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24 Main Street, Hopkinton, MA 01748

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Updated: March 18, 2013 02:54:23 PM

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Tonight -Live on HCAM Television

Selectmen Candidates Roundtable sponsored by HopNews

7:00 pm at 77 Main Street

For those attending in the audience, please come 15 minutes early.

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 School Committee

School Budget Increase of $1,286,690

• School choice nixed

• "Hughes Stadium" and "Dick Bliss Court" named

 

by Derek Dobachesky

May 1, 2009 — The Hopkinton School Committee finalized its fiscal year 2010 budget proposal at its regular meeting on Thursday, April 30, nearly finishing a process that started back in September.
 

"I think it's a budget we feel pretty comfortable with," Committee Vice Chair Phil Totino said.
 

The final budget proposal, which will be presented at the Annual Town Meeting on May 4-6, reflects an increase of $1,286,690 over the fiscal year 2009 budget. $595,301 of the increase is expected to come from increased funding from the town of Hopkinton, while $679,906 will come from cost-saving measures, federal stimulus funds for special education and the anticipated fiscal year 2009 year-end balance.
 

Concerns about an unexpected cost of $182,107 for a new special education student were addressed after the last meeting on April 16, when members of the Board of Selectman assured the Committee that they would provide funding for the cost.
 

The Committee also addressed renewal of Hopkinton Public Schools food service contract, school choice for 2009-2010 and the naming of school facilities during its new business section. The meeting was chaired by Totino, since Committee Chair Nancy Alvarez Burdick was not in attendance.
 

The Committee rejected allowing school choice students to attend Hopkinton Public Schools. Committee members stated that the public largely expressed opposition when school choice was addressed the prior year, and there likely would be opposition again if the Committee indicated it was seriously considering allowing school choice students. Member Richard de Mont voted against the motion to reject school choice students, while Totino and members David Stoldt and Rebecca Robak voted in favor.
 

Director of Finance Geoff MacDonald reported to the Committee on the different food service contract proposals that he and the rest of a food service committee had evaluated. Two companies, Whitson's and Aramark — the current food service provider — submitted proposals. The committee found the quality of Whitson's product to be better, but one concern was the cost to the students purchasing lunches. In addition, Aramark offered $25,000 worth of new lay-outs at the Center, Elmwood and High Schools. Due to this commitment, and Aramark's consistency at staying on-budget, MacDonald recommended renewing Hopkinton schools' contract with Aramark, which the Committee did with a unanimous vote.
 

The Committee voted unanimously to name two athletic facilities after coaches. The football stadium will be named Hughes Stadium, after Dave Hughes (File photo), and the court in Brown Gym will be named Dick Bliss Court after Bliss. Committee members stated they were naming the facilities after the coaches due to the longevity of their careers and their impact on Hopkinton student-athletes.

 

After hearing an update on the strategic plan working group from Superintendent John Phelan and unanimously adopting an updated Curriculum Development and Adoption Policy, the Committee heard MacDonald's report and recommendation on a proposed town meeting article on Energy Management.
 

The Committee had planned to introduce an article at the town meeting next week, cosponsored by the Board of Selectman, to contract an energy manager to help improve school facilities to lower costs through energy efficiencies. However, MacDonald recommended the Committee dismiss this article because a new energy plan would be less costly.
 

NSTAR, a gas and electricity utility company, has already provided a free evaluation of Hopkinton Public Schools' facilities, using federal Green Communities Act funding. NSTAR has offered to begin working on the facilities this summer. The company will subsidize around 50 percent of the cost of the capital improvements, as well as provide financing over a period of 24 months at no interest. MacDonald said he anticipated that, initially, the cost of the program would be offset by the energy
cost-savings, and eventually the cost-savings would more than pay for the cost of the program. The Committee voted unanimously to dismiss its Energy Management article.
 

The Committee will meet at the Annual Town meeting on May 4-6, at 7 p.m. each night in the Middle School Auditorium. It will hold its next regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 14.

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Hopkinton Officials Discuss Flu Protocols

"If you have flu symptoms, stay home."

