Keller at Large

The Mass. GOP’s suicide drills

In his latest Keller at Large on MassterList, Jon Keller takes note of how many times Mass. GOP Chairman Jim Lyons refers to Democrats, and a certain tall Republican, as “radicals,” and he wonders if Jonestown East isn’t too far off, figuratively speaking.

Keller at Large

Happening Today

Environmental justice, vaccines for disabled

— U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark hosts a virtual roundtable with climate advocates and Rep. Maria Robinson to discuss President Biden’s environmental justice initiatives, 10 a.m.

— The Beacon Hill Institute invites Stephen Moore, former senior economic advisor to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, for a virtual discussion on President Biden’s tax policy and the future of the U.S. economy, 12 p.m.

Disability Advocates Advancing our Healthcare Rights coalition hosts a forum for persons with disabilities to share concerns regarding access to vaccines for COVID-19, 1 p.m

— A group of technology industry leaders offer their thoughts on what future trends may look like for the workforce during a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce virtual panel discussion, 2 p.m.

For the most comprehensive list 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: 32 new deaths, 15,208 total deaths, 1,480 new cases

WCVB has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

In case you missed it …

In case you were busy over the President’s Day holiday, check your inbox for yesterday’s MassterList, in which we covered the state’s new vaccine website, Ron Mariano’s views on new taxes, funeral-home double standards, Scott Brown holding Donald Trump responsible for the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, and more.

Even if vaccinated, some teachers won’t teach

This Globe story by Naomi Martin – and its headline – is a definite talker. It seems many teachers in hard-hit Gateway Cities still won’t teach in-person classes even if they get vaccinated. Martin explains the complicated reasons why so many teachers – and administrators and parents – are reluctant to reopen schools as long as the coronavirus can infect so many others.

Btw, via MassLive’s Jim Russell: “Most Amherst school teachers not volunteering to teach in-person; 1 in 5 plan to come March.”

Boston Globe

Groups jockeying for early vaccinations: The list keeps growing

We should have done this earlier, i.e. start a running tab on groups jockeying to get bumped up higher on the state’s vaccine-priority list. Obviously, we have teachers, sort of (see post above.) But as of this morning, we also have funeral home workers (CBS Boston) and homebound and disabled people (Globe). Some also think Black and brown communities need to be given higher priority (GBH). Meanwhile, there’s all those Baby Boomers waiting in the wings and not exactly thrilled others might slip in ahead of them (Globe).

Fyi: Each one of these groups has compelling and even moral cases for getting bumped up higher on lists. But … there’s only so many vaccine doses out there.

Is the state’s vaccine rollout really that bad?

Shaun Chaiyabhat at WCVB has an interesting piece in which two Harvard types disagree on how the state’s vaccine rollout is proceeding. One is giving the rollout a failing grade. The other says Massachusetts has “not only caught up but moved to the front of the pack.”

Meanwhile, John Monahan at Boston 25 News sees improvements too: “Mass vaccination sites help COVID-19 vaccine rollout run smoother.” Finally, think long lines and frustrations are a Massachusetts thing? Think again. The NYT reports on the high demand and low supply of vaccines across the country.


Lawmakers to Baker: Spend the damn relief money

That federal relief money that the Baker administration hasn’t spent yet, more than $1 billion of it? Some lawmakers are urging the governor to start spending it to help people and communities, reports the Herald’s Erin Tiernan. Budget watchdog groups aren’t so sure that’s the way to go.

Boston Herald

Companion to the end: Heroux says he got vaccine to keep it from being wasted

He’s nowhere near being officially eligible, but 44-year-old Attleboro Mayor and former state lawmaker Paul Heroux says he got a shot of the coronavirus vaccine recently after driving two seniors to get their jabs — and he says he only took it after being assured it would go to waste otherwise, George Rhodes at the Sun Chronicle reports.

Sun Chronicle

Coronvirus updates: Fenway and Gillette shots, WSU vaccines, community college woes

Another busy morning on the coronavirus front, so we’re going with brief headlines in this post, starting with MassLive (and assuming it’s still valid): “More than 6,000 appointments available at Fenway Park, Gillette Stadium through Feb. 21.” … From WCVB: “Mass vaccination site to open Tuesday at Worcester State University.” … Also in Worcester, via the Telegram: “DCU Center field hospital census cut nearly in half.” … From the Herald: “Boston Medical Center announces 5 new community vaccination sites.” … From the Salem News: “State rejects Peabody’s request for more vaccine doses.” … From MassLive: “Shipment of COVID vaccine 1st doses to Longmeadow stopped as state shifts to super vaccination sites.” … And from WBUR: “Community Colleges Ask For Help As Enrollment Continues To Drop.”

