Happening Today

Hynes vax site opens, House and Senate sessions, and more

— A new mass vaccination site opens at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston’s Back Bay, as part of a move that will eventually replace the Fenway Park mass-vaccination clinic.

— The Massachusetts Senate holds a full formal session to consider COVID-19 business and worker relief bill, while the Massachusetts House formally meets to consider the emissions reduction and climate change bill, 11 a.m.

— Attorney General Maura Healey tours immigrant- and Black-owned businesses in Brockton, with House Majority Leader Claire Cronin and Rep. Gerry Cassidy joining at various stops, starting at 10:15 a.m., and meets with Randolph town manager Brian Howard and other officials at a local vaccine site, 12:30 p.m.

Vocational Education Justice Coalition holds a press conference via Zoom to call for Gov. Charlie Baker and education officials to change admissions policy for the state’s 26 regional vocational technical high schools, 11 a.m.

— Environmental organizations release a new study detailing New England’s potential for offshore wind energy, with speakers including Anya Fetcher of Environment Maine and Ben Hellerstein of Environment Mass., among others, 11 a.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: 44 new deaths, 16,399 total deaths, 1,640 new cases

NBC Boston has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Baker: Massachusetts to fully open vaccine eligibility on April 19

This coming April 19 will be a memorable Patriots Day for many – and not necessarily because of holiday festivities. Gov. Charlie Baker announced yesterday that all state residents will be eligible to get COVID-19 shots starting April 19. It doesn’t mean they’ll get shots on that day, just eligible to register for shots on that day. But it’s still a big deal. WBUR’s Lisa Creamer and Martha Bebinger and SHNS’s Matt Murphy have more.

The governor’s ultimate goal: Getting everyone immunized by July 4th, as the Globe’s Rob Weisman reports. The governor’s personal reaction to announcing the news: “Certainly today would be up there on the list of among the best days being able to say to people that there’s a schedule I think we can deliver on,” Baker tells WCVB.

But first: Residents 60-plus and some key workers are eligible starting next week

The state may make everyone eligible for coronavirus shots on April 19. But until then, there’s still an age and occupation pecking order. And next up for shots, starting next week, are residents 60 and older and workers considered essential or customer-facing, including those working in restaurants, agriculture and food services, grocery stores, food pantries, the medical supply chain, transit, etc. CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg has the full list.

CommonWealth

Maybe parental support for in-person learning isn’t as strong as thought?

SHNS’s Katie Lannan reports on a new poll that shows a division among parents on whether the state should focus on improving remote learning or bringing students back to in-person classes. A majority of parents favor in-person learning, but it’s not an overwhelming majority.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

‘To my fellow Republican men: Get the COVID vaccine’

In a Globe op-ed, Tom Mountain, the Mass. GOP vice chair who contracted COVID-19 while attending a mostly maskless White House party while Donald Trump was president, is now urging Republican males to just get a vaccine shot. OK. But why does he say their reluctance is “inexplicable”? It’s very explicable. They share the same dismissive political mindset that led Mountain to attend a mostly maskless party at the White House when it was inhabited by a Republican leader dismissive of the coronavirus threat. Right?

Boston Globe

‘Malarkey’: Kerry caught without a mask on Boston-to-DC flight

The Herald’s Joe Dwinell reports that John Kerry was caught not wearing a mask on a recent Boston-DC flight. Kerry’s quick response: “Feels like there’s some St. Patrick’s day ‘malarkey’ afoot on Twitter.” 

Boston Herald

IRS pushes back tax filing deadline to May 15

Will Massachusetts follow? MassLive’s Michelle Williams reports on the IRS’s plan to push back this year’s federal tax filing deadline from April 15 to May 15, citing, as it did last year, its pandemic-caused backlog of returns. The Washington Post has more.

MassLive

Don’t let it go: Restaurants want take-away cocktails to outlast pandemic

Drinks to go? They want them to stay. Audrey Cooney at the Herald-News reports restaurants are hoping the governor’s pandemic order allowing them to sell to-go cocktails becomes a permanent feature, saying they have been a key to helping them survive the COVID crisis. Our quickie four-word analysis: Not going to happen.

