Hopkinton Exxon Starts petition
Special Town Meeting comes in handy
November 20, 2006 — Owner of Hopkinton Exxon Jerry Lazzaro has begun a citizen's petition to overturn a restriction in his special permit that was included in the original 1971 document that denied him the right to sell propane. In spite of the prohibition, the Selectmen issued Mr. Lazzaro a permit for propane eleven years ago, in an apparent case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing.
Two weeks ago, Mr. Lazzaro was again denied the right to sell propane by the Board of Appeals after appealing a Cease and Desist order by Zoning Enforcement Officer, Charles Kadlick from July 14 of this year.
Mr. Lazzaro had hoped to delay the enforcement of the order while the Zoning Advisory Committee drafted language to present to the Planning Board for the consideration of Town Meeting in the spring to allow the use with the help of a change in the bylaw. But things have moved more quickly than expected.
The citizen's petition, if successful, would give the town the opportunity to vote on the change in the bylaw at a Town Meeting to be scheduled for late December, 2006, a meeting that has had to be called to fund the new Town Manager's position, and the exiting Executive Secretary, Ted Kozak's, termination package of 12 months pay.
The new bylaw language, written by Town Planner Elaine Lazarus, will allow the accessory use of retail propane sales of an automobile repair garage or a gasoline service station, with a 2,000 gallon storage tank limit.
Mr. Lazzaro needs to get the signatures of 100 residents in order for the petition to be presented to the Selectmen before December 4, the deadline for all articles. The Planning Board will also need to have a public hearing that is posted in advance and held before the Special Town Meeting.
The Selectmen are targeting December 21 for the Special Town Meeting to convene.
(Photo, James Carroll signs the petition while Jerry Lazzaro looks on.)
Today, November 20, 2006
12:20 am Officer William Burchard arrested a 20 year old male from Milford...
10:08 pm A caller reported that an elderly male was walking, wearing shorts, on Hayden Rowe Street...
8:33 pm A 911 cell phone call came from two teenage females who wanted to know if the station would trace a call...
10:52 am A caller From Schofield Road found a puppy...
November 20, 2006 — Someone whose heart was touched deeply by Karl Mighton has left a bouquet of flowers on the bench dedicated to his memory at Lake Whitehall Dam area on Highland Street this past April. Mr. Mighton was a prominent member of the Friends of Whitehall, a group formed in the wake of a proposed development on a prominent point on Lake Whitehall.
Has your family heirloom been created?
Call for your sitting time, 508-435-5534
Tap Off Tournament
November 19, 2006 — This Hopkinton basketball team was unbeaten going into their last game, and they looked good going into the second quarter playing in the Sixth Annual Tap Off Tournament that started Friday and lasted through Sunday. 136 teams took part in this Hopkinton Basketball Association event that is a warm up to the regular season. Nicole Anagnostaras drives down the court while her coach and father, Evan, looks on over her shoulder.
November 19, 2006 — Assistant Hopkinton State Park Supervisor Richard Trubiano waves to the camera as he and another Department of Conservation and Recreation employee travel to the next job in a Polaris 4x4 vehicle that is appropriately named.
People in the news
Top, from left, Joe Strazzulla and Kevin Kohrt were appointed to the Zoning Advisory Committee by the Planning Board last week. The Zoning Advisory Committee studies possible changes to zoning and recommends them to the Planning Board, which may recommend them to the Selectmen for Articles for Town Meeting.
Top, right, Attorney Doug Resnick appeared before the Selectmen last week, and asked that the town not exercise its right of first refusal for two properties that he represented; one two-lot parcel on Saddle Hill Road that sold for $500,000, and another 204-acre parcel, just sold by William and Mary Terry for $12 million. The town's prerogative was to meet the price of a bona fide offer for the land, because it has been under 61b forestry designation, which allowed it a lower tax rate. It did not exercise its right to purchase either property.
Right, David Nelson was appointed to the volunteer position open on the Council on Aging by the Selectmen last week.
Want to be part of the solution?
