Monday, February 27, 2023

A ceremony Honoring Sarah Dunlap As She Retires From The Gloucester Archives Committee

I hope that you are well! I am contacting you this morning on behalf of the Mayor's Office as we are having a small ceremony in City Hall for Ms. Sarah Dunlap on Monday, February 27th at 9:30 am to celebrate and honor her for her many years of service on the City of Gloucester, MA Archives Committee. Ms. Dunlap was one of the founding members of the Archives Committee in 1987 and was a member and chair (at times) until her last term expired this month.

The Archives Committee oversees the work of the city's repository of municipal records. The department contains one of the most complete collections of municipal records in the U.S., beginning before the Town’s 1642 incorporation.



Saturday, February 25, 2023


Cite Need For Meaningful Reforms 

Boston- Members of the Senate Republican Caucus, in a letter to Governor Maura Healey, say they are seeking broad and meaningful tax relief in legislation that the Governor has said she would file as a companion to her Fiscal Year 2024 state budget proposal expected in early March, and they are offering their partnership in getting a strong package enacted. 

Senate Republicans pursued tax relief through numerous vehicles in the last session to put options on the table to support seniors, renters, low-income families, and others to help residents deal with the accelerating costs facing household budgets. Ultimately, many of those options were included in tax relief packages approved by the House and Senate but did not make it to the desk of Governor Charlie Baker.

In the letter to Healey, the group wrote, “Given the daily financial challenges being experienced by a wide range of taxpayers and the destabilizing effects of those challenges on household budgets, employers, workforce recruitment and retention, and the economic climate of our state, we are appreciative of your interest in pursuing beneficial tax changes and encouraged by your indications that you will soon launch one or more initiatives to do so.”

“We want Governor Healey to know that we share the priority of enacting tax reforms. We’re looking for common ground on meaningful tax relief and we stand ready to help those in our state who are dealing with the high costs of housing, seniors trying to stay in their communities, the escalating price of dependent and child care support, and the substantial economic burdens faced by low-wage earners,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R- Gloucester).

The letter refers to recent state tax collections at historically high levels in contrast with the critical need for relief for hundreds of thousands of families and individuals that were ultimately unmet in the last legislative session. “Today, the economic hardships as acknowledged by legislative leaders and economic experts continue, and our caucus continues to believe that foundational tax relief measures are both overdue and vital,” they wrote.

“Massachusetts has taken in record amounts of tax dollars over the past few years while residents have struggled to make ends meet due to persistent inflation and rises in the cost of living,” said State Senator Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton). “It is our obligation to provide immediate relief by putting their hard-earned money back into their pockets. This will help alleviate the burden they face. Our comprehensive tax package that we are offering will do just that, and we are calling on Governor Healy to support these proposals.”

The letter outlines a number of tax reform measures initially unanimously adopted last session by the House and Senate. Those items were eventually abandoned and absent from bills sent to Governor Baker. The lawmakers say they are eager to work with the Healey Administration and their colleagues to address the daily financial challenges being experienced by a wide range of taxpayers and the destabilizing effects of those challenges on household budgets, employers, workforce recruitment and retention, and the economic climate of the state.

“It’s time for Massachusetts to make significant structural changes to our tax code and ensure everyone in our Commonwealth – seniors and young people, homeowners and renters, and families and businesses – has the opportunity to thrive,” said State Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth). “My colleagues and I are encouraged to hear that the Administration plans to put forward a tax relief plan in the coming weeks and we look forward to working alongside our colleagues to enact a plan that makes sense for residents in every corner of Massachusetts.”



Thursday, February 23, 2023

"Cut Bridge" Public Hearing Notice

Public Hearing Notice for Gloucester - Bridge reconstruction, Western Avenue over Blynman Canal Today at 6:30 PM. 

Register for this virtual hearing here: 

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.

Presentation materials-

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 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 ( 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.



Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Chamber Annual Legislative Breakfast

Great conversations and Q and A session with my legislative colleagues and small business owners at the Wakefield Lynnfield Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual Legislative Breakfast in collaboration with the Stoneham Chamber of Commerce and Reading North Reading Chamber of Commerce last week at the Four Points by Sheraton Wakefield Boston Hotel & Conference Center. 

The Wakefield Lynnfield Chamber of Commerce seeks to make a difference in the Wakefield and Lynnfield communities by promoting the general business interests and the civic, economic, and social welfare of the people. 

With: Senator Jason Lewis, State Representative Brad Jones, Representative Donald H. Wong, State Representative Richard M. Haggerty, State Representative Michael Day, and State Representative Kate Lipper-Garabedian. 



