Happening Today

Nangle plea hearing, House rules vote and more

— Ex-Rep. David Nangle of Lowell is scheduled for a change-of-plea hearing in U.S. District Court related to the federal fraud charges which he initially pleaded not guilty to a year ago, 10:15 a.m. 

— The Massachusetts House is expected to meet in a formal session to consider proposed joint rules, including new rules on transparency, for the 2021-2022 session, 11 a.m. 

Health Policy Commission Advisory Council holds its first meeting of 2021, which will include discussion of the HPC’s interim COVID-19 impact study, 12 p.m. 

Governor’s Council holds two meetings today, the first to interview Sharon Frances Lalli for a Falmouth District Court judgeship, the second to possibly vote on the nomination of John ‘Jack’ Garland as a Boston Municipal Court judge, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively. 

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: 30 new deaths, 15,564 total deaths, 1,114 new cases

CBS Boston has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

‘Power play’: Baker administration to force in-person classes by April

The Massachusetts Teachers Association isn’t happy (CBS Boston). But the Baker administration doesn’t seem to care about union and local opposition anymore when it comes to reopening schools, insisting the state will be taking steps to force more in-person classes by April. 

SHNS’s Katie Lannan, the Globe’s James Vaznis and Felicia Gans, and CommonWealth’s Michael Jonas have more on the “power play” by the administration to give education commissioner Jeff Riley the authority to push districts to get students back in classrooms.

Baker: Massachusetts is a ‘top 10 daily doser’

Maybe it has something to do with the latest poll showing his approval ratings remaining sky-high among voters. Whatever the reason, Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday seemed to be in a “defiant” mood, touting the success of the state’s vaccination program, despite problems, and bragging the commonwealth is a “top 10 daily doser” among peer states, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) and GBH’s Mike Deehan.

And as for those freaking out about not getting a shot yet, the governor’s message, via NBC Boston: “Be patient — everybody’s going to get vaccinated’.”

‘It’s not going to be a lovefest’

At GBH, Mike Deehan discusses what might happen at tomorrow’s legislative COVID-19 oversight hearing, which Gov. Baker plans to attend. “It’s not going to be a lovefest,” Deehan says of the expected interaction between lawmakers and Baker. Then again, lawmakers probably won’t “rake him over the coals” either. After all, polls are polls.


Forget supply problems. We now have bot problems

This is more than a little disturbing. Anita Franz at the Greenfield Recorder reports that Franklin County officials have concluded that Internet bots are now snatching up vaccine-appointment slots minutes after they’re posted online, beating out human beings trying to sign-up for appointments. “The bot scooped up all but a few,” says one official.

Greenfield Recorder

Healey’s moment, Part II: She sure looks like a candidate for governor

Attorney General Maura Healey says her recent public criticisms of the state’s vaccine rollout program are not a precursor to her possibly running for governor, as the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky reports. But the Globe’s Matt Stout reports Healey’s appearances at various vaccination events sure are stoking questions about her political plans. The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld spotted the same signs yesterday.

All smiles: GOP bigwigs, including Geoff Diehl, whoop it up at maskless Republican event

He really is going after the hardcore Trump base. The Globe’s Emma Platoff reports that city licensing officials may sanction a West Roxbury restaurant where GOP types – including former state lawmaker Geoff Diehl, who’s mulling a bid for governor – recently posed for maskless and non-social-distancing photos at a Republican “Lincoln’s Day Breakfast.”

Boston Globe

Is it back to the Garden for Bruins and Celts fans?

SHNS’s Colin Young reports Gov. Charlie Baker is saying “stay tuned” when it comes to a possible announcement that some fans may soon be allowed to watch professional sporting events in person at TD Garden and other venues. New York is already allowing some NHL fans to attend Islanders and Ranger hockey games. So competitive logic dictates … stay tuned. 

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

So why is Northeastern touting doses for ‘staff, faculty, students, and vendor employees’?

