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Community briefing


CITIZEN CELEBRATES 104 -- The town's oldest citizen shows little sign of slowing down. Dorothy Barrett, who turned 104 in March, continues to greet all visitors to her room at the Mildred Alford Nursing Home on Birch Street with a big smile and kisses. ''Coffee in the morning with friends and a constant big grin from ear to ear," is how nursing home activities director Connie Cummings describes Barrett's daily routine. ''Dorothy is such a sweetheart," she says. Proudly displayed next to Barrett's bed is the Boston Post Cane given to her on her last birthday by the Board of Selectmen. In 1909, the newspaper's publisher, Edwin Grozier, distributed canes to 431 towns across New England to be given to each community's oldest citizen. Barrett was 9 years old when the first cane was handed out. ''I'm so proud of that cane," says Barrett, who once shared tea with Eleanor Roosevelt. ''I love it." -- Robert Carroll


ROAD FUNDS RECEIVED -- The town has been allotted $621,402 in road funding by the state for fiscal year 2005, according to the Executive Office of Transportation and Construction. Governor Mitt Romney released $120 million in state aid to the state's 351 cities and towns to upgrade local roads and bridges. Towns are allotted funding based on a formula that considers the number of miles of local roadway, population, and the employment rate. -- Sandy Coleman


ELEVATOR ACCIDENT PROBED -- State inspectors hoped to learn this week what caused an elevator at the Cohasset Knoll Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility to suddenly drop about 10 feet Sept. 7, injuring two repairmen. Christopher Ganley, 34, of Plympton, and Patrick Motiatti, 25, of Dracut, were working at the bottom of the shaft when the elevator dropped on them, according to police. Both men sustained arm and leg wounds. Motiatti was airlifted to Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Ganley was taken to South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, where he was treated and released. ''We're still looking into it," said George Dahlquist, a supervisor with the state Department of Public Safety's elevator division. ''We've had inspectors on site. It could be a hydraulic line that broke, but we're not sure. We hope to know soon." Motiatti, who two days after the accident was listed in stable condition with a fractured ankle, said he remembered little about the accident. ''I wish I could recall something, but I can't," he said by phone from his hospital room. -- Robert Carroll


NORD NAMED CHIEF -- Kevin Nord, a captain and paramedic for the Kingston Fire Department, has been appointed chief of the Duxbury Fire Department. . ''Because of his hard work in a career of over 25 years he made it an easy decision for us," Town Manager Rocco Longo said. Longo appointed Nord from a group of four finalists selected by a citizens search committee. All four were interviewed by the Board of Selectmen in a public session two weeks ago. Longo said Nord is known for his work in creating special tactical units and a stress support program for firefighters. He will take over Oct. 17. His salary is $85,000. -- Robert Knox


GROUP HOME PROGRESS -- Road to Responsibility is nearing completion of its second group home in Hanover for disabled adults. The Webster Street house is scheduled to be finished in November. ''We're excited about this," said Sharon Smith, executive director of the Marshfield-based nonprofit organization. ''We started work on the home a year ago. It will house four adults; two women and two men. It will be staffed 24 hours a day." Two years ago, the organization opened a group home on Broadway. Smith said the 14-year-old organization provides housing to 120 physically disabled or mentally retarded South Shore adults. -- Robert Carroll


ACCESS ISSUE RESOLVED -- The School Committee has approved a temporary license to allow Hingham Community Nursery School Inc. use the middle school's driveway during construction of a new building on Main Street. School Committee member Dick Amster said he supported the license because it gives the district more control over when the vehicles could enter the site. Several neighbors have opposed the project because of concerns about traffic congestion and other issues. The private nursery school is interested in obtaining a permanent easement to reach its new building, off Rosemany Lane, but that requires Town Meeting approval. -- Jenn Abelson


TOWN WARRANT OPEN -- The Board of Selectmen has scheduled a Special Town Meeting for 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at the junior/senior high school. Residents wishing to submit articles for the warrant have until 3 p.m. today, said Marjorie Godfrey, the board's secretary. -- Sandy Coleman


OPENING ON HISTORIC PANEL -- Mark Ingaciola has resigned from the Historic District Commission. In a letter to the Board of Selectmen, Ingaciola said he has moved out of Hull. Town officials will advertise the vacancy to find a replacement, said Town Clerk Janet Bennett. -- Sandy Coleman


