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Planning Board votes $250,000 Open Space

funds for Whitehall land purchase

 

by Robert Falcione

October 11, 2006 — This evening the Planning Board, in a meeting held at the Fire Station Meeting Room, voted 5-1 to authorize the spending of $250,000 in Open Space Preservation funds toward the controversial purchase of the 20+ acres of Woodville land from builder Ron Nation.

    The Selectmen  on Tuesday withheld their vote until they hear back from Angela Atchue in the office of the Inspector General, an agency that oversees acquisitions, and has reportedly received numerous calls from Hopkinton residents presumably questioning the propriety of the deal.

      The members of the Planning Board weighed in with many of the arguments that others in town have been making at meetings and in the  press. The sole dissenting vote was from member RJ Dourney

      "I am not in favor of advocating these funds. I feel passionate about this," Mr. Dourney (Photo right, and above, foreground, center) said.

      "It is a beautiful piece of property, but as a member of this Board, I have a fiscal responsibility. I feel we have committed too much for this property. It is a $2 million piece of property. $2.685 million is too much. I would have a tough time looking people in the eye," he said. "I am absolutely against allocating funds for the Whitehall property. "

      "I agree we are paying on the high side," said member Sandy Altamura, "but I would have trouble looking people in the eye knowing we let that piece of property go," she said, turning the tables.

     Other members of the Board spoke about their conflicts with either the price or the appraisals, but voted in favor nonetheless. Chairman Mark Abate summed it up succinctly.

     "The right price is the price the buyer and seller can agree on," he said. "If I were Ron Nation and the price were any lower, I would back away and develop it." The Planning Board has actually shot down two of Mr. Nation's development plans and altered a third so much that it is now in court, with Mr. Nation claiming that the approval for a 9 unit subdivision was actually a de facto denial of his 11 unit plan. The lawsuit goes away if the town is successful in obtaining the property.

     "This property will never cost us another dime," said Selectmen Chairman Muriel Kramer of the property that has been designated for passive recreation.

     The next chapter in the saga is for the town to get the blessing from Angel Atchue, and many hope it will come before the Selectmen's Friday morning meeting to approve funding, an action that will not take place without her word. If that meeting turns out positively, Treasurer Maureen Dwinnell will borrow the money she needs to, and the closing will take place on Monday, October 16, that is unless Ron Nation grants an extension so the town can hear back from a grant application to the tune of up to $500,000.

     The grant will be lost if the Town closes on the sale before getting official word on the amount of the grant. The attorneys for the town said at the Selectmen's meeting on Tuesday that granting an extension on the closing is in Ron Nation's hands. If he grants an extension, the town will know by October 31 if it has the grant, and at what amount, and can proceed with the sale. Otherwise, according to town officials, the grant will be lost.

TOWN OF HOPKINTON DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS

P.O. Box 209 66 Fruit Street, Hopkinton, Massachusetts 01748

508-497-9740 Fax 508-497-9761

 

NOTICE OF ROAD MAINTENANCE WORK

  

     As part of the Hopkinton DPW’s continuing effort to perform cost-effective street maintenance, crack sealing operations will be performed beginning on Monday October 16th.  Crack sealing is an essential aspect of good pavement management program as this process protects against premature aging of asphalt pavements by preventing water infiltration into existing pavement cracks.

     The following street sections are scheduled for crack sealing:

 

            Monday Oct 16th          West Main St (School St to Upton Town Line)

            Tuesday Oct 17th          Saddle Hill Rd (Stoney Brook Rd to Daniel Shay Rd)

            Wed-Fri Oct 18-20th    Colburn, Hopkins & Valentine Rds

 

     This year the Town, through use of an outside contractor will be utilizing a slightly different method of performing this work.  The method to be implemented is known as the Mulch Seal Crack Healing process.  With this process, residents will notice a fine mixture of organic and stone sand is applied over the cracks that are sealed.  This mixture is meant to prevent the crack seal material from tracking prior to curing and will also prevent material from adhering to vehicles.  This will result in a somewhat unsightly appearance on the roadway for a couple of days until the organic material dissipates. Should, after passing over these roads you find material on your vehicle, simply rinse it off with a garden hose.

