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News

Beacon Hill Roll Call

THE HOUSE AND SENATE: Beacon Hill Roll Call records local representatives’ votes on several of the roll calls overriding Gov. Charlie Baker’s cuts of $320 million in spending. A two-thirds vote in both branches is needed in order for a veto to be overridden. The Senate has not yet taken up the vetoes. The House restored an estimated $275 million.

House Democratic leaders said the budget was balanced and that Baker’s cuts were unnecessary and would have hurt many people including the sick, seniors, children and minorities.

“We’re going to start with vetoes that have a statewide impact and consider regional items in the upcoming weeks, and we’re continuing to monitor our fiscal trends and weigh our options as well,” said House Ways and Means Chairman Jeffrey Sánchez (D-Boston) during the debate.

“The current fiscal environment, specifically soft revenue collection reports to date, indicates there is no basis to support the decision to increase spending by $275 million,” said Baker spokesman Brendan Moss.

House GOP Minority Leader Brad Jones (R-North Reading) said he was disappointed the House chose to move ahead with overturning a significant number of Baker’s spending vetoes. “State tax revenues are currently running behind projections and there are still many uncertainties about where those revenues will be trending in the months ahead,” said Jones. “Because of this, I decided to vote to sustain all of Gov. Baker’s vetoes, even though it meant voting against restoring funding for many worthwhile programs I otherwise would have supported. In my opinion, it would have been more prudent to wait and see what revenues look like in September and perhaps even October before moving forward with overrides.”

CUT $2.5 MILLION FOR HIV AND AIDS (H 3800)

House 126-25, overrode a reduction of $2.5 million (from $30,834,416 to $28,334,416) for HIV, AIDS, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections and tuberculosis programs.

(A “Yes” vote is for funding the $2.5 million. A “No” vote is against funding it.)

Rep. Theodore Speliotis                      Yes

Rep. Thomas Walsh                                                Yes

CUT $1.25 MILLION FOR KIDS’ MENTAL HEALTH (H 3800)

House 131-21, overrode a reduction of $1.25 million (from $2.5 million to $1.25 million) for early childhood mental health consultation services in early education and care programs.

(A “Yes” vote is for funding the $1.25 million. A “No” vote is against funding it.)

Rep. Theodore Speliotis                      Yes

Rep. Thomas Walsh                                                Yes

CUT $800,000 FOR PEDIATRIC PALLIATIVE CARE (H 3800)

House 139-13, overrode a reduction of $800,000 (from $2,606,334 to 1,806,334) for pediatric palliative care.

(A “Yes” vote is for funding the $800,000. A “No” vote is against funding it.)

Rep. Theodore Speliotis                      Yes

Rep. Thomas Walsh                                                Yes

CUT $275,000 FOR PROSTATE CANCER (H 3800)

House 133-19, overrode a reduction of $275,000 (from $550,000 to $275,000) for prostate cancer awareness, education and research programs focusing on men with African-American, Hispanic or Latino heritage, family history of the disease and other men at high risk.

(A “Yes” vote is for funding the $275,000. A “No” vote is against funding it.)

Rep. Theodore Speliotis                      Yes

Rep. Thomas Walsh                                                Yes

CUT ENTIRE $200,000 FOR STROKE PROGRAMS (H 3800)

House 119-33, overrode a cut of the entire $200,000 for stroke treatment and prevention programs.

(A “Yes” vote is for funding the $200,000. A “No” vote is against funding it.)

Rep. Theodore Speliotis                      Yes

Rep. Thomas Walsh                                                Yes

CUT ENTIRE $100,000 FOR DOWN SYNDROME PROGRAMS (H 3800)

House 143-9, overrode a cut of the entire $100,000 for a Down Syndrome Program at the Children’s Medical Center at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center in Worcester.

(A “Yes” vote is for funding the $100,000. A “No” vote is against funding it.)

Rep. Theodore Speliotis                      Yes

Rep. Thomas Walsh                                                Yes

CUT $200,000 FOR SAMARITANS (H 3800)

House 129-23, overrode a reduction of $200,000 (from $400,000 to $200,000) for the Samaritans for suicide prevention services.

