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News:

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Baker-Polito Administration Reaches Agreement with Transportation Network Companies to Begin Implementation of Nation's Most Comprehensive State Background Checks:

 

Voluntary agreements with Uber and Lyft begins implementation of public safety requirements of new TNC law one year ahead of schedule

 

Boston, MA -- Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that the two largest Transportation Network Companies (TNC) in Massachusetts have entered into agreements with the state, ensuring the immediate implementation of the most stringent ride-for-hire background check system of any state in the country.

 

The agreements were executed individually between the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) and Uber and Lyft. The agreements require the companies to begin background checks for all TNC drivers operating within the Commonwealth by January 6, 2017, and guarantees that every TNC driver in the Commonwealth will have passed the state background check no later than April 3, 2017.

 

“The safety and security of the riding public is our top priority, and I am pleased this agreement will set a national standard for the most comprehensive state background checks for TNC drivers in the country,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “With the signing of these agreements, consumers who take advantage of the innovative technology services provided by Transportation Network Companies can have confidence that the driver has undergone a thorough background check that includes both criminal and driving records.”

 

Background checks will begin a year ahead of schedule, highlighting the administration’s commitment to prioritizing the safety of consumers utilizing transportation network services in accordance with An Act Regulating Transportation Network Companies.

 

“It is incredibly important that drivers employed with Transportation Network Companies are fully vetted before transporting people, along with their families, to their destinations,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “By taking proactive steps with Uber and Lyft, our Administration is underscoring our dedication to safe travel options for all.”

 

Under the voluntary agreements, background checks will be conducted by the DPU’s newly created Transportation Network Company Division. Drivers employed by Uber and Lyft will undergo a full state Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) background check, including confirmation that the driver is not a registered sex offender. Additionally, drivers will be subjected to a bi-annual national commercial background check conducted by the TNC companies. Drivers who do not meet the suitability standards set forth in the agreements will not be permitted to operate in Massachusetts.

 

"Transportation network companies have driven a tremendous amount of change in this industry, and with that change comes a responsibility to make sure that passengers using these services are as safe as they can be,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Daniel Bennett. “I am pleased that the leading transportation network companies have agreed to have their drivers undergo a full state Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) background check.”

 

In August, Governor Charlie Baker signed bipartisan legislation that created a modern statewide regulatory framework for TNCs within Massachusetts. The legislation, H. 4570, includes several components for the protection of consumers including support for transparent pricing, properly marked and inspected vehicles, clear insurance standards, authorization of service at Boston Logan International Airport and the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC), and the strongest state background check requirements in the nation.

 

“Public safety is the highest priority of the Department of Public Utilities’ Transportation Network Company Division,” said Department of Public Utilities Chairman Angela O’Connor. “By entering into these agreements, the TNC Division can immediately implement a comprehensive background check system that will protect consumers and enhance public safety, while allowing cutting edge technology companies to succeed here in the Commonwealth.”

 

As public safety aspects are implemented under these agreements, the DPU will continue to prepare draft regulations for public review and comment in 2017, ensuring that all remaining aspects of the TNC law are implemented on schedule.


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Baker-Polito Administration Launches Expanded STEM Internship Program for High School Students at Companies around the State:

 

STEM internships will address skills gap, develop future workforce to fuel Commonwealth's rapidly growing innovation economy

 

Boston, MA -- The Baker-Polito Administration today launched an expanded initiative to connect high school students to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) internships across the Commonwealth. The announcement came during a MA STEM@Work event at Vertex headquarters in Boston, a company that’s developed a model high school internship program.

 

One of the greatest challenges facing Massachusetts’ rapidly growing innovation economy is the gap between available jobs in STEM fields and qualified workers to perform them.

 

“Massachusetts is home to one of the fastest growing innovation economies in the nation, and we need to do more to ensure we have a strong pipeline of skilled workers to fill critical job openings,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “That’s why we are making a simple but powerful request of Massachusetts business leaders – consider hiring a high school student for a STEM internship.”

 

The Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council, which is co-chaired by U.S. Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, and Jeffrey Leiden, M.D., Ph.D. Chairman, President and CEO of Vertex, recently identified four priority areas to advance STEM education in the Commonwealth. They include developing more early college career pathways, broadening access to high quality computer science and engineering education, strengthening regional STEM networks and expanding work-based learning opportunities in STEM fields. This can be achieved by building a stronger network of employers offering career exploration and career immersion experiences to high school students, including job shadowing and paid internships. 

 

“After traveling across the Commonwealth and meeting with companies leading the way in science, engineering, technology and math, it’s clear that a key challenge facing many businesses is finding enough qualified workers,” said Lieutenant Governor Polito. “STEM internships not only provide valuable career preparation for high school students, they enable companies to engage and develop future employees.”

 

The Council is working with Massachusetts’ School to Career Connecting Activities system to identify and develop STEM internship opportunities. The goal is to place more high school students in STEM internships by Spring and Summer 2017.

 

“Today's students are tomorrow's workforce and the key to a strong economy in Massachusetts. Our businesses have an important role to play in making sure our workers are the most talented anywhere in the world,” said Representative Kennedy. “This pioneering initiative will create an amazing opportunity for our students, our companies and our communities.”

 

More than 10,000 students worked with Commonwealth businesses last year, learning new skills and achieving greater career awareness and preparation. Several hundred of these placements were STEM-related, and the Council is looking to increase internship opportunities in these fields.

 

“As Boston’s innovation economy continues to grow and thrive, it’s important that our high school students gain exposure to the wide variety of STEM careers,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “I thank all of Boston businesses who have joined our local efforts through the Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program over the years, and look forward to building on this successful model as we increase youth summer jobs within STEM related fields."

 

During the next decade, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology estimates that U.S. industries will need one million more STEM graduates than the system is expected to produce. Despite the need, the U.S. Department of Education estimates that just 1 in 6 high school seniors are proficient in math and interested in pursuing STEM higher education or careers. 

 

Given this challenge, Massachusetts is working to connect high school students to internships at companies of all sizes across the state. The Connecting Activities system, which features dedicated staff who work with companies and high schools, provides assistance and support to businesses throughout the internship process. Since 2014, more than 250 STEM businesses from every region have hosted close to 1,000 high school interns a year. Participating companies include Vertex, which has established a model high school internship program in close partnership with the Private Industry Council and Boston Public Schools and hosted 30 high school interns this year.

 

“As leaders in the Commonwealth’s innovation economy, we have a responsibility and a tremendous opportunity to train the next generation of leaders in STEM,” said Dr. Leiden. “Vertex is proud to give local students the hands-on learning and professional development experiences that prepare them to succeed in college and career and unlock economic opportunity for the future."

 

GE, which recently moved its company headquarters to Boston and joined leaders at the MA STEM@Work event, also announced it will host high school interns for the first time starting next spring. “Developing the talent pipeline for the future lies at the heart of our business strategy. To help us stay ahead of the curve, as company and as a country, we must continue to invest in educating our youth and particularly opening their eyes to future careers in STEM,” said Ann R. Klee, vice president of Boston Development and Operations for GE and president of the GE Foundation.

 

To learn more or to participate, please contact Blair Brown, staff director at the STEM Advisory Council, at Blair.Brown@state.ma.us.

 

About the STEM Advisory Council:

The vision of the STEM Advisory Council is to ensure all students in the Commonwealth receive comprehensive STEM education from highly-qualified educators so they are better informed and prepared to pursue post-secondary degrees or careers in these areas. Members of the Council include individuals from academia, business, government and non-profits who are well positioned to provide elevated awareness to the benefits of a STEM literate and skilled citizenry ready to fill the ranks of the 21st Century workforce. 

 

Building on earlier initiatives, the Governor’s Advisory Council on STEM is now authorized by Section 218 of Chapter 6 of Massachusetts General Law. 

 

For more information, please visit http://www.mass.edu/stem/home.asp.

 

About Connecting Activities:

The Connecting Activities (CA) initiative has been a significant state mechanism for student career preparation and immersion since 1998.  Funded annually in the state budget, Connecting Activities is funded by the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, in partnership with the state’s workforce system. Connecting Activities is the state’s leading mechanism, outside of its career vocational technical education programs, for providing students with work-based learning experiences.  Connecting Activities currently brokers and supports work experiences for an average of over 10,000 students per year, partners with about half of the state’s high schools to offer a wide range of career activities, and brings over 3,500 employers to the table annually for student career preparation.


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Massachusetts Officials Announce Additional $750,000 for Drinking Water Tests at Public Schools:

 

Funds will Pay for Continued Technical Assistance, Lab Analysis of Water Fountain and Tap Samples


Boston, MA -- Today, Governor Charlie Baker and State Treasurer Deb Goldberg announced an additional $750,000 from the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust (MCWT), enabling cooperative efforts to test for lead and copper within Massachusetts public schools. Additionally, the funds, which come on the heels of an April 2016 announcement that awarded $2 million for the program, allows the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to provide technical assistance for public school districts to sample water taps and fountains, and to identify results that indicate lead contamination over the federal action level.

 

"Ensuring every water tap and fountain is properly tested expeditiously is an important priority for our administration, the more than 900 schools, and the thousands of students attending them," said Governor Charlie Baker. "Making these critical funds available through the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust is an important tool for providing students everywhere with access to safe drinking water in their schools."

 

"These additional funds allow for us to test more schools across the Commonwealth," said Treasurer Goldberg, Chair of the MCWT. "By leveraging our money and expertise we will ensure that our children are drinking safe and clean water."

 

"It is incredibly important that every school district throughout Massachusetts has safe drinking water for the Commonwealth's students," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "In the past three months, the Commonwealth and local school districts have worked together to collect hundreds of water samples, and this new funding will go a long way in protecting water quality within our schools."

 

The funding from the MCWT, which launched the assistance program last spring, provides for sampling to confirm drinking water levels are below action levels in public school water fountains and fixtures used for food preparation, and is utilized for the training of school personnel to assist in designing sampling plans.

 

"To date, approximately 26,000 water samples have been collected and analyzed at local schools throughout the Commonwealth," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. "The additional funding from the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust underscores the Baker-Polito Administration's commitment to ensuring safe drinking water remains available to all of the Commonwealth's students."

 

"The Trust's vote to provide additional funds for our cities and towns to test their school district's water quality is another example of the Baker-Polito Administration's commitment to working as partners with our municipalities to provide vital services to Massachusetts residents," said Kristen Lepore, Secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, who is also a member of the Clean Water Trust Board of Directors.

 

"We encourage our school districts to take advantage of these additional resources and thanks all the partners who have come together to support the safety and health of our Commonwealth's students," said Secretary of Education Jim Peyser.

 

Working with technical assistance contractors from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the MassDEP has completed sampling of 451 school buildings in 90 communities. Furthermore, another 21 school facilities in six additional communities are scheduled to be sampled over the next two weeks.

 

Of the 25,900 samples secured thus far, 164 school buildings have had one or more exceedances of the lead action level, while 76 school buildings have had one or more exceedance of the copper action level. A total of 73 school buildings have had no exceedance for either lead or copper. Information pertaining to school building water taps and fountain sample results reported to date can be found here.

