Axios Boston

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Hello, Tuesday.

Today's weather: Rainy with a high of 53.

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πŸŽ‚ Happy birthday to Axios Boston members Matt Segneri and Ben Delikat!

Today's newsletter is 884 words β€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Colleges respond to pro-Palestinian protests

Protesters at Northeastern University shout chants as they are placed into nearby police vans early Saturday morning. Photo: Erin Clark/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

College and police responses to pro-Palestinian encampments on campuses have sparked debates over what consequences student protesters should face, if any.

Why it matters: Graduation is around the corner, and some students could have their degrees withheld for participating in protests against Israel's ground offensive in Gaza.

State of play: Ken Henderson, Northeastern University chancellor, wrote in a letter that students who were arrested will face disciplinary proceedings over their role in the encampment, which he called "an unauthorized occupation of university space."

  • Henderson said he warned protesters multiple times the encampment would have to be dismantled and that the demonstration drew a large crowd of non-college-affiliated protesters.
  • The university is also investigating antisemitic statements that were made by some protesters as tensions escalated Friday, Henderson wrote.
  • In total, 98 people were arrested Friday night, including 29 students and six faculty and staff.

Harvard College's administrative board asked 30 students to appear over their participation in the pro-Palestine encampment in Harvard Yard, the Crimson reported.

  • The board will decide whether students will face disciplinary action. Students may have their degrees withheld if they face a pending disciplinary charge.

Yes, but: Emerson College president Jay Bernhardt wrote in a statement that the student protesters arrested last week won't face disciplinary charges.

  • Emerson officials will also encourage the district attorney not to pursue criminal charges and will provide housing support to students who have to stay in Boston for court appearances after their dorms close.
  • "Though we are nearing the end of the academic year, our commitments to free expression, safety, and an inclusive community will remain top priorities for our leadership team far beyond this semester," Bernhardt wrote.

The escalating protests and responses prompted the American Civil Liberties Union to send a letter to college presidents Friday calling for stronger protections for free speech and academic freedom.

What they're saying: "Preserving physical safety on campuses is paramount; but 'safety' from ideas or views that one finds offensive is anathema to the very enterprise of the university," the ACLU letter states.

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2. πŸ•The ultimate pizza guide, cont'd

Pizza from Picco. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios

Steph here. I would be remiss to ignore the bougie wood-fired pizza joints, even if they do sometimes overcompensate for the lack of sauce with heaps of arugula and specialty meats.

Several restaurants could actually qualify for a best-of list if fancy pizza were its own category, including Gufo and Mortadella Head.

  • But today I'm just going to focus on three: Picco, Source and Area 4.


Picco, AKA Pizza & Ice Cream Co., in the South End touts its cold-fermented sourdough, with local flour from Ground Up Grain, and charring as the secret behind its success.

What I ordered: A pepperoni pie.

  • What I got: Generous helping of mozzarella on a charred, but chewy crust.
  • It could have used some more pepperoni.
A pepperoni pie from Area4 in Cambridge.
Pizza from Area Four in Cambridge. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios

Area Four

Area Four's flagship restaurant in Kendall Square has been considered one of Cambridge's best pizza makers for years.

What I ordered: A pepperoni pie.

  • What I got: A decent, albeit salty, pizza, even by pepperoni standards.
  • Like most wood-fired pizzas, this one had a charred, thin crust with lots of sauce and cheese.
A pepperoni pizza pie from Source in Harvard Square.
Pizza from Source in Harvard Square. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios


Source in Harvard Square specializes in farm-to-table pizza and entrees, and, more importantly, it was voted the best pizza of 2023 by Boston Magazine.

What I ordered: A pepperoni pie.

  • What I got: A sea of pepperoni blanketing the cheese and sauce (albeit less than their usual helping of pepperoni).
  • It was too hefty for the crust, which was thin and soggy at times. Even then, it beat Picco and Area4.

Keep reading: Check out the full guide

3. Back That Mass Up: Celts win, Porzingis hurt

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

πŸ€ The Celtics crushed the Miami Heat last night 102-88, putting them up three games to one in the playoff series. (ESPN)

  • But center Kristaps Porzingis has an ankle injury.

πŸš› MassDOT plans to add low-clearance signs ahead of the Sumner Tunnel's entrances after several trucks have gotten stuck there. (NBC Boston)

πŸ”¬ Insilico Medicine, a biotechnology company that uses generative AI for drug discovery, is moving its U.S. headquarters from New York City to 1000 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge, company officials say.

  • The move comes as Insilico's AI-designed cancer treatment undergoes Phase II trials.

🍺 Jack's Abby is buying Wormtown Brewery, Worcester's oldest brewery. (MassLive)

  • The Wormtown taprooms will remain in Worcester and Foxborough.

4. πŸ€” Where's Townie?

Townie took advantage of the sun earlier this week. Any ideas where she flapped off to?

Here's a hint: The food truck is decorative.

The first to reply with the correct answer gets a shoutout and a Townie tote.

Out today: Inside Axios

My co-founder, CEO and friend Jim VandeHei is out today with a new book β€” "Just the Good Stuff: No-B.S. Secrets to Success" β€” about lessons learned starting and running Politico and then Axios.

Why it matters: Jim offers dozens of easy to understand β€” and implement β€” ideas for dealing with the tough stuff of life and work: picking careers, dealing with bad bosses or jerks, overcoming insecurities or health scares.

Cool twist: All the net proceeds go to students who need help with vocational school, or 2- or 4-year-college.

πŸŽ“ It's a terrific graduation gift: Jim details how he went from a 1.491 GPA in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to a success on the national stage.

  • The book also provides an inside look at the Axios culture animating this newsletter.

Order here ... Bulk discount here.

5. 🎢 Hear, here! Boston-area concerts this week

Norah Jones on the Tonight Show. Photo: Todd Owyoung/Getty Images

This week's headliners include pianist and singer Norah Jones, indie icons the Decemberists, country star Dustin Lynch and throwback acts like Sum 41, Teenage Fanclub, Saxon and Uriah Heep.


'90s Scottish alt rock group Teenage Fanclub is at the Paradise.

Pop punks Sum 41 play at MGM Music Hall.


Tennessee country star Dustin Lynch plays at Leader Bank Pavilion.

Portland indie royalty The Decemberists come to Roadrunner.


Sarah Jarosz plays at the Sinclair.

Colombian singer-songwriter AndrΓ©s Cepeda will be at the Shubert Theater.


Local alt-rockers Slothrust play at the Sinclair.


Juliet Ivy performs at Brighton Music Hall.

Early heavy metal icons Saxon and Uriah Heep team up at the House of Blues.


Pianist and singer Norah Jones comes to MGM Music Hall.

Tell a friend

Deehan wishes this bargain 1869 French Second Empire condo for just $599k didn't comes with such a significant caveat.

Steph wants to hear your recommendations for pizza I haven't already reviewed. Maybe they'll try it.

This newsletter was edited by Jeff Weiner and copy edited by James Farrell.