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Baker-Polito Administration Announces New Opportunities for Veteran-Owned Businesses:
New supplier diversity certification for veteran business owners streamlines process, reduces wait times
Foxborough, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito today announced a new Massachusetts Veteran Certification program and outreach process to reduce federal certification wait times, increase the participation of veteran and service-disabled veteran business owners in the Commonwealth's supplier diversity program for goods and services' contracts, and foster growth, competition and economic development opportunities for veteran-owned firms in Massachusetts.
"As our veterans return to create businesses and job opportunities for others, this process will improve their ability to compete for state and local contracts," said Governor Charlie Baker. "We are proud to support our servicemen and women and their families for the sacrifices they have made, and for the continued contributions they make to economic development and their communities at home."
The announcement follows the Baker-Polito Administration's supplier diversity enhancements and expansion opportunities for veteran, LGBT, disability, diverse and small business entities announced in November, which included expanding the service-disabled veteran-owned business category of the Supplier Diversity Program to include all veterans, under an existing benchmark of 3%. While the administration will continue to employ cross-certification of veteran and service-disabled veteran businesses from partners like VetBiz and the U.S. Business Leadership Network, the state certification will significantly reduce the length of wait times veteran-owned businesses have experienced through the VetBiz process.
"By improving the way our military men and women can contract with the Commonwealth, Massachusetts is sending a powerful statement to encourage entrepreneurship and advancement for hundreds of veteran business owners," said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.
The Massachusetts Veteran Certification program was announced today at the Commonwealth's 18 annual MASSBUYS EXPO in Foxborough, a 100% exhibitor-funded, two-day event convening nearly 3,000 businesses and public purchasing and procurement officials from state and local government, non-profits and educational institutions. The MASSBUYS EXPO is the largest business to government event of its kind in New England. This year's MASSBUYS EXPO includes the first Supplier Diversity Networking Event, which allows small and diverse businesses that are certified by the Supplier Diversity Office (SDO) to network with MASSBUYS attendees and exhibitors.
Veteran certification by the Commonwealth will begin on May 1 for all Massachusetts-based businesses, June 1 for New England based businesses and July 1 for firms in other states.
"Establishing a veteran-owned business certification program is a testament to the administration's support for increasing the participation of veteran entrepreneurs in the Commonwealth," said Veterans Services Secretary Francisco Ureña. "I thank Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito for their leadership and for championing our veterans and enhancing opportunities for their employment and success."
The development and implementation of the Massachusetts Veteran Certification program is supported in part by a $20,000 Diversity Goal and Business Technical Assistance Grant Opportunity awarded by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
"MGC is proud to support the SDO's initiative to establish a certification and outreach program for veteran-owned businesses with the issuance of a $20,000 grant from MGC's newly established Diversity Goal and Business Technical Assistance Grant Program," said Jill Griffin, Director of Workforce, Supplier and Diversity Development for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. "An expedited certification for veteran business enterprises coupled with outreach and training programs will greatly assist in fulfilling the legislative mandate to ensure that the gaming industry in Massachusetts is inclusive and provides opportunities that reflect the diversity of the Commonwealth."
The Baker-Polito Administration also initiated a bi-annual Supplier Diversity Regional Series in the fall of 2015, led by the Governor's Office of Access and Opportunity (OAO), Massachusetts Office of Business Development (MOBD), the Operational Services Division (OSD) and OSD'S Supplier Diversity Office to increase engagement and marketplace opportunities for small and diverse business enterprises with procurement officials in state and local government, education institutions, medical facilities and the private sector. The inaugural series hosted over 800 attendees.
In February, 2015, Governor Baker signed Executive Order No. 559, elevating the Office of Access and Opportunity to the Governor's Office under the direction of a Deputy Chief of Staff to further the administration's priority of increasing diversity and inclusion within state government employment and procurement. The Executive Order also established a cross-administration Steering Committee for Access and Opportunity to coordinate best practices.
Massachusetts Officials to Provide $2 Million to Test for Lead in Drinking Water at Public Schools:
Funds Will Pay for Technical Assistance, Lab Analysis of Water Fountain and Tap Samples
Boston, MA -- In a continued effort to ensure safe drinking water in schools around the Commonwealth, Governor Charlie Baker and State Treasurer Deb Goldberg today announced $2 million from the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust (MCWT) to fund cooperative efforts to assist Massachusetts public schools test for lead in drinking water. The funds, to be used by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), will provide technical assistance to ensure that public school districts can sample the taps and water fountains in their schools, and to identify any results that show lead contamination over the federal action level.
"Protecting the health of our children is a top priority," said Governor Charlie Baker. "By proactively offering this critical assistance, we can ensure that all students and parents across the Commonwealth are in a safe environment where they can learn and grow."
"Parents are right to be vigilant when the health and safety of their children is at stake, and the Clean Water Trust partners are proud to make this funding available so that we can ensure that all water utilized at school is of the highest quality," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.
"As chair of the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust and the Massachusetts School Building Authority, I am proud to leverage the expertise of my office to address the issue of lead in our schools' drinking water," said Treasurer Deb Goldberg. "These funds allow for us to test more schools and identify where the need is for further investigation to make sure our children are drinking safe, clean water."
The funding from the MCWT, which will allow the assistance program to launch this spring, will pay for sampling to confirm that drinking water levels are below action levels in public school water fountains and fixtures used for food preparation, and will be utilized for the training of school personnel to assist in designing sampling plans.
"This program will help the Commonwealth, local schools and communities ensure that we have up-to-date information and are taking the necessary steps to guard against lead exposure," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. "The Baker-Polito Administration will make sure that any school district that needs our help to assess its water supply system will be able to get it in a timely way."
The Commonwealth estimates that $2 million could provide full support to about 1,750 schools for designing and executing a water sampling program. The funding will also be used to provide technical help to school systems, which will include training, designing sampling plans, and helping schools address fixtures that exceed the action level.
"The Trust's vote to provide funds for our cities and towns across Massachusetts to test their school district's water quality is another example of the Commonwealth and municipalities working together as partners to provide important services to our constituents," said Kristen Lepore, Secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, who is also a member of the Clean Water Trust Board of Trustees.
MassDEP will spearhead the assistance program as part of its implementation of the federal Lead Contamination Control Act (LCCA). Under the LCCA, MassDEP earlier this year to e-mailed to thousands of school officials a voluntary survey asking school districts to provide information about their drinking water testing programs, the results of any testing done recently and what plans were implemented to address any contamination uncovered during sampling. MassDEP is still collecting those school surveys and has extended the submission deadline to coincide with the start of this new assistance program.
This most recent effort comes as one of a number of initiatives to ensure safe drinking water. The House Ways and Means 2017 Budget proposal includes $500,000 in new funding for technical assistance to municipalities and public water supplies.
"We are reaching out to school officials to take advantage of this initiative, which provides expert help to the schools," said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg, who is also a member of the Clean Water Trust Board of Trustees. "MassDEP and its partners will provide technical assistance and free lab analysis of local water samples, focusing on those most in need of assistance."
Within the next week, MassDEP sand the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will make available to school districts, municipal officials and others the form needed to participate in the technical assistance and sample analysis program.
"We encourage our school districts to take advantage of this important resource and thank all the partners who have come together to support the safety and well-being of our Commonwealth's children," said Education Secretary Jim Peyser.
"This initiative keeps Massachusetts in the forefront with our efforts to guarantee safe drinking water for all our residents," said Massachusetts Water Resource Authority Executive Director Fred Laskey.
Water supplied to schools is generally free of lead, but lead can be introduced into drinking water through plumbing and fixtures in buildings -- especially in facilities more than 20 years old. Copper can also enter drinking water through plumbing, so the assistance program will also address copper levels in drinking water. Historically, the majority of lead poisoning cases in Massachusetts are attributable to lead paint exposures, however other sources including drinking water in schools continues to be an important concern for children's health.
Additional information on lead in drinking water and school-related issues can be found: Click Here.
The Massachusetts Clean Water Trust lends financial assistance to the Commonwealth under the State Revolving Fund program by providing subsidized loans to cities and towns for clean water and drinking water infrastructure development. Since its establishment in 1989, the Trust has loaned approximately $6.6 billion to improve and maintain the quality of water in the Commonwealth. As estimated 97 percent of Massachusetts' citizens have benefited from the financial assistance of the Clean Water Trust.
