Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Art on the Rise

The creative economy in our state is as vital as it is vibrant. Today, I had several visitor from Cape Ann join me in the Senate Chamber as part of their lobby day on Beacon Hill. In this photo: Elana Bachrack of Newburyport Art Association, Jo Broderick, Dean of Montserrat College of Art, Kristin Zampell Noon, Executive Director of the Wenham Museum, and Bonita LeFlore, local artist and member of the Newburyport Art Association.


Monday, March 27, 2017

North Andover Open House

Congratulation to all of the citizens and officials of North Andover, Massachusetts for the outstanding open house celebration of the newly completed remodeled Town Hall this Sunday.


Motorcycle Safety - Check Twice Save a Life.

More than 1 in 4 fatal motorcycle accidents occur between March and May in Massachusetts. This weekend I had the honor of participating in the Nelson's Family Pancake Breakfast. Since 2000, this annual get-together has been a focal point for raising awareness of motorcycle safety and remembering & honoring the life of Nelson Selig and his family.

At the age of 37 Nelson was killed while riding his motorcycle on Route 133 in Ipswich after a young driver crossed the center line and hit Nelson straight on. Paul Cote of Amesbury and Jason Hallock of Gloucester put together a ride in August 2000. More than 1,000 motorcyclists have participated in any given year.

Each year, by way of a legislative act, the Governor issues an annual Motorcycle Safety Awareness Proclamation.

Every driver can help promote motorcycle awareness and reduce accidents and injuries. Safety starts when you choose to operate so please check twice – you can save a life.


Wilmington Sons Of Italy 50th Anniversary

Congratulations to the Wilmington Sons of Italy Jr. Lodge, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli Lodge #2183, for reaching a major milestone – 50 years of charitable contributions, the promotion of social justice, and serving the cultural community.

Since its inception 50 years ago, the club has raised and distributed more than $1.6 million to the town and other charitable causes.

In these photos - Laura Caira, who received a surprise special recognition for her successful efforts to found the Wilmington club; Michael Caira, Master of Ceremonies and former Town Manager; Club President Charles DeStefano.

Remarks from State Representative James Miceli, Jeffrey Hull, Wilmington Town Manager, State Senator Joseph Boncore, Judith O’Connell, Chairman Wilmington Board of Selectmen, Antonio Sestito, Massachusetts State President, OSIA, and Kevin Caira, Chairman of the Wilmington Sons Of Italy 50th Anniversary Committee.


First Amendment Award

I was honored to receive The Valley Patriot's First Amendment Award for “Defending the 1st Amendment and Demanding Government Accountability” at their 13th anniversary BASH.

The event took place at The Firefighters Relief IN, in Lawrence.

Each year, the Valley Patriot holds an annual Anniversary BASH, Scholarship and Award Night to honor police, firefighters and veterans with awards for bravery and to raise funds to give back to the community in the form of student scholarships and support for veterans

In the photo: North Andover Selectwoman Tracy Watson


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Senate's Commonwealth Conversations Tour on the North Shore

The Senate's Commonwealth Conversations tour is on the North Shore and Northern Middlesex County today. We started at Plum Island for discussions about our efforts to protect valuable infrastructure from erosion.

Right now, I am hosting a broad-based discussion of our transportation needs. Demographics, budget, and priorities are topics in our breakout sessions here at Ipswich Ale Brewery Brewer’s Table in Ipswich. More to come as we head to Lawrence and Lowell.


Friday, March 17, 2017

You are invited to participate in the Senate’s Commonwealth Conversations Tour events which will be held on Tuesday March 21st in several locations in Essex County and Northern Middlesex County.

Feel free to attend any or all of the regional events including the Transportation session which I will be hosting in Ipswich between 11:30 am and 1:00 pm. This transportation meeting will be interactive and will assist us in establishing transportation project priorities for our region. The day will conclude with a public forum which will take place from 6:30 pm until 8:00 pm on the campus of UMass Lowell.

Host Senators:
Senator Eileen Donoghue Senator Barbara L’Italien Senator
Kathleen O’Connor Ives Senator Bruce Tarr

9:00am-10:30am Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters
● Address: 6 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport, MA 01950
● Parking: On-Site Parking ● Host: Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives
● The State’s Conservation Land Tax Credit Program Overview and Discussion

11:30am – 1:00pm Ipswich Ale Brewer’s Table
● Address: 2 Brewery Place, Ipswich, MA 01938
● Parking: On Street Parking ● Host: Senator Bruce Tarr
● Topic: Transportation
● BARR Foundation Forum, Open to the Public

2:30pm – 4:00pm Lawrence General Hospital, General Auditorium
● Address: 1 General Street, Lawrence, MA 01841 ● Parking: Free parking available in main garage ● Host: Senator Barbara L’Italien
● Lawrence Economic Development Roundtable

4:45pm – 6:00pm University of Massachusetts - Lowell
● Address: University Crossing, 220 Pawtucket Street, Lowell, MA 01854
● Parking: On-Site Parking
● Host: Senator Eileen Donoghue 6:30pm – 8:00pm UMass Lowell Public Forum • Address: University Crossing, 220 Pawtucket Street, Moloney Hall, 2nd Floor



