Happening Today

Gaming Commission, Senate budget debate, Romney honored

— Suffolk County Sheriff Steven Tompkins hosts a Boston mayoral forum at the Suffolk County House of Correction, 10 a.m.

Mass. Gaming Commission calls casino, track and simulcast center operators together for a special meeting as the regulators consider when and how to unwind the COVID-19 restrictions put into place over the last 14 months, 10 a.m.

— The Massachusetts Senate continues its annual budget debate, still operating under emergency rules that permit senators to participate remotely, 10 a.m.

Governor’s Council meets with a vote possible on Gov. Baker’s nomination of Andrew Abdella to the District Court bench, 11:30 a.m.

— John F. Kennedy Library Foundation presents the Profile in Courage award to Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, in a virtual ceremony hosted by Jimmy Fallon, with Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and her son Jack Schlossberg presenting special Profiles in COVID Courage Awards to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Hanover Fire Department captain and registered nurse Fred Freeman and others, 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: 10 new deaths, 17,475 total deaths, 195 new cases

CBS Boston has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Judge sides with Janey, refuses to block firing of White

It wasn’t a big surprise, but it’s still big story, to wit: Suffolk Superior Court Judge Heidi Brieger yesterday refused a request by suspended BPD commissioner Dennis White’s to block Acting Mayor Kim Janey’s move to fire him over past domestic-abuse allegations. The Globe’s Danny McDonald and the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter have more on the latest development in the White saga – a saga that’s far from over if White’s attorneys have their way.

How not to endorse a mayoral candidate: Crack stolen-car joke about a city neighborhood

House Speaker Ron Mariano apologized yesterday after joking about his car getting stolen while attending an endorsement event for mayoral candidate Jon Santiago in the South End . Santiago’s mayoral rivals weren’t laughing, reports the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter.

Boston Herald

Outdoor dining and remote meetings may outlast emergency

SHNS’s Chris Liskinski and MassLive’s Michelle Williams report that Gov. Charlie Baker is proposing that pandemic-era orders allowing more outdoor dining and remote public hearings should be extended beyond the state of emergency’s scheduled end on June 15.

And what about the all-important cocktails-to-go emergency order? That would have to be passed separately by the legislature – and senators yesterday indicated they’re in no rush to approve the idea, as SHNS’s Katie Lannan reports.

Mariano: No, we’re not calling Baker back to testify again about the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home mess

He’s already testified. And that’s that, says House Speaker Ron Mariano, rejecting demands by some lawmakers to call back Gov. Charlie Baker for extra grilling in the wake of two more damning reports about the administration’s mishandling of last year’s Holyoke veterans center tragedy. The Globe’s Matt Stout has more, including how Mariano may not have the last word on the matter.

Boston Globe

Baker signs off on $400M Holyoke project – with a caveat

Speaking of the governor and the Holyoke center, MassLive’s Stephanie Barry reports that Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday signed legislation that includes $400 million in bonding authority to rebuild the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home. 

But the Globe’s Scot Lehigh is praising the governor for something else he did yesterday: vetoing a project labor agreement (PLA) provision in the bill, a provision backed by unions. 


Revolt: Parents decry any school ‘road map’ that includes masks for kids

As MassLive’s Melissa Hanson and the Globe’s Felicia Gans report, state education officials said yesterday they’re preparing a comprehensive “road map” for the full return to in-person classes next fall in Massachusetts. But things got heated in Malden yesterday when angry parents protested against any requirement that would force kids to continuing wearing protective face masks in classes, WCVB reports.

Another post-pandemic TTD item: Psychiatric patients left in the ER

Yet another post-pandemic matter lawmakers will need to address. From Christian Wade at the Salem News: “Hundreds of psychiatric patients are being ‘boarded’ in emergency rooms across the state as they await beds in mental health facilities, and lawmakers are pushing for more funding to fix the problem.”  As Wade notes: The pandemic worsened an already bad ER situation.

Salem News

Why wait? Duff announces run for state auditor after Bump announcement

And they’re off. Well, at least one of them. Just hours after State Auditor Suzanne Bump said she would not seek a fourth term, Gloucester resident Eileen Duff, currently a member of the Governor’s Council, said she would launch a campaign for the constitutional office, the Gloucester Times reports.

She’s likely to have company in the race soon, with speculation swirling that transportation activist Chris Dempsey and state Sen. Diana DiZoglio are also eyeing bids.

Gloucester Times

The Markeyverse’s next potential target: Maura Healey?

