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Bands Should be Seen and Heard

August 5, 2007 — The video camera operator asked the band to play on the lawn in front of the Gazebo, so they could be seen. The drooping trees branches on the Common have not been trimmed for quite a while, making it nearly impossible from many locations to see who is playing if they are on the Gazebo. In addition, the design of the Gazebo itself makes it very difficult to see through the posts, as does its very height. The Gazebo as well as the common are being studied for a makeover by the Friends of the Common, a group looking to raise private funds to accomplish the effort.

Taps Vigil

August 5, 2007 — The veterans of Hopkinton's American Legion Post gathered at the Evergreen Cemetery this evening to honor the memory of the fallen, and to participate in a nationwide "Taps Vigil" at 7:15 pm. Teen Bugler Michael McCann donated his time and expertise to an appreciative group of veterans and others who gathered for the monthly event. Next month on September 2, always the first Sunday of the month, the ceremony will begin at 7:00 pm at the King Memorial in front of the Mt. Auburn Cemetery.

Taps Vigil

August 5, 2007 — Bugler Michael McCann gave his time and talent to the veterans Sunday evening during a "Taps Vigil" at the Evergreen Cemetery, above, as they salute the Flag during the playing of Taps. According to a handout this evening, the military stopped paying buglers after World War II, so it is volunteers who play at up to 1,000 funerals per month.

Sunday evening's event is below:


Silver Bells

August 5, 2007 — Two readers, Simon Vos and Anne Henderson, wrote separately that the plant above photographed at Whitehall on Friday is called "Indian Pipes," and is not a fungus, even though it lacks chlorophyll.

Drive-In Movie makes a Comeback in Hopkinton

August 5, 2007 — For those who missed it, young families and others gathered on the field behind the Doyle Gym to watch Night at the Museum and eat popcorn after warming up with some football, sparklers and music videos on Saturday night, in a Parks and Recreation program.

Changing Like the Weather

August 5, 2007 — The band, New England Weather, entertained the multitude at ESL Theater's newly enlarged facility at 30 Main Street on Saturday night.

Putting on the Feedbag

August 5, 2007 — The Woodville Rod and Gun put on a day-long family seafood bake yesterday, with horseshoes and music and side dishes.

State Watches Out for Invasive Species

August 4, 2007 — Boat Inspector for the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Linda Konvalinka, spent her day at Lake Whitehall State Park being sure no one was bring one invasive specie of aquatic plant from one pond or lake to this one. Ms. Konvalinka said that people should not only visually inspect and remove all plant life from their boats upon exiting the water, but must also wash their boats upon arrival at home to remove small plants and seeds that cannot be seen easily with the eyes.

     A large part of Ms. Konvalinka's job is to educate the boating public to the need to keep an exotic plant, such as fanwort, Eurasian milfoil, or variable milfoil from being introduced into a lake or pond and choking it.

Avon Resident Killed During Encounter With Framingham Police Officer

Shooting to be investigated by DA, State Police


FRAMINGHAM - Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone (File photo) informed the public today that an Avon resident was shot and killed during an encounter with a Framingham Police officer last evening.


Karl Thomsen, age 41, of Avon, was pronounced dead at the MetroWest Medical Center last evening at approximately 8:41 p.m.


“The decedent was shot and killed last evening after he flagged down the officer on patrol and then apparently came at him wielding a large knife,” District Attorney Leone said. “As with any incident in which an on-duty officer discharges his firearm and a fatality results, our office along with the Massachusetts State Police will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the shooting.”


According to authorities, at approximately 8:19 p.m. last evening, Framingham Police Officer Steve Casey was on patrol when he was flagged down by Thomsen in the area of 380 Concord Street in Framingham. The officer was on patrol duty in a marked Framingham Police cruiser and in full uniform. Thomsen then explained to the officer that he had discovered a dead body nearby.  There is no present evidence to support that is true. 


Shortly after the officer exited his cruiser, Thomsen then apparently approached the officer in a threatening manner while wielding a large knife. Casey then discharged his firearm four times, wounding Thomsen.


Thomsen was transported by ambulance to the MetroWest Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. The officer appears to have been uninjured during the incident.


Per protocol, under these circumstances, the shooting and death are under investigation by the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office. The Framingham Police Department will also conduct an internal administrative review of the incident per department policy.

