Walk-in vaccinations, MBTA control board, and more
— The state mass vaccination sites today will begin offering COVID-19 vaccines on a walk-in basis, while the state also loosens various business restrictions today as well.
— Joint Committee on Public Health holds a hearing on 14 bills addressing vital records and local and regional boards of health, 10 a.m.
— MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board meets virtually, with agenda topics including a budget update, safety investigations and updated fare evasion regulations, 12 p.m.
— Attorney General Maura Healey joins Rep. Michael Moran, Lawrence Mayor Kendrys Vasquez and community advocates for a press conference on efforts to protect residents from deceptive competitive electric suppliers, 12:15 p.m.
— Attorney General Maura Healey joins Sen. Diana DiZoglio for a series of stops in Haverhill and Methuen to review small businesses and new youth centers, starting at 2 p.m.
— Conservation Law Foundation, Sen. Nick Collins and Rep. Sarah Peake host a virtual roundtable event to discuss bills that would require climate risk to be considered during environmental review for new developments, building codes and regulation of investor-owned utilities, 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.
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: 6 new deaths, 17,330 total deaths, 655 new cases
WCVB has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.
Persisting: Warren says she will run for reelection in 2024
It’s amazing how much news a book tour can generate. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 71, who’s making the media rounds these days to tout her new book ‘Persist,’ tells Politico’s Alex Thompson that, yes, she will be running for re-election as senator in 2024. And she tells the Globe’s Emma Platoff and Jess Bidgood that, no, she has no plans to run for president again in 2024.
And speaking of Warren’s new book, via the Globe’s James Pindell: “We read Elizabeth Warren’s new book. Here are three things we learned, and two questions we still have.”
MGH and MBTA in talks to finally connect Blue and Red lines
As the Globe’s Adam Vaccaro notes, past talk of finally connecting the MBTA’s Blue and Red lines has been just that: talk. But this time the talk may be more serious – and they’re even drawing up preliminary plans, right down to where elevators and escalators might go in a new connecting station.
In other transportation news, Frederick Salvucci and James Aloisi, former Massachusetts secretaries of transportation, say in a Globe opinion piece that a new state vision for transportation in general is needed.
Vaccinations: Time to go ‘hyper-local’
Some interesting stories this morning on the pandemic front, starting with Dr. Anthony Fauci’s pronouncement yesterday that the U.S. will likely ease up on indoor mask guidelines relatively soon due to positive vaccination trends, as MassLive’s Benjamin Kail reports. The Globe’s Robert Weisman reports that the positive mass-vaccination trends in Massachusetts mean we’re about to enter a more “hyper-local’ phase of trying to reach the unvaccinated – and the efforts could include more door-knocking and pop-up sites.
Meanwhile, the Herald’s Erin Tiernan reports that business leaders are pressuring Gov. Charlie Baker to fully reopen the economy sooner.
It keeps getting bigger: Latest offshore-wind proposal could power up to 800,000 homes
SHNS’s Katie Lannan and the Globe’s Jon Chesto report that the state has kicked off the third round of bidding for a new offshore wind project – and this latest project could be the biggest offshore-wind project yet for Massachusetts.
Has the Mikayla Miller case just gotten a whole lot more complicated?
From the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter: “The Hopkinton mother accusing the DA’s office of misconduct faces a July hearing on an open domestic violence case in Framingham District Court, where she’s charged with assaulting one of her children. Calvina Strothers, 41, faces a charge of assault and battery on a family member in Framingham District Court, records examined by the Herald show.” Read the whole thing, as they say.
Meanwhile, NBC Boston reports there apparently was some sort of physical altercation involving others prior to the tragic death of Mikayla Miller. And so … this case is getting more complicated by the day.
Declined: Pick to lead Holykoke Soldiers’ Home backs out of offer
He’s staying put in Idaho, at least for now. Rick Holloway, who the trustees of the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home picked as the beleaguered institution’s new leader in April, has decided not to take the job after all, Stephanie Barry at MassLive reports. Holloway is citing family obligations, but also says he was put off when a member of Gov. Baker’s team blocked his wife from attending meetings with him as he went through the hiring process.
Guaranteed minimum income: Time to expand it beyond Chelsea?
The Globe’s Andy Rosen reports that the city of Chelsea’s experiment with a guaranteed-income program appears to be going rather well. Meanwhile, state Sen. Jamie Eldridge writes at CommonWealth magazine that it’s time for the state of Massachusetts to build upon the recently passed federal American Rescue Plan and implement its own guaranteed-income program.
‘She’s probably sitting there, not answering the phone’
This is pretty funny. President Joe Biden and U.S. Labor Secretary (and former Boston mayor) Marty Walsh called up Walsh’s mom to wish her a happy Mother’s Day. They got an automated voice message instead. Universal Hub has the video.
Where does Marty Walsh’s union base go in the mayoral race?
Speaking of Marty Walsh, the Globe’s Danny McDonald reports that the former mayor’s old union base of support is now up for grabs in the crowded Boston mayoral election – and no candidate, as of now, appears to have a lock on that vote.
And let’s be blunt about it: It’s not just union support. We’re also talking about white-voter support too, right? Last time we checked, this is Boston and all that it unfortunately entails.
In other mayoral-race news, via the Herald’s Erin Tiernan: “Boston’s ‘Methadone Mile,’ emerges as major mayoral campaign issue as it’s ‘only gotten worse.’”
Former Sox manager Bobby Valentine running for mayor in his Connecticut hometown
Maybe he can last more than a year at this job. The AP at WCVB reports that former Major League Baseball player and manager Bobby Valentine, who spent just one disastrous season as manager of the Red Sox, is “taking a swing at politics, announcing Friday that he’s running for mayor of his Connecticut hometown.” I.e. Stamford.
