City Hall closed, MBTA service changes, LPS updates on snow days, & more | December 15, 2020

LYNN NEWS ROUND-UP
DECEMBER 15, 2020

See our other COVID-19 related posts by clicking here.


Today’s Licensing Commission meeting has been cancelled, and City Hall will be closed today & tomorrow to the public.  More info. at the bottom of this post.

The Human Rights Commission meeting will still occur at 6PM. Watch on channel 22 on Comcast, channel 38 on Verizon, our Facebook page, or our website.


Yesterday Mayor McGee announced the City of Lynn will return to modified Phase 2, Step 2 this Friday, December 18th. Click here to read more.


 Lynn Public Schools updates on snow days, school budget, & extra-circulular activites

𝗙𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗹𝘆 𝗟𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿 #𝟭𝟬

Due to the pandemic, each school district in Massachusetts was required to create a reopening plan that included a remote learning model. The remote learning model design needed to include the following components:

  • procedures for all students to participate in remote learning, including a system for tracking attendance and participation;
  • remote academic work shall be aligned to state standards;
  • a policy for issuing grades for students’ remote academic work; and
  • teachers and administrators shall regularly communicate with students and their parents and guardians, including providing interpretation and translation services to limited English proficient parents and guardians.
The Commissioner has determined that for this school year only (2020-2021), if there are days when schools must close because of inclement weather or other emergency, districts may choose whether to treat those days as “snow days” to be made up later or provide all students with remote learning on those days in a manner that is consistent with regulatory requirements listed above.
The Lynn Public Schools has designed and implemented a remote learning model featuring the required components. Accordingly, with the impending storm Wednesday night into Thursday afternoon of this week, all classes will continue as planned remotely.
This week, families may access meals on the same days/times as they always have. Further, should you have a need for technology support on Thursday (or any day) of this week, you may call (781-477-7342) or email the help desk at your convenience.
Please contact your student’s building principal if you any questions or concerns.
Stay safe.
Sincerely,
Patrick Tutwiler, PhD
Download this letter in English & Spanish.
 _______________________________

Lynn Public Schools Proposed FY21 School Budget hearing set for Jan. 14th

The Lynn School Committee will hold a virtual Public Hearing on the FY 21 Budget on Thursday, January 14, 2021, at 6:30 PM. A regular virtual School Committee Meeting will follow immediately after the close of the virtual Public Hearing.
In order to speak at the virtual public hearing please call the Business Office during normal business hours at (781) 477 7220, ext. 3232 to register, you need to register 48 hours before the meeting. The Budget is also available (see below) on the Lynn Public Schools website, or can be viewed at the Business Office, Room 224, during normal business hours.
Sincerly,
Kevin J. McHugh
School Business Administrator
View the proposed budget by clicking here.
 _______________________________

Lynn Classical Extra-Curricular Activities Virtual Fair


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Updates for tomorrow night’s storm

Monday afternoon expected snowfall totals, courtesy of the National Weather Service – Boston

UPDATED AT 3:30PM

The National Weather Service’s Boston branch has issued a Winter Storm Warning for most of southern New England ahead of the storm. It will be in effect from Wednesday at 7PM until Thursday at 1PM.

This means that heavy snow with totals of 8-12 inches, hazardous road conditions, & wind gusts over 35 MPH are all anticipated. Snow will be heavy at times overnight, with snow tapering off by Thursday afternoon. If you must travel it is being recommended that you keep an extra flashlight, food, & water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

The storm is expected to reach our area around 7pm on Wednesday. As of Monday afternoon the NWS predicted the Lynn area will receive 6-8 inches. However the storm track keeps shifting, raising totals along the coast. It is recommended to watch the updates for this storm, as it is gearing up to be a significant hit to the area. For up-to-date info. please follow the National Weather Service – Boston’s Facebook page.
We will share any and all announcements we receive from the City of Lynn regarding the snow storm expected this Wednesday night into Thursday.

Please contact Ronnie via text at 781-913-4404 to set up delivery.
For more info on this collection, and others, please click here.


City of Lynn COVID-19 Tele Town Hall to take place this Thursday at 7pm

The City of Lynn is hosting a Tele Town Hall on COVID-19 on Thursday, December 17that 7:00PM. Mayor Thomas McGee and Public Health Director Michele Desmarais will be joined by several medical experts from Lynn Community Health Center, North Shore Medical Center and North Shore Physicians Group.

Residents will receive a phone call from the City of Lynn at 7:00PM on Thursday evening and should remain on the line to join the town hall. There will be two simultaneous events offered, one in English and one in Spanish. For those residents who want to join the Spanish Town Hall, they will be offered the option to do so throughout the call. You can join the town halls at the following links:

Join English Town Hall: https://video.teleforumonline.com/video/streaming.php?client=20106

Join Spanish Town Hall: https://video.teleforumonline.com/video/streaming.php?client=20350

LCTV will be released a video of both meetings after we receive the recording.

