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Residents Give School Committee a Tongue-lashing

by Muriel Kramer

October 19, 2013 — Emotions ran high at the School Committee Meeting Thursday night with several residents voicing their dissatisfaction with the SC; asserting that they speak for many, they criticized the SC for its unsuccessful hiring practices and further for failing to communicate effectively with the public.


Brenda Coutinho spoke as a parent and a resident, “I’m here representing our community and concerned parents in the matter of the hiring practices of the School Committee. As my husband expressed, it’s no wonder the community has a mistrust of the School Committee at this time with the poor hires of a superintendent and high school principal.”


In a rare break with SC policy that allows people to speak but affords no opportunity for exchange by SC members, Chairman Nancy Alvarez Burdick interrupted Coutinho saying, “I want to comply with our own policies and give you the opportunity to speak but also keep the order.” Alvarez Burdick recommended that Coutinho make an appointment to speak to the Superintendent directly if she had issues over the hiring of Mike Cournoyer as HS principal, making it clear that the hiring authority for principals is the superintendent.


Coutinho continued, “I know there was input not to hire him, but he was hired. I think the School Committee could understand how we feel about the hiring that lasted not two weeks. The School Committee has made no apology for the lack of leadership and upheaval for our high school students.”


Speaking to this point later in the meeting, Superintendent Cathy MacLeod disagreed with Coutinho on the point of lacking leadership at the HS. “All the decisions I have made are to ensure that Hopkinton High School has the very best and very strongest leadership that I can provide. And I have done that. His name is Evan Bishop.”


Coutinho wrapped up, again “speaking for the entire community,” saying, “… your silence is not golden but deafening. It doesn’t sit well with the community. It would serve you to hold a public forum.”


Brian Herr took his turn at the microphone next speaking “as a selectman but not for the Board.” He asserted, “Without question the community is very frustrated.” He added that the community can understand that we at times make good hires like Dr. MacLeod and bad hires like a former Town Manager, then we deal with it and explain it to the community. “The lack of explanation is dividing our community. I believe we collectively as elected officials are failing this community. We need to work together to bridge that gap.”


Alisa Wade spoke next targeting in large part Alvarez Burdick, “I think there is a lot of frustration. Nancy you’re acting very smug talking down to us… I don’t think you should keep pretending that it’s all roses over there.”


SC member Jon Graziano interjected, “We do understand people’s frustrations and in some cases share them.”


Alvarez Burdick added, “I’ve been here [on the SC] 9 years; I’ve had a tough time making my skin thick. It takes a lot to remain composed when people arrive and they are not composed.”


Resident Dan Terry up next respectfully took the SC to task for a public comment process that is dissatisfying to many. “I’d like to suggest this particular part of the meeting isn’t effective… I personally don’t think it works; I don’t think it’s effective.”  Adding later, “I don’t consider it communication if the process is for one side to speak their mind and the other to sit and fold their hands… I appreciate the dialogue that has occurred tonight.”


SC Vice Chair Scott Aghababian took a moment to appreciate the feedback and remind listeners that we still have exceptional staff in the schools that deserve our confidence.  Then added, “I just want to express that there are times when confidentiality and things like that are involved, it’s very hard for us to disprove anything that may never have happened.”


Rob Strechay also spoke encouraging the committee to be more proactive in engaging the community especially in the communication process.  After the discussion, Strechay continued the conversation outside the meeting in the corridor. He acknowledged that the schools are really why he moved here with his family. He is frustrated by the lack of transparency in the process, and acknowledged that the recent circumstances with the botched hiring of a new principal for HHS was “the straw that broke the camel’s back” for him.


Editor's Note: Since the Thursday meeting, the MetroWest Daily News has revealed the existence of a lawsuit for $2 million against a former Middle School teacher as well as school administrators and the town.


Hopkinton 49, Dover-Sherborn 0

October 18, 2013 — Sophomore Nate Wilson leads the pack above in a game that involved a mix of running and passing, with a lot of running, this evening at home as Hopkinton shut out Dover-Sherborn in Tri-Valley League competition. Please enjoy a gallery below of photos taken by Brent heavey:



Check back later for Last Night's School Committee Report from Muriel Kramer.
Facebook and Twitter followers will get alerted when it is online here.
     Police Incident/Arrest Log - Most Recent First
   Updated Friday, October 18, 2013


The Hopkinton Police were involved in the following incidents, which are not included in the detail report below.