 

"We are pleased with the participation of the schools, and as a result, have found many more taps to test," said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg, who is also a member of the MCWT Board of Trustees. "When schools identify problem fixtures, they are quickly taking steps to fix the problem and providing timely updates to their students, families, staff and community."

 

The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) has also provided assistance to schools in their Greater Boston service area. Utilizing the MWRA's own lab, they have analyzed more than 7,000 water samples from 240 school buildings since spring 2016. This analysis has included thousands of water samples from schools participating in the Commonwealth's program.

 

"We are collaborating closely with MassDEP on this testing program. It is critical to ensuring the health and safety of our children," said MWRA Executive director Fred Laskey.

 

The water sampling and technical assistance for all 930 school buildings enrolled in the program is expected to be completed by January 2017. Water supplied to schools is generally free of lead, but lead can be introduced into drinking water through plumbing and fixtures in buildings -- especially in facilities more than 20 years old. The assistance program also addresses copper, which can also enter drinking water through plumbing.

 

Historically, the majority of lead poisoning cases in Massachusetts are attributable to lead paint exposures; however, other sources including drinking water in schools continue to be an important concern for a child's health. Additional information on lead in drinking water and school-related issues can be found on the MassDEP's "Lead in Drinking Water" webpage.

 

The Massachusetts Clean Water Trust lends financial assistance to the Commonwealth under the State Revolving Fund program by providing subsidized loans to cities and towns for clean water and drinking water infrastructure development. Since its establishment in 1989, the Trust has loaned more than $6.6 billion to improve and maintain the quality of water in the Commonwealth. An estimated 97 percent of Massachusetts' citizens have benefited from the financial assistance of the Clean Water Trust.


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Quincy's Election HQ: Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States:

 

Jimmy Hui, President/Chief Executive Officer at The Jimmy Hui Foundation office extends with a full congratulations to President-Elect Donald J. Trump (R-New York) wins his first presidential election bid to become the next 45th President of the United States with a full election results from Tuesday, November 8, 2016.

 

President-Elect Donald J. Trump (R-New York) have been already reached up to 270 votes in the electoral numbers during the 2016 presidential election as he gets 278 electoral votes from each states.

 

The presidential inauguration will be held on Friday, January 20, 2017 at the U.S. Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. where President-Elect Donald J. Trump and Vice President-Elect Michael R. Pence will be swearing-in ceremony to take an oath of the office.

 

Please stay tuned for more information on the presidential inauguration ceremony until the further notice and check back in our official website at The Jimmy Hui Foundation for the latest developing updates.


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Quincy's Election Headquarters: 2016 Presidential Election Results:

 

Jimmy Hui, President/Chief Executive Officer at The Jimmy Hui Foundation office is very pleased to announce that Quincy's Election Headquarters delivers an unofficial election results from Tuesday, November 8, 2016 in all across the citywide here in the City of Quincy and across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts throughout the final 2016 presidential election cycle.

 

The Quincy's Election Headquarters joins with a full partners by the FOX News Channel, WHDH 7 News, FOX 25 News, The Patriot Ledger and The Quincy Sun for the complete coverage of the 2016 presidential election throughout the night to deliver a full presidential election results right here in the City of Quincy and in the state of Massachusetts.

 

Please take a minute to look at the 2016 presidential election results so far from Tuesday, November 8, 2016 where the residents, persons with disabilities, citizens and the public have already voted for their candidate contenders and answering the four questionnaire on the ballots from the Early Voting and the regular election day and night here in the City of Quincy and in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

 

City of Quincy: Electors of President and Vice President:

Clinton and Kaine (D): 25,298 votes

Trump and Pence (R): 13,297 votes

Johnson and Weld (L): 1,454 votes

Stein and Baraka (GR): 554 votes

 

City of Quincy: Representative in Congress:

Stephen F. Lynch (D): 28,861 votes

William Burke (R): 10,880 votes

 

City of Quincy: Governor's Councillor:

Christopher A. Iannella, Jr. (D): Uncontested

 

City of Quincy: Senator in General Court:

John F. Keenan (D): 27,231 votes

Alexander N. Mendez (I): 10,643 votes

 

City of Quincy: Representative in General Court:

Bruce J. Ayers (D): Uncontested

Daniel J. Hunt (D): Uncontested

Ronald Mariano (D): Uncontested

Tackey Chan (D): Uncontested

 

City of Quincy: Sheriff:

Michael G. Bellotti (D): Uncontested

 

City of Quincy: County Commissioner:

Francis W. O'Brien (D): Uncontested

Joseph P. Shea (D): Uncontested

 

City of Quincy: Questionnaire Ballots:

Question #1: Expanded Slot-Machine Gaming:

No: 57% | Yes: 43%

 

Question #2: Charter School Expansion:

No: 66% | Yes: 34%

 

Question #3: Conditions for Farm Animals:

Yes: 80% | No: 20%

 

Question #4: Legalization, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana:

Yes: 51% | No: 49%

 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Electors of President and Vice President:

Clinton and Kaine (D): 1,964,768 votes

Trump and Pence (R): 1,083,069 votes

Johnson and Weld (L): 136,784 votes

Stein and Baraka (GR): 46,910 votes

 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Representative in Congress:

Stephen F. Lynch (D): 267,944 votes

William Burke (R): 102,146 votes

 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Governor's Councillor:

Christopher A. Iannella, Jr. (D): Uncontested

 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Senator in General Court:

John F. Keenan (D): 49,832 votes

Alexander N. Mendez (I): 20,332 votes

 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Representative in General Court:

Bruce J. Ayers (D): Uncontested

Daniel J. Hunt (D): Uncontested

Ronald Mariano (D): Uncontested

Tackey Chan (D): Uncontested

 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Sheriff:

Michael G. Bellotti (D): Uncontested

 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts: County Commissioner:

Francis W. O'Brien (D): Uncontested

Joseph P. Shea (D): Uncontested

 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Questionnaire Ballots:

Question #1: Expanded Slot-Machine Gaming:

No: 61% | Yes: 39%

 

Question #2: Charter School Expansion:

No: 62% | Yes: 38%

 

Question #3: Conditions for Farm Animals:

Yes: 78% | No: 22%

 

Question #4: Legalization, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana:

Yes: 54% | No: 46%

 

The Quincy's Election Headquarters would like to extend a full congratulations to Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (D) and State Senator John F. Keenan (D) for their hard work effort paid off during the 2016 presidential election cycle to celebrate their victory celebration right here in the City of Quincy.


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MBTA Launches New Anti-Sexual Harassment Campaign:

 

Boston, MA -- The MBTA, as part of a coalition of organizations, today launched a new information campaign to enhance passenger safety and encourage the public to report incidents of sexual harassment. The campaign's message is that sexual assaults will not be tolerated on the T or anywhere else.

 

This year, the MASS Collaboration, a partnership with the Boston Center for Independent Living (BCIL), the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC), the MBTA, and the MBTA Transit Police, developed the campaign with a focus on people with disabilities. MASS -- Movement for Access, Safety & Survivors -- is a collaboration whose goal is to insure that survivors and victims of sexual violence with disabilities in the Boston area have access to quality support services.

 

"The MBTA is proud to continue its groundbreaking campaign to address sexual harassment and to let the community of riders know that the MBTA cares that each rider has a safe ride," said MBTA General Manager Brian Shortsleeve.

 

"One person victimized is one too many, and we are keenly aware that sexual harassment and assault are under-reported crimes," said MBTA Transit Police Chief Kenneth Green. "We implore our riders to contact us if they see or experience any type of sexual assault. Be assured we take these reports with the utmost seriousness, and you will be treated with dignity and respect throughout the reporting and investigatory process. You are not alone -- BARCC and the TPD stand with you."

 

"Findings show that people with disabilities experience sexual assault twice as often as those without disabilities. We have also been learning how people with disabilities can be active participants in preventing sexual violence against others," said BCIL Senior Advocacy Specialist Karen Schneiderman.

 

Boston's public transportation system is one of the oldest in the country and is widely used by people with disabilities. MASS Collaboration works to create a safe environment for all customers, one that includes the needs of people with disabilities, including ensuring that reporting and response mechanisms are accessible. The MASS Collaboration is also increasing the skill and comfort of employees at BARCC, BCIL and the MBTA with respect to working with victims/survivors with disabilities. Efforts at the T have included developing information and trainings on topics such as responding to reports of sexual violence from those with disabilities, and how to secure wheeled mobility devices in a manner that is safe and empowering to customers.

 

As in past campaigns, advertisements will be posted on trains and buses, and postcards will be handed out to riders at several stations. Postcards will be available in large print and the MASS Collaboration has also created an online website to make the information accessible to those who are blind or have low vision.

 

"By increasing visibility of an under-addressed issue, we hope to let all riders know that you can make a difference if you intervene when you witness sexual violence. Accessible services are available at BARCC for survivors and those supporting and assisting them," said Shelley Yen-Ewert, Director of the MASS Collaboration.


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MBTA Urges Customers to "Stay Connected" this Winter:

 

Boston, MA -- The MBTA today launched its Winter Weather public information campaign, urging customers to stay connected during storms and inclement weather. Commuter Rail, bus and subway riders can go to MBTA.com/winter, download a transit app and follow the T on Twitter @MBTA, and sign up for T-Alerts. The campaign, employs digital, social and print media to encourage T riders to get the most updated service information available as they travel throughout the transit system. In addition to hundreds of signs inside trains and buses, winter weather messaging is being displayed on digital screens throughout the MBTA subway system.

 

Since the record-breaking winter of 2015, the MBTA has been working to upgrade our track and signal infrastructure, investing millions in new snow-fighting equipment, as well as stocking up on replacement parts for trains.

 

"We know how important it is our customers have the capability to access real-time information and be able to adjust their commutes accordingly," said MBTA General Manager Brian Shortsleeve. "Our team has been working very hard to make sure thousands of T riders can get the travel information they deserve quickly and easily."

 

To help ensure that customers stay connected, the MBTA recommends the following:

* Visit www.mbta.com/winter.

* Sign-up for T-Alerts.

* Download Transit app (endorsed by the MBTA).

* Follow MBTA on the Twitter: @MBTA.

* Call Customer Service at (617) 222-3200.

 

The MBTA is committed to keeping its customers better informed by providing the most updated service information quickly, accurately and when they need it.

 

Follow MBTA on the Twitter: @MBTA for service information, and Follow MBTA Commuter Rail on the Twitter: @MBTA_CR for commuter rail service information.

 

For more information, on T-Alerts go to the website: http://www.mbta.com/rider_tools/t_alerts/.


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MBTA: Winter Weather Information:

 

During Severe Weather, the MBTA may operate reduced service schedules.

 

The MBTA works year-round to prepare for harsh winter weather. Our crews work to weatherize equipment and facilities to keep you moving when winter weather occurs. During inclement weather, check MBTA.com regularly for information on service impacts and delays.

 

During routine winter weather, including cold and moderate snow, the MBTA will operate regular schedules. In some instances, we may operate buses on snow routes or have minor delays. Remember to check service alerts regularly for updates.

 

When Severe Weather Hits:

This year, the MBTA will operate reduced service when severe winter weather hits. Check MBTA.com regularly to determine whether severe weather service plans are in place.

