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Sunday, January 31, 2021

麻州政府非緊急人員週一不需上班

(Boston Orange 編譯)麻州政府在131日晚9點半多時宣佈,州政府行政機構非緊急人員21日不需上班。汽車監理處的消費者服務中心將於週一中午關門。已預約辦事或路考者,可上網另約時間。

州政府行政人員中有很大一部分人因為新冠病毒疫情,已經遠距辦公,這些人將繼續遠距辦公。

麻州政府力促民眾在風雪期間,不要上路,或盡可能搭乘公共交通工具。

麻州州長查理貝克(Charlie Baker)表示,因為風速高,天氣預報下雪,明天開車上路很危險,所以州政府要求每一個人不要上路,盡可能避免出門,如果真得出門,要搭乘公共交通工具。

             麻州交通局有大約3900件州政府及販售商的鏟雪設備,其中包括1400輛車既可鏟雪車,也能撒鹽,另外2100輛鏟雪車,460輛前端裝載機。

             麻州交通部預定將於週一的早上10點起至晚上1159分,禁止拖拉貨櫃車上90號州際公路。麻州警察也將於條件需要下,在90號公路上的特定轉換道,執行每小時40英里速限。

              如果因為天氣而關閉,新冠病毒疫苗站的提供者將和個別人士接洽,重新排時間。如果個別人士無法安全的得到預約,將可直接和他們預約注射疫苗的提供商重新預約時間,或查詢更多有關天氣影響,個別人士是否應該和疫苗站供應商直接聯繫等。查詢個別疫苗站的聯繫資訊,可上網 mass.gov/COVIDVaccineMap

             麻州緊急管理局,麻州交通局,以及麻州警察都和國家氣象局服務緊密合作,監督及預測。MBTA暴風雨辦公桌將繼續觀察整個暴風雨期間的鐵路服務全況,並為通勤者

  提供更新資訊,http://www.MBTA.com/winter. 

Baker-Polito Administration Directs Non-Emergency State Employees Not to Report to Workplaces Tomorrow   

BOSTON – Due to the upcoming winter storm, the Baker-Polito Administration directed all non-emergency state employees working in Executive Branch agencies not to report to their workplaces tomorrow, Monday, February 1, 2021. Registry of Motor Vehicle customer service centers will close at noon on Monday. Customers who have appointments for transactions or scheduled road tests Monday afternoon can go to mass.gov/RMV to reschedule. All other Executive Branch state offices will be closed to the public tomorrow. The Baker-Polito Administration has transitioned a large percentage of Executive Branch Employees to telework plans due to COVID-19 and those employees will be expected to telework.

The Administration is urging residents to stay off roadways and to use public transportation when possible as the storm moves across the Commonwealth by mid-day tomorrow.

“Driving tomorrow will be hazardous due to the high winds and snow in the forecast, so we are asking everyone to stay off the roads, avoid traveling if possible and to use public transportation if they have to go out,” said Governor Charlie Baker.  

MassDOT has approximately 3,900 pieces of state and vendor equipment available for snow and ice operations and this includes over 1,400 plow and spreader combos, 2,100 plows, and 460 front-end loaders.

Due to the storm, DOT anticipates imposing a ban on travel on Monday by tractor trailers on I-90 between the hours of 10:00 AM until 11:59 PM. Massachusetts State Police may also impose a speed restriction for motor vehicles of 40 m.p.h. on I-90 between specific interchanges if conditions warrant.

COVID-19 Vaccination Sites: In the case of closures due to inclement weather, providers of COVID-19 vaccination sites will reach out to individuals with appointments directly to reschedule. If individuals cannot safely get to their appointments, they will be allowed to reschedule directly with the provider with whom they scheduled a vaccination. For further questions on winter weather impacts, individuals should reach out to provider sites directly. To find contact info for an individual site, please check the map at mass.gov/COVIDVaccineMap.​

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, MassDOT, and State Police are working closely with the National Weather Service to monitor the forecast. The MBTA Storm Desk will continue to monitor rail service throughout the storm and provide updates to commuters at http://www.MBTA.com/winter.

