Massachusetts Solar Energy Rebate Program Hits a Wall

If you go to its website, the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust, which administers the state’s solar rebate program (the Commonwealth Solar Rebate Program) simply says it has gotten enough applications to meet the state’s current goal; 27 megawatts of installed photovoltaic (PV) power by 2012.

The program, launched in January 2008, is an expression of Governor Deval Patrick’s ultimate goal; 250 megawatts of solar power by 2017. But with slightly more than seven years, and 223 megawatts still to go, it seems odd and unfortunate that the program has run out of money, leaving many unapproved applicants in the lurch and on the hook for solar systems they have installed (or for which they have pending installation contracts).

This effectively ends the state’s $68-million program for now, presumably until new funding can be arranged through the legislature. The program was originally funded through a $4-per-month fee on Massachusetts customer’s utility bills, as well as penalties paid by utility companies operating at a deficit in terms of renewable energy generation.

That the money is all gone may be reassuring news for solar manufacturing firms and solar panel installers, proving yet again that solar energy, rather than being an energy fad destined to fail, is actually moving into the mainstream of energy production nationwide. It is very negative news for those who want to participate in solar energy.

The funding failure was apparently propelled by an Oct. 6 notice saying that the state was planning to reduce rebates, which spurred an influx of so many applications in a single week that the $26 million remaining in the fund was completely depleted, according to Massachusetts energy czar Philip Giudici.

Giudici called it a “surprise”, happening as it did at a time when the state’s consumers were demanding solar energy. For homeowners and small businesses looking to get some funding toward solar energy systems – whose prices are still too high for the average American – the announcement was more like a heartbreak.

At the time the fund failed, the state’s energy executives were looking to switch incentives to renewable energy credits, or RECs. Now, with the solar energy fund $12 million over budget, and 142 new solar businesses in the state this year looking to capitalize on the state’s solar energy incentive through new customers, the collapse of the incentive spells very bleak news for many.

Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust director Carter Wall has said that some of the state’s ARRA funding may be used to bolster the solar panel incentives, in order to honor as many applicants as possible, and promised that the next round of funding approved by the legislature will more closely match needs. Since the legislature is out from Nov. 23 through the first of next year, the odds of getting anything supplemental passed in the interim is astronomical.

Homeowners and small businessmen aren’t the only ones complaining. Last week, Yarmouth Public Works Director George Allaire dispatched an angry letter to Guidici, saying that power purchase agreements – critical to keeping the town’s waste treatment facility viable – would now have to be amended or cancelled unless someone could tell the purchasers what kind of incentives to plan on in budgeting systems, costs and financial payback.

Source by Nathan Lew

How To Become A Construction Supervisor in Massachusetts

Becoming a Construction Supervisor in the state of Massachusetts can give you a lot of employment options. The construction industry is doing well and is expected to keep growing. It actually makes up more than five percent of the United States job sector. With the field of construction doing so well, holding a license in this industry can help increase the odds that even in a bad economy you should be able to find steady employment. As a licensed construction supervisor you can opt to work for a large construction firm or work independently with a company of your own. With that said you first need to pass the state exam.

Are You Eligible?

To be eligible to pass the exam, the state of Massachusetts first requires that candidates have at least three years of experience in the construction industry. If you have a Bachelor of Science in construction or engineering, or a very closely related field you will automatically be given credit for two years of experience. To accrue the third year, you will have to work for at least one year, at forty hours a week within the construction industry. The state will require proof of this employment via W2 tax forms. Additionally all candidates must be at least 18 years old.

The State Exam

If deemed qualified to take the test by the state, candidates will be tested on their knowledge of the overall general contracting procedures as well as their knowledge of building codes. The exam itself if very regulated. The state uses a company called Prometric, Inc., to administer the test. They are backed by the Department of Public Safety. The fee for the Construction Supervisor exam is one hundred dollars.

What is the license good for?

In the state of MA, the construction of any building up to 35000 cubic feet requires a construction supervisor to oversee the project. MA offers two different license classes for this for this particular license; unrestricted and restricted. The restricted license is good for one and two family residential buildings. On the other hand the unrestricted license is good on buildings up to 35000 cubic feet.

Once you pass the state exam you are officially classified as a construction supervisor. With your license in hand you can either seek employment with a construction company or if you are want to try out the entrepreneurial path you can start a construction company of your own.

