Council budget powers, Red-Blue Lines Connector
— Boston city councilors, among them three mayoral candidates, join the Rewrite the Rules Coalition to call on Acting Mayor Kim Janey to sign a recent unanimously approved council proposal amending the city charter to give the council more power during the city’s budget process, 10 a.m.
— Joint Committee on Election Laws holds virtual hearing on a bill that adjusts deadlines for cities and towns to redraw precincts, 10 a.m.
— Joint Committee on Public Health holds a virtual hearing on bills concerning sexual and women’s health, and pharmacy-related issues, 10 a.m.
— Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure holds a virtual hearing on bills related to over-quota liquor licenses and Division of Professional Licensure reforms, 11 a.m.
— MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board meets virtually with a packed agenda calling for discussion of the proposed Red Line-Blue Line Connector, low-income fares, the agency’s service policy, and the fiscal 2022 budget, 12 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: 4 new deaths, 17,548 total deaths, 126 new cases
WCVB has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.
Schools letting kids out early today due to heat wave
Just as they finally got most students back into classrooms after a year of pandemic chaos, Mother Nature has thrown another curve ball at school districts, many of which plan to release students early today due to scorching temperatures expected this afternoon. Worcester (Telegram), Springfield (MassLive) and other communities across the state (Globe) are calling it an early-dismissal school day.
Unilateral action: Baker shifts money to underfunded communities amid squabble with lawmakers over spending
He just did it. Amid a dispute with Beacon Hill Democrats over who gets to spend the billions of dollars in new federal relief aid, Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday unilaterally transferred $109 million to Randolph, Everett, Methuen and Chelsea to make up for a shortfall they’ve received in fed relief money, reports GBH’s Mike Deehan.
And it seems legislative leaders aren’t going to put up a fuss over the move, considering U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley and other Dem members of the congressional delegation called for the release of funds. SHNS’s Colin Young has more.
Nyet fix: Steamship Authority still grappling with ransomware woes
The Massachusetts Steamship Authority over the weekend was still struggling with its passenger ticketing and reservation systems following last week’s ransomware attack on the authority’s computer system, WCVB reports. The authority has launched a separate website to host schedules for its ferry passengers, as SHNS’s Chris Lisinski reports, though it’s not a complete fix to the problem.
And, no, it hasn’t been proved the Russians are behind the cyberattack, as U.S. Sen. Ed Markey is now sort of acknowledging, reports the Cape Cod Times. Meanwhile, from the Globe’s Hiawatha Bray: “Ransomware is a massive problem. And there’s no easy fix.”
Fractured party: Baker and other Republicans blast Lyons’ silence over anti-gay remarks
Gov. Charlie Baker over the weekend called on GOP chairman Jim Lyons, a conservative who’s previously tangled with the moderate Republican governor, to speak out against a party committeewoman’s recent anti-gay rant, saying the state’s party leadership is out of touch with the public on gay issues, reports the Globe’s Matt Stout.
Meanwhile, the Herald’s Erin Tiernan reports that 29 of 30 GOP members of the Massachusetts House are going further, calling for Lyons’ resignation due his failure to condemn the remarks. As of last Friday, Lyons was holding firm, saying the party must resist ‘cancel culture’ reactions to controversies, reports the Globe’s Emma Platoff and Matt Stout.
Baker’s anemic fundraising: Not exactly re-election material
Gov. Charlie Baker sure doesn’t look like he’s running for a third term, based on the fact his campaign committee received only six donations last month totaling $3,400. The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld has more.
Rep. Tami Gouveia and Babson lecturer are running for lieutenant governor
They’re not waiting for the Baker-Politio team to decide. State Rep. Tami Gouveia, an Acton progressive, has launched a campaign for the Dem nomination for lieutenant governor, as Boston.com’s Nik DeCosta-Klipa reports and as SHNS’s Matt Murphy first reported late last week. Meanwhile, businessman and college lecturer Bret Bero is also throwing his hat in the Dem LG ring, via a video release.
MBTA Advisory Board: We need a permanent T board – soon
Will lawmakers kick this can down the road for the second time in two years? There’s not much time left in the current session, after all. From the Globe’s John Hilliard: “The MBTA Advisory Board is calling on state leaders to move quickly in creating a permanent governing panel to oversee the transit agency as it grapples with budget issues and decreased ridership since the pandemic began.’”
The Sergeant Schultz Defense: Walsh insists, again, he knew nothing about White’s abuse allegations
Former Mayor and current U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh is sticking with his story that he knew nothing, nothing at all, about domestic-abuse allegations against Dennis White before he appointed White superintendent of the Boston Police Department, according to a report at WBZ-TV.
Meanwhile, from the Globe’s Milton Valencia: “With a legal challenge, Dennis White case could drag on for years, stalk former mayor Martin J. Walsh.”
