網頁

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

波士頓市道路速限明年1月9日起 25英哩

   (Boston Orange)波士頓市長馬丁華殊(Martin J. Walsh)今日宣佈,明年1月9日起,波士頓街道速限 25英哩,比目前的速限低5英哩。
    波士頓市長辦公室表示,這是市長馬丁華殊和波士頓市議會,麻州州長查理貝克(Charlie Baker),麻州交通局,以及麻州議會合作,為維護人民步行安全的努力結果。
    波士頓市內的州有土地不受此速限影響。
    麻州州長查理貝克今夏簽署了法令,容許州內各市鎮享有權力,自行決定是否把最低速限降至25英哩。


MAYOR WALSH ANNOUNCES CITY OF BOSTON'S NEW DEFAULT SPEED LIMIT OF 25 MPH EFFECTIVE JANUARY 9, 2017
Unless otherwise posted, the speed limit on City of Boston streets will be 25 mph
BOSTON - Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that the default speed limit on City of Boston streets will be reduced from 30 mph to 25 mph effective January 9, 2017. Thanks to the combined efforts of the Mayor, Boston City Council, Governor Baker, MassDOT and Massachusetts State Legislature this change will improve roadway safety for people walking, driving, and bicycling on city streets. State owned roadways located in the City of Boston will not be affected by this new law. Visit boston.gov/25mph to learn how to show your support and get engaged.

This summer, Governor Charlie Baker signed a law giving cities and towns across the Commonwealth the authority to reduce the default speed limit to 25 mph. Today, the Boston City Council took a final vote approving Mayor Walsh's petition to reduce Boston's speed limit based on the new state law.

"I am pleased that our hard work and commitment to creating safer roadways for all users by reducing the default speed limit to 25 mph will become a reality in January," said Mayor Walsh. "This is an important milestone in our Vision Zero efforts of bringing the number of traffic-related deaths to zero, and with approval of this petition we are one step closer to achieving that goal. I would like to commend Governor Baker, Senator William Brownsberger, Representative Jay Livingstone, Representative Liz Malia, Representative Denise Provost, our Dorchester delegation and their colleagues in the state legislature, Boston City Council, MassDOT and all partners and stakeholders involved who recognize the positive implications that a reduced default speed limit will offer Boston."

"By lowering the City's speed limit, we are taking concrete steps to making our streets safer for pedestrians, drivers, and bicyclists," said Senator Linda Dorcena Forry. "I want to thank the many residents of Boston who brought this issue forward and my colleagues in government for their collective work in making this important change a reality."

"Traffic congestion and speeding cars are among the most common issues I hear about from constituents," said Dorchester Representative Dan Hunt. "I was proud to sponsor this amendment because studies show that a car's ability to stop is increased on small streets by minor reductions in speed. Taking this one action has the potential to greatly improve pedestrian safety in our neighborhoods and as we move to a true multimodal transportation city, this measure will prove to be invaluable."

"The enforcement of this safety initiative will make our streets safer for drivers, pedestrians and bikers alike," said District 3 Boston City Councilor Frank Baker. "I look forward to its implementation, as well as the creation of innovative traffic calming measures."

"I'm thrilled that we've taken an important first step to improving pedestrian and traffic safety throughout the City of Boston," said District 8 City Councilor Josh Zakim. "While there is more work to be done, we have now laid the groundwork for further creative solutions that enhance both safety and quality of life, especially in the downtown neighborhoods of District 8."

As of January 9, unless otherwise posted, the speed limit on all City of Boston roadways will be 25 mph. Boston Transportation Department teams are auditing existing speed limit signs, and will fabricate new signs as necessary. 25 mph speed limit signs will be posted at entrance points and other strategic locations in the City.

"The City of Boston is committed to providing safe and functional streets for all users of our roadways, and reducing our default speed limit is one of many steps being taken to assist us in accomplishing this goal," said Boston Transportation Commissioner Gina N. Fiandaca.  "Drivers should continue to watch for posted signs that indicate a modification to the default speed limit, such as in School Zones where the speed limit may be lower than 25 mph."

