Happening Today

Patriots Day and more

— Today is Patriots Day, an official state holiday marking the start of the American Revolution, with state and local government offices and public schools, universities and colleges closed; the Boston Marathon and most historical reenactments have either been postponed or will go virtual due to the pandemic.

— Acting Mayor Kim Janey, who is a candidate for mayor, hosts a press conference in Dorchester to share updates about Boston’s environment, energy and open space initiatives, 10 a.m.

— The Boston Red Sox play their annual late-morning Patriots Day game, this year against the Chicago White Sox, 11:05 a.m.

— Acting Mayor Kim Janey, who is a candidate for mayor, participates in a press conference hosted by Rev. Willie Bodrick II and Dr. Thea James, associate chief medical officer at Boston Medical Center, to announce a new vaccination clinic at Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury, 11:30 a.m.

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: 7 new deaths, 17,117 total deaths, 1,265 new cases

MassLive has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Vaccine eligibility: Now open to one and all adults

Not everyone at once. The state today has officially opened eligibility to anyone 16 and up to get COVID-19 vaccines in Massachusetts, adding yet another 1.7 million people to the list of who those can register to get shots, GBH’s Craig LeMoult reports.

In other vaccination news, the state did indeed hit the 2 million fully-immunized mark last week, according to a report at WCVB. And there’s this, also via WCVB: “Dr. Fauci says he expects the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to resume later this week.”


Vaccination disparities persist

File under ‘sigh.’ From the Globe’s Deanna Pan: “Despite efforts to ensure the COVID-19 vaccines are distributed equitably across Massachusetts, predominantly Black and Latino communities, where the risk of infection is greatest, still have among the lowest inoculationrates  in the state, according to a new analysis by physicians and researchers at several Boston-area institutions.”

Boston Globe

Yet more victims of the pandemic: Kids awaiting adoptions and family reunions

This is a sad one. CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg reports a decline in the number of DCF-involved adoptions and children reuniting with their families during the pandemic. She has the details.


State’s jobless rate slowly, very slowly, continues to fall

The state’s unemployment rate inched down from 7 percent to 6.8 percent in March, helped by hirings in the leisure and hospitality sectors that were hit hard by last year’s shutdowns, according to reports at SHNS and WBUR. But the state is still down about 273,000 jobs since the onset of the pandemic.

The Globe’s Larry Edelman has more on the “frustratingly slow” jobs recovery. Meanwhile, state Sen. Jamie Eldridge at CommonWealth touts legislation that he says will help a lot of struggling essential workers in Massachusetts.

We have vehicle inspections, Massachusetts

After a weeks-long halt in vehicle inspections across the state and country due a malware attack on a vendor’s software system, most gas stations across the state resumed inspections over the weekend in Massachusetts, according to reports at WCVB and NBC Boston (video).

The traditional and non-traditional items on the infrastructure wish list

WBUR’s Callum Borchers reports on all the items that members of the state’s congressional delegation want to include in an eventual infrastructure bill. And they include items you usually don’t associate with infrastructure bills.


GBH’s Emily Rooney apologizes for ‘uninformed, dismissive and disrespectful’ comments about minority filmmakers

Who would have thought Ken Burns could cause such controversy? Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin and WBUR’s Cristela Guerra report on GBH host Emily Rooney’s apology for recently dismissing the work of minority filmmakers upset with the amount of airtime the documentarian Burns gets on PBS. Universal Hub has video of Rooney’s ‘Beat the Press’ apology and a lot of comments in its comments section – some of which are truly ugly. Talk about uniformed, dismissive and disrespectful.

Do you sense Jake Auchincloss is a little nervous about a primary challenger?

U.S. Rep. Jake Auchincloss raked in $463,095 in campaign donations last quarter, outpacing the fundraising of his House colleagues from Massachusetts. And it sure looks like the newbie congressman is trying to “scare off any potential challengers after his narrow primary victory last year left some Democrats dissatisfied,” reports the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky.

Boston Herald

Baker administration backtracks on subsidies for biomass plants

Sound the bugle retreat. From Miriam Wasser at WBUR: “The Baker administration says it no longer stands behind a plan it proposed last December to change state regulations to allow some wood-burning biomass power plants to qualify for renewable energy subsidies.”

The Globe’s David Abel has more on the move that follows years of protests against a proposal to build a wood-burning energy facility in East Springfield.

