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Baker-Polito Administration Awards $9.5 Million in Skills Capital Grants to Support Vocational Equipment and Programs:
Skills Capitals Grants will help 32 educational institutions improve and expand their career training programs
Westford, MA -- The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded $9.5 million in Skills Capital Grants to 32 high schools, community colleges and educational institutions that will use the funds to purchase equipment, modernize operations, and boost enrollment capacity in career training programs. With today’s awards, the Administration has awarded more than $36 million in Skills Capital Grants to 78 different educational institutions over the last two years.
“These Skills Capital Grants will help boost our economy and equip students with new skills, knowledge and experience with state-of-the-art equipment across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We look forward to continuing our work with these 32 institutions and previous awardees to enhance their programs and develop a skilled workforce ready to meet the needs of the Commonwealth.”
“In order to maintain our skilled workforce, we want to ensure our high schools, colleges, and other educational programs have the ability to train students on the latest equipment that meets current industry standards so when they are ready to enter the workforce, they have the knowledge and best possible training to get a job,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “The awards we are funding today will help open up new economic opportunities, from the Berkshires to the South Coast and Merrimack Valley.”
Governor Baker, Education Secretary James Peyser and Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta announced the awards today at Nashoba Valley Technical High School, which has received a total of $1 million in Skills Capital Grants. Prior to the announcement of new awardees, Nashoba Valley Technical High School administrators and students gave Governor Baker a tour of the Engineering Academy, which was upgraded this year using Skills Capital Grants.
The competitive grants are awarded to educational institutions that demonstrate partnerships with industry, as well as align curriculum and credentials with businesses’ demand, in order to maximize hiring opportunities in each region of the state. Economic Development legislation proposed by the Administration and passed by the Legislature last year authorizes $45 million in program funding over the next three years.
“While Massachusetts has the most highly educated workforce of any state in the nation - with 50 percent of our workforce holding a bachelor’s degree or higher – there is a skills shortage that needs to be addressed to support future business growth and economic success,” Education Secretary James Peyser said. “With these Skills Capital Grants, we are ensuring our education and workforce investments meet current and future industry growth in the Commonwealth by requiring schools that receive grants partner with local businesses.”
“Meeting the demands of today’s employers takes a highly skilled workforce and these grants will bring us one step further to closing the skills gap,” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash. “Training the next generation of workers using modern, state-of-the-art equipment prepares them for the future and ensures the Commonwealth will remain competitive."
"These grant awards are the outcome of private, public, and educational partners coming together to fill pressing skills gaps in the economy,” said Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta. "By utilizing this collaborative approach, the Skills Capital grant program helps to ensure that the next generation of Massachusetts workers has the training necessary to access high demand jobs."
Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito created the Workforce Skills Cabinet in 2015, bringing together the Secretariats of Education, Labor and Workforce Development and Housing and Economic Development to align education, economic development and workforce policies, and to strategize around how to meet employers’ demand for skilled workers in each region of the state.
The following received Workforce Skills Capital Grants:
* Assabet Valley Regional Tech - $499,388: The school will modernize lathe training offered to all students who enroll in the Advanced Manufacturing day or evening program. The equipment will give students the opportunity to learn Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Lathe concepts.
* Berkshire Community College - $54,524: BCC will enhance training for Allied Health and Science programs, including respiratory care, physical therapy, massage therapy, and nursing with the purchase of an Anatomage Table. This 3-D, state-of-the-art computerized table will provide access to a highly-sophisticated visualization system for anatomy and physiology education.
* Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce Central Massachusetts Center for Business and Enterprise - $456,320: The Chamber is partnering with Quinsigamond Community College, Worcester State University’s Center for Business and Industry and Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology to implement a vocational/technical training program for the manufacturing industry. This will include CAD computers and software, 3D printers and the creation of a mini-Fab Lab.
* Bristol County Agricultural High School - $493,729: The high school will build on its Natural Resource Management program and Environmental Sustainability by incorporating drone technology, 3D design, mapping and modeling. Bristol Aggie students will become proficient in using research as an effective predictor for their businesses and the economy.
* Brooke High School - $128,779: The high school’s computer science and robotics program prepares students for jobs in technology and robotics sectors. The new space will have CNC tools, mechanical fabrication tools, electronic prototyping supplies, benchtop tools, and computer workstations to support four years of instruction in computer programming, robotics, and engineering.
* Bunker Hill Community College - $247,566: The school will purchase two new ultrasound machines to enhance learning in cardiac sonography and general sonography associates degree programs. Students will get hands-on experience and up to date training with industry standard equipment.
* Center for Technical Education Innovation - $492,823: With the purchase of new equipment in machine tool and drafting, students will be trained on all stages of manufacturing. The center will provide training for unemployed, incumbent workers and those with barriers to employment.
* Dartmouth High School - $500,000: Dartmouth High renovated a space into a biotechnology lab. With this grant, the school will purchase a Z Space Lab, CNC machine, laser and plasma cutters, Anatomage Table, microbits, centrifuges, thermal cyclers and gel electrophoresis apparati.
* Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School - $500,000: Diman’s Innovation Laboratory will focus on automated machinery/robotics and technical services. Students will learn to design, build and repair the tools and machines used across the manufacturing industry. Equipment includes computer numerically controlled CNC mills, lathes, 3-D printers and VEX robotics kits. After school hours, the laboratory will be open for adult education programs offered in partnership with the Bristol Workforce Investment Board.
* Franklin County Technical School - $495,000: The school will revamp its welding and metal fabrication program to meet new industry demands, and provide a pipeline of students prepared to enter the workforce. A new CNC press brake forming machine will allow students to be well-trained with brake, tooling, CNC and drawings.
* Hampden County Sheriff’s Department/York Street Industries - $115,706: Through its subsidiary York Street Industries, the Sheriff’s Department will upgrade and modernize its manufacturing program by purchasing state-of-the art computerized machinery. Inmates will be trained as computerized machine operators, and receive preparation towards certification in MACWIC Level 1 manufacturing and the National Career Readiness Certificate. The program works collaboratively with Springfield Technical Community College to provide students with a career pathway.
* Holyoke Community College - $229,500: HCC will purchase equipment for the Culinary Arts and Hospitality programs that will better prepare students changing workforce needs. The purchase of the new equipment will increase the number of seats available in the program, as well as improve the skill level of students based on the needs of local employers.
* Lawrence Family Development Inc. - $152,995: Lawrence Family Development launched a pilot culinary arts program in 2015. This grant will enable the program to purchase equipment for an industrial kitchen to allow students more space to prepare food for a larger group, as well as earn their ServSafe Certification.
* Marlborough Public Schools - $343,376: The Marlborough Advanced Pathways Program provides students with the opportunity to learn and apply transferable skills while in high school in the growing industry sectors of advanced manufacturing, electronics, robotics, and information technology. The program will purchase 3D printers, a computer-integrated manufacturing cell system, a CNC mill, a CNC lathe, a sensor training system and electrical drive training system.
* Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School - $50,000: Martha’s Vineyard High will install a 23 foot by 84 foot Industrial Greenhouse and related technology. The new greenhouse and conferencing technology will allow students an opportunity to learn in a facility capable of interacting in a global way.
* Massachusetts Bay Community College - $500,000: Mass Bay Community College will purchase advanced cybersecurity and biotechnology equipment to upgrade the college’s laboratories. The equipment will prepare students for industry standard certifications such as Network +, CompTIA+, as well as create on-the-go labs for teaching concepts in Internet of Things, mobile and device security. New biotechnology equipment will enable students to learn advanced laboratory protocols and conduct advanced analysis for biopharmaceutical applications.
* McCann Technical School - $196,315: McCann Technical focuses on precision manufacturing for the aerospace, defense, commercial, medical device, plastics, mold-making and power generation markets. It is critical for those industries to have a workforce of well-trained electricians capable of installing and sustaining complex manufacturing equipment and software. McCann Tech will provide industry advanced manufacturing Programmable Logic Controllers, PLC, and fiber optics training programs that can be increased incrementally as students’ progress, as well as diagnostic and retraining for incumbent workforce.
* Mount Wachusett Community College - $50,600: Mount Wachusett will offer both a paramedic technology certificate and continuing education certification for Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and Paramedics. The college is addressing a demand by local fire chiefs, ambulance companies and local hospitals for qualified paramedics. In addition, the program will expand to provide EMT and Paramedic Continuing Education courses in the areas of pre-hospital life support, advanced medical life support, geriatric emergency medical services, and pediatric advanced medical support.
* North Shore Agriculture and Technical School District - $500,000: The school will expand its current machine tool technology program to incorporate engineering, metal fabrication, robotics/automation and programming. The current lab will be renovated and the evening adult education advanced manufacturing program will offer career guidance and advisement in partnership with Essex Tech.
* North Shore Community College - $264,906: North Shore Community College’s greenhouse will support both the Agriculture and Food Services career pathways. The fully-equipped greenhouse includes planning beds, irrigation, lighting and heating systems, aquaponics, rain catchment, composting, sorting tables and lab test kits. Health and Science students will conduct lab experiments and view real time applications of sustainable ecosystems. Culinary arts students will grow and experiment with specialty vegetable and herbs for serving in their Café, while small business entrepreneur students will experience the process of bringing a product to “market.”
* Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School - $214,319: Old Colony’s electrical program and electronics engineering technology programs will purchase clean energy training equipment, a residential grid-tied and off-grid solar system, and a mock roof for installation training. The school will acquire new mobile robotics educational bundles, PCL automaton and monitoring equipment, mechatronics training lab, FANUC Industrial robot training and certification.
* Quincy Public Schools - $138,224: The Quincy school district will create an engineering technology program at North Quincy High School. North Quincy High will train students over three years to enter jobs as mechanical, civil, biomedical, agricultural, and electrical engineers. With this grant, the school will purchase tilt chairs, monitors, 3D printers, Mimio Teach interactive software suite, and Project Lead the Way equipment for hands-on instruction and experimentation. The new equipment will allow students to work on the same software and equipment that is used in manufacturing and engineering design. This program is supported by business partners Boston Scientific Corporation and General Dynamics/Bluefin Robotics.
* Quinsigamond Community College - $431,900: Quinsigamond will partner with Worcester Technical High School to serve as a site to expand its HVAC certificate program. This expansion will double the program’s enrollment capacity and offer a second start date during the spring semester.
* Ralph C. Mahar Regional School - $66,246: Mahar will create a student-led IT help desk course with training provided for multiple certifications through CompTIA, Cisco, Microsoft, Google and others. The school will purchase UAV’s, PC workstations, CNC machinery, collaborative touch screen monitors, high-definition and infrared cameras, microphones and 3D printers, as well as prototyping in augmented reality/virtual reality.
