High Wire Act
February 19, 2011 — This tree fell onto the highest voltage electrical wires during the high winds on Saturday, closing Cedar Street for four hours.
Dr. Charles F. Bobeck, 82
- Dr. Charles F. Bobeck, 82, died Thursday,
February 17, 2011 in Northbridge. He was the husband of Marion (Lockhart), who
died January 22, 2011. Born in Clinton, he was the son of the late Joseph and
Elizabeth (Czulak) Bobeck.
Hopkinton 57, Dover-Sherborn 39
February 18, 2011 — Wesley Ericksen has the basket all to himself on Friday night against Dover-Sherborn.
Hopkinton 41, Dover-Sherborn 23
February 18, 2011 — Nichole Anagnostaras takes the path of the least resistance against Dover-Sherborn on Friday at home.
... Wind Advisory remains in
effect from 8 am Saturday to 2 am EST Sunday...
Weston Nurseries Hires Manager for New Chelmsford Garden Center
Hopkinton, MA, February 18, 2011 – Weston Nurseries Inc. announced today that they have hired Melissa Oothout to manage their second Garden Center in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.
Prior to her new role, Melissa was the annuals supervisor for Weston Nurseries in Hopkinton. “Through her knowledge and exceptional customer service skills, Melissa has done a tremendous job helping us become a destination for seasonal plants, vegetables, herbs, houseplants, container plantings, and floral arrangements. She is a very talented, hard working person who will bring a lot of energy to our second operation,” states Peter Mezitt, President of Weston Nurseries.
The Chelmsford Garden Center has a large greenhouse that will be used to grow and display annuals, hanging baskets, houseplants, and various other products. Melissa will oversee all production and purchasing of these plants for both locations.
"I live in Groton and am so excited to help bring Weston Nurseries to this neck of the woods. The new location is just enough off of the beaten path to make it a treasure that will be well worth finding. I am so excited to be a part of it and can’t wait to show it off!" – Melissa Oothout
The new garden center will officially open on March 1, 2011 with a Grand Opening celebration the weekend of Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1. The facility includes about 7,000 square feet of indoor shopping space, a 5000 square foot state-of-the-art greenhouse, and 2.5 acres of outdoor selling space and parking. The beautiful outdoor shopping area will be filled with a tremendous selection of premium trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, and edible plants. They will sell to both homeowners and landscape companies in the area. Deliveries, landscape design and installation services, and bulk deliveries of mulch and soils will also be offered.
The Weston Nurseries main location is 25 miles west of Boston in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Since 1923, they have been known by homeowners and trade professionals for their exceptional trees, shrubs, and perennials, including their own introductions of azaleas and rhododendrons. Their staff offers sound horticultural advice and landscape design to help customers beautify their landscape, enhance their lifestyle, and increase the value of their home.
Suspect Sought in Milford Armed Robbery
(Milford, MA.) On Friday February 18, 2011 at approximately 10:55 am Milford Police responded to 80 Main Street where there was a reported armed robbery by someone wearing a mask. Upon arrival at the crime scene it was learned that one subject wearing a mask described as a Scream Mask entered the store named Luzo Brazil Imports. The suspect went directly over to a male customer and began spraying him in the face forcing the customer to retreat from the store. The suspect also sprayed in the direction of the female clerk working in the store. The suspect then went directly behind the counter and reached into an area where the store’s cash was and took an undetermined amount of money. The suspect then fled the store. All available police units responded to the vicinity and immediately began searching for the suspect. Investigators quickly obtained information from an eyewitness identifying a possible vehicle involved where it was reported that the suspect was driven away by a second male subject. Investigators also found several pieces of evidence where the witness reported seeing the suspect. Investigators identified the two male subjects that were possibly involved and followed up the leads.
One person identified was contacted and voluntarily turned himself in at a relative’s home where he was picked up by an officer. In addition police recovered a car used to transport the suspect away. The car was brought to the police station for processing.
At the police station one of the suspects who voluntarily turned himself in to police was questioned. This person is charged with Being An Accessory After the Fact for his role and will be summons to court. He was identified as Francis Amero, age 30 of 30 East Street Milford Massachusetts.
As a result of the investigation a suspect has been identified as the person who committed the robbery and assaults and is being sought. An arrest warrant has been issued from Milford District Court for Valentino R. Papasodero, age 26 of 93 East Main Street Milford Massachusetts. He is charged with the following offenses: Armed Robbery while being masked and 2 counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (pepper spray).
Districting Plan Was Put on Shelf for 10 Years - Is a Drastic Change
I am writing regarding the new Fruit Street School and districting. I along with many other residents am trying to weigh all the information provided and make a decision factoring in many concerns. I have attended informational forums and still have many questions on whether this is the right choice for our town and student body. Let me start by saying that Center School does need to be addressed. How that will be addressed, is something I am still uncomfortable with. I do respect all the effort that the School Committee has put into this project. For me there was a misunderstanding on what the actual feasibility study meant. I was not aware that districting was locked into this proposal. The cost and savings laid out thus far have not provided enough detail to support such a drastic change to our community.
