Category Archives: Information

Chris McCue joins Patch

From Chris McCue, who joins Colleen Sullivan as an official “Star Patcher” correspondent for Medfield Patch, and has contributed her first piece covering the Oct. 24 School Committee meeting:  “Throughout my writing career and 20-plus years in Medfield working with all the local media outlets, it has been sad to witness the departure of many talented editors and reporters, and as a result, the loss of consistent, credible coverage of town government. My goal is to provide great transparency with the new Open Government feature in Medfield Patch where I can apply my journalism training to provide residents with facts and information from public documents and when available, Medfield.TV coverage. News tips are welcome, and can be e-mailed to christine.mccue@verizon.net.”

 

http://patch.com/massachusetts/medfield/school-committee-tackles-hefty-agenda

My newsletter

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October 2016
Photo
Osler “Pete” Peterson
617-969-1500 – Newton
508-359-9190 – Medfield
Dear Subscriber,The number of people suffering, and all too often dying, from prescription drug abuse is staggering. And the epidemic is growing exponentially, fueled by the prevalence of opiate painkillers. Here’s an overview on cause and prevention.

Information that makes us safer
These newsletters are based on a simple idea – the more each one of us knows, the better off each us will be. Each newsletter focuses on a topic that relates to the health, wellness, and safety of each of us, our families, and our friends. I hope that you will find the information both interesting and informative, and that each month you can take away at least some nugget, that can make you or your family more secure.

Remember, the safer you remain, the less likely is that you will need the courts, as legal claims are generally only needed when proper safety measures were missing.

Pete

“You Should Know” Risk and Prevention Guide

Opiate Drug Abuse, Deaths Soar Along with Drug Company Profits

Tribute
Opioid abuse has killed 165,000 Americans since 1999, including legendary musician Prince. Learn more.

In April, musician and icon Prince died in his home from an accidental overdose of the prescription opioid fentanyl. In September, U.S. soccer superstar Abby Wambach revealed her long struggle with substance abuse and prescription drug addiction after an arrest for driving under the influence.

High-profile stories like these are waking up all Americans to an exploding public health crisis. Overdose deaths from prescription opiates have quadrupled since 1999, claiming the lives of an estimated 165,000 people. At the same time, sales of these prescription drugs have also quadrupled, generating record profits for drug companies.

Wading through the dangers of addiction while also dealing with serious pain can be an overwhelming challenge. You should know how to protect yourself and your loved ones from those who may have profits – not your well-being – as their top priority.

Investigate further here >>>

BY THE NUMBERS /
4x
Increase
Overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999, killing 14,000 people in 2014 alone.
1,000
Per Day
Every day, more than 1,000 people are treated in emergency rooms for misusing prescription opioids. Overdose rates were highest among people aged 25 to 54 years.
$1.98
Billion
Sales of opioids reached an estimated $1.98 billion in 2014. Meanwhile, drug companies spent $880 million nationwide since 2006 fighting restrictions on opioids.
BOOKMARK FAVORITES /

The Politics of Pain

The heroin addiction that eventually killed Cameron Weiss started when the 18-year-old was prescribed painkillers for a wrestling injury. Jennifer Weiss-Burke, Cameron’s mother, is now hoping to change state laws and prevent tragedy for others. View video.

Pain Pill Dangers: Dispelling the Myths

Consumer Reports investigates the myths surrounding prescription opioids, including misinformation about the risk of addiction. View video.

Obama Calls for More Recovery Services

President Obama teams up with Grammy winner Macklemore to speak about opioid addiction and present solutions for those looking to curb this epidemic.  
View video.

What’s Your Prescription Painkiller Experience?

Take our survey on prescription opioid use, and we’ll enter your name into a drawing for a free iPod Shuffle.

Survey here

MD On Our Love Affair with Drugs

Dr. David Johnston has watched attitudes about prescription drugs shift dramatically during his 30 years in practice.

Listen now

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.
Click here to unsubscribe from this newsletter.

Newsletter – Asbestos

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September 2016
Photo
Osler “Pete” Peterson
617-969-1500 – Newton
508-359-9190 – Medfield
Dear Subscriber,Most people know asbestos is a serious health hazard. But what might surprise many is how prevalent it still is today despite years of dire health warnings and the continued risk of exposure in schools, businesses and homes. This month, the latest.

