Government

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Video: Crosspoint Associates Addresses CVS Concerns

Following the Selectmen meeting Managing Principal John Hueber and his son Jonathan Hueber who serves as Director of Acquisitions and Leasing for Crosspoint associates, joined me in the studio to address CVS related concerns.

Selectmen Announce Lake Maspenock Weed Management Advisory Group

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At its June 23, 2015 meeting, the Board of Selectmen created a new advisory group to work with the Town DPW Director on management of weeds at Lake Maspenock. The Town of Hopkinton is encouraging all residents who are interested in serving on this advisory group to apply now.

In order to be considered for this Advisory Group, please apply no later than Thursday, July 9th, 2015 at Noon online or in the Board of Selectmen’s Office. The Advisory Group charge can be viewed below and on the Selectmen’s website.

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Video: CVS discussed at Board of Selectmen Meeting

Dozens took to the streets prior to the Board of Selectmen meeting to protest against a CVS Pharmacy that leased space from owner of the former Colella's plaza Waltham Based "Crosspoint Associates". A protestor told HCAM News: "It's a small town and a small community and we don't want a CVS here, we want Hopkinton Drug and that's it."

At the meeting residents got the chance to discuss the CVS with Selectmen. One resident criticized the Selectmen for not being more proactive in stopping CVS, Chair Ben Palleiko responded stating that it was a private transaction and the Selectmen have no control over it "we can't inject ourselves unless they need something from us, which in this case they didn't."

Selectmen Brian Herr felt the CVS lease was very sneaky and did not agree with the way it was done. "In my 14 years on the planning board, zoning advisory committee, Board of Selectmen.... I have never seen a business come to town and try to ram something down our throats as this current situation is playing out." Herr also stated that he would like to explore the town purchasing the land. Later in the meeting Chair Ben Palleiko had to ask Herr to calm down as he got more fired up about the discussion.

Town Counsel Ray Miyares was also in attendance to discuss the legality of the CVS and stated that the property owner Crosspoint Associates would have to go through the town if any location changes in the building of the liquor store or CVS were made. If the liquor license of the current liquor store changes hands it would also have to go through the town.

A few residents argued that CVS is more of a health institution than a retail store, therefore it would be a zoning violation for a CVS to open in the 61 main street plaza. One resident stated that there is a 2012 bylaw excluding health services. In response, Town Manager Norman Khumalo read a quote from land use Planning and Permitting Director Elaine Lazarus that stated health care facilities are not allowed in the downtown business district. "A health services facility is not allowed by right nor by special permit in the downtown business district."

An emotional Dennis Katz, Owner of Hopkinton Drug was on hand to thank Hopkinton Drug supporters. "This is an opportunity for us to thank the community for coming up and being supportive of us, it's very humbling, I never dreamed of this, ever. You've definitely made a change in my life, I thank you so very much, we are not going anywhere, we are going to try very hard, we're one store, we're not 9,000, it's going to be a heck of a challenge but we're going to stand up and take that challenge as best we know how."

After the public discussion the Board of Selectmen chair Ben Palleiko made it clear that no decision would be reached during the night and a lot more discussion is still to come, but the conversation helped determine what needs to be disscuessed in future meetings. The next Board of Selectmen meeting can be seen live on HCAM Tuesday July 14th at 6:45pm.

To see highlights of the CVS protest and discussion, watch the video below.

Judge Formally Sentences Marathon Bomber to Death Penalty

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A federal judge has formally sentenced Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death for the 2013 terror attacks. Tsarnaev was found on guilty on all 30 counts against him on April 8th, 17 of the 30 charges made Tsarnaev eligible for the death penalty.

U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr. pronounced the sentence Wednesday in Boston. He was required under law to impose the jury's death sentence for the April 15, 2013, attack that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.

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Video: Hopkinton Drug Owner Gave Emotional Speech at Selectmen Meeting

Owner of Hopkinton Drug, Dennis Katz thanked supporters at the Board of Selectmen Meeting after many spoke out against CVS pharmacy leasing space in the former Colella's building. Katz claimed that Hopkinton Drug will fight to stay open. Watch the brief speech in the video below. More will be posted soon from the packed Board of Selectmen Meeting.

MBTA to Eliminate Honor Box Payment Method

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The MBTA or Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is removing the "Honor Box" paying system starting next month. You will no longer be able to pay for parking by sticking cash in the little slot located on the honor boxes. A press release by the MBTA stated most customers are already using the PayByPhone app. In a recent press release the MBTA referred to the honor box payment system as "Archaic". The press release is below;

Selectmen Sent Letter to Crosspoint Associates Regarding CVS

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Below is a letter Board of Selectmen Chair Ben Palleiko sent to President of "Cross Point Associates Incorporated" John Hueber. Crosspoint Associates owns the former Colella's property and much criticism from residents was raised after a portion of the property was leased to CVS. The letter addressed the concerns of many Hopkinton Citizens that the CVS would negatively alter the integrity of downtown Hopkinton by hurting local business.

"Dear Mr. Hueber,

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Video: Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito visits Hopkinton

Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito who took part in the Hopkinton 300th anniversary opening ceremony was back in Hopkinton to meet with Town Manager Norman Khumalo and other local business and government leaders as part of the "Building Stronger Communities" tour. Lieutenant Governor Polito is the Chair of "The Community Compact Cabinet" which serves to strengthen partnerships in all cities and towns across the state.

The Lieutenatnt Governor spoke with HCAM News about the meeting; "The goal today was to have a conversation on where Hopkinton is and how the state can be a better partner." Lt. Governor Polito mentioned that one of the goals of Hopkinton is to improve the commercial tax base since Hopkinton is largely a residential community.

Lt. Governor Polito spoke of how the state is working on becoming a better partner with local communities such as Hopkinton; "We need to really watch unfunded mandates, regulations and barriers to growth in a community like Hopkinton." Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito would like to see the Community Compact program spread across the state; "I wanted to make that available to Hopkinton because their already achieving a high level of management here and just challenge them to do a little bit more, raise the bar in terms of best practices and see if we can be a better partner by providing some resources in helping them achieve that goal."

Polito mentioned that the program could help put Hopkinton in line for larger grants for infrastructure improvements and various other needs. "We want to make sure we are reaching all of the communities in our commonwealth in every part of the commonwealth, not just the big cities but the smaller communities, the midsize communities like Hopkinton and really just build that relationship between state and municipal government."

To hear more, watch the interview below.

BOS Responds to CVS Concerns

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June 6, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

We thank all of you for the emails regarding your views on the proposed CVS; we have received hundreds and we know that the petition has well over 1000 signatures. The sheer volume makes it impossible to respond to everyone individually, which is the reason for this public letter.

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Video: Hopkinton Police receive training in working with Autistic People

Members of the Hopkinton Police Department received training from Sergeant Ryan Roettger of the Southbridge Police Department in working with people with autism or individuals with special needs. Sergeant Roettger mentioned to the class that a large portion of his experience comes from the fact that he has a 6 year old daughter who suffers from severe disabilities. Roettger informed the class on what to be aware of, he mentioned that the number one cause of death among autistic people is drowning; "if there is a wandering child or adult that is missing, that would be the first primary focus."

The class talked about proper ways of restraining, properly blocking the child or adult so they don't run into traffic and what signs to look for. "Arrest is the last option here, there is a lot of other options besides arrest" Roettger mentioned anyone can benefit from this training especially those who work in the community such as teachers and police officers.

In the video below HCAM's Mike Torosian talked with Sgt. Ryan Roettger, Hopkinton Police Officer Steve Buckley and Carolyn Hyman who is working with organizations to raise autism awareness.

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