Category Archives: Information

Car ownership to cease

I think that the Town of Medfield will need to plan for this coming sea change in how we get around.  I see:

  • less need for buses at the Council on Aging;
  • requiring fewer parking spaces for the Medfield State Hospital development;
  • no real need to spend money to alleviate the current parking congestion in the downtown, as it will disappear on its own; and
  • since we receive about $2m. a year from the auto excise taxes residents pay, the town will need to find a replacement source for those receipts as they dry up as car ownership declines.

 

Click here to read on-line

 

Why you have (probably) already bought your last car

  • 10 October 2018
A Matreshka self-driving taxi cab performs a test drive at the first autonomous transport training ground at the Kalibr technoparkImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionDriverless taxis – the transport of the future?

I’m guessing you are scoffing in disbelief at the very suggestion of this article, but bear with me.

A growing number of tech analysts are predicting that in less than 20 years we’ll all have stopped owning cars, and, what’s more, the internal combustion engine will have been consigned to the dustbin of history.

Yes, it’s a big claim and you are right to be sceptical, but the argument that a unique convergence of new technology is poised to revolutionise personal transportation is more persuasive than you might think.

The central idea is pretty simple: Self-driving electric vehicles organised into an Uber-style network will be able to offer such cheap transport that you’ll very quickly – we’re talking perhaps a decade – decide you don’t need a car any more.

And if you’re thinking this timescale is wildly optimistic, just recall how rapidly cars replaced horses.

Take a look at this picture of 5th Avenue in New York in 1900. Can you spot the car?

5th Avenue in New York in 1900Image copyrightNATIONAL ARCHIVES

Now look at this picture from 1913. Yes, this time where’s the horse?

5th Avenue in New York in 1913Image copyrightLIBRARY OF CONGRESS

In 1908 the first Model T Ford rolled off the production line; by 1930 the equestrian age was, to all intents and purposes, over – and all thanks to the disruptive power of an earlier tech innovation – the internal combustion engine.

So how will this latest transportation revolution unfold?

The driverless Uber model

First off, consider how Uber and other networked taxi companies have already changed the way we move around. In most major cities an Uber driver – or one of its rivals – is usually just a couple of minutes away, and charges less than established taxis, let’s say £10.

The company’s exponential growth is evidence of how powerful the Uber business model is.

Now take out the driver. You’ve probably cut costs by at least 50%.

Uber self-driving carImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionUber has been experimenting with driverless cars

So if we’re trying to work out when this revolution will begin in earnest the key date will be when self-driving vehicle technology is available and – crucially – has regulatory backing.

That could well be sooner than you think. The UK has said it hopes to authorise the first fully autonomous cars as early as 2021.

And, say enthusiasts for autonomy, it will only take one city to prove the technology is safe and useful and the rest of the world will very quickly rush to catch up.

So self-driving cars have cut our £10 journey to £5.

The switch to electric

Now imagine the current mostly fossil fuel-powered taxi fleet is replaced with electric cars.

At the moment electric vehicles are more expensive than similar models with internal combustion engines, but offer significantly lower lifetime costs.

They are more reliable, for a start. The typical electric car has around 20 moving parts compared to the 2,000 or so in an internal combustion engine.

As a result electric vehicles also tend to last much longer. Most electric car manufacturers expect their vehicles to keep on going for at least 500,000 miles.

These factors aren’t that important for most consumers – after all, the average driver in England does less than 10,000 miles a year and our cars are parked 95% of the time. However, they are huge issues if you’re using a vehicle pretty much continuously, as would be the case with a self-driving taxi.

Internal combustion engineImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThe end of the road for the internal combustion engine?

Add in the low cost of recharging batteries compared to refuelling and you’ve got another dramatic reduction in costs.

And it’s worth noting that the cost of electric vehicles is likely to continue to fall, and rapidly. As they become mainstream, returns to scale will drive down costs. That’s the logic behind Tesla’s $5bn (£3.8bn) battery plant, the so-called “Gigafactory”.