Source by Amy Lee Anderson

Life in Cambridge, Massachusetts

If you’ve heard of Harvard University, M.I.T, Harvard Square, Julia Childs, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, then you’ve probably heard of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Cambridge is a geographically small place with big things going on. Here is some information about Cambridge:

Cambridge was founded in 1630 and incorporated as a city in 1846. In 1630, the settlement was called Newtowne, and the name was changed to Cambridge in 1638. A person from Cambridge is called a Cantabrigian. The oldest house in Cambridge is the Cooper-Frost-Austin house on Linnaean Street, with the wood used to construct it dating back to 1682.

Cambridge is separated from Boston by two bridges, the Longfellow Bridge and the Harvard Bridge. Cambridge is approximately 6.4 square miles in size and has a population of about 106,000 people.

There are several squares in Cambridge: Harvard Square, Kendall Square, Central Square, Porter Square, Inman Square and Union Square. Cambridge has been referred to as a “City of Squares.” Each of the squares has its own ambiance and noteworthy restaurants and entertainment venues that make it unique. Most people are partial to the one square that best suits their personality.

There is a varied architecture in Cambridge dating from the 1600s right up to the current day. You can see apartment buildings from every decade, old Victorian homes, modern condominium complexes and brick turrets on homes covered in ivy next to a modern home just completed yesterday-all within a block of each other. There are many beautiful little side streets paved in brick and lined with the most luscious gardens, and then when you walk five houses away you are on the bustling, modern and very busy Massachusetts Avenue. Massachusetts Avenue is called Mass Ave. by the locals, and it begins in the Dorchester section of Boston and extends 16 miles through many cities and towns.

It is very easy to navigate around Cambridge by public transportation, which is called the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority). The Red Line branch of the transit system has several stops in Cambridge: Kendall, Central, Harvard, Porter and Alewife. There is also a stop for the Purple Line in Porter Square, and this is a commuter rail train that goes back into Boston or out to the western suburbs of Massachusetts. Numerous buses can take you anywhere, and they are also a good alternative if you prefer to stay above ground and avoid the subway train. The area is very good for walking and bicycling, too.

M.I.T and Harvard are the two largest employers in Cambridge, as you can well imagine. The population also reflects their presence in the community. There is a large and diverse student population here, as well as a large population of professors and other college staff living throughout the city. This mix of people makes for an intellectually stimulating and young environment where there is always something exciting going on.

Cultures of all types are alive and well and living in Cambridge. There are restaurants from just about any country you can think of. There are theaters, live music venues, street performers, art galleries and many other types of artsy endeavors to suit every taste.

Cambridge is a great place to add to your vacation list, especially if you are planning a visit to Boston; it’s only a little over two miles away. Cambridge is an interesting and very convenient place to live, too. Maybe someday I will meet you in Cambridge, Massachusetts!

Source by Debbie Pento

Massachusetts Traffic Laws and Surchargeable Points

Massachusetts traffic laws aim to prevent traffic accidents and help determine who is liable in the event of a motor vehicle accident.

Massachusetts Laws for Sharing the Road

Massachusetts traffic laws dictate that upon approaching an intersection, drivers have a responsibility to yield to oncoming traffic. If a vehicle drives past a yield sign and subsequently collides with your car in an intersection, the collision itself is evidence that the other driver failed to yield.

Evidence of driver negligence can be used in a Massachusetts personal injury lawsuit as proof of the other driver’s liability in that traffic accident. Any time a vehicle fails to yield in any of the following manners and that failure results in a Massachusetts car accident, the victim of the collision has clear evidence of the other driver’s negligence:

o Running a red light;

o Performing an illegal U-turn; and

o Operating their vehicle in any other reckless manner, including speeding (any person operating a vehicle in excess of a posted speed limit is automatically determined to be driving at a speed more than reasonable and proper).

Massachusetts Drivers’ Responsibilities

Massachusetts traffic laws outline driver responsibilities after a motor vehicle accident. Every driver involved in a traffic accident has the duty and responsibility to file a report with the local police department and make known all applicable information when:

o A person is killed;

o A person is injured; AND/OR

o There is property damage in excess of $1,000.

This Massachusetts traffic law was enacted to ensure that when an injury- accident occurs, the victim would be able to get information immediately about the other person involved in the accident.

Massachusetts traffic laws also state that it is illegal to operate a vehicle without:

o A valid driver’s license;

o Insurance with specific minimum limits; AND

o Vehicle registration.

