` Representative Pat Haddad
State Representative
Patricia A. Haddad

News
UMass Dartmouth awarded $600,000 EDA Grant to develop SouthCoast Blue Economy Corridor
The U.S. Department of Commerce award for regional economic cooperation around marine science and technology will focus on collaboration and innovation POSTED BY OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS   //  SEPTEMBER 6, 2018 On September 5, UMass Dartmouth was awarded $600,000 from the United States Department of Commerce – Economic Development Administration (EDA) for the development of a Blue Economy […]

The U.S. Department of Commerce award for regional economic cooperation around marine science and technology will focus on collaboration and innovation

Offshorewind, harbor, underwater technology displays

On September 5, UMass Dartmouth was awarded $600,000 from the United States Department of Commerce – Economic Development Administration (EDA) for the development of a Blue Economy Corridor running along the SouthCoast of Massachusetts.

UMass Dartmouth will bring together higher education and research institutions, businesses, and civic organizations to collaborate on the continued growth of marine science and technology in the region. The grant will be used to encourage collaboration to attract marine technology companies, talent, and research funding.

The grant award comes less than six months after UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Robert Johnson convened a Blue Economy symposium on campus that attracted 100 government, industry, and higher education leaders to discuss opportunities and challenges related to the marine economy. The event produced a whitepaper that details the potential for regional blue economy growth.

In addition, the UMass Dartmouth-based SouthCoast Development Partnership has made development of the blue economy a strategic priority. Members of the partnership strongly advocated for the grant and assisted in the development of the project proposal.

“This investment by the Department of Commerce and EDA will allow us to bring together business, civic, and educational leaders to design and build a new blue economy driven by innovation and collaboration,” said Chancellor Johnson. “Our region’s economy has been driven by its proximity to the ocean for centuries. Now, with the nation’s top fishing port, an emerging offshore wind industry, and a growing marine technology sector, the potential for economic growth along Interstate 195 is great. I want to thank congressmen Bill Keating and Joe Kennedy and the delegation for their advocacy and encouragement in moving this project forward and assure them that UMass Dartmouth is prepared to lead this effort.”

“The Massachusetts marine economy depends on the type of innovative research taking place at UMass Dartmouth,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren. “By helping to spur UMass Dartmouth’s Blue Economy Corridor Initiative, this federal grant will generate enormous economic benefits for the Commonwealth and I am grateful to the EDA for this support.”

“This grant will allow the SouthCoast to maximize the potential of its burgeoning Blue Economy and will spur growth in the region by strategic investment in the marine science sector,” said Congressman William R. Keating. “I commend UMass Dartmouth and the South Coast Development Partnership’s leadership for taking the necessary steps to bring their regional vision to fruition and am glad we could secure federal dollars to move it forward.”

“With its robust marine resources, top-tier workforce and long tradition of innovation, the SouthCoast is uniquely positioned to drive our Commonwealth and country’s blue economy,” said Congressman Joe Kennedy III. “I’m grateful for the continued leadership of UMass Dartmouth and the SouthCoast Development Partnership in securing this well-deserved grant and solidifying this region’s economic future. I look forward to the continued collaboration of stakeholders across government, business and academia to ensure the SouthCoast remains at the very forefront of marine technology.”

“It has been my great pleasure to support the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s plans for a Blue Economy Corridor, and I applaud the EDA’s choice to invest in the powerful potential of this region,” U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey. “Southeastern Massachusetts is already home to the world’s foremost marine research institutions and a growing hub for innovative marine science and technology companies. With this investment, a new era will dawn in the region as the Blue Economy Corridor harnesses the power and potential of scholarship, innovation, and ingenuity that can only be found in Southeastern Massachusetts.”

“EDA congratulates the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth on the award and looks forward to new opportunities, job creation and private investment as a result of the promising Marine Technology Alliance,” said Linda Cruz-Carnall, Regional Director, Philadelphia Regional Office of the EDA.

The project aims to examine the blue economy by looking at supply chain inventory, workforce, higher education research, challenges to growth and exporting goods, and other factors to create a comprehensive catalog of the industry sector. This catalog will be used to facilitate branding and marketing of the region internationally. Other parts of the project include addressing unemployment, facilitating the creation of long-term, high wage employment opportunities, and diversifying the regional economy.

