The Rochester Police Department is giving away free gun locks to residents, said Police Chief Paul H. Magee, available for pick up at the station any time. The cable-style locks were donated to the department by Project Child Safe, Magee said in an e-mail, a nationwide program created by the National Shooting Sports Foundation that promotes safe gunhandling and gun storage practices. “Safely storing firearms is the duty of every responsible gun owner,” Magee said. “The use of gun locks can prevent tragedy and help to ensure use only by an authorized user.”
The town has scheduled a household hazardous waste and electronics drop-off for Sept. 27 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Recycling Center, 257 Ivory St. Small items such as cellphones, thermometers, and batteries can be dropped off free of charge. For larger items, residents are asked to pay $5 in cash for every 5 gallons or 5 pounds of material they bring. The drop-off is for Braintree residents only. For a full list of acceptable items, visit www.braintreema.gov/recycling/household_harzadous_waste_day.html or call 781-794-8088.
The town is holding an auction for the sale of two homes on Sept. 23 at noon at Town Hall. The properties are at 21 Furnace Road and 11 Beach Road. Both were acquired by the town for non-payment of taxes, according to Town Administrator Edwin Thorne. The 21 Furnace Road home is a single-family ranch, located on a dead end road fronting Furnace Pond. The 11 Beach Road house is a bungalow-style single-family home near Furnace Pond. The auction is being conducted for the town by the Zekos Group, of Boston. For more information, call the firm at 508-842-9000.
A fleet-footed robber stole a jug full of money earmarked for the care of Lightning McRead, the Russian tortoise that lives in the children’ room at Tufts Library. Library worker Chris Nault said the thief grabbed the jug — which had probably between $50 to $100 in mostly coins and some bills — and dashed out the door, and then into a waiting vehicle. “It was very discouraging when it happened,” Nault said. But she said the community’s response has been overwhelmingly positive. “People are coming in with real bills, saying this is for the poor turtle,” she said. “Kids are coming in with money from their piggy banks in little plastic bags. We’ve been stunned.” In addition, the Friends of Weymouth Libraries has promised to help with Lightning’s expenses, which are primarily for lettuce, bedding, and light bulbs for his heat lamp. The tortoise-money thief was described as a tall white man, wearing a Red Sox hat, white shirt, blue jeans, and white sneakers. Lightning is about 6 inches wide and has lived in the library for about six years, Nault said. “He’s our little pet.”
The town is holding its second community cookout to recognize its employees and volunteers for their efforts and achievements, on Sept. 23 from 12:30 to 5 p.m. on the grounds of Town Hall. Town residents and members of the business community are invited to join in the cookout, which is free. As part of the event, the town also will be recognizing and honoring Hanover’s World War II veterans. In addition to hot dogs and hamburgers, the cookout will feature activities for children and information tables about town departments. In case of rain, the event will be held inside Town Hall. The cookout is organized by the Board of Selectmen’s office with the help of other town departments. For more information, contact Audrey Barresi or Ann Lee at the selectmen’s office, at 781-826-5000, ext. 1084.
Canton’s new senior center is slated to be completed by the end of October for a move-in date of mid November. Town Manager William Friel told selectmen earlier this month that contractors had originally said the work would not be completed until January, but that it was proceeding more quickly than expected. The senior center is being built in a former Knights of Columbus building at 500 Pleasant St. Friel broke down the work that had been completed already on the project. The carpentry is 75 percent complete, the masonry is 95 percent finished, the plumbing is 45 percent done, and the sprinkler system is 80 percent complete, he told selectmen. Selectmen John Connolly and Avril Elkort commended the work of the many town officials who are helping see that project through to its completion.
Who has the loudest bark in town? Who can wag their tail the fastest? Local canines will get to compete for those bragging rights and more at Plymouth Barktoberfest on Oct. 4. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., dogs of all shapes and sizes (and their owners) will convene at the park on the corner of Nelson and Water streets for a day of fun and friendly competition. The activities will include a dog-owner look-alike contest, cutest pooch contest, loudest bark competition, fastest tail-wag face-off, a costume contest, a rabies clinic, and a Plymouth Police K-9 demonstration. Animals who attend will have the opportunity to be blessed by the pastor of Chiltonville Congregational Church, and the Friends of the Plymouth Pound will lead a parade of pets up for adoption. Barktoberfest is being organized by the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce. For more information, visit www.plymouthbarktoberfest.com.
Local officials are asking beachgoers to keep their eyes open and exercise caution after a reported sighting earlier this month of what might have been a great white shark in waters off the Third Cliff/Peggotty Beach. The sighting came after a great white shark attacked a kayak in Plymouth. “We are strongly advising that people using beaches do so with awareness and caution,” states a posting last weekend on the town’s webpage. “Beach patrons choosing to swim do so at their own risk. If you choose to enter the water, do so cautiously and avoid going into the water beyond waist depth.” Town Administrator Patricia Vinchesi said the notice went out “since our beaches aren’t lifeguarded after Labor Day. We wanted people to be aware. The sighting we had was fairly reliable since it was seen taking out a seal, and that’s pretty much what they do.”
Rockland CARES, the town coalition that works to combat substance abuse, is inviting residents to its fourth annual candlelight vigil Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in front of the Rockland Memorial Library on Union Street. The event is intended to enable participants to show their support for family members, friends, and neighbors struggling with substance abuse and addiction. Information on overdose prevention will be distributed before the event starting at 6 p.m., and immediately afterward. In case of rain, the vigil will be held at the Holy Family Church across the street from the library. For more information, go to the Rockland CARES Facebook page.
A sense of joie de vivre was in the air Monday as the Town Council celebrated Sybille Gorneille Day in honor of the young woman who earned a perfect score on the National French Exam last spring as a senior at Randolph High School. “This is very impressive,” said Lisa Narug, executive director of the National Association of Teachers of French,which sponsors the exam. Narug said that nationally, 20,000 students took the test in 2014, and only 23 had perfect scores. Town Councilor Kenrick Clifton said Gorneille’s accomplishment should be celebrated and should serve as an inspiration to other students. At Monday’s Town Council meeting, Gorneille urged other students to “keep trying” and to seek help from their teachers and others. State Senator Brian A. Joyce also presented her with a proclamation from the Massachusetts Senate for her accomplishment. Gorneille is attending classes at University of Massachusetts Boston.
