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Timothy O'Connell, honorary captain of Holliston High football team

Posted September 15, 2008 08:00 AM

In the last year of his life, Timothy O'Connell became the youngest member of Holliston High School's varsity football team, which named him an honorary captain. And when treatment for acute myeloid leukemia kept him from walking onto the field with the other captains for the coin toss, he led his hometown team from afar.

"At first, we were doing it to lift his spirits and do what we could for the family, not realizing how much he was able to do for our team," said Todd Kiley, Holliston's varsity coach. "But because of the courage he was showing, we decided that when the going got tough, we would reach down for what we called 'Tim time.' When you think of all the things he had to go through, anything we had to do was minimal by comparison. So when we needed a little extra strength, we had 'Tim time.' "

Earlier this year, as treatments failed to slow the progression of his illness, Timothy helped his parents decide where to direct $58,000 in charitable funds raised on his behalf. He died in Children's Hospital Tuesday, two days after turning 10.

Read more of Bryan Marquard's Boston Globe obiturary here.

Holliston gets major grant for affordable housing

Posted August 15, 2008 07:42 AM


The Holliston Housing Authority has been awarded a $2.67 million state grant to help with the planning and construction of the Cutler Heights affordable housing development.

Town officials learned they had received the Department of Housing and Community Development grant last week, Town Administrator Paul LeBeau said. The project includes 30 apartments that meet state affordable housing criteria and will be built on about five acres of land behind Town Hall.

-- Calvin Hennick

Belfry for sale, bring your own bats

Posted July 4, 2008 07:15 AM


The Salisbury contractor who tore down Holliston’s old police station is selling the building’s cupola online.

cupola.jpgCop shop top ( image)
In an ad posted on, D.L. Hutchinson Heavy Equipment Co. is offering the 15-foot tall dome-like structure for $7,500.

In an auction held by the town before the station was demolished, the cupola failed to garner any bids. Town officials hope to have the new police station completed by the fall.

-- Calvin Hennick

Holliston voters considering an override too

Posted May 19, 2008 04:00 PM

Voters in Holliston will decide tomorrow whether to raise $992,000 through a Proposition 2 1/2 override.

The override would fund local schools and would add about $194 to the annual property tax bill for an average single-family home, according to town officials.

-- Calvin Hennick

Doing less with less in Holliston

Posted February 1, 2008 07:35 AM


Building Inspector Peter Tartakoff said he would be unable to pay someone to cover the office when the department's secretary is on vacation.

Youth and Family Services Director Margaret Fitzpatrick said her department may have
to institute a fee for the department's court diversion program, which allows some first-time
juvenile offenders to avoid the court system by performing community service and attending counseling sessions.

Highway Superintendent Tom Smith said his department would have to cut back on

Those would be the effects, the three department heads told selectmen last week, of a 4.5 percent budget cut on their departments. The Finance Committee, however, has said the cuts are necessary to help the town make ends meet for the 2009 fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Expect the debate to continue.

-- Calvin Hennick

Park at your own peril, Holliston officials warn

Posted December 19, 2007 07:15 AM


Selectmen are warning that police will step up enforcement of a seasonal overnight parking
ban, as some residents have been ignoring it.

"The plows have got to get through," board chairman Andrew Porter said.

The ban, which started Nov. 1, lasts until March. 31 and prohibits vehicles from parking on town roads from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.

-- Calvin Hennick

Survey results: Only 1 in 125 Holliston parents thinks their high school underclassman is using marijuana

Posted December 8, 2007 07:46 AM


Parents of Holliston teens underestimate the level of marijuana use among high school students by a significant margin, according to the results of a survey conducted by the Holliston Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Initiative.

Among parents of students in grades 9 and 10, only 0.8 percent thought their children used marijuana. According to data collected by the school in 2006, 18.5 percent of students in those grades use the drug.

Among eleventh and twelfth graders, 15 percent of parents thought their children used marijuana, while 30.5 percent of those students reported actually doing so.

-- Calvin Hennick

New-fangled payment option added to old-fashioned guilt

Posted November 22, 2007 08:05 AM



Holliston Public Library patrons can now pay their fines and fees with their credit cards, online, through the Minuteman Library Network.

Patrons can access the network through the library's website and can get into their account with their library card and personal identification number. Those without a PIN can set one up at the library.

Library Director Leslie McDonnell said library patrons have long asked for the ability to pay their fines with credit cards.

"It's gotten to the point where they don't ask us if we take credit cards," McDonnell said. "They just pull it out of their wallet."

