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"The News Starts Here!"

24 Main Street, Hopkinton, MA 01748  508-435-5534

Updated: March 18, 2013 02:53:38 PM

 State Crime

Marblehead Attorney Arraigned,

Accused of $1.3 million scheme


MEDFORD – December 19, 2009 — A Marblehead attorney was arraigned in Cambridge District Court in Medford yesterday for his role in a million dollar mortgage hijacking scheme. Leon Gelfgatt, age 49, is charged with Attempted Larceny, and Uttering (2 counts). Gelfgatt entered a plea of not guilty and was ordered held on $1 million cash bail by Judge Roanne Sragow. In the event that Gelfgatt posts bail, he has to surrender his Russian passport and wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.


Massachusetts State Police assigned to Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office arrested Gelfgatt yesterday as he allegedly attempted to retrieve over $1.3 million dollars in mortgage funds in connection with a sophisticated mortgage fraud scheme. Gelfgatt allegedly used false documents to create the appearance that mortgages on several Massachusetts properties which were scheduled for impending sale had been transferred to a fake company allegedly created by Gelfgatt. Gelfgatt allegedly did this in order to obtain the payoff funds sent by real estate closing attorneys when the properties were sold.


According to authorities, Gelfgatt allegedly identified properties which were under agreement and scheduled for an imminent sale. He then allegedly recorded false documents at the Registry of Deeds indicating that his fake company was the new holder of any mortgages on those properties. He allegedly sought through this scheme to cause mortgage payoff funds to be delivered to the fake company, rather than to the rightful mortgage holders.


Gelfgatt was arrested yesterday without incident by State Police assigned to the Attorney General’s Office at a location in Boston where he was attempting to retrieve the payoff checks. He was arraigned today in Cambridge District Court in Medford where he entered a plea of not guilty and was ordered held on $1 million cash bail. Gelfgatt is scheduled to appear in court on January 20, 2010, for a probable cause hearing.


This arrest is the result of an intensive and ongoing investigation utilizing state-of-the art tools and techniques into fraudulent assignments recorded at several Registries of Deeds within Massachusetts. At this time, investigators believe that Gelfgatt may have fraudulently reassigned numerous other mortgages. The case is being prosecuted by Division Chief James O’Brien and Assistant Attorneys General Margaret Parks and Andrew Doherty, all parts of Attorney General Coakley’s Corruption and Fraud Division. The case is being investigated by members of the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General’s Office as well as James McFadden of the Financial Investigation Unit.


Dems Celebrate Holiday


December 19, 2009 — The Hopkinton Democratic Town Committee celebrated the season at Ciao Time Catering on Main Street this week; they were joined by State Senator Karen Spilka.  The Democratic Town Committee next meets January 20th at 7:30 PM in the upper level of the Fire Station; all interested and registered Democrats are invited to come to the meetings.  Contact Richard Duggan at for more information.  Happy New Year!

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Hopkinton 77, Bellingham 34

December 18, 2009 — Hopkinton had an insurmountable lead over Bellingham at the half, which gave the coaches the opportunity to send in some girls who needed the experience. Above, Nicole Anagnostaras watches her shot go up and in, as the illusion of the circumstance has her opponent yanking on her hair.

Hopkinton 72 - Bellingham 67


December 18, 2009 — Max Masucci of Hopkinton prepares to shoot a technical foul shot in the 4th quarter of the  Hopkinton Boys basketball win at Bellingham Friday night. Masucci had 27 points for the Hillers, including 20 in the first half. Luke Haroian provided strong senior leadership down the stretch by making a number of key free throws to help seal the win! The boys continue their Tri Valley league schedule with their next game on Tuesday night 12-22 vs Millis at Hopkinton at 6:30pm. The boys are currently 2 - 0 on the young season. ~ John Collins

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Busy Night for Police

December 18, 2009 —Police and Fire were hopping on Friday evening, with four accidents in about an hour, as well as two people taken into custody in the same time period. Above, a police officer assists with an exchange of paperwork on Main Street in front of Star Package.

