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2nd Annual Ray Beattie Award

2019 Scholarship Awarded!
2nd Annual Ray Beattie Award given in Ray’s honor.
Ethan will be attending Franklin Pierce University majoring in Elementary & Special Education. 
Thank you to all students that took their time to apply.
Your scholastic excellence and community involvement was impressive.IMG_2656


RMV: COMMERCIAL VEHICLE Changes to the MA State Markings Regulation 540 CMR 2:22

Notice to Massachusetts Motor Carriers

Intrastate USDOT Number Requirement

Effective September 1, 2018

You have been identified as an intrastate motor carrier by the Massachusetts State Police, Commercial

Vehicle Enforcement Section. Please be aware that as of September 1, 2018, you will be required to

obtain and display a USDOT number per 540 CMR 2.22, the Commercial Marking section of the Registry

of Motor Vehicles regulations.

This applies to motor carriers operating the following motor vehicles:

• Engaged in intrastate commerce having a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight

rating of 10,001 or more pounds; or

• Used in the transportation of hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placarding; or

• Designed to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, used in intrastate commerce

in Massachusetts.

If your company operates a subject vehicle it must be permanently marked with a USDOT number

assigned in a manner conforming to the provisions of 49 CFR 390.21.

To obtain a USDOT Number, we urge you to go to There, you may follow

the Registrations links that will enable you to obtain an intrastate USDOT number. Your company will

be issued a USDOT number that will be displayed on all CMV s as defined above that your company

operates, including leased vehicles. There is no charge to obtain this number from the USDOT-FMCSA.

After September 1, 2018, failure to obtain and display a USDOT Number on your vehicles may result in a

civil fine and/or placing your CMVs Out of Service until such time as your company obtains a USDOT


Read full notice here:

Read the full regulation:


The Summertime Backyard Safety Checklist

Backyard Safety - Chase Clarke Stewart and Fontana
After the first hot day of the year, hopefully, many of you were enjoying the warm sun.  Now that the nice weather is here (cross your fingers because New England weather is always unpredictable) it’s a great time to survey your backyard to make sure it’s safe to host pool parties, Wiffle ball games, and the frequent backyard BBQs.

Grilling in the Backyard

I’m sure you’ve been salivating all winter at the thought of hosting your friends, firing up the grill, throwing on some burgers and hotdogs, and watching a few baseball games. Before you do, here’s a few things to remind yourself of before you lite up the grille.

  • If you’re a charcoal grille master, make sure to never store your grill in your garage after grilling because charcoal emits harmful carbon monoxide until it’s completely extinguished.
  • To help extinguish charcoal completely, break up the burning charcoal with a strong stick or grilling tool after you’re done cooking. Then cover the grill with the lid for roughly 30 minutes to deprive the embers of oxygen. If you’re in a rush to put out the fire, spray some water on the embers.
  • Make sure to grill away from any flammable objects especially if it’s a windy day.
  • Make it a habit to check for hose leaks, holes, and any type of blockage.

Backyard Safety - Chase Clarke Stewart and Fontana

Be smart about pesticides

Everyone wants that green lawn. We want to be known as the home of the street with the best-looking grass. Sometimes that means that we opt for those strong chemicals that deter bugs and help our lawns grow. There are non-chemical options to keeping your lawn healthy, but if you must use pesticides, keep these tips in mind:

  • Keep your pets and children away from the lawn when you’re applying these chemicals. Don’t let them touch the grass until the pesticides have completely dried.
  • Even though it may be hot out, while applying pesticides, wear long sleeves, eye protection (if it’s windy out) and always remember to wash your hands afterward and wash the bottoms of your shoes off before walking inside.
  • Make sure you’re abiding by the manufacture’s recommendation for how much to apply.

Swimming in your backyard

It’s frightening to hear, but according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, thousands of pool-related injuries and drowning incidents occur every year. Many of these accidents include children. If you have a pool or know of someone who has a pool, always remember these safety tips:

  • Never allow your children to swim without an adult around. Have a policy of “no parents, no swimming.”
  • The USCPSC recommends at least a four-foot-high fence around your pool.
  • Always have safety equipment and safety items nearby. That means having a floatation device handy, a pool hook close by, and someone who is trained in CPR. If you’re a parent and you own a pool, it would be wise to get CPR trained, just in case.
  • Most importantly, check your pool’s drain and suction covers. If they’re broken or missing, please repair them immediately and don’t allow anyone to swim until they’re fixed because faulty drains can cause accidental drowning.

