Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Media Alert: On the Air with Fox 25

Tonight I will once again be a guest on the Fox 25 Evening News to discuss a measure contained within a transportation bond bill that will result in Massachusetts turnpike toll-takers acquiring an additional five years of added service toward their pensions as they are being phased out.

Please tune in tonight at 5:15pm to watch what will surely be a lively conversation.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Staying Boston Strong

Today marks the one year anniversary of the tragic Boston Marathon bombings that left us all wounded and scarred due to the horrific actions of terrorists.  The attack on Boston shook the very core of our society, triggering great concern for our safety and the safety of our loved ones. 

Sadly the bombs took the lives of Krystal Marie Campbell, Lu Lingzi, and Martin William Richard, and during the manhunt to catch the suspects, we lost MIT Police Officer Sean Collier.  In total another 264 people were injured near the marathon’s finish line, many of whom lost limbs.

An act of terror is meant to intimidate, as much as it is meant to kill and maim; however, what the terrorists failed to contemplate was the strength of Bostonians and the people of Massachusetts.  With the assistance of public safety officials, first responders, hospital personnel, government agents, volunteers, and people from around the country and the world, we grew stronger as we united together. 

No matter how hard terrorists try to break down our society and our values as Americans, they will never breach our trust and faith in one another, and although a year has passed since the events of that infamous day occurred, we remain Boston Strong, and I couldn’t be more proud.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Happy Passover

With Passover commencing tonight, it is my hope that all of my Jewish friends and constituents have a wonderful holiday surrounded by friends and family, and that your time together is filled with peace and happiness.


Providing Valuable Information to Our Seniors

On Friday, April 11th, I joined with Representative Mirra at the Groveland Council-on-Aging for a forum, which Representative Lyons also co-sponsored, to provide seniors with valuable information regarding the differences between observation and inpatient care at medical facilities.  The confusion between the two statuses has been particularly problematic for those who receive Medicare benefits, which can lead to a sizable financial impact, especially for those on fixed incomes.

To assist us in our effort, Susan Cripps, the S.H.I.N.E. (Serving the Health Information Needs of Elders Program) Director at the Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc., spoke at Friday’s event.  Susan was a vital asset to the forum because of her vast amount of experience and knowledge on the issue.  Seniors from Groveland, West Newbury, Newbury, Georgetown, and Boxford attended this very informative event.

Following Friday’s forum, members of my staff assisted interested seniors in applying for a “Reduced Fare Charlie Card”.  The reduced fare cards allow access to the Greater Boston Metropolitan Area on the MBTA transportation system at a fraction of the usual cost.

If you’d like to learn more about the differences between observation and inpatient status, call the Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc. at 1-800-892-0890 to speak with a S.H.I.N.E. counselor.  If you are interested in receiving a “Reduced Fare Charlie Card”, please click here to view the MBTA’s webpage regarding the program.  Posted below are several photos I was able to capture during Friday’s forum.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Statement on the Passage of a Natural Gas Leaks Bill

Yesterday I released the following statement regarding the passage of S.2073, An Act relative to natural gas leaks:

“Today’s passage by the Senate of S.2073, An Act relative to natural gas leaks, is an important step for public safety and our environment.  When Wayne Sargent’s house exploded in January, 2009 in Gloucester we all saw firsthand the devastating consequences of gas leaks.  Through this legislation we can put in place a classification and management system that will not only compel timely and effective responses to leaks that pose immediate threats, but also cause the systemic and effective replacement of an aging transmission system that often causes those leaks in the first place.

            Wayne has been a critical force in getting this bill passed.  His inspiration, motivation, and thoughtful suggestions have been valuable assets in the legislative process.

            Hopefully we can now advance the bill engrossed by the Senate today swiftly through final passage and onto the Governor’s desk to become law.”


* Photo Caption:

Gloucester Police Officer Wayne Sargent, whose house exploded in January 2009 due to a natural gas leak, stands with Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) in the Senate Chamber after the passage of S.2073.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Celebrating Greece’s Independence

In 1821 the people of Greece declared their independence from a brutal and oppressive Ottoman Empire, and for eleven years they fought courageously, ultimately gaining their right for freedom.  To commemorate the occasion, people of Greek descent and many others came to the State House on Friday, April 4th where a public ceremony was held in the House of Representatives’ Chamber. This year's annual celebration included several state legislators, Greek dignitaries and officials, and hundreds of guests from all across the Commonwealth.

I have been honored to host these ceremonies, which are sponsored by members of the House and Senate, for the past several years. They are always memorable and significant occasions.

This year special guests included Metropolitan Methodios of the Greek Orthodox Church, Consul General of Greece in Boston Mrs. Ifigenia Kanara, and several state legislators.

Some photographs of the Greek Independence celebration are posted below.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

On the Air with Fox 25

I made two appearances on the Fox 25 news program last night to discuss the backlog of bills that have been awaiting action by the Judiciary Committee. A total of 791 bills are still pending in committee, including several bills to protect children from sex offenders, and more than 200 are still waiting for a hearing, including a bill addressing parole for juvenile murderers and the Protecting Animal Welfare and Safety Act (the PAWS Act) filed in the wake of the horrific Puppy Doe case.

To watch both segments, please click on the video link below. A complete list of all 791 bills still pending before the Judiciary Committee can be found in yesterday’s Tarr Talk post.

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