HOME REPAIR SCAM ARTISTS STEAL ELDERLY CITIZEN’S GOLD RING
Offer sounds too good to be true? Call the police
(Milford, MA.) January 24, 2007 — Yesterday an elderly female citizen of Milford reported to the police that a white SUV vehicle pulled into her driveway as she was walking to her mailbox on Purchase St. There was one male and one female occupant. The male subject stated to her that they were sent by her insurance company to check her roof. He stated they checked the paperwork and her roof is twenty years old and if it is leaking the company will pay to have it replaced. He then said that they needed to go inside the home to check some things.
Once inside the home the male subject stated he needed to look around while the victim sat in her kitchen along with the female subject. The male subject went upstairs where the bedrooms are located for some time and then came down and said her roof was leaking in several areas and they would have to return at a later date for follow up.
After the pair left the victim reported to police the suspicious activity and described the license plate as possibly being an out of state or specialty license plate. She also described both male and female subjects as being in their fifties, both with dark colored hair and the male as being husky with a beard a couple of weeks old. The victim also stated she has had no contact with her insurance company and that her roof is not leaking.
A couple hours later the victim checked her bedroom and discovered that her valuable diamond ring was missing and probably stolen by con artists pretending to be from the insurance company and offering free repairs. She described the ring as a size 8 white gold center 1ct diamond insert and flanking each side were a row of 7 smaller diamonds. The victim also stated that the ring was very sentimental to her because it was another deceased family members ring given to her.
Con Artists falsely inform citizens that certain repairs are needed such as home repairs and deliberately deceive them by promises of services. They target the elderly population usually people who live alone. The offenders are transients moving from community to community. If someone is offering you some product or service that sounds to good to be true then it usually is. Don’t become a victim and contact police right away if you are suspicious and if you have been swindled or conned contact the police as soon as possible, don’t delay or not report the crime.
Crime Prevention Tips to Avoid Con Artists include:
4-car fender cruncher
January 24, 2007 — Officer Greg DeBoer directs traffic at this 4-car accident at the intersection of School and West Main Streets. Hopkinton Fire Lt. William Lukey said that he has seen the traffic steadily increase over the last twenty years. In addition, he has been to 3 accidents already this year at this intersection, which is slated for a future safety upgrade with traffic signals. Remarkably, there were no injuries.
From the desk of Ed Thompson, WMRC News Director
Ted Kozak finalist for Town Manager position in Northbridge
Ted Kozak, Hopkinton's outgoing Executive Secretary is one of three finalists for the town manager's job in Northbridge. He is scheduled to be interviewed on Monday afternoon of next week. Mr. Kozak listed his salary requirements at $100 thousand dollars a year.
Editor's Note: Northbridge recently fired their Town Manager after uncovering an accounting error showing $2 million that wasn't there, but was spent before the error was found, according to Northbridge sources. Unlike Hopkinton, the Town Manager position in Northbridge includes the duties of Chief Financial Officer. File photo at right; Mr. Kozak receiving a standing ovation at Special Town Meeting.
Selectmen's Quarterly Meeting
$9.4 million in taxes outstanding
January 23, 2007 The Selectmen hosted the departments, boards and committee heads this evening, and listened as they laid out their accomplishments for the last year, their current status, and their goals for the coming year.
Finley Perry of the Land Use Study Committee (LUSC) conducted a PowerPoint presentation reviewing what has been presented at other meetings recently: Weston Nurseries property, which is under is under bankruptcy protection, has received an offer from stalking horse buyer Boulder Capital through the court. This offer establishes a benchmark for the start of the bidding process that could attract other offers, because a stalking horse, pundits say, often offers a low price, but one acceptable to a court to start the process. The offer is for $21 million and another $5 million at entitlement, according to Mr. Perry. Photo, above, Town Manager Anthony Troiano.
The LUSC has retained the services of Attorney John Dennis, a specialist in bankruptcy law. The committee looks to him to help it navigate the complex court motions it needs and is seeking to continue to protect the town's rights and its desire to have influence in the sale and development of the property. It is something that will impact the town in a large way, whether the town opts to take advantage of its 61a rights and purchase the land, or watch a developer purchase the land and add homes that will impact the schools, as well as DPW and public safety departments. According to Mr. Perry, the bids are due Thursday.
