Globe North Community briefing

Mountain biking day considered

August 14, 2011

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The Board of Selectmen tomorrow will consider authorizing the use of Landlocked Forest for a mountain biking day next month. The Conservation Commission and three area groups are planning a free event on Sept. 24, which would feature guided mountain bike rides on trails within the forest. The other organizers are the Friends of the Landlocked Forest, the Greater Boston chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association, and the LL Bean Outdoor Discovery School. Landlocked Forest is 250 acres of town-owned land near routes 3 and 128. Jodie Wennemer, the town’s conservation assistant, said the proposed event, the 2011 Burlington Biking Outing, would encourage residents to enjoy mountain bicycling in the town’s protected open spaces while educating them about responsible trail practices. She said there have been some recent incidents of mountain bike riders damaging town trails. - John Laidler

NEW POLICE APP - The city recently began offering a free Chelsea Police Department application for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, and Android mobile device users. The app allows users to receive police news, make inquiries to the department, and provide police with crime tips, which they can accompany with photos, anonymously if they prefer. The app can be downloaded from iTunes and the Android Marketplace. Police said the app is not intended for emergency use, noting that calls requiring an immediate police response should still be made by dialing 911.

- John Laidler

9/11 MEMORIAL FOUNTAIN PROPOSED - With the 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks approaching, Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr. and his wife, Stacy, who chairs the city’s Beautification Committee, want to honor victims of the attack by adding a 911 memorial fountain to Everett Square. “We lost two very important Everett people in the 9/11 tragedy,’’ DeMaria said in a statement, referring to James and Mary Trentini, an Everett couple who were aboard one of the aircraft that crashed into the World Trade Center. “The Trentinis were both respected educators and cherished neighbors. A memorial in their honor and in the honor of all of the victims of 9/11 will serve to remind us of what we have lost and will educate future generations forever.’’ Katharyn Hurd, a student at the Harvard University School of Urban Design who is serving a fellowship with the city this summer, has prepared a preliminary design of the fountain. The city is seeking donations from the business community to cover the project’s costs, which would include creating a small grass area with benches around the fountain. - John Laidler

HIGH ROCK STAIRS NEARLY COMPLETE - Workers are putting the finishing touches on the $750,000 installation of a stairway at Lynn’s High Rock Reservation. The granite steps include two sections, one from Essex Street to the park, the other from the park to High Rock Tower observatory. The stairway includes railings and landscaping. The project also includes a stone dust path linking the two stairway sections. The work was funded by a federal Community Development Block Grant and a state grant awarded through the Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities program, according to James Marsh, the city’s community development director. Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy plans a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new stairway later this summer. - John Laidler

BIKE TRAIL BOOST - Bike to the Sea Inc., a nonprofit working to build a 9-mile bicycle trail from Everett to Lynn, received an $84,022.14 grant last week from the state Department of Conservation and Recreation. The grant will fund a portion of the trail from Main Street in Malden to Boston Street in Saugus. The grant was part of $1.2 million awarded to 42 trails projects statewide to promote recreation.

- Kathy McCabe

HEALTH INSURANCE CHANGE - The City Council on Tuesday could take a step toward changing how much the city’s union workers pay for health insurance. Mayor Michael J. McGlynn has submitted a letter to the council, asking members to adopt the state’s new local option law that allows a community to change the amount of copays and deductibles workers pay for health insurance. If the council approves the request, the city still must come to a written agreement with a public employee committee on the changes. The council meets at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

- Kathy McCabe

CEMETERY PROJECT - The Board of Aldermen will meet at 7:45 p.m. tomorrow in the aldermen’s chamber at City Hall. Agenda items include approval of a $350,000 bond to fund the expansion of Wyoming Cemetery and renovate its maintenance building. The cemetery is due to be expanded by 26,000 square feet. A request for the board to file for a home-rule petition with the state Legislature to allow the Melrose Housing Authority to transfer properties at 165 Trenton St. and 499-501 Lebanon St. to the Melrose Affordable Housing Corp. is also is expected to be discussed. - Kathy McCabe

MORE COYOTES SPOTTED - Town officials are advising residents that coyotes have been reported near the Maplewood Village condominiums. Together with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, local leaders are reminding residents that, under state law, hunting is not permitted in the area because of its proximity to homes and streets. This ban is in effect even during hunting season for coyotes, which runs from November to February. State law does allow a property owner to destroy a coyote that is damaging property or threatening human safety. Police should be consulted before a property owner carries out such action; discharge of a firearm within the town of Reading is illegal. To discourage coyotes from remaining in the area, residents are urged to remove food sources, such as pet food, fruit that falls from trees, garbage, bird feeders that attract small animals, and dead animals left lying around by cats. Crawl spaces under sheds and porches also should be sealed off. For more information about coyotes, visit - Brenda J. Buote

WELCOME HOME, DAVID WALKER - The town on Tuesday is holding a welcome home ceremony for David Walker, an Army first lieutenant from Saugus who just returned from an approximately yearlong deployment to Afghanistan with the Fourth Infantry Division. Walker is the son of Diane Blengs, president of Saugus Military Families. Currently stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado, he is in town for a visit. Town Clerk Joanne Rappa, herself the mother of a full-time Navy Reservist, for some years has been organizing welcoming ceremonies for Saugus residents returning from military deployments. For the past year and a half, she has been helped by Saugus Military Families, a nonprofit group she helped organize in 2009 to provide assistance and support to Saugus residents on military deployment and their families back home. Tuesday’s ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. in the first-floor conference room in Town Hall. - John Laidler

PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS ENDORSE FOUR - The Progressive Democrats of Somerville last week endorsed four candidates in the city’s contested alderman races: incumbents Dennis Sullivan and Bill White for alderman at large, newcomer Katjana Ballantyne in Ward 7, and newcomer Christine Barber in Ward 4. Incumbent Alderman at Large Jack Connolly and his challenger, Sean Fitzgerald, also had sought the group’s approval. The group did not receive responses to questionnaires sent to incumbents Bruce Desmond (at large) and Bob Trane (Ward 7), or challengers Joan Whitney Puglia (Ward 7) and Tony Lafuente (Ward 4), said Progressive Democrats chairman Marty Martinez. Read the questionnaires at Discussion of the Ward 3 race was postponed until September because organizers couldn’t find an e-mail address for the challenger, Stephen Delani, and thus needed to mail a questionnaire, Martinez said. In addition, the Ward 3 incumbent, Thomas F. Taylor, is recovering from surgery. Hot topics discussed with candidates who attended the endorsement meeting included the potential delay in the Green Line extension; the reuse of the former Powderhouse School in Teele Square; and finding tenants for the former Star Market in Winter Hill. This fall, the group will push candidates to think about long-term development, including “more commercial development that’s smart and balanced,’’ Martinez said, to raise revenue without “taxing everyone or feeing everyone to death.’’

- Danielle Dreilinger

SUPPORTING YOUNG ACTORS - The Reading Co-operative Bank has donated $2,000 to Stoneham Theatre to provided scholarships to students for the theater’s summer drama program. The year-round theater program for students in first through 12th grades offers the chance to learn in a professional theater environment and perform in a friendly and fun atmosphere. The summer program is divided into four age groups and culminates with six different productions performed in the final weeks of the summer. For more information about the program and the theater’s upcoming season, visit - Brenda J. Buote

NEW FINANCE HIRES - Town Manager Richard Montuori announced the appointment of Kelly Odams as the town’s new treasurer/collector and Pamela Alfano as assistant town accountant. Town Meeting earlier this year approved combining the positions of town treasurer and town collector. The merger of the two posts was effective with the recent retirements of treasurer Janet Smith and collector Lorraine Langlois. A Tewksbury resident, Odams is currently assistant town treasurer in Billerica; she starts her new job on Sept. 12. Montuori also created the new position of assistant treasurer/collector and is reviewing applications. The assistant town accountant position became vacant with the retirement of Donna Gill in March. Before assuming her new job last Monday, Alfano worked for nearly 10 years as the principal bookkeeper/accounts clerk in the Arlington comptroller’s office. - John Laidler

LIVE CALL-INS TO MAIO - A new feature is coming to Town Administrator Stephen Maio’s monthly show on Wakefield Community Access Television. Starting Wednesday, viewers will be able to call the show with questions and comments for Maio on Wakefield issues. “It has been a while coming, but having call-in capability will bring a whole new dimension to the monthly programs,’’ David Watts Jr., the show’s producer and moderator, said in a statement. The addition of the call-in feature comes after WCAT in February switched from taping the show in advance to having it televised live. The live show airs from 7 to 7:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month on WCAT’s government channel. Viewers can call 781-224-0300 to be connected to the program.

- John Laidler

INTERSECTION REPORT - The Winchester Board of Selectmen is scheduled to hold a public hearing at 8:45 p.m. Aug. 22 in the meeting room on the second floor of Town Hall to review traffic study reports prepared by traffic consultants Fay, Spofford, and Thorndike. The consultants will be on hand to present their findings with regard to Main Street intersections at Swanton and Water streets; at Hemingway Street; and at Skillings Road and Lake Street.

- Brenda J. Buote

SUBDIVISION PROPOSED - The Planning Board Sept. 6 will hold a public hearing on an application by Premier Homes LLC of Nashua for approval of a seven-lot subdivision at 226 Washington St. The developer wants to build seven single-family homes on the 3.32-acre property. Meanwhile, the Planning Board recently voted to recommend that the City Council approve a proposal to create an overlay zoning district that would allow ground-mounted solar panels to be installed by right. The ordinance is one of two zoning measures needed to allow the city to proceed with a plan to build a solar farm at the former town landfill on Merrimack Street. The other measure is a zoning ordinance designating the landfill as the site of the overlay zone. - John Laidler


DIGGING UP IRISH HISTORY - An archeology team led by researchers from University of Massachusetts Lowell and Queen’s University Belfast will travel to Ireland Aug. 21 to dig at an immigrant laborer’s homestead. The team already completed a four-day dig in Lowell on the grounds of St. Patrick’s Church on Suffolk Street, excavating land on which the city’s first wave of Irish laborers settled. Next, it will travel to County Tyrone in Northern Ireland to dig on the homestead site of Hugh Cummiskey, the immigrant who led a group of Irish laborers on a 30-mile walk from Boston to Lowell in 1822 to find work on a canal project designed to provide water power for a future mill complex. At the time, Cummiskey was a construction foreman on the Charlestown docks.

- Karen Sackowitz

USING LEATHER IN ART - The Arcworks Community Art Center is planning a juried art exhibit in October in which participants will be asked to incorporate leather into their works. The exhibit, open to all artists, is intended to recall the city’s leather industry while also exploring what can be done with leather in the modern age, according to the center’s director, Merritt Kirkpatrick. The deadline to apply for the show is Sept. 27. There is no application fee. For more information, e-mail Kirkpatrick at - John Laidler

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