Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Plum Island Beach Sand Project

Yesterday public officials met regarding the beach nourishment project for Plum Island, and one result of that meeting was the creation of a website which is now up and running and can be accessed by clicking here.

Also, below is a fact sheet regarding the upcoming dredging project that was released at yesterday’s meeting by the US Army Corp of Engineers.

New Bury Port Fact Sheet 30Aug10


Monday, August 30, 2010

Fox 25’s “Monday Morning Quarterbacks” Segment

Today I made a guest appearance on Fox 25’s “Monday Morning Quarterbacks” segment with former Attorney General Scott Harshbarger. Scott and I discussed a wide range of topics with host Gene Lavanchy, including U.S. Senator Scott Brown's representation of Massachusetts, the "Restoring Honor" rally in Washington D.C., and the future of expanded gaming in Massachusetts. To see the segment please play the video below.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Media Alert: On The Air With Fox 25

On Monday, August 30th at approximately 7:15am I’ll be analyzing four of the top State and Federal issues from this week on the Fox 25 Morning News segment “Monday Morning Quarterbacks” with former Attorney General Scott Harshbarger. Please tune in to watch what is certain to be a lively discussion.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Fisherman’s Perspective

Corrado Buccheri of Gloucester is a respected member of the commercial fishing community who owns multiple fishing vessels and a gear shop. Recently, he penned a brief history from his perspective of the problems the industry is facing and the bureaucratic procedures that got us to this point of crisis. His words are posted below, and they make some strong points worthy of consideration.

Fishery Regulations Timeline


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

There When it Counts

This week the news service Beacon Hill Roll Call reports on the voting records of senators and I am proud to be one of only 13 members of the Senate to have been present and voting for every vote taken this session for a 100% voting record. You can view the report by clicking here.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Come Take a Tour of the State House

I would like to invite all of my constituents to come to the State House for a special free tour of one of the State’s most treasured buildings. Tours are given year round from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and last approximately 40 minutes. To reserve a tour please call the tour desk at (617) 727-3676. The State House offers both portraits and historical artifacts of Massachusetts long and storied history.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Progress on the A. Piatt Andrew Bridge

Summer traffic and high temperatures haven’t stopped progress on the A. Piatt Andrew Bridge over the Annisquam River. Even though the four lanes of the bridge are often completely open to vehicles, continuing work has brought the project to 82% of completion.

Please click "Read more" to view the latest update from the Highway Division of MassDOT (formerly known as MassHighway). Below is a photo of the bridge structure.

Ongoing substructure repairs at the base of existing piers. The tubing and hose extending from above is being used to pump cement concrete down to the work area from the roadway above.

Municipality Gloucester
Project Bridge Preservation: Route 128 over the Annisquam River
Status 82% complete
Cost $25,500,000
Description The work involves the removal and replacement of the wearing surface of the bridge deck along with rehabilitation of the superstructure and portions of the substructure on Bridge No. G-05-017 carrying Route 128 over the Annisquam River in Gloucester. The project will also include replacement of the sidewalks along with significant structural repairs and painting portions of the superstructure. A new wearing surface will be placed on the bridge along with a new median barrier. The existing bridge railing will be refurbished and a suicide deterrent safety screen will be erected along the sidewalk. SPS New England, Inc. is completing the work.

Current Project Status – All travel lanes are open to traffic, with the exception of temporary lane closures during non peak hours on weekdays to facilitate ongoing work below the bridge deck. The Contractor is continuing to work on masonry repairs/rehabilitation and structural steel repairs below the bridge. The Contractor is also sand blasting and painting the structural steel on the underside of the bridge. The project continues to work extended hours and on weekends, as needed, to maintain the current schedule of operations.

Note: Additional project information and history can be found by visiting MassDOT’s website at: http://www.massdot.state.ma.us and clicking on the Projects tab, then selecting “Current Road and Bridge Projects” and after entering the City of Gloucester, select Project No. 604797.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fighting for Justice at NOAA

A recent editorial in the Gloucester Daily Times emphasizes the need for a special prosecutor to investigate the alleged and documented improper acts by law enforcement officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with regards to the commercial fishing industry. You can read it below.

