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. 


 


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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

UKRAINIAN AMERICAN TANYA MARSHALL AND UKRAINIAN CULTURAL CENTER OF NEW ENGLAND TO HOLD “WE STAND WITH UKRAINE” EVENT IN IPSWICH, MA ON SUNDAY, MAY 22, 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 https://fb.me/e/2vTYArifp or contact Tanya Marshall at (978) 578-1583


 


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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.


 


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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: https://www.ppdcommission.com/events


 


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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.  

www.MBTA.com/GloucesterDraw








 


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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 https://www.smolakfarms.com/

 












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Monday, May 9, 2022

MBTA Updates - Rockport Line and Blue Line

To complete additional work and finish scheduled work, Blue Line service will continue to be suspended until Friday, May 13, between Airport and Bowdoin stations with alternate shuttle bus and ferry services provided. Details regarding alternate shuttle bus service and ferry schedules are available at mbta.com/harbortunnel

Riders should allow for extra commuting time and expect some delays in shuttle bus service. The MBTA apologizes in advance for these delays and appreciates the patience of its riders as work on the Blue Line is completed.

The previously scheduled Blue Line service suspension between May 12 and May 29 from Wonderland to Orient Heights stations to allow for work on the Suffolk Downs pedestrian bridge will be rescheduled to a later time with alternate dates to be provided soon.

Rockport Line customers should note a change in service alternatives beginning tomorrow, May 9, through May 13 during upcoming construction work. Alternate service on the Rockport Line is as follows:

· From May 9 to May 13, shuttle buses will operate from Rockport Line stations to Beverly station for continued service to Boston at North Station

· From May 14 to May 22, shuttle buses will operate from Rockport Line stations to Orient Heights station for connections to the Blue Line. Chelsea Station customers can use the Silver Line 3. 

· From May 23 to June 5, trains will operate from Rockport Line stations to Beverly station with shuttle buses operating from Beverly to Orient Heights stations for connections to the Blue Line. Chelsea Station customers can use the Silver Line 3. Customers should note that the Gloucester Drawbridge opens on May 23. 

· During the weekend of June 11-12, trains will operate from Rockport Line stations to Salem stations with shuttle buses operating from Salem to Orient Heights stations for connections to the Blue Line.

An updated Newburyport/Rockport Line schedule effective May 9 will be posted online soon.

For more information, visit mbta.com/harbortunnel, or connect with the T on Twitter @MBTA, Facebook /TheMBTA, or Instagram @theMBTA.


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Wednesday, May 4, 2022

EMPTY BOWL TO GO 2.0

This Saturday from 4-6 PM you can participate in the Empty Bowl Dinner organized by The Open Door in Gloucester. I'll see you there. This drive-up and drive-through event is by appointment only. You can get more info, get a ticket, or participate in the on-line auction of locally crafted painted bowls at this link https://www.foodpantry.org/ 

The Open Door is a non-profit serving Greater Cape Ann residents to help alleviate the impact of hunger. 


 


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Suicide Prevention Virtual Conference May 18 — 19 9:00 AM-3:30 PM

Learn the latest about supporting those in need - this virtual event is geared towards public and mental health professionals, social workers, public safety officials, first responders, community leaders, survivors, counselors, clergy and faith leaders, educators and school administrators, elder service staff, persons working with youth programs, GLBT advocates, providers of veterans’ services and anyone interested in preventing self-harm and suicide. 

Register for this annual conference sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention, and AdCare Educational Institute of New England at https://web.cvent.com/.../765b74af-2164-4644-a87a.../summary 

  • Conference Objectives: 
  • Increase awareness of suicide as a public health issue by gaining new knowledge in the field of suicide prevention 
  • Learn more about the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention by attending a virtual reception hosted by the Coalition 
  • Gain knowledge about the special needs of suicide survivors and survivors of suicide attempts through various workshops 
  • Enhance suicide assessment and intervention skills by participating in various workshops instructed by leaders in the field

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Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Boxford Earth Day Celebration

The Boxford Village Garden Club and the Boxford Recycling Committee hosted the 2022 Boxford Earth Day celebration this weekend. I love going to this event each year. Folks who helped collect trash from around town were offered free Benson's Homemade Ice Cream and lots of smiles. 

 





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Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Tick Season Is Here

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health says to watch out for ticks if you are spending time outdoors. Tick bites can cause serious illnesses such as Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bite of an infected deer tick. Use a repellent, rub the spray carefully onto kids and wear full-length protective clothing. https://twitter.com/i/status/1518968142386532352


 


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Monday, April 25, 2022

ROCKPORT TO HOST REGIONAL KICK-OFF OF THE WALK MASSACHUSETTS CHALLENGE

The Rockport Council on Aging is will host a regional kick-off of the Walk Massachusetts Challenge, an annual Massachusetts Councils on Aging community walking challenge. The kick-off event is scheduled rain or shine for May 4th from 11AM-2PM, stepping off from Rockport’s Back Beach and bandstand. This is a free, all-ages event featuring easy, scenic walks of varying distances from a one-quarter of a mile beach loop, to longer half-mile, three-quarter and mile-long routes, winding its way to Millbrook Meadow, Front Beach and all the way to Bearskin Neck and back. 

