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Town Award Expected to Exceed $740,000

Special Town Meeting Articles discussed ~ Read them here

 

by Robert Falcione

December 19, 2006 — The Town of Hopkinton won a $260,127.61 Superior Court jury award in a suit against a developer who, according to charges made by the Town,  refused to repair drainage of a subdivision it developed in Hopkinton in the 1990s.

      In a press release distributed this evening and made public at the Selectmen's meeting by Chair Muriel Kramer (Photo), it was announced that the award had been doubled by Superior Court Judge Isaac Bornstein to $520,255.22, after a request by the Town for a ruling that Gilford Construction's failure to act constituted willful and knowing unfair business. He also found that Gilford must pay the Town's attorney fees and costs, bringing the total to around $740,000. READ STORY IN LAWYER'S WEEKLY

     "The next letter we get will be that they're bankrupt," said Selectman Ron Clark to laughter. 

Erickson Property

     Attorney Doug Resnick, representing Erickson Retirement Communities who have the Terry property under agreement for $12 million, succeeded in getting the Selectmen to agree to write a letter authorizing them to explore, along with Milford Water Company, sources of water on the Erickson property. At a previous Selectmen's meeting, Mr. Resnick was advised by the Selectmen to meet with the DPW Advisory Committee, which he did in the interim, and walked away with a recommendation from that Committee for the Board's letter.

     Mr. Resnick had argued that a successful search for water on the property could lead to benefits for the town by supplying water for the business community in the area in addition to meeting the water needs of the planned Erickson project.

     Selectman Ron Clark said, "I don't see any problem with authorizing Erickson as long as the Water Manager and Earth Tech are there at the meetings.

     "I am comfortable as long as it is clear the Selectmen are not approving a subdivision," he said.

     "I am encouraged that we have a developer with strong business acumen. It seems like a win-win for the town — a great leap of faith on their part," said Selectman Michael Shepard.

     Erickson Retirement Communities are said to be looking to build 1500 units on about 200 acres.

Connect CTY

      Dan Petersen, representing Connect-CTY, unveiled the workings of a program the town has scheduled to begin in 2007 that will have the ability to remotely phone every household in the town of Hopkinton in about 5 minutes in case of an emergency or even a weather alert.

      The system, said Mr. Petersen, is remotely hosted and accessed only by authorized users who will be targeting specific groups, such as school students in an after school activity that is being cancelled. In addition, a circular calling radius could be specified for a lost child, or more specifically, a street by street designation for a chemical spill.

Special Town Meeting

      Chair Muriel Kramer encouraged people to attend the Special Town Meeting and vote on six Articles on the Warrant. The Special Town Meeting will be held on Thursday, December 21, 2006 at 7:00 pm in the Middle School Auditorium.

       Article I, which may be the most controversial, seeks to appropriate funds to pay outgoing Executive Secretary Ted Kozak's termination clause of his contract, one month's pay, up to twelve months for every year worked. Mr. Kozak has worked for the town for 17 years, but the Town Charter passed in May did away with his position in favor of the position of a Town Manager.

       Also written in the Article is funding for the $5,000 difference in the higher salary of the newly hired Town Manager, Anthony Troiano (File photo), whose employment is contingent upon the Special Town Meeting  approving the funds. Both items are written as one Article. 

       "Article I is the reason the Special Town Meeting was called," said Mrs. Kramer.

       "It won't go away," said Mr. Shepard, inferring that some people who vote against it may have that belief.

       "Delaying it will not save money, it will cost money," he said.   Read all of the Articles here

Hopkinton, 40 — Ashland, 26

December 19, 2006 —The Hiller girls won over the Ashland Clockers this evening 40-26. Above, junior Nicole Driscoll has this one on a break away.

Nativity figures missing

 

December 19, 2006 — When Denise Rao Monaghan pulled to the end of the driveway to find three figures —two kings and the Blessed Mother — missing from her Nativity scene, she was reminded of the words of her daughter.

     "Mommy, make sure Daddy puts the dog out so no one steals it," Mrs. Monaghan quoted her daughter as saying. "She is very upset," she added. 

