Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Festival of Saint Peter

Saint Peter is the patron saint of fishermen and in Gloucester, the oldest fishing port in America, that means a community-wide festival involving celebrations, competitions, carnivals, fantastic foods, crafts, parades and the fabled Greasy Pole contest. Come to Gloucester and celebrate Saint Peter and with our community.

This Weekend's Schedule of Events-

Saturday, June 30
10 a.m.: Seine Boat Race featuring U.S. Coast Guard vs. Gloucester Fire and Police departments, Pavilion Beach.

Noon to midnight: Fiesta Shows carnival, St. Peter’s Square.

3 p.m.: Children’s games, Beach Court.

4:45 p.m.: Seine Boat Races and Greasy Pole contest, Pavilion Beach.

8 to 11:30 p.m.: Musical entertainment featuring Franco Corso, St. Peter’s Square.

Sunday, July 1
10 a.m.: Celebration of Mass of St. Peter, St. Peter’s Square.

Noon: Procession following the celebration of outdoor Mass.

Noon to midnight: Fiesta Shows carnival, St. Peter’s Square.

3 p.m.: Blessing of the Fleet, Fishermen's Memorial, Stacy Boulevard.

3 p.m.: Concert, U.S. Navy Band, St. Peter’s Square.

4:45 p.m.: Seine Boat Races and Greasy Pole contest, Pavilion Beach.

6:30 p.m.: Children’s Pinata Contest, Pascucci Court.

7:15 p.m.: Awards Ceremony, trophies awarded to winners of the sports events, St. Peter’s Square.

8:30 p.m.: Musical entertainment featuring Natalie Pinto and Panorama.

10:15 p.m.: Raffle drawings and closing procession.


Friday, June 29, 2018

Commemorating The 75th Anniversary Of The Founding Of The US Cadet Nurse Corps

I was very happy to offer an order to have the State Senate adopt a Resolution to commemorate the US Cadet Nurse Corps on the occasion of it's 75th anniversary.  The Corps was created to help train people to ensure that the country had enough nurses to care for its citizens at home and abroad during the second World War.

Whereas, the US Cadet Nurse Corps is celebrating its 75th anniversary having been founded in the year 1943; and
Whereas, the US Cadet Nurse Corps plans to celebrate this occasion on July 1, 2018; and
Whereas, the Corps was backed by $150 million in federal funds in founding year 1943; and
Whereas, 65,521 nursing students registered for the program in the first year of enrollment; and
Whereas, the us cadet nurse corps provided 80% of nursing care in all us hospitals by 1945; and
Whereas, the us senate passed an amendment on behalf of the corps prohibiting discrimination based on race, creed, or color; and
Whereas, the cadet corps funded 1,250 programs in 48 states, Washington D.C, and Puerto Ricco; and
Whereas, the US Cadet Nurse Corps was the largest and youngest group of uniformed women to serve the united states;

Resolved, that the Massachusetts State Senate commemorates the us cadet nurse corps on its 75th anniversary; and be it further
Resolved, that a copy of this resolution be transmitted forthwith by the Clerk Of The Senate to the Us Cadet Nurse Corps.


Hamilton Wenham Regional High School Nets Web Win

A hearty congratulation to some outstanding students from Hamilton Wenham Regional High School for their accomplishments in the National History Day Competition.

The National Endowment of Humanities sponsored the event last week which was held at the University of Maryland. Sophomore Nora Sullivan-Horner secured a top ten finish, coming in seventh, in the individual competition for best Website Contest – her project was on the Meji Restoration of Japan in 1868 under Emperor Meiji. The school won First Place in the Group Website Competition which was led by Tucker Apgar, Sean Li and Lily Ting for their site on the Prague Spring and the Conflict over Control – “By Winter We Will Know All”. Congratulations to the students, their families and the staff of Hamilton Wenham Regional High School.


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Celebrating the 100th Birthday of Carmella "Millie" Cacicio

So happy to offer Millie a Senate Citation to recognize her 100 years of life. Richard Curran, my Constituent Services & Community Outreach Coordinator and Mary Ann Nay, my District Liaison presented her with the citation. Millie was born on June 25th 1918. She was one of eight siblings – her parents came to America from Sicily and did not speak English. At the age of 16 she left school to help support her family by working in a leather shop.

