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Planning Board Receives Final East Hopkinton Master Plan

Fruit Street discussion leans toward small steering committee

July 24, 2007 — Last night the Planning Board received a final report from Sasaki Associates, which was hired after Town Meeting approved a $200,000 expenditure in 2006 for an East Hopkinton Master Plan in the wake of the offering for sale of Weston Nurseries.

      The group proposed four distinct zoning overlay districts for East Hopkinton that would keep the underlying zoning intact, but create the possibility of mixed use in much of the district. Low Impact Development, a type of development that creates density while preserving open space, and Mixed Use Development, one that sites housing near its retail component — sometimes called Smart Growth — were repeated themes throughout the evening's presentation.

       The LID includes some green components that involve reuse of water and allows rain water to be absorbed through a system in the paving, rather than detention basins that many people view as an eyesore, including member Evan Ballantyne, who said he resides near one.

       A mixed use development could include housing above retail, but also a mix of stand alone stores. The group said it was clear that the townspeople, after months of meetings and charrettes, did not want big box stores.

         Vice-Chair RJ Dourney said, "The one piece I am uncomfortable with is the traffic issue. It is the elephant in the room," he said.

       "I have similar concerns," said member Evan Ballantyne, who went on to state that in his native New Jersey, development could not proceed if an intersection could not handle the added traffic.

        "We are destined for failure," he said.

        The group offered suggestions such as required trip reductions and car-pooling and internal capture —  living and working in the same space. It was not in Sasaki's purview to do a conventional traffic study during their process.

         Someone brought up the need for sidewalks, which got member Ken Weismantel reminiscing.

         "In the late 80's, no one wanted to put in sidewalks, because it would ruin the rural character," he joked. The modern proposals have the effect of densifying suburban areas into more urban types of landscapes, but leaving open space too. The entire Sasaki report will be available electronically sometime Tuesday.


Fruit Street 

         Selectmen Chair Muriel Kramer stopped by to discuss Fruit Street with the Planning Board and get their input.

         Mr. Dourney said that although the School Committee didn't need the land that had been set aside for them, "but we do want to hold it," he said, drawing exclamations of agreement from around the table.

       One contentious plan is the location of a road to the Waste Water Treatment Facility that is shown to go through the middle of the planned affordable housing component.

       Chair of Affordable Housing, Lil Holden, said that her committee is moving forward going before the CPC (Community Preservation Committee) to start the process.

        "I believe we should let the dust settle — see how the market is over the next couple of years," said member Claire Wright.

        Mrs. Kramer said that there is no formal committee, but asked for the input of the Board. She also noted that she felt the Planning Board and the ConCom "should stay off of this." Stages of the project will likely go before those boards.

        A plan for the WWTF is simply to use the existing dirt road to save money, but it could take 1/3 of the affordable homes out of the conceptual plan because the road is shown to run through the middle of it.

        "That's a huge impact," said Rick Odell.

        Recreational fields have been presented to Town Meeting twice, and subsequently voters voted not to support them financially. People this evening proposed the possibility of a public/private sports complex or just leasing the land to a sports facility.

        The Selectmen have "Fruit Street Committee" on their Tuesday agenda. The original nine-member committee was disbanded two meetings ago, as were others. But at the last Selectmen's meeting a political drama unfolded as members of the disbanded Fruit Street Development Committee and their political allies attended to lobby for a return to the status quo, a reinstatement of the committee.

         That is not a likelihood, as Mrs. Kramer said she favors a three-person steering committee, and Mr. Zettek has made it clear he does not favor a reinstatement of the former committee.      

Love That Dirty Water...

July 24, 2007 — Madison Kenney greets her Papa John Tummon, both of Hopkinton, with a towel shortly after he completed a one mile swim on Saturday morning in Boston's Charles River, which had earned a national reputation, from a 1960's era song, Dirty Water, that described its polluted condition. It was the first time in 50 years the water has been deemed safe enough to swim in. Photo taken by Colleen Chatten

 Emergency Aircraft Landing on Route 495


July 23, 2007 — At approximately 5:02 p.m. Troopers assigned to the Leominster barracks responded to an aircraft which had made an emergency landing on Route 495 North in Boxborough. Preliminary investigation by Trooper Chris Lennon reports that a 1949 Cessna aircraft model 170A was forced to make an emergency landing due to unknown reasons. The 47 year old pilot and 1 passenger both from Michigan were uninjured.

The crash remains under investigation by the Federal Aeronautics Administration, Mass Highways, Boxborough Pd and Fire assisted Troopers at the scene. The right lane and breakdown lane was closed for approximately two hours re-opening at 7:00 p.m. 

  According to the website of the Federal Aviation Administration the plane, registered on 07/08/1993, is owned by Allan W. Kidd of Brownstown, Michigan.

