Monthly Archives: November 2011

RR Worcester to Foxboro

Rep. Dan Winslow’s office sent me material on a proposed passenger rail connection through Medfield, for service from Worcester to Foxborough.  It is being promoted by a law firm –

Click to access Presentation_I-495-20110928.pdf

Grief Relief 5k raised $35K

Just heard that the Grief Relief 5 k last Saturday raised $35,000 to send kids who have lost a parent or sibling to camp.  See photos at

22nd highest tax bill in Mass

Medfield’s property taxes rated it the 22nd highest taxes in the state in FY11, per the DOR, averaging $8,477 per home.  This is from the state’s spreadsheet –

2010              Average Value 2011            Average Value Pct. Change Value 2010 Single Family Tax Bill 2011        Single Family Tax Bill Pct. Change Bill 2011    Hi-Lo Rank 2011        Tax Rate
578,363 564,396 -2.41% 8,236 8,477 2.93% 22 15.02
MEDFIELD 578,363 564,396 -2.41% 8,236 8,477 2.93% 22 15.02

DPU hearing tonight on NSTAR response to Irene

The DPU has opened an investigation into the responses of National Grid, NSTAR Electric Company, and Westem Massachusetts Electric Company to the October 29, 2011 snowstorm. The following hearings have already been scheduled to hear from the public about National Grid’s and NSTAR’s response to Tropical Storm Irene. We will take public comment in those hearings about those Companies’ response to BOTH Tropical Storm Irene AND the October snowstorm. Here are the times and locations of those hearings.

National Grid
Tuesday, Nov. 29, 7 p.m.
Trottier Middle School, 49 ParkervilJe Road, Southborough (rescheduled from
November 1, 2011)
Thursday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m.
Attleboro High School, 100 Rathbun Drive, Attleboro (rescheduled from
November 3, 2011) . .

Wednesday, Nov. 16,7 p.m.
Walsh Middle School, 301 Brook Street, Auditorium, Framingham
The DPU is in the process of scheduling additional public hearings in areas affected by the October snowstorm. The DPU will announce the times and locations of these hearings soon.
Investigation by the Department of Public Utilities into the Preparation and Response of
NSTAR to Tropical Storm Irene, D.P.U. 11-85-B .
The purpose oftbis hearing is to provide you with an opportunity to co=ent on your experiences
related to your electric service both during and after Tropical Stonnlrene. Your testimony will
assist the Department of Public Utilities (”DPU”) in assessing NSTAR’s preparation for and
response to the storm, and will become part of the official record of the investigation. The purpose
of this hearing is to collect co=ents of public officials and members of the public in the affected
service territory; it is not to request infonnation or co=ent from either the Company or the DPU.
The DPU will call members of the public to testify in the order that they sign-in on the “sign-in
sheet.” State and local elected officials and local public safety officials may be allowed to testify
first. . Each person is asked to keep his or her co=ents brief and to the point so that we may
acco=odate every person wishing to testify tonight. If you have written co=ents, you may
summarize them in your testimony and submit your complete remarks to the Hearing Officer.
Please direct all your remarks to the DPU for the record in our investigation, and refrain from
directing comments or questions to NSTAR. The DPU will use your co=ents and suggestions
when questioning NSTAR during the next phase of the investigation
If you cannot or choose not to testify tonight, you may still submit written co=ents to the DPU.
Please mail your co=ents to Mark D. Marini, Secretary, Department of Public Utilities, One
South Station, 5th Floor, Boston, Massachusetts 02110; and send a copy bye-mail attachment to and to the Hearing Officer
The next step in the DPU’s investigation is referred to as the “adjudicatory phase.” The
adjudicatory phase includes evidentiary hearings· at the DPU’s office in Boston, where witnesses,
primarily from the Company, will testify and be subject to cross-examination by the DPU and other
FAX: (617)345·9101
parties, including the Attorney General. By law, the Attorney General represents the interests of .
residential ratepayers in the Commonwealth. The DPU issued a notice of intervention on
.. October 12, 2011, with directions on hbwto petition the Department to become a party to the
proceeding. The deadline for filing a petition to intervene is November 23, 2011. Although
members of the public may attend the evidentiary hearings, only parties to the proceeding may
participate. After the conclusion of the adjudicatory phase, the DPU will issue an Order based on
. our review of record evidence, including the written and verbal testimony provided tonight, as well
as information and data collected during the adjudicatory phase.
Documents that are filed as part of the investigation will be available on the DPU’s website at You may access the documents by choosing “File Room” under “Key
Resources;” select “Dockets” and enter the docket number for this proceeding “11-85-B.” Paper
copies of documents are available from the DPU, with a charge per page for copying, by contacting
Secretary Marini at the above address or at 617-305-3500. We encourage you to obtain docket
materials on-line because of the volume and length of the documents.
Also available on the D PD’s website are the relevant statutes, regulations .and Orders. This
proceeding is governed by G.L. c. 164, §§ 1J and 85B, and the DPU’s regulations, 220 C.M.R.
§ 19.00 et ~ which you may access by choosing “Statutes and Regulations” under “Key
Resources” on the DPU’s website. In addition, the Order establishing guidelines for the emergency
response plans (“ERPs”) for electric companies, Final ERP Guidelines, D.P.U. 10-02-A (April 20,
2010), is available in the File Room by entering “10-02” as described above.
Transcripts of this public hearing and the evidentiary hearings are available for public view at the
DPU’s offices during business hours; copies may be ordered from the stenographer:
Farmer Arsenault Brock LLC, 617.728.4404,
If you have questions regarding this proceeding, please contact the Hearing Officer, Jennifer M.
Murphy at 617-305-3696 or at

