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星期二, 6月 30, 2015

MAYOR WALSH ANNOUNCES GRANTS TO COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS SUPPORTING IMMIGRANT INTEGRATION AND EMPOWERMENT

MAYOR WALSH ANNOUNCES GRANTS TO COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS SUPPORTING IMMIGRANT INTEGRATION AND EMPOWERMENT
BOSTON - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced $96,000 in grants to 12 community-based organizations through the Mayor's Office of New Bostonians (MONB) Mini-Grants Program to support their immigrant integration and empowerment efforts in the City of Boston.

Funded projects include expanding access to legal services, leadership development for women and youth, workforce development, citizenship classes, and community education and outreach.

"It is fitting to end our celebration of June as Immigrant Heritage Month by supporting the year-round work of these immigrant-serving organizations," said Mayor Walsh.

"The funded organizations reflect a greater body of community partners committed to the empowerment and inclusion of immigrants in all aspects of life in our City," said Alejandra St. Guillen, Director of MONB. "We hope that these grants can provide the extra support needed to expand and sustain their essential efforts."

The 12 organizations serve a diverse range of cultural and linguistic communities throughout all of Boston's neighborhoods. Preference was given to immigrant-led organizations with small operating budgets. Each organization will receive $4,000 in July 2015, an additional $4,000 in July 2016 upon submitting a year-end report. This pilot program is made possible by proceeds from the annual We Are Boston Gala.

The following organizations were funded through the MONB Mini-Grants Program:
  • Agencia ALPHA, South End and East Boston
  • Association of Haitian Women (AFAB), Mattapan and Hyde Park
  • Brazilian Women's Group, Allston
  • Caribbean Youth Club, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury and Dorchester
  • Centro Presente, East Boston
  • Chinese Progressive Association, Chinatown
  • CVC-UNIDO, Dorchester
  • Foundation for Boston Centers for Youth & Families, Perkins Community Center, Dorchester
  • Greater Boston Nazarene Compassion Center, Mattapan
  • Project Citizenship, Citywide
  • South Boston en Accion, South Boston
  • Student Immigrant Movement, Citywide

波士頓中華象棋會比賽 李士養奪甲組冠軍

波士頓中華象棋聯誼會第八屆比賽,歷經 3個週日的110多場激戰後,於六月廿八日下午賽畢。前三名依序為,甲組李士養,姚德松,秦繼華,乙組黃靄霖,呂國輝,陳健儒。
由於甲組,乙組冠軍都已年逾七十,姚德松,秦繼華等幾乎每年都是比賽優勝者之一,有出席觀賽者笑稱,“薑是老的辣”這句中國俗諺,有如貼切形容。
大波士頓喜愛下象棋的人,近年越來越多,天氣好時,華埠司徒麗英公園經常有三,四群人,分別在石桌旁圍成一堆,聚精匯神的觀看棋手廝殺。波士頓中華象棋會在這種氛圍下,會員人數已成長到逾百人,其中不少人遠自康州,或麻州的沙龍鎮,華森市等地來波士頓找人下棋。不過,礙於各人工作,以及天氣轉冷等因素,今年參賽人數並不多,共16人,依棋力分成甲乙兩組循環競賽。
優勝者,甲組獲獎狀及一百至二百元不等獎金,乙組只有獎金,五十至一百元不等。
今年比賽的賽外特色之一是已從建築包工,升格為土地發展商,正在洛士百利參與競標一點五億元建造住宅項目的會長秦繼華,推動,要求波士頓中華象棋聯誼會採用電腦化作業,不但有中文打印的詳細比賽細節與方法,連比賽積分紀錄表也用電腦打印出來的表格製作。
該會舉辦比賽的經費,今年也比往年寬裕,不但由該會幹部烷,馬瑞明等人向紐英崙中華公所爭取到贊助三百元,會長秦繼華捐款一千元,包括黃靄霖等八名會員各捐一百元。
紐約象棋總會理事長溫凱良當天特地趕來出席。他透露,此行有三個目的,一為支持友好象棋會的活動,聯絡情誼,二為邀請波士頓象棋會今年十月派員到紐約參加第七屆“北美杯”象棋賽,三是想游說波士頓象棋會旗手和紐約一起組隊,下週到溫哥華李奇蒙去參賽。
紐英崙中華公所主席阮鴻燦在比賽結束後應邀頒獎。