波士頓市長宣佈緊急風雪令 週一中午起停車禁令生效 公校樓宇關閉

              (Boston Orange綜合編譯) 波士頓市市長馬丁華殊(Martin J. Walsh)宣佈,從週一早上至週二中午為風雪緊急狀態,估計降雪量累計812英吋,風速高至每小時45英里。請居民注意,停車禁令將從週一中午起生效,主要道路將禁止停車,違者拖吊。

             波士頓公校樓宇週一及週二都將關閉,學生將上網學習,並提早下課。

             波士頓居民從週一早上10點起,就可到市府名單上的停車場,以優惠價停洎車輛。

             波士頓市週一的收垃圾時刻不變,週二及週三的時刻,就請居民下載垃圾日應用程式(Trash and Recycling Day schedule and search | Boston.gov),查詢相關資料。

             波士頓公校的所有學生,包括原本要到校上課的學生,在週一及週二,將都改為網上學習,並提前2個半小時下課。

              到校上課的學生,將從24日起恢復到校上課。

             波士頓公校的餐食分發站,將在21日,週一的早上10點至下午2點開放,所有的波士頓青年及家庭中心將於週一關門。居民宜查詢非公校的餐食站開放時間。

             洛士百利社區學院的體育中心,以及瑞及路易斯賽道新冠病毒疫苗注射站將於週一及週二開放。

             波士頓市政府在21日這天,將只向這天到期,需繳交物業稅,申請免徵稅者開放。其他服務狀況,請居民上網查詢。非緊急事務的查詢,可撥打電話311

MAYOR WALSH DECLARES SNOW EMERGENCY, PARKING BAN IN EFFECT MONDAY AT NOON

Residents urged to take caution and abide by snow regulations; some COVID-19 testing sites to close

Boston Public School buildings to close tomorrow and Tuesday; students will attend classes online with an early dismissal each day

 

BOSTON - Sunday, January 31, 2021 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today declared a snow emergency ahead of the forecasted winter storm that is scheduled to begin tomorrow morning and end Tuesday afternoon. Total snow accumulations are expected to range between 8 to 12 inches, and winds as high as 45 mph are expected. Residents are advised that a parking ban will take effect starting at noon tomorrow, when vehicles parked on major roads and main arteries will start to be towed. The City is urging residents to abide by snow regulations and encouraging all commuters to use caution when traveling during the Monday evening and Tuesday morning commutes. Dry weather, paired with colder temperatures and wind chill, are anticipated on Wednesday and Thursday following the storm.

"I am urging everyone to be ready and prepared for tomorrow's forecasted snowstorm," said Mayor Walsh. "All of our residents and workers should take precautions on our roads and sidewalks, particularly during the Monday evening and Tuesday morning commutes. Our Public Works Department will be working around the clock to pre-treat and clean our roads, and I thank them for their hard work. We are asking residents and businesses to do their part by staying safe, shoveling their sidewalks and walkways, clearing catch basins and the area around fire hydrants, and by offering help to your older neighbors and residents with disabilities. The City of Boston will continue to share updates throughout the storm."

  • A snow emergency has been declared, starting Monday, February 1, 2021 at noon. A parking ban will also take effect at noon tomorrow. All vehicles parked on a posted snow emergency artery will be towed beginning at noon on Monday. Residents can find a list of free and discounted garages here; and parking at participating garages will begin at 10 a.m. on Monday. 
  • Trash and recycling pick-up will continue on a regular schedule on Monday, February 1st and Tuesday, February 2nd. Residents are encouraged to download the Trash Day App for more information on their trash and recycling pick-up schedule. 
  • Nighttime street sweeping on main roads, arterials, and commercial roads is canceled until further notice. Updates will be provided on boston.gov when nighttime street sweeping is scheduled to resume.
  • All Boston Public Schools (BPS) students, including students who were scheduled to report for in-person learning, will attend classes online on both Monday and Tuesday for a partial day that will end 2.5 hours earlier than the regularly scheduled dismissal time. There will be no in-person learning on Monday and Tuesday, and all BPS buildings will be closed on those days. 
  • In-person learning will resume on Thursday, February 4, 2021.
  • As indicated in signage posted in BPS school parking lots, parking is not allowed in these lots during snowstorms. Vehicles may be towed if they are parked in BPS parking lots during the snow emergency.
  • BPS meal distribution sites will be open on Monday, February 1 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. All Boston Centers for Youth and Families (BYCF) meal sites will be closed on Monday. Residents are encouraged to check with their non-BPS meal sites for hours. 
  • The City-sponsored mobile COVID-19 testing site at the Anna M. Cole Community Center in Jamaica Plain will be closed on Monday. For other updates on testing site availability and closures, please check hours of operation here
  • The City-sponsored COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center at Roxbury Community College is opening as scheduled on Monday, February 1st and Tuesday, February 2nd for people with appointments. 