How does this affect our £10 journey?

It brings another dramatic reduction. Fully autonomous electric taxi networks could offer rides at as little as 10% of current rates.

At least that’s what tech prophet Tony Seba reckons. He and his team at the think-tank RethinkX have done more than anyone else to think through how this revolution might rip through the personal transportation market.

‘Transport as a service’

We’ve now cut our £10 fare to just £1.

Mr Seba calls the idea of a robo-taxi network “transport as a service”, and estimates it could save the average American as much as $6,000 (£4,560) a year. That’s the equivalent of a 10% pay rise.

And don’t forget, when the revolution comes you won’t be behind the wheel so now you’ll be working or relaxing as you travel – another big benefit.

You still think that car parked outside your flat is worth having?

What’s more, once this new model of getting around takes hold the benefits are likely to be reinforcing. The more vehicles in the network, the better the service offered to consumers; the more miles self-driving cars do, the more efficient and safer they’ll get; the more electric vehicles manufactured, the cheaper each one will be.

Electric car charging at charging pointImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionDon’t worry about running out of charge

Don’t worry that rural areas will be left out. A vehicle could be parked in every village waiting for your order to come.

And range anxiety – the fear that you might run out of electricity – won’t be a problem either. Should the battery run low the network will send a fully charged car to meet you so you can continue your journey.

You’ve probably seen headlines about accidents involving self-driving cars but the truth is they will be far safer than ones driven by you and me – they won’t get regulatory approval if they are not. That means tens of thousands of lives – perhaps hundreds of thousands – will be saved as accident rates plummet.

That will generate yet another cost saving for our fleets of robo-taxis. The price of insurance will tumble, while at the same time those of us who insist on continuing to drive our own vehicles will face higher charges.

Human drivers banned

According to the tech visionaries it won’t be long before the whole market tilts irreversibly away from car ownership and the trusty old internal combustion engine.

RethinkX, for example, reckons that within 10 years of self-driving cars getting regulatory approval 95% of passenger miles will be in these electric robo-taxis.

Cars parked outside housesImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionWill cars parked outside houses soon be a thing of the past?

The logical next step will be for human beings to be banned from driving cars at all because they pose such a risk to other road users.

Take a moment to think about the wide-reaching effects this revolution will have, aside from just changing how we get around. There will be downsides: millions of car industry workers and taxi drivers will be looking for new jobs, for a start.

But think of the hundreds of billions of dollars consumers will save, and which can now be spent elsewhere in the economy.

Meanwhile, the numbers of cars will plummet. RethinkX estimates that the number of vehicles on US roads will fall from nearly 250 million to just 45 million over a 10-year period. That will free up huge amounts of space in our towns and cities.

And, please take note: I haven’t mentioned the enormous environmental benefits of converting the world’s cars to electricity.

That’s because the logic of this upheaval isn’t driven by new rules on pollution or worries about global warming but by the most powerful incentive in any economy – cold hard cash.

That said, there’s no question that a wholesale switch away from fossil fuels will slow climate change and massively reduce air pollution.

In short, let the revolution begin!

But seriously, I’ve deliberately put these arguments forcefully to prompt debate and we want to hear what you think.

You can comment below, or tweet me @BBCJustinR.

Open farm day – 10/28

Borgstein Alpaca Farm Open Farm Day 10/28

baf-openfarmday2018_3_orig

I saw the Borgstein Alpaca Farm booth at Medfield Day, loved it, and said I would post about their open house.

I really like that we have an operating farm in town.  Plus pictures of alpacas on the Internet makes for a nice change from pictures of cats.  The Borgensteins have 17 of their goal of a 20 alpaca herd, per the count up screen.

Blog upgrade

Congratulations on your purchase!

Your new domain Medfield02052.blog is being set up. Your site is doing somersaults in excitement!

 

Today after years of fooling around, I finally got serious about this blog.  I paid a fee so you will no longer see the underwear ads next to my posts.  There must be no complaining, and there is no turning back, as the Rubicon has already been crossed.

