BOSTON (AP) — Boston's famous Swan Boats are again offering rides after being sidelined last year because of the pandemic.

Acting Mayor Kim Janey took her family on one of the foot-powered boats Saturday to celebrate their reopening at the Boston Public Garden. Janey called it “a great way to celebrate our recovery from the pandemic.”

“We welcome Bostonians and visitors back to our historic park to enjoy this joyful attraction in keeping with current health guidelines for a safe ride with family and friends," she said in a statement.

Masks are required on the boats, and passengers are being spaced apart in line and on the vessels.

The Paget family, which has run the iconic Boston tradition since 1877, said last summer was the first time the entire season had been canceled. The oldest boat in the fleet just celebrated its 111th season.

Each Swan Boat weighs 3 tons fully laden and is powered by the driver using a foot-propelled paddle wheel.



New Hampshire Democrats are pushing to retain remote public access to legislative committee work.

The Statehouse has been closed to the public during the coronavirus pandemic, but those interested in testifying on bills have been able to call in to hearings and to watch committee discussions online. At a news conference Friday, Democratic leaders said they hope the next two-year state budget will including funding to allow such participation to continue.

They called the system used during the pandemic a silver lining that has allowed greater transparency and participation by constituents who might otherwise not have weighed in on important legislation due to distance or disability.

“By any standard, the use of video conferencing technology has been a success. It has allowed many more people to participate in the legislative process and to observe the workings of the Legislature in action,” said House Minority Leader Renny Cushing, D-Hampton. “It really opens up our democracy and we hope this process continues.”



The Vermont town of Vernon is planning to hold its annual town meeting outdoors this year.

Earlier this year the Vernon select board moved the community’s town meeting, which is usually held in March, to May 23 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The whole process will be new but as far as what they’re voting on should be pretty much the same,” said Interim Town Administrator Wendy Harrison.

The Brattleboro Reformer reports the meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. on May 23 on the lawn outside the town hall.

In addition to masking, participants will answer health-related questions upon checking in. Social distancing rules also will be applied. No food sales or table leafletting will be allowed.

At the meeting, townspeople will decide a number of economic issues for the community.



A mobile clinic in Lewiston will offer free COVID-19 vaccines next week as part of an effort to increase immunizations in the area.

The clinic opened Friday near the Oak Street municipal parking area and will resume Monday for walk-ins or by appointment. Shots will be available through Friday to anyone ages 18 and older. The clinic has capacity to give about 1,000 shots while in Lewiston.

The project is being coordinated by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, the city of Lewiston and Promerica Health, a medical company.

City administrator Denis D’Auteuil said the clinic will be especially helpful to shift workers from the area's businesses.

After its time in Lewiston next week, the clinic will travel to other sites in Androscoggin County and western Maine. It will then return to Lewiston and the other sites to provide second doses of the Moderna vaccine.