Town Manager Anthony Troiano presented a level-services budget
projection. "We're looking at a $2million deficit," he said.
Mr. Troiano also projected a smaller budget with a 1% increase that was still $163,000 in the red. "The school system has money built into their budget for contractual increases," he said, something the town does not, he continued.
Although the tight financial circumstances the town finds itself in has been a recurring theme, this evening's revelation that the estimated cost of the town's Waste Water Treatment Facility for Fruit Street went from $4.6 million to $7.8 million was the biggest gap.
"We have questions on the second estimate," said DPW Director JT Gaucher (Left). He explained after the meeting that the first estimate was a rough one and not inclusive, but that the second, higher estimate could be trimmed by $600,000. That would still leave a $2.6 million gap.
Treasurer/Collector Maureen Dwinnell (Right) reported that there are $9.4 million in outstanding taxes for this quarter with only 6 business days left to be paid.
"There are a lot of foreclosure notices," she said. "People shouldn't be afraid to come in if they are having trouble, and we'll work something out," she said.
"I've never out this far before," she said after the meeting. "It's about $2.5 million more than usual."
State Police Arrest Murder Suspect and Seize Gun in Greenfield
January 23, 2007 — Last night at 7:00 p.m., State Police from the Shelburne Falls Barracks arrested a Holyoke man on Route 91 in Greenfield, after conducting a felony stop, when they received information that an armed murder suspect may be in the vehicle.
Area patrols were advised that a blue Toyota SUV bearing Florida plates had just left Holyoke and was heading to Brattleboro VT with three occupants. The backseat passenger was reported to be 18 year-old Justin Stack of Holyoke, wanted on an outstanding warrant for attempted murder and believed to be in possession of a handgun.
Trooper May Pekarski, was on patrol on Route 91 at the Whately-Deerfield line when she spotted the wanted Toyota. She followed the vehicle into Deerfield where she was backed up a few minutes later by Troopers Anthony Martino and David Pinkham. Assisted by officers Kruisewski, Ruddock and Kudlay of the Deerfield Police Department, troopers conducted a felony stop of the suspect vehicle and found Justin Stack, as the backseat passenger. Stack had a loaded .22 caliber handgun and extra ammunition tucked into his waistband. He was arrested by Trooper Anthony Martino and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. Stack was also held on outstanding felony warrants for multiple charges, which included attempted murder and additional firearms charges.
The operator, 24 year-old Demain Wood from Venice, FL, was also arrested and charged with unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and possession of marijuana. Both men were booked at the State Police Barracks in Shelburne Falls and arraigned on Tuesday in Holyoke District Court.
Hopkinton Wine & Spirits to support “Sticker Shock Campaign”
The first “Sticker Shock campaign” was designed by a group of youth in Pennsylvania in 1998, who started locally in their community and then expanded the project statewide in subsequent years. It has been implemented in numerous other states and communities in Massachusetts.
TOWN CLERK open Tuesdays until 7:00 pm for passport applications.
Thomas Garabedian weighs in on ZAC Special Permit initiative
"...not within the Planning Board's area of expertise."
23, 2007 —
BoA [Board of Appeals] has to this point been the special
permit granting authority on all matters where
are allowed under the Town's zoning bylaws.
During their tenure as Associates, they develop an understanding of the Mass General Laws and regulations which govern zoning, and of the Town's zoning bylaws. As a consequence, the Board represents a specially trained group whose sole focus is zoning. This training provides us with the special expertise to effectively and dispassionately review special permit requests, to grant variances, and to hear appeals of the decisions of the Town's Zoning Enforcement Officer.
disagree with ZAC's recommendation that certain special permit
granting authority should be transferred to the Planning Board.
The Board of Appeals has been trained to
review special permit applications.
~ Thomas Garabedian
NOTE: Mr. Garabedian is the Chairman of the Board of Appeals, but responded with the email above to a query from HopNews, and wanted to make it clear that the above is his personal opinion without having discussed it at a BOA meeting.
However, it may be an opinion shared by the entire board after discussion.