-- Calvin Hennick

The gap band

Posted November 16, 2007 09:04 AM


Representatives from various town departments will meet Nov. 28 to brainstorm ways to shore up a projected budget gap of between $1.2 million and $1.5 million for the 2009 fiscal year, which begins in July.

Town Administrator Paul LeBeau said he expects the Finance Committee to issue
financial guidelines at the meeting for department heads to follow when drafting their budgets. To shore up the budget gap, LeBeau said, departments will likely have to cut their budgets by 2 percent to 2.5 percent.

-- Calvin Hennick

Holliston revenues will fall short, official says

Posted November 15, 2007 09:36 AM


Based on "conservative" revenue estimates, Holliston faces a budget shortfall of between $1.2 million and $1.5 million for the 2009 fiscal year which begins in July, Town Administrator Paul LeBeau said recently.

To close the gap town departments would have to reduce their budgets by about 2 to 2.5 percent, LeBeau said. The town has not ruled out the possibility of asking voters to raise taxes through a Proposition 2 1/2 override, he said.

"This early in the process, I think all possibilities will be on the table," LeBeau said.

-- Calvin Hennick

Give me land, lotsa land ...

Posted November 7, 2007 10:47 AM


Holliston has been awarded a $500,000 state grant that will allow the town to purchase approximately 86 acres of open space land currently owned by NSTAR.

Town Meeting voters last month approved spending $622,000 to acquire the parcel, which is located off of Adams Street.

Because the total cost of the land is $1,022,000, the amount of the state grand will leave the town with a $100,000 surplus to be spent on other projects, Town Administrator Paul LeBeau said.

-- Calvin Hennick

This might sting for a second ...

Posted October 29, 2007 10:09 AM


The Holliston Board of Health will hold a flu immunization clinic on November 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Holliston Senior Center.

Residents 65 and older, and those older than 18 who have chronic medical conditions, are
considered at high risk and are eligible to receive the shots. Anyone interested is urged to call the senior center at 508-429-0622 to schedule an appointment.

-- Calvin Hennick

Happy trails are funded trails

Posted October 19, 2007 08:41 AM


The sporting goods company REI has given a $10,000 grant to the Holliston Trails Committee, to support the committee's efforts to create bike trails in town.

The committee is attempting to create bike paths that would eventually connect with trails in Ashland, Milford, and Sherborn.

-- Calvin Hennick

Discuss amongst yourselves

Posted October 10, 2007 11:40 AM


The Holliston Public Library will kick off its environment-themed fall Scholar Series tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. with a discussion of Richard Louv's "Last Child In the Woods."

On Nov. 8, the topic will be Alan Weisman's "The World Without Us." On Jan. 10, the discussion will center on Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle."

In the spring, the library will host a series of discussions on World War II.

-- Calvin Hennick

Water supply contamination tests delayed in Holliston

Posted September 4, 2007 07:55 AM


Tests that will check whether contaminants from a waste transfer station on Washington Street are making their way toward town drinking water have been delayed, Board of Health chairwoman Anita Ballesteros said.

Health officials had hoped to install test wells last month, but officials from Holliston Residential Realty, LLC, which owns property in the area, did not allow the town access to its land to install the wells. Ballesteros said health officials will ask the engineers who designed the study if there are other suitable locations for the test wells.

So far, tests of town drinking water have shown no contaminants from the transfer station, which is owned by Fairfield, New Jersey-based Covanta Holding Corporation.

-- Calvin Hennick

They're not down on the farm in Holliston

Posted August 30, 2007 10:01 AM


Six local farms have signed on to participate in Holliston Farms Day, a celebration of local agriculture sponsored by the Holliston Agricultural Commission, organizers said.

Activities for the Sept. 16. event are expected to include hayrides, a petting zoo, and apple picking, and a road race. Participating farms include the Arcadian Farm, Broad Hill Vineyards, Lil' Folk Farm, Highland Farm, MacArthur Farm, and Out Post Farm.

-- Calvin Hennick

Un-healthy attitudes in Holliston

Posted August 19, 2007 09:19 AM


The Board of Health voted last week not to attend any more team-building sessions.

“It just doesn’t seem as if all three board members are interested in taking it seriously to the same degree,” said chairwoman Anita Ballesteros.

The board has been known for infighting, leading Ballesteros to institute a “no name-calling rule” in June. But Ballesteros said it wouldn’t be worth the money to pay for the four-months-long team building sessions if the entire board wasn’t interested. The sessions would have cost $2,100, she said.

-- Calvin Hennick

Holliston hiring legal help for waste transfer station issue

Posted August 14, 2007 11:24 AM


The Board of Health will likely hire an environmental attorney at its next meeting Sept. 4, chairwoman Anita Ballesteros said.

