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Tuesday, July 07, 2020

波士頓市議會為秋季開學召開公聽會 7/9

Are Boston-based colleges and universities -and neighborhoods- ready for the return of students in Fall 2020?

On Thursday July 9, at 1:00PM, Boston City Council's Public Health Committee will hold a hearing regarding plans to re-open amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Panelists include leaders of local labor organizations (SEIU), and representatives from Boston University, Harvard University, and Northeastern University.

The hearing is co-sponsored by City Councilor Liz Breadon (Allston-Brighton), Kenzie Bok (Back Bay, Fenway, Mission Hill, Kenmore), and City Council President Kim Janey (Roxbury, parts of the South End, Dorchester and Fenway).

MAYOR WALSH ANNOUNCES NEW RAMP INITIATIVE TO HIGHLIGHT INCREASED ACCESSIBILITY TO OUTDOOR DINING SEATING Irwin Edwards sets up their new accessibility ramp at Elephant & Castle in downtown Boston (Mayor's Office Photo by John Wilcox) BOSTON - Tuesday, July 7, 2020 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced a new ramp initiative to increase accessibility to outdoor dining amidst the COVID-19 public health emergency. Restaurants that have been granted a temporary license to have seating in a parking space or on the street are eligible to request a portable ramp. "It's important that as we reimagine our streets to accommodate outdoor dining during our reopening process, we do so in a way that is equitable to everyone who uses our roads and sidewalks, including those with disabilities," said Mayor Walsh. "We are glad to include accessibility as an integral part of our permitting process, and thank the restaurants for welcoming the use of portable ramps in their spaces as they continue to safely reopen." Since outdoor dining was permitted as part of the State's reopening plan, the Mayor's Commission for Persons with Disabilities has been working with the Licensing Board, the Boston Transportation Department and other City departments to ensure that new dining spaces are accessible and that the path of travel on sidewalks is not obstructed. Accessible Parking Spaces in the city remain available for those who need them. "I'd like to remind everyone in the disability community that COVID-19 is still a risk throughout Boston, so if you decide to use the outdoor dining, please continue to take the necessary steps to protect yourself and others," said Mayor's Commission for Persons with Disabilities Commissioner Kristen McCosh. "Stay six feet away from others when possible, always wear a face covering, and wash your hands often." Restaurants who have filed for outdoor seating can fill out the Portable Ramp Request Form to assess the need for a ramp. Ramps will be provided on a rolling basis, along with an accessibility toolkit that contains information on setting up the ramp, a laminated sign with information on accessibility that restaurants can hang up, and best practices on providing service to customers with disabilities. Ramps will be returned to the City at the end of the season and repurposed in other initiatives. "We appreciate the City giving us outdoor space to welcome our guests back, and we're very excited to install our portable ramp to increase access to guests with disabilities," said Heather Lynch, partner of Black Lamb in the South End. This initiative is made possible with support from Citi as part of the Empowered Cities Initiative which is providing the City of Boston $200,000. Remaining funds not used for the portable ramp initiative will be used for financial empowerment for people with disabilities. The City has granted over 300 temporary extensions onto outdoor space to serve patrons. The Licensing Board is actively issuing approvals for temporary extensions on private and public property, and applications will continue to be reviewed and approved on a rolling basis. The Disabilities Commission is working with the Licensing Board to conduct outreach throughout Boston's neighborhoods to encourage restaurants to apply for this program, particularly women- and minority-owned businesses (WMBEs). Applications and guidance area available on Boston.gov. The state building code, under the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board (AAB), requires restaurants to have an accessible route to tables. With seating now being extended onto the street, the City was granted a temporary MAAB variance that will allow all restaurants in Boston to use portable ramps in order to create an accessible route. This helped to reduce procedural and financial barriers for individual restaurant owners, and it will create accessibility for people of all ages and abilities. As business owners, employers, and employees navigate an evolving reopening process and COVID-19-related assistance, the City of Boston created and maintains a "Reopening Boston" webpage, which includes industry-specific guidance and requirements, resources and tools, and more information on available City services. The City of Boston has created a number of useful guides and resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19, including a new platform to advertise and purchase PPE and cleaning supplies, Open Businesses in Boston and Support Boston Restaurants, platforms which helped businesses to publicly share that they are open and direct residents to support local establishments. For all coronavirus updates from the City of Boston, please visit boston.gov/coronavirus.

MAYOR WALSH ANNOUNCES NEW RAMP INITIATIVE TO HIGHLIGHT INCREASED ACCESSIBILITY TO OUTDOOR DINING SEATING
Irwin Edwards sets up their new accessibility ramp at Elephant & Castle in downtown Boston (Mayor's Office Photo by John Wilcox)

BOSTON - Tuesday, July 7, 2020 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced a new ramp initiative to increase accessibility to outdoor dining amidst the COVID-19 public health emergency. Restaurants that have been granted a temporary license to have seating in a parking space or on the street are eligible to request a portable ramp. 

