Recent headlines from Globe West.


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,


No reelection bid for veteran Milford selectman

Dino DeBartolomeis, who has served on the Milford Board of Selectmen for 32 years, announced last week he will not seek reelection in April. Two residents previously announced plans to run for the three-year position on the board. DeBartolomeis was one of two selectmen who voted last year to negotiate a host community agreement with Foxwoods Massachusetts, setting up a communitywide vote on the company’s casino application. Residents rejected the proposed resort casino by a 2-to-1 ratio. DeBartolomeis said his decision was not related to the casino vote. After three decades in office, he said, he simply felt it is time to step aside. “I am proud that Milford continues to be a fiscally strong town which continues to provide excellent levels of service to all of its residents,” he stated in an announcement. Michael Visconti, a former Zoning Board of Appeals member, and William Kingkade, a member of the town’s Finance Committee, have said they will be taking out nomination papers, which will be available starting Jan. 5 for the April 7 annual election. Visconti ran unsuccessfully for selectman in 2011 against William Buckley, and Kingkade ran unsuccessfully for the board against Brian Murray in 2009.


4 local educators vie for Winchester post

Four educators from area communities have been named the finalists to become superintendent of the Winchester school district, according to an announcement last week by the local school board’s chairman. Winchester is seeking to replace William H. McAlduff Jr. as leader of the 4,440-student system; he is serving in a interim basis this school year, after formally retiring from the job in June. The finalists are Judith Evans, superintendent of the Medway schools; Bradford Jackson, superintendent in Holliston; Jennifer Price, principal of Newton North High School; and Anne Wilson, superintendent in Sudbury. A search committee voted unanimously to advance them for the School Committee’s consideration. The candidates are slated to visit the town this week for “meet and greet’’ sessions with school staff and local residents, according to the announcement, and then go before the School Committee for interviews on Dec. 15. The board said it expects to make a decision by early next month, with the new superintendent starting July 1.


Board sets tax-classification hearing for Dec. 9

The Needham Board of Selectmen will hold a public hearing Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. in Town Hall before setting the tax rates for this fiscal year. Last December, the board retained a split tax system, with commercial and industrial properties taxed at a higher rate than residential properties. As a result, while nonresidential properties make up approximately 13 percent of the town’s total valuation, their owners pay 22 percent of all taxes collected, according to Chip Davis, the town’s director of assessing. The split rate also means the owner of a single-family home with the town’s average assessed value, $753,000, paid approximately $1,100 less in real estate taxes last fiscal year than if the town charged all property owners the same rate, he said. Davis said the 1.75 split has been in place for the past several years, and he doesn’t anticipate a change by selectmen at the board’s annual tax classification hearing. Property owners will have a chance to voice their opinions during the hearing, by e-mailing, or by mailing a letter to the Board of Selectmen at Town Hall, 1471 Highland Ave., Needham, MA 02492.


City hosting drive to aid food pantries

Mayor Setti Warren is asking residents to pitch in and help those less fortunate by donating to Newton’s second annual citywide food drive, which runs through the end of December. There are four food pantries in the city serving more than 1,200 residents each month, and donations of canned goods, toiletries, vegetable oil, diapers, and other supplies are needed to help recipients supplement their basic food supplies. Foods past the expiration date cannot be accepted. Volunteers are also needed Dec. 31 to help sort and pack food at City Hall starting at 10 a.m. Food can be dropped off at locations throughout the city, including fire stations, police headquarters, City Hall, churches, banks, and grocery stores. Drop-off locations and items particularly needed by the pantries are posted on the city’s website, .


Selectmen to set tax rate Dec. 9

The Board of Selectmen will hold a pubic hearing Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. in town Hall before setting the tax rate for the coming year.


New gallery downtown opens Saturday

Maynard will celebrate a very special Small Business Saturday next weekend with the opening of ArtSpace Downtown at 77 Main St. The new gallery will feature work from member artists, host free community events, and offer special exhibitions, including “Gifted Work for Gift Giving,” which will run through the end of next month. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. During the holiday season it will be open until 7 p.m. on Thursdays, and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays.


Library warns patrons of noisy work Dec. 11

The expansion of the Bellingham Public Library’s parking lot should begin Dec. 11, when Arbor One LLC of Milford is scheduled to arrive at 8 a.m. to clear trees from the site. Parking at the library will be extremely limited due to the tree-removal equipment, and it will be noisy due to the operation of wood chippers throughout the day. Accordingly, the library has canceled all of its daytime programming, but will remain open during its normal hours, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, visit the library’s website,, or call 508-966-1660.


