Happening Today

Climate conference, post-Chauvin verdict service, and more

— Council of State Governments East’s new State Legislative Climate Alliance and nonprofit group Scenic Hudson host a virtual two-day conference on ‘Carbon Sequestration From the Ground Up,’ with Sen. Marc Pacheco, chair of the alliance, giving introductory remarks, 10 a.m..

— Sen. Eric Lesser talks with Boys and Girls Club Family Center Executive Director Keshawn Dodds about the organization’s work to provide programming and childcare for families in Springfield, 12 p.m.

— U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, Chicopee Mayor John Vieau, city council members, and others hold a press conference to discuss the importance of the American Rescue Plan to the Chicopee community, 1 p.m.

— Attorney General Maura Healey, Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins and Acting Mayor Kim Janey join Rev. Willie Bodrick II, senior pastor of Twelfth Baptist Church, for a ‘service of healing and call to action in response to the Derek Chauvin verdict,’ 160 Warren St., Roxbury, 6 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: 17 new deaths, 17,168 total deaths, 1,431 new cases

MassLive has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Baker to other states: We’ll take your extra vaccines

Believe it or not, some rural areas across the country are now turning down deliveries of coronavirus vaccines, saying demand for vaccinations is falling (Washington Post). And Gov. Charlie Baker knows just where the extra doses can go: Massachusetts. The Herald’s Erin Tiernan, SHNS’s Matt Murphy and CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl have more on the governor’s call to redeploy vaccines to the Bay State

Btw: Baker’s call for more vaccines comes amid encouraging news about falling coronavirus cases in Massachusetts, as MassLive and the Globe report. Meanwhile, here’s the latest encouraging vaccination data, via the Globe. 

Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard could sure use more vaccines

If he gets hold of any extra doses, maybe the governor can steer some surplus vaccines to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, where officials report many residents are desperate to get shots – so desperate they’re hopping on ferries to get off-island shots. SHNS’s Chris Lisinski and the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky have more.

UMass Amherst joins the mandatory-vax ranks

The University of Massachusetts-Amherst is the latest higher-ed institution to require COVID vaccinations for students planning to return to campus next fall, joining mandatory-vax schools such as BU, Northeastern, Emerson, Smith etc. Will Katcher at MassLive has more.

Btw, via Martha Bebinger at WBUR: “Mass. Colleges Rush To Vaccinate Students Before Semester Ends.”


Massachusetts and U.S. jobless claims tumble to near pre-pandemic levels

Here’s some good news: The number of unemployment claims filed in Massachusetts last month fell to their lowest level since March 2020, yet the latest evidence of the state economy slowly recovering, according a report at WBUR. U.S. jobless claims also fell to their lowest level since the pandemic struck.


Former commissioner sues state over ‘politically correct’ firing

Turns out Steven Florio isn’t going quietly. From SHNS’s Chris Van Buskirk: “The former head of the state’s Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing sued the Baker administration in federal court on Wednesday, claiming he was instructed to apologize in the wake of a report about racist behavior at his college fraternity, then terminated because ‘it was no longer politically correct to employ him.’”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Baker: State agencies to go zero-emission vehicles starting next year

Gov. Charlie Baker made a rather large Earth Day announcement yesterday: Starting next year, state agencies moving forward will be required to purchase only zero-emission vehicles, as part of an effort to reduce state government’s overall carbon emissions, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan and the Globe’s Sofia Saric. Both have more on other executive-order requirements outlined by the governor.

Speaking of emissions, we missed this piece from the other day, via Barbara Moran at WBUR: “Report: Air quality improving in Mass., even before the pandemic.”

War of the Rose: BPD scandal becomes central issue in mayoral race

And now Acting Mayor Kim Janey is catching direct and indirect flak from her mayoral-candidate rivals over the Patrick Rose child-molestation scandal now engulfing the Boston Police Department. The Globe’s Danny McDonald and the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter report that candidates Jon Barros and Andrea Campbell are piling on big time with various demands.

GBH’s Saraya Wintersmith and Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin also have more.

Fresh eyes: Outside investigator to probe Fall River Facebook post about Chauvin verdict

Fall River Police Chief Jeffrey Cardoza says he has hired an independent investigator to find out how a post blaming George Floyd for not cooperating with officers before he died under the knee of now convicted murderer Derek Chauvin ended up on the department’s Facebook page. Audrey Cooney of the Herald News has the details.

Btw: The Fall River controversy has gone national, courtesy of the Washington Post.