Advocates: The time for early education is now

The Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert reports that state lawmakers and advocates plan to unveil today an ambitious campaign for first-in-the-nation publicly funded early education programs, including making child care free for lowest-income families and using sliding fees for middle-income people.

No costs estimate are provided, nor information on how the programs would be funded. But the costs are expected to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Boston Globe

Auchincloss: Leftward ho!

Facing a potential rematch against progressive candidates who he narrowly defeated in last year’s Dem primary, new U.S. Rep. Jake Auchincloss, who once registered as a Republican, is trying to prove his lefty bonafides, pronouncing to one and all: “I am a full-throated advocate for liberal priorities.” The Globe’s Liz Goodwin and Victoria McGrane have more his noticeable leftward lurch since taking office.

Auchincloss II: Why not use the 14th Amendment to bar Trump from future offices?

Another lefty bonafide? The Herald’s Rick Sobey reports how Democrats, including U.S. Rep. Jake Auchincloss, are now eyeing the 14th Amendment as a way to bar former President Donald Trump from ever holding elected office again.

Boston Herald

Doris Bunte, first Black female elected to House, RIP

Doris Bunte, 87, the first Black woman elected to be a state representative in Massachusetts and the first Black woman to run the Boston Housing Authority, has passed away. The Globe’s Bryan Marquand has more on the amazing life of Bunte, who first arrived in Boston in 1953 with only 98 cents to her name.

Loosen up: Springfield councilors want ban on casino jobs for city pols rolled back

On second thought … Members of the Springfield City Council say a 2015 rule restricting the city’s mayor and other leaders from taking jobs at MGM Springfield after leaving office now seems too harsh and should be revisited, Peter Goonan at MassLive reports. We wonder what good-government types think of this move.  


BPD commissioner’s daughter says domestic violence allegation ‘was a lie’

Here’s a new twist on the Dennis White saga: His daughter is now saying a decades-old domestic abuse allegation against her police commissioner father ‘was a lie’ concocted by her mother and his ex-wife. Saraya Wintersmith at GBH has more.


Strong-arm or sensible review of House rules?

Is it a case of strong-arming groups that lawmakers don’t like on Beacon Hill or a sensible review of lobbying rules as the number of advocacy groups proliferate at the State House? CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg takes a look at House Speaker Ron Mariano’s planned review of “unregistered, or vaguely-affiliated, advocates and coalitions.”

Fyi: The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld has previously stated it’s a case of strong-arming.


New lows at the Heights: Black students feel uneasy at BC

The Globe’s Deirdre Fernandes and Laura Krantz report that Black students have experienced one too many racial incidents at Boston College – and they’re wondering what the heck the administration is going to do about it.

Boston Globe

Everett City Councilor Gerly Adrien: ‘I am not afraid’

Speaking of racial tensions, Everett City Councilor Gerly Adrien, a Black woman, is stating emphatically that she’s “not afraid” of the criticism and belittlement aimed at her by Mayor Carlo DeMaria and her council colleagues, reports Aiden Connolly at GBH.


LA loves Worcester: California company doubles down on real estate buys

They really like it. A Los Angeles-based real estate company has bought a handful of downtown Worcester properties for $13 million, doubling down on its earlier $29 million investment made in 2019 when it bought the SkyMark Tower, Worcester’s tallest residential tower. Grant Welker at the Worcester Business Journal has the details. 


Not just student government: Teens have say on Amherst boards

Start ‘em young. Scott Merzbach at the Daily Hampshire Gazette profiles the half-dozen teenagers, some as young as 15, who are serving Amherst town government through their roles on the local Cultural Council and Human Rights Commission. 


GBH News Forum: The Color of Public Money — A Public Discussion (Virtual)

Join us for the next GBH News Forum. This time, we’re looking at inequities in government contracting and public spending revealed by the work of the GBH News Center for Investigative Reporting in its ongoing series, “The Color of Public Money.”


Unsung: Unheralded Narratives of American Slavery & Abolition

Join us for the launch of Unsung: Unheralded Narratives of American Slavery & Abolition, edited by Dr. Michelle Commander. The event will feature readings from the anthology that includes essays, speeches, plays, and more.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Bill Gates – How to Avoid a Climate Disaster

In this livestream event, Bill Gates sets out a wide-ranging, practical and accessible plan for how the world can get to zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid a climate catastrophe. He will explain not only why we need to work toward net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases but also details what we need to do to achieve this profoundly important goal.

How To Academy

Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter

Participants will discuss this book, by Kerry K. Greenridge, who is a Mellon Assistant Professor in the Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora at Tufts University where she also directs the American studies program. She lives in Massachusetts.

