Happening Today

Janey calls for restored T services, Weymouth compressor station, and more

— Boston Acting Mayor Kim Janey, MBTA riders, small-business leaders and advocates will speak out in support of fully funding subway, bus, ferry, and commuter rail in the MBTA’s upcoming budget and restoring service as soon as possible, 10 Park Plaza on Stuart Street side, 9 a.m.

— U.S. Sen. Ed Markey and Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station founder Alice Arena hold a press conference to speak out against the Weymouth Compressor Station, 10 a.m.

Massachusetts State Lottery Commission meets to vote on authorizing the commission’s executive director to amend regulations to facilitate remote ticket cashing, with Treasurer Deb Goldberg chairing, 10:30 a.m.

— The MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board and Department of Transportation Board meet individually and in joint session, with agenda topics including a preview of the fiscal 2022 budget, 12 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker meets virtually with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Senate President Karen Spilka, House Speaker Ron Mariano and others, 2 p.m.

— The conference committee tasked with reaching an agreement on different House and Senate versions of a Joint Rules package for this session meets virtually, 4 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: 29 new deaths, 16,775 total deaths, 1,817 new cases

MassLive has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Supersized: Feds partner with state at new Hynes mass-vax site

Goodbye Fenway Park (WCVB) and hello Hynes Convention Center, the state’s new mass-vaccination site that will soon act as a sort of supersized mass-vaccination site, now that FEMA says it will also be providing thousands of additional daily shots at the center, in addition to the state’s allotment of vaccines. SHNS’s Chris Lisinski and the Herald’s Alex Cohan have more.

Not local enough: Warren criticizes state’s privatized rollout as ‘unacceptable’

Not everyone is impressed with state’s reliance on privately operated mass-vax sites. From Francesca Paris at the Berkshire Eagle: “At a visit to Berkshire Community College on Saturday afternoon, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, praised local vaccine administration efforts and called Gov. Charlie Baker’s rollout ‘unacceptable.’” Bottom line: Warren thinks the state should have gone local sooner and more aggressively.

Berkshire Eagle

So was the state’s $130M contact-tracing program worth it? Not everyone thinks so

We recall the state’s initial launch of its aggressive contact-tracing program being praised as way ahead of the public-health curve. But now that it’s winding down a year later, some public health officials are questioning whether it was worth its $130 million cost. The Globe’s Kay Lazar has more.

Boston Globe

Vaccine passports: The haves vs. the have nots?

The Herald’s Alexi Cohan has a good opinion piece looking at the pluses and minuses of possible “vaccine passports” that could govern who can or can’t travel and attend events at public venues, depending on whether or not they’ve been vaccinated. The issues of equity, health-care coverage, vaccine hesitancy and just bad luck all come into play, she notes. We’d add basic liberties to the list, though we fully understand the need for some restrictions. It all depends on what’s covered or not covered by passports.

Boston Herald

As state reopens, more ask: What about the State House?

Not now, but maybe soon? Lawmakers, watchdog groups and Secretary of State William Galvin are among those clamoring for legislative leaders to start the process of getting the State House reopened to the public again – or at least set a target date, Christian Wade at the Eagle-Tribune reports. 

Eagle Tribune

The climate-change bill: It’s now the law of the land

He said he would sign it – and he did. SHNS’s Colin Young has more on Gov. Charlie Baker’s Friday signing of the landmark climate-change legislation that lays out the goals of when and how the state will achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Not that everyone is completely happy with the bill, such as architect Hubert Murray, who writes at CommonWealth that the package is missing some things.

Meanwhile, from Mariam Wasser at WBUR: “What You Need To Know About The New Mass. Climate Law.”

Sen. Fattman on his fight with campaign-finance office: ‘I will not be bullied’

We’re starting to learn a little more about that mysterious lawsuit pitting Sen. Ryan Fattman et family and friends against the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance – and Fattman says it’s about OCPF making a big deal about routine donations between political campaign committees. “I will not be bullied,” says the Webster Republicans. WBUR’s Todd Wallack and CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg have more.

