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 Rural Feel

Windy day

July 9, 2005 — From left, Melanie Blethen, Amber Testa and her sister Courtney watch the overflow at Lake Whitehall today as the recent rains and today's wind drove water downstream.

 Rural Feel

It's a bird,  it's a plane, it's a...turkey vulture?

July 9, 2005 — Officer Greg DeBoer was on hand at the Fruit Street property this afternoon and identified this bird with the naked eye as a turkey vulture. Was he correct?

Rock the house

July 9, 2005 — Kurt DeWaele lays down the backbone for the Hopkinton based hard-core band A Call to Arms last night at the Hopkinton Sportsmen's Club.

A Call to Arms

July 8, 2005 — A Call to Arms (Photo) was one of several bands which played at the Hopkinton Sportsmen's Club on Lumber Street this evening. Above, playing guitar is Christian Miller, singing Matt Patterson, guitar Adam Snook, bass Ricky Demeo, drums Kurt DeWaele.

Hopkinton NewsTM chat room now online at Talk City.

     People will still have anonymity in the HopNews Chat Room and Message Board, but will be able to chat live.  We are not planning on replacing the Discussion Page just yet, but adding a resource that could be useful, interesting, informative or entertaining.

     People will have to sign in, but can make up any user name they want (How does that sound, HotChick?). And logging on with the same user name will end the kind of confusion that the Discussion Page has led to.

Editor's Note: This is the first minute in operation, so anyone having trouble can message me on the Discussion Page at a string I am going to set up momentarily.

It may take a few days to figure out, but give it a try; HopNews is footing the bill!

Police News now up-to-date

Farmer's Market Fridays at Weston Nurseries

 Rural Feel


Ribbon cutting ceremony a hit at the head of Fruit Street property


Dignitaries, scouts, town workers and sports players attend


by Chris Crawford

July 8, 2005 – The temporary access road for the Fruit Street property officially opened this morning at 10:00 am for passive recreation by Hopkinton residents. Selectman Ron Clark was the master of ceremonies with many Hopkinton town officials and dignitaries present, including Selectmen Mary Pratt and Muriel Kramer, Fruit Street Development Committee Co-Chair Paul Nelson, Parks and Recreation Chairman Michelle Gates, School Committee Chairman David Stoldt, Planning Director Elaine Lazarus, DPW Director Eric Carty, Dave Picart of the engineering group VHB (who is helping the town compose an Environmental Impact Report on the development of the property), Ron Roux of Hallmark Properties, and Boy Scout Leader Peter McGregor; along with a group of cub scouts and one girl scout, and youths representing each town sport. Photo above: Deer photographed this  morning on the Fruit Street property flee into the woods in this shot. Hunters say that deer only show the whites of their tails when they are fleeing in view. Then upon entering the woods, they drop their tails to hide the white and melt into the background environment.

FULL STORY ~ MORE PHOTOS Choose the video camera icon to see video.

 Rural Feel

Fruit Street property opens to the public

You are looking at the future of Hopkinton

~ Selectman Ron Clark, Chairman of the Fruit Street Development Committee

July 8, 2005 — The Fruit Street property, 257 acres purchased by the town 3 years ago, was officially opened for public use today in a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by town dignitaries and other interested parties. Above, after the ceremonies a HopNews reporter and a HopNews photographer took a ride on the nearly mile-long road which cuts through the property and saw the scene above at end. The deer did not stay long. As as can be seen here, the young buck started a move toward the sanctuary of the woods, which the others immediately followed.


Ribbon-cutting below:

July 8, 2005 — Scouts and sports representatives shared in the ceremonial ribbon-cutting today at the official opening of the 257 acres of town owned land slated for town drinking water, athletic fields senior market rate housing, DPW, waste water discharge, and a new school. A full report by Chris Crawford will follow.

Above, front row: Victor Landreth, Roderick Landreth, Adam Cronin, Rachel Cronin, Michael Torosian, Jack Hilger, Teddy Hilger, Trvor Flaxman.