City panel opposes Wells Avenue housing waiver

The Newton Board of Aldermen’s Land Use Committee voted last week to recommend that a deed restriction preventing housing from being built in the Wells Avenue Office Park remain in place, setting up a potential court fight if the full board agrees with its verdict. Representatives from developer Cabot, Cabot & Forbes, which is proposing a 334-unit, six-story apartment building under the state’s Chapter 40B affordable housing law, have said they will go to court if the deed restriction is not amended to allow their project to move forward. Alderman Richard Lipoff said the project’s size makes it inappropriate for the Wells Avenue site. “The only thing bigger in the city would be the Chestnut Hill Mall,” he said. “This is a massive apartment complex proposed in the wrong place. This is the antithesis of smart growth and what is best for this city.” The developers say adding housing would revitalize the office park, and create a modern living environment for people looking for places near public transportation, employment, and entertainment opportunities. The deed restriction put into place by aldermen nearly 50 years ago restricts development in the office park off Nahanton Street to commercial and manufacturing uses. The board has voted to waive the restriction 17 times, but never for housing. The proposal is slated to go before the full Board of Aldermen during its 7:45 p.m. meeting Monday.


Special Town Meeting to tackle water supply, solar facility

Special Town Meeting will be held Tuesday starting at 7 p.m. at Ashland High School. The warrant includes articles on whether the Board of Selectmen should apply for a supplemental water supply from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority; whether to add the former Howe Street landfill site to the town’s photovoltaic installations overlay district, and allow the selectmen to negotiate a lease for the property with a solar-power company; the establishment of an Other Post-Employment Benefits liability trust and the appointment of trust members; and the use of $100,000 in Community Preservation Act funds to replace 20 doors at the Ashland Housing Authority building on Park Road, as well as a series of budgetary items. To review the full warrant, visit the town’s website,


Town panel backs off-leash dog area in Filippello Park

The Watertown Town Council’s Public Works Committee voted recently to recommend the construction of an off-leash dog area in Filippello Park, with the measure potentially going before the full council during its meeting this week. Councilor Cecilia Lenk, the committee’s chairwoman, said the dog play area would be wrapped into a larger redesign of Filippello Park, and its design, including how big it might be and what amenities it might feature, have yet to be determined. Lenk said she hoped the newly designed park, including the off-leash space for dogs, would open by the summer of 2016. The town opened its first off-leash area this summer at How Park, and Lenk, a dog owner herself, said it has proved very popular. Still, she said, “It would be nice to have different places in town’’ for people to take their pets. “There’s not a lot of land in Watertown, so it would be nice to fit them in.” With Veterans Day being observed Tuesday, the Town Council shifted its meeting to 7:15 p.m. Wednesday.


Town Meeting to decide spending requests Monday night

Medway will hold its fall Town Meeting at 7 p.m. Monday in the Medway High School auditorium. The warrant includes a number of budget-related articles, including proposals to shift $150,000 from free cash to the Other Post-Employment Benefits trust account, and $80,000 toward an urban renewal plan for the Oak Grove Park area, and a $165,000 transfer from the water system’s revolving fund toward the purchase and installation of chlorinators in the town’s water tanks. Registered voters will also be asked to decide on proposals to amend the town’s zoning bylaws related to commercial districts, including allowing outdoor dining if permitted by the town’s building inspector, the coordination of special permit and site-plan review, and regulations for adult retirement community developments. To view the full warrant, visit


Workshop covers special education rights Monday

The Bellingham Special Education Parent Advisory Council will host a workshop about basic rights in special education Monday from 7 to 9 p.m. in the library at Bellingham High School, 60 Blackstone St. Rachel Lawrence, the school district’s director of special education, will provide families and professionals with an introduction to their rights and responsibilities under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and No Child Left Behind Act, and the state’s special education laws. The workshop is intended to help parents learn to be effective partners with their child’s school, to determine their child’s eligibility for special education, and to plan, make decisions about, and monitor their child’s progress in school. For more information on the free workshop, call Margaret Cole at 508-934-9583 or e-mail

Three dog nights? Make it four, maybe

How many dogs are too many dogs? Or, put another way, how many dogs in the house mean you really have a private kennel? For at least eight years, the town’s zoning bylaw has required residents with more than three dogs to obtain a special permit for operating a kennel. On learning the state recently changed its definition of a kennel, town planning officials have recommended allowing residents to have four dogs without needing a kennel license. Town planner Paige Duncan said she’s guided perhaps 10 dog owners through the special-permit process over the past eight years. The process involves filing plans, notifying neighbors, and paying a fee of $100, with the special permit subject to Planning Board approval. The proposed revision to the zoning bylaw is among the articles to be decided by residents taking part in Special Town Meeting on Nov. 10. The warrant has been posted on the town’s website,


Traffic lights on warrant Monday night

Residents are slated to consider a 14-article warrant, including a proposal related to installing traffic lights downtown, at the Special Town Meeting convening at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Holliston High School auditorium. The Finance Committee has recommended postponing a decision on Article 11, which seeks $275,000 to complete a traffic analysis and design covering the center of town. In its report on the warrant article, the advisory panel states that voters should decide on a “financial plan for the entire project amount, estimated to be approximately $1.5 million, before moving forward with the study.” McMahon Transportation Engineers & Planners, a traffic consultant hired by the town, earlier this year released a report that recommended the installation of traffic lights and other measures at three locations along the Washington Street-Route 16 corridor.