Failure to possess any of the above documents is punishable by fines, possible jail time, and possible license suspension. Most likely, a violation of this sort will result in surchargeable points being charged to the offender’s license and insurance.

Massachusetts Surchargeable Points

The insurance rates in Massachusetts are set by the Massachusetts government. The state and insurance companies use a system of surchargeable points to reward safe drivers and penalize negligent drivers. Drivers accrue surchargeable points for moving violation convictions, which raises insurance premiums and can result in a suspended license.

Massachusetts drivers are also given a surcharge on their insurance premiums for any motor vehicle accident in which either:

o The driver was ruled at fault; OR

o The driver’s insurance company pays out more than $500 in claims.

How a Massachusetts Accident Attorney Can Help

If you, or a loved one, have been seriously injured in a Massachusetts car accident and you suspect the other driver violated any of the laws cited above at the time of the accident, you can file a personal injury lawsuit. Through a personal injury lawsuit you can seek financial compensation for:

o Medical bills;

o Lost wages and future earnings;

o Physical therapy;

o Emotional distress; and

o Other expenses related to your injuries.

It is important to retain an experienced Massachusetts personal injury lawyer who has successfully handled cases similar to yours. Don’t go it alone! A skilled personal injury attorney can help you establish negligence and increase the odds of receiving a fair settlement or verdict for your injuries.

Source by Thomas M. Kiley

OUI-DUI Roadblocks in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, the police are permitted to conduct OUI-DUI roadblocks in order to stop and detect impaired drivers. However, if you are stopped at a roadblock and arrested for OUI-DUI, you may be able to get the evidence the police obtained and the case dismissed by filing a motion to suppress attacking the police conduct in executing the roadblock.

Ordinarily, a police officer must have reasonable suspicion to seize an individual under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitutional and under Article 14 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights. When the police stop an individual at a roadblock, a motorist is being seized without individualized suspicion that the person is committing a crime.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has held that a roadblock seizure to detect drunk drivers is reasonable if the police comply with the strict standards set forth in a case known as Commonwealth v. McGeoghegan. First, the selection of vehicles to stop must not be done arbitrarily. Accordingly, the police must stop cars in some sequence; usually this is done through stopping every car. Second, motorist safety and inconvenience must be secured by implementation of a plan devised by law enforcement supervisory personnel, regarding where vehicles will be stopped and where further screening will take place. Third, the area selected by law enforcement must be an area where there has been a high number of OUI-DUI arrests or accidents. Finally, though not required, the SJC has indicated that advanced public notice of the date, but not the precise location, of the roadblock will decrease its subjective impact on motorists and support the Constitutional reasonableness of the roadblock.

In attacking the validity of a roadblock, your attorney should obtain the roadblock plan through discovery that will reveal how the police intended to set up the roadblock, stop cars and the data that justified the site selection. Along with attacking the procedure for how the roadblock was conducting, an additional basis for attacking the stop is that the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to order the motorist from the follow of traffic. The initial greeting officer must have reasonable suspicion to suspect a motorist is operating under the influence before the motorist can be removed from the flow of traffic.

If you are stopped at a roadblock, it is important to have an experienced attorney review the discovery to determine if the police complied with proper procedure in establishing the roadblock and if there was a basis for you to be ordered from the flow of traffic. A motion to suppress challenging these elements, if successful, should result in the dismissal of your case.

Source by Michael Delsignore

Keeping Your Massachusetts License – A Message To Young Drivers

You have worked hard to obtain your Massachusetts Driver's License. You have studied the rules of road, taken driver's education, obtained your learner's permission, you will pass a road test, and you will be issued a Massachusetts Driver's License. This license is one of the most important things that you will get in your life. Do not take it for granted. There are thousands of individuals throughout Massachusetts, and the country, who would give anything to get their license back. The loss of a license, especially for a long period of time, can be catastrophic. As a lawyer who represents clients who are trying to get their licenses back, I have personally seen the consequences of a license suspension: embarrassment, humiliation, financial and financial problems, the loss of a job, missed educational opportunities, and the imposition of a tremendous burden on the suspended driver's family and friends. Neverheless, there is no right to a Massachusetts Driver's License. Driving is a privilege which the Registrar voluntarily grants and can easily take away. The Registry suspends licenses by the thousands. As a new driver, you should make sure that you are not one of the unlucky individuals who receive a suspension letter. If you do, you should contact me or another lawyer who specializes in Registry law.

