Governor Baker Signs Climate Change Strategy Executive Order

Order Works to Reduce Carbon Emissions, Protect Residents and Municipalities, Build More Resilient Commonwealth

Building on the Baker-Polito Administration’s strong leadership to mitigate and adapt to climate change, Governor Baker today signed an Executive Order which lays out a comprehensive approach to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard residents, municipalities and businesses from the impacts of climate change, and build a more resilient Commonwealth.  The Order, Establishing an Integrated Climate Change Strategy for the Commonwealth, represents the collaboration between the Office of the Governor, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, and key state, local and environmental stakeholders.

“Combatting and preparing for the impacts of climate change will require a holistic approach across state and local government and collaboration with stakeholders from all corners of the Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “By signing this Executive Order, our administration is taking an important step to protect public health and safety, local infrastructure, small businesses, and our state’s abundant natural resources from the effects of climate change.”

“Cities and towns across Massachusetts are on the front lines of climate change and our administration stands ready to help them meet this challenge,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.  “Building on our administration’s commitment to municipalities through the Community Compact and Green Communities programs, the Executive Order signed by Governor Baker continues to enhance strong state and local partnerships, and provides direct support and technical assistance to help cities and towns adapt to climate change.”

“The Baker-Polito Administration, in addition to cities and towns across Massachusetts, continues to reduce carbon emissions and prepare for the impacts of climate change,” said Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton.  “This Executive Order builds on those innovative efforts to ensure the Commonwealth is collaborating in a proactive, strategic manner across state government and with our local partners and stakeholders to address this challenge.”

The Executive Order ensures that Massachusetts will continue to lead by example and collaborate across state government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resiliency within government operations. The Order also directs the Executive Offices of Energy and Environmental Affairs and Public Safety and Security to lead the development and implementation of a statewide comprehensive climate adaptation plan that will provide a blueprint for protecting the built and natural environment of the Commonwealth, based on the best available data on existing and projected climate change impacts. Additionally, each Executive Office within the Baker-Polito Administration will be required to designate a Climate Change Coordinator who will work to complete a vulnerability assessment for each office, and assist with implementation and coordination of adaptation and mitigation efforts across state government.  

"Addressing the challenges of climate change requires a broad and comprehensive strategy,” said Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack. “This Executive Order will ensure state and local officials have the resources and support needed to promote sustainable growth and development that protects communities and natural resources across the Commonwealth."

Recognizing the need to strengthen the resilience of communities throughout Massachusetts, the Executive Order directs the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to coordinate assistance to cities and towns as they prepare for the impacts of climate change.

“Communities are currently dealing with the impacts of a historic drought and the effects of extreme weather events,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Daniel Bennett. “This Order will enhance state and local collaboration, helping communities to more quickly recover from violent storms and extreme weather.”

“Worcester has adopted a comprehensive clean energy program and will build the region’s largest municipal solar array on a capped landfill, because we recognize that we all have a stake in the health of our planet,” said Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. “I look forward to continue working with the Baker-Polito Administration to make the Commonwealth a leader in the effort to reduce greenhouse gases and safeguard our children’s future.”

“The Governor's Executive Order on climate change will have a positive impact on communities across the Commonwealth by giving municipalities the resources and capacity to assess local climate risks and plan for a changing climate,” said Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll. “Salem is already preparing for the effects of climate change with a variety of planning efforts and capital investments, and this Executive Order will enable municipalities to work toward long-term solutions to protect the safety and well-being of residents, as well as our infrastructure and economy.”

To further position Massachusetts to meet the state’s environmental requirements under the Global Warming Solutions Act, the Executive Order directs the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to engage stakeholders, examine emission limits from a range of sectors, and outline a timeline to promulgate regulations to ensure the Commonwealth meets statewide carbon reduction targets. In addition, the Baker-Polito Administration will work with state and regional transportation leaders, and environment and energy agencies to outline additional steps necessary to develop regional policies to reduce transportation sector emissions. The work will be concurrent with efforts to continue to lead on reform of regional electric energy markets so that power generators can all compete to meet the state mandates for clean energy. The state will also complete a comprehensive energy plan that will enable forward-looking analysis of energy demands and strategies for meeting these demands that include conservation, energy efficiency and other demand-reduction resources.