    Hopkinton DPW believes that utilization of the method described will result in both short and long-term pavement maintenance savings.  The process eliminates the “washboard” effect of conventional crack sealing. We request your patience during the brief period while the mulch material is spread on the roadway.

 J.T. Gaucher, P.E., Director, Department of Public Works

HCE Telethon needs volunteers

 

The Hopkinton Community Endowment Telethon, the event that  raises money to offset capital projects and will benefit every resident of Hopkinton, will hold its Annual Telethon on October 15, 2006 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

 

     People volunteering are not obligated to the entire time, but may volunteer for a time slot to suit their availability. The program will include musical and comedy acts with feature stories about the town and sponsors throughout the show, which will be broadcast on HCAM, access television for Hopkinton  on Channel 8,

     To volunteer for this worthy effort, contact Chuck Joseph at 508 435 5353 or chuck@REMAXEXEC.com

       Come see this crazy bunch of characters!

 ELS Live!

Friday October 13th

and Saturday October 14th,  8pm

at the Woodville Rod and Gun.

 

Advance ticket price $15.  $20 at the door. 

No taking of Reservations!

     Tickets are on sale now and going fast for ESL LIVE!

      This is an adult only show.  It follows the format of Saturday Night Live with comedy skits, a live band, musical guests and mock commercials.  After the show the dance floor opens up until midnight!   They sold out last year so get your tickets early!

     For more information on how to purchase tickets call 508 435-2114 or email esltheater@comcast.net

Drug Store on target

October 11, 2006 — Julio Santos was one of a crew of nearly a dozen men at Hopkinton Drug this afternoon, putting up wooden siding that was pre-painted with a primer coat. New roof accents have been shingled recently; and utility covers on rooftop units have been painted black to make them less prominent. The work appears to nearing the final stretch.

 

Verizon to bring movies to Hopkinton

 

October 11, 2006 — Representatives from Verizon appeared before the Selectmen last night and walked away with a signed agreement to provide their version of cable television to Hopkinton for the next ten years via the latest in technology, FiOS, or Fiber Optic Service. The audience was packed with current and former Verizon employees who carried the torch for the new service, which is expected to hit Hopkinton homes within 12 months.

      The fiber optic cable has already been strung, a task that was begun three years ago, with the capability for FTTP, what Verizon calls Fiber to the Premises, unlike Comcast, which has cable to the home. The company plans to grant the town $212,500 for the right to do so, and an additional 5% of their revenues back to the town, which is supposed to channel the money toward community programming. Comcast has already agreed to their share, providing a network for public safety and education, and access, which Verizon may tap into if they come to terms with Comcast. If they do not, then Verizon will need to build a parallel network.

     Attorney William August, photo, appeared on behalf of the Cable Advisory Committee and recommended the agreement, saying, "The Cable Committee feels this is a very good package for the general public, for consumers, and for competition. This is historical for the general public. If approved it could mean the operation of two cable companies."

     Mr. August explained that the existing Comcast agreement is non-exclusive as long as their is a "level playing field," which means that any cable company coming in must give and take with parity to the existing company.

     Hopkinton resident Leonard Robbins, a Verizon retiree, said, "I hope this level playing field doesn't preclude Verizon cutting prices below Comcast."

     "We have no indication Comcast is comfortable with this level playing field," said Selectman Michael Shepard.

      Attorney August assured Mr. Shepard that in making sure Comcast had no objections, "So, we sought to have Verizon exceed what Comcast is doing."     

      After the installation of the fiber optic network, Verizon offered high speed FiOS internet service in Hopkinton, with those units ready to plug in the new Television service, as well as telephony and data, giving existing Verizon FiOS customers a head start.

