Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Media Alert: On the Air on WCVB Channel 5 at 11 PM

Tonight I was interviewed by WCVB Channel 5's Mary Saladna about upcoming Senate Hearings on the Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions. Please tune in to the 11 pm newscast to watch our discussion


Merrimack Valley Gas Fires and Explosions To Be Subject of Senate Hearings

My office released the following statement today about announced Senate hearings-

 “The severe and ongoing hardships experienced by residents, local businesses, and the tragic loss of life caused by the gas explosions and fires in Andover, Lawrence and North Andover. These disruptive, disquieting and disturbing circumstances, must be carefully examined, and a pair of Senate oversight hearings in December are intended to do just that.

Gas companies are regulated utilities and we must understand the events and circumstances that caused the situation. The legislature has an important role to play with state regulators to make sure their operations are safe, effective and efficient.

Given the toll these events have taken on the Merrimack Valley, it is imperative that we conduct thorough hearings to examine what went wrong and what legislative or regulatory actions might be employed to prevent any future similar incidents anywhere in the state in the future. While the scale of the Merrimack Valley incident is unprecedented, we must do everything possible to prevent any threats from natural gas to public safety in our Commonwealth.”

Senator Tarr is a member of the Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy and he represents residents of North Andover, one of the communities impacted by the September 13th gas fires.


Veterans Breakfast

Happy to co-host a Veterans Breakfast at First Church in Ipswich this weekend with Representative Brad Hill. Great attendance, and great work by Chef Ron Elkin and many volunteers for a special event to say thanks to those who have served our nation.


Sunday, November 11, 2018

Honoring Americans Who Have Served Our Country In The Armed Forces

Our men and women in uniform swear allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, a document encompassing the vision of liberty and the rule of law. Each of the men and women we honor today uttered the words of the soldier’s oath. They served under those words; some bled and others died for them. The decision to serve changed their lives forever.

Veterans Day is today, November 11th. Please join me in remembering our military veterans. There are events and ceremonies planned in communities throughout the Commonwealth and the country.

The unyielding and unchanging core principals of our nation - freedom, liberty, and justice expressed in our founding documents would be unobtainable without the actions of our veterans.

We are blessed to have had men and women wear the uniforms of our military organizations to take actions to defend, preserve, and promote those values and principles here and around the world. The family members of our veterans, and of those who wear the uniform as active members today, also deserve our deep appreciation.


Friday, November 9, 2018

Shriners Hospital Holds 50th Anniversary Gala

This week I was delighted to help celebrate Shriners Hospitals for Children - Boston's 50 years of caring for children with acute burns and complex medical needs.

Since 1968, the men and women there have been providing specialty pediatric care to kids from all around the world regardless of their families' ability to pay.


Celebrating The Great Marsh

Glad to speak at a well- attended and engaging Annual Great Marsh Symposium this morning, along with Selectpeople Lisa O'Donnell, and Geoff Walker, Peter Phippen, Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante and more than 170 people with a connection to the Great Marsh.

The Great Marsh is the largest continuous stretch of salt marsh in all of New England ranging from Gloucester to southern New Hampshire. Encompassing more than 20,000 acres of salt marsh, barrier beach, tidal river, estuary, mudflat, and upland islands it is internationally recognized as a bird habitat and extraordinary environmental resource.

  • The symposium was held at Woodman's of Essex, speakers and subjects included - Introduction by Wayne Castonguay, Ipswich River Watershed Native and Lisa O’Donnell, Selectboard Chair, Town of Essex.
  • Mary Ellen Leponica - Americans and the Great Marsh
  • Chris Lehey, Mass Audubon - Birds & Birding in the Great Marsh
  • Geoff Walker, Newbury Selectmen - Traditional uses of Great Marsh
  • Annie Harris, Essex National Heritage Area - Tourism & Recreation in the Great Marsh
  • Mike Trupiano and/or Chrissi Pappas, Ipswich Shellfish Company - Shellfish Industry & the Fried Clam
  • David Rimmer, Essex County Greenbelt Association - Fish and Fisheries of the Great Marsh
  • Sam Cleaves, Metropolitan Area Planning Commission - Creative Great Marsh
  • Liz Duff, Mass Audubon & Peter Phippen, Mass Bays Program -Citizen Science in the Great Marsh