 

Full Service details for each mode are as follows:

 

Subway:

The Red Line may operate at reduced levels, resulting in less frequent service.

 

Commuter Rail:

During severe weather, commuter rail may operate on Commuter Rail Severe Weather Service Schedules. To determine if your route is operating on a Commuter Rail Severe Weather Service Schedules, check MBTA.com or media reports regularly for updates.

 

Commuter Rail Severe Weather Service Schedules are as follows:

Kingston/Plymouth Line

 

Bus:

Some bus routes may operate at reduced levels, resulting in less frequent service. Some bus routes, especially those located hills or narrows streets, may operate on "Snow Routes."

 

Full listings of buses with snow routes:

Bus Route 211:

Route ends at East Squantum Street at Dorchester Street and Omits Huckins Avenue, Bellevue Road and Dorchester Street.

 

Bus Route 222:

Omits Church Street and Essex Street. Walk to North Street or Middle Street for service.

 

Bus Route 236:

Omits Commercial Street, Elm Street and Franklin Street South of Independence Avenue. Use stops on Middle Street or flag bus on Independence Avenue or Church Street.

 

Bus Route 245:

Omits Hospital Hill (Quincy Medical Center) and Whitwell Street. No stops between Quincy Center Station and Granite Street.

 

Boat:

During severe weather, commuter boats may operate reduced service. Check T-Alerts regularly for service updates and information.

 

The Ride:

During severe weather, The Ride strongly recommends that you check with your contractor directly as service may curtailed and customers should expect delays.

 

The numbers are as follows:

 

Shared Area:

MBTA The Ride at (617) 222-5124 or TTY: (617) 222-5415

 

North Area:

Greater Lynn Senior Services at (888) 319-7433 or TTY: (800) 621-0420

 

South Area:

National Express at (888) 920-7433 or TTY: (888) 607-7787

 

West Area:

Veterans Transportation at (888) 765-7433 or TTY: (888) 553-8294

 

Service Updates and Information:

* Visit MBTA.com for service alerts and winter schedules.

* Sign up for T-Alerts to receive service updates.

* Download Transit App (MBTA endorsed app).

* Follow MBTA on Twitter: @MBTA or MBTA Commuter Rail on Twitter: @MBTA_CR.


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New Quincy Center Lots Open:

Free after-hours parking for nearby restaurants

 

Two new temporary parking lots on Hancock Street in Quincy Center are now open and offering free parking for evening visitors to bars and restaurants such as the Iron Furnace, Angelo's Coal Fired Pizza, Paddy Barry's and all of the long-standing and new establishments in the Square.

 

A total of more than 140 spaces are available in the two lots. The first is located next to the condominium development at the former Quincy Fair Mall site and is accessible via Ross Way,. The second is directly across Walter Hannon Parkway right behind the Hannon monument.

 

The lots are within a block of the heart of downtown's burgeoning dining and nightlife scene, which continues to grow as development and construction projects move forward at the same time.

 

The Quincy Fair Mall parking area is set aside for permit parkers during business hours but is open to the public anytime after 4:00 p.m. and all day and night on weekends. The Walter Hannon Parkway lot is open to the public at all times.

 

Parking fees and rules have not changed in the primary municipal parking area, the Hancock Parking Lot.


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Governor Baker Signs Legislation to Bolster Public Fire Safety:

New commission tasked with working to prevent tragedies like the 2014 Beacon Street fire

 

Boston, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker today signed H.4455, An Act creating a special commission studying cutting, welding and hot work processes regulated by the State Fire Code, to prevent the loss of life resulting from tragedies such as the deadly nine-alarm brownstone fire on Beacon Street in March 2014. That fire, caused by welding on the building next door, put residents lives at risks and took the lives of two Boston firefighters, Lieutenant Edward Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy.

 

"Lieutenant Walsh and Firefighter Kennedy faced an enormously complex situation when they bravely entered the brownstone to fight the fire that tragically took their lives," said Governor Charlie Baker. "I am proud to sign this bill into law to set in place appropriate regulations and licensing requirements for the safety of the public and our first responders."

 

"Firefighters don't always have complete information about the fires they are called to fight, so it is incumbent on us to take steps to reduce the risks they faced by enacting sensible regulations in areas that can pose a serious threat to their safety," said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. "The work that this commission undertakes is of the utmost importance to combatting deadly fires and ensuring the future safety and well-being of firefighters and citizens across the Commonwealth."

 

Under the new law, a special commission will be charged to investigate and study the current requirements for any licensing or permits governing cutting, welding, and other hot work processes that are capable of initiating fires or explosions to determine if the industry is adequately regulated to protect the public. The commission will study the use of supervised details and fire watches, adequacy of fees for inspection and oversight, the deterrent effect of penalties for violations of rules and regulations, along with potential cost recovery and assessment for damages resulting from failure to comply with rules and regulations.

 

"Boston will forever remember the heroic acts of Lieutenant Edward Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy, and I am hopeful that recommendations from this commission will help us prevent future tragedies," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "I thank Senator Donnelly and Representative Collins for their partnership on this legislation and the Governor for signing it into law."

 

"Today, an individual can purchase a welding unit and go into business for himself without any education or certification requirements," said State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey. “Recommendations from this commission will be extremely helpful to public safety as to whether training and certification should be required, whether we can strengthen or improve existing regulations or should increase penalties for violations."

 

“This statute is the first step in ensuring that workers, the public and those whose job it is to protect the public are safe on jobs where welding and hot work takes place,” said State Senator Ken Donnelly. "The commission will determine the proper requirements and safeguards necessary in performing welding and hot work and  I appreciate the support of the legislature and the governor in moving this important bill forward."

 

"The safety of our first responders must always be a top priority," said State Representative Nick Collins. “It is my hope that this new fire safety commission will identify flaws in existing law and make recommendations to ensure oversight and restrictions are improved so tragedies like the 2014 Back Bay fire don't occur again."

 

The 11-member commission will include legislators, public safety professionals, and individuals in related construction trades. It will consist of two members of the Senate, two members of the House, the State Fire Marshal, the Commissioner of the Fire Department of the City of Boston and five members appointed by the Governor, with each appointee required to possess certain professional qualifications.


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Governor Baker Signs Executive Order to Promote the Testing and Deployment of Automated Vehicles:

 

Boston, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker today signed Executive Order 572, "To Promote the Testing and Deployment of Highly Automated Driving Technologies." The Executive Order recognizes recent innovations in sensing and computing technology which have resulted in the rapid advancement of motor vehicle automation and creates a special working group on autonomous vehicles (AV) comprised of the Commonwealth's Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of Public Safety, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, Registrar of Motor Vehicles, Highway Administrator, and four members designated by the Senate President, Speaker of the House, Senate Minority Leader, and House Minority Leader.

 

The group, to be called the "The AV Working Group," is to consult and convene with experts on motor vehicle safety and vehicle automation, collaborate with members of the Massachusetts Legislature on proposed legislation, and support "Memorandum of Understanding" agreements which companies will need to enter into with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and affected municipalities or state agencies when plans are proposed for conducting testing of self-driving vehicles in Massachusetts.

 

The Memorandum of Understanding is to include a process for companies to follow in order to obtain approval from MassDOT for testing. The process will include submitting an application which demonstrates the vehicle to be tested has passed a Registry of Motor Vehicles inspection, can be operated without undue risk to public safety, and at all times will have a human being inside the vehicle while it is traveling.

 

"The Commonwealth is home to many world-class innovation companies and academic institutions intimately involved in autonomous vehicle technology, which makes Massachusetts uniquely qualified to responsibly host this emerging field to foster innovation and economic growth," said Governor Baker. "The guidance the AV Working Group provides will be instrumental in ensuring companies can further develop autonomous vehicle technology in the Commonwealth and do so while maintaining the safety of our roadways."

 

"Executive Order 572 embraces an innovative technology that has the potential to create jobs across Massachusetts," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "We look forward to working with the developers, municipalities, the City of Boston, neighboring state and our federal partners to host and develop autonomous vehicle technology responsibly and effectively."

 

Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack added that the AV Working Group's goal will be to help advance innovation in autonomous vehicle technologies while ensuring that testing is conducted safely. "Public Safety will be our top priority," Secretary Pollack said. "As we collaborate with municipal and private sector partners, the Memorandum of Understanding will enable safe testing with people ready to take the wheel on pre-approved routes."

 

"There is no doubt that autonomous vehicle technology will play a large part in the future of transportation," said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Dan Bennett. "By taking proactive steps such as this Executive Order we will be more fully prepared to take advantage of these advances in technology in ways that are as safe and efficient as they can be."

 

"Massachusetts is pioneering the new technologies that are enabling autonomous vehicles, including robotics, artificial intelligence, advanced materials, and internet-enabled sensors," said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. "This executive order will allow Massachusetts to harness autonomous vehicle technology as a driver of economic development, by increasing investment in research and development, creating a predictable legal framework for autonomous vehicle developers, and positioning Massachusetts companies to fill key supply chain roles in this rapidly growing industry."

 

"Autonomous vehicles have the incredible promise to deliver safer streets and a more equitable, reliable, and sustainable transportation system, but that will only occur with the right technology and right policies in place," said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "For that reason, Boston is ready to lead the charge of self-driving vehicles, supporting the development of the technology and policies that ensure this innovation will benefit all of our residents."

 

Mayor Martin J. Walsh signed and announced his own executive order today that establishes that the Boston Transportation Commissioner, Gina Fiandaca, will lead oversight of autonomous vehicles in the City of Boston, and the Boston Transportation Department (BTD), in coordination with the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics (MONUM), will publish guidelines for the testing of autonomous vehicles. In addition, the BTD, with support from the MONUM, will publish policy recommendations with respect to autonomous vehicle technology, business models and supportive changes concerning the use of the public right of way.


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Governor Baker Signs Legislation Requiring Preservation of Sexual Assault Evidence:

 

Will require forensic evidence be preserved for as long as statute of limitations

 

Boston, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker today signed H. 4364, An Act relative to the preservation of evidence for victims of rape and sexual assault, to ensure that potentially crucial forensic evidence is preserved and retained for at least as long as the 15 year statute of limitations for sexual assault and rape. At a signing ceremony and press conference led by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito in the State House, members of the Baker-Polito Administration, legislators, members of the non-profit organization RISE and advocates celebrated passage of this legislation and significant progress for survivors of sexual assault and ape who have faced significant challenges and trauma from the burdens of the prior policies of our criminal justice system.

 

"Trauma can have a devastating effect on a person's health and well-being. A survivor of sexual assault or rape should not be burdened with a short timeframe and constant reminders from our criminal justice system, and I am pleased this new law will allow survivors to focus on healing," said Governor Charlie Baker. "Extending the retention period for evidence to match the statute of limitations is a commonsense change that will help survivors seek justice when they are ready to pursue a criminal justice response."

 

"Removing the burden from the victim to keep evidence from being destroyed is a very important step for our criminal justice system, and most of all, for the well-being survivors of sexual assault and rape," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Chair of the Governor's Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. "We want to thank our colleagues in the legislature for collaborating on this legislation because preserving this type of evidence could make all the difference in convicting defendants on trial for sexual assault or rape."