"It's important that as we reimagine our streets to accommodate outdoor dining during our reopening process, we do so in a way that is equitable to everyone who uses our roads and sidewalks, including those with disabilities," said Mayor Walsh. "We are glad to include accessibility as an integral part of our permitting process, and thank the restaurants for welcoming the use of portable ramps in their spaces as they continue to safely reopen." 

Since outdoor dining was permitted as part of the State's reopening plan, the Mayor's Commission for Persons with Disabilities has been working with the Licensing Board, the Boston Transportation Department and other City departments to ensure that new dining spaces are accessible and that the path of travel on sidewalks is not obstructed. Accessible Parking Spaces in the city remain available for those who need them. 

"I'd like to remind everyone in the disability community that COVID-19 is still a risk throughout Boston, so if you decide to use the outdoor dining, please continue to take the necessary steps to protect yourself and others," said Mayor's Commission for Persons with Disabilities Commissioner Kristen McCosh. "Stay six feet away from others when possible, always wear a face covering, and wash your hands often."

Restaurants who have filed for outdoor seating can fill out the Portable Ramp Request Form to assess the need for a ramp. Ramps will be provided on a rolling basis, along with an accessibility toolkit that contains information on setting up the ramp, a laminated sign with information on accessibility that restaurants can hang up, and best practices on providing service to customers with disabilities. Ramps will be returned to the City at the end of the season and repurposed in other initiatives. 

"We appreciate the City giving us outdoor space to welcome our guests back, and we're very excited to install our portable ramp to increase access to guests with disabilities," said Heather Lynch, partner of Black Lamb in the South End. 

This initiative is made possible with support from Citi as part of the Empowered Cities Initiative which is providing the City of Boston $200,000. Remaining funds not used for the portable ramp initiative will be used for financial empowerment for people with disabilities. 

The City has granted over 300 temporary extensions onto outdoor space to serve patrons. The Licensing Board is actively issuing approvals for temporary extensions on private and public property, and applications will continue to be reviewed and approved on a rolling basis. The Disabilities Commission is working with the Licensing Board to conduct outreach throughout Boston's neighborhoods to encourage restaurants to apply for this program, particularly women- and minority-owned businesses (WMBEs). Applications and guidance areavailable on Boston.gov
 
The state building code, under the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board (AAB), requires restaurants to have an accessible route to tables. With seating now being extended onto the street, the City was granted a temporary MAAB variance that will allow all restaurants in Boston to use portable ramps in order to create an accessible route. This helped to reduce procedural and financial barriers for individual restaurant owners, and it will create accessibility for people of all ages and abilities. 
 
As business owners, employers, and employees navigate an evolving reopening process and COVID-19-related assistance, the City of Boston created and maintains a "Reopening Boston" webpage, which includes industry-specific guidance and requirements, resources and tools, and more information on available City services. The City of Boston has created a number of useful guides and resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19, including a new platform to advertise and purchase PPE and cleaning suppliesOpen Businesses in Boston and Support Boston Restaurants, platforms which helped businesses to publicly share that they are open and direct residents to support local establishments. For all coronavirus updates from the City of Boston, please visit boston.gov/coronavirus.

RED SOX SIGN FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK NICK YORKE

RED SOX SIGN FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK NICK YORKE

BOSTON, MA – The Boston Red Sox today signed second baseman Nick Yorke, the club’s top selection in the 2020 MLB First-Year Player Draft.

Red Sox Director of Amateur Scouting Paul Toboni made the announcement.

The 17th overall pick in the June Draft out of Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, CA, Yorke hit a combined .503 (97-for-193) in his final three seasons after batting .370 as a freshman (37-for-100). He played in only five games before the 2020 season was suspended, going 8-for-15 (.533) with two home runs. In 363 career plate appearances, Yorke drew 53 walks and struck out only 26 times.

Memorandum of Understanding Reached Between MassDOT and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regarding Bourne and Sagamore Bridges

Memorandum of Understanding Reached Between MassDOT and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regarding Bourne and Sagamore Bridges 
Parties agree funding for new bridges is a federal responsibility and USACE, U.S. Department of the Army and Commonwealth will work together to develop a funding plan and seek Congressional acceptance

BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, Commander of the New England District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers William Conde, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Senator Edward Markey and U.S. Representative William Keating today announced a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been reached between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, acting through the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), and the U.S. Department of the Army and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), in regard to the Bourne Bridge and the Sagamore Bridge. Under the agreement, the USACE will continue to own, operate and maintain the existing Bourne and Sagamore Bridges and MassDOT will serve as the lead project delivery agency with responsibility to construct and subsequently own, operate and maintain two new bridges.

