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Friends' Gazebo Concept Gets Parks and Recreation Unanimous Nod

Next stop, Historical District Commission

December 20, 2007 — Members of the Friends of the Common, a group of citizens that has been fundraising to make improvements to the Town Common, got the go ahead from the Parks and Recreation Commission last night in a unanimous vote to move forward with the next step of their process, a meeting with the historical District Commission. The Common is in the Historical District.

       Architect Scott Richardson brought his new Veterans Memorial Gazebo concept plan before the group, and explained that refurbishing the existing structure the original intent of the Friends. However, as it developed, he explained that handicap accessibility became the most important factor. That proved difficult to do with the existing structure, because a handicap ramp must rise 1 foot for every inch of height. The existing structure is 48" tall, requiring a 48 foot long ramp, which would spoil the aesthetics, many have said.

        The proposed new structure at 18 inches tall will facilitate a walkway around the side that will elevate to the interior level when it reaches the rear. The interior will be more spacious than the existing one, and will not need rails all around it.

        Parks and Rec asked that as much of the granite from the old structure be used in the new one.

       Chairman Pat Mahon said," I want to make sure the legacy of the veterans is honored with a new dedication."

Bridge to Nowhere



December 19, 2007 — On Monday evening the Conservation Commission, according to draft minutes of the meeting and conversations with participants, voted 3-1 to accept as an insignificant project change, the construction of a bridge to cross wetlands to replace a box culvert that had been approved by the Commission, but was superseded by the DEP in favor of he bridge.

     Then, the group voted to rescind that very vote, this time 4-0, and reopen the vote in January before the full Commission.

     "They then determined they did not have enough positive votes, so they voted to rescind the vote," said John Craycroft of the Cedar Swamp Conservation Trust, who, along with "The Fruit Street Ten," filed an administrative appeal of the Commission's Order of Conditions. The DEP then issued a superseding order of conditions in answer to that appeal, which the group is also appealing.

      Chairman of Conservation Commission Bob Murphy said today that the majority of the Commission was not there, and because they were unsure of the validity of a minority of the Commission voting, although a majority of the members with a quorum present, they decided to rescind the vote.

      "Given the situation [lawsuits, appeals] I'd rather have a majority of the board voting on it." he said.

      Former ConCom Chairman Brian Morrison brought a Superior Court lawsuit concerning the order of conditions, but was rejected by a Judge who said Mr. Morrison lacked standing. Mr. Morrison is appealing that ruling.

      The cost of the bridge has been estimated by some at between $350,000 and $500,00. 

NOTE: This story has been modified with corrections.

 Middlesex County Crime and Justice

Alleged Solicitation Of 14-Year-Old Boy In Holliston 

Lands Level III Sex Offender in Jail


CAMBRIDGEMiddlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone informed the public today that a Connecticut man, who is also a registered Level III sex offender in that state, has been indicted in connection with the attempted solicitation of a 14-year-old boy in Holliston.

Charles DiNardo, age 54, of West Haven, Connecticut, was indicted on a charge of enticement of a child under the age of 16 by a Middlesex Grand Jury. An arraignment date has yet to be set on the Superior Court charge.

“This defendant is a convicted sex offender who has been classified at the most serious level in Connecticut,” District Attorney Leone said. “We allege that he attempted to sexually solicit this young victim who thankfully did what we would hope and advise young people to do – walk away and notify a trusted adult immediately.” READ MORE...

Selectmen Choose Negotiating Team for Legacy Farms

No movement on Reed Park expansion


by Demian David Tebaldi

December 19, 2007 — Despite the bitter cold and snowy roads, it was standing room only at the Hopkinton Selectmen’s meeting last evening.  After comments from Chairman Muriel Kramer (Photo) regarding the recent quarterly meeting, at which the Town’s budget developments and concerns were outlined, Town Clerk Ann Click reminded the residents of Hopkinton that with the Presidential Primary coming up on February 5, 2007, the deadline for voter registration (January 16th, 2008) is fast approaching. 


During a period of time set aside for public comment, former Selectman Ron Clark (Photo) asked the Board whether there had been any progress on an issue raised after May 2007 Town Meeting regarding the Parks and Recreation Committee’s use of a portion of Whitehall property to expand existing soccer fields to regulation size, a query which was answered in the negative by Selectman Mike Shepard. 