3 Motor Vehicle/Person/Home Checks.

1 Motor Vehicle Accident without personal injury.

2 Disabled Motor Vehicles.

1 Time the Police participated in Community Relations or passenger safety.

Incident Log

Thursday, October 17, 2013

11:47 pm A caller reported that while exiting a West Main Street business a younger teenager asked her an offensive question. Officer Jacob Campbell checked the area but could not locate the individual.

2:14 pm The bus office reported that a delivery truck was parked on Ash Street making it so that a bus could not get through. Officer Matthew McNeil responded and advised that there was no issue.

2:14 pm A caller reported that another dog had chased her and her dog off of the sidewalk and into the roadway on Hayden Rowe Street. The dog then came up and bit her dog. The Animal Control Officer was notified of the situation.

1:52 pm A caller reported that two large dump trucks were speeding on South Mill Street. Officer Patrick O'Brien advised that one of the trucks were identified and that he attempted to contact the business.

12:43 pm The Fire Department responded to Route 495 to assist the State Police with an overturned tractor trailer unit that had a person trapped inside.

9:50 am A walk-in from South Street reported that a silver minivan side struck his vehicle this morning and then fled the scene. Officer Stephen Buckley will investigate the situation.

8:22 am A Granite Street resident reported a past breaking and entering incident. Officer Patrick O'Brien advised that he will investigate.

2:48 am A 911 caller from North Street reported that she was awakened by her dogs barking and a woman screaming. Two officers checked the area with a negative find on anything suspicious.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

2:06 pm A resident of Hayward Street sent an email to Detective Timothy Brennan regarding suspicious activity. Officer Stephen Buckley responded and spoke with the resident.

10:16 am A walk-in reported that someone obtained her daughter's social security number and filed a tax return with it.

Top Cop Applications Due Today

October 18, 2013 — In case applying for the job of Chief of Police of Hopkinton, Mass has slipped your mind, be reminded that the application process for the position closes today. To apply for the position, learn more here.


Pile of Dreams

October 18, 2013 — What good is raking leaves into a pile if you can't jump into them afterward? Photographed on Wood Street yesterday by a dad.

Air Support

October 18, 2013 — These Canada geese are being flanked by a mallard couple, far right, this morning on the northern side of the causeway of North Pond.



New Water Meters to be Installed


Please be advised that the DPW water and sewer division will be installing new outside water meter reading units at customer’s homes and business in the Pond Street, Lake Maspenock and Thayer Heights area.  In most cases this does not require entry into the home. However, in some instances technicians may need to gain access to your basement to make the necessary connection. 

We thank you for your cooperation in this matter.


Fay School Evening Open House

Tuesday, October 22 from 7:00-8:30 PM

Meet at Fay House, 60 Main Street, Southborough, MA

Come learn about Fay's dynamic PreK-9 program and meet our talented faculty, who are committed to our mission of educating each child to his or her full potential. Questions? Contact Anique Seldon at 508-490-8201. For more information about Fay School please visit us online at www.fayschool.org/welcome.


Evening Open House Program

7:00 PM - Welcome Reception

7:15 PM - Campus Tours Depart

7:45 PM - Video Presentation & Panel Discussion 

8:30 PM - Conclusion


Orange Tree, Very Pretty

October 17, 2013 — Unlike the lemon tree, this orange tree, which is just a tree that is orange, has no fruit. But the first person to email Editor@HopNews.com with the correct location gets a check for $25. It's that simple.


Hopkinton Sustainable Green Committee invites you to

a Membership Mixer

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
07:30 PM - 09:00 PM
229 Hayden Rowe Street
Hopkinton MA 01748

Did you know that Hopkinton is a designated Green Community? Stop by to talk about Green-Up Day or Town/School Recycling or Community Solar.  Do you have new green ideas that you'd like to see implemented in town?  We are recruiting new members.  Come meet and greet with our committee.


Speed Possible Factor in 495 Tractor Trailer Ramp Rollover

Hopkinton Fire Department extricates man and woman

October 17, 2013 — Reports indicate that the tractor trailer was travelling southbound on route 495 when it entered onto the ramp to the Massachusetts Turnpike and rolled over. The occupants, a male and female, both 65 years old, became trapped at the time of the crash and had to be extricated by Hopkinton and Westborough Fire Departments. Both occupants were transported by ambulance to UMass Medical Center with non- life threatening injuries.