School Department officials are mulling whether to adopt a policy where school volunteers would be required to be fingerprinted at their own cost. The proposed policy would expand the reach of a state law that now requires teachers and school employees be fingerprinted, in addition to undergoing a criminal background check. All school volunteers already go through the Criminal Offender Record Information background check, but those are free and only show criminal history within the state. Fingerprinting, which would cost volunteers $35, would show any criminal activity nationwide as well as add their fingerprints to a national database. If adopted, the policy would only apply to volunteers with the potential of having direct and unmonitored contact with students, such as field trip chaperones, who would be in charge of a group of students during an outing, said Laura Owens, assistant to the superintendent for communications and operations. Parents who volunteer in a classroom with a teacher, for instance, would not be required to be fingerprinted, she said. The issue is scheduled to be discussed at a policy subcommittee meeting Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Coddington Hall, 34 Coddington St. Any recommendations from that meeting would be discussed at theWednesday meeting of the School Committee.
Nearly 2 acres of brush in the woods off Satuit Meadow Lane was charred by a recent fire that Fire Chief T. Andrew Reardon said started from a campfire that was not properly extinguished. There were no injuries or property damage, he said. “People have to understand that it’s extremely dry out in the woodland right now,” he said. “This was a slow-burning surface fire and it wasn’t detected for a couple of days. Things could have been a lot worse.” Reardon said 15 firefighters from Norwell and surrounding communities worked to quench the flames the first day, then eight firefighters from Norwell returned the next day to go deeper into the woods to finish the job. He said firefighters had to stop after a few hours on the first night due to safety concerns. “If people are going to have a campfire in the middle of the woods, they need to make sure the area is clear of all debris, they need to have water, and they need to make sure the ashes are cold before they leave,” Reardon said. “I don’t think there was any ill intent in this case, I just think it was a lack of knowledge about safety issues and about how serious these things can be.”
The Milton Planning Board and Master Plan Committee will hold a public forum Sept. 29 on the town’s master plan, which helps guide decision making on Milton’s future. Creating the plan will allow Milton to anticipate and shape its future, prioritize actions, and budget time and resources effectively. The forum will last from 7 to 9 p.m. and take place in Milton High School’s auditorium. The committee will present the plan and will ask residents what they think about it. For more information, visit www.townofmilton.org, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Jones River Watershed Association, a leading local advocate for environmental causes, is calling for the removal of the town’s Elm Street Dam. The nonprofit’s executive director, Pine duBois, asked the Board of Selectmen at a recent meeting to consider removing the dam as an alternative to costly repairs to maintain the decaying structure. In recent years state grants have backed the removal of old dams in Plymouth and Wareham and other area towns as an environmental restoration step because removing a dam returns the natural flow to rivers and streams blocked in earlier centuries for industrial uses. DuBois told selectmen that restoring the Jones River’s natural flow would help restore habitat for fish such as trout, shad, and river herring. Selectmen agreed to consider the question of removing the dam at an upcoming meeting.
Sixty volunteers from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts have signed up to descend on the Hull Lifesaving Museum and its boathouse on Wednesday to scrape, paint, pound, and generally work their way through a long list of chores. This is the second year the health insurance company has sent volunteers to the Hull nonprofit as part of a company-wide national day of service. “They’re going to do a lot of landscaping around the station and the boathouse — weeding, pruning, weed-whacking, planting — and they’re going to wash windows, clean out the cellar, paint closets,” said museum spokeswoman Corinne Leung. At the Windmill Point boathouse, the volunteers will refurbish four boats used by the museum’s rowing program, as well as fix ramps and replace doors at the building. “Last year they did an equally incredible amount of work, so we know they are up to the task. We’re thrilled,” Leung said.
The Board of Selectmen has appointed seven people to Holbrook’s new Economic Development Advisory Board. Members include Michael Yunits, who is a former Holbrook town administrator and current Norton town manager; former selectman Paul Currie; and current Selectman Richard McGaughey. The remaining members are James Crowley, Fermin Goitia, Michael Mihalow, and William O’Brien, according to Marjorie Godfrey, assistant town administrator. Some of them own or manage local businesses. The Board of Selectmen asked for volunteers with relevant experience who could advise the selectmen about creating economic growth in Holbrook. They were appointed Aug. 27.
As coastal communities such as Hingham get especially hard hit by tropical storms, local and state officials are warning residents to be prepared in case a hurricane-like storm strikes. State officials said although hurricane season is defined as June through November, 75 percent of tropical storms hitting New England in the past 100 years have been in August and September. Officials recommend preparing one’s house to combat storms, putting together an emergency kit at home, knowing the evacuation and shelter-in-place plans, and staying informed about any possibly threatening storm systems. For more information, visit www.mass.gov/eopss/agencies/mema.
A commercial recycling facility being built on Campanelli Drive is one step closer to opening. Selectmen recently approved plans for Republic Services Environmental Solutions to make road improvements to the intersection of South Main Street and Ridge Hill Road. “We’ve been working with them on their plan to widen the intersection and obtain an easement from an abutting neighbor,” said Town Administrator Jack Healey. “I’m very happy to see this process moving forward, since this business will mean a couple dozen jobs — good jobs — and additional money for our tax base. We need to do more of that.” A transfer of the abutting easement will be voted on by town residents at the Oct. 27 Special Town Meeting. In addition to refurbishing an existing warehouse on the site, the recycling company plans to construct a 16,500-square-foot expansion for its operation. Healey said the business is expected to be open by late next year.
Scenes will be shot this month around town for “Good Kids,” a movie about four high school students looking to redefine themselves after graduation. The Board of Selectmen, at its meeting Monday, approved the request to film. The movie, a comedy, according to the IMDb website, is written and directed by Chris McCoy, and features Zoey Deutch, who starred in Disney’s “The Suite Life on Deck”; Julia Garner, whose credits include “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”; Craig Roberts, of “Submarine”; and Nicholas Braun, of “Date and Switch.”
Police claim a Cohasset man tried to run down his tenant as he was opening the 3A Pizza restaurant on King Street last weekend. The state attorney general’s office had previously filed a civil rights complaint against Roger Q. Hill, alleging a pattern of harassment against the tenant because he is of Arab descent, and a Superior Court in March ordered Hill to stay away from the victim. “The Cohasset Police Department is committed to [making] sure that the victim in this case is safe and allowed to run a business without fear of violence, threats, intimidation or harassment,” Acting Police Chief William Quigley said in a press release. Hill pleaded not guilty Monday in Quincy District Court to charges of assault by means of a dangerous weapon, intimidating a witness, violation of a civil rights order,/ driving to endanger, and failure to stop for a police office. He was released on personal recognizance.