Town Moderator Bruce Karlin on reverse 911 today

None sick in Hopkinton

 

by Robert Falcione

April 30, 2009 — Hopkinton public safety, school and health officials, as well as Town Moderator Dr. Bruce Karlin, met in Town Hall this afternoon to discuss preparedness strategies and protocol checklist for mobilization in case of an outbreak of the swine flu in Hopkinton.

     The body of high-level officials brain-stormed about which groups in Hopkinton needed to be informed of ways to avoid spreading the disease. Sick students and teachers staying away from school was one group's solution. Superintendent of Schools, Jack Phelan sent a letter to parents today with a checklist of proper behaviors to help avoid getting and spreading diseases like the swine flu. The School Department is also creating a wellness page on their website.

      Dr. Bruce Karlin said he doesn't want sick people at Town Meeting on Monday. If there is no quorum on Monday, due to an outbreak, or fear, Dr. Karlin said Town Meeting could be put off for a week.

      They also discussed the importance of notifying churches and other religious organizations, youth groups, sports groups and the elderly of the importance of proper health etiquette.

     "This is a good example of us managing a process instead of it managing us," said Selectman Chair, Brian Herr.

     The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has a video here, as well as a world of resources — and a phone number - 211 - for further information.

     See "And Now... the News!" in the video below, where Mr. Herr gives a summary of the evening's meeting, and hear updates on events over the weekend, as well as Mrs. Silver giving away saplings — and much, much more.

 

Governor Deval Patrick speaks about the Mass cases in the video below.

 

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SUNDAY TAPS VIGIL, MAY 3, 2009 - Location Changed

Hopkinton to join thousands of communities across America

Please join the Hopkinton Veteran’s Celebration Committee on Sunday, May 3, 2009 as we join thousands of communities across America for a remembrance ceremony at the Gazebo in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. The Committee is hosting a “Sunday Taps Vigil” starting at 7:00 p.m. 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 hauntingly 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 mandated 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 of 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.

Patricia (Patty) J. McIntyre

 

RICHMOND, ME Patricia (Patty) J. McIntyre, age 55, lost her courageous battle with cancer on April 25, 2009. Born in 1954 in Framingham, MA she was the loving daughter of Barbara Jean and Francis J. McIntyre. She is survived by her best friend and devoted husband Tom Barnett of Richmond, ME, with whom she shared a joyful and fulfilling life. She also leaves her brothers Francis McIntyre and his wife Donna, and Brian McIntyre all of Hopkinton, MA and Michael McIntyre and his wife Joan of Taunton, MA, as well as many nieces, nephews and lifelong friends.

 

She obtained her degree in Sports Medicine and was a dedicated and enthusiastic instructor of gymnastics, swimming, lifeguarding, and water safety in the Brunswick, Maine area for many years. A pioneer in the recycling movement, she and her husband Tom were avid certified organic gardeners. Patty was especially proud of awards she won at the Common Ground Fair. She enriched the lives of a wide range of people, young to old, and will be greatly missed.

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Hopkinton is Full of Sunshine!

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Board of Selectmen Wrap Up Most Town Meeting Business

Assessors attend - unhappy with budget change

April 29, 2009 — John Palmer and Dr. John Duffy, members of the Board of Assessors appeared before the Board of Selectmen as aggrieved parties on Tuesday evening after seeing the Town Hall budget on March 30, morph into something different the next day.

     Interim Town Manager Clayton Carlisle, in his quest to save money and streamline Hopkinton government, had taken one position in both the Assessors and Planning Departments and placed them into a new Finance Department.

      Mr. Palmer and Dr. Duffy said they understood the concept, but not the method with which it was accomplished, which raised "public service and morale" issues. They asked the Selectmen to order the Town Manager to roll the budget back to the place it was before the departmental labor change that they were not consulted on. Town Planner, Elaine Lazarus, was also on hand to say things had been fine the way they were.

