網頁

Thursday, November 28, 2019

第二屆安徽(合肥)僑夢苑海外創業賽 麻省理工光伏組件項目奪魁

第二屆安徽(合肥)僑夢苑海外創新創業大賽美國賽區決賽。

Orange整理報導)第二屆安徽(合肥)僑夢苑海外創新創業大賽美國賽區決賽1123日在紐約哥倫比亞大學舉行。來自世界各地,入選決賽的10個團隊,經過兩個多小時現場答辯後,麻省理工學院陳屹楠/羅紅雨團隊得一等獎。
二名二等獎、三名三等獎的得獎團隊,依序為麻州大學波士頓分校王超團隊、新加坡南洋理工王輯亮團隊、紐約地區侯平團隊等6個團隊。其中第二名和第六名都有兩隊同分,美東賽區組委會決定發出四個三等獎。參加合肥總決賽的二個名額,將於 12月初由合肥組委會確認。
總評委孫友順(左三)和得獎者合影。
安徽(合肥)僑夢苑海外創新創業大賽第一次在美東設立賽區,從八月份以來,共收到128個團隊報名,主要來自美東(80多個團隊)和亞太地區(20多個團隊),多半屬於人工智能、智能製造、生物醫藥、新一代電子信息等四大領域。經網上專家,和各組專家的綜合評審後,才選出10隊參加紐約分賽區總決賽。
麻省理工羅紅雨團隊的新穎光伏組件項目,今年三月在哈佛大學,五月在麻省理工的創業比賽中也都獲得一等獎。這次參賽,五位評委的給分都高於95分,將和合肥高新區合作。
王超團隊路演。
麻大波士頓分校王超團隊的“智能感知固態激光雷達系統”,利用1550納米的激光雷達,可把檢測距離提高至600多米,結合傳感系統安裝於車上時,將容許車輛在任何天氣條件下以每小時70英里的速度停車或換車道。
新加坡南洋理工王輯亮團隊的 “高性能大數據文檔系統”,在數據文檔的生成、轉換、優化、存貯、管理等領域擁有多項國際和國內專利,已贏得不少全球及中國大客戶。
紐約地區侯平團隊的“納米材料在室內空氣環保中的應用”項目,採用混合晶體納米材料和無化學添加劑納米材料附載技術,用在空氣淨化、水質淨化和建築節能等節能環保領域。該團隊的產品已在國內小規模生產,急需大力開拓市場。團隊也期待在安徽落戶。
一等獎項目錄演。
安徽(合肥)僑夢苑海外創新創業大賽的本次美國賽區比賽,還邀請英國劍橋大學團隊負責人劉華興博士參加遠程視頻答辯,介紹“北斗四模十一頻衛星導航SOC芯片產業化”項目的開發歷程和創業艱辛。目前全球四大衛星定位系統中,美國的GPS系統精度最高,俄羅斯格洛納斯抗干擾能力強,歐洲伽利略號稱系統最精密,中國的北斗系統目前可基本上實現全球組往,該團隊的技術和產品,可大幅提升北斗導航的全球競爭力。
這次的安徽(合肥)僑夢苑海外創新創業大賽,共設美國(紐約)、以色列、英國等7個海外分站賽,原則上每個賽區推薦兩個團隊,於201912月到合肥參加總決賽,做現場路演答辯。總決賽組委會將提供部分國際補貼,總決賽將評選出一等獎一名,二等獎兩名,三等獎三名,獲獎團隊落戶後可獲得10-30萬人民幣獎勵。
美國賽區由美東創新創業聯盟承辦,來自哈佛大學、麻省理工大學、哥倫比亞大學的專家教授和兩位風投基金投資人擔任評委。決賽現場有50多人出席。大賽圓滿落幕。(所有圖片,以及文稿資料由大賽組委會提供)

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Governor Baker Announces Plan to Keep Vaping Product Ban in Place Until December 11th, Signs Legislation Placing New Restrictions on Vaping, Tobacco Products

Governor Baker Announces Plan to Keep Vaping Product Ban in Place Until December 11th, Signs Legislation Placing New Restrictions on Vaping, Tobacco Products
While emergency regulations to ban all vaping products remains in place, DPH will promulgate new regulations for vaping restrictions

BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker today announced the Baker-Polito Administration plans to keep the temporary ban on the sale of all vaping products in place until December 11th and signed legislation placing new restrictions on the sale of e-cigarette and nicotine vaping products and flavored tobacco products. The administration also announced that the Department of Public Health (DPH) will begin drafting new regulations related to the sale of vaping products that will be presented on December 11.

