The state will begin feasibility studies for local school projects about a month earlier than anticipated, potentially allowing some projects to be ready for Town Meeting votes next spring, staff writer James Vaznis of the reports in the Globe's City & Region Section today.
On Nov. 2, the state School Building Authority will decide which school districts' proposed projects to study first. Other districts will be selected on a rolling basis after that.
Being selected for a feasibility study doesn't automatically guarantee construction funding, but it is a prerequisite. More than a dozen school districts west of Boston are among 161 districts statewide competing for about $500 million in construction funds this year, the first time in four years the state is doling out school construction money.
In choosing which feasibility studies to pursue first, the state has been dispatching inspection teams to analyze building conditions and enrollment trends, visiting 90 districts so far. Those districts include Berlin-Boylston, Franklin, Hopkinton, Hudson, Marlborough, Maynard, Nashoba, Natick, Needham, Norfolk, Shrewsbury, Wayland, and Wellesley.
The resulting studies, which should be completed this winter, will give the state the first glimpse of how much it could potentially cost to do all the projects. In all, 161 districts have expressed interest in 422 school projects.
A Maynard man escaped injury after he fell out of his car while turning onto the Spaulding Turnpike near Rochester, N.H. Sunday morning, the Foster's Daily Democrat newspaper reported.
State police said Robert Hatch fell out of his Nissan after the door opened for unknown reasons. Police did not know his age but said he was in his 50s.
Maynard was turning onto the turnpike's northbound on-ramp from North Main Street when the 10:30 a.m. mishap occurred, . His vehicle crossed over to the turnpike off-ramp before rolling over into trees. The 1993 four-door sedan, with a broken tire rod, had to be towed.
Hatch only sustained with a scrape on his knee, authorities said.
"How he managed to do what he managed to do, I have no idea," said Fire Capt. William Hoyt.
Several local schools won 'Green Team' awards from the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs following a program to reduce pollution and protect the environment.
The Globe West area schools honored were:
- Berlin Middle School in Berlin
- Fowler School in Maynard
- Marion E. Zeh School in Northborough
- Melican Middle School in Northborough
- Beatrice H. Wood School in Plainville
- James Fitzgerald Elementary School in Waltham
- Hemenway School in Framingham
- Mary E. Stapleton School in Framingham
Schools that won awards received recycling equipment to make their individual programs more effective.
-- Adam Sell
Superintendent Mark Masterson (at right)
(Globe staff photo by Dina Rudick)
Superintendent Mark Masterson said Maynard High School's accreditation status should be safe after Town Meeting approved $276,000 in repairs and upgrades to the dilapidated building.
Last year, Maynard High was placed on probation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, in large part due to the condition of its facilities. NEASC, a private nonprofit group, has asked for regular progress reports from the town as major milestones are reached.
"I will be writing a letter [to NEASC] letting them know the community's response to the problems," said Masterson. "We are very hopeful moving forward."
Maynard High requires major renovations, possibly a new school entirely, to be removed from probation, school officials say.
-– Melissa Beecher
Recently approved zoning changes to the downtown will allow property owners to build apartments atop of businesses, a zoning first for Maynard.
The new zoning, submitted to Special Town Meeting by the Planning Board, is an effort to revitalize the business district. Town officials said the change could increase property values and make the area more appealing to investors. Last week's Special Town Meeting approved the changes by a vote of 108 to 10.
-– Melissa Beecher
Town officials say Maynard's current police and fire headquarters is falling apart and needs to be replaced.
(Globe staff photo by Bill Polo)
Town Meeting has sent a $4.8 million debt exclusion override to the ballot box on June 12.
The overwhelming support shown for the override at Town Meeting Monday night -- the measure passed 332 to 16 -- came after town officials and consultants detailed major problems with town facilities.
Chief James Corcoran told Town Meeting members that a $3.9 million new police station can't be built unless supporters come out in force for the special town election. The override would pay for the new police station, which would be located on Main Street, a laundry list of repairs to Green Meadow Elementary School, and a new boiler in the dilapidated Public Safety Building.
-– Melissa Beecher
Globe City & Region columnist Eileen McNamara weighed in today on the latest events in Maynard.
Here's an excerpt:
School committees are not star chambers, and fear of bad publicity and civil litigation do not constitute an emergency, two points the townspeople of Maynard ought to bear in mind as they deal with fallout from allegations that a child molester preyed on students with impunity across a 42-year teaching career.
The death of Joseph Magno last month on the eve of his trial on 18 counts of rape and sexual assault of a child has left both the teacher's accusers and his supporters frustrated that neither a conviction nor an acquittal will end this sorry chapter in the town's history.
Finding out who in authority knew what when about Joe Magno might still be possible, but throwing a relatively new school superintendent under the bus will not advance that effort.
The School Committee is poised to do just that to Mark Masterson, who has been superintendent of schools for the past four years. ...
The death of former high school teacher Joseph Magno has sent shock waves through Maynard, a town that was anxiously awaiting his trial on charges that he sexually abused students.
For some, it ends a painful episode after a torrent of allegations surfaced about the man who taught at Maynard public schools for 43 years. Others, however, feel that through death, the 66-year-old Magno cheated justice.
"I am not happy that I won't be able to stare him down in court," said Walter Trachim, 44, in a telephone interview. The New Hampshire man has filed a police report accusing Magno of molesting him repeatedly beginning in 1974, when he was 12-years-old.
"I am not happy he escaped justice by dying," said Trachim, who transferred from Maynard High School before graduating. "Those who rely on faith may say that he is already facing judgment."
Magno faced 18 counts of child rape and indecent assault and battery after a 17-year-old accused him last year of sexually assaulting him over a three-year period, beginning when he was 13 years old in 2001. Since then, prosecutors say 14 other men have come forward alleging similar sexual abuse dating back four decades.
