The MetroWest Regional Transit Authority will host a holiday-themed customer appreciation event this Friday complete with a hot chocolate bar and a raffle, according to the transportation organization.
The event will be held at the organization's central headquarters at 37 Waverley St. in Framingham on Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. -- during the most popular commuting times, the organization said in a statement,
The hot chocolate bar will feature the popular winter-time drink and different mix-ins, as well as whipped cream and sprinkles. Cookies will be served alongside the hot chocolate.
The organization will also have a free raffle, with two pre-loaded Charlie Cards as the prize. Those entering the raffle do not have to be present if their name is picked as a winner, the organization said.
The authority provides fixed-route bus and paratransit service to 11 communities west of Boston. For more information, visit the MWRTA's official website.
Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at email@example.com
Marlborough Hospital will mark a century of caring with a Tree of Light event on Dec. 16, when the star of the evening will be a tree decorated with lights and ornaments donated by patients, their families, hospital employees, and members of the community.
“We want to thank our many supporters and acknowledge all the lives that have been touched over the past 100 years,” saidd Ellen Carlucci, the hospital's vice president of development, in a press release. “Add up all the lives that have been cared for and treated at Marlborough Hospital and the number is astounding.”
Though the hospital, founded by Hannah Bigelow, MD, opened in 1890, this year marks one century at its Union Street address.
The tree will be decorated by angels purchased in memory of loved ones, and shining stars purchased in honor of physicians, nurses and other hospital employees. Snowflakes and lights will represent appreciation for the hospital, according to a press release.
For more information about purchasing an ornament or to learn more about joining the hospital’s Century Club or Bigelow Society, contact Ellen Carlucci at 508-486-5807.
The even will be held at 157 Union Street in the Leahy Conference Room, with festivities beginning at 5 p.m.
Shandana Mufti can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gov. Deval Patrick announced funding Tuesday for a Framingham State University building project and transportation improvements in Marlborough.
Patrick, whose administration provided $22 million for MassBay Community College’s Framingham campus, also committed to help make that project a “reality” by working with lawmakers to “fill an additional funding gap.”
Patrick announced $9.3 million for renovating and expanding Hemenway Hall at Framingham State, which will include a science lab.
The state will also spend $1.6 million for pedestrian, motor vehicle and bicycle improvements along Simarano Drive in Marlborough’s Southwest Quadrant, where TJX and Quest Diagnostics are expanding.
The administration says the Simarano Drive investments will support additional housing, a new hotel, and more dining and retail space.
In a press release, the administration also promised to “fix Framingham’s chronic traffic issue that has stunted development in downtown” by beginning construction this winter on Rte. 126 to replace the roundabout at Concord and Union Avenue.
- A. Metzger/SHNS
The Middlesex District Attorney's office is launching a campaign to educate parents on putting their infant to sleep safely, an initiative timed with recognizing October as National Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, Awareness Month.
SIDS is the leading cause of death in babies aged 1 month to 1 year of age, and an average of 41 infants die suddenly and unexpectedly each year in Massachusetts, according to Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan's office. Reviews founds that many of those deaths are because of accidental suffocation, which can happen when infants are put to sleep unsafely, the district attorney's office said.
The office will distribute “Let Your Baby Breathe” fliers to hospitals, birthing centers, pediatricians, and community organizations. The campaign will also include a website with tips and resources for parents.
Partnering medical centers will also train their pediatricians to discuss infant sleeping safety with new parents at initial follow-up visits following the baby's birth.
The Middlesex District Attorney's office will also produce a public safety video about the issue.
In a statement, Ryan said the safest place for a baby to sleep is in a blanket- and pillow-free area that is also devoid of bumpers.
"There are a lot of mixed messages out there about what is a safe sleep environment and we hope this campaign provides clear information for parents and caregivers," Ryan said. "SIDS is the leading cause of death in infants, thus this campaign is one way we can make sure no family has to suffer the loss of a child."
