24 Main Street, Hopkinton, MA 01748  508.435.5534  05/30/2006 10:23:16 PM Editor@HopNews.com    

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Intruder Alert!

April 30, 2006 — These fish turn away from the intruder of their sheltered cove. The outcome of the visit of the larger fish is unclear. Photo taken last week from above the surface of Lake Whitehall.

Her father's eyes

April 30, 2006 — Dad gave his daughter a Spring Training cap as well as a set of blue eyes. They were among the group participating in the three-mile hike through the State Park in the First Annual PanCan Walk

Babysitting Service at Town Meeting


1. Town Meeting begins at 7 pm on Monday May 1st at the Middle School Auditorium. The HPTA is offering free babysitting service in the MS cafeteria. You'll need to get there a little early if you want this service.

2. The following are school related articles: Article 5 is the school budget article. The budget includes the amount if the override passes. If it doesn't pass, it reverts to whatever amount was allotted by the Appropriations Committee. The budget isn't official until the May 15th ballot when voters have a chance to vote on the override, question #4. Article 24 is an article to pay for fixing the back wall of the Middle School. The School Committee will be withdrawing Articles 23, 25 and 26.

3. HCAM is broadcasting the "State of the Schools." You can find information about the schools and other election information on the town website and HCAM which is re-broadcasting the "State of Schools", the candidates debate sponsored by the Hopkinton Independent and the "meet the candidates night" sponsored by the Women's Club. HCAM-TV.
~ From the School Committee News

Audio/Video Components & Entertainment Center  2006 Value

3 pce Entertainment Center $800 

Philips Digital Video Disc Recorder #DVD985 $250.00

Teac Audio/Video Surround Receiver #AG-V6200 $200.00 MUCH MORE


Hopkinton well represented

The Massachusetts Republican Convention was held  Saturday in Lowell to nominate candidates for state wide offices.  The convention nominated Kerry Healey for Governor, Reed Hillman for Lt. Governor, Larry Frisoli for Attorney General, Ronald Davy for Treasurer, Earle Stroll for Auditor and Ken Chase for US senator. Other speakers included Governor Mitt Romney, former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card and former US Senator Edward Brooke. Photos by Ken Weismantel.

Photo, above left from left, front row,  Don Bartlett, Toni Kunicki, Henry Kunicki. Rear, Jim Coffey, Phil Totino, not known, Claire Wright. Top right photo, Kerry Healey accepting nomination.

PanCan Walk draws hundreds of families

VIDEO (For best results, right-mouse click on link and save into download directory.)

Above, Matt Younis leads the three mile hike through the State Park Trails


April 30, 2006 — A Walk in the Woods for Andy, Luke and Liz — 1st Annual Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Walk, 3-Mile Trail or Paved Road Walk & Family  Fun Day drew hundreds of families to Hopkinton State Park for a morning of music, games, walking and hiking trails.

 Sponsored by the Hopkinton Running Club and friends of Andy Welzel in his honor, as well as that of Liz Hatch and the late Luke KImball.


Brown & Smith's remembered


by Robert White

       For many of my years in Hopkinton, Brown and Smith's was THE place to stop for coffee on the way to work, and maybe indulge in some eggs and bacon (when those choices were still somewhat politically incorrect) on a Saturday morning. I can remember more faces than I can names, but the place was always full of "regulars."

      There were Gordie Marquis, who always had an opinion on just about everything, and Vascen Bogigian (Bogie), who cheerfully shared his thoughts with the multitude at the counter. In fact, it was the counter that helped with the atmosphere -- when everybody is at a table, or in a booth, there is a disconnect. At Brown and Smith's, the way the counter was arranged, everybody could see and share ideas (and jokes) with everybody else, and maybe get a glance at the morning paper. And oh yes, that counter was where I first met Mr. Falcione; I remember a conversation about "Joe Camel," and I still think back on how Robert was so far ahead of his time, and so right-on, in condemning that particular ad image.

       Well, Brown and Smith's is but a memory, but one I still cherish, and one that helped form Hopkinton's character for a couple of generations.


Editor's Note: Mr. White, now of Caribou, Maine, teaches electronics and math at Northern Maine Community College and has been a longtime reader of HopNews, since its inception in September, 2003.

Feel free to share a remembrance of Bill Smith, Brown & Smith's or Tom Brown. Email

Special Olympics vs. The Hopkinton Police Department


May 7, 2006

Laborer's Training Center

Arts in Bloom ~ Juried Arts Show and Sale

May 3-7, 2006

Presented by the CAA in conjunction with the Hopkinton Garden Club

April 29, 2006 — The Annual Juried Art Show got hung today at the CAA building on Hayden Rowe Street. The show is from May 3- May 7. The First Place and Honorable Mention and Best in Show in three categories have been chosen and will be announced during the reception on Wednesday. Most pieces are available for sale and a portion of the sale price will be used to give the CAA a new coat of much needed paint to go along with the new garden the Garden Club is preparing outside of the farmhouse.

Prepare to dive!