THE WESTON NURSERIES LAND SALE:
HISTORY AND EARLY WORK
In February 2005, when the Weston Nurseries land sale first became a “public offering”, the Hopkinton Board of Selectmen established the Land Use Study Committee (LUSC) to study the matter and make recommendations on how the Town could best respond to the opportunity – or threat – presented by the proposed sale. Given that Weston Nurseries represents 5% of the total land area in Hopkinton, and that the Town has a right of first refusal to purchase the land if it is sold due to the nursery's agricultural use tax exemption (61A), the Selectmen reasoned that it was of paramount importance to position the Town to affect a positive outcome from a sale of the Weston Nurseries land.
The LUSC immediately adopted two overarching objectives for its work: 1) to promote development that has a revenue positive outcome and 2) to protect and enhance the quality of life in Hopkinton.
The eleven members of the committee include the Chair of Board of Selectmen; the Chair of the Appropriations Committee; a member of the Planning Board; a member of the Conservation Commission; Chair of the Board of Health; Chair of the School Committee; Chair of the Economic Development Commission; two residents of East Hopkinton and two members at large. In addition, the Town Planning Director, Town Counsel, and Special Bankruptcy Counsel have provided assistance and guidance to the group.
In addition to exploring different scenarios for Weston Nurseries, the LUSC commissioned Community Opportunities Group, Inc. in May 2005 to determine the development potential of the Weston property and its potential fiscal impacts from three perspectives:
§ Development under existing zoning
§ Planned development with new zoning
§ No development: Town purchases and preserves the land as open space READ FULL STORY
The Civic Engagement Committee has put together this history of the process, the first of three articles. Photo of map of Weston Nurseries
Our speaker this month will be Jennifer Lentz, MT-BC, music therapist to discuss the benefits of music therapy for children with special needs. Jennifer is passionate about helping others, performing and teaching music/musical theater and special education. She was inspired to work with people who have special needs and to enter the field of music therapy by her younger sister who has Down syndrome. An employee of Apple Tree Arts, she delivers home-based services, helps clients at the Mercy Center in Worcester, and leads sessions at the Municipal Building and in her home in Grafton, MA. In addition, she conducts individual and group sessions at Southborough and Douglas school districts.
The goal of HOCA is to provide families of special needs children informational resources on therapy options, counseling, education concerns, dietary and biomedical approaches. This is not a school district sponsored group. Participants are able to discuss common concerns, specific needs and gather information on various treatments, therapies and other related issues. There is no charge for any meeting.
If you have relevant information to share with the HOCA group or are a medical professional, therapist or work in a profession dealing with special needs families contact Mary Romaniec at 508/839-9599 or Mromaniec@aol.com . ~Mary Romaniec
Local girls win at tennis
January 23, 2007 — On January 13th, two Hopkinton Middle School 7th graders, Emma McWilliams and Maddie Schneider, both won their divisions in a USTA (United States Tennis Association) 12 and under tennis tournament. The event was sponsored by Grand Meadows Tennis Club in Longmeadow Massachusetts. It was the first tournament victory for both girls, who also went on to finish second in the doubles competition.
This past weekend, Emma went on two win her second 12 and under USTA event, winning in Nashua at the Nashua swim and Tennis Club. She has been invited to represent the US in the People to People Sports Ambassador games held in Amsterdam, Holland this summer. Several different athletic competitions will take place, similar to a junior Olympics, featuring athletes from 28 different countries. Congratulations to Emma and Maddie!
Purpose is to streamline zoning
by Robert Falcione
January 22, 2007 — The Planning Board played host this evening to Chairman of the Zoning Advisory Committee Brian Herr, who laid out the work of ZAC and the Zoning Articles it is advising for May Town Meeting. The Planning Board voted to approve all articles as "placeholders" while they hold a future public hearing on the details of each, according to Board Chairman Mark Abate.
One Article that may stir some controversy from a fraternal board, the Board of Appeals, is one that would put the issuance of Special Permits for certain businesses — Automobile/Truck Repair; Vet Clinic; Recycling Center; Medical Center; Biotech Conference Facility, with or without a dorm; gasoline, kerosene and fuel oil storage; as well as restaurants — under the jurisdiction of the Planning Board. According to Hopkinton Town Planner Elaine Lazarus, the permitting process could be sped up if the Planning Board heard the applications for the Site Plan Review and the Special Permit at the same time.
