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The Last Kiss Before Kindergarten

Historical events shape upbringing


By Jennifer Prentiss


September 6, 2006 - An old friend of mine with grown kids told me that parenthood, from the very beginning, is about preparing your kids to leave the home.  That thought bounces around my head as I prepare my 5-year old son, Milo, to start kindergarten.  Is he ready?  Am I?

           We have the new backpack, the new sneakers, and the new lunchbox.  We know where to catch the bus and when it comes.  I’ve written his name in everything he owns.  But are we really ready?

            Milo, like most preschoolers, needs a lot of warning so we’ve been talking about kindergarten for over a year.  He was fearful about it from the beginning. 

            At first he just refused.

            “I won’t go.  I don’t know the kids or the teachers,” he said.  “I don’t know what toys they have.”

            So we told him he didn’t have to worry about it, that when the time came he’d be ready.   After we took him on the kindergarten tour in the spring he wasn’t afraid any more.  It was as simple as overcoming the fear of the unknown.

           “There are lots of rooms in the school, but I only have to be in one room,” he said confidently.  And we all breathed easier. 

            I asked him yesterday if he was anxious any more about starting kindergarten.

           “I’m a little nervous, but mostly I’m excited!”  he said.

           So I guess he’s ready.  I’m not so sure about me!

           It’s not that I don’t want him out of the house —  I’m a stay-at-home mother of two who’s spent the last five weeks in a house with a 2-year old and a 5-year old —  it’s more than just spending time apart. 

           There’s the usual issue of his parents not wanting him to grow up.  He amazes me every day now.  He’ll read a street sign or help his sister into her car seat or tell me there are sixteen ounces in a pound.  He can speak to his grandparents in Spanish, which I can’t do.  He asked me yesterday what the word inaccurate means.  He’s too heavy for me to lift for long.  I’m not sure how all this happened. 

           Milo was my first child, but I’m pretty sure I’m experiencing the usual fears and anxieties of every parent in the entire history of parenthood.

           But there’s something distinctly different about this year’s kindergarteners.

           I can remember when Milo was one month old and he woke me up for an early morning feeding, around 5:00 a.m. California time.  I sat on the couch and fed him and flipped on the television to CNN and watched the world change.   It was September 11, 2001.  I think I held Milo in my arms for the next three months.

           I think parents nowadays try not to let 9/11 affect them day-to-day.  Most of the kindergarteners in Center School don’t even know what happened on that portentous day.  But as a result of that day, it seems harder for us to let our children out of our control, out of our view.  We all know that it will happen, but it’s that much more difficult to allow it to happen.

           I tried to explain it to a friend who doesn’t have children yet.  To me, having children today is like handing your heart to someone else to hold for you.  It’s an incredibly vulnerable feeling.  It was that feeling that led us to move our household from Los Angeles to a relatively quieter area like Hopkinton.

           But we all bravely move forward, trying to raise our children in a safe and fearless atmosphere.  We pack their snacks and snap photos as they step on to the bus for the first time. 

           And we smile and have faith and hope for their futures.

The Hopkinton Newcomers Club...


... will host a welcome tea for all new (less than 1 year) residents of the town. It will be held on Wednesday, September 20th from 10 to 11:30 at the home of Lorelei Lotvin, 7 Sylvan Way.

Please RSVP to Lorelei at 508-625-1567.

Two men with many Hopkinton ties

Alfred "Big Al" J. Aia Jr., 55, of Upton, died Monday, Sept. 4, 2006, after a long illness.
    He was the husband of Joan Marie (Kelly) Aia for 36 years.
    Mr. Aia was born in East Boston, the son of the late Alfred J. and Catherine (Vallen) Aia. He lived in Somerville before moving to Upton 30 years ago.
    Known as "Big Al," he was a professional musician who performed all over New England with his daughters, Lisa and Jenny. His band, Jenny and the Stoplites, won several awards, including Best Band in Massachusetts. Arrangements complete.


