Raimondo in Woods Hole, unemployment commission, and more
— U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern visits downtown Amherst to discuss downtown revitalization, small business recovery and infrastructure improvements post-pandemic, 10 a.m.
— U.S. Sen. Ed Markey and U.S. Rep. Bill Keating host Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo for a tour of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and later a tour of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, 10:30 a.m.
— U.S. Rep. Liz Miranda delivers commencement address at Wellesley College, where she graduated from in 2002, 10:30 a.m.
— The Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund Study Commission, created under an unemployment system stabilization bill passed earlier this spring, will hear about other states and their UI systems with a focus on recent reforms, 1 p.m.
— Joint Committee on COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management holds an informational hearing on hurricane and natural disaster preparedness, 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.
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: 7 new deaths, 17,530 total deaths, 241 new cases
CBS Boston has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.
Mission Accomplished (nearly): All seven mass vaccination sites to close by mid-July
Their mission is almost done. MassLive’s Michelle Williams and SHNS’s Matt Murphy report that the state’s seven mass vaccination sites are set to close, starting with Gillette Stadium on June 14 and ending with the former Circuit City site in Dartmouth in mid-July.
But the vaccination push will continue for a while longer, as the state targets isolated groups and people yet to be vaccinated around the state, as SHNS’s Chris Van Buskirk reports.
From 219 to zero: No towns listed in high-risk red zone
Another sign that the pandemic is receding fast: No communities are considered high-risk for the spread of the coronavirus in Massachusetts, not even Tisbury. In January, there were 219 communities listed as virus hotspots in Massachusetts. Pretty amazing. NBC Boston has more.
Meanwhile, from MassLive: “New COVID cases among Massachusetts school staffers drops to low of 13 as student cases decrease to 117.” The Globe’s Kay Lazar reports that public-health officials were initially skeptical about Gov. Baker’s recent decision to fully reopen the economy. They’re not as skeptical today, though they’re still preaching caution. Btw, from WBUR’s Kathleen McNerney: “Mass. Launches Weekly Coronavirus Testing For Early Education Field.”
SJC committee to law firms: Go hybrid, fellow lawyers, go hybrid
Filling up empty office towers in downtown Boston just got a lot harder. From the Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert: “In a move that could signal a radical shift in workplace ethos, a committee of the state’s highest court is urging Massachusetts law firms to offer all lawyers flexible schedules as they return to the office after more than a year of remote work.”
Is the state looking at a potential multibillion-dollar surplus this year?
State tax collections in May continued to defy doomsday expectations – and if positive revenue trends continue through next month the state could have nearly $4 billion more than what the Baker administration recently projected for the current fiscal year. SHNS’s Colin Young has more on the extraordinary amount of money flowing into state coffers – and it doesn’t include the billions in federal relief aid.
Speaking of federal relief funds, SHNS’s Matt Murphy has an update on the Beacon Hill spat on who gets to spend the fed cash.
‘Millionaires tax’: Looks like it’s a go for 2022 ballot
The state may be awash with money these days, but there are those who believe the state needs more revenues in the long run. The Herald’s Erin Tiernan and the Globe’s Matt Stout report that Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Ronald Mariano are pushing ahead with a vote next week that would put the so-called “millionaire’s tax” proposal on the statewide 2022 ballot in Massachusetts.
F. Lee Bailey, attorney of Boston Strangler and O.J. fame, RIP
F. Lee Bailey was indeed a “swashbuckling, high-flying defense attorney whose celebrity often eclipsed that of his famous clients,” as the Globe’s Joseph Kahn describes the famous Boston lawyer who has died at the age of 87. Among his clients: O.J. Simpson, who tweeted a tribute to Bailey yesterday, according to a report at WCVB.
After 21 years, law-enforcement officials ID now-deceased suspect in Molly Bish murder case
A ‘more than 20-page criminal record’? From Kim Ring at the Telegram: “A registered sex offender from Spencer who died in 2016 has been named a person of interested in the abduction and slaying of Warren lifeguard Molly Anne Bish in 2000. Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. said Thursday that Francis P. Sumner Sr. a man with a more-than-20-page criminal record, is being eyed in the case.”
