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Town Meeting Concludes on Day 2

by Robert Falcione

May 8, 2013 — The 2013 Annual Town Meeting ended its second day much like it began, by voting on Articles without the necessary quorum of 100, a procedure that Town Moderator Dr. Bruce Karlin said was allowed because no money was involved.

       Once the quorum was reached, the first few Articles were  without much controversy; fingerprinting bylaw for ice cream vendors, $150,000 for ADA compliance, $300,000 for an improved Lakeshore Drive culvert and $428,000 for several DPW vehicles. But when it came to a $175,000 street sweeper, Ken Weismantel asked how the Selectmen voted.

        "We believe the solution is $35,000 worth of repairs. We voted against it," said Selectmen Chair Ben Palleiko. Town Meeting then did the very same.

        Water Sewer Manager Eric Carty presented the reasons behind a $125,000 request for tank inspections as well as a device to mix the water in the tank to prevent the effects of some of the water sitting at the top degrading from heat. The meeting voted another $450,000 for a replacement sewer main on Flanders Road in Westborough, the town's 50 % share of the cost.

         Town Meeting voted $65,000 to stabilize the part of slope on North Mill Street in the town's right of way that became exposed as a result of the old mill being torn down.

         Voters unanimously approved adding $240,000 to $700,000 previously appropriated for the design and replacement of 2,500' of the Main Street water main.

          Voters gave a unanimous thumbs-up to pay $250,000 for a study to replace the DPW facility on Wood Street.

         "It is not about needs, it is responsibility," said Dan McIntyre. The DPW also got $36,000 for a standby generator.

         Selectman Michelle Gates called the $176,000 price tag for Town Hall upgrades a "want-to--have" not a "need-to-have" and voters nixed that Article 38.

          Voters did, however, pass a $100,000 appropriation for phase 2 of the envelope repairs for Town Hall.

         CPC money, $939,330 of it, got approved to place in various "buckets" and another $733,300 to support nine items on its list. The largest ticket was for $260,000 for improvements to Sandy Beach.

          Fingerprinting of ice cream vendors and amendments to the sex offender bylaws due to changes in case law passed. 

         An Article (43) seeking to force town permitting departments to inform applicants if their property is 75 or more years-old and under the demolition delay bylaw passed despite some indignant opposition. If a Hopkinton home is 75 or more years-old, it may not be demolished until a review by the Historical Commission to determine if there is a way to save it. Some builders and homeowners apparently have learned about the bylaw only after getting all of the other permits. However, Town Meeting shot down another proposal to extend the delay from six to twelve months.

          "If you can't figure it out in six months, you won't figure it out in twelve,"  said resident Doug Resnick, an attorney who represents many people who appear before the town's permitting boards.

           A one-year moratorium on medical marijuana facilities passed, as did a zoning change at 169 West Main Street from Rural Business to Business.

          By far, the most disappointed of all petitioners were Water Fresh Farm owners Jeff Barton and Phil Todaro, who wanted to change their zoning from Residence B to Business. The hydroponic farm added a "farm stand" that opened last year, and recently added beer and wine for take out to their offerings. Evening dinners, a coffee house and the ability to host weddings would have been the icing on their cake, but complaints from neighbors and opposition form the Planning Board were too much to overcome.

          Marilyn "Cookie" Carlson (photo, right, at mic), who lives across from the facility, said, "It has already impacted us with the traffic." 

          Some minor zoning changes sailed through, including the ability to hang banners over Main Street for civic and non-profit organizations.

          "A banner advertising Town Meeting might have gotten a few more people here," chided Moderator Bruce Karlin to the dwindling crowd. 

         The rezoning of parcels on Lumber Street (Article 55) were put on hold while the town continues to negotiate a Host Community Agreement with the proposed developer.

          Article 57 allowing stand-alone Photovoltaic facilities passed, as did Article 58, giving the Board of Selectmen the ability to negotiate a lease for two parcels of the town-owned land on Fruit Street, despite attempts by CPC Chair Henry Kunicki to grab a nearly half million dollar reimbursement for his Committee with claims the parcels were purchased with CPC money.