Last week, board members interviewed Mark Roberts and Kenneth Whittaker, both Boston-based attorneys. The attorney will advise board members as they decided whether to reopen the permitting process for the waste transfer station at 115 Washington Street, which Covanta Holding Corporation bought from Casella Waste Systems, Inc. this spring.

Board members have said the current permit, which was drafted in 2004, is not adequate.

-- Calvin Hennick

Finding a way to honor veterans in Holliston

Posted August 11, 2007 10:19 AM


Selectmen last week appointed five residents to a committee that will study how to add names to the town's "honor roll" for war veterans.

Space has run out on six bronze plaques attached to three granite stones outside of Town Hall. Robert Blair, Roger Gandini, Peter Hill, George Snow, and Denise Trinque will recommend whether to add on to the current monument or to erect a new one.

The committee will also attempt to find any local veterans of war whose names were unintentionally left off the monument. There are still two open slots on the committee.

-- Calvin Hennick

Accomplishing the possible in Holliston

Posted August 7, 2007 10:26 AM


Mission Possible Holliston, a group of volunteers dedicated to supporting recreation in town, will hold a 5K road race on September 16 to raise funds to rebuild a local playground.

Group members say the playground equipment at Goodwill Park is deteriorating and is not accessible to children with disabilities. The group hopes to raise $200,000 by next spring to rebuild the playground.

The race begins at 9:30 a.m. at Holliston High School. More information and registration forms are available online.

-- Calvin Hennick

Celling out

Posted July 30, 2007 12:15 PM


An auction of materials in Holliston's old police station is tentatively scheduled for September 8. Town Administrator Paul LeBeau said the auction is a response to inquiries about items such as a jail cell door, automatic garage doors, and the building's cupola.

"I guess I'm a little surprised at some of the things people are interested in," LeBeau said. The auction date won't be finalized until bids come in for the removal of asbestos and lead residue at the station, he said.

The town will build a new $6.6 million station at the site, and officials expect that to be completed by the end of 2008.

-- Calvin Hennick

Holliston takes out the trash

Posted July 27, 2007 02:56 PM


Residents can bring get rid of their old motor oil, pesticides, and bleach at Household Hazardous Waste Day July 28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Adams Middle School. Other accepted items include antifreeze, batteries, mothballs, oil-based paint, pool chemicals, and rodent killers.

Some unsafe items, such as explosives, medical waste, and pressurized fire extinguishers, will not be accepted. Also, no latex paint will be accepted because it is non-hazardous and can be dried out and disposed of in regular trash.

More information is available at the town’s web site,

-- Calvin Hennick

Holliston wants state help with land grab

Posted July 26, 2007 04:08 PM


Holliston's Open Space Committee is applying for a $500,000 state grant that will allow the town to acquire unused parcels from NSTAR, chairman George Johnson said.

The utility owns as much as 86 acres off of Adams Street, located next to town-owned forest and conservation land, Town Administrator Paul LeBeau said. Even if the town is awarded the full grant, local funds from the town's Community Preservation Act account will likely be needed to complete any sale, LeBeau said.

Johnson told selectmen he hopes to hear the state's decision on the grant before October's Town Meeting.

-- Calvin Hennick

Time outs for grown-ups working in Holliston

Posted July 17, 2007 11:36 AM


The Board of Health's new rule barring name-calling appears to be working, chairwoman Anita Ballesteros said.

Tensions on the three-member board have sometimes run high, leading Ballesteros to introduce a rule last month that calls for a five-minute recess when one member makes a personal attack on another.

"I think everyone's been much more respectful, and everyone's been calmer," she said.

So far, Ballesteros said, she has only had to call for one time out. Board members have also attended two team-building sessions and are considering attending more, she added.

--Calvin Hennick

Selectmen's meeting on the up-and-up, after all

Posted June 24, 2007 07:10 AM


The Board of Selectmen did not violate state open meeting laws when they signed documents over breakfast last month, the Middlesex District Attorney's Office found.

The MetroWest Daily News filed a complaint with the office, alleging that selectmen met at a police memorial breakfast on the morning of May 15 without posting notice.

The prosecutor's office said that selectmen did post for the event.

The office also said that the items selectmen dealt with were so routine that the breakfast did not even constitute a "meeting," as defined by state law.

– Calvin Hennick

Key staffers sign on the bottom line in Holliston

Posted June 16, 2007 02:30 PM


The town has reached contracts with Highway Superintendent Thomas Smith and with Ellen Freedman, who will fill the new position of Substance Abuse Coordinator, officials said.

