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Weston Nurseries – Now We Need to Work Together

 

by Muriel Kramer, Chair, Board Selectmen


June 20, 2007 — Hopkinton had an extraordinary week and for the most part handled a stressful and emotional time very civilly while voting on the potential purchase of the Weston Nurseries Sale Property. It is fitting that the final decision on the property came down to a vote of the people at the ballot. We can all be grateful that such a large percentage of the voters got to the polls and in the end delivered an irrefutable vote.  While it may be hard for some to accept the result, it should not be impossible to do so.

A great many people put their intellects and energies into crafting an approach that could be beneficial to Hopkinton; as a resident and as a Selectman, I am very indebted to everyone involved. The essential question about whether to buy the property even in part through a partnership with TPL never got the support of any Boards, Committees or Commissions. The truth is Hopkinton is not positioned financially to take on ownership nor forego the potential financial gain that a well crafted and executed development may yet deliver. File photo.

However, “the bottom line” is not the only measure, and a committed group of residents delivered an opportunity to test the “Boulder” approach and potentially take ownership ourselves; this approach was attractive on many levels but breathtakingly gutsy — perhaps speaking to the depth of our collective commitment to this town.

One thing we all can count on is that the recommendation of the Town Boards and Committees was tested, and their recommended approach held up under fire. It is my hope that no one looks back and worries that any reasonable stone was left unturned. At substantial expense, the residents’ right to determine their own destiny on this question was protected. I sincerely hope that the full exercise of this process that allowed for competitive challenge and delivered a certain result at the polls will be enough to bring all sides together to work cooperatively to an end that benefits everyone.

The value to the process as it unfolded is two fold: first, the TPL partnership option did drive a better proposal from Mr. MacDowell despite the conservation project partnership option itself not working out. Second, the competitive challenge from a group of passionate residents ensured that all interested voters had their shot at the decision at the polls, and it likely drove the large turnout.

Now we need to look forward to the future and the best way to maximize the benefits of the sale and future development for Hopkinton and Boulder; as the give and take of master planning and permitting goes forward, we will all be best served if we look out for each other in the process—a true partnership will be advantageous to both parties. Give and take is difficult, but we are up to the challenge. This community can and must rise to the occasion and focus on ways to make this development work for Hopkinton and for Boulder.

Editor's Note: Mrs. Kramer sent this letter to the community through multiple news outlets.

HOPKINTON’S ANNUAL RUMMAGE SALE

 

Stop in at the Hopkinton Senior Center, 28 Mayhew Street to get some great deals from the rummage sale.  The sale is being held Thursday, June 21 from 9:00 – 7:00, Friday, June 22 from 9:00 – 7:00 and Saturday, June 23 from 9:00 – noon.  Saturday is “bag day” and you can fill a grocery size bag for $3.00 or large trash bag for $10.00. There is a wonderful selection of books, clothing and white elephant.

Thank You!

     Thanks to our advertisers for helping us keep at least two shifts going to cover the daily news and events, and thanks to our readers for making HopNews the go-to place for up-to-date information. And thanks to the contributors, paid and unpaid, who offer the superb context that we see every day.

     In the past year, we have invested much in camera and video equipment, as well as personnel assets, increasing our need for advertising revenue.

     The graph above is just a snapshot of the last week — weekends are less busy — but are part of a trend toward increasing readership and interest. Please understand that what we represent are actual visits to the first page, not hits. HopNews has had over 2.5 million hits in the last seven days, but visits are what really count, and are a good gauge of readership.

     To reach the HopNews readership with your commercial message, please call 508-435-5534 to see if you qualify to be an advertiser.     

