December 16, 2020

Dear Friends,

I hope that you – and those you care about – are healthy and well.

This is the time of year that I typically share good wishes and call attention to the beautiful holiday celebrations taking place around our district. I cherish our community, and the special traditions and places within it. I’m especially moved by those who “went extra” this year and chose not to let a pandemic dampen their spirit. The expressions of joy may look different this year, but the underlying warmth and love remains.

In addition to wishing you peace and happiness this year, I have extra thoughts and wishes for your safety and health. Massachusetts, like the rest of the country, is experiencing a surge of coronavirus cases. As we prepare for holiday and end-of-year celebrations, experts are advising us to avoid personal informal gatherings with anyone not living in our household. Governor Baker has rolled back some reopening guidelines, while at the same time preparing the Commonwealth for distribution of a vaccine.

I also share my sincere wish that the fortitude that carried us through 2020 so far continues…may we find ways to help one another whenever possible. I am deeply grateful for your help and input as we work to pass important and impactful legislation in these most unprecedented times.

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact me at kate.hogan@mahouse.gov or 617-722-2199. This email and phone number are the most efficient ways to contact me right now and the best way to ensure a prompt response to your inquiry. I also post updates daily on Facebook.

Happy Holidays All!

Best,
Signature
Kate Hogan
State Representative
Third Middlesex District
(617) 722-2199
MASSACHUSETTS UPDATES &
NEWS FROM THE STATE HOUSE
Our fight against the coronavirus and COVID-19 continues. Please continue efforts to curb the virus’ spread by continuing to practice social distance, wearing face masks in public, and washing your hands. 

As of December 15, there are 72,587 active cases of COVID-19 estimated in Massachusetts. Since the previous day, there are 3,720 newly reported cases and 55 newly reported deaths due to COVID-19. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health shares updated numbers on its website each day.

A report of COVID-19 data by community is available here and includes key metrics with a breakout of the average daily cases per 100,000 and the average percent positivity (last 14 days) for towns in the Third Middlesex District:

Bolton – 18.37 average cases per 100,000; 2.11% positivity
Hudson – 45.45 average cases per 100,000; 6.75% positivity
Maynard – 32.26 average cases per 100,000; 4.54% positivity
Stow – 21.69 average cases per 100,000; 3.14% positivity 

Get Tested The "Stop the Spread" testing program will continue to provide low barrier, free, and easy to access testing to all Massachusetts residents. There are several sites near the Third Middlesex District:

To find other testing sites near you, check this interactive map.

Vaccine Distribution On Monday, Massachusetts received its first shipment of 59,475 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Doses were distributed to 74 hospitals across all 14 counties for front line medical workers. The next 40,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine will be allocated to the Federal Pharmacy Program to begin vaccinating staff and residents of skilled nursing facilities, rest homes and assisted living residences. Click here to view the administration’s vaccine website: www.mass.gov/COVIDvaccine.
New Statewide Restrictions Effective Sunday, December 13, all communities in Massachusetts will return to Step 1 of Phase 3 of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan, including the following restrictions:
  • Outdoor gatherings at event venues will be limited to no more than 50 people
  • Hosts of outdoor gatherings of greater than 25 people will be required to provide advance notice of the gathering their local board of health
  • Indoor theaters and performance venues and higher contact indoor recreation businesses will be required to close to the public
  • Outdoor theaters and performance venues will be limited to 25% capacity, and no more than 50 people
 
In all communities, capacity will be reduced from 50% to 40% for the following sectors:
  • Arcades/Indoor and Outdoor Recreational Businesses
  • Driving and Flight Schools
  • Gyms/Health Clubs
  • Libraries
  • Museums
  • Retail
  • Offices
  • Places of Worship
  • Lodging (common areas)
  • Golf facilities
  • Movie Theaters (Maximum 50 people per theater)
 
Restaurants and Venues
The Administration also announced new guidelines for restaurants and other venues with seated dining, including:
  • Patrons must wear masks at all times except when eating and drinking
  • Restaurants must seat no more than six patrons per table
  • Restaurants must impose a 90-minute time limit on tables
  • Musical performances at restaurants will no longer be permitted
  • Food court seating must be closed in malls
 
Customers are encouraged to dine only with members of the same household.
 