Boston City Hall will be open to the public on Monday, February 1st only for residents who need to pay their property taxes or file an abatement application by the February 1st deadline. Boston City Hall and all City departments will be open to the public on Tuesday, February 2nd. We encourage residents to utilize our online services when possible. Boston Public Library locations will be closed on Monday, including in-person BPL To Go services. All BCYF community centers will be closed, remote programming will continue and registered lap swim sessions will be cancelled from 12 p.m. on.

The Public Works Department (PWD) will have equipment to pre-treat Boston's roads prior to the snowfall starting, and the City has the ability to put over 700 pieces of equipment on city streets. The PWD currently has 42,000 tons of salt on hand.

The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is in constant contact with the National Weather Service to receive detailed forecast updates for the City of Boston and to ensure City departments have plans in place to handle the weather. Residents can sign up to receive AlertBoston notifications by phone, text, or email. Residents can call 311 for non-emergency issues.

Rules on clearing snow:

  • Property owners must fully clear snow, sleet and ice from sidewalks and curb ramps abutting the property within three hours after the snowfall ends, or three hours after sunrise if the snow ends overnight. Curb and pedestrian ramps to the street should be cleared fully and continually over the duration of the storm to ensure accessibility for individuals with disabilities. If the storm lasts for an extended period of time, property owners are asked to continually check and clear ramps abutting their property. 
  • Removal of snow and ice from a private property to the street or sidewalk is prohibited. 
  • Failure to comply with these rules can result in fines issued by PWD's Code Enforcement Division. Fines associated with improper removal of snow can be found here.

Caring for vulnerable populations:

  • If you see homeless or vulnerable individuals out in the cold who appear immobile, disoriented or underdressed for the weather, please call 911.
  • The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) coordinates a city-wide network of emergency shelters, outreach providers, city agencies and first responders to assist those in need of shelter.
  • Boston's emergency shelters are open 24-hours a day and will accept any person in need. Men can access shelter at the  112 Southampton Street Shelter, and women should go to the Woods-Mullen Shelter at 794 Massachusetts Ave. BPHC and the City work closely with shelter providers to ensure that no client is without shelter, food, resources, and a warm respite from the cold.
  • The City has over 200 beds for the winter spread throughout sites in Brighton, Mission Hill and downtown. Additionally, the City worked with the Commonwealth to add additional shelter capacity in locations surrounding and outside of Boston.
  • The BPHC Engagement Center is open from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. In addition to providing an indoor heated space, it offers a range of basic amenities and comfort items, such as clean bathroom facilities, water, coffee, and light snacks.
  • During extreme cold weather, street outreach teams operate with extended hours and provide mobile outreach vans on the streets in the evening and throughout the day.

Safety tips:

  • Keep catch basins and fire hydrants clear. For a map of catch basins and fire hydrants, visit here. You can assist in keeping hydrants clear of snow so the Boston Fire Department can access them quickly in case of emergency.
  • Shoveling snow requires significant exertion; please be cautious and pay attention to signs of overexertion. Stop if you feel chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheaded, nausea, or vomiting. Call 911 if those symptoms do not resolve quickly.
  • Snow piles can make navigating intersections dangerous for pedestrians and drivers. Please take extra care when turning corners with snow piles that might limit visibility.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning is a concern during winter weather, especially with the use of generators. Residents should use their home heating systems wisely and safely, and have a working carbon monoxide detector on each floor of the home. Call 911 immediately if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Sitting in a car while idling can be deadly if the tailpipe is blocked. Do not let children sit in an idling car while shoveling. Clear any household exhaust pipes (e.g. gas exhaust for heating systems or dryers) and vehicle exhaust pipes of snow.
  • Have a contractor check the roof to see if snow needs to be removed. If roof snow can be removed from the ground with the use of a snow-rake, do so with caution. Avoid working from ladders, and be mindful of slippery surfaces. 