UMass Dartmouth is a tier 1 national research university recognized for its excellence in marine science and technology via its School for Marine Science and Technology in New Bedford, its College of Engineering on the main campus in Dartmouth, and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Fall River.

Swansea waterfront dredging project lands Army Corps permit, $728K grant
By Michael Holtzman Herald News Staff Reporter Posted at 11:20 AM Updated at 12:22 PM It’s been a banner couple of weeks for Swansea and its waterfront revitalization project for the 9-acre town beach. SWANSEA –It’s been a banner couple of weeks for Swansea and its waterfront revitalization project for the 9-acre town beach. After several years of pursuit, they […]

By Michael Holtzman
Herald News Staff Reporter

It’s been a banner couple of weeks for Swansea and its waterfront revitalization project for the 9-acre town beach.

SWANSEA –It’s been a banner couple of weeks for Swansea and its waterfront revitalization project for the 9-acre town beach.

After several years of pursuit, they have in hand the the final permit needed from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredging permit for the Cole River and adjacent Mount Hope Bay to re-nourish the town beach with more than 15,000 cubic acres of sand as the foundation of the Swansea waterfront restoration project.

On Wednesday afternoon on Hyannis, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced Swansea had been awarded a $728,184 state “navigational pilot dredging program” grant to remove river sediment.

“This project will support the Swansea waterfront revitalization initiative, which aims to stimulate tourism and related businesses along the Cole River through enhancements to navigation, public spaces, and recreational opportunities.

“The project will nourish a public coastal beach, build capacity for public mooring space and restore all-tide navigation for commercial shellfishing and recreational boating,” said a press release from the Baker-Politio administration.

Swansea’s dredging grant was among 10 awarded totaling $3.6 million, and the second largest behind Barnstable receiving $1 million.

“Dredging is essential to ensuring that the Commonwealth’s harbors grow in a safe, environmentally sound, and economically prosperous manner,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton.

“Wonderful! … It finally came through,” Carole Hyland said Tuesday about the Army Corps permit to proceed.

An original member since 2010 of the waterfront committee charged with revitalizing the beach that’s had several highs and lows, on Wednesday she returned ecstatic from the Cape with fellow member Fran Kelly and Town Administrator John McAuliffe.

“We were so happily surprised,” Hyland said. “It gives you such a good feeling when you do apply and are rewarded … It will be so wonderful for the children to have a bigger beach.”

She said with dredging the first priority of the project, the grant should help ensure landscaping, walkways and “little extra things” can be done.

“It’s exciting for the community. It’s exciting for the waterfront project,” said Selectmen Chairman Derek Heim, who’s strongly supported its progress. He praised state officials for the funding and a persistent committee led by Chairman Christopher Sampson.

“I’m extremely excited that the project continues to breathe some life,” Heim said.

Referring to one town meeting re-vote when funding was not approved and a lesser amount later was, Heim said, “This is what the taxpayers asked us to do.”

He was hopeful the full-scale project would be developed, which would include a 5,000 square-foot open air pavilion.

Selectman Christopher Carreiro, the former board chairman, said Polito strongly encouraged the town to apply for this dredging grant. It’s administered by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.

“We’re in a really excellent position,” Carreiro said of prospects to fully fund this project that had been estimated at upwards of $5 million.

“It’s really good news for the town,” committee member and Conservation Agent Colleen Brown said of the essential federal permit she forwarded and said the town received the prior week.

Each of the committee members reached noted they’re working with a known tight time table now to perform the dredging.

Because of spawning seasons in the channels that will be dredged, their window for this work is Nov. 16 to Jan. 14.

The dredging permit issued to Sampson by Barbara Newman, New England district engineer, allows:

• The hydraulic dredging of approximately 5,960 cubic yards of sand from 5.69 acres of the Cole River channel for supplemental beach re-nourishment and ensure safe passage through the channel, the permit says.

The location and depths are the same as the last time the town dredged the river more than 20 years ago in 1997.

