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P.O. Box 351, Hopkinton, MA 01748


If a Tree Falls...

November 25, 2011 — Ashley Halpern tags one of the thousand Christmas trees that were just put out for display at Weston Nurseries. According to owner Peter Mezitt, Weston sells only Fraser firs because they hold more moisture and keep their needles longer, and, he said, they are as fragrant as balsams. Besides the thousand cut trees, Weston has a garden center filled with color- and style-coordinated decorations for art trees, as well as wreaths, garland, decorative chairs and hundreds of other holiday and year-round other items. Weston will remain open all year-round.



Thanksgiving Day Football – Special Day, Memories for a Lifetime -
Hillers Extend Bragging Rights, win 48-20 over Ashland!

By: Lou Ottaviani

November 25, 2011 — High school football in Massachusetts is a special time of year, in that, it is one of the only regions in the country where high school teams get to play football on Thanksgiving morning and after the game, the players head off to celebrate their turkey dinner with their family, friends and relatives. Hopefully they get to eat turkey and not crow! For the Hopkinton Hillers, this year they got to enjoy the savoring taste of turkey and all the fillings.

For Hopkinton and Ashland, this Thanksgiving tradition has been going on since 1923. Today’s match-up marked the 88th meeting between these two neighboring town rivals, with Hopkinton presently holding the bragging rights. Since its inception, there have been various shifts of dominance, with the 20’s being controlled by Hopkinton, and the 30’s by Ashland. In 1940, the only year that this tradition wasn’t held, but that decade saw both teams split. During the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s Ashland increased their dominance over Hopkinton, holding a 31-21-5 record which carried the bragging rights that came along with these wins. However, for the next three decades (80’s, 90’s and 2000’s), Hopkinton’s winningest Coach David Hughes, turned the tide by tying and ultimately surpassing the Clockers, leaving the recent coaching staff in good standing. The new staff have continued to follow suit, winning the past three years, bringing the overall wins to Hopkinton at 46 wins to Ashland’s 37 along with 5 ties.  

Today marked a special time for the seniors on the team. For many of them, this was probably the last time that they would be suiting up to play this game. There may be some continuing to play in college, but for most, that may not be the case. So for the Hillers to come out victorious (48-20), this was an occasion that will be remembered for years to come. The camaraderie, friendships and life lessons learned playing this game will forever be etched in their minds. This is a special tradition near and dear to most high school football seniors. They may not be able to tell someone what happened in game two of that particular season, but you can bet on it that they will be able to tell you what the score was on their traditional Thanksgiving Day football game was, even if it is 40 years down the road! That is how special this game is.  

“This game is all about and for our seniors,” said Coach Jim Girard. “We had a great season with a great group of guys who were very coachable and worked extremely hard. This team has a great perspective as a whole, especially the seniors. 10-1, we had an outstanding year with an outstanding group.” 

Coming into today’s game, Mike Decina had 2,932 career passing yards, 164 yards shy of standout Hiller quarterback Brian Doyle (2004-2006) who held the school record with 3,096 career passing yards. Decina also came into today’s game with 15 TD passes for the season, 3 shy of another school record held by another star quarterback, A.J. Doyle (18 TD passes in 2002). 

By halftime, Decina was 5-yards from breaking the career passing yards connecting on 13 of 20 passes for 159 yards, scoring on two rushing touchdowns, passing for a TD and a PAT extra point. During his first series of the second half, Decina completed on all of his 6 passes, the first which went for 5-yards and his second completion which also went for 5-yards to break the school record. Doyle went on to complete 7 of 7 passes to up his game passing to 20 for 27 for 278-yards, adding two more TD passes to tie the school record of 18 TD passes to tie A.J. Doyle.  

Decina also rushed 8 times for a total of 135-yards, while rushing for 2-TD scores. Alex Hulme and Jason Dlugolecki were at the end of Decina’s three touchdown passes, with Hulme picking up two of them and giving him another opportunity this year to get into the record books, along with his cousin, Decina. Hulme’s second TD catch gave him 11 TD receptions on the season to join legend Hiller, Heath Walker (who set the record in 1990).  

Highlights of the game included: Hopkinton scoring on their opening drive. It didn’t take long, just 1:25 into the game, With the ball on the 20, Decina marched his team 80-yards on 5 plays, connecting with Hulme on his first two passes for 34-yards and capping the score with a 46-yard run for Hopkinton’s first score. Barrett Hanlon connected on the PAT kick to give the Hillers a quick 7-0 lead. 

