The Suburbanite

An update on what's happening in our communities.

// Globe West calendar

The annual “Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature” exhibit, a holiday craft sale, and more.

Business Plan

// Friendly Neighborhood Comics

After 20 years of practicing real estate and business law, Ernie Pelletier combined his entrepreneurial bent with a lifelong love of comic books.

Up Close

// For Watertown author, world harmony takes teamwork

The Watertown resident recently published his first book: “Ernest, Santa’s Favorite Elf.”

West View

// Christmas in July

A sleigh ride through the Globe’s archives found this picture of Megan Debroth wrapping presents at The Toy Shop in Concord in July 1977.

The Informer

// Openings and closings west of Boston

Openings and closings of restaurants, businesses, parks, et cetera.

Chocolate chip muffins are among the daily choices.

jonathan Wiggs/globe staff

Local Fare

Creating the perfect blueberry muffin

At his Muffin House Cafe in Medway, Sheldon Strasnick has been rewarded with loyal customers and lines out the door on Saturday mornings.

On the Move

// Along 495 belt, shaping a passion for indoor soccer

Teamworks Acton is one of numerous indoor facilities that have sprouted within the Route 495 belt, attracting players of many ages.



The argument

Two view on legalizing marijuana

Should Massachusetts legalize marijuana?

The Big Question

Do you think school day should be extended?

Readers answer whether or not they think the school day should be extended.

// Commentary

Readers discuss what time school should start, the affordable housing law and more.



Boys’ ice hockey

// Shrewsbury hockey leaning on Quinlivan twins

Since the age of 4, Dan and Jack Quinlivan have always been on the same hockey team, the same line and always sharing the same mindset.

Campus Angle

// Gus Santos, Framingham High/Tufts University men’s soccer

Gus Santos grew up wanting to test his soccer skills against the best New England had to offer; it’s safe to say he achieved his goal, and then some.

Play of the week

// Zach Elkinson, Holliston High football

Holliston High receiver Zach Elkinson describes his tone-setting score to open the Division 4 Super Bowl against Wahconah.

Catching up with...

// Jim Pierrakos, Watertown High/ Babson College basketball

The 44-year-old now lives in Burlington and specializes in technology recruiting and client relationship management for Kforce Inc.

Noteworthy performances

A roundup of top performances from athletes in communities across the region.

To our readers

Letter from the Regional Editor

Welcome to our new and expanded weekly Globe West, Globe North, and Globe South.

Blotter tales

Blotter Tales

// Streaking with a Santa hat

A naked man in a Santa Claus hat disturbs Black Friday shoppers, a rabbit sets off a burglar alarm, and more tales from police blotters.

Cartoon Caption Contest

// American Graffiti

Send us your submissions for this week’s cartoon, and see the winning caption and finalists from last week’s contest.

Globe West Briefs


Town closes on former state hospital site

The town has officially purchased the Medfield State Hospital property, with the Board of Selectmen signing the land disposition agreement Dec. 2.


Vote Tuesday on new taxes to preserve land

Sudbury residents taking part in Special Town Meeting overwhelmingly voted Wednesday to support spending $2.9 million to purchase about 33 acres of open space along Landham Road, the next step toward protecting it from development. The town is looking to buy the Johnson Farm property from Westborough-based Moss Development, but the sale is contingent on residents approving a temporary tax increase to help pay for it. The proposal is one of two Proposition 2½ debt-exclusion overrides on the ballot in a special election Tuesday. Town officials plan to use $1 million in Community Preservation Act funds and $1.9 million in new taxes to pay for the land. The project would add $23 to the average home’s property taxes for the first year, and the annual toll would decline to a low of $16 over the bond’s 20-year repayment period. The town would use the land, which includes open fields, wooded areas and wetlands, for conservation and passive recreation. Moss Development had been seeking approval to build homes on the property. The second article seeks funds for repairs to Nixon Elementary School. Details are posted on the town’s website,


Natick names White as new fire chief

Interim Fire Chief Rick White has been picked to permanently fill the Natick department’s top post, about 17 months after the former chief, James Sheridan, was placed on paid administrative leave. White, 61, was approved unanimously Monday by the Board of Selectmen after a round of interviews with three other finalists the previous week. Sheridan, who retired April 1, was paid $89,903 after being put on leave July 9, 2013, White said. Town officials declined to say why he was placed on leave, but the matter wreaked havoc on the department’s budget and staffing. White said some of the temporary promotions that caused one shift to be short a firefighter can now be filled permanently. He said his first orders of business will be to draft a level-funded budget for the department for next fiscal year, and outfit firefighters with updated technology. He noted he has 3½ years before state law requires his retirement at age 65. “I’m proud to be able to be able to finish my career as the chief of the department,” White said. “I’m thrilled to be able to serve the citizens of Natick and lead my department into the future.”


Share thoughts on adjusting Ashland school district’s calendar

Superintendent Jim Adams is asking community members to take part in an online survey covering the Ashland school system’s instructional calendar, in an effort to build one that better benefits students both academically and emotionally. Given state and local requirements on instructional time and stipulations in teacher contracts, and in light of new accountability measures — such as those related to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers — the district is considering a number of options, he said. The decisions include whether to start classes before or after Labor Day; whether to schedule a single vacation week in March rather than two vacations in February and April, and reallocate those days in another fashion; and whether the religious holidays on the calendar should be reconsidered. To take the survey, visit the school district’s website,