Happening Today

Mask mandate vote, Warren meet and greet, Markey on the Cape, and more

10 a.m. | Massachusetts Cultural Council Executive Committee meets virtually to discuss the agency’s fiscal year 2022 budget, including grant recommendations, allocations to local councils, districts and festivals, and spending on programs. The agenda also calls for discussion of the Council’s racial equity plan.

10 a.m. | A Hampden Superior Court judge holds a hearing to consider a motion to dismiss that defendants filed in the criminal case Attorney General Maura Healey brought against two former Holyoke Soldiers’ Home officials.

10 a.m. | Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meets remotely to vote on Commissioner Jeff Riley’s request for the authority to issue a mask mandate for staff and students in public K-12 schools.

1 p.m. | .U.S. Sen. Ed Markey visits Cape Cod to tout the $1.5 billion for coastal and flood prevention projects included in the Senate-based infrastructure package. After touring the Chequessett Neck Road Dike and discussing the Herring River Restoration Project, he is scheduled for a 2:15 p.m. tour of Coast Guard Beach in Eastham, with Cape Cod National Seashore Superintendent Brian Carlstrom.

6 p.m. | Sen. Elizabeth Warren hosts meet and greet, with plans to make remarks and answer questions.

Today’s Stories

Who’s behind Mass.gov Fake Tweets?

A new parody Twitter account, Mass.gov Fake Tweets (@MassGovt), has risen in popularity over the last eight months, now boasting over 3,700 followers and, oftentimes, hundreds of likes per tweet. MassterList caught up with the owner to get a little more insight into the profile and content creation process. The owner requested to remain anonymous, but read on for clues as to who they are. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

What was the initial idea behind the account and how do you go about coming up with new, funny tweets?

The original idea, really, was two things: realizing that the handle @MassGovernment, and now @MassGovt was not taken. And so that was ample opportunity to make a meme account or joke account about the Mass. government and politics. And the second sort of reason that came about was sort of discontent with Gov. Charlie Baker’s original handling of the vaccine rollout.

This account has been a great excuse to really stay up with politics as much as possible. Sometimes it’s really more on the side of joking, like just total nonsense. The most recent tweet that was just about the OnlyFans controversy was total comedy for comedy’s sake. Sometimes, though, it’s like, oh, this is a really important issue and how can I talk about it in a way that is funny but also brings awareness to it.

Did you have an interest in politics before you started the account? At one point, you were satirizing the redistricting process here in Massachusetts — a somewhat niche topic.

That’s the kind of niche humor that I try to get at. I’ve been doing organizing work around several issues in Massachusetts, even in other parts of the country. So I’ve been involved with politics, generally, and interested in Massachusetts politics. I’m from Massachusetts. I grew up in a place that is considered left behind. And so growing up in the state and kind of understanding how state politics works when everybody thinks it’s super progressive and super blue. I think this account is the culmination of me trying to rationalize sort of the absurdity of Massachusetts politics and sort of rationalize it through humor.

Do you run the account alone or work with others?

It’s basically just me. Occasionally, I’ll talk with my closest friends and ask for their opinion on tweets. But it’s really me who comes up with everything. I find free time and I’m like, okay, gonna tweet something and for some reason, people think it’s funny.

What else would you say to people who follow he account?

I don’t want people to take it too seriously. It’s not meant to be anything other than good vibes. And if it leads somebody in the direction of reading about an issue that they wouldn’t have otherwise, I think that’s pretty cool.

Officials to vote on school mask mandate authority

The state’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is set to vote on a request from Commissioner Jeff Riley to issue a mask mandate for students and staff in K-12 public schools. The board meets at 10 a.m. in a remote meeting — watch it here.

The mandate, should it be approved, would run through Oct. 1 and apply to students age five and up, staff, and teachers, State House News Service’s Katie Lannan reported at the end of last week. After Oct. 1, schools could lift the mandate for vaccinated students/staff if at least 80 percent of them in that school building have been jabbed.

Riley released the measure on Friday, reports Boston Globe’s Felicia Gans, who notes the purpose of the policy is to encourage students and staff to get vaccinated and institute a uniform standard for the start of the school year. Before the proposal was released, Gov. Charlie Baker had left masking decisions to municipalities.

‘Absolutely legal:’ Healey weighs on executive branch vax mandate

Gov. Charlie Baker’s proof of vaccination requirement for executive branch workers is “absolutely legal,” Attorney General Maura Healey said on GBH radio Monday. GBH’s Zoe Matthews reports that Healey said the mandate accommodates for reasonable medical and religious exemptions. Some unions, including one for correctional officers, have threatened to sue following Baker’s mandate announcement. The move affects 44,000 employees and contractors.

