A school for developmentally disabled students in Massachusetts has won a controversial appeal to use electric shock therapy on self-harming pupils.
In March of last year the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of electric shock devices as treatment for individuals engaging in self-injuring or aggressive behaviors.
The Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, which is the only place in the country to use electric shock therapy for this purpose, petitioned the ban with the support of parents and guardians of patients who receive the treatment.
This week a federal appeals court overturned the ban, stating that it was a regulation of the practice of medicine, which is outside the FDA’s area of authority.
According to the court filing, The Judge Rotenberg Educational Center treats patients with the most severe mental disabilities that other facilities could not successfully treat.
It describes common self-injurious behaviors among the center’s patients, including head-banging and self-biting, which have at times been severe enough to cause self-inflicted brain trauma, broken bones, and even blindness.
The center manufactures its own electric shock devices, which work by administering brief shocks through electrodes attached to the skin of patients. If they engage in self-harm a shock is remotely administered to try and discourage it. Approximately 20% of the center’s patients are being treated with them at any given time.
In a statement following the ruling, the school said it was pleased to be able to continue to use the “life-saving treatment of last resort”.
“With the treatment, these residents can continue to participate in enriching experiences, enjoy visits with their families and, most importantly, live in safety and freedom from self-injurious and aggressive behaviors,” it said.
The Judge Rotenberg Educational Center has been highly criticized by disability rights activists and even the United Nations, which has previously said the center’s use of electric shock therapy amounted to “torture”.
The president of Disability Rights International, Laurie Ahern, previously told The Guardian, “The idea of using electric shocks to torture children has been recognized as unconscionable around the world – the US government has got to respond to this and put a stop to it.”
Court documents stated that while the FDA had found little evidence for the device’s long-term effectiveness in stopping self-harming, it did not have the legal authority to ban an otherwise legal device from a particular use.
The Judge Rotenberg Educational Center treats over 300 individuals, 55 of which are approved for electric shock therapy, according to Massachusetts News.
If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.
New England is a worthy destination in all seasons for hiking, beaching, leaf-peeping, and skiing.
We found some of the best Airbnbs in New England, from Maine to Connecticut.
Our list ranges from quaint beach cottages to cozy A-frame cabins.
From Connecticut to Vermont and beyond, New England is a year-round vacation destination for scenic waterfront activities, gorgeous leaf-peeping, and skiing. New England is also known for wide-open spaces that make it easy to practice social distancing, especially if you opt for a private vacation rental.
In fact, experts say Airbnb is safe, especially compared to hotels, given that private vacation rentals minimize interactions with others, and Airbnb hosts must follow enhanced cleaning procedures. However, there’s still an inherent risk to traveling and we recommend following CDC guidelines, practicing social distancing, double masking, and washing hands frequently.
Wondering where to vacation in New England this summer? Start with these vacation rentals below, based on our knowledge as long-time residents and visitors to the area. They’re all within driving distance of most East Coast cities, and include some of the coolest Airbnb homes, from a beach cottage to homes with private pools, and a treehouse Airbnb.
Browse all listings below, or jump to a specific area:
Self-described by the host as a “contemporary treehouse,” this Brookfield property is reminiscent of a classic cabin with a spacious deck, high ceilings and windows, and a polished wooden exterior. Inside, there’s a slotted spiral staircase and tons of natural light, plus eco-friendly features such as solar panels.
The host offers private lessons to guests in activities ranging from paddleboarding to yoga, and this property is less than two hours from New York City. It’s surrounded by gorgeous hiking trails, parks, and lakes.
Skip the crowds at the state parks and carve out your own stretch of sand in this A-frame chalet in the coastal community of East Lyme.
Tucked behind a quintessential clapboard facade, this home plays up its beachside location with seaside design motifs and nautical blue-colored accents. There’s a lofted sleeping nook perched atop a spiral staircase (note that there’s no door to fully close the space off from the living area below) and an open floor plan that includes a plush couch, small table and chairs, and a cozy kitchen with a farmhouse vibe. Laundry is available too, hidden inside a whimsical bathroom done up with wallpaper adorned with sailboats and fish.
The home has deeded beach rights to a private beach that’s less than a mile away and a peaceful deck offers seating for laidback days. East Lyme is well-placed to explore the Niantic Boardwalk, Mystic Seaport, Essex Village, and more.
