Happening Today

Hate crimes, Baker housing announcement, Governor’s Council

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Maine Gov. Janet Mills, National Grid U.S. President Badar Khan and National Grid UK President Nicola Shaw participate in ‘Climate Action New England: The Road to COP26,’ a virtual event to discuss climate efforts around New England ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference, 9 a.m.

— A virtual legislative discussion on hate crimes in Massachusetts will be held and moderated by Sam Hyun, chair of the Massachusetts Asian American Commission, with participants including Attorney General Maura Healey and a number of lawmakers, 10 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker plans to visit Father Bill’s and MainSpring in Quincy to make an announcement relative to ‘funding for supportive housing for vulnerable populations,’ 11 a.m.

Governor’s Council interviews Concord attorney Kevin Smith for a Land Court judgeship, 11 a.m.

— U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley and U.S. Sen. Ed Markey hold a press conference at ABCD Mattapan to discuss the expansion and modification of the child tax credit in the American Rescue Plan, 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: 18 new deaths, 16,808 total deaths, 1,683 new cases

WCVB has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Baker’s latest poll numbers: They’re back to Gov. Teflon levels

That recent UMass poll showing Gov. Charlie Baker’s approval ratings dropping by more than 20 points? His approval ratings are back up by 20 points, according to a new Suffolk/Globe survey, as the Globe’s Emma Platoff and Matt Stout report.

Say this about Massachusetts voters: They’re a forgiving lot – to the disappointment of some Dems, we’re sure. Here are the full results from the Suffolk/Globe poll.

Boston Globe

From ‘doom’ to ‘hope’: CDC chief backtracks a bit on dire warnings

Visiting the state’s new mass-vax site at the Hynes Center in Boston, CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who only the day before was warning of ‘impending doom’ tied to the rising number of Covid cases around the country, was sounding a bit more, well, hopeful yesterday, CBS Boston and the Globe’s Robert Weisman and Travis Andersen report.

Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey was crediting “Governor Bacon” for helping get the joint fed-state Hynes vax site off the ground, as the Herald’s Joe Dwinell reports. CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl reports how the feds will be contributing the bulk of dosages at the new supersized mass-vaccination site.

BPS superintendent: Vaccinate teens if you want to open schools faster

Is this a new form of foot-dragging on reopening or a legitimate issue to raise, albeit a belatedly raised legitimate issue? From the Globe’s Bianca Vázquez Toness and Felicia Gans: “Teenagers 16 and older should be prioritized for coronavirus vaccine and schools should hold vaccination clinics, Boston Superintendent Brenda Cassellius told US Education Secretary Miguel Cardona on Tuesday.”

Btw, this is breaking this morning, via NBC News: “Pfizer says Covid vaccine 100 percent effective in children ages 12 to 15.”

Win some, lose some: MIT’s top-rated business school grapples with managing COVID-19 outbreak on campus

As U.S. News & World Report anoints MIT’s Sloan School of Management as the nation’s top business school (along with Harvard’s biz school – BBJ), Sloan is grappling with a major COVID-19 outbreak on its campus, as Cambridge Day reports. Of course, Universal Hub hasn’t missed the management irony here.

Nearly $400M is headed to Massachusetts counties – most of which exist in name only

We’ll be interested to see how Gov. Charlie Baker and legislators react to this strange fiscal phenomenon, to wit: Massachusetts counties are in line to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in federal relief funds even though most of them exist in name only or have very limited powers, as SHNS’s Michael Norton reports. Example: Norfolk County has an annual budget of about $32 million, but it’s in line to receive $137 million.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Vermin and the virus: Cambridge’s rat-resistant trash barrels delayed by pandemic

Looks like rats have another year of free food in Cambridge. Marc Levy at Cambridge Day reports the city council has voted to spend $1.5 million to order rodent-resistant trash containers for thousands of homes and apartments — but pandemic-related supply chain issues mean it will be spring 2022 before they arrive. 

Cambridge Day

Report: Lawmakers will likely miss Baker’s Holyoke Soldiers’ Home deadline

SHNS’s Michael Norton reports that the legislative calendar, as printed, sure suggests lawmakers won’t be hitting Gov. Charlie Baker’s deadline of April 1 to pass a $400 million proposal to rebuild the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home. 

Lynch on critical PPE supplies: ‘We’re still reliant on China’

From Benjamin Kail at MassLive: “Rep. Stephen Lynch on Tuesday urged state and local governments, schools and businesses to use federal COVID-19 relief to buy personal protective equipment sourced and produced in the United States, making the case that ongoing reliance on suppliers in China represents ‘a gap in our national security.’”


‘Republicans seek to make vaccine passports the next battle in the pandemic culture wars’

We’re just pointing out this story by the Washington Post as Massachusetts begins its own debate about future “vaccine passports.” We happen to think some restrictions, and thus vaccine passes, may be necessary moving forward. But it’s indeed a very touchy issue depending on the extent of restrictions.

Washington Post

The Dem progressives love to hate wins DeLeo’s seat

The Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky reports that Jeffrey Turco, the Trump-turned-Biden backer who infuriated progressives by recently winning the four-way Dem primary for the 19th Suffolk House seat, yesterday won the general election to succeed former Speaker Robert DeLeo. Turco wasn’t rubbing it in yesterday, but he did brag about his election being a victory for a “moderate Democrat.”

Boston Herald

Fattmans lose a round in campaign-finance case

The saga continues. From Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine; “A Superior Court Judge on Tuesday refused to prohibit the head of the Office of Campaign and Political Finance from referring the results of his investigation of Sen. Ryan Fattman and his wife Stephanie, the register of probate in Worcester County, to Attorney General Maura Healey.”

