Monthly Archives: January 2014

BoS 2/4 agenda

Board of Selectmen
Board or Committee
PLACE OF MEETING DAY, DATE, AND TIME
Town Hall, Chenery Meeting Room, 2nd floor Tuesday February 4, 2014 @ 7:00 PM

AGENDA (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

7:00 PM Council on Aging
Discussion regarding FY15 budget and Lot 3 on Ice House Road

7:20 PM Town Bylaw and Charter Review Committee
Discuss Town Meeting Warrant Article

ACTION ITEMS HELD FROM LAST MEETING
Decision as to which articles to include in warrant
Discuss wishes to accept donation of land on Pine Street
Vote to approve meeting minutes of December 3, 2013 and January 7, 2014

ACTION
Vote to close Annual Town Meeting Warrant

MEDFIELD STATE HOSPITAL STATUS UPDATE
Vote to close March 10,2014 Special Town Meeting Warrant

LICENSES & PERMITS
The Memorial and Wheelock School Committee requests permission to post signs advertising the annual Winter Carnival to be held Saturday March 15, 2014

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TOWN OF MEDFIELD
FY15
BUDGET REQUEST
SUMMARY SHEET
DEPARTMENT Council on Aging
ORGANIZATION CODE 01-541-1 AND 01-541-2
1112512013

SUMMARY
FY20l4 FY2015
Appropriation Request
TOTAL SALARIES (Include Longevity) $ 143,775 $ 154,359
TOTAL OPERATIONS $ 61,441 $ 61,440
TOTAL BUDGET $ 205,216 $ 215,799

The Medfield Council on Aging provides remarkable programs and services to the Medfield community. We not only work with the older adults but fmd that our scope with adult children caring for parents has grown enormously. We provide unique COA progrannning to meet the needs of the independent adults which include offering 13 different exercise programs during any given week at a small cost ranging from 0 to $5.  Educational programs are offered through video series, instructors or our guest presenters at our monthly breakfast or birthday celebrations. Social engagement is a priority as the effects of aging can be lonely and depressing. We offer regular scheduled activities, socials and trips to provide an avenue that promotes friendship and community. The Adult Respite Care Program (ARCP) offered through a grant from the Metro West Health Foundation (MWHF), is now in its second year and very successful. Meeting the needs of the frail elder with guided supervision and dedicated staff has proven to be a positive experience for the client, family and COA.

The Council on Aging has a limited paid staff comprised of full time (benefited) Director, fulltime (benefited, however currently declined) Transportation CoordinatorlBuilding Support, thirty (30) hour (benefited) Social Worker, (15 hour) Formula Grant paid Volunteer Coordinator, eighteen (18) hour MWHF grant paid ARCP Coordinator and eighteen (18) hour grant paid ARCP Activity Assistant.  The scope of what the COA provides can not always be described but can be experienced. I welcome the Warrant Committee members to stop into the Center and experience the energy, the support, the caring and the enthusiasm that permeates the building.

The budget being submitted includes an increase in hours for the Outreach Worker from 30 to 37.5 hours. This is already a benefited position and would only require an increase of approximately $8,490.30. The Outreach position provides information and  referral services, fuel and food stamp application assistance, identifying housing options for elders, support through individual counseling, along with facilitating a care-giver and a low-vision support group. The position works to identify potential clients for “The Club”, along with attending and support of any legal action as it relates to guardianship and evictions. The position provides support for individuals without family or with physical limitations and has escorted residents to Department of Transitional Assistance, Social Security and Probate Court. Cheryl Lavallee currently works more than her scheduled 30 hours, her case load is that of a 37.5 (full-time) position and I request that you approve the increase in hours for the Outreach position. As we are all aware, people are living longer and we are seeing the affects of that at the COA.

The total operating budget remains unchanged. We are fortunate to have the rental income that does help with some larger building needs. Most recently, the rental revenue covered the installation of key locks on two exterior doors and the replacement of ballasts, bulbs and cleaning of the large hall pendulum lights. Future maintenance projects will include the refinishing of the large hall floor, lawn reseeding and cleaning of the exterior of the building.

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Demise of our Patch

This today in CommonWealth Magazine –

Trying to Patch the sinking news lifeboat

Thursday, January 30, 2014

 

Soccer is the game of the future, its deriders have long said, and always will be. After the latest news that Patch, the pet project of AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, has laid off two-thirds of its remaining staff, you have to wonder if hyperlocal news sites are becoming the European football of journalism.

 

About two weeks ago, AOL turned over its majority stake in Patch to Hale Global, a technology investment firm specializing in turning around troubled assets. In Patch, it has its work cut out for it, as the reporting and aggregating sites have lost up to $300 million since Armstrong launched them in 2007 when he was at Google.

