Hello! Sorry we’re a day late with the good news, but Friday’s Nor’easter caused a bit of a ruckus, including knocking out the power in where I live for almost twenty-four hours. Thanks to the hard-working local and National Grid teams, I believe the town is now fully back up and running, so a hearty and sincere thank you to all those crews. And … back to your regularly scheduled programming with the Good News.
In local good news:
- On Thursday evening, Allison Gustavson held a very successful kickoff for her campaign running for state representative in the fourth district (Manchester, Hamilton, Wenham, Ipswich, Rowley, and Topsfield). If you weren’t able to make it, or arrived to find there was no parking left, here’s a link to view her speech on YouTube. Congrats to Allison, and to all the newcomers who are stepping up to run!
- He’s not always perfect (no one is), but we were happy to hear Baker express support for national ban on assault-style weapons.
- Also: Massachusetts joins coalition of states sharing gun data
- Our own Elizabeth Warren is standing up for her colleague’s right to have a baby and still participate in Congress: Warren blasts Senate’s ‘dumb’ rules, offers to hold Duckworth’s baby while she votes
- On February 28, 2018, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed the PATCH bill, which closes a privacy loophole and protects patient confidentiality. Without this bill, many young adults, spouses, and teens forgo the care they need because they fear their privacy will be inadvertently compromised.
- From one of our New England neighbors: ‘Extreme Risk’ Gun Bill Clears Vermont Senate Committee – “The Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday unanimously approved legislation to create a judicial process that would allow police to take guns away from those ruled to be an “extreme risk” to themselves or others.”
- In response to 45’s EPA move toward repealing the Clean Power Plan, hundreds of protesters organized around the country, including in San Francisco where students, environmental leaders, and elected officials stood together and spoke out against the EPA’s action.
- Judges preserve an important otter habitat – Fishing industry groups wanted to revive a harmful program that excluded otters from parts of their coastal habitat—but Earthjustice fought back.
- Here’s an interesting trend: Milkmen are returning to London as millennials order glass milk bottles in a bid to slash plastic waste
- Judge orders California agricultural officials to cease pesticide use
- And, here’s another great idea: World’s first plastic-free aisle opens in Netherlands supermarket – Campaigners hail progress as Amsterdam store offers dedicated aisle of more than 700 products, with plans for a national roll-out
- In a story about one person making a difference: Crawfisherman’s Fight Brings Pipeline to a Halt – Crawfisherman Jody Meche’s family has lived off Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin for generations. Now he’s fighting to protect it—and his way of life—from a destructive oil pipeline.
- France bans plastic cups, plates and cutlery
- The People are watching: Anti-secrecy lawsuits soaring against Pruitt’s EPA – Freedom of Information Act litigation is pouring in as the agency refuses to divulge details about the administrator’s activities and travels.
There’s also some good news on the elections front.
- Maryland lawmakers advance bill requiring presidential candidates to release tax returns
- New Jersey Bill Proposes to Give State’s Prisoners Right To Vote – Disparity in African-American incarceration cited
- Democrat Conor Lamb Gains Momentum in Pennsylvania Race
- Senate Key Race alert: Texas is no longer Solid Republican
- Two women are vying to be the first Native American congresswomen – There’s never been a Native American woman elected to federal office — yet these two are seeking to change that
And here’s what’s happening on the social, civil, and economic equality and justice front:
- Wow. Philando Castile charity wipes out kids’ lunch debt in 56 schools across the district where he worked.
- Sports retailers are stepping up to stand on the right side of the gun debate: Boycott: REI, Mountain Equipment Co-Op stop selling major outdoor brand with NRA ties
- In related news, Dick’s, Walmart, Kroger, and LL Bean all raised the minimum age for firearms purchases to 21.
- And going a step further, Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO says company will stop selling assault-style rifles
- With FedEx refusing to break ties with the NRA, some of the shipping giant’s customers are breaking ties with FedEx. Rancho Gordo, for instance, said they will no longer use FedEx.
- And here’s an interesting piece about how a quality education creates more engaged citizens: They Were Trained for This Moment – How the student activists of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High demonstrate the power of a comprehensive education.
