Monthly Archives: December 2013

2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 21,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Nominate a volunteer

Nominations Open for Medfield Foundation Volunteer Awards

Nominate an extraordinary person by 1/31/14 for the 2014 Medfield Foundation volunteer awards.

Rick McKinney

Rick McKinney was nominated last year for the Medfield Foundation Volunteer Awards.

Rick McKinney was recognized last year for his work as the  (1) scoutmaster of both Troop 89 and Cub Scout Pack 200 for many years, (2) with the Thunder Hill 4H, and (3) with Medfield Youth Lacrosse.

Nominate someone for the 2014 Medfield Foundation volunteer awards by downloading the form from, and e-mailing your nomination as an attachment to no later than January 31, 2014.

The MFi’s 2014 volunteer recognition reception, again sponsored through the generous community spirit of the Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation, will be held from 3 -5 PM on Sunday, March 23, 2014 at The Center – all are welcome.

Office Hours this Friday

As selectman, I  hold regular monthly office hours at The Center on the first Friday of every month from 9:00 to 10:00 AM.   I will be there this Friday.

Residents are welcome to stop by to talk in person about any town matters.  Residents can also have coffee and see the Council on Aging in action (a vibrant organization with lots going on).  I can be reached via my cell at 508-359-9190 or you can follow my blog about Medfield matters  –

BoS agena for tonight

Board of Selectmen
Agenda December 19, 2013

Announcements: This meeting is being recorded. We want to take a moment of appreciation for our brave servicemen and women serving in Afghanistan

Transfer Station Holiday Hours:
Closed: Wednesday December 25,2013
Open: Thursday December 26; Friday December 27 and Saturday December 28,2013
Closed: Wednesday January 1, 2014
Open: Thursday January 2; Friday January 3 and Saturday January 4,2014

Vote to sign the January 7,2014 Warrant for Special State Election. Only Precincts 3 & 4 to vote

Vote to authorize Town Administrator Sullivan to sign MilA two-year Guarantee Proposal for ‘Property and liability and Workers’ Compensation Programs

Vote to sign Agreement with Environmental Partners Group, Inc. for replacement of public water supply storage tank at former state hospital site

The Kingsbury Pond Committee requests the Selectmen vote to appoint Michael Thompson, Paul Trumbour and Sharon Judge to their committee

Town to plow former Lord’s parking lot as owner refuses to plow

Vote to approve November 19 and 26 meeting minutes

New ‘N Towne of Medfield requests a one-day wine and malt beverage permit for their January 6, 2014 event to be held at the CENTER

Vote to sign Memorandum of Agreement between DCAMM and Massachusetts Historical Commission regarding Building #31: Farm Dormitory at the Medfield State Hospital



From the Agi School, tuition invoice for the 2013-14 school year, five students @ $2000 per

Information packet from Conservation Commission

Notice from Nstar that they corrected a street light problem at pole 12/56, near Town Hall

BoS postponed to 12/19

The Board of Selectmen meeting scheduled for tonight has been postponed to 7 PM on Thursday this week.

BoS 12/17 agenda

Board of Selectmen
Town Hall, Chenery Meeting Room, 2nd floor Tuesday December 17,2013 @ 7:00 PM

7:00 PM Council on Aging
FY 2015 budget

Announce: Transfer Station Holiday Hours;
Closed: Wednesday December 25,2013.
Open: Thursday December 26, Friday December 27 and Saturday December 28,2013.
Closed: Wednesday January 1,2014.
Open Thursday January 2, Friday January 3 and Saturday January 4, 2014

Vote to sign the January 7, 2014 Warrant For Special State Election. Only Precincts 3 & 4 to Vote

Vote to authorize Town Administrator Sullivan to sign MIlA two year Guarantee Proposal for Property and
Liability and Workers’ Compensation Programs

Vote to sign Agreement with Environmental Partners Group, Inc. for replacement of public water supply
storage tank at former state hospital site


The Kingsbury Pond committee requests the Selectmen vote to appoint Michael Thompson, Paul Trumbour and
Sharon Judge to their committee

December 9,2013
Office of
TO: Board of Selectmen
(508) 359-8505, x3002

The DPW would like to request the following to be approved in regards to the TFS hours during the holiday.

