Recent headlines from Globe West.


Town launches new website

The town rolled out an updated website Thursday that includes a number of new interactive features, such as an “I Want To” tab on the home page that helps residents figure out how to do such things as contact Town Hall, pay a bill, or get a permit. The website, at , also provides easily downloadable calendars, improved navigation, and an interface that adjusts for tablets and smartphones, according to an announcement from the town. The website was developed in partnership with Vision Internet, a California-based company that specializes in developing government, nonprofit, and education websites.


Art workshop for teens at library

Wayland High School art teacher Janet Armentano will offer a free workshop for teens at the Wayland Free Public Library from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Participants will develop a small oil painting. There is a limit of 15 participants. Teens may register through the library’s online calendar at, under the Events column.


Progress on housing subdivision

A developer is moving ahead this summer with construction of Century Mill Estates, a 71-lot subdivision that is the town’s largest housing project. Town planner Erica Uriarte said the developer, Merchant Financial Investment Corp. of Natick, is planning to build two wetlands crossings this summer, as all four phases of the project continue. The construction began about four years ago.


Selectmen look to fill committees

The Board of Selectmen has set Thursday as the deadline for residents to volunteer for positions on the town’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee; Economic Development Committee; Housing Committee; Sustainability Committee; Council on Aging; Cultural Council; and Clean Lake Committee. The board is hoping to fill the positions at its July 28 meeting. The application form is available on the town’s website, , and at the town administrator’s office, and can be mailed to the Board of Selectmen/Town Administrator, Town of Littleton, 37 Shattuck St., Littleton, MA 01460.


Water officials tighten summer limits

The town’s Water District has announced that a more restrictive lawn-watering schedule is in effect. Lawn watering is restricted to one day per week, and remains barred from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Customers with odd-numbered addresses can water lawns on Wednesdays; those at even-numbered addresses can water on Thursdays.


Workshop to offer job-search tips

A workshop for people seeking jobs will be held at 1 p.m. Monday in Bemis Hall, 15 Bedford Road. In the workshop, participants will find out more about how to do a self-assessment for today’s job market. The workshop, part of a continuing series, will help people assess their skills, interests, values, and motivations as they relate to their career, job possibilities and what jobs require.


‘Whatever’ theater fest returns Wednesday

The Franklin Performing Arts Company will present its seventh annual Whatever Theater Festival from Wednesday through Saturday. The festival includes a performance of William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream’’ on the town common Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., as well as a slate of one-act plays Wednesday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Franklin School for the Performing Arts, 38 Main St. The performers are a mix of professionals, company alumni, students, and actors in community ensembles. All performances are free, with donations to the company accepted. For more information, visit the company’s website,


Nominations sought for Citizen of the Year

Nominations for this year’s Citizen of the Year honor are being accepted, with the winner to be cited during Bedford Day festivities in September. The annual award is given to someone with a proven track record of service to the town, whether in an official capacity, as a volunteer, or as a private citizen. Nominations should cite the individual’s participation in efforts that support the community as a whole, or specific beneficiaries. Nomination forms can be downloaded at or picked up at the town manager’s office, and must be returned by Aug. 1.


Town has openings in weekday camps

The town Recreation Department’s full-day summer day camp programs are in high gear, but most of them still have openings for children who want to have adventures, learn something new, and make new friends. Programs, which also welcome nonresidents, run the gamut from sports, games and water play to crafts, science and cooking, with campers placed in groups by age and interests. The next three weekly sessions, through Aug. 8, are being held at the Melican Middle School; the summer’s final two sessions will be held at the Zeh School, with the last date Aug. 22. Camp hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and field trips are held on Wednesdays. The cost is $230 per week, with discounts for siblings enrolled during the same week. For more information, browse the department’s website at


Opening on Board of Selectmen

Although the town caucus has yet to nominate candidates, there will be an election Nov. 4 to fill a vacancy on the Board of Selectmen. Marie Sobalvarro resigned last month, citing new job responsibilities as a medical economist for Fallon Health in Worcester.


Three delegates to lobby for T parking

Jeremy Callahan, Patrick Hughes, and Kathleen O’Connor were recently chosen by the town’s Train Station Advisory Committee to oversee long-stalled plans for a parking facility at the local commuter rail stop. They will meet with state and local officials in an effort to jump-start implementation of the project, for which $3.2 million in state and federal funding was approved some time ago. Callahan is a member of the Planning Board; Hughes was a member of a parking task force created by the Board of Selectmen seven years ago; and O’Connor commutes to Boston on the MBTA line and has a degree in urban and environmental policy.


