State Rep. Kate Hogan, 3rd Middlesex District
Bolton Hudson Maynard Stow
October 13, 2020

Dear Friends,

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

Recent days have given us a view of the challenges that lie ahead - rising cases of COVID-19 in our communities as well as lines being drawn in Washington over stimulus, healthcare and civil rights. But, like these autumn days, we can also see the beauty in every day and the hope for the future. Our hope lies in knowing that we have each other and the power to VOTE.

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.

Kate Hogan
State Representative
Third Middlesex District
(617) 722-2199
Our fight against the coronavirus and COVID-19 has not ended. Please continue efforts to curb the virus’ spread by continuing to practice social distance, wearing face masks in public, and washing your hands. 

COVID-19 Cases in Hudson Recently, Hudson experienced an outbreak of nearly 40 new COVID-19 cases, making it one of 19 communities that received the highest-risk or "red" label last week by the Department of Public Health. The Hudson Board of Health has confirmed that the cases cannot be traced to any easily identifiable hot spot. This means that everyone must remain vigilant in order to prevent the virus from spreading further.

For more information, read the full press release and view the COVID-19 Dashboard from the Hudson Board of Health

As of October 12, there are 136,933 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported 9,401 deaths from COVID-19. 4,815,399 tests have been administered by the State Public Health Laboratory, hospitals and commercial laboratories. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health shares updated numbers on its website each day.

Across Massachusetts, the weighted average of positive molecular test rates is 1.1%. A report and map of Covid-19 data by community is available here and includes 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 – 1.41 average cases per 100,000; .25% positivity
Hudson – 10.91 average cases per 100,000; 2.93% positivity
Maynard – 2.74 average cases per 100,000; .57% positivity
Stow – 2.97 average cases per 100,000; .62% positivity 

View Massachusetts' COVID-10 community-level data map and learn about key COVID-19 metrics in your community.

The "Stop the Spread" strategic testing program will continue through October to provide low barrier, free, and easy to access testing to all Massachusetts residents. There are two sites in Marlborough: Marlborough Hospital and AFC Urgent Care. Details of the program and testing sites are available here.  

COVID-19 Community Impact Survey - Massachusetts DPH is asking all residents of the Commonwealth to complete this survey, which will help MA-DPH learn about needs across the state, so it can plan resources and support around COVID-19. Take the survey: www.mass.gov/COVIDsurvey

Reopening MA  This week, municipalities that qualify as “Lower Risk Communities” based on DPH’s weekly dashboard may advance to Phase III, Step 2 of the reopening plan. A Lower Risk Community has had an average daily incidence rate of 8 or fewer cases per 100,000 residents as recorded in each of the 3 most recent 14-day measurement periods in the DPH weekly dashboard – meaning they cannot have been a “red” community in any of the last 3 DPH weekly dashboards.

In Step 2 of Phase III:
  • Indoor performance venues will be permitted to open with 50% capacity with a maximum of 250 people.
  • Outdoor performance venue capacity will increase to 50% with a max of 250 people.
  • For arcades and indoor and outdoor recreation businesses, additional Step II activities like trampolines, obstacle courses, roller rinks and laser tag will also be permitted to open and capacity will increase to 50%.
  • Fitting rooms will be permitted to open in all types of retail stores. 
  • Gyms, museums, libraries and driving and flight schools will also be permitted to increase their capacity to 50%.
Revised Gatherings Order:
  • The limit for indoor gatherings remains at a maximum of 25 people for all communities.
  • Outdoor gatherings at private residences and in private backyards will remain at a maximum of 50 people for all communities.
  • Outdoor gatherings at event venues and in public settings will have a limit of 50 people in Step I communities, and a limit of 100 people in lower risk, Step II communities.
Updates to Restaurant Protocols Governor Baker announced a change to restaurant protocols. Effective September 28th, restaurants can seat 10 people to a table, an increase over the previous limit of six; this will apply to both indoor and outdoor seating. Other notable changes in protocols include permission to sit at a bar if: there are no active work areas or working staff behind the bar or at least 6 feet away; or if there is a physical barrier, e.g. plexiglass, separating customers from the bar space that is at least 30 inches high with a gap for passing food that is no more than 8 inches high; in addition, parties must be seated at bars and parties spaced at least 6 feet apart; tables must not be placed within 6 feet of the staffed bartending area.
State Budget Update
Last week, an economic roundtable was held by Ways and Means Committee chairmen Rep. Aaron Michlewitz and Sen. Michael Rodrigues, and Secretary of Administration and Finance Michael Heffernan to hear revenue forecasts that will aid in the creation of a full fiscal 2021 budget. The Department of Revenue reported a predicted revenue decline of 4-12% or $2 billion to $5 billion compared with last year. 

