Thursday, December 29, 2011

Representatives Jones and Hill Make Media Appearance

In case you missed it, House Minority Leader Brad Jones (R-North Reading) and Representative Brad Hill (R-Ipswich) appeared in a story featured on NewsCenter5 last night.

Last week, members of the House Republican caucus submitted a letter to the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) regarding the public utilities’ response to the October 2011 snow storm. Representatives Jones and Hill weighed in on the letter and where the public utility companies and the DPU should go from here.

Click here to view the video in its entirety.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

House Republicans Issue Letter Regarding October Snow Storm Response

Led by House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading), members of the House Republican caucus have submitted a letter to Ann Berwick, Chair of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU), as part of their ongoing effort to hold public utility companies accountable for their response to the October 2011 snowstorm.

The letter, which was submitted during the public comment phase of the DPU’s investigation into the utility companies’ storm response protocol, emphasizes that the “extended power outages not only created a significant risk to public safety but also inflicted substantial financial loss on residents and businesses in the Commonwealth.” The letter goes on to say, “While we recognize that both Tropical Storm Irene and the October snowstorm caused significant damage to utilities’ infrastructure within the short period of two months, in some circumstances, we believe the damage could have been prevented by adequate routine maintenance and mitigated by ample storm preparedness.”

With over 800,000 residents left without power for varying periods of time, the letter calls into question three areas of concern: preventative arbor maintenance by public utility companies; marginal preparedness for catastrophic events with a high regional impact; and the utility companies' struggle to relay information in a time sensitive manner.

“Public utility companies should be held accountable for reliable electric service and timely customer support,” said Representative Jones. “Although the magnitude and scope of Tropical Storm Irene and the October Nor’easter were larger than usual, the disorganization that followed these storms was unacceptable and we must take the necessary steps to ensure that this cannot and will not happen again.”

The Republican caucus proposes requiring utility companies to invest not only in technology better suited to taking precise readings of system-wide damage, but also broadening forms of communication between customers and service providers.

Having completed the public comment phase of their investigation, the DPU will deliberate as to whether or not the utility companies complied with DPU regulations and fully implemented their Emergency Response Plans.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

From all of us here at The Capitol View, we'd like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas. We'd also like to extend our thoughts and prayers to all of our service men and women serving at home and abroad who will not have the opportunity to celebrate with their loved ones.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Hanukkah!

From all of us here at The Capitol View, we wish you and your family a very Happy Hanukkah! We'd also like to extend our thoughts and prayers to all of our service men and women serving at home and abroad who will not have the opportunity to celebrate with their loved ones.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Representative Bastien Appears on the Jeff Katz Show

In case you missed it, Representative Richard Bastien appeared on the Jeff Katz Show this morning. Representative Bastien joined host Jeff Katz to discuss legislation which, when signed into law, will allow liquor stores to open on December 26th. Current law requires liquor stores to remain closed on Monday when Christmas falls on a Sunday, as it does this year.

Click here to listen to the segment in its entirety.

Representative O’Connell Appears on the FOX-25 Morning News

In case you missed it, Representative Shaunna O’Connell made an appearance on the FOX-25 Morning News last week. As you may have heard, the Boston Herald reported last week that individuals in Lynn were misusing their taxpayer-funded EBT cards by allegedly purchasing illegal drugs. Representative O’Connell, who has filed legislation that would form a commission to review how best to combat the ongoing abuse of EBT cards in the Commonwealth, joined Kim Carrigan to discuss the alleged abuses and her legislation.

To view the entire segment play the video posted below.

Welfare Fraud: Stopping the Abuse :

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Representative O’Connell Makes Media Appearances

In case you missed it, Representative Shaunna O’Connell recently made numerous media appearances to discuss recent allegations of the misuse of EBT cards.

Yesterday, Representative O’Connell was a guest on Broadside with Jim Braude where she joined guest-host Joe Battenfeld to discuss reports in the Boston Herald that individuals in Lynn were misusing their taxpayer-funded EBT cards by allegedly purchasing illegal drugs. To view the entire segment play the video posted below.

Representative O’Connell was also a guest on the Howie Carr show to talk about legislation she has filed that would form a commission to review how best to combat the ongoing abuse of EBT cards in the Commonwealth. Click here to listen the interview in its entirety.

This morning, Representative O’Connell was on-air with Jeff Katz on Talk 1200. Click here to listen to the segment in its entirety.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Glass Half Full…

In case you missed it, the Consensus Revenue Estimate Hearing was held yesterday at the State House. In what many people could have easily predicted, Massachusetts’ recovery from the ongoing economic downturn is going nowhere fast.

According to Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter, “although job growth in Massachusetts will exceed the national rate, slowing job growth adds to a litany of economic headwinds facing Governor Deval Patrick and legislative leaders.”

It is becoming more apparent that we as a state are going to have to live within our means for the foreseeable future. As opposed to seeing the economic outlook for the Bay State as the glass being half empty, we must see the glass as half full.

Now more than ever the Legislature needs to tighten its budgetary belt and make sound economic investments and stabilize the jobs market in an otherwise tumultuous economic period. Gone must be the days of reckless and misguided spending. What is needed however is a shift in the paradigm of the state government. A proactive approach to job creation, state savings and other cost-cutting measures is what will help Massachusetts emerge stronger than ever.

