Walpole’s Marianna McCallum Named Miss Massachusetts Princess

Boston- East Walpole’s Miss Marianna McCallum recently visited the State House to be acknowledged for being named Miss Massachusetts Princess. There she was introduced to a full formal session of the Massachusetts House of Representatives as the guest of Representatives John H. Rogers, Paul McMurtry and Lou Kafka. She also toured the State Senate with Walpole’s Senator Jim Timilty. The Miss Massachusetts Princess Pageant is part of the National American Miss pageants and is open to young girls ages 4,5 and 6. She was accompanied by her parents Tanya and David McCallum.

Photo Caption Marianna McCallum Photo: Representative Paul McMurtry, Representative Lou Kafka, Senator Jim Timilty, Miss Marianna McCallum, Representative John Rogers, David McCallum, Tanya McCallum.

Walpole’s Jean Augusta Named Unsung Heroine

Boston- The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women held their Thirteenth Annual Unsung Heroines of Massachusetts event at the Massachusetts State House Great Hall of Flags last Wednesday. Mrs. Jean L. Augusta, of Walpole was among those recognized from across the Commonwealth. They were nominated by Representative Louis L. Kafka (D- Stoughton) and Representative John H. Rogers (D-Norwood), because of the service she has given the community of Walpole.

Jean has been the Scoutmaster of Walpole’s Boy Scout Troop 44 since 2003. In that time she has guided 36 young men to the rank of Eagle Scout. The community benefits greatly from her presence, as she builds up its future leaders. and provides countless hours of service to the town. In addition to her work in Walpole she also volunteers with the Boy Scouts of America, Old Colony Council (OCC), which comprises 41 municipalities in the Commonwealth. Jean serves as the nurse at Camp Squanto in Plymouth, Ma and on the medical staff at district camporees. She is an advisor for the OCC’s National Youth Leadership Training and has traveled to many national events including the National Jamboree and the National Order of the Arrow Conference, in order to provide scouts in the OCC with the opportunity to take part in these life changing events.

Photo Caption: Representative Lou Kafka, Mrs. Jean Augusta and Representative John Rogers

Two Norwood Women Named Unsung Heroines

Boston- The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women held their Thirteenth Annual Unsung Heroines of Massachusetts event at the Massachusetts State House Great Hall of Flags last Wednesday. Two Norwood women, Olga Abdullah and Selectwoman Helen Abdullah Donahue were among those recognized from across the Commonwealth. They were nominated by Representative John H. Rogers (D- Norwood) and Senator Mike Rush (D-West Roxbury), because of the lifetime of service they have both given the community of Norwood.

Olga Abdullah, a leading member of the South Norwood Committee and Chamber of Commerce for many years, was the first woman to serve as Selectman in the town of Norwood. She was instrumental in the preservation of the Morse House and a founding member of the Norwood Circle of Hope.

Helen Abdullah Donahue is a mother, lawyer, and selectman and consummate booster of Norwood especially her ethnically and economically diverse neighborhood of South Norwood. She was the first woman ever elected president of the Norfolk County Bar Association and a founding member of the Friends of Saint Nick

Photo Caption : Senator Mike Rush, Paul Donahue, Selectwoman Abdullah Donahue accepting on behalf of herself and her sister Olga and Representative John H. Rogers

Rogers, Timilty File Utility Ratepayer Protection Bill

Oppose Proposed Access Northeast project

Boston- State Representative John H. Rogers, (D-Norwood), co-filed a bill to protect Walpole ratepayers against unnecessary taxes due to gas pipeline expansion.
The bill, commonly referred to as the Rogers-Timilty bill, is designed to protect utility ratepayers by preventing cost-shifting for new pipeline infrastructure onto them. Representative Walter F. Timilty (D-Milton), Senator James E. Timilty (D-Walpole), and Rogers filed this legislation with their Walpole delegation colleagues Louis L. Kafka (D- Stoughton) and Paul McMurtry (D-Dedham) in response to the proposed Access Northeast project.

The proposed pipeline construction project includes a policy of allowing ratepayer financing of gas pipeline infrastructure. Rogers said he has amassed a broad-based coalition of legislators who are united in their opposition to the proposed Access Northeast project.

“After reviewing the proposal I have grave environmental and safety concerns and overall hold strong reservations about the necessity of the proposed Access Northeast project, which would run through several dense residential neighborhoods in West Walpole and the Town Forest. I also find it unacceptable that capital improvements, which will, undoubtedly, lead to greater profits for the energy companies, are proposed to be financed by imposing upon the ratepayers of Massachusetts and the region an additional charge,” said Rogers. “The funding for capital improvements should be derived from the shareholders and investors, to whom the additional profits will flow. If the demand for natural gas is as high as the energy companies believe it to be, then it should not be difficult for them to finance these systemic upgrades without unjustly burdening ratepayers.”

“I’m proud to be a co-sponsor of this very important legislation. We need to protect the ratepayers of Walpole and the entire region from shifting their capital costs onto the backs of their ratepayers” said Senator Jim Timilty (D – Walpole). “The Senate has recently passed a similar matter as a part of an omnibus energy bill and if that effort is not successful, hopefully this bill will add further protection to all the ratepayers of our communities.”

