Category Archives: Veterans

Memorial Day – church bells

Memorial Day – First Parish and Baptist church bells rung at noon

John Kraus shared his recording (below) of the church bells rung on Memorial Day.  John made his recording in front of the Town House.

I observed Memorial Day by going to the former Medfield State Hospital to listen to the noon bell ringing at the Lee Chapel (the bell in the photo above, with the large sounding hammer showing to the right).  John Thompson, Chair of the Medfield State Hospital Building and Grounds Committee and the Property Manager, shared that the bell is inscribed “1896,” that one rings it from the clock room that is on what would be the second story, and that the Lee Chapel was constructed around the bell, as the bell is too large to be remove.

 

https://medfield02052.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/church-bells.m4a

Medfield Helping Organizations

I was asked yesterday – “Could your blog offer names and contact information of organizations that help Medfield residents in time of need?”   I will list the ones of which I am aware, and invite others to add to my list.

 

The Home Committee

The oldest helping entity I am aware of is the Home Committee.  Kathy Thompson (kathompson@gmail.com) and Georgia Colivas of the Home Committee appeared at a recent Select Board meeting to explain the Home Committee.  At that time they announced that the Home Committee had made a substantial donation to the Medfield Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund.

 

Town of Medfield

The Town of Medfield’s human services are managed through the Medfield Youth Outreach, the Council on Aging, and Veterans Services.

Medfield Youth Outreach
88R South Street, Door 12
Medfield, MA 02052
cgoldstein-walsh@medfield.net
Work 508-359-7121

Lisa Donovan, Outreach Coordinator
Council on Aging
One Ice House Road
Medfield, MA 02052
ldonovan@medfield.net
508-359-3665

Jon Cogan, Veterans Agent

Phone: 508-906-3025

Medfield Foundation

mfi logo

The Medfield Foundation was started in 2001 with a simple idea, that Medfield residents would be willing to make private donations for public purposes in their own hometown, and to date over $3 m. has been given.

As a result of the annual Angel Run each December being a Medfield Foundation initiative, MFi started fourteen years ago raising monies for its Public Needs Fund to assist Medfield families.  The MFi’s Public Needs Funds are disbursed to an Angel Fund administered jointly by the Medfield Youth Outreach office and Pastor Phil Bauman of the UCC, from where the monies are disbursed to Medfield families in need.

MFi responded four years ago to a perceived need to assist all Medfield children to be able to attend summer camp by the creation of its Camp Fund, currently administered by Rose Colleran.

Medfield Helping Hands, a Medfield Foundation initiative, is a volunteer network that supports Medfield families in temporary crisis with meals and rides. It is run by Laurie Nealon, Kathleen Cahill, and Katie Henebry.

The Medfield Foundation Legacy Fund is an endowment established for the long-term benefit of the Medfield community which engages in grant-making to support community-driven projects.  Its Community Board, run by Todd Trehubenko and Chris Cahill, is engaged in raising $1 m. to endow the Legacy Fund.

Most recently, MFi has created its COVID-19 Relief Fund, which was created to specifically assist residents in need due to issues arising due to the COVID-19 virus.  The COVID-19 Relief Fund is being headed by Evan Weisenfeld and Abby Marble

Any Medfield Foundation initiative mentioned can be reached through the website, or by an email to president@medfieldfoundation.org or  treasurer@medfieldfoundation.org.

 

Churches

I suspect that all the churches in town are engaged in helping residents as well, but I do not know those details.

AAJ protecting veterans

My American Association for Justice (a national group of plaintiff personal injury attorneys) just shared this –

Fighting for Those who Fight for Us

Servicemembers and veterans are often targeted by the unscrupulous and, despite their service to their country, are frequently denied the constitutional rights they fight to protect.

Though Congress has passed laws to protect the rights of servicemembers and veterans, legal maneuvers have left many unable to hold wrongdoers accountable when a bank forecloses upon a deployed soldier’s home, when an employer fires a reservist who’s called to active duty, when a commanding officer rapes a subordinate, or when exposure to a toxic substance on the job causes cancer.

When our institutions fail to protect the rights of men and women who make up America’s first line of defense, the civil justice system has proven to be the last line of defense.