The new law, An Act Modernizing Tobacco Control, includes a number of restrictions on the sale of tobacco products, including limiting the sale of flavored nicotine vaping products to licensed smoking bars where they may only be smoked on-site. The legislation signed today also grants DPH new authority to regulate the sale of nicotine vaping products, to ensure the public is informed about the potential dangers of vaping and to implement other provisions of the law in order to protect the public health.

In the interest of public health, the ban on the sale of all vaping products will remain in effect until December 11, 2019 to permit DPH and the Public Health Council time to consider and adopt implementing regulations.

“In light of the growing health crisis associated with e-cigarettes and vaping, our administration implemented a temporary ban on the sale of e-cigarette and vaping products to provide time for legislative and regulatory bodies to better understand what's making people sick and act to protect the health of Massachusetts residents,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Today, as we sign this new legislation implementing new restrictions on vaping and tobacco products, we are also keeping the temporary ban in place as the Department of Public Health develops permanent regulations that will ensure risks are known to consumers, clarify what interventions DPH can take to address clear risks identified by the developing science, and ensure sellers are not skirting the new law and selling to kids.”

“It is essential our young people have the opportunities to safely grow up in the Commonwealth, and we have made strides in the prevention of youth nicotine and taken bold action in the face of a growing, deadly public health risk,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Today e-cigarettes are the most commonly used form of tobacco by youth in Massachusetts. This legislation will further restrict the sale of nicotine containing products to minors, providing the opportunity for them to live healthy, safe lives.”

On December 11, 2019, the Public Health Council will convene at its regularly scheduled meeting to consider regulations in accordance with the new law to:

·       Require the posting of signage in any location where vaping products are sold to warn customers of the dangers of severe lung disease associated with vaping products and more generally advising of the health risks of vaping.

·       Specify the authority of the Commissioner of DPH to prohibit the sale of a designated vaping product on a determination that the product causes vaping-related lung illness or poses a substantial risk to public health. 

·       Strengthen state and local enforcement, including by specifying procedures by which DPH or local Boards of Health may inspect retail locations and the products they are selling for compliance with the law, and providing for penalties for violations.

·       Establish how retailers and manufacturers must comply with the law's requirement that vaping products with nicotine content of more than 35 mg/ml may only be sold in 21+ establishments.

·       Require vaping products to be placed behind the counter in all non-age restricted retailers (e.g., convenience stores).

“To protect Massachusetts residents from the emerging public health risk posed by vaping products, this administration acted to temporarily ban the sale of vaping products to allow public health experts and lawmakers to identify the best path forward, and this temporary ban remains in effect,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. “Our goal remains the protection of public health. The continuation of the temporary ban provides a brief period to develop regulations that provide clarity and explicit guidance to local law enforcement and boards of health, consumers, and retailers.”

“As a physician and commissioner of the Department of Public Health, I continue to recommend that people not use any e-cigarette or vaping products. These products are not safe,’’ said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “Massachusetts has a long history of smoking cessation programs, and I want residents to know that help is available to quit.”

The legislation signed today restricts the sale of vaping products with nicotine content over 35 milligrams per milliliter to licensed, adult-only retail tobacco stores and smoking bars. Non-flavored vaping products with a nicotine content of less than 35 milligrams per milliliter may be sold in retail stores generally licensed to sell tobacco products, including convenience stores, gas stations, and other retail outlets.

Beginning on June 1, 2020, the sale of all other tobacco products that have a characterizing flavor (e.g. menthol cigarettes and flavored chewing tobacco) will also be restricted to licensed smoking bars where they may be sold only for on-site consumption. In addition, the new law imposes a 75% excise tax on the wholesale price of nicotine vaping products (in addition to the 6.75% sales tax), which also takes effect June 1, 2020.

"Vaping companies have taken a page right out of the Big Tobacco playbook – marketing to kids, breaking age verification laws, and minimizing the health risks of these addictive products,” said Attorney General Maura Healey. “If we are going to stop the youth vaping epidemic, we need to change the laws on the books. I thank the Governor and the Legislature for making this a priority, and I credit the young people who have been advocating for a healthier future.”

“While we continue to learn more about the dangers of vaping, it is absolutely our responsibility to prevent marketing of vaping products, which we know to be harmful, to our children.” said Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D - Ashland).“We must also make it less appealing for young people to take up smoking, which often leads to a lifetime of addiction, serious health consequences, and death.  By increasing access to smoking cessation programs, we are reaffirming our commitment to our residents in their efforts to quit smoking and tobacco products altogether. I would like to thank Senator John Keenan and everyone who worked so hard to move this issue forward.”

