The Board of Selectmen is currently studying whether the town should pursue designation as a Green Community by the state’s Department of Energy Resources, a status reached by demonstrating a commitment to energy conservation. “The most sensitive topic is the impact on residential building, be it new or modifications,” said board chair Ellen Allen. “For me personally, I need to get a little more comfortable with what this means from a builder’s perspective.” According to Allen, the board is in no rush to make a decision and will take its time to study the implications of a Green Communities designation for builders and homeowners. “We need to complete that initial assessment, and then we can step back and see if we’re comfortable,” she said.
Bids are being accepted on a telescope donated to the Friends of the Middleborough Public Library until 5 p.m. on Sept. 2 via a silent auction. The telescope is a Meade LXD55 with an eight-inch lens plus additional accessories. It was donated by a resident. The original purchase price was $1,500, and the current value, according to the Meade Instruments Corporation, is $1,000. The telescope can be viewed at the library during regular hours. The opening bid has been set at $500 and can rise in $25 increments with additional bids. Bid slips are available at the main desk at the library, and must be picked up in person. No bid numbers will be assigned over the telephone. The telescope will be dismantled and packed in the original box, but the winning bidder will be responsible for pickup and transport, according to librarian Danielle Bowker. For more information, call 508-946-2470 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The town is in the process of using its Green Community grant money to retrofit several municipal buildings, said Town Coordinator Dale Pleau. According to Pleau, the elementary school, Town House, Highway Department, and library will have their inside and outside lighting replaced for greater energy efficiency. Plympton was awarded a $141,500 Green Community grant by Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. in February, having received official designation as a Green Community from the Department of Energy Resources in December.
People who worked at the National Fireworks plant in Hanover may be eligible for medical compensation costs through the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation program for former employees and their survivors. The program was created in 2000, after Congress found that employees who worked in nuclear weapons production were put at risk of cancer, silicosis, and premature death without their knowledge. Employees who worked at the facility in Hanover between 1959 and 1961, while it was run by American Potash and Chemical Company, may qualify. During that time, workers shaped uranium metal, formed uranium-magnesium explosives, and worked uranium-based powders. According to the Department of Labor, three applications related to the Hanover site have already been filed but were denied because two applicants worked at the site outside the covered time period and one individual did not meet the definition of a covered survivor.
The First Church in Weymouth, whose congregation dates to the early 1600s and had ties to Abigail Adams, is asking the town to spend $71,000 to preserve a historic Bible and repair the 19th century building. The money would come from the town’s Community Preservation fund, which has about $200,000 available for historic preservation purposes, according to town planning director James Clarke. He said the project was eligible for the public funds because the building — built in 1833 on the site of earlier church structures — had been used as the town’s meetinghouse for about 100 years and has historical value. The money would pay for replacing three front doors, re-gilding the weathervane, restoring the church steeple, preserving the pulpit and pews, and constructing an argon-filled case to help preserve an 18th-century Bible.
What’s white, quiet, and runs entirely on electricity? It’s the new electric car being used by the town’s water meter reader, who previously drove a diesel pickup truck. Scituate bought the car with money from a $37,500 grant from the state Electrical Vehicle Incentive Program, according to Al Bangert, the town’s director of special projects. Bangert said the grant also will be used to install two public charging stations for electric cars. He said $15,000 of the grant can be used to subsidize the purchase of three hybrid vehicles, and officials plan to ask Town Meeting to appropriate the approximately $90,000 more needed. “It’s another step in the strategy of the Board of Selectmen and Town Administrator to improve energy efficiency and reduce the town’s carbon footprint,” said Bangert.
Rockland officials held a public hearing on Monday on the fate of the SouthField project at the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station. A bill written by developer Starwood Land Ventures and the town of Weymouth and filed by House Majority Leader Ronald Mariano would strip the powers of the South Shore Tri-Town Development Corporation, the semi-governmental body composed of delegates from Rockland, Abington, and Weymouth that oversees the project. Due to scheduling restrictions set out in the town charter, Rockland cannot hold a Town Meeting at which residents will vote on the legislation until Aug. 11. Legislators will likely try to push the bill through before the end of the formal legislative session Thursday. The town has drafted two articles related to SouthField for next month’s meeting. One will determine whether the town endorses the legislation, and the second will raise $200,000 for a legal defense fund in the event the town does not approve the bill and it passes anyway. In a phone interview, Town Administrator Allan Chiocca pointed out that any changes to Tri-Town are supposed to receive prior approval from all three towns represented on the board. “If they make the legislation palatable to Rockland, then it passes Town Meeting. We’re hoping that the whole process doesn’t end up in litigation,” he said.
While warning that costs for additional infrastructure improvements lie ahead, the Town Council recently approved increases in water and sewer rates that will mean the average family will pay about $1,155, or $63 more, for the services this year. The town has been working to increase money set aside for future improvements at the same time it undertakes major projects to replace all of the town’s 9,300 water meters and miles of aging water pipes, according to town officials. But even with water bans in place, a new pumping station or increased dependence on Massachusetts Water Resources Authority supplies lie ahead, councilors warned. Some councilors, including Andrew Azer, pushed for higher rates at the July 14 meeting so the town could build up reserves and avoid some of the sticker shock that could come with the replacement of the aging pumping station serving the Tri-Town District that also includes Holbrook and Braintree. The town relies on the MWRA for its sewage treatment, and other councilors expressed the desire to limit future additional dependence on the agency. “I think the MWRA is out of their minds what they’re charging rate payers in this part of the state,” said Councilor Edward Gilbert. Full details of the rate increase can be found at the town website townofrandolph.com, under the Town News heading.
The authority in charge of the state’s school buildings has recommended that city officials use a 430-student capacity enrollment figure when designing a replacement for the aging Sterling Middle School in West Quincy. The recommended enrollment number is greater than the school’s current capacity by 50 students, allowing the city to design a school based on its projected growth of the 5-to-8 grade student population. The School Committee is expected to vote on the Massachusetts School Building Authority recommendation at a special meeting Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the City Council chambers at City Hall.
The Plymouth Redevelopment Authority is offering three affordable condominium units to first-time homebuyers. The latest one to become available is a two-bedroom condo at The Highlands at Ocean Point. Located at 4 Highland Terrace, a 42-unit townhouse complex that was built in 2000, it’spriced at $139,570. There are also two-bedroom condo units available at The Armory at 76 Court St. in Plymouth and at 248 Center St. in Bridgewater. Interested homebuyers must meet income-limit requirements, and applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. As of Tuesday, all three units were still available, according to Laura L. Schaefer, executive director of the Plymouth Redevelopment Authority. Application forms can be downloaded at www.plymouthredevelopment.org. For more information, call 508-747-1620, ext. 147.