The Board of Selectmen have the following openings listed on the Town's website:
COMMITTEE – One (1)
November 19, 2006 — Above, Hopkinton High School Principal John E. McCarthy speaks from his notes while presenting his opening remarks at the High School Scholars' Night at the Athletic Center. Seated from left, School Committee Vice-chair Phil Totino, Chair Rebecca Roback, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Mary Colombo, Superintendent Dr. John Phelan.
Pot Luck Dinner Squashed by Board of Health
Historical Society members spill the beans
by Robert Falcione
November 18, 2006 — The Town of Hopkinton Board of Health squashed the Hopkinton Historical Society's Annual Pot Luck Dinner, and some if its members have spilled the beans. A pot luck dinner is one where attendees each bring a home made meal to share with the others who attend. Apparently that is acceptable when an event is private, but this dinner was open to the public. The event did go on, but with most of the food catered.
Society organizer Merylyn Mezitt said she spoke with Food Inspector Beth Grossman, who told her the Historical Society had to have a certified server on site.
"She didn't want any food prepared in homes," Mrs. Mezitt said.
When her husband Roger heard that a reporter was on the phone, and he was doing a story about the fall food fiasco, Mr. Mezitt said, "Tell him not to ham it up." Photo, Planning Board member Sandy Altamura applauding the recognition of a fellow town official at the event.
"Public Health is a serious matter, and I can understand where she is coming from," said Mrs. Mezitt, "but pot luck is a New England tradition. At least we didn't have spinach," she said, alluding to the recent outbreak of food borne disease originating at one spinach grower.
"One member attended a recent informational meeting on food handling with the State and asked about pot luck, but the State was not interested," Mrs. Mezitt said.
One member said at the dinner that the group had planned an entire pot luck event, but now had to have the food catered.
"Beth Grossman was very nice," said Historical Society President Bill Shaw, serving for the first time. "She wanted to know when food is being delivered.
"She said it's a public event and charging admission falls in line with all of the requirements to have a certified-safe kitchen, or that we were meeting all of the requirements needed to serve the public." he said.
"They had planned to cater it all along," said Beth Grossman. "The only thing that changed was that the baked beans had to be cooked in the church kitchen." The event was held at St. John's Parish Center.
"Because it was the last minute, I didn't make them get the certified food manager — I just gave them instructions — we followed the Mass food code," she said. She was asked how the group could hold pot luck suppers again.
"If it was private and not open to the public, then it doesn't have to meet food code requirements.
"We want to prevent food-borne illness," said Mrs. Grossman.
Francis L. (Frank) Morgan Sr.
died in Framingham, MA on November 18, 2006.
Ask not what your poetry can do for you...
November 18, 2006 — Michael Lowe is JFK during HCAM TV's Saturday Morning Poetry today in front of a good sized live audience. Cheryl Perreault hosts the poetry event the third Saturday of every month at the local access station at 77 main Street.
Tie me kangaroo down, mate...
November 18, 2006 — Norm Schneider displayed his best didge playing abilities at the Hopkinton Public Library's Aboriginal Dreams this morning in the Main room, featuring the culture of native Australians.
Silhouettes on the water
November 17, 2006 — Vincent Levinson and his kayak create a distinct silhouette on surface of the Hopkinton Reservoir today.
November 17, 2006 — High School students, from left, front, Greg Tolf and Adam Merzel, rear, Marty Racenis and Brian Kramer show off some of the more than dozen turkeys collected today at the Elmwood School for the 8th year of a charitable turkey collection that Adam's brother Dan started. In addition, 1,000 cans were also collected today at the Elmwood.
"We expect to collect between 100-150 turkeys," said Adam.
The 2nd Annual Hopkinton Teachers Association Flag Football Tournament
Hopkinton Republican Town Committee’s
Annual Holiday Party
Friday- December 8, 2006
Cocktails start at 6:30 PM
Dinner will be at 7 PM
Open to all Hopkinton Republicans and Friends
Please contact Ken Weismantel at 508 435-5725 or firstname.lastname@example.org for additional details.