Millie met Leo, the love of her life, when she was 18 but Leo was soon off to fight in World War II. They married and had three children. She worked for Intercity Homecare taking care of seniors until she was 80 years old. Her contributions were significant and she was the guest speaker at the Mystic Valley Elder Services annual Legislative Breakfast where she talked about being a home care provider.

After Leo passed away she moved to North Reading and became a resident at Peabody Court where she has lived for 15 years.


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Senator Bruce Tarr Joins Health Care Conference Committee

Continues to Seek Cost and Access Improvements

 *My office distributed the following press release today*

Boston- State Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R- Gloucester) will serve on the House/Senate Conference Committee on the health care cost containment legislation that was initially adopted by the Senate in November of 2017 and by the House in last week following the adoption of an order by the Senator on Monday. The Committee is charged with producing a final proposed health care reform bill subject to the approval, without an opportunity to amend the bill further, of both the House and Senate.

Tarr, who has long been focused on seeking ways to control the cost of health care while improving access to quality providers such as community hospitals, will serve with Senator James Welch (D- Springfield), and Senator Jason Lewis (D- Winchester) in representing the senator on the six member committee.

“While Massachusetts leads the nation in medical innovation, technology, and expertise in care, the significant and growing cost of that care can be destabilizing for household budgets and divert state resources away from other spending priorities like education, transportation, and public safety,” said Tarr. He added that “educating consumers about health care cost and quality and giving them good tools to make those choices can be a very important avenue to achieving individual an systemic savings while supporting providers of quality care throughout our state.”

“Health care cost, access, and quality issues have such dramatic impacts that we need to explore every feasible option to address them,” said Tarr. “My hope is that this conference committee will be vigorous in its pursuit of meaningful measures that will make a real difference in controlling costs and ensuring access to quality care.”

House Majority Leader Ronald Mariano (D- Quincy), Representative Jeffery Roy (D- Franklin), House Vice Chair of the Health Care Financing Committee, and Representative Randy Hunt (R-Sandwich) were appointed to represent the House. ###


Federal Declaration of Disaster Brings Relief

Senator Tarr’s Statement on the approval of Governor Charlie Baker’s request for a declaration of disaster following the damage caused by the March 2-3 storm that caused millions of dollars of damage across multiple counties.

“Communities in our region were hit hard by the severe storms in March, as strong winds, snow, rain, erosion and flooding took a serious toll on property and public resources. Thanks to collaboration between local and state officials, and the persistence of the Baker Administration, there will be some flood assistance to help with the costs of dealing with the March 2-3 storm and its impacts.”

Under the Public Assistance Program, affected local governments, state agencies and some private non-profit organizations will be reimbursed for 75% of their costs associated with response and emergency protective measures, including storm-related overtime for first responders, clearing debris from public roads and public property, and repairing, replacing, restoring or reconstructing damaged public facilities and infrastructure. Federal disaster funds will also be available for projects that will mitigate the costs and impacts of future disasters.

In the near future, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and FEMA will announce a series of information sessions during which the process for applying for federal disaster assistance will be explained to municipal and state officials and eligible non-profits.

The U.S. Small Business Administration previously announced that it will offer low interest loans to residents and businesses affected by the March 2-3, 2018 severe winter storm in Norfolk, Bristol, Middlesex, Plymouth, Suffolk and Worcester counties. Residents and businesses in the six counties can apply for disaster assistance loans online or over the phone (1-800-659-2955).


Monday, June 25, 2018

The Blessing of Bing Bing the Newest Vessel in Gloucester's Fleet

I had the pleasure of taking part in blessing of newest surf clam vessel "Bing Bing" from Intershell International this weekend following a 100% refit by the skilled men and women at Roses Marine in Gloucester, MA. We are commemorating another important step in the life of this port and the three elements of innovation, tenacity and faith. This vessel and this company represent the tenacity that it will take if we are still to have a commercial fishing industry in the oldest seaport in America.