Ashland wasted little time on the ensuing kick off. Hopkinton’s Jason Dlugolecki kicked off to the end-zone, giving the Clockers the ball on the 20 for their first drive of the game. Ashland’s quarterback, Bo Prozinski surprised everyone at David M. Hughes Stadium on the first play from scrimmage by connecting on an 80-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Joe Byrnes, who got past the Hopkinton secondary, to catch a perfect pass in stride down the left side line untouched to the end-zone. Nayro Duque kicked the PAT good to tie the score, 7-7.  

Hopkinton rebounded taking the following kickoff at their own 49-yard line. Decina came out passing, connecting on 5 of his next 7 passes bringing the ball to the Clocker 4-yard line, which he rushed in for the Hillers score to put Hopkinton up 13-7.




Hopkinton 48, Ashland 20

Above, Alex Hulme dives for a touchdown. Click on a thumbnail below to enlarge.

November 24, 2011 — Hopkinton takes Ashland 48-20 in their traditional Turkey Day matchup.

Check back for super story coverage of the game by Lou Ottaviani.




Solar Blindness

November 24, 2011 — One vehicle, off-camera to the left, could not drive away due to damage from having hit the curb, but the Acura could, after being rear-ended by the banged-up Dodge behind it. The Dodge's air bags were activated, making it impossible to move, even if the vehicle was able to be driven. Empirical evidence points to the drivers of one or more of these vehicles being blinded by an unusually bright sun as they travelled toward the west.




Thank the Troops 

Michele Obama calls a serviceman's wife on Thanksgiving.
Thank the troops here in an interactive program from the White House and the USO.


Happy Thanksgiving!



Please enjoy a reprise of this HopNews HD video that is appropriate for today's holiday:


One More for the Road...

by Robert Falcione
November 23, 2011 — If things continue on their intended paths, former police officer Rob Cornell's 27 years at the helm of the business started by his father, Ed, will end with the transfer to a new owner, of the business, the building, and the land that surrounds it. If things continue as they are, this evening will have been his last Thanksgiving Eve at 229 Hayden Rowe Street, and tomorrow his last Thanksgiving Day pre-game breakfast as owner.
         At the beginning, Rob and his father, and countless helpers, removed stone after stone from the rear of the property that now includes full size softball and soccer fields. A national Whiffle-ball championship has been held there annually; and rugby and women's football have joined the traditional sports, whose players might enjoy a hot dog, burger, or a pint in the pub after a hard-fought battle on the grass.
         Early on, Rob, with the help of brother Dick, brought a pub-style menu to the location that now includes, among other items, chicken-breast club, finger food, and black Angus fresh-beef burgers.
         Over the years, Rob added dart teams, softball teams (show me someone who can throw a ball farther than Rob Cornell), karaoke while it lasted, and for an extended period of time, this writer brought live rock and roll music to a packed house every Sunday night.
         Cornell's has contributed to the community in ways that have had little fanfare, like the benefit events held on the softball field and the Thanksgiving breakfast held Thanksgiving morning that will benefit the Hopkinton Drama Club with a donation of the entire proceeds.
         This evening, arguably the busiest bar night of the year in Massachusetts, drew a packed house of twenty-somethings returning home from college, or their home away from home, for the holiday weekend. Meeting at Cornell's from afar has become a strong tradition for Hopkinton High School graduates (of age, of course).
          Let's hope the tradition transcends ownership, as does its success in other areas.
          Some call it the luck of the Irish.


EDITOR'S NOTE: There has not been a good response to our previous, abbreviated announcement. Please help out these folks if you see fit. Perhaps you can even help prevent a heart attack this winter.

Looking to do a Good Deed?
Elders Need Help Shoveling and Cleaning Cars

We often tell ourselves we’d love to do something worthwhile for others, if only we knew what it was or if only we knew there was a need. Well, there’s an opportunity to help right here in Hopkinton during the winter months.

