A Newburyport police officer has undergone federal training on how to investigate and dismantle secret drug labs. Officer Joshua Tierney, along with Salisbury police officer Michael Tullercash, attended the weeklong training program hosted by the Drug Enforcement Administration in Virginia. City Marshal Thomas Howard said that this year a couple of labs have been investigated in the area, including in Rowley and Newburyport. Howard said he is pleased that Tierney was chosen for the training because municipal police are often the first responders to these laboratories. Having a trained person on staff will help prevent explosions and stop officers from breathing in dangerous chemicals when they arrive to the scene, he said. “It’s new to the area,” Howard said of the labs. “They are moving out into the suburbs.” Those aware of any illegal drug activity or illegal drug labs may submit an anonymous tip to the Newburyport Police Department at 978-462-4411.
The town of Middleton is looking for candidates to fill open positions on the Planning Board and Industrial Design Review Committee. The Planning Board position is a joint appointment until the May 2015 town election, with the candidate appointed by the board and the Board of Selectmen. The Board of Selectmen is also seeking to appoint an alternate member to the Middleton Industrial and Commercial Design Review Committee. Candidates for either position should submit a resume and letter of interest to Nancy Jones, chairwoman, Board of Selectmen, 48 South Main St., Middleton MA 01949,or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The MSPCA at Nevins Farm has taken in more than 500 birds that were removed from a private home in Springfield. The birds were first held for evaluation at the Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center in that city, then moved to Methuen over the course of two days by volunteer drivers. Officials say most of the birds were quail, though the group also included pheasants, chickens, pigeons, and one parrot. Pam Peebles, director of the O’Connor center, said most appeared to be healthy and were checked for conditions that may have resulted from extreme overcrowding. There was no reason given as to why the owner had so many birds in her residence.
A pretrial conference is scheduled for Sept. 8 in the case of a Lowell man who was allegedly driving drunk when he rear-ended a truck carrying hazardous materials earlier this month. Thomas Crear, 56, was driving a 2006 Toyota Tundra when he drove into the back end of a Triumvirate Environmental truck at the intersection of Thorndike Street and YMCA Drive. Because the driver of the environmental truck let first responders know that he was transporting hazardous materials, authorities took special precautions to clear the area. Crear allegedly admitted to police that he had been drinking, and he was tested at more than twice the legal blood alcohol limit. He has since pleaded not guilty to operating under the influence.
Matt Coogan, Gloucester’s senior planner, began a second job as the first town planner in the town of Essex last week. The five-hour a week position was approved by Town Meeting in May. Coogan will be paid $40 per hour, and he started his new job Monday evening.
Beverly’s summer lunch program, which offers lunch to all Beverly children and students age 18 and under, will continue through Aug. 22. The program is run by the Beverly Public School Food Services, the Beverly Recreation Department, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, USDA, and Project Bread. The program is also partially funded by the North Shore Community Health Network and the Doe Family Foundation. Participants are required to preregister through the Beverly Recreation Department. Lunch is served at Beverly High School, McPherson Teen Center, Balch Park, Holcroft Park, Goldway Park, and Apple Village. For more information, call the Beverly Recreation Department at 978-921-6067.
Astrum Solar has begun installing solar systems for some 70 home and business owners who have joined Solarize Andover, an initiative that offers significant savings to property owners interested in harvesting sustainable energy. Together, they will add 587 kilowatts of renewable, clean energy to the 300 kilowatts already installed at Andover residences. Participants in the Solarize Andover program enjoy discounts on solar photovoltaic installations completed by Astrum Solar, the program’s designated installer. Andover is participating in the Solarize Mass Program, which is sponsored by the Mass Clean Energy Center and the state Department of Energy Resources. Solarize Mass seeks to increase the adoption of small-scale solar electricity in participating communities through a competitive tiered pricing structure that increases the savings for everyone as more home and business owners sign contracts. Andover is already a tier V community, which means participants will enjoy the lowest price available through the Solarize program. For more information, visit solarizeandover.com.
Residents are invited to join in a community summer gathering. The public library is holding its fourth annual old-fashioned ice cream social on Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. on the lawn in front of its building, at 45 Pleasant St. The event is being organized by the Friends of the Woburn Public Library and is serving as a fund-raiser for the group. It will include lawn games, music, and other activities, in addition to the serving of ice cream. The price of admission, which includes unlimited helpings of ice cream, is $5 per adult, and $3 for children under 12. Whole Foods, on Cambridge Road, is donating the ice cream for the event. The event is open to all with no preregistration required. The rain date is Aug. 3.
The town is making the switch to energy-efficient LED streetlights. Dagle Electrical Construction this summer is changing the cobra head streetlights on town-owned property; the decorative street lights in Town Center will not be affected. Switching to LED lights is expected to improve safety and visibility, while saving the town about $49,000 per year in energy costs, according to Lee Ann McGahan, business manager for the town’s Department of Public Works. The annual cost to operate the old street lights is $75,000, so the estimated savings “is huge” McGahan said, cutting energy costs by 65 percent. The majority of the $427,000 project is being funded by NStar ($97,000) and a state Green Communities grant ($250,000); the town is financing the remainder of the cost, a debt that is expected to be paid off in two years. The new lights will cast a wider, whiter light and have a longer life, with less maintenance, McGahan said.
Teamsters Local 25 president Sean M. O’Brien recently presented Light It Up Blue, a local foundation that supports Stoneham children with autism and special needs, with a $5,000 grant for its work with children on the autism spectrum. The funding will help support some of the many programs run by Light It Up Blue, including sports, music, and arts academies and a grant program that provides local families up to $250 to offset the cost of needed equipment that is not covered by insurance companies. Each year, Light It Up Blue decorates the Town Common during the month of April with blue lights to raise public awareness of autism, a group of complex disorders of brain development that affects roughly 1 in 68 children in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Light It Up Blue was cofounded by School Committee member Jeanne Craigie and Pamela Gill, whose son was diagnosed with autism as a toddler. In all, the Teamsters Local 25 Autism Fund for 2014 donated about $320,000 to nonprofit organizations that help children, teens, and adults with autism or developmental delays.
