24 Main Street, Hopkinton, MA 01748  508.435.5534  12/09/2005 07:27:45 AM Editor@HopNews.com    

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Thick as duck soup

November 17, 2005 — It was difficult to tell where the water ended and the fog began at Lake Whitehall this morning.

Powwow goes full circle

Right for permitting agencies to hire attorneys as consultants at issue

November 16, 2005 — A call for a round table discussion by Attorney Wayne Davies (Photo), Chairman of the Board of Appeals, to the other permitting departments in town — the Board of Health, the Planning Board, and the Conservation Commission — to meet and discuss the problems the agencies have had in attaining the use of an attorney as a consultant during their hearings, was answered by the attendance of some members from each.

   On hand, as well as Selectmen Muriel Kramer and Mary Pratt, were Chairman of the Board of Health Nancy Peters and Board of Health member Richard DeMont, Chairman of the Conservation Commission Brian Morrison, and Planning Board member Sandy Altamura.

    The Selectmen denied outside attorneys for the Board of Health when they were reconsidering "new information" after the hearing on the Harvey expansion had closed. They cited policy that states only they have the authority to approve the use of attorneys, and referred to town By-laws Ch. 28, Section 5E as their statutory authority. Mr. Davies questioned their interpretation of that By-law.

    The Board of Appeals recently hired their own attorney as a consultant on the Fruit Street appeals and  came under fire for doing so.

    Mr. Morrison said that his Commission had statutory authority under the Wetlands Protection Act.

   Mrs. Altamura suggested that the question be settled with a simple call to the Attorney General's office to se if they have come up with similar situations in he past, and how they were resolved.

     However, Mr. Davies wanted to bring it before the Selectmen with the permitting departments and Larry Faiman, Town Counsel, after each of those departments had a chance to discuss the issue.

     Mr. Davies concedes that he and the other departments must defer to Town Counsel for litigation. However, he claims that a permitting agency does not have to in the case of using an attorney as a consultant, just as they would not have to ask the Selectmen when hiring an engineer.

Early tree

November 16, 2006 — Project Just Because got their tree display approved by the Selectmen and installed it without fanfare today. One of the Selectmen had previously opposed the early placement, citing the bygone, or some might say, purist tradition of not having Christmas displays before Thanksgiving. However, like many holiday charities, the program must collect and distribute the gifts before the holiday. In what seemed like an inside reference at last night's Selectmen's meeting, Muriel Kramer pointed out with laughter that she was dressed for the holidays, with her red and green seasonal sweater.

LIFT PUBLIC Transit System offers Free Bus Rides in November

Framingham, MA (November 16, 2005) The Town of Framingham will be offering free rides on all LIFT Transit buses on Friday, November 25 and Saturday, November 26 2005 as part of a promotion to encourage rider-ship throughout the MetroWest region during the holiday season. LIFT buses will be serving the MetroWest area free of charge in an effort to ease holiday travel to area malls and other retail outlets for residents during two of the busiest shopping days of the season.

"We are pleased to be able to offer free rides on all LIFT buses on November 25 and 26," comments Kathleen B. Bartolini, Director of Planning & Economic Development for Framingham. "The free bus rides will provide an opportunity for area residents to avoid holiday traffic and parking issues while experiencing the ease of traveling around MetroWest on a LIFT bus,” she adds. “We hope that individuals who don’t already use the LIFT will take advantage of this great opportunity and ride any LIFT bus for free. We also hope that the LIFT bus will become a part of everyone's daily routine.”

The LIFT Public Transit System operates five different bus routes throughout MetroWest. The LIFT buses run on regular weekday schedules with some Saturday service available on LIFT buses 2 and 3. All LIFT buses have scheduled stops at numerous locations throughout MetroWest.
The buses will also stop anywhere along their routes to pick up passengers, as long as it is safe to do so. Individuals who wish to take a LIFT bus can flag one down by waving. LIFT bus schedules and routes are available online and at most LIFT Bus shelters. Bus schedules are also available at area senior centers, town halls and public libraries, as well as the Marlborough, MetroWest, and Milford Chambers of Commerce, S.M.O.C, and Solomon Pond Mall.
For more information about the LIFT Public Transit System call 508-620-4823 or 1-800-649-6096, or log on to www.framinghamma.gov .


Selectmen choose to stay with single tax rate

Terry property not favored


by Kevin Kohrt

November 15, 2005 — The Selectmen chose to stay with a single tax rate and voted to set the tax rate for FY 2006 at $12.47 per $1000 of assessed value on any property in Hopkinton, be it residential or commercial. This is up from the current rate of $12.32 per $1000, and will result in an average increase of 7% for Hopkinton homeowners. The current valuation of properties is listed at the Board of Assessors web site http://www.hopkinton.org/gov/assessor/2006.htm . Estimated tax bills can be calculated by multiplying the valuation by 0.01247.

The Selectmen heard arguments in favor of splitting the tax rate so that residential properties paid a lower rate than commercial/industrial, but they were rejected after numerous letters and public comments emphasized how business-unfriendly such a move would be. Currently, the total taxable value of residential property in Hopkinton ($2.4 billion) represents 85% of all taxable property value. To drop a homeowners tax rate by 25 cents in a split-rate scenario would raise the commercial tax rate about $1.25. This would save the average homeowner $114 a year, but would cost a company like EMC, the largest commercial tax payer, nearly $200,000. Fin Perry's (File photo above) letter from the Economic Commission and Development Finance Authority http://www.hopkinton.org/gov/ecdfa/index.htm stressed that such a split rate sent the wrong message to the businesses which the town is working hard to attract.

Terry Property too pricey for the town

The Selectmen passed on the option to exercise the town's Right of First Refusal on the 200 acre Terry Property http://www.hopkinton.org/gov/LandUseStudy/pdf/Terry_Property.pdf . The property had a special agricultural tax rate, but since an $8 million offer has been made to purchase the property for non-agricultural uses, Chapter 61 of MA General Laws gives the town the right of first refusal, allowing it to match any such bid within 120 days.

