Category Archives: Safety

TTOR to town – bear it

The letter below from the Trustees of Reservations (TTOR) President and CEO tells Medfield residents that we have to just put up with more mosquitoes because TTOR has decided to not allow spraying on its properties.

Norfolk County Mosquito Control (NCMC) is telling the town that without the larvicide spraying early in the summer, that there will be no effective way to control the large numbers of mosquitoes that we can expect to get later in the summer if there is a flood and the many eggs hatch into mosquitoes.  NCMC also tells the town that teh larvicide they use is some sort of thing that acts only on the mosquito larva, and is bonded to corn I believe it is, so that there is really no risk.

Norfolk County Mosquito Control tried to have its scientists speak to the TTOR scientists, but that does not seem to have resolved things so as to allow spraying on TTOR lands.


Dear Medfield residents,

 

For those of you who frequent our local properties, Rocky Woods, Noon Hill, Rocky Narrows or others in the Charles River Valley area, you may know us and may even be a member.  For those of you not familiar with us, The Trustees of Reservations is the world’s first regional land trust and one of Massachusetts largest conservation organizations with over 113 properties spread across more than 26,000 acres statewide. Our mission is to “hold in trust” (preserve and protect) “reservations” (properties) of scenic, cultural and natural significance for public use and enjoyment.

 

Recently, we have received several requests from Medfield town officials to allow preventive mosquito control on The Trustees of Reservations’ Medfield properties. We have considered these requests seriously since the health and safety of our visitors is of utmost importance to us, as are the fragile ecosystems and wildlife habitats located on our many reservations. We acknowledge that mosquitos are a nuisance and that there may be health risks associated with them in certain areas of the state, including Medfield.

 

In our recent conversations with selectmen, public health officials, and county mosquito control agencies we discussed our decision to opt-out of the town’s chemically-based control measures.  This decision is guided by our own science-based mosquito control policy as well as the guidelines of the Mass Department of Public Health and the Norfolk County Mosquito Control District.  We understand that chemically-based measures may become important in the case of a public health emergency declared by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), and our policy supports this action should it be necessary.

 

In summary, we are concerned about the potential health risks associated with the mosquito population and will continue to be in dialogue with public health officials and review available data that might inform our policy going forward. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we evaluate next steps.

 

In the meantime, we hope you have a healthy, safe and active summer and remember to use necessary precautions and protective measures when enjoying our properties and being outdoors in general.  Outdoor places contribute to the overall quality of life in our communities and we remain committed to caring for our special places so that they are safe and enjoyable for everyone. For more information on upcoming area events, programs and fun family activities please visit: www.thetrustees.org.

Thank you,

 

Barbara Erickson

Trustees of Reservations President and CEO

Assisted Living Not Always Safe

To see this in a browser click here.

Taking Care of Mom and Dad

Advertising for assisted living paints a glorious picture for seniors: “Enjoy your golden years in bright, polished, independent communities while licensed medical professionals monitor your every need.”

Reality can be a different story. As the baby boomer generation ages, assisted living has become a big business – and for too many residents and their families, a big problem. Uneven regulation has created a dangerous situation where some facilities are not properly equipped or staffed to care for an increasingly ill population. Before you check in your loved one, you should know how to find quality assisted living.

Start Your Search Here. >>>

BY THE NUMBERS /
750,000
Residents
There are 750,000 Americans living in assisted-living facilities. And as baby boomers age, that number is expected to grow.

Source: A Starter Guide for Assisted Living, Next Avenue

$3,450
Per Month
The average cost for a private, one-bedroom apartment in an assisted-living residence averaged $3,450 per month in 2013 – nearly 5 percent more than in 2012.

Source: 2013 Cost of Care Survey, Genworth

16
Years Old
The minimum age for assisted-living caregivers in some states is just 16. Facility administrators aren’t required to have a high school diploma in 14 states.

Source: Elderly, At Risk and Haphazardly Protected, ProPublica

BOOKMARK FAVORITES /

Resources for Residents, Families, Caregivers

Search for quality assisted living in your community with links and resources from the Administration for Community Living.

ProPublica and PBS Frontline Fight for Rights of Seniors

ProPublica and PBS “Frontline” have teamed up to investigate and highlight the loose regulations and increased risks to seniors in assisted living.

Service Rates Assisted-Living Facilities in All 50 States

Personalized help finding the right assisted-living facility is available through Caring.com. Compare costs, learn about ratings and read reviews of different facilities in your state.