The Friends of Pembroke Library is encouraging residents to take part in its annual silent auction, now underway at the library. Proceeds from the event, now in its sixth year, will help the group sponsor programs at the library as well as museum passes. Among the 39 items available for bidding this year are a two-hour sightseeing flight out of Plymouth Airport, a floor lamp, and a handmade doll bed with bedding. All items are on display in the main room of the library. The bidding will continue until Friday at 5 p.m. For more information, call 781-293-6771.
Two years ago, selectmen tried to address the length of Town Meeting, appointing a subcommittee to make recommendations that might streamline things. Two years later, the number of articles considered was down, but the number of sessions and the average length of the sessions remains long. In 2012, Town Meeting slogged through nine sessions, held about 27 hours of debate, and considered 88 articles. This year, according to figures compiled by Town Clerk Amy Summers, voters considered 60 articles over 10 sessions that averaged about 3½ hours each, for about 35 hours of debate. The possible culprit this year: Town Meeting had a lot of work to do, including consideration of articles on several Community Preservation Act projects and passing an amendment to the zoning bylaws on where medical marijuana facilities could be located. Attendance at the 10 sessions this year ranged from 99 Town Meeting representatives on June 16 to 129 on May 7, never threatening the quorum, which is 78.
Police Chief Scott D. Benton said that an internal investigation has shown that a detective was discourteous, rude, and insolent to a Hispanic woman, but that she, her family, and and their guests were not subject to discrimination. The detective made a statement expressing doubt that the woman paid taxes during a heated exchange outside a wedding reception May 18. “It wasn’t racist,” Benton said in an interview about the incident, about a minute of which was caught on video and posted to YouTube and other outlets. In his 14-page report, Benton states that Whitman police were called as backup to the Villa Ridder Country Club in East Bridgewater when a guest at the reception refused to comply with a police detail officer’s request to leave after he repeatedly returned to a car in which the officer observed people drinking from a flask. According to the report, about 30 guests, several of them under the influence of alcohol, agitated, and using profanity, then went outside, and it was then that Detective Sergeant Joseph Bombardier made the taxpayer remark during an exchange with one woman. Benton said that there was not sufficient evidence that Bombardier’s remark was made because the woman is Hispanic. However, the report states, it was a failure on his part to show tact and patience under trying circumstances. Madeline Tejada of Hyde Park, a family member who shot the video, said in an interview last week that she had not heard that the investigation had been completed. “We obviously didn’t know about that decision,’’ said Tejada. “At this point I’m just going to let it go.” Benton would not say whether Bombardier had been punished for the incident, saying only that “appropriate personnel action was taken.”
Residents can take part in a friendly competition while raising money for the public library. On Thursday, the Hanson Public Library Foundation is holding its third annual Trivia Night in the Needles Lodge at Camp Kiwanee, off Route 58. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the trivia game will begin at 8 p.m. The entrance fee is $150 for a team of up to eight people and $20 for an individual. There will be a cash bar, and popcorn and water are provided. A cash prize of $300 will go to the winning team. Proceeds from the evening will fund enrichment programs at the library, including author talks and the annual open house. Entry forms are available at the library, 132 Maquan St. For more information, visit hansonlibrary.org, e-mail the foundation at email@example.com, or call the library at at 781-293-2151.
Although school administrators have reinstated 199 teachers who received pink slips in May to help close a $6 million gap in the city school budget, schools will still open this fall with 72 fewer paraprofessionals, teacher assistants, custodians, and administrative assistants, according to a posting from schools superintendent Kathleen Smith. Smith said administrators are working through the summer to find ways to redistribute staff and materials to accommodate the reduction. To balance the budget, officials had to make a number of cuts, including $2 million in reduced technology requests, $340,000 in school supplies and materials, $183.552 in middle school sports and high school intramurals, $500,000 in substitute teachers, and $350,000 in after-school programs, Smith said. “It’s going to be difficult to function smoothly without the help and support of the noncertified positions we have lost,’’ she said. “But we will do our best because our students are our first priority.”
A date of Oct. 27 has been set for the fall special Town Meeting. The agenda is far from certain yet, but all six of the town’s union contracts — with police, firefighters, clerical workers, the Department of Public Works, the library, and the supervisors — are up for renewal, Town Administrator Rocco Longo said in an interview. If the meeting is typical of past fall Town Meetings, it will include financial housekeeping items and land acquisition, he said. The warrant opens for submission of articles Aug. 18 and closes Aug. 28. Articles should be sent to the selectmen’s office. Town Meeting will be held at Marshfield High School, starting at 7 p.m.
Town Moderator James Curran has appointed the three members of the Regional School District Planning Committee, a new group approved by Town Meeting in February. Its aim is to work with a comparable group from Avon to form a regional school district. The Holbrook members are Kathy Moriarty, Dick Stagnone, and School Committee member Beth Tolson. In an interview, Town Administrator William Phelan said the committee’s work will hinge on whether a new pre-K-12 Holbrook school wins voter approval in the fall; if so, Avon will likely be more interested in partnering with Holbrook because it will have a new building, he said. The committee could also talk to other communities, but “the target will be Avon,” he said. Phelan said he would not speculate on the future of regionalization if the vote fails.
All students in the Avon public schools will take their state English language and math assessment tests on computers this year, as the district transitions from the old MCAS tests to the new PARCC ones, according to Superintendent Paul Zinni. Local schools have the option to replace state MCAS assessments with the online tests developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers for a group of 19 states including Massachusetts. Zinni said Avon decided to go with the PARCC tests because they were designed around the new Common Core standards, which the state has used to set curriculum “frameworks” for local schools. As a result, the PARCC exams will test students more closely on what they’re being taught, Zinni said. He said the district also wanted to use technology for the tests since “that is the direction the state is going to be going in.”
Council on Aging Director Nancy Hill told selectmen earlier this month that the council couldn’t operate without help from volunteers, and she had the numbers — and a giant check — to prove it. Hill said the council had its annual Volunteer Appreciation Day May 22, and totaled up the efforts of its 114 volunteers from mid-May 2013 to mid-May 2014. She said volunteers contributed 4,254.5 hours of time during that time period, 1,652 more hours than the year before. She said an online
calculator valued the volunteers’ time at $27.43 an hour, making their total contribution worth $116,700.92. In keeping with a five-year tradition, Hill presented selectmen with a giant check made out to the town for the amount. “Every one of those hours our volunteers donate are greatly appreciated and we could not operate the Council of Aging without their assistance,” Hill told the board.
A vehicle drove into a Verizon Wireless store at 826 Providence Highway early Monday morning, police said. Dedham Police Chief Michael D’Entremont said in a statement that first responders arriving around 3 a.m. found damage to the door which they believe was caused by a vehicle. Officers did not find anyone in the store, but police are reporting the incident as an attempted larceny, according to the statement. Those with information are urged to contact the Dedham Police Department detective bureau at 781-751-9300 and ask to speak to Detective Kevin Mahoney.
