The lottery for the house at 4 John Crowder Road has ended with no potential buyers so it will now be sold to a qualified buyer on a first come first served basis. We were hoping to find a local family so now it will open up to a more regional applicant pool. Please still forward this updated application to your networks in case there is a local family, teacher, or public safety employee that can qualify.
Sarah Raposa, AICP Town Planner 459 Main Street Medfield, MA 02052 (508) 906-3027 firstname.lastname@example.org
My friend and attorney colleague, Carol Steinberg, got a great write up in today’s Boston Globe from Joan Vennochi, for what Carol does advocating for disability rights. I liked the photograph in the Globe’s print edition better, as it shows Carol in front of the door to the Governor’s office, which is being blocked by two of his staff, when Carol and friends refused to leave until they got to speak with him.
In addition to practicing law as a plaintiffs’ personal injury attorney, Carol writes, served on the state’s Architectural Access Board, serves on the ABA Committee on Disability, and is a strong advocate for disability rights. I have learned a lot from our doing cases together and tagging around with her.
Wanted: allies in the fight for disability rights
‘We don’t have allies. It’s just people in wheelchairs,’ said Carol Steinberg.
As Beacon Hill lawmakers took up a major economic development package — which includes money for affordable housing — Steinberg was lobbying to add language that would require that buildings constructed before 1991 that are being converted into apartments must include units that can be adapted to the needs of senior citizens or people with disabilities. The amendment, sponsored by state Senator Michael Moore of Millbury, was not adopted. Given the crush of last-minute amendments, Steinberg knew it was a long shot. But the outcome was still a disappointment — especially as it came a few days after the headlines and hoopla over the 30th anniversary of the ADA. But Steinberg, who has been fighting for this measure for at least 10 years, isn’t giving up. She said she owes it to previous generations of disability activists.Get Today in Opinion in your inboxGlobe Opinion’s must-reads, delivered to you every Sunday-Friday.Sign Up
“They fought so hard,” said Steinberg, a lawyer who uses a wheelchair due to multiple sclerosis. “Their fight is not over. We have to carry on their legacy.” She is also motivated by the coronavirus pandemic, which has been devastating to people in nursing homes. More than 60 percent of the people who have died of COVID-19 in Massachusetts resided in such facilities. If there were more accessible housing, more people could live independently and more safely, said Steinberg.
In the response to the other pandemic that has been sweeping the nation — systemic racism — Steinberg sees a model for disability activists. Since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, doing nothing in pursuit of racial justice — while claiming not to be racist — is no longer acceptable, assuming it ever was. Allies are needed. The same is true in the fight for disability rights. “We don’t have allies. It’s just people in wheelchairs,” said Steinberg.
People like Steinberg are forces of nature, and you know it the minute you meet them. I first encountered her in October 2019, when she and a band of fellow activists gathered at the entrance to Governor Charlie Baker’s State House office suite, trying to get him to pay attention to a variety of accessibility issues. During the several hours they hung out in hopes of meeting with the governor, I spoke to them about the help they said they needed to make housing more accessible. In December, Baker did meet with them but didn’t commit to any specific housing policy.
“Please don’t say anything bad about Governor Baker,” said Steinberg, who remains hopeful he will embrace her mission. So, in the interest of her protecting her optimism, I won’t. What I will say is that there are some champions, like Moore and state Representative Christine Barber of Somerville, who are seeking compromise with opponents who believe accessibility costs too much money. More champions are needed.
The biggest obstacle to progress may be those who do nothing. Nothing great happens without a groundswell of support. That was certainly true of the ADA, which was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush on the South Lawn of the White House. “More than 2,000 people, many in wheelchairs, cheered from the lawn. Activists had waited years for this moment,” wrote The New York Times in a special section on the recent ADA anniversary. Considered one of the country’s most comprehensive civil rights laws, it prohibits discrimination and is supposed to guarantee that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else.
Yet, 30 years later, the gap between that sweeping promise and the experience of living with a disability is huge. That’s why Steinberg is on the front lines, pushing for the kind of change that will make buildings accessible to all. It’s a simple goal that has proved difficult to achieve. More allies would definitely help the cause.
New Life Re-opening with Updated Donation Procedures
After being closed for furniture and household goods donations for the past few months due to COVID-19, New Life Furniture Bank of MA is pleased to announce that it has re-opened. New Life has updated its drop-off and pick-up procedures in order to keep its donors and volunteers safe and socially distanced.
New Life is dependent upon and is grateful for furniture and household items given by donors in the community, however, due to the pandemic, the furniture bank is only able to accept dropped off items scheduled via appointment. Those interested in donating, may go on-line to: newlifefb.org/drop-off to schedule a Saturday appointment between the hours of 9:30 and 11:30. When making an appointment, donors should carefully review the list of accepted items and be sure to note the process guidelines that donors are asked to follow. Also please note, for access the shipping dock when dropping off items, donors now need to enter the building’s parking lot via the West Street entrance.