Although a significant number of improvements have been made to Boston's streets in recent years, traffic related tragedies continue to persist. To date in 2016, at least 17 people have been killed in traffic crashes on City of Boston streets. Twelve of these people were killed while walking and five were killed while in a motor vehicle.

Slower speeds will help decrease these numbers, saving lives and preventing injuries. Studies show that there is a direct link between the speed that a vehicle is traveling when a crash occurs and the likelihood of a fatality or severe injury resulting from that crash. At 20 mph there is a 17% likelihood of a fatality or severe injury occurring, and that number jumps to 79% at 40 mph.

The City of Boston expects that reducing Boston's default speed limit to 25 mph will help in the City's effort to prioritize safety and reach the City of Boston's Vision Zero goal to eliminate serious and fatal crashes on Boston's streets by 2030.

川普提名趙小蘭出任美國交通部長

趙小蘭2009年時到哈佛作訪問學者。(檔案照片,菊子攝)
(Boston Orange 周菊子綜合整理)美國候任總統川普(Donald Trump)1129日提名華裔,曾任勞工部部長的趙小蘭出任新政府交通部部長。一旦美國議會批准,趙小蘭將成為首名在美國政府兩度出任部長的華人。
川普當選美國總統以來,在內閣任命上飽受多為白人男性的批評。CNN等多家媒體認為,川普提名趙小蘭,既是少數族裔,又是女性的人來做閣員,有妥協,平衡的味道。趙小蘭是川普提名的第3位女性閣員。
趙小蘭曾於20012009年間,在小布殊(George W. Bush)總統任內當勞工部部長,打破了美國從第二次世界大戰以來,擔任部長時間最長的紀錄。1993年就和Mitch McConnell結婚了的趙小蘭,也是美國出任部長級職務的首名華裔。
19891991年間,趙小蘭曾於老布殊(George H. W. Bush)總統麾下擔任交通部副部長。卸任公職後,她曾出任傳統基金會的傑出學者。
一旦出任川普政府的交通部部長,趙小蘭將會在須由國會通過,斥資辦理基礎建設,以及政府支持的工程上,居於關鍵位置。這一位置,將使她和丈夫,聯邦參議員暨多數黨領袖Mitch McConnell的關係,格外受人矚目。
不過,CNN指出,趙小蘭並不是第一個面對這種窘境的交通部部長。在1983年到1987年間擔任交通部長的Elizabeth Dole,丈夫Bob Dole就是1985年到1987年間的聯邦參議員暨多數黨領袖。
趙小蘭的丈夫,美國參議院多數黨領袖,代表肯塔基州的共和黨籍聯邦參議員Mitch McConnell,在趙小蘭獲提名後,馬上就被人追問,在參議院討論是否同意趙小蘭上任時會不會避嫌,他斷然回答不會。他還表示,聯邦參議院希望能在明年120日時,就能討論並投票通過一些閣員的任命。
趙小蘭出生於1953年,8歲時隨父母從台灣移民美國,19歲才入籍美國,受父母薰陶,她從小就十分勤奮,也一直表現優異。在進入政府工作前,她曾經在紐約銀行工作,擔任過和平部隊主任,美國聯合路(United Way)慈善基金會執行長。
趙小蘭的獲提名為交通部部長這高層職位,讓亞裔社區大為欣喜。國際領袖基金會執行長董繼玲表示,趙小蘭曾經當過交通部副部長,勞工部部長,經驗豐富,在許多方面都非常傑出,一旦出任新政府的交通部部長,當然是美國亞裔社區的一樁美事。
今年六月,趙小蘭家族捐款4000萬元建造的哈佛大學商學院趙朱木蘭中心才剛剪綵啟用,董繼玲和麻州州長查理貝克(Charlie Baker)都應邀出席。麻州亞裔居民對趙小蘭的重回政壇,可能有更多期待。
趙小蘭(前左五起)和丈夫Mitch McConnell,國際領袖基金會執行長董繼玲,以及各分會會長。(檔案照片,菊子攝)

President-Elect Donald J. Trump Nominates Elaine Chao as Secretary of the Department of Transportation

(New York, NY) - President-elect Donald J. Trump today announced his intent to nominate Elaine Chao to serve as Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation. Having served as Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation and Secretary of the Department of Labor, Chao brings unparalleled experience and insight to the role.

