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Hopkinton High School HONOR ROLL

High Honors Grade 12

 

Jessica Berke, Brian Doyle, Timothy English, Megan Galeucia, Margaret Gordon, Abigail Greff, Morgan Hegger, Molly Heverling, Andrew Jesanis, Jaclyn Mahoney, Cara Maresca, Joao Mendes, Timothy O'Connor, Alison Philbrook, Martins Racenis, Nicholas Savell, Julie Sung, Matthew Surka.

See the entire Honor Roll list here

Hopkinton man dies in crash on Route 90 East in Brighton

 

December 13, 2006 — Tuesday at about 12:45 p.m., State Police from the Weston Barracks responded to a one-vehicle crash on Route 90 East, one mile west of Exit 19, in Brighton.

 

Preliminary investigation by Trooper Kevin Tenney, indicates that 85 year-old, Patrick J. Bronder of Hopkinton, was operating a 1999 Toyota sedan on Route 90 East, one mile west of Exit 19 in the right lane, when the Toyota traveled across the center and left lanes and struck the median. 

 

Bronder was taken by ambulance in serious condition to Boston Medical Center.  He was later pronounced deceased at Boston Medical Center. 

 

This crash remains under investigation.  Boston Fire Department, Boston EMS and Massachusetts Turnpike Maintenance personnel assisted troopers at the scene. 

POLL RESULTS

 

     The results of the poll on the left after about 6 hours is clearly in favor of keeping a competitive nature to children's academic scores.

     The poll was inspired by Needham High School's Principal Paul Richards' decision to keep the Needham High School Honor Roll off of the pages of the Needham Times. The town had four teen suicides in two years and a double motor vehicle fatality last month. The town is almost twice the size of Hopkinton.

      The poll results rose fairly evenly all day until the evening, when the page was unattended for four hours, and someone misbehaved by adding hundreds of votes. In the short few minutes it took to prepare this piece, someone added about 80 votes to the "Yes" side. The assumption, and this is from experience with dozens of polls, is that one person is adding the  numbers in a way that is not difficult to figure out, but the method will not be repeated in this space. What is certain is that they are not adding numbers to our visit counter, because people who can do that do not get counted; and once again, the details of why will remain unwritten. 

     Another apparent assumption is that the mischief maker lacks a developed sense of integrity, or if an adult, a lack of integrity itself. Please don't mess with the polls.

NOTE: The phony "Yes" votes were 230 votes higher than above.

Friday, December 15, last day for:

 

1. Toys for Tots @ Photographic Images, 24 Main Street. Drop off your toys or your check payable to Toys for "Tots."

2. Win $500 contest. Read rules and then submit Win $500

Recycle with the Lions

December 30th

 

    Is it time to critique the contents of your garage or cellar? Time to get rid of those stored bottles and cans? It’s no big surprise that the Lions Club can help.  December 30th is the date of the next Lions Club recycling drive at Colella’s Supermarket on Main St. Recyclable donations can be dropped of between 9 am and 2 pm.

     The group will also be collecting outdated/unused cell phones for the  Hopkinton Senior Center during their recycling hours.

      The Lions Club is a hands-on service organization.

Commentary

Get Paid for Reading HopNews?

 

by Robert Falcione

December 12, 2006 — The email last Saturday about John Dennis, special attorney for the Whitehall land purchase, charging the town $325 per hour to read HopNews was hilarious to ponder, but then more than understandable after digesting the implications of it. A similar experience happened earlier this year.

      As the TV cameras stood sentinel on their tripods in the conference room of Hopkinton Police station, and the photographers and reporters mulled about waiting to hear about what would become Hopkinton's first homicide in eleven years, "...the District Attorney’s Director of Communications looked around to see if all of the major players had arrived, so he could feel comfortable in moving forward.

     'Is Channel 7 here? The Herald?' he asked.

     'Hopkinton News is here,' I said, provoking a roomful of laughter." [Excerpt from I Saw Neil Entwistle by Robert Falcione]

     The media people laughed because Hopkinton is such a small town, and they had never heard of the Hopkinton News; and I knew we weren't on his list — not yet anyway.

     We eventually got on the lists of the people who wanted their message out, and on the lists of people wanting information from us. READ FULL STORY

Walter C. Wood Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Walter C. Wood, 87, a lifelong Hopkinton resident, died Friday, Dec. 8, 2006.
     He was the husband of Evelyn (Haynes) Wood for 65 years.
     He was a graduate of Hopkinton High School, Class of 1937, O.C.S., Coast artillery in 1942, of Northeastern University in 1953 and of Command General Staff College in 1996. He served in the U.S. Army from 1941-1979. ARRANGEMENTS

On the Stump

December 12, 2006 DPW workers use a stump grinder to make a memory of the 100+ year-old diseased tree that was taken down last week by Joe Regan Tree Work. Here the grinder goes after the large roots after making chips of the trunk of the tree. The blade of the machine is blurred by the intentional use of a relatively slow shutter speed.

Menorah Lighting on Friday

December 15, 2006 at 5:45 p.m.

on Hopkinton Common

 

December 12, 2006 — On Tuesday morning, David Auslander, his eight year-old Stephen, and Barry Gold put up the Menorah on the Hopkinton Common.  For the last 13 years Barry a collaboration of several families got together to build and care for the Menorah.  Now the torch (or the candle as it was) has been passed to my family to carry on this tradition for the Jewish families in the town of Hopkinton.

      There will be a Menorah lighting ceremony at 5:45 p.m. on Friday, December15th, which is first night of Hanukkah. Mr. Auslander would like to invite members of the community to share in their tradition.

