Learn about all the happenings and news going on in the Essex County 15th District!
The Massachusetts House passed legislation providing $200 million in funding for future repairs to municipal roads and bridges, also known as Chapter 90 funding. It includes 1.18 million dollars for Methuen.
Cumulatively the legislature has allocated 1 billion in bond funding over the past 5 years while still ensuring that we fall under the bond cap to remain fiscally responsible. Additionally, funding is being dispersed allocated last year for municipal bridges in need of repair that are not eligible for federal funding. This program is unique in the U.S.
Here with Congresswoman Niki Tsongas and former Mayor Mike Sullivan - Thank you Congresswoman Tsongas for taking the time to attend a timely event sponsored by the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce. The discussion you provided about specifics regarding President Trumps’ proposed budget and implications for Massachusetts made it very real for many of the organizations in attendance. In sum, the cuts will be wide and deep and will require us to rethink many items important for economic development and human services as we put together our state budget. Again, thank you Congresswoman Tsongas for your time and commitment to keeping us informed. Thanks always to the Chamber who connects us to current issues and opportunities.
Bradford Rail Trail
I want to thank all the members of the Friends of the Bradford Rail Trail in Haverhill. For many years, these dedicated and committed citizens of Haverhill have been working on the details and the nitty gritty that must be accomplished to make the rail trail a reality. We owe them our sincere thanks and appreciation for bringing this tremendous asset to Haverhill. It offers all of us an incredible opportunity to enjoy being outside along the beautiful Merrimack River, and connects the downtown and the Bradford section of the City in a fantastic way.
This rail trail is truly going to bring many landmarks together in a way that only a walking venue can. Congratulations and Thank you!!!!
State of the City Address
Mayor Fiorentini did a great job managing all the technology he used last night to present a dynamic and exciting State of the City address at the new Hunking School! He presented so many projects - planned and ongoing - that take advantage of the beautiful Merrimack River. It is truly an exciting time to be part of a fantastic state delegation and city-state partnership led by Chairman Dempsey. Congratulations Mayor – congratulations Haverhill – we are truly energized!
International Women’s Day
Today I was able to stand together with my colleagues for International Women’s Day. International Women’s Day has been celebrated since the early 1900’s on March 8 of each year. We all wore red today in support for reducing insecurity faced by women in the workplace as well as to celebrate women’s achievements.
Thankfully, I can say that the Massachusetts’ Legislature does more than just talk about what needs to get done, we actually get it done. This past year the legislature passed and Governor Baker signed the Pay Equity Act into law, which took a number of measures to reduce the gender pay gap in Massachusetts. This is a family issue because women make up 40% of primary breadwinners for families with children under the age of 18.
My hope is that as we have done in Massachusetts corporations, government agencies, and individuals from all walks of life can come together to discuss how we can continue to build on our commitment to equal rights.
Thank you Texas Road House Methuen for your support of local Veterans!!!! Thanks also to NO. Andover VSO, Gerry Maguire, Crystal Clunie and VSO’s and Veterans support groups from around the Merrimack Valley for coming out to offer their support and talk about services for our Veterans
The presentation of the possibilities for Methuen’s downtown under re-zoning was exciting. A re-zoning of the downtown to allow for residential living and retail is working for many downtowns throughout the Commonwealth. Thanks for the great work by Methuen’s Community Development Office. A public hearing and more information to come. Here with Methuen’s Assistant Director of Planning, Kathleen Colwell, and consultant Steve Harriman.
Legislators Drafting Bills Methuen Awarded Youth Violence Prevention Grant
Legislators have until the 20th of January to file Legislation if they want their Legislation to receive a public hearing during the two year session. This creates real challenges in that coordination with colleagues, state officials, and experts requires considerable time. Legislation not filed by the 20th will still receive a hearing, but not a public hearing... Read More
22nd Annual Recognition Dinner and Awards Night
Congratulations to the Methuen Exchange Club for hosting their 22nd Annual Recognition Dinner and Awards Night at Merrimack Golf Course. I also want to extend my congratulations, again, to the award recipients:
- Merrimack Valley Prevent and Substance Abuse Project for receiving the Book of Golden Deeds Award;
Your commitment and hard work to educating, supporting and providing critical services to individuals and families dealing with substance abuse in the Merrimack Valley is admirable.
