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 Kohrt Repohrt

Selectmen to consider removal of ConCom Chairman

"... may constitute a basis for his removal from the Conservation Commission."

Eric Sonnett, Chairman of Board of Selectmen


“This is a kangaroo court,” ~ Brian Morrison, Chairman, Conservation Commission

by Kevin Kohrt


December 7, 2005 — In response to a complaint filed an hour before their November 15 meeting, the Board of Selectmen instructed the Conservation Commission to initiate an investigation. The complaint involved the Commission’s own Chairman, Brian Morrison, and the work he contracted for on Piazza Lane--a private way used by Mr. Morrison's and his neighbor who filed the complaint, Mr. Bob Shepard, as a way to their respective homes.


At this past Tuesday’s Selectmen’s meeting, Bob Murphy, Vice-chairman of the  Conservation Commission, gave a progress report related on the Piazza Lane issue. FULL STORY

Little Pupper Pampers Pets

Hamsters and birdies and dogs, oh yes!

By Jennifer Prentiss

December 2, 2005 - Eight years ago Mary Ellison fell in love with her brother's dog, a Wheaten Terrier named Harry. She cared for the dog when he brother went out of town, and little by little other people asked her to take care of their pets as well. A slow transition between working at a doctor's office and owning a pet sitting company happened over several years, and since January of 2004, Mary has been working full time as a pet sitter with her company, The Little Pupper.


"I have developed a great clientele," said Mary, mostly by word of mouth and personal references. She is also a member of Pet Sitters International and is part of their pet sitter locator service.


Mary cares for almost any type of animal, from dogs and cats to hamsters and birds. She has had some limited experience with horses, but is able and willing to take those on as well. She will exercise animals or house sit and care for pets while the owners are out of town for any period of time. FULL STORY


 Kohrt Repohrt


School Committee Committed to Driving Fruit Street Process

"To be honest, strategically, we have been a little bit quiet." David Stoldt, Chairman

by Kevin Kohrt


Last week the school committee received an overview of the meeting hosted by the Regional Director and the Fruit Street Project Analyst from the MEPA (Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Office) office, and attended by at least nine representatives from Hopkinton invited by the Selectmen.  The meeting was arranged and attended by Representative Paul Loscocco, and also attended by Senator Karen Spilka. An additional report from the Selectmen who attended is expected their meeting tonight, but a preview as well as a school-centric perspective can be seen in the School Committee discussion.


"It was very clear that there is a path that can be pursued with the state that would very likely bring an approved SSEIR (Supplemental Single Environmental Impact Report)," reported School Committee Chairman David Stoldt (File Photo), who had attended the MEPA meeting. He also identified what appears to have been the critical misunderstanding for many about the MEPA approval process and the role of alternative site design plans which were cited as insufficient both times the state declined to approve the Fruit Street Master Plan SSEIR. "It is very clear that the request for an additional alternative doesn't preclude the town's ability to  proceed with its preferred alternative if an SSEIR is approved, and that was an important understanding that I think we all had to get." Or, clarified Mr. Stoldt, "The state does not pick your alternative, and say 'okay, that is what we're approving and not approving this'; the state approves your submittal." Full Story.

Selectman Pratt appears before her Board

Files complaint with Ethics Commission

Kevin Kohrt

December 7, 2005 — "What can we do for you this evening Mrs. Pratt?" asked Chairman Eric Sonnet as Mary Pratt took the seat reserved for public comment at last night's Board of Selectmen meeting.

"Well, it's what you could have done for me, Mr. Sonnet," replied Mrs. Pratt. "I am extremely grieved to be here tonight," she continued, "but I just feel that the buck stops here and something has to be done about it."

She then described how, following the negative determination of the Fruit Street SSEIR by the the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA), Paul Loscocco and Karen Spilka worked to set up a meeting with the EOEA to "work out ways to go forward to finalize a plan to receive MEPA's stamp of approval," as she described it (later confirmed by Eric Sonnet's report on the meeting).

"Paul Loscocco had told both Mrs Kramer and myself, previously, that we would be aware of such a meeting," claimed Mrs. Pratt. "Such a notice came via email to the Board of Selectmen's office to [Executive Secretary] Ted and [Executive Assistant] Geri, addressed to Eric Sonnet, regarding the date and time of such meeting and was received the afternoon before Thanksgiving."