It is the intention of the House Republican Caucus to “practice what we preach” and propose a targeted jobs plan aimed at not only returning residents of the Commonwealth to work, but reaffirming Massachusetts as a desirable place to live and work.

Happy 375th Anniversary National Guard!

Today marks the 375th anniversary of the National Guard. We’d like to take a moment here at The Capitol View to say thank you to all of our National Guard members. Your service to our country and the great sacrifices you make is a great source of pride for all.

With origins tracing back to Salem, Massachusetts, the National Guard is the oldest component of the Armed Forces of the United States. According to their website, “the National Guard still consists of Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen providing protection from natural disaster, training regularly to uphold high standards of readiness, and also deploying to far-away countries to protect the United States’ national interests abroad. Although the country’s growth and expansion has made it a large military force around the world, the National Guard still remains a community cornerstone – just as it did when it was given birth on December 13, 1636.”

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

“A Date Which Will Live in Infamy”

Seventy years ago today, the American Army and Navy base in Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Imperial Japanese Navy. More than 2,000 Americans were killed and another 1,000 were injured. Today, on December 7th, we remember and honor those military men and women who lost their lives on that Sunday morning many years ago.

On this Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, all of us here at The Capitol View want to offer our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. We thank you and we continue to honor you.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It’s Never too Early to be Prepared for Winter!

Winter may not officially begin until December 21st, but now is a great time to prepare yourself, your home and your pets for the colder weather that we’re already feeling here in Massachusetts. There are a number of things you can do to winterize your home as well as precautions you can take when heading out on the roadways or even out for a walk with your dog! Below are some common sense tips compiled from various organizations including the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, the State of Massachusetts Animal Response Team and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

Winterize your Home

Individual and family needs are of the utmost importance when determining the level of winterization you’d like to achieve in your home. However, there are a few basic ideas that will not only help keep in the heat, but will also save you a few dollars on your heating expenses:

1. Be sure to clean and replace filters on furnace once a month or as needed to permit better air flow through the house.
2. Caulk or weather-strip your windows and doors to prevent heat loss.
3. Make sure warm-air registers are not blocked by furniture, carpeting or drapes.
4. Insulate your attic, walls, basement and crawl space. Install storm windows and doors to help keep out drafts.
5. Clean warm-air registers, baseboards heaters, and radiators.
6. Keep the damper closed when your fireplace is not in use to keep warm air in.

These are just a half dozen ideas that will help you keep your home safe and warm during the winter months. For more ideas, you can check out MEMA’s web page by visiting

Keeping your Pets Safe

When you head out the door during the winter months, you put on a coat, some gloves and possibly a hat. Those are the precautions you take to protect yourself from the bitter cold, but one must also take the necessary steps to keep your pets safe as well! We are not saying you have to put a hat or mittens on your 60 pound golden retriever, but remain aware that your pet needs to be protected too:

1. Do not leave your pet outdoors when temperatures drop below freezing.
2. Dogs need outdoor exercise, but take care not to keep them outdoors for lengthy periods of time during very cold weather.
3. Care for your pet’s feet. If your pet walks on salted or chemically treated areas, be sure to wash its paws after your walk. Gently rub the bottom of the feet to remove these irritants as soon as your dog is off the road.
4. Locked cars are a danger is the winter. Never leave a pet locked inside a car during extremely cold weather. Cars can actually act like a refrigerator, holding in cold air, putting your pet at risk.
5. Parked vehicles can attract small animals, which may crawl under the hood seeking warmth. To avoid injuring hiding animals, bang on your car’s hood to scare them off before starting your engine.
6. Be mindful of frozen bodies of water. Always keep your pets on a leash! If a pet falls through the ice, do not attempt to rescue your pet yourself; call 9-1-1 or go for help.
7. Antifreeze and de-icing chemicals can be hazardous. Antifreeze has a sweet taste that can attract animals. Always store antifreeze out of reach and clean up spills.

For additional information about keeping your pets safe, go to the State of Massachusetts Animal Response Team (SMART) website at

Safe Winter Driving

Navigating the roadways during the winter, especially during the holidays, can be tricky to say the least. With the increased traffic and slick roads, you must remain cautious and use common sense while traveling.

1. Motorists should check all fluids, make sure their radiator is winterized, maintain a gas tank above half-full and keep windshield washing fluid on hand.
2. A winter survival kit should always be on hand and include an ice scraper and shovel, flashlight, jumper cables and flares.
3. Use the brake and gas pedal lightly when driving in icy conditions and watch for bridges, which freeze before roadways.
4. Do not use cruise control in icy conditions.
5. Clear frost from windows and mirrors and all snow from roof and hood of car.
6. Remember that the road in front of the plow is usually in much worse condition than the roadway behind the plow. It is recommended to stay a safe distance behind snowplows.
7. In wintry weather, motorists should drive with headlights on.
8. Keep a safe distance between vehicles as cars tend to skid on icy roads.

More information on winter driving is available at the MassDOT website.

It is the hope of The Capitol View that the information and phone numbers provided above are of value and assistance to you. We hope you all have a safe winter season.