A Fungus Among Us

August 4, 2007 — "Teed off" could have been another title for this photo of a mushroom that could be mistaken from afar as a golf ball on a tee. The nuclear "mushroom cloud" was never more appropriate as a model for this fungus discovered on the side of a trail at Lake Whitehall on Friday.

State Police Investigate Fatal Crash on Route 195 East in Dartmouth

 Passenger ejected, dies


August 4, 2007 — Today at approximately 2:45 a.m., Troopers assigned to the State Police Barracks in Dartmouth responded to a single vehicle crash on the Route 195 East just beyond Reed Road (Exit # 11) in Dartmouth that resulted in two fatalities and one serious injury.  


Preliminary investigation by Trooper Frank Ashley indicates that 18 year-old Jose Beniquez of New Bedford was operating a 1988 Honda Civic hatch on Route 195 East when he lost control of the vehicle, struck the guardrail on the right, exited the roadway and crashed into several trees.  Beniquez suffered serious injuries in the crash and was pronounced deceased at the scene.  18 year-old rear-seat passenger Angel Figueroa of New Bedford was not wearing his safety belt and was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced deceased at the scene. 26 year-old front-seat passenger Hector Figueroa of New Bedford was wearing his safety belt and suffered serious injuries in the crash.  Hector Figueroa was transported by ambulance to St. Lukes Hospital in New Bedford


Although this crash remains under investigation with the assistance of the Bristol County State Police Detectives, the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section and the State Police Crime Scene Services Section, it appears that speed may have been a factor. The Dartmouth Fire Department and Masshighways assisted troopers at the scene.

Arrest on South Street

August 3, 2007 — Officer Aaron O'Neil and Officer Matthew McNeil lead a male prisoner to the cruiser for transport, as Sgt. Joseph Bennett shuts the door after placing the female prisoner in his cruiser on Thursday evening. The pair was at the heliport of a South Street company at an area that has had more than its share of vehicular smash and grab breaks. Drug law violations are alleged.


August 3, 2007 — A young man on a sailboat at an offshore dock on the Hopkinton Reservoir unfurls some sort of pirate flag, matey!

Summer Days

August 3, 2007 — This young man is not walking on water as it may appear at first glance, but is about to slam into the water after riding a rope swing at an undisclosed location in Hopkinton. See more on video below.




   State Police continue to investigate a missing person case in the town of Salisbury. THOMAS DREW was reported missing to State Police at about 7:30 PM on Saturday, July 21, 2007.    Reported sightings of Mr. Drew have not produced any new information in this case. 

   Mr. Drew was reported missing from his home on 34 Ravine Ridge Road, Salisbury, CT. State Police utilized K-9 teams, Trooper One (the State Police Helicopter) and manpower to attempt to locate Mr. Drew. The search was conducted throughout the night and continued through July 22. 

   Thomas Drew is 91-years-old and suffers from dementia. He is a while male, 5'6", 125 pounds, thin build, gray/brown hair. He was last seen wearing a maroon sweatshirt, a tan jacket, blue jeans and white sneakers.
   Anyone who may have seen this person since his disappearance is asked to call State Police at Troop B in Canaan at (860) 824-2500.


Commonwealth of Massachusetts Gives Back 

August 3, 2007 — David Sheehan asks the folks from the DCR about their Forests and Parks on Wheels program, today at Hopkinton State Park.

Bridges Crumbling Down

     In light of the recent bridge collapse in Minneapolis, reports have claimed that over 500 bridges in Massachusetts are "deficient," and 75,000 nationwide are in the same category.

     Do you feel any differently about traveling over bridges?

     Please participate in the poll ---->

(You must allow active content to se the poll)

 Vovici Online Survey Software

Fitness Together


See a welcome message above from Bob Savin of Fitness Together, a new advertiser.

Group Raises $48,000 So Far

"We'll hit $60,000" ~Martha Gold

by Elizabeth Eidlitz


August 3, 2007 — Author Jane Howard writes, “call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”

In that case, call 4,800 cyclists from 36 U.S. states and six countries, and 2000 non-riding volunteers, a remarkable family.

On Aug. 4 and 5, in a collective effort to raise $27 million for cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute -- they will  participate in the 28th annual Pan-Massachusetts Challenge (PMC.)