The city has hired a new director of sustainability and environment to help achieve its goal of a net zero carbon emissions target by 2050, according to the mayor’s office. Oliver Sellers-Garcia served as project manager at an environmental consulting firm where he worked with the city of Salem to develop a climate change plan; he also assisted with a plan for Asheville, N.C., to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. A Somerville resident, Sellers-Garcia has a bachelor’s degree in urban studies and French from Columbia University and a master’s in city planning and certificate in urban design from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “After working with many cities across the country and the world, I have learned that sustainability is as much about communication and management as it is about the environment,” Sellers-Garcia said in a prepared statement, adding: “The city of Somerville’s excellent management and growth potential provide tremendous opportunity for sustainable development — as well as the need for a careful use of resources and a prudent response to climate change. I am excited to contribute to this effort in my hometown.”
The town of Reading is seeking donations for the preservation and installation of nine gravestones for fallen Civil War soldiers and sailors. Reading has been awarded a $7,500 grant from the Massachusetts Sesquicentennial Commission of the American Civil War to make the repairs, but $7,500 in matching local funds is needed. A total of 48 Reading men died as a direct result of the Civil War, either from disease or injury. Their names are listed on the Civil War monument at Laurel Hill Cemetery, where 27 of the soldiers are buried. Of those, eight gravestones are in serious need of repair and a ninth is missing a marker. The town is applying to the US Department of Veterans Affairs for a granite marker for that grave, which will be installed by the Reading Cemetery Department. On Sept. 20, the Reading Antiquarian Society is scheduled to host a Civil War Living History Encampment on the grounds of Parker Tavern. They will be portraying both civilian and military aspects of the Civil War in honor of the 150th anniversary of the war. Tax-deductible donations for the Civil War preservation project may be made payable and mailed to: Veterans Memorial Trust Fund, c/o Frank Driscoll, Veterans Service Officer, 16 Lowell St., Reading 01867. Please write “Civil War” in the memo line of the check. Existing funds in the Memorial Trust Fund will not be used for the Civil War preservation project.
Hallmark Health System, owner of Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, reached agreement on a new two-year contract with 225 workers represented by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. The pact provides a 4 percent wage increase retroactive to Nov. 1, 2013, when the last contract expired. The union, which represents certified nurse assistants, surgical, lab and imaging staff, among other workers, voted overwhelmingly to approve the new agreement on July 8. Veronica Turner, executive vice president of 1199SEIU, said the agreement “reflects the reality that Hallmark Health System has the resources to treat its workers fairly.” Lori Howley, chief marketing officer at Hallmark, said, "We're happy we achieved a fair and reasonable contract settlement." Hallmark Health is currently in the process of affiliating with Partners HealthCare of Boston.
The Preservation Commission is accepting applications for the annual low-interest loans it provides for projects to preserve, rehabilitate, or restore historical buildings in town. The Preservation Loan Program is for projects built before 1917. Loan applications are available on the town’s website, www.danvers.govoffice.com,
and in the Planning and Human Services Department office in town hall. Forms must be submitted by Aug. 22, though the commission at its discretion can waive that deadline if needed to assist a homeowner or save a distressed property. A goal of the commission is that at least 20 percent of its annual lending amounts go to nonprofit organizations. Members of the general public who apply must meet specific household income limits. Loans may not exceed $10,000 per structure. All loans are for a five-year term at 3 percent interest, and require monthly payments.
After discussions with town employees, selectmen have made modifications to the town’s personnel policy regarding vacation time and holidays. The board recently voted to remove a second 120-day carry-over period for vacation time. Employees still have the option to carry over their vacation time by 120 days following the end of the fiscal year in which it is available. The board also voted to rewrite the personnel policy allowing qualified part-time employees time off on holidays, as well as holiday pay based on a formula of their number of hours worked. In other news, selectmen discussed implementing a policy that would remove appointed members from boards if they repeatedly miss meetings and disrupt the quorum.
The staff at the Peabody Institute Library recently held a party to honor two longtime employees who retired this year. Renee Wood retired in January after 16 years as South Branch librarian, and 20 years’ overall service with the library. Kathy Walsh retired in June after 18 years as West Branch librarian, and an overall tenture at the library of 29 years. The retirement party for the two was held at Toscana’s Ristorante.
About 40 high school-aged English Language Learning students in Salem are taking part in an innovative enrichment program this summer. Essex National Heritage Commission is partnering with Salem State University and others to host the monthlong academy. The program, Salem at SEA (Salem Summer ELL Academy): A Global Salem — Past, Present, and Future, aims to help students improve their English language skills while focusing on the role of globalization in the world, the local community, and their own lives. It includes classroom learning as well as walking tours, meetings with local officials, and site visits to Peabody Essex Museum and high-tech businesses. It will culminate with the unveiling of a student-curated museum exhibit on Thursday from 12:30-2 p.m. at the National Park Service Regional Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty St. The exhibit will feature displays about globalization in Salem’s past, present, and future, and include photographs and writing to document students’ own experiences It will remain on display for about a month. The program, now in its second summer, was developed through a grant from the state Executive Office of Education.
Gloucester-based Beauport Ambulance Service Inc. recently gave a report to the Hamilton Board of Selectmen on its first year providing ambulance service and senior transportation in Hamilton. Senior transportation ridership more than doubled, from 981 rides in the previous year to 2,023 in the first year for Beauport, including 1,321 medical calls. There were 547 emergency calls, and the average response time was 5:29. “We’re very happy with the relationship and the service, and wish for continued success,” said Town Manager Michael Lombardo.
The Marblehead Task Force Against Discrimination will mark its 25th anniversary Sunday at 4 p.m. in the Jewish Community Center of the North Shore, 4 Community Road. Organizers will hold a walk from the JCC to nearby Temple Emanu-El, on Atlantic Avenue. In July 1989, vandals painted anti-Semitic slogans on the JCC and Temple Emanu-El in Marblehead. After the vandalism a crowd of hundreds marched in solidarity from the JCC to the temple, and in August 1989, Marblehead selectmen created the Marblehead Task Force Against Discrimination.