GBH News

The college students are coming

In a few short days, a stream of college students will make their way back to cities like Boston and Worcester as another school year gets underway. And businesses that serve college communities are in store for a sweet boost. In Worcester, Telegram & Gazette’s Nicole Shih reports that local business owners are excited to welcome students back. When colleges and universities shifted to virtual classes, Shih reports, some businesses say they experienced a 70 percent decrease in traffic.

Telegram & Gazette

Retired state police detective was in possession of 5,000 child porn images

Authorities arrested and arraigned a retired State Police detective for allegedly possessing child porn, reports Boston Herald’s Joe Dwinell. The detective was tracked through CyberTipline and was caught with 5,000 images, according to records. Francis Hart is scheduled to appear again in district court on Oct. 22.

Boston Herald

COVID Numbers: 3,335 cases since Friday

Massachusetts state health officials reported 3,335 new COVID cases and four deaths since Friday. Boston Herald’s Rick Sobey has more details.

How do today’s numbers stack up against neighboring states?

Vermont reported 60 new cases, according to the state’s health department.

New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services reported 174 new COVID cases, according to data released Monday.

Maine reported 202 new COVID cases. Here’s their daily dashboard.

Connecticut logged 1,554 COVID cases since Friday, according to the state’s health department.

Rhode Island reported 93 new COVID cases, according to their daily dashboard.

Boston Herald

Back in the game: Lowell to spruce up park in hopes of getting baseball back

Maybe the year after next. The city of Lowell is looking to spruce up LeLacheur Park — which has sat vacant since the start of the pandemic — in the hopes of attracting another minor league baseball team to the city in time for the 2023 season, Alana Melanson of the Lowell Sun reports.

Lowell Sun

Tornado Touchdowns

Three tornados touched down in Marlborough, Bolton, and Stow yesterday, all clocking in at EF-0 which typically have wind speeds of 65 mph to 110 mph, reports MassLive’s Noah R. Bombard. Two tornados were confirmed in the state last week — in Warren and Clinton.

Boston Herald’s Rick Sobey reports the Marlborough tornado touched down west of Interstate 495 close to the Marlboro Water Treatment Center. It then went over a business park and shifted northwest before dissipating. The Bolton tornado caused minor damage between 174 and 198 Main St. The tornado in Stow also caused minor damage near the town’s police department. 


It’s on: Agawam has mayoral contest as challenger with checkered past tosses hat

Local businessman Charles Alvanos formally launched a bid to wrest the Agawam mayor’s office from incumbent William Sapelli, Stephanie Barry of MassLive has all the details. Though new to politics, Alvanos is no stranger to making local headlines, most recently when he threatened to file a criminal complaint against the former town clerk over a verbal confrontation.


Four-legged test: Bristol Sheriff deploys country’s first Covid-sniffing dogs

Cutest Covid test ever. The Bristol County Sheriff’s office says it deployed two new K-9 officers specially trained to sniff out the coronavirus, Kerri Tallman of the Standard-Times reports. Duke and Huntah, both 9-month-old black labs, will visit offices and classrooms in the South Coast area and have already alerted handlers to two cases that were later confirmed by more traditional testing methods.


North End experience at Encore

Could the best Italian food in the Boston area be found outside of the North End? It’s a stretch. But two veteran North End restaurateurs are opening an restaruant at Encore Boston Harbor, reports Boston Business Journal’s Grant Welker reports. The joint, Frank & Nick’s, is slated to open on Sept. 4.

Boston Business Journal

Nowhere to go: Mold shuts down temporary home of Hampden Superior Court trials

They might have overpaid. Temporary Hampden Superior Court facilities set up in the abandoned movie theaters at the Eastfield Mall — for which the county agreed to pay $700,000 to rent for a year to host socially distanced trials — were shuttered Monday after mold was discovered. Stephanie Barry of MassLive reports jurors and staff were sent home after the problem was discovered Monday morning and court officials say they don’t know when operations at the mall might resume.


It’s Gumdrop Day

Looking for something to cheer you up? Here’s an adorable photo of 9-week-old puppy from State House News Service’s Katie Lannan. The puppy highlighted a 2016 press conference where Gov. Charlie Baker signed a law seeking to protect pets from extreme temperatures in cars.


Today’s Headlines


Janey’s first TV ad starts airing Tuesday – Dorchester Reporter

Cambridge grew far faster than Massachusetts, Census data shows, powered by people of color – Cambridge Day


Masks go on in Salem – Salem News

Marlborough manufacturing building sells for $7M, marking a 20% price increase in two years – Worcester Business Journal

Lawyers On Both Sides Recommend Sanctions For 3 Ex-Assistant AGs In Drug Lab Scandal – WBUR

MGM Springfield seeks brighter future at 3rd year anniversary, undeterred by pandemic – MassLive


Biden administration asks Supreme Court to save eviction moratorium – Washington Post

Jan. 6 investigation will seek phone records related to attack, including lawmakers – Politico

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