Rear rows: Muriel Kramer, Mary Pratt, Ron Roux, Paul Nelson, Ron Clark, Al Rogers, Eric Carty, Dave Stoldt.

Done for the day

July 7, 2005 — This great blue heron shows off the familiar pose of a stork bringing the baby home, but is actually going to roost on the other side of the reservoir this evening after the sun had set. The photograph was taken from several hundred feet away.

It's a lifesaver

Ambulance, department rank, and staff get upgrades


by Chris Crawford

July 7, 2005 — Hopkinton is now in a better position to save lives due to Department’s recent acquisition of a new and better ambulance.     And because of this purchase, a state inspection recently upgraded the Hopkinton Fire Department in status from “Basic” medical treatment to “Intermediate” medical treatment.

     Overall, the best improvement is in size, explained Group 1 Fire Lt. Steven Slaman. The last two ambulance purchases are identical; both carry more equipment than the Department’s two older, smaller ambulances. The ambulances can also carry two emergency victims, side by side, “as often happens with motor vehicle accidents,” says Lt. Slaman. The ability to carry additional equipment and patients, along with more trained paramedics on the staff, has allowed the Intermediate upgrade.

     “With this new ambulance, we can respond directly to a fire call, and do a rescue if we need to,” explained Lt. Slaman.  FULL STORY.

Terrorists attack London — estimate 40 dead, 300 injured in 6 subway and bus attacks


Homeland Security has no intelligence to suggest attacks planned in US




      HopNews always has these news resources linked in our drop-down menu above.

      Feel free to make HopNews your home page and get the local news first and the national news too.


Editor's note: We are running this resource because the events occurred after the print media deadlines.

Hopkinton at the Crossroads Report now available

Results of May 25, 2005 forum

by Robert Falcione

July 6, 2005 — On May 25, 2005, eighty-eight citizens participated in a volunteer forum organized by the Master Plan Committee and the Voices For Vision Civic Engagement Committee to discuss the current state and future direction of the community, and to poll the individuals attending.

     Eleven tables of eight people each, including a facilitator at each table who had been trained for the evening, discussed dilemmas and ways to solve them. (Previous story)

     The group was treated to some startling statistics by the speakers. 45% of Hopkinton's population has moved into town since 1995. 17% has lived in Hopkinton 22 years or more. 20% of the population is under 10 years old. The population has more than doubled since 1980.

      Each participant received a 3x5 index card on which to describe their idea of "rural character." According to the Although some people scoffed at the idea that Hopkinton still has rural character, most people mentioned that trees, open space, winding roads, stone walls, New England Town Common, farms, open space, clean water, and even "laundry on the line" contribute to the rural character of the town.

      An apparent reason that the question was asked is that the November 2004 Master Plan Survey, which was offered to voters exiting the polls, defines "A deep sense of commitment to the small town, rural feel of Hopkinton." as the number one value of the community.

     For those who desired change, listed first was the revitalization of downtown, defined first as improving the appearance of stores, adding trees and burying wires.

      The May forum identified a number of problem areas such as traffic, slowing residential growth and historic preservation.

      The reports have been given to the Selectmen and has been passed onto the Planning Board, Downtown Revitalization, and Master Plan Committees. 

      To read them in their entirety in pdf format, CLICK HERE and access them on the town's website.


Editor's Note: 88 people gave their opinions and perspectives which are being given weight in the planning for the town's future. It is not too late to get involved and make a difference.   

Bedroom set for sale

Kid's solid natural maple bedroom set for sale, in great condition! SEE CLASSIFIED.

Fruit Street Grand Opening on Friday

July 6, 2005 — The Horribles Day Parade float from the McIntyre's reminds us, with their good natured political poking, of the Fruit Street property opening on Friday, July 8, 2005, at 10:00 am.




WESTBOROUGH – The state budget just signed into law by Governor Romney includes $100,000 in state funding for the 495/MetroWest Corridor Partnership during Fiscal Year 2006. 