Closed – December 25,2013
Open – December 26th, 27th & 28th
Closed – January 1, 2014
Open – January 2nd, 3rd & 4th

~~ Kenneth P. Feene


Norfolk, SS
JANUARY 7, 2014

To either of the Constables of the Town of Medfield


In the name of the Commonwealth you are hereby required to notify and warn the
inhabitants of the Town of Medfield who are qualified to vote in Special State Elections
to vote at Precincts 3 & 4 at the CENTER at Medfield, located on Ice House Road, on
TUESDAY, THE SEVENTH DAY OF JANUARY, 2014 from 6:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M.
for the following purpose:
To cast their votes in the Special State Election for the candidates of political parties for
the following office:
Hereof fail not and make return of this warrant with your doings thereon, unto the Town
Clerk at the time and place of election aforesaid. Given unto our hands this __ day
of December in the year of two thousand thirteen.
Mark Fisher
Osler Peterson
Richard DeSorgher
By virtue of this warrant, I have notified and warned the inhabitants of the Town of
Medfield, qualified to vote in elections, to meet at the time and for the purpose named, by
posting attested copies of the same at five public places seven days before the date of the
meeting as within directed.
Carol A. Mayer, CMCICMMC lsi
Town Clerk




December 4,2013

MilA Member Services
15 Cabot Road
Woburn, MA 01801-1003
TEL (800) 526-6442
FAX (781) 376-9907

Mr. Michael J. Sullivan
Town Administrator
Town of Medfield
459 Main Street
Medfield, MA 02052

Re: 2 Year Guarantee Proposal

Dear Michael:

The Town of Medfield is an important member of the MilA programs. Due to the overall
success of our programs and your excellent loss history, we are able to offer you a renewal
proposal for Fiscal Year 2015 and Fiscal Year 2016 which includes a rate change of 0% for
Fiscal Year 2015, and a rate increase of no more than 2.5% for Fiscal Year 2016. We are
pleased to offer this renewal proposal for both your property and liability and workers’
compensation coverages.
Your overall contributions may reflect changes in exposures, such as an increase in building
values, change in vehicles, change in expenditures, increases in payroll or changes in
experience modification factors. This offer is being made to a limited number of MilA
members and is contingent on maintaining a favorable loss ratio for all lines of coverage
below 60% through Fiscal Year 2016. As a reminder, MilA may provide participation
discounts and MIlA Rewards credits depending upon individual member participation.
MilA is the non-profit insurance arm of the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA)
which was established to deliver insurance cost stability for Massachusetts communities.
We provide superior, competitive risk management solutions including health and dental,
property and liability and workers’ compensation insurance to nearly 400 cities, towns and
other public entities in Massachusetts.
By accepting our proposal, you will continue to benefit from stable costs from MilA’s
consistently superior coverages and services. In order to accept our offer, please sign and
return the enclosed copy of this letter to our offices before December 20, 2013. For your
convenience, enclosed is a return envelope. We appreciate your continued commitment to
the MilA programs.
Adriene Magnolia, AAI, AIS
Senior Account Executive
We wish to continue participating in the MIlA Property and Liability and Workers’ Compensation
programs for Fiscal Year 2015 and Fiscal Year 2016.
Signatnre Date
An Interlocal Service of the Massachusetts Municipal Association


This Contract is made this _day of December 2013 by and between the Town of Medfield, a
Municipal Corporation, duly organized under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
and having a usual place of business in the Town House, 459 Main Street in said Medfield, MA
02052, acting by and through its Board of Selectmen and its Board of Water and Sewerage,
hereinafter referred to as the “Town” and Environmental Partners Group, Inc. having.a usual
place of business at 1900 Crown Colony Drive, Suite 402, Quincy, MA 02169 hereinafter
referred to as the “Engineer”.

Whereas, the Town solicited submission of proposals for engineering services for replacement of
public water supply storage tank at former Medfield State Hospital property hereinafter referred
to as “Program”; and
Whereas, the Engineer submitted a proposal to perform the Tasks required for the Program and
the Town has decided to award the contract therefore to the Engineer.

