Happening Today

Sheriffs lawsuit, immigration summit, and more

— ACLU, Committee for Public Counsel Services and Mass. Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers participate in a court hearing for a lawsuit against Massachusetts Sheriffs’ Offices calling for ‘routine, comprehensive’ COVID-19 testing and [prisoner reductions at Massachusetts county jails, 10 a.m.

— Federal Reserve Bank of Boston president Eric Rosengren gives a keynote address to open the Yale Economic Development Symposium and then participates in an audience Q&A session, 11 a.m.

— U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley and U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine are among the speakers at the New England Business Immigration Summit, which will also feature remarks from Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow, among others, 11:30 a.m.

— State Sen. Diana DiZoglio and the Council on Aging directors from Chelmsford, Georgetown, Merrimac, Haverhill, Newburyport, Salisbury and West Newbury hold a press conference calling on Gov. Charlie Baker to take action in addressing the ‘challenges senior centers are facing amidst the COVID-19 vaccine rollout,’ 1 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: 61 new deaths, 15,373 total deaths, 1,803 new cases

WCVB has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

‘Pissed off’: Baker furious over website crash … and more than a few are furious at Baker

If this doesn’t stick to the Teflon governor, nothing will. Gov. Charlie Baker was in full website (and image) damage control yesterday after the state’s vaccination-registration website repeatedly crashed on the first day in which 65-plus residents were eligible to sign-up for shots. The site just couldn’t handle the sheer volume of visitors. Baker pronounced himself “pissed off” and vowed to fix it, as SHNS’s Colin Young and the Globe’s Brittany Bowker report.

Lawmakers were also upset with the “unacceptable” crash, reports Benjamin Kail at MassLive. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is upset too, reports the Herald. And a lot of residents are upset, many of them at the governor himself, reports Angus Chen at WBUR.

Btw, it should be noted: 60,000 people still managed to sign up for vaccine appointments yesterday, as Bowker reports.

‘Brain state’: So how did tech savvy Massachusetts blow it?

The Globe’s Hiawatha Bray has a good piece on how Massachusetts, a global leader in technology and home to all sorts of brainy people and Nobel laureates etc., managed to produce a real clunker of a vaccine-registration website. He talks with local engineers, most of whom seem to agree: The state rushed it and didn’t test it.

Lawmakers also want answers, including U.S. Ed Markey, who wonders how the ‘Brain State’ blew it, reports MassLive.

Boston Globe

Maybe a centralized vaccine sign-up site isn’t such a bad idea?

The Herald’s Erin Tiernan and Lisa Kashinsky report that the Baker administration, after yesterday’s vaccine website debacle and after repeatedly being urged to set up a more centralized vaccine-registration system, is now sending signals that, well, maybe a centralized registration system isn’t such a bad idea after all. An announcement may be forthcoming soon.

Boston Herald

The National Guard to the rescue! Wait. Never mind

Adding to yesterday’s general chaotic vaccine-rollout feel was Gov. Charlie Baker’s initial suggestion that the National Guard might be dispatched to pick up vaccine dosages apparently stuck in states hit hard by recent wintry weather. But … never mind. For now. It seems the wintry weather disrupted the manufacturing of vaccines, not the transportation of vaccines. SHNS’s Matt Murphy and CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg explain.

‘Technocratic planning’: Pols criticize state’s pulling of vaccines away from local boards

As the Baker administration deals with its crashing vaccine website, more than 40 lawmakers have signed a letter to Gov. Charlie Baker expressing their concerns about the state’s halt of vaccine deliveries to local boards of health in favor of mass-vaccination sites, reports Heather Morrison at MassLive.

Meanwhile, Somerville Mayor Jospeh Curatone, without mentioning Gov. Fix-it in an opinion piece at CommonWealth magazine, takes shots at the “technocratic” thinking behind the switch from small to large vaccination sites, saying it’s “technocracy gone off the rails.” 

Believe it or not: State surpasses 1.2 million vaccine shots – with Berkshire and Barnstable counties leading the pack

Despite all the vaccine website woes and the hue and cry over the locations of vaccination sites, a lot of people are somehow still getting a lot of shots – more than 225,000 of them administered last week alone. It brings the state’s total first- and second-dose shots to a little more than 1.2 million, reports MassLive’s Tanner Stening.

Considering recent outcries about the vaccine rollout in western Massachusetts and on Cape Cod, we find this interesting: Berkshire and Barnstable counties have the highest percentage of people receiving shots, according to the MassLive story.

The Globe has an updated summary page of the vaccination program in general — and, once again, it’s quite interesting.


Aloha: Boston Public Health’s medical director working remotely from Hawaii

Nice gig. Bad optics. Ryan Kath and Jim Haddadin at NBC Boston report that the Boston Public Health Commission’s medical director has been working remotely from Hawaii since last November, when she and her family relocated to the Aloha State amid the pandemic health emergency. We’ll let you guess what some are saying about the remote telehealth assignment.

NBC Boston

So what happens to the Massachusetts economy after the pandemic?

Speaking of remote working, the BBJ’s Greg Ryan reports that the Baker administration is requesting bids for a comprehensive outside study on post-pandemic employment and travel trends, assuming remote working is here to stay and assuming it could have a huge impact on the state’s economy, policies, services and tax revenues etc.


Judge: No, we’re not going to start releasing prisoners en masse

The latest in the seemingly never-ending legal battles over the pandemic-era handling of prisoners, via CommonWealth’s Sarah Betancourt: “A Superior Court judge denied a preliminary injunction that would have required the state Department of Correction to make specific efforts to further reduce its prison population in light of the coronavirus pandemic.”