The Board also approved Articles to separate the Downtown Business District from the rest of the Business District so that the bylaws can be more effectively applied to the needs of differing areas, such as Main Street on one hand, and South Street on the other.
For two years, ZAC has been recommending changes that will densify development in the Downtown area, and even loosen parking requirements and lot coverage. They have even recommended allowing by Special Permit, vehicular parking between a building and the street, something that is not currently allowed. For instance, Hopkinton Drug and the Next Generation Day Care are examples of the current rules, with buildings that have parking on the side and the rear.
In addition, the Industrial District will be divided into two districts, Industrial A on South Street, and the other, such as the Lumber Street area, in the remaining district, Industrial B. One of the most significant changes will be an increase in height to building on both sides of South Street to 60' and 4 stories.
"At some point we need to find a balance between revenue and expenses," Mr. Herr said, citing the need to make it less difficult for businesses to move to Hopkinton.
-> Discussion of mature content <-
Dakota Fanning to play rape victim in new movie. Showbiz Tonight discusses above.
Today, January 22, 2007
1:51 pm A caller was concerned for children skating on ice...
9:59 am A resident from Lakeshore Drive called and reported that youths were out on the ice...
9:23 am An off duty highway worker reported that young kids were running on the lake off of Oakhurst Road...
and, many, many arrests...
Does an heir have right of survivorship?
Email your questions to: email@example.com
Dear ITL: I was hoping you could help me with a question. My father and mother have been long deceased. Neither of them had a will. There was a parcel of raw land which my father owned and now we would like to know how we can put the deed into our names (myself and my siblings) so that perhaps we can sell it. As it stands now, it is in my father's name and we do pay the taxes on it. Would we come under the rights of survivorship and if so how do we change the deed without incurring a large expense? ~ K.
Dear K.: The specifics of your land ownership would be best addressed by hiring an attorney, but I can give you a few general answers based on what little I know of your circumstances.
So long as a parcel of land is either registered or recorded with the Registry of Deeds of the county in which it is located, ownership of that parcel is usually easy to prove and defend. Recording or registration entails the construction, signing and submission of a deed laying out the particulars of ownership, and payment of a fee to the county, usually around one hundred dollars. What recording or registration accomplishes, technically, is to put the whole world on notice that “so-and-so owns this parcel.”
Rights of survivorship have nothing to do with the heirs of a land owner, as the term might imply. A right of survivorship is the right of a land owner who shares legal ownership of a parcel of land with another tenant in what is called a joint tenancy; a joint tenant who has a right of survivorship will own the entire property, free of the other tenant’s interest, upon the death of the other tenant. Put simply, you cannot have a right of survivorship without a recorded deed, and a right of survivorship is personal to the land owner, so no, you and your siblings would not be covered by the right of survivorship, if any, possessed by your father.
Construction of a deed is a complex process, and while one can be drafted by a layperson with basic knowledge of Land Court terminology and concepts, it is always better to have an attorney draft one for you. Although rates vary among attorneys, you can expect to pay around two hundred fifty dollars for a deed. Compared to the legal trouble and expense you might be sparing yourself or your heirs further down the line, the investment in a professionally drafted deed is a good one.
(Disclaimer: The answers provided in this column are not in any way to be construed as legal advice. While the author is an attorney admitted to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the questions presented do not come from clients, but from anonymous members of various Massachusetts communities. The answers presented merely describe what the law is, and do not contain specific strategies for dealing with the situations presented. If you have questions regarding these or other legal issues, please contact Attorney Demian David Tebaldi at 508-435-5576.)
Alfred W. Wright, 76
Hopkinton - Alfred W. Wright, 76,
died Saturday, January 20, 2007 at the MetroWest Medical Center
Hopkinton Gourmet under new ownership
Above, David Phillips, left rear, with Gourmet workers and Hopkinton High School students this morning.
January 21, 2007 — After several years of making the coffee in the wee hours of the morning, Ted Bitensky has handed the keys of the Hopkinton Gourmet over to David Phillips, an American father of three with an accent that reveals his British origin, in a sale that is only two days old.
Mr. Phillips and his family live in Pepperell, but he would like to relocate with his wife Charlotte and three children, Francis, 12, Emily, 9, and Mia, 4 — and his dog Tetley — saving the 45 minute drive.