“The bridges over the Cape Cod Canal are among the most important transportation structures in the entire Commonwealth and we are grateful to have agreement on a new Memorandum of Understanding, which puts us on a path to replace both,” said Governor Baker. “This MOU will be a ‘living’ document that should reassure residents, the business community and visitors that the current bridges will be maintained while steps go forward to build two new bridges.”

“The economic vitality of Cape Cod and the Islands and the quality of life for people who live and work in those communities is dependent on our Cape Cod Canal crossings,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “This new MOU is an important milestone as it formalizes the collaboration that will take place in the years ahead between the Commonwealth, Department of the Army, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges’ maintenance, as well as the efforts to fund, design and build two new bridges before the Commonwealth assumes ownership.” 

The new MOU will guide the partnership between the state and federal agencies in the replacement of the two Cape Cod Canal Bridges, which are owned and maintained by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. USACE will continue to be responsible for ownership, operation and maintenance of the existing bridges until replacement bridges are built and operational. MassDOT and USACE will work together to plan, permit, fund, construct, demolish and transfer ownership of two new Cape Cod Canal Bridges built to current Federal Highway and MassDOT standards. The parties agree that the funding of the bridges is a federal responsibility and will work together to develop a funding plan and seek congressional acceptance. The MOU establishes MassDOT as the lead project delivery agency, recognizing MassDOT’s experience and capability to deliver bridges of similar size and complexity. Once the replacement bridges are complete, MassDOT will own, operate and maintain the new bridges as part of the Commonwealth’s network of roads and bridges.

“With the decision made to replace the existing bridges, this MOU lays out how that process will proceed,” said Secretary Pollack. “MassDOT is pleased to take the lead on constructing the new bridges, working closely with our federal partners, and will also be responsible for redesigning and reconstructing the approaches to the two new bridges. We look forward to engaging town and city officials in the region, community leaders, residents, business owners and other stakeholders as we move through the design and permitting process, beginning with an alternatives analysis that will help decide the exact locations and configuration of the replacement bridges. Most of all, we look forward to a day when two new bridges will be in place over the Canal, built to modern day standards and in place to help people safely get to and from the Cape for many decades.”

"We are happy to build upon our partnership with MassDOT as we work together to improve the infrastructure to Cape Cod and the Islands," said Colonel Conde.

“This partnership between MassDOT and USACE to replace the Cape Cod Canal Bridges is great news for the nearly 250,000 residents and businesses across the Cape and Islands who rely on these vital connections to the rest of Massachusetts," said Senator Warren. “Replacing these bridges will help us grow our regional economy while enhancing public safety, and I will keep working with my delegation colleagues to ensure this project receives the federal funding it needs.”

“The Bourne and Sagamore Bridges are vital parts of the Cape’s economy and way of life, and also serve as crucial evacuation routes in an emergency. Replacing both structures is the only viable long-term solution for the region, and I applaud today’s MOU as an important step toward that goal,” said Senator Markey. “By fulfilling and building on this federal-state-local partnership, we will deliver two new bridges for the Cape & Islands’ economy and residents. As Congress debates an infrastructure package in the weeks ahead, I will fight to secure the federal funding we need to complete this essential project.”

"The signing of this memorandum between the Commonwealth and the federal government represents a critical step forward in ensuring safe, reliable, and modern bridges connecting the residents and economy of the Cape & Islands with the rest of the Commonwealth," said Congressman Keating. "As a resident of Bourne who relies on the bridges daily, I applaud the Army Corps of Engineers for recognizing that MassDOT is best equipped to handle this significant transportation infrastructure project. I thank Secretary Pollack and Colonel Conde for their leadership in forging a path forward and I look forward to continuing to work with them both as well as our partners in the Massachusetts delegation as this critical project moves forward."

In fall 2019, the USACE released its Draft Major Rehabilitation Evaluation Report on the future of the Cape Cod Canal highway bridges spanning the Cape Cod Canal and held several public meetings in October. The Corps and MassDOT have collaborated throughout the bridge study process. In addition, the Commonwealth has plans to improve the roads it maintains and owns approaching the bridges and along the Canal. 

The MassDOT Cape Cod Canal Area Transportation Study information is available on the MassDOT website hereThe Study examined options at a conceptual level such as modified and improved highway interchanges, and improvements for pedestrian, bicycle and transit access in order to improve multi-modal travel. The report includes analytical findings, a recommended plan of transportation improvements (short-term, medium-term and long-term), preliminary cost estimates for these improvements, and a comprehensive implementation plan for the recommended improvements. 