Information that makes us safer
These newsletters are based on a simple idea – the more each one of us knows, the better off each us will be. Each newsletter focuses on a topic that relates to the health, wellness, and safety of each of us, our families, and our friends. I hope that you will find the information both interesting and informative, and that each month you can take away at least some nugget, that can make you or your family more secure.

Remember, the safer you remain, the less likely is that you will need the courts, as legal claims are generally only needed when proper safety measures were missing.

Pete

“You Should Know” Risk and Prevention Guide

Asbestos: Lethal and Still a Threat to All Americans

Kid Respirator
Asbestos is found in thousands of U.S. schools. Learn more.

Backpack: check.

Pencils: check

Respirator: ???

Two years ago, the Ocean View School District in Orange County, California, was forced to close multiple schools and bus 1,600 students to temporary classrooms when asbestos was discovered during a modernization project. The cost of the asbestos abatement project, combined with the cost of bussing students to other schools, as well as lost state revenue due to parents who pulled their children out of the district, topped $15 million.

Asbestos remains a widespread hazard. Nearly all U.S. schools built between the 1940s and the 1970s contain asbestos. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), any building constructed before 1981 is presumed to contain asbestos.

How do you identify and prevent possible asbestos poisoning in your schools, workplace and home?

Find out here >>>

BY THE NUMBERS /
125 million
Exposed
The World Health Organization estimates that about 125 million people worldwide are exposed to asbestos at work.
15,000
Deaths
According to the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), 15,000 U.S. citizens die from asbestos-related diseases each year.
8 million
Pounds
More than eight million pounds of asbestos has been imported into the United States over the last decade.
BOOKMARK FAVORITES /

Asbestos Industry Still Alive and Well

Even though asbestos is banned in 59 countries, 2 million pounds of the toxic substance is still exported every year. View video.

Three Schools in One District Test Positive for Asbestos Exposure

Three schools in Huntington Beach, California, were shut down for high levels of exposure, putting 1,600 students at risk and without a school to attend. View video.

One Man’s Fight With Mesothelioma

The Wall Street Journal spent a year with Texas surgeon and veteran Brian McQueen as his health deteriorated from mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure.  
View video.

Odds, Ends and More

And the winner of the 2016 Justice Served award is… Click below to find out, see the survey results and browse AWESOME reader comments.

Your turn

Talking the Issues

Check out podcasts featuring topics from past issues of You Should Know, and subscribe to future shows via iTunes or RSS feed.

Listen now

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.
Click here to unsubscribe from this newsletter.

My April lawyer newsletter

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April 2016
Photo
Osler “Pete” Peterson
617-969-1500 – Newton
508-359-9190 – Medfield
Dear Pete,Federal officials recently reported a steep increase in roadway deaths throughout the nation in 2015. We suspect that distracted driving is one factor in this increase. This month we urge all our friends and family to help end distracted driving.

Information that makes us safer
These newsletters are based on a simple idea – the more each one of us knows, the better off each us will be. Each newsletter focuses on a topic that relates to the health, wellness, and safety of each of us, our families, and our friends. I hope that you will find the information both interesting and informative, and that each month you can take away at least some nugget, that can make you or your family more secure.

Remember, the safer you remain, the less likely is that you will need the courts, as legal claims are generally only needed when proper safety measures were missing.

Pete

April Is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Distracted Driving Still on the Rise, Especially Among Teens

According to AAA, Americans drive the fewest miles during the winter months. Once April rolls around and the sun shines a bit brighter, the mileage goes up as we shake off the winter doldrums. More miles behind the wheel also means there are more chances to become distracted. And unfortunately, those distractions – like texting, talking, eating, adjusting a radio, checking a map, applying makeup and many more – can have deadly consequences.

As we enter April and Distracted Driving Awareness Month 2016, we note sadly that the number of injuries and deaths from driving distracted continues to rise, especially among teenagers. Maybe the increase is due to our obsession with mobile technology or our love affair with the car or just the increasingly frantic pace of our lives (no one is quite sure). But we do know this: Distracted driving is a problem that is 100 percent preventable. Before you send that next text message or order that double cheeseburger to go, you should know the dangers of distracted driving and what you can do to prevent tragedy from striking in your life!

Start driving more safely here.

BY THE NUMBERS /
3,179
Killed

In 2014, 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 people injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.