“As directed by the Governor, MassDEP will work with stakeholders to develop the needed rules to ensure meeting 2020 emission limits mandated by the Global Warming Solutions Act,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “These rules will be completed per the schedule in the Executive Order and in the immediate future, MassDEP will have its website up and running for people to comment and learn the latest about the development of these rules.”

“With the stroke of a pen, Governor Baker has moved the Commonwealth’s conversation about GWSA implementation and climate change from legal quibbling to getting the job done, while also acting to protect our economy and communities from climate threats that are now unavoidable,” said Conservation Law Foundation president Bradley Campbell. “CLF looks forward to working with the administration to develop meaningful, effective regulations that reduce greenhouse gas emissions as the law requires and change destructive patterns of development that ignore climate risk.”

“We applaud Governor Baker's leadership in making the Commonwealth more resilient to the impacts of climate change,” said Wayne Klockner, State director of the Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts. “We look forward to working together to better prepare the Commonwealth’s citizens and natural assets for the impacts of a changing climate.”

The Executive Order, which will be reviewed again in 2019 and every five years thereafter, builds upon significant efforts already ongoing across the Baker-Polito Administration to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Initiatives and programs underway across state government include vulnerability assessments and resiliency plans within the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance, Department of Transportation, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, and MassPort. To address mitigation, the Commonwealth has been working since 2008 to implement the Global Warming Solutions Act, and has numerous policies and initiatives in place to help meet emissions reduction limits. Other existing initiatives and grant programs include the Dam and Seawall Repair Fund, the Coastal Resiliency Grant Program, the Lead by Example Program, the Community Clean Energy Resiliency Initiative. Climate change initiatives are also currently underway at regional planning agencies and in inland and coastal communities across Massachusetts.

“Massachusetts has long been recognized as a frontrunner on protecting the environment from the disastrous immediate and long-term dangers of climate change,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst).  “As communities continue to prepare for climate change, this necessary measure will undoubtedly bolster the Commonwealth’s commitment to undertaking more efforts to combat climate change in the future.”

“Crafting and implementing an effective response to the challenges posed by climate change requires an ongoing, collaborative effort between state and municipal officials,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading).  “The Baker-Polito Administration’s Executive Order will help to ensure the Commonwealth is taking the steps necessary to address the problems associated with climate change, not only over the next three years, but well into the future.”

“Building coastal storm resilience and an environmentally sound energy future demand that we carefully plan today to take effective action now and in the future,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce E. Tarr (R-Gloucester). “This Executive Order is a critically important tool for making that happen, and we have no time to waste.”

“We must protect our Commonwealth from the harmful effects of climate change. If we do not, the costs will be astronomical,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton), founding chair of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change and vice chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. “Climate change is happening now; we see it through our current drought, as well as extreme weather events throughout the country. And in addition to establishing this comprehensive climate adaptation plan, we cannot forget that we have an obligation to meet the emissions reduction requirements of the Global Warming Solutions Act. I commend the Baker-Polito Administration for using science as the basis for this executive order, and I look forward to seeing these plans come to fruition across our state government. This is a good first step to ensuring that these commitments will be made, and now the legislative branch must step up in the next session to codify a climate adaptation management plan in statute, as well as pass a comprehensive energy plan.”

“Climate change is already harming communities across the Commonwealth,” said State Representative Frank Smizik (D-Brookline), Chairman of the House Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change. “By coordinating adaptation planning on the state level, we can make resources and information accessible for all regions to prepare for the economic, health, and safety impacts of climate change. Governor Baker’s Executive Order is a critical first step in addressing our state’s vulnerabilities and protecting our communities.


Baker-Polito Administration Awards $200,000 MassWorks Grant for Orange Innovation Center

The Baker-Polito Administration announced a $200,000 MassWorks award for the Town of Orange, to upgrade the public infrastructure around the Orange Innovation Center. The infrastructure grant will facilitate the continued growth of the Orange Innovation Center, unlocking space for new tenants, connecting the Center to a fitness trail, and supporting local businesses.

MassWorks funding will support the construction of a new public parking area that will enable the Orange Innovation Center to expand. The infrastructure grant will allow the Center to lease space to new tenants and will serve as the primary parking area for a new public fitness trail. The grant will finance design and engineering work, the demolition of two existing buildings, earthwork, paving, drainage, and other activities associated with construction.