The papers were passed yesterday, and Mr. Phillips is ready to put his mark on the business with his own brand of family involvement, value, and high quality service.
"The opportunity came up and having been in the restaurant business all my life, I wanted to break out. It's been my dream to work for myself," he said.
When asked what would change, he said that some things aren't broken and don't need fixing, but that he sees a potential for the catering side of the business to see growth.
"This is a focal point of the town; local gossip and news," he said.
"We need to maintain standards. We've got the business crowd, the coffee club people, the lunch people.
"I take care of the day-to-day operations and Charlotte takes care of the cosmetics," he said.
Charlotte Phillips arrived near the end of the interview.
"We're going for the warm, cozy feel," Mrs. Phillips said. We'll change the tables.
"We'll decorate with old tins, crafts; we're looking for local artisans to display their work," she said.
First out of the gate!
School Committee Chair Rebecca Robak, an unenrolled voter*, has become the first person to take out Nomination Papers for an elected office this season. She took papers out on Friday.
Incumbent Ms. Robak is running for a three-year term for the School Committee. She must turn in her completed papers by April 2, 2007.
Reached by Instant Message on her way out the door this afternoon, Ms. Robak had this to say:
"For a quick few words I would say that given the financial situation the town is facing and will continue to face, I am running for re-election to make sure that the school district remains a strong district.
"Cuts will have to be made, and its important those cuts are made in areas that will have the least impact on the students. With four years of experience on the School Committee, I feel I have the knowledge and understanding of how the district runs to guide it through these difficult times."
*Unenrolled is the designation given to voters who are not affiliated with a party.
It's a breeze
January 21, 2007 — This gull flies over open water at the Hopkinton State Park today near the beach.
January 21, 2007 — The signs inside the park warned of thin ice, but these fishermen claim the ice is three inches thick and perfectly safe today on Hopkinton Reservoir.
January 21, 2007 — These Robins on Price Street this afternoon were all puffed up to create an insulating layer to keep warm.
State Police Arrest 2 and Seize Gun in Stoneham
January 21, 2007 — Yesterday at about 11:25 p.m., State Police arrested two men on Route 93 South, just south of exit 35 in Stoneham, for motor vehicle violations and unlawful possession of a handgun.
Trooper Brian Sweet of the State Police Barracks in Medford was on patrol on Route 93 South in Stoneham when he observed a 2003 Acura 3.2 CL, which was following another vehicle too closely. He attempted to stop the vehicle, but the operator refused to stop. During a short pursuit, an object was observed to have been thrown from the interior of the vehicle. The driver, 22-year-old Michael Peguero of Lawrence, subsequently pulled over just south of exit 35. Peguero was placed under arrest for Failing to Stop for a Police Officer and Following too Closely.
Trooper Jeffrey Boutwell (State Police K-9) searched the area where the object was observed to be thrown and discovered an object consistent in description to what was observed thrown from the vehicle. That object was determined to be a white sock containing a loaded .22 caliber revolver.
Peguero and his passenger, 28-year-old Ronnie Adames of Methuen, who was also subsequently arrested, were charged with Possession of a Firearm without a Permit and Possession of Ammunition without a Permit. Peguero was additionally charged with littering. Both men were booked at the State Police Barracks in Medford and held without bail. They will be arraigned on Monday in Woburn District Court.
Trooper Sweet was assisted in this investigation by members of the State Police Community Action Team.
State Police Arrest Alleged Drunk Driver with Gun in Andover
On January 21, 2007, at about 3:00 a.m., State Police arrested a man suspected of drunk driving who was also unlawfully in possession of a handgun on Route 133 in Andover.
Trooper John Ragosa was on patrol on Route 93 South in Andover when he observed a 2002 Toyota Camry traveling southbound in an erratic manner. Trooper Ragosa stopped the car on Route 133 at Route 93. After investigation, the driver, 24-year-old Michael Garcia of West Swansea, NH, was placed under arrest for Failing to Stay within Marked Lanes and Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol. Trooper Ragosa subsequently located a loaded Smith and Wesson, 9mm, Semi-Automatic handgun in the vehicle. Garcia was additionally charged with Possession of a Firearm While Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol and Possession of Ammunition Without a License.
