May 30, 2007 —
Hopkinton Chief of Police Thomas Irvin helps Chief of the Day, Mitchell
Zammitti, age 4, a Sunshine pre-school student, to enjoy trying out the
department's motorcycle as his mom calls for him to look at her camera
today at Police Headquarters.
May 30, 2007
— Mrs. Lynne Rufo leads her kindergarten class today as they return to
Center School today after an outing to the Police Station.
TPL/Taurus pack bags
"partner" bows out
May 30, 2007
— In an eleventh hour move that disappoints its supporters, but
surprises few pundits, TPL
(Trust for Public Land) and Taurus New England have withdrawn from
considering its proposed partnership with the Town of Hopkinton in the
purchase of the Weston Nurseries land.
Here is the letter of notification.
The group had put together an option that would have cost the town a
total of $6.7 million, less $1.5 million from an NStar conservation
restriction purchase. The group had also hoped the town could kick in
another $2 million from Community Preservation funds, which would have
brought the town's cost to only $3.2 million for 420 acres
of land, not much more than the price of only 20 acres of Woodville land purchased a
year ago by the town.
However, last week the CPC (Community Preservation Committee), in a
positive motion to fund the purchase by Henry Kunicki, who voted in the
negative against his own motion, voted in a tie, which brought a
negative result, defeating the approval. Mr. Kunicki claimed at that time
that only he could rewrite the motion
for a revote, and he said he would not do that.
Asked after the announcement today if that vote by the CPC was the final nail on the
coffin, Badge Blackett, Senior Project Manager for TPL replied, "That's
"The focus on the fiscal impact stuff drowned out the community impact
stuff, and the town lost the choice between two options.
"The town's got a lot of good people who care about what the town looks
like. Although I have a lot of respect for the process, I'm not happy
with the outcome," Mr. Blackett said.
The big winner today was Boulder Capital, which has the court-approved
purchase and sale with Weston Nurseries. After the announcement today,
President of Boulder, Roy MacDowell said, "Working with Badge Blackett
and TPL — we've got a better plan. He's made our project a better
Now, the only valid option for the town at the Special Town Meeting on
June 11 will be to purchase the entire property or not purchase it.
After the announcement today, Finley Perry (File photo), Chairman of the
LUSC (Land Use Study
Committee) said, "Taurus and TPL did the community a grand service
by offering an alternative to the deal we had; but the Boulder deal is
now better than the one we would have had.
"I think TPL was instrumental in getting that done for us," he said.
LUSC member Liisa Jackson (File photo) said after the announcement, "I'm
very disappointed that the voters don't have that option. But there are
people in the HOPE group interested in buying it all." Ms. Jackson has
has been the public face of the group HOPE (Hopkintonians Organized to
Preserve and Enhance), which has held meetings in an attempt to
have some influence over the sale since
its formation on 2005.
At last night's Selectmen's meeting, abutter Chris Barry said he would
lead an effort for the town to purchase the property in its entirety. He
could not be reached for comment this evening.
GRADS OF 1987 WHERE ARE YOU??
Local classmates for the Class of 1987 are
trying to put together a 20th High School Reunion and trying
to locate fellow classmates. If you are a classmate or are a
parent of a classmate who graduated from Hopkinton High
School in 1987, please contact Lisa Martin at 508-435-4874
with any information or email information to us at
D. Kerr, 16,
of Framingham, died Sunday, May 27,
2007, at Milford Regional Medical
Framingham, he was the son of James
M. and Donna J. (McNabb) Kerr of
He was a sophomore at Framingham
High School, where he was a member
of the football team. He also
competed in the town boxing league
Besides his parents, he leaves his
sisters, Shannon and Michelle Kerr,
both of Framingham; his maternal
grandparents, Brent and Theresa
McNabb of Framingham; his aunts and
uncles, Danny Kerr of Framingham,
Billy Kerr of Arizona, Bob Kerr of
New Hampshire, Patricia Brady and
Danielle Bittle, both of New
Hampshire, David McNabb of
Framingham, Debbie Johnston of
Milford, Diane McNabb of Mendon,
Patty Gerber of Marlborough; and
He was the nephew of the late Brian
service will take place Friday, June
1, at 1 p.m., at First
Congregational Church of Hopkinton,
146 E. Main St., Hopkinton.
hours are Thursday, May 31, from 3
to 7 p.m., at First Congregational
Church in Hopkinton.
Instead of flowers, expressions of
sympathy in Brian's memory may be
made to Buddy Dog Humane Society
Inc., 151 Boston Post Road, Sudbury,
MA 01776; or Framingham Youth
Football, P.O. Box 2571, Framingham,
arrangements are under the direction
of the Norton Funeral Home, 53 Beech
St. (corner of Union Avenue),
a No-show at Selectmen's Meeting
misses scheduled presentation
wants town to purchase the land
May 30, 2007
— Boulder Capital, the group that has a Purchase and Sale for Weston
Nurseries' property, was the only one of two scheduled presenters that
showed up at the Board of Selectmen's meeting to offer their proposals.
TPL (Trust for Public Land) and Taurus New England, who the town asked
to partner with it, was also on the agenda, but reportedly called to
cancel ten minutes before the scheduled start of the meeting.
According to a letter sent to all boards and committees today by
Selectmen Chair Muriel Kramer, the group was expected to present a
"restructured deal" to the town. However, the new proposal is expected
to be turned in today. Photo, Boulder President Roy MacDowell,
center, with two members of his team.
The LUSC (Land Use Study Committee) is scheduled to vote a
recommendation to the selectmen at a 5:00 pm June 4, 2007 meeting, and
has set today, May 30, as their deadline for information to be
considered for that vote.
At that June 4 meeting, the LUSC is expected to offer a side by side
presentation of the plan offered by the town's partner, TPL/Taurus, and
a proposal by Boulder Capital. Although it was reported today that TPL/Taurus
is coming back with a sweeter plan, Roy MacDowell of Boulder said that
theirs would remain the same. Boulder has set their cap at 940 units,
and has informed the town in writing of their intentions, although their
Purchase and Sale Agreement encourages escalating bonuses for the
sellers of up $8 million if Boulder can build up to 1,700 units. Here is
Boulder Capital's latest proposal in a
Power Point presentation.
In answer to a question regarding that agreement at last week's meeting,
Mr. MacDowell replied, “Since that agreement was signed, we’ve made
several changes,” He has since sent a letter promising to cap his
development at 940 units.
The voters at the June 11 Special Town Meeting will
have two main choices regarding Weston Nurseries, and one of them will
not be Boulder Capital's plan. If Town Meeting chooses notto exercise its 61a rights to purchase the property, and
the voters opt not to assign those rights and
partner with Taurus New England, then the consequence of those actions
will be that Boulder Capital will proceed with its planned purchase, and
the town's role will be over, until the planning and permitting
processes. There is no separate vote for
Boulder on the Special Town Meeting Warrant. Mrs. Kramer made a point to
try to step up the information campaign for residents in the coming
But even though Boulder has no formal action before the town, it is a
testament to their hard work and professional presentations and
marketing skills that all boards and committees weighing in to date to
the Selectmen have either said they did not have enough information, or
that they did not want the town to
exercise its 61a rights, the latter giving it to Boulder by default. Not
one has yet to choose the Taurus plan. The Planning Board even stated
specifically that they preferred Boulder. But if one resident gets his way, the town
will purchase the land.
Mr. Chris Barry (Photo), a resident of Clinton Street, said he is
literally surrounded by Weston Nurseries property and wants to get a
campaign going for the town to purchase the land in its entirety.
Referring to a scenic photo that is the cover of the Boulder
presentation, a photo of the former Busconi Farm on Clinton Street, he
told the Selectmen that he sees that every morning when he gets up.
"People have expressed an interest in the buy-it-all option," he said,
outside of the Selectmen's Hearing Room, "and they are looking for
a point person.
"I feel I need to do something. Abdicating our responsibility as
citizens is irresponsible. The traffic is going to be overwhelming.
"For a dollar a day the citizens of this town can take control of this
situation," he said.
No one has presented the buy-it-all option to the town.
KRAMER, MARJORIE M. (nee Laubacher) May
27, 2007, age 79, Beloved wife of Earl E Kramer; Loving mother of Kandis
L. (Walter) Meinel, Cynthia L. (John) Abdo and Randall S. (Muriel)
Kramer; Cherished grandmother of 9 grandchildren. The family will be
present to receive friends on Thursday and Friday from 2-4 and 7-9 PM at
the (Tonawanda Chapel) AMIGONE FUNERAL HOME INC., 2600 Sheridan Dr.,
where funeral services will be held on Saturday at 11:15 AM and from St.
Amelia Church, 2999 Eggert Rd. at 12 PM. Online guest registry at
May 29, 2007
— Veterans Pete Macgregor and Dick Pockwinse traveled in Mr. Pockwinse's
WWII Jeep, complete with 30 caliber air-powered canon during the
Memorial Day celebrations on Monday.
May 30th - Library Closing for a Day
new circulation desk, funded by the Friends of the Library will be
delivered and installed on May 30th. Due to this major reconstruction
effort, the library will be closed on Wednesday, May
Winning Pitchers Baseball Academy had its 3rd annual Memorial Day
Tournament this weekend. The red team won the championship in overtime!
They played 8 innings and they won after Jake Lehman hit a two run homer
in the bottom of the eighth to win 8-6!
which is located in Framingham and coaches boys of all ages in pitching,
hitting and strength training.
Fun was had by all- the boys can't wait until next year!
Back row from
left to right: Grant Olson, Alec Mazursky, Craig Levergood, Brian Kirk,
Charlie Clements, Jake Lehman. Front row from left to right: Joshua
Ufland, Luke Serra, Zachary Gresham, Sean Hill, Matty Barnes and Andrew
Real Estate Transactions for Hopkinton,
by Eric Montville for HopNews.com updated May 28, 2007
There were several 911 calls for a disturbance on Lake
Maspenock. A woman was reported crying and a male was
yelling at another male, threatening to kill him...
Officer Timothy Brennan stopped a vehicle on Norcross Road and
subsequently arrested an 18 year old male from Hopkinton and
charge him with Person Under 21 Possession of Liquor and Keep
Noisy and Disorderly House...
4:00 pm There were several calls for
a head on collision on West Main Street.
Officers Gregg DeBoer and Matthew McNeil responded and advised
that it was a truck towing a boat and a pick up truck...
3:43 pm A caller reported nearly
hitting a dirt bike on Downey Street. The caller stated
that the dirt bike rides around the area all the time on the
May 28, 2007
28, 2007 — Selectman Mike Shepard accompanies a Boy Scout in
laying a wreath at the Veterans' Memorial at the Evergreen
Cemetery in Woodville during the Memorial Day ceremony today.
28, 2007 — Officer Linda Higgins shares a laugh with veteran
Pete MacGregor following the ceremony at Evergreen this morning.
Scavenger Hunt Canceled
In light of
the tragedy in Milford yesterday, we find it prudent to cancel
the scavenger hunt for the $10 bill.
participation in the event by minors has put the event in a new
light. We'll give the $50 away some other way.
Dies in Milford Quarry
2007 —According to public safety officials, a sixteen year-old
Framingham boy, Brian Kerr, was killed when he feel off of the
top of a quarry behind the Shadowbrook Condominiums in Milford.
The area is legendary with the under 30 crowd who come from a
large radius to take advantage of its daredevil jumps, such as
"Superman." The area is not public, is very dangerous, and is
not legal to swim or trespass.
Hopkinton firefighters also joined Milford in the rescue effort.
Milford Chief of Police Thomas O'Loughlin said that the boy had
slipped and lost his footing, tried unsuccessfully to grab a
limb, and fell thirty feet, hitting his head.
2007 — In this 3-second exposure in the moonlit but black night,
the white spot near the opposite shore is actually an impression
from a moving motorboat, and the lit tree trunks on the opposite
shore are lit from the Firefighter's flashlight. The boat was
moving to quickly to make an impression on the camera's sensor.
Police responded to several calls for gunshots, an argument, and
a woman screaming on Lake Maspenock shortly before 11:00 pm. One
neighbor said it could have been the sound of an oar against the
side of an aluminum boat. It is believed that the boat missing
in this photo is the one that the complaints were made about.
Police and Firefighters were deployed in a rescue boat, and
several police were on the roads in the area responding to
sightings of the boat, while several firefighters stayed on
shore with a complement of trucks and equipment. The group
cleared 90 minutes after launching without finding the elusive
Out to Launch
Firefighters and police launch the rescue boat at Sandy Island
with the help of Fire Chief Gary Daugherty shortly after 11:00pm
on Sunday night.
27, 2007 — Above, cancer survivors took a victory lap around the
HS track on Friday evening during the Relay For Life that raised
over $100,000. Photo by Connie Wright.
Memorial Day Ceremonies ~
Hopkinton , Massachusetts
Monday May 28, 2007
Master of Ceremonies:
Readings: Lauren Shultz
and Allie Panetta
9:45 AM Evergreen Cemetery, Woodville
10:30 AM King Memorial Flagpole, Mayhew St.
10:45 AM St. John's Cemetery
11:00 AM Soldiers' Mound. Mt. Auburn Cemetery
11:30 AM March to Memorial Gazebo at Town Common
Speakers at the Gazebo: Mike Shepard and Colonel
Malcolm S. Burr,II -Natick SRDEC
12:00 PM Singing of the National Anthem & Raising of the
Following the Program, please join us for light refreshments
at the St. John's Parish Center on Church Street. ~
Hopkinton Veterans' Committee.
Want to print the itinerary above and bring it with you? One
of the questions we hear repeated often is, "When I go to
print, it goes on forever, and I only want to print one
story from the front page." Please read on:
Want to print some or all of the
information in the
Step 1. Select the text you want to print by clicking the
left mouse button and dragging it across the text.
Step 2. Choose File/Print on the browser's menu bar to open
the Print Dialogue box.
Step 3. In the "Print Range" area of the dialogue box,
select the "Selection" radio button.
Step 4. Choose "Print." Just be sure you have a valid
printer as the default.
of the gods
27, 2007 — Patrolman Timothy Brennan uses the radar gun on
Saturday at an intersection that gives him a line of sight at
three different directions of oncoming traffic.
Many sources credit Vannevar Bush, one of the founders of
Raytheon ("Ray of the gods"), with the perfection of radar
technology. He is also credited with the concept of memex,
an inspiration for html, the language of world wide web
Hopkinton Springs Hotel and Resort
Hopkinton Springs was one of
the earliest summer resorts in the Hopkinton area. In 1816, Mr.
Joel Norcross discovered several springs on his land on what is
now Spring Street. He had the water tested by a Boston doctor,
and found that the water was heavily mineralized with magnesium,
iron and sulfur. Soaking in such springs for health reasons was
a desirable and fashionable commodity in those days, and he
decided to capitalize. He built and opened a hotel near the
springs and advertised benefits for both health and pleasure.
Clients came from
Worcester, and other areas around, at first by stage, then by
train when the Boston/Worcester Railroad opened in 1834. The
Westborough stop was only about 3 miles away.
Access by rail sharply
increased the number of clients, and, joined by his son Josiah,
Mr. Norcross enlarged the hotel and made many improvements. A 25
foot bathhouse was built near the most popular spring, and the
water was heated with a system of flues and conduits.
About 1836, a company of investors was formed for the purpose of
building a new and larger hotel on the property. This was to be
a four-story building with attic and basement. The first floor
would be the common rooms, parlor and dining area. The top three
floors would be the sleeping rooms and apartments. The kitchen,
laundry, and storerooms would be in the basement. The new hotel
would be 100 feet by 50 feet, with an ell of 90 feet by 48 feet.
The old hotel would be kept as an overflow, for invalids, and
others wanting the peace and quiet of a smaller area, as well as
those that just could not afford the new hotel’s rates. The
Hopkinton Springs Company was incorporated in April of 1837.
However, 1837 was a year of national financial panic leading to
about 5 years of economic depression. The company never got off
the ground, and the new hotel was never built.
Mr. Norcross continued receiving guests at the old hotel
until1859. He closed the resort that fall, and never reopened in
the spring. He was ill and his wife had passed away, so he sold
the business and moved to Westborough. The new owner did nothing
to the property, and shortly thereafter the hotel burned down.
The bathhouse and other out buildings were sold and moved
elsewhere. Nowadays, the site of the springs is easily reached
by a short trail from the cul-de-sac on Lyford Street off of
Spring Street. Some stonework remains, but the hydrology has
changed and although the area has wetlands, the springs are no
2007 — Sorry, you must be 18 to win. There is a ten dollar bill
hidden in this area with some specific writing on it. The last
hint is this:
Third row, third stone.
That is the location of the bill. Call the office to arrange to
deliver it, and you'll get another $50. from HopNews. Where is
We'll continue to give hints until someone wins.
Gone, But Not Forgotten
26, 2007 — Some call it the Paupers' Cemetery, some call it the
Irish Cemetery, but it appears by the looks of the understated
signage that is called the Old Cemetery. Regardless, its
veterans have been remembered this Memorial Day, like the one in
the center horizon, where the flag can be seen. It is held by a
U. S. Veteran medallion.
Russell T. Brooke, 69, died
Thursday, May 24 at Metrowest Medical Center, Framingham. Born
in Boston, he was the son of the late Robert and Edna (Hunt)
Brooke. He was a 1955 graduate of Natick High School and served
as an airman in the U.S. Air Force. He was a member of the
Ashland American Legion and the Rochester NH Elks.
26, 2007 — Relay for Life organizers Luke Fraser and Carly Boyce
explain what their event is all about.
Relay For Life Triples Fundraising Goal
Above, Cadyn Boyce leads a group of her sisters and others hop
scotching around the luminarias that were set up to honor
survivors and victims of cancer.
26, 2007 — Groups of teams pooled their efforts Friday night at
the Relay For Life event at the Middle School field and the
varsity track to raise over $100,000 to help with cancer
research. The overnight event was attended by survivors,
families of survivors and victims, and other who used the event
to have a positive time and help others. HopNews will upload
a video of student organizers Luke Fraser and Carly Boyce Sat
In your article on the Weston Nurseries issue that appeared
today in HopNews, you write that
the Community Preservation Committee "was expected to vote
to kick in $1 million, triggering a $1 million match from
the State." Your wording seems to imply that a match from
the State would be forthcoming only if the CPC voted in
favor. CPC funding does not work this way. Each year the
State matches the Town's Community Preservation Act tax
contribution and the amount accumulates into the CPC funds.
So, your statement was inaccurate in implying that a vote of
the CPC would "trigger" State funding. We have not lost any
State funding by voting against the use of CPC funds for
acquiring the Weston Nurseries property.
Community Preservation Committee
Hopkinton, MA 01748
May 25, 2007
GRADS OF 1987 WHERE ARE YOU??
Local classmates for the Class of 1987 are
trying to put together a 20th High School Reunion and trying
to locate fellow classmates. If you are a classmate or are a
parent of a classmate who graduated from Hopkinton High
School in 1987, please contact Lisa Martin at 508-435-4874
with any information or email information to us at
Bugler to Appear on NPR Saturday
May 25, 2007 —
Michael McCann, a teen who volunteers his time bugling for many
Hopkinton veteran's events, as well as others, will appear on
NPR's "Weekend America."
It will air
locally on WBUR Boston, 90.9 FM, WCCT Harwich 90.3 FM and WRNI
Providence and WesterlyRhode Island 1290 AM and 1230 AM.
All of these are at 1:00 PM on Saturday. It airs on Sirius
Satellite Radio at 12:00 PM, Saturday on Channel 134.
25, 2007 — According to people at the scene, a pickup truck
towing a boat on a trailer (Photo below) swerved to avoid a
collision with the vehicle in front of it when that vehicle
stopped short to turn at Gassett road, but instead hit an
oncoming vehicle, above, sending two passengers of that auto to
the hospital, apparently totaling the car. Traffic traveling
west on West Main Street were jammed through Gassett Road and
into the narrow stone, wall tree-lined back roads of Hopkinton,
and the east-bound traffic were forced onto those same roads;
and tractor-trailer trucks approaching the wreck were forced to
wait in the opposite lane due to the narrow nature of the roads.
The west-bound traffic crawled from the intersection with South
Street and appeared to be jammed all the way to Lumber. The exit
off of Route 495 appeared grid-locked.
ton" brags a stencil on this truck's boom. Ted's of Fayville was
called to put the boat back onto the trailer. It kept the
vehicle in the air while mechanics and fire officials repaired
the trailer's winch. They removed the truck and the trailer, as
well as the Nissan.
P. Brooke, 69, died May 24, 2007 at Metrowest Medical
Center, Framingham. Arrangements by the Callanan-Cronin
Funeral Home, Hopkinton, are incomplete at this time.
What is wrong with these
three Community Preservation Committee members?
At the CPC meeting on May 24, 2007, the committee voted NOT to
contribute Community Preservation funds towards the purchase of
the Weston Nurseries land. If had voted “yes” it would have
trigged a $1 million MATCH from the state. The committee tied in
a vote on a motion to do just that, effectively defeating the
proposal. In fact, member Henry Kunicki made the motion, but
voted against it. How absurd!
Bob Murphy, Robert Kunicki, and Brendon Doyle, the three members
of this committee, have done the town a great disservice by
stopping the use of these funds for huge amount of open space.
It is a travesty. This is a political game that, we, the citizen
of Hopkinton will be paying for a long time. Once the open space
is gone, it is gone forever. Do you want to allow these three
CPC members to make such an important decision for all the
citizens of Hopkinton?
Friday May 25
& 26 SEE CALENDAR.
The schedule will remain the same as last week's postponed
event, except closing ceremonies
will take place at 7 a.m. and ending at 8 a.m. on
Boulder Puts Promise in Writing
Project...will consist of no more than 940 residential units..."
S. MacDowell, Jr.
25, 2007 — In a move that attempts to disarm critics of his
development plan, Roy MacDowell (File photo)of Boulder
Capital has sent a
letter to Selectmen promising to limit the
residential component of his development to 940 units. Some
residents, including Liisa Jackson of H.O.P.E., who is also on
the LUSC (Land Use Study Committee), had pointed to a passage in
the purchase and sale agreement between Boulder and Weston
Nurseries that offers escalating incentives of up to $8
million if Boulder could get approval for as many as 1,700
"Roger and I are very clear, that's, that's a pipe dream —
that's never going to happen," Mr. MacDowell said at last
night's CPC meeting, as one of Weston Nurseries' sellers, Roger
Mezitt, sat in the seat to his left. Mr. Mezitt declined comment
after the meeting.
"The question has been raised," the letter reads, "whether our
proposal to build 940 units is inconsistent with our obligations
under the Purchase and Sale Agreement to purchase Weston
Nurseries property. Section 2.4 of the Agreement did obligate us
to use reasonable efforts to secure approvals for a mixed use
project consisting of at least 1,100 market rate dwelling
Mr. MacDowell quotes a section of the Agreement that appears to
exempt Boulder from adhering to that number, and further states,
"Although our original proposal was far in excess of 1,100
market rate dwelling units, our modified proposal of 880 market
rate units and 60 affordable units reflects our due diligence
and meetings with public officials and other interested parties.
Accordingly, we are confident that our modified proposal is
consistent with our obligations under the agreement."
Boulder Capital is working hard to win voters to approve its
proposals over that of Taurus New England, which won, a couple
of weeks ago, the approval of the LUSC for partnering with the
town on a conservation/development project. But at an omnibus
meeting of all of the town's boards and committees to hear both
parties' presentations, Taurus played a foil to the well planned
and well prepared Boulder presentation, which appears to have
lost Taurus much needed support.
All boards and committees weighing in since the omnibus meeting,
and at this writing, have chosen to not support exercising
Chapter 61a rights. And although the LUSC voted to choose Taurus
for the conservation project, it will vote Tuesday on whether or
not to support exercising the 61a rights that would make that
At the Special Town meeting on June 11, voters will have two
main choices: Buy the property outright, or partner with Taurus
New Engand/TPL to develop the land, which will cost the town
$5.2 million, taking into consideration a recently announced
$1.5 million conservation restriction from abutter NStar, which
wants a buffer zone between their
commercial activities and proposed residential development.
The irony of the proceedings is that Boulder Capital is the most
active lobbyist for their plan, as are their proponents, but
there is no Boulder proposal before the voters. It is only by
If the Special Town Meeting voters vote no to the outright
purchase of the property, and if they vote no to the Taurus/TPL
plan, then Boulder is free to close on the purchase and pursue its plans.
2007 — These recently hatched Canada goose goslings find ample
shelter beside a parent goose at the Lake Whitehall Dam pool
2007 — This robin near the boat landing at Lake Whitehall posed
for nearly a minute for this photo until the photographer moved
closer. The area surrounding Lake Whitehall is home to many
species, including plants that are only found in peat bogs, an
indication of the soil conditions of the area.
Boulder Capital Gets More Wind in Sails
Town Boards, Committees start lining up behind Boulder
May 25, 2007 — After hearing development proposals from both
Boulder Capital and Taurus New England Wednesday night at an
omnibus meeting of all town committees and boards at the
Athletic Center, those government groups started turning in
their choices to Selectmen on whether to recommend that the town
exercise its 61a right of first refusal to purchase the Weston
Nurseries property, or to assign those rights to Taurus New
England in a conservation/development project — or to do
Taurus New England has promised their project to be limited at
605 units, while Boulder Capital, in a scaled down project, has
put their limit at 940 units, a figure that is at odds with an
incentive in their contract with Weston Nurseries to build
up to 1700 units and sweeten the sellers' take by $8 million if
successful. A phrase in that contract allows Boulder discretion to
determine if the town would allow
that kind of build-out, and develop fewer units if Boulder
determines that to be true.
Last evening at a meeting of the CPC (Community Preservation
Committee), Roy MacDowell, principal of Boulder Capital made a
commitment to make that promise of a 940-unit cap in a binding,
written document delivered to the town today (See VIDEO of
After Wednesday night's joint meeting, the boards and committees
stayed to meet separately to discuss the presentations. The
Planning Board weighed in yesterday with a letter of support for
the Boulder Capital development, and advised the that town not
exercise its 61A rights. The consensus of many people attending
the larger meeting was that the Taurus presentation was poor or
lackluster, but the Boulder presentation was well prepared and
The Housing Committee also voted to waive the 61a rights "in
favor of Boulder," as did the Conservation Commission and the
Parks and Recreation Commission. The School Committee voted to
postpone their decision due to a lack of information, a theme
that was repeated by most of the others who did vote, and one
that is a de facto denial of Taurus. The
Selectmen have set a deadline of May 29 for the submissions.
At last night's CPC meeting, that group was expected to vote to kick
in $1 million, triggering a $1 million match from the state. But the
committee tied in a vote on a motion to do just that,
effectively defeating the proposal. In fact, member Henry Kunicki made the motion, but voted against it, an apparent
stroke of procedural mastery.
Chairman John Coolidge (Photo, above) suggested scheduling
another meeting to presumably bring up the same vote after
getting more financial information, but Mr. Kunicki and member
Robert Murphy of the ConCom said their votes were not based on
any financial information.
"Do we want to meet Tuesday?" asked Mr. Coolidge, who had voted
in favor of the funding, apparently seeking to overturn the vote.
"I have to be the one to rewrite the motion," declared Mr.
Kunucki, citing Roberts Rules of Order.
"And I'm not going to make it," he concluded.
The Special Town Meeting on June 11 will vote to purchase the
land or not — or to partner with Taurus or not. Both votes in
the negative means that Boulder will continue with their
purchase as planned, making the Weston Nurseries funding
question on June 18 ballot irrelevant.
Revised 8:10 am
release at the "Y"
24, 2007 — Wednesday was early release for the Middle School,
and over 100 kids took advantage of an after school program at
the Hopkinton YMCA, where they practiced archery, played sports,
and climbed in the ropes course.
Hillers baseball finishes Tri-Valley
Shane Lavoie finishes off Ashland
The Hopkinton Hiller Baseball team finished the Tri-Valley
League season on a great note as Senior Shane Lavoie limited
rival Ashland to 5 hits on way to the big victory.
The Hillers got 2 home runs from junior Mark Sanborn. B Doyle
contributed with 4 hits and Elder starting his first game
collected 2 hits.
The offense was explosive as the Hillers found their way into
becoming a big threat in next months state playoffs. The Hillers
can play with anybody, and that has been proven this season.
They had league champ Bellingham beat until the last inning
They are coming together as a very good ball team. Coach
Stickney and Coach Golden have done a tremendous job putting
this team together. The Hillers are in great shape for this
years tournament. They will play Saturday in the Metro-West
tournament at 3:00 at Fino Field -_Milford. Good Job guys! Peter
Hopkinton Newcomers Social Club!
events, family events, interest groups like Gourmet Club, Bunco,
Out, Book Club, Creative Neighbors Craft Group & Scrapbooking.
Gorski, Membership Coordinator at 508-497-9194.
Thank you to everyone who went to the polls and approved the
funds to fix the walls and roof of Hopkinton Middle School and
to replace the boiler at Center School.
As members of the School Committee, we recognize the tight
financial times that the community is going through this year
and likely will be for the foreseeable future.
This makes it all the more gratifying to learn that the
community values the need to maintain our schools and keep them
safe for the children in our community.
For Hopkinton Middle School, these funds will allow us to take
advantage of the cost savings in repairing the exterior walls,
built in 1954, and the roof of the original building at the same
time. The roof has exceeded its lifespan. Fixing the walls and
roof will also help preserve the interior of the school
For Center School, the boiler is 80 years old and doesn’t have a
back-up system. Replacing it will solve the increasing number of
heating problems that the school has been experiencing and
eliminate the ongoing repairs, which have become more costly and
impractical as parts become more difficult to find. The new
boiler will be able to be converted in the future from a steam
system to a hot water system.
Thank you for your support.
Hopkinton School Committee
Rebecca Robak, chair
Phil Totino, vice chair
Omnibus meeting at
Battle for Hearts, Minds and
Pocketbooks over Weston Nurseries
“It says in your purchase and
sales agreement that you agree to build at least 1,100 units and
that you will make a reasonable effort to build up to 1,800
units." ~ Carol DeVeuve, Planning Board
"Adding 500 million dollars in
taxable property will result in net sustainable recurring annual
revenue of $3,000,000.00. We’re also talking about adding
$450,000.00 in excise taxes per year, and then you have permit
fees.” ~ John Connery for Boulder
2007 — Last night, Mark Abate, Chairman of the Hopkinton
Planning Board, hosted what is believed to be the first town
wide meeting of its boards, commissions, and committees at the
same time. The reason for the meeting is the pressing issue of
the transfer of 705 acres of agricultural land in Hopkinton
currently owned by the Mezitt family and Weston Nurseries. He
opened the meeting by outlining that both Boulder Capital and
Taurus New England would both present 30 minute presentations
and then each take 15 minutes of questions before individual
boards and committees would then go separately to different
locations to discuss the proposals and potentially vote to
recommend one over the other to the Board of Selectmen who hold
ultimate decision power over the transfer.
Roy McDowell, President of Boulder Capital presented
the vision of Legacy Farms first by reaching out to thank Fin
Perry and all of the Land Use Study Committee (LUSC) members
for, “having the earliest meeting times at 7:30 on Monday
mornings,” he said. “I must say, their feedback and working with
us has made our proposal a much better proposal.”
As a landscape architect, Mr. McDowell described how he
has been working with Weston Nurseries for the past 35 years. He
acknowledged Weston Nurseries as, “the gold standard, and we
want to make sure the legacy continues.”
“What I’m talking about is restoration and stewardship
of this land. We’re looking at creating a turn-key operation for
the town. Hopkinton will receive more than 500 acres of land,
which is 71% of the total land, right away, with no cost to the
town,” he explained. “So there’s a cost savings of $6.7 million
dollars. And we’re committing to an investment of two million
more in restoration costs.”
Peter Carbone, Managing Partner for Taurus New
England Investments (TNE), Corporation opened the presentation
for The Villages at East Hopkinton, with an introductory
background of Taurus by sharing that TNE was one of 17
affiliated companies with extensive experience in large projects
such as Weston Nurseries. “We’re in Vermont, Texas, Colorado,
and Europe in large part, he said. “We were brought to this
project a little later than Roy was. Let me be clear, they are
very good developers, very competent.”
Mr. Carbone continued, “I believe the difference
between our proposals is very simple. With 940 housing units
Boulder is proposing, we’re building just 605 single family
homes with most of them being condos. We’re only going to
develop a quarter of the land, and just 50,000 square feet of
commercial. And I don’t think that 450,000 square feet of
commercial space can be supported on this site. I don’t believe
the market is here for that.”
Police Warn Auto Buyers
May 24, 2007 — Yesterday,
Massachusetts State Police Troopers assigned to the
Massachusetts Governor’s Auto Theft Strike Force, in conjunction
with the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), hosted
Operation Sticker Shock. This event provided the public with
information on an ongoing criminal scheme involving counterfeit
vehicle identification numbers and the potential hazards one has
when purchasing a used vehicle.
Eleven stolen vehicles, values at
$275,000 were recovered since April 30, 2007 by the Governor’s
Auto Theft Strike Force, in a joint investigation with the
National Insurance Crime Bureau and the Massachusetts Registry
of Motor Vehicles. Seven of these luxury vehicles were
available for viewing, along with counterfeit identification
numbers and other documents.
Trooper David G. Wordell spoke at
the press event and urged prospective car buyers to use care
when purchasing a motor vehicle. He provided the following tips
when making a purchase:
Always buy from a reputable
person or dealer.
Use extra caution when buying
from the internet or classified ads.
Pay a mechanic or technician
to examine the car before you buy it.
Be extra careful if it’s an
Make sure vehicle
identification numbers on all the documents (title,
registration) match what in on the car.
Get good contact information
on the seller (driver’s license, phone, address, etc.)
And, if the
price is too good to be true, it probably is!
The Governor’s Auto Theft Strike
Force, working in partnership with local, state and federal
agencies, strives to ensure the citizens of the Commonwealth do
not become victims of auto theft. The goal of the Governor’s
Auto Theft Strike Force is to prevent auto theft and to find
those responsible for auto theft and hold them accountable.
Lost in the
Pinecrest Village area
Let Go... of Your Fears
3, 2007 — Ian Kelley reaches the top of the climbing tower at
the Metrowest YMCA of Hopkinton on East Street today during the
Middle School's early release day. Over 100 students took part
in the program that included, for $2.50 each, archery, the
climbing wall, a ropes course that put the youngsters at tree
level, and sport fields at the fully staffed facility. The
program was a collaborative between the Parks and Recreation
Department, the YMCA and the Youth Commission.
Boulder Capital Picking Up Steam
Endorsed by group of Mezitt's
Large meeting at High School this evening
2007 — Boulder Capital gained steam today in their bid to
purchase Weston Nurseries with the publication of an
endorsement by principals Wayne (Photo, right)
Beth Mezitt, as well as their son Peter (File photo, left) and
his wife Karen. This comes on the heels of a full page ad in the
Hopkinton Independent, as well as substantial ad space on
Weston Nurseries, a premier horticulture/arboriculture nursery
that relocated from Weston to Hopkinton in the 1950's, and has
seen four generations of the Mezitt family run it in Hopkinton,
filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and has since been approved for
sale to Boulder Capital of Weston by Federal Bankruptcy Court.
But because the land has enjoyed special Chapter 61A
agricultural tax status, the Town of Hopkinton has the right of
first refusal, after receiving notice of a bona fide offer to
notice on February 23 of this year kicked in a 120-day
period during which the Town must respond.
In February, 2005, the offering for sale of the property spawned
the formation of the LUSC (Land Use Study Committee) which has
investigated ways to protect the town's interests.
In the course of their studies, LUSC brought in TPL (Trust for
Public Land), a conservation group, and after hearing
conservation proposals from Taurus New England, and Boulder
Capital to join TPL in a partnership in which the town would
assign its rights, has since voted to recommend Taurus to
partner with the town on the conservation project.
What remains for the LUSC is a vote, expected this Friday, to
recommend one of the remaining choices that are on the Warrant
for the Special Town Meeting scheduled for June 11, 2007 .
At that time, the Town Meeting members will vote to:
Purchase the entire property. This option has had very little
support in the community.
Purchase Weston Nurseries stock. The details of this option are
vague at best.
Partner with Taurus/TPL for the (last reported) price tag of
$6.7 million. This passing of this choice will need the
additional approval of the voters at a Special Election to be
held on June 18, as would the approval of choice#1.
Boulder hopes to woo voters before the June 11 Town Meeting. At
that time, negative outcomes on all three related questions will
make Boulder Capital the de facto choice by inference, at which
time they are expected to proceed with the purchase of Weston
TPL supporters cite an escalating clause of up to a 1,700 unit
incentive for Boulder that is written into the
Purchase and Sale agreement between it and Weston Nurseries.
It is a common clause of Purchase and Sale agreements between
land sellers and developers to guarantee more money for greater
However, since the P&S was signed and TPL has entered into the
picture, Boulder Capital has scaled down its proposal (Previous
story) to a 940/unit cap, and will be expected to somehow
put the promise in writing to assuage its opponents before the
Special Town Meeting.
Today's revelation of the endorsement of one side of the Mezitt
family is the strongest public statement by a Hopkinton resident
and especially a principal. Wayne Mezitt's brother Roger (Photo,
above, right), who is the other major principal, has not made a
Both Taurus and Boulder will be presenting at the High School
Athletic Center this evening. File photos above
Updated 11:50 am
23, 2007 — Evoking imagery of Jesus washing the feet of the
disciples, Debbie Johnston ties the shoes of Fr. Jim Degnan,
former pastor of St. John the Evangelist. Fr. Jim, who has had
recent multiple surgeries, was waiting to meet friends for lunch
at Maria's. He performed the marriage ceremony for Mrs. Johnston
ten years ago.