King Philip parents group reaching out for new members

The King Philip Parents’ Network is holding a membership drive featuring a special prize raffle . The network, formed 22 years ago to improve the connection between parents and students at King Philip Regional High School, which serves Plainville, Norfolk and Wrentham, supports activities and events for students. All those who return membership forms and dues by Nov. 30 will be entered into a drawing to receive prizes, including two winners who will receive gift certificates to the East Coast Driving School in Franklin covering the 30 classroom instructional hours required in Massachusetts for new drivers younger than age 18. Another winner will receive a photo session with Gemini Photo Events, a Wrentham company specializing in portraits of individuals and groups, valued at $125. For more information, and to download membership forms, visit the network’s website,


Town offering deal on compost bins

Through a collaboration of the town’s Sustainability Committee and the Highway Department, compost bins are available for purchase by residents at a subsidized rate of $50. Proceeds will be used to provide bins for school programs. To purchase a bin, call the Highway Department at 978-540-2670.


Training on suicide prevention

Concord-Carlisle Youth Services is partnering with several community agencies to host a free training session on suicide-awareness issues Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Gleason Public Library, 22 Bedford Road. Designed for those age 15 and over, the three-hour safeTALK program is being presented by the regional chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. It offers a comprehensive overview of how to identify individuals considering suicide, and how to connect them with aid resources. To register, go to


Help local seniors with tax returns

The Council on Aging is seeking recent retirees to serve as volunteers for its AARP Tax Aid program, which helps seniors to fill out their income tax returns. Professional experience is not required; training will be provided. Hours are flexible during weekdays from February through April. To volunteer or for more information, call 781-275-6825.


Local mystery writer to discuss craft

The Friends of the Franklin Library and the Franklin Garden Club are cohosting an event featuring local mystery writer Neal Sanders at 7 p.m. Oct. 7 at Alumni Restaurant and Bar, at 391 East Central St. Sanders, a Medfield resident who has written several novels set in the fictional Massachusetts town of Hardington, will discuss his approach to writing crime fiction and his recent self-published book, “A Murder at the Flower Show.” In lieu of admission, audience members are asked to bring a nonperishable food or household supply item to donate to the Franklin Food Pantry. For more information, e-mail the library group at


Help friends clean up state park

The Friends of Whitehall will host its annual fall lake and trail cleanup Oct. 18 from 9 a.m. to noon. Participants should gather at the boat landing at Whitehall State Park on Wood Street, and they will be assigned areas of trails or shoreline to clean. Gloves, trash bags, tools, and water will be provided. The nonprofit Friends of Whitehall, now in its ninth year, is trying to expand its membership beyond the immediate vicinity of Whitehall Reservoir. Membership forms and more information can be found on the organization’s website,

City expands transgender protections

The city has expanded its nondiscrimination ordinance to include gender identity or expression. The Human Rights Commission and Mayor Setti Warren recommended the change giving full rights and protection to the transgender community, and the Board of Aldermen two weeks ago passed the measure unanimously. The amended language will also extend antidiscrimination protections to transgender individuals in places of public accommodation, an area that is not covered under state law and is included in only nine local ordinances statewide. City Solicitor Donnalyn B. Lynch Kahn said the provision will protect individuals from discrimination in places where groups of people gather, such as health club locker rooms. “These protections say that it is safe and welcoming for all to live, visit, and feel free to take part in all our great city has to offer,” Human Rights Commission member Holly Ryan said in an announcement on the new ordinance.


Council offers grant-writing tips

The town’s Council for the Arts is inviting musicians, poets, dancers, historians, and scientists, as well as representatives of local schools and nonprofit cultural institutions, to attend a grant-writing workshop Monday at 7 p.m. at the Lexington Arts and Crafts Society, 130 Waltham St. The council, which distributes state funds to support local arts, cultural, and educational activities, has set Oct. 15 as the application deadline for its next round of awards. Visit for more information.


Board sets 21 as tobacco-buying age

The Board of Health voted unanimously on Sept. 17 to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in town to 21, effective Jan. 1 . The change in regulation will cover nicotine delivery devices, such as e-cigarettes, as well as traditional cigarettes and related products. Residents can contact the Board of Health at 617-993-2720 for more information.


