Hopkinton Receives $400,000 Grant for Elmwood Farm

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On Wednesday December 5, Hopkinton received a land conservation grant in the amount of $400,000 that will go towards the purchase of approximately 70 acres of land known as the Elmwood Farm.

Golden Pond Unearths Statue of Virgin Mary

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While excavating for the expansion project at Golden Pond Assisted Living, work crews unearthed a fully intact, four foot statue of the Virgin Mary.

“People are amazed,” said Executive Director William Marr. “Some people were close to tears when they saw it.”

Marr says he can’t believe that the statue did not get damaged. It is just about the full size of the scoop on the back hoe and it came up all in one piece. The workers discarded it and went on with their excavating, but Marr sent someone to pick up the statue and store it in a safe place.

Campaign Finance Office Finds Picnic Donations Did Not Benefit Dykema Campaign

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The Massachusetts Office of Campaign & Political Finance
(OCPF) has issued its finding in response to a complaint filed this
summer by the Massachusetts Republican Party against Rep. Carolyn
Dykema. OCPF issued its official finding in a letter dated Nov. 20,
2012. In its letter, OCPF announced it has concluded its review
and found that Dykema did not inappropriately benefit from door prizes
contributed by local businesses in support of a senior citizen picnic,
as alleged.

Elementary School Building Committee - Volunteers Needed

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Selectmen voted to approve the charter of the Elementary School Building Committee (ESBC) and appointed Vice Chairman John Mosher as their designee to the committee at their November 13 meeting. As approved, the mission of the committee is to facilitate the development of a proposed solution to the operational and educational constraints of Center School that will be supported by the voters of Hopkinton, as well as the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA).

Policy for Public Comment

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The School Committee is in the process of reviewing its Public Records Policy and its CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation) Policy, which will be continued at its December 20th meeting. The draft policies are available for your comment and can be viewed by clicking on the links below:

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Webster First Federal Credit Union Officially Opens

Webster First Federal Credit Union officially opned it s doors at Hopkinton Square on Friday, November 30.

"The grand opening today was fantastic," said Webster First President/CEO Michael Lussier. "It has been really crowded all day long and I'm hoping that it stays that way."

The day long celebration included raffles, refreshments, givewaways and entertainment and an official ribbon cutting towards the end of the day. Webster has partnered with Project Just Because and was accepting donations of new hats, scarves, gloves and blankets as part of the Project Just Because "Keep a Child warn" clothing drive which will run through December 21, 2012. Each person that makes a donation to Webster's Warmth Bin, located in the credit union at Hopkinton Square, will be given a raffle ticket for the chance to win a new iPad mini.

Bins of what was collected that day, as well as a check for $3,000 were presented to Project Just Because Founder Cherylann Lambert Walsh by Lussier and Hopkinton Branch Manager Kimberly Williamson.

When asked what brought Webster First to Hopkinton, Lussier said that he learned about the Hopkinton Square development through a golf connection and decided it was a good fit.

"I actually had a friend who I golf with who knew who introduced me to the owner of his complex," said Lussier. "We thought it was a great opportunity for all of us to get together."

Webster First is a credit union and, while similar to a bank, there are some differences.

"Credit unions like Webster First have multiple products that most banks have," said Lussier. "What I think you will find is that interest rates might be a little bit higher on savings accounts, less fees and competitive interest rates., and unlike some credit unions that cater strickly to consumbers, Webster First has a full array of financial products for all of your financial needs."

Webster First Federal Credit Union joins Price Chopper which was the first business to open at Hopkinton Square. Two additional stores also opened during the last week of November, Supercuts and Christine's Nails, both of which were busy with clients when we stopped by for a quick visit.

Allso now open since our visit is Hopkinton Square Dentral, and coming soon, Zio Quattro and Bison Burger. So it look's like we'll be back for another visit soon. Watch for more news on Hopkinton Square in the near future!

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Fireman's Calendar: A Tribute and Fundraiser by the 300th Celebration Committee

To mark the upcoming 300th anniversary of Hopkinton in 2015, the 300th Anniversary Celebration Committee has produced a calendar to honor the Fire Department's service and dedication to the community.

The idea for the calendar was spearheaded by committee members Ann Click, JoAnn Phipps, and Sandy Sulfaro, all Hopkinton natives who have known each other since childhood. Dick Barlett, also a Hopkinton native, provided all of the photos in the calendar, which capture the firefighters in action. Sulfaro and Phipps presented a copy of the calendar to Fire Chief Ken Clark on November 30th.

Calendars are $15 and can be purchased on Saturdays at Colella's Supermarket, or by contacting the committee at Money from the sale will be used to support the committee's fundraising efforts for the anniversary festivities. The committee also plans on producing calendars in honor other significant Hopkinton departments.

