Monthly Archives: November 2017


Medfield Foundation Legacy Fund

Building Community The Medeld Foundation thanks all of the individuals who made generous contributions in support of the Medeld Foundation Legacy Fund this past year MFi’s Legacy Fund is an Endowed Fund which will enable strategic grant making to enhance the quality of life here in Medeld. With the backing of our donors and volunteers, the Medeld Foundation continues to be a civic hub of empowerment regarding key issues that face our community today and in the future. Below are the names of those who contributed to the Legacy Fund at the Founder level this past year. We hope you will add your name to this list of respected civic leaders now or in the coming year. Thank you: Helen and Paul Dewey Dorrian and Dean Fragola Leanne and Michael LaBelle Barbara and Robert MacLeod Abby and Jerey Marble Emily and Michael Marcucci Lisa and Chris O’Sullivan Deborah Bero and Osler Peterson Marianne and Stephen Phillips Georgianna Oliver and Todd Trehubenko Susan and Evan Weisenfeld Bonnie Wren-Burgess Medeld Foundation’s Legacy Fund The Medeld Foundation is a 100% volunteer run 501-(c)(3) non-prot charitable corporation whose mission is to enrich the lives of Medeld residents, build a stronger community, and facilitate the raising and allocation of private funds for public needs in the town of Medeld. MFi has raised over $1.8 million since its founding in 2001. The Medeld Foundation Legacy Fund is an Endowed Fund of the Foundation for MetroWest in partnership with the Medeld Foundation. We invite you to join the community of donors who will make it possible for us to conduct strategic grant making to further enhance our quality of life in Medeld. For information on how to give, go to or contact MFi President Evan Weisenfeld at or (774) 469-0260