Memorial Beach reopens with upgrades

World War II Memorial Beach, on Fort Meadow Lake and straddling the Marlborough-Hudson line, needed more than a face lift when the state Department of Conservation and Recreation awarded a grant to help pay for an overhaul. Now, residents of both communities are enjoying the makeover, which includes a new playground, basketball court, parking lot, handicapped-access, picnic area, and walking loop. The beach is open every day through Labor Day. Lifeguards are on duty between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. for the summer, and admission is free.


Selectmen plan office hour at library

As part of a regular series by the Board of Selectmen, two members — Pat Brown and Len Simon — will be available for informal conversations with residents from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. July 31 in the Goodnow Library’s conference room. The session is not a public meeting, but a casual, open time for general discussions and questions.


Board sets fall Town Meeting dates

Selectmen recently decided to start Special Town Meeting this fall on Nov. 18. The warrant opens on Aug. 7 and closes at noon Sept. 4, according to an announcement from the town. For more information on submitting articles for consideration by the fall session, visit


Tips on dressing summer salads

Salad, anyone? A program scheduled for July 29 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Northborough Free Library, “Creative Ways with Salads,” promises to spice up this summer staple, and other vegetables from the garden, with a demonstration on how to make salad dressings. Presented by the owners of Stockbridge Farm in South Deerfield, the program will include tastings and recipes. After the program, to be held in the library meeting room, the presenters will offer their herbal products for sale. Registration is required. Call 508-393-5025, ext. 5, or e-mail


Program on assistance dogs for seniors

Monday at 11 a.m. in St. Irene Church, 181 East St., seniors and their grandchildren are invited to a presentation by John Moon of the National Education for Assistance Dog Services and his dog, Rainbow, to learn how highly trained assistance dogs help individuals with limited use of arms and legs. After the program, the Council on Aging will provide a free lunch, and a sundae bar will be sponsored by Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley.


Furniture store to host blood drive

Bernie & Phyl’s Furniture and the American Red Cross are teaming up for a blood drive at the chain’s store at 272 Turnpike Road (Route 9) on July 31 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To schedule an appointment or to get more information, call 800-RED-CROSS, or visit Walk-ins are also welcome, according to the Red Cross, which says it has an urgent need for donors. Concerns about shortages rise during the summer, when many regular donors are on vacation.


Podcast explains new grading system

Rather than a providing single letter grade, as in an A or B, report cards at Hale Middle School this fall will measure three or four areas within each subject to reflect where a student shines or still has some work to do. For example, the English grading portion assesses a student’s ability to read and write in separate columns. Under the standards-based system, students obtain grades of 1 to 4 for their performance, or sometimes a N/A (for not assessed), with 4 being the best. Hale is one of two middle schools in the Nashoba Regional system, which draws students from Bolton, Lancaster, and Stow. A podcast on the school’s website,, explains the new grading system.


New program gives preschoolers a night out

The big kids aren’t the only ones who get a night out this summer. If your younger children have been asking when it’s their turn, here’s some good news: On July 25, Aug. 8, and Aug. 22, the town’s Recreation Department is holding Preschoolers Summer Night Out programs for ages 3 to 7. Preregistration ends Friday at noon for the sessions, which will run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Town Hall gym and recreation center, 63 Main St. The cost is $30 per night for the first child and $15 per night for siblings. A minimum of eight children is required; there is room for a maximum of 20, and the youngsters must be toilet trained. Activities include games, time outside on the playground (weather permitting), art projects, a G-rated movie, and a pizza dinner. Instructors are Beth McShane and recreation staff members. For more information or to register, visit


Job-seekers group to meet at library

The Nashoba Valley Job Seekers will meet at the Hazen Memorial Library on Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m. The regional group seeks to provide leads, ideas, search strategies, and encouragement for people seeking work through face-to-face meetings and e-mail conversations. For more information about the free program, visit, or call the library at 978-425-2620.


Book club explores historic events

The History Book Club will discuss “A Crack in the Edge of the World,’’ by Simon Winchester, Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Hopkinton Public Library. The nonfiction book is about the major earthquake that struck San Francisco in 1906. The book club focuses on selections that represent the lives of people and historic events. If interested in participating, e-mail or drop in on a discussion. All books selected by the group are available for checkout at the library’s circulation desk.


Meeting to detail energy-efficiency effort

An informational presentation on the National Grid Efficient Neighborhoods Initiative will be held at the Pepperell Senior Center at 9:30 a.m. on Friday. The initiative is available to three National Grid communities, Pepperell, Brockton, and Malden, through Dec. 31. It provides substantial financial incentives for residents to increase the energy efficiency of their homes.


Hearing on plans for downtown

The Planning Board will hold a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 7 in Town Hall to consider adopting new design guidelines and a special zoning district for Groton Center. The overlay district would be set up to promote a socially and economically vibrant downtown by supporting development consistent with the design guidelines and the town’s master plan. Details on the proposed changes are available in the town clerk’s office and the Land Use Department, and online at


Community choral sing-along Aug. 5

The annual Concord Community Summer Choral Sing will be held at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 5 at Holy Family Parish, 12 Monument Square. All area choral singers and listeners are invited to attend. Choral scores will be available at the door. The admission charge is $5. A small orchestra will accompany the singers.