* ROOT NS Inc. - $500,000: Root will outfit a professional-grade teaching kitchen within its training facility in Salem, including purchase and installation of a large cooking range, ovens, hood ventilation, fire suppression system, walk-in refrigeration units and classroom equipment.
* Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational School District - $382,830: Shawsheen Valley Regional Voc will expand its Culinary Arts program and add a hospitality management program. Through a partnership with BACC, Mass Restaurant Association and Middlesex Community College, Shawsheen will provide secondary and post-secondary training program.
* Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School - $175,000: Smith will expand its Horticulture program to include greenhouse management and floriculture concentrations. The current greenhouse will be upgraded and retrofitted with modern aquaponics, propagation systems, coolers, instructional aides, and floriculture equipment.
* South Shore Vocational Technical High School - $124,093: The school will purchase advanced manufacturing equipment for its Manufacturing Engineering Technologies Academy, including four ProtoTrak milling machines.
* Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical School District - $319,824: Southeastern’s machine technology program will upgrade manufacturing equipment identified by employers on the school’s Machine Technology Advisory Committee. The new equipment will make the Advanced Manufacturing program one that will meet regional workforce needs of the 21st Century. The equipment will also be used to launch new evening and weekend a Southeast Advanced Manufacturing training program for adults, in partnership with the Brockton Area Workforce Investment Board, the Metro South Chamber of Commerce, and other industry partners.
* Tantasqua Regional Vocational High School - $270,000: Tantasqua Regional will update its Manufacturing program to provide training using CNC equipment. The school will partner with two local high schools to provide students after-school training opportunities, as well as two local employers to provide incumbent worker training programs.
* Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School - $119,326: After finishing one phase of its engineering technology plant expansion, Tri-County is now remodeling a third shop area to expand Advanced Manufacturing, as well as enhance it adult manufacturing courses offered through a partnership with Wentworth Institute of Technology. New equipment will broaden students acquisition of industry recognized skills by exposing them to more complex hardware and software applications.
* Westfield Public Schools – Westfield Technical Academy - $500,000: Westfield Technical Academy is completing the Hangar 2 project at Barnes Regional Airport. Completion of the hangar will benefit all students in the program, grades 9 to 12. The grant will be used to pay for components of construction including the HVAC, fire protection, plumbing and electrical systems that will allow the building to be usable by students.
Baker-Polito Administration Announces First-In-The-Nation Education Principles for Social Worker Education:
Core principles address and opioid treatment training at all Massachusetts schools of social work.
Boston, MA -- The Baker-Polito Administration announced a first-in-the-nation set of educational core principles for social workers, the largest force on the front lines of the opioid crisis. The Social Work Education Core Principles for the Prevention and Management of Substance Misuse are designed to ensure that the 4,300 social work students enrolled in Massachusetts are equipped with the knowledge and skills vital to effectively combat addiction. Governor Charlie Baker was joined at the State House by Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, Mental Health Commissioner Joan Mikula, and deans and program managers from the nine schools of social work at a meeting to formalize the principles.
“We are proud to partner with all of the Commonwealth’s schools of social work to ensure the next generation of providers is exceptionally well prepared to prevent and treat substance misuse,” said Governor Baker. “This agreement will help Massachusetts continue the progress we made two years ago when we became the first state in the nation to require medical and dental schools to train their students in substance misuse prevention and care.”
“Massachusetts’ 4,300 social workers are on the front lines of battling the opioid epidemic every day,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “These principles will help ensure future social workers can implement life-saving strategies so that fewer families have to experience this devastating disease.”
The Baker-Polito Administration has increased annual spending for substance misuse prevention and treatment by 50 percent, not including MassHealth initiatives that expand access to residential treatment and evidence-based care for the state’s most vulnerable populations. The Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and the deans and program directors of the Commonwealth’s nine graduate schools of social work are the latest to partner with the Commonwealth on this groundbreaking effort to provide future generations of social workers with educational training to prevent and treat substance misuse.
“Almost every front line social worker will engage with a client struggling with substance use disorder or a family with a loved one struggling over the course of their career. They must be equipped with the best clinical tools to help clients navigate a path to treatment and recovery,” said Secretary Sudders. "We are appreciative of the deans for their commitment to increasing their students’ understanding of the serious impact of opioid misuse.’’
“This is the latest chapter in our ongoing efforts to advance the education and awareness of those who serve on the front lines of helping people affected by the opioid epidemic,’’ said Commissioner Bharel. "The commitment of our schools of social work strengthens a partnership that has created a sea change in the education of our health and human services workforce in Massachusetts in addressing substance use disorders.’’
As part of the agreement, each of the nine schools of social work will incorporate addiction education and training into their curriculum in the form and manner most appropriate for the institution, guided by the core principles. The nine schools of social work include Boston College, Boston University, Bridgewater State University, Salem State University, Simmons College, Smith College, Springfield College, Westfield State University, and Wheelock College.
These schools of social work now join medical schools, community health centers, and nursing, physician assistant and dental schools, in emphasizing substance use disorder education that already has touched more than 8,500 students in the Commonwealth.
“It is essential that we partner with the social work community to train students how to screen, treat, and care for individuals at high-risk for substance misuse and those already with the disease,” said Commissioner Mikula. “Addressing the underlying behavioral and emotional of needs of individuals will greatly aid in their path to recovery.”
CORE PRINCIPLES FOR THE PREVENTION AND MANAGEMENT OF SUBSTANCE MISUSE:
In the appropriate setting, using recommended and evidence-based methodologies, with a clear understanding of the cultural contexts of the individuals they serve, the graduating social work student should demonstrate the independent ability and/or knowledge to:
* Primary Prevention Domain – Preventing Substance Misuse: Screening, Evaluation, and Prevention
* Demonstrate an understanding of evidence-based prevention techniques and strategies, including community assessment, the use of data to inform prevention efforts, a focus on risk and protective factors for substance misuse, and other approaches consistent with the Strategic Prevention Framework and other evidence-based strategies.
* Assess a person’s risk for substance use disorders by utilizing age-, gender-, and culturally and linguistically-appropriate communication, screening, and assessment methodologies, supplemented with relevant available information, including (but not limited to) family history, co-occurring mental health disorders (especially depression, anxiety disorders, and PTSD), and environmental indicators.
* Demonstrate an awareness of how to inform individuals about the risks associated with substance misuse and the neurobiology of addiction, and to coach them about available resources, such as pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment options, including opioid and non-opioid pharmacologic treatments for acute and chronic pain management.
* Secondary Prevention Domain – Caring for Individuals At-Risk for Substance Use Disorders: Engaging Individuals in Safe, Informed, and Person-Centered Car
* Demonstrate an understanding of the substance use disorder treatment and recovery supports system, and how to appropriately refer individuals to their primary care physician, substance use intervention and treatment services, mental health specialists, community-based supports, and/or pain specialists for consultation and collaboration.
* Demonstrate the ability to complete a multi-dimensional contextual assessment inclusive of substance use and its interaction with symptoms of mental illness, which informs treatment and recovery support recommendations across the continuum of care.
* Articulate the foundational skills in person-centered counseling and behavior change, consistent with evidence-based techniques, including motivational interviewing, harm reduction, relapse prevention, and brief intervention skills.
* Tertiary Prevention Domain - Managing Substance Use Disorders as a Chronic Disease: Eliminate Stigma and Build Awareness of Social Determinants
* Recognize the risk factors for, and signs of, opioid overdose and demonstrate the correct use of naloxone (Narcan) rescue.
* Recognize substance use disorders as a chronic disease that affects individuals and families physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially. Importantly, substance use affects pregnancies and parent-child relationships. Addiction can be treated and recovered from with effective assessment, referral, community supports, and inter-professional collaboration.
* Recognize and assess their own and societal stigmas and biases against individuals suffering from substance use disorders and associated evidence-based medication-assisted treatment to work toward eliminating stigma.
Identify and incorporate relevant information regarding health inequities, current and historical drug policies, criminal justice practices, and related forms of systemic oppression into planning how to support individuals in the management of their substance use disorder, and recognize that in order to have a better chance at recovery, an individual’s basic needs must be met, including safe and stable housing, primary health care, mental health care, and access to ongoing support services as needed.
New Quincy Public Schools Middle School Project Update:
At the September 13 School Committee Meeting, representatives from the project team overseeing the construction of Quincy Public School’s newest middle school presented a project update. By the fall of 2019, the new middle school building will replace Sterling Middle School and provide the students and families of Southwest Quincy with a state-of-the-art educational facility. The new middle school project is a collaboration of the City of Quincy, Quincy Public Schools, the Massachusetts School Building Authority, Owner’s Project Manager PCA 360, Ai3 Architects, and Bond Construction. Click here to view the presentation.
The City of Quincy IT Department has created a website dedicated to the new middle school building project. Click here to view the website which includes architectural renderings, floor plans, live construction webcams, and project updates. The website will be regularly updated with new photos, updated schedules, and project information to keep the community informed about this important enhancement to the Southwest Quincy neighborhood.
Wollaston Station Improvements Project Moves Forward:
In the interest of the public's safety, the station will be closed during the period of construction.
Boston, MA -- The MBTA is moving forward with the Wollaston Station Improvements Project with the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board earlier this summer having approved the beginning of new construction at this Red Line station.
Major accessibility improvements, state-of-the-art safety features, and additional parking are some of the improvements to be made during the project renovating Wollaston Station. Currently the only non ADA-accessible station on the Red Line, Wollaston will be transformed into a modern, fully accessible facility, making the entirety of the Red Line 100-percent accessible. New features and upgrades to the station include brand new elevators, additional customer paths, upgraded stairways, new bathrooms, and additional lighting. New electrical, fire protection, security, flooding mitigation, and site utility upgrades will also occur to support the accessible improvements. The estimated construction value of the Wollaston Station Improvements is $33 million.
The MBTA has already committed $911 million to Red Line South Side projects, including 252 new Red Line cars that will begin full revenue service in November 2019. The renovations at Wollaston Station are a major part of a series of signal, rail, and other infrastructure upgrades along the Red Line.
With customers’ safety a top priority and to complete the project on time, Wollaston Station will temporarily close for approximately twenty months beginning in late December 2017 with an anticipated re-opening in August 2019. Red Line trains will bypass Wollaston Station during the closure with dedicated bus service between Wollaston and North Quincy Stations. Previous MBTA successes in renovation construction with station shutdowns include Government Center, Orient Heights, and Science Park Stations.