“Secretary Chao’s extensive record of strong leadership and her expertise are invaluable assets in our mission to rebuild our infrastructure in a fiscally responsible manner,” said President-elect Trump. “She has an amazing life story and has helped countless Americans in her public service career. I am pleased to nominate Elaine as Secretary of the Department of Transportation.”

"The President-elect has outlined a clear vision to transform our country's infrastructure, accelerate economic growth and productivity, and create good paying jobs across the country,”said Ms. Chao. “I am honored to be nominated by the President-elect to serve my beloved country as Transportation Secretary.”

Elaine L. Chao is a Distinguished Fellow at Hudson Institute.  She is the 24th U.S. Secretary of Labor who served from 2001-2009.  She is the first American woman of Asian descent to be appointed to a President’s Cabinet in our nation’s history.

An immigrant who arrived in America at the age of eight speaking not a word of English, Chao received her U.S. Citizenship when she was 19 years old.  Secretary Chao’s experience transitioning to a new country has motivated her to devote most of her professional life to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to build better lives.

Secretary Chao has a distinguished career in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.  As the first Secretary of Labor in the 21st Century, she focused on increasing the competitiveness of America’s workforce in a global economy and achieved record results in workplace safety and health.

Prior to the Department of Labor, Secretary Chao was President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of America where she restored public trust and confidence in one of our nation's premier institutions of private charitable giving after it had been tarnished by financial mismanagement and abuse.  As director of the Peace Corps, she established the first programs in the Baltic nations and the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union.  Her government service also includes serving as Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission. She has also worked in the private sector as Vice President of Syndications at Bank of America Capital Markets Group and Citicorp. 

Secretary Chao earned her MBA from the Harvard Business School and an economics degree from Mount Holyoke College.  Recognized for her extensive record of accomplishments and public service, she is the recipient of 35 honorary doctorate degrees.

Michael Sacco, president of the Seafarers International Union, said, “There is nobody better qualified to be Secretary of Transportation than Elaine Chao. Throughout her time in government, Elaine Chao has long been a steadfast friend to the SIU and to maritime labor. The industry has no better supporter than Elaine Chao, and she has stood up to defend the Jones Act, the Maritime Security Program, cargo preference and the other key programs that keep our industry alive. She understands the importance of providing jobs to America’s working families, and she has seen firsthand the value of the United States Merchant Marine to our nation’s defense and prosperity. We look forward to working with her again.”

“Elaine Chao is an outstanding choice as Secretary of Transportation.  She has been an effective leader in government, the private sector, and in the non-profit sector.  I believe she will be able to pull these different stakeholders together for the good of the country,” said Brian Gallagher, president and CEO of United Way Worldwide.

“The first Asian Pacific American woman to be appointed to the President's Cabinet, Secretary Chao was also a great Deputy Secretary of Transportation and has extensive experience in transportation.  She will help improve our country's infrastructure and create more jobs.  This is wonderful news for the Asian Pacific American community,” said Chiling Tong, CEO of the International Leadership Foundation.

Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association of the New York City Police Department (SBA), a labor union representing more than 13,000 active and retired police sergeants, praised President-elect Trump’s selection of Elaine Chao.

“The men and women I represent will always be grateful for the skill and tenacity Elaine Chao displayed in pushing through expanded overtime protections for millions of Americans—including police officers—and defending them from employers, like the City of New York, that tried to take them away from working men and women,” said Mullins.  “The American people can rest assured that as Secretary of Transportation she will demonstrate the same skill, energy, and commitment to the concerns of ordinary Americans that were the hallmarks of her tenure at the Labor Department. The SBA calls on Congress to quickly confirm Elaine L. Chao as Secretary of Transportation.”


