Globe Northwest community briefing

Citizen action carries on

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August 3, 2008

Terra Friedrichs continues to send supplies to victims of Hurricane Katrina and has since branched out to support other areas hit by disasters. Friedrichs cofounded Acton's Citizen Action Team after Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in August 2005, and it is now part of a national network of individuals and companies who donate supplies, time, and truck space to help out. The Stoughton school district recently donated 500 10-year-old iMacs, said Friedrichs, many of which she has already shipped. To volunteer or for information visit or e-mail - Julia Quinn-Szcesuil

NEXT STOP, TENNESSEE - The Arlington Youth Baseball & Softball Association is appealing to residents to help send a team of 12-year-olds to the Cal Ripken World Series in Martin, Tenn. The team earned a berth to represent New England in the series by besting West Nashua, in the New England regional finals July 25. Coach Neal Coiley said the team needs $10,000 to $15,000 in community donations. The single-elimination tournament begins Thursday, and Coiley said the coaches and a committee of parents are scrambling to get everything in order. Town officials planned a "rolling rally" last Friday down Massachusetts Avenue toward Town Hall to congratulate the team. To make a donation to the team, send a check to AYBSA, P.O. Box 246, Arlington 02474, or online, at

- Sarah Metcalf

MONEY FOR PARKING MISSING - Officials are still awaiting funds for preliminary design and site work on a long-anticipated commuter parking facility for the town's MBTA stop. Roughly $88,250 has been earmarked, according to Christopher Ryan, director of the town's department of planning and development, but has yet to be received Several years ago, the Montachusett Area Regional Transit Authority (MART) required that a commuter parking facility be built or the town could lose its MBTA stop, Ryan explained. The town was eventually allotted $3.15 million through former US Representative Marty Meehan and another $2 million through the efforts of state Senator Pamela Resor for the purpose of designing and building a facility. However, none of that money has appeared, Ryan said.

- Taryn Plumb


FINANCING FINALIZED - At its last meeting, the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved the use of bond anticipation notes to complete the renovations of the High School. Bond Anticipation Notes enable the borrower to access money short term, in anticipation of the final bond of a project. The town used $36,725,000 in bond funds to pay for high school renovations, which include increased classroom and science lab space, improvements to the auditorium, new carpeting, a new roof, and an expansion to the gym. All renovations except those to the gym are expected to be completed when students return to school this fall.

- Nancy Shohet West

MEET BELMONT - Whether new to town or a lifelong resident, Meet Belmont has something for everyone. Between 6 and 8:30 p.m. Aug. 21 at Belmont High School, residents can register to vote, pick up bus maps, get information about recreation and arts programs, and learn more about local government and community organizations. For more information, e-mail

- Jennifer Fenn Lefferts

RENOVATIONS ON TARGET - Roy Nagy, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club, reports that the first phase of the facility's 10,000-square-foot addition was completed just in time for the start of the summer camp program June 30. Phase two in the $4 million project is expected to be completed by the end of October, according to Nagy, who is encouraging donations. Call 978-667-2193, ext. 110.

- Joyce Pellino Crane

TWO NEW LICENSING FEES - The selectmen set two new licensing fees, including a $1,000 per year fee for serving wine and beer, after a request for a license by the Teapot Café. The cafe at 61 Stow Road is one of two sit-down restaurants in Boxborough. The other is at the Holiday Inn, which operates under an innkeeper's license, said Town Administrator Selina Shaw. Selectmen also approved a $100 live entertainment licensing fee.

- Julia Quinn-Szcesuil

EFFICIENCY EFFORTS - Town and school officials met recently to discuss ways to consolidate services to improve efficiency and save money. Sonia Rollins, the chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen, said the group talked about merging services that the municipal and school side of government both use, such as information technology. The town and school already share a human resources manager and Rollins thinks there are other opportunities for the departments to work together.

- Jennifer Fenn Lefferts

PAVING THE WAY - The Board of Selectmen has voted to amend a conservation restriction to enable asphalt paving of a section of footpath on protected land along Bedford Road. Previously, the town's plan was to leave this stretch unpaved, but weeds have caused problems, especially for wheelchair use. The Carlisle Conservation Foundation, which holds the conservation restriction because the stretch of roadway in question lies on a parcel owned by the Carlisle Land Trust, recommended the change. The documentation now goes to the state for approval.

