MFA NEWS SCAN DECEMBER 15, 2014

MFA NEWS SCAN DECEMBER 15, 2014


- Tuesday, December 23, 2014



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MEMA LAUNCHES STATEWIDE POWER OUTAGE VIEWER

The MA Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) recently launched a power outage website that displays real-time power outage information from the four major utility companies serving the Commonwealth (National Grid, NSTAR, WMECo and Unitil) on a map of the Commonwealth.  The MEMA power outage application provides a one-stop location for viewing power outages across the Commonwealth, capturing the following information by City and Town: total number of customers and percent of customers without power, time the data was last updated for each community, the power utility serving the community, and the MEMA Region in which the community is located. Each of the four major power utilities serving MA has agreed to update the power outage data every fifteen (15) minutes on an on-going 24-hour basis.  The application provides users with a service map detailing utility service areas by community as well as links to the four major power companies’ outage websites. The website can be found at http://mema.mapsonline.net/public.html.

 

CAMBRIDGE MA CITY COUNCIL SENDS PLASTIC BAG BAN

BACK TO ORDINANCE COMMITTEE

On Monday, December 15 the Cambridge City Council was poised to pass an ordinance that would’ve banned thin plastic bags from distribution by larger retailers.  Instead, the Council voted to send the measure back to the Ordinance Committee for another public hearing.  Cambridge, which would be the largest city on the east coast to implement a ban on plastic bags, has been dealing with the issue for nearly seven years, as the proposal has been revised three times and has gone through several hearings and committee reviews.  The proposed ordinance would require retailers to give shoppers either a recyclable paper bag, a reusable bag or a compostable plastic bag that is at least 2.25-millimeters-thick.  Councilors asked city staff to change a section of the ordinance back to the original proposal presented to them in April, which stated that the bags had to be at least 3-millimeters-thick.  It would go into effect one year from passage.

 

CONGRESS PASSES EXTENSION ON TAX BREAKS

On Tuesday, December 16, the Senate passed a bill that retroactively extends more than 50 expired tax provisions through the remainder of 2014 by a vote of 76–16.  The extender bill passed the House of Representatives on Dec. 3, and now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.  The bill, H.R. 5771, known as the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, temporarily extends a host of expired individual, business, and energy tax breaks, as well as certain provisions relating to multiemployer defined benefit plans.  The bill also makes some technical corrections to prior legislation.  For a listing of relevant sections from the bill and what they affect click here.

 

MA UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPS

Statistics show that Massachusetts unemployment rate fell to 5.8% last month, down from 6% in October and 7.1% one year ago.  The state also added 13,500 new jobs last month, the most since July 2011, according to the Executive Office of Labor & Workforce Development.  The national unemployment rate last month was 5.8%.

 

-         REMINDER –

CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY – CLOSE ALL DAY – NO ALCOHOL SALES

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MFA NEWS SCAN DECEMBER 15, 2014


- Tuesday, December 23, 2014



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