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State inspectors deem Sherborn bridge unsafe, shut it to traffic

Posted September 17, 2008 09:21 AM

The Whitney Street Bridge in Sherborn has been fully closed on an emergency basis and will remain so for approximately 12 to 18 months on orders from state inspectors, who have deemed it unsafe.

One lane had already been closed since May while the Massachusetts Highway Department worked to rebuild the bridge, but on inspectors decided to close both lanes on Sept. 10, fearing the structure could not handle the stress of traffic.

The Dover-Sherborn School Department is currently revamping school bus routes affected by the bridge closing.

-- Anna Fiorentino

Sherborn seeks public input on new commuter bus link

Posted August 28, 2008 07:39 AM

Selectmen are seeking input from residents about whether to allow a commuter bus line to provide daily services between the center of Sherborn and the Natick Commuter Rail Station.

The service would be run by the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority.

Interested residents are urged to contact the office of the Board of Selectmen at 508-651-7850 or by emailing Town Administrator Daniel Keyes.

-- Anna Fiorentino

Blazing a trail in Sherborn

Posted August 20, 2008 07:21 AM

The Sherborn Highway Department recently cleared a hiking trail linking Greenwood and Washington streets, town officials said.

The new quarter-mile trail, which connects to an existing 60-acre public parcel known as Bailey Trail, was made possible through an easement granted to the town by the Buntin family.

Officials said that the Conservation Commission is still in the process of arranging for a sign that will be placed at the new trail entrance, which is located just across from 21 Greenwood St.

-- Anna Fiorentino

Second test confirms water quality in Sherborn Town Center

Posted July 10, 2008 06:59 AM

In recent quality tests, water drawn from a town-owned parcel of land that could become the source for a public water district in Sherborn's Town Center met all state primary drinking water standards, town officials said.

The tests were the second round conducted on samples taken from test wells at the Price Woodlands. They were deemed necessary after first round tests found high levels of iron and manganese -- a result that, if confirmed, would have required the installment of an expensive treatment system.

Town Planner Gino Carlucci said the first round samples were likely contaminated by rust in the test well equipment.

-- Anna Fiorentino

Keyes to the kingdom

Posted March 25, 2008 08:31 AM


The Board of Selectmen has unanimously voted to hire Easthampton financial director Daniel Keyes as Sherborn's new Town Administrator.

Keyes would replace Diane Ciancarelli, an administrative assistant in the Board of Selectmen's office, who has served as interim Town Administrator since January.

-- Anna Fiorentino

Got plans? Gino wants to hear them

Posted January 3, 2008 09:57 AM


Gino Carlucci has taken his planning to the net.

The town planner recently launched a blog about Sherborn development issues and initiatives. In it, he intends to facilitate two-way communication between the Planning Board and residents.

Carlucci’s first entry addresses the possibility of Sherborn Business Association establishing a water district. Next, he writes about a Design Review Committee to consider site and building design, landscaping, parking, lighting, and signs.

The blog is designed to accept comments.

-- Anna Fiorentino

What's $900,000 between friends?

Posted November 11, 2007 07:21 AM


Sherborn officials say Dover owes their town $900,000.

The money is a result of a school bond that was mistakenly refunded to Dover by the state, said Board of Selectmen Chairman Christopher Peck, who added that he believes the two municipalities can resolve the issue amicably.

Peck, board vice chairman Paul R. DeRensis, and Selectman Ronald J. Fernandes earlier this month signed a letter accompanying a written presentation from town counsel Ray Miyares. The letter asked Dover town officials and the Regional School Committee to review the materials and figure out a way to return the money soon.

"We're interested in keeping a tight time line," Peck said. "We need to work quickly with Dover to resolve this."

-- Nadia Salomon

Late to class in Sherborn

Posted August 7, 2007 10:25 AM


Dover-Sherborn Superintendent Perry Davis said renovations to the Pine Hill Elementary School in Sherborn may not be completed by this week as he previously had thought.

Shipments of new windows for several classrooms may be delayed until later this month, he said. If the windows are not installed before school begins, Davis said classes will temporarily use the music room at the school.

-- Calvin Hennick

Another friendship ruined by money ...

Posted August 2, 2007 09:21 AM


Selectmen Tuesday will discuss their next step in an effort to recoup school money from Dover, which shares in a regional school district with Sherborn.

The state gave the two towns about $23.9 million in 2005 and 2006 to reimburse school construction costs, but Sherborn officials say Dover was given about $510,000 that should have gone to Sherborn.

Sherborn town meeting voters this spring approved a plan that would have required Dover to repay the money over 17 years, but Dover voters nixed the idea.