The city has added 10 police officers to the municipal payroll. Mayor James J. Fiorentini and state Representative Brian S. Dempsey welcomed the newly sworn officers at a ceremony earlier this month. Dempsey, chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, was instrumental in securing $2.4 million last fiscal year (fy14) for the city of Haverhill to help cover some of the city’s old Hale Hospital debt. Fiorentini directed some of the cost savings to hire new police officers, but recruitment and training took some time. The additional officers bring the total number of police officers in Haverhill to 89, the highest number the city has had in years, according to a statement from the mayor’s office. There are three more positions still available. The new officers are: Chery Victoria, Bethany Boyle, Christopher Ryan, Christopher Matatall, Patrick Menzie, Zachary Phair, Kyle McCann, Shawn O’Brien, Jared Brady, and Sean Harrison.
The Savings Bank recently presented a $50,000 gift to Wakefield Main Streets, to help the newly formed organization begin its efforts to revitalize and promote the town’s downtown area. In addition to the gift, the Wakefield bank committed to donating a matching amount of $10,000 — up to a maximum of $50,000 — for each additional $10,000 that other businesses, landlords, vendors, individuals donate to Wakefield Main Streets Inc. In addition to filing for incorporation, the new Main Streets group has appointed the first six members of its board of directors and has applied for nonprofit status. It has also joined the National Trust Main Street Center and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The city was recently honored for its success in helping businesses establish an online presence. It was one of three cities selected as winners of Google’s Get Your Business Online City Challenge. About 150 mayors and their cities participated in the challenge, which Google launched with the US Conference of Mayors last year. Cities held events, conducted outreach, and formed partnerships to encourage local businesses to get online. The winning cities were celebrated for creative, far-reaching efforts. Revere won in the small city category. Its initiatives included a program in which students from the Revere High School Interact Club helped small businesses create websites, and another in which students from the school’s Youth In Action Club visited businesses to demonstrate the power of online presence. Additionally, Revere hosted 14 training sessions to teach small businesses how to get online. Revere and Rizzo were formally presented with the award at a city hall ceremony. As a winning city, Revere will receive a technology prize package valued at $50,000 that includes about 100 laptops for small business owners and two electronic kiosks for businesses and the general public to access city information and other resources.
Teens who want help looking for work can sign up for a 1st Jobs Academy, to be held Aug. 4 through Aug. 8 at Medford High School. Sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Teens will get lessons in team building, financial literacy, interviewing skills, and resume writing, among other topics. The cost to enroll is $25. Registration is available online at www.medford.org/summer. Team Medford, a coalition led by the city’s health department, is offering the academy with funding from an Underage Drinking Prevention and Drug Free Communities grant.
Workers are installing a new splash pad at Lincoln Commons Park at the intersection of Cross and Bryant streets, giving local children a public place to cool off when the mercury rises. A splash pad has ground nozzles that spray water upward and a draining system that ensures little or no water pools. Water running through the splash pad will be controlled by a hand-activated motion sensor set to run for a limited time. The project is being administered by the Malden Redevelopment Authority with funding provided by a $136,000 state grant from the Commonwealth’s “Our Common Backyard Program” and $50,000 in community development block grant funds. The contractor, NELM Inc. of Carver, was retained through a competitive bid process. Clara Batchelor from CBA Landscape Architects of Cambridge is the landscape architect consultant for the project, which is expected to be completed by the end of August.
Local teens are invited to take part in a one-day conference on nonviolence, to be held Friday from noon to 8 p.m. at Lynn Classical High School. The event, organized by the Lynn Community Association, will focus on interactive learning and problem-solving activities geared toward making Lynn a more peaceful community. The associaton is partnering with a broad coalition of city officials, local organizations, businesses, and other community members in presenting the conference, which is open to all Lynn youths entering the ninth through 12th grades. Registration and lunch will be from noon to 1 p.m., followed by presentations, workshops, and role-playing, culminating with a dinner dance. The association hopes to make the conference an annual event.
The Fire Department was recently trained and equipped to administer nasal Narcan. The brand name for naloxone, Narcan is used to reverse the effects of an overdose of heroin or other opiates. The city partnered with the Cambridge Health Alliance and Cataldo Ambulance on the initiative. Cataldo, Everett’s ambulance provider, is also carrying Narcan on its vehicles in the city. The Cambridge Health Alliance, whose network includes Whidden Hospital, is providing medical oversight for the Fire Department’s Narcan program, and Cataldo trained the fire personnel. Everett joins a number of local communities that have been equipping their police or fire departments with Narcan as one response to the statewide surge in opiate overdoses. “Drug abuse and the possibility of overdose are a reality in every community,” Mayor Carlo DeMaria said in a prepared statement. “In Everett we remain committed to the health and safety of all our residents. That is why equipping our emergency personnel with a tool like Narcan is such an important step. This product has proven its ability to save lives.”
The city will officially open a new park at the intersection of Washington Avenue and Bloomingdale Street on Tuesdayat 8:30 a.m. The 11,000-square-foot park is named after John Ruiz, a two-time World Boxing Association heavyweight champion who grew up in and still lives in Chelsea. It was constructed on the site of a former auto repair shop that the city acquired through tax title, according to city manager Jay Ash. The park is for both active and passive recreation. It consists of four discrete areas, two of which contain tot lots and the other two grass and benches. A $400,000 state grant helped fund the $600,000 project. Ruiz, who has retired from boxing, is expected to be on hand for the ribbon-cutting, which is open to the public. Of the city’s decision to name the park for Ruiz, Ash said: “John has reached the pinnacle of his profession in being the heavyweight champion of the world but, more important, he is still the same great guy we all knew growing up here, running through the streets of Chelsea.”
The Police Department recently announced two promotions. Sergeant Michael McDade was elevated to lieutenant, while Detective Matthew H. Leary was promoted to sergeant. McDade has been a Burlington police officer since 1993 and had been a sergeant since 2001. He most recently worked as the department’s community services supervisor and oversaw the firearms licensing unit. Some of his other previous responsibilities have included handling traffic court proceedings and helping manage the department’s mountain bike unit. Leary has been a Burlington police officer since 2003. He has been the department’s firearms instructor and a member of the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council Regional Response Team. He had served as a detective since 2007. Leary is certified as a sexual assault investigator and a background investigator.
