Window Into The Statehouse

Tensions high in cities across state; Worcester riot police fire rubber bullets and tear gas at post-protest crowd   It was another day of peaceful protests, followed by nighttime violence, this time in Worcester, where late last evening riot police “fired multiple rounds of rubber bullets and tear gas into the crowd of about 70 people” who stuck around hours after a peaceful protest ended in the city’s downtown, reports Tom Matthews at MassLive (you have to scroll down to the full police-response part). From the Telegram: “Worcester Police make arrests after protest.” Meanwhile, elsewhere across the state, starting with MassLive: “Northampton march sees tensions rise as police and protesters clash, but ends in a show of unity.” … From the Standard Times: “More aggressive second day New Bedford demonstration blocks bridge and occupies streets.” … From the Martha’s Vineyard Times: “Vigil ends in violence” … From the MetroWest Daily News: “Police respond to social media threats of Natick Mall looting.” And from Rhode Island, via the Globe: “Protesters converge in Providence overnight, looting stores and setting a police car on fire.” But things were calm in Boston last night, “save for a heavy presence of police and the Massachusetts National Guard,” the Globe reports.  
  Baker calls out Trump for ‘incendiary’ rhetoric   Gov. Charlie Baker is no fan of Donald Trump and yet has largely toned down the rhetoric against him over the past three years. He wasn’t toning it down much yesterday, calling the president’s recent remarks on street protests and violence “incendiary” and driven by “bitterness” and “self-interest.” And he added: “When the country needed compassion and leadership the most, it was simply nowhere to be found.” The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld, MassLive’s Benjamin Kail and WCVB have more on Baker’s strong and emotional response to the president’s comments of late.  
  Other reactions: Walsh on ‘attack on our city,’ Rollins on ‘burning rage,’ Pressley calls for peaceful activism and condemnation of police brutality   Across the political spectrum yesterday, there seemed to be a clear consensus among city and state leaders in Massachusetts: Praising the numerous peaceful demonstrations attended by thousands of people over the death of George Floyd – and blasting the violence of a few over the weekend. Here’s a sampling of some of the headlines. From WGBH: “Mayor Marty Walsh: Violence After Boston Protests ‘An Attack On Our City And Its People.’” … From Universal Hub: “Walsh and Gross say they’re not going to let violent outsiders ruin Boston; Rollins says rampagers will be prosecuted, but tells whites that black rage is real.” … From WGBH: “Rep. Ayanna Pressley Calls For Focus To Remain On Peaceful Activism, Passing Legislation That Condemns Police Brutality.”  
  Feds threaten to charge some of those arrested in Boston   WCVB reports that Boston police have released the names of the 53 people arrested during Sunday night’s violence, looting and rioting in Boston. Fyi: By our quick count, a majority of the 53 are out-of-towners. Meanwhile, U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling is rattling his legal sword, threatening to press federal charges against some of the accused and praising law enforcement officials. “I support them (police) completely and, if needed, I will use federal charges to make that point,” he said, reports   
  Child care centers and summer camp could soon reopen — with lots of restrictions   From SHNS’s Colin A. Young: “Child care centers, summer camps and youth programs could be allowed to reopen as soon as next week under executive orders Gov. Charlie Baker issued Monday alongside more specific guidelines that businesses in the second wave of reopenings will have to follow.” So what are some of the child-care conditions? From CommonWealth magazine’s Shira Schoenberg: “Children returning to daycare will no longer be encouraged to play together. Caregivers will wear face coverings. Public playgrounds will be off limits. Class sizes will be smaller.”  
  Loved ones can now visit nursing home residents – also with lots of restrictions   WBUR’s Mariam Wasser reports that the Baker administration is lifting the ban on visitors at the state’s battered nursing homes, starting tomorrow. But visits by loved ones must be scheduled in advance – and take place in designated outdoor areas. Other restrictions apply as well, as Wasser explains.  
  Legislative committee gives bi-partisan approval to expanded voting-by-mail bill   SHNS’s Chris Lisinski reports that the Election Laws Committee yesterday voted 14-0 to endorse a bill that would expand voting-by-mail in this fall’s primary and general elections, with two Republicans voting in favor. But three lawmakers – two Democrats and one Republican – neither supported nor opposed the bill.  
  Take your pick: BU gives students a choice between online and in-person classes this fall   An obvious solution to the dilemma facing higher-ed institutions this fall? From the Globe’s Deirdre Fernandes: “Boston University will give its more than 18,000 undergraduate students the choice of in-person and online classes when it reopens the campus this fall. On Monday, BU officials said they would offer this hybrid teaching model for students who can’t make it to campus and to meet social distancing guidelines.”  
  Soft restart: Offices reopen, but workers stay away   Open, but still empty. On the first day that offices in Boston were allowed to welcome employees back, the city’s core business district remained all but shut down as pandemic-wary workers chose to continue their new work-at-home routines, Jon Chesto and Anissa Gardizy at the Globe report. Tom Reilly of the Sun Chronicle rode the train from Attleboro to Boston and found a commute that resembles the peak of the pandemic shutdown more than a typical hectic Monday morning.  
  They’re back: Police say criminal activity on the rise again, creating future court backlog   After a deep lull at the start of coronavirus lockdown, criminal activity is making a comeback in Bristol County and District Attorney Thomas Quinn III warns the area’s courts are accumulating a daunting backlog of cases, Curt Brown at the Standard-Times reports.