Group-led or selfguided walks take place on marked sidewalks assisted by color-coded route maps. There are benches to rest and restrooms available along the way. Complimentary boxed picnic lunches will be served for the first one hundred registered participants. Additionally, there will be educational and information booths in the park including nearby Council on Aging Centers, SeniorCare, The Age and Dementia Friendly Cape Ann, Mass in Motion, Open Door, The Glen T. McLeod YMCA, Element Care, For Every Body Fitness and Rockport Library. 

The Walk Massachusetts Challenge offers registered participants the chance to win prizes and supplies a handy step tracker tool online at www.walkmachallenge.com. Walkers are encouraged to register on the site first before the kick-off event. Come dressed for the weather, wearing comfortable walking shoes and don’t forget a personal water bottle. To register for the Walk Massachusetts Challenge, visit www.walkMAchallenge.com. The street address for the kick off location is 32 Beach Street, #Rockport MA. To participate as a volunteer or non-profit partner, or learn more about the regional kick-off, contact: Cal Workman at 978-546-2573 or cworkman@RockportMA.gov.


 


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Friday, April 22, 2022

Happy Earth Day!

An important tool in our work to protect our environment is Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution. In 1972 voters adopted Article 97 as a new amendment to the Constitution to safeguard the people's right to a clean environment. That change affirms that people "shall have the right to clean air and water, freedom from excessive and unnecessary noise, and the natural, scenic, historic, and esthetic qualities of their environment; and the protection of the people in their right to the conservation, development and utilization of the agricultural, mineral, forest, water, air and other natural resources is hereby declared to be a public purpose." Today, we celebrate Earth Day and we continue our work to be good stewards of our planet. 

 



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Wednesday, April 20, 2022

“HireNow” Hiring and Training Employer Grant Program

$4,000/Employee Program Aims to Boost Hiring with Labor Force Participation Rates Still Lower than Pre-Pandemic 

The Baker-Polito Administration launched a new hiring and training employer grant program in March called, “HireNow,” which will help employers quickly hire and train new workers and get more people back to work. The new program provides eligible employers with a $4,000 per employee grant, which can be used to cover training costs or as a signing bonus for new employees. By providing employers with these flexible funds to facilitate quick hiring, the Administration is focusing on addressing continued hiring challenges faced by employers and increasing labor force participation. Employers can learn more about the program and apply at mass.gov/HireNow

Due to the popularity of pre-registered employers, the HireNow program will stop accepting new business applications as of today, April 20, 2022 at 11:59 PM. If you are aware of businesses that may be interested in this program but have not yet pre-registered, please inform them to do so today. Pre-registered employers will be able to go into the system and register their employees on April 25. 


 


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Legion Riders of American Legion Amaral Bailey Post 113

I recently had the opportunity to join with members of the Amaral Bailey Post 113 in Manchester-by-the-Sea to recognize that they have received their official charter, making them part of the Manchester Legion Post. Legion Rider members host charity events in support of The American Legion and local communities, they raise money for VA hospitals, women and children centers, children and youth centers, schools, and other facilities. They also participate in memorial ceremonies and community parades as well as provide escort for military units to departure airports for combat tours overseas, and welcoming them home upon their return. 

Congratulations one and all.






 


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Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Massachusetts School of Law Animals Right Day

Massachusetts School of Law at Andover again this year hosted the Animals Right Day at their campus. I provided a legislative update on the many bills that support more humane treatment of animals including the Massachusetts Beagle Freedom Bill that I filed to give laboratory animals (most are docile beagles) a chance at life after the lab. The law school leadership does a stellar job at organizing this annual event and the many individuals and organizations who participate are helping us all better understand how animals are living creatures and they deserve thoughtful and kindhearted treatment.




 


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Saturday, April 16, 2022

Happy Easter

I would like to wish everyone a wonderful and happy Easter that is celebrated with family and friends. May the holiday bring you and your loved ones many blessings.


 


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Friday, April 15, 2022

Happy Passover

With Passover commencing this evening, I would like to wish all of my Jewish friends and constituents a happy and joyous holiday. Even if you can't be in the company of family and loved ones, I wish you, and them, peace, happiness, and wellness.

Chag Sameach!


 



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Thursday, April 14, 2022

Nero's Law

Yarmouth Police Sargent Sean Gannon was killed by a suspect he was serving an arrest warrant to four years ago this week. To honor him, his service, and his K-9 Nero, Governor Charlie Baker conducted a ceremonial bill signing of Nero’s Law at the Sgt. Sean Gannon Training Facility in #Yarmouth. I co-sponsored the legislation that the Governor signed because I know that first responders of every type are subject to dangerous working conditions - they deserve our support and immediate access to care. 

Nero's Law now allows K-9 partners to be given emergency medical treatment and transport in an ambulance to receive medical attention when injured in the line of duty provided no human is in need first. Sargent Gannon's K-9 was severely injured and suffered life-threatening injuries from the shooting that killed Sargent Gannon. Nero was shot in the face; the bullet ripped through his head and left holes in his throat. He was covered in blood at the scene for hours before receiving medical care.









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Friday, April 8, 2022

Take Back the Night Gloucester

The importance of ending sexual and domestic violence is a concern to us all. Prevention of violence, helping victims transform into survivors, and helping heal injuries that can't be immediately seen takes caring communities. The Gloucester Coalition for the Prevention of Domestic Abuse invited me and others to participate in a march and gathering to raise awareness that April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. With Mayor Greg Verga












 


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