圖片說明:

紐英崙中華公所主席阮鴻燦(右二)頒獎給波士頓中華象棋會第八屆比賽甲組優勝者,亞軍姚德松(左起),冠軍李士養,季軍秦繼華。(菊子攝)

        波士頓中華象棋會會員,得獎者,嘉賓賽後合影。前排右起為溫凱良,黃靄霖,阮鴻燦,鄺坤珍,余仕昂,秦繼華,吳烷森。(菊子攝)

            波士頓中華象棋會會長秦繼華(左起),創會人之一黃靄霖和中華公所主席阮鴻燦謝謝紐約象棋總會理事長溫凱良(右二)趕來與會,觀賽。(菊子攝)


        波士頓中華象棋會會長秦繼華(右起)邀中華公所主席阮鴻燦,以及余仕昂(左一)頒獎給乙組的冠軍黃靄霖,亞軍呂國輝 。(菊子攝)

波士頓2024提出新版“競標2.0“申奧計畫

成立以來備受爭議的“波士頓2024“,昨(廿九)日公佈競標2024年奧運承辦權的新計畫,將藉臨時性體育館,運動員村來打造兩個新社區,改善波士頓市的結構體質,來達到辦奧運,讓波士頓有名有利的理想。
            波士頓2024“稱為”競標2.0Bid 2.0)“的新計畫中,以為奧運提供比賽場地,為波士頓市提供未來住宅,公共設施為目標,分別座落在波士頓市內威德特圈(Widett Circle),哥倫比亞端(Columbia Point),佔地約一千兩百萬平方呎的兩個社區是新計畫核心。
        將建約有69,000個座位臨時奧運體育館的威德特圈(Widett Circle),訂名為中城(Midtown)發展計畫“,佔地83英畝,將在奧運之後,改建成有18個區塊(block)的綜合用途,靠近公共交通系統的社區,內有一個佔地15英畝的心公園,並新建連接費爾蒙線(Fairmont Line)的通勤火車站。
            估計需有17,200個奧運,殘運床位的選手村,計畫建在哥倫比亞端(Columbia Point),佔地30英畝,在奧運之後,約四百萬平方公尺將建成綜合用途,共多世代家庭居住的住宅,零售店面,創新中心,藝術家工作坊或一郎等。另外預訂為麻州大學波士頓分校建2700個新床位,為地方建3000個綜合用途的可負擔住宅。
            波士頓2024估計,這樣的建設,將可為波士頓市府帶來十倍於該兩地塊目前的稅收。
A rendering of the Olympic Stadium at Widett Circle.
            波士頓2024的新主席白柳可(Steven Pagliuca),執行長戴維(Richard Davey),建築師曼弗瑞(David Manfredi)等人,昨日在波士頓會議展覽中心(BCEC)分別就整體概要,場地,交通,承辦奧運可帶來的福利等,說明該機構已修訂出一份新的競標計畫書,“競標2.0Bid 2.0)“。
            白柳可(Steven Pagliuca)強調,就像做生意一樣,承辦奧運也是有風險的事,波士頓2024力求降低風險,並透明公開一切資訊,由民眾自行決定這風險值不值得冒。他在昨日刊於波士頓環球報的投書上寫著,他個人認為這是個波士頓及新英格蘭轉型,推動經濟發展的一生只有一次機會。
            波士頓2024昨日也公佈了承辦奧運的新營運預算,估計來自國際,國內的贊助,廣播費用,售票所得,發給牌照等的五十億元營收中,約可得二億元盈餘,可用於抵銷意料之外的超支費用。
            新的公共開支,包括四億五千五百萬元的MBTA綠線及紅線地鐵的科技改善,以及一億元的新建百老匯(Broadway)地鐵站入口。
            競標2.0“也呼籲完成波市府現有,但為經費完成的哥倫比亞端總體計劃,一億六千萬元的Kosciuszko Circle重建計劃,以及六千萬元的JFK轉運站修建等。
            目前已有多個城市,地區主動要求波士頓2024選用他們的城市或地點,作為奧運會比賽場地。波士頓2024將有約共23個奧運比賽場地,和之前的計畫相比,不少比賽地點已搬出波士頓市,目前約有八個比賽場地還未確定落腳何方。
            今年九月至明年一月間,波士頓2024將遞交承辦奧運申請書,國際奧委會預定2016年四月時挑候選城市,麻州居民將於2016年十一月就奧運舉行公投,到2017年夏季時,國際奧委會將宣佈承辦奧運的得標城市。
            在昨日公佈“競標2.0“後,白柳可(Steven Pagliuca)等人面對承辦奧運需購買高一億二千八百萬元的保險,有哪個保險公司承擔得起,保險費從哪兒來,一旦奧運超支,麻州納稅人得承擔後果等問題,只強調凡事都有風險,新計畫中設有四層保護機制。