    According to the Free Dictionary,

Ha·nuk·kah or Ha·nu·kah also Cha·nu·kah  (än-k, hä-) n. Judaism. An eight-day festival beginning on the 25th day of Kislev, commemorating the victory in 165 b.c. of the Maccabees over Antiochus Epiphanes (c. 215-164 b.c.) and the rededication of the Temple at Jerusalem. Also called Feast of Dedication, Feast of Lights.

Exxon gets nod for propane sales

Planning Board to recommend passage of Article

 

December 11, 2006 — Attorney Tom Nealon pled the case for Jerry Lazzaro, owner of Hopkinton Exxon, to continue to sell propane, a use that is specifically denied by his Special Permit that was issued in 1971. He later received a permit from the Selectmen, but irregardless, the Exxon was issued a Cease and Desist order by the Zoning Enforcement Officer, on orders from the Board of Appeals, last year.

     Mr. Lazzaro successfully completed a citizens' petition to place an Article on the upcoming special Town Meeting Warrant that will make the sale of propane an allowed accessory use of a gas station or repair garage.

    The Zoning Advisory Committee has recommended passage of the Article, which the Planning Board endorsed this evening by 7 votes, with one abstention.

Selectmen, Appropriations solve funding for Town Manager

School, Police, Fire and DPW budgets not affected

Committee votes down dam insurance funding approval

 

December 11, 2006 — The Selectmen met this evening followed by a joint meeting with the Appropriations Committee, which voted to agree to vote — a sort of sense of the committee — to transfer money ($90,800 of 122,115 needed), as recommended by the Selectmen, from existing accounts, in order to fund a contract-mandated severance package for outgoing Executive Secretary Ted Kozak, and the difference in the newly created Town Manager's salary, which is Article I of the upcoming Special Town Meeting on December 21.

     The Committee also  voted unanimously to allow $32,115 of the shortfall to be used from "Free Cash" account to make up the difference. Photo right, Chairman of the appropriations Committee, Stewart Cowart.

     Selectmen Chair Muriel Kramer and Selectman Mike Shepard were sent packing at last Thursday's School Committee when they appeared before them to ask them to fund 84% of the share of the upcoming money items, which was their share of last May's override. However, this evening the Selectmen left the School, Fire, Police, and DPW budgets intact as they used money becoming available, or currently available, from various accounts in Town Hall, as well as the help from Appropriations.

     The Senior Center will be paying the town back for $50,000 of the Facilities Director's pay, and the CPC is expected to kick in around $30,000 for legal bills incurred over the Whitehall land purchase. Mrs. Kramer said that one day in court to oppose a Restraining Order brought by 20 residents, including some public officials, itself cost $20,000. The legal expenses were high on the agenda.

     "Someone has to be looking at these numbers every week to see what is accrued," said Appropriations member, Ron Eldridge to Mrs. Kramer. "This legal area has totally gotten out of control," he said.

      "We all have to be alert that the attorneys charge by the hour," said Mr. Cowart.

      "We really have to get into litigation management," he said. "This is the first year I've seen it so far out of sync." The Whitehall land purchase, as well as attorneys' work on the Weston Nurseries impending sale were largely the reason.

       The new Town manager, Anthony Troiano (Photo, above, left), said after the meeting, "I am hoping to provide the leadership this town is looking for.

    "I hope to provide the information and coordination when the Selectmen go into these meetings.

    "I am excited," he said.

 

Maspenock Dam

     Approval for Article VI, funding for $25,000 for insurance for the Maspenock Dam, which is largely located in Milford and owned by the Milford Water Company, was shot down. Town Meeting voted to purchase the dam for $1 in May of 2006, but has yet to seal the deal.

     Committee member Charles O’Leary asked, "There is one thing to vote $25,000, but will you vote the hundreds of thousands of dollars the DPW will need to maintain it?"

      "I am the only one at this table who has pulled people out downstream from dams," he added.

      The sense of the Committee was that the dam was not owned yet by the town, so there is no sense in funding it at this time. The vote was 7 to dismiss the Article, with Ron Eldridge voting not to.

       Recommendations of the Appropriations Committee at Town Meeting are not binding.

       Votes by the residents attending and voting are binding.   

Fiber Arts

December 11, 2006 — Christine Meyers and Susan Tata showed off their handiwork at the CAA (Cultural Arts Alliance last weekend.

Enjoy this incredible Radio City Christmas Rockettes Spectacular for this sold out Thursday night at the Wang Center in Boston. These 13th row Orchestra tickets are available at original value. $75.00 each. First come, first serve. Call 508.523.9901 or e-mail davidham@comcast.net.

POLICE NEWS UP-TO-DATE

Today, December 11, 2006

 

8:21 pm A resident from East Street reported hearing voices in the woods behind their backyard...

 

2:03 pm There was a 911 call from a male on Apple Tree Hill stating "you need to get here, she cut her wrists" and then hung up...

 

11:12 am There was numerous calls for a horse that was running down Cedar Street...

 

2:02 pm A resident from Hopkins Road reported that his brother had stolen his guitar and was on his way with their father to pawn it... 

"The Future of News"

Wanted: One Reporter, and one feature story writer. Be a part of what James Bone of the London Times called "The future of news," HopNews.com. Call Robert at 508-435-5534 for more information

 It's the Law! *

December 11, 2006

by Demian David Tebaldi, Esq.

Email your questions to: dtebaldi@tebaldiesq.com

 

Dear ITL: When I was in High School, I fell in with what might be considered the “wrong crowd.”  At my graduation party, my uncle and I had a talk during which he told me that if I “straightened up and flew right,” went to college and made something of myself, that he would give me $100,000 when I got my degree.  After some soul searching, I decided that my uncle’s offer was a fair one, and I did as he suggested.