The wooden wall that accents the entirety of this home adds a sophisticated, cohesive feel, especially when complemented by wide-spanning glass doors that lead to an outdoor balcony. The minimalist design feels reminiscent of a modern hotel, yet the pond on the premises serves as a calming reminder of the surrounding suburban nature.
Although this property does not have a kitchen, its amenities include nearly all other necessities such as air conditioning, heat, Wi-Fi, and bathroom essentials. It is an Airbnb Plus verified home and is located just a half a mile away from the coast, and the host specifically notes that beautiful bird watching and beaches are within the area.
Another Guilford gem, this small cottage feels like a boutique villa with access to a serene pool outfitted with five-star fittings such as plush towels, loungers, umbrellas, and a hot tub.
The home is a guest cottage, so your host will be on-site, but there’s plenty of privacy within the design-forward home that includes one bedroom, a nice kitchen, and a calming blue and white color palette. At night, sink into the bed with goose feather duvets and shut the blackout blinds for a restful night’s sleep.
In addition to the pool, the home enjoys water and marsh views from every room, a boon for bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts. This is a place to unplug as there is no TV, however, Wi-Fi is available.
If New England feels synonymous with beach stays and boating, this Mystic home hits the ideal tone. Between the nautical furnishings and bedrooms named after ship quarters, this property takes the maritime theme to lofty levels.
And while themed homes can often lean kitschy, that’s far from the case here. The farmhouse kitchen leads to an abundance of open space, and the overall design feels contemporary. The four-bedroom home can house up to 10 guests and there’s even a second guest house included for additional space. Amenities run the gamut from a private back patio with a grill to an outdoor shower, bikes, kayaks, and even baby essentials.
The best part? You’re just steps away from the water, so a real boating experience is just as attainable as the theme suggests.
Ideal for a group or family getaway, this resort-style home boasts four bedrooms, a spa, and its biggest draw, a sprawling heated pool.
Ensconced within the rolling hills of Litchfield County, this home is located on a quiet country road but close to wineries, antique shops, horseback riding, dining, and shopping.
The master bedroom suite includes a King-sized bed, ensuite bathroom with a large jetted tub, and walk-in shower that’s practically the size of a large walk-in closet. There are also three additional bedrooms, a finished basement with a bar, and a sleek kitchen for gourmet cooking. Well-kept grounds include a large grassy fenced-in yard, a generous deck, and a stone patio that wraps around the pool.
Just note that the pool and spa are only open from April 1 to October 15.
The cheery pink exterior of this apartment building permeates through the home, which comes with a full-sized kitchen with wooden cabinets, stainless steel appliances, and granite countertops. The space is framed by a calming blue wall, and complemented by pops of red found in the quirky, yet elegant living room.
The bedroom and bathroom feel as homey as they do meticulously crafted, while small details like built-in bedroom shelving, a walk-in closet, and a shower light offer convenience that doesn’t skimp on beauty.
Salem, and all of its haunted happenings are within a 10-minute walk.
Stick your toes in the sand within minutes of arriving to this beachfront cottage on the Cape. Located in Yarmouth and facing the Nantucket Sound, you’ll wake to waterfront views every day in this quintessential gray clapboard Cape home.
Inside is light and bright with white-washed wood walls and furnishings set against splashes of cool blue and light wood. The space is intimate and best suited to a couple or a solo traveler planning a beachy getaway.
Yet, there’s still a nice-sized living room, full kitchen, air conditioning, and bedroom with a Queen-sized bed. There is a brick-lined patio with outdoor seating, though it appears to be shared with other cottages. As expected, most of summer is booked up, however, there are still some dates in May and August, and wider availability from September onwards, which is a wonderful time to visit when most crowds have left but the weather is still plenty nice.
Although unsuspecting on the outside, this sweet home delivers on location, amenities, and hospitality. Inside, the open floor plan, cozy breakfast nook, and hardwood floors are all eye-catching and the fenced-in yard is welcoming to furry friends. Ample seating, including a hammock, is flanked by a grill and fire pit for tranquil nights.
The property sits just steps away from Swan Pond, and beaches are two miles away as well. The home is also near plenty of restaurants and shops, as well as a bike path.
This design-forward abode is nestled amid the Berkshire mountains, directly between the alluring towns of Stockbridge, Lenox, and Great Barrington, with easy access to fall foliage, ski, hike, or soak up culture.
