Posts Tagged ‘WATD’

postheadericon Beacon Hill Blotter: “Honor Roll of the Abolitionists” Presented to 7th Plymouth District

WHITMAN, MA: On Sunday, August 14th, during a gathering of the South Shore GOP at the Whitman VFW (Post 697), Ms. Lugenia Gordon of Manchester, N.H. presented a scroll known as the “Honor Roll of the Abolitionists” to the State Representative Geoff Diehl. The scroll was awarded to recognize the significant contributions made by past citizens of the 7th Plymouth District (Abington, Whitman & East Bridgewater) for the Abolitionist movement to end slavery. Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon Capitol Hill Blotter: Keating releases tips to beat the heat, invites you to Washington, DC

File Photo: Congressman Keating visiting a local business in Rockland

Now that the warm weather is upon us, many Massachusetts residents are eagerly anticipating barbecues, road trips and some much-needed down-time. While the summer is a time to enjoy the outdoors, we must also remember to be safe, especially during this recent spate of extremely hot weather. Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon Capitol Hill Blotter: Rep. Keating releases ‘green guide’ for constituents

In honor of Earth Day, I released a “Green Guide” on Friday, April 22nd for the residents of Massachusetts’ 10th Congressional District.

The theme of this year’s Earth Day is A Billion Acts of Green, and I can think of no better way to embrace that spirit than by committing to incorporate small acts of green on a daily basis.  The changes necessary to do our part do not need to be great or cumbersome, and I hope my Green Guide provides usable information on opportunities to go green at home, in the office or in our community. 

Environmental conservation is critical to our district where tourism is a key local industry, but it is also imperative to the country as a whole.  If we want to lower our fuel costs and end our country’s dependence on foreign oil, then we need to start employing clean energy technologies. Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon Political Forum Audio: Candidates for Whitman Board of Selectmen square off

The first issue the four candidates vying for two seats on the Whitman Board of Selectmen board faced Wednesday in a political forum, was the decision by current selectmen to put a question asking for a $500,000 operational override on next month’s town election ballot. Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon Capitol Hill Blotter: Congressman reaches milestone of 100 days in office

Welcoming home returning servicemen at Otis Airforce Base

Today marks my 100th day in office as the Representative for Massachusetts’ South Shore, Cape and Islands.

In these short three and a half months, there have been many changes in our country and around the world.  Despite the tumultuous uprisings and threats of a government shutdown, my priorities remain the same as they were on day one:  putting the residents of Massachusetts’ 10th district back to work and rebuilding our local economy.  Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon Beacon Hill Blotter: Recovery

An existing MA Recovery School

The word carries many meanings and, in current times, many implications. Japan is in the process of recovering from a devastating combination of an earthquake and the resulting tsunami, which has been further complicated by the partial melt-down of a coastal nuclear reactor. The US economy is fighting to get on the road to recovery following an economic melt-down, resulting from a combination of a housing bubble burst and a banking crisis with world-wide implications.

To residents on the Massachusetts South Shore, “recovery” also describes a proposed school to help kids dealing with substance abuse which is being proposed by a tremendous group of true grassroots activists, composed of parents, teachers, administrators, substance abuse counselors and civic leaders.

I was fortunate enough to attend a meeting keynoted by Senators Steven Tolman and John Keenan, Assistant Majority Leader and Chair of the Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse, respectively. Presenting testimony to those gathered were Mr. Bill Carpenter , who has a son dealing with dependency, and the mother, Janis McGrory,  and sister, Amy, of Elizabeth “Liz” LeFort, who passed away only three months ago from an accidental overdose. The words spoken were, at once, heart wrenching, maddening and inspiring. To know that just one use of OxyContin will cause an immediate and lifetime craving for the drug is truly frightening. Listening to the pain of having to put on a brave public face when you’ve just had to call to have your child incarcerated to keep them from being on the street, using, is horrifying. And knowing that the chance of relapse is almost 100% when kids try to reintegrate back into their public schools leaves one wondering what we can do to rescue those hundreds of kids who want to be clean and get a good education. Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon Beacon Hill Blotter: We are all in this together

One of the most significant responsibilities of a State Representative is to connect people who are in need with experts and organizations that provide various forms of assistance to our residents.  As listeners of WATD are aware, I recently co-hosted a program entitled “We Are All in This Together” that highlighted services of local, regional, and state organizations to help folks during these difficult economic times. Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon Beacon Hill Blotter: Amazing Grace

 It’s not often you get to see Howard Beale, the character from the movie “Network,” played out in real life. It’s one thing to be on the campaign trail and be told by conspiracy theorists to look at things like the book “The Creature From Jekyll Island” (about the Federal Reserve) or to find out why attorneys are not lawyers. It’s quite another to see someone come to a Ways & Means hearing and speak the truth about the manipulation of social services at the expense of the people they’re purported to serve, as well as taxpayers.

Grace Ross

Grace Ross, previous gubernatorial candidate.

Enter Grace Ross, recent candidate for Governor, who was unable to get enough signatures to primary Deval Patrick. A self-proclaimed “activist for social justice,” I had no idea what to expect in her testimony on Friday, March 4th, in the last hour of the last day of a state-wide tour of budget hearings. Because her time was limited to 3 minutes, she presented a simple chart showing state revenue sources, from highest to lowest. Again, due to time constraints, she wanted to make sure we were aware of the fact that food stamps (now called “S.N.A.P.”) and Unemployment Insurance were the two largest generators of income to Massachusetts – and that’s beating a Lottery that is ranked 1st in the nation, reaping over $4B annually. She even reiterated that  the sales tax increase was a mistake… gasp! Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon Beacon Hill Blotter: Death by a thousand cuts

MLA Rally

Just one of the recent budget rallys held at the State House

My schedule has been dominated by the joint Senate and House hearings for Ways & Means and the testimonies we’ve been hearing from agency after agency is a plea to level fund or restore some of the lost appropriations to the services that provide critical and in some cases, Constitutional, support to the citizens of the Commonwealth.  I should be used to it by now, of course.

When I first joined the Finance Committee for my home town, we had just entered into the first year of cuts to Local Aid and local receipts were also trending downward. Whether it was animal control, the library or the regional school district, the message was always the same. Fortunately, the town of Whitman had been frugal for years and had reserves and retiring debt, along with strong leadership in all our Departments, which allowed us to backfill accounts and protect vital services. Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon Beacon Hill Blotter: “I’m just a bill…”

This week’s posting for the BHB will be unique in that I have been extremely busy reviewing as many of the 5,258 bills introduced into the 187th General Court (for which final sponsorship was due this past Friday) and continue to be busy this weekend with commitments to Boss Academy, the studio my wife and I own – the winter recital is this weekend. Therefore, I’ll briefly review meetings and, most importantly, deliver on the transparency of government that I’ve promised you by posting (below) each and every bill I authored or for which am a co-sponsor. Read the rest of this entry »

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