Garcia was booked at the State Police Barracks in Andover. He was held on $5,000.00 cash bail at the Essex County House of Correction in Middleton. He will be arraigned on Monday in Lawrence District Court.
January 20, 2007 — Officer Matthew McNeil's initial attempts to pull over a vehicle heading toward Milford on Hayden Rowe Street were reportedly fruitless, as the driver is alleged to have continued at 30mph without stopping immediately (Vehicle in front of unmarked cruiser on right) after Officer McNeil activated his cruiser's lights and siren. That behavior attracted 3 other Hopkinton cruisers, and others from Milford waiting at the town line. Hopkinton Police recently deployed a low profile cruiser, left, which scofflaws do not identify as a police vehicle in their rear view mirrors due to the absence of a light bar on the top of the roof, as with conventional cruisers. The scofflaws will then break the traffic laws, believing that there are no police around.
Hillers 5, Clockers 2
January 20, 2007 — Most of the activity on the ice at Loring Arena centered around Ashland's goal as the Hiller offense was relentless. Above, T.J. Elder takes a shot.
Above is a reprise of an anti-war protest from March 17, 2006, from some kids who were a little ahead of the curve on the issue.
January 20, 2007 — Looks like this Hopkinton wreslter is heading for victory today as Hopkinton played QUAD at the Athletic Center.
The HopNews public has spoken and a plurality is saying the same thing about the MassPike tolls that they have said about other expenses: Give me additional services, but do not raise my taxes.
Senator Spilka has introduced legislation to remove the tolls and add a gas tax to take care of maintenance and operating expenses that the tolls currently pay for. The savings could be in the millions for laid off toll collectors and counters.
About 42% of the poll participants want to remove the tolls, but do not want the revenue made up elsewhere. Magical economics?
Girls win over Millis 50-43
Above, Coco Ellis rises to the task on the way to their win over Millis. Below, Nicole Driscoll drives through Millis traffic.
by Peter Marso
January 20, 2007 — The Hopkinton Girls Basketball team got back on the winning track as they beat the Millis Mohawks 50-43 in a game played in Hiller Land Friday night. The win was big as they were previously were upset by the Mohawks earlier in the season. The Hillers used a big offense scoring fast and earlier. A stellar defense enabled them to stop the Mohawks from even being a threat in the contest. The win makes the girls 9-2 overall as they have entered the 2nd half of the season. They will be back in action on Tuesday night. The Hopkinton boys crushed the Mohawks in Millis 53-27 in a game played in Millis on Friday night.
Reader remembers airport struggle
HopNews.com is a terrific way for
those of us no longer living in Hopkinton to remain in touch. I
appreciate the site.
Sign done, Wow! soon to come
January 19, 2007
eleven years old when my grandfather took my sister and me to
Europe,” says Shawn O’Leary, owner of the former Main Street
Specialties. “I discovered that there was life beyond fish
sticks and tater tots, and that’s when my passion for cooking
good food started.”
the sign didn't say what we do, we wanted to put our signature
on the place. First of all, we have a new colorful eye-catching
logo, and have changed the name and sign to SAUCE ON MAIN; and,
secondly, we’ll be open for dinner from 5 pm to 9:30 pm on
Friday and Saturday evenings starting on the first weekend in
Middle and High Schools Present Budget Proposals
“We don’t want to be moving in the wrong direction” ~ H.S. Principal John McCarthy
“Everybody except the head custodian will be covering study halls” ~ M.S. Principal Dr. Bill Lynch
Athletics Project Surplus of $354.00
By David Hamacher
January 19, 2007 — Superintendent of Hopkinton Schools, Dr. John Phelan (File photo) began last night’s regular School Committee meeting with the announcement that Center School had received a $5,000 grant from the Charles B. and Louis R. Perini Family Foundation. The donation is unconditional and is to be spent at the direction of the Center School administration. He also announced that next Thursday evening at the High School, long-time Science Teacher and Track Coach, Dave Scanlon will be honored as the Citizen of the Year for Hopkinton. It’s the first time I know of that a non-resident will receive such an honor,” Dr. Phelan said. “Tickets are available at my office.”
