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The Patriot, April 11, 2012 3

Senator Moore Receives Human Service Leadership Award

BOSTON – Approxi-

mately 600 attendees applauded as River- side Community Care honored Sen. Richard T. Moore, D-Uxbridge, with its 2012 Leader- ship Award Monday night at the organiza- tion’s 21st Annual Ap- preciation Evening held at the Newton Marriott Hotel. Riverside cited Sen. Moore’s “extraor- dinary commitment to ensuring quality health care and human servic- es are available to peo- ple living in the Com-

Chief’s corner

Proper procedures for bikes/skateboards The topic of the use of local streets was brought up to

me recently. The person had a particular issue regarding people on bicycles or skateboards riding in the middle of roadway. I was asked to inform people of the laws regard- ing this activity and to remind them of the dangers associ- ated with this. Streets are designed for use by motor vehicles. Pedestri-

Senator Richard Moore

monwealth” in presenting the award. Sen. Moore, who serves as Senate Chairman of the Leg- islature’s Committee on Health Care Financing, thanked the group for honoring him noting, “I am well aware of the exceptional services that your dedicated professional staff provides to the people of our region. For that reason, this award is especially meaningful to me.” A sponsor of the state’s Mental Health Parity law, Sen.

Moore has also been a strong advocate of programs such as Crossroads Club House in Hopedale and Tradewinds Club- house in Southbridge, and domestic violence programs of- fered in cooperation with local police departments and the district courts. Riverside Community Care is an award winning, non-

profit organization that helps build healthy communities by providing “the help you need close to home.” The orga- nization, which operates programs for the mentally ill, for suicide prevention, domestic abuse prevention, and other behavioral health programs, works to enable individuals and families to continue to live in their own communities, even when facing daunting behavioral health challenges. With over 100 distinct programs serving 70 Massachu-

setts cities and towns, approximately 1300 Riverside staff work to help over 40,000 people in need through providing mental health care, addiction treatment, assistance with developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injury pro- grams, and early childhood services.

SERVPRO of S. Worcester to Donate Money to the American Red Cross’ Disaster Relief WORCESTER - SERVPRO of South Worcester, a compa-

ny providing fire & water damage cleanup and restoration services, will be teaming up with the American Red Cross of Central and Western Massachusetts to help raise money for Disaster Relief. SERVPRO of South Worcester will be donating $20 per

claim called in throughout the month of April to the Ameri- can Red Cross’ Disaster Relief in an effort to help those in need.

“The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; an average of 91 cents of every dollar given to the Red Cross is invested in helping the people the Red Cross services,” explained Lisa Piehler, Regional CEO of the American Red Cross of Cen- tral Massachusetts. “The Red Cross is a charitable orga- nization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. We are truly grateful to SERVPRO and its customers for partnering with us in this very worth- while endeavor of assisting victims of disasters.” “We are delighted to help raise money and awareness for

the disaster relief efforts of the American Red Cross,” said Donny McKendall, owner of SERVPRO of South Worces- ter. “In our line of work, we are constantly facing disasters within our own community, and understand how deeply upsetting and devastating such issues can be. These disas- ters are not only destroying homes and buildings- they are destroying lives. We hope that the money we raise through- out the month of April will help those in need, including those that were affected by the disastrous tornadoes last month.”

SERVPRO of South Worcester also provides non-emer-

gency services such as carpet and air duct cleaning as well as mold remediation. “This is a great opportunity for Worcester residents to take advantage of a home restora- tion project and benefit a local non-profit,” says McKend- all.