- Jack Hammond and Merrimack Golf Course for receiving the Proudly We Hail Award; we appreciate their involvement in this community as they both proudly display our nation’s flag.
- William Kannan and Matthew Morel, of Methuen Police Department, and Michael Foley and John Hoehn, of Methuen Fire Department for receiving Police Officer(s) and Firefighter(s) of the Year; Please keep up your outstanding commitment to protecting and serving the people of Methuen as members of the Methuen Police and Fire Departments.
Thank you all for your continued efforts in Methuen, you all are true heroes!
Also a special thanks to the Exchange Club for all of the great work you do. The Methuen Exchange Club is an important community organization that promotes and honors national service and our veterans, fights to prevent child abuse, helps out individuals and supports our seniors. The Exchange Club is always looking for new members!
Design work for Methuen Rail Trail moves forward
This is a very exciting milestone for our rail trail. I want to thank my colleagues in the Legislature and Governor Baker for their support for this project. The members of the Methuen Rail trail Alliance have been instrumental in obtaining appropriations and State support for this project—Thank you!!
The Methuen Rail Trail passes right through our downtown,through a beautiful natural area, and by the MSPCA to points North. It will also bring a safe and easy way to access our downtown as we bring in more attention and development to our downtown area.
Thank you to Councilors Jennifer Kannan and Lynn Vidler and the City of Methuen for recognizing Jimmy Pedro for his Olympic achievements, his Olympic coaching accomplishments, and inspiring the youth of our community to find their passion and work as a hard as it takes to achieve their goals.
The Brick Ceremony at Nicholson Stadium
The Brick Ceremony at Nicholson Stadium really highlighted the renovations at Nicholson Stadium and the outstanding team effort by donors and supporters of this important project! You can still support the Nicholson Stadium project by purchasing a brick by Thursday November 24th at www.bricksrus.com/order/maic.
Thank you to the Methuen Exchange Club
Thank you to the Methuen Exchange Club for hosting the Children of St. Anne's at the Arthur B Hutton Memorial Mini Golf Tournament. Thank you Jay Gee's for the outstanding the ice cream sundaes. This event is such a fitting tribute to Susan and Arthur!
I want to extend a HUGE THANK YOU to Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Chairman Brian Dempsey and Secretaries Jay Ash, Jim Peyser, and Ronald Walker II as well as Mayor Fiorentini, Superintendent Scully, Principal Beth Kitsos, and members of the Haverhill City Council and School Committee for their involvement in the Workforce Skills Capital grant.
This state grant is providing an opportunity for high school students to expand their knowledge and vocational skills which opens many doors to careers in STEM: science, technology, engineering, and math. The exceptional tour at the school gave us a better understanding on how the grant is being used. We were able to see the new health care facility, computer lab, Haverhill Bank, as well as new equipment such as 3D printers and advanced level robotics kits. This is an exciting opportunity for the high school students of Haverhill High School!!! Congrats to all!
‘Shake those fish out’: Tally hits 66 as Clean River Project pulls 3 more cars from river; 10 more to come
“Congratulations to Rocky Morrison and the Clean River Project to hauling out car #66 from the Merrimack River. The outstanding efforts of Rocky and his team have collectively pulled out 400 tons of debris from the Merrimack. Their efforts have not only improved our environment and made our river cleaner, but can help public safety professionals track down stolen cars that have made their way into the Merrimack River.”
Ice cream social WAS a lot of fun for delegation. Thanks to Sen Ives and Methuen Seniors!
Methuen Public Safety Officers
It was an honor to stand with Methuen Public Safety Officers this weekend to honor those whose bravery on 9/11 gave us so much strength and courage. We will never forget. We are so grateful to our Firefighters who provided all of us with the opportunity to say thank you to those courageous Americans and their families and friends.
