Daily Dose of Bass & Han - Thursday, July 23, 2020
By Adam Bass and Jessy Han
GOOD MORNING, MASSACHUSETTS!
Welcome back to another edition of Daily Dose of Bass & Han on this Thursday morning. The weather today won't be so terrific with thunderstorms moving through but at least we have a beautiful weekend to look forward to.
— THE MASSACHUSETTS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES continues debate on the police reform bill starting at 11 AM.
— Attorney General Maura Healey and Representative Katherine Clark hold a virtual conversation on child care at 3:30 PM. Watch here.
— Representative Lori Trahan holds a tele-town hall with Dr. Ashish Jha, Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, and Lawrence Superintendent Cynthia Paris at 4 PM. RSVP here.
— BIG DAY FOR LINOS: 4th congressional district candidate Dr. Natalia Linos holds a conversation on racial justice at 5:30 PM with Dr. Sharrelle Barber and Dr. Zinzi Bailey; a virtual meet-and-greet at 6:30 PM; an education town hall joined by Dr. Michael Walker-Jones and former candidate Nick Matthew, who works as a teacher, at 7:30 PM. More information.
— Senator Ed Markey holds a roundtable discussion with ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome) advocates at 7:30 PM. Watch here.
— AFTER SEVERAL MONTHS, Senator Ed Markey has released his first TV ad in the U.S. Senate primary. The ad, entitled "Streets," features Markey discussing his legislative work while walking the streets of Malden and reminding those watching to "remember where you come from." The initial buy is $345,000 for five days, the campaign told the Globe. The ad.
— MORSE, NEAL TRADE BARBS: Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse launched his first ad in his campaign against Representative Richard Neal in the 1st congressional district. In the ad, Morse discusses his late brother's struggle with addiction and accused Neal of fighting for drug companies in Washington. A spokeswoman for the Neal campaign told the Globe, “Addiction and loss are not political footballs and invoking the loss of a family member in an attack full of lies is despicable and appalling.” The ad.
— IN THE FOURTH DISTRICT, candidate Alan Khazei released his second television ad on Wednesday morning entitled, "People Before Politics." The ad highlights Khazei's work for AmeriCorps and the founding of CityYear, saying that through his leadership, young Americans gained 1.1 million jobs. The ad.
— ALSO IN THE FOURTH DISTRICT, candidate Jesse Mermell gained another big name endorsement on Wednesday from the National Women's Political Caucus. This group supported many elected female Massachusetts leaders ranging from Senator Elizabeth Warren to Representative Ayanna Pressley.
COVID IN THE COMMONWEALTH
— "Massachusetts reports 18 new coronavirus deaths, 192 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday," by Tanner Stening, MassLive.com: "Massachusetts health officials reported another 18 coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, bringing the statewide total to 8,249. Officials also confirmed another 192 cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide tally to at least 107,413. That’s based on 10,786 new molecular tests reported on Wednesday, according to the Department of Public Health."
AROUND CHARLIE'S CORNER
— THE PANDEMIC PURSE: Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito announced the distribution of $3 million to "fund investments in technology, equipment, increased capacity, and other assistance to help producers distribute food, especially to food insecure communities." The governor made the announcement at The Salvation Army facility in Lynn which like many aid groups nationwide has seen a noticeable uptick in mouths to feed during the pandemic.
— SERIOUSLY, PEOPLE?: "Massachusetts landlords trying to overturn Charlie Baker’s eviction ban amid coronavirus," by Rick Sobey, The Boston Herald: "Massachusetts landlords in need of rent payments are hoping a federal judge will soon end the state’s eviction ban amid the coronavirus pandemic, a lawyer representing property owners tells the Herald.
Landlords in a federal lawsuit in Boston’s U.S. District Court are arguing that the eviction moratorium is unconstitutional, said attorney Richard Vetstein, lead counsel for the property owners."
— IN A 83-76 VOTE, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed an amendment to the police reform bill, banning no-knock warrants in households with children or seniors. The amendment, filed by Representative Liz Miranda of Suffolk's 5th district, is seen as a priority by activists as no-knock warrants were used in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor.
"This is a Battle. It’s clear that every amendment today is going to be a fight. An amendment to ensure kids and elders aren’t home during no knocks (our kids and nanas) narrowly passed. The closer the game, the sweeter the victory. I’m here to fight, tho. So it’s all good." - Rep. Miranda
— "Health Care Workers Join The Police Reform Debate In Mass.," by Deborah Becker, WBUR News: "Some health care providers and public health officials are weighing in on the police reform debate. Both a state and national effort are underway seeking changes in policing because the organizers say it's a public health issue.
As the Massachusetts House began debate on a policing reform bill Wednesday, a group of more than 400 public health officials sent a letter asking lawmakers to approve specific parts of the bill, such as eliminating qualified immunity, which protects police from lawsuits alleging misconduct. The letter also supports a ban on the use of chokeholds and tear gas, and barring the use of facial recognition technology."
— NO VACATION?: "Mass. Legislative Leaders Consider Extending Session," by Katie Lannan, State House News Service: "With nine days remaining in the pandemic-disrupted legislative season and several major items still unresolved, Senate and House leaders have had some conversations about continuing past their traditional end-of-July deadline to continue deliberations on weighty bills."