Gov. Charlie Baker wasn’t aware this was going on until the Herald kindly brought it to his attention, i.e. Northeastern University doling out coveted vaccine doses to its school community, including, apparently, young-one students, as touted on its website, as Erin Tiernan reports. We have a feeling Northeastern is going to be getting a call from the state today. We could be wrong.

Boston Herald

Vaccine rollout updates: Curative’s challenge, new vaccine sites, the coming vaccine stall

There’s a lot of news this morning on the vaccination front, so we’ll just go with quick summaries and headlines in this post, starting with a report by Lillian Eden at MetroWest that Marlboro will soon be hosting one of the latest mass vaccination sites. … Meanwhile, from the Gazette: “Regional vaccination sites open Monday in Amherst, Northampton.” … From the Globe’s Kay Lazar and Anissa Gardizy: “The company barely existed a year ago. Now, Curative is running half of the state’s mass vaccination sites.” And it’s been a bumpy ride too. … From the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky: “As new coronavirus vaccine site opens in Dorchester, residents and officials say local access ‘means everything.”

And in an interesting opinion piece at the Globe, two Yale experts are worried the state’s vaccination rate is “at risk of stalling out,” thanks to those refusing to get shots. The same non-herd-immunity problem has emerged in Israel, they note.

Nangle’s new plea: Guilty as charged

Ex-state Rep. David Nangle today plans to plead guilty to many of the 28 fraud charges filed against him last year by the feds, under a plea deal he’s worked out with prosecutors. SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall) and the Globe’s Emma Platoff have more.

Healey and Kennedy pull endorsements of legislative candidate after sexual misconduct allegations surface

What a difference a weekend makes. From GBH’s Tori Bedford: “Attorney General Maura Healey and former Rep. Joe Kennedy III have rescinded their endorsements of Valentino ‘Tino’ Capobianco, a candidate for state representative in the 19th Suffolk District to succeed former Speaker Robert DeLeo, following allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment.”

Looks like Bernie’s candidate now has the advantage in the race.


Two-step process? Barros resigns City Hall post amid mayoral run talk

The race for Boston mayor may be about to get even more crowded. Sean Phllip Cotter at the Herald and Meghan Irons ta the Globe report John Barros, the city’s chief of economic development, has resigned from his post in a move that many see as a prelude to announcing he’s running for mayor.

Meanwhile, GBH’s Adam Reilly has a good piece on soon-to-be interim mayor and history maker Kim Janey.

Too busy to run: North Adams Mayor Bernard won’t seek third term

Speaking of mayoral races, North Adams Mayor Tom Bernard will not seek a third term, saying he wants to focus all his energy and time on playing catch up with a policy agenda derailed by the pandemic, Francesca Paris at the Berkshire Eagle reports. 

Meanwhile, it looks like a mayoral race could be in the offing in Attleboro, where longtime City Councilor Peter Blais has pulled papers to challenge incumbent Paul Heroux, George Rhodes at the Sun Chronicle reports.

Berkshire Eagle

Meat and egg producers: Eighty-six the cage-free ban for now

Citing pandemic-era delays in the drafting of regulatory guidance rules, the meat and egg industries want to delay the start of the voter-approved state law banning certain cages for farm animals, reports Christian Wade at CNHI News.


House and Senate differ on what exactly constitutes transparency

The House today plans to vote on new transparency rules regarding conference committees and joint committees on Beacon Hill. But its public-access rules are slightly different from the Senate’s proposed rules, as SHNS’s Matt Murphy and CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg reports.

Not so fast: Worcester board balks at plan to pull cops from schools

It only took a handful of days for the sweeping police reform package proposed by Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus Jr. to run into a roadblock. Scott O’Connell at the Telegram reports the city’s school committee is split on a centerpiece of the reforms: Removing police officers currently assigned to school buildings. 


‘In a landslide:’ Romney says he is ‘pretty sure’ Trump would win Republican nod in 2024

He’s seen the polls. U.S. Sen. and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney says he’s “pretty sure” that former President Donald Trump would win the Republican nomination “in a landslide” if he runs for president again in 2024, Shannon Larson at the Globe reports.