Corporate Boston’s 12-page ad supplement: ‘Thank you Mayor Walsh’

We couldn’t find it online, but the Globe’s print edition on Sunday ran a 12-page advertising supplement, headlined ‘Thank You Mayor Walsh,’ that paid homage to our now departed mayor. The big goodbye smooch was sponsored by a number of corporate, non-profit, labor and public entities, including Bank of America, City of Boston Credit Union, UMass Boston and Boston Children’s Hospital, among others. Just thought we’d point it out.

Romney gets Profile in Courage Award for impeachment vote

Former Massachusetts governor and current Utah Sen. Mitt Romney has been named this year’s recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for his lone Republican vote to impeach Donald Trump in 2020, JFK’s daughter, Caroline Kennedy, has announced, as reported at CBS Boston. Romney will be presented the award in May.

CBS Boston

Spilka’s priorities: holding the line on taxes, early ed, public health

SHNS’s Michael Norton has a piece on Senate President Karen Spilka’s post-pandemic legislative agenda. 

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Scripted ending: Film tax credit backers say they have the votes to make it permanent

Speaking of legislative issues, supporters of the state’s film tax credit, one of the subjects of a recent critical report on various state tax breaks, say they have the votes to make it permanent. So there. CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl has more.


Coming soon: Strict state water restrictions that apply to big users too

Here’s a story we apparently missed online the other week but only appeared recently in print, i.e. David Abel’s piece at the Globe about how the state is preparing sweeping new water restrictions during future droughts – restrictions that will finally include about 800 large water users, such as the MWRA, municipalities, cranberry bogs, farms and golf courses.

Boston Globe

At last, the Mass. GOP finds suspicious vote counting – in one of its own elections

From the Herald’s Marie Szaniszlo and Erin Tiernan: “GOP Chairman Jim Lyons blasted city of Boston election officials, calling for their resignation after the sudden appearance of more than 120 ballots in a year-old, disputed race for a seat on the Republican State Committee.” Lyons says the “system is absolutely broken.”

Lawmakers push for mandatory genocide education after football team’s anti-Semitic play calls

From the AP’s Steve LeBlanc at MassLive: “Massachusetts lawmakers are renewing a push for mandatory genocide education after a high school football coach was fired following reports that the team used anti-Semitic language, including a mention of Auschwitz, in its on-field play calling.”

Meanwhile, from the Patriot Ledger’s Wheeler Cowperthwaite: “State Sen. Barry Finegold meets with football players to discuss anti-Semitism.” 


Standing up to Harvard: Rep. Mike Moran

State Rep. Mike Moran is making a stand against Harvard’s proposal to build a massive drainpipe to empty rainwater from its future expanded Allston campus into the Charles River. Moran isn’t against the project per se. He just wants to know a lot more about the university’s long-term Allston plans, reports the Globe’s Jon Chesto.

Boston Globe

Healey’s flailing strategy: Is it working?

The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld reviews Attorney General Maura Healey’s recent campaign-like stops across the state and concludes they’re tied to a probable run for governor against, possibly, a weakened Charlie Baker. But is the ‘flailing’ working?

Speaking of Healey, SHNS’s Matt Murphy has the price tag for that “future of work” contract Baker signed with McKinsey & Co., the one Healey has called “outrageous.”

Boston Herald

The Jacob Wirth Pot Shop?

From German beer and brats to pot, the shuttered Jacob Wirth restaurant on Stuart Street would be converted into a cannabis retail shop under a plan proposed by a local company with strong hospitality-industry (and some City Hall) ties, Universal Hub reports.

Speaking of pot shops, from the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett: “State’s first Black-, woman-owned marijuana dispensary opens.”

Universal Hub

‘Nightmare scenario’: Even more drug cases could be dropped due to drug-lab debacle

Following the lead of Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins, Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan is the latest official to call into question thousands of additional cases tied to the decades-long state drug-lab scandals – and she’s asking the state’s high court to intervene in the matter, reports WBUR’s Deborah Becker and the Globe’s Maggie Mulvihill and Dugan Arnett.

Study backs Rollins’s contention that misdemeanor prosecutions do more harm than good

Speaking of DAs and thorny legal issues, from Michael Jonas at CommonWealth magazine: “A study examining the effect of declining to prosecute lower-level nonviolent offenses — a signature policy adopted by Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins that has drawn both praise and scorn — suggests the approach leads to significantly less future involvement by those defendants in the criminal justice system.” Fyi: The study is via Cambridge’s NBER.