One branch of the PMC extended family is the Stem Cell Cyclists team. Its 11 members include Metrowest residents Alan and Nancy Cantor of Ashland, Carol Conway of Framingham, Nancy Levy of Sherborn, Jan Herzog of Ashland, and team captain Martha Gold, who will be riding for her seventh consecutive year. (Photo of Martha Gold, right, with friend Jennifer Kessler, who came out from Laguna Beach, just for the ride.)

Gold, who lost her sister to acute myeloid leukemia, founded the stem cell cyclists in 2005 with a special commitment to raise awareness of the potential medical breakthroughs of stem cell therapy. She contacted the development office at the Dana Farber to find a stem cell researcher and was introduced to Corey Cutler, MD, MPH.

Through the Pan Mass Challenge organization, she could earmark money raised by her team to fund stem cell transplantation research by Dr. Cutler who treats patients with various blood cancers.

Dr. Cutler values being personally accountable to the team. He has joined them at their lunch stop along the PMC route to offer encouragement and appreciation and hosts a barbecue at his home after the event.

The team values the personal relationship with Cutler, whose research team has been the recipient of the $40,000 they raised in 2005 and again in 2006. READ FULL STORY HERE

Hopkinton to join thousands of communities across America

Please join the Hopkinton Veteran’s Celebration Committee on August 5, 2007 as we join thousands of communities across America for a remembrance ceremony at Evergreen Cemetery in Woodville (Hopkinton) Massachusetts. The Committee is hosting a “Sunday Taps Vigil” starting at 7pm. The ceremony will consist of a short tribute to American soldiers, veterans and their families and is expected to last 15 minutes. The ceremony will include the sounding of the 24 hauntuntingly beautiful notes of “Taps”.

“Taps” traditionally serves two important purposes. At military outposts around the world it is played in the evening to signal the time for quiet, rest and reflection after a day of duty. It is also mandiated by the Department of Defense to be sounded live by a bugler, if possible, at the funeral of each and every American veteran as a final tribute to that individual veteran’s honorable time of service to his or her country. An average of over 1,600 American veterans are laid to rest each day.

Hopkinton has held this ceremony, on the first Sunday each month, since it was initiated in March 2004 by the national non-profit organization Bugles Across America. Since the ceremony was first proposed over 1,500 communities across America as well as in Canada and several other countries now participate.

Follow the Leader

August 3, 2007 — "I haven't seen the geese in quite a while. I wonder if they're still around," said a bystander moments before about 50 of them appeared flying about 5 feet over the water at the Hopkinton Reservoir yesterday. The lead Canada goose has his head cocked slightly to the left, perhaps eyeing the photographer, or making sure everyone is following.

Town-wide Finance Model Moves Forward
“We now have a raging structural deficit” ~ Brian Herr, Selectman

by David Hamacher

August 2, 2007 — Frustrated by the on-going annual balancing act of assigning appropriate service levels with available revenues, School Committee Vice-Chair, Mr. Phil Totino voiced his concerns during a committee meeting several months ago that something needed to be done to avoid pain in future budget building exercises. Today, Mr. Totino chaired a meeting of the Financial Plan Working Group (FPWG) in Town Hall. When asked how he had come up with the concept, Mr. Totino said, “Every year we’re faced with reduced staffing and service levels, so it’s time to take the initiative to address the structural deficit as a town.”
     The overall objective of the FPWG is to bring greater clarity to all Hopkinton department heads and committees involved in driving town revenues and planning expenditures together through a finance model that will help plan for the timing and implementation of capital improvements, debt exclusions, stabilization funds, and operating budgets in the hopes of diminishing the ongoing need for overrides.
     Most, if not all people, either as an employee or committee volunteer, with a responsibility of constructing budgets was in attendance. Mr. Stuart Cowart, Appropriations Chairman; Ms. Heidi Kriger, Town Accountant; Dr. John Duffy, Chairman of the Board of Assessors; Dr. Jack Phelan, Superintendent of Schools; Mr. Geoff MacDonald, Director of Finance; Maureen Dwinnell, Town Treasurer; Mr. Ron Eldridge, Appropriations Committee; Mr. Bob Bushway, Principal Assessor; Dave Catone, Capital Improvements Committee; Mr. Gary Daugherty, Fire Chief and acting Town Manager; Police Chief, Mr. Tom Irvin; Mr. John McCarthy High School Principal; Mr. J. T. Gaucher, DPW Director; and Mr. Brian Herr, Selectmen, engaged in a spirited debate about how to properly plan town finances over the next ten years through the model that had been suggested by Mr. Totino.
       Mr. Daugherty clearly stated, “I think the voters have spoken. Last year’s override passed barely by eight votes and nearly everything else was denied this year, including the fields on Fruit Street. They don’t want anymore overrides,” he said.
     There has long been a three year planning process in place and the FPWG is looking to expand the process through this model to a ten year forecasting process. Mr. Eldridge stated that, “We need a really integrated model to build the stabilization back up. What is the ten year debt service that the voters will be comfortable with,” he asked. FULL REPORT