Selectman Matt Zettek mentioned during his liaison report that Hopkinton’s current trash and recycling contract is due to expire or be renewed in June of 2008, and emphasized that, due to the increased amount of curbside rubbish during the holiday season, it was particularly important for residents to be mindful that items such as wrapping paper and cardboard boxes should be recycled rather than thrown away.


By far, however, the majority of those in attendance waited for an update on the Board’s oversight of Boulder Capital’s ambitious Legacy Farms project on land purchased from Weston Nurseries, a housing development which is projected to include up to 240 affordable units and 500 acres of open space, one which, in the words of Selectman Vice-Chair Mary C. Pratt, “will change the face of Hopkinton forever.” 


At a meeting of the Planning Board on December 17th, it was proposed by Hopkinton’s new Town Counsel, Raymond Miyares of Miyares and Harrington, that a negotiation team be assembled to represent the Town’s interest with respect to the development of that project, and in the formation of a development agreement with representatives of Boulder Capital.  While neither the Board of Selectmen nor any of the various Town departments have the power to halt or impede the progress of the Legacy Farms venture, the negotiation team will be assembled to ensure that the project will be revenue positive for the Town, and that Hopkinton residents’ quality of life will be preserved.  Board Chairman Muriel Kramer’s major concerns included the ultimate transparency of the process, that the Board and the public be informed of developments in the procedures leading up to final completion of the project.  Debate and comment ensued, Selectman Brian Herr (Photo) stating that “if [the Board] can nail down vision and objective, I don’t believe it particularly matters how [the negotiations] occur.” 


In the end, it was decided by unanimous vote, with Selectman Matt Zettek abstaining due to his ownership of property directly abutting a portion of the land on which Boulder Capital intends to build, that the streamlined negotiation team will be comprised of three members: Town Manager Anthony Troiano, Attorney Raymond Miyares and Town Planner Elaine Lazarus.  The group’s responsibilities will include keeping tabs on the progress of the project, informing the public at key stages, and communicating with liaisons from various Town departments – the Department of Public Works, the Department of Environmental Protection, among others – as information from those departments is required.

ZAC Gives Blessing to Hayward Street Zoning Change

December 19, 2007 — On Tuesday evening, the Zoning Advisory Committee voted in favor, with just one against, to give its nod for a proposed zoning change on Hayward Street to move forward to the Planning Board for further review. The proponents, William Tetlow on record, and self-described co-owner Ken Weber, would like to change the zoning from from Residence Lakefront to Rural Business in order to build a 19,500 square foot two-story commercial building adjacent to the South Street property where Maria's Caffe Italiano has moved, the former O'Toole's.

     "If you had a small convenience store there, people wouldn't have to go downtown," said ZAC member Ron Roux.  

      Downey Street resident Christine MacConnell, speaking for the Lake Maspenock Association, said that the group was against the proposal.

      "This is incremental zoning, which indicates poor planning," said ZAC member Alex Brown. However, when EMC expanded to 52 South Street during the heyday, a building which has remained unoccupied for years, they bought adjacent and abutting properties, presumably for a buffer zone. Those parcels remain zoned as Residential, according to Chairman ken Weismantel.

      "It's creep," added Mr. Weismantel, alluding to the adjacent property already being zoned for business.

      The proponents need to bring an Article before the Planning Board for their approval, and then get a 2/3 vote at Town Meeting to implement the change.

       One couple at last week's ZAC meeting did not fare as well. READ MORE, MORE PHOTOS..


To be held in Middlesex County Friday December 21 into Saturday December 22


            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.  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.

God Squad Needs Blankets For Homeless

December 18, 2007- The weather is becoming dangerously cold, and some are left outside with barely anything to stay warm. To help remedy this problem in, the God Squad at Hopkinton High School is running a blanket drive from Wednesday January 2nd through January 4th during school hours, and on Saturday, January 5th 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the high school.

“I enjoy going to God Squad because we get to talk about God, but now we have this opportunity to show how His love is affecting us to act as his hands and feet,” Laura Knox, a Junior at Hopkinton High School.

For those interested in donating, there will be a box in the office of the high school. Blankets can be homemade or purchased, just as long as they are new! Later in January, God Squad will take these blankets into Boston and pass them out to the homeless. God Squad’s purpose in doing this is to actively glorify god, by showing God’s love to people in Boston.