Friday, June 22, 2018

Northeast Seafood Coalition Annual Meeting

An extremely productive discussion about strengthening the commercial fishing industry at the Northeast Seafood Coalition annual meeting at the Gloucester House Restaurant. Michael Pentony the Regional Administrator for NOAA Fisheries’ Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office was the invited keynote speaker. The meeting was an opportunity for the Coalition to elect new members and a Board of Directors and to facilitate a robust conversation about ongoing Federal policies, groundfish, and state developments.

The Northeast Seafood Coalition is a non-profit organization representing commercial fishing entities in the northeastern United States on political and policy issues.


Canadian Rowers Ready

The International Dory Race gathering was lots of fun. We welcomed old friends and made some new ones too. The Canadian racers will compete against the rowers from Gloucester this Saturday. Come down to Gloucester's Inner Harbor and enjoy this unique event for a Saturday 10 AM start.


Thursday, June 21, 2018

International Dory Races Reception

Tonight we are celebrating the return of the Canadian dory racers representing the Lunenburg, Nova Scotia area at the ‘Canadian Welcome Reception’ at the St. Peter’s Club in Gloucester.

For more than 60 years rowers from Gloucester have competed with their Canadian counterparts in the International Dory Races. Dory boats are heavy and take great physical stamina to move with speed – perfect then to test the best of two harbor communities on the Atlantic maritime.

This Saturday, come to Gloucester's Inner Harbor, next to the Jodrey State Fish Pier, and cheer on these competitors as they race from 10 AM to Noon in exciting head-to-head matches in Men's, Women's, Master's, Mixed Doubles and Junior Divisions. This is a fun and family friendly event. See you there.

Each year in the Spring Canadian rowers are hosted in a competition in Gloucester and in the fall Gloucester rowers venture to Canada for a competition in Lunenburg.


Senate Speaks Out Against Separating Children From Families on the Border

The practice of separating children from their families at the border has motivated many to express concerns for the well-being of children. My colleagues and I in the sent voted unanimously to communicate our desire that these circumstances change as quickly as possible. The attached is our letter to the President. We are all grateful that he has signed an Executive Order to reverse this policy.


Grand Bargain Bill - Adopted

The House and Senate have now adopted a bill, dubbed the 'Grand Bargain', which addresses several questions scheduled to be subject to ballot referenda in the state-wide election in November.

Under the bill, the minimum wage will go from $11 to $15 incrementally over five years and would eliminate time-and-a-half pay on Sundays and holidays- phased out over five years, a $1 billion paid family and medical leave program, paid for with contributions from employers and employees, will provide support for workers and their families, and a permanent annual sales tax holiday will be implemented every August.

The minimum wage ballot question called for a rate hike to $15 over four years with it indexed to automatically go up with the inflation rate. Leadership of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, the organization that sponsored the ballot question to roll the sales tax back to its traditional rate of 5%, agreed to remove the question as part of accepting concessions from Raise Up Massachusetts, the coalition which organized the wage and paid family leave ballot questions.

Here is a link to the text of the approved bill, H4640, An Act Relative To Minimum Wage, Paid Family Medical Leave And The Sales Tax Holiday and summary information about the contents.

Grand Bargain Powerpoint


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

2018 Unsung Heroines

The 2018 Unsung Heroines ceremony took place today in the Great Hall of the State House to honor and recognize extraordinary women from every corner of the Commonwealth for their accomplishments and service to others. Two of our honorees, Carol Pallazolla and Susan Williams Canning are women from Gloucester.

The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women created this initiative 15 years ago as a way to celebrate those who create positive changes in the lives of others. I am grateful that each of the women honored today have volunteered their time, efforts and talent.

Susan has volunteered with the Cape Ann Veterans Services Office for two decades and she is instrumental in the city’s Memorial and Veterans Day services and parades. Her dedication to our service men and women both past and present is well known and greatly appreciated.