Baker-Polito Administration Highlights EEE Preparedness Measures

Baker-Polito Administration Highlights EEE Preparedness Measures


PLYMOUTH – Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito today joined Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides, Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel and local officials to highlight steps the Commonwealth is taking to prepare for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) this year. Preparedness measures include ongoing and increased surveillance testing, an updated public awareness campaign, and mitigation efforts such as larvicide, spraying, and horse vaccination. The Administration also highlighted its recently-filed legislation that would authorize a coordinated, proactive, statewide approach to mosquito control activities.

EEE is a rare but serious and potentially fatal disease that can affect people of all ages. EEE is generally spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. There were 12 human cases of EEE in Massachusetts in 2019 with six deaths. There were also nine cases in domestic animals.

“After Massachusetts experienced a significant outbreak of EEE last year, our Administration has been taking proactive, early steps to prepare for the virus this year, especially as the Commonwealth continues to confront the ongoing public health challenges associated with COVID-19,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are implementing early mitigation efforts and reminding residents to take steps to protect themselves and their families. We also look forward to working with our legislative colleagues to pass our legislation authorizing a statewide, coordinated approach to EEE.”

“As we prepare for an outbreak of EEE this year, our Administration has been working for months on early preparedness efforts to combat mosquito-borne illnesses,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “These steps will complement our work to facilitate a coordinated statewide approach through our recently-filed legislation and the work we all must do to keep ourselves and our families safe.”

Regional mosquito control projects and districts provide mosquito control services to member communities, and have been engaged in proactive, preventative activities since early spring. Spring larviciding applications were conducted by regional mosquito control districts covering 10 counties, from the Berkshires to Cape Cod, and targeted over 19,600 acres. These larviciding operations specifically targeted the mosquito species that drive the EEE disease cycle, with the goal of reducing the risk of EEE.

Regional mosquito control districts also coordinated to conduct field trials using three different larviciding products to determine their effectiveness in early spring treatments. Additionally, truck-mounted spraying using adulticiding products started in June and will run through the end of the summer.

“After last year’s significant spike in EEE cases, it is critical that the Commonwealth take aggressive, proactive measures to prepare for another potential outbreak,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “We are pleased to work closely with mosquito control districts across Massachusetts to support the early planning and deliberate action needed to mitigate the threat to public health presented by mosquito-borne diseases like EEE.”

The Department of Public Health (DPH) recently launched a new website for updated information and an expanded public awareness campaign reminding people to take steps to protect themselves from mosquito-borne illnesses like EEE. To prepare for mosquito season:

  • Drain standing water in and around your house or yard to prevent mosquito breeding.

  • Repair window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out of your home.

  • Use a mosquito repellent with an EPA-registered ingredient according to the directions on the label.

  • Wear clothing to reduce exposed skin when weather permits.

DPH is also conducting surveillance testing on mosquitos as it prepares for the 2020 EEE season. Yesterday DPH confirmed EEE in a mosquito sample collected on July 5 in the Franklin County community of Wendell, raising the risk level to “moderate” in Wendell and New Salem. On Friday, state officials reported the state’s first EEE positive mosquito sample in the Franklin County community of Orange, raising risk levels to “moderate” in Orange and Athol. No human or animal case of EEE has been detected so far this year. Current information and maps for risk levels can be found here.
  
“People have an important role to play in protecting themselves from mosquito-borne illnesses, which can be very serious,” said Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel. “We have already launched a robust public awareness campaign with messages to continue throughout the season to remind our residents early and often about the specific measures to take to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites.”

For more information about preventing mosquito and tickborne illness, visit www.mass.gov/mosquitoesandticks or watch this video from DPH about how you can protect yourself and your family.

