They won’t again get caught napping. At least, they say they won’t....
Voters brought a range of concerns to the polls today—the public schools, crime, housing, but also gut feelings about particular candidates. Here are some of their voices from around Boston....
Has any toy ever won and lost so much goodwill, so fast, as Goldie Blox? The pink and purple building toy was a national sensation......
South African leader and anit-aparthied hero Nelson Mandela died December 5 at the age of 95. Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years for fighting against...
Hailo, the smart phone app that allows people to hail licensed Boston taxis with a few taps of their thumbs, has partnered with Miller Lite and a slew of bars to offer a...
With just weeks left in 2013, not one person has been fully enrolled in a health plan through the beleaguered state marketplace....
Prolonged exposure to repetitive sounds can reduce the formation of blood vessels in the brains of newborn mice, Yale researchers have found, causing changes that may ultimately make them more vulnerable to stresses and aging....
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley is not quite a household name. But this year continues to be one of remarkable ascent for the unassuming Capuchin friar who just celebrated a decade as archbishop of Boston....
A majority of the state gambling commission signaled Tuesday that they would support a plan by Suffolk Downs to host a Mohegan Sun resort casino in Revere, though the panel put off a decisive vote...
The annual summer fighting season is now well underway in Afghanistan, with nearly daily suicide bombings, assassinations, and other high-profile attacks by the Taliban and other militant groups. But one thing appears decidedly different this...
Are we approaching the point where Boston will have more venture capitalists living in dorm rooms than in Wellesley?...
A female pedestrian was killed after being struck by two motor vehicles in Yarmouth on Saturday evening, State Police said in a statement. The 32-year-old Yarmouth Port woman was hit around 5 p.m. when walking on Route 6 westbound near Exit 8, police said. Troopers responded and found her to be in “grave condition,” the statement said. When the Yarmouth Fire Department and EMS arrived, she was declared dead.
In their first statement since his death, Mandela’s family said ‘‘the pillar of the royal Mandela family is no more with us physically, but his spirit is still with us.”
A man who opened fire on two police officers on a Dorchester street early this afternoon, injuring one, was shot and killed by the officers, police said. Just after 1 p.m., two officers approached two men near the intersection of Geneva Avenue and Westville Street, interim Police Commissioner William Evans said. The pair was “known to police,” he said. An argument quickly escalated, and one of the men shoved an officer before running away, Evans said. When police ordered them to stop, one of the men allegedly pulled out a gun and started shooting at the officers. A bullet hit one of the officers in the arm. Police returned fire, shooting and killing the man. The other man was arrested. “Nobody likes to discharge their firearm, but when we have a situation with deadly force, and they’re trying to kill us, we have no other choice, unfortunately,” Evans said at a press conference near the scene.
Ford will use a marketing strategy from the first release of the Mustang in 1964 and the 50th anniversary of the classic car to increase the global sales of the newly redesigned hot rod.
Hertz rental cars is adding an ecologically friendly washing system. And one New Hampshire man made a different kind of hybrid car by using a half of a Plymouth and half of a Dodge.
Some areas of Mass. could see 6 inches of snow tonight; Boston area only likely to get 1 to 2 inches
Some areas of the state could see up to 6 inches overnight, the National Weather Service said.
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News north of Boston
Stacy DiChiara recently began work as Winthrop’s human resources director. Town Manager James McKenna selected DiChiara from among more than 40 candidates to fill the newly created post. The Wakefield resident comes to Winthrop after 10 years at Tenebraex Corp, where she was the company’s human resources manager for much of that time. Until now, the town’s human resource functions had been spread among all its departments. McKenna said the town concluded that it was time to bring all those duties under one roof for greater efficiency and to ensure uniform standards were followed. With the recent hiring, the town created a new suite of offices on the lower level of Town Hall that includes the human resources, veterans, and retirement offices. The veterans office, which had been located in the American Legion building, and the retirement office, which had been on the second floor of Town Hall, were moving to their new spaces last week.
The town recently earned an upgrade in its bond rating from Standard & Poor’s, from AA- to AA, according to Town Manager Richard Montuori. Bond rating upgrades enable communities to save on interest when they borrow. Montuori said that in its rating report, Standard & Poor’s cited Tewksbury’s strong economy, budget flexibility, and performance. He said the credit rating agency also said that the town’s management is strong, with good financial practices in place. The agency cautioned that Tewksbury’s long-term liabilities would put pressure on its budget but that it believes the town’s management will make needed revenue and spending adjustments to keep its budgets balanced and flexible.