Tony Centore – MFi Co-Volunteer of the Year

Tony centore

Tony Centore Selected as one of Two Co-Volunteers of the Year for 2018

Separately, both Pauline Medeiros and Chris Rumel suggested Tony Centore as the Medfield Foundation volunteer of the year.  These are their nominations in the order received, first from Pauline, and then from Chris:

 

Primary organization or initiative where she/he volunteers: Senior Housing, Veterans, Lions Club

Other organizations where she/he volunteers: Center at Medfield, American Legion, Solid Waste Committee, Board of Health (1983,1984)

How many years has the nominee be donating her/his time? At least 15

I would like to nominate Tony Centore for Medfield Foundation’s Volunteer of the Year Award. Tony has dedicated his time and expertise to volunteering in Medfield over a period of many years. Tony, a veteran who served during the Vietnam Era, has been a member of Beckworth Post American Legion for nearly 15 years. Tony is currently the Adjutant for the Post and as such records the minutes of Legion meetings and files all forms. In addition, he is a member of the Executive Board which oversees all of the Post’s financial operations and is on the Board of Trustees which oversees the management of the Post’s property. It is noteworthy that Tony was an instrumental member of the Medfield Public Schools Veterans Plaque Committee. As a result of the committee and Tony’s efforts, plaques were erected at Dale Street School honoring Medfield’s World War II and Korean War Veterans. An additional plaque was installed at Blake Middle School honoring Medfield’s Vietnam Veterans in 2012. Ron Griffin states, “During my time as Medfield’s Veteran Service Officer and member of the American Legion, I’ve worked with Tony on several committees. Whatever the committee, whatever the task, Tony is a tireless contributor.” A second area in which Tony has volunteered is the Lions Club. Tony joined the Lions in 2003. For several years he was responsible for all of the Lion’s Club’s press releases. Over the years Tony has volunteered selling Christmas trees for the Club, working at the Club’s hamburger stand on Medfield Day and been active in all of the club’s projects. Tony was voted Lion of the Year by his fellow members in 2010. He has served on the Board of Directors and sponsored several new members into the club. Most notably, Tony should be recognized for creating the Lion’s Annual Chowder fest in 2009 and chairing the event for nine consecutive years. He has enlisted the help of friends and peers at the Lions Club and has worked with many local restaurants to donate chowder for the event as well as freshly baked rolls. All proceeds for the annual Chowder fest benefit FOSI (Friends of Seniors, Inc.) . Thousands of dollars have been raised from profits of the Chowder fest to support programs for Medfield’s seniors at the Center. In addition, the annual event provides seniors and other Medfield residents the opportunity to socialize together and have a good time. Tony has been an active, longtime volunteer at the Center at Medfield. In fact he was involved prior to its opening, since he was a member of the Adult Community Center Committee. Using his background as an engineer, Tony was involved during the construction of the Center, offering his expertise. Roberta Lynch stated that Tony was always there for whatever was needed. Since its opening Tony has volunteered at the Center, picking up bagels from the Blue Moon to be brought to the Center, cooking and serving for the Center’s monthly breakfasts, helping at the summer cookouts, and working at the Center’s annual yard sale. Tony was a member of the Board of Health for two years (1983 and 1984). Tony was a five year member of the Solid Waste Committee (2009-2014). During his tenure many changes were made at the transfer station, most notably the restriction of use by Medfield residents only by requiring stickers and single stream recycling. Residents can all agree that the latter has made recycling so much easier.