Gary K. Oberg, 44, of Milford, formerly of Holliston, died Sunday, Aug. 27, 2006.
    Born in Framingham, he was the son of the late William G. and Dorothy G. (Beohner) Oberg.
    A longtime Holliston resident and a Milford resident for the past six years, he was a 1979 graduate of Joseph P. Keefe Technical High School in Framingham and the owner of Oberg Heating and Air Conditioning.
Arrangements have passed.

Message From the HPTA:  New Parent Orientation

 Join Us Monday, September 18 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. in the Elmwood School Music Room

You will hear a variety of HPTA and guest speakers representing various school and town offices, such as:


           The Superintendent of Schools

           Hopkinton School Committee

           Hopkinton Education Foundation

•           SPEAC

•           Hopkinton Newcomer’s Club

•           the Cultural Arts Alliance

•           Hopkinton Parks and Recreation

•           Hopkinton Public Library

•           Hopkinton Youth Commission

•           Hopkinton Music Association,

•           Hopkinton Community Education


Come and learn about our schools and how you can become involved through membership and participation in the HPTA. 


Then stay for the first HPTA General Meeting of the year immediately following from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. in the Elmwood School cafetorium. For more information, email jdriscoll734@comcast.net .

Get your motor runnin'...

September 5, 2006 — These 70 or so motorcycles started out at Lakeshore Drive and headed through town with the road at each intersection cleared by the Police Department on Monday. According to posts on the Discussion Page, they were riding in memory of a friend, Gary K. Oberg, 44, of Milford, formerly of Holliston, who died Sunday, Aug. 27, 2006, as they travel south on Grove Street.

Off course

September 5, 2006 — The roof peak of 17 Main Street is proof positive that this turkey vulture was circling Main Street last week in search of some sort of meal. With three eateries cranking out superb scents, is it any wonder?

Crumple Zone

September 5, 2006 — If seeing who can make a car that crumples and falls apart most easily on impact is the goal, then this Lexus is the winner. The vehicle hit the rear end of a van on West Main Street after being hit and pushed into it by a Volvo SUV that appeared to have no damage, let alone a spontaneous disassembly.


     Steve Irwin, the Australian television personality known as the Crocodile Hunter,  died yesterday from the poisonous barb of a sting ray that pierced his heart while he swam near it.


    His daredevil feats with animals are legendary, but we asked people, with children in mind, if those types of antics should be banned from television.


     HopNews readers have spoken.

POLICE NEWS UP-TO-DATE Today, September 4, 2006


9:16 am  The sound of a female's voice between 3 and 4 am, and a puddle of urine...


10:33 pm Sgt. Charles Wallace and Officer Gregg DeBoer received a complaint from Amherst Road of a loud party...


11:27 pm Sgt Charles Wallace as well as Officers Gregg DeBoer and Aaron O'Neil responded to a Cross Street resident for the second time... 


10:40 pm Two reports of things thrown or shots fired at moving vehicles...

  Community Page 


In the last seven days alone, these organizations have asked for inclusion on HopNews Community Page.

Is your organization there? See it!

Family Day

September 4, 2006 — Jackie and Ralph Potenzone used the day off to take a stroll with their children Katie, 14, Andrew, 6, and Ryan, 3½, on Hayden Rowe Street.

Up and Away!

September 4, 2006 — Hopkinton resident Bill Gassett catches enough air to qualify for the high jump while playing an intense game of pickup basketball at the school courts this morning.

Pratt's heron

September 4, 2006 — This great blue heron is a frequent visitor, if not a resident, of Pratt's Pond on Fruit Street, photographed today. Anyone taking a photo of this bird should use a long lens, pre-focus and shoot immediately, because they fear people and flee from proximity with humans.

Early start

September 4, 2006 — The Cross-Country team had a Captain's practice this morning at the State Park, the girl's starting ahead of the pack.

1.5 miles

September 4, 2006 — These boys, who were behind the girls in the previous photo, are seen here at the 1.5 or so mile mark.