“While respecting the role that the Division of Public Utilities currently has in this process, I think we need to make it very clear that attempts by private corporations to mitigate financial risks by shifting capital costs on to ratepayers will not be tolerated in Massachusetts,” said state Rep. Louis Kafka, D-Stoughton. “I’m pleased that my colleague Representatives Rogers and Timilty filed this bill and I look forward to supporting it in the House.”

“I am proud to co-sponsor this important piece of legislation” said Representative McMurtry, “which will protect our constituents from incurring both the cost and the risk of new pipeline projects while energy companies collect profit and mitigate their capital output.”

Co-sponsors of the legislation include Rep Bill Galvin; State Rep. Paul McMurtry, D-Dedham; State Rep. Timothy R. Madden, D-Nantucket; State Rep. Timothy J. Toomey, D-Cambridge; State Rep. Mary S. Keefe, D-Worcester; State Rep. Denise Provost, D-Somerville; State Rep. William Smitty Pignatelli, D-Lenox; State Rep. Steven Howitt, R-Seekonk; State Sen. Barbara L’Italien, D-Andover; State Rep. Gailanne M. Cariddi, D-North Adams; State Rep. Elizabeth A. Malia, D-Jamaica Plain; State Rep. James J. Dwyer, D-Woburn; State Rep. Angelo M. Scaccia, D-Readville; and state Rep. Colleen Garry, D-Dracut.

Rogers Co-Files New Anti-Drug Bill.

(BOSTON) – Representative John H. Rogers (D-Walpole) is the principal co-sponsor of a new bill HD 4866 An Act prohibiting the manufacturing of marijuana concentrate in an unregulated environment using an inherently hazardous substance. This bill adds a section to Chapter 94 of the General Laws of the Commonwealth to prohibit “any person who is not licensed Registered Marijuana Dispensary to knowingly manufacture marijuana concentrate using an inherently hazardous substance.”

Chief Carmichael said “there are various methods used to extract THC oils from the marijuana plant in order to produce THC concentrates commonly known as butane honey oil (BHO), wax, shatter, dabs, and budder. Typically, the THC oil extraction process is initiated by introducing dangerous gases during the process including butane or propane, while in an enclosed, unventilated area thereby generating the threat of an explosion. A home, apartment or even vehicle are not safe or conducive to this type of potentially dangerous process and many people have been subjected to these explosions which have caused fires, injured, and killed people. This bill would protect people who do not understand this process including those unwitting neighbors who likely do not know this problem exists.”

In the bill “inherently hazardous substance” is defined as “any liquid chemical, compressed gas, or commercial product that has a flash point at or lower than thirty-eight degrees Celsius or one hundred degrees Fahrenheit, including butane, propane, and diethyl ether and excluding all forms of alcohol and ethanol.” There have been several recent instances of house explosions and fires related to individuals who have been b attempting to make homemade marijuana concentrate.

“Just like with the fentanyl bill passed earlier this session we seek to make another means of concentrating and distributing harmful drugs illegal,” said Rogers, “Marijuana concentrate is a powerful and dangerous substance; dangerous in its production and dangerous in its consumption by our kids. I am proud to work with Walpole’s Chief Carmichael, the Mass Chiefs’ point person on the addiction epidemic, my colleague Rep. Josh Cutler and the Walpole Coalition for Drug and Alcohol Awareness and the Impact Norwood group to prevent addiction in our communities.”

NHS Madrigals Perform at the State House

(BOSTON) – Representative John H. Rogers (D-Norwood) & Senator Mike Rush (D-West Roxbury) were proud to host the Norwood High School Madrigals at their first ever performance at the Massachusetts State House. The group, regionally renowned for their choral renditions of classic songs, were also treated to a tour of the historic building.

Rogers Lowers Taxes, Again.

(BOSTON) –On January 1, the Massachusetts income tax will fall from 5.15% to 5.1% thanks to a law written by Norwood Democrat John H. Rogers. The law requires an income tax rollback of .05 percent when triggered by certain positive economic benchmarks. The last time this occurred was in January of 2015 when the income tax rate was reduced from 5.2 % to 5.15 %.

A gradual reduction in the state income tax was first penned into law in 2000, when Massachusetts voters approved a ballot question to gradually lower the income tax rate from 5.95% to 5%, but in 2002, due to a major recession, the Legislature froze the rate at 5.3%.

“The 9/11 Recession precipitated a $2.5 Billion deficit—the largest, steepest revenue loss in state history,” explains Rogers, the former chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means. “To stabilize the state’s budget and minimize the dramatic impact to education, local aid, public safety, and services for our seniors and veterans, it was imperative to cut $3 Billion in other spending, transfer $2 Billion from the Rainy Day account, and raise $1.2 Billion in revenues.”
“Part of that revenue enhancement package” Rogers said, “was freezing the income tax rollback at 5.3 percent, then rolling the rate back to 5.0% as the economy improves, triggered by indices of economic recovery.”

Rogers’ income tax rollback was passed by the full House and was adopted by the Senate, without amendment, vetoed by Acting Governor Swift, and then overridden by both branches to become law.

“Every time it’s triggered, this law makes good on a promise to voters” said Rogers, further adding “the tax reduction is estimated to save public and private employees who work in Massachusetts roughly $152 Million throughout the New Year”
“ A tax cut for all Massachusetts workers of $152 Million should make for a very Merry Christmas since it is, in effect, a $152 Million pay raise for all of our working families.”

A further income tax rate reduction to 5.05% will go into effect next January as the state’s economy continues to improve.