Dress for the weather:

  • Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, residents are required to wear face masks or cloth face coverings in all public places, whether indoors or outdoors, even where they are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others. 
  • Wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing.
  • Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
  • Wear mittens over gloves; layering works for your hands as well.
  • Always wear a hat, and cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.  
  • Dress children warmly, and set reasonable time limits on outdoor play.
  • Restrict infants' outdoor exposure when it is colder than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Watch for signs of frostbite:

  • Signs of frostbite include loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.

Watch for signs of hypothermia:

  • These include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. If you or someone you know shows any of these symptoms, get in touch with a healthcare provider immediately. If symptoms are severe, call 911.

Heating safety:

  • Never try to heat your home using a charcoal or gas grill, the kitchen stove, or other product not specifically designed as a heater. These can cause a fire or produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide very quickly. 
  • Have your heating system cleaned and checked annually.
  • Install and maintain smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home. Carbon monoxide is an invisible gas produced whenever any fuel is burned. Common sources include oil or gas furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, stoves, and some space heaters. It has no smell, taste, or color, and it is poisonous and potentially deadly.

Emergency home repair resources: 

  • Income-eligible homeowners and Boston's residents over age 60 can receive assistance with winter emergencies and repairs, such as fixing storm damage, leaking roofs, furnaces and leaking/frozen pipes. For assistance, residents should call the Mayor's hotline at 311 or the Boston Home Center at 617-635-HOME (4663).   
  • In addition, the Mayor's Seniors Save program helps income eligible Bostonians over the age of 60 replace old, inefficient heating systems with a brand new heating system before a catastrophic failure occurs during the cold winter months. Older adults can also call 311 or the Boston Home Center at 617-635-HOME (4663) to be connected with a City staffer to provide additional details.   

For more information, please visit the Winter in Boston guide and follow @CityofBoston on Twitter.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

台籍青年學者在美名校學涯發展分享 1/30晚8點 (美東時間)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?fbclid=IwAR3f9IvukeJlwLg8eUUlsv1HeItFZeYe3umHO1L0n9cdmwvm_9cugTvymeo&v=5NdIT9s_a-Y&feature=youtu.be

2021新春 科技論壇演講座談 - 南加玉山科技協會主辦/南加TECO 教育組協辦
Time: 1/30 5PM 美西時間, 1/30 8PM 美東時間,
1/31, 9AM 台灣時間
座談會將在YouTube 線上直播:https://youtu.be/5NdIT9s_a-Y
Topic: 台籍青年學者在美名校 學涯發展之分享 - 胰島素分子工程:邁向完美的胰島素之路.
台灣的新國病,糖尿病患現已飆破 230萬人。 在美國, 超過十分之一的人口有糖尿病!對於許多糖尿病人,胰島素是個極其重要的救命藥.然而現有的胰島素無法提供理想的血糖控制,糖尿病併發症依然會造成病患預期壽命的降低.我們請一位台灣來的哈佛化學博士, 在美國學術界勇於挑戰這個議題,分享他在這方向的研究進展以及把實驗室成果轉化到臨床上應用的努力. 也請他談談成為史坦佛醫學院助理教授的生涯發展.

Friday, January 29, 2021

國會議員Stephen F. Lynch新冠確診

                                (Boston Orange編譯)國會議員林奇(Stephen F. Lynch)辦公室今天(29)說,他新冠確診了。

                                            林奇位於南波士頓辦公室的發言人Molly Rose Tarpey說,本週稍早,林其辦公室有一名員工確診了,林奇去做檢測後,今天下午收到檢測結果,他也確診了。

                                                    她說,林奇去參加拜登總統的就職典禮前,做過新冠病毒檢測是陰性的,後來還注射了第二劑的輝瑞新冠疫苗,目前他還是無症狀,感覺也好,但他戶自我隔離,並在未來數週中以虛擬方式為國會事務投票。