The ample home includes two bedrooms with Queen-sized beds, as well as an additional lofted space with two Murphy beds. During the day, light pours in through graciously appointed windows, while the space exudes warmth at night from chic lighting fixtures and a fireplace. Plan to savor a meal in the gorgeous dining room and admire contemporary touches in the bright kitchen and subway-tiled bathroom with a deep soaking tub. The look is highly curated, blending natural elements such as wood and stones with an urban mindset.
There’s also a funky bar area, screened-in back porch, and a patio with fire pit.
This cozy cabin is a welcome respite for a snug couples’ getaway in the winter months, while the outdoor patio provides an inviting oasis in fall, spring, and summer.
Although the space is relatively small and unpretentious, its kind hosts and quirky traditions make it feel just as familiar as home. Our favorite: the “take a beer, leave a beer” policy, which encourages guests to try a new beer from the home while leaving one of their own for the next guest.
The town of Freeport is home to L.L.Bean, so the oversized L.L. Bean boot is certainly a top attraction, as is the Adventure Schools of L.L.Bean.
An elegant couples retreat, this tiny but mighty home oozes coziness. The Murphy bed creates a comforting nook, while the couch, flat-screen TV, kitchenette, and full-sized bathroom ensure every need is met.
The property sits on 13 acres of private land with an outdoor shower available for rinsing off sandy feet after a day spent at nearby beaches and lakes. In the cooler fall months, breathtaking hiking and foliage is also available right near the home.
Lined from floor to ceiling in light blond timber and framed by wraparound views of a peaceful bay, this two-bedroom Bowdoinham home channels Scandinavian minimalism with all the rustic accouterments of a remote cabin.
The living space feels open and bright thanks to ample sunlight through many windows, as well as beamed ceilings. There are five beds, a full kitchen, and a gas-powered fireplace. Other perks include free Wi-Fi, a private patio and fire pit, access to a shared dock, and a prime location for fishing and hunting, shrouded in lush leafy scenery.
This Maine stunner was designed to feel like a ship, which is an easy feat given its location perched atop a 130 foot cliff overlooking the ocean and surrounded by over 30 acres of woods, wildlife, and beaches. In fact, 12 acres include private hiking trails for guest use.
Known as The Prowhouse, this home was designed by Machiasport poet and sea captain Phil Rose with a distinctive, angular ‘prow’ like that of a boat. Floor-to-ceiling windows are found in most rooms and two bedrooms include a master overlooking the ocean and a smaller cozier room, though, it is missing a door.
On themed motifs include a telescope, teak and brass accents, and blue and gold-colored nautical maps of New England. Most of the furniture, art, and design are by mid-century Modernists Paul McCobb, Norman Cherner, Percival Lafer, and Curtis Jere, and there is also a library corner with a Danish desk for the work-from-home crowd.
Enjoy the allure of the sea in this whimsical cottage with ocean views and full access to an adjacent docked lobster boat that’s been revamped and fashioned as a lounge and library.
Water views are available throughout the main house, which is complemented by midcentury furniture and maritime-inspired accents like a modern sailboat sculpture. Pops of yellow add a subtle dose of whimsy, too.
Though, it’s the lobster boat that really dazzles. A rusty dinghy adorned with barnacles it is not, but rather, a thoughtfully furnished space with vintage pieces such as a tasteful upholstered chair, a low slung leather sofa, and an attractive console table. With so much ’60s nostalgia, it’s practically begging you to sip on a martini while snacking on some fresh lobster, natch.
A restored barn is now a contemporary oasis with minimal Scandinavian-inspired modern furnishings, a farmhouse kitchen, and lots of wooden touches. However, there’s also a strong upscale feeling with a subway-tiled walk-in shower set behind a sleek glass panel wall that’s stocked with Kiehl’s toiletry products. Other features include modern light fixtures, soaringly-high windows that pour in light, and a nice patio. There are two bedrooms, plus an air mattress that is available for the sleeping loft.
In the summer months, grab the provided beach chairs and cooler and head to Kennebunkport’s famous beaches, or take advantage of the bikes and helmet for a ride around town.
With a central beach location, sleek decor, and an array of amenities, this home makes a comfortable base for an attractive New England trip at any time of year.