~ Lauren Saeger

"Affordable" Condo for $157,335 Until Jan 19, 2008

December 18, 2007 — The Planning Board has expressed concern that no one has applied for an "affordable" condo unit at Pinecrest Village that is going for $157,335. It has two bedrooms and 1.5 baths. "Affordable" is a term used by governmental agencies to describe their low income required applicants. The unit has been deemed affordable, and may be sold for no more than the top amount specified, according to Elaine Lazarus, Planning Director.

       If it remains unsold by January 19, it will go on sale as a market rate home, and anything over the top amount will revert to the state.

       Lilly Holden, Chairman of the Housing Committee said afterward that there is an interested person going through the process, which is not yet complete.

• 2 people: $52,950
• 3 people: $59,550
• 4 people: $66,150

       People interested in this unit are urged to call Jennifer Shaw, 617-425-6637. For those wishing to get on the list of those qualifying, the number of the Town Planner is 508-497-9755.

Friends of the Seniors Tea

December 18, 2007 — Mindy Van Schaick helps the Friends of the Seniors deliver cucumber sandwiches to the participants of the Senior Holiday Tea this noontime at the Senior Center.

State Police seek Witnesses to Fatal Hit and Run in Lancaster


December 18, 2007 — Yesterday at approximately 10:42 p.m. troopers assigned to the State Police Barracks in Leominster responded to a serious hit-and-run crash on Route 2 West adjacent to the Johnny Appleseed Rest Area in the Town of Lancaster that resulted in one fatality and one minor injury. 


Preliminary investigation by Trooper Michael Mayer indicates that 18-year-old Ashley Foley of Hubbardston was operating a 1994 Jeep Cherokee in the left lane of Route 2 West in Lancaster when the passenger’s side front of her vehicle was struck by the driver’s side rear of a tractor trailer unit that was traveling in the right lane of Route 2 West.  The collision caused the Jeep to lose control, exit the roadway to the left and roll over before coming to rest in the median.  The tractor trailer fled the scene following the crash and continued on Route 2 West.  Foley was wearing her safety belt at the time of the crash, but was trapped inside the vehicle and declared deceased at the scene.  The 15-year-old juvenile female front seat passenger of the Jeep was wearing her safety belt at the time of the crash and was transported by ambulance to Leominster Hospital with minor injuries.  The identity of the juvenile passenger is being withheld due to her age. 


The tractor trailer unit that is believed to have been involved in this crash is described as having a light red tractor with a white trailer that is equipped with many lights.  The trailer may have damage on the driver side middle or rear.  Anyone who may have witnessed this crash or who has information about the tractor trailer unit that fled the scene is asked to contact the State Police Leominster Barracks at (978)-537-2188. 


Planning Board and Selectmen Lay Foundation

Process for Legacy Farms formed


by Robert Falcione

December 17, 2007 — The Selectmen were the guests at Monday's Planning Board meeting, invited in a letter from Chairman Mark Abate who wrote, "The Board recognizes that the issues to be resolved and the impacts to the Town of the development are broader than the Planning Board's jurisdiction," referring to the combined 940 residential unit, 450,000 square foot commercial Legacy Farms development proposed by Boulder Capital.

       Town Counsel Raymond Miyares laid out the five areas he believes need to completed before getting the zoning changes for the 700+ acre development to Town Meeting for a positive vote.

      "One, we need to participate in the MEPA (Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act) process," he said. On November 30, 2007, Boulder Capital submitted an Environmental Notification Form that found its way from the State to the Town Hall on December 12. Mr. Miyares said that Boulder President Roy MacDowell may want to offer an extension to the window offered for comments by various Town Boards and departments to the Secretary, because of the late receipt and the holidays. (NOTE: The 60MB document can be viewed here, or by choosing Boulder Capital's banner ad on the top of HopNews and choosing "Documents.")

      The second step in the process, Mr. Miyares said, is to negotiate a Host Community Agreement with Boulder prior to Town Meeting. Some towns have negotiated with developers to kick in millions of dollars to mitigate the impact of the introduction of a large number of new children into the system. Other circumstances, like traffic impact, could be mitigated by a payment to the town, or the construction of infrastructure.