April 29, 2006 — The cormorant above was close enough to shore to get this close up at the boat ramps at Hopkinton State Park. This diving bird's body is the size of a duck's but it is water logged from its incessant diving to satisfy a ravenous appetite and is mostly below the surface. Before it flies any distance, it must stand on solid ground and hold its wings out to dry, a strange sight to any passerby.

With a little help from my friend

April 29, 2006 — Above, candidate for Selectman Mike Shepard, who just came out last night in full support of incumbent Selectman Mary Pratt's candidacy, carries one of her signs across Main Street at the intersection of Grove this morning. The Republican representatives were conspicuously absent from the four corners today.

    "They were at the State Convention," said incumbent candidate Selectmen Chairman Eric Sonnett, who was reached via call phone in Pittsburg, where he is on the Board of his Alma Mater's reunion group.

Bill Smith, owner of former Brown and Smith's


William Joseph Smith, 98, of Hopkinton died Friday April 28, 2006 at the U-Mass Medical Center in Worcester.

Born in Hopkinton, Bill was the son of the late William H. and Mary A. (Foley) Smith. He was also the husband of the late Mary C. (Hancock) Smith.... ARRANGEMENTS COMPLETE


Editor's Note: Brown and Smith's was an integral part of Hopkinton for many years, a destination. It was located at the site of Bill's Pizza, and was a gathering spot for many of Hopkinton's youth and politicos. If you have a remembrance of Mr. Smith or of Brown and Smith's, please share in our Letters section.Letters

Sponsor to withdraw IPOD Articles



This is a letter to notify the residents of Hopkinton that as the sponsor of the IPOD articles I am going to withdraw these articles on the floor of Town Meeting. This withdrawal is with the hopes that the Planning Board will consider writing an IPOD to use as a tool for the Town of Hopkinton to promote development that will be Revenue Positive and improve the quality of life for its residents. MORE LETTERS

Government always wants more of a limited amount of money



Next month, residents will vote on a Proposition 2 ½ override to supplement the town’s operating budget.  Letter after letter proclaims the virtues of the override and warns of the dire consequences that will result if it fails.  But maybe it’s worth considering some additional points.


Hopkinton’s operating budget in FY06 was about $52.2M.  Is that reasonable? FULL LETTER

Hopkinton sends representatives to convention


 Above, left, Hopkinton Candidate Don Bartlett meets with candidate for Lt. Governor Reed Hillman. Right, Hopkinton Delegate and candidate for Cemetery Commissioner Toni Kunicki receives campaign encouragement from candidate for Governor, Kerry Healey.


April 29, 2006 — The Massachusetts State Republican Convention is being held in Lowell today. Some of Hopkinton's delegation attended pre-convention campaign rallies hosted by the state wide candidates on Friday night. Photos by Ken Weismantel.

Mike Shepard supports Mary Pratt for Selectman

"I'd like to run against Ron Clark, but I'm running against Eric Sonnett." ~ Mike Shepard

Above, candidate for Selectman, Mike Shepard, Chairman of the Board of Appeals Wayne Davies, and Selectman Muriel Kramer.


April 28, 2006 — Eva Beede hosted a fundraiser for unenrolled* candidate for Selectman Michael Shepard this evening in what the Chairman of the Board of Appeals Wayne Davies, a Republican called, "A bi-partisan gathering. Mike is getting support form both sides of the aisle," he said. Although the gathering was a mix of different political persuasions, the Democrats were the only ones with candidates who attended other than Mr. Shepard.

     Mr. Shepard said, "I'm voting for Mary Pratt." Democrat Mary Pratt is an incumbent Selectman, who, along with Republican Eric Sonnett, is running for re-election.

      "I support Mary Pratt," said Mr. Shepard. "Mary has the best interests of the town in mind. Absolutely," he said.

      "I'm not running against two incumbents," he said, referring to Pratt and Sonnett. "I am running against Eric Sonnett," he said, referring to the current Chairman of the Board of Selectmen.

     "I'd like to run against Clark," he said, referring to Republican Selectman Ron Clark, whose term expires in 2007. "But I'm running against Eric Sonnett."

     Selectman Muriel Kramer, a Democrat who won election last year, spoke in favor of Mr. Shepard's election as well as fellow Democrat Mary Pratt.

      There to support the candidates were Jackie Potenzone of Jackie and Company Hair Salon, and her husband Ralph.

      "This is bi-partisan," said Mrs. Potenzone, a Democrat, agreeing with Mr. Davies' earlier statement.

      "And this is not a house divided," said Mr. Potenzone, a Republican, referring to their mutual support of Mr. Shepard.


*Unenrolled is an official term used by the Town Clerk and other electoral officials to designate the status of a person as not belonging to a political party such as Republican or Democrat. Unenrolled replaced Independent after someone named a political party as such.

Grande March

April 28, 2006 — Hopkinton High School Juniors and their dates took a promenade around the Athletic Center this afternoon before the start of the Junior Prom in the annual Grand March. March Photos by Eric Mointville.

April 28, 2006 — Hopkinton High School Juniors and their dates paraded and paused this afternoon as they showed off their attire before the Junior Prom.