Real Estate Transactions for Hopkinton, Massachusetts

Most recent first, updated June 20, 2007

Compiled by Eric Montville for HopNews.com

Address Buyer Price Date Seller
10 Bowker Road Geoffrey J. Coffman & Christine D. Coffman $1,150,000 Jun.  15, 2007 Geeta LeCrone
26 Overlook Drive Gregory A. Briers & Melissa B. Briers $940,000 Jun.  15, 2007 Gilles Delecoeuillerie
3 Brook Hollow Lane Siping Liu & Qin Luo $700,000 Jun.  15, 2007 William A. Depietri
61 Hayden Rowe Street Massachusetts Residential Nominee Service, LLC $597,000 Jun.  15, 2007 Timothy J. Farrell & Kathleen Farrell
9 Meadowland Drive Christopher F. Gallagher & Catherine M. Gallagher $575,000 Jun.  15, 2007 James I. Chandless & Christine A. Chandless
61 Hayden Rowe Street Teresa K. Lombard $525,000 Jun.  15, 2007 Massachusetts Residential Nominee Service, LLC
14 Valentine Road Michael P. Sullivan & Jennifer M. Sullivan $470,000 Jun.  15, 2007 Siping Liu & Qin Luo
44 East Main Street Lisa Miracle & James Malone $393,000 Jun.  14, 2007 C. Bruce Howard & Suzanne Howard
10 Highcroft Way Thomas J. Blicharz & Deborah R. Blicharz $442,500 Jun.  13, 2007 Mark P. Hayes & Robin B. Hayes
16 West Main Street Raymond A. Daigle, Jr. & Phyllis M. Diagle $244,000 Jun.  12, 2007 Everett A. Beaman & Marlene M. Beaman
Previous update:        
45 Greenwood Road Darshana Jani $872,000 Jun.  12, 2007 Edward J. Benack & Elizabeth Benack
6 Ralph Road Antony J. Walker $815,000 Jun.  11, 2007 John David Cardillo & Cynthia Sue Cardillo
88 Winter Street David J. Edlund $1,002,064 Jun.  11, 2007 Brian W. Cheever & Brian K. Gassett
9 Downey Place Steven Moschini $205,000 Jun.  08, 2007 Kathleen J. Meehan, et al (See full list)
31 Chamberlain Street Gary B. Trendel & Jennifer A. Trendel $495,000 Jun.  08, 2007 Peter R. Theran & Tracy S. Theran
9 Alexander Road Scot E. Muzzy & Bree E. Muzzy $540,000 Jun.  08, 2007 Daniel J. Kelly & Jeanette A Kelly
15 Kimball Road Walter G. Cox & Shirleen M. W. Cox $725,000 Jun.  08, 2007 David J. Peterson & Jennifer L. Peterson

See Full List back to February 1,  2007

A Note of Thanks

 

June 20, 2007   —  As the school year draws to a close, the Hopkinton Music Association (HMA) would once again like to thank all who supported our successful calendar fundraiser. Through the efforts of our music students (grades 4 thru 12), along with support from parents, community, and local businesses, we raised over $11,000 to be used towards music enrichment. Monies will help pay for lesson scholarships, students’ transportation to music competitions, band and chorus uniforms, and enrichment programs.
     Special awards were presented to our top music sales people: Katrina Parsons (7th grade chorus), Joseph Blodget (5th grade band), Amanda Walsh (5th grade strings), Collin Walsh (4th grade chorus), and Kryan Schnur (4th grade chorus).
     A huge thank you to local businesses and families who donated prizes: BJ’s/Westborough, Weston Nurseries, Hopkinton Exxon, The Newland Family, Hopkinton Jeweler, Video Vault/Westborough, Mango Thai Cuisine/Milford, Relax Day Spa/Ashland, BSO, Fitness Solutions/Hopkinton, Target/Milford, LaRose Muscular Therapy/Milford, Acapulco’s/Milford, Lin’s Garden/Milford, The Rothberg Family, The Pettepit Family, iDazz Jewelry/Hopkinton, Absolute Yoga/Hopkinton, Heidi Sutton/Haircuts, Dr. Jill Tanzi/The Dentist at Hopkinton, Best Buy/Framingham, and Stop & Shop/Milford.
     Special thanks to our largest prize donors: The Music & Arts Center/Milford, The Karen McDermott Team/ReMax Executive Realty, The Maruska Family, YMCA/Hopkinton, and our grand prize donor, Bose Corporation.
We hope the community will support these generous businesses.
     Once again, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to Verna Mims and Jack O’Leary of The Print Works in Ashland for donating the 8000 beautifully printed raffle calendars for our students to sell, without which our raffle would not be possible.