            I graduated from college this past year, and, at Thanksgiving, I showed my uncle my college diploma, and reminded him of the conversation we had had four years earlier.  He said he remembered the conversation, but that he would not honor his offer of $100,000 because the deal was “for my own good,” and that we didn’t have a written contract.  I was counting on that money to help me pay back my student loans which, had I known my uncle wasn’t going to honor his offer, I never would have applied for.  Is there anything I can do to get my uncle to pay up? S.R. in Sharon READ FULL COLUMN

Ciao Time Catering

6 Winter Street, Hopkinton, MA
Phone: 508-435-0022

Fax: 508-435-4422

ciaotime@comcast.net

Dedicated to cooking food for you as we would for our own family.

Amber waves...

December 10, 2006 — The setting sun painted a warm backdrop for the prominent marsh growth on Cedar Street last week.

 REMINDER

 REMINDER

Hopkinton Police Association

Annual Senior Dinner

 

December 3, 2006 — Hopkinton senior citizens get to fill the hall at the sparkling new Senior Center with 200 or  more of their peers on December 16, 2006 at 4:30 p.m. for the very first Police Association Dinner held at that new location.

 

According to organizer, Patrolman Thomas Lemon, who also puts together the Annual Police Association Fishing Derby, the ham and turkey dinner with all of the fixin's, is free to any Hopkinton senior citizen. Officer Lemon would like anyone wishing to attend to call 508-497-3401 by December 12 so the caterer can have a count.

 

The Hopkinton Police Department members as well as members of their families serve the food in a festive atmosphere that is carried with recorded music and punctuated by a raffle with prizes donated by local merchants.

MetroWest Symphony Orchestra at High School auditorium

Cloth Clown

December 10, 2006 — Tobi Hoffman shows off her clown's head made from fabric at the Fiber Arts Show at the CAA Saturday and Sunday.

Concord does Bikes, not Bombs

Reuse day one of a kind

 

by Elizabeth Eidlitz

 

December 10, 2006 —  “Not until we saw the picture of Earth from the moon [did] we realize how small and helpless this planet is, something that we must hold in our arms and care for,” said Margaret Mead at Earth Day Ceremony, almost 30 years ago.

For 17 years, Concord has demonstrated what it means to be the custodians of the future of Earth: Co-sponsored by the Public Works Department and REUSIT, Concord's recycling committee, the Town holds a reuse and recycling Drop-off Day and Swap-Off, the only municipally-provided service that allows residents to reuse, recycle, or dispose of consumer goods or bulky waste not collected at the curb.

The biannual event on Keyes Road has grown steadily, pulling more than twenty different reusable or recyclable items out of the waste stream. At each event, in front of the DPW, sculptor William Turville spontaneously creates a sculptural compendium of things people throw away—a demo of paint sticks, and pram wheels, picket fencing, broken baskets, buckets, and twisted ski poles.

The fall and spring event, attended by approximately 800 Concord households (15% of the town) comprises a “SwapOff” area (much like a flea market, only everything is free from cardboard egg cartons, old trunks, lawnmowers, armchairs to clocks, dishes, and five-gallon pails,) and a “drop-off” area for recyclable and reusable items as well as oversized waste. FULL STORY

 

 SCHOOL COMMITTEE

 

School Enrollment Down for Next Ten Years

Wellness Program Hailed as Best Practices

Budget Continues to Be Pared

 

By David Hamacher

                                                                                         

 December 9, 2006 (Part II) — School Committee Chair Rebecca Robak began last Thursday night’s regular meeting by recognizing State Senator Karen Spilka for being selected as ‘Legislator of the Year’ by the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, and congratulating the High School Drama Club for their recent production of ‘The Pajama Game’.

            She then opened the floor for public comments, and Maura Shea, the parent of three past or present Hopkinton school children, read from a two page statement.

     "A math teacher in the 7th grade has told me that her math students do now know how to do long division, or fractions, or place values," Mrs. Shea stated.

     "I have tried to get grade information on the GMADE test, and have been told by Mr. Caliri [Mr. Charles Caliri, Director of Math/Science Curriculum for 7-12 Grades] that this is a diagnostic tool used for individual performance data. Mr. Caliri could not provide any data for the current 7th grade as a group when I asked, although he did say that each teacher gets a class breakdown."

     She continues, "Mr. Caliri sent me an e-mail that says (in part), 'Unlike MCAS data, there are additional limitations in the scoring and reporting software that prevent us from doing a simple analysis of the results in the aggregate. I'm hoping that this latest upgrade in the software will make it easier to provide teachers, students, and parents with the feedback they need in a more expeditious fashion.'"

     Mrs. Shea then stated, "I have to question why are we giving this test every year if the only purpose is to sift out the high learners but not use it for the students who are having trouble? I am making this assumption, because for the last two years we have had no extra help, even though this test has shown there is consistent weakness in skills. I know the frustration that I feel is not unique. I have spoken with several parents who feel the same way. I am requesting that the administration make changes NOW."

       When finished with her statement, Mrs. Shea left the table without asking for, nor receiving any feedback.

FULL REPORT   [Editor's Note: The above has been clarified to correctly identify Mr. Caliri in the report.]

 

St. Paul's Display

December 9, 2006 — St. Paul's held a display of over 40 crèche sets from around the world today.

HPTA Holiday Open House

 

December 9, 2006 — The High School Cafeteria was abuzz with shoppers for the HPTA Holiday Open House. Over 45 vendors selling items such as jewelry, skincare, children’s toys and books, children’s clothing, etc. Handmade items such as pottery, knit-ware, bags and purses were offered for sale. Above, Cariann Steenruggen works on her craft

The Perfect Dress

December 9, 2006 MaryJo Hamilton shows off one of the dresses brought into the High School today in the "Perfect Dress" collection. Dresses collected today will be sold at Hopkinton High School on January 27, 2007, 10am – 2pm.

