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New Mass. regulations target bars 'masquerading' as restaurants
Source:  News South Of Boston
Friday, 07 August 2020 15:05

“Bars are closed in Massachusetts and bars masquerading as restaurants also need to be closed,� Baker said.


Employee of convicted mastermind behind college admissions scandal to plead guilty
Source:  News South Of Boston
Friday, 07 August 2020 15:05

A former employee of the man behind the college admissions scandal that rocked the nation last year has agreed to plead guilty.


Spencer police investigate illegal trapping of raccoon
Source:  News - telegram.com
Friday, 07 August 2020 15:04

SPENCER - Police and the animal control officer are investigating the illegal trapping of a raccoon on Church Street last weekend."Unfortunately, it was too severely injured and had to be euthanized," Sgt. Norman Hodgerney Jr.  said Friday.Hodgerney said a call came in to police just before 1:30 p.m. Aug. 1. The caller said an ailing raccoon, with a chain around its leg, was in the area of 28-30 Church St.The animal control officer discovered a raccoon with its paw [...]

Williamstown's DIRE Committee Divides Workload
Source:  iBerkshires News
Friday, 07 August 2020 15:01

Mohammed Memfis guides the second meeting of Williamstown's new Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity Committee. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The town's Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity Committee Monday formed three working groups to help organize efforts around different tasks before the nascent panel.   Keeping with the members' desire to focus on evidence gathering as the nine-person committee gets up and running, all three of the initial groups are tasked with building up the knowledge base.   Bilal Ansari, Aruna D'Souza and Jeffrey Johnson will be looking to form connections with other grassroots groups in town and beyond who are looking to address issues of equity and inclusion.   Gina Coleman, Drea Finley and Kerri Nicoll will work on developing strategies for the DIRE Committee to engage the broader community, particularly with an ear toward hearing about the experiences community members have had with exclusion or racism.   Andrew Art, Mohammed Memfis and Jane Patton will look at collecting information about current policies and procedures of town agencies, including the police, to see what policies the full committee wants to study in greater depth.   Art, who practiced administrative law in Washington, D.C., before returning to his hometown three years ago, talked at the group's first meeting in July about the need to develop a formal procedure for requesting information, and he returned to that idea on Monday.   "The ultimate goal is to provide actionable recommendations to the Select Board and provide input to the other town bodies that are working on these issues," Art said. "In order to do that in rigorous way, I suggested last meeting that we follow an administrative law principle, reasoned decision making, which requires the information to be on the record.   "So I just want to push again for having the information requests that we send to other committees to be put down in writing, at least as a starting point for gathering data and information from those other groups. The process of us going through that as a group will help us refine what it is we're trying to look at, and it will also give the other groups specifics so that they're not scratching their heads about what exactly we might be after."   The working group charged with identifying local organizations is hoping to find potential partners for the committee and ensure that it is not duplicating efforts.   "I'm wondering if one of the first things we could do is starting to compile a list of organizations that exist and the work being done," D'Souza said. "I know that there are, especially in the wake of Minneapolis, a number of citizen committees that have formed around questions of policing, for example.   "Connecting with them and seeing what's there might be a useful exercise. I'm sure a lot of people on this committee have much more of a sense of what those groups are."   D'Souza said there are groups in Pittsfield from whom the DIRE Committee could learn lessons and alluded to at least one other group closer to home as a potential partner.   "I know there is a parent group working with the School Committee on diversity, equity and inclusion issues," D'Souza said. "I imagine they're already starting to do some of that work. So, for us it would be information gathering as much as anything and working with that parent committee.   "At least in terms of the schools, there is some real work going on there. As with our group, the question of how much of it sticks will be the proof in the pudding, or whatever they say. But I know there are some people working on that."   In terms of strategies for gathering outreach from the public, the committee tapped into the professional expertise of its members; Finley and Nicoll are trained dialogue facilitators.   Their task will include finding ways to include not only current Williamstown residents but others in the conversation.   "My question is, how are we defining community?" Ansari asked his colleagues. "I want to define it in its broadest terms. For example, I tend to like the community members who responded to one of the things that was written up about me, and they said, 'I grew up in Williamstown, but I no longer live in Williamstown. I live in North Adams' … maybe because they can't afford it or they moved on or whatever.   "They're still a part of our community. I don't want to exclude them."   In other business on Monday, the committee formally agreed on its name. The Select Board, which created the panel this summer, left it up to the group to decide on its own name and finalize its objectives.   Members of the panel agreed that the words Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity fit the committee's mission, and they liked the acronym DIRE, which hints at the urgency of the committee's work.   Memfis, who set the agenda and led the discussion at Monday's second meeting, also agreed to continue leading the committee for the time being, though he was disinclined to take the title chair and instead talked about a stewardship model.   In accepting the role, he encouraged his fellow committee members to give him input on upcoming agendas.

