Monday, August 31, 2015

On your mark! Get set! GO! -Magnolia Road Race

On Saturday, August 27, I had the honor of being the official starter for the 39th annual Magnolia Road Race.  The event drew large groups of participants and spectators for both the adult 5K and children's 1K races.  Also in the crowd, were Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and Ward 5 City Councillor William Fonvielle, there to cheer on an array of runners from across the state and a very strong Magnolia contingent.

Proceeds from the races went to the Magnolia Library Center, a non-profit community organization dedicated to enriching the lives of residents by providing educational and cultural programming and events.

It was a great morning for a neighborhood with the true spirit of community


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ice Cream Social at Wenham Council on Aging

Last Wednesday I had the pleasure of joining with the Wenham Council on Aging for an Ice Cream Social. A great time was had by all who participated, and it was fun to scoop ice cream with Rep. Brad Hill and his staff and Joe Tofalo of my staff, as we all enjoyed a refreshing treat and good company on a hot August day. Below are some pictures from the event.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Lane's Cove Fish Shack Fundraiser

The Lane's Cove Fish Shack is not only an important part of the fishing heritage of Gloucester and Cape Ann, its also a powerful icon with continuing importance in the life of the community and all of those who care about it. Yet, for the past several years it had been in need of repair and restoration, and its future was uncertain. Thankfully, in 2012 a dedicated group of energetic and committed volunteers, coordinating with the City of Gloucester, rose to the challenge of rebuilding the shack and giving new life to a building that is so much more than just a waterfront structure. Today, thanks to their efforts and the strong support of those in Lanesville and beyond, the revitalized fish shack stands as a symbol of the survival of commercial fishing and the power of volunteers and the community to get things done by working together. Last Saturday this group hosted a fundraiser featuring a cookout, live entertainment, tours of the shack and even swimming in the cove. Overall, this was a great day for Lanesville and I was happy to attend and see so many people celebrating a shack on the cove that means so much to those who know it. Posted below are some photos I captured at the event. For more information about the Lane's Cove Historical Association please click here: 


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A seaside bench for "Woody"

Last Saturday morning, on August 15,  in Manchester-by-the-sea, I had the opportunity to join with local officials, Representative Brad Hill, members of the community , and the family and many friends of the late Frank Wood to dedicate a bench in his memory atop a dune overlooking Singing Beach. Through his many years as a police dispatcher and constant support for the community and a family dedicated to public service, Frank earned the respect, friendship and admiration of people throughout the town and well beyond. His wife Gretchen, also a distinguished public servant for many years in Manchester, told us at the ceremony that Frank always returned to the site of the bench at Singing Beach to benefit from the restorative and inspiring effects of observing this great natural resource. Now many others can follow that example. A special thanks to Joe Sabella, who led the effort to raise funds and procure and install the bench. That effort has created a meaningful place for all of us to remember Woody at his favorite beach.



Monday, August 10, 2015

Tarr Applauds Creation of Seaport Economic Council

Baker-Polito Administration Executive Order Advances Coastal Communities

Boston- Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) and Gloucester Mayor Romeo Theken were on hand as Governor Charlie Baker signed an executive order today which established the Seaport Economic Council.

Romeo Theken was appointed to the council which is tasked with protecting coastal assets and revitalizing maritime related opportunities to boost the economic vitality of the state’s 78 coastal communities. Former Mayor of Gloucester Carolyn Kirk, now Deputy Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development was appointed Vice Chair of the Council.

“The revitalization of the council is critically important for our ports and coastal resources, and it signals the deep commitment of the Baker administration to supporting and strengthening them,” said Senator Tarr. “Working collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders, the council can target important investments that will drive economic growth, support our commercial fisheries and carry out great maritime legacy into a bright future.”

“The Seaport Economic Council demonstrates our commitment to promoting economic prosperity in cities and towns of all sizes,” said Governor Baker. “We look forward to the robust role coastal communities can contribute to job and economic growth in the Commonwealth.”