Mrs. Pratt then quoted the email notice as saying of the meeting, "Please have the Board of Selectmen and Fruit Street Committee determine which members will be in attendance." FULL STORY.

Put teamwork into action

Dear Editor, 


I had a chance to watch HCAM-8 this week and view the typical shenanigans and personal attacks during the most recent Board of Selectmen meeting. Everyone has there share of complaints, and while it certainly is entertaining to watch as each party accuses the next of one transgression or another, and then watch all the counter attacks unfold, it really doesn’t forward the town’s business.  


So, I thought I would offer a few suggestions on how time could be more productively spent at the next meeting.  Here are a few thoughts for a more productive use of our time and town resources that these meeting represent: FULL LETTER

Selectmen vote to consider removal  of ConCom Chairman


by Robert Falcione

December 6, 2005 — This evening the Selectmen, led by Chairman Eric Sonnett, voted to hold a hearing to consider the removal of the Chairman of the Conservation Commission, Brian Morrison, who did some work to a private gravel way he lives on, Piazza Lane, without applying for permits.

   Mr. Morrison spoke in defense of his actions at the November 15 Selectmen's meeting, after the Selectmen read a letter of complaint from his neighbor, Robert Shepard, with whom he shares the road that some say is ten feet from shore in places.

   Judging from Mr. Morrison's explanation, and a subsequent conversation Mr. Sonnett had with DPW Director JT Gaucher, it appeared to Mr. Sonnett that Mr. Morrison may have received preferential treatment.

    Upon further investigation by Mr. Sonnett, he said that there were too many inconsistencies that needed to be looked at more closely.  

     This evening, Mr. Sonnett told Robert Murphy, the Vice-chair of the Conservation Commission that he visited the site in a downpour and saw water streaming over the road and washing soil into Lake Whitehall.

     Yesterday, Mr. Morrison filed a Request for Determination, which would bring the matter before his commission for some sort of action. That brought to a halt a scheduled discussion of the matter until a formal hearing can take place. Mr. Murphy hopes to have that completed in January. 

     The Board voted 3-2 to hold that hearing in January after the Conservation Commission completes theirs.

Clouds from both sides

December 6, 2005 — These clouds in this rare scene over the Hopkinton Reservoir today offer the imagination a smorgasbord of possibilities. Is it a bride's headpiece and veil? A hole in the vault of the heavens? The Almighty with a message? Or simply a halo searching for a worthy person?


Police News now updated

2:54 am A caller from West Main Street reported hearing the screech of tires and a possible hit deer...

8:15 am A caller from Whirty Circle reported that a hunter was behind her property hunting too close to a dwelling...

1:33 pm A caller from Hearthstone Road reported that a suspicious vehicle was parked in front of her house for over an hour...



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Going, going, going... 

Limited number of tickets left for HEF Winter Gala 


     Tickets for the Hopkinton Education Foundation Winter Gala (Story, video) are going fast. There is a limited amount of tables left, and the committee will accommodate as many people as possible, but on a first- come, first-serve basis.

     To purchase tickets, contact Gina Dwyer at 508-497-3951. Or email Gina Dwyer ginadwyer@comcast.net  .  More information on this year’s HEF Winter Gala may be found at www.HopkintonEdFoundation.org/Gala2006.

NOTE: The following letter to Tyler Reed regarding the content of a story in the MDN was sent to HopNews. Our printing of it here is simply facilitating the writer, who wishes to get his message out quickly, as many of our readers do. No conclusions should be made of HopNews' position on its content, nor is it intended to take a position on Mr. Reed's story.

Reader disturbed



Mr. Reed --


Upon opening my business establishment earlier this morning, I was a bit disturbed to read a front page headline that strongly suggests the Hopkinton Conservation Commission is engaged in an "ethics inquiry" with respect to our Chairman.


As I have neither met nor communicated with you in any fashion, it seems your paper has arrived at these conclusions based on the limited public statements I have made during the Commission's past two meetings at which Mr. Morrison's work on Piazza Lane was discussed.


In order to assure there are no further public misrepresentations as to the status of this matter, I would like to clarify a number of issues suggested by your article: READ FULL LETTER

 Senior Moments

Busy month for senior citizens

By Ann Di Leo


              Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and a glorious New Year. Make resolutions to be happy; have fun; spend time with family and friends; travel a little; and enjoy 2006.