-- Calvin Hennick

Sherborn school on schedule

Posted July 30, 2007 12:14 PM


Renovations to the Pine Hill Elementary School will likely be mostly completed by August 13, Dover-Sherborn Superintendent Perry Davis said. Voters approved a $1.7 million debt-exclusion override to fund the project.

Workers are installing new heating and ventilation equipment, new windows in some classrooms, and a new floor and carpeting in the school's media center.

Teachers report back to school on August 28, and Perry said they will have plenty of time to set up their classrooms if the construction work remains on schedule.

-- Calvin Hennick

The Un-Windy City

Posted July 26, 2007 11:57 AM


A committee studying the use of alternative energy sources at Pine Hill Elementary School told selectmen last week that wind power is not a good fit for the town.

On average, wind speeds in town aren't sufficient to efficiently produce energy, committee members said. The committee will now turn its attention to solar power.

-– Calvin Hennick

HOGs hit highways for horse charity

Posted July 22, 2007 12:48 PM



The roar of tailpipes from the horde lf leather-clad bikers descending on local towns Sunday will be music to the ears of a Holliston charity.

The Metrowest HOGs (Harley Owners Group) a nonprofit organization of about 150 local motorcycle enthusiasts, will take to the streets on a poker run supporting the Breezy Hill therapeutic riding program, which provides muscle therapy to handicapped children and adults through horseback riding lessons.

The 48-mile motorcycle ride will begin at the Paramount Harley Davidson store on Route 135 in Framingham at 10 a.m., winding through several local towns for about two hours before concluding at the Millis Boggastowe Fish and Game club for a barbecue and entertainment.

This is the third year the motorcyclists have chosen the Breezy Hill organization as a beneficiary. Organizers are urging anyone interested in more information to call Ray Devoe at 508-400-0198.

-- Alison O'Leary Murray

DUI hit and run in Sherborn

Posted July 18, 2007 12:19 PM


A 20-year-old Natick man who authorities allege was drunk when he drove into a vehicle full of people in Sherborn earlier this month will return to Natick District Court on July 30 for a pretrial hearing.

Jan Lizak is charged with operating under the influence of alcohol and negligent operation of a motor vehicle. Police said Lizak crashed his GMC Sonoma into a GMC Suburban on North Main Street at around 6:42 a.m. on July 7.

The Suburban contained five people, none of which were injured, according to police. Lizak allegedly fled, but was being stopped by Natick Police about 20 minutes later.

--Kyle Alspach

Sheep-sex suspect to return to court next month

Posted July 9, 2007 01:02 PM


A teenager charged with bestiality has been ordered to return to Natick District Court on Sept. 4 for a pre-trial hearing.

Roger Henderson II, 18, of Sherborn, was allegedly caught by a surveillance camera having sex with a sheep at Boggastow Farm on June 27. Henderson is facing charges of bestiality, cruelty to animals, and breaking and entering.

-— Kyle Alspach

Need somewhere to be? How about Nowhere in Sherborn?

Posted July 7, 2007 11:46 AM


The Nowhere Men, a Beatles cover band, will perform a free concert Wednesday on the lawn in front of the Sherborn Library.

The concert will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m., and is part of the Friends of the Sherborn Library's "Concerts on the Green" series. The series will continue with concerts on July 18 and July 25.

-— Kyle Alspach

Line Change in Dover-Sherborn

Posted June 23, 2007 07:11 AM


The Dover-Sherborn High School will for the first time this fall have an official varsity girls hockey team. For several years the team has been operating as a club at the school, according to Shelley Poulsen, chairwoman of the regional school committee.

The committee approved officially changing it into a varsity sport at a recent meeting, based on a high level of interest in the program. The only concern is that the team needs to secure more practice time at a local ice rink, Poulsen said.

-—Kyle Alspach

It's a big dam problem

Posted June 20, 2007 09:11 AM


Selectmen last week approved hiring the firm Beaver Solutions to address several flooding problems caused by beavers around town.

The firm will use pipes to reduce the water level in several flooded areas, included a fire road off Route 16.

Selectmen chairman Chris Peck said the cost of the work is expected to be under $5,000.

— Kyle Alspach

He should take lessons from Daisuke

Posted June 20, 2007 09:06 AM


A Dover-Sherborn High School teacher has been chosen to spend two weeks studying in Japan this summer by the Toyota carmaker.

Joshua Bridger, a physics and mathematics teacher, was selected from a national pool to take part in the Toyota International Teacher Program. As part of the program, Bridger will travel around the country and take part in discussions with historians, educators and other leaders in Japan.

Bridger was one of 40 teachers chosen to participate in the Japan program this summer.