Baker Administration, Higher Education Leaders Announce New Commonwealth Commitment Plan to Increase Affordability, Drive Degree Completion:
New "2+2" Plan Based on Transfer from Community College to UMass or State U's Will Offer Per-Semester Rebates, Freeze Costs for Qualifying Students
Lowell, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joined public higher education leaders today to announce the Commonwealth Commitment, an innovative college affordability and completion plan to help more students achieve the dream of a college degree.
The Commonwealth Commitment commits every public campus to providing 10% rebates at the end of each successfully completed semester to qualifying undergraduate students, in addition to the standard MassTransfer tuition waiver received upon entering a four-year institution from a Community College. Students who meet the program requirements will, depending on the transfer pathway they choose, be able to realize an average savings of $5,090 off the cost of a baccalaureate degree.
This plan is the first agreement of its kind in the nation and was signed by University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan, Worcester State University President Barry Maloney and Middlesex Community College President James Mabry, representing the three segments of the public higher education system, at a ceremony held this morning at Middlesex Community College.
As part of the Commonwealth Commitment's goal to increase cost savings and predictability, tuition and mandatory fees will be frozen for program participants as of the date they enter the program. Students will begin their studies at one of the state's 15 community colleges, enrolling in one of 24 Commonwealth Commitment/MassTransfer Pathways programs that will roll out in fall 2016 (14 programs) and fall 2017 (10 additional programs). They must attend full-time, and must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0. After earning an associate's degree in two and a half years or less, students will transfer to a state university or UMass campus to earn a baccalaureate degree.
"This program was designed to decrease the cost of a college degree and accelerate on-time completion for students across the Commonwealth, creating more opportunities and helping more people get into the workforce with the skills they need," said Governor Charlie Baker. "The Commonwealth Commitment will make it even easier for students to go to school full-time and begin their careers with less debt and we are pleased that our higher education officials have worked collaboratively to make this program a reality."
"The Commonwealth Commitment is a win-win for students, employers, and our public higher education campuses," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "Our hope is that through programs like the Commonwealth Commitment, not only will students get the benefit of a lower cost degree, but also be able to fill more of the high-demand job of the future, including in STEM."
"The Commonwealth Commitment is an important plan which we believe will help move the needle on our administration's two overarching education objectives: to close the achievement gap and strengthen the global competitiveness of Massachusetts's workforce and economy," said Education Secretary Jim Peyser. "I thank the leaders of the Department of Higher Education, UMass, and State Colleges and universities for their hard work in reaching this agreement and for their commitment to putting students first."
"The signing of this agreement represents a new day for our state system of public colleges and universities," said Carlos E. Santiago, Commissioner of Higher Education. "It was not easy or simple to hammer out an agreement among 28 undergraduate institutions with different missions and programs, but I was extremely proud to see how presidents, provosts, faculty and staff worked together with a sense of common purpose to get this done. What unites us is a dedication to students and to the Commonwealth, a realization that when it comes to preparing the state's future citizenry and workforce, our public institutions need to lead."
"Community college students seeking pathways to an affordable, high-quality, four-year degree will now be able to look to the Commonwealth Commitment for critical support -- and UMass is proud to be part of this innovative effort," said UMass President Marty Meehan. "This program advances public higher education's core beliefs and will help to transform lives and strengthen our future. We look forward to welcoming the students who take advantage of this creative initiative to our campuses."
"The Commonwealth Commitment unites the Massachusetts public higher education sector in an energized drive to promote access and success for our diverse communities as we work together to build an educated workforce that will drive the Commonwealth's high-tech community in the 21st century. Community colleges are proud to play a pivotal role in this strategy," said Middlesex Community College President Dr. James Mabry.
"When we talk about a 'best value' college experience, it doesn't get any better than this," said Worcester State University Barry Maloney. "Those who transfer into state universities under this program will see small classes taught largely by full-time Ph.D. faculty members who put their students first. The state university degree prepares them well, either for careers or graduate school."
At the end of every successfully completed semester, students will earn a 10% rebate on tuition and fees, payable in the form of a check, or may opt to receive a voucher to use for books or other education-related expenses. The program does not discount room and board, although students may choose to use their Commonwealth Commitment savings or other resources to offset some of those costs. Students' rebates or vouchers will be calculated based on the total cost of tuition and mandatory feeds at the institutions they choose to attend. Additionally, students who enroll in free or reduced cost dual enrollment programs, taking college courses while still in high school, may be able to apply the credits they earn toward their Commonwealth Commitment degrees, thus reducing costs even further.
Further information is available at: www.Mass.edu/MAComCom with the details.
3rd Annual Watertown Police Finish Strong 5K Road Race Official Results:
Jimmy Hui, President/Chief Executive Officer at The Jimmy Hui Foundation office is very pleased to announce that Chief Michael Lawn, the men and women of the Watertown Police Department and the Watertown Police Finish Strong Road Race Committee have an official results from the 2016 Watertown Police Finish Strong which it is now available to open for the public are welcome to check out their records at anytime throughout this spring season.
Here's the official 2016 Watertown Police Finish Strong 5K Road Race: CLICK HERE.
Special Thanks to:
* New England Sports Network (NESN)
* Tufts Health Plan
* Watertown Police Department
* Town of Watertown
* Massachusetts State Police Department
* Wicked Fun Running
* Watertown DPW
Congratulations to all of the runners in the order to receive their official medals for this year's 2016 Watertown Police Finish Strong 5K Road Race!
The next 4th Annual Watertown Police Finish Strong 5K Road Race will be held on Sunday, April 16, 2017 at same time and same location at Tufts Health Plan: 705 Mount Auburn Street, Watertown, MA.
Please check back for more on the Watertown Police Finish Strong information in our official website until the next spring of 2017!!!!
Governor Baker Signs $200 Million Bill for Chapter 90 Funding:
Boston, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker today signed House Bill 4133, An Act Financing Improvements to Certain Municipal Roads, authorizing $200 million in Chapter 90 transportation funds for municipalities this construction season. Chapter 90 funding supports the reimbursement of every municipality in the Commonwealth for road-related construction projects and comes from general obligation bond issuances.
"Fulfilling the state's commitment to support municipalities and grant access to critical funding for important transportation improvements across the Commonwealth has been a priority of our administration since our first day in office," said Governor Baker. "Cities and towns count on this funding each year and we look forward to remaining a reliable partner on this issue for years to come."
"As I have traveled across the Commonwealth meeting with local officials to discuss the most important issues facing their cities and towns, Chapter 90 is always an important part of the conversation," said Lt. Governor Polito. "We are pleased the state will provide $200 million worth of funding that will have a a direct impact on the everyday lives of everyone in Massachusetts."
Chapter 90 reimburses cities and towns for cost incurred for eligible transportation projects. Cities and towns must submit receipts to the MassDOT Highway Division district in which they are located which verifies that the expenditures qualify for reimbursement under Chapter 90. The Highway Districts in turn submit these receipts to the Department of Transportation's Fiscal Department which facilitates the reimbursements to cities and towns.
"Along the Unrestricted General Government Aid, Chapter 70, and various local grant programs we have supported, Chapter 90 is another critical funding source to support cities and towns across Massachusetts," said Kristen Lepore, Secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance. "We appreciate the Legislature's timely collaboration in order to provide funding prior to this year's construction season."
"The Chapter 90 program has become an integral part of many municipal budgets across the state and is one more example of the Baker-Polito Administration's commitment to all 351 cities and towns across the Commonwealth," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. "I look forward to continuing the Administration's collaboration with our partners in the legislature as we work together to build a stronger transportation network across the Commonwealth."
Chapter 90 funds must be allocated to roadway projects, such as resurfacing and related work like preliminary engineering include State Aid/Consultant Design Agreements, right-of-way acquisition, shoulders, side road approaches, landscaping and tree planting, roadside drainage, structures (including bridges), sidewalks, traffic control and service facilities, street lighting (excluding operating costs), and for such other purposes as the MassDOT may specifically authorize.
* More information about the Chapter 90 Program is available: CLICK HERE.
* A list of Chapter 90 funding by municipality is available: CLICK HERE.