              Seniors will be celebrating the holidays with parties, parties, parties…Starting with a concert performed by the Hopkinton High School band and chorus on Wednesday evening, Dec. 7, at 7:00pm in the Middle School Auditorium. Holiday music and desserts are being offered. And senior and veterans are admitted FREE. Sign up for transportation at Davis Road’s community room.

             One of the nicest yearly parties is the one given by the Hopkinton Police with a terrific dinner at the Congregational Church on route 135. This year their Christmas party is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 10, starting at 4 p.m.

             The Brampton Road Club will have its annual meeting Monday, Dec. 12 at 2 p.m. Voting for officers is scheduled along with some Christmas cheer desserts served afterwards.

            You can make a craft gift of your own at the Senior Center Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 1 p.m. Margaret Harding is the teacher. Materials are supplied. Call the Senior Center to register. Have some fun and create a gift for someone.

            Be back from crafting to greet Cub Scout Pack 4 at 3:30 for their Senior Christmas Party in the community room.

            One of my favorite parties is offered by Mrs. Porter’s junior high school class, this year on Thursday, Dec. 15 at 10 a.m. The students come to the Davis community room to share goodies, songs, gifts, and stories. They are truly delightful.

            The Hopkinton Housing Board will offer a party after their meeting, Monday evening Dec. 21 at 6 p.m.

            Perhaps the best luncheon of all will be held Friday, Dec. 23 at the Senior Center at noon, when the Senior Chorus will sing Christmas carols for us. I’ve listened to them rehearse in the community room and always enjoy what they sing. Hopkinton needs to hear more of them.

            All these good times, plus family get-togethers, should keep seniors occupied during the holiday season. To top it off a Chinese buffet party to greet the New Year will be held at the Rose Garden in Southborough at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 28. The cost for that luncheon is $7.50. A sign up sheet is in the community room.

            Have a wonderful holiday, stay warm, and smile for 2006…

Love, Annie

ConCom Chairman files for determination

Commission meets with Wayne Davies regarding attorney consultants

"We will not be subject to the control of the Board of Selectmen" ~ Wayne Davies

Chairman Morrison discussed


December 5, 2005 — A scheduled session for the Conservation Commission to discuss an activity of its Chairman, Brian Morrison, was declared "moot" by acting Chairman Robert Murphy this evening, because,  "Brian Morrison has filed a determination for applicability," he said.

    Mr. Morrison came under fire from a neighbor, Robert Shepard, who has an agreement with builder Ron Nation to sell his land which lies in the heart of a peninsula in Woodville, of which Brian Morrison owns the near perimeter surrounding Shepard's land. They are involved in litigation; Brian Morrison has sued to appeal the Decision of the Planning Board, which gave Mr. Nation the right to build homes.

    At issue is Mr. Morrison's admitted filling in of depressions on a private dirt access road, Piazza Lane, with gravel of sorts, which became public in a letter from an abutter, Mr. Shepard, to the Selectmen. Mr. Shepard claims the work needed a permit but none was taken out. Mr. Morrison's claimed that the road always been worked on by the town without any filing. Mr. Shepard disagreed. The road is a private road, owned mostly by the DCR, that comes as close as ten feet to Lake Whitehall, according to unchallenged statements, and serves as an access to both Shepard's and Morrison's properties, with Mr. Morrison claiming the "only deeded access."

    A meeting was held one week ago to discuss the matter, and was continued until this evening.

    In the interim, a conference call was made with the DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) and some members of the Commission.

    Although the DEP, according to the Commission members, did not feel any harm had been done the the resource area, Mr. Morrison filed a Request for Determination.

    "Our sense was that this Commission wants a Request for Determination filed," Said Jonathan White, Mr. Morrison's attorney.

     "This is to determine if the Wetlands acts apply here," he said.

     Commission member Jack Speranza expressed a desire to meet in executive session with the other members to discuss Mr. Morrison's role in the Commission.

     The Commission will send a letter reporting their activities on the matter to the Selectmen, who are scheduled to discuss this at Tuesday's meeting. 


New by-law suggested by Wayne Davies  


     Chairman of the Board of Appeals, Wayne Davies, met with the Commission this evening to present an argument against the claim of the majority of the a Board of Selectmen that permitting agencies must report to them when hiring an attorney as a consultant.