圖片說明:

            波士頓2024的建築師曼弗瑞(David Manfredi)(右起),新主席白柳可(Steven Pagliuca),執行長戴維(Richard Davey)宣佈“競標2.0“。(菊子攝)

            波士頓2024強調新計畫協助完成波士頓市長的增建住宅計畫。(菊子攝)

            波士頓2024預定在Widett Circle建臨時體育館。(圖片取自波士頓2024報告)

            波士頓2024強調打了二億元的意外預算。(圖片取自波士頓2024報告)


            波士頓2024聲言可為波士頓市帶來五萬餘工作機會。(圖片取自波士頓2024報告)

新聯盟推動公民投票防止奧運花稅款

波士頓辦奧運,反對,質疑聲浪一直未減。麻州第三黨黨主席費確克(Evan Falchuk)和“投票給一號(Yes on 1)”日前宣佈合作,將攜手推動通過選票問題,制止稅款花在奧運上。
目前在愛默生學院執教的費確克,去年參選麻州州長未果,但得票數超過政府規定,得以成立聯合獨立黨(United Independent City)。上週,他和曾經成功推翻汽油稅自動加價的“投票給一號(Yes on 1)”這非牟利組織合作,揚言要爭取到約69,000足夠數額選民簽名,讓“制止稅款花在奧運上”這問題,放到大選選票上,由民眾投票公決。
“投票給一號(Yes on 1)”的共同主席,麻州眾議員 Geoff Diehl,副主席Martin A. Lamb等人,日前和費確克一起在州政府大樓前發表聲明,指出他們已設立網站TankTaxesforOlympics.com,還有麻州眾議員Steve Aylward,Marty Lamb 等人的支持。
Geoff Diehl表示,他們代表麻州內辛勤工作的納稅人,所以去年推動廢除汽油稅自動加價,但要保護納稅人的錢,還得制止把稅款花在不必要的事情上。他們將動用強大的草根力量,來讓波士頓2024知道,大家把稅款看得很緊,並監督波士頓2024實現承諾,不能動用稅款。


圖片說明:

            麻州第三黨黨主席費確克(Evan Falchuk)(前中)和麻州眾議員Geoff Diehl(中右)Martin A. Lamb(中左)等人在州政府大樓前聲言,將推動選票問題,制止稅款花在奧運上。(菊子攝)


麻州第三黨黨主席費確克(Evan Falchuk)在州政府大樓前說明,要看緊納稅人的錢。(菊子攝)