Real Estate Transactions for Hopkinton, Massachusetts

Most recent first

Compiled by Eric Montville for HopNews.com, July 23, 2007

Address Buyer Price Date Seller

50 Connelly Hill Road

Michael A. Hardenbrook & Kristin A. Hardenbrook


July   23, 2007

Connelly LLC

1 Rosewood Lane

Jason M. Karlin & Jennifer S. Karlin


July   20, 2007

Donald P. Watson & Amy Beth Watson

186 Pond Street

Daniel F. Bortolussi & Carla Bortolussi


July   19, 2007

Terrance E. Bradley & Catherine Mains Bradley

13 Emma Drive

Eric Rogers & Ronni Leigh Rogers


July   17, 2007

Robert S. Shammas & Karen M. Shammas

13 Fawn Ridge Road

Donald P. King, III & Kimberly S. King


July   17, 2007

Cartus Financial Corporation

13 Overlook Road

Moinuddin H. Muttakin & Agrenus I. Muttakin


July   16, 2007

Eagle Farm Limited Partnership

Previous update:        

10 Carriage Hill Road

Lauren D. Budden & Joseph W. Budden


July   12, 2007

Richard Torres

254 West Main Street

Sudip Hore & Sreyasi De


July   12, 2007

Danielle D. Boulanger & Christopher M. Boulanger

4 Gibbon Road

David W. Ranney & Kelly M. Ranney


July   11, 2007

Katherine B Chope & Jose M. Garcia-Lopez

25 Huckleberry Lane

Timothy P. Burke & Diane L. Burke


July   11, 2007

Kevin D Normandeau & Jamie L. Normandeau

See Full List back to February 1,  2007


 Police News UP-TO-DATE

Today, July 23, 2007


3:15 pm A caller reported that a male and female were video taping the house and Weston Nurseries property...


1:25 pm A caller from Daniel Road reported opening her shed this morning and noticed a black Toyota Highlander parked by her house with someone taking pictures...


11:59 am A caller reported that a person was walking a dog on the Town Common...


3:38 pm Officer Timothy Brennan assisted with returning a man with dementia to his residence...

Dancin' with Myse-elf

July 23, 2007 — Fourteen month-old Isabella Hughes walks with rhythm  to the music at the Common yesterday, while her mom, as well as everyone around her, looks on.

When is the Train Arriving?

July 23, 2007 — The HopNews camera found itself in Uxbridge on Sunday and caught this woodchuck in the far right corner (and in the inset) warily eyeballing the Mendon Police on four-wheelers, who were making sure no one went near the devastated Bernat Mill, which was still smoldering, and perhaps even flaring up in some spots. Then the woodchuck saw the photographer and decided the burned mill was a better choice. A freight train carrying dozens of cars had been held up for a day or so a few miles north of Uxbridge, and just yesterday was allowed to proceed past the burned mill toward its destination on these very tracks.

NOTE: Identification of animal has been changed to reflect a reader's note.

Traffic Advisory


      Tonight between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., Memorial Drive in Cambridge will be completely closed in both directions between JFK Street and Western Avenue.  This road closure is necessary to accommodate the filming of a motion picture. 

      Travelers are advised to seek alternate routes as the traffic congestion is expected to be heavy until the road is reopened.

Hopkinton Couple Loses Shop in Uxbridge Inferno

 "We were exclusively dependent upon that business" ~ Joan Archer

"But the name survives — and the quality" ~ Joan and John Archer


July 22, 2007 — Hopkinton residents Joan and John Archer (Video capture, left) have lost everything they had worked hard to acquire for their  business including, according to Mr. Archer, their insurance policy, as well as all of their equipment and tools in an inferno that destroyed much of the Bernat Mills, a former mill that had been converted to individual shops.

      "It's gone now — there's nothing left, More than sixty businesses are gone," said Mrs. Archer in a telephone interview this morning.

      "We were exclusively dependent on that business. We were there for eleven years. It's all gone," she said.

      After more than a decade of Furniture Fayre establishing a name for itself,  as well as a reputation for fine quality, custom-crafted furniture, it took only one moment for a fire to start in the old Bernat Mill in Uxbridge, home to 65 small businesses, to engulf their hard work and dreams in a raging inferno that took firefighters from dozens of communities, as well as four firefighters and an engine from Hopkinton, to bring it under control. Photo, above, John and Joan Archer in front of Uxbridge Town Hall Sunday.


       Although authorities have yet to establish a procedure for the business owners to survey the mill complex and determine the extent of damage to each individual business, it appears that the Archer's space, which is visible from the street, is totally devastated (Photo above, last window on right).

      "Everything we did was custom. If they couldn't buy it anywhere, they came to us and we made it," said Mrs. Archer.

      "We got a check just yesterday from a restaurant — and that's out the window," said Mrs. Archer.

       "We could get a space and work out of it," she said, thinking out loud. "We could outsource it — designing it for manufacture elsewhere."

      "It was quite a sight, seeing everything go up," said Mr. Archer.

