Vox populi

Thursday, July 1st. It must be summer.

The City Council finally passed the budgetyesterday afternoon. It takes effect today. That was close. Lydia Edwards had the best line going into the process. “I think this budget will pass—like a kidney stone.”

Joan Vennochi looked a little deeper at that Globe/Suffolk poll. The Globe has been pillorying the police department and Marty Walsh but voters still like Walsh and approve of the job police are doing. That’s not to say that there wasn’t a mishandling of the commissioner transition or that there weren’t serious incidents of corruption in the department over the last decade. But as voters seem to understand, it’s a matter of proportion. Of all the issues on voters minds, the poll shows that police reform is at the very bottom. As Vennochi puts it, “These poll results […] may also say something about the media not seeing the political forest for the scandalous trees.”

After an international manhunt they finally nabbed the Tour de France sign holder. They should give her a very stern talking to.

There were some crazy clouds last evening as the heat wave broke. Of course John Tlumacki captured an amazing image. Speaking of Tlumacki and heat waves, check this great image from 1985 with a recounting of how he caught it.

And Fortune favors the online fortune tellers. I have to assume that they saw this coming.

Out on the street

Wednesday. Top of the week to you.

Robert Marchand has died. He was 109. Marchand was a cyclist who set records well after hitting 100 years old. Inspirational.

So a judge has ruled that the acting mayor can fire the police commissioner. That makes sense, of course. But now what happens to Dennis White? Even if a mayor should be able to dismiss a police commissioner as a department head, under civil service rules firing a police officer requires due cause and lots of process. Can White return to his civil service rank or did he relinquish that when he took the commissioner’s job?

Scott Johnson explains everything you need to know about battery tech and how it’s getting better by the day.

As far as reform efforts in the Boston Police Department go, an update has been posted to the BPDNews website. People like to say that nothing is being done or that the department is dragging its feet but in actuality it looks like they’re doing a lot.

And the first rule of Bite Club is you have to talk about Bite Club.

Letters of transit

Welcome to Wednesday, the tallest day of the week.

Life in America must be pretty good if we’re allowing ourselves to focus on something as insignificant as a shortage of ketchup. Can’t get Heinz? Try some of this stuff. Or you can just make your own.

The idea of a vaccine passport sounds good. So where do you get one? Cities and towns are deferring to the state. The state is deferring to the feds. The feds are waiting for the private sector to get something going. The private sector have a number of competing ideas in the works and are waiting for the government to take the lead. Something has to give. Maybe Rick Steves can come up with a solution.

Meredith Conroy explores why people in Republican circles tend to be distrustful of the media. It seems a little counterintuitive since many of those same people are often glued to cable news or talk radio.

Speaking of media bubbles, North Korea has announced that it has completely eradicated the coronavirus. Wow!

And two of my favorites things, cycling and photography, came together for Roff Smith during the pandemic. He’s produced some very nice, evocative photographs of the English countryside.