A friend in need...

December 8, 2006 — At around 11:30 pm, Hopkinton Firefighters were called to assist Ashland at a "working fire" that started in a wall in a home on Olive Street in that town. Above, Hopkinton Firefighters leave the premises to return to their vehicle.

Scam Alert

Solicitors are not official

December 8, 2006 — According to Hopkinton Police Department Sgt. Charles Wallace, police received complaints from residents today that callers were soliciting money in the name of the Hopkinton Police Association and the Hopkinton Firefighters Association. He said neither organization is currently soliciting.

    "We are not saying that anyone in particular is not legitimate, but we want residents to know that we are not engaged in soliciting money," he said. "We don't know who these people are."

Republican Party has Party

December 8, 2006 — At the Hopkinton Republican Town Committee Christmas party, Former Selectman Dick Gooding puts a dollar in the can brought former Selectman Joe Strazzulla to have a little fun at the expense of the current Selectmen, who are not having the easiest time funding the new Town Manager position. Several dozen people attended the party and enjoyed a generous catered buffet as well fine desserts and warm camaraderie. 

Top Echelon

December 8, 2006 — Attending the Hopkinton Town Committee Christmas party are, seated from left, Ed McGrath, State Committeeman, Linda Jewell, State Committeewoman and Jim Stauss, HRTC Secretary. Rear, Ken Weismantel, HRTC Chairman and Brian Dodge, Mass GOP Executive Director.

Town of Hopkinton Flu Clinic

 December 19, 2006 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

At Senior Center

    

The Hopkinton Board of Health will hold a Flu Clinic on Tuesday December 19th, 2006 at the Senior Center at 26 Mayhew Street, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Flu and Pneumonia shots will be available to any town residents, age 18 or older.   

     If you are interested in a Pneumonia shot, please contact the Board of Health office at 508-497-9725 or email judim@hopkinton.org           

for your reservation. Contact the Board of Health if you have questions or need additional information.

MetroWest Symphony Orchestra in Hopkinton

Concert on Sunday at 3:00 pm

Hopkinton High School Auditorium

Tickets at the door: Adults, $15.00, Children and Seniors, $6.00

The performance wil include excerpt from the "Messiah" and the "Nutcracker"

Above, this picture is only a portion of the larger photo by Robert Orr Photography of Boston. The full orchestra may be seen here. Can you pick out Hopkinton's Town Moderator? Are there any other Hopkinton people you recognize?

School Committee opposes Selectmen's request

Looking to fund Town Manager

“We are actively problem solving” ~ Selectmen Chair Muriel Kramer

 “This is an irresponsible request” ~ School Committee member David Stoldt

 

By David Hamacher

                                                                                         

December 8, 2006 — During a rare off-agenda, new business item last evening, the School Committee (SC) was asked by Board of Selectman (BOS) Chair Muriel Kramer to consider funding 87% of the funds needed for the proposed new town manager salary and part of the severance package due to current BOS Executive Secretary, Ted Kozak.

            During her presentation to provide relevant background information, SC Chair, Rebecca Robak explained that the amount needed for these unplanned expenses was $122,916, and the SC was being asked to fund $107,019 of that amount,” which is now article #1 on the special town meeting warrant scheduled for December 21st. During the budget crunching that went on last year leading into the 2006 town meeting, “We were asked to cut back an additional $300,000” Ms. Robak explained. “When the state aid provided more money earmarked specifically for our schools than we had budgeted, we returned $137,677 to the general fund of the town, so haven’t the schools essentially already paid for this shortfall?”

            “We are looking for philosophical support, as well as constituency support,” Ms. Kramer explained, “we are actively problem solving. This is about pulling together.”

            Committee member Phil Totino added to Ms. Robak’s presentation by stating,” I need to express my disappointment with the process. First, the special town meeting (STM) was scheduled during our regularly scheduled meeting; I would’ve expected this discussion to have started weeks ago. Instead we’re blindsided by this request. Last spring we were put under a lot of scrutiny for our budget and I didn’t see any line items for the executive secretary’s severance package, or the town manager salary. It seems to me that every time we experience a general fund shortfall, it’s like you get out your tin cups and go to all the other departments and ask them to reallocate the funds the taxpayers have already approved for their departments. I think this would set a bad precedent.” Mr. Totino continued. FULL STORY

 

Win a Playstation 3

or an Apple iPod or a BOSE SoundDock

 

Holiday Raffle to Benefit Children's Miracle Network.

 

Drawing at noon on December 20, 2006 at RE/MAX.

 

$10.00 tickets available now at RE/MAX  Executive Realty, 77 Main Street, Hopkinton.

 

300 or more tickets to be sold.

 Senior Moments

Full calendar for December

 

by Ann Di Leo

 

 December 7, 2006 — I just can't wait...I waited all year, now it's almost here...I just can't wait 'til Christmas! It's been so quiet, even with Thanksgiving , I'm happy to see a few parties and special meetings on the December calendar.

     Our own Brampton Circle Club will be having a special session Monday, Dec. 11, at 2 p.m. with some festivities and the yearly election of officers. If you are a member, don't forget to get out and vote.

     The Hopkinton Housing Authority will entertain us with dinner and good times on December 13 at 6 p.m. Everyone is welcome for the good food and entertainment, presided over by own Linda Donahue               

     One of my favorite Christmas parties is offered by Mrs. Porter's fifth grade class at Hopkins School, December 14 from 9:30 am to 11 am. They bring cheer, surprises, and goodies for a very gala morning.

