The Brockton Enterprise offers this reminder --
New law requires upgrade for homeowners who use oil for heating
By Alice C. Elwell
Homeowners with oil heating systems that were installed before 1990 will have to pay up to $300 to comply with a new state law that will take effect in July.
The “Oil Heating System Upgrade and Insurance Law” requires either a sleeve around the pipe that feeds the burner or a safety valve to prevent leaks.
Once the upgrade is completed, a homeowner can apply for leak coverage on his insurance policy.
“This new law will definitely benefit all homeowners who use oil to heat their home,” said Wayne C. Perkins, an insurance agent and retired director of the state insurance Rating Bureau.
He said this type of insurance coverage was not available in Massachusetts in the past because policies carried a pollution exclusion.
The new law allows all homeowners to buy insurance coverage for the cleanup of a leak if their system is in compliance.
Diane Chaplin, branch manager of the Farrell Backlund Insurance Agency in Taunton, said the rates have not been set.
“First the industry has to write the coverage form, then the state has to approve the form and the rate filing,” she said.
Before 1990, most pipes from the tank to the burner were buried in concrete. The new law calls for homeowners to either dig up the concrete and line the pipe with a non-metallic sleeve, or simply install the safety valve on the oil tank.
While the safety value is a less expensive route, Tony Coletti, owner of Coletti Brothers Oil Co. in Middleboro, calls it a “Band-Aid” solution and recommends the more expensive option.
Coletti said the average cost to install the safety valve is about $160, compared to a complete oil line upgrade in the $150 to $300 range, depending on the length of the pipe.
“The oil safety valve is a Band-Aid, one I do not recommend. If the oil line is old, it should be replaced and brought up to code.”
Coletti said those who opt for the safety valve still have to contend with the old lines. He said concrete shortens the life expectancy of copper pipe, but surrounded by a nonmetallic sleeve, “There’s nothing to corrode it; it could last forever.”
Coletti said lines buried in concrete can leak without the homeowner noticing.
A simple leak can cost as much as $15,000 to clean up, while more extensive cleanup costs can top $250,000.
“I’m letting my customers know if they will need to do it,” Colletti said.
He has already upgraded “quite a few” oil systems, the majority with a sleeve on the line.
Fire Capt. Debra Burke, Middleboro’s code enforcement officer, said the state did not provide funding to enforce the upgrade law. With reduced manpower from budget cuts, Burke said, “We cannot go door-to-door to check out the lines.”
She said the Fire Department will issue a certificate of compliance if homeowners ask for an inspection. The law also allows licensed oil burner technicians to certify that the upgrade has been done.
Homeowners are exempt from the leak prevention law if the oil burner is located above the oil storage tank and the entire line is above the top of the tank.
For the complete text of the law and a diagram of the upgrade go to: http://www.mass.gov/dep/cleanup/laws/hhsl.htm
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Longtime Middleboro reference librarian dies of cancer
Betty Brown died Monday of cancer at age 65
By Alice C. Elwell
MIDDLEBORO — Betty Brown, known to most in town as the reference librarian at the public library, died Monday at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston after a sudden bout with cancer. She was 65.
A woman of many qualities, she held a Ph.D. in American literature and was a cranberry grower.
Her pet project at the library was cataloguing the weekly Middleboro Gazette, and making it available online, said Danielle Bowker, director of the library.
Calls came from far and wide, from people researching genealogy to others trying to find information on the arcane. Bowker said most of the time Brown could just rattle off the facts.
“The best part of her day was getting one of those requests,” Bowker said, adding that Brown’s project will live on. “We won’t stop. She would never forgive us.”
In her early years, Brown left town to pursue her education and ended up at Michigan State, working on her doctorate when she met her future husband, Hal Brown. The couple returned to Middleboro to help her parents grow cranberries, and soon she took over the family business, Korpinen Cranberry Co.
“She came back here to grow cranberries. Her love for being a farmer was something I came to respect,” said Jeffrey D. LaFleur, executive director of the Cape Cod Cranberry Association.
He said she brought her deep love for the environment to board of directors when she was a member.
“She was someone who not only knew cranberry growing, but was respected by the growers,” LaFleur said.
She was known for her ready smile, jewelry, blue-painted nails and passion for dancing Zumba at the YMCA.
Just four months ago when she got the diagnosis, her husband, Hal, thought they had more time. He suggested they buy a convertible for their summer treks to Little Harbor beach in Wareham. As time passed and Brown realized her days were coming to an end, she made Hal promise to buy that convertible after she died.
Last year, the couple bought a pair of West Highland white Terriers, Mac and Duff. The dogs were a great comfort to Brown during her illness, snuggling up with her when she was in pain.
Aside from cranberry growing and the library, her husband said she had a passion for the ocean and the couple spent many a summer day at the beach. He said she had a penchant for long walks along the shore.
“She’d be gone for an hour, an hour and a half ... I’d be getting hungry and then I’d see her wandering back real slow,” he said.
Funeral services will be held in the Ashley Funeral Home, 35 Oak St., on Saturday 10 am. Visiting hours will be held Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.
BOSTON — Betty Elaine (Korpinen) Brown, aged 65 years, lifelong resident of Middleboro, died on Mon., January 11, 2010, at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, after a courageous battle with cancer. She was the beloved wife of Hal Brown of Middleboro; they had been married for 37 years.
Born in Middleboro, she was the daughter of Vaino A. and Margaret E. (Oakland) Korpinen of Middleboro. She was a 1962 graduate of Middleboro High School, then went on to graduate from UMass of Amherst in 1966 where she earned her Bachelor's Degree, and then went on to Michigan State and earned her Master's and Doctorate in American Literature. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
She had been co-owner and CEO for Korpinen Cranberries Inc., for 14 years and has been a reference librarian, as well as leader of adult services, at the Middleboro Public Library for over 20 years. She had participated in speeches, pertaining to the Historical Society, and was treasurer of the Cemetery at the Green Association, Middleboro.
Betty had a great passion for the cranberry business, which reflected the many cranberry organizations she had been involved with which included the Plymouth County Conservation District Board, the Ocean Spray Advisory Board, and was vice-chairwomen of the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers Association.
In her early years, Betty attended the First Congregational Church, Middleboro, as well as Sunday school. She will be warmheartedly remembered as a devoted daughter, and cousin, and will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved her.
Betty's hobbies included kayaking, animals (especially dogs and cats), walking beaches, reading and books.
She is survived by her parents; her husband, Hal; one aunt, Mary Korpinen of South Carver; cousins, Neil Korpinen of Santa Barbara, CA, Cheryl Korpinen of NY, Brenda Chase of Plympton; her special godmother, Elsie Heleen of Rochester; and her dogs, Mac and Duff.
Funeral services will be held in the Ashley Funeral Home, 35 Oak St., Middleboro, on Sat., Jan. 16th at 10 am. Visiting hours, to which relatives and friends are invited to attend, will be held on Fri., from 2-4 & 6-8 pm. Burial will take place in the Cemetery at the Green, Middleboro.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory can be made to: The Middleboro Public Library, 102 North Main St., Middleboro, MA 02346, or to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney St., Boston, MA 02115, would be appreciated.
For more information, please visit www.eggerandashleyfh.com