Keller at Large
The goldilocks candidate in the Boston mayoral race
In his latest Keller at Large on MassterList, Jon Keller thinks he may have found the Boston mayoral election’s goldilocks candidate, one who’s “not too left, not too right, perhaps just right for a critical mass of voters.” Yes, Annissa Essaibi-George.
Wage thefts bills, PFAS legislation, and more
— Joint Committee on Higher Education holds a hearing on legislation related to student aid, including Treasurer Deb Goldberg’s bill on student debt and proposals around scholarship and grant programs, 10 a.m.
— Labor and Workforce Development Committee holds a hearing on six bills regarding protections against wage theft, 10:30 a.m.
— The six-member House-Senate conference committee holds its first meeting as it sets out to negotiate a final fiscal 2022 budget bill, 11a.m.
— Senate President Karen Spilka speaks virtually at the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce President’s Forum, 11 a.m.
— Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture holds a virtual hearing on 22 bills, many of them dealing with ‘forever chemicals’ known as PFAS, 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: 4 new deaths, 17,552 total deaths, 89 cases
CBS Boston has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.
Lyons folds on GOP power grab
State Republican Party Jim Lyons and his conservative allies have dropped their attempt to freeze out Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito from top committee posts within the party. But Lyons apparently isn’t giving up on trying to dilute the power of Baker et gang within the state GOP. SHNS’s Matt Murphy, the Herald’s Erin Tiernan and the Globe’s Emma Platoff have more on the seemingly non-stop conservatives-vs-moderates battle within the state Republican Party.
Janey finally fires White. But is he really leaving?
File under: ‘The Thing That Wouldn’t Leave.” Acting Mayor Kim Janey yesterday finally canned suspended BPD superintendent Dennis White, as expected and as reported by the Globe’s Danny McDonald and Sahar Fatima and CommonWealth’s Michael Jonas. But the Herald’s Erin Tiernan reports on the possibility/likelihood of White proceeding with a wrongful-termination lawsuit. I.e. he’s gone but not gone.
In related news, the Globe’s Joan Vennochi senses a dark force at work. Hint: His initials are G.R.
State: It’s OK for schools to take half days during heatwave
MassLive’s Michelle Williams reports that a number of schools districts – including those in Springfield and Worcester – will be letting students out early again today due to the ongoing heatwave. And the state says that’s OK, as long as they’re not going remote, as SHNS’s Katie Lannan reports.
The forbidden word: ‘Delay,’ as in start of GLX service
They’re officially calling it “schedule pressure.” We could be wrong, but we’re pretty sure they’re referring to a possible “delay” in starting Green Line Extension service by the end of this year. It sounds like it might be a short delay, if there is one. SHNS’s Chris Lisinski has the opaque details.
Speaking of the T, MassLive’s Jim Kinney reports that there may have been more than one cause for the March derailment of a new Orange Line car. Officials are now looking at track problems that could have contributed to the mishap.
Meanwhile, T estimates Red-Blue lines connector at $850M
Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth reports on the T’s projected cost for connecting the Red and Blue lines in downtown Boston, via a somewhat short connector tunnel. The project, btw, is a long way off, even if funding is found.
‘Westie whites’: Another Boston school committee member resigns over racially charged texts
Boston really is like the Balkans. A three-reporter team at the Globe reports that a second Boston School Committee member, this time Lorna Rivera, has resigned over those racially charged texts that were digitally flying back and forth during a public hearing last year over exam-school admission policies. “Sick of Westie whites,” Rivera texted, referring to West Roxbury residents.
But Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin reports that West Roxbury pols also want chairwoman Alexandra Oliver-Dávila to resign for her own biting remarks about those ‘Westie whites.’
Senate prepping pandemic-policy extensions bill
SHNS’s Katie Lannan reports that a Senate bill may emerge today that calls for keeping some popular pandemic-era policies, such as outdoor dining and remote public hearings, etc. A vote on legislation could happen as early as this week, ahead of Gov. Charlie Baker’s plan to lift the pandemic state of emergency next week. No word on cocktails-to-go.
