Monthly Archives: December 2012

Grist Mill status

Letter from the Kingsbury Pond Committee about the progress volunteers are making at the Grist Mill – great news –

Ann E. Krawec
Kingsbury Pond Committee
402 Main Street
Medfield, MA 02052

December 12, 2012

To the Board of Selectmen,

On behalf of our colleagues on the Grist Mill Committee, Dick Judge, Garrett Graham, Andy Spencer and Ann Krawec, I am writing to thank you for your support of the Clark Kingsbury Grist Mill restoration effort, by reinstating the Kingsbury Pond Committee at your August 7,2012 meeting.  The Committee has held its first two meetings, made some interior and exterior improvements, and completed a fact finding field trip to Slater Mill in nearby Pawtuxet, RI. The purpose of this letter is to keep you apprised of our progress on what we consider to be one of Medfield’s most visible historic landmarks on the Rt. 27 gateway into Medfield.

First and foremost, an effort was undertaken to shore up and rebuild the rotted and unsafe decking in front of the mill. We are very grateful for the contributions of time and materials supplied by the Medfield Highway Department in their efforts of reconstruction to the deck and their installation of new sluiceway boards. These two projects alone have provided stability and security for us to lay the foundation to begin our quest to make the mill operational again.  The Kingsbury Pond Committee has a goal, to recreate the transitional phases of mill operation through the centuries- from the early Clark Mill circa 1718 or earlier, to today’s present structure circa 1819, with the addition of the sawmill in 1889. Our historical research leads us to conclude that these progressions included a waterwheel, and a turbine as Significant historical features, which we plan to combine with an educational museum component for the students and community, while providing an aesthetically pleasing scenic destination for fish ing, picnicking, hiking and bird-watching.

Since early spring of 2012, volunteer citizens, too many to mention by name, have contributed by painting the mill, completing small repairs of railings and stairway safety concerns, cleaning the 15 years of powder-post beetle sawdust and accumulated dirt in the interior, repairing the picnic table, broken windowpanes, and adding to the on- site artifacts. Vegetation management volunteers have worked on the exterior surrounding the building, to trim back and control thorny or poisonous overgrowth, improved the driveway with gravel to control dust, and participated in regular mowing and planting of bulbs and herbs and adorned the facade with seasonal decor of pumpkins, Indian corn and, at present, holiday greens and roping. Several organizations have contributed their time and talent and we would like to say a heartfelt thank you to the Medfield Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, and offer our sincerest appreciation for additional contributions from our local contractors including APC Pest Control, Hurley-Testa Construction, and Needham Garden Center to help preserve the structure and the landscape. Medfield’s Highway Department also did a great job installing the new split rail fence along the pond and behind the mill building as was required by the town’s insurance company.

Additional valuable assistance to note with our great appreciation, has been made by Barbara Leighton, Richard DeSorgher, our Town Historian and Curator of the Medfield Historical Society, and David Temple, President of the Historical Society and Historic District Commission member, as well as the Estate of Mike Cronin, and we would like to thank them for their support, insight, historical narrative and contributions of documents, photos and notes of previous mill restoration efforts.

In closing, we would also like to thank our Town Administrator, Mike Sullivan, and you, the Board of Selectmen, for your continued support of our efforts. We will update you periodically on our progress as we move forward to our goal of a fully operational and historic Clark Kingsbury Grist Mill, the next historic jewel in Medfield.

Sincerely,
Ann E. Krawec
Kingsbury Pond Committee

MYO brochure

One of Medfield’s treasures is the Medfield Youth Outreach, which does things both wonderful and and large, for a two person department.  After the Board of Selectmen meeting last night I picked up the new MYO brochure at the Town House.

Medfield Green

Here is the calendar of events for Medfeild Green this year, from its website  –

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2012 – 2013 Events and Activities