New Curriculum advanced

School Must Have WWTF ~ EarthTech


By Peter Bergeron

April 27,2006  — David Stoldt, Chairman of the School Committee, began the meeting by recognizing April 26 as Administrative Assistant’s Day. Stoldt went on to recognize 2 juniors from the school who have been chosen to participate in All State Art in Worcester, which only accepts 125 students.


Youth Commission

            Two members of Hopkinton’s youth commission spoke about the January 21st Summit which discussed issues facing the youth of Hopkinton. Some of the major issues considered were: too much free time, inadequate home supervision, bullying in the middle school, pressure from parents to succeed, substance abuse, and youth not feeling empowered. One of the youth commission speakers said that “nothing will come if we don’t take the correct channels.”

            Based on some ideas from the March 1st Faculty/professor day round table discussions, Youth Commission members feel appropriate steps to consider would be internships and mentorship’s with local businesses and with high school students as well as the creation of safe avenues for children. The Youth Commission appealed to the school committee to have open dialogue and collaboration with the school committee. FULL STORY


Yard Sale Saturday, April 28, 2006

To Benefit the Boston Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.

Location:  26 Kimball Road Hopkinton

Time:        8:30 AM till 1:00 PM

Bicycles, Back Massager, Books and many, many more items.



Hopkinton Middle School Drama Club




 Wizard of  oz

 Friday, April 28th at 7:00 PM

Saturday, April 29th at 1:00 PM and at 7:00 PM

Hopkinton Middle School Auditorium

 Tickets are $5 for students/seniors, $10 for adults and may be purchased in the Middle School Main Office or at the door.

Lindsey Maxwell as Dorothy, Dylan Bushe as the Scarecrow, Tommy Karner as the Lion, and Doug Markson as the Tin Man.

Photo  by Kathleen Culler

...without a paddle

April 28, 2006 — The man in the middle is getting a little help from his friends in this training session at the Hopkinton State Park that was likely organized by an outdoor sport organization, although neither the leader nor the trainees who were asked would identify their group.

   "We are just a group of friends out for the day," said the leader, who had a Maine license plate on his truck and a huge enclosed trailer behind it.

Weston Nurseries Freezes Zoning

Files Preliminary Sub-Division Plan

by Robert Falcione

April 28, 2006 — In an apparent bid to maintain maximum control over its own property, Weston Nurseries has filed a preliminary subdivision plan that effectively freezes the zoning at its current state, if and when the plan is approved by the Planning Board. The plan shows 13 lots, but no home locations, or numbers of homes on each lot.

    A grass roots effort that put two IPOD (Interim Planning Overlay District) articles on the Town Meeting Warrant would have wrested some of that control from the property owners of the entire East Hopkinton, although its apparent purpose was to put the brakes on development on the Weston Nurseries land sale to give neighbors and others in town a larger voice. This action is an apparent answer to that initiative.

     In a joint statement, Planning Board candidates Kevin Kohrt and Joe Markey have withdrawn their support for the Town Meeting Articles and have asked that they be withdrawn. Incumbent candidate Claire Wright has been opposed to them, and reaffirmed her position in an email statement to HopNews today.

     "Weston Nurseries filed definitive subdivision plans to freeze the zoning on the property, to protect themselves from the threatened East Hopkinton IPOD. -- Just what I have been saying ...the big unintended consequences are already appearing," she stated.

     The land, 615 acres,  was initially offered for sale in February of 2005, triggering the formation of the Land Use Study Committee, which has been searching for ways the town can have a say in an event that many claim will define the future of Hopkinton. Most of the land is subject to Chapter 61A regulation that allows a town, after allowing a lower tax rate to land used for farming, a right of first refusal to purchase the property. The Town has a right to respond after a legitimate offer to purchase has been made. However, the new preliminary sub-division plan, according to Mrs. Lazarus, covers most of the 900 plus acres.

      Pulte Homes had been in negotiations — no details of any negotiations have been made public — and had developed a plan that encompassed the entirety of the 900 plus acre property. Pulte Homes is staking its future growth on its Dell Webb brand, adult and retirement and  communities.

      Town Planner Elaine Lazarus said today that it does not trigger the Town's right to respond. She was asked if this action freezes zoning on the property.

     "It will if they follow it up with a definitive subdivision plan that ultimately gets approved." She added that it doesn't stop the town from planning zoning for the area. However, if the current plan is approved, and the owner sticks to it, what ever the town may plan does not take effect until 8 years after the submission.

      When asked if the IPOD proposal would have frozen the zoning, Mrs. Lazarus said, "If they wanted a zoning freeze, that wouldn't have done it."

Wayback Machine

April 28, 2006 — John Ritz and others must have had some wishful thinking passing the GulfMart this morning, as a number has  apparently fallen from the sign. Photo courtesy of John Ritz.

 Miss the Televised Debates?

HCAM-TV will be re-broadcasting the political debates for those who have missed the live ones, and have added NEW primetime slots. See their website for times!

Police News up-to-date

     Detective John Porter recognized a subject walking, who he believed to have  outstanding warrants issued against him, as he drove West Main Street by Route 495 this afternoon.