Herald News

Baker: Pulling new Orange Line cars necessary after latest derailment

SHNS’s Chris Lisinski reports that Gov. Charlie Baker thinks it’s better safe than sorry when it comes to suspending some Orange Line train services and pulling new cars after this past week’s latest T derailment.

But the Globe’s Joan Vennochi says the derailment and prior service cuts in general prove the T is anything but safe these days. Meanwhile, the state’s congressional delegation is pressing the T for more information about why it’s cutting transit services in general, reports the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky.

Unique perspective: Alex Gray hopes to become first blind Boston councilor

Callum Borchers at WBUR spends some time navigating the campaign trail with at-large Boston City Council candidate Alex Gray, a City Hall staffer who is bidding to become the first blind member in the council’s history.

WBUR

Massachusetts Bail Fund strikes again: Groups pays $100K to free woman charged with throwing newborn in trash

Their actions tend to fall on the outrageous side of things. But this isn’t as outrageous as it appears. The Globe’s Andrea Estes reports that the Massachusetts Bail Fund, which views any and all bail requests as racist, has helped pony up the $100,000 to release a Milton woman accused of throwing her newborn baby into a Dorchester trash bin, saying she needs help and not incarceration. Anyone care to argue with the idea she’s clearly disturbed and needs help?

But now we’ll see if she gets actual help, beyond the righteous anti-bail indignation.

Boston Globe

Amendments away: Senate to vote on UI bill now loaded down with new items

You just knew it couldn’t be this simple. SHNS’s Michael Norton and the Herald’s Erin Tiernan report that the Senate today plans to debate and vote on the pandemic relief bill – but first senators will have to deal with dozens of amendments attached to the bill. Among the amendments: proposals for a two-month tax amnesty program and an anti-fraud measure that could help replenish the state’s depleted UI fund.

Distributors strike back: State’s new craft beer law already faces legal tests

Did you really think distributors would give up so easily? The Globe’s Jon Chesto reports how the state’s two-month-old craft beer law is already being legally challenged in not one but two cases involving distribution complaints.

As Asian community reels after Atlanta slayings, ADL reports major uptick in white supremacist propaganda

A link between the two hasn’t been firmly made yet by officials. But it’s close enough by our standards to link them, to wit: a Globe story about how the Asian community is reeling in the wake of this week’s terrible shootings in Atlanta and a Herald story about the huge spike in white supremacist propaganda and incidents in Massachusetts and across the nation.

Mike Pompeo heralds in 2024 in New Hampshire

At least we got through January and February without news like this. From the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky: “Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will zoom into a New Hampshire GOP virtual fundraiser later this month, fueling speculation of a presidential bid as Granite State political watchers say ‘2024 is definitely getting underway.’”

Meanwhile, should we be reading more into Jill Biden’s visit to New Hampshire yesterday, beyond the fact it was part of a COVID-19 stimulus-bill victory tour? The Globe has more.

Boston Herald

COVID-19: Will it also revolutionize Boston architecture?

Good riddance to glass-covered monoliths with non-opening windows? We can only hope. GBH’s Adam Reilly examines how the coronavirus crisis may have permanently changed architectural designs in Boston. Think: fresh air and the outdoors.

GBH

Tufts to close controversial China-funded Confucius Institute

As they say, better late than never. From the Globe: “Tufts University announced Wednesday that it will close its Confucius Institute, a controversial language and cultural education center funded by the Chinese government.”

New Bedford news site to launch – with help from Boston Globe and Hartford Courant vets

CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl reports that a group of people – including the former managing editor of the Hartford Courant and a member of the Taylor family that used to own the Boston Globe – are starting up a nonprofit digital news site in New Bedford amid a sharp decline in local news coverage in New Bedford (and just about everywhere else too).

CommonWealth

DA Rollins hopes to drop charges against Sean Ellis’ gun conviction

The latest on a controversial case that shouldn’t have played out this long. From Phillip Martin at GBH: “Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins notified the Superior Court Wednesday that she supports a motion for a new trial filed by lawyers for Sean Ellis challenging a firearms conviction linked to the 1993 murder of a police detective. If the motion is granted, Rollins said she intends to request the charges be dropped.”

GBH

History maker: Bentley University names first black president

Bentley College said Wednesday it had tapped E. LaBrent Chrite as its next president, making him the business school’s first black leader in its 104-year history, Hilary Burns at the Boston Business Journal reports.