The Groveland Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board is holding a series of meetings to review and possibly revise some of the town’s zoning ordinances and bylaws. The boards hope to have the revisions completed in September, to be sent to town counsel for review.
The annual Roaring Twenties Lawn Party at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate is scheduled for Sunday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Hosted by The Trustees of Reservations in association with Boston Swing Central, the event offers a step back in time with many arriving in period dress from the Jazz Age, when the mansion was built. It will feature ’20s and ’30s jazz, swing dancing lessons, Charleston performances, antique autos, and a vintage fair. The gates open at 2 p.m. Advance tickets are $25 per person and $20 for students, seniors, and Trustees members (day-of tickets are $5 more). Children 10 and under will be admitted free. For tickets or more information, got to roaringtwentieslawnparty.org or call 978-356-4351.
Trinity EMS will continue to provide emergency 911 services to Tyngsborough for the next five years following a unanimous vote by the town Board of Selectmen to approve a second one-year extension to the company’s contract. This vote followed previous approval of an initial one-year extension on the existing contract. In operation since its 1991 founding, Trinity has 75 vehicles and about 250 employees and bases throughout the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire. It provides 911 services to a dozen
communities in the area: Tyngsborough, Chelmsford, Lowell, Dunstable, Haverhill, and Groveland in Massachusetts and Plaistow, Atkinson, Sandown, Newton, Hampstead, and Sandown in New Hampshire.
Former Swampscott town planner and energy efficiency manager S. Peter Kane will return to the town planner position in Swampscott this fall. Brian Szekely, who held the position for a year after Kane left, recently resigned to take a similar job in Winchester. Kane, who has been working in private business, plans to start in September. “Peter did a good job when he was here,” said Matt Strauss, chairman of the Board of Selectmen. “He is well-liked and very well respected.”
The Green Communities Division of the state Department of Energy Resources has awarded Chelmsford a $128,732 grant to replace two, 20-ton rooftop heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units at Chelmsford High School with high-efficiency models. The division reviewed Chelmsford’s grant application and determined that the project is viable. Use of the state funds is restricted to the high school project due to the competitive nature of the grant program, according to a July 14 letter sent to the town by Lisa Capone, deputy director of the Green Communities Division.
Salisbury is seeking proposals from buyer/developers for the former Salisbury Plains School at 92 Main St. Town Planner Lisa Pearsonsaid the town wants to find a buyer who will utilize the site in a way that will complement the neighborhood, noting that the Bartlett Farm Stand is on one side of the property, and on the other sits a historic home and other residential units. Among the uses that have been discussed for the property: a day care center, bakery, or animal hospital. To receive the town’s request for proposals, go to Town Hall, Beach Road, Salisbury, or e-mail CDBG@salisburyma.gov.
Lynnfield has hired a new Department of Public Works director. Andrew Lafferty,
deputy director of Newburyport’s Department of Public Services, recently signed a contract to replace Dennis Roy, who retired on June 30 after 15 years with the town. Lafferty’s starting salary will be $103,000.
Preschoolers, along with staff, friends, and families of The Learning Experience in Billerica raised $5,000 for scleroderma research at its third annual Stepping Out to Cure Scleroderma — I Walk for Melody event. The walk was held June 28 at The Learning Experience, 210 Treble Cove Road. In addition to raising funds for the Scleroderma Foundation, the walk strives to increase awareness about the illness and provide support to those who have been affected by it. The cause hits close to home for the The Learning Experience family, as the Billerica center’s director, Melody Lee, has the chronic connective tissue disease.
Middle-school children have an opportunity to learn video production skills at Burlington Cable Access Television. The station is holding its annual free summer program, Video Vacation Week, Monday through Friday, Aug. 12-16. The program, designed to be educational and fun, is open to all Burlington children entering the sixth through eighth grades. It will encourage participants to conceive and develop ideas and teach them how to bring those ideas to life through video production in the studio and the field. The videos will be shot over the course of the week and then edited into a program shown on BCAT’s local channels, as well as the station’s website, YouTube channel, Twitter feed, and Facebook site. The program will be led by BCAT production coordinators Cory McNeil and Tad Stephanak, who also facilitate Video Voyagers, a similar program BCAT offers during the school year. Video Vacation Week will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. each day at the BCAT studios in the back of the high school, 123 Cambridge St. To sign up, call 781-273-5922, e-mail email@example.com, or go towww.bcattv.org.
Oliver Sellers-Garcia is the new director of Sustainability and Environment for Somerville, responsible for guiding the city to a greener future. “Mr. Sellers-Garcia will play a critical role in the city reaching our ambitious 2050 net zero carbon emission target,” said Mayor Joseph Curtatone. Sellers-Garcia was selected because of his strong background in developing sustainability plans for cities and nonprofits. He worked most recently as the project manager at an environmental consulting firm, and has also previously helped the city of Salem develop a climate change vulnerability plan, worked with Asheville, N.C., to reduce the city’s energy consumption, and supported Logan Airport’s plan for sustainable design. Sellers-Garcia is a Somerville resident with a bachelor’s degree in urban studies and French from Columbia University and a master’s in city planning and urban design from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The town is seeking adult volunteers to help build a new playground at Funway Park. This weekend Tewksbury is holding a “community build” to erect the playground. The work is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. The new playground will replace one at the Livingston Street park. O’Brien & Sons of Medfield,the firm supplying the equipment, will oversee the community build. Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to sign up in advance by going to the town website, www.tewksbury-ma.gov, and clicking on the link provided, or calling the town manager’s office at 978-640-4300. Final details of the project are scheduled to be carried out in the days after the build, including construction of a walkway, a fence, and a handicap-accessible entrance ramp. The playground is set to open Aug. 2.
The North Reading Board of Selectmen is considering taking control of the remaining 40 acres of undeveloped land at the former J.T. Berry property off Lowell Road. The Gutierrez Company purchased the Berry property years ago. Half of the land was used to develop the Edgewood Luxury Apartments complex; the remainder was transferred back to the state in 2012. The town now has the option to take control of the property if North Reading pays a portion of the “sunk costs” that the state has spent on the property for items including advertising, maintenance, and legal expenses. The state is in the process of compiling the sunk costs figure for the town. If North Reading pays a portion of those costs, the town would take control of the land and have final say about the fate of the land. In addition, the town would share in the proceeds from sale of the land.