“Massachusetts’s innovative and entrepreneurial workforce is a key driver for continued job creation and economic expansion,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We look forward to the Orange Innovation Center continuing to play an important role in the region’s economy as a result of this MassWorks grant.”;

“MassWorks helps municipalities realize growth through targeted infrastructure investments in high-potential areas and is one of the Administration’s most valuable tools for supporting community development,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “This partnership with the Town of Orange and the Innovation Center will support local entrepreneurs, spur job creation, and drive regional economic development.”;                         

“Public investment in local infrastructure is critical to creating jobs and growing our economy,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg. “This MassWorks grant creates additional opportunities for the Orange Innovation Center to attract new tenants and build on their success in creating a sustainable business community under one roof.”;

"I am thrilled that the administration sees the potential of this location,” said Representative Susannah Whipps Lee. “This critical infrastructure improvement will allow OIC to expand and welcome new businesses to the Town of Orange." 

The Orange Innovation Center is located across the Millers River from downtown Orange. The 128,222 square-foot building is three stories and formerly housed a tapioca factory and later, a furniture manufacturing facility. The space is now home to an eclectic collection of 32 businesses, including a fitness club, several artist and photography studios, a health services clinic, light manufacturing, and a craft brewery.

The MassWorks Infrastructure Program provides a one-stop shop for municipalities and other eligible public entities seeking public infrastructure funding to support housing production, economic development, and job creation through strategic investments in public infrastructure. The 2015 grant round generated 101 applications for more than $245 million in infrastructure requests. The 2016 grant round is now open for applications.

Each year, the MassWorks program allocates 10 percent of awarded funds to assist municipalities with populations of 7,000 or less in completing roadway safety and transportation improvement projects. The MassWorks Program has invested over $357 million across the Commonwealth since the first competitive grant round was held in September 2011.

In August 2016 Governor Baker signed An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development (H. 4569) to reauthorize MassWorks and support $500 million of future investment in critical infrastructure. The Baker-Polito Administration’s 2017 capital budget increases funding for the MassWorks Infrastructure Program to $90 million. Over the past two fiscal years, the Administration has increased MassWorks funding by $35 million.

Massachusetts New Governor's Corner


Governor Baker, MBTA Launch RIDE Pilot Program with Uber, Lyft

Innovative ride-share partnership offers on-demand options for paratransit customers

Governor Charlie Baker joined Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack, MBTA managers, disability advocates, and executives with Uber and Lyft today to launch a first-of-its-kind innovative pilot program with ride-share companies to save costs and deliver customers of the MBTA’s, THE RIDE, options for on-demand service through their smartphones.

“The reliability of our transportation system depends on the MBTA’s ability to improve its core infrastructure and provide efficient, innovative transit options that meet the needs of the system’s one million daily riders,” said Governor Baker. “This initiative represents the MBTA’s efforts to increase accessibility in a more cost-effective and efficient way that also delivers more convenient service for its paratransit customers.”

The On-Demand Paratransit Pilot Program will allow the MBTA to learn and understand the opportunities and challenges of incorporating on-demand paratransit options into public transit, and follows a program launched in January with multiple Boston-area taxi providers to subsidize trips for RIDE users via cab. Customers unable to use a smartphone or without access to one can book rides by using a phone-in option from Lyft or obtain a smart phone from Uber on a limited basis.

“We want to meet the needs of our customers to help them get to where they are going efficiently and that is why we are increasing investments in the core transit system and introducing innovative options for our paratransit customers,” said Secretary Pollack. “This pilot takes a major step toward providing the kind of flexibility, responsiveness and on-demand customer service that has been the focus of our reforms, and that our paratransit riders deserve.”

The pilot is also part of the MBTA’s efforts to deliver more efficient and cost-effective service. Current RIDE service comes at a variable cost of $31 to the MBTA, a $3.15 set fare for customers and a minimum of one day advance notice required. Ride-share pilot participants will have on-demand service available via their smartphone app or the phone-in option and pay the first $2.00 of the trip. The MBTA will pick up the next $13.00 of the trip, with the customer picking up any remaining trip costs.

Today’s event was held at the Perkins School for the Blind which helped initiate the pilot, working closely with disability advocates and the MBTA.  Joining Governor Baker and Secretary Pollack for the announcement were MBTA Interim  General Manager Brian Shortsleeve, Perkins’ President and CEO Dave Power, Perkins’ Chief Financial Officer Lisa Calise, (who was appointed to the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board by Governor Baker last year), and  the Boston General Managers for Uber and Lyft.