    Mr. Davies gave a presentation similar to one he gave to interested permitting agencies about a month ago, when members from each agency appeared, but only a majority in the case of the Board of Health, which had been stymied in its attempts to hire attorneys as consultants during the Harvey hearings.

    More recently, the Board of Appeals was told it needed to use Town Counsel to hire an attorney, when the Town Counsel was about to represent the Selectmen in an Appeal they  filed over a letter by Director of Municipal Inspections, Michael Shepard.

   The reasoning behind Mr. Davies' thrust is that the agencies are "Unbiased decision makers making decisions without undue influence."

   "We are subject to the town's by-laws," said Mr. Davies, "Not the policies of the Board of Selectmen.

   "We will not be subject to the control of the Board of Selectmen,"  he said.

   Mr. Davies proposed a by-law at the next Town Meeting to clarify the roles.

   The Conservation Commission voted unanimously to approach the Selectmen with the other permitting agencies to discuss the issue, perhaps in a non-traditional meeting.

Not a drill

December 5, 2005 — The Town Hall was evacuated this afternoon as an odor of gas was prevalent in the Senior Center for the second time in a week.

 Cheryl Perreault's Poet's Corner

By Olivia Dietz. Olivia is 10 years old. She is a 5th grade student at Hopkins Elementary School.  Her teacher Maribeth Tremblay included this poem as part of a Social Studies project. ~ Cheryl Perreault.


Editor's Note: This poem was sent to HopNews as a Thanksgiving submission, but we have found space for it now. HopNews presents it now as the literary art of a fifth grade student.


 Rural Character

What street are these sheep on?

December 4, 2005 — These sheep are on Pond Street of course, where they always are, unless they escape their pen for a short jaunt.

 Rural Character

Golden Rule...of the road

Drive unto others

December 4, 2005 — This sign at the intersection of Spring and Pond Streets "Drive Slowly like it's your neighborhood" relating a Golden Rule type of philosophy, asks people to ponder how they would act if they lived there. Many of Hopkinton's Streets have been designated as Scenic Roads, including these two; and as such it is difficult for people to legally cut trees and move stone walls. But the narrowness that preserves their beauty has made them dangerous to the constant flow of speeding rush hour traffic which now uses them, as well as Fruit Street, as thoroughfares to other parts of town, the highway, and other towns. To read about which of the town's roads are designated as scenic, click here.

 Time to re-think the Fruit Street project.


It is time to re-think the Fruit Street project.  The Fruit Street Development Committee has failed twice to get state approval on the SEIR submission.


The chairman of the committee blames the neighbors but clearly he is wrong.  It's the sewer treatment plant and DPW next to the wells!!!  FULL LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Kathryn P. Tebeau, 96, died Saturday, December 3, 2005 in Franklin. Born in Hopkinton, she was the daughter of the late John and Mary (Boler) Moran.  She was a 1927 graduate of Hopkinton High School and a former member of the Mass. Catholic Women's Guild.  She was a homemaker and wife of the late George L. Tebeau, who died in 1980.

Arrangements complete.

 Rural Character

Winter sport

December 4, 2005 — Igor Oklander from Ashland found the fishing slow at the Hopkinton Reservoir this afternoon. He said he was not at the best spot, because he was being "lazy" and apparently did not want to walk further down the trail.

   "I caught a pickerel," he said. "I'll use it for soup."

   There were three more people fishing inside the park, and another six parked looking at the lake in a preserve that covers 1450 acres.

    About ten people using 1450 acres.

    145 acres per person.

 Rural Character

Nouveau art

December 4, 2005 — The gazebo got its first covering of snow today since being decorated. The electronic "painting" of the gazebo was done with this photograph taken today. A filter available in Adobe Photoshop® made the transition from photo to painting available with the push of a button. Many other programs that do not cost the hundreds that Photoshop does, are available to do similar things for under $100.00. Adobe Photoshop Elements® is presumably one of them.

Saturday, a busy day

December 3, 2005 — Above, the tree lighting on the Hopkinton Common was the end of a chilly and windy experience for hundreds of families who braved the cold to see Santa (And Mrs.) Claus, hear and join the Girl Scouts  in caroling, and to view for the first time, a crèche representing the Nativity.

Santa on the Common being photographed with some young believers.

Above, the Girl Scouts led the singing on the Gazebo during a gusty deep-freeze this afternoon more seasonally fitting for January.