      "Somebody smelled smoke and by the time maintenance responded, it was too late. They'll probably just bulldoze the whole thing down," he said.

       The Archers, as well as one hundred or more other people, arrived at the Uxbridge Town Hall at 4:00 pm Sunday to hear speakers from Uxbridge government give them an update as well as instructions on how to proceed with insurance and other matters. State Senator Richard Moore from Uxbridge attended the meeting to speak with constituents..

       Senator John Kerry arrived to tell people gathered outside that he would seek federal relief, if the business or mill owners qualify.

       The mill had become a destination for shoppers frequenting the specialty stores and shops, like massage therapy, art gallery and other one-of-a-kind businesses, such as Furniture Fayre. These were all small business owners, no franchises or chain stores.

        The Bernat Mill owners, Leonard "Cappy" Fournier and Jack Tweed were seen in attendance, but did not speak to the gathering.

        The mill was still being soaked late Sunday afternoon as ladder companies poured water into the structure, and the tanker trucks took their water from upstream in the adjacent river, while cleanup of the river, contaminated by the fire, proceeded downstream.

        Across the railroad tracks at Uxbridge Town Hall and in some areas of the neighborhood, the smell of smoldering foam rubber could still be smelled, and the smoke from it filled the air of the neighborhood and wafted through groups of spectators lining the streets, as curiosity seekers filled the sidewalks and people rubber-necked from passing vehicles. At the end of the video below can be seen smoke rising from the area around the mill from a high vantage point about four miles away. The EPA was monitoring the air quality at several locations surrounding the facility, but had not evacuated the area as of Sunday at of 5:00 pm, as yellow tape backed up by a cordon of police kept anyone from getting near the structure, and arson investigators and firefighters set up headquarters next to the adjacent cemetery.

       Neighbors had to fight their own battles while the blaze raged. One man's lawn, directly across the tracks on the backside of the structure, was covered with burned embers, one of which had landed on his kitchen roof, causing it to ignite, he said. People who did not evacuate during the height of the blaze had been asked to stay indoors.

        It is interesting to note that at some point after the original construction of mills in America and the subsequent fires, they became redesigned. Many of the mills that were built and remain standing, were designed for the floors to collapse separately from the walls in the event of a fire so that the walls would remain standing, and the mill could be rebuilt. And although many mill fires result in such a condition, it is unlikely that current building codes would allow such a development.

        The Archers spoke outside the Uxbridge Town Hall on video, available below.



Video above, the Archers talk about their loss in the Bernat Mill fire.

Woodville Trailbusters at Carriage Hill Farm 

July 22, 2007 — Learn a little about the Woodville Trailbusters 4-H Club and see some equestrian competition in the video above.

RJ's Run 2007 - The Start 

July 22, 2007 — Over 100 motorcycles departed the Woodville Rod and Gun Club at 11:00 am Sunday on a 50 mile trip, before returning for a chicken barbeque, and more. See the beginning of the run above. 

Edna "Libby" Dockstader, 87

Edna "Libby" Dockstader, 87, died Saturday, July 21, 2007 at the Eliot Health Care Center in Natick.  She was the wife of the late John "Jack" Dockstader who died in 2005.  Arrangements, under the direction of the Chesmore Funeral Home, Hopkinton, are incomplete.


July 22, 2007 — Melissa Tibbo and her equine friend look tall as they "jog" around the track during the competition today at the 4-H Trailbusters event on Mechanic Street. A VIDEO WILL FOLLOW.

RJ's Run

July 22, 2007 — On the first anniversary of the death of their son, RJ, in a motorcycle accident, RJ, Dick and Kathy Penney held the first annual ride to benefit the Massachusetts Chapter of the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society in his memory. Mr. Penney, lead bike on right, and over 100 of his closest friends roared away from the Woodville Rod and Gun Club at 11:00 am today. A VIDEO WILL FOLLOW.

Red Sky at Night...

July 21, 2007 — The pink sky over Woodville at dusk tonight— reminiscent of the saying, "Red sky at night, a sailor's delight" — could actually be from airborne smoke particles due to the massive mill fire in Uxbridge that lasted several hours.

Meyer Homes Announces “Millionaire for a Night” Charity Fundraiser


July 21, 2007  Meyer Homes, a Hopkinton, MA-based design/build firm specializing in building upscale homes and communities, is offering a sprawling, elegant $1.85 million Hopkinton mansion as a fundraising tool for area charities. The nonprofit organizations will sell raffle tickets for a chance to win a night filled with food, drink and opulence. Lucky winners will enjoy a catered cocktail party for 50 of their closest friends in this estate home. Interested nonprofits can call 508-497-5076 for more information. Ticket proceeds will benefit each charity.
     Meyer Homes has been active in local charitable endeavors and hope this latest exercise will help to advance the causes of a variety of nonprofits.
     “It’s so important to raise money for charities that are working hard to further a variety of worthy causes,” said President of Meyer Homes Craig Meyer. “We look forward to hearing from nonprofit organizations looking to fundraise through this innovative event. We are very proud of this home and all of our homes and are excited to show it off to contest winners.” File photo of Craig Meyer posing in the kitchen of one of his homes.

