UPDATES FROM STATE REP. KATE HOGAN


State Rep. Kate Hogan, 3rd Middlesex District
Bolton Hudson Maynard Stow
Dear Friends,

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

As we gear up for the fall season and all that it brings – back-to-school, elections and more – many in our district are seeking information and answers. While no one has all the answers right now or can predict the future, I hope that the details in this newsletter are useful as we chart our path forward.

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.

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 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. 

As of August 19, there are 115,048 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported 8,645 deaths from COVID-19. 1,974,918 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.

According to the Baker-Polito Administration’s map of communities color-coded by number of average daily COVID-19 cases, the Third Middlesex District falls mostly in the “white” code, meaning the community has fewer than 5 daily cases per 100,000. Maynard is coded “yellow” because it has between 4-8 daily cases per 100,000.

Here is a breakout of the average daily cases per 100,000 and the average percent positivity (last 14 days) by town:
Bolton – 0; .6%
Hudson – 0; .2%
Maynard – 4.8; 2.2%
Stow – 0; .9%

While Massachusetts has seen a decrease in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations since May, recently there has been a slight uptick in certain communities. Due to the recent increase in positive cases, step two of phase III of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan has been postponed indefinitely.

Last week, Governor Baker signed several orders, including an updated gatherings order, effective Tuesday, August 11, which will:
  • Reduce the limit on outdoor gatherings from 100 to 50 people (indoor gatherings limit will remain at 25 people)
  • Apply these limits to all types of gatherings, on both public and private property
  • Require face coverings where more than 10 people from different households will be mixing.

Additionally, restaurant rules have been updated to state that alcoholic beverages may only be served for on-site consumption if accompanied by orders for food prepared on-site.

Travel Order All MA residents returning home, including students, must fill out a MA Travel Form and quarantine for 14 days unless they are coming from a COVID-19 lower risk state (CT, HI, ME, NH, NY, NJ, RI, VT) or they can produce a negative COVID-19 test result administered no more than 72 hours prior to arriving in MA, or fall into another narrow exemption category. More information: www.mass.gov/MAtraveler 

Free COVID Testing Governor Baker has doubled the number of free testing sites around the state, including sites servicing our region in Framingham, Marlborough, and Worcester. Testing is available at no charge until September 12 for all MA residents. 

Unemployment UpdatesThe unemployment rate in Massachusetts has triggered federal Extended Benefits (EB), a federal extension of 7 weeks for all Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claimants, and up to 13 weeks for certain eligible regular unemployment (UI) claimants. Learn more here.

The Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) also revised the fact-finding instructions to make the identity verification process easier for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). Some claimants who have already been denied for identity verification issues will be receiving a link to allow them to correct issues on their claims, and possibly get benefits without having to attend a hearing. Detailed instructions are available here.

Eviction Moratorium – Governor Baker has extended the eviction moratorium to October 17 and suspended most residential and small business foreclosures. 

Stop & Shop Hazard Pay – Earlier this month, 85 of my colleagues and I sent a letter to the CEO of Stop & Shop, requesting that the company reinstate hazard pay for its workers. See the letter here.

Calling all Manufacturers The MA COVID-19 Intrapreneur Challenge is a business accelerator program that will activate, connect, and focus MA companies as they pivot production capabilities to meet the emerging demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Mass Grown Exchange is a business to business platform that assists farmers, fishers, food buyers, and AG-related businesses to connect, exchange, and find products and services. Local and regional farm stands, orchards, restaurants and food co-ops can use Mass Grown Exchange to connect Central & MetroWest small AG with the bounty of our coast and access to the diverse offerings of our Commonwealth. 

RMV Low Plate Lottery The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is accepting applications for the 2020 Low Number Plate Lottery. Apply online at Mass.Gov/RMV by September 6.
MAIN STREET UPDATES
Backyard Bolton is Back Bolton’s Farmers Market of local small farms, backyard growers, small batch producers and craftsmen returns to Town Common on August 22 and September 12 from 10 am – 1 pm. More information is available here.

Hudson Farmers Market will take place every Tuesday, rain or shine, at Hudson Town Hall from 3:30-6:30 pm

The MetroWest Visitors Bureau is hosting an online festival on August 29 from 11 am – 1:30 pm, featuring live music, chefs demonstrating signature dishes and dozens of vendor and sponsor booths – just like being at MetroFest, but At Home! Free tickets available here.
The Assabet Valley Chamber of Commerce hosted Theatre Creamery's Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening. Owner Steve Trumble cut the ribbon as the AVCOC's Sarah Cressy and AVCOC President Carolyn Reed, Maynard Selectboard Chair Justine St.John, Rep. Kate Hogan and the Theatre Creamery Team looked on. A masked and socially distanced crowd of adults and kids celebrated with free ice cream!



