Friday, June 30, 2023

Tall Ship Visit to Newburyport

I was honored last Friday morning to join with Mayor Reardon, Representative Shand, Mayor Gove, members of the Newburyport City Council, and representatives of the US Coast Guard for a welcoming tour of the tall ship Neo Trinidad, which is visiting through July 9th as the centerpiece of the Custom House Museum's Maritime Days. 

The crew of the Neo Trinidad gave us a fascinating and informative tour of this ship, a replica of the vessel used by Spanish explorer Magellan to make history.

Tours of the ship will be available to the public through July 9, and you can learn more about all of the Maritime Days events on the museum's web site at Custom House Maritime Museum | Stewards of Your History


Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles Announces 2023 Low Number Plate Lottery

191 total license plates available 

Applications will be available online beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 30, and will be accepted through 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 31

BOSTON - The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is announcing applications for the 2023 Low Number Plate Lottery will be available online at myRMV Online Service Center beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 30, 2023. To be eligible, applicants must apply for this year’s lottery by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 31, 2023. Winners will be notified by mail if selected for a low number plate.

This year, there are 191 plates available through the low plate lottery. Some of the available low plates include 13F, 17V, 28E, Z64, 301, 1999, 4004, 4400, and 8511.

There is no fee to apply for the lottery however, should the applicant be selected as a winner, there is a special plate fee that will be required, as well as a standard registration fee.

Customers are encouraged to visit the RMV’s website or follow @MassRMV on Twitter for details on the lottery plate drawing to be announced later this summer, including the date, time, and location of the event. In addition, lottery plate applicants will be sent a notification from the RMV to the email address they provided with lottery event details. The lottery results will be posted after the drawing on the RMV website.

Lottery Rules and Eligibility Requirements

Only one entry per applicant will be accepted, regardless of the number of active registrations the applicant has.

An applicant must be a Massachusetts resident with a currently active, registered, and insured passenger vehicle.

Companies/corporations may not apply.

MassDOT (Registry of Motor Vehicles, Highway, Mass Transit, and Aeronautics) employees, including contract employees, and their immediate family members are not eligible. (“Immediate family member” refers to one’s parents, spouse, children, and brothers & sisters.)

Requests for specific plate numbers will not be honored. Eligible applicants will be considered for all plates listed. Plates will be awarded in the order in which they are listed on Mass.Gov/RMV.

An applicant’s registration and license cannot be in a non-renewal, suspended, or revoked status at the time of entry, the time of the drawing, or the time of the plate swap. As such, an applicant must not have any outstanding excise taxes, parking tickets, child support, warrants, or unpaid E-Z Pass/Pay by Plate violations.

Online entries will be accepted only and must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 31, 2023.

Lottery results will be available on the RMV website: Mass.Gov/RMV. By law, lottery winners must be announced by Friday, September 15, 2023.

All winners will be notified by mail with instructions on how to transfer their current registration to their new lottery plate. Winners will have until Friday, December 29, 2023, to swap their plates.



North Reading, Massachusetts' "Abominable Brickslayers" Journey to the State House

What a dynamo of fun, yesterday, I welcomed a team of third graders from the L.D. Batchelder School and J.Turner Hood Elementary as they came to celebrate their achievements with the North Reading Robotics Organization. These students went all the way to Houston for the World Championship Robotics Festival this year - one of only two teams from Massachusetts. Each member of the team was excited to see the State House and take temporary command of the Senate Chamber from the President's Rostrum. The future is bright.



Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Advisory: Gloucester Temporary Navigable Channel Impacts at Blynman Drawbridge "Cut Bridge"

Drawbridge closed for use by some large vessels from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Tuesday, June 27 and Wednesday, June 28 

GLOUCESTER – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing repair operations to the Blynman Drawbridge in Gloucester, which will require a closure of the drawbridge to some marine traffic during overnight hours on Tuesday, June 27 and Wednesday, June 28. The repairs will take place from 8:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. each night, with repairs expected to conclude by morning hours on Thursday, June 29. The navigable channel will remain open only to marine vessels that can safely pass under the bridge while the bridge is in the closed position. Harbormaster patrol boats will be on site to guide marine traffic through the area. 