Massachusetts has what is known as graduated licensing. Under this system, you typically receive more driving privileges as you get older. You start out with a learner's permit, which allows you to drive when accompanied by someone who is at least 21 years of age, with at least one year of driving experience. The adult driver must be located in the front passenger seat. You must have a clean driving record for six (6) months prior to taking a road test. This means that if you have any surcharged accidents, traffic tickets, license suspensions, or drug / alcohol violations, you will not be allowed to schedule a road test until you have 6 months of incident free driving.

Once you obtain your Junior Operator's License, for the first six months, other than an immediate family member, you can not transport a passenger who is under 18 years of age, unless you are accompanied by a sponsor who is over 21 years of age, sorted in the front passenger seat, and has at least one year of driving experience. A JOL Passenger Restriction Violation will result in an automatic 60 day license suspension for the first indemnity and a 180 day suspension for the second indemnity. It is next to impossible to get a hardship license if your license is suspended because of this violation.

If you are under 18 years of age, you can not drive between 12:30 am and 5:00 am unless you have your parent in the vehicle. Driving during these restricted hours without your parents is considered unlicensed operation, you could have arrested and you may be punished by a 60 day license suspension for a first violation. If you are driving on a JOL and you are found responsible for speeding, you license will automatically suspend for 90 days for the first indemnity and one year for the second indemnity. If you are found responsible for drag racing while on a JOL, you license will be suspended for 1 year for the first indemnity and 3 years for the second indemnity.

If you are under 18 years of age and are found to have alcohol in your system, as evidenced by a breathalyzer reading of .02 or above, your license will be suspended for one year. You may be able to reduce this suspension to 180 days. Contact a Registry Lawyer to find out how.

If your breathalyzer reading is .06 or higher you may be charged with drunk driving and you will incur additional suspensions.

If you are under 18, refusing to take the breathalyzer will result in an automatic license suspension for at least one year, even if you are found "not guilty" for drunk driving or the charges are dismissed.

There are also enhanced suspension penalies for drivers under 21 years of age who refute the breathalyzer or have any alcohol in their systems, as evidenced by a breathalyzer reading of .02 or above.

Certain convictions may trigger license suspensions of at least 180 days for the first indemnity and 1 year for the second indemnity. These crimes include: Operation Under the Influence, Operating to Endanger Leaving the Scene of an accident, Drinking from an Open Container of an Alcoholic Beverages, OUI Causing Serious Bodily Injury, and Motor Vehicle Homicide.

Your license can also be suspended for manufacturing, selling, or possessing a false ID as well as possessing alcohol or trying to purchase alcohol.

As you can see, there are numerous ways that you can lose your driver's license. It is important to not consume alcohol and to drive carefully. The Registry has taken a zero-tolerance approach regarding young drivers who commit violations. Cautious driving and compliance with the law will help you avoid these harsh license suspensions. If you receive a citation or license suspension notice, you should contact a lawyer to discuss your rights. I wish all young drivers the best of luck as they join the ranks of the motoring public in Massachusetts.

Source by Brian Simoneau

How Massachusetts General Law 93A Affects Online Businesses

Massachusetts General Law 93A, titled Regulation of Business Practices for Consumers Protection, is designed to protect those consumers who would otherwise be unaware of their legal rights. Mass. Gen. Law 93A. As it was originally drafted, 93A did not create a private right to sue, an issue which was quickly addressed by the legislature, and now both consumers and businesses can use 93A as a basis for enforcing their rights through private law suit. Unlike some other states, the Massachusetts consumer protection statute provides for an express, rather than an implied, right to sue for businesses who feel they have been victim of a deceptive or unfair act. It is often easy to spot a consumer protection issue with standard businesses, such as: bait and switch advertising, failure to disclose defects, price-fixing, faulty warranty claims and un-bargained for return/refund policies. It becomes much more difficult to determine when a consumer protection claim based upon Mass. Gen. Law 93A exists when the business involved is only involved in electronic commerce, and especially when that business is not located within the state.

When evaluating a potential consumer protection claim, it is necessary to keep in mind that the required elements are different for a business and a consumer. A consumer must follow certain procedural and substantive requirements outlined in section 9 of the act. Among other elements, section 9 requires a 30 day demand letter, a showing that they are in fact a consumer, an unfair or deceptive practice, and a showing of damages.