Contact SERVPRO of South Worcester at 508-757-7885

for more information about emergency and non-emergency home restoration projects. Please visit SERVPRO of South Worcester online at and on Facebook at

Oxford Selectmen’s meeting Continued from front page In other business, Mr. Zeneski reported that the town

had received a notice from Lt. Governor Timothy Murray that the town’s Chapter 90 apportionment for FY 2013 is $505,143, based on the passage of the pending bond bill. Chapter 90 monies are used for local transportation infra- structure improvements. Mr. Zeneski also brought a request from the School Build-

ing Committee to add $1.7 million to the proposed $5.7 million budget for air conditioning for the Oxford Middle School project. While the extra costs would be reimbursed at 57% by the Massachusetts School Building Authority, the board agreed that it did not wish to add to the taxpay- ers burden, and did not act on the request. The board also initiated a review of Access Oxford cable

to determine how the $140,000 per year paid to Charter is being spent, and to assess the possibility of updating the video recording equipment.

ans, bicycles, skateboards, and other means of travel are generally restricted to the road sides, sidewalks, and/or other authorized areas. Using the streets as a playground can be very dangerous and accidents can result. Dudley By-law Article 8 Section 5 prohibits various forms of game playing on Town streets. It states in part, “No person or persons shall in any of the public ways of the town throw stones, snowballs, sticks or other missiles, or kick a foot- ball or play at any game in which a ball is used, or engage in any other game or exercise, interfering with free, safe and convenient use of said street or highway by any per- sons traveling or passing along the same.” Based on this, any game or act which disrupts traffic flow is not allowed. Bicycle use on the roadways is covered in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 85. As a general rule, bicyclists must observe the same traffic rules as motor vehicles. There are a few exceptions. They are allowed to pass vehi- cles within a lane on the right and they may use sidewalks outside business districts if not prohibited. In this case, bicycles must yield the right of way to pedestrians. The use of streets as a “playground” should be prohib-

ited, especially by the parent or guardians of the children involved. Accidents or injuries can occur at any time when there is this unsafe mix of people and cars. Please make every effort to prevent these from occurring by having the children ride in a safe manner or location. I wish to take a moment to thank Worcester County

Sheriff Lew Evangelidis for coming to Shepherd Hill High School on Thursday, April 5th to present his program “Face

to Face.” This is a very good program which provides young people with valu- able information on decision making involving drugs and alcohol. Many important examples were presented for the students and it was well received. I thank the Sheriff for his time and ef- forts. I also thank Principal Pierangeli and her staff for offering these programs to our young adults to provide them with the tools to make good decisions. On Saturday, April 28th

from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Dudley Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your medications for disposal to The Dudley Police located inside the Dudley Municipal Complex at 71 West Main Street Dudley. Other communities are offering the same program as well, so, if you are not from Dudley, check with your local police department for information. The service is free and anonymous. Thanks again for your questions and comments. Please


Chief Steven J. Wojnar Dudley Police Chief

send them to me at the Dudley Police Department 71 West Main St. Dudley, Ma. 01571 or email at swojnar@dudley- Opinions expressed in this weekly column are those of Chief Wojnar only and unless clearly noted, do not reflect the ideas or opinions of any other organization or citizen.

Webster Board of Health will revisit tattoo decision for 14-year olds

Continued from front page

address the problem at a public hearing last week. One attendee at the hearing told of a van that drove up near his property and parked, advertising illegal tattooing ser- vices. In response, the Board amended town regulations to al-

low 14- to 17 year-olds to obtain a tattoo if a parent ap- proves and accompanies the teen to the tattoo parlor. The decision was made in the context of known illegal ac- tivity and the tenets of public safety. Unlicensed tattooing is known to cause serious health effects, including MRSA, HIV, hepatitis, and bacterial infections.

Comments by Dr. Alfred DeMaria, the Department of Public Health’s State Epidemiologist,

on the Board of Health decision. We in public health are always balancing risks

against benefits. When amateurs engage in illegal tattooing, there are infection risks. We do worry about that, and that’s why there are regulations. Each community has to deal with this on its own,

he said. If a younger person comes in for a tattoo, you want to make sure the parents are involved if possible, and that it is done safely. Consider this: a 15-year old can’t just walk into a body art estab- lishment, and so his options are limited to having friends or illegal tattooists doing it. But, if there’s an option to get it done with a parent, they can get it done safely at a licensed shop. We don’t generally think of hepatitis and HIV

infection in this age group, but a MRSA infection presents even more of a risk if equipment is not sterilized. Skin infections become an issue, there are multiple possibilities for infection that people don’t think of first. If a teenager is getting a tat- too in a controlled establishment, he will be safer; somebody has a reputation to maintain.” Tattooing was illegal in Massachusetts until 15

years ago, and there was a lot of underground ac- tivity. Regulations were adopted to make tattooing safe. The Webster Board of Health’s decision ex- tends the regulations to a younger age group.

