For further information about no Saturday service through September 8th and alternate routes see: https://patch.com/massachusetts/needham/no-weekend-commuter-rail-service-needham-until-september?utm_source=newsletter-daily&utm_medium=email&utm_term=traffic%20%26%20transit&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_content=article-topstories
Vote yes for Mass. transgender rights
Two years ago this month, we made history in Massachusetts. After a lengthy push, a measure my colleagues and I shepherded through both chambers of the legislature reached the desk of Governor Charlie Baker, who signed it into law. This was no ordinary piece of legislation. Its enactment symbolized a profound step forward for our Commonwealth and for our neighbors, co-workers, and friends who are transgender. With the stroke of the governor’s pen, Massachusetts finally fully and explicitly protected transgender people from discrimination and harassment in public places like restaurants, shops, and medical offices.
As I have said before, passing that legislation — with overwhelming supermajority support in both chambers — was among my proudest moments as speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
Now our Commonwealth’s victory and values are at risk. A small group of opponents have collected the signatures necessary to place the law on the ballot for repeal. This November, civil rights will be up for a popular vote and I’m urging everyone to vote yes on Question 3. A yes vote is a vote to uphold the law and to ensure that dignity and respect remain as our guiding principles in Massachusetts.
While I believe treating our transgender friends and neighbors with the same respect and fairness we would all expect is reason enough to vote yes on Question 3, there are plenty of other reasons I’m doing so when I enter the polling booth on Election Day. I’ve had the good fortune of meeting transgender residents of our Commonwealth one-on-one, and I recognize that they only want to go about living their lives just like all of us. This law, which has been in place for nearly two years, allows them to do just that. I’ve been particularly moved and humbled by my meetings with transgender youth. As if coming of age — focusing on school and all that comes with teenage years — isn’t difficult enough, they have bravely stepped forward and told the world who they really are. If they are courageous enough to do that, we should all be courageous enough to stand with them. It’s the least we can do.
Make no mistake: If we fail to uphold this law, we — as a Commonwealth — will have failed to live up to our basic principles.
Opponents to this common-sense protection routinely and falsely claim that the law could be abused by criminals seeking to harm women and children in public restrooms. The facts simply don’t support this fiction. First and foremost, if someone commits a crime, they will be arrested and charged, just as they would have been before this law was enacted. Nothing about this law, which simply protects transgender people from discrimination, diminishes other laws. We took great care in crafting this legislation to ensure it made everyone in our communities safer. That is exactly what it has done: There has been no increase in public safety incidents since this law went into effect. In fact, leaders in law enforcement agree, including the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association.
As speaker, I am proud that Massachusetts’ founding principles of equality and justice have helped shape history. However, if we fail to provide fundamental protections to transgender individuals, our reputation as a fair and inclusive state will be damaged beyond repair. I plan to do all I can to ensure that doesn’t happen.
We can take nothing for granted. Recent public polls show this as a 50/50 race. Together, we must raise our voices, remind each other of our values and what’s at stake, and ask ourselves, “How would I want to be treated?”
For two years this law has made our communities safer and demonstrated to transgender youth that their state has their back. Let’s ensure that on the morning after Election Day, we can still say that. Stand with me and the growing coalition of thousands who will vote yes on Question 3 on Nov. 6.
Robert DeLeo is speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
Thank you, Master Sergeant Topham.
Greetings to all the Veterans who are present, to our Public Safety personnel including our Police Officers and Firefighters, our Community Leaders, and the Community Members who are here today.
It is a privilege of my office, as your State Representative, that I am invited to speak at this solemn ceremony. I feel a great responsibility to represent our community and our Commonwealth. It is deeply humbling for me as an elected leader, a former VA nurse and a mother to search for the words that add meaning to our presence on this day.
As we gather in our hometown, may I first speak of the American service men and women who are stationed all over the world. In fact, the United States has over 800 military bases in more than 70 countries. According to the Department of Defense, 1.3 million Americans serve in active duty and one million more serve in the Reserves.
Make no mistake…they are in harm’s way. Dying in training and dying in the field. We pray for their safety and we honor their service. Some have returned and are wounded in ways that are devastating, debilitating and lifelong. Some have injuries that are deep, grave and invisible; and die by suicide. Some are lost to us and just never return. We pray for all of them.