Screen time and depression correlate

Author Jean Twenge Professor of Psychology, San Diego State University Academic rigor, journalistic flair Around 2012, something started going wrong in the lives of teens. In just the five years between 2010 and 2015, the number of U.S. teens who felt useless and joyless – classic symptoms of depression – surged 33 percent in large national surveys. Teen suicide attempts increased 23 percent. Even more troubling, the number of 13- to 18-year-olds who committed suicide jumped 31 percent. In a new paper published in Clinical Psychological Science, my colleagues and I found that the increases in depression, suicide attempts and suicide appeared among teens from every background – more privileged and less privileged, across all races and ethnicities and in every region of the country. All told, our analysis found that the generation of teens I call “iGen” – those born after 1995 – is much more likely to experience mental health issues than pimchawee November 14, 2017 9.36am EST With teen mental health deteriorating over five years, there's a likely culprit 1 of 3 11/24/2017, 4:21 PM their millennial predecessors. What happened so that so many more teens, in such a short period of time, would feel depressed, attempt suicide and commit suicide? After scouring several large surveys of teens for clues, I found that all of the possibilities traced back to a major change in teens’ lives: the sudden ascendance of the smartphone. All signs point to the screen Because the years between 2010 to 2015 were a period of steady economic growth and falling unemployment, it’s unlikely that economic malaise was a factor. Income inequality was (and still is) an issue, but it didn’t suddenly appear in the early 2010s: This gap between the rich and poor had been widening for decades. We found that the time teens spent on homework barely budged between 2010 and 2015, effectively ruling out academic pressure as a cause. However, according to the Pew Research Center, smartphone ownership crossed the 50 percent threshold in late 2012 – right when teen depression and suicide began to increase. By 2015, 73 percent of teens had access to a smartphone. Not only did smartphone use and depression increase in tandem, but time spent online was linked to mental health issues across two different data sets. We found that teens who spent five or more hours a day online were 71 percent more likely than those who spent less than an hour a day to have at least one suicide risk factor (depression, thinking about suicide, making a suicide plan or attempting suicide). Overall, suicide risk factors rose significantly after two or more hours a day of time online. Of course, it’s possible that instead of time online causing depression, depression causes more time online. But three other studies show that is unlikely (at least, when viewed through social media use). Two followed people over time, with both studies finding that spending more time on social media led to unhappiness, while unhappiness did not lead to more social media use. A third randomly assigned participants to give up Facebook for a week versus continuing their usual use. Those who avoided Facebook reported feeling less depressed at the end of the week. The argument that depression might cause people to spend more time online doesn’t also explain why depression increased so suddenly after 2012. Under that scenario, more teens became depressed for an unknown reason and then started buying smartphones, which doesn’t seem too logical. What’s lost when we’re plugged in Even if online time doesn’t directly harm mental health, it could still adversely affect it in indirect ways, especially if time online crowds out time for other activities. With teen mental health deteriorating over five years, there's a likely culprit 2 of 3 11/24/2017, 4:21 PM Mental health Suicide Depression Generations Smartphones Friendship Screen time teen depression Teens For example, while conducting research for my book on iGen, I found that teens now spend much less time interacting with their friends in person. Interacting with people face to face is one of the deepest wellsprings of human happiness; without it, our moods start to suffer and depression often follows. Feeling socially isolated is also one of the major risk factors for suicide. We found that teens who spent more time than average online and less time than average with friends in person were the most likely to be depressed. Since 2012, that’s what has occurred en masse: Teens have spent less time on activities known to benefit mental health (in-person social interaction) and more time on activities that may harm it (time online). Teens are also sleeping less, and teens who spend more time on their phones are more likely to not be getting enough sleep. Not sleeping enough is a major risk factor for depression, so if smartphones are causing less sleep, that alone could explain why depression and suicide increased so suddenly. Depression and suicide have many causes: Genetic predisposition, family environments, bullying and trauma can all play a role. Some teens would experience mental health problems no matter what era they lived in. But some vulnerable teens who would otherwise not have had mental health issues may have slipped into depression due to too much screen time, not enough face-to-face social interaction, inadequate sleep or a combination of all three. It might be argued that it’s too soon to recommend less screen time, given that the research isn’t completely definitive. However, the downside to limiting screen time – say, to two hours a day or less – is minimal. In contrast, the downside to doing nothing – given the possible consequences of depression and suicide – seems, to me, quite high. It’s not too early to think about limiting screen time; let’s hope it’s not too late. With teen mental health deteriorating over five years, there's a likely culprit 3 of 3 11/24/2017, 4:21 PMWith teen mental health deteriorating over five years, there's a likely culprit_Page_2With teen mental health deteriorating over five years, there's a likely culprit_Page_3

Bridge repairs – West St. & Rte. 109

Bridge repairs – West St. & Rte. 109

At the Board of Selectmen meeting last Tuesday, Mike Sullivan reported on his recent meeting with the Massachusetts DOT about getting the bridges to Millis on Rte. 109 and West Street repaired, and the funding to do so.  Mike reported that the suggestion was to split the West Street bridge repairs three ways between Medfield, Millis and the state, with our share expected to come in at $50-100K.  Mike said the state acknowledged that the Rte. 109 bridge repairs were a state financial responsibility.

bridge meeting


This photo is from Shawn Dooley’s Facebook post on the topic.


Below is the email from Mike to selectmen about the bridge repairs from before our meeting.


Moe and I, along with the Millis Town Administrator and DPW Director and Representative Dooley, met with the District 3 Engineer and a couple of his staff this morning at their Worcester office to discuss the West Street bridge repairs and the condition of the Route 109 bridge. We thought it went very well. The agreed to participate in the cost of temporary bridge repairs to the West Street bridge and said they would look around to see how much money they could come up with. They will get back to us on that. That would mean the cost of temporary repairs would be spread among Millis, Medfield and Mass DOT. The spread is yet to be determined. Depending upon which option is selected. they felt the repairs might add 10to 15 years to the life of the bridge, which by the way is 48 years old (1969). In the meantime, they would try to get the bridge listed on the bridge program, which is federally funded, and that could eventually pay for the construction of a new bridge. Moe is going to meet with some other District 3 staff on Monday to review the status of Route 109 funding, but I doubt if they’l have an answer on how much they will contribute by then. They said that the 109 bridge is clearly state owned and that they thought it was in reasonablly good condition, graded a five out of ten, but they will check it out to make sure. Any work on that bridge will be paid for by the state.