Two Loaded Firearms seized by State Police after Traffic Stop


(Leominster) September 3, 2006 — Last evening, on September 2, 2006 at about 9 p.m., Trooper Michael Fitzgerald began working an OUI Saturation Patrol in the State Police C-Troop area as part of this weekend’s motor vehicle enforcement efforts. 

      At about 9:30 p.m. Trooper Fitzgerald stopped a black Honda Accord for a license plate light violation on Merriam Avenue in Leominster.  The operator of the Honda was identified as Albert N. Lopez, age 18 of 86 Pleasant Street in Leominster.  The Honda was in the process of being towed when the operator and the four other occupants that had been in the Honda prior to being stopped began fleeing the scene because Trooper Fitzgerald observed two semi-automatic pistols on the floor inside the Honda. 

      Albert N. Lopez was immediately taken into custody by Trooper Fitzgerald.  He was subsequently transported to the State Police Leominster Barracks, booked and charged with the following:  Unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, motor vehicle plate light violation, no seat belt, possession of marijuana, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, unlawful possession of a large capacity magazine and receiving a stolen firearm.  He is currently being held at the State Police Leominster Barracks.  Bail has been set at $10,000.  The charges are out of Leominster District Court.

      A search of the area immediately after the other four occupants fled the scene was conducted by members of the State Police Leominster Barracks, Devens Barracks, Athol Barracks, Holden Barracks, the State Police Canine Section and the Leominster Police Department including one Leominster Police Department canine officer.  Officers were unable to locate the four other occupants during this search but the investigation is still continuing and more charges shall be forthcoming.  The State Police recovered one loaded H & K 9mm caliber semi-automatic pistol and one loaded Ruger 9mm caliber semi-automatic pistol from the Honda during their investigation.


New Orleans "House" delivered to Hopkinton

Doll house and real home spared from destruction


September 3, 2006 — Local resident and Middle School 6th Grader Lauren Sheridan was worried about her Uncle Phil and Aunt Deborah after last years hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans. Phil and Debra Locantro evacuated their home in Metairie Louisiana less than 4 miles from downtown New Orleans for safety in northern Mississippi. While everyone was understandably worried about their houses and families Uncle Phil said he was worried about his second house. "I had over 50 hours of work into the dollhouse I was making for Lauren." "It was too big to move when we evacuated so I secured it as well as I could and then hoped for the best."

Fortunately, both of Uncle Phil's houses were spared serious damage. After Katrina, Uncle Phil spent time during the day helping his less
fortunate friends and neighbors, and in the evenings, continued work on the dollhouse for his niece Lauren Sheridan.

This summer, Uncle Phil made a trip to Hopkinton to deliver his "second house" to Lauren in person. Completed with over 300 hours of work, the features of the house include working electrical outlets and lighting in each of the 6 rooms on the main two floors. Each room is complete with its own personally selected custom wallpaper and hardwood floors. Uncle Phil hand cut, stained and secured each of the more than one thousand individual cedar roof shingles in a very successful attempt to give it a New England feel.

"All of my friends who have seen it are amazed at the detail" said Lauren. "My Uncle Phil is the best."


  Senior Center to open soon

By Ann Di Leo


September 3, 2006 — Summer has passed in a wave of rain , smog and allergies, especially for seniors. Most of us have spent the days in air-conditioned places…. no sunning, no beaches, and not even much swinging, with the swing cushions on Davis Road wet so much of the time. And so autumn is due and perhaps a little early with the leaves falling and the flowers already faded.


“Come, little leaves, said the wind one day,

Come o’er the meadows with me and play;

Put on your dresses of red and gold,

For summer is gone and the days grow cold.

Soon as the leaves heard the wind’s loud call,

Down they came fluttering, one and all;

Over the brown fields they danced and flew,

Singing the glad little songs they knew…” --George Cooper.


                 And that is what is happening as another season passes and seniors count the days until the new Senior Center opens in October, and perhaps Hopkinton seniors will have something more to do  together…. Have meals. Play games, enjoy discussion groups, and the society of just being together. Too many seniors have spent these rainy months in front of the television and working at crossword puzzles. At least the doctors have advised us that the book puzzles are very good for our brain power.