Upcoming Events and Activities through December 2012…

September 15th– Medfield Day, free raffle basket
October 2nd– Movie Night/discussion 7:00-8:45 at the Medfield Library, Award winning Documentary, “BAG IT” You decide how plastic your life will be!
October 19th– Green Family Night, cosponsored by Medfield Girl Scouts and New ‘N Towne- UCC Church 6pm-8pm, Whole Foods presents delicious meatless meals for the family, Butterfly Tree fashion show, lots of fun and green information, crafts and games for kids
November 13th– Natural Pet Care- Medfield library meeting room, 7:00-8:00. How are chemicals harming your pets in their home and in their food? Alternatives?
November 29th– Shopping night at THE BUTTERFLY TREE in Medfield, 10% off to all who mention Medfield Green 7:00pm-9:00pm. Get your holiday shopping done!
December– No programs too crazy! Enjoy the holidays!
January– Energy Program, thermal imaging, alternative energy discussion, geothermal energy. Details to follow
February – Movie night, Award winning movie “Semper Fi” a prelude to our March program “Environmental Causes of Breast Cancer”. Why does our government not protect us? Must see! Details to follow
March– Author Kristi Marsh,will discuss her book Little Changes, Tales Of A Reluctant Home Economics Pioneer, and sign books. She will talk about the 40 things that you can easily do for a healthier life.
April– Movie night, “The Pink Ribbon” Controversial film about the misuse of the pink ribbon for profit. The real story. Details to follow
May 4th– MEDFIELD GREEN DAY, 9-12n, Legion Hall, Zero waste day, donate just about anything!  Check out the link above for more information.
June- Year-end Annual Meeting and Planning.  Details to follow.

Solar PV

This is a post on solar PV activity in town from my email yesterday on the Medfield Green (well worth joining – really active group) listserv –

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Roofs – The schools were told not to put PV on their roofs until they re-roof the schools, as otherwise the PV may have to be taken down when the roof needs replacement and/or repairs, and that is too expensive.  The PV arrays last about 20 years.  I understand that the new  DPW garage is being designed with PV mounted on the roof in mind.
Old land fill – Mike Sullivan says it was not properly closed, so he wants it to remain untouched for 20 years after it was closed before we do anything there.  Many towns are doing PV at old land fills.  The PV are mounted on concrete pads, which “float” on the ground, so nothing penetrates the liner.

Waste Water Treatment Plant – The Medfield Energy Committee is actively looking at putting a PV array behind the Waste Water Treatment Plant.  I believe that they will also look into other sites in town.  Per the Dartmouth town administrator, one needs about 20 acres to site a PV array.  Mike Sullivan suggested that we do not have many such sites available in town, and I asked if we could not do a screen with our GIS system as to how many we have and where they are located.  Medfield’s 20 acre sites may be on residentially zoned land, in which case we may want to consider doing what Dartmouth did, which was to zone to allow a PV array anywhere in town.

Medfield State Hospital – Personally, I would prefer to keep the land around the Medfield State Hospital available for passive recreation.

Parking lots – I have yet to see the array at REI, but I have read about it.  I do not think I would mind something like that at the parking lot at Shaw’s or Medfield High School.

What was so good about the Dartmouth approach was that the town just put out RFP’s, and private parties then built the PV arrays on private property, but sold the electricity to the town.  The town was essential because of the confluence of its creditworthiness and the fact that everyone had confidence that it will be around for the 20+ year life of the contracts.  The town only invested about $40K, but will save $700K I think it was over the years.

MMA on state funding gap for road repairs

This was the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s “alert” sent to me this afternoon –

MMA REPORT: Cities & Towns Face a $362M Funding Gap to Maintain and Repair Local Roads

• MMA Calls for $100M More in Annual Chapter 90 Funding for Local Roads

• Investing in Chapter 90 Strengthens the Economy, Saves Taxpayers Millions 

Earlier this afternoon at a State House press conference, the MMA released a comprehensive report documenting that cities and towns across the state face an annual shortfall of $362 million in the funding needed to maintain municipal roadways in a state of good repair, the industry standard for ensuring well-maintained roads in good condition.  The MMA immediately called for a $100 million-a-year increase Chapter 90 funding, the state-backed program that funds local road repairs.  This is an essential step to invest in the state’s economic future, and necessary to save taxpayers millions of dollars in more costly projects when roads fail.

DOWNLOAD THE MMA REPORT BY CLICKING HERE

For the past several months, the MMA has been collecting data from cities and towns across the state, and that information confirms that communities in Massachusetts need to spend $562 million every year to rebuild and maintain local roads in a state of good repair, but communities spend far less because of inadequate resources.  The result can be seen in potholes and crumbling roads across the state.

Chapter 90 provides just $200 million a year, or only 36% of the actual need, resulting in a massive local funding gap of $362 million a year.