Also, our DPW, along with a crew from Mass Coastal Railroad, are replacing the railroad ties and the asphalt on the sidewalk at the Dale Street crossing today. he is also exploring with the the possibility of doing something similar on the Farm Street crossing, but that’s more complicated so don’t expect a crew out next week.

Mike S.


Suicide prevention training

The newly-formed Medfield Coalition for Suicide Prevention (“MCSP”) invites interested community members to attend a FREE suicide prevention training taught by Riverside Trauma Center. The training is intended to help address this public health crisis by rais-ing awareness of suicidal behavior and teaching tools that can help prevent suicide. The MCSP particularly encourages parents and adults to attend. We hope to offer train-ing specially targeted to youth at a future date. Tuesday, December 5, 2017 7:00-9:00 p.m. The United Church of Christ in Medfield 496 Main Street, Medfield, MA 02052 FREE to the Public For questions, contact Heather Krauss at If you are inclined to financially support the MCSP, please consider making a donation through its Go Fund Me page at RSVP not required, but kindly appreciated. To RSVP, please visit:

Senate’s final version of bill eliminates cap on municipal ambulance fees MMA opposed


Thank you for acting on the Ambulance Fee Alert we sent you on November 1st!


The sweeping health care cost containment bill approved by the Senate last week does NOT include the provisions opposed by the MMA to cap ambulance fees. Your calls on this important issue made a big difference.


As you recall, an early version of the Senate’s health care bill included provisions to cap municipal ambulance fees and impose a state-driven system to oversee the local fee-setting process. That proposal would have imposed financial burdens on cities and towns, and made it difficult for communities to fund emergency response services.


Fortunately, the Senate Ways and Means Committee eliminated the fee-capping provisions from the legislation that was debated and passed by the Senate. This came after productive conversations between the MMA, legislators, Senate staff, Fire Chiefs and other EMS Coalition partners, as we explained why ambulance fee caps would hurt local budgets and undermine high-quality municipal EMS programs. The MMA’s effectiveness on this issue was possible because of the large volume of calls that Senators received from local officials, as you responded to our Nov. 1 Action Alert. Your calls were the key to our success.


The health care legislation now moves to the House, where a bill is expected to emerge for debate early next year. When you see your Senators over the upcoming holiday season, please thank them for protecting local fee-setting authority for ambulance fees, and when you see your Representatives, please explain why ambulance fee caps would be bad for cities and towns. And please thank them all for supporting municipal issues throughout the year.


If you have any questions regarding ambulance fee legislation or the Senate health care bill, please call or email MMA Legislative Director John Robertson at (617) 426-7272 x122 at any time.


Thank You Very Much!

Turkey Bowl Food Drive

From the Medfield Food Cupboard, the MHS Cheerleaders and Football Team –


Turkey Bowl Food Drive

This year’s Thanksgiving Day “Turkey Bowl” football game will be held at Medfield High School. The Medfield Food Cupboard is teaming up with the Warrior football team and Warrior cheerleaders for a food drive at the field.
The Food Cupboard is encouraging the community to support the Warriors and the town by bringing a non-perishable, unexpired and unopened food donation to the annual Medfield vs. Dover Sherborn Turkey Bowl before half time. The game starts at 10 AM. Items most needed include: tuna, peanut butter, non- grape jelly, canned fruit, canned pasta and rice. (If it’s raining, please don’t bring any food packaged in cardboard.)

The Food Cupboard also noted: if residents are traveling at Thanksgiving or unable to make it to the game, they are always welcome to drop food donations in the bins at Shaw’s, the Medfield Public Library, St. Edward’s Church, the Senior Center, the Pfaff Center and the United Church of Christ.