NOW, THEREFORE, the Town and the Engineer agree as follows:

1. Contract Documents. The Contract Documents consist of this Agreement together with
Town’s Request for Proposals, the Engineer’s Response to Town’s Request for Proposals and
Engineer’s Price Proposal which includes proposed fee schedule: Task 1 for $17,000.00 for
preliminary design; Task 2 for $16,500.00 for project permitting and approval; Task 3 for
$37,000.00 for final design and Task 4 for $9,000.00 for bidding services and assistance, total
of payments: $117,500.00 and Engineer’s schedule of hourly rates, both attached hereto as
“Exhibit A”, (two pages). The Contract Documents constitute the entire Agreement between
the parties concerning the services and all are as fully a part of this Agreement as if attached
hereto. In the event of conflicting provisions, the language of this Agreement shall govern
provided that if the conflict relates to quantity or quality of goods or services, the greater
quantity or higher quality specified shall be required.
2. Scope of Services. The Engineer shall furnish services related to the Program in accordance
with the Scope of Services contained in Engineer’s response to Town’s request for proposals,
as well as, all services necessary or incidental there to.
3. Performance. The Engineer shall furnish all equipment, staffing, and materials to accomplish
the Program in strict conformity with all applicable Federal, State, and local laws, each of
which is incorporated by reference.
4. Contract Term. The Engineer shall commence the Engineering Services in accordance with
the project schedule to be provided to Medfield Board of Water and Sewerage.
5. Payment for Work. The Engineer shall be paid progress payments based upon Engineer’s
schedule of hourly rates, Exhibit A attached hereto, for the following tasks: Task I for
$17,000.00 for preliminary design; Task 2 for $16,500.00 for project permitting and
approval; Task 3 for $37,000.00 for final design and Task 4 for $9,000.00 for bidding
services and assistance. Total of payments: $117,500.00. The Town will not pay for any
reimbursable expenses. The Town shall make payments within thirty (30) days after its
receipt. Any additional work must be approved in advance by the Medfield Board of Water
and Sewerage and will be based on the hourly rates for each employee slated to complete
tasks on behalf of the Engineer.
6. Indemnification of the Town. The Town’s liability hereunder shall be limited to the amounts
due the Engineer for services actually rendered. The Engineer shall defend, indemnify and
hold harmless the Town, its officers, boards, agents and employees to maximum extent
permitted by law from any liability loss, damage, cost, charge, or expense reSUlting from any
employees or third party engineer or supplier’s claim for payment for wages, labor, materials,
goods or services rendered to Engineer or from any claim for injury to person or property,
which may be made as a result of any act, omission or default on the part of the Engineer, or
any of its agents or employees and will pay promptly on demand all costs and expenses of the
investigation thereof, including attorney’s fees and expenses. If any such claim is made, the
Town may retain out of any payments, then or thereafter due to the Engineer a sufficient
amount to protect the Town against such claims, costs and expenses.
7. Engineer’s Standard of Care. The Engineer shall perform its services and obligations
hereunder in conformity with the standard of professional skill and care applicable to
established and experienced civil engineering firms. The Engineer warrants and represents
that it is familiar wiih all Federal and State statutes and regnlations,as well as industry
standards, governing design and construction of public water supply systems including water
storage tanks.
8. Engineer’s Personnel. The Engineer shall utilize only its employees identified in its Proposal
and shall not utilize any third-party engineers without prior written approval of the Town.
9. Insurance. The Engineer shall provide the following insurance policies. The Town will
require a Certificate of Insurance, indicating evidence of Professional Liability, General
. Liability, and Automobile Liability Coverage’s with minimum limits of $1 ,000,000.00. The
Town will require the Certificate oflnsurance to include naming the Town of Medfield as an
additional insured. In addition, the Town will require evidence of Worker’s Compensation
(per Statute).
10. Independent Contractor. The Engineer is an independent contractor and is not an agent or
employee of the Town and is not authorized to act on behalfofthe Town. The Town will not
withhold Federal, State or payroll taxes of any kind, on behalf of the Engineer or the employees
ofthe Engineer. The Engineer is not eligible for, and shall not participate in, any employee
pension, health or other fringe benefit plan of the Town.
11. Successors and Assigns. This Agreement is binding upon the parties hereto, their successors,
assigns and legal representatives. Neither the Town nor the Engineer shall assign or transfer
any interest in the Agreement without the written consent of the other.
12. Inspection and Reports. The Town shall have the right at any time to inspect the records of