A preliminary investigation suggests that speed may have been a factor in the rollover crash. Troopers from the State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Section are currently on scene conducting an investigation into the crash. The truck’s cargo is listed as being glass containers.


The ramp from Route 495 southbound to the Massachusetts Turnpike remains closed and is expected to for several more hours. Route 495 southbound remains open and traffic is moving freely. Route 495 northbound, by Exit 22, The Mass Turnpike, is experiencing some delays.


We expect traffic to be impacted for the evening commute and recommend seeking and alternate entrance to the Mass Turnpike other than the Route 495 southbound ramp entrance. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is assisting with the road closure and cleanup of leaking fluids.


It is that time of the year again! Hopkinton Youth Basketball In-town Sign-ups are now open. Please goto
ActivityReg.com to register for the 2013-14 Season. Please call the Parks and Recreation office if you have any questions. (508) 479-9750.
Traffic advisory: 12:55 pm, October 17, 2013
Tractor Trailer unit roll over - 2 people entrapment - 495 S at ramp onto Mass Pike moments ago.
facebook and Twitter followers were alerted immediately


Never Too Soon

Golf Perfection


October 17, 2013 — Pictured above is the High School Golf Team, after beating Westwood by one stroke at Hopkinton Country Club.  The team finished the season a perfect 18-0 for the first time in the HISTORY of the program.  Coach Richard Bliss(right) started the program 34 years ago, and has had great success over the years, and has had many players go on to not only play in college, but also as a professional.  Six members of the team will compete in the sectional tournament next Monday at Easton Country Club, and four members will compete in the TVL Tournament at Hopkinton next Thursday.


Fresh Fish Delivered DAILY !

The Golden Spoon gets their fresh fish delivered every day from Captain Marden of Wellesley. Really, every day, and for a very long time now! Whether it's the fried haddock that is on the summer menu to the shrimp scampi with mussels over angel hair that is on special, feel confident that it is the finest quality a restaurant can serve, and that your dinner is cooked fresh to order. And if you know them well  enough, Bill Morgan, or one of his sous chefs, will make the scampi to order, even when it isn't on special.

There are no substitutes at "The Spoon." The seafood chowder is made from the same seafood that is served from the menu and on special; lobster, shrimp, haddock, scallops. No fake "crab legs" or scallop substitute found elsewhere for more money! The New England fish chowder has that distinctive taste of fresh cod that New Englanders find so familiar, and it is chock full of it. And if haddock is on the menu, it is haddock that they will serve, not a cheaper substitute like elsewhere.

Sure, others may have fresh seafood, but "The Spoon" cooks it to perfection, with well-deserved pride, and for far less money than it costs elsewhere.

Most people already know about the great breakfast menu,
and the lunch specials for $5 and up. Click on the ad button to see the entire menu.


Senator Spilka Hosts 2013 Senior Citizen Health & Wellness Fair




 Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) will host her annual Senior Health and Wellness Fair on Saturday, October 26th at the Joseph P. Keefe Technical School in Framingham. All MetroWest seniors are invited to learn more about ways to continue to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.


Throughout the course of the day, seniors will participate in a variety of workshops and presentations about senior health programs, benefits and wellness activities. The Fair will also include a continental breakfast, a hot lunch and health screenings for attendees.


Seniors in the MetroWest area are encouraged to contact Puja Mehta, Senator Spilka’s District Director, at (617) 722-1640 or Puja.Mehta@masenate.gov for more information and to RSVP by Tuesday, October 22nd.



WHO:                   Senator Karen Spilka :    Local elder services groups and senior health organizations


WHAT:                 Senator Spilka’s annual Senior Health and Wellness Fair, with a variety of presentations and other activities including:


·         Free continental breakfast and lunch

·         Workshops on senior health programs and wellness activities

·         Opportunities to learn about senior benefits and discounts

·         Free health screenings and flu shots

·         Performance by the Golden Tones chorus

·         Many other booths and exhibits


WHEN:                 Saturday, October 26, 2013

9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.


WHERE:               Joseph P. Keefe Technical School

750 Winter Street

Framingham, MA


NOTE: This event is free, but RSVP is required.



October 16, 2013 — The ducks are elsewhere, the Canada geese are elsewhere, but the great blue heron remains, on Blood's Pond earlier in the week.


DOR Offers Taxpayers a Faster Way to Settle Tax Disputes

Successful pilot program becomes permanent option for more taxpayers  


(Boston, MA)-October 16, 2013 — Massachusetts Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter today announced that the Department of Revenue (DOR) will give taxpayers an option for settling tax disputes faster than traditional appeal methods or litigation following the success of a year-long early mediation pilot program.


Three of four corporate taxpayers that participated in the pilot settled their $1 million dollar or more tax assessments during the very first mediation session. These cases with tax assessments ranging from $2.6 to $9.7 million closed in three-and-a-half to five months compared with the year or more it would have taken through the department’s regular appeals process.


“This is a win-win for both taxpayers who are disputing large tax assessments and DOR,” said Commissioner Pitter. “Long, drawn out appeals cost us both time and money, but if we can mutually settle a number of audit cases through early mediation in under half the time it normally takes, our entire appeals process becomes more efficient.”


Commissioner Pitter noted that one reason the program worked so well was because hearing officers who acted as neutral facilitators were trained in mediation techniques while auditors and attorneys representing the department took classes in conflict resolution.


“We know from experience that if both sides can come to mediation early in the appeals process after the issues and facts have been developed, but before their positions harden and become polarized, then there’s a greater chance for settlement,” said Commissioner Pitter.


The success of the pilot encouraged DOR to make early mediation an integral part of the department’s resolution process and lower the eligibility requirement so more taxpayers can choose the option. The tax assessment threshold is now $250,000 instead of the $1 million dollar base for the pilot program. Other eligibility requirements for early mediation include:


·         Taxpayers must state their case and facts in writing,

·         The issues of the case must be fully developed,

·         Both the taxpayer and DOR must come to mediation willing to settle,

·         Decision makers for both the taxpayer and DOR must participate in the mediation sessions.


Three audit cases with assessments between $250,000 and just over $1 million dollars are scheduled for early mediation in October. Out of 717 pre-assessment audit cases in appeals in FY2013, 77 are likely to have tax bills over the new threshold and could be eligible for the program.  Contributed content.


Edward A. Davis, 58


HOPKINTON - Edward A. Davis, 58, died Monday, October 14, 2013 in Milford after a brief illness. Born in Houston, TX, he was the son of the late Edward and Mary (Day) Davis. He was the husband of Diane T. Capoferri, married for 24 years. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his sons, Americo Capoferri of Santa Monica, CA, Eric Worsnup of Royersford, PA and Gabriel P. and Marcello C. Davis of Hopkinton.  He also leaves his sister Carol Ann Davis of Bellevue, WA and nine nieces and nephews.


He was a 1977 graduate of Texas A&M University and earned his Master's from Rice University in 1984. He spent more than 30 years coaching football, and made a huge impact on the lives of thousands of student-athletes. His coaching career began in Sealy, Texas as a high school coach moving to college at Rice, Texas Tech, Temple, Texas State, James Madison, Northeastern, Dean College and Christopher Newport University.


Calling hours at the Callanan Cronin Funeral Home, 34 Church Street, Hopkinton are Saturday, October 19 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  There will be a brief funeral service at 2:00 p.m. in the funeral home.  

Donations may be made to Milford Regional Medical Center IC Unit, 14 Prospect Street, Milford, MA  01757


Autumn Moon

October 16, 2013 — This Waxing Gibbous Moon over Hopkinton last night was photographed at just the right moment to accentuate the craters on the bottom-most surface.

Where's the Beaver?

October 16, 2013 — This beaver dam on North Mill Pond appears to have been worked on recently, but the darn's beaver never shows up for the photo.
  Police Incident/Arrest Log - Most Recent First
   Updated Wednesday, October 16, 2013


The Hopkinton Police were involved in the following incidents, which are not included in the detail report below.

1 Time the Police assisted the Fire Department, another department, town, or outside Police agency.

3 Motor Vehicle/Person/Home Checks.

1 Motor Vehicle Accident without personal injury.

3 Disabled Motor Vehicles.

1 Time the Police assisted with an Animal Call.

Arrest Log

Monday, October 14, 2013

11:26 pm Officer Peter Booth arrested Michael D. Pembroke, 38, of Buffum Road, Charlton, on Cedar Street and charged him with Marked Lanes Violation and OUI Liquor, 2nd Offense.

Incident Log

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

9:04 pm A walk-in reported that a man in a Main Street store was acting suspicious. Officer Peter Booth checked the area for the male with a negative find.

7:30 pm A caller reported that seven to eight youths, with dark clothing on, were walking in the roadway on Elm Street causing a road hazard. Officer William Burchard checked the area but could not locate any youths.

6:11 pm A 911 caller reported that she was just involved in a hit and run motor vehicle accident on Wood Street and the only description of the other vehicle was a large silver minivan. Officer William Burchard responded and took a report.

2:13 pm Three officers responded to Colella Farm Road to investigate an attempted breaking and entering with damage to two doors.

1:32 pm The Holliston Police Department requested assistance with locating a breaking and entering suspect with active warrants exiting the woods in the area of College Street.

11:30 am A Fruit Street resident reported that there was an unwanted person at their residence. Two officers responded, but were unable to locate the individual.

Monday, October 14, 2013

10:48 pm Officer Peter Booth stopped a motor vehicle on Cedar Street and subsequently arrested a 38 year old male from Charlton and charged him with Marked Lanes Violation and OUI Liquor, 2nd Offense.

10:22 pm Officer Peter Booth shut down a large piece of equipment working in the roadway on West Main Street until a detail officer could arrive.

10:09 pm An Indian Brook Road resident complained about a loud Jeep that continuously drove up and down the roadway. Officer William Burchard checked the area but could not locate the vehicle.

4:25 pm A walk-in from Victory Lane reported that last Wednesday someone had dumped a car battery on his lawn.

Fall on the Sudbury

October 15, 2013 — Abutters to the Sudbury River, Andy Boyce and daughter Madeline, took a trip from the T station dam area up as far as they could go, and reported much wildlife and scenic views. There is an area in the corner of the T parking lot where a car-top boat can launch.


Milford Regional Collaborates with Boston Children’s Hospital


October 15, 2013 — Families in MetroWest and Central Massachusetts now have access to the expertise of Boston Children’s physicians at Milford Regional Medical Center. In collaboration with local physicians, clinicians from Boston Children’s care for children admitted to Milford Regional’s pediatric inpatient unit, and newborns in the Maternity Center.   


In mid-September, Boston Children's Physicians began providing pediatric specialty care in gastroenterology and general surgery at the Kid Care physician office on Milford Regional's campus. These services are offered through Boston Children’s Hospital’s Community of Care, enabling Boston Children’s physicians to provide high quality, pediatric specialty care for patients in their local community.  Boston Children’s physicians have extensive experience in working with local physicians to coordinate care for patients from birth to early adulthood.


“Boston Children’s is pleased to begin this new collaboration with Milford Regional, and we look forward to bringing comprehensive, compassionate care to children and families in the region,” says Sandra Fenwick, president & CEO of Boston Children’s Hospital.


 “We are extremely excited to provide the high level of care that Boston Children’s physicians offer in pediatrics,” says Edward J. Kelly, president of Milford Regional.  “This collaboration means parents will no longer have to travel into Boston to access the very best care for their children. Now, they can find it close to home. “


More details about the collaboration between Milford Regional and Boston Children’s Hospital are available online at www.milfordregional.org/pediatrics  or www.bostonchildrens.org/milford .


Lake Whitehall Fall Cleanup

October 26, 2013, 9:00 am - Noon




The Friends of Whitehall will have their 9th annual fall clean-up on Sat. Oct 26th from 9 a.m. until noon. Please join us at the boat landing at Whitehall State Park on Wood St (Rte.135) in Hopkinton for a little pre-Halloween fun and work! Our goal will once again be to pick up trash and debris from the trails and shoreline around Lake Whitehall.  We will also clean up some roadsides near the lake. Bug spray, gloves, trash bags, tools and water will be provided. Coffee, hot chocolate and doughnuts will be available before we begin, and more refreshments will be available after the clean-up. We hope that we will have many volunteers to help us with this effort.


The Friends of Whitehall was started in 2005 and our main mission is to preserve, protect and improve the wonderful natural resource of Lake Whitehall and its surrounding area. Please visit our website http://www.friendsofwhitehall.org/  or join us on Facebook to learn more about us. We are a non-profit 501c (3)organization.


 Much More on:


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