Globe North Community briefing

Openings on town boards in Burlington

August 23, 2009

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The town is seeking resident volunteers to fill vacant seats on several boards and committees. The open positions are on the Community Life Center Committee, the Council on Aging, the Information Systems Advisory Committee, the Town Common Oversight Committee, the Board of Appeals, the Housing Partnership Committee, and the Beautification Committee. Anyone who would like to apply should submit a letter of interest to the town administrator’s office by Friday.

- John Laidler

DRESSING UP WHIDDEN - The Cambridge Health Alliance recently collaborated with a nonprofit art group to beautify its Whidden Hospital campus. The Art Connection, a Boston-based organization that brings locally created art to clinics, shelters, and other sites operated by community organizations, arranged for the donation of 19 original works by 12 artists at Whidden. A committee of Cambridge Health staff and community members selected the pieces, which range from traditional landscapes to modern geometrics. The alliance also organized a flea market to raise money to frame the artwork, which is displayed throughout the hospital. “The response has been wonderful,’’ Deborah Murphy, site administrator at Whidden, said in a prepared statement. “The works not only enhance the hospital’s physical space but stimulate social engagement in an extremely positive manner.’’ - John Laidler

GOLF FOR GIRLS INC. - Area residents can enjoy a round of golf this week while helping to support afterschool activities for local girls. Girls Inc. of Lynn is holding a charity golf tournament Wednesday at Gannon Golf Course. Proceeds will benefit the programs the nonprofit offers for middle school girls at its new building on High Street. Girls Inc. opened the 28,000-square-foot building in June, when it relocated to the site from its former 100-year-old building on Broad Street. The “Guys and Gals Teeing off for Girls’’ tournament is open to people of all golfing abilities. The cost is $175, covering a round of golf, a barbecue, raffles, and prizes. Registration is open through tomorrow. For more information, call 781-592-9744, ext. 258 or go to

- John Laidler

GETTING AROUND BEEBE SCHOOL - When Malden schools open on Sept. 1, the Beebe School on Pleasant Street will have a new traffic pattern. Vehicles may still enter from east and west, but drivers exiting the school will have to take either Dexter or Hawthorne streets to Maple Street. A live parking zone will be allowed in residential parking spots at either end of the school. People in their cars may park there while waiting for their children, but no-parking signs elsewhere around the school will be enforced to ensure there is enough acess for police cruisers, fire trucks, or other emergency vehicles. The new plan, which aims to improve safety, was approved last month by the city’s traffic commission. -Kathy McCabe

DEMOCRATS GATHER - The Malden Democratic City Committee will hold its annual cookout from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday at Anthony’s restaurant on Canal Street. Local elected officials and party officials are expected to attend. Tickets are $5 and can be reserved in advance by calling 781-324-0405.

- Kathy McCabe

SWIMMING SPOTS STAY OPEN - Hot August days prompted Mayor Michael J. McGlynn to keep two public swimming areas open an extra week. Tufts Park Pool on Main Street will be open until Friday. Wrights Pond on Elm Street will be open until next Sunday. The extensions will cost the city $4,800, which will be covered with money available in a city account, according to McGlynn’s office.

- Kathy McCabe

GRAFFITI CONTROL - The City Council voted last week to refer a proposed graffiti ordinance to City Solicitor Mark Rumley, Police Chief Leo Sacco, Public Works Commissioner John Buckley, and Building Commissioner Paul Mochi. The matter also was referred to the council’s Committee of the Whole, which has not yet scheduled a meeting. The proposed ordinance seeks to “protect public and private property from acts of vandalism and defacement by prohibiting the application of graffiti on such property.’’ - Kathy McCabe

TWO WINE SHOPS PROPOSED - The planning board will hold public hearings Tuesday on site plan review applications for two businesses that have received licenses to sell beer and wine. Sweet Thoughts, a gourmet food and gift shop at 504 Main St., must reconfigure its space to accommodate 60 varieties of wine that owner Carl Caratozzolo plans to sell. A new wine shop, operated by Gene and Rebecca Beraldi, is being proposed for 538 Main St. That application calls for a 1,315-square-foot retail food establishment. The board will meet at 7:45 p.m. in the mayor’s conference room at City Hall.

- Kathy McCabe

NEW TOWN PLANNER HIRED - Jean Delios, Peabody’s director of community development and planning since 2002, is leaving at the end of this month to become director of community services/town planner in Reading. “There are some unique opportunities there,’’ Delios said of Reading, noting in particular the chance she will have to participate in the town’s efforts to spur smart growth downtown. She said the new job also will ease her commute, since she lives in Wakefield near the Reading line. She takes particular pride in her role in initiatives to preserve open space and convert old industrial sites into parkland during her time in Peabody.