The Council will be comprised of municipal leaders, representatives from coastal communities, trade associations representing the maritime economy, and senior level staff from the Commonwealth’s Departments of Transportation and Energy and Environmental Affairs.

“The expanded focus on jobs and economic growth in the maritime economy is good news for Gloucester,” said Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken. “We are especially excited about prospects for projects related to the seafood industry which is a direct support to our fishermen.”

Click here to read the Executive Order establishing the Seaport Economic Council.


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Tarr Talk: Earned Income Tax Credit

Yesterday, we brought major tax relief to low-wage earning families with the signing of the Earned IncomeTax Credit Law. This video brings you to the State House ceremony and shares why this bi-partisan victory is important for the people of Massachusetts.


Media Alert: Radio Fun Tomorrow Morning With North Shore 104.9FM

Looking forward to joining my friends at North Shore 104.9FM Mornings With Dana and Mugs Show tomorrow.  Dana Heresey and Kevin "Mugs" McGonagle are welcoming me into the studio. I'll be there from 7 to 9 but you can catch their show each Monday through Friday from 6 to 10.

Tune in. tomorrow.  Dana Heresey and Kevin "Mugs" McGonagle are welcoming me into the studio. I'll be there from 7 to 9 but you can catch their show each Monday through Friday from 6 to 10.

Tune in.


Governor Baker Signs State Sales Tax Holiday in to Law

Bill Gives Consumers Tax Free Shopping August 15th and 16th

Boston- Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) joined Governor Baker and several business leaders at a State House bill signing ceremony to create a weekend long suspension of the state sales tax on items less than $2,5000 for the days of August 15 and 16. This marks the 11th time that the tax holiday has been granted to consumers since 2004.

Jon Hurst, Executive Director of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, Jerome Murphy, Treasurer M. Steinert & Sons, and Harold Tubman of Circle Furniture attended the signing of the bill which originated from legislation offered by Senator Tarr.

“This weekend serves as a great opportunity for everybody in our communities to support our retailers and business of all sizes,” said Baker. “Our administration is committed to growing the economy and creating jobs across the Commonwealth and this is a great example of an opportunity for all of us to take advantage of this weekend and do something for those businesses in our community that mean so much to us.”

Senator Tarr praised consumers and retail shop owners for supporting the bill, “While we need to continue to pursue more lasting sales tax relief, this two-day holiday offers a chance for consumers to get a break while supporting local businesses we need to sustain and grow the Massachusetts economy,” said Tarr. “Having Governor Baker’s support will generate hundreds of millions of dollars of sales in-state that might otherwise have gone over the border on online.”

The Retailers Association of Massachusetts reports retail sales were down 49% during a four week period this past winter. The retail sector, which employs an additional 600 workers as a result of the tax holiday, expects that consumer spending will rise significantly in Massachusetts during the tax holiday. According to a recent Beacon Hill Institute survey, 72% of respondents say they are more likely to shop nearby and keep spending local as a result of the tax break.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Tarr Lauds New Earned Income Tax Credit Law

400,000 Individuals and Families to Benefit From Tax Credit

Boston- Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) joined Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst) and several other lawmakers at the Grand Staircase of the State House today as Governor Baker signed into law House Bill 3671, which increases the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC ) from 15% of the Federal EITC to 23%.

Tarr has long been an ardent supporter of the EITC as a means of helping low-wage earning individuals and families, prompting Rosenberg to say, “This is a bi-partisan success. Without the help of Senator Bruce Tarr, the Minority Leader of the Senate, we would not be here today.”

Most recently, Tarr filed amendments to the Senate’s version of the Fiscal Year 2016 state budget to increase the state credit to 30% over a three year period. Although the amendments were unsuccessful, Tar continued to advocate for an EITC increase throughout the budget process.

Tarr commended Baker for developing a good, workable compromise that was supported overwhelmingly by the legislature. “Governor Baker rose to the challenge of making progress on the EITC, and as a result we have made major progress today,” said Senator Tarr.