Highlights include the inviting, clean lines of the design and furniture, which feel new and vibrant, complemented by exposed brick behind the TV and a bright blue printed rug that ties the entire space together.
Outside, downtown Portsmouth is a bustling New Hampshire town. Stop by Market Square for the city’s top dining, shops, and nightlife.
From the wood-paneled bedroom wall to the baby blue kitchen counters, as well as the electric fireplace built into an accent wall, this apartment feels whimsical yet modern.
Although the small space sits lacks a full kitchen, it does offer contemporary fixings and a small outdoor seating area to enjoy during the warmer months.
The property is a short drive to major cities, but its tiny size and secluded location position it as an ideal remote spot for solo travelers or couples. Even at peak pricing, the home remains relatively affordable.
This creative chalet appears unassuming from the outside but inside, delightfully blends midcentury design, tribal prints, and pops of blue and orange with a wood-beamed ceiling, stone fireplace (nonworking, however), and plenty of rustic wood.
There are three bedrooms set under the A-frame structure, with a master on the main floor that may be configured as a King-size bed or two twins. And while the home is very much a woodsy cabin, comforts such as multiple air conditioning units promise to keep things cool and comfy in the summer months. Take in the mountain views from the large deck, and feel free to bring your pup; dogs are allowed with a small fee.
We love a good lake house and this charmer with a bright blue exterior and knotty pine walls lining the inside is no exception.
This simple home is nothing fancy but has all new appliances in the full kitchen, multiple living spaces to spread out, and books, games, and puzzles for relaxing nights in. A wall of windows line the front of the house facing the lake making it a serene spot to sip your morning coffee. When it’s time to venture out, descend the stairs to your own dock where rowboats and kayaks are available to use from May through October. Or, settle in the fenced in yard with a hammock, fire pit, and outdoor seating.
Reminiscent of a woodsy ski lodge, this home features wintry delights including stacks of firewood, a sun and game room with a ping pong table, and a wooden dock for sunbathing and grilling.
The home is set deep in the woods for an intimate family getaway, yet shops, restaurants, and the slopes are all just a short drive. The host also makes a point to note that the surrounding area is kid-friendly.
Views abound in this impressive large log cabin-style family home. There’s plenty of wood and stone to go around but the feel leans more luxury than rustic thanks to Scandinavian-inspired decor such as platform beds, low slung seating, and a minimal but calming color palette. Contemporary light fixtures dangle from sky-high cathedral ceilings and soaring windows allow tons of light to shingle through.
In winter, the stone fireplace makes for a cozy central gathering space, while the expansive front deck with a covered porch is a coveted perch come summer for sunbathing. And, year round, you can’t beat those views.
Other amenities include rain fall showers, a library and reading loft, as well as a family room with a seven speaker home theater for movie nights, a workspace, and a toddler play area.
“Tiny” may describe the size of this Rhode Island home, but elements like the teal front door, walk-in closet, and even a washer position this home as anything but small when it comes to worthy amenities.
Thoughtfully and creatively crafted for both vacations and the work from home lifestyle, the host notes a workspace in the bedroom, pull-up bars on the ceiling, and super fast internet.
The house is within walking distance to Pawtuxet Village, the harbor, and plenty of shops and restaurants. Downtown Providence is just a 10-minute drive away.
French doors open up to a breathtaking bay view on this home’s massive deck, making a socially distant beach vacation incredibly attainable. The floor plan inside feels nearly as open as the water beside it, while amenities include a full-sized kitchen and washer-dryer.
If you are able to tear yourself away from the view, the property is a 10-minute walk from downtown Providence and historic Pawtuxet Village, dotted with shops and restaurants.
Be it the whale pillow on the bed, model ships placed around the house, or the anchor doormat, this home subtly pays homage to its nautical-adjacent location throughout the home. These accents are accompanied by a full stainless steel kitchen, a crisp white color scheme, and even a clawfoot tub.
The Airbnb Plus verified home also includes a grassy backyard with a grill and two-floor deck. Newport’s shops, restaurants, and attractions are a five-minute walk away, and the host notes Bellevue Avenue as a highlight for runners.
While most crowds flock to nearby Newport, Jamestown is another coastal island gem with a quieter vibe while still being steeped in ample history, natural beauty, and quaint New England charm.