Six people are about halfway through the basic firefighter training program. Ben Madden, Hannah Butler, Carrie Burke, Shane Clemens, Tyler Brown, and Cameron Thorpe started the program on June 25, and are expected to join the Boxford Fire Department as call firefighters after the program ends on July 30. “We’re looking forward to having a few new members,” said Fire Chief Kerry Stickney. Madden is the son of Boxford Deputy Chief Michael Madden, and Thorpe is the son of Captain Jim Thorpe of the Massport Fire Department.
Mayor James J. Fiorentini on July 10 presented checks to victims displaced by the May 7 fire at Forest Acres, an apartment complex off Route 125 in the city’s Bradford section. The money came from donations made by citizens. The mayor’s office had set up an account at Pentucket Bank to help support the families who were displaced. Donations exceeded $10,000, according to a statement released by Allison Heartquist, the mayor’s executive assistant. More than 40 residents were displaced by the fire.
The Board of Selectmen is writing policies that it hopes will help it operate better as a board. Among the changes will be a way for citizens to have their items introduced at public meetings, according to Selectman Joe D’Amore. Also being considered is a “two-meeting rule,” which would require a vote on some topics after a required two meetings, allowing for reflection between meetings while maintaining urgency about the topic. “We were relying on bylaws and some bylaws are outdated,” D’Amore said. “I don’t know if you know this, but a horse can’t drink at a public fountain in Groveland.”
A Sept. 22 pretrial conference has been set for two University of Massachusetts Lowell students charged with firing BB guns from their dormitory window, leaving a fellow student with minor injuries to her face and leg. The men, 21-year-old Sean Marchand of Deering, N.H., and 20-year-old Patrick Bogonis of Woburn, were ordered to leave their dorm pending the outcome of legal proceedings surrounding the incident, which occurred during the spring. Police responded to a report that a female student had been hit by a BB pellet while she and a group of friends were using a hula hoop outside. They were able to identify the dorm window the pellet came from. When police followed up, they found Marchand, Bogonis, and two air pistols.
Nine cash-only parking lots in Lawrence will be converted to automated payment collection lots and contractors will be hired to manage the city’s two parking garages, both as part of a reorganization outlined by the city’s fiscal overseer, Robert Nunes. The changes come just a year after the arrest of Justo Garcia, a city attendant facing charges of skimming thousands of dollars from a downtown garage. Garcia’s larceny trial is pending. The reorganization is one of more than a dozen recommendations put forth at that time by Nunes to then-mayor William Lantigua; Nunes’s plan also included reinstalling outdated security cameras and commissioning an independent audit of parking facility finances. Mayor Dan Rivera inherited the proposal when he took office in January.
At their last meeting, selectmen approved a request to change the name of the manager on Tedesco Country Club’s liquor license to John Kinner, who lives in
Swampscott. In other matters, the board appointed Harry C. Christensen as the town’s armed forces liaison.
The Essex Board of Selectmen recently sent a letter to Morley Piper, 90, congratulating him on his return from France, where he commemorated his service and that of others during the D-Day invasion of World War II, 70 years ago. At the time of the invasion, Piper was a second lieutenant with the 29th Infantry Division. “We are proud to have a member of the ‘Greatest Generation’ among us in Essex, and our town and nation will forever be in debt to the incredible sacrifices made by those who have served,” read the letter, signed by Selectman Jeff Jones and Selectwomen Lisa O’Donnell and Susan Gould-Coviello.
The North Andover Board of Selectmen and Town Manager Andrew W. Maylor are scheduled to hold a groundbreaking ceremony at 8 a.m. July 29 to celebrate improvements to McEvoy Field. The ceremony will be held on the Sutton Street side of the field. Voters at the annual Town Meeting in May approved just over $900,000 worth of improvements at McEvoy Field. According to public bid documents, the field soon will be home to ball fields with drainage and irrigation, new playground equipment, and a prefabricated building with restroom facilities and storage and concession areas. Funding for the project is coming out of the Community Preservation Fund, which may be used to purchase open space to save it from development; enhance historic properties; and provide homes for people who earn below-average incomes. Open space preservation may include the construction of recreational facilities. North Andover adopted the Community Preservation Act in 2001.
Cataldo Ambulance Service has announced the recent renewal of Atlantic Ambulance Service’s exclusive contract to provide medical transportation services to Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport. Atlantic Ambulance is a division of Cataldo Ambulance, providing service to communities in the company’s northernmost operating area. The two-year contract term began July 1. Atlantic Ambulance began operations in the city of Newburyport and the surrounding communities of Salisbury and West Newbury in November 2012. Since that time, the company has assumed responsibility for providing all front-line emergency medical services for each of the three communities. “Everyone at our company is thrilled to be continuing our relationship with the Anna Jaques Hospital,” said Cataldo vice president Dennis Cataldo. “Together we are dedicated to providing exceptional services to every patient we serve.”
A former waste transfer station
will be transformed into a creative common space for art and urban agriculture thanks to a $415,000 grant. ArtPlace America, a national organization that supports art and culture, awarded the money to the Somerville Arts Council to create the space, called ARTFarm for Social Innovation. The 2.2-acre site on Poplar Street will include facilities built from shipping containers, repurposed for community use. “The former waste transfer station in our Inner Belt district was not only a blight on our community, but also hindered our progress in furthering our arts and economic development in a particularly underutilized area of this city,” said Mayor Joseph Curtatone. ARTFarm will be available for special events and performances, and will also house GrowLab, a community garden, ARTLab, for educational art activities, and ARTShow, a gallery space
Weiss Farm Apartments LLC is seeking a comprehensive permit for 264 dwelling units on 25.6 acres commonly referred to as Weiss Farm, located at 170 Franklin St.
The town’s Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the proposal at 8 p.m. Thursday in the Town Hall auditorium, 35 Central St. Some local officials and the Friends of Stoneham, a group of local residents, have voiced opposition to the proposal, raising concerns about the effect the development would have on traffic and wetlands. The developer is seeking to build the rental apartment complex under Chapter 40B, a state law that allows builders to bypass local zoning regulations if at least 25 percent of the units are affordable and the development is in a community where less than 10 percent of the housing stock is considered affordable. Weiss Farm Apartments LLC would set aside 66 units as affordable housing.