Birmingham: Enough with today’s ‘dumbed-down’ and ideological civics education
Former Senate President Tom Birmingham, co-author of the state’s Education Reform Act of 1993 and a senior fellow in education at the Pioneer Institute, writes at CommonWealth magazine that it’s time to get back to robust, fact-based civics education in Massachusetts – and away from ‘dumb-downed’ and ideologically-driven civics lessons.
Parental revenge: Legislation calls for removal of allegedly biased probate judge
The Lynn Item’s Gutherie Scrimgeour and CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg report on a legislative petition, filed by Rep. Lenny Mirra, that would require the governor to remove a probate judge for alleged bias in a child-custody case involving a fed-up Groveland dad who says he never stood a chance in Judge Abbe L. Ross’s courtroom. And a lot of other people are expressing support for the petition.
Boston Herald’s rapidly shrinking print circulation …
With an average weekday print circulation of only 22,032, the Herald can’t afford many more years like 2020, as the BBJ’s Don Seiffert reports. The trajectory of the Globe’s print edition isn’t much better, but it does have a robust paid-digital base.
Gotcha: Dognapper nabbed by alert Channel 7 reporter
He allegedly stole a dog out of a car and then returned to the scene of the crime while walking the same stolen dog. And waiting for him was Channel 7’s Juliana Mazza, who couldn’t believe her journalist luck. Mazza tells her man-steals-dog story at Twitter, while Universal Hub has more on the apprehension of perhaps the dumbest dognapper in dognapper history.
‘Concerning:’ DA’s office investigating councilor’s late-night crash, police response
The Bristol County District Attorney’s office says it will conduct its own investigation into a recent 1:30 a.m. car crash involving New Bedford City Councilor Hugh Dunn while the police department is conducting an internal inquiry into how the incident was handled by local cops, Anastasia Lennon at the Standard-Times has the details.
Sour grapes? Providence critic gives ready-to-open Polar Park the thumbs down
Do we detect a hint of bitterness? On the eve of the first-ever WooSox Game at Polar Park, GoLocalProv architecture critic Will Morgan has a less-than-glowing review of the new ballpark, writing that the exterior brings to mind an Amazon warehouse and that the entire park feels ‘budget constrained’ despite going down as the most expensive minor league ballpark ever built.
Former IRS employee ordered to pay $1M in restitution
Her side gig didn’t pan out too well. From Jill Harmacinski at the Eagle Tribune: “A Lawrence woman who was a longtime employee for the Internal Revenue Service was sentenced to a year in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution after she pleaded guilty to filing 70 false tax returns for herself and others.
Commencement speakers update: Walensky, Baron, Baker, Brooks etc.
It’s that time of year. The BBJ has a slideshow of many of the planned commencement speakers this spring at area colleges and universities, including the CDC chief Rochelle Walensky speaking at Northeastern and former Post/Globe editor Mary Baron at Suffolk University. The BBJ has lots of other names.
Doing Business with Commonwealth of MA Supplier Diversity Office
The Pacesetters “Doing Business” virtual series will allow small and minority-owned companies to hear directly from procurement officers at participating Pacesetter companies to learn about specific contract opportunities that may be unique to each company, including procurement procedures, RFP and bidding preferences, contract cycles, supplier diversity goals, and more.
Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce
The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity
2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity. This long-awaited report will explore how nurses can work over the next decade to reduce health disparities and promote equity, while keeping costs at bay, utilizing technology, and maintaining patient and family-focused care.
21st Century Business Forum: Author Josh Linkner
The 21st Century Business Forum is a free webcast presented on the second Wednesday of each month. Bestselling author Jon Gordon will interview CEOs, entrepreneurs, authors, coaches, and thought leaders as they share their insights, ideas, and experiences of success as well as lessons learned.
100 Days of the Biden Administration: What’s Next for Immigration, Health Policy, and Economic Justice?
Now 100 days into President Biden’s administration, the Ash Center is convening a panel of experts who will examine the challenges and future opportunities for his administration in a number of key policy areas including immigration, health policy and economic justice.
Child Welfare and Domestic Violence – The Summit on Intersection and Action
Join experts in child welfare/domestic violence for a summit on action and safe solutions for survivors and their children. This summit explores the gaps in policy, practice, training, data collection, and cultural competency where domestic violence and foster care merge, and proposes thoughtful solutions appropriate for a nationwide audience.
Endangered Animals and Border Walls
Scientists, lawyers and politicians discuss whether impenetrable, man-made border walls harm endangered species and accelerate extinction. We explore how border walls harm wildlife, particularly wildlife that is already fractured, losing habitat, trafficked, and facing extinction.
National Lawyers Guild NYC Animal Rights Committee
Engineering in the Climate Emergency
How can technology work towards a just transition? The Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Royal Academy of Engineering will bring together expert engineers with perspectives from policy making and social sciences for a joint discussion about these topics. Chaired by Professor Sir Jim McDonald, FREng, FRSE, Royal Academy of Engineering.
The Royal Society of Edinburgh
Northeastern touts its ‘most tested’ class at Fenway Park – Boston Globe
Lynn council forms committee to combat illegal fireworks use – Lynn Item
GoFundMe for Mikayla Miller investigation originally sought $40,000; $50,000-plus has already been raised – MetroWest Daily News
On commencement day, Becker College’s last graduating students feel ‘bittersweet’ – Telegram & Gazette
Protest in Braintree slams proposed teacher cuts – Patriot Ledger
Hacked Pipeline May Stay Shut for Days, Raising Concerns About Fuel Supply – New York Times
Trump Justice Department secretly obtained Post reporters’ phone records – Washington Post
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