Colella's Welcomed Expansion Begins

Place to sit and drink coffee, eat hot panini

December 18, 2009 — Above, Dale Danahy, President of Colella's Supermarket, points to the space that was formerly occupied by Strata Bank. The bank was bought by Middlesex Savings bank, which decided to vacate the building, with the exception of the drive-up ATM, which remains.

      Mrs. Danahy said the added space will allow them to enlarge the frozen food offerings as well as the bakery and dairy. The deli area will be expanded to offer food from a hot grill, a self serve hot case, as well as a panini  maker.

       For the many people who have needed that pick-me-up while shopping, their famous Red Barn coffee will be available for consumption in the seating area planned for the expanded deli.

       Mrs. Danahy said the expansion, which also includes a makeover for the store, and new equipment, should be complete in mid 2010.

Ava Lucille Nation, 9 Pounds

December 18, 2009 — Soon to turn two weeks old, Ava Lucille Nation, daughter of the proud parents Lyndse and Craig Nation, was born on December 7, 2009. She is also the apple of her grandmother's eye, Cheryl, who must visit and take photos every day.

Engineering is Elementary

Yesterday, three employees from the Boston Museum Of Science delivered hundreds of children’s books to the State Police Boston Barracks, located next door to the museum.  Trooper Tony Wosny and Sergeant Kerry Mchugh accepted the Toys for Tots donation from Kris Keenan, Liz Fox and Emily Young.  The three women work on a project named Engineering is Elementary.  The books are geared towards showing elementary aged children science and engineering.


Rita G. Kurzontkowski, 88

HOPKINTON -  Rita G. Kurzontkowski, 88, died at home Friday December 18, 2009 after a long illness.  She was under the loving care of Metrowest Hospice.  She was the wife of Ludwig J. Kurzontkowski, who died in March 2002.  Born in Lowell, she was the daughter of the late Robert and Cecile (Dionne) Lauze.
She leaves two sons, James of Severn, MD and David of Summerville, SC, and two daughters, Mary Burns and her husband Robert and Joanne Gouin and her husband William, all of Hopkinton.  She also leaves her sister Violet Bowker of Hopkinton, 12 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.  She is pre-deceased by her son John, who died in March 2003. 
The funeral will be held Monday, December 21 at 9:00 a.m. from the Callanan-Cronin Funeral Home, 34 Church Street.  A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. in St. John the Evangelist Church, 20 Church Street.  Burial will follow in in the parish cemetery.  Calling hours at the funeral home are Sunday, December 20 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Donations may be made to the Hopkinton Ambulance Fund, 73 Main Street, Hopkinton, 01748 or the Metrowest Hospice, 85 Lincoln Street, Framingham, MA  01702.




December 18, 2009 — Left are four Hopkinton girls that performed this morning, December 18, 2009 in the Nutcracker. They will be performing again this evening in the Boston Dance Company’s performance at the Sullivan Auditorium at Worcester State College at 7:00 p.m.


They are Chloe Dimare as a Party Boy, Lauren Donovan as a mouse, Megan Donovan as a Party Boy and Rebekah Goldberg as a Chinese dancer.

School Budget has Two Sides — $1.7 Million Apart

Fees to remain unchanged

by Heather Kelley

December 18, 2009 — At the School Committee meeting last night, Superintendent John Phelan presented a two-sided budget.  On one side was the “265” budget, one that represents a 2.65% decrease in spending from FY10.  On the other side was the “Superintendent’s” budget, one that would maintain the same level of services in FY 11 that exists currently in FY10.  Phelan was careful to emphasize, however, that the Superintendent’s budget does not represent a level services budget: “This budget is not level services, because the definition of level services has changed.”  Phelan pointed to a consistently downward slope where, for example, things such as foreign language was lost first in fifth grade, and then in sixth grade, over the recent years.


The budgets weighed in with a discrepancy of $1.7M.  The Superintendent’s version was an added $808,000 over the current year’s spending, while the 265 budget showed an $855,000 decrease.  Most notable in the tangible differences were staffing (gaining 7.6 professional and support staff positions versus losing 13.9 <— Correction in bold), losing the Grade 5 instrumental music program, eliminating late busses, and increasing class sizes, including highs of 26 students in 2nd and 5th grade classrooms.  Almost 50% of the staff increases were for teaching assistants for the pilot Full Day Kindergarten classroom(s).