— Kyle Alspach

Down at the swimmin' hole

Posted June 18, 2007 10:17 AM


Farm Pond, the town's popular swimming spot, will start its summer hours tomorrow.

The hours of operation will be 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Residents and non-residents are required to have a pass for entry into the pond area.

— Kyle Alspach

Fancy a jaunt in Sherborn?

Posted June 14, 2007 10:59 AM


The Sherborn Open Space Committee will host a walk through trails near Oldfield Drive and Bear Hill Road on Saturday.

The walk will include information on the past history of the area, including its connection to Native Americans.

It will also include a jaunt through part of the Bay Circuit Trail. The event will begin at the end of Wildwood Drive at 9:30 a.m., and will finish at about 11:30 a.m. at Hunting Lane.

A shuttle will transport walkers from there back to the starting point.

— Kyle Alspach

Peace abbey for sale; Emily the Cow's fate uncertain

Posted June 11, 2007 08:42 AM


Three foundations have toured the Sherborn Peace Abbey in recent months amid news that the complex is for sale, according to abbey director Lewis Randa.

None of the foundations have offered to buy the abbey, but one of them expressed interest in helping preserve the abbey’s statue of Gandhi, Randa said. The foundations, which Randa declined to name, were provoked to visit the abbey after the Globe reported in March about the abbey’s financial troubles, he said.

The abbey has seen a steep decline in donations and is now being sold for $5.5 million, abbey officials have said. Since the article appeared, however, the abbey has received a $135,000 donation from an out-of-state resident for the preservation of the “Emily the Cow” statue, as well as about $12,000 worth of small donations, according to Randa.

— Kyle Alspach

Seeing things in black and green

Posted June 6, 2007 02:10 PM



The Sherborn Library will host an open book discussion tomorrow night on the novel “Black Swan Green,” which explores adolescence and divorce.

The novel, set in England in the early 1980s, chronicles a turbulent year in the life of a 13-year-old boy as his parents are splitting up. The book was written by British novelist David Mitchell, and extra copies are on hand at the library for anyone wishing to take part in
the discussion.

The event begins at 7 p.m. at the library, and patrons can register by calling 508-653-0770.

-— Kyle Alspach

A $113,600 condo in Sherbon? Just the ticket

Posted May 25, 2007 06:17 AM


The town will hold a lottery in July to select buyers for two affordable condos at the Leland Farms development. Through a deed restriction, Sherborn officials are allowed to sell the two units at a price -- $113,600 apiece -- that meets the state’s affordable housing guidelines.

Officials will hold an informational meeting on June 4 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall. The deadline to apply for inclusion in the lottery is June 15, and the lottery will be held on July 16 at 6 p.m. at
Town Hall.

-- Kyle Alspach

Newsweek’s “Best High Schools” list includes six area schools

Posted May 24, 2007 06:46 AM

Needham High's new rallying cry: "We're No. 1,028!"
(Globe staff photo by Bill Polo)


Six schools in Globe West have made Newsweek’s newly released 2007 “America’s Best High Schools” list, including Dover-Sherborn High School, which ranked second highest in the state.

Of the over 1200 public schools on the list, Dover-Sherborn ranked 127th, Weston High School 186th, Wellesley High School 487th, Wayland High School 686th, Newton South High School 714th, and Needham High School 1028th. The state’s highest ranking school was Boston Latin School, which at 76th was the only Massachusetts school to make the top 100.

Rankings are based on only one factor: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and/or Cambridge tests taken by all students at a school in 2006 divided by the number of graduating seniors. Newsweek reports that while some critics consider the criteria too narrow, research studies have shown that passing scores on AP exams are a predictor of college success.

Scores from 27,000 public schools were reviewed, meaning schools included on the list are in the top 5% of public schools nationally. Three schools fell off the list from last year: Hopkinton High School, Newton North High School, and Holliston High School.

-- Denise Taylor

Bored on a visit to Harvard

Posted April 26, 2007 11:07 AM


A local high schooler found herself at Harvard last week -- and also found herself bored by the experience.

Molly Storar of Sherborn was attending Harvard's annual program for accepted students and wasn't thrilled with the amount of down time the students had, the Harvard Crimson reports.

"There was a lot of unscheduled time," said Storar. "I got kind of bored."

-- Adam Sell

Ballot question lecture on tap

Posted March 28, 2007 11:26 AM


A state official will explain to Dover and Sherborn voters tomorrow how the ballot question process works.

Denis Kennedy, public information director for the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance, will cover such topics as the responsibilities of ballot question committees and the use of public resources in campaigns.

The seminar begins at 7 p.m. at Sherborn Town Hall, 19 Washington St.