On Memorial Day we honor those who have died in military service. Veterans stand at attention with downcast eyes hiding the horror of their comrades’ deaths. Families and loved ones stand with an upward gaze searching for a vision of what might have been. Good citizens come to see and be seen as guardians of our responsibility to those that have served – and many Americans, searching for the satisfaction of a summer barbecue or a big sale, never look at all.
1.1 million Americans have died in military service since the Revolutionary War; 32,268 were from Massachusetts. Picture Fenway Park, which seats 37,731 people. Let your eyes wander from the bleachers to the box seats; let your eyes scan east and west. Picture all of the faces; the arms that lift doing the wave; the bodies that rise and stretch in the seventh inning; the voices that ring with exasperation at the fumbled ball and with celebration at the game winning hit. Now picture each one lost to Massachusetts forever – dying in military service.
From the Revolutionary War through World War II, war was a personal experience for most Americans – someone we knew in our family, our church, our community was in harm’s way. 12 percent of Americans served in World War II – more than 1 in 10. Everybody knew somebody. Death of servicemen and women ravaged families and reverberated in communities. Today, fewer than one percent of Americans are in active service. The military is concentrated with volunteers from certain geographic areas and racial and socio- economic strata. Communities like Needham are largely insulated from losses. We are in grave danger of being disconnected, not only from the cost of war, but of our great debt to those who served.
So today, we gather and we are conscious of the losses. Let us reflect on the loss of the individuals. The service person who was once the anticipated baby, the beloved toddler, the stunning athlete, the inspiring scholar, the first love, the best hope for aging parents.
How do we comprehend this loss? Let us reflect on what these losses mean to us as a community and Commonwealth and country. The talents and goals never achieved. Marriages that were torn asunder, or like my friend of the 60’s, beautiful, kind and smart, who never married and always believed that her love died in Vietnam long before they ever could have met and so it never happened. The children without a parent… the babies never born. The discoveries never made, the knowledge never acquired. The dreams never realized.
And when we feel deeply these losses, how do we repay this debt? Not with platitudes about “our way of life” but with a sense of purpose for the true meaning of freedom.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt talked of four freedoms: the freedom of speech, the freedom of worship, the freedom from want and the freedom from fear.
In these unsettled times, in a complicated and divisive country, can we ensure that all voices are heard – that there is freedom of speech? That we hear the voices that echo our thoughts, that we listen to the voices that disrupt and unsettle our thoughts? Can we listen when we don’t agree? Can we learn when we already thought we knew?
Can we honor that for some there is a God and for some there is doubt and that everyone on that continuum has the freedom to worship, or not worship, as they choose.
In a land as prosperous as ours, can we ensure freedom from want? Can we act so that no child goes to bed hungry, no sick person is turned away from care, and no veteran sleeps on the street?
Finally, it is said that the only emotion stronger than fear is hope. Can we live with hope, speak of hope and work for a world envisioned by hope and free of fear?
We must strive to ensure the essential freedoms of what it means to be an American.
1.1 million Americans in our brief history have died in military service. Let us feel the grave weight of our responsibility to value those lives. Let us be determined that no American life, no matter how distant from our own family and community, is squandered in our name for oil, or posturing allies, or ego. Let us not fall for a platitude like “freedom for our way of life”. Let us stand and be committed today and every day to the freedoms that matter. The freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, the freedom from want and the freedom from fear. Let us be dedicated to see in every flag that flies, every flag beside a gravestone – our own responsibility.
Let us ensure that we are not the country that 1.1 million service people died for… but the kind of communities and country …they wanted to live for.
You are cordially invited to join Governor Charlie Baker, MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver and the Lt. Manson H. Carter V.F.W. Post #2498 at the designation of the Kendrick Street Bridge on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. The event will be held on the roof of the PTC Parking Garage located at 140 Kendrick Street, Needham, MA. Parking will be available onsite.
The bridge will be dedicated to James J. Delaney, II, Sergeant USMC (Retired), a longtime Needham resident who participated in the Battles of Iwo Jima, where he received his first purple heart, and Okinowa. He was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation Navy Commendation Medal and two Asiatic Combat Stars. Later he was wounded in combat in Korea and awarded his second Purple Heart.