The $38 million dollars does not include funds to bring Elmwood and Hopkins to parity. There is an additional estimated $5 million that will have to be approved by an override at a later date. What is included in the $5 million for parity? The financial details need to be itemized for the community. Does $5 million include updating library collections, making sure there is adequate classroom and office furnishings, office supplies, technology, etc. through each district? If the override is not passed will funds be allocated unevenly amongst districts to help with parity? If not I can’t see how one district doesn’t become more desirable. How is parity funding going to be handled in the years to come?
In addition I clearly heard that parity as far as education has
not been ironed out at this time. Would enrichment after school programs be the
same across the three elementary districts? How would we address one district
having volunteer support to set forth a program that another district does not?
Programs such as Meeting of the Eagles, Wee Deliver, Math Tutor Task Force,
Field day, Marathon program 2nd and 3rd grade experience,
Mascots (Swoops for example). I know that these might seem like minor details,
but the end results will have major effects on our children. These programs are
not minor when considering a desirable district. The lack of a plan that assures
parents and tax payers that these important educational details will have parity
is unsettling to me.
How will the grant funds be allocated across three districts?
Will it be at the principals’ discretion as to what grants they accept for their
district? Is there a plan in the event that one district tests lower on MCAS?
How is that going to be communicated to the community? Can HPTA funds support
three districts? Has an evaluation been examined of any additional support
provided to the student body that is caught in the transitional gap when
districting is put into place? Has there been an evaluation of the additional
support that may need to be at the middle school when three districts merge as
one? All of this has a direct effect on our children’s educational experience
and the desire to live in one district over another.
I know that the SC at the senior center was quick to point out that this has been in the works since 2001. I respect the effort and time that they have spent; however the community and economy has changed. In 2001 I did not have children. The benefits as well as the drawbacks of our educational system were not known to me. It was also stated that all meetings are open to the public. As a parent and a resident I can appreciate that but with the same respect an issue as large as districting and its impact I would like to suggest a committee utilize open forum, email communication, local papers, local TV stations to notify residents such a large topic is being addressed. I would ask with all due respect that the SC, Board of Selectman, and Appropriation Committee stay open minded and welcome this community's (2011) input. It would only seem beneficial to taxpayers and the student body if we re-evaluated a plan that was established 10 years ago. Moving forward with a plan developed and tabled for 10 years seems to have unfortunately caused a miscommunication between the SC and much of the community.
211 Hayden Rowe
February 18, 2011
February 18, 2011 — Dustin Neece poses in front of a display at the National Museum of the Marine Corps on the weekend of the 66th anniversary of the beginning of the battle of Iwo Jima, where his painting "Honoring The Sprit" is on display honoring Hopkinton's veterans.
Below is a reprise of an HD video taken last year of some Hopkinton Iwo veterans on the 65th Anniversary of the landing prior to their visit to the State House to be honored for their participation.
Below, the arrow points to Hopkinton's Paul Phipps sitting on a beach on Iwo Jima, Mt. Suribachi in the background, while the only person standing plays a fiddle.
Fundraiser Pancake Breakfast Saturday, February 19, 2011 9-11 a.m.
Community Room of the Hopkinton Housing Authority
This year's Relay for Life in Hopkinton will be held starting Fri. night, May 20th thru Sat. morning May 21st on the HHS track. One team, the Yankee Doodlers, will hold its 1st fundraiser pancake breakfast tomorrow, Sat. Feb. 19th from 9-11 a.m. in the community room of the Hopkinton Housing Authority, 100 Davis Road (behind the police station). The cost is $5 per person and 100% of the profits will go directly to the American Cancer Society. Relay for Life is a national effort to raise money for research and new treatments so that we can help create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.
Residents Voice Opinions on FS School
Town to pay $23 million of the $38.5 million for school
by Heather Kelley
February 18, 2011 — Superintendent Jack Phelan released a draft of the 2011-2012 school calendar at last night’s School Committee meeting. Committee member Troy Mick raised three questions that he said he is often asked by parents about the school calendar: why does school start before Labor Day? Why are there so many early release days? And why are there two vacation breaks in the spring?
According to Phelan, the contracts with the teachers
govern the first day of school and the number of early release days. Mick
requested that the Committee, at a future date, check in with parents on their
feelings about keeping both vacation weeks, versus scaling back to only one
break and having school end a week earlier in the spring. Committee Chair
Rebecca Robak noted that the calendar includes Christian and Jewish holidays,
but none from other religious traditions, and questioned whether those days
typically see a high rate of absenteeism and might need to be considered for
days off from school. Finally, member Nancy Burdick suggested moving some early
release days so that they didn’t coincide with school weeks that already
contained a vacation day, and also noted that a day off was slated for Election
Day, but not for the Monday after Thanksgiving. Mick commented that parents
really appreciated having that day off from school. Phelan explained that the
School Resource Officer, Phil Powers, suggested that safety was a concern for
Election Day, with so many adults entering school property in order to vote,
with the result being the decision to not hold school that day.