Thursday, February 16, 2023

Newburyport Boys Soccer State Title Winners

To win a state championship a team has to have a lot going for it - strong coaching, committed teammates, an effective strategy for each opponent, and a committed base of support. The Newburyport High School boys soccer team not only won the title they went undefeated! I spend some time with them today and presented them with official State Senate Citations.




Head Start Day

I always enjoy visitors to my office and this week Massachusetts Head Start Association visited with supporters - like me, at the State House. We welcomed staff, parents, and kids - I had them join me on the rostrum in the Senate Chamber, on the State House balcony, and in my office. Head Start is an amazing program that works on behalf of the most vulnerable children and families in Massachusetts.



Wednesday, February 15, 2023

The MBTA announced service changes for March on the Red, Mattapan, Orange, and Green Lines as well as the Haverhill and Newburyport/Rockport Commuter Rail Lines.

Newburyport/Rockport Commuter Rail Line trains will be replaced with accessible shuttle bus service between Swampscott and North Station for nine days from March 20-28 to perform ATC work. Passengers should note that bicycles are not allowed on shuttle buses, and regular Commuter Rail fares will be collected between Swampscott and Newburyport/Rockport Stations. 

Haverhill Commuter Rail Line trains will be replaced with accessible shuttle bus service between Haverhill and Reading Stations for nine days from March 4-12 to perform Automated Train Control (ATC) work. ATC is a federally mandated safety system that sends signals to trains about potentially unsafe conditions, automatically slowing and stopping a train if needed. Passengers should note that bicycles are not allowed on shuttle buses, and regular Commuter Rail fares will be collected between Reading and North Station.

Due to the continued demolition of the Government Center Garage by private developer HYM Construction, Orange and Green Line service changes will take place in the downtown Boston area during the weekend of March 11-12. Orange Line train service will be suspended between Ruggles and North Station during the weekend of March 11-12. The MBTA will leverage the service suspension by extending the Orange Line closure to Ruggles in order to perform track work, including the replacement of rail fasteners between Back Bay and Ruggles. Orange Line riders are asked to use Green Line service between Copley and Government Center Stations. Free and accessible shuttle buses will also operate between Copley on the Green Line and Ruggles on the Orange Line, making stops at Back Bay and Massachusetts Avenue Stations. Green Line trolley service will be replaced with accessible shuttle bus service between North Station and Government Center Station during the weekend of March 11-12. Accessibility vans will also be available for on-demand transportation during the weekend of March 11-12 – Orange and Green Line riders should ask MBTA personnel for information and assistance.

Evening weekday Red Line trains will be replaced with accessible shuttle bus service between Braintree and North Quincy Stations beginning at approximately 9 PM on March 20-23. This service change will allow MBTA crews to perform critical tamping work along the track in these areas.

Evening weekday Orange Line trains will be replaced with accessible shuttle bus service between Wellington and North Stations beginning at approximately 9 PM on March 27-30. This service change will allow MBTA crews to perform critical tamping work along the track in these areas.

Signage will be in place during all scheduled changes in service to direct riders to shuttle bus stops. Extra MBTA personnel and Transit Ambassadors will also be on-hand to assist riders. Due to an anticipated increase of riders expected to use the MBTA to travel to St. Patrick’s and Evacuation Day events, there will be no scheduled service changes during the weekend of March 18-19.

The MBTA will announce additional service changes in advance as they are confirmed and scheduled. Riders are encouraged to subscribe to T-Alerts or to follow the MBTA on Twitter for up-to-date service information. The MBTA previously announced service changes taking place in February on the Orange, Green, and Red Lines as well as the Haverhill Commuter Rail Line. Riders are encouraged to visit for a complete list.

Accessible shuttle buses will replace Red Line service between Harvard and JFK/UMass Stations during the weekends of March 4-5 and March 25-26. The MBTA is installing a new digital signal system to replace the existing analog system. On March 4-5, the T will perform tests on the new system between Central Square and Downtown Crossing Stations before switching to the new digital signal system between these stations during the weekend of March 25-26. During the weekend closures between Harvard and JFK/UMass, free shuttle buses will make stops at all stations except Park Street and Downtown Crossing Stations. Riders that would normally ride the Red Line to or from Park Street or Downtown Crossing are advised to use Red Line shuttle buses that will stop at Haymarket Station and State Station where there are connections to the Orange, Blue, and Green Lines. South-bound shuttle buses toward Ashmont/Braintree will also stop at Summer and Otis Streets and north-bound shuttle buses toward Alewife will stop at Federal and Franklin Streets, which is in close proximity to Downtown Crossing for connections to the Red Line. Signage will be in place to direct riders to shuttle bus stops and extra MBTA personnel and Transit Ambassadors will be on-hand to assist riders.