the Engineer relative to the services provided to the Town pursuant to this Agreement. This
shall include the right to enter upon any property owned or occupied by the Engineer,
whether situated within or beyond the limits of the Town. Upon request the Engineer shall
immediately furnish to the Town any and all written reports relative to such services arising
out of its operations under this Contract during and/or after the termination of the contract.
13. Termination.
a. For Cause – The Town shall have the right to terminate this Agreement if (i) the Engineer’s
neglects or fails to perform or observe any of its obligations hereunder and a cure is not
effected by the Engineer within seven (7) days next following its receipt of a termination
notice issued by the Town, (ii) if an order is entered against the Engineer approving a
petition for an arrangement, liquidation, dissolution or similar relief relating to bankruptcy or
insolvency and such order remains unvacated for thirty (30) days; or (iii) immediately if the
Engineer shall file a voluntary petition in bankruptcy or any petition or answer seeking any
arrangement, liquidation or dissolution relating to bankruptcy, insolvency or other relieffor
debtors or shall seek or consent or acquiesce in appointment of any trustee, receiver or
liquidation of any ofthe Engineer’s property.
The Town shall pay all reasonable and supportable costs incurred prior to termination, which
payment shall not exceed the value of services provided.
b. For Convenience – The Town may terminate this Agreement at any time for any reason upon
submitting to the Engineer thirty (30) days priQr a written notice of its intention to terminate.
Upon receipt of such notice, the Engineer shall immediately cease to incur expenses
pursuant to this Agreement unless otherwise directed in the Town’s termination notice. The
Engineer shall promptly notify the Town of costs incurred to date of termination and the
Town shall pay all such reasonable and supportable costs which payment shall not exceed
the unpaid balance due on this Agreement.
c. Return of Property – Upon termination, the Engineer shall immediately return to the Town,
without limitation, all documents and items of any nature whatever, supplied to Engineer by
the Town or developed by the Engineer in accordance with this Agreement.
14. Notice. Any and all notices, or other communications required or permitted under this
Contract, shall be in writing and delivered by hand or mailed postage prepaid, return receipt
requested, be registered or certified mail or by other reputable delivery service, to the parties
at the address set forth on Page 1 or furnished from time to time in writing hereafter by one
party to the other party. Any such notice or correspondence shall be deemed given when so
delivered by hand, if so mailed, when deposited with the U.S. Postal Service or, if sent by
private overnight or other delivery service.
15. Severability. If any term of this Contract or application thereof shall to any extent be held
invalid, illegal or unenforceable by the court of competent jurisdiction, legality, and
enforceability of the remaining terms and conditions ofthe Contract shall not be deemed
affected thereby unless one or both parties would be substantially or materially prejudiced.
16. Governing Law. The performance of this Contract shall be governed, construed and enforced
in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Claims and Disputes
and Resolution Procedure. Claims, disputes, or other matters in question with the Town and
Engineer or any other party claiming rights under this agreement relating to or arising from
the Project, the Work, or interpretation of any terms of the Contract or Contract Documents
shall be resolved only by a civil action commenced in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
in either the Superior Court Department, Norfolk County, or the District Court Department,
Dedham Division, of Massachusetts Trial Court; in the alternative, private arbitration or
mediation may be employed ifthe parties mutually agree in writing to do so.
17. Entire Agreement. This Contract, including all documents incorporated herein by reference,
constitutes the entire integrated agreement between the parties with respect to the matters
described. This Contract supersedes all prior agreements; negotiations, either written or oral
and it shall not be modified or amended except by a written document executed by the parties
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have executed this Agreement on this day and year first
above written.
Environmental Partners Group, Inc.
~~ I
Town of Medfield, MA, by its
Board of Water and Sewerage
Approved as to Form:
Mark G. Cerel, Town Counsel
. Town of Medfield, MA, by its
Board of Selectmen
I certify that an appropriation is available in the
amount of the Contract.
Engineer expressly acknowledges requirement of paragraph 8 that it shall not utilize any third
party engineers without prior written approval of the Town.
Engineer’sEe: Environmental Partners Group, Inc.
By: , . ~ ~~ ..- ..
.. Exhibit A
Environmental ~ Par• . rUsP
A par~n .. r.hlp for lI”gln •• rlng sDlurton •.