Here’s a summary of the Bish case, via Wikipedia, accompanied by the now well-known photo of the young Bish before her murder. It’s so sad.
From rust to gaping holes: I-90 Allston section deteriorating fast
CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl reports on why $75 million in emergency repairs are needed for the elevated portion of the Massachusetts Turnpike between Boston University and the Charles River: It’s now deteriorating at an ‘exponential’ rate.
Short honeymoon for Kim Janey?
The Globe’s Meghan Irons reports on the first two months of Kim Janey’s acting-mayor reign, a tumultuous time caused largely by constant hold-over woes at the Boston Police Department. She’s winning some praise, and some criticism, and it sure looks like the honeymoon is over.
But does it matter how she’s doing at this point in the mayor contest? From Anthony Brooks at WBUR: “Boston’s Historic Race For Mayor Matters To The Entire Region. Why Aren’t More People Paying Attention?”
Tea-leaf reading time: Hinds buys house outside Senate district
Timing is everything. State Sen. Adam Hinds has purchased a home in Amherst — well outside the 52-community Berkshires-based district he represents on Beacon Hil l–but says he will maintain a residence in Pittsfield going forward, Danny Jin at the Berkshire Eagle reports. Hinds disclosed the home purchase with his wife–a professor at Amherst College–even as his name was being kicked around this week as a potential lieutenant governor candidate in 2022.
Decision day: Nantucket town meeting to decide hot-button short-term rental issue
It’s going to be a hot one. Nantucket Town Meeting will convene Saturday and observers are predicting a heated debate over a proposal to closely regulate Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms put forward by those who say the rentals are turning the tony island into “Disneyland,” Brian Bushard at the Nantucket Inquirer & Mirror and Tim Logan at the Globe report.
‘Hitman’: Tyngsboro cop snared in multimillion-dollar assault-weapons scheme
He apparently conducted business via his ‘Hitman’ gun store. From Robert Mills at the Lowell Sun: “A nine-count federal indictment handed down Wednesday accuses Tyngsboro Police Officer Daniel Whitman — a former patrolmans’ union president — of illegally manufacturing and selling assault weapons, while also conspiring to defraud local banks of over $9 million in loans for a shooting range whose secret majority owner is a so-far unidentified Chinese investor.”
Huge Fenway development: Good-bye souvenir shops, hello office buildings
Office buildings? Next to Fenway Park on Jersey Street (aka the old Yawkey Way)? It’s in the works courtesy of a development team led by the Red Sox. The Globe’s Tim Logan and Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin report on a proposed 2.1-million-square-foot development project that would transform the area immediately around Fenway Park.
Wait over: First home delivery of recreational cannabis on tap for next week
Ring, ring. Nearly five years after voters endorsed home delivery as part of the legalization of recreational cannabis, microbusiness Freshly Baked will make history with the first legal home dropoffs of weed in the Taunton area, Shira Schoenberg at CommonWealth Magazine reports.
Law firm settles AG’s pharmacy-kickback lawsuit
From the BBJ’s Greg Ryan: “Keches Law Group has agreed to pay $300,000 to settle a lawsuit from Attorney General Maura Healey’s office claiming it took more than $90,000 worth of kickbacks from a pharmacy, including limousine rentals and a yacht outing, in exchange for client referrals.”
Just fyi, via Ryan’s story: “A year ago, before it sued Keches Law, Healey’s office struck a $11 million with the pharmacy over allegations it illegally dispensed opioids and other drugs.”
Like clockwork: Introduction of new Acela trains delayed by a year
As Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin notes, COVID-19 is being partly blamed, of course, for a one-year delay in delivering Amtrak’s new Acela trains for use on the Boston-Washington corridor. The Washington Post has more.