Tony should definitely be acknowledged and commended for bringing to the forefront, the issue of Senior Housing in Medfield. Tony realized that Medfield seniors, many of whom lived in the Town for thirty, forty years or more would be unable to afford to stay in Medfield should they decide to downsize. Tony brought this concern to the attention of Medfield’s Council of Aging Board; town administrator, Mike Sullivan; and town counsel, Marc Cerel. A Senior Housing Study Committee was approved at Town Meeting in April 2016. Subsequently Tony was named Chairman. Since the inception of the Committee, Tony has been instrumental in guiding the Committee. Roberta Lynch, Director of the Center at Medfield and fellow committee member says of Tony, “Tony is a champion for providing appropriate and moderate priced housing for Seniors in Medfield.” The committee spent numerous hours collecting data, meeting with Town officials, and most importantly listening and surveying more than 140 Medfield seniors. These seniors shared information about their age, income, house assessment, and preference for senior housing. Tony shared the results with seniors at a meeting at the Center in October 2017. He gave a complete, clear power point presentation that was easily understood by those attending the meeting. He also entertained questions from those present and listened to their comments. At this meeting, Tony shared some typical comments by seniors who took part in the survey .Those comments were the following: (1”) I am the third generation of my family to live here (Medfield) and, like my parents I am not going to be able to afford to continue to live here. We are part of what made this town a wonderful place to live and, as a result, are being forced out.”(2)” New construction for seniors in Medfield would be most welcome. Thank you for working on this and making reasonably priced quality units available as soon as possible.” (3)” Have waited many years for the Town to take an interest in senior housing.” (4)” After years of paying high property taxes for our schools, with no one in the family attending, it is fantastic our town is also looking at the older generation. Thank you!” Tony and his committee have completed their study of Senior Housing in Medfield. On January 30, 2018 Tony presented the committee’s final report to the selectmen. The first paragraph of this report summarizes their work. “The committee has quantified the growing senior 55 plus population in Town, collected senior home assessments and income, conducted a Medfield Senior Housing Survey, evaluated the financial aspects of selling and buying senior friendly housing, and made recommendations to address what we see as a major housing issue among Medfield Seniors.” Tony has done everything possible to keep Medfield seniors well informed and educated with regard to the Committee‘s work and Senior Housing in general. He has held informative meetings, organized a meeting for Seniors to express their concerns with the Selectmen, and keeps Seniors informed through numerous emails. He often provides references to other web sites as well. As a fellow senior, I believe that I am representative of the many Medfield seniors who want to thank Tony for all of his efforts on our behalf and believe that he should be recognized. In addition, the entire Medfield Community should thank Tony for his many, longtime, and varied contributions helping to make Medfield such a great place to live. “Thank you, Tony Centore, for sharing your time, energy, and expertise with us!

 

Primary organization or initiative where she/he volunteers: Medfield Seniors Housing Study

Other organizations where she/he volunteers: Medfield Legion, Medfield Council On Aging

How many years has the nominee be donating her/his time? Unknown, 10+, likely much longer

I had the pleasure of working with Tony on the Medfield Seniors Housing Study committee in town. Tony was the Chair of the committee, and his leadership and passion for helping Medfield Seniors was inspiring to all of us on the committee. Tony took charge from Day 1, and took lead on the vast majority of our collective efforts. Simply put, the committee would not have accomplished half of its goals without Tony’s involvement. He prepared the initial online survey and ensured it was available both online or on paper. He also took lead in researching the latest information on senior housing needs in the country, while touring other projects in nearby communities. He was the primary person drafting and revising the final report which was delivered to the Board of Selectmen on time, and also led the committee presentation of our findings. His tireless advocacy on behalf of Medfield will serve to benefit the towns senior population for years to come, and will directly influence affordable options to allow seniors to remain in our great town.Tony is very active in Medfield with various other organizations, and he works tirelessly for the residents in town and to make Medfield a better community. He works on all of these initiatives for the right reasons, and selflessly volunteers his time toward the causes. I think Tony would be a fantastic and deserving recipient of this award.Thank you for your consideration.

 

The public is invited to the reception to honor all the nominated volunteers at 3PM on Sunday April 8 at The Center. The Medfield Foundation volunteer awards are made possible through the sponsorship of Roche Bros. and Brothers Marketplace, as well as a contribution for Rockland Trust.

brothers-marketplace-jgp

Instructional videos to assist veterans

Videos to assist veterans

MCLE_logo MCLE joins Veterans Legal Services in educational initiative–series of training videos

Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc.and Veterans Legal Services are pleased to announce an online initiative to assist veterans and those in the legal profession and elsewhere who strive to serve veterans in their transition to civilian life. We recognize the difficulties combat veterans from the Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan theaters often face upon return and that these difficulties often involve legal issues. Fortunately, in the Commonwealth, there are individuals and groups, private and public, who will “walk the walk” with veterans to assist them with legal problems that bear on employment, housing, education, finances, medical care, and criminal law.