GloucesterTimesEditorial...Need for Criminal Probe of NOAA Agents' Excesses Obvious


Friday, August 6, 2010

A visit From Ruthie

Even though she is only 10 Wilmington’s Ruthie Baker is a published author. She teamed up with her father, Jeff Baker, to write “Ruthie B. Goose-Birth of the Legend”, a story about Ruthie B., an ambitious Bar-headed goose seeking to set the world record for the altitude reached by a bird. The entertaining book for children combines science, ornithology and creativity for a great read.

More important than the story in the book, however, is the story of the authors, who each have Charcot-Marie-Tooth, or CMT, a form of Muscular Dystrophy. Because of the good work that the Muscular Dystrophy Association has done for their family and others, Ruthie and Jeff are donating all of the profits from the sale of their book to the association.

On Thursday, July 29th I had the honor of introducing the Bakers to my colleagues on the floor of the Senate during one of the year’s last formal sessions. They were greeted with warmth, enthusiasm and appreciation.

Below I am pictured with Ruthie at my conference room table.

You can learn more about the book and the authors at: www.ruthiebgoose.com.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fighting for Economic Development

While the last days of the formal session of the legislature were largely characterized by disappointment and counter-productivity, a highlight was the passage of S.2345, "An Act Relative to Economic Reorganization". I worked hard as a member of the conference committee that produced the final version of this bill to ensure that it reflected some key priorities and contained provisions that would actually be responsive to the needs of those who create and maintain jobs in our state and the people who depend on those jobs. Even though the bill could and should have been far stronger, we were actually able to secure some tax relief in the bill for employers and consumers, including:

• A sales tax holiday on August 14th and 15th

• The expanded ability to carry tax losses forward from 5 to 20 years for employers struggling to stay in business in the current recession

• A special reduced capital gains tax rate of 3% to incent and reward those who invest in new Massachusetts businesses for their first three years

I also was able to collaborate with my colleagues to secure in the bill state support for small-plot farmers, recognizing their importance to agriculture and the quality of life in our state, and solar energy generation projects, increasing their ability to generate power from 2 MW to 6 MW. Other important aspects of the bill are:

• An increase in the limit on small claims court filings from $2,000 to $7,000, avoiding costly court fees and providing an expedited court process for small businesses.

• A two-year permit extension for development projects struggling with tight credit conditions.

• A study of business energy costs and a study to determine the feasibility of a state-owned bank.

• A requirement that all new state regulations afflicting small businesses include a business impact statement prior to their adoption.

• A study to identify the various cost drivers that cause ratepayers of all classes to pay some of the highest costs for electricity in the nation.

• An automatic sunset provision to review state regulations that may have outgrown their usefulness or effectiveness.

• Clarification of state tax policy to encourage manufacturing retention through enhanced capital expansion projects.

• Greater coordination and partnership to promote international trade and investments through a Massachusetts international trade office.

• An extension of the Brownfields tax credits.

• A new housing development incentive program within the ceiling of the current economic development incentive program.

This bright spot in a discouraging time was passed by a unanimous vote in both the House and the Senate, and was signed into law by the Governor today proving that progress on issues as important as tax relief can be achieved through tenacity and diligence. You can read the entire text of the bill here, and a bill summary is viewable under the “Read more” section. Posted above and below are pictures and a video taken from an event at the State House at which my colleagues and I released the conference committee report.

Economic Development Reorganization


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Recent Appearance on NECN’s “Broadside”

On Monday I joined Rep. Marty Walsh and guest host Michael Graham on New England Cable News Network’s “Broadside”. We engaged in a lively discussion about the inability of state officials to reach closure of the gaming issue and all the legislative causalities that resulted from that failure. You can view the discussion by clicking here.