FIVE NAMED TO ZONING BOARD -- The Board of Selectmen has appointed four new full members and an alternate to the Zoning Board of Appeals. Last month, all zoning board members were asked to resign and two were removed from office by selectmen, who complained that the board was not properly prepared for important hearings. The board appointed George Boerger, David Rose, Kevin McGowen and John Haas as full members and Colin Dahlen as an alternate. The four full members join hold-over member Edward Donnelly, who remained on the board after selectmen dropped their complaints against him. Haas resigned from the board last month, but selectmen asked him to reapply. -- Robert Knox


ATHLETIC COMPLEX PROPOSAL WITHDRAWN --A proposal to build an athletic complex on town-owned land has been withdrawn. The developers, Brait Builders Corp., have instead purchased private land off Enterprise Drive to construct the sports complex, which is expected to include a hockey rink, baseball fields, swimming pool, and running track. Initially, the sports complex was to be built on town-owned land near Marshfield High School. Under that plan, the high school would have been able to use the ice hockey rink for practices and games. -- Jenn Abelson


WATER PIPES MAPPED -- An engineer is creating a street-by-street geographical information system grid for the town's water and sewer systems. Weston & Sampson Engineers is creating a map of all water and sewer pipes, storm drains and hydrant locations, said David Colton, town administrator and DPW director. Some portions of current town maps are more than a century old, he said. The new GIS-based map will enable more accurate repairs, and allow workers to make improvements more quickly, Colton said. The new map will also be used to implement the town's long-term stormwater management plan, which is posted on the Public Works Department website, -- Paysha Stockton


LIBRARY SEEKS CURB REMOVAL -- According to representatives from the James Library's board of trustees, a partially buried curb in front of the library is hazardous and should be removed. Library trustee Leonard Cole said the 50-foot section of uneven curbing is a hazard and makes parking dangerous. Cole proposed that the town remove the curb and regrade the parking area. Cole said the cost of the work has not been determined, and although the trustees have asked for the town to pay for the project, they are prepared to share the cost. Selectmen said the proposal will be forwarded to Highway Supervisor Paul Foulsham. -- Susan Hagstrom


CHARTER COMMITTEE REPORT DUE -- A Charter Study Committee, formed last spring to consider whether the town needs to develop a formal charter, will make a recommendation to selectmen in October, said Town Administrator Edwin Thorne. Committee members updated selectmen on their progress last week. The committee will also advise selectmen on the process necessary for creating a charter, should officials decide one would be advantageous, Thorne said. -- Paysha Stockton


LIBRARY DEDICATION SUNDAY -- The restored Loring Library, built 105 years ago by the Plymouth Cordage Co. in North Plymouth, will be dedicated at 4 p.m. Sunday. Now called the Loring Center, the 386 Court St. building has three wings, with a fireplace in each of its three meeting rooms. Members of the neighboring Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, which led the lengthy and expensive restoration effort, will join the public in a brief service of dedication, followed by a reception. Tours of the Loring Center and the church will be offered. The men's quartet Yankee Ingenuity will perform a free concert at 3 p.m. -- Robert Knox


WATER MAIN WORK ENDING -- Construction is expected to begin in the next month to complete water main replacements in the Squantum and South Quincy neighborhoods. Portions of the following streets in Squantum will be repaved as part of the project: Huckins Avenue, Seal Rock Lane, Sycamore Road, Sumac Road, Harborview Street, Bay Street, Shoreham Street, and Bellevue Road. In South Quincy, Taber, Intervale, Roadman, Trafford, and Columbia streets will undergo renovations as part of the water main project, which is being performed by Aggregate Industries. The two-phase project is replacing an aging water delivery system with a reliable, more efficient system, officials said. -- Jenn Abelson


MASTER PLAN PROGRESS ON WEB -- The town's Master Plan Implementation Committee now has a website, accessible through a link on the town clerk's website, The executive summary and implementation section of the plan, adopted in June 2001 by the Planning Board, are available on the site. The entire master plan is available at Turner Free Library, 2 North Main St., and can also be purchased at Town Hall. Those seeking specific sections of the plan can also contact the committee, which is also soliciting residents' comments and suggestions. The committee can be reached via an e-mail link on the website, or at 41 South Main St., Randolph, 02368. -- Paysha Stockton


FIRE PANEL SEEKS MEMBERS -- Selectmen need residents to serve on a seven-member committee to study building a fire substation in the southern end of town. The second station could be situated near Summer and Beech streets, Fire Chief Mike Sammon told selectmen last week. The town of about 18,000 is now served by a fire station on Union Street. Town Administrator Brad Plante said selectmen are looking for volunteers with engineering, legal and other expertise ''who can add some professional experience to the board." The application deadline is Oct. 1. Letters and resumes should be sent to the selectmen's office, 246 Union St., Rockland, 02370. -- Paysha Stockton