Committee Chair Rebecca Robak then introduced Town Manager, Anthony Troiano to the Committee and school community at large. Mr. Troiano explained, “The first three weeks have been a whirlwind of sorts, but I’ve gotten to meet most of the players in town. I have a better understanding of the important issues facing this town and look forward to working with everyone to get through these hard financial times.”
Middle School Principal, Dr. Bill Lynch (Photo, right) then presented his budget proposal by giving thanks to the committee for its support over the past few years when Life Skills classes had 31 students and math classes were at 29. The additional of four staff members over the past two years have helped to increase the number of minutes per class of learning time from 46 to 57. “The time and attention we have been able to give to our students over the past two years is phenomenal,” Dr. Lynch said. “There are three pieces that are integral for a strong Middle School,” he continued, “One is a strong team, two are the related arts, and three is a strong elementary environment,” referring to the transition from elementary school to the Middle School.”
The Middle School is projected to increase its student population by 22 students in the next school year and the proposal budget from the superintendent’s office calls for the reduction of a 6th Grade Teacher as well as Wellness Teacher and a Reading Teacher. With these cuts, more students will be forced into study periods because of the lack of teacher coverage for instruction. “Four days of instruction are lost for each study that we have”, Dr. Lynch said. “We’ll have everybody except the head custodian covering study halls because of the mandated planning,” he continued. By increasing the population and reducing teaching staff, the level of services will be decreased.
Member Dave Stoldt replied, “If I’m not mistaken, the planning piece is contractual with the teachers’ union.” FULL STORY
Kimberly O. Cahill, 37, died January 12, 2007 at the UMass Memorial Medical Center University Campus after a valiant two-month battle with cancer.
Kim loved her almost 10 years living in Hopkinton, especially dancing and playing with her family at summer Sunday concerts and enjoying hikes and kayaks on Lake Whitehall. She loved spending time with her family gardening, cooking and enjoying the outdoors.
After graduating from Binghamton University in NY in 1991, she moved to MA to work as a nurse at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. Most recently, she was a visiting nurse for UMass Memorial Home Health. She loved to teach patients to care for themselves and to live full and dignified lives.
Hopkinton's State Senator files bill for Toll Removal Plan
January 18, 2007 –Senator Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland) has filed a comprehensive bill to fund the state’s highway systems while phasing out tolls on the Mass Turnpike.
Through the implementation of a state-wide gas tax, Spilka’s
plan aims to shift the burden of paying for the construction and
maintenance of major highway projects, including the turnpike
and Big Dig, from MetroWest commuters to all of the state’s
Spilka’s plan, while addressing the issue of fairness for MetroWest commuters, also recognizes that the state has certain financial obligations that will need to be paid for with alternative sources of funding. In response, Spilka has crafted a detailed three-phased approach to fiscally responsible toll removal:
the Western tolls. A $0.03 increase in the statewide gas tax, to
be put in place July 1, 2007, will provide for the continued
maintenance of the Turnpike after the tolls west of Route 128
have been removed by the Turnpike Authority Board. This revenue
will be directed to a Toll Mitigation Fund created by Spilka’s
bill and dedicated solely to this purpose.
3. Remove the tolls at Allston/Brighton & 128. On July 1, 2009, the gas tax will be raised another $0.03 to an additional $0.09 in total. This will cover the cost of removing the final tolls at Route 128 and Allston/Brighton, while still providing for funding for maintenance of the road system.
“Removing tolls on the Turnpike is long overdue and an idea that
has had popular support for quite some time,” Spilka states.
“Without creating a workable plan to pay for toll removal,
however, this issue will continue to languish, with MetroWest
drivers being stuck with the bill. My goal is to find a way to
get the state to work together on this issue and make this
Hopkinton Police Association Annual Dinner-Dance
St. Patrick's Day ~ March 17, 2007
Portuguese Club, Milford
Cocktails 6:30 - 7:00 pm
Dinner 7:30 - 8: 30 pm
Dancing to Tailspin, 8:30 pm - 12:30 am
Tickets are $35 and available at the Police Station
Hopkinton College Student Carries Gospel to Africa
by Robert Falcione
January 18, 2007 — North Greenville University Freshman Victoria Crosby started her fundraising in Hopkinton last year, and just returned from a two-week stay in the African town of Maranda, Zimbabwe as a result of those successful efforts.