Wanting to highlight restraint and fiscal responsibility, Phelan also pointed out major cost savings realized over the last five years, such as the cooperative purchase of gas and oil (saving $143,000), the system-wide Green initiative of going paperless (saving $47,000), and the special education in-district programs (saving $4.2M).  An additional $193,000 in yearly savings will also come on line, Phelan said, once the NSTAR solar projects at the Middle and High Schools are finished with their two-year payback period.  “Hopkinton has the largest municipal solar project in the state,” said Phelan.


Jean Bertschmann asked for clarification regarding fees.  “As far as fees go, you’re keeping the fees the same?”


“Yes,” replied Phelan, “there are no changes in fees.”  However, he did mention that there will be a new line item for revenue with the Full Day Kindergarten tuitions.


Troy Mick asked to see a list of all reductions in services over the past five years.  Rebecca Robak thought it best to go back to 2003, when many specials such as music and foreign language were first cut.  Phelan also spoke of initiatives such as math remediation.


“We developed an action plan; we’ve been unable to fund it,” he said.  “We’ve been prevented, because of a lack of funding, from really having a comprehensive approach to providing interventions in a number of areas, mathematics being the prime example.”


The discussion of the budget will ramp up in January, with the School Committee meeting weekly, every Thursday, starting on January 7th and continuing until the Public Hearing on the Preliminary FY11 Budget and Town Meeting Warrant Articles on January 28th.

The rest of the story...

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Hopkinton 99, Mansfield 82

Photo of Kara Cooney by John Daley.

December 18, 2009 — The Hopkinton Swimming and Diving moved to 2-0 with a sound win over non-league Mansfield 99-82..  Winners for Hopkinton included Paul Lagasse, John Lagasse, and Anthony DeBenedetto.  Anthony set two school records at the meet, including breaking one by almost 3 seconds, previously held by former swimmer and state champion Sean Terry (Class of 2005).  Other swimmers who performed well in the meet were Seniors Kayla Lewkowicz, Kate Richardson, and Alexandra Brown.  Newcomers to the  program Kara Cooney, Mitch Campbell and Aiden Kennedy also contributed to the team.

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Hopkinton Resident appointed by Governor Patrick to

Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women


WESTBOROUGH, MA (BUSINESS WIRE) --- December 18, 2009 – Hanishi T. Ali, an attorney, at Mithras Law Group, has been recently appointed by Governor Deval L. Patrick to serve as a State Commissioner on the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW).


Hanishi T. Ali is a founding partner at Mithras Law Group and practices international business and US and UK immigration law. Hanishi represents clients’ interests nationally and internationally. Hanishi is also a qualified solicitor in England and Wales, and in Scotland and is a member of the American Immigration lawyers association, American Bar Association, New York Bar Association, Boston Bar Association, International Bar Association, The Law Society of England and Wales, and the Law Society of Scotland.


Hanishi serves on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration and is the current Women in Profession chair of the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association. Hanishi also serves as legal counsel and a board member of non-profit associations and has received a Citation from the President of the Massachusetts Senate and a Citation from Carolyn Dykema on behalf of the Massachusetts House of Representatives for public service and civic leadership. Hanishi has also represented the International Commission of Jurists at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Hanishi is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the University of Edinburgh, U.K., School of Law.


Attorney Ali says she’s both honored and humbled by the appointment and is looking forward to serving on the Commission.

Elmwood Bell Ringers Perform at Respite Center

December 17, 2009 — Elmwood teacher Mrs. Patricia Diamond took her portable ivories and her band of merry bell-ringers to the Michael Carter Lisnow Respite Center today to entertain the clients, workers and guests with some holiday cheer. Some people joined in with the traveling troupe.

     To see and hear some of the action — did you know Mikey could sing?  — check out the video below.


Children Sing for Seniors

December 17, 2009 — The Angeline Children's Choir led by Betty Wyckoff, piano, and Carol Spengler, held their annual Christmas concert at the Hopkinton Senior Center this afternoon.