The boards of selectmen in Wakefield and Reading recently extended for a year the inter-municipal agreement in which the two towns share a director of assessing. Originally signed in July 2012, the agreement was set to expire on Dec. 31, according to Victor Santaniello, who holds the director of assessing post. He said the two towns had planned to extend the agreement for another three years, but opted for the one-year extension because the state Department of Revenue in the next several months is expected to issue revised guidelines for regional assessing. He said the two towns plan to use those guidelines to craft a longer-term agreement to take effect when the current one expires. Santaniello had been Wakefield’s director of assessing prior to the agreement. Since assuming the regional post, he has been splitting his time between the two town halls. “It’s been a fantastic relationship with both towns, and the state Department of Revenue has been helpful to me in getting things accomplished and for advice and counsel,” he said.
Mayor Scott D. Galvin recently announced his appointment of Timothy J. Ring as the city’s new fire chief. Ring, whose appointment was effective Nov. 26, succeeds Paul Tortolano, who retired at the end of May. Robert DiPoli had served as interim chief. A Woburn resident, Ring is a 34-year veteran of the Fire Department. Hired as a full-time firefighter in January 1979, he was promoted to lieutenant in October 1988 and to captain in January 2010. Ring was among five members of the department who applied for the civil service position. The five candidates were evaluated through an assessment center, a process in which experts grade the candidates on their performance in role-playing exercises that simulate situations they could face as chief. Galvin said he interviewed the three candidates with the top scores before tapping Ring, who had the highest score. “I’m excited to work with him,” Galvin said. “He has a great background in the Fire Department and he’s well thought of in the community and within the department.”
The Board of Aldermen will have a new leader and two new members elected last month when it organizes for the new year on Jan. 13. Alderman at large Donald L. Conn Jr. will be the new president. Ward 2 Alderwoman Monica C. Medeiros will take a seat as a councilor at large. Jennifer Lemmerman will be sworn in as the new Ward 2 councilor. In Ward 7, Scott Forbes will be sworn in as the new councilor, replacing his father, William H. Forbes Jr., who is retiring.
Cycle through a winter wonderland next Saturday as part of Somerville’s annual Illuminations Bicycle Tour, which will ride past homes decorated for the season. The hourlong ride will be held Saturday and will meet at 5:50 p.m. in front of the main entrance to Somerville High School at 81 Highland Ave. before departing at 6 p.m. The Somerville Bicycle Committee is holding the ride in conjunction with the Somerville Arts Council’s Illuminations Trolley Tour the same night. Cyclists are encouraged to wear warm clothes and light up their bikes. Costumes are also encouraged, but not required, and the bicycle committee is suggesting $5 donations to the Somerville Arts Council. Hot drinks and treats will be served after the ride at City Hall.
Girls Inc. of Lynn was recently one of 15 Boston-area nonprofit organizations awarded grants by Vermont-based Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. The parent company of Keurig, the Burlington-based coffee-machine maker, Green Mountain committed about $290,000 to support the work of local nonprofits. Green Mountain “is proud to support nonprofits that are making a real difference in our local communities,” Sandy Yusen, the company’s director of community relations, said in a statement. She said that in addition to grants, Green Mountain supports local nonprofits through volunteerism and product donations. The $25,000 grant awarded to Girls Inc. of Lynn will be used for the group’s general operations and to support Eureka!, the six-week, full-day educational summer program it offers to stimulate girls’ interest in science, engineering, math, and technology.
As they head to the polls for a special state election to fill the US House seat vacated by Senator Edward J. Markey, Winchester voters on Tuesday also will be asked to cast ballots in a special town election to decide on a proposed debt exclusion needed to fund a comprehensive overhaul of Winchester High School. The $129.9 million addition and renovation project is designed to address three issues for Winchester: increasing enrollment; an obsolete building infrastructure; and an educational program that is no longer supported by the physical layout of the high school. The Massachusetts School Building Authority on Oct. 2 approved up to $44.5 million to rebuild Winchester High School, leaving the town responsible for the balance of $85.4 million. If voters approve the debt exclusion, a temporary property tax increase that lasts until the project’s debt is paid off, town officials would complete work on the high school by fall 2017.
