Board of Higher Education, Informal sessions, and more
10 a.m. | Massachusetts Board of Higher Education convenes a special virtual meeting to hear preliminary recommendations aimed at achieving racial equity and justice on college campuses.
11 a.m. | Attorney General Maura Healey participates in an “Ask The AG” segment on GBH’s “Boston Public Radio.”
11 a.m. | House and Senate hold informal sessions.
5:30 p.m. | Boston Acting Mayor Kim Janey gives remarks at the Mayor’s Garden Contest Awards Ceremony.
Henri came, Henri went
At the end of last week, Gov. Charlie Baker all but pleaded with residents to stay home on Sunday as a tropical storm barreled toward Massachusetts. It landed in Rhode Island Sunday afternoon, reports Boston Herald’s Amy Sokolow, bringing heavy rains, power outages, and strong wing gusts to southern New England. But for all the warnings, Massachusetts was largely spared from the worst of the storm.
In Rhode Island, residents expressed relief that the storm wasn’t as powerful as first predicted, reports Boston Globe’s Brian Amaral, Alexa Gagosz, Carlos R. Muñoz, and Lylah Alphonse. The worst of it never came. But remnants of Henri are expected to make their way through southern New England Monday afternoon and Worcester has been placed on a flood watch until later in the day, reports Telegram & Gazette’s Marco Cartolano.
Both Nantucket and the North Shore also got off easy. Inquirer and Mirror’s Joshua Balling reports that there was a steady rainfall from 4 to 5 a.m. followed by clear skies and winds that barely topped 20 mph all day. Up north, Salem News’ Buck Anderson reports that at least one local meteorologist in the city said the storm was weaker than he expected — winds got up to 30 mph as a thunderstorm passed the area.
And it was a bit different experience for a pair of Appalachian Trail hikers who took shelter at Diane’s Twist in Cheshire, reports Berkshire Eagle’s Larry Parnass. They’ve been on the trail since June 28 and hope to get to Springer Mountain between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The idea of being on a trail with a tropical storm on the way isn’t that comforting.
Boston brings back mask mandate for public indoor areas
They’re back. As rising COVID-19 case counts continue, Boston officials are once again mandating people to wear masks in all indoor public settings. Boston Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter reports that there is a familiar exception to the rule: when eating or drinking. The order goes into effect at 8 a.m. on Aug. 27.
More from Cotter: “Bob Luz, the president of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, sees the move to reinstate the mask mandates the opposite way. He said it creates “the optics of a step backwards,” which will encourage people to stay out of downtown and shy away from restaurants.”
Masks in schools? Education commissioner looking for authority to do so
More mask news: The state’s education commissioner is looking to mandate masks for students age 5 and up and staff and teachers in public K-12 schools. State House News Service’s Katie Lannan reports that Commissioner Jeff Riley wants the policy to run through Oct. 1 while allowing middle and high schools to lift mask mandates for vaccinated students and staff if at least 80 percent have been jabbed. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is set to vote on the measure Tuesday.
The start of Kay Lazar’s story in the Boston Globe is pretty grim: “Another season lost to pandemic may lie ahead.” Two disease forecasting teams say COVID-19 deaths will trend upward in the state in the weeks to come. As for how many cases and deaths occur, health experts say it depends on whether people wear masks and get vaccinated.
More from Lazar: “One respected disease modeler from the University of Washington said that simply adopting universal mask mandates now could avoid roughly 1,300 deaths in Massachusetts by Dec. 1 and 50,000 deaths nationwide.”
Pushing back: T, law enforcement unions resist Baker on vaccine mandates
Let’s negotiate. That’s the message from unions representing law enforcement officers to Gov. Charlie Baker over the vaccine mandates he put in place last week. Erin Tiernan of the Boston Herald reports unions representing corrections officers, MBTA workers, and the State Police have all pushed back on the governor’s push for mandatory jabs.
Rep. Brad Hill set to leave House for Gaming Commission
An Ipswich Republican who has served in the House for nearly 25 years is off to the Gaming Commission. State House News Service’s Colin A. Young reports that Gov. Charlie Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey, and Treasurer Deborah Goldberg picked Rep. Brad Hill to fill the seat vacated by Bruce Stebbins. Hill plans to resign from his House seat on Sept. 15 and start as a gaming commissioner the very next day.
Same hospital but potentially different jobs
Things won’t be the same for some striking nurses in Worcester when they return to work. Telegram & Gazette’s Anoushka Dalmia reports that Tenet Healthcare, owner of St. Vincent Hospital, says about 15 percent of the nurses will have to be reassigned to different positions when they return after management brought in replacement hires. The hospital says it wants to be fair to those it hired during the strike while the union argues the nurses on strike have more experience. Every returning nurse, however, will be guaranteed a job.
Not over: Some Berkshire Democrats still want party to atone for Morse investigation
They’re still waiting for an apology. A group of Berkshire Democrats say the Mass. Democratic Party still owes former Holyoke Mayor and current Provincetown Town Manager Alex Morse an apology for allowing news of an investigation into Morse’s personal conduct to leak in the midst of last year’s Democratic primary election in the 1st Congressional District, Larry Parnass of the Berkshire Eagle reports. Short of a formal apology to Morse, the group says it would also accept a censure of party Chairman Gus Bickford and his top aide.
A record breaking T experience
There are a lot of cool things that somebody could do to try to set a world record. But none are as interesting as Maya Jonas-Silver breaking the world record for fastest subway trip to every T station. Boston Herald’s Meghan Ottolini reports that the 29-year-old beat the previous record by roughly 25 minutes, clocking in at 7:04:29.
In the crosshairs: State’s 3rd Congressional District in line for makeover
Data from the 2020 Census suggest the state’s 3rd Congressional District may see some of the biggest changes after redistricting, a makeover that could shift the center of power away from Lowell and Lawrence and toward more suburban communities in Essex County. In an editorial, The Lowell Sun says the changes could help lead to a rematch between incumbent Rep. Lori Trahan and rival Dan Koh, whom she narrowly defeated back in 2020.
Behave: Provincetown adopts code of conduct for appointed boards
Too much? The Provincetown Select Board adopted what Town Manager Alex Morse calls a “specific and ambitious” code of conduct for hundreds of volunteers who serve on appointed committees — but some say the rules limiting what those members can say without risking removal from office go too far. Michaela Chesin of the Cape Cod Times has the details.
West Yarmouth store sells five winning lottery tickets
Feeling lucky about the lottery? You may be interested to know that five Mass Cash tickets all sold at the same store on the Cape won $100,000 last week. MassLive’s Heather Morrison reports that the tickets were bought at Sav-On-Gas in West Yarmouth.
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