波士頓台灣人支持修正民法,力挺婚姻平權

轉載

【波士頓台灣人支持修正民法,力挺婚姻平權!】

現在是台灣推動婚姻平權與民法修正案的關鍵時刻。我們要求執政黨與政府應允其選前承諾,落實基本人權:修改民法,推動真正的婚姻平權,拒絕假平等、真歧視的另立專法。

台灣同志與婚姻平權運動一路走來風風雨雨,近日國會三黨皆提出修改民法之草案,卻不斷被軟性杯葛、要求繼續召開公聽會、公投、另立專法,不斷拖延修法程序,更持續以言語與不實謠言散播恐懼、仇恨、謊言,不斷傷害同志朋友。11月28日,超過一萬位台灣人上街參與「相挺為平權,全民撐同志」活動,身在海外的台灣人與朋友雖未能親身到場,但是在台灣婚姻平權的最後一哩路上,我們能夠用別的方式陪同志朋友一同走完。

我們邀請所有海外挺台灣婚姻平權與民法修正案的朋友一同站出來,聲援上街的一萬多人,以及所有受到壓迫、無法享有婚姻保障、遭受不平等對待的同志朋友;也希望藉由此舉向蔡政府持續施加壓力,讓台灣的同志能夠享有和異性戀一樣的基本權益,也讓台灣成為亞洲第一個同性婚姻合法化的國家。

麻州在2004年成為美國第一個認可同性婚姻的州。我們將在全美第一例同性婚姻締結之處 - 劍橋市政府 Cambridge City Hall - 集會表達聲援。

地點:Cambridge City Hall, Mass Ave side
時間:Sunday, 12/04
3:45pm 活動 開始, 請準時抵達!

參與方式:攜帶彩虹旗、婚姻平權相關標語, 下載列印圖片與標語,邀請親朋好友一起現身支持台灣婚姻平權、修正民法!

歡迎短講分享。

中華專協 12/3 包場看李安新片

                       紐英崙中華專業人員協會特別包場放映
           Bill Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (比利.林恩的半場無戰事)
                                           

金獎導演李安繼《斷背山》、《色.戒》、《少年Pi的奇幻漂流》後,最新3D電影,以每秒120格的3D/4K技術,打造全新視覺革命和心靈震撼。
19歲的大兵比利,因一場擊潰敵軍戰役的畫面,恰巧被福斯新聞網捕捉,成為家喻戶曉的英雄。他和他的小隊戰友受邀從伊拉克返國接受總統布希授勳,一時間祖國鄉親、媒體記者、啦啦隊辣妹和好萊塢製片都等著見他,還要在德州超級盃現場與超級巨星碧昂絲同台表演。如夢似幻的凱旋之旅,全因為他們打了場勝仗,而他的同袍們,一個戰死,一個被炸斷了雙腿。 一場虛偽的榮耀之旅,九天如嘉年華會般的奇遇,讓比利看清這個虛幻的世界: 這感覺其實滿糟的,有人來表揚你這輩子最慘的一天

放映時間: 12/3 Saturday 9:15am入場,9:30準時放映,片長1小時51
放映地點:  AMC Burlington : 20 S AVE BURLINGTON
                  (Bus #350 Alewife station 8:30 am- arriving Burlington Mall 8:59am)
票價: $11 (9:00am-9:15am) 付費領票自備零錢座位有限,不對號入座
訂票: 請告知中英文姓名及聯絡電話 售票截止日期 12/1