To help educate and train those in the legal profession and others who seek to help veterans, we are making available a series of brief training videos addressing common issues experienced by military veterans returning to civilian life. Other videos will follow throughout the year. We hope that veterans and those who advocate for them find this series helpful and instructive.

If you are interested in assisting veterans or for more information, contact Veterans Legal Services at lynn@veteranslegalservices.org.

Watch NowThomas R. Capasso, Director, Probation Records Unit,
Office of the Massachusetts Commissioner of Probation

Sealing of Massachusetts Criminal Records »
Recorded Thursday, October 20, 2016 (18:21)

A primer on how to assist veterans in sealing, and in some cases unsealing, their criminal records, this training video addresses both court and administrative processes and references the following essential forms:
How to Seal Your Adult Convictions (G.L. c. 276, § 100A)
How to Seal Your Juvenile Record (G.L. c. 276, § 100B)
How to Seal Your Adult Non-Convictions (G.L. c. 276, § 100C)

Watch NowHon. Raymond G. Dougan (ret.)
Boston Municipal Court

Credit Card Debt »
Recorded Tuesday, January 11, 2017 (12:15)

Veterans returning from overseas duty are finding that they must cope with an increasingly cashless society where credit card debt can quickly become overwhelming. In this training video, Justice Dougan addresses veterans who may have defaulted on a credit card obligation and who need to know what events and procedural choices await them and what options and benefits they enjoy.

Watch NowT. Keith Fogg
Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Director of the Federal Tax Clinic at Harvard Legal Services Center

The Tax Man Cometh and What To Do About It »
Recorded Monday, February 27, 2017 (9:41)

In this informative training video, Professor Fogg discusses where veterans with civil tax matters can get help. He describes the various phases of controversies with the IRS – from initial IRS examination to litigation in the U.S. Tax Court to the collection phase – and then explores the different options available to those who are not able to pay the full debt owed. He also discusses the consequences of failing to file tax returns and how veterans may be able to take advantage of the IRS’s Innocent Spouse Relief provisions to be relieved of joint-and-several liability for taxes in circumstances such as divorce.

Watch NowDonald R. Lassman, Esq.
Law Office of Donald R. Lassman, Needham

Bankruptcy Primer for Veterans and Their Advocates »
Recorded Wednesday, June 14, 2017 (10:47)

In this informative training video directed towards veterans, their advocates and attorneys, Attorney Lassman provides a basic primer on personal bankruptcy. Addressing five main questions of interest, he (1) summarizes the primary reasons individuals file for bankruptcy; (2) after identifying alternatives to bankruptcy, explains how federal bankruptcy protection can help provide individuals with a fresh start; (3) highlights the various warning signs that suggest bankruptcy may be imminent; (4) clearly and succinctly describes the bankruptcy process, the steps involved, and a typical timeline; and (5) concludes with suggestions on how and where veterans can get help.

Kingsbury Pond Grist Mill Memorial Bench Dedication 6/3

Gristmill water wheel

Grist Mill Memorial Bench Dedication

On Saturday June 3rd, the Kingsbury Pond Grist Mill Committee will host a ceremony to dedicate a memorial bench to Medfield citizens who were lost while serving our country in armed conflicts and remain “missing in action”. The granite bench is located at the grist mill site on Spring Street (Route 27) in Medfield. Design and installation of the bench, and preparation of the site, were done by Tyler Hatch of Boy Scout Troop 89 as part of his Eagle Scout project. The bench site, which overlooks Kingsbury Pond, commemorates two Medfield residents who served during World War II.

Richard Werner lived at 67 Harding Street and graduated from Medfield High School in 1941.  He joined the Army Air Force in 1943 and advanced to the rank of staff sergeant, manning a turret gun aboard a B24 Liberator. On May 22nd 1944 while on a bombing mission in southern Italy, his plane developed engine trouble and departed its squadron’s formation, presumably to attempt an emergency landing. Neither the plane nor its crew were ever seen again. Richard Werner was awarded the Purple Heart posthumously. The square at the intersection of Harding and West Mill streets was dedicated to him in 1994.