Backyard Safety - Chase Clarke Stewart and Fontana

These are just a few tips to keep your backyard safe this summer!

What Affects Car Insurance?

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to car insurance.  Just like any good pair of shoes, having a pair that fits you, your needs, and your budget is the only way to approach auto insurance. In fact, car insurance changes from driver to driver, company to company, and even location to location.


Auto Insurance


There are a few things that affect your car insurance, and to make you a more educated consumer, here are a few of them.

The coverage that once was

There are a few things that you should be aware of when getting insurance quotes. A few things like gaps in your coverage, or if you’ve had lower than normal limits with past insurance policies. Some of these things may cause you to pay more or less for insurance.

Your Driving History

There are a few factors related to your driving history that affect your insurance quotes. If you’ve been in accidents or received a handful of tickets your rates may be affected. The great part about this is that if you abide by the law and stay safe then you can potentially reduce your rate.

How you use your vehicle

Just so you know, if you spend a lot of time driving on long daily commutes, your car insurance may change. The same goes for your car.  If you have a car that has a high safety rating, or a car that doesn’t, it will affect your insurance rates for better or worse.

There are a handful of factors that affect your car insurance rate. To understand more about how some of these factors may be affecting your rate, give us a ring and we’ll gladly talk through it with you.

What is the Right Amount of Life Insurance?

What is the Right Amount of Life Insurance?

You work hard for your money. It’s yours, and we want you to maximize every dollar spent. We also want to make sure that you have the right life insurance coverage that provides you with the peace of mind that your loved ones will be comfortably covered. While there are many important reasons to purchase life insurance, here are a few thoughts to help you determine how much life insurance you’ll need.

Ask yourself these few questions:

  • Are your dependents financially prepared for the death of a family member?
  • Does anyone in your life depend on you?
  • How much debt do you have?
  • What are your future financial obligations?

Let’s discuss why these questions are so important.

Are your dependents financially prepared for the death of a family member?

The death of a family member is stressful enough. Words can’t and will never be able to articulate how stressful, never mind the added financial burden of the loss of a loved one is. This is why it’s important to ask yourself how financially stable your family and dependents are. If you think there is the possibility of any struggle, or if you want to even prevent the possibility of financial struggle, a life insurance policy in this situation makes sense.

Does anyone in your life depend on you?

The main purpose of life insurance is to make sure that your family and beneficiaries are taken care of financially if anything happened to you.  So, plain and simple, if you said “yes” to the question of, “does anyone depend on you?” then you need life insurance. When determining the right plan, ask yourself what kind of life standard do you want your family to have if something unfortunate happened to you. Most people simply want to maintain the same standard of their current living situation. This question is important to determine when scoping out your policy.

How much debt do you have?

All of your debts need to be paid off. So if you have a $250,000 mortgage, $15,000 car loan, and $5,000 in credit card debt, you’ll need at least $270,000 in your policy. However, be smart and have a little more to consider interest. This is just the baseline number that you would need to cover your debts.

What are your future financial obligations?

This I often the hardest section to answer.  Simply because it’s difficult to predict the future. It’s hard to know what we’re having for dinner tomorrow, let alone what our life will look like in 10 years. As you’re thinking about your future obligations, consider if you’re going to help pay for your children’s college or any other large financial contributions in the future.  In addition, map out your family’s cash flow to get a better sense of the entire landscape and how much you should have in your policy.

Now it’s time to determine how much life insurance you need. Always remember this, life insurance can be complicated, but knowing what your options are and why you’re paying for specific aspects of your plan is why we’re here. So, give us a ring, we’re more than happy to talk through your current or potential policy.

Distracted Driving Stats

In case you haven’t noticed, people are distracted drivers.

Distracted Driving - Chase Clarke Stewart and Fontana

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted drivers took 3,179 lives in 2014 alone.

More people have cell phones, more people are playing with their entertainment systems, and more people are saying, “I’m a good driver, those accidents will never happen to me.”  This illusion of vulnerability is a problem.

Odds are is that most of you reading this article have engaged in some form of distracted driving.  Distracted driving can be using your phone, eating or drinking, talking to passengers, reading maps, using navigation systems, or adjusting the music. While driving, we have the temptation to distract ourselves by reading that text or eating that burger; however, no matter how hard it may be, we urge you to reflect on your own driving habits and correct some of these distractions.

To highlight the need for safer, more educated drivers, here are a few distracted driving stats.