MARINA ZONING BACK ON WARRANT -- An article proposing a zoning change for the James Landing Marina on the Driftway, which was defeated at the March Town Meeting, will reappear on the Sept. 27 Special Town Meeting warrant. Supported by the Planning Board and the Board of Selectmen, the proposal would extend the planned development zoning district over the entire 8.17-acre waterfront parcel, making it eligible for mixed residential town house, commercial and marina development. Only 5 acres have that zoning designation. Proponents of the change told selectmen they have provided more precise development plans and addressed all of the concerns raised in March, including affordable housing, public access and issues regarding an adjacent historic cemetery. Frank Colpoys, representing marina and land owner Republic Properties Inc., said the development would result in tax revenues and an aesthetic improvement to the area. -- Susan Hagstrom


METCALF GETS VOLUNTEER AWARD -- A local woman has been recognized as this year's recipient of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program of Norfolk County's volunteer of the year award. Elizabeth Metcalf was chosen for her volunteer and charitable service with Weymouth Elder Services, her church, and community. Metcalf, who is known as ''St. Liz" at the Whipple Senior Center, was one of two RSVP volunteers to be honored with the award. -- Jenn Abelson


TEACHER WINS AWARD -- Avon elementary school teacher Jennifer Ceven has won $2,000 for being one of 100 finalists in this year's Unsung Heroes program, a nationwide contest sponsored by an international finance company, ING, that rewards K-12 teachers for innovative and creative programs. Ceven, who teaches at Ralph D. Butler Elementary, won for a program she developed that uses aquariums to help students study pond ecosystems in the classroom. Unsung Heroes also gives $25,000, $10,000, and $5,000 awards to the top three winners, who should be announced by the end of the month. -- Joan Wilder


EXTENDED VOTER REGISTRATION HOURS -- Town Clerk Ronald Adams has scheduled extended hours, from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., for Oct. 13, the last day to register to vote in the Nov. 2 presidential election. The town clerk's office in Town Hall normally is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The office will also be open from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. next Monday and on Oct. 4. For more information, call the town clerk's office at 508-697-0921. -- Christine Wallgren


LEARNING CENTER GETS $2.5M GRANT -- The 21st Century Community Learning Center, which runs programs at five city elementary schools and Brockton High School, has been funded for the next five years. School officials say the state Department of Education recently awarded Brockton $2.5 million for out-of-school learning programs for students and their families. Superintendent Basan Nembirkow said the grant will provide opportunities for city students to enhance and continue learning beyond the school day, with activities and academic programming after school, on weekends, and during the summer. -- Joanna Massey


SCHOOL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION -- Efforts are underway to form a Canton High School alumni association. "It's just part of the effort for generating support for public education," said Maura Sullivan, a volunteer organizer. The association will publish a newsletter, host alumni events, raise funds for the school, and connect graduates with current students. The first meeting is Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. at the Armando Recreation Center at 92 Pleasant St. Graduates may call Sullivan at 781-828-1515 for more information.

-- Donna Goodison


HEARING ON DEVELOPMENT PLAN -- The Planning Board will resume its public hearing Tuesday on the Paige Circle subdivision proposed for the Ellis D. Atwood property in South Carver. Developer Vittorio "Buzz" Artiano of Carver plans to build a nine-lot subdivision on the property where the Edaville Railroad theme park is located. The plan will require moving a portion of the railroad tracks. Planners heard public comments on the project at previous session last month. The board meets at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

-- Robert Knox


HONORING KEHOE -- A Dedham Democrat who has served as an elected official for 40 years will be honored at Dedham Community House's "Showcase of our Community" celebration tomorrow. Selectwoman Marie-Louise Kehoe, who served as a state representative for a dozen years and has been involved in many organizations and boards in Dedham, "is the type of person who never says no," said Marilyn Weber, executive director of Dedham Community Association. Weber said more than 400 people are expected to turn out to honor Kehoe and to raise money for repairs to the historic community house at 671 High St. A silent auction, tours of the house, food from local chefs, and dancing will also be featured. Tickets are $50 and will be available at the door, she said.

-- Elaine Cushman Carroll


COMPUTER COP SOFTWARE -- Foxborough police will give parents a computer program called Computer COP, free of charge, at their Free Parent Internet Safety presentation Monday at 7 p.m. in the John J. Ahern School auditorium, said school Officer Tim O'Leary. The software allows parents to scan computer e-mails, instant messages, and downloaded documents for key words, such as "rolling," the term some youngsters use to refer to being high on the drug Ecstasy, said O'Leary. The presentation will include an overview of the software and other safety advice. For more information, call O'Leary at 508-543-1212.

