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In this Issue:

Happening in our Community

COVID Update

Legislative Update

Probation Commission

Statewide Updates

Office Hours

 

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

After a rough rainy week, I hope everyone is ready to enjoy a fun and safe Halloween!  It looks like all of the towns in our district will be holding Trick or Treat hours on Halloween night, Sunday October 31:

  • Andover and North Andover: 5-7pm
  • Boxford: 5-8pm
  • Tewksbury: 6-8pm

Remember to follow all safety rules: bring flashlights and be careful crossing streets. Parents should carefully inspect all candy before the kids eat it.  Let’s have a safe and happy Halloween! 

 

Happening in our Community

Run for the Troops

The 10th Annual Run for the Troops 5K is coming up on Sunday, November 14. The Run benefits these worthy Veterans’ organizations: Homes for Our Troops, which builds adaptive homes for veterans; Ironstone Farms, which provides therapy programs for veterans suffering with PTSD; and Homeland Heroes, which supports veterans in transition. If you’d like to run or walk, sign up here.

You can also buy tickets for the “Heart and Home” fundraising dinner/silent auction at Danversport Yacht Club, Friday November 12 at 6pm. If you are a veteran or active military, the dinner is free, but you must contact Sharon Carroll to make your reservation: Sharonleecarroll@gmail.com.

Please join the dinner and the run, and help make it the success that our veterans deserve!

 

Feaster Five

Team Tram will be participating in the Feaster Five Road Race this year! Although slightly different due to health and safety concerns, they will provide a wonderful Thanksgiving Day Race, celebrating Fitness, Family, Friends and Fun! The race is held on Thursday, November 25 at 8:30am; Kids’ race goes off at 7:45am.  Plenty of time to get home to the turkey!

Sign up here and search for “Team Tram” to join our team!

 

Join A Better Chance, Andover

ABC Andover is looking for a Resident Assistant for the ABC House on Main St. in Andover. R.A.s are on duty between 15-25 hrs per week on a rotating schedule. They supervise dinner & study hours, support students in their academics and personal development, and help to create a family atmosphere for our Scholars. Compensation: Free Room & Board (private room, dinner 4 nights), Cable, Internet, Utilities, Off-Street Parking. A driver's license, car, and auto insurance are required. To apply, email a cover letter and resume to: recruiting@andoverabc.org. For more information check here or Facebook.com/ABCAndover.

 

Pike School Reading

Today it was my pleasure to visit the Pike School in Andover and meet the new Head of School, Ashley Marshall.  I read one of my favorite books, Sofia Valdez Future Prez, to the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a future president among these bright and engaged students!

 

 

Annie Sargent 100th Anniversary

I was thrilled to join my colleague Rep. Minicucci, Principal Murdoch-Lahey, local poet Karen Kline, North Andover Historical Society Brian Howard, and students and staff at Sargent Elementary to celebrate the life and legacy of Annie Sargent. 100 years ago, Sargent became the first female principal at Johnson High School. She was a leader and pioneer who broke barriers and paved the way for other women, including as the first woman ever elected to public office in North Andover. We celebrate her many accomplishments!

 

 

GLSD Tour

Last week Executive Director Cheri Cousens and Operations Manager Brett Leavitt gave me a personal tour of the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District. This facility does the vital work of treating stormwater and sewage and keeping it out of the Merrimack River, and their operations are impressive. By using an anaerobic digestion system for energy, they eliminate their carbon footprint and save hundreds of thousands in energy costs every year.  Our Merrimack Valley delegation will continue to pursue funding to improve the facility, so that they can make upgrades to reduce or eliminate CSOs.

 

6K Tour

We are so fortunate to have 6K, Inc in North Andover, a cutting-edge innovation lab developing the materials needed in the 21st century. I enjoyed touring the labs today with members of 6K as well as folks from the town of North Andover and Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, and can't wait to see what they do in the non-so-distant future. The future is now and it's in North Andover!

 
 

New business in North Andover

It's good to see businesses choosing our district! I was pleased to join my colleague Rep. Christina Minicucci at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for MD Esthetics in North Andover. This is the second office for MD Esthetics, which provides various spa and beauty treatments. Many thanks to the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce for putting this event together.


There IS such a thing as a free lunch

The USDA has approved free meals for ALL students through June 30, 2022. The Andover, North Andover, and Tewksbury school districts have announced that all meals, including breakfast and lunch, will be served at no cost for the entire 2021-2022 school year. For more information, visit Andoverschoolnutrition.com, North Andover Public Schools, or Tewksbury Public Schools.  Masconomet has a free lunch option available to all enrolled students; other lunch choices are available for purchase.
 

COVID Update

Boosters

Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 boosters are now available for eligible residents. In accordance with guidance from the CDC, both Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 booster shots are now available to the following categories, who received their second shot at least 6 months ago:

• Individuals 65 years and older

• Individuals 18+ who live in long-term care settings

• Individuals 18+ who have underlying medical conditions

• Individuals 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings


Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 booster shots are now available to:

• All individuals 18 and older who received a single dose of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at least 2 months ago.

CDC allows for “mixing and matching” of different COVID-19 booster doses. Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. The Administration recommends that residents with questions about which booster is right for them should ask their health care provider for advice.

To view more information from the CDC, visit here.

Massachusetts residents are able to receive COVID-19 booster doses from more than 460 locations, with appointments available now for booking. You can schedule appointments online at https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/ or at one of the Vaccine sites listed below. Or you can call the COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Line (M-F 8:30am-6:00pm, Sat/Sun 9am-2pm) by calling 2-1-1. The Vaccine Resource Line is available in English and Spanish and has translators available in approximately 100 additional languages.

Vaccines for Children 5-11

As of today, the FDA has approved the Pfizer vaccine for children 5-11, and next week the CDC is expected to issue guidelines. Massachusetts is already working with regional healthcare centers and pediatricians to make plans to administer the vaccine safely; keep an eye out for announcements and check with your child’s physician.

Schools are required to report positive COVID-19 cases among students and staff members weekly here.  During the week of 10/14 - 10/20, positive cases have been reported in Andover (7 students 3 staff), Boxford (3 students), North Andover (15 students 1 staff), and Tewksbury (9 students). 

We have several tools to stop the spread of COVID-19:

1. Masks. The Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education has extended the mask mandate for all K-12 public school students until January. Exceptions are made for students who can’t wear masks for medical or behavioral reasons, and for children under age 5. Schools that have reached an 80% threshold of vaccination among students and staff can submit a request to waive the mask requirement. 

There is an indoor mask mandate for all buildings in Boxford.  Andover has expanded the indoor mask requirement to all public buildings (this does not apply to businesses and restaurants). North Andover has an indoor mask mandate at all municipal buildings. Tewksbury’s Senior Center is requiring masks in the building.

2. Testing.  If you have been exposed to someone with COVID, or are experiencing even mild symptoms, get tested. Rapid Antigen home tests are available at most drugstores. The more accurate PCR test is available at a wide variety of testing locations; see below for a local list, or visit About COVID-19 Testing on the Mass.gov website.

3. Vaccination. The FDA has granted full approval to the Pfizer vaccine for people ages 16 and up. This means the vaccine is no longer under Emergency Use Authorization. Moderna has applied for full approval, and J & J is expected to apply by the end of the year.


Vaccine Locations:

Mass.gov Vaxfinder site: https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/

Opening October 26th, the Danvers Vaccination & Booster Clinic has capacity to administer 300 doses daily and can ramp up to capacity for 1,000 doses daily. The clinic will offer Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson boosters, as well as primary series doses. Appointments can be booked by visiting vaxfinder.mass.gov with walk ins also accepted. Language translation services will be available on site. Transformative Healthcare will serve as the provider for this clinic.

Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (GLFHC) locations in Haverhill, Methuen and Lawrence: https://glfhc.org/covid-19-vaccine-signup-form/

Lawrence General Hospital: https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/lawrencegeneral

Lowell General Hospital: https://www.lowellgeneralvaccine.com/

CVS Booking Site: https://www.cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine

Walgreens Booking site: https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid-19

 

Legislative Update

ARPA Spending Bill

This week the House finalized our American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) spending bill, which includes significant one-time investments in workforce development, housing, human services, economic development and education across the state. Priorities in the bill are areas hardest hit by the pandemic.  As of today we are still reviewing amendments, and a vote is expected later today for the entire bill. 