Methuen Rotary Project
Methuen Rotary Project to Reach a Series of Milestones Beginning
in July New I-93 Northbound On-Ramp Opens Sat., July 30
MassDOT’s Methuen Rotary Interchange Reconstruction Project reaches a major milestone on Saturday, July 30, when the first new ramp of the reconstructed interchange opens to traffic. The new I-93 northbound on-ramp is located approximately 400 feet east of the current ramp. A new signal will be installed to allow traffic from the west on Route 110/113 to safely turn left to the on-ramps.
New Traffic Patterns to I-93 Northbound On-Ramp Effective July 30:
From the east: Motorists enter new on-ramp 400 feet east of current on-ramp.
From the west: Motorists exit Rotary and travel east 400 feet to new signalized intersection. Turn left to new on-ramp.
Opening the new on-ramp is the first of several significant traffic changes that will begin in July as MassDOT’s contractor, E. T. & L. Corp., begins work on Stage 3A of the project. Stage 3A is the stage that will replace the existing Rotary with a new Route 110/113 and begin demolition of the existing Rotary bridges. Noise barrier construction and associated landscaping will also be complete in July. The project is on schedule to meet the spring 2018 completion date.
When possible, ramp openings are scheduled for weekends when traffic volumes are lower to ease the transition from old to new traffic patterns. Variable Message Signs will be positioned on Route 110 and Route 113 east and west of the interchange to alert drivers to the new on-ramp.
The map is available on the project website. Please visit the website here to sign up for e-mail advisories or contact the project team with questions and concerns.
Greg DeBrocke Scholarship
Jack McLeod as MC, beautifully explained how much the Greg DeBrocke Scholarship meant to members of the DeBrocke Family and Exchange.
Greg, a long and very active member of Exchange, served as an Army captain during the Vietnam War. With his passing, his family established a scholarship for Exchange that required outstanding character, academic achievement, and a commitment to future military service.
Jarrel Gary of Methuen High School and a member of the Methuen ROTC program more than met those requirements. He is off to Norwich to prepare for service with the Army. Here with two Army vets to thank him for future service.
Methuen Exchange Club Awards
Congratulations to the Methuen Exchange Club for a heartfelt evening of recognition for Tom Gradzewicz and Scholarship recipients. Tom, and Fran, have been so generous in sharing their time and talent not only with those at the Methuen Activity Center, but also with Methuen Television. Tom and Fran - you enrich our lives beyond measure!
THANK YOU FAMILY and FRIENDS!
Team Campbell had a great start to CAMPAIGN 2016 at the Methuen Democratic Breakfast! Our tables were sold out – our energy was the envy of the room and our opponent did not show up!!!! THANK YOU for your support.
Unofficial Methuen Democratic Committee straw poll results were 188 for team Campbell and 6 for Christopher Katsoulis
Also – it was a privilege to honor members of the Islamic Mosque here in Methuen who contribute so much to our Methuen Community.
The Methuen Democratic Committee put on a great breakfast at a sold-out event! Thank you to all!
Congratulations to Methuen Public Schools and the City of Methuen for their excellent health and wellness event at Methuen High School. Now, an annual initiative led by Jeff Osgood, the Health and Wellness Supervisor for Methuen Public Schools, the event featured experts in the areas of health, exercise, nutrition and recreation from Methuen and local communities. Time well spent for our residents and students.
Today was a great day for the City of Methuen as I joined my colleagues in State and City government to open our City’s recently completed boat ramp. It is a great asset for local residents and will allow us access to one of the most beautiful rivers in the NorthEast. I am thankful to my colleagues who remained committed to this project over a period of many years. Large and small boats can be launched and there is parking available for 19 vehicles with trailers.
