Monthly Archives: November 2016

E-cig explosions burn users


This today in my daily updates from the American Association for Justice –

Two lawsuits in Florida seek to hold vape retailers, manufacturers liable for burn injuries.

The Orlando (FL) Sentinel (11/28, Brinkmann, 684K) reports a lawsuit pending in Volusia Circuit Court in Florida seeks to hold the Sunshine Vapor vape shop, “along with Kangertech and Perfect Vape,” liable for an e-cigarette explosion that sent user James Dardini to the hospital for burns suffered in December 2015. A second lawsuit handled by the same attorney seeks to hold Destin, Florida vape shops the Vape Master, Nitecore Store, and Uvaper LLC liable for burns user James Lauria suffered in July 2015.

Group homes to avoid the Mega-B


Building affordable housing via group homes so as to avoid the Mega-B

This morning I met with the Riverside Community Care CEO, Scott Bock, and its VP of Real Estate and Facilities Management, Chris Burke, along with Mike Sullivan, Kristine Trierweiler, and Jeff Marsden.  We were exploring the town assisting Riverside to locate a group home in Medfield.  The town is especially interested at the moment as we gets credit for each bed in a group home as an affordable housing unit, and hence group home beds could assist the town in building the twenty-one affordable units per year we need to build to have a safe harbor from unfriendly 40Bs.

Riverside Community Care stated that while they want to create a four bed group home in Medfield, the housing costs here make it hard for them to do.  They can buy the same house in Bellingham for less money, so there is a financial gap that needs to be closed for them to afford to create a group home in town.

Riverside needs a 2500 sq. ft. to 3000 sq. ft. home for its four TBI clients, and Chris Burke figures on $150/sq. ft. for construction costs, so around $450,000 for build out.  However, the economics require that the property, all in, only cost Riverside about $500,000,

If Riverside stretched, we ball parked the financial gap at about $300,000 to $400,000 per group home, that would need to be filled by creative financing means.  A direct town payment is too problematic and difficult to achieve (a town meeting vote is needed), so private monies seem to be the most likely means by which it can be done.

The Larkins’ 40B on Hospital Road is slated to give the town twelve affordable units in 2017, if it gets approved, so we would need nine more affordable units in 2017 to be protected for a year.  I have been focusing on group home beds due to my understanding that they would count as soon as the building permits were pulled, and because group homes have been held by case law to be exempt from local zoning as “education uses,” the agencies can go directly to pull a building permit without needing other permitting from the Zoning Board of Appeals or the Planning Board.

If the town can protect itself by creating the twenty-one affordable units the first year, the town still needs to be diligently exploring a myriad of other alternatives for the out years, but I favor the Tilden Village expansion of 40+ units to give us protection for years two and three.  In later years beyond that we will even have enough time to start to explore the use of town owned land.

This morning I gave Riverside a list of eight properties, four of which are on the market starting at $500,000, and four of which are not on the market, but which might work.

The possible ways to bridge the financial gap that we discussed included:

  • land donation, with tax deductions to the owners
  • money donations
  • private fund raising


Owners of single family homes in the downtown RU district, who have enough land, can create a two-family house as of right, just by pulling a building permit, so if there are any such home owners in the RU district who would like to have the extra income from allowing a group home to be added onto their existing home, as their “second house” for their two-family, in their own back yard, they should get in touch with me.