Ex-Rep. Nangle’s tangled double-dipping web of corruption

The Globe’s Emma Platoff and Andrea Estes take a look at former state Rep. David Nangle’s long list of financial shenanigans that led to his pleading guilty earlier this year to 23 various criminal charges. Among other things, it seems he was double-dipping by charging the state for many of the same travel expenses that he charged his campaign committee – with much of the money going to cover his apparently degenerate gambling habits.

Boston Globe

SJC to determine Sal DiMasi’s lobbying fate

Speaking of corruption, the Globe’s Matt Stout reports that the state’s highest court will now decide whether former House Speaker Sal DiMasi and others guilty of federal corruption charges should be barred from lobbying at the State House. Secretary of State Bill Galvin is pressing hard for the ban. Others disagree with his interpretation of state law.

Patriots Day 2025: Time to start planning for the 250th anniversary?

SHNS has an interesting item tucked in its Daily Advances this morning about how an outside section of the recently proposed House Ways and Means budget would establish a special commission on the 250th anniversary of the Battle of Lexington and Concord and the start of the American Revolution. Like the 200th anniversary celebration, the 250th will be a precursor to an expected national celebration of the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In other words: It’s a big deal.

Mission Impossible? Janey takes on the Blue Wall

The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld wishes Acting Mayor Kim Janey luck in trying to reform the Boston Police Department. History says she’s going to need a lot of it. Meanwhile, the NYT has a piece on Janey’s handling of the Patrick Rose controversy. Just fyi: Janey has yet to publicly release the documents.

In Boston, Blacks are still stopped by cops more often than whites

Speaking of the BPD, here’s some good news: The number of police “field interrogation and observation” encounters – Boston’s very own version of stop-and-frisk – are down in the city since 2012, reports GBH’s Tori Bedford. The bad news: Blacks are still disproportionately being stopped.

In other police/racial matters, also via GBH’s Tori Bedford: “Back In Boston: Protest Against Police Killings Of Black People Resumes.”


Just do it: Judge orders Springfield mayor to appoint civilian police commission

OK, one more police-related item: Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno says the city will appeal a ruling from a Hampden County Superior Court judge ordering Sarno to immediately appoint a long-debated civilian police commission approved by the city council nearly three years ago, Peter Goonan at MassLive reports.


End of an error? Hampshire Council of Governments officially no more

It’s just a memory now. The Hampshire Council of Governments has met the deadline set by the legislature to hand off control of its assets and turn out the lights, ending the two decade run as the agency, Bera Dunau at the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports. The council has transferred ownership of the last of its assets — including a cell phone tower — and its pension burden is now the state’s problem. 

Daily Hampshire Gazette

Dudley Square, gone. Now Maverick Square?

Annamarie Hoey, a sixth-grade student in Cambridge, wonders why East Boston’s Maverick Square is named after the state’s very first slave owner and whether it should be renamed, as was the case with Boston’s Dudley Square. Fyi: Congrats to Hoey, who got a little editing help form her dad in preparing the CommonWealth piece.


Employers are taking leave from state’s new paid-leave system

GBH’s Gabrielle Emanuel reports that more employers than expected have opted not to participate in the state’s new paid-leave system, raising the question whether the program will suffer as a result in the long run.

The hemp industry: High hopes dashed

CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg reports that a legal memo discussed last week at a Cannabis Control Commission meeting has delivered a “crushing” blow to the hopes of hemp-industry officials who had been eyeing a major sales expansion of their products in Massachusetts.

Build them and they will come? Boston’s latest Mass Pike tower and other development projects

The Globe’s Tim Logan has two good stories this morning, the first on how developers have secured a $55 million deal with the state to lease air rights over the Mass Pike near Fenway Park to build a long planned tower above the highway. The second story is about all those empty buildings in Boston, due to the pandemic, and who might lease all the new towers scheduled to open soon.

Trial time: Correia proceedings to kick off Tuesday

Get your Zoom screens ready. Former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia’s federal fraud and bribery trial is set to begin Tuesday– and, thanks to coronavirus restrictions, there will be cameras in the courtroom to carry the trial on Zoom. The AP’s Alanna Durkin Richer CBS Boston and Jo C. Goode of the Herald-News set the stage for the start of the trial .

Defense Project Series: A Talk with HR McMaster on Global Security

Please join MG(Ret) Bill Rapp in a lively talk with HR McMaster, former National Security Advisor and retired Lieutenant General, as McMaster discusses global security challenges for the United States and its allies in the coming decade. McMaster calls for clear eyed recognition of major threats facing the U.S. and to avoid the hubris that has marked much of the last 30 years of foreign policy.