It was a day for great celebration as President Denis Granbois of St Ann’s Home & School accepted a most incredible donation from Jack and Marci Williams that establishes a small inpatient psychiatric treatment facility for children that was very much needed in our region. The staff at Saint Ann’s Home and School in Methuen provides residential foster care and educational services to over 140 children with psychiatric or behavioral challenges. Saint Ann’s most outstanding and compassionate staff makes it better for these children each and every day. Thank you to all who work with them and support them.
26th Annual Credit Union Student Essay Contest
Really enjoyed getting to present Kerri Horan with a citation for her award winning essay. Kerri was a finalist winner of the 26th Annual Credit Union Student Essay Contest for her outstanding essay about how our community came together to support the Nicholson Stadium Project. She's only in eighth grade but I know she has a bright future and is a testament to the outstanding teaching at the Marsh Grammar School, Methuen Public Schools and her mom Cheryl Chaille Horan!
Congrats to Perfect Dental!
Congrats to Perfect Dental located in our new shopping plaza on RT. 28 - a plaza offering food,and other shopping opportunities within walking
distance for many neighbors.
Vietnam Memorial Concert
It was a great concert last night in support of the Veterans Vietnam Memorial! With a warm and welcoming set, great music, a great band, the music from the 60’s, 70’s and today got many of us singing along. It was truly an uplifting evening!
Thanks to the Vietnam Memorial Committee who 25 years ago brought a memorial to the Merrimack Valley to honor those who gave their lives for their country in Vietnam. Thanks to these musicians who brought us together in support of this memorial- Al and Loren Gagnon, Ed Murphy, Tom Everson, Ed and John Hays, and of course, Hoppy. You rock!
Relay for Life
Congratulations participants, Volunteers, students, and teachers and school leaders for a very inspirational Relay for Life. The fact that students take the lead on this event says so much about our awesome school system, our teachers and school leaders and our Methuen Community!
With some former fellow paratroopers who come to this ceremony each and every year. Thank you! Your presence means a lot to the students!
This past Friday was a testimony to the strength and great spirit of ROTC-Methuen! Methuen students are clearly fired –up about this program.
As an Army officer commissioned through Army ROTC at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, it is always an honor and very inspiring to be invited to participate in this annual Methuen-ROTC assembly. Under the outstanding leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Stansbury and First Sergeant Cebula, Methuen’s ROTC program continues to grow every year.
At this annual event, Cadets are honored for their year–long achievements and new cadet leadership is formally appointed in a change of command ceremony for next year. It was also a bittersweet day as First Sergeant Gary Cebula will be retiring next December and this was his last ceremony. The respect, admiration and love that the students have for him was obvious throughout the day.
Congratulating Cadets Patel, Evans, Rivera, Heffernan, Frachette
Methuen Softball & Baseball
In spite of this weather this week we were able to get a fun start to Methuen Softball and Baseball! Thank you league leaders for countless off -season hours of preparation. Thank you coaches and volunteers. Methuen Girl’s and Boy’s High School Teams were present in large – and were a great inspiration to our young players. Thank you Connie Doto for your involvement and your scholarship program!!!
Methuen receives $1.65 million for rail trail improvements
Kinder Morgan has suspended plans for it’s North East Energy Direct pipeline. As many of you know, this pipeline was set to have many detrimental impacts on our communities in the Merrimack Valley.
In the final analysis, Kinder Morgan could not quantify the need for additional capacity, or convince state leaders and the public that there was in fact such a need.
In Methuen, safety concerns were paramount. This pipeline is very dangerously close to homes, (within a few yards in some cases) and it transverses neighborhoods and driveways and through many wetlands. Residents have legitimate concerns regarding investments in mature landscaping that will be removed by this expansion, particularly, mature trees that add considerably to their property value.
I am so grateful for the tremendous commitment and advocacy from members of the community, Attorney General Maura Healey, State Senator Kathleen O'Connor Ives, Senator Barbara L'Italien, Representative Gary, the group Methuen Pipeline Awareness, and Methuen’s Jean Theberge, who made a major personal commitment of time and energy to research the facts regarding this proposed expansion.