Monday, July 06, 2020

MIT教授李燦輝辭世 波士頓華埠輿圖待續


李燦輝教授。
                    (Boston Orange )202072日時,波士頓殞落一名關心華人社區的學者。曾任麻省理工學院市區研究及計畫(Urban Studies and Planning)系主任,紐英崙華人歷史協會,亞美社區發展中心,以及中華廣教學校董事的李燦輝(Tunney Lee)因癌症引起的併發症辭世,享年88歲。
                   李燦輝是廣東台山人,1931年出生,也是極少數,當年在波士頓華埠長大,並一直留在麻州的華裔學者。他對華埠感情極深,辭世前致力於製作華埠輿圖(Chinatown Alta)”,從建築角度,為波士頓華埠的發展留下歷史紀錄。
根據麻州大學亞美研究院副院長羅燕卿(Shauna Lo)200910月做的口述歷史採訪記錄,李燦輝的曾祖父於1882年應徵來美,參與修築橫貫美國大陸的第一條鐵路-太平洋鐵路,其後於1892年來麻州,在水橋(Bridgewater)的一家洗衣店工作,奠下他一家落腳麻州的遠因。
             李燦輝的曾祖父後來在波士頓華埠必珠街(Beach)54號,現在的桃園餅家所在地開了家雜貨店。他的祖父則在1903年,父親在1922年才從中國來波士頓。他們都曾在美國入學,讀書,再回中國娶妻生子。
            李氏公所的人透露,李燦輝的父親Kwang Lien Lee是名學有所成的律師,更是李氏公所得以在泰勒街上擁有一座至今仍美輪美奐大樓的關鍵人物。
1937年,中日戰爭爆發,礙於當年美國有移民配額限制,只有男生才能入境美國,李燦輝的父親因而只帶著6歲的他跋涉重洋,先抵達加拿大溫哥華,再搭火車穿越加拿大,到新斯科舍省(Nova Scotia),登上蒸汽船,一路來到波士頓時,都已經是1938年,李燦輝也7歲了。他還記得在東波士頓移民站,被移民官盤問了不下一個小時。
他母親Kam Kwai Chan及三個妹妹,礙於美國當年的移民法規定,留在中國,直到後來,才依序於19701980年代來到美國。
李燦輝來美後,曾在波士頓華埠的牛津地(Oxford),乞臣街(Hudson)等地居住,一直到1949年他從波士頓拉丁學校(Boston Latin School)畢業,進密西根大學建築系,才離開。由於他祖父逝於1948年,他父親長年在華府工作,中學畢業後,他竟從此沒再過回波士頓華埠。
大學畢業後,他從追隨建築師及未來學家Buckminster Fuller,以及著名的華裔建築師貝聿銘(I.M. Pei)工作,就是在紐約為貝聿銘工作時,他認識了從芝加哥大學畢業,在Cooper Union深造的Irene Friedman,並在獲得傅爾布萊特獎學金,赴義大利深造期間,展開情書攻勢,最終於1957年在羅馬締結良緣。
李燦輝後來曾經擔任波士頓市政府重建局(BRA)計畫及設計長,在杜卡吉斯(Michael S. Dukakis)的麻州州長任內,做過麻州都成營運及計畫局( Division of Capital Planning and Operations)副局長,從麻省理工學院退休後,他又應香港中文大學之邀,為該校創立建築系,並擔任創系主席。
同時間,他也回到波士頓華埠,為保存華埠歷史,展開了後來也設置網站,並獲得麻州歷史局表揚的”華埠圖輿(Chinatown Alta)”計畫。
李燦輝身後遺有二女,住在劍橋市的Kaela,住在布魯克蘭鎮的Dara Lee Lewis3個妹妹,住在BraintreeMu Zhen Li,住在昆士市的Cui Yu Li ,以及住在牛頓市的Xiao Xia Li,以及3名孫子女。李燦輝的家人計畫以Zoom舉行追思會,日期未定。

Friday, July 03, 2020

RED SOX MAKE CHANGES TO FENWAY PARK FOR THE SAFE OPERATION OF SUMMER CAMP

RED SOX MAKE CHANGES TO FENWAY PARK
FOR THE SAFE OPERATION OF SUMMER CAMP   
BOSTON, MA – The Red Sox today outlined several physical changes to Fenway Park and new operating protocols that support the safe operation of Summer Camp (the resumption of 2020 Spring Training). 
To allow for appropriate density and physical distancing between players, lockers for the players have been moved from the Red Sox Clubhouse into suites. Other spaces such as the workout areas, batting cages, and bullpens, have also been expanded into fan seating areas and concourses in different parts of the ballpark. 
Suites Converted to Red Sox Locker Rooms 
To best adhere to the MLB guidelines promoting proper physical distancing, suites in Right Field have been converted to accommodate locker room space for two Red Sox players per suite. Spaces within the existing Red Sox clubhouse will be re-assigned and adjusted to provide players and staff with facilities that are in line with MLB’s health and safety guidelines.
Concourse Conversion
The Right Field Concourse, typically a concession area and walkway for fans, has been transformed into an expanded training and conditioning area that includes the installation of a new open-air batting cage. Located in close proximity to the existing Red Sox Clubhouse, the auxiliary space includes artificial turf with equipment like bikes and weights lining the walls. A covered pitcher’s mound has also been installed in a portion of the Big Concourse located under the Bleachers. In addition to the significant expanded space afforded in the concourses, enhanced air circulation is also a benefit of the covered but not fully enclosed areas.
Alternate Summer Camp Sites
In addition to activities at Fenway Park, the Club will utilize Boston College’s Harrington Athletic Village and McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket as alternate training sites. Workouts will begin at Boston College over the weekend and in Pawtucket later in camp.
COVID-19 Testing
Screening and testing of all Red Sox players, coaches, and staff has taken place throughout the week in advance of the start of Major League Baseball’s Summer Camp. Regular asymptomatic testing of players and staff will continue throughout camp and the regular season. The Red Sox have worked closely with medical experts and MLB on the planning and execution of a comprehensive and stringent set of health and safety protocols. All Red Sox testing is being facilitated by MLB through a separate testing facility the league has established to avoid competing with public testing needs. 