Safer bike helmets

Bicycling magazine recently ran an article discussing new cycling helmets and standards that provide better protection against concussions and TBI.  Here is a link to an on-line version:  http://www.bicycling.com/senseless/

Tips for Pool, Bike, Playground Safety

Injuries Spike During Summer

Summertime fun shouldn’t be derailed by a trip to the hospital. But unfortunately, more than 3 million kids in America under 14 will be rushed to the emergency room with serious injuries this summer, and 2,000 will die. Here are some steps you can take to ensure that the children in your life enjoy their favorite summertime activities safely:

Secure the Pool

1) Install a four-sided fence: Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death for children between one and four years of age, and many of those tragedies occur when children wander away from parental supervision. Install a four-sided fence around your pool instead of a three-sided fence with the house forming the fourth side. Also note that pool covers are often hard to see through and can conceal a drowning child.

2) Stock rescue equipment: Keep a shepherd’s crook — a long pole with a hook on the end — and life preservers by the pool at all times. An important note: Water floaties are NOT a suitable alternative to life jackets or life preservers. Instead, use life jackets and exercise arm’s-length parental supervision. In addition, designate a “water watcher” during any pool event at home. Download a water watcher card and other teaching resources from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

3) Encourage swimming lessons: Studies have shown that swimming lessons for children one to four years of age drastically reduces the risk of drowning — by up to 88 percent.

Click here for more tips on water safety at home.

Follow the Two-Wheeled Rules of the Road

1) Properly fit helmets: Wearing a helmet is a no-brainer, but many children don’t properly adjust theirs. See this guide from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration on how to properly fit and adjust a bike helmet for kids.

2) Adjust bike seats: There are obvious dangers involved in riding a bike, like traffic or potholes, but crashes often happen because of a poorly maintained bike. Adjust a child’s bike seat so it’s two to four inches above the top bar. This guarantees that the child’s legs never fully straighten out and lock in the down-pedal motion. Also check the tires and brakes before sending a child out on a ride.

3) Brush up on traffic laws: In most states, bikes are expected to follow the same basic traffic laws as automobiles. Educate your kids on the basics of bike traffic laws.

Click here for more tips on bike safety for kids.

Limit the Risk of Monkey Bar Mayhem

1) Use age-appropriate equipment: Some equipment is only meant for older kids, but most playgrounds don’t differentiate between separate play areas for tots and tweens. Supervise children to make sure they are using equipment appropriate to their age group.

2) Look for soft ground: It can be hazardous when soft playground turf deteriorates and isn’t replaced promptly. A fresh layer of wood chips, rubber, sand or other shock-absorbing material can dramatically decrease the risk of injury due to a fall from the equipment.

3) Find a certified playground inspector: The National Recreation and Park Association has launched a major initiative to train local citizens on playground equipment inspection and standards. To find a trained certified playground safety inspector in your area, search the CPSI registry.

Click here for a complete summer safety checklist for playgrounds.

- See more at: http://letamericaknow.com/view_feature_ysk.php?memberid=21441&orderid=449&issueid=1308#sthash.LL6P2Kyb.dpuf

Keyless car hack

Hackers learn how to get into your keyless entry car….

 http://m.technologyreview.com/news/422298/car-theft-by-antenna/

Besides the criminal implications, the civil law will have to adapt to this new problem, as  there is no sign of forced entry, so can the insurance company deny a theft claim by saying you failed to lock your car ?

And, leaving your garage door opener in the car will make getting into your house even easier.

State’s medical marijuana regs

Information on the recently issued state regulations on medical marijuana, courtesy of an email from Rep. Denise Garlick -

Subject: Final Medical Marijuana regs approved

Dear Colleagues,

Today, the Public Health Council of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health unanimously approved final regulations to implement the commonwealth’s voter approved medical marijuana law, which will take effect on May 24, 2013. These regulations are the result of an unprecedented and in depth process of soliciting input, collecting data and information from other medical marijuana states, and undergoing research to understand and implement best practices in filling out the framework that was established through the voter initiative. Doctors, patients, caretakers, law enforcement officials, lawmakers, parents, substance abuse councilors, entrepreneurs and others offered comments, testimony and information to DPH and each issue that arose was considered and addressed to the best of the Department’s ability. After draft regulations were released, the public was offered yet another opportunity to comment and recommend changes, and the final regulations were subject to the scrutiny of the Public Health Council.

This effort has not been taken lightly by DPH and as a result we can expect a program in place that can serve as a model to the rest of the country as more and more states look to legalize medical marijuana. While the voter initiative created the framework for the law, the regulations crafted by DPH filled out the program in a way consistent with the will of the voters, who entrusted the agency to address the missing components. These comprehensive regulations balance the very real need of many patients in our state suffering from debilitating conditions and the safety and protection of the general public, including our young people.

