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Geese Tales

April 24, 2011 — The mother Canada goose remains in her nest at the base of the tree on the island most of the time, while her mate swims around Ice House Pond on West Main Street, eating underwater veggies and honking at intruders. Unlike the previous four photos, here, the gander rushes to the shore to see if the human has a handout. This follows many days of people throwing food from the gazebo to the previously shy bird.


Committee Member Pitches New Library


I am essentially astounded at the recent vote by the Hopkinton Historic Commission.   We have had so many meetings on this project and have responded in good faith to all of the input to  improve the design that we heard and understood reflected the wishes and desires of the community -  including the unanimous positive vote from the HDC back in January. The project is the same now as it was in January when they voted. It seems bizarre that they would now, 3 months later, vote against the project. What is next? In another 3 months will they vote in favor of it? Hard to predict.


However the key points that they talk about are kind of historically contradictory. If one compares the scale of the buildings that existed in the downtown 80 to 100 years ago – 4 to 5 story large wood framed buildings along Main Street – to the relatively small scale buildings and open spaces there now these would appear to be out of character with the previous historic character of the downtown.  How do you selectively identify the historic character of an area – is it right now with the exclusion of other historic precedents? Do we always want to limit any needed improvements with only what is and what should never be? I think we are a more mature and forward thinking community than that.


Contrary to their statement – I believe the streetscape and the entire Historic District as well as the downtown and the town as a whole would be significantly enhanced by the new library. We would finally have a building that is in scale with a downtown and would provide the essential spaces and services that a modern library possesses and that we have suffered without for over 40 years. And I dare say that the current neighbors would be the ones that would most benefit from the expanded library and would most likely be very frequent users of a library that really responds to our current and future needs.


Hopkinton currently has the distinction of having one of the smallest and inaccessible libraries in the Commonwealth (of towns of our population there are only 2 smaller than us with 102 larger and with the average size library for a community our size ranging between 16,000 and 20,000 SF).  Ashland and Northborough – both communities the same size as Hopkinton – just recently completed additions/renovations to their libraries totaling 22,800 SF and 26,000 SF respectively.


Do we need an expanded library? Definitely! Did the majority of residents want it to be built at the same site as the existing? Definitely! Is the design in keeping with and complementary to the existing building? Definitely! Will this library be a strategic component to downtown revitalization? Definitely!


It would be very sad if the town did not take advantage of the opportunity to obtain up to 50% of the funding for a desperately needed new library – an opportunity that may not come again in our lifetime.


Imagine 20, 30 or 50 years from now when our children’s children are using this expanded library and appreciating the forward thinking decisions that we have the opportunity to make now – seems pretty obvious.


Scott Richardson

Hopkinton Permanent Building Committee


Personal Space

April 23,l 2011 — This lone duck enjoyed some solitude and a long bath in Firehouse Pond across from the Woodville Fire Station today under the cover of some cherry blossoms and budding trees.

Library Trustee Calls Actions of Historical District Commission Unprofessional*


Can you imagine my surprise when I read the press release from the Hopkinton District Commission (HDC) regarding the library building project?  Early in the planning process, the Permanent Building Committee (PBC) voluntarily contacted the HDC to inform you about our work and gain your input regarding this important project. In January, your committee issued a letter in support of the library (please see attached letter dated January 17).


I am shocked and disappointed that you held a meeting on Thursday night, April 21, to discuss and vote on the library project without notifying us. We did not know you were reconsidering your position. As a professional courtesy, I think you should have extended us the opportunity to attend your meeting, make a formal presentation, listen to your comments and answer questions. I think your actions were unprofessional and demonstrate total disregard for interdepartmental collaboration and communication.


Within two-and-a-half hours of the start of your 7 p.m. meeting on April 21, you sent a detailed letter to the Board of Selectmen and the media announcing your decision not to support the library project and the rezoning article. You did not notify us. What was the rush? Are press releases standard HDC practice?


I understand that it is your responsibility to weigh in on projects within the Historic District and make decisions that uphold local requirements and serve Hopkinton’s best interests. However, I think the process you used last night is flawed and inappropriate. Given the good will we demonstrated in voluntarily pulling you into our library planning process, I think we deserved the same consideration in return.