Boston Public Library

Nate Marshall Presents FINNA

Join us as we celebrate Black History Month with a special poetry reading by Nate Marshall, author of FINNA. Marshall is a writer, rapper, and educator from the South Side of Chicago. He is the author of FINNA, winner of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association’s award for Poetry Book of the Year, and the Great Lakes College Association’s New Writer Award.

Cambridge Public Library

President Clinton’s Defense Secretary William Cohen: Foreign and Domestic Policy

A Republican Discusses the Future: Former Secretary of Defense Senator William Cohen talks about foreign and domestic policy in the hyper-partisan time. After 32 years of public service, Secretary Cohen leaves behind a record of unparalleled accomplishment, integrity, and respect, and takes with him unrivaled knowledge, reputation, and relationships across America and around the globe.

Jews United for Democracy and Justice and Community Advocates

Lunch Hour Live — Codeswitching: Race And Identity In The Suburban Schoolhouse (Virtual)

In an increasingly interconnected and hyper-competitive world, how will future students continue to navigate such intense social contracts while remaining connected to their authentic selves? On this week’s Lunch Hour Live, Sue O’Connell sits down with “Codeswitching” director Jonathan Schwartz and producer Mike Mascoll to better understand the challenges of the METCO system and its impact on students of color.


NASA’s Perserverance Rover Mars Landing

NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover is nearing its new planetary home. The spacecraft has begun its approach to the Red Planet and on Feb. 18, 2021, Perseverance will blaze through Mars’ atmosphere at about 12,100 mph (19,500 kph), toughing down gently on the surface about seven minutes later.


Poet of the People: The Greatness of Langston Hughes

Join Brent Hayes Edwards, Director of the Schomburg Center’s Scholars-in-Residence Program and Rafia Zafar, Professor of African-American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, for a conversation about Hughes’s greatness and about his centrality for American literature and the culture of the global African Diaspora. Featuring readings by poets Kevin Young and Tuehimba Jess.

Library of America

Stone Social Impact Forum featuring Catherine Coleman Flowers

Acclaimed environmental activist, MacArthur “genius” grant recipient, and author Catherine Coleman Flowers, founding director of the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice, will headline the virtual 2021 Stone Social Impact Forum.

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate

Webinar Series “Africa, Israel, and Their Descendants” Part 1: Zionism & The Civil Rights Movement (Joshua Washington)

]APT is proud to co-sponsor an up-coming webinar series on the closely intertwined history of blacks and Jews. Zionism & The Civil Rights Movement (Joshua Washington).

Americans for Peace and Tolerance

Cyber-Security and Fraud Protection with Financial Advisor Bradley Baskir

Join Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor Bradley Baskir for this online webinar. This seminar discusses how cyber-crime occurs and how you can protect yourself both online and offline. A Zoom webinar link will be emailed to registrants the morning of the event.

Boston Public Library

Virtual Author Talk with Anna Malaika Tubbs

Virtual author talk with Anna Malaika Tubbs, in conversation with L’Merchie Frazier, on Tubbs’s new book, The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation

The Boston Public Library, the Museum of African American History, American Ancestors/New England Historic Genealogical Society, and the State Library of Massachusetts

Webinar Series “Africa, Israel, and Their Descendants” Part 2: Ancient Friendship: Africa & Israel (Olga Meshoe-Washington)

APT is proud to co-sponsor an up-coming webinar series on the closely intertwined history of blacks and Jews. Ancient Friendship: Africa & Israel (Olga Meshoe-Washington)

Americans for Peace and Tolerance

Webinar Series “Africa, Israel, and Their Descendants” Part 3: Combatting the Anti-Zionist Blaxploitation & How We Move Forward (Dumisani Washington)

APT is proud to co-sponsor an up-coming webinar series on the closely intertwined history of blacks and Jews. Combatting the Anti-Zionist Blaxploitation & How We Move Forward (Dumisani Washington)

Americans for Peace and Tolerance

Future of Health Care

How will the events and economic impact of 2020 shape what health care looks like in the future? Hear from top industry leaders regarding the changes brought on by the pandemic and who will share their views of the road ahead. What is the prognosis for this key piece of our economy? How is the delivery of care impacted? How will the cost structure change?

Boston Business Journal

Today’s Headlines


South End Bostonians start ‘space saver vandalism fund’ after single mom gets tires slashed – Boston Herald

Brockton among worst for pedestrian fatalities – Brockton Enterprise


LA firm pays $13 million to further expand downtown Worcester holdings – Worcester Business Journal

Firearms shop proposed in Salem – Salem News

Great Barrington adds rural recovery service for addiction help – Berkshire Eagle


Pelosi says there will be a 9/11 Commission-style panel to examine Jan. 6 Capitol riot – Washington Post

Maine GOP could censure Susan Collins for vote to convict Trump – Bangor Daily News

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