          The last Article of major note was the paving and property acquisition for a parking lot behind Bill's Pizza. Debate was halted at this late hour by a motion to "Move the Question" even though several people stood in line to speak. The "no-cost" article passed, which was followed by the reopening of Article 7, which funded the endeavor in part with a vote for $130,000.      

Hopkinton Annual Town Meeting WARRANT ARTICLES AND MOTIONS See them, and more, HERE    


Support for Ellen Scordino

 Dear Neighbors,

I write this letter of support for Ellen Scordino as an early childhood educator, local owner of a small business and mom of five children in our schools.  On paper the candidates for School Committee appear similar.  Both candidates are excellent people who care deeply about our schools and are working moms who have volunteered in numerous ways. It is the role they have played and the positions they have taken on the key issues that differentiates them.


As a SC member you must be willing to put aside your personal interests and focus on the general will of the people. Like an overwhelming majority of Hopkinton residents, Ellen is not willing to entertain the option of districting now or in the future.  Ellen understands the unique fabric of our community and will work to keep us united as one.    


Class sizes are a concern for all parents.  Ellen is committed to reviewing class sizes as a system wide initiative and institute policies that allow the school district to adjust annually based on growth projections and actual enrollments.  School Committee officials are charged with disseminating information and implementing policies that impacts thousands of students across all grade levels.  Ellen has the vision to look beyond her immediate radar screen to the broader school community and its collective needs.     


I am convinced that Ellen will be a strong voice for the majority due to her background and ability to build consensus. She understands that we want top schools, but we cannot cut anyone a “blank check” to achieve that end.  Ellen is also an adept public speaker and won’t get flustered when facing tough issues.  Ellen is level headed, articulate and efficient. If there is duplication and waste- Ellen will uncover it and problem solve to eliminate or reduce it. She will offer a new voice and help us work as ONE town together to find solutions for the next generation of learners.


Please join me and vote for the candidate that represents the views of the majority of Hopkinton residents, Ellen Scordino, on Monday May 20th!   Thank you!

Mary Murphy

31 Elizabeth Rd
May 7, 2013


Support for Ellen Scordino


My son John and his wife Brenda, their two school age girls and I have called Hopkinton home for over a dozen years.  We are endorsing Ellen Scordino for School Committee for many reasons, but one primary reason is her promise to advocate for all taxpayers, not just simply the school centric.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Ellen since she moved to town.  Her skills go far beyond her business acumen, which has been well noted by others.  Ellen understands that there are taxpayers at various life stages, each having differing views as to how our tax dollars should be spent.  While she promises to pursue the best for our students, she will also maintain a vigilant watch on costs to all contingents: the young & single, the young family, the childless, the empty nester, and the elderly.


Ellen has spent many hours with me and speaking to those of my generation. She seeks ideas from all taxpayers, not just those of school age children. It is comforting to know that Ellen will act as an advocate for all, weighing the cost/benefit of every decision to every type of taxpayer.  She promises to maintain the great quality of our schools, vying to keep them the best in the country, while, in turn, protecting our real estate values.  She also intends to ‘peel back the curtain’, finding better and leaner ways to deliver a top tier education to our young.


We believe Ellen Scordino has what it takes; please join us on May 20 to vote.


Fran Coutinho

15 Elizabeth Road

May 7, 2013



Town Meeting, Day One

Above, Assistant to the Town Manager, Jamie Hellen, helps School Committee Chair Nancy Burdick with some technical aspects of her presentation.

by Robert Falcione

May 7, 2013 — Annual Town Meeting 2013 began later than advertised last evening, waiting for a quorum of 100 voters to pass through the registration gauntlet. But despite getting bogged down on some matters, the body of people, sometimes called the "purest form of democracy," argued their way to Article 24 of 68 on the Town Warrant.