     And we won't forget the great party given to seniors yearly by the local police department. The special treat is offered Dec. 16 at 4:30 pm at the new Senior Center on Mayhew St. Only they know what surprises are in store for the special evening...

     All around the town, including Davis Road, porches and store fronts are glowing with wreaths, holiday trees, colorful lights, and garlands. It looks so cheerful, Santa will surely approve.

     And when all is said and done we hope we can stay up to welcome in the New Year, 2007, my goodness...!

Happy New Year,

Love Annie

POLICE NEWS UP-TO-DATE

Today, December 7, 2006

 

9:03 am Sgt. Michael Sutton and the Fire Department responded to a DPW truck fire on Ash Street...

4:47 pm There was a report of two girls, ages six and eleven, who were missing in the woods off of Old Town Road...

3:03 pm A cell caller reported that a navy blue Saab came at them head on...

3:39 pm A supervisor reported that his work crew at Westcott Drive called him and reported that a group showed up and threatened them...

Southeastern MassachusettsCommunity Concert Band presents:
Holiday Concert! with
  Bruce Houston, Conductor
Sunday, December 17 at  3:00 pm

St. John the Evangelist Church
20 Church Street, Hopkinton
 

Selections include Midnight Sleigh Ride, A Christmas Festival, Festive
Overture, Polish Christmas Music, Auld Lang Syne, and more!

 

Admission Donation: Paper goods or laundry detergent. Local food pantries will distribute donated items to needy families. (File photo, 2005)For information , call 508-533-5532 www.smccb.com

FROM THE SELECTMEN’S OFFICE

 

VACANCIES ON THE TOWN COMMITTEES/BOARDS

 

The Board of Selectmen announces openings on the following Committees:

 

·        APPROPRIATION COMMITTEE – One (1)

·        BYLAW REVIEW COMMITTEE – Two (2)

·        CABLE COMMITTEE – One (1)

·        CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT COMMITTEE – One (1)

·        HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMITTEE – One (1)

·        HOUSING COMMITTEETwo (2)

·        PERSONNEL COMMITTEE – Two (2)

·        RECYCLING COMMITTEEOne (1)

·        YOUTH COMMISSION – Six (6)

 

If you are interested, please submit a letter of interest and/or resume to the Selectmen’s Office, 18 Main Street, for any of these positions. If you have questions, please contact Geri Holland at geri@hopkinton.org or 508-497-9700.

Town formally notified of Weston Nurseries purchase TODAY

Parties expect Purchase and Sale for 742 acres within the week

 

December 6, 2006 — In a letter to Executive Secretary Ted Kozak, Boulder Capital's founder, Roy S. MacDowell, Jr., informed the Town of Hopkinton of the imminent sale to Boulder of 742 acres of land owned by Mezitt Agricultural, "and the Mezitt family..." He wrote that the sale could be expected "within the next week."

      The Court will then accept bids form all parties, and decide which offer it wants to accept, which Mr. MacDowell expects to happen at the end of January, 2007.

       The land has been zoned as agricultural and has benefited from Chapter  61a, a state law that allows communities to tax farm land at a lower rate in return for the first shot at the property, a right of first refusal, when a bona fide purchase and sale is offered. Finley Perry, Chairman of the Land Use Study Committee that was formed in the wake of the original news of the nursery's sale, a HopNews exclusive on February 10, 2005, said at Monday's joint Planning Board meeting that it was a stalking horse sale. A definition of stalking horse according to Barrons: "In a bankruptcy auction sale, the lead bidder designated by the debtor to set the minimum price it will receive for its asset in the sale.  The stalking horse bidder takes a risk that the auction will be disappointing and the asset sold at a lower price, and is usually given an incentive to take that risk." The court documents do refer to an expected three or more bidders.

       According to the letter of intent to the sellers, the price is set at about $21 million with a stock purchase of $8 million for Mezitt Agricultural. The land sale is worth $27.45 million if the buyer can get approval for the minimum 1,100 residential units planned. If town boards approval 1,700 units, then the price jumps to $33.45 million.

       If the Court approves Boulder, according to Mr. Mac Dowell, they will notify the town, kicking in the 120 day window that the the town has to decide to match the offer. In a recent HopNews poll, the respondents were evenly split on whether or not to buy the land.

       However, Mr. Perry has stated that Boulder wants the town to exercise its rights on all or no parcels, which are numerous. He added that the town would be filing motions asserting its rights to exercise 61a rights on individual parcels.

      According to Bankruptcy Court documents, the sale will allow a full payoff of all of the nursery's creditor's as part of the Chapter 11 proceedings.

     In a press release issued today, Weston CEO Gary Furst said, “We are thrilled to be teaming up with Roy MacDowell and Boulder Capital at this very important juncture for our company. Roy is a visionary, a skilled developer who is committed to working collaboratively with the Mezitt family, town officials and the community as we move through a deliberate master planning process that will ensure the continued viability of our operations and an appropriate development for the town.”

    Mr. Mac Dowell released this statement: “I have always considered Weston Nurseries the Tiffany’s of the nursery business and this parcel a crown jewel,” said Roy S. MacDowell, Jr. president, Boulder Capital.  “We will take great care to develop a master plan that has sensitivities to the land and will contribute to the economic vitality of the area, one the town can be proud of.  Our team will work very closely with town officials and the community on this unique opportunity.”

    The entire release may be read here.     