Below, a crèche with a Nativity scene was seen for the first time this afternoon by most of the people attending the tree-lighting festivities. It was purchased by an effort spearheaded by the Doyle family. Details.

Library events brought 86 people

Above, Linda Havel, a storyteller from Framingham, tells of the magic of her whittled stick.

Below, Cheryl Perreault spins a new tale of A Christmas Carole for the enchanted audience of parents and children who participated in the ending.

Ashley Nelson, Hopkinton Middle School Music teacher sang some holiday chestnuts to round off a festive afternoon at the Library today.

Potters' Boutique

December 3, 2005 — John Coolidge and Anne Richards peruse the wares at the CAA building during a Potters' Boutique today.

60% of tickets for HEF Gala sold in one hour

Gina Dwyer and Laurie Courter tend to a sale at the High School this morning as the HEF (Hopkinton Education Foundation) kicked off its ticket sales.

   According to the women, people were in line at 8:00 am, and by 9:00 am 60% of the Gala's $80 seats were sold.

    The Gala takes place at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel on Saturday, February 11, 2006. The festivities will begin at 6:00 p.m. and will feature music by Radiance, a live auction with special celebrity hosts and numerous raffle prizes.   To purchase tickets after the initial sales, contact Gina Dwyer at 508-497-3951.  More information on this year’s HEF Winter Gala may be found at www.HopkintonEdFoundation.org/Gala2006. Or email Gina Dwyer ginadwyer@comcast.net  TO SEE A VIDEO CLIP FROM LAST YEAR, CLICK HERE OR ON THE PHOTO OF STEVE BURTON AND KURT COOPRIDER.

Dozens take Hopkinton Police exam

Above, seated from left, Detective John Porter, Sgt. Richard Flannery and Sgt. Charles Wallace.

    Dozens of people poured into the Hopkinton High School Cafeteria this morning to take an exam for a Police Officer position opened by the retirement of Patrolman Michael Hamilton.

     "These tests are administered by a private company, because we are not Civil Service," said Sgt. Flannery, "So that there's no chance of favoritism."

Hopkinton Stained-glass Artist featured in Uxbridge First Night

Hopkinton artist Jennifer Prentiss (http://www.jenniferprentiss.com)  will be featuring her work in Uxbridge Center, at the Shops at Keka Monster, right at the corner of Routes 16 and 122 this evening.  It's in a shop with a few other artists' work from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve.  Tonight there's a big "First Night" hubbub with Santa and ice sculptures and bell choirs and tree lightings, where thousands of people are expected to visit.

Above, some of the cast of SMILE, along with the live pit orchestra, sings their opening number Friday evening.

SMILE continues:

Saturday, December 3, • 2:00 and 7:30 p.m.

Middle School Auditorium

Tickets $8 for Students and Seniors, $10 for Adults

Parents had a tough choice this evening as this play also went on, but at the Hopkins School. Here, the cast is casting roles for their upcoming play within the play, The Bard is Back.

The Bard is Back continues:

Saturday December 3rd 2:00 PM

Hopkins School Auditorium

$8 Adults $5 Children

Ladies' night at Main Street Specialties

Barbara Kessler of Hopkinton entertained the Women's Art Forum on Thursday, performing her original compositions on guitar and piano. The women's group meets the first Thursday of every month. To see a previously recorded video of Barbara Kessler, go to page 2 of HopNews.TV or click here, which will open a Windows Media Player and stream the video.

All right now

December 2, 2005 — Tom Gruttner takes his motorized chair downtown for errands and coffee this afternoon. In his basket are all the necessities, spare socks, carry bag, and a miniature greyhound. A miniature greyhound!

     Mr. Gruttner said the curbing work by the Highway Department by the traffic light has improved the transition to the sidewalk.

   "It's much better," he said.

 Rural Character

Wear orange in the woods

December 2, 2005 — This hunter from Framingham was captured on film on the Fruit Street property.

   "How did you get in here,?" he asked the photographer. "I thought there was a gate."

  "You should wear orange if you get out of the car. I wouldn't shoot you, but some guys shoot at anything," he said.

   For years the entire area has been open to hunters, and it apparently still is, making the hunter's sage advice as coming from a hunter's wisdom.


