Wednesday, August 21, 2019

National Weather Service Tornado Warning

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for Northwestern Essex County. Please use caution. Quarter sized hail is possible with this storm.

There is a continued risk for scattered strong to severe thunderstorms this afternoon and evening to 10 PM. Damaging wind gusts are the primary threat, along with the potential for torrential downpours that may produce localized flash flooding.


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Wall That Heals

Thursday, I was honored to be invited as a guest speaker for the opening ceremony of the Wall That Heals Vietnam Veterans Memorial exhibit at Ipswich River Park in North Reading. The Wall That Heals, a three-fourths scale replica of The Wall in Washington, is a mobile memorial created and supported by the same non-profit organization, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund that originated the D.C. memorial.

The experience of being near the 375 foot long Wall That Heals, with more than 58,000 names of missing and killed service members, is humbling. Although it is mobile, it is constructed in a chevron like the original, with 140 numbered and engraved panels so that visitors can do name rubbings, and the feelings it inspires are as powerful as caused by any memorial.

The Veterans, Parks and Recreation Department of North Reading, Massachusetts has succeeded in arranging for the Wall to return here once again – it will only be seen in 3 places in New England this year. In order to support North Reading’s efforts to display the Wall That Heals, I authored legislation supported by Representative Brad Jones and signed into law by Governor Baker, which directed $10,000 to defer expenses for the memorial’s display in North Reading.

When offloaded, the trailer that carries The Wall That Heals becomes an education center with a timeline, maps, photographs and information about the Vietnam War and the Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. Everyone who visits leaves with a deeper understanding of the sacrifices that these men and women made and the due respect that all of our veterans deserve.

To Susan Magner, Director of Veterans Services for North Reading, the Veterans, Parks and Recreation Department, the many volunteers who labored to offload, erect, stand watch over, and pack the Wall, and to our veterans I say, thank you.


Ipswich Travel Alert from MassDOT:

Waldingfield Road Roadway Closure From August 26 Through November 20 

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation announced that Waldingfield Road in Ipswich will be closed to vehicular traffic between Highland Street and County Road (Route 1A) from Monday, August 26, through Wednesday, November 20. This closure is necessary to allow crews to safely and effectively rehabilitate the Waldingfield Road Bridge.

Waldingfield Road will be open from the west to abutters only between Highland Street and the Waldingfield Road Bridge, and from the east to abutters only from County Road (Route 1A) to the Waldingfield Road Bridge.

The following detour routes will be in place:
• Eastbound traffic will be detoured north onto Highland Street which becomes Mill Road, right to Topsfield Road which becomes Market Street, and then right to South Main Street which becomes County Road (Route 1A).
• Westbound traffic will be detoured at County Road (Route 1A) left onto South Main Street, left onto Market Street which becomes Topsfield Road, and then left onto Mill Road which becomes Highland Street.

Those traveling through the area should expect delays, reduce speed and use caution. Appropriate signage, law enforcement details and advanced message boards will be in place to guide drivers through the work area.


Thursday, August 15, 2019

Welcoming the Executive Director of the Office of Travel and Tourism

Yesterday, I was happy to join Gloucester Mayor Theken, Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President Peter Webber, North of Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Ann Marie Casey and others in welcoming Keiko Orrall, the Executive Director of the Office of Travel and Tourism to Gloucester.


Friday, August 9, 2019

Tobin Bridge/Chelsea Curves Rehabilitation Project Update

Construction overview: August 11 - August 24, 2019 

Traffic Impacts
• Route 1 Northbound: Approaching the Tobin Bridge from Boston, the workzone begins in the right lane. 2 of 3 travel lanes will be open during daytime hours (5 a.m. – 10 p.m.) and at least 1 travel lane will be open during overnight hours (10 p.m. – 5 a.m.).

• Route 1 Southbound: Approaching the Chelsea Curves from the North Shore, the workzone begins in the right lane at the Carter Street off-ramp. Just beyond the Carter Street on-ramp, the travel lanes shift to the right. 2 of 3 travel lanes will be open during daytime hours (5 a.m. – 10 p.m.) and at least 1 travel lane will be open during overnight hours (10 p.m. – 5 a.m.).

