creating outrage on social media, has deleted his Twitter account. The former Red Sox pitcher no longer has a Twitter account as of Wednesday morning, hours after he compared the situation surrounding NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace to that of Jussie Smollett.” 

Basically, Schilling was suggesting that Wallace was making up the story of finding a noose hanging in his garage at the Talladega Superspeedway. Still, the Herald’s Michael Graham writes that the entire Bubba Wallace incident is far more complicated, based on the facts, than portrayed by progressive activists and the media.

CBS Boston

‘The Last Days of Whitey Bulger’: He knew he was a goner

Boston Magazine is running an excerpt from Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge’s new book ‘Hunting Whitey.’ Among other things, the authors say that South Boston gangster White Bulger, while imprisoned after being captured, tried and sentenced by the feds, knew he was a “high-level target for any prisoners looking to make a name for themselves” — and a target he indeed became.

Boston Magazine

A Virtual Concert with Jackson Browne and Senator Ed Markey

A Virtual Concert with Jackson Browne and Senator Ed Markey will be held on a video conferencing platform for everyone to enjoy safely from their homes.

Senator Ed Markey

Sustain your business with one bold promise

Carl Gould, author of The 7 Stages of Small Business Success, joins this webinar to share how you can make your “bold promise” to retain customer loyalty and build long term success.

Verizon Small Business Webinar Series

Virtual Amplify Conference – Nuestro Impacto: Be Counted, Be Heard (Day 1)

Join us for our Virtual Amplify Conference – Nuestro Impacto: Be Counted, Be Heard hosted by Amplify Latinx, the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy and the Gastón Institute, in collaboration with our partner organizations.

Amplify Latinx

Virtual 2020 Race Ahead: Moving Forward Together

Join the Boston Business Journal for a virtual discussion on how we can affect real change in our community and move forward together.

Boston Business Journal

Virtual Amplify Conference – Nuestro Impacto: Be Counted, Be Heard (Day 2)

Join us for our Virtual Amplify Conference – Nuestro Impacto: Be Counted, Be Heard hosted by Amplify Latinx, the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy and the Gastón Institute, in collaboration with our partner organizations.

Amplify Latinx

Today’s Headlines


Boston superintendent will forgo raise and stipend to help fund student fees – Boston Herald

City officials to do random inspections in North End after numerous complaints about outdoor dining – Boston Globe


Worcester city councilor calls for removal of Christopher Columbus statue – Telegram & Gazette

Valley Bike Share begins third season after nearly three-month delay – Daily Hampshire Gazette

Drive-in movies coming to Southwick motocross track – MassLive


Biden takes dominant lead as voters reject Trump on pandemic, race – New York Times

How police reform collapsed in the Senate – Politico

How to Contact MASSterList

Send tips to Matt Murphy: For advertising inquiries and job board postings, please contact Dylan Rossiter: or (857) 370-1156. Follow @MASSterList on Twitter.