Hopkinton resident appointed by Governor


    Hopkinton resident Jim Coffey has been appointed by Governor Mitt Romney to the Massachusetts Public Education Nominating Council. The Council advises the Governor with respect to appointments to the state boards of education and higher education, and all boards of trustees of community colleges, state colleges, and the University of Massachusetts. The letter Jim received from Governor Romney informing him of the appointment referenced Jim's "experience and sound judgment [which] will contribute substantially to the Council throughout your tenure."

    Mr. Coffey was a candidate for State Senate in 2004.


POLICE NEWS now up-to-date


9:53 pm A caller reported that a woman was staggering across West Main Street onto Lumber Street extension...

7:00 pm A town resident from Daniel Shays Road reported that he was having a civil dispute with one of his tenants that lived in one of his properties in Watertown...

3:37 pm A caller from Wood Street reported that two males in hunting camouflage, carrying rifles, were getting out of a vehicle and appeared to have gone into the woods...

Computers to grade essays

"Open the bay pod door, Hal" ~ From 2001, A Space Odyssey


by Kevin Kohrt

December 2, 2005 — Overtaking a long list improvements in the development of focused reading programs and promoting collaborative efforts between teachers was the tidbit from Mark Wilson, Director of Humanities for grades 7-12, regarding the “very interesting shift in how essays will be scored nationally” which he expects “within the next two years”.


“Just about every essay that students are going to write either for the MCAS or SATs and, I suspect, even college entrance essays are going to be computer scored,” Mark relayed to his audience. “The score that the essays get from a human are generally consistent with the scores you get from a computer”


It was a student in the audience, high school junior Stephen Thiel (Photo), who was the first to recover and ask the question, “How can a computer score the essays?”


 “That’s our question, too,” laughed committee member Lyn Branscomb.


“They have been working on it for a number of years,” Mr.. Wilson later explained. “Last year they certainly used a trial run of having everybody sign up for a practice SAT on line…as a way to gather additional data and test the accuracy of the program” by scoring them both by computer and by human evaluators.


“How does a computer grade on content of the essay?” Asked Mr. Thiel later on,


“That is a brilliant question,” admitted Mr. Wilson. “It’s been the piece that has been most challenging, to screen out words or phrases that are unconnected with the topic…to recognize when there is a factual error.” But, explained Mr. Wilson, “you need to recognize that the essays you are writing now for MCAS are holistically graded. They are not screen as closely as you are used to with your Hopkinton English teachers identifying specific mistakes for you.” Mr. Thiel also asked about two writers taking different paths to communicate the same information, and “would the computer be able to accommodate for that?”


Mr. Wilson’s put forth by way of example the famous computer, Big Blue “which was created to out-think the international chess champions.” He then pointed out that the “specific application to that type of thinking is now being applied to writing … to assess where you are going even if you take a different route, like on a chess board.”


Another student, Mr. Bradley (Photo), had a final question. “As we all know, computers are not infallible, and I was wondering if there was a way to dispute the computer’s score … or if the computer spits out a bad score, then that is what you get?”


Mr. Wilson pointed out that this is most likely an issue for the future—after both students are out of school. For now, he could only offer his best guess that any computer-scored essays such as the SAT “would be scored by two separate computer systems independently … and if there is a divergence of those scores, then they will get a human to look at it as well.”


Town of Hopkinton Police Department

Hopkinton Police Department with the cooperation of the Massachusetts Alcohol Beverage Control Commission (ABCC) will be conducting alcohol compliance checks on all licensed businesses in town. In an attempt to limit the access of alcohol to minors we will be conducting compliance checks throughout 2005 and 2006. The Hopkinton Police Department is committed to enforcing all liquor licensing laws. ~ Detective Scott van Raalten, Hopkinton Police Department.

 Rural Character

Calling all Angels

Above, Dale Doherty of Angel's Garden Center decorates a wreath from scratch to replace the one just sold, to fill in the empty spot on the wall.


December 1, 2005 — "The competition is getting closer to Hopkinton," said Dale Doherty, a principal of Angel's Garden Center on West Main Street. "An ice cream store selling Christmas trees? A gas station?" she asked rhetorically.

     "It cuts into our business, so we have to be sure to keep our quality at a high level. Our customers have come to expect that from us.

     "We are selling more of the West Coast greenery than ever before, because it's lasting quality for the homeowner.

     "It's a short season [Holidays] so we want to make sure that person comes back the next year and says, 'We really like what you sold us last year. It really lasted.'"

