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Monday, March 18, 2019

GBCCA講座 路永宜教護膚

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波士頓首次演出中國歌舞劇 昭君出塞華麗奪目

王昭君在北美

張雨坤撰

週六晚上,波士頓市中心的Shubert Theater裡坐滿了觀眾。他們大多數是亞洲面孔,開場前還可以聽到中文對話。而在那天的舞台上,喜怒哀樂卻不是用語言表達的:首次來到北美演出的《昭君出塞》是一部舞劇。
這部中國歌劇舞劇院原創的舞劇取材於王昭君遠嫁匈奴的中國民間故事,但這位用肢體和表情講述自己的痛與愛的王昭君不再是一位因為沒有賄賂畫師而被迫遠嫁的怨婦。在這部由孔德辛執導、於平編劇的舞劇中,王昭君主動請纓前往塞上,為漢匈爭取到了和平,跟呼韓邪單于一起救助被瘟疫圍困的匈奴人民,又在呼韓邪單于死後選擇在塞外度過一生。
《昭君出塞》給觀眾帶來的是無可挑剔的視覺享受。大到漢朝和匈奴士兵展示武力的群舞、批黑袍蒙面的匈奴巫醫陰怖的儀式,小到漢宮宮女頭上叮鈴作響的頭飾和出賽的隊伍之上飄逸的旗幟,不管是整體層次還是具體細節,都讓人目不暇接。舞台和服飾的精緻程度會讓你感覺一雙眼睛不太夠用,必須要目不轉睛才能捕捉到所有元素。
劇中人的情緒被舞蹈動作放大,被華麗的服飾和精緻的妝容襯托,和多元的音樂一起把觀眾們從漢宮帶到了塞外,讓他們注視著昭君的每一次掙扎和抉擇。而王昭君,連手指都在釋放著情緒:自願出塞時的猶豫,回憶中戰亂來襲前的無憂無慮,為了和平留在邊疆和救匈奴人民於瘟疫時的堅定,還有呼韓邪單于去世時的痛不欲生,昭君的舞台張力超越了語言的局限。每一幕結束,台下都會響起掌聲。
對於一出沒有對白的表演,《昭君出塞》的情節出乎意料地飽滿。第二幕裡,回憶中的昭君和宮女們在仙境般的故鄉中舞步輕盈,直到音樂和燈光突變,匈奴士兵衝上舞台,擄走了宮女們,留昭君一個人在台上獨舞。在這弗洛伊德式的戰爭解讀裡,女性在敵人面前是弱勢無助的。但當王昭君在婚禮上求得了漢朝和匈奴之間的和平,女性的堅韌上升成為了主題。 《昭君出塞》中的昭君在有限的自由中掌握了自己的命運,並且用一己之力把個人的悲劇變成了民族的喜劇。當然,這樣的王昭君到底有沒有可能存在,本身還是一個問題。(所有圖片張雨坤攝)