- Annie Merzel, Hopkinton Music Association

Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition’s Against the Tide

The PREMIERE EVENT to raise money for BREAST CANCER PREVENTION!

Fifteenth Annual Metro Boston, 7:30am- 12:00 pm, Saturday, June 23, Hopkinton State Park, Hopkinton, MA

June 20, 2007 — Against the Tide (ATT) is a one-mile swim, two-mile kayak, and three-mile fitness walk to benefit the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC). This fun and inspirational program brings together swimmers, kayakers, and walkers of all ages and abilities to join MBCC in its efforts to eradicate the breast cancer epidemic.

Participants commit to raising a minimum contribution of $150, which must be donated on the day of the event in order to participate in the festivities. In addition, participants may enroll in as many events as they would like. All funds raised go directly to primary breast cancer prevention through the advocacy work of MBCC and research initiatives of its sister environmental organization, Silent Spring Institute. Registration materials, sponsor information, and fundraising ideas can be found at www.mbcc.org/swim .

“Against the Tide is not a big, corporate show, but an event that celebrates families and individuals of all ages and abilities coming together to truly end this epidemic,” says Executive Director Deborah Shields; “it is empowering and uplifting to know that we are contributing towards a healthier future; one in which our mothers, daughters, and friends will not have to fear that they will be the one in seven diagnosed with breast cancer.” Photo, previous winner, Jacqueline Elwell.

Breast cancer now strikes more women in the world than any other type of cancer. In the past 50 years, the lifetime risk of breast cancer has nearly tripled in the United States. In the 1940’s, a woman’s lifetime risk of breast cancer was 1 in 22. In the year 2002, the risk was 1 in 8 and is presently 1 in 7. This reinforces the need to reverse the trend and prevent breast cancer from initially occurring.

The Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition is a nonprofit organization committed to stopping the breast cancer epidemic in Massachusetts through activism, advocacy, research and education. Founded in 1991, the focus of MBCC is to find the causes of breast cancer and seek real prevention against this devastating disease.

For more information call 617-376-MBCC or visit www.mbcc.org/swim. Donations may be sent to Against the Tide c/o MBCC, 1419 Hancock Street, Suite 202, Quincy, MA 02169.

Manage the Process Professionally

Dear Editor,

I want to give my sincere thanks to the Board of Selectman for allowing the citizens of Hopkinton to vote on the Town’s 61 a rights on the Weston Nurseries land and allowing the majority vote to dictate their vote.

It is now the regulatory Board’s responsibility to work with Boulder so what is built will not require the town to build a new school and to make sure infrastructure costs will be paid for by Boulder not by the taxpayers. FULL LETTER

 Selectmen Meeting

Selectmen Vote Unanimously to Waive 61A Rights

Weston Nurseries, Boulder Capital can now move forward with p&s

 

by Robert Falcione

June 19, 2007 — The words of Mike Shepard, "I move that we waive our 61a rights to purchase the Weston Nurseries property," led to a 4-0 vote, and ended the shortest public session of the Board of Selectmen in recent memory, as well as a twenty-day campaign by abutters and their supporters aimed at rallying the town to purchase the 705 acre Weston Nurseries property. 

     Many of those supporters of a buy-all scenario had previously supported a  partnership with the Trust for Public Land, which had been expected to partner with the town in a purchase that could have cost the town as little as $3.2 million in borrowing for about 420 acres, and a plan that had proposed about 2/3 the amount of units as currently proposed.

