Does Your House Have A Carriage House? The City Would Like to Know

Across Boston there are a lot of historic barns, stables, or carriage houses. And the city would like to know about all of them to help inform future neighborhood development projects. Through the years some have been made into art studios, garages, garden sheds and more. There are ones with beautiful slate roofs, original features dating back decades, and more. There are also ones that are going unused, falling apart and in desperate need of repair. The project is being spearheaded by the Housing Innovation Lab, in collaboration with the Landmarks Commission, the Department of Neighborhood Development, Boston Planning & Development Agency, and Inspectional Services Department.

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Massachusetts Residents Asked to Report Any Unsolicited Packages of Seeds

Apparently Massachusetts residents have been receiving unsolicited packages of seeds, possibly of invasive species, from a foreign country. And the state's Department of Agricultural Resources would like those who have received these seeds to report them. According to a press release, the exact types of seeds in the packages are unknown and, "...are not believed to be harmful to humans or pets but could pose a significant risk to agriculture or the environment." The state would like Massachusetts residents who received the unsolicited seed packages of seed to not plant them and immediately complete a form on MDAR’s website, "...to provide important information to state plant regulatory officials." The press release didn't state what country the seeds originate from, but said that people should keep the packaging and the mailing label.

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Listening Sessions: Share Your Thoughts on Police Body Cameras, Implicit Bias Training, Use of Force and More

Residents are being asked to provide community feedback during listening sessions of the Boston Police Reform Task Force starting July 22. The gathered input will be used to review the BPD's policies, practices, and to recommend reform measures. Residents are being asked to share their experiences on any of the four topics that are being covered:

The Body Worn Camera Program: Wednesday, July 22, 3-5 pm
Implicit bias training: Thursday, July 23, 3-5 pm
Strengthening Boston's existing police review board, known as the Co-op Board: Wednesday, July 29, 3-5 pm
Reviewing the use of force policies: Thursday, July 30, 3-5 pm

Testimony can also be submitted in any language either written or via the WebEx listening sessions. Written testimony can also be submitted before or after the listening sessions by emailing BPDTaskforce@boston.gov. You can also learn more information on how to participate at boston.gov/ending-racism. The Task Force will submit their initial recommendations by August 14, 2020.

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State Senate Passes Police Reform Bill, Championed By Chang-Díaz

The Massachusetts State Senate passed an unprecedented police reform bill early Tuesday morning when most people were sleeping after many hours of debate. The bill passed 30-7, and would do many things including ban the use of chokeholds by police; limit the use of tear gas; create a committee that would certify all law enforcement officers; prohibit police from shooting into moving vehicles, except for limited circumstances; create uniform standards for training police across the commonwealth. The House will debate the bill before July 31 when the current legislative session ends. House Speaker Robert DeLeo said he wanted to hold a virtual hearing on the Senate bill this week. Last month Governor Charlie Baker filed his own legislation to create a system that would license police and hold them accountable to a set of professional standards.

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