           王世輝drwang123@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

麻州長邀州民今晚上州府同慶聖誕節

                       (Boston Orange)麻州正副州長,查理貝克(Charlie Baker)和白莉朵(Karyn Polito)邀州民於今(29)日傍晚5點到7點半之間,到州政府大樓,參加州政府聖誕樹亮燈儀式,慶祝每年一度的佳節來臨。
                       州政府大樓的Doric廳將從5點開始有人唱聖誕歌,5點半舉行正式亮燈儀式,6點起在大廳(Great Hall)放映聖誕電影麋鹿(Elf)”,聖誕老人也將蒞臨助興。
                        會場的表演者及擺出展售單位者將包括波士頓兒童醫院合唱團,紅蘋果農場,Smolak農場,鱈魚角糧食(Cape Cod Provisions),胡德奶製品(Hood Dairy),銅壺烘培店(Copper Kettle Bakery)等。
                     麻州正副州長還特意提醒州民,麻州生產,通常在冬令季節享用的農業,園藝產品,有聖誕樹,盆栽,楓樹相關產品,酒,乳酪,蔓越橘,火雞,時令蔬菜,羊毛產品等等。
           波士頓市長馬丁華殊(Martin J. Walsh)的年度聖誕樹亮燈遊,也將陸續進入市內各個社區。
121(週四)68點,波士頓市長馬丁華殊將和新斯科舍省總理McNeil主持波士頓第75屆波士頓廣場(Boston Common)官方聖誕樹亮燈儀式。
一株新斯科舍省擁有,高47尺的白雲杉,將從Cape Breton 395號高速公路旁的 Ainslie Glen運到波士頓。
為增添慶祝氣氛,波士頓溜冰俱樂部將於當晚56點,在波士頓廣場的蛙塘(Frog Pond)舉行一場免費的花式溜冰表演,邀來參加過美國及國際溜冰比賽的個人,團體表演。活動最後將以施放Atlas PyroVision製作的煙火,為慶祝畫下句點。
波士頓第5號電視台WCVB將從當晚7點起做現場轉播。

122日起至4日,第21屆波士頓市長的聖誕亮燈列車將開進波士頓各個社區。預定124(週日)下午1:45,開進波士頓華埠的夏利臣街與必珠街交界處。

波士頓市長11/29辦"我們是波士頓"晚會

MAYOR WALSH AND OFFICE FOR IMMIGRANT ADVANCEMENT HOST 'WE ARE BOSTON' GALA
Proclamation of #GivingTuesday & Diane Guerrero Day, Celebration of Diversity and Immigrant Heritage
BOSTON - Monday, November 28, 2016 - Tomorrow, Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Office for Immigrant Advancement (MOIA), will host the 11th annual We Are Boston Gala. Mayor Walsh will offer proclamations for #GivingTuesday and Diane Guerrero Day, to celebrate her efforts with advocacy and philanthropy for comprehensive immigration reform, citizenship, and voter registration.

Awards will be presented to Richard E. Holbrook, Chairman and CEO of Eastern Bank (Leadership Award); John B. Cruz III, President and CEO of Cruz Companies (Leadership Award); Clear Channel Outdoor (Community Champion); Melisa DePina (Youth Action Award); and Franchesca Tejeda (Youth Action Award).

Hundreds of Boston's community members are expected to join together to strengthen the ability of diverse cultural and linguistic communities to play an active role in the economic, civic, social and cultural life in the City of Boston. This year's gala provides an increased opportunity to build awareness, allies, and support for Boston's immigrant communities.

想像波士頓2030進社區辦討論會

IMAGINE BOSTON 2030 ENGAGEMENT WEEK TO KICK-OFF ON WEDNESDAY
BOSTON - Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - Tomorrow, Imagine Boston 2030 will kick-off a week-long series of events across the City of Boston that offer residents the opportunity to talk directly with City leaders and the Imagine Boston team about Expanding Opportunity, Imagine Boston 2030's draft plan of priority action areas and major initiatives.

Mayor Walsh recently released the draft plan, which highlights initiatives that will support a thriving Boston by expanding opportunity, supporting a dynamic economy, enhancing quality of life and preparing for climate change. All events as part of Imagine Boston week are free and open to the public, andregistration is encouraged.


Wednesday, November 30
Enhancing Economic Mobility and Innovation
Join us on a walking tour of Dudley Square, starting at Hibernian Hall, where we will discuss the area's evolution and opportunities for job growth and training in Roxbury and citywide.
Hibernian Hall

184 Dudley St.
3:30-5pm
The Future of Boston's Education
Join us at the Bolling Building for a panel and discussion about how we can prepare learners of all ages for quality careers and create multiple pathways to success.
Bolling Building
2300 Washington Street
5:30-7pm
Thursday, December 1
Generating Networks of Opportunity: Investing along the Fairmount Corridor
Meet us at South Station for a round-trip excursion on the Fairmount line to discuss coordinated investments to expand opportunity for residents and strengthen connections between key neighborhoods and the city's economic centers.
South Station

Meet under arrivals/
depar-
tures board
4:30-6:30pm
Friday, December 2
A Mixed-Use Downtown
Meet us at the Burnham Building at 10 Summer Street where we will tour Downtown Crossing, the Theater District, Chinatown, the Leather District and South Station, learning about how the downtown has evolved recently and sharing our vision for mixed-use job centers and public realm improvements in the commercial core.