Barrett’s Haunted Mansion is looking to give $10,000 to an “unsung hero” for a charity of his or her choosing. People may submit letters by Thursday to Mary Barrett Costello at Barrett’s Haunted Mansion’s corporate office, 1235 Bedford St., Abington, MA 02351. The person will be chosen the week of Sept. 22, Costello said in an interview, adding that she had not received many nominations early on. Costello said she sees the many people who help raise money for their organizations by volunteering to staff the Haunted Mansion each year — a portion of the proceeds on the day they volunteer goes to their organization — and wanted to so something special in honor of a volunteer. The volunteer can be from any community and does not have to have any connection to the Haunted Mansion, she said. The honoree will also be treated to a luncheon at the Abington Ale House.
Brockton Community Schools has opened a 10-week course in swimming skills for children with special needs. The Special Needs Aquatic Program (SNAP) is designed for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. Children will receive modified instruction and training in safety, basic swim skills, and techniques. An adult supervisor for each child, including a parent or responsible adult, must be in the pool or on the pool deck for these classes. Sessions will be on Saturdays from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m., beginning Sept. 20 and continuing through Nov. 22. The class fee is $75 for the 10-week session. Every student must have a physician’s form to participate. Please visit www.brocktoncommunityschools.com.
The Easton Superintendent of Schools, Andrew Keough, will host a coffee hour for parents at 8:30 a.m. Thursday. The event is at the Easton Middle School library. Parents are invited to come and meet the superintendent, and share their concerns or questions about the direction of the school system. An appointment is not necessary.
Parents of high school students who are beginning or in the midst of the college selection process are encouraged to take part in a free college financial aid workshop, offered through Foxborough Adult Education. The financial aid process can be confusing and convoluted for families, and timing is critical, according to instructor Dan Sullivan, in a summary of his approach. Financial aid planning should be a priority for parents of sophomores and juniors in high school. Sullivan will cover application steps for both private and public institutions. The workshop is offered on two nights this fall: Sept. 30 and Oct. 28. The session is free, but registration is required. The class will meet in Ahern Room 177 at Ahern Middle School. For information, contact the program offices at 508-698-3858. For all of its programs, Foxborough Adult Education will hold a walk-in registration event from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Ahern Middle School. The list of classes is available by scrolling down to the parent tab at www.foxborough.k12.ma.us.
Although the massive mural in the Route 106 underpass near North Common with its giant geese may look complete, the organizers of the project say they need one last nest egg of about $10,000 to fund the finishing touches. Mural Committee member Ken Butler said in an interview that the group is very excited that the project headed by artist Ian Gaudreau could be done by October, about a year behind the original due date. “I can’t imagine celebrating anything until it’s done,” Gaudreau said in an interview. He said he has engaged community members to join his small team of painters, particularly to fill large areas of the mural, which depicts the history of the town including the former annual goose parade. “I’m putting brushes in people’s hands who have never held one before and it’s working out pretty well,” he said. Additions to the mural this summer included a whole section of trompe-l’oeil work to make the town’s name standout as if it were carved in granite. He is now working on joining the two halves of the project, which, he said is “sort of like where a cartoon becomes a movie. The still to come is going to be the best that is on the wall,” Gaudreau said. Details of how to donate are available at mansfieldmuralproject.com or www.facebook.com/pages/Mansfield-Mural-Project.
The Middleborough Health Department advises residents to conclude outdoor activities by dusk, as a result of increased findings of mosquitoes testing positive for either Eastern equine encephalitis or West Nile Virus in surrounding towns. The health department issued a mosquito activity alert Sept. 5, reminding residents that the area has a “moderate” risk level for the mosquito-borne diseases. Residents should reschedule all outside events to conclude before dusk, and not begin outdoor activities until after dawn. The hours between dusk and dawn are the times when mosquitoes are most active. “If you have to go outdoors during those hours, be sure to wear protective clothing with long sleeves and use mosquito repellant with DEET,” the advisory states.
The Water Department on Sunday is beginning its semi-annual water main and hydrant flushing program. Each spring and fall, the department flushes the town’s entire water distribution system in a process that takes 10 weeks. Flushing involves pumping water at high velocity to scour the inside surfaces of water mains in order to remove iron and manganese particles. The current round of flushing is starting at the Easton line and proceeding westerly towards the Attleboro line. Officials are advising residents that due to the flushing, they may at times experience a temporary discoloration of their water. Because the water system’s infrastructure is a continuous loop, the discoloration can occur anywhere in the system during the flushing program regardless of where the hydrants are being opened. As a result, the department recommends residents use caution when using filtering systems, washing machines, and dishwashers, and to have bottled water on hand.
The town has agreed to allow Lucini Bus Lines to park school buses at the former South School, on South Street East. Lucini is the school bus contractor for the Bridgewater-Raynham Regional School District. The Board of Selectmen at its meeting last Tuesday voted to approve a lease agreement that will permit Bridgewater-based Lucini to park three school buses in the South School parking lot during daytime hours for $150 a month, according to Joseph R. Pacheco, the board’s chairman. The school closed some years ago and the building now houses the town’s teen center. Pacheco said there is ample room in the lot to accommodate the buses. He said Lucini needed a parking location for one of its routes.
Voters at a Special Town Meeting Monday unanimously approved a deal involving tax credits for the retail giant Amazon.com, which is opening a distribution center in the former Reebok outlet and distribution center on Technology Drive. Town Manager Mark Hartman negotiated the terms of a Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, agreement with Amazon, part of a deal in which the Seattle-based retail giant would also receive tax credits from the state. State officials are expected to approve the measure on Sept. 24 and Amazon expects to be up and running by Nov. 3. Amazon is expected to invest $3 million in improvements to the existing building and spend $17 million on machinery and equipment at the location; the tax credits would involve machinery, equipment, and other property involved in the operation and not real estate taxes. Selectwoman Cynthia Walsh said all 115 Town Meeting members attending approved the article in a standing vote in a 29-minute meeting, the shortest such meeting she’s attended in 38 years as a Town Meeting member. “We’re seldom unanimous on such an important issue,” she said. “I think people were impressed we could attract a company such as Amazon.”
