Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

May we all take the time during this special holiday season to cherish family and friends, be thankful for those who serve our nation in uniform, and reflect on how we each might act to foster peace and prosperity in the coming year.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Making the Case for Economic Development

Today I appeared before the state's Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) to provide testimony in support of projects in Gloucester and Georgetown. The Council, comprised of various members of Governor Patrick's Administration and his appointees, is charged with approving or disapproving specific state economic development actions.

In Georgetown, municipal government has been working diligently to spur economic growth by encouraging new businesses to locate in the town as well as supporting the retention and expansion of existing businesses. Thus, the town was seeking Economic Target Area (ETA) status, which is a powerful tool that makes companies eligible for a wide array of state and local incentives. Following testimony from Peter Milano from the Massachusetts Office of Business Development, town officials, and myself, the EACC voted to convey ETA status to Georgetown.

In Gloucester, Gorton's, longstanding and well-known producer of frozen fish products, came before the EACC with the city with a request for an Economic Opportunity Area (EOA) within the existing ETA. This designation would allow Gorton's to receive local and state incentives for its investment of some $13 million to build two new product lines that will create as many as 20 new jobs. Given the long and prosperous history Gorton's has had in Gloucester, and its tremendous importance to the community as an employer and corporate citizen, this proposal has widespread support.

Once again, the EACC received testimony and approved the granting of EOA status.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Hanukkah!

This afternoon I will be joining with many state officials and Rabbi Lieberman in the lighting of the State House Menorah. It is an impressive ceremony that features inspiring words and a program of music performed by many students.

Today’s lighting of the Menorah is open to the public and will take place in Nurse’s Hall on the 2nd floor of the State House, and begins approximately at 4:00pm.

“May the lights of Hanukkah usher in a better world for all humankind.” ~Author Unknown

Happy Hanukkah!

(Posted below are several photos taken at Tuesday's State House Menorah lighting ceremony.)


Monday, December 12, 2011

State Holds Consensus Revenue Hearing

The House and Senate Ways and Means Committees, in conjunction with the Patrick Administration, held their consensus revenue hearing today, an annual event with brings together state legislators, economists and other state officials to discuss the Commonwealth’s projected revenue outlook for the upcoming year.

Today’s hearing marks the unofficial start of the Fiscal Year 2013 state budget process, and comes just a month before Governor Deval Patrick is scheduled to file his spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year. The Governor, House and Senate all rely in part on the information provided at today’s hearing to determine what revenues will be available in the coming year as they craft their respective budget proposals.

Among those testifying at today’s hearing were:

• MA Department of Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter;
• Dr. Kazim Ozyurt of the MA Department of Revenue’s Office of Tax Policy Analysis;
• Treasurer Steven Grossman;
• Paul Sternberg of the MA State Lottery;
• Jim Lamenzo and Joe Martin of the Public Employees Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC);
• MA Taxpayers Foundation Executive Director Michael Widmer;
• Beacon Hill Institute Executive Director David Tuerck;
• Professor Alan Clayton Matthews of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University;
• Professor Christian Weller of the Department of Public Policy and Public Affairs at UMass Bostion;
• Professor Michael Goodman of the Department of Public Policy and Public Affairs at UMass Dartmouth; and
• Barry Bluestone of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy.

My statement on today’s hearing is posted below. Be sure to check back on Tarr Talk later this week for additional details on the testimony presented at today’s hearing.

“The testimony that we heard today proves that we must intensify our efforts to seek reforms, identify efficiencies and create a better business climate in Massachusetts. If anything, the economic forecast reinforces the need to continue focusing on achieving savings, setting spending priorities and creating jobs. The Senate Republican Caucus has heard this message loud and clear, and we intend to propose specific and decisive actions in January that will respond to the need to get people back to work in our state.”



Once again, North Shore 104.9 and I will hit the road collecting toys for children on the North Shore and broadcasting live all day. This year’s Holiday Toy Drive will take place on Thursday, December 15th from 6:00am to 6:00pm from ten locations on the North Shore. The live broadcast will feature local entertainment, school choirs and bands, great food, interviews with local officials and even Santa Claus will be on the road helping the cause. The Paper Store has partnered with North Shore 104.9 to present the 16th annual North Shore Holiday Toy Drive broadcast.

The good feelings that flow from helping our neighbors are the highlight of this toy drive. Working together, we can fill the holiday season with happiness for kids all across the region, and I hope that everyone will join us to make that happen. This toy drive will be my 16th since being elected into the Senate in 1994.