Governor Baker Declares April 17th First Responders Day:
Boston, MA -- Today, Governor Charlie Baker adopted H.4161, An Act Designating the Sunday Preceding the Third Monday in April as First Responder Day, and issued the following statement upon signing the bill into law:
"First responders put their own lives on the line to save others in danger, and we have a responsibility to ensure they receive strong leadership, representation and recognition on Beacon Hill," said Governor Baker. "Every day, these brave men and women and their families provide extraordinary service to the Commonwealth. We strive to follow their example and will use this occasion every year to recommit ourselves to doing so."
"Patriots Day brings the people of Massachusetts together around the shared history and traditions that make our region so unique," said Massachusetts Public Safety Secretary Dan Bennett. "Our first responders are always present to guard our safety as we celebrate these traditions, and it is fitting that we have a day to official commemorate all that they do."
"I couldn't think of a better time for Governor Baker to sign this legislation, and I am proud to have him joining us in remembering our first responders, especially given it is the anniversary weekend of the marathon bombings. Ever since (former Tewksbury selectman) Jerry Selissen first approached me with this idea I have been determined to see this legislation through, as a day of thanks to our first responders was long overdue," said bill sponsor Representative James Miceli. "These men and women who serve as our firefighters, EMT, police, and more risk everything by putting on their uniforms, and I know the people of the Commonwealth will join Governor Baker and myself in showing their appreciation to our first responders, both past and present."
This year, April 17, 2016 shall be designated as First Responders Day.
27th Annual Cleaner, Greener In Quincy 2016:
Jimmy Hui, President/Chief Executive Officer at The Jimmy Hui Foundation office is very pleased to announce that Mayor Thomas P. Koch and the City of Quincy are hosting their 27th Annual Cleaner, Greener In Quincy begins on Saturday, May 7, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. -- 12:00 p.m. to open for the residents, persons with disabilities, citizens, elected officials and the public are welcome to participate for the spring cleaning season at all across the citywide in the Ward 1 through Ward 6 communities.
The 27th Annual Cleaner, Greener In Quincy is now officially proud to sponsors by: Quincy Climate Action Network, Quincy Environment Network, Quincy Park Department, Quincy Public Works Department, Quincy Public Schools, Quincy Parks Conservancy, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, Sunrise Scavenger and Stop & Shop Supermarket.
For more than 25 years, the 1,500 volunteers have been participated to do some major clean up efforts such as: beaches, marshes, parks, playgrounds and schoolyards in all across the citywide here in the City of Quincy.
The Quincy Park Department will provide with all tools such as: rakes, shovels, plastic bags, brooms and gloves can be picked up on Friday, May 6, 2016 begins at 12:30 -- 5:30 p.m. at Quincy Park Department: 1 Merrymount Parkway, Quincy, MA. The tools may also be picked up on Saturday, May 7, 2016 if you can not make it on Friday, May 6, 2016. The official 2016 Cleaner, Greener In Quincy t-shirts will not be available until the morning on Saturday, May 7, 2016.
Please join the City of Quincy in participating in this wonderful event. At 12:30 p.m., Mayor Thomas P. Koch invites you at Pageant Field to enjoy a free cookout throughout the day.
For more information about the Cleaner, Greener In Quincy event, please contact Chris Rooney, Program Manager at Quincy Park Department at (617) 376-1251 or e-mail: email@example.com with any questions or concerns.
Quincy Recreation Department: Summer Playground Program:
Jimmy Hui, President/Chief Executive Officer at The Jimmy Hui Foundation office is very pleased to announce that Barry J. Welch, Director of Recreation and the staff at Quincy Recreation Department will be hosting their summer program for the supervision playground begins on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 through Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 15 locations with supervised activities for boys and girls ages 6 through 16. The playgrounds are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., weather permitting. There will be no program on Monday, July 4, 2016.
The free program offers supervised activities that include active games and sports, weekly sports competitions, as well as arts and crafts. There are special events and weekly field trips to local attractions. In addition to the high school and college staff members who are assigned to each playground, a sports specialist and an arts and crafts specialist visit each location in a regular rotation. Registration is done at the playground and continues throughout the summer to accommodate youngsters who may return from vacation or summer school programs. Participants must be residents of the City of Quincy and may attend the program of their choice.
The locations of the 2016 Supervised Playgrounds are:
* Faxon Park
* Kincaide Park/Sterling Middle School Park
* O'Rourke Playground
* Forbes Hill Playground
* Perkins Playground
* Arthur Boyson Park/Heron Road
* Snug Harbor Playground/Palmer Park
* LaBreque Field
* Fore River Field
* Wendall Moses Playground/Squantum
* Bishop Playground/Montclair
* Fenno Street Courts
* Beechwood Knoll Playground
* Mass Field Playground
* Welcome Young Playground
For more information about the 2016 Summer Playground Program, please contact Quincy Recreation Department at (617) 376-1394 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
Quincy Recreation Department: 34th Annual Quincy Senior Olympics 2016:
Jimmy Hui, President/Chief Executive Officer at The Jimmy Hui Foundation office is very pleased to announce that Quincy Elder Services Department and Quincy Recreation Department will be hosting their 34th Annual Quincy Senior Olympics 2016 begins on Monday, May 9, 2016 through Thursday, May 19, 2016 to opens for the seniors at all ages 55 years old and older are welcome to sign up and register in the order to participate these events throughout this spring season here in the City of Quincy.
Barry J. Welch, Director of Recreation at Quincy Recreation Department and Tom Clasby, Director of Elder Services at Quincy Elder Services Department will be there for the Quincy Senior Olympics events throughout this spring season.
The registration and brochure information are continuing ongoing throughout this spring season available at three different locations: City Hall, Quincy Recreation Department or the Kennedy Center during the normal business hours of operations to open for the public here in the City of Quincy.
The printable registration and brochure information is now available on the Quincy Recreation Department or City of Quincy official website.
The registration fee is $15.00 and deadline will be no later than on Monday, May 2, 2016 to be mail or hand in at Quincy Recreation Department. The seniors will receive an official 2016 Quincy Senior Olympics t-shirt and bib at Kennedy Center during the check-in registration on Monday, May 9, 2016.
For more information about the 2016 Senior Olympics information, please contact Quincy Recreation Department at (617) 376-1394 or e-mail: email@example.com with any questions or concerns.
Lt. Governor Polito Announces New Policies Targeting Human Trafficking in Recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month:
New State Police unit, updated DCF intake policy to target trafficking
Boston, MA -- In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito today announced new policies to target human trafficking in the Commonwealth led by the Massachusetts State Police and Department of Children and Families (DCF). Joined by Governor Baker and members of the administration, Polito introduced the formation of a Human Trafficking Unit within the State Police, and improved interagency coordination and communication between the State Police and the Department of Children and Families, will allow Troopers to better assist local law enforcement officials in investigations. Additionally, as part of the administration's reforms at DCF, sexual exploitation and/or human trafficking is now a reportable condition regardless of whether the perpetrator is the caregiver.
"Our administration is pleased to announce these critical reforms during Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Month to target the drivers of trafficking and do more to keep our children and communities safe," said Lt. Governor Polito, chair of the Governor's Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. "The council will continue working with law enforcement and community leaders to identify more ways to eradicate this epidemic, and we look forward to more collaboration with Attorney General Healey and the legislature on future efforts to end human trafficking in the Commonwealth and beyond."
"The buying and selling of human lives is an abhorrent practice that is still taking place in Massachusetts, and we owe it to those who find themselves unwilling participants in it to take steps to stop it," said Governor Baker. "I'm pleased to have the State Police and DCF work collaboratively to implement and create new tools to increase reporting requirements and target trafficking for juveniles as we work to rid our Commonwealth of this abominable scourge."
"Creating a dedicated Human Trafficking Unit within the State Police will enhance interagency cooperation and communication with the Department of Children and Families and assist law enforcement officials at all levels with their investigations of this terrible crime," said Public Safety Secretary Dan Bennett.
"Protecting children in our care is a significant priority. This is another example of the Department of Children and Families strengthening its policies and furthering its commitment to child protection and safety. We are now able track reports of suspected human trafficking among youth," said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders.
"I am proud of DCF staff leadership on a federal grant that engages law enforcement and providers in proactively identifying and supporting children who have been trafficked," said DCF Commissioner Linda Spears. "A collaborative approach is crucial to protecting children from these predators and meeting the unique needs of youth who have been victimized."