Douglas MacKeachie moved to Medfield from New Jersey during the 1930’s and resided at 72 Elm Street. He was Vice President in charge of purchasing for The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, better known as A&P. In 1940 he went to Washington to serve as Deputy Director for Procurement and Distribution at the War Department. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was made a colonel in the Army and put in charge of the General Purchasing Board to handle war supplies. This position was based in Great Britain. Military flights from the U.S. to Europe routinely used the route with the shortest distance over water, between Brazil and West Africa. Colonel MacKeachie boarded such a flight on a B-87 Liberator, January 17th, 1943 along with 12 fellow U.S. military personnel and 13 members of the Royal Air Force. The plane was reported missing three days later on January 20th having gone down 800 miles off the coast of Brazil. On February 4th a life raft was found by the USS Kearney with the remains of a body later identified as the pilot. The next day a second raft washed up on a beach in Brazil, also with the remains of a single body along with six life preservers. Several items belonging to Colonel MacKeachie were found on that raft though the remains were not his. It was presumed that all aboard the flight succumbed to hunger and thirst. Colonel MacKeachie left a widow and daughter back in Medfield. He was 42 years old when he was lost. The bridge on Elm Street near his former home will be dedicated to him in the near future. Both the Werner and MacKeachie families have been invited to attend the dedication.

The ceremony will begin with a procession from the parking lot of St. Edward the Confessor church to the Kingsbury Pond Mill. Transportation will be available for those not able to make the walk (which is about 100 yards.) The public is invited to attend. The procession will begin promptly at 3:00pm on Saturday, June 3rd. Those planning to join, are requested to gather at the church parking lot no later than 2:45. The ceremony is expected to last approximately 45 minutes and will conclude back in the church parking lot.

George Dealy gdealy@gmail.com

 

Schedule of Events for Kingsbury Pond Grist Mill Memorial Bench Dedication
June 3rd, 2017
2:30 – 3:00: Gather at St. Edward the Confessor Parking Lot to assemble for procession
3:00 – 3:15: Procession from St. Edward to Grist Mill
3:15 – 3:20: Welcome & Introductions (George Dealy}
3:20 – 3:25: Blessing (Father Culloty)
3:25 – 3:30: America the Beautiful (Medfield High Vocalist) & Presentation of Flag (Boy Scouts)
3:30 – 3:35: Tribute to Richard Werner
3:35 – 3:45: Tribute to Douglas MacKeachie
3:45 – 3:50: Taps & Dismissal
3:50 – 4:05: Procession back to St. Edward

VSO – more data

This was part of the packet of information the Board of Selectmen received for tomorrow’s meeting –

ron griffin 2

Email received from Ron Griffin on 4/27 /17, regarding appointment of a town Veteran’s Services Agent –

 

Hi again ….

I forgot to realize that you do not have background information on this topic.

I do not support the hiring of a full time Veteran Service Officer. This would be a waste of taxpayers money, especially knowing the veteran population is in rapid decline. However it is the law.

There are many ways that Medfield could comply with the law without hiring a full time person. Medfield has had time to even submit changes to the Law. The law ties this requirement to the towns full population not the veteran population. At the time 50+ years ago, when the law was made, the veteran population might have been a significant percentage of the towns population. Now it is perhaps 2%.
Other towns have hired full time employees whose primary function is providing veteran services but a secondary function as Chief Procurement Officer (Westwood). Others may have multiple responsibilities in the town, senior outreach, Volunteer coordinator, payroll, etc. etc. Some towns share a veteran service officer. A good example of that is Needham, Wellesley, Wayland and Weston which together hire two full time VSO’s that are shared by all four towns.

In Medfield’s situation, the towns of Sherborn, Millis, Dover and Norfolk have populations under 12,000 so they are not required to provide full time services so there is little incentive for them to share expenses. Walpole has a full time VSO providing additional services to the community and has no incentive to join with Medfield.

It is a requirement that when towns pool resources that they share a common boundary.

So for the better part of five years I have supported the idea that the town should look to hire a veteran with other credentials desirable for the town, especially when filling any  employment position in town. I have always agreed to step aside should that opportunity present itself.

So when others view this issue, they will conclude that the town has had the time but not the interest. By continuing my employment I have enabled the town to ignore the issue. ( I was already the VSO when the town was served notice that they were non-compliant) I hope this has been helpful.
Ron