Town officials are scrambling to put together a paving project for a section of Oak Street in order to make use of one-time state funding from a source other than the usual road repair allocation. In a notice on the town’s Department of Public Works Web page, officials said they will use the funds to mill and pave a stretch of road from Spruce Drive to Brook Street and are in the process of hiring a contractor. Work should take about a month, beginning in early August, they said. At the same time, work begins this week to fix and pave Pine Lane, from Schaefer Avenue to Fairview Street; Schaefer Avenue, from School Street to Pine Lane; and School Street, officials said. Work will take three weeks if weather permits, officials said. For questions, call the DPW at 781-326-8661.
The town has imposed mandatory water restrictions for the duration of the summer while the town’s main water tank is being repainted. Town Meeting last month authorized the spending of $1.48 million to repaint the 5-million-gallon tank at the intersection of Sunset Avenue and Spring and North Elm streets. The tank has been emptied and painting is underway. The town’s Board of Water Commissioners has voted to impose restrictions limiting residents to using only hand-held hoses to water their gardens and lawns between the hours of 7 and 9 a.m. and 7 and 9 p.m. daily. Under the restrictions, no irrigation systems or sprinklers are allowed. With the 125-foot-tall tank out of the picture, the town is relying on a million-gallon tank on Walnut Street and a 500,000-gallon tank on Spring Street. The restrictions will be in effect until the large water tank, the biggest in the region, is refilled and running again, expected in September. For more information, call the town’s Water Department at 508-894-1271.
Voters in precincts three, four and five will vote in town-owned Blackburn Hall instead of Walpole High School in the next elections. Selectmen voted earlier this month to change the polling place, at the request of Town Clerk Ron Fucile. The precincts represent about a third of the registered voters in town, he said. Fucile said the change was needed to provide stability for the voters in those precincts, whose polling place has frequently changed because of conflicts with buses and events at the high school. Selectwoman Nancy MacKenzie voted against the change, saying she wanted it tied to a requirement that the town add a handicapped ramp to the front of Blackburn Hall. The building is accessible from street level by an elevator on one side.
Staff and families from Kehillah Schechter Academy in Norwood, which closed at the end of the last school year, plan to open a conservative Jewish day school in Sharon this fall with the help of national figures in the Schechter school movement, according to Nancy Hait, principal of the new school. Hait, former literacy curriculum coordinator at Kehillah Schechter Academy, said it closed due to financial difficulties. She said the new school, Ner Tamid Community Day School — the name means eternal light — will save money through low rent at Temple Israel, where it will rent classrooms. The school will offer multi-age classes for grades 1 through 5 and highly personalized instruction. Hait said she has a doctorate degree in education from Boston College and that Ner Tamid will make use of modern technology and school-community partnerships. Applications are still being accepted. Tuition is $12,000 annually.
A Freetown woman was arrested July 17 after an attempted house break, said Police Chief Paul Magee, who added police are looking at her as a suspect in other such breaks. Kelly F. Sorelle, 24, was charged in a break-in on Benson Road, where she allegedly entered the home through a window, tripped the burglar alarm, and fled without taking anything, Magee said by phone. “We’d been sharing information with Freetown and discussing her as a suspect,” Magee said. “It was a good cooperative effort.” The recent Rochester break-ins have been in the same general area of town around High Street, he said, and have stopped since her arrest.
Magee also said police are “developing more suspects in other breaks.”
Residents are advised to use common sense to prevent being victimized, Magee said, including turning on alarms, locking their homes, closing windows when leaving home, and being diligent in watching out for their neighbors. In some breaks, he said, “some neighbors say they saw a suspicious car in the area but didn’t want to bother us. That’s what we’re here for, so if you see something that doesn’t seem right, call.”
A new business, Slap-Shotz Family Sports Pub, will soon be setting up shop at 524 Broadway. Jeffrey Sinkiewicz, of Brockton, who operates a sports pub of the same name in Avon, is planning to add the second location in the building that formerly housed Flying Dog Bar & Grill, which closed more than a year ago. Selectmen in April granted a transfer of an all-alcohol license at the location from the owners of Flying Dog to Sinkiewicz, and earlier this month, the transfer was approved by the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission. The new pub is tentatively scheduled to open Thursday. Sinkiewicz said he decided to open it based on the success of his Avon pub, which he opened nearly four years ago. Like the Avon pub, the new one will feature nightly entertainment, a menu of fresh cooked meals, as well as Keno, Buzztime Trivia, and plenty of flat screen televisions. “We’re like an upscale pub at blue collar prices,’’ Sinkiewicz said. “At the Raynham location, we’ll have 22 beers on tap and live bands. We have a lot to offer.”
The town is looking for a new Council on Aging executive director, after Dorothy Anne Vitale announced earlier this month that she is retiring. “She certainly will be missed here at the Senior Center,” said outreach coordinatorKerri McCarthy of Vitale, whom she said brought in many good programs during her eight years in the job. McCarthy said Vitale’s last day has not been set, but it is expected to be sometime in September. The town was accepting job applications through Friday for the full-time position, which will pay between $70,988 and $87,306, according to the online job posting.
Officials are advising residents of a recent change in Town Hall hours. The new hours, approved by the Board of Selectmen, are Mondays through Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; and Fridays, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Town Hall was previously open a full day on Friday,
but Town Manager Michael Yunits said that under the old schedule, it operated with a partial staff on Thursday evenings and Sundays. Under the new schedule, which took effect this month, the building will be open fewer hours but will be fully staffed at all times. Yunits said that as a result, departments will be able to better serve residents on Thursday evenings and Fridays. He said employees will continue to work the same number of hours.
The house of worship was built in 1827 and has seen no major repairs in all that time. But now it needs work to the tune of $245,000. The Mattapoisett Friends Meeting (Quakers) House will start the first round of renovations late this summer, said Brad Hathaway, a member of the group. “We have to take the bull by the horns,” he said by phone. Repairs are needed to cracked plaster walls, shifting stones in the granite foundation, and an outdated electrical system. “It’s a lot of money, but the building hasn’t had any major repairs since it was built.” The group has gotten about $50,000 thus far, he said, mostly from other Meetings, which he said number about 10 in the southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island area. They’ll need about $70,000 more for the first phase of the two-phase project, he said. The congregation has scheduled a variety of fund-raising events from Saturday to Aug. 10, including a yard sale Saturday and meat-pie supper and silent auction Sunday. Area businesses are donating a portion of their sales that week to the congregation, Hathaway said. On Aug. 10, Quakers from Cuba are expected at the house to talk about their faith in their native land, he said. For more information, visit www.mattapoisettquakers.org
The Marion Planning Board approved an expansion by Hiller Dodge Chrysler Jeep, an auto dealership on Route 6. The expansion calls for a 2,000-square-foot addition that will be used for a repair area, and putting up a new 4,800-square-foot building to be used for storage. The dealership originally got approval for the work in 2006 but didn’t act on it, so the site plan review expired. No abutters appeared at a recent hearing, said the planning board’s administrative assistant Terri Santos.