I also added the domain name = Medfield02052.blog, so you should be able to find the blog there from now on.

The upgrade also got me to the stats page, and I noticed a bump to 612 views for the E.coli water test post.

Injuries from Falls Up for All Ages

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PETERSON | Law

Osler “Pete” Peterson

617-969-1500 – Newton

October 2018

Attorney Photo

U.S. Deaths from Falls Skyrocket

You don’t see many prime-time news headlines about fatal injuries from falls, yet the numbers have skyrocketed since 2000 and now approach annual deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents. The National Safety Council recorded 34,673 fatal falls in 2016 compared to 13,322 in 2000, a 160 percent increase. Americans killed in car crashes in 2016 totaled 40,327. A driving factor in this tidal wave of falls is the growing number of elderly Americans. But as we discuss here this month, falls occur to people in all age groups in all settings. Learn more about how we can all help prevent falls.

Elder Care

Injuries from Falls Affect People of All Ages, Not Just Elderly

According to the National Safety Council, over 34,000 Americans died in 2016 from the common and preventable injury of falling. Even more worrisome is that this number has only increased since 2000 and shows no sign of slowing. You should know surprising facts about falls, what causes this avoidable injury and how people of all ages can help prevent falls.

BY THE NUMBERS

#2

Falls are the second leading cause of accidental injury deaths worldwide.

VIDEO BOOKMARK

Fit in Five: Balance

Improve your balance and prevent falls with this daily five-minute workout.

THE DOCKET

PREVENT FALLS IN COLLEGE DORMS

Safety precautions should be strengthened for bunk and loft beds in college dorm rooms as this Indiana University study illustrates.

You Should Know is a copyrighted publication of Voice2News, LLC, and is made possible by the attorney shown above. This newsletter is intended for the interest of past and present clients and other friends of this lawyer. It is not intended as a substitute for specific legal advice. If you no longer wish to receive these emails, click here to unsubscribe from this newsletter, and your request will be honored immediately. You may also submit your request in writing to: Steven L. Miller, Editor, 4907 Woodland Ave., Des Moines, IA 50312. Be sure to include your email address.

Medfield Press article on the Medfield Foundation Camp Fund

In case you have not seen the Medfield Press recently, Mike Gleason is one of the best reporters to ever cover the town.  He is journalist who understands the stories he covers and he gets the facts right.  It is truly refreshing to have a high quality journalist covering Medfield.  If you subscribe you can read his 2-3 bylines for $1 a week.

medfield_presss

Fundraiser helps Medfield kids attend summer camp

MEDFIELD – A local effort to help needy children attend summer camp raised more than $5,000 this summer.

The initiative – organized by the Medfield Foundation – is now in its second year, said foundation member Osler Peterson. With the funds raised through the program, a total of 18 local children were able to attend 28 weeks of the camp put on by the Medfield Parks & Recreation Department. The money also allowed for nine additional swim pond passes, which gave about 34 people access to the pond.

Peterson said Medfield Youth Outreach leaders had first raised the matter with the foundation in 2017, as that group interacts quite a bit with people in need.

“Kids going to camp is not just about a fun time for the children,” he said. “It also allows parents to go to work.”

However, the idea was first discussed in June, forcing the foundation to move quickly to raise its $5,000 goal.

“We started it at the eleventh hour,” Peterson. “There was sort of a blitz to get information out on social media.”

This year, the drive was greatly bolstered by a $5,000 grant from the Medfield Home Committee.

“The Home Committee was impressed by the Medfield Foundation’s Camp Fund during its initial year last summer,” Committee Chairwoman Kathy Thompson said in a statement. “This year, the Home Committee wanted to support such a great, local goal for Medfield kids.”

Though the Home Committee provided the bulk of the money raised, the foundation was able to garner about $1,000 from other community donations, Peterson said. Those who wish to contribute to the drive may do so at the foundation’s website, www.medfieldfoundation.org, or by mailing checks to the group, care of the Medfield Town House.

