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星期六, 1月 14, 2017

Malden announce 11 members of open space and recreation committee

Open Space and Recreation Committee

Friday, January 13, 2017
Mayor Gary Christenson has announced an 11 member committee to assist the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) in updating the City of Malden Open Space and Recreation Plan (OSRP) which was last updated in 2009 and covered the period of 2009-2016. The task of the group will be to determine the City’s park and recreational assets and gather feedback to help guide the City in its future actions regarding open space and recreation planning. The Committee consists of residents, City departments responsible for overseeing and maintaining parks, and representatives of organizations and community groups. 
The members are Prisco Tammaro (resident), Nick Pernice (Malden Redevelopment Authority), Bob Knox (Director of Public Works), Brian Creamer (Walkability Committee), Steve Winslow (Bike to the Sea), Bob Rotondi (Little League), Joe Levine (Recreation Coordinator), Michelle Romero (City Planner), City Councillor Barbara Murphy (Ward 5), Marie Shea (Challenger League) and Brian Delacey (resident).
The City needs an open space and recreation plan in order to continue to qualify for grant money and programs. The plan, which will cover a seven-year period, serves as a blueprint for ensuring that current and future residents have ample opportunities for recreation and access to open space. MAPC's work will include an inventory of conservation and recreation spaces, the development of goals and objectives, and a community visioning process. The project is being administered by the Malden Redevelopment Authority. The first meeting of the OSRP Committee will be Monday, January 23rd, at 5:30 PM at the Senior Center, 7 Washington Street, Malden.
Released by the Office of Mayor Gary Christenson

Boston Public Schools participates in Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service events

Boston Public Schools participates in Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service events
Hundreds of students, staff involved in civic engagement across Boston
BOSTON - January 13, 2017 - On Monday, hundreds of Boston Public Schools (BPS) students and staff will embark upon civic engagement activities and discussions across the city for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service in observance of the civil rights leader's birthday.
 
At the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and BPS Superintendent Tommy Chang will begin the day by attending the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts' annual MLK Breakfast.
 
Then, at Boston Latin School, Mayor Walsh and Superintendent Chang will kick off a day of service with Boston Cares and more than 650 volunteers - including many BPS students - who will put together robotic and engineering kits, math games and other materials to donate to BPS classrooms. Fox 25 News anchor Vanessa Welch will emcee the event; and AMP 103.3 FM will provide music throughout the day.
 
At Boston Renaissance Charter School, the #IAM Day of Service event will feature Superintendent Chang along with fellow school, city, civic, and community leaders for panel discussions about racism, homophobia, and personal identity. The event will include recognition of three BPS educators who have addressed these issues in their work; as well as a student dance performance by the OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center.
 
At the headquarters of City Year Boston, a valued BPS partner, several volunteers will pack school supply kits and hygiene kits, create fleece blankets and hats, and paint artwork to benefit local community centers as well as the Higginson-Lewis K-8 School and the Hale Elementary School.

AG Healey announces 30million in debt relief for students

AG HEALEY ANNOUNCES $30 MILLION IN DEBT RELIEF FOR THOUSANDS OF MASSACHUSETTS STUDENTS WHO ATTENDED AMERICAN CAREER INSTITUTE

Former For-Profit School Admitted to Lying and Violating Massachusetts Law; U.S. Department of Education Takes Unprecedented Action to Cancel Student Loans