Clip_Summary_ImageMassive Uxbridge Mill Fire

<--- Click for Channel 7 coverage. Channel 4 coverage

Distracted Driving

July 21, 2007 — The driver of this vehicle, a female adult, was allegedly distracted as she pulled out of her street and hit this pole on Ash Street. She and a child were taken to the hospital for examination of what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries.


Two killed, Two Seriously Injured in Seven-Vehicle Crash

 on Route 95 North in Attleboro


State Police Investigate Fatal Five-Vehicle Crash on Route 95 North in Attleboro


On Saturday, July 21, 2007 at approximately 2:43 a.m., Troopers assigned to the State Police Foxboro Barracks responded to a five-vehicle crash on Route 95 North in Attleboro that resulted in two fatalities and two serious injuries.  


Preliminary investigation by Sergeant Robert Leverone indicates that 21 year-old Isaac D. Souza of Leominster was operating a 1998 Honda Civic sedan on Route 95 North in Attleboro when the vehicle collided with an unoccupied 1997 Honda Accord in the breakdown lane.  Following the collision, the Honda Civic entered the traveled portion of the roadway and set in motion a crash involving the Civic and the following other vehicles: 2001 Volkswagen Jetta sedan; 2004 Dodge Dakota pickup; and a 1995 Saturn SL1 sedan.  The 2004 Dodge Dakota pickup, operated by 36 year-old Michael G. Doble from North Attleboro, rolled over during the c rash. 


Souza suffered fatal injuries as a result of the crash and was declared deceased on the scene.  The front-seat passenger of the Honda Civic, 22 year-old Claudia DeLeone suffered serious injuries and was transported by ambulance to Rhode Island Hospital.  Doble, suffered fatal injuries and was declared deceased on the scene.  The operator of the 2001 Volkswagen Jetta, 21 year-old Jose Gouveia of Somerville, suffered serious injuries as a result of the crash and was transported by ambulance to Rhode Island Hospital.  A 16 year-old male juvenile passenger of the Volkswagen suffered minor injuries and was transported by ambulance to Rhode Island Hospital.  The operator of the 1995 Saturn SL1, 18 year-old Thomas J. McCarthy Jr. of Mansfield was uninjured in the crash.  


The preliminary investigation has determined that there may have been two other vehicles involved in the crash that left the scene.  Both vehicles are described as dark colored Honda Accords or similar type vehicles.  One of the two vehicles is believed to have an altered height in a "low-rider" style.  These vehicles may have fresh damage as a result of the crash.  The State Police request that anyone who witnessed the crash or has any information about the two vehicles that may have been involved and left the scene contact Tpr. Dan Giossi in the Bristol County District Attorney's Office at (508)-993-2016 or the Foxboro Barracks at (508)-543-8550. 


Serious Crash on Route 290 West in Worcester

Driver not buckled up, ejected


July 21, 2007 — Last night at approximately 8:48 p.m., Troopers assigned to the State Police Holden Barracks responded to a serious single vehicle crash on Route 290 West at exit 14 in the City of Worcester.   

      Preliminary investigation by Trooper Dana Oliver indicates that 40 year-old Deidra Thompson of Worcester was operating a 1997 Toyota sedan on the Route 290 West in the City of Worcester when she swerved to the left, struck a jersey barrier and rolled over.  Thompson, who was not wearing her safety belt, was ejected from the vehicle during the crash.  Thompson was transported by ambulance to Umass Medical Center in Worcester with serious injuries. 


State Police Investigate Serious Crash on Route 24 North in Berkley

 Driver not buckled up, ejected

July 21, 2007 — Yesterday at approximately 5:42 p.m., Troopers assigned to the State Police Middleborough Barracks responded to a serious two-vehicle crash on Route 24 North in the Town of Berkley.  

      Preliminary investigation by Trooper Matthew Prisco indicates that 28 year-old Josh Gandenberger of Mansfield was operating a 1998 GMC Sonoma pickup on the Route 24 North in the Town of Middleborough when the rear end of his vehicle collided with the front end of a 2000 Nissan Altima operated by Camille Petrykiewic of Fall River.  As a result of the collision, Gandenberger lost control of his vehicle, spun out, exited the roadway to the right and struck a tree on the driver's side.  Gandenberger, who was not wearing his safety belt, was ejected from the vehicle as a result of the crash.  Gandenberger was transported by medical helicopter to Rhode Island Hospital with serious injuries. Petrykiewic, who was wearing her safety belt, was not injured in the crash. 

ESL Presents...

July 20, 2007 — Enter Stage Left Theater presented their premiere performance of the Diary of Anne Frank at their 30 Main Street studio this evening. They will present encore performances at 8:00 pm on Saturday, July 21, 2:00 PM matinee on Sunday, July 22, and 8:00 pm performances next Friday and Saturday, July 27 & 28.