Marie Eldridge

Hopkinton Permanent Building Committee

Library Trustee

* This email letter was addressed to Michael Girardi, but additionally sent to 18 CCs, which included members of the press.

Busy Corner

April 23, 2011 — Elisabeth Kistner and dad Clifford wave to the camera from Elisabeth's colorful and professional looking lemonade stand on West Main Street and Elm today. Money made today is going toward leukemia/lymphoma cures.

Trustee, Building Committee Member Requests Historical District Commission Reconsider Vote


As a Library Trustee, and member of the Permanent Building Committee for the Library Project, I was stunned by the press release this morning from the  Hopkinton Historic Commission announcing its reversal of its support for an improved library.

In January, Hopkinton Historical Commission issued a letter in support of the library design (please see attached letter dated January 17, 2011).  At no time did HCC advise the Permanent Building Committee or Trustees that it was reconsidering its support of the library project.

The Permanent Building Committee and Trustees were never informed that HCC was scheduled to discuss the library project on April 21.  Given the importance of this topic and its impact on the future of the library, we think it necessary & proper that the Permanent Building Committee, Library Trustees and Town Facilities Director be contacted, and provided the opportunity to make a presentation. 

I respectfully request that Hopkinton Historical Commission reconsider its action on April 21. I also request that HHC schedule another meeting that will allow the Permanent Building Committee and Library Trustees to attend and make a presentation regarding the library project. 

Laura Barry


April 23, 2011 — This self-defined farm stand on Hayden Rowe Street is progressing quite well.


Easter Bunny Meet and Greet Moved to Hopkinton Drug

Due to predicted inclement weather, The Parks and Recreation’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt will be cancelled for

Saturday, 4-23-11.

The events sponsor, Hopkinton Drug Store, invites you to meet the Easter Bunny at their store on Main Street.

It starts at 11:00 AM and treats will be given to those who attend.


Historic District Commission Unanimously Says NO to Support for

Library Rezoning and Design

Urges Selectmen and citizens to vote NO


April 22, 2011 — In a letter to Selectmen, all members of the Historic District Commission have come out against not only the rezoning of properties adjacent to library property, but against the robust design as well.

       Their complaints against the zoning change from Residential to Downtown Business center around the "inappropriate scale and character" of the project. They also believe "the streetscape of the Town Common area and the entire Historic District will be negatively impacted..."

     They have added their voices to those of abutters who have formed a neighborhood group after not being notified by the study committee of the changes to the area surrounding their properties. The neighbors have also complained that the conceptual plan omits their homes, but instead shows lawn and trees, and does not allow enough parking..


     The letter from the Commission follows:


Town of Hopkinton Board of Selectmen April 21, 2011

Town Hall

18 Main Street

Hopkinton, MA 01748


Dear Selectmen:


The Hopkinton Historic District Commission has voted unanimously not to support Article 49: Amend Zoning Map: Library Parcels and Article 53: Library Project Preliminary Design as listed in the Town Warrant for the Annual Town Meeting. Although the Commission issued a letter of support for the previously submitted “Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners 2011 Construction Grant Application for the Hopkinton Public Library”, the Commission has serious concerns with the Hopkinton Public Library Expansion Project as currently proposed.

The Commission has voted unanimously not to support Article 49: Amend Zoning Map: Library Parcels for the following reasons:

  • the vote for rezoning comes prior to the vote for approval of Article 53: Library Project Preliminary Design, thereby providing a permanent zoning change regardless of the parcel’s final disposition,

  • the change in zoning permits the inappropriate scale and character of the proposed project by decreasing setback requirements and increasing lot coverage,

  • the proposed rezoning from a historically residential neighborhood to Downtown Business will permanently alter the character of the District and its surrounding areas.

The Commission has voted unanimously not to support Article 53: Library Project Preliminary Design for the following reasons:

  • the proposed scale of the expansion is not compatible with the surrounding buildings,

  • the scale of the proposed library is disproportionate to the mass of the original historic library building,

  • the project’s lot coverage is excessive in relation to the surrounding properties,

  • the appropriate setback and lot coverage requirements are not met for the current Residence A zoning,

  • the streetscape of the Town Common area and the entire Historic District will be negatively impacted by the intrusion of the proposed structure.