Five residents took advantage of the School Committee meeting’s public comment period. Two voiced their opinions against the proposed new Fruit Street school, while the other three spoke out in favor of it. Chair Robak responded to one comment from a resident who was concerned that the new school would only benefit a third of the town. “Getting all of our students out of Center School benefits the entire town,” she said.
Chair Robak announced that the MSBA, the state
agency that helps fund schools in Massachusetts communities, will be paying for
44.7%* of the allowable costs of the proposed new Fruit Street school (excluded
costs include things such as infrastructure, e.g. roads needed on the site). The
town’s share will be $23 million of the estimated $38.5 million total cost of
the project. Robak said the town is looking at ways to structure the debt,
including extending out payments over 30 years instead of the usual 20 so that
more of the cost can be borne by new families coming into town and reaping the
benefit of the new school. They are waiting for the town to issue estimated
costs per household, and will have that information on the Hopkinton Elementary
School Building Project website as soon as it is available. Member Jean
Bertschmann encouraged residents to attend the next public forum on neighborhood
schools on Monday, March 7 at 6 pm in the Center School cafeteria.
Bertschmann also announced that the screening
committee for the Superintendent search has selected 5 candidates (from an
applicant pool of 30) to come to Hopkinton for the next step in the search
process. A community forum will be held in early March and will be open to the
Alan Keller, the principal of the Middle School, came before the School Committee with two items on his agenda. He sought and received approval for the fall 2011 sixth grade trip to Nature’s Classroom, a week-long residential science-based program. The trip is slated for October 17-21 and is expected to cost students $325 for transportation, meals, lodging, and programming. Financial scholarships are available to those in need. Keller also received approval for a plan designed to bring the Middle School out of its “restructuring” classification for its failure to make adequate yearly progress for the special education sub-group of MCAS math scores. “We meet adequate yearly progress in the aggregate.” Superintendent Phelan stated. To raise the scores of the special education students, the school has revised and clarified its goals, and has undertaken professional development for all of its math and special education teachers in the teaching of math to special education students.
Continuing their efforts to re-examine all School Committee policies, the School Committee considered five policies at their meeting, including ones dealing with student drug and alcohol use, and the physical restraint of students. The Committee finalized and approved their updates to the policy concerning gifts to and between school employees. Recent changes to state ethics laws require teachers to report all gifts received that cost more than $10 (gifts over $50 in value are not allowed, except when given to the classroom). Concerned that teachers would be burdened with the cataloging and disclosure of gifts received from students, the Committee put a question out to teachers – would they rather there be a policy of no gifts to teachers at all? The vote came back, and while Dr. Mary Colombo, Assistant Superintendent, said the vote was close, in the end the teachers opted to deal with the red tape and to continue to accept tokens of appreciation from parents and students.
* The town will be paying nearly 60% of the actual cost of the school. - Editor
Golden Pond Moves Forward
"He [Owner Kerry Kunst] looks forward to putting a shovel in the ground soon." -Attorney Wayne Davies
February 18, 2011 — The Board of Appeals, hearing an appeal of the Planning Board's approval of the Golden Pond Resident Care site plan, a robust expansion of floor space in two phases, upheld and modified the site plan in their decision Thursday evening.
The Board deleted the condition of the Planning Board that the Applicant construct a dedicated travel lane, a major point of the appeal.
In addition to several other changes, the Board of Appeals deleted the Planning Board's requirement that the Applicant construct two sidewalks, as well as design one for further up the street.
"My client is very pleased with the Board of Appeals decision to uphold the Site Plan Approval and to make the modifications they did," said attorney for the Applicant, Wayne Davies following the meeting.
"He [Kerry Kunst] looks forward to putting a shovel in the ground soon."
File photo of first expansion phase, named 2 of 3.
Five Candidates Make Short List for Hopkinton School Superintendent Position
From the School
The Hopkinton School Committee is pleased to announce that the Superintendent Search Screening Committee has identified five outstanding candidates for further consideration by the School Committee for the position of Superintendent of Schools. The thirteen member Screening Committee included representation from the School Committee, the district’s administrative office, building level administration, teachers, community representatives, students, and parents.
Mr. James Jolicoeur is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership at Northeastern University. He holds an MBA from Nichols College, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Clark University. He is currently the Assistant Superintendent for Marlborough Public Schools. He has previously served as Business Manager and Assistant Superintendent, Finance and Operations for Sutton Public Schools, and has been a faculty member with Quinsigamond Community College for many years. He began his career in the private sector, in the accounting, banking, and management consulting fields.
