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Thursday, May 16, 2024



Joining with the members of the Commission on Status of Persons with Disabilities, Commissioners Angela Ortiz, Kathy Petkauskos, Gyasi Burks-Abbott, Oswald Mondejar, and our Executive Director Imene Bouziane Saidi, I attended the Partners for Youth with Disabilities’ (PYD) fundraiser Party4PYD Trifecta: Equip, Empower, and Employ. PYD supports and empowers young adults with disabilities to lead self-determined lives through many career and school programs they offer. Thank you, PYD, for the important work you do!

District Updates




  • Effective Monday, May 20th, Town buildings and facilities will have summer hours. Summer hours are in effect until Saturday, August 30th. For a full list of buildings and facilities and their summer hours, click here.
  • Join the Needham Free Public Library on Tuesday, May 21 for an event “A Celebration of Animation: The 100 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time” hosted by award-winning author, Marty Gitlin. The event will be held in the Library Community Room from 7:30 – 9:30 PM. The event is open to all ages. Registration is required for the event. For more information, click here.



  • The Needham Garden Club’s Spring Plant Sale is this Saturday, May 18th. The sale will be held at the Congregational Church of Needham (1154 Great Plain Ave) from 9 AM to 12 PM. Members of the Needham Garden Club will be dividing plants from their own gardens. To learn more about the Needham Garden Club, click here.


  • The Dover Annual Town Election is being held on Monday, May 20th, and early voting is open until tomorrow, Friday, May 17th at 1 PM. Check the complete early voting schedule, explore the different ways to cast your vote, and view the sample ballot here.


  • The Charles River School presents Disney’s The Litte Mermaid Jr on Thursday, May 17th. The musical play will be held at the Charles River School (6 Old Meadow Rd) at 7 PM. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, click here.
  • Registration is now open for COA-sponsored Talk with the Town: Board of Health on Tuesday, May 28th. The event will be held in the Community Room at the Dover Library from 1 to 2 PM. The Dover Board of Health Director, Jason Belmonte will be present to share how the Board of Health supports Dover residents. To sign up, click here.



  • This Sunday, May 19th is the Grand Opening of the Medfield Community Market. The Community Market is held on Sundays in the rear parking lot of Montrose School (29 North St) from 9 AM to 1 PM. The Medfield Community Market is a new farmer’s market in town created to support local farmers and makers. To learn more about the Medfield Community Market, click here.
  • The Bellforge Arts Center’s Art & Crafts Festival is this Saturday, May 18th. The festival will be held from 10 AM to 4 PM. Over thirty-five artists and vendors will be present to showcase their art and creations. Admission to the festival is free and open to all ages and registration is encouraged. For more information, click here.
  • The Medfield Swap Shop is looking for volunteers. The Swap Shop recently reopened and will be running until the end of September. The Swap Shop is run entirely by volunteers and is seeking more to help the shop run smoothly. Interested parties should email Nancy at n.nancyirwin@gmail.com or medfieldswapshop@gmail.com.



Legislative Updates


  • On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to pass An Act to provide for the future information technology needs of Massachusetts, also known as the FutureTech Act. This bill authorizes $1.23 billion in bonded spending and utilizes an additional $400 million in anticipated federal funding to bolster critical information technology projects across the Commonwealth. The initiatives included in the bill aim to modernize the Commonwealth’s information technology infrastructure, enabling agencies to operate with enhanced efficiency while also upgrading cybersecurity efforts. By investing in these advancements, Massachusetts seeks to broaden access to vital services and information, ultimately enhancing the digital landscape and user experience for all residents. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. To view the bill, click here.



Statewide Updates



  • The Commission on the Status of Persons with Disabilities recently participated in a series by New England Public Media titled “Short-Staffed: How Western Massachusetts is Tackling Workforce Shortages”. They delivered an exceptional explanation on the challenges individuals encounter in the workforce and outlined effective strategies employers can implement to address these issues. The segment was broadcasted on their local NPR station during “All Things Considered”. For more information and to access both the article and audio, click here.


  • Forbes has ranked Massachusetts as the most environmentally friendly state in the nation. All 50 states were evaluated using a Sustainability Index that utilized three metrics- water use, energy use, and solar friendliness to determine their commitment to protecting the environment. Massachusetts ranked second in water usage with a total of 200.57 gallons per day diverting less water from rivers and bays and fifth in energy usage with 192.2 million Btu used per year, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Massachusetts was also rated one of the most solar-friendly states in the country, based on its current solar infrastructure, the number of solar jobs, and the costs of installing new solar infrastructure. To learn more, click here.
  • The Department of Public Health (DPH) announced $1.9 million in annual state funding over the next 11 years awarded to 19 community organizations to provide suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention services across the state. Funded organizations will provide services to people at increased risk of suicidality, communities impacted by suicide, and underserved and historically marginalized populations. To learn more, click here.
  • The Healey-Driscoll administration has launched a call center and website for patients as part of the next step in its Incident Command structure in response to Steward Health Care’s filing for bankruptcy. The dedicated Steward Health Care call center can be reached at (617) 468-2189 or toll-free at (833) 305-2070. The website can be accessed here.
  • The People with Disabilities Equity Dashboard is now published on the Mass.gov website. The data dashboard offers a comprehensive view of employment-related insights, encompassing disability type, geographic variations, remote work opportunities, unemployment rates, labor force participation, and more. To view the dashboard, click here.
  • MassDEP is now accepting applications for paid internship opportunities for the summer/early fall session. The internships are available for programs in MassDEP’s Boston headquarters as well as in all four regional offices. The positions are all important in helping environmental protection across the Commonwealth. To learn more, 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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