The town’s Board of Health voted to raise the minimum mandatory age from 18 to 21 – joining a growing number of communities statewide.
The town’s Board of Health voted to raise the minimum mandatory age from 18 to 21 – joining a growing number of communities statewide.
Construction of a food-to-electricity plant at the Stop & Shop distribution center in Freetown is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2015, says Greg O’Brien, a consultant for the supermarket company. Stop & Shop is reviewing bids for design and construction and will begin awarding contracts in four to six weeks, he said in an interview. Each year, the plant will convert about 40,000 tons of spoiled and unusable food from Stop & Shop supermarkets in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island into an odorless gas. The gas will be burned, generating enough electricity to power about 40 percent of the distribution center, he said. The plant is projected to create eight to 10 jobs. In addition to generating renewable energy, O’Brien said, the plant will reduce the company’s truck usage, because trucks that travel empty to Freetown to pick up food will return the spoilage that would otherwise have been hauled to landfills. Usable food will still be donated to food pantries.
Hingham is joining other south suburbs in combatting the problem of opiate abuse as it holds a forum on Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. in the new Hingham Middle School.
A vote on a local tax of 0.75 percent on restaurant meals in Marshfield, which appears on the Oct. 27 special Town Meeting warrant, will probably be postponed until the spring, says John Hall, chairman of the Board of Selectmen.
Teachers, custodians, and all other school employees have a better idea how to react to an emergency after an all-day drill with police at the Cohasset Middle/High School earlier this month.
Easton is developing a comprehensive master plan, its first effort to do so in some 40 years. The “Envision Easton” draft report includes recommendations for guiding future development, encouraging economic development, and preserving natural resources, among other priorities.
The Stoughton Historical Society president is pushing to preserve the Thomas Glover House — one of the three oldest structures in town.
The loss of Whitman native son Michael J. Donahue, who was killed by a suicide bomber on Sept. 16 during his third tour of Army duty in Afghanistan, will be remembered in a ceremony at the town park’s All-Wars Memorial on Sunday, Oct. 19, at 4 p.m.
A development in Rochester at the longtime site of R.F. Morse and Son nursery, which closed several years ago, could receive site-plan approval from the local Planning Board on Tuesday, Oct. 14, according to Mary Crain, the town planner.
Plans in Weymouth to convert the former Immaculate Conception School into apartments are moving ahead – while two other multifamily projects in Jackson Square have stalled.
Starting Dec. 1, Milton residents cannot plan ahead if they want to be buried in the town-owned historic cemetery.
Plymouth plans to take another step to bolster the health of Town Brook with the help of a grant recently awarded by the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affiars. The $40,000 award will go toward engineering oversight for the project to remove Plymco Dam from the waterway.
Duxbury and its surroundings will once again play host to Hollywood, as scenes for Disney’s “The Finest Hours,” a thriller about a daring 1952 Coast Guard rescue, are shot next month.
Blue Hills Regional Technical School, a high school of about 840 students in Canton, will provide Chromebook laptop computers for all students by Thanksgiving, according to a press release from the school.
Developers who want to clear large trees from any commercial site in Dedham would have to plant replacements, under a proposed tree bylaw.
Unsure whether what you’re seeing in the bedroom of your pre-teen or teenager is some kind of drug paraphernalia? Brockton Police and a city coalition on opioid overdose prevention have organized a walk-through exhibit on Oct. 26 that will allow parents to inspect what might be hiding among the mess.
The proposed replacement of the roof at the Indian Head Elementary School in Hanson cleared the first of two hurdles last Monday, Oct. 6, when a Special Town Meeting authorized $850,000 for the project.
Tiny Avon will get $625,000 over the next five years from the federal Drug Free Communities program — one of 680 grants awarded nationwide this year.The money will go to the Avon Coalition for Every Student, a community group dedicated to stopping youth drug and alcohol abuse, according to coalition coordinator Amanda Decker.
Wareham Town Hall is now closed on Fridays and open later Monday through Thursday, a change a town official says is designed to make the building more accessible to working people.
Westwood Town Meeting participants in November will be asked whether to authorize town officials to appropriate money to design a new police station, as well as a new fire station at Islington center. The town’s Board of Selectmen voted unanimously Sept. 4 to place the request for design services on the Nov. 17 Special Town Meeting warrant. The article does not specify an amount.
The simple wooden chair with dark cushions decorated with the POW/MIA symbol is the first thing you see now when you enter Braintree Town Hall — a memorial to the more than 91,000 US servicemen and women listed as prisoners of war or missing in action.
A.D. Makepeace Co. is scheduled to hold its annual Cranberry Harvest Celebration on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 11-12, of the Columbus Day weekend.
Proponents of a proposed $96.4 million Abington middle and high school got a double shot of good news recently: On Sept. 27, Town Meeting voted 961 to 20 in favor of the project. On the Wednesday before, the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s board of directors voted to approve a grant of up to $50.1 million to help pay for the new building, which would house grades 5-12.
And then there was one. Yet another person has resigned from the Zoning Board of Appeals in Marshfield in a shakeup that began over the summer.
A new community playground at Igo Elementary School, created with a $60,000 grant from the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, hosted a grand opening celebration Tuesday that drew Robert Kraft, chief executive and chairman of the New England Patriots.
As a cost-saving measure, Norwell’s selectmen are considering leaving the local police station unstaffed for several nights a week. Officers would still be on patrol around the clock, but there wouldn’t be a clerk on duty in the station overnight, said Ellen Allen, who chairs the Board of Selectmen.
Eastern Nazarene College is planning improvements to its campus with some help from MassDevelopment. The state’s finance and development agency recently issued a $23 million tax exempt bond on behalf of the Christian liberal arts college in Quincy.
The town of Randolph is negotiating with the owner of the former International House of Pancakes to see whether it can flip the property at 952 North Main St. for use as a new fire station to serve the north end of town.Town Manager David C. Murphy said the Town Council recently voted to designate the 1.15-acre site, which includes the dilapidated former restaurant, as a “unique” property because it is a non-residential property next to the current fire station. The designation could speed up the purchase of property, owned by Hank Duong of Braintree, he said.
The proposed Center/Sylvester Elementary School building project in Hanover cleared a key early funding hurdle when the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s board of directors invited the district to undertake a feasibility study.
The Plymouth Area League of Women Voters plans to hold a fall candidates’ forum Oct. 23. Candidates running for First Plymouth District State Representative (Democrat Stephen Michael Palmer and Republican Mathew J. Muratore), Plymouth and Barnstable District Senator (Democrat Matthew C. Patrick, Republican Vinny M. deMacedo, and Libertarian Party candidate Heather M. Mullins), and Plymouth County Commissioner (Democrat Scott M. Vecchi and Republican Sandra M. Wright) will be invited to attend and answer questions. The forum is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. at Plymouth Town Hall, and it will be broadcast live on Plymouth Area Community Television. Questions for the candidates can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. The league is also reminding people that Oct. 15 is the last day to register to vote in the Nov. 4 election.
The West Bridgewater Cultural Council has set an Oct. 15 deadline for organizations, schools, and individuals to apply for grants that support cultural activities in the community. Council member Joan McAndrew said grants can support a variety of artistic projects and activities in town, including exhibits, festivals, short-term residencies by artists or performances in schools, workshops, and lectures. The council will also consider proposals from schools and youth groups through the PASS Program, which provides subsidies for school-age children to attend cultural field trips. For grant guidelines and more information on the council, contact Joan McAndrew at email@example.com. Application forms and more information about the Local Cultural Council Program are available online at www.mass-culture.org. Application forms are also available at the West Bridgewater Library and Town Hall.
The Friends of the Avon Library will sponsor the fourth annual Craft and Vendor Fair at the library next Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. “This is our biggest, and right now, our only fund-raiser,” said organizer Ann Fogg, assistant to the library director. Fogg said money raised from the fair would go toward buying more passes for museums, zoos, and historic sites, which library cardholders can borrow. Items for sale at the fair will include handmade jewelry, knit and crocheted goods, artwork, and soaps, she said. The library is located at 280 West Main St.
Marshfield Community Television welcomes the public to visit its new studios, located at the new Marshfield High School, during a November open house. Postponed from an earlier date, the event will be held Nov. 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to Jonathan Grabowski, executive director. Although the school built the space, MCTV has funded installation of new sets, cameras, and editing equipment, he said in an interview. He said the studios have “all the neat bells and whistles” and are high-tech and easy to use. “We are going from the Stone Age into the space age,” he said. Students use the studios until 4 p.m. each day, and then they are open for MCTV members to produce their own programming or help with coverage of government meetings and education.
The Boyden Library will host a screening of “Deconstructing Supper: Is Your Food Safe?” a film in which acclaimed chef John Bishop takes viewers into the politics of global food production. The film is described as his personal quest to find out what food choices mean for consumers. Topics covered include genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, and industrial agriculture. The film will be shown from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 19.
Volunteers are needed to help the city plan its 28th annual Greater Brockton Holiday Parade, to be held Nov. 29 at 1 p.m. Planning meetings began Sept. 16 and will continue until Nov. 25. Meetings are scheduled for Tuesdays from 7 to 8 p.m. at Joe Angelo’s Café, 11 Crescent St. Help is needed in the areas of marketing, parade route planning, food court, and floats. City officials hope to build attendance and participation in anticipation of the 125th anniversary next year of James Edgar’s decision to become a department store Santa, which began an American tradition. Edgar, who owned a Brockton department store, decided to become “Santa” in 1890 to entertain children, city officials say. Contact parade chairman John Merian at 508-612-2688 for more information about volunteering.
With the appointment of the department’s first six captains recently, Fire Chief Neal Boldrighini said a major reorganization of his department that has been in the work for decades took a giant step forward. “It’s needed movement forward” in light of the growing complexities of fire service and emergency response needs, Boldrighini said. The six captains, who were formerly lieutenants with the department, will be in charged with making major decisions at the scene for the department, which receives roughly 3,000 emergency runs out of 6,000 calls for service each year out of its two stations. He said he also expects within a year to name new lieutenants from among the department’s 36 firefighters. Those sworn in as captains are: William Burgess, Richard Fiske, Marc Goyette, Robert Merritt, Donald Tebeau, and John Terry .
The South Shore Great Pumpkin Challenge is on, and looking for great pumpkin artists. Giant pumpkins will be placed on Depot Street and Route 123 in Easton Wednesday and will be displayed until Oct. 9. Volunteers will be needed to craft them into works of art. The goal is 50 giant pumpkins. Decorating starts Thursday and finishes Saturday morning. If interested in participating, e-mail SSGreatPumpkinChallenge@gmail.com for information.
The School Committee Monday named two finalists for the position of superintendent of schools. The committee will make site visits to the Blackstone-Millville School District to see Paul Haughey, director of student services, and to Smithfield, R.I., where the other finalist is Craig Levis, director of special education. The two finalists will also visit East Bridgewater before the committee makes its final selection by Oct. 7, on a day yet to be determined. The committee also voted unanimously to seek funding from a Special Town Meeting yet to be scheduled for two additional buses to ease problems that have plagued the district for the first few weeks of school. School Committee chairman George McCabe said problems have been caused by the decision to cut three buses to help balance this year’s budget. The committee will be seeking $140,000 to add two more buses. “Otherwise, we’ll have situations where kids continue to spend too much time on buses both going to school and coming home,” he said. McCabe said problems have been exacerbated by the fact that the town has very few sidewalks, which can make situating safe bus stops problematic. “We’ve worked with the town’s safety officer to change some stops, but other changes will have to wait until we have more buses.”
The town has been selected as a pilot site for the Aging Mastery Program, a free, 12-week program designed to educate and encourage health and lifestyle improvements for adults ages 55 and older. The program, a collaboration between the National Councils on Aging and the Massachusetts Councils on Aging, will touch upon physical activity, healthy eating, and medication management among other topics. An introductory session was held on Monday at the Department of Elder Affairs, 71 Cleveland Ave. Subsequent sessions will be held on Mondays at 1:30 p.m. at the same location. While the program is at capacity, interested parties are still encouraged to register their name and phone number with the Department of Elder Affairs. For more information, call 781-848-1963.
The Adams Center Trustees and the Kingston Cultural Council will host a program on what archeology can tell us about the lives of native peoples in the Jones River area before the coming of European settlers. Vocational archeologist Sheila Lynch Benttinen will speak on “The People before the Pilgrims: the Jones River Area” at the Adams Center, a former library restored as a community center, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. Her topic includes early migrations into the Northeast, ancient sites in the Kingston area, “the Great Sickness,” the Pilgrims’ arrival, pictures of artifacts from local collections, and “the Wampanoags Today.” Interest in archeological research into Native American culture has surged locally following the discovery of intact archeological remains of a native community on the town-owned Hall Property and the question of how much of the site can be preserved for historical and cultural reasons. The program is free.
The town is getting $110,000 over the next three fiscal years to help combat obesity and promote healthy habits. The money is part of more than $1 million awarded by the state Department of Pubic Health to 22 programs in Massachusetts. “These grants enable cities and towns to make healthy eating and active living easier for people to achieve,” DPH Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett said in a press release. “The grantees are working to make the healthy choice the easy choice by ensuring the availability of healthy affordable foods and promoting opportunities for physical activity.” Weymouth has received similar grants in the past, using the money to help start a local farmers market, encouraging students to walk to school, and working with local restaurants to offer healthy, affordable menu choices, according to Valerie Sullivan, the town’s Wellness Coordinator.
Residents are invited to tour the newly completed $60 million middle school Oct. 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., officials said. Attendees can take informal tours with staff and student ambassadors, and School Committee and School Building Committee representatives will also be on hand to answer questions. The school building itself is complete, but crews are still working on the fields and site construction, according to a town announcement. The school, which the town voted to approve two years ago, will cost the town about $36 million after state funding, officials previously said. For more, visit www.hingham-ma.gov.
The town will soon be hiring four new firefighter/paramedics after receiving a $541,000 federal grant. Fire Chief John Nuttall said he will be looking to staff a second ambulance, which will help to pay for the firefighters beyond the two years of funding provided by the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant. He said he plans to have six employees on a shift at all times, instead of the current five. He said the department averages 3,400 calls a year, a heavy volume for the current 22 members of the department. He said he hopes to have the new employees hired by December. They will likely attend the nine-week fire academy next summer, Nuttall said.
Fire Chief Richard Judge retired last week, with his last day of work Thursday 36 years to the day since he started at the department back in 1978. Judge, 60, had been chief for seven years and spent his entire firefighting career in Scituate. “I always said you know when it’s time to leave, and it’s time,” said.Judge, adding that he’s going to Aruba for a two-week vacation and will then figure out what to do next. “I will continue to work,” he said. “My wife is a very successful realtor and I figured I’d get my real estate license and help her out. Or I may go back to building houses.” Judge said that Deputy Fire Chief John Murphy is being considered for the job, which will be filled by the town administrator.
A Rockland team is headed to Lynchburg, Tenn., next month to take part in the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue. The six-member Team Que and a Half Men will be representing Massachusetts in the prestigious barbecue competition, set for Oct. 25-26. Teams from across the US and around the world will vie in the categories of pork ribs, pork shoulder, beef brisket, and chicken, as well as sauces and desserts. The team earned the right to represent Massachusetts by winning a state-sanctioned championship event in Harvard a year ago. The team, consisting of Bill Minihan, Julie Minihan, Brian Martin, Sue Martin, Maura Martin, and Rico Pasquale, takes part in about 25 competitions around the country each year. All are Rockland residents, except Pasquale, who is from Raynham. “Being selected to compete in such a prestigious event is a big honor,” Bill Minihan, the team’s pitmaster, said in a statement. “We have worked very hard to get to this level, and we are all very excited to put our recipes up against the best in the world.”
The city’s process of purchasing eight homes on Hunt Street and one on Newbury Avenue for the expansion of the North Quincy High School campus and flood mitigation is going well, but engineers have drafted an alternate plan in the event the city fails to take all the properties, said City Solicitor James Timmins. So far, the city has purchased four of the properties and has three others under agreement, Timmins said. Officials have been in contact with the owners of the remaining two properties at 30-32 and 42-44 Hunt St., who are being represented by lawyers, Timmins said. After the $12 million project was authorized in June, city officials began negotiations with the homeowners to purchase their homes, as opposed to pursuing the more aggressive option of eminent domain takings. Those under agreement must be out of their homes by the end of October, Timmins said. The duplex on 42-44 Hunt St. is being held up by an estate matter that could be straightened out soon, he said. The alternate project draft indicates that if officials cannot reach an agreement with the owners of 30-32 Hunt St., a proposed parking lot would still be viable and built around the perimeter of that home, Timmins said. The proposed project includes a new 157-spot parking lot, renovations to Teel Field and construction of two flood water-retention ponds.
The town’s public schools got to take part in a little celebrating and a recommitment to the long hard work of improving the district as MCAS scores were released recently showing that, while the district overall remains below the state average, it did meet many of the improvement goals set by the state. “There are some great things taking place and we are thankful for the substantial growth,” said School Superintendent Thomas Anderson. He said it is unlikely that the district will move out of the state’s underperforming category this year. However, Randolph High School moved from a Level 3 school up to a Level 2 and that was “a major accomplishment” for all those involved, he said in an interview. Additionally the Young and Lyons elementary schools both showed significant gains in English and math. Anderson said the state-mandated Accelerated Improvement Plan, which was put into place four years ago and has been tweaked every year, has grown into a strong foundation for the district. “The real mission here is to keep our students moving along. The only way to do that is in the classrooms. It’s not all about the test. It’s about the teaching and learning process,” Anderson said. “It’s hard and we really need to recognize the effort.” Full MCAS results are available at BostonGlobe.com’s Sept. 19 edition.
The Board of Health is advising the public that as of this Tuesday it will be illegal to sell electronic cigarettes to anyone under 18 in Pembroke. The ban was part of an overhaul of the town’s tobacco regulations adopted by the board Aug. 25, according to Lisa Cullity, the town’s health agent. She said that Pembroke joins more than 60 other Massachusetts communities that have prohibited the sale of e-cigarettes to minors due to concerns that the nicotine delivery products can be addictive and lead to use of other drugs. As with Pembroke’s other tobacco rules, anyone violating the ban could face a fine of up to $500. Cullity said, however, that the board, following its general policy, would likely provide for first-time offenders to receive a warning, imposing the fine only for second and subsequent offenses.
The board of health is reaching out to the town’s seniors to provide additional information about the pay-as-you-throw curbside trash collection program being considered for Norwell. “A lot of seniors are all worked up because they think it’s going to cost them more money,” said Health Agent Brian Flynn. “It’s really not going to cost that much for seniors. It will cost more for larger families who will be generating the most trash.” With trash fees through the town’s current provider, Southeastern Massachusetts Resource Recovery Facility, expected to double next year, town officials are eyeing a pay-as-you-throw program. Flynn said that in addition to saving money, moving away from a flat-rate, taxpayer-funded trash removal program will encourage recycling and reduce the amount of trash that is thrown away. No date has been set, but the board of health — along with a representative from the state Department of Environmental Protection — will give a presentation, and answer questions, at the Norwell Senior Center/Council on Aging in the next few weeks.
The Friends of the Blue Hills will mark their 35th anniversary at a fund-raiser celebration Oct. 9 at Fuller Village, organizers said. The event will feature hors d’oeuvres, a beer tasting by Blue Hills Brewery, silent auction, a raffle for a dinner for six at the top of the Blue Hills Observatory catered by Steel & Rye, and awards for community partners. Joseph Bagley, archeologist for the city of Boston, will serve as the keynote speaker. Tickets for the event cost $35 through Friday, or $40 at the door. For more, visit friendsofthebluehills.org/celebrate35.
Landlady Rochelle K. Greene will pay the town $3,500 in fines and stop renting two houses on Massasoit Avenue for periods of less than 30 days, in exchange for the town dropping its lawsuit against her and agreeing not to impose higher fines, according to town attorney James Lampke. The town took Greene and her Sand and Sea Rentals company to court in July, claiming the short-term rentals violated the town’s bylaw prohibiting rentals of less than 30 days. Two other homeowners have challenged the town’s interpretation of the bylaw in a case pending before the state’s Land Court. If those homeowners prevail, Greene can ask that her case be reopened by the Housing Court judge who signed the settlement agreement earlier this month, Lampke said.
The Holbrook school district rose to Level 2 from Level 3 in the state’s five-level rating system when 2014 MCAS results were released Sept. 19. Superintendent Patricia Lally issued a written statement in which she hailed the change as an “unprecedented accomplishment” and said the district will continue working toward Level 1 status. She credited re-assignment of personnel, changes to programming, and the presence of a new curriculum director and reading coordinator, along with other changes, with contributing to the improvement, and she acknowledged the “unfailing efforts” of the entire school community. Based on scores on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System tests, districts and individual schools are assigned a level, 1 through 5, in which 5 represents state takeover of a chronically underperforming school. A district’s rating can be no higher than its lowest school. Sixty-one percent of districts are rated Level 2, and 19 percent are rated Level 1, according to the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Residents are invited to a public forum on substance abuse this Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the high school, 287 Cedar St. The event, free and open to all, is being organized by state Representative Rhonda Nyman, a Hanover Democrat. It will feature an expert panel consisting of Cheryl Bartlett, commissioner of the state Department of Public Health; state Representative Elizabeth Malia, a Jamaica Plain Democrat who is House chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse; and Joanne Peterson, founder and executive director of the Learn to Cope Foundation. The intent of the forum is to raise awareness about substance abuse, in particular the recent rise in opiate abuse, and to discuss resources and strategies to deal with the problem. For more information, call Francis DiBona at 617-722-2210.
Accepting an easement so improvements can be made to an intersection near a large commercial recycling facility that is opening on Campanelli Drive and using solar power to help reduce Freetown’s electric bill are two of the items that will be on the Fall Special Town Meeting warrant Oct. 27. Selectmen last week scheduled the meeting for 7 p.m. at the Freetown Elementary School. Republic Services Environmental Solutions is obtaining an easement from an abutting neighbor so it can widen the intersection of South Main Street and Ridge Hill Road and install sidewalks, said Town Administrator Jack Healey. He said that the Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee are reviewing another article that would allow the town to enter into an agreement with Borrego Solar Systems to purchase power at a reduced rate. “We still have to work out details, but this could save 17 percent on the cost of the town’s electric bill,” Healey said.
Selectmen approved a contract earlier this month that gives the police a 5 percent raise over four years, including a 2 percent hike in the final year. The contract runs from July 2013 through June 2016, according to the agreement. The contract also allows for educational incentive pay — 10 percent for officers who hold an associate’s degree as of July 1, 2011, 18 percent for a bachelor’s degree, and 23 percent for a master’s. Those not receiving an education incentive are entitled to a 3 percent increase after 10 years of service. The contract also increased family sick leave to five days per year and allowed for patrol officers filling in for a sergeant to receive higher pay for that shift. Holiday compensatory days were reduced from 11 to 7 per year.
Flu season is sneaking up and the town Board of Health is getting ready by scheduling four clinics to administer flu shots. The clinics are open to any town resident age 9 or older. Participants should bring their health insurance cards and wear short-sleeved shirts. Clinics will be held Oct. 7, from 10 a.m. to noon, in the Town Hall auditorium; Oct. 14 from 11 a.m. to noon at the Cohasset Elder Affairs office, 3 North Main St.; Nov. 1, from 10 a.m. to noon, at the Cohasset Recreation Center, 55R South Main St.; and Nov. 18 in the Paul Pratt Memorial Library meeting room, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Anyone with questions can call public health nurse Mary Goodwin at 781-383-2210. Goodwin said the town has an ample supply of flu vaccine.
The Carver Business Development Committee is seeking proposals to redevelop the state-owned Department of Transportation property at the Spring Street-Route 44 interchange. Since the opening of the new state Route 44 highway several years ago, the town has been seeking commercial expansion in the North Carver district near the highway. Working with state and regional agencies, the group is now looking for a development project that attractively incorporates an automobile service center into a design reflecting the site’s surroundings. The development committee is looking for a proposal that complements neighboring residential neighborhoods, avoids any negative impact on the town’s water resources, and enhances the area’s real estate values through a quality design. Examples of the kinds of project designs the group is seeking can be in found on its posting in the headlines section of the town’s website at www.carverma.org/carverma.
Town Meeting will be held Oct. 27, and there are 36 articles on the warrant. Among the items to be decided by voters are proposals to replace the wheelchair lift at Minot Forest Elementary School; spend up to $114,543 from the Community Preservation Fund to restore the American Legion Hall Post 220 at 777 Main St.; use $98,000 from that fund to restore the Old Methodist Meeting House at 495 Main St.; and use $70,000 from it to create an additional housing unit at Agawam Village at 57 Sandwich Road. The Community Events Committee also put forth an article to petition the Legislature to allow the Community Events Fund to receive a percentage of parking meter proceeds and excise tax revenues every year. The full warrant can be viewed online at www.wareham.ma.us. Town Meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. in the Wareham High School auditorium at 7 Viking Drive.
The Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously voted to allow the construction of an AT&T cellphone tower near Bedford Street after a trial balloon floated to the height of the 150-foot pole apparently put neighbors at ease that it would not be visible from nearby streets, said board chairman John J. Goldrosen. “We were satisfied,” he said in an interview. Goldrosen said the board also had asked the company to investigate whether it could use an existing pole on the police station, but that option was found inadequate to make the desired improvement in cellphone service. The board action granted a needed variance and other permissions, but the project still faces Conservation Commission review, said Goldrosen.
Demolition started earlier this month on the old mill building at the Blackburn and Union Privileges Superfund cleanup site – a long-awaited development that selectmen applauded at their Sept. 16 meeting. In fact, officials are so pleased they’ve scheduled an “It’s Coming Down” celebration for 9 a.m. Oct. 14 at the 55 South St. location and invited the public to cheer the demolition. The mill demolition is expected to take about five months, and will be followed by intensive scrubbing of the contaminated site through 2016, according to Walpole health director Robin Chapell. The area was added to the Environmental Protection Agency’s national priority list of hazardous waste sites in 1994. Commercial and industrial use of the land dates back to the 1600s, and, between 1891 and 1915, the site was used to manufacture tires, rubber goods, and insulating materials.
The Friends of the Westwood Library will hold its October book sale beginning Thursday. In addition to books, the event will offer CDs and DVDs for sale. These sales are among the Friends’ biggest fund-raisers. All proceeds will benefit the town’s library. The sale will take place at the Main Branch of the library on High Street. The hours are 1 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, visit the Friends Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestwoodLibrary.
The town is considering buying the house and land at 175 Pond St. because it abuts Sharon High School, officials said. School Committee chairwoman Veronica Wiseman said the land could be used to increase the footprint of the school, which she said is due for a renovation soon. She said selectmen always have an eye out for properties that could benefit the schools or the town, because not much open land remains in Sharon. A number of town committees must give their approval for the potential purchase to go to Town Meeting. The School Committee has been quoted a price of $317,000 for the house, she said. Assessors’ records indicate the property is valued for tax purposes at $303,100 and includes roughly a half acre of land.
Plans for a regional ice rink continue, with no date set yet for a groundbreaking. Bill Naumann, president of the Norwood Nuggets youth hockey organization, said in an interview that the town-hired architects, DiLullo Associates, are in the process of designing the rink. When the design is completed, it will be shown to the state for approval. The state late last year approved $5.66 million for a regional rink to be located in Norwood. The process has met with some unsuccessful challenges by a resident, but the town continues with plans for the indoor rink behind the Coakley Middle School. “It’s a public process; it is what it is,” said Naumann, who along with others, is anxious for the rink to be built.
Town officials are launching a renewed effort to have traffic lights installed at the Interstate 495 and Route 123 interchange, bolstered by a recent report citing the need for signals. The town for some years has advocated for lights to improve safety at the intersection. The Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District recently conducted a traffic study that concluded traffic signals are warranted at the on and off ramps of I-495 at that location, according to Town Administrator Michael Yunits. He said the Board of Selectmen recently authorized officials to use the report as a basis for stepped-up attempts to spur the state to undertake the project.
With about 50,000 oysters to plant into Pine Island Pond, town natural resource officer Kevin Magowan is seeking the public’s help. The oysters were grown from seed starting in June 2013 and are now almost three inches long, the right size for release, he said in an e-mail. This is the first year the town is trying to boost oyster numbers for recreational shellfishing, and the planting will be Saturday starting at 9 a.m., with more dates to be added as needed. In addition to helping shellfishermen, the oysters’ natural filtration capabilities help keep the water clean, he said. Oyster reproductive powers also come into play, Magowan said, as “one adult female oyster can produce up to 30 million eggs per summer.” Volunteers are advised to dress for the weather and wear gloves and protective footwear. Parking is available on Island Street and nearby Angelica Avenue, he said. For more information, e-mail Magowan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A crowd is expected at the planning board meeting Oct. 6, when plans for a proposed CVS pharmacy at the corner of Route 6 and Front Street will be outlined by Mark Investments, a Wellesley-based development company. The board heard preliminary plans in September for the store, which at a proposed 14,619 square feet would be the largest in town, said Stephen J. Kokkins, chairman of the planning board. “Our reaction in September was this is quite large for Marion, a town where the next-largest establishment is a third of that,” Kokkins said by phone. CVS would need a myriad of special permits, including deviations from zoning and parking requirements that are required for any proposed building larger than 5,000 square feet, he said. The generic look of CVS stores is another issue he said, one that doesn’t “reflect the character of the town, a seaside community.” The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Marion Music Hall on Front Street, to accommodate what is expected to be a large number of residents attending.
The Board of Selectmen has set Dec. 13 as the date for a special election to replace Selectman David W. Soper, who announced he is resigning effective Oct. 8. Nomination papers are now available in the town clerk’s office. The last day to obtain them is Oct. 21 and to return them Oct. 25. In a letter to the town clerk announcing his resignation, Soper wrote: “My current situation, both personal and professional, does not allow me to devote the time and energy I feel necessary to properly represent the voters of Hanson.” Now in his second term, Soper has been chairman since May. Whoever is elected to replace him will finish the remainder of his term, which expires in May 2016.
Selectmen reinstituted a plan to move forward with a roundabout at the intersection of Pleasant Street, Bolivar Street, and Lincolnshire Drive over vocal opposition at a meeting Sept. 16. The meeting marked the sixth time selectmen had discussed the plan, which involves installing a roundabout costing approximately $250,000, according to selectmen chairman Victor Del Vecchio. Selectmen believe the rotary will slow traffic on Pleasant Street and improve safety at the intersection. Gary McNaughton of McMahon Associates Inc., the town’s consultant, said he supported the plan, even though he often advises against roundabouts, he said. The roughly 50 residents in attendance, one of whom described the plan as “cockamamie,” mostly spoke against the plan. The only exception was a Lincolnshire Drive resident who said the intersection was dangerous and should be changed. Selectmen also voted to potentially add three flashing pedestrian lights at crosswalks near the roundabout.
The town has completed its first round of energy-saving improvements under the state Green Communities program, and expects to save more than $21,000 a year on utilities, according to Town Manager Michael Dutton. “It was a very good return on investment. I’m quite happy with that,” he said in an interview. The town was designated a Green Community in 2011 and received a grant of $200,800. Along with $50,000 in incentives from National Grid and $40,000 in town funds, the grant paid for energy audits of eight public buildings and changes based on the audits at the police station, fire station, and library. Projects included changing lighting to energy-efficient fixtures, fixing longstanding climate-control problems at the police station, and upgrading air-conditioning, Dutton said. The town plans to apply for the next round of competitive grant funding to do additional work, he said.
Superintendent of Schools Marguerite Rizzi announced recently that for the first time in the district’s history, four of the district’s seven schools have achieved Level 1 MCAS scores, and the district as a whole has achieved Level 2 status. The state Department of Education classifies schools and districts into one of five accountability and assistance levels, with the highest performing Level 1, and the lowest Level 5. The overall district level is determined by the level of its lowest-rated school, and Stoughton had no school lower than Level 2 after the results of last spring’s tests were announced. “I am very proud to announce that the Stoughton district has risen to Level 2 from Level 3, because after three years of planning and hard work, the other schools in our district are now all Level 2, with no schools remaining in Level 3,” Rizzi said. The Gibbons, South, and Hansen elementary schools and Stoughton High are all at Level 1 status, with the West and Dawe elementary schools and the O’Donnell Middle School at Level 2. Rizzi credited the administration, teachers, and students at Gibbons for a “monumental accomplishment” for going from Level 3 to Level 1 in just one year. Rizzi said the rise in scores was “the result of constant, steadfast planning and improvement over the last five years.”
Selectmen unanimously picked Swansea Town Administrator James Kern to be Dedham’s new town manager at a meeting Sept. 18. Kern was among three finalists interviewed by selectmen out of an original pool of more than 30 candidates. Kern, who holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Rhode Island is currently negotiating a contract with selectmen, which will include compensation as well as an agreed upon starting date. “Dedham is a community on the move, and I look forward to being a part of it,” Kern is quoted as saying in astatement rfeleased by the selectmen. Former town manager William Keegan took a job as town manager in Foxborough in April. Assistant town manager Nancy Baker has served as interim manager since then.
Voters will face nine articles at a Special Town Meeting Oct. 20, one of which seeks $20,000 for a feasibility study to find permanent space for several town departments, including building and conservation, which are now housed in the town hall annex. Other articles include one seeking $10,000 for electronic voting equipment; another to access $69,500 from the special education costs stabilization fund to defray unanticipated special education costs in fiscal year 2015; and a zoning bylaw amendment that outlines regulations for home businesses. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at Rochester Memorial School on Pine Street.
At the selectmen’s meeting Tuesday, the Capital Planning Committee is set to present its recommendations on spending for capital projects this fiscal year. The committee developed the proposed spending list from its review of spending requests from individual departments for their capital needs. Selectmen will consider approving the panel’s recommendations for placement on the warrant of the fall Town Meeting that convenes Oct. 27. The town customarily takes up spending requests for capital needs — facility upgrades and purchases of vehicles and equipment — at its fall Town Meeting.
