Boston Public Schools delivered roughly 30,000 new Chromebooks to students at the outset of the pandemic. (BPS/Photo)

Happening Today:

11:30 a.m. | Gov. Maura Healey kicks off Earth Week by planting trees in Malden with local youth as part of the Greening the Gateway Cities program. | Ferryway School, 150 Cross Street, Malden

Noon | MBTA seeks new workers at the UMass Dartmouth Career Fair as the transit agency confronts crippling staffing shortages limiting bus and subway service. The T is offering a $7,500 sign-on bonus for a range of positions. | UMass Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Road, Dartmouth

Noon | Former U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Carmen Ortiz speaks about her experience as the lead prosecutor in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the Boston Marathon bombers who attacked civilians at the marathon 10 years ago. | State Library, State House Room 341

12:30 p.m. | U.S. PIRG Education Fund releases a new report on "Chromebook Churn," or short-lived laptops in schools. | Outside the front entrance of Google Cambridge, 150 Broadway, Cambridge

Planned obsolescence in electronics like cell phones and laptops is more than just a headache for consumers: it’s a “triple-whammy of bad news” that’s costing taxpayers millions, packing landfills and protecting companies from corporate responsibility, says MassPIRG Executive Director Janet Domenitz.

The average iPhone lasts three to five years before trade-in, according to Apple. For Chromebooks, Google puts the life expectancy at around four years.

It’s become a problem in public school districts around the nation that have relied more heavily on technology since the pandemic, a new U.S. PIRG report due out Tuesday will detail.

MassPIRG shared a few findings from the report exclusively with MASSterList including the potential to save Massachusetts schools $34 million if Google doubled the life of Chromebooks from four to eight years — assuming no additional maintenance costs, data show.

The move would also slash emissions equivalent to taking 17,000 cars off the road for a year, report author Lucas Gutterman of MassPIRG, told MASSterList.

The more than 31 million Google Chromebooks sold globally in the first year of the pandemic represent approximately 8.9 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the report finds.

The full report will be released at 12:30 p.m. at a rally in front of Google’s Cambridge office near Kendall Square. The report will also be available on U.S. PIRG’s resources page

Google has the power to “lighten the load” for struggling schools paying $250 to $300 per laptop as well as cut down on toxic electronic waste by increasing the lifespan of devices, Gutterman said.

The so-called Chromebook churn is “an egregious example” of what happens when electronics are built to deteriorate too quickly, said Domenitz.

The advocacy organization is working with Sen. Michael Brady of Brockton and Rep. Adrian Madaro of East Boston on a digital right-to-repair bill (S.142/H.360) that would help extend the lifespan of much-needed electronic devices like cell phones and laptops by requiring tech companies to make parts and instruction manuals available to the public.

It’s the fourth time the bill will come before lawmakers, but Brady tells MASSterList he’s hopeful it will finally see success after he “narrowed the bill” to eliminate medical technology and gained more support from colleagues.

Most electronics are “designed to be disposable,” says David Webb, a technology repairman who owns Hamilton Computer Repairs in Worcester. Electronics companies aren’t required to provide parts or even repair manuals for products, meaning it’s often easier and cheaper to replace entire items than try to fix them.

“This bill would help us move away from planned obsolescence to a culture of repairability,” Webb told MASSterList.

Google last year followed companies Apple, Samsung and more to make parts for some devices more accessible to consumers for common repairs, but advocates at MassPIRG and elsewhere say big tech’s efforts so far haven’t gone far enough.

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MBTA watch 🚇

Days since the last derailment, fire, crash, falling debris, or critical incident: 0

Days with localized speed restrictions: 39

Days without “normal” weekday subway service: 300

On Jan. 5, Gov. Healey pledged to hire a new MBTA Transportation Safety Chief within 60 days. It has now been 104 days without the position being filled.

The winners are in: Boston Marathon wraps up after successful race day

It was a sweep for Kenya after defending Boston Marathon champion Evans Chebet left world-record holder and this year’s favorite Eliud Kipchoge behind on Heartbreak Hill to win the men’s title on Monday. Two-time Olympic silver medalist Hellen Obiri won the women’s race.

AP News | The Boston Globe

Universal Hub has the details on the fastest man, woman and non-binary runners from Boston.