     However, when three members of the Community Preservation Committee voted in a 3-3 tie to use CPA funds in a strategically made positive motion, it had the equivalent effect of a vote against. CPC member Henry Kunicki said at that time that because it was a positive motion that he made, that only he, according Robert's Rules he said, could rewrite the motion.

     It was the next week that TPL withdrew, with its representative, Badge Blackett, agreeing that it was the CPC refusal to pony up the $2 million that was the final straw in a process that showed the majority of the boards being unsupportive.    

     The evening before the withdrawal, Weston Nurseries abutter Christopher Barry (File photo) of Clinton Street said at the Selectmen's meeting that he would lead an effort for the town to purchase the property in its entirety, something that had little support until the next day, when TPL fortuitously pulled  out.

     However, the clock was still ticking with Special Town Meeting on June 11, giving Mr. Barry and his supporters only ten days to devise and execute a strategy. It was the lack of a definitive plan, said many voters at Monday's election, that caused them to vote against the town gaining the property.

     The Special Town Meeting vote fell three votes short of the necessary 2/3 super-majority, but enough to motivate the buy-all faction to expect the possibility of a simple 50% majority win at the ballot on June 18.

     At a the Public Hearing on June 14, attorneys for the town presented scenarios that encouraged the group of supporters in attendance that if they won at the ballot, another Special Town Meeting could be called, giving the proponents another bite at the apple. FULL STORY

Truck vs. Motorcycle

June 19, 2007 — According to witnesses, the lone male operator of the motorcycle in the background of the photo attempted to pass a pickup truck that had swung wide to make a turn into its driveway, striking it. The operator was taken to Metrowest Medical after a LifeFlight helicopter was cancelled.

Ed Thompson News Tip

Milford Mother Indicted in Death of Baby

Workers found body in trash


MILFORD - June 19, 2007 — The mother of a newborn baby that was discovered in a garbage truck in January was indicted today in connection with the baby's death by a Worcester Grand Jury, according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early, Jr.
     Allissa Pugh, 28, of 263 Purchase St., Milford was indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter and improper disposal of a body. The body of the infant was found on January 6 as workers were collecting garbage in Ms. Pugh's neighborhood. The medical examiner’s report says that the infant died of injuries sustained around the time of birth.

      "This has been a challenging case from the very beginning," Mr. Early said. "However, after dozens of interviews and an extensive investigation by the Medical Examiner's Office and a neonatal pathologist from Massachusetts General Hospital, we presented the case to the grand jury."
        Mr. Early thanked Assistant District Attorney Blake J. Rubin, the State Police Detectives assigned to his office under the direction of Detective Lt. Richard McKeon, Chief Thomas J. O'Loughlin and the Milford Detectives, Dr. Henry Nields of the Medical Examiner's Office and Dr. Drucilla Roberts of Massachusetts General Hospital's Pathology Department. "It has been a long investigation,” said Chief O'Loughlin. "But I know the investigators never forgot the victim in this case and did a very professional job."
The indictments allege that Ms. Pugh delivered a full-term boy in her home and placed the baby in a trash bag. That bag, along with others, was collected by workers for an independent trash hauler that is under contract with the town. Ms. Pugh was arrested today and will be held in jail overnight. She will be arraigned tomorrow in Worcester Superior Court. If she is found guilty, Ms. Pugh could be sentenced to up to 20 years on the manslaughter charge and up to 3 years on the improper disposal of a body charge.

POLICE NEWS UP-TO-DATE

 

6:36 pm A caller from Cross Street reported that her neighbor had inappropriately attempted to pursue relations with her...

 

9:10 pm A Lumber Street resident reported having an altercation with his neighbor who threatened him over putting up a political sign...

 

10:02 pm A caller reported that a group of youths were partying behind Amherst Road on North Pond...

