A Monthly Newsletter from Senator Julian Cyr 
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August 2019

It already has been a summer for the record books, with the recent confirmation that three individual tornadoes touched down across the mid- and lower-Cape.  Even so, high summer is in full swing, and Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket are open for business.

Local, county, state, and federal agencies worked collaboratively and swiftly to bring relief to the people, businesses, and neighborhoods adversely affected by the storms.  Despite the devastation, we were able to get back our out feet thanks to our first responders, DPW workers, municipal leaders, the National Guard, an armada of utility crews, helpful neighbors, and many others. 

In the day's since the tornadoes, the Governor's office, along with the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation, announced an emergency loan fund, available for businesses adversely affected by the tornadoes.  Further information about available state resources can be found on the website and contained below; my office will continue to provide updates with the latest available information, both on my Facebook Page and my Twitter Feed.  Fortunately, we still have plenty of summer - and beautiful beach days - left in store!

On Beacon Hill, the Legislature recently reached an annual budget agreement and sent it to the Governor for his signature. I successfully secured appropriations totaling $7.34 million in the FY2020 budget for district and statewide programs, and delivered $740,000 in local initiatives to help Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket.  A majority of the spending will go to programs that provide housing, shelter, and mental health services for seniors and our most vulnerable citizens; to fight the opioid crisis via funding evidence-based prevention and harm reduction programs; to support critical public safety programs to help veterans, children, as well as victims and witnesses to violent crimes; to promote economic development through employee ownership of small businesses and job training; and to safeguard the environment.  Details are below.

The final FY20 budget secures programs that help people in their darkest time while making targeted investments to spur economic development and strengthen communities.  I'm proud to have been able to advance priorities that will make a difference for Cape Codders and Islanders; whether someone is homeless or housing insecure, lives with mental illness or addiction, hopes to sustain a small business, or seeks to steward our fragile environment.

As always, thank you for your continued trust and support. I am honored to represent our beautiful corner of the Commonwealth - there really is 'no place like home.'  But it's your input that guides my work, so please continue to chime in, as you always do.



Legislative Update
Cape Media News | Conversations with Sarah Colvin
Cape Media News | Conversations with Sarah Colvin
I met with host Sarah Colvin for our last segment together of Cape Media News Conversations, as Sarah has recently moved on to a new opportunity with the Cape Cod Commission (congrats Sarah!) where she will continue to share information and stories about this special place we call home.  I would like to thank Sarah for her partnership and friendship over these past few years, and wish her nothing but success as she begins the next chapter with the County Government.

Video Credit: Cape Cod Community Media Center
Lower Cape TV Legislative Update with Teresa Martin
Lower Cape TV Legislative Update with Teresa Martin
I joined Rep Sarah Peake for our monthly Legislative Update segment with host Teresa Martin.  This month, we discussed the FY20 budget process, including some important funding for the Cape, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket.

Video Credit: Lower Cape TV
Recent News Coverage

Take a look at the links below for some local news coverage from the past month.

Cape Cod Times
Cape legislators call for federal action on SAVE Right Whales Act
New budget includes $740,000 for Cape programs, initiatives
Bill before governor to allow wind farm cables on Centerville beach
Transportation Bond Bill includes Money for Work near Cape Bridges

Seashore reopens Herring Cove north lot
State officials to visit Truro farmers marker

The Inquirer and Mirror
$43.1 billion state budget includes $740,000 for Cape & Islands programs

The Barnstable Patriot
Cyr secures $740K for regional programs in FY20 budget
Cape Rep and Senators host briefing on impact of national sea grant programs in state
Transgender troops remain welcome in Massachusetts National Guard

NBC10 Boston
With power restored on Cape Cod, officials hopeful tornadoes did not impact tourism