Entwistle asks for bail ~ Read story from Washington Post

"Accept Yourself"

Best selling author Jeff Yalden delivers message to Hopkinton teens

December 6, 2006 — Motivational speaker and New York Times best-selling author of A Cup of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Jeff Yalden, entertained and encouraged both Middle and High School students this morning, offering a message of personal empowerment that starts with "Doing what's right" with a strong emphasis on not necessarily being the best, but "Doing your best."

      Mr. Yalden, who hosted an MTV episode of a so-called reality TV show called MADE said, "It's hard to work with young people when they know I worked for MTV.

     "MTV doesn't care about you...MTV is willing to pay an exorbitant amount of money to change your personality to meet their needs," he said, opening his high-energy, fast-moving presentation that delivered wisdom between teen-oriented one-liners, rapid pacing, role playing and animated storytelling.

     Mr. Yalden detailed a troubled childhood, arriving home on the evening of high school graduation "Number 128 out of 132" and finding that his alcoholic father had tossed his personal belongings on the lawn. Mr. Yalden said that for years he refused to take his wife and daughter to visit with his family because of his father's illness. He took a different step this year.

    "This Thanksgiving I asked my Dad to promise me to do his best not to drink. With tears in his eyes, he said 'Yes'."

     Mr. Yalden's message was the same for the student gathering. If all you can do is a C that's okay. But if you can do a B and get a C, that is not acceptable, he told the group. Just try to do your best, he implored.

     His presentation, sponsored by the HPTA, encouraged young people to laugh, think, and "Don't be afraid to cry at a time of sorrow."

     His message fit in tightly with the School Department's "Power of One" theme that encourages students with positive themes.

      Mr. Yalden autographed copies of his book for teens, They Call Me Coach, and spoke with teachers and students alike.

      "I'm not sure I got across to them. Did I?" he asked a reporter in his modest, introspecting way.

      Judging from the reaction of the teens, the answer would be "Yes."    

Timber

December 6, 2006 — A Regan Tree Company workman watches as his last cut hands the fate of the tree-top to gravity, one of three trees taken down this morning on the Hopkinton Common.

Water Department to notify of interruptions

As the water main replacement on West Main Street nears completion work will begin on preparing the main for active service. This will require the main to be flushed, pressure tested and chlorinated over the next week or so. During this process water services in the area may notice some discoloration of their water due to the flushing.   We ask you to please check you water before using it to ensure that it is running clean.

      In addition as the individual homes and Whalen Road are connected to the new line, it will be necessary to temporally shut off your supply for the connection to be made.  We will try to provide as much notice as possible during this process.

      We want to thank you for your cooperation and patience throughout this construction process and after completion there will be much improved water supply reliability, increased fire protection, and a new road surface to the area.

      This project along with the Spring Street line replacement in the spring, will provide the redundancy needed to ensure the limited interruption of water service to the town in the future and to also help with the water quality.

Regards, Eric J. Carty, Water/Sewer Manager

All the essentials at the "Y" during Vacation week

Register your child now!

The MetroWest YMCA at Hopkinton will be holding a Vacation Club for children in grades 1-6 during the December School Vacation Week, December 26-29.  The program runs from 8:30am to 6:00pm with the option of morning care starting at 7:00am.  Vacation Club Participants will take part in a variety of sports, games, challenge activities and crafts, along with a field trip. 

      Activities during the week will include Floor Hockey, Dodgeball, Gingerbread House Building, Sledding, Swimming, Challenge Course, and Collage making.  This is a week your child won’t want to miss!  Those interested can register for individual days or for the week.  For more information or to register for this program, please contact Roberta Sinclair at 508-435-9345 or rsinclair@metrowestymca.org.  The last day to register for this program is Thursday December 21st, so don’t miss out!

Informational Meeting for the Community:


    What: A get-together to learn about the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life event in Hopkinton
    When: Thursday, December 7, 2006; 7:00pm-8:00pm
    Where: YMCA-Hayes Lodge, 45 East Street, Hopkinton, MA 01748

"The American Cancer Society's Relay For Life event in Hopkinton is new this year thanks to the interest and involvement of the Hopkinton community! We want our Relay to be a big success so we need help! Please come to join us to find out how you can make a difference!"   Need more Info? Hopkinton.relayforlife@hotmail.com

Whoops, there it is

December 6, 2006 — Joe Regan won the bid to remove two trees in front of Town Hall that obscured the architecture of the building during the growing season, and the American Flag, as part of the renovation of the space in front of the building. The work was complete by 8:30 this morning. He will also be taking two trees down at the Common this morning.

 Selectmen Choose Single Tax Rate

Vote to put Articles on Warrant

 

 

by Robert Falcione

December 5, 2006 — The Selectmen surprised no one in attendance at the Tax Classification Hearing this evening by choosing a single tax rate over a dual one that would have taxed businesses at a higher rate, after hearing a presentation by Chairman of the Board of Assessors, Dr. John Duffy, and taking input from the public.

    Scott Richardson, Chairman of the Hopkinton Chamber of Commerce, urged the Selectmen to keep the single rate, as did EMC representative Robert McDonald.  However, the sentiment of people in attendance was not entirely unanimous.

     Dick Brault, a senior citizen who was on the Senior Center Building Committee and a Marine veteran who serves as Chaplain of American Legion Post 202, urged consideration for senior citizens.

      "I represent myself as a senior citizen in this community. As real estate taxes increase every year — we are hanging on by our fingernails," he said. Mr. Brault detailed some resources for senior citizens that Selectmen Chair Muriel Kramer said could be accessed on the Board of Assessors website, as well as from the Council on Aging.

     Tim Richmond of Max Performance tested the waters this evening with a proposal to run a duathlon on May 6, 2007, using the roadways of Hopkinton and Ashland, as well as the Hopkinton State Park, for bicycle and foot races. Chief of Police Thomas Irvin was there to say his department was up to the task.