PLEASE SHARE THE MMA’S CHAPTER 90 REPORT WITH YOUR REPRESENTATIVES AND SENATORS, AND REMIND THEM OF THE FOLLOWING:

• Cities and towns are responsible for 30,000 miles of roads in Massachusetts, and Chapter 90 funding must be increased to prevent these roads from deteriorating and crumbling.  Economists and transportation experts all agree – cities and towns must have enough funds to maintain and rebuild local roads so that we can build a stronger economy, create jobs, ensure safe roadways, and enhance our quality of life;

• Funding for local roads across the state is dangerously low, and now is the time to invest – the more we delay, the more this will cost taxpayers in the long run.  The MMA and local officials across the state are calling for a $100 million increase in annual Chapter 90 funding, asking state leaders to commit to $300 million a year over the next 5 years to help close the gap and get local roadways in Massachusetts much closer to the good repair standard;

• Chapter 90 funding is the most reliable, appropriate and effective way to close the local transportation funding gap and invest in improved roadways in all communities across the state;

• The state created the Chapter 90 program in 1973 to share a portion of gas tax revenues with communities to ensure adequate resources for local road construction needs.  But almost 40 years later, funding for the Chapter 90 program is far short of the actual need, because construction costs have escalated sharply, in great part due to significant increases in the cost of fossil fuels, which drives up the price of construction materials such as asphalt and steel;

• Investing more in Chapter 90 funding to improve the quality of local roads will actually save taxpayers millions of dollars a year.  According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, once a local road is in a state of good repair, every $1 dollar invested to keep it properly maintained will save $6 to $10 dollars in avoided repair costs that become necessary to rebuild the road when it fails;

• Under Proposition 2½, cities and towns are unable to increase the amount of local funds to supplement Chapter 90 unless they cut other important services such as public safety or education, or pass a tax override, increasing local reliance on the already overburdened property tax; and

• The MMA and local officials across the state are also members of the broad coalition of stakeholders calling for a comprehensive state and local transportation finance plan, recognizing that the entire Commonwealth will benefit greatly from increased revenues to invest in local and state roadways and highways, and regional and mass transit systems.

$1 spent on roads saves $6-10 later

CITING “CRUMBLING” ROADS, MUNI GROUP SEEKS BIG HIKE IN STATE AID

By Andy Metzger
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, DEC. 18, 2012…..There is a $362 million funding gap between what Massachusetts cities and towns require to maintain roads in a “state of good repair” and the amount of state funding currently available for local roadways, according to Massachusetts Municipal Association survey results released on Tuesday.

“The MMA’s survey results reveal that cities and towns in Massachusetts need to spend $562 million every year to rebuild and maintain local roads in a state of good repair, but communities spend far less because of inadequate resources,” the report states. “The result can be seen in potholes and crumbling roads across the state.”

State funding for local roads, known as Chapter 90, is currently at $200 million per year. The MMA, which represents cities and towns, is asking for a 50 percent funding increase to begin more aggressively addressing the gap and to bring the annual allocation up to $300 million per year for the next five years.

In January, the Patrick administration and the Legislature are planning to discuss a new transportation financing proposal, a discussion that was speeded along by a funding crisis at the MBTA last year that was solved with fare hikes and a state bailout. Chapter 90 strategies will likely figure into the discussion.

With spending on track to outpace revenues, Gov. Deval Patrick this month outlined a $540 million budget-balancing plan featuring across-the-board cuts and drawing heavily from the state’s reserves. Economic experts say slow growth means tax revenue growth will only slightly improve next year.

Every year, the Legislature allocates funding to municipalities for local roads projects, and the $200 million disbursed to cities and towns was a record high last year. This year the state kept the same funding level.

For the past two years, the Legislature has delayed the final approval of Chapter 90 funds, leading to some frustration from local officials who often can’t afford to undertake road projects without the assurance that the state will foot the bill.

“There is today a deep level of frustration with what is happening with Chapter 90, frustration around what should be a good story,” Braintree Mayor Joseph Sullivann said in June, months after the April 1 notification date called for in state law.

Providing adequate funding to keep roads in good repair prevents them from turning into more costly projects, according to the MMA, which said each $1 spent to keep roads properly maintained results in savings of $6 to $10 in avoided costs of more extensive repairs.

“If Massachusetts fails to pass a comprehensive transportation finance plan to address the critical funding needs at the local and state levels, taxpayers will face massive bills over the next 20 years to reconstruct a deteriorating system,” the MMA report said.

Cities and towns are tasked with maintaining 30,000 miles of road throughout the state.