 

9:51 pm A resident from Oakhurst Road reported that her ex-husband broke into her apartment, grabbed her and then left...

State Police to Conduct Sobriety Checkpoint

 

            Colonel Mark F. Delaney, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, announced that a “Sobriety Checkpoint” will be implemented by the Massachusetts State Police on a Secondary State Highway somewhere in Middlesex County Friday, June 22, 2007 into Saturday June 23, 2007 .  The purpose is to further educate the motoring public and strengthen the public’s awareness to the need of detecting and removing those motorists who operate under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs from our roadways.  It will be operated during varied hours, the selection of vehicles will not be arbitrary, safety will be assured, and any inconveniences to motorists will be minimized with advance notice to reduce fear and anxiety.

Traffic Advisory for Travelers to North Peabody

 

Today at 8:26 a.m., a tractor trailer hauling trash rolled over blocking all lanes on the ramp from Route 1 North to Route 95 North in Peabody.   The ramp from Route 1 North to Route 95 North will be closed until further notice.  Traffic is being diverted further up Route 1.

 

Travelers are advised to seek alternate routes as the traffic congestion is expected to be heavy until the truck is removed and the lanes of travel are re-opened. 

 

State Police Step Up Patrols on Esplanade - Seek Public's Help

 

The State Police has significantly increased patrols along the Esplanade in Boston. Effective immediately there will be extra patrols dedicated to the area on all three shifts. In addition the Troop H Community Action Team (CAT Team) will devote a considerable amount of their time and resources in and around the Esplanade area. They will be patrolling the roadways, walkways and jogging paths in cruisers, on motorcycles and bicycles, and on foot.

 

The sexual assault on a female jogger on late Saturday evening remains under investigation by Troop H Detectives. All of the Troopers assigned to both the Esplanade and the surrounding patrol areas have been and will continue to be briefed by the Detectives as the investigation continues.

 

Saturday night’s assault took place at approximately  11:00 – 11:15 pm on the western peninsula of the Esplanade approximately ¼ mile west of the Mass. Ave. Bridge. The suspect is described as a black male, early to mid twenties, 5’8”, 180 lbs, with a shaved head and a “chubby” build. He was wearing a dark t-shirt and dark shorts at the time of the incident.

 

Anyone who may have information about this crime or the identity of the assailant is asked to contact the State Police Barracks in Boston at (617) 727-4812.

Boulder by a Landslide

Above, Boulder Capital President Roy MacDowell, surrounded by family, friends and associates, shows no emotion upon hearing the results of today's voting.

 

by Robert Falcione

June 18, 2007 — Boulder Capital was the big winner this evening as Question #1, the vote calling for a debt exclusion to fund a purchase of Weston Nurseries by the town of Hopkinton, was shot down by 3034 votes against, to only 1646 in the positive, a nearly 2-1 margin.

      Boulder President Roy MacDowell said that this was only the first step in a process that would be followed by developing a Master Plan for the property that would require zoning changes and a 2/3 vote at a future Town Meeting.

      The most visible proponent of the "Buy-all" faction, Liisa Jackson, said after the vote that she hoped to be working with Mr. MacDowell in the future to help develop a trail system on the land.

     Question #2 passed by nearly the same amount that the first vote failed, 2861- to 1744. Dr. John Phelan said prior to the announcement of the vote that if it did not pass, then the money would come out of the school budget instead. The money is for compliance with ADA requirements to bring some areas up to standard for mobility-impaired students.

     Tomorrow evening the Selectmen will reconvene a Public Hearing at 7:00 p.m. in the Middle School Auditorium as the last step in the process in the matter of purchasing the nursery's land.   

    The Selectmen voted in a 2-2 tie at the recent Special Town Meeting, which would have the effect of a negative vote if they vote the same.

     However, due to the overwhelming rejection by the voters, it is likely the Selectmen will vote in a block, 4-0, to unify the town and reflect the will of the voters.