The Medfield Foundation itself, Peterson said, grew out of a desire to bolster private philanthropy in town. Under its aegis, there have been efforts to provide a new football field for the high school and build an outdoor classroom for the Dale Street School, among other projects.

Mike Gleason can be reached at 508-316-2809 or mgleason@wickedlocal.com. For news throughout the day, follow him on Twitter@MGleason_MDN.

Senior housing survey closed

survey-2

Barbara Thompson Gips and Dick Scullary put together the survey of Medfield seniors commissioned to get an accurate determination of precisely what types of housing that group really wanted and would be willing to buy.  The survey was mailed to all households in town with a senior in residence (ca. 2,000).  Today Barbara reports that the survey had a great response rate, and that the data should be available soon:

  • 697 Medfield household completed the survey, a response rate of 32%.
  • she should be getting survey data from the town’s consultant next week
  • she should have something for the sub-committee handling the survey within two weeks after that.

Interface

Call the INTERFACE® Helpline 617-332-3666 x1411 or 1-888-244-6843 x1411 WILLIAM JAMES COLLEGE INTERFACE Referral Service Where can you learn about Mental Health Resources in or near your community? How can you access Mental Health Services for all ages? Find answers at the INTERFACE Referral Service. interface.williamjames.edu Call Monday-Friday 9:00 am-5:00 pm to consult with a mental health professional about resources and/or receive personalized, matched referrals. For additional information and resources, please visit interface. wil liam james .edu/ community /medfield. Funding for this valuable service is generously provided by the Medfield Public Schools and the Town of Medfield.

Interface cards_Page_2

What is INTERFACE?

INTERFACE is a Mental Health Service Resource & Referral Helpline.  

Be on the lookout for new postcards promoting William James College INTERFACE Referral Service, a Mental Health Resource & Referral Helpline available Monday through Friday between the hours of 9-5 by calling 617-332-3666, ext 1. INTERFACE matches callers from subscribing communities with appropriate outpatient mental health resources and referrals in their area.

This FREE service is new to Medfield since November 1, 2017. 

Dr. Jeffrey Marsden, Superintendent of Schools, purchased this service in collaboration with the Town of Medfield, for all of Medfield’s residents, in response to reports that residents were having difficulty finding outpatient mental health providers in a timely fashion.

Seeking mental health care on one’s own has become more difficult than ever in today’s ever changing healthcare market. Providers who are on lists from referral sources such as primary care offices or insurance companies may not be taking new clients/patients, be the right match for the insurance plan of the client/patient, or have the expertise in the mental health service being sought. Residents were reporting that when they sought care for themselves or a loved one, it often took multiple phone calls, endless waiting, and much wasted time in securing an appropriate provider.

INTERFACE is free for ALL Medfield residents and is a tool in accessing mental health care by providing a service that matches a person seeking outpatient mental health care with specialized providers from a large data base of licensed and vetted mental health providers, thereby reducing the burden on residents seeking to connect with outpatient mental health treatment.

As of March over 32 Medfield residents have received assistance in securing an outpatient mental health provider through Interface.  INTERFACE resource and referral counselors work hard to secure an appropriate match and if for any reason the match is not successful; they will continue to work with the caller until the right fit between caller and provider is in place.

Medfield Coalition for Suicide Prevention (MCSP) has created postcards to inform Medfield residents about the INTERFACE service and local mental health support services as part of their mission to inform every resident of this important service.  With leadership from Medfield resident Carol Read, a prevention specialist in a nearby community and Medfield Board of Health member, the cards were designed and completed by the MCSP publicity committee and are now being distributed throughout various locations in the community.

Find them at the Public Safety building, The Center at Medfield (Council on Aging), Medfield Youth Outreach, Town Hall and Medfield School Dept, 3rd floor, Town Hall, Medfield Public Library, schools, medical professional’s offices, and at various businesses.

 If you wish to host the cards at your organization, reach out to MCSP through the Medfield Youth Outreach office at 508-359-7121.

For additional information and resources, please visit interface.williamjames.edu/community/medfield.