AG HEALEY PUSHES FOR INCREASED TRANSPARENCY IN ENERGY TRANSMISSION RATES

AG HEALEY PUSHES FOR INCREASED TRANSPARENCY IN ENERGY TRANSMISSION RATES
AG Healey, Rhode Island Attorney General and Energy Advocates Send Letter to ISO-New England and New England Transmission Owners Arguing for a Public Process For Proposed Rate Increases
            BOSTON – Continuing her promise to be the 21st Century Ratepayer Advocate for Massachusetts, Attorney General Maura Healey is leading an effort for increased transparency in setting energy transmission rates.
AG Healey today along with Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and consumer and energy advocates from several other New England states sent a letter to ISO-New England and  New England electric transmission owners urging the companies to develop a transparent process that allows all stakeholders the opportunity to review, question and challenge proposed transmission rates.
“A revised protocol should also allow parties a meaningful opportunity to question the transmission owners and ISO New England regarding the proposed formula rates and provide a well-defined process to challenge implementation of proposed [Regional Network Service] and [Local Network Service] rates,” said AG Healey in the letter.
AG Healey said in the letter that transmission owners should also provide the calculations used to develop their proposed rates to state regulatory commissions, attorneys general and consumer advocacy agencies. The AG also asked that electric transmission owners make available all inputs to transmission rate formula calculations and that they make an affirmative showing that such costs are properly included. 
ISO-New England is an independent, non-profit Regional Transmission Organization serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
New England customers pay nearly $2 billion per year through the Regional Network Service rate alone, with Massachusetts customers paying approximately 46 percent.
Last week, the AG’s Office presented evidence before a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Administrative Law judge arguing that Eversource Energy, National Grid and their investors are earning too much in profits from power transmission lines and that they are making their excess returns on the backs of ratepayers. 
Healey’s letter was joined by representatives from Kilmartin’s office, PowerOptions, the State of New Hampshire Consumer Advocate, Freedom Energy Logistics, Connecticut Consumer Counsel, the State of Maine Public Advocate Office, the Vermont Department of Public Service and the Industrial Energy Consumer Group.
AG Healey’s office is ramping up efforts to ensure that any transmission rates are fair, reasonable and transparent. Energy customers pay for a return on investment, depreciation, operation and maintenance of high voltage transmission lines that move electricity over state lines. Electric transmission can play a big factor in a customer’s bill.

AG HEALEY CELEBRATES EARNED SICK TIME LAW AND REGULATIONS OFFICIALLY GOING INTO EFFECT

AG HEALEY CELEBRATES EARNED SICK TIME LAW AND REGULATIONS OFFICIALLY GOING INTO EFFECT
Announces Second Round of Informational Sessions and Webinars to Help Businesses Comply with New Law That Gives One Million More Employees Access to Paid Sick Leave

 BOSTON — Joined by some of the more than one million workers who will now receive paid sick leave, Attorney General Maura Healey celebrated the new Earned Sick Time law that officially takes effect tomorrow at an event held in front of the Irish Famine Memorial in Downtown Crossing. AG Healey also announced a second round of informational sessions and webinars to help businesses comply with the new law.
“This new law means that one million workers in Massachusetts will no longer be forced to make the difficult choice of working or taking care of a sick family member,” AG Healey said. “I’m proud of Massachusetts’ leadership on this issue, and I’m proud of our office’s role in helping to implement this new law. Our work, however, is not done and we’re holding another round of information sessions to make sure that all businesses have the support they need to successfully implement the law.”
Web-based information sessions have been scheduled for July 7 at 10 a.m., July 14 at 2 p.m., July 16 at 10 a.m., July 21 at 2 p.m. and July 23 at 10 a.m.. RSVP information will be posted on  www.mass.gov/ago/earnedsicktime.
The regulations were finalized after the AG’s Office solicited extensive input in an unprecedented process that included seven public hearings and four listening sessions across the state. More than 1,100 people attended the meetings and the AG’s Office received over 75 formal comments and responded to hundreds of emails questions regarding the new law.
The office’s final regulations include clarifications and adjustments to provisions regarding the accrual, use and payment of Earned Sick Time, employer size, notice requirements, and rules for requiring medical documentation. The final regulations also include clarifications on when employees can make up time instead of using it and how employers with existing leave policies can keep their own plans while complying with the law.
Even before the final regulations were filed, AG Healey announced a Safe Harbor provision, which grants employers who already offer paid time off policies to their employees until January 1, 2016 to come into full compliance with the new law.
The Fair Labor Division and Community Engagement Division of the AG’s Office will be responsible for the second round of information sessions, many of which will be coordinated with local chambers of commerce. A more detailed list of the upcoming outreach events will be made available in the coming days and posted on the AG’s website.
Nearly, one in three workers in Massachusetts do not currently have access to sick leave or any paid time off, the vast majority of whom work in low-wage jobs. More than half of service industry workers do not have access to a single sick day.
Massachusetts will be joining California and Connecticut as the only states with an earned sick time law.
Earned sick time can be used for routine or emergency medical visits and travel time, to care for an ill family member or to address issues of domestic violence.