Globe West Community briefing

New high school principal

May 16, 2010

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The school district has named athletic director Jim Adams to replace Michael Tempesta as Ashland High’s principal. Tempesta is leaving to become principal at Milford High School. Prior to his move to Ashland for the athletic director’s position last fall, Adams was an assistant principal at Millbury Junior/Senior High School. A search committee, with its 13 members including representatives of the School Committee, students, and parents, had screened resumes, conducted interviews, held a community forum, and went on site visits before making its final recommendation to hire Adams. In announcing the new principal, incoming Superintendent Ann Dargon said the search committee’s members found Davis to be a great communicator who possesses a lot of energy, truly cares, and can hit the ground running. — Rachel Lebeaux

VOTERS SAY NO TO OVERRIDE — By a vote of 817 to 743, residents voted against raising taxes to pay for school repairs in the May 4 annual town election. The proposed Proposition 2 1/2 debt-exclusion override would have provided money for the removal of asbestos tile and carpeting and the reinstallation of tile at the Clara Macy Elementary School; repairs to water and fire pumps at the high school and middle school; and the purchase and installation of a new water heating system at the Stall Brook Elementary School. In other election results, two incumbent School Committee members, Francis Cartier and Ronald Martel, fended off challengers Eric Ladouceur and Carole Wheeler; Planning Board incumbent Patricia Buckley retained her seat while fellow committee member John Sexton was ousted by Peter Pappas; Richard Singleton defeated incumbent moderator Linda Cartier; and Selectwoman Dawn Davis held off write-in challenger Judith Bombard. For more information on the town races, visit — Rachel Lebeaux

RAIN BARREL, COMPOSTER SALE — This is the last week Franklin residents can purchase rain barrels and composters at discounted prices through a partnership between the town and the New England Rain Barrel Co. The barrels are available for $75, reduced from the regular price of $120, and for the company’s Bio-Orb composter is available for $90, reduced from $130. The sale will end Friday, and the barrels and composters will be available for pick-up starting May 25, from 4 to 7 p.m., at 150 Emmons St. To order, call 1-877-977-3135 or visit For more information, call the town’s Department of Public Works at 508-553-5500. — Rachel Lebeaux

LIBRARY PASSES ONLINE — Residents can reserve discounted museum passes from the Holliston Public Library online thanks to software recently donated by the Irving and Shirley Sills Fund. The library has passes to numerous area institutions, including the New England Aquarium, Museum of Science, Children’s Museum, and Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, and the Discovery Museums in Acton. The library also has a Massachusetts state parks pass. The passes are donated by the Holliston Newcomers Club, the Holliston Garden Club, and the Friends of the Holliston Library. Visit for more information. — Megan McKee

LEGACY FARMS PERMIT APPROVED — The town’s Planning Board has unanimously approved a special permit for the Legacy Farms master plan, ending an 18-month hearing process and paving the way for the development, which calls for about 940 housing units and 450,000 square feet of commercial space on 730 acres formerly owned by Weston Nurseries. “It was kind of uneventful and anticlimactic,’’ Planning Board chairman Mark Abate said of Monday’s vote. Key to the decision, he said, were significant concessions that Baystone Development made in the month leading up to the vote. They included loaming and seeding areas of the property for ball fields for town use; burying any new utility wires installed; and agreeing to traffic mitigation measures and the construction of a bypass road across the property. “The folks at Legacy Farms have been a real partner to the town,’’ said Abate. The decision will be on hold during a 21-day appeal period, Abate said. He said he expects Baystone will start submitting site plans for review soon. Each of the development’s nine areas must be individually approved, and completing the entire project could take up to 10 years. “We have a lot of work ahead of us,’’ said Abate. — Megan McKee

CEMETERY PHOTO CONTEST — The Vine Lake Preservation Trust is looking for photographers to capture springtime images at Vine Lake Cemetery on Main Street. Up to three entries per photographer will be accepted for the trust’s “Spring Has Returned’’ contest, with the images judged for creativity, technical quality, and evocation of theme (in this case, springtime). Photos must have been taken between March 1 and June 21 of this year. The trust will pick first-, second-, and third-place winning photographs from adult photographers, and three top photos from entrants under age 18. The deadline for submissions is June 21, and winners will be announced by Aug. 1. For complete rules and a downloadable entry form, visit: — James O’Brien

OPENINGS ON FINANCE PANEL — The town’s Finance Committee is searching for three new members to replace volunteers stepping down at the end of their terms. To be considered, residents must submit a resume by June 2. Credentials can be sent to the Town Administrator’s Office, 155 Village St., Medway, MA 02053. For details, call 508-533-3264. — Rachel Lebeaux

