The Sheriff of Nottingham

Saturday. April showers. Today’s word is purloin.

SpaceX has a contract to go to the moon. One of these days, Elon, one of these days.

William Galvin wants to take away your Robinhood account. Apparently he doesn’t like the confetti. Galvin wants to revoke the company’s broker-dealer license in Massachusetts, citing the ease in which it allows people to trade. Robinhood shot back with a lawsuit calling Galvin an “elitist,” and saying that his actions reflect “the old way of thinking.” I’m rooting for Robinhood on this one.

A new tool in Google Earth, called Timelapse, allows you to see how the world changes over time. In their promotional video you can see how the sand banks of Chatham shift and flow with the currents.

Rumours have been circulating for the past few days that Rachael Rollins is leaving the DA’s office and that a Boston city councillor has been tapped by Charlie Baker to take over as Suffolk County District Attorney. Then there’s this strange Trump-like tweet from Rollins. Who said local politics is boring? Inscrutable, sometimes, but never boring.

And at the end of the day, there’s nothing like a nice hot cup of cocoa. Have two, or three, or five.

Sword of Damocles

A rainy Friday. Of course.

It’s a Segway that goes 93 mph. Looks pretty cool, too.

Some Massachusetts businesses worked hard to avoid laying off workers during the pandemic. But now, a much higher than expected federally mandated unemployment fee is putting some of those businesses into a situation where they may have to lay off workers just to be able to afford the unemployment fee. It’s a crazy situation. Jon Chesto reports that the Governor’s office is pushing the payment deadline back, but only by about a month.

Another day, another mass shooting. Here’s a list in case you’re counting.

Reagan National Airport was always weird but it seemed to work surprisingly well. I’m concerned that’s going to change. Previously, you could jump on the Metro downtown and be through security and at your gate within 40 minutes. (Then, once there, you had to deal with the crowds, lack of places to sit and flight delays, etc. But still.) The new layout might make things better – or worse. We shall see.

And Adrian Higgins encourages us to plant a tree, particularly an oak tree. Add water and wait.

The real world

Today is Thursday. April 15th.

Substack local. I’m very interested is seeing how this turns out.

Kim Janey is in charge now and the annual budget that she’s presenting to her former colleagues in the City Council reflects the realities of being mayor and running a city. That sets up a conflict with some members of the council who take a more rhetorical or aspirational approach to how they see government working. It doesn’t help that some are campaigning in place for her job. I give Janey credit for standing up to unrealistic expectations.

A Dixie cup is something you drink water out of. A Hoodsie cup is ice cream. Why is this even a question?

Defund the police or defang the gangs?” Commonwealth Magazine has a brief discussion of the complicated issue of police reform in today’s highly charged political environment. But the bottom line is that defunding the police is like throwing away the baby with the bathwater. Here’s a key takeaway: “Asked whether regular police patrols in their community would make them feel more safe or less safe, 65 percent of black respondents said more safe, while only 22 percent said less safe. There was a bigger gap among white respondents, with 81 percent saying regular patrols would make them feel more safe and only 10 percent saying less safe. But the broad message seemed to be that Americans want better policing aimed at real public safety dangers in their community.”

And the FBI is reaching into privately owned Exchange servers around the country to remove malicious code. They have court approval to do so but it’s still kind of a big deal.

Non-nuclear explosion

Wednesday. Today is the day Lincoln was shot.

People are flocking to that active volcano near Reykjavik, including many photographers. But lots of people are just there to watch and reflect on nature.

The attack on Iran’s nuclear enrichment plant wasn’t just planted software. It seems that actual explosives were smuggled into the facility and placed strategically. The level of infiltration was deep and now the Revolutionary Guards, who are responsible for security at the plant, are looking pretty ineffective.

Bill Forry talked to Secretary Walsh about his commute and about being the ex-mayor of Boston.

It will be at least a year before the chip shortage eases. Meanwhile, automakers and medical equipment manufactures are scrambling. Bipartisan support is growing for moving chip fabrication to the US and having the government subsidise new facilities to make chips here.

And how does Massachusetts rank in terms of general popularity among Americans? Not as good as I would have thought. People. What do they know?

It’s a two way street

Happy Tuesday. It’s a birthday for Beckett and Heaney.

Starting this week, the Sagamore Bridge will lose a lane for maintenance work. Just in time for early-spring travel to the Cape, although the plan is to finish the work before Memorial Day.

Boston needs its police department and the department needs the support of the people of the city. But today, going into the summer, the relationship is dysfunctional. As Ally Jarmanning points out, we’ve been in this situation before. We worked our way out of it. It takes time and effort to rebuild trust and there’s no time like the present to start that work.

Half of Massachusetts residents have had at least one shot. So we’re getting there.

The MBTA is pushing ahead with a one year, $2 billion dollar capital spending plan. Why one year instead of the typical 5 year plan? Mostly funding uncertainties, which doesn’t bode well for any kind of real strategic planning at the T.

And Apple, the company, is very secretive about upcoming events and products. When someone inside Apple gets caught leaking information they usually get fired. So what’s going to happen to Siri?