                 Several dozen seniors have already volunteered to help with various programs at the new center,  and they should be very alert  after all those puzzle books!!! The doctors said so…

                 The first party of September to start the autumn season is the delicious annual chicken barbecue offered by the Woodville Rod and Gun Club for all the family, Sunday, Sept. 10 at 1 p.m. Call 508-435-4148 for prices, and seating information.

                The Brampton Circle Club will have its first meeting of the fall season  Monday, Sept. 11 at 2 p.m. Everyone is welcome and there, are many new tenants on Davis Road.  So scamper through those falling leaves and come out  to help with programs or just join in the fun and games….

Love Annie

Friends of the Public Library 


The Friends of the Hopkinton Public Library will once again be serving Apple Crisp at the PolyArts Festival on September 30. Help is again needed to prepare, bake, and sell. If you would like to see how you can help out we will be holding a meeting at the Public Library on Wednesday Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m. If you would like to help bake a prepared pan for us or work an hour or so at the sale you can also contact.  Doris Kumlin  435-4379, Linda Kimball  435-4872 or email lindamamak@comcast.net. Or if at the Library you can sign up at the desk to help.

Hopkinton Calendar notice: Friends of the Library meeting SEPT. 13 Wednesday -- Public Library 7:30

  Community Page 


In the last seven days alone, these organizations have asked for inclusion on HopNews Community Page.

Is your organization there? See it!

Great job guys!

Coach September 3, 2006 — Coach Hughes is seen giving a post-scrimmage chat to the boys last week.  They looked terrific last night when they played Ashland in the Jamboree in Holliston. ~ Mardi Cunningham

Maspenock 5-0

September 3, 2006 — Officer Gregg DeBoer leaves a decent wake as he operates the Hopkinton Police Boat yesterday on North Pond, Lake Maspenock, during the last Saturday before school starts. The Police Boat often sends other boats scurrying to port or shore once he puts in. The lake is in Hopkinton as well as Upton and Milford.

     According to Officer DeBoer, once the boat hits the water, the police have jurisdiction wherever the water may bound, such as the aforementioned towns.

State Police B.A.T Mobile Stops Wrong Way Operator


On Friday September 1, 2006 at approximately 11:10 p.m. the State Police Breathalyzer Alcohol Testing (B.A.T.) Mobile was traveling South on Route 140 in New Bedford on route for a joint You Drink, You Drive, You Lose Sobriety Check Point with New Bedford Police.

      Captain Steven McCarthy operating the State Police B.A.T. Mobile, along with Trooper Kevin Packard, observed a vehicle get on the ramp at Exit 7 Braley Road the wrong way and travel North on the South bound side of Route 140. Heading directly towards them Captain McCarthy activated the B.A.T. Mobile emergency lights and was able to maneuver so as to stop the vehicle just 20 feet prior to it colliding into them.

      A preliminary check of the operator determined she was operating her 2005 Ford Pick-up while under the influence of alcohol. The operator was identified as Desiree Burgo, age 38, of 129 Pleasant Street, New Bedford. She was placed under arrest and charged with: (1).90-24 Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol (2). Negligent Operation (3). Wrong Way Violation.

      The B.A.T. Mobile continued on to New Bedford for the YD,YD,YL Sobriety Check Point with New Bedford Police Department where they arrested 7 motorist for operating under the influence of alcohol. File photo of dedication ceremony.


Look familiar?


August 3, 2006 — If you went to school here, your classmates would like to have you join them on Saturday, September 16, 2006, at Woodville Rod and Gun Club for cocktails beginning at 5:00 pm and until 6:00 pm with a buffet to follow. Beverages will be available until 11:00 pm. For more information or to purchase tickets, call Mary Harrington at 508-435-3850.






Hopkinton Youth Soccer Night at the Revolution!



Date:                Saturday October 14th - New England Revolution vs. Columbus Crew

Time:               5:30pm BBQ Tailgate party (the game starts at 7:30pm)

Location:         Gillette Stadium (home of the 2004 SuperBowl Champions!)