Dr. Karen LeDuc holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Studies from Lesley University, a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Lesley College, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Framingham State College. She is currently the Assistant Superintendent for Natick Public Schools. She has previously served as Literacy Specialist and Mathematics Curriculum Coordinator for Framingham Public Schools. She began her career as a Grade 6 mathematics and literacy teacher and as a Grade 6-10 Title I teacher.
Dr. Stephen Russell holds a Doctor of Education in Educational Administration from Boston University. He also holds a Master of Education/Guidance degree and a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education from the University of New Hampshire. He is currently the Superintendent for Dartmouth Public Schools. He has previously served as Superintendent the Gilford, NH Public Schools, as well as the NH School Administrative Unit (SAU) #30. He also previously served as Assistant Superintendent for NH SAU #30, and Principal of NH SAU #15. He began his career as a Grade 6-8 guidance counselor in the Barnstable school system.
The finalists will visit the district between February 28th and March 2, and will be interviewed by the School Committee at the conclusion of those visits. Dr. Landman will come to Hopkinton on Monday, February 28. Dr. Wilson and Dr. LeDuc will come to Hopkinton on Tuesday, March 1. Mr. Jolicoeur and Dr. Russell will come to Hopkinton on Wednesday, March 2. The visits will include a tour of each school and meetings with administrators, faculty, staff members, parent representatives and members of the community.
A community forum is also planned for March 8 or March 9 to give interested parents and community members the opportunity to meet with the finalists. The School Committee plans to announce its selected candidate for the position of Superintendent of Schools on March 10, 2011.
A final schedule of interviews and community forums will be announced as soon as dates are finalized. For more information, please visit the Superintendent Search Page on the Hopkinton Public School District website: www.hopkinton.k12.ma.us .
Massachusetts State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section, along with
Springfield Police and
State troopers, marshals and officers this morning
found RUBEN PEREZ, 21, hiding inside a kitchen cabinet in his grandmother's
PEREZ was arrested on a warrant charging him with assault and battery on a child with injury; aggravated assault and battery; and assault and battery. He was booked at the Springfield Police Station.
The State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension
Section began looking for PEREZ at the request of the Chicopee Police
The State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section, along with local police and US marshals, checked several addresses for PEREZ before finding him at his grandmother's.
Districting and Why it’s Not Right for Hopkinton
I am writing this letter to express my opposition to districting in our town. While I truly believe our town needs a new school for our Kindergarten and First Grade children, I am forced to vote “No” at this point in time, due to the fact that districting is tied to it. I am concerned that people may not fully realize how much this change will negatively affect our community.
While I have many reasons for being against districting in a town of our size, I am going to focus on a few key points: how this will divide our town, the huge transition in the 6th grade, and how other towns our size with great schools are not districted.
I grew up with districting, and I am not blind to the fact that many towns, based on size, require this type of configuration. Where I grew up, one district was deemed the best, and therefore the other districts were viewed as being subpar. While Hopkinton has nice houses all over town, we are kidding ourselves if we believe one of the three districts will not be deemed as the best. Whether the criteria will be that it has the newest school, the best teachers, the best principal, or the best MCAS scores, it’s only human nature that one district will be perceived as being best. After that perception becomes widely spread, we will be a divided town.
At that point in time, we have three districts “competing” for the same funds. How will one district get funding for something desperately needed, when two thirds of the town will no longer care about it? We would all love to believe that the good people of Hopkinton will always vote for the “right thing” but in a tough economy, it’s only natural to vote for one’s self interest. The concept of districting is already dividing our town, and I hate to see what would happen when 3 districts are in place.
My second major concern is that with districting, there will be a huge transition into middle school. Currently when our children reach middle school they go to a new school, but with the same friendly faces they’ve known over the past six years. It’s not a building that makes you feel secure, it’s the people that are in it. Sixth grade is a tough year for kids to have such a huge transition. And what if the town’s population changes, are we forced to then change the districting lines, as has occurred in other towns in Massachusetts? That would be extremely hard on those kids and families that are affected.
The last point I want to make is that those in support of districting are comparing us to other towns. Medfield and Southborough are two great towns, similar to us in that they have the same configuration as we do. While other towns, such as Wayland and Sudbury do have districts, that is not necessarily what makes them great. There are many, many factors that make a school great. I do not think we can assume it’s because they have districts.
In summary, I am truly scared of what districting would do to our cohesive, happy community. It’s very unfortunate that we are put into a situation that many of us will be forced to vote “No” this March. I hope I have another chance to vote for a new school that children from all parts of Hopkinton will attend, as there are many alternate options that enable longer grade spans without the concept of districting.
20 Breakneck Hill Road
February 17, 2011
HOPKINTON AFFORDABLE HOUSING TRUST FUND BOARD CANDIDATES SOUGHT
The Board of Selectmen voted at its February 15, 2011 meeting to seek candidates for membership on the Hopkinton Affordable Housing Trust Fund Board, in accordance with the Hopkinton General Bylaw, Ch. V, Article VII sec. 5: 27-28.