BOSTON – Nearly 4,500 students victimized by the now-defunct American Career Institute (ACI) in Massachusetts will have their federal student loans forgiven by the U.S. Department of Education, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today. The announcement marks the first time the Department has granted a state attorney general’s application to cancel loans for a group of defrauded students.
According to the Department, students who attended any of ACI’s five career training schools in Massachusetts – Braintree, Cambridge, Framingham, Springfield, and Woburn – will have their loans discharged based on deceptive and illegal practices uncovered by the AG’s investigation into the former for-profit school. In addition to federal loan discharges, former ACI students will also be entitled to refunds of any payments made on their federal loans.  The combined borrower loan discharges for ACI students announced today will total roughly $30 million.
In July, AG Healey submitted an application to the Department, calling for the immediate cancellation of loans based on the unprecedented consent judgment links to PDF file that the AG’s Office obtained against ACI, in which the school admitted to widespread violations of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act. 
“ACI was a predatory, for-profit school that admitted to breaking Massachusetts law and lying to its students. Today, these students are finally getting the relief they deserve,” AG Healey said. “I thank Secretary King and the Department for utilizing its authority to grant immediate group relief to our students, and the dedicated lawyers and investigators in my office for building the case against ACI. Our office will continue to help students struggling with unaffordable debt and hold predatory schools accountable for their illegal conduct.”

            “Today’s announcement means 4,500 Massachusetts students who were cheated by this predatory for-profit school will finally see their student debt nightmare come to an end,” Senator Elizabeth Warren said. “AG Healey and I worked hard to secure discharges for these students based on the evidence of illegal fraud her office uncovered, and we’re going to keep fighting for loan cancellations for other defrauded students in Massachusetts and across the country.”

“Before it closed without warning, American Career Institute targeted low-income and vulnerable populations, enrolling students for the sole purpose of extracting federal student loan money,” said Toby Merrill, Director of the Project on Predatory Student Lending at The Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School. “Without Attorney General Healey’s years-long legal battle with ACI, her hard-won judgment against ACI for lying to and cheating students, and the Department of Education’s recognition that these borrowers cannot be held liable for fraudulently incurred loans, former ACI students would face a lifetime of unpayable debts incurred for a sham education. We are especially pleased that borrowers will get the borrower defense relief they deserve without the unnecessary hurdle of individual applications.”

According to the Department, student loan borrowers who used federal loans to attend ACI programs in Massachusetts will begin receiving emails on Jan. 17 from Federal Student Aid informing them that any existing federal loans incurred will be automatically discharged. Of the roughly 4,500 students who attended ACI, 650 have already received closed school discharges, because they were enrolled at the time the school closed or withdrew in the four months prior to ACI’s closure. The remaining students will receive automatic borrower defense discharges.
In 2013, the AG’s Office sued ACI for falsely promising meaningful vocational training and opportunities to its students and then failing to deliver, as well as other widespread misconduct. AG Healey’s judgment against ACI is believed to be the first time a for-profit school has admitted, in court, its predatory wrongdoing in violation of state law. The Court found that ACI knowingly overstated the employment prospects for its graduates; falsified student signatures, enrollment records, attendance records, and grades; used unlicensed and unqualified instructors; and provided valueless externships and no meaningful career placement services.
The federal loans affected by the Department’s borrower defense relief belong to nearly 4,500 students who attended ACI from January 2010 through the school’s closure in January 2013. ACI had offered various certificate programs, such as information technology and medical assisting programs, with tuition and fees that cost up to $23,000.
AG Healey has been a national leader against predatory for-profit schools and continues to work to secure relief for students. In November 2016, the AG’s Office secured $2.4 million from national loan servicer ACS for failing to properly process applications for federal repayment plans and engaging in harassing debt collection practices. AG Healey has also announced enforcement actions against student debt relief companies, sued Corinthian and secured relief for its former students, and filed lawsuits against ITT Tech and an unlicensed for-profit nursing school for alleged unfair and deceptive practices. The AG’s Office also has reached settlements worth more than $6 million with Kaplan Career Institute, Lincoln TechSullivan & Cogliano, and Salter College. Last year, the Attorney General’s Office served on the rulemaking committee that drafted the Department’s updated loan discharge regulations.
Students looking for more information or assistance should visit the AG’s Student Lending Assistance page or call the Student Loan Assistance Unit Hotline at 1-888-830-6277.
This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Justin J. Lowe and Paralegal Gabrielle Crossnoe of Attorney General Healey’s Consumer Protection Division with assistance from Assistant Attorneys General Dan Krockmalnic, Jared Rinehimer, Mychii Snape, and Paralegal Lois Martin, all of AG Healey’s Consumer Protection Division, Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Walker of AG Healey’s False Claims Division, Arwen Thoman and Erica Harmon of AG Healey’s Insurance and Financial Services Division, staff from AG Healey’s Student Loan Assistance Unit, Investigators David Bolcome and Kristen Salera from AG Healey’s Civil Investigations Division, and AG Healey’s Chief of Staff Mike Firestone.