We recommend that the Board of Selectmen and the citizens of Hopkinton not support Article 49: Amend Zoning Map: Library Parcels and Article 53: Library Project Preliminary Design. In terms of character, size, and scale, this project challenges all that the Hopkinton Center Historic District was created to protect.



The Hopkinton Historic District Commission

Michael Girardi (Chairman)

Beth Kelly

Melanie Smith

Austin Spang

Jeanette Thomson

Claire Wright

Host an International Student 2nd Semester


Open your home to the experience of a lifetime! Host an international student accepted to Hopkinton High School for the 2011-2012 school year. Your life will be enriched in enormous and sometimes surprising ways and you'll be contributing to globalizing your family and your community. A stipend is provided. If you're interested, please contact Ann Northup, International Coordinator at 508-480-8513 or This program is sponsored by Educatius International, a non-profit international educational organization which, among other projects, connects international high school students with American secondary schools and families.


Known as “Binge-In-A-Can,” Drink Offers Equivalent of Five Beers in One Serving


BOSTON – Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, along with 18 other Attorneys General, today called on Pabst Brewing Company to stop selling or alter its new malt drink beverage, Blast by Colt 45, because of its high alcohol content and marketing tactics. The drink, known as “binge-in-a-can,” offers the equivalent of five beers in one serving.  The Attorneys General also are concerned that the product is being marketed and packaged in a way that targets underage youth.     

Earlier this month, Pabst introduced its Blast by Colt 45 as a flavored malt beverage in fruit flavors of grape, strawberry lemonade, strawberry watermelon, and blueberry pomegranate, with an alcohol concentration of 12% in brightly colored 23.5 ounce single serving cans.  This means that each single serving contains the equivalent of nearly five servings of alcohol.  Anyone who consumes a can of Blast within an hour will have engaged in binge drinking as defined by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.    

The Attorneys General are concerned that its marketing of the product targets underage youth. As part of its marketing, it has enlisted celebrity hip hop/rap music artist Snoop Dogg, and Blast is being promoted largely through social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Pabst is also marketing the product through launch parties, some of which are designated as 18 plus.      

"At a time when we're fighting to prevent underage drinking and binge drinking, we are urging Pabst to rethink the dangers posed by Blast,” said AG Martha Coakley. “We also believe the promotion of this ‘binge-in-a-can’ is aimed at the youngest of drinkers as well as underage youth.”    

Last fall, after urging by Attorneys General and a review by the Food and Drug Administration, the popular alcohol energy drink Four Loko was pulled from the market after reports surfaced that children as young as 13-years-old were drinking the product, which also had a 12% alcohol concentration in a 23.5 ounce single serving can. The drink also had a caffeine additive, which the FDA later banned, that allowed users of the product to stay awake and drink more.

Horse Right of Way

April 21, 2011 — Officer William Burchard holds back westbound traffic while Officer Peter Booth does the same for eastbound traffic as an Ashland officer and another person return horses to their East Main Street coral. Both towns received several calls for the horses in the street causing problems. For a century, horses have had the right of way over automobiles.


All Ears

April 21, 2011 — This robin and two others had their ears turned toward the ground listening for movement of insects today at Hopkinton State Park.

Hopkinton vs. King Philip

April 21, 2011 — Hopkinton boys got the best of King Philip today at home.


Ashland Officer and Canine Partner Capture Fleeing Suspect After Violent Struggle


On Wednesday April 20, 2011 at approximately 9:45 PM, Ashland Police Officer Chris Alberini (File photo) and his K-9 partner Dax were on routine patrol on Chestnut Street in Ashland, when they observed a vehicle operating erratically (weaving over the center line several times). Concerned that the operator may be impaired, Officer Alberini subsequently pulled the vehicle over.


As Officer Alberini exited his cruiser, the operator, later identified as Timothy Sullivan, 34 (booking photo), of 22 Lakeview Gardens, Natick, exited his vehicle and fled on foot, while shouting, “F*ck you, I’m out of here. Catch me.” At that time, Sullivan turned and ran south on Chestnut Street as Officer Alberini instructed Sullivan to stop. Sullivan then entered a dark wooded area and was not immediately visible to Officer Alberini.


