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Baker extends state of emergency to at least May 18

Gov. Baker announced today he's extending the ban on "non-essential" businesses and on public gatherings until at least May 18, when an advisory board he named today will deliver a report on how various types of businesses can re-open under the new normal.

Although the Reopening Advisory Board, chaired by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, will consist in large part of representatives of "different verticals," public-health data will drive any decisions - among the board's members are state Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel. Two other health experts were also appointed, as were three municipal officials, including Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera and an aide to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, and representatives of 11 different industries and businesses.

Baker said, as he has repeatedly in recent days, that the state cannot begin re-opening until data begins to show a reduction in rates of Covid-19 hospitalization.

"Believe me, I'm just as frustrated as anyone else," Baker said. But "we have to be smart about how we do it," because "there are.risks associated with going back too soon."

This is a phased opening," he said. "Phased. We're not going to open everything all at once."

Polito said that a key reason to include municipal officials is to come up with new regulations that not only make sense, but which can actually be enforced.

Baker added that one topic for the advisory board is whether to shorten the current ban on childcare centers from June 29 if businesses are allowed to re-open before then.

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Comments

Republican Governors like Baker got the message after Trump threw the Georgia governor under the bus (first congratulating him on announcing opening, then denouncing him). Basically Trump has said if things go well opening, praise be to him. If things go poorly on early openings, he will criticize and blame the governors. Its like when Trump said he was for raising the minimum wage, and against it. Either way, people who like him hear what they want. And Republicans like Baker see that they have to thread the needle (Baker wont issue a stay at home or mask order, but 'advisory', since this pleases Trump while giving him cover to say hey, he advised it.

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doesn't capture the nuance of how political machinations work. The governor is obviously a skilled politician, and knows how the game is played.

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This is why Baker has been so good in this crisis - he is careful, measured, and above all empathetic to the fears and concerns of the Commonwealth.

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His partial shut down of the state was too late, about 2 weeks after places like the SF area shut down.

He refuses to shut down construction and related industries, claiming they are essential. So thus a partial shutdown and not as extensive as other states and not as aggressive as Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville.

He waited until the last minute to announce the extension of the May 4th date, when it was clear to everyone that it wasn't going to work.

On a positive note, he isn't overriding mayors who want more aggressive measures. Several Republican governors have decided that they know better than the mayors.

And he's sometimes just petty and dishonest. Allowing liquor stores to remain open while closing down pot shops is petty and is being done because he's always been against the concept of legal pot. And when he said he was shutting down pot shops because people might come in from other states, he was lying. He could have simply required Massachusetts IDs.

All in all , not a crazy right wing Trumpian idiot like most of the rest of the Republican governors, but still not doing everything he could.

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.

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There are still parts of Boston with no broadband access - no providers that offer broadband residential connections. The shutdown is preventing that gap from being closed. For example, Verizon has an agreement to extend Fios to every location in Boston, and is not currently being permitted to complete the work.

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What year is this?

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There are thousands of houses in Boston that can't get broadband from any provider.

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Unless you mean boston as a region. also VZ is permitted to do whatever they want right now including expansion given they are an essential business.

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What areas of Boston do not have broadband?

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People might not like Comcast, but if the issue is broadband, they are all over the city (except for some apartment buildings, which is an issue for building governance, not telecom providers.)

I could make people jealous by pointing out that 3 broadband companies serve my block.

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You don't visit, apparently.

And even houses that could have broadband attached now can't because new installs are suspended.

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Cablevision wired the entire city in the 1980s. End to end. Remember that?

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Cablevision wired the entire city in the 1980s. End to end. Remember that?
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And what sort of Internet speeds was Cablevision delivering via the cable plant that it installed in the 1980s?

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Things that didn't happen. There are also houses in Boston that can't get cable, let alone Fios. And no, DSL doesn't count as broadband.

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But Comcast, who inherited the original Cablevision infrastructure, doesn’t do DSL. That was Verizon.

But once again, where in Boston is Comcast not available? I keep noticing you don’t answer this question.

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are the ones where broadband is not available?

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Didn't need a shutdown for that. In rural areas it isn't happening unless/until communities go through a lot of work and assume the risk to make it happen. Telecommuting, distance learning, telehealth do not exist for many people in this state, and no one's doing anything about it.

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Where did you hear that the shutdown is stopping Verizon from installing broadband? Telecom is an essential service.

I'd say it's more essential than usual because of all the telecommuting. I've been worrying about what I would do if my Internet goes out. I hope Verizon has extra repair staff on hand.

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Get as much done now as possible. There will never be a better time.

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