This posh home is well-suited for a family with two bedrooms and two baths. There’s a true luxury feel here with indulgent amenities such as a walk-in marble rain shower, a chic stone gas fireplace, a large glam chef’s kitchen, and generous living and dining areas. For entertainment, break out one of the provided board games or watch a movie on the smart TV with access to multiple streaming services. There’s also a magnificent stone patio with plush chaise lounges, a large dining table, and a verdant not-so-secret garden.
This once-abandoned home was discovered by its hosts half-submerged into the water below and was masterfully renovated to its current incarnation which appears more like a boutique hotel. The design is immaculate, boasting a clean, light, white palette brightened by lush green plants and black wood floors. Bedding and linens exude luxury vibes down to the provided robes hanging in the closet.
There’s also a gourmet chef’s kitchen (with fishing rods available to catch your own dinner), a private beach, three bedrooms, one bathroom, kayaks, outdoor lounge areas, and spectacular views from almost every room.
If your childhood dreams of a backyard treehouse were sadly never fulfilled, this may be the place for you.
Hidden in the woods of Hardwick, this one-bedroom New England treehouse has all the offerings of a traditional home including a stunning chandelier, a fireplace, and a kitchenette, yet it’s perched amid rich foliage and leafy trees. The only caveat is that the bathroom doesn’t have a shower. Though, the hosts welcome guests to use their bathroom through a separate entrance if needed.
Guests also enjoy access to a porch, hammock, shaded seating area, grill, and a designated spot for campfires. Hardwick Village, filled with restaurants and farmer’s markets, is three miles away.
Inside and out, this alpine A-frame is stunning, from the bright blue walls to the enchanting interiors crafted from solid wood, flanked by a wood-burning stove, midcentury modern furniture, and a cozy bedroom with a Nectar Queen-sized mattress and organic linens.
Small details shine, from the lighting that includes both a sleek installation and fairy tale twinkle lights, as well as a record player, farmhouse-inspired kitchen, and creature comforts such as air conditioning, Wi-Fi, and P.F. Candle and Beekman 1802 products.
The home is dog friendly (for a small fee) and includes a fire pit and deck with Weber grill and outdoor dining set for a meal under the stars. A short stroll away is a lovely lake and hikes, skiing, shopping, and state parks are all nearby.
Situated facing a gorgeous lake, this beachfront home is a great reminder that Vermont isn’t just for forests and ski bunnies.
With a nautical white and blue color scheme, a serene kitchen, and a living area surrounded by nearly floor-to-ceiling windows, the design of this lakefront getaway is seemingly immaculate. The bedrooms are also well-styled alongside an updated bathroom, and the upstairs terrace offers dramatic views of Shelburn Bay. Outside, find additional seating, a grill, fire pit, plus the free use of kayaks in the summer.
The home is tucked amid farmland and hiking trails, and bread and cheese-making classes are available nearby.
Every detail in this gorgeous A-frame home is purposeful and thoughtfully designed by an attentive host. White, blonde, and dark wood contrast with precision alongside green leafy plants, mountain-inspired art, tribal decor, and furnishings done up in hues of cream, beige, and other neutrals.
There are two meticulously curated living areas, three well-appointed bedrooms, and two dazzling bathrooms with spa-like subway-tiled showers. There’s also a working fireplace, a six-person hot tub, and a lovely deck with a grill and outdoor seating where you may likely find yourself stargazing while strumming on the provided guitar.
Whether in New England or across the world, search for homes on Airbnb based on location, price, date, number of bedrooms or bathrooms, features, and more. Once you’ve found a home, review the final price and don’t forget to check the cancellation policies, too. For a full breakdown on how to book on Airbnb, click here.
There are no blanket New England travel restrictions. Most states offer their own guidelines on recommendations around self-quarantine based on recent travel and activity. It’s best to look up each state’s individual policy before booking a vacation rental such as Airbnb.
Is it safe to travel to New England?
Despite the COVID vaccine rollout, there is still no guarantee when it comes to safety with travel, though staying in a private home such as those found on Airbnb will lower your risk of exposure. Be sure to take added precautions recommended by the CDC including social distancing, wearing a mask, and hand washing. Consider postponing travel if coming to or arriving from a hotspot.
Frasca told Fox that Straight Wharf Restaurant had been hit by other worker shortages in recent years but that the current problem was “particularly acute.”