In addition, to support the most efficient completion of the project, beginning in mid-November 2017, weeknight Red Line service along the Braintree Branch after 9 p.m. will be replaced with shuttle buses. It is also anticipated that, beginning in January 2018, Saturday and Sunday Red Line service between North Quincy and Braintree Stations will also be replaced with shuttle buses during eighteen weekends over the course of approximately twenty-four months.
Demolition work at the Quincy Center Station Garage, which was closed in July 2012 due to structural concerns, is also scheduled to begin in early 2018. As part of the work at Quincy Center Station, the existing elevator will be completely replaced and an accessible entrance at Burgin Parkway will be added. Construction of the project will occur through December 2018 for a construction value of $13 million. The station will remain open and fully functional during construction.
Additional Red Line South Side upgrades are also planned at the Braintree and Quincy Adams parking garages. Renovations to the garages at these stations will bring the facilities to a state of good repair with an anticipated useful life of forty years, improve accessibility, and provide for more efficient and improved parking layout. Included are structural repairs, replaced drainage systems, upgraded fire alarm, CCTV, electrical, and emergency power systems, and full replacement of lighting systems. Accessibility upgrades include two new elevators at Braintree Garage as well as improvements to both garages in wayfinding signage and better traffic circulation for accessibility vehicles, wheelchair access, and pedestrian movement. Construction of both garages is anticipated to begin in early 2018 with an estimated construction contract value of $90 million. Both garages will remain in service during the construction period.
Wollaston Station now:
Wollaston Station after construction completion:
For more information, see Wollaston Station Improvements and Quincy Center Garage Demolition.
MassDOT: Route 3 Bridge Replacement:
MassDOT will be replacing two Route 3 bridges over the Ramp to Quincy Adams/Burgin Parkway. The work will be done over a two weekend timeframe and cranes will be lifting the structures into place, similar to the Fast 14 bridge project that MassDOT did on I-93 over the summer a few years ago.
The plan is to replace the Northbound bridge over the weekend beginning 10PM Friday, 9/22, and roadway access will be back in service before 5AM on Monday 9/25. The Southbound bridge will be replaced over the weekend beginning 10PM Friday, 10/13, and roadway access will be back in service before 5AM on Monday 10/16.
Access from route 3 to Burgin Parkway will be detoured and police details will be deployed to manage the traffic. MassDOT has been working with the Quincy Police Department in preparation for this construction.
Weekend Detour: The Bottom Line:
Friday, September 22, 2017 through Monday, September 25, 2017:
Route 3 Northbound reduced from 3 lanes to 2
lanes in the work zone.
* Ramp C closed.
* Ramp F closed to local traffic.
* Detour via Washington Street.
Friday, October 13, 2017 through Monday, October 16, 2017:
Route 3 Northbound reduced from 3 lanes to 2
lanes in the work zone.
* Ramp C closed.
* Ramp F closed to local traffic.
* Detour via Washington Street.
Governor Baker, Federal and Local Officials, MassPort Kick-Off $350 Million Boston Harbor Dredging Project:
Supports Port of Boston's competitiveness in global economy, including 7,000 jobs, 1,600 New England businesses and $4.6 billion in economic activity.
Boston, MA -- Today, Governor Charlie Baker, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Edward Markey, Congressman Stephen Lynch, local elected officials and representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) officially kicked off the Boston Harbor Dredging Project.
The $350 million state and federally funded multi-phase project will support continued growth at Conley Container Terminal, which has achieved three consecutive record breaking years for volume, including over 256,000 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 – a 3.9% increase over FY 2016. The Port and Terminal generate $4.6 billion in economic activity, support 7,000 direct jobs and service exports and imports for 1,600 businesses across Massachusetts and New England.
“Deepening Boston Harbor and supporting infrastructure investments at Conley Container Terminal are crucial to Massachusetts and New England’s competitiveness in the global marketplace,” said Governor Baker. “We are proud to work with our state and federal partners toward these improvements, supporting billions in economic activity and over 1,600 businesses creating thousands of local jobs.”
Project plans include maintaining the inner harbor, and deepening the outer harbor, main shipping channel and reserved channel to allow for larger container ships already calling Conley Container Terminal following the expansion of the Panama Canal. States up and down the East Coast are investing in their ports to accommodate bigger ships. The dredging in the inner harbor preserves vessels’ capability to deliver home heating oil, automobiles, jet fuel, and salt to terminals along the Chelsea and Mystic Rivers.
“A deeper harbor means more container traffic, and that means more economic growth. It’s good for Greater Boston, it’s good for the Commonwealth, and it’s good for the entire region,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). “I was glad to partner with Massport and the Port of Boston and to fight for federal funding for this project, and I’m excited to see it begin.”
"Boston Harbor is an economic engine for Massachusetts and the entire New England region, ensuring our industries, manufacturers, and workers are competitive in an increasingly globalized economy," said Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. "This strong federal investment will help further upgrade the harbor in order to accommodate more and larger ships, to bring in more jobs, more investment, and more economic prosperity."
“The Port of Boston has been the lifeblood of the New England economy for centuries and I’m proud to have supported such a significant investment in its future, and in turn, the future of thousands of Massachusetts workers who make a living along the Harbor,” said Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA). “Keeping the port competitive is vital to ensuring all of Massachusetts remains competitive in the global economy and a home of sustainable economic growth and opportunity.”
The overall project to deepen Boston Harbor will cost approximately $350 million, including $130 million from Massport and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and $220 million in federal funding, including $18.2 million allocated in the USACE’s FY 2017 work plan and $58 million included in the President’s FY’18 budget. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has contracted with Great Lakes Dredge and Dock to perform the work.
Economic development legislation proposed and signed by Governor Baker last year also permitted $107.5 million for Massport infrastructure investments at Conley Container Terminal, including the construction of a new berth and procurement of three new cranes to accommodate new, larger cargo ships.
The first phase of the project consists of maintenance dredging, including the construction of a Confined Aquatic Disposal (CAD) Cell just off the shore of the Autoport in Charlestown, which will safely hold tons of sediment from the floor of the harbor. This work is expected to continue through the end of the year.
“Investments we make today into the Port of Boston and the Conley Container Terminal are essential for New England to remain an important player in the global economy for years to come,” said Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn. “We are grateful to our state and federal partners, under the strong leadership of Governor Charlie Baker, Senators Warren and Markey and Congressman Lynch, for continuing to support the Port, help modernize Conley’s facilities and allow the Harbor to handle even larger ships.”
Twelve of the world’s top 15 shipping lines call the Port of Boston home versus only five shipping lines four years ago and investing in Conley reduces the amount of goods that are trucked from New York, which lowers costs to consumers, improves air quality and alleviates highway congestion. Businesses using the Port of Boston and Conley Container Terminal include the Kraft Group’s International Forest Products, L.L. Bean, Jordan’s Furniture, and Christmas Tree Shops.
“International Forest Products is the largest shipper out of the Conley Container Terminal and the modernization of the Port of Boston is critical to maintaining our competitive edge in the global economy,” said Daniel Kraft, President and CEO of International Forest Products. “The investments made in this project demonstrate a real commitment and signal that we have partners just as dedicated to growing our regional economy as we are.”
The second phase of the project, scheduled to begin in mid-2018, will deepen the Outer Harbor Channel, from 40 to 51 feet; the Main Shipping Channel, from 40 to 47 feet; and the Reserve Channel, where Conley Container Terminal is located, from 40 to 47 feet. Currently, Conley is able to handle 8,500 TEU ships - this project will allow it to handle up to 12,000 TEU vessels.
Baker-Polito Administration Announces New Cybersecurity Center At Mass Tech Collaborative:
Cambridge, MA -- Today, at the state’s first-ever Cybersecurity Forum, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced the creation of the “Cybersecurity Growth and Development Center at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative” - a new public center that will aim to connect the cybersecurity ecosystem and train new cybersecurity workers across the Commonwealth. To advise and steer the center, MassTech will convene a Cybersecurity Strategy Council made up of leaders from both the private and public sector.
The Commonwealth’s first Cybersecurity Forum took place at several locations across Cambridge and was attended by more than 200 cybersecurity-focused leaders from the Commonwealth’s roster of companies, top-tier academic research institutions, and local, state and federal officials.
“Massachusetts is home to many of the world’s leading innovative companies, accelerators and educational institutions, as well as an economically competitive climate prepared to host the world’s emerging cybersecurity industry,” said Governor Baker. “Creating the Cybersecurity Growth and Development Center at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and the Cybersecurity Strategy Council will ensure the state serves as a committed partner with businesses, colleges and universities, and the public sector to continue developing a talented workforce and to expand our cybersecurity ecosystem.”
As part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s economic development strategy to support emerging sectors, the Cybersecurity Growth and Development Center will work with the private sector to provide business development support, help existing cybersecurity firms grow in Massachusetts, oversee programs to increase the cybersecurity talent pipeline in the state, and collaborate with businesses to help inform the Commonwealth’s cybersecurity strategy.
The new Cybersecurity Growth and Development Center will focus on the development of talent, leadership and ecosystem initiatives, and will shape projects with the help of a special Cybersecurity Strategy Council composed of advisors from industry, academia, and government.
“In order for the Commonwealth to prepare for and withstand cyber threats, we need a strong pipeline of workers that are trained in cutting edge tools and techniques being utilized today,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “The participation of our Workforce Skills Cabinet and private sector leaders, along with leaders from our universities, will ensure that we are preparing students ready to make an immediate impact the minute they head into the workforce.”
The Forum was a direct result of the Baker-Polito administration’s trade mission to Israel last year and will raise the Commonwealth’s profile as a state as a national cybersecurity leader with global impact. The goal of the Forum was to further solidify a coordinated strategy focused on talent, ecosystem growth, and global leadership and to cement the Commonwealth’s commitment as a strategic partner with the cybersecurity community. Since last December’s trade mission, five companies have opened or relocated their American Headquarters to Boston, representing hundreds of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in Massachusetts.
Governor Baker was introduced by Steve Conine, the co-founder and co-chairman of Boston-based online retailer Wayfair, who outlined the importance of a strong regional cybersecurity ecosystem for a major publically traded company.
“At Wayfair, we are thrilled to see Governor Baker working to continue to make Massachusetts a place that grows and cultivates top talent for critical pieces of our future economy,” said Steve Conine, co-founder & co-chairman of Wayfair. “Cybersecurity is critical as we work on building a trusted, durable and nationally known retail brand. Initiatives like this help ensure Massachusetts is a top destination for talent. Cybersecurity professionals will be an important part of the technology workforce at Wayfair, and a critical piece to the broader technology ecosystem.”
Colonel Joseph Morrissey of the Massachusetts National Guard also provided remarks on plans for a cyber-intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) group under the 102nd Intelligence Wing at Joint Base Cape Cod.
"We are excited for future opportunities and the challenges associated with standing up these new cyber missions," said Col. Joseph Morrissey, commander, 202nd Cyber Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance Group, Massachusetts Air National Guard. "As we set out to recruit and train to fulfill our federal taskings, we have an eye on how to effectively use these missions to better serve the citizens of the Commonwealth and continue to build enduring relationships with all our interagency partners."
“These events showcase the global cybersecurity leadership that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has at its disposal, from R&D, to startups, to scaled organizations,” said Tim Connelly, Executive Director/CEO of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. “These connections have helped grow our roster of cyber firms. The new Center housed at MassTech will build on this solid foundation and help supercharge an already dynamic sector of our economy.”
The Forum will conclude this evening with a Capstone presentation and panel on “Meeting the Cybersecurity Workforce Challenge,” and include a keynote by Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s President Rafael Reif and a panel discussion featuring Secretary of Labor & Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta and executives from Massachusetts-based cybersecurity firms Black Duck Software, Cybric, iboss, and Rapid7.
closing panel will be moderated by Housing & Economic Development Secretary
Jay Ash and feature a discussion and Q&A with the leaders of the four
mid-day ‘cyber treks,’ at leading firms in the area, including Akamai,
Draper, Google, and IBM Security’s Cyber Range.
Governor Baker and many of the attendees from today’s forum will also participate in an event tomorrow Thursday, September 14th, hosted by Harvard Business School and Israel’s Tel Aviv University called the “CEO Cybersecurity Forum.” The Harvard Forum will feature participation from representatives of Israel’s world-class cybersecurity business and research sectors.
Baker-Polito Administration Unveils Bill to Strengthen Penalties for Dangerous Drug Distribution, Witness Intimidation:
Boston, MA -- Joined today by survivors, advocates, members of the law enforcement community and members of the Legislature at the Gavin Foundation’s Devine Recovery Center in South Boston, Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and Secretary of Public Safety and Security Daniel Bennett announced a public safety legislative reform package updating drug scheduling and witness intimidation statutes and strengthening penalties for the illegal distribution of drugs resulting in death and solicitation to commit murder.
The four provisions of the Baker-Polito Administration’s legislative package address:
* Linking state drug classifications, with the exception of marijuana and other drugs already classified in Massachusetts, to emergency federal drug scheduling, allowing state law enforcement and prosecutors to more swiftly respond to the influx of new and dangerous synthetic drugs.
* Defining the illegal distribution of dangerous drugs resulting in death as manslaughter punishable by a minimum of five years in prison -- the same standard to which a driver under the influence who takes an innocent life is held.
* Bolstering and clarifying witness intimidation statutes to ensure prosecutors have the ability to protect witnesses and their families from retaliation both before and after a trial.
* Updating state law to treat solicitation of murder-for-hire as a felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
“As society keeps seeing evolving public safety threats, like dangerous drugs fueling the opioid epidemic and gang violence in our communities, it is critical that our laws give law enforcement the appropriate tools and enforcement measures to keep everyone safe,” said Governor Baker. “The Commonwealth is focused on curbing the deadly opioid and heroin epidemic, and these reforms will gives prosecutors and public safety officers the ability to better respond to new drugs coming into our communities, and to hold accountable drug dealers who put profits over the lives of other people.”
“Every day in cities and towns across Massachusetts, brave and extraordinary men, women and children step up to help prosecutors and law enforcement identify, convict and put away drug dealers, murderers and other criminals,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “One of the commitments law enforcement makes is to do everything they can to protect them and their families, and this bill will make clear the Commonwealth will not tolerate attempts to harm or intimidate witnesses or their families before, during or after a trial.”
Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito and Secretary Bennett were joined by advocates from the recovery, victim and survivor community in announcing the bill, including the President and CEO of the Gavin Foundation, John McGahan; Learn to Cope; the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery (MOAR); Mothers for Justice and Equality Founder, President and CEO Monalisa Smith; and Aretha Mauge, who lost a loved one to a stabbing where no witnesses came forward; and Laura Martin, who lost a loved one to a drug overdose.
Members of the law enforcement community attending included: Massachusetts Major City Chiefs President and Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes; John Nelson of the Massachusetts Coalition of Police; and Donald Caisey representing the Boston Detectives Union and the Fraternal Order of Police.
“Under our current system, when a dangerous new drug appears on the scene, the federal government moves quickly to employ its emergency scheduling powers to make sure that federal law prohibits the importation and sale of these lethal drugs,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Dan Bennett. “If state laws lag behind it makes sense to adopt federal scheduling, as other states have, to ensure police can take action when they encounter lethal new drugs out on the streets.”
“Governor Baker’s bill updates existing legislation to fix flaws and fill in gaps related to dangerous drugs and soliciting criminal conduct,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley. “But it also marks a major step forward in efforts to protect the victims, witnesses, and their loved ones. By updating and clarifying the statutes related to witness protection and intimidation, it makes clear that their safety is always our first concern.”
The Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, Massachusetts Major City Police Chiefs Association and Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association have all endorsed the administration’s legislation.
“These are smart solutions to dangerous crimes the people of the Commonwealth face every day,” said Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes, President of Massachusetts Major City Chiefs of Police Association. “The adoption of the federal drug scheduling would put Massachusetts law enforcement in a situation to act as soon as these new and dangerous drugs arrive in the Commonwealth.”
“Witness intimidation is a serious problem for public safety and presents a significant impediment to law enforcement’s efforts to reduce gang activity, violent crime, sexual assaults and illegal drug activity,” said Donald Caisey, President of Boston Detectives Union. “Gov. Baker’s proposal will go a long way towards providing necessary tools to make our city’s streets safer.”
“The efforts being taken by the Governor and District Attorney Conley are very important to families who have lost loved ones to senseless violent crimes,” said Monalisa Smith, Founder, President & CEO, of Mothers for Justice and Equality. “There is a fear factor that exists with these families who don’t know the identity of the perpetrator because no one has come forward and because of that, these families live in the shadow of that fear. This legislation is important because it will help people who have witnessed a crime feel safer about coming forward. Having the crime solved, helps us all to heal.”
“Gavin Foundation supports Governor Baker’s public safety and public health approach to addressing the opiate epidemic,” said John P. McGahan, President/CEO Gavin Foundation, Inc. “This comprehensive bill addresses witness intimidation, increases accountability of drug traffickers and ensures appropriate classification of new to the market controlled substances. We are grateful for the Governor’s leadership and the work of the legislators on this important issue.”
The Baker-Polito Administration’s Legislative Public Safety Package:
* Linked Federal Drug Scheduling: The federal government has historically responded swiftly to recognize and prohibit the importation and sale of lethal new and synthetic drugs through emergency scheduling powers, whereas state law must be amended to adopt prohibition. This scenario allows dangerous new synthetic drugs like Carfentanil and 25I-NBOMe (“N-Bomb”) to go unclassified, and frustrates the ability of state and local law enforcement to arrest dealers or obtain search warrants to seize these drugs. The proposal links state drug classifications, with the exception of marijuana, to the federal scheduling process, as New Hampshire has done, while retaining Massachusetts’ authority to make the final decision on the treatment of new drugs.
* Death Caused by Illegal Distribution of Dangerous Drugs: The opioid crisis and drug overdoses have taken a tragic toll on the Commonwealth’s families and communities. While efforts continue to prioritize education, prevention, treatment and recovery, stronger penalties are needed to hold accountable those who profit from the sale of these dangerous drugs. Current state law treats driving under the influence and taking innocent lives as manslaughter punishable by a minimum of five years in prison. This proposal would hold drug dealers distributing these dangerous poisons to the same standard, reflecting the seriousness and devastation of the harm they have caused.
* Witness Intimidation and Protection: The Commonwealth and administration is committed to protecting from harm those brave citizens who have stood up to identify and help convict dangerous criminals. Witness intimidation is a felony under current law, but efforts to expand those protections in 2006 unintentionally withdrew protections for victims after they testified. In 2011, a Supreme Judicial Court decision invalidated the conviction of a man who had threatened to harm the daughter of his probation officer in retaliation for the probation officer telling a judge that he had violated his probation.
* This proposal would clarify and fix this gap in the statute, as the SJC has suggested, to ensure the Commonwealth’s laws make clear that harm, or threat of harm, will not be tolerated.
* This provision also makes explicit that threats of harm to a family member will be treated just as seriously as a threat to a witness, and updates the Witness Protection Law to ensure prosecutors can assist witnesses and their families to keep them safe from retaliation both before and after a trial.
* Solicitation of Murder: In most states attempting to procure a murder for hire (known as “solicitation to commit a felony”) is a serious felony; in Maine and New Hampshire, for instance, solicitation to commit murder is punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Under current Massachusetts law, soliciting the murder of another person is treated as a misdemeanor. This proposal updates the Massachusetts statute to correct this flaw, and would treat solicitation to commit a felony with the appropriate level of seriousness.
If You See Something, Say Something Campaign: 2017-2018 School Year:
Jimmy Hui, President/Chief Executive Officer at The Jimmy Hui Foundation would like to welcome back to all of the students, families and staff of the Quincy Public Schools for the 2017-2018 school year here in the City of Quincy.
As for the 2017-2018 school year, the North Quincy Nights Strategic Response Unit will be working very closely with our partners from: Quincy Police Department, Quincy Fire Department, Brewster Ambulance, Massachusetts State Police Department, MBTA Transit Police Department and the Norfolk County Sheriff Department throughout the day during the school hours of operations here in the City of Quincy.
The North Quincy Nights Strategic Response Unit is working very closely with the Quincy Public Schools for an additional public health, safety, security and transportation matters to make sure that schools are safe and sound in the harm's way to protect every students, families and staff throughout the school year.
We are extremely encouraging the students, families and staff of the Quincy Public Schools should be remain in the vigilant and be aware of your surrounding in the public places and public transit areas to report any suspicious activities or packages by dial 911 for an emergency numbers or call Quincy Police Department with non-emergency number can be reached at 617-479-1212.
We have three School Resource Officers, eight Community Police Officers and 2 DARE Officers from the Quincy Police Department will be working around in the clock throughout the day during the school year here in the City of Quincy.
We have 4 Security Officers at North Quincy High School and 4 Security Officers at Quincy High School under the leadership by Michael Draicchio, Director of Safety, Security and Transportation at Quincy Public Schools throughout the school year here in the City of Quincy.
Here's the contact information for the 2017-2018 school year:
Quincy Police Department: DARE Division
Officer John Grazioso: (617) 745-5735 or email@example.com
Officer Don Sautter: (617) 745-5735 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Quincy Police Department: Community Policing Unit:
Lieutenant Robert Bina, Supervisor: (617) 770-4993 or email@example.com
Officer Roger White (Quincy Square): (857) 342-0523 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Officer Bill Mitchell (Ward 1): (617) 594-2082 or email@example.com
Officer Matthew Miller (Ward 2): (617) 594-2070 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Officer Timothy Simmons (Ward 3): (339) 235-6662 or email@example.com
Officer Jimmie Whedbee (Ward 4): (617) 483-0599 firstname.lastname@example.org
Officer Jim Silcox (Ward 5): (339) 237-1575 or email@example.com
Officer Greg Mar (Ward 6): (617) 594-2028 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Quincy Police Department: School Resource Officers:
Officer Gregg Hartnett (Middle Schools): email@example.com
Officer Steve Burgio (Quincy High School): firstname.lastname@example.org
Officer Paul Holland (North Quincy High School): email@example.com
Quincy Public Schools Security Department:
Michael Draicchio, Director of Safety, Security and Transportation: firstname.lastname@example.org
North Quincy High School Security Officers:
Sheila Calabro, Security Officer: email@example.com
Rick Palumbo, Security Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Keith, Security Officer: email@example.com
Jake Mullaney, Security Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Quincy High School Security Officers:
Steve McGowan, Security Officer: email@example.com
Tom McInnis, Security Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joseph Mulvey, Security Officer: email@example.com
Mark Spendlove, Security Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please enjoy for the rest of the 2017-2018 school year in the classroom throughout the semester!
Baker-Polito Administration, Federal and Local Officials Celebrate Groundbreaking for $38.5 Million Ruggles Station Improvement Project:
Boston, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker and Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack today joined state and local transit officials, federal and state elected leaders, and community partners today to celebrate the groundbreaking of a $38.5 million improvement project to the MBTA’s Ruggles Orange Line and Commuter Rail Station. The new station includes elevators, a reconstructed lower busway, and a brand new 800-foot Commuter Rail platform to better service Track 2 and increase capacity for nearly all inbound commuter rail trains to stop at the station.
“This investment will improve service for riders and access to neighborhoods and employers in Boston for all communities around this T stop,” said Governor Baker. “This new platform at Ruggles will reduce congestion and allow more trains to stop at this major and busy local hub for commuters throughout the region. We are grateful to our federal, local and community partners for their support in delivering more reliable service for the riders.”
A contract first authorized in March 2012 that included the layout and design of a brand new 800-foot Commuter Rail platform to service Track 2 was amended by the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) last December to include ADA improvements, a reconstructed lower busway, and new elevators.
Once construction is completed, the station will also feature:
* A completely reconstructed lower busway with a new elevator
* Wider sidewalks, concrete bus berths
* Additional paths of travel, enhanced pedestrian safety and security measures
* Interior and exterior building code-related improvements and east and west access to the station with canopies
* Replacement of four existing station elevators
Currently, approximately 30% of inbound trains bypass Ruggles due to physical limitations of the current platform and daily congestion along the corridor from MBTA and Amtrak trains. Construction will increase the size of the existing platform and improve the infrastructure in keeping with ADA guidelines to allow improved access to the neighboring community that includes the Longwood Medical and Academic Area, which is the largest employment center near Ruggles Station, and Northeastern University (NEU).
“Ruggles Station is one of our busiest stations because it is a major hub for MBTA bus routes and a stop for commuter rail and for the Orange Line,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Pollack. “Infrastructure improvements being made at Ruggles will make access to the system much easier for people with disabilities, for customers connecting from bus routes, for the local college and high school student population and for the public in general. These improvements are long-overdue and will vastly improve the customer experience and make for more efficient boarding and disembarking for commuter rail and subway riders.”
A total project cost of $38.5 million is supported by a $20 million federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) VI Grant awarded in October 2014, federal FTA funding of $6.8 million and state funding of $11.7 million from the MBTA Revenue Bond fund. With the design phase completed in January 2017, construction is scheduled to be performed from 2017 through 2019.
Governor Baker and Secretary Pollack were joined by MBTA Interim General Manager Steve Poftak, Keolis Commuter Services CEO and General Manager David Scorey, Congressman Mike Capuano, State Representative Chynah Tyler, Boston Transportation Department Commissioner Gina Fiandaca and Northeastern University Senior Vice President and General Counsel Ralph Martin.
“This TIGER Grant is an example of how targeted federal dollars can make huge improvements in American communities,” said Congressman Mike Capuano. “Ruggles Station is an important component of our public transit system and the upgrades being made will improve the overall commuting experience for passengers. I am proud of my role in securing these federal dollars. I am also pleased to celebrate today's groundbreaking with Governor Baker as well as our local and state partners.”
“The upgrades underway at Ruggles Station, when completed, will provide more access and better service for our customers to and from this area,” said MBTA Interim GM Poftak. “We appreciate the close coordination with Northeastern and are committed to these kinds of collaborations in the future.”
“With three commuter rail lines stopping at Ruggles, this station is an important component of our network throughout the greater Boston area,” said Keolis Commuter Services CEO and General Manager Scorey. “Through strategic collaboration with community leaders, local organizations, and our team at Keolis, the MBTA continues to make positive investments into the commuter rail that further improve the passenger experience for approximately 125,000 people who rely on this transportation every day. We look forward to playing a role in this initiative which will help to attract more riders to the commuter rail.”
After close coordination between the MBTA and NEU due to NEU’s close proximity to the project, NEU plans to construct a pedestrian bridge over the tracks, providing access from Columbus Avenue to NEU’s main campus and surrounding areas. NEU will also relocate a power duct bank and construct approximately 300’ of shared wall along their new proposed deck on behalf of the MBTA project. Some of this work has already been completed with more underway.
“From the state-of-the-art Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex to a revitalized Carter Playground, Northeastern has sought to invigorate Columbus Avenue in ways that benefit the community, the university, and the region,” said Northeastern University President Joseph E. Aoun. “I would like to thank Governor Baker, Mayor Walsh, and everyone involved in this powerful partnership to enhance Ruggles Station and bring our communities together.”
Ruggles Station is a multi-modal station that serves thirteen MBTA bus routes, seven private bus shuttles, the Orange Subway Line, and three Commuter Rail lines (Needham, Franklin, and Providence/Stoughton).
Governor Baker Participates in Ceremonial Bill Signing Recognizing 'Ice Bucket Challenge Week' in Honor of Frates Family and ALS Awareness:
Annual week in August recognizes efforts to raise awareness for battling ALS.
Boston, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito today joined Senator Joan Lovely, Representative Jerry Parisella, Pete Frates, members of the Frates family and ALS research advocates for the ceremonial bill signing of H.1697, An Act Establishing The First Week In August As Ice Bucket Challenge Week, to annually honor the contributions of Pete Frates and his family and raise awareness and resources for those battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Governor Baker officially signed the legislation on August 1, 2017. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was co-founded in 2014 by Pete Frates, Pat Quinn and Anthony Senerchia to raise awareness for the progressive neurodegenerative disease and funds to support research towards a cure.
In August of 2015, Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito were joined by Pete Frates and his family to take the ALS “Every August Until a Cure” Ice Bucket Challenge at the State House. Members of the Baker-Polito Administration, Treasurer Goldberg, Auditor Bump and members of the legislature also participated to raise awareness and support a cure for ALS.
Baker-Polito Administration Visits New State Police Homeland Security and Preparedness Division:
Division provides dedicated homeland security law enforcement capacity.
Framingham, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Public Safety Secretary Dan Bennett and State Police Superintendent Colonel Richard McKeon today highlighted the recent creation of a new State Police division focused on combating threats to Massachusetts and the nation posed by extremists and narcotics traffickers, collecting and analyzing criminal intelligence, and protecting large-scale events and critical infrastructure.
The State Police Division of Homeland Security and Preparedness will consolidate and enhance counter-terrorism, opioid interdiction, and criminal intelligence operations currently spread throughout other divisions. The new, dedicated division will significantly increase the Department’s effectiveness and efficiency in these mission areas. The FY18 budget signed by the governor created the new division and allowed for a new State Police Class of 145 recruits.
“To keep our communities safe, it is critical that the Commonwealth continually adapt to various threats facing our state and nation to ensure the highest level of public safety and a coordinated response for first responders,” said Governor Baker. “By bringing the different elements of our homeland security operations under one command, we will enhance the ability for the State Police to coordinate, respond and protect the Commonwealth for critical incidents and threats like drug trafficking.”
The new Division is commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Dermot Quinn and consists of two main sections, the Commonwealth Fusion Center and the Preparedness and Planning Section. Each section is under the command of a Major, who reports to the division commander, who in turn will report directly to the Colonel/Superintendent of the Department. The establishment of these sections as two integral and coordinated parts of the new division will allow for more fully dedicated and expanded efforts in these critical homeland security areas of operation.
“As a part of the 5th division, the Fusion Center will continue its efforts to assist in gathering, analyzing and disseminating information about criminal networks, including those involved in human trafficking,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “The new structure will also allow the State Police to be even more vigilant and informed as they work to disrupt and apprehend criminals involved in the exploitation of children.”
“With the degree of criminal complexity ever increasing, the Massachusetts State Police will continue to evolve and build an organization whose structure and capacities can meet and overcome the challenges that threaten our safety, security, and way of life,” said Secretary Bennett.
“The emerging threats and issues that we now confront demand a stronger, modernized, and wholly-dedicated homeland security and preparedness law enforcement capacity,” Colonel McKeon said. “This Department is uniquely suited – and prepared – to embrace this responsibility and the establishment of this Division will provide the platform to minimize the risk posed by the threats facing us.”
Colonel Richard McKeon noted that the mission of the Massachusetts State Police has continually evolved to meet contemporary challenges throughout the agency’s 151-year history. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the role of the State Police has grown significantly in the area of homeland security, criminal intelligence, and counter-terrorism. That mission remains a major priority of the department. Most recently, faced with the continuing opioid crisis, the Department has increased its efforts to identify and dismantle drug trafficking organizations, focusing on the transportation of narcotics into and across Massachusetts, which is in itself a threat to homeland security. Both of those missions – counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics – will be enhanced by the new division structure.
About the New State Police Homeland Security and Preparedness Division:
The Commonwealth Fusion Center, which previously existed under the Division of Investigative Services, will more appropriately fit into the Division of Homeland Security structure. One of its major functions is to collect and analyze intelligence on criminal and terrorism activity and then share that information among federal, state and local partner agencies to facilitate an appropriate law enforcement response. The Fusion Center also will field units tasked with interdicting organizations trafficking opiates into and throughout Massachusetts, investigate potential terrorist activity through State Police membership on the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and investigate cyber crime.
The Preparedness and Planning Section of the new division will centralize law enforcement response planning for critical incidents and natural disasters, and security planning for large-scale events, such as the Boston Marathon, the July 4th concert and other Esplanade events, Sail Boston, major sporting events, and public celebrations. This planning, the responsibility for which is currently dispersed throughout the department, will now be centralized and streamlined. The planning duties, by personnel whose roles will be dedicated to this task, will encompass drafting operational plans, determining necessary staffing, erecting appropriate physical security barriers, and other logistical details for events, venues, and large gatherings.
The Preparedness and Planning section within the new division will also staff and maintain a 24-hour statewide Watch Center that will monitor all developing incidents affecting public safety and security and coordinate appropriate law enforcement response across different jurisdictions and agencies. The Watch Center is being built-out within the existing State Police General Headquarters (which will, in fact, house most of the new division with the exception of the existing Fusion Center units currently based in Maynard).
State Leaders Sign Joint Resolution and Proclamation Denouncing Neo-Nazism and White Nationalism:
Boston, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Senate President Rosenberg, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and members of the Legislature convened at the Grand Staircase of the Massachusetts State House today to present a joint resolution and proclamation denouncing neo-Nazism and white nationalism.
* For the Governor’s proclamation, click here.
* For the Legislature’s joint resolution, click here.
Text of Joint Resolution and Proclamation:
WHEREAS, white nationalist organizations in our country have consistently promoted values that are overtly racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-immigrant, and these poisonous ideologies continue to promote hatred, bigotry, and violence specifically against individuals solely on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and immigration status; and
WHEREAS, today, white nationalism and neo-Nazism remain very real threats to the values for which the Commonwealth stands, and their reinvention as the “Alt-Right” should not mitigate their hateful ideologies; and
WHEREAS, while free speech is a bedrock value for the citizens in our Commonwealth and Country, white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups promote a message that is the antithesis of Massachusetts’ dedication to civil rights for all, and is in irreconcilable conflict with our foundational principles of liberty and justice for all; and
WHEREAS, white nationalism and neo-Nazism are continuing to grow as menaces to societal order as they seek to reignite social animosities, reverse improvements in race relations, divide the nation, and foment hatred, classism, and ethnic eradication; and
WHEREAS, the white nationalist and neo-Nazi message of racial and social intolerance has led to senseless acts of violence that continue to terrorize members of ethnic and religious communities;
Be it resolved and proclaimed:
that the totalitarian impulses, violence, xenophobic biases, and bigoted ideologies that are promoted by white nationalists and neo-Nazis are strongly denounced and opposed; and further,
that law enforcement agencies and elected officials at every level of government are urged to condemn white nationalist and neo-Nazi ideology, vigorously pursue justice in response to hate-fueled violence and work to ensure the protection of the marginalized and targeted communities; and further,
that copies of this resolution will be transmitted to the Mayor of Charlottesville, Governor of Virginia and President of the United States
Baker Polito Administration Awards $72 Million to Create, Rehabilitate and Preserve Nearly 2,000 Housing Units:
Investments support individuals with disabilities, youth aging from foster care and 400 units for low-income families or those transitioning out of homelessness.
Boston, MA -- Today, Governor Charlie Baker announced $72 million in housing subsidy funds and additional state and federal tax credits to 25 projects in 17 communities for the creation, rehabilitation, and preservation of 1,970 housing units across the Commonwealth, including 402 units reserved for very low-income families and families making the transition out of homelessness, building on the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to increasing the production and preservation of affordable housing for all residents.
“Safe and affordable housing is a cornerstone to the success of our Commonwealth’s families, including access to job opportunities for many of our most vulnerable populations,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Through our combined efforts and investments to date, over 5,200 affordable housing units are being created, preserved or rehabilitated to support the growth of Massachusetts, our workforce, communities and families.”
The administration is awarding over $72 million in housing subsidy funds, including federal HOME funds and state capital funds. Additionally, the Department of Housing and Community Development is awarding more than $28 million in state and federal low-income housing tax credits, which will generate more than $180 million in equity for these projects. The awards will create or preserve 1,978 rental units, including 1,698 affordable units, in 25 projects across the state. Three projects will reserve units for individuals with disabilities, two are transit-oriented developments and three projects will include Single-Room Occupancy (SRO) units, including a building dedicated to youth aging out of foster care.
“Massachusetts is strongest when all of our families and residents have access to opportunities to thrive,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Today’s awards will support affordable housing options for families in communities across the Commonwealth’s, regardless of income or zip code, including projects with housing for low-income or formerly homeless families, individuals with disabilities, veterans and the elderly.”
Governor Baker joined Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash, Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay and MassHousing Executive Director Tim Sullivan to make the funding announcement at Olmsted Green in Mattapan. Olmsted Green is a 38-acre, existing mixed-income housing community on the former site of the Boston State Hospital.
“Today was a big day for housing here in Boston and across the Commonwealth. Not only did we break ground on mixed-income housing units today, we were given the support to continue our work in creating affordable homes for those in this thriving city and create more construction jobs in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Walsh. “I want to thank the Governor for making these funds available and for supporting important projects like Olmsted Green in Boston.”
Lena New Boston’s efforts are one piece of the larger redevelopment of the former Boston State Hospital into a mix of housing, community and green space. The site includes the Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, which sits on 67 acres. While the site sat vacant after the hospital’s closure in 1979, the past decade has seen the complete transformation of the space, bringing significant affordable and mixed-income housing to the Mattapan neighborhood, with rental and home-ownership opportunities for residents.
The Lena Park Community Development Corporation and New Boston Fund, together known as Lena New Boston LLC, are currently completing a 41-unit affordable, home-ownership development, with previous support from MassHousing’s Workforce Housing Initiative, a joint initiative with DHCD. Lena New Boston will also build an additional 100 units of mixed-income rental housing in the next phase of the development with support from today’s awards.
“Today’s announcement of significant investments in affordable housing represents a key part of the administration’s inclusive strategy to support families and residents, and meet the needs of every community in Massachusetts,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Creating and preserving housing for families across the income spectrum will allow us to build and retain a skilled workforce across the state, and give our residents access to more opportunities.”
“Our administration is committed to supporting projects that support our most vulnerable communities, from very low-income families, to seniors, veterans and individuals with disabilities,” said Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay. “Affordable housing is a strong tool for community development, and our investments using the Low Income Housing Tax Credit reflect those priorities.”
The 2017 affordable rental housing award round reflects the Baker-Polito Administration’s ongoing commitment to substantially invest in housing across the Commonwealth. In April, Governor Baker filed a housing bond bill seeking $1.287 billion in additional capital authorization to advance the administration’s commitment to affordable housing. In May 2016, the administration unveiled a five-year capital budget plan that includes a $1.1 billion commitment to increasing housing production, an 18% funding increase over previous funding levels. The $1.1 billion capital commitment provides for significant expansions in state support for mixed-income housing production, public housing modernization, and affordable housing preservation.
Since 2015 the Baker-Polito Administration has provided direct funding to create and preserve over 5,200 units of affordable housing across Massachusetts.
In addition, the administration and MassHousing have previously committed $100 million to support the construction of 1,000 new workforce housing units. To date, the Workforce Housing Initiative has advanced the development of 1,317 housing units across a range of incomes, including 387 workforce housing units.
Mechanic Mill is a mixed-income historic rehabilitation project located in Attleboro. The project sponsor is WinnDevelopment. When completed, Mechanic Mill will offer 91 total units, with 56 affordable, including 10 units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of area median income (AMI). All 91 units will be reserved for persons who are at least 55 years old.
Burbank Gardens is a preservation project of an existing 52-unit development located in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood. Fenway Community Development Corporation, with assistance from DHCD, MassHousing, and the City of Boston, will rehabilitate and preserve the existing property and restrict 39 of the 52 units for rental to low and moderate-income tenants.
Cote Village is a 76-unit new construction project in Dorchester sponsored by Caribbean Integration Community Development and the Planning Office for Urban Affairs of the Archdiocese of Boston. The City of Boston also will provide substantial support to the project. When completed, Cote Village will include 56 affordable units, including eight units reserved for formerly homeless individuals or families, and several units reserved for persons with disabilities.
General Heath Square Apartments is a 47-unit new construction project in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood. The sponsor is the non-profit Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation. The city of Boston also will provide substantial support to the project. When completed, this transit-oriented project will include 40 affordable units, including 20 units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.
Olmsted Green Mixed-Income is a 100‑unit mixed-income new construction project in Boston to be built on the site of the former Boston State Hospital. Previously, the state and the City of Boston have helped finance over 500 units on the former hospital site. Sponsored by the New Boston Fund, the completed project will offer 40 affordable rental units, including 16 units for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI and several units for persons with disabilities. Sixty units within the project will be made available as workforce and market-rate rental units. The City of Boston also will provide funding for this project.
Talbot Commons Phase 1 is a new construction/rehabilitation project located in Boston’s Codman Square neighborhood. The sponsor is the non-profit Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation. The City of Boston also will provide significant support to Talbot Commons. The completed project will offer 40 affordable family units, including nine units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.
The Clarion is a new construction mixed-income family housing project to be built on Blue Hill Avenue in Boston. The sponsor is the non-profit The Community Builders (TCB). The City of Boston also will provide significant support to The Clarion. The site is located near major transit and retail opportunities and will offer 39 total units. Twenty seven units will be affordable, including seven units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI. Several affordable units also will be reserved for persons with disabilities.
Washington Westminster House in Boston is a new construction project sponsored by the non-profit Elizabeth Stone House. The 32-unit project will provide affordable housing as well as support services for at-risk and homeless families. All 32 units will be reserved for households with incomes below 30 percent of AMI. The City of Boston also will provide funds to Washington Westminster House.
Wilshire Westminster in Boston is a scattered-site preservation project sponsored by the non-profit Urban Edge to rehabilitate existing properties consisting of 99 total units for families. Eighty-nine of the rehabilitated units will be affordable, including 10 units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.
JAS Consolidation is a scattered-site preservation and production project located in Cambridge and sponsored by the non-profit Just-A-Start Inc. The 112-unit consolidation project includes multiple properties located between Kendall Square and East Cambridge. Several of the properties, including St. Patrick’s Church, were destroyed in a massive fire in December 2016. The fire-impacted properties will be demolished and replaced with new, affordable housing, including 12 units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent AMI. Other properties included in the consolidation will be rehabilitated with support from DHCD and from the City of Cambridge.