 

The new law requires governmental entities, such as local police departments, to retain forensic evidence obtained through the investigation of a sexual assault or rape for a minimum of fifteen years, which is the statute of limitations for crimes of sexual assault and rape. Previously, such evidence was only required to be retained for a period of six months unless victims petitioned every six months to have it preserved.

 

"In a criminal prosecution there are few better ways to achieve a conviction than by presenting conclusive forensic evidence linking the defendant to the crime," said Public Safety and Security Secretary Daniel Bennett. "By extending the period that such evidence must be kept we are improving our ability to bring criminals who have committed such heinous crimes to justice."

 

"Someone who has experienced sexual violence needs time to heal. It is incumbent on us to support survivors by ensuring that they have the time they need to seek justice," said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. "With this legislation, we take a big step forward in ensuring that the justice system works."

 

"With the National dialogue around sexual assault, I am pleased to see Massachusetts taking the lead in this small but important step in protecting the rights of survivors," said Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier.

 

"Sexual assault is one of the most traumatizing and emotionally devastating experiences an individual can go through," said State Senator Cynthia Creem. "We've extended the time period that evidence must be kept so that survivors don't have to revisit the assault every six months."

 

"We are thankful for Governor Baker and statehouse legislators for enacting this bill preventing the destruction of critical evidence for sexual assault survivors for the duration of time they have to file charges -- 15 years," said Amanda Nguyen, President and Founder of Rise.

 

Additional elements of the new law:

* Requires hospitals to inform survivors that sexual assault testing kits will be retained for a minimum of fifteen years;

 

* Stipulates that any evidence currently in the possession of a police department or other governmental entity be retained for the remainder of the statute of limitations for each case; and

 

* To ensure that forensic evidence is properly preserved, requires the State Police Crime Laboratory to promulgate regulations regarding minimum standards for evidence retention and chain-of-custody protocol.

 

Rise has already passed a federal Sexual Assault Bill of Rights, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama on Friday, October 7, 2016 and introduced legislation in California, Oregon and New York.


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Baker-Polito Administration Awards $2.8 Million to 39 Communities Combating Violence Against Women:

 

Boston, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Public Safety Secretary Dan Bennett today announced more than $2.8 million in grant funding to help 39 community- based organizations and local and college campus police departments develop and strengthen prosecution strategies and victim services in cases involving violent crimes against women.

 

The grants were made possible through the Violence Against Women Act's (VAWA) Services Training Officers Prosecutors (VAWA STOP) Program administered by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security's Office of Grants and Research.

 

"The Violence Against Women Act allows for collaborative approaches between community-based agencies, municipalities, and state agencies to address the crimes of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking," said Governor Charlie Baker. "These grants are critical to develop and strengthen law enforcement, prosecution, and victim services in cases of violent crimes against women."

 

"The VAWA grants are an opportunity to offer support for our community based agencies, police departments and state agencies that provide critical services for victims of domestic and sexual violence across the Commonwealth," said Lt. Governor Polito, chair of the Governor's Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. "Through the diligent efforts of those receiving grants today and many other community partners, we aim to make Massachusetts a safer state to live in for all women."

 

In April 2015, Governor Baker signed Executive Order 563, re-launching the Governor's Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. Over the last year, the Council's priorities have included analyzing and reporting on the implementation of Chapter 260: An Act Relative to Domestic Violence. Last fall, a report was issued providing updates on each of the 49 actionable provisions within the law.

 

The Council today announced its priorities for the upcoming year and the future with the launch of work groups in five priority areas identified by the Council and the administration. Each group has established year one deliverables and will report back to the Council on their program next summer.

 

The work groups include:

* Response and Assessment: to develop recommendations for improving the Commonwealth's identification and response to domestic violence high risk cases;

 

* Housing Stability and Self Sufficiency: to cultivate housing stability and homeless prevention strategies for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence;

 

* Human Trafficking: Children: to design and initiative the development of a standard, best practice model for identifying and responding to child trafficked victims, with year one specifically focused on the sexual exploitation of children;

 

* Prevention Education Early Ed through Campus: to provide recommendations to the Administration on how to build a program focused on promoting healthy relationships through education and the prevention of harassment, stalking, dating and sexual violence for Massachusetts youth starting in pre-kindergarten and continuing through college;

 

* Veteran/Military Families: to develop collaborations amongst military, sexual assault and domestic violence resources to increase accessibility of appropriate supports for veterans and military families.

 

"We are pleased to provide these awards to agencies that have demonstrated expertise in their respective program areas of victim services, prosecution, law enforcement and the court system across the Commonwealth," said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Dan Bennett. "We look forward to continuing this strong partnership to advance the critical missions that these organizations fulfill."

 

"VAWA funds are what fuels accessible services for survivors of crime in the community. Anyone impacted by a crime -- survivors, significant others, service providers, and the community in general -- deserve access to comprehensive services, resources, and information," said Katia Santiago-Taylor, Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC). "At BARCC, the VAWA funds have helped us form a multidisciplinary approach to provide accurate information to sexual assault survivors and their families statewide called Access to Forensic Information. VAWA funds have made cross-disciplinary services like the AFI and many others possible."

 

The Violence Against Women Act was passed by Congress in 1994 and marked a turning point in the federal recognition of the extent and seriousness of violence against women, and solidified a commitment by the government to address the problem by providing federal resources for the issue. Over the last three years, nearly $8 million in VAWA funds have been granted statewide to support domestic and sexual assault victims and their families.


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Governor Baker's Workforce Skills Cabinet Opens $12 Million Workforce Development Grant Round, and Announces $1.45 Million in Advanced Manufacturing Training Awards:

 

Grants will fund workforce training for students, as well as unemployed and underemployed individuals

 

Boston, MA -- Today, the Baker-Polito Administration's Workforce Skills Cabinet announced two grant programs aimed to improve economic and job training opportunities for residents across the Commonwealth. The first grant program will support the opening of a $12 million workforce skills capital grant round, to provide workforce training equipment to high schools, community colleges, and community-based nonprofits. The administration also awarded $1.45 million in Advanced Manufacturing Training Program workforce development grants, to eight regional workforce development teams from across the Commonwealth.

 

"We continue to make the Commonwealth's manufacturing base more competitive by building a highly-skilled workforce for employers so they can grow their businesses and support the economy," said Governor Charlie Baker. "These workforce development grant programs will equip students and workers in Massachusetts with the skills they need to connect with middle-class career pathways in key industries, including advanced manufacturing.

 

"By connecting unemployed individuals to the training needed to succeed in advanced manufacturing, these workforce development grants will give adults the skills to build a career, a life, on," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "The regional partnerships we're funding today will help open up new economic opportunities, from Pittsfield, to the South Coast and the Merrimack Valley."

 

"With a looming skills shortage that will be compounded by retiring baby boomers leaving the labor force, we are finding ways to invest in the skill development of individuals who are unemployed or underemployed, and those who are joining the labor force for the first time," said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II.

 

"With over $24 million in workforce skills grants which have been made available to high schools, community colleges, and community-based nonprofits this year and last year, we are making a significant investment in our technical education across the Commonwealth," said Education Secretary Jim Peyser. "The focus of the grants is to allow these institutions to not only expand their capacity, but also to strengthen regional partnerships with other education entities and the area workforce."

 

"These workforce development partnerships will empower residents to fully participate in our state's economy," said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. "Collaborative solutions that bring educators, employers and workers to the table will help close the skills gap, and provide a foundation for job creation and continued economic growth."

 

The Workforce Skills Capital grant program seeks to increase the capacity and quality of vocational training and education by providing funds to eligible schools and institutions for the purchase and installation of vocational-technical equipment. The $12 million grant round the administration opened Tuesday will provide matching funds to allow educational and nonprofit institutions to invest in new vocational technical training equipment. The grants will allow high schools, community colleges and nonprofit organizations to meet employer hiring demands by modernizing and expanding vocational technical program capacity, creating new training programs that respond to industry needs, and increasing the availability of training equipment to mid-career learners.

 

The new grant round builds on $12.4 million in Workforce Skills Capital grants awarded this year. In August, Governor Baker signed legislation that authorizes the Executive Office of Education to commit up to $45 million in workforce skills capital matching grants. The Executive Office of Education administers the Workforce Skills Capital grant program, on the behalf of the Governor's Workforce Skills Cabinet.

 

The $1.45 million in advanced manufacturing training grants that the administration awarded will equip unemployed and underemployed individuals with the skills to enter the advanced manufacturing field. Training programming emphasizes outreach to veterans, demographic groups that experience chronically higher rates of unemployment, and groups that are historically underrepresented in the manufacturing sector.

 

The Advanced Manufacturing Training Program provides training to unemployed and underemployed individuals, including veterans, minorities and women and that support the workforce needs of the Commonwealth's globally competitive advanced manufacturing cluster. In Fiscal Year 2015, the training grants provided training to 335 individuals. The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development administers the training grant program, and on behalf of the Governor's Workforce Skills Cabinet.

 

The Baker-Polito Administration's Workforce Skills Cabinet aims to close the skills gap and connect citizens to jobs by making workforce development efforts more employer-centric, and by identifying and bringing to scale successful training and education models. The Workforce Skills Cabinet is chaired by the Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, Ronald L. Walker, II, and comprised of the Secretary of Education, Jim Peyser, and the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, Jay Ash.

 

2016 Advanced Manufacturing Training Program Workforce Development Grant Award Winners:

* Berkshire County Regional Employment Board, Pittsfield

 

* Center for Manufacturing Technology, Woburn

 

* E-Team Machinist Training Program, Lynn

 

* Franklin Hampshire Regional Employment Board, Greenfield

 

* Granter New Bedford Workforce Investment Board, New Bedford

 

* Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Worcester

 

* Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, Lawrence

 

* Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, Springfield


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Overnight Adams-Hancock Green Road Paving Starts October 11, 2016:

 

Final Phase of Transportation Work

 

The final paving for the new roads associated with the Adams-Hancock Green is scheduled take place on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights beginning on October 11, 2016.

 

Night work will be taking place in the area of Washington Street, Temple Street and Hancock Street and there will be intermittent detours and lane restrictions on nights when the work is taking place.

 

Work will begin following the evening commute and continue through the overnight.

 

A second phase of the final work is scheduled to take place the following week.


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Baker-Polito Administration Highlights Progress on Regulatory Reform Initiative:

 

Quarantine time aligned with national recommendations to improve lives for shelter animals, increase space

 

Boston, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore joined the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) today to highlight significant changes in state regulations as part of the Baker-Polito Administration's extensive regulatory review process, including improving the lives of shelter animals and increasing space and flexibility for animal shelters.

 

"When we first began this review, our commitment was to providing exceptional service and making the Commonwealth a more efficient, competitive and safer place to live, to work and raise our families," said Governor Charlie Baker. "The streamlining of regulations to improve accountability to our citizens, municipalities, businesses, non-profits, healthcare providers and educational institutions was an extensive process. We are pleased to work with the stakeholders like the Animal Rescue League to allow them to more efficiently do their job, serving more animals in need, and allowing them to recover humanely."