The Selectmen made their decision after all five major committees asked to weigh in on the subject recommended that the town not purchase the property. The most detailed analysis was presented in person by Stuart Cowart (File photo) of the Land Use Study Committee http://www.hopkinton.org/gov/LandUseStudy/index.html . That committee undertook a detailed fiscal analysis of the proposed purchase using the tools and techniques developed for the Weston Nurseries property in order to determine that the town would be better off not buying the property. However, the Land Use committee did recommend that the town should reserve the right to reconsider buying the land should the price come down. The Selectmen accomplished this by asserting that the Formal Notice of sale presented to them was not, in fact, valid due to some of the contingencies set in the exiting Purchase and Sale agreement which the Terry family currently have in hand.

Budget gap projected to be the same as last year

Selectmen Chairman Eric Sonnet (File photo) summed up the budgetary prospects for FY 2007, which will voted upon at next spring's Town Meeting. This followed a presentation from the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee http://www.hopkinton.org/gov/appropriations/index.htm, Stuart Cowart, in which he pointed out that the budget gap from FY 2006 is still with us, but we have even fewer options with which to address it.

To put it into perspective, last spring's Town Meeting voted a budget for FY 2006, which starts next year. The tax rate of $12.47 just set by the Selectmen is what is required to fund that budget, and it will also go into effect next year. The next Town Meeting will set the budget for the following year, 2007. The tax rate needed to fund that budget will be passed by the selectmen a year from now.

Stuart recalled that the FY 2006 budget required approximately $2 million more than the town could fund with a 2.5% tax increase. Last spring, Town Meeting voted to cover this gap by borrowing $487,000 for capital expenses, and drawing down the Stabilization fund by $1 million, leaving a $600,000 "proposition 2 1/2 tax override."

Looking ahead, FY 2007 will have about the same gap just to maintain "level funding." In order to maintain "level service" it could be even more. But the $1 million remaining in our Stabilization fund is, for all practical purposes, unavailable for non-emergency purposes, per the advice of our Bond Rating Agency and the Department of Revenue.

The Appropriations Committee plans to be proactive, however. Starting in February they will be conducting surveys and a focus group meetings with the help of the Civic Engagement Committee.


Touchstone Community School

Holiday Craft Fair

December 4 from 10-4pm

Touchstone Community School will hold its annual "Holiday Craft Fair" as part of Grafton Celebrates the Holidays, on Sunday December 4 from 10-4pm at 54 Leland street in Grafton. The Craft show is a juried show of fine handmade crafts and jewelry. We will have free kid craft activities, food, raffle and free hot beverages. If you have questions please call us at 508-839-0038 if you need directions you can find us on the web at www.touchstoneschool.com .

Get a news franchise for Grafton, free! Call 508-435-5534 to find out how.


POLICE NEWS up-to-date

6:39 pm Detective Scott Van Raalten and Officer Gregg DeBoer checked a Hayward Street home for an armed robbery suspect for the Westborough Police Department...

4:52 pm A caller reported that a person on West Main Street was walking with headphones on and dancing...

2:50 pm A caller from Cider Mill Road reported that a furniture salesman scared her children and would not leave when he was told to get off of her property... 

Graveyard guffaws

A legacy of laughter


by Elizabeth Eidlitz

November 15, 2005 — The simulated spookiness of Halloween is over with its bed sheet ghosts, ghoulishly carved pumpkins and tombstones reading ‘Rest In Pieces.”


Not your usual source of hip slapping humor, most upright markers of fieldstone slate, sandstone, coarse granite, and marble in New England cemeteries are engraved with ominous messages.


The most common inscriptions, accompanied by winged skulls, death’s heads, classical urns or willow design, are variations on this theme: ‘Come blooming youths, as you pass by, /And on these lines do cast an eye. /As you are now, so once was I;/ As I am now, so must you be; /Prepare for death and follow me.’ 


 An 1829 tombstone in the Main Street Cemetery near the Hopkinton Common, for example, warns


As you unknown, so once was I

Rejoicing in my bloom,

As I am now so must you be

Dissolving in the tomb FULL STORY

World Travel Photo Show

Dec 8-10 at the CAA farmhouse gallery



The Cultural Arts Alliance welcomes you to view the latest show at the Terry farmhouse gallery.  CAA is hosting a World Travel Photography show and sale with works by Giancarlo Tanzi (Costa Rica Photographs), Jeanine Vitale (Winter Works) Rick Kollmeyer (World Travel) and Anita Boothroyd Patel (Images of Africa).

Stop by for a free “Meet the Artists” wine and cheese reception on Thursday, December 8 from 7-9 PM.  You’ll be amazed at the affordable prices of these photos and they would lend a worldly look to your home décor! 

Additional show and sale hours are Saturday 12-2 PM and Sunday 2-4 PM. ~ CAA

Charter Commission keeps recall provision

Hopes for support of Selectmen


by Robert Falcione

November 14, 2005 — The Charter Commission, led by Chairman  Marie Eldridge, met this evening to dot the i's and cross the t's of their 17 months-long effort to produce a document they hope will provide a framework for the structure of Hopkinton government for generations to come.

    The document that they hammered out will be called the Hopkinton Home Rule Charter. It specifies the inclusion of existing laws and creates a new structure of town government, which includes among other things, the addition of a Town Manager position appointed by the Selectmen, and a Finance Director appointed by the Town Manager. The Finance Director's position will be rolled into the current Town Accountant, according to a report made by Charter Commission Chairman, Marie Eldridge at the last Selectmen's meeting.

     The major point of contention, and mostly with three of the Selectmen, has been the recall provision of the proposed Charter. Until this evening, it stated that an affidavit signed by 400 people gave the Town Clerk authority to deliver to "said voters" petition blanks to recall an elected official. It would then take 20% of the town's voters to sign the petitions within 45 days.

      If the petition drive is successful and the elected official fails to resign, the Selectmen are to call an election.

     This provision has been  opposed by three of the five Selectmen, often citing the ease with which an official can be "indicted," to repeat a term Ron Clark has used to describe his viewpoint of the process. He was on hand this evening to present what he called a compromise that would be acceptable to the Selectmen and garner their support when the process moves toward that stage.

