Thursday, December 30, 2010

Today’s Appearance on Fox 25

Today I made an appearance on the Fox 25 Morning News with former State Senator Warren Tolman to discuss some of the most important stories from the past year, including the Chilean mine rescue and the election of U.S. Senator Scott Brown. Please view my lively discussion with Warren and reporter Elizabeth Hopkins by playing the posted video below.

Tolman and Gray:


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Media Alert: On the Air with Fox 25

Tomorrow morning I’ll once again be analyzing political issues with former State Senator Warren Tolman on the Fox 25 Morning News Segment “Tolman and Gray”. We will be discussing some of the biggest news stories of 2010 with morning news reporter Elizabeth Hopkins. Please join us on Fox 25 at approximately 7:15 a.m.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Christmas gives us all the opportunity to gather with family and friends, and to express in so many ways the caring spirit that we have for each other. I hope that we will all take the time to do so, and remember just how important that spirit is throughout the year.

Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

An Issue of Fair Representation

An article by Brian Mooney in today’s Boston Globe highlights the importance of a fair redistricting process. Senate Republicans are continuing to advocate for an independent mechanism to focus on how Congressional and State legislative districts should be drawn to achieve the best possible representation for the citizens of the Commonwealth.

Globe Redistricting Article


Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Happenings

Our region enjoys a variety of community events that highlight the tremendous spirit of the holiday season. I have had the honor of participating in a number of them, and pictured below are two in particular. The first event is bell ringing for the Salvation Army at Market Basket, which was arranged by Lucia Amero of the Gloucester Veterans’ Department. Second is the time honored tradition organized by Gloucester City Councilor Bob Whynott of Christmas Caroling at the city’s senior housing complexes. This year a large band of merry carolers filled the air with Christmas music as we travelled by trolley to the Seacoast Nursing Home, McPherson Park and the Curtis Clark Building.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Progress on Local Bridges

Cold temperatures and snow flurries haven’t stopped progress on the A. Piatt Andrew Bridge in Gloucester and the Bates Bridge over the Merrimack River between Groveland and Haverhill. The most recent progress reports from MassDOT, together with illustrative photos, are posted below.

Municipality Gloucester
Project Bridge Preservation: Route 128 over the Annisquam River
Status 83% 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. Replacement of structural steel items is ongoing at the arch level in the main span. The contractor has completed paving the east and west approaches.

The painting operations remain suspended and will resume once a new subcontractor is in place. The general contractor is cleaning sand blasting dust and grit from the work areas with a vacuum truck and repairing the containment tarps in anticipation of the resumption of painting in the near future.

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

Installation of new end panel member at a lower level truss on the north end of the structure.

Existing conditions of containment tarps. The contractor is replacing the tarps as the work deck is cleared of blasting grit.

Municipality Groveland/Haverhill
Project Bridge Reconstruction: Bates Bridge over the Merrimack River
Status 3% complete
Cost $49,750,000

Description The project consists of the replacement of the existing Bates Bridge carrying Routes 97/113 over the Merrimack River with a new bridge located approximately 60 feet downstream. The existing bridge will remain in service during construction. The proposed bridge will have a movable span similar to the existing bridge. In addition to the 775 feet long bridge, the project includes reconstruction of the approach roadways in Haverhill and Groveland and traffic signal and geometric improvements at the intersection of Groveland Street with Lincoln Avenue in Haverhill and at the intersection of Groveland Street with Main Street near Elm Park in Groveland. Cianbro Corporation from Pittsfield, ME is constructing the project.

The primary elements of the roadway work include excavation, grading, installation of bituminous pavements, curbing, sidewalks, highway guardrail, pavement markings, relocation and/or adjustment of existing utilities, and installation of traffic signal systems.

The primary elements of the bridge work include the construction of a new movable span bridge which includes the installation of drilled shaft foundations, reinforced concrete piers, a structural steel superstructure, a concrete filled grid deck, a moveable bascule lift section, concrete abutments on pile foundations and retaining walls. Temporary cofferdams will be used during the construction of the work, which will include removal of the existing bridge.

Current Project Status – The contractor removed National Grid’s abandoned submarine cable which ran parallel on the downstream side of the existing bridge. Two working barges have been assembled and moved into place for heavy construction activities. Working from these barges, crews have begun installing the cofferdams for piers 3 and 4. The contractor has also installed the cofferdam for construction of the north abutment on the Haverhill side of the river. The majority of the overhead and underground utility relocations on the Haverhill side have been completed along Groveland Street, Old Ferry Road and Orchard Avenue. Overhead and underground utility relocation work continues on the Groveland side along Main Street.

Note: Additional project information and history can be found by visiting MassDOT’s website at: and clicking on the Projects tab, then selecting “Current Road and Bridge Projects” and after entering the Town of Groveland or the City of Gloucester, select Project No. 600988.

Working barge installing steel sheeting to create a cofferdam for construction of one of the new bridge piers.

Working barges and cranes being used to support cofferdam construction for the new bridge piers.


Thanks for the Spirit

Thanks to everyone who helped to make our 2010 Toy Drive with North Shore 104.9 such a resounding success. Your spirit and generosity kept us all going for twelve straight hours on the air, and is going to make an incalculable difference in bringing joy to children all across our region in this holiday season and beyond. Once again you have proven that the spirits of kindness and caring are alive and well in our communities. To view more photos and videos from the day's event please click "Read more" below.