Weekly chess club begins Oct. 6

A fall chess club will be meeting in the Medfield Public Library on Mondays from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., starting Oct. 6. The club is hosted by Sid Arun, a Medfield High School student and chess expert. Players can spend time learning the game, practicing tactics, and taking part in a weekly tournament. The club is open to players of all skill levels, ages 5 and older. Signing up is required, and can be completed at the library’s children’s room, or by e-mailing Kim Tolson at


College fair at high school Oct. 7

The Holliston High School guidance department will host a college fair Oct. 7, when juniors and seniors will be able to participate during an extended lunch period. The fair, to be held in the high school’s library, will provide access to administrators and admissions representatives from more than 150 colleges and universities. The list of participating schools includes the University of Alabama, Assumption College, Elms College, Framingham State University, New England School of Photography, Providence College, Simmons College, and St. Bonaventure University. For more information, visit


Basketball club starts this week

Local students in the fifth through eighth grades who want to improve their basketball skills are invited to join an after-school club. Sponsored by Milford Community School Use Program, the sessions will provide some exercise as well as training in basketball fundamentals, including passing, dribbling, shooting, rebounding, and defense. Sneakers are required. The program meets on Wednesdays in the Milford Middle School East gym from 2:45 to 4 p.m., beginning this week and continuing through Nov. 12. The fee is $45 and the program is open to Milford residents only. For registration information, call 508-478-1119 or visit the organization’s website,


Meet reading therapy dogs at library

The Sherborn Library is looking for children who would like to participate in its monthly “read with a dog’’ activity. A get-acquainted session with several certified therapy dogs will run from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the library, 4 Sanger St. The program is aimed at children in the second grade and older.


Recycling event is Saturday

A recycling event for plastic foam products and textiles is being held Saturday, hosted by the Floral Street School PTO, the Shrewsbury High School Green Group, and Shrewsbury Recycles. Plastic foam and textiles will be collected at Floral Street School, 57 Floral St., from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., while only textiles will be collected at the high school, 64 Holden St., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Textiles being collected include clean and dry clothing, shoes, purses, belts, stuffed animals, blankets, and towels. Acceptable foam materials include clean egg cartons, produce and meat trays and Styrofoam items with a number 6 recycling symbol, packing blocks, and insulation sheets. Find the complete list of items through a link at


Beam to discuss book on Mormon founder

Local author and Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam will discuss his new book, “American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church,’’ on Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Arlington High School media center, at 869 Massachusetts Ave. The discussion is part of the Conversations with David Whitford series organized by Arlington Community Education. Admission costs $10. Visit or call 781-316-3568 to preregister.


Author to recount Bounty sinking

The Norfolk Public Library hosts local writer Michael J. Tougias on Wednesday at 7 p.m. He will give a dramatic slide presentation on the subject of “Rescue of the Bounty,” a book he coauthored with Douglas A. Campbell. It recounts the Coast Guard’s heroic efforts to save crew members aboard a tall ship that sank off the East Coast during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. For more information on the free program, visit


Opening for new recreation director

The town is seeking a new recreation director responsible for planning and directing a comprehensive community recreation program. The person in the part-time position works under the direction of the three-member Recreation Commission, and serves as the primary point of contact for the department. Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in recreation management or a related field, and three to five years of relevant experience. Completed applications and resumes are due by 5 p.m. Oct. 6, and may be mailed to the Board of Selectmen’s office, 1 Main St., Box 1, Upton, MA 01568, or e-mailed to For a full job description, visit the town’s website,


Two seats open on parks board

The Board of Selectmen is seeking two volunteers to serve on the Parks and Recreation Commission, following the recent resignations of Joseph Schmidt and Patricia Nelson. Schmidt cited the role’s workload in his decision to step down, while Nelson referred to pressing work responsibilities. Both had been serving their first term on the panel.


Town providing flu shots Wednesday

The town’s public health nurses are holding a flu clinic Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Wrentham Senior Center, 400 Taunton St. The vaccinations will be provided for free, but individuals with health coverage must bring their insurance cards. Walk-ins are welcome, or appointments may be scheduled by calling 508-384-5485. Office appointments and home visits are also available for those unable to attend the clinic.


Book captures town in photos

Arcadia Publishing recently released “Images of America — Milford” as part of its series of photography books focusing on individual communities. The text accompanying the book’s archival photographs was written by Deborah Eastman, the historical collections librarian at the Milford Town Library, and Anne Lamontagne and Marilyn Lovell, members of the town’s Historical Commission. The book can be found at Barnes & Noble and online retailers. The authors will be signing copies of the book during the Historical Commission’s annual open house, taking place from 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 19 in Memorial Hall, 30 School St. The book will be available for $22.


Volunteers sought for trails committee

The Board of Selectmen is seeking volunteers to serve on a new committee aimed at working on trails around town. Residents interested in participating should fill out a Talent Bank Form, which can be found on the town’s website, and e-mail the completed form to, or drop it off at the town manager’s office in Town Hall. For more information or to download the form, visit


Golf tourney to boost turf field

A golf tournament to raise funds for a new synthetic turf field at King Philip Regional High School will be held Oct. 7 at Wentworth Hills Golf Club on Bow Street. Golf will begin at 8:30 a.m., followed by lunch; the fee is $150. To donate money, a raffle item, or an auction item for the event, e-mail Cheryl Rowe at For more information or to register for the tournament, visit .