660,000
Vehicles

At any given time on U.S. roads, there are 660,000 vehicles being driven by someone using a hand-held phone.

10%
Fatalities

In 2013, 10 percent of all drivers aged 15 to 19 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.

BOOKMARK FAVORITES /

Little Distractions Add Up to Big Trouble Behind the Wheel

An estimated nine people die and more than 1,000 are injured every day in crashes that involve distracted driving, according to the National Safety Council. View video.

New Hands-Free Systems Still Not Risk-Free

A recent AAA study showed that drivers are still distracted while using the new hands-free systems found in many new vehicles. View video.

“Moment of Silence” Campaign Fights Distracted Walking

SafeKids.org has partnered with FedEx in this public service campaign highlighting the dangers of distracted walking, especially among young people. View video.

Up Next Month: Forced Injustice

Next month we will feature an update on the widespread use of forced arbitration by many businesses to deny Americans their right to a day in court. We call it “forced injustice.”

Start here

EndDD Enlists Teens to Help Stop Distracted Driving

Joel Feldman, a lawyer and the father of a young woman killed by a distracted driver, leads a ground-breaking national campaign to stop distracted driving.

Listen now

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.
Click here to unsubscribe from this newsletter.

Richard’s book events: 12/10 at 7PM, 12/12 at 10 & 2

Arriving in time for Christmas and the Holidays

The second This Old Town,

by Richard DeSorgher

 

Richard book cover 2015

 

Last year the book “This Old Town, Remembering Medfield” was published. It included 74 stories about Medfield; its history and its people, most of which were published first in The Hometown Weekly. This second book “This Old Town, FLeetwood 9” features 63 different stories about Medfield and its people: It includes stories on Medfield’s history, Medfield during time of war, worst Medfield fires and crime in Medfield. It includes sports and school days, the Frances Café, the Manor Inn, Noon Hill, the Norfolk Hunt Club, the State Hospital Cemetery, The KKK in Medfield and the history of all of Medfield’s churches. Chapters on the Palumbos, Dr. Nickerson, the Standleys, Officer Bob Naughton, Roger Hardy, Ken Childs and the indomitable Colonel Mitchell will give one a flavor that is Medfield.

To order your copy(s), please send $15.00 (includes tax) to:

This Old Town

13 Lawrence Circle

Medfield, MA 02052   (make checks out to: This Old Town)

 

  • Include any requests for personalized signing by author
  • Books available starting December 2, 2015.
  • Free delivery within the town of Medfield; for all mailing, please add $5.00 shipping charge.

 

A special program about the stories contained within the book will take place on Thursday December 10 at the Memorial Public Library from 7-8 pm, followed by book sale and signing. Additional book signings will be on Saturday December 12 from 10-12 at the Historical Society Building, 6 Pleasant Street and from 2-4 pm at Park Street Books.

Community Compact

community compart-2

The Baker Polito administration initiated the Community Compact  to provide state assistance to towns.  Medfield has now applied to be a member, and specified the three areas with which Medfield wants state assistance:

  • capital planning
  • transperancy
  • citizen engagement

This was the state response today to Medfield’s application to join –


Dear Kristine Trierweiler,

Thank you for completing the Community Compact application for Medfield. Your application is now with the Division of Local Services for review.

According to your submission the Best Practices you will commit to are:

Best Practice #1 –  Financial Management

Capital Planning // Best Practice: Funding capital needs on a regular basis is critical to maintaining publicly-owned assets and delivering services effectively. The community develops and documents a multi-year capital plan that reflects a community’s needs, is reviewed annually and fits within a financing plan that reflects the community’s ability to pay.

Best Practice #2 (optional) –  Information Technology

Transparency // Best Practice: There is a documented open data strategy including timelines for making municipal spending and budget information accessible from the city or town website in a machine readable and graphical format.

Best Practice #3 (optional) –  Information Technology

Citizen Engagement // Best Practice: There is a documented citizen engagement strategy for deployment of technology solutions, including a public communication strategy and a professional development strategy to ensure that internal resources can effectively engage with users via technology.

As part of the review process, the Division of Local Services may be contacting Kristine Trierweiler with follow-up questions.  Once the review of your application is complete and the best practice area(s) are agreed upon, I will be in touch regarding the signing of the Compact. We are looking forward to working with your community as you continue to strive toward excellence!