        The first controversial item was the town budget, onto which longtime Town Meeting participant and current Planning Board Chairman Ken Weismantel tried to amend by adding $100,000 toward roadway repair.

         "This is the first time I've seen you try to add to a budget," quipped Town Moderator Dr. Bruce Karlin. The amendment was defeated.

          School Department representatives attempted to not-so-artfully dodge a query by resident Carol DeVeuve, who asked if an amount of money were not spent for its intended purpose, would it be returned or kept.

          Several unsatisfactory answers by school representatives evoked snickers and some outright laughs from the audience. Mrs. DeVeuve was persistent.

          "Will you spend them elsewhere?" she asked again, noting that her question had yet to be answered.

          "There will undoubtedly be other needs," answered Ralph Dumas, Director of Finance for the School Department, to outright laughter, affirming for many in the room, a widely held belief that the School Department lacks fiscal conservatism.

          "So, you keep the money," offered Mrs. DeVeuve.

          "Historically, that is the case," Mr. Dumas answered.

           The body voted to hold off $130,000 of the budget (Article 7) at the request of Wood street resident Jim Ciriello (photo), who questioned using the money to pave the parking lot behind Bill's Pizza, which will be addressed in Article 62. It appears, according to Selectman Chair Ben Palleiko, that some of the money is budgeted for the area currently under agreement, and some for the expanded lot that will be addressed in Article 62. Currently, the lot behind Bill's is under agreement for the town to use for business at Town Hall, in exchange for the town repairing, sanding, plowing and sweeping the lot. However, the current agreement is solely for the purpose of people doing business at Town Hall, and not for municipal parking for the Downtown. The new agreement would likely include the construction of an additional 20 or so spaces in the currently wooded area, spaces that would serve to give the Hopkinton Public Library the spaces it has been unsuccessfully seeking in order to qualify in full for a grant toward its robust expansion. The agreement includes first refusal agreements as well as easements with other Downtown properties, too, the Library-owned 9 Church Street among them.

            The budget of $67,386,504.37 passed after some explanations that the school and town budgets should be combined. When they were separate, Mr. Palleiko said, voters mistakenly thought they could vote one entire budget down and one up.

            The voters approved appropriating $100,000 toward consulting for, not opposing the casino as the Article originally stated, but for fees incurred, "...in connection with the siting..." of a casino in Milford, after some wording changes suggested by a resident.

            Joe Markey, Chairman, and Mike Shepard, Vice-Chairman of the Elementary School Building Committee presented their case for strong community engagement and involvement in the process of determining a repair or replacement of Center School, as well as the location of a new, non-districted elementary school serving pre-K, K, and First Grade. Town Meeting rewarded their efforts thus far by unanimously approving $600,000 for a feasibility study.

             Town Meeting voted $96,000 toward the repair of the main entrance to the Loop Road, which was called a "driveway" by some in attendance, as opposed to a road, which would qualify for state Chapter 90 funds.

              "Shame  on the School Committee for not maintaining it," said Planning Board Vice-Chairman John Coutinho, speaking as a resident.

              The Article (21), which required a 2/3 majority, barely passed, 90-28.

              Voters continued their generosity, funding $80,000 for joint information technology, $205,000 for an emergency generator for Elmwood School, $80,000 for a mowing tractor for school grounds, $50,000 for improvements to the police station and $78,000 for two new police vehicles and technology upgrades to those cruisers. 

               Town Meeting continues this evening, Tuesday, May 7, 2013, at 7:00 pm in the Middle School Auditorium. 


