` Representative Pat Haddad
State Representative
Patricia A. Haddad

News
GREAT LOCAL LAWYERS MAKE GREAT LOCAL JUDGES!
Governor’s Councillor Joseph C Ferreira who believes that local Judges should be chosen from local lawyers who know the region, is pleased to announce an outreach seminar to educate local lawyers in the process to judgeship. The seminars will take place this Thursday, October 12 at noon at UMASS Law, sponsored by the Bristol County […]

Governor’s Councillor Joseph C Ferreira who believes that local Judges should be chosen from local lawyers who know the region, is pleased to announce an outreach seminar to educate local lawyers in the process to judgeship.

The seminars will take place this Thursday, October 12 at noon at UMASS Law, sponsored by the Bristol County Bar association; and at 2:45 at the Yarmouth House in Yarmouth, sponsored by the Barnstable County Bar Association.

Panelists will include the Governor’s Councillor Joseph Ferreira, Governor’s Chief Legal Counsel Lon Povich, Deputy Legal Counsel and  Nominating Commissioner Sharon Shelfer Casey, and members of the Judicial Nomination Commission.

Ferreira stated he is “extremely pleased that the Governor’s Office and members of the Judicial Nomination Commission have agreed to participate in this first of its kind event in his District which covers 47 Cities and Towns.   It is extremely important to demystify the process to ensure that our region’s best and brightest lawyers have an opportunity to be chosen!   In a just two and one half years The Council has vetted and approved 80 Judges, an unprecedented number; including replacing 5 of 7 on the Supreme Judicial Court.  Noteworthy is that for the first time in 100 years, the SJC has a Justice who resides in Bristol County, Elspeth Cypher  “


District Events October 2017
I just wanted to pass along this information to my constituents in regards to events taking place within my district next month.   October: 12th @ 6pm-Somerset Musictown Ball, Venus DeMilo.   14th @ 11am-Swansea 350th Anniversary Time Capsule Opening, Town Hall/Main Street.   21st @1 pm-Somerset Musictown Parade, County Street/Rt. 138.   21st & […]

I just wanted to pass along this information to my constituents in regards to events taking place within my district next month.
 
October:
12th @ 6pm-Somerset Musictown Ball, Venus DeMilo.
 
14th @ 11am-Swansea 350th Anniversary Time Capsule Opening, Town Hall/Main Street.
 
21st @1 pm-Somerset Musictown Parade, County Street/Rt. 138.
 
21st & 22nd @ 10am to 5 pm Bristol Aggie Fall Show, Center Street/Dighton.
 
27th @ 6pm – Swansea 350th Anniversary Gala, Venus DeMilo.
 
28th @ 8pm -Swansea 350th Fireworks, Veterans’ Park/Milford Road.

EQUIFAX CYBER THEFT
September 14, 2017   The scope of the data breach at Equifax combined with the character of the data stolen amounts to an unprecedented cyber theft affecting 143 million Americans, an estimate provided by the company.   To provide context, consider that the U.S. population is about 330 million, of which, close to 250 million […]

September 14, 2017

 

The scope of the data breach at Equifax combined with the character of the data stolen amounts to an unprecedented cyber theft affecting 143 million Americans, an estimate provided by the company.

 

To provide context, consider that the U.S. population is about 330 million, of which, close to 250 million are adults (18 years of age and up). Relatively few 18 to 25-year-olds have credit records with the three primary credit companies—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—so we’re looking at upwards of 75% of people with credit records having had their information stolen.

 

What happened

 

According to Equifax, a vulnerability in a website application called Apache Struts CVE-2017-5638 was exploited by hackers to gain access to the 143 million credit files, 209,000 credit card numbers, and 182,000 credit dispute documents. Apache Foundation, which oversees the widely-used open source software said “The Equifax data compromise was due to failure to install the security updates in a timely manner.” The vulnerability was announced and patched by Apache on March 7, 2017 and modifications were completed by March 10, 2017. The Equifax data breach occurred from mid-May through July.

 

The five-week delay from discovery of the breach on July 29, 2017 to the September 7, 2017 public announcement is understandable given that Equifax hired a cyber security company to perform an assessment to determine how and when the information was compromised. However, the company’s chief financial officer, presumably someone on the short list of executives to be notified of a cyber security disaster, sold more than 13 percent of his Equifax stock on August 1, 2017, a transaction generating proceeds of $946,374. The company stated that CFO John Gamble and two other high-level employees who sold stock on August 1 and 2 were unaware of the data breach at the time of their stock transactions. Equifax stock closed at $146.26 on August 1 and $98.99 on September 13, a loss of one-third of its value post-disclosure.

 

What you can do

 

Go to www.EquifaxSecurity2017.com – There are consumer updates posted to this page along with a link at the bottom of the page called “Potential Impact.” Click this link and then click “Check Potential Impact.” At this point, ensure that you are on a secure web page by looking for a lock icon on the screen or a URL beginning with https://. Enter your last name and last six digits of your social security number, then click on the box “I’m not a robot,” then click Continue. You will receive a message either indicating that Equifax believes “your personal information may have been impacted by this incident” or “your personal information was not impacted by this incident.”

 

You are then offered the opportunity to enroll in Equifax’ TrustedID Premier program for no cost for one year. This program offers credit file monitoring with the purpose of alerting customers of any attempts to access their information or open credit/loan accounts without their permission. Per Equifax: “Consumers who sign up for TrustedID Premier will not be automatically enrolled or charged after the conclusion of the complimentary year of TrustedID Premier. We’ve added an FAQ to our website to confirm that enrolling in the free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection that we are offering as part of this cybersecurity incident does not waive any rights to take legal action. We removed that language from the Terms of Use on the website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. The Terms of Use on www.equifax.com do not apply to the TrustedID Premier product being offered to consumers as a result of the cybersecurity incident.”

 

Keep in mind that there are three major credit reporting bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Each company retains information on consumers’ credit transactions, loans, payments, FICO scores, etc. The information stolen from Equifax could be used to open credit cards and apply for loans where the lending institution might have a business arrangement with one of the other credit bureaus; therefore, it is not sufficient to isolate your attempts to block fraudulent use of your data with Equifax. If you plan to file a fraud alert or freeze your credit file, make sure you do this with all three credit reporting bureaus.

 

A fraud alert can be filed which puts the credit bureau on notice that your personal information has been compromised. This should result in the bureau taking additional steps to ensure that changes in your account, including inquiries related to opening new credit cards and loans, are being done by you or with your permission.

 

A credit file freeze blocks attempts to review your account for new credit cards and loans. Keep in mind, however, that access to your credit files is granted more often than you might imagine, and generally for legitimate purposes. For example, buying furniture over two years with no interest requires the financing company to access your credit file to determine your credit worthiness. E-signing a tax return, something that is gaining acceptance in recent years, requires the signer to confirm information that is contained in their credit file.

 

Fraud alerts, freezing accounts, and monitoring credit files is not free. Although the monitoring program for affected Equifax customers is free for a year, you must consider the cost of the additional steps not only with Equifax but with Experian and TransUnion as well.

 

You have had the ability to acquire one free credit file report per year from all three bureaus for many years. Looking at these reports is essential to identifying potential fraudulent transactions. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228 to request your free credit report which includes information from all three bureaus. Do not call the bureaus individually or get tricked into visiting one of the many “free credit score” websites that are, in the end, not free.

 

Finally, the information breach may well be used to e-file fraudulent tax returns, both Federal and state, in an effort to claim a refund. These fraudsters file early in the tax season hoping to get their version of your tax return through before you file your legitimate return. This activity has netted billions of dollars of refunds that vanished into temporary bank accounts and pre-loaded debit cards. Legitimate taxpayers have waited to have their tax returns processed, some having refunds of thousands of dollars held up for months.

 

Currently, the IRS only provides security PINs to taxpayers who have had fraudulent returns filed using their social security numbers. The 6-digit PIN is then required for all future tax return filings. Unfortunately, this “take action after the fact” approach does nothing to protect taxpayers from potential fraudulent returns being filed using the Equifax information. For more information about the IRS’ program, go to https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-fraud-scams/identity-protection. The Massachusetts DOR has information at: http://www.mass.gov/dor/individuals/identity-theft-information/.

 

Attorney General’s actions

 

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy announced that her office is filing suit against Equifax. See more here: http://www.mass.gov/ago/news-and-updates/press-releases/2017/2017-09-12-intent-to-sue-equifax.html.

 

Conclusion

 

Take this situation seriously and stay up-to-date regarding further consumer options that are sure to become available as we progress through the aftermath of this unprecedented cyber theft. Our office will continue to communicate new information as we made aware.


SOMERSET REP REFLECTS AS SUN SETS ON STATE’S LAST COAL PLANT
By Colin A. Young STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, JUNE 1, 2017…..The cooling towers and stacks at Brayton Point billowed Wednesday evening as Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad drove home to Somerset, and as the sun set on Massachusetts’s last coal-fired power plant Haddad reckoned with the plant’s closure. “I was literally watching […]

By Colin A. Young
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, JUNE 1, 2017…..The cooling towers and stacks at Brayton Point billowed Wednesday evening as Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad drove home to Somerset, and as the sun set on Massachusetts’s last coal-fired power plant Haddad reckoned with the plant’s closure.

“I was literally watching the sun setting for the last night over that area and it was very melancholy,” she said Thursday. “I thought it would be, ‘Oh well, it’s happening,’ but it’s very, very hard to realize that it is real and it happened and it closed. It’s the end of an era.”

The 1,505-megawatt facility that ceased operations late Wednesday night was the last power plant run on coal in Massachusetts and the largest coal-fired power plant in New England, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Haddad said it has been surreal to watch the plant remove the unused coal and begin the process of decommissioning the plant that has been in operation since 1963.

“It’s been a wait since we learned that it was going to close,” she said. “Yesterday was the funeral.”

Coal-fired plants have been closing around the country as the industry competes against lower-cost natural gas, renewable energy sources and regulations designed to protect public health. Coal currently accounts for the generation of just more than 2 percent of the region’s power mix, according to ISO New England, which operates the grid in the six-state region.

Two other coal-fired power plants were shut down in 2014: the Mount Tom plant, near Holyoke, and the Salem Harbor plant.

Brayton Point was Somerset’s largest taxpayer for years, and Haddad said its closure — which follows the 2010 closure of Somerset’s smaller coal-fired Montaup plant — means the town now has to either find new sources of revenue or curtail services.

“We were very fortunate for a very long time that our taxes were very reasonable, we have sewerage, we have full-time fire, full-time police,” she said. “The money was used very judiciously and now we come into a very new era, and we’re in the position of many of the communities in the commonwealth that are struggling.”

The town has delayed hiring a lieutenant for the fire department and is now considering new fees for things like youth athletics, she said.

“The school department is trying to use attrition not to have to lay anybody off, but we’re talking about fees which is something no one in this town wants to do,” Haddad said. “Fees for sports and music, unfortunately we’re looking at those things now.”

For the last three years, Haddad has secured for Somerset up to $3 million a year from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Auction Trust Fund through the state budget to help the town cope with the the loss of tax revenue from the plants.

The same provision is included in the House and Senate’s fiscal year 2018 proposals as well, and Haddad said she is hopeful the money will be available again this year. But the ultimate goal is to get the Brayton Point site back on the tax rolls for Somerset, she said.

“While the town and people in town are always promoting that there are these 300-plus acres on Mount Hope Bay, it is privately owned and therefore we have to wait and see what happens,” Haddad said.

She said her sense is that the plant’s owners want to sell the entire parcel to a developer rather than splitting it into smaller pieces.

Whether at the Brayton Point site or another spot in the area, Haddad is trying to entice companies from the offshore wind industry to put down roots on the South Coast. As her town began to transition from being dominated by the coal power plants, Haddad made her own transition — from being the “Queen of Coal” to being the new “Witch of Wind.”

“We’re now in the process of making us as attractive as possible so that whether they’re from Germany, Denmark or England they will come here,” she said of offshore wind companies. “We would love to see a turbine factory, but at the very least we should see blades because we have the blade testing facility” in Charlestown.

Haddad said the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s study of Massachusetts port facilities from just north of Boston to the Rhode Island border, undertaken to inform the offshore wind industry about undeveloped waterfront properties that might be available, “prominently featured” possible locations in Somerset.

Three offshore wind developers are competing to build major wind energy installations in leased tracts 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard — DONG Energy, Deepwater Wind and Vineyard Wind, which was formerly called OffshoreMW.

An August 2016 Massachusetts law calls for the procurement of up to 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2027, and a draft request for proposals was released last month seeking projects of at least 400 MW. The final RFP is expected to be issued this month, with bidders required to submit notice of intent by July and proposals due December 20, 2017.

Once those developers are identified, Haddad said, it will “set in motion their need for the products” and hasten the development of a local supply chain.

-END-
06/01/2017

Serving the working press since 1910
http://www.statehousenews.com


Coal is about to disappear from New England
SOMERSET, Mass. — For Pat Haddad, a good day is one when she returns home from the state Legislature to see steam rising from Brayton Point Power Station’s twin 497-foot-tall cooling towers. New England’s largest coal plant has long powered the economy in Haddad’s hometown of Somerset, a community of 18,000 people on the south […]

SOMERSET, Mass. — For Pat Haddad, a good day is one when she returns home from the state Legislature to see steam rising from Brayton Point Power Station’s twin 497-foot-tall cooling towers. New England’s largest coal plant has long powered the economy in Haddad’s hometown of Somerset, a community of 18,000 people on the south coast of Massachusetts.

But good days have been few and far between lately. Soon, they will be gone altogether. Brayton Point will extinguish its boilers for the final time tomorrow. When it does, coal will have all but disappeared from this six-state region of 14 million people. Two small and seldom-used coal plants in New Hampshire will be all that remains of a once-mighty industry.

“The sun is literally and figuratively setting,” said Haddad, a Democrat who represents Somerset and three other communities in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. “It’s so hard to see.”

If President Trump is to fulfill his promise of reviving the coal industry, it will have to be without New England. In 2016, Brayton Point’s last full year of operation, coal accounted for 2 percent of the region’s power generation.

New England policymakers, united by a common electricity market, are increasingly looking to wind, solar and hydro to meet the region’s electricity needs. Their task amounts to a test for states seeking to decarbonize their power sectors without compromising reliability or sending electric bills skyrocketing.

Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, collectively 80 percent of the regional market, have committed to slashing carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050.

Already, they can claim some impressive achievements. Wholesale electricity prices hit a record low last year, and carbon emissions from the power sector are down nearly 25 percent since 2000.

The challenges are nevertheless formidable. Natural gas, already 50 percent of the region’s power generation, accounts for the majority of planned power plant additions. Political divisions among the states mean reaching consensus over how to best achieve deep carbon reductions is difficult. Maine and New Hampshire, in particular, have expressed wariness over their southern neighbors’ carbon-cutting goals.

And aging coal, nuclear and oil units are retiring at a rapid clip, raising concerns about what will replace them. ISO New England Inc., the regional grid operator, estimates 15 percent of the region’s power capacity will have retired by 2020.

“I’d say it’s extremely exciting and scary at the same time,” said Gordon van Welie, president and CEO of ISO New England. “You know that feeling when you’re on a roller coaster. So it’s exhilarating, because you’re having to solve all these complex problems. On the other hand, it’s ‘Wow, you know, we’re doing stuff we haven’t done before, and nobody’s figured out some of these things.'”

Policy by procurement

The spate of plant retirements has brought to a head long-simmering tensions over how to integrate renewables onto the system.

Existing power plant operators and industry observers largely favor an economywide carbon price, saying it is the most cost-effective way of driving emissions lower. A substantial reduction in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative’s carbon cap, a nine-state cap-and-trade compact encompassing New England, is also an option.

State lawmakers in southern New England are sympathetic, but skeptical of such proposals. A high carbon price would be needed to drive deep emissions reductions, and is an option that remains politically infeasible. Meanwhile, they note, more and more natural gas is coming online.

Southern New England has responded by establishing a competitive bidding process for renewables, with the winners emerging with guaranteed long-term contracts. Massachusetts last year passed legislation calling for large procurements of offshore wind and hydropower.

Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island also jointly put bids out for smaller amounts of onshore wind and solar.

“I think the procurements were the best politically viable path forward,” said Benjamin Downing, a former Democratic Massachusetts state senator who championed the legislation in the Bay State. “When you ask, ‘How do we hit climate, reliability and cost all at the same time?’ the set of policy tools that can get you there is actually pretty narrow.”

But some question whether guaranteeing a seat at the table for some resources jeopardizes the future of a market where power generators now compete to sell their power. State contracts, skeptics contend, risk crowding out private investment in facilities that now ensure the grid’s reliability.

Others dispute those claims. ISO New England has lined up enough power to meet its short-term needs. The state contracts, meanwhile, are subject to competition. To receive a contract, developers have to bid lower than their competitors.

“Ultimately, it is a reflection of the simple fact that the region is committed to doing something about addressing the risk of climate change, but it is a struggle in the context of competitive markets and the low price of natural gas,” said Paul Hibbard, a former Massachusetts regulator who is now a principal at the Analysis Group, a consultancy. “People want to act like it’s an impending disaster, but it’s the next challenge in the evolution of the power sector to meet its reliability goals in a way that’s consistent with the goals of state and federal policy.”

How the ‘Queen of Coal’ turned to wind

In many respects, the roots of the challenge can be traced back to Somerset, a bedroom community on the shores of Mount Hope Bay that was home to two coal plants until recently.

Like many coal plants in the region, Brayton Point and the Montaup plant spent a large portion of their latter years sitting idle. They nonetheless performed a vital function, switching on during periods of peak demand in the summer and winter months. Running a coal plant part-time is challenging from both an economic and operational perspective, however. Montaup closed in 2010. Brayton Point announced its retirement a few years later.

The closures represented a blow to Somerset, where Brayton Point alone employed more than 250 people at its height and accounted for roughly one-third of the town’s tax base.

“Guys at the plant that live in Somerset, which are a ton of them, are getting a double whammy because not only are they losing their career, but their taxes are going way up,” said Robert Clark, president of the local Utility Workers Union of America, which represents Brayton Point employees.

The closures propelled local leaders like Haddad into action. A former physical education teacher-turned-Beacon Hill power broker, Haddad had long styled herself the “Queen of Coal” in a Legislature dominated by climate hawks.

“I would defend them, saying, actually: ‘We are meeting all of the requirements, and exceeding the requirements in many cases,'” Haddad said of the coal plants in her community.

Like many in Somerset, she was dismayed to see Brayton Point close. While the pollution in town was once so bad, the power company washed soot off residents’ cars and homes, Haddad figured that was the price of low taxes, good schools and professional municipal services.

“They tried to be good neighbors,” she said at one point. Later, she added, “It was not our idea to close the plant.”

Brayton Point’s impending closure nevertheless convinced Haddad that her community needed to plan for a future beyond coal. After hosting a summer of meetings with power generators, utilities and environmentalists in 2014, she settled on offshore wind. No other industry, in her estimation, offered a better chance at replacing Brayton Point’s almost 1,600 megawatts and bolstering the regional economy.

European wind developers were slashing costs, and the proposals for new development were in federal waters 15 miles offshore, just over the horizon, where they could not be seen by cranky landowners. Best of all, in Haddad’s eyes, offshore wind offered the promise of a homegrown energy industry.

Haddad serves as the speaker pro tempore, a leadership position in the Massachusetts House, and last year, she threw her legislative muscle behind the proposal to procure 1,600 MW of offshore wind and 1,200 MW of a Class 1 renewable resource, most likely Canadian hydropower and perhaps onshore wind in Maine. Her argument that offshore wind represented a significant amount of reliable, low-cost power won over Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, who signed the bill into law last summer.

For many of her colleagues, who had struggled to achieve a significant boost in renewable generation, the bill represented a step toward meeting Massachusetts’ carbon cutting goals. Haddad was less concerned about the climate implications.

“For me, the climate change — this is probably heresy — that was secondary,” she said. “I believe in green, but I don’t believe in green at any cost. I believe in green that everyone can afford. The process I employed showed there might be in the beginning a little uptick in what it was going to cost us, but it was going to be offset by new jobs, new stability, new opportunities.”

A green buyout compromise

That stance has roused critics in some corners. Skeptics argue that the procurements represent an economic development effort masquerading as a carbon-cutting scheme. The problem, they contend, is that it distorts the region’s power market.

“This issue of the markets not delivering what the state’s want, the states need to articulate what it is that they want,” said Dan Dolan, president of the New England Power Generators Association.

If the states want to reduce emissions, Dolan argued, they should set a carbon price to drive reductions. But “if what the states want is to pick and choose the resources to meet the needs of the consumers, OK, that’s centralized integrated resource planning,” he said. “And that means taking resource adequacy back.”

New England states have thus far shown little appetite for reassuming the responsibility of overseeing their respective power markets, a task that now lies with the regional grid operator. At a recent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission conference in Washington, state regulators expressed confidence that their procurements could be integrated into the wider wholesale market.

ISO New England, for its part, has tried to strike a compromise. It has proposed that renewable energy generators be allowed to buy out aging fossil fuel generators seeking to retire. The grid operator hopes the plan will prevent consumers from paying for two sets of resources: those competing in the wholesale market and those with guaranteed state contracts.

State policymakers, for their part, are forging ahead. In a recent interview in her Boston office, Haddad rattled off the potential upside of offshore wind for the South Coast. New Bedford, as the closest industrial port to the wind fields 15 miles offshore, is ideally situated to become an operations and maintenance hub for the industry. Brayton Point’s substation offers an ideal location to connect the giant turbines to the regional grid. And where New England has long imported energy, it now has the opportunity to generate its own.

It’s far from clear whether New England will be a model for the nation. But standing in her office with a model wind turbine in the window behind her and another perched atop a bookshelf, Haddad said the clean power source offers her state its best economic opportunity.

“If we don’t aspire, we get nothing,” she said.


Masters, commanders — 450 graduate from Bridgewater State
By Enterprise Staff BRIDGEWATER – Bridgewater State University graduated over 450 students with advanced degrees Thursday evening, while state Rep. Patricia Haddad delivered the keynote address. The ceremony was held on the quadrangle in front of Boyden Hall. Besides Haddad, the event also featured a speech by Angelica R. Moore, who earned a master’s degree […]

BRIDGEWATER – Bridgewater State University graduated over 450 students with advanced degrees Thursday evening, while state Rep. Patricia Haddad delivered the keynote address.

The ceremony was held on the quadrangle in front of Boyden Hall. Besides Haddad, the event also featured a speech by Angelica R. Moore, who earned a master’s degree in social work.

Haddad, a 1972 BSU graduate, received an honorary degree.

The university’s Distinguished Service Award went to James and Theresa Orcutt, the founders of My Brother’s Keeper of Easton/Brockton and Dartmouth. The organization is a Christian ministry that delivers furniture and food to families in need.


Veteran’s Memorial Bridge Westbound Detour Scheduled for Saturday, March 25
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced today that the Route 6 westbound roadway on the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge (over the Taunton River) between Fall River and Somerset will be temporarily closed to vehicular traffic on Saturday, March 25.   The closure will begin at 5:00 AM and last until approximately 11:00 AM.  The closure […]

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced today that the Route 6 westbound roadway on the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge (over the Taunton River) between Fall River and Somerset will be temporarily closed to vehicular traffic on Saturday, March 25.

 

The closure will begin at 5:00 AM and last until approximately 11:00 AM.  The closure is necessary to replace the damaged traffic barrier gate.

 

A detour, with full signage, will be in place to aid vehicles in traveling from Fall River into Somerset via I-195 and the Braga Bridge.  Traffic traveling on Route 6 eastbound will not be effected.

 

The temporary detour will be in place for all motor vehicle traffic as follows:

Traveling North on North Davol Street:

 

  • Travel north on North Davol Street to Route 79/138 South (Tiverton RI)
  • Continue south on Route 79/138 South (Tiverton RI)
  • Follow Route 6 Detour signage to I-195 Westbound, traveling over the Braga Bridge
  • Take Exit 4B – Route 103 East/ Somerset
  • Take a right at the end of the ramp onto Wilbur Avenue
  • Follow Wilbur Aveune (Route 103) to Brayton Avenue
  • Follow Brayton Avenue to Route 6

 

Traveling North on Route 79:

 

  • Travel north on Route 79 North
  • Bear right to Route 6 East/North Davol Street
  • Travel north on North Davol Street to Route 79/138 South (Tiverton RI)
  • Continue south on Route 79/138 South (Tiverton RI)
  • Follow Route 6 detour signage to I-195 Westbound, traveling over the Braga Bridge
  • Take Exit 4B – Route 103 East/ Somerset
  • Take a right at the end of the ramp onto Wilbur Avenue
  • Follow Wilbur Aveune (Route 103) to Brayton Avenue
  • Follow Brayton Avenue to Route 6

 

Traveling South on South Davol Street:

 

  • Travel south on South Davol Street
  • Follow Route 6 detour signage to I-195 Westbound, traveling over the Braga Bridge
  • Take Exit 4B – Route 103 East/ Somerset
  • Take a right at the end of the ramp onto Wilbur Avenue
  • Follow Wilbur Aveune (Route 103) to Brayton Avenue
  • Follow Brayton Avenue to Route 6

 

Traveling South on Route 79 South:

 

  • Travel south on Route 79
  • Follow Route 6 Detour signage to I-195 Westbound, traveling over the Braga Bridge
  • Take Exit 4B – Route 103 East/ Somerset
  • Take a right at the end of the ramp onto Wilbur Avenue
  • Follow Wilbur Aveune (Route 103) to Brayton Avenue
  • Follow Brayton Avenue to Route 6

 

 

MassDOT advises motorists to seek alternate routes between Fall River and Somerset during these times.

 

The schedule for this work is weather and emergency dependent and subject to change without notice.


AG HEALEY LAUNCHES GRANT PROGRAM TO PROMOTE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY FOR WOMEN, MINORITY WORKERS IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
Program Will Award Total of $90,000 in Grant Funding to Eligible Applicants  BOSTON – Continuing her commitment to advance the economic opportunity of Massachusetts residents, Attorney General Maura Healey today announced a new grant program aimed at providing opportunities for women and minority workers and small business owners in the public construction industry. “The construction […]

Program Will Award Total of $90,000 in Grant Funding to Eligible Applicants 

BOSTON – Continuing her commitment to advance the economic opportunity of Massachusetts residents, Attorney General Maura Healey today announced a new grant program aimed at providing opportunities for women and minority workers and small business owners in the public construction industry.

“The construction industry provides highly-skilled and good-paying jobs that help families thrive,” said AG Healey. “This grant will help ensure that these opportunities continue to be accessible to women and minorities in our state.”

The Equal Opportunity in the Construction Trades Grant program will provide funding to projects that promote opportunity through apprenticeship programs, job trainings and diversity and inclusion trainings, and support and outreach programs. The new program is open to workers’ centers, unions, non-profit organizations, chambers of commerce, public schools, municipalities, small businesses, and post-secondary student organizations.

 

The grant program will utilize funding from a judgment the AG’s False Claims Division secured with CTA Construction Company for the purpose of promoting equal opportunity in public construction, employment or education.

 

The AG’s Office anticipates awarding a total of $90,000 to multiple grantees. The funding will be awarded to recipients in two ranges:

 

  • One or more grants of up to $40,000 will be awarded to eligible unions, municipalities, schools, small businesses, nonprofit organizations and chambers of commerce to provide education, training and technical skills to workers interested in careers in the construction industry and;
  • One or more micro-grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded to eligible nonprofit organizations or student organizations to fund outreach and training for women and minority workers to join the construction industry.

 

Special consideration will be given to applicants who can demonstrate the grant will be used to promote equal opportunity within underrepresented populations including veterans.

 

This is a one-year grant program that will start on June 1, 2017 and end on May 31, 2018. Interested applicants can visit the AG’s website, www.mass.gov/ago/grants for more information and for application instructions. Applications must be received by 4 p.m. on Friday, March 31, 2017.


Fall River area women rally for social justice in Boston Women’s March
“Equality is the battle cry,” said Haddad. “We’re not here to protest. We’re here to be positive.” By Michael Holtzman Herald News Staff Reporter Huge crowds overflowing the Boston Common from one end to the other, tons of excitement and music and “a lot of positive energy” was how state Rep. Patricia Haddad, D-Somerset, described […]

“Equality is the battle cry,” said Haddad. “We’re not here to protest. We’re here to be positive.”

Huge crowds overflowing the Boston Common from one end to the other, tons of excitement and music and “a lot of positive energy” was how state Rep. Patricia Haddad, D-Somerset, described early stages of the women’s march in Boston.

After listening to Massachusetts’ two Democratic senators, Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey, Haddad said the message she heard from them on day two of Donald Trump’s presidency was the same: “Be vigilant.”

“Equality is the battle cry,” said Haddad, 66, a 16-year legislator and House leader, noting this year celebrates the 100th year of women’s suffrage.

“We’re not here to protest. We’re here to be positive,” she emphasized several times.

Sally Cameron, who this fall retired after a 31-year career as Bristol Community College director of public affairs in Fall River, noted the anti-Trump signs at the national march in Washington, D.C., but said that was not the prime message there.

It was “anti-going backwards.”

As a white woman of privilege, who was too young to experience the Civil Rights and women’s rights movement struggles, Cameron said, the hostile rhetoric Trump’s exhibited caused her concern and brought her to Washington.

“I just think we can’t go backwards,” said Cameron, 61, of Carver.

Haddad, in a message during the lengthy speakers program that delayed the Boston march more than an hour, remarked immediately about the crowd dwarfing the 80,000 predicted. She said the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation was estimating it was approximately 120,000, while there were TV reports putting the number as high as 175,000, she said.

It made Boston’s women’s march the second-largest in the country after Washington, D.C., where an estimated 500,000 people hit the streets.

“There was just a lot of positive energy,” Haddad said. “It was really a very uplifting day.”

By that Haddad said while the marchers were gathered “for our personal reasons” her own most personal ones could be construed as universal.

With four grandchildren – three girls and a boy – Haddad wants them to be able to attend college “without crushing debt,” and for their lives to demonstrate that “people have a choice.”

That would mean over who they wish to marry, control of their bodies and having affordable health care, she said as examples. She said many were there to show support for preserving the environment, for women’s health, to prevent domestic violence.

Haddad took a bus from Fall River and New Bedford with more than a dozen friends to Boston. She estimated about half the House Democrats attended the march.

“We’re not marching against anything. … People want to be involved,” said the former physical education teacher for the Somerset school system.

Erica Scott-Pacheco of Fall River, with her mother, Nancy Scott of Rehoboth, and two close friends, said, “We are humbled to be here and listen to the inspirational speakers uniting our community and nation. It is a good day to be a woman!” said the 32-year-old, who works as director of development for South Coastal Counties Legal Services.

Of the march itself, she said, “It has been extremely peaceful and positive especially considering the amount of people. None of us have ever seen so many people in one place, yet everyone is very polite.”

A college student at Harvard in 2004 when the Red Sox broke their 86-year curse and won the World Series, Scott-Pacheco fondly remembered that celebration and parade in Boston. “There definitely were more people here today,” she said.

More Video: Sabrina Davis reads from a prepared statement in protest of Donald Trump.

The crowd figure she heard repeated was 125,000.

Scott-Pacheco continued, “It has been an educational experience with every possible social issue represented by the signs and speakers. Men and women are about equally represented from every walk of life, from children to elders.”

She and her friends Nadia Rebello and Amy Blanchette of Fall River held colorful signs proclaiming, “Fall River marches for social justice” with the tag line #WhyWeMarch. “My idea was to represent Fall River and the SouthCoast,” she said, proud that others with Fall River ties came up to them.

Her group drove from Fall River to Boston and got there at 9 a.m. for the speaking program scheduled to start at 11. “There was actually no traffic,” she said.

In another photo she shared showing the close likeness of daughter and mother, both smiling broadly in the massive crowd, the mother held up a sign “Honor the Treaties” while Scott-Pacheco’s said, “We the Resilient” next to a woman’s fist.

Scott-Pacheco said one speech that encouraged her most was Attorney General Maura Healey telling the massive crowd she’d stand up to the Trump administration on rolling back essential gains like health care, gay marriage and women’s rights to choose over their pregnancies.

“She would sue the administration for all of us,” Scott-Pacheco repeated, saying it made her hopeful because Massachusetts has been a leader in those areas.

The women’s march was united believing “we don’t want to roll back any social justice progress that we’ve made,” Scott-Pacheco said.

Blanchette, 33, a full-time student at Bristol Community College in Fall River, where she also works, and whose goal is to obtain her Ph.D. and return to BCC to teach English, was also representing a higher education nonprofit called PHENOM.

Blanchette said she and Scott-Pacheco are “both social justice warriors” and as such, “it was just an amazing feeling of 100,000 plus people marching – women, children, all races and sexual orientations, people with disabilities, people in wheelchairs – it was such an empowering and emotional day,” she said. “I was just shocked how many people turned out.”

Also encouraging Blanchette were the news cameras and helicopters everywhere and “people who live along Boston Commons cheering us with their signs and art work. It was just such a sense of camaraderie.”

Rebello, 39, a nurse case manager for a large medical company, is a Girl Scout leader (GSSNE Troop 1002) and the mother of three girls – 5-year-old twins and a 9-year-old.

“She knew I was going to Boston to March,” Rebello said of her oldest daughter, Isabella, whom she called “a huge Hillary supporter.” She added, “I will talk with them later tonight” about the experience.

Rebello described “a sea of people that showed up for many causes. It was extremely peaceful, no rioting, people of all age backgrounds, colors and races came for the same cause of preserving rights.

“Today made a great difference,” she said hopefully.

In concluding, Scott-Pacheco said she did not see President Trump as the prime focus. “Maybe 20 percent,” she said, but his presidency “absolutely” is what brought them together to affirm social justice and human rights, she said.

She laughed at the creative displays to parody Trump for his threatening and offensive behavior. Loads of people were wearing “pink pussy hats” because of the obvious tie-in. “There were a lot of even elderly women, men and children in little pussy hats. Infants in baby carriages were wearing them,” she said.

Scott-Pacheco concluded: “Monday I go back to my job and just keep working to defend elders and low income in our community. I think now more than ever people going to need the help.”

Email Michael Holtzman at mholtzman@heraldnews.com or call him at 508-676-2573.


2016 SouthCoast Woman of the Year: Patricia Haddad saw ‘a need to get something done’
By Mike Lawrence As veteran state Rep. Patricia Haddad walked up steep, narrow, metal steps to the roof of the old Standard-Times building in downtown New Bedford, she couldn’t help comparing the situation to getting offshore wind into the state’s new energy bill. “This is a major uphill climb,” joked Haddad, 66, recalling legislative hurdles […]

As veteran state Rep. Patricia Haddad walked up steep, narrow, metal steps to the roof of the old Standard-Times building in downtown New Bedford, she couldn’t help comparing the situation to getting offshore wind into the state’s new energy bill.

“This is a major uphill climb,” joked Haddad, 66, recalling legislative hurdles while gamely ascending the dusty staircase in high heels, a dress and a large overcoat.

But just like it did on Beacon Hill, Haddad’s willingness to climb through grime paid off, as she emerged onto the roof and into the sunshine for a photo shoot with Matthew Morrissey. The photos on a brisk December day commemorated their selection as The Standard-Times’ SouthCoast Woman and Man of the Year for 2016.

Haddad, a Somerset Democrat and former teacher, recently completed her 16th year in the state’s House of Representatives, where she holds the leadership position of speaker pro tempore. That position, her tireless energy and relentless salesmanship helped her play a leading role in getting offshore wind off the ground.

After climbing back down the stairs and into the warmer confines of Morrissey’s office, she said it was “a little embarrassing” to receive the newspaper’s recognition for work that she viewed simply as an effort to help the region.

“You go forward to do things that you know are going to help people. There’s no expectation for recognition – there’s a need to get something done,” Haddad said. “To be recognized for something that is part of my job, part of what I try to do every day …; It’s really a little embarrassing, because I just feel like I just want to do my work and sort of stay in the background and get it done.

“It’s such an honor that people are saying, ‘Yes, this is really going to change people’s lives,'” she added.

The multi-year effort to get offshore wind into the state’s energy bill required Haddad to do anything but stay in the background. Amid pressures and lobbying on multiple fronts, as solar, hydro and onshore wind concerns also vied for places in the state’s energy future, and fossil fuel-backers opposed the bill, Haddad became a non-stop booster for offshore wind.

Democratic state Rep. Tom Golden of Lowell, for example, said Haddad gave him seven three-ring binders of research on offshore wind, to help his deliberations as chairman of the energy committee.

“You heard me right – seven,” Golden told The Standard-Times in August. “You couldn’t believe how helpful that was. She was tenacious.”

Those binders found their way into numerous offices on Beacon Hill, as Haddad made her pitch to all who would listen.

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell said Haddad, “isn’t one of those people who thinks that talk is a substitute for action” – and especially not when it comes to offshore wind.

“There had to be a bigger conversation around energy, and she took the lead,” Mitchell said. “By starting a broader conversation about the Commonwealth’s energy needs, and by eliciting the input of a broader array of stakeholders, including the utilities, she gained a lot of credibility for the bill that she ultimately filed.”

Mitchell added that Haddad, “works effectively because she has the discipline to check her ego – not everybody in public life can do that well.”

Morrissey said that, “Without Pat, there’s no question that the (energy bill) would not have passed.”

He then added a quick joke.

“We’re going to name the first turbine after her.”