Women's Art Forum at CAA Building    

October 11, 2006 — On a recent night at the Cultural Arts Alliance close to 50 women attended the Women's Art Forum for a presentation on the art of quilt-making. Guest speakers included Christine Meyers (Above) of Dockside Quilting and Susan Tata of Holliston, who shared their individual experiences of starting new businesses in the quilt-making field.

     Everyone was awed by the artistry of many intricate quilted projects that were shown during the meeting. Above, Christine shows one of her simpler quilt tops to which she applied a complicated pantograph pattern. ~Janice Bogasky

Whitehall deal in jeopardy?

Inspector General's Office to review facts

 

October 10, 2006 — Town Counsel Richard D'Angelis and Attorney John Dennis, who have been working on the negotiations for the  $2.65 million Whitehall land purchase from Ron Nation, met this evening with Selectmen to deliver an update and to report that Angela Atchue, Deputy General Counsel in the Inspector General's Office, is reviewing circumstances surrounding the purchase after receiving numerous phone calls from citizens and Board members.

     "Attorney Dennis and I conference called [With Ms. Atchue] and we delivered immediately copies of the appraisals," said Mr. D'Angelis. He went on to say that Ms. Atchue would be contacting him after reading the material she received. One job of the Inspector General's Office is to ensure compliance with statutes governing purchases.

     Attorney Dennis said that Ms. Atchue was satisfied with their interpretation of the statue. "We should hear from her by the end of the week." The Selectmen deferred approval of borrowing this evening until a Friday morning session in the hopes that Ms. Atchue will have approved or disapproved the process.

    Selectman Ron Clark speculated that, "They [IG] are zeroing in on why the we spent 33% more than the appraisals." Three appraisals that spoke to essentially the same conditions were all lower than the one the town settled for, one that had originally been prepared for the seller. Mr. Clark called it a "moral dilemma." FULL STORY

POLL RESULTS

 

Simply put, respondents to our HopNews Poll, by a 2 to 1 margin, feel less safe since North Korea has alleged to have exploded a nuclear device.

 

Surprisingly, 21% felt that it is North Korea's right to do so. Another point is that the totals show that some people did not make two selections, as they could have.

 

Will Japan, a pacifist nation since nuclear weapons were detonated on two of their cities in 1945, rearm with a force that can project its power, perhaps even nuclear? Will China get into the act?

 

Feel free to air your views on our Discussion Page.

 

OPEN HOUSE AT THE NEW SENIOR CENTER
Saturday, October 14, 2006
9 am. to 3 pm.
All are invited to see the new facility at 28 Mayhew St!

“wine at food store licenses”

"Young people will be pressured to sell to...who bully them" ~ Clelland Johnson

 

by Robert Falcione

October 10, 2006 — One of the most controversial questions on November's ballot is Question #1, which, if it passes, creates a new category, "Wine at Food Store" Licenses that will allow stores that sell "food for consumption elsewhere" to have a license to sell wine.

      At the forefront of the controversy are the existing license holders, who are allowed to sell beer and wine, or any alcoholic beverage. Their licenses will not be affected, but their sales could be, because in Hopkinton alone an additional seven licenses will become available, according to a quick read of the language in the question.

     Currently, the law regarding liquor sales is fairly restrictive, keeping a conglomerate from traversing the state with liquor stores on every corner. But the new law would allow one license holder to own up to ten percent of the available new licenses. The opponents of the measure claim that the Stop & Shop parent company, a foreign corporation, is behind the move. Clelland Johnson (Photo), owner of Hopkinton Wine & Spirits, who is celebrating his third anniversary, is very much opposed to the question. FULL STORY with Editor's Note at end

Hopkinton Folk Singer Barbara Kessler to Perform at ESL Studio on  October 28

 

October 10, 2006 — Renowned folk singer Barbara Kessler will be giving a rare performance at the Enter Stage Left (ESL) workshop studio (30 Main Street, Hopkinton) at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 28.  Hopkinton-based Kessler, whose works include Stranger To This Land, notion, and Barbara Kessler, has been critically acclaimed by music critics and has won awards such as Best Debut Folk/Acoustic Album by the Boston Music Award, and First Prize in the USA Songwriting Competition/Folk Category.  Her music has also been featured on television shows and on the Play Station game Rogue Galaxy.