Sunday, March 17, 2019

北美海產展17日揭幕 波士頓經文處設宴歡迎台灣團

駐波士頓台北經濟文化辦事處處長徐佑典(右五)歡迎台灣
冷凍水產同業公會參展團。新英格蘭台灣商會會長李苡惠
(左四),波克萊台灣商會會長楊羅東(左二)陪同歡迎公會
理事長陸根田(右四),總幹事吳姿蓉(左五)等人。
(張雨坤攝)
(Boston Orange 張雨坤波士頓報導) 中美貿易戰開打,台灣將漁翁得利”?台灣冷凍水產同業公會參加北美海產展的規模,今年成長50%,參展廠商數從13增加到20,展示攤位也從17個增加到24個。
駐波士頓台北經濟文化辦事處處長徐佑典歡迎
台灣水產同業公會參展團。(張雨坤攝)
北美海產展是北美地區規模最大的海產展,今年訂317日至19日在波士頓會議展覽中心(Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)舉行,已知有來自49個國家的1329家廠商參展。台灣冷凍水產同業公會今年也擴大規模,有20家廠商參展。
駐波士頓台北經濟文化辦事處三月十六日中午,特地在龍鳳酒樓設宴,歡迎來自台灣的廠商,預祝他們參展成功。
經文處處長徐佑典在歡迎宴中表示,「聽我的同事說,台灣廠商每年來的參展規模、陣仗,還有帶來的「魚貨」都很驚人。希望大家來這兒都能探索到新機會,幫台灣和新英格蘭或是北美地區做更多聯結。」
他也說明,經文處現在雖然沒有經濟組可以直接協助廠商,但經文處的每一位同事都是廠商們的合作夥伴,廠商們有任何需要,都可以和經文處,或是波士頓地區的新英格蘭台灣商會,波克萊台灣商會聯繫,他們一定會盡力協助。
台灣冷凍水產同業公會的北美海產展參展團,今年仍由公會理事長陸根田,總幹事吳姿蓉領隊。
陸根田表示,台灣參展團的規模,今年比去年擴大50%,參展廠商數從13增加到20,佈展攤位也從17個增加到24個,展出品除了有台灣特色的水產,海產品之外,還有很多調味食品和煉製品。
吳姿蓉表示,台灣團今年以「來自台灣」為佈展主題,公會還特地請專人設計展位,在展館懸掛兩個「台灣青」招牌,以加強形象。該會今年新增部分水產加工業廠商,這次來參展,希望能把「櫻花蝦」等有台灣特色的高品質水產加工品帶進北美市場。
                 吳姿蓉還提到美中貿易戰開打,或可為台灣廠商帶來更多機會,有些美國訂單可能會因此從大陸轉移到台灣。陸根田表示,他自己的公司就從中美貿易戰之後,多接了二成到三成的北美訂單。

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Joan Benoit Samuelson To Run 2019 Boston Marathon

Joan Benoit Samuelson To Run 2019 Boston Marathon
Celebrating the 40th anniversary of her 1979 victory, Samuelson returns to race
from Hopkinton to Boston

BOSTON – The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) announced today that two-time Boston Marathon champion and Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson will run this year’s Boston Marathon. The 2019 Boston Marathon will be run on Monday, April 15, Patriots’ Day and One Boston Day in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Samuelson will once again toe the line in Hopkinton, four decades after the then-21-year-old Bowdoin College student set a national and course record at the 83rd Boston Marathon. Crossing the finish line in 2:35:15 clad in her college uniform and a Red Sox cap, she captured the hearts of New Englanders en route to her memorable win.

“My goal is to to run within 40 minutes of my time 40 years ago, which would be sub-3:15:35,” said the Maine native. “I might as well celebrate during an anniversary year, while I’m still able!”

The 1979 win may have been her first Boston victory, but Samuelson’s leadership in distance running and the women’s running community extended far beyond that first finish line. In addition to her 1979 victory, Samuelson won the 1983 Boston Marathon in a then-world record of 2:22:43, a time that still ranks 13th on the all-time Boston list. At the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles one year later, Samuelson won the inaugural Women’s Olympic Marathon, tipping her white painter’s cap to the crowd as she secured the gold medal in 2:24:52.

“We are delighted to have Joan Benoit Samuelson return to the roads leading to Boston in celebration of the 40th anniversary of her 1979 win,” said Tom Grilk, B.A.A. Chief Executive Officer. “Joanie’s impact on American running, the Boston Marathon, and women’s running in general has been instrumental, and has inspired thousands of Boston Marathoners. We look forward to her crossing the finish line again on April 15.”

Samuelson’s last Boston Marathon came in 2015, when she finished in 2:54:03. Samuelson won the Veterans (50-59) division at the 2011, 2013, and 2014 Boston Marathons, setting a Veteran’s record of 2:50:29 in 2013.

Samuelson will join 16 other Boston Marathon champions returning to run this year’s race (10 open division champions including Samuelson, and seven wheelchair division winners). Included among the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team are defending champions Desiree Linden and Yuki Kawauchi, while Tatyana McFadden and Marcel Hug return to front the wheelchair division.