- John Laidler

MAYOR REQUESTS SEWER MONEY - The City Council tomorrow will hold a public hearing on a request from Mayor Thomas G. Ambrosino to authorize borrowing $506,000 to continue a project to improve the town’s sewer system. It also will hold a hearing on a proposed amendment to the city’s flood plain zoning ordinance. In other business, the council will hold hearings on a request by James and Marta Batmasian of Investments Limited for a garage license to house 75 automobiles at 60 Revere Beach Blvd.; and a request by Ali Benemara for a special permit to allow seating at the Baraka Market, a convenience store he operates at 1559 North Shore Road. It also will hold a hearing on an application by James D’Amico for a special permit to build a two-story addition to the rear of an existing structure at 16 Pleasant St. to use as a real estate office. - John Laidler

PARKING CONTROVERSY CONTINUES - After several packed public meetings, the city on Aug. 13 upheld the bulk of the changes made in May: Meter rates and hours have increased and all unmetered streets will switch to resident-only permit parking. According to a city press release, high-tech parking kiosk companies would like to put their equipment in Davis and Magoun squares. However, not everything’s set in stone quite yet. The Traffic Commission was slated late last week to discuss a proposal to leave 20 major streets in the city open to everyone during the day. (See updates at Resident permits have not yet gone into effect; officials plan to send fliers to residents first and start with warnings instead of tickets for violations. Stephen Mackey, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, said the group was helping organize business district walkthroughs and working “to make sure everybody has a clear understanding of what the rules are.’’ After all, he said, “Nobody likes getting parking tickets.’’ - Danielle Dreilinger

GOLF FOR THE KIDS - The Boys & Girls Club of Stoneham is scheduled to hold its seventh annual golf tournament tomorrow at the Bear Hill Golf Club, 2 North St. The tournament kicks off at 1 p.m. and will conclude with a dinner and a silent auction. Golfers will have an opportunity to win special prizes at select holes. The cost to play is $150; nongolfers are invited to join the fun and buy tickets to the dinner and silent auction for $40 per person. Proceeds from this year’s Golf for the Kids tournament will support the many programs and services that the club offers local children. For information, call 781-38-6770.

- Brenda Buote

METER PROJECT AHEAD OF SCHEDULE - The town has reached the approximate halfway point on a project to replace all water meters at homes and businesses. To date, about 5,000 of Tewksbury’s 9,500 meters have been replaced, according to project manager Nina Nazarian. As a result of favorable contracts and cost-cutting measures, the project budget has been reduced from $3.6 million to approximately $3 million, she said. The project also is proceeding ahead of schedule. Originally set to be completed June 30, 2012, it is now expected to be finished between June 30 and Dec. 30 of 2011. The town was mandated by the state to carry out the project to reduce water usage for which it cannot account. The new meters automatically transmit usage data via microwave to the town’s computers, eliminating the need for meter readers.

- John Laidler

TAX INCREASE DISCUSSION - Selectmen last Monday voted to schedule a public hearing Sept. 14 to discuss the town’s potential adoption of a .75 percent local meals tax, and whether it should increase its hotel/motel tax from 4 percent to 6 percent. Town administrator Stephen Maio said the hearing is intended to seek citizen feedback into whether or not to place the two options before Town Meeting. If selectmen decide to take that step, the proposals would likely be addressed at Town Meeting in November. The Sept. 14 hearing will be held at 7:45 p.m.

- John Laidler

SIDEWALK PROJECT - Beginning this fall, new concrete sidewalks and granite curbing will be installed along the length of the east side of Pond Street, from Cambridge Street to Brantwood Road near the entrance to the Lynch School, said Melvin Kleckner, town manager. Funding for the improvements was negotiated between the town and the developer of the Pansy Patch property on Cambridge Street, where construction of 50 luxury town houses is underway. A public hearing on the project will be held at 7 p.m. on Sept. 2 in the Lynch School Library, 10 Brantwood Road. For more information, contact the DPW at 781-721-7100. - Bella Travaglini

MEALS TAX VOTE - At a special meeting Wednesday, the City Council will consider a proposal to increase the city’s local hotel/motel tax from 4 percent to 6 percent. Mayor Thomas McLaughlin has proposed that the city take advantage of the new revenue option. The council’s Committee on Ordinances set the proposed new tax rate at 6 percent, but made no recommendation to the council on whether to adopt the increase. Should the council adopt the increase on Wednesday, it would take effect Oct. 1. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at City Hall. - John Laidler

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