WHDH TV 7 News
Mass. lawmakers consider loosening “weed cafe” laws

Gloucester Daily Times
Cape Cod lawmakers push for right whale protection

The Daily News of Newburyport

Host agreements seen as impeding sector's growth
Latest Events
Welcoming Liz Ganz - Legislative Director
I welcomed Elizabeth Ganz to my team as Legislative Director and General Counsel this week.  Liz has spent her legal career advocating to improve health care for Massachusetts residents. Most recently, she worked as a staff attorney at Health Law Advocates providing free legal representation to low-income clients experiencing challenges accessing health care services. Joining my office marks a return to the State House for Liz who worked as a Research Analyst for the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Health Care Financing just after graduating from law school. She has also worked at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and as a certified SHINE counselor helping clients understand their health insurance options under Medicare and Medicaid. Liz holds a J.D. with a Health Law Concentration from Boston University School of Law and a B.A. in International Studies from Dickinson College.
Tornado Recovery
Local, county, state, and federal agencies have all come together to work to restore power, roads, businesses, and properties damaged in the recent tornadoes.  It was a tremendous, collaborative effort by town employees, armies of local volunteers, The Massachusetts National Guard, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, The Department of Corrections, The Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Eversource, who had over 700 crews on Cape Cod working to restore power.  Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito, US Senator Markey, Congressman Keating, Speaker Deleo, Senator deMacedo, Representatives Peake, Whelan, Hunt, Crocker, and I have all been out to assess the damage, meet with local businesses and residents, and work together to activate and bring any available resources to bear to help with the recovery process.

See the press statements made by Sen. Markey, Congressman Keating, Speaker Deleo, and members of the Cape and Islands delegation here.

The Baker/Polito Administration announced $1 Million in emergency Loan funds and tourism support for businesses impacted.  Find out if you are eligible, how to apply, and more here.

Thanks to the coordinated and swift response, Cape Cod is open for business!
Resolution to Protect Right Whales
Right Whales are critically endangered and on the verge of extinction, with approximately 400 left in our oceans and only 100 reproductive females.  Rep Dylan Fernandes and I teamed up with the New England Aquarium and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to present a resolution in support of the SAVE Right Whales Act, which will provide critical funding and support for research and testing new technologies in the fishing industry to save right whales.

We also had the privilege of welcoming Calvin, the New England Aquarium's 42-foot inflatable right whale, to the State House!
Studying Sharks in Cape Waters
I recently joined Division of Marine Fisheries Shark Biologist Dr. Greg Skomal and the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy to observe ongoing research of Great White Sharks in the waters surrounding Cape Cod.  On a July morning, we cruised out of Chatham's Stage Harbor and steamed all the way up the backside of the Cape to Provincetown.  Along the way, we identified a dozen mature sharks and Dr. Skomal tagged several.

Cape Cod's waters are part of a natural and wild marine ecosystem with a rich diversity of sea life, including Great White Sharks. The emergence of Great White Sharks in our waters in recent years has become a critical safety issue for Cape residents and visitors alike. Over the past ten months, municipal, county, state, and federal leaders and organizations have worked with the National Seashore to increase education and public safety assets. Including sizable state funding that Rep. Peake and I worked to secure with the Baker/Polito administration. 

It's hard to get pictures of sharks from the boat, but on the voyage back to port we did witness this incredible scene of a juvenile humpback whale feeding on pogies. 
A Juvenile Humpback Whale Breaching
Truro Farmers Market
I spent a lovely morning in Truro with Rep. Sarah Peake, Congressman Bill Keating, Mass. Department of Transitional Assistance Commissioner McCue, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner Lebeaux, and the team from the Sustainable Cape Farmers Market Coalition.  Access to local and healthy food for all is a significant priority, and farmer's markets such as Truro's make it possible.  I secured $50,000 in the FY 2020 budget for Sustainable Cape to expand a coalition of farmers markets throughout Barnstable and Dukes counties to promote SNAP, WIC, Senior and Veteran benefits at Farmers Markets, as well as the creation of site-specific programs targeted at schools, library and community centers.
Food Is Medicine
I'm thrilled to see Martha's Vineyard embracing Food Is Medicine state plan which I helped launch last month in Boston.  It was a pleasure to co-host the announcement with Rep. Denise Garlick and to feature several people and programs from my district, including Dr. Kumara Sidhartha of Cape Cod Healthcare, Sustainable CAPE, and Island Grown Initiative (IGI) from Martha's Vineyard. 