Keep reading over summer, school says

Berlin Memorial School teachers are asking students to spend at least 750 minutes reading this summer as part of a program. The figure breaks down to about 15 minutes a day, five days a week until school begins again in September. The school is basing the reading program on research that suggests regular reading over the summer improves academic performance, and taking the summer off can cause a “long-term, cumulative effect” that hampers reading ability, according to the school website.


Town’s free cash in good shape

The town’s free cash, or reserve, fund was above the benchmark the state recommends, according to the most recent annual report. The state recommends that communities keep at least 10 percent of their annual tax levies in free cash. According to the annual report, the town had $425,000 in free cash at the close of fiscal year 2013 last summer.


Hearing on Arsenal Street moratorium

The Town Council will hold a public hearing from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday to review a citizens petition that asks officials to instate a temporary prohibition on development along Arsenal Street while a master plan is developed and zoning is rewritten with community input. The area has recently had several development projects, including a seven-story hotel and a mixed-use complex with nearly 300 residential units. The petition is spearheaded by the Concerned Citizens Group, a neighborhood association that was established in 1971, according to a flier. The councilors are slated to vote on the measure during the special meeting, according to a posting on the town’s website; visit for more information.


Guided walks on college’s property

Local officials are organizing tours of Wellesley College’s “North 40,” a 47-acre open-space property that the college plans to sell to support its campus building plan. Members of the town’s Trails Committee will lead walks through the parcel, along paths adjacent to the Cochituate Aqueduct’s Crosstown Trail that pass through woodlands and a pine forest to a vernal pool and the community gardens, officials said. The next two walks, which take about an hour, are scheduled for Aug. 9 and Sept. 13, starting at 9 a.m. at the gate to the town beach, at the end of Turner Road, event organizers said. Town officials are discussing whether to acquire the property. For more information on the walks, visit


Recycling barrels for sale at discount

The town’s Board of Health is ordering wheeled recycling barrels for residential use. The cost to purchase a barrel at a reduced rate is $42.34, which must be paid before placing the order; residents can pick up their barrels at the Department of Public Works garage upon delivery. The deadline to purchase barrels is Aug. 16. To place an order, send a check or money order to Upton Board of Health, 1 Main St., Box 3, Upton, MA 01568, or visit the board’s office at 1 Grove St. For more information, call the board’s office at 508-529-6813.


Book club next meets Aug. 4

The Morning Book Club meets the first nonholiday Monday of each month at Holliston Public Library. Its next session, at 11 a.m. Aug. 4, will cover “Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West,’’ by Dorothy Wickenden . New members are welcome, and refreshments are provided. Discussions last about an hour. The titles to be read in the next several months are “Me Before You,’’ by Jojo Moyes, on Sept. 8; “Caleb’s Crossing,’’ by Geraldine Brooks, on Oct. 6; and “The Fault in Our Stars,’’ by John Green, on Nov. 3.


State OK’s Milford Pond grant

State legislators have approved a $250,000 grant for dredging and restoration work in Milford Pond, which will satisfy a requirement for state and local contributions toward the federal project, according to an announcement. Town Meeting voters approved $1.8 million for the effort last year. The state funds, included in an environmental bond bill, were announced Monday by state Senator Richard T. Moore and state Representative John Fernandes, members of the town’s delegation on Beacon Hill . The pond project is expected to cost $5.1 million. The US Army Corps of Engineers will provide $3.3 million and oversee the work, according to Moore and Fernandes. The work includes dredging about 17 acres of the pond, restoring a depth of approximately 12 feet to areas that are now 2 to 6 feet deep, and allowing residents to use the pond for swimming and boating. The dredged material will be used to create a wildlife habitat adjacent to the pond.


Register for firefighters golf tournament

The registration deadline for the Plainville Firefighters Local 3415’s fifth annual golf tournament is Monday. The fund-raising event will be held July 28 starting at 9 a.m. at the Wentworth Hills Golf Club. The participation fee is $125, and covers a round of golf with a cart, prizes, and a Southern-style pig roast. For more information on registration and payment, or to sponsor a hole at the tournament, visit


Hear about science careers at library

The Medway Public Library is running a speaker series to educate teenagers about potential careers in science and science-related fields. On Thursday at 7 p.m., the featured speaker will be Dr. Joan McDonagh, a pediatrician at Reliant Medical Group. Future speaker sessions are scheduled for Aug. 7 and 21. No registration is necessary. For more information on the series, call Mariah Manley at 508-533-3217, e-mail , or visit the library’s website,