    "People aren't like that," she told her daughter. "Maybe she heard about something like that happening somewhere else," Mrs. Monaghan said.

      "I had it as a reminder of what Christmas is all about," she said. "He came in poverty to embrace people," she said.

       "I had wanted to add a sign that said, 'Let's keep the Christ in Christmas' but my husband said people might think we are trying to push our beliefs on people.

       "It looked so peaceful coming up the hill. I hope someone finds it on their lawn," she said.

      "I hope it was an impulsive thing instead of something negative — you know, a statement against Christians," she said.

Down to the wire

December 19, 2006 — Paul Doherty and son Jeff make roping, or garland, at Angel's Garden Center today. "We'll stay open as long as we have trees," Jeff said.

 

The Flash

December 18, 2006 — This photo of Andy Ritz in motion during the 1 mile event was taken at Saturday's indoor track meet at the high school.  Hopkinton 65, Bellingham 20. The failure of the flash to fire caused an unintended consequence, making a still image appear to have motion.

STATE POLICE SOBRIETY CHECKPOINT

 

            Colonel Mark F. Delaney, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, announced that a “Sobriety Checkpoint” will be implemented by the Massachusetts State Police on a Secondary State Highway.  The purpose is to further educate the motoring public and strengthen the public’s awareness to the need of detecting and removing those motorists who operate under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs from our roadways.  It will be operated during varied hours, the selection of vehicles will not be arbitrary, safety will be assured, and any inconveniences to motorists will be minimized with advance notice to reduce fear and anxiety.

 THANKS TO A GRANT PROVIDED BY THE GOVERNOR’S HIGHWAY SAFETY BUREAU, a “SOBRIETY CHECKPOINT” WILL BE HELD IN Middlesex County,  Friday, December 22, 2006 into Saturday, December 23, 2006

Special Town Meeting

 Thursday, December 21, 2006, 7:00 p.m.

 Middle School Auditorium

ARTICLE 1: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate, transfer from available funds or otherwise provide a sum or sums of money to fund all or a portion of the Town's obligations described in the current Executive Secretary Employment Agreement dated May 11, 2004 and the new Town Manager Employment Agreement dated November 28, 2006, executed by the Board of Selectmen. Said sums to be spent under the direction of the Board of Selectmen. Pass any vote or take any action relative thereto. Sponsor: Board of Selectmen.

Read all Articles

POLICE NEWS UP-TO-DATE

Today, Monday, December 18, 2006

 

2:44 pm There was a report of two young males, dressed in black suits, taking the hydrant markers...

 

6:34 pm A caller from Leman Lane reported that a vehicle was operating with out tail lights and pieces of the vehicle were falling off...

 

8:25 am A caller reported a past breaking and entering to a warehouse on South Street...

 

8:14 pm A resident from Highcroft Way reported that she came home and found that her house phone had been sabotage...

 

 It's the Law! *

 

by Demian David Tebaldi, Esq.

Email your questions to: dtebaldi@tebaldiesq.com

 

December 18, 2006

 

Dear ITL:  New neighbors recently moved in next door, and they started to assemble what appeared to be a dog kennel right on the border of our properties.  We each have about 1.5 acres, so it is not the case that they had no other place to put the kennel.  We asked them to please relocate the kennel further away from our boundary, and they refused, saying that they could put the kennel wherever they wanted.  They have 3 dogs in the kennel and we are often greeted with barking and growling when we go outside as the kennel is relatively close to our areas of activity.  Is there anything we can do to get them to move the kennel? A.F.K.

Dear A.F.K.: Your new neighbors are correct, in that they can place their kennel anywhere they wish, subject to any applicable zoning requirements or specific land use restrictions.  This means, in effect, that so long as your neighbors are allowed to place a kennel at or near your shared property line, they can.