Two-part workshop on cartooning

Cartoonist Bill Barnes will present “Cartooning in the Digital Age” at the Medway Public Library from 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 12 The first hour, a workshop on the basics of cartooning, is aimed at middle school students through adults, and will cover creating memorable characters, writing dialogue, lettering, penciling, inking, and coloring. The second hour, focused on the technology and business of cartooning, is geared toward older teenagers and adults, and will look at how to publish comic strips online and make money doing it. The program is free; preregistration is requested. For more information and to register, e-mail or call the library at 508-533-3217.


Session on memory loss, Alzheimer’s

The Bellingham Senior Center will host an informational program on memory loss, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease Oct. 7 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. The program will provide information about the disease, the benefits of early detection, the causes and risk factors, and treatments and services offered at the senior center through the Alzheimer’s Association. To sign up for the program, call the association at 800-272-3900.


Learn about the Cold War

The Friends of the Council on Aging will present a three-part lecture series beginning Thursday. Historian Gary Hylander will discuss “Cold War, Hot Peace,” focusing on the trajectory that brought Americans from the optimism of the end of World War II to the discouraging era of the Cold War. The first segment is titled “An Iron Curtain.” The second segment, to be held Oct. 2, is “Better Dead Than Red.” The third segment, on Oct. 16, is “The Evil Empire.” All lectures will be held at 7 p.m. at the Gleason Public Library, 22 Bedford Rd. Admission is free but seating is limited; to reserve a space, call 978-369-4898.


Medicine take-back day

The Shrewsbury Health and Police departments will hold a medication take-back day on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The collection will be held at the Shrewsbury Senior Center, 98 Maple Ave. Unused and expired medications can be dropped off for proper disposal.


Grant proposals sought

The Norfolk Cultural Council is currently accepting funding proposals for community arts, science, and humanities projects and activities. Past proposals accepted include those for festivals, exhibits, artists in residence, workshops, and lectures. Proposals are also being accepted from school and youth groups for cultural field trips. Last year, the council distributed $4,250 in grants, supporting the library, recreation department, theater, wildlife, and school programs. The proposal deadline is Oct. 15, and forms and more information are available at .


LexFUN to hold seminar on saving for college

LexFUN!, an organization that offers social, educational, and community-based programs to families with children under age 5, is holding a seminar on Tuesday on how to start saving for college. Lexington wealth management group Wingate Wealth Advisors will run the seminar, from 7 to 9 p.m. at St. Brigid’s Church, 2001 Massachusetts Ave. The seminar is free for LexFUN! members and costs $5for nonmembers. E-mail to RSVP.


Chili cook-off to benefit Cotting School

Lexington’s Cotting School will host a chili cook-off on Oct. 5 from 1 to 3:30 p.m.Attendees will be able to taste chili cooked by local chefs, including from the Fire Department, Red Lentil Restaurant, and Minuteman High School culinary department, to name a few. Proceeds will benefit the Cotting School, which serves students with learning disabilities, medical conditions, and communication impairments. Tickets for the cook-off cost $25 for adults and $10 for children under age 12, or $40 for a ticket plus a bowl crafted by a Cotting School student. The event will also include live music and local craft beers. Visit for more information or for tickets.


Register now to be a Safe Home

The deadline for Bedford parents of teens to sign up as a designated Safe Home is Sept. 30. This program, run by Bedford Youth & Family Services, offers parents a pledge they can take to ensure that they will do their part to maintain a safe, supervised, alcohol- and drug-free home environment when gatherings of teenagers are taking place. For more information on the program, go to and click on the “Youth and Family” department link.


Seniors group seeking instructors

The Council on Aging would like to hear from retired teachers or those who are still teaching who would be interested in leading lifetime learning classes on subjects ranging from literature to foreign languages and the sciences. For more information, call the council at 978-456-4120.


Housing committee to hold public forum about housing goals and development

The Littleton Housing Committee, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, invites residents to a public forum about local housing goals and development. The forum, entitled “Littleton Housing Production Plan: Goals & Strategies,” will begin Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Littleton Middle School cafeteria, 55 Russell St. The goal of the meeting is to help the town to develop a plan that will guide market-rate and affordable housing type and location in the community while also maintaining the state-mandated affordable housing target and gain access to state funding. Anyone who wishes to attend is encouraged to RSVP online at For more information or for special accommodations like language interpretation, assistive listening devices, or meeting materials in alternate formats, contact Karina Milchman, Housing Planner, at or 617-933-0730 in advance of the meeting.


Meeting backs site purchase

Residents who attended a special Town Meeting Monday authorized the town to purchase 27.2 acres, called Springdale Farm, near the town center, a move that could prevent the property from being developed as a state 40B affordable housing project. The vote now moves forward to a townwide referendum question Nov. 4 For the town to complete a purchase, a majority vote at the election is required. Special Town Meeting participants, in a standing vote of 445-16, authorized selectmen to borrow $5.55 million for the land, which is now owned by James Snyder and used as a hay field. Snyder had proposed selling his land to a developer who had wanted to build up to 40 townhouse-style units. Several town agencies, including the Planning Board and the Warrant Committee, had recommended approving the town’s purchase instead. Town residents on Monday also approved $25,000 for a town committee to consider public uses for the land.