Businesses, especially online businesses, differ substantially in their required elements. Section 11 sets out the requirements for a business 93A claim, and requires that a business show:

  1. That they are a “business” – [involved in the conduct of any trade or commerce];
  2. That the defendant engaged in an “unfair method of competition” or the defendant’s actions were “unfair” or “deceptive;”
  3. That these actions occurred primarily and substantially within Massachusetts (the burden is on the defendant to disprove this presumption as a defense); and
  4. That these actions resulted in a loss to the business plaintiff of money or property, real or personal, for money damages to issue; or
  5. That these actions “may have the effect of causing such loss of money or property.”

Mass. Gen. Law 93A

Because of the openness of the internet, and the anonymity involved, it can be extremely difficult to demonstrate that a certain method was either unfair or deceptive. More difficult, especially in the context of an online business, is demonstrating that a certain act has the effect of causing damages or loss. Since online transactions vary in amount and since the market is continually expanding, it can be extremely difficult to demonstrate actual loss, or even potential for loss. Since each element must be present before filing a claim, the prudent advocate will research the facts of the case prior to initiating a 93A claim. Without the properly pled elements, most judges will discard with the case at the first possible opportunity.

In addition, online businesses present unique jurisdictional issues that may confuse the use of 93A for consumer protection purposes. In order for there to be any hope of applying 93A to an online business, the “unfair or deceptive act” must have primarily or substantially occurred within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. When neither the deceptive/unfair act, nor the harm takes place in MA, a consumer protection claim will be barred based upon 93A, even if the victim is a Massachusetts resident or business. In the recent Massachusetts Superior Court case of Fillmore v. Leasecomm Corp., the judge dismissed a consumer protection claim brought by a Massachusetts company against a California company because the allegedly deceptive sales tactics and the unfair contracts were all consummated in California. Fillmore v. Leasecomm Corp., 18 Mass. L. Rptr. 560, 2004 WL 3091642 (Mass. Super. Ct. Nov. 15, 2004). In Fillmore, the plaintiff’s pleadings failed the ‘center of gravity’ test applied for jurisdictional purposes, and the claim was therefore dismissed. When deciding whether or not to file a consumer protection claim in Massachusetts, it is best first to look at the act, the harm and the jurisdiction. The more that occurred within Massachusetts jurisdiction, the more likely the claim will be allowed to proceed. However, Massachusetts courts do find in favor of Massachusetts companies when all the elements, including the jurisdictional ones are met. If a contract was to be performed in Massachusetts, and the damages took place in Massachusetts, then the jurisdictional element will be met and the court will find for the claimant, as the Massachusetts appeals court did in Auto Shine Car Wash Sys. v. Nice ‘n Clean Car Wash, Inc. In Auto Shine, the parties frequently met in Massachusetts, and the misrepresentation originated in Massachusetts. The court held in favor of the plaintiff for double damages, as there was a willful and knowing violation of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93A 58 Mass. App. Ct. 685 (Mass. Appeals Ct. 2003).

Filing a consumer protection claim presents a substantially increased level of evidence and jurisdiction requirements when your client is a business. Beware of the consequences and potential wasted time you may use when filing a claim without having every element met. Simply because Massachusetts provides for an express right for businesses to file claims, doe not mean that judges will be willing to overlook even the smallest discrepancies in the pleading requirements.

Source by Nicholas Deleault

Massachusetts Seat Belt Laws and Accident Liability

Massachusetts seat belt laws are strict, provide penalties for people in defiance of them, and specifically cover child restraint devices. These seat belt laws were created to ensure the best possible protection for you and your passengers should you be involved in a car accident. Violating Massachusetts seatbelt laws only results in minor fines, but the injuries that could have been prevented by their use often cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Massachusetts Requires Seat Belt Use

Massachusetts seatbelt laws require anyone operating or riding in a private motor vehicle under 18,000 pounds to wear a properly fastened and adjusted safety belt. The only exceptions to the Massachusetts seat belt law are:

– Children under 12 years of age subject to child restraint laws;

– Operators or passengers in vehicles manufactured prior to July 1, 1966;

– Any person physically unable to use safety belts as designed;

– United States Postal Service employees in performance of their duties;

– Anyone involved in the operation of taxis, liveries, tractors, and trucks weighing more than 18,000 pounds, buses, and passengers of authorized emergency vehicles.