       Mr. Carlisle explained that he didn't take the hours away from the departments, just the payroll, which went into a new department line item he created for Finance. He explained that health and custodial services are not paid by each department, but by a different account.

      The Selectmen heeded the call of the attendees to roll back that change, and to the suggestion of Selectmen Vice-Chair Mary Pratt to begin at "square one" with the concept.

       Mrs. Pratt did not go away as happy as she would have liked when her fellow Selectmen deferred her appointment to a liaison position until until May 18, after the election.

       Selectman Michael Shepard, attending his last full meeting of the Board of Selectmen, said it would not look good from the public's perspective if the Board appointed a Selectman who is up for reelection, just before the election. Mr. Shepard decided not to seek reelection after serving one three-year term.

       "There will never be anyone who will do that job," snapped Mrs. Pratt.

       The Board, after hearing a suggestion from Selectman Matt Zettek, decided to ask Mrs. Lazarus if she would be the alternative appointee, on the same evening they discuss Mrs. Pratt's role.

       Attorney Doug Resnick appeared before the Board on behalf of the Garner Brothers who had an easement through the Pyne Property on Fruit Street before the Town bought it. They wish to memorialize the easement with a formal document that would allow the town to move the easement when it builds Fruit Street projects, but would also cost the town to repave the new road. The recommendation of this Article by the Selectmen will need a 2/3 vote at Town Meeting. On Tuesday evening, they decided to approve it contingent upon approval of Town Counsel, Ray Miyares.

        Department of Public Works Director JT Gaucher summed up the Town's sewer needs as $23.3 million, $8.9 of which has already been appropriated, but not spent.

        He said that the $4.57 million from the government announced today needed to be applied for by June 30, and that is the reason for the Article in the Special Town Meeting warrant.

        Selectman Chair Brian Herr reminded that the money is only part grant and part borrowing.

        The story below, from Senator Spilka's office says that 9% of the money will be grants and the rest will be a low interest, 2%, rate for borrowing.

         "You can get an SRF loan for 2%," said Mrs. Pratt.

         "So, you're not getting anything!"

Hopkinton 11, Bellingham 10

The Hillers defeated Bellingham today 11-10. They are 7-3 (7-1) in the Tri-Valley league. The picture is of Luke Haroian about to connect with a fastball. The Hillers take on Norton Wednesday at home at 3:45.

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Hopkinton to Receive Additional $4.57 million in Grants and Loans

for Water and Sewer Funding

Money added to previous $1 million CDAG grant

 

April 28, 2009  - Senator Karen Spilka (left) and Representative Carolyn Dykema announced today that Hopkinton will receive $4.57 million in State Revolving Fund (SRF) grants and loans for work on its proposed sewage treatment plant on Fruit Street.   The SRF Program, run by the Department of environmental protection, provides low interest loans to cities, towns, and other local governmental units for drinking water & wastewater-related infrastructure projects.

 

"In these tough times, it is essential that we keep our communities moving forward in their capacity to support economic development, and the money for the Fruit Street project will go a long way in ensuring that we as a state are doing that," stated Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.  "This is wonderful news for Hopkinton and for the MetroWest."

 

"We will see long-term dividends from this investment," stated Representative Carolyn Dykema (D-Holliston).  "These funds will create new jobs, jumpstart economic recovery and couldn’t have come at a better time.  It’s good news for Hopkinton, the region and the state." 

 

“We are very pleased to receive this much needed grant," stated Brian Herr, Hopkinton Board of Selectmen Chair.  "The infrastructure improvements planned at Fruit Street and the Milford connection project will help stabilize our tax base for the future and create new jobs in a challenging economy.  The timing is near perfect as the appeals process is winding down and we are ready to put shovels in the ground.  Our thanks go out to everyone that has worked with us to secure this funding.”

 

Currently, this project would receive 9% of its funding as a grant and the rest as a 2% loan, but there is a bill before the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies that would change these to 0% loans.  "As chair, I am working hard to get the bill ready to report out of committee so that these funds can be released," stated Spilka.