“There are no applicants out there,” Frasca said. “Where we might, in the past, get 20 applicants a day, we’re seeing one or two and usually without applicable experience.”
Frasca said that the upscale restaurant needs experienced staff, and that it’s better to focus on the quality of new hires rather than the quantity.
“It’s always better to be down a man than we are putting someone in the position where they’re going to fail,” he said. “That being said, we are at the point where it is going to affect our business and it is impacting our operations.”
He said the restaurant planned to return to a seven-day schedule in a few weeks – but that this might not happen if it can’t find enough workers.
“Right now when we need to fill 11, 12, 13 positions, we’re pretty far away from that.”
The chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party on Friday refused to condemn or ask for the resignation of a GOP leader who said she was “sickened” by an openly gay congressional candidate adopting children with his husband.
In an email to other members of the state GOP, Deborah Martell, who is a member of the 80-person state GOP committee, said she was “sickened” by congressional candidate Jeffrey Sossa-Paquette.
“I heard he was a ‘married’ homosexual man, who adopted children. I was sickened to hear this,” Martell wrote in a May 15 e-mail, according to the Boston Globe.
Martell did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment Saturday.
Sossa-Paquette, a Republican running for Massachusetts’ 2nd Congressional District, has two children, aged 19 and 10, with his husband Julian, according to NBC Boston.
When Sossa-Paquette confronted Martell about the email days later, she doubled down in an email also obtained by the Boston Globe.
“I am a Catholic who loves God and His Ten Commandments,” she wrote to Sossa-Paquette on May 19, according to the report. “I wish the best for every person in the world, including you! What sickened me was that you adopted children.
“Children deserve a mom and a dad. That’s how God designed marriage and the family,” she continued.
Sossa-Paquette said he reached out to Jim Lyons, the chairman of the state GOP, to ask him to condemn Martell’s comments but said Lyons told him he wouldn’t “get involved in inter-party politics,” according to NBC Boston.
Sossa-Paquette did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.
According to the Globe, 29 of 30 Republicans in the state House of Representatives had on Friday called in a letter for Lyons to condemn Martell and ask for her resignation or resign himself. Lyons refused, instead imploring members of his own party in a statement to stand up to “censorship” and “cancel culture.”
“Members of the Massachusetts House Republican caucus are demanding that I force a woman of deep Catholic faith to resign from the Massachusetts Republican State Committee,” Lyons said in a statement. “I acknowledge that she wrote in a manner that was offensive. However, Massachusetts Republican Party bylaws are clear: freedom of speech and religious liberty are values that are unbending and uncompromising.”
He continued: “In the end, we must realize that the danger to our freedoms is real. We as Republicans must not act as the far-left wants us to.”
Martell likewise has refused calls for her resignation, which have come from across the state, including from GOP Gov. Charlie Baker and GOP Vice Chairman Tom Mountain, according to the Globe. Martell has made no public statement since the outlet first reported about the email on June 1.
The Massachusetts GOP did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment Saturday.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren will run for reelection in 2024.
The Massachusetts Democrat, who sought the party’s 2020 presidential nomination, told Politico in an interview published on Saturday that she would seek a third term in the Senate.
When asked if she would run again, she replied, “Yep.”
Warren, who has long been an influential member of the party’s progressive flank, was a leading presidential contender during the Democratic primaries but ended her campaign after disappointing losses in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and on Super Tuesday.
After the campaign, she was mentioned as a contender to become then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s running mate, but the offer was eventually given to then-Sen. Kamala Harris of California.
Warren also reportedly expressed interest in becoming Biden’s Treasury secretary, but that role went to former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
The senator, who has been promoting her new book, “Persist,” has been candid on why her presidential campaign failed to launch her into a one-on-one battle with former President Donald Trump for the White House.
“In this moment, against this president, in this field of candidates, maybe I just wasn’t good enough to reassure the voters, to bring along the doubters, to embolden the hopeful,” Warren wrote.
She wrote that the possibility of this notion being true was “painful.”
In her book, Warren also makes some additional revelations about the 2020 campaign.
She expressed regret for taking a DNA test to settle lingering questions about her claims of Native American ancestry.
“I was wrong to take the test,” she wrote.
She also states that with Biden and Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in the race, it was hard to forge a winning coalition since both men had deep reservoirs of support among Democratic voters.
