July 20, 2022
It's Wednesday, and National Hot Dog Day! More on that below.
Today's weather: Sunny and wicked hot. High tide at 5:46pm.
Today's newsletter is 910 words, a 3.5-minute read.
1 big thing: Biden's climate update
President Joe Biden will be in Massachusetts today to discuss his next steps on addressing climate change.
Driving the news: Biden plans to visit Somerset, at the site of the now-shuttered Brayton Point power plant, which is being turned into the state's first offshore wind manufacturing facility, to outline his plans, according to the White House.
- These remarks come days after congressional climate and tax talks stalled.
- Biden considered declaring a climate emergency — which would allow him to use broad presidential powers to impose fossil fuel restrictions and fund efforts to scale up the clean energy sector — but instead is expected to announce some other executive actions, report Axios’ Hans Nichols and Alayna Treene.
Why it matters: Massachusetts is one of the leading clean energy hubs in the nation, with Boston and the southeastern area being the home base for many renewable wind energy projects.
- U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, one of the architects of the "Green New Deal" legislation, will join Biden.
What they're saying: "We are living through a climate crisis and we need to govern like it," Markey said in a statement to Axios.
Zoom in: In Massachusetts, that means more flooding and extreme temperatures. A 2018 report from the Union of Concerned Scientists projects that thousands of homes along the Bay State coast are at risk of becoming "chronically" inundated by 2045, including 405 in Boston, 659 in Quincy and 1,105 in Revere.
2. Health care barriers
More than one-third of Massachusetts residents reported difficulties getting health care last year, according to a new report from the state Center of Health Information and Analysis.
What's happening: CHIA released its biennial health insurance survey today, which asked 5,000 Mass. households between July and December 2021 about insurance coverage, health care access and affordability.
- While most of the state's 7 million residents have a health care provider, getting an appointment can prove difficult because of factors like cost and child care, the survey finds.
By the numbers: The majority of residents (81%) visited a general doctor in the past year, according to the survey.
- That's lower than the last survey in 2019, when 86.4% recorded seeing a doctor.
- 19% reported difficulties getting an appointment "as soon as needed" with a doctor's office or clinic, per the survey.
- 2.4% reported difficulty getting an appointment due to lack of child care, with Hispanic families being more than four times as likely than non-Hispanic whites to report this issue.
Between the lines: Most residents say they have a "usual source of care" — or a place to get health care aside from the emergency room — but the survey reveals disparities based on race, ethnicity and income.
- A lower share of Hispanics and non-Hispanic Black, Asian and multiracial people reported having a "usual source of care" compared to non-Hispanic whites.
- The CHIA survey finds similar gaps between low-income workers and higher earners, and even larger gaps between people who were uninsured at any point last year and fully insured residents.
The bottom line: Barriers to health care persist even in the home of many of the best hospitals and medical schools in the nation.
3. 🔙 Back that Mass. Up: News from around the commonwealth
- Two Mass. congresswomen, Reps. Catherine Clark and Ayanna Pressley, were among 17 lawmakers arrested yesterday during an abortion protest at the Supreme Court. (Axios)
- Police are stepping up patrols at Carson Beach in South Boston and Revere Beach after several incidents of minors fighting. (WCVB)
- Boston's higher-ranking police officers are suing in state court to reverse a restriction on using nonlethal weapons on protestors and limit the powers of new police oversight efforts. (GBH News)
4. "Much Ado" comes to the Common
Boston Common will transform into Messina, Italy, on Thursday, when Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's "Much Ado About Nothing" premieres.
- All performances start at 8pm by the Parkman Bandstand.
- The play runs through Aug. 7.
- Bring your own chairs and picnic goodies.
Catch up fast: In case you don't remember high school English class, "Much Ado" is one of the Bard's later comedies.
- The two couples at the center of the story, Claudio and Hero, and Benedick and Beatrice, are the prototypes for every bantering literary couple that have appeared since 1600.
- The villain Don John is always sublime, even when he isn't played by Keanu.
The intrigue: In director Megan Sandberg-Zakian's staging of the comedy, Benedick is played by actress Tia James, giving this year's Shakespeare on the Common a contemporary gender-swap within the classic story of mistaken intentions.
You can rent a chair or reserve premium seating at the play's website.
Do you see yourself with a new career?
5. Have a hot dog
It's National Hot Dog Day! Put away the steamed vegetables and relish the day with a frank at one of these hot dog joints.
Weiner Wednesday at haley.henry — $12-$15
- This Downtown Crossing wine bar serves a different loaded hot dog every Wednesday. One recent dog featured mozzarella, house-made bolognese sauce and fried garlic (pictured above).
The Boston Speed Dog at Troquet — $11.75
- The Boston Speed Dog is a half-pound of Pearl beef frank with chili sauce, onions, sweet relish and mustard served with a side of house-made potato chips.
Spike's Junkyard Dogs — $3.50 and up
- This Allston eatery offers beef dogs with a range of toppings, from sauerkraut and onions to bacon and barbecue sauce.
- If meat isn't your thing, Spike's can make any order a veggie dog.
Mike might hit up Sullivan's later to celebrate Hot Dog Day.
Steph is thankful for J.P. Licks on scorchers like this.