The Board of Trustees shall consist of five (5) trustees and shall be appointed by the Board of Selectmen and shall include one (1) member of the Board of Selectmen. The members of the Board of Trustees are designated as public agents for the purposes of the constitution of the Commonwealth. The initial terms of the trustees shall be staggered as one (1) or two (2) year terms. All terms thereafter shall be for two (2) years.
The purpose of the Hopkinton Affordable Housing Trust is to provide for the creation and preservation of affordable housing in Hopkinton for the benefit of low-and moderate-income households. More information regarding the Powers and Duties of the Hopkinton Affordable Housing Trust is available on the Town’s website at www.hopkinton.org, to the Town Clerk’s Office and then under Hopkinton Bylaws. For more information regarding this Hopkinton Affordable Housing Trust Fund Board, please contact Elaine Lazarus, Director of Land Use, Planning and Permitting Department, at 508-497-9755 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please submit letters of interest to the Selectmen’s Office, Town Hall, 18 Main Street, or to Geri Holland at Geri@hopkinton.org by Noon on March 23, 2011.
Dr. Charles F. Bobeck, 82
HOPKINTON - Dr. Charles F. Bobeck, 82, died Thursday, February 17, 2011 in Northbridge. Funeral arrangements, entrusted to the Callanan Cronin Funeral Home are incomplete at this time.
From the Radical Middle
Legalize, Regulate, Tax
by Robert Falcione
February 17, 2011 — The recent decriminalization of the possession of marijuana under one ounce has brought with it unintended consequences that police officers warned about before the measure passed at the ballot. Decriminalization would remove their leverage in getting the really bad guys, the ones dealing marijuana, as well as the ones dealing the really, really bad stuff. Well, their predictions have come true.
When possession of marijuana for personal use was a crime, and they caught your 16 year-old with a lit pipe, a baggie hanging out of his pocket, and a Hostess cupcake smeared on his face because he couldn't get it in his mouth fast enough to satisfy the munchies, the cops could bring the youngster into the the box and offer him a reduced charge if he would be good enough to let them know his source. Most started chatting like they were in the confessional after guzzling three pints of Starbucks. Usually, the reduced sentence offered freedom with probation, whereas the other sentence, the one reserved for those who refused to snitch, threatened a loss of freedom. A 16 year-old is no dummy. He chose freedom, and the cops could leverage his testimony against the dealer; or at least use that intelligence to penetrate the ring. But that has changed.
The dealers now have a buffer from the police, because there is no threat of prosecution when the youngster gets caught with a small amount of pot that they are keeping for their personal use. Therefore, the dealers have become greater in numbers, and even more emboldened, carrying with them what could be called a parent's worst nightmare, crack and heroin. Even the "pot" is more dangerous, because some of it isn't really pot.
There is synthetic pot on the streets. In addition, some dealers use chemical additives to pot that add confusion to a high, making the user think he just bought some really potent weed. And then there is counterfeit pot that kids sell their acquaintances after taking mom's potpourri off of the bathroom countertop and crushing the colorful stuff to prepare it for sale, calling it purple or red something-or-other.
For skeptics, a story in the MWDN today could not have come at a more fortuitous time for the purposes of this argument. The story is of the alleged: flight of a young man from a routine traffic stop in what sounds like the video game Grand Theft Auto come-to-life, his resisting arrest after the low-speed pursuit, and the very happy grin he displays, facial scrapes and all, in his mug shot. He had in his vehicle, according to the story, a bag of potpourri known to be smoked by people who like to get high on pot.
Furthermore, kids are also being sold potpourri by unscrupulous peers, and they are smoking it thinking it is marijuana. No one knows the long-term effects of smoking wood and plastic products, deodorizer, and other unknown substances in the same breath. But they can't be good.
Why legalize, regulate and tax? The three go hand in hand.
As it stands, the distribution system of marijuana is linked to the same one that distributes crack and heroin — criminals. Granted, the kid that sells the 16 year-old pot may not have crack with him; in fact he may not even sell it. But somewhere up the chain, and not that far up, is the guy with the crack, or the guy with the heroin, and he associates with him. This is really bad stuff. They are life-changing drugs. Ask anyone who grew up in the Sixties if they knew any heroin addicts. They never get over it.
Somewhere up the chain of distribution is the guy or guys with the box of cash and the guns. This is where the trail leads from the 17 year-old kid whose after school job is to sell the 16 year-old $10 worth of pot. It is in the news all of the time. Everyone has seen photos of the guns lined up next to the box of cash. When the cops burst in and get the drop on the bad guys, they find hidden, loaded automatic pistols at the ready. This is the hierarchy of drug dealing.
It needs to be stopped.