      Later in the meeting, Mr. MacDowell noted that some of of the offers he has already made are mitigating conditions, such as 500 acres of open space.

      The third piece is to negotiate an agreement for the Alprilla Farms well, a Town-owned water source Mr. MacDowell has offered to develop for mutual benefit.

      Fourth is a printable set of zoning changes, Mr. Miyares said. Boulder has been meeting with the Zoning Advisory Committee every week for several weeks on designing an OSMUD, an Open Space Mixed Use Development that features abundant open space in trade for dense, low impact housing. READ MORE....    

Hopkinton Jewelers Creates $110,000 Diamond Ring

Open house this weekend

Above, Renee Marino sizes a ring

December 17, 2007 — Renee Marino, who calls herself Hopkinton's Jeweler, just passed a milestone in her career by creating a custom diamond ring that a California resident commissioned for $110,000. "It's the most expensive one I've made," she said today, showing off a photo of the piece that has been shipped.

     Ms. Marino boasts that all of her custom designed jewelry is done on premises. "I can beat anyone's price from here to Africa," she said after showing off photos from her recent trip to that continent.

     But Ms. Marino isn't sidetracked by the big ticket items. "I do while-you-wait jewelry repairs, fix chains and sell watch batteries," she said.

     And although Ms. Marino said she is very busy, she will take time out for an open house this weekend for old friends and new acquaintances to stop by. Her cozy shop is at Claflin Commons, behind Ann-Michele's Hair Design next to the Police Station.

Standing Tall

December 17, 2007 — This ice-covered towering evergreen stands sentinel over its frozen deciduous neighbors this morning, its branches tilted and extended in a graceful personification of its existence, as the sun illuminates hundreds of bejeweled braches and twigs that pay tribute.

Fugitive in Parental Kidnapping Apprehended in Belize by VFAS and Marshalls


December 17, 2007 — On December 8, 2007, 6 year-old Christopher T. Seychew was abducted from a residence in Falmouth by his father, Richard T. Warren, age 44, of 1 Coach House Drive, Owings Mills, MarylandWarren did not have custody rights, and police had information that Seychew may be endangered.  Warren fled the area with Seychew and was believed to have been headed out of Massachusetts.


On December 10, 2007, an arrest warrant was issued for Warren from Falmouth District Court for kidnapping.  Falmouth Police and State Police assigned to the Cape and Islands Detective Unit and the Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section, along with the US Marshals Service, undertook efforts to apprehend Warren and to locate Seychew.  Investigators learned that Warren took Seychew to Washington, DC, then traveled on to Cancun, Mexico, and finally to the country of Belize.  With assistance from the US State Department, Warren was taken into custody in Belize, and subsequently transported to the State of Texas.  Seychew was located in Belize with Warren, and was held by the US State Department until he was able to be reunited with his mother on December 16, 2007.

Real Estate Transactions for Hopkinton, Massachusetts

Compiled by Eric Montville for, December 17, 2007






58 Ash Street

Patrick J. Fernan & Shannon M. Tomai


Dec.  14, 2007

Leslie L. Koch & Susan J. Koch

25 Tammer Lane

Mark R. Schumacher & Maureen D. Schumacher


Dec.  13, 2007

Michael R. Goodman & Lee M. Goodman

8 Maple Street

Thomas Herlihy & Laurie Herlihy


Dec.  13, 2007

Mark Schumacher

Previous update:        

12 Connelly Hill Road

Douglas F. Micciantuono & Danielle Micciantuono


Dec.  07, 2007

Connelly LLC

22 Forest Lane unit 33

Alec G. Stothert


Dec.  06, 2007

Joan M. Patterson

25 Smith Road

William H. Robertson & Lucy D. Robertson


Dec.  04, 2007

Mark B. Synnott & Cheryl E. Synnott

67 Frankland Road

Michael G. Manzo & Janet L. Manzo


Dec.  03, 2007

William L. Smith

See Full List back to February 1,  2007

Link above is renewed each week

Police News UP-TO-DATE  Today, December 17, 2007


4:13 am A resident of Winter Street reported that his wife thought that there might have been an intruder inside their house...


10:24 am The bus office reported that a man was in the middle of School Street threatening the bus driver...