 

Consistent with national recommendations, the changes reduced quarantine periods for unvaccinated dogs and cats possibly exposed to rabies from six months to four months, allowing The Animal Rescue League and other animal shelters across the state to save and find homes for more animals in need. The changes were made as part of the Baker-Polito Administration's extensive regulatory reform review announced by Executive Order shortly after taking office, involving over 131 listening sessions and 1,000 stakeholder comments on roughly 1,700 Executive Branch regulations, the vast majority of which have been created since 1970.

 

"This administration has devoted itself to better serving our Commonwealth's cities and towns," said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. "This comprehensive review of over 1,700 regulations, in addition to municipal reform legislation enacted earlier this year, will ease restrictions and make it easier for them to do their jobs and serve their constituents."

 

Executive Branch agencies collaborated across Secretariats and with outside stakeholders to review each regulation, with the goals of easing regulatory burden through simplification or consolidation, rescinding outdated and unnecessary regulations, aligning with federal requirements when appropriate and establishing a regulatory code the speaks using one voice. During the review process, agencies were required to identify when each regulation would be reviewed again and establish a process to avoid the duplication of regulations in the future.

 

"The Baker-Polito Administration has made making Massachusetts a better place to live a key goal since taking office," said Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore. "This thorough review of our onerous regulatory environment will dramatically improve the business climate of Massachusetts as well as improve the quality of life for non-profits that do great work like the Animal Rescue League."

 

Like many animal shelters in the Commonwealth, The Animal Rescue League of Boston, has limited quarantine space, and physical capacity limits require difficult decisions to made about euthanizing of animals suspected to have rabies. Earlier this year, the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians issued new recommendations in the 2016 Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention advising reducing quarantine periods to four months due to evidence animals in isolation for an extended period of six months can become stressed and depressed, even with regular human socialization.

 

"I'm very pleased that Secretary Beaton and the Department of Agricultural Resources were able to work with the Administration and Finance to make our Massachusetts regulations consistent with the most up to date veterinary science," said Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux. "Pet owners and their animals now will be able to resume normal activity significantly sooner with no adverse effect on public health."

 

"We applaud Governor Baker and his team for taking swift action ensuring the humane treatment of animals and providing greater access to shelter space for more animals in need," said Mary Nee, President of the Animal Rescue League of Boston. "These newly revised regulations prove that Massachusetts takes welfare standards seriously and is willing to lead the country in adopting the National Association of Veterinary and Public Health recommendations."

 

"Our shelter staff and veterinarians are eager to comply with these new common sense regulations. While rabies is a serious public health concern, science proves that excessive quarantine for animals is not necessary and is potentially harmful to otherwise healthy animals," said Dr. Edward Schettino, Vice President of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services. "With these new changes, we look forward to getting our current feline, mischief, off quarantine and into a new home soon."

 

Governor Baker's Executive Order 562, signed March 31, 2015, initiated the first extensive top-to-bottom review of all state regulations enforced by the Executive Department since Weld-Cellucci administration in 1996 when Governor Baker was the Secretary of Administration and Finance.

 

The government agencies that conducted the review had to demonstrate that: there is a clearly identified need for governmental intervention that is best addressed by the agency and not another agency or governmental body; the costs of the regulation do not exceed the benefits; the regulation does not exceed federal requirements or duplicate local requirements; there are not any less intrusive or restrictive alternatives; the regulation does not unduly and adversely affect Massachusetts citizens and customers of the Commonwealth, or the competitive environment in Massachusetts; there is a formal process in place for measuring the effectiveness of the regulation is time-limited or provides for regular review. To assist in this process, A&F created a database to collect information on every regulation.


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Beacon Hill Leadership Moves To Rename Brookline Avenue Bridge In Honor of David Ortiz:

 

Governor Baker, Senate President Rosenberg, Speaker DeLeo Propose Bridge Naming for the retiring Boston Red Sox legend

 

Boston, MA -- Massachusetts took the first official step toward naming a bridge in honor of legendary Red Sox player David Ortiz today.

 

As part of a joint-plan between the House, Senate and Governor's office, the House Committee on Ways & Means Committee put language out to poll as part of a supplemental budget that would rename the Brookline Avenue bridge, between Lansdowne Street and Newbury Street, and spanning the Massachusetts Turnpike, the "David Ortiz ("Big Papi") Bridge."

 

The legislation states the honor is "recognition of his athletic accomplishments during fourteen seasons as a member of the Boston Red Sox, and his personal contributions to the Commonwealth, notably, his charitable commitment to children in New England and the Dominican Republic who do not have access to the critical pediatric services they need, and in helping our city heal in the face of the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy." 

 

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation will place a "suitable marker on the bridge bearing the destination in compliance with the standards of the department."

 

"David Ortiz's accomplishments and heroics on and off the baseball field have made him a living legend, and his heartfelt contributions to the communities here and in his native Dominican Republic have made him an icon," said Governor Charlie Baker. "As a lifelong Red Sox fan, I am thrilled to be able to help our Commonwealth create a lasting 'Thank You' to Big Papi through renaming of this bridge."

 

"I'm so excited to be part of this process of giving David Ortiz, one of the greatest Red Sox of all time, his proper due by naming a bridge in his honor," House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop) said. "David has not only been an extraordinary baseball player, he has been an exemplary and inspirational member of our community, most notably after the Boston Marathon bombings. As a fan, I will miss his stride up to the plate followed by a clutch hit and the ballpark exploding into applause."

 

"David Ortiz has been a big part of our community both on and off the field," said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). "Whether is it leading the Red Sox to multiple World Series Championships or all of his charitable work, he has truly been the pride of Boston. I am proud that we can honor him by naming this bridge after him so his legacy can live on after his playing days have ended."

 

"David Ortiz has meant so much to the City of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and all of Red Sox Nation," said Representative Brian S. Dempsey, House Chair of the Committee on Ways & Means (D-Haverhill). "Whether it be his clutch curse breaking hits on the diamond, his now legendary speech to rally the spirits of this city in the aftermath of the Marathon Bombing, or his prodigious charity work, "Papi" has left a lasting impact. I am proud that we can recognize his efforts and wish him well as he ends his career with what we hope is another memorable playoff run."

 

"As a Red Sox fan, I'm proud that the Commonwealth is taking this step to recognize one of our athletic legends," said Senator Karen E. Spilka, Senate Chair of the Committee on Ways & Means (D-Ashland). "David Ortiz is a major force in baseball, and he has also made significant contributions to our community over the course of his long career."

 

Once the House Ways & Means Committee poll is completed, the House will act on the measure later on Thursday. The legislation will then go to the Senate.


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Baker-Polito Administration Announces Support for edX MicroMasters Programs:

 

Boston, MA -- Today the Baker-Polito Administration and public higher education leaders announced support for the efforts of edX, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit online learning destination founded by Harvard and MIT, which recently launched 19 MicroMasters programs to help students advance their careers and offer a path to an accelerated Master's program. These courses are designed to be an easily accessible, faster way to build targeted professional skills and pathways to credits. The Baker-Polito Administration plans to work with the Department Higher Education and University of Massachusetts to develop recommendations, such as a pilot program within the administration, to support this effort and bolster skill-building and more affordable education choices.

 

"Lieutenant Governor Polito and I are excited about the opportunity edX's MicroMasters program presents for investing in one of the Commonwealth's strongest assets -- our talented workforce," said Governor Charlie Baker. "This partnership will allow our great public and private colleges and universities to employ the latest technology to offer students more choices, curb the cost of higher-education, and ultimately strengthen our position as a national leader in online education."

 

Governor Baker is directing Secretary of Education Jim Peyser and Secretary of Administration and Finance Kristen Lepore to coordinate with the Department of Higher Education, the University of Massachusetts, and the Commonwealth's Human Resources Division to develop recommendations for the following areas:

 

1. Piloting structured professional development opportunities in 2-3 state agencies through edX MicroMasters programs, to build team skills and provide qualified staff with a head start on a full Master's degree;

 

2. Encouraging and supporting individual state employees to build their professional skills and credentials through job-relevant MicroMasters programs;

 

3. Evaluating the feasibility of the Commonwealth's public universities accepting MicroMasters credentials as credit for prior learning in applicable graduate programs;

 

4. Co-sponsoring with the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, the University of Massachusetts, and edX, a working group or forum, involving leaders from higher education, major employers, and education entrepreneurs to consider how Massachusetts can accelerate the development and adoption of stackable "Micro-credentials," at both graduate and undergraduate levels, to address critical skill shortages in the workforce and to improve the accessibility and affordability of post-secondary credentials.

 

"I am thrilled to work with higher education leaders from both the public and private sectors to explore ways we can offer more flexible and affordable choices for students, as well as build relevant career competencies to ensure a more effective workforce," said Education Secretary Jim Peyser. "Massachusetts is already a leader in education and educational technology, and these programs will be one more tool to prepare students and employees for the 21st century workplace."

 

"This innovative program will allow us to provide new learning opportunities to the Commonwealth's workforce," said Secretary of Administration and Finance Kristen Lepore. "We look forward to piloting some of edX's new offerings to help build the professional skills of our state employees while offering a valuable credential that could lead to a graduate degree."

 

"Massachusetts is a world leader in both higher education and in technology-based innovation, and we are excited to collaborate with the new offerings created by edX," said Board of Higher Education Chairman Chris Gabrieli. "We look forward to working with stakeholders across the Commonwealth including both private and public higher education as well as employers and residents to harness the most powerful ways to help all of our citizens gain the skills they need and want.

 

"This is an innovative approach to education, and we are proud to have it come from within Massachusetts," said Carlos E. Santiago, Commissioner of Higher Education. "We are always looking for new and effective ways to prepare students for high-skilled opportunities in Massachusetts, and I look forward to working with higher education leaders to discuss how we can use these new programs to our full advantage and the benefit of students and the academic community across the Commonwealth."

 

"As a leading provider of online education, UMass understands how dynamic this emerging market is," said UMass President Marty Meehan. "We look forward to exploring opportunities for collaboration with edX in order to increase the rate of innovation in this field and to strengthen Massachusetts' position as a global leader in higher education."

 

"As a global edtech company founded and based in Massachusetts, we are passionate about education innovation, and honored to be working with the Commonwealth to help Massachusetts residents improve their lives and advance their careers," said Anant Agarwal, edX CEO and MIT Professor. "This new collaboration will help further our mission to offer flexible and affordable education to learners, employees, and employers in Massachusetts and beyond.

 

About EdX:

EdX is a nonprofit, open-source learning destination offering online courses from more than 100 member institutions, composed of both leading global universities and colleges, and a diverse group of prominent organizations from around the world. Founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and based in Cambridge, MA, USA, edX is focused on transforming online and classroom learning through groundbreaking methodologies, game-like educational experiences and cutting-edge research on an open-source platform.

 

About MicroMasters:

MicroMasters is a series of courses designed to launch or advance careers and offer a path to an accelerated Master's program. Faster, flexible and free to try, MicroMasters provides access to advanced education for everyone, everywhere. Created by prestigious universities and offered in the most in-demand fields, MicroMasters programs are recognized by companies like Wal-Mart, GE and IBM for real job relevancy and provide deeper learning in a specific career area. MicroMasters are offered on edX.org, the nonprofit online learning destination founded by Harvard and MIT.

