Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Great Marsh Revitalization Task Force

Friday was the first in-person annual meeting of the Great Marsh Revitalization Task Force in several years. We are garnering a broader interest in the revitalization of the marsh and that is a wonderful thing. We had many presenters at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge and many in attendance. Great thanks to Peter Phippen. 

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 National Weather Service's Boston Office Calls For Cold Snap Cautions

I'm posting this now so that there is a reasonable timeframe to make preparations for what the National Weather Service is calling a 'dangerously cold" arctic blast. This cold blast will hit the eastern seaboard Friday and Saturday. The Weather Service says that we haven't had this kind of cold in many years and describes it as "off the charts cold climatologically". Meteorologists predict wind chills of -20 F to -40 F overnight thanks to very strong winds. So, please take steps to keep you and your family safe. 

  • Minimize outside activities, particularly for the elderly and very young. Consider your pets too. 
  • Dress in several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing, rather than a single layer of heavy clothing. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water-repellent. Wear a hat, gloves and sturdy waterproof boots, to protect your extremities. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
  • Gaurd against frostbite - Excessive exposure can lead to frostbite, which is damaging to body tissue that is frozen. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and a pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, ear lobes or the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, seek medical help immediately. 
  • Hypothermia can occur in extreme cases. The warning signs are: uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion. 
  • To keep pipes from freezing, wrap them in insulation or layers of newspapers, covering the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture. Allow a trickle of warm water to run from a faucet that is farthest from your water meter or one that has frozen in the past. This will keep the water moving so that it cannot freeze. Learn how to shut off your water if a pipe bursts. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. 
  • Ensure you have sufficient heating fuel, as well as emergency heating equipment in case you lose electricity. Remember that unvented kerosene heaters are illegal in Massachusetts. 
  • Call Mass211 or check with your local Emergency Management Office to find the locations of any Warming Centers that may be open in your community.


Saturday, January 28, 2023

Public Hearing Notice – Gloucester - Bridge Reconstruction, Western Avenue over Blynman Canal

Overview of Gloucester - Bridge Reconstruction, Western Avenue over Blynman Canal 

A Live Virtual Public Information Meeting will be hosted on the MassDOT website below to discuss the proposed Gloucester – bridge reconstruction, Western Avenue over Blynman Canal, G-05-002.


6:30 PM, Thursday, February 23, 2023


The purpose of this public information meeting is to provide the public with the opportunity to become fully acquainted with the proposed Bridge Reconstruction Project, Western Avenue over Blynman Canal, G-05-002. All views and comments submitted in response to the meeting will be reviewed and considered to the maximum extent possible.


The proposed project includes the reconstruction of the Western Avenue over Blynman Canal bridge.

A secure right-of-way is necessary for this project. Acquisitions in fee and permanent or temporary easements may be required. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is responsible for acquiring all needed rights in private or public lands. MassDOT’s policy concerning land acquisitions will be presented in the meeting.

Project inquiries, written statements and other exhibits regarding the proposed undertaking may be submitted to Carrie E. Lavallee, P.E., Chief Engineer, via e-mail to dot.feedback.highway@state.ma.us or via US Mail to Suite 7210, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116, Attention: Major Projects, Project File No. 608397. Statements and exhibits intended for inclusion in the public meeting transcript must be emailed or postmarked no later than ten (10) business days after the meeting is posted to the MassDOT website listed below.

This meeting is accessible to people with disabilities. MassDOT provides reasonable accommodations and/or language assistance free of charge upon request (e.g. interpreters in American Sign Language and languages other than English, live captioning, videos, assistive listening devices and alternate material formats), as available. For accommodation or language assistance, please contact MassDOT’s Chief Diversity and Civil Rights Officer by phone (857-368-8580), TTD/TTY at (857) 266-0603, fax (857) 368-0602 or by email (MassDOT.CivilRights@dot.state.ma.us). Requests should be made as soon as possible prior to the meeting, and for more difficult to arrange services including sign-language, CART or language translation or interpretation, requests should be made at least ten business days before the meeting.



Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Pentucket Regional School District Superintendent Bartholomew's Budget Presentation

Superintendent Justin Bartholomew gave a full and engaging presentation last night and I was glad to be there to listen to him and other members of the community. School system budgeting is always challenging so I am glad that he and his team are reaching out to the public for input and participation. Pentucket Regional School District serves the communities of Groveland, Massachusetts, Merrimac, Massachusetts and West Newbury, Massachusetts.



Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce

We had an outstanding time at the Chamber's Chamber Pot 2023 event at The Poynt Newburyport. It's not often that I get up on furniture to be heard but this was an exception. With: Mayor Sean Reardon, Nate Allard, Chamber President, board members, and staff. 

#newburyport #newburyportma #newburyportmass 



Tuesday, January 24, 2023

$80 Million Funding Grant For School Energy Improvements & Local Job Creation From The U.S. Department of Energy From The 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

This grant will help fund energy improvements that will reduce school energy costs and improve health and learning environments for children and teachers, and it will support workforce development and bring high-quality jobs to local communities. K-12 schools consume about 8% of all the energy used in commercial buildings. Round one of the Renew America’s Schools grant program will invest in facility infrastructure, lower utility costs, and improve indoor air quality. Energy consumption is the second-highest operational expense for schools. Learn more about how this grant round can help revitalize local schools: https://eereexchange.energy.gov/Default.aspx#FoaId06985843-f32c-494e-880acb5db6d787a4



Monday, January 23, 2023

Lieutenant Jane Theriault Retires

After 33 years of service to the Newburyport, Massachusetts Fire Department Jane was celebrated by friends, colleagues, and family with a well-deserved retirement party. This last Saturday night, at the Fire Station on Morgan Street, I was delighted to present her with a Senate Citation in recognition of her years of public service at Newbury. 



Thursday, January 19, 2023

"I Am More: Massachusetts"

Happy to co-sponsor this exhibition of these works of art now on display inside the State House. Each portrait is accompanied by an essay by the subject about all the ways they are more than their mental illness, physical disability, health diagnosis, or life situation. The exhibit will be on display through November 7, please come visit.




Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Gloucester Overture to 2023 Marking Our Founding Year, Celebrating Our Culture

Helping to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the City of Gloucester, MA with Gloucester 400 was an honor this weekend. I was invited to be the Master of Ceremonies for a power-packed program of speakers, presentations, performances, and conversations at Putnam Auditorium at Gloucester High School. 

With: Mayor Greg Verga, City of Gloucester, Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante, Former Gloucester Mayor Bruce Tobey read former Gloucester Poet Laureate John J. Ronan's poem 'Hymn For Gloucester at 400', Allen Estes Music, Project 351, Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute, Inc. Co-Founder and Director David Walt.




Monday, January 16, 2023

In 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. addressed the House and Senate from the rostrum of the House Chamber at the State House in Boston and delivered a speech that helped bring focus to the Voting Rights Act that would become law just a few months later.

“There are still too many individuals who argue and who feel that the problem of racial injustices can only be solved by waiting on time,” said Dr. King. “Ultimately we must come to see that human progress never rolls in on the wills of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and the persistent work of the dedicated individuals who are willing to be co-workers with God.”



Saturday, January 14, 2023

Bring Back Scottie Mac

Scotty Mac is often referred to as everyone's friend, he's a heck of a guy who is often seen, and heard, as a DJ for non-profit events to benefit the community. Now Scotty needs our help. He experienced severe injuries, including to his spine, in Jamaica. Obviously, this is a very difficult situation and we all want to do whatever we can to get Scottie back here and get comprehensive medical treatment. Join friends and supporters this Thursday night, January 19th, at Beauport Hotel Gloucester from 6-9 PM to help Scottie.


Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Senate Chamber Oath Of Office

Today, marked the first day of the 193rd session of the State Senate and the General Court. I am deeply humbled by the support of the people of the First Essex and Middlesex District and I want to express my gratitude to my constituents. I am further honored to have been elected to continue serving as the Senate Minority Leader. All of the members were sworn into office by Governor Charlie Baker. He will make his 'lone walk' from the State House in just a few minutes. I look forward to serving you in the Senate.




Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Salisbury Council On Aging Happy New Year Luncheon

I had a wonderful outing at the Hilton Center in Salisbury for a special lunch to close out 2022 and bring in 2023.