Moaning Myrtle

July 20, 2007 — Lorelei Lotvin and her daughter Sarah, 5, are enthralled by the character Moaning Myrtle at Hopkinton Public Library during a Harry Potter Day today.

Jar Wars

July 2, 2007 — Thirteen year-old Carter Guzzi makes short work of a stack of plastic cylinders today at the First Congregational Church carnival to end a week of CBC, Christian Bible Celebration, that included hundreds of youngsters. 

At the Y - M - C - A

July 20, 2007 — This young man demonstrated the skills he learned at two weeks of Circus Camp at the YMCA Summer Camp in front of hundreds of his fellow campers and parents today on East Street.

 UPDATE: Victim identified

Fatal Crash on the Mass Pike Eastbound in Westborough


July 20, 2007 — Today at approximately 2:40 p.m., Troopers assigned to the State Police Weston Barracks responded to a single vehicle crash on the Mass Pike Eastbound in the Town of Westborough that resulted in one fatality.  

      Preliminary investigation by Trooper David Prussman indicates that 33 year-old Elizabeth Bakanansa of Worcester was operating a 1994 Infinity sedan on the Mass Pike Eastbound in Westborough when she lost control of the vehicle and rolled over.  As a result of the crash, 45 year-old front seat passenger Ronald Ziridamu of Worcester was partially ejected and pronounced deceased at the scene.  Bakanansa was transported by ambulance to UMass Medical Center with serious injuries. 

      The State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section, the State Police Crime Scene Services Section, the Westborough Fire Department, and the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority assisted troopers at the scene.

      During the crash investigation and vehicle removal, the right and middle travel lanes of the Mass Pike Eastbound were closed for approximately 3 hours.  

Roving Office

July 20, 2007 — State Senator Karen Spilka, right, and assistant Pat Vinter share a laugh with constituent Michael Neece during the Senator's office hours at the Golden Spoon this morning.

Son Force

July 20, 2007 — Pastor Mike Lawrence calms down the multitude yesterday during the "Son Force - On a Mission for God" series of youth ministry.

ESL's Newest Diva
Caroline Elizabeth Rowe 
Esl co-founder Mary Scarlata-Rowe gave birth on Thursday, July 19th 8am: 7lbs, 14oz, 21 inches of  stardom!  Mom and baby are doing well.  Oh yeah and Dad's o.k. too.

Alberta B. `Birdie' `Noni' Emerson

SACO, Maine - Alberta B. `` Birdie'' `` Noni'' (Alberico) Emerson, 69, of Saco, Maine, formerly of Hopkinton, died Monday, July 16, 2007, at Kindred Hospital, Waltham, surrounded by her family after a long battle with diabetes and kidney disease.
     She was the wife of David A. Emerson.
     Born and raised in Waltham, a daughter of the late Beradino and Josephine (Lorenzo) Alberico, she had lived in Saco for the past 25 years as a homemaker. Mrs. Emerson enjoyed cooking for her family and was a former treasurer for the Maine Harness Racing Association. Arrangements complete.

   Checking out the Hopkinton Calendar Every Day?

What follows are events for Friday, July 20, 2007, right off of the calendar. Please check it out daily before making your plans!

   9:00 am - 10:00 am Coffee & Conversation with State Senator Karen Spilka @ Golden Spoon

    1:00 pm - 7:00 pm Harry Potter Day@ Public Library\

    8:00 pm ESL Presents the Diary of Anne Frank @ ESL Studios*


ESL Presents The Diary of Anne Frank July 20, 21, 22 27 and 28

July 9, 2007 – The tragic yet uplifting story of a Jewish teenager in hiding during the Nazi era will be presented by Enter Stage Left Theater on July 20, 21, 27 and 28 at 8:00 p.m. and on July 22 at 2:00 p.m. The show features ESL actors from Hopkinton, Milford, West Boylston, Jefferson, and Worcester, and is directed by ESL co-founder Paul Champlin, with set design by Nancy Stevenson. All shows will be held at ESL’s studio at 30 Main Street in Hopkinton and tickets are $12 per person ($10 for seniors and students). Tickets may be purchased by calling 408-435-2114.
     “This is a touching and spirited production that focuses on the true story of a 13-year-old girl who is forced to live with her family and some friends in a cramped attic in Amsterdam,” said Kelly Grill, co-founder of ESL. “Paul and the cast have done a wonderful job conveying the drama, humor, hope and despair of their situation, and Nancy’s set is stunning. This show will both move and inspire.” 