Weigh in on library’s future

The Bellingham Public Library is conducting a long-range planning survey and is seeking feedback from residents. Library staff and trustees will use the results of the survey to plan programs and services during the next five years. The survey asks when patrons most frequently visit the library, what services they seek, and which items they most frequently borrow, among other topics. The survey should take five to 10 minutes to complete; participants will be eligible to win a $100 American Express gift card. For a link to the survey, visit the library’s website,


Children’s events at library

Award-winning children’s singer Stacey Peasley will perform at 10:30 a.m. July 28 at the Sherborn Library. She specializes in catchy melodies and energetic beats that get children moving. The program is free. Other events this summer at the library include magician Debbie O’Carroll, who will teach children how to perform magic tricks, from 3 to 4 p.m. on July 31. Mr. Vinny’s Shadow Puppets will perform at noon on Aug. 14. Finally, children are invited to a drop-in crafts program with a Harry Potter theme from 2 to 4 p.m. on Aug. 25.


Historic Draper House demolished

One of the oldest houses in town was razed on Monday, several months after the property owner obtained the required demolition permit. Preservationists were unsuccessful in their efforts to save the Joseph Draper House, built in 1724 on Farm Street . The saltbox Colonial was razed in one day except for the central fireplace and chimney. The property is owned by Anthony Oliva, who purchased it in 2003, according to property records. Oliva had initially obtained a demolition permit in 2008, but it expired. In an article published that year in the Globe, he said he and his wife had purchased the property for the land, and had given the town and Dover Historical Society enough time to relocate the house.


Police replace schoolhouse bell

Police Chief Warren Ryder said that members of his department pitched in to replace the bell that was stolen from the historic Schoolhouse No. 2 this spring. With the new school bell in place, Superintendent Curtis Bates was able to ring it one last time before his retirement on July 1. The bell and dozens of other items were stolen in April when vandals broke into the building, which dates to 1783. “The break-in at Schoolhouse No. 2 is as much an attempt to rob our community of its history and traditions as it is of its items and artifacts,’’ Ryder said. “With a shiny, new brass bell hanging from the doorway, we hope we can at least replace a bit of the former while we work to solve the latter. We won’t rest until whoever did this is brought to justice.’’ If anyone has information about the break-in, contact the Police Department at 978-264-1750 or send an e-mail to


Library program makes science fun for kids

School-age children are invited to attend Say Fun to Science, a traveling educational program that will be held at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Southborough Library, 25 Main St. Registration is not required for the free event. During the hourlong program, presenter Anne Lee will spark curiosity and passion for “science around us” with demonstrations and a question-and-answer period. For more information, contact the library at


School board settles abuse lawsuit

The School Committee has decided to pay $150,000 to settle a lawsuit that alleged middle school officials mishandled complaints about a pedophile teacher, according to Mayor Jeannette McCarthy. Michael Phillips Jr., now 23, filed the lawsuit in 2011 alleging that Robert Dacey, a teacher and assistant Waltham High School football coach, sexually abused him and an unnamed friend on three occasions in 2005. Phillips alleged that three people had previously informed the school administration about a similar case of abuse, but no action was taken, which allowed Dacey to continue his behavior. Dacey was indicted on 17 criminal counts of child molestation, but died in 2007 while awaiting trial. The lawsuit filed by Phillips was resolved in mediation, which included no admission of liability, McCarthy said. She also said that the alleged abuse was totally unacceptable, and that the settlement was warranted. The mayor said she will ask the school district’s superintendent to review training and compliance with policies regarding the issue.


Town earns energy-saving grants

The town was awarded $243,707 in state grants last week to fund energy-conservation projects, according to local and state officials. The money, part of $7.9 million distributed to 43 municipalities by the Department of Energy Resources through its Green Communities program, will be used to replace a Fire Department boiler, and improve the efficiency of four school heating systems, the town announced. Doug Gillespie, the Board of Selectmen’s chairman, said the town saves around $150,000 in energy costs annually because of previous investments in energy-saving measures. For more information, visit .


Free concert at Robbins Farm Park

Members of the Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra will perform a free concert on Aug. 2 at 6 p.m. at Robbins Farm Park, 61 Eastern Ave. The program will include music by Richard Strauss, Giuseppe Verdi, Scott Joplin, and George Gershwin. The audience is encouraged to bring picnic dinners. In case of rain, the concert will be held inside the Arlington Center for the Arts. More information can be found at


Town launches updated website

The town has rolled out a new design for its website,, that incorporates updated technology and offers a more streamlined, modern aesthetic, according to an announcement by local officials. The format allows users to access documents through one central resource center, and to download information about meetings and add the event directly to calendars, and features news and announcements more prominently on the home page. Officials hope the website will save the town money through use of a more streamlined user account system. Questions about the new website should be directed to or 617-993-2610.