Officer Alberini removed his K-9 partner Dax from the cruiser, and verbally commanded Sullivan to come out of the woods or he would release his dog. After two more warnings, Sullivan finally exited the woods, but continued to curse at the Officer. Sullivan was instructed to lay prone on the ground with his hands spread out.


Officer Alberini placed K-9 Dax back in the cruiser and approached Sullivan, attempting to handcuff him. Sullivan refused to comply with Officer Alberini’s instructions, resisting his efforts to place him in handcuffs and began to violently struggle with the officer. Officer Alberini, who was alone on the side of the dark roadway with Sullivan, summoned K-9 Dax from the cruiser. The dog immediately exited the cruiser through an open window and responded to protect his handler. Sullivan attempted to fight with K-9 Dax, grabbing the dog’s face and pulling on him. K-9 Dax continued to protect his handler, grasping onto Sullivan’s neck. Officer John Driscoll then arrived to assist. With the assistance of Driscoll and K-9 Dax, Sullivan was finally subdued and taken into custody.


The vehicle’s registration was discovered to be revoked for insurance cancellation. Several small “corner cut” baggies were located along Sullivan’s initial escape route, and a crack pipe was located on Sullivan’s person. Sullivan was charged with: 1.Failing to Stay in Marked Lanes 2. Operating a motor vehicle with suspended registration 3. Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle 4. Resisting Arrest 5. Failing to Stop for Police and 6. Interfering with a Police Dog. Other charges are still possible. Due to Sullivan’s resisting arrest and struggle with K-9 Dax, he sustained an injury to his neck. He was treated by the Ashland Fire Department for his injury.

Thoughtful Seal

April 21, 2011 — This bumper sticker on a vehicle in the parking lot of Milford Hospital turns the tables on people who spend their energy saving baby seals, suggesting that baby humans be given some consideration; perhaps as an anti-abortion position. See a unique, thought-provoking or funny bumper sticker? Even if you do not agree with its message, send it along regardless to to share it with HopNews readers.

Tree Trauma

April 21, 2011 — This deceased Pond Street resident went through a lot in its life. Insects had invaded its surface under the bark, as evidenced by the hieroglyphic-like designs left on its bare trunk. As for the piece of granite; don't know.


Police Chief of the Day, Michael Ambrosone

April 21, 2011 — Seven year-old Michael Ambrosone didn't have to go through Town Hall application processes, Board of Selectmen reviews, or any testing procedures to become the Hopkinton Police Chief of the Day today. Michael participated in the HPTA's online auction and bid on the right to become Chief of the Day, sit on the motorcycle, in a cruiser, and get a full tour of the police headquarters.

       When asked his prime motivation for wanting to be Chief of the Day, he said, "I wanted to see the motorcycle."

 NOTICE: Water Users in the South Street/West Main Street/Lake Maspenock Area


Please be advised that a required fire flow test will be conducted Monday, April 25th on South Street at approximately 10:00 AM. You may notice some discoloration in the water following the test. Please check your water before using it and you may need to flush your line to clear your pipes after the test has been completed.


Regards, Eric J. Carty, Water/Sewer Manager


Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors to Present "State of Town"

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 • First Congregational Church

7:30 am Coffee and Conversation 8:00 am Program


An informative lead to Hopkinton’s Annual Town Meeting set to convene on May 2, 2011 at 7 PM.


Presenters will include:

RJ Dourney Chair, Hopkinton Board of Selectmen • Ron Eldridge Chair, Appropriations Committee

Norman Khumalo Hopkinton Town Manager • Jack Phelan Superintendent, Hopkinton School District

Bob McGuire President, Hopkinton Chamber of Commerce


Reserve your seat via e-mail to or  or by calling 508-509-3484


Continental Breakfast Will Be Served

Canada Geese Couple Update

April 20, 2011 — The fourth in an ongoing series of photos in the lives of this Canada geese couple at Ice House Pond shows the goose spread across her nest, covering her eggs with her wings on the island in the middle.