CPA needs to come to town


Medfield voted down the Massachusetts Community Preservation Act (CPA) at our annual town meeting (ATM), maybe 7-8 years ago, and as a result we have missed out on huge amounts of state CPA matching monies that we could have been using to pay for our open spaces, our historic preservation, or our affordable housing.  I hope that we can agree to finally adopt the CPA soon, as every year we are leaving state matching monies on the table, despite that we pay in to the Norfolk Registry of Deeds recording surcharges that create the pool of monies used for the matching funds.  Our payments are instead going to other towns in their matching monies.

In recent years, the matching monies have been so low from the registry surcharges that the legislature has annually supplemented the matching monies via an appropriation – almost half the cities and towns have adopted the CPA, so a lot of legislators are interested in keeping the CPA match high.

When we do adopt the CPA, since the whole reason to do so is to get the most state matching monies, we should adopt the highest level surcharge, which is 3%, because only those who agree to the 3% CPA surcharge get the most and largest state matches.

I have been asking for several years in a row to have an ATM warrant article to adopt the CPA, and I have been requested to not proceed by CPA proponents due to their not having educated the residents sufficiently.  This year I think we just need to go ahead, and expect that residents will understand that the CPA will save us money in the long run.  The Community Preservation Coalition website ( is excellent at explaining the CPA.

This article below about the CPA matching monies just issued was in my Massachusetts Department of Revenue newsletter this week –


FY18 Community Preservation Act (CPA) State Match Info
Lisa Krzywicki – Municipal Databank Director

On November 14th, the Division of Local Services (DLS) released the FY2018 CPA state match to the 162 communities that have adopted the CPA surcharge. The CPA allows a community to adopt a local surcharge of up to three percent that is added to real estate property tax bills. The purpose of the CPA is to help communities preserve open space and historic sites, create affordable housing and develop outdoor recreational facilities. The CPA statute, M.G.L. 44B, provides a state match to eligible communities from revenues collected by the registry of deeds for surcharges on fees charged for recording various documents.

In FY2018, the available balance in the CPA state trust fund was $26M, and the local surcharges committed by cities and towns totaled $120.9M, which provided for a 17.2 percent base state match. Chapter 44B provides for an additional state match if a community adopted a three percent surcharge or the “blended” CPA by voting a surcharge of at least one percent and appropriating other funds to the community preservation fund so that the total equals three percent of the real estate tax levy. For FY2018, 76 communities are eligible for the second round or equity distribution and third round surplus distribution. The equity and surplus distributions use population and equalized valuation (EQV) to determine a ranking that would provide a greater portion of the balance of the state trust fund after the initial calculation to poorer and more densely populated communities. However, only those that committed a three percent surcharge whether by adopting a three percent surcharge or the blended CPA (as stated above) are eligible for these additional distributions. The decile ranking used to determine the equity and surplus rounds can be found by clicking here. The distribution summary can be found in this report.

The state community preservation trust fund was created in 2000 and revenues from the registry of deeds started funneling into the trust fund right away. In FY2003, communities started collecting the local CPA surcharge. The first state match occurred in FY2004 based on those local surcharges. In FY2003, 34 communities adopted the CPA and were eligible for the state match. In FY2018, 162 communities were eligible to receive the state match. Until FY2009, the state trust fund was sufficient to provide communities with a 100 percent state match. Due to increasing participation and declining registry collections, DLS has not been able to provide a 100 percent state match since then.

In FY2018, ten additional communities will begin assessing the local CPA surcharge and will be eligible for the state match in FY2019. In the spring of 2018, DLS will project the first round state match for the 172 communities eligible for the state match in FY2019. The ten new communities are Billerica, Boston, Holyoke, Hull, Norwood, Pittsfield, Rockland, Springfield, Watertown and Wrentham. For a complete list of all communities that have adopted the CPA, please click here. As of today, only one other community has scheduled a ballot question to adopt the CPA. Voters in the town of Northbridge will decide next spring whether to add the CPA surcharge at one percent. For the up-to-date listing of communities considering adoption of the CPA, please refer to the Community Preservation Coalition website at or by clicking here.