We still are unsure of what the final result will be of this announcement, but it demonstrates how much we can accomplish when we work together for the right cause.
It was a time for thanks and gratitude today as we acknowledged the great work of individuals and organizations fighting to reduce child abuse in the Merrimack Valley – the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, the Merrimack Valley Exchange Clubs, the Y’s, many Attorneys and Judges like Judge Newman of the Juvenile Court and Attorney Linda Harvey, and many more individuals and organizations. It was most fitting that we gathered today at the Methuen YMCA where Anne Whalen and her team welcomed all and have done great work to prevent child abuse.
It was especially joyful to present Attorney Harvey with citations from the House and Senate with my colleagues to honor her life-long commitment to protect and promote the well being of children. Her citation from the House read: Be it hereby known to all that The Massachusetts House of Representatives offers it's sincerest congratulations to Linda Harvey in recognition of your personal commitment to children in need and for "raising the bar for what kids can accomplish" given the opportunity.
Thank you to all who came out to my ice cream social at the Methuen Senior Center! We all enjoyed music, dancing, and delicious ice cream sundaes, some even came back for seconds! A big thank you to DJ Dick Aresenault, my volunteers, Norman, Lorraine, and my Mom, and especially to all of the staff at the Senior Center for hosting the event and for all of your hard work! It brought a big smile to my face to see so many seniors up and dancing and having good old fashioned fun!
Thank you to all the Restaurants in Methuen who participated in a very successful Restaurant Week! Thanks to the effort by the Mayor's Office the participation continues to grow! Here with Mayor Zanni, Fireside owner Tom Swerchesky, and Vice President of Align Credit Union.
I was truly honored to be invited to speak at the American Legion Auxiliary luncheon this past weekend about my experiences in the Military and bring attention to some of the work being done by American Legion Auxilary. This organization is one of the most significant groups in the country to serve our veterans, and they operate on a completely volunteer basis, which is truly remarkable. I applaud their efforts to connect Veterans to the necessary services they need, but also for creating a sense of family and community for Veterans right here in Methuen and throughout Massachusetts. I commend the leadership of National President Conaster and her commitment to assisting our growing Veteran population. It was a privilege to host her in Methuen!
A huge thank you and congratulations to Donna Blattenberger our Merrimack Valley American Legion Aux representative at this meeting. Not only did she do a great job organizing and hosting such a fantastic event, she has served our Veterans for so many years with such grace and enthusiasm.
I was so glad to welcome Methuen and Haverhill students, Ryan Hamilton, Nyomi White, and Madeline Coady, to the State House Friday for the 69th Annual Massachusetts Student Government Day. I applaud these students for their involvement in student government, and for their interest in civic engagement and the political process.
Really enjoyed celebrating St. Patrick's day
with Methuen's seniors and the wonderful folks who dedicate their time and efforts at Methuen's Senior Center!
Congratulations to the City of Lawrence and organizers for a wonderful St Pat’s Day Parade! Thank you Congresswoman Tsongas for always participating!
Stadium clubhouse ready for spring sports
Yesterday we celebrated in Methuen as we officially opened the new clubhouse at Nicholson Stadium! It was very rewarding to see the great facilities for our young athletes. I was thankful to have the opportunity to thank our Mayor and City Council, our school administrators and teachers, Steve Saba and members of the Methuen Athletic Improvement Committee, and most importantly the citizens of Methuen who made a personal commitment to this project. This project brought our community together in a great way that will remain with us for a long time.
I am especially thankful to my colleagues in the Legislature, especially members of our delegation, who helped to secure state funding for this project.
Here's my quote from today's article in The Eagle Tribune:
"We needed this," said State Rep. Linda Dean Campbell. "I know for a fact that women athletes here had to change in their cars, or even sometimes in bushes, and that's just wrong. As a female athlete in high school and college, Amen to this."
