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Thursday, April 4, 2024



Greater Boston Project Needham High School Students
Medfield High School “Kick Butts” Day
Needham High School SALSA
I have seen the future and it was at the State House Tuesday! Sen. Rausch and I hosted students from Needham High School participating in the Greater Boston Project, which is a 12th-grade interdisciplinary course that combines English, History, and Statistics into a final group project of the student’s choosing, with the goal of helping to make changes in the community and Commonwealth. The students are engaging with such diverse topics as art in the community, news and media literacy, preschool programming, local environmental concerns, mentoring programs for youth, celebrating multiculturalism, teen-parent relationships, and performing arts spaces in schools. I look forward to seeing the final results of their work.

I then joined Medfield Students for “Kick Butts” Day and listened carefully as they shared their genuine concerns about tobacco and the mental health of young people and the lack of support and resources. Later, Needham SALSA (Students Advocating for Life without Substance Abuse) students met in my office where we continued our many conversations through the years about their work with Middle Schoolers and an initiative in formation on ways to inform and support parents about the ever-changing landscape of misuse of substances. In such difficult times, when we all need hope for our tomorrow, look to the young people of today!



District Updates




  • Needham Public Health is hosting a Community Forum on Wednesday, April 10th at 6:30 PM in Powers Hall at Needham Town Hall, “Conversations about Navigating Opioid Resources and Uses for Settlement Funding in Needham”. All are welcome to participate in an interactive discussion about navigating the Town’s current opioid resources and prevention techniques. There will also be an open discussion about the uses for the Town’s Opioid Settlement Funding which is expected to be $1.8 million dollars in settlement funding over the next 15 years. Find more information about the Opioid Settlement Funding here. Please direct any questions about the forum to Assistant Director of Public Health Tiffany Zike at tzike@needhamma.gov.
  • The Department of Public Works will be flushing hydrants from 11 PM until 7 AM starting Monday, April 8th 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.


  • Parents of Needham students in grades 6 – 12 are invited to complete a survey on substance use. The Substance Prevention Alliance of Needham (SPAN) in collaboration with the Needham Public Health Division wants to learn more about parents’ beliefs and perceptions regarding underage drinking and substance use and misuse among youth. Feedback from the survey will remain anonymous and will help inform the direction of SPAN’s prevention initiatives. To complete the survey, click here.


  • The Plugged In Band Program’s Dirty Water Music Festival is being held this weekend on April 6th. The music festival will be held from 7 PM – 11 PM at Powers Hall in the Needham Town Hall. The event will feature live music, dancing, and a beer and wine cash bar. The event is for ages 21+ only and is free with advanced registration. All proceeds from the festival will support the Plugged In Band Program Scholarship and Inclusion Fund. To learn more, 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 is now 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.


  • This Saturday, April 6th from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM, the Medfield Animal Shelter will be sponsoring a low-cost rabies vaccine and dog licensure event. You can take your cat or dog to the Medfield Animal Shelter, located at 101 Old Bridge Street, to get them vaccinated for $15 each (cash only). Seniors 65 and older can receive free rabies vaccines for their pets. Appointments are not required. To learn more, click here.
  • Join the Blake Middle School Theater for their performances of The Enchanted Bookshop on April 5th and 6th. There will be two performances on each day, one at 1 PM and another at 7 PM. To purchase tickets, 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 Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a bill that will update the Massachusetts General Laws by removing out-of-date and offensive terms related to persons with disabilities. H4396 An Act relative to individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities removes out-of-date and offensive language from the Massachusetts General Laws when referencing people with disabilities. The language in the bill removes all variations of outdated terms such as “handicapped,” “disabled,” and “retarded.” The bill replaces these terms with current terminology such as “person with a disability” and “person with an intellectual disability.” Additionally, the term “autistic” is replaced with “autism” in reference to Autism Awareness Month. To view the bill, click here.



Statewide Updates



  • 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.
  • Applications are being accepted for MassDEP’s Sustainable Materials Recovery Program (SMRP) Municipal Grants. The SMRP is designed to increase the diversion of materials from the solid waste stream through waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting programs and to decrease the toxicity of the waste treatment through household hazardous waste diversion and the use of environmentally preferred products. The deadline to submit applications is June 12th. To learn more, click here.
  • Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell announced today that her office has made available up to $375,000 to continue the Healthy Summer Youth Jobs Grant Program (HSYJ). Now in its tenth year, the grant program will promote public health in local communities while providing summer employment and professional development opportunities for youth workers. To learn more, click here.
  • The Biden-Harris Administration and the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that Massachusetts had been allocated $14.1 million from the State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program. This is an “Internet for All” initiative designed to give individuals and communities the tools, skills, and opportunities they need for meaningful access to high-speed Internet service.  The new program will allow Massachusetts to implement the programs outlined in the state’s Digital Equity Plan, which was formally approved by the NTIA on March 26th. To learn more, click here.
  • Disability Connections, the Mass Office on Disability’s networking event for the Massachusetts disability community, is being held on Wednesday, April 10th. The event will be held at Suffolk University Law School from 10 AM to 1 PM. Connect with leaders in the disability community and honor the named plaintiffs in the Daniels-Finegold Settlement Agreement for their work in improving accessibility in Massachusetts public transit. The event is held both in-person (limited seating available) and livestreamed on Zoom and it is free and open to the public. ASL interpretation and CART services will be provided. To register for the event, 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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