What if? Theoretically, cargo ship could clog Cape Cod Canal too

This one goes straight into the local-angle hall of fame. With the world transfixed on the massive cargo ship halting traffic through the Suez Canal, Jeannette Hinkle at the Cape Cod Times reports that, at least in theory, a similar catastrophe could befall the Cape Cod Canal.

Ah, but a similar-sized ship wouldn’t necessarily clog Boston’s inner harbor. Well, it depends on where in the inner harbor you’re talking about, as Universal Hub show.

Cape Cod Times

‘Turn up the heat’: Springfield calls on State Police to help address street violence

They’re calling in reinforcements. Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno is asking the State Police for extra patrols in the city to knock down what he calls an outbreak of gang-related gun violence, Jeannette DeForge at MassLive reports. It’s a familiar refrain from Sarno, who has called on the agency for support several times for similar reasons during his time in office. 


‘Live Long and Prosper’: Museum of Science honors Leonard Nimoy with ‘Star Trek’ statue

The late Leonard Nimoy, the Boston native who played the legendary Mr. Spock in ‘Star Trek,’ would be pleased. The Museum of Science has identified a prominent outdoor location for a 20-foot, illuminated statue of the famous “Live Long and Prosper” hand gesture the actor made famous in the iconic sci-fi TV series, reports the Herald’s Meghan Ottolini and Universal Hub.

Defense Project Series – Should Women be in the Draft – A discussion about the future of the Selective Service in America

Please join us for an important and timely discussion on whether or not women should be required to sign up for the Selective Service and, therefore, potentially be involuntarily drafted into the military in the event of a national emergency.

Harvard Kennedy School

Energy Policy Seminar: Alice Hill on Lessons from the Pandemic on How to Prepare for Climate Change

Join us for an Energy Policy Seminar featuring Alice Hill, David M. Rubenstein Fellow for Energy and the Environment at the Council on Foreign Relations. Ms. Hill will discuss “Lessons from the Pandemic on How to Prepare for Climate Change”. This event is open to the public and hosted on zoom. Please RSVP.

Harvard Kennedy School

Book Talk – The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together

Join the Ash Center; Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic: Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging at Harvard University; and Black Student Union at Harvard Kennedy School for a conversation with Heather McGee, a leading voice in the national conversation on systemic racism and its consequences.

Harvard Kennedy School

How to Network Effectively

In this workshop, you will receive top tips on how to maximize recruitment opportunities at law fairs, vacation schemes and other networking events both face to face and online. The practical nature of this online workshop will give you the opportunity to develop and practice online networking techniques as well.

BPP University Law School

The Brixton riots 40 years on: What has changed for Black Brixtons?

Deputy Opinion Editor Joseph Harker, author and lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University Alex Wheatle, 1980s Lambeth Council Leader Linda Bellos, and co-founder of All Black Lives UK Natasha Johnson will be marking the anniversary of a moment of fundamental change for Black Protest, exploring its evolution through the past 40 years to today and ask, what next in the struggle for equality?

The Guardian Live

Energy Policy Seminar: Andrew Light on “International Energy and Climate Policy Outlook”

Join us for an Energy Policy Seminar featuring Andrew Light, Acting Assistant Secretary for International Affairs, Department of Energy. Mr. Light will discuss “International Energy and Climate Policy Outlook”. The seminar will be hosted by HKS Professor Joe Aldi.

Harvard Kennedy School

Regional Spotlight: The Northeast

As MassEcon focuses on marketing Massachusetts beyond its borders, we invite you to this Spotlight Series discussion. This free event is open to area business representatives and economic developers.


Today’s Headlines


Boston hotels, among the hardest hit in the country, could take years to recover – Boston Globe

Racism complaint filed against Saugus school board member – Lynn Item


From bullets to buds. Site of former Northampton gun manufacturer to become cannabis cultivation facility – MassLive

Framingham residents can earn $10 by taking vaccine equity survey – MetroWest Daily News

Amid rising home values, Great Barrington to eye tax deferral for seniors – Berkshire Eagle


Collins avoids state-party censure after voting to convict Trump – Politico

NRA faces internal woes as it girds for new gun control fight – Washington Post

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