Smith will be paid $73,903 in the first year of new his contract, a 3-percent increase from his current salary, Town Administrator Paul LeBeau said. Subsequent increases will be negotiated year-by-year.

Freedman's one-year contract gives her $44,250. LeBeau said her position is being funded through a private grant.

-– Calvin Hennick

Rubber and glue for Holliston officials

Posted June 12, 2007 09:23 AM


Anita Ballesteros, who took over as chairwoman of the Board of Health when the board reorganized last week, said she will institute a "no-name-calling" rule for future meeetings. Whenever one board member calls another a name, she will call a five-minute recess, she said, adding: "It has to stop."

Ballesteros said she will kick off the board's next meeting on June 18 with a discussion about conduct guidelines, in an attempt to curtail the infighting that has occurred at several meetings over the past year. "I want to see us walk in the room and put aside any personal feelings we have about one another," she said.

Board member Elizabeth Theiler opposed the election of Ballesteros as chair and Richard Maccagnano as vice-chair last week. Last fall, Ballesteros and Maccagnano voted to unseat Theiler from the chair, with Ballesteros calling Theiler's management style "random" and "disorganized."

– Calvin Hennick

No cap and gown for prankster, will there be a ball and chain?

Posted June 7, 2007 04:49 PM


Police sought charges Tuesday against a former Holliston High School for hacking into the school’s computer system as part of a senior prank.

Police say Andrew Brockert, 18, accessed a computer system without authorization and perpetrated identity fraud by using other people’s passwords to hack the system. Both are misdemeanors, and Holliston Police Chief Thomas Lambert said it is unlikely that Brockert will face jail time. Lambert said Brockert hacked the computer system in order to shut off the school’s security system, and then Brockert and three other Holliston High School seniors broke into the school using a master key.

Once in the school, Lambert said, the students moved Principal Mary Canty’s desk out of her office and into a hallway. Brockert and the three other students were barred from participating in the school’s senior week and graduation ceremony because of the incident.

Lambert said the other three individuals involved would not be charged. Instead, they will be referred to a court diversion program for first-time offenders, where they will have to complete community service. A clerk magistrate will decide later this summer whether
there is enough evidence to proceed with the case against Brockert.

– Calvin Hennick

They're not making any more of it

Posted June 7, 2007 07:17 AM


The town is unexpectedly $438,000 richer, thanks to a May 24 land auction that officials figured would only bring in about $300,000, Treasurer and Tax Collector Mary Bousquet said recently.

A house on Andrew Lane sold for $250,000, a parcel of land on Washington St. went for $165,000, a land-locked parcel
off South St. went for $15,000, and a small parcel on Birchwood Road brought in $8,000. The town acquired the properties through tax liens.

-– Calvin Hennick

Holliston police sending "guests" out of town

Posted June 6, 2007 03:31 PM



The Police Department has made a smooth transition to its new temporary location at the old Flagg School, even though the department is operating without jail cells, officials say.

"It's working out very well," Lieutenant Keith Edison said recently.

Police will be stationed at the old school on Linden Street until the police station on Washington St. has been demolished and rebuilt sometime by late 2008.

As of last week, Edison said officers had made only one arrest since moving to the temporary location on May 21. That prisoner was transferred to a cell in Framingham, and Edison said that police in Ashland and Sherborn have also agreed to house Holliston prisoners as needed.

-- Calvin Hennick

Digging up Washington

Posted May 26, 2007 12:35 PM


A major reconstruction project on Washington Street will begin Tuesday has prompted officials to recommend that drivers seek alternate routes to avoid delays.

Construction will take place Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is expected to continue through November. The road will be open to traffic during the project, which includes new drainage,
sidewalks, and roadway reconstruction between Baker and Locust streets.

-– Calvin Hennick

Should insurers pay for accident investigations?

Posted April 2, 2007 06:20 PM


Selectmen are considering charging auto insurance companies for the cost of accident investigations by police.

Town Administrator Paul LeBeau said that he doesn’t know of any other towns in the state that charge for routine investigations, but that it is done in other states.

LeBeau said he didn’t know how much money could be raised, but he said local police investigate more than 200 accidents each year.

LeBeau said he didn’t know yet whether the plan would require Town Meeting approval.

— Calvin Hennick

Cheating your own child in a board game? If it's taking too long...

Posted March 30, 2007 05:08 PM


Michelle Hastings admits she has sometimes cheated to get through a game of Candy Land with her 5-year-old daughter, Campbell. The board game can take just too long, she said. Disney Monopoly is another big offender.