Of the birds and the books

Fiske Public Library is hosting two programs this week, both open to the public. On Thursday at 6:30 p.m., the Wrentham Book Club offers a free program to discuss Edith Wharton and her book “The Age of Innocence.” Johanna Batman, who works at The Mount, Wharton’s home, will speak about Wharton’s work and life. Participants do not have to have read “The Age of Innocence” to attend the event, in the Sweatt meeting room. On Saturday at 1 p.m., the town Open Space Committee is presenting “A Passion for Birds,’’ an interactive educational show hosted by Henry Lappen. The program will explore how birds have evolved in body and environment, and participants will be able to try on masks of different birds. That program, too, will be held in the Sweatt meeting room.


Performing arts company to hold annual golf tourney

The annual Franklin Performing Arts Company golf tournament will be held Monday at Franklin Country Club at 672 East Central St. Registration and a continental breakfast will begin at 9 a.m., with the tournament kicking off at 10 a.m. Following golf, there will be a cocktail hour at 3:30 p.m., a dinner buffet at 4:30 p.m. and prizes, a raffle, and entertainment starting at 5 p.m. The entry fee is $175 per golfer or $650 per foursome; the fee for those attending only the dinner is $30. To register in advance, call 508-528-8668 or visit


Openings for children in play group

A drop-in registration session for the Milford-Bellingham Family and Community Network play group will be held Sept. 30 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at the North Community Building at 2 Maple St. These play groups meet two afternoons per week from October through January; parents can choose from either Tuesday or Thursday sessions from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Play groups are designed for children up to 5 years old and include creative arts, story time, sing-alongs, and open play time. All sessions are held at the community center and are free of charge, and spaces will be assigned through a lottery system. For more information, call the play group’s facilitator, Donna Umlauf, at 508-966-1023.


Chamber of Commerce to hold networking event

The Arlington Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a networking event at the restaurant Tryst, at 689 Massachusetts Ave., on Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event will feature complimentary appetizers and a cash bar. Tickets are $10 for members in advance, $15 for members at the door, $25 for nonmembers in advance, and $30 for nonmembers at the door. Visit for more information or to register.


Walking tours of cemetery

The Vine Lake Preservation Trust is holding two walking tours of Vine Lake Cemetery this fall. The first is scheduled for Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. The free tour will explore the architectural style and significance and forms and geometry of the cemetery’s memorial stones. The tour will be led by Rob Gregg, president of the trust, and cultural historian Elise Cirenga, a specialist in funerary sculpture and 19th-century garden cemeteries. The second cemetery tour is set for Oct. 18, and will explore the composition of early gravestones and the origin of the stones. Participants should wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water if desired. Parking is available around the lake, after entering the cemetery at 625 Main St.


How should future town look?

Residents are encouraged to participate in an anonymous survey, prepared by a town committee, which solicits opinions on what the community should look like in the future. The survey, created by the Hopkinton Visioning Steering Group, is available for pickup in the town manager’s office at Town Hall, and also online at The survey includes multiple-choice questions on topics such as economic development, housing, and recreation resources. Among the questions, residents are asked if they support creating a dog park, whether the town should create more regional bike paths or lanes, and whether “fast food” is a restaurant type that should be established in Hopkinton in the next decade. The responses will be collected and analyzed, then released to the public later this fall, according to a town news release.


Library book sale is Saturday

The Upton Town Library will hold its fall book sale Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hardcover books, CDs, and DVDs are $2; paperback books and VHS tapes are $1; and children’s books are 50 cents. Shoppers can also fill a tote bag for $20. For more information on the sale, or to make donations, call the library at 508-529-6272.


Public hearing on Azalea Drive layout

The town’s Board of Selectmen will hold a public hearing regarding the proposed roadway layout for Azalea Drive Monday at 7 p.m. The hearing will include a review of the public way layout, as detailed in the Azalea Drive Street Acceptance Plan on file with the town’s Planning and Economic Development office, as well as discussion of any potential acquisition of land or easements related to snow, drainage, and utilities. The hearing will be held in the Sanford Room at Town Hall. For more information, call the selectmen’s office at 508-533-3264.


2 residents sought for school subcommittee

The town’s School Committee is seeking two community representatives to serve on a subcommittee tasked with naming school district entities or memorials. Members will review two already submitted nominations and make final recommendations to the School Committee. The committee will consist of at least three community members, two school staff members, and one member of town government. Community members interested in applying can submit a request to the Office of the Superintendent of Schools, 87 West Union St., Ashland, MA 01721, or via e-mail to For more information, visit the school district’s website at


Belmont to host 2d annual Dan Scharfman memorial run

The Belmont Foundation for Education will host the second annual Dan Scharfman Memorial Run on Oct. 5 from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Last year’s inaugural run raised $20,000 for Belmont’s public schools, according to a press release from the foundation. Scharfman was a local activist and runner who died in January 2013. Race participants can sign up for the 5K course or the 1-mile course, which both begin at Belmont High School at 221 Concord Ave. Visit for more information or to register.