Herald News

Not so fast: Smaller health-care providers mobilize against Mass General Brigham’s expansion plan

An expansion plan by the Healthcare Giant Formerly Known as Partners, aka Mass General Brigham, is running into some local opposition in the Woburn area, the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett reports. Specifically, nearby smaller providers are opposed to a massive outpatient surgery center proposed by Mass General Brigham.


Meanwhile, MGH pushes ahead with nearly $2 billion expansion in Boston

Speaking of the Healthcare Giant Formerly Known as Partners, the Globe’s Priyanka Dayal McCluskey and Tim Logan report that Massachusetts General Hospital (one half of Mass General Brigham) is pushing forward with a nearly $1.9 billion project to build two new towers along Cambridge Street in Boston. The project could stir more calls to connect the T’s nearby Bowdoin station with the Charles/MGH station, the Globe reports.

Boston Globe

Developers vie for former Big Dig parcel near Tip’s Tunnel

Speaking of developments, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has received six bids for a 1.3-acre, state-owned parcel of land on Kneeland Street that sits atop an exit from the Tip O’Neill Tunnel near Chinatown. And they’re prominent developers interested in the leftover Big Dig site, reports the Globe’s Tim Logan.

Boston Globe

Pandemic boom: Big Boston law firms earned massive profits in 2020

Here’s one segment of an industry that did very, very well last year: Large law firms in Boston. The BBJ’s Greg Ryan reports on the double-digit growth in profits at major city firms, thanks partly to their representation of clients who fared well during the pandemic, such as life-science and tech firms.


Three nominated for appeals and district court judgeships

In other legal news, here’s more evidence the governor’s impact on the state’s courts will be felt for years, via SHNS’s Chris Lisinksi: “Gov. Charlie Baker made three new judicial nominations on Wednesday, recommending District Court Judge Maureen Walsh for an Appeals Court position and tapping both Lisa Lippiello and Andrew Abdella as associate justices for the District Court.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Federal judge: Falling asleep on the job is a firing offense, whether or not you’re White and hated by your boss

Universal Hub once again cuts to the core of an issue: “A federal judge today dismissed a former Transit Police lieutenant’s wrongful-termination suit, ruling he was only fired after an investigation proved he used a locked room for long snoozes when he should have been overseeing officers, not because the department’s chief hates White people or his underling hates unions.”

Universal Hub

Changing the story: After using slur in video, Salem councilor says he’ll run for mayor

Is he just trying to change the narrative? Advocates for the disabled are demanding an apology from Salem City Councilor Steve Dibble after he was caught on video using a derogatory term for people with intellectual disabilities– a word later edited out of the local access TV show, Dustin Luca at the Salem News reports. When asked about the slur, Dibble appeared to announce he would soon launch a mayoral bid. 

Salem News

Owners of Bay Windows and South End News put papers up for sale

Now this is how you sell a newspaper or two, as opposed to the hedge-fund fiasco/tragedy in Chicago. Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin and the Globe’s Jon Chesto report that Sue O’Connell and Jeff Coakley, the long-time owners of the South End News and Bay Windows, are putting their papers up for sale and are making clear they’re willing to work with nonprofits, community leaders, educational institutions, business owners etc. to provide “an equitable path to ownership.”

It’s sad to see them go, but it appears O’Connell and Coakley want to pass the journalistic baton to someone who actually cares about journalism.

Warren’s call for ‘restricting’ US aid to Israel draws fire

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is catching some flak for telling attendees at a virtual J Street national conference earlier this week that she supports restricting U.S. aid to Israel if the funds are being used in a way that disrupts negotiations for a possible two-state solution in the region, according to a report at the Jewish News Syndicate. And her remarks were heard loud and clear in Israel, where the Times of Israel lreporting that the Republican Jewish Committee is blasting away at Warren.


Five of a kind: Garcia is fifth candidate to join Holyoke mayoral fray

They’re coming fast and furious now. Joshua Garcia, who currently works as town administrator in Blandford, has launched a bid to become Holyoke’s next mayor, making him the fifth candidate already in the scrum to replace Alex Morse, Dusty Christensen at the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports.  WMPI’s Matt Szafranski has more on the suddenly crowded Holyoke contest.

Daily Hampshire Gazette

New decade, new HQ: Marlborough dangles tax break to lure BJ’s headquarters

They’re on the move yet again. BJ’s Wholesale Club is poised to move its corporate headquarters and the nearly 1,000 employees who work there from Westborough to Marlborough, where the city is offering a tax increment financing deal, Vicki Greene at The Community Advocate reports. It’s been 10 years since BJ’s relocated from its original home in Natick.