Extention Of Tax Relief For Small Businesses
The Baker-Polito Administration, in partnership with the Legislature, recently announced an extension of administrative tax relief measures for small businesses. This includes the extension of the deferral of regular sales tax, meals tax, and room occupancy taxes for small businesses due from March 2020 through April 2021, so that they will instead be due in May 2021. Read more about eligibility for this relief in the press release.

IRS Extends Non-Filer Deadline - Most eligible U.S. taxpayers have already received their Federal Economic Impact Payments. Anyone who is still expecting an Economic Impact Payment, but does not normally file a tax return, has until October 15 to provide information to the IRS using its Non-Filer Tool at www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here. People should do this if they:
  • receive Social Security retirement, survivors, or disability benefits, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments;
  • did not file a 2019 or 2018 tax return;
  • have a qualifying child under age 17; and
  • did not already enter information in the IRS’ Non-Filer Tool for themselves and at least one child.
For more information, please visit https://www.ssa.gov/news/press/releases/.
Welcome New Businesses
Launching a new business can be a daunting undertaking, especially during a pandemic. Fortunately, our local chambers of commerce offer important resources to support new endeavors. Rep. Hogan recently attended ribbon cuttings and grand openings organized by the Assabet Valley Chamber of Commerce (AVCC) and Middlesex West Chamber of Commerce to welcome new businesses to the Third Middlesex District. She is shown here with owners and proprietors of Wright Jewelry & Design Company in Hudson, Evviva Trattoria in Maynard and Clearview Dermatology in Hudson.

New owners Jenna and Justin Beit of Wright Jewelry & Design Company at 61 Main Street in Hudson with Rep. Hogan at a Grand Opening celebration on September 25.

Evviva Trattoria, at 5 Digital Way, Maynard, is now open 7 days a week.

Assabet Valley Chamber of Commerce BOD President, Carolyn Read; Hudson Selectman John Parent; Dr. Au from Clearview Dermatology; Rep. Hogan; and Bianca DeSousa District Director from the Office of Senator Jamie Eldridge watch as the ribbon is cut at Clearview Dermatology in Hudson on October 2. 
Hudson Awarded $200,000 for Clean Water
Massachusetts has announced new rules requiring public water systems to regularly test for per- and polyfluroalkyl substances (PFAS) and remove the contamination if the concentrations of six chemicals test above 20 parts per trillion. To support this increased PFAS testing, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) recently announced grant awards to provide funding to water suppliers for the planning, studies, pump tests, and engineering and design work necessary to remove PFAS contamination from water systems. Communities, such as Hudson, that have already spent funds to address elevated levels of PFAS will receive reimbursement for their efforts.

Congratulations to these Family-run Businesses in our District
Last month, the U.S. Small Business Association celebrated National Small Business Week with virtual conferences highlighting the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others, including Hudson-based Lancaster Packaging and Owner Marianne Lancaster.