-- Joan Wilder


TOWN ADMINISTRATOR PROPOSALS -- It's becoming more likely that Town Meeting voters will get to decide whether to create the position of town administrator. Just when might they get that opportunity, however, is up in the air. There are two initiatives afoot. The Finance Committee is planning to put together a petition to place articles on the November Town Meeting warrant to create an administrator position and increase the number of selectmen from three to five. Meanwhile, Selectman Lawrence Ashley has put together a study committee to look at ways to make the town's government more efficient and streamlined. "Hopefully the findings will validate the need for a town administrator," he said. If so, an article to make that change and possibly others could be on next spring's Town Meeting warrant, Ashley said.

-- John Winters


VERIZON WAITS ON POLE -- Representatives from Verizon have agreed to wait until after the road is completed to a new Harvest Lane subdivision off Summit Street before relocating a utility pole to serve new customers in that area. At a public hearing on Sept. 7, Summit Street residents expressed concern to selectmen that the proposed location for the pole would necessitate the removal of some of their trees. The selectmen continued the public hearing to Sept. 21 to allow time for the road to the subdivision to be put in. -- Christine Wallgren


SENTENCED FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT -- A 20-year-old Holbrook man who admitted to sexually assaulting a 13-year-old Mansfield girl he met online has been sentenced to nine months in jail. Jeffrey Gillenwater pleaded guilty to indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14, and was sentenced in Attleboro District Court late last month. When he is released, Gillenwater will be evaluated for counseling; he has been ordered to have no contact with minors, according to court records. He admitted to fondling the Qualters Middle School student after arranging a meeting at Mansfield Memorial Park in June.

-- Joanna Massey


PARKING RESTRICTION APPROVED -- The Board of Selectmen has approved a parking restriction on the west side of Park Street for safety reasons around nearby Sippican School as requested by the Police Department. The restriction prohibits parking on the even-numbered side of Park Street from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The move should make it easier for traffic and school buses to negotiate the area, police said. -- Paul E. Kandarian


WIND POWER GROUP FORMED -- Selectmen have officially given their approval to the formation of the Mattapoisett Wind Power Study Committee at the behest of residents Frances Cairns, Stephen Clapp, and Diane Perry. The residents asked for the vote as they explore the possibility of locating a wind-powered turbine system somewhere in town to generate electricity and lessen dependence on fossil-fuel sources. Possible suggestions for location of the turbines, town officials said, include behind the Old Rochester Regional School complex on Route 6 and the town landfill on Tinkham Hill Road. -- Paul E. Kandarian


VACANCY ON BOARDS -- Tomorrow is the final day for residents to express interest in filling a vacancy on the town's Gas and Electric Commission. The appointment, effective until the annual election next April, will be made by a joint vote of the selectmen and remaining members of the Gas and Electric Commission. Those interested in serving on the commission should contact the Gas and Electric Department at 508-947-1371. The Finance Committee also has an interim vacancy to fill, by a joint vote with selectmen, that will last until the April election. Applicants can fill out an application at the town clerk's office in the Town Hall annex. The deadline for application is Sept. 30. -- Christine Wallgren


THREE NEWCOMERS VOLUNTEER -- Three newcomers to town have volunteered to serve on the member-depleted Norton Cultural Council. The council, which currently has only two members, put a call out last month for new members. Three residents, Katherine Jones, Jennifer Jouret, and Charlotte Meehan, responded. The council administers grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and supports other cultural programming in town. In order to receive state funding, the council must have at least five members, officials said. -- Joanna Massey


VITALE'S ROLE EXPANDS -- Dorothy Anne Vitale, a longtime advocate for the elderly of Norfolk County, is about to expand her role to include the estimated 1.1 million seniors living throughout Massachusetts. Vitale, the director of elder initiatives for Norfolk District Attorney Bill Keating, is scheduled on Sept. 28 to join the Citizens Advisory Committee to the state's Executive Office of Elder Affairs. -- Robert Carroll


CONSERVATION BOARD VACANCY -- The Board of Selectmen is looking to fill a vacancy on the Conservation Commission left by Marti Nover's resignation. The commission enforces the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act, to protect local wetlands from surrounding activities. The board is accepting letters of interest for the position, a three-year term.