"A game like that, it could literally take you days," said Hastings, of Holliston, Massachusetts. "A lot of times, you don't play games because they take so long."

Board game makers are heeding pleas of parents like Hastings and introducing games tailored to busy lives and shorter attention spans that take only about 20 minutes to play, the AP reports.

-- AP

Police to move to temporary station May 21

Posted March 25, 2007 02:58 PM


Police will start operating from a temporary location in the old Flagg School on May 21, Police Chief Thomas Lambert said.

Selectmen recently approved a bid of about $42,000 from local contractor John Gagnon to renovate part of the school, which will house police during the construction of a new station at the current site.

The $6.63 million station, approved by voters last fall, should be open by the end of 2008, Lambert said.

— Calvin Hennick

Holliston strikes deal to send recyclables to Blackstone

Posted March 16, 2007 03:05 PM


Selectmen last Monday approved a recycling program that will send cardboard and paper generated by Holliston schools to the town of Blackstone, which is buying such materials because it has made arrangements to resell them at a higher price.

Holliston currently pays a company to haul away the materials. "This is sort of a no-brainer," said selectmen chairman Carl Damigella. He said that if the program goes well, it might be expanded to include curbside recycling.

Holliston is waiting for Blackstone selectmen to approve the agreement.

-– Calvin Hennick

Up go the taxes in Holliston

Posted March 10, 2007 08:49 AM


Selectmen have approved a property tax rate of $13.35 per thousand dollars of valuation for this year.

The tax bill for a single-family home with an average value of $435,000 will rise $259 to $5,810. The rate was approved later in the year than usual, meaning that all of the increase will be added to residents’ fourth quarter tax bills, which will be sent out at the beginning of April. Bills are due 30 days after they are issued.

-– Calvin Hennick

Holliston clerk urges people to run for office

Posted March 7, 2007 05:10 PM


Town Clerk Jacqueline Dellicker is encouraging residents to run for local office in the May 22 Town Election.

"I hear people go out and they complain, and they’re forever talking," Dellicker said. "Well, OK, now is the time to do something." There are no contested races so far, Dellicker said.

Residents have until March 29 to take out nomination papers, which must be returned by April 3 with 50 signatures.

-– Calvin Hennick

Group seeks grant to rebuild playground

Posted March 2, 2007 10:16 AM


A mothers group is seeking a grant to help pay for revamping the playground at Goodwill Park.

Mission Possible Holliston, formed last fall to promote recreation, is among 20 finalists for a $300,000 grant offered by toymaker Hasbro Inc. Member Melanie Harrington said the park is deteriorating and lacks equipment accessible to children with disabilities.

-- Calvin Hennick

Booster seat use urged

Posted February 13, 2007 03:56 PM


Fire Chief Michael Cassidy is reminding parents this week to make sure children sit in booster seats while traveling in cars. This week is National Child Passenger Safety Week, and Cassidy said the booster seats, when properly secured, can save lives.

The seats have saved approximately 7,500 lives over the past 20 years, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, motor vehicle crashes are still the top killer of children ages 4 to 14 in the United States.

In Massachusetts, safety seats are required for children under 5 years old, but the state recommends them for all children between 40 and 80 pounds, and less than 4 feet, 9 inches tall.

For information about receiving a free child passenger safety seat inspection, visit

-– Calvin Hennick

In Holliston, asking for more than expected

Posted February 8, 2007 05:07 PM


The Police Department and Council on Aging both presented budget increases to selectmen this week that came in above the board’s guidelines.

Police Chief Thomas Lambert presented a $2.1 million budget, a
4.9 percent increase from last year. Senior Center Director Lina Arena-DeRosa asked for a $153,925 budget, a 7.9 percent increase. Selectmen had asked department heads to create budgets that called for a 3 percent increase in salaries and a 1 percent increase in other expenses.

Still, Town Administrator Paul LeBeau said, selectmen will likely move the budgets forward to the Finance Committee.

-– Calvin Hennick

Selectmen extend licenses in Holliston

Posted February 4, 2007 11:00 AM


Selectmen last week extended the food and alcohol licenses for Casey’s Crossing, 81 Railroad St., saying the owner had met with town officials and resolved building and fire code concerns.

Selectmen also extended the used car sales license for Holliston Auto Village, 75 Central St., but only through March 31. Town Administrator Paul LeBeau said the car dealership has complied with an order to stop parking vehicles in a municipal parking lot.

The owner and the town are now trying to come to an agreement that will allow the business to park a limited number of vehicles along the edge of town property, LeBeau said.