Residents may bring household hazardous wastes to a collection on Saturday at the Westwood Public Works Highway yard from 9 a.m. to noon. The location is 50 Carby St. Cars will be charged $10 to take part in the collection day. Computers and other electronics will not be accepted at this event but should be saved for disposal at an upcoming electronics recycling event. Please mind the following tips to be prepared for dropping off hazardous wastes: Tighten caps and lids and leave materials in original containers; pack containers in sturdy upright boxes; sort and pack separately paints, pesticides, and household cleaners; never mix chemicals; pack your car and drive directly to the collection site. Wastes that will be accepted include: aerosol cans, batteries except alkaline, antifreeze, brake and transmission fluids, cleaning supplies, fluorescent bulbs, furniture and metal polishes, lighter fluid, oil-based paints, poisons, and insecticides. The following are among the items that will not be accepted: ammunition, commercial waste, driveway sealer, explosives, latex paints (dry it out and put in trash), smoke detectors, and syringes. For a complete list of acceptable and non-acceptable items, visit the town’s website at www.westwoodrecycling.com.
The Mattapoisett Fourth of July Road Race Committee awarded a record $19,000 this year in scholarships to graduating seniors at Old Rochester Regional High School. Recipients were Marion residents Zachary Tilden, Gabrielle Gleiman, Samantha Barrett, Kaitlyn Sethares, and Evan Augustine; Mattapoisett residents Abigail Adams, Colin Knapston, Robert Magee, and Hannah Vieira; and Rochester residents Morgan Dasilva, Michael Wyman, and Paige Santos. The race was created in 1971 by then high school assistant principal Robert Gardner and his wife, Doris,and in its first year saw 15 runners participating from the tri-town area of Marion, Mattapoisett, and Rochester. This year, it attracted more than 1,200 runners from around the world, according to a press release from the committee. Since its inception, the race has generated more than $200,000 in scholarship awards.
A criminal complaint filed by one member of the Norwood Airport Commission against another was dropped following an apology. Commissioner Oulton Hues Jr. said in an interview that he did not pursue assault charges against commission chairman Thomas J. Wynne after Wynne apologized to him in Dedham District Court shortly before a hearing was to take place there on Sept. 3. Hues had said Wynne had hit him with a stack of papers at a meeting in Town Hall. Wynne did not return a call seeking comment. He had said in a police report that he had tossed a stack of papers on a table toward Hues and they bounced to the floor.
The Wareham Free Library has extended its hours on Thursdays in an effort to accommodate more students, now that school is back in session. The main branch is now open Thursdays 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Saturdays 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Library director Denise Medeiros was quick to point out that the main library continues to operate on a reduced schedule because of budget cuts. “We took [some hours] off Saturday and added them to Thursday night,” she said. Meanwhile, the Friends of the Wareham Free Library continues its fund-raising efforts. Their next book sale will take place Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the main library at 59 Marion Road. “It’s incredible the books that we get. . . . I’m always amazed at how generous people are,” said Priscilla Porter, president of the Friends. The Friends group also holds monthly silent auctions. On the auction block this month is a set of Charles Dickens books that are well over a century old. Bids can be made in person at the library until Sept. 27, she said. The books are in a display case in the reference area of the library, near the computers. Bidding sheets are there too, she said.
The second round of interviews for Bridgewater town planner should be complete by the middle of September, and a new planner will likely start work in October, according to Town Manager Michael Dutton. He said about 36 people applied for the job vacated by Greg Guimond, who left in July to become town planner in Marshfield. Six were selected for interviews, but one dropped out after accepting another job. The second round should narrow the field to three, and they will be invited to meet with key people in town government before the town makes a decision, Dutton said.
A chain of small grocery stores called Dollar General is proposing to build a 9,000-square-foot store on an undeveloped site at 44 North Main St. in North Carver. A national company with stores that sell food and other items, Dollar General has a store located in Brockton. The Planning Board heard engineer reports on the proposal earlier this month, and neighbors raised no concerns. A site visit by board members and planning staff was scheduled to take place last week, according to town planner Jack Hunter. Hunter said the board may vote to approve a permit for the new store at its meeting on Tuesday.
Voters will consider eight articles at a Special Town Meeting on Tuesday night — including a proposal to buy a vacant corner lot on Main Street for $57,600. Selectmen chairman Frank Hegarty said the .06-acre plot “is a cornerstone for any redevelopment of the town square. The site is open and will only become a blight collecting garbage and scrub growth.” The warrant also includes a proposal to spend $7,500 to clean and landscape the property. Other items on the warrant include a vote on a plan to give the high-tech machine shop Accu-Rounds a tax exemption on a sliding scale over 10 years, in exchange for a guarantee the company will stay and expand in the Avon Industrial Park. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Avon Middle/High School auditorium.
Wine and spirits distributor M.S. Walker may be moving to Dedham. Company representatives came before selectmen on Sept. 4 to request consideration of a tax increment financing district for the property at 112 Meadow Road. That would allow the company, now based in Somerville, to build a new facility on that site for reduced future real estate taxes, according to town counsel. Company representatives said the move would bring 75 high-skilled manufacturing jobs to Dedham. Selectmen will consider what terms of the tax increment financing district can be at future meetings. Such a district would have to be approved by Town Meeting and the state Department of Housing and Economic Development, according to counsel.
The four finalists for the position of superintendent of schools in East Bridgewater include three Massachusetts educators and one from Rhode Island. The Preliminary Interview Committee, a search committee that included community members, teachers, and administrators, reviewed 33 applications and selected the following finalists: Paul Haughey, director of student services in the Blackstone-Millville Regional School District; Thomas Raab, business manager for the Hanover public schools; Gary Mazzola, principal of the Olmsted Elementary School in Easton; and Craig Levis, director of special education for the Smithfield, R.I., public schools. The finalists will be interviewed at a School Committee meeting on Sept. 17 at 4:30 p.m. The public is welcome to attend. School Committee chairman George McCabe has said the board hopes to have a new superintendent in place by the end of October, to allow for a good amount of transition time with the district’s interim superintendent, John Moretti, whose contract runs out at the end of December.
At a special meeting on Sept. 2 that was held just before the civil service list was about to expire, selectmen voted to hire four permanent part-time police officers, and, at a meeting last week, two new firefighters were sworn in. Town Administrator Charlie Seelig said one of the part-time police officers could be converted to a full-time position in the near future. “We’ve been working to get back up to the full number of police officers allowed,” he said in an interview, adding that holding a special meeting averted the need to wait several months for a new civil service ranking list. The police officers hired are: Ryan Simpson, Patrick Deroo, Edward Buccieri, and Richard Silenzi. The two new firefighters hired by recently appointed Fire Chief Jason Viveiros are Michael Delcourt and William Palma.