For some of our senior citizens living at the Hopkinton Housing Authority (subsidized housing for the elderly located on Davis Road, behind the Police Station), these are especially tough months. Many elderly residents have cars and rely on them to get out and about and wish to keep their cars on the road for as long as is safely possible. The parking at the Housing Authority is ample enough, it’s just that the parking spots are not covered. So, when a snowstorm is over and the road and walkways have been cleared, residents are required to clean off their vehicle and move it to a designated spot on the Housing Authority grounds so the parking areas can be plowed. Many of these residents do not have family in the area on whom they can call to perform this very exhausting task, especially if they’re in their 70’s or 80’s. It would be wonderful if we could have a name (family or individual) and tele number to give to each resident who needs assistance with cleaning off their vehicle to call upon to see if someone can come to give them a hand with this task. For a younger person, this might take 15 minutes to half an hour, depending on the size of the storm. For an elderly person, it might take 45 minutes or longer if they need to stop frequently for rests.

So, here’s your opportunity, fellow Hopkinton residents. Please contact me if you’d like to be one of the volunteers who can “do a good deed” right here in town this winter by helping an elderly resident at the Hopkinton Housing Authority in this manner. Believe me, they will be most appreciative.(And, a belated THANK YOU to last year’s volunteers!) We will coordinate this effort and assign volunteers to a particular elder in need. Consider this the gift that keeps on giving! ~ Hopkinton Housing Authhority Board of Commissioners

Contact: Donna McGuire at 508-435-5542 or dmcguire44@verizon.net

If you cannot commit to an individual resident, perhaps you can help by driving to the HHA after a snowstorm to help clean off cars or shovel behind a vehicle so elderly residents can move their cars. Thank you!



Hopkinton Police Seek Armed Home Invaders 

On Wednesday November 23, 2011 the Hopkinton Police Department responded to a reported armed home invasion at a residence in the north part of town near the Southborough border. The incident took place in the early morning hours. 

The residents were awoken by intruders whose identities were disguised by masks and hooded sweatshirts. The residents were not hurt during the event. 

The suspects were reportedly armed with handguns and long guns. 

The incident is being investigated by the Hopkinton Police and State Police investigators. 

Anyone with information is requested to contact the Hopkinton Police at 508-497-3401 or the Hopkinton Police Anonymous Crime Tip Hot-Line at 508-497-9785.



Hopkinton Wine & Spirits
Wine Tasting
Wednesday, November 23, 2011

2 - 7 PM
More Great Thanksgiving Wines

"This week's tasting will be on Wednesday - just in time for last minute Thanksgiving preparations.  We will sample more wines that could easily find a spot at your Thanksgiving dinner table.  These wines will compliment the traditional Thanksgiving dinner and they're inexpensive, so you can get several and let your guests try different combinations with their meals.  For whites, we will taste a couple of sparkling whites and a couple of Rieslings.  For reds, we will taste a pair of Pinot Noirs, a couple of Spanish Tempranillos, and two Zinfandels." Choose the icon above to visit Hopkinton Wine & Spirits website and learn more.


Left, Kathy Kearns and Gail Tonelli showing some of the items for sale at the Senior Center's Christmas Sale. 

An Early Christmas (Sale) 

Christmas arrived a bit early at the Senior Center this year!  Friday, November 18 was the first day of the much awaited annual Christmas Sale!  All year long, donations come in that include many, many, MANY Christmas items.  Everything is sorted into categories and is stored away until it’s time to “bring it out!”  Volunteers spend the whole week before the sale getting the Great Room ready—emptying boxes, pricing everything, and filling the tables with all sorts of wonderful items.  There’s just about everything you would need for the holidays including Christmas trees, serving dishes, platters, all kinds of ornaments, gift wrap, movies, books, kids toys, etc.  No matter how many times a person would walk around the tables, they would find something they didn’t see before and “grab it up!”    There was something for just about everyone!    Santa Claus even made an appearance, thanks to Scotty Mackin!   The tables quickly emptied of all the festive decorations and ornaments—people were so happy to find their treasures at such inexpensive prices.    The bake sale was a great hit, too!  All kinds of goodies were brought in by the numerous volunteers!   Later in the afternoon, the Brownies arrived full force!  Troop 72974 led by Shannon Hedstrom and Lynn McCloskey and Troop 72975 led by Lee Burns and Melissa Altman came all dressed in their Santa hats to sing Christmas songs to the seniors.  They were awesome! Kudos to everyone who made this sale such a wonderful success!

Cheryl Perrault asked me to include this in my column; it’s an invitation to the Garden Club’s free “Seasonal Terrarium” workshop at the Senior Center.  Each year, the Garden Club hosts a “winter/holiday” floral event and believe me when I say this--it’s always amazing!!    I’m only sorry that I won’t be able to attend myself this year.   I’m sure it’ll be another fun day with the Garden Club members!     