Howie Newman at ESL Coffeehouse August 18

August 2, 2007 — Like a little baseball with your music? Comical singer-songwriter Howie Newman, appearing at the ESL Coffeehouse on August 18 at 8:00 p.m., can deliver a clever diamond ditty with the best of them, as evidenced his recent compositions, “Why Did You Go, Johnny Damon?” and “It’s the End of the Curse and We Know It” (yes, it’s an R.E.M. parody).
For the most part, though, Newman sings about other offbeat topics – like cell phones, Boston drivers and overseas rock stardom – from his new CD, Trust Me, You’ll Like It. He does have a serious side, too, sharing his thoughts about second chances, middle- age dating and skeptical lovers – but just for a change of pace.
You can see Newman at the Enter Stage Left Coffeehouse, 30 Main St., Hopkinton, on Saturday, Aug. 18, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10. For further information, call 508-435-2114 or visit the ESL Coffeehouse Web site at .
Newman’s songs have been heard on 92.5 The River, WRKO, WEEI, the nationally syndicated Dr. Demento show, National Public Radio, WUMB-FM and many other stations across the country. He has opened for a number of well known national acts, including Tom Paxton, Vance Gilbert, Bill Staines, Don White, Lui Collins, Modern Man and many others. For further information about Howie Newman, see .



August 2, 2007 — Yesterday at approximately 6:37 pm, there was a two vehicle crash on Route 91 South in West Springfield that resulted in two fatalities.  Preliminary investigation indicates that a 19 year-old male, 19 year-old Eduardo Gonzalez of Springfield,  was operating a 2001 Mazda sedan on Route 91 North when he lost control of his vehicle, crossed over the median and entered the southbound lanes, colliding head-on with a 1998 Buick sedan operated by 43 year-old Kimberly Place of Westfield.


Kimberly Place was employed as a Special Agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), and was currently assigned to the Springfield Gun Task Force.  She was returning from an enforcement operation with other team members when the crash occurred.


Special Agent Place began her career with ATF in 1987 as a regulatory inspector in the Boston Field Division.  She spent nine years in that position providing regulatory oversight to the alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives industries throughout New England.  In 1996, she transferred to ATF’s budget office in Washington, D.C.  In 1998, Kimberly Place became a Special Agent and was transferred to the Dallas Field Division.  In 2005, she returned to her New England roots and was assigned to the Springfield Field Office in Massachusetts.


In addition to her dedication as a public servant with ATF, Special Agent Place also gave of herself as a volunteer for several charitable organizations.  Since 2005, she has impacted the lives of several young women through her work with the Big Sister’s Program and had recently been accepted into the Massachusetts Foster Parents Program.  Kimberly Place was also a devout animal lover as evidenced by her volunteer work with the Animal Rescue League.


Kimberly Place, a Gloucester, Massachusetts native, is survived by her mother Caroline Place, sister Deborah Machain and brother-in-law George Machain, as well as several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews.  Funeral arrangements will be forthcoming. 

HCAM-TV is honored by the Massachusetts Medical Society


Statewide physician group recognizes public access station on the 3rd anniversary

of its collaboration in producing healthcare program for patients



Above: B. Dale Magee, M.D., (2nd from right) President of the Massachusetts Medical Society, presents a certificate of recognition to Hopkinton Community Access Media (HCAM) President Mike Preite as the two organizations celebrate the third anniversary of their collaboration in producing the healthcare educational program Physician Focus for public access stations in Massachusetts. At left is Jim Cozzens, HCAM station manager; at right is principal show host and Hopkinton resident, Bruce Karlin, M.D. Dr. Magee was the guest for the 36th show, entitled Becoming a Smarter Patient. The show is now distributed to 132 stations, reaching 190 communities and nearly 1.7 million households across the state.