The MBTA apologizes for the inconvenience of these scheduled service changes, and appreciates the understanding and patience of riders as this critical and necessary work to maintain, upgrade, and modernize the system takes place.



Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Happy National Donor Day!

Today, I joined Newburyport, Massachusetts Mayor Sean Reardon for the city's Valentine's Day "Have a Heart and Get Heart" event to promote organ donation and partnership with New England Donor Services at Newburyport City Hall. We were with the Registrar of Motor Vehicles, Colleen Ogilvie, and others who have been touched by organ donation. New England Donor Services coordinates organ and tissue donation in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Bermuda.




Monday, February 13, 2023

Is Taxation Ever Theft?

That provocative question is answered by some as - YES, and pending court cases will have more to say to that question. The current state of affairs in Massachusetts is alarming in that local governments are authorized to seize properties when the owners are unable to pay debts such as property taxes, water bills, or other municipal assessments. The result of this process is that the property owners often lose all of the equity they have built up in their property. 

In response to this situation, the Boston Globe recently published an editorial calling for legislative changes and advocating for the rights of property owners. I am the sponsor of legislation aimed at addressing this issue and providing a solution that is fair to both the property owners and the local government.

There is a growing concern among advocates for low-income and elderly residents who are being threatened with foreclosure. In a tax lien foreclosure, towns and private companies are able to take not only the debt owed but also all of the equity that the property owner has invested in the property.

A recent study conducted by the Pacific Legal Foundation found that on average, property owners who have their property seized due to tax debt lose 87% of their equity. This means that in just one year, towns and private companies statewide have taken more than $56 million in property equity from residents.

In an effort to generate revenue, some cities have sold hundreds of delinquent debts to private companies, who then collect the debt at high-interest rates and have the authority to foreclose on the property owners.

This situation is highly controversial however, some city leaders argue that the auctions are a necessary means of obtaining the tax revenue required to fund public services. The impact on low-income homeowners can be devastating, as hundreds of property owners are faced with defending their homes against foreclosure in the State Land Court each year.

My bill aims to address this issue by ensuring that towns are able to collect what is owed to them in a fair manner, while also providing a reasonable fee to debt collectors and restoring the home and dignity of the property owners who have fallen behind on their debts. Here is the Globe Editorial:

Map by Pacific Legal Foundation



Wednesday, February 8, 2023


Proposals Would Increase Transparency, Fairness, And Accountability 

Boston- Massachusetts Senate Republicans have filed a number of proposals designed to secure greater openness and transparency through a series of changes to the rules governing the way the legislature operates. Senate members this week will debate two sets of rules, one shapes the mechanisms for legislative procedures between the House and Senate jointly, and the other determines the internal operations of the Senate and stewardship of legislative operations in that chamber. 

"Through strong bipartisan efforts the Senate has made progress over the past several sessions in improving the transparency and accountability of the legislative process," said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R - Gloucester). "The Senate Republican Caucus and I believe that the public and legislators deserve to have as much information, and enough time, to review legislation being contemplated by the Legislature." 

Filed as amendments for consideration by the Senate as it debates rules governing the 2023 - 2024 legislative session, the Republican-sponsored proposals include measures to give legislators and the public more time to read legislation prior to floor votes and promote more engagement in the process. 

"The Massachusetts Senate must be a place of transparency and accountability," said State Senator Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton). "The people we represent deserve that type of Senate and our “reform” amendments demand that type of Senate. Showing up to vote, in-person, doing the people's business during the light of day, stopping lobbying by those who corrupted the public’s trust, and providing transparency in how a Senator votes are reforms that can restore good governance to the Massachusetts Senate." The Republican Caucus amendments were filed as part of the process by which the legislature adopts rules as one of the first acts of a new legislative session. They are intended to build on a rules proposal released by the Senate's Temporary Rules Committee, which filed its report on Thursday, February 2nd. 

“Strong public policy relies on the ability of legislators and the public to be able to review, understand, and offer improvements to the proposed legislation before it is acted upon,” said State Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth). “The Rules package amendments put forward by my Republican colleagues and I would add to the level of transparency on Beacon Hill and ensure a healthy and thriving democracy.” 

Included in the measures filed by the Republican Senators are rules which would: 
* Require unanimous consent for a session to go beyond midnight; 
* Require at least 8 hours between legislative sessions; 
* Require the full disclosure of how a member voted, including if their vote was cast in-person, remotely, or through the submission of an authorization letter to the Clerk; 
* Ensure a reasonable amount of time for members to see and consider redrafted legislative amendments prior to votes being taken; 
* Establish a longer time period for members, and the public, to see annual budget bills before they are voted on from 5 days to 7. 