    "I'd like to see a way all of the Selectmen can support the Charter.

    "When I was Chairman, I gave it a lot of attention." he said, referring to his solid support of the grass roots efforts to gain signatures for support of a Charter Commission, and his use of the bully pulpit which is a benefit of the Selectmen's Chairman.

     "We're close to working in unison to support the Charter before the townspeople," he said. Mr. Clark stated three major reasons to amend the document as the Charter Commission had written it:

     "The ability to taint an elected official's reputation, the reduction in the ability to get volunteers; and the pressure from a recall could cause an official to make a bad decision, costing the town liability."

      Mr. Clark wanted the 400 signature portion of the process dropped altogether, and the 20% changed to 25% arguing that his proposal made it harder to "indict" a town official.

      "But with your compromise, it only takes one person to start the process," said Commission member Beth Herlihy.

      Charter Commission member Nancy Clark, Ron Clark's wife and a teacher of government studies at the High School, supported her husband's proposal and said that if her fellow members did not accept it, she would offer a "minority report." She said it was important to get the approval of the Selectmen.

     "At the last election, four of the five sitting Selectmen supported a candidate, and he lost," Mrs. Herlihy said, an apparent argument that the support of the Selectmen may not be necessary.

      Charter Commission member, former Chief of Police William McRobert, offered a solution: Change the 400 people to 10% [approx. 870] of the registered voters with a minimum of 200 voters from each precinct. The precinct qualifier is to discourage a (town) regional issue from spurring someone to start a recall.

      Before the vote on that specific motion, Mr. Clark was asked if he found it acceptable.

     "I don't have any comment. I'd have to think about it long and hard," he said.

     The Commission voted 7-2, with Nancy Clark and Dr. Bruce Karlin voting against, to accept Mr. McRobert's amendment.

      After the vote, Mrs. Clark turned to Selectman Mary Pratt, a Commission member, and to Selectmen Muriel Kramer, who was an observer, and said, "I hope you folks can get the support of the other Selectmen."

Hopkinton Basketball Association Tapoff Tournament


The HBA will host the 5th Annual Tapoff Tournament November 18-20th. Over 130 local teams will participate including 19 teams from Hopkinton. Anyone interested in watching some great local basketball talent should plan to attend. Full details are posted on www.hopkintonbasketball.org

Entertainment Armoire Center plus 32" Toshiba TV $1000
Armoire similar to one for sale in Ballard Design Catalog which sells for $1600. Dimensions: Armoire: 80" x 48"W x 22"D, TV 32" diagonal screen. Must be able to pick it up. See Classified.

Final Charter Commission meeting tonight

"We are going back over the entire document." ~ Chairman, Marie Eldridge

Ron Clark's proposal to be considered tonight


November 14, 2005 — The nine-member Charter Commission, wrapping up its 18 month mandate, will meet this evening at 7:00 pm in the Fire Station Downstairs Meeting Room to place their stamp of approval onto the document that will go before Hopkinton voters in May, 2006. This is the introduction. [Meeting place not upstairs, but downstairs in the Fire Station].

     Their deliberations have brought this fine-tuned document, the final draft of which will be handed out to Commission members this evening and is available to read here in its entirety, to the point of very few controversies.

      Commission Chairman Mrs. Eldridge said this afternoon in a telephone interview, that she plans to go over the entire document with her members this evening. She reported receiving an email from a member of the Board of Selectmen, speaking for himself, who wanted one provision reconsidered.

     Selectman Ron Clark, who has expressed reservations about the "recall" provision of the Charter, has sent a proposal to Chairman Marie Eldridge.

     "We will consider his input and decide what course of action," she said this afternoon in a telephone interview.

     Some Selectmen have publicly opposed the recall provision, saying that the voters do the recalling at the next election. They have implied that the Board would not support a Charter with the recall provision in it. However, the proposal from Mr. Clark is a compromise that could give both sides what they want.  Mr. Clark writes:  

     "Has the CC considered eliminating the 1st stage w/ 400 signatures and just have the actual petition stage with 30 to 40% of the registered voters required? That way the CC gets its recall and a majority of the BoS may feel comfortable that it won't be misused. What is the purpose of the first "indictment" step? Why not have the full blown petition and be done with it?"

      The actual draft of the Charter calls for 20% of the registered voters' signatures to force a resignation, and if the person does not resign, an election will be called by the Selectmen.

     There is a list of the various positions in Town government and who, whether the Selectmen or the Town Manager, appoints each one. That list can be viewed here.

     The final document will be turned in to the state this week, November 17, after which time it cannot be altered by the Commission.

     For those interested, choose the links above, print the documents, read them, and attend this evening's meeting.Discuss


He has won a ticket to the Hopkinton Historical Society 19th Annual Harvest Supper.

Ed Harrow has sent this link for people with too much time on their hands.


Ciao Time wants to cook your turkey ~ Click here for prices.

Wizards are a slam dunk ~ HPTA scores

Above, Ryan McCrorey gets a lesson from one of the members of the Harlem Wizards.

November 13, 2005 — The Harlem Wizards turned the fun of basketball into funny this evening, playing a group of Hopkinton staff, teachers, parents, students and others, and entertaining a crowd estimated at over 500 people with their skill and skillful antics.

     The HPTA staff at the door estimated their net revenue from the evening to be around $4,000. See more photos below.


Choose a thumbnail to see an enlargement

Friends of the Library Holiday Open House


Nov. 30, 7:00 - 8:30 pm


Featuring The Hopkinton Chamber Orchestra. 


 Everyone welcome.

A hero's remembrance

November 13, 2005 — On Friday, Veteran's Day, American Legion Post 202 member Michael Shepard honored the memory of Corporal Joseph Vittori, posthumous  winner of the Medal of Honor, by sharing the details of his heroics and pointing out the memorial to him in Hopkinton..

     "The state has a funny habit of naming intersections after Medal of Honor winners. We have one such intersection on West Main Street." Mr. Shepard went on to detail the two locations, at the West Main Street/495 interchange at both ends of the median, and then read  the citation.