“Massachusetts moved quickly to act on behalf of the children of the Commonwealth to modernize our laws that regulate tobacco,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D - Winthrop). “This bill bans all flavored tobacco and makes it easier for people to access the tools they need to quit tobacco use. This nation-leading step will save lives. I hope other states will follow our example in combatting this public health crisis with comprehensive legislation.”

“The current youth vaping epidemic is the result of age-old industry tactics used to target kids,” said Senator John Keenan (D - Quincy). “We had made great strides in Massachusetts at decreasing the number of youth smokers, but with the introduction of e-cigarettes and the variety of flavors available, we lost decades of progress. With this bill, we are telling Big Tobacco they can never again use flavors to target kids in Massachusetts. I’d like to thank Governor Baker, Senate President Spilka, Speaker DeLeo, my partner in this fight Representative Gregoire, and the young people who spoke up about this issue to protect their generation. My hope is that as we listened to the brave voices of the young people in Massachusetts, other states will do the same and pass legislation to prevent youth nicotine addiction.”

“Today marks yet another step that Massachusetts will take to protect our children and the overall public health of the Commonwealth.” said Rep. Danielle Gregoire (D - Marlborough). “On this day, we take the final step to make this bill a law, further demonstrating that we will no longer afford big vape and big tobacco the opportunity to hook another generation on nicotine.“

On September 24, 2019, Governor Baker declared a public health emergency in response to the outbreak of severe lung disease associated with e-cigarettes and vaping products. DPH subsequently instituted emergency regulations which prohibit the sale of all vaping products in Massachusetts. 

The state’s Cannabis Control Commission has also quarantined THC-based vaping products, except for a specific carve-out for devices exclusively to vaporize marijuana flower for medical use patients.

The cause of e-cigarette- or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) remains unknown and is under investigation at both the state and federal level. Massachusetts clinicians are asked to report to DPH any individual experiencing otherwise unexplained progressive symptoms of shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, cough, or weight loss, of any severity, and an abnormal chest imaging study, who also report vaping within 90 days before the onset of symptoms, and are to ask patients to retain any vaping devices and products.

Since the state began mandating the reporting of vaping-associated lung injuries on September 11, DPH has received 278 reports from clinicians of suspected vaping-associated lung injuries, 164 of which meet the criteria for investigation by DPH.  DPH has completed review of clinical records and made case determinations for 132 patients. A total of 82 cases (26 confirmed and 56 probable cases) have been reported to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of November 6, 3 people are confirmed to have died of vaping-associated lung injury, including a woman in her 60s from Hampshire County who vaped nicotine, a woman in her 40s from Middlesex County who vaped nicotine, and a man in his 50s from Worcester County reported vaping both nicotine and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

As a result of the vaping ban, the Commonwealth has implemented a statewide standing order for over-the-counter nicotine replacement products that allow adults to access products like gum, lozenges, and patches as a covered benefit through their insurance without requiring an individual prescription.  The Massachusetts Smoker’s Helpline (1-800-QUIT NOW) has doubled free over-the-counter nicotine replacement products from 4 weeks to 8 weeks, once a person receives counseling by phone.  The legislation signed today requires health insurance plans (including the GIC and MassHealth) to cover smoking cessation counseling and FDA-approved products without cost-sharing.

Individuals who are vaping are encouraged to call the Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit makingsmokinghistory.org or Mass.gov/QuitVaping to connect to treatment.

Information regarding today’s announcement is available at Mass.gov/VapingEmergency. The site will continue to be updated.

MAYOR WALSH SIGNS ORDINANCE SUPPORTING EQUITY, ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY IN MARIJUANA INDUSTRY


MAYOR WALSH SIGNS ORDINANCE SUPPORTING EQUITY, ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY IN MARIJUANA INDUSTRY


BOSTON - Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today joined Councilor Kim Janey and members of the Boston City Council as he signed "An Ordinance Establishing Equitable Regulation of the Cannabis Industry in the City of Boston." The ordinance is the result of collaboration from many stakeholders, and makes Boston a model for how to create a system that fosters racial equity and inclusion in the new marijuana industry and ensures benefit to all the City's communities. With this ordinance, Boston is the first city in the United States to formally prioritize diverse applicants who are looking to participate in the marijuana industry. 

"This ordinance ensures those who have been impacted hardest by the War on Drugs will benefit most from this economic opportunity." said Mayor Walsh. "I am proud to sign this legislation that will increase transparency and accountability, and support diverse and local ownership in this new industry. I want to thank Councilor Kim Janey for her collaboration throughout this process and I look forward to continuing our partnership that is creating bold progress and change as the cannabis industry grows in Boston." 