James “Jim” M. Mellor, 72


Whitinsville-James “Jim” M. Mellor, 72 formerly of Heritage Park died Sat. May 4 at the Ichabod-Washburn Hospice House in Worcester after an illness. He is survived by his first wife and friend Vivian (Deschene) Mellor; 2 sons Michael Mellor and his wife Lynne of Hopkinton, John Mellor and his wife Janet of Northbridge; a daughter Amy Babiy and her husband Sergey of Northbridge and 10 grandchildren, Nicole, Danielle, and Jessica Mellor of Hopkinton; Jonathan, Kathryn, and Hillary Mellor of Northbridge, and Vanessa, Emily, Marcus, and Lucas Babiy of Northbridge; as well as many friends especially Alan "Tilly" Taylor and Linda Smith. He was predeceased by his brother Robert M. Mellor who died on Jan. 5, 2009. Born in Whitinsville on Sept. 30, 1940 he was the son of George and Mary (Daley) Mellor and lived here all of his life. He was a graduate of Northbridge High School Class of 1958. Jim was the owner and operator of the Gray Barn in Whitinsville until his retirement in 2003. 

Jim enjoyed spending time with his family especially all of his grandchildren. He attended many sports events and activities over the years. He was dubbed the #1 Fan of the Hopkinton High School Softball Team. He also enjoyed playing cards with “the guys” at the Gray Barn and enjoyed the occasional trip to the casino as well as his many golf trips with his friends including Myrtle Beach, the Dominican Republic, Florida, California, and Georgia. He was a member of St. Patrick’s Church.

His funeral will be held on Fri. May 10 from Jackman Funeral Home, 12 Spring St. with a Mass at 10 a.m. in St. Patrick’s Church, 1 Cross St. Whitinsville. Burial will follow in St. Patrick’s Cemetery. Calling hours at the funeral home will be held on Thurs. May 9 from 4-8 p.m. In lieu of flowers donations in Jim's memory may be made to the Ichabod-Washburn house, 1183 Main St., Worcester, MA 01606. To leave a condolence message for the family, please visit 


Auditions for ESL Show Twelfth Night on May 17

HOPKINTON, MA (May 6, 2013) --- Enter Stage Left Theater will be hosting auditions for Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night at 7:00 p.m. on May 17 at the HCA Farmhouse, 98 Hayden Rowe.  Twelfth Night is this year’s Shakespeare under the Stars production, and will be directed by Tom Gleadow and performed outside on August 1, 2 and 3.   This show is sponsored in part by the Hopkinton Cultural Council and Webster First Credit Union.


Auditioners are asked to prepare a two-minute monologue from either Twelfth Night
or another Shakespeare comedy.  A $150 production contribution will be asked of those who are cast.


“This is one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies and a really fun production to take part in,” said Kelly Grill, executive director of the HCA.  “Performing it in our outdoor theater just adds to the experience!”


Support for Ellen Scordino

Dear Neighbors,


Please join me and vote for Ellen Scordino for School Committee on May 20, 2013.  As a parent and as a taxpayer I am absolutely convinced that Ellen’s background,  experience and temperament are a perfect fit for our community.  Ellen will keep the school district focused on two critical elements, namely educational excellence AND management oversight.  Ellen will be a strong advocate for our children’s education while always being mindful and respectful of your tax dollars.  For many years the Town of Hopkinton has repeatedly demonstrated that educational excellence does not require a blank check.  Ellen understands the need for a balanced approach and will continue to deliver excellent results for students, parents and taxpayers alike.  Ellen Scordino has earned my respect and my vote.  Please give her your full consideration as you choose the next generation of leaders for Hopkinton.
Thank you!

Brian Herr
31 Elizabeth Road
May 6, 2013


Support for Amy Ritterbusch

Dear Editor,


I am happy to support Amy Ritterbusch for the School Committee.


I have known Amy for several years now and I continue to be impressed with her skills and work ethic.  Amy has been actively involved in the schools for many years as a volunteer in school-related groups, through the HPTA and as a founder of the group Educate Hopkinton.  She has already put in countless hours supporting the schools, and I am confident she will continue to work hard on behalf of all of us in her new role. 


Amy has proven herself to be someone who takes the time to learn about topics in depth and who advocates for solutions to problems in a common sense manner.  She has shown the ability to work as part of a team, but she also displays confident leadership.  I believe that Amy can help our town to move forward with many important goals we have for our schools, from continuing to advance a Center School solution, to further enhancing our curriculum, to dealing with the challenges that the continued growth of our town will bring.  She is also aware of our need to do all of this in a time of tight finances.