   "I just wanted everyone to know what that is about," he concluded.

   The citation, citing the details of Mr. Vittori's bravery "...above and beyond the call of duty," can be read in its entirety.

Walk on water?

November 13, 2005 — The stop-action camera work may give the illusion of this male mallard duck walking across the water while balancing with his wings like a tightrope walker, but he is actually landing from his flight.

Rural character — definitely

November 13, 2005 — Be the very first one to email the street where this photograph was taken from and win a ticket to the Hopkinton Historical Society's 19th Annual Harvest Supper on Friday, November 18; email from this link only.

Hopkinton - Lacrosse Registration

Hopkinton Boys and Girls Lacrosse will hold registration for the Spring 2006 season on November 15th at the Hopkinton Middle Middle School Cafeteria from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.  Boy's Lacrosse field teams at 4 age groups: Under 9, 11, 13 & 15 and is open to all children from age 7 to 14.  Girl's Lacrosse field a 3rd/4th grade team, a 5th/6th grade team and a 7th/8th grade team.  Registration is $95.00 and includes membership to US Lacrosse. Equipment outfitters will be on hand, for more information go to www.hopkintonlax.org or email Karl Morningstar at karl@hopkintonlax.org.

Number one

Front row L - R: Danielle Hoyt, Sara Clemente, Allison Monaghan, Katherine Ronan, Kristen Cooprider.

Second Row L - R: Coach Jim Hoyt, Sara Moses, Rebecca Thomas, Devon Cleary, Blair Guild, Carolyn Monaghan, Cody Johnson, Coach Warner Guild.


November 13, 2005 — The fifth grade travel team has just completed their season with 10 wins and 0 losses.

Win a turkey — and more...!

November 13, 2005 — The Class of 2007, represented this morning at the Golden Spoon by Class Vice-President Megan Ryan and Secretary Patrick Olson, is selling chances for a holiday bounty for one lucky person and three companions. It is an all for one win, offering a free turkey, four tickets to the Thanksgiving Day game against Ashland, premium parking, shuttle to your seats, hot chocolate, seat cushions, blankets and whew! Check out the photo for more.

     To find out how to get tickets, email jgolden@hopkinton.k12.ma.us or lgreco@hopkinton.k12.ma.us .


Katrina Relief

November 12, 2005 — Above, Matt McGrath plays piano at the John Warren Masonic Lodge on Saturday. Instructor Haim Pickholz showed off youthful talent in a day long festival of jazz music to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

   "The proceeds will go to the Red Cross," Mr. Pickholz said after the last performance had ended this evening.

   When asked how much was collected, he estimated, "Perhaps 4 or 5 thousand.

   "The community really came together," he said.


November 12, 2005 — An interference call was made against Medfield last night after this play in which Craig Sager was the intended receiver. The yellow flags flew after a conference by two referees.

Hiller Football wins Tri-Valley League, Playoff spot

Wins over Medfield, 19-14

Jon Stickney, who had two touchdowns this evening, beats this Medfield player down the sideline.


by Peter Marso

November 11, 2005 — It was a game that will be talked about for ages. The Medfield - Hopkinton game. It was a thriller, a hard fought battle between both tough football programs. A game in which the winner would take all the marbles.

    Once again the running of tailback Jon Stickney proofed to be the difference as the Hillers rolled up three touchdowns and an extra point by Mark Sanborn gave the mighty Hillers the Tri-Valley League title 19-14 over the Warriors of Medfield. Paul Ostrander caught a long one for the second touchdown.

     The Hiller defense held up when they had to as they continued to put on a great pressure pursuit on the Medfield defense. The Hillers took a 19-7 lead at the half but it appeared that the second half would prove to be as exciting as any Hiller football game. The Hillers now will represent the Tri-Valley League in this years Superbowl playoffs; Abington will be the foe.

     The Hillers have the Clockers on thanksgiving and then, its off to playoffs. Congratulations to the Hopkinton High-School Hillers!!



November 11 2005 — The Hillers proved their mettle tonight as they won a hard fought victory over Medfield, 19 -14, a relatively low score that is a testament to the strong defense of each team. Above, after stopping Medfield's last drive, the Hillers are buoyant as a dejected Medfield player lies face down on the field.

Why build on Fruit Street?



With so many local communities having problems with their water supply, why would Hopkinton residents want to build anything on the Fruit Street property?

Beth Kelly
5 Ash Street
Hopkinton, MA

November 11, 2005




5:10 pm A caller reported a road rage incident on West Main Street.  The caller pulled over in a parking lot with the other individual that was involved...

10:24 am A caller reported that two large delivery trucks with several men were hanging around on Cubs Path for some time now...

8:46 pm A West Main Street gas station employee reported that two people in a red explorer appeared to be having a heated argument..  

Hilly Gully

November 11, 2005 — Beware of driving to the town-owned Fruit Street property. This gully leading to the parking area, although looking larger than it is due to the camera lens, is nonetheless treacherous.

Veterans honored

Above, Post Chaplain Richard Brault, hits the bell and pauses for a moment of silence remembering each of the Hopkinton veterans who have died in the last twelve months.


November 11, 2001 — At Town Hall today, Hopkinton Veterans from American Legion Post 202 honored their own and those from Hopkinton who have died in the last twelve months. Michael Whalen, Post Adjutant, presided over the solemn occasion, which had been started to commemorate the signing of the armistice to end World War I, "The war to end all wars," as one speaker once said. The day now called Veteran's Day was originally know as Armistice Day, in honor of the signing of the peace at 11:00 am on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, 11:00 am November 11, 1917.

    Rev. Michael Billingsly of St. Paul's Church,  a former member of the Coast Guard, gave the invocation referring to the "Greatest generation" saying, "You're here and we're grateful."

    A welcoming statement by Michael Whalen was followed by Marine Corps veteran and Post Chaplain Richard Brault, one of eight siblings who served in the United States Armed Forces, that began with a emotion-filled remembrance of the telegram informing his family of his nephew's death.