I'm glad to see organizations from across the island, such as IGI, the MV Hospital. Island Health Care (IHC), Family Planning, Social Services, Elder Services, and the Island Food Pantry coming together to address the root cause of issues like food insecurity.  We know that we can do more right now to bring healthy food to the people who need it most.  Thanks to Community Servings and the Harvard Center for Health Law Policy and Innovation for the excellent work to realize this report. Read the report here.
Provincetown Commons
I stopped by The Commons Provincetown for their summer BBQ.  It was a fabulous evening in a beautiful space filled with incredible people, made possible by a state grant.  Glad to see this creative, collaborative place thrive
Mental Health Policy
The Senate made a historic $10 million investment in mental health in the FY2020 budget that the Governor has now signed into law; including money focused on a loan forgiveness program, and an anti-stigma campaign to build awareness and talk about how mental health issues impact so many. I also successfully secured several amendments that help bolster mental health services, including a $1 million increase to the Department of Mental Health’s Rental Subsidy Program and $800,000 for a new mental health program targeted at older adults. 

The Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use, and Recovery has been continuing our work apace.  After hosting multiple listening sessions around the commonwealth, we held four hearings at the State House in July to listen to testimony from colleagues in the Legislature, as well as from advocates and members of the public.  We heard testimony on bills to address issues across Massachusetts, including promoting access to evidence-based programs, destigmatization, Narcan distribution, decreasing co-pays for behavioral health treatment, and an expanded, culturally-competent workforce.

Sen. Friedman and I also met with NBC Sports anchor and reporter Trenni Kusnierek recently to discuss mental health policy, access to care, and countering discrimination and stigma.  Having public figures like Trenni join the conversation and speak openly about their own stories is a powerful way to bring visibility to these issues and to help end the stigma surrounding mental illnesses.  Read more about her story here.
Wellfleet 4th of July Parade
It was a gorgeous Independence Day on Cape Cod!  I joined in the Wellfleet 4th of July Parade with my friend and partner on Beacon Hill, Rep. Sarah Peake.  
Wellfleet Fourth of July Parade
Vineyard Transit Authority Strike
I joined in solidarity with Vineyard Transit Authority bus drivers during their 28 day-long strike, which ended recently.  VTA workers have pushed for this agreement for many years, and had not received a raise, or even a cost-of-living increase, in five years.  I am pleased that they have finally reached an agreement.

Read more about the contract which drivers for the Vineyard Transit Authority voted to ratify with their employer, Transit Connection Inc. (TCI) here.
Local Information
83rd Citizen's Legislative Seminar
My office is seeking nominees to participate in the 83rd Citizens' Legislative
Seminar (CLS) to be held October 22nd  and October 23rd at the State House in Boston.  Senate President Karen Spilka is the host of CLS, a semi-annual educational seminar geared towards adults of all ages interested in learning more about state government and the legislative process. 
Established in 1976 through a collaborative effort of the Massachusetts Senate and the University of Massachusetts, Boston, the two-day seminar features engaging presentations by Senators and staff on aspects of the day-to-day experience of legislators in the Commonwealth. Topics will include the history and process of the Legislature, the State Budget, the parliamentary role of the Clerk of the Senate and the future of the Legislature. The Seminar will walk participants through the legislative process including how bills are introduced, debated, and passed.
The Citizens’ Legislative Seminar is part of the Massachusetts Senate’s ongoing effort to increase civic engagement and open up the democratic process. It’s the perfect chance to come and gain an insider’s perspective from elected officials and staff on how the legislature works.
The CLS culminates with a simulated legislative hearing and Senate session where participants are invited to use what they have learned and participate as “Senators” in the Senate Chamber in order to have a first-hand experience of the legislative process.  
Interested residents from Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket are invited to contact Jeff Soares in my office by Wednesday, August 28th in order to be nominated. Seats are limited and nominations are taken on a first-come, first serve basis. Jeff's email is and phone is 508-237-7001. 

We will need to constituents' names, US mailing addresses with zip code, phone numbers and email contact information to make a nomination. 