(A “Yes” vote is for funding the $200,000. A “No” vote is against funding it.)

Rep. Theodore Speliotis      Yes

Rep. Thomas Walsh                                                Yes

HOW LONG WAS LAST WEEK’S SESSION? Beacon Hill Roll Call tracks the length of time that the House and Senate were in session each week. Many legislators say that legislative sessions are only one aspect of the Legislature’s job and that a lot of important work is done outside of the House and Senate chambers. They note that their jobs also involve committee work, research, constituent work and other matters that are important to their districts. Critics say that the Legislature does not meet regularly or long enough to debate and vote in public view on the thousands of pieces of legislation that have been filed. They note that the infrequency and brief length of sessions are misguided and lead to irresponsible late-night sessions and a mad rush to act on dozens of bills in the days immediately preceding the end of an annual session.

During the week of September 11-15, the House met for a total of five hours and three minutes while the Senate met for a total of two hours and 30 minutes.

Mon. Sept. 11 House 12:01 p.m. to 12:38 p.m.

Senate 11:10 a.m. to 12:50 p.m.

Tues. Sept. 12 No House session   No Senate session

Wed. Sept. 13 House 1:02 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.          No Senate session

Thurs. Sept. 14 House 11:03 a.m. to 11:31 a.m.

Senate 11:15 a.m. to 11:25 a.m.

Fri. Sept. 15 No House session       No Senate session

Bob Katzen welcomes feedback at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

Healthy Pet opens on Lowell Street

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Peabody slides by Salem in charity softball game

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While raising thousands of dollars for Haven from Hunger, Peabody’s charity softball team remained undefeated against their Salem counterparts, winning the Fourth Annual City Council Charity Softball game by a score of 8-5. However, armed with a potent offense and a defense to match, Salem got off to an impressive start, racking up three runs by the end of the first inning.

Mayor Edward Bettencourt took the mound for Peabody and was joined by other city officials for the Sept. 1 game at Lt. Ross Park. While at bat, Bettencourt launched one ball deep into center field that almost cleared the fence before being successfully fielded by Salem.

Peabody got on the board in the second inning and School Committee Member Thomas Rossignoll scored the tying run to make it a 3-3 game. “It was a lot of fun, it was a great time for a great cause,” he said after the game. From there, Peabody surged ahead when Bettencourt’s brother Kevin broke the tie to put the Leather City in front.

Bettencourt also demonstrated some masterful defense as he jumped up from the mound to snatch a Salem hit in the sixth inning.

Despite a late two-run push by Salem, Peabody was able to hang on for the win after seven innings. “Our bats kind of died and Peabody’s woke up,” said Salem’s Christopher Palawara.

He said this year’s final score was much closer than in prior years. “We’re on the up and up,” he said.

In addition to Rossignoll and the Bettencourt brothers, Peabody also had School Committee Member Joseph Amico playing first base as well as fellow committee members John Olimpio and Jarrod Hochman manning other positions.

Since 2013, the game has been organized by Peabody Councillor-at-Large Thomas Gould and Salem City Council President Elaine Milo.

Gould said the game typically raises between $1,000 and $2,000 each year for the Haven. “We picked the Haven because it’s one of the best nonprofits around,” he said. “There are more and more kids going hungry; unfortunately it’s a growing population.”

Gould said the event has steadily flourished during the past four years. “The interest has grown every year, we play for pride,” he said.

Gould remained modest about his responsibility as one of the game’s organizers. “It’s not a big deal; we’re just trying to reach out and have some fun with some colleagues,” he said.

By Christopher Roberson


   

Football Tanners open 2017 season in Somerville

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The Peabody Tanners were a competitive squad last fall. This year they hope to take the next crucial step forward in order to come away with more wins and advance further in the Div. I playoffs. The Tanners finished 5-6 in 2016 but could have had another couple of victories had they been able to hold on to a third quarter lead at Beverly and been able to avoid a few costly mistakes in a close second-round playoff loss to Lincoln-Sudbury.