       Above, her mate stays apart from the nest, drawing attention away from it. The goose is barely visible to the naked eye; the photo's color saturation has been increased to distinguish her from the background, and the photo has been enlarged.



Dollars for Doyle

April 20, 2011 — Hopkinton students Elisabeth Kistner, Maeve Cross, Jess Sci and Meghan Herlihy will be offering lemonade, baked goods and jewelry on Friday, April 22 for the benefit of leukemia and cancer charities at 86 West Main Street on Friday, April 22 between 3-6 p.m.

       The girls were inspired by a friend of Jess, who recently moved to Hopkinton from New Jersey, and has a friend there named Doyle Heggeney, who has recently graduated from his leukemia treatments.

        "He has a good life; he laughs a lot and is funny," said Elisabeth. "We are trying to raise as much money as possible and have fun doing it."

        Elisabeth suggested that people who do not want to purchase anything could give a monetary donation.

Keeping Hopkinton Green


“Spring Green Up is here again” exclaimed Nancy Dourney, chairwoman of the Hopkinton Sustainable Green Committee (HOPGREEN). Dourney was speaking to the members of her committee this week about plans which are shaping up for the Third Annual Hopkinton Spring Green Up Day event on May 7th.


“Last year we had over a 100 residents participate” said Dourney. “This year we would love to see even more folks come out to beautify Hopkinton.


The Spring Green Up is a popular event where friends and neighbors can connect after a long winter. Several Community groups as well as school organizations will be participating again this year. Harvey’s will be donating several dumpsters which will be placed around town.


Hopkinton Sustainable Green Committee invites anyone who wants to join the effort to contact us at We will be tracking where groups are working and offering updated information. All Participants are invited to the town common at 8:30am on the 7th for a photo opportunity. Please check out for more details.

Tenacious Trooper Identifies Subject with 12 Aliases and 10 Warrants


On Sunday April 17, 2011 Trooper Jodi Gerardi was patrolling Route 95 southbound in Wakefield when her attention was drawn to a 1999 Honda Accord in the breakdown lane. She observed the vehicle to have fresh damage and the operator walking away from the car.


The driver identified himself as Willie Rosa and provided identification reflecting the same information. The Trooper was not convinced. She eventually arrested him for operating a motor vehicle without a license and providing false motor vehicle documents. He was transported to the State Police Barracks in Danvers.


The Trooper attempted to fingerprint the suspect at the barracks, but discovered his fingerprints were purposefully altered. He was then sent to the Middleton House of Correction. On Monday, Troopers assigned to the Major Crime Unit went to the House of Correction. Despite the suspect's altered fingerprints, the Trooper was still able to recover usable prints. He was identified as a former inmate named LORENZO ECHEVACIA, 39, of Brockton.


The Troopers sent the fingerprints to the FBI where 10 warrants on the suspect were located. They also found 12 aliases for this individual. The majority of the warrants were for felonies. They included several distribution of Class A cases and a 10-year-old rape and kidnapping case from Saugus. It was also discovered that he was deported in 2004 and had entered the country illegally.


The defendant was arraigned Tuesday in Malden District Court on the original motor vehicle charges and then transported to Middlesex Superior Court to answer for the outstanding warrants. The dedication of Trooper Gerardi with the assistance of the Essex Sheriff’s Department and the Massachusetts State Police Major Crime Unit has removed a dangerous felon from the streets of the Commonwealth. 