 

The ax fell on hundreds of staffers in a cold conference call by Patch COO Leigh Zarelli Lewis, whose blunt, matter-of-fact, mass-firing contrasts with the hyperlocal focus the company tried to build its foundation on. Unsurprisingly, one of the enterprising (now-unemployed) journalists on the conference call recorded it and handed it over to media blogger Jim Romenesko.

 

“Hi everyone, it’s Leigh Zarelli Lewis. Patch is being restructured in connection with the creation of the joint venture with Hale Global. Hale Global has decided which Patch employees will receive an offer of employment to move forward in accordance with their vision for Patch and which will not. Unfortunately, your role has been eliminated and you will no longer have a role at Patch and today will be your last day of employment with the company. …Thank you again and best of luck.”

 

Romenesko says as many as two-thirds of the staffers at the 900 sites in 23 states were laid off, while Fox Business says just 100 staffers – reporters, editors, and advertising reps – remain to populate and sell space on the sites. Patch officials say all the sites will remain active but it’s hard to imagine they’ll be more than zombie sites, aggregating local feeds and offering bloggers a place to write. In Massachusetts, one of Patch’s prime regions, there are at least 82 sites. But who remains where is anybody’s guess.

 

Patch’s problems are not surprising to anyone who has watched. Back in August, AOL laid off nearly half of the 1,100 Patch staffers and the constant hemorrhaging of money nearly cost Armstrong his job. Not only is Patch competing with hyperlocal sites that are truly boots-on-the-ground in their communities, it is butting heads with legacy media that are also trying to leverage their news-gathering organizations and lay claim to their surrounding regions.

 

When GateHouse Media was formed about six years ago, it bought up more than 500 existing daily and weekly newspapers around the country, including such venerable institutions as the 175-year-old Patriot Ledger in Quincy and the State Journal-Register in Springfield, Illinois, where Abraham Lincoln awaited word of who would be the Republican presidential nominee in 1860. But while those outlets gave the company instant access and instant credibility, the idea was to turn those assets into hyperlocal sites, which they dubbed Wicked Local. But, given the recent sale and bankruptcy of GateHouse, they, too, have yet to figure out a way to monetize their sites.

 

The Boston Globe also dabbled in hyperlocal content, launching the Your Town sites on boston.com. But the sites are mostly aggregators and bloggers, failing so far to live up to the hope and promise of their launch.

 

It’s a vexing problem, how to make a living off providing news, especially at the local level. Local media critic and Northeastern University professor Dan Kennedy examined new age journalism in his book “Wired City,” focusing mainly on the New Haven Independent. But Kennedy also spotlighted some other seemingly successful ventures at the local and national level.

 

And there clearly are success stories. Here in Massachusetts, Universal Hub and The Dig have been able to find their niches. Perhaps that’s the lesson for megaplayers such as Patch and GateHouse. All news is local. The operators should be as well.

 

–JACK SULLIVAN

New public safety building

The Board of Selectmen had a hour plus presentation by the Building Committee at our Tuesday evening meeting.  The speakers made an excellent case for the long overdue need for a new combined police and fire facility, and provided a clear description of the proposed new facility that is still in the planning and design process.

See the information about the proposed new public safety building for the Medfield Police Department and the Medfield Fire Department.

www.medfieldpbc.org

West Street 40B

I was reminded because of my post about the West Street 40B project developer (Gatehouse) apparently having difficulty securing its financing, that even if the developer is having those troubles with its financing as was reported to me by knowledgeable sources at the Massachusetts Municipal Association annual meeting last week, that the 40B permit itself that Gatehouse has in hand remains open and good for three years, so that the permitted 40B project for the 92 unit development remains active, if moribund.  Even if Gatehouse is not able to proceed, they could sell the permit to another developer who is able to secure financing.

Lyme Disease – deer cull up & vehicle collisions down

These minutes from the Lyme Disease Study Committee –

Town of Medfield Lyme Disease Citizen Study Committee

Meeting Minutes – Monday, Jan 13, 2014 – 7:00 pm

Attendees: Chris Kaldy (Chair), Frank Perry, Barry Mandell, Erica Reilly, Carolyn Samson, Pete Peterson
Minutes – reviewed meeting minutes from Nov 18 (no December meeting)

 

Controlled Hunt Fall 2013 – Season finished

Frank reported that 40 deer (to be confirmed) were culled this season from all over town.  Feels the hunters who did best were those working in teams.  We did not receive any negative feedback this season.  Mike Francis would like to hold a cookout for Dover & Medfield hunters.

Ideas to improve next year’s hunt, address town land use and illegal hunters more clearly:

  1. Update Hunting Season sign to say No Hunting except by permit.
  2. Create a permanent sign to post on town land and add the second sign in season.  Maybe Jason Spiess can produce these for us.
  3. Evaluate all hunters since now 3 seasons and some have not taken any deer.
  4. Require some community service hours of all hunters.
  5. Reaffirm at Selectmen’s meeting our authority to be the only group that can issue hunting permits.
  6. Obtain key to gate at entrance to water department land.
  7. Request additional budget to purchase a couple trail cameras and tree stands (for our “community”) as well as a stipend for Barry’s service.
  8. Encourage private owners to use our program rather than private hunters.
  9. Consider when to do background checks again.

