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Here's the scoop on Massachusetts' upcoming 'ice cream trail'

The Banana Boat Jumbo Banana Split at Cabot's Ice Cream in Newton. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
The Banana Boat Jumbo Banana Split at Cabot's Ice Cream in Newton. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Editor's Note: This is an excerpt from WBUR's daily morning newsletter, WBUR Today. If you like what you read and want it in your inbox, sign up here


The Red Line is back to full service and we have five full days before the next partial closure. But first, let’s get to today’s news:

I scream, you scream, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources is screaming for ice cream (businesses). As WBUR’s Stevee Chapman reports, the department is working to establish an official “Massachusetts Ice Cream Trail.” The initiative will create a map — online and in print — of dairy farms and ice cream shops where people can find locally made scoops, pints and more.

  • Zoom out: The project has been in the works for over a year, and aims to promote the local dairy industry. Katie Rozenas-Hanson, a coordinator for the state’s dairy promotion board, says it was inspired by Massachusetts’ old wine and cheese trail, as well as New Hampshire’s “great” ice cream trail. “We have roughly 100 dairy farms here,” she said. “And so we really want to make sure we’re highlighting all of the hard work that they’re doing.”
  • Zoom in: Today is the final call for dairy farms and stands that want to be included on the ice cream trail. They can fill out this form.
  • What’s next: The goal is to launch the ice cream trail in July, coinciding not only with ice cream weather, but also National Ice Cream Month (as proclaimed by former president Ronald Reagan).

On the docket: Nearly four years after then-Attorney General Maura Healey first sued Uber and Lyft, the long-anticipated court showdown between the state and the ride-share companies goes to trial today in Suffolk Superior Court. As WBUR’s Amy Sokolow reports, a judge will decide whether the drivers are independent contractors or employees under Massachusetts’ labor law.

  • The case for being contractors: Uber and Lyft argue their drivers set their own hours and drive for competing companies so they are “contractors.” (Separately, Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Instacart are working to get a question on the November ballot to affirm their drivers are independent contractors.)
  • The case for being employees: The state points to a law that says workers can only be classified as contractors if the service they provide is “outside the usual course of business of the employer.” The state’s lawsuit argues drivers’ on-demand availability to pick up passengers represents the core of both Uber and Lyft’s businesses.
  • Why it matters: Uber and Lyft drivers are only paid for the rides they give passengers (not the time they spend waiting), so they don’t get a minimum wage (nor unemployment insurance or sick time). But if the judge rules they’re technically employees, Uber and Lyft would be required to offer them those things. The companies say that would lead to either a major reduction in service or an increase in costs for riders.

On campus: Several graduating Emerson College students briefly disrupted the school’s commencement yesterday to show solidarity with Palestinians — and opposition to college leaders. WBUR’s Eliana Marcu reports one student draped a Palestinian flag across the podium when she was called to accept her diploma, while other graduates took off their caps and gowns while on stage. (You can see footage of some of the demonstrations here and here.)

Mass General Hospital says there is “no indication” the death of the first human to receive a genetically modified pig kidney was the result of the transplant. Rick Slayman, a 62-year-old Weymouth resident, died this weekend, almost two months after the procedure. He had end-stage kidney disease when he got the historic transplant.

P.S.— If you weren’t among the few well-positioned people to squeeze onto Somerville’s Aberdeen Road to see Guster play at Porchfest, you can still watch their brief, unique set online (and yes, they played “Amsterdam”).

Related:

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Nik DeCosta-Klipa Newsletter Editor
Nik DeCosta-Klipa is the newsletter editor for WBUR.

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