- Meanwhile, 175+ College Admissions Offices Promise Not to Penalize High School Students Who Get Suspended for Protesting Peacefully Against Gun Violence
- ACLU fights anti-abortion Trump appointee on undocumented minors
- Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf tipped off immigrants about ICE raid and isn’t sorry she did (Local coverage notes that 800 avoided arrest because of the Mayor’s actions)
- Box Office: ‘Black Panther’ Tops $700M With Record-Breaking 2nd Weekend
- Here’s something you don’t often see happening as the result of a movie’s popularity: Disney Opening Oakland STEM Center After Black Panther Success (More on this story, direct from the Mouse.)
- From the Washington Post, the story of a sports team making a difference: “Instead of visiting the White House to celebrate their NBA title during a scheduled off day this week, the Golden State Warriors took a contingent of school children from Seat Pleasant — Kevin Durant’s home town — to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.”
- And, because politicians shouldn’t be able to pick and choose which constituents they listen to, ACLU Sues Florida Lawmaker for Blocking Constituent on Media
- This is pretty cool: Model for Gap paused to breastfeed her toddler during a shoot. The moment became the campaign.
- Male Supremacy Organizations are Now on SPLC’s List of Hate Groups
- A Big Victory for LGBT People, and a Big Loss for the Trump Administration, “The federal appeals court in New York today issued a victory for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people, ruling that workers can’t be fired based on their sexual orientation and rebuffing the Trump administration’s insistence that they can.”
- In blow to Trump, Supreme Court won’t hear appeal of DACA ruling (More from the NYT)
We’re also hearing some promising news on the Russia investigation front:
- Kushner loses access to top-secret intelligence (It’s about time!)
- Here’s a little background on why … Kushner’s overseas contacts raise concerns as foreign officials seek leverage
- Here’s a fun piece from Esquire: Jared Kushner Is Deep in It Now
- And here’s a little deeper look at parts of the story from News & Guts: SEC dropped inquiry a month after firm aided Kushner company
- And … more: New York regulator asks Deutsche, other banks about Kushner loans: source
- From NPR: Depth Of Russian Politician’s Cultivation Of NRA Ties Revealed
- On a related note, More Than 30 Trump Aides Lose Top-Secret Clearance
And in miscellaneous, fun, and slightly snarky good news:
- An overseas Action Together group—Action Together Zürich—hijacked Steve Bannon’s Zurich visit to raise money for gun safety with their Don’t Hate – Donate campaign. Kudos to our fellow resisters abroad!
- If you’re looking for some hope, you might enjoy this piece by NYT op-ed columnist, Tim Kreider: Go Ahead, Millennials, Destroy Us
- And here’s another hopeful piece from NYT op-ed columnist, Paul Krugman: The Force of Decency Awakens
- We’re not happy to see major brands stepping away from the United States, but we do hope that such responses will give this administration a reality check. For instance, after 45 announced his off-the-cuff tariffs on steel and aluminum, Electrolux put a $250 million U.S. investment on hold. Clearly, they are not fans.
- In yet another example of how to define “pathetic,” Donald Trump Attacks Alec Baldwin In Early Morning Twitter Rant Amid Week Of Chaos
- And here’s an unfortunate little tid bit: Trump’s Nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize Was Apparently Forged. Twice. (Did we mention the word pathetic?)
- Ok, this headline is a little harsh, but … New Survey Shows Young People Are Staying Liberal and Conservatives Are Dying Off
- Lehigh University faculty vote to pull Trump’s honorary degree – “More than 80% of voting-eligible faculty affirmed the motion asking that the Pennsylvania college’s Board of Trustees revoke the honor. Only 14% voted against the motion. It will now be conveyed to the board, according to Faculty Steering Committee Chair Doug Mahoney.”
- This week’s Snark Kitty Fave: ‘Black Panther’ may be helping black cats beat the adoption odds
“Mass State House Dome”: Photo Credit: twiga_swala Flickr via Compfight cc“Planet Earth”: From Morguefile
“Planet Earth”: From Morguefile
“I Voted”: standing8 Flickr via Compfight cc
“Blind Justice”: Government of Prince Edward Island Flickr via Compfight cc
“Russia Sickle”: AK Rockefeller Flickr via Compfight cc
“Snark Kitty”: Gratisography