BOSTON, MA – December 17, 2009 –  WBZ-TV and the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) are pleased to announce that they have renewed their exclusive Boston Marathon partnership for three years through the 116th running of the Boston Marathon in 2012.  WBZ-TV has been carrying the Boston Marathon in its entirety for 27-years.  At the conclusion of this three-year renewal, WBZ-TV will be the only station to have aired 30-years of complete, live, local coverage of one of the region’s premiere sporting events (HopNews file photo of WBZ-TV Sportscaster, Steve Burton).


As part of the agreement, WBZ-TV will continue to be the exclusive broadcaster of the Boston Marathon providing comprehensive live coverage of the 114th running of the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 19, 2010.  Since earlier start times debuted two years ago, WBZ-TV begins pre-race coverage in the morning newscasts, provides complete coverage of the Boston Marathon including all elite races, and continues until early afternoon with comprehensive coverage of the race as it concludes.  As has been the case for decades, WBZ-TV will deploy a full team of anchors and reporters to cover the Boston Marathon from the start in Hopkinton, to the finish on Boylston, and to everything in between.  In addition, WBZ-TV will stream the race live in its entirety in New England at and expand its offering of special web features.


“The Boston Marathon is a world class sporting event and a favorite of the people of New England,” said Ed Piette, President and General Manager of Boston’s WBZ-TV and TV38 (WSBK).  “WBZ is the market’s signature event station, and as such we are delighted to continue to be the sole local broadcaster of the Marathon.  This new agreement extends the station’s long and distinguished association with the Boston Athletic Association.  When this contract is completed in 2012, it will mark three decades of complete and continuing coverage.”


“The B.A.A. and WBZ-TV have partnered to produce and broadcast unrivaled coverage of the Boston Marathon since the early 1980s,” said Guy Morse, Executive Director of the Boston Athletic Association, which has organized the race since its inception in 1897.  “WBZ-TV covers the race wire-to-wire, from start to finish, from professional athletes to spectators, and both as an athletic event and a community-wide celebration of an event which is uniquely New England.  We could not be more pleased that the partnership continues into the next decade. This year’s race will be particularly exciting since together we will celebrate John Hancock Financial’s 25th consecutive year as principal sponsor.”

File photo, from left, Guy Morse BAA Director, Tim Kilduff, HAA Director.


Kisses Fill Slippers

December 17, 2009 — Miss Williamson's First Grade Class at Center School collected and wrapped new slippers for Miss Williamson's Slippers Stuffed With Love community service project. Here, her students proudly display the slippers they have collected for Project Just Because. The students were encouraged to commit random acts of kindness at home, and in return, they earned chocolate kisses to fill the slippers. As a class, the students collected 32 pairs of slippers, and committed over 70 acts of kindness!

Contributed by Becky Hakansson, Room Mom On behalf of Rebecca Williamson, First Grade Teacher at Center School.

State Police Seek Witnesses to Serious Crash on Route 24 North in Fall River


December 17, 2009 — At approximately 2:50 p.m. today, troopers assigned to the State Police Barracks in Dartmouth responded to a serious crash on Route 24 North, just north of President Avenue (Exit 5) in Fall River that resulted in two serious injuries.  


Preliminary investigation by Trooper Gary Jones indicates that a 2004 Buick Rendezvous sedan  operated by 50-year-old Donna Souza of Fall River, was traveling on Route 24 North in the left travel lane when the Buick exited the roadway to the left and began to roll over. The Buick came to rest in the median.


Souza sustained serious injuries in this crash and was transported by medical helicopter to Rhode Island Hospital.  A passenger in the Buick, 25-year-old Jenna Souza, also of Fall River, sustained serious injuries and was transported by ambulance to Charlton Memorial Hospital.


The facts and circumstances of the crash remain under investigation by Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police.  Troopers were assisted at the scene by the Fall River Fire Department and members of the Highway Division of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.


During the crash investigation, the left travel lanes of Route 24 North and South were closed for approximately one hour.   


The State Police are requesting the public’s assistance with this crash as there may have been a second vehicle involved that may have left the scene.  Anyone with information is urged to call Trooper Jones at the State Police Dartmouth Barracks at (508) 993-8373.

