I hope everyone has been doing well as we reach the middle of August. July was more like April, with all the rain. I know you do not want to hear this, but soon school will be starting back up. I hope you get the chance to enjoy the last month of summer before fall begins on Sept. 22.
On July 28 I met in a formal House session to take up the governor’s vetoes and amendments for the FY22 budget. One of the amendments was to reinstate the charitable tax deduction that the voters of Massachusetts passed by a 2-1 margin on a ballot question in November of 2000. I supported it, but unfortunately it failed to pass the House. During these past few weeks, I also attended another Interagency PFAS Task Force Meeting. We heard from several experts and Congresswoman Lori Trahan of the Massachusetts 3rd Congressional District. Trahan briefed us on PFAS legislation in the U.S. Congress.
Meetings are slowing down for the month of August, when a lot of families take vacations prior to school starting back up. I did have meetings with the Northeast Hearth Patio and Barbecue Association. We discussed some concerns of fireplace business owners, since gas and wood stoves could have some issues going forward as the new climate laws take effect over the next number of years. I also met with Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education. We discussed some current bills in the Legislature and a variety of education issues and concerns.
At the end of July, Ethan and I had a great meeting with Hope Tremblay and the new editor of The Westfield News, Michael Ballway. He comes in with a lot of experience and I am sure he will do great things for the paper. I visited Southampton Road Elementary School with my wife and son (Serena and Riley) to meet the new principal, Mary Cieplik. I wish her the best of luck in her new position and Riley is looking forward to fourth grade.
The Dunkin’ on Main Street, the oldest one in Westfield, recently had its grand reopening after its renovation. Congratulations to the Sardinha Family. It’s good to see a drive-through and a new sleek design. It was also great to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Fly Lugu, a flight school at Barnes Airport. Owners Fredrika and Joe Ballard and their team are doing a great job. Also, best of luck to owner Kathleen Farris of The Inner Stillness, a counseling and healing arts practice located in the Hampden Ponds Plaza. This Saturday, I will attend another ribbon-cutting ceremony for Tiny Toes Learning Center on Mainline Drive. I look forward to meeting the owners, Fran and Laura Hastings, and seeing their new place. Coming out of the pandemic, it’s great to see so many new businesses opening in Westfield.
Last Tuesday, my son, Riley, and I went to the Starfires game for Irish night. It was a great game, and Riley had a fun time hanging out with some friends. Those young men play some really good ball and if you have not had the chance, I would encourage you to go see this quality baseball team right here in our city.
My oldest son Christopher, who is in the Air Force, had a one-day layover in Baltimore while changing duty stations from Japan to Germany. I took the opportunity to drive down and spend the day with him before his 30th birthday. We had a great time hanging out for the day before he flew out. Best of luck to him in his new assignment. He arrived safely in Germany on Aug. 13, the day of his birthday!
We continue to help constituents with various issues. If you are having problems contacting or getting an answer from departments or agencies within the commonwealth, please reach out to us and we will help to the best of our abilities to get a resolution.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Ethan or I at [email protected] or [email protected], or by calling our office at 413-875-8787. We are located at 94 N. Elm St., Suite 301N, in the Westwood Building.
State Representative Kelly Pease