It is high time, pardon the pun, to get this plant into legal distribution, much like alcohol, so it can be mostly kept out of the hands of school children, and the criminals who sell it to them. Oh, sure, a lot of kids will grab some of their parents' stash, just like they skim off the top of Dad's bottle of vodka now, but it would be less likely that the underground of criminals would continue to reap such profits, effectively putting them out of business. Does anyone make a living selling homemade brew to kids? The answer is "no."
It is doubtful that "straight" society will change much.
I don't envision anyone's Nana sparking up a blunt after cooking Thanksgiving dinner and then filling her mouth with aerosol Ready Whip while laughing hysterically at George Carlin jokes. Okay, maybe a little.
Sell it at stores that sell alcohol so it can be regulated and sold to limited ages (+21?). And tax the stuff.
Develop a breathalyzer-type of bloodstream THC detector for drivers under the influence of marijuana.
Take the control of your children away from the drug dealers.
This will undoubtedly occur at some point in our future.
The more quickly that future arrives, the more kids will be rescued from the current black hole of drug culture and the poisons associated with it.
As always, comments on this or any subject are welcome on the HopNews Town Talk page.
NEADS Weekend Puppy Raiser Info Event
DATE: February 19, 2011
Want to help
give the gift of independence and freedom to a disabled person?
The Big Biscuit
116 Mechanic St.
Bellingham, Massachusetts 02019
Southborough Boy Scout Troop 1 is holding its annual Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, March 6th at Neary School cafeteria from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are $5.00 for adults, and $3.00 for seniors and children 6 to 12 years old. Kids under 5 eat free! Proceeds help fund scout activities including summer camp, various community service projects and the the troop’s Big Trip to Alaska which is scheduled for this summer.
Registration and fundraising are now open for the 8th Annual Sharon Timlin Memorial Event scheduled for Saturday, June 18, 2011.
Registration and fundraising at: www.sharontimlinrace.org
Silent Auction - Community Covenant Church Hopkinton is holding a Silent Auction Saturday March 12 through Sunday March 13. Bidding will be open on the 12th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Bidding resumes on the 13th at 11:30 am and closes at 1:00 pm. Items to be auctioned include handcrafted items, jewelry, baked goods, professional services and gift cards. 2 W. Elm St. Hopkinton, Exit 21B off 495.
State Police-FBI Task Force Arrests Bank Rob Suspect Who Fired Gun in
- February 16, 2011 -
Troopers and agents, along with officers
from several local departments, arrested ANTHONY HAMILTON, 24, in an
The VCBR Task Force, which is comprised of
FBI agents and Massachusetts State Police troopers, then searched the
apartment and found a loaded handgun under a bed in the room from which
On December 16, 2010,
Police, armed with a warrant for
Troopers and agents were assisted by
officers from the
Additional Planning Board Seat Open Due to Coolidge Resignation
FY '16 Debt Service Estimated at $11million
by Muriel Kramer
February 16, 2011 — The Board of Selectmen meeting kicked off with more public comment about the new elementary school initiative; resident Glen Layton spoke to the concern he has that many people do not fully understand that the new school initiative is not simply a replacement for Center School, but a pre-k to grade 5 school on Fruit Street that then sets the ball in full motion to district the town with three elementary schools each serving grades K to 5. The School Committee plan calls for Hopkins, Elmwood and the new school at Fruit Street to serve grades K-5 with all children coming together at the Middle School for Grade 6.
The School Department and School Committee have maintained all along that they will move forward with plans to district the school system whether or not the new elementary school at Fruit Street gets funding support from Town Meeting voters in March.
Worried that residents will not support the new school as proposed, Layton states in his letter, “We have no fall back plan to keep the project alive. Although we spent over $380,000 on a feasibility study for this project looking at 13 alternatives, what was missing was a replacement K-1 option and a K-3 option. In order to attempt to save MSBA funding we need to address a Plan B and start the conversation for seeking additional funds from the town to support a revision to the study. Maybe then we can provide a fully justified response to the MSBA within 10 days.”
The Special Town Meeting is set for March 21st and the ballot vote will be held March 28th to decide whether the town voters will support funding the new school as proposed for Fruit Street. If the either of the votes fail, the Elementary School Building Committee (ESBC) has 10 days to respond to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) on why they think the initiative failed to get necessary voter support and what it might take to get the necessary support; the MSBA then decides whether the project stays in line for current funds or has to start over with a new proposal.
The MSBA did approve grant funding to support the new school at its February 9th meeting; they are committed to reimbursing at 43.7% or perhaps 1% higher should the ESBC vote to use the CM at risk strategy. The Town’s share of the funding is estimated at $23.5 million. Other associated future costs include necessary maintenance and upkeep at Elmwood School estimated between $3-12 million; these funds are necessary independent of the new school initiative. Additionally to bring Hopkins and Elmwood into direct parity for grades K-5 with the newest school that would cost a few million dollars more according to Selectman Ben Palleiko. He emphasized that direct parity or, “all the bells and whistles”, was not necessary to achieve the School Department’s districting plan. There are no current substantive cost estimates available for rehabbing Center School for other future uses.
