Happening Today

Baker in D.C., UMass graduation ceremonies, Raimondo at AIM

— Gov. Charlie Baker is in Washington, D.C. to meet with various officials through the day, including members of the state’s congressional delegation and leaders at the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Pentagon and members of the Massachusetts National Guard.

University of Massachusetts holds four undergraduate commencement ceremonies for the estimated 8,416 member of the class of 2021, McGuirk Alumni Stadium, Stadium Drive, Amherst.

— Senate President Karen Spilka speaks at the 10th Annual Caring Force Rally, held virtually by the Providers’ Council, 10 a.m.

— Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, the former governor of Rhode Island, gives the keynote address at the Associated Industries of Massachusetts annual meeting, 10:30 a.m.

— A commission created under an unemployment system stabilization bill signed by Gov. Charlie Baker last month convenes its first virtual meeting, at which the Department of Unemployment Assistance will discuss the current solvency projection for the state’s unemployment trust fund, 1 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: 9 new deaths, 17,366 total deaths, 616 new cases

MassLive has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Mask confusion? Baker holds firm on mask mandate despite new CDC guidance

Gov. Charlie Baker is keeping in place, at least for now, the state’s indoor mask mandate – even though the CDC recommended yesterday that it’s OK for the fully vaccinated to go without masks when indoors, as MassLive’s Tanner Stening and SHNS’s Matt Murphy report.

But the governor, who says he’ll be making a mask decision “in the near future,” may want to the make that near future as soon as possible, if the Herald’s splash front-page headline today is any indication of the confusion to come: “Party like it’s 2019: CDC eases mask mandate for fully vaxxed people.”

Employers to governor: Faster, please

Faster re-openings. Faster decisions on masks. Faster, faster, faster. A three-reporter team at the Globe reports on the growing concerns, confusion and frustrations of employers who want Gov. Charlie Baker to, well, act faster on mandatory-mask, reopenings and other pandemic-related matters.

Boston Globe

Mass. jobless claims hit new low during pandemic

Here’s some good economic news. The BBJ’s Greg Ryan reports unemployment-insurance claims in Massachusetts fell last week to near March 2020 levels. We’re making progress folks.


Critics of mandatory vaxes may give it the old college try

They may not win. But Christian Wade at the Eagle Tribune reports that many experts are expecting legal challenges to the mandatory-vaccination policies at universities and colleges.

Meanwhile, here’s one education group that seems very pleased with the pace of vaccinations in Massachusetts: The American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts, which is now calling for a full school reopening this fall, reports Melissa Hanson at MassLive.

Eagle Tribune

As Janey pushes police reforms, ex-police chief Gross endorses Essaibi George for mayor

More proof that police are front and center in this year’s Boston mayoral race, starting with Saraya Wintersmith’s piece at GBH: “Retired police commissioner William Gross declared on Thursday his support for Annissa Essaibi George in Boston’s mayoral race, solidifying her standing as a moderate in a field dominated by progressives.” 

Meanwhile, Acting Mayor Kim Janey, one of the progressive candidates in the mayoral field dominated by progressives, has signed a new ordinance restricting police use of tear gas and rubber bullets etc., according to a report at WBUR. Meanwhile, from the Globe’s Danny McDonald: “Janey orders city’s legal team to reverse course in lieutenants promotional exam lawsuit.”


Those poor state troopers. They can barely make ends meet on minimum $94K a year

Speaking of police matters, the Globe’s Matt Stout reports that State Police union officials apparently believe troopers’ ability to ‘provide for their families’ is under threat due to low overtime pay – and they recently asked a judge to intervene. From Stout: “What the troopers initially left unsaid: The lowest-paid troopers in the union make, on average, nearly $94,000 a year.”

In other police-OT news, from the Globe’s Jeremy Fox: “Former Boston police sergeant, current officer agree to plead guilty in overtime fraud case.”

Boston Globe

Is Marty Walsh about to get the conservative-movement treatment over Rose affair?

It’s like hearing war drums in the distance. In this case, it’s a Wall Street Journal editorial saying that former Boston mayor and current U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh’s role in the Patrick Rose child-molestation controversy “needs more attention.”

And, oh, the conservative WSJ editorial board, in a separate editorial on the same day, is taking exception to Walsh’s recent policy pronouncement on gig work in America.

WSJ (pay wall)

Changing ambitions: Beaty opts to run for treasurer instead of lieutenant governor

Former Barnstable County commissioner Ron Beaty, who previously filed to run for lieutenant governor as a Republican, has changed his mind and is now running for treasurer instead, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan. Treasurer Deb Goldberg, a Democrat who won re-election in 2018 with 68 percent of the vote, hasn’t said if she’ll run for a third term next year.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Locked, loaded and leaving: West Springfield gun maker relocates to Tennessee citing anti-gun climate in Mass.

West Springfield-based Troy Industries Inc.’s CEO says he’s moving his gun manufacturing company to Tennessee due partly to the “changing climate for firearms manufacturers” in Massachusetts, reports Jim Kinney at MassLive and Fox 17 in Nashville.

Changing climate? Does he mean policy proposals like the anti-assault-rifle bill that the Globe’s editorial board endorsed earlier this week? … To be a fly on the executive-suite wall at Smith & Wesson.

Gender-neutral, almost: Salem updates ordinance language, but ‘manhole’ stays

So close. The Salem City Council has unanimously voted to scrub the city’s ordinances of gender-specific pronouns, but after a lengthy debate and a fruitless search for a plain-language alternative, agreed to keep “manhole” on the books for now, Dustin Luca at the Salem News reports. 