July 19, 2007 - Beginning in September 2007, Hopkinton Christian Preschool (HCP) will offer a 5-afternoon PreK program. This new program for 4 year olds will offer enrichment activities that develop on the lessons of the week. This new program expands the current, highly successful PreK 2- and 3-day offerings at Hopkinton Christian Preschool. The 5-day program will offer children many social, emotional, and developmental benefits. Socially, they cultivate friendships, establish trust, and strengthen independence. HCP's nurturing environment also helps develop a strong sense of security, self-image and self-awareness, important building blocks as the children prepare for kindergarten.
     We are especially proud of the breadth of skills and years of experience our teachers offer our children. Marylou Mansfield, with her expertise in early childhood education, founded the preschool in 1980. Linda Cloutier has been a lead teacher at HCP for 18 years and specializes in Elementary and Special Education. Patti McAuliffe joined HCP as a lead teacher in 2003 after many years at another Christian preschool, and Mary Creager joined HCP in 2004 with 17 years of early childhood education.
     Openings are available for the afternoon class. Fall 2008 enrollment for all classes begins in October, on a first come, first served basis. It is expected that spaces will be filled quickly, so parents are encouraged to sign up early. For more information call Marylou Mansfield at (508) 435-5953.

Statue on a Statue

July 19, 2007 — This sphinx moth, so identified by Margaret Mighton, who clued us in to its whereabouts. The moth was on a statue, like a statue itself, because it hadn't moved at all during the day. Photo by Eric Montville.

 "Friends of the Common" Begins Major Initiative

Seeks Community involvement

by Robert Falcione

July 19, 2007 — A group of mostly well-known Hopkinton figures met Tuesday evening to discuss ways to improve the Hopkinton Town Common, and repair or renovate the Veteran's Memorial Gazebo, and formed a committee to proceed with fundraising, volunteer recruitment, and idea implementation.

      Timothy Kilduff, President of the HAA (Hopkinton Athletic Association) and Operations Manager for the Hopkinton Chamber of Commerce offered the use of the HAA for the fundraising, and promised $5,000 of HAA funds toward the effort (Photo of Mr. Kiduff on Marathon TV truck doing color commentating).

       "I don't want to spend a penny of the taxpayers money," he said.

       "We should look at the Common as a whole, but start with the Gazebo," Mr Kilduff said.

       Garden Club President Ruth Gorman, who was elected Chair of the group and is spearheading the initiative, predicted that it would be done in time for the Marathon in 2008. Mrs. Gorman proposed the formation of a 501C3 non-profit corporation to handle donations.

       Selectman Mike Shepard spoke of the impetus for a private effort that stemmed from a Parks and Recreation Article on the Town Warrant that sought $65,000 for improvements that was soundly defeated.

     "I went to the Parks and Rec and said that perhaps the community could gather round this together.

     "Essentially the roof needs repair," he said of the Gazebo. Mr. Shepard, former Director of Inspections for Hopkinton, who now holds a similar position in Brookline, explained that there are materials, Alaskan yellow cedar, that will last longer than the roof shingles installed twenty years ago during the first volunteer effort to build the structure, which has since become the town's landmark for visitors, and a gathering spot for all ages during Sunday concerts. But he wanted to keep the same spirit of volunteerism that built it in the first place.

       "It was all done by local contractors," he said. "They did it the way I think we should do it. It's an opportunity for local contractor to show off their work. And a place for people with money to put their money," he said.

        Mrs. Gorman suggested a $2,500 per person ticket event to kick off the effort.

        Barbara Sicuso suggested a wishing well on the common. State Parks have secure donation receptacles at  most of their locations.

       Al Rogers of the Parks and Recreation, another member of the group, promised $8,000 from Claflin Trust funds toward the effort. But because of the source of the finding, he said, it can only be  used for prevailing wage labor.

      The original all-volunteer effort culminated in the dedication of the Veteran's Memorial Gazebo on May, 30, 1988 with a program that listed about 45 corporate and individual contributors, including Fred White from Keefe Tech, and Ernest Fecteau, father of the Friends member present at the meeting, Barbara Sicuso, who is the Registration Director for the BAA, The town placed a plaque dedicated to Mr. Fecteau, who had served as Town Treasurer as well as many other positions, on the Gazebo in 1995. He has been mentioned as instrumental in its completion.

      Another of the Who's Who on the list of contributors is Don Creswell who donated his time as the sole woodworker, who was ever-present during its construction. Mr. Creswell now works in the security field, and is the Chief of Auxiliary Police for Hopkinton.

      Beth Kelley of the Historical District Commission promised that she would bring the ideas to her Commission. Although all structures in the District are under the jurisdiction of the Commission, the Gazebo may not be old enough to be considered historical, said one member. But the fountain is.

      The cast iron fountain is also in disrepair. The method of repair is being investigated by Jeff Furber of the CPC (Community Preservation Commission), who has sad in other meetings that he has discovered a foundry that will do the work, which this group said would be upwards of $70,000.

      Builder Ron Nation, who sat at the table with his son Chris, promised to donate his time as general contractor.

      The redone Gazebo, the group agreed, would need to be ADA compliant, and several ideas were floated.