New Life is also pleased to announce that it is resuming its furniture pick-up service in the towns of Medfield, Walpole, Norfolk and Norwood. Pick-up appointments may be scheduled on-line at newlifefb.org/pickup. In order to ensure the safety of the volunteers, drivers will only pick-up furniture and household items from donors’ garages or curbsides.
New Life is a volunteer-driven organization. A team of over 200 individuals ensures that individuals and families transitioning out of homelessness receive furniture and necessary household items. If interested in volunteering at New Life, please contact Volunteer Coordinator, Amanda Wolfe at email@example.com.
New Life has grown tremendously in its first six years of operation. The organization is seen as an important contributor in the battle against homelessness in Massachusetts. Since its inception, New Life has served over 2,764 households, and has gained a reputation across eastern Massachusetts as a reliable resource that provides those in need with quality, gently-used home furnishings.
In Person Office Hours at The Center, this Friday 9-10 AM
I hold monthly first Friday office hours, that have been by telephone recently, but are returning in person, outside on the patio, at The Center this Friday from 9:00 to 10:00 AM, for masked residents. Stop by to talk in person about any town matters.
I can be reached via 508-359-9190 or this blog, where any schedule changes will be posted.
Medfield School Committee announcement from Anna Mae O’Shea Brooke –
Dale Street School Project: Grade Configuration Public Forum
The Medfield School Committee invites the community to its virtual Public Forum regarding the Dale Street School Project grade configuration options on Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 5:30pm. The District is considering two potential grade configurations for the future Dale Street Elementary School: grades 4-5 configuration which is currently in place or grades 3-5 configuration. The purpose of the forum is to give a project update, to discuss the advantages/disadvantages of both grade configurations and is an opportunity to hear public input and answer questions from the community. The Public Forum held on August 13, 2020 precedes the School Committee vote on this important decision on August 27, 2020. Visit town.medfield.net/agendacenter for the School Committee agenda and zoom link, which will be posted 48 hours in advance of the meeting. Any questions or comments should be directed to DaleStreetSchoolProject@gmail.com.
Project Title = Medfield Rail Trail Brief Project Description = The Medfield Rail Trail is a proposed shared use trail following the route of the MBTA rail bed in Medfield, running approximately 1.3 miles from Ice House Road to the Dover town line. The Trail will provide connections for residents throughout the region (particularly youth and seniors) for biking, walking, jogging, cross country skiing, and horseback riding. The rail trail will provide a direct connection to the planned mixed-use redevelopment of the 128-acre Medfield State Hospital; the planned Dover Greenway; the Bay Circuit Trail, an extensive regional trail system from Plum Island in the north to Kingston Bay in the south; as well as access to the Norfolk Hunt Club’s extensive regional trail network.
Project type = Construction
Trail use = Shared-Use Path
Award = $100,000
Match = $74,480
Baker-Polito Administration Announces $4 Million in MassTrails Grants
55 Local Projects Will Greatly Enhance State’s Network of Trails
BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded $4 million in MassTrails Grants to 55 local trail projects throughout the Commonwealth. The grants will support the state’s vast network of trails with projects dedicated to the construction, maintenance, and improvements for a variety of public trails, including hiking trails, bikeways, and shared-use paths.
“Massachusetts has an extensive network of public trails connecting communities and regions while offering excellent recreational opportunities,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “By supporting local trail projects, our Administration is dedicated to building on that network and ensuring residents and visitors can hike, bike and run on safe, well-maintained and accessible trails.”
“Trails are important resources that improve our quality of life by providing great access to parks, reservations, forests, and other public properties throughout Massachusetts,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The MassTrails Grants Program serves as a critical funding source for our many local partners who are working to improve infrastructure, create new segments, and enhance existing trails for the public to enjoy.”
MassTrails Grants focus on the improvement of existing trails, the construction of new trails, and the maintenance of the statewide trail system. This year’s projects include:
The installation of trail facilities and amenities and facility landscaping;
The completion of trail design and engineering plans;
The installation and maintenance of directional and interpretive trail signage;
The development and creation of GIS mapping and trails guides;
The purchasing of trail maintenance equipment; and,
The upgrading of existing trails to accessible trail standards.
“Local trails are excellent resources that not only enrich our lives by providing increased opportunities to explore nature, but also enable us all to commit to healthy, active lifestyles,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “The MassTrails Grants Program is a great example of the Baker-Polito Administration’s dedication to investing and enhancing the Commonwealth’s natural, cultural, and recreational resources, and we look forward to celebrating the completion of these 55 projects.”
“The MassTrails Grant Program invests in path improvements and construction which allow for more access to important destinations, giving residents safe, healthy, and low carbon travel options as well as options for active recreational activities,” said Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “Now more than ever, the public is seeking transportation options due to the pandemic and this funding creates, enhances, and maintains networks of multimodal, shared-use pathways which help people get to where they need to go while reducing their carbon footprint and lowering pollution.”
Funding for MassTrails Grants comes from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) capital budget, and from the motor fuel excise tax on off-road vehicles including ATV’s and snowmobiles, which is provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Surface Transportation Act, in coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). All MassTrails Grant applications have been reviewed in consultation with an inter-agency MassTrails Team and the Massachusetts Recreational Trails Advisory Board (MARTAB).