 

For more information can be found at: www.edx.org/micromasters.


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Governor Baker, MBTA Launch RIDE Pilot Program with Uber, Lyft:

 

Innovative ride-share partnership offers on-demand options for paratransit customers

 

Watertown, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker joined Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack, MBTA managers, disability advocates, and executives with Uber and Lyft today to launch a first-of-its-kind innovative pilot program with ride-share companies to save costs and deliver customers of the MBTA's, THE RIDE, options for on-demand service through their smartphones.

 

"The reliability of our transportation system depends on the MBTA's ability to improve its core infrastructure and provide efficient, innovative transit options that meet the needs of the system's one million daily riders," said Governor Baker. "This initiative represents the MBTA's efforts to increase accessibility in a more cost-effective and efficient way that also delivers more convenient service for its paratransit customers."

 

The On-Demand Paratransit Pilot Program will allow the MBTA to learn and understand the opportunities and challenges of incorporating on-demand paratransit options into public transit, and follows a program launched in January with multiple Boston-area taxi providers to subsidize trips for RIDE users via cab. Customers unable to use a smartphone or without access to one can book rides by using a phone-in option from Lyft or obtain a smart phone from Uber on a limited basis.

 

The pilot is also part of the MBTA's efforts to deliver more efficient and cost-effective service. Current RIDE service comes at a variable cost of $31 to the MBTA, a $3.15 set fare for customers and a minimum of one day advance notice required. Ride-share pilot participants will have on-demand service available via their smartphone app or the phone-in option and pay the first $2.00 of the trip. The MBTA will pick up the next $13.00 of the trip, with the customer picking up any remaining trip costs.

 

Today's event was held at the Perkins School for the Blind which helped initiate the pilot, working closely with disability advocates and the MBTA. Joining Governor Baker and Secretary Pollack for the announcement were MBTA Interim General Manager Brian Shortsleeve, Perkins President and CEO Dave Power, Perkins Chief Financial Officer Lisa Calise, (who was appointed to the MBTA's Fiscal and Management Control Board by Governor Baker last year). and the Boston General Managers for Uber and Lyft.

 

"This collaborative effort between the MBTA, our partners at Uber an Lyft, Perkins, and so many others shows how we can use private market innovation and emerging technology to enhance service and accessibility for our riders," said Interim General Manager Shortsleeve. "The MBTA will continue to explore opportunities like these to reduce costs and provide flexible transit options while investing in the core system."

 

As part of the pilot, Lyft will partner with a local Americans with Disabilities Act/Non-Emergency Medical Transportation firm to provide wheelchair accessible rental vehicles to Lyft drivers. To Incentivizes the supply of wheelchair accessible vehicles on the road, the MBTA will offer an additional $12 per completed trip to those Lyft drivers using an accessible rental. Uber currently has wheelchair accessible vehicles through its UberACCESS program that will be available for the MBTA pilot.

 

"We are honored to be working with the MBTA to improve convenient and reliable transportation options for their customers, our riders," said Uber Boston General Manager, Chris Taylor. "Uber's technology has helped expand access to convenient transportation options, while improving mobility and independence for thousands of people across the Commonwealth."

 

"Lyft is proud to bring on-demand transportation to customers of the RIDE," said Tyler George, General Manager of Lyft Boston. "This partnership with the MBTA marks an exciting next step in enhancing and expanding The RIDE's service by reducing passenger wait times and increasing access to jobs, education, errands, and social activities."

 

Driver-partners will undergo third-party safety screenings, vehicle and criminal background record checks and receive educational materials on providing service for RIDE customers with accessibility needs. Uber and Lyft will also offer sessions to train driver-partners to better serve pilot customers.

 

"Independent, reliable transportation is critical for people with disabilities to get to work, school or other community activities on time," said Dave Power, President and CEO of Perkins School for the Blind. "Para-transit riders can now access the same on-demand services enjoyed by people without disabilities -- bringing us another step closer to inclusive public transportation."

 

Interested RIDE customers are encouraged to participate by visiting the MBTA's website for more information and signing up with both Uber and Lyft to maximize participation. RIDE-eligible users approved for the pilot will receive app access to request on-demand services.

 

"We are excited to see THE RIDE expand customer options and efficiencies, with a commitment to long-term accessibility options," said Bill Henning, Director of the Boston Center for Independent Living.

 

"Thousands of seniors who are no longer able to use fixed route service rely on The RIDE for their transportation needs but as costs have escalated it has become important to explore new options to meet those needs," said Carolyn Villers, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Senior Action Council. "This pilot is an important step forward because it has the potential to improve access to responsive service while also providing a more cost-effective model."

 

"AACT is looking forward to working with Lyft/Uber and the MBTA in providing an additional transportation resource to the disability community on the RIDE program," said James White, Chairman of the Access Advisory Committee to the MBTA.

 

The RIDE provides an average of 7,000 daily trips, with demand set to grow as the senior population continues to expand. Customers over 65 years of age account for about 60% of RIDE users and 9% require wheelchair-accessible vehicles. The RIDE currently provides door-to-door transit service for individuals in a 712-mile-square area that includes 60 cities and towns and over 2.5 million people unable to access or use the MBTA's fixed-route system. Users of the RIDE are required to book trips one day in advance.

 

For more information on The RIDE paratransit program, including service area, click here.


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Governor Baker Signs Climate Change Strategy Executive Order:

 

Order Works to Reduce Carbon Emissions, Protect Residents and Municipalities, Build More Resilient Commonwealth

 

Boston, MA -- Building on the Baker-Polito Administration's strong leadership to mitigate and adapt to climate change, Governor Baker today signed an Executive Order which lays out a comprehensive approach to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard residents, municipalities and businesses from the impacts of climate change, and build a more resilient Commonwealth. The Order, Establishing an Integrated Climate Change Strategy for the Commonwealth, represents the collaboration between the Office of the Governor, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, and key state, local and environmental stakeholders.

 

"Combating and preparing for the impacts of climate change will require a holistic approach across state and local government and collaboration with stakeholders from all corners of the Commonwealth," said Governor Charlie Baker. "By signing this Executive Order, our administration is taking an important step to protect public health and safety, local infrastructure, small businesses, and our state's abundant natural resources from the effects of climate change."

 

"Cities and towns across Massachusetts are on the front lines of climate change and our administration stands ready to help them meet this challenge," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "Building on our administration's commitment to municipalities through the Community Compact and Green Communities programs, the Executive Order signed by Governor Baker continues to enhance strong state and local partnerships, and provides direct support and technical assistance to help cities and towns adapt to climate change."

 

"The Baker-Polito Administration, in addition to cities and towns across Massachusetts, continues to reduce carbon emissions and prepare for the impacts of climate change," said Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton. "This Executive Order builds on those innovative efforts to ensure the Commonwealth is collaborating in a proactive, strategic manner across state government and with our local partners and stakeholders to address this challenge."

 

The Executive Order ensures that Massachusetts will continue to lead by example and collaborate across the state government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resiliency within government operations. The Order also directs the Executive Offices of Energy and Environmental Affairs and Public Safety and Security to lead the development and implementation of a statewide comprehensive climate adaptation plan that will provide a blueprint for protecting the built and natural environment of the Commonwealth, based on the best available data on existing and projected climate change impacts. Additionally, each Executive Office within the Baker-Polito Administration will required to designate a Climate Change Coordinator who will work to complete a vulnerability assessment for each office, and assist with implementation and coordination of adaptation and mitigation efforts across state government.

 

"Addressing the challenges of climate change requires a broad and comprehensive strategy," said Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack. "This Executive Order will ensure state and local officials have the resources and support needed to promote sustainable growth and development that protects communities and natural resources across the Commonwealth."

 

Recognizing the need to strengthen the resilience of communities throughout Massachusetts, the Executive order directs the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to coordinate assistance to cities and towns as they prepare for the impacts of climate change.

 

"Communities are currently dealing with the impacts of a historic drought and the effects of extreme weather events," said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Daniel Bennett. "This Order will enhance state and local collaboration, helping communities to more quickly recover from violent storms and extreme weather."

 

"Worcester has adopted a comprehensive clean energy program and will build the region's largest municipal solar array on a capped landfill, because we recognize that we all have a stake in the health of our planet," said Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. "I look forward to continue working with the Baker-Polito Administration to make the Commonwealth a leader in the effort to reduce greenhouse gases and safeguard our children's future."

 

"The Governor's Executive Order on climate change will have a positive impact on communities across the Commonwealth by giving municipalities the resources and capacity to assess local climate risks and plan for a changing climate," said Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll. "Salem is already preparing for the effects of climate change with a variety of planning efforts and capital investments, and this Executive Order will enable municipalities to work toward long-term solutions to protect the safety and well-being of residents, as well as our infrastructure and economy."

 

To further position Massachusetts to meet the state's environmental requirements under the Global Warming Solutions Act, the Executive Order directs the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to engage stakeholders, examine emission limits from a range of sectors, and outline a timeline to promulgate regulations to ensure the Commonwealth meets statewide carbon reduction targets. In addition, the Baker-Polito Administration will work with state and regional transportation leaders, and environment and energy agencies to outline additional steps necessary to develop regional policies to reduce transportation sector emissions. The work will concurrent with efforts to continue to lead on reform of regional electric energy markets so that power generators can all compete to meet the state mandates for clean energy. The state will also complete a comprehensive energy plan that will enable forward-looking analysis of energy demands and strategies for meeting these demands that include conservation, energy efficiency and other demand-reduction resources.

 

"As directed by the Governor, MassDEP will work with stakeholders to develop the needed rules to ensure meeting 2020 emission limits mandated by the Global Warming Solutions Act," said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. "These rules will be completed per the schedule in the Executive Order and in the immediate future, MassDEP will have its website up and running for people to comment and learn the latest about the development of these rules."

 

"With the stroke of a pen, Governor Baker has moved the Commonwealth's conversation about GWSA implementation and climate change from legal quibbling to getting the job done, while also acting to protect our economy and communities from climate threats that are now unavoidable," said Conservation Law Foundation President Bradley Campbell. "CLF looks forward to working with the administration to develop meaningful, effective regulations that reduce greenhouse gas emissions as the law requires and change destructive patterns of development that ignore climate risk."

 

"We applaud Governor Baker's leadership in making the Commonwealth more resilient to the impacts of climate change," said Wayne Klockner, State Director of the Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts. "We look forward to working together to better prepare the Commonwealth's citizens and natural assets for the impacts of a changing climate."

 

The Executive Order, which will be reviewed again in 2019 and every five years thereafter, builds upon significant efforts already ongoing across the Baker-Polito Administration to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Initiatives and programs underway across state government include vulnerability assessments and resiliency plans within the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance, Department of Transportation, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, and MassPort. To address mitigation, the Commonwealth has been working since 2008 to implement the Global Warming Solutions Act, and has numerous policies and initiatives in place to help meet emissions reduction limits. Other existing initiatives and grant programs include the Dam and Seawall Repair Fund, the Coastal Resiliency Grant Program, the Lead by Example Program, the Community Clean Energy Resiliency Initiative. Climate change initiatives are also currently underway at regional planning agencies and in inland and coastal communities across Massachusetts.