Violation of Massachusetts seat belt laws will result in a fine for any occupant of the vehicle not wearing a safety belt. You will be assessed the fine for every violator 16 years of age or under.

Should you be involved in a car accident in Massachusetts and an unrestrained passenger is injured when they should have been restrained, you may be held responsible for those injuries.

Massachusetts Child Restraint Laws

Massachusetts seat belt laws relating to child restraint laws mandate:

– Every child under 5 years old and weighing 40 pounds or less must be properly fastened and secured by a child passenger restraint;

– Every child between 5 -12 years of age must be properly fastened and secured by a safety belt;

– Every child under 8 years of age must be fastened and secured by a child passenger restraint unless the child is more than 57 inches in height;

– Every child under 13 years of age must wear a properly adjusted and fastened safety belt unless required to be secured by a child passenger restraint.

Massachusetts seat belt laws define child passenger restraints as infant seats, car seats, and booster seats. Every child must be securely fastened-whether in a child passenger restraint or by seatbelt-in a federally approved manner that is consistent with manufacturer’s instructions.

The only exceptions to the Massachusetts seat belt laws as they relate to child restraint laws are:

– Passengers in school bus;

– Passengers in a motor vehicle manufactured before July 1, 1966; and

– Child passengers physically unable to use a conventional child passenger restraint.

Violating the Massachusetts seat belt laws regarding child restraints is punishable by fines, but the violation cannot be used as evidence of contributory negligence in a Massachusetts personal injury lawsuit. This does not however, relieve you from ensuring that you and your car’s passengers are properly restrained.

If you are considering filing a Massachusetts personal injury lawsuit, it’s important to contact an experienced Massachusetts personal injury lawyer who has successfully handled cases similar to yours.

Source by Thomas M. Kiley

The Best Ways to Play The Games of The Massachusetts State Lottery

Instant Win Scratch Tickets

Have you ever been to a corner store and witnessed an unusual flood of people there, many in and out of their cars, some just sitting mesmerized in a trancelike state, and wondered, 'what on earth is going on here'? What you have just witnessed is the result of a new release of an Instant Win Scratch Ticket from the Massachusetts State Lottery. I'm sure it comes as no surprise to you that it's all about entertainment and money. There really is only one thing capable of generating that type of excitation at corner stores and 'quick stop gas stations' throughout the state so, there's also no wondering why the state holds a 'legalized monopoly' on the industry.

You may however, have wondered, 'how do all those people know when a new instant win game is released'? The answer is, they watch for new release announcements on the New Lottery Instant Game Tickets page of the Massachusetts State Lottery Official Web Site. In this way they are always apprised of new opportunities to hit the jackpot.

As for the mysterious furor of it all, it can be explained simply with what's well know through the 'scratching community', in an attempt to gain popularity for a game, each new instant games release is scheduled with winning tickets.

So, now a week as gone by and the crowds have dissipated at the 'scratching posts' and you have some former candidates burning a hole in you pocket. Short of a cold shower, you decide what to do, buy yourself some instant win lottery tickets! Now comes the dilemma, which games tickets to buy? Before extinguishing those fiery historical figures, refer to the Instant Prizes Claims page of the Massachusetts State Lottery Official Web Site. Additionally you may want to check the Instant Prizes Under 1,000,000 page.

What you are looking for is the claimed vs. total columns on the right side on both of the listing pages. By scanning those two columns you can easily see how many prizes are both available and claimed. Now at this point it becomes perfectly obvious that you only want to purchase tickets for games that have more unclaimed prizes than claimed prizes. After all, why throw away your hard earned money on a 46 claimed prizes out of 50 available prizes game ticket when you can purchase a 28 vs. 66 or 18 vs. 80 and have something on the order of 30 to 60 more chances of winning the grand prize amount! Granted though, all those winners will not be in circulation at the time of your purchase.

This begs the question of how much money to spend on your instant win ticket purchase. Most "professional 'scratchers'" remark, you must spend at least $ 100 on one game at one time to have any real chance of winning a jackpot, claiming, you really need some full fresh sheets of tickets in order to better your chances of your scratching revealing that jackpot. However conviction dictates you can only buy as many scratch tickets as your budget will allow. So, if spending $ 100 simply is not in your budget today, sometimes over time, putting some money aside for a 'new instant win release treat day' would be an acceptable way to both play by the 'rules' and, make it relatively' affordable 'to do so.

