Happening Today

Homebound Vaccination expansion, MBTA-MassDOT meeting, Redistricting Committee

— The Baker administration expands its Homebound Vaccination Program by making anyone who has trouble getting to a vaccine site eligible to request and receive the vaccine in their home.

Massachusetts School Building Authority Board of Directors meets virtually to hear updates on the fiscal 2021 budget and fiscal 2022 budget recommendations, with Treasurer Deb Goldberg chairing, 10:30 p.m.

Department of Transportation Board of Directors and MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board meet individually and then jointly, with MassDOT planning to hear an update on the Allston Multimodal Project and with other discussion topics including the T’s capital investment plan, fare evasion regulations and the South Coast Rail expansion project, 12 p.m.

— Boston mayoral candidates John Barros, Andrea Campbell, Annissa Essaibi-George, Kim Janey, Jon Santiago and Michelle Wu participate in a forum focused on energy and environmental issues, with Boston Globe reporters Milton Valencia and David Abel moderating, 12 p.m.

Joint Committee on Redistricting holds a virtual hearing for residents of the Second Congressional District to provide feedback on local and community interests that lawmakers should consider when reshaping the boundaries of the state’s nine Congressional districts, 40 Senatorial districts, 160 House districts, and eight Councilor districts, 5:30 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: 5 new deaths, 17,463 total deaths, 287 new cases

CBS Boston has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

The Holyoke Soldiers’ Home tragedy: Was there a cover-up?

It’s sort of like the old Watergate question: What did he know and when did he know it? And the Globe’s Spotlight Team basically says Gov. Charlie Baker and Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders knew a heck of a lot more than they’re letting on concerning their roles leading up to the tragic pandemic deaths last year at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home – and a report that looked into the tragedy was “marred by key errors and omissions that helped shield Baker and Sudders from blame.” The word “cover-up” isn’t used, but it’s certainly implied. 

In response to the article, Baker is pushing back, saying former U.S. Attorney Mark Pearlstein was given “100 percent latitude” to probe what happened at the veterans center, reports SHNS’s Chris Lisinski and the Herald’s Alexi Cohan.

Boston Globe

Baker to school districts: Let students repeat grades if neccessary

Many kids may well need to do this. From GBH’s Mike Deehan: “Gov. Charlie Baker wants school districts to consider letting more students repeat grades after the pandemic, saying record setting funding for schools from federal aid means they’ll have the capability to provide adequate class sizes.”

GBH

So many billions, so many decisions

Devastated state budget? What devastated state budget? SHNS’s Colin Young and CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg report on the billions of dollars flowing into state coffers, via federal pandemic relief aid, and last week’s preliminary hearing by lawmakers on how to spend the “unprecedented” windfall. A note of caution from Evan Horowitz, executive director of the Center for State Policy Analysis at Tufts University: “Spending this money will be easy. Spending it effectively will not.”

Return to sender? More than 27,000 people haven’t cashed their stimulus checks yet in Massachusetts

Maybe they didn’t notice the U.S. Treasury letter in the mail. Maybe they no longer live at the same address. Maybe they’re no longer alive. Who knows? No matter what the reasons, the Herald’s Joe Dwinell reports that 27,689 federal stimulus checks have gone unspent since last year in Massachusetts.

Boston Herald

A $1,200 ‘get back to work’ bonus?

Speaking of stimulus checks: Even though the state’s economy only produced 5,000 new jobs last month — indicating the road back to a full recovery is going to be a long one (BBJ) — state Sen. Ryan Fattman wants to use funds from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan to pay unemployed residents up to $1,200 if they land and keep a job, reports Benjamin Kail at MassLive.

MassLive

She accidently tossed out a winning $1M scratch ticket – and the store owner returned it

Lost your faith in humanity? Read this piece by MassLive’s Scott Croteau. Your faith will be restored. From the Southwick store owner on his decision to return the ticket when he discovered it was a winner: “I am sleeping peacefully.” WWLP has more.

Warren: It’s way too early to be talking about Marty Walsh resigning

Unlike U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren isn’t going there. The Herald’s Erin Tiernan reports that Warren, who has demanded that U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh fess up about what he knew as mayor about domestic-abuse allegations against the BPD’s Dennis White, is dodging questions about whether Walsh should resign if it’s found he’s not telling the truth.