In other coronavirus news, from Cathy McGrath at MassLive: “Massachusetts schools ramp up COVID vaccination efforts, opening clinics around the state.”
It’s begun: Redistricting squabbles
It’s the first among many disputes to come. From SHNS’s Matt Murphy: “As local officials wait for the U.S. Census Bureau to provide community-specific population data, Secretary of State William Galvin said Monday that legislation to put Congressional and legislative redistricting ahead of local reprecincting would be ‘devastating’ to cities and towns, putting him at odds with voting rights advocates.”
Christian Wade at the Eagle Tribune has more on Galvin’s various complaints about some redistricting move.
The few, the proud, Part II: Baker administration not giving up on TCI
The Herald’s Erin Tiernan and SHNS’s Colin Young report that the Baker administration and environmentalists aren’t giving up on the Transportation and Climate Initiative despite moves in Connecticut to scrap implementation of the regional program that would raises gas taxes to reduce carbon emissions.
Btw: There are now two states (Mass. and Rhode Island) and the District of Columbia standing by TCI, not just the Bay State and D.C., as previously reported. Call them: The Final Three.
Cause and effect: Biogen’s Alzheimer’s drug wins FDA approval, stock goes boom
The BBJ’s Rowan Walrath reports the FDA yesterday approved Cambridge-based Biogen Inc.’s controversial drug to treat early-onset Alzheimer’s disease – and trading of Biogen’s stocks had to be halted midmorning due the heavy demand for its shares. The company ultimately gained billions in value, needless to say.
DiZoglio is off and running for auditor
As expected, Sen. Diana DiZoglio is indeed running for state auditor, as the Herald’s Erin Tiernanreports, and even before she officially announced she was a candidate she was switching her campaign fundraising account to list ‘auditor’ as her chosen target, reports SHNS’s Chris Lisinski.
Meanwhile, SHNS’s Matt Murphy has more on the quickly-taking-shape contest for lieutenant governor, with Rep. Tami Gouveia and Babson College business professor Bret Bero now running for the Dem nomination.
Downsized: Communities trim, delay projects amid soaring material, constructions costs
Cities and towns are not immune. Communities across the South Shore are bumping into supply chain disruptions, labor shortages and soaring raw materials costs as they pursue infrastructure projects and the outlook is for costs to continue climbing, Wheeler Cowperthwaite at the Patriot Ledger reports.
SJC: Lynnfield mansion owner not responsible for murder of a guest while the abode was short-term rented out
A decision the other way would have dissuaded a lot of people from using Airbnb etc. From Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin: “The Supreme Judicial Court ruled (yesterday) that a man who rented out his Lynnfield mansion to people who then threw a massive party that ended with a guest shot to death was not negligent, in part because he wasn’t there and had given control of the property over to the five men who’d rented the place.”
Have a ‘heart:’ Cambridge council endorses alternative response squad
Why pursue just one alternative to traditional policing when you can have two? Marc Levy at Cambridge Day reports the Cambridge City Council on Monday endorsed a citizen-generated plan to create a non-police public safety unit dubbed the ‘Holistic Emergency Alternative Response Team,’ even as it pursues another model to reduce reliance on armed officers.
Meanwhile, Jacquelyn Voghel at the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports both Easthampton and Hadley plan to begin sending mental health clinicians to ride along with police on some 911 calls.
The ‘millionaires tax’ debate: The arguments are shifting fast
With the state awash with money these days – thanks to much stronger than expected tax collections and billions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief funds – the debate over the proposed “millionaires tax” has most definitely changed, reports CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg.
Best case scenario: Buried septic trucks on Martha’s Vineyard didn’t leak you-know-what
All things considered, this outcome isn’t so bad. Two buried tankers containing thousands of gallons of raw septage were removed Monday and local health officials say it appears there was no leakage and no need for further remediation, as Lucas Thors at the Martha’s Vineyard Times reports.
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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