星期五, 1月 13, 2017

Massachusetts Selected to Partner in Innovative Robotics Manufacturing Initiative

Massachusetts Selected to Partner in Innovative Robotics Manufacturing Initiative
Private-public partnership will produce new technologies and opportunities for skilled workers in advanced manufacturing, and promote the national defense

BOSTON – Today the Baker-Polito Administration is pleased to announce that Massachusetts will be a partner in the nation’s first manufacturing innovation institute in manufacturing robotics. This is the seventh Manufacturing USA manufacturing innovation institute secured under the Baker-Polito Administration.

The $250 million robotics institute is a national public-private partnership, awarded through Manufacturing USA, a federally-authorized network of manufacturing innovation institutes. Federal matching funds for the manufacturing innovation institute will be provided by the US Department of Defense. Carnegie Mellon University convened this national Manufacturing USA team.

Massachusetts will anchor the northeastern node for the robotics manufacturing project, which will be known as the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Institute (ARM). The ARM Institute will be led regionally by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), Northeastern University, UMass Lowell, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), and the independent, nonprofit robotics innovation hub MassRobotics.

The Commonwealth is supporting ARM’s collaborative research and development work with $5 million in matching funds. The Commonwealth’s matching contribution leverages $80 million in federal funds, awarded to the national project, and additional matching funds from private sector participants.

“Massachusetts’s strong participation in the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Institute further cements the Commonwealth’s national leadership in the development and commercialization of new advanced manufacturing technologies,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration is committing significant matching funds to manufacturing innovation institutes, harnessing new technologies to build the nation’s strongest, most diverse advanced manufacturing sector. Through this work, and the partnership of Massachusetts research institutions and employers, we will build a prosperous, highly skilled manufacturing workforce, and create jobs across Massachusetts.”

“The Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Institute will make Massachusetts manufacturers more competitive, by helping small- and medium-sized manufacturers adopt and deploy innovative new robotics technologies,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The grit and intellect of the Massachusetts workforce is unparalleled. By adopting innovative new robotics technologies, we will advance the reshoring of American manufacturing jobs, and strengthen the Massachusetts economy.”

The Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Institute seeks to promote the national defense and advance the competitiveness of American manufacturing by developing and deploying smart, collaborative robotics technologies in manufacturing settings.

The ARM Institute will focus on robots capable of interacting with humans on manufacturing floors, and learning new manufacturing processes. The work of the manufacturing innovation institute will make these robots easier to program and deploy, while building more flexible capabilities into manufacturing robotics. Research conducted under the ARM Institute will develop technologies enabling human-to-robot and robot-to-robot collaboration, and will help establish common standards and testing protocols for integrating varied robotics technologies.

“MassRobotics is one of the largest robotics innovation hubs in the US, with a mission to help grow the next generation of robotics and smart connected device companies,” said Thomas Ryden, Executive Director of MassRobotics. “Utilizing our region's experience in developing robotics and intelligent technologies for manufacturing, we are excited to partner with the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Institute to help commercialize and transition collaborative robots to small and mid-sized manufacturers.”