“This collaborative effort between the MBTA, our partners at Uber and Lyft, Perkins, and so many others shows how we can use private market innovation and emerging technology to enhance service and accessibility for our riders,” said Interim General Manager Shortsleeve. “The MBTA will continue to explore opportunities like these to reduce costs and provide flexible transit options while investing in the core system.”

As part of the pilot, Lyft will partner with a local Americans with Disabilities Act/Non-Emergency Medical Transportation firm to provide wheelchair accessible rental vehicles to Lyft drivers. To incentivize the supply of wheelchair accessible vehicles on the road, the MBTA will offer an additional $12 per completed trip to those Lyft drivers using an accessible rental. Uber currently has wheelchair accessible vehicles through its UberACCESS program that will be available for the MBTA pilot.

“We are honored to be working with the MBTA to improve convenient and reliable transportation options for their customers, our riders,” said Uber Boston General Manager, Chris Taylor. “Uber’s technology has helped expand access to convenient transportation options, while improving mobility and independence for thousands of people across the Commonwealth,”

“Lyft is proud to bring on-demand transportation to customers of The RIDE,” said Tyler George, General Manager of Lyft Boston. “This partnership with the MBTA marks an exciting next step in enhancing and expanding The RIDE’s service by reducing passenger wait times and increasing access to jobs, education, errands, and social activities.”

 

Driver-partners will undergo third-party safety screenings, vehicle and criminal background record checks and receive educational materials on providing service for RIDE customers with accessibility needs. Uber and Lyft will also offer sessions to train driver-partners to better serve pilot customers.

 

“Independent, reliable transportation is critical for people with disabilities to get to work, school or other community activities on time,” said Dave Power, President and CEO of Perkins School for the Blind. “Para-transit riders can now access the same on-demand services enjoyed by people without disabilities – bringing us another step closer to inclusive public transportation.”

Interested RIDE customers are encouraged to participate by visiting the MBTA’s website for more information and signing up with both Uber and Lyft to maximize participation. RIDE-eligible users approved for the pilot will receive app access to request on-demand services.

“We are excited to see THE RIDE expand customer options and efficiencies, with a commitment to long-term accessibility options,” said Bill Henning, Director of the Boston Center for Independent Living.

 

“Thousands of seniors who are no longer able to use fixed route service rely on The RIDE for their transportation needs but as costs have escalated it has become important to explore new options to meet those needs,” said Carolyn Villers, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Senior Action Council. “This pilot is an important step forward because it has the potential to improve access to responsive service while also providing a more cost-effective model.”

“AACT is looking forward to working with Lyft/Uber and the MBTA in providing an additional transportation resource to the disability community on the RIDE program,” said James White, Chairman of the Access Advisory Committee to the MBTA.

The RIDE provides an average of 7,000 daily trips, with demand set to grow as the senior population continues to expand. Customers over 65 years of age account for about 60% of RIDE users and 9% require wheelchair-accessible vehicles.  The RIDE currently provides door-to-door transit service for individuals in a 712-mile-square area that includes 60 cities and towns and over 2.5 million people unable to access or use the MBTA’s fixed-route system.  Users of The RIDE are required to book trips one day in advance.

For more information on The RIDE paratransit program, including service area, click here.


Baker-Polito Administration Announces First Statewide Safe Medication Disposal Program with Walgreens to Fight Substance Misuse

Take-back program allows safe and convenient disposal of unwanted medications in Walgreens Pharmacies across Massachusetts

Governor Charlie Baker, joined by state and local officials, today announced that Walgreens is the first pharmacy in Massachusetts to launch a new safe and convenient medication disposal program to reduce prescription drug misuse while visiting a new kiosk at the Walgreens Quincy Avenue store in Quincy. Walgreens installed 13 drug take-back kiosks in pharmacies throughout Massachusetts for easy disposal of unwanted, unused or expired medications at no cost and no questions asked.

“Opioid misuse and addiction can often start at home in our own medicine cabinets, and today we are pleased to partner with Walgreens to take more steps toward combating this public health crisis,” said Governor Charlie Baker.  “Increasing drug take back opportunities and installing free safe disposal kiosks in pharmacies across the Commonwealth is another step in the right direction as the Commonwealth works collaboratively to bend the trend on opioid and heroin misuse.”

Installation of the statewide kiosks is another step forward in the Commonwealth’s commitment to battling the opioid and heroin epidemic that has impacted communities from Cape Cod to Western Massachusetts. Take-back kiosks are located at Walgreens stores in East Boston, Fall River, Framingham, Gloucester, Lowell, Malden, Quincy, Randolph, Roxbury, Stoneham, Stoughton, Springfield and Worcester.