"One of the most important priorities of any police department is protection of the most vulnerable members of society," said State Police Colonel Richard D. McKeon. "This unit will be an important part of our broader mission to protect the Commonwealth's children and teenagers."
A new Human Trafficking Unit within the Massachusetts State Police has been created to specifically target trafficking cases involving juveniles age 18 and under, and will coordinate their efforts with the Department of Children and Families. While playing a support role with local police in smaller cases, the Human Trafficking Unit will collaborate with local law enforcement on the investigations of larger trafficking cases. Detective Lieutenant Pi Downsbrough will lead the team of three (3) other State Police Troopers.
A key change to DCF's new protective intake policy spearheaded by the Baker-Polito Administration is that the victimization of a child through sexual exploitation and/or human trafficking must be immediately referred to the District Attorney, regardless if the person responsible is a caregiver or not. With the support of a five-year federal grant awarded in 2014, DCF is partnering with county-based Children's Advocacy Centers to establish multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs) to respond to DCF referrals. MDTs are now operating in Suffolk, Hampden, Bristol and Barnstable/Duke Counties, with the remaining counties coming online by fall 2018. The grant also provides training and technical assistance to each county, the MDTs, and youth-serving organizations, and assists with updates to DCF policies to include human trafficking and the needs of victims and at-risk youth.
According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, over 1,300 human trafficking calls have been reported in the Commonwealth since 2007 -- and a majority of cases involve the sex trafficking of adult females. This statistic does not account for cases that are underreported, which continues to be a major challenge for law enforcement and state agencies, like Department of Children and Families, as they seek to identify the drivers of human trafficking in our state. As reported by the Support to End Exploitation Now (SEEN) Coalition, a program that partners with public and private agencies for child victims of commercial sexual exploitation, 70 percent of their referrals involve DCF as child welfare is identified as a risk factor for children who are victimized by trafficking.
Separately, with the support of a five-year federal grant awarded in 20145, DCF is partnering with county-based Children's Advocacy Centers to establish Multi-Disciplinary Teams (MDT) to respond to DCF referrals. MDTs are now operating in Suffolk, Hampden, Bristol and Barnstable/Duke Counties, with the remaining counties coming online by fall 2018. The grants also provides training and technical assistance to each county, the MDTs, and youth-serving organizations, and assists with updates to DCF policies to include human trafficking and the needs of victims and at-risk youth.
The budget proposal put forth by Governor Baker in January includes funding in the Executive Office for Public Safety to create domestic violence prevention training programs for local law enforcement and a best practice toolkit for cities and towns. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget proposal also includes an additional $200,000 over FY 2016 to fund the annualization of four domestic violence specialists brought on in FY 2016, as well as a $93,000 increase over FY 2016 (to $4.5 million) for the Department of Public Health's Sexual assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) and Pediatric SANE Program.
Baker-Polito Administration Announces Progress on DCF Reforms in Recognition of Social Worker Month:
Boston, MA -- The Baker-Polito Administration and union officials announced today that a significant number of the reforms recommended last fall to overhaul the Department of Children and Families (DCF) are complete. In the last six months, there has been an intensive effort underway to restructure DCF with the primary goal of keeping children safe. The administration was joined by members of SEIU Local 509 to discuss updates and pledge to move forward to implement policy improvements, hire and train staff and focus on the challenges that lie ahead.
The department now has fire major new policies developed in partnership with the union, including putting all at-risk kids on the same investigation track, and the first ever medical doctor who started in January. Both Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) and Sexual Offender Record Information (SORI) checks are mow required on all relevant persons in a household, DCF workers review 911 call history and response to a home, new case screening teams are in place in all offices and there is a new Central Massachusetts Regional Office up and running.
There has also been targeted outreach to recruit and hire frontline staff, with a record of new hires resulting in a net increase of 170 full-time employees (FTEs), since the start of Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. The foster care application backlog has been reduced, training has been rolled out and DCF's IT system has been upgraded to allow for more advanced capabilities.
During a media availability at the State House, the administration explained these reforms and highlighted the ongoing collaboration and partnership with leadership of SEIU Local 509 that has made such progress possible in a short amount of time.
"Last fall we pledged, with union leadership, to better support our social workers who are on the front lines every day and reform a broken system of policies," said Governor Baker. "Today, while we still have more work to do to improve how the Commonwealth cares for the most vulnerable children, the Department of Children and Families is making robust strides in their mission to keep kids safe. My administration will continue to invest in frontline workers and continue to reform this critical department."
To demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the Department, the Baker-Polito Administration has budgeted $938.2 million to DCF for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, a $30.5 million increase above the FY 2016 budget, and has maintained an open dialogue with the union to address their concerns.
"While these new reforms improve the lines of communication among social workers, supervisors and managers, reducing the stress on social workers is a priority and we are accelerating efforts to recruit the next wave of social workers to reduce caseloads and protect children," said Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders. "We now have a solid foundation that the Department can build off of going forward."
The Department and union have moved swiftly to hire and train more social workers, social work supervisors, medical social workers, managers, clerical staff and attorneys. Since September, 332 positions have been posted and 201 staff have started or will start in the next few weeks.
"We are appreciate of the positive working relationships we have maintained with union officials throughout this process. Most of all, we are grateful to our workers for their efforts to accept and move forward with reforms," said DCF Commissioner Spears. "Our agency is more equipped than we have ever been to protect those who need us most -- children. I thank our staff today and every day for your tremendous work."
"The policy reforms announced today are more than three decades in the making, and critical to the work we do," said Peter MacKinnon, a veteran child protection worker and president of the union chapter representing DCF's 2,900 social workers and investigators. "Now our attention must turn fully to addressing the caseload crisis and attrition rates that loom over our effort to keep at-risk children safe throughout the Commonwealth."
Progress Over The Last 6 Months Between DCF (In partnership with SEIU Local 509):
* Overhauled the Department's intake policy, putting all screened-in reports of abuse and neglect (51A) on one investigation track instead of two.
~ Requires Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI), Sexual Offender Record Information (SORI), and national criminal history database checks for parents, caregivers and all household members over 15 years old. This is for 100 percent of cases.
~ Workers now request 911 call history and police response to the residence of any child or family involved in a report of abuse or neglect. The Department is now working with law enforcement.
~ All screened-in reports -- those that require investigations to be opened -- are assigned to an Investigation Trained Response Worker.
~ The revised policy puts decision-making at the appropriate level of intervention.
~ For the first time, this policy enables Response Workers to search online sources of information to assess child safety.
~ Mandates use of the Department's Risk Assessment Tool to better identify and assess potential future risks to the child's safety.
* Created the first Supervisor Policy in DCF history to provide training, supervision and review of all complex cases.
* Trained over 1,700 staff and implemented the Department's new protective intake and supervision policies.
* Negotiated three additional policies that will be implemented later this year. The Family Assessment and Action Planning Policy reinforcing the requirement for family assessment and action planning which will be updated every six months; In-Home Case Practice Policy to ensure regular visits to the child; and the Case Closing Policy, which lays out the process and criteria for closing a case. Training for the newest policies is in development and will begin in late spring and early summer.
Staff Recruitment and Retention:
* Increased the number of licensed social workers to 91% compared to 54% in October 2014.
* with SEIU Local 509, convened a work group to develop social worker retention strategies, which has been meeting regularly.
* Since the start of the FY 2016, the Department has had a NET increase of 170 Full Time Employees (FTEs).
* 332 positions have been posted for social workers, social work supervisors, medical social workers, managers, clerical staff and attorneys.
Other Completed Reforms:
* In January, DCF reestablished the Central Massachusetts Regional office, allowing for greater oversight and managerial capacity. This moved the Department closer to a manager-to-supervisor ratio of 4:1.
* Reduced 75 percent of backlog for Foster Home Applications. The Department will be working to increase the number of foster homes.
* Closed 680 fair hearing cases in the months of December, January and February with the support of two newly hired hearing officers and nine newly hired paralegals.
* Hired the Department's first ever full-time Medical Director, Dr. Linda Sagor, to provide oversight of the medical needs of children in foster care; to ensure DCF meets its requirements for 7-and 30-day initial medical screens; and to offer expert consultation on medically complex cases.
* Planned IT modifications to incorporate new policies into the FamilyNet System.
* Launched a significant technology upgrade to support changes in the new supervision policy and protective intake policy that include the ability to track substance misuse in families.