     “We are delighted that Barbara is taking a break from her sabbatical to perform here at ‘home’ in our studio,” said Kelly Grill, a co-founder of ESL.  “She is a very talented singer whose music has shades of rock n’ roll and jazz as well as folk, and our intimate studio setting provides a terrific venue for enjoying her work.”

      Kessler’s performance is the first of ESL’s Coffeehouse Series, which will feature local folk, jazz, spoken word, and cabaret performers.  Tickets for the Kessler show are $15.00 and are available by calling 508-435-2114. 

     Enter Stage Left Theater Workshop, Inc. is a performing arts center in Hopkinton offering theater education, training and performances for students of all ages.    For more information call 508-435-2114 or visit www.enterstagelefttheater.com

To see a Previously recorded HopNews.tv video of Barbara Kessler performing at her home, choose the player controls (Click twice on Play).

Soap Box Derby

Editor,

     On behalf of myself and the Northampton Soap Box Derby,  I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the residents of Hopkinton that allowed us to hold  the first Hopkinton Soap Box Derby rally on Church Street, Saturday, September 30.   In particular, I would like to thank the residents of Church Street, members of  St. John The Evangelist Catholic Church, Matt at Main Street Specialties, the Hopkinton Police Department , the Board of Selectmen, and Tim Kilduff for their hospitality, use of facilities and patience.  FULL LETTER

Good race, good cause

Editor:

     Michael's Run was a wonderful event and it was great running with my teammates and friends. I got to run with a teammate who I have always admired and respected who recently went to Bryant. That was made even more interesting because i am now the junior captain of his younger brother, the same position he was in when I was a freshman. FULL LETTER

He sells sea shells...

October 9, 2006 — Michael Ryan of Seashellmusic.com instructs a family of three generations on how to make a sound with his sea shells this morning at Colella's Flea Market and Craft Fair.

New Kid in Town

October 9, 2006 — Phipps Insurance is having a Grand Opening Tuesday at Post Office Square in Upton, behind the West Upton Post Office, with a fully staffed insurance office to offer Upton area residents home, auto and business insurance. This office is the third in the Phipps Insurance group.

A little to the left

October 9, 2006 — This truck picked the wrong camera to do this in front of today on Hayden Rowe Street, as it knocked over  a mailbox and used the sidewalk and a resident's lawn for a maneuver that appeared above his skill level.

Kids for kids

Zachary Sisitsky of Hopkinton, Michaela Sisitsky of Amherst, NH, Hannah Sisitsky of Amherst, NH and Evan Sisitsky of Hopkinton. (Zach and Evan are in first grade and kindergarten at Center School)

October 9, 2006 — This past weekend over Columbus Day, my family was in Connecticut closing up our beach house. My kids, along with their cousins, decided to raise money for children that were sick. So, after 12 long hours at this lemonade stand, they raised $100!! They will be donating it to Project Just Because in Hopkinton. ~Abbie Rosenberg

Seen our Totally Free Classified Ads lately?

 

 

$10,000 worth of medium format film camera equipment for only $1,200. For the film purist only...

 

Check out the rest of the ad in the HopNews Totally Free Classified.

POLICE NEWS UP-TO-DATE

 

8:55 am Officer David Shane reported that a cage with fresh bread in it was under the Mass Pike bridge on Wood Street.  It appeared that someone was trying to catch pigeons...

 

12:40 am Sgt. Charles Wallace and Officer Matthew McNeil responded to investigate a noise complaint regarding a loud party and fireworks being set off on Twin Island Road...

 

12:43 am A caller reported that a motorcycle was racing around Frankland Road and possibly also on the test track...

 

4:31 pm A Main Street business reported that an intoxicated male just picked up an order of food to go and left heading west on Main Street...

