Scattered to the wind

Saturday. At the weekend, as they say.

A Chinese satellite is expected to crash to earth tonight. It’s unlikely to hit anywhere near Boston. But it’s not impossible. Plan accordingly.

Danny McDonald tries to read the tea leaves on how Marty Walsh supporters will vote now that Marty is not in the race. Even this late in the game, it’s still too early to tell.

LiveBoston617 covers a shooting in Roxbury. (H-Block is a gang turf, not a neighborhood in Boston.)

I’ve never wanted to be this guy. Variety is the spice of life.

And the impulse to conform is a real thing. I knew the mask mandate had been lifted but, walking around the city, everyone was wearing a mask. So I wore a mask. Baaaa.

See no evil

It’s Tuesday. Have a dandy Devil Dog Day.

US population growth is slowing down but the population of the state has grown by almost a half million people according to the most recent census. As a result, Massachusetts will be able to maintain the current number of seats in the US House. The increase in population has mostly been in the eastern part of the state so lawmakers are drawing up plans to shift some district lines to even things out.

It was a busy week in the city as far as crime goes. Here are some headlines from Universal Hub just from the last few days:
Man shot in the side on Clarkson Street
Mattapan gunfire blitz leaves one shot, several cars, houses hit
Barrage of gunfire in Dorchester sends one bullet into a living room
Man shot somewhere south of Grove Hall
Gunfire in Roxbury sends bullet into house around the corner
Two shot on Glenway Street in Dorchester

Live Boston was also covering the neighborhoods over the weekend:
Over 200 rounds fired overnight as understaffed police work to keep up
Boston Police help save man’s life at BMC overnight
Car chase leads to crash on Dorchester Avenue
Neighbor caught in crossfire as Ormond St turns to shooting gallery overnight
Shooting on Glenway St leaves at least two injured

And from the Boston Globe in that same time frame:
Three men wounded in two overnight shootings in Boston
That’s it. These days the city’s paper of record appears largely blind or indifferent to violent crime in the city. Seems like a huge disservice to the people and neighborhoods affected.

The EU is working on a vaccine passport that Americans can use to travel abroad. Details are slim but I hope it doesn’t rely on those paper CDC cards that I keep losing.

Police in Washington DC have some kind of a server problem. The reports and statements about what happened are about as clear as mud but it sounds like ransomware. Speaking of ransomware, the payments demanded by hackers are rising. And people seem to be paying.

And where does a candle go when it burns? Inquiring minds want to know.


The power of commitment

Friday. The week concludes with sunshine.

Murder rates jumped back up in the US as the pandemic receded. And it wasn’t only here that that happened.

This year’s Mother’s Day Walk for Peace, on May 9th, will be a virtual one. Tina Chéry is doing the organizing, as she has for the last 25 years.

Restaurants are reopening at the same time as the pool of available workers is shrinking. Bad news for diners – but maybe good news for service workers, who are now in a better position to demand higher pay and improved benefits.

Many colleges and universities are requiring vaccines for returning students. Duh.

And the original artwork for the band Boston’s second album, Don’t Look Back, is up for auction. The big flying saucer/guitar illustration was going for just over $13 thousand bucks, last time I looked. (Why do I think it will end up in Ernie Boch Jr.‘s man cave.)

The great unmasking

A terrific Tuesday. 110 days down, 255 to go until 2022.

Pat Robertson is no Walter Cronkite. But his recent remarks might indicate a shifting of opinion by middle America on unconditional support for law enforcement, similar to the country’s shift on Vietnam after Cronkite’s report on the Tet Offensive.

I think it’s time to reconsider the need for outdoor masks. On my walks, I still put my mask on when people with masks approach, out of politeness if nothing else. But if they don’t have a mask on I don’t bother. Inside is a different story. Here are takes on the issue from Dr. Paul Sax, infectious disease specialist at Brigham and Women’s and Dr. Ashish K. Jha from Brown University School of Public Health. Shannon Palus, writing in Slate, rounds up additional expert opinion on the mask question.

In Louisiana, 60 kids were gathered at a party. An argument broke out. Nine people were shot. In Chicago thirty shots were fired in the middle of the afternoon at a McDonalds drive-through. A 7 year old girl was killed. W.T.F.?

It was an obscure race but what happened with the Boston recount? The numbers were small but the discrepancies weren’t. Actually, maybe in the grand scheme of things they were. For once I think I might agree with Galvin.

And I would go on record saying that Philip Roth was by far the greatest American novelist of the last century. He was a powerful writer of fiction and he wrote a lot of books. Which one should you read? The Times has some suggestions for newbies. They’re all good. But go for American Pastoral (breathtaking), Operation Shylock (intriguing), or, if you’re open to being shocked, Sabbath’s Theater (shocking). Remember, it’s fiction.

Belt and suspenders

Another Monday. It’s a birthday for both G. Gordon Liddy and Abbie Hoffman.

Ireland has become an importer of potatoes, getting the majority of its supply from the UK. New Brexit restrictions may threaten that supply. But in today’s Ireland, potatoes are less about subsistence and more about tasty fries.

Moderna will apply for emergency use of its vaccine today, just behind Pfizer, who applied about a week ago. People in the highest risk categories could have their first shots before Christmas.

The Baltimore County school system went completely to remote learning. Now they’re completely shut down because of a ransomware attack.

The oldest houses in Washington DC were built in the 1700’s. But they weren’t built in Washington. Both originally came from Massachusetts (one from Waltham and the other from Ipswich.)

And 71 year old Manson cult member Leslie Van Houten’s parole request was denied by California Governor Gavin Newson, who reversed a board decision that would have freed her. So, no Dancing with the Stars for her, I guess.