Grief Relief 5k

Camp Comfort Zone held its first major event in Massachusetts on Saturday morning at Medfield High School, a 5k walk/run to raise monies and to raise awareness of their cause.  CZC provides camping respites for children whose parent or sibling have died.

It was a huge success, with over 130 walkers/runners participating and over $28,000 raised.  The opening ceremonies I attended were remarkably moving, with the highlight being a 13 year old Medfield camper speaking eloquently and movingly about what the camp experience had provided for her.

Medfield resident George Gallagher coordinated the event, and said he hoped it will become an annual addition to the town’s calendar.


Teen alcohol & drug use

Medfield Cares About Prevention (MCAP) presented three highly informed  speakers last night at the MHS on teen alcohol and drug use.

My two biggest take always,

  • 42% on MHS seniors have been binge drinking in past month, and
  • studies document that the earlier teens start drinking and drugging, the more likely they are to become addicted (up to 4 times likelier)

Plenty to be scared about.  I have posted the handout at

Weekly Political Report – Week Ending November 11, 2011

The Weekly Political Report is prepared by a political consulting group, Rasky/Baerlein, and shared with me by John Nunnari.

Congressional Maps Approved by Redistricting Committee
On Thursday, the Joint Committee on Redistricting unanimously approved legislation that redraws the state’s Congressional districts to reflect the loss of one seat. The proposal includes the following changes:


  • The minority population of the Eighth Congressional district, held by Congressman Michael Capuano, will grow from 52% to 56.6%.
  • The districts of Congressmen William Keating and Stephen Lynch would change dramatically, putting the two into the same district unless Congressman Keating moves to his summer house on Cape Cod, something that he announced earlier this week that he would do. Cape Cod would be part of a new, incumbent free district that would stretch from the Cape and Islands across Plymouth and Bristol County to Fall River.
  • Congressman Lynch would lose some Boston neighborhoods and would pick up the suburban city of Quincy and parts of the South Shore.
  • Western Massachusetts communities currently represented by retiring Congressman John Olver would be split among the two districts currently represented by Congressman James McGovern and Congressman Richard Neal.
  • Congressman McGovern’s Third Congressional District would expand westward to absorb Worcester, Hampshire, and Franklin counties as well as Northampton and Amherst.
  • Congresswoman Nikki Tsongas’s district would gain the communities Gardner, Pepperell, Clinton, Fitchburg, Lunenburg, and Marlborough while losing Billerica, Tewksbury, and part of Andover.


The proposed Congressional districts are scheduled to be debated and likely approved on Tuesday.


Several Bills Pending as November Recess Approaches

With only three days left before the Legislature breaks for a seven-week recess, several major bills remain in conference committee. Six-member conference committees are negotiating compromise language for the anti-trafficking, pension reform and casino bills and must meet an 8 p.m. Tuesday deadline to recommend consensus bills for consideration on Wednesday, the final day for formal sessions in 2011. Bills that emerge from conference committees are not subject to amendment, and are only subject to up or down votes of acceptance in both branches followed by enactment votes. Both branches are scheduled to hold informal sessions Monday and formal sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday. Governor Patrick has ten days to act on bills approved by the Legislature. The Legislative Session does not end until July 31st and these bills can stay active until that time. Legislative leaders are pushing for votes on several major bills before the November recess.