Further information is on the Massachusetts Senate website here.
Summer Fun and Learning at the National Seashore
WELLFLEET, Mass. – Recreation and learning come together at Cape Cod National Seashore, with park rangers offering dozens of fun, guided activities for all ages. Most programs are free.

Along with guided walks and evening programs, which are standard fare at national parks, the national seashore offers innovative and immersive programs that take advantage of the seashore’s many recreational opportunities and local flavor.
Water recreation has deep roots on Cape Cod, and rangers offer surfcasting lessons, canoe and kayak tours, and salt marsh explorations. All equipment is provided.
The Cape’s maritime history can be explored during open houses and tours at historic buildings, including Eastham’s Captain Penniman House, Three Sisters, and Nauset Light; the Atwood-Higgins House in Wellfleet; Highland Light in Truro; and Old Harbor Life-Saving Station in Provincetown.
Cape Cod is also a place to unwind and slow down. Beach yoga, vacation mindfulness sessions, birdwatching, sunset hikes, and art programs offer opportunities for reflection and renewal.
Several activities are aimed at families and children, including Ninja Warrior and the Amazing Race in Provincetown, beach campfires at Nauset Light Beach and Herring Cove Beach, the Small Fry Special at Salt Pond Visitor Center, and Crafternoons at Province Lands Visitor Center. The seashore also has a Junior Ranger program; ask at visitor centers.
For information about Cape Cod National Seashore programs and to pick up a schedule of activities, visit Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham or Province Lands Visitor Center in Provincetown. Both centers are open from 9 am to 5 pm daily. The schedule is also available at
Science, Music, and Theater on Tap for Evening Events at
 National Seashore’s Salt Pond Visitor Center
EASTHAM, Mass. – Summer is in full swing, and Cape Cod National Seashore is again hosting free evening events at the Salt Pond Visitor Center in August. Join music ensembles, performing artists, scientists, and historians to learn about the seashore’s resources and fascinating stories. Programs are held most Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and occasionally on Wednesdays and Fridays. All programs are free, wheelchair accessible, and most are supported by Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore, the national seashore’s philanthropic partner since 1987. Additional sponsorship of some programs is provided by the seashore’s education partner, America’s National Parks, operating stores in seashore visitor centers and the Keeper’s Shop and tours at Highland Light. Some programs will be held at the indoor auditorium; other programs will be held at the outdoor amphitheater on the shores of Salt Pond. Bring bug spray and a flashlight to outdoor programs.
Thursday, August 1, 7 pm: Toast and Jam A favorite Cape Cod duo, Tim Dickey and Julie Charland perform original bluegrass, modern folk, Americana, and more.
Tuesday, August 6, 7 pm: Delicious Wild-Harvest: Wampanoag Fishing, Shellfishing, and Whaling Technology Join Elizabeth and Jonathan James Perry for a presentation on coastal tribal community lifeways and seasonal hunting based on family tradition and historical accounts in the Northeast. They will also bring examples of their art and hand-crafted fishing gear.
Wednesdays, August 7 and 14, 6:30 pm: Romeo and Juliet When young Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet fall in love, an age-old vendetta between two powerful families erupts into bloodshed. Join Shakespeare Under the Stars, The Tilden Arts Center, and Cape Cod Community College for this timeless tale presented on Salt Pond’s outdoor stage.
Thursday, August 8, 7 pm: CrabGrass Bluegrass Band Old and new foot stompin’ music comes to you courtesy of this entertaining five-piece band.
Tuesday, August 13, 7 pm: Neal Nichols’ Geography Show Explore our world through this amazingly innovative and interactive program, created and presented by Neal Nichols, and especially geared toward young people.
Thursday, August 15, 6 pm: Mosquito Story Slam The Mosquito Story Slam is a live storytelling event and podcast now in its 6th season on the Outer Cape. Storytellers will have five minutes to tell a true story based on the theme, Mother Nature. Sign up at 5:30 pm, stories begin at 6. Sponsored by America’s National Parks.
Tuesday, August 20, 7 pm: Bauhaus Summers on the Outer Cape Join Cape Cod Modern House Trust founder Peter McMahon to learn about how the Outer Cape attracted many of the prime movers of the enormously influential Bauhaus architectural movement.
Friday, August 23, 7 pm: Symphony at the Seashore For the fourth summer, Cape Symphony, led by Artistic Director and Conductor Jung-Ho Pak, will again bring its beautiful music to the shores of Salt Pond. Enjoy heart-stirring patriotic tunes, Broadway hits, and even a bit of Disney magic! Free event; no tickets required. Pre-concert activities for children and families will be held from 6-6:45 pm.
Tuesday, August 27, 7 pm: A Sailor’s Valentine: An Evening of Storytelling Gather ‘round as master storyteller Linda “Schuyler” Ford enchants you with stories of mermaids, sailors, and the sea.
Thursday, August 29, 7pm: So Goodly a Land: How the Outer Cape’s Landscape and Environment Have Changed since the Landing of the Mayflower The seashore’s mapping specialist, Mark Adams, teams up with park historian Bill Burke for a free-ranging discussion looking back through time.
IF YOU GO: Salt Pond Visitor Center is located at 50 Nauset Road at the intersection of Route 6 in Eastham, and can be reached at 508-255-3421. The center is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, with staff to assist with activity planning. Visit the museum, view the seashore’s films, enjoy panoramic views of Salt Pond and Nauset Marsh, and shop in the store featuring national seashore-related items. For more information about the seashore’s programs, visit
Summer Safety Advice from DPH
Below, please find a release from the Department of Public Health offering summer safety advice.
The release can be accessed here.