Being on the School Committee is a demanding job that requires significant commitment, long hours of work and a willingness to make hard decisions based on studying the details of numerous issues.  I am confident that Amy has the skills and ability required to continue to improve our schools while being sensitive to the overall needs of the town.  For this reason, I hope you will join me in voting for Amy Ritterbusch for School Committee on May 20.




Ben Palleiko

1 Meadowland Dr.

May 6, 2013



PARENTS' NIGHT OUT, FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013 (5:30-8:30 pm)

Parents, take the night off! Bring your kids to Saint Mark's Episcopal Church, 27 Main Street in Southborough, across from Fay School. All children ages 5-grade 5 are welcome to attend this fun event from 5:30-8:30pm. A pizza dinner will be served. We will have outdoor activities, games, skits, a craft, and an animated kids' movie. This event raises money for the upcoming youth mission trip this summer. Cost is $25 for one child, $40 for two, $55 for three kids. Email Melissa at 
tobeslabelle@mac.com for more info or call the church at 508-481-1917. We hope to see you there!


VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL, AUGUST 19-23, 2013 (9am-noon)

Calling all kids age 4 through grade 5. Come for an awesome, fun, inexpensive day camp August 19-23 (Monday-Friday) at Saint Mark's Church in Southborough, MA. The church is located at 27 Main Street, across from the Fay School. Each day will feature outdoor activities, games, songs, skits, crafts, stories and more! Family picnic after the last day of VBS. Optional field trip after the program on Thursday, 8/22. Call the church 508-481-1917 or email Melissa @
tobesabelle@mac.com for more info or to sign up. Registration forms are available at the church. The camp will feature a nature and National Parks theme. Don't miss out on the fun! Only $40 for a whole week for one child, $50 for two kids, $75 for three kids. What a deal!




The Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) is hosting their 21st statewide Against the Tide Event at DCR’s Hopkinton State Park on June 22nd in Hopkinton, MA. John Tummon, Hopkinton resident, will be participating in the Hopkinton event on June 22nd. He has been a swimmer in the Hopkinton event in the past and is working through an injury to swim again this year 2013. Recovered or not, John will be generously offering his time as a volunteer for Against the Tide.


John Tummon grew up in a fairly large family with 6 brothers and 4 sisters. Today, John has 4 stepchildren, 2 children of his own, 9 grandchildren, and another child on the way. As too many have been affected by breast cancer, this horrible disease has touched John in numerous ways. When John was just 11 years old, his mother died of breast cancer at age 53. When John was 44 years of age, his sister died at age 59. John is motivated to support MBCC in memory of his loved ones and MBCC is proud to have such a dedicated supporter on its team. 


John explains his drive to support the Against the Tide events; “I support MBCC because of their goal towards breast cancer prevention. My sister who passed away inspired me to do the swim.”


Currently, MBCC is the only breast cancer organization locally or nationally that focuses on breast cancer prevention. The statewide Against the Tide events generate funds towards this goal and MBCC’s work in community education, research advocacy, and public policy change. The morning events consist of a 1-mile swim, 2-mile kayak, 3-mile walk, 5K run, and 10K run. Participants may choose one or more of the activities in any combination. There will also be a “Splash and Dash” Aquathlon option where participants first "splash" in the competitive 1-mile swim and then, "dash" in the competitive 5K or 10K run. Each year, this family-friendly event brings individuals from all demographics and all abilities together with one goal in mind: breast cancer prevention.


If you are interested in participating in a unique fundraising event for a great cause, registration is easy! Visit http://www.firstgiving.com/mbcc/against-the-tide-hopkinton-2013 to register and follow instructions under “Registration is Easy.” If you are unable to attend, please consider making a pledge to this team through www.firstgiving.com.