The Reading Municipal Light Department has been awarded $250,000 in grants by the Patrick administration for energy efficiency programs for customers of municipal light plants to expand cost savings and environmental benefits, according to a joint statement released by state Senator Jason Lewis, a Winchester Democrat, and state representatives Bradley Jones, a North Reading Republican, and James Dwyer, a Woburn Democrat. The Light Department will receive $73,000 for a commercial and industrial LED program; $47,000 for a residential LED program; $31,250 each for LED street lights in Reading, North Reading, Wilmington, and Lynnfield; and, $5,000 for administrative and public education costs.
The Police Department recently equipped all of its vehicles with nasal Narcan. The brand name for naxalone, Narcan is used to reverse the effects of an overdose of heroin or other opiates. The initiative came in response to the statewide surge in opiate overdoses, which Governor Deval Patrick in March declared a public health crisis. Burlington is one of the first police departments in the state to mandate the carrying of Narcan in all of its cruisers. The town has had two deaths from drug overdoses the past few years, one from an opiate. The new policy was implemented with the support of the patrol officers’ and supervisors’ unions. Members of the department received training in the use of Narcan from Burlington Detective Paul J. Glejzer and Officer Dan Houston, who were recently certified to offer that instruction through a program offered by the office of Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan.
Teamsters Local 25 president Sean M. O’Brien recently presented two checks to local organizations for their work with children on the autism spectrum. Flips & Giggles Gymnastics at 376 Washington St. was given a $5,000 donation and the Malden West Challengers Little League Program received a $10,000 donation. The Teamsters Local 25 Autism Fund for 2014 donated about $320,000 to nonprofit organizations that help children, teens, and adults with autism or developmental delays. The organization’s major fund-raiser is the annual Teamsters Local 25 Light Up the Night Gala, which is held each March. Since its inception eight years ago, the fund has donated at least $2 million to organizations that work to support individuals with autism or developmental delays.
Ruben Holguin of Lynn was recently chosen by North Shore Community College to receive its annual Outstanding Community Service award. Incarcerated as a youth, Holguin earned his GED in jail and then entered North Shore Community College through its Project Enable introductory program. Holguin is involved in many college activities. He serves as a student representative on the college’s Enrollment Development Team and its Minority Recruitment and Success Team. He took part in a webinar devoted to helping men of color succeed in higher education, and helped the college develop new promotional materials. He is a recipient of an Engaged Leader Award from Sigma Alpha Pi, the National Society of Leadership and Success. Holguin also represented the state, North Shore Community College, and the Massachusetts Coalition for Adult Education at the Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C., and serves as national secretary of Value USA, an organization of current and former adult learners. Holguin regularly speaks to homeless people and drug addicts about how to turn their lives around.
The Melrose public schools will accept applications for school choice until Aug. 8. Applications may be obtained by calling 781-662-2000, ext. 1, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Seats are available at Melrose High School: two in ninth grade; four in 10th grade; three in 11th grade. If the number of applicants exceeds the number of available seats, admission will be by random lottery. Students accepted will be notified by Aug. 13. Anyone not accepted will be put on a waiting list.
Town officials are reminding residents that they can apply through Aug. 1 to participate in the Senior Citizen Property Tax Work-Off Program and the Veterans Property Tax Work-Off Program for fiscal 2015. Both programs offer participants a chance to do volunteer work for town departments in return for a reduction of up to $1,000
on their annual property taxes, based on 125 hours of work at $8 per hour. The senior program, which began in 2012, is open to residents age 60 and older. The veterans’ program, which began last year, is open to any veteran regardless of age. In both cases, the applicants must also own and occupy their home. Priority is given to applicants whose annual household income does not exceed $60,000. Interested residents can have an application mailed to them by calling the town manager’s office at 978-640-4300 or stopping by the office.
The Scholarship Foundation of Wakefield scholarship fund in the name of former Wakefield High School football coach William Tighe has achieved permanent status. The foundation, which administers more than 500 scholarship funds, considers a fund permanent when it reaches a particular minimum balance. Since it has attained that status, the Coach William Tighe Warrior Club Fund will begin awarding an annual scholarship starting this year. The fund was established by the Wakefield Warrior Club, a booster club for the high school football team. Preference for its scholarship awards will be given to those who played for the high school football team. Tighe coached the team, the Warriors, from 1957 through 1963, and the team won the Middlesex League championship in four of those years. He left Wakefield in 1963 and went on to coach at Malden and Lexington, retiring in 2010 at the age of 86. He was inducted into the Wakefield High School Hall of Fame in 1991. The club created the fund at the behest of the 1957 football team. Former team members organized a retirement party for Tighe in 2011, and the money collected was used to establish the scholarship fund.
The National Arbor Day Foundation has once again named Andover a Tree City. The 30-year Tree City USA program is sponsored by the foundation in partnership with the National Association of State Foresters and the US Forest Service. The award recognizes cities and towns for their strategic management of community trees and their commitment to planting new trees. To qualify as a Tree City community, a municipality must meet four standards: have a tree board or department; adopt a tree care ordinance; establish a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita; and hold an Arbor Day celebration. This is the 15th year that Andover has received the recognition.
The town officially has a new finance director/treasurer/collector: Michael A. Bertino. Beginning Monday, he will fill the role vacated by Warren Sproul, who has agreed to stay on temporarily to help him adjust to the role. In a meeting on July 14, selectmen voted unanimously to enter into a three-year contract with Bertino, at an annual salary of $110,000. According to a statement from selectmen, Bertino has 21 years of “progressive finance experience” in town, banking, and corporate roles. He worked for 11 years as finance director in Winthrop. In addition to supervising and coordinating the town’s financial activities, he will supervise the town accountant, assessor, and town clerk, and will also perform human resource functions.
