Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Friends Of Gage Field Presented A Check To Mayor Elliott At The City Council Meeting For The New Ben Hall Masterson Memorial Playground

Melissa Spead Desroches, Mayor Elliott, Melissa Kousounadis & Kerri Pestana Morales

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Municipal Energy Technical Assistance Grants for 37 Cities & Towns


Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Governor Charles D. Baker
Lt. Governor Karyn E. Polito
Secretary Matthew A. Beaton

Press Release Contact:
Katie Gronendyke — 617-626-1129 or   

BOSTON – August 26, 2015 – The Baker-Polito Administration, led by Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton and Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Judith Judson, today announced $455,000 in Municipal Energy Technical Assistance (META) grants to develop clean energy projects for 37 communities across the Commonwealth.
“We are committed to helping Massachusetts communities reduce energy costs and meet their energy challenges through clean energy,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These local technical assistance grants will help municipalities develop clean energy projects while creating local jobs, lowering energy costs and reducing the Commonwealth’s carbon footprint.”

“The Municipal Energy Technical Assistance grants will provide cities and towns with the financial resources and technical assistance necessary to move their communities along the path toward a cleaner energy future,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The administration is dedicated to working with cities and towns to ensure Massachusetts continues to be a leader in clean energy and energy efficiency.”
DOER’s Municipal Energy Technical Assistance (META) grants are awarded to Massachusetts municipalities, regional school districts, and water/wastewater districts. META grants fund the services of expert consultants and contractors to aid in the negotiation and management of projects, or the performance of studies to support the development of energy projects. The grants are funded through proceeds from Alternative Compliance Payments (ACP) under the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS).
“Energy projects are often complicated endeavors that require expertise that many municipalities don’t have access to on staff. META grants provide access to those resources that can help communities achieve significant energy, cost, and greenhouse gas emission reductions,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Through this program, we are able to work with municipalities to reduce energy use in the Commonwealth and encourage the innovation of our growing clean energy technology sector.”
The projects and studies funded this round will support the performance of solar photovoltaic site evaluation, heating system replacements, ASHRAE Level II audits, and technical analysis of energy use at drinking water and wastewater facilities.
“DOER is pleased to offer these grants to Massachusetts cities and towns each year,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “We consistently hear that they often provide the catalyst needed to get local energy projects out of the starting gate and moving toward the finish line.” DOER awarded grants to the following communities and public entities: Adams, Andover, Ayer, Belmont, Berlin, Chelmsford, Conway, Deerfield, Easton, Framingham, Hamilton, Hampden, Hampshire Regional School District, Haverhill, Hawley, Huntington, Lanesborough, Lawrence, Lincoln, Lowell, Lunenburg, Mohawk Trail Regional School District, Montague, Natick, Newton, Oak Bluffs, Petersham, Provincetown, Rutland, Somerville, South Hadley, Sudbury Water District, Tisbury, Turner’s Falls Water Department, Wenham, Weston, and Windsor.
“This funding is a great step towards giving municipalities access to energy efficiency and clean technology that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to implement on their own,” said State Representative Thomas A. Golden Jr., House Chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy (D-Lowell). “Investment in our municipalities’ infrastructure is necessary as we transition to a green economy.”

 Information on grant amounts and project details can be found here.

              2015 Municipal Energy Technical Assistance Grant
                 Municipality         Award                       Project
                             Chelmsford                             $12,500                            Heating Replacement
                                Lowell                                   $12,500                     Water System Efficiency Study


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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

AG Eyes Stricter Laws For Fentanyl

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Legislature will debate bill to combat synthetic drug that is linked to spikes in overdoses
By Todd Feathers
BOSTON — Attorney General Maura Healey and state legislators unveiled legislation Monday that would make trafficking fentanyl a crime punishable by up to 20 years in state prison. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that can be hundreds of times more potent than heroin, and in recent years, it has increasingly shown up in the toxicology reports of those who have fatally overdosed. But those caught with large quantities of the drug are subject to more lenient penalties than heroin dealers because there is no state trafficking law for fentanyl, only possession and distribution statutes that carry lesser punishments.

“More and more, police officers and law enforcement are finding heroin laced with fentanyl and sometimes fentanyl is showing up on its own,” Healey said during a press conference.

“The reality is that many heroin users don’t even realize that the drugs they are using contain fentanyl,” she added. “It looks just like heroin.”

The state does not track how many overdoses involved fentanyl, but the drug has been linked to regional spikes in opiate-related deaths.

There were more than 1,200 fatal opiate overdoses in the state last year. In
Lowell, there were 29, at a rate of about one every two weeks.

But in January, five people fatally overdosed on heroin in Lowell during a six-day span. It was the deadliest week for opiate addicts in the city since at least 2003, and when police received the test results on drugs seized in the region around that time, they found that some of what was being sold was not heroin at all, but pure fentanyl. 

“It’s unfortunate,” said state Rep. Thomas Golden, a Lowell Democrat. “It’s the new piece in the heroin trade — making it more potent and more dangerous. This stuff doesn’t come with a label and purity measures, so I’d have to commend the attorney general for doing this.”

Under current state law, anyone found with fentanyl in any amount can only be charged with possession or possession with the intent to distribute, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison or 2 1/2 years in a house of correction, and a fine between $1,000 and $10,000.

Under the bill announced Monday, which was introduced by state Rep. John Fernandes, a Milford Democrat, and co-sponsored by more than 50 others, anyone caught with more than 10 grams of fentanyl would face up to 20 years in prison.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, who spoke at the press conference in Boston, said that stronger drugs create stronger addictions, and the new measures offer prosecutors and law enforcement a tool to prevent heroin addictions from becoming even more dangerous than they already are.

“Today, trafficking in fentanyl is a relatively low-risk proposition,” Ryan said in an interview. “This will change that. Is it going to stop everyone? No. But this is another tool in our arsenal.”