     Here is a short Video of Ms. Jackson and Mr. MacDowell speaking in the early afternoon.

"Good times never felt so good..."

June 18, 2007 — Hopkinton resident Craig Stanley , a student from her first class, escorts Hopkins School Teacher Ellie Porter into the school cafeteria this afternoon to shouts of "surprise" from her students and Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline playing on a boom box for a short retirement party.

       Above, Mrs. Porter tries to recompose herself after the students' cheers brought a flood of tears, and Mr. Stanley leads her to another former student, Amy Wilson Kent, who was waiting with a bouquet of roses. Mrs. Porter is retiring after 34 years in the profession.

        "How old are you?" asked one student.

        "Twenty-nine," she replied.

Symbiotic Synergism

June 18, 2007 — Liisa Jackson, a proponent of the buy-it-all option, Roy MacDowell of Boulder Capital spent time chatting early this afternoon at the Middle School entrance during the election.

Commentary

Thank you, MacDowells

 

by Robert Falcione

June 18, 2007 — Most readers of HopNews know HopNews does not take a stand on political issues. Today's vote on the Weston Nurseries land sale, for the average resident, has to be the most difficult vote they have ever cast.

      We have heard from both sides of the issue, some with great intentions, others with anecdotal assumptions.

       Through all of this, Boulder Capital — and we know that to be Roy S. MacDowell, Jr., his family who often accompanies him, and some close associates — has been forthright from the start in the access to their information for HopNews readers.

       Mr. MacDowell, as well as the Mezitts, have maintained a genteel demeanor throughout the proceedings, some of which have been emotionally charged.

       If Mr. MacDowell and Boulder Capital do win the prize, I personally cannot think of a developer I would rather see shape that land, especially after he has seen how the politics are played in Hopkinton and still stays in the process.

       Thank you, the MacDowells, for making our job easier, and for introducing yourselves to Hopkinton.      

---> VOTE TODAY AT THE MIDDLE SCHOOL <---

Polls open until 8:00 p.m.

WESTON NURSERIES TIMELINEHearing Notice

Correction: The Public Hearing on Weston Nurseries will reconvene on Tuesday at 7:00 pm in the Middle School Auditorium

READ BALLOT and Presentations (Buy-it-all PowerPoint now online too)

A Fish Story

June 17, 2007 — Pedro Romero looks like he is in his native El Salvador, but instead is casting a net at the Hopkinton Reservoir today, while his family had an outing. He hit the mother lode as his net repeatedly found a school of perch, which one of the women in the family planned to clean and cook for a family meal.

No Vehicular Movement

Editor,


  I just did some calculations about traffic. If we take the 18,000 car estimate as accurate you might be as amazed at the following as I was.

Assume 20 feet per car and space ahead of it (kind of a low average, really).
18,000 x 20’ = 360,000 feet.
Assume 2 lanes (one going in and one out of town).
That makes 180,000 feet of cars in both lanes at once.
180,000 divided by 5280 feet = 34 miles of cars 
Full Letter

Three Simple Questions

Dear Editor,

     I have just three simple questions for readers to think about, regarding the Weston Nurseries property.
1. Has any town in Massachusetts ever regretted purchasing and preserving land, 5, 10, 20 or 50 years later?
2. Has there ever been a case where a town became a more desirable place to live, after a 20% increase in population?
3. Can you think of anything about this development that will improve the town?
Full Letter

Sign Wars

June  17, 2007 — Christopher Barry, who resides with his family on Clinton Street across from the former Busconi Farm, which is the background for many Boulder ads, shows off a sign he designed for the benefit of his like-thinking friends.

     "We are a ragtag group of citizens operating hand to mouth. We seem to have resonated to all parts of the town," he said today in front of his home, as some people honked and a bicyclist gave a thumbs up.

      Boulder Capital has put up some very large signs. Scroll down or click here to see an unlikely "endorsement" from Saturday.