    Post member Marine veteran Michael Shepard made a point to note the state has named the intersections at West Main Street and Route 495 for Corporal Joseph Vittori, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for courage and valor, and for sacrificing his life for his country and his fellow Marines in Korea, where 200 enemy dead were found surrounding the position he defended overnight.

    The keynote address was given by former Selectman, Dr. John Duffy, who has children serving in he armed forces. He noted that it was exactly 30 years ago to the day that he gave a speech. He said that the speaker on that day had not arrived, and he saw Angelo Colella approaching him. "I knew I was in trouble then," he said jokingly. Mr. Whalen noted that Angelo Colella, perhaps Hopkinton's oldest veteran, was in the hospital.

    Dr. Duffy ended referring to the current war in Iraq with the same words he spoke on November 11, 1975.

    "We should respect the members of the Armed Forces regardless of our position [on the war]."

   Below, veterans listen to guest speaker Dr. John Duffy.


November 11, 2005 — These barren trees have exposed t he behaviors of these birds, who usually conduct their business in private, today at the State Park.

Scofflaws could provide a goldmine

To the Editor -


Some weeks ago I wrote a letter about the inherent dangers involved in crossing the street in our fair town. You might recall - drivers careening through marked crosswalks with intrepid pedestrians leaping at the last second out of harm's way as said drivers continue on with their cell phone conversations. Though I complained that my pleas for actual enforcement of the law had fallen on deaf ears, I did note that new cones had appeared in the crosswalks of Church/Main & Hayden Rowe/Main streets. Imagine my chagrin several days later when I witnessed a car full of young men smash right into said Church St. cone & drag it to its demise on Walcott St. FULL LETTER.

The real thing

November 10, 2005 — A sight more rare than a fleeting glimpse of Sasquatch, this validly parked vehicle in front of the Post Office this morning replaced a non-valid vehicle that had been parked there moments earlier, apparently for the convenience of the driver's teenager, who jumped in moments later. The non-valid driver moved  her vehicle at the sight of the photographer, perhaps revealing herself as a HopNews reader.

Muriel Kramer's entire letter to EOEA here.

Hopkinton Special Olympic soccer teams get the silver

 Hopkinton Angels, Karen DeCenzo heads for the goal

November 10, 2005 — Hopkinton Special Olympic soccer teams came home with a silver medal and two fourth place ribbons, after competing in the Massachusetts State Games in Byfield this past weekend.   It was a memorable  day for everyone, in spite of the  cold, rainy weather.  The three Hopkinton soccer teams, comprised of 20 athletes and 19 volunteers, are sponsored yearly by the Hopkinton Youth Soccer Association. If you would like more information about Special Olympics, please contact Claudia Vanderpool at (508) 435-0104 or vanderzoo@juno.com ~ Claudia Vanderpool.

Spilka Health Insurance Standardization Amendment Passes Unanimously, Gains Inclusion in Senate Health Care Reform Package


November 10, 2005 – The Massachusetts State Senate yesterday debated its health care reform package, and Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) fought successfully for the inclusion of a provision mandating the standardization of forms and coding in health insurance claims.

      Administrative costs associated with the non-standardization of claims forms and codes in the health insurance industry can equal between ten and thirty percent of all operating costs.  The accepted “gold standard” of insurance forms and codes being the Medicare system, the amendment requires that all insurance providers in Massachusetts use only the federal Medicare claims forms and use only Medicare codes, the most efficient and cost-effective in the industry, to complete claims forms.

      Senator Spilka commented, “By standardizing forms and codes, we can reduce the time required to complete paperwork, significantly cutting back on administrative costs.  These cost savings should help make health care more affordable across the Commonwealth.”

      “Standardizing codes also makes claims and billing forms easier for consumers to understand, and standardization facilitates research and analysis on important health and medical issues,” added Senator Spilka.

Senator Spilka feels that this common-sense measure is a long overdue reform, one she has been fighting for before she was elected to the Massachusetts state senate.  The finalized Senate health care reform legislation now goes to a conference committee where it will be measured against and merged with the House’s health care reform package into a final bill that will be returned to both houses of the Legislature for approval.  Senator Spilka pledges to urge the members of the conference committee to keep the standardization provision in the final version of the legislation.


Soccer Jamboree Friday Veteran’s Day!


Attention In-Town Soccer Players!

Hopkinton Youth Soccer in conjunction with John Smith Sports Center is sponsoring a FREE Soccer Jamboree for our in-town players this Friday November 11 (Veteran’s Day – No School). 


The festivities will take place at John Smith Indoor Soccer Facility in Milford (www.johnsmithsoccer.com). Parents and siblings are invited to come and enjoy the facility – snacks, video games and playground will be open.


Kindergarten and First Graders will have a skills clinic and round robin scrimmages from 9-11

Second and Third Graders will play the same format from 11-1


Important Information:

-Bring a ball (need for skills clinic) and water bottle with your name on them

-Wear cleats (or sneakers) and shin guards

-Wear your in-town jersey with another shirt under it (to change green/white)

-Don’t wear jewelry; No gum allowed

-Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase

-HYSA Tie-Dye T-shirts, Water Bottles and Round Magnets will be available (cash or check)


Pre-registration is encouraged but not required.

"Mass Gets Prepared" workshop


Our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is hosting a "Mass Gets Prepared" workshop this Saturday in Weston, Marlboro and Boston from 11am-2pm. Representatives from MEMA, Red Cross, the Humane Society, local fire and police organizations and others will be there to present info to attendees on how to prepare for an emergency-be it local or wide spread. The news has been hard hit with numerous emergency stories from weather related problems to man made problems. People need to be prepared to deal with these issues. In addition, attendees may pre order individual "72 Hour Emergency kits"-for more info and to order, see www.massgetsprepared.org . I do have printed flyers that you are welcomed to scan and post on this site.
I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for keeping the community informed-
Diana Umina
24 Chestnut St

Happy Birthday Marines

November 10, 2005 — Three warriors, veterans of the United States Marine Corps and members of the American Legion, greeted each other with a "Happy Birthday" this morning at the Hopkinton Post Office prior to a ceremony unveiling official stamps, Distinguished Marines, commemorating four of their fellow Marines posthumously, each with their own design. Today, according to Legion Adjutant, veteran Michael Whalen (Center), marks the 230th birthday of the Marine Corps.