The scheduled broadcast locations are as follows. (Times are subject to change):

6:00am Capitol Diner 431 Union Street, Lynn, MA
Toys being collected for:
Toys for Tots- Coordinated by the
Lynn English High School R.O.T.C.

7:30am Devereux House, Marblehead 39 Lafayette Street, Marblehead, MA
Toys being collected for:
Making Ends Meet

8:15am The Paper Store, Swampscott 435 Paradise Road Swampscott, MA
Toys being collected for:
TLC: Toys for Local Children Swampscott
(The Paper Store in Swampscott will only collect toys on December 15th.)

9:00am Flint Public Library, Middleton 1 South Main Street, Middleton, MA
Toys being collected for:
Neighbors in Need

10:30am Dawson’s True Value Hardware 50 Enon Street, Beverly, MA
Toys being collected for:
Beverly Bootstraps

12:00pm First National Bank of Ipswich 31 Market Street, Ipswich, MA
Toys being collected for:
Action Inc./ Ipswich Caring

1:15pm Woodman’s of Essex 121 Main Street, Essex, MA
Toys being collected for:
Action Inc.

2:00pm Manchester Athletic Club 8 Atwater Avenue, Manchester, MA
Toys being collected for:
Pathways of Gloucester

3:30pm Tuck’s Candy 15 Main Street, Rockport, MA
Toys being collected for:
Action Inc.

5:00pm Cape Ann Savings Bank 109 Main Street, Gloucester, MA
Toys being collected for:
Action Inc.

The event will kick-off with a live broadcast from the Sylvan Street Grille in Peabody on Wednesday December 14th at 5pm. At this time listeners will be informed about the Toy Drive and are invited to join us that evening and encouraged to take part in the following day’s event. The Thursday December 15th broadcast will begin at the Capitol Diner in Lynn at 6:00am and will end at the Cape Ann Savings Bank at 109 Main Street in Gloucester with refreshments and performances by school choirs and local musicians. The North Shore Holiday Toy Drive is looking to collect new, unwrapped toys or monetary donations.

In addition to the above broadcast locations, the below locations are welcoming any and all donations for the Annual North Shore Holiday Toy Drive. Please note that North Shore 104.9 will not be broadcasting from the below locations
 Wenham Museum
 Blueberry Hill Health Care, Beverly
 Cape Ann Savings Bank, Manchester
 Marblehead Community/Aging Center
 Shubies, Marblehead
 The Building Center, Gloucester
 Marblehead Bank, Beverly
 Abbott House, Lynn
 Salem State University Central Campus Parking Lot, 71 Loring Ave. Salem, MA (December 15th only)
 Rosewood, Peabody
 Coco Key, Danvers
 NMTW Credit Union, Danvers
 First National Bank of Ipswich, Essex, Rowley, Gloucester
 Additional toy donation locations listed at
Toys can be dropped off at any of these locations now through Friday December 20th. For further information please call my office at (617) 722-1600.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Celebrating the Season in Ipswich

Today I had the honor of participating in this year’s annual Ipswich Council on Aging Christmas party at the Ipswich Senior Center. This holiday tradition always brings a substantial crowd, and the holiday cheer is tremendous. This year’s event featured the singing of Christmas songs by the Ipswich High School’s Chamber Singers. Below are photos taken of today’s event. To learn more about the Ipswich Council on Aging and some of their upcoming events please click here.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Remembering Pearl Harbor

Today is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, and I hope we all take some time from our daily activities to remember those that gave their lives when the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor. On that day 70 years ago, one in which President Franklin Roosevelt had said “will live in infamy”, more than 2,400 Americans lost their lives and another 1,100 were wounded during the surprise attack that led to the United States entrance into World War II.

Posted below is a video from this morning’s Fox 25 news broadcast of commentator VB interviewing Gerald Halterman, a former member of the U.S. Navy who is 1 of about 1,000 people still alive who witnessed the attack. To learn more about the Pearl Harbor attack, please click here.

Remembering Pearl Harbor:


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Trimming Gloucester’s Christmas Tree

On November 8, Brent “Ringo” Tarr and Joe Novello arrived in Gloucester with the city’s Christmas Tree and annual gift from the citizens of Shelburne, Nova Scotia. Their arrival marked the 15th year of the holiday tradition between the two communities, which share strong bonds and the legacy of commercial fishing.

Once the tree arrived a dedicated crew of volunteers went to work, carefully placing the tree into its position of honor and decorating Kent Circle for the Christmas Season and preparing for the lighting ceremonies which took place this past Sunday, November 27.

Thanks to all who made this year’s efforts so successful. Below are photos of the activities.