— Kyle Alspach

Open up, it's the police ... checking to see if you filled out your form

Posted March 25, 2007 03:06 PM


Town Clerk Carole Marple said police will visit households in town that fail to return the annual census form to attempt to verify information about who lives there.

Towns are empowered to use police for such purposes under Massachusetts General Law, Marple said. Compiling accurate census data is crucial for a number of reasons, she said, such as assuring that all residents are entered into the pool of available jurors for court trials.

Residents can call the clerk’s office at 508-651-7853 if they have lost their census forms.

— Kyle Alspach

Good news on school renovation in Sherborn

Posted March 18, 2007 02:59 PM


A renovation project at Pine Hill Elementary School is expected to cost the town about $300,000 less than projected, according to Superintendent Perry Davis.

Northern Contracting Corp. of Framingham scored the low bid for the project at $894,000, according to Davis. The projected cost of the project was approximately $1.2 million, meaning the town stands to save $300,000 if the work stays within budget.

The project will involve replacing the school’s ailing 50-year-old boiler, along with some replacements of windows and flooring at the school, according to Principal David Nihill.

-– Kyle Alspach

Assistant principal to take reins at Sherborn elementary

Posted March 16, 2007 02:52 PM


The assistant principal of Pine Hill Elementary School, Veronica Kenney, will take over as interim principal for the 2008-2009 school year, according to school officials.

Principal David Nihill plans to retire after the 2007-2008 school year. However, Sherborn School Committee members said at a recent meeting they don’t think they’ll have enough time to hire a permanent replacement immediately.

This is because the committee will be busy helping in the search to replace outgoing Dover-Sherborn Regional School District Superintendent Perry Davis, committee members said.

During the meeting, the committee approved allowing Davis to hire Kenney as the interim principal for 2008-2009. Kenney has said she will only take the job so long as she isn’t excluded from applying for the permanent position, according to Davis.

-– Kyle Alspach

No operating override seen in Sherborn, but...

Posted March 15, 2007 12:08 PM


For the first time since 1999, residents will not be asked this spring to back a Proposition 2 1/2 operating override, according to Selectman Chris Peck.

The town has enjoyed higher-than-expected returns on its investments and fewer employees than expected have enrolled in health and pension plans, Peck said.

Town Meeting will be asked to approve a $1.6 million debt exclusion override for a public works garage. That tax hike would expire once the garage is paid off.

-- Kyle Alspach

Dover-Sherborn trims budget request

Posted March 9, 2007 09:40 AM


The Dover-Sherborn Regional District School Committee trimmed its fiscal year 2008 budget at a recent meeting, removing several proposed new positions, including a special education teacher.

The committee reduced its request by $200,000, according to committee chairman Ellen Williamson. The committee also decided to forgo new health aide and administrative positions.

The committee also approved smaller reductions to budget line items for facilities maintenance, supplies, athletics and activities. The final budget is roughly $18 million, Williamson said.

-– Kyle Alspach

Sherborn Advisory Committee trims budget

Posted March 7, 2007 05:17 PM


The town Advisory Committee is whittling away at the budget to avoid a Proposition 2 ½ override this spring, according to Town Administrator Dennis Luttrell.

On the chopping block is a $15,000 proposal to give selectmen a pay raise. The Advisory Committee recommends a budget to Town Meeting.

-– Kyle Alspach

Financial turmoil for a peaceful retreat

Posted March 5, 2007 07:20 AM

(Globe staff photo by Tom Herde)


The Peace Abbey, born of a pacifist's dream 19 years ago, has brought the inner hum of meditation and the occasionally harsh spotlight of international attention to this small, affluent town.

It is a place where a conspicuous bronze statue of Gandhi and a memorial to a runaway cow have prompted double-takes from motorists and passersby. It is also a multi-faith retreat that Mother Teresa has visited, as have Muhammad Ali, the poet Maya Angelou, nuns of the Dalai Lama , and thousands of people seeking spiritual refreshment.

But now, the abbey has been put on the selling block for $5.5 million. Its director, Lewis Randa, cites a plummeting drop in donations that he links to the abbey's visible protests against the Iraq war.

Randa, who was discharged from the Army National Guard as a conscientious objector in 1971, wants to sell the abbey's two buildings and 3 acres to what he calls a "guardian angel," a benefactor or foundation that would allow the abbey to continue its work. But if no such buyer is found by mid year, he said, even commercial buyers will be considered.

"My biggest fear, and I can envision it, is that the memorials will be bulldozed, and it would become a parking lot for whatever offices would go in that front building," Randa said.

In any event, Randa added, "we will be forced within the next four or five months to sell this property."

Read more about the financial challenge faced by the Peace Abbey in today's Globe.