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Tweaks for Downtown Intersection Discussed

Town Engineer Dave Daltorio and DPW Director John Westerling joined Town Manager Norman Khumalo at the November 20 Board of Selectmen's meeting to walk the board through five identified issues related to the improvements to the Main Street/Grove Street intersection. Legacy Farms
paid for and implemented the changes at the intersection, but a few ongoing issues remain.

“There are some tweaks that havto be made on the ground out there,”
said Westerling, “to make sure that the improvements that were made are working as efficiently and safely as possible.”

The five issues identif ed for further discussion are:

1) The need [or not] for the “no turn on red”signs on Grove and on Cedar Street

2) The need for additional signage at the left turn only lane on Rt. 85; too many drivers still going straight
from left only lane

3) Timing adjustments

4) Concurrent pedestrian crossing vs. exclusive pedestrian crossing

5) Additional striping on road for left turn only lane

Selectman Chairman Ben Palleiko solicited input from the board, asking forfeedback on non-technical issues, preferring to leave those up to the town’s professional staff.

“I would be in full favor of removing those [no turn] signs,” said Selectman Michelle Gates. “I am on that intersection every night after work and it takes me now almost half an hour to get from the State Park through the lights.”

Gates also wanted to know the current average delay in the intersection versus the study period because in her view the delay in all directions has increased too much.

“It’s crazy,” said Gates. “I am getting so many phone calls.”

Daltorio responded by explaining that by going to what is called split phasing, with a green light at Grove Street separate from a green light on Cedar Street, time is taken away from the east/west corridor. When Gates asked if that could be corrected, Daltorio said that all of the traffic studies show that that is the improvement that needs to be made at that intersection with the traffic that is coming.

“As far as it is now, it doesn’t seem improved,” said Gates. “I’d be in favor of putting it back to what the timing was before.”

Selectman Brian Herr also supported removing the no turn on red signs and suggested any markings that would more clearly delineate the left turn only be worthwhile and Selectman John Mosher asked about adding hanging signs. Selectman Todd Cestari noted that traffic traveling
westbound on Rt. 135 was often backed up to Weston Nurseries.

To summarize, Palleiko said asked that Daltorio and Westerling further explore removing the no turn on red signs, adding lines to increase safety, and to consider nonexclusive pedestrian crossing if it is deemed not to be detrimental to public safety.

The five identified issues were also discussed at the December 3 meeting of the Planning Board, but Roy MacDowell of Legacy Farms said that it was not clear what was being asked for. From his perspective, Legacy Farms has completed the first phase of changes as stipulated in its agreement with the town and he felt that most of the issues identified could be resolved by discussion with the town's professional staff. According to MacDowell, the only issue he felt required input from the Planning Board was the one related to pedestrian crossings.

"We did what we were supposed to do," said MacDowell. "Is it someone in DPW who is questioning it, or is it something the Planning Board wants to think about?"

Chairman Ken Weismantel said that while the Planning Board approved an overall concept for the intersection, the intersectioin belongs to the town and minor tweaks should and will continue to be made.

"I don't feel that we need to be into the weeds, when we have town professionals who are cutting weeds every day of the week," said Weismantel.

On the other hand, if there is an issue of who should be making those tweaks, the town or Legacy, then Weismantel thought that it was appropriate for the Planning Board to get involved. The town has the authority to take down the signsa and to make other changes, but Weismantel said that the DPW will have to spend some money if they want to make changes.

At the end of the December 3 Planning Board meeting, the board voted unanimously to say that Legacy Farms has conformed with all the requirments at the intersection and that any changes related to issues 1, 2, 3 and 5 will be made by the town, with Legacy and the Planning Board to provide input to issue 4, pedestrian crossing.

HCA Members Show December 14 – January 10

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The artwork of its talented members will be featured at the HCA Members Show at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts, 98 Hayden Rowe in Hopkinton from December 14 through January 10, 2013. A special reception, open to the public, will be held Friday, December 14 at 6:00 p.m. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., or by appointment. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

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Holiday Shopping at the HCA Holiday Boutique

Hopkinton residents looking for some unique items to purchase for the holiday season were in luck during the weekend of November 30th at the HCA Holiday Boutique. The sale, which has been going on annually for around 15 years now, featured handcrafted items such jewelry, poetry, paintings, and clothing . The majority of the 10 artisans and 3 nonprofit organizations whose work was featured at the boutique were based in or near Hopkinton.

The HCA made 30% on all of the weekend sales. That money will help them fund as well as expand the different types of programs offered at the HCA.


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