Forum on plans for business corridor

State transportation officials will speak at a community forum July 29 about proposed road and highway changes and improvements in the Newton-Needham business corridor, including a new exit ramp off Interstate 95 at Kendrick Street, according to the Newton-Needham Chamber of Commerce. The chamber will also present an update of other developments and activities within the “N² Innovation Corridor,” a 500-acre patch of business properties that officials envision becoming a high-tech hub similar to Kendall Square in Cambridge or Boston’s Innovation District. The forum will be held from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at PTC Inc.’s headquarters at 140 Kendrick St. The event is free, but advance registration is required. For more information or to register, visit and click on “Chamber Events.”


Grant will spark new street lights

The town has received a $250,000 grant from the state’s Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Under the state’s Green Communities initiative, aimed at guiding communities toward finding clean energy solutions and reducing their energy consumption and spending, Ashland will use the funds toward installing more energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) street lights across town. Ashland’s grant was part of $7.9 million in funding distributed to 43 municipalities across the state to encourage clean-energy projects. For more information, visit the agency’s website,


Independence Day in August

Fireworks in August! Due to rain, the city’s Fourth of July festivities were rescheduled for Aug. 16 (with a rain date of Aug. 17), according to the Mayor’s Office for Cultural Affairs. The celebration will begin at 6 p.m. at the Albermarle Field/Halloran Field complex off Watertown Street (Route 16). The Bo and Bill Winiker Band will perform, followed by an appearance by opera prodigy Clark Rubinshtein at 8 p.m. Wrapping up the evening, the fireworks will begin at 8:30 pm. The free event is organized by Newton Community Pride, with the help of business sponsors and donations by residents. For more information, call the cultural affairs office at 617-896-1540.


City’s planning director retires

Candace Havens, director of planning and development for the city, recently announced her retirement, according to Mayor Setti D. Warren’s office. Havens began working for the city in 2007, and was named acting director of planning and development in January 2010; Warren gave her the reins as the department’s director in December 2010. James Freas, associate director of planning and development, will serve as the acting director, effective next month.


Music at the playground Wednesday

The town’s Recreation Department is hosting an outdoor concert series in the Daniel F. Ford Playground at Emerson Garden at 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Aug. 13. Musical genres featured in the series will range from the classic rock of this week’s band, the Bruce Marshall Group, to soul, the blues, and children’s tunes. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring their own chairs, blankets, food, and a flashlight. For more information or to check on weather cancellations, call the recreation office at 617-730-2069 or visit


Free outdoor movies at Lyman Estate

The Lyman Estate is hosting free outdoor movie screenings on Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. this month in its garden at 185 Lyman St. This week’s “Movies at the Mansion’’ presentation is “The Goonies,” to be followed by “Little Shop of Horrors’’ on July 24, and “Some Like It Hot” on July 31. The historic 1793 mansion’s first floor will be open for tours from 7 to 8:15 p.m., and members of Waltham High School’s band will perform for visitors starting at 7:30 p.m., according to event organizers. Popcorn and drinks will be available for purchase; alcohol is not permitted. Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets. The movies will be shown indoors if there is rain. For more information, visit


Beatles tunes in the park Thursday

The town’s Park and Recreation Commission has launched an outdoor concert series, Arts in the Park, on Thursdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Memorial Park gazebo across from the public library. This week’s free performance is by a Beatles cover band, 4EverFab, and future installments will feature the Needham Community Band, the Boogaloo Swamis, and Melodious Funk before the Carman/Ponte Project wraps up the series on Aug. 14. The concerts are sponsored by Louise Condon Realty, Dedham Savings Bank, Middlesex Savings Bank, and the Needham Exchange Club. In case of inclement weather, the concerts would be in the Needham High auditorium, except for this week’s show, which would move to Eliot Elementary School. For more information, visit, or call 781-455-7550.


Sweet networking at Capitol Theatre

The Arlington Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring an ice cream social as an after-hours networking event on July 22 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre, 204 Massachusetts Ave. Participants will learn about the theater’s storied history, its recent renovations, and what it can offer local businesses. The admission fee is $25, discounted to $10 for chamber members. Visit for more information or to register.


