Category Archives: Community Announcements

Phosphorus concentrations continue to lead to harmful conditions in Crackrock Pond

Phosphorus concentrations at Crackrock Pond failed to meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines for the 5 th year in a row, according to a report from the Neponset River Watershed Association (NepRWA). In 2021, concentrations of Phosphorus remained 10 times higher than the EPA standard throughout the sampling year (May-October). While the Neponset Reservoir just upstream has struggled with Phosphorus pollution for decades, NepRWA first detected severely elevated concentrations of phosphorus at Crackrock Pond in 2017, which then skyrocketed in 2019, when levels
were 100 times higher than recommended. Though phosphorus concentrations have come down in the last two years, they are still well above the criteria for a healthy pond. As a result, the Pond is completely covered in aquatic plants and the water is almost entirely devoid of oxygen.

“Phosphorus is necessary for plant growth, but naturally is found in very low concentrations. Because of this, it is often the ‘limiting’ resource in the freshwater environment. We tend to see algal growth when
Phosphorus concentrations increase – because all the other required nutrients are likely already there,” explains Dr. Sean McCanty, NepRWA’s River Restoration Director. “Aside from the aesthetic factor, the
real problem is that when these extra plants and algae eventually die, they get eaten by bacteria. This process consumes oxygen – in extreme circumstances the dissolved oxygen levels get so low that fish and other animals die”, he adds. Data from NepRWA’s water monitoring program show that low oxygen conditions, referred to as “hypoxic” conditions, were observed from June through September of 2021 below Crackrock Pond.

“Another danger of elevated phosphorus is that certain types of algae, like cyanobacteria, produce toxins harmful to people and lead to beach closures. This has become an issue at other places in the watershed, like Lake Massapoag in Sharon” says Ian Cooke, NepRWA’s Executive Director. “In addition to the impact on Crackrock Pond, that elevated Phosphorus also flows downstream into the mainstem of the Neponset and can cause similar issues,” he added. Other parameters that the Association tests for, including pH and E. coli, were at acceptable levels
according to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) standards.

Neponset River Watershed Association | 2173 Washington Street, Canton, MA 02021 | 781-575-0354 | www.neponset.org

The water quality monitoring program that collects this data is part of a larger watershed restoration effort. Throughout the Neponset River Watershed, efforts to improve water quality, restore river and
salt marsh habitat, and reconnect the streams to allow fish passage are all underway. “All of these issues are connected,” says McCanty. “Removing old dams helps prepare our communities for climate change,
improves fish passage and dissolved oxygen levels, and can limit the amount of algae overgrowth.

Replanting along the riverbank helps filter storm runoff and stabilize the banks, improving water quality for fishing, boating, and swimming.,” McCanty adds. The Neponset River Watershed Association is a local environmental non-profit that publishes an annual report on the health of the local streams and Neponset River in Foxborough and neighboring towns that drain into the Neponset River. The water quality data used in the report is collected as part of the Association’s volunteer-based “Community Water Monitoring Network” program, that collects water
samples monthly from May to October to test for constituents that impact safety for recreation and wildlife.

For the full water quality report visit NepRWA’s website: https://www.neponset.org/town-water-quality-reports.

Patriot Place Hosting Ocean Spray’s 12th Annual Fall Harvest Celebration On Saturday, Oct. 15

Community Press Release

Annual fall celebration will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature cranberry harvest, family-friendly activities and appearances from Pat Patriot and cheerleaders  

Patriot Place will host Ocean Spray’s 12th annual Fall Harvest Celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15.

This fall favorite is free and open to the public, providing a great opportunity for families to enjoy the quintessential New England foliage and a variety of family-friendly activities in both the North and South Marketplaces throughout the day. The signature Ocean Spray® Cranberry Harvest will take place at the cranberry bog behind Bass Pro Shops from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., giving guests an inside look at an authentic cranberry harvest and the opportunity to go on informational bog walks with Ocean Spray experts.

The South Marketplace will also feature appearances from Pat Patriot and the Patriots cheerleaders and free family activities including fall-themed family photos and pony rides. In the North Marketplace, families can enjoy fall-themed fun including pumpkin decorating, face painting, autumnal arts and crafts, live music and more. All guests visiting the Fall Harvest Celebration that check in via the Advantage App will receive point bonuses and be entered to win a variety of prizes including Patriots tickets. For a complete schedule of events and additional details, visit Patriot-Place.com/FallHarvest.

“As the calendar turns to fall, it brings a few of our favorite things to Patriot Place: football and our annual Fall Harvest Celebration,” said Brian Earley, Vice President and General Manger of Patriot Place. “We look forward to partnering with Ocean Spray and Bass Pro Shops to host the annual cranberry harvest and a variety of free, family-friendly activities throughout Patriot Place on Saturday, Oct. 15.”