MBTA: Government Center Re-Opened to Public:
Revamped station offers access for the disabled, modern features and open design
Boston, MA -- The MBTA celebrated the grand re-opening of the Government Center Station Monday at 11:45 a.m., with a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking two years spent reconstructing the station into a fully accessible, safer, modern, more comfortable facility.
The ceremony featured remarks by Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Department of Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and others.
"The reopening of Government Center, done on-time and under budget, represents another step forward as the MBTA works to improve the core system for commuters and visitors alike," said Governor Baker. "This project reconnects City Hall Plaza and a key area of Downtown Boston to those here for business and leisure, with an increased focus on greater accessibility for all travelers."
The project, which combined improvements to the Green Line Station, Blue Line Station, and Cambridge Street/Government Center Plaza, brings Government Center Station into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Boston Center for Independent Living (BCIL) Agreement. Previously, access to and from the station was provided solely by stairways and escalators.
"This access of this project is a testament to the collaboration among all stakeholders, including state and local government and transit officials that went into making it a reality," said Lt. Governor Polito. "The new Government Center offers enhanced accessibility for riders and is a positive step for customer service delivery at the MBTA."
The station was closed in March 2014. During the two-year reconstruction, both Blue and Green Line trains passed through Government Center Station, but did not stop there. The T greatly appreciates the patience shown by our customers during that time.
"Crews have worked hard to keep our pledge to reopen the station in two years - a feat they were only able to accomplish by closing the entire station, rather than parts of it," said MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola. "We were able to work around any issues because we had the whole station available."
The reconstruction features a new head house structure as the primary entrance, raised code compliant platforms to provide accessible boarding of the Green Line low-floor trains, the introduction of new redundant elevators from the street to the Green Line level as well as from the Green Line level to the Blue Line level, new escalators, LED signage, a new and expanded fare collection area, upgraded back-up electrical power supply, improved interior finishes, mechanical systems, lighting, a public address system, and a new emergency exit structure on Cambridge Street.
The open, glass-covered design of the head house provides full views of the surrounding area and sites such as the Old North Church, and serves as a new landmark on City Hall Plaza, a marked departure from its old bunker-like head house. The design of the glass element was a major part of the coordination between the MBTA and the City of Boston, specifically the Boston Redevelopment Authority.
"This project provided an opportunity to not only address the key functional needs of the station, but also to add something special to City Hall Plaza," said Department of Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said the revamped station will play a major role in drawing visitors and business to the area.
"With our exciting plans to activate City Hall Plaza, the reopening of Government Center will further our effort to make City Hall a destination, not only for matters of business, but also for pleasure and enjoyment for people of all ages. I commend Governor Baker and all of the workers who played a key role in reconstructing the station, and I look forward to the unveiling of these improvements," said Mayor Walsh.
Governor Baker Statement on New CDC Guidelines to Reduce Opioid Prescribing:
Boston, MA -- Today, Governor Charlie Baker released the following statement regarding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's new guidelines that urge general doctors consider alternative treatments such as physical therapy, exercise and over-the-counter pain medications before prescribing opioids for chronic pain: "A day after signing into law landmark legislation to fight the Commonwealth's opioid epidemic, I welcome today's new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to encourage doctors to prescribe fewer opioids and focus on safer, alternative treatments for chronic pain. The Baker-Polito Administration is dedicated to combating the deadly opioid and heroin epidemic at the state level, recognizing that one bill, one budget or one program will not be enough to curb this public health crisis. Yesterday, I was honored to sign an opioid bill that includes the first law in the nation to limit an opioid prescription to a seven-day supply for first time adult prescriptions, and other important prevention and education provisions recommended by our opioid working group --and we encourage other states to do the same. Recognizing that patients living with chronic pain need access to treatments that will relieve their suffering, I encourage physicians to adopt these new guidelines and discuss alternatives to addictive opioids with their patients. It will take all levels of government and intense involvement from law enforcement and the health care community to bend the trend and I encourage all doctors to practice these new guidelines as we continue to break ground in passing more reforms to eradicate the opioid epidemic."
Governor Baker Signs Landmark Opioid Legislation into Law:
Boston, MA -- Today at the State House, Governor Charlie Baker signed landmark legislation into law to address the deadly opioid and heroin epidemic plaguing the Commonwealth and was joined by a robust group including Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Attorney General Maura Healey, Auditor Suzanne Bump, members of the legislature, law enforcement, health care providers, community leaders, individuals in recovery and others. The bill, titled, An Act Relative to Substance Use, Treatment, Education and Prevention, passed with unanimous votes in both legislative chambers and includes numerous recommendations from the Governor's opioid working group, including prevention education for students and doctors, and the first law in the nation to establish a seven day limit on first-time opioid prescriptions.
"Today, the Commonwealth stands in solidarity to fight the opioid and heroin epidemic that continues to plague our state and burden countless families and individuals," said Governor Baker. "I am proud to sign this legislation marking a remarkable statewide effort to strengthen prescribing laws and increase education for students and doctors. While there is still much work to be done, our administration is thankful for the legislature's effort to pass this bill and looks forward to working with the Attorney General and our mayors to bend the trend and support those who have fallen victim to this horrific public health epidemic."
"Today, we take another step forward by passing landmark legislation that will help the individuals and communities affected by the deadly opioid and heroin epidemic," said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. "We are grateful for the legislature's progress and for the partnership of Attorney General Healey, our mayors and several others as we continue pursuing aggressive reforms to combat this crisis from the Berkshires to the Cape."
"Today, our states takes a strong step to intervene earlier to save lives. This law will contain the amount of pills prescribed that can too easily lead to addiction. It will provide for screening to identify those at risk. It will allow people to voluntarily agree to treatment after an opioid overdose," said Health and Human Services Secretary Sudders. "Thanks to the hard work of legislators, families and providers who have spent countless hours raising awareness and calling for change, this bill increases the tools available to fight this powerful epidemic and stop the cycle of addiction."
"We are in the midst of a public health crisis that is draining vitality from our hometowns, extinguishing lives and stealing souls," said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). "We've focused on workable solutions, consensus-building and legislation that complements our landmark 2014 law. I wholeheartedly thank my colleagues and the Baker Administration for their creative and compassionate work. I am personally indebted to the courageous individuals who shared their stories, paving a path for the recovery of thousands of our loved ones, and in fact, a path of our wounded Commonwealth."
"The opioid crisis has ripped apart our communities and families. Over the past few years, the Legislature has focused on access to treatment, funding for substance abuse programs, and continuity of care. This bill focuses on preventing addiction, enhancing public education, and removing pills from circulation," said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). "Twelve recommendations of the Special Senate Committee on Substance Abuse are included in this legislation and they will make a real difference in fighting the opioid scourge in our communities. I thank my colleagues in the Legislature, Speaker DeLeo, and Governor Baker for their hard work on this bill and dedication to bringing an end to the opioid epidemic in our state."
"This landmark legislation is the result of broad support and partnership from the many stakeholders we have worked with over the last year to tackle the very real struggle people in Massachusetts and across the country are dealing with right now when it comes to prescription painkillers and heroin. This bill will not only change how we as a society treat opioid painkillers, it will provide the treatment, education and prevention we so desperately need," said Attorney General Healey. "I am grateful for the hard work of the Conference Committee and thank the Governor and Legislature for putting a significant solution in place that will save lives and prevent our future generations from seeing the devastating consequences of this epidemic."
"Substance abuse has devastated families across the Commonwealth. In Boston, we have taken a multi-pronged approach, working from every angle to promote prevention, offer treatment and provide recovery and support services," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "I applaud Governor Baker, Senate President Rosenberg, and Speaker DeLeo for passing this important legislation. Addiction is a powerful force, but this bill equips us with additional tools to reduce its impact in our communities."
This bill includes multiple provisions from Governor Baker's legislation, most notably the first law in the nation to limit an opioid prescription to a 7-day supply for a first time adult prescriptions and a 7-day limit on every opiate prescription for minors, with certain exceptions. Other provisions from the Governor's recommendations include a requirement that information on opiate-use and misuse be disseminated at annual head injury safety programs for high school athletes, requirements for doctors to check the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) database before writing a prescription for a Schedule 2 or Schedule 3 narcotic and continuing education requirements for prescribers--ranging from training on effective pain management to the risks of abuse and addiction associated with opioid medications.