     After using the ramps to change direction, Detective Porter saw that the subject had taken off, likely eluding him.

     A cordon of police sealed the area and captured Adam J. Glasier, 21, of 59
Bancroft Ave #2, Milford and placed him in custody on warrants charging him with Forgery of a Check and Receiving Stolen Property over $250.


7:01 am Sgt Michael Sutton responded to a report of a man yelling at a youth on Main Street...

2:44 am A 911 caller reported a suspicious party outside screaming on Highcroft Way...

12:03 pm A Caller reported a horse in her front yard on Kimball Road...  

 Police News up-to-date

Two-Vehicle Crash on Bay Road in Hadley Involving State Police Cruiser


April 27, 2006 — Today at about 12:00 p.m. a crash occurred on Bay Road at Middle Street in Hadley, Massachusetts involving a Ford Ranger and a marked State Police cruiser.

  File photo illustration. 


The preliminary investigation by Sergeant Charles Yagodzinski indicates the following:  The Ford Ranger and the marked State Police cruiser collided on Bay Road near Middle Street in Hadley.  The driver of the Ford Ranger, Nicholas A. Ianniccheri, age 22, of Charlton was not wearing a safety belt and was ejected from the vehicle he was driving when the Ford Ranger rolled over onto its roof.  Trooper David Kenney was trapped in the cruiser he was driving and had to be extricated from it by responding emergency personnel. 


Both drivers were transported by ambulance to Bay State Hospital in Springfield for treatment of serious injuries.  There were no other occupants in either vehicle.


The State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section, the State Police Crime Scene Services Section, Hadley Fire and Rescue and the Hadley Police Department assisted at the scene.  Traffic was initially diverted around the scene at both ends of Bay Road and the entire roadway was reopened at about 3:00 p.m.


While this crash remains under further investigation, the driver of the Ford Ranger, Nichols Ianniccheri is being cited for a marked lanes violation and operation to endanger.  No further information is currently available.

State of Schools

Fees to increase "dramatically" if override fails

April 27, 2006 — The School Department made another pitch for the override this morning with a Power Point presentation at the First Congregational Church. 

     According to the presentation, the override will help fuel the budget, which includes the addition of human resources position, sub-varsity teams, some restoration of technology replacement, extraordinary maintenance; and level fee charges for athletics, transportation and facilities use. It will also maintain all existing programs, bring class sizes closer to benchmarks, add new math texts, and more.

    If the override fails, according to the presentation, 9.3 positions will be lost, K-12 class sizes will increase, reduction in MS technology and engineering program, reduction in business and wellness electives, reduction in AP courses, adds study periods, extends open campus to juniors, and among other dire consequences, it would increase user fees. Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Phelan has written a separate letter regarding user fees.

    "If it fails," Dr. Phelan writes in his letter, "fees will increase dramatically." He based his figures on a parent with two children in grades 7-12 who play one sport use  the bus or drive a car, an participate in one sport. His table says that the difference will be between $410-$610 increase over the current fees depending upon the value of the parent's home.    

Cedar Street sighting

April 27, 2006 — The HopNess Monster was sighted today on Cedar Street at around 2:00 pm. In fact, he (...or is it she?) can be seen there at any time of the day on the western side of the street near the start of the flats.

The future

April 27, 2006 — Julia Markey fans through a book about fire trucks at the State of the Schools presentation this morning while her mother listened to the speakers.

Planning Board Chairman endorses incumbent Claire Wright

Dear Editor:


I am writing today in support of Claire Wright, candidate for the Planning Board.  As the people of Hopkinton know, this town has changed quite dramatically over the past 10 years, and is poised for further change over the foreseeable future.  Despite the political pushes and pulls, Fruit Street and Weston Nurseries will be developed and built, Zoning will change and foster commercial growth and residential properties will continue to replace undeveloped land. FULL LETTER



A Walk in the Woods for Andy, Luke and Liz


1st Annual Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Walk

3-Mile Trail or Paved Road Walk & Family  Fun Day!


Sunday, April 30 - 9:00am

Hopkinton State Park - Split Rock Site (X)


Sponsored by the Hopkinton Running Club and friends of Andy Welzel


To register,  please visit  www.runhopkinton.org  .  Registration forms are also available at Colella's Market in Hopkinton.

For more information contact Kathleen Karpe  Karpes@comcast.net or Laura McKenzie at laurabmckenzie@yahoo.com


Hopkinton 12 Millis 9

by Peter Marso

The Hopkinton Baseball nine got back to their winning ways as they beat Millis 12-9 in a Tri-Valley League game played Wednesday in Millis. The Hillers sent Shane Lavoie to the mound followed by Paul Ostrander who picked up the save in relief. The Hillers got homeruns out of Will Aronson and Mike Preite and 2 hit performances out of Conor Berry, Andrew Tarca, Dan Newbrander and Tom Duggan. The Hillers are 5-2 overall and will meet the Holliston Panthers Thursday afternoon at 3:30 in a key tri-valley league matchup. The Stickney nine have been playing great baseball and will be tough to bring down this season. The bats have been ignited and the pitching is coming around. Good job Guys!! Peter Marso special to Hopnews!!