Sing with the Intergenerational Community Chorus

Area residents age 12 and older who like to sing are encouraged to learn about the Carlisle Intergenerational Community Chorus at open rehearsals on the next two Monday evenings. The regional ensemble does not require auditions; youths and adults at any level of skill or experience who enjoy choral music are welcome, organizers say. Rehearsals are held Mondays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Robbins Building on the Carlisle Public School campus (park and enter on the School Street side). The group will be preparing for its next public performance, which is in January. E-mail with any questions.


Workshop offers business tips

A workshop on small business ownership will be held in the Shrewsbury Public Library from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday. Conducted by Norman Eng of the US Small Business Administration, the session will offer information on how to start or expand a business, and what services are available for prospective and current business owners. Eng will also cover loan programs, disaster assistance, and small business development centers, among other topics.


Dedication, tours of new high school

The dedication ceremony and tours of the new Franklin High School will be held next weekend. Tours will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The dedication ceremony will be held next Sunday at 1 p.m., with tours from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. The new building on Oak Street has 82,770 square feet of classroom space, and a 17,700-square-foot gym. The Massachusetts School Building Authority is reimbursing the town for approximately 60 percent of the project, which cost $103.5 million. For more information, call the school district’s office at 508-553-4819.


Town festival, road races Saturday

The Medfield Employers & Merchants Organization will host its 35th annual Discover Medfield Day on Saturday starting at 9 a.m. There will be more than 150 booths representing local businesses and organizations, and a stage featuring entertainment until 3 p.m., along with a “kids’ alley’’ of rides that will be open until 4 p.m. Also, the Medfield Day 5K Road Race and 1K Fun Run, organized by the town’s Parks & Recreation Department, will begin on North Street, with same-day registration starting at 7:30 a.m. The fun run will start at 8:30 a.m., and the 5-kilometer race will step off at 9 a.m. If there is severe weather, Discover Medfield Day events will be postponed to Sept. 27. More information is available at and


Mizzoni gets interim seat on school board

At a joint meeting last week, the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee voted to appoint Michael Mizzoni to fill a vacancy on the school board created by the resignation of Paul Avella in June. Mizzoni will hold the interim position until the town election next spring.


A chance to wear Super Bowl rings

The Holly Club, a women’s service and fellowship organization, is selling tickets for a raffle offering hands-on access to National Football League championship rings. The club will be selling tickets at the Post Office, 100 Randall Road, on Saturday and again on Oct. 11 and 25. The drawing will be held on Nov. 4, and the raffle winner may invite up to five people to view and try on three Super Bowl rings and three American Football Conference championship rings. Raffle tickets are $5 for one or $20 for five tickets.


Community celebration Saturday

The annual community celebration known as Bedford Day takes place Saturday at locations throughout the center of town. Featured events include the Danny Oates Memorial 5K Race, a parade, a crafts fair, food vendors, and recognition of Alma Pomponi as the Citizen of the Year. New this year will be a special celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Citizens Scholarship Foundation program, with prior recipients honored in the parade. For more information on Bedford Day, go to and click on the Recreation link.


Forum on plans for downtown

Citizens for Milford, a volunteer community group, will host a discussion on downtown revitalization efforts during a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Milford Town Library. Highway surveyor Scott Crisafulli will discuss plans for adding year-round holiday decorations to Main Street. Other topics include proposed changes to Town Meeting, and plans for a forum in October for candidates for state senator and representative. More information about the group is available online at


Fall fair at Stony Brook on Saturday

The Massachusetts Audubon Society is holding its annual fall fair at the Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, 108 North St., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Activities will include face painting, pumpkin painting, cupcake decorating, games, and a moon bounce. There will also be animal demonstrations featuring owls, rabbits, and honeybees. Local crafters will offer wares, and there will be a wool-spinning demonstration. The Norfolk Lions Club will offer cookout food, including corn on the cob. New this year is a duck derby, cosponsored by the Norfolk Community League. The cost to enter a rubber duck in the race is $5 for one or $20 for five, with prizes of $500, $250, and $100 for first through third places. More information is available at


Sign up for fall arts classes

The Hopkinton Center for the Arts is enrolling students in its fall education programs, with offerings in art, dance, film, music, and theater for children and adults. Classes are held at the nonprofit organization’s historic farmhouse at 98 Hayden Rowe St. The season includes new options in the visual and performing arts, according to an announcement. Programs include a newly designed ballet dance program taught by instructor Nathalie Navert and classes in acting, drawing, music theory, filmmaking, photography, and cartooning. For more information, visit or call 508-435-9222.