Hopkinton Tops Bellingham

December 17, 2009 — Boys Track Hopkinton 66, Bellingham 20, Girls Track Hopkinton 67, Bellingham 15 yesterday.

Click a thumbnail to see a larger photo.

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Lovely Lady

December 17, 2009 — According to the Small Business Administration, only 2/3 of all small business startups survive the first two years and less than half make it to four years. Nancy (Penney)  Macmillan probably never heard those statistics when she opened her Lovely Lady Salon store in 1964, forty-five years ago today. The statistics for marriage were better in 1965, when she married her husband, Bill. Next year will be their forty-fifth anniversary. She is planning on celebrating many more of both.

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 Dover-Sherborn 8, Hopkinton 0

December 17, 2009 — Andrew Preite was able to get the puck from behind the DS goal last night, but was not successful getting it the net.

Impressive Display 


December 16, 2009 — Readers have been yearning for great holiday light displays, and we found an excellent one a few minutes away in neighboring Northbridge. The roving HopNews video camera arrived on Sutton Street in Northbridge just before the display was shut off for the evening at 9:30 pm. But the Arsenault family promised to turn it on again tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. with thousands of lights and countless figures, including Santa, and music available on 92.7 FM on your car radio.  The lights move in synchronicity to the music. They've got Amazing Grace that turns into rock n' roll, as well as a Christmas tree singing Rockin' Around the Christmas tree.

       We converted the video for YouTube, uploaded and watched, but, voila! We discovered that someone had already done a pretty good job with it before we did, so check out their video, and if you have the time, check out this fantastic display on Sutton street  in Northbridge in person. And yes, that's their home in hte background covered in the bluish lights.

Scouting for Knowledge

December 16, 2009 — Cub Scouts from dens 7, 8, and 9 visited with Geri Holland and Town Manager Norman Khumalo today in the selectmen's Meeting Room on the second floor of Town Hall and got a lesson in town government.


Senior Moments

Christmas Memories

Nancy L. Drawe



December 16, 2009 — Jingle Bells, Joy to the World, Silent Night and Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly!  During this Christmas season, the Senior Center itself is all decked out in preparation for the holiday. Winter greeneries drape the mantel over the fireplace, candy canes fill the dish on the front desk, a beautiful poinsettia sits on the table in the lobby and there’s even a brightly decorated tree sitting in front of the window.   Make sure you check out the Thrift Shop, it’s filled with all kinds of Christmas items for sale (at half price now) that will make great gifts.   Everyone at the Center is in such a festive mood; there’s jingle bell earrings and necklaces, Santa hats and Christmas clothing galore.   How wonderful it is to believe in the magic of Christmas!


Just the other day, I was thinking of all the fun Christmas’ I had when I was a kid and thought, “How nice it would be to hear other peoples favorite holiday memories.”  What a better place to go than the senior center!  Some of the people there have 25-30 more years of Christmas memories than I do!   I would like to share the responses I got from got my question, “Do you have a favorite holiday memory?”  


When Joan Dwyer and her twin sister were about four years old, they each got a hand made doll cradle for Christmas.  Joan said it was the best gift she ever got!  


Doris Carver’s best memory was when her first son Philip was about three years old, he wasn’t afraid of Santa like the other kids were.  When Philip first saw Santa Claus in person, he was so excited that he ran up and hugged him!


Betty Davis got a Shirley Temple doll when she was six years old.  “It was the best present ever, I was so proud of that doll!” said Betty.


“I was 20 yrs old and in the Marines in 1945 at Christmastime,” said WWII veteran John Cahill.  “When we dropped the atomic bomb on Japan, I was so happy that I didn’t have to go in and invade, all I had to do was occupation duty then.   That’s my favorite Christmas memory.”


When Cathy Decarolis’ granddaughter Jessie was five years old, she wanted one of the American Girl Doll’s Bitty Babies for Christmas.  Cathy said the excitement on Jessie’s face when she opened her Bitty Baby was the best memory ever!  Jessie is now 19 years old!


Carol Walsh had a very touching memory.  When she was young, her father was in the Navy and she had only seen him once in two and a half years.  He was coming home for Christmas the year she was six, but not until a few days after, so Christmas was postponed for a bit.  Carol said the night he came home, there were over 200 people at their house to welcome him!   Her father was so excited to be home that he laid under the tree and sang Christmas carols.  Then everyone got on the floor and sang along with him! 


