Sunday, June 30, 2019

Manchester-Essex Rotary Red, White and Blue Breakfast

I was happy to cook pancakes yesterday morning with Representative Brad Hill for a great Red, White and Blue Breakfast hosted by the Manchester-Essex Rotary Club at Tuck's Point. This is one delicious part of Manchester’s annual salute to America. Rise and shine - we started flipping at 7:30 AM.


Friday, June 28, 2019

The Gloucester Drawbridge Improvement Project

MassDOT has informed me today that the bridge project has been extended to July 14th. Shuttle buses will replace Rockport Line service between West Gloucester and Rockport. A temporary weekday schedule will be in effect during this outage.

Please visit for schedule details.


The Retirement of Michael Morris

A hearty congratulations to Wilmington's town accountant Mike Morris for having served the town for more than thirty years. By all accounts, Mike has been highly regarded as "a professional's professional" - a real standout in the realm of municipal finance. I was happy to present to him a Senate Citation at his party last night at Shriner’s Auditorium.

Mike, thank you for all that you have done and the very best to you in your well-deserved retirement.


St. Peter’s Fiesta Friday Schedule

4:45 PM Greasy Pole Contest…and…Women’s Seine Boat Races Pavilion Beach

6:30 PM Entertainment Before Opening Ceremony

7:30 PM Formal Opening St. Peter’s Square Entertainment immediately following

8:30 – 11:30 PM featuring “MORENO FRUZZETTI”


Coastal Caucus Meeting on Climate Action Business Association Report

Representative Josh Cutler​ and I co-chair the Coastal Caucus of state lawmakers. This week we invited leaders of Climate Action Business Association​ to share some of the findings from their recent report - Businesses Acting Rising Seas (BARS).

BARS intends to help local business managers and others understand risks related to climate change and extreme weather events in areas such as emergency preparedness, recovery from disruptions, emergency preparedness, insurance planning, energy efficiency opportunities, and more.

The report also includes information about recent legislative actions such as the Global Warming Solutions Act and Governor Charlie Baker's Executive Order 569 which ordered the creation of a Climate Adaptation Plan. He has also directed the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to issue grants through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program. Our district has consistently been awarded important funds from this program.

As of last week, with the release of the latest round of MVP funds, 71% of the state's cities and towns have become participants. This funding is part of the largest release of climate change resilience funding for Massachusetts communities in state history.

With Representative Brad Hill and Representative Lenny Mirra.

You can read CABA's report here -


Thursday, June 27, 2019

Police Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative 4 Year Anniversary Celebration & Awards Ceremony

PAARI - Police Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative(P.A.A.R.I)is a nonprofit organization working with law enforcement agencies across the nation to create pathways to treatment and recovery and last night they recognized several individuals and groups for their contributions to combat the opioid crisis – I was honored to be one of them.

Among those who were recognized for their contributions include: Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, State Representative Marjorie Decker, Gloucester Public Health Director, Karin Staiti Carroll, Monica Bharel, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, MOAR - Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery, Executive Director Maryanne Frangules and Public Policy & Communications Director Jared Owen, Vicky Butler, Operations Supervisor, Plymouth County Outreach and U.S. Drug Czar James Carroll, Director of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy.

In addition, several members of law enforcement from across the nation were recognized for their leadership including Gloucester Police Department's Lt. Jeremiah Nicastro and Sgt. Sean Conners.

P.A.A.R.I. was founded in 2015 to assist the Gloucester Police Department landmark ANGEL Initiative, which transformed the way law enforcement agencies confront addiction.



Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Advisory: Overnight Test Trains Along Rockport Commuter Rail Line

MassDOT and the MBTA are undertaking federally mandated Positive Train Control (PTC) infrastructure installation which will increase the safety of commuter rail customers and would like to advise the community of upcoming overnight test trains which will operate along the MBTA Rockport Commuter Rail Line (Beverly to Rockport). These overnight trains are necessary to test installed PTC systems along the tracks.