- Nancy Shohet West

TAKING CONTROL - The Board of Selectmen has identified fiscal restraint as its top priority and is looking for Town Manager Christopher Whelan to come up with a plan to help them meet that goal. "We need to rein in the spending," said Gregory Howes, chairman. - Jennifer Fenn Lefferts

TWO SEEK MODERATOR POST - Robert E. Eubank and Cindy Russo, both former selectmen, are in the running for town moderator, according to Town Clerk Janet Vellante. The two candidates were nominated at a town caucus July 23 that drew roughly 25 residents. The election will be held Sept. 16 in conjunction with the state primary. Longtime moderator David "Doc" Westerling, who served since 2003, resigned earlier this summer due to a conflict of interest with a work assignment. - Taryn Plumb

BINES JOINS DA OFFICE - Resident Susanne Bines recently joined the Office of Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr. as an assistant district attorney. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia Law School and has worked for five years as a prosecutor for the Manhattan district attorney's office. - Brenda J. Buote

4 NAMED TO PRESERVATION PANEL - The Board of Selectmen voted recently to appoint Jef Feehan, Doreen Morse, Mit Wanzer, and Elliot Putnam members at large of the Community Preservation Committee. At the same meeting, the board named Steven Venuti as town treasurer.

- Nancy Shohet West

GREEN LINE ADVICE - The Green Line Extension Project Advisory Group, a board of local officials, community members, and business representatives who provide guidance to the state in developing the MBTA's Green Line extension into Somerville and Medford, will meet tomorrow at 4 p.m. in the Community Room at the Somerville Public Library, 79 Highland Ave. - Eric Moskowitz

FUNDS SOUGHT FOR HOUSING - Mystic Valley Elder Services has applied for a Housing and Urban Development grant to build senior housing in town. The application asks that HUD provide funds to help build about two dozen senior housing units, according to town officials. The town has already set aside about 5 acres of land between Chestnut and Mount Vernon streets for the project.

- Laura M. Colarusso

SURVEY ON WASHINGTON PARK - Town officials are asking residents to fill out an online survey about what should be done to improve Washington Park, a neighborhood park used for baseball games. Visit The survey will close on Aug. 9.

- Laura M. Colarusso


MOVING THE BUSINESS - Exalpha Biologicals Inc., formerly of Maynard, is moving to Phoenix Park on Shaker Road. The company signed a five-year lease for 6,000 square feet at the Shirley office park, a 300,000-square-foot former mill building that currently houses 40 other local businesses. Exalpha Biologicals supplies antibodies and test kits to research labs, bio-technology, and pharmaceutical companies in the life sciences industry. The company plans to relocate its world headquarters to Shirley in September. - Erin Cahill

REWARD OFFERED - Stoneham's Fire Investigation Unit is asking the public's help with an investigation into a recent "hoax device" incident, according to Police Chief Richard Bongiorno. A Windsor Road resident reported July 14 at 4:30 p.m. that two masked teenage males threw a package into a yard. One fled on a bicycle and the other on foot. Police are asking for anyone with information to contact the Arson Watch Rewards Program at 800-682-9229. There is a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the prosecution of the suspects. All calls are confidential. - Bella Travaglini

VIETNAM MOVING WALL - After being on a waiting list for three years, Wilmington will host the Moving Wall memorial for the Vietnam War from Sept. 18 to 22. The wall, which is a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., has been displayed in hundreds of cities and town. The wall has the names of four Wilmington residents - John A. Rich, John J. Fullerton Jr., Robert W. Parent, and Richard W. Welch -- who died in Vietnam.

- Laura M. Colarusso

ABSENTEE VOTING - Town Clerk Mary Ellen Lannon wants to remind college students leaving home this month that they may vote in the Sept. 16 state primary by absentee ballot. Log on to to download the application and return it to the town clerk with your signature by 12 noon Sept. 15. The deadline to register to vote is Aug. 27 at 8 p.m., while the deadline to register to vote for the Nov. 4 state election is Oct. 15 at 8 p.m. For more information, call 781-721-7130.

- Bella Travaglini

INSURANCE SAVINGS - Woburn has saved nearly $50,000 on its insurance premiums this year, thanks to new management practices, training activities, and loss-prevention measures, Mayor Thomas L. McLaughlin and the insurance arm of the Massachusetts Municipal Association said. The Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association, or MIIA, awarded the city $49,448 in premium credits, to be applied to the bill for the current fiscal year, in recognition of Woburn's steps to lower the risk of injuries, accidents, and lawsuits related to city property. Those steps also help control the city's insurance costs for the long term, according to the mayor, who thanked the MIIA for providing $4,000 in grants to help the city with risk and loss-control equipment and training.

- Eric Moskowitz

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