“This reauthorization of state funding is recognition of the Partnership’s effectiveness and accomplishments on behalf of the 495/MetroWest region,” commented Paul Matthews, the Partnership’s Executive Director.  “We owe our thanks to all involved in securing these funds –Governor Romney, Secretary of Economic Development Ranch Kimball, and especially our legislative delegation, as well as all of the leaders within the 495/MetroWest region who have been supporting our justification for continued funding.”


John Strickland, the Partnership’s Private Sector Co-Chair from Bose Corporation, pointed out that “reauthorization of state funding for the Partnership is a major victory for the entire 495/MetroWest region, since this investment by the state allows the Partnership to raise far more funds and in-kind services from regional employers, while developing public-private collaborative responses to regional challenges.”


This authorization language in the final budget was originated by state legislators representing the 495/MetroWest region, and was endorsed by the full House in the budget debate, and by the Senate Ways and Means Committee in their budget recommendations.  In the House, the funds were approved by a budget amendment filed by State Representatives Paul Loscocco, Stephen LeDuc, and James Vallee, and co-sponsored by another eleven members – State Representatives Deborah Blumer, Jennifer Callahan, James Eldridge, David Linsky, Marie Parente, Alice Hanlon Peisch, George Peterson, Karyn Polito, Susan Pope, Richard Ross, and Thomas Sannicandro.  In the Senate, a number of legislators, including State Senators Scott Brown, Pamela Resor, and Karen Spilka made the Partnership’s state funding a top priority in their discussions with legislative leadership and the Senate Ways and Means Committee.


“We owe our thanks to our state legislators, who have once again delivered for the 495/MetroWest region,” pointed out Don Wheeler, the Partnership’s Public Sector Co-Chair from the Town of Boxborough.  “The fact that the Partnership’s state funding was included in both the House and Senate budgets is a real accomplishment during such a difficult budget process.”


The Partnership is a non-profit advocacy organization serving thirty-two towns, over half a million residents, and an employment base of $13.5 Billion – second only to Boston’s – by addressing regional needs through public / private collaboration, and by enhancing the economic vitality and quality of life while sustaining natural resources.  Governed by regional leaders from municipal government, regional employers, state legislative delegation, and non-profit organizations, the Partnership is very concerned about regional constraints and limitations, and has been conducting initiatives on housing, transportation, workforce, and water issues. ~ Some of this content has been contributed.



The thousands of minorities ... were clearly in the majority


by Robert Falcione


July 5, 2005 — On July 4th, HopNews ran quite a few photos of the activities in and surrounding Hopkinton State Park. I traveled around the park after it was closed to traffic and found all of the barbeque areas taken, every picnic bench overflowing with people, and a steady stream of humanity still walking to the main beach from a satellite parking area that they were forced to leave their cars in due to the main lot being full (Photo).

      It is a good thing the Park workers did their jobs, because two ambulances were needed that day — one for a cut and one for a burn — and had no trouble getting to their patients.

     The atmosphere was festive and colorful, with delicious and unfamiliar aromas emanating from barbeque pits. The beach was a mass of people — others found the nearest shade.

      Later in the day, I walked past a group who had commandeered their own picnic area. When I warned them that their hip-hop music might get me dancing, they challenged me to a dance contest. I respectfully declined with a laugh.

       I approached one man who had about 100 words tattooed on his back, thinking, 'This is one bad dude.' Although I was prepared for the worst — hey, what kind of person could endure that pain — it turned out that they were words of a poem his grandmother wrote for him when he was leaving home. He explained it in a proud and loving way.

       Several generations of families were apparent in the groups of people I witnessed, paying testimony to the strength of their cultures, like many urban dwellers of years past. They had come to the countryside, just like my family did 50 years ago, to escape the harsh city life, if only for a day.

       The few people I asked told me they were speaking Spanish, although I didn't take a scientific poll. But I observed from their skin color and behavior that they are what we call minorities. I did that from life's experience, and not from any expectations or bias on my part.