“MIT has a strong history of innovation in robotics design, controls, and prototyping. From startup companies to partnerships with major industrial users to collaborative platforms like Rethink Robotics, MIT has helped catalyze the impressive robotics cluster in our region,” said Krystyn J. Van Vliet, Director of Manufacturing Innovation, MIT Innovation Initiative. “Partnership in this national Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Institute will continue to build a network that connects these innovative technologies with industry needs for both the people and the robots that are changing how the world manufactures products.”

“Northeastern is leading the next-generation research in robotics and other autonomous technologies that advance the human experience,” said Dr. Nadine Aubry, Dean of the College of Engineering and University Distinguished Professor at Northeastern University. “Through our participation in the ARM Institute, we look forward to working closely with institutions in the US and across the world to make a tangible impact in this area.”

“UMass Lowell is the home of one of the most advanced robotics-testing centers in the nation, as well as Valkyrie, one of only three NASA humanoid robots of its kind in the world. We are proud to bring these resources and expertise, along with our excellence in advanced manufacturing research, to the nation’s first manufacturing innovation institute focused on robotics,” said UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney. “This field holds tremendous promise for the economy and the creation of jobs for skilled workers in the Commonwealth and beyond.”

“Since becoming the first university in the nation to offer a bachelor’s degree in robotics engineering 10 years ago, Worcester Polytechnic Institute has made a significant global impact in robotics research and education,” said WPI President Laurie Leshin. “We are looking forward to combining our strengths in robotics with our tradition in manufacturing engineering to help propel the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Institute and play a transformative role in the manufacturing innovation of the 21st century.”

Manufacturing USA, formerly known as the National Network for Manufacturing Institutes, is a network of competitively awarded public-private innovation institutes. Manufacturing USA seeks to spur research into cutting-edge technologies that can be applied to advanced manufacturing processes. Bidders frequently form teams of universities across different states, with regional nodes supporting the lead bidder. The federal awards are leveraged several times over through a series of state and industry matches.

The Baker-Polito Administration’s Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2) provides a vehicle for matching federal Manufacturing USA awards, and helping Massachusetts manufacturers adopt innovative new technologies. Under M2I2, Massachusetts is convening a national effort to developrevolutionary fibers and textiles, and the state is a participant in regional manufacturing innovation institute nodes in photonicsflexible hybrid electronicsbiopharma manufacturing, smart manufacturing, and rapid process intensification.

Governor Baker Signs Electric Vehicle Promotion Legislation

Governor Baker Signs Electric Vehicle Promotion Legislation
Bill Encourages the Purchase and Use of Zero Emission Vehicles in the Commonwealth

BOSTON – Today, in a bipartisan effort to promote the sale and use of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) in the Commonwealth, Governor Charlie Baker signed Senate Bill 2505, An Act Promoting Zero Emission Vehicle Adoption. The legislation works to increase access to ZEV charging stations for the general public by prohibiting owners of public charging stations from charging users a subscription or membership fee and requiring the use of payment options available to the general public. Further, the legislation allows municipalities and private businesses to restrict parking spaces specifically for ZEV use, and builds upon the Baker-Polito Administration’s ongoing commitment to adopting emerging clean energy technologies as the Commonwealth continues to add renewable energy generation into the Massachusetts’ diverse energy portfolio.

“Adopting clean technology and promoting additional zero emission vehicles is a critical piece of meeting our emissions reductions goals,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Today’s zero emission vehicle legislation makes major strides towards providing consumers with confidence that charging stations will be available to them, whether on a long trip or at work, a commonly cited hurdle in transitioning from traditional to zero emission vehicles.”

“Our administration is committed to improving the Commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure and this legislation will give electric vehicle owners the confidence they need to travel our state roadways with access to charging stations,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We look forward to working with our state and municipal partners to find increased opportunities to integrate more electric and fuel efficient vehicles into their fleets to save taxpayer dollars and reduce emissions.”

