Friday, August 18, 2017

North Reading's Caitlin Galvin Wins State House Intern Award

Join me in congratulating Caitlin Galvin, a rising North Reading senior and intern in my State House office this summer, for being awarded first place in the 2017 Summer Legislative Intern Essay Contest.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of introducing Caitlin at a State House ceremony where she read her winning essay. Inspired by the work of Attorney General Maura Healey, Caitlin’s essay centered on the value of making contribution, no matter how small, towards improving the lives of others. My staff and I appreciated her efforts and good work in my office this summer. Speaker Robert DeLeo, Representative James Kelcourse, Senate President Stan Rosenberg’s Chief of Staff, and other legislators were present. It was wonderful that Caitlin’s family joined us for the celebration.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Massachusetts Is No Place For Hate

Today, Senate President Stan Rosenberg and I offered a Senate resolution, which the Senate unanimously adopted, condemning the violence and philosophy of organizations espousing racist, anti-Semitic, or anti-immigrant ideologies. We resolved to continue to promote social justice, protect people from hatred and bigotry, and encourage law enforcers to protect and serve those who may be victimized.

We joined Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Politio, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and House and Senate colleagues at a State House ceremony to stand together to reaffirm that Massachusetts is the birthplace of American liberty and civil rights for all.

I welcome you to read the resolution and join with me in saying “No” to the fomentation of hatred, xenophobia, and bigotry in our Commonwealth and in our country.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Boxford Shines With New Solar Energy Field

This morning I had the pleasure of being invited as a guest of honor to join friends and town officials in Boxford for a celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new solar energy field. I was invited to speak about the state of energy in our Commonwealth and this magnificent project which transforms a capped landfill into a solar farm that will power the equivalent of 200 Boxford homes each year.

The project is outstanding, it turns essentially unusable land into an energy source that will power all or the town’s municipal buildings. In addition, more than 40 locals were employed in the construction as site workers, engineers and electricians.

I was presented a wonderful plaque in recognition of my legislative work that expanded access to net metering credits for solar projects. Join me in congratulating Boxford on this achievement which will cut CO2 emissions by 730 tons, generate, 1.2 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year, and generate tax revenue for the community. Well done.




Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Support For Retail Task Force Grows

Retailers are an important part of our economy, and the bedrock of main streets in our communities. Yet, they are facing challenges on many fronts and we need to understand their perspective and how best to help them survive and thrive. That is why I worked with the Senate President Stan Rosenberg to create a Senate task force on how best to strengthen local retailers.

Here is a recent editorial in support of task force.


Monday, August 14, 2017

My statement regarding the tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia

Today, under the rules of the Senate, I was given unanimous consent to make a statement on the floor regarding the tragic acts of intolerance and violence that occurred on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia. My statement is posted below:

“We in the Massachusetts Senate work long and hard to ensure that we reject hatred and intolerance and racism in the commonwealth of Massachusetts, in the United States of America and in our society. I rise to make a statement relative to events in Virginia this weekend. On Saturday, there were at least two rallies that occurred, one involving groups that are reportedly white supremacists and in those rallies and in that atmosphere of hatred and intolerance, there was tragedy. A 32-year-old paralegal from Charlottesville died and two State Police officers died in a helicopter crash because their service was required over the rally. Thirty-four other people were wounded in the clashes. It is incumbent on all of us to reject and repudiate acts of intolerance, hatred and violence and racism, whether its source be white supremacy or anything else. That is why I rise to condemn what happened this Saturday in Virginia and to say we must continue to stand as a Senate, as a Legislature, as a commonwealth and as a nation against hatred, violence, intolerance, and racism. I feel it is our solemn obligation to do so as Americans. We share a common sense of virtues that include freedom and justice and liberty for all. I appreciate the ability to rise in condemnation of these events and the sentiments that motivated those acts. I ask that at the conclusion of my remarks the Senate engage in a moment of silence to remember those who have been lost, to remember what is at stake if we do not thoroughly repudiate violence and to ensure our commonwealth does not tolerate those negative things and that the Senate continue to lead in that spirit. Thank you, Mr. President.”


Thursday, August 10, 2017

MBTA Rejects Monopoles Contract

Today, I released the following statement regarding the decision by the MBTA to reject a proposal to install 320 monopoles on commuter rail lines.

Boston- Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) released the following statement regarding the actions today by the MBTA to terminate the license agreement with InMOTION Wireless Inc’s parent company BAI which would have placed hundreds of cell towers across 80 communities along Commuter Rail lines:

“The action today of the MBTA has protected the interests of communities along the commuter rail system while continuing a process that will expand WiFi access for commuters.

I appreciate the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board’s responsiveness to the concerns that I and 13 of my colleagues from the House and Senate articulated in our July 28th letter.

