Keller at Large

Lyons & Co.: Enough to make you puke

In his latest Keller at Large on MassterList, Jon Keller dissects the ongoing fallout at the Massachusetts Republican Party where “nearly every significant Republican official has been clamoring for Lyons to denounce the gay-bashing.” No dice, Keller says.

Keller at Large

Happening Today

State of Emergency ends, legislative committees, Allen Candidacy

12:01 a.m. | After 462 days, the state of emergency that Gov. Charlie Baker declared in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic will end.

10 a.m. | Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities holds a virtual hearing on 21 bills related to foster care, including proposals that aim to lay out a ‘bill of rights’ for foster parents.

10 a.m. | Harvard Professor Danielle Allen announces her candidacy for governor alongside Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui and Tammy Darling, educator and founder of the Mighty Project.

11 a.m. | House meets in a formal session, with representatives advised that they should be prepared to consider a House amendment to a Senate bill extending certain COVID-19 measures adopted during the state of emergency.

11 a.m. | Gov. Charlie Baker joins Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders and State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg at the State House to make an announcement relative to a new initiative to increase vaccination rates in the state.

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

How was your State of Emergency Ends Eve?

Massachusetts residents aren’t waking up hungover from celebrating New Year’s Eve, rather they’re waking up after ‘State of Emergency Ends Eve,’ which shuttles the state into what Gov. Charlie Baker likes to call “the new normal.”

Or plainer terms: Tuesday marks the beginning of post-COVID-restriction in Massachusetts. But there is still a lot to sort out today.

The Legislature is looking to come to an agreement on which pandemic-era policies will continue into the future. Things like expanded outdoor dining, certain eviction protections, and remote public meetings are all included in a revised bill the House gave initial approval to Monday morning, as SHNS’s Katie Lannan reports. The Senate passed a slightly different version last week and now the two branches will have to come to an agreement on extending some measures that technically expired at 12:01 a.m. today.

The House meets for a formal session at 11 a.m. and the Senate is back later this afternoon, but even if the Legislature passes the bill, Gov. Charlie Baker would need to sign it into law. He told reporters Monday afternoon that he hoped the two branches would send him something before Monday at midnight but a bill is more likely to hit his desk as early as this afternoon. 

Jon Chesto of the Boston Globe has another writeup on time running for legislative leaders to hand Baker legislation extending pandemic-era rules and relief measures. And the Boston Globe’s Hanna Krueger takes a look at how residents spent the finals days of the state of emergency with details on how exactly the state made its way to this point. 

House Speaker Mariano recently hospitalized in Florida

Doctors fitted House Speaker Ronald Mariano with a pacemaker while he was hospitalized in Florida, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy. More from Murphy: “It’s unclear when the health scare occurred or how long Mariano has been in Florida, where he had traveled with his wife.”


Suit alleges Boston cops used excessive force during May 2020 protest

A group of four individuals filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Monday, alleging several Boston cops used excessive force and physically attacked them during a May 2020 protest in response to the death of George Floyd, reports the Associated Press’ Boston Bureau.

From the AP: “The lawsuit alleges police used ‘excessive and unnecessary force’ on peaceful protesters who went to the demonstration at the Boston Common on May 31, 2020. The protesters are suing three officers and the city of Boston.” 

Associated Press

Legislative committee takes aim at structural racism

A new state legislative committee tasked with reviewing bills related to racial equity, civil rights, and inclusion used their first meeting Monday to create a lengthy to-do list aimed at “confronting centuries of structural racism ingrained in nearly every facet of public life,” reports SHNS’s Chris Lisinski.

Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz, who is considering a bid for governor, said structural racism and exclusion “are marbled throughout the different institutions and existing policies of our commonwealth,” Lisinski reports. Hannah Gree, writing for the Boston Business Journal, reports that Black Economic Council of Massachusetts President Segun Idowu pushed legislators to support a bill establishing a $10 million grant program for minority- and women-owned businesses in public construction, among other things. 