VOTERS OK LIBRARY FUNDS — Residents taking part in Tuesday’s annual town election approved a $5 million tax increase to replace the Millis Public Library. In a contested race sharing the ballot with the Proposition 2 1/2 debt-exclusion override, Steven Catalano won a School Committee seat with 869 votes, outpacing Timothy Francis (748 votes) and Nicole MacDougall Riley (517). The vote coincided with the special election to fill the state Senate seat vacated by Scott Brown after his election to the US Senate. Local residents matched the election’s overall results, backing Republican state Representative Richard Ross of Wrentham with 1,533 votes over Peter Smulowitz, a Needham doctor who received 898 votes, according to unofficial results from the town clerk’s office. In the library override vote, the tally was 1,366 in favor and 1,085 against. For the project to move forward, Town Meeting, which convenes on June 14, must approve the measure by a two-thirds majority. “The library trustees are pleased that the ballot vote passed,’’ said trustee Beth Krimmel. “The ballot vote allows us to bring it to Town Meeting. We have a lot of work ahead of us.’’ Plans for the new library set the cost at $7.8 million, with the town in line for a state grant to cover the balance if the project wins local approval. — Megan McKee

VISIT BY VIETNAM MEMORIAL — Plans for hosting the traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall are ongoing, with Ed Jolly, head of the town’s Veterans Council, aiming for a visit in summer 2011. Joining the effort are local veterans and Selectman John Connolly, who proposed the idea. “I hope there is some positive and some healing that will come out of it,’’ said Connolly. The committee has been looking at the Elm Bank Reservation on Route 16 as a possible site. The Moving Wall is a 250-foot-long aluminum and steel version of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., that carries the names of 58,195 soldiers killed in Vietnam. There are two models that tour the country, and each sponsoring group must raise several thousand dollars to pay for the wall’s transportation, set-up, and maintenance, plus the cost of lighting, staging, and any town services. Connolly said people can send contributions to Moving Wall Natick, PO Box 162, Natick, MA 01760, or volunteer their time in planning or standing vigil at the site. “I’d love to see as many laypeople as possible come out there to help us,’’ he said. Connolly noted that the memorial hits home because most of the soldiers named on it “would only be a few years older than me. They had dreams and goals.’’ — Megan McKee

BENEFIT FOR ANIMAL SERVICES — A fund-raiser for local animal-control efforts will take place Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Improv Asylum comedy club at 216 Hanover St. in Boston. Donations will go toward animal housing, supplies, veterinary care, and other services, according to Hilary Cohen, Norfolk’s animal control officer. Those interested in donating can call the Improv Asylum box office at 617-263-6887 or visit and use the code “woof’’ to have 50 percent of the $20 ticket price donated to the town’s efforts. There will also be a raffle that evening; tickets are $5 and prizes will include a Trader Joe’s gift basket, a pet portrait, and a six-week dog-training class. For more details, visit — Rachel Lebeaux

SUMMER COURSES — The Plainville Summer Learning Academy will offer classes in reading, writing, math, science, and technology to children entering grades 1 to 6. The first session runs weekdays from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. July 6 to 15, and the second session runs July 26 to Aug. 5. The cost is $125 per session or $225 for two sessions. Those interested in enrolling children can call 508-699-1300 or e-mail Superintendent David Raiche at For details on signing up, visit — Rachel Lebeaux

INCUMBENTS WIN — Incumbents held their seats in two races in the town election on May 3. Paul Anthony Pirozzi won a new three-year position on the Recreation Commission, with 230 votes to 182 for challenger Matthew Gibbons. In a contest for a three-year seat on the Board of Health, Sherry Berger kept her post with 246 votes to 188 for challenger Patricia Giglio. According to the town clerk’s office, 459 voters came to the polls, about a 10-percent turnout. Absentee voters submitted 32 ballots. Complete results, including vote totals for candidates for 12 other town offices, are available online at — James O’Brien

EDUCATION AWARDS BREAKFAST — The United Regional Chamber of Commerce will hold its Teacher of the Year, Jacqueline C. Stack Scholarship, and National Honor Society awards breakfast May 27 at 7 a.m. at the Lake Pearl Luciano’s function hall, 299 Creek St. The fee for chamber members to attend is $25 for adults, $15 for students. To learn more, visit — Rachel Lebeaux

Around the Region
CHINESE CULTURE DAY The town will hold the Acton Chinese Culture Day next month, featuring Chinese performances, art and cultural exhibits, food, games and activities. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 5 at NARA Park. The rain date is June 12. Activities include a dragon dance, martial arts demonstration, and tai chi demonstration. There will also be authentic Chinese food, traditional Chinese clothing, Chinese arts, books, bonsai displays and an acupuncture tent. — Jennifer Fenn Lefferts