Hopkinton Middle School Drama Club





 Wizard of  oz


Friday, April 28th at 7:00 PM

Saturday, April 29th at 1:00 PM and at 7:00 PM

Hopkinton Middle School Auditorium


Tickets are $5 for students/seniors, $10 for adults and may be purchased in the Middle School Main Office or at the door.

Photo of Dylan Bushe by Kathleen Culler

Town Meeting begins Monday, May 1, 2006

Kudos for candidates

Dear Editor:

I just wanted to write a letter of thank you for all the candidates at the Candidate night program. Having served on a town board,



Concerned parent supports override

Dear Editor,


I am a parent of a 10th grade and 7th grade Hopkinton students and I am very concerned about the state of our schools. 

Not so gossamer wings

April 26, 2006 — The Canada goose's annoying and ever present whereabouts are surpassed by its beauty, strength and grace. In Woodville today.

A horse is a horse...

April 26, 2006 — Ellen Mace was surprised to see this horse grazing on her lush and apparently luscious green lawn. The horse was reunited with its South Mill Street owners by Hopkinton Police Officer Greg DeBoer, who is an avid outdoorsman.

HCAM-TV increases cachet

April 26, 2006 — HCAM - TV, Hopkinton's Community Access Television,  put together the largest production ever done in their new studio this evening as the Hopkinton Women's Club sponsored their annual Candidates' Night. The audience area filled up as the candidates got the ground rules from Women's Club moderator Nancy Clark, and the large TV crew made their last minute preparations for the live broadcast. This photo was taken about three minutes before air time, but the two candidates absent from the photo made it in time for the start of the show. The show will be rebroadcast on HCAM-TV.  See their website for times!

Why did the tree cross the street?

April 26, 2006 — A tree on Cedar Street fell on the wires around 9:30 pm, and is on the wires as we write. The road is closed down from Rafferty Road to the Southboro line, where police from that town have set up a roadblock. The tree is below the spread of a vehicle's low beam, and low enough for a pickup truck, and definitely for a tractor trailer, to crash into. The tree is being removed at this time by NStar and the DPW. Above, Officer Stephen Buckley and Sgt. Joseph Bennett.


Clusters of Pennies

DPH releases Ashland cancer study

by Robert Falcione

April 26, 2008 — "It's like when you throw a handful of pennies on the floor. They scatter and cluster randomly. It doesn't mean anything," said the person in response to my question about cancer clusters in Woburn, where my mother's sister lived, and died of cancer before her time. WR Grace has been accused of contaminating water in that town.

     Locally, in a final report, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has identified the now defunct Nyanza Chemical Company in Ashland as likely having been the source of carcinogens that have caused an abnormal number of cancers in Ashland residents, an abnormal amount of cancer clusters. But those clusters now bear graphic testimony to the study by the DPH pointing the statistical finger at Nyanza.    

     There are other forms of cancer that are not related to the chemical plant clusters that some have sold as "randomly" created and unrelated to incidences of cancer. Those chemicals have been in bottles and cans in the homes of people who have had individual exposure to them. Many solutions and chemicals that were the latest and greatest in the youth of the baby-boomers are now outlawed and impossible to get. Some hurt people, some hurt animals.

   DDT was the most popular pesticide of he 1950's for airborne pests, but had the inclination to cause birds of prey, including our nation's symbol, to bear soft-shelled eggs that could not survive to maturity. It is with great pleasure that this photographer can now photograph hawks and great blue heron that were absent from the skies of his New England youth. FULL STORY      

The following is a submission by the HPTA:


 Applications for “Stagecoach Heights” on Wood Street are now being accepted.


Households must be first time homeowners. Seventy percent of the units, will be reserved for Hopkinton preference candidates which includes town employees, employees of Hopkinton businesses or residents of the Town of Hopkinton.


Household Size           Household Income Limit* (HUD 80% of Median Income)

            1  persons                    $46,300*

            2 persons                     $52,950*

            3 persons                     $59,550*

            4 persons                     $66,150*

            5 persons                     $71,450

            6 persons                     $76,750


       Nine units are two bedroom with a maximum family size of four persons and two units are three bedroom with a maximum family size of six persons.

      Applications and eligibility requirements may be obtained at the Hopkinton Town Hall, Hopkinton Library, Hopkinton town web site www.Hopkinton.org  or by calling 508-881-1600 ext. 328.  The deadline for receiving applications, including mortgage pre-qualification, is June 28, 2006

Hiller nine lose to Bellingham

by Peter Marso

April 26, 2006 — The Hopkinton Baseball nine, after pulling off a big upset with St. Johns Prep, lost to the Bellingham Black Hawks 14-4 in a game played Tuesday afternoon in Bellingham. The Stickney Nine jumped off to a quick lead with the help of a Will Aronson homerun to left field. The Hiller pitching was suspect as the Hawks managed to score eight runs in the fourth inning.

      The Hillers are now 4-2 overall will take on the Millis Mohawks in Millis this afternoon . Game time is 3:30 The Hillers look forward to getting back on the winning ways. The Hillers have a very good team and will be in the thick of it when the season ends.

