Monthly Archives: September 2011

Medfield’s Reps’ letter to DCAM

Senator Timilty and Representatives Garlick and  Winslow wrote a joint letter yesterday to DCAM, asking that DCAM withdraw its request to the Army Corps to do work in and near the river, and rather to explore the solution the town has sought.  A copy of their letter can be accessed via this link

Click to access 20110928-garlick-timilty-winslow-lt-dcam.pdf

10/15 walking tour re Civil War by Vine Lake Cemetery Trust

The Trust has rescheduled the Civil War Walking Tour for:

                                          Saturday, October 15th, from 10:00am to 1:00pm

Captain Richard Crowninshield Derby

[1834 – 1862]

This Tour will still include visits to 24 gravesites of the 53 Civil War veterans interred in the Old Section.   As well, we’ll welcome the commander, a color guard and a drummer, and civilian reenactors from the 28th Massachusetts Voluntary Infantry Regiment.

This is the first in a series of Walking Tours at Vine Lake Cemetery to commemorate our nation’s 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

You will enjoy this one-a-kind event. Read more about the October 15th event in the next newsletter.  For now, please schedule the Tour on your calendar.  You’ll be glad you did!


I suggest that those who have not done so sign up for the Trust’s monthly e-newsletter at

Article in Taunton Daily Gazette 2 days ago

Update: Army Corps of Engineers still undecided about DCAM permit to
remediate former Medfield State Hospital toxic waste

By Brett M. Rhyne
Wicked Local Medfield
Posted Sep 26, 2011 @ 05:51 PM
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has not yet acted upon the permit application filed with it by the state’s Division of
Capital Asset Management regarding the planned remediation of oil and toxic waste at the former Medfield State Hospital site.
Karen Kirk Adams, chief of the permits and enforcement branch of the New England District of the corps, told the Press that not only
has the permit been neither approved nor denied yet, she could not even estimate when action might be taken on it.
The delay, she said, is due to “clarification on the project” that the corps is seeking from DCAM and the Massachusetts
Department of Environmental Protection, which is mandating DCAM’s actions.
The need for clarifications arose, she said, when the corps met with Medfield’s Board of Selectmen and a number of other Medfield
residents concerned about the remediation on Sept. 19.
A DCAM representative “had been informed of, if not invited to, the meeting,” said board Chairman Osler Peterson. He said the town
had “left it up to the Army Corps of Engineers to invite whomever they wanted from DEP.”
At the meeting, Medfield town officials made their case to the corps that it ought to deny DCAM’s permit application. The agency is
seeking to permission to remediate oil found in the Charles River near the site, and to remediate toxic waste in the soil on the
The state’s plan for the oil is to cover the riverbed with a clay cap this fall, thus preventing any more oil from entering the river water,
and to vacuum-dredge the riverbed clean of all soil with oil in it in the fall of 2012.
The town would like DCAM to complete the remediation this fall, in one step rather than two.
The state’s plan for the toxic soil on the riverbank is to remove about a quarter of it, slope the bank, cover what’s left with a nonporous
sheeting, and pin that sheeting down with rip-rap, a gravellike material commonly seen under bridges.
The town would like DCAM to remove all the toxic soil — Medfield has even offered land elsewhere on the site for a modern, hygienic
toxic waste dump — and which would then allow the riverbank to be used by the public or returned to its natural state.
As a result of meeting with Medfield town officials last week, the corps is now seeking clarification of the state’s plan to remediate
both areas, Adams said.
Regarding the riverbed, the corps would like to know if DCAM intends to remove the clay cap at some point in the future, she said.
If the state intends to vacuum-dredge the riverbed next year, then the cap will certainly be removed, Adams said. But DCAM’s permit
application does not mention any work beyond capping the oil, she said.
“People can’t apply for permits piecemeal,” she said. The corps’ concern is that if the scope of all the intended work taken together
crosses a certain threshold, a more rigorous review process becomes necessary, Adams said.
Regarding the riverbank, the corps would like to know more about proposed bio-engineered solutions to keeping the toxic waste in
place, she said. At last week’s meeting, Adams made it clear that a bio-engineered solution was preferable to rip-rap because it would
have less impact on the environment.
The corps is currently talking with DCAM and MassDEP to clarify both points.
Also at the meeting was Rep. Stephen Lynch, who voiced strong support for the town’s concerns. In a Sept. 23 letter to DCAM
Commissioner Carol Cornelison, he wrote the state’s “current remediation plan is being implemented in an [sic] short-sighted,
fractional manner that will not result in a permanent solution that protects the nearby well water and the long term health of the
residents of Medfield and the surrounding communities.”
In the letter, he urged the state to withdraw its current permit application “in order to thoroughly consider all permanent
Rep. Lynch writes to Massachusetts in support of Medfield’s position
Medfield —
Contact Medfield Press editor Brett M. Rhyne at 781-433-8353 or
Copyright 2011 The Taunton Gazette. Some rights reserved

