Thursday, August 30, 2012

Media Alert: On the Air with NECN's 'Broadside' Tonight at 8 p.m.

I will be joining host Jim Braude as a guest on tonight's episode of "Broadside" on New England Cable News, which is broadcasting live from the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.  Please tune in to NECN tonight at 8 p.m. to watch our timely discussion of the 2012 Presidential election. 


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Keeping Safe During the Mosquito Season

Late last week a positive test of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in a horse was found in Georgetown, which prompted the town’s threat level to be raised to critical and nearby communities to be elevated to high (Boxford, Groveland, Newbury, Rowley, and West Newbury). It has been recommended by the Department of Public Health that outdoor events should conclude by dusk for the remainder of the mosquito season.

Due to the height of mosquito season being upon us, it is extremely important to take measures in protecting yourself and your family from mosquito borne illnesses like EEE and the West Nile Virus (WNV). Here are some measures you can take to lower your risk of being bit by an infected mosquito:

Avoid Mosquito Bites

• Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535 according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.

• Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning.

• Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.

Mosquito-Proof Your Home

• Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently.

• Install or Repair Screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

For more information concerning the positive results of WNV and EEE please click here. Posted below are two fact sheets on WNV and EEE, and a mosquito risk map provided by the Department of Public Health. Eastern Equine Encephalitis West Nile Virus Fact Sheet


Thursday, August 23, 2012

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 22, 2012

Bates Bridge Replacement Update

Even with the summer winding down, progress on the Bates Bridge over the Merrimack River continues to advance, through the efforts of MassDOT and the contractor. The bridge project has now reached 60% completion of work with the finalization of a southeast and a northeast retaining wall and the reinforcement of cofferdam 3.

Please click "Read more" to view the latest update from MassDOT. Below are two photos of the bridge’s progress.

View of newly installed structural steel looking towards the south abutment on the Groveland side.

Finished surface of retaining wall on the north approach to the bridge on the Haverhill side.

Bates Bridge Replacement - Status Update - August 2012


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Honoring a Great Public Servant

On Sunday, August 12th, I was honored to attend the rededication ceremony of the Gus Foote Park located just off Rogers Street in front of the Gloucester House Restaurant and adjacent to Fishermen’s Wharf. The weather provided a picturesque day which made it a perfect opportunity to showcase the newly planted flowers and the creation of a butterfly and humming bird garden.

The park is dedicated to Gus Foote, who served as Gloucester’s Ward 2 city councilor for more than three decades before his retirement from the council, and who now serves on the Gloucester Housing Authority Board of Commissioners. He is a stalwart Republican and a personal mentor to me. Since 1976, when he first joined the Gloucester City Council, Gus has been a dedicated and faithful public servant and Gloucester is a better city because of his devoted work to his community.

The Gus Foote Park is one of many stops on the new and highly anticipated HarborWalk, where residents and tourists alike can experience a walking tour of Gloucester’s rich history with ease. To learn more about HarborWalk please click here.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Ice Cream with some Special Constituents

This past Friday I had the opportunity to spend some time at the North Andover Senior Center, where I scooped ice cream for seniors. The event, which has now become an annual occasion, provided me the chance to speak with seniors about issues that matter to them in a casual, but enlightening environment.

The ice cream social was fun and provided a little relief to beat the summer heat, and I look forward to next year’s social. Posted below are some photos that were captured of the day’s event.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Spending a “Night Out” in North Andover

Last Tuesday I had the privilege to participate once again in North Andover’s “National Night Out” event. The town event, which is also hosted by communities nationwide and this year just enjoyed its 29th year in existence, is the consummate work of the North Andover Police Department, led by Chief Paul Gallagher, and the Neighborhood Crime Watch Organization.

The North Andover Fire Department, the Recreation Department and others joined with many local businesses, organizations, local and state officials, and community activists to provide families with a very enjoyable evening filled with food, demonstrations, special events and prizes on a fantastic summer night.

Most importantly, the event underscored the message of both crime and drug prevention within our communities. During Tuesday’s festive evening I presented an official Senate Citation to Chief Gallagher, for the hard work he and his department have taken to further the goals of crime prevention.

Posted below are photos that captured some of the evening’s activities.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Senate Honors Gloucester Girl, Bailee Militello, at the State House

Today I sent out the following press release:

Senate Honors Gloucester Girl, Bailee Militello, at the State House
Citation Presented During Informal Senate Session

Boston- Responding to the needs of a Gloucester family who fell victim to a house fire, 6 year old Bailee Militello raised over $1,000 selling lemonade at her stand, and today Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) presented a citation honoring her at the State House during an informal Senate session.

Bailee, who was accompanied by her father Jimmy, mother Brieana, and 3 year old brother Jimmy, Jr. to the State House, entered the chamber where Senator Tarr, Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester), members of the legislature and staffers congratulated her for her generosity and hard work during a time when others were in need.