Layton is not the only resident that has come forward to express concerns specifically with the plans to have districted elementary schools. Kim Brennan addressed the School Committee on February 3 noting in part, “To date, I have not been able to find compelling data, test scores, studies, or other information that suggest districting would clearly offer our students a better educational model in our rural town of approximately 1,500 elementary school students.”
Additionally she is concerned that the costs to district the system have not been fully researched and disclosed and points out that the plan to implement districting has not been formalized and shared with the residents. “There is a fundamental gap in how the SC is proposing to implement districting. I understand that while there are no hard and fast guidelines or policies that must be followed when introducing districting within a town, there are certainly recommendations to implementing districting in an effective manner to allow for the smoothest and most successful implementation. The first and foremost piece is community input. I know you heard about this on Monday, but while you have stated that this has been in discussions since 2001, the reality is that the public has not truly been invited (at least in the last 6 years that my oldest child has been in school) to participate in any open forum to discuss the real possibility of moving our town to districts.”
In other business, John Mosher commented on an article in the Municipal Advocate citing Somerville as the fittest city in America. The article highlights some of what it takes to start a healthier living program including painted crosswalks & bike lanes, sidewalks, traffic calming measures, walking trails, community gardens, rezoning measures to promote mixed use & walkability, healthier guidelines for school food services, and healthier snacks in vending machines in schools & town buildings. As liaison to the Board of Health, Mosher approached Public Health Administrator Ed Wirtanen about looking into ways to help Hopkinton be a healthier community as well.
Current Planning Board member John Coolidge has announced his resignation from the Planning Board effective May 9, 2011; recognizing John’s long service to the Planning Board and town government, Coolidge has been on the Planning Board over 25 years, Selectman John Mosher made a point of thanking John for his commendable service. The remaining 2 years on John Coolidge’s unexpired term will be on the upcoming May Town Election Ballot; interested residents should take out nomination papers at the Town Clerk’s office or run for a place on the ballot at either the Democratic or Republican Town Caucus scheduled for April 8th.
The budget update provided by Finance Director Heidi Kriger and Town Manager Norman Khumalo included detail that Receipts and Expenses for FY11 are largely on track. The upcoming budget process to date for FY12 is currently showing an increase from FY11 of just under $2.3 million. General Government accounts for nearly $100,000 of that increase, Public Safety nearly $230,000, Education nearly $900,000, Public Service/Human Service/Culture & Recreation nearly $139,000 and Miscellaneous (Employee Benefits) nearly $1.2 million. This percentage increase also accounts for a debt service reduction of approximately $240,000 for FY12 as existing debt is retired.
Looking ahead to include some perspective for future debt, Capital Improvements Committee Chairman Mike Duffy introduced potential debt impacts for projects currently projected by the various departments. Capital Improvements maintains a 10 year schedule for capital projects; these projects have not yet been approved by the voters. The final debt impact will be decided by the voters when they address the projects for funding at STM in March (the new elementary school) and ATM in May (all other projects with the possible exception of library expansion and improvements). If all proposed projects are approved, the debt & interest payments projection for FY12 is just over $6 million, FY13 just over $8 million, FY14 nearly $10 million, FY15 nearly $10.3 million and FY16 just over $11 million. The debt service appropriation for FY11 is $6,233,411. File photo.
Volunteer Opportunities Abound
Nancy L. Drawe
February 16, 2011 —
Valentine’s Day at the
Have you been hanging
around at home this winter without having much to do and wishing you
could meet new people or see old friends? Well, there’s lots of great
opportunities to volunteer at the center. For instance, if you like
gardening, they need help in the greenhouse checking the plants and
watering them. It’s a perfect chance to show off that green thumb of
yours! There’s also a volunteer need in the thrift shop, dining room,
kitchen, greeters, etc. There’s something for just about everyone, and
you do not have to be a senior to volunteer. Call the center and speak
to Volunteer Coordinator Ellen Wright and she’ll give you all the
information about the volunteer program. Come on everyone, Rock On and
come join the fun at the
There’s also another
great volunteer opportunity—the Meals on Wheels program. They need
drivers to pick up the meals in
Can you believe that we’re halfway through the month of February? Let’s hope we don’t get any more of these huge snowstorms and that spring is right around the corner. Stay tuned for fun happenings in March. A little heads up…St. Patrick’s Day will be upon us very soon!
That’s it for now, so if you have any comments or suggestions, you can email me: Punkala@aol.com. Until next time, have a great week!
Hopkinton 75, Ashland 68
February 16, 2011 — Graham Eagan executes a layup for two last night against Ashland.