Editor's Note: We welcome Peter Bergeron to the HopNews staff. Following are his reports on tonight's meeting.

Charter Commission, Trails, and Overrides


Above, Charter Commission Chair Marie Eldridge with Muriel Kramer looking on.


By Peter Bergeron

Selectmen's Quarterly Meeting, April 26, 2005


Affordable Housing Lottery     

Maureen O’Hagan, a lottery specialist, conducted a drawing for 7 local candidates who submitted their information to be selected for new affordable housing. The local units are considered for the 55 year and older crowd who are within a certain income bracket. The affordable housing is priced at 156K and features a master suite and a one or two car garage. Lottery tickets were drawn by the Board of Selectman and chairs of various town departments as well as Robert Falcione, editor of HopNews. For confidentiality purposes, numbers were drawn instead of the actual names of the applicants themselves. In addition to the 10 lottery drawings for the 7 local applicants, there will also be 34 names drawn for at large applicants.


Charter Commission        

Marie Eldridge, Chairperson of the Charter Commission, spoke about the upcoming Town Charter proposal. Mrs. Eldridge outlined some of the major changes that would accompany the charter. A Town Manager position would be created as an extension of the existing Executive Secretary position which is currently in place. The Town Manager, who is chosen by a committee appointed by the Board of Selectmen, would have increased responsibility in this extended role.

            Eldridge also spoke about the Town Finance Director which is also an increase of responsibility, modeled after the existing Town Accountant. The Finance Director would be appointed by the Town Manager if the Charter were to pass in town elections on May 15. The Finance Director position would not be enabled until July 1,  2007. This provision would allow the Town Manager time to develop in the role before working closely with the Finance Director. FULL STORY

Girl Scouts get kudos at Selectmen's Quarterly meeting

Above, Camille Kulig, Maureen Regan, Danielle Gendron, and Kathleen Regan. Not pictured is Katharine Brine.


by Peter Bergeron

Hopkinton Trail Guide

April 25, 2006 — Hopkinton’s new trail guide was presented to the board of Selectmen by John Coolidge this evening. The Hopkinton trails guide was created in part by a grant from a small non-profit organization, the William P. Wharton Trust, located in Groton, MA as well as the hard work of over 50 people. Among the effort were 4 girls scouts who worked on the trail guide to achieve the prestigious Silver Badge; the highest award for the Girl Scouts in their classification.

         The trails guide is a full-color pamphlet which folds open and contains trail maps and information about trail usage. The trails guide can be purchased for $10 by contacting the Town Hall Planning Board Office. Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, Eric Sonnett, joked that he knew of 2 people who have lived in town 20 years, hiked the Appalachian trail, but have never hiked in Hopkinton due to lack of publicity of Hopkinton’s great scenic trails.

Kayak backup

April 25, 2006 — Over a dozen men launched kayaks at the State Park today from a large trailer in what appeared to be a learning drill. However, no one agreed to be identified. The apparent leader said, "Just a group of friends getting together."

Windy day

April 25, 2006 — Annie Speranza sits on the porch rail of Main Street Specialties today, a business her parents own in partnership with Carol and Paul Nathan. The business is under a purchase agreement with Shawn O'Leary, who was approved at the Selectmen's meeting this evening for the beer and wine license transfer. According to Mr. Speranza, the business ownership change will take place formally five days after the State ABCC approves the license transfer, which could take 30-40 days.

To see a funny video with Annie and her friend, Leah,  choose this. The video was taken 18 months ago when Main Street Specialties just opened and HopNews had 12,000 visits per month. HopNews has averaged, for the last there full months, close to 50,000 visits per month, a quadrupling of interest in that time period.

Urges no vote on increasing downtown density - Articles 31, 32, 33

To the Editor


     Lost in the debate over the override is any discussion about other Town Meeting articles. My specific concern is with Articles 31,32, and 33 all sponsored by the Planning Board, recommending increased density in the business district and the opportunity for a free-standing parking facility to be built in the same area.

     My problem is not with the desirability of "revitalizing downtown" but rather the method by which the Planning Board and others are going about the process. FULL LETTER



Hopkinton Cub Scouts Pack 4

needs your bottles and cans!!

Hopkinton Cub Scout Pack 4 will be collecting bottle and can donations at the Hopkinton Recycling Center on Saturday, May 6th from 9:00am-3:00pm.

Your bottle and can contributions are greatly appreciated and will help fund future Cub Scout programs and events.

Sweetwilliam Farm in Upton

Mother's Day Celebration

May 14, 2006   2-4pm


Native American Story Telling for all ages, Bluegrass Music, Native American Children's Activities, Hay Rides.  Great addition to your Mother's Day! (Donation)  Sweetwilliam Farm is located at 153 North Street, Upton. For more information call 508-529-2000. www.sweetwilliamfarm.com


From their website: Sweetwilliam Farm in Upton, MA is one of the last working 18th century farms to survive into the 21st century.  Its 90 plus picturesque acres is listed on the Blackstone Heritage Corridor maps as a scenic overview and bicycle route.  Currently nine horses, three donkeys and a goat roam the extensive pastures.  Grown on the property are organic vegetables, hay, pumpkins and pears.  Sweetwilliam Farm's name originates from the adoption of an abused MSPCA (MA Society for Prevention Cruelty to Animals) Arabian horse.  "Willie" continues to thrive on the farm! Choose the icon to view a short video.