The Walsh Administration has prioritized equity since the beginning of this new industry, and has approved 14 host community agreements in 10 different neighborhoods with marijuana businesses seeking to open in the City of Boston, which includes three state-certified empowerment candidates. Boston was the first city in the state to sign an agreement with an economic empowerment state-approved applicant, representing the city's national leadership in creating racial diversity in the cannabis industry.

"Together, we are taking a major step forward in creating a process that promotes equity, clarity, transparency, and accountability. And one that prioritizes small, local companies with diverse ownership from communities disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs," said Councilor Kim Janey. "I want to thank Mayor Walsh for his commitment to creating a fair and equitable process and I look forward to working with him, my colleagues on the Council, and the many advocates and entrepreneurs, as this new industry rolls out in our city."

The ordinance defines the criteria that qualifies an applicant to be an "equity applicant" based on the majority of its ownership and gives preference to people who reside in areas impacted hardest by the war on drugs, Boston residents, people of color, and people with low incomes, among others. Based on this, the City will maintain an equal or greater number of equity applicant licensees to licensees that do not qualify as equity applicants. 

The ordinance also establishes a new Boston Cannabis Equity Program to support equity applicants throughout the process of establishing a cannabis business. The program will offer technical assistance related to business operations, workforce development, legal compliance and other best practices to ensure a successful business plan. 

In addition, the ordinance establishes the Boston Equity Fund to administer and support the Equity Program. This fund will make resources and technical assistance available for equity applicants and licensees to establish and operate a cannabis business in the City of Boston. The Mayor will also establish a Boston Cannabis Board, an independent board charged with reviewing all applicants for a marijuana license. 

Other important pieces of the legislation include an online registry for applicants and licensees with information about their existing or proposed establishment and a map of proposed applications and for residents to access and to ensure businesses are good neighbors in our communities. 

The City has been accepting applications to establish marijuana businesses following its legalization and has conducted an extensive community engagement process for proposals. After signing host community agreements with the City of Boston, businesses go through the State's Cannabis Control Commission process, which ultimately approves businesses. To date, two medical marijuana sites are open for business and two recreational sites have passed the state approval process and are making preparations for their respective openings. Boston's first recreational marijuana business is expected to open before the end of the year.

In an effort to bring further transparency to the industry and remove any potential conflicts of interest, in September, Mayor Walsh signed an executive order that prohibits City of Boston employees of their immediate family members from participating in a marijuana business that is currently seeking, or intends to seek approval from the City of Boston or its agencies. 

To learn about the process involved in setting up a marijuana business in the City of Boston, please visit https://www.boston.gov/establishing-marijuana-business-boston 

###


Tuesday, November 26, 2019

紐英崙中華公所下屆職員選舉12月3日 候選人名單出爐



藝聯慈善攝主席暨中華公所主席候選人
鄭慧民。(周菊子攝)

                   (Boston Orange 周菊子整理報導) 紐英崙中華公所的2020-2021屆職員選舉,已確定只有2組人馬參選。123日將選出5名新職員,在未來2年間,主導這總資產已逾4000萬元,年營收近400萬元,正承辦兩項二億二千萬元土地發展案的非牟利機構。
                    已於1115日截止接受提名的主席,中文書記,英文書記,財政,核數等5個職位,提名僑團及被提名人依序為,主席:鳳倫公所-鄭慧民,遡源公所-雷國輝;中文書記:至德三德公所-翁宇才,波士頓安良工商會-馮成武; 英文書記:阮氏公所-阮鴻燦,僑聲音樂社-陳國華;財政:李氏公所-李翠屏,余風采堂-陳余寶愛;核數只有紐英崙婦女新運會提名張青梅。
               這些候選人1126日,在紐英崙中華公所本年度最後一次的董事大會中,將向中華公所46名持有投票權的董事做自我介紹,發表政見,爭取選票。
遡源公所顧問暨中華公所主席候選人雷國輝。(周菊子攝)
獲得提名的9人,除馮成武是全新參與者之外,其他8人都是中華公所的前任或現任董事,其中阮鴻燦曾任中華公所主席,雷國輝,翁宇才,陳國華,李翠屏,都曾經擔任中華公所職員。
紐英崙中華公所原本有35個僑團會員,共43名出席董事大會代表,但世界廣東同鄉會及海僑協會因雙包案,會籍暫停,因而選舉時有權投票人數減為33個僑團的41人,其中至孝篤親公所有4名代表,黃氏3名,余風采堂,李氏,余氏各2名。這41人加上5名職員,將於123日決定中華公所未來兩年命運。
紐英崙中華公所現任主席陳家驊。(周菊子攝)
由於馮成武同時獲得華裔美國退伍軍人會提名出任英文書記,波士頓安良工商會提名出任中文書記,並在名單揭曉後再撤銷英文書記提名,中華公所董事謝中之因此發聲質疑,建議取消其候選資格,然後中文書記候選人翁宇才跟進,申訴馮成武這麼做不公平,接著全美安良工商會總理陳仕維出面反駁,要求選舉小組召開特別會議討論,又引發選舉小組召集人雷國輝本身是下一屆中華公所職員候選人,有利益衝突之嫌,應暫時卸任該職等議論,中華公所本屆的職員選舉,暗潮洶湧。
紐英崙中華公所在1923年創立之初,並無資產,1980年才在陳毓璇擔任中華公所主席時期,經政府支持,以1元買下泰勒街90號的昆士小學舊址,從而擁有了建於1875年,佔地19,232平方呎的物業。
後來塔芙茨大學肆無忌憚的在華埠一帶擴張,陳毓璇和華埠社區攜手和塔芙茨談判,中華公所的資產,於是又增添佔地19,525平方呎,原稱SCM大樓,現有中國超市座落的喜露街50號。
黃述沾擔任主席期間,買下共有214戶住宅單位的大同村所有權,更是讓中華公所資產,憑添如今的2800萬元。
再過5年即將100歲的紐英崙中華公所,就這樣從早年一無所有,華麗轉身為擁有4000餘萬元資產,還正在承辦新建大同村南停車場,翻建喜露街50號這兩項二億二千萬元土地發展案的非牟利機構。中華公所的下屆職員選舉,也因此豐厚身家備受關注。

