- The B-Side
- 🤑 Gov. Healey’s 2024 wishlist
🤑 Gov. Healey’s 2024 wishlist
Plus: 🔥 Winter just got steamier
It’s Thursday, Boston.
☕ The remedy for this week’s frigid temps? Bougie, tableside hot cocoa. Woods Hill Pier 4 in the Seaport is now serving homemade hot cocoa bombs in four fun flavors that are almost too beautiful to eat. It’s the perfect ending to a sweat sesh in City Hall Plaza’s public sauna (see below).
🥳 And a big birthday shoutout to reader Saige O'Keefe! You are the apple of our eye.
👀 What’s on tap today:
Our Kraft and Mayo era
Boston’s snow saga
Massholes love Jeopardy!
Gov. Maura Healey’s on the mic
Image: Barry Chin/Globe Staff. Illustration: Gia Orsino.
State of the City? Check. Next up: State of the Commonwealth. Last night, Gov. Maura Healey delivered her first ever State of the Commonwealth address, where she humble-bragged about her admin’s work and did some agenda setting.
Here’s the quick and dirty of what she said:
💸 For context, this address is coming at a pivotal moment. Healey’s first-year agenda was largely focused on housing, education, infrastructure, and climate. But between the state’s (pricey) emergency shelter situation and a recent dip in tax revenue, money is certainly on the mind.
🏆 She came away from year one with some solid W’s. Healey made good on the majority of her OG promises from her inaugural address. See: Passing the state’s first tax cuts in 20 years, making community college free for students over 25 without a degree, and appointing a new MBTA GM (and things under him appear to be going surprisingly well).
🤷 But she certainly has more work cut out for her. I.e., Mass. is facing a deep housing crisis that’s going to take major investments to solve, an overflowing emergency shelter system, and an increase in severe weather events which are taking a huge toll on the economy and infrastructure.
💸 When addressing the stickier subjects, she focused on the positives. Namely, the migrant crisis and underwhelming tax revenue that spurred some budget cuts. She highlighted the increases in migrants authorized to work, and called our overall fiscal state “strong,” without getting into the weeds. Side note: Most of her proposals include spending more money, not less.
And with eyes on 2024, here’s a taste of what’s on Healey’s to-do list:
🏘️ Pass a fat housing bill. Healey recommitted to getting her $4 billion housing plan passed in the Legislature (it’s been sitting there since October) which focuses on building and repairing affordable housing, and smoothing the path to homeownership.
🍎 Make child care and pre-K cheaper. Which requires a big funding boost to achieve her goal of universal access to pre-K for every four year old in every gateway city by 2026, and expand child care financial assistance to support low- and middle-income families.
🌎 Be proactive on climate relief. Given the catastrophic flooding this past summer that cost farmers millions, Healey proposed a permanent Disaster Relief Resiliency fund, and pledged to increase funding to towns that need help rebuilding infrastructure.
🚇 Get the T on the right track. Healey committed to doubling the MBTA’s operational funding support in next year’s budget, and fund a system-wide reduced fare program for low-income riders.
🤔 How do you think Gov. Healey’s first year in office went?
Let us know below!
TOGETHER WITH DANA-FARBER CANCER INSTITUTE AND THE JIMMY FUND
Dig in and drive change
🍔💪 Looking for a chance to savor local eats while saving lives? Bring your foodie friends to A Taste of Time Out Market to benefit the Jimmy Fund on Feb. 1. Admission ($40 with code BSIDE) includes 15 delectable tasting dishes from Time Out Market vendors, a pair of drinks (courtesy of Harpoon Brewery and Truro Vineyards), live entertainment, a silent auction, and more — all while contributing to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund’s mission to support patients with cancer. Use code BSIDE for $10 off your ticket and save lives with every delicious bite.
Quick & dirty headlines
Image: Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff
🏈 We’re in our Kraft and Mayo era. Thankfully, not the Kraft brand of mayo. Jerod Mayo, the Pat’s new head coach (and ex-Pats player), got his official intro on Wednesday in a press conference with owner Robert Kraft. Though Mayo kept quiet about big upcoming decisions like whether he’d pick a GM or who will make final draft decisions, he made it clear that this is a new era for the Pats, explicitly saying he’s “not trying to be Bill [Belichick].” Another highlight: His thoughtful remarks about becoming the first Black head coach in the team’s history.
✈️ JetBlue and Spirit’s merger was not approved for takeoff. The planned purchase of Spirit airlines by JetBlue (Logan’s No. 1 carrier) was just struck down by a federal judge. The judge decided the merger — which would have totally changed the landscape of domestic flying and created the country's fifth biggest airline — would hurt customers that rely on Spirit’s low price model, leaving them without affordable flights. The airlines themselves aren’t too happy, and plan to take further action. But at least for now, prices won’t be changing.
❄️ Boston’s snow saga continues. If Greater Boston’s cold snap slash transformation into an ice skating rink this week felt like a rude wakeup call, you might not be happy to know that there is a possibility of snow this Friday night. Thankfully, it isn’t projected to be more than a few inches, with less snow forecasted the further north you look, particularly north of I-90. Best to keep your eyes on the National Weather Service’s Twitter — fine, X account — for the latest. In the meantime, stay safe on that ice!
🔥 Winter in Boston just got steamier. There’s a serious lack of infrastructure and funding in place to get Bostonians out and about during the year’s coldest months, but this winter, there is one activity that fits the bill: Pop-up saunas. $55 will get you a session at Moki Sauna and Spa Downtown, which includes two hours of sauna time, with access to a cold plunge and all the accouterments. But at City Hall Plaza, a free (with a reservation) public sauna pop-up will be opening Jan. 26. Just don’t forget your swimsuit and towel!
ONE LAST THING
Massholes are on a (Jeopardy!) roll
Image: Eric Mccandless/ABC
If there’s one thing we can count on Massholes to do, it’s dominate America’s favorite quiz show.
And these past few weeks, they’ve been on a particular hot streak, with one semifinalist and one finalist in the Celebrity Jeopardy series hailing from Mass. Rachel Dratch, a comedian (and Lexington native), killed it in her semifinals game (getting 10 questions in a row at one point!) but ultimately got edged out in Final Jeopardy!
Meanwhile, Katie Nolan, a Framingham native and sports comedy host, advanced to the finals, which she charmingly prepared for by simply googling everything she could think of (it’s pretty funny to watch her explain).
Nolan will face off against Mo Rocca (of Washington D.C., boo!) and Lisa Ann Walter (of Maryland, also boo!) in the finals on Jan. 23.
— Written by Gia Orsino and Emily Schario
🧠 Thanks for reading! Every time we write about Jeopardy, I’m going to mention my (many) failed attempts at getting on Teen Jeopardy. It still stings.
💜 Special shoutout to today's sponsor, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund, for supporting local journalism and fighting the good fight against cancer.
🚗 The results are in: You all love the classics. The highway sign joke you all like the best is the iconic: “Use ya blinkah,” but the results were all over the place. One reader wrote in a favorite: “He sees you when you’re drinking, he knows when you’re impaired — so drive sober this holiday season.”