Two new areas for navigational improvement and sand mining to nourish the beach.

• The hydraulic dredging of the eastern shoal adjacent to the channel in Mount Hope Bay of approximately 9,610 cubic yards of sand from about a 2.65-acre area if various depths.

• Another 2,700 cubic yards of sand near the Cole River boat ramp from approximately .79 acres to a 10-foot-2-inch depth.

In total, 18,260 cubic yards of sand will be used as beach nourishment along 2.67 acres, while 100 cubic yards will be used for dunes restoration in a 3,000 square-foot area, the permit says.

Hyland, having observed the prior dredging, said it’s a uniquely exciting process. With the dredging equipment in the channel and the nearby bay, workers will attach pipes from a barge and lay them along the beach all the way to the location of the old Bluffs building the town had demolished in May as part of the project.

“It’s like a huge vacuum cleaner,” she said of the beach re-nourishing, bringing the dredged sand to the beach. The sand is brought to the end point, and as each section is filled up with new sand the workers remove sections of pipe, Hyland said.

They’ve sought the dredging permit for three or four years, and have had to work through close evaluations for sea life along the shore by the National Marine Fisheries Service that have contributed to delays obtaining the permit, she said.

A press release in May from the Army Corps in conjunction with the fisheries service said approximately 9.12 acres of “essential fish habitat” will be impacted by the dredging.

“However, the corps has made a preliminary determination that the site specific adverse effect will not be substantial,” they wrote three months ago before a comment period and issuing a 10-year permit through Aug. 16, 2028.

While it includes a list of conditions, Brown, the town conservation agent, said none would create problems to meet.

Hyland said their marine engineer and the assistant to John McAuliffe, Jordan Remy, are working on bid specifications for the dredging project.

In a specialized field, Hyland said the committee is hopeful Barnstable County, which has two dredging crews, would be available during the upcoming two-month span they could do the work. Besides their proficiency, she said the cost could be considerably less than a private company doing the work.

In a project that has had several funding votes, last year at a town meeting voters approved $1.2 million needed to augment about $500,000 remaining in start-up funds to do the feeder beach. It’s designed from a Danish sand replenishment cycle so the laborious dredging won’t need frequent restoration, officials have said.

The town a year ago also received a $1 million Seaport Economic Council grant to construct its first building, a 36-by-36 bathhouse for changing, lifeguards and medical area, while keeping showers outdoors and simple.

The town’s design and construction engineer is also preparing specifications for that project, Hyland said, stating the building will be done as a separate project from the dredging.

Coupled with the state contributing $100,000 toward demolishing The Bluffs in May and another $100,000 for a new pedestrian beach area with benches on Bay Street and Ocean Grove Avenue as part of Swansea’s 350th anniversary celebration, the state has funded nearly $2 million for the waterfront revitalization project.

Hyland, a long-time town beach committee member, also noted that during an uncertain beach period, “we’ve had a really good summer down there.”

Use of the beach and the boat ramp, quahoging and other recreational uses have been high, she said. With entry and parking shifted since The Bluffs was demolished, lifeguards and staff will remain in place through Labor Day, and gates will be open from 9 a.m. to about 8:30 p.m. through Columbus Day.

“Everyone wants to know when we’re going to get going,” she said, about the beach restoration project.

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

BAKER SIGNS LAW RAISING MINIMUM WAGE, CREATING PAID LEAVE PROGRAM
By Colin A. Young STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, JUNE 28, 2018….Gov. Charlie Baker signed a new law Thursday that could affect virtually every resident of Massachusetts, a week after lawmakers settled months of negotiations over proposed ballot questions that could have had dramatic consequences for the state’s finances and economy. Gov. Charlie […]

By Colin A. Young
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, JUNE 28, 2018….Gov. Charlie Baker signed a new law Thursday that could affect virtually every resident of Massachusetts, a week after lawmakers settled months of negotiations over proposed ballot questions that could have had dramatic consequences for the state’s finances and economy.

