Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The Holiday season is a critical time for small businesses and as we recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19, it continues to be important to support local businesses. As part of the American Rescue Plan Act funding, the Legislature made significant investment into local businesses including $60 million for grants to support small businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic.
In Needham, the Needham Merchant’s Association, the Town of Needham’s Economic Development Department, and the Charles River Regional Chamber are encouraging residents to support local retailers by shopping and dining locally this holiday season through the Needham Holiday Passport Program. Pick up a passport from any of the 36 participating local retailers and restaurants and collect stamps as you shop and dine around Town. To learn more, click here.
I hope you will join me in supporting local businesses, business owners, and their employees in Needham, Dover, and Medfield through this holiday season.
Yours in Service,
- In Needham, I have worked with Town Manager Kate Fitzpatrick and the MBTA to address excessive train idling near Needham Heights Station. Beginning Monday, December 13, the MBTA will pilot having trains with more than 20 minutes of scheduled idle time will be pulling west beyond Needham Heights station into yard limits after deboarding passengers to decrease noise and pollution for immediate abutters.
- In Needham, Park and Recreation has released its winter brochure featuring programs and classes for children and adults of all ages. Registration for the programs, classes, and events will open on Wednesday, December 15 at 9:00 AM. To view the brochure, click here.
- In Dover, the Town Report Committee is asking residents and nonresidents to submit photographs for the annual Dover Town Report. Every year, the Town Report is illustrated with photographs that showcase Dover and its citizens. Photographs can be contemporary or archival, in black and white or color, and in print or electronic formats. The deadline is January 8, 2022. For more information, click here.
- In Medfield, the Annual Town Election will be held on Monday, March 28, 2022. Nomination papers for available positions are now available in the Town Clerk’s office and are due back by February 7, 2022 at 4:30 PM. For more information, click here.
- On Wednesday, there was a House legislative briefing with the Election Modernization Coalition which includes the ACLU MA, Common Cause MA, Lawyers for Civil Rights, League of Women Voters MA, MASSPIRG, MA Voter Table, and MassVOTE. This briefing discussed the VOTES Act (H.805 An Act fostering voting opportunities, trust, equity, and security) which includes Same-Day registration, vote by mail, extended early voting, jail-based voting, and other reforms.
- On Thursday, the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs and the American Red Cross held a briefing on Services for Veterans, Active Military, Reservists, and their Families. When individuals are deployed for military service, there are many support services provided that service people and their family may access until and after they return from deployment. To learn more about veteran services through the Red Cross, click here.
- The Massachusetts Health Connector is currently in its Open Enrollment period, which runs from November 1, 2021 – January 23, 2022. This is a time when MA residents are able to enroll in health insurance coverage through the Health Connector for the first time and exciting members are able to shop for a new health insurance plan that meets their needs. For coverage effective January 1, 2022, members must enroll and make a payment by December 23. For more information, click here.
- The Department of Developmental Services is hosting “VaxAbilities,” a series of disability-friendly vaccination events across Massachusetts. Most of these events will be offering COVID vaccinations for children ages 5 and up, as well as adult initial vaccines and boosters. There are events in Boston, Brockton, Lowell, Worcester, and Springfield. To find upcoming dates and to learn more, click here.
- On Saturday, the Department of Public Health announced that the COVID-19 Omicron variant was detected in Massachusetts. To stop the spread of this new variant please follow public health guidance of getting tested and staying home if you feel sick. frequently washing your hands, and following mask requirements. Getting vaccinated remains the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones. The vaccine is free and no ID or insurance is required to be vaccinated. To find a location for your vaccine, click here. For more information on the Omicron variant, click here.
- COVID-19 boosters vaccines are available for all Massachusetts residents aged 18 and over:
- The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 booster is now available to all individuals who received a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 single dose vaccine at least two months ago.
- The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 booster is available to all individuals six months after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
- If you are eligible, you may find a location through VaxFinder or by calling the COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Line at 2-1-1. For more information on the COVID-19 booster, click here.
If you are in need of information, resources, or support please visit my website for a list of resources regarding unemployment assistance, food assistance, housing, and mental health. Additionally, for town specific information visit the Towns of Needham, Dover, and Medfield‘s websites.
If you are in need of assistance, my office is still accessible by phone and email so please contact my office and we will get back to you.