Where are the Warblers?

Editor:

 

I was sad but not surprised by the Boston Globe article, “With development, common bird species are losing ground”. As a birder, I am acutely aware of the serious decline of many bird species. As a child I remember the familiar call of the Bobwhite in the brushy Cape Cod woods. Those brushy woods are mostly gone now, replaced with trophy homes and manicured lawns, and so too is the Bobwhite. Full Letter

Public Hearing, Part I

 

June 17, 2007 — Above are some clips from the Public Hearing last week.

Where is the Love?

Dear Editor:

I write as a Hopkinton resident urging Fellow Residents to vote on Monday, June 18, in favor of the Town exercising its 61A rights to buy the Weston Nurseries land.

I confess that I have been slow to get involved in Hopkinton civic life generally and in the matter of the Weston Nurseries land in particular.  If there is one issue that can move me to find time I don’t have it is the matter of common land.  I regard the planet as sacred and as “on loan,” even to those of us who “own” land.  I consider us all stewards of this fragile earth with a sacred trust to guard its land, air, and water.  Drawing on a sensibility I attribute to various Native American tribes, I look seven generations back for gratitude to all who have made my life possible; I look seven generations forward as I consider the impact of all that I do on generations yet to come. Full Letter

Liisa Urges "Yes" Vote

Dear Editor:

Hopkinton citizens are very concerned about the impact of 940 houses and 450,000 square feet of commercial space that is been proposed to be built on the Weston Nurseries Property. This will change the very fabric of our community forever. Hopkinton will turn into an urban community with all the traffic problems of an urban community, if this proposal is allowed to move forward.

I have to admit what Boulder is proposing sounds very enticing, but you have to remember this is a concept plan. It was very nice of them to send a letter to the Selectman stating “Construction of this project as proposed is contingent on the passage of rezoning articles establishing a Mixed use Open Space overlay district, including development requirements and allowed uses, and other related permits and approvals” What if the zoning doesn’t pass? Full Letter

Letters to the Editor

   

     Several Letters to the Editor have been received in the last few days while other issues captured the resources of HopNews. Those letters have finally been uploaded. Thank you, readers. My regrets that time constraints do not allow the luxury of a front page teaser for each.

     We'll keep the letters page open through election day and the Selectmen's meeting on Tuesday, unless we receive an unmanageable flood. For those writing, please don't send a letter that has been read into the record already. We can't guarantee that every letter will be put up, but we'll try.

     Please read the instructions on the Letters page and follow them. There is no word counter available at this moment, so some of the Letters may be edited down on Sunday. 

     Remember, a short letter has a greater likelihood of being read.  

Over the Line

June 16, 2007 — Matt Ely was the first man across the finish line this morning at the Sharon Timlin 5k race.

Timlin 5k race 

June 16, 2007 — A few clips from today's Sharon Timlin event.

Sharon Timlin Race

June 16, 2007 — Mike Timlin signs an autograph this morning for a young fan following the Sharon Timlin 5k Race to cure ALS, so named for his mom, who died from the disease.

Special Olympics vs. Police

June 16, 2007 — Hopkinton Police as well as members of other departments, friends, and Special Olympics athletes pose before the start of their yearly baseball game at Laborer's Training Center in Hopkinton. At this writing, the final score is not known.

Governor Speaks to Leaders in Framingham

June 16, 2007 — Vice-Chairman of the Hopkinton Board of Selectmen Mary Pratt appears to have a firm grip on Governor Duval Patrick at the Sheraton Tara after his address yesterday to the 495 Corridor Partnership, a mix of business and government leaders who target the 495 area for economic growth opportunities. See part I of his address.

Unintended Endorsement

June 16, 2007 — These historical Greek runners on Weston Nurseries' property appear to give testimony to a political event in Hopkinton, as emphasized on this super-sized sign that sprouted this morning secured on a telephone pole and guy wire. The photographer envisioned  the possibility of the shot, and then found the position for the illusion.