Richard M. Small, 64


Richard M. Small, 64, of Auburn, passed away Thursday, April 14, 2011 in the UMass Memorial Healthcare, Memorial Campus with his devoted wife and family by his side.
 Richard was born in Boston, February 26th 1947, one of five children born to Samuel and Ruth (Ferguson) Small. He grew up in Hopkinton, graduating from Hopkinton High as a standout athlete and captain of the football team. He then attended the Maine Maritime Academy. He came to Worcester many years ago, until moving to Auburn 3 years ago.
 Richard is survived by the family he so loved: his devoted wife and love for the past 28 years, Joy (Tonelli) Small; three children, Nicholas DiBenedetto of Auburn, Lori Corridori of Charlton and Matthew Tarallo of Worcester; a brother and three sisters, Stephen Small of Indian Rock Beach, Florida, Jean White of Alfredo Maine, Elizabeth "Betsy" Olofson of Waltham and Susan Small of Beverly; four grandchildren he found inspiration from, Nicholas, Anthony, Shelby and Rachel; many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
 Richard found his love and laughter in the big heart and concern he had for everyone. He made all feel at ease as soon as he entered the room. He was an avid Red Sox fan. He will be sorely missed.
 Richard's employment led him to serve the public in Sales for Westborough Dodge & Toyota more than 25 years before retiring due to illness in 2000.
 Friends and relatives are invited to visit with Richard's family, Saturday, April 23rd from 11 a.m to 12 noon in the MERCADANTE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL, 370 Plantation St. A memorial service will follow at 12 noon. Burial will be held privately at a later time. Memorial contributions in his memory may be made to any of the following: Umass-Memorial Hospice, 650 Lincoln St. Worcester, 01655,
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital , P.O. Box 1000, dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38148 or Why ME & Sherry's House, 1152 Pleasant St., Worcester, MA 01602.
 Richard's family would like to thank the staff of the UMass-Memorial Healthcare, Memorial Campus especially the SICU, CCU, and 5th floor units for all the care, comfort and understanding given to Richard.

Fitness Tip by Day


Libraries Are Very Relevant

To the Editor -

                I would like to take this opportunity to address several recurring comments regarding the expansion of the library.   Many people have taken the position that in the digital age libraries are out-dated and redundant.  As a college professor, I believe that nothing could be further from the truth. Libraries and those who work in them are as vitally important and relevant now as at any time in history.

                Even though it may feel like the world is only a few key-strokes away and therefore all one needs is access to a computer to become knowledgeable on a given topic that is simply not true. Anyone who has researched a paper for high school or college knows the sheer volume of information online.  Making sense of that information and determining the credibility of its source is something that most people have little training in, and not much inclination to do so.  What factors go into determining whether a website is legitimate? Is a blog a reliable source? How about Wikipedia?  Reference librarians know the answers to those questions - - and more -- and willingly share that information with anyone who cares to ask!    Most websites with legitimate information on them have bibliographies.  What’s on the bibliographies? Books, found in libraries.  Plus, fully-vetted scholarly research is rarely available for free on the internet, but instead is located on electronic data-bases found only in, you guessed it, libraries.  Learning how to be a critical thinker does not happen by entering a term into a search engine.

                Others have argued that all we need to do is give everyone an e-reader and be done with it.  I own an e-reader and like it for its convenience and portability.  But e-readers are not free and neither are the books.  Is every citizen in Hopkinton going to be given one of these and free access to all the library’s material digitally in the same way that they all have access to what’s currently there? If so, what are the costs involved?  Are there licensing fees? Who will train those who need it on how to use e-readers & access material? Who will pay for the training? Where will that be done?  Who will repair it if it breaks?  Do you get an upgrade if the technology improves? If you move out of town, do you have to give your e-reader back? Who owns the material on it? You, or the town?

                Technology has also been held up as more environmentally-friendly than books.  If you would like a side-by-side comparison, check out   “How Green is My I-pad” an article by Daniel Goleman and Gregory Norris.  After providing such interesting facts as one e-reader requires the extraction of 33 pounds of minerals and 79 gallons of water to produce while one book takes 2/3 of a pound  of minerals and 2 gallons of water, they conclude their comparison by stating,  “All in all, the most ecologically virtuous way to read a book starts by walking to your local library.”  (go ahead, you can Google them!)                Some have suggested that we use the schools’ libraries.  Given security surrounding public school access (not to mention lack of parking) it would be reasonable to assume the public would not be able to use these facilities while school was in session.  Additionally, there would need to be staff hired, not only librarians but probably more custodians as well if the building were to open to the public nights and weekends.  Would they be open or closed on school vacation?   This does not seem to be either fiscally-sound or logical. Also, didn’t we try something similar with the exercise room at the high school? If I recall, the public who agreed to fund that building was supposed to have access to the equipment at night. Even with a user-fee it was found to be too costly to maintain.