Read more in the Globe's Local News Updates section on boston.com.
-- Melissa Beecher
A former Maynard High School teacher who was accused of raping a student at the school and at his home in Hudson, died last night after spending the day in court, according to the man's lawyer.
Joseph Magno, 66, died just days before a jury was to be impaneled to decide whether he was guilty of repeatedly raping a former student beginning in 2001, when the boy was 13.
Today, a judge was to decide whether the testimony of 14 other former students, now grown men, who also said the 43-year veteran of the Maynard Public Schools sexually assaulted them, would be admissible.
Magno was indicted last January and pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of child rape and indecent assault and battery of a child. Magno, who was free on bail and confined to his Hudson home, was being monitored by an electronic ankle bracelet, the Globe reports today.
-- Michael Naughton and Melissa Beecher
Green Monster Games LLC, an on-line video gaming company launched by Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, has leased 30,000 square feet of office space at 5 Clock Tower in Maynard, a broker on the transaction, CB Richard Ellis/New England, said today.
"If you're in technology and value great service, Clock Tower Place is a fabulous location for your business," Schilling said in a statement.
CB Richard Ellis represented the owner of Clock Tower Office Place, Wellesley Management Co., and Casler and Co. represented Green Monster Games.
Schilling, who has the reputation of being an avid gamer, was the keynote speaker for a recent program on the gaming industry sponsored by the MIT Enterprise Forum.
-- Chris Reidy
How far can Internet classes go in replacing real high school classes?
Pretty far. Internet-based high school classes -- like those offered by Virtual High School in Maynard, which has 7,600 students from 30 different states -- have become increasingly popular for students whose schools have limited options for science classes.
However, there is serious discussion going on as to just how far cyberspace can go in replacing a real laboratory, the New York Times reports.
"You could have students going straight into second-year college science courses without ever having used a Bunsen burner," said Trevor Packer, the College Board's executive director for Advanced Placement.
-- Erica Tochin
A Maynard firefighter is charged with sexually assaulting a teenager during the past four years, the Middlesex District Attorney's office said today.
Anthony Tyler, 44, of Maynard, pleaded not guilty to three counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14 during his arraignment in Concord District Court on Wednesday. He was released on personal recognizance, but was ordered by the judge not to have any contact with the victim or the victim's family, not to have any unsupervised contact with children under 16, to continue mental health treatment, and to stay away from Maynard.
According to authorities, Tyler knew the teen and allegedly sexually abused him, starting in 2002 when he was 14, and continuing until this year, when the victim was an 18-year-old high school senior. The alleged assaults occurred at Tyler's home in Maynard, as well as in his car in Acton and Sudbury, the district attorney's office said.
Tyler was arrested without incident on Tuesday after an investigation by the Maynard Police Department and the district attorney office's Child Abuse Division.
-- Sarah Kneezle
Digital site developer John Wolters said Maynard officials have put his project in jeopardy with their last-minute decision to pull it off the table at Monday's Town Meeting.
Selectmen said more work needs to be done on the plan for the complex of stores, residences, and offices before it is ready to go before the voters.
Wolters, however, said the real reason is that officials want him to sweeten his deal with the town.
''This is all about the money,'' said Wolters, who added that Tuesday's action took him by surprise. ''None of the selectmen have called me to tell me what went wrong.''
Wolters said he agreed to pay for roadway improvements around the site and make a one-time $1 million payment to the town that could go toward a new public safety building or other public works. He estimated that the project would generate $630,000 in annual property taxes.
''I have gone above and beyond what is expected of any other developer in town,'' he said.
The plan calls for a supermarket and other shops; restaurants; housing; offices; and a town green on the 58 acres off Route 27 that once was headquarters for Digital Equipment Corp.
Selectman chairwoman Sally Bubier said that lack of time ''for proper due diligence'' forced her board to take the action.
''There is no way that the Board of Selectmen could have brought forward the proposal with the ambiguities it had on Tuesday night,'' said Bubier. ''We were given information on Tuesday morning, which gave us three days to pull things together for Town Meeting. It was unfair to tie our hands like that.''
-- Melissa Beecher
An 11th-hour decision has pulled the redevelopment of the former Digital site in Maynard from the table, leaving the future of the town’s largest vacant property unknown.
In an unexpected move late last night, the Planning Board and Board of Selectmen voted to withdraw the 129 Parker Street plan from the warrant for Monday's Special Town Meeting. The move shocked many close to the development, including the applicant, property owner John Wolters.
“This was news to me. We had no idea that this was coming,” said Wolters today.
John Curran, Maynard’s Town Administrator and the chief negotiator for the town, said yesterday that he could not speak specifically about the details of negotiations.
“I think that a lot of people will see this as coming out of left field, but my concern all along has been that this may not be ready in time for Town Meeting,” said Curran. “We’re close but not there yet, and we have to do what’s in the best interest of the town.”
-- Melissa Beecher
Maynard resident Brian Whitney, responding to Robert Kuttner's Aug. 19 op-ed piece, suggests in a Letter to the Editor today that people should consider whether stores are unionized when they buy their products.
"We need to take pride on those occasions that we find ourselves having to pay a few dollars more for something that was produced and distributed by a business that respects its workers," he wrote.
"As workers we embrace the ideas of union membership, access to quality and affordable healthcare, and guaranteed pensions. As consumers, we should also embrace the businesses we frequent that offer these same opportunities to their employees."
-- Erica Tochin
Margaret Cahoon of Maynard recently moved in for the school year at the University of Delaware.
She told the university's UDaily that she was impressed with her new residence hall. “I think they're great. These rooms are bigger than graduate student housing at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.”