Bartlett Pond to be treated again July 24

Bartlett Pond will be closed on July 24, when it will be chemically treated to control aquatic vegetation for the second time this month. No swimming, fishing, or boating will be allowed on that day, and the use of pond water for drinking, or watering lawns, shrubs, flowers and other plants will be prohibited for five days after the herbicide applications. The town’s conservation agent, Mia McDonald, said signs warning of the temporary water restrictions have been posted around the shoreline. The management program is being conducted by Aquatic Control Technology of Sutton, under permits from the state Department of Environmental Protection. The pond was also treated Thursday with the same chemicals and safety protocols. Residents with questions can call McDonald at 508-393-5015, or e-mail her at


Bluegrass on the common Thursday

The Friends of the Shrewsbury Public Library is holding its annual summer bandstand concert on Thursday at 6 p.m. on the town common, at Main Street and Route 140. Those attending the free concert by the Blackstone Valley Bluegrass Band are invited to bring lawn chairs, blankets, and a picnic dinner. A free ice cream social will also be held at the event. If it rains, the concert will move inside the Shrewsbury Senior Center.


Two Hale Middle School teachers leaving

The start of summer marks the departure of two Hale Middle School teachers. Sheila Flaherty, a sixth-grade math teacher, is retiring, and Hale principal George King noted in a recent newsletter that her efforts at the school will be a “major challenge to come close to replicating.” A science teacher, Chris Whitaker, is also departing this summer after five years, wrote King. Whitaker was a driving force behind the school’s robotics program, which has been a growing area of interest at the school in recent years, he added.


Bella Wong lands top schools job

Bella Wong is stepping up from her interim position to become superintendent/principal of the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional school system. The district’s School Committee unanimously voted to appoint Wong after a positive review of her performance over the last year. Wong began her career at Lincoln-Sudbury as a biology teacher, science department coordinator, and president of the teachers association. She returned last fall after 11 years in the Wellesley school system, including five as the district’s superintendent. Wong holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College, a master’s degree in education from Harvard University, and a law degree from University of California Davis.


Farmers market open on Wednesdays

The Wayland Summer Farmers Market has returned for its 10th season. It runs from noon to 5 p.m. each Wednesday until Oct. 8. The market is in the front parking lot at Russell’s Garden Center on Route 20, and features a free activity for children ages 2 to 6 from 1 to 2 p.m. through the end of next month. Visit to sign up online for a weekly newsletter listing the vendors.


Firm to design fire, police projects

An engineering firm has been selected to handle the design of a new Police Department headquarters and renovations to the Fire Department’s headquarters. CDR Maquire Inc., a national company with an office in Boston, was unanimously approved by the Board of Selectmen to create the schematic designs for both projects, and provide other technical services for a total cost of $677,776. The firm previously performed preliminary design work for the projects. The new police station will be built at Main Street and Auburn Road, on the site of the former town library. The projects, approved by Town Meeting, will cost a total of $10 million.


Town promoting solar-energy projects

Town officials are looking to engage more residents and small-business owners in generating solar electricity. Franklin is pursuing an initiative similar to the state’s Solarize Mass program, which provides discounts to encourage residents and business owners to install solar panels to generate electricity and save money. The town is already home to at least 72 photovoltaic projects, officials say. Volunteers are needed to help promote the program, research solar installations, educate the community, and complete other tasks. For more information or to get involved, e-mail planning director Bryan Taberner at or call the Department of Planning and Community Development at 508-520-4907.


Town hires lawyer for DEC project

Town Administrator Kevin Sweet has hired Jonathan Witten, a lawyer with the Duxbury-based law firm Daley & Witten LLC, to oversee development of the former Digital Equipment Corp. campus. Capital Group Properties initially had sought to have the parcel at 129 Parker St. designated as a neighborhood overlay district, which would allow for a mixed-use project. However, after the proposal was not included on the warrant for annual Town Meeting in May, the Southborough-based company decided to focus on development options that would not require a zoning change. The property is zoned for industrial uses.


Library cuts Wednesday hours

The Lawrence Library has announced that it is closing three hours earlier on Wednesdays, at 5 p.m., as one result of budget cuts for the fiscal year that started July 1. Along with a reduction in staffing by 800 hours, the town’s public library will be spending less money on books, DVDs, and other materials, and has stopped buying newspapers and magazines, according to the posting on its website,


Free lunch for low-income children

Now that school is out, one population is more vulnerable in summer vacation mode: children who don’t have enough to eat. To help address the summer lack of school-provided lunches, the United Way of Tri-County provides free meals to children ages 18 and younger until Aug. 22 at its Pearl St. Cupboard & Cafe, 10 Pearl St. No registration or ID is necessary, but those who are interested can call the cafe at 508-370-4922. The cafe, which also hosts a food pantry to assist local families, has ample seating in its modern dining area. The cafe and pantry were overhauled thanks to volunteer carpenters from Local 475, who finished the much-needed project last year. The United Way hosts family dinner nights, and families can select pantry items once per month at the Pearl Street location. The regional United Way also operates food pantries in Clinton and Marlborough. For more details on the United Way’s efforts to combat hunger, visit and click on the “Our Work” tab.