Uber and Lyft then asked the court to toss the case, arguing the state hadn’t done enough to prove drivers were denied benefits and that there wasn’t a legitimate legal dispute over the issue. The court denied both companies’ requests, allowing the case to proceed.
Uber and Lyft did not respond to requests for comment on this story, while labor and driver groups praised the ruling.
“This court order is a complete rejection of Uber and Lyft’s position and a big win for working people,” Massachusetts AFL-CIO president Steve Tolman told Insider in a statement.
“Every worker should be able to earn a decent wage, take care of their health, and protect against harassment and discrimination on the job. We thank Attorney General Healey and her team for holding Uber and Lyft accountable for following the same rules that apply to every other company,” Tolman added.
The two ride-hailing giants have faced an increasing number of legal challenges in recent years over how they classify workers amid growing evidence many drivers are paid less than the minimum wage, and have struggled – particularly during the pandemic – without access to health care, labor protections, and unemployment benefits guaranteed by law to employees.
While companies are typically required to pay into state and federal programs benefiting their workers, Uber and Lyft have passed those costs on to taxpayers. A recent Washington Post analysis found more than 27,000 Uber and Lyft drivers received a combined $80 million from the US government to help them get through the pandemic.
The companies have argued drivers should be considered contractors because they’re able to choose when they can work and which rides they accept, claiming the companies are simply technology platforms that connect drivers and riders.
But a UK court recently rejected that argument, finding Uber and Lyft exercise significant control over drivers – much like a traditional employer – by setting their rates, assigning them rides, and using a rating system to determine their ability to get work on the platform. Uber responded by reclassifying its drivers as “workers,” a category under UK law between employment and contractor, in order to head off further legal disputes with drivers.
California regulators and courts also rejected the arguments put forth by Uber and Lyft, but the companies – along with a coalition of food-delivery companies including DoorDash and Instacart – avoided having to comply with those rulings by spending a combined $200 million to persuade voters to pass a law they wrote that keeps drivers as contractors.
The Biden administration’s proposed PRO Act, which wouldn’t automatically reclassify gig workers but would make it easier for them to unionize, has elevated the discussion around which rights and benefits rideshare and food-delivery workers should have – and who should bear those costs.
When the pandemic hit, business dried up for Boston-based corporate catering company Alchemista.
It had previously provided food for staff at companies including Splunk and TripAdvisor. As people switched to working from home, Alchemista was left with only one main client – pharma giant Moderna, which has developed a coronavirus vaccine.
But Alchemista’s CEO, Christine Marcus, used this as an opportunity to pivot her business. It’s launching a network of patent-pending food lockers, which will be deployed across offices, schools, and residential blocks and stocked with chef-made meals.
The company is focused on expanding them to residential buildings, Marcus told Insider, but also plans to roll them out to offices, college, and university campuses.
The lockers are simple to use. You scan the QR code on the locker’s tablet screen, which takes you to a payment site. After you’ve paid, the locker unlocks. This means you don’t even need an app to use them – and the whole process takes four seconds, Marcus said.
Because they’re contactless, they’re suitable for use during a pandemic, too.
The lockers are temperature-controlled, with different versions available for heated, ambient, and refrigerated meals, and they use UV light, which the company said kills 99.9% of bacteria.
As well as an on-demand service, Alchemista lets you order up to 12 hours in advance, too, via its website.
Alchemista doesn’t just provide the lockers. It provides the food, too. It has an in-house culinary team that makes the meals and delivery drivers who bring them to the lockers each day.
Alchemista pivoted to food lockers after its corporate catering business came to a “screeching halt”
Before the pandemic, companies were trying to boost their corporate perks with offerings such as free meals to attract staff in cities with competitive labor markets – like Boston.
Alchemista launched in the Massachusetts city in 2012 to provide off-site, high-quality, chef-made meals to businesses who would essentially outsource it with the management of their food and beverage program. At first, Alchemista used third-party restaurants, but by 2019 it was delivering around 2,000 meals a day, and restaurants might not be able to keep up.
With this in mind, it decided to launch an in-house culinary team, which went on to provide most of its meals. It also launched operations in New York and Washington, DC where it experienced rapid growth, Marcus said.
Unfortunately, the pandemic caused the business “came to a screeching halt,” because it exclusively provided corporate catering, she said. “COVID basically brought our business to a complete stop, except one customer,” she added.
