Friday, August 31, 2018

The 34th annual Gloucester Schooner Festival

In the harbor and nearby waters of America’s oldest seaport vessels will be arriving in Gloucester throughout the day today. Starting at 6 PM there will be a block party downtown on Main Street.

Maritime Gloucester Heritage Day begins Saturday at 10 AM, a concert on Stacy Boulevard from 5 PM to 10 PM both before and after the Parade of Lights and Fireworks. The Boat Parade of Lights begins at 7 PM.

A must see on Sunday is the Parade of Sail on Sunday morning from 10:30 to Noon. The Mayor’s Race kicks off at 1 PM.


Thursday, August 30, 2018

Let's Spread the Word - "BOATS WANTED" for the Annual Boat Parade of Lights in Gloucester

Be a part of this annual tradition that takes place during the Schooner Festival - the Parade of Lights Boat Parade.

The Gloucester Daily Times has an article in today's paper with details. For parking please consider Stage Fort Park or Gloucester High School, and walk towards the river or Blynman Bridge. The bridge will be up when the parade passes through.


North Andover Council On Aging Annual Ice Cream Social

One sweet way to beat the heat is ice cream. Yesterday, I co-hosted a nice social occasion for North Andover seniors with State Rep. Jim Lyons​ and Representative Diana DiZoglio​.


Bluefin Blowout – Lyon-Waugh Auto Group Nets A Bundle For the Alzheimer's Association

Earlier this month the Bluefin Blowout - a multi-day fishing tournament and charity fundraiser, drew great interest and attendance to Gloucester’s Cape Ann's Marina Resort.

The culmination of this annual event was this week’s presentation of a check for $155,000 raised to support the important work of the Alzheimer's Association.

This two day bluefin tuna fishing tournament also features a cook-off, corn hole tournament, a children’s fishing derby, an auction, wonderful vendors, raffles and great food. This year’s winner of the “Bluefin Blowout Trophy”, Dog House, had the home-town edge, the Gloucester boat pulled in the winner - a 680 pound tuna.

Congratulation to the organizers, sponsors and participants of the Bluefin Blowout. Your selfless actions have helped to support a very worthy and needed organization.


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Manchester Council on Aging Summer Cookout

What a stunning day today with the Manchester Council on Aging for their Summer Cookout at Tuck's Point. An outstanding meal with great conversations, and terrific entertainment - a wonderful event enjoyed by all. Joining me were MaryAnn Nay from my district staff and Representative Brad Hill.


Monday, August 27, 2018

On The Passing Of Senator John McCain

Following the sad news of the death of Senator John McCain, I have been reflecting on the extraordinary life that he lived and the service he gave so passionately to our nation.

As the son of a decorated high ranking Navy admiral who was also the son of a Navy admiral, it might appear that John McCain was fulfilling his 'destiny' by also becoming a Navy officer. But, John McCain didn't live life as if it were already scripted for him - he lived it knowing that his choices and his actions would be difficult, at times excruciatingly painful, and always grounded by his strong conviction to do what was right.

Throughout his tenure in the U.S. Congress he inspired many in public service, including me, to always put the needs of our nation ahead of internecine political fighting, to prioritize problem solving and civil engagement, and to be forthright and fair-minded in our work.

I feel fortunate and honored to have known this great American hero. The time that I spent with Senator John McCain was extraordinary. We will remember him for many reasons - his service to our nation; his ability to inspire the best in others; and for showing us that we can each create the pages and passages in our own stories to overcome challenges, by thinking independently and acting collaboratively, and living a life of honor - as he did.


Thursday, August 23, 2018

Preventing West Nile Virus

My office received the following information from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health regarding the increased risk level of West Nile virus statement:

Massachusetts public health officials raise West Nile virus risk level to moderate statewide

Residents urged to take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes

BOSTON (August 21, 2018) – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced it was raising the risk level for West Nile virus from low to moderate in every Massachusetts city and town and urged residents to take precautions against mosquito bites.

Of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts, 162 communities are already considered to be at moderate risk for West Nile virus.  This is only the second time that public health officials have raised the risk level statewide.

“The hot, humid weather in Massachusetts combined with frequent heavy rainfall has provided perfect conditions for mosquito species carrying West Nile Virus to breed,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH.  “I strongly encourage everyone to keep using insect repellant and to be especially aware of mosquito activity at dusk and dawn when the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes is greatest. Move indoors if you are getting bitten.”

While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe disease. WNV is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. When present, WNV symptoms tend to include fever and flu-like illness. In rare cases, more severe illness can occur.

“August and September are the months when most human cases occur,’’ said DPH State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown. “That’s why we are taking this step today so together we can help keep people from getting sick.”

Avoid Mosquito Bites:

Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with an EPA-registered ingredient (DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535) according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.

Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning in areas of high risk.

Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.

Mosquito-Proof Your Home:

Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change the water in birdbaths frequently.