4:45 pm A caller reported a hit and run accident on West Elm Street.  The caller stated that the individual said he would be right back with his information and then took off...


5:30 pm A caller complained about a youth from Amherst Road that was operating an ATV or modified lawn tractor..


Click on the title above to see the entire police news.

Rollover and Out

December 17, 2007 — The driver of this pickup that rolled over around 10:45 am today was able to exit through the rear door before Fire and Police officials arrived. The accident occurred on Cedar Street just past Rafferty Road. The truck was heading north but ended up on the opposite side of the road facing the opposite way.  The driver said he was uninjured.

Next Stop, Zimbabwe

Hopkinton woman $800 short of goal

 December 17, 2007 — Young people reaching out to other young people—that’s the simple premise of the mission trip. Twenty-two college students from all over the United States will travel half way around the world to spend their Christmas vacation ministering to young people in Zimbabwe, a country facing crushing poverty, widespread starvation and the second highest adult AIDS infection rate. In Zimbabwe, nearly 30% of the adult population is estimated to be infected with HIV.
     The miserable living conditions for the people of Zimbabwe lead to an extremely high number of orphans; these children lose their parents and then face daunting odds themselves just to stay alive. Children are left to fend for themselves and their siblings—fighting to survive, hardly expected to thrive.
     To share faith, hope, love, education and simple human connection, the young people from the United States will travel to Africa to hold a youth conference reaching out to the young people in the area where they will stay. It may be tempting to see the situation the children in Zimbabwe face as hopeless, and that may be the best reason to go, according to Hopkinton resident Victoria Crosby (File photo).
     Victoria will be traveling to Zimbabwe for the third consecutive year later this month, and like her last trips, she must raise all the funds to cover her trip and a share of the supplies they all will take to the locale. The total she needs to raise is $2,800; she only has $800 more to raise before she leaves on December 26th. If you would like to support Victoria’s trip, checks made payable to “Do Missions” with Victoria Crosby in the memo field should be sent to Vicky at 407 Wood Street, Hopkinton, MA 01748.
     “Every single person matters, and we go to reach one person at a time to show them they are loved and to build a sense of hope,” shares Victoria. “We want every single person to know their life is important. Mother Theresa once said, ‘The worst poverty in the world is not the lack of food but the feeling of being unloved, unwanted and uncared for.’ I want everyone to know they are loved, wanted and cared for.”

-submitted by Muriel Kramer, a family friend.

Victoria is a young woman who has faced tough losses in her life, including losing her mom to cancer after an eight year fight. Victoria was 14 when her mom died and in the years since she has grown in faith, confidence and purpose. Victoria reaches out to those less fortunate and makes a difference in this world one child, one human being at a time. I am so proud of all that she has accomplished and all the ways she has invested her time, talents and energy into making this world a measurably better place for us all.

NOTE: Mrs. Kramer is the Chairman of the Board of Selectmen.

Man Jumps From Bridge to Avoid Sliding SUV 


December 17, 2007 — Yesterday at approximately 6:35 p.m., troopers assigned to the State Police Barracks in Charlton responded to an accidental death on Route 90 West at the Quaboag River Overpass west of Interchange 8 in Palmer.


Preliminary investigation by Trooper Derek Gordon indicates that 29-year-old Paul M. Oliver of Enfield, CT was operating a 2005 Honda Pilot in the right travel lane of Route 90 West when he lost control. The Honda spun to the left and came to rest facing east in the left travel lane. Oliver and one of his three passengers exited the Honda. A 1995 GMC Suburban traveling in the left lane and operated by 38-year-old Herb Albertson of Quincy approached the Honda and began to slide on the snow-covered road. Albertson attempted to avoid a collision but the driver’s side of his GMC crashed into the driver’s side of the Honda. Oliver leapt over the bridge railing as the GMC approached the scene and he fell approximately 50-60 feet to the rocks below. He suffered fatal injuries in that fall and was declared deceased at the scene. None of the occupants in the Honda were hurt in the crash. Albertson and all the passengers in his GMC were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash and one juvenile female did sustain minor injuries. She was transported to Bay State Medical Center by ambulance.

A Club for All Seasons


December 17, 2007 — The Hopkinton Trails Club, as well as members of the Hopkinton Historical Commission, held a wintertime hike that started with a meeting on the Loop Road and then a hike on the Center Trail, which has been reclaimed by the Hopkinton Trails Club using Community Preservation Funds.

