9:30 a.m. | Gov. Healey speaks at the opening of the Massachusetts Building at The Big E. Lt. Gov. Driscoll, Secretary Tepper, Undersecretary of Economic Strategies Sarah Stanton, MDAR Commissioner Ashley Randle, Rural Affairs Director Anne Gobi, MOTT Director Katie Fox, DCR Commissioner Arrigo and other officials participate. At the Big E/Eastern States Exposition, 1761 Memorial Ave., West Springfield
10 a.m. | Rep. Jeff Roy chairs a hearing of the House side of the Joint Committee on Telecommunication, Utilities and Energy. The docket includes bills that touch upon grid modernization, green financing, environmental justice and competitive supply.
11 a.m. | Supporters of a proposal that would allow Uber and Lyft drivers to unionize host a legislative briefing to update lawmakers on their campaign. State House, Room 428
3:00 | Sen. Marc Pacheco and other members of the Legislature who signed onto a letter to the White House and Congress urging federal action on immigration reform hold a press conference. Senate Reading Room | Virtual
6:00 | Irish Cultural Centre of Greater Boston will host its inaugural Brian J. Donnelly Award for Public Service which will honor former Rep. James Brett, the president of the New England Council, for his commitment to service in Massachusetts.
It can’t be any fun to want to be a loyal backer of President Biden, only to look at the ground and realize you are standing on quicksand. Such has been the situation of Gov. Healey, who is watching the migrant crisis suck the oxygen out of her administration, and whose primary option is to complain. Then complain louder. All while shouldering concerns from the Legislature about the escalating costs and pushback on her recent $250 million request.
But late last night we learned the Biden administration felt the pressure (especially from New York City Mayor Eric Adams), and did the thing Healey wants most, provide temporary legal status to many migrants to help them migrate into the economy (and leave the shelters). Some 470,000 Venezuelans will qualify for 18-month work permits, according to the Washington Post. Venezuelans make up a significant percentage of the recent arrivals, reportedly some 60,000 in New York City alone.
And now perhaps there’s legit hope for financial assistance from the Feds as well. On that front Healey has continued to ratchet up the rhetoric. Concerning the lack of federal financial support: “It is the direct failure of the federal government,” she told WBUR yesterday. But she will not turn her back on the newcomers, much to her credit, as she continues to balance doing the right thing with having the resources and political support to do the right thing.
State agencies will have role — and funding — in new CDC outbreak center
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s five-year plan to invest more than $250 million in federal funds to create a national detection and warning system for infectious disease outbreaks will underwrite research at Northeastern University and UMass and includes funding to help the Mass. DPH coordinate those efforts, the Globe’s Felicia Freyer reports.
Tobin’s days may be numbered
Well, likely a big number but still numbered. The Tobin Bridge, where tolls rise, traffic stalls and work crews seem to spend lifetimes doing repairs, may be entering its final years. State officials are inviting proposals to replace the structure that connects Boston to Chelsea.
State DPH doing checkups on local migrant shelter sites
The state Department of Public Health recently reached out to local boards of health to inform them state officials or state vendors are visiting sites where numerous migrants are temporarily residing. State officials have issued notices to cities and towns informing them the teams are working to update vaccinations for migrants and reminding them of the need to enroll school-age migrants in public schools.
Dana Farber’s move away from Brigham will have ramifications for patients
The breakup of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute five years from now is likely to create some difficult decisions for cancer patients whose care often involves specialists in disciplines other than oncology. For some patients, the Globe reports, this will be tricky.
Schools expel mobile phones. An abuse of power (or common sense)?
School officials in Salem and around the state are turning to a variety of approaches to reduce or even eliminate student use of mobile phones during the day. At Salem High School, students must place their mobile devices in bags that can only be unlocked with special devices that are available in the cafeteria and when exiting the building.
After layoffs, BU announces inquiry into anti-racism research center
Boston University says it will conduct an ‘inquiry’ into Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s Center for Antiracist Research amid questions about the finances and culture of the institution founded by the author and activist in 2020.
No takers? Harvard Medical School dangles naming rights — for $1 billion
The naming rights for Harvard Medical School could be had in exchange for an unrestricted donation of $1 billion, Miles Herszenhorn and Claire Yuan report in the Crimson. The price was likely set a decade ago, when the Harvard Corporation cleared the way for some of its institutions to be renamed after major benefactors.
Healey ‘reviewing’ Leominster maternity unit closure planned for Saturday
Gov. Maura Healey is aware of and ‘reviewing’ the planned closure of UMass Memorial Health’s Leominster maternity unit, her office said Wednesday, leaving the door open to the possibility she could respond to calls from elected officials for her to use her executive authority to halt the shutdown scheduled for Saturday.
Eight is enough: Holyoke School Committee wants to end state receivership
The Holyoke School Committee has formally moved to ask Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley to return the city’s schools to local control after more than eight years under state receivership. Sophie Hauck of the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports the district’s argument will focus on improvements in graduation rates and other metrics.
Want some money? Check your closet
A New Hampshire woman recently fetched from her closet a painting she had purchased a half-dozen years ago at a Savers store and took the artwork to an appraiser. It turned out that for her $4, she had snagged an original painting by N.C. Wyeth. The artwork recently sold at auction for around $150,000 per-commission.
Union vote at Beverly Starbucks in dispute
Union organizers say employees at a Beverly Starbucks have voted, albeit narrowly, to unionize but the shop’s owners say the outcome of the election is still in dispute. Paul Leighton of the Salem News has the details.
Of course we read it: Gisele on Gisele
The Boston Globe wins today’s clickbait prize with a story on supermodel Gisele Bundchen’s interview with People magazine (yes, a story about a story). Three takeaways: She lives with her kids in a 1,500 square foot home; and yet she bought a horse farm for her daughter, Vivian, who is “obsessed” with riding; and she gave up alcohol, offering this quote: “If you want to ask of your body what I ask of my body, which is a lot, I can’t be having all these things (alcohol, caffeine) because they add up.”