Start:
Burnham Building

10 Summer Street
4:00-5:30pm
Saturday, December 3
Enhancing Our Neighborhoods and Completing the Emerald Necklace
Starting at the Hubway Station at Blue Hill Ave. and Columbia Road, join City leaders for a tour from Franklin Park to Moakley Park and hear about the City's vision to connect Boston's neighborhoods and open spaces
Start:
Hubway Station at Blue Hill Ave & Columbia Rd.
10:00am- 12:00pm

Enhancing and Expanding Neighborhoods
Meet us at Brighton Music Hall and join us for a tour of Beacon Yards and Allston as we discuss our vision to enhance existing neighborhoods to improve neighborhood vitality, services, and affordability, as well as our complementary vision of expanding neighborhoods by creating new mixed-use neighborhoods at the edges of existing neighborhoods.

Start:
Brighton Music Hall

158 Brighton Ave.
2-4pm

Sunday, December 4
A Waterfront for Future Generations
Join Imagine Boston on a round-trip ferry ride from East Boston's Piers Park to Rowes Wharf and learn more about how we can encourage an active public realm and new open spaces, support existing and emerging job centers, and prepare for climate change along our waterfront.
Start:
Piers Park

Conclude: Rowes Wharf
10:30-1pm
Monday, December 5
Boston By The Numbers:  How do we plan, knowing the trends shaping Boston now and in the future?
Come to the Mattapan Health Center and discover the data and trends around our city's growth, jointly presented by Imagine Boston and the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA).
Mattapan Health Center

1575 Blue Hill Ave.
6:30-8pm


ABOUT IMAGINE BOSTON 2030
Imagine Boston 2030, the first city-wide planning effort in 50 years, is Mayor Martin J. Walsh's initiative that will create a framework to guide the preservation, enhancement, and responsible growth of our city between now and 2030, with input from the public. This citywide plan will identify investments and strategies to provide quality of life and increase affordability, drive inclusive economic growth, promote a healthy environment and adapt to climate change and invest in infrastructure, open space and culture. For more information, please visit Imagine.Boston.gov.

Monday, November 28, 2016

杭亭頓劇院明年4月將表揚波市長馬丁華殊

MAYOR MARTIN J. WALSH AND TONY AWARD WINNER BILLY PORTER TO BE HONORED AT HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY’S SPOTLIGHT SPECTACULAR MONDAY, APRIL 24, 2017

(BOSTON) – Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Tony Award-winning artist and Topdog/Underdog director Billy Porter will be honored with the Wimberly Award at the 2017 Spotlight Spectacular on Monday, April 24, 2017. The Huntington’s festive annual event raises money to support the Huntington’s programs, including its award-winning youth, education, and community initiatives that reach more than 30,000 annually.

“Mayor Walsh is deeply committed to the arts in Boston,” says Managing Director Michael Maso. “During his tenure, his office has worked to ensure that arts and culture remain a top priority in the city. Mayor Walsh played the critical role in helping the Huntington stay on Huntington Avenue and because of his leadership, the Huntington is now able to embark on a new chapter in its history. Everyone who cares about theatre in Boston and the Huntington’s role in our cultural community is in his debt. It is a privilege to be able to honor him at the Spotlight Spectacular.”

“Billy Porter directed a sizzling remount of George C. Wolfe’s The Colored Museum in 2015, and we will welcome him back this spring to direct Suzan-Lori Parks’ Topdog/Underdog,” says Artistic Director Peter DuBois. “Billy has proven that he is a man of boundless talent. We are delighted to honor Billy’s work at the Huntington and his many contributions to the American theatre community in April.”