Install or Repair Screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

 Protect Your Animals:

Animal owners should reduce potential mosquito breeding sites on their property by eliminating standing water from containers such as buckets, tires, and wading pools – especially after heavy rains. Water troughs provide excellent mosquito breeding habitats and should be flushed out at least once a week during the summer months to reduce mosquitoes near paddock areas. Horse owners should keep horses in indoor stalls at night to reduce their risk of exposure to mosquitoes. Owners should also speak with their veterinarian about mosquito repellents approved for use in animals and vaccinations to prevent WNV and EEE. If an animal is suspected of having WNV or EEE, owners are required to report to DAR, Division of Animal Health by calling 617-626-1795 and to the Department of Public Health (DPH) by calling 617-983-6800.

More information, including all WNV and EEE positive results, can be found on the Arbovirus Surveillance Information web page at or by calling the DPH Epidemiology Program at 617-983-6800.

Helpful videos on preventing West Nile Virus:


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Environmental Bond Bill contains many important tools for Climate Change Adaption, Environmental Protection and Community Investments

Today in Quincy I was pleased to join with Governor Baker, EOEEA Secretary Matt Beaton, administration officials, legislative colleagues, local officials and others for the ceremonial signing of H.4835, " An Act Promoting Climate Change Adaptation, Environmental and Natural Resource Protection and Investment in Recreational Assets and Opportunity", otherwise known as the Environmental Bond Bill. This bill contains $2.4 Billion in authorizations for spending to protect and support our Commonwealth's natural resources. Importantly, it specifically identifies funding for climate adaptation and resilience. I have been a strong supporter of this bill throughout the legislative process, and worked to include by amendment several items that are important for our region, including:
    • $350,000 for improvements to Magnolia Pier in the city of Gloucester
    • $250,000 for planning, development and construction of a foot bridge at Good Harbor beach in the city of Gloucester
    • $2,500,000 for planning development and construction to the Long beach sea wall in the town of Rockport
    • $500,000 for the restoration of the Miles River which runs through the towns of Hamilton, Ipswich and Wenham and the city of Beverly

    • $775,000 for the replacement of the Town Wharf Sewer Pumping Station in the town of Ipswich
    • $480,000 for improvements to culverts along Topsfield Road in the town of Wenham
    • $500,000 for improvements to Ipswich River park in the town of North Reading
    • $45,000 for road improvements and the planning development and construction for signalization at the intersection of Central street and United States highway route 1 in the town of Rowley
    • $250,000 for road improvements and planning and development of Maple street on state highway route 62 in the town of Middleton

Additionally, the legislation included major policy components that I secured through working with my colleagues.  They include:

  • A study by the Division of Marine Fisheries to facilitate the expansion of lobster processing to include parts. Currently, only lobster tails and whole lobsters can be processed in Massachusetts
  • The creation of the Fishing Innovation Fund to finance grants, through the guidance of a stakeholder advisory board for : (i) permit banks; (ii) the design, construction and modification of commercial fishing vessels including, but not limited to, research, development and construction of innovative fishing vessels with attributes including, but not limited to, increased fuel efficiency, reduced carbon emissions, improved stability and the capability of supporting sustainable fishing practices through harvesting and on-board storage and processing methods; (iii) research, development, acquisition and deployment of advanced or innovative technologies including, but not limited to, sonar, radar, radio communications, satellite and global position and other locating and tracking devices; and (iv) the research and development, acquisition and deployment of safety equipment and technologies
  • The creation of the Agriculture Innovation Fund to finance grants, through the guidance of a stakeholder advisory board for the commonwealth’s agricultural and cranberry producers through the agricultural innovation center for programs that may add value to the producers’ products and services.  The center shall develop an outreach program to identify and foster new, innovative ideas and approaches to adding value to the commonwealth’s agricultural and cranberry economy.  The center may solicit requests from the commonwealth’s agricultural and cranberry industry for funding and technical assistance in: (i) reclamation and revitalization of cranberry bogs; (ii) training, marketing, distribution, applied research, agritourism, aquaculture, forestry, processing, fiber and agricultural resource management research, development, poultry and red meat processing and construction of energy efficient agricultural buildings and structures; and (iii) research, development and construction of energy efficient agricultural equipment
  • Grants that promote carbon sequestration and climate change resiliency through sustainable forestry and salt marsh restoration


Monday, August 20, 2018

Remembering Those Lost at Sea

On Saturday the community came together for the annual Fishermen's Memorial Service in Gloucester. While rain caused the speaking portion of the program to be moved inside to American Legion Post 3, following that portion of the program those who have lost loved ones at sea, and many others, gathered at the Fisherman's Memorial on the harbor to place wreaths and cast flowers upon the water in memory of those that have been lost.

Guest speaker Ron Gilson eloquently and passionately chronicled years of history of the commercial fishing industry in Massachusetts, and compellingly reminded us all of how much we owe to the fishing families who have worked so hard over the years to harvest food for the nation, bring prosperity to the region and the state, and to support a unique and cherished way of life.

I was honored to join with Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, members of the United States Coast Guard, Reverend James M. Achadinha, members of the memorial service committee, singers Alexandra and Josh, and everyone who was part of this moving and inspirational service.