Meanwhile, Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins says someone is lying about who knew what and when regarding the allegations against White, reports Saraya Wintersmith at GBH. From Politico: “Walsh allies hope uproar over Boston top cop appointment will quickly fade.” And the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld has more on the deepening political mystery and mess.

Rolled back: State to phase in hunting, fishing license fees after outcry

They got the ‘too much, too soon’ message. The Department of Fish and Game on Friday reversed its plans to nearly double fees for hunting and fishing licenses in a single bump and says it will phase the fee hikes in over the next five years instead, Christian Wade at the Salem News reports. 

Salem News

Four examples make a trend: Weymouth compressor shuts down yet again

Yes, the controversial Weymouth compressor station was shut down yet again late last week, for the fourth time since the facility’s completion last fall. And, needless to say, local pols aren’t happy. WBUR’s Mariam Wasser and Patriot Ledger’s Jessica Trufant have more on the troubled natural-gas facility.

Not yet: Healey not ready to call for independent inquiry into Mikayla Miller’s death

She’s preaching patience. Attorney General Maura Healey says she wants to wait until Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan releases her final report on the controversial death of Hopkinton teen Mikayla Miller before calling for an independent investigation, Erin Tiernan at the Herald reports. Gov. Baker came out in favor of a third-party look at the case late last week. 

Meanwhile, Henry Schwan at the MetroWest Daily News reports protesters gathered in Lowell Friday to call for Ryan to step down from her role.

Toxic chemicals in drinking water: Now it’s your turn, Wayland and Wellesley

The Globe’s David Abel reports on the growing number of Massachusetts communities with elevated levels of toxic PFAS chemicals (also known as “forever chemicals”) in their drinking water — and the push to distribute bottled water to the public in those communities.

Boston Globe

Former CEO gives Quincy College grads $1,000 cash gifts

He certainly caught their attention with this line in the speech. The Patriot Ledger’s Mary Whitfill reports that Robert T. Hale Jr., a former telecom CEO, gave the Quincy College commencement address on Friday – and it’s an address that will be long remembered by the grads. Not surprisingly, the news of his $1,000 gift to each grad has gone national (Washington Post).

Patriot Ledger

Handwritten example of Einstein’s E = mc2 equation sells for $1.2 million

It’s not worth as much as a Honus Wagner baseball card, but it’s still worth a lot. From the AP at the Berkshire Eagle: “A letter written by Albert Einstein in which he writes out his famous E = mc2 equation has sold at auction for more than $1.2 million, about three times more than it was expected to get, Boston-based RR Auction said Friday.” The letter was sold by the descendants of a scientist who originally received the letter from Einstein.

Berkshire Eagle

‘Non-whites-only healing space,’ Part II: The conservative group angle

The Globe’s Naomi Martin has more on the civil rights complaint filed against the Wellesley school district for holding a ‘non-whites-only’ meeting for students after the recent mass shooting in Atlanta – and more on the newly formed Washington, D.C. conservative group that’s demanding the Biden administration to do something about the matter.

Boston Globe

ICE breaker, Part II: Hodgson threatens legal action over fed cancellation of jail contracts

Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson was still hopping mad on Friday, a day after the Biden administration nixed its ICE contract to house illegal immigrants at his county jail – and he’s talking of possible legal action against the feds, reports Anastatia Lennon at the Herald News.

Meanwhile, from Jon Keller at WBZ-TV: “AG Maura Healey Says Dartmouth Detention Center Had Committed ‘Serious Civil Rights Violations.’”

Herald News

Major overhaul: Taunton Mayor O’Connell pushes longer terms, limits in charter change

Taunton Mayor Shaunna O’Connell is leading a push for the first major revamp of the city’s charter in recent memory, one that would extend the mayor’s term from two years to four, place term limits on mayors and city councilors and create a process to allow voters to remove elected officials before their terms end, report Susannah Sudborough at the Taunton Daily Gazette. 

Taunton Gazette

Consistently persistent: 45 years after first run, Worcester’s Coleman on ballot again

He’s undaunted. William Coleman III is running for an at-large seat on the Worcester City Council, something he’s done regularly for the past four decades since first appearing on the ballot as a 22-year-old back in 1976. Steven Foskett Jr. at the Telegram reports Coleman is well known in the council chambers for his scores of citizen petitions and proposed ordinances. 

