Friday, May 20, 2022

Baker-Polito Administration Opens Spray Decks Early For Children and Families to Enjoy 15 Facilities Across the Commonwealth to Help the Public Stay Cool this Weekend

Due to elevated temperatures forecasted for this upcoming weekend, the Baker-Polito Administration today announced that it will open 15 spray decks throughout the Commonwealth for children and their families to enjoy. The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), which manages the spray decks, will begin operating the facilities starting on Saturday, May 21, 2022. 

“With high temperatures expected this upcoming weekend, it is important that everybody has safe environments available to them to escape the heat,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our Administration is pleased to open spray decks early throughout the state parks system enabling children and their families a cool break from this weekend’s increased temperatures.” 

“Spray decks offer excellent, outdoor activities for children and their families, providing another great reason for us all to visit a state park,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “By opening these facilities early this season, it is our hope that the public will take advantage of the increased opportunities this weekend.” The following DCR spray decks will be open this weekend from 8:00AM to 8:00PM, with the exception of the Freetown State Forest Spray Deck, which will be open from 8:00AM-6:00PM: • Alfond Memorial Spray Deck, 280 Charles Street, Boston, • Artesani Playground Spray Deck, 1255 Soldiers Field Road, Brighton, • Beaver Brook Spray Deck, 621 Trapelo Road, Belmont, MA; • Freetown State Forest Spray Deck, 105 Slab Bridge Road, Freetown, • Holyoke Heritage State Park Spray Deck, 221 Appleton Street, Holyoke, • Magazine Beach Spray Deck, 719 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, • Francis J. McCrehan Spray Deck, 359 Rindge Avenue, Cambridge, • Melnea A. Cass Memorial Spray Deck, 120 Martin Luther King Blvd., Roxbury, • John T. Moynihan Spray Deck, 920 Truman Parkway, Hyde Park, • Neponset Landing II Spray Deck, 72 Hill Top Street, Dorchester, • North Point Spray Deck, 6 Museum Way, Cambridge, • Olsen Spray Deck, 95 Turtle Pond Parkway, Hyde Park, M and, • South West Corridor Spray Decks, located at Mission Hill (One Schroder Plaza, Mission Hill), Johnson (Lamartine and Green Street, Jamaica Plain), and Stony Brook (Lamartine St & Boylston St), Jamaica Plain. “This weekend, we expect high visitor numbers throughout the state parks system where park staff and volunteers have been busy preparing for all to enjoy,” said Energy and environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. “By opening spray decks early this season, the Baker-Polito Administration is ensuring children and their families have a respite from the summer-like heat.” The Baker-Polito Administration has taken significant steps making waterbodies safer places. These efforts include posting warning signage in multiple languages at beaches and other properties, making available life rings in the event of an emergency, and offering water safety programming for families to participate in. It’s important to note that pools and designated swimming areas have not opened for the season yet. During this time of year, waterbodies are still warming up and venturing into them can be dangerous due to water temperatures in the 40s and 50s. Swimming in such cold waters, even within a short period of time, can quickly cause hypothermia in the human body. “The Baker-Polito Administration has taken a proactive approach in making the state parks system’s waterfronts and swimming facilities safer for everyone,” said DCR Acting Commissioner Stephanie Cooper. 

“With the anticipated elevated temperatures in the coming days, we encourage the public to visit our beaches, parks, and forests for a break from the heat and ask that you exercise safety measures while there.” DCR also continues to recruit lifeguards at many designated swimming areas and pools located throughout the state. This year, the Baker-Polito Administration increased the hourly rate for lifeguards to between $21 and $26 depending on position and associated certifications (last year’s starting rates were $20 for lifeguards and $21 for head lifeguards). Additionally, the agency is offering a $500 retention bonus that will be provided to lifeguards who continue to work for the department through the end of the season. 

To learn more about lifeguarding opportunities, please visit the agency’s lifeguarding webpage - Furthermore, the agency is also currently recruiting seasonal positions across the state. DCR manages state parks, forests, coastal and inland beaches, pools and campground facilities from the Berkshires to Cape Cod. Available positions include park rangers, park interpreters, supervisors, pool managers, drivers, coastal shore bird monitors, forestry assistants, buildings and ground maintenance workers, and office assistants. To learn more about DCR seasonal employment, please visit the agency’s seasonal jobs webpage -


Wednesday, May 18, 2022

MBTA Blue Line Service Announcement

Beginning Sunday, May 22, through Wednesday, June 8, Blue Line train service will be suspended between Wonderland and Orient Heights stations to allow for critical work to take place on the Suffolk Downs pedestrian bridge. Riders will be provided with free bus shuttle service between these stations during the work. 

This important work to repair and reopen the Suffolk Down pedestrian bridge needs to be proactively accomplished and complete prior to the beginning of MassDOT’s Sumner Tunnel Restoration project, which begins June 10 with the shutdown of the Sumner Tunnel on weekends from Spring 2022 to Spring 2023; seven days a week from May 2023 to September 2023; and on weekends from Fall 2023 to Winter 2023. If the MBTA does not complete this work on the Suffolk Downs pedestrian bridge now, the pedestrian bridge will likely not be repaired for another two years until the Sumner Tunnel reopens seven days a week in Winter 2023. 

The Suffolk Downs pedestrian bridge will fully reopen to the public later this summer 2022. The MBTA understands how frustrating service diversions can be, and thanks Blue Line riders for their patience while this important Blue Line work on the Suffolk Downs pedestrian bridge is completed. During this 18-day Blue Line suspension, free bus shuttles will replace Blue Line service between Wonderland and Orient Heights stations all day and every day between May 22 and June 8. 



Tuesday, May 17, 2022


This Sunday, May 22, starting at 11:45 AM, a coalition of community members led by Ukrainian American Tanya Marshall and Ukrainian Cultural Center of New England will hold an event “We Stand With Ukraine” to show solidarity and support to people in Ukraine. Approximately 300 people are expected to come to peacefully express solidarity. 

The public is invited to join “We Stand with Ukraine” during any of the following events: 

11:45 AM - a procession will assemble at the Ipswich Public Library and march along Market street and over the River Walk 

12:15 PM - rally at the Hall-Haskell House 

The rally will be a celebration of Ukrainian culture, featuring a special LIVE STREAM with friends and family in Ukraine on a big screen TV, speeches from elected officials and the representative of Ukrainian Cultural Center of New England, fundraiser and raffle. All funds raised during the event will go directly to supporting Ukrainians displaced by the war. For more information go to or contact Tanya Marshall at (978) 578-1583



Monday, May 16, 2022

North Shore Community Mediation Center’s Basic Mediation Training

Registration is now open for the North Shore Community Mediation Center's annual conflict resolution skills intensive training. NSCMC is a non-profit organization. 

This year’s training program will be a hybrid format – 5 weeknight evening sessions on Zoom and 2 full-day in person sessions (at the Cummings Center in Beverly MA). You’ll learn principles of conflict management through presentations, exercises, discussions, and role-plays, guided by experienced trainers and coaches. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer mediator in Essex County, this is the first step! The training complies with the MA Supreme Judicial Court Uniform Rules on Dispute Resolution and meets the requirements of MA General Laws, Chapter 233, section 23C to establish mediator confidentiality. The training is also appropriate if you are looking to apply mediation and conflict management skills in your life and work, to help transform conflict in our community. Please register by May 31st to hold your spot in this year’s training. 

Training schedule: 

  • Tues 6/7 – 4:00 – 8:30pm on Zoom 
  • Thurs 6/9 – 4:00 – 8:30pm on Zoom 
  • Sat 6/11 – 8:30am – 5:30pm in person (Cummings Center, Beverly)
  • Mon 6/13 – 4:00 – 8:30pm on Zoom 
  • Tues 6/14 – 4:00 – 8:30pm on Zoom 
  • Thurs 6/16 – 4:00 – 8:30pm on Zoom 
  • Sat 6/18 – 8:30am – 5:30pm in person (Cummings Center, Beverly)

Cost: $750. This fee includes 7 sessions - 5 evening sessions held on Zoom and 2 full-day sessions held in person at the Cummings Center in Beverly. Coffee, light refreshments, and a full lunch are included for the 2 in-person training days. All participants will receive a hard copy and an electronic copy of the Basic Mediation Training participant manual. Reduced registration fees are available for a limited number of community members for whom cost is a barrier to participation.

The sessions will adhere to all federal, state, and local Covid-19 public health guidelines for the in-person sessions. We request that all participants confirm they are fully vaccinated for Covid-19 or provide a negative rapid test result on each in-person training day; to agree to wear masks if state or local requirements are in place at the time of the training, and to notify trainers of exposure to or symptoms of Covid-19.



Friday, May 13, 2022

Postpartum Depression Awareness Day and Virtual Hearing

1 in 7 pregnant and new mothers and 1 in 10 new fathers may experience depression or anxiety. That's why I sponsored legislation that created a special legislative commission to address postpartum depression (PPD) in the state. As a member of this Commission, 

I want you to know about an upcoming date for a virtual hearing day on Tuesday, May 17 at 10:00 AM. The Commission, chaired by Senator Joan B. Lovely and Representative James J. O’Day, looks at policy initiatives to address perinatal mental health and promote mental health during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Our Commissioners include women who have lived with PPD, physicians, nurses, social workers, psychiatrists, and more. The Commission seeks to improve resources for perinatal mood disorders available to women and their families. 

To register please click this link:



Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Rolling on the Rail - MBTA Annisquam River Drawbridge Readying

I've been working with local officials, neighbors, and others to move this vital MBTA project forward and we have now made it to the penultimate stage - getting ready for passengers. I'm thankful to my staff, in particular Ted Costa, for making arrangements for this trip. 

The bridge carries commuter rail riders for the Rockport Line over the Annisquam River between the West Gloucester and Gloucester Stations. The existing bridge was built in 1911, reconstructed in 1932, and updated in 1984. It is being replaced as a part of the MBTA's reliability and modernization program. The MBTA suspended service across the bridge in April 2020. You can expect a return to service on May 23rd.



Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Michael Smolak Given The Lifetime Preservation Award by North Andover Historical Society

I have had many visits to the Smolak family farm - each was enjoyable but this most recent one was extra special. This time it was to celebrate the North Andover Historical Society's 2022 Lifetime Preservation Award recipient Michael Smolak, Jr., he is the owner and operator of Smolak Farms. Michael has ably managed the farm for a half-century. You can learn more about him and the many facets of the farm at