MacArthur Terrace in Chicopee is a preservation project, an existing large-scale family development sponsored by Dimeo Properties. The City of Chicopee also will provide support to the project. When completed, MacArthur Terrace will offer 222 total units, with 182 affordable units, including 44 units for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.
Brownstone Gardens in East Longmeadow is a preservation project sponsored by Carr Property Management. Originally financed through MassHousing’s Chapter 13A program, the property will be rehabilitated with subsidy funds from DHCD and assistance from MassHousing. When completed, Brownstone Gardens will offer 132 total units, with 107 affordable units, including 33 units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.
Bostwick Gardens in Great Barrington is a new construction/rehabilitation project for seniors sponsored by Berkshire Housing Development Corporation. The completed project will offer 31 new affordable units for seniors as well as 29 rehabilitated units in an existing building. Eighteen of the total units will be reserved for individuals or couples earning less than 30 percent of AMI. The non-profit Berkshire Housing Development Corporation will make certain services for seniors available on-site and also will help senior residents access off-site services.
98 Essex in Haverhill is a new construction family housing project sponsored by Affordable Housing and Services Collaborative, Inc. The City of Haverhill also will provide funds to 98 Essex. When completed, the project will feature 62 total units, all of which are affordable, with seven units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.
The Gerson Building in Haverhill is a new construction project sponsored by the non-profit Coalition for a Better Acre. The City of Haverhill also will provide funds to the Gerson Building. The completed project will offer 44 units for families as well as a preference for households that include veterans. All 44 units will be affordable, with eight units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.
Holyoke Farms Apartments is a large-scale family preservation project located in Holyoke. The sponsor is Maloney Properties, Inc. The City of Holyoke also will provide funds in support of the rehabilitation. When completed, Holyoke Farms will offer 229 family housing units, with 191 affordable units, including eight units reserved for households earning below 30 percent of AMI and 12 new construction units.
Carter School in Leominster is a historic rehabilitation project sponsored by the non-profit NewVue Communities. The sponsor will rehabilitate a vacant and fire-damaged school building into 39 family housing units. All units will be affordable, including 16 units affordable to households earning less than 30 percent of AMI. The City of Leominster also will provide funds to the project.
Willis Street Apartments in New Bedford is a new construction project sponsored by the non-profit Women’s Development Corporation. The project will consist of 30 affordable single-room occupancy (SRO) units, and the sponsor will offer a veteran’s preference for each unit. All units will be affordable, including 23 units reserved for individuals earning less than 30 percent of AMI.
Transitional and Supportive Housing is a scattered-site project located in North Adams and Adams and sponsored by the non-profit Louison House. The sponsor currently operates the only comprehensive shelter program for homeless families in northern Berkshire County. The Transitional and Supportive Housing project will consist of the rehabilitation of 22 family shelter units destroyed by fire as well as the construction of five new permanent housing units for homeless families. All units will be affordable to households earning less than 30 percent of AMI, and the sponsor will provide extensive services to resident families.
King Pine is a large-scale family preservation project located in Orange. The sponsor is The Schochet Companies. The sponsor will rehabilitate this project and extend restrictions on rental rates well into the future. The completed project will offer 234 affordable units, including 24 units affordable to households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.
Cape Cod Village is a new construction project in Orleans. The sponsor is the non-profit Cape Cod Village, Inc. When completed, the project will offer 15 affordable housing units and services to persons with disabilities, including autism. DHCD will support Cape Cod Village with subsidy funds, and seven communities on Cape Cod have committed Community Preservation Act or other local funds to the project.
Harbor and Lafayette Homes is a preservation project consisting of two properties, which are single-room occupancy (SRO) buildings, located in Salem. The project sponsor is the non-profit North Shore Community Development Coalition. The City of Salem also will provide funds to the project. When rehabilitation work has been completed, Harbor and Lafayette Homes will offer 27 SRO units. Twenty-six units will be affordable, including seven units reserved for individuals earning less than 30 percent of AMI. The property located at Harbor Street will provide housing and services to youth aging out of foster care.
The Residences at Salisbury Square is a new construction and adaptive re-use project in Salisbury. The sponsor is the non-profit YWCA of Greater Newburyport in partnership with L. D. Russo. When completed, the project will offer 42 total units, all of which will be affordable, with 16 units further restricted for rental to households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.
Chestnut Crossing is a 104-unit preservation project located in downtown Springfield. Formerly owned by the YMCA of Springfield, the project now is owned by the non-profit Home City Housing. Home City Housing will rehabilitate the project as single-room occupancy (SRO) units with kitchenettes and baths. The City of Springfield also will provide funds in support of Chestnut Crossing. Seventy-nine of the completed SROs will be affordable, including 26 SROs affordable to individuals earning less than 30 percent of AMI.
Moseley Apartments in Westfield involves the historic rehabilitation of a vacant school building into affordable housing for families. The sponsor is the non-profit Domus; Moseley Apartments will be the sponsor’s second school re-use project in Westfield. When completed, Moseley Apartments will offer 23 affordable units, including six units affordable to households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.
Seasoned executive with deep turn-around experience named MBTA General Manager/CEO:
Luis Ramírez assumes post next month.
Boston, MA -- Luis Manuel Ramírez, whose three-decade business career has included successful turnarounds with divisions of some of the nation’s biggest corporations, will be the next General Manager/CEO of the MBTA, Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack announced today.
Ramírez, 50, who most recently has run his own strategic and turnaround business consulting firm, will succeed Interim GM Steve Poftak on September 12.
“From Day One, we were looking for a candidate with a solid track record of leading large and complex organizations through transformation and change,” said Pollack. “His unique personal background, deep exposure to a range of challenges and constituencies, and proven leadership skills make Luis the right person to lead the MBTA as it continues to become the world-class transit agency our riders expect and deserve. With the support he’ll have from the strong operational and other leadership already at the T, Luis will get up to speed very quickly.”
whose Cuban refugee father operated a crop-dusting plant and later a roofing
business in Florida, worked his way through high school as a supermarket bag boy
and restaurant worker and continued to work through university before beginning
a corporate career marked by increasingly important posts at firms including
Unisys Corporation, Siemens AG, and General Electric Corp.
While at GE from 2000 to 2012, Ramírez was steadily promoted into positions with greater challenges and responsibilities. He finished his career with the company as a GE Vice President and Corporate Officer and President and CEO of GE’s Energy Industrial Solutions business, where he was responsible for 17,000 employees operating in 60 countries, delivering $3.5 billion in annual revenue.
his career, Ramírez has worked with a wide range of domestic and international
interests and stakeholders, including governmental entities and unionized
“As we continue to invest in and reform the MBTA, it is critical to have an experienced individual with turn-around experience at the helm working to improve service for riders,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Luis has a proven skill-set that I am sure will serve him well as he joins the team working toward meaningful reforms for commuters and taxpayers. Thank you, Steve Poftak, for your work improving operations at the T and I look forward to Luis joining Secretary Pollack’s talented team.”
Deputy General Manager Jeffrey Gonneville, who served on the GM/CEO search committee, said Ramírez’ skill sets and background will serve to strengthen T operations. “Even in the limited time I’ve spent with him, I can see that Luis understands and appreciates the hard work and talent of our employees who keep this system running every day,” said Gonneville. “The deep managerial experience he brings to the T will help us achieve even greater operational excellence.”
Fiscal and Management Control Board Chairman Joseph Aiello noted that Ramírez’ contract is for three years, with two one-year mutual options to extend. “After going through six permanent or acting general managers since 2011, the T and its workforce will benefit from seasoned and stable leadership at the top.” Aiello noted that Ramírez has a history of staying in his various positions as long as it takes to implement necessary change and improvement.
Ramirez said he is anxious to bring his extensive experience, from overseeing billion dollar portfolios to managing major technology upgrades and communicating with stakeholders, to the T. “I am excited about joining a great team at the T to build upon the progress they have already made,” he said. “Going forward, we need financial discipline, we need operational excellence, and we also need strategy. But in everything we do, the overriding objective will be to put the customer first.”
MBTA Administrative Officer Michael Abramo said Ramírez’ vast executive experience “will help to further the transformation of the MBTA into a more efficient and effective organization.”
Ramírez is moving to Boston with his wife Delia Garced, Vice President, Market Activation, GE Digital. She will work out of GE’s Boston headquarters. They have two children. Fluent in English, Spanish, and German, Ramírez is a member of CEO Connection, which helps mid-market CEOs and their companies succeed, and the National Association of Corporate Directors.
Governor Baker Files Sales Tax Holiday Legislation:
Boston, MA -- Today, Governor Charlie Baker filed legislation designating August 19-20, 2017 as Massachusetts’ sales tax holiday weekend to renew a tax free weekend that generally occurs every year in the Commonwealth.
The legislation would suspend the state’s 6.25% retail sales tax for the weekend on purchases of goods costing $2,500 or less, which will provide a welcome relief to consumers and bolster sales at businesses.
“The sales tax holiday gives consumers a much needed break and supports business across the Commonwealth for our hardworking retailers,” said Governor Baker. “We look forward to working with the Legislature to make this important weekend possible, so the Commonwealth can shop local and make purchases tax free.”
“A tax free weekend provides consumers with a great opportunity to support local businesses while saving money,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “This weekend will especially help out parents who are looking to make back-to-school purchases, and I look forward to working with our partners in the Legislature to see this legislation passed.”
“The sales tax holiday weekend supports both Main Street and consumers in the Commonwealth, while also boosting economic activity in our cities and towns,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore.
Governor Baker Signs Legislation Recognizing 'Ice Bucket Challenge Week' in Honor of Frates' Family and ALS Awareness:
Annual week in August will recognize efforts to raise awareness for battling ALS
Boston, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker today signed H.1697, An Act Establishing The First Week In August As Ice Bucket Challenge Week, to annually honor the contributions of Pete Frates and his family and raise awareness and resources for those battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was co-founded in 2014 by Pete Frates, Pat Quinn and Anthony Senerchia to raise awareness for the progressive neurodegenerative disease and funds to support research towards a cure.
In accordance with the new statute, Governor Baker also issued a proclamation today proclaiming the first week of August 2017 to be “Ice Bucket Challenge Week.”
“Pete Frates took a horrible, personal tragedy and turned it into something positive and inspiring for millions of people around the world with the Ice Bucket Challenge,” said Governor Baker. “I am honored to sign legislation to recognize the efforts of Pete, his family and all those fighting to increase awareness and find a cure for ALS.”
“The Ice Bucket challenge has left a remarkable impact on the families and loved ones fighting against ALS, a disease that has personally touched many throughout Massachusetts and the world,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “I am proud this legislation will continue to show solidarity and support for the Frates family and all those working toward a cure.”
