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  • July 09, 2019 12:00 PM | Anonymous


    We wanted to let our members know about two upcoming Irritech industry training events.

    • Commercial Irrigation Installation, Tuesday, July 23, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. To view the program flyer, click here
    • Hands-on Landscape Lighting, Thursday, July 18, 2:30 p.m.-Sunset. To view the program flyer, click here

    To register online, visit www.irritechtraining.com/events/. If you have any questions regarding the training events, please contact info@irritechtraining.com


  • April 17, 2019 11:01 AM | Anonymous

    4-15-19

    As you know the deadline for budget amendments was yesterday at 5PM.  We went through the list and identified the list below.  A copy of the text is included in the attached document - click here.  Happy to answer any question or discuss in greater detail.  The budget debate will begin on Monday, April 22nd so we have this week to let our legislators know how we feel about these.

     

    A#

    Title

    Sponsor

    Position

    230

    Pesticides for Hemp and Cannabis Cultivation

    Rogers, D.

    FYI

    618

    Employer Medical Assistance Contribution Tax

    O'Connell

    FYI

    996

    Healthy Soils Pilot Program

    Schmid

    FYI

    1157

    Minor Minimum Wage

    Hill

    FYI

    1197

    Neonic Review Draft Amendment

    Finn

    Support

    1298

    UMass Extension Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Laboratory

    Mark

    Support

    1339

    Protecting Massachusetts Pollinators

    Dykema

    Oppose

     

     

     

     

    Thanks to those of you who reached out to their State Reps asking for their co-sponsorship on #1298 by Rep. Mark relative to funding for the soil testing equipment.  Please touch base with them again, or for the first time, asking for their support for that one as well as #1197 by Rep. Finn and in opposition to #1339 by Rep. Dykema. 

    These two (1197, 1339) are relative to neonics.  The Dykema amendment is the same as her legislation and we asked Rep. Michael Finn to file a modified study amendment as an alternative.  This is a similar scenario to last year and we hope to keep her legislation out of the budget once again.  She filed her bill and the committee should handle this rather than it being added to the budget.

    Happy to discuss in greater detail or answer any questions.

    Stephen A. Boksanski, Principal

    BCB Government Relations, Inc.

    617-423-6600 | 617-835-6394 (m)

     

  • April 05, 2019 12:08 PM | Anonymous

    We wanted to forward our members a recap of last week's Ag Day from Steve Boksanski of the Green Industry Alliance (GIA).


    Just a brief note to thank all of those who took time away from their day jobs to hit the statehouse and help spread awareness about the GIA and some of the issues we are working on.  We collectively met with at least 20 legislators and despite not having a booth for Ag Day, were able to be in the mix and activity related to the event.  We were able to speak at length with the House Chair on the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, Rep. Smitty Pignatelli (D-Lenox), who has a brother-in law who plows snow!  So, he asked that we keep him informed of that issue and how he might be helpful.

    Steve Bukoff was able to speak directly with Rep. Dylan Fernandes (D-Falmouth) who filed the legislation (H.776) to allow cities and towns to enact their own, more restrictive bylaws on the use of pesticides, which confirmed that his action is at least in part due to frustration with Eversource and how they manage the ROWs.

    Another takeaway for the day was to start looking now at the Senate Committee on Ways and Means so we can connect some of our members with members of this Committee to get our irrigation contractor bill pushed out this session.  Please take a moment to review the list and let me know if you live, or work in any of these districts: https://malegislature.gov/Committees/Detail/S30

    Stephen A. Boksanski, Principal
    BCB Government Relations, Inc.
    44 School Street, Suite 710
    Boston, MA 02108
    617-423-6600 | 617-835-6394 (m)

  • March 19, 2019 12:58 PM | Anonymous

    Below please find an updated legislative tracking report that we received from

    Stephen A. Boksanski of BCB Government Relations, Inc. (Green Industry Alliance).

    Click here for Legislative list


  • February 15, 2019 1:49 PM | Anonymous

    Please find a brief update on our state government affairs activity.