 

Barry reported he’s collecting data from animal control officers on the number of deer collisions in Medfield and neighboring towns for the past years, including Millis, Medway, Franklin, and Bellingham.  Data to date:

2009    ‘10       ‘11       ‘12       ’13                   Average over 5 yrs

Medfield           41        59        43        29        18                    38

Dover               41        46        38        38        41                    41

 

Actions:

  • Chris to remind hunters to remove stands by end of January.
  • Frank to confirm deer taken and send list to Mike Francis.
  • Frank & Barry to collect hunter logs.
  • Chris to contact Mike Francis about cookout.
  • Carolyn to find out our current budget balance and if we can spend it on items other than those in our original budget, i.e. trail cameras, tree stands, Barry.
  • Chris to ask Evelyn to be on Feb 4 Selectmen’s meeting agenda
  • Chris to find out Denise Garlick’s office hours to meet to discuss hunting rules.
  • Chris to finish pamphlet.

 

 

Tick & Lyme Education / Website

1.  Tick Check Posters – Carolyn received new batch

  • Carolyn will take new ones to Nancy to distribute in schools.

 

2.  Sports Coaches – Erica and Carolyn decided the best way to reach kids’ parents would be to have a tick notice added to the emails sent out by the coaches to the parents, rather than relying on the coaches or coaches’ meetings to inform parents and kids.

  • Erica & Carolyn will contact spring sport coaches (baseball, soccer, lacrosse) at the appropriate time and give them blurb for emails.

 

3.  Park & Recreation – new director coming on

  • Erica will meet with new director to educate him/her on ticks and offer signs to be put up around McCarthy Park.

 

4.  New ‘N Towne

  • Carolyn will check in with President to be ask if they’re still handing out data at newcomers’ meetings and if blurb could be added to emails as well as on website.

 

5.  Recent articles in our favor discussed –

1.  Article in Time Magazine (Dec 9) reported on the need to manage various overabundant wildlife species by responsible hunting.

2.  Article in Boston Globe (Dec 9) reported how 2 state Senators (Robert Hedlund, Weymouth, and Richard Ross, Wrentham) recovered from bad cases of Lyme disease.

3.  Article in Boston Globe (Dec 13) reported carditis from Lyme disease caused 3 deaths, indicating that Lyme can be fatal.

 

 

Other

1.  Scout Project – Chris reported that Robert hung 10 owl boxes in the water department land by Wheelock and so has completed his project for us.

 

 

 

Next Meeting:  Monday, Feb 10, 2014 in the Warrant Meeting Room at Town Hall, 7 pm

Submitted by Chris Kaldy

Sad news

This email from Theresa Knapp just now –

=============================

1/29/2014 5:02PM
Patch site
Knapp, Theresa
“Theresa Knapp, Editor” <theresa.knapp@patch.com>

Hi all.

As of 5pm today, this email address will no longer work.  It has been a pleasure covering the Town of Medfield and working with all of you.

Best,
Theresa
theresaknappenos@gmail.com
==================================

AOL sold the whole Patch network this past month, and from the new owner’s press release it seemed ominous, as that new owner indicated that the Patch sites would continue as a place for individuals and municipalities to post materials — but there was no mention of “reporters” being part of the future plans.

I am assuming that Patch has now removed our editor.

Medfield was indeed fortunate to have two fine and hard working journalists create our Patch site, first Jeremie Smith and most recently Theresa Knapp.  We are indebted to them, for both the amount and the depth of the information that they have shared with us.   They have made us more knowledgeable and better for it.

Thank you Theresa for all that you have done for the Town of Medfield!

Nominate volunteers by Friday

2013 Medfield Foundation volunteers of the year at the reception on 3/10/13 at The Center

2013 Medfield Foundation volunteers of the year at the reception on 3/10/13 at The Center

Nominate an extraordinary volunteer for recognition in the 2014 Medfield Foundation volunteer awards by downloading the form from http://www.medfieldfoundation.org/volunteer.html, and e-mailing it as an attachment to MFiVolunteerAward@gmail.com no later than January 31.

The MFi’s 2014 volunteer recognition reception will be held from 3 -5 PM on Sunday, March 23 at The Center – all are welcome. The seventh annual MFi volunteer awards are again sponsored by the Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation, for the third year.

“I wish more people knew about the ceremony.  It’s quite a special event for everyone who attends.  We all leave there feeling happier and very proud of our town for cultivating such terrific, kind people and volunteers.” Patti Garofalo