Price:               *Event tickets are $20.00 per person BUT all registered Hopkinton Youth Soccer             

                        Players pay only $14.00 per person.



Hopkinton Police Local 254

Golf Tournament


204 Saddle Hill Road Hopkinton, MA 01748


October 2, 2006

 Time:  10:00 AM Check-in   11:00 AM Shotgun Start

 ·                    $135.00 / person (includes 18 holes of golf, cart, box lunch, dinner and more)

 ·                    MAXIMUM limit 144 Players (36 foursomes) – first come basis

·                    Scramble format

·                    Door Prizes

·                    Longest Drive and Closest to the Pin Contests

Please register before September 24, 2006

(Click here for signup form)

·                    Raffle Prizes

  Poll Results on Whitehall Question


September 1, 2006 — These are the facts that were given to readers as a preface to the poll, the results of which are displayed on the left:

       Town Meeting voted to purchase the 22 or so acres of land near Lake Whitehall for $3 million in May at Town Meeting.

      Appraisers working on the town's behalf have come up with two figures, $2 million and $2.050 million for the land, taking into consideration the value of approvals for a 9 and 11 lot subdivision respectively. The figure of $4 million plus that has been paraded around is not correct. That was figured if there were an approval for a plan for 40B apartments in hand. There is not. In fact, that appraisal is for more like $1.8 million, as is.

     Then comes the seller with an appraisal for $2.685 million; but the town still can't purchase the land for more than the appraised value due to state law.

     So now, the majority of the Selectmen agreed to hire the seller's appraiser to get the price  up to what the seller wants.

     It is clear from the results of the survey — and they are likely fairly representative of the general population of the town — that a substantial majority feels the town agreed to paid too much.


Hayden Rowe Street Revitalized

September 1, 2006 — With all of the talk about expanding the available office space in the Downtown area, business owners Kathleen and Fred Grant took it upon themselves to turn an old factory space into a showcase office building 2½ years ago. And just recently, they doubled the amount of suites available at Hopkinton Executive Suites, making another 18 office suites, from 10x12 to 15x20, ready for occupancy.

       "Fred has done all of the work," said Mrs. Grant. "After he got done here, he got itchy and started building an all season room at home."

       "My background is home building," said Mr. Grant, giving credentials for all of the framing, trim, and door and window hanging that had to be done to bring the new space to completion for the fall.

        "Some people want to move their office out of the home," said Mrs. Grant.

        "But many of our clients are corporate businesses who want a satellite office and a Hopkinton presence.

        "Many of the suites are one person offices, but they can be expanded by combining two or three together," Mr. Grant said.

        "Lights, utilities, janitorial and cleaning are all included, and an answering service and a T-1 line are available," he said.

         Within the Suites, a small business  person without the capital or need for a much larger space can have access to a kitchen area, private fitness suite, and a fully equipped conference room.

         To put yourself into a plush leather chair on Hayden Rowe Street, call 508-435-3150. 

Bicycles Needed in Developing Countries


      St. John’s Church in Hopkinton is collecting bicycles to send to the poor in developing countries, in conjunction with the Bikes-Not-Bombs (BNB) program in Roxbury. Bikes can be remarkably effective in developing countries, improving men’s and women’s ability to haul farm produce or other goods to market and increasing access to health care, jobs and schools. Bike repair shops stimulate local economies as well.  BNB has sent over 22,000 bikes to Central America, the Caribbean and Africa in the last 20 years. 

     Please check your basements and garages for any bikes you no longer use, and bring them to St. John’s.  The bike collection will be Sunday, September 24 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.  However, bikes may also be dropped off at St. John’s Monday through Saturday, September 18-23.  Bikes should be left in the very back parking lot, completely around behind the Parish Center (look for our sign).  For more information about the bike collection call Donna Staton, 508-625-1478. (Bicycle loaned for illustration by Spencer Dryden).

Baby's first swing

September 1, 2006 — Ayden Miller looks at Mom as she pushes him on a swing for the time in his 6 months of life at EMC Park this morning.