ABOUT PATRIOT PLACE
Patriot Place is a shopping, dining and entertainment destination located adjacent to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Patriot Place features large and boutique retailers, 23 casual to high-end restaurants and other nightlife venues. Among the highlights of Patriot Place are New England’s first Bass Pro Shops, a state-of-the-art, 14-screen Showcase Cinema De Lux, the award-winning Patriots Hall of Fame presented by Raytheon, the retro-style bowling alley, Splitsville Luxury Lanes, the modern gastro sports pub, CBS Sporting Club, the four-star Renaissance Boston Patriot Place Hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn Foxborough/Patriot Place and Helix eSports, the region’s largest egaming center and social hub. Patriot Place is also the home of Brigham Health and Brigham and Women’s/Mass General Health Care Centers. For more information, visit www.patriot-place.com, follow Patriot Place on Twitter (twitter.com/patriotplace) or like Patriot Place on Facebook (facebook.com/patriotplace).

ABOUT OCEAN SPRAY

In 1930, Ocean Spray was founded by three maverick farmers – bonded by bold cranberry love. Since then, we’ve grown into a vibrant global agricultural cooperative, built on the strength of roughly 700 farmer families in the United States, Canada and Chile. Together, we’ve worked to preserve the family farming way of life for nearly 100 years, and for generations to come. Today, our cranberries show up in more than a thousand deliciously nourishing products in over 100 countries worldwide. United by passion and purpose, Ocean Spray is committed to trailblazing the power of the mighty cranberry through its offbeat taste and uncanny nutrition to feed happier lives for all. Born Tart. Raised Bold.™

FCA Scholarship 2022

Foxboro Cable Access continues to encourage higher education in the Communications Field by offering a $1000 scholarship annually. Any Foxboro resident is eligible to apply if they are pursuing a college degree in this field.

Applications are available at the FCA Studio at 28 Central Street, Foxborough High School Guidance Office, The Boyden Library, Town Hall and can also be downloaded from the link below.

Completed applications must be returned to the FCA studio by the deadline of Friday, May 13, 2022 If you have any other questions, please call Foxboro Cable Access at 543-4757.

Irish Festival March 12th at Patriot Place

After two-year hiatus, the popular St. Patrick’s Day celebration featuring live Irish music, step dancing, and free Irish-themed activities returns to Patriot Place for the 11th time

The Festival will go from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. and take place rain or shine

After a two-year hiatus, Patriot Place will once again celebrate the joys of Irish culture with the 11th annual Irish Festival, taking place Saturday, March 12 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The daylong celebration will feature live performances by Irish musicians and step dancers, as well as a full slate of free Irish-themed activities for the whole family to enjoy. This popular Patriot Place tradition is free and open to the public.

The fun includes musical performances from Slainte, Devri and Joshua Tree Band on the Dean College Stage, as well as Irish step dancing performances from several talented groups hosted by Six String Grill & Stage. Throughout the festival, families can also enjoy activities including airbrush tattoos, caricature artists, a balloon artist, petting zoo and more.

Additionally, Patriot Place will host a number of special appearances throughout the day, including the Providence Hurling Club and Old Colony Highland Pipe Band. The Patriot Place North Marketplace will also be lined with several authentic Irish merchants, including the Irish Import Shop, Eire’s Irish Imports, JAT Creations and more. The Irish Festival will take place rain or shine.

“After a two-year hiatus, we are thrilled to once again have the opportunity to celebrate Irish Festival at Patriot Place,” said Brian Earley, Vice President and General Manager of Patriot Place. “Irish Festival is one of our favorite events of the year, bringing together families from across New England to enjoy Irish step dancing, musical performances, traditional Irish demonstrations and family-friendly activities. We can’t wait to see everyone back at Patriot Place on March 12 for what promises to be another great celebration.”

2022 IRISH FESTIVAL ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE

TIMEEVENTLOCATION
11 a.m. to 12 p.m.SlainteDean College Stage*
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.Stanley & GrimStage Two**
11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.Harney School of Irish DanceSix String Grill & Stage
12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.Sullivan School of Dance Six String Grill & Stage
12 p.m. to 12:15 p.m.Harney School of Irish DanceDean College Stage*
12:15 to 12:30 p.m.Old Colony Highlanders Pipe BandDean College Stage*
12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.DevriDean College Stage*
1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.Dunleavy Boyle Academy of Irish DanceSix String Grill & Stage
2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.Sullivan-Stewart School of Irish DanceSix String Grill & Stage
2 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.Dunleavy Boyle Academy of Irish DanceDean College Stage*
2 p.m. to 4 p.m.Keohane & KennealyStage Two**
2:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.Old Colony Highlanders Pipe BandDean College Stage*
2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.Joshua Tree BandDean College Stage* 
3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Greene O’Leary School of Irish DanceSix String Grill & Stage

*- The Dean College Stage is located outside of Citizen Crust, Skipjack’s and Bar Louie

** – Stage Two is located outside of Walpole Outdoors

COVID-19 and the Norfolk County Real Estate Market

Since March 10th when Governor Baker declared a state of emergency to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us have experienced some sort of personal or economic upheaval. We do live in extraordinary times. Despite all this upheaval and uncertainty, Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell today reports one area of our economy has remained viable, the Norfolk County real estate market.