Hopkinton 36, Holliston 43

December 16, 2009 — Alee Leteria does her best to block her Holliston opponent last night.

Auditions for The Sting
ESL's Teen Winter Comedy
For ages 13+
Auditions, Sunday, December 20, 2:00 p.m.
Performances will take place in March 2010
Rehearsals begin January 2010
There is a $150 participation fee, if cast


HOPKINTON, MA (December 15, 2009) – Enter Stage Left Theater will be hosting auditions for its teen production of The Sting on Sunday, December 20, at 2:00 p.m. at ESL’s studios at 30 Main Street in Hopkinton. Auditions are open to teenagers 13 years of age and older, and will consist of readings from the script.

The Sting is a comedy set in the 1930s that involves a pair of small city grifters and a big Chicago mob. The production is being directed by Dawn Anderson and will take place in March. Rehearsals will begin in January and be held Sunday afternoons and Tuesday evenings. There will be a $150 participation fee if cast. Not familiar with the show?  Come to the movie night on December 16, 7:00 p.m. at ESL, 30 Main Street and watch with us!


Enter Stage Left Theater, Inc. is a non-profit, performing arts center in Hopkinton offering theater education, training and performances for students of all ages. For more information call 508-435-2114 or visit 

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Last day to register for January 19th Special State Election
Will be Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009
Office hours Dec. 30th will be 8 am – 8 pm
Please contact the Town Clerk for absentee ballots.

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Forty-five Years and Counting...

December 15, 2009 — Nancy Macmillan, mother of five and grandmother to twelve, will be celebrating her 45th year in business as Lovely Lady Salon at the same location, 22 Main Street, on Thursday, December 17, 2009.

      "I went to hairdressing school and worked at a hairdresser in Wellesley for a year so I could get my Class I hairdressers License and I could go out on my own," said the Hopkinton High School Class of 1962 graduate today. She was Nancy Penney when she married William Macmillan in 1965, a year after opening her shop.

      "I started it with a partner in 1964, but went solo around 1968," she said. "And now, I work with hairdresser Tina Nobilini."

      Mrs. Macmillan laughed out loud when asked if she had any stories from all of those years, but did not share any for publication, saying it was the nature of her business.

      The future?

      "I am going to continue what I am doing. I have no plans to retire," she said.

      Mrs. Macmillan said she would be in her salon all day Thursday on her anniversary.

Up in the Air

December 15, 2009 — Ashland provided some non-emergency mutual aid with their tower to assist Hopkinton Firefighters move their flagpoles from the mezzanine roof to a new location on terra firma. According to Tom McIntyre, who donated the construction of the new granite sign, Firefighter Bob Santucci was instrumental in getting the project started.


December 15, 2009 — The Seventh grade class held a successful fund raiser for Project Just Because on December 8. The seventh graders got together and enjoyed watching the movie "UP."  Admission to the movie was an unwrapped gift for a teen.  They also held a raffle and bake sale during the event.


The kids had a great time together and helped their community at the same time. They ended up filling 13 boxes with gifts, collecting $155 in gift cards and raised $170 from the raffle and bake sale. 

 ~ Kelly Burke & Jennifer Blake, 7th Grade Volunteer Coordinators



"Check Water Before Using" ~ Water Dept.


Please be advised that we are beginning to fill the West Main Street water tank. We will be filling the tank over the next several days during the daytime until approximately 2:00 PM. During this time while we are regulating the flow into the tank, you may notice some discoloration from the minerals being stirred up from inside the pipes. Please check your water before using it and you may need to flush your pipes in the late afternoon once filling has ended for the day. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We are trying to fill the tank as soon as possible so that water testing may be done on it and we can then bring it back in on-line to the system.