Tarr, again today emphasized the importance of the EITC; “The earned income tax credit is among the most powerful and proven tools our nation has ever seen to reward work and support families earning lower wages. The Senate Republican Caucus has been relentless in its pursuit of increasing the EITC, and will continue to be because of its proven ability to help people who are working to gain a stronger economic position than they otherwise would have had,” said Tarr.

The new law extends the maximum state credit from $951 to $1,459 and is expected to benefit more than 400,000 individuals and families.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Happy 225th Birthday to the US Coast Guard

As one of the America's five armed forces the Coast Guard can trace its roots to August 4, 1790 when it was first put into commission as the Revenue Cutter Service. As a result of the advocacy of Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury who saw the need for a floating police presence, the first session of the US Congress legislated that ten ships be constructed to enforce tariffs, prevent illegal smuggling, and ensure the collection of taxes.

 Over the years, the responsibilities of the Cutter Service grew to include life-saving and other humanitarian-oriented functions such as; the operations of the coastal Lighthouse Services and the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation.

Incidentally, Massachusetts lays at the center of the history of the lighthouse service having been the home for America’s first lighthouse. The colonial era Massachusetts Legislature ordered the construction of the Boston Light on Little Brewster Island in the outer harbor of Boston in 1716. Today, the Coast Guard, as the smallest of the five Armed Services, has several missions-- to protect the public, the environment, and our national economic interests in the country’s waterways, on the coast, and on international waters in support of national security operations.

Today, we see the benefit of a great Coast Guard legacy continuing with strength and effectiveness in our region. U.S. Coast Guard Stations Gloucester and Merrimack River and their crews provide safety at sea every day for commercial and recreational mariners through patrols, search and rescue missions, law enforcement, inspections and education and awareness.

These stations are critical to the safety and success of our commercial fishing industry. They are welcomed and valued parts of our communities, and often the venue for meetings and gatherings that bring together Coast Guard personnel, public officials and the public. Similarly, our area is truly fortunate to have U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo home ported in Gloucester and performing a number of key functions for Massachusetts, New England and our nation through long range patrols and other missions that enforce laws, promote safety and provide homeland security. We should never fail to recognize and appreciate the Captain and crew of Key Largo, which recently relieved U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Grand Isle after many years of distinguished service.

Yesterday, 418-foot National Security Cutter James arrived at Boston Base. James is docked at the U.S. Coast Guard base at 427 Commercial Street in the North End.

To learn more about the U.S. Coast Guard click here -

If you have an opportunity to talk with a Coast Guard member, thank them for their service. And, don’t forget to congratulate them for being a part of an outstanding organization that began in our nation’s earliest days and continues to protect and defend us each and every day.


Monday, August 3, 2015

Low Number Plates Available in New Lottery

Ever wonder how some drivers got their low number license plate? They most likely had luck in a Registry of Motor Vehicles plate lottery.

If you would like a chance to replace your old plate with an upgrade then you should consider applying for the 2015 Low Number License Plate Lottery. With 156 plates available, you have lots of chances to be selected. Plates will be awarded by random drawing and announced live during a NightSide with Dan Rea radio broadcast on WBZ 1030AM on Thursday, September 12, 2013 from 8-10 PM.

You can get an application at RMV branches or by clicking this link:

Important things to know:

• By law, applications must be postmarked by August 21, 2015,

• Winners will be posted on the Registry website -,

• Eligible applicants will be considered for all plates listed. Plates will be awarded in the • order in which they are listed on the 2015 Plate List,

• An applicant must have a currently registered and insured passenger vehicle.

• Winners will have until December 31, 2015 to swap their plates by phone or at the Special Plate Section at RMV Headquarters. Unclaimed plates will be forfeited after December 31st,

• Only one entry per applicant, • Low number plates must be renewed every two years.

While there will be an expected 6,000 drivers seeking a plate upgrade, you only have a chance to win a coveted low number plate by submitting an entry, be sure to mail your completed application before the August 21st deadline. Best of luck and see you on the road.