      Mr. Rogers explained that a handicap ramp would need a foot of rise for every inch of height, making a ramp for the Gazebo a 48 foot length, something that did not appeal to anyone.

     A handicap elevator was another idea that stayed alive throughout the discussion. The unsightliness and placement of the structure was a major negative. Mr. Shepard suggested that it could be located on the same footprint as the bulkhead door, if the basement is filled in.

     One solution to the handicap access would be to raise the structure, suggested Mr. Shepard, fill in the wet basement, and put it back on a slab, making it low enough for a handicap solution.

      The electrical service would need to be replaced, because it has become rusted in the moist basement. In addition, if the existing structure is left on its pedestal, the cement foundation needs opening to be cut to allow air to flow.

      The group plans another meeting after vacations are done.     

10U Hopkinton1 Girls win the Bellingham Tournament

July 19, 2007 The Hopkinton1 team started with a convincing win over Mendon/Upton with a 12-2 score.  Alex Radel and Kelsey Babigian had 2 and 3 hits respectively to lead the offense.  The second game was against the Westford Waves. Hopkinton won 10-0 with Danielle Allain, Katlyn West and Gina Doyle leading the offense.  Defensively Hopkinton was led by some great team defense. Hannah Engstrom had one of the plays of the day with a catch of a line drive in left field and the completion of a double play by throwing the runner out at first before she could safely return to the base.

     The third game, also the second game on Saturday, was against the team from Taunton. Again Hopkinton's offense was overpowering with an 11-2 win.  Abbey Johnson, Brooke Martin and Hannah Engstrom lead the offensive attack.  Defensively Hopkinton's Jocelyn Drawe and Holly Adams made some great plays to keep the Taunton offense at bay.  Finishing the round robin portion of the tournament with a record of 3 and 0 only letting up a total of 4 runs placed the team as the number 1 seed for the playoffs starting on Sunday.

     The first game was played against a strong Bellingham team. Hopkinton prevailed with an 11-1 victory to advance to the second round. The second round game was played against the dramatically improved Mendon/Upton team.  Hopkinton snuck out with a 5-2 victory. The offense was led by Jenna Yaggy and Gina Doyle.

     Hopkinton advanced to the Championship game against the Milford team, who had just beat them a few days before in a Twin valley game. Hopkinton squeaked out with a 9-6 win to take the title.  Hopkinton outscored their opponents 61 to 13.  A large part of the reason for the victories were the great team defense, Danielle Allain and Alex Radels' amazing catching and the pitching of Kelsey Babigian, Brooke Martin, Hannah Engstrom and Jenna Yaggy.

Honor System

July 19, 2007 — Suzanne LaPlante and her mom Lea Menard from Westborough enjoy shopping at Pratt's Farm produce stand on the aptly named Fruit Street this week.

State's Homeland Security Grants 14% lower

Could affect homeland security goals


July 18, 2007 — The Executive Office of Public Safety (EOPS) announced today that it will receive approximately 14% less in federal homeland security grants to support vital efforts to train, equip and coordinate activities of first responders in Massachusetts than it did last year. In an environment of increased competition for dwindling federal homeland security funds, Massachusetts has held its ground in the competitive funding system and continues to receive a consistent percentage of the total federal grant dollars available nationally. It was also announced today that Massachusetts will receive a one-time $21 million dollar Public Safety Interoperable Communications (PSIC) grant. This grant will assist EOPS in the acquisition, deployment, and training of interoperable communications systems for first responders.

However, EOPS acknowledges that the cuts may impact the state’s ability to accomplish all of its homeland security goals.  Since 2005, both Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) and Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) funds allocated to Massachusetts have been cut dramatically by the federal government.  This year is no different. From 2005 to 2007, HSGP funds have been cut by nearly a third, or $9.4 million dollars   In the same period of time, UASI funds have been cut by nearly 50%, or $13.8 million dollars. Together, HSGP and UASI funds decreased by 39.6%, or $23.3 million dollars from 2005 to 2007.

“We hope that the federal government rethinks its current stance toward state and local funding and rededicates itself to fully funding state homeland security departments. In the interim we will continue our professional approach to securing the Commonwealth by doing more with less,” said Governor Deval Patrick (file photo). “Six years after 9/11, officials in the federal government have become complacent about homeland security,” said Secretary of Public Safety Kevin Burke. “Those of us dedicated to protecting our citizens at the local level know that both natural disasters and terrorist attacks are still very real and present threats.”

“Not only are the threats of natural disasters and terrorist attacks real, but it has been proven time and again that both the best prevention and the best response to such incidents comes from the local level,” said Undersecretary for Homeland Security Juliette Kayyem. “It is the police officer on the beat who notices suspicious activity in a neighborhood and follows up. It is the local paramedic who first responds to injuries in a storm. It is the firefighter in your town who knocks on doors to warn of an evacuation order.   None of this can, or should, be done at a national level and all of it takes significant funding,” she added.