November 5, 2013
Mr. Jeremy Marsette, Chairman
Town of Medfield
Board of Water and Sewerage
459 Main Street
Medfield, MA 02052

RE: Response to Request for Proposal- Water Storage Tank Replacement

Dear Mr. Marsette:

In response to the Request for Proposals, Environmental Partners Group, Inc. is pleased to submit our
Price Proposal for the for the water storage tank replacement project.
Proposed Fee Schedule
Environmental Partners proposes to perform the Proposed Scope of Services for all tasks previously
described for a fee of One Huudred Seventeen Thousand, Five Hundred Dollars ($117,500). A breakdown
of the fee by tasks is presented in the table below. The fee includes four (4) progress meetings. Our
proposed hourly rates are included on page 2.
Task 2:
Task 3: Final
• Surveyor = $15,000
Driller = $11,500
Wetlands Scientist = $2,500
396 North Street, Hyannis, MA 02601 1900 Crown Colony Drive, Suite 402, Quincy, MA 02169 18 Commerce Way, Suite 2000, Woburn, MA 01801
TlS08.568.5103 • FX 508.568.5125
Headquarters: )1 Woburn:
TL 617.657.0200 • FX 617.657.0201 TL 781.281.2542 • FX 781.281.2543
• ••
Mr. Marsette, Chairman
November 5, 2013
Project Manager
Hourly Rates
Sr. Project Engineer/Scientist/Hydrogeologist
Project Engineer/Scientist/Hydrologist

Page 2
We are excited with the prospect of working with you on this important assigmnent, and look forward to
discussing our scope of work and approach with you in detail. Our proposed scope of services and fee
schedule can be negotiated and revised to fit the Town’s current and mture needs. Please feel free to
contact me at (617) 657-0200 or with any questions or concerns.
Very truly yours,
Paul F. Gabriel, P .E., LSP
Environmental ~ Partners ______ ~ ________ , ~_a·>:(J\_’I>


Board of Selectmen
459 Main Street
Medfield, MA 02052
December 10, 2013
To the Board of Selectmen,
Ann E. Krawec
Kingsbury Pond Committee
402 Main Street
Medfield, MA 02052

On behalf of the Kingsbury Pond Committee,1 am writing to respectfully request
theappointment of additional members to Medfield’s Kingsbury Pond Committee at your next
scheduled meeting of the Board of Selectmen. Medfield residents and active volunteers to our effort,
Michael Thompson, Paul Trumbour and Sharon Judge have been invaluable contributors to the mill with
their time and expertise and have recently expressed their wishes to become permanent members of
the Committee. We endorse their appointment without reservation, and hope you will support them
with your vote of approval.

Thank you for your ongoing support and appreCiation of our improvements at the mill, and don’t
miss the recently illuminated wheel, and holiday decor. Our wishes to all for a wonderful holiday season!

Ann Krawec
Richard (Dick) Judge-Kingsbury Pond Committee Chair
George Dealy
Garrett Graham
Andy Spencer
Greg Testa

MMA annual meeting

I just registered for the business sessions of the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s annual meeting in January, which I have always found to be a great resource for ideas and new approaches.  Being frugal, I do not register for the dinners or the hotel, and just commute back and forth.  Here is the schedule for this year – let me know if there is something that you especially think I should cover.

Friday, January 24, 2014

8 a.m.-5 p.m Conference Registration Hynes, Hall C foyer, 2nd floor
9:30-11 a.m. Opening Session
Keynote Speaker: Jon Meacham
Hynes, Ballroom B, 3rd floor
11 a.m.-5 p.m. Municipal Trade Show Hynes, Hall C & Auditorium
Noon-1:30 p.m. WEMO Luncheon (preregistration required)
Speaker: Public Safety Secretary Andrea Cabral
Hynes, Ballroom C, 3rd floor
2-3:30 p.m. CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS – Friday session
• Building Your Professional Network
• Civility in City Hall
• Data Breaches: Is Your Community Vulnerable?
• Hoarding Response: Increasing Effectiveness, Decreasing Costs
• Labor Law Update
• New Opportunities and Changes in Municipal Renewable Energy
• Options Outside of Civil Service
• Planning Ahead: Smart Growth and Sustainable Communities
• Pushing Broadband the Final Mile
• State and Local Economic and Budget Outlook
Hynes, 2nd floor meeting rooms
• Fiscal Stewardship and Sustainability
• Rebuilding the New England Village as a Healthy Community
• Technology, Transparency and Accessibility: Local Government on the Cutting Edge
Hynes, 3rd floor meeting rooms
6-7 p.m. Opening Reception Sheraton, Constitution Ballroom foyer, 2nd floor
7:15-9 p.m. Banquet Dinner, MMA President’s Address
Special guest: Liz Walker
(Preregistration required)
Sheraton, Grand Ballroom, 2nd floor
Saturday, January 25, 2014