“Coming from a tough childhood of my own, Jimmy and I have worked hard to instill the value of helping others, especially for people in the community, in our children,” said Brieana Militello.

At approximately 2:00pm on Monday, July 9th, a house owned by the Cardone Family located at 2 Ashland Place in Gloucester, MA was destroyed by a 2 alarm fire, which was most likely triggered by an electrical outlet. The Gloucester Fire Department did an exceptional job containing the fire, but unfortunately there was little that could be salvaged.

Known for her caring and compassionate nature, Bailee was drawn to the need to help and during a conversation with her mother Brieana, Bailee came up with the idea of a lemonade stand. In a matter of days Bailee had raised a tremendous amount of money and donations to aid in the Cardone’s recovery efforts.

“What Bailee had done in a matter of short time was nothing but amazing. Her hard work should serve as an example to everyone that regardless of your age or ability, you can make a difference to the lives of others when it matters most,” said Senator Tarr. “It was an honor to have had her and her family at the State House today, and I am certain we have yet to see the last of her kindness.”

During today’s visit to the State House, Bailee was asked if there was going to be a follow up to her generosity and she said, “I am going to help kids in the hospital by giving them coloring books.”

After today’s Senate citation presentation, Bailee thanked everyone who was there for attending the presentation.


* Photo attached of Bailee Militello receiving her official Senate citation from Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr at the rostrum in the Massachusetts State Senate’s Chamber. From left to right: Jimmy Militello; Senator Bruce Tarr; Bailee Militello; Jimmy Militello, Jr.; Brieana Militello; Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Media Alert: On the Air with Boston Public Radio

Tomorrow at approximately 12:25pm I will be interviewed on WGBH’s Boston Public Radio on the latest actions taken by the Massachusetts Legislature regarding coupons to provide discounts for prescription drugs. Please tune in to 89.7FM or click here at 12:25pm tomorrow to listen to our conversation.


One the Air with NECN

On Sunday I was interviewed by NECN Reporter John Moroney at the State Fish Pier in Gloucester, MA about the early forecasts suggesting that there will be deep cuts to the groundfish fishing quotas for next year. This is extremely troubling, especially for the City of Gloucester, which has already lost a significant number of boats to its groundfishing fleet.

Please click here to read a recent article by Gloucester Daily Times Reporter Richard Gaines that documents the issue. To view Sunday’s report please click here.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Statement on Melissa's Bill Signing

Les Gosule, father of murder victim Melissa Gosule, and his grandson, Alex Mindich, are shown with me in my State House office this morning holding the pen used by Governor Patrick to sign Melissa’s Law. My statement is posted below.

After a long, difficult and challenging battle, justice prevailed today on Beacon Hill. While there was little fanfare surrounding the Governor’s signing of Melissa’s Law, it’s impacts will reverberate year after year as repeat violent felons and those serving multiple life sentences serve truthful prison terms that will prevent the future victimization of the citizens of the Commonwealth by its worst offenders. The inspirational efforts of the Maguire family and the Gosule family motivated a firmly committed Legislature to produce a good and balanced bill that should rightfully be remembered in the name of Melissa Gosule and those who have lost their lives at the hands of individuals who repeatedly demonstrated their disrespect for the laws by which we protect each other from harm. My hope is that these families can take comfort in knowing that their dedication and sacrifice have moved our democracy to action and that action will save lives.

The message from Beacon Hill today is clear: if you commit violent acts time and again, you will face the serious consequences that you deserve.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Media Alert: On the Air with Fox 25

Tonight at approximately 6:15pm I will once again be on the Fox 25 news to provide a status update on Melissa’s Bill, which is scheduled to be signed into law by the Governor on Friday. Please tune in to watch our lively conversation.


Melissa’s Bill Becoming Law

Yesterday I released the following statement regarding the anticipated signing of Melissa’s Bill into law by Governor Patrick (posted below is a video of the media availability that I held with Representative Hill, members of the legislature, Les Gosule, and Chuck Maguire):

“Signing the habitual offender bill into law has always been the right thing to do, and I’m glad to hear that the governor will, at long last, take that action. Persistence and dedication among those who have remained committed to public safety in our Commonwealth have brought us to an important point in the challenging life of this legislation, and I look forward to the governor’s signature on it as soon as possible.

The signing of this bill means that the deaths of Melissa Gosule and Officer Jack Maguire did not go unrecognized, and that we have taken action to prevent these kinds of tragedies from happening again. The hard work that Les Gosule and Chuck Maguire undertook to secure the passage of this bill into law has been tremendous, and the citizens of the Commonwealth owe them a great debt of gratitude. When the governor’s pen makes this bill a law, it will be a great victory for public safety. This law will save lives.”