Along with the decision to allow minors to obtain tat-

toos, the board tightened up the regulation for who may perform body art. Licensed tattoo artists must now have at least 1800 hours of experience under the supervision of a licensed practitioner before they can operate on their own. “We wanted to make it as safe as possible for individuals

to get tattoos,” said Board of Health member Nancie Zecco, who has a Master’s degree in Public Health, specializing in epidemiology, which is the study of causes , distribution, and control of diseases in populations. Still, the board’s decision went viral, as they say. All

the news media, print, radio, and broadcast, descended on the town hall last week. Channel 5, Channel 7, Channel 3, NPR, WAAF, and the Telegram & Gazette were there onsite, and dozens more picked up the story and relayed it across the state and nation. Much of the reaction was negative, and Board of Health Chairman David Zalewski announced on Monday that the board will discuss the age limit again at its next meeting. “We are dealing with a real situation,” Ms. Zecco said.

“We have two regulated, licensed tattoo parlors in town and would rather have younger people go to them for a tattoo.” “What was lost in all the media attention, all that people heard was that 14-year olds can get tattoos in Webster. What they’re not hearing is that the decision was for safety reasons. If kids are going to get a tattoo you want them to

get it in a place that’s safe and regulated, not in a friend’s house. “We knew there was an issue in town, and we took the initiative to protect the public by amending the regula- tions. It’s still up to the parents to make the decision for the child,” she said. Like many parents, she herself would not allow a 14-year old to get a tattoo. “However, it’s still up to the parents.” Ms. Zecco had initially moved to lower the age to 16, not 14. Ed Masterson too said he “would not do it to one of my

kids or grandchildren, and I wouldn’t do it to someone else’s child.” He said the kids who are getting the “kitchen tattoos” are the ones that parents can’t control. He tells 14- 15 year olds who want a tattoo to hang a picture of it on the wall for two years and come to see him after that. As for the new regulations, Masterson said that if he sees

a lot of 15-year olds with botched tattoos, he might start fixing them. Massachusetts state law stipulates that individuals must

be 18-years old to obtain a tattoo, but towns may amend the regulations. Some have. Auburn, for example, allows tattooing of kids as young as 6. Andrew R. Pelletier, Auburn’s Development and Inspec-

tional Services Director in the Public Health Division, ex- plained the history of that decision. In 2004 the State ruled that towns could not outlaw tattoo parlors. Auburn’s Board of Health, he said, “was very active at

the time, and was adamant that we were there to protect the health of the child, not to legislate the morals of the family.” There was little precedence for an age limit. Auburn was

one of the first five or ten towns in the state to address it, he said. “We debated hotly on the issue of age.” The board looked at the age at which mental development would not be affected, and used laws regarding other dangerous prod- ucts, such as lead paint, as its guide. “We didn’t want to get involved in the raising of children. “Body arts are a concern to public health,” he contin-

ued. “There’s a lot of nastiness out there. But we’re allowed freedom of expression.” Mr. Pelletier said three or four tat- too parlors have come to Auburn since the law was passed, but “all refuse to work on children.” As for unlicensed tattoo artists, “we can’t regulate that,”

he said. “But we do have enforcement powers and when we find them we can arrest them.” Webster’s Health Agent Liberty echoed that position.

“But the hardest part is to catch them,”she said. “There’s nothing we can do unless we catch them in the act.” Will Auburn revisit its age criterion? “We regularly re-

view all of our regulations to see if the codes are still good and to incorporate emerging products and new technolo- gies. Now that Webster has looked at this, we can look at if we want to open it up again.” Back in Webster, the Board of Health’s next scheduled meeting, when it will revisit the decision, is on May 7.

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