Mayor Carlo DeMaria recently named Michael Gove to fill the new position of sustainability and environmental planner for the city. Gove most recently worked from October 2010 until this past March in a fellowship position at the US Environmental Protection Agency, serving in the Oceans and Coastal Protection Division of the Office of Water. A resident of Exeter, N.H., he has a bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies from the University of Connecticut, and a master’s degree in urban and environmental policy and planning from Tufts University. Gove will help oversee Everett’s energy service contract and set the city’s environmental priorities and goals. He will also provide guidance to the Conservation Commission and coordinate data collection and tabulation relating to environmental programs.
News south of Boston
Selectmen are scheduled to interview Grady Miller, one of three final candidates for town manager, on Dec. 16, according to chairman Fred Koed. After narrowing the field from five, the board interviewed Stephen Hartford and Christopher Senior last week, when Miller had a scheduling conflict, Koed said. As with the other applicants, Miller is scheduled to meet the public at 2 p.m. on the day of his interview, at the municipal police/fire station. He will meet with some Town Hall staff and members of town committees before his 6 p.m. interview with selectmen, Koed said. Koed said he expects the board will make the appointment at its meeting the next day, “provided everyone is ready.” Acting Town Manager Michael Milanoski’s contract runs out Dec. 31; he was not among the finalists for the job.
Hanover officials are considering a proposal to lease the town’s transfer station to private contractors, who would keep its services free for Hanover residents, pay rent on the property, employ current transfer station workers, and make a profit by opening up the station to small amounts of out-of-town and commercial waste. Hanover residents Michael Mowbray and Chris Carney, who have founded waste-management companies, estimated at a recent meeting with selectmen that the contract could save the town $400,000 a year. “The selectmen have turned to me to try to find ways to outsource contracts while being fiscally conservative. This meets both those goals,” Town Manager Troy Clarkson said in an interivew. “In my career, I’ve worked with private and public entities in waste. As long as there are clear expectations, and as long as we preserve free and open access to the facility for residents, I think it works.” He said the Board of Selectmen will host a community meeting to vet the proposal with residents early next year.
The Permanent School Building Committee plans to host a community discussion on school regionalization and construction Dec. 18 and vote on a preferred construction alternative Jan. 15. The meetings follow the recent release of a Massachusetts Association of Regional Schools report analyzing a potential merging of the Holbrook and Avon school systems. Holbrook is seeking state funding for a new school, and the decision on regionalizing could affect plans for the building. Barbara Davis, chairwoman of the Holbrook School Committee, said in an interview that she believes only a building designed for Holbrook grades K through 12 could accommodate future regionalization. School and municipal officials from Holbrook and Avon reviewed the report, which Davis called “well balanced and in depth,” in a joint meeting Dec. 2. The community discussion is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Holbrook Junior-Senior High School.
The Zoning Board of Appeals has upheld the building commissioner’s ruling that a homeowner cannot rent property seasonally in a residential neighborhood – a controversial decision that is likely to be appealed. Daniel Brewer, the attorney for the owner of 119 Beach Ave., said he expects to appeal to either the Superior Court or state Land Court. Brewer had argued unsuccessfully before the ZBA that Hull’s zoning bylaws permit the rental of single-family residences at any time, and that, in addition, seasonal rentals have been recognized historically as allowed “ancillary” uses. The building commissioner – and ZBA by a vote of 2 to 1 — said that seasonal rentals are a “business/commercial venture” and not allowed in single-family residential zones. The board will hold another hearing on the subject — this one for 110 Manomet Ave. — on Dec. 19.
The Planning Board has dropped a plan to seek a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries, and now intends to propose a bylaw at Town Meeting next April to regulate such facilities. Planners decided to change course after the state attorney general’s office ruled that a moratorium, adopted by many communities, cannot extend beyond the end of 2014, Town Planner Tom Bott said in an interview last week. Since the town no longer holds special Town Meetings in the fall, there will be only one opportunity to approve a bylaw next year. Bott said his office now is preparing a bylaw limiting marijuana dispensaries to certain parts of town. The choice is whether to limit such facilities to the town center or the town’s outskirts, or impose setbacks from schools, churches, and parks, where children gather. No public hearings on a bylaw proposal have been scheduled.