                                        上週,就在牙買加平原(Jamaica Plain)退伍軍人醫療中心(VA Medical Center)的一名員工證實,一名合約清潔工不小心把一個電冰箱的插頭拔下來,弄壞了將近2000劑莫德納(Moderna)新冠疫苗之後的一天,林奇去了那兒參訪。

從市長到部長 馬丁華殊年薪將加700元

波士頓市長馬丁華殊(Martin J. Walsh)。(檔案照片)
            (Boston Orange 綜合報導)還未排出確認聽證會日期,還在執行波士頓市長職務的候任美國勞工部部長馬丁華殊(Martin J. Wlash),已有媒體迫不及待的揭露,這位即將上任的新部長,和歷任前部長相比,有點兩袖清風。

            根據一份122日申報的表格來看,馬丁華殊資產,包括做為市長的年薪199000元,以及股票,壽險,以及銀行戶口,加起來的總值在35萬元至95萬元之間。

            他的個人住宅也還揹著50萬元到100萬元的兩筆貸款。

            馬丁華殊還買了兩個退休計畫,一份是從工會那兒買的,可讓他在60歲以後,每月有1998元的收入,另外一份是經由波士頓市政府買的,那可讓他在65歲以後,每月獲得9769.17元的收入。不過這兩筆資產,還不能完全確認。

            馬丁華殊當市長前,是大波士頓建築業工會的頭,那是個包括20個本地建築工程工會的雨傘組織。他還是本地223勞工工會會長。這些組織都棣屬於AFL-CIO勞力工會聯盟之下。AFL-CIO的領導,Richard Trumka也在支持馬丁華殊被提名為勞工部部長上出了力。

            之前,馬丁華殊也是麻州眾議員。

            和同時期被拜登(Biden)總統提名,或是前任總統川普任用的一眾閣員比起來,馬丁華殊的資產實在不多。例如拜登挑選的財政部部長葉倫(Janet Yellen),申報的資產在800萬元到1960萬元之間。前任勞工部部長,原本是一家大律師樓合夥人的Eugene Scalia,他出任部長前的年收入超過600萬元。

            20012009年間擔任勞工部部長,2017年到2021年擔任交通部部長的趙小蘭,她和夫婿Michell McConnell的資產,原本只有大約300萬元,但2007年她母親過世,繼承了一些母親的遺產後,她和夫婿的共同資產跳升為1270萬元,目前已再增加至3500萬元左右。網路上的資料稱,趙小蘭父親趙錫成的福茂集團,價值超過12億元。

            馬丁華殊是在2013年時首度當選為波士頓市長,2017年再當選連任。一旦聯邦聽證會通過他的任命提案,馬丁華殊的勞工部部長年薪,也只有$199,700,比他的市長年薪多700元。

波士頓市長宣佈2020年內建造了1023戶可負擔住宅

MAYOR WALSH ANNOUNCES THE CREATION OF 1,023 NEW UNITS OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN 2020

New deed-restricted housing units were permitted by the City of Boston in 2020 during a global pandemic

 

BOSTON - Friday, January 29, 2021 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced today that in 2020 Boston surpassed the 1,000-unit mark for new affordable housing units permitted in a single year. This 1,023 unit total represents the largest number of affordable units in a single year since 2017, when a total of 1,044 units were permitted. In 2020, this high number of permits was achieved despite the months-long construction shutdown necessitated by the global coronavirus pandemic.  

"We are committed to creating a Boston that anyone, at any income level, can afford to live in," said Mayor Walsh. "As a result of our administration's commitment to the safety and security of Boston residents, especially during these trying times, we are continuing to create more affordable housing in our neighborhoods, which will allow more people and families to find homes in the neighborhoods they love."

A record 30 percent of all housing units permitted in 2020 were income-restricted. Out of all the housing units in Boston, nearly 20 percent are reserved for low- and moderate-income residents; and more than 25 percent of its rental housing stock is reserved for low- and moderate-income residents. Boston's share of affordable housing is higher than any other major city in the country.

"Despite the challenges created by the pandemic this past year, the City of Boston's steadfast commitment to increasing affordable housing allowed us to continue our partnership to open Phase One of a new development in Roxbury that will create a total of 475 apartments, to break ground on another in Mattapan that will build 135 apartments and to look forward to a third in Nubian Square that will start this year," said Aaron Gornstein, President and CEO of Preservation of Affordable Housing, a nonprofit developer based in Boston.