      Following the hike, the group drove to the Hopkinton Railroad Depot, which is also being restored with Community Preservation funds, to have hot chocolate and watch the sunset.

NOTE: The Trails Club website, as well as many other websites in Hopkinton, can be accessed at any time by choosing the Community link on the button bar above. ~ Contributed photo.

Wintry Backdrop


December 16, 2007 — Boston's WHDH-TV Channel 7 used the Town Common as a hub for weather updates from Hopkinton during the day today.

      Longtime readers may remember when then Channel 7 weekend anchor Jeff Glor made our acquaintance and gave an endorsement of HopNews back in 2006, while doing his leather-to-the-pavement reporting on the Entwistle story. To see the video endorsement, click on the thumbnail.

     Since then, Mr. Glor has gone to the CBS's The Early Show as a National Correspondent and has been in Iraq for several days. As of this writing, here are some of his video reports, including one from Saturday from Iraq about the return of soccer to Baghdad.

Full Orchestra

December 16, 2007 — The MetroWest Symphony Orchestra of Hopkinton, despite freezing rain and a long commute for many musicians, proved the adage, "The show must go on" on Sunday afternoon, playing their scheduled concert at the High School Auditorium. Scroll down for the video.

Making Room

December 16, 2007 — A reader snapped this shot of Jamie Griffin plowing on Westcott Drive, scraping and making room for the snow from the next storm.

MetroWest Symphony Orchestra

"We are all set to go!" ~ Rob Ocasio, President

Above, Hopkinton Town Moderator, Dr. Bruce Karlin playing violin with the MetroWest Symphony Orchestra today.

December 16, 2007 — The MetroWest Symphony Orchestra of Hopkinton, its members driving from as far away as Holden, braved the driving — and the driving sleet — to perform a holiday symphony at Hopkinton High School's Auditorium on Sunday afternoon. To hear two selections, the second one includes the A Cappella Singers, please choose the player below. You may need to click the play button twice. To hear the orchestra in the best way, choose your external, rather than internal speakers.

Direction and camera by Ben Lewis.


To see the video in full screen, once it begins, right mouse-click on the video and choose: Zoom/Full Screen


Need Snowplowing?


The free concert by the South Eastern Mass Community Concert Band scheduled for 3:00 p.m. today at St. John's  Church has been cancelled due the the inclement weather.

The band would like you to mark your calendars for next year for December 21, 2008 at 3:00 p.m. at St. John's Church.

He's Making a List

December 16, 2007 — Santa made an appearance at Weston Nurseries last weekend, giving photos to those who visited. Santa is friends with well known Hopkinton veteran Dick Brault.

Corner Office

December 16, 2007 — Olivia Hoyt, 10, makes a transaction with Pam Mitchell as her son Owen, 2, and Meg Koeller, 10 watch at the Middlesex Savings Bank corner office while selling Girl Scout cookies for Troop 3796 on Saturday..

Fire's Out

December 16, 2007 — The Fire Department responded to the call of a car fire on Price Street, but all that remained when they arrived was smoke .

Between Storms

December 16, 2007 — The sign said it all at Hopkinton State Park on Friday, between the storms.

Holiday Senior Party

Above, Hopkinton Chief of Police Thomas Irvin speaks to the gathered senior citizens as Office Philip Powers and Father Paul Clifford look on.


December 15, 2007 — The Hopkinton Police Association fed about 200 seniors family style this afternoon at the Hopkinton Senior Center. Police officials and officers, as well as their family members, served the food, delivered the raffle prizes, and did the clean up afterward at  this traditional event. The Hopkinton High School Brass Choir performed for the gathering. 

Choose a thumbnail below to see a larger photo.

Below, Brian Carter of the Hopkinton Brass Choir plays the tuba.


 Storm Brewing

According to the weather service that HopNews uses for Hopkinton (The button is always on the button bar above), the snow will start falling around 1:00 am Sunday, turn to light snow and then snow again, until 1:00 p.m. , when freezing rain is "definite." The precipitation is supposed to carry on until 10:00 p.m. on Sunday.