“The Baker-Polito Administration continues to foster public-private partnerships in an effort to attain mutual goals that directly benefit the public,” said DCR Commissioner Jim Montgomery. “The 2020 MassTrails Grants Program will assist our partners in protecting and enhancing many of the Commonwealth’s natural and recreational resources, including closing gaps within the state’s network of trails, strengthening infrastructure, and making significant improvements.”
“These grants support our tremendous inventory of remarkable open spaces and the communities that host them. North Reading now has significant state support to examine converting an abandoned rail-line into a rail trail,” said State Senator Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). “Funding from MassTrails not only advances this opportunity, but it also helps bring more recreational access for people across the state to enjoy outdoor spaces and improve our quality of life.”
“Visitors from all around the world come to Western Massachusetts for its beautiful outdoor recreational opportunities all of which improve our quality of life and are important parts of our communities,” said State Senator Adam Hinds (D-Pittsfield). “The MassTrails Grants Program provides critical funding for improving and supporting our public trails for all to enjoy.”
Additionally, each recipient matches awarded grants with a minimum of twenty percent in funding or in-kind services for the designated project. This year’s total investment, including matching funds, is approximately $7 million. In order to meet their funding obligation, an organization is able to utilize a variety of methods to fund at least twenty percent of the project’s total cost to receive the grant. Methods include in-kind labor and professional services, material donations, use of equipment, or a cash match. Funding is made available to registered non-profits and municipal, state, and federal agencies.
“I would like to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for supporting local trail programs through the 2020 MassTrails Grants Program,” said State Representative Frank Moran (D-Lawrence). “I am joyful to learn that Groundwork Lawrence has been awarded this grant which will allow them to continue their work in increasing access to the Merrimack River Trail for all residents of the Commonwealth. The 17th Essex District will benefit substantially from this grant, given that it will bring more connectivity to all three communities: Lawrence, Andover and Methuen.”
“Funding and maintaining our local trails and paths, especially at a time when it can be hard to get out of the house, is crucial to communities we serve,” said State Representative Josh Cutler (D-Pembroke). “Thanks to grants like MassTrails and the Baker Administration, Hanson can help foster outdoor recreation for its’ citizens to enjoy.”
“The people of Clinton take great pride in the town’s surrounding natural beauty,” said State Representative Harold Naughton (D-Clinton). “The parks and trails are treasured by locals and visitors alike, and I am thrilled that the Commonwealth is investing in the spaces that make our community such a special place to live.”
“I am excited to learn that Ashland has received a grant through the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s MassTrails program,” said State Representative Jack Patrick Lewis (D-Framingham). “I am grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration and Commissioner Montgomery for their further support to enhance and expand Ashland’s vibrant trails.”
MassTrails Grant projects are located within the following municipalities: Ashland, Adams, Arlington, Ashburnham, Athol, Barnstable, Becket, Belchertown, Bourne, Braintree, Brookline, Chelmsford, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Clinton, Concord, Dalton , Dartmouth, Egremont, Fitchburg, Florida, Franklin, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Groton, Hanson, Hatfield, Hawley, Hinsdale, Holyoke, Hopkinton, Lanesboro, Lawrence, Lee, Lenox, Lowell, Mattapoisett, Medfield, Monterey, Mount Washington, Natick, Needham, New Ashford, New Bedford, Newburyport, Newton, North Adams, North Reading, Northampton, Northfield, Peabody, Pittsfield, Plainfield, Plymouth, Sandisfield, Savoy, Sheffield, Southampton, Springfield, Sturbridge, Sudbury, Templeton, Townsend, Tyringham, Wareham, Washington , Williamstown, Windsor, and Yarmouth. A full list and brief description of each of the 55 projects receiving a grant can be found on the MassTrails Grants webpage.
From DLS about the state aid for our current fiscal year that started 7/1/2020 –
Baseline FY21 UGGA and Chapter 70 Information Now Available
Dear Local Official,
I am writing to share that information about Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) funding for Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) and Chapter 70 education aid is now available on the Division of Local Services website.
While critical information from the federal government is still needed in order to finalize a full fiscal year budget for the Commonwealth, the Baker-Polito Administration and the Legislature are committing to no less than the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) level of funding for UGGA and Chapter 70 education aid as a baseline amount for FY21 funding.
The FY21 funding commitment also includes Chapter 70 increases for inflation and enrollment that will keep all school districts at foundation, under the law as it existed for FY20, providing an additional $107 million in aid over FY20. This increase comes in addition to approximately $450 million in new federal supports for K-12 schools to assist with educating students during the pandemic.
I started this blog to share the interesting and useful information that I saw while doing my job as a Medfield select board member. I thought that my fellow Medfield residents would also find that information interesting and useful as well. This blog is my effort to assist in creating a system to push the information out from the Town House to residents. Let me know if you have any thoughts on how it can be done better.
For information on my other job as an attorney (personal injury, civil litigation, estate planning and administration, and real estate), please feel free to contact me at 617-969-1500 or Osler.Peterson@OslerPeterson.com.