November 17, 2006 — Matt Dry receives his Life Scout award, the highest rank before Eagle, from Peter Dittman, while Andre Griben participates from the podium. The ceremony is called a Court of Honor, where achievements made by Scouts are honored. Last night, 56 Merit Badges were awarded, two Scouts earned Life Scout, and 14 scouts earned other awards of rank.
School Committee meeting
Student Accounts Flush With Cash
“We should use funds to reduce burden on parents”
By David Hamacher
November 17, 2006 — During his presentation of FY ’06 finances to the school committee meeting last night, Business Manager Geoff MacDonald (File photo) reported that of last year’s annual operating budget of just over $28 million, a balance of $69.00 was carried over to the current fiscal year. “There was a significant savings in payroll expenses because of late starts of teachers and administration personnel and we were able to move around other funds,” Mr. MacDonald reported. The total revised operating budget for FY’06 was $28,134,666.
In addition to the operating funds, there are three other areas that comprise the total financial statement for the district. Those areas are, Revolving Accounts, Capital Accounts, and Grants (which include both state and federal grant items). The item that generated most of the discussion was with the closing balance as of June 30th of $151,361.00 in the High School student activities fund. Superintendent, Dr. Jack Phelan remarked,” We should use those funds to reduce the burden on the parents.”
Committee member Phil Totino agreed. “Madam Chair, if I have to make a motion to get a better handle on the fees for the student activities funds, then I’ll make it. Couldn’t we offset user fees with this account? We have got to get this under control.” In addition, the balance left over in the Middle School activities funds was $94, 612. Analyses will be conducted on both accounts, and adjustments to user fees may be made in the future.
The total balance carried over from FY ’06 under Revolving Accounts was $1,073,646 which is reflected by an opening balance of $938,820 with receipts of $2,600,814 and expenditures of $2,465,988. Mr. MacDonald remarked, “This is the lowest level of revolving costs in years.”
A balance of 98K was left in Capital Accounts excluding the design costs of the new elementary school that have been appropriated and earmarked for that specific project.
The total Grants section of the financial statement showed an opening balance of $312,287 and a closing balance of $268,284. A total of $757, 538 was received from both federal and state government grants, and $801, 541 expended.
Looking at the current fiscal year following the first quarter ended September 30th, “We seem to be a little ahead of the game, “Mr. MacDonald reported. “The mild weather so far and savings in the staff openings and late hires are contributing to that.” FULL REPORT
November 16, 2006 — Two girls share some words at the Scholars' Night at Hopkinton High School on Wednesday.
No Quota System for Massachusetts State Police
Department responds to media reports
The Department of State Police, in response to recent news articles, intends to clarify several inaccuracies which have been reported by several media outlets, concerning the Departments pilot project, The Officer Daily Performance Measures Form.
The pilot project was undertaken to evaluate new accountability systems and is not an effort to have our officers write more speeding tickets as perceived by these erroneous accounts.
This accountability and management project will allow the State Police to analyze the types, amount, and location of calls for service and officer initiated activity. It allows the State Police to assign and deploy its manpower resources were they are most needed. It makes little sense to simply divide the number of State Troopers by the number of State Police facilities to determine how many troopers to assign to a particular barracks. The pilot project also allows for the Department to determine where and when we need to deploy our resources for the appropriate shift and the appropriate location.
The Massachusetts State Police undertakes
all enforcement action in order to assure the safety and well being of
the citizens of
Editor's Note: HopNews did not run a story about quotas, and it is unclear what news outlet did.
From the Radical Middle...
Hopkinton, Your Karma is Getting Gored
It's my ox, not yours
by Robert Falcione
November 16, 2006 — There is a political saying that is as old as the hills, but its origin has escaped an hour-long internet search by yours truly:
"It depends upon whose ox is being gored."
Simply put, it means that people on different sides of an issue will have different feelings depending upon their stake in that issue. NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) is a prime example.
East Hopkinton was unconcerned and unmotivated about the E. L. Harvey expansion, but the abutters, neighbors — and residents along the truck route — suddenly became traffic and water quality champions and experts. Only after the offering for sale of Weston Nurseries became public did the East side of town organize politically.