Governor Baker Signs Education Funding Bill Providing Investments in Public Schools Across the Commonwealth

Governor Baker Signs Education Funding Bill Providing Investments in Public Schools Across the Commonwealth

BOSTON – Today, Governor Charlie Baker was joined by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, Senator Jason Lewis, Representative Alice Peisch, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and a broad coalition of educators, business leaders and other members of the Legislature to sign S. 2142, An Act relative to educational opportunity for students, which boosts investment in public schools by $1.5 billion annually when fully phased in over the next seven years. These investments will ensure school districts have additional resources to provide high-quality education to all students by revamping the formula used by the state to calculate the cost of educating students by updating costs related to health care and special education, as well as educating English Language Learners and low-income students.

“I am pleased to sign legislation aimed at providing students across the Commonwealth with the opportunities and resources they need to succeed including accountability measures that are essential to supporting underperforming schools,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This funding builds on the over half a billion dollars in new Chapter 70 funding our Administration has supported since taking office. We thank our partners in the Legislature for their hard work and we look forward to implementing this legislation for every child in every school district in Massachusetts.”

“This investment in our Commonwealth’s public schools will provide better opportunities for all students to learn, achieve and succeed at whatever they choose to do in their futures,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We appreciate all the hard work of our colleagues in the Legislature, and the many educators, parents and other stakeholders who spent years making sure we passed legislation that enables schools and teachers to provide a brighter future for all Massachusetts students.”

Both branches of the Legislature unanimously passed the legislation earlier this month after it was released by the Joint Committee on Education. The Student Opportunity Act provides significant new funding resources to schools, particularly school districts with high percentages of low-income students and English Language learners who often live in some of the highest-need communities in the Commonwealth.

“Every child in Massachusetts deserves the opportunity for growth and success, both inside and outside of the classroom, and we are proud to have worked with our partners in the Legislature to increase critical funding in Massachusetts public schools that will go toward expanding access and availability of necessary resources for students and families across the Commonwealth,” said Education Secretary James Peyser.

“Low-income districts have been waiting a long time for additional money to help them offer all of the academics, support services and enrichment opportunities that prepare students for life after high school,” said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley. “This legislation addresses those needs, acknowledges the value of accountability, and dedicates a trust fund to close achievement gaps, an important goal that requires resources as well as our best thinking.”

The Governor signed the bill at The English High School of Boston, the first public high school in America, founded in 1821. Originally called The English Classical School, it was renamed The English High School upon its relocation in 1824. The current building is located in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston, and has nearly 600 students enrolled in grades 9-12.

“This bill marks the culmination of years of advocacy and hard work from so many people who came together to say that students in all school districts across Massachusetts deserve a high-quality education,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “It is an incredible and historic moment that we have reached together as we celebrate the signing of this bill which treats every district and student with equity, recognizing the different challenges our students face and empowering schools to help our students rise up and reach their dreams.”  