For more than 15 years Carol Pallazolla has volunteered to help bring pain relief to elders suffering from arthritis. She teaches pain relief classes, works with amputees, serves on several area non-profit boards including the Independent Living Center, and she is a driving force behind the Harbor Loop Summer Concert Series.

Congratulations to all of the women and join me in thanking them for making their communities better places to live.


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A Comprehensive State Energy Plan

To help combat and mitigate the impacts of climate change, the Senate has now adopted legislation, S.2545, An Act To Promote A Clean Energy Future, which will produce measurable benefits in the health of our environment and residents.

Several of the amendments that I sponsored where adopted by the Senate including one that will generate, every three years, a comprehensive energy plan that would be based upon reasonable projections of our state’s energy demands for electricity. By better understanding what our state’s energy consumption has been, and likely will be in the future, we can be better informed as we make decisions that are good for the environment and that are cost effective.

I have advocated for this commonsense assessment tool for several years and I was pleased that Governor Charlie Baker included it as a key component of his Executive Order - Number 569, Establishing an Integrated Climate Change Strategy for the Commonwealth. My amendment was added to the final Senate bill with the support of my Senate colleagues. By periodically publishing a comprehensive energy plan, which will include reasonable projections of the Commonwealth’s energy demands for electricity, transportation, and building heat and air condition, we will help guide our strategies to meet our planned energy efficiency and conservation goals.


Friday, June 15, 2018


Boston- Yesterday, Senate Assistant Majority Leader and Rules Committee Chairman Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford) and Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R- Gloucester) secured bipartisan legislation to ensure protections for commercial fishing interests prior to any future increased offshore wind procurement.

Their amendment to an Act To Promote a Clean Energy Future, will require commercial fisheries impacts to be studied and considered prior to any increased offshore wind procurement.

“The pursuit of offshore wind generation holds tremendous potential for providing our state with clean and renewable energy, Said Senator Tarr. “But, that pursuit need not, and should not, ignore the concerns and interests of a commercial fishing industry that has been critically important to the Massachusetts economy since its first days.”

In 2016, the legislature directed the procurement of 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind by 2027. Earlier this month, the Baker Administration announced the first round selection of 800 megawatts of offshore wind development south of Martha’s Vineyard. Throughout the process, commercial fishermen have raised concerns regarding offshore wind’s effect on navigation and fisheries habitat. While federal guidelines require input from the fishing industry for offshore wind development, thus far fishermen have raised concerns that those federal guidelines lack specifics. Efforts are now underway through the Massachusetts Fisheries Working Group to build consensus and a detailed study plan.

In the meantime, Montigny and Tarr's work will require the Commonwealth to identify and consider offshore wind effects on commercial fisheries prior to any procurement beyond 1,600 megawatts. It further stipulates that any plan to increase procurement must also identify measures to mitigate fisheries impacts. Montigny filed the amendment, entitled Offshore Wind Effects on Commercial Fishing, to the omnibus energy bill S2545.


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Good Morning & Happy Flag Day

Before each Senate session, members, & others, recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. We will respectfully do that this morning prior to debating bills including: S2545 Clean Energy Future and S2456 Wage Theft.

Visit for information about the bills, to read the amendments offered, and to watch our session webcast live.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Gloucester Harbor & Annisquam River Nets $6 Million Dredging Grant

After a strong collaborative effort from Gloucester, state, and federal officials, we can share the news that the initiative will be awarded $6 Million in funding through the Army Corps’ Army Civil Works Plan.

Dredging the Annisquam River is critical for our economy, public safety, our quality of life, and the preservation of this incomparable natural resource. Steadily increasing accretion continues to reduce the navigability of the channel, and that demands remediation as soon as possible. Getting it done requires collaboration, focus, and persistence. Our partnerships at the state, federal and local levels has driven our progress to finally get approval for this project. Here is the press release announcing the success:

Today, Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA), and United States Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), announced that the Army Corps’ 2018 Work Plan includes a $6 million federal grant for the Gloucester Harbor/Annisquam River dredging project. Moulton, Markey, and Warren have been advocating for this funding for over three years.