On Monday, November 28th from 10:00-11:00 am, the Hopkinton Garden Club will offer a free workshop to assemble  "The Beauty of Winter" seasonal terrariums.  This activity will consist of planting a wild winter plant in a small open jar terrarium. Participants will then be able to decorate the jars with miniature snowflakes and other beautiful winter decorative items to help celebrate what is beautiful about the winter season.  Large snowflakes will be available for writing small inspirational messages for the season, or for gift-giving which can be attached to the terrarium.  

A few words of presentation will also be offered about the fascinating findings of water crystal/ snowflake study so that we might feel a bit more positive about the coming beauty of the winter season and the power of being positive in daily life!  This workshop will be limited to a maximum of 20 participants. If you are interested in contributing ideas or helping on the day of this activity, please call Cheryl Perreault, 435-8638.  

Stay tuned for lots of activities planned for the month of December!



 State News

Governor Patrick Signs Expanded Gaming Legislation 

BOSTON – Tuesday, November 22, 2011 – Governor Deval Patrick (HopNews file photo) today signed H. 3807, "An Act Establishing Expanded Gaming in the Commonwealth," legislation that will advance job creation and economic development in the Commonwealth by creating the potential for thousands of jobs in the construction, tourism, hospitality, leisure and convention sectors.    

“The final chapter in the long debate on expanded gaming has come to a close. I congratulate Senate President Murray, Speaker DeLeo and members of the legislature for sending me a bill that will put people to work and strengthen the Massachusetts economy. I have always believed that if done right, expanded gaming can create jobs, generate new revenue and spur economic growth in every region of the Commonwealth,” said Governor Patrick. “Because of initiatives like this one, Massachusetts continues to lead the nation out of this recession." 

“Our Administration and colleagues in the state legislature have stayed at the table over the years to develop a sound solution for introducing expanded gaming in Massachusetts,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “As we move forward, we will continue our due diligence especially as we consider the need for enhanced social and behavioral services as well as opportunities for job creation and economic development in regions across the Commonwealth.” 

The legislation signed by the Governor allows for up to three destination resort casinos in geographically-diverse locations, along with one slots facility, competitively awarded statewide. The legislation includes many of the principles Governor Patrick has advocated for throughout the lengthy public debate on expanding gaming, including transparent and competitive bidding of licenses, maximizing long-term value to the Commonwealth, expanding economic development benefits across all regions of the state, protecting host communities and nearby regions, addressing all social impacts and costs and ensuring rigorous public safety, regulatory and enforcement mechanisms will be the best in the country.  

The legislation creates a five-member Massachusetts Gaming Commission, an independent body responsible for implementing and overseeing the gaming licensing process with the utmost integrity. The chair of the Commission will be appointed by the Governor, and the Attorney General and Treasurer will each appoint one member. The remaining two members will be appointed by two out of the three appointing authorities. The Commission must be bipartisan, with no more than three members representing the same political party. The Commission must be appointed within 120 days.  

The three potential resort casinos will be located in three geographically-distinct areas, with up to one facility in Region A (Suffolk, Middlesex, Essex, Norfolk and Worcester counties), up to one facility in Region B (Hampshire, Hampden, Franklin and Berkshire counties) and up to one facility in Region C (Bristol, Plymouth, Nantucket, Dukes and Barnstable counties). The licensing fee for each casino will be at least $85 million and capital investment, including a hotel facility, must be at least $500 million. The Commonwealth will receive 25 percent of gross gaming revenues from each casino. 




Deck the Lampposts
Weston Nurseries to be open year-round

November 22, 2011 — Weston Nurseries' principal Karen Mezitt adorns these decorative light posts with garland and holly; and perhaps even a little mistletoe preparing for the holiday shoppers who will arrive en masse on Friday, when the nursery moves the hundreds of Christmas trees from the rear of the property (photo, below) to the Garden Center Sales area.
       "We've consolidated," said husband Peter today. "We are moving the corporate offices from the hill to the Garden Center," he said. Mr. Mezitt also revealed that starting through this season, the Garden Center will be open year-round.




Coming Soon...