Sincerely,

Sean Cronin
Senior Deputy Commissioner of Local Services
Division of Local Services

Does Medfield want open data?

I have suggested that Medfield’s budget data and checkbook should be online so that anyone can easily see what the town spends its monies on and can also easily research the town budget priorities.  There are software apps that make this easy to do.  The state uses one to put its checkbook online, and i have seen two apps that focus more on the department budget side of the data, via http://www.opengov.com and http://www.visgov.com, which would provide their apps for a few thousand dollars a year.  Visgov.com is actually open source software, and we could use it at no cost if we installed it on our own.

The selectmen, the Warrant Committee and the Water and Sewer Board are supposed to meet soon to resolve budgeting issues that arose in the months prior to the annual town meeting,  and I am suggesting that we use that financial summit meeting to both resolve expectations as to our budgeting process going forward, but also to implement online budgeting to make the town finances more transparent.

Therefore, I was especially interested when today I saw the article below that indicates a high percentage of residents want the data available to them and expect that having it available will make their towns operate better.


Study: How Tech Can Improve Citizen Engagement

Citizen Perceptions of Data
The Pew Research Center recently conducted a survey to benchmark public sentiment on government initiatives that aim to leverage open data streams to improve services. The survey aimed to gauge:

  • People’s awareness of government efforts to share data
  • Whether these efforts translate into people using data to track government performance
  • If people think government data initiatives have made, or could make, government performance better or improve accountability
  • The more routine kinds of government-citizen online interactions

The survey analyzed citizen perception of government data use in the early stages at the local, state and federal levels. Overall, the public seems optimistic of open data government initiatives – specifically with improving accountability. While most participants use online data portals to find basic government information, the vast majority are not using the information to monitor government performance.

The Findings
The survey revealed:

  • 65 percent of Americans have used the internet to find data or information about government in the last 12 months
  • 19 percent could think of an example of where the local government did a good job providing information to the public about data it collects
  • 19 percent could think of an example of where the local government failed to provide enough information about data and information to the public
  • 56 percent hope open data can help journalists better cover government activities
  • 53 percent hope open data can make government officials more accountable
  • 49 percent expect open data to improve the quality of government services
  • 48 percent want open data to allow citizens to have more impact on government affairs
  • 45 percent predict open data to enable government officials to make better decisions

The majority of respondents are comfortable with the idea of government agencies collecting and sharing public data on a variety of platforms. Yet many remain cautious of providing their own data to the government such as mortgage information.

Driving Engagement
According to a recent IDC Government Insights report governments should invest in 3rd platform technologies – cloud, mobile, social and big data – to effectively drive citizen value and engagement. The study predicts more than 50 percent of government agencies will direct at least 25 percent of their citizen engagement budgets to 3rd platform technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions by 2020.

New digital channels coupled with a more comprehensive approach to redefining the citizen experience will align the goals of values of local leaders and residents. The research identifies five maturity stages for the citizen experience to help governments better understand the needs and goals of each group and select appropriate technologies to meet these expectations:

  • Ad hoc: Citizens request information across multiple channels
  • Opportunistic: CRM applications enable front-end automation so citizens can access information on their own
  • Repeatable: Digitization of workflows across channels allow citizens to handle services through full automation
  • Managed: Digital self-service allows citizens to show across multiple agencies and enables interactive handling of citizen requests
  • Optimized: Omni-channel citizen experience ensures consistent, convenient experience at very low cost to the government

The research suggests investment in 3rd platform technologies and the Internet of Things will help governments reduce costs while improving overall performance and accessibility. These interactive solutions better deliver new capabilities to public agencies and residents, while optimizing resource allocation and improving the way services are delivered.

Lack of Awareness
One major constraint many public agencies face when considering investment in new technologies and the Internet of Things is a lack of knowledge. A recent survey found only half of American adults are familiar with the term Internet of Things – which refers to the network of physical objects embedded with sensors and technologies to collect data that will guide decision making to improve services.

Because many Americans are unaware of how the Internet of Things works with existing infrastructure and services, 85 percent have concerns about the increased risk to breach of security and privacy. Furthermore, 70 percent fear IoT investment will have a negative impact on daily interactions and 51 percent are concerned about technical issues and the cost of repairing them.  If the public had a better understanding of how IoT and other new technologies are driving efficiency, there may be more support behind these investments.

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