The hand that feeds you

The start of a Wednesday week. And a royal happy birthday to The Queen.

The verdict is in. But the problems with policing and race are far from resolved.

The Boston Public Library and U-Mass, Boston – both publicly funded – paid thousands on large ads in the Globe to bid a fond farewell to Marty Walsh as he headed to Washington. As reported by Commonwealth Magazine (not the Globe, obviously) both were quick to try to justify the expenditures. I imagine they even had straight faces when they did so.

This type of use may be an example of why Charlie Baker refused to jump on the ‘ban all facial recognition by law enforcement’ bandwagon.

Apple announced some new products yesterday. Very colorful computers. I’ll wait for the larger screens coming, presumably, later in the year.

And Ted Nugent somehow managed to catch a fake virus. We should all wish him a fake speedy recovery.

A tour de force of dropped r’s

It’s a bright, sunny, spring Sunday morning.

The New Horizons spacecraft, launched in 2006, is now over 5 billion miles from earth. It just cleared the orbit of Pluto and it’s still taking photos and sending them back to us. Amazing.

The Showtime series City on a Hill, starring Kevin Bacon, was given a $3 million dollar tax break in 2018. Since then they’ve mostly been filming the series set in Boston somewhere other than Boston. What’s supposed to be Bromley-Heath looks a lot like New York. Without the local scenery all we’re left with is the overacting, over-the-top accents, bad writing and cartoonish portrayal of an important chapter in Boston’s history. I look forward to it each week.

Matthew McConaughey for governor of Texas? The polls say yes. Could be the role of a lifetime.

Prince Phillip was carried to rest in a Land Rover rather than a hearse, per his wishes. He was a big fan of Land Rovers. But his original car was a British Standard that he bought for 12 pounds in 1940. It still runs.

And according to Zoe Carpenter, misinformation is destroying our country. As they say, the remedy for misinformation is more misinformation. Unfortunately the article is behind a paywall.

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.

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.

Grading on a curve

Friday. Good morning. It’s Leonard Nimoy Day.

Under Massachusetts law, any home that was the site of a homicide, suicide or other violent act can be resold without the owner having to disclose that fact to a potential buyer. That same law also, strangely, allows sellers to maintain their silence on any resident ghosts on the premises.

Boston’s restaurant grading system was supposed to mimic New York’s system, where grades are placed in the window to give customers confidence that the conditions inside are sanitary. In New York you see a lot of A’s, a few B’s and also some ‘Grade Pending’ cards. The latter can be posted if, after an inspection, a restaurant gets a B or a C grade and is cleaning up pending another inspection. Locally, Colman Herman looked at how Boston’s system is working, particularly in Dorchester. What he found was not encouraging.

A number of well-known Dorchester restaurants failed their most recent health code inspections, including the Lower Mills Tavern, Lucy’s American Tavern, Starbucks, Bowery, and Wahlburgers. All of them failed prior inspections as well.

Not good. Even the cafeteria at UMass Boston has had multiple failed inspection. But somehow all of the restaurants in Dorchester, even the ones with repeated violations, have posted A ratings in their windows. Something seems to be broken here.

It’s one ship vs. the entire global economy. Who you gonna call?

Coronavirus case numbers are ticking up in the state. I’d hate to see another wave but it looks like that’s what’s coming.

And a newspaper in Kansas City printed a blank front page as a warning of what could happen if readers and advertisers don’t support their local papers. It won’t work. The Globe has been offering an essentially empty Metro section a few days a week for quite a while now and I don’t think anyone’s even noticed.