DHCD corrects HPP date

When the Department of Housing and Community Development(DHCD) approved the Town’s Housing Production Plan this past month, it incorrectly stated the effective date in it approval.  Today the DHCD corrected that error with a new letter (copy attached below) noting the correct date.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Charles D. Baker, Governor + Karyn E. Polito, Lt. Governor + Chrystal Kornegay, Undersecretary November 28, 2016 Mr. Mark Fisher, Chairman Medfield Board of Selectman Town House/ 459 Main Street 02052 Dear Mr. Fisher: The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) approves the Town of Medfield's Housing Production Plan (HPP) pursuant to 760 CMR 56.03(4). The effective date forthe HPP is October 19, 2016, the date that DHCD received a complete plan submission. The HPP has a five year term and will expire on October 18, 2021. Approval of your HPP allows the Town to request DHCD's Certification of Municipal Compliance when: • Housing units affordable to low and moderate income households have been produced during one calendar year, totaling at least 0.5% (21 units) of year round housing units. • All units produced are eligible to be counted on the Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHl). If you have questions about eligibility for the SHl, please visit our website at: • All units have been produced in accordance with the approved HPP and DHCD Guidelines. I applaud your efforts to plan for the housing needs of Medfield. Please contact Phillip DeMartino, Technical Assistance Coordinator, at (617) 573-1357 or, if you need assistance as you implement your HPP. Sincerely, Louis Martin Associate Director cc Senator James E. Timilty Representative Shawn Dooley Representative Denise C. Garlick Sarah Raposa, Town Plarmer, Medfield Osler. L. Peterson, Clerk, Board of Selectman, Medfield Michael J. Sullivan, Town Administrator, Medfield Wright C. Dickenson, Chair, Planning Board, Medfield Stephen M. Nolan, Chair, Affordable Housing Committee, Medfield 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 300 Boston, Massachusetts 02114 617.573.1100

Office hours this Friday at 9


Office Hours Friday at 9AM

I hold regular monthly office hours at The Center on the first Friday of every month from 9:00 to 10:00 AM (my litigation schedule permitting).

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 508-359-9190 or this blog, where any schedule changes will be posted.

Animal Control Study Committee

The newly formed Medfield Animal Control Study Committee held its first meeting.  Good people staffing this committee looking at solving existing issues in a realistic manner.  But if it is about peoples’ dogs, people will have strong opinions.

Medfield Animal Control Study Committee Meeting #1 Draft Minutes prepared 11-21-16 for: October 13, 2016 11:00 AM Medfield Town Hall Addendees Members: John Thompson, Chair present Robert LaPlante, MACO present Jenny Cronin, MACO present Kevin Ryder, MP & R away Carol Mayer, Town Clerk present Ryan Thomas present Rosemary O’Brien present OLD: None – first meeting. NEW: 1. Introductions – Scope of our work. Discussed why the committee was formed and the need to formulate a problem statement: The costs for animal control management likely outweigh the revenue from licensing and ticketing. Enforcement of the existing town bylaw is difficult because the existing bylaw related to “control” is vague. Follow up with violations/ticketing is time consuming and not worthwhile due to low cost penalty amounts. Action-required incident statistics are not readily available, therefore quantifying cost vs. revenue and number and type of incidents over time is difficult. Pet waste management has become a concern in our recreational areas. 2. What information do we want to collect? List, Assign Discussion regarding collection of licensing and fee data from the town and surrounding communities Action: RL to report next meeting including program line item costs in adjacent communities vs Medfield. Collect information on whether similar population communities have leash law or not. . Discussion regarding incident and ticketing data and current process for ticketing from call to reporting to quarantine procedures. Action: RL and JC to report next meeting, 3 years of data sought. Further discussion regarding tagging program, cost of licensing and waste management and potential best management practices. Action: Table action to future meetings. Discussion regarding deficit spending/ cost of enforcement and effectiveness of enforcement. Action: RL, JC and CM to estimate cost of animal control management overall initial report next meeting. 3. Where what part of town should we consider? Discussion regarding recreational spaces of concern include: Wheelock School Area Noon Hill Medfield State Hospital & McCarthy Park Rocky Woods Swim Pond Area Action: Continue discussion or location related ideas at next meeting. 4. Next Meeting? November 28, 2016 at Town Hall at 11:00 AM20161113-acsc-minutes_page_2

Comment sought, by 12/1



This email today from the Superintendent:

I know many of you were involved in the focus groups and the survey over the past 10 months. The School Committee and I wanted to share the draft of our strategic plan ( “Medfield 2021”) with all of you. We are conducting a public comment period until December 1st and plan to vote the final draft on December 5th. Please click here if you would like to give us feedback.


Thanks for your support and Happy Thanksgiving!