Friday, March 15, 2019

MIPIM莫斯科贏特別評審獎 中港台六項目入決賽

所有得獎人上台合影。(周菊子攝)
              (Boston Orange 周菊子法國坎城報導)在法國坎城(Cannes)舉行的國際房地產展MIPIM314日晚宣佈今年得獎名單,地主國的法國是最大贏家,從11個類別中奪得四個最佳獎,英國及義大利各得兩項最佳獎。莫斯科的多功能概念公園Zaryadye贏得特別評審獎。
           MIPIM今年慶祝創辦30週年,參加第29屆房地產評比的項目格外多,共有來自58國的205項發展計畫送件,在11個類別中競比。主辦單位隆重其事的安排了尼斯(Nice)市音樂學院的師生演奏,為頒獎典禮拉開序幕。
            打入決選的45個項目中,有6項來自大中華圈,包括4項來自中國大陸,1項來自香港,1項來自台灣。可惜的是全都未能奪魁。
莫斯科副市長Khusnullin Marat親自出席領獎。(周菊子攝)
            11個獎項類別和得獎項目分別為,最佳醫療護理發展項目的法國的瑞貝綜合醫院(Polyclinique Reims-Bezannes),最佳旅館及旅遊休憩地項目的義大利切法盧地中海俱樂部(Club Med Cefalù),最佳工業及物流發展項目的英國格林威治半島低碳能源中心(Greenwich Peninsula Low Carbon Energy Centre),最佳綜合用途發展項目的義大利佛羅倫斯拉瓦吉尼尼學生旅館(The Student Hotel Florence Lavagnini),最佳辦公室及企業發展項目的法國巴黎拉波爾德(Laborde),最佳城市翻新項目的法國塞納河畔世界(Kosmo)”,最佳住宅發展項目的德國漢堡木笛漢堡(WOODIE Hamburg)”,最佳購物中心發展項目的日本枚方T(HIRAKATA T-SITE),最佳城市再生發展項目的德國重建法蘭克福舊中心(Rebuilding Frankfurt’s old centre)”,最佳未來項目的法國巴黎千樹(Mille Arbres)”,最佳未來巨型項目的英國未來公園(Future Park)”
莫斯科副市長Khusnullin Marat(右)以俄語發言,旁邊有翻譯。
(周菊子攝)
            獲得特別評審獎的是由俄國莫斯科市政府發展的扎瑞亞德(Zaryadye )”,包括公園的多功能音樂廳綜合體。莫斯科市副市長Khusnullin Marat親自出席領獎。
            打入決賽的六個來自大中華地區的項目分別為,最佳旅館及旅遊休憩地項目的中國杭州木守西溪酒店(Muhshoou Xixi),最佳綜合用途發展項目的香港西九龍車站,最佳辦公室及企業發展項目的中國北京CITIC大樓,最佳城市再生項目的中國長春水文化生態園,台灣高雄的國立高雄藝術中心,最佳未來巨型項目的中國杭州體育塔。
Zaryadye贏得特別評審獎。(周菊子攝)
            水石設計董事長鄧剛因為該公司設計項目打入決賽,親自來到法國坎城。他表示雖然項目未得獎,但很高興來參賽。在這幾天中,他看得到這是一個龐大,有規模,信息量非常豐富的會展活動,競比的類別很廣,評審背景非常多元化,和一般建築設計比賽不同,但的確是個能夠給人國際化經驗的活動,從建築設計、土地開發、經營管理,相關科技應用及投資都包括在內,有頗為完整的產業鏈,值得參加並學習。
中國長春水文化生態園打入最佳城市再生項目決賽。
(周菊子攝)

台灣高雄的國立高雄藝術中心打入最佳城市再生項目決賽。
(周菊子攝)
水石設計董事長鄧剛(右)認為MIPIM的確非常國際化,
值得參加、學習。(周菊子攝)




UNITED STATES ALLEGES MULTIPLE ENVIRONMENTAL VIOLATIONS BY THE CITY OF QUINCY

UNITED STATES ALLEGES MULTIPLE ENVIRONMENTAL VIOLATIONS
BY THE CITY OF QUINCY

BOSTON – The United States has filed a civil complaint alleging that the City of Quincy is violating the Clean Water Act by discharging sewage and untreated wastewater into the Boston Harbor, Dorchester Bay, Quincy Bay and other waterways from the City’s sanitary sewer and storm drain systems.

The complaint alleges that water quality samples from 2009 through 2018 demonstrated that Quincy discharged pollutants, including the bacteria commonly known as E. coli and Enteroccous, onto Quincy beaches and tidal areas along the coastline. It also alleges that the water quality samples taken from Quincy Bay, Sagamore Creek, Town Brook, Town River Bay and Furnace Brook from the period 2009 through 2013 showed the discharge of ammonia, surfactants and pharmaceutical compounds, which are indicative of sewage waste. In addition, the complaint alleges that Quincy’s sanitary sewer system overflowed on numerous occasions, resulting in discharges of sewage and untreated wastewater.