Author to Visit Hopkinton Public Library


Gerard Gawalt, curator of presidential papers and early American History Specialist at the Library of Congress, will be visiting the Hopkinton Public Library. Mr. Gawalt attended school in Hopkinton and was a member of the First graduating class at Marian High School in Framingham.  He will be signing the library copy of his latest book “My Dear President: Letters between Presidents and their Wives.”


The Library staff and the Trustees invite the public to visit the Library and meet Mr. Gawalt on Thursday, April 27, 2006 at 3:00 p.m. Contact rownak@hopkinton.org for more information.

To see Mr. Gawalt in a streaming, Library of Congress Real Player video, Choose this.

The love train

April 25, 2006 — Five goslings follow their mother while their dad watches the rear, in the upper left of the photo, taken this morning at the Lake Whitehall Dam.

Look, up in the sky...

April 25, 2006 — This bird of prey was standing tall, high above pond Street this morning, as a salty ocean breeze wafted through the trees of Lake Whitehall, and the bullfrogs croaked along the shore.

Mary Pratt seeks retraction

I voted for the override ~ Mary Pratt


April 25, 2005 — Last yesterday afternoon, HCAM-TV, local access programming, got together a group of volunteers to produce and run a televised question and answer session between candidates for Planning Board and Selectmen respectively, moderated by local Realtor and well known cable tv host Chuck Joseph. It was sponsored by the Hopkinton Independent.

      An esteemed colleague then wrote a piece appearing today in the MDN in which incumbent Selectman Mary Pratt was incorrectly characterized as being on the opposite side of an issue that she has been vocal about.

      "I have been for the override," Mrs. Pratt said in a telephone interview this morning.

      In fact, at the Selectmen's meeting where the vote was taken, Mrs. Pratt asked that an additional $300,000 be added to the override to insure that the music programs were not going to be affected.

       Mrs. Pratt said that she has a meeting with that paper today, and expects a retraction tomorrow.

State of the Schools

10:00 am to 11:00 am

Thursday April 27th

First Congregational Church


      The HPTA, Hopkinton Parent Teacher Association, will be hosting a State of the Schools presentation on Thursday April 27th at the First Congregational Church of Hopkinton, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
      Presentations will be made by the School Committee and the Appropriation Committee about the budget being put forth at Town Meeting, and will answer questions about the override. A Question and Answer Session will follow the presentations. The general Public is also invited to light refreshments; and children are welcome.



 DA's claim more spent on defense than prosecution


April 24, 2006 — Frustrated by years of underfunding and the widening gap between what the public pays for defense versus prosecution services, Massachusetts’ 11  District Attorneys have filed an amendment to the newly-released House fiscal 2007 budget proposal.  The DAs seek a 10 percent increase over their fiscal 2006 budgets and are taking their campaign to the House membership.


In a letter sent to the House members today, the District Attorneys note the $32 million disparity between their $82.5 million budgets and the $114.5 million allocated to the state’s public defender system. 


“We applaud the legislature for recognizing the important work the public defenders do and for increasing their compensation, but the Commonwealth’s prosecutors also have a job to do—one that extends far beyond our work trying cases in the courtroom,” said Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley.  “All of the District Attorneys’ Offices have been chronically underfunded and understaffed for years, and we are now asking the Legislature to give us the resources we desperately need to continue to hold criminals responsible and keep our communities safe.” FULL STORY

POLICE NEWS up-to-date

• Report of woman lying on ground...

• Man reportedly walking while drunk on Cedar Street...

• Report of neighbor on Chestnut Street yelling obscenities at a neighbor...

• Satanic cult dancing, gas drive-offs and garage door vandalism...

READ ALL ABOUT IT in the Police News.

The race is on

April 24, 2006 — The Hopkinton Independent sponsored a live broadcast candidates' debate at HCAM-TV this evening featuring two contested races, Selectmen and Planning Board. Above left, Moderator Chuck Joseph, incumbent Selectman Eric Sonnett, candidate Mike Shepard and incumbent Mary Pratt. The show will be rebroadcast on HCAM-TV.  See their website for times!

April 24, 2006 — These azalea petals look like some sort of sugary delight, as beaded raindrops cling to them in the aftermath of the springtime rain. Their early and brilliant display is tempered by their too short duration. Today on East Main Street at Weston Nurseries.


Hopkinton Trails Club


Weekday Wanderers: Berry Acres Conservation Area had snow in November. Let's see what changes Spring has brought! Hike begins Wednesday May 3rd at 10:00am. Meet at the Golden Spoons parking lot on West Main and Lumber. Waterproof footwear helpful. Heavy Rain cancels. Questions?? Call Jane Anderson (508) 397-6188.