Separately, Mohl reports the OCPF’s investigation appears to be focusing on the flow of money from Fattman’s campaign committee through the Sutton Republican Town Committee to his wife’s campaign committee.


‘The Crimson Klan’: Cross burnings, KKK, cover-ups at Harvard

The Washington Post has a piece today, prompted by a recent 4,500-word story at the Harvard Crimson, on Harvard’s dark history of racial tensions on campus – and the school’s past attempts to cover up that history. Both stories are accompanied by a recently discovered (and disturbing) photo from 1924.

Washington Post

The MBTA’s $38.2M push into electric buses

This is interesting. From SHNS’s Chris Lisinski: “The MBTA took a major step Monday toward preparing for a more electrified bus fleet when its oversight board approved the $38.2 million purchase of a Quincy property for construction of a new bus maintenance facility.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Royal mess, Part II: Saudi fight over Boston condos is part of a ruthless game of thrones

Of course there’s a Massachusetts angle. The Globe’s Tim Logan has an update on the fight among royal Saudi members over eight Boston condos that are “part of a clash between warring factions of the Saudi regime, a power struggle with global political implications.” It also highlights our strong real estate market.

Boston Globe

Shelved: Biden wants to fund infrastructure push without Warren’s wealth tax

Nope. Details of how President Joe Biden plans to pay for a multitrillion-dollar infrastructure package are emerging and Megan Cassella and Natasha Korecki at Politico report it takes off the table the ultra-wealth tax proposed by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Biden has opted on a corporate tax hike instead. 


Power plant? MGH to study magic mushrooms as more communities eye legalization

Mass General Hospital has launched the Center for the Neuroscience of Psychedelics to examine whether magic mushrooms and other psychedelics can be effective treatments for depression, Felice Freyer at the Globe reports. 

The news comes just days after Northampton became the latest Bay State community to actively pursue local decriminalization of plant-based psychedelics, as Greta Jochem at the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports. 

For the Herald, it’s shark week in March

This is totally unfair to other media outlets — and they may have to retaliate with their own earlier-than-normal shark coverage. As you may have noticed, the Herald has clearly revved up its coverage of Great White Sharks months before residents hit the beaches on the Cape, with not one but two scare-the-readers stories today on the blood-thirsty, merciless monsters of the deep. They follow a weekend of extensive shark coverage at the Herald .

Climate & Health

Join ELM this Thursday, April 1 from 12:00-12:45PM for a webinar on Climate & Health moderated by Dr. Natalia Linos with Rep. Dr. Jon Santiago, Kevin Bartlett, and Dr. Jonathan Slutzman.

Environmental League of Massachusetts

Cryptocurrencies: Speculative Bubble or the Future of Money?

This webinar will be given by Timothy Massad, an M-RCBG research fellow, Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, and a consultant on financial regulatory issues. It is part of the Regulatory Policy Program’s weekly webinar series. Registration is required.

Harvard Kennedy School

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

Virtual Talk – The British Soldiers Who Fought the American Revolution

Join author Don N. Hagist for a different side of history on Patriot’s Day as he discusses the lives of British soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War. For centuries, these soldiers have remained hidden despite their major role in one of the greatest events in world history. There is more to these soldiers than their red uniforms. Who were they? Why did they join the army?

Cary Memorial Public Library

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.


Biodiversity Where You Are: Boston Area City Nature Challenge

Join the City Nature Challenge, Boston Public Library and Dr. Colleen Hitchcock from Brandeis University to find out how you can get involved in citizen and community science research this spring by joining City Nature Challenge. Learn about citizen science and nature documentation in the Boston area, how science and the public can work together to document nature, and what we’ve learned so far.

Boston Public Library

Propaganda, Media Literacy, and Democracy

This talk will explore the many efforts in education and journalism to increase the media literacy skills so vital to democracy. We’ll examine the challenges of this endeavor with Amy Callahan, who has studied this issue from many angles. A former journalist, public relations professional, and media literacy education scholar, she has an extensive background in teaching and journalism.

Cary Memorial Public Library

Escaping Unfreedom: How Cuff Whittemore used his Military Service to Claim his Freedom

Cuff Whittemore of Arlington fought with his military company at Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill, then seven more years in the Continental Army. Why did this African-American man choose to join the rebellion then re-enlist over and over after it had blossomed into a war? This online program, co-presented by the National Park Service, will happen over Zoom. Registration is required.

Boston Public Library

“I am a daughter of liberty”: Women in the American Struggle for Independence

The American Revolution brought the sudden and radical entrance of women into political life. Women actively participated in, and ensured the success of the boycotts of British goods that forced the repeal of oppressive legislation. When the war began, women took over the management of farms and shops, served as spies, saboteurs, messengers, and even soldiers. Their stories are worth telling.

Cary Memorial Public Library

Today’s Headlines


With faculty coming from closing Becker College, Lesley University moves into video game design – Cambridge Day

Former Boston police captain who oversaw evidence warehouse arrested for alleged overtime fraud – Boston Globe


Westfield delays city hall reopening as Covid numbers rise – MassLive

Emerald Square’s fate a top concern at North Attleboro candidates forum – Sun Chronicle

Poll hours reduced for Sandwich town election – Cape Cod Times


Biden wants to fund infrastructure plan with 15 years of higher corporate taxes – New York Times

Ballot review in watershed Amazon union election to stretch into Wednesday – Reuters

How to Contact MASSterList

Send tips to Matt Murphy: Editor@MASSterList.com. For advertising inquiries and job board postings, please contact Dylan Rossiter: Publisher@MASSterList.com or (857) 370-1156. Follow @MASSterList on Twitter.