Gov. Charlie Baker sat down to sign the “grand bargain” bill Thursday flanked by Democrats including incoming Senate President Karen Spilka, House Majority Leader Ron Mariano, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, and Senate President Harriette Chandler. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS]

Legislators scrambled to assemble the so-called grand bargain bill after interest groups, fed up with inaction on Beacon Hill, initiated ballot drives and forced legislative leaders to engage with them at the negotiating table, or risk having major policies written into law by voters.

Under the law, the hourly minimum wage will rise from $11 to $15 over a five-year period. During those same five years, time-and-a-half pay for workers on Sundays and holidays will be phased out. An $800 million paid family and medical leave program overseen by the state government and backed by a payroll tax will be launched so workers can more easily take care of themselves and their families without facing fiscal crises.

And every August beginning in 2019, the state will suspend the 6.25 percent sales tax on many purchases for a weekend.

Baker signed the historic wage and benefits legislation into law in his ceremonial office, flanked by House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Harriette Chandler and other legislators.

“That one’s a done deal,” Baker said at 10:36 a.m. after his signature was on the law. The governor used several pens to sign his name and distributed each to the lawmakers standing behind him. The ceremonial office was packed with reporters, cameras, aides to the governor and staffers from various legislative offices.

The governor was largely a bystander in the negotiations and declined to stake out positions on the issues while encouraging legislators to work on alternatives to the ballot questions. By signing the bill into law, Baker registered his support for its contents.

“The product of this is a far better product for the commonwealth than each of these as standalone entities would have been for Massachusetts, which is why I’m signing it,” Baker said Thursday.

The Republican governor, who is up for reelection this fall, has repeatedly voiced a general opposition to broad-based tax increases but in signing the compromise bill Thursday he gave the green light to a new payroll tax expected to pull in about $800 million.

“I guess the way I think about this is there’s a benefit that’s attached to this thing, and that benefit is a paid family leave provision that did not previously exist in state law,” Baker said Monday when asked if a no-new-taxes stance would prevent him from signing the bill.

The one issue involved in the negotiations that Baker did publicly support was a reduction in the state sales tax. The Retailers Association of Massachusetts proposed a ballot question cutting the tax rate from 6.25 percent to 5 percent.

Baker at the Republican convention in late April touted his support for a sales tax reduction, saying his opponents are against it, but he has not proposed a sales tax cut on Beacon Hill and it’s not clear how he plans to achieve it now that the grand bargain, which keeps the sales tax at 6.25 percent, has been signed into law and retailers have committed to dropping their popular tax relief question after scoring concessions on premium pay and a sales tax holiday.
Baker did not take questions from the press at Thursday’s bill signing, or make comments about the policy implications of the far-reaching legislation.

“The Massachusetts workforce continues to grow with more and more people finding jobs and our administration is committed to maintaining the Commonwealth’s competitive economic environment,” the governor said in a press release after the signing ceremony.

The Raise Up coalition, the amalgamation of more than 100 labor, community and faith-based groups behind the minimum wage and paid leave ballot questions, celebrated the bill becoming law Thursday and shared reactions from workers who will benefit from the new law.

“For the past five years, my coworkers and I have been fighting for higher wages and it is just amazing that we have finally won! Winning $15 will make it easier for me to pay my bills and buy food each month,” Dayail Gethers, a wheelchair attendant at Logan Airport, said in a statement.

Sandra Cormier of Wareham said: “I am excited to have the paid leave insurance bill become law. When my mom got sick and needed help at home, my work offered unpaid leave, but I couldn’t get by without income. I ended up taking early retirement so I could have a small income, helped my mom, and now I’m looking for a job because the bills don’t stop. I would have been glad to contribute a few dollars for insurance that can keep you from losing so much.”

The Raise Up coalition voted last week to drop its paid family and medical leave ballot proposal but waited until Tuesday to make a determination about its minimum wage question. The group confirmed Thursday that since the governor signed the bill it will not submit the signatures necessary to put the questions on the ballot.

In agreeing to the compromise, the coalition passed on bringing its version of the minimum wage increase bill to the voters. Had the question gone to the ballot and won, Raise Up could have celebrated securing a hike to $15 per hour in four years rather than five and would have ensured that the minimum wage was annually indexed to inflation.