Forced to do more with less, EOPS is both planning and spending wisely in accordance with a comprehensive Homeland Security Strategy which will be released in early September. Current ongoing projects necessitating federal funding include the creation of a statewide interoperability plan and the creation of a new statewide database management system. Recent major successes include the implementation of an MBTA underground interoperability system, Department of Fire Services mobilizations, continuing incident management training and the creation of several evacuation and sheltering plans.


Legacy Farms on Course

Weston Nurseries/MacDowell passing of papers soon

Boulder offers to build "mutually beneficial" water well ~ town could gain 262,400 gpd yield

by Robert Falcione


July 18, 2007 — According to Boulder Capital development team member Steven Zieff [photo], the work necessary to bring a zoning plan before Hopkinton Town Meeting began the day after the Selectmen voted not to exercise the town's 61a rights to purchase the 705 acre Weston Nurseries property. That allowed Roy MacDowell and his team at Boulder Capital to proceed with their court-approved purchase and sale of the property.

     "Since June 18, we have charged all of our consultants with due diligence," said Mr. Zieff during a short interview in the HopNews office today.

     Mr. Zieff said that they have made progress in the areas of water and sewer, conservation and wetlands, traffic, architecture, and more.

     "We are creating the appendices," he said, referring to the supporting documents that are required to accompany any development plan.

     "We are looking to submit this to the town in the fall," he said.

      "Rob Nagi from VHB, and myself, have done a number of face to face meetings with the Police Chief, the Town Manager, Planner Elaine Lazarus, the DPW, and residents, and heard from each of those parties what their sensitivities are," Mr. Zieff said.
      "The town has allowed us to speak to FST to understand what the town's sensitivities are.

      "We did some field work in May, and will do more when school begins.

       "We're looking for some community representatives to work with us as well, to have a sounding board so they can act as fair brokers. Mary Pratt was very much in favor of that," he said.

        "Weston Nurseries is in the process of flattening out an area for propagation," Mr. Zieff said in answer to a question posed about the sound of enormous rocks being moved by machine, as reported by neighbors.

        "You may remember, we promised them 70 acres," he said.

         According Mr. Zieff, the passing of papers planned for Monday has been moved to a date later next week, or the following week.

Below is an outstanding post from the Town Talk page, one that deserves to be shared. The references to another post that the writer  makes can be inferred easily.


Re: Freedom of Speech and other Freedoms


From: Question for QM
Date: 18 Jul 2007
Time: 14:38:32 -0700

CommentsPlease visit our discussion page

     Vito, I don't think you understand what I said. The "right" that we speak of when we talk about "Freedom of Speech" is the "right" to be free from government interference in exercising that speech. As I was very clear, you and I possess no First Amendment "right" that protects us from third parties, such as the Hop News Editor, stopping us from from exercising speech [on the discussion page]. There are tons of examples of legitimate restrictions on free speech in the private arena - for example in employment matters. It's a matter of who is regulating the speech. Government or a non-government person or entity? And yes, we have the freedom (the government can not stop us) from saying the most stupid and incorrect things.

     However, to that point, if the speech is false, it is published, and it causes injury to another person, then the person making the false statement can be sued for liable or slander by the person injured - NOT by the government. If the speech is false, published, but does not cause injury (its just incorrect and stupid), then there is no basis for a lawsuit - even by the person it is directed against. And, I don't know why you think I believe the Creator takes sides relative to the Bill of Rights. I merely state the facts.

     The Founding Fathers believed that these inalienable rights were granted by the Creator. This was not my original idea. Read the preamble to the Declaration of Independence. And yes, our Founding Fathers inserted a guarantee of those rights against a new (possibly repressive future) government in the Constitution (Again, the Bill of Rights do NOT bestow or grant rights, it merely guarantees rights we already have received from God).

     Had the Founding Fathers brought the American Revolution to England's shores, I would have expected they would have included such constitutional guarantees in the language England's new constitution (after, of course, the King was beheaded). But the American Revolution was restrained to our shores. So, it did not directly affect England's form of government.

     So, there is not a different "Creator" in England. The King of England simply did not share this view of freedom. The King believed that God gave him all the rights, and he then was empowered to grant such rights to those he chose (the nobility). However, the IDEAS of inalienable rights granted to the People by God was not restrained. Interestingly, when the French Revolution occurred a few years after the American Revolution, many of the same principals of God given rights were recognized by the French. These ideals and principles relating to self-determination of a People (rights originating from God and not from a king) were born in America and have spread throughout the world.

     These ideals are the foundation of our form of government and are an American legacy to humanity.

Franklin Mass named one of best places for families to live.

WBZ-TV 4 report  4

Part 2, Marcelo Mota Press Conference

Rape suspect arrested 

July 18, 2007 — Above is Part Two of the Press Conference given Tuesday in the Hopkinton Police Headquarters announcing the arrest of Marcelo Mota, accused of rapes and assaults in the area four tears ago. Part One of the Press Conference is below.

IP Address Trace


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