2020's permit totals for income-restricted housing include 911 units that are within one-half miles of public transportation, such as the new 135 units that will be built at The Loop at Mattapan Station, and the 44 units at 25 Amory Street in Jackson Square in Jamaica Plain, which is part of the Jamaica Plain and Roxbury planning effort. Of the 1,023 total, fifty units were set aside for individuals experiencing homelessness. Eighty units are reserved for households earning at or below 30 percent of Area Median Income (AMI) or $38,350 per year, including some of the 23 units reserved for senior Bostonians at 41 North Margin Street in Boston's North End, or some of the 42 units that will be built for seniors in East Boston's Maverick Square. Another 523 units are reserved for households earning at or below 60 percent of AMI or $65,000 per year for a family of three. The remaining 477 of those units will be deed-restricted units for households with a combined income of up to 80 percent of AMI or about $85,000 for a family of the same size. 

Maintaining Boston's historically high level of income-restricted housing has always been a goal of Mayor Walsh's comprehensive housing policy, Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030. Currently, the City of Boston has permitted 7,325 and is on track to create the 15,820 new affordable units called for in the housing plan, despite the construction shutdown that occurred in 2020 due to the pandemic. 

"The past year was unprecedented in our efforts to meet the housing challenges faced by residents across the Commonwealth, yet the collaborative resolve by the housing community - both public and private  - resulted in highly successful outcomes like the production of more than 1,000 new affordable rental homes for households in Boston," said MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay. "Despite this trying time, we continue to stand steadfast with our partners to create housing and economic opportunities throughout the state and commend the City of Boston for its leadership and results in this critical effort." 

The onset of the coronavirus and subsequent quarantine infused the work to create new income-restricted housing with even deeper urgency. The need to shelter in place throughout this crisis has underlined the need for safe, stable, affordable housing for all Bostonians, particularly its most vulnerable residents, and those suffering economically due to job or income loss. 

"While it was a very difficult year, with many challenges, Boston was able to permit, fund, and begin construction on over 1,000 new affordable, income-restricted housing units," said Sheila A. Dillon, Chief of Housing. "These new units will provide safe and secure homes for seniors, families, and our homeless. The pandemic has reinforced that safe and affordable housing is a critical public health response." 

Since 2014, funding from the city's operating and capital funding for housing programs has increased by more than 300%, while adjustments to the Inclusionary Development and Linkage Policies, and the adoption of the Community Preservation Act have resulted in tens of millions of dollars of additional revenue for housing. This funding has supported the creation of affordable rental and homeownership opportunities, the development of permanent supportive housing for homeless households, and assistance for renters facing eviction. It has also supported the conversion of hundreds of market-rate units into income-restricted affordable housing and the creation of the first City-funded rental voucher program for low-income Bostonians. In 2020, the Walsh administration invested $40 million in public resources into income-restricted, affordable housing which leveraged another $270 million in other public and private investment sources for a total $310 million investment. 

In 2020, the Boston Planning & Development Agency approved 10,123 new residential units, of which 2,826 were income-restricted, representing over 27 percent of total units.

Since the release of the original Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030 plan in 2014, 26,623 new units of housing have been completed, making significant progress in meeting Boston's housing needs. An additional 9,354 units are currently under construction.  Income-restricted housing stock has grown along with overall new production, with nearly 5,600 income-restricted units completed and over 1,700 units under construction. As a result of the new supply, advertised rents had been stabilizing in Boston, even before the COVID-19 Pandemic. For more information on the City of Boston's work to create more housing, please visit Housing A Changing City: Boston 2030.  

About the Department of Neighborhood Development (DND

The Department of Neighborhood Development is responsible for housing the homeless, developing affordable housing, and ensuring that renters and homeowners can find, maintain, and stay in their homes. As part of the ongoing coronavirus response, the Office of Housing Stability is also conducting tenant's rights workshops to educate residents about the eviction moratorium and their rights. The Boston Home Center continues to provide down payment assistance to first-time home buyers and home repairs for seniors and low-income residents. The Supportive Housing Division is working with various partners around the city to rapidly house individuals who are experiencing homelessness. For more information, please visit the DND website.