Harvard Kennedy School

Harvard Seminar in Environmental Economics and Policy: Kelsey Jack, University of California, Santa Barbara

Kelsey Jack, University of California, Santa Barbara, “Harvesting the Rain: The Adoption of Environmental Technologies in the Sahel”. Seminar held via Zoom and is open to the public.

Harvard Kennedy School

Power in Plants: A Conversation on the Environmental Impacts of Plant-Based Dietary Shifts

Please join the Center for Leadership for a discussions on the correlation between climate change solutions and sustainable food futures through plant-based meat with Rebekah Moses, Head of Impact Strategy at Impossible Foods Inc.

Harvard Kennedy School

Forum: The Decisive Decade for Climate Action

As we begin this critical decade for climate action with growing momentum for protecting and restoring our global commons, the intensity of this moment makes it a uniquely compelling and privileged time to be alive.

Harvard Kennedy School

Anthony Amore, Author of Stealing Rembrandts

Anthony Amore is currently Director of Security and Chief Investigator of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, where he is charged with the ongoing efforts to recover 13 works of art stolen from the museum on March 18, 1990. He will talk about his 2011 true-crime bestseller Stealing Rembrandts: The Untold Stories of Notorious Art Heists.

Cary Memorial Public Library

How are Landlords Managing the COVID-19 Rental Crisis? Evidence from a Large Cross-Site Survey

In this session, Elijah de la Campa will present preliminary findings from a recent Center-supported survey of landlords in a dozen U.S. cities. He will offer findings on the magnitude of the rent arrears crisis, the steps landlords have been taking in response to loss of income, and their willingness to participate in public and non-profit rental assistance programs.

Harvard Kennedy School

The National Antiracist Book Festival

Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research will host the 2nd annual National Antiracist Book Festival virtually. This is the first and only book festival that brings together, showcases, and celebrates the nation’s leading antiracist writers and helps to prepare the writers of tomorrow. Panelists are topically organized with two authors and a monitor.

The BU Center for Antiracist Research

The Color of Covid: Reflections on Pandemics Past and Present

Dr. Paul Farmer will share stories of the transformative effects of healthcare for people in global hot spots, and he will inspire us with his continued commitment to solving the most intractable of medical problems. A medical anthropologist and physician, Dr. Farmer has devoted his life to improving health care for the world’s poorest people.

Cary Memorial Public Library

From Citizens United to Bots United: Reinterpreting “Robot Rights” as a Corporate Power Grab

Towards Life 3.0: Ethics and Technology in the 21st Century is a talk series organized and facilitated by Mathias Risse, Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, and Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights, Global Affairs, and Philosophy. Speaker is Frank Pasquale, Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School

Harvard Kennedy School

Exploring Trees and Equity in Boston through Literature

In collaboration with Speak for the Trees, Boston, we will be presenting resources to help you learn about tree and nature equity, environmental justice, and the natural world that exists throughout the city of Boston. We will be highlighting literary, scientific and art collections and other resources available through the Boston Public Library that are of interest to adults teens and children.

Boston Public Library

Leadership During Crisis Featuring Carmen Yulín Cruz

Join UMass Women into Leadership for a conversation with Carmen Yulín Cruz, former mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, as she discusses her thoughts on leadership during crisis.

UMass Women into Leadership

Transportation Tech Trends: 3 Perspectives on the Future Direction of Mobility

Between now and 2030, policymakers and regulators will need to guide deployment of new technologies, including connected vehicles, advanced driver assistance systems, and micromobility, to maximize benefits while minimizing harm for all road users. This conversation will feature three fellows working at the intersection of technology and transportation policy.

Harvard Kennedy School

Monuments and Memory: A Confederate Marker in Boston

In October 2017, Massachusetts officials removed one of the only markers in the state dedicated to the Confederacy from Fort Warren on Georges Island. This program will explore the history of the marker, the organization that erected it, and the broader national dialogue abut how we remember the American Civil War.

Boston Public Library

Today’s Headlines


Protesters march from Cambridge to Boston demanding justice for Daunte Wright – Boston Globe

State Rep. Driscoll files legislation aimed at Blue Hills deer hunt – Patriot Ledger


Dry tinderbox conditions raise concern about another drought – Salem News

Provincetown bills more than $100K for March filming – Cape Cod Times

Dighton shoots down select board name change – Taunton Gazette


GOP acknowledges struggle to bring down Biden – The Hill

On infrastructure, lofty ideas are colliding with congressional reality – Washington Post

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