News Briefs

Snowflake Fair at St John’s Episcopal Church Dec. 2 

Topping off an activity-filled year, St John’s is once again in full gear, preparing for the no-holds-barred Annual Snowflake Fair, Winthrop’s one-stop holiday shopping destination.

On Saturday, Dec. 2, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., St. John’s Snowflake Staff will be exhibiting full tables of hand-crafted decorations and wearables, one-of-a-kind attic treasures, homemade savories by expert cooks, a dizzying assortment of home-baking, the always stellar jewelry table, and a children’s table.

The Snowflake Staff are creating abundant themed gift baskets in all sizes and for all tastes. St. John’s will also be offering fresh holiday kissing-balls and ornamental pine sprays. Shoppers may construct unique gift medleys of cookie confections by the baker’s dozen, always a Snowflake standout. A richly appointed raffle table will add to the suspense and joy of this gift-giving season.

Shoppers are urged to arrive early to survey the entire collection, although throughout the sale day, there will be no lack of attractive sundries, notions, and surprises. Also featured will be in-house luncheoning, where shoppers are welcome to relax, enjoy the company, and rest up for more shopping.The kitchen will be cooking up and selling a sumptuous beef stew, genuine New England corn and clam chowders, first-rate chicken salad roll lunches, and the St. John’s signature lobster lunches.  $15 lobster lunches may be purchased at the fair for as long as the supply lasts, or may be specially reserved by calling Carol at 617-913-5182 .

The St John’s Episcopal Church website is at, where upcoming events and observances are posted in detail.


Comprehensive criminal justice reform legislation passed

House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo and Representative RoseLee Vincent joined their colleagues in the House to pass comprehensive criminal justice reform legislation that will lead to a more equitable system by supporting our youngest and most vulnerable residents, reducing recidivism, increasing judicial discretion, and enhancing public safety.

“This landmark legislation will make our criminal justice system significantly more equitable while enhancing public safety through a series of workable, real-world solutions,” said Speaker DeLeo. “I am proud of the unprecedented reforms we’ve made to support our youngest and most vulnerable residents, particularly children facing adversity and individuals of all ages battling addiction. I am grateful for the dedication and insight of Chairwoman Cronin, and I thank Chairman Sanchez, Leader Mariano and Chief Justice Ireland for their guidance.”

“I am proud that under the leadership of Speaker DeLeo, Chairwoman Cronin and Chairman Sanchez, the House was able to adopt a meaningful Criminal Justice Reform bill that will help to revamp and enhance the Commonwealth’s criminal justice system,” said Representative Vincent.  “It has been decades since our criminal justice system was studied and tweaked with legislation. I believe the provisions included in the House bill will help to make our system better, and I am happy to have supported its passage.”

“This is a reform plan for the real world,” said Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland, Distinguished Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northeastern University. “This bill provides judges with enhanced discretion and allows people to reclaim their lives after their debt to society is paid. I commend Speaker DeLeo and the Massachusetts House for their meaningful work on a very complex issue.”

For the first time in the history of Massachusetts, this legislation would establish a process for expunging criminal records. Courts will now be able to expunge certain juvenile and young adult (18-21) records, and records in cases of fraud or where an offense is no longer a crime. The legislation also bars third-party data companies from disseminating expunged records.

This legislation reflects a balanced, modern, smart-on-crime approach to sentencing. It eliminates mandatory and statutory minimum sentences for many low-level, non-violent drug offenses. At the same time, it bolsters the House’s multi-tiered approach to the opioid epidemic by creating the nation’s strongest law for trafficking Carfentanil and by strengthening the Fentanyl trafficking law. The legislation also toughens penalties for repeat offenders convicted of operating under the influence (OUI).

As part of the House’s focus on combatting the opioid epidemic and providing healthcare parity, this legislation requires district attorneys to create pre-arraignment diversion programs for military personnel, veterans, and individuals with addiction or mental health issues. It removes the age restriction to participate in a diversion program, as they are currently only available to defendants 22 and under. The bill also establishes restorative justice as a voluntary pre-arraignment program.