Parents and caregivers can reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related deaths by following these guidelines:
• Always place baby on his or her back to sleep -- for naps and at night
• Keep baby’s sleep area free of pillows, soft or loose bedding, padded bumpers, soft objects, and toys
• Place baby to sleep in a separate sleep area close to where you or others sleep
• Place baby in a safety-approved crib with a firm mattress and a tightly fitted sheet
• Do not smoke during pregnancy, and do not allow smoking around the baby
• Give baby plenty of tummy time when awake and when someone is watching
• Prevent overheating by not over-dressing baby and by keeping the room temperature between 68 and 72 degrees
• Frequently checking on your baby
• Call 911 immediately if the baby is not responding
• Talk to ALL caregivers about the importance of safe sleep practices
Partners in this initiative include Lowell General Hospital, Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, Lawrence Memorial Hospital, and Winchester Hospital.
The safe sleep initiative was developed by the district attorney's new task force Safe Babies Safe Kids, which grew out of the Middlesex Shaken Baby Task Force and the Middlesex Child Fatality Review Team by expanding the focus to include all types of preventable death and injury to infants and children.
Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at email@example.com
Regional and vocational technical high schools would be eligible for additional state funding for capital projects, under legislation filed by Sen. Kenneth Donnelly, an Arlington Democrat.
Advocates for the bill (S 228) told lawmakers on the Joint Committee on Education Thursday that regional and vocational technical high schools desperately need the state’s help to fund renovation and improvement projects because it is nearly impossible to get several different towns all to agree to take on the debt.
James Laverty, superintendent at Franklin County Technical School, said his school has done as many renovations as they can over the years without asking the towns for money.
“We will have to go to 19 towns at town meeting with our hat in our hands,” he said.
The odds are stacked against them to get all the towns to approve a large renovation project, Laverty said.
The town of Heath, in Franklin County, has only two students who attend the school out of 500 students. If 70 people in Heath show up at town meeting, and 36 vote no, “the whole project is dead in the water,” Laverty said.
Under the legislation, regional and vocational technical high schools would be eligible for additional reimbursement, which is calculated by the Massachusetts School Building Authority based on a four-part formula. A school district can receive up to 80 percent of the cost of a capital improvement project, and must pay for any remaining share of the cost.
The formula awards percentage points of reimbursement in three mandatory income-based metrics. Regional school districts often have unequal shares for each city or town when improvement costs are allocated, according to Donnelly’s office. The legislation would increase the percentage points awarded in the grant process for regional schools by 10 points, and vocational schools would receive 20 additional points. The goal is lower the costs for cities and towns, according to Donnelly’s office.
If the Legislature offers a “little more” and regional school capital projects can get closer to 80 percent reimbursement from the MSBA, “it would make it a little easier,” Laverty said.
Alice DeLuca, the Stow representative to the Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School in Lexington, said vocational and technical high school students are at a disadvantage compared to their counterparts at traditional high schools because their schools cannot renovate and bring in the latest technologies.
State lawmakers need to back up with money the support they voice for vocational and technical schools, she said.
“These schools provide the middle skills that everybody says they want,” DeLuca said.
“The kids who go to vocational schools do not have a nice, new renovated building and they are never going to unless something is done,” she added.
The Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School in Marlborough will be hostiing several events for the public to mark Computer Science Education Week in December.
Computer Science Education week celebrates the Dec. 9, 1906 birthday of Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, a computer scientist.
On Dec. 7, the school is offering two sessions of an hour-long lesson on coding basics, according to a press release. The topics covered range from HTML web design to create apps for phones and tablets. The first session starts at 11 a.m., and the second starts at 1 p.m. Registration is required.
Other events include Portal 2 competitions in which participants must navigate a Portal 2 test chamber as quickly as possible. The game is open to the public, and the prize is an XBOX 360 buncle including Kinect. Prizes will also be given to those with the fastest overall time and to the top three in the following categories: students from any high school, AMSA staff and community members. This event is open every day between Dec. 9 and 13, from 4-6 p.m. Again, registration is required.
The school is located at 201 Forest St. in Marlborough.
Shandana Mufti can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following is a press release from the University of Massachusetts:
BOSTON -- Completing the second day of his statewide bus tour, UMass President Robert L. Caret today met with a delegation of Massachusetts mayors and said the University’s desire to assist cities connects back to its original and enduring mission of service to the Commonwealth.