Hopkinton 53, Ashland 47
February 16, 2011 — Lindsey Doucette is head and shoulders above the rest last night as the girls won over Ashland.
Rep. Dykema Named Legislator of the Year by
February 15, 2011 — Today, Representative Carolyn Dykema (D-Holliston) was honored to receive the Legislator of the Year Award from the Massachusetts Veterans Service Officers Association (MA VSOA)
“I’m very honored to receive this award,” said Representative Dykema. “Veterans Service Officers are on the front lines, every day, advocating for our veterans and their families. I’m proud to be working alongside them to support the men and women who have served our country in uniform.”
Rep. Dykema was a co-sponsor and advocate for passage of the Veterans Home of the Brave bill that was signed by Governor Patrick in 2009. Provisions in the bill will increase housing and employment supports for returning service members . She also serves as a member of the Joint Committee on Veterans & Federal Affairs and on the Subcommittee on Access to Veterans Healthcare Services which held statewide hearings this past session.
“Having the legislature and a Representative like Representative Dykema helping Veterans in this Commonwealth is a great, great support and hopefully Veterans understand and know that,” said Sidney Chase, the former Director of Veterans Services in Cape Cod and a member of MA VSOA.
“This is a fitting tribute to Representative Dykema for her tireless efforts on behalf of the Commonwealth’s veterans,” said Secretary of Veterans’ Services Coleman Nee. “It is an honor to work with Representative Dykema and we are extremely grateful for her continued support both in the community and in the Massachusetts legislature."
Each city and town in Massachusetts has a local veteran service officer that is available to meet with veterans and provide assistance and support. Representative Dykema’s staff is available to provide additional support for local veterans and VSOs in securing veterans benefits. Veterans in need of assistance can find their local VSO on town websites or can contact Representative Dykema’s office at 617-722-2210. Contributed content.
Our February beFREE! Coalition Meeting is Tuesday, February 15 from 7:00 - 8:30
High School Room A110
All are welcome!
7:00 - 8:30 Drug Free Community Grant
- Coalition Involvement Agreements (CIAs)
- Review proposed prevention strategies
We always meet the 3rd Tuesday of the month except for April where the date conflicts with April vacation. So the future dates are:
Tuesday March 15, Tuesday April 26, Tuesday May 17, Tuesday June TBD
Vacating Downtown building
February 14, 2011 — Ciao Time Restaurant will be feeding the faithful for only eleven more days, targeting February 25, 2011 as their last day of fresh salads, shepherds pie, and other comfort foods.
The restaurant, run by Denise Griben with the help of family members, including her husband Andre, opened in the fall of 2007 after working out of her home for ten years doing catering and delivering ready-made meals to clients every Monday, meals that could be eaten — or frozen for the rest of the week.
The entrepreneurial bug hit again, and Denise found the building at 28 Main Street being vacated by Maria's Caffe Italiano, which moved to a short-lived stint on South Street, where the Marathon Restaurant is now located, and took advantage of the opening. Her two boys, high school students at the time, helped Mom and Dad when they first opened, but now, both are away at college with studies other than culinary.
But this winter was the killer, Denise says, with storm after storm keeping people from going out except for essential purposes. She agrees that if a storm keeps a diner away from the restaurant, they don't come in the next day and order two meals to make up for it. Add that to a lack of interest in Downtown businesses, and that is a recipe for failure, she says.
In addition to saying thanks to her longstanding patrons, Denise will be selling off her equipment and furniture on the last weekend of their stay, February 26 and February 27, 2011, to the public. The building owner, she said, has been putting the property up for sale, and will not lease to another business in the meantime. But Denise is not through!
After closing her restaurant, Denise plans to work as a personal chef, travelling to approved public kitchens and private homes offering her universally acclaimed catering menu to new and existing clients. She expects to meet with her webmaster this week to develop the new website offerings, which will be linked from HopNews.
File photos, 2007-2011
Tax Relief Opportunities
There are several options available through the Town of Hopkinton for real estate tax relief:
√ Elderly Exemptions
√ Senior or Surviving Spouse
√ Disabled Veterans
√ Tax Deferral
Contact the Assessor’s Office to speak with Liz (508-497-9720) or email email@example.com to learn if you qualify.
The Town of Hopkinton offers a Senior Work Off program. Eligible residents receive real estate tax credits in exchange for services rendered to the town.
Please call Cindy Chesmore (508-497-9730) to inquire about your eligibility.
The town also offers relief through the Tax Relief Committee. Please call Terry Rice (508-497-3937) to inquire about your eligibility.
Pack 4 Pinewood Derby 2011 Winners
Cub Scout Pack 4 held it's annual Pinewood Derby on Friday night at Hopkins School. Winners included (left to right) Nate Morrissey (1st place), Nick DePatie (3rd place), Patrick Barnes (2nd place) and Colin Davan (first place in Tiger division). For more photos, go to www.Pack4hopkinton.org.
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