On October 27 at 11 am, the Massachusetts Legislative Manufacturing Caucus will hold its “Reimagined” 5th Annual Manufacturing Awards Ceremony. The virtual ceremony will feature keynote speakers as well as select manufacturing companies from around the Commonwealth. The Chaves family and their company, United Stretch Design Corporation in Hudson, will be featured.
Rep. Kate Hogan visited United Stretch Design Corporation in Hudson and presented Manuel, Eva and Eric Chaves with their Manufacturer of the Year citation 

Alma and Alonso Moreno, owners of El Huipil and Azucar restaurants in Maynard, are featured on the cover and share the story of their business success in a recent edition of SBA magazine.
Hometown Heroes Honored
The first phase of Maynard's Hometown Heroes program honors Maynard’s 46 KIA service members with photo, name, service branch on banners around town.

Maynard’s Hometown Heroes Dedication Ceremony was recorded recently and will be accessible via video soon for all to view. Committee members, town officials, Maynard Fire and Police department representatives, and a veteran from each branch of the armed services were in attendance.
New Grocery Stores in the Area
The Assabet Co-Op Market has a new home at 2 Powder Mill Road in Maynard. The cooperative grocery store with more than 1,300 members from 40 towns and cities plans to open in Summer 2021. For more information, visit the Assabet Co-op Market website.

Market Basket is opening at 129 Parker Street in Maynard this month.
Maynard Farmers Market Celebrates 25 Years
Rep. Kate Hogan presented a Citation to the Maynard Farmers' Market in recognition of its 25 years of providing area residents with Massachusetts grown and produced products and supporting local farmers and specialty vendors.

Pictured Left to right: Maynard Farmers' Market Director Meg Sobkowicz Kline, Selectmen Jeff Swanberg and David Gavin, Directors Carol Leary and Chris Rees.
Flu Clinics
The Nashoba Associated Boards of Health have planned flu clinics around the area, including one on October 22 at Nashoba Regional High School. A schedule of all upcoming flu clinics is available here. Please complete and bring this insurance information form with you.

Outdoor Library Browsing in Maynard
The Maynard Public Library is offering an outdoor Library Browsers’ Market every Wednesday from 10:30 am – 12 pm, weather permitting. The Browsers’ Market will be held in the parking lot of the Maynard Pubic Library. New books, audiobooks, and DVDs for all ages will be on display and available for checkout. All attendees are required to wear a face mask while browsing, keep 6 feet apart and have their library card with them. Please note: holds that are ready for pickup will not be available at the Browsers’ Market.

Emergency Rental Assistance Program
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.

Remote Learning Club for K-8 Students
The Boys and Girls Club of Assabet Valley is offering a Remote Learning Club to support K-8 students as they adapt to distance learning. Club staff will engage cohorts of up to ten students grouped by grade level to help them access remote learning and provide support where needed. The cost is $60/day which includes a snack. Learn more here.

Hudson Clean Up Day
Join the 2020 Great Massachusetts Clean-up in Hudson on Saturday, October 17. Green Hudson volunteers will be at two locations: the Rimkus Clubhouse at Riverside Park and by the Deck Hockey Rink on Municipal Drive, from 9am to 2pm to hand out trash collection bags and recycling information, and to dispose of the trash that is collected. Volunteers are encouraged to work in small teams that are comfortable maintaining appropriate social distance with masks. If you are interested in participating, email your planned clean-up location to cleanup@greenhudson.org or maps will be available at our locations showing the streets and parks that are in need of volunteers. Rain date is Sunday, October 18.
Stow Hosts Annual Picnic for Seniors
Executive Director, Alyson Toole and the Stow Council on Aging held the Annual Senior Picnic this week as a drive-thru event at the Pompo Commnity Center parking lot. The COA staff and town officials were there to hand out lunch from multiple food stations. 

Rep. Hogan is pictured here with constituents Al and Marty Wheeler at the Stow Annual Senior Picnic. 
The General Election is scheduled for November 3. In this election, we'll vote for president, as well as U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, State Representative (yours truly), State Senator, and our representative member to the Governor’s Council. This year, there are also two ballot questions: Question #1, “Right to Repair Law” Vehicle Data Access Requirement Initiative, and Question #2, Ranked-Choice Voting Initiative.

As you consider your candidate and ballot question choices, please also consider your options for casting your vote. These options include:

Registering to Vote – The deadline for registering to vote is October 24. Go to https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ovr/ to register to vote OR makes changes to your name/address/etc.