“The Clean Water Act is designed to protect the waters of the United States for the health and enjoyment of its citizens. This complaint demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that our waters and beaches are protected from discharges such as raw sewage and seeks to require that the City of Quincy take the important and necessary steps to do so,” said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling.

“This complaint represents a critical step in the ongoing cleanup of Boston Harbor and nearby urban rivers,” said Deb Szaro, Acting Regional Administrator of EPA’s New England region. “EPA is committed to ensuring the restoration of Boston Harbor and addressing sewage discharges in local communities continues in order to protect public health and clean water.”

The Clean Water Act provides for monetary daily penalties of $37,500 for each violation that occurred on or before Nov. 2, 2015, and $54,833 for each violation occurring after Nov. 2, 2015. The complaint seeks the recovery of penalties and requests that the Court permanently enjoin the City from future violations of the Clean Water Act.   

EPA has focused enforcement and compliance resources on the most serious environmental violations, including keeping raw sewage and contaminated stormwater out of our nation’s waters. The United States Attorney’s Office, working with the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, filed the complaint on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as part of that effort. Raw sewage overflows and inadequately controlled stormwater discharges from municipal sewer systems introduce a variety of harmful pollutants, including disease causing organisms, metals and nutrients that threaten our communities’ water quality and can contribute to disease outbreaks, beach and shellfish bed closings, flooding, stream scouring, fishing advisories and basement backups of sewage.

U.S. Attorney Lelling and EPA Acting Regional Administrator Szaro made the announcement today. The case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan M. Poswistilo of Lelling’s Civil Division.

Baker-Polito Administration Brings Awareness to Dangers Of Illegally Driving Under The Influence

Baker-Polito Administration Brings Awareness to Dangers Of Illegally Driving Under The Influence
Broad coalition of stakeholders endorse Administration’s impaired driving proposal

BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker today joined Administration officials, public safety leaders and advocates from both the public and private sector to bring awareness to the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The group also highlighted a campaign to educate cannabis users about the dangers of driving impaired, and legislation filed by the Baker-Polito Administration to strengthen the state’s impaired driving laws.

Governor Baker was joined by public safety advocates Keith Cooper, President of the Cannabis Dispensary Association, and Colleen Sheehey Church, Public Policy Liaison for the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility in support of this legislation, as well as Cannabis Control Board, Massachusetts Municipal Police Training Committee, and State Police officials.

“Driving impaired is both illegal and dangerous, and represents a significant threat to public safety,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “In addition to working with public safety officials to enforce existing impaired driving laws, our Administration has also introduced legislation that will equalize the treatment of alcohol and drugs with respect to driving under the influence, and give law enforcement more tools and resources to keep our roads safe.”

“This legislation will encourage more responsible driving habits and will ensure law enforcement has the tools necessary to hold accountable individuals who endanger the public,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “By enacting this legislation and by working with our partners in the public safety community, we can ensure safer roads in communities across Massachusetts.”

The Baker-Polito Administration’s bill is based on recommendations made by the Special Commission on Operating Under the Influence and Impaired Driving. The Special Commission is composed of a diverse set of stakeholders and experts, including police, prosecutors, medical and toxicological professionals, and representatives of the criminal defense bar and civil liberties community. 

The proposed legislative changes in the bill include:
  • Adopting implied consent laws to suspend the driver’s licenses of arrested motorists who refuse to cooperate in chemical testing for drugs, as existing law has long required for arrested motorists who refuse breath testing for alcohol.
  • Adopting a statute authorizing courts to take judicial notice that ingesting THC, the active chemical in marijuana, can and does impair motorists.
  • Directing the Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC) to expand the training of drug recognition experts and allowing them to testify as expert witnesses in civil and criminal cases.
  • Prohibiting drivers from having loose or unsealed packages of marijuana in the driver’s compartment of a vehicle, under the same provision of the motor vehicle code that has long prohibited driving with open containers of alcohol.
  • Recognizing the effectiveness of the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, shown through scientific research to be the single most reliable field sobriety test. 
  • Empowering police officers to seek electronic search warrants for evidence of chemical intoxication, as is the practice in over thirty other states.  Any blood draw would have to be authorized by a neutral magistrate after a showing of probable cause, and would be performed by a doctor, nurse or other appropriate medical staff at a health care facility.
  • Developing educational materials and programming on drug impairment to share with trial court judges.