Eric J. Carty

Water/Sewer Manager

Hopkinton Swim Team Opens with Splash


Above, Senior Captain Meghan Krueger. Choose thumbnail to see freshman Brian Doyle. <--correction


December 15, 2009 — The Hopkinton Varsity Swimming and Diving team opened up the season with a strong win over Ashland, 91-66.  This is the first year for either team being in the Tri Valley League, so this meet was an historic event.  Strong performances by Seniors Kate Richardson, Samantha Racicot and Matt Younis, along with sophomores Anthony DeBenedetto, Paul Lagasse, John Lagasse and Tom Reimonn, and new-comer Kara Cooney were instrumental in the win.  The team takes on Mansfield in a non-league meet on Thursday.

$12.4 million Fruit Street/Milford Sewer Article Passes 247-67


Above, brothers Craig and Chris Nation stand for the "ayes" on the right side of the meeting room. To see the "no's," mouse-over the image.


December 14, 2009 — Appropriations Committee member Ron Eldridge began the discussion of this evening's Special Town Meeting charge to approve $12.4 million in new spending on a combined Article 2 that promises to charge only betterments in Phase 6 of Hopkinton's sewer system for the infrastructure.

     Mr. Eldridge called the plan to connect the South Street sewers and send 204,000 gpd to Milford, and to build a Waste Water treatment plant on Fruit Street, "a well-thought out plan." He said the figures were real costs based bids and on receiving MORE grants, stimulus money and SRS loans.

    Saying, "The time is right," Mr. Eldridge promised that the two portions of the article were "mutually exclusive. Milford is contingent on the MORE grant and Lonza, a bio-tech firm located on South Street. Fruit Street is contingent on stimulus money.

    "We need to go out and get the money," he said. Lonza has promised to kick in $100,000 toward the Milford cost.

    Board of Public Works Chairman Dan McIntyre said that $15 million will be bettered by users. A betterment is the cost to a property owner when a  sewer is installed past a property, making it eligible for hooking in.

    Town Counsel Ray Miyares (Above) said that although every appeal of the approvals for the treatment plant has been won by the town, there were more appeals pending, appeals that would not stop the project, but at the most, modify it.

    Mr. McIntyre said that appeals have already cost the town $100,000 in engineering and legal fees.

    Chamber of Commerce President Bob McGuire spoke in favor of the projects from the voters' gallery, as did Zoning Advisory Committee Chairman, Ken Weismantel.

    Nancy Peters, former Board of Health member, had concerns about monitoring wells and questioned the source of payments for those tests.

    Carol DeVeuve, a Planning Board member, questioned the accuracy of the assertion that the sewer ratepayers will not pay anything, calling it a fallacy.

     "We all know that rates are going to go up. and it's quite possible that the general fund is also going to see an impact if the sewer enterprise fund cannot fund its own operation," she said.

     "If we're expected to make an informed decision on those aspects of the project, I think the real rate iincrease needs to be presented," she said.

     Former Selectman Muriel Kramer said she was not voting for it, because it charges the customers double. She said the Milford project alone would fill the needed sewerage capacity. She also asked who would pay for it if any legal challenges were successful.

     Mr. Miyares answered that the chance of any appeal being successful was extremely low, speaking praises of Chip Niland who was handling the appeals on behalf of the town.

     Former Selectman Mary Pratt (Above, right) had questions surrounding impact of the wastewater discharge on the wells and the aquifer, which Mr. McIntyre addressed. While he addressed those questions, Mrs. Pratt interrupted to comment, at which time Town Moderator Dr. Bruce Karlin (Left) told her to stop.

    "Mary, you're through at the mic," he said.

    "No I am not," she countered.

    "If you can't sit down and can't be quiet, I'll have you taken out of here," he said. A police officer attends every Town Meeting, and can act upon the request of the Moderator to remove someone. Mrs. Pratt returned to her seat.

    Beth Herlihy asked what would happen if someone who was given a betterment filed for an abatement, indicating that EMC had their own septic system.

    "I caution anybody making decisions on the ability of someone to file appeals. We all have due process rights," said Mr. Miyares.

    Then Jack Speranza, saying it was the fifth Town Meeting he attended regarding this subject, moved the question, which calls for a 2/3 majority to pass, and ends discussion if it passes. It passed.

    Then the room was free to vote on the motion to pass Article 2.

    The Article to build the Fruit Street Wastewater Treatment Facility and to connect the South Street sewers to Milford passed, 247-67.


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