Community Advocate

Sunday public affairs TV: Rev. Liz Walker, Deb Goldberg and Jake Auchincloss

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Rev. Liz Walker of Roxbury Presbyterian Church, who discusses community reaction to the Chauvin verdict, police reform and vaccine hesitancy in communities of color.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. State Treasurer Deb Goldberg discusses the Lottery, alcohol sales and the state’s fiscal health; Steve Samuels, chairman of Samuels & Associates, and Lee Michael Kennedy, CEO of Lee Kennedy Co, talk about Fenway development and the new Boston Arts Academy building; and the Globe’s Shirley Leung reviews some of the top local business stories of the week.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: U.S. Rep. Jake Auchincloss, who talks with hosts Ed Harding and Sharman Sacchetti, followed by a discussion with political analysts Mary Anne Marsh and Virginia Buckingham.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s topic: ‘And the Oscar Goes To,’ with actress Andra Day and magazine entertainment director Nojan Aminosharei, among others.

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

Candidate and Supporters Training School

Our Campaign Training School is an eye-opener for anyone who wants to make a difference. Activists and candidates see what’s involved not just in winning campaigns, but in winning issues battles with your local school committee, board of selectmen, or city council.


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

Future of Non-profits

Not for profit organizations are critical to our economy and make our community better through the work they do. Join the Boston Business Journal and leaders in the non-profit world as we tackle the Future of Non-Profits.

Boston Business Journal

Balance Sheets and Debt Crisis: Predicting Defaults in the 21st Century

In this seminar, Gon Huertas will present on “Balance Sheets and Debt Crisis: Empirical Regularities for Modern Cases of Sovereign Distress”, a research paper published by the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Harvard Kennedy School

Challenge or Crisis: Addressing the Immigration Surge at the Border

Speakers and Presenters: Nate Bruggeman, former Counselor at the Department of Homeland Security; Juliette Kayyem, Belfer Senior Lecturer in International Security.

Harvard Kennedy School

Across the Aisle: New Faces of Congress

The Kennedy Institute will host a bipartisan panel of new Members of Congress to discuss the current state of affairs in Washington as well as opportunities for finding common ground and forging collaboration in the 117th Congress.

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate

A Terrible Malady: Disease and Epidemics in New England

Epidemics of smallpox, measles, yellow fever, diphtheria, and other illnesses were common ailments in New England from colonial times up through the 19th century. Learn more about these diseases why they were so greatly feared by your ancestors, and remedies they may have used.

Boston Public Library

A Virtual Discussion with Special Guest Philip Mangano: Scaling Housing Solutions for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness: Hotel/Motel Conversions

The increasing number of the most vulnerable and disabled individuals living long-term on the streets and languishing in shelters is only likely to grow as we continue to experience the aftershock effects of the pandemic across the nation. But the current housing development system will need new strategies to accelerate the development of safe, supportive housing.

Rasky Partners

Louis Menand – The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War

Harvard Book Store joins us in welcoming Louis Menand, the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of English at Harvard University and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Metaphysical Club, for a discussion of his latest book, The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War. He will be joined in conversation by our president David Leonard. This program is part of our Repairing America series.

Boston Public Library

The Path Ahead for Climate Change Policy

HPCA Director Robert Stavins will engage Nat Keohane in conversation focusing on what comes next for climate policy both in the United States and abroad.

Harvard Kennedy School

When the Doughnut Meets the City: Can We Create Regenerative and Distributive Local Economies?

Doughnut Economics starts with the goal of meeting the needs of all people within the means of the living planet. Achieving this calls for economies that are regenerative and distributive by design. What would it look like to put this into practice at the level of the city? Kate Raworth will present the core ideas of Doughnut Economics and share stories of how the idea is being put into action.

Harvard Kennedy School

Boston’s Radical Working Class History

Join us for an episodic tour of Boston’s radical working class in history, from the movement for the eight-hour day and the epic clashes of 1919 to postwar struggles for jobs, housing, and school equity that continue to inform today’s organizers.

Boston Public Library

Patriot Call to Action – Massachusetts Grassroots Unity Summit

Speakers include Jim Lyons, MAGOP. Donations accepted at event.

United Cape Patriots

Today’s Headlines


Beer and wine to return to Greenway next month – Universal Hub

Brockton seeks to take 3 downtown properties by eminent domain for public safety complex – Brockton Enterprise


Mother of armed man killed by Worcester police wants answers – Telegram & Gazette

Pandemic brings hundreds of tons more trash to South Shore curbs, open space – Patriot Ledger


As economy spikes, Republicans are still waiting for the ‘Biden depression’ that Trump predicted – Washington Post

The inside story of how the Super League fell apart – New York Times

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