The School Committee will interview one in-house candidate for interim school superintendent at a meeting Monday as it seeks to replace Superintendent Brenda Hodges, who has agreed to step down Aug. 28 amid charges she plagiarized sections of her June commencement speech at Mansfield High School. School Committee Chairman Michael A. Trowbridge Sr. said in an e-mail that the district had three employees who have the necessary certification to be superintendent, and they settled on Qualters Middle School Principal Zeffro Gianetti. The other two candidates were Dawn Stockwell, Mansfield High vice principal, and Teresa Murphy, principal of the Jordan/Jackson Elementary. Gianetti was chosen due to his strengths and the stability of the other administrators in the middle school, Trowbridge said. Hodges, who has denied the allegations of plagiarism, will go on extended sick leave and will be paid until she officially leaves the district at the end of her contract in June. Trowbridge said the aim is to have a new superintendent in place next July.
Founders of the Foxborough Skatepark have kicked off a fund-raising campaign to try to raise the $10,000 needed to repair damaged ramps. As of last Wednesday, a GoFundMe campaign to try to save the 13-year-old park at Booth Playground, which is currently closed, had raised $935 in 11 days. According to a Facebook page dedicated to the effort, a 5-foot U-Bowl and the six-foot bank attached to the half pipe need repairs in order for the park to be safe. The group hopes to raise the funds before an Aug. 11 meeting with the town’s Board of Recreation at which the park’s future will be discussed. Repair work, if authorized, would be completed by David Wood/CUSTOM SKATEPARK, the builder, according to the site. “If 100 people gave $100 we would meet our goal,’’ organizers Joe Erhard and Jeremy Waltzer said in the request for funds. “Please give generously and know that all donations matter and are greatly appreciated.” Donations can be made at www.gofundme.com/bofe44.
“The Ameses and Women’s Rights,” a tour of the first floor of the famous Ames Mansion at Borderland State Park, will offer an inside look at the stately stone estate and some of its more colorful history on Thursday
at 3 p.m. The 30-minute guided tour highlights Oakes and Blanche Ames’s involvement in the struggle for women’s rights and includes displays of suffrage artwork and political cartoons. Adults and older children can meet in front of the mansion for the tour, which will be held rain or shine. Borderland is off Massapoag Avenue on the Easton/Sharon line. Parking is $2, payable at the yellow machine; people 62 and older can receive a free lifetime parking pass at the Visitor Center. For more information, go to www.mass.gov
and search “Ames Mansion.” Ames
Following an annual performance review, town administrator Michael Milanoski has proposed replacing Police Chief Marc Duphily’s current 3-year contract with one that reflects the good work he did for the town in his first year. Milanoski praised the town’s drug enforcement efforts under Duphily, who recently organized a community awareness session of the growing opioid problem in Southeastern Massachusetts. Duphily was hired after selectmen expressed doubts about renewing former chief Mike Miksch’s contract. Miksch then left town for the chief’s job in Hanson. In another sign of the town’s concern about drugs, the Board of Selectmen agreed to hire a new police officer, Wareham police detective Bryan Berriault, who has experience in investigating illegal drug sales.
Officials have begun the search for a town planner to replace Greg Guimond, who left earlier this month for the planner’s job in Marshfield. The Bridgewater job is posted on the website of the Massachusetts Municipal Association with a salary range of $60,552 to $81,432. Applications are due by Thursday, and the town hopes to fill the position fairly quickly, Town Manager Michael Dutton said in an interview. The planner oversees land use planning and community and economic development. The new planner will have big shoes to fill, Dutton said. During Guimond’s tenure, Bridgewater approved mixed-use development downtown, made updates to the master plan, and received a grant to start a housing rehabilitation program and downtown master plan.
Planning officials will hold a second community meeting about the redesign of East Milton Square Aug. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Milton Council on Aging. The plan, which envisions paving about half of the square’s green center to add dozens of parking spots, comes seven years after federal officials earmarked $1 million for the project. Planners are hoping to adopt a design that would close off an existing lane that directs some eastbound Adams Street traffic over Interstate 93 onto Granite Avenue, and replace half of the park there with about 40 parking spaces. The park’s southernmost half would then feature a single plot of green space with a perimeter encompassed by sidewalks and dotted with trees, according to designs presented in May. Thursday’s meeting will discuss the results of recent field work by consultants from Howard/Stein-Hudson Inc., including a traffic analysis. For more information, visit www.townofmilton.org or call Bill Clark, Milton’s planning director, at 617-898-4847.
The Board of Selectmen is seeking two full members for the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals, following the recent resignation of members James Wilson and Philip Ricardi. The zoning board, which meets twice a month, plays an important role in town land use policy, interpreting the town’s zoning rules and hearing pleas by property owners and developers for variances from specific regulations to allow their plans to go forward. While the board can still meet with a quorum, typically developers seek a full board to hear proposals that require a super-majority for approval. Candidates for appointment to the Zoning Board of Appeals are asked to fill out the “volunteer form’’ on the town website (www.kingstonmass.org) and submit it to the town administrator’s office. The Board of Selectmen expects to consider making appointments at its next regular meeting on Aug. 12.
Sunday afternoon concerts are in full swing at the Bernie King Pavilion at Nantasket Beach, and dancers can swing with ease on the new dance floor installed earlier this month, according to a spokesman for the state Department of Conservation and Recreation. William Hickey said the portable laminated wood floor, which measures 28 by 40 feet, replaces one dating to the 1990s that was falling apart. “Pieces were breaking off, so it was a consistently shrinking dance floor,” he said. The new floor cost about $25,000 and is expected to last for “many, many seasons,” he said. DCR co-sponsors Sunday afternoon dance concerts through the Labor Day weekend with the town of Hull, the Hull Redevelopment Authority, and Jake’s Seafood Restaurant. The free concerts, which are especially popular with senior citizens, run from 2 to 4 p.m., weather permitting.
A Canton woman is facing her second drunken driving charge after being arrested by Braintree police Monday. Braintree Police Chief Russell Jenkins said that just after 10 p.m., police received a 911 call from a Stoughton woman and her daughter reporting they had seen a vehicle moving erratically down Grove Street, crossing the center line and forcing several oncoming cars nearly off the road. When the car finally stopped on Liberty Street, police said, the Stoughton woman and her daughter got out of the their car, approached the driver, and asked for her keys, which she handed over. The woman and her daughter then waited for Braintree officers to arrive. After police interviewed the women and other witnesses, they arrested the driver, 48-year-old Deborah A. Morse of Canton, and charged her with operating under the influence, her second such offense. Less than two hours later the same night, said Jenkins, police arrested Weymouth resident Keffa K. Kabuina, 24, for operating under the influence after he allegedly drove his car through a vinyl fence on the 1800 block of Washington Street. When officers arrived, said the chief, they found him still sitting in his car, which was parked on the lawn of the property.
Residents who live along the town-owned Reservoir Pond will be the only ones allowed to use motorboats on the pond, at least for the duration of the summer. Selectmen agreed to a compromise at a meeting earlier this month prohibiting most motorboats from the Earl Newhouse waterfront, owned by the town. Boats without motors are still allowed, according to selectmen chairman Victor Del Vecchio. Selectman Robert Burr said at the meeting that the restriction was unfair to residents who don’t own property along the pond, but added that there was a legitimate concern that outside motorboats might bring in invasive weeds such as milfoil. Selectmen approved the temporary ban on motorboats for this season, but asked that a long-term solution be reached that would lead to greater equity in using the public pond.
Duxbury selectmen approved voluntary outside water restrictions at their meeting last week. Water/Sewer Superintendent Peter Mackin said residents in odd-numbered houses are asked to restrict their water use to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with residents in even-numbered houses limiting themselves to Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. All outdoor watering should be done between 5 and 8 a.m. and 5 and 8 p.m. No watering is allowed on Sundays. Mackin said the restrictions are needed to maintain the water supply in light of the recent extremely dry conditions. He said in an e-mail this week that in June 2013, the town received 12.21 inches of rainfall, as opposed to 3 inches this June, and 36 percent more water was pumped last month than in June 2013. “Duxbury receives about an average of 60 inches of rainfall annually, and we are 20 inches . . . behind that average [in the] 12 months ending in June, at 42.8 inches,” he said. He said voluntary water restrictions tend to be effective in town.
Selectmen gave Town Manager Christopher Senior high marks earlier this month for his first six months on the job. “The Board was wholly positive about the positive impact he has had on the town since January 2014,” board chairwoman Diane Kennedy said in an e-mail about the review conducted at the board’s July 15 meeting. She praised his “immediate command” of the budget, his “strong diplomacy and mediation skills, and his work on building a human resources infrastructure. . . . Chris quickly adapted to a politically charged culture and carefully and strategically refocused energies to build a more consensus-driven environment.” Selectman Steve Gaumer was more concise, saying Senior is doing a “wicked good job.” Gaumer added that the new town manager “has gone a long way toward establishing an environment of cooperation; with rare exception, the tone of communication has really mellowed.” Senior is Cohasset’s third town manager in 2½ years.
A 1923 Ford “street rod” will be among the automobiles on display Saturday at the Abington Cultural Council’s first classic car show fund-raiser. Lucy Furlong, council treasurer, said the council has held “Antiques Roadshow”–like fund-raisers in the past, but this is the first time for a classic auto show. “We’re going to keep it very fun,” she said. The cars will be on display in the parking lots between Town Hall and the library. Parking for visitors will be at the high school. Rain date for the event is next Sunday. Furlong said trophies will be awarded, along with a plaque for the “children’s choice” pick. There will also be food, raffles, and music. Proceeds will help fund school art programs, as well as contributions to area cultural institutions and programs. Admission to the car show is free. Cost to enter a car is $12 in advance, $15 on the day of the show.
Sacred Heart School, located on Route 80 in Kingston, has announced it will expand its preschool program to cover the full school day, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. A private Catholic, coeducational school for students in preschool through Grade 12, Sacred Heart operates its preschool in a state-of-the-art Early Childhood Center, a bright, colorful setting designed and constructed with the preschool age group in mind. The center includes classrooms for this age group, an expansive outdoor play area, and music programs for preschoolers. School president Pamela Desmarais said that increasing interest in an expanded program led the school to extend the hours. For more information, contact the admissions office at 781-585-7511, ext. 338.
The Dedham Police Department has a new animal control officer, Jayson Tracy, who began work in May. He has already responded to more than 120 calls concerning dogs, cats, ducklings, ducks, opossums, groundhogs, turtles, raccoons, snakes, and bats, according to a recently released statement. Tracy began teaching environmental education courses at the South Shore Natural Science Center in Norwell beginning in high school, and received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Bridgewater State College. Starting out as a science teacher, Tracy sought out hands-on work and joined the animal control departments of two Massachusetts communities, according to the statement. He did this for 10 years before being hired in Dedham
With the next budget season, residents will be on the cutting edge of data visualization as the town launches a visual budget system that was piloted by the town of Arlington last year. “It’s much more transparent and somewhat interactive,” said Town Manager William R. Ross. Ross said the software will present revenues and expenditures in clear, simple graphs that can be updated and make the information more accessible to interested residents. “We’re part of a second wave of communities that are looking at the implementation of this,” Ross said. The town hopes to have it ready for public viewing starting in January when the Board of Selectmen is presented with the budget. The visual budget system was created by Involution Studios of Arlington, in conjunction with the town of Arlington and members of its Finance Committee. It also allows users to give feedback and provides a glossary for some budget terminology.
Hanover’s South Shore Vocational Technical High School won its first-ever gold medal in the national Skills USA championships, an annual competition hosting the nation’s best technical students. James Aiguier, who just completed his senior year at South Shore Vo-Tech, took home the gold in the nurse assisting contest, which involves moving patients, knowing infection control procedures, performing CPR, and checking vital signs. “James is the first student who’s taken the gold ever in the school’s history,” said Bob Mello, faculty advisor to the skills program, and a South Shore Vo-Tech alumn. “Having been a competitor myself, I know how much stress and anxiety goes into this. Seeing one of our kids get the gold, it’s just really exciting.”
The town won’t get an extra $750,000 this fiscal year from the state for hosting the prison at MCI Cedar Junction, according to state Representative John Rogers’s office. Governor Deval Patrick vetoed the money when he signed the fiscal 2015 state budget earlier this month, a spokesman said. Walpole had received the money intermittently since 2004.
The Old Rochester Regional Tri-Town Education Foundation has awarded three grants to programs in the school district through the foundation’s Lighthouse Fund. Old Hammondtown School in Mattapoisett received $1,109 to form a Math Olympiad team, on which up to 30 students are expected to take part. A grant of $2,490 will help create a Cub Reporter
program districtwide for grades 4 to 8, to teach students reporting and camera skills. A grant of $1,275 will be used to buy equipment for the MeteORRology
program at Old Rochester Regional High School, where students will track weather and broadcast forecasts to the high school and junior high school, and eventually across the district, said Kathy Eklund, a member of the foundation’s distribution committee. “Our goal is to get people to work collaboratively across the district,” she said. “We look for something that will enrich the curriculum and become sustainable.” For example, she said, a previous grant paid for hydroponic tomato gardening at Old Hammondtown school, and “now they grow their own vegetables for the cafeteria.”
The Sippican Lands Trust has acquired Osprey Marsh, a 19.8-acre waterfront parcel as a gift from the Howland family of Marion. The trust now owns 28.7 contiguous waterfront acres off Point Road, having acquired the adjacent Howland Marsh from the family in 1995, which has resulted in a quarter mile of protected shoreline on Planting Island Cove, said Robin Shields, the land trust’s executive director. She said as part of the terms of the gift, the trust will work to create off-street parking, a kiosk and property marker, as well as a starter trail through the uplands to a water vista. “Planning is in the works for a future developed trail system through the property with the goal to connect Osprey Marsh with Howland Marsh next door,” Shields said by phone, as well as a boardwalk system through wetlands areas with viewing platforms. Mary Howland Smoyer, along with her two brothers and a sister, said in a press release that the marsh “is land we four inherited from our grandparents, Edward and Eleanor Howland,” and the donation of the land “honors our grandparents’ legacy and follows their intent.”
The Water Department is reminding residents that it recently imposed mandatory townwide restrictions on outdoor water use. Under its state water-management permit, the town is required to put the restrictions into effect when measured stream flow on the Taunton River near Bridgewater drops below 130.5 cubic feet per second for three consecutive days, according to water superintendent Richard Muncey. The restrictions are needed to protect aquatic life and ensure a sustainable drinking-water supply for Hanson and other communities within the river basin. The rules ban outdoor water use except that sprinklers can be used one day a week from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. only, and watering with a hand-held hose is allowed any day during the hours of 7-9 a.m. and 5-7 p.m. The Water Department under its permit is required to maintain and enforce the restrictions until the stream flow exceeds 130.5 cubic feet per second for seven consecutive days. For more information, contact the Water Department at 781-447-1200.
A new resident parking permit program in Onset Village took effect July 1. The new regulations seek to prohibit out-of-towners from parking on residential streets for extended periods of time, and require Onset residents to purchase on-street parking permits. Permits cost $30 per year, or $15 per year for residents age 65 or older, and they also provide access to trash transfer stations and beach parking lots. People who are visiting Onset homes in residential zones are now required to obtain a guest or visitor permit. Guest permits are free and valid for 24 hours; visitor permits are valid for up to two weeks and cost $5 per vehicle. Business parking permits are available to Onset Village business owners and employees for $10. Non-resident parking permits, which provide access to certain designated parking areas and beach parking lots, cost $50. The permits expire Dec. 31 and will be issued yearly by the Wareham harbormaster’s office, which is in the Multi-Service Center at 48 Marion Road. For more information about the parking program, visit the town’s website at www.wareham.ma.us.
or call the the town administrator’s office at 508-291-3100, ext. 3110.
Patrons who already enjoy breakfast or lunch at Debbie’s Kitchen will be happy to know they can soon stop by on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays for a home-style evening meal and have a beer or a glass of wine to go with it. “I’m taking baby steps and I’m trying to do it right,” said Debbie Johnson, owner of the restaurant at 535 Plymouth St. Selectmen approved a beer and wine license for the restaurant this spring and, Johnson said, she recently received official word of state approval as well. She has begun training staff and is seeking a cook for the evening shift. She expects to extend her hours by the end of the July or beginning of August. She said an earlier attempt to be open in the evenings without the beer and wine license failed to draw enough patrons to the restaurant that seats about 20 people.
Westwood selectmen will hold a public hearing Monday
at 7:30 p.m. to discuss a request by Chiara Bistro, a Mediterranean restaurant at 569 High St. that wants to alter its premises by adding an outdoor patio for food and beverage service. Anyone interested in the change is invited to the hearing, which will be held at Town Hall, at 580 High St. Objections from schools, churches, or hospitals located within 500 feet of the establishment must be submitted in writing, according to the notice of public posting. For more information, call Town Administrator Michael Jaillet at 781-326-4172.
The town has received 35 applications for the job of assistant town manager, a new posting that is open until the end of the month. The job will be funded with the salary of the town’s former human resources director, who recently resigned. That job is being eliminated. Town Manager Bill Keegan said last month that it would be more valuable to Foxborough to have a second in command, a role he made good use of in his former job in Dedham. The assistant’s job responsibilities will include directing human resources. Keegan plans to conduct interviews in August and will bring his pick to The Board of Selectmen for ratification. The salary is posted as ranging from $95,181 to $118,872.
The town said a wistful farewell to Officer Adam Kwan last week when he retired after 32 years with the Easton Police Department. Police Chief Allen Krajcik released a statement and a photo of Kwan with his trusty bicycle. “Adam is well known for patrolling the town on his mountain bike,’’ Krajcik said. “He is also known for his generosity and helpfulness both to the public and to his fellow officers. We wish him well in his retirement.” Easton’s Facebook page was burning up with well wishes for the officer that one friend joked “had more stories than Chuck Norris.” “If you run from Kwan, he will walk past you and be waiting by your car. LOL.” Another resident said he spent his teenage years running from Kwan and now, as an adult, is sad the veteran police officer is leaving. “Thank you for your service and enjoy your retirement,’’ the post said.
Free physical examinations for students participating in fall boys’ or girls’ sports, cheering, marching band or color guard will be conducted in the clinic at the East Bridgewater Junior-Senior High School Aug. 6 beginning at 8:30 a.m. Students wishing to take a physical must register at the school’s main office no later than Aug. 4. Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association rules require a student to pass a physical examination performed by a registered and licensed physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse, before participating. Bridgewater athletic director Tom Kenney noted that under a new MIAA rule, an exam covers a student for only 13 months from the date it is performed and students no longer will be allowed to participate until the end of the season if their physical expires during the season. Kenney said athletic fees are due Sept. 2. Students may try out if they provide a current physical and are academically eligible.
The Young People’s Alliance for Carver will hold
Summer Science Week Monday through Friday this week at the former Benjamin Ellis School. Topics will include X-ray vision, “bees and bogs,” “secret pond life,” “what’s with chickens?” and “hot air-cold air.” Intended for students in grades 5 through 8, the sessions will run from 9 a.m. to noon. It costs $50 per child or $75 per family to enroll. To sign up, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 508-465-1399. The Young People’s Alliance for Carver will also partner with the Carver Police Department in a new program called the Junior Police Explorers. The free program will run on Tuesdays July 29 through Sept.16. For more information, call Roger Shores of Young People’s Alliance for Carver at 508-465-1399.
The Life is Good Festival, which has been celebrated for four years at Prowse Farm in Canton, will not take place in town this year. According to a statement on the festival’s website, the event will “take a pause in 2014.” Last year, the festival took place in late September. “We wanted to answer the number one question we receive from you, our friends, and that is to bring the Life is Good experience to more places around the country. Well, we heard you, and we are doing just that in 2014,” the statement read. The organization’s first big event of the year took place in March at the Life is Good Nor’Beaster Festival at Killington Resort in Vermont, according to the statement. The announcement is posted at content.lifeisgood.com/festival-news.
A design for renovation of the town-owned Academy Building is nearly complete, Town Manager Michael Dutton said in an interview. The stately, late-1800s building, originally a private school called Bridgewater Academy, faces the green in the center of Bridgewater. It has recently housed town offices, and will do so again after the $8.8 million project. The town has analyzed how much space is needed for various functions, and architectural firm Tappé Architects will finalize the floor plan soon, Dutton said. The town intends to go out to bid by the end of the year for construction, he said.
Outdoor watering in Avon is limited to hand-held hoses, and no watering is allowed between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., the town’s Water Department announced this month. Town Administrator Michael McCue said the restrictions are mandated by the state Department of Environmental Protection
when the Taunton River goes below a certain level. He said water quality is not affected. The municipal utility supplies and distributes drinking water throughout the town and is responsible for the operation and maintenance of 42 miles of water mains.
Stoughton library director Pat Basler said that while the library’s recent attempt to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for most books toppled in a domino fashion fell short, there was no shortage of fun or community spirit in the effort. The library recruited 40 volunteers for the effort on June 28, setting up nearly 4,000 books in different patterns in a bid to break the record of 2,586 books set last year by Central Library Cape Town in South Africa. The books were set upright throughout the library on stairs, bookshelves and on the floors, but some uncooperative books fell over on their own before everything was set, scuttling the record-setting effort. Basler said the event took place in conjunction with the nationwide themes of the summer reading program: “Fizz, Boom, Read” for children and “Spark a Reaction” for teens. An engineer who volunteered for the event helped the volunteers spell out “Fizz, Boom, Read” with the books, which were donated and are not currently on the shelves. “We thought the chain reaction of a book domino would be an exciting, shared community event and there was a lot of enthusiasm for the project,” said Basler, who shared the idea with Karen Hall of the Council on Aging. The entire event was captured on video by Stoughton Media Access Corp. and can be viewed at youtu.be/VopbEIemqpI.
Night work is underway at the Sharon commuter rail station to grind and resurface concrete that was not made as smooth as it should have been as part of the ongoing construction at the station, according to Kelly Smith, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. The work must be done at night and coordinated with Amtrak to take place when fewer trains are running, she said in an interview. The high-speed Acela and other intercity trains use the same tracks. The night work is expected to continue through July 31. The MBTA is making the station handicapped accessible, and the concrete is part of what the agency calls “mini-high platforms,” which are short areas of elevated platform designed to allow step-free access to trains. The project also corrects other accessibility problems, such as noncompliant bathrooms and doorways. The overall project could be finished by early to mid-August, she said.
The Planning Board has scheduled two public hearings for Rochester Crossroads,
a 28-acre site at routes 28 and 58 that is being developed in phases into commercial and retail space. Two separate applications have been filed with the town, said Town Planner Mary Crain. One seeks approval of an internal road for the site, the continued hearing for which is scheduled for Tuesday. The second is for a Shell gasoline station, convenience store, and drive-through coffee shop, the hearing for which is scheduled for Aug. 12. The store is proposed by Rhode Island-based Colbea Enterprises, and will feature an “upscale convenience store” carrying the Seasons brand, Crain said. Rochester Crossroads LLC is proposing the road. The Rochester Crossroads site had been a greenhouse and nursery until 2011 and is being developed by Wareham-based A.D. Makepeace
. According to a map at www.rochestercrossroads.com, the site will have six buildings, from 2,440 square feet in size to 107,160 square feet, and about 900 parking spaces.
The Board of Selectmen is seeking applicants for two vacant seats on the Finance Committee. The positions became open when two committee members, Duane Wheeler and Richard Bentley, opted not to seek reappointment when their terms expired at the end of June. Wheeler was the board chairman. The Finance Committee makes recommendations to Town Meeting on the budget and other spending-related articles. Anyone who would like to apply is asked to send a letter of interest to the Board of Selectmen, 558 South Main St., Raynham, MA 02767. The board will forward the names of applicants to the Finance Committee, and then consider appointments based on the committee’s recommendations.
The Board of Selectmen is considering five internal candidates to replace Police Chief Bruce Gates, who is retiring in September. They are Lieutenant Peter Andrade, Sergeant David Beals Jr., Lieutenant Robert Ferreira Jr., Officer Angelo J. Lapanna III, who is also an Army sergeant first class, and Lieutenant Joseph M. Perkins. Selectmen are working with the Massachusetts Municipal Association on the interview and selection process. Just after the board discussed the search process on Monday, Town Manager Charles Cristello stunned the selectmen, and everyone watching the meeting on cable TV, by announcing he plans to retire in October. “It’s time for me to close out my career in municipal government,’’ Cristello said, later noting that it was a tough decision to make because he likes working in Middleborough. Selectmen said Cristello has been a boon for the town over the past six years and they will begin the process of finding a replacement immediately.
The former school superintendent and business manager in Westport, who for the last eight months there was on administrative leave, has accepted the post of business manager for Randolph’s schools, replacing Steven Moore, who left July 1 after serving one year as interim superintendent. Carlos M. Colley
was the unanimous selection of the School Committee on July 9. School Committee chairman Emmanuel A. Mecha later said in an e-mail that Colley had accepted the post but that the board was not aware of his being on administrative leave in Westport when he was selected. Colley was chosen over Patricia Coppola-Lugo, business administrator in East Bridgewater, whose position was eliminated in budget cuts this spring. All School Committee members praised the qualifications of the two candidates before selecting Colley. Paul J. Meoni, Town Council representative to the committee, was the only member to speak initially in favor of Coppola-Lugo, saying that she sounded more like a business manager while Colley seemed “overqualified for the position.” Meoni later said in an interview he knew nothing about Colley’s being on administrative leave. Westport School Committee chairwoman Michelle Duarte said only that Colley’s leave was a personnel matter and extended through the end of June. She declined to say if he was on paid leave, but several news reports stated that he was being paid. “We wish him well in his new endeavors,” she said in an e-mail.
Gary E. Leonard Sr. is Brockton’s new Main Street manager, a job designed by the Brockton 21st Century Corp.
and the Brockton Redevelopment Authority to help the city reinvent itself. A lifelong Brocktonian, Leonard is a former director of the Campello Business Association, was a member of Mayor Bill Carpenter’s transition team, and has 40 years in the real-estate profession. He will be responsible for creating and managing a collaborative effort of businesses, property owners, and others to revitalize, market, and promote the Brockton business corridor. Leonard, who once received the Champion of the City award, is known for his charitable work with city youths and athletes, as well as his commitment to promoting business. “I will hit the ground running with proven programs from the past, combining programs of today to make Brockton the bustling city it once was, and will be again,” he said in a statement.
Local pizza restaurants will compete for bragging rights, and help raise money for the Weymouth Food Pantry, in next month’s PizzaPalooza, sponsored by the Weymouth Chamber of Commerce. The fund-raiser will feature a contest for “Weymouth’s Best Pizza” determined by a panel of local judges, according to pantry director Cas Casados. A popular vote will yield the “people’s choice” and “kids’ choice” awards for best slices, she said. Tickets are $10 per person and $20 per family and can be purchased at the door. The PizzaPalooza is scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 6 in the gold cafeteria of Weymouth High School, 1 Wildcat Way. “It should be a lot of fun,” said Casados — and a welcome break from dealing with the pantry’s search for a new home, as its longtime location is being sold. “We’re still looking for a new site and considering a whole range of options,” she said, adding that the pantry can remain in the former Immaculate Conception School, at 1189 Commercial St., for another year.