Offices and Gyms
The Administration announced new guidelines for workplaces and gyms, including:
  • In offices, employees must wear masks at their place of work when not in their own workspace and alone
  • Employers are encouraged to close or limit the use of break rooms
  • Patrons must wear masks at all times in gyms

Get Health Insurance Open Enrollment is the time of year when individuals can enroll in or change their health insurance plan through the Health Connector Marketplace. Massachusetts Open Enrollment for 2021 runs through January 23, 2021. This is an extended Open Enrollment period compared to other states that end December 15, giving Massachusetts residents a longer period of time to shop for and enroll in coverage for 2021. Members must select a plan and pay by December 23, 2020 for coverage effective starting January 1. Plan selection and payment after December 23, 2020, will be effective beginning February 1, 2021. Learn more at www.MAHealthConnector.org
MAIN STREET
UPDATES
House Decorating Contest in Maynard The Maynard Sesquicentennial committee is hosting a holiday decorating contest. Participants can sign up on the committee’s Facebook page – Maynard@150th – and will have three chances to win in one of three categories: Most Creative, Merry and Bright, and People’s Choice. People should register after their decorating is completed. Contestants must reside in Maynard and the display must be visible from the street so people can view it from the safety of their vehicles. Voting for the People’s Choice category will take place Friday, December 18 on the committee’s Facebook page. People should “like” the page to receive updates. Addresses of participating homes will be added to the Facebook page every Thursday morning to allow residents to plan their weekend drive-bys. Winners will receive a Market Basket gift card.

View Holiday Lights in Hudson River's Edge Arts Alliance is curating a map of festive lights for drive-bys in Hudson and the surrounding communities. Submit your house to be added to the list using this registration form. (Please only register your own home.) Then check this link to a map of the locations where you can see some beautiful holiday lights!
Local Food Pantries Receive State Funds Rep. Hogan earmarked funds in the state COVID-19 Relief supplemental budget for food pantries in the Third Middlesex district, including the Maynard Food Pantry, Open Table and the Hudson Community Food Pantry.
Rep. Hogan and Sen. Eldridge present a ceremonial check to Maynard Food Pantry volunteers. Pictured l-r: Meredith Saven, Mary Brannelly, Linda Mullin, Kerry Bernard, Jodi Larkin, Senator Jamie Eldridge, Rep. Kate Hogan, Charlie Baker, Barbara Horman & Kristin Reed  












Rep. Hogan delivered funds to Open Table volunteers. Pictured l-r: Rep. Hogan, Cortney Murray, Richard Fortier and Program Manager Jill Tsakiris  


Hudson Community Food Pantry volunteers are presented with a ceremonial check from Rep. Hogan. Pictured l-r: Don Richards, Senator Eldridge, Rep. Hogan, Peter Mazza, Executive Director Donna Dupre and Greg Vachowski
Grants for Arts-businesses in Hudson The Hudson BID is offering a new grant program that will subsidize rent costs for a new or relocated arts business in the district – which includes sections of Main, South, Church and Washington streets. A prospective new arts-related business owner will be eligible to receive up to $500 a month for one year - a total of $6,000. Applications are due by December 31 and are available at www.discoverhudson.org or email the BID at hudsonmabid@gmail.com.

Help Warm the Homes and Hearts of Bolton Seniors Each winter low-income seniors stay warm through the Bolton Senior Fuel Assistance Program. This valuable program is made possible through generous donations. Last year, 13 households were kept warm! This program means so much to so many and this winter may be especially hard for some of our senior residents. If you are able to contribute to this vital program, please send a check made payable to: Town of Bolton (with “Fuel Assistance Fund” in the memo) to Heather Goodsell, Bolton Council on Aging, 600 Main St. #215, Bolton, MA 01740. If you or someone you know is a senior in Bolton and could use help obtaining heating oil, please call Heather at 978-779-3314 for more information.
Rep. Hogan toured Maynard's new Market Basket with other municipal and state leaders before the store opens to the public. Market Basket Store #87 and the development of 129 Parker are fine examples of public/private & state/local partnerships in our Commonwealth! Pictured l-r: Maynard Town Manager Greg Johnson, Town Planner Bill Nemser, Carolyn DiSilva and Selectman Chris DiSilva, Market Basket Manager Tony Lisacki, Selectman Justine St. John, Rep. Hogan and Senator Jamie Eldridge.
Hudson Farmers' Market A Winter Market will be held at Hudson Town Hall on December 19 from 11 am – 2 pm. The Market will offer meat, dairy, coffee, syrup, baked goods, soap, preserves, alpaca products, honey, masks, cards, Lebanese food and more.