Register O’Donnell stated, “The COVID-19 state of emergency ordered by Governor Baker recently passed the six-month timeframe. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I am proud to report the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds has remained open for the recording of land documents. While the Registry of Deeds building remains closed to the general public, Registry personnel have been able to continue recording land documents. At the beginning of the pandemic, we utilized social distancing, split work shifts, remote access, and use of our disaster recovery site to record documents. With the lifting of some restrictions by Governor Baker, continued practice of social distancing and taking all other necessary steps to ensure the safety of our employees, more of our personnel are now working out of our main building in Dedham. Throughout the pandemic, we have also utilized electronic recording for our institutional users such as banks, law firms and title companies. In addition to electronic recording, users have also had the option to submit documents via regular mail, Federal Express or placing documents in our drop-off box located just outside our main entrance at 649 High Street, Dedham, MA.”

Since March 10 th when the state of emergency was declared through September 10 th , the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds recorded 87,379 land documents, a 14% increase compared to the same timeframe in 2019. Most of this increase can be attributed to a spike in mortgage recordings. Specifically, 23,607 mortgages were recorded, a significant 57% increase. The total mortgage indebtedness dollar amount of these mortgages was $10 billion. From March 10 the through September 10 th , 8,910 properties, residential and commercial, were sold in the county, a 9% decrease year over year. However, the average sales price actually increased 4% to $833,279. Total sales volume, again both residential and commercial, for the six-month period was $4.7 billion.

“These sales figures,” noted the Register, “are actually encouraging considering the economic upheaval in general and specifically the high unemployment rate seen in Massachusetts during the pandemic. Many real estate observers are reporting buyers, particularly millennials, leaving the city for the suburbs. Low-interest rates are also a factor in many considering buying single-family homes. Additionally, many are now working remotely from home and as a result can live farther away from their place of business. A factor in the increased average sales price has been the reduced amount of available housing inventory resulting in this being a seller’s market with prospective buyers competing for limited housing stock. Real estate brokers and agents have reported in some cases this intense competition has actually driven real estate sales prices over the original asking price.”

“The increase seen in mortgage recordings has been a direct result of historically low interest rates. Many of these mortgages are refinancing existing mortgages to reduce term, lessen monthly payments or pay for a home improvement or higher education expense,” stated the Register.

During the March 10 th through September 10 th period, the number of foreclosure deeds recorded fell 30%. Notice to Foreclose Mortgages, the first step in the foreclosure process, have been curtailed due to a moratorium placed on foreclosures and evictions while the COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency has been ongoing. The Norfolk Registry of Deeds has been working with Attorney General Maura Healey’s office in monitoring protections afforded to homeowners affected by the COVID-19 state of emergency through Chapter 65 of the Acts of 2020, Act Providing for a Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures During the COVID-19 Emergency as well as protections put in place by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Pub L. 116-136, (the “CARES Act”).

“One area that needs special attention once the COVID-19 state of emergency has been lifted,” noted Register O’Donnell, “is foreclosure activity not only in Norfolk County but throughout Massachusetts. As a result of the economic upheaval seen during the pandemic, many of our neighbors have lost their jobs impacting their ability to pay their monthly mortgage payments.”

“As Register of Deeds, I have been proud to partner with Quincy Community Action Programs, 617-479-8181 x376, and NeighborWorks Housing Solutions, 508-587-0950. These non-profit agencies can help anyone facing challenges with the paying of their mortgage. In addition, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Consumer Advocacy and Response Division (CARD), 617-727-8400 can also help. All of these programs are staffed by knowledgeable professionals who provide assistance to those struggling to pay their mortgages.”

Homestead recordings fell 9% during the March 10 th through September 10 th timeframe. “A Homestead,” noted O’Donnell, “provides limited protection against the forced sale of a homeowner’s primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000. I urge all Norfolk County homeowners to avail themselves of this important consumer protection tool.” Concluding his remarks, Register O’Donnell stated, “The last six months have been difficult for individuals, families, employers and employees alike. Despite all the hardship, I am proud of my office’s efforts to keep the Norfolk Coåunty Registry of Deeds open for business. The results of these efforts have been a viable Norfolk County real estate market benefitting sellers and buyers of real estate, lending institutions, the real estate legal community and all others with a vested interest in the local real estate economy. By keeping the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds open, recording fees collected have been forwarded to the state and county helping to pay for important public initiatives including education, health care, and police and fire expenses. We are so thankful to our partners in the real estate community and most importantly the citizens of Norfolk County. Their patience with us has been critical to the Registry of Deeds being able to continue its core mission of recording land documents in a safe and secure environment.”

“Unfortunately, we are not done with this pandemic. Please continue to practice social distancing, wear a mask, and take all necessary steps to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Together, we will get through this. Be healthy. Be safe.”

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, like us at facebook.com/NorfolkDeeds or follow us on twitter.com/NorfolkDeeds and
Instagram.com/NorfolkDeeds.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is located at 649 High Street in Dedham. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. All land record research information can be found on the Registry’s website www.norfolkdeeds.org. Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center via telephone at (781) 461-6101, or email us at registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org.