Jeffrey J. Marsden, Ed.D


Medfield Public Schools

Medfield 2021 – schools issue strategic plan



Email from the Superintendent below:

I know many of you were involved in the focus groups and the survey over the past 10 months. The School Committee and I wanted to share the draft of our strategic plan ( “Medfield 2021”) with all of you. We are conducting a public comment period until December 1st and plan to vote the final draft on December 5th. Please click here if you would like to give us feedback.


Thanks for your support and Happy Thanksgiving!



Jeffrey J. Marsden, Ed.D


Medfield Public Schools

Medfield Inclusion Project

Dear Editor:

“Why 40Better – the Medfield Inclusion Project is a better solution for our town.

Our town is at a crossroads. We have an opportunity to make real, lasting, and impactful change that can serve to integrate mandated town 40B requirements with support for people with disabilities. Change begins with a dream and a vision; but it will “take a village.”

For me, the vision started in August of 1993 when my pediatrician informed me that my newborn son had Down syndrome. Lying in my hospital bed, in shock, I began fast-forwarding through Andrew’s life into adulthood. Who would take care of him as I aged? Would he have friends? Where would he live? Twenty-three years later, the questions remain unanswered, but there is reason to be hopeful.

Medfield is a wonderful place to raise a child with a disability. Kindness and philanthropy abound here. The Integrated Preschool, inclusive classrooms, and a thriving Best Buddies programs are examples of the heart in our community. Our kids see those with differences as peers and embrace friendships with them. For individuals with disabilities and their families, the public school years are the best of times. Their real challenges begin on graduation day, when they enter the world of Adult Services. Programs for adults are grossly under-funded, jobs opportunities are scarce, transportation is unreliable, friends have moved away, and housing has a waiting list of over 10 years.

The Medfield Inclusion Project seeks to provide adults with disabilities a path to happiness and fulfillment in their local communities through job creation, housing and friendships. We have a unique opportunity to create Community Residential Homes for 9 individuals. As a bonus, each bed counts towards the town’s Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHI).

This may solve our immediate 40B needs and give us Safe Harbor from the Mega-40B; but we must act quickly!

There are dozens of ways to help. PLEASE join me on Thursday, December 1, at 7 pm at the UCC Church at 496 Main St. to learn more about Community Residences, the Medfield Inclusion Project, and 40Better. Your attendance will literally open doors and make a difference!”


Suzanne Siino, 358 Main Street, Medfield

Veterans Day Breakfast – Wow!


The Medfield veterans were poignantly honored on Veterans Day with the now annual Veterans Day Breakfast at The Center, thanks to soon to retire Veteran Service Officer Ron Griffin, which included entertainment by the Singing Trooper, Dan Clark, in the bottom photo.  Dan Clark is one great, professional, polished show, that would be well worth viewing the show on Medfield TV (click here).

All Viet Nam veterans were thanked and honored by a reception line composed of ten town officials for their service with a Presidential Proclamation, a pin, and a sticker, as part of the 50th year celebration of the Viet Nam War era veterans – about forty Viet Nam veterans were specially honored.

Service to the veterans was provided by the students from the Medfield High School group Warriors for the Warriors, seen standing in the top photo.


BoS on 11/29

TOWN OF MEDFIELD MEETING NOTICE POSTED: TOWN CLERK POSTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF M.G.L. CHAPTER 39 SECTION 23A AS AMENDED. Board of Selectmen Board or Committee PLACE OF MEETING DAY, DATE, AND TIME Town Hall, Chenery Meeting Room 2°d floor Tuesday November 29, 2016@ 7:00 PM AGENDA (SUBJECT TO CHANGE) 7:00 PM Public Hearing-Tax Classification Board of Assessors will provide relevant information regarding the tax rate 7: 15 PM Dawn Alcott Update Selectmen on advisory council status 7:30 PM Medfield Historic Commission, David Temple, co-Chair Present Preservation {.ward to Hasipida family Discuss Commission's activities 7:50 PM Medfield Historic District Commission, Michael Taylor, Chairman Provide update on activities NEW BUSINESS Vote to authorize Town Administrator to sign Change Order pertaining to Hospital Road Water Main Other business that may arise Signature ((- 22-(~ Date