So much about this pandemic feels like Groundhog Day.
The movie that is. Same thing happening over and over and over.
We didn’t have enough toilet paper. Enough PPE. Enough ventilators. Enough PPP dollars. Enough testing kits. Enough testing sites. And, now, enough vaccines.
We don’t need Punxsutawney Phil – or even Ms. G
to tell us how long winter will be. It’s already too long.
Just watch out for that first step. It's a doozie .
New vaccine site opening at Wells Ave
Beth Israel Lahey Health and BID Needham is opening a vaccine clinic at the site of the old Boston Sports Club at 135 Wells Avenue in Newton.
The vaccination site will be open seven days a week beginning in mid-February.
The hospital system is now hiring clinical and non-clinical individuals to serve as hometown heroes administering the COVID-19 vaccine at Wells Ave. and
throughout the Greater Boston area.
In addition to medical positions, they’re looking to fill administrative and clerical roles (no previous healthcare experience required). Both full time
and part time positions available. Full details here.
Who’s in front of you
Want to know when you might become eligible for your vaccine? The Globe has created this online tool that estimates how many millions (three in my case)
of Massachusetts residents are ahead of you in line.
Dr. Paul Biddinger, who specializes in emergency preparedness at Massachusetts General and heads the governor’s COVID-19 vaccination advisory board
tells the Codcast
that one third of those eligible to be inoculated in Phase 1 haven’t received their shots yet even as Phase 2 began yesterday.
The state has not known week to week how much vaccine is arriving Biddinger told Sarah Betancourt.
"That means that the state hasn't been able to tell the hospitals or other vaccinators how much vaccine they're getting until sometimes a day or two before
But the state is now getting several more days’ notice of how much vaccine is arriving each week, which will help with appointment scheduling.
And in a column for CommonWealth ,Todd Brown, executive director of the Massachusetts Independent Pharmacists Association, argues that the state has erred
giving vaccines to large chain pharmacies and would have had better, more efficient results and fewer death turning to independent pharmacies
Newton gas leaks cause for alarm
Another 429 leaks were repaired, the data show. Local advocates say Newton’s exceptionally high number of leaks — which can be hard to spot but are
easy to smell emanating from manhole covers, patches of grass, and even street lamps — put people and the environment at risk.
Keeping up with all those life sciences projects
The proposed life sciences campus on Galen Street just outside of Watertown Square was approved by the Zoning Board last week. Boston Development plans
to build the project in two phases totaling nearly 450,000 SF of Class A Office/ R&D LAB. Watertown News has more .
Two other projects will roll out details in upcoming meetings:
- National Development and Alexandria will be hosting a review and discussion of conceptual plans and specifics relating to the redevelopment of the
6 acre site. Mon. Feb. 8 at 6:30 p.m. Details here.
Firm predicts devastating retail loses
Last week I shared a link to a national study saying restaurants just experienced their worst year in history
Need to knows
- This morning (Feb. 2) at 11 a.m. Professor Leanna Farnam, chair of Lasell University’s Science and Forensic Science Program, will host “Everything
You Always Wanted to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines But Were Afraid to Ask.” Join the
webinar. Pre-registration not required.
- Needham officials will share its rezoning plan for the parcels occupied by Muzi Motors and WCVB/Channel 5 along I-95 via Zoom tomorrow (Weds) at 7:15
p.m. Relevant materials are here.
To view via Zoom ID: 878-8270-9890
- Looking for a lender to help you apply for the PPP? Here’s a list of local chamber member banks that may be able to help. The SBA also has a searchable Lender Look Up tool listing all eligible lenders.
Building groups concerned about one aspect of climate bill
Building trade organizations and labor unions are joining developers and other business groups in raising concerns about a provision in the recently-passed
climate policy bill that allows cities and towns to adopt a yet-to-be-created net-zero "stretch energy code."
Baker has already vetoed the bill once and is expected to send it back to lawmakers again this week.
It requires the Department of Energy Resources to "develop and adopt, as an appendix to the state building code, in consultation with the board of building
regulations and standards, a municipal opt-in specialized stretch energy code that includes, but is not limited to, a definition of net-zero building"
which could give cities and towns the authority to require that newly-constructed or renovated buildings meet a net-zero emissions threshold, reports
Colin A. Young for State House News.
The Greater Boston Plumbing Contractors Association warns the provision could force developers to stop construction until they have a better understanding
of what the new requirements might be.
"It is impossible for anyone investing millions of dollars to build an office building or a new multifamily building near transit, as examples, to understand
the new costs that such a requirement will add to their project."
(Other groups concerned about the provisions include NAIOP Massachusetts, the Greater Boston Chamber and the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of
Massachusetts, the Globe’s Jon Chesto reported earlier.
Supporters of the provision, like Mass. Climate Action Network
say a net-zero stretch energy code would help ensure that older and less-efficient buildings are replaced by highly-efficient ones that can tap into
renewable power, reported Young.
When he vetoed the climate bill last time
Baker said he supports the development of a new high performance energy stretch code, but suggested he would rather see it go through the Board of
Building Regulation and Standards.
New ways to help restaurants
Newton chef David Punch
is among a growing number of restaurateurs who have begun offering subscriptions to keep their kitchens busy during the pandemic, writes Devra First at the Globe
The programs are modeled after the CSA farm share programs that have become popular in recent years.
in Newton Centre offers a monthly School Night Subscription. On Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, subscribers pick up a surprise ready-to-eat meal.
“It’s working really well,” Punch tells First. “Getting people to commit in advance takes the guesswork out of your weekly sales. You know what’s coming
down the pipe.”
The “Buy A Meal - Give A Meal Program” supports a different Needham restaurant each month and helps a neighbor in need receive a freshly cooked meal.
Each month, the Council’s 275 food pantry households will each receive a gift certificate to the restaurant of the month. Go here
to make an online donation.
Really, make a donation.
President, Newton-Needham Regional Chamber