 

"Massachusetts has long been recognized as a frontrunner on protecting the environment from the disastrous immediate and long-term dangers of climate change," said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). "As communities continue to prepare for climate change, this necessary measure will undoubtedly bolster the Commonwealth's commitment to undertaking more efforts to combat climate change in the future."

 

"Crafting and implementing an effective response to the challenges posed by climate change requires an ongoing, collaborative effort between state and municipal officials," said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading). "The Baker-Polito Administration's Executive Order will help to ensure the Commonwealth is taking the steps necessary to address the problems associated with climate change, not only over the next three years, but well into the future."

 

"Building coastal storm resilience and an environmentally sound energy future demand that we carefully plan today to take effective action now and in the future," said Senate Minority Leader Bruce E. Tarr (R-Gloucester). "This Executive Order is a critically important tool for making that happen, and we have no time to waste."

 

"We must protect our Commonwealth from the harmful effects of climate change. If we do not, the costs will be astronomical," said Senate President Pro Tempore Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton), Founding Chair of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change and Vice Chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. "Climate change is happening now; we see it through our current drought, as well as extreme weather events throughout the country. And in addition to establishing this comprehensive climate adaptation plan, we cannot forget that we have an obligation to meet the emissions reduction requirements of the Global Warming Solutions Act. I commend the Baker-Polito Administration for using science as the basis for the executive order, and I look forward to seeing these plans come to fruition across our state government. This is a good first step to ensuring that these commitments will be made, and now the legislative branch must step up in the next session to codify a climate adaptation management plan in statute, as well as pass a comprehensive energy plan."

 

"Climate change is already harming communities across the Commonwealth," said State Representative Frank Smizik (D-Brookline), Chairman of the House Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change. "By coordinating adaptation planning on the state level, we can make resources and information accessible for all regions to prepare for the economic, health, and safety impacts of climate change. Governor Baker's Executive Order is a critical first step in addressing our state's vulnerabilities and protecting our communities.


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Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito and Transit Officials Provide Update on MBTA Reforms and Winter Resiliency Upgrades:

 

$18.5 million second phase to upgrade 9.9 miles of exposed T infrastructure along Red Line South

 

Braintree, MA -- Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack today visited the MBTA's Caddigan Yard near the Braintree MBTA stop as work commences this weekend on the second phase of Red Line winter resiliency upgrades and as the MBTA's Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) continues to make improvement reforms to service, accountability and reliability for taxpayers and riders.

 

"The MBTA continues to improve its infrastructure and strengthen its ability to perform for riders during severe weather by investing in the core system," said Governor Charlie Baker. "This resiliency work and the Fiscal and Management Control Board's efforts to deliver meaningful reforms, transparency and cost-effectiveness, will ultimately mean a more accountable and reliable transit system for the Commonwealth's commuters and taxpayers."

 

The $18.5 million resiliency contract was awarded in July by the FMCB to Barletta Heavy Division, Inc., and will implement upgrades along 9.9 miles of the Red Line's Braintree and Ashmont Lines, including the replacement of all third rail and heating systems, track and tie renewals, signals, track structure and conduit installations.

 

"These investments in preparation for another New England winter are important to the riders who depend on the system every day to get to and from their jobs and school," said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. "Since historic snowfall and temperatures hampered the MBTA last year, leaders at the T have focused on the reforms and investments in the core system to ensure greater reliability."

 

The Governor, Lt. Governor and Secretary were joined by MBTA General Manager Brian Shortsleeve, Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Gonneville and Braintree Mayor Joseph Sullivan, who was appointed to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's (MassDOT) new Board of Directors when it was expanded as a result of reform legislation filed and signed by Governor Baker last year.

 

"The MBTA's goals continue to be the safety of our passengers and the ability to provide reliable service to those customers, especially during severe weather," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. "The next phase of winter resiliency work reflects the type of investments we are making, and that need to be made, in order to improve the system in the short and long term."

 

The $83 million MBTA Winter Resiliency Plan announced by the Baker-Polito Administration in 2015 focused on infrastructure, equipment, and operations improvements on the Red Line and Orange Line to more effectively mitigate the frequency, length and magnitude of system disruptions to public transit during severe weather. The first phase, implemented last year, included third rail and rail heater improvements along 13.6 miles of the Red Line from the Andrew Station to Quincy Adams, while the second phase which began this summer and will continue through December completes the improvements along the entire length of the Red Line.

 

"This work is key to keeping the system operating no matter what challenges Mother Nature throws at us," said MBTA General Manager Brian Shortsleeve. "In addition, investments have already been made to secure specialized snow removal equipment to increase our snow removal capacity and ensure passenger vehicles operate on schedule."

 

"These Red Line improvements underline the importance of reliability for our public transit system," said Braintree Mayor Joseph C. Sullivan, member of the MassDOT Board. "When people have confidence in the dependability of our system, ridership will grow. That's a good thing."

 

To accommodate the winter resiliency work, buses will replace train service two weekends this month on the Braintree Branch:

 

* Saturday, September 10, 2016 and Sunday September 11, 2016 between Braintree and JFK/UMass Stations, from start to end of service.

 

* Saturday, September 24, 2016 and Sunday, September 25, 2016 between Braintree and JFK/UMass Stations, from start to end of service.

 

More dates will be announced for weekend dates from October through November.

 

Governor Baker appointed the FMCB in 2015 to oversee the system's operations and finances and increased the Commonwealth's additional assistance payments to the MBTA's operating and capital budgets to $187 million, a 50% increase over Fiscal Year 2015. The FMCB, MassDOT and MBTA reduced the Fiscal Year 2016 budget deficit from $170 million to $86 million and have cut the projected Fiscal Year 2017 budget deficit by 50%. Also in Fiscal Year 2016, MBTA recorded its lowest level of operating expense growth in more than 15 years through cost control, increased own-source revenues by more than $10 million, and reduced operator absenteeism by nearly 20% and weekday dropped bus trips by over 30%. The MBTA is the fifth-largest transit agency in the U.S., serving over 1 million riders a day.


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Baker-Polito Administration Launches Drought Emergency Loan Fund:

 

New fund will provide affordable working capital to family farms and other small businesses impacted by historic drought conditions

 

Boston, MA -- Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the launch of the Massachusetts Drought Emergency Loan Fund, which has the capacity to provide up to $1 million in Administration's coordinated response to five consecutive months of abnormally dry weather across the Commonwealth.

 

"Small businesses are the bedrock of the Massachusetts economy, and our administration is deeply committed to maintaining the health and vibrancy of family-owned businesses," said Governor Charlie Baker. "Like the emergency loan fund we launched following record snowstorms, this Drought Emergency Loan Fund will provide affordable working capital to small businesses grappling with the aftermath of extreme weather."

 

"Massachusetts family-owned farms play an integral role in our state's broader economy, by providing jobs, driving regional tourism, and conserving land," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "This new loan fund is one important component of our comprehensive effort to help family farms and other agriculture-related small businesses recover from this summer's prolonged drought."

 

"Farms around the Commonwealth are a vital part of our state's economy, and continue to ensure residents have access to healthy, locally-grown culinary products," said Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux. "The Massachusetts Drought Emergency Loan Fund will allow Massachusetts' farmers to seek financial relief during this period of prolonged dry weather as they continue to offer fresh, nutritious products to consumers."

 

"We are pleased to offer this support to struggling family farms and related businesses hit hard by the drought," said Larry Andrews, President of MGCC. "Our team will provide prompt review of each application and work to help local farmers in need."

 

"This affordable, flexible loan program will help agricultural businesses regain financial stability and recover quickly from lost revenue due to the drought," said Assistant Secretary of Business Development Nam Pham.

 

For more information about the loan fund, and to access an online application, visit www.massgcc.com.


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Quincy's Election Headquarters: 2016 Presidential Primary Election Results:

 

Jimmy Hui, President/Chief Executive Officer at The Jimmy Hui Foundation office is very pleased to announce that Quincy's Election Headquarters have an official 2016 presidential primary election results on Thursday, September 8, 2016 in all across the citywide here in the City of Quincy and across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where the residents, persons with disabilities, citizens and the public have already cast their vote on the ballot at the polling stations.

 

The Quincy's Election Headquarters have been already projected winner for the candidate contenders are currently running in the public office to serve as role of: United States Congressman for the District 8, Fourth District Governor's Councilor, State Senator for the Norfolk and Plymouth District, State Representative for the First Norfolk District, State Representative for the Second Norfolk District, State Representative for the Third Norfolk District, State Representative for the Thirteenth Suffolk District, Norfolk County Commissioner and Norfolk County Sheriff during the 2016 presidential primary election cycle.

 

The winner will advances into the presidential election to be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2016 in all across the citywide here in the City of Quincy and across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

 

Here's an unofficial 2016 presidential primary election results:

United States Congressman for the District 8:

Stephen F. Lynch (D-Massachusetts)

William Burke (R-Massachusetts)

 

Fourth District Governor's Councilor:

Christopher A. Iannella, Jr. (D-Massachusetts)

 

State Senator for the Norfolk & Plymouth District:

John F. Keenan (D-Quincy)

 

State Representative for the First Norfolk District:

Bruce J. Ayers (D-Quincy)

 

State Representative for the Second Norfolk District:

Tackey Chan (D-Quincy)

 

State Representative for the Third Norfolk District:

Ronald Mariano (D-Quincy)

 

State Representative for the Thirteenth Suffolk District:

Daniel J. Hunt (D-Dorchester)

 

Norfolk County Commissioner:

Francis W. O'Brien (D-Massachusetts)

Joseph P. Shea (D-Quincy)

 

Norfolk County Sheriff:

Michael G. Bellotti


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If You See Something, Say Something Campaign: 2016-2017 School Year:


Jimmy Hui, President/Chief Executive Officer at The Jimmy Hui Foundation office would like to welcome back to the students, staff and the families of Quincy Public Schools in the 2016-2017 school year here in the City of Quincy.

 

The 2016-2017 school year will be stepping up in the plate and in the gear to make sure that our students, staff and the families of Quincy Public Schools are safe and sound in the school buildings with a full supervision by the security officers from Quincy Public Schools Security Department and the school resource officers from Quincy Police Department here in the City of Quincy.

 

The North Quincy Nights Strategic Response Unit will be working very closely with our partners: Quincy Public Schools, Quincy Police Department, MBTA, MBTA Transit Police Department, Massachusetts State Police Department, Norfolk County Sheriff Department, Quincy Fire Department and the Brewster Ambulance throughout the school year with any emergency situation at any school districts in all across the citywide here in the City of Quincy.

 

We are also asking the students, staff and the families of Quincy Public Schools should be remain in the vigilant where you are surrounding in the public places on the busy street intersections and on the school grounds throughout the school year in the order to report for any suspicious activities, please contact the law enforcement immediately by dial 911 for an emergency number so that we will send our law enforcement officer will dispatched and responded as quickly as possible.