The Peabody Institute Library has started a summer Courtyard Concerts series. Through Aug. 28, a concert will be presented every Thursday evening at 6 in the courtyard of the main library, 82 Main St. Residents can bring a blanket, a folding chair, and a picnic dinner and enjoy live acoustic music from a new performer each week. In the event of rain, concerts are held in the library’s Sutton Room, where no food is allowed. This week’s concert features Damn Tall Buildings, performing bluegrass.
The Community House Music Committee has extended the schedule for the Sundays in Patton Park Concert Series, a free series of public concerts held on Sundays from 5 to 7 p.m. Sponsored by the Community House of Hamilton and Wenham, the series continues Sunday with The Community Band of Wenham. Other concerts include ’60s Invasion (a Beatles tribute band) on July 27, the First Congregational Church of Hamilton Musicians on Aug. 3, and the additional concert, featuring Another Friday Night, on Aug. 10.
Julie Smith has started her new position as principal of Centerville Elementary School. Smith, who became principal on July 1, succeeds Karla Pressman in the position. Smith was chosen from a list of three finalists by Schools Superintendent Steve Hiersche in the spring. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and a master’s from Le Moyne College, and formerly served as the assistant principal of Ambrose Elementary School in Winchester. Also, she previously held assistant principal posts at Lowell Community Charter Public School and at Lake Street Elementary School in Chittenango, N.Y.
The city was recently awarded an additional $5,000 through the Working Cities Challenge, a new program to help revitalize smaller Massachusetts cities. Salem in January was among six cities statewide selected to receive funding as part of the program, which is led by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Salem was allotted $100,000 to work in partnership with the North Shore Community Development Corp., the North Shore Workforce Investment Board, and Salem State University to improve the low-income Point neighborhood. The work includes organizing leadership and civic engagement activities, developing a commercial corridor plan, and providing an English-language-learning program focused on vocabulary used in emerging industry jobs. The latest $5,000 grant will allow North Shore Community Development Corp. to bolster its neighborhood outreach to provide residents more opportunities to participate in the program.
The town this past week closed Maple Street (Route 62) between Summer and Pine streets to replace the culvert at Beaver Brook. The street closure is scheduled to remain in effect through Aug. 8. A traffic detour has been set up, and local residents are being allowed access to their properties. Albanese D&S of Dracut is carrying out the work, which involves installing a new precast culvert and concrete retaining walls at ends of the culvert; placement of protective stones within the stream bed and banks; restoration of the banks and roadway; and removal of the existing culvert. The project is expected to be completed the first week of September.
Tufts Pool opened last Monday after undergoing a $126,000 overhaul. Rainy weather delayed construction and prevented an earlier summer opening. New pipes, valves, and piping were installed. Cracks were filled on the main pool’s interior, the concrete deck was renovated, and cleaning equipment was purchased. Two 12-inch diameter drains were installed in the wading pool. The pool, located next to Tufts Park in South Medford, is open to the public. The cost of a pass for Medford residents is $25 for an individual or $75 for a family. The cost for nonresidents is $50 for an individual and $125 for a family. The pool is scheduled to close on Aug. 23.
The public library will be improving the early learning play space in its children’s room, using a recent $7,000 donation from the Saugus Public Library Foundation. The project includes buying new tables and chairs for children and comfortable seating for adults to spend time with their children in the area. The nonprofit foundation, which raises money to support the library, presented the donation as part of its 10th anniversary celebration this year. It is one of several contributions the group has made to the library during the past year. Others have included donating money for a flat-screen television for the community room that can be used to show movies, PowerPoint presentations, and Excel documents. The foundation also donated passes to several museums and renewed the library’s genealogy database.
The city this week kicks off the mayor’s annual free summer concert series. Four concerts are scheduled on successive Thursday nights at 7 at the Connolly Center, 90 Chelsea St. The public is invited and no tickets are needed. In the first concert, on Thursday, the city will present Smokin Joe & the Henchmen. The other three concerts will feature: the Houston Bernard Band, on July 31; Stephen Savio & Sea Breeze, on Aug. 7; and The Compaq Swing Orchestra, on Aug. 14. For more information, contact Dale Palma, director of the Council on Aging, at 617-394-2323.
The legal battle between a developer and a group of Winchester residents asking the state Land Court to overturn a town board’s approval of a site plan for a new CVS pharmacy is moving toward trial. Chief Justice Judith C. Cutler of the Massachusetts Land Court on July 1 denied motions by both the residents and the developer seeking summary judgment. According to Land Court records, Cutler “reviewed the parties’ filings and has determined there are disputed issues of fact that precludes summary judgment.” The plaintiffs filed their appeal in Land Court last year seeking to overturn the Zoning Board of Appeals’ unanimous approval for a CVS at the corner of Swanton and Washington streets. The approval was granted in July after the board imposed more than 40 conditions on the project. The plaintiffs are all direct abutters of the property who believe that several aspects of the CVS proposal, including provisions for parking and a fire lane, do not conform to Winchester’s zoning bylaw. They also contend that the plan poses a threat to public health and the environment. Indianapolis-based Gersman Brown Crowley, Inc., one of the nation’s largest CVS developers, is the specialty real estate company that secured site plan approval for the project. Mary Winstanley O’Connor, an attorney for the developer, did not return a telephone message seeking comment. She had previously said that the CVS development would improve the area, replacing older buildings with a modern one. The parties are due back in court on Oct. 21 for a pretrial hearing, according to Daniel C. Hill of Hill Law in Charlestown, the attorney representing the residents.
On Monday the library is holding a Giant Game Day for all ages. On that day, the library is turning its front lawn into a temporary playground filled with life-size versions of popular table games, including checkers, Snakes and Ladders, and Connect Four. The game day, free and open to all, will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. No reservations are needed but all children must be accompanied by a parent or other caregiver. The rain date is Tuesday. The games are on loan from the Giant Game Co. The event is sponsored by the Friends of the Woburn Public Library. For more information, contact Andrea Bunker, the assistant library director, at email@example.com or 781-933-0148.
