Lynn receives climate change funding, RAW Art Works receives Award, & more | September 29, 2020

LYNN NEWS ROUND-UP
SEPTEMBER 29, 2020

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City of Lynn Awarded $199,090 in Climate Change Funding through Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program

The City of Lynn was awarded $199,090 in climate change funding through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program. Lynn was designated as an MVP Community by the State in 2019. The program provides communities with funding and technical support to identify climate hazards, develop strategies to improve resilience, and implement priority actions to adapt to climate change.

The City of Lynn was first awarded a MVP Action Grant in 2019 to look for opportunities to implement nature based solutions within the Strawberry Brook watershed to specifically reduce storm water flooding and urban heat island effect. This funding will allow the City to build upon that progress through two projects, the Boston Street Green Infrastructure pilot project and the Barry Bark / GEAA field storm water and flood mitigation plan.

“Flooding has been a major concern in Lynn for a number of years, specifically in the area of Boston Street and Barry Park,” said Mayor Thomas M. McGee. “With the technical assistance offered through the MVP program, we will be able to invest in proactive mitigation projects that will allow us to do our part to start to limit the impacts of climate change and greatly improve the quality of life for members of our community.”

The neighborhoods along Strawberry Brook will see direct advantages such as reduced flooding, better air quality, improved urban landscape and a reduction of urban heat island and better water quality as a result of this planning and investment. The concept plan involving Barry Park will also account for new green infrastructure such as sport courts and storm water playgrounds that will both support recreation and storm water management. Both projects are expected to be completed by June 2021.


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RAW Art Works awarded New England Arts Resilience Fund Award

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The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) is pleased to announce awards totaling $1.806 million to 71 arts and cultural nonprofits in New England through the New England Arts Resilience Fund, part of the national United States Arts Resilience Fund.

The Fund, an initiative of the six U.S. Regional Arts Organizations (Arts Midwest, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Mid-America Arts Alliance, New England Foundation for the Arts, South Arts, and Western States Arts Federation) was made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It was created in response to the impact of COVID-19 on the nation’s arts infrastructure and supports organizations with recovery and planning capital for a post-pandemic future. The program was funded nationally through a $10 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and amplified in New England with funding from the CARES Act.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the creative sector. An ongoing study from Americans for the Arts estimates financial losses to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations at $10.2 billion, with an estimated loss of $10.7 billion in event-related spending by arts audiences (as of August 3, 2020).

Despite the numerous challenges noted by the 135 Fund applicants, several opportunities were surfaced, including:

  • an increase in engagement with the public through digital channels and advances in technology;
  • an ever-greater emphasis on advancing equity internally and externally during a period of change and reflection;
  • and playing a leading role in building community cohesion by fostering dialogues and collaborations.

With awards ranging from $10,000 to $50,000, the New England Arts Resilience Fund prioritized organizations, communities, populations, and art forms that have historically had less access to major financial resources for sustainability. The Fund sought in particular to support organizations that are led by and deeply engage communities of color.

Read the full press release & view the full list of grant
recipients by clicking here.

CONGRATULATIONS TO RAW!


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Updates from state government

  • As of Monday night, DPH reported a total of 128,793 cases of COVID-19. The state has now confirmed a total of 9,202 deaths from the virus.
  • In addition to sick leave bills and legislation of local importance to Ashland, Webster, Maynard and Wellesley, the House on Monday sent committees a handful of bills filed by Rep. Tackey Chan of Quincy to address issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of Chan’s proposals, HD 5250, would add stationary vehicles at paid events held at drive-in movie theaters to a section of exemptions from the state’s open container law, while another deals with tax exemptions for home office expenses. The open container exemption bill, and another that would double certain consumer protection-related fines during a state of emergency, was co-filed by Sen. Paul Feeney and referred by the House on Monday to the Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure.
  • The Senate on Monday extended legislation before the Judiciary Committee, extending the deadline for action on some bills that have already been extended multiple times. The Judiciary Committee would have until Nov. 12 to report on a bundle of bills covering topics like First Amendment rights, forfeiture reform, face recognition and biometric surveillance, COVID-19 emergency aid by higher education institutions, COVID-19 estate recovery, and false reporting of an emergency.
  • Senate Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues stated Monday that it’s his intention to have a FY 21 budget in place by Oct. 31, when a more than $16 billion interim budget authorization expires.
  • A group of Black community leaders and organizations have told lawmakers negotiating over a police reform bill that they prefer the Senate’s approach to limiting qualified immunity, saying the House’s proposed restrictions “will not go far enough to prevent future harm.” The coalition wrote a letter last week to the six House and Senate members on the conference committee outlining aspects of the bill it said would be required “for us to consider this bill a success.”
  • Along with “reasonable limits on the legal doctrine of qualified immunity,” the group wants a police officer standards and training system that is not “constrained by the ‘preponderance of the evidence’ standards to initiate investigations”; a commission to evaluate civil service exams; limits on police use of force and no-knock warrants; a ban on racial profiling and required data collection for all vehicle stops and searches; and expanded expungement opportunities as provided for in the Senate bill.
  • Roller rinks have also not yet been allowed to reopen, and a group of rink operators are asking for that status change, pointing to already-reopened ice rinks.
  • Dozens of lawmakers want the Baker administration to act promptly to aid workers who missed out on up to $1,800 in additional benefits because of “arbitrary” and “punitive” eligibility requirements. More than 110 legislators, almost all Democrats and no Republicans, wrote to Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta on Thursday, urging her to work with the House and Senate to raise the state’s minimum unemployment benefit payments so all recipients can access a pool of federal aid.
  • Lawmakers said several of their constituents qualify for unemployment benefits, but at amounts smaller than $100 per week, meaning they are only a handful of dollars or in some cases a single dollar short of receiving $1,800 more.

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 437 with 7 new cases today. 4,381 Lynn residents have recovered and 118 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 4,936. Please visit the City of Lynn COVID-19 Data Dashboard which is updated daily.

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 October 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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