Fewer students this fall, district says

The town’s schools reopened last week with 4,170 students attending classes on the first day, according to Superintendent Robert Tremblay. The total is a decrease of 30 students from opening day last fall, and also slightly lower than two years ago, he said. For 30 years, the district has had few fluctuations in its enrollment, Tremblay said, generally staying close to 4,200 students. Woodland Elementary School, which will be replaced with a larger school that accommodates an additional grade level, opened with 30 more students than it had last year, Tremblay said. The existing building has no room to split up larger classes, he reported to the School Committee. Plans for Woodland’s replacement school, which will house third, fourth, and fifth grades, were approved by voters this year.


A story behind cafe’s gold lights

The tiny gold lights decorating Jasper Hill Café & Bistro on Washington Street are a conscious choice. The lights, installed by owner Denise Tracy last week, are a symbol of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and in memory of her late nephew, Cole. The boy died in 2012 at age 5 of neuroblastoma, a cancer that primarily affects children, she said. Last year, Tony Stoddard, who is Cole’s father and Tracy’s brother, arranged to have the Zakim Bridge in Boston switched to gold lights for a week. The downtown cafe will keep its gold lights illuminated nightly for the rest of the month. Denise and John Tracy purchased the business earlier this year.


Pine Hill School to host 5K

The Pine Hill 5K and Fun Run will be held at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 28 as a fund-raiser to benefit educational programs at the Pine Hill School. The inaugural event last year drew about 200 participants, and organizers say the number this time could reach 300 runners and walkers. Individuals and teams, including sports clubs and family members, can register for the race as timed runners or untimed walkers or runners. The first 200 registered participants will receive a T-shirt and other items. Kids may run in the race, but bicycles are not allowed. For registration information, visit


Farm’s purchase on warrant Monday

Residents taking part in Special Town Meeting on Monday will decide whether the town should pursue a purchase of a 27-acre farm at 46 Springdale Ave. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in Dover-Sherborn High School’s Alan Mudge Auditorium. The two-article warrant asks whether residents will authorize the Board of Selectmen to purchase the land, known as the Snyder property, using a combination of borrowed funds and cash transfers, and to appoint a committee that would study possible uses for the land. The $5.55 million purchase would block plans for a Chapter 40B affordable housing project on the site. If voters decide against buying the land, property owner James Snyder would be able to sell it to Northland Residential Corp., which has proposed a development with 40 condominium town houses. If the purchase receives the required two-thirds majority at Town Meeting, a proposal to pay for it through a temporary property-tax increase would go before voters in the Nov. 4 election.


Proposal would allow upper-story housing

Town Meeting on Oct. 27 will be asked to approve a series of zoning changes that includes allowing non-age-restricted housing above commercial uses in the district off Route 139 and Proprietors Drive. Town Planner Greg Guimond said in an interview that the district was always intended to be mixed-use, but when it was created, age-restricted housing for older adults was the only housing allowed. Residential units over commercial buildings would be limited to 75 units for the district, he said. The district is known as the planned mixed-use development overlay district or PMUD. The Planning Board will hear a presentation on the changes during its Sept. 22 meeting, and the board will hold a hearing at 7:45 p.m. on Oct. 6 at Town Hall. In addition, Guimond will be available in the planning office Sept. 15 and 29, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., to provide copies, explain changes, and answer questions.


Meet town’s past luminaries by moonlight

The Harvard Historical Society will sponsor a “living history” moonlight tour of the cemetery in the center of town Saturday beginning at 7 p.m. Tales of local historical figures of the 19th and early 20th centuries will be featured. Rain would postpone the fund-raising event until 7 p.m. next Sunday. Reservations should be made in advance by calling the society’s administrator, Judy Warner, at 978-772-6772, or by e-mailing Advance tickets will cost $15, or $10 for society members; the fees will rise by $5 if purchased at the event. The proceeds will be earmarked to support the nonprofit organization’s programs, including maintaining historic buildings and collections. For more information, visit


Curbside trash collection curbed

Based on input from a committee studying the issue, the Board of Selectmen has decided not to pursue a plan for the town to offer curbside trash collection for residents. The Department of Public Works notes that 38 percent of residents use the town’s transfer station to dispose of their trash and recycling, and others pay private vendors to pick up household waste.


Concert to feature swing-era music

Local big-band musicians will perform Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. in a benefit concert at the Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St. The event will feature town resident Al Natale — a trumpet player who performed with 1940s icons such as Benny Goodman, the Dorsey Brothers, and Glen Miller — leading his swing orchestra. Tickets cost $10 at the door, and proceeds from the concert will support the Beech Street Center’s community programs and services.


Heritage Day on the town common Sept. 27

Upton Heritage Day will be held Sept. 27 on the town common. The Upton Historical Society ‘s fund-raising event will feature a crafts and vendor fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., signings of a new book on the town’s history, a series of musical performances, and children’s activities, including face painting. There will also be a book sale at the library, a yard sale and lunch stand at United Parish of Upton, a Fire Department and EMS open house, and a walking tour of west Upton at 11 a.m. For additional information, visit the society’s website,