-- Brian MacQuarrie

They get their diplomas at Dover-Sherborn

Posted February 7, 2007 03:56 PM


The Dover-Sherborn school district had the fourth highest four-year graduation rate of any Massachusetts district for the class of 2006,
according to figures released recently by the state Department of Education.

Dover-Sherborn saw 97.5 percent of its students from
the class graduate within four years, the figures show. The district ranked behind only Weston (98.7 percent), Norwell (98.5 percent) and Cohasset (98 percent), according to the DOE. Statewide, 79.9 percent of students who entered high school in 2002 graduated within four years.

-- Kyle Alspach

New Dover-Sherborn superintendent expected in July 2008

Posted February 4, 2007 10:50 AM


The district will most likely not have a new superintendent hired in time for the retirement of Superintendent Perry Davis next January, according to Ellen Williamson, chairman of the Dover-Sherborn School Committee.

Williamson said the search for candidates won’t really begin until this fall, which won’t leave enough time to hire a new superintendent by Jan. 1, when Davis plans to retire. The goal now is to have a new superintendent ready who can begin work by July 2008, she said.

The district will most likely have to use an interim superintendent from January to July of 2008, Williamson noted.

— Kyle Alspach

Dover-Sherborn High to need new special ed teacher

Posted February 2, 2007 04:45 PM


The high school will receive an increasing number of students with major disabilities in coming years, which will require hiring a new special education teacher, according to Superintendent Perry Davis.

Davis explained the situation at a recent joint meeting of the Dover-Sherborn School Committee, the Dover Warrant Committee and the Sherborn Advisory Committee.

The district has provided more special education services to middle school students in recent years, allowing the district to avoid sending the students to costly out-of-district programs, Davis told committee members. But now the students are moving to the high school level and will need more attention there, Davis said.

The superintendent proposed to members of the two committees that the district hire a new special education teacher at a cost of about $56,000.

The Dover Warrant and Sherborn Advisory committees will review the increase as they prepare their fiscal year 2008 budget recommendations, which will be presented to voters at the annual town meetings this spring.

— Kyle Alspach

The Eagles have landed

Posted January 30, 2007 10:27 AM


Three young men from Sherborn's Troop 1 Boy Scouts became Eagle Scouts Sunday at a ceremony in Sherborn's Pilgrim Church.

Elliot Goldman, Michael Longeri, and John Wolff have each completed 21 merit badges and the requirements for Eagle Scout honors, including community service work. Goldman's Eagle project was a survey of Sherborn residents on the use of conservation land; Longeri did trail maintenance work and erosion prevention work in the town forest; and Wolff renewed an old, overgrown hiking trail.

-- Alison O'Leary Murray

Heavy load could extend town meeting

Posted January 30, 2007 10:26 AM


A heavy load of proposals including a new $1.1 million public works garage, authorization to lease town land for a new cell phone tower, and zoning changes that might allow more development in the town center could push this Spring's town meeting to two nights, Town Administrator Dennis Luttrell says.

Luttrell said the selectmen plan to finalize the 36-article warrant at one of the board's next meetings.

-- Kyle Alspach

Senior center mulled in Sherborn

Posted January 29, 2007 04:32 PM


The board of Selectmen recently discussed whether the town should construct a senior center, Town Administrator Dennis Luttrellsays.

The town offers nearly 20 difference programs for seniors but houses them in buildings throughout the town, Luttrell said. "They've got seven different locations they're working out of," he said. Discussions are in the preliminary stages, but the selectmen supported further exploration of the idea, Luttrell said.

-- Kyle Alspac

Change foreseen in center of Sherborn

Posted January 14, 2007 10:46 AM


A developer has proposed several changes to town zoning bylaws, which would clear the way for construction of retail outlets and new housing at Sherborn center.

Andrew MacDonald of Dover wants to build the development on 12 acres of property next to the Sherborn Inn on North Main Street. MacDonald has submitted several petitions asking for zoning bylaw changes, which will go before voters for approval at spring Town Meeting.

The proposal indicates that MacDonald hopes to build a grocery store and two other retail outlets at the site, along with multiple housing units. Town Administrator Dennis Luttrell said the proposals have minor technical flaws, but those could be corrected on the floor of the meeting.

-- Kyle Alspach

Crackdown proposed on erosion in Sherborn

Posted January 13, 2007 09:04 AM


Town officials would be allowed to require erosion control measures for any development of more than one acre of land, under a proposal being considered for the spring Town Meeting warrant.

Town Administrator Dennis Luttrell said officials want to assure that sediment runoff from developments is not ending up in Sherborn’s catch basin system.

The proposal would require changing town bylaws, Luttrell said, and the selectmen will decide at upcoming meetings whether to endorse it for the April 24 Town Meeting.