   

My office submitted a number of amendments to fund human services and safety projects here in the 18th Essex district and throughout the Commonwealth. The House approved my request for $200,000 to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety around the new fire station and playground in the Ballardvale section of Andover. The House also approved 3 amendments which I co-filed with Rep. Minicucci: $160,000 for a joining public health needs assessment project for Andover and North Andover; $100,000 for North Andover’s community mental health support coordinators; and $50,000 for the North Andover restaurant meals program which feeds local families in need while supporting local restaurants. As of press time, we are still in session voting on additional amendments; check our social media for real-time updates. Then the bill will go to the Senate, and will have to be reconciled before going to the Governor’s desk.


Taking on Domestic Violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and we wrapped up this month with a Policy Briefing on Coercive Control and Abusive Litigation, sponsored by Jane Doe, Inc. and the MA Caucus of Women Legislators. There are forms of domestic abuse that may not leave bruises, but keep victims from escaping the control of their abusers. Together with Rep. Natalie Higgins and Sen. Moore, I was proud to co-file H1643/S1112, An Act to Improve Protections Relative to Domestic Violence, to protect survivors from insidious methods of coercion used to keep them in abusive relationships. And I strongly support H4149, An Act Protecting Survivors from Abusive Litigation, filed by Rep. Blais to limit an abuser’s ability to use the legal system to take power and control over their victim.  You can learn more about these bills here: Bill H.1643 and Bill H.4149.

 


Making Debt Collection Fair for Everyone

Last week, Rep. Christine Barber and I testified on behalf of a bill we co-filed along with Sen. Eldridge, H1168/S663, the Debt Collection Fairness Act. This bill improves debt collection practices in several ways, including protecting more wages from garnishment; reducing the interest rate on debts a court has determined a consumer owes; reducing the window of time to collect on debts; and clarifying that no one should be imprisoned for failure to pay a consumer debt. Written testimony will be accepted through Tuesday, November 2nd at 5 pm. You need to first create an account for MyLegislature and follow these instructions. If you already have an account click here and submit testimony for the 10/26 Financial Services hearing, or contact my office at Tram.Nguyen@mahouse.gov.


Farm Tour

As Vice Chair of the Labor and Workforce Development Committee, it was an honor to join Chairs Cutler and Jehlen, Rep Hawkins, and staff of the Committee on tours of farms to gain insights into the issues impacting agricultural workers in the Commonwealth. Thanks to the Massachusetts Farm Bureau for organizing site visits to Verrill Farm, Honey Pot Hill Orchards, and Carlson Orchards. The experience was invaluable, seeing firsthand how legislation before our Committee may impact these farms and the workers that they depend on.

 

Redistricting  

The MA House and Senate approved new maps for the State Representative and State Senate districts in the Commonwealth. They are now on the Governor’s desk for his signature. I was pleased to see that the 18th Essex district remained mostly the same; we gained half of a precinct in Andover and I was sorry to lose one precinct in North Andover. But our Senate district has changed substantially. To learn more, see the maps here

 

I am continuing to gather testimony for my bill asking DESE to create a more culturally and racially inclusive K-12 school curriculum. If you would like to submit written testimony in support of this bill, you can email Alice.Peisch@mahouse.gov and Jason.Lewis@masenate.gov. Please include "Education Committee Testimony H671" in the subject line of the email.

We are also gathering testimony for the Hate Crimes Reform bill that I filed with Attorney General Maura Healey and Senator Adam Hinds.  If you’d like to submit testimony for this bill, please contact our office at Tram.Nguyen@mahouse.gov.

 

Probation Commission

This week the Commission on Structural Racism in the Probation Service held our tenth hearing, with testimony from Roca, Inc., an organization dedicated to disrupting incarceration and racism, and focusing on at-risk young people. We also heard from the Massachusetts Probation Service on their outcome analysis program.