US asks Supreme Court to reinstate marathon bomber death sentence

The Department of Justice is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate the death penalty sentence for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev that an appeal court had tossed out — even though the Biden administration has said it opposes capital punishment. John Kruzel of The Hill reports the DOJ filed a 48-page brief urging the high court to restore the original jury decision.

The Hill

Radio jock vs. Somerville mayor

Who wins? Well, in this case, the state’s highest court ruled that Kirk Minihane did not violate state law when he recorded a phone interview with Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone even though the former WEEI talk show host misrepresented his identity but obtained consent to record the call. The Somerville Mayor filed suit against the former radio host in June 2019 (, saying Minihane “secretly” taped a phone interview — later posted on Barstool Sports’ website — where he falsely identified himself as Boston Globe Columnist Kevin Cullen, according to court documents.

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled Monday that Minihane did not “secretly” record Curtatone and upheld a lower court ruling dismissing the case. Here’s the Boston Globe writeup from Travis Anderson, who notes that state law requires the recording party to clearly say the conversation is being taped. Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin and Boston Business Journal’s Jessica Bartlett have more on the ruling.

Worcester Council to consider order allowing full pension for Officer Familia’s widow

Worcester City Council meets Tuesday to consider the fiscal 2022 budget as well as an order asking City Manager Edward Augustus Jr. to draft a petition in support of changing state law to include “drowning as a result of attempting to save the life of another in the performance of an officer’s duties as a category that would allow a spouse to receive the fallen officer’s full pension,” writes Telegram & Gazette’s Steven H. Foskett Jr. That would include the wife of Worcester Police Officer Enmanuel “Manny” Familia.

Telegram & Gazette

Cultivate opens third cannabis shop in Worcester

After making history as one of the first two adult-use cannabis stores to open on the East Coast, MassLive’s Melissa Hanson reports that Cultivate plans to open a third recreational cannabis shop in Worcester Tuesday where shoppers browse over 40 strains. 


Return of the Regatta

Boston’s annual Head of the Charles is scheduled to return in October after it was canceled last year due to the pandemic. John Powers at the Boston Globe notes its return will include “an unprecedented three-day program” while CBS Boston reminds readers that the regatta was canceled only one other time in 1996 because of a rain and wind storm.

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.

COVID-19 Numbers: 8 new deaths

The state reported eight new deaths and 44 new confirmed COVID cases.  CBS Boston has the latest COVID-19 update: Total number of confirmed cases now at 662,885 and total confirmed deaths at 17,584.

CBS Boston

Blue line threatened by the big blue ocean

Named for Boston Harbor, WBUR’s Simón Rios reports that the future of the Blue Line is threatened as sea levels continue to rise. From Rios: “The marsh protects the Orient Heights Car Yard — as well as a T stop and an electrical substation — from the nearby ocean, defending all that infrastructure from storm surge. Without the marsh, [Julie] Wormser said, this section of the Blue Line would be far more vulnerable to flooding. But, as sea level continues to rise, the marsh may disappear under water.”


Boston-Provincetown ferry looking for a season of ‘normalcy’

After more than a year marked by considerably less travel no matter which way you look at it, ferry ticket sales for the Boston-Provincetown line are starting to creep back up as the summer season gets underway and pandemic restrictions loosen, reports Michaela Chesin of Wicked Local.

Cape Cod Times

Take it outside: Plainridge gets state’s OK for outdoor expansion

Leave the chips inside. Plainridge Park Casino won state regulators’ approval for a plan to expand its footprint to include an outdoor space with fire pits, food and drinks and live music — but all gambling activity must still take place indoors, Tom Reilly of the Sun Chronicle reports.

The Sun Chronicle

Pandemic payout: EMS paramedics cash in on overtime

The pandemic was very, very good to them. Some 130 employees of the Boston EMS service earned more than $100,000 last year and one took home just under $300K as the pandemic and ongoing struggles at the so-called Methadone Mile combined to create nearly unlimited overtime opportunities, Joe Dwinell of the Herald reports.

