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Thursday, April 4, 2024
It was with a profound sense of my heritage as a second-generation Greek American that I accepted an invitation from President Biden to attend a reception at the White House to celebrate Greek Independence Day! My Dad, Angelo Collatos, died nearly 37 years ago. He was once a little boy who entered first grade able to only speak Greek. He grew and prospered and built a family and a life that was centered around the love of his wife and children, the Dedham community, his work and his never-ending interest and participation in politics and government. I remember walking our neighborhood to get signatures and sitting at the dinner table and being prepared to answer his questions on who, by name and title, were in the President’s Cabinet or what were my friends’ parents saying about an upcoming Town meeting. He was so present in my heart, as always, and in all my thoughts as I reflected on how joyous and proud he would be that his daughter, by invitation, walked the corridors of the White House and listened in person to the President.

 

District Updates

 

 

Needham

  • The Town of Needham is seeking your input! Complete the biennial survey that will measure community livability, assess residents’ needs, evaluate the impacts of governmental programs, and gauge resident sentiment and satisfaction with key service areas and programs. The survey will close on Monday, April 22nd. To access the survey, click here.
  • Registration is now open for Needham Community Education’s spring adult classes. Needham Community Education offers classes ranging from language to self-defense classes. Space for classes is limited. To check out class offerings, click here.
  • Save the Date! On Saturday, April 27th, Needham Drug Take Back Day will be held at the Needham Police Station from 10 AM to 2 PM. Unused and expired prescription and over-the-counter drugs will be accepted. They will not be accepting needles, thermometers, inhalers, medical waste, or illegal drugs. There will be a drive-thru and drop-off options available. For more information, click here.
  • The Department of Public Works will be flushing hydrants from 11 PM until 7 AM until the end of May. The purpose of the water main flushing program is to improve drinking water in Needham. The flushing process may cause discolored water and a reduction in water pressure. Both conditions are temporary. If either of the conditions persists, contact the Needham Water and Sewer Division at (781) 455-7550.

Dover

  • The Dover Parks and Recreation’s Spring and Summer Brochure is now available. The brochure includes various spring and summer programs as well as events offered throughout the warmer months. To view the brochure, click here.
  • The Pastures at Dover is currently accepting lottery applications for 9 affordable units that will be rented to households with incomes at or below 80% of the area median income. The deadline to apply is April 22nd at 2 PM. To learn more about the available units and how to apply, click here.
  • Registration remains open for Dover’s April Spring Clean-up. In 2023, 400 residents participated in this effort to clean up 100% of the 159 streets and parks. All Dover residents are invited to help achieve this goal again. All local clubs and organizations are encouraged to join the clean-up. To register, click here.

Medfield

  • Support the Medfield Library by purchasing a Friends of the Medfield Library Spring Tote Bag. The tote bags cost $15 each and proceeds go to supporting the Medfield Public Library programs and services. Bags are available to purchase at the library circulation desk. For more information, click here.
  • Electronics recycling day at the Medfield Transfer Station will be on Saturday, April 13th from 9 AM to 1 PM. Safely recycling your old electronics such as TVs, monitors, old consoles, and more. Payments can be made by cash or check only. Credit card payments are not accepted at this event. For more information, click here.
  • Fire hydrant flushing will take place until April 12th. For the full list of dates and corresponding flushing zones, click here.

 

 

 

Legislative Updates

 

 

  • Yesterday, the House Ways and Means Committee released its Fiscal Year 2025 recommendations. The House Ways and Means Committee budget is funded at $57.9 billion, a $1.9 billion or 3.3% increase over the Governor’s budget proposal. This newly released budget introduces new revenue sources such as excess capital gains, a Student Opportunity Act (SOA) investment fund, a high-quality Early Education and Care (EEC) affordability fund, gaming fund consolidation, and tax amnesty. Next in the budget process is the House Debate which is set to begin on Wednesday, April 24th. I will continue to announce budget process updates here on Garlick Press and my social media accounts. To learn more about the budget process, click here.

 

 

Statewide Updates

 

 

  • The Healey-Driscoll Administration announced the implementation of the Blue Envelope Program, an initiative to foster a safer and more understanding environment during traffic stops for drivers with autism. The voluntary program provides individuals on the autism spectrum with specially designed blue envelopes to carry their driver’s licenses, which informs police officers about their diagnosis and other essential communication guidelines to ensure more effective and sensitive communication during the interaction. The Blue Envelope Program is the result of a partnership between the Massachusetts State Police, the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts, The Arc of Massachusetts, and individuals with autism and their families. To learn more, click here.
  • The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) announced its plans to provide Massachusetts children and families with fun, educational, and affordable programming at parks and watershed properties across the state during April school vacation week. From guided hikes and bike rides to painting, birding, and animal demonstrations, the agency is offering 42 free or low-cost engaging programs for kids from Saturday, April 13th, to Sunday, April 21st. For more information, click here.
  • $2.9 million in grants were awarded to 20 organizations across the Commonwealth led by Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) to address substance use in the communities they serve, which continue to be disproportionately impacted by increases in overdoses. This grant is part of a new initiative intended to support BIPOC-led organizations committed to addressing substance use disorder, including by focusing on underlying social, economic, and environmental conditions that can put people at greater risk for substance misuse. Additionally, this funding will help the organizations expand their substance use program capacity to improve their ability to qualify and apply for future grant funding through the Department of Public Health (DPH). To learn more, click here.
  • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory to alert health providers to the global and domestic increase in measles cases. It is recommended that children in Massachusetts and those traveling internationally 6 months and older are current on the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. To view the full alert, click here.
  • The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is accepting applications for lifeguards, swim instructors and other pool and waterfront roles across the state for the 2024 summer season. Qualified candidates, who apply early and work through the end of the season, can earn up to $1,250 in bonuses, in addition to a competitive hourly rate of between $22 and $27, dependent on the position and associated certifications. For more information, click here.
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