• Ramps: As of Monday, July 15, the Fourth Street Off-ramp will be closed for 2-3 months.

• Local Streets: Orange Street under Route 1 will close temporarily on Saturday, August 17, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. From Monday, August 19 to Friday, August 23, Spruce Street between Sixth Street and Everett Ave will be CLOSED overnight from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. for bridge work with traffic detoured one block to Arlington Street. The Spruce Street temporary reconfiguration and Carter Street workzone will remain in place until Fall 2019.

Work Hours
• Most work will occur in during daytime working hours (6 a.m.–2 p.m.) on weekdays. Some work will take place during afternoon (2 p.m. – 7 p.m) and overnight hours (9 p.m. – 5 a.m.) and on Saturdays (6 a.m. – 2 p.m). Overnight work on the Tobin Bridge will occur on Friday, August 18 (9 p.m. – 5 a.m.).



My office issued the following press release -
Legislation Annually Designates July 1st As The United States Cadet Nurse Corps Day

Boston– The State Senate today adopted legislation offered by Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R- Gloucester) to give long-deserved official recognition to cadet nurse, women who voluntarily enlisted in the uniformed services of the United States, during World War II.

The Cadet Nurse Corps, created by Congress in 1943, was successful in stemming an impending collapse of the nation’s health system. The country’s supply of nurses was desperately low following the First World War and the entry of the United States into World War II further exacerbated the crisis. 180,000 young women were recruited, enrolled and trained to address a critical shortage of available nurses.

“I offered this bill because there should be formal recognition of the contributions that these nurse cadets have made to our state, to the nation and ultimately to the world. Massachusetts has long been at the forefront of nursing education and healthcare and official recognition to honor these women is long overdue,” said Senator Tarr. “The commitment, care and thankless labor of these women, who averaged just 19 years of age, gave life, hope and care to others. They have earned our respect and they deserve our thanks.”

Tarr’s bill received favorable support from the legislature’s Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs before its vote in the Senate chamber today.

“The Friends of the United States Cadet Nurse Corps WWII is very pleased that the state Senate is moving forward to recognize the important role that these 9,000 Massachusetts women played,” said Dr. Barbara Poremba Director of the Friends of the United States Cadet Nurse Corps WWII and Professor Emeritus of Nursing at Salem State University. “We will continue to work with Senator Tarr to secure a place in Nurses Hall at the State House to place a permanent plaque to commemorate the Corps.”

Dr. Barbara Poremba noted that these nurses were members of the US uniformed service and provided 80 percent of the military and civilian nursing care in the then 48 states, Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico.

In addition to the bill which requires an annual issuance of a proclamation by the Governor to set apart the first day of July as the “United States Cadet Nurse Corps Day" Tarr is also pursuing securing a permanent and prominent location in the State House for perpetual recognition of the Corps.

“The State House is our capital building and there are far too few markers or monuments to the impact that women have had on our society,” said Tarr. “I think it’s important that we change that; many of these surviving veterans are now in their 80’s and 90’s we just can’t thank them enough.”

Although the US Cadet Nurse Corps, the largest group of uniformed women to serve the country, was administered by the U.S. Surgeon General and the Public Health Service, it is the only uniformed service that has not yet been given veteran status. Support for further recognition of the nurses is growing as awareness of their significant role has come to light in recent anniversary commemorations of World War II events.

Tarr sponsored a Senate resolution in 2018 recognizing the 75 anniversary of the establishment of the Cadet Nurse Corps in 1943.

The bill, adopted by the Senate, now moves to the House for further consideration.


Thursday, August 8, 2019

Celebration of the grand opening of Café Sarina at Nunan Florist & Greenhouses Inc. in Georgetown

The start of a new venture is exciting and best celebrated with a party. I was delighted to help Steve Flynn and his family, friends and staff as they expand the family business to include a locally sourced, farm-to-table café and restaurant. Named Café Sarina to honor Steve’s granddaughter, Sarina Flynn who born with Downs Syndrome, the cafe features breakfast, coffee, weekend brunch, lunch, and dinner. I wish them much success and many happy customers.

Also at the location is their Garden Golf center and Kallie’s Kones ice cream shop, Helping us celebrate - Representative Lenny Mirra, Selectman Joseph Bonavita and Selectman Doug Dawes.