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New Regulation Would Give Easton Board of Health Authority to Enact Curfew

The Easton Board of Health is holding a public hearing on Sept. 4 to discuss a regulation that would give it the authority to ban outdoor, nighttime activities because of EEE.

 

While Easton health officials have strongly urged residents to curtail nighttime activities since the first , there is a newly proposed regulation that could give them more authority.

The Easton Board of Health is on Tuesday, Sept. 4 to vote on a regulation that would give it the authority to ban nighttime outdoor activities in public places.

"What this regulation does is it gives the power to the Board of Health to in fact ban outdoor activities when things are reasonable like when you have documented cases of EEE pools in the town or you’re at a "high" status put forth by the state, or - as we're at now - a "critical" status," Easton Health Agent Mark Taylor said.

The hearing will be held on Sept. 4 in order to give proper notice to residents through local media outlets, he said. The state requires at least two weeks of notice for public hearings.

This week, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and announced plans for a second round of aerial spraying.

Officials are aiming to aerial spray in Easton Monday night at approximately 6:48 p.m., according to Taylor.

The DPH were killed during the July 20 round of spraying in Easton and 20 additional towns. That didn't stop positive pools of mammal-biting mosquitoes from turning up, though, Taylor said. In all, 21 positive mammal-biting pools have been identified this year and 11 have been identified since July 20.

"The infection rate within those pools is high," Taylor said. "That’s the problem. It’s not one mosquito out of 1,000. It could be 25-100 mosquitoes out of 1,000."

The Bristol County Mosquito Control Project is in the process of ground spraying at Easton's Public Schools. This week, spraying occurred at and . Next week, spraying will occur at , - and

While most of the mosquitoes have been identified in the area of the Hockomock swamp in South Easton, Taylor said the entire town should be on alert.

"Mosquitoes have been tracked to find up to nine miles in a night depending on wind," he said. "Easton is 7.7 miles from any corner to corner."

Click on the attached .pdfs for a look at the proposed regulation and official hearing notice.

Carol Nestler August 17, 2012 at 12:53 PM
I suggest each of you write a letter to Mark Taylor. There is a link on the Easton website. We can not just let our government decide when we can and can't go out doors! This is not even a communicable disease. What ever happened to informing people so they could make their own decisions? Does everything have to be a law? GEEEZE
Janet Sroczynski August 17, 2012 at 02:53 PM
A fine of "up to $1,000" - and then the line after it "each day of a continued non-compliance shall constitute a separate violation" - really Jennifer Nichols, Chair....looking to raise additional money, ie...fees and taxes, on Easton residents and Taxpayers due to mosquitos and EEE. How about common sense? Eliminate the "threat" of Taxes and the "up to $1,000" fee, and let the residents of Easton decide when they will venture outside with the mosquitos. How did Blanche Ames handle mosquitos at Borderland? Was she "fined by up to $1,000" - I doubt it. It seems to me she had porches with screens on them at her mansion. And perhaps the common sense to stay inside when the mosquitos became a problem. Fast forward to today, and I think the parents of school aged children in Easton, together with residents and taxpayers of Easton, can decide for themself when to venture outdoors. Use caution when needed, with the EEE threat. However, I see no need to even attempt to apply a "new tax" of "up to $1,000" -and then grasping at straws to tack on additonal fees/taxes with the added line described above "Each day of a continued non-compliance shall constitute a separate violation" - hence, you are looking for additional fees and taxes, hoping for violations and repeat violations. Stop that nonsense members of the Easton Board of Health. This is another "over-reach" of the current administration.
TWMSeven11 August 17, 2012 at 04:46 PM
It's called commonsense! We don't need the gov regulating every aspect of our lives! I do have a questions though, does this try to limit organized events or will they fine anyone going out for a run at dusk?
JF August 23, 2012 at 03:12 PM
... and when someone in Easton winds up owing $5000 in "mosquito fines" and cant pay it, what then? I'll tell you. They will put out a warrant and arrest us. Prison will save us from EEE! pff isnt this ironic? They claim to care about our health so much that they will imprison us for going outdoors? The only power government has to enforce stuff like this is by making you a criminal if you disobey them. Remember that! They are not doing this for your health or safety. Mosquito borne illness is not the slightest bit common. Certainly not common enough to justify martial law OR even spraying. and ya... spraying.. We have all now been exposed to a product called "Anvil", which was crop dusted over our houses and water (against federal law) Read the MSDS for Anvil on Google. Its nasty stuff.
JF August 31, 2012 at 07:58 PM
I just got the Easton Buzz. Headline: " Officials move ahead with EEE curfew after dusk" You know, I hate having to be the sour grape here, but just remember one thing. Government never gives up any power. It only gets more and more over time. Once you give them the right to create a "curfew after dawn" over something like mosquitoes, you will never be able to take this power away from them! How is this law written? Does it specify "baseball games and organized sporting events"? NO! They would never need to pass a law that creates a curfew for public events like little league. Little league is plenty cooperative. Nobody has ever had a little league game against the advice of the BOH. right? Furthermore, last year there was a bigger EEE threat, yet there wasnt any fuss like this. Last: Warning: the word "Curfew" means what? cur·few    [kur-fyoo] Show IPA noun 1.an order establishing a specific time in the evening after which certain regulations apply, especially that no civilians or other specified group of unauthorized persons may be outdoors or that places of public assembly must be closed. 2.a regulation requiring a person to be home at a certain prescribed time, as imposed by a parent on a child. 3.the time at which a daily curfew starts. 4.the period during which a curfew is in effect. 5.a signal, usually made with a bell, announcing the start of the time of restrictions under a curfew.

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