“Today is an extraordinary day for our students,” said Senate President Karen E. Spilka. “Today, we are reaffirming our commitment to the idea that providing a quality public education is not a luxury—it is both our greatest responsibility and our greatest opportunity. I am proud of the diligent and thoughtful work of Senator Jason Lewis, the education committee and the conferees, as well as the tireless advocacy by students, parents, teachers, administrators, advocates and others to bring this bill across the finish line. I have personally fought for more equity, predictability and adequacy in public education funding for almost two decades, so I am honored to lead the Massachusetts State Senate as we make this landmark investment in our future.”

“Access to high-quality educational opportunities for all students has long been a priority for the House, and this historic $1.5 billion investment will go a long way supporting the most vulnerable students of the Commonwealth,” said House Speaker Robert DeLeo. “The Student Opportunity Act is the result of a successful partnership spearheaded by our legislative chairs and members with the unwavering support of stakeholders from across the state.  This legislation ensures Massachusetts’ students have the types of classrooms and supports they need and deserve.”

“This landmark legislation, years in the making, recommits our Commonwealth to one of its most fundamental values - that every child deserves access to a high quality public education. Massachusetts will now have the most progressive school funding formula in the nation, designed to address the troubling opportunity and achievement gaps that persist in our public education system,” said Senator Jason Lewis, Senate Chair of the Joint Education Committee. “We have a lot of work ahead of us as we now implement the Student Opportunity Act, but I’m excited that this legislation and the historic level of new funding it will provide to our public schools will make a meaningful difference for students and educators today and for future generations to come.”

“The Student Opportunity Act will lead to greater resources for public school students across the Commonwealth. The Legislature’s overwhelming support of this bill, along with today’s signing by Governor Baker, is a clear indication of our commitment to ensuring that all students, and especially low-income students and English learners, have full access to the high quality education that Massachusetts provides its children,” said Rep. Alice Peisch, House Chair of the Joint Education Committee.  “While this bill is a major step forward, it is not the end of our efforts aimed at narrowing the achievement gap and expanding access. I look forward to continuing to work with the Baker Administration, Speaker DeLeo and my colleagues in the House on education legislation that will keep Massachusetts a national and international leader in public education.”

In addition to historic increases in state investments, the bill requires school districts to develop three-year plans to close achievement gaps using evidence-based programs and supports, such as expanded learning time, increased counseling and psychological services, professional development, expanded early learning and pre-kindergarten, early college and career readiness pathways, and a more diverse teacher workforce. The Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education will establish statewide targets for addressing persistent achievement gaps among student groups, and will review each district’s plan to ensure it sets measurable goals for student improvement, with credible strategies for achieving them. Districts must amend any plan deemed by the Commissioner not to conform with these standards.

The bill also requires the Secretary of Education to collect data on student preparedness for college and career success by school district and high school, including student participation rates in college and career readiness programs, college acceptance and graduation rates, as well as the percentage of students in internships and earning industry-recognized credentials. The annual report will be developed in consultation with a data advisory commission, school districts, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Department of Higher Education and other state agencies.

Under the legislation, school districts will see increased reimbursements for transporting students to out-of-district special education placements. It also raises a cap on state funding for school building projects by $150 million from $600 million to $750 million; fully funds charter school reimbursements; and creates a grant fund for innovative educational approaches.​​

2020二月底起 麻州禁開車時用手機


(Boston Orange 編譯) 麻州州長查理貝克(Charlie Baker)1125日簽署法案,開車時禁用手機等手持設備法預定223日起生效。
查理貝克在一份聲明中表示,這法案將大幅度的減少分心駕駛的數量,也將勒令駕駛為他們該看前方道路時,卻看著電子設備的行為負責。
這法案在議會討論過許多年了,上週三眾議會,參議會終於都通過了之後,送到州長辦公桌上,簽署成法,預定90天後的223日起生效。
截至331日,該法案會有寬限期,也就是在41日以前,駕駛人第一次違犯法令時,只會收到警告。
根據這法案的規定基本上,汽車駕駛和騎自行車的人在駕駛途中不准使用諸如電話等電子設備,除非是免手持型式。舉例來說,如果你從駕駛座位打電話給某個人,要確認一下你可以不用手拿著電話來打。使用諸如藍芽等科技的免手持設備是可以的。該法案也允許單一點擊或掃螢幕的啟動或關閉免持模式。
駕駛也不可以讀短信,或看照片,視頻,除非是在看有助導航的東西,而且設備要黏在適當位置,例如車輛的擋風玻璃,儀板表,或者其他的中央控制台。
因應緊急狀況時使用電話是許可的,包括需要醫療,要求警察緊急干預,或舉報意外,車輛壞了等。
該法案並不適用於值勤,開著救護車的急救人員。
駕駛如果是停在定點,不在行車線上,可以使用電話。
根據州長辦公室的說法,這法案的主要目的就是要遏止車輛駕駛在開車時用手機,所以警察可以只因為駕駛在用電話,就把駕駛攔到路邊。在41日寬限期結束後,初犯者罰款100元,第二次犯,罰款會漲到250元,第三次以及之後的在泛,罰500元,
儘管第一次,第二次的違犯此法,不會影響保險費率,但第三次以上就會被算做須加徵保費的事故了。
任何人違犯該法案一次以上,就必須完成主要內容為預防駕駛分心的課程。
麻州早從2010年開始就已立法禁止駕駛途中發短信,但那時還未禁止包括撥打電話等其他行動。