Universal Hub

Marathoners reflect on bombing tragedy 10 years later

Friends and family members of Martin Richard, who was just 8 years old when he was killed after two bombs detonated at the Boston Marathon finish line on April 15, 2013, were among the thousands of people who crossed the finish line on Boylston Street Monday, reports WHDH. Martin’s brother, Henry, ran alongside several friends with the family’s MR-8 Foundation, which was 50-strong this year.


On your mark, get set, wait: T strands exhausted runners on Marathon Monday

Signs held by spectators along the Boston Marathon race routes telling racers “You’re faster than the T!” took on new meaning on Monday afternoon when the Green Line terminated Green Line service at Arlington, leading to delays on one of the city’s busiest days of the year. Some riders were stranded for around 90 minutes as the MBTA worked to remove the stranded trolley car.

The Boston Herald

Filing anxiety: Tax day is today

Tuesday is the deadline to pay your taxes this year. For the procrastinators out there, Irene Rotondo of MassLive checked in with the IRS to find out exactly how late taxpayers can push their filings. Electronic filing cuts off around 11:45 p.m., a spokesman said.


Incoming: Trump scheduled for campaign stop next week 

Donald Trump isn’t letting anything so small as a trial into hush-money allegations and several ongoing investigations into his conduct during and after becoming president slow down his campaign for 2024, writes Matthew Medsger for the Boston Herald. The former commander-in-chief has announced a trip to New Hampshire next week.

The Boston Herald

Healey gets good grades and help from fellow Dems

Three months into the job, Gov. Maura Healey is getting help from her fellow Democrats on Beacon Hill, making more headway on things like tax relief than her predecessor who tried before her, writes a two-reporter team at The Globe.

The Boston Globe

Playing the long game: NH governor presses GOP, Fox News to break out of ‘echo chamber’

In a speech about attracting independents and young people to the Republican Party, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu urged Fox News to break out of its “echo chamber,” reports David Folkenflik for NPR. It could help Republicans attract more independents and young people, he said during his speech at the Republican National Committee’s spring retreat in Tennessee last weekend.


Medford couple’s bodies found in bins in Boston storage unit, 1 in custody

It’s a scene straight out of a horror movie: The bodies of a married couple missing for two weeks turn up in bins — one partially dismembered — in a Boston storage unit.  Kiryl Schukin and Pavel Vekshin were last seen in Medford. A man who knew them has been arrested in the killings and is facing a murder charge, report Erin Logan and Asher Klein for NBC Boston. Leonid Volkov, who’s charged in the killings, is due in court Tuesday.

NBC Boston

Poll: People are using the T more, but they’re not happy about it

MBTA riders are hopping on the T more often, but overwhelmingly give the transit system poor grades in a new Boston Business Journal-Seven Letter poll. Two-thirds of commuters gave the T’s four main subway lines either a grade of D or F. Only one out of four respondents considered the public-transit system reliable.

Boston Business Journal

Multi-tasker: College freshman is also mayoral candidate in Woburn 

Northeastern University freshman Omar Mohuddin hopes to become the state’s youngest mayor by unseating six-term incumbent Scott Galvin in his hometown of Woburn later this year. MassLive’s Alvin Buyinza explores how the 19-year-old’s bid was inspired by an even younger person’s successful run for office.


Former selectman among those targeted with anti-gay slurs in Somerset restaurant

Former Dighton Selectman Brett Zografos was among a group of people targeted with an onslaught of anti-gay slurs in a Somerset restaurant over the weekend, Dan Medeiros of the Herald-News reports. The incident comes amid rising attacks nationally on the LGBTQ+ community and as the SouthCoast region has grappled with book-banning efforts in Dighton and disrupted drag story hours in Taunton.

Fall River Herald News

As goes Vail: Provincetown housing program hopes to duplicate resort town’s success

Walker Armstrong of the Boston University Statehouse Program digs into the details of the Town Meeting-approved program that would have Provincetown homeowners sell deed restrictions to the city in return for a promise to keep the home occupied year-round. The Colorado ski town of Vail has used the program to create more workforce housing — and help minimize the negative impacts of more housing units being used exclusively as short-term rentals. 

Cape Cod Times

Thinking small: Amherst eyes tiny homes to counter housing crunch

Meanwhile, the Amherst Municipal Affordable Housing Trust is exploring whether tiny home villages could become part of their efforts to make housing more affordable. Scott Merzbach of the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports the town could follow the lead of fellow college town Dover, N.H., where work is underway on a village-style cluster of affordable homes under 400 square feet in total living space.

Daily Hampshire Gazette

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Erin Tiernan was a Editor and Author of MASSterList