Among the many issues of concern addressed through these regulations are:

  • ·         Ensuring legitimacy of patient certification and registration through a bona-fide relationship between patient and MA licensed physician
  • ·         Continuing education requirements for certifying physicians
  • ·         Ongoing monitoring and treatment of any medical marijuana patient by recommending doctor
  • ·         Laboratory testing of medical marijuana products
  • ·         Limiting access to patients under 18 years of age to those with life limiting illnesses, parental consent, and recommendation from 2 physicians (one of which is a pediatrician)
  • ·         Stringent rules and restrictions around advertising and marketing of medical marijuana
  • ·         Further clarification regarding the definition of a qualifying “debilitating condition” while preserving the rights of doctors and their patients to determine appropriate use
  • ·         An appropriate and reasonable limit of allowable possession by patients
  • ·         A limited number of highly secured and monitored dispensaries across the state, subject to inspection and “seed to sale” monitoring of product
  • ·         Tight restrictions, qualifying criteria and alternative options for low income and disabled patients to drastically limit the allowance of hardship cultivation
  • ·         A comprehensive application process for dispensaries, including provisions to require non-profit documentation, adequate resources to operate, no criminal background of dispensary agents, an analysis of projected patient population, plans for operation and security and an emphasis on local engagement from within proposed community

In addition, the new law does not:

  • ·         Supersede Massachusetts laws prohibiting possession, cultivation, transport, distribution or sale of marijuana for non-medical purposes
  • ·         Allow the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana
  • ·         Require a health care profession to recommend, or an insurer to cover, the use of medical marijuana
  • ·         Require accommodation of medical marijuana use in schools, workplaces, or correctional facilities
  • ·         Require the smoking of marijuana in any public place
  • ·         Supersede the existing rights of landlords

The final regulations will be posted for review by the end of the day at ww.mass.gov/medicalmarijuana. I have been actively engaged with DPH throughout this process, and I am happy to remain a resource to you and your constituents as the program moves forward.  

Sincerely,

Frank I. Smizik

15th Norfolk

Congressional protection for asbestos companies

This from the American Association for Justice -

In honor of National Asbestos Awareness Week, help protect asbestos victims’ rights by urging Congress to oppose legislation that threatens to delay and deny justice until asbestos victims die.  Your action will make a difference!

The asbestos-disease epidemic is one of the longest-running public health epidemics.  Asbestos is still legal in the United States and kills at least 10,000 Americans every year.  It is estimated that asbestos will have killed 432,465 Americans by 2029.  Asbestos was known to be deadly by 1900.  Asbestos corporate executives callously covered up this fact.  Millions have been exposed and are at risk.

Act Now!  Justice for asbestos victims is under attack by legislation being rushed through Congress that would help asbestos corporations evade accountability.  H.R. 982, the “Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act of 2013,” grants a corporate handout to an industry that knowingly exposed millions of Americans to this deadly product and covered up the dangers for profit.

Tell your Representative today to oppose H.R. 982.  Any time spent on this bill is a waste of Congressional (and taxpayer) resources, and the ultimate insult to families whose loved ones have died or are dying from asbestos-related diseases.

Congress should focus on keeping Americans safe from dangerous products like asbestos and not protecting corporations that knowingly place workers and consumers in danger. Contact Your Representative Today!

Sincerely,

The Take Justice Back Campaign Staff
(Formerly, People Over Profits)

NYT distracted driving test

The New York Times has a test to show us how much texting while driving distracts us.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/07/19/technology/20090719-driving-game.html?_r=0

MCAP

Medfield Cares About Prevention (MCAP)’s grant application to the Federal government seeking $625,000 funding over five years has been submitted for the second straight year.  Dawn Alcott, Director of Medfield Youth Outreach, and Dr. Susan Andersen-Navalta of McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School, a Medfield resident, took the lead to prepare the grant application again this year.

MCAP is a coalition formed to eliminate substance abuse amongst young people in Medfield.  MCAP has been holding monthly meetings for almost two years.

Needham and Natick have both already received the grants.  Medfield resident Carol Read is the grant funded staff person in the Needham program, and have been hugely helpful to MCAP by sharing how the Needham effort has progressed and what they have done that has been successful.

Friday Blizzard

I just finished a conference call arranged by MEMA for municipal officials with the National Weather Service.  The NWS is reporting that there will be a substantial blizzard with 18″ – 24″ of snow expected, starting with light snow Friday morning, with the heavier snow coming Friday afternoon, and the high winds starting in the evening.

They expect at least three hours of blizzard conditions with snow coming down at 2 – 4″ of snow per hour.

They expect high winds from 8 PM Friday to 10 AM Saturday, which will cause wide spread power outages.  Line repairs cannot be started until the winds subside, as bucket trucks cannot operate in high winds.

There could even be thunderstorms, which can cause 5″ – 6″ of snow per hour in spots.

Some computer models see up to 3″ of liquid from this storm, which could result in even more amounts of snow, as the relationship of water to snow is generally about 10 – 1, depending upon the density and wetness of the snow.