“As a public university, UMass has a particular obligation to the citizens of the Commonwealth and to the communities where they make their lives and raise their families,” President Caret said. “This is a mission that we take very seriously and strive to fulfill.”
President Caret added: “We are the University that wakes up every day asking: How can we make life better in Massachusetts?”
The meeting with the mayors took place as President Caret, accompanied by UMass Board of Trustees Chairman Henry M. Thomas III, completed the second day of his statewide bus tour.
This year’s tour, titled “Commonwealth Tour 2013: Commitment, Quality, Impact,” include stops in Springfield, Hadley, Lowell, Fall River, New Bedford, Hingham, Boston and Milford.
The five campuses of the UMass system work with cities and towns across the state in various capacities, providing training for municipal officials, working with schools on issues including curriculum development and undertaking studies on a variety of civic issues.
“Cities confront an array of challenges and issues and need and deserve our support,” said Chairman Thomas, who has led the police and fire commissions in his home city of Springfield and is recognized as a key civic leader.
“To be fully successful, the University of Massachusetts and our cities need to maintain a close partnership,” Chairman Thomas added.
Said President Caret: “We are connected to our cities in towns in many ways and always stand ready to assist the Commonwealth’s communities.”
The mayoral roundtable was organized by Mayor Joseph Sullivan of Braintree, who is president of the Massachusetts Mayors’ Association.
The municipal leaders attending the roundtable were:
Mayor Joseph C. Sullivan, Braintree
Mayor William F. Scanlon, Jr., Beverly
Mayor Henrietta Davis, Cambridge
Mayor Carolyn A. Kirk, Gloucester
City Manager Bernard Lynch, Lowell
Mayor Arthur Vigeant, Marlboro
Mayor Daniel Rizzo, Revere
“As a graduate of UMass, I always appreciated the quality of our University system and now as a mayor, I have an even greater regard as to the value that UMass offers our Commonwealth educationally and economically,” said Sullivan, a UMass Amherst graduate.
“This roundtable discussion provided us with an opportunity to have a direct dialogue with President Caret and Chairman Thomas on how our cities can assist UMass and how UMass can assist us as we pursue our mutual missions of service,” said Mayor Sullivan, who also commended President Caret for “striving every day to bring the UMass story to the citizens of the Commonwealth.”
Earlier in the day, President Caret met with New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell and discussed potential wind-energy industry partnerships.
The following is a release from the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation
After more than a decade in business, Boston Biomedical Associates (BBA) is set to join one of Massachusetts’ most-thriving biotech communities—the City of Marlborough.
The biotech product consultancy’s owner and president Dr. Lauren Baker made the announcement today at a regional industry networking event, organized by the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio).
Speaking to more than 100 members of the region’s life sciences community, Baker said that BBA expects to relocate its Northborough headquarters to Marlborough in April 2014. The company will take up 17,000 sq.ft. of the second floor of 100 Crowley Drive, just off of Fitchburg Street and the I-290 Connector.
"Boston Biomedical Associates is extremely pleased to announce our relocation to the City of Marlborough and 100 Crowley Drive," said Baker. "We chose Marlborough as our new home because this community has a strong reputation of supporting the biotech industry and healthcare companies like ours, and we want to be a part of such a dynamic working environment."
BBA, a MassBio member, will be moving its 52 Massachusetts-based employees upstairs from the corporate headquarters of Park Place International, a healthcare IT services provider with offices across the U.S. and 45 employees in Marlborough.
“I’m pleased that my vision for this building as a local center for the biotech, healthcare and hi-tech industries is taking shape,” said Jon Delli Priscoli, CEO of First Colony Development (FCD), which built and owns the five-year-old building. “I want to welcome Boston Biomedical Associates to Crowley Drive, where they will join our first floor tenants, Park Place International. This new move further strengthens Marlborough’s position as a cluster for the life sciences industry. That’s why I think it is very fitting, and it is my honor, to host MassBio’s Regional Mixer at our state-of-the-art facility.”
The building’s location made it an ideal host for the MassBio Regional Mixer, which was sponsored by the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), BBA and FCD. Massachusetts State Representative Danielle Gregoire, Marlborough Mayor Arthur Vigeant, and MassBio President and CEO Robert K. Coughlin were among the more than 100 people in attendance.