“Dredging the Annisquam River is a public safety priority,” said Moulton. “By making the channel more navigable, we will ensure that boaters can safely travel up and down the river. Dredging the river will also have a positive impact on commercial and recreational activities critical to Gloucester’s economic development efforts. I am grateful to our local and state leaders, who helped move this forward, and pleased to see that the Army Corps has listened to us and funded this project."”

“If we do not maintain Massachusetts’s rivers, channels, and harbors, we hitch an anchor to our economy,” said Markey. “I am proud that this federal funding will help improve the commerce, recreation, and safety of Gloucester, the harbor, and the Annisquam River. I thank Representative Moulton and Senator Warren for their partnership on this crucial project.”

“This new federal funding is wonderful news for Gloucester, the North Shore, and the Commonwealth,” said Senator Warren. “This dredging project will not only make the Annisquam River safer and more navigable, but will also help support the local economy. I was glad to partner with Senator Markey and Congressman Moulton secure this critical funding and I applaud the Army Corps for including it in their Work Plan.”

“I would like to start out by saying thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to make this happen. It has been a combined effort from so many federal, state and local partners, departments and elected officials,” said TJ Ciarametaro Jr., Gloucester Harbormaster. “This truly is very exciting news, for not only the City of Gloucester but for the tens of thousands of boaters and professional mariners that navigate the Annisquam river every year. Over the last couple of years, the Annisquam River has become almost impassable during certain tides making it especially challenging for first responders to safely navigate in rescue situations, so from a safety point this is huge for us. We as a whole are looking forward to the dredging commencement and look forward to working with all the partners involved to ensure successful completion of this long awaited project”.

To better understand the significance of this project, and the awarding of funds, read the letter to the Army Corps from me, Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante​, and Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken​.


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Clean Energy Future Bill Set For Senate Debate

Senator’s will soon be debating and voting on a major legislative initiative in the area of energy efficiency, energy emission reductions, expansion of renewable energy sources, and a lifting of the net metering cap.

Senate Bill 2545, An Act To Promote A Clean Energy Future, is scheduled for our Thursday session. You can read the bill at this link:

Here is a summary of some of the major elements of the bill:
• Changes our state’s Global Warming Solutions Act to require the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs to adopt statewide greenhouse gas emissions limits for the years 2030 and 2040 and a plan to achieve those reductions.
• Requires the 2030 emissions limit to be between 35% and 45% below the 1990 emissions level and requires the 2040 emissions limit to be between 55% and 65% below the 1990 emissions level.
• Requires the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs to promulgate regulations establishing market-based compliance mechanisms to maximize the ability of the Commonwealth to achieve its greenhouse gas emission limits for: (i) the transportation sector; (ii) the commercial and industrial building sectors; and (iii) the residential building sector.
• Clarifies that municipal electric departments and municipal light boards are subject to the provisions of the Global Warming Solutions Act, but allows the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs to exempt them if it will not negatively impact the state’s ability to achieve its greenhouse gas emissions limits.
• Increases the percentage of Class I renewable energy that must be purchased by retail electric suppliers under the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard from an additional 1% annually to an additional 3% annually.
• Requires the Department of Energy Resources to establish an energy storage system target program for the deployment of energy storage systems by distribution company customers, distribution companies and municipal lighting plants to achieve a statewide energy storage deployment target of 2,000 mega-watts by January 1, 2025.
• Directs the Department of Energy Resources to promulgate regulations to allow a distribution company or municipal light company to reach its energy storage deployment target by making an alternative compliance payment.
• Removes the net metering cap for non-governmental solar net metering facilities.
• Clarifies that a distribution company may not assess a demand charge on a Class I net metering facility unless it is a charge based on demand during a pre-determined portion of the hours of a day defined as peak hours of system demand and the distribution company informs all customers of the manner in which any such demand charges will be assessed.
• Clarifies that that a distribution company may assess such a demand charge only in instances in which metering functionality or technology is available to the customer, at a reasonable cost, to allow the customer near real time access to electricity usage data.
• Allows the Department of Energy Resources to recommend offshore wind energy generation solicitations and procurement of up to 5,000 megawatts of aggregate nameplate capacity by December 31, 2035.
• Allows the Department of Energy Resources to recommend solicitations and procurement for more than 9,450,000 megawatts-hours of clean energy generation.