Had they been carried out, the terms of the 2014 license would have locked us into aging technology that imposed unnecessary hardships on communities. Seeking a better path forward makes sense for everyone involved.

The open process conducted recently by the Fiscal and Management Control Board allowed all of us to weigh in; and our concerns were taken seriously. Board members provided multiple opportunities for public engagement at their June and July meetings and they should be commended.

Ultimately, our collaborative efforts contributed to reshaping this effort and the decision today to seek a better plan will benefit host communities, and commuters and better align efforts to improve WiFi service with the needs of the rail system.”


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Public Input Listening Session on Dredging

Beverley City Council Chamber Thursday at 4:30

Please join me, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development Jay Ash, the Director of Coastal Zone Management, Bruce Carlisle. and experts in dredging for an important discussion of priorities and challenges facing harbormasters, municipal officials, maritime professionals, recreational boaters and private citizens.

Secretary Ash will moderate the listening session. I invite you to attend and share your questions and comments.The Administration wants to get feedback from the audience regarding dredging priorities and any hurdles these projects may face in a permit process.

The Beverly session follows a similar meeting that took place in Plymouth recently. More than a hundred people attended from Winthrop to Wellfleet to discuss dredging concerns and needs.

I hope that you will be able to attend the Beverly session, contact my office should you have any questions.


Monday, August 7, 2017

"Caleigh's Law" Sets the Standard for Beach Safety

I talked recently with Boston 25 News' Heather Hegedus about "Caleigh's Law", a bill I wrote to create a uniform beach flag warning system to alert people of dangerous undertows or hazardous conditions.

 Five years ago Caleigh, a Gloucester toddler, went missing from the shore, officials believe she was swept up in a fast current. Signed by Governor Charlie Baker, this new law will enhance public safety by requiring the state to use a single standard for beach warnings and make that system available to communities who choose to adopt it.


Friday, August 4, 2017

Media Alert: On the Air with "The Take" with Sue O'Connell Tonight on NECN

Tonight at 7:00 pm I will be on, "The Take" with Sue O'Connell on NECN. Please tune in for our lively discussion.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Building the Massachusetts Seafood System

The Gloucester House was a very active place yesterday as it hosted the "Building the Massachusetts Seafood System" conference to help us support local maritime activities and expand seaport economic opportunities. The all-day conference featured leading experts from academia, government, non-profits, the private sector and other stakeholders.

Pictured with me are Angela Sanfillipo of the Gloucester Fishermen's Wives Association and Jack Wiggin. Jack and former City Counselor Valerie Nelson were instrumental in organizing the conference.


The Beverly Drawbridge Project Nears Completion

Today, the office received an update from the MBTA on Commuter Rail Projects. Here is their press release: BOSTON – As the work to replace the Beverly Drawbridge is about to finish on schedule with weekday train service resuming on Monday August 14, interim MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak will visit several job sites this weekend where crews continue infrastructure improvement work throughout the transit system. To accommodate this critical work, five separate bus shuttles will replace rail service for various reasons, including the replacement of a 120-year old railroad drawbridge in Beverly, the installation of federally mandated Positive Train Control (PTC) infrastructure along the Newburyport/Rockport and Lowell Commuter Rail Lines, necessary core infrastructure capital project work on the Orange Line, and work being performed as part of MassDOT’s Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Project.

“The MBTA increased capital spending on system-wide upgrades and repairs last fiscal year by about 40 percent, to $702 million—and we’ll spend even more this fiscal year with totals approaching $800 million,” said GM Poftak. “We’re fully committed to our goal of increased investments in our system’s existing infrastructure by putting funds toward maintenance and repairs, resulting in better service for our customers.”

GM Poftak will visit the Beverly Drawbridge Replacement Project, which is on schedule and nearing completion. A 28-day shutdown of all Newburyport/Rockport Line service north of Salem was required in order to replace the swing-span bridge in Beverly and conduct follow-up alignment and testing work, which will result in more reliable Newburyport/Rockport Line service. Due to this service shutdown, the MBTA began accommodating its customers on July 17 with replacement shuttle bus service to all stations with regular weekday train service resuming as planned and advertised on Monday, August 14. 

GM Poftak will also visit sites of federally mandated PTC work currently taking place on weekends along the Newburyport/Rockport Line. PTC is a safety system that prevents train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, and human error. This work has replaced weekend Newburyport/Rockport Commuter Rail service with shuttle buses beginning July 8 through September 30 and will begin replacing all Lowell Commuter Rail Line service along the entire line beginning August 5 through October 1. More information on these projects can be found at


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

National Night Out

Huge crowd at Wilmington Police National Night Out at Rotary Park. Congratulations to Chief Begonis and the entire Wilmington, MA Police Department​. Lots of food, crime prevention information, public safety vehicles and equipment on display, and a whole bunch of fun!


Newbury Veteran’s Barbecue

We had a wonderful Veteran’s Barbecue today at the fire station in Newbury, I enjoyed the good company and the good food.

