Happening Today

Kraft in Brockton, Spilka tours vax site, Baker at chamber

— New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft visits Brockton to unveil a mobile addiction treatment and vaccination facility donated by the Kraft Center for Community Health at Massachusetts General Hospital, 10 a.m.

Special Commission on Qualified Immunity meets virtually, with Rep. Michael Day and Sen. Jamie Eldridge co-chairing, 10:30 a.m.

Special Commission on Correctional Funding meets virtually, 1 p.m.

— Senate President Karen Spilka tours the MetroWest-Westborough regional vaccination site at the DoubleTree Hotel in Westborough, 1 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker speaks at a Metro South Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 economic recovery event alongside Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan, 2 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: 16 new deaths, 17,243 total deaths, 1,260 new cases

MassLive has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

‘Rocking and rolling’: Baker says full reopening could happen sooner – if current vaccination rate continues

Declaring that the state’s vaccination effort is now “rocking and rolling,” Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday said the state’s economy could reopen sooner than his goal of August 1 – but only if the current rate of vaccinations holds, reports NBC Boston and the Herald’s Erin Tiernan.

There’s definitely reasons to be pleased with the state’s current rate of vaccinations, so much so that previous vax-rollout critics of Baker are now sharing his vax-inoculation optimism, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy. Still, there are vaccination obstacles ahead, such as youths reluctant to get shots (GBH) and plenty of others who have yet to get vaccinated (Globe).

Editorial: Time for employers to impose vaccine mandates – and that’s includes you, governor

The Boston Globe’s editorial board isn’t giving up on the idea of employers, both in the public and private sectors, requiring employees to get vaccinated in order to work. The paper is effectively siding with AG Maura Healey, and against Gov. Charlie Baker, on mandatory shots for public employees.

Boston Globe

And to think: We got through most of the pandemic with a minimal amount of fines

All those mask and travel restrictions imposed during the pandemic? They were rarely enforced by state and local governments, reports WBUR’s Scott Brown. So Massachusetts residents were either very good doobies or government officials couldn’t bring themselves to crack down too hard on people or a combination of the two.


Scott Brown: Road-race champ of the week

The Globe’s Jon Chesto reports how former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown played a pivotal role in bringing back road races, triathlons and charity rides next month in Massachusetts, as part of the phased-in reopening plan announced earlier this week by the Baker administration.

Rebuilding the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home: You just knew it wouldn’t be so simple

The Massachusetts Senate yesterday approved a bill that would fund the $400 million rebuilding of the pandemic-ravaged Holyoke Soldiers’ Home. But wait … there’s all sorts of clauses and provisions in it that makes things more than a little complicated when it comes to reaching a final deal with the House. The Globe’s Matt Stout and the AP at CBS Boston and MassLive have more.

Recession? What recession? Mass. economy roars back

These are astonishing numbers. From the BBJ’s Greg Ryan: “Buoyed by a massive federal stimulus and the rollout of vaccines, the state GDP rose at a 11.3% rate on an annualized basis in the first quarter, according to MassBenchmarks, compared with 6.4% nationally. That’s more than double the rate of economic growth seen in Massachusetts in the final quarter of 2020.”

Meanwhile, from SHNS Colin Young: “’Dramatic’ Boost Expected as Logan Activity Creeps Up.’”


Mirror universes? Baker and lawmakers disagree over vocational funding

Gov. Charlie Baker was busy yesterday announcing $2 million in grants to vocational schools as part of his Career Technical Initiative, as the Globe’s Felicia Gans reports. But it came after the House refused to go along with Baker’s recent funding request for the Career Technical Initiative, as SHNS’s Chris Lisinski reports. And so … it’s as if the initiative is floating between two mirror/parallel universes (as once explained, of course, by Star Trek).

Confirmed: The House zooms ahead to pass $47.B budget

We missed this from the wee hours of yesterday morning, i.e. SHNS’s Katie Lannan’s report that House lawmakers “unanimously passed a $47.716 billion budget in the early morning hours Thursday after adding tens of millions of dollars in spending over three days, largely to support investments that representatives said would guide the state in forging a pathway out of the COVID-19 crisis.”

And from Steph Solis at MassLive: “Climate, transportation and education: Here’s how each is addressed in the Massachusetts House $47.7 billion budget.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Report: Universal child-care in Massachusetts would cost $5B

Ideals meet reality. From SHNS’s Matt Murphy: “The cost of delivering universal, high-quality and affordable child care and early education in Massachusetts would exceed $5 billion a year in new public funding, according to a report, requiring the state to quadruple its commitment to an industry that has become a focal point for Beacon Hill.”

It’s begun: Pressure on Campbell to drop out of mayor’s race to clear the way for Janey

It was only a matter of time before something like this happened. From Michael Jonas at CommonWealth magazine: “A prominent Black real estate developer is seizing on a report that Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins is the leading candidate for US attorney for Massachusetts to try to nudge City Councilor Andrea Campbell out of the Boston mayor’s race.”

The obvious goal: Getting Campbell out of the contest to avoid splitting the Black vote and clearing the way for Acting Mayor Kim Janey. Campbell, for now, shows no sign of leaving. Indeed, she’s busy these days sparring with the police union on Twitter, reports Universal Hub


The BPD’s 300 Club

File under ‘sigh.’ From the Globe’s Danny McDonald and Ryan Huddle: “Amid sustained calls for police reform, marches demanding an end to systemic racism, and an uptick in street violence, more than 30 Boston police officers made more than $300,000 last year thanks in part to overtime earnings that yet again exceeded what the city had budgeted for the year, according to city data.”

Boston Globe

Anonymous anti-BLM fliers hit North Reading before town elections

Mike LaCrosse at CBS Boston reports that voters in North Reading are upset over someone circulating anonymous campaign fliers advocating support for write-in candidates who will focus less on Black Lives Matter in local schools. The fliers are being called ‘hateful’ and inaccurate.