BOSTON (June 20, 2019) – With the arrival of summer tomorrow and activities increasingly moving outdoors, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) wants to remind families, caregivers, summer program leaders, and camp counselors to take extra precautions to keep young children safe this summer.
Water and Pool Safety
Drowning is a leading cause of death among young children, both nationally and in Massachusetts, with backyard pools posing the highest risk for children under the age of 5. The signs of drowning may be hard to detect, with very little splashing or cries for help. Once a child is in danger, it can take as few as 20 seconds to fall below the water and only minutes to drown.
To help prevent water-related injury and drowning:
  • Children should be supervised in and around water at all times.
  • Whenever infants and toddlers are in or around water, including the bathtub, an adult should be within an arm's length at all times providing "touch supervision."
  • Do not drink alcohol while supervising children.
  • Install a four-sided pool fence that completely separates the house and play area of the yard from the pool area. Consider automatic door locks or alarms to prevent access.
  • After the children are done swimming, secure the pool so they cannot get back in.
  • Remove floats, balls and other toys from the pool after use so that children are not tempted to reach for them.
  • Keep rescue equipment (such as a shepherd's hook or life preserver) and a phone by the pool.
  • For children who cannot swim, use a U.S. Coast Guard-guard approved life jacket.  Do not use air-filled or foam toys, such as "water wings," "noodles," or inner-tubes, in place of life jackets.  These toys are not designed to keep swimmers safe.
  • Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The Red Cross offers a variety of CPR/AED, first aid, lifeguard, swimming, water safety, and emergency preparedness training. For information on classes, visit
Additionally, when swimming in public swimming areas:
  • Select swimming sites that have lifeguards, whenever possible, and swim only in designated swimming areas.
  • Always swim with a buddy.
Car Safety
In the summer months in New England, the inside of a vehicle can be a very dangerous place for children left inside.  The temperature in a closed car in the summer sun can rise quickly and the vehicle can become a deadly place for a child, left even for just a moment.
To keep young children safe in and around cars:
  • Never leave children alone in a parked vehicle, even when they are asleep or restrained, and even if the windows are open.
  • Always check inside the vehicle - front and back - before locking the door and walking away.
  • If a child is missing, check your vehicle first, including the trunk.
  • Do things to remind yourself that a child is in the vehicle, such as placing your purse or briefcase in the back seat so you will check the back seat when you leave the vehicle.
  • Always lock your car and keep the keys out of children's reach.
  • Ensure adequate supervision when children are playing in areas near parked motor vehicles.
  • Ask your childcare provider to call you right away if your child does not show up for childcare.
If you see a child alone in a hot vehicle, call the police. If they are in distress due to heat, get them out as quickly as possible and call 911 immediately.
Remember, all children ages 12 and under should ride in the back seat, properly restrained, even during quick trips to the corner market. Infants and toddlers should remain in rear-facing car seats until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat manufacturer. At a minimum, children should ride rear-facing until they are at least one year old and weigh at least 20 pounds.  You can find more information on child passenger safety on the DPH website
Window Safety
Falls are the leading cause of injury to children, and falls from windows involving young children are especially serious. Window falls are preventable. Screens are not strong enough to protect children from falling out of windows. In order to prevent window falls, parents and caregivers should:
  • Keep low furniture – and anything a child can climb on – away from windows.
  • Open windows from the top, not the bottom, when possible.
  • Lock all unopened doors and windows.
  • Be sure children are always supervised.
  • Install quick-release window guards which can be found in most hardware stores.
To learn more about childhood injury prevention, visit the DPH injury prevention and control program. Additional tips can be found on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.
Resources for Families Struggling with Addiction
Grayken Center for Addiction, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids Announce New Statewide Resources for Families in Crisis

