Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Chanukah

This week we began our State House celebration of Chanukah on Wednesday, the solstice - the longest night of the year, with a menorah lighting at the Grand Staircase. Led by Rabbi Rachmiel Liberman of Congregation Lubavitch Synagogue, the attendant candle of an 18-foot menorah was lit.

Tonight, the eight-day celebration of Chanukah begins.

To all of my Jewish friends and constituents, I wish you a happy Chanukah celebration, and may you enjoy eight days of peace, happiness, and joy with your loved ones.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Middleton Police Chief DiGianvittorio Newest Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association President

This afternoon, I had the pleasure and honor of serving as master of ceremonies for the swearing in of Chief James A. DiGianvittorio as President of Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association and of the installation of new officers and executive board members.

Chief DiGianvittorio of the Middleton Police Department is the past President of the Essex County Chiefs of Police Association, a co-director of the Law Enforcement Torch Run program for Special Olympics, which has raised more than $650,000 for special needs athletes, and in addition to his many other commitments he has been a member of the MCOPA executive board for more than five years.

We were joined today by many police chiefs from across the Commonwealth, the Secretary of Public Safety and Security Daniel Bennett, District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, Sherriff Frank Cousins, local officials and Attorney General Maura Healey. AG Healey administered the oath of office to the executive board and Chief DiGianvittorio.

Since 1887 the Chiefs of Police Association has worked state-wide to advance professional police services, promote advances in operational police practices, foster cooperation and the exchange of information and experience among police leaders. Law enforcement professionals, prosecutors and lawmakers have worked with the chiefs over many years to advance enhancements to public safety, professional standards, and community service.

I wish Chief DiGianvittorio and the executive board success for 2017.


Wreaths Across America

I was pleased to take part this week in an important gathering at Coolidge Hall at the Topsfield Fair Grounds.

The Wreaths Across America organization is traveling in a caravan of vehicles on a journey to deliver wreathes to Arlington National and at locations along the way. Each December, volunteers place wreaths on individual veterans' graves in over 1,100 locations throughout the U.S. Leaders of the organization presented the traditional red bowed evergreen wreaths to local elected officials from participating communities across the North Shore. Each of these wreaths will be placed in cemeteries and other distinguished public places.

The Coolidge Hall was full and energetic. We were joined by Department of Veterans' Services Fransisco Urnea, Senator Joan Lovely, Representative Brad Hill, local elected and public safety officials, veteran service officers, leaders of volunteer veteran’s affiliated organizations, Gold Star families and private citizens.

Wreaths Across America started as a grass-roots effort to remember those willing to serve and sacrifice. Last year their network of volunteers laid more than 700,000 memorial wreaths. Our legislative delegation was presented with one of those wreaths which was brought to State House in order that it is displayed proudly in view of the public and those who wish to honor the service and sacrifice of those who wore our nation’s uniform.


Monday, December 12, 2016

Today is Candle Safety Day

The holiday season should be festive and fun yet it can be a dangerous time of the year due to the misuse of lit candles.

State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey announced that today, December 12, 2016 will be Candle Safety Day and advised consumers to use candles safely throughout the year. By state law we have set the second Monday in December as Candle Safety Day to promote the safety in our state.

It is important to know - more candle fires happen during Winter holidays, so: • Burn candles within a one-foot circle, free of anything that can burn, • Never leave candles burning unattended, • Always extinguish candles after use, • Use a non-combustible saucer or candleholder to snuff flames, • Keep candles out of reach of children and pets, • Consider switching to battery-operated flameless candles, • 35% of candle fires in homes occurred in the bedroom.

State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said, “Starting with Halloween, we use candles to celebrate many of the winter holidays. Sadly, the increased candle use at this time of year causes an increase in candle fires.” More candle fires happen between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve than any other time. “Candles should be blown out whenever you leave the room or go to sleep; and children should always be supervised, around burning candles,” he added.

Please, be safe, be bright and put out that light.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Endicott College Visit

Happy to have visited with my friend Professor Arthur Burt and his students at Endicott College in Beverly today. He invited me to talk with his politics class about the recent election, civics and what's happening in the next legislative session at the State House. Thank you to the Endicott College Observer for the photo.