Window Into The State House

  Report: Blacks made up 70 percent of stops in Boston’s version of ‘stop and frisk’       More evidence that not everyone is treated equally when it comes to policing. From Isaiah Thompson at WGBH: “Seventy percent of people stopped by Boston Police officers through the department’s ‘Field Interrogation and Observation’ program throughout most of last year were black — even though black residents comprise less than one quarter of the city’s population.” Such “field interrogations” are known elsewhere as “stop-and-frisk,” as Thomspon reports.
  WBZ suspends ‘Phantom Gourmet’ after host Dave Andelman mocks protests   Dave Andelman, CEO and host of the Phantom Gourmet show (and co-owner of the Mendon Twin Drive-In Theater), was apologizing over the weekend for a series of ugly social-media posts mocking recent Black Lives Matter protests and protesters, report Universal Hub and MassLive. But his apologies were not enough for WBZ, which has announced it’s put Andelman’s TV show on “hiatus pending further review.” Read Andelman’s remarks at UH and MassLive. They’re monumentally stupid and immature, not to mention insensitive and offensive to many.  
  Some Dems are getting mighty nervous about all the ‘defunding’ talk   The Globe’s Jess Bidgood and a Herald wire story both report on how some Democrats are getting nervous about the general talk of “defunding” police departments heading into the fall presidential and Congressional elections. Meanwhile, state Rep. Carlos González, chair of the Black and Latino Legislative Caucus on Beacon Hill, is “calling for police reform — including independent investigations of police — but says calls to defund the police go too far,” reports Derek Anderson and Sharon Brody at WBUR. ” But that’s not what Mariame Kaba is saying in an opinion piece at the NYT: “Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police.”  
  Is a Lincoln statue next to fall?   Thousands of people have signed a petition asking that a Park Square statue of Abraham Lincoln standing over a freed slave be removed – and Mayor Marty Walsh says he favors the removal, reports the Globe’s Meghan Irons and the AP and WBUR. Before getting upset that protesters are now going after the “Great Emancipator,” take a look at the photo of the statue accompanying both stories. It’s more than a little cringe worthy and patronizing (for lack of other words) toward Blacks, as if Lincoln is almost blessing the slave in a god-like fashion. We have a radical solution: Remove the statue and replace it with a new statue of … Abraham Lincoln, a president who undeniably helped end slavery and save American democracy. Or is this too radical of an idea? Btw: The Globe’s Jeff Jacoby has a column on the “rights and wrongs” of statue toppling in general. And, btw II, the Herald’s Erin Tiernan reports that a North End group says the Columbus statue that was beheaded the other day will be indeed returning to the neighborhood, based on an alleged agreement with the mayor. We’ll see.  
  Popovich calls Kraft and other NFL owners ‘hypocritical’ for supporting Trump during push for social change   It’s not the type of headline Bob Kraft likes to see. From CBS Boston: “San Antonio Spurs heads coach Gregg Popovich said NFL owners, including New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, are ‘hypocritical’ during their push for social change because of their past support of President Donald Trump.” Popovich made the comments to the NYT’s Maureen Dowd.  
  Warren makes it to Biden’s final VP round   The good news for U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren: She’s apparently made it to the final round of Joe Biden’s vice-presidential candidate sweepstakes. The bad news: The final round now includes even more VP candidates under consideration by Biden’s campaign, report the NYT and Washington Post. The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld thinks picking Warren as his VP running mate would be a disaster for the Dem ticket this fall.   
  Can a governor really declare an indefinite state of emergency?   Yet another lawsuit has been filed challenging Gov. Charlie Baker’s emergency powers during the current pandemic, specifically his order that people wear protective face masks, reports Universal Hub. Writing at CommonWealth, Lawrence Friedman, who teaches law at New England Law/Boston, argues that at least one of the legal challenges to the governor’s emergency powers is likely to fail. But the Globe’s Matt Stout raises an interesting issue: Are states of emergency really supposed to last months on end, possibly even more than a year or even 18 months? We’ve now entered the fourth month of the governor’s declaration of a state of emergency – and the governor has given no set deadline about when the emergency might end.  
  Restaurants vs retail shops: How outdoor dining helps one but not the other   David Beinick at WCVB reports that restaurants may be thrilled that cities and towns are partially or fulling closing streets to allow restaurants to offer outdoor dining during the pandemic. But local retail shops, at least in Belmont, are not so thrilled. Beinick explains. Btw: Jon Hurst at the Retailers Association of Massachusetts is reiterating that as many as 30 percent of small retailers may not reopen ever again because of the recent economic downturn, reports Shira Schoenberg at CommonWealth magazine.  
  It’s back: Traffic As the state economy begins to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic, something else is returning to normal in Greater Boston: Traffic. And we’re talking old-fashioned Southeast Expressway logjams, etc. The Globe’s Adam Vaccaro has the details.  
  Worse than Snowmageddon? Taxpayers group says T truly on the ropes   It’s even worse than the worst winter ever. The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation says the MBTA is in danger of being dragged down by a budget crisis once federal bailout funds run out, Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth Magazine reports. The group says things are even worse than in 2015, when a disastrous winter prompted the creation of the T’s Fiscal and Management Control Board.