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

"Civics Bee" tonight

I am looking forward to the "Civics Bee" tonight at the Miles River Middle School, 787 Bay Road, #Hamilton

What's a civics bee? The answer is:

A. a great time for all ages to learn about government and citizenship.

B. a chance to test your wit and knowledge with neighbors and friends.

C. a celebration of the 2nd annual League of Women Voters of Hamilton-Wenham, MA event.

D. all of the above.

If you answered D, then I think you should come to this free and open to the public event for all ages. It starts at 7 p.m., I'll see you there. Here are a few photos from last year - -


Monday, March 13, 2017

Saint Patrick’s Day Luncheon

Perhaps the luck of the Irish was with us for the annual Saint Patrick’s Day Luncheon that Representative Brad Hill and I sponsor each year with the #Ipswich Council on Aging - - it could have been scheduled for tomorrow!

Today brought us blue skies, good friends, and good fun as 130 seniors gathered at Ascension Memorial Church for a nice meal complimented by cake. Thank you to Sheila Taylor, Director of the Ipswich Council on Aging and her staff and volunteers.


Friday, March 10, 2017

SeniorCare Fundraiser for Meals on Wheels

The Meals on Wheels program sustains thousands of seniors and disabled citizens throughout the state with nutritious food brought to the door. More than a food program, Meals on Wheels connects people to their community and gives homebound elders interaction and the ability to remain in their homes.

This morning, SeniorCare, a non-profit organization that serves more than a dozen North Shore communities, put together their annual fundraiser to support the meals program. 43 years strong this event brings volunteers, elders, and good cheer together to raise money and raise awareness.

Originally planned as a February Valentine-themed event, tough weather moved us to March where even today’s wind and snow was no match for our enthusiasm and the turnout at the Gloucester House Restaurant was strong.

A very big thank you to all the sponsors and particularly to the volunteers who daily go knock on those doors to deliver warm meals to those in need. It was great to see the Gloucester High School ROTC students helping this morning.

SeniorCare Inc. welcomes volunteers and encourages you to contact them if you would like to lend a hand, you can reach their Nutrition Department by calling 978-281-1750.


Ready to Read

We can all agree that reading is fundamental to a great start in life. I'm having a wonderful time visiting with and reading to students at #Rockport Elementary School today. #ReadForLife


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Media Alert:

Alison King of NBC Boston and I talked today about the new legislative compensation law which makes additional stipends available to some lawmakers. Tune in today for her coverage on the issue.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

World Leading Wind Technology Closer Than You Think

I’ve written often here about our state’s innovative energy policies and our efforts to reduce our production of harmful emissions in energy generation. This morning, I visited a facility in Charlestown that is unsurpassed in the country for testing wind turbine blades for on-shore and off-shore wind power.

This testing site is managed by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, a publicly funded agency with a mission of accelerating clean energy technologies and Massachusetts companies.

The Wind Technology Testing Center has analyzed dozens of turbine blades, some up to 300 feet long, to examine stability and design properties. Their pioneering work has attracted academics, entrepreneurs, and policy makers and it’s helping shape our state’s role as a world leader in clean energy. In addition to the natural resource benefits of renewable energy we have also experienced a growth of high-quality research and development, manufacturing, and installation jobs and long-term economic growth. The 2016 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report showed jobs in the clean energy industry have grown by 75 percent since 2010, and the clean energy sector now employs more than 100,000 workers in the state.

They say, “what comes around goes around” and for massive wind turbines capable of generating clean and renewable energy it’s important to all of us that the turbines continue to go around for years to come. My visit today showed me that the research conducted at the Charlestown Wind Technology Testing Center is cutting edge and leading the way.


Friday, March 3, 2017

Local Green Communities Shine

For those of us who value the health and environmental benefits of reduced energy production emissions today rates as a very good day.

The Baker-Polito Administration announced that additional Massachusetts cities and towns have been designated by the Department of Energy Resources as Green Communities. Two additional communities that I serve, through their dedication in adopting responsible energy policies, have now achieved this special designation – congratulations to North Andover and Rockport.

We recognized the achievement with an event led by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Energy & Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew A. Beaton and DOER Commissioner Judith Judson at North Andover at the Town Hall. North Andover, Massachusetts received $169,390 and Rockport, Massachusetts was awarded $148,670. Congratulations to the local officials who worked so diligently to rise to the challenge.

Leadership and action at the municipal level are essential to our state's success in conserving resources and capturing renewable energy. Rockport and North Andover are making an important commitment to our future by becoming Green Communities; their efforts will make a difference for our Commonwealth.

The Green Communities program not only helps cities and towns think about how to be more energy efficient it helps by making investments of grant funds for communities to make smart investment to reduce demand and tap into renewable sources.

The Legislature created the Green Communities Act and challenge cities and towns to meet certain criteria to be designated a Green Community and receive funding. A major component includes reducing municipal energy consumption by 20 percent over five years.