            Free use of land, however, is tempered by the maxim "sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas" – use your own so as not to injure another’s.  If your neighbors’ use of their property unreasonably interferes with your use and enjoyment of your property, you may bring suit, to enjoin them from continuing the offending use, or for monetary damages.  The key here is that the interference must be unreasonable to you (subjectively), as well as to the average person (objectively).  Under the modern approach, a balancing test may be applied as well – does the benefit (economic or otherwise) to the defendant land owner outweigh the detriment to the plaintiff neighbor?  If so, an action against the landowner may not succeed.  If, every time you go outside, the dogs kenneled by your neighbors begin barking, and they don’t stop until you go back in the house, there may exist a private nuisance that might be compensable, or for which there may be a remedy, at law.   An injunction might be the most appropriate, wherein you would ask the Court to issue an order requiring your neighbors to place their kennel a certain distance from your shared property line. READ ENTIRE COLUMN

All-Hopkinton All-Star cast at HCAM Wednesday

 

Two Hour LIVE Special at HCAM-TV, 77 Main Street, 7:00pm, Wednesday, December 20

 

Audience seating starts at 6:30 pm

 

4 Acts  performing

 

Tickets are free, but are required. Info and tickets available at StudioSessionLive.com and HCAM.TV

 

 

Guest Artists will be Amanda Maffei (Right) , Dan Cloutier, Alter Ego (Left), and Steve Spector with Emerald City.SEE THE DETAILS — AND SAMPLE VIDEOS

Not so Silent Night

December 17, 2006 — About 150 youngsters from St. John's Church joined in song this evening at Brampton Circle senior housing, singing traditional Christmas carols after walking form Church Street singing. The Police Department assisted the large group in crossing Grove Street and Main Street.

Southeastern Mass  Community Concert Band

December 17, 2006 — The Southeastern Mass  Community Concert Band entertained a packed St. John's Church this afternoon, playing seasonal and Christmas favorites. The price of admission was paper goods or other household items. For those who missed it, HCAM-TV was there videotaping, so expect a presentation soon.

December 17, 2006 — Officer Thomas Lemon and the attendees of the Hopkinton Police Association Senior Dinner find a reason to share a laugh on Saturday, as Officer Lemon, who arranges this event as well as the Springtime Fishing Derby, conducts a raffle. Chief of Police, Thomas Irvin, is standing on the right in the background.

Ghoul Rider

December 17, 2006 — This ghoulish motorcycle driver was spotted on Hayden Rowe Street this afternoon during the unseasonably warm weather.

Serenity Reunion/Holiday Party

Guy with white beard shows up

by Geoff Grady

December 17, 2006 – Last week, a very touching reunion took place at the Serenity House, which is a rehabilitation facility and halfway house on Wilson Street.

    Young women residents were reunited with their families, including their children, some of whom are temporarily placed in foster homes, while the mothers recover.

     The facility, owned and managed by the South Middlesex Opportunity Council, is a women's halfway house/substance abuse/HIV/AIDS rehabilitation and treatment facility .

     Program Director Jane Schwager, along with her counselors, strive to provide a warm, family-oriented atmosphere in their transitional home environment.

     The annual party was organized by several Hopkinton volunteers, including Libby Skiba, Dena Pavone, and Marie Boyle, who commented on how emotional the event was as the women recounted their experiences to the audience and shared their goals of getting well and living their dreams of fulfilling lives. Several alumnae also attended the event, a testimony to the success of the Serenity House program.

     Crystal of Haverhill described how the Serenity House took her from an almost hopeless situation to her life now, which includes a loving husband and two young boys.

     Also in attendance was a jolly old man from the north. He bestowed generous gifts which had been shipped to the North Pole a few hours earlier by Estee Lauder .

     In the picture above, St. Nick (Jim Schwager) and one of his elves (Brittany Schwager) pass out presents to wide eyed children (Zachary and Nicholas Hayes) as their grateful mother Rebekka looks on. The Serenity House is a nonprofit organization and can always use your help. 

     Please contact Jane Schwager at 508.435.9040 if you'd like to donate in any way.

Celebrate the Holiday Season Responsibly

 

December 17, 2006 —Starting Friday and running through New Year's Day, the Massachusetts State Police and many local police departments will conduct extra traffic enforcement aimed at preventing drunk driving, as part of a Holiday Season “You Drink & Drive. You Lose.” (YD&D YL) Mobilization. These efforts will include State Police-led sobriety checkpoints involving the department's Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT) Mobile.