Boston Herald

High stakes: Lots on the line in Tyngsboro election Tuesday

They’re deciding more than winners and losers. Prudence Brighton of the Lowell Sun reports that Tyngsboro voters could set the town’s future direction on a host of issues when they head to the polls today, including whether the police chief keeps his job.

Lowell Sun

PDIA in Action: Radicalization in France

As part of MLD103M, students at HKS spent 7 weeks working on exploring radicalization in France, and to help identify ideas and entry points. In this presentation, the student team and their authorizer will share some of their key takeaways and recommendations from this experience. Please register in advance to attend this event.

Harvard Kennedy School

The Black Liberation Front Q&A

The Black Liberation Front (BLF) was formed in 1971 and to date was one of the most active and impactful Black Power organizations in Britain. In 2017 the Young Historians Project interviewed 9 former members of the BLF to capture their stories and created a 38 minute documentary and a multi-panel exhibition for people to learn and be inspired by this history.

Black History Walks

Jefferson’s West: Lewis, Clark, and Native Americans

This presentation will discuss Thomas Jefferson’s reasons for proposing this expedition and the goals of reaching the Pacific and establishing trade and diplomacy with an array of Native peoples on the way to the West Coast. It will describe the challenges that the expedition faced and the role of Native peoples in helping or hindering its progress.

UVA Lifetime Learning

AAPI Community and Allies Series: Acknowledging “We”

This series of 4 workshops is for the members of the AAPI community and anybody else wanting to take a deep dive into understanding their personal cultural identity in America and exploring how they can become a better ally at this important time in history. Share the obstacles that we face individually and collectively as a result of our cultural identities and the harm we have sustained.

National Conflict Resolution Center

Virtual Summit: Continuing Threats to Free and Fair Elections

Elections are more than ballots, polling places, and voting machines. The human component of administering elections was exposed to unthinkable stress and attack during the 2020 cycle. It nearly reached the breaking point. The Brennan Center, the Ash Center, and the Bipartisan Policy Center invite you to explore the challenges to voting in America and necessary solutions.

Harvard Kennedy School

Legal Pride 2021: The Past, Present, and Future of LGBT+ Rights

Please join us for a very special part of our Legal Pride 2021 celebration where we explore the past, the present, and the future of LGBT+ rights and activism in the United Kingdom and across the globe.

InterLaw Diversity Forum

Best Places to Work – Virtual Event

For 2021 we will be celebrating Boston Business Journal’s Best Places To Work with a fun filled virtual celebration – stay tuned for details! Best Places To Work is all about celebrating and creating memorable experiences for your employees. We hope you can join us as we honor the 2021 BPTW!

Boston Business Journal

Juneteenth: A Story of Freedom

Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) marks the day in 1865 (June 19th) when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people were freed—a full two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed and more than two months after America’s Civil War “officially” ended.

North Carolina Museum of History

A Conversation with Angela Davis

Join a live conversation with activist and scholar Angela Davis, who has been deeply involved in our nation’s quest for social justice for decades. The Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies at UC Santa Cruz has also taught at UC Berkeley, UCLA, the Claremont Colleges, Stanford, and other universities.

USC Visions and Voices

Whither the GOP? 2 Republican Stalwarts Discuss Its Future

Michael Steele, an American conservative political commentator, attorney and former chairperson of the Republican National Committee, and William “Bill” Kristol, neoconservative political commentator and editor at large at Bulwark, discuss the future of the Republican party.

Jews United for Democracy and Justice and Community Advocates

Today’s Headlines


Janey seeks Latino nominees for School Committee – Boston Globe

Justices defer Harvard case on race in college admissions – Associated Press


Salem schools, teachers reach deal – Salem News

State auditor’s race continues to evolve – Eagle-Tribune

In-person government meetings resuming in Greenfield – Greenfield Recorder


McConnell: I’d block Biden SCOTUS nominee in 2024 – Politico

Sanders won’t vote for bipartisan infrastructure deal – The Hill

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