With - Representative Lenny Mira and Representative James Kelcourse.


Monday, July 31, 2017

MBTA Towers and Monopoles

The MBTA issued a license in 2014 to a wireless service company to provide commuter rail riders with better WiFi service. Today, I told the T’s Fiscal and Management Control Board about the concerns that I and others have about the impact that this project may have on the communities that the rail runs through.

The contract calls for 320 towers to be erected along the lines of some 80 cities and towns. Local officials and residents have decried the little to no communication they have had with the wireless company. I presented the chairman of the board, Joseph Aiello, with a letter that I wrote to outline concerns about the project including the potential outmoded technology, the exclusive use of T property for a lean payback to the authority, and of course the negative impacts on residents. Brad Hill and I introduced several Selectmen and town officials from communities that we serve. Here is the letter - Tarr letter to the MBTA


Friday, July 28, 2017

Strengthening Massachusetts Retail

The Senate President, Stan Rosenberg, and I have initiated an effort to grow our state's retail industry. Here is more information about our plan to form a Senate Task Force on Strengthening Massachusetts Local Retail.

Retailers are an important part of our economy, and the bedrock of main streets in our communities. Yet they are facing challenges on many fronts, and we need to understand their perspective and how best to help them survive and thrive. This task force will open the door to the type of discussion we need to partner with the retail community.

The Task Force will address a number of key factors, including challenges faced by local retailers in competing against online sellers, closures of local retailers and the impact that has on local economies and property tax bases, initiatives by local retailers to increase their market share, and how state and local governments can encourage purchases from local retailers.

There will be 13 members, seven from the Senate, five to be appointed by the Senate President and two by the Majority Leader. Five members will also be selected to represent large and small retailers from geographically diverse regions across the Commonwealth, three to be appointed by the Senate President and two by the Minority Leader. One member will also represent the Retailers Association of Massachusetts. Outside experts with expertise in business and economics may also be consulted to assist the Task Force in facilitating its work.


Monday, July 24, 2017

Puppy Doe Animal Abuse Case Trial

I talked yesterday with the Boston Herald about the Puppy Doe case and the legislation that I filed to protect pets from abuse and harm. Abusing animals is senseless, dangerous, and a crime. Puppy Doe was whipped, stabbed, and tortured - her abuser now faces justice. Here is the item in today's paper -
Puppy Doe


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Medical Emergency Amnesty For Underage Drinkers

I spoke with NBC Boston reporter Karen Hensel about legislation that I filed to create a medical lifeline for those under the age of 21 who have consumed alcohol or they are with an underage drinker in a medical emergency. Seeking help fast is far more important than trying to evade potential punishment. The bill had a State House public hearing Tuesday and I look forward to an opportunity to move it to the Senate floor for action.

The bill creates a mechanism, for those acting in good faith, to be shielded from prosecution from our underage alcohol laws if they 1)contact authorities providing their full name and other relevant information at the request of law enforcement officers, 2) remain on the scene until emergency assistance arrives, and 3) cooperate with all authorities on the scene. Senate Bill 967, provide a lifeline medical amnesty for persons under age 21, you can track it's progress here- Senate Bill 967

Here is her report-""


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Hamilton Signs State Partnership Compact

The Commonwealth Community Compact is an initiative created by Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant (it was the Governor’s first executive order) to help communities pursue best practices in efficient and effective governing and reduce red tape. Yesterday, Hamilton became the 289 community to ender this voluntary program at a compact signing with Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.

We were joined by Representative Brad Hill, Selectman Shawn Farrell, and members of the Hamilton town staff including department directors. To learn more about the Compact program follow this link - Community Compact


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Newburyport/Rockport Commuter Rail Schedule

Today, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation released the Bus Shuttle Schedule for weekend and weekday service on the Newburyport/Rockport Commuter Rail Line to mitigate service disruption attributable to the installation of the federally-mandated Positive Train Control project and the replacement of the Beverly Drawbridge. These schedules are posted below:   

For additional information please go to:


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Independence Day 2017

Happy Independence Day to you and to your family. Parades, feasts, and gatherings with friends are time-honored traditions since our liberty was won.

Our founding fathers welcomed celebrations to cause us all to remember the hard fought freedoms that our service men and women secured. Although I won't be able to join you at the parades this year, because I'm a bit under the weather, I'm glad that the Bruce Tarr Band is ready to kick off the Horribles Parade and play the hits we all love. Catch up with the crew in Manchester and Rockport tomorrow.


Friday, June 30, 2017

Happy Birthday to Rockport's Edith Humlin

Congratulations to Edith Humlin of #Rockport who turned 102 yesterday. She was joined at the Rockport COA by Dick Curran of my staff who presented her with a Senate Citation that was prepared to honor her on this very special occasion.