     "We make everything custom, with different ribbons each year," Mrs. Doherty said," so that everyone's wreaths do not look like everyone else's."

      "The trees and wreaths at the gas stations are from Canada. The wreaths were tipped [cut from tips of branches] last August. They are dry and the needles are falling off already.

      "The Frasier fir is our favorite. It is a more expensive tree than a balsam. But we get them from the West Coast, which are cut more recently, making sure our customers have a wreath or a tree that lasts throughout the holidays." [Angel's Garden Center is at the intersection of West Main & School].    

Meeting with MEPA* over Fruit Street


"I think the things they want are reasonable and easy to satisfy"

~ Eric Sonnett, Chairman of the Board of Selectmen


"Compared to other places, Hopkinton is like Switzerland,"

~ Director of MEPA office

by Robert Falcione

December 1, 2005 — The town-owned land on Fruit Street has undergone studies required by the OEOE (Office of Environmental Affairs) and must meet requirements set by the MEPA (Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act) office.

    An SEIR (Single Environmental Impact Report) was submitted to the State, but turned back, with MEPA office asking for more alternatives. An SSEIR (Second Single Environmental Impact Report) was sent to the MEPA office and again fell short, with MEPA asking for more built-down alternatives, the relocation of a road, and perhaps the exclusion of one or more components of the project.

     Today, Selectmen Chairman Eric Sonnett (File photo), Selectman Ron Clark, State Senator Karen Spilka as well as State Rep. Paul Loscocco, ConCom Vice-Chair Robert Murphy and School Committee Chair Dave Stoldt, met with MEPA Director Deerin Babb-Brott on behalf of the town to find out how to proceed and get an approval next time. Also attending were engineers from VHB and Earthtech, two consulting firms the town used on the Fruit Street project. Other attendees were Kevin Kohrt on behalf of Selectman Muriel Kramer, who couldn't attend because it was not a posted meeting according to the Open Meeting statute requirements, and Carol DeVeuve as a private citizen.

       One of the attendees quoted Mr. Clark as telling Director Babb-Brott that Hopkinton is very divided over this issue, but the Director countered.

       "Compared to other places, Hopkinton is like Switzerland," he was quoted as saying..

       "It was a very positive meeting," said Mr. Sonnett. "We are going to sit down and figure out how to respond to their requests," he said. "To find  out what direction the town should take. READ FULL STORY.


HopNews Fruit Street Poll Ends

Selectmen, others meet with MEPA on SEIR


December 1, 2005 — The poll on the top right is the latest one. It was  finished today, after common-sensing the first two. The one on the top left started the series. More people said "No, do not move forward with just the school."


    But the nearly the same amount of people in Poll Two, below left, said, "No, do not develop Fruit Street with all of the proposed projects."

     And although the question should have been split, more people expressed a preference to omit something from the plan.

    Therefore, the poll on the top right was written. In it, people who believed something should be omitted from the plan chose first the DPW. The choice of the second largest group of people was the Waste Water Treatment Plant. People could only choose one.

     Is it scientific? Not by a long shot. There is not large enough sampling, and there is not enough control on qualifying respondents. In addition, in the latest poll, the market rate senior housing component of the Fruit Street Plan was inadvertently overlooked as a choice by the writer.

    Is it as skewed as a detractor might imagine? No, the program limits it so that one person can only vote once. If people could vote more than once, we'd have thousands of votes. The down side of this is that only one person per family can vote, because the program recognizes sources (It doesn't know anything personal, and doesn't convey anything to HopNews other than the results.). FULL STORY

 Peter's Corner

Thank you, Hillers!

The Hopkinton Hiller football team ended a great season at the hands of the Abington Tigers 12-0 in a game played before a huge crowd at the New Bedford Vocational Technical High School in a Division 3 semifinal playoff game.


The Hillers moved the ball at times, but the key was Abington containing senior back Jon Stickney. The Hillers without the service of outstanding wide receiver Paul Ostrander (injury) were forced to spread out and find receivers available. This was not easy as the Tigers found ways to stop the Hillers on offense, and hold on to the ball when their offense took over! Penalties played a big factor in the first half as the Hillers just couldn't get the momentum going.


It was a great football season which saw the Hillers win the Tri-Valley league and present Coach Hughes with his 200 wins. The team has so much to be proud of and it looks very good for next year!  Thanks for a great exciting season!!!