August 2, 2007 — Hopkinton Community Access Media, HCAM-TV, has been honored by the Massachusetts Medical Society, as both organizations celebrated the third anniversary of their collaboration in producing Physician Focus, an educational healthcare program produced for public access television stations across the Commonwealth.   


Mike Priete, HCAM President, and Jim Cozzens, HCAM Station Manager, were presented with a framed certificate of recognition by B. Dale Magee, M.D., President of the Massachusetts Medical Society, and Bruce Karlin, M.D., principal show host, a member of the Society's Communications Committee, and a Hopkinton resident. Dr. Magee was the featured guest at the August 1 taping of the program's 36th episode, entitled Becoming a Smarter Patient.


In recognizing the station's commitment and enthusiasm for the project, the citation in part read: "Our collaborative effort has resulted in an important program to share with other public access stations in the state, the opportunity for the Society to become a primary provider of health and medical information for patients, and the ability to increase participation and enthusiasm among our members. Most important, it has resulted in a more informed patient population. Those are multiple, valuable assets derived from a single venture."


Taped at HCAM facilities each month, Physician Focus is co-produced by Cozzens and Richard Gulla of the Medical Society's communications staff and directed by HCAM's Mike Torosian. It features physicians and other experts in patient-friendly discussions on a different health care or medical topic each month. When it began, the show was seen in just a handful of communities. It is now distributed to some 132 public access stations reaching more than 190 communities and nearly 1.7 million households across the state. Distributed to stations as a public service, Physician Focus is perhaps the most widely distributed healthcare program for public access television in Massachusetts. It has also received interest from access stations in several other states, including Michigan, Virginia, Vermont, Maine, and North Dakota.


The collaboration has to date resulted in the tapings of 36 monthly half-hour programs, on a range of topics addressing both personal and public health issues. In addition, a one-hour special, "One-on-One with the Candidates for Governor" focusing on the candidates' health care policies and platforms, was produced last year.


Remaining programs for 2007 include discussions on preventing medication errors, bariatric surgery, and pathology. The producers are already planning 2008 programming, with shows on primary care, nutrition, emergency preparedness, and psychiatric care slated for production.   

The Farmers’ Market at Weston Nurseries
Fridays noon to 6 p.m.
Fresh produce, baked goods, eggs, herbs, jams and jellies, vinegars, honey, handcrafted items, and more.

Special Event This Friday:
Aug. 3 - "Dog Day of Summer". Come meet Greyhound Friends and Save A Dog programs to learn about adoption and foster care. Buy your favorite dog cookies at Filly's Canine Cookies booth. Learn what is available nearby: from 12:00 to 2:00 watch demonstrations by Mark Macrae of Pawsitive Training and meet with April Liscombe of Leo’s Canine Camp. From 3:00-5:00 watch demonstrations by Fran Masterpeace of Masterpeace Training and dog massage therapy demos by Julie Robitaille of Canine Massage Therapy.

Clement J. "Scotty" MacDonald, 82, of Hopkinton, died Tuesday, July 31, 2007, at the Beaumont Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Northbridge.

     He was the husband of Joan (Elliott) MacDonald, who died in 2004.

     Born in Malden, he was a son of the late Daniel and Margaret (Glynn) MacDonald and had been a resident of Hopkinton for more than 30 years.

     He had been employed as an inspector by Bay State Abrasives in Westborough for 44 years and by the town of Hopkinton Department of Public Works until his retirement. Arrangements Complete


State Police Apprehend Violent Fugitive Wanted in New York City


On Wednesday, August 1, 2007 at approximately 1:00 p.m., Troopers assigned to the State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section along with investigators from the United States Marshals Service and the New York City Police Department culminated a joint investigation by arresting 22 year-old Ermal Qoshja of Revere.


Qoshja was sought by the New York City Police Department in connection with two armed robberies that occurred in April and May of 2007 at the Millennium and Roosevelt Hotels in New York City.  After the New York City Police Department identified Qoshja as the suspect in the robberies, the NYPD Robbery Squad contacted the United States Marshals Service, who in turn asked the Massachusetts State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section to join the investigation due to Qoshja's ties to Massachusetts.


Qoshja was arrested on Hyde Park Avenue in Hyde Park without incident and was transported to the State Police South Boston Barracks for booking.  Qoshja was charged by the Massachusetts State Police with being a Fugitive from Justice in New York and will be arraigned on Thursday, August 2, 2007 in Chelsea District Court. 