Salem News

Markey takes heat from left over ‘both sides’ comments on Israel-Palestine strife

His apparent crime: he was too even-handed. SHNS’s Matt Murphy reports that U.S. Sen. Ed Markey is now facing criticism from pro-Palestinian progressives upset with his “both sides” condemnation of recent violence in Israel. Meanwhile, it seems progressives, including U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, are also upset with President Biden’s stance on the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation, as the NY Post reports.

Weld threatens to leave party he’s already left before

Former Gov. Bill Weld, a long-time Republican who nevertheless ran for vice president on the Libertarian Party ticket in 2016, is among a group of Republicans threatening to leave the GOP, and start a new political party, in the wake of the Liz Cheney feud in D.C. MassLive’s Benjamin Kail has more. 


Inside job: Agawam mayor says cyber attack came from high school student

Consequences are coming. Agawam Mayor William P. Sapelli says a high school student is apparently behind a cyber attack that disputed remote learning for several days in the city — and that the matter is being turned over to police, Michael Ballway at MassLive reports. 


Question time: Correia jury asks about extortion as deliberations continue

Nothing yet but tea leaves to read. The jury in the federal corruption trial of former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia continued to deliberate without a verdict Thursday but did pose a question to the judge in the case to refine the definition of ‘extortion,’ a query that sparked speculation the jury may have made its way to the end of the list of two dozen charges, the Herald News reports. 

Herald News

Advocates to congressional delegation: Try to sneak in funds for Allston I-90 project in infrastructure bill

OK, they’re not quite urging congressional members to sneak money into the proposed infrastructure bill for the giant Allston I-90 project. But that’s how it works in D.C. and so that’s what advocates are effectively asking. CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl has more.


‘Marijuana superstore’

WCVB’s David Bienick reports on yesterday’s opening of the “East Coast’s largest recreational marijuana dispensary.” And it’s right here in downtown Boston, courtesy of, among others, former Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral. The Herald’s Meghan Ottolini has more.

Meanwhile, from SHNS’s Chris Lisinski: “Worries build over investors exploiting minority marijuana entrepreneurs.”


State Street Corp. agrees to pay $115 million in fraud case

From the Globe’s Jeremy Fox: “State Street Corporation has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and pledged to pay a $115 million criminal penalty to resolve charges that it conspired to defraud clients by secretly overcharging for expenses related to the bank’s custody of their assets, officials said Thursday.”

Stadium mates: Polar Park will host Holy Cross football

They’re filling up the calendar. Newly opened Polar Park will host Holy Cross football games this fall, the first of what is expected to be a concerted effort to add events outside the minor league baseball season to help the city recoup costs associated with the $160 million project, Brad Kane at the Worcester Business Journal reports. 


Sunday public affairs TV: Jon Santiago, Mike Meyran, Maura Healey

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: State Rep. and mayoral candidate Jon Santiago, who talks with host Jon Keller about the mayor race, city policing, and other issues.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Mike Meyran, the Massport Port director, discusses getting the city’s harbor facilities ready to handle larger ships; Yogibo CEO Eyal Levy talks about the bean-bag furniture company; and the BBJ’s Doug Bank reviews the top local business stories of the week.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Attorney General Maura Healey, who talks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu, followed by a political discussion with analysts Mary Anne Marsh and Virginia Buckingham.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s top: What’s Cooking, with food historian Jessica B. Harris and artist-in-residence Melinda Lopez at the Black Beans Project, among others.

Innovations in Addiction Treatment and Harm Reduction

RIZE Massachusetts Foundation and The Kraft Center for Community Health at Massachusetts General Hospital host a virtual convening focused on innovations in addiction treatment and harm reduction.

RIZE Massachusetts Foundation & The Kraft Center for Community Health at Massachusetts General Hospital

Climate Emergency Preparedness: Art x Cultural Resilience

Join us for a conversation that will explore the wisdom and beauty of different cultures, cultural organizing and artistic expression in the development of resilient and sustainable communities—featuring Erin Genia, Boston Artist-in-Residence, and Meghan Venable-Thomas, Cultural Resilience Program Director for Enterprise Community Partners.

Sustainable Solutions Lab at UMass Boston

Getting to the Point with John Brennan

Join the Kennedy Institute, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) John Brennan, and CNN Security Analyst Juliette Kayyem for a virtual conversation on the perspectives of the changing landscape of national security, domestic terrorism and counterterrorism.

Edward M. Kennedy Institute

The Venezuelan Enterprise: Current Situation, Challenges and Opportunities

What is the status of the Venezuelan business fabric? What are its strengths and weaknesses? And where should the emphasis be put to help the private sector jump-start an economic recovery? To answer these questions, the IDB, together with the IESA, and with the support of more than 30 business chambers in the country, carried out the Enterprise Survey with a sample of almost 300 companies.

Harvard Kennedy School

Today’s Headlines


Kim Janey signs tear gas, rubber bullet bill – Boston Herald

Rep. Stephen Lynch calls out Republicans’ ‘complete lies’ about Capitol riot – Boston.com


9 marijuana businesses cleared to advance in Springfield; proposals include cultivation, transportation – MassLive

P&B relaunches service to Boston with buses described as ‘rocket ships’ – Patriot Ledger

Unemployment in city of Worcester hits lowest level since pandemic began – Worcester Business Journal


‘Better days are ahead’: Maskless Biden marks milestone in virus battle – Washington Post

Liz Cheney says she’s not running for president – Politico

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