“We applaud Walgreens for responding to our call for safe, convenient ways to dispose of unused medications,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. “People aren’t always sure how to safely dispose of unneeded medicines. Having these receptacles readily accessible to the public will help to reduce misuse of medication and safely eliminate unneeded prescription medication.”

In addition, Walgreens, as well as several other pharmacies statewide, have made naloxone available without requiring a prescription from a physician. Naloxone is a life-saving drug which is administered in the event of an overdose and immediately reverses the effects of heroin or other opioids.

The kiosks are heavy metal containers with a top, one-way opening drop slot and lock that will be mounted to the ground or wall with direct or video surveillance while the pharmacy is open. Individuals can dispose of all prescriptions including controlled substances and over-the-counter medications. The kiosks at Walgreens pharmacies will be available for use during regular pharmacy hours.

“We need to make the safe disposal of medication easier, and these kiosks do just that,” said Walgreens Regional Vice President for Massachusetts Brad Ulrich,  “Using a safe medication disposal kiosk at a participating Walgreens is one of the best ways to ensure medications are not accidently used – or intentionally misused – by someone else.”

To date, Walgreens has installed take-back kiosks in more than 500 of its stores in 35 states.

“Governor Baker’s commitment to tackling the tragedy of substance abuse affecting so many of our families across the Commonwealth has been unrelenting since the day he took office, and I applaud Walgreens for echoing that commitment with this new program. There is much we must continue to do, but every new tool like this is vitally important,” said Quincy Mayor Thomas P. Koch.

“With the number of overdose-related deaths on the rise, the legislature has made tackling the opioid epidemic a priority. Partnering with Governor Baker and his administration, we have enacted landmark legislation aimed at fighting this public health crisis. It’s also important to partner with the private sector, and having a business like Walgreens join us in this fight is a big step. These free, anonymous drug take-back kiosks for unused medications are a positive development in some of our hardest-hit areas, like the city of Quincy,” said Representative Bruce J. Ayers.

“We’re pleased today to see another ally join the fight against prescription drug misuse, an issue that has fueled the crisis we face today,” said State Senator John F. Keenan. “The Commonwealth is asking every stakeholder to join this fight. We are preparing to implement the nation’s first statewide drug takeback requirement at the manufacturer level, and I commend Walgreens for this step to help make that program successful.”

Fighting the ongoing opioid epidemic has been a priority of the Baker-Polito Administration since day one.  Earlier this year, Governor Baker signed landmark opioid legislation into law to address the deadly opioid and heroin epidemic plaguing the Commonwealth.  The law includes numerous recommendations from the Governor’s opioid working group, including prevention education for students and doctors, and the first law in the nation to establish a seven-day limit on first-time opioid prescriptions. It also requires that doctors check the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) database before writing a prescription for a Schedule 2 or Schedule 3 narcotic.

In 2015, the Governor’s Opioid Working Group released recommendations and a comprehensive Action Plan aimed at curbing the opioid epidemic. These short and long-term recommendations focus on prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery support.  Approximately 90 percent of the initiatives in the Governor’s action plan are complete or underway.More information is available at mass.gov/stopaddiction.


Governor Baker Breaks Ground on the Parkway at Union Point

Infrastructure improvements will enable the construction of up to 3,900 housing units and 6 million square feet of commercial and retail space

Governor Charlie Baker joined Congressman Stephen F. Lynch, Representative Ronald Mariano, officials from the towns of Abington, Rockland, and Weymouth, and the real estate development firm LStar Communities to break ground on the Parkway at Union Point. The $6.7 million roadway will unlock the $2 billion redevelopment of the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station, by connecting Route 18 in Weymouth to the Bill Delahunt Parkway, which links the eastern portion of the former base to Rockland.

“For nearly two decades, the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station has been one of the largest, and most promising, economicdevelopment opportunities in Massachusetts,” said Governor Baker. “This infrastructure investment will finally deliver on the redevelopment project’s full promise, enabling the private sector to create thousands of jobs, and thousands of new housing units, in the region.”

“This milestone is the result of close collaboration with our legislative partners, the municipalities of Abington, Rockland, and Weymouth, and Union Point’s developer, LStar Communities,”; said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Complex projects like Union Point require strong vision and strong partnerships with local stakeholders to invest successfully in infrastructure, jobs and new housing opportunities.”