So grateful today to be able to stand with Speaker DeLeo, Chairman Dempsey, Chairwoman Malia, Governor Baker, many of my colleagues, law enforcement and many families who have been affected by the opioid epidemic, to sign into law a bill that is comprehensive in addressing the opioid crisis. I was thankful that an amendment I filed was part of the legislation which requires more coordination between emergency room physicians and primary care physicians.
This is clearly only one more step in what will be a never-ending commitment for the legislature as we continue to address this tragedy. As I mentioned in the Eagle Tribune, it will required that government and society pull all levers indefinitely – suppression, education, intervention, and treatment.
My office gave an informational briefing at the Methuen Senior Center on the Senior “Circuit Breaker” Tax Credit. This tax credit, which was initiated by the legislature in 2001, is a refundable credit on income tax for some of the property tax paid on a Massachusetts Property. Our senior population already faces financial burdens, in addition to the burden of local property taxes. This tax credit offers some relief to those who are eligible. If any seniors have questions about this tax credit, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office @ 617-722-2430.
It's always fantastic to see young people enthusiastic and involved with government. Yesterday high school students from around the Commonwealth, including two students from Methuen, came to the State House for Massachusetts Youth and Government Day for a model legislature conference. I applaud Methuen students Jennifer Sok and Mildred Reyes hard work and interest in the political process that brought them to Beacon Hill!
It was a privilege to be with Firefighters from all over Massachusetts, and especially with Methuen’s Firefighters at their recent annual Legislative gathering. Thank you for all you do each and every day to protect us – and for your participation and contribution to so many community service programs in Methuen!
Press Release March 8th, 2016
Ways and Means Committee Hearing brings Statewide focus to Methuen and the Merrimack Valley
Project Update: March 2016
METHUEN – INTERCHANGE RECONSTRUCTION ON INTERSTATE 93 AT ROUTES 110 AND 113, METHUEN ROTARY
During the month of March, the following activities will continue on the I-93 at Routes 110 and 113 Interchange Reconstruction – Methuen Rotary project:
- Install catch basins, manholes and pipe at the existing and new ramps at I-93 north and southbound
- Relocate and replace utilities within the existing rotary
- Work on utilities on Routes 110 and 113 east and west of the rotary
- Install foundations for overhead sign supports
- Install foundations for traffic signal mast arms
- Form concrete deck for the west sections of the I-93 bridge over the relocated Route 110/113
- For daytime work on I-93 – 5:30 am to 5:30 pm
- For nighttime work on I-93 – 8:00 pm to 5:00 am
- For daytime work on local roads – 7:00 am to 3:30 pm
Expected Lane Closures:
- Single lane on I-93 northbound from 5:30 am to 2:00 pm
- Single lane on I-93 southbound from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
- Double lane on I-93 southbound from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am
- Single lane on local roads from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
DRACUT PIPELINE AWARENESS MEETING
When: Next Monday, March 7, 2015 @ 7:00 PM
Where: Dracut American Legion, 574 Broadway Road (Rt. 113), Dracut, MA 01826
Special Guest Speaker: State Director of Toxics Action (Claire Miller) on responding to the DPU and the Proposed "pipeline tax"
*** Preparing for public hearings to be held on Thursday, March 10
*** New Maps showing KM's proposed Route in Dracut
*** Updated information on FERC intervention
Read Across America
Read Across America is an annual event that I truly look forward to each year. This year I was at the Marsh school in Methuen. It is amazing how much you can learn from children in a very short period of time! This year our book generated a great discussion about bats, friendship and family. Looking forward to next year!
Congratulations to the elected leaders of Haverhill on electing to join the Compact. The legislature secured significant funds for this program, including over $2 million to support Community Compact grants. In it's essence, the Community Compact initiative demonstrates the importance of state and local partnerships and how it is a top priority in the legislature to support those partnerships.
American Heart Association’s Annual Awareness Campaign
This past week – many of my colleagues “Dressed in Red” to support the American Heart Association’s annual awareness campaign to highlight that one in three deaths among women each year are from stroke or cardiac events. The good news for all of us guys and gals is that 80% of cardiac and strokes can be prevented! Get to work everybody!!!