      Post Chaplain Dick Brault began the ceremony with a salute to the flag, followed by a reading of the Marine Corps Hymn. "I'm not going to sing this," he said to laughter.

      The legendary Marines who were honored with this dedication today for serving with bravery and distinction during the 20th Century were John Basilone, Daniel J. Daly, John A. Lejeune and Lewis B. Puller.

      According to Postmaster Frank Viscardi, the First Issue stamps will be available for cancellation for the next 30 days. Mail orders must be postmarked by December 9, 2005.

     Member Michael Shepard, right, is part of the organizing of the Veteran's Day Celebration on Friday, which will be held in Town Hall at 11:00 am.    


Tommy Hennigan of Hopkinton Serves as McDonald’s Honorary Ball Boy at Boston Celtics Game


BOSTON (November 9, 2005) - Tommy Hennigan of Hopkinton served as the McDonald’s Honorary Ball Boy at the Boston Celtics home game against the Detroit Pistons on November 4th. 

As the McDonald’s Honorary Ball Boy, Hennigan had the opportunity to rebound for Celtics players during pre-game warmups.  Hennigan also received an autographed basketball, two tickets to the game, and an Honorary Celtics/McDonald’s Ball Boy T-shirt.  His name was announced and displayed on the JumboTron during the game.


A charter member of the Basketball Association of America (which evolved into the National Basketball Association) since 1946, the Boston Celtics have won a record 16 NBA Championships, including eight (8) in a row from 1959-1966, and have won NBA titles in three different eras. In addition, 29 former Celtics players, management or staff have been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. For more information about the Celtics, log onto www.celtics.com <http://www.celtics.com>.

Photo credit-©2005 NBAE/Sports Action Photography

Prana Presents


A Christmas Carol


More than 50 local children are participating in Prana Productions's A Christmas Carol, to be presented Dec. 2, 3 and 4 in four shows at Holliston's beautiful Upper Town Hall.


"We are thrilled to be producing this all-children's version of Charles Dicken's classic story," said Director Roberta Weiner.  "They have a beautiful energy and spirit!"


Hopkinton actors include Jillian Wach, Christian Papadellis and Beth Pezzoni.  Other actors are from Holliston, Southboro, Northboro, Milford, Medway, Millis and Framingham.


Show times are Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3 at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4 at 1:30 p.m.  Advance sale: $13/adult; $8 children/seniors and at the door: $14/adult; $9 children/seniors. 


Tickets can be mail-ordered via or purchased at four Holliston locations: Fiske's, Coffee Haven, Grapevine and the Prana Center.  For more information: dayna@pranacentercom


Left, Hopkinton actor Jillian Wach (left), who plays Martha Cratchit, along with Joseph Duda (Bob Cratchit) and Rebecca Butensky (Tiny Tim) ~Contributed content.




Is your group's event on our Calendar? If not email now.


Reader appreciates HopNews photos

Dear Editor:


I check out HopNews daily, not just for what's happening but also to see what new photos have been posted.  Your work is exquisite.  Just wanted you to know that I appreciate how beautifully you conceive and compose a photo, then capture it so well.



Elaine Schenot

10 Baker Lane, Hopkinton

November 9, 2005    MORE LETTERS

Study Skills in the Elementary Grades, K-6  

 Presented by the Landmark School

 January 24, 2006    ~    7:00-9:00pm


This program will describe Landmark School’s model for teaching study skills to children in grades K-6.  The model involves strategies for managing materials, time, and information.  The Landmark School is recognized internationally as a leader in the field of language-based learning disabilities.  This is a valuable presentation designed to develop study skills strategies for all elementary age learners. 

 For more information about this program, please contact Margaret Driscoll at jdriscoll734@comcast.net

Lower the flag for Cookie Kumlin

To the Editor

My name is Lucas Wise, I used to live next to Cookie and I saw recently the story you posted up about his death. I would like to say a few things about Cookie. He was a very kind and caring person. He would take a nightly walk down the street with his dog Mini, and I would see him walking down the street. Now and then and he would always call me "Bull Frog" and he would always have his walking stick which had a nail at the end and he would always be looking out for things to make better in the town. READ FULL LETTER


HEF Winter Gala 2006  

Ticket Sales Begin

December 3rd, 2005

High School Lobby

$80.00 per person

To purchase tickets after
December 3rd,
or to inquire about the
private dining room, contact:

Gina Dwyer, 508-497-3951

Chairman of the MetroWest Council Red Cross asks for support

To the Editor


As a resident of Hopkinton and a volunteer with the MetroWest Area Council of the American Red Cross, I'm writing to invite everyone to join us for a terrific event on the evening of November 18. That's when we'll be holding our annual Holiday Auction where you can not only knock off a lot of your holiday shopping at our live and silent auctions, but help your local Red Cross chapter in the bargain! READ FULL LETTER


Tastefully decorated 2 Bedroom 1 1/2 bath townhouse. Located in very desirable area. Three floors including walkout basement with sliders, central ac, gas heat, gas stove with over the range microwave, Newer refrig, washer and gas dryer. Private deck off eat in kitchen overlooking conservation area. Centrally located to 495 and mass pike. Low condo fees includes 2 deeded parking spaces, exterior maintenance, landscaping, water, snow removal and rubbish removal. Affordable living in Hopkinton. Selling Price $ 283,500. Please contact 508-435-5655. SEE MORE CLASSIFIED.


Tips on Medicare Part D

Many senior citizens overwhelmed


by Paul J. Wright, M.D

November 9, 2005 — The Medicare Improvement Act will introduce a medication benefit for the first time in January of 2006. It is very complex and very confusing. Our seniors are being flooded by mailings soliciting them to enroll in various products. But the plan is so complex and the options are so many that most seniors are overwhelmed and under informed. There are some simple principles they should keep in mind before they do anything. Here are my “Top Ten”:


1.)    There is no need to rush. Take your time to know what you are doing and understand the details. You can do more harm by signing up for the wrong plan than by doing nothing.