The Grayken Center for Addiction at Boston Medical Center (BMC) and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, the nation’s leading nonprofit dedicated to helping families whose son or daughter is struggling with substance use, are collaborating to close a gap in desperately needed support for parents of young adults struggling with addiction.

New resources, which are free and available online or over the phone, will offer evidence-based support and guidance to provide Massachusetts families with the tools and information they need for support at a critical time in their lives.

Parents can access help from trained parent support specialists either online or over the phone. They can also be connected with trained parent coaches, whose own family has experienced addiction, where they can learn evidence-based skills and receive advice on approaches to addressing a child’s substance use disorder. The support specialists and coaches arm parents with proven strategies that increase the chances of recovery and overall better outcomes for the family.

These resources are available to anyone in Massachusetts who is concerned about their child or young adult and can be accessed through:
  • A dedicated phone and text Helpline for Massachusetts families (call 844-319-5999 or text HOPEMA to 55753), where parents can connect with master’s level specialists and be referred to parent coaches, who will listen to their challenges and help them develop an action plan toward their child’s recovery
  • A Partnership and Grayken Center website – – highlights details on resources and tools Massachusetts families can access
A new study indicates that twenty percent of deaths in people between the ages of 15 and 34 nationwide are related to opioid overdoses. In Massachusetts specifically, about one in five of the 65,000 nonfatal overdoses in the state between 2011 and 2015 was a young adult.

Public service announcements featuring parent coach and volunteer Paul Kusiak of Beverly will be featured on TV, radio and print outlets across the state, thanks to the generosity of Massachusetts media.

This collaboration will provide parents with much-needed resources under one umbrella, including evidence-based alternatives to ‘tough love’ and ‘detaching.’
Bay To Sound Neighbors; Yarmouth & Dennis

Bay to Sound Neighbors is a community-based, non-profit membership organization developed for the sole purpose of helping older members of the beach-side communities of Yarmouth and Dennis on Cape Cod “age in place” for as long as possible through the support of volunteers in the community.

Bay to Sound Neighbors is part of a new and exciting national movement of people who are taking charge of their futures as they age. The "Village Movement" is an aging-in-place initiative that is at the forefront of an innovative approach to aging. Over 200 Villages already exist in the U.S. and nearly that many more are in development, just like us!

Our Village will offer members an array of services that include transportation, minor household repairs and friendly visits, just to name a few. We will provide the volunteer services for our members that are essential for continuing to age effectively in the neighborhoods we all cherish.

Take a look at the suite of services provided, and to learn about opportunities to become a part of the community here.

Volunteer with Meals on Wheels! 
It's summer time- and there is always still a need for meals to be delivered across the Cape. Please consider volunteering. Drivers are needed across the Cape; shifts run from 10 AM until noon, Monday through Friday.

Please contact Nancy Wolf at Elder Services of Cape cod at 508-394-4630 or for further information.
Copyright © 2019,Senator Julian Cyr, All rights reserved.
A monthly newsletter from Senator Julian Cyr

Our mailing address is:
Senator Julian Cyr
Massachusetts State House, Room 309
Boston, MA 02133


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