       I ran the photo of the tattooed poem on the back, another of a group practicing soccer moves in a circle, the way kids play hackey-sack, and another of a young woman carrying a folding chair and using it as a parasol (Scroll down for photo).

      In the last sentence of the cut-line of the young woman's photo I said, "The thousands of minorities who used the park today were clearly in the majority."  I got a call this morning.

       I recognized the caller's name as someone I respect, and was floored when he told me there was a bigoted statement in HopNews. Someone had read the aforementioned cut-line and saw it in an entirely different way than it was meant, and presented that idea to him.

       Although I did not see anything wrong in what I had written, I offered to remove the phrase if he wanted me to, but only after I explained my position.

       I believe I was successful in explaining to my friend where I stand on matters of race. He was satisfied after we spoke and did not accept my several offers to remove the sentence. It remains.

       When I wrote the cut-line, I thought it could be a problem for some people. But it was an observation that would be difficult to challenge. Nonetheless, I knew it could be controversial, but also knew that there were no grounds for it — except perhaps for some new fangled political correctness that has no place in an honest discourse.

       HopNews will continue to have its edge, but never at the expense of an individual or group.

       We will not be condescending, pejorative, prejudicial or  judgmental.

       And when minorities become majorities, or majorities become minorities, HopNews will be the one to notice and say something about it.      

H.O.P.E. sponsored

Weston Nursery land for sale public meeting

July 20th at 7pm

First Congregational Church

Fellowship Hall

146 E. Main Street

Hopkinton/Ashland line


There will be a power point presentation given by Brian Morrison the Conservation commissioner on the Cost of Community service. The Chairman of the Land Use Study Committee Finley Perry, the Chairman of the Board of Selectman Eric Sonnett will be there to answer questions about what the town is doing about it. Please come with your questions and comments. ~ Liisa Jackson




Hopkintonians Organized to Preserve and Enhance, a local grassroots Organization, came together through the efforts of residents, Liisa Jackson and Mavis O’Leary (File photo, left to right).  These two women bonded in their effort to respond to the sale of Weston Nurseries land in a way that would make the change good for neighbors to the Weston Nurseries property, and also for the property value and quality of life for all Hopkintonians. Mavis and Liisa called a meeting for all interested, and the HOPE committee was formed.


 From the Radical Middle...


Questions people do not want to hear


by Robert Falcione

July 5, 2005 — People bite their tongues on a daily basis rather than offend another person. Sometimes a friendly question or statement can have disastrous results.

     "When are you due?" is a question that should never be asked of a newly acquainted woman. If the answer is not a month of a year, then watch out.

     "Is that a Taurus or a Jaguar?" is a question that the Taurus owner would relish, but the Jaguar owner would not, even though one year's production looked like they came from the same mold.

      "Would you like to wash before dinner?" is an indelicate question to ask the dinner guest who is a mechanic, especially after he leaves the washroom.

      "Will you be getting braces?" and "Have you tried Clearasil?" are not a flattering questions to ask anyone. And as we know, even fine soap given as a gift could be taken wrong.

       "Are you sisters?" is the wrong thing to say when looking for a date with the daughter. However, it is most appropriate when courting her mother.

       "Is that a Shelby Cobra, or is it from a kit?" is the wrong question to ask the owner of a Cobra automobile, who has in his possession a vehicle worth over $100,000 that can fly if given wings, and whose engine can drown out a 747. However, it is a most satisfying question for the car-kit owner.

       "What did you get at Wal-Mart?"

       "Nothing, someone gave me the bag." [Yeah, right].

       "Is that a cubic zirconia?" is the wrong question to ask a married woman.

       "Is that a cubic zirconia?" is the wrong question to ask an unmarried woman.

       "What is your grandson's name? ...Oh, he's your son? Sorry"

       "What country are you from? ...America? Cool."

       "Why are you using crutches?" is not the best question to ask a stranger.

       Other indelicate questions:

       "Have you considered voice lessons?"

       "Are you self-taught on guitar?"