Several measures were passed to empower individuals and update current prevention efforts. Patients will receive access to non-opiate directive forms and the option of partially opioid prescriptions in consultation with doctors and pharmacists. Schools must annually conduct verbal substance misuse screenings in two grade levels and collaborate with the Departments of Elementary and Second Education (DESE) and Public Health (DPH) around effective addiction education policies. To reduce the prevalence of unused medication, manufacturers of controlled substances in Massachusetts must participate in either a drug stewardship program or an alternative plan as determined by DPH.
This bill strengthens access to insurers and the bed-finder tool website; requiring patients receive information on FDA-approved medication-assisted therapies after being discharged from a substance use treatment program; and ensuring civil-liability protection for individuals who administer Narcan.
Today's bill signing symbolizes the latest collaborative effort across state government to combat the opioid epidemic claiming nearly 4 lives per day in the Commonwealth and marks the fifth piece of legislation signed into law by Governor Baker, including the Fiscal Year 2016 budget and supplemental budget, to help fight this public health epidemic and provide critical funding for prevention, treatment and education.
In late January, Governor Baker signed into law a bill to prohibit the civil commitment of women facing substance use disorders at MCI-Framingham and providing addiction treatment services at Shattuck and Taunton State Hospitals. This reform was a recommendation of the Governor's Opioid Working Group and will end the practice of sending women committed for treatment for a substance use disorder under section 35 of chapter 123 of the General Laws to MCI-Framingham. For the past 25 years, women committed under section 35 have been sent to this correctional institution instead of a detox center--preventing proper treatment options for women. Under this law, women can only be committed to a facility approved by the Department of Public Health (DPH) or the Department of Mental Health (DMH).
Governor Baker also recently signed a fentanyl trafficking bill, authored by Attorney General Maura Healey, making trafficking in more than 10 grams of fentanyl a crime, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
In addition to legislative action, the Baker-Polito Administration has implemented numerous initiatives from Governor Baker's action plan announced in June, completing 26 initiatives and currently implementing another 23. The administration has allocated more than $250 million toward the opioid epidemic for substance use disorders, education, prevention and treatment, increased bulk purchasing of Narcan in municipalities by offering Narcan at a discount to our first responders and changed reporting requirements for the Prescription Monitoring Program from 7 days to 24 hours. More than two hundred substance use treatment beds have been opened throughout the Commonwealth.
Since taking office, the Baker-Polito Administration has added 28 dedicated section 35 beds at Lemuel Shattuck Hospital and 15 beds at Taunton State Hospital, with an additional 30 beds at Taunton expected in the summer of 2016. Last July, Governor Baker allotted $5.8 million in a supplemental budget to move women civilly committed for substance use problems to Taunton State Hospital. The Baker-Polito Administration has also launched two multi-media awareness campaigns and partnered with medical and dental schools to develop core competencies and require increased education on opioids for medical and dental students.
The opioid epidemic continues to impact every community in Massachusetts. According to the most recent data, it is estimated that there were nearly 1,200 unintentional and underdetermined opioid deaths in 2015. The estimated rate of 17.4 deaths per 100,000 residents for 2014 is the highest ever for unintentional opioid overdoses and represents a 228% increase from the rate of 5.3 deaths per 100,000 residents in 2000. And the trend isn't slowing. Preliminary data estimations show, there were over 1,100 opioid deaths between January and September of 2015.
Fighting this ongoing epidemic has been a priority of the Baker-Polito Administration since day one. In February 2015, Governor Baker appointed a working group to develop a plan to reduce opioid deaths in the Commonwealth. In June 2015, the Governor's Opioid Working Group released 65 recommendations and a comprehensive Action Plan aimed at curbing the opioid epidemic. These short and long-term recommendations focus on Prevention, Intervention, Treatment and Recovery Support. Approximately ninety percent of the initiatives in the Governor's action plan are complete or underway.
Coming Soon: Presidents No Longer In Traffic Pattern:
Adams Green Traffic Changes Set For Spring
For decades, the resting place of one of America's most important first families stood directly in front of four lanes of busy traffic on Hancock Street in Quincy Center. That officially ends this spring when the pattern will officially change as part of the Adams Green project.
When the change takes effect, vehicular traffic will no longer travel in front of the historic First Parish Church, which home to the crypts of John and Abigail Adams and John Quincy and Louisa Catherine Adams. The change will for the first time allow two-way traffic around the Church, which is not only expected to improve flow but dramatically improve pedestrian access in the area.
The change sets the stage for the second phase of the Adams Green park project by creating a new open space directly in the front of the church. Construction on park infrastructure is scheduled to begin this year.
A map of the traffic changes can be viewed here and here are the highlights:
* Hancock Street between the McIntyre Mall and past the Church, City Hall and the Hancock Cemetery becomes a public space and no longer open to vehicular traffic.
* Hancock Street will take Southbound travelers around the back of the Church to go straight on Washington, left on Coddington Street or right on Temple Street and back toward Hancock Street and Granite Street.
* Northbound travelers will go around the Church on Temple Street with no changes in the traffic pattern.
* There will be also be no changes in the traffic pattern for travelers on Washington Street heading North toward Hancock Street.
* Westbound drivers on Coddington Street can take the existing right-hand turn past Presidents Place and onto Hancock Street or can travel straight through the light onto Temple Street toward Hancock Street.
The exact date of the change will depend on construction progress in the early spring. Contractors expected the new pattern to be ready later in the spring.
Adams Green and Downtown Redevelopment Construction Update:
Construction Activities for the week of: Sunday, March 6, 2016
The new traffic signals installed at the intersection of Hancock Street and the Quincy Center MBTA driveway are scheduled to be fully functional during the week of Monday, March 7, 2016.
The lights will turn from blinking to the traditional solid red, yellow and green following lane striping in the area expected to take place on Monday. The new lights are part of the Adams Green transportation project and are aimed at improving traffic flow and pedestrian safety in and around the station.
The exact day the lights will be operational is dependent on weather and the completion of lane striping.
* Demolition of the old Woolworth's building foundation at the corner of Hancock Street and Clivedon Street is ongoing in preparation for a new mixed used condo complex on this parcel. Clivedon Street will be closed from Monday, March 14, 2016 through project completion to vehicular traffic.
* National Grid Electric will begin to remove the overhead wires on Cottage Avenue so that the facade on Cottage Avenue can be installed for the West of Chestnut Project.
* A.R. Belli will be installing conduits in the Coddington Street Faxon Avenue area This work is being done to improve the aging lines placing them underground and eventually removing the poles and overhead wires for a cleaner sightline of the surrounding buildings.
* Riley Brothers are continuing to install a gas main in Cottage Avenue. This work will replace the aging gas main with a new gas main to serve a variety of commercial and residential buildings downtown. This work is expected to be completed in April.
* Temporary striping is scheduled to be placed down on Monday within the Adams Green Project.
* The traffic signals at Hancock Street and the MBTA busway are expected to be fully operational next week.
To receive project updates on the Adams Green Construction:
* Follow City of Quincy on Twitter: @CityofQuincy
* Follow Massachusetts Department of Transportation on Twitter: @MassDOT
* Follow MBTA on Twitter: @MBTA (traffic update on the buses)
* Follow Jimmy Hui, Public Safety Officer to City Solicitor Jim Timmins on Twitter: @jimmyhuiquincy
Questions or Concerns on Adams Green Construction:
Tom Russo from Woodward & Curran: (617) 910-7847 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor's Office: (617) 376-1990
Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. -- 4:30 p.m. during the business hours of operations
* Chris Walker: email@example.com
* Katie Conso: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Tom Fabrizio: email@example.com
* Betty Yau (Asian Services): (617) 376-1928 or firstname.lastname@example.org
* Larry Liuzzo: email@example.com
* Lisa McBirney: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Celeste McGlone: email@example.com
MBTA: (617) 222-3200
Opens during the weekdays and weekends only for any bus services such as: #214, #216, #220, #221 and #222.
National Grid selects Quincy for Community Energy Efficiency Initiative:
Mayor Koch Announces Quincy Saves Program
To boost home energy efficiency, Mayor Koch announced the City of Quincy's new Quincy Saves program, to encourage residents to take measures to reduce the electricity and natural gas used in your homes, while reducing drafts, energy bills and the possibility of ice dams in the winter.