    WRC
    I attended the Water Resource Commission meeting yesterday where a majority of their time was spent on discussing the draft Drought Management Plan.  The commented period remains open until February 25th.  We developed the attached comments working primarily with the IANE and want to share that – click here to view.  I made some brief comments at the meeting, highlighting the inconsistency in terminology etc between the DMP, the MGL, the WCS and the DEP Model Bylaw.  I expect there will be some follow up on this.

    I saw Lexi Dewey there, who runs the Water Supply Citizens Advisory Committee to the MWRA. Chris Pine and I attended one of their meetings last May and presented on irrigation technology and policy.  She remains supportive of our legislative and regulatory efforts and hopes her group will lend us their voice this session.  She also sent this asking for our thoughts: http://www.allianceforwaterefficiency.org/Landscape-Transformation-Infographic.aspx

    I also had the opportunity to speak with Jennifer Pederson with the Massachusetts Water Works Association about our frustrations with the DEP and the lack of movement on the regulatory front.  She offered to meet with us and maybe one of the municipal stakeholders to see if we can discuss how to get the process moving.

    DAR
    We have requested a meeting with the Commissioner and they agreed to set something up.  I will let you know when we get some dates but timing should be mid to late March.  This will be a good opportunity to catch up on some issues and explore ways to work together.

    Committee Assignments
    Sen. Anne Gobi (D-Spencer) and Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli (D-Lenox) will returning as Chairs of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.  Old friend Sen. Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport) is the new Chair of the Senate Ways and means Committee and Aaron Michlewitz (D-Boston) will helm the House Ways and Means Committee.  

    Click here for Senate Committee Assignments

    Click here for House Committee Assignments


    As always, please do not hesitate to reply of call me directly with any questions or comments.

    Stephen A. Boksanski, Principal
    BCB Government Relations, Inc.
    44 School Street, Suite 710
    Boston, MA 02108
    617-423-6600 | 617-835-6394 (m)

  • December 27, 2018 1:49 PM | Anonymous

    As 2018 comes to an end, I would like to take a moment to reflect on some incredible colleagues that passed in the IANE over the past few years. Our industry will never be the same without any of them.

    Jim McGovern wrote this about Phil Tropeano so well at his passing in 2015, I will just repost it. His family and mine have known each other for decades, he is missed by many.

    1    Phil Tropeano, founder of Larchmont Engineering and Irrigation, passed away this weekend at the age of 93. Phil started Larchmont in 1949 working in the agricultural market manufacturing and distributing specialized farm machinery and conveyors. Irrigation was added in 1950 and snow making in 1951. Phil was nothing short of a pioneer and some of his original design equipment is still in use today. Phil was also a mentor to many in the irrigation industry, including myself. He had such a big heart and will be missed by many.

    Not much you can say about this man that has not been said before. It would be hard to imagine anyone, over the years, that has done business with Stateline and has not had the pleasure of knowing Bob. His loss was a shock to all that knew him and especially to his son Rob and his family at Stateline.

    2-    Robert J Fragala, In 1988, he founded Stateline Irrigation Supply with his wife and two partners and built it into the 9 branch/30 employee organization that it is today.  His son got into the business and they worked side-by-side until the day he died, doing the job he loved and considered his favorite hobby. He passed unexpectedly, on November 15, 2017 at age 73 at his his second home in Desert Hot Springs, CA.

    We lost two long time members and former officers in the IANE in 2018. Many of us in the industry and the IANE, were very fortunate to have had the pleasure of knowing them. Their contributions will never go unnoticed and they will be missed.

    3-    Robert "Bob" Alan Paxton, 62, of Bedford passed away on August 13, 2018. Bob opened his business, New England Lawn Irrigation, which grew successfully until his retirement in 2017. Bob was a former Presidents of the IANE.

    4-    David Hock, 64, of Manchester died surrounded by his loving family and friends on November 24, 2018 as a result of a sudden illness. He was born on February 23, 1954 in Manchester to the late Edward and Marion (Shatz) Hock. Dave attended Manchester schools and graduated from UNH in 1974. He was co-owner of Landscape Plus for over 19 years and owner of NH Irrigation since 1986. He took great pride in his work and was widely respected by his customers and peers. It brought him great joy to work side by side with his son Chris and for many years with his good friend Mark Germana. Dave was one of the founding fathers of the IANE and a former President.