“The Frates family have been amazing advocates for those fighting ALS, bringing an incredible level of awareness to this devastating disease,” said Senator Joan Lovely (D-Salem). “I am very pleased that the legislature and Governor Baker has chosen to honor Pete Frates and the whole Frates family, who continue to fight this disease, and officially recognize Ice Bucket Challenge Week.”
"I’m so proud to have co-sponsored this bill with Senator Lovely and to have had the opportunity to work with such a remarkable family,” said Representative Jerry Parisella (D-Beverly). “I’m honored to recognize the incredible work that Pete and the Frates families have done to raise money and awareness about this dreaded disease. Lives will forever be positively affected because of their efforts.”
In August of 2015, Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito were be joined by Pete Frates and his family to take the ALS “Every August Until a Cure” Ice Bucket Challenge at the State House. Members of the Baker-Polito Administration, Treasurer Goldberg, Auditor Bump and members of the legislature also participated to raise awareness and support a cure for ALS.
Governor Baker Filing Legislation to Allow Authorities to Honor Federal Detainers for Violent, Dangerous Criminals:
Boston, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker today is filing legislation that would give state and municipal police and court officers the statutory authority to honor certain detainer requests and administrative warrants from United States Immigration and Customs and Enforcement (ICE) for removable aliens independently in state custody because of new state criminal charges or sentences related to violent and serious crimes.
Such authority by law enforcement existed until last week when the Supreme Judicial Court ruled in Commonwealth v. Lunn that, in the absence of express statutory authority, state and local law enforcement officers may not honor requests from ICE to detain removable aliens.
“For years, many local police departments and the Trial Court have cooperated with ICE to ensure that they can detain violent and dangerous criminals, convicted of crimes like murder and rape, to keep our communities safe,” said Governor Baker. “This bill allows the State Police to honor specific detainers and provides local officials with the flexibility they need to set policies appropriate for their communities.”
The governor’s proposal does not authorize or allow law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration law. Instead it fills the statutory gap identified by the SJC. It authorizes, but does not require, state and local law enforcement to honor detention requests accompanied by administrative warrants from ICE for aliens who pose a threat to public safety.
Upon receipt of a written request to detain by ICE, the bill would allow Massachusetts law enforcement to determine that an individual poses a threat to public safety and decide to detain that person if any of the following apply:
1. The person has engaged in or is suspected of terrorism or espionage, or otherwise poses a danger to national security;
2. The person has been convicted of an offense of which an element was active participation in a criminal street gang;
3. The person has been convicted of an offense classified as a felony, other than a state or local offense for which an essential element was the person’s immigration status;
4. The person has been convicted of an aggravated felony; and
5. The person has been convicted of a crime of (i) domestic violence; (ii) sexual abuse or exploitation; (iii) trafficking in persons in violation of sections 50 or 51 of chapter 265 or like violations of the law of another state, the United State or a military, territorial or Indian tribal authority; (iv) drug distribution or trafficking; (vii) second or subsequent operating or driving under the influence or (viii) any other offense for which the person has been sentenced to time in custody of 180 days or more.
“Local officials seeking to protect their communities should not be compelled to let dangerous individuals with serious criminal histories walk free due to an ambiguity in the law,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “This proposal will allow police to maintain the strong trust they have built up with immigrant communities while making sure that hardened criminals are not put back on the streets.”
“Any detention authorized by this bill would be limited to aliens already independently in state custody because of new state criminal charges or sentences,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Dan Bennett. “This bill does not empower state or local police to proactively arrest people for immigration law violations; it would allow police to detain a person who is a threat to public safety for a limited period of time if that person were about to be released and the federal authorities were unable to immediately take the person into their custody.”
Any agency seeking to use this new authority would be required to issue a policy identifying supervisory officers who would initially authorize detention of people who pose a threat to public safety and have been previously convicted of one or more serious crimes. Any detention in excess of 12 hours would be subject to judicial review.
Quincy Public Schools: 2017-2018 School Year Calendar:
Mayor Thomas P. Koch | Richard DeCristofaro, Superintendent of the Quincy Public Schools
Last Day of Seniors (Day of 168)
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Quincy High School Class of 2018 Graduation
Monday, June 11, 2018
North Quincy High School Class of 2018 Graduation
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Last Day of School for Students (Day 180)
Friday, June 15, 2018
Friday, June 22, 2018* (5 days of snow day)
* = Subject to change if the weather permitting.
Boston Public Schools: 2017-2018 School Year Calendar:
Martin J. Walsh, Mayor of the City of Boston | Tommy Chang, Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools
|School District||School Calendar|
|Last Day of the Seniors (Day 170)||Wednesday, June 6, 2018|
|Last Day of the School for Students (Day 179)||Tuesday, June 19, 2018|
|Last Day of the School for Students (Day 180)||Wednesday, June 20, 2018|
|Wednesday, June 27, 2018* (5 day of snow days)|
* = Subject to change if the weather permitting.
Quincy's Election HQ: 2017 City of Quincy Election Calendar:
Nicole L. Crispo, City Clerk | Joseph J. Newton, Assistant City Clerk
City of Quincy General Election: City Councilor and School Committee
Tuesday, November 7, 2017 from 7:00 a.m. through 8:00 p.m.
Quincy's Election Headquarters: 2017 Midterm Election Candidate Contenders:
City Councilor - 2 years term (2018-2019):
Ward 1 City Councilor Candidate:
1. David McCarthy
2. Joseph Murphy
Ward 2 City Councilor Re-Elect Candidate:
Ward 3 City Councilor Re-Elect Candidate:
Ward 4 City Councilor Re-Elect Candidate:
Ward 5 City Councilor Candidate:
1. Kirsten Hughes (Re-Elect)
2. Michael Hurley
Ward 6 City Councilor Candidate:
1. Bill Harris (Re-Elect)
2. H.A. "Allie" Shaughnessy
1. Nina Liang (Re-Elect)
2. Noel DiBona (Re-Elect)
3. Margaret Laforest, Ward 1 City Councilor
4. Anne Mahoney, School Committee Member
5. Dan Raymondi, Former DPW Commissioner
6. Steve Togas
School Committee - 4 years term (2018-2021):
School Committee Candidate:
1. Emily Lebo (Re-Elect)
2. Anthony Andronico
3. David Jacobs
4. Doug Gutro
5. Mark Sauter
6. Geraldine Manning
Subject to change for the candidate contender announcement in the campaign trail.
School Closing Information: 2017-2018
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 cancellation 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.
If the City of Quincy is declaring for the snow emergency or state of the emergency in the particular weather permitting.
WBZ (CBS) Channel 4 & WSBK (MY) Channel 38
WBZ NewsRadio 1030 AM
WCVB (ABC) Channel 5 & METV Channel 5.2
WRKO 680 AM
WHDH Channel 7 & WLVI (CW) Channel 56
WATDS 95.9 FM (South Shore)
WBTS (NBC) Channel 10
WTKK 96.9 FM
WFXT (FOX) Channel 25
WMEX 1510 AM
Comcast Cable Provider for the Quincy Residents:
Quincy Access Television Channel 8
Quincy Government Access Television Channel 9
Quincy Education Access Television Channel 22
Quincy Public Schools Security Department E-mail Directory: 2017-2018
Michael Draicchio, Director of Safety, Security and Transportation:
Sheila Calabro, Security Officer at North Quincy High School:
Rick Palumbo, Security Officer at North Quincy High School:
Kevin Keith, Security Officer at North Quincy High School:
Jake Mullaney, Security Officer at North Quincy High School:
Steve McGowan, Security Officer at Quincy High School:
Tom McInnis, Security Officer at Quincy High School:
Joseph Mulvey, Security Officer at Quincy High School:
Mark Spendlove, Security Officer at Quincy High School:
Subject to change for the 2017-2018 school year of e-mail directory.
MBTA Bus Service Advisory Alert: City of Quincy
Bus Route #215, #225, #230, #236 and #238: Due to the construction
Hancock Street @ Cottage Avenue (outbound) moving to the north, across Cottage Avenue, due to the construction.
Quincy's Election Headquarters: 2018 Midterm Election Calendar:
Nicole L. Crispo, City Clerk | Joseph J. Newton, Assistant City Clerk
Massachusetts Primary Election:
Tuesday, September 18, 2018 from 7:00 a.m. -- 8:00 p.m.
Massachusetts General Election:
Tuesday, November 6, 2018 from 7:00 a.m. -- 8:00 p.m.
Subject to change information from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Elections Division
Quincy Department of Public Works: Street Sweeping Information:
Mayor Thomas P. Koch | Al Grazioso, Commissioner of Quincy Public Works Department
Ward 1 and 2:
Monday, October 30, 2017 through Thursday, November 9, 2017
Ward 3 and 4:
Monday, November 13, 2017 through Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Ward 5 and 6:
Monday, November 27, 2017 through Friday, December 8, 2017
Quincy Public Schools: Instant Alert System:
Quincy Public Schools uses the Instant Alert System to let parents know about upcoming events, schedule changes, and school cancellations or delayed openings. You can update your Instant Alert preferences at any time to receive notifications at different times of the day on your home phone, work phone, cell phone or via e-mail or text.
Follow this link to update your Instant Alert account or enroll for the first time: https://instantalert.honeywell.com/.
MBTA Bus, Red Line & Commuter Rail Service Advisory Alert:
The pedestrian bridge at the Braintree Parking Garage will be closed beginning on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 through Summer of 2020 due to the construction.
For access to Braintree Station during this closure, travel down to the first floor and use the pedestrian crosswalk to enter the station at the street level. This closure is due to the South Shore Parking Garages Improvements and Renovations Project. The pedestrian bridge will be replaced by a new garage lobby featuring elevators and stairwells.
* Red Line
* Bus Route #210
* Bus Route #230
* Bus Route #236
* Commuter Rail: Middleborough/Lakeville Line
* Commuter Rail: Kingston/Plymouth Line
Quincy Police Department: Community Police Contact Information:
|Lieutenant Robert Bina||Supervisor||(617) email@example.com|
|Officer Roger White||Quincy Square||(857) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Officer William Mitchell||Ward 1||(617) email@example.com|
|Officer Matthew Miller||Ward 2||(617) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Officer Timothy Simmons||Ward 3||(339) email@example.com|
|Officer Jimmie Whedbee||Ward 4||(617) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Officer Jim Silcox||Ward 5||(339) email@example.com|
|Officer Greg Mar||Ward 6||(617) firstname.lastname@example.org|
Subject to change for the Community Police Officer contact information.