Carver school officials are planning to meet with the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s board of directors at the board’s Oct. 6 meeting about the school department’s choice for an Owners Project Manager to oversee the construction of a new elementary school. The school department is working on selecting a manager from the bids it received to do the job, assistant superintendent Peter Gray said last week. The school building authority has agreed to help Carver pay for a new school to serve 750 elementary school students, but last month told officials that a new feasibility study would be required before further steps could be taken. The site for the new school has not been chosen.
The Cultural Council is advising residents that it is accepting applications through Oct. 15 for the grants it will be awarding this fiscal year. The council each year receives funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which it disburses in grants to support cultural activities in the community. In fiscal 2015, the Pembroke council was awarded $4,770 by the state. Eligible projects include exhibits, festivals, field trips, art projects, short-term artist residencies, or performances in schools, workshops, and lectures Application forms are available at www.massculturalcouncil.org For more information, contact Linda McCollum at 781-293-6771 or email@example.com.
The Lakeville Historical Commission and Preserve Our Local Landmarks are sponsoring a brick fund-raiser to create a veterans walkway at Town Hall, to be built next to the Veterans Honor Roll. Each brick costs $75 and can be engraved with up to three lines of text, with 16 characters per line. The fund-raiser runs through Dec. 31 with walkway construction set to begin next summer. Order forms and information can be found at www.lakevillema.org. For questions, call historical commission member Kathleen Barrack at 774-259-1320.
Following up on the work of the Library Needs Assessment Committee, the town has formed a Library Building Study Committee to review information about the town’s current and future library needs and determine whether the current library building can be expanded or reconfigured, or whether a new location is needed. According to library director Sia Stewart, as of last week the new group’s members included selectwoman Sue Munford, library trustee Vanessa Verkade, library staff representative Jennifer Humfryes, and at-large members John Wheble (owner of Rocky Nook Oysters), and historical commission member John Burrey. Stewart will serve on the committee as a non-voting member. The town has received funding for a study from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, the town, and the Kingston Public Library Foundation. According to the library department, it appears likely that the site of the current library can accommodate the needed additional space.
The Board of Health is scheduled to decide at its Oct. 14 meeting whether or not to recommend reducing the amount of fluoride added to the town’s drinking water supplied by Aquarion Water Company, according to town Health Agent Felix Zemel. Aquarion suggested lowering the fluoride level two years ago, and the towns of Hingham and Hull agreed, Zemel said. But Cohasset’s Board of Health decided to study the matter and Aquarion has held off making any changes, he said. A graduate student from Tufts University School of Medicine recently completed his research for the town and is recommending that the fluoride level remain the same until the federal government issues new standards. The government had indicated it would lower the recommended level of fluoride in drinking water, but appears to be backing away from that stand, Zemel said. Fluoride is added to the water to help combat tooth decay, but excessive amounts can discolor teeth.
Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines a shed as “a slight structure built for shelter or storage, especially a single-storied building with one or more sides unenclosed.” But what about a 20-foot by 8-foot metal structure that looks more like a shipping container? Norwell Building Inspector Tim FitzGerald recently issued a building permit for what he said is a shed behind the house at 31 Grove St. Neighbor Ramona Caruso disagreed with FitzGerald’s interpretation and is considering trying to get the Zoning Board of Appeals to overturn his decision. “It’s not a shed. It’s an old, rusty shipping cargo container that can be seen from the street and is an eyesore,” said Caruso, who is trying to sell her house across the street. “It devalues everyone’s property in the neighborhood.” FitzGerald said a shed is not limited to a wooden structure, and that the metal edifice does meet the building code requirements regarding size and setbacks. He said the homeowner is planning to put a fence around the structure to decrease its visibility.
Those who can muster at least a mite of mental strength or a touch of physical toughness and who harbor a love for the town are invited to join The Randolph Amazing Race Scavenger Hunt Oct. 11 at noon. Teams of four will follow clues to locations around town, sometimes driving and sometimes facing physical challenges to get there. The captain of last year’s winning quartet, Town Clerk Brian P. Howard, said he plans to be back and ready to face all challengers this year armed with his “vast and broad” knowledge of the town and his teammates’ physical strength. “It was such a fun, festive atmosphere,” Howard said. “There were things I even learned about the town. You were getting an education and you didn’t know it,” said Howard. “Fortunately, my other team members are in much better physical condition that I.” The event is sponsored by the town’s Ownership and Pride Committee, several local companies, and the Randolph Historical Society. A registration fee of $25 a person covers the cost of the event, which ends with a celebration at Memorial Field. Committee member Keith Wortzman, who is also on the School Committee, said intergenerational teams and those sponsored by companies are encouraged. “We hope this will be a growing tradition. It’s a good way to become involved in the community. It’s also a great way to learn about the town.” For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.