The art starts here

October 9, 2006 — Renown Hopkinton painter Davison Welch speaks with friend Barbara Lowell this morning at Colella's Craft Fair, as his distinctively styled work is displayed in the background.

All bark and...

October 9, 2006 — This bird took a moment from his incessant task of presumably eating bugs, to turn toward the camera for an instant on Pond Street yesterday.

Scene of the times

October 9, 2006 — These gulls, and not necessarily the exact same ones, enjoy congregating on this rock in North Pond just off of the causeway in Spring and Fall.

Smile a little smile...

October 9, 2006 — This happy goat can be seen at Weston Nurseries Garden Center (Left rear of retail building).

 

Sore Thumb

October 7, 2006 — This heron is tucking his neck in apparently to keep warm on a chilly Sunday morning today, but his bland color sticks out like a sore thumb against the fall colors in the background as seen from the West Main Street causeway.

State Police Make Arrests in Pumpkin Throwing Incidents On Route 2

in Harvard and Phillipston

 

October 8, 2006 — Today and yesterday, State Police from the Athol Barracks made arrests related to the pumpkin throwing incidents which occurred on Route 2 in Harvard on September 22, 2006 and on Route 2 in Phillipston on October 5, 2006.

      An investigation by Trooper Richard Priest led to the arrest yesterday of 20 year-old Wesley M. Garrett of Shirley and the arrest today of 21 year-old Matthew Goguen of Fitchburg, for their involvement in the Route 2 pumpkin throwing incidents in Harvard and Phillipston along with other incidents occurring in Littleton, Westminster and Templeton.  Both Garrett and Goguen were charged with Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, Malicious Destruction to Property, Larceny, and Dropping Objects on a Roadway, with all charges in Worcester County.

     Garrett is being held at the Franklin County House of Correction on $25,000 cash bail.  Goguen  is currently being held at the State Police Athol Barracks.  The State Police are seeking warrants in Worcester County for three other individuals involved in these incidents that have injured people in vehicles.  The Harvard Police Department, Littleton Police Department, Phillipston Police Department, Templeton Police Department and the Westminster Police Department assisted with this investigation.

Last Hurrah

October 7, 2006 — This moth shows no concern about getting ill over these greens at Weston Nurseries on Sunday as the sun beat down on this fall day.

Hiller Field Hockey at the race

October 7, 2006 — The Hiller Field Hockey Team decided to run Michael's Run as one unit, shown here as they reach the Finish.

Michael's Run 2006

See Slideshow Here

October 7, 2006 — Michael's run drew hundreds of people to the Common for a noon start to the 5K race to benefit the Michael Carter Lisnow Respite Center. Read their story at their website.

Where's the apple?

October 7, 2006 — Frank Wiley shows off the pig he is roasting in a converted fuel oil tank for Woodville Rod & Gun's expected 125 diners this afternoon. The group also had grilled burgers and dogs as well as full courses of salad and horseshoes.

Hopkinton 27, Holliston, 28

Hillers lose on official's mistake! Inadvertent whistle costs Hiller win!

Football photos by Robert Falcione and Ben Lewis

Matt Potenza fends off a Holliston defender this evening.

by Peter Marso

October 6, 2006 — The Hopkinton Hillers Football Team lost to the Holliston Panthers 28-27 on an official's mistake. The Hillers were ahead 27-21 with no time left on the clock when it appeared that one of the officials blew a whistle by accident!! The Hillers had just held the panthers on four downs and were ready to celebrate! This all happened after a tough Hopkinton defense had held them. The officials gave them one more play and they capitalized and converted the extra point to win the game! The Officials blew the game and should be given the horns. It was a great game and very hard to have it taken away. Every great Doyle run and Ostrander catch all went down the drain because an official was not  concentrating enough to get the game right. Tough luck Hillers you really honestly won the game!!!

Football photos by Robert Falcione and Ben Lewis

October 6, 2006 — Brian Doyle draws the defenders and sets up for a pass.