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Protecting Animal Welfare and Safety, Is Now Adopted By The House.

At the start of the session I filed a bill: Protecting Animal Welfare and Safety II, or PAWSII. I am very happy to report that the House adopted a version of the bill today.  

 The 'Puppy Doe' animal torture case inspired strong legislative action designed to increase protections for animals and prevent animal cruelty and neglect. I filed PAWS II to builds on the foundations of our original PAWS law. It will ensure that abuse is reported and enforced and that our animal control laws reflect the seriousness of animal torture and abuse.

Over the years, we have worked with a tremendous coalition of animal protection organizations and very individuals and lawmakers who understand the importance of enhancing humane treatment of animals. I thank the House members for their support.

The Senate has already adopted the bill which is now on a path to reach the Governor's desk after a conference committee.



$10 Summer Weekend Commuter Rail Fares

The T has announced a special $10 summer weekend fare, valid for unlimited travel through all zones on Saturdays and Sundays, beginning June 9, 2018. This initiative is designed to attract weekend ridership and get you to great places on the North Shore.

This pilot program will be offered every weekend through September 2, 2018 - the $10 weekend fare will be valid for all Commuter Rail zones from the first scheduled Saturday trip through the last scheduled Sunday trip.

The $10 fare will be available on mTicket, onboard trains, and at ticket windows at North, South, and Back Bay Stations. The special fare applies to customers age 12 and above; paying adults can bring two children under 12 for free.

During the summer pilot, MBTA staff hope to learn more about weekend Commuter Rail ridership demand, receive customer feedback, and evaluate the pilot's impact on overall ridership and revenue balance through data collected from mTicket and retail windows. You are encouraged to email comments and inquiries about the special fare pilot at

With the exception of the CapeFlyer, operated through a partnership with the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, and special event trains, this pilot applies to all MBTA Commuter Rail services.


Ipswich Middle School State House Visit

Always a pleasure to have visitors from the district come to the State House. We had a wonderful group of students and adults from Ipswich Middle School come in for a tour and to meet with Representative Brad Hill and me. They also got to talk with Senate President Harriette Chandler seen here in the center of the photo.

These 8th graders wanted to learn about the legislative process and what the responsibilities of a Senator and Representative. We also talked about how important it is to be aware of, and involved in, issues at the local and Federal government levels too.


Saturday, June 2, 2018

You Rock Class of 2018!

Congratulations to all the graduates and to the friends and family members who supported you along the way. The path to anything worth pursuing is seldom without obstacles - you worked hard and that makes all the difference.


Grace Center of Gloucester Honors its Founders

An inspirational night at Maritime Gloucester as Grace Center of Gloucester homeless day facility recognizes its founding interfaith clergy members. The Rev. Anne Deneen, The Rev. Tom Bentley, The Rev. Alice Erickson and The Rev. Ron Gariboldi.

With Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken    


Friday, June 1, 2018


The Massachusetts State Senate voted yesterday to pass a bill extending the state’s investment in life sciences research and training to capitalize on the state’s national advantage in the sector responsible for thousands of jobs in the state.

This Senate bill represents an opportunity to move our state forward on multiple fronts including finding treatments for diseases, giving a shot in the arm to our economy, and keeping Massachusetts a world-class leader in life sciences.

An Act Providing Continued Investment in the Life Sciences Industry in the Commonwealth, Senate  Bill 2531 will:
  • extend the state’s life sciences tax incentive program for another ten years,
  • propose millions of dollars in grants to community colleges and vocational schools to increase employment opportunities, and
  • authorize spending on initiatives to promote regional efforts to advance innovations in bio-manufacturing.
The bill is based on the $1 billion, ten-year initiative which began in 2007.


National Gun Violence Prevention Day

The Gloucester City Hall event this morning to recognize National Gun Violence Prevention Day was well attended. Many city officials, including Council Members, Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante, and others came to raise a flag to mark the occasion.