OOPS! ~ Correction - Town Party

On Thursday, we reported that the Town Hall was closing at 1:00 p.m. due to the storm rather than 2:00 p.m. Not having received a prior email stating that the building was closing at 2:00 p.m. due to the storm, we wrongly assumed that the 2:00 p.m. closing was due to the Holiday Party that the town had planned for 5:00 p.m. We have been told in no uncertain terms that the Town Hall does not close early for the party. We also received a note that it was a Christmas Party, but have been told since that it is called a Holiday Party instead, and has been called such for years.


In addition, the Town Manager's Office wants to make it clear that it is a town employee party not open to the public. HopNews passed the information along for the sole purpose of informing those very people, and regrets any confusion the error has caused.

Christmas Cantata

December 15, 2007 — The First Congregational Church of Hopkinton's pews were alive with the sounds of music and verse as singers, musicians and speakers brought the message of Christmas home to the gathering. There will be another performance Saturday, December 15, 2007.

Their first song of the evening can be heard below. You may need to click twice.

Video and editing by Ben Lewis.

Artist's Reception

December 15, 2007 — Fellow artists and interested art lovers stopped by the CAA Building on Hayden Rowe Street Friday evening for an artist's reception for Marcella Stasa, above. Ms. Stasa's work can best be described in her own words:

I make art from the seemingly mundane materials I collect from my surroundings in Upton. Much of what I do could be called "site-specific" in that I use material gathered from a particular locale and then re-assemble it to make a statement about the area. Each  place of inspiration for this art comes with its own imprint of  available natural materials, as well as the discards lost and left behind by the people living there.

Milkweed pods, dried leaves and grasses, rusted metal and animal bones are among the items that I bring to the studio to incorporate into my work. I find the beauty in death and decay and present them more as eloquent than melancholy. These fragments of decay can be perceived as grisly, frightening, mysterious and all the while exceptionally lovely. Combined in unlikely ways they have an ethereal feel to them.

 Middlesex County Crime and Justice

Winchester Man Indicted On First Degree Murder Charge


            CAMBRIDGE – December 14, 2007 — Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone’s office informed the public today that a Winchester man has been indicted on a count of first degree murder and other charges in connection with the October death of Christopher Barbaro, age 50, of Winchester, and the shooting of his brother, Bryan Barbaro, age 48, also of Winchester.


            Wally Jaques Simon, age 30, of Winchester, was indicted by a Middlesex Grand Jury on charges of first degree murder, home invasion, armed robbery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, and carrying a firearm without a license. An arraignment date is scheduled for Monday at 2 p.m. in Cambridge Superior Courtroom 6A.


            “We allege that the defendant, who knew his victims, entered their home and shot both brothers, mortally wounding Christopher Barbaro,” District Attorney Leone said. “Gun violence knows no borders, and this is another example of how the use of illegal weapons continues to tragically impact families and communities across our state.”


            According to authorities, at approximately 12:30 a.m. on October 24, Winchester Police responded to a 911 call of a reported shooting at 70 Irving Street in Winchester. When police arrived, they found Christopher Barbaro in his apartment unresponsive and laying on the floor, suffering apparent gun shot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.


            Bryan Barbaro, Christopher’s brother, was also shot at the scene. Bryan was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and treated for his injuries.


            A joint investigation was immediately initiated by Winchester Police and Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office. Later that day, Simon was arrested in connection with the incident.


            Simon was arraigned in Woburn District Court on related charges of armed assault with intent to murder and home invasion. He was ordered held on $250,000 cash bail by Judge Marianne Hinkle while the investigation continued.


            Upon further investigation, including witness statements and analysis of ballistic evidence, it is alleged that Simon entered the second floor apartment and shot Christopher Barbaro while also stealing money from the apartment. Brian Barbaro, after hearing loud noises while in his third floor apartment, came downstairs into his brother’s apartment where he, too, was shot by Simon.

Fatal Crash on Route 84 in Sturbridge UPDATE


December 14, 2007 — Today, at approximately 1:00 a.m., troopers assigned to the State Police Barracks in Sturbridge responded to a two-vehicle crash on Route 84 West in Sturbridge that resulted in one fatality.