波士頓市議員吳弭與Kim Janey呼籲地鐵減價或免費

波士頓市議員吳弭(Michelle Wu)(左)在Nubian廣場地鐵站前
呼籲改善公共交通系統。(取自臉書)

                    (Boston Orange) 波士頓市議員吳弭(Michelle Wu)和市議會議長Kim Janey,幾位民選議員一起,71日在Nubian地鐵站舉行記者會,重推改善公共交通系統運動,呼籲減價,甚至索性免費,以期更可負擔。他們也呼籲增加汽油稅,以資助更好的服務。
               吳弭和Kim Janey表示,71日是MBTA最近一次漲價的一週年,也是MBTA7年來第4次漲價。該漲價行動引發的抗議,後來導致巴士免費的呼籲。
                 吳弭也和她的前任波士頓市議員同事,現任聯邦眾議員普利斯萊(Ayanna Pressley),聯邦參議員馬基(Ed Markey)MassLive.com上,聯名發表了一篇文章,稱自由移動法案(Freedom to Move Act)”將增加流動性,聯繫社區,協助經濟恢復。
這篇文章指出,美國有45%的人無法使用公共交通工具,那些完全仰賴公共交通工具的人,更可能是年收入少於3萬元的黑人,拉丁裔,或是在外國出生者。提供免費的公共交通,將有助於麻州內所有市鎮彼此聯繫,人口流動,族裔平等,經濟穩定。
COVID-19大流行發生,公共交通工具基本免費之後,幾乎各地搭乘率都大幅下降時,羅倫斯市竟比之前增加了20%,就是一個例證。
以波士頓的MBTA和春田市的PVTA為例,2019年車票收入依序為67170萬元,以及7526,668元,這費用若由聯邦補助款替代,民眾可免費搭車後,從搭車者的每年開銷預算平均有16%花在交通上,低收入家庭甚至接近30%,一旦免費搭車,每戶人家一年甚至可節省1萬多元。
在可以免費搭乘的鼓勵下,人們可能更願意使用公共交通工具,連帶形成交通擠塞情況紓緩,廢氣排放量減少,空氣汙染改善等良性循環。
             新型冠狀病毒大流行近月以來顛覆世界,交通系統為因應狀況而做的改變,也讓票務收入大受影響。目前的MBTA,允許乘客從車輛後門上車,以避免和監督收費的司機接觸,實際是在提供免費搭乘服務。
             波士頓市議會現任議長Kim Janey表示,新型冠狀病毒展現給人們看的是,免費巴士是可行的。她說,我不要看車票減價,我要見到某些巴士路線免費,尤其是那些經過黑人及棕人社區的巴士須要免費
             有研究人員發現,MBTA的巴士系統和火車系統相比,有更高比例的少數族裔及低收入乘客,準時度也在各種交通模式中表現最糟糕。黑人巴士乘客和白人乘客相比,一年多花64小時通勤。
             支持交通系統改革的人(Transit advocates)今年稍早前表示,讓所有巴士免費得耗用MBTA3600萬元一年,約等於增加一分錢汽油稅可產生的經費。
            州政府官員則表示,如果其他的通勤者都轉乘巴士,以獲得免費的好處,MBTA損失的收入會更多。
             MBTA曾經承諾為所有低收入乘客設立折扣票價系統,以青年派司(Youth Pass)”,為25歲以下的低收入成人也提供折扣。但這提案討論經年,進展不大。
             五月時,病毒大流行讓搭乘率崩塌,為低收入乘客減價也變得比以前更難。交通廳廳長Stephanie Pollack曾建議,由地方政府或非牟利機構協助出資辦理減價。
             另一個可以減價或免費的做法是爭取聯邦經費。聯邦眾議員普利斯來(Ayanna Pressley)和麻州聯邦參議員愛德華馬基(Edward Markey)最近已遞交一項法案,為交通機構減票價提供資金。
            諷刺的是,在MBTA準備引進93000萬元的電子收票系統的這時候,竟出現免費或減價呼籲。MBTA工作人員指出,電子系統會更容易為減價系統做調整。
             MBTA已採取了幾項行動,他們相信會讓低收入乘客受惠,包括今秋開始廢除以現金或查里卡付費之間的費用差距;准許乘客免費轉乘巴士,以及紅線到費爾蒙通勤火車線(Fairmount commuter);把青年派司的優或擴展到通勤火車上。
             Nubian廣場上,麻州眾議員Nika Elugardo Tommy Vitolo呼籲參議會通過眾億會3月時通過的交通經費法案。該法案包括汽油稅加5分,以及資助交通項目的新企業稅架構。
            參議會領袖們一度表示,他們會考慮更明確針對鼓勵駕車人士搭乘公共交通工具的稅收方案,包括提供經費降低票價。
             不過眾議會採取行動後,僅只數日,新型冠狀病毒就全面襲擊,該方案也就沒出現過,而且參議會已指出他們比較不可能會在近期內考慮增加汽油稅。

Thursday, July 02, 2020

七月份週三晚波士頓市請你開車去看免費電影


(Boston Orange)快被新型冠狀病毒悶得發瘋?別急,波士頓市來救你了,78日到29日,每星期三晚上,波士頓市的停車場有免費駛入看電影院(drive-in movies)”系列。
71日的星期三下午,波士頓市長馬丁華殊(Marty Walsh)在推特上宣佈了這一計畫,還播放了一段模仿影片播放前宣傳片段的視頻,上面甚至還有類似夢工廠的標誌。
馬丁華殊表示他了解在新型冠狀病毒造成的這公共健康危機下,每個人的生活都被打亂了。今年夏天,也肯定和以往不一樣,他相信大家都很懷念傳統的夏天活動。
在波士頓市長的旅遊、體育、娛樂辦公室策畫下,波士頓市今年夏天請民眾免費看電影。
78日,15日這兩晚,將在波士頓會議展覽中心(BCEC)的停車場舉行,分別在晚上6點及8點半,各放映兩場電影。8日晚放映” Moana” 以及昨天(Yesterday)”15日晚放映冷凍(Frozen)”,以及侏儸紀公園(Jurassic Park)”
722日,29日將在洛士百利(Roxybury)Halleck121號放映,22日晚6點放映“Coco”29日晚放映巨魔(Trolls)”哈里特(Harriet)”
和新型冠狀病毒大流行期間,在麻州的其他駛入電影院(drive-in movie theaters)相似,波士頓市這駛入看電影要求進場看電影的車輛彼此保持6英尺距離,步出車輛就得戴口罩,去上廁所也得戴口罩。
所有電影都免費供波士頓居民欣賞,但民眾必須在Eventbrite上事先登記,入場時出示預約登記,或確認電郵。為舒緩交通,波士頓市也要求民眾提早到場。

第三階段重新開放 麻州7月6日 波士頓市7月13日

麻州州長查理貝克(Charlie Baker)強調民眾應該保持警惕心。
               (Boston Orange)麻州州長查理貝克(Charlie Baker)在今日中午舉行的疫情簡報中宣佈,下週一(76),麻州重新開放邁入第三階段。健身房,博物館,還有賭場都可以營業了。波士頓市則將暫緩至713日才實施。

             室內聚會人數上限,現在提高至25人,每1000平方呎不宜超過8人,戶外聚會則提高至100人。各種職業體育賽事也可在沒有觀眾的情況下舉行。
麻州副州長白莉朵(Karyn Polito)說明州政府和地方市鎮交流緊密。
             在第三階段的第一步驟中可以開始營業的企業,包括電影院及戶外表演場所,博物館,文化古蹟,健身中心及俱樂部,接觸機會低的某些室內娛樂活動,在聯盟規定授權下,專業體育隊可在沒有觀眾的情況下進行比賽。這些行業都須遵循依其行業特定性質所設的容客量與營運規定。
波士頓市決定暫緩一週,延至713日才開始進入第三階段,因為在麻州進入第二階段開放期間,北端(North End)出現人們擠成一堆用餐現象,引出抱怨無數,波士頓市甚至為此舉行公聽會。
          麻州健康及人民服務廳廳長Marylou Sudders表示確診率已大幅下降。
             查理貝克表示,尊重波士頓市的決定,但以整個麻州來說,州政府一直在觀察的公共健康數據顯示得很清楚,麻州的抗疫工作很有效率。第三階段的重新開放,將和第二階段一樣,分兩個步驟進行。
             麻州健康及人民服務廳廳長Marylou Sudders表示,最近的COVID-19一週7天確診平均率,和4月中相比,已下降了94%,住院病人的3天平均數也下降了79%,整個麻州已做了100萬人次的檢測,所有數據都讓人欣慰。
麻州7月2日疫情數據。195宗確診,51人死亡。
             查理貝克勸人們仍然要保持警覺心,戴口罩,保持社交安全距離,勤洗手,生病就待在家裏,在疫苗或是真正能夠醫治新型冠狀病毒的藥研發出來以前,人們恐怕得學習如何在大家可能稱為新常態的情況下,逐漸恢復正常生活。
             查理貝克指出,其他州的出現第二波疫情,或是疫情回升,和夜總會,酒吧等場所的開放有很大關係,也因此麻州把重新開方這些場所放在第四個階段進行。他相信麻州人會一起防範疫情再度高升。
             由於美國多地出現疫情回升現象,不少已重新開放的州、市都開始收緊規定。新澤西州原本今日開始開放室內用餐,但該州州長Phil Murphy週一時表示,將無限期展延。紐約市市長白斯豪(Bill de Blasio)也稱其他地方的個案快速增加,值得警惕。康州州長也說,他要重新考慮在本月內重新開放酒吧。
             查詢詳細的重新開放指導規定,可上網https://www.mass.gov/lists/reopening-health-and-human-services-in-massachusetts