New Mass License and ID Format Change

Starting on Tuesday, November 13th the RMV is transitioning its new license/ID card format, from a nine-digit alphanumeric code consisting of one letter (“S”) and eight numbers, to one consisting of two letters (“SA”) and seven numbers. This change is necessary because we are running out of new “S” combinations in which to issue new Massachusetts licenses and ID cards.

This change only pertains to newly issued credentials. The RMV is keeping "S" numbers on all current licenses, IDs, and permits, and they will not change upon renewal.

Please contact RMVATLASSupport@dot.state.ma.us with any questions.


Thursday, November 8, 2018

Governor Bakers Signs Civics Education Bill

The Civics Education bill signed into law today by Governor Charlie Baker reflects bipartisanship and collaboration in form and substance, and it will have a transformational effect on this aspect of public education in Massachusetts.

Working together, in an effort led largely by Senator Harriette Chandler, a team of legislators from both parties and across the state wove elements together to form the comprehensive bill that became law today. I am honored to have been part of that team, and look forward to continuing to work on the implementation of the new law.

Rejuvenating and energizing civics education through direct student involvement in projects will build a solid foundation of engagement, respect for the democratic process and civility that will benefit our democracy and our society for today, and generations to come.


Monday, November 5, 2018

Welcoming The Food Policy Council To The State House

I was asked to offer opening remarks and begin the most recent meeting of the state’s Food Policy Council which was held at the State House in Boston.

The Council was created legislatively with several important purposes to - increase farming and sales of Massachusetts grown foods, develop and support programs to bring healthy foods to everyone in the state, protect land and water, increase state purchasing of local products for school and summer meals and other child and adult care programs, and to train farmers and workers in the food system.

There meetings are open to the public. The next Council Meeting is January 25, 2019, 9:30 AM -12:30 PM at the Richard Cronin Building of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough.


Election Day Tuesday

From 7 AM to 8 PM all registered voters who have not yet voted may cast a ballot tomorrow. This year, there is an election of our state's constitutional officers including - Governor and Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Treasurer, Auditor, and Secretary of the Commonwealth each are elected for a four-year term.

In addition, all seats in the state House of Representative and Senate - representing two hundred districts, are elected to two year terms as are members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Also on the ballot, in addition to offices such as U.S Senate - six year term, Governor's Council, District Attorney, Clerk of Courts and Register of Deeds will be three state-wide citizen initiative petitions.

Want to know where your polling location is? Visit www.WhereDoIVoteMA.com


Bowling For Dollars With Gloucester Education Foundation

Fun bowling last night with Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, Gloucester Education Foundation President Joe Calomo and family, and many others to raise funds for the Gloucester Education Foundation! The first annual GEF Education Bowl was loads of fun with lots of teams hitting the pins at Cape Ann Lanes on Gloucester Avenue with proceeds supporting programs in the Gloucester Public Schools.


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Rock and Roll Work on MBTA Rockport Line This Weekend

MassDOT and the MBTA would like to advise you of upcoming rock-drill work, as part of federally mandated Positive Train Control (PTC) infrastructure installation on the MBTA Rockport Line. Due to the equipment necessary to perform this work, high noise levels can be expected.

This coming weekend, November 3-4, 2018, rock-drilling activities are scheduled as needed during daytime work hours between approximately 7AM – 7PM at locations along the MBTA Right-Of-Way in Manchester-by-the Sea and Gloucester.

This work is also expected to continue on the weekend of November 10-11, as needed.