 

State and local police will also look for aggressive and speeding drivers as well as those who don’t wear safety belts or properly buckle up children.  Similar initiatives to crackdown on drunk driving and other traffic offenses will be underway across the nation.

 

The extra state and local traffic enforcement for this YD&D YL Mobilization in Massachusetts is made possible through federal highway safety grant funds from the Governor's Highway Safety Bureau (GHSB).  To highlight this additional enforcement, the GHSB is conducting a YD&D YL public information effort.

 

Alcohol-related fatalities have dropped from 48.5% in 2003 to 38.5% in 2005, thanks in part to tri-annual YD&D YL Mobilizations, the passage of Melanie's Law, and the greater use of sobriety checkpoints, especially those involving the BAT Mobile.  Unfortunately, there were still 171 alcohol-related fatalities on Massachusetts roadways in 2005.

 

Here are some tips to celebrate responsibly during the holiday season and all yearlong:

- Allow extra time for unexpected traffic and weather conditions
- Obey posted speed limits.
- Don’t risk it … If you plan to drive, don’t drink alcohol or use any other drugs.
- If necessary, choose a sober designated driver before celebrating; take mass transit, or a taxi.
- Never accept a ride with a drunk driver.

- If necessary, spend the night where the celebration is being held or call a sober driver to take you home.
- Report impaired drivers to law enforcement by calling 911.
- Always wear your safety belt - it's your best defense against a drunk driver.

 

On behalf of the Massachusetts State Police, Colonel Mark Delaney wishes everyone a safe and joyous holiday season.

Patrick J. Bronder Sr., 85, of Hopkinton died Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2006, of injuries from a car accident. He was the husband of Carol Bronder for 50 years. Born in Chicago, son of Klemens and Rozalie (Fatz) Bronder, he moved from Bethesda, Md., to Hopkinton with his family in 1968. He coached Little League baseball, C.C.D., served on the Hopkinton School Committee and stood out in the community for his good humor and clear dedication to personal ideals.

Visiting hours are Sunday, Dec. 17, from 2 to 5 p.m., at the Chesmore Funeral Home, 57 Hayden Rowe, Hopkinton. Arrangements Complete

Police Association Senior Dinner

The composite photo above scrolls

December 16, 2006 — The Hopkinton Police Association rolled out the red carpet at the Senior Center and set places for 200 senior citizens for the Annual Police Association Senior Dinner, which is in progress at this time (5:17 pm). This is the first time the dinner has been held at the new Senior Center. Police Officers and their families dished out the meals to the eagerly awaiting seniors, and HHS Music Director Steve Yavarow brought some of his talented students to preface dinner with seasonal music.

Choose a thumbnail below to see a larger image.

Hopkinton 74, Westwood 53

 Number 32 hits the stratosphere making this basket last night.

by Peter Marso

December 16, 2006 —The Hopkinton Boys team won their 2nd straight game last night in their home opener. The Hillers took a commanding lead at the start and never looked backed. The Hillers are 2-0 and off to a great start concluded with a win over Medway on Tuesday. Tom Keane is very happy with his teams out put as they are off to a great start in the Tri-valley league. It looks as thou the Hillers have matured and our ready to make some noise this year. 

Triple Threat

At Cornell's

229 Hayden Rowe Street

9:00 pm

NO COVER

 

The band members are Dan Sutton-Bass, Derek Walker-lead vocals, guitar, Matt Niro - back-up vocals, guitar. They are starting around 9:00, playing acoustic rock.

Christmas Vacation in Africa

Victoria Crosby shares some photos from her trip to India and to Belize (Bottom right).

 

by Muriel Kramer

December 16, 2006 — Recent Hopkinton High School graduate, Victoria Crosby HHS ‘06, is hard at work raising money, so she can travel to Zimbabwe later this month to serve with the International Mission Board working with victims of famine, HIV and AIDS.  She will be part of a team of forty young people, college students from all over the United States.  Each young person needs to raise $2100 to cover travel costs and expenses. 

