Thursday, September 22, 2022

Gloucester And MBTA Officials Continue Working To Improve Safety

Yesterday, a number of Gloucester officials including Mayor Greg Verga, City of Gloucester, and City Councill President Val Gilman Ward 4, joined me, members of my staff Ted Costa and Don Siriani, and a representative from Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante's office in our second weekly scheduled meeting with representatives of the MBTA and Keolis Commuter Services, the operator of the T's Commuter Rail System. 

We discussed recent system improvements at Gloucester grade crossings, efforts to collect litter and trash, and brush clearing. The MBTA has had a number of crew members including engineers and specialists. The T is also arranging for Alstom, the manufacturer of the signal crossing equipment, to come to Gloucester to ensure that the mechanical and electrical processes are all working within specifications. The system operates more than 160 times each week as trains move inbound and outbound on the line. Gloucester officials have requested, and the MBTA has agreed to supply, a detailed written assessment of the issues that have been noted and the action steps that have been taken and will be taken to enhance the safety of those at the crossing and the proper operation of the rail gates. 

I encourage anyone who experiences or witnesses a malfunction or other safety concern to contact the MBTA's call center. The phone number, 800-449-6393, new signs displaying the emergency contact number were added at the grade crossing. 



 


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National Weather Service Boston

Coastal waters east of Ipswich Bay and the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary- Thu Sep 22 2022 

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH FRIDAY AFTERNOON GALE WATCH IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING... 

TODAY...S winds 15 to 20 kt, becoming SW this afternoon. Gusts up to 30 kt. Seas 3 to 5 ft. A chance of showers and tstms this morning, then showers and tstms this afternoon. Some tstms may be severe with damaging winds, heavy rainfall, and frequent lightning, then some tstms may be severe with damaging winds, frequent lightning, and heavy rainfall. Vsby 1 to 3 NM, decreasing to 1 NM or less this afternoon. 

TONIGHT...NW winds 15 to 20 kt with gusts up to 30 kt. Seas 3 to 5 ft. Showers. Vsby 1 to 3 NM. 

FRI...NW winds 20 to 25 kt with gusts up to 35 kt. Seas 4 to 6 ft. .

FRI NIGHT...NW winds 25 to 30 kt with gusts up to 35 kt. Seas 5 to 7 ft 

Winds and seas higher in and near tstms. Seas are reported as significant wave height, which is the average of the highest third of the waves. Individual wave heights may be more than twice the significant wave height.


 


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Tuesday, September 20, 2022

American Legion Riders of American Legion - Post 113 - Manchester by the Sea

An important part of the American Legion family, the Legion Riders have raised substantial sums of money to support kids in local hospitals, schools, veterans homes, wounded servicemembers, and scholarships for more 110,000 students. American Legion Riders Post 4 Haverhill MA from American Legion Post 4 Haverhill welcomed riders to start in Haverhill with the aim to ride to Manchester - this is not the first time they have organized a ride to Support The Troops and I am glad I was invited as a guest. 

American Legion Riders meet in over 2,000 chapters. Riders in all states have escorted military units returning home from combat tours, conducted cross-country fundraising events for wounded warriors,, and have raised millions of dollars for countless local, state, and national charities.













 


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Monday, September 19, 2022

Hamilton - Wenham Fall Festival

This almost-Fall festival was loads of fun for me and the big crowd that came out to enjoy live musical and magical performances, great food and beverages, a dog parade like no other and the very many local businesses that were out in style.













 


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Saturday, September 17, 2022

Gloucester Downtown Clean Up

This was a great event, held this morning and organized by City Councillors Jeff Worthley and Tracy O' Neill. We started at Gloucester, Massachusetts' Burnham’s Field and spread out our efforts from there.












 


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Friday, September 16, 2022

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Details for Return of $2.941 Billion in Excess Tax Revenue to Taxpayers

Chapter 62F refunds expected to be distributed to approximately 3.6 million taxpayers beginning in November 2022 

Following the State Auditor’s certification yesterday that Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) net state tax revenues exceeded allowable revenues per Chapter 62F by $2.941 billion, the Baker-Polito Administration has announced details regarding the return of this excess revenue to taxpayers. 