MAYOR WALSH ISSUES SAFETY GUIDELINES FOR RESIDENTS AS COLDEST WEATHER OF THE SEASON ARRIVES

MAYOR WALSH ISSUES SAFETY GUIDELINES FOR RESIDENTS AS COLDEST WEATHER OF THE SEASON ARRIVES

Residents

encouraged to take caution over the weekend; warming centers activated in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines

 

BOSTON - Friday, January 29, 2021 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today shared a set of tips and guidelines for residents to manage this weekend's bitterly cold weather. Boston is experiencing sub-zero wind chill temperatures through Sunday, January 31. This weekend's temperatures meet the thresholds for activating the use of warming centers in the city in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines. 

 "We want to ensure that every Boston resident stays warm and safe with the bitter cold weather this weekend," said Mayor Walsh. "It is essential that we support and look out for each other, while also making sure we are observing COVID-19 public health guidelines. Please continue to wear a face covering, practice social distancing, wash your hands often, and avoid crowds as we brave these cold temperatures. I urge Bostonians to call 911 if they see someone in distress, as we are here to help and make sure people are safe."

 Wind chill values today are predicted to be as low as -8 degrees Fahrenheit, expected to be as low as -7 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday, before rising to above freezing temperatures. The City is also tracking and monitoring a possible winter storm that's expected to arrive late Monday into early Tuesday, and preparations are being made to support the needs of Boston residents.

 Warming centers are open today from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Due to COVID-19 public health regulations, all warming center visitors will be screened for symptoms before entry, must wear a face covering (covering both the nose and mouth), maintain 6 feet of distance from others, and wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Visitors must bring their own water bottles, and must limit belongings to one small bag. Occupancy will be monitored to ensure it doesn't exceed 25 percent of the building's maximum permitted occupancy to maintain proper distancing. The spaces will be cleaned and disinfected hourly. The locations of the warming centers include:

  • Allston/Brighton: BCYF Jackson-Mann Community Center, 500 Cambridge St., Allston
  • Charlestown: BCYF Charlestown Community Center, 255 Medford St., Charlestown 
  • Dorchester: BCYF Holland Community Center, 85 Olney St., Dorchester
  • East Boston: BCYF Paris Street Community Center, 112 Paris St., East Boston
  • Hyde Park: BCYF Hyde Park Community Center, 1179 River St., Hyde Park
  • Jamaica Plain: BCYF Curtis Hall Community Center, 20 South St., Jamaica Plain 
  • Mattapan: BCYF Mildred Avenue Community Center, 5 Mildred Ave., Mattapan 
  • North End: BCYF Nazzaro Community Center, 30 N. Bennet St., Boston
  • Roslindale: BCYF Menino Community Center, 125 Brookway Rd., Roslindale 
  • Roxbury: BCYF Tobin Community Center,1481 Tremont St., Boston
  • South Boston: BCYF Condon Community Center, 200 D St., S. Boston
  • South End: BCYF Blackstone Community Center, 50 West Brookline Street, Boston
  • West Roxbury: BCYF Roche Community Center,1716 Centre St., West Roxbury

Mayor Walsh advised residents to take precautions as the weather persists throughout the weekend, reminding them especially to check in on older adults, people with disabilities and people experiencing homelessness. If you see homeless and vulnerable individuals out in the cold who appear immobile, disoriented or underdressed for the cold, please call 911. If residents are aware of anyone staying in a vehicle or a place not intended for living during these extreme cold temperatures, they are encouraged to call 911 as well.