Center School Field Day

June 16, 2007 — These Center School Students are having fun playing Sponge Relay Friday on the Hopkinton Common as part of their Field Day.

A Hopkins Tradition

June 16, 2007 — Two classes at Hopkins School took part in a play depicting Lewis and Cark Expedition on Friday.

Ride 'em Cowgirl

June 16, 2007 — Sophia Bodor, 6, is all smiles yesterday as Officer Stephen Buckley watches her run through the course during the Bicycle Rodeo at 52 South Street put on by Main Street Pediatrics

One Town Talk reader suggested, tongue firmly in cheek, that Hopkinton purchase abutting towns. Here is a reply from Town Talk poster, The Show.

 

Problem with the purchase of abutting towns is that once we do, then we'll have to go get Framingham, Marlboro, Milford and Perhaps if Natick is available. The cost to demolish the larger buildings and reclaim the land as farm land will need to be picked up by the taxpayers. Then, add in the cost to truck in spotted turtles and salamanders in special truck that run on Belgian Endive, chain ourselves to trees will need to be figured in. Only problem is that it may take more time then the 120 day timeframe. Wait a minute, if we put it to town meeting and lose, we can just have the selectmen have another vote, and if that fails, the people whose cause fails, can hire attorneys and people as such, running the taxes up more to take it to court. I hope this is OK with the group of 18 year old kids that want the town to pick up the cost.

Selectmen Get Input on Weston Nurseries Land Sale

Neighborhood well represented

Above, Roy MacDowell, President of Boulder Capital was the last speaker.

 

by Robert Falcione

June 15, 2007 — After the pledge Of Allegiance at the opening of last night's Public Hearing on the Weston nurseries sale, Selectmen Chair Muriel Kramer said, "There are some who would rather stir the pot than heal the rift," setting the tone for an extremely civil evening on a very contentious subject: the sale of Weston Nurseries' land.

    Mrs. Kramer then began the meeting, which she said would reconvene again on Tuesday, the day after the Town Election, at 7:00 pm at the Middle School Auditorium.

    About 150 attendees had plenty of room to stretch in the Field House this evening, with the majority of the speakers, who stood in line for their turn to speak, favoring the town to exercise its 61a rights and purchase the land for $30-plus million, one of two questions on Monday's ballot.

     If the question to approve the debt exclusion at the ballot on Monday is over 50% in the affirmative, and the Selectmen vote to purchase on Tuesday, then the Selectmen can schedule another Special Town Meeting to try to get the funding. Last Monday's Special Town Meeting did not vote the necessary 2/3 affirmative votes, and the measure failed — but only by about 3 votes, depending upon the method of calculation. (Photo: While his mom, Kim, waits in line to speak, Jack Brennan uses his hands and ears to sense his sibling-to-be).

      And if the Selectmen vote to purchase, it appears the contract between Weston Nurseries and Boulder will be null and void immediately.

      Roger Mezitt, one of the two brothers who are the principal owners of the land, said he was watching on television when something that his nephew said at the hearing inspired him to come to speak at the Public Hearing, perhaps for the first time publicly on this subject.

      As part of his introduction, he said, "I used to be part of the Mezitt family," reflecting the drama that has simmered below the surface during the years-long process of the disclosure of the pending sale, and the study of its ramifications for the town.

      But following his turn at the microphone, he said outside in the hallway, "The contract that I have with Boulder — I plan to honor it if he is the buyer. I didn't state that when I was speaking, but I want to make it clear."

      President of Boulder Capital Roy MacDowell was the last person to speak.

      "If I lived in the neighborhood, I'd feel exactly the way you do," he said.

      "If you can afford to, then buy it — please, buy it.

      "But if we buy it we will work with you. We understand the concerns of the community," he said.   

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story is expected to be expanded and a video added later today.    

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