National Grid has challenged Quicny residents to complete 701 no-cost home energy assessments by the end of 2016. In addition to checking the safety and efficiency of your heating and ho water systems, residents can receive LED and CFL light bulbs and water saving showerheads at no cost, and a personalized report specific to your home outling ways to save energy. If the measures are recommended, residents are also eligible for a 75% discount of up to $2,000 in insulation, between $300-$1,600 for an energy heating/hot water system, as well as other discounts and rebates, including 0% loans.
Quincy Saves is a partnership between the City of Quincy, the nonprofit Home Energy Efficiency Team (HEET), and two Mass Save contractors, HomeWorks Energy and Next Step Living.
If residents meet the goals outlined in National Grid's intiative, the collective savings are estimated to exceed $150,000 per year.
Quincy's Election HQ: Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Election Results:
Jimmy Hui, President/Chief Executive Officer at The Jimmy Hui Foundation office is very pleased to announce that Quincy's Election Headquarters have been officially delivered for the 2016 presidential primary election results for the City of Quincy and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from the Super Tuesday which it would be a great opportunity for the residents, persons with disabilities, citizens of Massachusetts and the public have a chance to know who won or lost in the 2016 presidential primary election cycle.
The Quincy's Election Headquarters have been working very closely with our partnership by the FOX News Channel for the complete coverage of: "America's Election Headquarters" during the prime time line up throughout the evening and late night hours from coast to coast in all across the 50 states right here at home and abroad throughout the 2016 presidential primary election coverage on this busy schedule.
The 2016 presidential delegation information for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts:
91 delegates for the Democratic Party:
* 46 delegates for Hillary Clinton (won)
* 45 delegates for Bernie Sanders
42 delegates for the Republican Party:
* 22 delegates for Donald Trump (won)
* 8 delegates for John Kasich
* 8 delegates for Marco Rubio
* 4 delegates for Ted Cruz
Here's the 2016 presidential primary election results:
CITY OF QUINCY: DEMOCRATIC PARTY PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY
NAME OF CANDIDATE
|X||Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont)||50.3%||8,218|
|Hillary Clinton (D-New York)||47.6%||7,770|
|Martin O'Malley (D-Maryland)||2.0%||334|
STATEWIDE: DEMOCRATIC PARTY PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY
NAME OF CANDIDATE
|X||Hillary Clinton (D-New York)||50.1%||603,784|
|Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont)||48.7%||586,716|
|Martin O'Malley (D-Maryland)||0.4%||4,744|
CITY OF QUINCY: REPUBLICAN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY
NAME OF CANDIDATE
|X||Donald Trump (R-New York)||54.2%||3,709|
|John Kasich (R-Ohio)||15.2%||1,401|
STATEWIDE: REPUBLICAN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY
NAME OF CANDIDATE
|X||Donald Trump (R-New York)||49.3%||311,313|
|John Kasich (R-Ohio)||18.0%||113,783|
|Marco Rubio (R-Florida)||17.9%||112,822|
|Ted Cruz (R-Texas)||9.6%||60,473|
|Ben Carson (R-Florida)||2.6%||16,277|
The Quincy's Election Headquarters would like to extend with a full congratulate to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton won their 2016 presidential primary election for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention will be scheduled in this upcoming summer season for the next presidential nomination throughout the 2016 presidential campaign.
The two candidate contenders will face in the general election on Tuesday, November 8, 2016 to become the next 45th President of the United States in this upcoming fall season.
Governor Baker, Mayor Walsh Announce Joint Community Redevelopment Venture in Downtown Boston:
State and City partnership with Veolia will explore strategic redevelopment of MassDOT District 6 and steam facility
Boston, MA -- Today as part of the Baker-Polito Administration's "Open for Business" Real Estate Asset Leveraging (REAL) Strategy, Governor Charlie D. Baker and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced a joint state and city venture with Veolia North America to explore the strategic redevelopment of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's (MassDOT) District 6 Headquarters and Veolia facility in downtown Boston. A Broad set of goals will be developed for the site with the engagement of community leaders and residents, which could include economic growth and development, job creation and the addition of more open space and affordable, workforce and transit-oriented housing.
"Identifying prospects to redevelop and re-purpose underutilized state property to advance economic growth and affordable housing is a valuable avenue to building stronger communities and opportunities for the people of Massachusetts," said Governor Baker. "We look forward to working together with Mayor Walsh, Veolia, the City of Boston and its residents to optimize this land's impact and contribution to the neighborhood and city at large."
"I thank Governor Baker for his willingness to assess the inventory of State-owned land in the City of Boston and identify parcels that, if developed, could help the City achieve its long-term housing and planning goals," said Mayor Walsh. "This announcement today is yet another example of how a strong partnership between the City and State can bring tremendous economic development benefits to the people of Boston. I look forward to continuing this work with the Baker Administration and members of the community in creating a vision for the development of this site."
The Commonwealth and City of Boston continue to partner in the development of state-owned land, adding 1,300 units of housing (1/3 of which are affordable), and nearly 500,000 gross square feet of commercial space over the last five years. An additional 3,500 housing units and 2.5 million gross square feet of commercial space are in the project pipeline, which both the state and city are committed to advancing expedited construction, permitting and coordination. Both are collaborating to develop the next round of projects for the pipeline, that in addition to the MassDOT building, includes the development of a jointly-owned property in Lower Roxbury, MBTA-owned parcels in Jamaica Plain and an under-utilized MBTA parking lot near the Mattapan T stop.
The 5.5 acre parcel at 185 Kneeland Street, bordered by Chinatown, the Leather District and South Station with the Ink Block developments nearby, offers the potential for up to 1.5 to 2 million square feet of redevelopment. The first public input session will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 in the 1st Floor Conference Room at 185 Kneeland Street, Boston, MA. Comments can also be submitted by e-mail to: James.A.Kersten@state.ma.us.
MassDOT's District 6 Headquarters will be relocated or replaced and a scaled-down version of Veolia North America's steam plant will be included as part of the redevelopment.
"This location is ideal for transit-oriented redevelopment and we look forward to the community process which will help determine how the property will be used in the future," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. "We know the site can be put to better uses which will enhance the vitality of the surrounding neighborhood and spur economic growth in the adjacent business district while generating own-source revenue that MassDOT can reinvest in our transportation system."
The Administration announced the "Open for Business" Real Estate Asset Leveraging (REAL) Strategy in October, which identifies unused or underutilized Commonwealth properties redevelopment for affordable or market-rate housing, job creation, reduction in government expenses, increased revenue for the Commonwealth as well as local communities, capital investment in state properties, and open recreational space. Over 40 near-term opportunities throughout Massachusetts and across the state agencies and authorities were first highlighted for public-private partnerships, of which 7 are currently under agreement.
If You See Something, Say Something: 2015-2016 School Year:
Jimmy Hui, President/Chief Executive Officer at The Jimmy Hui Foundation office is very pleased to announce that 2015-2016 school year have already started in the session throughout the semester here in the City of Quincy which it would be a great opportunity to work with our counterparts: Quincy Police Department, MBTA Transit Police Department, Massachusetts State Police Department and the Norfolk County Sheriff Department for the public safety, security and transportations all across the citywide to make sure that our students, families and staff at Quincy Public Schools are safe and sound.
The North Quincy Nights Strategic Response Unit will continue to work very closely with the Quincy Public Schools throughout the 2015-2016 school year starting from September 2015 through June 2016 right here in the City of Quincy.
This year, we are asking the students and families of the Quincy Public Schools should be remain on the alert and in the vigilant with your eyes and ears at all times to report for any suspiciously activities, behaviors and/or packages directly to the Quincy Police Department, MBTA Transit Police Department or Massachusetts State Police Department immediately.