The business pivoted to food lockers selling individually boxed meals. Alchemista had the technology to deploy them before the pandemic, but because corporate catering was focused on encouraging staff to be social, people weren’t interested.
As well as chef-made meals, the lockers also sell charcuterie kits and snacks such as bagels made by a local bakery. This means the lockers can give smaller food businesses the opportunity to reach more customers.
Alchemista also provides high-tech contactless vending machines that allow customers to select products using an app.
Marcus said the trend of companies providing corporate catering would continue after the pandemic but as people adopt flexible working patterns, companies might pivot to food lockers instead. “I think it’s going to be a very different world when people go back to work,” she said.
The compact nature of food lockers – Alchemista’s larger versions have space for 19 meals and are roughly 6 foot by 2.6 foot – enables companies to reduce their real estate footprint, compared with on-site catering.
It’s not just offices that Marcus has her eyes on. In Boston, she’s rolling out lockers in the lobbies of residential blocks, where people can collect restaurant-made meals prepared by James Beard award-winning chefs, including wild mushroom risotto, paella, and braised beef.
Marcus hopes to expand even more in the future, too. She envisages the food lockers could be deployed across train stations, bus stops, college campuses, and schools.
Dynamify, a company that provides software services to contract caterers including Alchemista, told Insider demand for food lockers had “exploded” during the pandemic, especially in pharma companies and hospitals.
“In the long-term, we don’t believe food lockers will completely replace traditional restaurant pick-up,” Dynamify’s CEO, Maxwell Harding, said.
“However, we do see food lockers persisting in restaurants with 24/7 customers, particularly manufacturing sites and hospitals,” he added, noting they’re particularly useful for staff working night shifts.
On February 19, health officials in Franklin County, Massachusetts, learned they’d be receiving 350 new doses of COVID-19 vaccine to make available to their residents at a local clinic.
But less than 10 minutes after the scheduling link was posted to the state website, all of the appointments were scooped up – 95 percent of them by out-of towners, Emergency Preparedness Program Manager Tracy Rogers told Insider.
“Most of them were all gone at the same time, so we knew it was not a human being that could be doing it that quickly,” she said. “Then we found out that there is both a Twitter hashtag and a website that people can go to and sign up and the bot will just scour the state website all day long signing them up.”
Bots, autonomous internet tools designed to perform specific functions, have started to pop up in an effort to help Americans find and schedule vaccine appointments. But when online vaccine registrations rolled out, some people were left frustrated because appointment slots would disappear while patients, usually seniors who were among the first wave of people who could be vaccinated, were in the middle of trying to sign up.
Registration systems around the US have been challenging, especially to those who are less tech-savvy.
Some of the new bots are built to scan vaccine websites to determine when a clinic is adding new appointments, and then alerting the human overseeing them to post an alert online, the Associated Press reported.
Others are “scalper” bots that automatically book appointments, according to the AP.
While the bots might be well-intended, the downside is that they might not be sophisticated enough to factor in local regulations.
In Franklin County, a community of just over 70,000 residents, this week’s clinic was intended to be limited to locals.
It was expected that some portion of the appointments would be made by people living outside of the county, but in this case, almost no Franklin residents had the opportunity to register.
“It’s a wonderful service. It’s a great thing,” Rogers said of developers building bots to help seniors sign up. “But the bot doesn’t read where we said this was restricted to Franklin County residents only.”
Many people who signed up for the Western Massachusetts clinic were from the Boston-metro area.
Others who signed up for clinics in Franklin and the neighboring Western Massachusetts community of Berkshire County were driving more than three hours from Cape Cod for the shots.
Rogers said officials in Franklin County were able to meet with state legislators to get permission to cancel all 350 appointments and then reschedule the clinic, making it “private.”
Doing so means the new clinic’s registration link would not be available on the state’s website.
Details were instead distributed to local seniors’ centers, the Council on Aging, and other groups so they could assist with signups. Within two hours of reposting the new link, all of the appointments were rescheduled by local residents and people in nearby rural Massachusetts communities.
Rogers told Insider the problem has been fixed for now, but she’s not sure how long the state will give the county permission to keep vaccine clinics private.
Some eastern Massachusetts residents who were allowed to keep their appointments never showed up.
“The found out they got in at Gillette Stadium and they never called us to cancel,” Rogers said.