Thursday, October 30, 2014

Statement on the Passing of Mayor Menino

Today I released the following statement today, following the passing of former Boston Mayor Tom Menino at the age of 71:

“We are all deeply saddened at the loss of such an esteemed and dedicated public servant who always kept the interests of his constituents first and foremost.  Mayor Menino had a distinguished career in public service that spanned more than three decades, from his early days as a Boston City Councilor to his elevation to the most powerful elected office in the City of Boston in 1993.  Throughout his years of public service, he never lost sight of his priorities, which included doing everything he could to improve the lives of others and to make Boston a better place to live, work, and raise a family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this difficult time.”



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Supporting the New NSCC President

Recently I had the honor of attending the Presidential Inauguration Installation Ceremony of Dr. Patricia A. Gentile as the fourth President of North Shore Community College (NSCC). The inauguration, which featured the swearing-in ceremony of the new president and an inspiring speech from Dr. Gentile, was hosted at the NSCC’s Lynn Campus. Hundreds of people were in attendance including several of my colleagues from the State House.

The inauguration was one of the first events scheduled to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the educational institution. In 1964, the college was established at the former Briscoe School, and the following year admitted 474 students to five programs of study. The school has been growing ever since, and now admits 15,000 students a year, utilizing four campuses in Beverly, Danvers, Lynn, and Middleton, as well as offering online programs.

To learn more about North Shore Community College and its 50 years of student success please click here to visit the school’s website. Posted below are several photos I was able to capture during Dr. Gentile’s inauguration ceremony.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Supporting the Gloucester Stage Company

Last month, I was honored to attend a special advanced screening of the movie My Old Lady at the Cape Ann Community Cinema in Gloucester. The movie was written and directed by Israel Horovitz, founding artistic director of the Gloucester Stage Company, and stars Academy Award winners Maggie Smith and Kevin Kline, and Academy Award nominee Kristin Scott Thomas.

The evening was a complete sell-out where all of the proceeds went to benefit the Gloucester Stage Company. Prior to the airing of the movie, Heidi Dallin conducted red carpet interviews where I was able to express my enthusiasm for the special viewing of the movie.

Israel Horovitz provided the audience with an introduction of My Old Lady, which provided an excellent backdrop as to how his play became a movie. Play the video posted below to view a trailer of the movie. To learn more about the Gloucester Stage Company, please click here.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Opening of the North Reading High School

On Saturday, September 20th the Town of North Reading and the North Reading Public School System conducted opening ceremonies for the new North Reading High School, and I was honored to have been able to address the crowd of people in attendance. The new school building is an excellent example of an educational facility that will provide an outstanding environment for the community’s children to learn for decades to come.

I was pleased to work with Rep. Jones and the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) to secure $47 million of reimbursement towards the $107.7 million project. Other speakers during the opening ceremony included Representative Brad Jones; Superintendent Kathleen Willis; MSBA Deputy Executive Director Barbara Hansberry; Chairperson of the North Reading Board of Selectmen, Robert Mauceri; Town Administrator Michael Gilleberto; High School Principal Jon Bernard; School Committee Chairperson, Gerald Venezia; and Chairperson of the North Reading Secondary Schools Building Committee, Charles Carucci.

Also during the opening ceremony the choral group “Imagine the Possibilities”, whose members range from 5th-12th grades, performed for the crowd, and Geof Simons provided a video presentation of a time-lapse photo montage of the school being built. Following the opening ceremony, student-led and self-guided tours were provided.

Posted below and in the “Read more” section are several photos I was able to capture during the opening ceremony and of the school. To learn more about the new North Reading High School, please click here.


Monday, October 20, 2014

National Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

On Monday, October 6th I was able to join Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk, the Gloucester Police Department, the Gloucester Coalition for Prevention of Domestic Abuse, HAWC, the YWCA North Shore Rape Crisis Center, and others in recognizing the month of October as National Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.  Outside of Gloucester City Hall we gathered to further bring awareness of the issue and to renew our commitment in making Gloucester a domestic violence free zone.

Sadly, a 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) found that approximately 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men in Massachusetts have experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner.  As a state, we must do better to combat domestic violence.

In July of this year, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a bill to do just that.  The bill, S.2334, An Act relative to domestic violence, creates new criminal offenses, increases penalties, protects and empowers victims, and creates new employment rights within the workplace.  Specifically, the act, which was signed into law by Governor Patrick on August 8, 2014, includes:

·         The creation of a first offense domestic assault and battery charge on a family or household member punishable by imprisonment in a house of corrections for up to 2 ½ years and a fine of $5,000;

·         The creation of a felony charge of strangulation and suffocation punishable by imprisonment in a state prison by 5 years, or 2 ½ years in a house of corrections, and a fine of $5,000;

·         The standardization of records to be shared by law enforcement and the judicial system;

·         The further training of domestic violence programs for police, district attorneys, court, and medical personnel;

·         The delaying of bail for offenders by 6 hours to provide the victim with adequate time to relocate safely; and

·         The establishing of fees for domestic violence offenses, which will fund a newly created Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance account.

Additionally, the bill now requires places of business with 50 or more employees to allow up to 15 days of leave (paid or unpaid), to any employee who is a victim of domestic violence.  Employees can use that time to obtain medical attention, counseling, housing, protection orders, or legal assistance.

It is important that we continue to bring awareness to prevent these kinds of acts from happening, and to support those who may need help in addressing domestic violence.  To read more about the NISVS report, please click here.  To read the text of S.2334 in its entirety, please click here.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Wilmington’s 10th Annual Road Race

On Sunday, September 28th I had the pleasure of attending Wilmington’s 10th Annual Half Marathon & 5K Run/Walk presented by the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce. The beautiful day provided a perfect environment for the hundreds of participants and spectators. It was a great opportunity to cheer on the competitors for a good cause with the proceeds benefiting scholarships for Wilmington students.

The day also featured music, food, activities for kids, face painting, and booths and giveaways sponsored by local businesses.  All in all, it was a great day for those who attended this year. I want to thank Nancy Vallee and everyone at the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce for coordinating such a wonderful event.

Posted below are several photos I was able to capture during Sunday’s road race. To learn more about the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, please click here.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Special Dinner Honoring Veterans

On Sunday, September 28th, I was privileged to have the opportunity to attend and to speak at the 5th Annual Dinner Social honoring our veterans, which was organized by the North Reading Veterans Department. The dinner at the Hillview Country Club presented a special opportunity to thank those for their bravery in defending this great nation by enlisting into our military forces.

The dinner showcased the Lynn English JROTC Marine Corps Cadets, who performed their live version of the Missing Man Table Ceremony, music, great speeches, and wonderful conversations with our veterans.

Posted below are several photos I was able to capture during the event.