Designed by Rafanelli Events, the lights come up at 6pm at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts and will feature a cocktail reception, a live auction offering one-of-a-kind items, a seated dinner provided by Max Ultimate Food, the presentation of the Wimberly Awards, and entertainment. The Gerard & Sherryl Cohen Award for Excellence will be given to two Huntington staff members who consistently go above and beyond in their contribution to the company. Guests will also have the opportunity to “Sponsor a Class” in support of the Huntington’s student matinee program and other education initiatives. Additional funds to support the Huntington will be raised through an online auction that will run from April 7 – 28, 21017.

CITY OF BOSTON AWARDED $50,000 FOR SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER ASSESSMENT

CITY OF BOSTON AWARDED $50,000 FOR SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER ASSESSMENT
BOSTON - Monday, November 28, 2016 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh, in partnership with the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation (BCBSMAF), today announced the City of Boston has been selected to receive a $50,000 Special Initiatives Grant to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment, the first step towards developing Boston's first ever citywide strategy for prevention of Substance Use Disorders (SUDs).

The resulting assessment will be used to map current prevention efforts, increase access to underserved high-risk youth, and catalyze future investments in prevention. The Mayor's Office of Recovery Services (ORS) will use the findings of this assessment to develop a strategic plan to set prevention priorities and build comprehensive responses across the city.

"Too many Bostonians know firsthand the devastation that substance abuse causes in our City's families and neighborhoods," said Mayor Walsh. "This assessment will help provide a holistic overview that identifies gaps in coordination among the services and programs available for those struggling with addiction so that together we can build an unbreakable chain of recovery services. I thank the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation for their continued support in our recovery efforts, and look forward to using the findings of this assessment to strengthen Boston's recovery service system."

"Through this partnership, we have a unique opportunity to collaborate with the City of Boston to include prevention education as part of the strategy to fight the opioid epidemic that has claimed so many lives in the city of Boston," said Audrey Shelto, President of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation.

A six month process will begin in December to conduct a community needs assessment of drug and alcohol prevention programming, as well as an identification of best practice models and recommendations for the City of Boston. The assessment and work plan will consist of:
  • Continued engagement with community stakeholders, with a particular focus on promoting diversity and increasing health equity across all Boston neighborhoods;
     
  • An environmental scan, including a service and gap analysis;
     
  • Review of promising practices resulting in a data informed, concrete, and actionable plan for using resources effectively;
     
A Youth Prevention Advisory Group - comprised of local youth substance use experts and key community stakeholders - will also be assembled to help guide this process. This effort will consist of collaborative efforts with community health centers, after-school programs, public/private schools, and faith-based partners to create a comprehensive city/county-wide prevention strategy. This process will allow ORS to be prepared to provide policy options or other recommendations that will address the current gaps in capacity and prevention needs. It will also better align the City's prevention services with best practices and lead to an innovative model for the City of Boston.

"Identifying both strengths and gaps in current prevention efforts is key to continuing to grow and strengthen the work being done through a number of partnerships with public health, our health care partners, and the City," said BPHC Executive Director Monica Valdes Lupi, JD, MPH. "We're grateful for MGH's long term commitment to addressing the national opioid epidemic, a public health issue that is deeply impacting Boston residents."

"Under this partnership with BCBSMAF, the Mayor's Office of Recovery Services has a unique opportunity to comprehensively expand the scope of its prevention efforts to fully support our young people and their families," said Jen Tracey, Director of the Office of Recovery Services.

In 2015, BCBSMAF partnered with the City of Boston to create Addiction and Recovery Services in the City of Boston, a Blueprint for Building a Better System of Care, a report on the status of substance abuse and addiction in the City of Boston. This report led to the creation of ORS and helped guide the office through its first year. ORS' initial efforts, rooted in BCBSMAF's findings, have led to tangible cross-agency coordination within the City, and successful advocacy for policy changes to enhance recovery services across Boston.

In September, Mayor Walsh launched 311 for Recovery Services, the City of Boston's hotline support system designed to help people struggling with substance use and addiction to access recovery resources.

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

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 – 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.