Discovery Museums to join Free Friday

The Discovery Museums on Main Street will participate in the Highland Street Foundation’s annual Free Fun Fridays program on Aug. 1 from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The foundation provides grants to participating venues to cover the cost of opening their doors for free. This year, 66 museums and cultural venues will participate in the programs. For more information about the Discovery Museums, visit


New hours for Town Hall offices

Effective Aug. 4, Town Hall will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays; from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays; and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays. The intent of the changes is to better accommodate residents’ work schedules and give them more flexibility in transacting town business, said Susan E. Copeland, the town clerk and tax collector. Currently, the town offices are open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.


Police add to lifesaving skills

Police Chief Robert Bongiorno says every member of the Police Department has completed a series of training sessions in advanced lifesaving tools, including use of Narcan to treat opiate overdose, automated external defibrillators in cases of cardiac arrest, and trauma dressing with combat gauze, pressure dressings, and tourniquets. The department recently acquired 12 defibrillators and has augmented its first aid kids with additional supplies.


Progress in Maplewood Farm dispute

In a new development in the lengthy legal dispute over earth removal at the Maplewood Farm property, the town has partially lifted a cease and desist order to allow grading and the addition of topsoil immediately next to its riding arena. The Board of Selectmen cited the role of a mediation session overseen by a federal magistrate in its decision, which was detailed in a letter posted online at The step will allow loam and gravel to be brought onto the property only to complete drainage work on the front half of the property, the letter stated, and negotiations over the remaining issues in the dispute are continuing.


Artist tries to capture volcanic flow

Local artist Brenda Evan is having her paintings featured in an exhibition on display at the Bolton Public Library through next month. Evans uses an opalescent paint covered with resin to create a flowing effect resembling molten lava, and has named the series of works “Volcano Action.” She began exploring her artistic talents at age 65, according to a posting on the library’s website,, and says of the process, “I guarantee that your mind will be engaged from the first moment, ideas will change often, creativity from your subconscious will overtake your conscious planning, and you will be amazed at the end result.”


Lottery to choose affordable unit’s buyer

An affordable-housing lottery will be held for a three-bedroom home in the Craftsman Village development on July 31. The 1,850-square-foot unit at 61 Codman Hill Road has 2½ bathrooms and a two-car garage, and will be sold for $187,500 to an income-eligible household. The application deadline is July 26. Details on the property and an application packet are available on the town’s website, For additional information, contact Maureen O’Hagan at MCO Housing Services at 978-456-8388 or


School offices staying in Bromfield House

The School Committee has decided that the district’s administrative offices will remain at the Bromfield House, 39 Massachusetts Ave., at least for now. Although there have been discussions about leasing space in a single location with other town departments being displaced during the Town Hall renovation project, relocating the school offices would be an unnecessary expense, according to SusanMary Redinger, the committee’s chairwoman.


Share views on downtown parking

The town is surveying residents as part of a downtown parking review. The 20-question survey will be on the municipal website,, through Sept. 5. Local officials held a public forum on downtown parking last month, and hired a consulting firm, Nelson/Nygaard Associates, to conduct a parking study at a cost of $60,000.


Selectmen fill seats on town boards

The Board of Selectmen recently made numerous appointments to town boards, including William Pickard to the Agricultural Commission; Jef Feehan and Patrick Joyce to the Community Preservation Committee; Sarah Seaward and Anna Mayor to the Conservation Commission; Robert Stetson, Barbara Kamb, Janet Johnson, and Christopher Simone to the Council on Aging; and Paul Glavey to the Finance Committee. All of their terms end on June 30, 2017.


City’s building commissioner leaving

Marlborough’s building commissioner, Michael Mendoza, has resigned and on July 18 will be leaving the post he held for almost two years. “As far as we’re concerned, we’re sad to see him go,” said Michael Berry, the mayor’s executive aide. Mendoza came to the city after serving as the top building department official in Carver, and Berry said his arrival coincided with a period of intense growth, including redevelopment of commercial office space totaling close to 2 million square feet. The three biggest projects during Mendoza’s tenure were the TJX Cos. facility, renovation of the former Hewlett-Packard building by Quest Diagnostics, and renovations at Boston Scientific. “He did a phenomenal job and there was never a hiccup that came up on any of those projects,” Berry said. He said Mendoza, who lives in Fall River, was leaving to pursue professional opportunities closer to home. He gave notice that he was leaving to the City Council on July 3. The position has been posted on both the city’s and the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s websites, Berry said. Mendoza was unavailable for comment.


Merchants plan sidewalk sale, family fun

The Wellesley Square Merchants’ Association will hold its “July Jubilation” sidewalk sale and family event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with more than 50 retailers taking part, according to organizers. In addition to steep discounts at the shops, the event will also feature live music, a petting zoo, a stilt walker and a juggler, a dunk tank, sing-alongs, a caricaturist, a meet-and-greet with Elsa from “Frozen,” a dance show, and martial arts demonstrations. There will also be an ice cream social, bouncy houses, face painting, and tours of a police cruiser. The town will waive parking fees on certain streets in the area, as well as in its Waban Street parking lot. For more information, visit


Foundation gives $73,000 to police fund

The Watertown Police Foundation has received a $73,000 donation from the Grousbeck Family Foundation, which is headed up by Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck and his wife, Corinne. The donation, which the Town Council recently voted to accept, will be used to buy a gun-training simulation machine. The simulator can be customized to teach and test officers on reacting to a variety of situations, such as a shootout with little to no lighting, according to Police Chief Ed Deveau. He said that Grousbeck’s son, who attends the Perkins School for the Blind, was on the school’s on North Beacon Street campus during the infamous manhunt on April 19, 2013, for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings. Deveau said the Police Department used to visit a gun range in Boston annually for training, but stopped in recent years due to budget cuts. “This is an incredible piece of equipment, and a very generous donation,” he said.


Town issues call for volunteers

Local officials are searching for volunteers to serve on various town boards and committees. Applications are due by July 31 to fill open seats on the Recreation Master Plan Steering Committee; Traffic and Sidewalk Committee; Tree Advisory Group; and Cable Advisory Group . Officials are also looking for volunteers to sit on the Town Center Planning Committee, and the Zoning Board of Appeals, with an application deadline of Sept. 1. In addition, the town is looking for a disabled commuter community representative to the MetroWest Regional Transportation Authority, and volunteers to help the Council on Aging. For more information or to apply, visit


Help with Summer Nights celebration

The town’s Recreation Department is looking for volunteers to help with the annual Summer Nights celebration, scheduled for Aug. 23 at the Neary School with a rain date of Aug. 24. To stage the event, organizers need help with pony rides, the bounce house, a rock-climbing wall, games, and parking. For details, contact the department at 508-229-4452.


Selectmen give go-ahead for new hotel

Selectmen have approved a site plan for a 106-room Hampton Inn at Connector Road and Route 9, behind O’Leary’s Brew Pub. The venture requires building and Fire Department approvals before construction can begin, said the Board of Selectmen’s chairman, George Barrette. The hotel is expected to primarily accommodate business travelers. Barrette said some neighbors have expressed concerns about traffic along the busy corridor, and his board will keep an eye on the situation.


Library plans free garden tour

The Marlborough Public Library has organized its first Marlborough Garden Tour, in response to interest among its patrons in gardening and growing food. The self-led free tour, to be held from 9 a.m. to noon next Sunday, rain or shine, will allow participants to visit school, business, and home gardens to get inspired and learn from experienced gardeners. Among the highlights are visits to a Silver Award Girl Scout vegetable garden, where the harvest is given to the local food pantry. Other stops include a working crop farm, a working farm garden, and home sites with edible and nonedible perennials, vegetable gardens, koi ponds, and backyard chickens. For more information or to register for the event, go to its calendar listing at, or contact reference librarian Anne Rouillard at 508-624-6900 or


ArtWalk returns downtown Thursday

This summer’s creativity-fueled ArtWalk takes place Thursday from 5 to 8:30 p.m. The annual event allows visitors to pop in and out of the shops and studios of the many artists in and around the center of town. The Natick Center Associates said that more than 50 artists will open their studios as part of the town’s largest outdoor festival, which will include live music, dancing, and refreshments. In addition, visitors can partake of the many specials available through Natick Restaurant Week, which runs through Saturday. For more information on both events, visit or call 508-650-8848.


See latest robots in action July 24

iRobot Corp. representative Lisa Freed will give a hands-on robotics demonstration at 6:30 p.m. July 24 in the town offices at 221 Hillside Ave. The free program, sponsored by the Friends of the Boylston Public Library, is suitable for ages 9 and older. Founded in 1990 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineers, iRobot is a Bedford-based company that designs robots to perform a wide range of tasks, from household chores to military assignments.


Apply for tax work-off program

The town is accepting applications for its program that lets property owners age 60 or older earn up to $1,000 against their annual tax bill by providing assistance to various town departments. The work must be performed during the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2015. Participants in the Senior Tax Worker Program can perform duties for such town offices as the Council on Aging, schools, police, library, and town clerk. There are a limited number of slots available in the program, according to a Council on Aging posting on the town’s website, Seniors interested in participating may contact the Council on Aging at 978-371-2895 to request an application.


Town offering water-saving rebates

The town’s Water and Sewer Division has two opportunities for residents to save water and money. The agency is offering $100 rebates for high-efficiency toilets and high-efficiency washing machines purchased between July 1 and the end of the fiscal year, June 30, 2015. For more information about the program, visit