Starting as early as July 7, 2019, these test trains will be running, as needed, throughout the week during the overnight hours when passenger service Commuter Rail trains are not typically running along the line.

For further information regarding PTC including updates on weekly PTC activities please visit: Thank you in advance for your cooperation. We appreciate your patience as the MBTA takes this important step in making the railways safer for customers with the implementation of the PTC program. Should you have any questions please feel free to contact the PTC program at 617-721-7506 or


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Madam Varney’s Tea: Essex Bicentennial Celebration

We are blessed with a unique and interesting history here in Massachusetts; here is an interesting law adopted by the legislature in 1679 “No man shall build a meeting house at Chebacco.”

Thirty years after the founding of Ipswich in 1634, settlers in a section of the town known as Chebacco, now Essex, grew interested in founding their own meeting house – at the request of the leaders of Ipswich the new law made this a forbidden act. That’s when Madam Varney and her friends, all women, organized a plan and enlisted the help of men from Wenham, Gloucester and Manchester, who were not excluded by the new law. It is said that volunteers came from throughout the area and in just a single day the building was raised.

Lisa Clarke, who works at First Congregational, portrayed Varney during a tea and talk about the building of the meetinghouse this weekend. As part of the Bicentennial Celebrations, I presented a Senate Citation and a framed copy of the original state law that created the town of Essex.


Rowley Public Safety Complex Ribbon Cutting and Open House

Congratulations to the people of Rowley for opening their new public safety complex. The members of the Rowley Fire Department and the members of the Rowley Police Department along with local officials, and citizens shared in a grand celebration with a ribbon cutting ceremony, the presentation of State House citations from Representative Brad Hill and I, and building tours.

Fire Chief James Broderick and Police Chief Scott Dumas now have excellent facilities to use in contrast with the old spaces that they had - the old fire station dates back to the 19th Century with undersized garages for the trucks and the police department requiring the use old trailers for staff space.

The events were wonderful and I know that the men and women who will work in the Complex will give their best to protect and serve the people of Rowley.



Friday, June 21, 2019

Gloucester To Host International Dory Racing

Last night we celebrated the return of the Canadian Dory Racing Association to Gloucester. This reception, at the St. Peter's Club​, represents the opening of an international rowing competition between two maritime communities - Gloucester and Lunenburg, Nova Scotia that has been going strong for more than 60 years.  The reception was a great way for the teams to be introduced to each other, and in many cases get reacquainted.

Tomorrow, beginning at 10 AM in Gloucester's Inner Harbor, you and your family can watch this friendly, fun and fascinating competition. Come, and enjoy a free day on the waterfront and cheer on these great rowers.

The races feature men's, women's, mixed, masters, and senior divisions. See you there.



7:00–10:00 p.m. Musical Entertainment….St. Peter’s Park:
Entertainment featuring “BARRY MOONEY”

6:30 p.m. Fiesta 5K Road Race – with Cape Ann YMCA
Starting location Stage Fort Park, Finish line at St. Peter’s Park. For further details, contact the Cape Ann YMCA.

8:00–11:00 p.m. Entertainment, Live Music and Dance at St. Peter’s Park Featuring ….. “WILD FIRE”

4:45 p.m. Greasy Pole Contest…and…Women’s Seine Boat Races Pavilion Beach

6:30 p.m. Entertainment…. Before Opening Ceremony

7:30 p.m. Formal Opening …. St. Peter’s Square
Entertainment immediately following

8:30 – 11:30 p.m. featuring “MORENO FRUZZETTI”

10:00 a.m Pavilion Beach… Seine Boat Race:
U.S. Coast Guard vs Gloucester Fire Department and Gloucester Police Department

10:00 a.m. Gloucester Stage Company Playtime performance
of our Children’s story book “Nonna, What is St. Peter’s Fiesta?” (267 E.Main St., Gloucester

3:00 p.m. Children’s Games…. Beach Court

4:45 p.m. Sports Events… Pavilion Beach Seine Boat Races & Greasy Pole Contest

8:00–11:30 pm. Musical Entertainment…St. Peter’s Square
featuring “FRANCO CORSO”

10:00 a.m. Celebration of MASS OF ST. PETER at St. Peter’s Park

12:00 noon Procession following Celebration of Outdoor Mass

3:00 p.m Blessing of the Fleet… Stacy Boulevard.