-- Kyle Alspach

Peace protesters arrested in Sherborn

Posted January 11, 2007 11:46 AM


Six people were arrested for blocking traffic at an intersection during a protest outside the Sherborn Peace Abbey last night, according to police.

Officer Chris Teel said the protest occurred just after 10 p.m., at the conclusion of President George W. Bush’s televised speech, in which he committed to send additional troops to Iraq this year.

The protesters obstructed traffic at the busy intersection of North Main and South Main streets, Teel said.

“It was definitely a safety hazard,” he said.

The six people, whose names were not immediately available from police, were all charged with disorderly conduct, Teel said.

Dot Walsh, program coordinator for the Peace Abbey, said the protesters had been watching a film earlier in the night called, “The Ground Truth: After the Killing Ends,” a documentary chronicling the struggles of U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq.

Walsh said the protest outside the abbey was an act of “civil disobedience.”

— Kyle Alspach

Sherborn selectmen want a big pay raise

Posted December 31, 2006 12:46 PM


Sherborn selectmen say they do important work for not much money -- and they deserve a raise.

The board will ask for an increase in their own stipends at the spring Town Meeting, according to selectmen chairman James Murphy.

Murphy proposed at a recent meeting that selectmen's pay increase from $500 to $5,000 for the chairman, and from $400 to $5,000 for the other two members.

Murphy is not running for re-election and would not be affected by the raise. Murphy said the reason for the proposal is to make the position of selectman more attractive to qualified people.

"We are the executive branch of a $20 million public corporation," he said. "The town needs to offer a more competitive stipend."

Selectmen approved the increase at the recent meeting, making it part of the board's fiscal year 2008 budget. The budget needs approval at the spring Town Meeting April 24, Murphy said.

-- Kyle Alspach

Sherborn wins grant to buy "reverse 911"

Posted December 11, 2006 06:54 PM


The town has won a grant to buy a “reverse 911” system and other equipment for use in a public health emergency such as a pandemic flu outbreak.

The system will allow the town to use an automated phone message to contact all residents in an emergency. Town Administrator Dennis Luttrell said the town will be able to buy the system through an $8,240 grant from the MetroWest Community Health Care Foundation.

Luttrell said the grant money will also buy a cooler for the health department to store vaccines that might be needed for a flu outbreak and will help pay for developing a new pandemic flu section for the town’s emergency management plan.

-- Kyle Alspach

Peace Abbey to honor Kucinich

Posted December 8, 2006 12:32 PM



Kucinich at a political rally
(Getty Images photo by J.D. Pooley)

The Sherborn Peace Abbey has invited U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, to receive an award at the abbey on Dec. 17.

The abbey plans to give Kucinich a “Courage of Conscience” award for speaking out against the Iraq war, according to abbey program coordinator Dot Walsh. The award has been given to 110 people in the past, including the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa, according to the abbey Web site.

Kucinich, who ran for president in 2004, is also expected to speak about animal rights if he is able to come, Walsh said. The abbey should know by Monday whether Kucinich can attend the event, she said.

-— Kyle Alspach

High school wants to keep an eye on students in parking lot

Posted December 8, 2006 11:56 AM


What the heck are those seniors at the high school doing in the parking lot? That's what Dover-Sherborn school officials want to know.

The Dover-Sherborn Regional School Committee is looking into buying security cameras to monitor an area of the high school parking lot used by seniors.

Committee members said at a recent meeting they have concerns because the parking area is a good distance from the high school and can’t be monitored.

This becomes an issue because seniors had the privilege last spring of leaving campus during their study hall period, said School Committee chairman Ellen Williamson.

The committee has yet to discuss renewing the privilege again this year. But if it were granted to students, Williamson said, it would be important to have some way of monitoring their activity in the parking lot.

The committee has asked Business Manager Richard Mathieu to gather information about security cameras.

-— Kyle Alspach

Framingham man to plead innocent in fatal Sherborn crash

Posted December 1, 2006 02:01 PM


A Framingham man charged with motor vehicle homicide for a Nov. 22 crash in Sherborn plans to plead not guilty at his arraignment next week, his lawyer said.

Alessandro Verli, 32, faces the charges because an unborn child died in the crash. Verli's laywer, Thomas Brant of Boston, said he plans to fight the charges but declined to elaborate. Verli will be arraigned in Natick District Court Tuesday.

Verli was driving northbound on Western Avenue in Sherborn when he crossed the center line of the road into oncoming traffic, crashing his Honda sedan into a Honda CRV around 4:40 p.m., according to Emily LaGrassa, spokesperson for the Middlesex County district attorney.