Student pleads for override

Dear Editor And the Town of Hopkinton,

All I hear about now a days in town is people complaining "Oh no, another override!" or "I won't give my money for a tax increase". People are worried about their own personal financial situation, saying that their financial soundness and their money is more important that the schools and education. $1.9 million is a lot of money.

However, to everyone complaining, whining, and griping, what do you think is going to happen? Are the schools going to suddenly repair themselves? Is the school committee going to say "We were just kidding about those repairs. They aren’t important"? Will the money needed go down on its own?

The answer is easy: No. READ FULL LETTER

Women’s Art Forum

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

7:00 p.m. (Main Street Specialties Café in Hopkinton)


Ruth is a vibrant author, poet, sociologist, educator, activist and go-getter in life. She is the author of 9 books including Women who have touched my life: A memoir, Female, Forty and What Next? and the highly renowned book How to be an Outrageous Older Woman.  She was a former chairperson of sociology at Clark University and also taught at Boston University, College of William and Mary and Wellesley College. Ruth currently teaches courses on memoir writing at Regis College and is busy giving workshops and lectures on issues pertaining to women, aging, peace and the art of writing just about every day of her busy life. She also recently turned 81 years old!  Ruth will be speaking about her life experiences as a scholar, poet, playwright and activist for women and the aging population. She will also emphasize the importance of women knowing and practicing how to market themselves as authors and artists for the business world.  Ruth is always interesting, inspiring, moving and motivational in her presentations. 

Don’t miss this special presentation for women of Hopkinton and surrounding communities!

PLEASE RSVP to the CAA (508) 435-9222 or

Cheryl Perreault: lip006@comcast.net or Geri Holland: geri@hopkinton.org.

The CAA extends this invitation to all women of Hopkinton and surrounding communities.

May we also suggest a $3 to $5 donation to help with the cost of coffee and the use of Main Street Café?


The Women’s Art Forum meets monthly, on the first Thursday of every month at Main Street Specialties (7-9 p.m.)

Food art and poster art available

April 24, 2006 — Winning entries for the Marathon Poster Contest, sponsored by the CAA and Century 21, adorn the walls at Main Street Specialties, while food decorates the cold case.

Political Notice

     Absentee Ballots Are Available                

For the Annual Town Election

Contact the Town Clerk or

Download applications on town website http://www.hopkinton.org


      Office Hours: Monday 8:00 AM. – 7:00 P.M.

              Tuesday – Friday 8:00 A.M. – 4:30 P.M.

High density housing the answer



If Hopkinton wants to move forward in a positive direction people need to become aware and involved.  The town will continue to be subject to tax increases and overrides until it addresses the core issues, lack of a commercial base, and a lack of social balance.


It is common knowledge that Hopkinton saw a 172% increase in residential land use from 1970-1999.  This has led to the increase in families with school-aged children that live in single-family homes.  Part of the solution to this is higher density housing and multi-family housing directed towards seniors.  Right now there are few options for the elders of our communities who no longer wish to, or are not able to care for a single-family home.  Seniors typically require fewer services from the town and result in a fiscal positive, the average single family home in Hopkinton results in a fiscal negative. FULL LETTER



    On the left are the results of a poll from two weeks ago where someone added numbers, primarily to the "Yes" votes, in a one-day event, the total response of which called to question its authenticity. The person who did it bragged about it, got caught, and will hopefully develop the type of integrity we expect from our friends, family and associates as he grows in years.

     The poll on the right is from Sunday, and shows more responses than the other, pointing to the possibility of one person perhaps voting multiple times, perhaps even over 100 times, because we never see that type of participation in a weekend.

     Admittedly, the two polls are not entirely analogous, because money was added in the interim between them. However, in this writer's humble opinion, individuals have committed fraud in each case. The real vote count, the one at the Town Election, should be much closer, nearly even.  That is IMHO. ~ Editor

Exploring Inner Space

Love can be unconditional


by Elizabeth Eidlitz

April 24, 2006 —If you ever feel like dropping out of the world for a while, leaving traffic noise, land lines and cell phones, answering machines and alarm clocks, doorbells and emails behind, try traveling in silence and bleached sunlight to swim with wild dolphins, meeting them on their terms.

As the bow of our catamaran creates a windy monotone, crossing turquoise ribbons on a sea of royal blue, sailboat masts resemble matchsticks at the wharf. Cumulus clouds hang low in a sky with frigate birds; flying fish jump like skipping stones. Nothing ahead is man-made. And unlike captive creatures rewarded for paying attention to tourists, free roaming bottlenoses may choose our company, or not.

Plutarch wrote, "to the dolphin alone nature has given that which the best philosophers seek: friendship for no advantage." People who have experienced changes in spiritual awareness are convinced that dolphins consciously heal us and support full self-awakening. FULL STORY.

Calls Janet Sheehan principled

To The Editor:

Thank you for publishing Janet Sheehan's article about her participation in the Mercury Generation March. Ms. Sheehan is one of a growing number of parents throughout our nation who are speaking the truth about the cause of their children's neuro-developmental disorders; poisoning from mercury and other toxins in vaccines. Unfortunately, the number of children affected is enormous. FULL LETTER

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