      The Special Town Meeting Warrant containing six Articles was approved this evening to be voted at 7:00 p.m. on December 21, 2006 at the Middle School Auditorium. Although funding the legal fees debt [approx. $120,000] was the most contentious Article, the method with which Selectmen are poised to ask departments at Town Meeting to fund the Town Manager's position was the most controversial.

      Selectmen Chair Muriel Kramer and Selectman Michael Shepard have met with finance officials who jointly came up with a plan to ask departments to help fund the new Town Manager position and the severance package for 17-year Town Executive Secretary Ted Kozak from their existing budgets.

      "Let's go to the departments and say, 'Suck it up and do a little less,'" Mr. Shepard said.

      "There's got to be pain. We can't just shift the pain to the taxpayer. I think we have to do with a little less," he said.

      "I am hoping the departments will appreciate hiring a professional Town Manager," Mr. Shepard said.

      The Town Manager that the Selectmen hired, Anthony Troiano, will be available to meet with residents one  hour before Town Meeting on December 21, and at Town Hall before the Selectmen's meeting from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on December 19, 2006.

      The other Articles included a zoning petition that would allow Hopkinton Exxon to continue selling propane if it passes; $25,000 for insurance for the Lake Maspenock Dam that Town Meeting voted to purchase last May; and smaller money items.    

 The HPTA Holiday Open House

Come for all your holiday shopping & support Hopkinton Schools

Saturday, December 9, 2006 ~ 9:00-5:00 PM

Hopkinton High School Cafeteria 

Please join us...over 45 vendors selling items such as jewelry, skincare, children’s toys and books, children’s clothing, etc. Handmade items such as pottery, knit-ware, bags and purses and much, much more!* Raffles will be drawn during the day *

Poll Results

 

Readers participating in the poll to see if there is any interest among the HopNews community to purchase Weston Nurseries has come in with some mixed results.

 

About 48% do not want to buy it, but another 48%, almost down to the hundredth of a percent, would want the town to buy it under certain circumstances.

 

Nearly a 50-50 split. Anyone surprised?

Weston Nurseries gets offer for land

To be sold for around $29 million

 

by Robert Falcione

December 5, 2006 — Last night, Sasaki Associates, who received the $215,000 contract to develop a Master Plan for East Hopkinton, met with the Planning Board, the LUSC (Land Use Study Committee), and the Civic Engagement Committee. The purpose was to present a project time-line for their presentation of the finished Zoning Overlay Districts. It is expected that a Special Town Meeting targeted for October 2007 would take up the changes.

     The Planning Board voted to form a working committee made up of two members of the Planning board and two members of the LUSC to coordinate getting the finished  scenarios of Sasaki ready to present to the full Planning Board before presenting the choices to the people of Hopkinton. Some suggestions were a new Village Center at the Weston Nurseries Garden Center location. Others included a retail center with a conservation theme.

    Another proposal was to offer TDR (Transfer Development Rights), which would allow, for instance, an East Hopkinton land owner to get paid for giving  up development rights to his parcel, which could then be used where there were no development rights. The groups plan community-wide forums to offer three or four scenarios for a new zoning overlay for the area.

Weston Nurseries

     LUSC Chairman Finley Perry dropped a bombshell at the beginning of the meeting by announcing that Boulder Capital, in what he called a "stalking horse sale," filed documents in court on Friday asking the Bankruptcy Court to approve the sale of Weston Nurseries property. He said there is a Letter of Intent between the buyer and the seller, but not a Purchase and Sale agreement.

       Later on in the meeting, Roger Mezitt, one of the brothers who are Weston Nurseries land principals, suggested that Sasaki speak with him or the other land owners in East Hopkinton during the preliminary part of its process. "I'll still plan to own 100 acres in Hopkinton," he said. FULL STORY

New Senior Center delivers more than fresh meals

Chair-volleyball, computer downloads among offerings

by Elizabeth Eidlitz

 

December 5, 2006 — It’s not simply the physical contrast between the old one-room senior center in the basement of town hall and the state-of-the-art new facility on Mayhew Street with its accessible entrance and functional open-armed wings that has visitors raving.

Though tables in the carpeted lobby hold vases of fresh flowers, and cozy sitting areas are furnished with couches and reclining chairs, beauty is only skin deep.

The most significant feature of the architecturally attractive building is the welcoming atmosphere, warmer even than the gaslit fireplace in the central section.

Volunteers of all ages include friendly receptionists at the desk and greeters at the entrance.

“We don’t think of Seniors in terms of being old,” says Cindy Chesmore, Director (Photo). “There’s a 95 year old man who uses our computer room because he wants to improve his skills at downloading music, and many people form new and great relationships here.” FULL STORY

Tax Classification Hearing at Selectmen's meeting Tuesday

 

December 4, 2006 — The Selectmen will hear from the Board of Assessors on Tuesday and decide whether or not to keep a single tax rate, or to vote a split tax rate, one that would have a higher tax rate for commercial property.

     For several years the Selectmen have voted for the single rate in order to attract investment in the town's industrial area, and to keep businesses in Hopkinton. Despite those efforts, the town has recently resorted to awarding TIF's (Tax Increment Financing) to woo businesses that might get the same break elsewhere.

    Because of what appears to be a high vacancy rate on South Street and the market in general, it is unlikely that the Selectmen will split the rate this year, either.

    In fact, Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, Muriel Kramer, has made her position clear in a Letter to the Editor that clarifies an interview she had earlier this week with the Boston Globe.