BBJ

‘Pump the brakes’: Councilors wary of Quincy mayor’s plan to save college

Not so fast. Members of the Quincy City Council tossed a bucket of cold water on Mayor Thomas Koch’s plans for the city to be a white knight for Quincy College, saying a plan to spend $23 million to buy and redevelop downtown properties to build a new facility for the school may be too much, Mary Whitfil at the Patriot Ledger reports.

Patriot Ledger

Indigenous Women Convening for Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation

Join us for our Indigenous Women Convening for Peace, Justice and Reconciliation which brings together Indigenous scholars and women leaders from seven indigenous socio-cultural zones of the world to share stories of war and conflicts in their territories and find collective ways of ideating indigenous conflict resolution and peace-making processes.

Harvard Kennedy School

A Strong Handoff in U.S.-India Relations

Please join Future of Diplomacy Project for a conversation with Ken Juster, former US Ambassador to India and HKS alumnus about the U.S.-India relationship. He will discuss major achievements in the U.S.-India partnership in the areas of diplomacy, defense, economic relations, energy, and health over the past four years as well as issues on the horizon such as the rise of China and trade policy.

Harvard Kennedy School

“The Black Lives Matter Protests: An Early History” with Chad Williams

The U.S. has been rocked by the murder of George Floyd and the widespread recognition of violence against Blacks. These events have re-awakened us to our racist legacy. Across the nation and globally, Black and white people have protested policy brutality and the continued inequalities in our society.

Cary Memorial Public Library

Learning from the Pandemic: Lessons from State and National Perspectives

As the pandemic endures and students continue remote learning, this panel is convened to shed light on educational excellence through remote learning, hybrid, and in-person learning. Panelists will discuss the educational impacts of COVID-19 on student learning, performance, and well-being; offering thoughts & recommendations on issues that face students and educational systems.

Worcester Regional Research Bureau

Energy Policy Seminar: Shalanda Baker on “Energy Justice”.

Join us for an Energy Policy Summit featuring Shalanda Baker, Deputy Director for Energy Justice in the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the U.S. Department of Energy. Dr. Baker will discuss “Energy Justice”. This seminar will be hosted by Professor Joe Aldy.

Harvard Kennedy School

Defense Project Series: Ending the War in Afghanistan – a discussion with counter-terror expert David Kilcullen

David Kilcullen, strategist/scholar/author, discusses the war in Afghanistan, the Taliban and ISIS, and how the United States and its allies might help Afghanistan forge a future of hope and promise rather than a return to the dark days of the 1990s. Join Bill Rapp as he moderates this important discussion with the famed counter-terror expert.

Harvard Kennedy School

Japan’s Growth Strategy in the 2020s: Demand – and Supply -Side Dimensions

An evening webinar event with the Program on US-Japan Relations and co-sponsored by the Mossavar-Rahmai Center for Business and Government. Speaker: Motoshige Itoh, Professor, the Faculty of International Social Sciences, Gakushuin University; Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo.

Harvard Kennedy School

Be an Agent of Change: Achieve Health Justice

Join A Faith That Does Justice and Healthcare for All for a conversation about the actions you can take as an individual to work towards justice, equity, and inclusion in health care.

A Faith That Does Justice

Voices for Justice:Ta-Nehisi Coates in Conversation with Callie Crossley

The Cambridge Public Library Foundation is proud to present Voices for Justice, a free, virtual event series supporting the Cambridge Public Library’s world-class Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programming and initiative. Join us for this virtual event featuring Ta-Nehisi Coates in conversation with Callie Crossley of WGBH Boston’s Under the Radar.

Cambridge Public Library

Today’s Headlines

Metro

A new supermarket in the Fenway, at last – Boston Globe

Boston Arts Commission approves final design of King memorial – Boston Herald

Massachusetts

As virus restrictions ease, NECC plans live graduation – Eagle-Tribune

Holyoke city council passes home-rule petition to skip special mayoral election – Daily Hampshire Gazette

St. Vincent goes on PR push, works to avoid second strike – Worcester Business Journal

Nation

Pelosi’s push for 9/11-style Capitol riot commission stalls in political quicksand – Politico

21 states sue Biden over revocation of Keystone XL permit – The Hill

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