                Unlike the video store, a business model based on a single form of technology, libraries have adapted and evolved in the face of centuries’ worth of advancements. Hopkinton’s library is, and should remain, the center of the community serving young and old, those with means, those without.  Please show your support for the library expansion at the May 2 town meeting.


Anne Mattina

40 Eastview Rd

April 19, 2011


Hopkinton 13, Algonquin 10

  April 19, 2011 — Tess Chandler on her way to scoring for Hopkinton.




April 19, 2011



8:40 pm A caller was concerned that a man was operating a wheelchair on West Main Street...


1:01 am A walk-in reported an individual male in a red Volvo SUV followed her home...


2:21 am An Ash Street caller reported an animal in her attic eating something...


3:20 pm A caller complained of skateboarders in the middle of Wood Street...

Library Expansion is Another "Fruit Street" Situation

Dear Editor,


I’m writing on behalf of the Citizens for More Responsible Government in Hopkinton. The Town Board of Selectmen, other town committees and commissions are again throwing their support behind a project, the town library expansion, without truly understanding the town’s people desire to spend over $10 million dollars on such a project. This project like the proposed new school on Fruit Street is being rushed through the town governance process in hopes of securing a 50% matching grant from the State of Massachusetts. The results thus far have been the Permanent Building Committee proposing expanding the library on the existing site, building a new library behind Center School only to have the School District not support this ideal, to quickly moving the proposal back to the existing site of the library within the matter of a couple of months. This despite the architectural firm contracted by them concluding last year that the existing site size was not appropriate to support a building more than 4 times larger than the current library size the Town is requesting under this project plan.


As a result of trying to rush this project through, the Planning Board has requested a zoning change be made to the site of the current library at 13 Main St and the lot directly behind at 8 Church St from Residential A to Downtown Business District to allow the library to get relief from the zoning bylaws allowing for the building to cover a maximum 60% of the lot vs. 35% allowed today. The change will also provided relieve on setbacks and building height restrictions. Because of the large scope in size to the plan the Town of Hopkinton has requested an easement be granted by two of the property abutters of the site too in order to fit the large footprint of the project into this site. The vote for rezoning will come before the vote on funding the library as this is the only way their plan will work due to their hushed process of trying to secure the State grant money.  If these lots are changed to Downtown Business District, it will be a permanent change, regardless of whether or not the current library plan moves forward with their expansion plans. Three major hurtles need to be “jumped” before this can happen, securing the State grant for 50% of the funding, raising $2.8 million dollars in private donations, and asking the town’s people to agree to an override on property taxes for 20 years. If anyone of these three points aren’t achieved “all bets are off" as to what could happen with this historic property if the zoning change is approved by the voters at Town Meeting. 


The library is in the Historic District in a residential neighborhood on a residentially zoned lot today. The expanded library will be seen from Main Street, Hayden Rowe, Church Street and the town common. The scale of the building as designed is completely inappropriate for the area, and will forever change the character of the residential neighborhood of historic homes around the library and the town common. The scope of the proposed project will include meeting rooms for up to 110 people. The plan only can accommodate a parking area for 21 cars; this includes parking for the library staff. With the downtown area already suffering from the lack of retail businesses, many of the storefronts vacate already where will all the cars park if this plan becomes a reality? Will the remaining few businesses left in downtown be forced out of business because of the lack of parking?


While we would support making improvements and some expansion to the existing historic library buildings, the addition as currently designed is completely out of scale. Increasing the library space by more than 4 times on a lot that can’t support it, in an area that doesn’t have enough parking to support the current business district let alone this project just doesn’t make economic sense. We believe the Town should “step back”, reach out to the town’s people to truly understand what they want and what the town can support before rushing forward with another project to grab State grant money. This is another Fruit Street School situation all over again. We ask that you consider the appropriateness of the cost, size and scale of the proposed library expansion, the permanent negative effect on the Historic district and the business district by asking that you join us to defeat articles 49 Amend Zoning Map: Library Parcels and 53 Library Project Preliminary Design at town meeting on May 2.


Jim Walker 8 Hayden Rowe Street

Sue and Jeff Hadley 4 Hayden Rowe

Kate and Mike Roughan 6 Hayden Rowe


Citizens for More Responsible Town Government in Hopkinton

April 19, 2011




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