Now is the time for us to review all of the testimony and begin to make recommendations.  Anyone interested in providing written testimony can contact my legislative director, Tobin Abraham, at tobin.abraham@mahouse.gov

 

Statewide Updates

Consider Becoming a Foster Parent
 

 

  Call 1-800-KIDS-508 or visit mass.gov/foster-care
 

Eviction Update

If you are facing eviction or housing instability, the COVID Eviction Legal Help Project (CELHP) has made four videos that may help you know your rights. These videos encourage tenants to stay in their homes, apply for rental assistance, and get legal help.  These videos are also posted on Twitter and Facebook. You can also access and share the videos through Vimeo. Subtitles are available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
 

  Tenants and landlords can also look for information and advice at masshousinginfo.org/.  Landlords can also find information here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/information-for-landlords-on-emergency-housing-assistance. Tenants and owner-occupants of 2-3 family homes can find legal help by calling 2-1-1 or visiting the COVID Eviction Legal Help Project (CELHP) site at evictionlegalhelp.org/find-legal-help/.
 

Unemployment

Last month, many COVID-related unemployment benefits ended. If you fall into this category and are still unable to find work, there are steps that you can take to apply for extended benefits or learn about training programs. Please visit this fact sheet from Greater Boston Legal Services for more information. 

Also, visit MassHire for job opportunities and additional information.  

 

Office Hours

 

 

Although we miss seeing you in person, for everyone’s safety we will continue to hold virtual office hours on the first Friday of the month 10-11am, and the third Tuesday 5-6pm. Constituents won’t have to leave home to talk to me and my team; just make an appointment at https://calendly.com/teamtram/officehours and we’ll send you a Zoom link.  The next office hours are coming up on Friday November 5; be sure to sign up by noon on Thursday 11/4. Looking forward to discussing the issues that are important to you!

Sincerely,

Tram T. Nguyen, Esq.
State Representative, 18th Essex District

 

 

COVID Testing Locations

 

Pentucket Medical ExpressCare

370 Merrimack St, Lawrence, MA 01843

617-724-7000

8:00am-5:00pm Mon-Fri

8:30am-2:00pm Sat-Sun

 

AFC Urgent Care North Andover

129 Turnpike St, North Andover, MA 01845

978-470-0800

8:00am-8:00pm Monday- Sunday (walkin 2-6pm)

https://afcurgentcarenorthandover.com/telemedicine-urgent-care/ 

 

CVS - Main Street North Andover Covid-19 Testing Site

109 Main St, North Andover, MA 01845

978) 682-0941

By appointment only MinuteClinic  

 

Walgreens - Waverley Road - North Andover

800 Waverly Rd, North Andover, MA 01845

978-681-1530

By appointment only COVID-19 Testing | Select Location 

 

Lawrence Community COVID-19 Testing Center - All Drive-through and Walk-up Testing

70 General St, Lawrence, MA 01840

978-946-8409

Hours vary - Visit Website https://www.lawrencegeneral.org/about-us/covid-19-testing 

 

Circle Health Urgent Care - Tewksbury

1574 Main St, Tewksbury, MA 01876

978-323-5945

8:00am-8:00pm Mon-Sun 

Book an Appointment to Urgent Care

 

CareWell Urgent Care Tewksbury

345 Main St, Tewksbury, MA 01876

978-851-4683

8:00am-8:00pm Mon-Sun 

Tewksbury

 

CVS - Tewksbury - Main St Poct Covid - 19 Testing

1900 Main St, Tewksbury, MA 01876

978-851-6856

By appointment only MinuteClinic 

 

Walgreens - Main Street - Tewksbury

2341 Main St, Tewksbury, MA 01876

978-988-5534

By Appointment Only

 

Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (Methuen site)

147 Pelham St, Methuen, MA 01844

978-685-7663

3:00pm-6:00pm Mon-Fri / 9:00am-12:00pm Sat

 

AFC Urgent Care Methuen

380 Merrimack St, Methuen, MA 01844

978-975-0700

8:00am-8:00pm Mon-Sun

 

CVS - Wilmington - Main St Poct Covid-19 Testing Site

222 Main St, Wilmington, MA 01887

978-658-3377

By appointment only MinuteClinic 

 

Middleton Family Medicine

147 S Main St, Middleton, MA 01949

978-774-2555

Hours vary - Visit Website

 

CVS - Maple Street Middleton Covid-19 Testing Site

220 Maple Street, Middleton, MA 01949

978-774-1061 

By appointment only

 

Walgreens - S Main Street - Middleton

235 S Main Street, Middleton, MA 01949

978-762-8522

By appointment only

 
 

For more information, visit https://www.mass.gov/info-details/about-covid-19-testing#should-i-be-tested?-

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