In 2016 the Baker-Polito Administration committed $14 million to the Commonwealth’s electric vehicle rebate program, Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles (MOR-EV), more than doubling the historic funding of the MOR-EV program. Massachusetts automotive consumers can qualify for rebates ranging from $750-$2,500 on the purchase or lease of more than 25 qualifying new electric vehicles, including battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell electric vehicles. Since June 2014, the MOR-EV program has issued or reserved over $7 million for 3,355 vehicles, cutting the state’s greenhouse gas emissions output by an estimated 9,255 short tons annually.

“The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to promoting clean transportation as one of the most direct and cost-effective ways to reduce emissions,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “As the Commonwealth continues to make impressive strides towards increased electric vehicle adoption, this legislation gives our municipal, business and state partners the tools they need to build upon that growth.”

“The increased adoption of electric vehicles is a key component of our mission to create a clean and resilient energy future for the Commonwealth,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “This legislation, paired with our nation leading MOR-EV rebate program, positions Massachusetts to further reduce emissions and meet our targets under the Global Warming Solutions Act.”

The legislation tasks DOER and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to study state fleet electrification opportunities and file a report with the Legislature by October 1, 2017 and for MassDOT and EEA to study the feasibility of levying surcharges on ZEVs to offset gas tax revenue losses byDecember 1, 2017.

Senate Bill 2505 authorizes the Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) to work with the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to promulgate regulations around ZEV charging stations for residential and commercial buildings. It also allows electric distribution companies to submit proposals to the Department of Public Utilities for approval of cost recovery to construct, own, and operate publicly available electric vehicle charging infrastructure while tasking DOER with adopting interoperability billing standards for charging stations (effective January 1, 2018).

“Massachusetts is a leader in promoting clean technology and jobs,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “Encouraging the use of zero emission vehicles is another example of our commitment to a greener economy and culture.”

“Increasing access to charging stations for electric vehicles is critically important to shifting away from our reliance on fossil fuels,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). “This bill moves the Commonwealth in the right direction to encourage the development and success of an important technology to help address climate change while also promoting alternative transportation technologies.”

“Under the Baker-Polito Administration, Massachusetts continues to position itself as a national leader taking innovative approaches to energy diversification,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading).  “Today’s bill signing represents another important step forward in the state’s ongoing efforts to promote the expanded use of environmentally-friendly zero emission vehicles.”

“Tailpipe emissions from vehicles represent a large portion of the generated carbon monoxide and greenhouse gases that are generated each day,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). “Taking affirmative action to reduce our environmental impacts while advancing the technologies of zero emissions vehicles will move us towards reaching our global warming benchmarks.”

“This legislation is a great step forward in reducing our state’s transportation emissions and helping fulfill our goal to have 300,000 zero emission vehicles on the road by 2025,” said Chairman Frank I. Smizik (D-Brookline).  “Ensuring our state has reliable and accessible charging infrastructure will allow residents to make environmentally conscious decisions and move Massachusetts towards a sustainable future.”

“With this law, Massachusetts is taking a major step toward making EVs the new norm for driving in our state,” said State Representative Jonathan Hecht (D-Watertown). “With predictable, convenient access to charging, consumers will find it easy to use the great new EVs manufacturers are bringing to market.  Consumers will enjoy the low ‘fuel’ and maintenance costs of EVs and we will all benefit from the cleaner air and reduced GHG emissions.”

“Increasing the use of zero emissions vehicles would help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and I’m very pleased to have worked with my Senate and House colleagues to pass environmental legislation that will further help us reach the greenhouse gas reduction goals set by the Global Warming Solutions Act,” said State Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton). “We have taken significant steps this year to protect our environment, and I wish to thank Senate President Rosenberg, Chairwoman Spilka, and their staffs for their work on this legislation, as well as the Baker-Polito Administration and Secretary Beaton for their overall support of Zero Emissions Vehicles.”