Cash WinFall

A 'one wheel' game, Cash WinFall, being the Massachusetts State Lotteries newest game, has an interesting twist on its jackpot. The money is rolled down to lesser winners! If no grand prize has been won before the jackpot pool reaches $ 2 Million, that $ 2,000,000.00 or more then gets dissipated through to all lower level wins of that draw. Meaning, if the jackpot is $ 2 Million or more, and there is no jackpot winner, that $ 2 Million goes to all the prize winners in that drawing. Pretty neat! Now it's quite obvious when to play Cash WinFall!

Mega Millions

A two wheel game, Mega Millions is the Massachusetts version of the highly popular multi state game PowerBall. Being a 2 wheel game, the odds are quite high against picking all 6 winning numbers. In fact they are quite a bit higher than PowerBall odds. One would naturally assume because the odds are higher, there would be less frequent winners with higher jackpots. That simply is not the case. PowerBall has jackpot winners, on average over the past year, approximately once every 6 weeks (8 winners) with 9 figure jackpots numbering 4. While Mega Millions has jackpot winners, on average once every 4 weeks (14 winners) ) with 9 figure jackpots also numbering 4. One can reasonably assert that those figures are a result of the participation states population and economic demographics.

So how do all those people win? The Official Web Site of Mega Millions states quite clearly on its Winning Picks page [] that 'Lottery games such as Mega Millions are random and it is impossible for anyone or any lottery analysis software to predict exactly what will be the next drawn balls. However, patterns can still be observed from the balls that are randomly drawn for different periods of time ' . That being said, you can obviously have a better chance of winning through a lottery related form of Statistical Analysis . For more information on Statistical Analysis and how it applies to the Massachusetts State Lottery, visit So, when should you play this game? You should really only play Mega Millions about the 4th week after every jackpot winner!

The Numbers Game

A 4 wheel game and the oldest of the Massachusetts State Lottery Games, The Numbers Game has been in operation since 1975. More than 10,000 drawings have made players the happy winners of tens, hundreds and, thousands of dollars every day. Number odds being quite reasonable, one would assume winning this game to be reliably easy. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The fact is, the way you are forced to play this game aids in stacking the odds much farther against you than you may think. With it's all 4 any 4, first 3 last 3 any or exact, 2 digit combinations, .25c, .50c, $ 1, $ 2, and $ 5 play options, coupled with payouts less than $ 10,000, playing this game is a real challenge, as too is it's worthiness of being played. What the designers of this old lottery game looks to have overlooked is, it's not how to play but what you win, something the newer games embrace fully. That being said, The Numbers Game does have its merits. There are lots of people out there who only want to bet .25c or .50c and, not even Keno offers that option. What this game really needs is a simple 'any 3' option including a '$ 5 only' bet and a maximum $ 500 payout. That alone could catapult the popularity of The Numbers Game to stratospheric levels. So what's the best way to play this game? .25c and 50c bets only, any combinations you want. The layman perspective is, pick 4 out of 40 on The Numbers Game and maybe win $ 10,000. Pick 5 out of 35 on MassCash and definitely win $ 100,000, spending $ 1 or more should be saved for MassCash.


An older 'one wheel' game that, since its inception in 1991, has paid its $ 100,000 jackpot to more than 2500 winners! With its reasonable odds and reasonable payouts it's easy to see why this older game continues to be popular. With jackpot winners nearly every drawing, and multiple winner too, you can play this game whenever it's drawn!


An older 'one wheel' game that, since itsception in 1982, has paid more than 1700 winners varying prize amounts totaling about $ 2.5 Billion. A fairly tough game to win, jackpot winners are, on average, paid out every 10 -12 drawings. So, naturally you only play this game every 10 – 12 draws after a jackpot winner.


A 'newer one wheel' computer driven game and a masterpiece of modern gambling Keno, is designed for people with a lot of time on their hands. After all, where else can you have a chance to win $ 1 Million every 5 minutes 21 hours a day, 6 days a week, and 13 hours on Sunday! When should you play this game? Whenever you've had just enough to drink to think you can actually pick 12 of the 20 numbers drawn from a pool of 80. Seriously, Keno is a very fun game and, when played correctly, can create hours of enjoyment for little to no money spent. In fact people have been known to play all night and leave no poorer than when they started! How is that? Keno allows you to win if you do not pick any of the winning numbers! Amazing! Well, maybe not all that amazing as Lottery Officials have obviously figured out that it's harder to not pick any of the winners than to pick 1, 2, 3 or 4 winners when playing a 12, 11 or 10 spot game as you do not win anything for picking less than 5 winning numbers. But, if you are the unluckiest person around you could win all night long! So how do you play this game? The odds are just as good winning a prize on the 7 spot wager as the 1 spot wager so play the 7 spot although the best over all odds are on the 2 spot wager. Simply show up, pick you numbers, pay for however many games your visit will cover and, cash out when you leave.