Preliminary investigation by Trooper John Nugent indicates that 36 year-old Michael Bourdeau of Charlton was operating a snowmobile eastbound in the westbound center lane of Route 84 when he struck a 1996 Freightliner Car Carrier traveling westbound in the westbound center lane head-on.  The Freightliner was operated by 31 year-old Victor Perez-Santiago of Lowell and as a result of the crash, it came to rest in the wooded median.  Perez-Santiago sustained minor injuries and was transported by ambulance to Harrington Memorial Hospital Bourdeau was pronounced deceased at the scene.


This crash remains under investigation with the assistance of the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section, the State Police Crime Scene Services Section and the State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Section. The Sturbridge Fire Department, Sturbridge EMS and MassHighway assisted troopers at the scene. 

Fresh Blanket

December 14, 2007 — The Hopkinton Common was still and brightly lit last night as highway crews monopolized the roadways while most other people stayed indoors.

Kudos to the DPW


     "What a great job they [DPW] did. I hope you are going to say something," said Nancy Macmillan of the Lovely Lady Salon, who said she spoke for other downtown business owners as well.

     The downtown, roads and sidewalks, are clear of snow, something the DPW does while everyone else sleeps.

      "Kudos to the DPW," she said.    

State Police Offer Winter Driving Safety Tips


The Massachusetts State Police urge motorists to be safe on the roads of the Commonwealth this winter. If possible, do not travel, or keep travel to a minimum during periods of winter weather in order to allow snow removal crews to clear the roadway.  For those who need to drive in adverse winter weather conditions, the State Police recommend the following winter driving safety tips:


·        Take Note of the Local Forecast:  The State Police encourage motorists to take note of local forecasts and plan accordingly for adverse weather conditions.  Motorists are reminded that they can dial 511 on their cell phones for current traffic and road conditions on Massachusetts Highways. 

·        Vehicle Preparation:  With a forecast of inclement weather, motorists should ensure that their vehicles are well maintained and properly equipped for winter driving.  Motorists should check the fluid levels of their vehicles, particularly washer fluid and anti-freeze, to make sure that they are at adequate levels.  Tires should be inspected to ensure that they are properly inflated and have sufficient tread depth.  Motorists should equip their vehicles with a snow shovel, ice scraper, jumper cables, flares, a flashlight and some warm clothing and blankets.  Additionally, motorists are reminded to completely clear their vehicles of snow and ice prior to driving.  Clearing vehicles of snow and ice enhances the safety of all motorists by providing an unobstructed view to the operator and prevents snow and ice from flying off vehicles at high speeds and posing a hazard to others on the road.   

·        Reduce Speed:  Most winter weather related crashes are caused by “spin-outs” and vehicles sliding off the road due to excessive speeds for the road and weather conditions.  Speed Limits are set for driving under optimal, dry conditions.  If road and weather conditions are adverse, it may be more reasonable and proper to operate at a speed that is well below the posted limit. 

·        Leave Extra Space Between Vehicles:  Under optimal driving conditions, motorists should leave at least one car length for every ten miles per hour between them and the vehicle in front of them.  If the road and weather conditions are adverse, that distance should be significantly increased in order to afford for increased stopping distances. 

·        Dial 911 in Roadway Emergencies:  In any weather conditions, motorists who become disabled or encounter an emergency on the roadways should dial 911 and report their location and the nature of the emergency.  Motorists should always be aware of their location, noting the route they are traveling on and the number of the exit they most recently passed. 

Water Department Requests Assistance


The Water Department requests your assistance, in maintaining accessibility to the town's 660 fire hydrants, for the safety and protection of everyone. During the winter hydrants can become buried by snow during a storm. If you have a fire hydrant that that is near your home, please help us make it visible and accessible to the Fire Department for use in an emergency. Precious seconds can be lost searching for the hydrant or removing snow to gain access to it. Help make your neighborhood safe for everyone!


Please remember that it poses a major fire safety hazard to bury a fire hydrant by shoveling, plowing or snow blowing. It is also prohibited by Chapter 148 Section 27B of The Mass. General Law and can incur a fine. The Water and Fire department would like to thank you for your cooperation in helping to maintain fire safety. ~ Eric Carty, Water/Sewer Manager

First Real Snowstorm

December 14, 2007 — The storm that dropped 1-2" per hour on Thursday and brought traffic to a standstill, left its mark throughout the region. Above, a DPW worker at midnight clears behind Bill's Pizza as part of a parking and access agreement between Bill's and the Town Hall.


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