2.)    Medicare Advantage Plans are incompatible with private drug plans. Your Medicare Part C Plan (Tufts Medicare Preferred (formerly Secure Horizons), First Seniority, Blue Care 65) will be cancelled if you sign up for any part D product except that offered by them.


3.)    Seniors generally will benefit from part D if they spend more than $77 monthly on their medications, for the average Medicare Part D plan. They are dramatically helped if the prescription medications they take exceed $5000 annually.


4.)    The pharmacy benefit is optional, but if you do not sign up when you are eligible, there is a penalty if you join later on. This is a substantial penalty (a 1% increase in the premium for every month you do not sign up when you are eligible, after May 2006 - forever). This is like the “Penalty for early withdrawal” clause in “Certificates of Deposit”, but in the future tense, rather than the past. If your premium would be $35 monthly this year, and you postpone 1 year, it will cost you $39 monthly next year. It will be doubled in 8 years. Or double whatever the new rate is in 1913, as inflation will certainly play a role.


5.)    Seniors closer to 65 should be more concerned about the penalty than those in their 80’s, and they may want to select a lower-premium plan even if their medications are less than $77 monthly.


6.)    Low-income seniors who have limited assets can qualify for free or discounted Medicare Part D benefits.


7.)    You are always better off financially by using generic medications, and you may save a lot by splitting higher doses of medications in half when appropriate. You may save more by getting certain mail-order medications from Canada, but that does not fall under the Medicare D program, and the legality is questionable.


8.)    Eligible Veterans can get great drug benefits through the VA system. Career Veterans have even better options, as do their spouses.


9.)    The local SHINE counselors are specially trained to help you with these choices, and are there to help you. (435-9730)


10.) Ask your Physician. He may not be fully informed on the options, but should certainly have your best interest in mind. Marketers may not.

Welcome Holliston readers


November 9, 2005 — Yesterday we entered into an association with HollistonNetNews.com, a news site with apparently similar goals as HopNews: To offer an accurate presentation of events in the community and to do so in a timely fashion. The Editor of that organization, Mary Greendale, and the Editor of HopNews, Robert Falcione, were actually brought to know each other through State Representative Paul Loscocco, apparently a reader of each.

     We welcome our new Holliston readers to browse the vast web of advertiser-supported pages on HopNews, and suggest to our our readers who are interested in timely news from Holliston, to check out that subscription-driven site.

     HopNews is beginning to expand its reach, with surprises in store for all. Thanks for the ride. 

Kara White is the winner of the photo contest we offered the other day.



On November 1, 2005 we had one simple rule: Be the first one after 10:00 am on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 to email from only from the link shown, the name of the street where this scene is located, and win a $25.00 Gift Certificate to Cornell's, where the scallops are sugary sweet, the pastrami is like candy, and the burgers are the biggest.


Although everyone guessed correctly, Kara White was the first to do so within the time constraints. Some were early, everyone else was after.


Muriel Kramer sends "minority opinion" to EOEA

"The current political climate in Hopkinton, specifically with the BOS [Board of Selectmen], is overtly hostile to purposeful, constructive or dissenting input." ~ Selectman Muriel Kramer


by Robert Falcione

November 8, 2005 — Selectman Muriel Kramer added her voice to those who are unhappy with the Fruit Street development process. Yesterday, on the very last day to do so, she sent to EOEA (Executive Office of Environmental Affairs), and today delivered to her fellow Selectmen and others, a letter in which she called her comments a "minority opinion from the Hopkinton Board of Selectmen..." At the last Selectmen's meeting, three Selectmen voted to support the Supplemental Single Environmental Report submitted to EOEA, which outlines a type of master plan for the development of the town's Fruit Street property.

      In her letter, Mrs. Kramer offers that she supported the purchase of the land at Town Meeting, but that some of the uses that have been proposed since have not been approved by voters. Mrs. Kramer admits to the approval of development for the town wells, the athletic fields, an elementary school, affordable work force housing, and for the preservation of open space.

     She lists three proposals that she writes have not been approved by Town Meeting: DPW, Waste Water Treatment Facility, and Market Rate Senior Housing. She spends the most time discussing the treatment plant, which was on the Town Meeting Warrant in 2005, but was withdrawn by the Selectmen when it became clear that there would be no support, after the discussion ..."addressing the athletic fields at Fruit Street touched on the numerous concerns residents have with effluent discharge plans for the site and more especially resistance to plans to entertain the idea of a wastewater treatment facility at Fruit Street."

      In her letter to EOEA, Mrs. Kramer points out the zoning restrictions that Zoning Enforcement Officer Michael Shepard has said will send the town to the Board of Appeals for special permits. However, according to Selectmen Chairman Eric Sonnett, relating to opinions rendered by Town Counsel Larry Faiman, the town is exempt from the by-laws.

      Mrs. Kramer adds her voice to others who have been critical of the process. The Board of Appeals also sent a comment to EOEA suggesting that they take a look at the zoning issues that were brought up by Mr. Shepard's letter, which had been a response to an inquiry from Mrs. Kramer. They attached Mr. Shepard's letter to their comments, a move that brought criticism at the last Selectmen's meeting.  

     Finally, Mrs. Kramer emphasizes her support for the elementary school on Fruit Street, while suggesting it could be looked at outside of the whole process.

     "If the school needs to be severed from the overall SSEIR effort in order to gain immediate approval to go forward, please do so," she writes.   

Board of Appeals calls powwow


by Robert Falcione

November 8, 2005 — The Board of Appeals has invited the Members of the Planning Board, the Board of Health, and the Conservation Commission to meet with the members of the Board of Appeals in a “round table discussion” of the process for selection of consultants for the municipal permitting authorities.


The move undoubtedly revolves around the use of consultants vs. attorneys, which has been a bone of contention for the Board of Appeals and the Board of Health before the Selectmen, who claim that the sole responsibility for hiring attorneys goes to Town Counsel Larry Faiman (Photo). Town permitting authorities have the right to ask an applicant to deposit money into a 53g account, so named for the state statute, to cover the costs of consultants it must hire for the purpose of reviewing the permit.