Source by Jim Corbett

Developing the Next Generation of School Leaders in Massachusetts

Call it what you will: building management capacity, growing a new crop of potential leaders, or just planning ahead. However you want to describe it, there's a real need for it in Massachusetts.

Fact: In recent years, school districts have found it increasingly difficult to fill many top positions. In some cases, few (or no) qualified candidates even apply.

If you accept the promise that the teachers of today are the school administrators of tomorrow, we need to redouble our efforts to develop more leaders from within the teaching ranks. We need to do so immediately.

Granted, some positive efforts are already underway. To help fill the gap, professional organizations such as the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators' Association (MSSAA) and the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators (MAVA) have established their own programs to train teachers to enter management. MSSAA runs a Leadership Licensed Program (LLP) and a Leadership Licensation Program – Superintendent (LLPS). MAVA runs a Leadership Academy for Middle Managers (Leadership Academy I) and a Leadership Academy II to train future Principals and Superintendents.

The Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials (MASBO) runs a licensing program for would-be School Business Managers. The Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (MASS) runs an Induction Program for newly-appointed Superintendents.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) helps fund many of these programs.

These are all commendable efforts, but more must be done.

As a veteran school administrator, I believe that school districts and the leaders in them have an obligation to help fill this management gap. And I think we can do it, with little cost or effort.

Here are five specific ideas for school superintendents to consider:

Idea # 1: Annually enroll at least one staff member in an MSSAA or MAVA leadership program.

• Advantages: Steady buildings management capacity, at a reasonable annual cost of $ 2,000- $ 8,000. May be eligible for funding through one of the district's federal entitlement grants.

• Possible negatives: There's a cost. Teachers who receive the training may leave the district.

Idea # 2: Establish in-school internship programs to get more teachers licensed to take administrative jobs.

School districts already have mentoring programs for teachers. Simply expand yours to include an internship program for aspiring administrators. In a formal program, team up aspiring administrators with current administrators who are willing to share insights with their protégé and guide them through a series of practical projects.

• Advantages: There's little or no cost to the district. And it's easy to get such programs approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Education. Upon successful competition, teachers earn administrative licenses.

• Possible negative: You need mentors for each of the teachers. Teachers need to put in hundreds of hours of work to obtain a license. Teachers may encounter confidential information. Teachers who receive a license may leave your district.

Idea # 3: Allow teachers to take part in the budget development process.

• Advantages: No cost to the district. Simple way to train teachers to develop annual spending plans. Many would-be administrators have no experience in this key area.

• Possible negative: Teachers may get access to confidential information. Current administrators lose some measure of control.

Idea # 4: Let teachers take part in real planning, on important topics to the school.

Including teachers in self-studies / and planning for Coordinated Program Reviews and visits by regional accreditation teams.

• Advantages: No cost to the district. Gives teachers practical experience in areas of planning that administrators actually encounter regularly.

• Possible negatives: Teachers are likely to avoid problems within the school of which they were previously unaware. Current administrators may feel loss of control.

Idea # 5: Let teachers do some of the real "heavy lifting" in the school.

Do not isolate them. Involve them. Ask them to do substantive presentations to the School Council or School Committee. Have them make presentations to Town Meeting or the City Council.

• Advantages: No cost to the school. Hones public presentation skills. Many would-be administrators, while comfortable in a classroom, have no experience making presentations to large public bodies. This is a key skill.

• Possible negatives: Teachers are likely to avoid problems within the school of which they were previously unaware. Teachers may make errors in public. Current administrators may feel loss of control.

Sharp-eyed superintendents will notice that these ideas cost little or nothing. They do not require a tremendous amount of work by the district. And they do not require added personnel.

But they have a big payoff: They help would-be administrators develop key skills. And they help build management capacity in the teaching ranks.

Source by Steven C Sharek