All are invited for a collation at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2498 on Junction Street immediately following the ceremony.
COMMITTEE BILL SIGNALS POSSIBLE DIRECTION FOR HOUSE ON OPIOIDS
By Andy Metzger
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, MAY 3, 2018…..In its latest effort to stem the deadly opioid epidemic, a House-controlled committee took a step Thursday towards establishing mandatory three-day substance use therapy for those in peril and requiring hospitals to stock buprenorphine or other medication used as an alternative to street drugs like heroin and fentanyl.
The Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery voted to advance a redraft of Gov. Charlie Baker’s bill (H 4033) for addressing the opioid crisis. Both the committee bill and Baker’s bill require a switch to electronic prescriptions. Senators on the committee suggested they would opt for a different course, electing to reserve their rights rather than voting for or against the bill that cleared committee on a voice vote.
About 4,000 people have died from suspected or confirmed opioid overdoses in Massachusetts the last two years. In recent years lawmakers have sought to increase access to substance use programming, restrict access to prescription narcotics and enhance penalties for trafficking fentanyl.
“While there is much work left to be done to address this public health crisis, last year Massachusetts saw the first decrease in opioid-related deaths in several years and the governor appreciates the Legislature’s efforts to advance the CARE Act and bring it one step closer to becoming law,” said Brendan Moss, a spokesman for the governor.
The committee’s bill would expand access to overdose-reversing Narcan, allowing it to be available by standing order at pharmacies, and it would require hospitals to be equipped to administer opioid agonist treatment like buprenorphine.
When someone is treated for an overdose, they are at a “very high risk for recurrence,” and buprenorphine cuts mortality rates in half, according to Dr. Michael Bierer, president of the Massachusetts Society of Addiction Medicine.
The medicine treats the addiction that causes people to seek out dangerous drugs, and buprenorphine attaches to chemical receptors in the body, making opioids like fentanyl less powerful and less deadly, Bierer told the News Service.
“It’s very hard to overdose on that drug,” said Bierer, who said the society “strongly” supports requiring hospitals to be equipped to administer that type of medically assisted therapy. He said, “We understand how efficacious opioid agonist treatment is.”
The bill would create a commission to study the use of methadone and other opioid-addiction medicine in correctional facilities. The addiction medicine society would have preferred language requiring that inmates have access to that kind of treatment, Bierer said.
The society has been skeptical about the policy backed by the governor and included in different form in the committee’s bill enabling medical professionals to involuntarily hold those whose substance use or drinking disorder is likely to cause “serious harm.”
“We don’t want anything that is devoid of a judge being involved in decisions to restrict liberty for substance use disorders other than extreme cases,” Bierer said.
Under the bill, when someone is admitted to a treatment facility involuntarily, the facility would be required to inform the person of their right to legal representation through the Committee for Public Counsel Services.
Rep. Denise Garlick, a Needham Democrat, and the House chairwoman of the Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery, said the legislation takes a three-pronged approach to the scourge.
“The bill employs three major strategies,” Garlick said ahead of Thursday’s vote. “First it strengthens public health prevention measures in our schools and communities for children and young adults from birth to age 26. Second, it increases treatment capacity by including access and quality in an expanded behavioral health care system. And third, it provides for the treatment of people who suffer the most from substance-use disorders by offering them options for care and support.”
DOVER COMMUNITY SURVEY
The Dover Council on Aging is looking to the future to strengthen its ties with the entire Dover Community through programs, services, and advocacy. The purpose of this project is to survey key constituents of the Dover community to better understand the needs and interests of Dover’s seniors as well as perceptions of Dover’s seniors held by various constituents.
As part of this effort, a Dover Community Survey has been developed that is accessible on line by all of Dover’s residents. You will find the link to this survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/DOVERCOA or you may find a copy of this survey at the Dover Library or the Council on Aging office in the Caryl Community Center. This survey will only take 5 minutes to complete.
The Council on Aging hopes that all Dover residents will participate as it looks to the future to strengthen its ties with the entire Dover Community through programs, services and advocacy.