"Our main goal was to share the Gospel with the people in Maranda," said Ms. Crosby, whose main course is Christian Studies at the Baptist university she attends.
"I am studying Inter-cultural Studies. The basic mission is how to share the Gospel in a way acceptable to each culture. And we learn how to raise funds," she said.
When asked her most vivid memory of the trip, she said, "It is how much these people just wanted to have a relationship.
"During the day, the women and children were home while the men worked in the fields. Our love for them was something they really embraced; they don't take love and compassion for granted," she said.
"The women offered us water and food, something that is part of their culture, even though they have little for themselves.
"When we arrived, it hadn't rained in two weeks," she said, adding that people would have died without rain.
"We prayed all night for it to rain, and it did the next day. They thanked us for the rain, but we told them it was God who brought it, not us," she said.
About a dozen team members went to a older resident's home who was not well, and whose husband was infirm, and weeded their plot of land and repaired the villager's home, bringing the woman to tears, Victoria recounted.
"You showed us who God is through your actions," said the woman to Victoria.
"We were humbled by that," she said.
Ms. Crosby's next tour will be a ten-week stay beginning on June 3, 2007, when she will return as a team leader.
Look Through any Window
January 17, 2007 — Yesterday, the Hopkinton Senior Center thrift shop was busier than most retail outlets are on a Tuesday in January, as seen through the windows that offer an invitation to visit, one in the main lobby, and one in the adjacent hallway.
January 17, 2007 — These ducks at Hopkinton Reservoir are enjoying some cold, but open water today.
January 17, 2007 — The water near the shorelines of the lakes and ponds on Hopkinton began a long-overdue freeze as frigid air and biting wind hit the region. Above is some ice that formed as a result of those factors along Hopkinton Reservoir, and photographed at sunset today. The yellow area is about 12" across.
METROWEST YMCA AT HOPKINTON DAY CAMP OFFERS YOUNGSTERS AN
ABUNDANCE OF NEW EXPERIENCES AND SKILLS - AND PARENTS PEACE OF
MIND THIS SUMMER
Kick-Off Presentation - East Hopkinton Master Plan
7:00 pm on February 1, 2007
A Kick-Off Presentation on the East Hopkinton Master Plan will take place on February 1, 2007 at 7 p.m. in the Hopkinton High School Auditorium, at a Special Planning Board Meeting. Dubbed Voices for Vision II - Visioning East Hopkinton, the presentation will be made by Sasaki Associates, Inc.
For the last two years, the Hopkinton Land Use Study Committee (LUSC) has been looking at the sale of Weston Nurseries and its impact on both East Hopkinton and the rest of the Town.
In May 2006 the Town Meeting authorized the hiring of Sasaki Associates, Inc. a land use planner, to develop a Master Plan for East Hopkinton.
Under the umbrella of the Voices for Vision Civic Engagement Committee, a joint sub-committee (made up of representatives from LUSC, Planning Board, and Civic Engagement Committee) has put together an extensive outreach plan for the citizens of Hopkinton. The intention is to provide people with data and information on the planning process, ideas on possible directions the Town might take, and a timeline of events. In addition, the Committee wants to emphasize the importance of involving people by not only giving them data that will help them to understand the current situation and the choices that lie ahead, but also by encouraging dialogue and input for the Planning Board and other Town officials.
The KICK-OFF PRESENTATION is the first step. At this Special Planning Board Meeting, Sasaki will present its initial findings and ideas for land use planning in East Hopkinton.
This presentation will be followed by additional opportunities for education and input, including: a series of articles in local news outlets on the history of the planning process, studies of different ideas for the area, and an analysis of some of the key issues, including impact and trade-offs; a regularly updated website link; a series of 10-12 “House Parties” in different neighborhoods throughout Hopkinton, where small groups can gather to hear a presentation, ask questions and provide input; and, finally, a Forum for up to 150 citizens to come together for a more in-depth discussion and a fuller sharing of ideas.
If you have any questions about the Kick-Off Presentation, please call Elaine Lazarus, Planning Director at: 508-497-9755.
Juliana Beatrice Fonseca died
Friday, January 12, 2007 at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical
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