-- Nicole Dionne


CONSERVATION BOARD VACANCY -- Raynham selectmen are having a hard time trying to fill a vacant position on the Conservation Commission. Steve Cote resigned from the volunteer board Aug. 15, and selectmen have set three applications deadlines that fielded no candidates for his replacement. Residents interested in filling the post should call the selectmen's office at 508-824-2707. -- Donna Goodison


NO INTEREST IN CAMPGROUND -- The Board of Selectmen has decided not to pursue purchasing about 29.40 acres from Knight & Look Campground Inc. The property owner is removing the land from its agricultural classification and had offered the town the first option to buy it, as required by state law. At a meeting on Monday, selectmen said the property would be too costly to purchase, according to Veronica Lafreniere, the town's administrative assistant. Knight & Look officials say the land has a value of $1,078,947, and they have a purchase and sale agreement with Hartley-Zell Housing Associates, LLC.

-- Sandy Coleman


DEBORAH SAMPSON STORY -- The story of Deborah Sampson, one of Sharon's most famous historical figures, will be featured at Sharon Historical Society's fall meeting on Sept. 28. Historian Alfred F. Young, author of the newly published book "Masquerade: The Life and Times of Deborah Sampson, Continental Soldier," will speak at the 7:30 p.m. meeting at First Congregational Church, 29 North Main St. Jean Santos, president of the society, said that all children in Sharon Public Schools start learning about Sampson in the elementary grades and a recreation park in town is named after her. Sampson concealed that she was a woman and enlisted in the Fourth Massachusetts Regiment of the Continental Army during the American Revolution and was twice injured in battle. "She was one tough lady," said Santos. Although Sampson was born in Plympton, she settled in Sharon after she left the service, married Sharon resident Benjamin Gannett in 1784, raised three children, and was buried there. "We figure she belongs to us," Santos said. -- Elaine Cushman Carroll


VOLUNTEERS SOUGHT -- Short on volunteers, the Council on Aging has scheduled a volunteer workshop for Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the senior center, 110 Rockland St. The main focus of the recruiting forum will be signing up drivers for the council's meals on wheels program and kitchen help, said volunteer coordinator Judy Fink. According to Fink, recent figures submitted by the council to the state Office of Elder Affairs showed that 65 volunteers performed 10,258 hours of work valued at approximately $82,000 during fiscal year 2004. "An average year," she said. "Volunteers are the core of this place. We'd like to do better." -- Robert Carroll


BLEACHER BOARD APPEALS DECISION -- The Bleacher Study Committee last week voted to hire attorney Deborah Ryan to represent it at its hearing with the state Architectural Access Board on Oct. 18, said Town Administrator Michael Boynton. The study committee is appealing the architectural board's denial of its request for several variances that would allow the town to renovate the high school's Turco Field bleachers, making them safer and handicapped-accessible enough to meet Walpole's needs, but not the state code, said Boynton. -- Joan Wilder


SHAW'S TO MOVE IN -- The IGA grocery store on Route 6 near Town Hall will soon be no more as Shaw's has signed a lease with site owner Wareham Plaza Associates LLC to build a 55,000-square-foot supermarket at the location, town officials said. The Planning Board has approved the plan, and the lease was recently signed with the company owning the plaza, said Charles Gricus, Wareham town planner. The existing building will be demolished to make way for the new store, officials said.

-- Paul E. Kandarian


WORK RELOCATES SCHOOL GAMES -- Work on the high school athletic field and its swimming pool and gymnasium will mean some games and practices will have to be relocated. As happened last year, the high school football team will have to play its home games at Xaverian Brothers High School. The Thanksgiving Day game will be held at Dedham High School. Meanwhile, the high school volleyball team will play at the Thurston Middle School, and the soccer team will use the fields at either Thurston or the Sheehan School. The swim team will practice in Dedham. Construction of the high school field was delayed due to a lawsuit. The work on the high school swimming pool and gym constitute the last phase of construction of the new high school. -- John Winters


PARKING BAN AT SCHOOL -- Selectmen heeded pleas from Hanson residents and changed their stance on Catherine Street parking prohibitions. The board agreed to ban parking on the north side of the street in Whitman from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hanson officials took the lead last month with parking restrictions on their portion of Catherine Street, citing safety issues posed by overflow Whitman-Hanson Regional High School student-drivers crowded out of the school's parking lot. Whitman's ban will be in place through June 30, 2005. "Hopefully, we're not going to have any problem when the new [high] school opens," said Whitman Deputy Police Chief Raymond Nelson.

-- Donna Goodison 

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