November 22, 2011 — Water Fresh Farm Marketplace on Hayden Rowe Street is checking off their list of things to do and planning for a December opening, according to manager Donna Todaro. According to their website-in progress, fresh-roasted coffee, Upton Tea and freshly baked goods are but a few of the items that will grace their 16,000 square foot market. The owners have been in business for over a decade as American Hydroponics, growing and selling pesticide-free tomatoes and other crops.


ESL Presents A Christmas Carol on Dec. 2, 3, 4, 9 10

HOPKINTON, MA (November 22, 2011) -- Enter Stage Left Theater will be presenting the Charles Dickens’ favorite A Christmas Carol on December 2, 3, 9 and 10 at 7:00 p.m.; and on December 4 at 2:00 p.m. at the Hopkinton Historical Society building at 168 Hayden Rowe, Hopkinton. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, and are available via ESL’s website,

This production includes local children, teens and adults; and caroling will be provided by The Treblemakers, ESL’s adult chorus, before the shows. The Hopkinton Historical Society will also be selling refreshments, so this production will support two local charitable organizations.


“One of the things that ESL wants to do is develop working relationships with other organizations in town,” said Dawn Anderson, director. “So it is a great pleasure to be able to collaborate with the Hopkinton Historical Society on this family-oriented holiday classic.”


 State Police Investigate One of Their Own

November 22, 2011 — The Department of State Police will hold a hearing today to determine the duty status of Captain Thomas McCarthy, 47, who was arrested late Saturday night after refusing to stop for Saugus Police. Saugus officers had first encountered McCarthy when they responded to an alarm sounding at a local home. Upon arrival they observed the woman who lives at the home in the garage, and McCarthy, who was off-duty, sitting in his unmarked cruiser. McCarthy then drove away. A few minutes later, a Saugus officer saw the same vehicle commit a marked lanes violation on Central Street, near the intersection with Main Street. The Saugus officer activated his lights and stopped the black Ford Crown Victoria.  

The officer approached the Crown Victoria and observed that it was driven by the same man who had driven away from the home where the alarm had been sounding. The officer asked the operator to shut off the ignition and exit the vehicle, at which point the driver – later identified as McCarthy – refused to do so and drove away. The Saugus officer, eventually joined by two other Saugus cruisers, all with blue lights activated, followed McCarthy onto the Main Street overpass and down onto Route 1 southbound. McCarthy ultimately pulled over in the parking lot outside the Sears Automotive Center at the Square One Mall.  

Saugus officers placed McCarthy under arrest for failure to stop for police and failure to stay right of center. He was transported to the Saugus Police station to be booked. State Police immediately dispatched a Troop A patrol supervisor to the site of the arrest to take possession of the cruiser and McCarthy’s firearm, which was in the cruiser. A State Police commander also responded to the Saugus police station that night and immediately placed McCarthy on administrative leave pending his duty status hearing. That commander, upon speaking to McCarthy, observed in him signs of intoxication.  

Today’s duty status hearing will determine whether McCarthy will be suspended – which is expected – and what the conditions of that suspension will be.  

Additionally, the State Police Internal Affairs Section has begun an internal investigation into McCarthy’s conduct to determine what transgressions of departmental policies, rules, and regulations occurred. The question of whether he was intoxicated, as well as his use of a cruiser while off-duty and other alleged transgressions, will be part of that investigation. Internal Affairs will also monitor the criminal proceedings against McCarthy in Essex County. McCarthy is being arraigned this morning in Lynn District Court.  

The allegations, if proven to be true, are serious breach of the conduct and behavior expected of a Massachusetts State trooper and do not represent the ideals and values of the vast majority of department members.  

Prior to being placed on leave, McCarthy was the evening shift commander for Troop C, which covers Central Massachusetts.  

UPDATE: At a duty status hearing today at General Headquarters, which was attended by Thomas McCarthy’s counsel, but not by him, a duty panel suspended him without pay indefinitely. ~ Contributed Content.     Channel 7 Video.








November 21, 2011 — Hopkinton artist Dustin Neece applies his signature today to his completed oil painting of Firehouse Pond on the "S" turn in Woodville where the water from Lake Whitehall falls into what becomes Whitehall Brook. HopNews has had a short chronicle of the two-month long work of art that began when the once-brilliant leaves provided a seasonal palette from which to choose color.  In this photo, the canvas blocks a brilliant sun in the western sky that is splashing light onto the falls in pretty much the area behind the painted falls, as the lines on the canvas extend visually onto the photo. Mr. Neece is offering this 40"x29" painting for $7,000.



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