Two new advertising supporters.


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Win Money

If you received this postcard in the mail, and it is in color, you have won money.


We are sending out thousands of black and white postcards to Hopkinton households. However, a few are in color. The first who has called 508-435-5534 after receiving the card in color, and with a legitimate claim, wins $125.


If yours was black and white, perhaps your neighbor got one in color. Ask them! 

Parade Rest

August 2, 2007 — These bad boys are not plowing through the hedgerows of Europe, but are at rest at the Lake Maspenock home of a collector. They are used in parades to accompany military purposes.

Give Me Liberty, or...

August 2, 2007 — The car in the foreground apparently hit the rear of the white van in the background that displays a woman with a torch and the name of an insurance company on the side door. The airbags were deployed in the sedan, and there were no injuries.

Welcome to Hay Bale City

August 2, 2007 — In response to a reader's query, the HopNews camera captured the above photo and called DPW Director JT Gaucher to find out when the hay bales and silt fences are coming down.

       Mr. Gaucher said that there were a few more loose ends on West Main Street, but the contractor is supposed to remove them by August 31. The contractor got slowed down by some ledge on Spring Street and received an extension on the contract, but it is not known if that extends to this part of the project.

       The silt fences and hay bales are installed to protect wetlands and vernal pools from silt and run off, but it looks like there may be some protected species growing on them already.

Student Troopers Graduate

August 1, 2007 — Incoming Hopkinton High School Juniors Michael Stanley, 16, left, and Philip Powers, 16, pose with Massachusetts State Police Sgt. Michael Lyver after graduating from the  Student Trooper Academy last Friday.


The American Legion of Massachusetts and the State Police co-sponsor the one-week Student Trooper Program at the State Police Academy in New Braintree.


The State's website states "The program will provide first hand experience and lifetime insight into the role of police officers in promoting and safeguarding American freedom and rights.  The program affords highly motivated young people an opportunity to consider law enforcement as a potential career choice.  Student Troopers will be placed into the police-training environment and will be required to perform as a police recruit." READ MORE at MSP. Contributed photo.


Traffic Advisory -Route 91 South in West Springfield


Route 91 South in West Springfield is completely closed South of the Mass Pike due to a serious crash.  Traffic is being diverted off of Route 91 South onto the Mass Pike at Exit 14. 


Travelers are advised to seek alternate routes as traffic is expected to be heavy until the investigation is completed and the vehicles are removed. 

Senator Karen Spilka Votes for Sales Tax Holiday on August 11th & 12th
Senate approves tax exemption for fourth consecutive year


August 1, 2007 - Yesterday, the Senate approved an August sales tax holiday weekend for 2007. This is the third year that the Commonwealth will provide a sales tax exemption for an entire weekend, and the fourth year a tax free day has been approved.

"The sales tax holiday will be good for both businesses and consumers in the Commonwealth," stated Senator Karen Spilka, who has voted in favor or the legislation every year. "I look forward to it each year, as I know many people do. This weekend will bring in much-needed business during an otherwise relatively quiet time for retailers. Most importantly, it keeps economic activity in the state."

Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) said a tax free weekend encourages consumers to go shopping and make larger purchases.

"These weekends benefit large and small retail businesses alike, but they also benefit parents who have to make larger school purchases, such as computers, for their children," the Senate President said. "We have seen great success over the past few years with our tax free weekend, and I expect this year's to be as robust as they have been in the past."

This year's tax free weekend will be August 11th and 12th. As in previous years, almost all purchases under $2,500 will be tax-free. Vehicles, motorized boats, tobacco, meals and utilities are excluded.

"The Legislature has provided incentives to many industries to help create more jobs in the Commonwealth," Sen. Jack Hart (D-Boston) said. "This legislation is an opportunity to give something back to consumers while boosting a sector that employs nearly 600,000 workers."

The Senate has consistently supported a sales tax holiday, citing the bump in sales for local businesses as an economic plus that outweighs any cost to the Commonwealth.

Last year's tax free weekend produced $500 million in sales.

The bill will now go to the Governor for his signature.

The Hilltopper Senior Newsletter is now online. It is always behind the button above.