Telegram

Book Talk with Tony Saich, Author of “From Rebel to Ruler: One Hundred Years of the Chinese Communist Party”

The Ash Center invites you to a book talk with Tony Saich, Daewoo Professor of International Affairs, Ash Center Director, and author of the forthcoming From Rebel to Ruler: One Hundred Years of the Chinese Communist Party (Harvard University Press, 2021).

Harvard Kennedy School

Skip Finley – Whaling Captains of Color: America’s First Meritocracy

Join the Boston Public Library in partnership with the Museum of African American History (MAAH), the State Library of Massachusetts, and American Ancestors New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) for an online conversation with Skip Finley, author of Whaling Captains of Color: America’s First Meritocracy.

Boston Public Library

The Role of Industry and Business in Protecting the Environment

For business & industry: New laws overview focusing on the General Environmental Duty, risk management and how EPA is supporting you.

EPA

SSL Lunch & Learn Series — Climate Justice Partnerships: Part 4

Join us for a discussion with the team that organized the Chelsea and East Boston Heat (C-HEAT) Study, a collaborative research project led by the Boston University School of Public Health and GreenRoots, and learn how researchers can support climate justice at the local level and successfully partner with community organizers.

Sustainable Solutions Lab at UMass Boston

Battle Green Vietnam: The 1971 March on Concord, Lexington, and Boston

Join us to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic antiwar march and protest on Memorial Day Weekend 1971 and learn more about this key event in Massachusetts history at MassMoments

Boston Public Library

Words of Wisdom featuring Lovin Spoonfuls

Join us for this discussion where we’ll hear from Founder and Executive Director, Ashley Stanley, who will provide insight to the ways her organization has shifted during this pandemic and what ways we can get involved to support community members who may be suffering from food insecurity. Moderated by Afua Ankrah, Business Operations, Global Government Affairs and Policy, Bluebird Bio.

Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce

Theater of War Frontline: UCSF Health & Stanford Medicine

Dramatic readings of Sophocles’ Philoctetes and Women of Trachis as a catalyst for a discussion about the impact of Covid-19.

Theater of War Productions

Glory – Livestream Film History Program

For Memorial Day join us for a special film screening and discussion of “Glory,” starring Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman and Mathew Broderick. Our program will feature a discussion and analysis of “Glory,” including a short overview of the of the Civil War and the United States Colored Troops for historical context, followed by a full screening of the one-hundred and twenty-two minute film.

Washington D.C. History & Culture

Navigating the Culture Wars with Douglas Murray and Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Join Douglas Murray, author of The Madness of Crowds, and feminist activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali as the pair discuss her new book: Prey: Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women’s Rights.

Spectator Events

Multilateral Cultural Diplomacy: A Conversation with UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay

In the third installment of the Future of Cultural Diplomacy Series, UNESCO’s Director-General Audrey Azoulay will offer her unique perspective on cultural diplomacy as the leader of one of the world’s largest multilateral agencies focused on education, scientific, and cultural issues.

Harvard Kennedy School

Biodiversity and Climate Crisis Summit – On the Road to COP26

UN COP 26 will take place in Glasgow in 2021, hosted by the United Nations and the UK Government. This International online event will take us closer to the UN Summit, and it’s about generating a wider dialogue on Climate Action. Net Zero by 2030? Can we make it happen?

United Nations Association Climate and Oceans

Dr. James R. Givens in conversation with Dr. Kim Parker – Fugitive Pedagogy: Carter G. Woodson and the Art of Black Teaching

Join us, the State Library of Massachusetts, the Museum of African American History, and the Black Educators’ Alliance of Massachusetts (BEAM) for an online discussion with Dr. Jarvis R. Givens, author of Fugitive Pedagogy: Carter G. Woodson and the Art of Black Teaching, and BEAM President Dr. Kim Parker. This conversation is part of the Boston Public Library’s Repairing America Series.

Boston Public Library

Today’s Headlines

Metro

The once and future Kenmore Square – Boston Magazine

Brockton gathers to remember marvelous Marvin Hagler – Brockton Enterprise

Massachusetts

Amherst planners vote down proposed building moratorium – Daily Hampshire Gazette

DiZoglio: Let drinks-to-go continue for restaurants – Eagle-Tribune

Holy Cross, WPI, Clark join colleges requiring COVID vaccines for fall semester – Worcester Business Journal

Nation

More states turn to lotteries in vaccine hesitancy fight – The Hill

Trump is sliding toward online irrelevance. His new blog isn’t helping. – Washington Post

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