       "Is that your dad's car?"

       "What's that thing on your nose?"

       "Why aren't you working anymore?"

       "You found out about the surprise party. Right?"       

       "She told you she dated me before she met you, didn't she?"

       "You know that you're adopted, don't you?"

       "Is that you in the portrait?" [Yes!]

       And the very worst thing a person can say to someone studying television production:

       "Have you considered radio?"     

POLICE NEWS up-to-date


12:56 pm The Ashland Police Department requested assistance at a residency off of Wood Street to view a pickup truck and observe if there is lumber in the truck bed...


8:47 pm A caller from West Main Street was hysterical and was unable to recite any information.  However, upon call back, the caller reported a domestic in progress before the line went dead...

Ferris Bueller's day out

Missy Tibbo (age 14) and her horse, Ferris Bueller, of Saddle Hill Road, Hopkinton. Photo by the Tibbo family. 

Norma E. "Betty" (King) Wellman, 80, died peacefully at Coes Pond Hospice July 3, 2005 after a struggle with cancer.  Born in Camden, ME, she was the daughter of the late Charles and May King. Arrangements at Callanan-Cronin Funeral Home.

 Rural Feel

 Hopkinton Matters

Pretty darn Horrible

July 4, 2005 — Hopkinton celebrated Independence Day in its own special way by parading unusual, political and personal stuff through the downtown in what is known as the Horribles Parade. The float above done by the Pelletier and Crowder families won the Grand Prize.

Click here to see a PHOTO GALLERY from the parade, and click the video camera icon to see a video of the parade.

Indelible love

July 4, 2005 — Oscar Torres made it to the lower beach at Hopkinton State Park today before it was fully closed. Here, he provides the photographer an opportunity to photograph a poem his grandmother wrote for him when he left home, which he had tattooed onto his back, as well as a likeness of her. He said the poem describes a bird's flight from its mother.

Move it or lose it.

July 4, 2005 — Officer Philip Powers directs the driver from Art's Towing to an illegally parked vehicle on Cedar Street. Eight tow trucks removed 24 vehicles, some trucks taking two at a time.

We can help

July 4, 2005 — Carbone's opened their parking lot to take in some of the refusals at the State Park — at $10 per car, after the park closed.

   "We should do this more often," said Peter Carbone. Above, PJ Carbone directs a driver to a spot.

Yankee ingenuity 

July 4, 2005 — Narcela Ribera has turned the task of carrying a lawn chair into a wide parasol on the way to the lower beach at the State Park today. Hopkinton and Ashland ambulances were called to the upper and lower beaches today as  the park became a mini-municipality. The thousands of minorities who used the park today were clearly in the majority. 

Up in the air

July 4, 2005 — Jason Arroyo keeps the ball from hitting the ground — they kept it up for as long as a 30 seconds — as Victor Alessio, left, and Hoiry Arroyo also warm up for a soccer game they had planned for the Fourth.

Up in smoke

July 3, 2005 — Four year's worth of dead wood and other sources fueled this bonfire on Pond Street today. Not to worry, Dr. Karlin, foreground, is equipped with a garden hose should things get out of control. Photo by Daniel Sack.

Guess the building and win...

July 3, 2005 — ...just kidding. Sorry for the humor, but I was inspired to illustrate how overgrown these trees are and what a detriment their size is to the looks of the building after reading something someone wrote. We know it is Town Hall, but mostly because of inferences from memory. Is art in the eyes of the beholder in this case, or can we all agree? ~Editor

It's a bird, it's a plane...

July 3, 2005 — The smaller bird is most displeased with whatever the hawk has captured and bothered it until they were both out camera sight over the Hopkinton Reservoir late this afternoon. The photographer said to a bystander, "Look at the bird."

     The bystander said, "No, it's a plane."   

Ramp it up

July 3, 2005 — Austin Falcione, 9, does a manual while demonstrating safe skateboarding at EMC Park. Helmet requirement is a rule which is enforced by the Hopkinton Police.