Families can join in a community celebration while supporting the public schools in Hanson and Whitman. The Panther Education Trust will hold its annual Kids Fitness Festival on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Whitman-Hanson Regional High School. The rain-or-shine event, open to all, is designed to promote physically active lifestyles for children while also raising funds for the Panther Education Trust. Formerly known as the Whitman-Hanson Education Foundation, the trust raises money to support programs at the high school. This year’s festival will feature free healthy food samples; karate, dance, and cheerleading performances; a bouncy house; field hockey; craft-making; dancing with a disk jockey; an obstacle course; and a chance to meet the captains of high school sports teams. Admission is $5 per person For more information, go to www.whedfoundation.org.
The Marion Democratic Town Committee is meeting Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Marion Music Hall at 164 Front St., with transportation the main topic of the meeting. State Representative William Straus (D-Mattapoisett) and state Senator Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton), the chairman of the Joint Committee on Transportation, are expected to be guest speakers. A representative from the Massachusetts Committee for Safer Roads and Bridges is also expected to discuss question one on the state ballot in the November election, which seeks to eliminate the requirement that the state’s gasoline tax be adjusted annually based on inflation.
The Sharon High School literary magazine, the elementary “Classrooms Without Chairs” project, and a variety of arts, technology, and diversity programs have received a total of more than $22,000 in grants from the Sharon Education Foundation for the 2014-2015 school year. Classrooms Without Chairs provides ball seating. Children who use their muscles to steady themselves on the ball feel less of an urge to fidget, and can therefore focus better on their studies, according to Tara Goodwin Frier, copresident of the foundation. Two full classes had the seats last year; this year, six seats will be provided for all remaining first-grade classes and some second grades, and a study will be conducted to evaluate their effect on learning. Other funded projects include duct tape engineering, a celebration of Chinese culture, and guest speakers for the high school on the topic “Genocide and Human Nature: The Horror and the Hope.”
Worms are free at today’s annual Walpole Town Forest Fishing Derby, as are refreshments for young people doing the fishing. The event takes place in a part of the Town Forest off South Street where the Neponset River is dammed into a pond called the Blackburn Privilege, according to Dick Adams, past chair of the Walpole Town Forest Committee. The committee sponsors the Derby with the North Walpole Fish and Game Club, Walpole Sportsman’s Club, and Bass Pro Shop, he said. “There’s nothing better to get kids into the woods. We stock the pond with brown trout and give out lots of prizes,” Adams said. “In past years, some of the kids have caught two- to three-pound smallmouth bass, brown trout, turtles, frogs; they’ll catch anything.” The derby, which has prize categories for boys and girls through age 18, is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine.
Residents have another opportunity to safely dispose of their unwanted and unused prescription drugs. On Sept. 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., members of the public are invited to bring their medications for disposal to town hall. The service is free and anonymous. Organized by the Police Department, the event is a local observance of the fall National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, organized by the Federal Drug Administration twice a year. Rockland has participated in the program previously. The Police Department also maintains a permanent prescription drug drop-off box at the station that is available 24 hours a day, but takes part in the national event to help draw attention to the value of disposing of unneeded prescription drugs and to provide another convenient way for residents to do so, according to town officials.
On Sept. 27, the Jordan Hospital Club is hosting a benefit called HopeFest at Plymouth Memorial Hall. The event will start at 7 p.m. and will feature live music, cocktails, light fare, and an auction. Tickets cost $50 each, and the proceeds will go toward Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth’s Integrated Care Initiative, which serves patients struggling with opiate addiction and other substance abuse and behavioral health issues. “We have a horrible problem with heroin on the South Shore, and people overdosing on heroin; that’s what prompted this,” said Julie Gallant Murphy, who sits on the Jordan Hospital Club’s board of directors. “We’re very excited about it.” Auction items include dinner at the British Beer Company, a one-week stay in a Cape Cod beach house, Red Sox tickets, Boston Bruins tickets, and a ride in an armored car. For more information, visit www.jhclub.org
The library recently introduced a new service to its patrons. Through MobilePrint, anyone can send items from their home desk computers, laptops, tablets, smart phones or any other Internet-connected device to the library to be printed. Virtually any document or Web page can be uploaded. Once they arrive at the library, the user stops by the print release station, enters his or her e-mail address, and then pays through a coin machine, at which time the item is printed. The charge is 20 cents a page for black and white and 30 cents for color. “It’s one more service we can offer people so that even if they are not here they can benefit from the library,” said Lee Parker, the town’s library director. For more information on how to access MobilePrint, go to the library’s website, www.nortonlibrary.org.
Sociology professor and author Patricia Fanning will talk about the 1918 influenza epidemic as it moved through the streets of Norwood and Walpole at the Sept. 16 meeting of the Walpole Historical Society. Fanning, who teaches at Bridgewater State University, is the author of “Influenza and Inequality: One Town’s Tragic Response to the Great Epidemic of 1918.” The 1918 epidemic killed close to 30 million people worldwide in less than a year and has implications for today, Fanning said. Her talk is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Deacon Willard Lewis House, 33 West St., and is open to the public.
Eight high school marching bands — including the Weymouth Wildcats — will perform on the field at Weymouth High School on Sept. 20 for the opening round of the New England Scholastic Band Association’s competitive season. Weymouth will field a 25-member band, down from previous years. Other competitors include Stoughton High School’s Marching Black Knights, the Bishop Feehan Shamrock Marching Band, and the Plymouth High School Marching Band. The gates open at 4:30 p.m. Admission is $10, $8 for seniors and students. Children under six are admitted free.
The Norfolk County Register of Deeds will be at Weymouth Town Hall on Sept. 25 to answer property-related questions and help deal with paperwork. William P. O’Donnell and members of his staff will bring equipment that allows them to help residents print out their property deeds or find out such things as the status of a mortgage discharge. The staff also will demonstrate how Registry of Deeds technology works and provide information on the state Homestead Act. No appointment is necessary for the session, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon in the town council chambers, 75 Middle St. O’Donnell’s goal is “to provide a convenient way for residents to learn more about how the Registry serves Norfolk County, while conducting Registry business closer to home,” according to a press release. More information about the Dedham-based Registry is available at www.norfolkdeeds
or by calling 781-461-6101.
