The annual Fishermen’s Memorial Service was held this weekend. This Service is to pay homage to and in remembrance of those who never returned to their hailing port from their final trip. A procession is lead by a line of drummers and Sea Cadets and many of those walking carry flowers to toss into the sea at the end of the ceremony as a remembrance of loved ones. Others carry boat oars with the names of #Gloucester fishing boats, past and present. I thank the Fishermen's Memorial Service Committee for their efforts to make this ceremony so meaningful.
Monday, August 30, 2021
130,000 people in Massachusetts have Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia according to the Alzheimer's Association. Sadly, the number of people impacted by these conditions affecting memory, thinking, and behavior will likely increase to 150,000 in less than 5 years.
SeniorCare Inc. is welcoming you to participate in a 1-hour information session (virtual organized by www.dementiafriendsma.org/) that covers the key messages everyone should know about dementia. Alzheimer's and dementia are serious health issues and people having memory loss may not notice the problem. Let's learn more.
Each of the organizations that I have mentioned are non-profits dedicated to serving the needs of others. SeniorCare serves nine communities including: #Beverly, #Essex, #Gloucester, #Hamilton, #Ipswich, #Manchester-by-the-Sea, #Rockport, #Topsfield, and #Wenham
Friday, August 27, 2021
I was delighted to be asked to participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Lanes Coven Theater Co's production of “The Taming of the Shrew” at the Lanesville Community Center, at 8 Vulcan St. Gloucester. I presented them with a State Senate citation in recognition of their opening and work.
This strong production of “The Taming of the Shrew” will run until August 29th, and again at the Beverly Hale House & Farm September 2nd – 5th. You are encouraged to bring a picnic to enjoy before the show, wine and beer available for purchase on-site.
With: Lily Narbonne and Justin Genna
Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles Announces Online Scheduling for Virtual Suspension Reinstatement Hearings
BOSTON – The Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is announcing that it has implemented a new process that can be used by customers to schedule virtual suspension reinstatement hearings and to conveniently upload required supporting hearing documentation. The new scheduling tool was developed to provide customers with service options that are flexible and convenient, to increase the number of available hearings that can be held virtually each week, and to continue the RMV’s ongoing focus on safe distancing to ensure the safety and well-being of customers and staff.
The suspension hearing appointments can be scheduled up to 30 days in advance of a preferred hearing date by visiting the RMV’s Online Service Center at Mass.Gov/myRMV and then following the steps outlined below.
Visit Mass.Gov/myRMV and Select “Make or Cancel a Hearing Reservation.”
Log into your profile to select a date and time for your hearing to be held over the phone.
Upload all relevant documents.
Follow the steps to complete your reservation.
The RMV will call customers, either using a restricted number or 857-368-8000, on the scheduled date and time of the hearings.
Customers can also visit Mass.gov/rmv to submit clearance requests and required documentation that can be used to begin the process of reinstating driver’s licenses that have been suspended due to out-of-state violations. Visit the myRMV Online Service Center and choose the “Submit Out of State Reciprocal Suspension Clearance Request” option under the “Additional Services” section. Requests are anticipated to be completed within two to five business days.
The RMV will be offering limited walk-in services at select Service Center locations to help customers without internet access begin the process to request suspension hearings. The locations are Brockton, Fall River, Haymarket (Boston), Lawrence, Pittsfield, Springfield, South Yarmouth, and Worcester. These sites are available weekdays, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Customers who apply for limited walk-in services will complete an application on site and may then leave and wait to receive a call for a telephonic hearing.
NOTE: Interlock violation hearings, applications for removal of an interlock device, and chemical test refusal hearings are unable to be scheduled via the internet and require an in-person visit to the Haymarket (Boston) Service Center. These visits can be made weekdays, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For more information on transactions and additional details on customer locations, please visit www.mass.gov/rmv
Thursday, August 26, 2021
Although women have served in elected office in Mass. since the 1800s, it wasn't until the 1920 adoption of the 19th Amendment when the right to vote for women started to become more secure. Thankful for those who fought and prevailed for suffrage here and across the nation.
Dogs hold a special place in our lives so celebrate our four-legged friends & those dedicated to caring for them. The time is always right for the humane treatment of animals.
With Prince and Tucker. Poem by WBZ NewsRadio's Carl Stevens.
#PAWS #PuppyDoe #Beaglebill #NationalDogDay
The Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation has offered a series of 9 free family-friendly concerts on Meetinghouse Green this summer. These concerts feature top-flight talent and support for local non-profit organizations.
The Friday show will support the Gloucester Education Foundation, a non-profit that encourages creativity, expands student opportunities, and empowers educators to strengthen teaching and learning in the Gloucester Public School District. Bring folding chairs or blankets, food service by Sebastian's Pizza. There will be food vendors at every concert. The public is invited to make free-will donations to Cape Ann non-profit organizations partnered with each concert (bring cash/check).
Support from Mass Cultural Council
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Baker-Polito Administration Announces $2.6 Million in Funding to Support Innovative Clean Energy Companies
In an effort to support clean energy innovation and technology development, the Baker-Polito Administration today announced $2,642,039 in funding for twenty-three clean energy companies and researchers within ten cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth. The funding is provided through the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s (MassCEC) Catalyst Program, which is jointly administered by MassCEC and MassVentures, and the InnovateMass Program.
“Massachusetts continues to drive decarbonization in both the Commonwealth and nationally through its robust clean energy innovation sector,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These projects will assist in solving technical barriers, while creating jobs and strengthening local economies throughout the Commonwealth.”
“The technology development programs at MassCEC continue to ensure early-stage ventures have the resources they need to develop their critical technologies so that they can be deployed in the market,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We are pleased to follow these projects as they progress to benefit both our climate and our economy.”
Since launching in 2010, Catalyst has awarded $7.2 million to 138 new companies and research teams. Past awardees have raised over $244 million in follow-on funding. Additionally, including this latest round, InnovateMass has awarded over $8.5 million in funding for demonstration projects across the Commonwealth since its launch in 2013, leveraging over $10 million in other private and public investments. Past awardees have raised over $107 million in follow-on fundraising.
“The range of technologies supported through these projects speaks to the Commonwealth’s standing as the epicenter for cutting-edge clean energy innovation in the United States,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “Massachusetts is a national leader in cleantech development, and this funding will support breakthrough technologies that will help the Commonwealth meet its ambitious climate goals.”
“MassCEC is excited to support startups as they bridge difficult commercialization and technical milestones,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “Our technology development programs aim to facilitate innovative approaches to decarbonization and ensure the Commonwealth is able to meet the challenges of climate change.”
“These targeted grants will propel our state's continued leadership in advancing renewable energy technology while building an economy for the future that includes jobs with good compensation and a skilled workforce. Along the way, they will also contribute to reducing our carbon emissions," said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R- Gloucester).
“The Baker-Polito Administration understands the many challenges posed by climate change and the importance of preparing Massachusetts to meet those challenges head-on by reducing our carbon footprint,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading). “These grants will enable the Commonwealth to remain at the forefront of developing and implementing new clean energy technology while also adding jobs to this critical sector of the state’s workforce.”
The companies receiving funding are:
AeroShield, Inc. (Hyde Park, MA) - $244,329 to demonstrate its super-insulating glass sheets that replace the air gap in traditional double-pane windows to create energy efficient windows at a competitive cost.
Takachar Limited (Wrentham, MA) - $219,460 to deploy a small-scale, low-cost, and portable biomass conversion unit to process woody biomass onsite to produce desired bioproducts, such as biofuel.
Vespr Solar, Inc. (Somerville, MA) - $65,000 to test its hurricane-resilient solar panel attachment solutions.
Yard Stick PBC (Cambridge, MA)- $65,000 to create a software platform that will measure the carbon content in soils as a means to enable a more profitable market for carbon sequestration.
PT Technologies LLC (Boston, MA) - $65,000 to develop its insulating prefabricated exterior wall panel made from wood fiber sheets.
Electrified Thermal Solutions, Inc (Somerville, MA) - $65,000 to develop an energy storage system which converts electricity into heat.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst (Krish Sharman) (Amherst, MA) - $65,000 to develop a wave energy stabilizer for floating offshore wind turbine substructures.
Kwiksulate, Inc. (Billerica, MA) - $65,000 to develop packaging for its compact foam-in-bag wall insulation package.
Carbon Bioenergy, Inc. (Arlington, MA) - $65,000 to develop a method for converting carbon dioxide and biomass into biofuels and industrial chemicals.
Multiscale Systems, Inc. (Worcester, MA) - $250,000 to use its advanced lightweight materials to replace heavy paneling in existing semi-trailers, making semi-trailers lighter and more fuel efficient.
Nth Cycle, Inc. (Beverly, MA) - $250,000 to develop a system that enables cost-effective recycling of metals from lithium-ion batteries.
NewGrid, Inc. (Somerville, MA) - $250,000 to develop software that allows the electric grid to re-route power in a way that makes the grid more reliable and efficient.
FreightFlows Inc. (Boston, MA) - $120,000 to develop a software that will reduce emissions in maritime shipping by minimizing time spent idle in ports.
Team Solar (Framingham, MA) - $120,000 to bring solar installations to low-income residential roof spaces by piloting a novel business model.
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Today, I had the pleasure of joining with #Gloucester Postmaster Anthony Cavallo, for the unveiling of several 'forever' stamps to recognize the outstanding work two organizations thoroughly dedicated to helping others particularly during this time of crisis.
The Open Door, a non-profit striving to lessen the impact of hunger in our area, has been supporting people in need of resources since the 1970s. Information about their Food Pantry can be found at https://www.foodpantry.org
We Are All In This Together Gloucester is an organization of more than 6,000 volunteers who are spreading kindness and care across Cape Ann.
With: #Gloucester Postmaster Anthony Cavallo, Julie LaFontaine, Executive Director of The Open Door, the administrators of We Are All In This Together Gloucester, Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante at the Open Door Food Pantry on Emerson Avenue in Gloucester.
Saturday, August 21, 2021
Friday, August 20, 2021
Education Commissioner Riley to Ask Board to Grant Him Authority to Mandate Masks for All K-12 Public Schools to Provide Time to Increase Vaccinations
MALDEN – Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley will ask the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to grant him authority to mandate masks for all public K-12 students, educators, and staff through October 1 to ensure schools fully reopen safely and to provide time for more students and educators to get vaccinated. After October 1, the commissioner’s policy would allow middle and high schools to lift the mask mandate for vaccinated students and staff only if the school meets a certain vaccination rate – at least 80 percent of students and staff in a school building are vaccinated. Unvaccinated students and staff would still be required to wear masks.
The mandate would include exceptions for students who cannot wear a mask due to medical conditions or behavioral needs.
The Commissioner will revisit the mandate in the near future to revise it as warranted by public health data. The purpose of the policy is to encourage higher vaccination rates among students and staff and to implement a uniform policy for all schools to begin the year.
“While Massachusetts leads the nation in vaccination rates, we are seeing a recent rise in COVID-19 cases because we still need more people to get vaccinated. This step will increase vaccinations among our students and school staff and ensure that we have a safe school reopening,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Vaccinations are the best way to keep everyone in the Commonwealth safe, and we will continue to work with school districts to offer vaccination clinics at schools across the Commonwealth.”
“Our goal remains to get as many people as possible vaccinated,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We hope that by instituting vaccine benchmarks among school populations we will create a real incentive for students and staff to get vaccinated so they can remove their masks.”
The mask mandate will only apply indoors and to children 5 and older.
“The vaccination rates among young people in Massachusetts are among the highest in the nation, with 65 percent of 12-15-year-olds vaccinated, but we still need to do more to make sure our young people and educators are protected from COVID-19,” said Education Secretary James Peyser. “Instituting universal masking mandates to further encourage vaccination rates among everyone in our schools is one measure we can take now.”
“Mask wearing in schools, along with hand washing and good personal hygiene, are important public health measures that will help mitigate any potential spread in the classroom, but increasing vaccination in our eligible residents is the most important thing we can do to ensure a safe return to the classroom for this upcoming school year,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders.
Commissioner Riley asked the board to meet on Tuesday, August 24, to vote to give him this authority to institute the mask mandate.
“As students and staff prepare to return to school full-time, in-person, our priority is on a smooth reopening. With cases rising, this mask mandate will provide one more measure to support the health and safety of our students and staff this fall,” said Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley.
Mobile Vaccination Clinics
The Administration offers mobile pop-up vaccination clinics that take place in a community-based setting, including schools. The clinics are organized to bring vaccines to a community setting and are available to employers, schools and school districts, community organizations, and other groups. An organization can submit a request for mobile vaccination services here.
COVID-19 Testing in Schools
DESE and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services will once again offer screening and diagnostic testing at no cost to all public, private, and parochial schools as an additional mitigation strategy for COVID-19. Last year, the Administration launched the first-in-the nation pooled testing initiative in schools across the Commonwealth that found low positivity rates – far less than 1 percent – among students and staff. Diagnostic and routine (weekly) COVID-19 pooled testing services will be available at no cost to all schools through the end of the 2021-22 school year, under a single contract with the testing provider CIC Health.
Subject: Tropical Storm Henri – Potential Impacts to New England
Update Date: August 20, 2021 Tropical Storm Henri is expected to become a hurricane by Saturday as it approaches the coast of southern New England on Sunday. Based on the current forecast, the storm track has shifted slightly to the west and there is an increasing threat of landfall somewhere in southern New England Sunday into Monday as a strong tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane.
The type and magnitude of impacts will be highly dependent on Henri’s exact track as it approaches the New England region. The following impacts are possible:
* Damaging winds along and east of Henri’s track and up to 2-5 inches of rain with isolated maximum amounts of up to 8 inches along and west of the track.
* Storm surge flooding and beach erosion is likely; extent and location will depend on Henri’s track but the area of highest risk is along the eastern Massachusetts coast, including Cape Cod Bay.
* High surf and rip currents on ocean beaches starting as early as Saturday.
* Dangerous marine conditions, with high seas and tropical storm or hurricane-force winds.