Clearing the piles off the desk again

Heavy Hundred is an honor that doesn't have to do with weight, thank goodness. Talkers Magazine has named both of the Hahns, my husband Curt and myself, to the list of the 100 most important talk show hosts in America. Thank you, Michael Harrison.

Leaving Kids Alone in a car will be illegal if a bill I'm sponsoring becomes law. Legislation would prohibit leaving kids under 12 in a motor vehicle.

Human Services agencies in the area, the 155 that belong to the Human Services Forum, have 15,613 employees and combined budgets of $373,453,500.

Breaking bumpers took place in the State House last week when the Mass Auto Body Association members showed us what happens when aftermarket parts are used instead of original equipment parts in auto repairs. I want a "real" bumper.

Legislative costs, what it costs to keep the legislature working, is less than one percent of the state budget. Less than a quarter of a percent, in fact. It's $8.10 per capita.

Cranberries are still a main crop in Massachusetts, where some 200 million pounds were harvested last year. In addition to employing more than 5,500 people generating more than $200 million in annual payrolls, the cranberry industry is a major contributor to open space preservation with more than 14,500 acres of bogs and an additional 50,000 acres of wetland support lands.

Major Concerns of the elderly in Massachusetts, according to a recent survey, are loneliness, poor health, lack of transportation, inadequate finances, societal problems, fear of crime.

Dual enrollment is available to top high school students who can attend classes and earn college credits before they graduate from high school. But you have to plan ahead--talk to your guidance counselors now. Because 2,000 students applied for only 900 availabilities this year.

Folding flags is an art, with a precise order of motions. In fact, each fold symbolizes something. Example: the fourth fold represents reliance on God for guidance and strength, the fifth is a tribute to freedom. Some patriotic day I'll go into all of them. After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it looks like a cocked hat, reminding us of the soldiers who first served under General George Washington.

Three women from Massachusetts have served in the U. S. House of Representatives--Margaret Heckler, Louise Day Hicks and Edith Nourse Rogers. But we haven't had a woman there since 1983. Massachusetts has never sent a woman to the U. S. Senate.

Ken Taylor is a great volunteer, and he's helping me with office hours and attending meetings that I can't. He retired from Westfield State College and heads Westfield's Conservation Commission. Thank you, Ken!

Office hours will be 10 a.m. to noon next Friday, March 13th, at the Boys and Girls Club. You're welcome to stop by.

Also next week, we'll hopefully vote on some tax cuts for you. Our nurses have a day in the State House, as do the community development folks, the AAUW. All groups are welcome to reserve space, so if you're looking for a unique meeting place for a program, convention or group, consider your state capitol.

Adoption hearings will be held in Western Mass this month. March 20, at 1 p.m. at Western New England College of Law. If you'd like to testify, please call and let me know. I'm one of three legislators from the area on the committee, and we're trying to figure out how to make our adoption procedures in Massachusetts work better, so we can get kids into safe, permanent homes with a minimum of paperwork and bureaucracy.

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