The housing authority is working on a proposal for affordable housing on about seven acres it owns on Kent Street, according to chairman Stephen Coulter. Town Meeting gave the wooded land to the authority in 1993 “to develop at some point,” he said. “It’s a great property, and we’d like to be as friendly to the natural surroundings as we possibly can, and to do it in a neighbor-friendly way,” Coulter said. “We also have to balance it so it can be economically viable.” He said the authority met with neighbors in the spring and will incorporate their suggestions into a proposal, which he expects to present in the fall for more feedback. “We’re quite a ways away,” he said, adding, that if all went well, construction might start in the spring of 2016.
Plimoth Plantation officials are pleased that the state has budgeted $2 million to restore the 57-year-old Mayflower II. The state funding will help pay for new sails, hemp-line rigging, and fresh coats of paint, as well as other repairs. Plans include replacing several planks, frames, and knees of the ship with rare white oak, rebuilding the topside half-deck, repairing the transom, poop deck, and starboard half-deck, and improving the gangway that leads tourists aboard the wooden ship, which is a full-scale reproduction of the original vessel that sailed across the Atlantic in 1620. Mayflower II was built in Devon, England, and given to the United States as a gift from the English as a token of appreciation for America’s assistance in World War II. It set sail from Plymouth, England, in April of 1957 and arrived in Massachusetts 55 days later. Since then, it has been under the stewardship of Plimoth Plantation and stands as a famous landmark on Plymouth’s waterfront. “Not only does Mayflower tell the remarkable story of the Pilgrims’ voyage, but she is a living memorial to our WWII veterans and a tangible symbol of the special relationship that exists between the US and the UK,” said Ellie Donovan, executive director of Plimoth Plantation, in a press release. The restoration is scheduled to be finished by 2020, in time for the town’s 400th anniversary celebration of the Pilgrims’ arrival.
The Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center celebrated its new Quincy location with a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week. The new location at 275 Hancock St. is a bigger space and replaces the former Billings Street center. The center launched adult English classes in Quincy in 2012 partially funded by a five-year, $161,000 annual contract with the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and currently serves over 60 students, said Carmen Chan, director of development. Other programs include a youth center that currently helps over 40 Quincy students, and a family services program serving more than 15 local families. Executive director Giles Li said it made sense to open in Quincy because of its large and growing Asian population, and after organizers noticed an increasing number of residents were making the trek to Boston up to four times a week to partake in the programs.
Furnace Pond is scheduled to be chemically treated on Monday. The town carries out periodic treatments at its ponds to control invasive plant growth. At Furnace Pond, chemicals will be sprayed on the lily pads. Because boat activity causes wave action, which could disturb the effects of the spraying, the pond will be closed to all boating on Monday and Tuesday,
and signs will be posted. The rain date for the spraying is Wednesday. If it occurs that day, the boating ban will be in effect for Wednesday and Thursday, according to Lisa Cullity, the town’s health agent. The public beach at Furnace Pond, meanwhile, has been closed for several weeks to allow for removal of trees that would pose a hazard to beachgoers. The closure will remain in effect until further notice.
The Friends of the Blue Hills, a group that supports the 7,000-acre state reservation, and the state Department of Conservation and Recreation will co-host a free summer festival Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the park’s Houghton’s Pond in Milton. The event, dubbed Cool Summer Fest, will feature a parade around the pond, free rentals and fishing with the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, obstacle courses and water games, music, face painting, arts and crafts, and a live animal show from the Blue Hills Trailside Museum. For more information, visit www.friendsofthebluehills.org/summerfest.
Greg Guimond, a former Marshfield Planning Board member who has been town planner in Bridgewater since March 2012, has been named Marshfield’s new town planner. He replaces Paul Halkiotis, who became head of planning and economic development in Norwood. A longtime Marshfield resident, Guimond updated the 1973 Marshfield master plan with three fellow students at the University of Rhode Island while studying for his master’s degree in community planning in 1985 and 1986, he said in an e-mail. He joined the Planning Board around that time, serving for 17 years, he said. Guimond has previously worked in planning for the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District, the Cape Cod Commission, and the town of Winchendon. During his Bridgewater tenure, the town has approved mixed-use development downtown, made updates to the master plan, and received a grant to start a housing rehabilitation program and downtown master plan.
Supporters of Holbrook’s proposed $103 million pre-K-12 school have a new website, www.promoteandvoteprek12.com, which outlines the project, describes deficiencies of the existing schools, and answers likely questions. To date, opponents do not have a comparable public presence. About 69 percent of eligible costs would be reimbursed by the state. Town Meeting and ballot votes are expected to be scheduled for the fall to determine whether voters will exempt the town’s borrowing from the limits of Proposition 2½, the state tax-limit law. For the proposed design, Holbrook would pay $47 million. The owner of an average house, valued at $231,800, would pay $704 annually over 25 years, according to town Treasurer/Collector Paul Digirolamo. The average commercial taxpayer would pay $2,260 annually over the same period. The school would replace all three of Holbrook’s existing schools.
Hundreds of flares will light up the crescent of Hull Bay Saturday
in the town’s annual Harbor Illumination, in what organizers describe as “a moment of collective beauty.” The celebration begins at 4 p.m. at the Hull Lifesaving Museum, with tours of the new exhibit, “Windward in Fine Style, Hull Yachting 1880-1920” and reenactments of the traditional “breeches buoy” method of lifesaving. At 6:30 p.m., a ceremony at Hull Cemetery will honor historic lifesaver Joshua James and all the graves of Mass Humane Society, US Life-Saving Service, and US Coast Guard personnel. At sunset, approximately 8:45 p.m., participants will light flares along the bay — from Spinnaker Island Bridge to A Street — as a bagpiper plays from a boat rowed along the shore. More information about the event and how to buy a flare is available at www.lifesavingmuseum.org.
Negotiations continue on the sale of the Battelle Memorial Institute waterfront property and its possible use by the University of Massachusetts. Battelle is moving from its 12-acre site on Washington Street to a more modern facility in Norwell. Jim Borghesani, spokesman for the local investors looking to buy the property and lease it to UMass, said Monday that the due diligence necessary to make the deal happen is continuing. “Everything is going as expected, but it’s complicated,” he said. He said more information may be forthcoming in a few weeks.
The Conservation Commission is concerned that plans to dump sand dredged from Cohasset Harbor at Sandy Beach this fall may create unanticipated problems. The US Army Corps of Engineers originally planned to take the dredged material offshore on barges, but instead has decided to place the sand at the popular Sandy Beach, town conservation agent Paul Shea told the commission at its July 10 meeting. Shea said he worried that the extra sand would attract piping plovers, a protected species whose presence has led to beach closings in other communities. The commission voted unanimously to ask the federal agency to appear before it to address the issue.