The above information was sent to us by Mayor McGee’s office.


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MBTA Control Board Approves Short-Term Service Changes to Match Current Low Ridership Patterns

Adjustments made to previous proposals based on low ridership and public input.
Changes are for FY21 only and the MBTA will plan for FY22 during the spring.
There will continue to be no fare changes and service changes are not permanent.

Today the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) approved a series of revised short-term service changes for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) that incorporate recent public input and additional analysis of ridership. These service changes help match service levels with current and near-term low ridership demand and are for FY21 only, which ends on June 30, 2021, as service levels for FY22 will be planned during the budget process this spring.

Given the importance of adjusting base service levels for the current fiscal year, while ridership continues to remain low relative to the amount of service being provided, the MBTA is accelerating adjustments so that new commuter rail and ferry schedules can be implemented in January and new bus and rapid transit schedules can be implemented in March. For a full and complete listing of all upcoming changes in service, including all changes to bus routes, please visit www.mbta.com/ForgingAhead.

“We appreciate the thousands of public comments we received and have incorporated this feedback into our planning efforts. We recognize the importance of adjusting service levels now while ridership demand is low, so that we can use the savings to increase service frequency when it is needed. These changes in service levels have also been designed to minimize impacts on current transit-critical travelers, meaning that changes in rapid transit frequency, for example, will mean that individuals are waiting only an additional ninety seconds for a train,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “The service changes approved today will align capacity with ridership demands during Fiscal Year 2021, which ends on June 30, 2021, and we will continue to analyze ridership and other factors including the economic reopening and vaccine distribution as we plan for Fiscal Year 2022 service levels during our budget process this spring.”

“Today’s action by the FMCB ensures that the MBTA will provide more than enough service to meet the needs of transit riders this winter and spring,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “The resulting savings can be reinvested later, when warranted by durable ridership and consistent with the timing of the post-vaccine economic reopening.”

As a result of the decline in ridership that is similarly impacting transit agencies across the country, the MBTA continues to only transport 330,000 trips on an average weekday, but operates the same high levels of service as it ran to serve 1.26 million daily trips prior to the pandemic – an unsustainable level of service delivery. Since November 9, when the MBTA first announced the Forging Ahead service changes proposals, there has been no significant increase in ridership, and on many modes, ridership has decreased.

Due to important public feedback and additional analysis of ridership demand, several adjustments have been made to the earlier proposed service changes that were today approved by the FMCB. Notable changes include that partial Hingham/Hull ferry service will be preserved (versus suspended, as previously proposed), partial weekend service will operate on Commuter Rail lines with high ridership and deemed transit critical (versus total weekend suspension, as previously proposed), the Green Line E Branch will continue to serve all E Branch stations (versus complete trolley service suspension of the E Branch between Brigham Circle and Heath Street, as previously proposed), and there will be no changes to the hours of operation for buses and subway lines (versus ending service at midnight, as previously proposed). Additionally, based on feedback received from the FMCB today, Commuter Rail weekday schedules will be adjusted to optimize service span with MBTA staff returning to the Board in January 2021 following further analysis (versus ending weekday service at 9 p.m., as previously proposed). For a full and complete listing of all upcoming changes in service, including all changes to bus routes, please visit www.mbta.com/ForgingAhead.

The service changes approved today will not go into effect immediately, but the implementation schedule is being accelerated due to near-term low ridership. Some service changes on the Commuter Rail and ferry will take place as early as January 2021 and additional changes to Commuter Rail service will also be made in March/April 2021. Changes to rapid transit and bus service will take place in phases with some changes made in March/April 2021 and others taking effect in June/July 2021. Director Monica Tibbits-Nutt offered an amendment to the Service Level vote that required the FMCB to assess the need for additional service to meet ridership demand by no later than March 15, 2021 and, if feasible, allocate additional resources to meet that demand. That amendment was accepted in the final proposal.

The original service change proposals were released on November 9 and were followed by a comprehensive public engagement process that included a series of virtual public meetings, a public hearing, a team of Community Liaisons who virtually met directly with stakeholder groups and riders, and an online comment form for customers to voice their thoughts with the T. The MBTA is greatly appreciative to those who contributed to over 6,700 comments that were received during this public engagement period – 3,839 comments from the online form, 407 comments from the official public meetings, 179 comments from community meetings, and over 1,400 emails representing over 800 individuals and sixty organization letters.

Consistent with feedback from the public and stakeholders, the Base Service proposal was expanded to preserve additional services, and access and span were prioritized.