Sky Pilot

September 1, 2006 — Matthew DeLuca, in the aqua tee shirt, has the high spot, while his brother, Michael, has the sky view as their fiend in the gray tee shirt, Michael Ferraro, waits for them to come around again so he can push them at EMC park today.

Hopkinton resident Burt Goldblatt, renown illustrator, passes   

September 1, 2006 — Burt Goldblatt was born in 1924 in Dorchester, Massachusetts. He served in the army in World War II and afterwards studied at the Massachusetts College of Art. After graduation he worked in a printing plant where he learned all that went into production at that time: stripping, platemaking, retouching, lessons not taught in art school. After freelancing for a time in Boston, he moved to New York City and began a prolific career as a commercial artist and photographer, becoming especially prolific in cover design, creating about 200 cover designs in 1955 alone. That same year he won the New York Art Director’s Award for best cover design of the year and the Princeton University Library exhibited his work.


One of Goldblatt’s first cover designs was on a bootleg album for Billy Holiday on the Jolly Roger label in 1950. He worked for Savoy, Emarcy, Bethlehem and many other labels. With his first covers he aimed for a visual simplicity and yet also a strength of image by eliminating song titles from the cover and by creating unique and intriguing illustrations. His drawings of musicians employ a dynamic, serpentine line. The variations in weight from thick to thin would alone mark the drawing as distinctively his, but it is his original use of unusual perspectives that distinguishes Goldblatt’s line drawings from others of the same period, whether it’s a view of Don Byas from above or George Wallington from below.


Back to School Park Day ~ EMC Park  ~Friday, September 1, 10:00 AM

Come enjoy one of the last fleeting days of summer at EMC Playground before the return to school. Don't forget the snacks-school-aged children may pack their snacks in their new lunchboxes if desired. Bring your bikes and ride-ons to circle the paths, or just enjoy the big hill and the equipment in the two different playgrounds. Please wear MOMS Club buttons so you're visible to other members. RSVPs aren't necessary, but contact Jean Cann for any questions at 508-435-0328 or jeancann@comcast.net .

Sculptures by Hopkinton resident Michael Alfano

September 10

to November 20

"Mind, Body, Heart", sculptures by featured artist Michael Alfano, Sept. 10 – Nov. 20. Opening reception: 2 – 5 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 10. Concurrently: Autumn exhibition of new works by the gallery’s artists and artisans. Hours: 12 – 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; 11 – 2 p.m. Sunday. Just off the rotary, at THE WESTBORO GALLERY 8 West Main St., Westboro. A not-for-profit, artist-run cooperative, handicapped accessible. Tel.: (508) 870-0110.


Downtown Facelift

August 31, 2006 — Carpenter Tim Sheehan gestures to Jim Pockwinse, brother of Dick Pockwinse, General Contractor for the Hopkinton Drug overhaul. The driveways are  being completed soon, and the siding, as well as windows and roof elements, will be renovated according to a plan approved by the town.



     Helping Our Children Achieve (H.O.C.A.) is a monthly informational support group for families of special needs children.  The next meeting will be held Wednesday, September 6th at the Millbury Public Library -- 128 Elm Street in Millbury (across from Asa Waters Mansion).Learn More

Help make a difference in the Hopkinton Schools...

....be a candidate for School Council. School Council members look for creative ways to help improve their school. A School Council is made up of each school's principal, two teachers, a parent representative (s) from each grade, and a community representative. Each school will have School Council elections at the their Back to School/Curriculum Night. If you are interested in being a candidate for school council, or for further information, please contact Liz Burke at 508-435-8770.(email burkelb@hotmail.com ) by September 8, 2006.

Below are the current vacancies for the 2006/07 school year:

Center School: 1 Kindergarten, 1 first grade and 1 community rep

Elmwood School: 1 Third grade, 2 Second grade and 1 community rep

Hopkins School: 1 Fourth grade and 1 community rep

Middle School: 1 Sixth grade, 1 Seventh grade, 1 Eighth grade and community rep
High School: 1 Ninth grade, 1 Eleventh grade and community rep

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