It’s D.C. ho for Dan Koh

Dan Koh, the former chief of staff to Mayor Marty Walsh who narrowly lost his bid for Congress in 2018, is headed to the nation’s capital to serve as Walsh’s chief of staff in the U.S. Labor Department, which Walsh will be running once he finally gets the secretarial nod from the U.S. Senate, reports the Globe’s Jess Bidgood and SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall).

Apple of her eye: Group founded by Steve Jobs’ widow taps Kennedy as adviser

Speaking of jobs in the nation’s capital, everyone needs a side-job, right? Former U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III has signed on with the Emerson Collective, the political organization funded by Laurene Powell Jobs, as a senior adviser, Theodore Schleifer at Vox reports. Kennedy, who recently joined CNN as a political analyst and launched his own PAC, will help the group — founded by the widow of Apple’s Steve Jobs — make connections in Washington and grow its influence in Democratic politics. 


So what’s Geoff ‘Wile E. Coyote’ Diehl up to? He’s being wily about it

He looks like he’s running for governor. He acts like he’s running for governor. He sounds like he’s running for governor as a pro-Trump and anti-Baker Republican. But the wily Geoff Diehl, the former state lawmaker and ex-U.S. Senate candidate, isn’t confirming much when pressed by the Globe’s Scott Lehigh.

Boston Globe

After civil rights complaint, Walsh sets new city-contract goals

A day after advocates filed a civil rights complaint over the tiny number of city contracts going to minority- and female-owned businesses, Mayor Marty Walsh yesterday set a goal of awarding 25 percent of all city contracts to firms run by minorities and women, reports GBH’s Saraya Wintersmith.


Again? FERC to take another look at Weymouth gas compressor

They’re reexamining a reexamination. SHNS’s Chris Lisinski reports that federal regulators will review safety issues at the controversial Weymouth natural-gas compressor site, following a previous review of safety issues at the compressor site. Lisinski explains.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Again? Cornel West threatens to leave Harvard a second time

Another again item, this time via the Globe’s Laura Krantz, who reports Harvard professor Cornal West is threatening to leave the university over a tenure dispute. If he does bolt, it would be the second time he’s left Harvard in a huff.

‘Just say no’: Markey says it’s time to pull plug on Springfield biomass plant

Enough already. U.S. Sen. Ed Markey is urging state regulators to pull the plug for good on long-debated plans for a biomass energy plant in East Springfield, saying the project is bad for the planet and the surrounding neighborhood, Jim Kinney at MassLive reports.

Btw: Markey also spent time with nurses walking protest lines outside St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Isabel Sami of the Telegram reports.

It’s a start: Deal struck to bring affordable apartments to Nantucket

Brian Bushard at the Inquirer & Mirror reports the Nantucket Affordable Housing Trust has struck an $11 million deal that will see five buildings with a total of 22 affordable apartments rise on a two-acre parcel of land on the housing-strapped island. 

Inquirer & Mirror

‘Check ya stickah’

The Registry of Motor Vehicles, which says some 550,000 cars and trucks are traveling Bay State roads with expired inspection credentials, is urging motorists to ‘check ya stickh,’ Christian Wade at the Eagle-Tribune reports. The Registry wants drivers to know the grace period extensions granted during the peak of the pandemic have expired. 

Eagle Tribune

Sunday public affair TV: Jim Peyser and Annissa Essaibi George

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 5, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Jim Peyser, state education secretary, who talks with host Jon Keller about school reopening, teacher testing demands, and pandemic impact on children .

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. BECMA executive director Segun Idowu talks about the discrimination complaint against the city of Boston over minority businesses seeking contracts; Harpoon Brewery CEO Dan Kenary on the craft beer company’s pandemic pivot and employee ownership; and the BBJ’s Doug Banks on this week’s top local business stories.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Mayoral candidate Annissa Essaibi George, who talks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu, followed by a political discussion with local analysts.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s topic: Entrepreneurs making history.

Mother Tongue: The Philosophy of Malcolm X

Explore the influence of Malcolm X’s mother’s lessons of liberation and resistance and examine his philosophical system. Each year, the Schomburg Centers celebrates the life of Malcolm X during Black History Month, coinciding with the anniversary of his assassination on February 21, 1965.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

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

One Health Approach for Infectious Disease Outbreaks

This virtual meeting from the National Academies’ Forum on Microbial Threats will examine ways to systemize and integrate the One Health Approach as part of outbreak prevention, detection, preparedness, and response efforts.

NASEM Health and Medicine

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

How Will Brexit Be Remembered?

Join The Spectator’s political editor James Forsyth as he speaks to Robert Tombs, historian and author of This Sovereign Isle, about the historical context that led to Brexit and how the decision to leave will be remembered.

Spectator Events

Eradicating Systemic Racism in the Government’s Pandemic Response

The webinar is part of the Rothenberg Health Care Law & Policy Speaker Series. The event is free, but registration is required.

Law & Health Care Program at Maryland Carey Law

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


Your Primer for all the Boston Figures Connected to the GameStop Saga – Boston Magazine

Hunt tapped to lead Mass. House committee on stimulus, census – Dorchester Reporter


Resinate threatens lawsuits if Grafton denies marijuana license under ‘first to finish line’ policy – Grafton Common

WooSox 2021 schedule released: Opening Day at Polar Park set for April 13 – MassLive


Gavel in hand, Bernie Sanders lays out an unabashedly liberal economic agenda – Washington Post

Trump-McConnell rift threatens GOP Senate hopes – Politico

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