– Calvin Hennick

Homeland Security funds flow to Holliston

Posted January 16, 2007 11:52 AM


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has awarded a $225,096 grant to the Holliston Fire Department. The award will be used to improve the department’s communication equipment.

This is the third year the Holliston department has received funds through the federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant program.

The department was awarded $82,901 in 2004 for turnout gear and $168,128 for self-contained breathing apparatus.

-- Calvin Hennick

New Holliston chief sworn in

Posted January 12, 2007 03:26 PM



Hail to the chief! Accompanied by his family and some former coworkers, new Police Chief Thomas Lambert was sworn in at a selectmen's meeting earlier this week.

Town Administrator Paul LeBeau said Lambert pledged to work hard every day and make selectmen proud of choosing him for the post.

Carl Damigella, chairman of the selectmen, said Lambert was an easy choice. There will be a public reception for Lambert next Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Pinecrest Golf Club.

-- Calvin Hennick

An opportunity for housing

Posted January 5, 2007 11:38 AM


The Holliston Housing Authority Tuesday has received a plot of land where it will be able to build affordable housing.

Selectmen this week transferred a 5.4-acre parcel behind Town Hall to the Authority. The property, known as Cutler Heights, will be the site of 30 units of affordable housing.

A Special Town Meeting in October authorized spending $400,000 in Community Preservation funds to support the project.

-- Calvin Hennick

Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night ...

Posted December 31, 2006 12:38 PM


Holliston postmaster William Mahoney retired last week after a 36-year career making sure that the U.S. Postal Service delivered the mail, no matter the conditions.

The Holliston resident had served as postmaster in town since 1985.

Joanne Downey served as officer in charge while Mahoney worked on special projects, and she will continue in that role until the district names a permanent or interim replacement.

-- Calvin Hennick

Residents urged to be on the lookout in Holliston

Posted December 27, 2006 07:15 PM


Residents can help police solve a string of break-ins in Holliston by immediately reporting any suspicious activity, Detective Charles Todd said.

Since Nov. 1, there have been 20 break-ins of local homes and vehicles. Thieves have stolen mostly small items such as cash, digital cameras, and mp3 players, Todd said.

Todd said residents should not leave valuable items in their cars and should lock their cars and homes. Also, residents should not delay reporting suspicious activity.

"They need to call us right away," Todd said. "They have to call us when it happens."

-- Calvin Hennick

Mysterious items in vault puzzle Holliston officials

Posted December 12, 2006 03:19 PM


Holliston Town Clerk Jacqueline Dellicker says audience members weren’t able to shed much light recently on a series of mysterious artifacts she found in the town vault.

At a meeting hosted by the Holliston Historical Society, Dellicker showed a large cross-stitch embroidery that bore sets of initials, religious symbols, and pictures of animals.

"Nobody had any ideas about that," Dellicker said.

Audience members were similarly puzzled by two small metallic items with faded writing, although one person suggested that they had something to do with death and coffins.

Some people said they recognized their relatives in pictures from the 1924 celebration of the town’s 200th anniversary.

Although the program went well, Dellicker said, "I didn’t find out any real solid information."

-- Calvin Hennick

Holliston team is championship bound

Posted November 30, 2006 11:19 AM



(The Pop Warner team celebrates after winning the New England championship, photo by George Martell)

A pasta dinner at the VFW hall tonight will raise money for a group of unlikely heroes -- the Holliston Pop Warner Pee Wee team that wants to travel to the national championships in Orlando next week.

A telethon held on the local cable channel Tuesday night raised thousands to send the team, along with a cheerleading squad that is also competing, to the sports complex at Disney World, where the championships will be held.

The football team won the New England regional championship in Providence last Friday, and the cheerleading squad placed second in their regional competition on Saturday. This is the first time Holliston has sent a team in either sport to the national championship, Globe West reports today.

-- Calvin Hennick

Telethon scores big for Holliston Pop Warner team

Posted November 29, 2006 11:58 AM


A telethon held on the local cable channel Tuesday night raised more than $40,000 in pledges and donations to send a Pop Warner football team and cheerleading squad from Holliston to the national championships in Orlando next week.

Selectman Andrew Porter, who is leading the effort to raise about $70,000 for the two teams, said the telethon brings the fundraising total up to about $50,000. Parents will hold a pasta dinner at the VFW tomorrow to try to raise the rest of the funds.

The football team won the New England regional championship in Providence last Friday, and the cheerleading squad placed second in their regional competition on Saturday. This is the first time Holliston has sent a team in either sport to the national championship.