Parking fees have come under fire in Onset, and leading the charge are Marilyn Knowlton and Marie Strawn, two residents who jokingly call themselves the “Snoop Sisters.” The two women recently started a community group called Concerned Citizens of Onset in response to the town’s new resident parking permit program in Onset Village. “We’re being charged to park in front of our homes,” said Knowlton, a 79-year-old Onset native. “Everyone’s up in arms.” Residents have questioned the legality of the new program, and Knowlton wants to know exactly how the parking revenues are being used. “We have no idea what the financial status of this whole fiasco is,” she said. On Aug. 4, she said the group sent a petition with over 300 signatures to the state attorney general’s office, citing a court case decision from 1915 that, in their opinion, makes it illegal for the town to charge residents for parking on public streets. “We feel our civil rights have been violated,” said Knowlton. The group held a meeting Aug. 14 that over 100 people attended, and more meetings will be held in the near future, she said. The town is “going to have a fight on their hands,” she said.
Area seniors are invited to the annual senior health fair hosted by the Rochester Council on Aging, to be held Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Rochester Senior Center on Dexter Lane. In addition to health screenings for senior citizens, there will be vendors, health care resource information for seniors, free lunch and snacks, with door prizes to be awarded throughout the event. For more information, call the council at 508-763-8723.
Students in the Tabor Academy marine science program and the SSV Tabor Boy program are collaborating with the Buzzards Bay Coalition Baywatchers to monitor water quality in Marion harbor and throughout the Buzzards Bay watershed. The partnership, which also includes Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory volunteers, collects and analyzes water-quality data for the coalition, which publishes a measure of the nutrient-related health of more than 30 harbors and coves in the bay. The Tabor Boy is the school’s training vessel, a 92-foot, two-masted schooner.
An informational meeting and letter-writing rally in support of the Mattapoisett Bike Path is scheduled for Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Mattapoisett Free Public Library on Barstow Street, according to Bonne DeSousa, president of the Friends of the Mattapoisett Bike Path. The event is in advance of a public hearing on the path with the state Department of Transportation on Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. at Old Hammondtown School. The hearing is a “long-awaited milestone,” DeSousa said in an e-mail, which will help clear the way for the path, which overall will be 4½ miles long and part of a regional system connecting Fairhaven, Mattapoisett, Marion, and Wareham to Cape Cod. For updated notifications and information on the path’s progress, visit www.mattapoisettrailtrail.org.
The state Fire Marshal’s Office has been called in to help the local fire department investigate a recent barn fire at 59 Parsonage Road. Plympton Fire Chief Warren Borsari called the late-night fire, which burned the 50-by-80 foot unoccupied wooden structure to the ground, suspicious. A vacant house on the property, owned by the US Department of Agriculture, was not damaged by the blaze, but some nearby trailers were. Borsari said that it may not be a coincidence that there was another fire earlier the same day, at an abandoned gristmill just one-and-a-half miles down the road on Soule Street in Middleborough. “That one is under investigation, too, and is suspicious,” he said. No animals or people were injured in either of the blazes, Borsari said.
The Milton Department of Public Works will host its annual hazardous material collection day Sept. 20 from 9 a.m. to noon. Residents can drop off items such as flammable fluids, aerosol cans, glues and adhesives, oil-based paint, insecticides, and cleaning supplies, among others. Materials should be left in their original container if possible, and packed in study cardboard boxes. The event will take place at 629 Randolph Ave., rain or shine. For more information, visit www.townofmilton.org.
The Capital Planning Committee has begun its annual meetings with department heads to discuss their spending requests for the coming year. The committee is using the sessions to help determine what projects to include in the proposed fiscal 2015 capital spending plan it will be placing before the fall Town Meeting, tentatively scheduled for Oct. 27. The town customarily takes up spending requests for capital needs — facility upgrades and purchases of vehicles and equipment — at its fall meeting. The department head meetings are expected to continue over the next few weeks.
The Zoning Board of Appeals will again take up a request by AT&T to erect a 150-foot antenna near Routes 18 and 27 on Sept. 15 and hopes to hear from residents who, by then, will have been able to view a trial balloon, which board chairman John J. Goldrosen said would be floated at the height of the monopole. “People will have a better idea of what the visual impact will be” after seeing it, Goldrosen said last weekend. He said the project, which is designed to improve cellphone coverage in the area, needs a special permit and a zoning variance due to the proximity of the project to property lines. At an earlier meeting, residents had many questions, and voiced concerns about drainage, security, noise, and safety of the tower, Goldrosen said.
The town is collecting bids through Tuesday from contractors who can install temporary traffic calming devices in the Canton, Forbes, and Everett neighborhoods, according to a notice published on the town’s website. Town officials are trying to reduce the cut-through traffic and speeding in the neighborhoods near the proposed Westwood Station development, including reducing the number of cars on Canton Street. The temporary measures include realigning intersections on Forbes Road, at Cushing and at Glandore roads, and installing stop signs at those locations for travelers on Forbes heading toward Canton Street. The plan also will include several advance warning signs and “slow point islands” which eventually could include raised medians. After the temporary work is completed, town officials will gather feedback from residents, and then proceed with a final plan. The temporary measures will be removed by late October, after the period of evaluation. The town has up to $2.1 million available for the temporary and permanent traffic calming efforts, according to a summary published on the town’s website, at www.townhall.westwood.ma.us.
West Bridgewater Middle-Senior High Athletic Director Steve Barrett said the school capturing the Boston Globe’s Ames Division 4 Trophy for athletic excellence during the 2013-14 school year is a tribute to the coaches, students, administration, and parents. “It’s a real thrill,” he said. “Everyone deserves credit, but one of the reasons is the veteran coaching staff we have. Everyone knows what to expect from the coaches, and that means a lot.” He also paid tribute to the school’s boosters, who “support us any way we want them to.” Barrett said that includes jackets and plaques for championship teams as well as an end-of-the-year awards night. “I think what this shows is how dedicated to success our athletes are and the work ethic that our coaches have instilled in all of our athletes,” said Superintendent of Schools Patricia Oakley. Despite losing their athletic fields to construction and playing many more road games, West Bridgewater won its second straight Ames title, starting with an 82-19-8 fall record and finishing with a win-loss percentage of 72.04. The Wildcats were led by their girls’ basketball team, which had a 20-0 record.
Superintendent of Schools Marguerite Rizzi was released from Boston Medical Center Tuesday after being injured in a bicycle accident on West Street in Stoughton Monday afternoon. Deputy Police Chief Robert Devine said the accident was reported to police at 1:10 p.m., with both the Police and Fire Departments responding and paramedics transporting Rizzi to the hospital, where she was held overnight and released the next day. Devine said the accident involved just Rizzi and her bike. Rizzi has been superintendent since July 2009. In October 2013, she received a one-year contract extension that will take her through the 2016-17 school year. School officials were unsure when Rizzi would be able to return to her duties.
