News Briefs

Nominations being accepted for community service award

AARP is now accepting nominations for its 2019 Massachusetts Andrus Award for Community Service, which honors 50+ Commonwealth residents who are sharing their experience, talent, and skills to enrich the lives of their community members. 

“AARP Massachusetts is excited to shine a light on 50+ Bay Staters who are using what they’ve learned in life to make a difference in the lives around them,” said Mike Festa, AARP Massachusetts State Director. 

Nominations will be evaluated by the Massachusetts state office based on how the volunteer’s work has improved the community, supported AARP’s vision and mission, and inspired other volunteers. The award recipient will be announced in early fall.

AARP Massachusetts Andrus Award for Community Service nominees must meet the following eligibility requirements:

• Nominee must be 50 years or older.

• The achievements, accomplishments, or service on which the nomination is based must have been performed on a volunteer basis, without pay.

• The achievements, accomplishments, or service on which the nomination is based must reflect AARP’s vision and purpose.

• The achievements, accomplishments, or service on which the nomination is based must be replicable and provide inspiration for others to volunteer..

• Couples or partners who perform service together are also eligible; however, teams are not eligible.

• This is not a posthumous award.

Please visit for further information and a nomination form.  The application deadline is July 15, 2019.

The AARP Andrus Award for Community Service is an annual awards program developed to honor individuals whose service is a unique and valuable contribution to society.  Last year, AARP recognized 50 outstanding individuals and couples from around the country.

Trip to Foxwoods

The Joe Guarino/ St. Lazarus Bowling League is having a day trip to Foxwoods on Sunday June 9.

The buses leave at 7:45 a.m. from St. Lazarus Church on Ashley Street East Boston.

The cost is $30 per person which includes a $10 food coupon and $10 in slot play.

Muffins, turnovers and juices are served on the bus.

Muffins, turnovers and juices are served on the bus.

For tickets call: Nunny Celona at 781-245-6622

House Passes Distracted Driving Legislation

  The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed legislation to ban drivers from using hand-held electronic devices in vehicles unless they are in hands-free mode.

“Distracted driving is a factor in too many dangerous and fatal motor vehicle accidents, and the House is proud to take this step to move this policy forward for Massachusetts – making our roads safer and protecting our drivers, passengers and pedestrians,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “I want to thank Chair Straus for his diligence and hard work, and Leader Wagner, Chair Michlewitz, members of the Black and Latino Caucus, and my colleagues in the House who were instrumental to this process.”

“I was proud to cast my vote in support of this legislation, which will help to prevent accidents by ensuring drivers are more focused on the roadway than what is happening on their phone,” said Representative RoseLee Vincent (D-Revere).  “Thank you to Speaker DeLeo, Chairman Straus and Leader Wagner for shepherding this bill through the Legislature.  Lives will be saved, and we will all be safer in our vehicles because of this bill.” 

“This legislation makes clear that drivers must keep their hands and eyes on the road and not on cell phones,” said Rep. Bill Straus (D-Mattapoisett), Chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation. “The Committee has received extensive testimony showing that cell phone use is a top threat to safety on our roads today.”  

“I am proud to support the hands-free legislation that was passed by the House today,” said Assistant Majority Leader Representative Joseph F. Wagner (D-Chicopee). “This bill is a collaborative approach that will save lives and make the Commonwealth’s roadways safer by prohibiting the dangerous behavior of distracted driving.”

“Today the House took a big step towards making the roads of the Commonwealth safer for everyone by passing this legislation,” said Representative Aaron Michlewitz, Chair of the House Committee on Ways & Means (D-Boston). “Distracted driving is a serious issue, and I am proud that the House took this step in order to combat it.”

The bill defines hands-free devices as those that engage in voice communication with and receiving audio without touching, holding or otherwise manually manipulating the device. Law enforcement officials have the ability to issue warnings to drivers until Dec. 31, 2019 before the law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020. The bill will also:

• Allow for drivers to use mapping or navigation devices if they are affixed to the windshield or integrated into the vehicle and only involve a tap or a swipe;

• Exempt use of electronics in the case of an emergency and for first responders if they are using the devices as part of their duties;

• Penalize drivers with fines $100 for the first offence, $250 for the second offence and $500 for third and subsequent offences;

• Builds off and bolsters existing law by creating compliance measures, requiring the inclusion of race on the uniform citation, and extending this practice to all jurisdictions;

• Invests $300,000 towards data collection and analysis by an outside entity;

• Requires jurisdictions – if data suggests those jurisdictions may be engaging in racial profiling – to collect data on all traffic stops for a one-year period; and

• Create a public awareness campaign informing and educating the dangers of using technological devices while driving and the obligations of drivers under this bill.

The bill will now go to the Senate.

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