With the three ballot questions wrapped in the grand bargain now off the November ballot, voters will be left to decide questions imposing nurse staffing mandates at hospitals and rolling back the state’s new law aimed at preventing discrimination against transgender individuals in public accommodations.

Combined with the Supreme Judicial Court’s rejection of the proposed income surtax ballot question, it also means that Baker’s reelection effort will not contend with a wave of progressive voters eager to vote on the so-called millionaire’s tax, a paid family and medical leave program and an increase in the minimum wage.

David Maher, president and CEO of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, said the grand bargain should be the model for how businesses, legislators and advocates can work together to tackle some of the state’s most pressing challenges.

“This new law will bolster the Commonwealth’s ability to attract world-class talent and innovative companies, without decimating budget funds we rely on to fund our schools and transportation system. It’s a compromise that works for Massachusetts, and one we hope can be replicated as we tackle future challenges on housing, education and public transit,” he said.

Not everyone was pleased with the outcome of the grand bargain and soon after the governor signed the bill restaurant workers announced they plan to present lawmakers with “a bill for balance due” Thursday at 2 p.m. The activists said the grand bargain “does not address are the poverty wages of tipped workers.”

The bill increases the minimum wage for tipped workers to $6.75 over five years, though the Not on the Menu Coalition said it “will continue to demand an end to this discriminatory wage system, beginning with today’s action.”

Thursday’s signing of the grand bargain further establishes Raise Up as a force on Beacon Hill, having successfully fought for the last minimum wage increase, an earned sick time ballot law and now having secured another minimum wage increase and the establishment of the paid leave program.

In a statement Wednesday, the coalition pledged to continue to fight on behalf of workers “who were left behind by the Legislature in this bill,” possibly hinting at its next effort.

“We will continue to do this work until every worker in Massachusetts has a livable wage, family-supporting benefits, and a transportation and education system that lifts people up, funded by the wealthy paying their fair share,” the group said. “We are only getting started.”

Shortly after Baker signed the bill, Lew Finfer, one of the leaders of the Raise Up coalition, notified reporters that Baker has “stepped in with state funds” to extend emergency housing for a month to more than 300 Puerto Rican families who are in Massachusetts as evacuees from the hurricane in Puerto Rico. Saying the Federal Emergency Management Agency had refused to extend emergency housing assistance beyond June 30, Finfer said the families are staying in motels in Springfield, Holyoke, West Springfield, Worcester, Lawrence and Dedham.

-END-
6/28/2018

Vineyard Wind ‘likely’ to add Brayton Point to staging locations
NEW BEDFORD — Vineyard Wind will likely use Brayton Point to stage some portions of the construction of its offshore wind turbines, a company executive said Monday. The developer had already committed to use New Bedford as the main construction port for a project with up to 100 turbines, starting about 14 miles south of […]

NEW BEDFORD — Vineyard Wind will likely use Brayton Point to stage some portions of the construction of its offshore wind turbines, a company executive said Monday.

The developer had already committed to use New Bedford as the main construction port for a project with up to 100 turbines, starting about 14 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard.

Erich Stephens, chief development officer for the company, said the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal is a good facility, but limited in size.

“There will be aspects of the construction that have to happen somewhere else besides New Bedford,” he said in an interview.

Stephens said the company is looking at other places in New Bedford to fill the need but will more likely choose Brayton Point, the site of a closed coal-fired power plant in Somerset. The owners are already removing generation equipment from the main building to make way for wind components and planning to accommodate the cranes that would be necessary to lift turbines, he said.

State Rep. Patricia Haddad, D-Somerset, said she invited Vineyard Wind to visit Brayton Point and meet the owners, and the meeting took place several weeks ago. Representatives of Vineyard Wind met with Haddad; state Sen. Michael Rodrigues, D-Westport; and Stephen Collins, representing Commercial Development Co., which owns the plant, among others.

In response to Stephens’ statement that Vineyard Wind will probably use Brayton Point, she said, “I’m glad that they’ve said that out loud.”

Haddad said she believes Brayton Point will be a great complement to New Bedford, not a competitor. It has more than 300 waterfront acres, whereas the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal has 29 acres. But Brayton Point is not as well equipped to handle heavy loads.

 

“I think it could be a great partnership between the two areas,” she said. “I’m in touch with the [New Bedford] mayor frequently, because it would never be about competing. It’s about harmonizing.”

Each site also has constraints on the size of vessels it can accept — Brayton Point limited in height because of bridges, and New Bedford in width because of the hurricane barrier, Stephens said. Vineyard Wind is thinking about which aspects of construction would fit best at each location, he said.

Mayor Jon Mitchell has long advocated making New Bedford the hub of offshore wind in the Northeast. Mitchell’s spokesman Jonathan Carvalho said the idea that wind companies need multiple shoreside locations is nothing new.

“There are certain elements of construction of turbines that simply cannot fit in New Bedford,” he said in an email.

European wind ports often have discrete facilities for different aspects of construction, he said.

Vineyard Wind was the winning bidder in Massachusetts’ first state-supervised procurement process for offshore wind energy.

The state’s electricity distribution companies awarded Vineyard Wind an 800-megawatt project, which could mean up to 100 turbines, depending on their size. That’s enough to power 415,000 households, according to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.

All three bidders signed a letter of intent to use the Marine Commerce Terminal, and Vineyard Wind’s bid described that location as the “primary marine terminal” for construction. Construction could begin by the end of 2019.

Stephens said Vineyard Wind has also been speaking with schools and with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center about how to spend the $2 million the company has committed to recruit, mentor and train workers. Ideas include programs at vocational high schools on the Cape, Islands and SouthCoast that would feed into a program at Bristol Community College; courses at Cape Cod Community College to complement the main program at BCC; and possibly a mock turbine foundation at Massachusetts Maritime Academy to train crew members to transfer from vessels to the turbines.

Media Advisory: Fall River and Somerset
Veteran’s Memorial Bridge (over the Taunton River) Route 6 Westbound Overnight Closure and Detour on Friday June 22 to Saturday June 23 The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) District 5 will conduct overnight work on the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge (over the Taunton River) between Fall River and Somerset on Friday June 22, 2018. Route 6 […]

Veteran’s Memorial Bridge (over the Taunton River) Route 6 Westbound Overnight Closure and Detour on Friday June 22 to Saturday June 23

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) District 5 will conduct overnight work on the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge (over the Taunton River) between Fall River and Somerset on Friday June 22, 2018. Route 6 westbound will be closed to vehicular traffic from 7:00 p.m. Friday, June 22 to 7:00 a.m. Saturday, June 23. 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-1-95 and the Braga Bridge. Traffic traveling on Route 6 eastbound will not be affected. 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 Avenue (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 Avenue (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 Avenue (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 Avenue (Route 103) to Brayton Avenue
  • Follow Brayton Avenue to Route 6

 

Appropriate signage and messaging will be in place to guide drivers during these operations.

 

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

 

MassDOT encourages drivers to reduce speed and use caution while traveling throughout this area.

 

For more information on traffic conditions travelers are encouraged to:

  • Dial 511 before heading out onto the roadways and select a route to hear real-time conditions.
  • Visit www.mass511.com, a website which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information, access to traffic cameras, and allows users to subscribe to text and email alerts for traffic conditions.
  • Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT to receive regular updates on road and traffic conditions.
  • Download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions before setting out on the road.

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Brayton Point chosen for wind turbine foundation factory
By Jennette Barnes The Standard-Times Posted at 2:18 PM Turbine foundations will be made at Brayton Point in Somerset if Bay State Wind receives a Massachusetts contract for offshore wind, a company spokeswoman said Thursday. NEW BEDFORD — Turbine foundations will be made at Brayton Point in Somerset if Bay State Wind receives a Massachusetts contract for […]

Turbine foundations will be made at Brayton Point in Somerset if Bay State Wind receives a Massachusetts contract for offshore wind, a company spokeswoman said Thursday.

NEW BEDFORD — Turbine foundations will be made at Brayton Point in Somerset if Bay State Wind receives a Massachusetts contract for offshore wind, a company spokeswoman said Thursday.

German steel maker EEW and Houston-based steel company Gulf Island Fabrication, which will provide foundations for the project, have selected the former Brayton Point power plant as their manufacturing location, according to Lauren Burm, a spokeswoman for Ørsted.