This won’t be Victoria’s first trip oversees to work with those much less fortunate; while in High School she traveled to India to work in an orphanage there.  She had to raise funds to do that as well.

            Victoria is a freshman at North Greenville University in South Carolina, and earlier this year she attended a Global Missions Conference hosted by the University.  “Over thirty missionaries from around the world came to speak to us.  I was captured by their stories and their compassion,” says Crosby.

            While in Zimbabwe, Victoria will be working with AIDS patients, HIV positive individuals and famine victims.  Victoria believes, “To be able to work with them one on one and to love on them in a personal way is something way more valuable than any material thing the world has to offer.  Mother Teresa once said, ‘Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.’  I have been given the opportunity to go there and to love on them, an opportunity of my dreams.”

            Victoria needs sponsors to make this trip happen; she is working to raise $2,100.00 before she is to leave on December 27th.  The money will cover the cost of the plane ticket, food, camping supplies, toys for the children, medical supplies, clothing and basic necessities.  “I am still short of the needed $2,100.00, but I have faith that it can happen.

            Donations in the form of checks made out to “DO Missions”, a non-profit organization, would be greatly appreciated.  Send checks to Victoria Crosby, 407 Wood Street, Hopkinton, MA 01748.

Wild cat?

December 16, 2006 — The call for a "wild cat" under a resident's bed brought the photographer to the scene who thought he had heard "wildcat." The presumably feral, lost or abandoned house cat was taken in by a Main Street resident who said that in two hours time, the cat went from passive and friendly to aggressive and strange, with drool on its whiskers. Above, Animal Control Officer William Proctor carries the animal out after capturing it, followed by Sgt. Charles Wallace and Officer Jacob Campbell.

Happy Hanukkah

December 15, 2006 — Members of Hopkinton's Jewish Community gathered at the Hopkinton Common to start the first day of the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah. Above, left, David Auslander leads the gathering in song and prayer. Several residents also joined their neighbors to observe the celebration of the lighting of the first of eight candles over an eight-day period.

Choose a thumbnail to see a larger photo

Animatronics

   To see a David Sheahan video of the show, choose this

Above, Dr. Dietz shows off the skeleton of the characters.

December 15, 2006 — Dr. Paul Dietz taught a group of Middle School students how to assemble animatronics characters that moved, spoke, and told jokes, during nine sessions of 90 minutes each of an HPTA-sponsored workshop. The students (Photo below) presented their finished projects in the Middle School Lecture Hall to an appreciative audience this afternoon.

     Science teacher Bill Howard stopped by to watch the show and told the gathering that he had stopped by during the construction of the devices, and that he saw the students doing all of the work themselves.

      To see a David Sheahan video of the show, choose this.

New Town Manager guest of honor

Choose this to see a video of what he said to the gathering (Broadband).

December 15, 2006 — Anthony Troiano, the recently hired Hopkinton's first Town Manager who is poised to start on the job January 1, 2007 pending a successful Town Meeting vote to fund his position, was the guest of honor at a breakfast at Maria's Caffe Italiano today. Mr. Troiano was introduced to town government and business leaders as well as local media people and Town Hall department heads. Choose this to see a video of what he said to the gathering.

Concert Canceled due to illness!

Enter Stage Left will host it’s first Christmas Concert

Saturday Dec. 16th at 8pm, 30 Main Street, Hopkinton

Ticket $10 at the door.  Good cheer and cookies included!

Performers include: Paul Champlin, Phil Doherty, Nancy Gilarde, Kelly Grill, Denise Laumeister, Mark Laumeister, Keith Rowe and Mary Scarlata-Rowe.  As is expected with ESL we will have traditional and some not so traditional carols!

A Sign of the Season

December 15, 2006 — Ed Harrow shares a photo he took at Lake Whitehall with his new camera.

NOTE: At a seminar a few years ago entitled, "Digital Photography,"  the late celebrity photographer Dean Collins said, "In five years, digital photography will be so widespread that the title of the seminar then will be "Photography," and the other method will be called "Film Photography." 

