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Thursday, August 31, 2023

Wishing students, families, teachers, and staff the best of luck as the first day of the 2023-2024 school year approaches. As my first “back to school” since being appointed the House Chair on the Joint Committee on Education, I will keep students’ and parents’ best educational interests in mind. I look forward to meeting many of the students at various points throughout their education, it is important that they know that I serve them as well! Looking forward to another year of learning, growth, and fun.



District Updates




  • The 2nd annual Needham observance of International Overdose Awareness Day and Vigil will be held on Thursday, August 31. The event will be held at the gazebo at Memorial Park (92 Rosemary St). International Overdose Awareness Day is an opportunity to remember, without stigma, those who have died, and acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind. Needham’s observance will include speakers, a memorial flag display, and the distribution of informational materials to support community members of all ages. To view more details, click here.
  • Needham Youth & Family Services presents “Candid Conversations for 4th and 5th Graders” every Thursday at the Needham Town Hall. The event will include interactive games, skill building, and developing self-awareness & and communication skills. The event will be held every Thursday from September 28 to November 2 from 4 pm to 5 pm in the Highland Room at Needham Town Hall. Register for free online here.
  • BID Needham is offering a grant opportunity in the priority area of Mental Health and Substance Use for those who live, work, play, and learn in Dedham. Between 2024 to 2027, BID Needham is investing approximately $516,000 for its Community-based Health Initiative to implement evidence-based and/or evidence-informed strategies. This competitive RFP process is now open and the deadline to apply is October 13, 2023, by 5:00 pm Eastern Time. Find all the details here. Please note that we will hold a virtual information session on September 6, 2023, from 1:00-2:00 pm Eastern Time (register here).
  • Get involved with the Charles River Center 5K Run/1 Mile Walk on September 24th. The event fundraises for the Charles River Center which serves children and adults with disabilities to help them reach their highest possible level of independence and enable them to lead fulfilling and productive lives. There are several ways one can support the Charles River Center whether it be through participation or donations. The following are some ways you can help with the Charles River Center 5K Run/1 Mile Walk:
  • Participate in the run/walk! Participate individually or on a team, click here for individual registrationclick here for team registration
  • Fundraise for the Charles River Center! Set up a fundraising page, here.
  • Volunteer! Multiple volunteer opportunities are available the day of and the day prior to the event. Click here to sign up to volunteer
  • Spread the word! Letting people know about the event and cause through social media, email, newsletters, blogs, etc.

To learn more about the event, click here.


  • Dover Days is back on Saturday, September 9th! The event will take place at the Dover Town Commons from 10 am to 3 pm. The event will be held from 10:30 am to 12 pm. The event is free to the public and no registration is required. Be sure to swing by my tent to chat or to just say hello!
  • The last day to register for the Dover COA luncheon is September 1. The luncheon will be held on Tuesday, September 12 from 12 pm to 1:30 pm. Register for the luncheon by September 1 here.


  • Join Bellforge Arts Center for Summer Sounds on Thursday, August 31 from 5 pm to 8 pm. This is the last concert of the summer season. Admission is free, and pre-registration is encouraged. To pre-register for the event, click here.


  • Support the Medifeld Theatre Society at their Car Wash on Sunday, September 3rd. The car wash will be held behind Medfield Town Hall from 9 am to 12 pm.

Norfolk County Arbovirus Report

The hot months of summer bring an increased risk of mosquito-borne

illnesses. West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE or “Triple E”) are viruses that occur in Massachusetts and can cause illnesses ranging from mild fever to more serious diseases like encephalitis or meningitis. Mosquito testing for EEE and other diseases began on June 12. This section of Fresh Garlick will share weekly reportings of Arbovirus in Norfolk County.

Risk Levels:

Needham: Remote

Dover: Low

Medfield: Low

To learn more about mosquito-borne illnesses, click here.

To learn how to protect yourself against mosquito-borne illnesses, click here.

Statewide Updates


    • Veterans exposed to toxic substances while serving are eligible for expansion of VA benefits and healthcare. The PACT Act expands VA benefits and health care for veterans and servicemembers exposed to toxic substances while serving. While there is no deadline to apply for the benefits, veterans, and families will get the most of those benefits if filed by August 9. The PACT Act helps veterans get much-needed help related to health conditions caused by exposure to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances. If you submit your PACT Act application — or your intent to file — by August 9, you could get benefits backdated to August 10, 2022 — when the PACT Act was passed.
    • Avoid Scams:
    • Don’t pay to file: It’s free to apply for any type of veterans’ benefits. File your PACT Act claim for free online through the VA’s website or in person at a VA regional Office.
    • Don’t pay for help: Scammers may offer help to you to file your application for benefits for a fee or percentage of the benefits you get, Get free help from an accredited representative, here.
      • The Health Connector and MassHealth are hosting a free webinar, Keeping or Getting Coverage through MassHealth and the Health Connector in Spanish on Wednesday, August 30th. The webinar will present topics such as how members can review MassHealth coverage, access online accounts and reporting changes, and get help with completing renewal or enrolling in Health Connector coverage. To register for the webinar, click here.
      • On August 24, new pork regulations went into effect in Massachusetts. Under these new regulations, pork products from pigs raised in gestation crates are prohibited in Massachusetts as well as the use of tightly confining cages by local farms. The new regulations require that most uncooked pork sold in Massachusetts (bacon, ham, ribs, cutlets, etc.) come from pigs that were raised in pens with enough space to freely turn around, lie down, and stand up. This effectively bans the use of gestation crates for out-of-state producers selling pork in the Commonwealth. The regulations do not apply to sausages or hot dogs, or other products not considered “whole pork meat”. To read more about the new pork regulations, click here.

Learn more about the PACT Act, here.

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