In addition, several Republican amendments were filed by Tarr, a member of the Temporary Rules Committee, to the bill that would establish a new set of Joint Rules used for House and Senate procedures. Those proposals, geared toward providing more time for members, the public, and the press to review legislative proposals, would result in increased transparency, predictability, and the opportunity for civic engagement. Included in those are amendments that would: 
* Require conference committee reports to be filed by 5 PM; 
* Require at least 72 hours between the filing of a conference committee report and its consideration for approval by the House and Senate; 
* Require the public posting of the conference committee reports within 30 minutes of being filed by a conference committee; 
* Require the public disclosure of procurements greater than $10,000 by either the House or Senate by posting on the Open Checkbook website by the state’s Comptroller. 

Senators filed 15 amendments to the Joint Rules bill proposed by the Temporary Rules Committee. Republican Caucus members authored 21 of 29 amendments to the Senate Rules proposal. Debate on both bills is expected on Thursday. Other Republican amendments to the Senate Rules include: 
* Permitting Senate members to jointly file legislation; 
* Banning lobbyists convicted of corruption charges from lobbying Senators or their staff; and 
* Establishing a physical presence as the primary means of participation in Senate sessions.


Tuesday, February 7, 2023

February is American Heart Month - Go Red For Women Day on Beacon Hill

The Nation Goes Red in February and each year we have a State House event to wear red in order to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease and help save lives. Losing even one woman to cardiovascular disease is too many. Women who suffer from cardiac arrest outside of a hospital are less likely to receive CPR from bystanders. The American Heart Association invites you to spread the word that February is American Heart Month and when a person experiences cardiac arrest, survival depends on immediately receiving CPR from someone nearby. Quickly performing CPR can double or triple the chance of survival.



Friday, February 3, 2023

Warming Stations And Information

Compiled by SeniorCare Inc. 

Beverly Library, Fri & Sat, 9am-5pm 

Police Information line: 978-768-6200 

Rose Baker Senior Center, Fri 9am-7pm, Sat 10am-2pm 
Sawyer Free Library, Fri-Sat 10am-5pm 
Police Station Lobby, 197 Main St, open 24 hours 
Grace Center, Fri 8am-4pm Also 
Action Shelter, CORE Recovery Center--call for hours. 

Police Information line: 978-468-1212 

Local News Police Information line: 978-356-4343 

Manchester Public Library, Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 10am-4pm 
Police Station & Town Hall Room #5, both open 24 hours 

Community Room at Rockport Police Station open 24 hours per day during the cold period 

Police Information line: 978-887-6533 

Police Information line: 978-468-5500


Thursday, February 2, 2023


What to do before extreme cold weather hits  
  • Be Informed - receive alerts, warnings, and public safety information before, during, and after emergencies. 
  • Make a Family Emergency Plan that addresses the needs of your family and prepares your family to safely evacuate or shelter in place if needed 
  • Assemble an emergency kit. 
  • Prepare your home for possible emergencies. 
  • Ensure your vehicle is ready for safe winter driving. Follow safe driving practices if you must travel during winter storms. 
  • Make sure your pets are ready for cold weather. 

Potential for isolated power outages due to strong winds 
Wind chill as low as -15 to -45 late Friday night through Saturday morning 
Heavy freezing spray over coastal waters


Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Brigadier General Enoch O'Dell "Woody" Woodhouse II At Flint Memorial Library Talks About American History

Brigadier General Enoch Woodhouse, a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, America's first all-Black combat flying unit, who served during World War II, recalled a time when Black soldiers were not allowed to train alongside white soldiers. Enoch Woodhouse, a 96-year-old Lieutenant Colonel and one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen, greeted an eager group at the Flint Memorial Library in North Reading, Massachusetts 

Woodhouse grew up in Roxbury and enlisted in the US Army Air Corps in 1944 when he was 17, following the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. The Tuskegee Airmen, America's first all-Black combat flying unit, played a pivotal role in integrating the US Armed Forces. Despite initial discrimination, the unit proved themselves as accomplished pilots in Europe and influenced President Truman's 1948 decision to end discrimination in the military. After his discharge in 1949, Woodhouse earned a degree from Yale and went on to study law at BU. He worked as a trial lawyer and attorney for over 40 years. 

Sponsored by: Friends of the Flint Memorial Library, NORCAM, Inc., Heavenly Donuts North Reading