Attorney General Maura Healey, who some consider a likely candidate for governor next year, may be popular among many progressives. But not all progressives, particularly young-one progressives. SHNS’s Matt Murphy reports on the purity-test rumblings on the Markeyverse left about Healey’s stands on various issues.

And whom might the young ones back in a potential Dem primary for governor? Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

So what’s Baker really up to in Tennessee?

Speaking of next year’s still-taking-shape gubernatorial contest, SHNS’s Matt Murphy reports that Gov. Charlie Baker took off yesterday to Tennessee to attend meetings hosted by the Republican Governors Association – the same RGA, it should be noted, that sunk a lot of money into his past gubernatorial campaigns.

Here’s one New Yorker who loves Boston: Blackstone Group

Meet the Blackstone Group, now the Boston area’s largest commercial landlord, largely via its huge investments in the region’s life-science sector. The Globe’s Jon Chesto has more on the New York private-equity firm’s quiet empire building in Boston.

Boston Globe

That’s nasty: Buried septic trucks discovered on Martha’s Vineyard

File under: Gross. Officials in Vineyard Haven are ordering a local septic hauler to remove two tanker trucks–full of as much as 18,000 gallons of you know what — that are buried on company property, Rich Saltzberg at the Martha’s Vineyard Times reports. 

Martha’s Vineyard Times

The Green Line extension project is running a surplus?

Can it be true? Apparently so. CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl reports that the Green Line extentson project, which was once plagued by $1 billion in cost overruns, will likely come in under budget – and T officials are now wondering what they can and can’t do with the probable leftover money.


‘The Rehabilitation of Dianne Wilkerson’

She was once a scandal-plagued political pariah. No more. Philiip Martin at GBH reports on the remarkable political rehabilitation of former state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson, now once again a prominent activist and player in local Boston politics.


‘Good news for employers’: Paid-leave claims lower than expected

Yes, it’s good news for employers if it leads to lower rates for them this fall. But the lower-than-expected costs of the state’s new Paid Family Medical Leave program, as reported by the BBJ’s Greg Ryan, could be due to the fact the program is: A.) new. B.) many people don’t know about it yet. C.) early rollout glitches may have kept participation numbers down. We’ll see. Our strong suspicion is that it’s going to be wildly popular — and expensive.


Bay State College receives accreditation warning

More evidence that many colleges are sitting on very shaky financial ground these days. The BBJ’s Hilary Burns reports that Bay State College, a for-profit school with campuses in Boston and Taunton, has received an accreditation warning from the New England Commission of Higher Education amid concerns about its financial stability, enrollment, quality of staff and faculty, etc.


‘Lousy:’ Worcester businesses say WooSox creating parking nightmare

  They’re not cheering. As the Worcester Red Sox wrap up their first-ever homestand in Polar Park, businesses in the surrounding neighborhood say they took it on the chin due to chaos created by the city’s makeshift parking plan meant to be a placeholder until more stadium-specific parking can be built, Michael Bonner of MassLive reports.


Somerville suspends police programs after cops called in to handle 6-year-old

OK, but what about the school officials who called the cops in the first police? Anyway, the Globe’s James Vaznis reports that “Somerville school leaders, facing a public backlash over calling the police on a 6-year-old Black and Latino boy, have temporarily suspended two programs that bring police officers into schools.” 

Case made: Haverhill pot shop aiming to undo local fees has day in court

All that’s left is the waiting. The Haverhill cannabis dispensary that is seeking to wipe out more than $350,000 worth of local impact fees owed to the city made its case to an Essex County Superior Court judge and now Stem — and the entire state cannabis industry — await a ruling. Mike LaBella of the Eagle-Tribune has details. 

Eagle Tribune

‘Disgusting and despicable’: Neo-Nazi group gathers in front of Boston’s Holocaust Memorial

With anti-Semitic incidents on the rise across the nation, incidents like this take on even more ominous meaning. The Herald’s Rick Sobey has more on the neo-Nazis lurking around Boston’s Holocaust Memorial.

Boston Herald

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


I-Team: BPD Investigating 21 Officers Over Possibly Violating Rules On Sergeant’s Exam – CBS Boston

Lynn mayoral candidate avoids campaign mishap – Lynn Item


Audit finds ‘improper’ use of state money by Berkshire County Arc – Berkshire Eagle

Red Sox release ‘Local Market’ hat with Massachusetts area codes — but leave out 413, Western Mass. – MassLive

UMass Medical School study shows safety of Moderna COVID vaccine for children – Worcester Business Journal


Prosecutor in Trump criminal probe convenes grand jury to hear evidence, weigh potential charges – Washington Post

New York Times in talks to buy The Athletic – Axios

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