The driver of the CRV, Lori Leurini of Ashland, was 8 1/2 months pregnant, and her baby died as a result of the accident, according to LaGrassa. The woman’s 5-year-old daughter, who rode in the car with her, also suffered injuries.

Verli faces charges of motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation, operating to endanger and a marked lanes violation.

-— Kyle Alspach

Sherborn moves closer to playing field goals

Posted November 19, 2006 09:00 AM


Recreation Commission members say they have reached an agreement with a well-known soccer club to carry out the long-discussed renovation of the Laurel Farms recreation complex.

The club, FC Greater Boston, has agreed to make a "significant investment" in revamping the complex in exchange for use of it as a home base, according to Recreation Commission member Michael Guthrie.

The project would fully restore the ailing complex to include three artificial fields, two renovated softball fields, a walking path around the perimeter and other improvements, Guthrie said.

"There are a lot of options, and we've explored all of them," he said. "We're very excited about this plan."

Selectmen endorsed the idea at a meeting last Wednesday. The details aren't finalized yet, but Guthrie said he believes the project will have a "minimum impact" on Sherborn's finances. Ideally, renovations could begin by the end of 2007, he said.

-- Kyle Alspach

Author who sparked controversy to appear in Franklin tonight

Posted November 15, 2006 03:05 PM


Franklin's Sullivan Middle School will host controversial author Yoko Kawashima Watkins tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the school library.

Residents are invited to hear Watkins speak about her book, "So Far From the Bamboo Grove," a popular middle school text about a young girl's experiences when her family flees Japan for Korea after World War II.

Although the book has been used in many local schools, a recent Globe West article said that Dover-Sherborn Middle School officials are considering removing it from the curriculum due to explicit content. According to Lisa Kocian's story, Dover-Sherborn parents are concerned that the book deals with issues like rape, which they say sixth-grade students are not prepared to consider.

The Dover-Sherborn School Committee is mulling a subcommittee's recommendation to stop assigning the book as required reading but leave it in the school library for students to check out on their own.

Sullivan Middle School is located at 500 Lincoln Street.

-- Alison O'Leary Murray

Book ban debated in Dover-Sherborn schools

Posted November 11, 2006 02:42 PM



(HarperCollins book cover by Leo and Diane Dillon)

When does responsible education turn into censorship?

That’s the question the Dover-Sherborn Regional School Committee will be grappling with for at least the next few weeks as members decide whether or not to ban a popular but controversial book from the 6th grade curriculum.

After 13 parents complained that “So Far From the Bamboo Grove” is racist and sexually explicit, a book review committee, made up mostly of teachers and administrators, unanimously voted to recommend banning the book from the classroom. The School Committee will now have the final say.

The book, by Massachusetts author Yoko Kawashima Watkins, is a fictionalized autobiography told from the perspective of an 11-year-old Japanese girl. The girl and her family have to flee northern Korea at the end of World War II, a perilous journey because of the Koreans' animosity toward the Japanese, who had occupied their country for 35 years.

At a school committee meeting last week, several parents and teachers praised the book and the annual visit from the anti-war author, and a couple of parents explained why they feel the book is inappropriate for 6th graders.

Read more of the story in tomorrow's Globe West.

-- Lisa Kocian

The fur flies -- and turns into fiber -- at Sherborn farm

Posted November 9, 2006 06:52 PM



(Debbie Smith with one of her fine, furry friends, Globe Staff Photo by Bill Polo)

The morning routine at Iron Horse Farm starts with 32 llamas, 56 sheep, 50 chickens, 20 angora goats, eight angora rabbits, seven cats, and five dogs. That's how many mouths Deborah and Skip Smith have to feed before they head off to their "real" jobs -- or turn to other tasks, like the Fiber/Art Festival Deborah will host in Sherborn this weekend.

"We didn't really plan on this," said Smith, 51, explaining that she and her husband purchased their 3-acre -- and at the time animal-free -- farm in Sherborn in 1989 as a home at which Skip could base his landscaping business.

But Deborah Smith, a neonatal nurse, had been an avid knitter since she was a child. So, when Skip brought home two Angora rabbits for her in 1993, she figured she could find the time to raise the little critters for wool.

"So, we started with two rabbits and somehow it just multiplied from there," she said. "Now we have the sheep and goats and llamas and, oh yeah, the chickens -- can't forget the chickens."

But it doesn't stop there. ...

Read more of correspondent Denise Taylor's story in today's Globe West.

Reaching out to Sherborn residents

Posted October 27, 2006 05:57 PM


Town officials in Sherborn hope soon to be able to contact all the town's residents in a matter of minutes to alert them of health emergencies or other important announcements, thanks to a new Web-based version of Reverse 911 called Connect-CTY.