The committee that runs the Winthrop Farmers Market at French Square is seeking additional volunteers to help set up and break down the market this season. The outdoor market is open every other Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Sept. 21 in French Square, located in the middle of the town center. The remaining market dates for this season are July 27, Aug. 10 and 24, and Sept. 7 and 21. The committee comprises 10 people who have been organizing the market since last fall. But officials said several of the members are also vendors and others are not always free on Sunday mornings to help. “We could really use two or three more people, particularly on the market mornings to help set up and direct vendors about where to go and how to get prepared,” said Joseph Domelowicz, assistant to the town manager. Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to contact Domelowicz at 617-846-1852, ext. 1013, or to e-mail the committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
North Reading Parks and Recreation department kicked off its summer concert and barbecue series last week. The fun kicks off with a barbecue at 5 p.m. each Wednesday through Aug. 13 at Ipswich River Park, 15 Central St.
Each week the event features entertainment for children at 5:15 p.m. followed by live music at 6:15 p.m.; the musical styles include rhythm and blues (Aug. 6) and a Beatles tribute band (Aug. 13).
New this year is the town’s farmers market, which is also being held on Wednesdays at Ipswich River Park. Vendors are offering a variety of fresh produce and craft items from 4 to 7 p.m. There is a $3 per vehicle fee to support Ipswich River Park. To view the summer concert and barbecue series schedule, visit the Parks and Recreation Department page on the town website at northreadingma.gov
; there is a link to the “Concert/BBQ Series” in the department’s “current news” section. For more information about the farmers market, call Sheila Sturdevant in the Parks and Recreation Department at 978-664-6016.
Lynnfield Town Clerk Trudy Reid is seeking registered voters interested in working the election polls. Election officers help greet voters, verify registration, and provide the appropriate ballot. After the polls have closed, election workers help the town clerk and wardens count the votes and close the polling location. Workers are asked to work one shift — either from 6:45 a.m. to 2 p.m., or 2 p.m. to whenever the votes have been counted after 8 p.m. The pay is $8 per hour. Those interested can contact Reid at email@example.com or stop into the town clerk’s office at Town Hall, 55 Summer St., Lynnfield.
The Burlington Allied Veterans Council is planning to add a bronze plaque to the brick wall behind the five new flagpoles next to the veterans monuments on Town Hall. The marker will list the names of veterans from Burlington, living or deceased, who families would like to have remembered. Families who would like a name included will be asked to make a contribution toward the cost of installing and maintaining the plaque. The requested contribution would be about $200 to $250, with the exact amount to be determined once the number of names to be included is known. The five flagpoles — each of which flies the flag of a military service branch — and the brick wall are part of a memorial park that the council created last year. Any family that would like the name of a loved one included on the new plaque may contact Art Enos of the Allied Veterans Council at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at 781-272-5040 or 781-718-0856. The council’s goal is to have all names collected by July 30 so that the plaque can be in place by Veterans Day on Nov. 11.
The Wilmington Chamber of Commerce is seeking sponsors and participants for its 10th
annual half marathon and 5-kilometer run or walk. The event will be held Sept. 28. Participants may choose to walk or run either the half marathon (13.1 miles) or the 5k ( 3.1 miles). Preregistration fees vary from $15 for students 18 years or younger to $30, depending on which race the participant chooses. Proceeds will benefit scholarships for Wilmington High School students. The fund-raising event also will feature children’s activities, a disc jockey, hot dogs, fruit, and ice cream. For more information or to register online, visit the chamber’s website at www.wilmingtonmachamber.org
and click on the link to the race from the home page.
This year’s annual SomerMovie “Feast” is food-themed, with outdoor movies shown throughout the city, all focused on culinary stories. The screenings began last week with “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” at Seven Hills Park in Davis Square, and will continue with new movies in different parks every Thursday at 7 p.m. throughout the summer. Movies will include “Soylent Green,” “Chocolat,” “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.” There is also a viewer’s choice the last week of the summer, where residents can vote to watch either “Supersize Me,” “Mystic Pizza,” “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes,” or “No Reservations.” Visit www.somervillema.gov for the full movie schedule.
The 2014 Georgetown Summer Concert Series continues this weekend at American Legion Park, off Prospect Street, with a Sunday performance by the Neil Young tribute band Rust Never Sleeps. Sponsored by the Georgetown Concert Committee, Modern Woodman Fraternal Financial, and several other sponsors, the concert series is held Sunday evenings from 5 to 7 p.m. and is free. Upcoming shows include Jenny Dee and the Deelinquents (July 27), the Renowns (Aug. 3), Paul Rishell and Annie Raines (Aug. 10), Alley Stoetzel & the Goodtime Stringband (Aug. 17), and Courage and the Bear (Aug. 24). For more information, go to gtownculture.org.
The Massachusetts Historical Commission recently approved Union Congregational Church of Amesbury for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. The nomination was forwarded to the National Park Service in Washington, D.C., for final consideration and designation. In a prepared statement, William Galvin, secretary of the Commonwealth, said: “Inclusion of the Union Congregational Church in the National Register will help to preserve a building that has been treasured by neighborhood residents for nearly 180 years.” A 2½-story Greek-revival building topped by a three-tier steeple, the church is located at 350-354 Main St.
Emerson Hospital has given the town a gift of $10,000 to support two of the Board of Health’s most popular preventative programs for seniors: the dental and shingles programs. As part of the hospital’s commitment to assisting the communities it serves, Emerson has donated $5,000 to each of the programs. The shingles program offers residents older than 60 years protection against this debilitating condition with a single-shot vaccine. During the past four years, more than 150 residents have received the vaccine though the town’s shingles program. The dental program provides dental care for older Westford residents who have no dental insurance and meet income requirements. Emerson Hospital operates The Westford Health Center on Littleton Road (Route 110). The health center offers comprehensive medical care with more than 30 physicians in 17 different practices.
Several members of the Dracut Fire Department have been promoted as preparations are made for two upcoming retirements. Deputy Chief Mike Ralls and Captain Joseph Greenwood will each retire at the end of July.
A third position had already opened up with the departure of Captain Gregory Gagnon, who left Dracut last month to become fire chief in Ipswich. As a result of the vacancies, firefighters Mark Armstrong and Ken McMenimen have been promoted to lieutenant, and Lieutenants Tim Grimes and Thomas Mackey were promoted to captain. Deputy Fire Chief Richard Patterson said some firefighters currently assigned to dispatch have also been cleared to move to field service.