Parade and Memorial Day Events in Hopkinton

Honor Veterans with Ceremonies, Parade and Taps


On Monday, May 27, 2013, Hopkinton will hold its annual Memorial Day commemorative events.  Events will include prayers, readings, playing of “Taps”,  gun salutes, a parade and will culminate with the raising of the flag and the singing of the National Anthem at the Town Common.


Events will begin at the Evergreen Cemetery in Woodville at 9:45 a.m.  At 10:30 several veteran memorial locations on Mayhew Street will each be honored.  The parade to the Town Common Gazebo will start at 11:15 and end at noon with the traditional raising of the flag and the singing of the National Anthem. 


The parade route is from Mayhew Street to Main Street to the Town Common with veterans, vintage military vehicles, fire trucks, the High School Band, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and others marching.  Best viewing is between Colella’s and the Common.


Please join us to honor the men and women who have died while serving in the United States Armed Services.


In case of rain, all services will be held at the Saint John’s Parish Center, on Church St. at 11:00 a.m.









The Green Team



In April, members of the Hopkinton Middle School Green Team were recognized at the State House for their efforts to make HMS and the community a greener place.  After receiving a Green Difference Award, students had the opportunity to meet with Representative Carolyn Dykema who praised the students for their commitment to the environment and spoke with students about the importance of sustainable living.


Not Quite 26.2 Miles


< ---------This photo and others in the gallery may be purchased on our online SmugMug page. And guess what? Today's print prices are half of what yesterday's were! And they are going to stay that way!


May 5, 2013 — Young runners (and some older ones as well) turned out under sunny skies Sunday for the annual HPTA Mini Marathon, featuring races for ages 3 and up. Swoops, the Elmwood Eagle mascot, was on hand to cheer on the preschool runners. 

In the Grade 1 boys race (quarter-mile), Christian Pereira was the boys winner in 1:33, followed by Derek Hatherly and Matthew Somerset. On the girls side, Kate Finnegan blazed home in 1:37.

In the Grade 2 boys race (quarter-mile), Mattheww Zettek raced to the line in 1:18. Robert Garesche was second and Cole Deisenroth third. For the girls, Shelby Jones was first in 1:25, Sienead Herr was second and Maura Souza third.

The third grade race was a half-mile. For the boys, Riley Finnegan was first in 3:00, Owen Schnur took second and Danny Villani third. For the girls, Lexy Trendel captured first in 3:11, Katherine Lundy took second and Hayley Glassburn third.

In the half-mile Grade 4 girls race, Cate Barry was first in 3:10 and Olivia Jones took second.

The Grade 5 race was three-quarters of a mile. Robby Bernardin (4:31), Cody Ottinger and Jon Bouvier took the top three spots. Katelyn Distasio was the girls winner.

Contributed by the Spars


Support for Amy Ritterbusch


I am voting for Amy Ritterbusch for School Committee not just because of her initiative and tireless efforts to improve Hopkinton’s schools, but also for her ability to identify and implement solutions.


Amy’s active volunteerism through her nine years as a Hopkinton resident, which includes attending school committee meetings and serving as an HPTA volunteer at several schools, gives her a clear understanding of how our school system works.


As communications chair, Amy succeeded in streamlining many of the HPTA’s technology processes. She also skillfully managed a staff to efficiently communicate all of the organization’s efforts to support our schools. These experiences have given her a first-hand look at school processes and procedures.


Her work as a founding member of Educate Hopkinton, an organization that informs our residents on Hopkinton’s budget processes and financial needs, has helped Amy become familiar with the inner workings of the town’s government and issues. 


We need Amy to be our School Committee representative because she will go above and beyond what she already understands of our town’s schools to improve them for current and future students and families. 

Amy is a staunch supporter of issues that will move our schools forward. She will work diligently with parents, school administrators, teachers and town officials to ensure that Hopkinton continues to have one the best school systems in our state. 


Please join me in electing Amy Ritterbusch to the Hopkinton School Committee on May 20.  