Requesting a Mail-in BallotAll registered voters qualify to vote by mail in the fall 2020 elections. The deadline for requesting a mail-in or absentee ballot is October 28 at 5 pm.

Mailing in your ballot - Mailed Ballots include a postage pre-paid return ballot envelope that is addressed to the Town Clerk’s Office. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked by November 3rd AND received in the Town Clerk’s Office by 5 pm on November 6th.

Dropping off your ballot – You may hand deliver your ballot at these drop-off locations around the district; the deadline is 8 pm on November 3:

Bolton - drop box near the glass door at the front of Town Hall
Hudson - deposit slot to the right of the front entrance at Town Hall
Maynard - drop box outside of the front door to Town Hall
Stow - designated ballot collection box at Town Building

Tracking your application and ballot –Go to: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/wheredoivotema/track/trackmyballot.aspx

Voting Early in-person – Early in-person voting will take place October 17 – October 30 at these locations:

Bolton - Early voting will take place at Bolton Town Hall, 633 Main Street, Bolton
Saturday, October 17 10 am – 12 pm
Sunday, October 18    10 am – 12 pm
Monday, October 19 9 am – 2:30 pm
Tuesday, October 20 9 am – 7 pm
Wednesday, October 21 9 am – 2:30 pm
Thursday, October 22 9 am – 2:30 pm
Saturday, October 24 10 am – 12 pm
Sunday, October 25    10 am – 12 pm
Monday, October 26 9 am – 2:30 pm
Tuesday, October 27 9 am – 7 pm
Wednesday, October 28 9 am – 2:30 pm
Thursday, October 29 9 am – 2:30 pm

Hudson - Early voting will take place at Hudson Town Hall, 78 Main Street, Hudson
Monday through Friday 8 am - 4:30 pm
Saturday, October 17 10 am to 2 pm
Sunday, October 18 11 am to 3 pm
Saturday, October 24 12 pm to 8 pm
Sunday, October 25 11 am to 3 pm

Maynard - Early voting will take place at Maynard Town Hall, 195 Main Street, Maynard, in the Soup Campbell Room. Please enter through the rear of the building. Please note that only 5 voters will be allowed in the Town Hall at a time during early voting in person.
Saturday, October 17 9 am - 1 pm
Sunday, October 18 9 am - 1 pm
Monday, October 19 8 am - 4 pm
Tuesday, October 20 8 am - 7 pm
Wednesday, October 21 8 am - 4 pm
Thursday, October 22 8 am - 4 pm
Friday, October 23 8 am - 12 pm
Saturday, October 24 9 am - 1 pm
Sunday, October 25 9 am - 1 pm
Monday, October 26 8 am - 4 pm
Tuesday, October 27 8 am - 7 pm
Wednesday, October 28 8 am - 4 pm
Thursday, October 29 8 am - 4 pm
Friday, October 30 8 am - 12 pm

Stow - Early voting will take place at the Lower Back Entrance of Town Building, 380 Great Road, Stow
Weekend early voting times:  12 pm - 4 pm
Weekday early voting times:   9 am - 4 pm

Voting on Election Day – Polls will be open from 7 am – 8 pm at these locations:

Bolton - All precincts will vote at Nashoba Regional High School, 12 Green Road, Bolton.

Precinct 1:                 Hudson High School, 69 Brigham Street
Precinct2:                  Glen Road Community Center, 4 Glen Road
Precinct 3:                 David J. Quinn Middle School, 201 Manning Street
Precinct 4:                 Joseph L. Mulready School, 306 Cox Street
Precinct 5:                 Forest Avenue School, 136 Forest Avenue
Precincts 6 & 7:        Town Hall, 78 Main Street

Maynard - All precincts will vote at the Fowler School, 3 Tiger Drive, Maynard

Stow - All precincts will vote at the Center School, 403 Great Road

Thank you for making our democracy work! I welcome your feedback on these options for voting. What has the experience been like for you?