Important Telephone Numbers:
Dial 911 with an emergency numbers: Quincy Fire Department, Quincy Police Department or Brewster Ambulance
MBTA Transit Police Department: (617) 222-1212
Quincy Police Department: (617) 479-1212
If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact any one of them to provide with any assistance throughout the 2015-2016 school year here in the City of Quincy:
Michael Draicchio, Director of Safety, Security & Transportation @ Quincy Public Schools:
(617) 984-8897 or (617) 504-5826 | E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
D.A.R.E. Officer Donald Sautter @ Quincy Police Department:
(617) 745-5735 | E-mail: email@example.com
D.A.R.E. Officer John Grazioso @ Quincy Police Department:
(617) 745-5735 | E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
School Resource Officer Gregg Hartnett @ Quincy Police Department:
School Resource Officer Benny Chin @ Quincy Police Department:
School Resource Officer Steve Burgio @ Quincy Police Department:
West of Chestnut Construction Update: Contractor Launches Project Website
Quincy Mutual Fire Insurance and developer Gate Residential have created a website for construction updates on the first phrase of downtown redevelopment, called "West of Chestnut," the mixed-use residential and retail development in the heart of downtown. Updates can be found here: CLICK HERE.
Sound Advice With Attorney Thomas F. Williams:
Courtesy of: Thomas F. Williams & Associates
Quincy Access Television Channel 8 Program Schedule:
|Friday, April 29, 2016||5:30 p.m.||Development in Quincy|
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Schedule is subject to change by the Quincy Access Television Production.
WATDS 95.9 FM Program Schedule: (Live Streaming Audio)
|Saturday, April 30, 2016||11:00 a.m. -- 12:00 p.m.||Sound Advice w/ Attorney Williams|
Tune in on WATDS 95.9 FM to listen the Sound Advice with Attorney Thomas F. Williams to share with his legal advice and takes your call. Call in ahead at (781) 837-4900 with your questions throughout the show.
Last Day of School and College 2015-2016 Calendar: Updated April 30, 2016
Name of College:
Last Day of College:
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Quincy Public Schools:
Last Day of School:
Class of 2016 Graduates @ NQHS & QHS
Thursday, June 2, 2016
Elementary thru. High School (Grade 1-11)
|Thursday, June 23, 2016 *|
* = Subject to Change if the weather permitting.
Quincy Department of Public Works: Curbside Collection of Yardwaste:
Mayor Thomas P. Koch | DPW Commissioner Daniel G. Raymondi
* Monday, May 2, 2016 through Friday, May 6, 2016
* Monday, May 16, 2016 through Friday, May 20, 2016
* Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - Trash Delay
* Wednesday, June 1, 2016 through Saturday, June 4, 2016 - Trash Delay
* Monday, June 13, 2016 through Friday, June 17, 2016
* Monday, June 27, 2016 through Thursday, June 30, 2016
* Friday, July 1, 2016
* Tuesday, July 5, 2016 through Saturday, July 9, 2016 - Trash Delay
* Monday, July 11, 2016 through Friday, July 15, 2016
* Monday, July 25, 2016 through Friday, July 29, 2016
* Monday, August 8, 2016 through Friday, August 12, 2016
* Monday, August 22, 2016 through Friday, August 26, 2016
* Tuesday, September 6, 2016 through Saturday, September 10, 2016 - Trash Delay
* Monday, September 19, 2016 through Friday, September 23, 2016
* Monday, October 3, 2016 through Friday, October 7, 2016
* Tuesday, October 11, 2016 through Saturday, October 15, 2016 - Trash Delay
* Monday, October 17, 2016 through Friday, October 21, 2016
* Monday, October 31, 2016
* Tuesday, November 1, 2016 through Friday, November 4, 2016
* Monday, November 7, 2016 through Thursday, November 10, 2016
* Saturday, November 12, 2016 - Trash Delay
* Monday, November 14, 2016 through Friday, November 18, 2016
* Monday, November 21, 2016 through Wednesday, November 23, 2016
* Friday, November 25, 2016 - Trash Delay
* Saturday, November 26, 2016 - Trash Delay
* Monday, November 28, 2016 through Wednesday, November 30, 2016
* Thursday, December 1, 2016
* Friday, December 2, 2016
* Monday, December 5, 2016 through Friday, December 9, 2016
Quincy Department of Public Works: Street Sweeping Information:
Mayor Thomas P. Koch | DPW Commissioner Daniel G. Raymondi
Tuesday, November 1, 2016 through Friday, November 4, 2016: Zone 1 (Ward 1 and Ward 2)
Monday, November 7, 2016 through Thursday, November 10, 2016: Zone 1 (Ward 1 and Ward 2)
Monday, November 14, 2016 through Friday, November 18, 2016: Zone 2 (Ward 3 and Ward 4)
Monday, November 21, 2016 through Wednesday, November 23, 2016: Zone 2 (Ward 3 and Ward 4)
Monday, November 28, 2016 through Wednesday, November 30, 2016: Zone 3 (Ward 5 and Ward 6)
Thursday, December 1, 2016 through Friday December 9, 2016: Zone 3 (Ward 5 and Ward 6)
Quincy's Election Headquarters: 2016 Presidential Election Calendar:
Statewide Primary Election:
Thursday, September 8, 2016 from 7:00 a.m. -- 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, November 8, 2016 from 7:00 a.m. -- 8:00 p.m.
Boston Public Schools: Last Day of School 2015-2016: Updated April 2, 2016
Last Day of School
Class of 2016 Graduates (Senior Year @ BPS)
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Elementary School thru. High School (Grade 1-11)
|Friday, June 24, 2016 (Day of 179)|
|Monday, June 27, 2016 (Day of 180) *|
* = Subject to Change if the weather permitting.
Boston Public Schools: 2016-2017 School Year Calendar:
Martin J. Walsh, Mayor of the City of Boston | Tommy Chang, Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools
|School District||School Calendar|
|Students in Grade 1 through 12||Thursday, September 8, 2016|
|Kindergarten Students||Monday, September 12, 2016|
|Last Day of School for Seniors||Friday, June 7, 2017|
|Last Day of School for students (Day 179)||Tuesday, June 20, 2017|
|Last Day of School for students (Day 180)||Wednesday, June 21, 2017|
|Wednesday, June 28, 2017 * (5 snow days make up)|
* = Subject to change if the weather permitting.
School Closing Information:
Please do not call Quincy Public Schools or Transportation Office on the transportation issues for your child's school district such as private schools or public schools due to the weather permitting here in the City of Quincy or outside of the City of Quincy as well.
Quincy Public Schools parents and guardians, students, teachers and the employees should be encouraged to watch or listen their school cancellation update to find out if the school is open, closed, delay or canceled from the local television stations and radio stations.
If you're college student, please watch the local news station or listen local radio stations to find out if your college or university is open, closed, delay or cancellation in your communities during the weather permitting.
If the City of Quincy is declaring for the snow emergency or state of the emergency in this particular weather permitting.
|WBZ (CBS) Channel 4 & WSBK (MY) Channel 38||WBZ NewsRadio 1030 AM|
|WCVB (ABC) Channel 5||WRKO 680 AM|
|WHDH (NBC) Channel 7 & WLVI (CW) Channel 56||WATDS 95.9 FM (South Shore)|
|WFXT (FOX) Channel 25||WTKK 96.9 FM|
Comcast Provider for the Quincy Residents:
Quincy Access Television Channel 8 or Quincy Education Access Television Channel 22
Class of 2016 Graduation Information:
|Name of College:||Graduation Date:|
|Eastern Nazarene College||Saturday, May 7, 2016|
|Quincy College||Saturday, May 28, 2016|
|Quincy Public Schools:||Graduation Date:|
|Quincy High School||Monday, June 13, 2016|
|North Quincy High School||Tuesday, June 14, 2016|
|Quincy High School||Wednesday, June 15, 2016 (Rain Date)|
|North Quincy High School||Thursday, June 16, 2016 (Rain Date)|
Quincy Public Schools Transportation Department: Telephone Directory:
The Quincy Public Schools is extremely encouraging the parents and guardians of Quincy students can contact their transportation service throughout the school year here in the City of Quincy and outside of the City of Quincy.
The transportation service will transport your child to school from home and from school to home safely throughout the school year from September through June.
* Quincy Public Schools Bus Yard: (617) 984-8784
* Quincy Public Schools Transportation Office: (617) 984-8964
* Michael Draicchio, Director of Safety, Security & Transportation: (617) 984-8897 or (617) 504-5826
* Judy Todd, Director of Special Education: (617) 984-8743
* Braintree Basic: (781) 254-9797
* RAZ, Inc.: (781) 843-1200
* VHS: (800) 422-4146
* TLC: (781) 575-1414
Jimmy Hui's Message Blog:
The Jimmy Hui Foundation Blog:
Quincy Access Television:
Quincy Public Schools: