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Star of the Day

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.

Walking Space

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

Town's "partner" bows out

 

 

by Robert Falcione

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that disappoints its supporters, but surprises few pundits, TPL (Trust for Public Land) and Taurus New England have withdrawn from considering its proposed partnership with the Town of Hopkinton in the purchase of the Weston Nurseries land.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 truth."

     "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 project."

      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.

HOPKINTON 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 hhs20threunion@yahoo.com.

 

See Boulder Capital's Power Point presentation that they gave at the Selectmen's Tuesday night now in Adobe Acrobat format.

Framingham Teen's Services in Hopkinton

 

FRAMINGHAM - Brian D. Kerr, 16, of Framingham, died Sunday, May 27, 2007, at Milford Regional Medical Center.

Born in Framingham, he was the son of James M. and Donna J. (McNabb) Kerr of Framingham.

     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 in Framingham.

     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 many cousins.

     He was the nephew of the late Brian McNabb.

     A memorial service will take place Friday, June 1, at 1 p.m., at First Congregational Church of Hopkinton, 146 E. Main St., Hopkinton.

     Visiting 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, MA 01703.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Norton Funeral Home, 53 Beech St. (corner of Union Avenue), Framingham.

 Taurus/TPL a No-show at Selectmen's Meeting

Group misses scheduled presentation

Abutter wants town to purchase the land

 

by Robert Falcione

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 not  to 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 days.

      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 www.Amigone.com 

Looking Down the Barrel

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

 A 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 30th.

Red Team Wins


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!

 

Winning Pitchers 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 Shatz.

Real Estate Transactions for Hopkinton, Massachusetts

Compiled by Eric Montville for HopNews.com updated May 28, 2007

Most recent first

 

Address Buyer Price Date Seller
14 Victory Lane Matthew J. Kieras & Elizabeth William $382,50 May  25, 2007 Timothy M. Amershek
22 Alexander Road Brian Hagberg & Christine Hagberg $523,500 May  24, 2007 Nancy Cahalen
52 Connelly Hill Road Michael D. House & Carrie A. House $1,010,000 May  24, 2007 Connelly LLC
Previous update:        
6 Greenwood Road Bhanu Sareddy, Bhanuprakash Sareddy & Sravanthi Gangula $921,000 May  21, 2007 Michael Dean Brown & Cathy Brown
15 Highcroft Way Elizabeth Benack $363,800 May  18, 2007 Giancarlo O. Tanzi
7 Fenton Street Roderick M. Klinger $467,900 May  18, 2007 Stephen Leighton & Elizabeth F. Leighton
8 Huckleberry Road Brent Skinner $615,000 May  17, 2007 Richard J. Dinka & Cora G. Dinka
Previous update:        

See Full List back to February 1,  2007

Police News UP-TO-DATE  Today, May 28, 2007

 

11:04 pm 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...

 

1:38 am 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 roads...

 

Read More:Police News UP-TO-DATE  Today, May 28, 2007

In Memory of...

May 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.

May 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.

 

Interest in participation in the event by minors has put the event in a new light. We'll give the $50 away some other way.

Teen Dies in Milford Quarry

 

May 28, 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.

      See Channel 4 Report.

Reports of gunshots on North Pond

May 28, 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 noise makers.

Out to Launch

May 28, 2007 — 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.

Survivors

May  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: Suzanne Whalen

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 Flag

 

Following the Program, please join us for light refreshments at the St. John's Parish Center on Church Street. ~ Hopkinton Veterans' Committee.

 

Editor's Note: 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 itinerary above?

 

 

PRINTING TIPS:

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.

 

Ray of the gods

May 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 browsers.

Hopkinton Springs Hotel and Resort

 

by Gail Clifford
         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 Boston, 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 longer visible.

 Reprinted with permission from the Hopkinton Historical Society Newsletter.

Find $10, Win Another $50

May 26, 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 the location?  

  We'll continue to give hints until someone wins.

Gone, But Not Forgotten

May 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.

ASHLAND - 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.  Arrangements complete

Relay for Life Organizers

 

May 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.

 

May 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 am.

Chairman Clarifies

Dear Editor:
 

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.

 

Sincerely,

 

Bob Murphy

Chair, Conservation Commission

Member, Community Preservation Committee

7 Joseph Rd

Hopkinton, MA  01748

May 25, 2007

HOPKINTON 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 hhs20threunion@yahoo.com.

 

Local Teen 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 Westerly Rhode 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.

      All of the stations that carry it are listed on the show's web site at http://weekendamerica.publicradio.org/about/list.php. Finally, WBUR does provide a live stream of their broadcast at http://www.wbur.org and after the broadcast it is available as a "podcast" at http://weekendamerica.publicradio.org

Two hurt

May 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.

"60 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.

ASHLAND -Russell 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? FULL LETTER

 

 

 

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 Saturday.  

Boulder Puts Promise in Writing

"The Project...will consist of no more than 940 residential units..."

~ Roy S. MacDowell, Jr.

 

by Robert Falcione

May  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 units.

      "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 units."

      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 happen.

     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 inference.

     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.     

Gimme Shelter

May 25, 2007 — These recently hatched Canada goose goslings find ample shelter beside a parent goose at the Lake Whitehall Dam pool yesterday.

Tweedley-dee

May 25, 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 neither.

     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 promise).

       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 visually sound.

      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

Early release at the "Y" 

May 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 league season

Shane Lavoie finishes off Ashland nine 8-1

 

     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 yesterday.

     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 Marso

New to Hopkinton?

Join the Hopkinton Newcomers Social Club!

Enjoy social events, family events, interest groups like Gourmet Club, Bunco,

Ladies Night Out, Book Club, Creative Neighbors Craft Group & Scrapbooking.

Contact Tam Gorski, Membership Coordinator at 508-497-9194.

www.hopkintonnewcomers.org

School Committee thanks voters


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 building.

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.

Sincerely,
Hopkinton School Committee
Rebecca Robak, chair
Phil Totino, vice chair
Lyn Branscomb
Nancy Burdick
Dave Stoldt

 Omnibus meeting at Athletic Center

 

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
 

by David Hamacher

May 24, 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.” FULL STORY

State 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 out-of-state resale.

  • 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.

 

Missing 11 year-old

cat named Shannon.

Lost in the Pinecrest Village area

Call 508-523-0550

Just Let Go... of Your Fears

May 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

 

May 23, 2007 — Boulder Capital gained steam today in their bid to purchase Weston Nurseries with the publication of an endorsement by principals Wayne (Photo, right) and 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 HopNews.

     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 purchase. That 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:

 1.) Purchase the entire property. This option has had very little support in the community.

 2.) Purchase Weston Nurseries stock. The details of this option are vague at best.

 3.) 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 Nurseries.

     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 density.

      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 public statement.

       Both Taurus and Boulder will be presenting at the High School Athletic Center this evening. File photos above

 Updated 11:50 am

Do unto others

May 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.

 
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