Executive behind ‘Fearless Girl’ campaign to leave State Street
That famous sculpture of a young girl standing up to Wall Street’s ‘charging bull’ in New York? State Street’s Lynn Blake deserves some of the credit for the iconic ‘Fearless Girl,’ and now she’s leaving State Street Corp. after nearly 35 years at the Boston firm, reports the BBJ’s Greg Ryan. Wikipedia has more on the ‘Fearless Girl’ sculpture by Kristen Visbal.
Heidi Brieger named chief justice of Superior Court
This is obviously a big deal in legal circles. From SHNS’s Michael Norton: “Superior Court Judge Heidi Brieger, a 2012 appointee of former Gov. Deval Patrick, was appointed chief justice of that court on Thursday. Trial Court Chief Justice Paula Carey announced Brieger’s appointment to a five-year term.”
Ready to help: ‘Mass. Fintech Hub’
It’s not a flashy subsector of the tech industry, but it produces a lot of local jobs. The Globe’s Jon Chesto reports on a new partnership, dubbed ‘Mass. Fintech Hub,’ between business leaders and the state to help tech startups focused on creating digital products for financial companies.
Sunday public affairs TV: Marty Walsh, Lori Trahan, Eddie Glaude Jr.
Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Former Mayor and current U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, who talks with host Jon Keller about the Boston police commissioner controversy, the Biden administration’s American Jobs Plan and more.
This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Greater Boston Chamber CEO Jim Rooney discusses the changing attitudes about the return to the office; Walden Campervans co-founder Mike Patrick on the story of a luxury ‘van life’ start up; and the Globe’s Shirley Leung reviews the week’s top local business stories, including vaccine incentives and the state’s film tax credit.
On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan, who talks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu.
CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s topic: A conversation with Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr., the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University.
Crypto Connection 2021
2021 will be known as the year Crypto went mainstream. The flood of institutional investors entering the asset class, the decision by traditional payment companies to offer crypto access and payment options, and the dynamism of listed (public) digital asset companies, futures contracts, and ETFs – all point to a sea change in our understanding and perceived value of cryptocurrency.
President Bill Clinton and James Patterson Discuss The President’s Daughter
President Bill Clinton and author James Patterson’s new thriller, THE PRESIDENT’S DAUGHTER, is a fast-action adventure, a certified nail-biter from the very first page, with details only a former president could write and action only Patterson could dream up. Just imagine the president as a superhero — all the fun without the cape!
Corporate Welcome Reception
MassEcon is proud to welcome new businesses to Massachusetts at our Corporate Welcome Brunch, part of the Annual Corporate Welcome Reception Series! As we were unable to host this event in 2020 due to the onset of the pandemic, we look forward to this event as an opportunity to thank these new companies to Massachusetts for their investments in the Commonwealth in 2019 and later.
Building a Sustainable Future for New England Seafood
Please join us on Wednesday, June 9th to hear Andrea O’Donnell Sustainability Coordinator of Ipswich Shellfish Group discuss how the company is to working with other like-minded seafood companies in North America to drive industry sustainability progress and help improve fisheries around the world.
Angles on Bending Lines: Brian Jefferson on Geographic Information Systems and the War on Crime and Drugs
In this conversation series, we talk with experts about why we should be careful about geographic information in modern data. How is data collected, and how does it get fixed into categories and numbers? Who gets to own data sets, and who gets to make decisions using them? What sorts of public responsibilities should shape the social lives of data?
Reflections of Alan Turing
Dermot Turing is the author of the acclaimed biography Prof, about the life of his uncle, Alan Turing and X, Y & Z: the Real Story of How Enigma Was Broken. He spent his career in the legal profession after graduating from Cambridge and Oxford, and is a trustee of Bletchley Park. He has extensive knowledge of World War II code-breaking and is a regular presenter at major cryptology events.
Deborah Lipstadt and Rabbi Ed Feinstein: Anti-Semitism Today – What’s Really Going On?
Deborah Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University, is one of the nation’s foremost experts on Holocaust denial and modern anti-Semitism. Rabbi Ed Feinstein is the beloved senior rabbi at Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California, one of the largest Conservative congregations in the United States.
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