 

Here's the contact number and e-mail address directory:

Quincy Police Department: DARE Division

Quincy Police DARE Officer John Grazioso: (617) 745-5735 or e-mail: jgrazioso@quincyma.gov

Quincy Police DARE Officer Don Sautter: (617) 745-5735 or e-mail: dsautter@quincyma.gov

 

Quincy Police Department: Community Policing Unit:

Lieutenant Tim Sorgi, Supervisor: (617) 770-4993 or e-mail: tsorgi@quincyma.gov

Officer Roger White (Quincy Square): (857) 342-0523 or e-mail: rwhite@quincyma.gov

Officer Bill Mitchell (Ward 1): (617) 594-2082 or e-mail: wmitchell@quincyma.gov

Officer Matthew Miller (Ward 2): (617) 594-2070 or e-mail: mmiller@quincyma.gov

Officer Timothy Simmons (Ward 3): (339) 235-6662 or e-mail: tsimmons@quincyma.gov

Officer Jimmie Whedbee (Ward 4): (617) 483-0599 or e-mail: jwhedbee@quincyma.gov

Officer Jim Silcox (Ward 5): (339) 237-1575 or e-mail: jsilcox@quincyma.gov

Officer Greg Mar (Ward 6): (617) 594-2028 or e-mail: gmar@quincyma.gov

 

Quincy Police Department: School Resource Officers:

Officer Gregg Hartnett (Middle Schools): E-mail: ghartnett@quincyma.gov

Officer Steve Burgio (Quincy High School): E-mail: sburgio@quincyma.gov

Officer Matt Pantazelos (North Quincy High School): E-mail: mpantazelos@quincyma.gov

 

Quincy Public Schools Security Department:

Michael Draicchio, Director of Safety, Security and Transportation: 

E-mail: michaeldraicchio@quincypublicschools.com

 

Sheila Calabro, Security Officer at North Quincy High School: 

E-mail: shielacalabro@quincypublicschools.com

 

Rick Palumbo, Security Officer at North Quincy High School: 

E-mail: richardpalumbo@quincypublicschools.com

 

Kevin Keith, Security Officer at North Quincy High School: 

E-mail: kevinkeith@quincypublicschools.com

 

Steve McGowan, Security Officer at Quincy High School:

E-mail: stevemcgowan@quincypublicschools.com

 

Tom McInnis, Security Officer at Quincy High School: 

E-mail: tonymcinnis@quincypublicschools.com

 

John Hyacinthe, Security Officer at Quincy High School: 

E-mail: johnhacinthe@quincypublicschools.com

 

Mark Spendlove, Security Officer at Quincy High School: 

E-mail: markspendlove@quincypublicschools.com

 

Please enjoy for the rest of 2016-2017 school year and get a good education for your children in the classroom!


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Quincy Health Department Urges Rabies Protection:

 

The City of Quincy Health Department received word from the State Laboratory Institute today that a raccoon from Quincy was determined to be positive for rabies. In response, the Health Department is urging residents to practice rabies protection this summer and throughout the year by avoiding contact with wild animals that display unusual or aggressive behavior, and to insure their pets are vaccinated against the disease.

 

Specifically, we recommend the following:

* Avoid wild animals, especially bats, skunks, foxes and raccoons. Do not feed or pet strays. Avoid any animal, wild, or domestic that you do not know. Report any animal activity that behaves oddly to your local animal control official.

 

* Teach your children to avoid wildlife, strays, and all other animals that they do not know well.

 

* Do not handle sick, dead or injured wild animals yourself; call the animal control officer. If you MUST handle the animal, use heavy gloves, sticks or other tools to avoid direct contact.

 

* Make sure your pets are vaccinated against rabies and that their shots are up-to-date. By law, all dogs, cats and ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies.

 

* Feed pets indoors and keep them indoors at night. If they are outside during the day, keep them on a leash or fenced in so they cannot wander.

 

* Fasten trash can lids tightly. Store trash and garbage in durable covered containers. Garbage can attract wild and domestic animals looking for an easy meal.

 

* It is against state law to keep wild animals such as skunks or raccoons as pets. There are no rabies vaccines for most wild species.

 

* Cap your chimney with screens and block openings in attics, cellars, and porches to keep wild animals such as bats, raccoons and skunks out of your home. If you have bats in your house, talk to a professional about bat-proofing in your home.


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Announcements:

MBTA Red Line Service Advisory Alert

MBTA Red Line Service Advisory Alert:

 

Branches Affected: Ashmont

Saturday, December 10, 2016 and Sunday, December 11, 2016

 

Due to the Winter Resiliency Improvement Project, buses will replace Red Line trains between JFK/UMass and Ashmont Stations in both directions from start to end of service beginning on Saturday, December 10, 2016 and Sunday, December 11, 2016.

 

Regular Red Line train service will resume at the start of service on the following Monday, December 12, 2016. All shuttle bus stops are accessible for persons with disabilities.

 

Shuttling the following stops:

* JFK/UMass

* Savin Hill 

* Fields Corner

* Shawmut

* Ashmont

 

Branches Affected: Ashmont

Monday, December 12, 2016 through Thursday, December 15, 2016

 

Due to the Winter Resiliency Improvement Project, buses will replace Red Line trains between JFK/UMass and Ashmont Stations in both directions beginning at approximately 8:45 p.m. through the end of the service on the following dates: Monday, December 12, 2016 through Thursday, December 15, 2016.

 

Regular Red Line train service will resume at the start of service the next day.

 

Shuttling the following stops:

* JFK/UMass

* Savin Hill 

* Fields Corner

* Shawmut

* Ashmont

 

Branches Affected: Braintree

Saturday, December 17, 2016 and Sunday, December 18, 2016

 

Due to the Winter Resiliency Improvement Project, buses will replace Red Line trains between Braintree and Quincy Adams Stations in both directions from start to end of service beginning on Saturday, December 17, 2016 and Sunday, December 18, 2016.

 

Regular Red Line train service will resume at the start of service on the following Monday, December 19, 2016. All shuttle bus stops are accessible for persons with disabilities.

 

Shuttling the following stops:

* Braintree

* Quincy Adams


City of Quincy Winter Parking Rules Policy

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City of Quincy Winter Parking Rules Policy: October 15, 2016 - April 15, 2017:

Mayor Thomas P. Koch | DPW Commissioner Daniel G. Raymondi

 

* No Parking allowed on either side of Emergency Arteries during a Snow Emergency. Emergency Arteries are identified by signs.

 

* Residents on the side streets (not emergency arteries) are allowed to park on the EVEN side of the street, this winter season.

 

* Overnight parking is a prohibited without a Resident Parking Permit. Permits are available at the Quincy Police Department at (617) 479-1212.

 

* Vehicles in the violation of winter parking rules will be towed at owner's expense. Also, if your vehicle is hampering snow plowing operations (i.e. parked too close an intersection, etc). It will be towed.

 

* The average tow fee is $125.00, plus cost of storage. No Exceptions can be made for the short-term (10-15 minutes) per parking.

 

* To find out if a snow emergency has been declared:

   * City of Quincy official website: quincyma.gov or Twitter: @CityofQuincy for an updates.

   * Quincy Department of Public Works Snow Hotline: (617) 770-SNOW (7669) for a recording.

   * Quincy Department of Public Works Snow Hotline E-mail: snowhotline@quincyma.gov (24 hours)

   * Quincy Department of Public Works Snow Hotline Telephone: (617) 376-1927 (24 hours)

   * Quincy Access Television: QATV Channel 8 or QATV Channel 11 for an updates.


Quincy Public Schools

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Quincy Public Schools: 2016-2017 School Year Calendar:

Mayor Thomas P. Koch | Richard DeCristofaro, Superintendent of the Quincy Public Schools 

 

School District

School Calendar

Last Day of Seniors (Day of 168) Thursday, June 1, 2017
NQHS Class of 2017 Graduation Monday, June 12, 2017
QHS Class of 2017 Graduation Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Last Day of School for students (Day 180) Monday, June 19, 2017
Last Day of School for students (Day 180) Monday, June 26, 2017* (5 days of snow day)

* = Subject to change if the weather permitting.


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Boston Public Schools: 2016-2017 School Year Calendar:

Martin J. Walsh, Mayor of the City of Boston | Tommy Chang, Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools

 

School District School Calendar
Last Day of School for Seniors Friday, June 7, 2017
Last Day of School for students (Day 179) Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Last Day of School for students (Day 180) Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Wednesday, June 28, 2017 * (5 snow days make up)

* = Subject to change if the weather permitting.


School Closing Information

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School Closing Information: 2016-2017

 

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.

 

Television Station

Radio Station

WBZ (CBS) Channel 4 & WSBK (MY) Channel 38 WBZ NewsRadio 1030 AM
WCVB (ABC) Channel 5 & METV Channel 5.2 WRKO 680 AM
WHDH (NBC) Channel 7 & WLVI (CW) Channel 56 WATDS 95.9 FM (South Shore)
WFXT (FOX) Channel 25 WTKK 96.9 FM

 

Comcast Cable Provider for the Quincy Residents:

Quincy Access Television Channel 8

Quincy Government Access Television Channel 11

Quincy Education Access Television Channel 22


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Quincy Public Schools Security Department E-mail Directory: 2016-2017

 

Michael Draicchio, Director of Safety, Security and Transportation: 

michaeldraicchio@quincypublicschools.com

 

Sheila Calabro, Security Officer at North Quincy High School: 

shielacalabro@quincypublicschools.com

 

Rick Palumbo, Security Officer at North Quincy High School: 

richardpalumbo@quincypublicschools.com

 

Kevin Keith, Security Officer at North Quincy High School: 

kevinkeith@quincypublicschools.com

 

Steve McGowan, Security Officer at Quincy High School:

stevemcgowan@quincypublicschools.com

 

Tom McInnis, Security Officer at Quincy High School: 

tonymcinnis@quincypublicschools.com

 

John Hyacinthe, Security Officer at Quincy High School: 

johnhacinthe@quincypublicschools.com

 

Mark Spendlove, Security Officer at Quincy High School: 

markspendlove@quincypublicschools.com

 

Subject to change for the 2016-2017 school year of e-mail directory.


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Quincy Police Department: Community Police Contact Information:

 

Name

Title

Phone #

E-mail

Lieutenant Tim Sorgi Supervisor (617) 770-4993 tsorgi@quincyma.gov

Name

Location

Phone #

E-mail

Officer Roger White Quincy Square (857) 342-0523 rwhite@quincyma.gov
Officer William Mitchell Ward 1 (617) 594-2082 wmitchell@quincyma.gov
Officer Matthew Miller Ward 2 (617) 594-2070 mmiller@quincyma.gov
Officer Timothy Simmons Ward 3 (339) 235-6662 tsimmons@quincyma.gov
Officer Jimmie Whedbee Ward 4 (617) 483-0599 jwhedbee@quincyma.gov
Officer Jim Silcox Ward 5 (339) 237-1575 jsilcox@quincyma.gov
Officer Greg Mar Ward 6 (617) 594-2028 gmar@quincyma.gov

Subject to change for the Community Police Officer contact information.


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Jimmy Hui's Message Blog:


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Quincy Access Television:


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Quincy Public Schools: