Is it really May? How the heck did that happen?!? Hard to keep track of time when you can barely keep track of the political scandals. I get it. It’s a little overwhelming out there! But, at least there are still some Good Things happening in the world. Spring arrived, for one thing. Of course, in New England fashion, we took a quick detour into full-on, hot-and-humid summer (thanks, global warming); but seems like the weather is getting back on track for next week, so that’s a relief.
Also a relief is this week’s collection of happy headlines. I hope they buoy your spirits, tickle your funny bone, and remind you that it’s not all doom and gloom out there. Sure, we’ve got some big battles to fight; but we’re racking up small wins all over the place. Momentum is building in our favor.
Have a great weekend!
In local good news:
- ATMA member Charise Rohm Nulsen was sworn in as a Topsfield Elementary School Committee member. Congrats!!
- ATMA member Zillie Theodorou Bhuju was elected to Masco School Committee. Congrats to you as well!!
- *** Do you have good news about other ATMA members getting involved or getting elected to local positions? Please share on the ATMA Facebook page with the hashtag #goodnews ***
- In case you missed it on the Facebook page, the ERPO lobby day at the State House to encourage our legislators to support the Extreme Risk Protective Order gun control bill was a great success.
- Chalk one up for the ladies: Non-elite women with breakthrough races in 2018 Boston Marathon will get prize money after all – “Given the nature of this year’s race, we want to recognize and celebrate some of the performances that made this year’s race special,” the BAA said.
- Tospfield Town Meeting approves plastic bag reduction measure
- Boston is renaming Yawkey Way by Fenway Park because it is named for the Red Sox owner who resisted integration of the league.*
- Here’s a charming story about how kids off the coast of Iceland are helping scientists by participating in a generations-long tradition called the Puffling Patrol.
- And here’s an intriguing story about the only carbon negative country on the planet. Can you guess which one it is?
- A federal appeals court ruled the administration cannot delay a regulation that increased automakers’ fines for cars that violate fuel efficiency standards.*
- In India, Monsanto loses a court battle over genetically modified cotton seeds.
- Wind, solar deliver stunning 98 percent of new U.S. power capacity in January, February – Renewables to provide 69 percent of new capacity by March 2021, as dozens of coal plants are retired
- This gives me hope: Native Knowledge: What Ecologists Are Learning from Indigenous People
- And then some Olympian athletes took their message about the reality of global warming to Capitol Hill.
- Hawai‘i’s legislature approved a state ban on chlorpyrifos, a highly dangerous restricted use pesticide (RUP) widely used in industrial farming.
- California Public Utilities Commission released a proposed decision denying San Diego Gas & Electric Company and Southern California Gas Company’s planned $2 billion dirty gas pipeline.
- Michael Bloomberg announced he will pay the $4.5 million to cover this year’s US commitment to the Paris climate agreement.*
- New York City owned buildings will have to be completely powered by green energy by 2050 under a bill passed by the City Council.*
There’s also some good news on the elections front.
- Democrats in New York held on to two State Senate seats and flipped a State house seat that had been held by republicans for more than thirty years, making it the 40th legislative flip since the inauguration.*
- While I’m not convinced they won’t raise their evil head again under a different name, I’m still glad to hear that Cambridge Analytica is shutting down amid scandal over use of Facebook data.
- A Texas judge dismissed a lawsuit by the GOP to remove more than 80 Democrats from the November general election ballot.*
- Arizona Democrats blocked Republican concocted plans to keep McCain’s seat in republican hands for two years without an election.*
- Two NY State Senate Republicans announced they are not running for reelection, giving democrats a chance to really control the State Senate.*
And here’s some of what’s happening on the social, civil, and economic equality and justice fronts:
- The National Memorial for Peace and Justice commemorating 4,400 black people who were slain in lynchings and other racial killings between 1877 and 1950 opened in Alabama.
- A third federal judge ordered the administration to continue DACA renewals, and is the first judge to also ordered the administration to accept new applications as well.*
- After nearly 150 years, the first-ever statue honoring a woman was unveiled in London’s historic Parliament Square. The statue of British suffragist Millicent Fawcett, which depicts her holding a banner reading “Courage Calls to Courage Everywhere,” joined eleven statues of famous men from history.
- Bill Cosby was found guilty of sexual assault against Andrea Constand, one of the many brave women who came forward to hold him accountable for his actions.*
- The winner of the National Teacher of the Year award handed President Donald Trump a stack of letters from refugee and immigrant children in her classroom during a ceremony in the White House. Oh, and she also staged a silent protest, wearing political badges including one that read “Trans Equality Now” and another supporting the first women’s march. Nicely played, Ms. Manning. A+ for you!
- Robinson and Rashon Nelson, the two black men who were wrongfully arrested at Starbucks, are showing the world what class is. They reached a deal with the city for a symbolic $1 each and a promise from officials to set up a $200,000 program for young entrepreneurs.
- Not only did James Shaw, an unarmed black man single-highhandedly stop a white man with an assault rifle from killing more black people, but he also helped raised over $165,000 for the victims and their families.*
- Dr. Ayanna Howard, an African American robotocist, is blazing new trails and tackling diversity and bias in artificial intelligence.
- 7 governors launch ‘unprecedented’ effort to study gun violence (Glad to see Charlie Baker is on board!)
- Syracuse University has permanently expelled a fraternity over a video that was “racist, homophobic, ableist, sexist and anti-semitic.*
We’re also hearing some promising news on the Russia/Stormy/Campaign Finance/etc. investigation:
- The Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller thanks to four Republicans voting for the bill.*
- Ok, it’s Stormy news, not Russia news, but it’s all in the same category of Big Scandals. This week, we’d like to thank Rudy Giuliani for being so amazingly clueless.
- Michael Cohen Claimed He Talked With Trump the Day of the Stormy Daniels Deal
- Not good news, per se, but—man!—these people are in DEEP: Ukraine, Seeking U.S. Missiles, Halted Cooperation With Mueller Investigation
- Trump Adds Clinton Impeachment Lawyer, Bracing for a Fight on Multiple Fronts. (But, he’s totally innocent.)
And in miscellaneous, fun, and slightly snarky good news:
- I’m putting this in the miscellaneous category, but I think it’s actually kind of important: Detroit radio station hosts pull Kanye West’s songs, saying they’ve had enough – “We are over it. We don’t want to hear Kanye’s music, we don’t want to play Kanye on our show, we don’t want to talk about Kanye anymore, so we are taking a stand and we aren’t playing his music anymore; we just are refusing to give him a platform.” #MuteKanye
- Michael Avenatti sat down with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show Wednesday night—with a wire receipt that could burn one of the president’s potential “get out of jail free” cards.
- Group wants to carve Trump’s face into a glacier to prove climate change exists. I totally signed up for updates and plan to donate to the project when it goes live.
- Partly in response to the outrage over Michelle Wolf’s set at the White House Correspondents Dinner, The New York Times published a complete list of The 459 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter … and the list just keeps getting longer.
- And, for the record, here are some opinion pieces supporting Michelle Wolf from The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Washington Post. Also, Wolf’s late-night peers had a few things to say in her defense.
- It may seem like a small thing, but here are 4 reasons why Donald Trump faking a doctor’s note actually matters
“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