In December, state energy officials announced that Massachusetts, along with Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Vermont, will share a portion of a $500,000 federal Department of Energy grant to assist in further collaboration between the Commonwealth and Plug In America to accelerate the deployment of ZEVs through the Mass Drive Clean initiative.

“Massachusetts is a leader in reducing carbon pollution from power plants and buildings. This bill shows we are serious about tackling the transportation sector, which now comprises 40% of our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Massachusetts Sierra Club Chapter Director Emily Norton. “A huge thanks to Governor Baker and our legislative leaders in the House and Senate.”

Begun in 2015, Mass Drive Clean is a highly successful pilot program that has resulted in over 1,000 drivers and passengers test driving one or more electric vehicles at employer sponsored and public events to date. The drives are a way for interested drivers to get behind the wheel of multiple makes and models of these clean vehicles.  Each driver is surveyed before and after driving, with 83% saying that their overall opinion of a ZEV is better than before their test drive and 68% said that were more likely to purchase one now that they had experienced the performance of the cars. Plug In America has shown in California that about 10% of ride and drive participants will purchase a ZEV within six months.

Tri-Caucus Leadership Commits to Protecting Diversity in Nation’s Parks and Monuments

Tri-Caucus Leadership Commits to Protecting Diversity in Nation’s Parks and Monuments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Congressional Tri-Caucus – which is composed of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) – sent a letter to President Barack Obama, thanking him for growing the diversity of the nation’s parks and public lands through the Antiquities Act. The Tri-Caucus Chairs also emphasized their commitment to defending those achievements so that the country’s parks and monuments can continue to reflect America’s diverse history. 

“I want to thank President Obama for his commitment to promoting diversity in our national parks and public lands, including the recent designation of national monuments to honor the important history of our civil rights movement. In order to truly showcase our full American story, we must have a national parks system that reflects the diversity of our nation. This includes dark chapters in our nation’s history, such as Japanese American internment during World War II, that we must never repeat nor forget. I will work with my Tri-Caucus colleagues to protect President Obama’s legacy and to ensure that our parks and monuments continue to celebrate an inclusive vision of our shared history,”­­­ said CAPAC Chairwoman Judy Chu (CA-27).

“I am pleased to see President Obama use the Antiquities Act to create a more inclusive network of national parks and monuments that will benefit future generations and honor America’s rich history.  While we expect some to try to roll back the progress the president has made, we are committed to promoting diversity in our parks and monuments. Preserving America’s rich history requires that we celebrate the diverse communities that have helped shape it,” said CHC Chairwoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01).

“I applaud President Obama for recognizing the role these places played in the struggle for equality. His efforts to highlight these sites will serve to educate the American public about the diverse contributions made by various communities that have been making significant contributions to the American experience, often without proper recognition,” said CBC Chairman Cedric Richmond (LA-02).

--
The full text of the letter is below:

January 13, 2017

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama,

As the Chairs of the Congressional Tri-Caucus – composed of the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus – we write to express our gratitude to you for protecting additional historic places through the Antiquities Act that better reflect the rich diversity of our Nation. 

Your designation of the Birmingham Civil Rights, Freedom Riders, and Reconstruction Era National Monuments is another great example of the steps you have taken to promote diversity in our national parks and other public lands—in this case, shining a light on American history from the Civil War to the civil rights movement. We are appreciative that through your use of the Antiquities Act, you have built a more diverse and inclusive system of parks and monuments that seek to tell our full American story, protecting places like the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad, Cesar E. Chavez, Pullman, Honouliuli, Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality, Stonewall, Papahanaumokuakea and most recently Bears Ears National Monuments.

Unfortunately, there are already efforts underway to undermine the Antiquities Act and possibly these designations as well.  In response to these threats, we will redouble our efforts to protect these specific places and the tool that has made this progress possible. Over the past one hundred years, the Antiquities Act has been used by 16 Presidents – 8 of each party – to protect iconic areas like the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty, President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldiers’ Home, and other important historic and cultural sites.  We know that continuing the fight for equality in America includes better preserving and celebrating our country’s full culture and history.  That is why we stand ready to defend the Antiquities Act, and view any attempt to curtail it as an attack on that shared history.