The new parkway infrastructure allows for the construction of 800 new units of transit-oriented housing, as well as the construction of Union Point’s mixed-use town center district. The parkway extension is a necessary component to achieving the full buildout of Union Point, which will contain up to 3,900 housing units, and up to 6 million square feet of commercial and retail space, when complete.

“I am pleased that the Parkway extension is underway as it will connect the Bill Delahunt Parkway with the South Weymouth MBTA Station, improving access for commuters throughout the South Shore,” said Congressman Stephen F. Lynch. “By connecting Route 3 with Route 18, the Parkway will run from Rockland to Weymouth bridging surrounding communities and driving traffic to Union Point. I applaud Governor Baker, Mayor Hedlund, and our local elected officials for working closely with LStar Communities to ensure the development is transit-oriented and meets the needs of residents of Weymouth, Abington, and Rockland.”;

The former South Weymouth Naval Air Station is currently only partially served by adequate roadway infrastructure. The 1.8-mile long Bill Delahunt Parkway, opened by the Commonwealth in 2013, links the eastern portion of development site to Route 3, through the Town of Rockland. However, the Delahunt Parkway stopped short of running across the entirety of the former base. As a result, there is no connectivity between the area surrounding the South Weymouth MBTA commuter rail station, where much of the Union Point development will be concentrated, and the Delahunt Parkway.

“This new roadway opens up opportunities for the public today and for generations to come,” said Transportation Secretary and MassDOT CEO Stephanie Pollack. “Through a public-private partnership with LStar Communities, this important infrastructure investment was able to break ground quickly and help catalyze a faster build-out of Union Point.”;

“Union Point showcases our commitment to unlocking dynamic regional economic development opportunities across Massachusetts,”said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “By completing this parkway, and linking the existing Delahunt Parkway to the South Weymouth commuter rail station and Union Point’s future town center district, we are spurring the creation of new transit-oriented housing, restaurants, shops, and employment opportunities for the South Shore.”

Governor Baker broke ground on a half-mile-long parkway extension that will connect Union Point development parcels around the South Weymouth commuter rail station to the Delahunt Parkway. The $6.7 million parkway extension, financed by MassDOT, will also provide roadway frontage for Union Point’s future mixed-use town center.

“This is a significant day in the long history of this project,” said Representative Ronald Mariano. “I have always felt that it would be a recipe for success for this development to have the ability to connect to both Route 3 and Route 18 on the other side. The completion of the roadway with this investment of state money will make that connection a reality and allow the vision and potential for this site to take hold. I want to commend Governor Baker and his administration for seeing the value of this investment, and understanding the potential that many of us local officials have long believed in.”;

“As a Weymouth Town Councilor for the past eleven years, I have seen the South Weymouth Naval Air Station transform into what is already a growing, modern community,” said Senator Patrick O’Connor. “The progress being made at Union Point has been remarkable. The construction and completion of this portion of the parkway through Union Point will allow this development to reach its full potential by creating both homes and jobs for the residents of the South Shore and Metro Boston.”;

“This expansion will allow construction to move forward on this vital project which will serve as an economic engine for our entire region for many years to come," said Representative James Murphy. “I want to thank the Governor, his administration, as well as my colleagues for supporting this important investment."

“The Parkway extension represents the latest important milestone in fulfilling the goals of Union Point,” said Weymouth Mayor Robert L. Hedlund. “I appreciate all who were involved to make this possible, with special thanks to the Baker-Polito Administration, the Weymouth Town Council, our legislative delegation, our partners in Abington and Rockland, and the SouthField Redevelopment Authority Board. This was truly a collaborative effort that is a key part to the success at Union Point.”;

“Today we are celebrating the model for how government and private enterprise can work together to boost our economy and create new opportunities for an entire region,” said Kyle Corkum, managing partner of LStar Communities. “This new road, which could not have been built without the advocacy of our political leaders, will be a major factor in the growth of Union Point and the economic growth of the region. We've already signed new commercial and residential developments as a result of this important parkway, and we look forward to sharing some exciting announcements in the weeks to come.”;

The parkway extension is expected to be substantially completed in November 2016.


Governor Baker Nominates Three to the Massachusetts Superior Court

Governor Charlie Baker nominated Michael K. Callan, Karen F. Green and James Gavin Reardon to the Massachusetts Superior Court.