Sand for Seniors Boy Scouts Troop 1 Stow will provide and deliver a 5 gallon bucket of sand to Stow seniors’ home during the winter months to help prevent slips and falls. To receive a bucket or refill a bucket, please call 978-568-0510 or email: scoutmaster1stow@gmail.com.
Congratulations to Gigi's Restaurant in Maynard on their 5th Anniversary! Gigi's Restaurant received early recognition from diners and the Boston Globe for their terrific Vietnamese cuisine and and warm atmosphere. Fast forward to this 5th Anniversary and they have purchased the building and expanded their dining area and lounge. Phan spoke of their great love of Maynard and dedication to giving back to the community. During the pandemic take-out has been booming!
l-r: Restaurant owners Gigi Cao, Phan Nguyen and Rep. Hogan
Maynard Raffle Supports businesses, Boys & Girls Club of Assabet Valley Maynard residents are selling raffle tickets for a chance to win one of three gift baskets, each valued at more than $175. Two of the baskets are for adults and include gift certificates to local restaurants, nail salons and retail stores, wine, beer, and gift items. A third basket is for a child and features items from Oliver’s Wands and Wizarding Wares, valued at $100, a basketball-shaped rug from Foley and Sons Floor and Tile and gift certificates from Excelsior and Art Signals Studio. Proceeds from the raffle will likely be used for scholarships to the Boys & Girls Club of Assabet Valley for those who can’t afford to pay for club services and supplies. Tickets will be sold until December 17 and winners will be announced on Friday, December 18. To purchase a raffle ticket visit https://www.facebook.com/BGCAValley/posts/3746456222077258.
Congratulations to Bolton's Roland Ochsenbein Rep. Hogan presented a Resolution from the MA House of Representatives to Roland Ochsenbein in recognition of his 30 years of service to the library community and retirement this month from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. Joining the presentation and pictured l-r are: Bolton Public Library Trustee Pam Czekanski, Library Director Kelly Collins, Rep. Hogan, Roland Ochsenbein and Bolton Library Trustee Chair Robert C. Zak, Jr.
Support Maynard Seniors when shopping at Stop & Shop The Friends of Maynard Seniors has been selected as the beneficiary of the Stop & Shop Community Bag Program for the month of December. For each purchase of a $2.50 reusable Community Bag at the Stop and Shop at Powdermill Rd Acton, $1 is donated to the Friends of Maynard Seniors (unless otherwise directed by the customer through the Giving Tag attached to the bag). The Community Bags are located on displays around the store and at the checkout. For more information about the program, please visit stopandshop.bags4mycause.com.

Bolton PD Receives Grant Funding Congratulations to the Bolton Police Department, which has been awarded 12K in federal grant funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The grant award is one of 161 being distributed to local police departments in Massachusetts to reduce vehicle crashes, injuries, losses of life and the resulting economic costs.

Emergency Rental Assistance Program in Maynard The Town of Maynard is offering an Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) to provide temporary, monthly rental assistance in the form of a grant to eligible households with a loss of income due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This program is funded by the Maynard Affordable Housing Trust. Details can be found here and applications are available here.

Local Rapid Recovery Planning Assistance to Revitalize Downtowns
The Mass Downtown Initiative (MDI) is accepting applications for Local Rapid Recovery Planning (LRRP). All 351 Massachusetts cities and towns are eligible to apply. Nonprofit entities such as Business Improvement Districts, Main Street organizations or Community Development Corporations are also eligible to lead the planning process with local government support. The short application form is due on December 18, 2020 by 3:00 PM. The LRRP program provides technical assistance by consultant teams with expertise in effective strategies to stabilize business districts. There is no direct funding available through this program, applicants will be matched with consultant teams. There is a total of $9.5 million in technical assistance available, we encourage every interested applicant, whether from a small town center or a group of business districts within a large city, to learn more and to apply. LRRP projects must be completed by June 30, 2021.  

PFAS Grant Funding Available MassDEP is pleased to offer a second round of PFAS Treatment grants to reduce the PFAS concentrations in a public water system. All applications must be received by MassDEP by 5 pm on Wednesday, December 30. For additional information regarding the Round 2 PFAS Treatment Grant, please refer to the Grant Opportunity posted at the MassDEP website link: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/water-resources-grants-financialassistance.