Two ferrets need homes. See Classified. Ads

Kids Day Out

December 4 ~ Kids Day Out – The MetroWest YMCA in Hopkinton will provide your child with safe, fun, and character-building activities while you the parent have a chance to get away to shop, relax or just get away for a while.  Program runs from noon until 4:00pm. Contact the MetroWest YMCA at Hopkinton at 508-435-9345 for more information.

Holiday Concert December 18 3:00 pm

Annual holiday concert by the SE Massachusetts Community Concert Band (www.smccb.com).

Sunday, December 18, 3:00PM, St. John The Evangelist church.

Free, but donations of cereal and cleaning supplies for the Hopkinton food pantry would be greatly appreciated.

The band likes to emphasize that this is not a Christmas program, but a holiday program meant for a wider audience.

Developer wants to put 40B at old "Ritter's Dump" site

"It doesn't make sense to knock down an affordable home when you are trying to make more affordable housing" ~ Cobi Wallace


by Kevin Kohrt

November 30, 2005 — A stream of developers presented themselves to the Planning Board Monday evening with mixed results. Some of the decisions discussed by the Board can be found here: http://www.hopkinton.org/meetings/planning/decisions.htm


Deerfield Estates


    The Capitol Group Properties of Southborough tonight outlined all of the restoration work and landscaping that will go into the 300 year old Dempsey house at the Deerfield Estates senior housing development on Lumber Street. In exchange for preserving the historic home and eventually put it "under the purview of the Historic Commission," the developers were seeking a revision to their concept plan. The revision broke up several multiple-unit buildings into single-family structures and added on additional housing unit, bringing at least one structure 50' closer to the street, according to the developer. That was too close for some neighbors, though, and the developer was requested to return on Dec 12 with a revised plan showing all housing units back behind the 100' buffer along the roadway.


“I like the motion,” said Sandy Altamura in response to Jaime Goncalve’s proposal to approve the concept with the expectation of it meeting the 100’ buffer in the definitive stage, “but I want to see this plan; I want to see it worked out because we’ve been bitten by other developers where we thought we were all on the same page.” Chairman Mark Abate also expressed some interest in obtaining additional data on how the changes would impact local wells. File photo, Planning Board member Claire Wright. FULL STORY.

Senior Citizen News

December Newsletter

by Cindy Chesmore 


Blood Pressure Clinic, 2nd Wednesday 11:00 – noon

Lunch at noon 2nd Wednesday - $1.50

Lunches, Tuesdays and Thursdays noon $2.00

Breakfast, Wednesdays 9:00 - 10:00 $1.50

Art Class, Wednesdays 10:30

Craft class, second Wednesdays 12:30

Exercise classes, Mondays at 9:30



May be left at Senior Center Monday - Friday

Recycling center date: December 24

Please keep in mind that regular water and juice bottles are not redeemable.

The proceeds are use to help fund our bus expenses.

 To learn more and to see the December Newsletter, click on the icon here now Senior News, or the one above, anytime.

Enter Stage Left Children’s Theatre Presents

 “The Bard Is Back”

A Musical Comedy by Stephen Murray

Friday December 2nd 7:30 PM

Saturday December 3rd 2:00 PM

Hopkins School Auditorium

$8 Adults $5 Children

 STORY: The school is staging a play Romeo and Juliet." But the director, Miss Peggy Donahue, pressed into service by a principal eager to please his superintendent, is horrified. Twenty years before, when she was a student at Hilltop, she starred in a disastrous production of Shakespeare's "Scottish Play," and she believes the curse lingers on. Sure enough, everything that can go wrong does. The set for the balcony scene collapses, Juliet breaks her leg, her replacement develops laryngitis and you've got one merry mayhem of a madcap musical, quicker than you can say, "Macb-th" - oops!

Hopkinton author to appear on CNN Live

7am segment on Sunday

Take the Performance Addiction quiz on the air


     Hopkinton author, Arthur P. Ciaramicoli, Ed.D., Ph.D., will be interviewed this Sunday on CNN Live regarding his book Performance Addiction.

     CNN wants to focus on Americans' obsession with money and beauty, Readers can take the Performance Addiction quiz by going to www.Amazon.com , and punching in Performance Addiction, or by tuning in to CNN Live at 7:00 am on Sunday morning.

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