Dealing with children about trauma

Good advice in two articles from our local community mental health agency and my former entity, Riverside Community Care, as circulated this morning by Blake Middle School –

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Riverside Trauma Center 255 Highland Avenue, Needham, MA 02494 (Tel) 781-433-0672
24 hour trauma response line: 888-851-2451 (this is not a suicide prevention hotline)
http://www.riversidetraumacenter.org
Rev: 3/11
Riverside Trauma Center

CHILDREN AND TRAUMA

Children respond to traumatic violence in a variety of ways; however there are several typical responses. These responses vary, depending on numerous factors, some of which are: the child‟s age, whether the child knew the individuals involved, and how „graphic‟ the violence was.  Some common responses to trauma include:
 Concerns about fearing that the person (people) suffered
 Repeatedly visualizing the crime/incident in their minds
 Constant attempts to tell and retell the story of the crime/incident
 Need to reenact the crime/incident through play
 A desire to seek revenge (for those who knew the victim(s))
 Feelings of guilt for not having intervened or prevented the crime

For some children, particularly those who knew the victim(s), signals of grief after a violent crime/incident include:
 Fear of death
 Fear of being left alone or sleeping alone
 A need to be with people who have been through the same experience
 Difficulty concentrating
 Drop in grades (during the school year)
 Physical complaints (headaches/stomachaches)
 Bed-wetting
 Nightmares
 Fear of sleep
 Clingy behavior (wanting to be with and around parents more often)

What you can do to help children who have witnessed violence:
 Allow your child to talk about what he/she experienced or heard about
 Know that younger children may prefer to “draw” about their experiences
 Ask them what they saw and heard and what they think about the experience. Help them to label feelings, and normalize their reactions (“that must have been pretty scary. It wouldn‟t surprise me if you keep thinking about it.”)
 Spend some extra time with your child: have dinner together, make sure to keep bedtime routines.
 Remind your child of things he/she likes to do to help feel better when upset (playing, reading, etc.).
 Keep routines as much the same as possible in the aftermath of an unpleasant event. Children count on routines and structure.

If you have concerns that your child may be having serious responses to trauma, you should speak to a counselor.

RIVERSIDE TRAUMA CENTER
http://www.riversidetraumacenter.org
24 hour Critical Incident Line: 888-851-2451

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RIVERSIDE TRAUMA CENTER

Talking with your Children About Traumatic Events

Here are some tips for talking with your children when they have witnessed or heard about traumatic events:

Listen to your children: Ask what have they heard about the traumatic event. What do they think happened? Let them tell you in their own words and answer their questions. Don’t assume you know what they are feeling or what their questions will be. The easiest way to have this conversation might be while they are engaged in an activity: drawing, sitting on a swing, or driving with you in the car. Details that may be obvious to adults may not be to children. For example a child may see a school shooting on television and assume it happened in his or her neighborhood not hundreds of miles away. Be truthful but don’t tell them more information than they can handle for their age.

Focus on their safety: Once you understand their perception of the traumatic event, be clear that you will keep them safe and let them know adults (school, police, etc.) are working hard to make sure they will stay safe. School age children may be assured to know the shooter or persons responsible for this tragedy are dead or have been arrested and do not present a danger to your child or his or her school.

Pay attention to your reactions: Your children will be watching you carefully and taking their cues from you. If you can manage your anxiety about the traumatic event your children will be more easily reassured.

Monitor your child’s access to media: It will help if young children do not watch news reports or see the front page of the newspaper. Young children who watch a traumatic event on the TV news may think the event is still ongoing or happening again.

Watch for behavior changes: Your children may show you through their behavior they are still struggling with what they have heard or seen. They may have physical complaints or regressive behaviors often including nightmares, insomnia or bed wetting. They may feel guilty that they are responsible for the event, and need to be reassured that they are not responsible.

Maintain your routines: Sticking to your daily structure of activities: mealtimes, bedtime rituals, etc. reduces anxiety and helps children feel more in control.

Keep the door open: Encourage your children to come to you with any questions or concerns and do not assume the questions will stop after a few days or even a few weeks. Let them know their fears and questions are normal and you will always make time for them.  Remind them all questions are welcome.

Consider this a teachable moment: For older children this traumatic event may lead to a discussion about ways they can help others who have experienced a tragedy. You can also ask them if they know how to keep themselves safe when they are away from home. Traumatic events make us feel like we have lost control so any constructive activities we engage in make us feel less vulnerable.