 The Mayor encouraged all persons in shelters, auxiliary sites and families with young children to stay indoors and avoid the extremely cold weather. Additionally, the Mayor announced other precautions the city is putting in place to protect residents from the cold weather:

  • Three mobile outreach vehicles on the street in the daytime at the Pine Street Inn. Further outreach will be provided by other agencies downtown and in the Back Bay.
  • A van provided by The City of Boston Office of Recovery Services to help persons in need access the  Engagement Center, the PAATHS Program and Emergency Shelters from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
  • The 24/7 opening of all adult emergency shelters and winter overflow sites began Thursday night and will extend through the weekend. The Boston Police Department (BPD) is making announcements on every shift for officers and all personnel to be on the lookout for vulnerable people on the streets. BPD will conduct wellness checks or assist with transportation to available shelters and coordinate with emergency medical personnel for unsheltered homeless persons in distress. 
  • The BPD Street Outreach Unit will be available as a resource to assist the districts, outreach providers and 911 dispatch as needed.  
  • The MBTA will similarly make announcements on every shift for MBTA Police officers and transportation personnel to be on the lookout for vulnerable people. The agency will have extra officers on duty who will make vehicles available to provide transportation to shelter or to contact emergency medical personnel for unsheltered homeless persons in distress.

Key safety tips include:

 Dress for the weather:

  • Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, residents are required to wear face masks or cloth face coverings in all public places, whether indoors or outdoors, even when they are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others. 
  • Wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing.
  • Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
  • Wear mittens over gloves; layering works for your hands as well.
  • Always wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.  
  • Dress children warmly and set reasonable time limits on outdoor play.
  • Restrict infants' outdoor exposure when it is colder than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Watch for signs of frostbite:

  • Signs of frostbite include loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.

Watch for signs of hypothermia:

  • These include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. If you or someone you know shows any of these symptoms, contact a healthcare provider immediately. If symptoms are severe, call 911.

Heating guidelines for property owners and tenants:

  • In accordance with the Massachusetts State Sanitary Code, the heating season officially begins on September 15 and runs through June 15. Property owners must heat habitable spaces at a minimum temperature of 68 degrees between 7 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. and 64 degrees between 11:01 p.m. and 6:59 a.m.
  • In case of emergency, property owners are encouraged to keep a list of licensed contractors (electrician, plumber and general contractor) on file. Tenants experiencing problems with their heating system should check the thermostat, ensure the dial is turned on, and report insufficient or no heat problems to the property owner or manager immediately.
  • If your landlord or property manager is unresponsive, call 311 to file a complaint.

Heating safety:

  • Never try to heat your home using a charcoal or gas grill, a kitchen stove, or other product not specifically designed as a heater. These can cause a fire or produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide very quickly. 
  • Have your heating system cleaned and checked annually.
  • Install and maintain smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home. Carbon monoxide is an invisible gas produced whenever any fuel is burned. Common sources include oil or gas furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, stoves, and some space heaters. It has no smell, taste, or color. It is poisonous and can be deadly.

Tips to keep water flowing and pipes unfrozen during extreme cold:

  • The Boston Water and Sewer Commission recommends homeowners locate a home's main water shut off valve, and learn how to use it. Should a frozen pipe burst, shutting the main valve quickly will minimize flooding and property damage.
  • Homeowners should insulate pipes in unheated areas like basements, garages and crawl spaces. Use inexpensive hardware store materials to prevent pipes from freezing and to keep warm water flowing.
  • Circulate warm air around pipes by keeping cabinet doors open. Circulate a trickle of tap water through pipes during extreme cold to help prevent them freezing up.
  • Locate your water meter, protect it from drafts, and make sure basement doors and windows are shut tight.
  • If pipes do freeze, slowly thaw them with a hair dryer, if possible. If water is lost in all taps, call BWSC 24-hour Emergency Assistance Line at 617-989-7000.  

Emergency home repair resources: 

  • Income-eligible homeowners and Boston's residents over age 60 can receive assistance with winter emergencies and repairs, such as fixing storm damage, leaking roofs, furnaces and leaking/frozen pipes. For assistance, residents should call the Mayor's hotline at 311 or the Boston Home Center at 617-635-HOME (4663).   
  • In addition, the Mayor's Seniors Save program helps income eligible Bostonians over the age of 60 replace old, inefficient heating systems with a new brand new heating system, even before a failure occurs during the cold winter months. Older adults can also call 311 or the Boston Home Center at 617-635-HOME (4663) to be connected with a City staffer to provide additional details.   

For emergency alerts, including cold-weather alerts, residents are encouraged to sign up for Alert Boston. For more information, please visit the Winter in Boston guide and follow @CityofBoston on Twitter.