UPS Packages Could Get A Lot More Expensive This Fall
Source:  CBS Boston
Friday, 07 August 2020 14:59

(CNN) — Shopping online during the upcoming holiday season could get more expensive if it’s delivered by UPS.

The company will begin imposing surcharges of several dollars on companies that ship a huge amount of items this fall and early winter, anticipating rising costs as more more people shop online because of coronavirus. The new fees would cost several more dollars depending on how many packages the retailer ships weekly.

However, the new fees won’t affect customers shipping small items at the UPS Store or other places. The fees are intended for what the company calls “large volume customers,” and it’s unclear whether retailers like Amazon, Target and others will pass the added costs onto customers. For some companies, those hefty fees could be hard to absorb, and they might end up in your shipping bill.

For a company that ships more than 25,000 packages per week, the surcharge will cost between $1 to $4 depending on whether it’s delivered via ground or air. UPS decides the fee depending on the company’s shipping volume in February of this year, prior to the pandemic hitting the US. Fees will be implemented from November 15, 2020, through January 16, 2021.

“UPS routinely adjusts its pricing to align with the cost to serve our customers, enabling the company to be appropriately compensated for the service and value we provide,” a company spokesperson told CNN Business, adding that the new surcharges “reflect current market conditions caused by the pandemic.”

UPS reported better-than-expected earnings last week because of the surge in online shopping. Demand for residential deliveries surged 65% and its average daily volume increased 23% in the second quarter.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.


Joseph Gordon-Levitt talks up his new sci-fi thriller ‘Project Power’
Source:  News - Burlington Union
Friday, 07 August 2020 14:58

Though he had already been a professional actor for almost a decade, most television viewers will remember Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tommy, the youngest character (with the oldest mind) on the 1996 series “Third Rock from the Sun.” Art house moviegoers probably first saw him as the revenge-minded Brendan in “Brick.” Popular films the busy actor has been in include “Inception,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “The Walk,” [...]

Joseph Gordon-Levitt talks up his new sci-fi thriller ‘Project Power’
Source:  News - Dover-Sherborn Press
Friday, 07 August 2020 14:58

Though he had already been a professional actor for almost a decade, most television viewers will remember Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tommy, the youngest character (with the oldest mind) on the 1996 series “Third Rock from the Sun.” Art house moviegoers probably first saw him as the revenge-minded Brendan in “Brick.” Popular films the busy actor has been in include “Inception,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “The Walk,” [...]

BTU calls for full remote learning to start school year
Source:  Charlestown Patriot-Bridge
Friday, 07 August 2020 14:53

Boston Teachers Union releases proposal for the safe restart of Boston Public Schools

The Boston Teachers Union (BTU) has released a proposal for re-opening schools this fall, calling for a fully remote learning program and not the hybrid, in-person model preferred by Supt. Brenda Cassellius.

The proposal, titled “Creating the Schools Our Students Deserve: Aspirations, Proposals, and Priorities of the Boston Teachers Union for a Safe Restart,� outlines the union’s suggestions to reopening Boston Public Schools this fall.

“We are calling on BPS to plan for a fully remote opening to begin the school year and a phased-in return to any in-person learning only when all safety protocols are in place and verified,� said BTU President Jessica Tang.

The union joins American Federation of Teachers – Massachusetts and Massachusetts Teachers Association members across the state in saying that educators oppose returning to unsafe school buildings until districts and the state can meet these necessary criteria to protect students:

•Community transmission of COVID-19 is under control in the region;
•There is a public health infrastructure to support effective disease testing, surveillance, tracing and isolation in schools;
•All staff who are at high risk or live with someone who is high risk have access to remote work assignments, and that in-person teaching is a voluntary choice;
•The district and school have funded safeguards and implemented protocols, including the below essential components:
*6-foot physical distancing;
*Face covering provided by schools to all students and staff, from pre-K up;
*Adequate personal protective equipment provided to staff;
*Access to hand-washing facilities with consistent 100ºF water and soap;
*Resources and staffing to clean and sanitize facilities, including transportation;
*Necessary updates to ventilation and building systems to ensure safe levels of airflow;
*Adequate space for nurses to isolate potentially infected students;
•All BTU members should be held harmless with respect to pay and sick time if diagnosed or asked to quarantined.
•BTU members and leaders, families and community partners are included in the reopening planning process.


HESSCO Elder Services looking for Caton, Walpole volunteers
Source:  News - Wicked Local Walpole
Friday, 07 August 2020 14:51

HESSCO Elder Services is looking for Canton and Walpole residents interested in volunteering and becoming drivers for its Meals on Wheels program. This program, which delivers prepared meals to homebound elders, is in search of volunteers to contribute approximately one hour per week to elders who would have difficulties getting their own meals otherwise. HESSCO serves 12 communities in South Norfolk County: Canton, Dedham, Foxboro, Medfield, Millis, Norfolk, Norwood, Plainville, [...]

BTU calls for full remote learning to start school year
Source:  The Back Bay Sun
Friday, 07 August 2020 14:50

Boston Teachers Union releases proposal for the safe restart of Boston Public Schools

The Boston Teachers Union (BTU) has released a proposal for re-opening schools this fall, calling for a fully remote learning program and not the hybrid, in-person model preferred by Supt. Brenda Cassellius.

The proposal, titled “Creating the Schools Our Students Deserve: Aspirations, Proposals, and Priorities of the Boston Teachers Union for a Safe Restart,� outlines the union’s suggestions to reopening Boston Public Schools this fall.

“We are calling on BPS to plan for a fully remote opening to begin the school year and a phased-in return to any in-person learning only when all safety protocols are in place and verified,� said BTU President Jessica Tang.

The union joins American Federation of Teachers – Massachusetts and Massachusetts Teachers Association members across the state in saying that educators oppose returning to unsafe school buildings until districts and the state can meet these necessary criteria to protect students:

•Community transmission of COVID-19 is under control in the region;
•There is a public health infrastructure to support effective disease testing, surveillance, tracing and isolation in schools;
•All staff who are at high risk or live with someone who is high risk have access to remote work assignments, and that in-person teaching is a voluntary choice;
•The district and school have funded safeguards and implemented protocols, including the below essential components:
*6-foot physical distancing;
*Face covering provided by schools to all students and staff, from pre-K up;
*Adequate personal protective equipment provided to staff;
*Access to hand-washing facilities with consistent 100ºF water and soap;
*Resources and staffing to clean and sanitize facilities, including transportation;
*Necessary updates to ventilation and building systems to ensure safe levels of airflow;
*Adequate space for nurses to isolate potentially infected students;
•All BTU members should be held harmless with respect to pay and sick time if diagnosed or asked to quarantined.
•BTU members and leaders, families and community partners are included in the reopening planning process.


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