The drawbridge will remain open to roadway traffic during this time. All scheduled work is weather dependent and subject to change without notice. This work is part of an ongoing $2.6 million district-wide drawbridge operations and repair contract. 



MassDOT Advisory: Boxford

Full Closure of the Lockwood Lane Bridge over Interstate 95 

Closure will begin at 7 a.m. on Monday, June 26, and is expected to continue through early December 2023 

Closure is needed to facilitate bridge rehabilitation and preservation operations Detours will be in place 

BOXFORD – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing it will be implementing a full closure of the Lockwood Lane Bridge located over Interstate 95 in Boxford on Monday, June 26, at 7:00 a.m. The closure is needed to allow crews to safely and efficiently conduct work to rehabilitate and preserve the bridge. The work on the bridge is anticipated to be completed by early December 2023. The work will consist of the removal of the pavement and subsequent concrete deck repairs as needed. It will also include installation of new bridge pavement, bridge joints, sidewalk repairs and guardrail improvements, substructure repairs, heat straightening of select beams and cleaning/painting of the bridge steel. 

The following detours will be in place during the closure: • Vehicles travelling southbound on Middleton Road will detour to Endicott Road which becomes Washington Street completing the detour to Lockwood Lane. • Vehicles travelling on Washington Street will detour, continuing down Washington Street which becomes Endicott Road, turning onto Middleton Road to complete the detour to Lockwood Lane. Appropriate signage and messaging will be in place. Those traveling through the area should expect delays, reduce speed and use caution. This work is part of a $11.4 million bridge rehabilitation project comprised of six individual bridges over Interstate 95, Interstate 495 and Route 1 in the Towns of Boxford, Merrimac and Peabody.


Saturday, June 17, 2023

Nourishing the North Shore

Kristin Kassner State Representative 2nd Essex District and I had the pleasure of visiting with members of Nourishing the North Shore at Iron Ox Farm in Hamilton yesterday. Nourishing the North Shore is a wonderful local nonprofit that connects farmers with food pantries, to help everyone access healthy food. I was so impressed by their dedication to addressing food insecurity, increasing lower-income families' access to fresh food, and supporting the small farms that make it possible. 

If you're interested in learning more about Nourishing the North Shore, or if you'd like to get involved, please visit their website at And learn more about Iron Ox Farm at



Thursday, June 15, 2023

Senate Tax Relief Bill Debate

The Senate today has been debating the adoption of S 2397, an Act to Improve the Commonwealth’s Competitiveness, Affordability, and Equity, the long-overdue tax relief bill for Massachusetts residents. The Senate Ways and Means Committee's plan is estimated to be valued at $590 million in total relief for taxpayers. 

While I have offered many amendments to expand the relief in other important ways here is a brief summary of some key items in the bill: 
  • The proposal would increase tax relief for low- and middle-income families by increasing the following: 
  • Child and dependent tax credits Rent deductions Earned Income Tax Credit Senior circuit breaker tax credit cap 
  • The annual cap for the Housing Development Incentive Program Annual authorization of the low-income housing tax credit 
  • The proposal would also exempt estates valued under $2 million from the estate tax and seek to eliminate the "tax cliff," which occurs when any estate above the threshold triggers taxes on the entire value rather than just the overage. 
  • The proposal is designed to help low- and middle-income families afford to live and raise their families
  • It would also help to stimulate the economy by increasing demand for housing and other goods and services.

You can read the bill and the amendments here:



Wednesday, June 14, 2023

70th Wedding Anniversary of Jim and Rosie Verga

What a pleasure it was to be able to share in a special moment with Jim and Rosie Verga as they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. With Mayor Greg Verga, City of Gloucester. 



Thursday, June 8, 2023

Manchester-by-the-Sea Receives $1.5 Million Grant to Restore Coastal Habitat

Today, the Town of Manchester by the Sea has received a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to restore coastal habitat in the Sawmill Brook watershed. The project will reconstruct the Central Street Bridge, remove a tide gate, and restore an acre of salt marsh. The project is expected to improve water quality, fish passage, and flood resilience. 

Climate change is a serious threat to our coastal communities, and the Central Street Bridge Replacement and Sawmill Brook Restoration Project is an important step in addressing that threat. In the heart of Manchester-by-the-Sea's downtown, this bridge, in its deteriorated state, has presented a growing challenge for local officials for years. In that respect, it is emblematic of the intensifying issues seaside communities and others face due to the consequences of sea level rise. This project proves that these issues can be successfully addressed through collaboration between local, state, and federal governments.