Counterattack: General takes aim at Cape critics of machine-gun range
If it’s war they want, it’s war they get. The Globe’s David Abel reports that the brigadier general in charge of Joint Base Cape Cod is threatening to order thousands of soldiers to effectively boycott area restaurants and other businesses in retaliation for local opposition to a new machine-gun range at the base.
Good cops: Worcester and Braintree reel after one cop drowns and two others shot
Despite all the recent criticism aimed at police officers across the nation, this is why we should still honor them. Worcester is in mourning today after last week’s tragic drowning of officer Enmanual ‘Manny’ Familia, who died while trying to rescue teens at a city pond, as the Telegram and the Associated Pressreport. Enmanuel, a husband and father, will be laid to rest later this week, the Telegram reports.
Meanwhile, from NBC Boston: “Shootout in Braintree Leaves 2 Police Officers Hurt, Domestic Violence Suspect Dead.” And from the Patriot Ledger: “Two Braintree officers on mend after ‘ambush’ on Friday.”
Bad cops: BPD’s overtime scandal now exceeds State Police’s OT fraud count
Both in numbers and dollars, the Boston Police Department’s ongoing overtime scandal has now surpassed the State Police OT scandal that has garnered far more media attention in the past, reports the Globe’s Dugan Arnett and Maggie Mulvihill. The BPD passed the dubious milestone even before last week’s guilty pleas entered by two ex-cop in the overtime fraud case, according to a report at WBUR.
The few, the proud: Connecticut pulls out of TCI, leaving only Mass. and D.C.
There’s only one state (cough, cough) and the District of Columbia sticking with the so-called ‘Transportation Climate Initiative,’ which would basically raise gas taxes to reduce auto emissions, and critics say it’s time for Gov. Charlie Baker to stick a fork in the regional-TCI idea, as the Herald’s Erin Tiernan reports.
Janey pulls plug on regional surveillance-camera sharing plan
That’s all, folks. The Globe’s Danny McDonald reports that Acting Mayor Kim Janey has hit pause on a plan for the city of Boston to effectively hook up its growing surveillance-camera network with similar camera systems in nine other municipalities. In an editorial, the Globe is praising Janey’s move as a step in the right direction toward getting more public input on the expansion plans.
Rejected: Nantucket says ‘no’ to regulating short-term rentals
Nope. Nantucket Town Meeting on Saturday soundly rejected a closely watched proposal to regulate and track short-term rentals through Airbnb and similar sites, Joshua Balling at the Inquirer & Mirror reports.
Wish granted: SEC fires Republican audit watchdog after push from Warren
It’s a start. The Securities and Exchange Commission has fired a Trump appointee charged with overseeing audits of public companies after pressure from U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and fellow progressive Bernie Sanders. Kellie Mejdrich at Politico reports Warren hailed the move and urged the SEC to continue to clean house.
Governors to Biden: We need a standardized approach toward offshore wind
Gov. Charlie Baker and governors from eight other states have written a letter to President Joe Biden touting the benefits of offshore wind and calling on states and the feds to cooperate in establishing uniform standards for future ocean wind farms, reports SHNS’s Colin Young.
Meanwhile, Rep. Patricia Haddad of Somerset, writing at CommonWealth magazine, says the state needs to prioritize the creation of local jobs when it comes to offshore wind.
Moving target: Tyngsboro voting hours in limbo as election looms
Citing lingering Covid concerns, Tyngsboro Town Clerk Joann Shifres wants to limit voting hours for next week’s municipal election, a move that some say is politically motivated and one that could be undone by the Select Board as soon as tonight, Prudence Brighton at the Lowell Sun reports.
Big ask: Hodgson wants ICE contract back — and an apology
File under: Not very likely. Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson is calling on federal officials to restore the recently-canceled contract that paid him to house ICE detainees — and to say they’re sorry for what he calls a politically motivated maneuver. David Linton at the Sun-Chronicle has the details.
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.
Justice Rising: Robert Kennedy’s America in Black and White
Patricia Sullivan, professor of history at the University of South Carolina, discusses her new book Justice Rising: Robert Kennedy’s America in Black and White, which draws on government files, personal papers, and oral interviews to examine Robert F. Kennedy’s life and legacy. Kenneth Mack, professor of law and history at Harvard University, moderates.
Paula Peters – The True Cost of Colonization: American History from an Indigenous Perspective – Baxter Lecture
Join us in partnership with American Ancestors/NEHGS and the GBH Forum Network for this online program where Paula Peters will discuss the romanticized myth of the Pilgrims’ arrival and the true cost of colonization from the perspective of the indigenous people.
California EPA’s Pollution and Prejudice Project
Government agencies play a critical role in advancing environmental justice across the United States, and California’s primary environmental agency (CalEPA) is one of the leaders in this field. At CalEPA, understanding the role of government in perpetuating institutional and structural racism is essential to its work to address the legacy of racist practices and their impacts today.
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