Senate Votes Unanimously in Support of Omnibus Crime

On Thursday, the Senate unanimously adopted legislation that reforms the state’s parole and sentencing laws. The bill includes a proposal to deny parole eligibility to three-time violent felons and makes changes in gun and sentencing laws. Mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug crimes would be reduced and applied to current inmates, making them eligible for parole if they’ve served the new reduced sentence. Many of the proposals in the Senate bill are still pending before the House-controlled Judiciary Committee, which has not yet recommended legislation.

Green Communities Oversight Hearing

The Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy held an oversight hearing on Tuesday to hear from stakeholders involved in the implementation of the Green Communities Act of 2008, which reformed the state’s energy policy by making commitments to electric and natural gas energy efficiency programs, renewables, and clean fossil fuels. The committee invited administration officials, utility companies, energy purchasers, energy-related businesses, environmental and advocacy groups, as well as Green Communities and the Massachusetts Municipal Association to testify during the hearing, which began at 10am and adjourned at 6:30pm.



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


Bay Colony Rail Trail

1. Residents interested in studying the issues involved in creating a rail trail out of the unused Bay Colony Railroad line should contact me ASAP.  The Board of Selectmen will appoint the citizen study committee at our 11/15 meeting.

2. Newton’s Chief Operating Officer, Bob Rooney, joined the ongoing meetings yesterday afternoon of the ad hoc, now four town, group examining the issues related to creating the Bay Colony Rail Trail.

Coliform, and cholorine in our water

11/1/11 notice from Ken Feeney –

This notice is to advise our customers that our water system is in noncompliance with the drinking water standards for Total Coliform bacteria during the months of September and October 2011. Similar notices were issued to you for violations occurring in June, July, and August 2011. Although this is not an emergency, as our customers, you have a right to know what happened, what you should do, and what we are doing to correct this situation.
During routine water sampling in early September and mid-October, more than one sample or greater than five percent of the samples collected showed the positive presence of coliform bacteria. This exceeds acceptable standards.
What should I do? You do not need to boil your water or take other corrective actions. However, if you have specific health concerns, consult your doctor.
People with severely compromised immune systems, infants, and some elderly may be at increased risk. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1 (800) 426-4791.
Please share this information with all other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.
What does this Mean?
Total coliform bacteria are generally not harmful themselves. Colijorms are bacteria which are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other potentially-harmful bacteria may be present. Coliforms were found in more samples than allowed and this was a warning of potential problems.
Bacterial contamination can occur when increased run-off enters the drinking water source (for example, following heavy rains). It can also happen due to a break in the distribution system (pipes), contamination in a storage tank or a failure in the water treatment process. Whenever we detect coliform bacteria in any sample, we do follow-up testing to see if other bacteria of greater concern, such as E. coli, are present. We did not find any of these bacteria in our subsequent testing. If we had, we would have notified you immediately.
What is being done?
In response to the ongoing bacteria detections, we are adding sodium hypochlorite (chlorine) at all active sources to achieve a chlorine residual throughout all areas of the water system. Low levels of chlorine and a slight discoloration may be detected in the water. Aquarium owners and users of kidney dialysis machines are advised to treat or filter the water before use.
We will continue to maintain chlorine levels throughout our system and monitor for the presence of contaminants in the sources and distribution system to ensure the safety of the water supply. We are in contact with MassDEP who will evaluate the effectiveness of the steps taken to determine if any further action is required.
For more information, please contact Kenneth Feeney, D.P.W. Superintendent, at 1-508-906-3002, or or refer to our website
This notice does not affect persons using private drinking water wells.
PWSID#: 2175000

Date Distributed: 11/1/11

Medfield’s Christmas Angels seek assistance

Dear Friends,

As the holiday season approaches you may be considering sponsoring a family for Christmas this year. For those of you interested, we would like to let you know that Christmas Angels has launched it’s own website! Please check us out at to sponsor a family this year.

Because of all of your generosity, last year Christmas Angels provided Christmas joy for over 40 families!! We expect to have even more families in need of help this year. Please consider sharing the sponsorship of a family with a friend, or an organization or community service group such as brownies, boyscouts, or even your office! Christmas An gels’ mission is “counting our blessings while helping those less fortunate” . It may be the best gift you give yourself this year!!

Thank you so much for all your support!

Jeanne McKenzie and Nicki Gustafson