The House has a longstanding legacy of supporting the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable children, particularly those facing trauma and adversity. Accordingly, this bill raises the minimum age of criminal responsibility from seven to ten and decriminalizes a first offense misdemeanor if the punishment is a fine or imprisonment for not more than six months. The legislation establishes a Juvenile Justice Policy and Data Commission, which will make the state eligible for additional federal funding, and a Childhood Trauma Task Force to study and recommend gender responsive and trauma-informed approaches to treatment of youths in the juvenile justice system. The bill also extends Good Samaritan protections to alcohol incapacitation for individuals under 21.

Following reforms in 2010 and 2012, this legislation again updates the Commonwealth’s criminal offender record information (CORI) system to help individuals secure gainful employment and housing:

  • Reduces the wait time to seal a conviction from 10 years to seven years for a felony, and from five years to three years for a misdemeanor.
  • Allows a conviction for resisting arrest to be sealed.
  • Expands the ability of an applicant with a sealed record to be able to answer “no record” on housing applications.
  • Creates an appeal process for applicants who have been denied a professional license due to a sealed record of a conviction.
  • Establishes protections for businesses and landlords who shall be presumed to have no notice or ability to know about criminal records that have been sealed or expunged.

This legislation updates the Commonwealth’s bail system and enhances judicial discretion by requiring a judge to take a person’s financial resources into account when determining bail. Fines and fees could be waived if they would make it impossible for an individual, their immediate family or their dependents to meet basic food, shelter and clothing needs.

The legislation sets a limit on how long an inmate can be held in segregation (solitary confinement) without review and bans segregation for pregnant women and juveniles. It also creates a Segregation Review Board to ensure appropriate oversight of the use of segregation. Additionally, the bill creates a process and establishes an independent board for terminally ill inmates to petition for medical parole.

The legislation raises the threshold for larceny to qualify as a felony from $250 to $1,000. It also creates the crime of solicitation that is tied to the severity of the underlying crime.

The bill passed the House 144-9. The vote follows unanimous passage of a separate criminal justice bill on Monday (commonly referred to as the Council of State Government bill) designed to complement the House’s comprehensive bill. The CSG bill allows individuals to earn early release by participating in recidivism-reduction programs.


DCR look ahead thru Dec. 4

The following Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) work items are ongoing along Winthrop Shore Drive. You can expect to see these activities continue up to Dec. 4. The work will continue to move north and includes:
Installation of new water main. This work is made possible through the cooperation of the Town of Winthrop and the DCR.
• Connections to the new water line will be taking place on a rolling basis. Please look for flyers from the town that will notify you in advance of your water being shut off to make these connections.

  • Installation of foundations and conduit for new light poles on the ocean side of Winthrop Shore Drive 
• Seawall repairs in the Highlands area between Locust Street and Grovers Avenue: 
This work is tidally dependent, so work hours will vary to coincide with favorable tidal conditions.
  • The construction work areas will be closed off for the safety of the public. Full depth roadway construction will be starting from Beacon Street to the north.

Please note that some of the current work activities on the project will require construction work on Saturdays. Winter shutdown is anticipated to begin mid-December, weather-permitting. During this time, the residential sidewalk on the west side of Winthrop Shore Drive will remain open.

Traffic and Parking Impacts include:
• During the work day, traffic is detoured off Winthrop Shore Drive to Shirley Street. Detour signs are provided to direct traffic. State and Winthrop Police are provided to assist in the detouring of traffic.
After the work day is completed, two-way traffic is restored on Winthrop Shore Drive.
Please note that where construction is scheduled to occur, there will be signs prohibiting parking between 6 am and 4 pm. Please remove cars from Shore Drive by 6 am to ensure that construction can begin promptly at 7 am. Your cooperation is appreciated!

Questions or concerns about the project should be directed to DCR Resident Engineer James Caputo, at the DCR trailer behind the DCR bathhouse on Winthrop Shore Drive, by visit or phone (617-846-1489) during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. In case of an emergency, contact 911 or DCR’s 24/7 emergency hotline at the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency at 508-820-1428.

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