CBS Boston

Meanwhile, former Wendell cop claims he was let go because he is white

In other blame-BLM news: They got carried away. That’s the allegation from former Wendell police officer Christopher Maselli, who says he was not re-appointed because he is white and the town’s select board got “caught up” in the Black Lives Matter movement. Domenic Poli at the Greenfield Recorder reports that the chair of the Select Board says Maselli was actually let go because he was “obnoxious.” 

Greenfield Recorder

Are Spilka and Tarr’s PACs at risk too?

The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance’s Paul Craney pens an opinion piece at CommonWealth magazine in which he basically says that the Office of Campaign and Political Finance’s investigation of Sen. Ryan Fattman et gang might just as well apply to PACs directed by Senate President Karen Spilka and Republican Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr. In other words: What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, right?


Buyers beware: Thousands of homes in Massachusetts still have lead water pipes

As President Biden proposes eliminating the nation’s remaining lead pipes that are contaminating the drinking water of millions of Americans, the Globe’s David Abel reports there are still an estimated 220,000 lead service lines in Massachusetts alone – and many home buyers and renters have no idea that the water gushing out of their faucets may contain lead.

Investors see gold-mine in affordable housing, tenants see trouble

WBUR’s Beth Healey and Christine Willmsen have a good story this morning on how aggressive investors have discovered they can make big bucks by buying out prior investors in affordable-home projects, jack up rents, make a killing and … tenants, of course, lose. And it’s happening in Boston and elsewhere across the country.


Forced retirement: Algonquin school district to drop Tomahawk nickname and images

They’ve heard enough. The Algonquin Regional School Committee has unanimously voted to retire the district’s Tomahawk team nickname and logos, citing the work of a school-based study committee and setting aside calls for further study of the issue. Ethan Winter of the Milford Daily News has the details. 

Milford Daily News

Monkey business: PETA poised to launch fresh campaign against UMass primate research

They’re back. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says it will embark on a new phase of its long-running campaign aimed at building public pressure to move UMass Amherst away from using monkeys in its biomedical research labs, Scott Merzbach at the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports.

Daily Hampshire Gazette

Sunday public affairs TV: John Barros, Kim Janey, Tanisha Sullivan

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Mayoral candidate John Barros, who talks with host Jon Keller about the Walsh legacy, reviving small business in the city post-pandemic, and the dispute over the city’s exam schools’ admissions process.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. This week’s guests include Daren Bascome, Proverb Agency managing director; Colette Phillips, CEO Colette Phillips Communications; and Martha Sheridan, president and CEO Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, with the BBJ’s Doug Banks reviewing this week’s top local business stories.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Acting Mayor Kim Janey, who talks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu, followed by a political discussion with analysts Mary Anne Marsh and Rob Gray.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s main topic: Chauvin Verdict Follow-up, featuring Tanisha Sullivan, president of the NAACP Boston chapter, among others.

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

“America United”; Finding Common Ground

Panelists explore productive discussions across conflicts and divides with Mo Elleithee, executive director of Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Managing Mental Health at Work: A Local Perspective – Virtual Program

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, and as a follow up to a national conversation hosted by American City Business Journals, the Boston Business Journal will convene local business leaders sharing their expertise on this important topic.

Boston Business Journal

Climate Justice Partnerships: Part 3

Join us for a discussion with representatives from Little Village Environmental Justice Organization and CNT who will share about their collaboration on a water and health study in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood, an environmental justice community.

Sustainable Solutions Lab at UMass Boston

UMass/New Balance Boston Sports Leaders Over Lunch

Conversations on Sports Leading the Way in 2021. UMass / New Balance Boston Sports Leadership & Administrative Program is a new and exciting public/private partnership at UMass Boston. The first and only Bachelor of Sports Leadership in Boston with a cohort of one of the most diverse student bodies in New England.

Boston Business Journal

First Friday Leadership Luncheon: MPA Senior Leadership Program Q+A

Are you ready for your MPA? Join Bob Spellane and Mary Piecewicz of Clark’s School of Professional Studies to learn about our unique MPA Senior Leadership Program! This program is designed for YOU, the leaders within the public and private sector, to be flexible, affordable, and relevant. Grab a meal and join us to learn about this sweet opportunity!

Clark University’s School of Professional Studies

Multidimensional Housing Insecurity: A New Approach to Measuring, Understanding, and Addressing Problems Among Renters

Giselle Routhier will present work that examines housing insecurity as a multidimensional phenomenon and uses multiple variables to develop a more accurate index of housing insecurity. She will discuss how a more comprehensive definition and index could be used to better understand and address inequities in maintaining secure housing, particularly among those protected by the Fair Housing Act.

Harvard Kennedy School

Wampanoag New Year Traditions

Kids and families are invited to join Kitty Hendricks-Miller, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Citizen and Educator, in a celebration of Wampanoag New Year traditions. Learn about the daily life of the Wampanoag in the 17th century, as well as their current lives and communities. This program is free and open to the public.

Cambridge Public Library

Today’s Headlines


Terminated Marriott Copley workers launch hotel boycott – Boston Globe

Five more recreational pot shops approved in Brockton – Brockton Enterprise


Table Talk Pies in Worcester giving away free snack pies when customers show COVID vaccination card – MassLive

St. Vincent nurses rebuke staffing audit idea, say they don’t need committee ‘to tell us how unsafe conditions are’ – Telegram & Gazette

Tarr seeks cap on state’s income tax rate – Salem News


Florida legislature approves measure that curbs mail voting and use of drop boxes – Washington Post

Mike Pence re-emerges but Trump world has moved on – Politico

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