“Stronger-than expected state tax revenues have led to a major surplus for Fiscal Year 2022, and we are pleased to be able to return nearly $3 billion in excess revenue to the taxpayers,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “With families facing continued pressure from high prices and inflation, these returns will provide some needed relief. Even with nearly $3 billion going back to taxpayers, significant state and federal resources remain, and we look forward to working with the Legislature to invest this funding into our economy, communities and families.” 

“Strong economic growth throughout our Commonwealth, combined with careful management of state tax dollars, has resulted in a significant surplus this past fiscal year,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “In the coming months, our administration will work diligently to distribute these funds back to taxpayers, and we look forward to working with the Legislature to invest additional surplus dollars in local economies across our state.” 

In accordance with the statute, the $2.941 billion will be returned to eligible taxpayers by the Department of Revenue in proportion to personal income tax liability in Massachusetts incurred by taxpayers in the immediately preceding taxable year – Tax Year 2021. In general, eligible taxpayers will receive a credit in the form of a refund that is approximately 13% of their Massachusetts Tax Year 2021 personal income tax liability. This percentage is a preliminary estimate and will be finalized in late October, after all 2021 tax returns are filed. To be eligible, individuals must have filed a 2021 state tax return on or before October 17, 2022. An individual’s credit may be reduced due to refund intercepts, including for unpaid taxes, unpaid child support, and certain other debts. Individuals eligible for a refund will receive it automatically as a check sent through the mail or through direct deposit. Distribution of refunds is expected to begin in November 2022. 

 "While the exceptionally high tax collections we saw in FY22 are a testament to the strength and resilience of the Massachusetts economy, we are pleased to be in a position to return a substantial portion of this revenue back to taxpayers," said Administration and Finance Secretary Michael J. Heffernan. "With many feeling the strain of rising prices, these refunds will be a welcome source of relief for more than three million hardworking individuals across the state, and we look forward to executing on the delivery of the refunds in the coming months." 

In total, $41.812 billion was collected in FY22, representing overall revenue growth of more than 20% above Fiscal Year 2021. After accounting for the Chapter 62F refunds and the recently filed $840 million final FY22 supplemental budget, a surplus of $1.5 billion remains available to support permanent tax relief measures and other critical investments pending in the FORWARD/economic development bill, in combination with $2.2 billion in remaining American Rescue Plan Act funds. 

Additional information about Chapter 62F taxpayer refunds, including Frequently Asked Questions and a refund estimator, is available at www.mass.gov/62Frefunds. This website will be updated as additional information becomes available in the coming months. A call center will also be available to answer questions about 62F refunds beginning Tuesday, September 20, 2022 at 877-677-9727 and will be open Monday through Friday, 9am-4pm. The call center will not be able to provide your exact refund amount – however, the estimator on the FAQs page can help individuals calculate a preliminary estimate. 

About Chapter 62F Chapter 62F is a Massachusetts law enacted by voters in 1986 via a ballot question that requires the Department of Revenue to issue a credit to taxpayers if total tax revenues in a given fiscal year exceed an annual cap tied to wage and salary growth in the Commonwealth. The law requires that the Department of Revenue submit a report to the State Auditor on the net state tax revenues and the allowable state tax revenues for each fiscal year by September 1st. The State Auditor then makes the determination of whether net state tax revenues exceed allowable state tax revenues – and, if so, by what amount – on or before the third Tuesday of September. View the State Auditor’s report for Fiscal Year 2022. 

The Chapter 62F process has been triggered once before, in 1987. View the full statute: https://malegislature.gov/.../PartI/TitleIX/Chapter62F.


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Pentucket Regional Middle-High School Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

I was pleased to join students, families, members of the Pentucket Regional Middle-High School community, and state and local officials to celebrate the new Pentucket Regional Middle-High School. The school serves the communities of Groveland, Merrimac, and West Newbury. 

In addition to a speaking portion, the highlight was the student ambassador-led tours of the new space.

Program: 

National Anthem
PRHS Choir Students
 
Denise and Paul Pouliot
Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook-Abenaki People 
 
Jonathan Seymour
Building Committee Chair 
 
Christopher Markuns
School Committee Chair 
 
Jack McCarthy
Massachusetts School Building Authority, Executive Director 
 
State Rep. Lenny Mirra
State Senator Diana DiZoglio 
 
Dr. Justin Bartholomew
Superintendent of Schools

















 


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