Bay State Wind is a joint venture between Danish energy company Ørsted and New England energy company Eversource.

The steel companies are negotiating to buy the large turbine building at Brayton Point, she said.

Bay State Wind is one of three projects competing in a state-supervised bidding process. Energy distribution companies must buy offshore wind power to comply with a 2016 state law.

The three competitors, including Deepwater Wind and Vineyard Wind, have made a series of commitments about job creation and training leading up to the May 23 date when one or more of the wind projects is expected to be chosen for a contract.

Bay State Wind has previously said the foundation factory would generate 500 construction jobs, including jobs for welders, blaster painters, steel fabricators and associated trades.

EEW will produce large steel pipes and the primary pieces of the foundations, while Gulf Island Fabrication will produce secondary materials and do the painting. EEW has supplied more than 650 monopile foundations to Ørsted’s offshore wind projects around the world.

Thomas Brostrøm, president of Ørsted North America, said the plant would be the first offshore wind manufacturing facility in the country and would generate economic growth throughout Southeastern Massachusetts.

“Making Brayton Point the site for EEW and Gulf Island Fabrication’s future manufacturing foundations for Bay State Wind’s offshore wind project would mark not only the transformation of that power plant from fossil fuel to renewable energy, but it would also mark the birth of a U.S. supply chain here in the commonwealth,” he said in a written statement.

SITE LAUNCHED TO COMPARE HEALTH CARE PRICES, QUALITY
Massachusetts residents have a new tool to help them make health care decisions with the launch Wednesday of an online transparency website that includes procedure pricing comparisons, provider quality metrics and other resources. The Center for Health Information and Analysis’ new CompareCare site, located at MassCompareCare.gov, uses claims data to show the full amount medical […]

Massachusetts residents have a new tool to help them make health care decisions with the launch Wednesday of an online transparency website that includes procedure pricing comparisons, provider quality metrics and other resources. The Center for Health Information and Analysis’ new CompareCare site, located at MassCompareCare.gov, uses claims data to show the full amount medical providers were paid, by both the insurer and the patient, for nearly 300 procedures including X-rays, MRIs, office visits and blood tests. It also provides links to individual health plan websites, where consumers can find information about their expected out-of-pocket costs. CompareCare shows the possible cost of a diagnostic colonoscopy, for example, ranging from $969 at South Shore Endoscopy Center in Braintree to $1,624 at Baystate Noble Hospital Corporation in Westfield, with links to quality metrics at each provider. Educational materials on the website aim to explain common procedures and offer patients specific questions they should “consider asking their doctor and health plan if they are having one of the procedures,” according to CHIA. “We are hopeful that this tool can be used by individuals to assist them in finding providers that are both high quality and lower cost,” Massachusetts Association of Health Plans CEO Lora Pellegrini said in a statement. “The launch of this site is an important step in opening the black box of provider pricing and driving care to the state’s highest value physicians and hospitals.” A 2012 health care cost containment law tasked CHIA with developing a consumer website. – Katie Lannan/SHNS

 

 

MassBudget just released a new report What Does the Federal Tax Law Mean for Massachusetts and How Might the Commonwealth Respond?
  The federal government recently enacted a $1.5 trillion dollar tax cut package that is tilted sharply towards very high-income households and corporations. Our report finds that in 2019 the average tax cut – including the effects of corporate cuts that eventually flow through to individuals – for the highest-income one percent of Massachusetts households […]

 

The federal government recently enacted a $1.5 trillion dollar tax cut package that is tilted sharply towards very high-income households and corporations. Our report finds that in 2019 the average tax cut – including the effects of corporate cuts that eventually flow through to individuals – for the highest-income one percent of Massachusetts households will be $84,720.

These federal tax cuts could likely lead to deep cuts in federal programs that support our state’s economy and people, like improving our transportation system and our public schools, colleges, and universities. The report lays out some options that the state can take to respond to the impact that this law can have on our state’s finances and ability to invest in our Commonwealth’s future.

We will be sharing findings from this report on social media—please feel free to share with your networks.

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.