SCHOOL PROJECT SUPPORTED Students in Berlin and Boylston will have a new middle and high school in the fall of 2012. Voters in both towns supported a debt-exclusion vote to help pay for the $43 million project. Town meetings were held the first week of May and elections were held Monday. In Monday’s elections, Berlin residents voted 593 to 167 in favor of the project; Boylston residents voted 859 to 266. — Jennifer Fenn Lefferts

OUT AND MOUNTED — Celebrate the outdoors, Brookline parks, and two-wheeled mobility next Sunday with the annual Brookline Bikes Beacon parade starting at Amory Park on Amory and Beacon streets. Registration starts at 12:30 p.m., the ride leaves promptly at 1 and is followed by the celebration at Amory Park at 3 p.m., which will include refreshments and live entertainment. Cyclists must be able to ride 5 hilly miles at 8 miles per hour without stopping. Less able, younger, and novice riders can join the co-parade. Free. — Andreae Downs

COME TO PLAY — The Coolidge Corner Theatre is presenting four amateur pianists who participated in the fifth Van Cliburn International competition as part of a one-time showing Tuesday of the documentary “They Came to Play’’ . Three — Suzanna Perez of Providence, Robert Finley of Northborough, and Richard Einhorn of South Hamilton, will play after the showing, and a fourth, Ellen Dodson of Lexington, will participate in the question-and-answer period that follows. Tickets and details are available online at or at the box office, 290 Harvard St. — Andreae Downs

CAKE AND MUSIC — The annual free opening of the John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site will be celebrated Memorial Day weekend. Since this corresponds to the 35th president’s birthday, the National Park Service will celebrate with birthday cake and lemonade along with free admission May 28 through 30. From noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday , pianist Benjamin Warsaw will play Rose Kennedy’s piano, featuring music of the era. The site is at 83 Beals St., and will be open 10 a.m. -4:30 p.m. — Andreae Downs

IMPLEMENTING THE PLASTIC BOTTLE BAN Town officials are discussing how to implement a new policy that bans the sale of plastic drinking water bottles. The ban was approved at Town Meeting earlier this month. Selectman Stanly Black said the ban was approved as a policy, not a bylaw, so there is no language in the measure related to enforcement and penalties. “We have to figure out how we’re going to implement this,’’ Black said. The new policy takes effect Jan. 1.

LITTLE THEATER SUMMER PROGRAM — Spaces are still available for elementary school students interested in a theatrical summer at the Little Theater. The program, run by Hudson’s Arts Alliance, will be performing a production of ”Aesop’s Fables” as part of its Summer Arts Program. The Little Theater, designed for students entering first, second, and third grades, will meet on weekday mornings in July to prepare for their July 16 performance. Little Theater is just one of the Alliance’s many summer arts programs, which include music, theater, and visual arts lessons designed for students of all ages. For more information, visit — Sarah Thomas

AN EVENING FOR THE APPLE — On May 25, the Marlborough Historical Society will present an evening celebrating an unsung hero of Marlborough’s early economy - the apple. Following on the group’s successful February program on the shoe industry, ”The Apple Industry in Marlborough” will have historian Joan Abshire sharing facts, photographs, and other information on the cultivation of apples throughout Marlborough’s history — as well as apple-flavored refreshments. The program will be held at the Peter Rice Homestead, and is free to the public. For more information visit — Sarah Thomas

SUSTAINABLE GARDENING TOUR — The Maynard Community Gardeners will be sponsoring a Sustainable Gardening Tour, where residents can learn more about keeping their gardens as environmentally friendly as they are lush and beautiful. The tour will take place at Beaver Lodge in Shelburne Falls. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the latest sustainable gardening techniques and products. Lunch will be provided, and of course made with organically grown local ingredients. Tickets for the tour are $50 and include lunch and transportation. For more information visit — Sarah Thomas

HISTORICAL SOCIETY MEETING FRIDAY The Northborough Historical Society will hold its final monthly meeting of the season Friday. The evening will kick off with a pot luck dinner at 6:15 p.m. The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m., followed by the program “Musical Treasures: The Musical Instrument Collection of the Northborough Historical Society and the Stories Behind Them.’’ Northborough’s town historian, Robert Ellis, will host the program showcasing town-owned instruments 100 years or older. Ellis, who taught English at Boston College, Broome Community College and Worcester State College, is the author of numerous publications about the history of Northborough. Friday night’s event is free and nonmembers are welcome. It will be held at the Historical Society’s Building, 50 Main St. — Jennifer Roach

SUSTAINABLE MOVE-OUT AT WELLESLEY COLLEGE — As commencement looms ever nearer for students at Wellesley College, time is running out to participate in the school’s first Sustainable Move-Out. The event hopes to cut down on waste from odds and ends left over when students move out of dorms, as well as collect gently used goods for worthy causes. Clothing, furnishings, school supplies, bikes and appliances will be collected, to be donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America or sold at an on-campus rummage sale to support future sustainability projects. For more information visit — Sarah Thomas

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