In addition, a person may use a dogma to defend a stance, and then shed the dogma when it suits them. The adage "But Town Meeting passed it" used by some people to defend an issue, means nothing when those same people oppose a different measure that has passed at Town Meeting. It depends upon whose ox is being gored.
At last Tuesday's Selectmen's meeting, November 14, 2006, JT Gaucher and a representative from Earth Tech appeared before the Board to talk about the Fruit Street project's Waste Water Treatment Facility. Chairman Muriel Kramer said she wanted to talk about the process of selecting the contractor, Earth Tech, without going to bid (Rerun on HCAM-TV on Sunday at 11:00am).
Selectman Ron Clark objected — and to say he objected strongly would be an understatement — that Mary Pratt, an abutter, and Michael Shepard, whose daughter lives within an abutter's zone, should step off of the Board during the discussion. The ensuing arguments made it apparent that three Selectmen had in some capacity discussed the issue with each other, something that observers have seen the majority do for several years — and the two refused to leave the Board.
Ron said one thing and Mary said another, both in the heat of an elevated discourse. And now, Mr. Clark has sent Mrs. Pratt a letter (Link now active) demanding an apology, a letter that was CC'd to several members of the press.
Now, add all this to the inclination of journalists, local and from afar, to find the negative comment in a meeting and elevate it to a headline or an insulting opinion piece, and what have we got?
Hopkinton has had more than its share of horrific tragedies, bad news, and personal struggles publicized this past year, as it continues to explode from a rural to a suburban bedroom community; and the nasty tone of local politics doesn't help the town with its growing pains.
All Hopkinton residents have a stake in the behavior of its officials. Agree?
It is our collective ox getting gored, and it looks like no one can do anything about it.
Do you have an idea on how to stop the spiral?
Your opinion piece or Letter to the Editor would be welcomed, especially if it contains a solution.
From the Board of Assessors:
TIMING ISSUES REGARDING REAL ESTATE VALUES
In order to enhance taxpayers understanding of real estate valuation determination, the Board of Assessors has created the following informational guideline:
M.G.L. Ch59 Sec21 States in part:
“...all taxes shall be assessed as of January first preceding the fiscal year with respect to which taxes are assessed.”
In a changing real estate market this statutory requirement results in unavoidable “lag time” between the sales data used to determine real estate values for the fiscal year, and current values at the time the tax rate and real estate taxes are calculated for the fiscal year.
Therefore, the determination of Fiscal Year 2007 residential property valuations is based on comparable property sales during calendar year 2005. The resultant valuations are examined by, and approved by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue prior to their publication.
POLICE NEWS up-to-date today, November 16, 2006
6:25 pm Officers Matthew McNeil and William Burchard checked a vehicle whose owner reported hitting a deer...
2:47 pm A caller reported an elderly man throwing rocks at passing vehicles...
9:30 am A School Department employee thought the behavior of a man smoking at the tennis courts was odd...
10:29 am The security of a Wilson Street business reported two males acting suspiciously, talking on cell phones...
Hopkinton High School Scholars' Night
289 students achieve academic recognitions
November 15, 2006 — Above, Brian Doyle, blue jacket, continues to receive applause from his peers, even after taking his seat following Superintendent John Phelan's presentation to him of the highly acclaimed Superintendent's Award for his scholastic achievements.
289 students were singled out for their achievements in a short ceremony that began with Hopkinton High School Principal John E. McCarthy distinguishing this ceremony from the sports, music or theater programs that are so popular.
Below, Julie Sung walks with determination to accept her National Merit award, passing Andrew Jesanis, who was taking his seat after receiving his identical award. The photographer panned the camera with Julie's movement, thereby blurring the background.
Gun Club to serve dinner on Turkey Day
11:00 till 3:00
Woodville Rod and Gun Club will be continuing the Thanksgiving tradition of opening it's doors to senior citizens and others in the community who would like to join them for dinner on Thanksgiving day,
Thursday, November 23, the club will again offer a complete Thanksgiving meal. A choice of traditionally cooked or deep-fried turkey will be available. There is no charge, but donations will be accepted. Phone 508-435-4148, Wednesday through Sunday afternoons for more information. 11:00 till 3:00
File Photo, Lee Wright.
