14 Who Made a Difference in 2014: State Representative George Peterson
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
In a released statement, Peterson said “For over 20 years, Beacon Hill has been my second home. While my heart has always been in Grafton, and with the people of the Ninth Worcester District, my time in Boston has been invaluable. Being a legislator, let alone a Republican lawmaker, can be a test of will and patience. However, I wouldn’t trade my time as a member of the Massachusetts Legislature for anything. My tenure in the House of Representatives has not only allowed me the opportunity to forge relationships with my colleagues in the Legislature, but it has provided me the soap box necessary to help make the Commonwealth a better place to live, work, and raise a family."
In June, Blackstone Valley Tech even had ‘George Peterson Day,’ where students and teachers could honor Peterson.
Peterson served on the Natural Resources & Agriculture Committee, the Rules Committee, and the . Peterson was an active supporter of sportsmen and women and worked tirelessly on legislation that would protect citizens' Second Amendment rights.
Following Peterson's announcement not to run again, MASSGOP Chairman Kirsten Hughes said, "“On behalf of Massachusetts Republicans, I congratulate Representative Peterson for his years of tireless service on behalf of his constituents in the 9th Worcester District and the entire Commonwealth. His is a principled leader whose presence will be missed as he and Diana enjoy a well-deserved retirement."
Related Slideshow: 14 Who Made a Difference in 2014
Lew Evangelidis, WC Sheriff
In 2014, Sheriff Lew Evangelidis has implemented programs such as “Serving Time, Preventing Crimes: Inmates in Their Own Words and Understanding Your Health Care” which was a seminar geared towards helping senior citizens protect themselves from being robbed.
Each year the Sheriff’s office holds an Annual Winter Coat Drive and an annual Food Drive for families in need. During the food drive this year, the Sheriff’s Department and its partners collected over 200,000 pounds of food. The winter coat drive netted 3,000 coats for children across Worcester County.
Andrea Castinetti, originally of Swamscott, has been living in Worcester for nearly 14 years. She has ownedGLOW Tanning for more than 11 of those years. She is also a Double Diamond distributor for It Works Global.
Castinetti is host of the Business Gives Back Expo at the Union Station. The expo holds 90 local vendors and proceeds from outside donations and raffles at the expo go to two local charities. This year, the proceeds went to One Mission and Daisy’s Animal Rescue League.
Justin Bennes and Daniel Papagno
In late October, Worcester Police Officer Justin Bennes was conducting a routine motor vehicle stop on Belmont Street. The driver was unlicensed and the car was unregistered. The passenger, 18-year-old Johnathan Beeman was carrying a firearm. During the patdown, a struggle for the gun between Bennes and Beeman ensued.
According to the Worcester Police Department, Officer Bennes was punched, kicked and bit during the fight for the gun. Bennes was unable to radio for assistance as he tried to place Beeman under arrest.
32-year-old Daniel Papagno, an active duty Staff Sergeant, left his vehicle to assist Officer Bennes. Papagno was able to control Beeman and Officer Bennes was able to put Beeman under arrest.
George Peterson, State Representative
In February, State Representative George Peterson, the House assistant minority leader, announced he would not run for re-election this fall. After twenty years, the representative of Worcester’s 9th District opened the door for 31-year-old David Muradian, R- Grafton. Muradian, Peterson’s aide for eight years, defeated Democratic candidate Marty Green in November.
In a released statement, Peterson said “For over 20 years, Beacon Hill has been my second home. While my heart has always been in Grafton, and with the people of the Ninth Worcester District, my time in Boston has been invaluable. Being a legislator, let alone a Republican lawmaker, can be a test of will and patience. However, I wouldn’t trade my time as a member of the Massachusetts Legislature for anything."
Tim Collins, Kansas City Royals pitcher
Worcester Technical High School star and Kansas City Royals relief pitcher, Tim Collins, singlehandedly kept the Worcester area interested in the World Series in October.
The Royals won their first eight playoffs games and set a new Major League Record in the process. During those eight wins, Collins only pitched 2/3 of an inning and struck out one in Game 1 of the Division Series against the Los Angeles Angels.
Collins pitched two innings in a loss in Game 1 of the World Series against the San Francisco Giants. Collins struck out two and didn’t give up any earned runs. Collins pitched a total of five innings in the World Series, but the Royals ultimately lost in seven games.
Dr. Sheila Harrity
During Dr.Sheila Harrity's time as principal at Worcester Technical High School, there were plenty of landmark moments that put Worcester on the map nationally. For example, in 2013, Worcester Tech was named a National Blue Ribbon School and Harrity was named the 2014 National High School Principal of the Year. This past summer, Worcester Tech was honored to have President Barack Obama give the high school graduation commencement speech at the DCU Center.
All of this happened because Harrity dedicated her time to make Worcester Tech the best high school in the area. Harrity started at Worcester Tech in 2006, the same year the school moved to its state-of-the-art location on Skyline Drive. That year, the school's math and English language scores were incredibly low. Since 2007, the school has seen a hike in math scores by 36 percent and in English scores by an astounding 44 percent.
Earlier this month, Worcester police were notified by the gunshot detection system, ShotSpotter, that approximately 9 shots were fired in front of 86 Ward Street.
