News Briefs

Boncore honored as Legislator of the Year by MAPC

Senator Joe Boncore, Chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation, was recognized last week by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) as “Legislator of the Year.” The award is given to honor a legislator who has exhibited leadership in promoting smart growth and fostering regional collaboration in Greater Boston. 

“I am grateful for my partnership with MAPC; from collaborating on housing and transportation policy to seeking innovative solutions that meet our communities’ need. I am truly humbled by this award,” said Senator Joe Boncore (D-Winthrop). “I look forward to continue working alongside our partners in municipal government to make sure they have the resources they need in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m confident that the solutions are possible with innovation, forward-thinking and collaboration.” 

“MAPC has deeply valued working with Senator Boncore to advance issues of affordable housing, equitable transportation, public safety, and sustainability across Greater Boston,” said Marc Draisen, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. “Like our staff, he is committed to looking at these issues through a lens of racial justice, and we are tremendously proud to honor him with this award and to continue working together to better the region moving forward.” 

Senator Boncore was recognized for his leadership to move forward key MAPC legislative priorities on housing, transportation, and public safety. Particularly, his leadership in just four years to raise the funding from $6 million to $11 million for Shannon Grants, which support community mobilization to address gang and youth violence.

The Upcoming Holidays Are a Time to Enjoy Lots of Wonderful Food

The holidays may be a bit different this year as we practice social distancing and not attend large gatherings, but we can still enjoy lots of wonderful food.  But how are you going to enjoy the holidays and not regret eating too much and gaining weight? Here are some tips from Mystic Valley Elder Services Registered Dietitian Candace Quigley on how you can still enjoy eating your favorite foods without regret.

Weeks before the holiday arrives, be sure to get some exercise and eat healthy. Unfortunately, holiday celebrations tend to be all about food. On average, Americans gain approximately 1-2 pounds around the holidays and it tends to stick and accumulate over the years.

No skipping breakfast! High fiber foods will satisfy hunger.

Don’t arrive at your party famished because you will be more likely to eat too much. If dinner is going to be late, then have a healthy snack before you go out.

Most people will consume several handfuls of chips and dip, nuts, puffs, and other appetizers. Choose only one favorite item and don’t graze all day until the meal starts. Don’t hang around the food table; Focus on people, not the food.

Enjoy your favorite beverage and then switch to water or a non-calorie drink. Try to stay away from punches, eggnog and mixed drinks. Try flavored sparkling water.

When dinner is served, there are usually a lot of choices. Choose those items that you only have on the holiday or are special to you.  You could start by putting vegetables on your plate before you put the entrée on it. Survey the entire table before you take any food. Decide which foods are worth eating and which you can ignore and stick to that decision.

Eat slowly and savor every bite; it takes 20 minutes before your stomach registers that you are full.

You don’t have to be a member of the clean plate club. You can leave some bites behind.

If you plan on having seconds, wait at least 20 minutes. Even though a lot of the foods are healthy, they all have calories and should be enjoyed in moderation.

Go ahead and have dessert! Just keep it to a reasonable portion and eat slowly. Again, pick an item that is your favorite that you only have during the holidays.

Say NO to food pushers! Smile and say “thanks for making that delicious dessert, but I am full right now. Can I take some home for later?”

Get some physical activity—before, during or after the celebrations. Go for a walk before you leave to go to the party or maybe you will have time after dinner. Still watch your football game but get up between quarters and during ads to mobilize yourself.

Get right back on track with healthy eating and exercise the day after each holiday.

The following recipes are lighter versions of classic holiday dishes:

Give us call to learn more about MVES’ nutrition services at 781-324-7705 or visit us at

Celebrating 45 Years of helping older adults keep their independence, Mystic Valley Elder Services is a non-profit agency located in Malden, Mass., that provides essential home- and community-based care and resources to older adults, adults living with disabilities, and caregivers who reside in Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Revere, Stoneham, Wakefield and Winthrop, regardless of their income level. Agency services include coordination of home care, transportation, Meals on Wheels, and information and referrals. For more information, please call (781) 324-7705 or visit

Positive Tests among Suffolk inmates

The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department completed testing last week for COVID-19 infection within a unit housing 59 inmates after an inmate reported symptoms consistent with the virus.

Following the testing of this unit inside the Suffolk County House of Correction, results revealed that, of the 53 inmates who submitted for testing, 15 tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Six of the 59 inmates refused to be tested.                

All of the 59 inmates have since been moved to a special quarantine unit inside the House of Correction, all potentially exposed staff members are self-quarantining, and the now-empty unit has been deep-cleaned and sanitized per COVID-19 protocols in strict accordance with Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

Currently, inmates and staff are asymptomatic and will be under close medical supervision during the quarantine period.

In accordance with state and CDC guidelines and recommendations, the Department continues  taking steps to minimize the exposure of staff and inmates and detainees, and to maintain a safe workplace by reviewing, and where necessary, adopting new practices to protect the health of all employees and inmates while we continue to perform the Department’s mission.

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