Hopkinton Resident Assumes Leadership Position

 at Boston Bar Association

 

 

October 6 – James Coffey, a resident of Hopkinton, has been named co-chair of the Pro Bono Committee of the Boston Bar Association’s Business Law Section. Coffey is a partner at Verrill Dana, LLP in Boston, and a graduate of the New England School of Law (J.D.), New York University School of Law (L.L.M.), and Providence College.

 

Tax Planning:

 

by Bill Newell

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 goes far beyond what its title suggests. In addition to strengthening traditional corporate pensions, the sweeping new law extends welcome tax breaks to individuals saving for retirement and college expenses. Thanks to the elimination, in some instances, of the "sunset" provision contained in the old tax law, it also makes planning easier.

 

Incentives Made Permanent. In what will be a relief for just about every investor, the new law permanently extends some provisions originally enacted in 2001 that had been slated to expire after December 31, 2010.

Among them:

 

  • The increased contribution limits on both IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as 401(k) plans

  • Catch-up contributions that workers aged 50 and older can make to IRAs and some employer-sponsored plans

  • Federally tax-free withdrawals from state-sponsored 529 college savings plans when used for qualified education expenses FULL STORY

MCAS Show Strong Positive Trends

“We like these trends”

 

File photo

by David Hamacher

 

October 6, 2006 — New Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Mary Colombo presented the just released MCAS scores for the 10th grade at the regular scheduled school committee meeting held last night in the Middle School library. Explaining that the scores for the elementary grades were delayed in part because of a change in vendors at the state level, Dr. Colombo expected the remaining grades “to be released in the next week or so.” In her presentation, Dr. Colombo explained, “When analyzing this data we look for trends, and the trends for Hopkinton in the 10th grade are very positive.”

     She went on to say “The MCAS results in the upper two levels (advanced and proficient) have risen from 72% to 89%in Math between 2001 and 2006 and from 76% to 91% for English Language and Arts.” It’s interesting to note in addition, that the number of 10th graders who were issued warnings for poor scores for 2001 in math was six, and in 2006 the number was just two. ELA warnings were issued in 2001 to three students and there were no warnings issued in 2006. “We like these trends”, Dr. Colombo explained and then reminded the audience, “The current data is from year to year and does not include cohort data, which should be revealed in a more in-depth study over time.” FULL REPORT

Freshman football: Hopkinton 12, Holliston 0

Alex Anagnostaras, Hopkinton's quarterback, scoring the 1st touchdown of the game. Hopkinton won 12-0 over Holliston. Photo by Steven Spiegel.

 

Saturday, October 21, 10:30 a.m.

Poetry at HCAM Studio

Featuring the poetry of Elizabeth Lund and Susan Richmond

Music by Amanda Maffei

 

HCAM -TV Studio

77 Main Street, Hopkinton, MA.

Free admission/pass the hat for feature

Open mic for poems, stories and songs

For information: www.hcam.tv

CD Cover photo by Robert Falcione

Happy Trails Club Anniversary to you

October 5, 2006 — The Hopkinton Trails Club celebrated their One Year Anniversary this evening in a meeting at the Golden Pond by bestowing awards upon four of their own, who have stood apart in their service to the organization, or trails in particular.

     Donato Salvucci, seated right, was singled out for decades of volunteer service to trails maintenance in Hopkinton, service on trails committees, and for being part of the Search and Rescue group.

     Gail Clifford, seated, and Jeff Furber, standing right, were cited for clearing and marking trails, helping the Trails Club, for their work with the Hopkinton Area Land Trust, and more.

     John Ritz, standing left, "...has really been instrumental in developing the website and has worked at both fundraising events," said Chair Liisa Jackson.

     "He developed the map for Cameron Woods and the logo of the club," she said.

No pain...

October 5, 2006 — The common saying is No pain, no gain, but Steve Spiegel didn't appear to be breaking a bead of sweat here at the Hopkinton Reservoir Dam early this evening as he ran the perimeter of the Park.

 
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