3:00 p.m. Concert…St. Peter’s Park
Musical Entertainment

4:45 p.m. Sports Events…at Pavilion Beach
Seine Boat Races & Greasy Pole Contest

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

7:15 p.m. Awards Ceremony
Trophies awarded to winners of the Sports Events

8:30 p.m. Musical Entertainment St. Peter’s Park featuring

11:00 p.m. Raffle Drawings and Closing Procession
St. Peter’s Fiesta Children’s Book Nonna, what is St. Peter’s Fiesta” will be on sale at the Main Stage Altar throughout the Fiesta weekend.
To purchase a copy before Fiesta, email


Thursday, June 20, 2019

A very productive conversation about issues important to the survival and strengthening of the commercial fishing industry at today's annual meeting of the Northeast Seafood Coalition. Thanks to everyone involved for staying committed to the future of this vital economic sector.

The Northeast Seafood Coalition is a non-profit organization that works on policy issues impacting our fishery. They strive to find solutions to rebuild fish stocks while preserving family-owned fishing businesses and a diverse groundfish fishing fleet.


Meet Michael Neagle - "History Teacher of the Year"

Each year the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education honors select educators as Massachusetts Teachers of the Year for their areas of expertise. I am pleased to share with you that Michael Neagle of North Andover, a History and Civics Teacher at Pyne Arts Magnet School in Lowell, was announced today at a State House ceremony as the “Massachusetts History Teacher of the Year”.

Michael is committed to providing authentic and meaningful learning opportunities for all students. His colleagues refer to him as an “evangelist for civics education”. Rather than just learn about civics, his students engage in it. They’ve worked on district policies and engaged in advocacy for issues they care about, including access to world language education and teen suicide awareness and prevention training. This spring, Michael’s students worked to file legislation to address the youth vaping epidemic. Over the past seven years, his Service Corps club has volunteered more than 3,000 hours, collected 15,000 articles of clothing for children in need, and raised $20,000 for local and international charities. He also brings eight years of experience in the Marine Corps to his classroom.


Baker-Polito Administration Allocates $12 Million to Municipalities to Prepare for Climate Change Tarr Senate District Awarded

71 Percent of Massachusetts Communities Now Enrolled 
in Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program 

 BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration has awarded $12 million in grants to municipalities across the Commonwealth to plan for and implement climate change resilience projects through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program.

Of these funds, $1.7 million was awarded to 65 communities to pursue a community-led planning process to identify vulnerabilities to climate change and priority actions. The remaining $10.3 million was awarded to 34 communities that had completed the planning process and are ready to implement projects that build local resilience to climate change impacts.

“Massachusetts has been a national leader in addressing climate change, and these grants represent the Commonwealth’s largest funding commitment yet to improving community resilience to climate change impacts,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Mitigating climate change and adapting to reduce risk and build resilience will foster stronger communities, protect residents and natural resources, and contribute to strong economic growth and innovation throughout the Commonwealth.”

The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ MVP grant and designation program provides communities with technical support, climate change data and planning tools to identify hazards and develop strategies to improve resilience. This funding is part of the largest release of climate change resilience funding for Massachusetts communities in state history.