Jim Montalto

203 Wood Street

May 5, 2013


Support for Amy Ritterbusch

Dear Editor,


Amy Ritterbusch is the absolute right person for the job of School Committee Member.  Commitment, dedication, and focus for ensuring the best education of our children are what we need and want on our School Committee, and Amy exudes each of these characteristics as demonstrated by her selfless volunteering and activism in our community year after year.


I have had the pleasure of working closely with Amy through our efforts with the Hopkinton Cub Scouts where our boys started as Tiger Cubs.  Upon joining Pack 26, Amy quickly engaged both as a Den Leader, and volunteering her time and creativity as Webmaster.  As a direct result of her leadership and strong communications skills, the Pack quickly went from a Pack with barely enough members, to a prototypical Cub Scout organization viewed as the leader in community service and town-wide Scout activities.


Over the years, Amy became my family’s trusted eyes and ears for all things related to Hopkinton Schools through her activism and volunteerism.  Her strong communication skills kept us well informed and we could always count on Amy to report the key points and salient issues discussed during various Committee meetings.  But beyond just her reporting of the issues, she exemplified what we all should be doing by personally getting involved to advocate on issues such as smaller class sizes and changes to the school calendar, and ensuring transparency on major decisions related to our schools. 


I have no doubt that if elected to the School Committee, that Amy will be the best advocate for all of us to ensure that our children receive the greatest education possible.  Please join me in electing Amy Ritterbusch to the Hopkinton School Committee on May 20th.  To learn more about Amy, please visit her website.




Bill Pessin

2 Snowy Owl Road


May 5, 2013




Three's a Company

May 5, 2013 —Firefighter Fran Clark, Boo Clark and Lt. Patrick Gross make their way down a driveway to a fire off of South Mill Street, where a small outbuilding burner to the ground, and ignited surrounding brush.

A Candidate's Statement

May 5, 2013 — Candidate for School Committee Ellen Scordino makes a statement by inviting friends and family supporters for pizza at Cornell's Sunday afternoon.


Help from Some Friends

May 5, 2013 — Firefighters from Ashland, Milford, Westborough and the State converged on South Mill Street this afternoon to make sure a small fire got no larger.


Opening Day

May 5, 2013 — Water Fresh Farm Marketplace opened their unique ice cream concession today to the delight of many who sampled the wares.


To Join or Not to Join...

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's bad choice

by Elizabeth Eidlitz

May 5, 2013 — If you’ve experienced moments when you felt depressed enough to let Jehovah’s Witnesses into your home, you can understand 12-year-old Frankie Addams in Carson McCullers’ “The Member of the Wedding.”  Feeling disconnected from the world, an  “unjoined” person, yearning for something to belong to, she is searching for the “we of me.”


Through meaningful connections with another, or others, we access the animating spirit of community.  At the Boston Marathon, preexistent intangibles connected people wanting to be together, whether running, cheering, or watching. Thus the attack on the 2013 race was an overwhelming violation of the purest form of community, a fellowship that starts on the Hopkinton Common in untarnished moments of great beginnings when hopes and expectations are highest.


The gun goes off.  Audiences glimpse only a blur of moving kneecaps, sneakers, or tops of heads.   But watching the race on TV, they’d miss three-dimensional, sensuous textures of being there: smells of fried grease and astringent wintergreen, spirited sounds from the high school band, as thousands participate in their own ways: Children tacking a crayoned poster to a telephone pole along the route:  ‘Go Mrs. Clifford. Go! Love, Grade 5;” spectators buying balloons, spun sugar cones, Italian sausages, plastic trumpets, sweatshirts and souvenirs; experienced and first time runners doing leg stretches, nibbling Chocolate Outrage bars, wearing hefty garbage bags for warmth --all wanting to belong to a 100-plus-year-old tradition.  


“The Marathon gives me goosebumps,” says a female spectator. “It’s thrilling to watch people try that hard. “  Aware of our own heartbreak hills, we bond with those who symbolize courage and determination.  Kinship, not fear of the policeman around the corner, fosters spontaneous good behavior: people step over daffodils on the Common, pass maple syrup at the Lions’ Pancake Breakfast. And none of the unlocked bicycles leaning against fencing is stolen.