Throughout your Presidency, your use of the Antiquities Act has been in response to years of tireless efforts from local communities and a diverse range of stakeholders, including Tribes, businesses, local elected officials, ranchers, faith groups, community groups, civil rights groups, and congressional members such as ourselves.  And it is these same stakeholders—including the members of the CBC, CAPAC and CHC—who will stand up and defend the Antiquities Act, to ensure that these monuments, as well as future areas, are protected.

Thank you again for your leadership on this issue.

Sincerely,

CEDRIC RICHMOND
Member of Congress
Chair, Congressional Black Caucus


JUDY CHU
Member of Congress
Chair, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus

MICHELLE LUJAN GRISHAM
Member of Congress
Chair, Congressional Hispanic Caucus

勒星頓中文學校慶新春 擺年貨大街 演年獸來了

波士頓華僑文教中心主任歐宏偉(左二)和"年獸來了"的製作人及演員,左起,路永宜,陳翰柏,朱惠文,李宏希,朱馨翎合影。(周菊子攝)
黃明嘉揮毫寫春聯。
                     (Boston Orange 周菊子勒星頓鎮報導) 勒星頓中文學校18日年味十足,在璞石中華文化工作室精心策畫下,搭造起 年貨大街,請出財神爺,還上演 年獸來了舞台劇,讓大約180名幼稚園小朋友興奮感受,中國人的年是這樣過的。
                    這天走進勒星頓中文學校的家長們,一進門就覺得過年了。不但走廊兩側有許多攤位,擺賣春聯,唐裝,紅包袋,芋頭糕等等年貨,再往前更有四個張燈結綵,紙紮紅瓦屋簷的攤位,分別展示著春聯,年食,元寶,骰子等在傳統中國年中一定會見到的東西。
     12個大中小班及雙語班的幼稚園小朋友,在勒星頓中文學校幼稚園班主任林梅音統籌中,由老師帶著,一班接一班的逛 年貨大街,看穿著馬掛,戴著瓜皮小帽的黃明嘉拿出毛筆寫春聯,見識一下蘿蔔,香腸,臘肉,發糕,利是糖這些過年食品,聽聽元寶故事,和財神爺合影,玩玩骰子。
     逛完 年貨大街,再看戲。這些幼稚園小朋友魚貫進入禮堂,欣賞李宏希,朱惠文,陳翰柏,朱馨翎等唱遊老師和家長扮演的村民,老伯,年獸,合演 年獸來了舞台劇,從路永宜唸的旁白中,粗略了解原來中國新年穿紅衣,發紅包,放鞭炮,是為了嚇走年獸,大家好平安過年。
     在王啟恆播放的音樂聲中,小朋友們還唱兒歌,搶答路永宜的有獎提問。
     璞石中華文化工作室的路永宜,許淑芬事後表示,製作這麼一場慶祝農曆新年活動,真的很不容易,他們籌備了將近一年,不但要提早去批年貨,還得自己分種水仙,許淑芬更是親手做了400多個鞭炮。勒星頓中文學校幼稚園班老師全體出動支援,也功不可沒。如果反應好,他們計畫明年推出新劇目,還要把這 年貨大街帶進勒星頓中文學校每年一度的春節聯歡會去。
                   波士頓華僑文教中心主任歐宏偉,這天也特地出席,給活動承辦人打氣。                                                                                       勒星頓中文學校今年的新春聯歡會訂122日舉行,查詢詳情可上網www.lcs-chinese.org。(所有圖片,周菊子攝)  (圖片已於1月9日刊出)
                   








許淑芬親手做了400多個鞭炮。
路永宜(左)唸旁白,王啟恆(右)放音樂。