A short time later, police received a report of a gunshot victim at UMass Memorial Medical Center. Upon arrival, officers were notified that a 22-year-old male was being treated for a single gunshot wound. His injuries were non-life threatening.
This is one of the many examples of ShotSpotter being a successful tool in the city of Worcester. Shotspotter was implemented this spring in the city.
Dave Domenick, Compass Tavern Owner
The Compass Tavern opened the first weekend of October and right away it has been an outstanding success and great restaurant addition to Worcester’s Canal District area.
Originally conceived as the ‘American Ale House,’ owner Dave Domenick decided to change the name to the Compass Tavern after meeting with his bartenders. One bartender came up with the idea and they made a group decision in favor of the Compass name.
“The idea was that I wanted to go out on my own and I just hadn’t had the opportunity until this location became available,” said Domenick.
In 2014, the chances of someone being asked ‘Have you been to Crompton Collective?’ has to be pretty high. Crompton Collective is growing in popularity and provides a fresh shopping experience to the city of Worcester.
Crompton Collective is a boutique marketplace of 85 different vendors, including handmade artists and antique shops. The marketplace is housed in Crompton Place on Green Street in Worcester’s Canal District. The Collective supports independent collectors and artists.
Matt Beaton, State Representative
Just a few short weeks after Charlie Baker was elected as Governor of Massachusetts, Baker named Shrewsbury’s Matt Beaton as Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
Beaton, a Republican, serves as State Representative for Worcester’s 11th District, representing Westborough and Shrewsbury.
Beaton is a graduate of WPI and earned his Masters Degree in Energy and Environmental Analysis from Boston University.
Governor-Elect Baker said that Beaton had the right experience to carry out green energy initiatives and that his leadership will be an important asset to accomplish goals throughout the Commonwealth.
Tyler Beede, Giants #1 Pick
In June, Tyler Beede of Auburn was drafted with the 14th overall pick by the World Series Champion San Francisco Giants. Beede hopes to break in with the Major League team in a few months during Spring Training.
Beede was originally selected in 2011 by the Toronto Blue Jays. However, he turned down their offer and went to pitch for Vanderbilt University. After being drafted by the Giants, Beede helped lead Vanderbilt to a College World Series Championship.
The ‘Tyler Beede All-American’ Sandwich is being sold at the Compass Tavern on Harding Street in Worcester. One dollar from each sandwich sale goes to Beede’s ‘More Than Me’ Foundation, an organization that helps professional athletes give back to their community. ‘More than Me’ was formed by Beede and other athletes as a way to give back to those that supported them in their career.
Ray Mariano, WHA Director
In the Spring of 2014, Worcester Housing Authority Executive Director Ray Mariano presented changes to 'A Better Life,' a reform program that would benefit public housing residents in Worcester. The Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) originally approved the plan. However, when Mariano announced the changes to WHA, HUD abruptly changed their mind and put an end to the changes.
Under the revised program's requirements, at least one member of the family would have to work or go to school for at least 1,200 hours a year. Less than ten percent of the people on the waiting list wanted to sign up to attend school or find a job.
Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber
Travis Kalanick, co-founder and CEO of Uber, has created a ride-sharing company that has had a profound effect in the city of Worcester in 2014.
Entering Worcester in late summer, Uber has become a very popular mode of transportation, especially amongst college students. As one Uber driver put it, “We make a living off of Holy Cross kids on the weekend. They love using Uber. We can spend Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights just going back and forth from that school.”
Although Uber surely markets its product as cheaper, faster and cleaner, not everyone is impressed. As GoLocal Worcester reported, local taxi cab companies were infuriated when Uber came into the city.
Ryan Fattman, State Representative
In November, State Representative Ryan Fattman of Webster defeated incumbent Richard Moore (D) for the South Central Massachusetts Senate Seat. The victory was a huge upset for Fattman who continues to make a remarkable climb up the Massachusetts political ladder.
At the age of 30, Fattman had already held a position as Sutton Town Selectman for two terms and represented Worcester’s 18th District for four years as State Rep. He will soon begin his first term as State Senator, a position Moore had held for twenty years.
By winning the State Senate election, Fattman has established a Republican foundation in Central Massachusetts and has helped the Republican party gain control of the State House.
- David Muradian Wins Worcester’s 9th District Rep Seat
- GoLocal Worcester’s 14 Who Made a Difference in 2014
- 14 Who Made a Difference in 2014: WHA Director Ray Mariano
- 14 Who Made a Difference in 2014: State Representative Matt Beaton
- 14 Who Made a Difference in 2014: Crompton Collective
- 14 Who Made a Difference in 2014: Compass Tavern’s Dave Domenick
- 14 Who Made a Difference in 2014: Justin Bennes and Daniel Papagno
- 14 Who Made a Difference in 2014: State Senator-Elect Ryan Fattman
- 14 Who Made a Difference in 2014: Dr. Sheila Harrity
- 14 Who Made a Difference in 2014: ShotSpotter
- 14 Who Made a Difference in 2014: Andrea Castinetti
- 14 Who Made a Difference in 2014: Sheriff Lew Evangelidis