    Sincerely,

    Peter Roberto
    IANE President

  • December 20, 2018 3:00 PM | Anonymous

    Thank you to all who attended the IANE Annual Meeting held on December 13th at X1 Boston.  At this event, IANE voting members elected a new Board of Directors and approved the IANE By-Law amendments.

    Congratulations to the recently elected IANE Board of Directors:

    President:  Peter Roberto - Shady Tree Landscaping Inc.
    Vice President: Tim Preston - Wisteria & Rose
    Treasurer: Bob Barbati - Atlantic Irrigation
    Clerk: Charles R. Williams, III - Rainscape Lawn Sprinklers, LLC
    Director: Bryan Sanderson - Northeast Nursery

    To view an outline of the amendments that were voted on, click here.

    To view the newly revised By-Laws, click here.

    We would like to thank our sponsors of this event:


    We would also like to thank our speakers for the day:

    David Asadoorian, CPA who discussed how the tax law changes are going to affect the contractor's business and personally. Click here to view a PDF of his presentation
    Manufacturer Panel discussed controller technology
    Moderator: Chris Pine of C. Pine & Associates
    Panel: Ernie Drougas, Hunter Industries
    Joe Keteltas, The Toro Company
    Kyle McNerney, Smart Water Management


    On behalf of the IANE Board of Directors, we would like to wish you all a happy holiday season!

    Julie Heston
    IANE Association Manager

  • December 04, 2018 1:00 PM | Anonymous

    At this year's annual meeting on December 13th the IANE membership will vote on the following proposed Bylaw amendments.  The main purpose of amending the bylaws was to reduce the number of board members needed and to take away the need to have board members from each region.

    Please click here to review the proposed bylaw amendments

    *Changes are marked in red.

    Thank you,

    Julie Heston, Association Manager

    Irrigation Association of New England


  • October 05, 2018 1:21 PM | Anonymous

    Below please find an update of some issues of interest from the Green Industry Alliance.

    Water Conservation Standards
    As Vandana Rao announced at the September meeting of the Water Resources Commission, the updated Massachusetts Water Conservation Standards have been published. The standards document is available on this page:
    https://www.mass.gov/service-details/details-on-the-2018-massachusetts-water-conservation-standards

    Financing Sustainable Water Workshop
    The Alliance for Water Efficiency is holding a workshop on building sustainable water rates on Wednesday, November 14th, hosted by the MA Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).  Attached please find the Save the Date flyer that provides an outline of what they will be discussing.    It runs all day (8:45AM-2:30PM) at the Sharon Community Center and registration is required. 
    Click here for more information

  • August 07, 2018 12:08 PM | Anonymous

    The Legislature is working its way through a large set of conference committees to resolve differences between House and Senate versions of the big policy developments for 2018 and the two-year term.  Formal sessions end on midnight Tuesday, July 31st and the rush is on to rack up some legislative accomplishments.  A final FY19 budget was sent to Gov. Baker on July 18th and he returned a few dozen line item vetoes along with several policy matters that were sent back with suggested changes.  The Legislature is likely to override the vast majority of these and each requires a two-thirds majority, roll call vote in both branches to be overridden.  While the majority party has plenty of votes to get over this hurdle, timing will play a bigger factor in the eventual outcome.  All override votes must start in the House so they set the pace and with several conference committees still in negotiations, the House could put the Senate in a difficult position by delaying action on these and forcing the Senate into a race against the clock.

     

    The Legislature has reached agreement on several matters including an environmental bond bill (H.4835) that has been engrossed by the House and should receive a similar vote by the Senate today.  You may recall there were a couple of pollinator protection-related amendments filed during the Senate debate, but those were withdrawn and therefore not part of the final package.  The stand-along bill (H.4041) remains before the House Committee on Ways and Means and the advocates continue to push for a favorable report.  If that does not happen before July 31st, which we do not expect, then it is dead, along with all the other bills that could be deemed controversial.

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