LITTLE LEAGUE REGISTRATION

Reminder!  If you have not already done so please

Register online for the Spring 2007 Season.

 Registration will be open until December 31, 2006.

Please register online at www.hopkintonlittleleague.com

 Children must be 5 on or before April 30, 2007 in order to be eligible to play Hopkinton Little League.

The First Congregational Church of Hopkinton presents its annual Christmas Cantata

 

Once Upon a Christmas Night

Based on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”

Drama, Orchestra, Adult and Children’s Choirs

December 15 & 16 (Fri and Sat) – 7 pm
First Congregational Church

$2 admission and food pantry donation requested

Winter Holidays Concert

PHOTO ABOVE SCROLLS

December 15, 2006 — The Middle School Music Department showed off its talent Thursday evening as the Eight Grade Chorus, Band, and String Ensemble, as well as the 7th and 8th Grade Jazz Band and "Hopkappella" entertained a packed room in the cavernous Middle School Auditorium.

Choose a thumbnail above for a larger photo

Signs of the times

December 14, 2006 — This festive display was an eye-catcher on Wood Street Thursday Evening.

Hopkinton 54, Norton 12

December 15, 2006 — Brian Kramer overpowers his opponent on the way to the win.

Unlikely couple

December 14, 2006 — Republican stalwart Vascen "Bogie" Bogigian and Democratic Selectmen Chair Muriel Kramer mug for the camera as they share a table at the Chamber of Commerce Annual Holiday Party last evening.

POLICE NEWS UP-TO-DATE

Today, Thursday, December 14, 2006

 

12:15 am While off-duty, Sgt. Charles Wallace reported a possible drunk driver entering Upton...

 

9:00 pm Det. Scott Van Raalten and Officer Thomas Lemon spoke with the clerk of a West Main Street business who refused a person service...

 

4:37 pm A cell caller complained of a blue Cadillac driving very slowly...

 

8:22 pm A Meserve Street resident investigating a loud noise coming from a neighbor's house...

From Middlesex District Attorney's Office:

 

Hearing on Entwistle bail scheduled

 

There is a hearing tomorrow (Friday) afternoon at 2:00 p.m. in the Neil Entwistle case.  His attorneys are expected to argue for his release on bail, which the Commonwealth will oppose.  It is at 2:00 p.m., Middlesex Superior Court, Courtroom 10B, Judge Peter Lauriat presiding.

Chamber of Commerce honors three with

Distinguished Service Awards

Above from left, Father Jim Degnan, Fred White, Rep. Paul Loscocco, Charles Zettek.

December 14, 2006 — The Chamber of Commerce honored three citizens with Distinguished Service Awards at their Annual Holiday Party last evening at the Hopkinton Country Club.

      Former Selectman Eric Sonnett praised Father Jim Degnan for working past his 75th birthday, and for building St. John the Evangelist Church to three times the size it was when he took over the parish in 1979.

      Hopkinton Independent Publisher Sarah Duckett, who worked with Fred White on the Senior Center Building Committee, honored his military service, as well as commending him for his work with youth.

      Matthew Zettek had the privilege of awarding his father, Charles Zetteck, and speaking of his 22 combat missions in a B-17 in World War II before  getting a Master's degree in City Planning from Harvard. He said his father loves Hopkinton "...for its natural beauty and the quality of people who live here."

      In addition to an award from the Chamber, each honoree received an award from the Board of Selectmen presented by Chair Muriel Kramer, as well as one from the State House given by Rep. Loscocco, (photo above).

Daphene Mary Mills of Rockland, died Dec. 12, 2006, surrounded by her loving family. Born January 12, 1920, to Edward McLaughlin & Hilda Bryant in Etna, NC. Daphene grew up and lived most of her life in the South End of Boston and Rockland. She also resided in West Palm Beach, FL, before spending the last seven years in Rockland, living with her caring and loving daughter Rebecca and son in law John. She graduated from Cathedral High School in Boston. ARRANGEMENTS COMPLETE

 
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