Through the MVP Program, municipalities identify key climate-related hazards, vulnerabilities and strengths, develop adaptation actions, and prioritize next steps. Results of the workshops and planning efforts inform existing local plans, grant applications, and policies. Communities are then eligible for competitive MVP Action Grant funding to implement priority on-the-ground projects. With this announcement, 71 percent of Commonwealth communities have received MVP Planning Grants, while 70 climate change resilience projects have received MVP Action Grants.

“The record participation in the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program underscores the real need for climate-smart solutions that promote strong local economies while reducing risks and avoiding future costs,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to supporting municipalities in getting this work off the ground through the ResilientMA legislation, which would provide a new and sustained funding source for climate resilience projects.”

“Adapting to climate change in a proactive way is important, but it’s a relatively new spending priority for cities and towns,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R- Gloucester). “These grants will make a big difference in helping them to innovate, lead, and develop the momentum to take effective actions that build resilience and sustainability for today and tomorrow.”

“The Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program represents a proactive approach to helping communities across Massachusetts address the unique challenges posed by climate change,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading). “With this grant funding, more cities and towns will be able to develop and implement resiliency plans to protect both residents and infrastructure from the impacts of climate change.”

Governor Baker filed the Resilient MA legislation to support municipalities and help protect Massachusetts residents, communities, economy, natural resources and infrastructure from the adverse effects of climate change, through an increase in the excise on real estate transfers to fund a substantial and sustained investment in climate change adaptation through programs like MVP. The revenue would be directed towards investments in resilient infrastructure to help make communities safer, keep vital services online, reduce the long-term costs of climate-related risks and protect the value of property across the Commonwealth. The proposal is estimated to generate $1.3 billion over 10 years which would be deposited into the Commonwealth’s Global Warming Solutions Trust Fund to support municipalities and regional municipal partnerships through loans, grants and technical assistance to implement priority adaptation projects.


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Unsung Heroines

Theresa Marciello, Director of Elderly Services at the Buzzell Senior Center in Wilmington was honored as a member of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women’s 2019 class of Unsung Heroines yesterday at a State House ceremony.  I nominated Ms. Marciello for this recognition because of her years of dedication and service to elders and others through her work at the senior center. She was honored for her outstanding contributions to the citizens of Wilmington and her frequent collaborations with a wide variety of groups in the community.

For more than 20 years Terri has been a guiding light of the Wilmington Department of Elder Services; she leads the town’s efforts in providing programming and services to the town’s senior population.

The Unsung Heroines are women who often don’t make the news, but make a difference.  They are the women who use their time, talent and enthusiasm to enrich the lives of others and make positive changes in their neighborhoods, cities and towns.

Other Unsung Heroines living in communities in our Senate district who were nominated by State Representatives were:
Laurie Burzlaff of North Andover.  Lauris has served as a School Committee member, is actively involved in the Big Sister organization, has been a foster parent, and she was a valuable resource to the citizens of North Andover following the Columbia Gas disaster.  She was nominated by Representative Christina Minicucci.

Karen Martin of  Boxford. As a member of the North Parish Unitarian Universalist Church Karen has been actively involved in encouraging the passage of legislation and public policy that responds to our climate change needs.   She was nominated by Representative Lenny Mirra.

Antigoni Woodland of Boxford.  Dr. Woodland  is an OB-GYN who has actively engaged in pursuing greater access to healthcare for women.  In addition, she has advocated for the rights of women, children, and families.  She is a member and Treasurer of the Melissa Women’s Charitable Society of the Greek Orthodox Church of Ipswich and the Treasurer of the Boxford Democratic Town Committee. She was nominated by Representative Tram Nguyen.

Each are mentors, volunteers and innovators who do what needs to be done without expectations of recognition or gratitude. These women are the glue that keeps a community together and every community is better because of their contribution.   The ceremony included remarks from Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo, and Senate President Karen Spilka.

The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women is an independent state agency that was legislatively created in 1998 to advance women of the Commonwealth to full equality in all areas of life and to promote their rights and opportunities. The MCSW provides a permanent, effective voice for the women of Massachusetts.