On July 10, Sen. Cindy Friedman, D-Arlington, led a conversation with family caregivers, respite workers and homecare leaders on the plight of family caregiving today. She stressed the need for the community to pay attention and make voices heard in the right settings to promulgate the power of professional home-care to take the pressure off of family caregivers.
The senator spoke to an audience of about 25 at the Billerica Council on Aging as part of their after-work sessions to support younger seniors, 60-75 years of age, many of whom are caught in daily crises trying to manage their own lives and that of older loved ones. The three homecare companies present, Guardian Angel, Home Instead and Right at Home have been screened by the Outreach and Wellness Staff at the BCOA and receive referrals as cases are brought to the Center.
BOSTON – A group of state lawmakers are pushing for a controversial pilot program aimed at addressing the opioid crisis. The program would open safe spaces for people to inject drugs — called “supervised injection sites.” That term is commonly used around the world, but Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Middlesex) uses the term “harm reduction site.” She says it includes the goal she’s fighting so hard for: reducing harm for injection drug users and communities.
“This is about being serious and putting our words into action,” Sen. Friedman said. “If this were another illness, another disease and there was evidence there was a procedure out there that was working for a lot of people, we wouldn’t even think twice about it.”
Tucked into the state Senate’s $41.49 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year was $125,000 worth of funding that is planned on being used to increase public transportation between Burlington and Lowell. The money will be used as part of the Middlesex3 Transportation Association’s plans to expand the transportation options throughout the corridor, and will be aimed at establishing an evening shuttle service between the two communities. The Middlesex3 is a coalition of towns around Route 3 that work together to promote economic development in the corridor.
“Currently, there are hundreds of new restaurant and retail jobs available in Burlington and Lowell, but no consistent public transportation to and from both destinations,” state Sen. Cindy Friedman, D-Arlington, said in a press release. “Funding for shuttle transportation services would help connect potential employees to available jobs, supporting working families and energizing our regional economy.”
BOSTON — Securing a commitment for his son to receive substance addiction treatment was a “last chance” effort that Tom Berry made to try to save his life, but without his knowledge Berry’s 20-year-old Stephen was released early and died days later of an overdose.
Plymouth District Attorney Timothy Cruz joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers and the young man’s grieving family on Wednesday to call for a change in state law that would require family to be notified when someone is released from involuntary commitment.
Sen. Cindy Friedman, an Arlington Democrat and co-chairwoman of the committee, asked whether the legislation would conflict with federal health care privacy laws.
BOSTON — May 2 was Kick Butts Day on Beacon Hill. Youth from high schools across the state — members of the 84 Movement dedicated to reducing tobacco use among children and teenagers — gathered and met with legislators. Rep. Sean Garballey was host for the event.
Three Arlington high school juniors, Abi Hodgdon, Erika Siegel and Elizabeth Liakos, accompanied by pediatrician Dr. Carole Allen, participated and met with aides to Sen. Cindy Friedman and Rep. Dave Rogers, as well as with Garballey. The Arlington students were nominees for the 2019 Peer Outreach Award.
By the afternoon of Wednesday, May 2, the Arlington High School entrance was covered in a rainbow of chalk drawings and messages of solidarity created by AHS students. This artwork was created in response to a hate incident that same morning where a group of young men reportedly broke into the high school, causing damage to several areas inside and spray painting homophobic and anti-Semitic graffiti near the faculty parking lot at the back of the high school.
“I was disheartened to learn that a group of young men vandalized Arlington High School property with homophobic and anti-Semitic graffiti on Wednesday morning,” said state Senator Cindy Friedman, who represents Arlington. “These hate-filled acts are despicable and do not reflect the values of our community. Every student at Arlington High should be able to go to school without feeling threatened or unwelcome.”
In their latest effort to stem the opioid epidemic, Massachusetts lawmakers took a step Thursday toward establishing mandatory three-day substance use therapy for those in peril and requiring hospitals to stock buprenorphine or other medication to counter street drugs like heroin and fentanyl.
Senator Cindy Friedman, an Arlington Democrat and the committee’s cochairwoman, said she has concerns about some provisions — including the involuntary holds. A top priority for Friedman is making access to treatment easier, especially for people with both substance use disorder and mental illness. ‘Right now, it’s really tough to get access to treatment, especially if you have a mental illness,’’ Friedman said.
A host of factors affect access to treatment, said Friedman, who listed “insurance companies; rates we pay providers; how insurance companies determine who’s in a network, who’s not in a network; the kind of treatment that’s available for in-patient.’’
WOBURN – The long-awaited roadway reconstruction and related work, including traffic signals, on Montvale Avenue from I-93 to 400 feet just west of Central Street is moving along. The Mass. Department of Transportation (DOT) had solicited bids for project on April 3rd and are now reviewing the bids, including the certifying of the low bidder D&R General Contracting.
Key City officials such as Mayor Scott Galvin, DPW Superintendent Jay Duran, City Engineer John E. Corey Jr. and President Richard Haggerty of the City Council have been informed of the progress. And, major state officials representing Woburn such as Rep. James Dwyer, Jay R. Kaufman and State Senator Cindy Friedman have also been notified of the progress.
WOBURN – It is an early Saturday morning at NuPath’s headquarters on New Boston Street in Woburn. An army of volunteers, captained by NuPath’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Brett Reily, are putting the finishing touches on what has arguably been the best six weeks the Organization has ever seen in its fifty years of operation.
State Senator Cindy Friedman was one of several elected officials who ‘Walked the Walk’ and was left with a marked impression of the progressive goals on the organization. “It’s incredible that everyone here could engage at such a high level to raise that much money in such a short amount of time,” she said, looking out towards the crowd.
“All of you are the reason why (local and state elected officials) continue to fight and advocate for people living with disabilities to accomplish your mission of making life’s journey happier, healthier and more fulfilling.’”
On April 24, Massachusetts Center for the Book welcomed 30 students, grades 4-12, to a State House awards ceremony held in the Reading Room of the State Library. An Arlington student was among those honored. In Level 1 (grades 4-6), Amrit Chadha received honors for his letter to Rupi Kaur about “The Sun and Her Flowers.” A sixth-grader at Ottoson Middle School, Chadha also received State House citations and personal congratulations from both Sen. Cindy Friedman and Rep. Sean Garballey.
Representing the top 1 percent of participants from across Massachusetts, the honorees wrote letters addressed to an author, poet or playwright whose work had impacted them personally. Joined by family, teachers and librarians, the students were commended individually by their program judges and legislators. The top honorees in each of three grade levels will proceed to the national level of the competition.