8 a.m.-3:30 p.m Conference Registration Hynes, Hall C foyer, 2nd floor
7:30-8:30 a.m. Member Associations Breakfast Hynes, Ballroom B, 3rd floor
8:30-10 a.m. • Massachusetts Municipal Councillors’ Association Hynes, room 306
8:30-10 a.m. • Massachusetts Selectmen’s Association Hynes, Ballroom C, 3rd floor
8:30-10 a.m. • Massachusetts Mayors’ Association Hynes, room 300
8:30-10 a.m. • Massachusetts Municipal Management Association Hynes, room 313
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Municipal Trade Show Hynes, Hall C & Auditorium
10:15-11:50 a.m. MMA Annual Business Meeting
(incl. President’s Address)
Hynes, Ballroom A, 3rd floor
11:50 a.m.-noon MMA Board of Directors Meeting: Election of Officers Hynes, Ballroom A, 3rd floor
noon-1:30 p.m. MIIA Luncheon and Business Meeting (by reservation only) Hynes, Ballroom B, 3rd floor
1:45-3:15 p.m. CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS – Saturday session
• Beyond GO Bonds: Innovations in Infrastructure Improvement Finance
• Capital Planning: Affording the Big Stuff
• Connecting Veterans to Needed Services
• Federal and State Health Reform Update
• Giving Citizens Numbers They Can Understand: Citizen-Centric Reporting
• Grant Opportunities for Green Infrastructure
• Making the Case for Regional Emergency Dispatch
• Municipal Law Update
• Open Meeting Law Update
• Pavement Management: Making Your Chapter 90 Money Go Further
Hynes, 2nd floor meeting rooms
3:30-5:15 p.m. Closing Session
Gubernatorial Candidates’ Forum
Hynes, Ballroom A, 3rd floor
6-7:15 p.m. Presentation of Innovation, Municipal Website and Town Report Awards; President’s Reception Sheraton, Constitution Ballroom
7:15-9:15 p.m. Annual Banquet (preregistration required)
Entertainment: The Second City
Sheraton, Grand Ballroom

Interview by Jack Peterson

Jack Peterson’s Medfield.TV show “Selectmen Update” with me and the Hometown Weekly’s editor, Josh Perry is now on-line via Medfield.TV’s Youtube link at

Volunteer awards online

The Medfield Foundation’s Volunteer Awards for 2010, 2011, and 2012 are now online thanks to Medfield.TV and are available for viewing any time.  The Youtube links to each are indicated below:

2010 –

2011 –

2012 ––mRrf7F_g

2013 – I am told that 2013 will be coming soon.




Lyme Disease national info

This email with interesting info from the Congress on Lyme Disease-

  • more ticks because of global warming
  • Lyme disease only receives $25 million from NIH compared with $3 billion for HIV/AIDS and $112 million for Hepatitis C, despite Lyme incidence being magnitudes greater at 300,000+ new Lyme cases per year in US as compared to 50,000 new cases of HIV/AIDS and 17,000 new cases of Hep C”

was shared by Erica Reilly of our Lyme Disease Study Committee –

From: Nancy Dougherty
Subject: Senate Briefing on Lyme Disease
Date: December 9, 2013 at 10:00:46 PM EST
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Dear friends,

I attended a Senate briefing in Washington DC last week sponsored by the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance (TBDA) to address the national health crisis of Lyme and tick-borne diseases.  The briefing was aimed at advancing Senate Bill S.719, the Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Prevention, Education, and Research Act. Lyme disease is a major public health problem and testimonies from prominent physicians, advocates and chronic sufferers were compelling.  Senate staffers heard loud and clear that current diagnostics are unreliable, hundreds of thousands of patients are suffering, global warming is accelerating the worldwide epidemic, and more research funding is vitally needed.