ON MAURA'S MIND
— "Feds Still Blocking Visas For Online Studies, States Say," by Brian Dowling, Law360: "The Trump administration has not yet followed through on its promise to drop a policy barring foreign students from the U.S. if their colleges go fully online during the COVID-19 pandemic, states suing to block the directive told a federal judge Tuesday.
As recently as Tuesday — a week after the government pledged to rescind the directive — the federal government was denying or putting on hold student visa applications that lacked evidence of in-person instruction, according to a status report filed by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey."
— HEALEY SPLITS BABY ON QUALIFIED IMMUNITY: "Maura Healey On Qualified Immunity: Public Employees Can't Be 'Paralyzed,' But Reform Is Needed," by Zoe Mathews, WGBH News: "With a little over a week left in the Massachusetts legislative session, the House and Senate have released separate bills to address police reform that take different stances on qualified immunity, the policy that shields public employees — including police officers — from being held liable for wrongdoing.
Attorney General Maura Healey told Boston Public Radio on Wednesday she supports some form of qualified immunity reform."
THE STATE OF EDUCATION
— "Fear and trepidation as teachers contemplate returning to class," by Shira Schoenberg, CommonWealth Magazine: "As schools plan for fall with the continued presence of the coronavirus, teachers will be on the front lines. They are the ones who must spend all day in the classroom with students – often multiple groups of students – and due to their age, teachers likely face more risk than their students of getting sick with COVID-19.
In interviews with 10 teachers from across Massachusetts, virtually all said they felt worried and conflicted. While they miss teaching in person, many doubted whether the classroom would be a safe place, even with health and safety guidelines being developed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. They worried for their own safety and that of their students. And at the same time, most teachers acknowledged that remote teaching also has pitfalls, and there is no perfect solution."
— "UMass Amherst reopening plan draws sharp criticism from town officials, residents," by Deirdre Fernandes, The Boston Globe: "In a sharply worded letter to UMass Amherst chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, Amherst Town Manager Paul Bockelman warned that the flagship public university’s decision to hold most classes online but invite students to return to campus could be dangerous. The university failed to consider the public health risks posed by students living off-campus and the impact its reopening plans will have on a community that had boasted among the lowest coronavirus infection rates in Massachusetts, Bockelman wrote on July 10."
— "Boston tentatively plans ‘hybrid’ approach for fall," by Bianca Vázquez Toness, The Boston Globe: "Students in Boston will likely attend school in-person a couple of days a week this fall on a rotating basis. On the days they didn’t attend brick-and-mortar classes, they would learn from home, said Tammy Pust, a senior adviser to Boston’s superintendent of schools."
— EDUCATIONAL INEQUALITY: "Nearly a dozen Massachusetts districts faulted for asking parents to sign away special education rights," by Bianca Vázquez Toness and Naomi Martin, The Boston Globe: "Now, the state says Granby and at least 10 other Massachusetts school districts, including Beverly, Malden, and Norfolk, violated state and federal special education laws by asking parents this spring to absolve school districts of key special education responsibilities, including, in some cases, the provision of vital services (such as speech therapy and one-on-one reading help), and, in others, the requirement to follow a strict timeline governing how quickly a child must be assessed for a disability and provided an instruction plan."
WHAT WE’RE READING
— "A Black 14-year-old offered a stranger a doughnut. He was bombarded with racial slurs," by Jeremy C. Fox, The Boston Globe: "Peter Osazuwa had received extra doughnuts last week as an apology for an incorrect order from Dunkin’ Donuts, so the 14-year-old went to the center of Newburyport to share the treats with some friends.
But they had leftovers, and Peter offered one to a stranger on the street, his mother said. The passerby, a white man, flew into a tirade against the Black teenager, bombarding him with racial slurs.
'He was asking him, ‘Do you want a doughnut?‘ and he went off,' Adama Barry, the teenager’s mother, said in an interview Tuesday. 'The guy started yelling, using the n-word on him.'"
— "‘It was a near-death situation’: Mother recounts rescue of daughter buried in sand on Chatham beach," by Caroline Enos, The Boston Globe: "A 15-year-old girl was rescued after a hole she dug on a beach in Chatham Sunday collapsed around her, trapping her in wet, heavy sand.
'I’ve lived on Cape Cod for 23 years and I’ve been a boater the entire time. It just didn’t cross my mind that this could happen,' said the girl’s mother, Heidi Filmer-Gallagher, of Brewster. 'It was a near-death situation for her and I’ve had a really hard time the last two days.'"
— WHAT COULD'VE BEEN: Former Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts signed a 12-year, $365 million extension with his new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Betts, 27, is now under contract through age 39.
— WHAT IS: "QB Cam Newton arrives in Boston ‘ecstatic’ to be playing with Patriots," by Brynne Connolly and Nathalie Pozo, WHDH: "New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton touched down at Boston Logan Airport around 7 p.m. Wednesday telling 7NEWS he is 'ecstatic' to be playing with the team this season.
Did the home teams play yesterday? Yes, but not really. The Red Sox faced the Toronto Blue Jays in spring training but the ballgame was called after 4.5 innings. The next time the Red Sox play will be for real as the team holds its first-ever fanless home opener against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday at 7:30 PM.