Today’s event is part of an innovative partnership between public and private organizations to educate cannabis users about the impact of driving under the influence of marijuana.  The effort will include the distribution of educational material at both recreational and medical cannabis dispensaries – a collaborative project undertaken by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS), the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, AAA and the Commonwealth Dispensary Association.

The educational material, which will be inserted into marijuana product bags, will include the following messages:
  • Like alcohol, marijuana impairs driving skills, slowing reaction time, coordination and decision-making.
  • Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana, regardless of how much, is against the law and will put you at risk for an Operating Under the Influence (OUI) arrest.
  • Impaired driving is a criminal act regardless of whether a drug is purchased for medical or recreational use
  • If you anticipate using marijuana, plan ahead for alternate transportation with a designated driver, a ride-share service, a taxi or the MBTA.

“Our research shows that many marijuana users believe they drive just as well, or even better, when high.  The crash and fatality data indicate otherwise,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Thomas Turco. “It’s imperative that we educate marijuana users about the impairment associated with the use of marijuana and its potentially deadly consequences.”

“The public health and safety of citizens throughout the Commonwealth remain a priority, and an integral part of our mission,” said Jennifer L. Flanagan, Commissioner of the Cannabis Control Commission.  The work of the Baker-Polito Administration, as well as all parties here today will continue to support efforts to educate the public about the responsible use of marijuana,”

“Marijuana has the potential to impair a person’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. Marijuana can decrease car handling, performance and attention, while increasing reaction times, following distance and lane departure,” said Mary Maguire, Director of Public and Legislative Affairs at AAA.  “Whether the use of marijuana is legal or not, all motorists must avoid driving while impaired.”

“The cannabis industry supports the safe use of marijuana, and we are glad to partner with the Commonwealth by working with our members to insert educational material to consumers at the point of purchase,” said David Torrisi, Executive Director, Commonwealth Dispensary Association.

Massachusetts Data On Impaired Driving:
  • Marijuana was the most prevalent drug (aside from alcohol) found in drivers involved in fatal crashes from 2013-2017.  It was found in 30 percent of drivers that had drugs in their system at the time of crash
  • From 2013-2017, 11 percent of drivers in fatal crashes were found with both alcohol and drugs in their system
  • From 2016 to 2017, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities (BAC .08 or higher) declined 19 percent from 148 to 120.
  • From 2013-2017, men accounted for 78 percent of alcohol impaired drivers involved in fatal crashes
  • From 2013-2017, drivers aged 21-34 accounted for 48 percent of all alcohol impaired drivers involved in fatal crashes

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Availability of $10 Million in Climate Change Funding

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Availability of
$10 Million in Climate Change Funding
Funding will Help Communities Implement Priorities Identified through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program

NORTHAMPTON – March 14, 2019 – In the largest release of climate change resiliency funding for Massachusetts communities in state history, the Baker-Polito Administration today announced the availability of $10 million for the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program. The grant and designation program, which was created in 2017 as part of Governor Baker’s Executive Order 569, provides communities with funding and technical support to identify hazards, develop strategies to improve resilience, and implement priority actions to adapt to climate change. With this announcement, made by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito during an event in Northampton, the Administration has now committed $17 million through the MVP program to help communities prepare for climate change.

“Communities across the Commonwealth have witnessed firsthand the impacts of climate change, and through the MVP Program our administration continues to demonstrate our commitment to supporting cities and towns in preparing for the challenges ahead,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The availability of $10 million in funding for municipalities, in addition to our administration’s sustainable legislative proposal to provide $1.3 billion over 10 years to invest in climate-smart infrastructure and nature-based solutions in communities, will work to protect public health, safety, and property across Massachusetts.”

“The decisions we make today will determine the well-being of future generations, and investing in our communities will equip cities and towns with the tools they need to build resilience,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.  “Our significant new funding proposal will ensure all communities can begin making investments in strategies that protect residents and natural resources, and contribute to strong economic growth throughout the state.”