Monday, November 25, 2019

Shannon Liss-Riordan Calling for Spending Cap in Senate Primary


Statement from Shannon Liss-Riordan Calling for Spending Cap in Senate Primary

BOSTON, November 25, 2019-  "Too often, elections are decided by who can spend the most money.  That is why I am proposing a spending cap in this race. Voters deserve a race run on the issues, not one where the candidate who raises the most money from lobbyists and special interests is able to walk away with a U.S. Senate seat.  

Further, I have heard the argument from many in the political establishment that this race will take away resources from campaigns in other states where Democrats have the opportunity to flip a seat.  While I don't necessarily subscribe to that thinking, my proposal is a solution to that concern. Let's set the spending limit at $6 million dollars, a number that both Senator Markey and Congressman Kennedy are very close to having in the bank - if they don't already.  This would mean they would not need to continue to aggressively court wealthy donors, who can then direct their resources to Maine, New Hampshire and elsewhere.  

Senator Markey and Congressman Kennedy, I'm asking you to join me in setting an example for the rest of the nation.  We can talk about money in politics, or we can actually do something about it. Let's do something about it."

Saturday, November 23, 2019

MAYOR WALSH AWARDS $4.7 MILLION TO CREATE 157 HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES FOR HOMELESS YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULTS IN BOSTON AS FIRST ACTION ITEM SUPPORTING NEWLY-RELEASED PLAN


MAYOR WALSH AWARDS $4.7 MILLION TO CREATE 157 HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES FOR HOMELESS YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULTS IN BOSTON AS FIRST ACTION ITEM SUPPORTING NEWLY-RELEASED PLAN

BOSTON - Thursday, November 21, 2019 - Building on his commitment to ending homelessness in Boston, Mayor Martin J. Walsh today joined members of the City's Youth Action Board, the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley and community partners at Bridge Over Troubled Waters to release a new action plan, Rising to the Challenge, to prevent and end youth and young adult homelessness in Boston. The plan is the collective result of input from the Youth Action Board, the City's advisory group of youth and young adults, who have experienced homelessness or housing instability, together with 240 community members representing more than 110 public and private organizations across Boston. As an immediate action item towards implementing the plan, Mayor Walsh awarded $4.7 million in grant funds to create 157 new housing opportunities dedicated to serving homeless youth and young adults. 

"In Boston, it's imperative that we make sure that every young person has a safe stable place to call home," said Mayor Walsh. "I am proud that together we are Rising to the Challenge by putting forth a plan that will guide us as we take critical next steps towards ending youth and young adult homelessness in Boston. I want to thank the Youth Action Board members and all of the partners for contributing to the creation of this plan, and I look forward to our important work ahead."

The new Rising to the Challenge plan focuses on gathering data on homeless youth, understanding the current system's capacity, identifying unmet needs of youth and young adults, and designing a plan to address gaps in the emergency assistance system. Youth and young adults are defined as a person age 24 years and younger. In some cases, youth and young adults may be under the care and custody of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

To prevent and end youth homelessness, the plan prioritizes ensuring that every youth individual at-risk of or experiencing homelessness is identified and immediately linked to the resources that will address their needs; and offering safe and stable housing that supports their needs; focusing on each individual's health and well-being; providing resources to meet their educational and employment goals; and making permanent connections so that each individual is able to build a support network that improves their ability to thrive, while providing a social safety net to prevent future homelessness. 

To achieve these goals, the plan will implement four key strategies to make homelessness among youth and young adults rare, brief, and non-repeating. Strategies include:
  1. Develop a collaborative system that reorganizes the way that the City and various agencies work together and make decisions, with the goal of forming a clear, comprehensive and youth-specific system to end youth and young adult homelessness. Using national and local best practices, Boston has transformed its homelessness services into a coordinated and integrated system based on Housing First principles. Building on this success, the City and its partners are now turning their focus to tackling the prevalence of homelessness among unaccompanied youth and young adults.
     