“I am proud to nominate three well-qualified candidates to serve on the Massachusetts Superior Court,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Mike Callan, Karen Green and Gavin Reardon will bring a strong worth ethic, professional demeanor, and tremendous experience with the Massachusetts legal system to our Superior Court bench if confirmed by the Governor’s Council.”

“Superior Court Justices are an integral component of the criminal and civil legal communities which they preside over,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “These three nominees are prepared to work hard in order to serve both the Commonwealth and their respective counties with dignity and pride, if confirmed.”

Applicants for judicial openings are reviewed by the statewide Judicial Nominating Commission and recommended to the Governor. All judicial nominations are subject to the advice and consent of the Governor’s Council.

"I am grateful to the Governor for nominating these three outstanding lawyers, with their excellent credentials and varied backgrounds and experience, to the Superior Court,” said Superior Court Chief Justice Fabricant. “I am confident that, if confirmed by the Governor's Council, each of them will contribute greatly to the Court's mission of providing quality and timely justice to the public."

The Superior Court is comprised of 82 justices in 20 courthouses across all 14 counties and is a statewide court of general jurisdictions that handles a broad variety of civil litigation in matters of contract, injury, civil rights, and others with amounts in controversy exceeding $25,000. In addition, the Court oversees criminal matters including homicide, sex offenses, robbery, and financial fraud. Approximately 65% of the cases are civil lawsuits and the remaining 35% are criminal proceedings.

For more information about the Massachusetts Superior Court, visit http://www.mass.gov/courts/court-info/trial-court/sc/

About Michael K. Callan

Attorney Michael K. Callan has over two decades of legal experience, currently serving as a partner at Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury & Murphy, P.C. in Springfield, MA, where he handles a variety of complex civil litigation for the firm, including corporate, business and construction disputes, as well as zoning and large tort cases. He also currently serves as Town Counsel to Longmeadow, Ludlow and Hampden.  A graduate of Boston College, where he earned magna cum laude honors, and of Boston College Law School, Mr. Callan worked as a clerk for the Superior Court after law school. Attorney Callan has done extensive volunteer work, including six years as counsel to the Suburban Amateur Football League; four years as President of Longmeadow Youth Football Association, Inc. and several years as counsel to Longmeadow ABC, Inc., an organization devoted to promoting opportunities to inner city youth. He also volunteers, providing legal guidance to patients at the Noble Hospital, Lawyer for the Day in Hampden County Probate Court and Springfield School Volunteers Program. Callan is a lifelong resident of Western Massachusetts and currently resides in Longmeadow.

About Karen F. Green

Attorney Karen F. Green is currently a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP in Boston where she concentrates on complex business litigation, including white collar criminal investigations and litigation. She has more than three decades of legal experience in both the private and public sectors and has participated extensively in numerous bar and community activities. Ms. Green began her career clerking for US District Court Judge W. Arthur Garrity, Jr. in Boston, before working as a Litigation Associate, Junior Partner and Senior Partner at Hale and Dorr. Ms. Green also worked as an Assistant US Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Civil Division at the US Attorney’s Office, as Chief of Staff to Governor Bill Weld, and as Deputy US Attorney. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard/Radcliffe College, where she earned a degree in Sociology, and a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School. Born and raised in Somerville, MA, Ms. Green is the daughter of a police officer and currently lives in Brookline.

About James Gavin Reardon

Attorney James “Gavin” Reardon, Jr., who has over thirty years of legal experience, currently owns and operates his own firm, Reardon Law Firm in Worcester, MA, and is “Of Counsel” to the Worcester law firm of Milton, Laurence and Dixon. He is a graduate of Trinity College and Georgetown University Law Center and began his career working at Reardon & Reardon, with his father, before establishing his own practice in 1999. Gavin Reardon has significant experience in both criminal defense and civil personal injury litigation. He is certified by the Committee for Public Counsel Services to represent indigent criminal defendants in murder cases and by the Criminal Justice Act Panel to represent indigent clients charged with crimes in Federal Court. He lectures in the field of law office technology and electronic evidence. He is a long time Co-Chair of the Worcester County Bar Association Law Office Technology Committee. A resident of Shrewsbury, where he lives with his family, Attorney Reardon is also a past president of the Worcester Bar County Association and is a Region 10 Delegate to the Massachusetts Bar Association and a long-time member of the MBA Executive Management Board.