-- Calvin Hennick

Holliston's Messina found country -- at private school

Posted November 5, 2006 03:31 PM



(JoDee Messina visited her old elementary school, the Miller School, in Holliston, in September 2005, Globe Photo by Robert Klein)

Country singer JoDee Messina grew up in Holliston, but that's not where she got into country music. She told the Herald News in Joliet, Ill. that she actually got into country when she went away to a private school.

"I had gone away to a private school for a year, and there were kids from all over the country. One of them was from the South and would listen to it. I just kind of gravitated toward it because it was real. It was so relatable to me," Messina said in a Q and A with the Herald News.

Messina says the best part about being famous is that she can speak out for the underdog. The worst part? Not being able to use the restroom in peace and quiet.

Holliston health board chief "saddened" by demotion

Posted November 5, 2006 02:14 PM


The Holliston Board of Health member who initiated the demotion of chairwoman Elizabeth Theiler says she did so because of Theiler’s managerial style.

‘‘She has many wonderful qualities,’’ Anita Ballesteros said. ‘‘Administratively, it seemed that things were being run in a very random, disorganized fashion.’’

Ballesteros made a motion at last week’s meeting for the board’s other member, Richard Maccagnano, to assume the leadership, and Maccagnano seconded the motion.

Ballesteros said she did not coordinate the move with Maccagnano before the meeting. Theiler said she was "saddened and surprised" by the move, but she plans to stay on the Board of Health. "I hope we can put these petty squabbles behind us and move foward for the betterment of the town," she said.

-- Calvin Hennick

Surfing in the library

Posted November 1, 2006 03:46 PM


It's much easier now to surf in the Holliston library -- to surf the Internet, that is.

The library has added wireless Internet. The equipment cost about $600 and was paid for by the Holliston Lions Club, library director Leslie McDonnell said.

McDonnell said it was about time for Holliston to provide wireless access for residents.

“If you can do it in a Starbucks, why not in a library?” she said.

-– Calvin Hennick

More about town officials than you wanted to know

Posted October 31, 2006 05:07 PM


Some folks may think their town's leaders aren't visible enough. In Holliston, maybe they're too visible.

The “Back to Nature” 2007 calendar created by the Holliston Agricultural Commission features town officials and other residents nude. Strategically placed produce, farm animals, and flowers keep the photographs from being X-rated.

January features Town Administrator Paul LeBeau holding a glass of wine and standing behind a bowl of grapes. Also featured are the town’s three selectmen and two firefighters.

The calendar costs $10 and is available at the Town Clerk’s office and area farm stands. Town Clerk Jacqueline Dellicker said she had heard “some derogatory comments” about the calendar, but she thought it was tastefully done. “You can’t be a prude all the time,” Dellicker said.

-– Calvin Hennick

In favor of a new police station

Posted October 17, 2006 02:55 PM


Katie Connors of Holliston recently wrote Globe West a letter, calling for more support for a police station project in her town.

She noted a recent Globe West article that pointed out what a tax override had done to revitalize the Millis Library. Then she continued:

I hope that voters in Holliston will similarly see the need to provide funding for another essential part of any small town, the Police Station.

Holliston's dedicated Police force has, like most town departments in small suburban towns, "made do" for far too long on far too little. Our town nearly doubled in size since our station was built, and the number of officers and calls per day has obviously dramatically increased over the years.

Today's force has more equipment, computers, communications responsibility than in the past, yet all their tasks are being performed in cramped quarters that do not meet guidelines for good police procedure. Holliston has done a great job renovating our Town Hall and schools, and it is time we invested in the people who are a large part of keeping our town the safe, friendly and comfortable place it is.

I am hopeful that we in Holliston will act responsibly and with foresight to keep the infrastructure of our town well maintained so that the police can do their job efficiently and in safe, appropriate conditions. We owe them that much.

Got any thoughts on this letter? Voice your opinion on the Globe West message board.

Volley boy

Posted October 1, 2006 04:27 PM


The Holliston High School girls' volleyball team, a perennial Tri-Valley League doormat, has reeled off a string of victories in its best start in recent memory. But that's not the only reason the team is drawing attention.

The Panthers have gone co ed. Dan Drebing, a 5-foot-10-inch senior, the captain and goalie for the school's lacrosse team, joined the squad this season, a move that has provoked some grumbling among Tri-Valley League coaches. Drebing and his teammates are taking it all in stride.

``The toughest part is the girls cheering or screaming on the bus after winning away games," said Drebing, a substitute who is still learning the sport.

Read more about Drebing and the debate over boys on girls' teams (and vice versa) in today's Globe West.