  • 1 in 3 drivers acknowledge that they text and drive.
  • 1 in 10 cars that drive past you admit to either “frequently” or “always” texting and driving.
  • When you text, your eyes are off the road for 5 seconds. That means that if you’re driving on the highway going 65 MPH, you’re essentially not looking at the road for the length of a football field.
  • When texting and driving, you are 23 times more likely to get into an accident.
  • 70% of drivers admit that they’re not good at texting or talking while driving. (Yet, 33% of drivers admit they text and drive.)
  • 94% of teenagers say they understand the effects of texting and driving, but 35% of them admitted that the risk deters them from texting and driving.
  • About 50% of respondents said that their parents were the most influential when it comes to learning what to do and what not to do behind the wheel.

While these numbers are shocking, and it’s the reality we live in, distracted driving can be changed, reduced, and even stopped.  So before you get into your car for tomorrow’s commute, remind yourself of these stats and think twice before opening that text message behind the wheel.

Data from:


The Spring Checklist for Your Spring Cleaning

Congratulations…we did it, guys! We made it to Spring.

After all those cold, dark, and short winter days, we can finally, and even desperately, open our windows and let in the fresh air of the Spring. However, before we do, it’s important to make sure your home is ready to take on the Spring and Summer months. With proper preparation, you can set up your home and yourself for an enjoyable and worry-free Spring and Summer. Thus, here are some home maintenance tips to add to your Spring cleaning to-do list to make sure you’re ready.

Spring Cleaning - Chase Clarke Stewart and Fontana

The Spring Clean

The ritual, ‘Spring cleaning’ is a ceremonial weekend that many partake in to remove winter cobwebs, pack away warm clothes, and prep the house for warmer weather. You probably already have your own set of chores to do, but we’re digging into the knowledge banks to add a few more money saving tips to maximize the return on your Spring cleaning weekend.

Test and clean those ceiling fans

It’s quite amazing the difference that a ceiling fan makes. I’ve had one in my room since childhood and after a few uses, I can confidently say that I prefer to use one over an air conditioner. However, with that said, they’re much more efficient when they’re working properly. Most likely these fans have acted like bears throughout the winter – docile and dormant, waiting for the warmer weather to arrive. During this time, the motors could have rusted, the blades most likely collected dust, and they may possibly need a tune up before they get turned on. Generating a cross breeze is one of the best ways to cool down your house, and your ceiling fans are top culprits.


Here’s a question for you: if you could save money on your energy bill, would you?

Of course, you would!

2017 is all about efficiency and an easy way to do so is by weatherstripping your windows. Weatherstripping is a material that you place on the edge of your windows and door frames to improve the seal. During the winter months, weatherstripping keeps the warm air inside, and cold air outside…during the summer months, it keeps the warm air out and cold air in. It’s really a no-brainer for anyone looking to make their homes more energy efficient.

Another benefit of weatherstripping is that it prevents the cold air from your air conditioner from escaping. This way, your AC won’t have to work as hard and you’ll stay much cooler during the hot summer months.

The Air Conditioner

Speaking of air conditioners, let’s talk about proper AC maintenance. To explain this, I have a story for you. Last year, my AC was running in my bedroom. I live on the top floor of a 5-story apartment building. Needless to say, my apartment gets scorching hot if I don’t leave my windows open, run the AC, or do something to offset the blazing hot air that floats up to my room. So as you can imagine, my AC is pretty much constantly running from July to September. All throughout July, it was doing a great job. My room was cool and comfortable, and even sometimes, cold. Then towards the later weeks in August, my AC started to warm up. My room got hotter and my nights restless. My AC wasn’t as cold as before. I realized that I never replaced my filter, so I went out and purchased a new one and my AC was back to normal.

So, the lesson here is that it’s a good rule of thumb to change your AC filter ever Spring.

Clean your Dryer Vent

Many times this simple chore gets lost in the other endless chores that are on your spring cleaning list. However, please make sure this one is top of your list. Some experts suggest that every year around 15,000 fires start because of a clogged dryer vent. This should be a chore that you partake in twice a year. Thus, if you’re already in the cleaning mode, we urge you to add it to your spring cleaning list.

If you’re looking to add some more chores, here are a few unique and timely checklist items to add.

• Change the batteries in your smoke detectors (which should be done every six months)
• Change batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors
• Schedule a chimney sweep
• Remove anything from the kitchen that doesn’t belong
• Clean and organize your freezer
• Disinfect the garbage disposal
• Sanitize cutting boards
• Disinfect doorknobs
• Finally, give your car some love and give it a nice detail