Monthly Archives: September 2011

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
jnunnari@architects.org
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
www.architects.org

 

 

EEE RISK/RESPONSE MAP

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 http://westnile.ashtonweb.com/index.asp

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

781-762-3681

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 https://medfield02052.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/mosquito_repellents-massachusetts-dph.pdf

Massachusetts DPH materials on EEE are at https://medfield02052.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/eee-massachusetts-dph.pdf

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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 http://westnile.ashtonweb.com/index.asp

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

781-762-3681″

Medfield Energy Committee

Learned at the meeting of the Medfield Energy Committee (MEC) last night –

  • The schools have already cut about $180,000 out of their former  $1 m.  per year energy budget by implementing energy saving measures.  Charlie Kellner. Business Manager for the schools, pointed out the savings are equivalent to saving the jobs of four teachers.
  • MEC will look into the possibility of the town installing a ground mounted solar panel array to generate electricity, perhaps on a tract of land near the Holmquist property, that is in eastern Medfield
    north of 27 and according to Mr. DeSorgher some people call the land “The Sand Pit”.   Just to the north is a gravel area and train track, and to the east is a powerline right of way, it is accessed by a narrow paved lane, to the west of this lane is a large hayed field Conservation Land.
  • MEC is looking to make sure any new town garage is energy efficient.
  • MEC is looking to complete its Energy Reduction Plan for the town (about 20% already saved on town energy use to date), including future purchase of fuel efficient town vehicles.
  • Making Tilden Village more energy efficient – it has electric heat – even though Tilden Village is run and paid for by the state.
  • Medfield Memorial Library will probably be the town building for which an energy audit will be sought this year.  MEC already solved the lack of sufficient lighting at the library – the bulbs deteriorate over time and needed replacement.
  • MEC will investigate use of LED lights in town.  LED lights have reportedly made tremendous advances in the past few years.
  • MEC will explore using Sagewell mass-thermal-imaging service to pinpoint the Medfield homes in greatest need of energy upgrades.  Sagewell can take thermal photos of all homes in town within two nights of driving the streets, and then will alert people to their home’s problem areas.

CVS Expanding

CVS has filed plans with the Conservation Commission to expand at its current location.  CVS will take over the whole building, including the part now occupied by the D’Angelo sandwich shop, and it will have a drive through pharmacy at the rear.

Paramedic Services

I discussed the possibility of upgrading the town’s EMT services to a paramedic service with my colleagues last night, and neither Ann, Mark, nor Mike had any interest in looking at doing so.  Paramedics have the additional ability to administer medications and to stabilize a patient before transport in the ambulance.  Currently, if paramedics services are needed, a call goes out to paramedics who then intercept the Medfield ambulance, and the patient is transferred to the paramedics’ ambulance.

Having a paramedic service would cost the town more money, and if the proposal were to have been investigated it would ultimately have been up to residents at the Annual Town Meeting to decide whether they wanted to spend those extra monies for the higher level of ambulance services.

BoS met with Army Corps. of Engineers

On 9/19/11 the Board of Selectmen met with Army Corps, of Engineers (ACE) about the pending DCAM permit to perform work in the Charles River.  The permit is being sought to do the clean up work in a way with which the town does not agree.  While DCAM is seeking to cap in place the hazardous waste dumped by the state over decades, the BoS is principally asking to have as much of the hazardous waste as possible removed and stored on site in a securely constructed containment.  All the waste cannot be removed because there is a natural gas pipeline that transects the waste, so the town suggests removing the waste up to the pipeline.  DCAM additionally proposed to cap in place diesel fuel spilled in the river when the delivery person fell asleep while filling the power plant tanks, but DEP has ordered that the oil be removed next year.  The BoS suggests it is a waste of money to cap the oil this year where it is only going to be removed next year, and the risk is low as the oil has been in the river without incident for decades.

The ACE said that for them the DCAM work is a minor project, that once they get more information about the oil removal and the bio-engineered river bank as a possible alternative to the rip rap that they only learned of last Friday that they will likely  permit the work, that the alternatives analysis of the sort the BoS hoped to see regarding the waste dump are not required, and that they thought the town’s issues should more properly be directed to the Massachusetts DEP.

The meeting materials can be seen via this link –

https://medfield02052.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/20110919-meeting-with-army-core-of-engineers.pdf