Boston Globe

Tufts to virtually host Nancy Pelosi this week

Is it our imagination or is Tufts University developing into the local go-to-college when it comes to politics and public policy issues? Anyway, the university’s Tisch College is virtually hosting U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tomorrow as part of its ‘Distinguished Speaker Series,’ reports SHNS’s Michael Norton.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Mystery item in Paul Revere’s House identified: It’s a parasol runner!

So how obsessed are Bostonians about their history? So obsessed that a tiny lead fragment recently found in Paul Revere’s home set off a guessing game about what it might be and … it’s parasol runner! Yes, a parasol runner. MassLive’s Tom Matthew has the archaeological details.


From Charlottesville to Capitol Insurrection: How Worried Should We Be?

With White Supremacy and Extremism on the rise, what can be done to stop these movements? Join Attorney Roberta Kaplan, Joanna Mendelson, Special Agent in Charge Voviette Morgan, and Patt Morrison for a conversation about America At A Crossroads.

Jews United for Democracy and Justice and Community Advocates

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

Tandem Author Panel: Celebrating Black Voices in Children’s Literature

Join us as we round out Black History month and celebrate Black voices in children’s literature. Featuring four favorite Tandem authors talking about why they write, what their books are about, and what they want children and grownups to take away from reading them.

Tandem, Partners in Early Learning

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

8th International Data Science Summit

The 8th International Data Science Summit, organized by the DSF International supported by NASSCOM and in partnership with European Industry University Research Association and Guinness Enterprise Centre is coordinated from Dublin & Kolata in virtual mode.

Data Science Foundation International

An Evening with Kazuo Ishiguro

In his first global in-conversation event, Nobel Laureate Kazuo Ishiguro will talk about his much anticipated new novel, Klara and the Sun.

The Guardian Live

The Woman’s Era Club: A Story of Black Women’s Activism

In 1893, a group of Boston women founded the Woman’s Era Club, one of the first women’s clubs in the country led by African American women. In this talk, Student Conservation Association Public History Intern Katie Woods will explore the stories of several women behind this little-known yet influential club and publication.

Boston Public Library

Housing: The Only Thing to Really End Homelessness, A Virtual Discussion with Special Guest Dr. Sam Tsemberis

Ultimately, only one thing ends homelessness . . . housing! Join MHSA and our member agencies and supporters for a lively virtual discussion with Dr. Sam Tsemberis, CEO of the Pathways Housing First Institute. The discussion will focus on national and international strategies around the implementation of housing to end homelessness.

Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance

The Mapping Inequality Project

The Mapping Inequality Project created a foundational resource for unprecedented research, education, organizing and policy advocacy on redlining and current environmental challenges. It provides publicly accessible digitized versions of redlining maps for about 200 cities.

EPA Office of Environmental Justice

MIT Sloan FinTech Conference 2021

The 7th annual FinTech Conference is a student run event that brings together over 1,000 leaders, companies, and students dedicated to transforming and innovating the FinTech space across the globe. Join us in understanding what this critical juncture means for FinTech’s trajectory over the next 10 years.

MIT FinTech Conference

The Biden-Harris Administration: International Policy

Join the McCormack Graduate School for the third of three panel discussions that explores the implications of the Biden-Harris Administration: International Policy.

UMass Boston: McCormack Graduate School

Today’s Headlines


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez mourns closure of Eastern Standard restaurant in Boston, ‘home to so many wonderful memories’ – MassLive

Byron Rushing endorses Michelle Wu for Boston mayor – Boston Herald


Nurses at St. Vincent Hospital plan to go on strike on March 8 – Telegram & Gazette

Weymouth could get its own municipal Internet – Patriot Ledger

Cape Cod Commission climate change plan approved by Barnstable County delegates – Cape Cod Times


Why state legislatures are still very white and very male – Politico

Schumer urges Democrats to stick together on $1.9 trillion bill – The Hill

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