Head coach Mark Bettencourt is looking to experienced senior returnees Eric DeMayo (fullback, linebacker), Noah Freedman (running back) and Cam Powers (defensive end) to lead the way for a program that is sporting over 80 players this year counting junior varsity. Offensively, the Tanners will be bolstered by junior quarterback Colby Therrien, senior wide receiver Sam Mastromatteo, sophomore wide receiver Dylan Peluso, senior running back Ryan Vinagro and junior tackle Michael Lock. On defense, DeMayo and Powers should get help from senior cornerback Nolan Murphy, defensive tackle Dariel Canela and senior safety Sean Pacheco.

Peabody earned two shutout wins last season: a 7-0 non-conference blanking of Malden and a 28-0 Northeastern Conference (NEC) rout of Lynn Classical. The Tanners ended up 2-3 in NEC play and earned a first-round 35-19 win over Westford Academy in the opening round of the Div. I North playoffs.

Seeking to redeem themselves after last year’s disappointing season-opening loss to Triton at Peabody High’s Veterans Memorial Stadium, the Tanners travel to play Somerville in a non-league battle this Friday at Dilboy Stadium (scheduled 7 p.m. kickoff).

Conference play begins next week, Sept. 15, as Peabody hosts rival Danvers at 7 p.m. The Tanners geared up by hosting a scrimmage game against Andover last week.

By Greg Phipps


 

Chalvire takes on Charest for Ward 4 seat

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Bukia Chalvire has challenged incumbent City Councillor Edward Charest for the chance to bring adequate representation back to Peabody’s fourth ward.

“After meeting and listening to Ward 4 residents express their dissatisfaction with the current councillor’s overall performance and his lack of visibility in the ward, I feel I can provide the representation that they are looking for,” said Chalvire. “I am grateful for the warm and enthusiastic reception from the Ward 4 residents.”

New to the political arena, Chalvire said her background is in sales, marketing and self-employment, providing “great insight in terms of negotiating, problem solving, interpersonal, critical and creative skills which are a prerequisite for any political office.”

Chalvire said she and her campaign staff have been out talking to voters for the past four months. “We are listening to voters’ concerns, taking notes and working towards solutions already, not waiting until I am elected,” she said.

At this point, Chalvire said Ward 4 is in need of a fresh start. “There appears to be a communication gap between voters and the current Ward 4 councillor. When elected, I will regularly schedule office hours to give residents the opportunity to meet with me face to face to discuss their concerns and encourage input,” she said. “I believe we need to foster a new vision and create a path forward for Ward 4, all the while maintaining the quality of life we enjoy and ensuring Peabody remains affordable for seniors, hardworking families and our small business community.”

If elected, Chalvire said, addressing infrastructure problems, such as poor water pressure as well as deteriorating roads and sidewalks, would be at the top of her list.

In response, Charest said Chalvire’s statements regarding his performance and visibility are simply inaccurate. “I’m surprised to hear that,” he said. “I’m out there more than the average ward councillor; people actually know me.”

In addition, Charest said he has always made it a point to return phone calls. “I’m a big believer in getting back to people,” he said.

Charest said some of his accomplishments during the past 19 months include moving an MBTA bus stop out of a residential neighborhood on Forest Street, preventing solar panels from being installed on Jill’s Way and Wahtera Road, improving water pressure in the Brooksby Farm neighborhood and thwarting off overdevelopment on Richardson Road and Mount Pleasant Street. “I know my ward, I’m pleased with what I’ve been able to accomplish,” said Charest. “I’ve always worked very hard; I’ve never taken things laying down.”

A Ward 4 resident for 28 years, Charest said he served on the School Committee for eight years and was a coach for the city’s youth soccer program for 12 years. He was also a member of the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) when his daughters were in elementary school. “I was one of the few fathers in the elementary school PTO,” he said.

In the 2015 City Council race, Charest defeated Jarrod Hochman by an incredibly close margin of 655-651.

By Christopher Roberson


   

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