Holliston company's "bionic" arm

Posted September 15, 2006 11:57 AM


A Holliston company makes a "bionic" arm that was unveiled in Washington yesterday. It's controlled by the person's thoughts, the Globe's Business section reports today.

Here's a picture of Claudia Mitchell, the first woman to receive the arm, which is made by Liberating Technologies Inc.


(Reuters picture)

Former Marine demonstrates "bionic" arm

Posted September 14, 2006 06:01 PM


Claudia Mitchell's thought-controlled artificial hand did what natural fingers are prone to do: It lost its grip, letting a bottle of water tumble to the ground.

Blame the mishap on the dozens of photographers who crowded around the 26-year-old today in Washington as she showed off a "bionic" arm produced by Liberating Technologies Inc., a company based in Holliston.

Mitchell, a former US Marine Corps officer, became the first woman to test the experimental arm a month ago after her left arm was severed in a motorcycle accident.

If she thinks "close," her replacement hand forms a fist. She is also able to tie her shoes with both hands or peel a banana. When she thinks "move," the engineered arm moves as smoothly and swiftly as her right arm.

That's because nerve tissue that tells her brain what her phantom limb should be feeling has been surgically rerouted.

The National Institutes of Health has invested $3 million toward the basic research aimed toward improving artificial limbs.

The military's research-and-development wing, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is contributing another $50 million for a network of labs working on high-tech artificial limbs.

Some 411 military personnel in Iraq and 37 in Afghanistan have suffered wounds that cost them at least one limb.

-- Diedtra Henderson

Soldiers returning

Posted August 28, 2006 05:35 PM


Christine Hamm of Holliston hasn't heard much from her son James, a staff sergeant in the Army Reserve's 220th Transportation Company, since he was deployed to Iraq a little over a year ago.

The long wait may soon be over. His unit is headed home. It's scheduled to fly to the area tomorrow and a welcome ceremony is tentatively slated to be held in Boxboro.

Mrs. Hamm is a member of a "family readiness" group and experts have told the group that their returning loved ones may have a difficult time adjusting to Stateside life.

Mrs. Hamm said "I'm not overly concerned, but it's good to know what to look for."

-- Peter Schworm

Tearfully, helping your freshman move in

Posted August 26, 2006 10:48 AM


Another report from afar on a local freshman moving into the dorm.

The Journal-Inquirer found Andrea Nadolney of Holliston helping to move her daughter, Cortney, into the dorms at the University of Connecticut in Storrs.

Andrea Nadolney told the newspaper UConn's broad array of programs would benefit Cortney as she tries to decide what field to pursue.

She said she was feeling a range of emotions on the first day of her daughter's college career - "excited, anxious, nervous, happy, sad."

(Read Globe West tomorrow for a Beverly Beckham column on how it feels when the children leave the nest.)

Tomato showdown

Posted August 22, 2006 08:59 AM


Three years ago, Peter MacArthur set out to grow the best tomato in the state.

His father-in-law, the mentor who taught him everything he knows about farming, had died, and he'd heard a minister talk about the need to have a goal in life: MacArthur decided to focus on tomatoes.

A year later, his commitment started to pay off. He won first place in the field tomato category of the Massachusetts Tomato Contest and Festival. On Monday, the Holliston farmer stood nervously just outside the cordoned judging area in Boston's City Hall Plaza and hoped for another win.

"I heard the judges saying it was the best-tasting tomato," MacArthur says in an Associated Press story.

4Tomato Festival.jpg

(Tomatoes at the festival photographed by NECN photographer Dan Ferrigan, Globe staff photo by David L. Ryan)

Krupnick out as Holliston baseball coach

Posted July 17, 2006 01:35 PM


The longest tenured baseball coach in Boston’s western suburbs has resigned.

Harvey Krupnick, who has led Holliston High for more than three decades, stepped aside on June 30. Holliston High athletic director Jim Carboneau confirmed the resignation.

“Coach Krupnick has been one of the most successful coaches in the history of Holliston High School athletics,” Carboneau said. “Holliston High School appreciates the years of service and the dedication that Coach Krupnick has given to hundreds of Holliston athletes throughout his career.”

Carboneau said that Krupnick “will continue to devote time and energy to baseball with his worldwide coaching clinics and batting school.”

--Mike Reiss

Sweet ride

Posted July 10, 2006 08:04 AM

Holliston's Mike Flanigan, a custom bike maker who was featured a while back in Globe West, says he's trying to get people to think about bikes in a different way.

Flanigan is one of five bike builders profiled in the Globe Living/Arts section today.

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