 

In addition, as part of the Massachusetts Recovery Plan to secure the state’s economic future, Hopkinton was one of four communities (Previous story), along with Lawrence, Fitchburg and Lowell, to receive Community Development Action Grants (CDAG) totaling $3.56 million.  The communities will receive funding for public infrastructure projects that promise to generate significant economic activity in each community.  Taken together, the grants will create more than 490 new local jobs and 160 affordable housing units.

 

In Hopkinton, $1 million in CDAG funds will build approximately 2,800 LF of new sewer line and connections along Elm Street to eliminate existing capacity problems and allow for residential and business growth, including the Lonza Biologics Inc. expansion.  The project will bring the following direct benefits to the community:  $110 million in private investment, a 12-unit affordable rental housing project proposed for downtown and 278 new management, professional, technical, skilled, and entry level jobs over the next two years.

 

Created as part of the Patrick Administration’s 2008 Housing Bond Bill, the CDAG program provides funding for publicly-owned or managed projects that improve the overall economic condition of a city or town.  CDAG grants are designed to support workforce and affordable housing needs across a range of incomes, create or retain long-term employment opportunities, and leverage significant private investment.

   

Boston Marathon Art and Design Competition Reception

 

There will be an artists' reception is this Saturday,  May 2, 2009 from 10: am to 11:30 am at the Ashland Community Center. 

 

The managers will be displaying the art and then drawing the names of 2 winners, 1 from each town for an iPod Nano 8GB video MP3 Player. 

 

Also, the ice cream coupons from Golden Spoon for all who entered will be distributed in the next couple of weeks.  Look at the Library for an exhibit of winning artwork in the coming week.  The prizes and certificates from the town will be given out at the Selectmen's meeting on Tuesday May 12 at 7:00 pm..  Any questions, please contact Susie Johnson at susie.johnson@commonmoves.com .

Sweet Home Solar System

by Mr. Evren Gunduz and Science Class

 

On April 14, 2009, Hopkinton Middle School Science Teacher Evren Gunduz received a Goldin Foundation for Excellence in Education Award, one of two Hopkinton teachers receiving it for their captivating teaching methods.

 

We've seen Elmwood teacher Patricia Diamond, the other recipient, and her growing orchestra at each meeting of he Eagles. Now, check out Mr. Gunduz playing a guitar as part of his innovative teaching methods.

Hopkinton is Full of Sunshine!

Coffee and Dessert

Honoring our Tireless Volunteers (that's you!!)


Special Guests: Senator Karen Spilka and
Representative Carolyn Dykema

***********************

 

Date:       Monday, May 4

When:     1:00 - 2:30 PM

Where:    Project Just Because, 45 South Street, Unit G

 

WE  HOPE  TO  SEE  YOU  THERE!

 

Cherylann Lambert-Walsh, President, Project Just Because, Inc.

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No Deaths in US from Swine Flu - 40 Cases in US, None in New England

Despite exaggerated media attention to the swine flu, there have been no cases in Massachusetts, or New England, for that matter. The following information is provided by Hopkinton resident Liisa Jackson, MA Region 4A Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Coordinator:

 

The US Centers for Disease Control is currently reporting only 40 confirmed cases, with no deaths, in the United States.  No cases have been reported in Massachusetts or New England.

 

MA Region 4A Medical Reserve Corps recommends the public take the following actions:  

  1. Continue to monitor the situation and listen for updates from local officials.

  2. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.

  3. Practice good "cough etiquette" by coughing or sneezing into a tissue or into your elbow instead of into your hands. Throw away tissues after use.

  4. Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

  5. If you get sick, stay home from work or school, consult with your Primary Care Physician, and limit contact with others to avoid infecting them.

Symptoms of influenza include: fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea.  

Swine influenza is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses. Outbreaks of swine flu happen regularly in pigs. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen.   Most commonly, human cases of swine flu happen in people who are around pigs but it is possible for swine flu viruses to spread from person to person as well. Swine flu is not transmitted by food and you cannot get swine flu by eating pork products.

 

Below is a hand-washing, germ-avoiding tutorial from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).