  2. Improve early identification and outreach to connect with youth who are at-risk of becoming homeless, or who are currently homeless. Current gaps in identification create a challenge in connecting individuals with housing and other needed services, such as employment, education, recovery and more.
     
  3. Increase access to and effectiveness of existing resources by streamlining cross sector referrals and strengthening training for youth-serving agencies and homelessness services providers to better serve youth and young adults experiencing homelessness.
     
  4. Invest in new housing and services resources in order to house all ages 18-24 unaccompanied youth who are experiencing homelessness. The report shows that within the next three years, the City will need to add 285 new housing opportunities dedicated to this population. 

The $4.7 million grant awarded by the U.S. Office of Housing and Urban Development will support the creation of 157 housing opportunities provided through Boston's non-profit partners that will meet the needs of the youth and young adults experiencing homelessness by offering services tailored to each individuals needs.

"We are excited to be a part of this effort with the Youth Action Board and the City of Boston, which will create 157 new units of housing for homeless youth with this much-needed funding," said The Executive Director of Bridge Over Troubled Waters Elizabeth Jackson. "With a roof over their heads, youth will be able to work on getting jobs, furthering their education, and creating the stability they need to move forward on their path to a self-sufficient future."  

As Boston continues to look for ways to address its housing needs, the City has identified an opportunity to utilize funds generated through Boston's Room Occupancy Local Excise Tax to enhance housing and homelessness efforts. Of the $5 million that will be generated, $1 million of that revenue will be used to provide supportive services for youth, including professional development opportunities and permanent connections, building on the City's action plan to support young Bostonians experiencing homelessness. 

In addition, immediate steps laid out in the plan include making existing emergency shelter and housing programs more accessible, supportive, and effective for youth and young adults, as well as training nonprofits in the areas of housing, workforce development, and education on youth-centered care approaches, such as trauma informed care and  positive youth development. To oversee the implementation of this plan, the City is bringing on two new positions, a Housing Officer for the Initiative to End Youth and Young Adult Homelessness at the Department of Neighborhood Development and Youth, and Young Adult Homelessness Director at the Health and Human Services Cabinet. These two City positions, in partnership with a third position at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, will convene community partners, drive the alignment of programs addressing the housing, supportive services, education, and employment needs of young people, and monitor performance. 

"This plan understands that the streets are not safe for young people at night. It means a lot to us know that we are a priority, and that the City of Boston is making a long-term commitment to build a better future for us and our peers. It makes us feel hopeful, and we know that lives will be saved," according to a statement from the Boston Youth Action Board.

Boston's 2019 annual homeless census shows that on a given night, 325 youth and young adults are either sleeping in Boston's shelters or on the street. The City's data also shows that the average stay for young adults in Boston's shelters is approximately two months.

The City's focus on ending homelessness among youth and young adults is part of our comprehensive approach to ending all homelessness in Boston through Boston's Way Home. Through the efforts of Boston's Way Home, Mayor Walsh's initiative to end veteran and chronic homelessness, Boston has made significant progress in preventing and ending homelessness among single adults, including ending chronic veteran homelessness. Through this initiative, over 880 chronically individuals have been housed, representing more than 5,400 cumulative years of homelessness ended. As a result, chronic homelessness has been reduced by 19 percent during a time that there have been increases in chronic homelessness nationally. Furthermore, the City's partners housed over 1,170 homeless Veterans and reduced homelessness among Veterans by 36 percent.

"We all have an obligation to do more to help young people in our region who are homeless and isolated from their families," said Michael K. Durkin, President and Chief Executive Officer at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. "By bringing the right people and partners together, we can do this in Boston. Mayor Walsh and his administration have worked with young people who have experienced homelessness, as well as nonprofit and business leaders, to develop a comprehensive plan to help young people thrive. United Way looks forward to rising to the challenge to ensure all youth and young adults at risk of, or experiencing homelessness, are on a path toward stability and economic mobility."  

"We have long supported local organizations that are doing the hard work to address the issue of youth homelessness," said Liberty Mutual Foundation President Melissa MacDonnell. "Our goal is to help give young people at risk a sense of stability and support, because we know they are full of potential, passion and purpose. We are honored to have been a part of the City's plan to help prevent and end youth homelessness, and thank Mayor Walsh for his leadership on this hidden epidemic. And, we are looking forward to announcing even more support in the new year."

For more information on the City's efforts to assist youth and young adults experiencing homelessness, please visit boston.gov/youth-homelessness.