Army Corps awaits more data from DCAM

New Medfield Press editor, Brett Rhyne, writes yesterday that as the result of the Army Corps of Engineers meeting last week with the Medfield Board of Selectmen that the ACE has unanswered questions at the moment that have held up its approval of DCAM’s work in and next to the Charles River.   Mr. Rhyne also posted the letter sent by Congressman Lynch to DCAM, which asks DCAM to withdraw it permit application to work out resolution in cooperation with the town of what work should be performed.

Charter and Bylaw Committee kicks off

Last night was the initial meeting of the committee formed to review and revise both the town’s charter and its bylaws.  Anyone with ideas on what can be done differently and/or better with the town government should watch for notice of the hearings they will hold.

Some ideas –

  • how many selectmen, 3 or 5?
  • appoint or elect town clerk?
  • move town meeting date away from the school spring vacation?

FEMA pays us $64,386.90 for winter storm

Medfield received $64,386.90 from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) today, per Mike Sullivan.  It represents reimbursement of 75% of eligible costs for the winter snowstorm.  We have not heard yet whether Norfolk County qualifies for reimbursement for tropical storm Irene.  The money to fund FEMA is being held up by a fight in Congress over how to fund it, so we probably won’t hear for some time.

Donna Cimeno and Joy Ricciuto put a lot of time into this and did a great job in gathering the required information, per Mike.  Kudos and thanks to Donna and Joy!

EEE – spraying now not effective

Email from Mike Sullivan today to a resident asking for spraying –


I did speak at length Thursday night with John Smith, who is head of Norfolk
County Mosquito control. He advised me that Medfield is consider at low risk
for EEE or Nile virus, on the state Dept of Health web site map. I’ll forward the email I received from him so you can check it out. He also told me that although they could spray, It wouldn’t do any good this time of year as the nights are too cool, so the spraying wouldn’t be effective. The mosquito that tested positive in Sherborn was a type of mosquito that bites birds, but not humans. When Norfolk County does their weekly testing, they will sample for the type of mosquito that bites humans. So far, the nearest place where that type of mosquito has been infected is in Sharon. There have found a bird biting mosquito in Medway that was infected, but not a human biting mosquito They are closely monitoring the situation and will advise our Board of Health or any change in test results. In the meantime, Mr. Smith advises that the most effective protective measures to prevent infection this late in the season are to wear long sleeve shirts and pants, to put insecticides on exposed areas and to the extent possible to avoid going out in heavily wooded areas from dusk to dawn. Keep in mind that Medfield is still considered a low-risk area for infection. Also, Mr. Smith pointed out that the reason for the increase in the number of mosquitos recently is the increase in the water levels in the Charles River caused by the heavy rains from tropical storm Irene. The Charles River is slow to rise
and slow to fall, so the high water levels will continue for some time. Over the years the Norfolk County Mosquito Control has be very effective in monitoring mosquito populations and in preventing the spread of disease. I think the best course of action at this time is to follow their recommendations.  Mike Sullivan

Weekly Political Report – Week Ending September 23, 2011

Senate Debate on Gambling Bill to Begin Next Week

The Senate is set to start debate on Monday on an expanded gambling bill that would license three regional, resort-style casinos and one slot parlor. After the amendment deadline passed on Wednesday, a total of 182 proposals had been filed, including amendments to reduce the number of casinos from three to two and to remove the single slot machine venue from the bill.

Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) indicated this week that the final vote on the gambling bill will not likely occur this week, as the Senate will hold two formal sessions per week and Senate rules permit members to delay bills for up to three consecutive sessions before they are ruled out of order.

Poll Shows Elizabeth Warren with a Lead on Scott Brown

On Tuesday, Public Policy Polling released an opinion survey that showed US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren with a 46-44 lead over Senator Scott Brown, with other Democrats in the race trailing Brown by 15 percentage points or more. The poll found Warren’s favorable-unfavorable ratings were 40-22, an improvement from 21-17 in a poll taken in June. The survey, which polled 791 Massachusetts voters from Sept. 16 – Sept. 18, has a margin of error is 3.5 percent.  Public Policy Polling released a second set of poll results on Wednesday, which showed President Obama with a 53-40 lead in a hypothetical match against Mitt Romney and a 58-32 lead over Gov. Rick Perry.


Mid-September Tax Collections up 9.7 Percent

According to a report sent to legislative leaders from the state revenue commissioner, tax collections and receipts over the first half of the month were up $88 million, or 9.7 percent. Mid-month income tax collections were up 15.5 percent, income tax withholding receipts were up 8.1 percent, and sales tax collections mid-month were up 5 percent.  Monthly collections through Sept. 15 totaled $994 million and the benchmark for the collections over the full month is $2.052 billion, or 1.8 percent more than September 2010.



John Nunnari, Assoc AIA
Executive Director, AIA MA
617-951-1433 x263
617-951-0845 (fax)

MA Chapter of American Institute of Architects
The Architects Building
52 Broad Street, Boston MA 02109-4301




Following comes from a state email to Mike Sullivan today –

“As per your conversation with John yesterday afternoon, he had asked that I forward this link

The link to the DPH shows you the map and outlines what each risk level means…and the appropriate response…let me know if you need any additional information…this map combines the risk levels of both WNv and EEE…

Elizabeth Donnell

Norfolk County Mosquito Control Project

61 Endicott Street, Bldg #34

Norwood, MA 02062


EEE found in Sherborn and Medway

I was informed yesterday by Mike Sullivan that a bird biting mosquito trapped in Sherborn tested positive for EEE two or three days ago.  An employee working in the state’s mosquito control area told Mike Sullivan yesterday that Medfield’s risk is still “low to remote” with respect to EEE.  The risk was low enough that Mike and the Chief, in consultation with the Board of Health chair, chose not to send out a reverse 911 call, given the potential for a reverse 911 call to  scare people more than they needed to be.

When I Googled the issue, I also saw reports of EEE mosquitoes  having been found in Medway.

I now know way more about EEE than 24 hours ago.  Apparently certain mosquitoes bite only birds and other mosquitoes  bite only mammals.  We are at “low to remote” risk because the EEE that was found was just in bird biting mosquitos at this time, and also where the Medfield mosquitos have not tested positive.  I am told that the state tests the Medfield mosquitos which it traps weekly at our transfer station.

While the risk is low, the injury from EEE is high.  The Wikipedia site says 30-35% of those infected die and survivors often have neurological damages.  The Massachusetts DPH materials say half of those infected in Massachusetts have died and “few people recover completely.”

Massachusetts DPH materials on mosquito repellents are at

Massachusetts DPH materials on EEE are at


EEE RISK RESPONSE MAP – from state email to Mike Sullivan today

“As per your conversation with John yesterday afternoon, he had asked that I forward this link

The link to the DPH shows you the map and outlines what each risk level means…and the appropriate response…let me know if you need any additional information…this map combines the risk levels of both WNv and EEE…

Elizabeth Donnell

Norfolk County Mosquito Control Project

61 Endicott Street, Bldg #34

Norwood, MA 02062