Burrillville, RI- Formerly Hopkinton - Helen M. Fornes, 85, of Burillville, R.I. and formerly of Tonawanda, NY and Hopkinton, MA died Saturday, December 2, 2006 in Burrillville, RI. Born in St. Mary’s, PA. she was the daughter of the late Mary (Opel) and Francis Ira Miller. ARRANGEMENTS COMPLETE
     She is survived by 3 children Ray Fornes of Berkeley, CA., Ann Baker and her husband Bruce of Placerville, CA. and Kathy Fornes of Harrisville, R.I.
     Donations may be made in her memory to the Hopkinton Senior Center, 28 Mayhew St. Hopkinton, MA. 01748. Services were private and were under the direction of the Chesmore Funeral Home of Hopkinton. www.ChesmoreFuneralHome.com

POLICE NEWS UP-TO-DATE

Today, December 4, 2006

 

11:50 pm A prisoner was complaining of having chest pains.  Sgt. Joseph E. Bennett and Officers William Burchard...

 

3:17 pm A cell phone caller reported that a person, who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, was getting into his vehicle and possibly leaving the area...

 

8:57 pm A caller claimed that he was pulled over by a green BMW occupied by two males, who were flashing their lights...

 

7:09 am A caller from East Street reported that their front door had been smashed...

 

 It's the Law! *

 

by Demian David Tebaldi, Esq.

Email your questions to: dtebaldi@tebaldiesq.com

 

Dear ITL:

     At the beginning of this year, I bought an $8,000 diamond engagement ring and asked my girlfriend of six years to marry me.  She accepted, and the wedding was set for March of 2007.  Since then, we have had various problems in our relationship, and now the wedding has been called off.  I asked her for the ring back, but she refused to give it to me.  She claims it was a gift to her, and that she is entitled to keep it whether or not we ever get married.  I don’t think that that is right, either legally or ethically, and I told her as much.  Which one of us is right? ~ J.B. in Lynn

Dear J.B.:

     As with many questions regarding the law, the short answer is “it depends.”  A more definitive answer would require more information.  Did you give her the ring and “pop the question” on Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or perhaps on her birthday?  If so, then it is likely that the ring would be construed by the court as an unconditional gift, regardless of the intent behind it, and your ex would be entitled to keep it.  If not, then another question is raised: who called the wedding off? 

READ FULL COLUMN

 From the Chair

Hiring Our First Town Manager

 

by Muriel Kramer, Chairman, Board of Selectmen

 

December 4, 2006 — Hopkinton is in the midst of a great transition, and we are about to finally establish a Town Manager form of government.  In May 2006 voters overwhelmingly passed the Charter, and we are now on the threshold of the new form of management in Town Hall that the Charter mandates.  Mr. Anthony Troiano—currently the Assistant Town Administrator in Burlington, MA—has signed a contract to start as Hopkinton’s first Town manager on January 1, 2007; this contract is conditioned on a successful vote at Special Town Meeting December 21, 2006 to appropriate the necessary monies.

            This change to Town manager government is the result of a lot of hard work over the last many years beginning with the second Government Study nearly eight years ago.  The result of that study was the enormous and successful effort to establish a Charter Commission in 2004.  Nine elected Charter Commission members worked long hours to craft the Charter we now have that was passed decisively in 2006. 

While this big change and the upcoming transition might feel sudden to some, it actually is the last step in a nearly decade long process to adopt a more professional form of town management to oversee a budget in excess of $50 million annually and manage the day to day operations of a growing community.  By design the Town Manager will take the reins for day to day management, and the Board of Selectmen will step back into a role more like a Board of Directors.

 

Anthony Troiano

 

            Mr. Troiano has seventeen years experience in public sector senior level administrative management and holds a Masters in Public Administration.  Prior to public sector work, he owned and operated his own successful business.  He has been working since 2004 as the Assistant Town Administrator in Burlington, MA; in his words “I looked at Burlington like going to school” to get practical experience working for a capable Town Manager in a big town.  While in Burlington, he recently stepped in to cover an unexpected 8 week medical leave for the Town Manager there.  FULL STORY

Women of Note

December 3, 2006 — Women of Note, a Hudson based group with a member or two from Hopkinton, entertained a post dinner group at the Senior Center this afternoon. To see a video of a couple of songs from their all female a cappella performance, please choose this video link.

Minister Likes Hopkinton's Spirit

(Link to full letter now active — see below)

Dear Editor,

 

After watching your video coverage of the Hopkinton Holiday Stroll 2006 on HopNews.com...I was so blessed to see the community rally around for such a positive cause, a wonderful holiday celebration. I wished I were there!

 

As a Christian minister, it was a blessing to view the theme of the holiday proudly represented in the Nativity scene on the common,  the children singing the carols of the season, and the joy in the faces of the townspeople. FULL LETTER

The View from the Outside

A couple of Hopkinton people made the regional news today, December 3, 2006: Selectmen Chairman Muriel Kramer made the Boston Globe and Planning Board Vice-chair RJ Dourney made New England Cable News. Check them out!

Hopkinton Police Association

Annual Senior Dinner

 

December 3, 2006 — Hopkinton senior citizens get to fill the hall at the sparkling new Senior Center with 200 or  more of their peers on December 16, 2006 at 4:30 p.m. for the very first Police Association Dinner held at that new location.

 

According to organizer, Patrolman Thomas Lemon, who also puts together the Annual Police Association Fishing Derby, the ham and turkey dinner with all of the fixin's, is free to any Hopkinton senior citizen. Officer Lemon would like anyone wishing to attend to call 508-497-3401 by December 12 so the caterer can have a count.

 

The Hopkinton Police Department members as well as members of their families serve the food in a festive atmosphere that is carried with recorded music and punctuated by a raffle with prizes donated by local merchants. 

 
IP Address Trace

 

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