Reopening Massachusetts: Baker-Polito Administration Initiates Transition to Third Phase of Four-Phase Approach

Reopening Massachusetts: Baker-Polito Administration Initiates Transition to Third Phase of Four-Phase Approach
Consistent with Public Health Data and Trends, Phase III of Reopening Massachusetts Set to Begin on July 6

The Baker-Polito Administration today announced that on July 6th, Phase III of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan will begin and updates on gatherings will be in effect. For the City of Boston, Phase III and the gatherings order will take effect on Monday, July 13th.

The Department of Public Health (DPH) also issued updated guidance to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Step One of Phase III:

On May 18, the administration released a four-phased plan to reopen the economy based on public health data, spending at least three weeks in each phase. Key public health data, such as new cases and hospitalizations, have been closely monitored and has seen a decline allowing for Phase III to begin on July 6th. Phase III will begin on July 13th in Boston.
  
The public health dashboard designating the progress of key COVID-19 data metrics has been updated to reflect the number of COVID-19 patients in Massachusetts hospitals to green, indicating a positive trend. 

Since mid-April, the 7-day average for the positive COVID-19 test rate is down 94 percent, the 3-day average of hospitalized patients is down 79 percent and the number of hospitals in surge is down 86 percent.

More than 1,000,000 total COVID-19 tests have been administered, and testing continues throughout the state.

The following businesses will be eligible to reopen in Step One of Phase III, subject to industry-specific rules concerning capacity and operations:

  • Movie theaters and outdoor performance venues;

  • Museums, cultural and historical sites;

  • Fitness centers and health clubs;

  • Certain indoor recreational activities with low potential for contact;

  • Professional sports teams, under the authority of league-wide rules, may hold games without spectators

Full guidance and list of businesses eligible to reopen in Step One of Phase III can be found at www.mass.gov/reopeningBusinesses and sectors set to begin opening in Phase III are subject to compliance with all mandatory safety standards.

Revised Gatherings Order:

Under the updated gatherings order, indoor gatherings are limited to eight people per 1,000 square feet, but should not exceed 25 people in a single enclosed, indoor space.

Outdoor gatherings in enclosed spaces are limited to 25 percent of the facility’s maximum permitted occupancy, with a maximum of 100 people in a single enclosed outdoor space. This includes community events, civic events, sporting events, concerts, conventions and more. This order does not apply to outdoor, unenclosed gatherings if proper social distancing measures are possible.

This revised order does not supersede previously issued sector guidance, and is effective beginning Monday, July 6. It will be effective Monday, July 13 in the City of Boston.
  
Public Health Guidance:

In Phase III, health care providers may continue to provide in-person procedures and services as allowed in Phase II, with the addition of certain group treatment programs and day programs. These programs include adult day health, day habilitation programs, and substance abuse services day treatment and outpatient services. Certain human services programs can reopen including community based day services for adults with intellectual and cognitive disabilities and psychosocial rehabilitation clubhouses.       

Health care providers are subject to compliance with all mandatory safety standards, and must continue to utilize prioritization policies established in Phase II for care delivery and scheduling, as well as monitor patient volume for non-essential, elective procedures and services.

Read the full guidance here.

In Phase III, visitation guidelines have been updated for 24/7 congregate care facilities and programs overseen by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, including the Departments of Developmental Services, Youth Services, Children and Families, Public Health, Mental Health and the Mass Rehabilitation Commission. Offsite visits, including overnight visits, will be allowed, under specific guidelines. Other updated guidelines, including visitation for long term care facilities, will be released later today. Complete visitation guidance is available at www.mass.gov/hhs/reopening. 

MassHealth will also extend its current telehealth flexibility through at least the end of the year to ensure member access to critical health care services and encourage continued adherence to preventative public health precautions.