The $10 million announced today will go towards MVP Action Grants which fund implementation of on-the-ground projects to address the specific vulnerabilities to climate change identified by each municipality through their MVP Planning process.  Projects are focused on proactive strategies to address climate change impacts and may include retrofitting and adapting infrastructure, detailed vulnerability assessments or design and engineering studies, stormwater upgrades, dam retrofits and removals, culvert upgrades, drought mitigation, actions to protect environmental justice communities and improve public health, energy resilience, and strategies that focus on implementing nature-based solutions such as wetland restoration and floodplain protection. In just two years since the program’s launch, almost half of the cities and towns in the Commonwealth have enrolled in the MVP program, which pairs local leadership and knowledge with a significant investment of resources and funding from the state to address ongoing climate change impacts like sea level rise, inland flooding, storms, and extreme temperatures.

“The Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program allows the state to work together with municipalities to identify vulnerabilities and then employ nature-based, cost-effective solutions to address those challenges and build resilience” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The funds awarded from the MVP Action Grant program will allow municipalities to implement priority actions to prepare for the effects of climate change while strengthening community engagement and collaboration among town departments.”

To be eligible for an MVP Action Grant, communities must be designated an “MVP community.” To become designated, municipalities can apply for an MVP planning grant to work through the Community Resilience Building workshop process to identify key climate-related hazards, vulnerabilities and strengths, develop adaptation actions, and prioritize next steps.  Results of the workshops and planning efforts are then used to inform existing local plans, grant applications, budgets, and policies. Upon successful completion of the program, municipalities are designated as a “Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program Community.” Designated MVP communities can then apply for MVP Action Grants to implement key priorities and projects identified through the planning process. There are currently 156 communities participating in the program across the state, representing 44 percent of the state’s municipalities.

The program is led by an experienced project manager from the town with a core team of town staff and volunteers representing planning departments, emergency managers, conservation commissioners, economic councils, the business community, environmental justice communities, and other key stakeholders.

The MVP Action Grants are open to all municipal governments in Massachusetts in FY 2019 that have received MVP designation. Projects that proposed nature-based solutions or strategies that rely on green infrastructure or conservation and enhancement of natural systems to improve community resilience receive higher scores. MVP Planning grants are also open through May 4, 2019 to communities seeking MVP designation with $1 million available in funding.

Governor Baker recently filed legislation to support municipalities and help protect Massachusetts residents, communities, economy, and infrastructure from the adverse effects of climate change, through a modest increase in the excise on real estate transfers to fund a substantial and sustained investment in climate change adaptation. The revenue would be directed towards investments in resilient infrastructure to help make communities safer, keep vital services online, reduce the long-term costs of climate-related risks and protect the value of property across the Commonwealth. The proposal is estimated to generate $1.3 billion over 10 years which would be dedicated to the Commonwealth’s Global Warming Solutions Trust Fund to provide funding for resiliency initiatives including grants and technical assistance to communities for implementing priority actions identified through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program and addressing climate-related risk in cities and towns throughout the state.

In August of 2018 Governor Baker signed legislation which put into law essential components of Governor Baker’s Executive Order 569, including the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness grant program and the Statewide Hazard Mitigation and Adaptation Plan, as well as authorizing over $2.4 billion in capital allocations for investments in safeguarding residents, municipalities and businesses from the impacts of climate change, protecting environmental resources, and investing in communities.

“I’m pleased that the Baker-Polito Administration is making these MVP Program grants available so that towns can invest in climate-smart infrastructure,” said State Senator Jo Comerford (D-Northampton). “As the impacts of climate change are already evident, the Commonwealth’s response must be multifaceted: we must undertake resiliency planning at the same time we address the root of the problem by increasing the renewables portfolio standard, eliminating net metering caps, and implementing a system of carbon fee and rebate.”

“We are in the midst of a climate crisis so these grants will be particularly important to help our community while the Legislature takes up important issues like carbon tax and lifting the net solar metering cap so we can truly mitigate climate change,” said State Representative Lindsay Sabadosa (D-Northampton).

“Once again, the Baker-Polito Administration is exercising national leadership in helping local communities respond to the devastating impacts of climate change,”said Jack Clarke, Director of Public Policy at Mass Audubon. “Whether it be hotter days, accelerated sea-level rise, or stronger storms, these grants are now the new local aid for climate change and will help cities and towns protect themselves from its impacts.”

“Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness action grants help communities take tangible steps to manage the unavoidable impacts of climate change by enhancing safety, avoiding community costs while prioritizing nature-based solutions and equity and fairness,” said Wayne Klockner, State Director for the Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

MAYOR WALSH ANNOUNCES START OF PICK-UP/DROP-OFF ZONE PILOT IN THE FENWAY

MAYOR WALSH ANNOUNCES START OF PICK-UP/DROP-OFF ZONE PILOT IN THE FENWAY
 

Pilot program designed to ease congestion and improve safety to start in the Fenway

BOSTON - Thursday, March 14, 2019 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today launched a pilot program that designates curb space for pick-ups and drop-offs, facilitating ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft. Announced in the Mayor's Boston Municipal Research Bureau Speech last week, the Boston Transportation Department and the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics will begin to pilot dedicated zones for ride-sharing activity, starting with the intersection of Boylston Street and Kilmarnock Street in the Fenway. Anyone may use the designated zone for pick-ups and drop-offs from 5:00 p.m., overnight and into the early morning hours. Enforcement of the pilot will start tomorrow, Friday, March 15, 2019.

"Our goal through this pilot, and through all of our transportation initiatives, is to make sure Boston's neighborhood streets are safe, accessible, and equitable for all residents," said Mayor Walsh. "Ride-sharing services have changed the way people travel -- and with 35 million trips starting in Boston every year, this pilot will help us improve streets in our city, and bring us further towards our Go Boston 2030 and Vision Zero goals."

This pilot was created to minimize traffic disruptions that often accompany ride-sharing services. Ride-sharing vehicles that stop in the middle of the street to pick-up and drop-off passengers create hazardous conditions for their customers and contribute to congestion on Boston's roadways. The new curbside zone in the Fenway will allow these vehicles to continue to offer their transportation services, but in a way that supports the City of Boston's Vision Zero safety goals and helps to improve traffic flow on Boston streets.The pilot is designed to ease congestion caused by double parking and to increase safety for passengers entering and exiting vehicles.

The Boston Transportation Department will install signage to help drivers and passengers find the zones, and will evaluate the program to gauge its impact. The pilot zones will only apply to the blocks where they are located. Consequently, the locations affected will be the immediate blocks to the west and east of Kilmarnock Street on Boylston Street.

"We're thrilled to see the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics explore innovative projects like this one," said Tyler George, Lyft's New England General Manager. "These zones will not only make moving around the area more convenient and frictionless, but it can meaningfully reduce congestion and improve the experience for drivers, riders, and the Greater Boston community."

"We're excited to partner with the Mayor's Office on a proposal that will limit congestion and make it easier than ever for riders to get to and from Fenway. The pick up and drop off zones will not only make trips seamless for riders, but also more convenient for drivers, and we look forward to continuing to work with the Mayor on our shared goal of reducing congestion," said Koosie Boggs, Uber's Head of Rides for New England.

Other transportation and infrastructure improvements recently announced by Mayor Walsh in his Boston Municipal Bureau Speech include lowering speed limit on city streets to 20 MPH; designing a pilot for adaptive traffic signals; launching a citywide education campaign on road safety; expanding the bus lanes pilot to more neighborhoods; and providing MBTA Passes to all students grades 7-12.

Mayor Walsh has also submitted transportation bills to the Massachusetts Legislature aimed at efficiently supporting residents by providing investment in transportation infrastructure, reducing carbon emissions from motor vehicles, and providing for safer streets. An Act Relative to Transportation Network Company Rider Assessments would add a charge to transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft operating during rush hours to be invested in local roads and transit, including improvements to bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. It would also reduce charges for pooled rides and the use of electric vehicles.

The pick-up/drop-off pilot aligns with Mayor Walsh's initiatives to reduce carbon emissions from motor vehicle driving behaviors such as circling the block or idling to find a passenger. The pilot also furthers the goals established in Go Boston 2030, the City of Boston's comprehensive transportation plan. Execution of the plan is well underway with action being taken on more than half of the 58 projects and policies identified. These initiatives work to reduce congestion, encourage travel by transit, bike and on foot, and ensure safety and equitable access for all users of Boston's streets.