Community transcends even destruction from bomb explosions on Boylston Street, reasserting itself through strangers offering blankets, bathrooms, orange juice, cell phone calls, improvising a tourniquet from a belt, crossing the finish line and continuing to run toward a hospital to donate blood. We witness the essence and power of community at its best in such luminous moments, when a soulfelt wish to give, totally liberated from oughts or shoulds, reaches critical mass.


But what do we make of neighborhood gangs and terrorist cells, whose members bond together toward negative ends, and, in that dark landscape of man’s inhumanity to man, plot not only suicidal missions of revenge, but senseless attacks as well.


Captured alive, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, survives to answer our whys- if in fact, he knows the truth.  His gentle, intelligent, rather vulnerable face, not that of a smirking conscienceless monster, matches the profile of a National Honor Society student on university scholarship, who captained a wrestling team, loved and looked up to his brother, seemed respectful and obedient to his mother, and “goofed around” with friends, shocked into disbelief that he could deliberately kill and maim victims whose bodies and blown off legs bloodied the pavement.


 Dzhokhar’s uncle  claims that his youngest nephew had “been absolutely wasted by his older brother,” a loser, who  “used him for what we see they’ve done.”

But why would Dzhokhar join Tamerlan in an undertaking so hugely evil? 


Emerging research about brain development suggests that the prefrontal cortex, the  “CEO of the brain,” responsible for cognitive analysis and abstract thought, may not be fully developed until age 25. Even if teens understand that something is dangerous, they may still engage in behavior devoid of social constraints and sense of responsibility.


Furthermore, beneath contradictory surface appearances and naturalized citizenship, Dzhokhar, only seven years older than the desperately lonely Frankie Addams, may have felt alienated and “unjoined.”   An impressionable teenager needing something to belong to, perhaps in becoming a co-conspirator with his radicalized older brother, Dzhokhar found the “we of me.”


Of course his hugely horrific act demands huge consequences.  It may be years before the justice system decides what they should be.  Meanwhile, it’s a time for us to transcend anger and join together, not in a community of hate, but in a community of empathy.

NOTE: This submission by Elizabeth Eidlitz was originally published in the MetroWest Daily News earlier today.


Sounds for Sandy

May 4, 2013 — Carter Berking, left, and front man Steve Spector warmed up the gathering at St. John's the Evangelist Parish Center Saturday evening before Carol Cheney's band provided the main performance for the fundraiser for the Youth Ministry, which, according to youth minister Mark Motyke,.will be traveling to assist people at the Jersey Shore and Staten Island with the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.

     The group, all high school students, will also help out in Mississippi, Honduras and Alabama for the needs in those areas.


No ID Necessary

May 4, 2013 — The Southborough Rod and Gun Club put on a feed exclusively for Hopkinton senior citizens on late Saturday afternoon, eighty-one of them, according to Arthur K. Holmes, a member of the club's Board of Directors, who has been involved with the club for 59 years.



Best-Kept Secret

May 4, 2013 — These folks are taking a stroll around the grounds of the Hopkinton YMCA during today's open house. The Y, once called Hopkinton's "best kept secret" by Director John "The Bear" Barclay, has become less of a secret now, with over 800 kids enrolled in the Day Camp on the sprawling 116 acres near the Ashland Reservoir.


Not Just For Breakfast

May 4, 2013 — Cassidy Griffiths gets the scoop on Golden Girl Granola from owners Deborah and Terry O'Kelly at Water Fresh Farm today at the store's day of showcasing and sampling local products.


Year Three and Counting

May 4, 2013 — The HPTA organized their Third Annual Kickball Tournament today at Cornell's Field behind Cornell's Irish Pub and had a steady flow of players who tried to be the first to kick the ball out of the infield. Above, while the runner on first begins her sprint to second base, the kicker displays the type of athleticism needed for this type of occasional sport, as well as professional ballet.


  2011 in Photos Part I2011 in Pictures Part II





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