The service, already in place in Westwood and being looked into in Framingham, can send 30-second messages to up to three phone numbers for each town resident.

Messages can also go out to e-mail addresses and PDAs. Dennis Luttrell, the town administrator, has applied for a grant from the MetroWest Community Health Care Foundation to help fund the project, which will cost about $6,000 a year. The grant decision will be made by the end of November, he says.

-- Samantha Henig

Hey, who turned on the lights?

Posted September 10, 2006 11:22 AM


BU bat researcher Chris Richardson came face to face recently with a bat in a Sherborn barn, in a photo taken by Josh Reynolds.


Read more about why Richardson frequents Sherborn's barns late at night in today's Globe West.

Cuddly, isn't he?

Posted September 9, 2006 10:57 AM


Well, his mother probably loves him.


This bat, photographed by Josh Reynolds for the Globe, was trapped in a Sherborn barn recently by Boston University researcher Chris Richardson.

Read tomorrow's Globe West to learn what it's like to go on a midnight bat hunt and what Richardson is trying to find out about Sherborn's bats.

Training with weapons -- to save lives

Posted August 27, 2006 09:59 AM


"I haven't carried this much weight since I was pregnant," said Major Diana Hoek, 48, a dietitian from Sherborn.

She could be carrying her heavy combat gear for months.

Hoek and other Globe West residents are part of the 399th Combat Support Hospital, a Massachusetts-based Army Reserve unit of predominantly surgeons, nurses, paramedics and lab technicians.

The unit's training was described in a front-page story today. The unit, which is to reach Iraq in mid-autumn, has to train with weapons to learn to protect themselves and their patients, a contrast with their lifesaving mission.

Staff Sgt. Kirk Wolloff, 30, an X-ray technician from Medway trained on how to move under direct fire.

"It's great, it's wonderful," he said. "I really love swallowing and and grit. It adds crunch to my bland life."

Specialist John Sheehan of Newton is another Globe West member of the unit. He's pictured playing the role of an injured person in an audio slideshow accompanying the story.


(Specialist Alessandro Licopoli, of Yuba City, Calif., practiced throwing grenades during training exercises at Fort McCoy, Wis., last month, Globe Staff Photo by Dominic Chavez)

A survivor's tale

Posted August 5, 2006 02:26 PM


Helen Kuban.jpg
[Photo: Bill Polo/Globe Staff]

The mere fact that Helen Stern Kuban is still alive raises the kind ofquestions that could occupy an entire term of divinity school.

Questions like: If there is a God, how could he allow the astonishing amount of suffering she witnessed during the Nazi takeover of Czechoslovakia and the Holocaust? But if there isn't, how could she have cheated certain death so many times without divine intervention?

Kuban, 87, chooses to believe. She does so despite the fact that calculating the odds of her making it from the gates of Auschwitz death camp in 1942 to her son Karl's family room in Sherborn last week would have the average mathematician reaching for Extra Strength Tylenol.

"I firmly believe in God," she said during an interview to discuss the new memoir, "Born Twice," that she and her son have self-published. "But when I came back, sometimes I did say to myself, "Where is justice?"

Read more about Helen Stern Kuban's remarkable saga in tomorrow's Globe West.

For sale: one Peace Abbey

Posted July 19, 2006 07:44 PM


The Sherborn Peace Abbey is for sale -- but only to the right kind of buyer.

Officials at the Abbey, a small nonprofit dedicated to peace activism founded in 1988, are looking for a "progressive" buyer for their property who would guarantee they could continue to operate.

The asking price for the facility: around $5.5 million. The money from the sale would be used to set up an endowment, the officials say.

What's in it for the buyer? Buying the property would be "altruism in action," the Abbey says on its website.

Read more about the sale in tomorrow's Globe West.

All eyes on Affleck

Posted July 19, 2006 11:22 AM


Sherborn residents hoping to catch a glimpse of stars filming Ben Affleck’s movie “Gone, Baby, Gone’’ this week had to look closely as the actors were darting in and out of air conditioning to beat the heat.

Sherborn Town Administrator Dennis Luttrell reports that the movie crew was in town filming at a Nason Hill Road home Monday and Tuesday. He says locals were enjoying the scene, though it appeared the crew was struggling with the high temperatures.

Luttrell said the crew shot exterior and interior shots while in town. The Sherborn scene takes place in what is supposed to be the summer home of the character played by Morgan Freeman.

The crew is expected to be heading to Natick next week. Scenes will focus on actors driving around Rte. 16, between Rte. 27 in Sherborn and Pleasant Street.

The movie, based on the Dennis Lehane novel, is Affleck’s directorial debut.

-- Jennifer Fenn Lefferts

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