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A high-tech squeaky wheel in your hand

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With a few quick taps on their smartphones, residents of seven area communities can now alert their local governments when they come upon a pothole, graffiti, or unsightly trash.

Braintree, Easton, Halifax, Middleborough, Randolph, Quincy, and Whitman are among 54 cities and towns offering a smartphone application that the public can use to report irksome quality-of-life concerns.

Smartphone users that encounter dangling tree branches, broken sidewalks, or unlit street lights can snap a photo or write a message and submit it to officials for resolution. They can also track the progress of local departments in responding to their and other requests.

The Commonwealth Connect app became available in January and is now running in about 50 of the communities.

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