Teacher Learns Lessons

One in a million? Hopkinton boy is one in 1.6 billion!


by Robert Falcione


August 1, 2007 — When Karin Perry signed up to be a single mom, she didn't know it would involve her baby being on a respirator the first eight days of his life, seeing him through twenty-one surgeries by the time he was thirteen, and expecting many more to come in the future. And she had no idea that her education as a special education teacher — she's taught for twenty-three years in public schools — would be of such an immense value in her own home. Ms. Perry's son, Andrew, who is now thirteen, was born prematurely, and with facial deficits that were so severe, he could not eat with his mouth.

      "He had a g-tube in his stomach until he was nine years-old," Ms. Perry said.

      "His jaw was so small, he had room for some primary teeth buds in the bone but no secondary teeth to replace them when those come out. They have to make room on the bottom for teeth," Ms. Perry explained in an interview at their Hopkinton home Tuesday afternoon. Andrew was born without bone between his cheeks — a chin — and underwent procedures where his jaw was broken and the pieces separated — his mom would have to turn screws to keep the broken pieces apart to induce bone growth — so that the bone would generate more of itself and connect.

      "Andrew is only one of four kids in the world in this type of situation," she said.

      "He needs a jaw distraction and a gum reconstruction. When they align the gum, he'll need a dental implant," she said. And this is where the tricky part comes in. The dental work is expected to cost $60,000, but her dental plan ends at $500.

      "They are calling it cosmetic surgery. If he loses his teeth, he'll have to go back to the tube in his stomach. Would the same condition resulting from a car accident be called cosmetic?"

      The conditions are called micrognathia — a very small mandible, and microglossia — a small or nonexistent tongue. Andrew also has facial paralysis on the right of his face. Ms. Perry is involved with two organizations that speak to these conditions: Children's Cranial Facial Association and About Face USA.

      The Perrys recently had a visit from CNN, which was doing a story on the denial of insurance for one in four claimants  by insurance companies, who then denied denying that many insurance claims. The video is here.


Watchful Eyes

August 1, 2007 — The photographer had to be quick to catch Alec Corsini and Nikki Woodward looking at each other for a split second, as they kept Sandy Island Beach under their watchful eyes late yesterday afternoon.


Sexual Assault and Robbery of a Female at the Esplanade in Boston

 Police seek public's help


On July 29, 2007, at approximately 4:00 a.m., a female was abducted at knifepoint on Beacon Street in Boston and forced to walk to the Esplanade where she was sexually assaulted and subsequently robbed. 


The suspect is described as a black male, 28-32 years old, 5’10”, approximately 220 lbs, muscular with a shaved head.  The suspect was wearing a sleeveless T-shirt and dark colored jeans.  The suspect also took the victims cell phone, camera and money prior to leaving the area.


Please see the artist’s sketch.


Anyone with information about this subject or incident should contact the State Police Barracks in Boston at 617-727-6780 or Sergeant Brian Howe at 617-740-7544.


Hooked on Education

Hopkinton woman to open additional location


Above, Mary Murphy with two of her five children, Sinead, 2, and Declan 4.

by Elizabeth Eidlitz


August 1, 2007 — Unlike the woman who lived in a shoe, with so many children she didn't know what to do, Mary Murphy, who lives in a spacious house on Elizabeth Road, knows exactly what to do with the children who come to participate in her Hooray for Books/ Hooked on Books programs in Hopkinton and Medfield. (Hooked on Books is in the process of changing its name slightly to Hooray for Books.)

“Everyone likes to laugh; it’s universal,” says Murphy, who, finds that humor connects with every young personality style, from the painfully shy to the active extrovert. Her imaginative classes emphasize learning to read, encouraged by cooking and having fun.

“I grew up in Simsbury, Connecticut, as one of five children. My husband (Brian Herr) was one of seven, and now we have five kids,” notes Murphy, who likes big families with a lot going on.

“When I created Hooked on Books/Hooray for Books more than six years ago I put on several "hats" to consider what the program should look like. As a mom, I know children love to cook, but moms don't always like the mess at home! I was also frustrated by typical 45 minute classes because†there's not enough time to get any errands done.

“As a Kindergarten teacher for 12 years in the Newton Public School System, I knew how many transitions kids could handle and I knew what activities took place in the schools and what ones did not. Finally, as an educator, with a degree from Boston College in Early Childhood Education, I knew small class sizes were a must. Children can survive in big classes, but they thrive in small ones.

“When it comes to noise levels, transitions, and ability to learn and be heard, twenty four children with three teachers is not the same as eight children with one.” STORY CONTINUES

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