MAYOR WALSH APPOINTS ALEXANDRA VALDEZ AS DIRECTOR OF ENGAGEMENT OF THE ECONOMIC MOBILITY LAB

MAYOR WALSH APPOINTS ALEXANDRA VALDEZ AS DIRECTOR OF ENGAGEMENT OF THE ECONOMIC MOBILITY LAB
 

BOSTON - Thursday, March 14, 2019 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the appointment of Alexandra Valdez as director of engagement for the City's Economic Mobility Lab. The Lab is a team of social entrepreneurs centrally located in the Mayor's Office of Policy that researches and tests ideas with the potential to dramatically increase upward economic mobility for low- and moderate-income Bostonians. The Lab launched in late 2017 as a flagship program of the City's Resilience Strategy with support from the Rockefeller Foundation and 100 Resilient Cities.
 
"I'm proud to welcome Alex to the Mayor's Office of Policy," said Mayor Walsh. "She did incredible work as a neighborhood liaison for Jamaica Plain and the Latino community, and I look forward to seeing her excel in her new role and continue to make sure families can succeed in Boston."
 
"I'm excited to join the Economic Mobility Lab and the rest of the policy team," said Alexandra Valdez. "As an immigrant who came to Boston as a kid, I'm beyond grateful for this opportunity and look forward to continuing the Mayor's agenda in creating a welcoming, strong, and inclusive city."
 
Valdez served as the Mayor's neighborhood liaison for Jamaica Plain and the Latino community in the Office of Neighborhood Services since 2016. She will now join Director Jason Ewas at the Economic Mobility Lab where she will lead projects that advance the Lab's work on child care, Boston Saves, and youth programs, and ensure that resident perspective is at the core of everything the Lab does.  
 
The Lab aims to ensure City government supports residents during the times that matter most, organizing action around key moments in people's lives such as:
  • Early childhood and child care as the foundation of the economic ladder;
  • A first job as a critical step to accessing opportunities;
  • The transition to college and career as a stepping stone to increased lifetime earnings, and;
  • Preparing for unexpected expenses that can set families' finances back for months or years.
The Economic Mobility Lab is working on a series of projects on child care with the Mayor's Office of Women's Advancement. They recently developed a survey related to child care in the City's anonymous census, which launched in February 2019. The optional survey aims to better understand how individuals and households manage child care and to provide information on the best ways for the City to support parents and young children. Boston is the first city in the country to document local child care needs and preferences through the census.
 
One of the goals of the Economic Mobility Lab is to coordinate a pipeline of programs that prepares students and their families for income growth. Partnering with Boston Saves, the City's children's savings account program, the Lab aims to help families build their financial capabilities and save for their children's post-secondary education and training.
 
Partnering with the Office of Financial Empowerment, the Economic Mobility Lab also aims to develop and expand tools that help families. For example, this work includes conducting research for and developing programs with Boston Builds Credit, an initiative that aims to raise the credit scores of Bostonians by expanding what works and trying new projects that raise people's credit scores.
 
While the Economic Mobility Lab is focused on municipal government, it also advocates for key policy changes at all levels of government. Advancing the work of the Lab, Mayor Walsh submitted his legislative agenda to the Massachusetts Legislature in January 2019, demonstrating the role government can play in creating economic opportunity.
 
The following three bills aim to eliminate policies and rules that create barriers for families trying to get on their feet. They also expand successful policies that provide a financial boost for families. The economic mobility bills in the Mayor's legislative package, advanced by the Lab and departments throughout the City, include:
 
This bill would repeal a policy that denies critical resources to children conceived while, or soon after, a family is receiving benefits. Massachusetts is one of only 17 states that have a Cap on Kids or similar policy.
 
This bill would remove the cap on assets for families receiving temporary cash assistance. The current policy disincentivizes families to accumulate even moderate savings and makes it more difficult for them to access resources. Eight other states have enacted similar changes with  positive results, spurring upward economic mobility for residents.
 
This seeks to raise the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to 50% to return money directly to low- and moderate-income working families. The EITC is almost universally seen as a great program and it should be increased and marketed so that working families know they are eligible.
 
About 100RC, Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation
 
100 Resilient Cities - Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) helps cities around the world become more resilient to social, economic, and physical challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC provides this assistance through: funding for a Chief Resilience Officer in each of our cities who will lead the resilience efforts; resources for drafting a resilience strategy; access to private sector, public sector, academic, and NGO resilience tools; and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges. For more information, visit www.100ResilientCities.org.