Fresh Start Furniture Bank is accepting drop-off donations on Saturdays between 8:30-10:30AM. Housewares need to be in a box that can be closed; linens must be in garbage bags; furniture must be in clean and good working condition and masks must be worn in all circumstances.
Drought Conditions Due to above normal temperatures throughout July and early August and more than three months of below normal rainfall, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Kathleen Theoharides declared a Level 2 – Significant Drought in all seven regions of the Commonwealth. Conditions at this level are becoming significantly dry and warrant detailed monitoring of drought conditions, close coordination among state and federal agencies, emphasis on water conservation, more stringent watering restrictions, and technical outreach and assistance for the affected municipalities. Water Departments in Hudson and Maynard have issued mandatory restrictions.

Rental Assistance in Maynard and Stow
The Maynard Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) is accepting applications for temporary monthly rental assistance in the form of a grant to eligible households that have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ERAP will pay between $350 - $800/mo. in rental assistance, depending on unit size for four months. 

The Stow COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Fund (Stow CERAF) has been developed to support Stow renters who may have difficulty paying rent due to Covid-19. The program is intended to help people during the time frame of April - June 2020. If folks have already paid rent, the assistance is still available.The program is administered by MCO Housing Services, LLC.

Update on Gleasondale Bridge Project: The Gleasondale Bridge reconstruction project in Stow is now in the 100% Design Phase. MassDOT’s Right of Way division is notifying residents and abutters that are directly impacted by the construction and utility work associated with the project. Construction is anticipated to begin in the spring/summer of 2021.
IMPORTANT VOTING INFORMATION
The Massachusetts Primary Election is scheduled for September 1.

Are you registered to vote? Check status and register online or at Town Hall. The registration deadline for the 2020 primary is August 22.

Voters who are not voting in person at their polling locations on September 1 have the option of returning their mail-in ballots by mail (which must be received no later than 8 pm on September 1) or by dropping them off at a secure collection spot.

Drop off locations in the Third Middlesex District include:

Bolton Ballots can be dropped off at the Town Clerk's office during office hours. There is also a mail slot in the back (main) door at Town Hall. It is marked with a sign that says ‘ballot drop off.’

Hudson There is a deposit slot to the right of the Town Hall front entrance.

Maynard There is a ballot collection box, with sign designating ‘voter ballots only’ on it, outside the front entrance to Town Hall.

Stow There is a designated ballot collection box (daytime only) and mail slot (for use anytime) on the front door of Town Building.

If you’d like to vote by mail or drop-off in the September 1 primary, applications must be requested by August 26. Request a ballot here

Track your mail-in ballot Voters who send in their vote-by-mail ballots can use the state's portal to track their ballots here. For the most up to date information on the status of your ballot application, call your local election office.

Additionally, Early in-person voting for the state primary runs from Saturday, Aug. 22, until Friday, Aug. 28. Here are details for each town:

Bolton
Bolton Town Hall
633 Main Street, Bolton
Sat, Aug 22: 10 am – 2 pm
Sun, Aug 23: 10 am – 2 pm
Mon, Aug 24: 9 am – 2:30 pm
Tues, Aug 25: 9 am – 4 pm
Wed, Aug 26: 9 am – 2:30 pm
Thurs, Aug 27: 9 am – 2 30 pm


Hudson
Hudson Town Hall
78 Main Street, Hudson
Sat, Aug 22: 12 pm – 4 pm
Sun, Aug 23: 11 am – 3 pm
Mon, Aug 24: 8 am – 4:30 pm
Tues, Aug 25: 8 am – 4:30 pm
Wed, Aug 26: 8 am – 4:30 pm
Thurs, Aug 27: 8 am – 4:30 pm
Fri, Aug 28: 8 am – 4:30 pm

Maynard
Maynard Town Hall
195 Main Street, Maynard
Sat, Aug 22: 9 am – 1 pm
Sun, Aug 23: 9 am – 1 pm
Mon, Aug 24: 8 am – 4 pm
Tues, Aug 25: 8 am – 7 pm
Wed, Aug 26: 8 am – 4 pm
Thurs, Aug 27: 8 am – 4 pm
Fri, Aug 28: 8 am – 12 pm


Stow
Stow Town Building
380 Great Road, Stow
Lower Back Entrance of the Town Building (where the Council on Aging used to be)
Sat, Aug 22: 12 pm – 4 pm
Sun, Aug 23: 12 pm – 4 pm
Mon, Aug 24: 9 am – 4 pm
Tues, Aug 25: 9 am – 4 pm
Wed, Aug 26: 9 am – 4 pm
Thurs, Aug 27: 9 am – 4 pm
Fri, Aug 28: 9 am – 4 pm