In a recent letter, Board of Appeals Chairman Wayne Davies admits that he agrees with that opinion, but believes it applies only to litigation, and that his board has the authority to hire an attorney as a "consultant" when there is no litigation involved.


The group has asked for a meeting on November 9 or November 16. It is not clear what response it got or when and if the meeting is taking place, but any meeting must be posted 48 hours in advance.

Q&A on the buttons

Q. What's with the buttons on the top? They changed color.

A. They're color-coded, much like the buttons on a McDonald's register. However, HopNews does not need to show little graphics of each, because HopNews is devoted to people who read English — well, at least one form of the language.

Q. Isn't that a xenophobic answer?

A. Not at all. We develop for Windows operating systems language and not for MAC, because of the cost ineffectiveness of developing a mirror site for a minority of users. Is that mac-ophobic?

Q. Are the buttons grouped a certain way?

A. Glad you asked. Yes, green is the color for sites within HopNews. Rust is the color of the national news sites, and mustard is the color of the resource sites outside of HopNews. Today, we've added Senior News by Cindy Chesmore, which will hopefully be up every month. In addition, we've added AOL, simply another news site and resource. FYI, the Google button opens a page where the reader has a choice of doing a web search or a HopNews search. HopNews pages from two years ago are available for viewing (Tip: View the cached version).

Q. Why bother providing links to other sites?

A. Thanks for asking. Many people use HopNews as their home page, so why  not make things easy for them. And you know, it just may be a good reason for others to make HopNews their home page, too.

Q. Wow, how informative!

A. I know.

RSVP Wednesday, November 9, 2005

     Monday, November 14th is The Hopkinton Women’s Club first evening meeting of the year!  This meeting will be held at Main Street Specialties from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Main Street Specialties will present a program on Holiday Entertaining. Please join the Hopkinton Women’s Club for the evening and find out how you can be a part of one of the most philanthropic organizations in Hopkinton!  Explore new opportunities, make new friends, and have fun! If you would like to attend this evening event, please RSVP to Susan Spiegel by Nov 9th at 508.497.9545.


POLICE NEWS up-to-date

4:02 pm
A father from Greenwood Road reported that his 2 1/2 year old daughter was missing.  The father said he...
5:05 pm A resident of Indian Brook Road reported hearing a rapid fire noise coming from the Parkwood Drive area...
5:59 pm A female called 911 and reported that her husband was just hit by another vehicle that did not stop...

Read more in POLICE NEWS

Senior Citizen News

by Cindy Chesmore


Blood Pressure Clinic, 2nd Wednesday 11:00 – noon

Lunch at noon 2nd Wednesday - $1.50

Lunches, Tuesdays and Thursdays noon $2.00

Breakfast, Wednesdays 9:00 - 10:00 $1.50

Art Class, Wednesdays 10:30

Craft class, second Wednesdays 12:30

Exercise classes, Mondays at 9:30



May be left at Senior Center Monday - Friday

Recycling center date: Nov. 19th

Please keep in mind that regular water and juice bottles are not redeemable.

The proceeds are use to help fund our bus expenses. SEE FULL NEWS ---> Senior News

November 8, 2005 — Reader Alan Kett shares his photo of Lake Whitehall. His use of a polarizing lens adds contrast to the sky and removes the otherwise strong reflection from it in the water.

Town of Hopkinton Recycling Center Electronic Waste Collection

 The Town of Hopkinton DPW is now offering Electronic Waste Drop-off at the Recycling Center Saturday’s from 7:30am to 3:00pm. There is a nominal charge as follows:

                        PC Monitors and Large TV’s                 $10.00

                        Small TV’s and Household Electronics  $  5.00

                        Portable Electronics                            $  1.00

To dispose of an item, see the Recycling Center Attendant.

Town of Hopkinton Curbside Trash Collection Veteran’s Day Holiday Schedule

 There will be no Curbside Collection for Trash on Friday November 11th in observance of the holiday. Friday’s Collection will be picked up on Saturday, November 12th.  J.T. Gaucher, P.E., Director Department of Public Works

 Peter's Corner

Field Hockey team going for crown

The Hopkinton High School Field Hockey team continued to put on the slipper as the 17th ranked Hillers deposited the Holliston Panthers 2-1 in double overtime to win another South Section regional tournament game played in Holliston Sunday afternoon. The Hillers, after eliminating top seed West Bridgewater earlier in the week, are now in a great position to get a shot at the South Sectional crown. The winning goal came with 2:00 remaining in double overtime as Melissa Curtain took a pass from Becka Phillipps to send the Panthers home for good!    ~ Pete Marso special to HopNews.

Chairmen lock horns

Board of Appeals Chairman Wayne Davies fires letter at Selectmen in ongoing power struggle


November 7, 2005 — Apparently answering a broadside from the Selectmen at their last meeting, Board of Appeals Chairman Wayne Davies has sent a letter to the Board of Selectmen disputing their claim of having authority over the Board of Appeals when hiring a consultant for matters before it.

     Chapter 53g of Massachusetts General Laws allows a Town permitting authority to hire consultants for matters before it and charge the applicant the cost, putting the money in a "53g "account. However, a policy adopted by the Board of Selectmen and upheld by Town Counsel Larry Faiman, states that he, Faiman, is the only one to hire outside counsel (Attorney).

      The genesis of this dispute is a July letter from Selectman Muriel Kramer to Zoning Enforcement Officer Michael Shepard asking him to detail the possible zoning  issues surrounding the proposed uses of this town-owned 257 acre parcel.

      Mr. Shepard detailed his opinion of the uses that would need special permits, which included most. Mr. Shepard wrote in the letter that its contents were subject to appeal, setting off a chain of events that led to his eventual retraction of that point, but only after the Board of Appeals declared that it would accept applications of appeal.

      He withdrew that statement at a public meeting on October 20 where four parties who had appealed — Board of Selectmen, the School Department, the Board of Health and Ken Weismantel, were advised to withdraw their appeals. Mr. Shepard, apparently after advice from Town Counsel, said that because there was no matter before the town that there was no need for appeals. FULL STORY

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