“Massachusetts has been walking the walk on job creation and scientific innovation, and the continued expansion of the biotech industry is proof of that,” said Representative Gregoire. “As our economy continues to recover we, as partners in government, must support growth opportunity in any manner possible and celebrate achievement. We welcome Boston Biomedical Associates and look forward to working with them to ensure the best of our resources are available to their employees, as they begin this pivotal expansion.”
In addition to welcoming BBA to its new home, the MassBio Mixer was intended to showcase the I-495 and Marlborough region as a great place for biotech companies to do business.
“Our latest statistics show life sciences companies continue to expand throughout Massachusetts, bringing good jobs and economic activity to municipalities across the Commonwealth,” said Coughlin. “The City of Marlborough and its elected and business leaders have made all the right moves to position the city as a destination for the industry, and we are excited to see Boston Biomedical Associates recognize that effort and join the community. We will continue to support the growth of the 495 belt as a life sciences hub.”
In December 2012, MassBio upgraded the City of Marlborough to its highest rating of Platinum BioReady® Community, in recognition of the city’s unwavering commitment to foster and host biotechnology companies. In May this year, MassBio publically identified Marlborough as a growing hub for life sciences companies.
“We have set a goal for Marlborough to become the place to be for biotechnology companies,” said Mayor Vigeant, “and we are slowly but surely achieving this goal. We are proud to say that we are creating a dedicated life sciences community by attracting companies of all sizes and specialties. So, while we have larger, nationally recognized companies, like Boston Scientific and Quest Diagnostics, we are also nurturing and supporting the smaller innovators, who are at the heart of this fast-growing industry.
- Matthew Bailey, of Cambridge, is a graduate of Boston University School of Law and is assigned to the Framingham District Court.
- Veronica Carlino, of Stoneham, is a graduate of New England Law and is assigned to the Malden District Court.
- Shaun Donnelly, of Boston, is a graduate of Boston University Law School and is assigned to the Woburn District Court.
- Caitlin Gemmill, of Brighton, is a graduate of Boston University Law School and is assigned to the Somerville District Court.
- Lisa Labresh, of Beverly, is a graduate of New England Law and is assigned to the Cambridge District Court.
- Megan McFadden, of Charlottesville, Va., is a graduate of University of Virginia School of Law. She is serving a one year fellowship with the office before joining Ropes and Gray. She is assigned to the Malden District Court.
- Laura Montes, of Brookline, is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and is assigned to the Framingham District Court.
- Kelly Norton, of Malden, is a graduate of Suffolk University School of Law and is assigned to the Lowell District Court.
- John Rapone, of Boston, is a graduate of Suffolk University Law School and is assigned to the Somerville District Court.
- Whitney Williams, of Marlborough, is a graduate of Boston College Law School and is assigned to the Lowell District Court.
A growing number of empty nesters are on the move again as the real estate market heats up, often choosing to trade in a big suburban home for a smaller house in town or a condo in Boston, Cambridge or other urban centers.
With prices rising in Newton and other western suburbs, older couples who were forced to put their downsizing plans on hold during the recession are now finding a changed market.
Yet some empty nesters are finding their biggest challenge now is not selling their house, but finding a place to move next, especially if they have their hearts set on moving across town, notes Lesley Palmiter of Keller Williams Real Estate in Newton.
“This generation of baby boomers is hit very hard by the fact there is no inventory and no inventory in the towns they want to stay in,” she said
Here's what condos cost in communities west of Boston based on median prices for the first six months of this year, according to the Warren Group. (Each of these communities logged at least 50 condo sales.)
Brookline: $500,000; Newton: $454,000; Acton: $379,450; Arlington: $349,000; Waltham: $323,000; Watertown: $319,500; Ashland: $257,000; Marlborough: $221,500; Natick: $220,000; Framingham: $133,900.
Ready to pick up stakes and move to the city?
Based on median prices for the same period, a condo will cost you $282,500 in Brighton, $355,000 in Jamaica Plain, $401,500 in Somerville, $493,000 in Cambridge, and $499,000 in Charlestown.
Scott Van Voorhis can be reached at email@example.com.