Changes in service and when these changes will take effect are below:

Rapid Transit:

    • Taking effect in March/April 2021:
      • Reduce frequency by 20 percent on the Red, Orange, and Green Lines.
      • Reduce frequency by up to 5 percent on the Blue Line.
    • Taking effect in June/July 2021:
      • Potential further frequency adjustments pending social distancing.
      • Reviews of the Blue Line for potential service adjustments.
    • Potential changes beyond July 2021 pending ridership:
      • Additional Green Line frequency changes with the opening of the Green Line Extension.
    • Note:
      • Service hours will not change and all lines will continue to operate after midnight.
      • The Green Line E Branch will continue to serve all E Branch stations.

Bus:

  • Taking effect in March/April 2021:
    • Eighty essential bus routes will see a system-wide average change in service of just 5 percent and routes with high ridership will not be changed. Sixty non-essential bus routes will operate 20 percent less frequently on average system-wide.
    • Twenty routes will be suspended.
    • Sixteen routes will be consolidated and four routes will be shortened.
  • Taking effect in June/July 2021:
    • Potential further adjustments pending social distancing.
  • Potential changes beyond July 2021 pending ridership:
    • Implement consolidated or suspended Somerville bus routes when the College Avenue Branch of the Green Line Extension opens.
  • Note:
    • Service hours will not change and all routes will continue to operate after midnight.
    • Suburban subsidies to five communities will continue.

Commuter Rail:

  • Taking effect in January 2021:
    • Reduced Winter Commuter Rail schedules will take effect.
    • Partial weekend service will operate with reduced frequency on high ridership and transit critical lines that include the Worcester, Providence, Newburyport/Rockport, Middleborough, and Fairmount Lines. Weekend service will be suspended on all other lines due to low ridership.
  • Taking effect in March/April 2021:
    • Revised Spring Commuter Rail schedules will take effect.
    • Weekday schedules will be adjusted to optimize service span.
    • MBTA staff will return to the FMCB in January 2021 after further analysis and to outline updated weekday schedule proposals.
    • Five (out of 141) stations will close based on low ridership, operational impacts, and availability of alternatives.
    • Cedar Park Station, which was proposed to close in the previous service change proposals, will continue to be served.

Ferry:

  • Taking effect in January 2021:
    • Charlestown and Hingham direct service will be suspended.
    • Weekday Hingham/Hull service will operate with reduced frequency.

The RIDE:

  •  Taking effect in March/April 2021:
    • With changes being made to the area and hours of operation of fixed route services, some RIDE trips will become “premium trips,” though RIDE service boundaries would not change.
    • Some trips will be able to be booked forty minutes from request time instead of the current thirty minutes.

The timing of service restoration will depend on public health guidance (including guidance on the continued need for social distancing) and the timing of the Commonwealth’s post-vaccination re-opening plan. The MBTA continues to discuss how the MBTA will re-add, rebuild, and increase service with planning scenarios continuing to be refined and revised as necessary. Ridership will be monitored with MBTA staff returning to the FMCB every month to show where ridership stands compared to the scenarios. Other data sources will also be monitored, including passenger surveys, employer surveys, roadway data, general travel data, and economic recovery planning.FY22 service levels will be planned beginning in February/March 2021 as part of FY22 budget process.

Three members of the FMCB also amended the vote laying out Fiscal Year 2021 base service levels with language delaying any fare increase until the overall level of service provided on the bus and rapid transit service returned to the levels of fall 2019. The FMCB had previously postponed any fare increase until Fiscal Year 2022. With these amendments, the FMCB voted 3-2 to authorize the proposed changes in Base Service levels.

For more information, visit mbta.com/ForgingAhead, or connect with the T on Twitter@MBTA, Facebook /TheMBTA, or Instagram @theMBTA.


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From Mayor McGee’s office: The Lynn Public Health Department has confirmed that as of today, the number of active, confirmed positive COVID-19 cases is 1,700 with 127 new cases today. 7,784 Lynn residents have recovered and 146 have died. The total number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Lynn since March 21, 2020, including those who have died and recovered, is 9,630. Please visit the City of Lynn COVID-19 Data Dashboard which is updated daily.

Lynn City Hall Closed Tuesday, December 15th and Wednesday, December 16th

Due to several positive COVID-19 cases recently reported among City of Lynn employees, Lynn City Hall will be closed the remainder of today, Tuesday, December 15thand tomorrow, December 16th out of an abundance of caution for full scale cleaning and sanitation. All previous appointments scheduled with City Hall staff for today or tomorrow will be cancelled. Please contact the respective department to reschedule any appointments.

City Hall staff will continue to work remotely during this time so that city operations can continue. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. We will provide any updates as soon as they are available.

Stop the Spread Initiative Testing have been extended until December 31st

Please visit http://www.ci.lynn.ma.us/covid19/resources.shtml#p7GPc1_2 for more information on how you can get a free COVID-19 test in the City of Lynn until December 31st.

We will continue to provide regular updates on COVID-19 through the City website (www.lynnma.gov), social media, and the Smart 911 emergency notification system (sign up at www.smart911.com).

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