Media Alert: On the Air with Michele McPhee

Today I will once again be a guest on WRKO 680AM’s The Michele McPhee Show, where Michele and I will discuss the status of Melissa’s Bill. Please tune in to today’s radio broadcast or click here at approximately 11:00AM to listen to our lively discussion.


Votes to Note: Unionizing Independent Child Care Providers

Last Tuesday the State Senate engrossed a bill that would allow independent child care providers in Massachusetts the ability to form collective bargaining units for negotiations over state vouchers. H.3986, “An Act relative to early education and care by family child care providers”, would allow these home-based child care providers the opportunity to bargain with the state over voucher rates, which would ultimately be subject to the legislature’s final approval. This bill takes the extraordinary steps of unionizing contracted workers as employees of the state.

The legislation may seem like a simple solution to a straightforward problem, but I have deep reservations concerning the legal ramifications of the bill. Allegedly, the sole purpose of this legislation is to allow independent child care providers the opportunity to advocate for higher voucher rates, a measure that they can already accomplish by visiting the State House and meeting with legislators.

Unfortunately, the Senate Republican Caucus was unable to garner the support needed to strike down this bill, which passed by a 34-4 roll call vote.

In an effort to remedy the dilemma that has been raised, I offered an amendment to a supplemental budget during Monday’s formal session. The amendment would have gotten to the crux of the problem by creating a $25 million reserve to provide salary support for independent child care providers using a portion of the Fiscal Year 2012 budgetary surplus.

The passage of this amendment would not only provide the necessary support needed for independent child care providers, but would also avoid the very real legal ramifications that could ensue artificial unionization. Regrettably, my amendment failed by a roll call vote of 7-29.

To view the actual votes taken by the members of the Senate, please view the posted roll call votes below.

House #3986

Yeas: 34 Nays: 4

Roll Call Votes: Yea/Nay

Frederick E. Berry: Yea
Stephen M. Brewer: Yea
William N. Brownsberger: Yea
Gale D. Candaras: Yea
Harriette L. Chandler: Yea
Sonia Chang-Diaz: Yea
Katherine Clark: Yea
Cynthia Stone Creem: Yea
Sal N. DiDomenico: Yea
Kenneth J. Donnelly: Yea
Eileen Donoghue: Yea
Benjamin B. Downing: Yea
James B. Eldridge: Yea
Susan C. Fargo: Yea
Barry Finegold: Yea
Jennifer L. Flanagan: Yea
John Hart: Yea
Robert L. Hedlund: Nay
Patricia D. Jehlen: Yea
Brian A. Joyce: Yea
John Keenan: Yea
Thomas P. Kennedy: Yea
Michael R. Knapik: Yea
Thomas M. McGee: Yea
Mark C. Montigny: Yea
Michael O. Moore: Yea
Richard T. Moore: Yea
Senate President Therese Murray: Did Not Vote
Marc R. Pacheco: Yea
Anthony Petruccelli: Yea
Michael Rodrigues: Nay
Stanley C. Rosenberg: Yea
Richard J. Ross: Nay
Michael Rush: Yea
Karen E. Spilka: Yea
Bruce E. Tarr: Nay
James E. Timilty: Yea
James Welch: Yea
Daniel Wolf: Yea

House #4334
Amendment #22

Yeas: 7 Nays: 29

Roll Call Votes: Yea/Nay

Frederick E. Berry: Did Not Vote
Stephen M. Brewer: Nay
William N. Brownsberger: Nay
Gale D. Candaras: Nay
Harriette L. Chandler: Nay
Sonia Chang-Diaz: Nay
Katherine Clark: Nay
Cynthia Stone Creem: Nay
Sal N. DiDomenico: Nay
Kenneth J. Donnelly: Nay
Eileen Donoghue: Nay
Benjamin B. Downing: Nay
James B. Eldridge: Nay
Susan C. Fargo: Nay
Barry Finegold: Did Not Vote
Jennifer L. Flanagan: Nay
John Hart: Nay
Robert L. Hedlund: Yea
Patricia D. Jehlen: Nay
Brian A. Joyce: Nay
John Keenan: Nay
Thomas P. Kennedy: Nay
Michael R. Knapik: Yea
Thomas M. McGee: Nay
Mark C. Montigny: Nay
Michael O. Moore: Yea
Richard T. Moore: Nay
Senate President Therese Murray: Did Not Vote
Marc R. Pacheco: Nay
Anthony Petruccelli: Nay
Michael Rodrigues: Yea
Stanley C. Rosenberg: Nay
Richard J. Ross: Yea
Michael Rush: Nay
Karen E. Spilka: Nay
Bruce E. Tarr: Yea
James E. Timilty: Yea
James Welch: Nay
Daniel Wolf: Nay