Washington is starting to recognize the magnitude of human suffering and economic burden [$3B+ in US] created by Lyme and tick-borne diseases.  Staffers from Rep. Chris Gibson, (R-NY), Senator Kirstin Gillibrand (D- NY) and Senator Bob Casey’s (D- PA) offices told me fighting Lyme disease is a priority and they will work to improve education for awareness & prevention and funding for research to improve diagnostics & treatments. However, the Lyme disease community needs to unite toward these common goals.  Senator Gillibrand, along with Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jack Reed (D-RI), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) are cosponsoring S.719, which would establish a Tick-Borne Disease Advisory Committee and invest additional federal funds into Lyme disease research and education.  Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), founder and co-chair of the Lyme Disease Caucus in Congress, has sponsored similar legislation in the house (HR610 and HR611).

Lyme disease only receives $25 million from NIH compared with $3 billion for HIV/AIDS and $112 million for Hepatitis C, despite Lyme incidence being magnitudes greater at 300,000+ new Lyme cases per year in US as compared to 50,000 new cases of HIV/AIDS and 17,000 new cases of Hep C (sources: NIH and CDC websites).

David Roth, Co-Chairman of TBDA, stated “National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that the impact of Lyme disease on physical health status was at least equal to the disability of patients with congestive heart failure, osteoarthritis and greater than those observed in type 2 diabetes”.  Dr. Patricia DeLaMora, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Weill Cornell Medical Center, said “Children are disproportionately affected by Lyme disease. We need accurate diagnostics and a well-educated medical community. The current diagnostics for Lyme disease are unreliable in the early stages when recognition and treatment are vital, and cannot accurately distinguish between old and new infections.” John Donnally, a 24 year old Lyme disease survivor and advocate who just completed a 3500 mile cross-country cycling public awareness TBDA campaign “Bite Back for a Cure”, conveyed “the epidemic is pernicious and rampant and a meaningful number of people do not get better”. Additional testimony from patient advocates, Karla and Victoria Lehtonen and Kelly Downing, illuminated their devastating stories of multiple systemic Lyme disease that baffled numerous medical experts due to inadequate diagnostics, resulting in ongoing symptoms including severe neurological impairment.  Karla quoted Dr. John Aucott’s research as indicating a significant percent of patients fail treatment and go onto chronic illness.  Dr. Richard Ostfeld, PhD, disease ecologist and Lyme disease specialist at Cary Institute, said “climate change is broadening the geographic range of ticks and their pathogens and the public health impact is getting worse”. When Heather Thompson (entrepreneur & Bravo Housewife of NYC) posed the question, “Do any of you want Lyme Disease?”, there was an uncomfortable silence.  A universal conclusion was the need for more research for tick control, diagnostics and therapeutics. 

Another important event in Washington last week was the FDA’s approval of Gilead’s Hepatitis C drug, Sovaldi, on Friday.  This novel oral drug is a direct-acting antiviral agent effective across a range of Hep C genotypes, adding an important weapon to the therapeutic armamentarium for anti-HCV therapy.  Why is this important or relevant for Lyme disease?  Because it shows that investment in research can produce significant innovation that will substantially improve patients’ lives!  This is an important shift in the treatment paradigm for Hep C patients since the need for side-effect inducing interferon shots will be reduced or eliminated.  It’s also a model for future Lyme disease therapeutics that could potentially, like Sovaldi, target disease specific mechanisms with improved efficacy and work in a range of genotypes.  Also, it’s important to recognize that innovations for illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, Hep C, Cancer and other illnesses depend upon a collaborative national network of clinical research centers for testing innovative diagnostics and therapeutics.  This is presently non-existent for Lyme disease, so there is much work ahead to improve outcomes for patients with Lyme disease as compared with these other illnesses.

Dr. John Aucott has a nationally recognized leading-edge Lyme disease clinical research program at the Lyme Disease Research Foundation that is generating scientific evidence to enhance the understanding of the pathophysiology of the illness and enable the progression of improved diagnostics and therapies. However, at the briefing, it was acknowledged that programs of this caliber are not sustainable indefinitely without government support.  For more information about the Lyme Disease Research Foundation, please visit  Donations to fund this vital research are greatly appreciated and will make a meaningful difference in advancing the Lyme disease field.

Thank you for your interest in keeping abreast of Lyme disease issues. Wishing you good health and an enjoyable holiday season with family and friends.

All the best,


Nancy Dougherty

Lyme Disease Research Foundation
Please follow me on twitter @NancyNDougherty