Holiday Stroll Downtown
December 2, 2006 - 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
The Downtown Revitalization Committee is sponsoring a Hopkinton Holiday Stroll, on Saturday, December 2 from 1:00 -4:00 pm. The Stroll is being held in conjunction with the library's holiday music and story telling program scheduled from 3:00- 4:00pm and Park & Rec's Tree Lighting ceremony which begins at 4:30. They have invited merchants and business people from the Downtown Business District and the Chamber of Commerce to participate in what they hope will grow into an annual tradition for the town. The team from Enter Stage Left is planning entertainment and an open house.
Other members of the business community who have signed up to participate are: Hopkinton's Jeweler in Claflin Commons (behind 76 Main, next to Police Station) will be holding an open house, with cookies & punch and will be offering a free ring cleaning and inspection.
Main Street Specialties at 15 Main invites people to stop by for free hors d'oeurves and a chance to see local artists' work on display between 1 & 4 pm.
Stop by Country Plus at 20 Main for cookies and mulled cider, and bring a unwrapped toy for a child of any age or an item for the Hopkinton Food Pantry and receive 10% off your purchase. The toys will be donated to Smiling Kids.
Stephanie G., at 77 Main is holding a holiday open house & shopping event.
Photographic Images at 24 Main continues their annual Toys for Tots drive and will have a box available for your donations. At this same location, HopNews will videotape any willing strollers and carolers for presentation on HopNews.com.
The Committee hopes others will join them as they further develop the day. If you or your organization, business or store would like to be involved, please contact Deb Fein-Brug at email@example.com or Anne Mattina at firstname.lastname@example.org Mark your calendars for what is sure to be a fun afternoon! Keep checking www.hopnews.com for updates on the day's events.
Hopkinton Lions Club November Activities
The holidays are looming large in New England and the Lions Club is on the job once again.
November 25th is a big date for both holiday tree shoppers and recyclers. The Lions Club will be having their monthly recycling drive at Colella’s Supermarket on Main St. Cans and bottles can be dropped of between 9 am and 2 pm.
In addition, their holiday tree sale begins. Why not stop by. The perfect tree could be waiting for you. Lions Club members will be on duty 7 days a week for greenery sales, while supplies last.
Flu Clinic & Senior Health Fair
From The Hopkinton Board of Health
Flu Clinic & Senior Health Fair will be held on Wednesday, December 6, 2006 at the Senior Center on Mayhew Street from 10 am to 12 noon. Flu shots and blood pressure screening, as well as other health services and information will be available to all seniors, along with refreshments too. Residents who are interested in Pneumonia shots can register by calling the Board of Health or email email@example.com
Residents are invited to contribute their old eyeglasses and button batteries (from hearing aids, watches, etc.) for collection at the fair.
For more information, please contact the Board of Health at (508) 497-9725.
ESL HOSTS “CINDERELLA: A WOODLAND FAIRY PRINCESS”
Bring the Kids!!
PUPPET SHOWS NOVEMBER 29
November 15, 2006 – Enter Stage Left Theater Workshop Inc. will be hosting two performances of the puppet show Cinderella, A Woodland Fairy Princess on Wednesday, November 29. The first performance will be held at 10:00 a.m. and the second at 1:30 p.m. Both performances are geared to preschool and kindergarten children and will be held at the ESL studio at 30 Main Street in Hopkinton. Admission to each show is $3.00 per person, with a maximum of $10 per family. For more information call 508-435-2114 or visit www.enterstagelefttheater.com
The 45-minute puppet shows, which feature hand puppets and a fanciful tree stage, will be presented by Deborah Costine of the popular Gerwick Puppets. She has performed professionally throughout New England since 1975 at popular venues such as the Peabody Essex Museum, the Mark Twain Museum, and Boston First Night. She also performs monthly at the Puppet Showplace Theater in Brookline, and at numerous schools and libraries.
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