A talent show similar to the television program “America’s Got Talent” will be part of next year’s 250th anniversary celebration in Sharon, according to David Clifton, cochairman with Selectman Walter “Joe” Roach of the 250th Anniversary Celebration Committee. Entry into the contest will be free, but not all contestants will perform in the final show in the Sharon High School auditorium, he said. The prize is the honor of winning, he said in an interview, adding that organizers do not want the show to be overly competitive. “The judges will be much more complimentary than what you see on TV,” he said. Events scheduled throughout 2015 include a First Day celebration on Jan. 1, a spring arts and music festival, a black-tie-optional ball in June, concerts, and historical and community service events. The talent show is set for Oct. 18.
As school got underway last week, School Committee Chairman Michael A. Trowbridge said that preliminary work in choosing a permanent replacement for School Superintendent Brenda J. Hodges was also underway. Among those applying for the post was interim School Superintendent Zeffro Gianetti, Trowbridge said. Trowbridge said he was able to speak to the teachers on their first day back on Tuesday and there seemed to be “a lot of excitement for the new interim” and the new school year. The first day for Grades 1 to 12 was Wednesday. Trowbridge said the first step will be form an 11-member search committee, which will include two school committee members, three school administrators, a teacher, the town manager, a selectman, a member of the finance committee, and two parents. Trowbridge said the town has contracted with the Massachusetts Association of School Committees to assist with the search, specifically to draw up an advertising brochure that he hopes will be ready to go out early this week. “I’m hoping that gets done, and we start taking applications shortly after that,” he said in an e-mail. “I expect great things for the upcoming year.”
Residents can enjoy a night out while helping to support the public library. The Hanson Public Library Foundation is holding its third annual wine tasting fund-raiser on Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. at The Olde Hitching Post, 48 Spring St. (Route 58). All proceeds from the $25-per-person event will benefit the foundation, which raises funds to pay for programs and equipment at the library. Attendees will get to sample domestic and international wines as well as beers, presented by Regal Marketplace, of Whitman. There will also be hors d’oeuvres prepared by The Olde Hitching Post. Participants must be 21 or older. Tickets are available at The Olde Hitching Post or the library.
The Foxborough Zoning Board and Conservation Commission will conduct a site walk on Saturday of a 5.6-acre property that has been proposed for a 20-home development. The proposal for Wyman Village would create a mix of market-rate and affordable-rate single-family homes on a new street, connecting through a property at 8 Community Way. The developer is Daniel Russell, who applied for a special permit from the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals in late July through the state’s 40B affordable housing program. According to the plan, filed online at the town’s website, Russell is seeking permission for 20 detached single-family homes. The structures would have three bedrooms and range in size from 1,700 to 1,750 square feet each. Five of the houses would be sold at affordable prices for the community. Three of those would be reserved for Foxborough residents. The site walk is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Participants will meet in the Pratt School parking lot. In case of rain, the walk will be postponed.
The deadline for absentee ballots for the Tuesday primary election is noon on Monday, according to a notice published online by the Easton town clerk’s office. Polls for the primary election Tuesday will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Only voters who are enrolled as either Democrat or Republican party members or those who are “Unenrolled” are eligible to vote in the primary. For the Nov. 4 general election, all registered voters can participate. The registration deadline for the general election is Oct. 15.
Town Clerk Dana Livingston appeared before selectmen recently to remind residents that all registered voters will be voting at the East Bridgewater Junior-Senior High for the state primary election on Tuesday, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Livingston said school will be in session that day, but that Superintendent of Schools John Moretti has asked faculty to park in the rear of the building and that she hopes to have a portion of the parking lot sectioned off for voters, as was done in the last election. She noted that school will not be in session for the general election on Nov. 4, with teachers present for an in-service day.
Dedham’s new superintendent of schools, Michael Welsh, met with selectmen last month to introduce himself and talk about his vision for the district. Welsh, formerly the principal of Framingham High School, lives in Framingham, but said he sees in Dedham a community that shares his values of student achievement and working as a team in the school system. Selectmen chairman James MacDonald told Welsh that the town and school sides of government were accustomed to working harmoniously and that he would find willing partners on the town side. Jennifer Barsamian, chairman of the School Committee, said at the meeting she was very pleased with Welsh, who she said began answering e-mails at midnight on the day he began. Welsh took over July 1, replacing Superintendent June Doe, who retired. School began on Wednesday.
Selectmen have appointed two members of their board to join a committee to work with members of the town’s School Committee on issues affecting both the public schools and the rest of the town. The committee will meet to discuss ideas that need approval by both bodies and address the community perception that friction has existed over financial issues between the two groups. The new ad hoc committee was proposed by first-year selectman Alan Dunham, who volunteered to serve on the body along with Ron Clarke, who is in the first year of his most recent term. The School Committee agreed at its last meeting to appoint two members, Paula Kibbe and School Committee vice-chairman Gina Hanlon-Cavicchi, to take part in the new group, according to the superintendent’s office. The ad hoc committee will call on the school superintendent or town administrator for assistance as needed. No first meeting date has been announced.
Selectmen are delaying a previously approved roundabout plan at Pleasant Street and Lincolnshire Drive after residents again voiced opposition.
On Aug. 26, nearly 40 people showed up for a meeting attended by all selectmen and heard a report by Pleasant Street resident Matthew Osborne, who challenged the traffic study the plan was based on. Osborne said the town engineer’s report inaccurately pegged the speed of motorists on Pleasant Street at above 40 miles per hour, countering that the average speed was between 32 and 34 miles per hour, just a few miles per hour over the speed limit. Selectmen said they had independently hired a consultant — Gary McNaughton of McMahon Associates Inc. — who said the roundabout project was the best way to slow traffic in the intersection and facilitate turns. Residents, who have spoken against the project several times, have contended the plan will add noise and confusion to an intersection they claim is fine as it is. Selectmen agreed to have Osborne speak to McNaughton before work continues. “If we’re going to err, we’re going to err on the side of safety,” said selectmen chairman Victor Del Vecchio at the meeting.
Sixty-six people graduated from Avon High School in 1964 — including West Bridgewater’s Town Clerk Nancy Morrison and former Plymouth school superintendent Carol Young. There are about a dozen self-made millionaires and someone who’s traveled the world providing health care to the poor, according to classmate Steve Woodward. They’re all invited back for a fiftieth reunion on Sept. 25 at the Boston Marriott in Quincy, said Woodward. A former student council representative who went on to a corporate career in computers, he’s helping to organize the event. The Class of 1964 had its last formal reunion 30 years ago, he said. He asked that people respond by Friday by contacting him at 508-238-4922 or email@example.com.
A consulting group working on the new downtown master plan is expected to present a proposal at the Sept. 23 Town Council meeting, according to Town Manager Michael Dutton. Officials originally thought the Cecil Group would make the presentation Tuesday, but scheduling conflicts will likely postpone it, Dutton said in an interview. He said a public workshop and walking tour in July were well attended, drawing about 50 people, including some who have not previously been “regulars” in Town Hall affairs. “It was refreshing,” he said. Among Bridgewater’s initial aims when it sought grant funding for the plan were to revitalize the town center and make it compact and pedestrian-oriented.
Residents wishing to get to know new School Superintendent Thomas Anderson are invited to a reception Wednesday from 6:30 to 7:30 at Randolph Community Middle School. The event is being sponsored by the Randolph PTO, the PTO Council, and the School Committee. Anderson, a Washington D.C. educator, took over as the head of town public schools in July, replacing interim Superintendent Steven Moore. Anderson and Assistant Superintendent Darcy Fernandes recently presented the district’s latest state-mandated plan for improvement, which received a “strong” in all categories, the highest granted by state evaluators. Anderson will present some of his broader goals for the district at the welcome reception. Reservations are requested and can be made to Mary Famulare, 781-961-6205,
The Front Street Book Shop closed last weekend after more than 50 years in town. Peg Patten, who worked at the store for 13 years and owned it for seven, said the decision was upsetting but inevitable. “You don’t go into bookselling to make money,” she said. “If you’re lucky, you break even. And I’ve been losing money for seven years. There just were not enough people coming in the door.” She said she’ll be clearing out the remaining stock, by talking to school libraries and other booksellers in the area, until her lease runs out at the end of the month. “I have no idea what’s next,” she said when asked about her plans.
The state-funded $4 million reconstruction of the Hancock and Squantum streets intersection is slated to start in coming weeks, according to city officials. The Hancock Street corridor, an access point to I-93 and near both North Quincy High School and the North Quincy T station, has been a problem in terms of traffic backups and pedestrian safety. Improvements will consist of new pick-up and drop-off areas for North Quincy High students; new traffic islands and crosswalks; wider lanes; additional left-turn only lanes; and new traffic signals, according to an announcement from the city. Construction is expected to take a year.
On Aug. 26, more than 150 employees of Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth soaked themselves with ice water in honor of their longtime co-worker and fellow nurse, Judy Brown Cardinal, who was recently diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Calling themselves “Team Judy,” the group of physicians, nurses, and other co-workers assembled on the hospital’s grassy lawn to take part in the Ice Bucket Challenge, the ALS awareness campaign that has gone viral on the Internet and raised millions of dollars to fight the disease. Donna Doherty, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer, kicked off the event with a few words and called out sister Beth Israel Deaconess hospitals in Needham and Milton to step up and also take the challenge. After she said, “Go Team Judy!” the hospital employees cheered and promptly picked up buckets of water and dumped them over their heads. Cardinal lives in Bourne and worked for the hospital for more than 25 years, according to hospital officials.
Town Hall offices will remain open later on Mondays until at least the end of this year. As a convenience to residents, selectmen in February voted to institute the extended Monday hours on a trial basis for six months through Labor Day. In response to public feedback, the board recently voted to continue the trial period through Dec. 31. The board will evaluate whether to continue with the policy based on additional feedback from town officials and residents. Under the trial schedule, Town Hall offices are open until 6:30 p.m. on Mondays. Before the trial period, they closed at 4:30 p.m. The building will remain open for meetings throughout the evening.
An applicant denied a license to operate a medical marijuana facility in Norwell is suing the state over its decision. Mass Medi-Spa submitted applications to operate facilities in Norwell and Nantucket, both of which were denied. Jeffrey Roos, chief executive officer of Mass Medi-Spa, said his company’s applications were not adequately reviewed by a selection committee. Most notably, he said, letters of support from host community leaders were not taken into account. “In both cases, we had very strong applications predicated on having local support,” Roos said. “We were expecting a nearly perfect score, but that’s not what we received. They really botched our applications.” Selectmen sent a letter to the state Department of Public Health last fall throwing their support behind Mass Medi-Spa opening a facility on Accord Pond Drive where the company would grow and process marijuana. “Selectmen met with representatives from the company, and we felt that they would run a good business that we could accept and support,” said Norwell Town Manager James Boudreau. “We looked at this as a good business opportunity for the town.”
A Marshfield constable will be charged with impersonating a police officer after an Aug. 7 encounter in a Webster Street parking lot, according to Police Chief Phillip Tavares. Thomas R. Jackson of Marshfield allegedly approached the driver’s side of a 22-year-old woman’s vehicle, announced he was a State Police officer, flashed State Police identification that said “retired,” and offered her $100 to pick up a female whom he said was involved in a domestic violence case and needed to see a therapist, Tavares said in an interview. Then, the mother of the 22-year-old drove into the parking lot, and he made the same offer to her, the chief said. Jackson told the Globe he is the victim of a “political vendetta” because Tavares wants to get rid of constables. Tavares said the constable system is antiquated. Jackson’s lawyer, Stephen Dodd, said in an interview that Jackson was trying to get a taxi for a woman, but could not, so he approached the women as a private citizen looking for help, and said he was a retired officer only to make them feel more comfortable. Jackson, who said he is 70, was an officer of the Metropolitan District Commission Police, which merged with the State Police. Sources differ on his State Police involvement. Tavares said Jackson owns a private investigating company and appears to have been working on a case. The Board of Selectmen removed Jackson from his position at Tavares’ request Aug. 25. He will be arraigned Oct. 21, Tavares said.
A new playground is on the way for the town’s elementary and intermediate school students. Resident Mary MacKinnon, a member of the town’s Community Preservation Committee, updated selectmen at their last meeting on the state of the playground after Town Meeting approved using $116,000 in funds from the Community Preservation Act to replace worn equipment this spring. MacKinnon, who proposed the town devote CPA funds to new playgrounds last December, said the old playground had safety issues such as insufficient mulch to cushion falls. MacKinnon told selectmen that new playground equipment had been delivered and construction had begun. School children used the schools’ soccer field for recess when the new school year recently began, but MacKinnon said the new playground is expected to be ready for them soon.