At today's announcement in Manchester Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante said: “Our natural resources are our first line of defense in the face of the effects of climate change. This grant will allow Manchester-by-the-Sea to take a proactive step by cultivating a natural safeguard for the town's homes and businesses. Thank you to the Healey-Driscoll Administration for recognizing the critical work being done in our coastal communities to advance habitat restoration and create green infrastructure.”

The grant funds were secured by the state's Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs' Office of Coastal Zone Management, which developed the project proposals in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration, the Town of Manchester-by-the-Sea.

Gregory Federspiel, Manchester-by-the-Sea Town Administrator said: "By restoring Sawmill Brook to its natural state, removing the tidal gate, and re-establishing a salt marsh habitat, we will improve the resiliency of the area to future flooding, better protect properties, and enhance the natural ecosystem’s ability to function as an important buffer zone. This is a critical infrastructure project for our core village area and we appreciate our partnership with the Commonwealth to bring this project to fruition and are very pleased to be awarded these federal funds."

 Photo Credit: Dru Tarr



Nova Scotia Fire Relief Efforts

Gloucester and Nova Scotia have a long and strong connection. We are "sister cities" with Lunenburg and Shelburne, and our people have always been there for each other. Right now, much of Nova Scotia is battling the worst wildfires in their history. 

The fires have destroyed homes, businesses, and livelihoods. Thousands of people have been forced to evacuate their homes. The Province of Nova Scotia is providing further support to Nova Scotians affected by wildfires by matching every dollar donated to the Canadian Red Cross Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada Fires Appeal. With the Government of Canada making the same commitment, every $1 donated will become $3. Funds will be used to assist those most impacted and support immediate and ongoing relief and recovery efforts in the province. 

If you would like to help, please consider making a donation to the Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada Fires Appeal. You can do so at: 1-800-418-1111 Thank you for your generosity. Together, we can help the people of Nova Scotia rebuild their lives. You can also share this post on your social media accounts and encourage your friends and family to donate. Every dollar counts, and your help will make a difference.  



Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Animal Lobby Day

I had a great time today at the annual Animal Lobby Day sponsored by the MSPCA-Angell, The Humane Society of the United States, the Animal Rescue League of Boston,, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund. I met with a group of citizens and discussed their concerns about animal welfare. I also talked about some of the legislative efforts I have been working on to advance the cause of animal welfare. 

If you are passionate about animal welfare, I encourage you to get involved in the legislative process. You can make a difference by contacting your elected officials and letting them know how you feel about animal welfare issues. Thank you to all of the advocates, legislators, and animal protection organizations who made Animal Lobby Day a success!



State House Visit With O’Malley Middle School Students

A very good visit today at the State House with O'Maley Innovation Middle School from Gloucester, Massachusetts. We gathered on the Grand Staircase after their tour and I introduced them to Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairman Michael Rodrigues. All the students got to sit in the Senate Chamber and we talked a bit about some State House history.



Small Businesses - The Backbone Of Our Community

The state delegation, Senator Barry Finegold, MA State Rep. Tram T. Nguyen, and State Representative Adrianne Ramos, met with the North Andover Merchants Association to discuss our work to support them and local small businesses. We exchanged good ideas. We're committed to helping to keep the community thriving.



Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Spofford Pond 5th Grade Trip

The Spofford Pond School in Boxford, Massachusetts was well represented at the State House today - the 5th grade came to Boston for a big tour. The students met with MA State Rep. Tram T. Nguyen, State Representative Adrianne Ramos,, and others and got to tour the House Chamber, Memorial Hall, the Governor's office, The Senate Reading Room, and the Senate Chamber. Welcome back soon.



Girl Scout Cadette Jocelyn Maddelana Shines Brightly

Jocelyn Maddelana has earned the highest rank a Girl Scout Cadette can earn - the Silver Award, for her remarkable efforts at the Cape Ann Animal Aid Animal Shelter. I secured a Senate Citation to help recognize her amazing efforts. Click this link to see a recent WHDH-7 News Room report on this amazing girl.