Notice: The Methuen Exchange Club is proud to be offering the following 5 scholarships:
Student of the Year: 3 Scholarships @ $1,000/each. Based on grades, and community involvement.
Arthur Hutton Memorial Scholarship: 1 Scholarship @ $1,000. Focused on applicants continuing their education in the engineering/construction field and must have participated in sports while attending high school.
Gregory Dubrocke Memorial Scholarship: 1 Scholarship @ $1,000. Applicants must have been deeply involved with community service, been in Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) and continuing in the U.S. Military.
Please see actual applications for complete eligibility and judging requirements.
All public and private high school seniors who are legal residents of Methuen and will be attending a college are eligible.
Scholarship applications have been forwarded to all local public and private school guidance departments.
Please feel free to contact Gregory Doyle, Scholarship Chairman, directly with any questions. work: 978-688-4099
Thank you to the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce for a very worthwhile program featuring an update from our Congresswoman- Niki Tsongas. As always, Congresswoman Tsongas provided all of us with important and timely information regarding Congressional action to promote economic development and business growth in the Commonwealth and the Merrimack Valley. Here we are discussing the importance contracts recently awarded to Lincoln Labs affiliated with Hanscom AFB and MIT. These large government contracts for research on high level security national defense systems are critical to maintaining the continuation of Hanscom AFB and contribute in a major way to our national security.
Congresswoman Tsongas also provided an excellent briefing on her recent trip to Japan that highlighted the important trade relationships that exist between Japan and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Thank you Congresswoman for the numerous and constant opportunities you provide to meet with your constituents.
With my colleagues at the Essex County Correctional Facility in Middleton MA - where we were provided an excellent briefing by Sheriff Cousins and his team on the promising program of pretrial treatment for non-felon and non- violent offenders suffering from substance abuse. These offenders are screened and agree to faithfully participate in a 28 day program of detox and comprehensive treatment in lieu of incarceration before returning in front of a Judge for sentencing. This program – initiated by Sheriff Cousins and his team - is being followed by the Legislature as a way to keep those suffering from substance abuse, and in crisis, out of jail and helping them to avoid relapsing and reentering the criminal justice system. It is both a compassionate and cost-saving initiative.
There is always strong support in the Legislature for the funding of Shannon Grants because they work. Congratulations to the cities of Methuen and Haverhill for receiving these grants in a very competitive process. The partnership between Methuen and Haverhill working with youth to combat gang violence has been very fruitful in the past. These grants divert our youth from jail and provides opportunities for them to pursue a path towards productive citizenship.
Congratulations to all at the Methuen YMCA, Director Ann Whalen and all Board members on the success of their incredible Music Clubhouse! This past Thursday, Ernie Boch Jr. joined us at the YMCA Music Clubhouse to present the Methuen YMCA a $10,000 grant from his Music Drives Us campaign and he even joined in with the children to perform a song! It was truly heartwarming to see the joy of these talented children while they sang and played their instruments. Thank you to Ernie Boch Jr. and all that work to support the Music Clubhouse. These funds are truly essential to the continuation of music instruction and performance at the Methuen YMCA.
It was a privilege to meet the new Chief of Staff for the MA National Guard, Lieutenant Colonel (Promotable) Christine Hoffman. Members of the Public Safety and Veterans committees received an excellent briefing on the capabilities, and the increasingly complex and expanded mission of the Guard. As we continue a draw down of our active duty military forces, the role of the Guard will increase in importance. I am thankful for their service.
Signature of Unity: Four Communities Join Compact
The Governor and Lieutenant Governor have showed tremendous willingness to partner with local cities and towns, and it's been a game changer for these communities. This Community Compact provides real support to Methuen and the rest of the communities who were there, in terms of assets and grant. We were so thankful for LTG Polito’s visit to Methuen on Thursday to officially welcome several communities including Methuen into the Massachusetts Community Compact. The signing of this compact demonstrates the commitment from Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito to working with State and local leaders to build upon this productive and dynamic partnership.