Legislature’s budget secures provision to protect LGBT elders from abuse and discrimination

Included in the FY19 budget that the MA Legislature sent to the Governor this week is a provision that would require the development of a training curriculum for the delivery of accessible and appropriate aging services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults and caregivers.

This training has long been a priority of Ethos, the LGBT Aging Project and the recently formed LGBT Aging Commission. Up to 75% of LGBT older adults live alone; 90% do not have children; and 80% age as single persons – increasing both their isolation as well as their need for support and assistance from state-funded aging services.

This victory would not have occurred without strong support from JP reps Liz Malia and Jeffery Sanchez. Liz has been the lead sponsor of the legislation for years and Jeff voiced his strong support for it during the House budget process and then fought during the budget conference committee to keep it in the final budget.

This legislative change will insure that no LGBT older adult ever has to go back into the closet simply because (s)he/ they are old and need help from mainstream providers.   Ethos and the hundreds of LGBT elders it serves are very grateful to Rep. Malia and Rep. Sanchez for their help in this important civil rights breakthrough.

Dale Mitchell

CEO, Ethos

Trump’s latest

What is it about trump  that intimidates so many experienced and seasoned politicians?  You know, the man who stumbled over his post-Putin summit “clarification” as if he were an arrested felon who was told his original forced confession wasn’t good enough. This poor excuse for a grown man who still can’t spell collusion even though he uses it every few hours claiming “no collusion.”  This man who had the nerve to criticize President Obama from day one and question his citizenship, when President Obama has academic credentials and a level of intelligence that trump can only dream of. Then again, trump is too vacuous to be bothered with such envy.

When you have such a man actually gaining in popularity among Republicans as well as his base, you have to wonder if there’s really any hope for this country.  It’s as if we’re being hit with one tidal wave after another … which, I know, would be an impossible phenomenon in nature. If only that were true when it comes to political catastrophes, which seem to outdo each other daily.  In other words, you think it couldn’t get worse and then it does … to the point where even the most sophisticated pundits find themselves speechless.

Michel L. Spitzer

Jamaica Plain resident


JP Forum

Although the J.P. Forum about climate change on July 12 was billed as a Town Hall with State Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, Rep. Sanchez chose not to appear, sending his policy aide instead. In one respect the forum was an exhilarating event: It was inspiring to walk into a standing-room-only crowd of informed neighbors, all demanding a state energy policy which addresses the global climate crisis. But it was also profoundly disappointing to listen to the aide’s evasions, which succeeded only in giving the impression that Rep. Sanchez is just not up to the task. In response to straightforward questions from the audience — for example, is Rep. Sanchez willing to declare publicly that his campaign will not accept contributions from the fossil fuel industry? — the aide talked about things like the sacrifices that Sanchez’s mother made and the courage that she demonstrated when Sanchez was growing up. Her courage and sacrifice are truly admirable, but what the audience wanted to know was whether Rep. Sanchez himself had the courage to lead Massachusetts toward sustainable energy and whether he was willing to sacrifice the contributions of the fossil fuel industry to show us where he stands. Apparently the answer is no.

My favorite moment that evening occurred after the forum had ended. As I stepped outside, I was handed a flyer by the campaign manager for Nika Elugardo, who is running against Rep. Sanchez in the Democratic primary on a green energy platform. Unlike Rep. Sanchez, Ms. Elugardo has indeed pledged not to accept contributions from the fossil fuel industry. I think it is wonderful that Rep. Sanchez’s constituents have the opportunity to vote for a progressive challenger. To quote from the letter of Laura Foner and David Weinstein [J. P. Gazette, June 22] endorsing Elugardo: “We deserve representation that rocks the boat, and sometimes steers it in a different direction.”

David Rohrlich

Jamaica Plain resident

National Grid in Boston

Approximately 800 Boston residents have been locked out of their jobs! Where is the media coverage? National Grid wants to pay walmart wages to utility workers who are required to have special licenses to crawl into holes with live gas and electricity. The US President of National Grid is annually compensated 3,165,000 ( Reuters),  8671 a day working or not. Dean Savers makes 1522 hourly in a 40 hour work week, but wants to deny a living wage to the staff people doing dangerous jobs. This defines corporate greed. The CEO makes 12701 every day of the year. What is particularly appalling is that the Boston media is not covering this.

Robin Benton

Jamaica Plain resident

Arborway Hillside Volunteer Woodland Care Day

THANK YOU to all who helped with the Arborway Hillside Volunteer Woodland Care Day on 7/14/18. We had a great turn-out, cleared a large amount of invasives from the path & trees (2 truckloads),  met new neighbors & volunteers from JP & beyond, distributed Arborway Coalition re-usable bags & enjoyed “BYO Bag” cupcakes!

Special thanks to:

* the Arnold Arboretum & Sue Pfeiffer;

* the Emerald Necklace Conservancy,  Ellen Arnstein & Richard Stroshane;

* our Arborway Hillside steering committee, who handled logistics & outreach: Ann & Jim Stillman, Clay Harper, Sue Pfeiffer

* Celeste Walker for help with outreach

* Everyone who helped: many hands truly made light work.

The Arborway Hillside is across the main Arborway from the Arnold Arboretum, between the main parkway & the residential road, with entrances to a footpath across from St. Rose Street & near Hampstead Rd. It is a unique place – an urban forest on the neighborhood side of the Arborway with views into the Arboretum. It is one of just two parts of the Emerald Necklace on the neighborhood side of the parkway. The other is Franklin Park, the cornerstone of the Emerald Necklace.

This gem is now a bit shinier! Thanks again to all who helped.

Sarah Freeman

Jamaica Plain resident

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