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🗳️ 2024 is coming faster than you think

Plus: 🍂 Four seasons? Try eight.

It’s Thursday, Boston.

🍷 Wanna hang with The B-Side team? We’re hosting a Paint & Social Hour at Time Out Market Boston this Sunday with Girlfriends Boston, and we want you to come! There are only a few spots left, so grab your tickets here.

👀 What’s on tap today:

  • Abortion care hub

  • Support MassArt students

  • Boston’s eight seasons

Up first …


The biggest questions of 2024

Image: Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff. Illustration: Emily Schario.

I regret to inform you that we’re already talking about the 2024 and 2026 elections. But I promise, I’ll make it quick and painless.

AG Andrea Campbell just gave the thumbs up to 31 proposed ballot initiatives and three constitutional amendments, giving supporters the greenlight to start collecting 75,000ish signatures, the next step toward getting on the ballot.

Here are the big ones that made the cut:

🏠 Letting cities and towns set their own rent control rules. Local real estate groups and landlords are seething at the news, and advocates are split on whether putting this on the ballot is the best way to get it done. But assuming it does, this petition would strike down the state law banning rent control and replace it with one allowing cities and towns to set their own rules to cap rents and fees, regulate evictions, and more. It wouldn’t apply to two- or three-family units or new builds for the first 15 years.

📝 Ditching the MCAS test. If you didn’t go to high school in Mass., MCAS stands for the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, which is basically a long, annoying test that all highschoolers are required to take (and pass) to graduate. The Mass. Teacher's Association is behind the move to drop the requirement and have students be able to graduate based on requirements set by each district. And if passed, former students who didn’t get a diploma due to low MCAS scores could request one as long as they met all other requirements.

🚘 Two dueling gig worker measures. Now these election season commercials could get spicy: One industry-backed petition would make app-based drivers (think Uber and Lyft) independent contractors, not employees, meaning they would not be entitled to full state employment law protections. While the other, union-backed effort hopes to give drivers the right to unionize so they can bargain for better working conditions and pay.

🍄 Legalizing magic mushrooms. Yes, shrooms. This proposal would allow those 21 and older to “grow, possess, and use certain natural psychedelic substances in certain circumstances.” Specifically psilocybin and psilocyn (found in mushrooms) and dimethyltryptamine, mescaline, and ibogaine (found in plants). That said, it would also allow for the regulation and taxation of these substances, and prohibit retail sale (no shroom shops).

👀 Other notable measures moving forward:


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Money doesn’t grow on trees, but…

💸 It could be hiding right under your nose. Have you ever closed a savings or checking account, or forgotten to cash a check? If the answer is yes, then the Massachusetts State Treasury may be holding onto that cash for you. All it takes is a quick name search to check your eligibility (it takes less than a minute). There is over $3 billion in unclaimed property waiting to be discovered by people like you. Plus, even if you’ve claimed before, there could still be more assets and hidden treasures to find. Don’t let your money slip through the cracks.


Quick & dirty headlines

Image: Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

🩺 Mass. is becoming a hub for out-of-state abortions. Pretends to be shocked. A new study looking at data from three Mass. Planned Parenthoods showed the number of out-of-state residents seeking abortions in Mass. grew around 37.5% in the first four months after Roe v. Wade was overturned. And non-New England residents drove that trend. Out-of-state patients only represent 5% of the 3,237 abortions at Mass. Planned Parenthood locations during the study, and the overall number of abortions in Mass. increased only by 6%.

🍁 Current fall forecast: Starts early, peaks late. These heat advisories and school closures may suggest otherwise, but signs of fall are in the air. Thanks to our deluge of a summer, we’re already seeing some early splashes of color (our trees are a little stressed). But local foliage experts think it’s going to be a while before those colors really peak and the temps shift to the crisper side, thankfully making it a long season that slowly tapers. And instead of punchy colors, expect something more pastel.

🍕 Barstool may have won the battle, but Dragon Pizza won the war. After being called "The Worst Pizza Place in America" by Barstool’s Dave Portnoy, Dragon’s business has only been booming. The Somerville pizza shop was thrust into the limelight after Portnoy’s One Bite Pizza Review video spiraled into a viral screaming match with shop-owner Charlie Redd. But despite the noise (and death threats to Redd), orders have been skyrocketing, forcing Dragon to sell out of pizza twice in the last week, and close up shop on Tuesday to catch up with demand.

🎨 Need some art for your new apartment? MassArt students got you. To celebrate MassArt’s 150th anniversary, they’re putting on a Night Market at The Station in Fenway this Friday where you can buy art, design, home goods, and more from students and alumni in MassArt’s Creative Economy Business Incubator program. Yes, their art degrees are paying off. In addition to supporting young artists, you’ll also have the chance to try your hand at an artist-led demo booth and enjoy performances by the next generation of creative talent.


Giveaway alert!

We’re giving away the ultimate work, shop, dine, play package from Legacy Place in Dedham. Winners will receive a two-desk private membership at Industrious Legacy Place, as well as an all-star collection of gift cards to shop and dine at some of their top retail shops and restaurants including Liberty & Main, Nike, Whole Foods, Cava and Restore Hyper Wellness. If you have already referred a friend to B-Side (and they’ve accepted), you're eligible! Full details below*


Boston’s eight seasons

If you think there are four seasons, you’re wrong. There are actually eight.

At least that’s according to Barstool’s Tommy Scibelli, a.k.a. Tommy Smokes. In his latest TikTok video, he breaks down the eight phases of the year, noting that we’re now in phase six, which starts the day after Labor Day and ends Thanksgiving Eve.

His methodology is strictly vibe-based. Phase one, or winter one, is January 2 through the Super Bowl when folks are still on their resolution grind and morale is high. But winter two, or the dark days, goes into effect the day after the Super Bowl and ends on St. Patrick’s Day when the weather is awful and there are no major holidays or events to look forward to.

And, honest to God, it makes so much sense. You can watch his full breakdown here.

🥴 Thanks for reading! I never thought I’d be in agreement with a dude from Barstool.

🍦 The results are in: Over 65% of B-Side readers call the sugary pellets that go atop their ice cream sprinkles (wrong!). But there was some consensus with my opinion that it’s chocolate jimmies and rainbow sprinkles, so I’ll take it.

💃 Keep up with us @BostonBSide on IG, TikTok, and Twitter. Send comments and suggestions to [email protected].