Four firefighters from Marshfield and five from Scituate will be recognized Dec. 19 at the state Firefighter of the Year Awards for saving a Marshfield firefighter from a burning building, Marshfield Fire Chief Kevin Robinson said in an interview. The governor, state fire marshal, and Executive Office of Public Safety and Security present the annual awards, which include the Medal of Honor, Medal of Valor, and awards for community service. “I know they’re getting an award, but I don’t exactly what they’re getting,” said Robinson. Firefighters were battling a blaze on Nov. 6, 2012, in the Humarock area of Scituate, when Lieutenant Joseph Kalinowski became trapped under debris and suffered serious burns. Marshfield’s honorees are Captain Anthony Boccuzzo, Lieutenant Craig Robinson, Firefighter/Paramedic Tobin Williams, and John Taylor, who the chief said is a call firefighter but was a full-time firefighter/paramedic at the time. “I’m extremely proud of them. They demonstrated the high standards of the fire service, reacted under stress, and did a great job,” the chief said.
Milton Public Library has hired Amy Rosa as its young adult librarian. Rosa will take over for Emily Calkins, who left the position in September to move out of state. According to library director William Adamczyk, Rosa’s experience as a young adult/circulation librarian in Marshfield has provided her with a wealth of knowledge and experience for the new role. “She was an excellent all-around candidate,” Adamczyk said in an interivew. “She’s done a bit of everything and had a lot of new, innovative ideas for teen programming and teen involvement in the library.” Rosa said she was looking forward to continuing the library’s strong teen program, as well as adding programs such as a book club, board-game night, video game workshop, and pastel painting workshop. “They were doing four programs a month and I want to keep that standard,” Rosa said.
In the wake of three serious car accidents in recent months, one resulting in a death, four street lights and a “Slow Curve Ahead” sign will be installed on Winter Street. After considering several safety options – including the installation of rumble strips on the roadway – selectmen at a recent meeting authorized Town Administrator James Boudreau and Highway Director Paul Foulsham to move forward with the lights and sign. Boudreau said speed was a factor in the accidents, all of which occurred on a curved stretch of the road. “We paved the road in early October, and that has contributed to motorists speeding,” he said. “Also, there’s a long straight lead before the curve and people tend to pick up speed as they approach it.” Police are increasing traffic patrols on Winter Street, which runs from Main Street and into Scituate.
The town’s increased property tax rate for fiscal 2014 has been certified by the state Department of Revenue. According to chief assessor Catherine Salmon, the new rate is $14.69 per $1,000 valuation, up from $14.20 per $1,000 in fiscal 2013, which ended June 30. Under the new rate, the owner of an average home assessed at about $322,929 would pay $4,744 this fiscal year. That represents a $147 increase over the $4,597 that the owner of such a home, valued at $323,709, would have paid last year, according to Salmon. Town officials calculated the rate after selectmen in their annual tax-classification hearing decided to continue Pembroke’s policy of having a single tax rate rather than separate rates for residents and businesses.
News west of Boston
A Holiday Victorian Tea for all ages is set for Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Proctor Mansion Inn, in the center of town at 36 Common St. The tea includes specialty sandwiches, scones, chocolate-dipped strawberries, dessert, tea, and champagne punch. The Victorian Christmas Carolers will perform at the event, which costs $38.50, not including tax and gratuity. Donations will be also accepted for the Wrentham Food Pantry. Call the inn for reservations, at 781-718-5041.
Nipmuc Regional High School will host a volleyball fund-raiser Friday night in the school gymnasium. The event, run by students participating in the DECA marketing program at Nipmuc, is intended to raise money for pancreatic cancer awareness. The admission is $5; students are encouraged to form their own volleyball teams for the tournament. For more information, contact Gary Perras, Nipmuc’s DECA adviser, at 508-529-2130.
The King Philip Regional High School music department will be holding world-percussion music classes from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays beginning next weekend, and running through early May. The clinics will be open to any music students in grades 4 through 12, as well as parents and other community members, and will focus on West African drum and dance and the formation of a steel band at the high school. The fee is $200, which participants can pay in installments; there are also limited scholarships available. For more information and a registration form, visit www.kingphilipmusic.org.
The Norfolk Lions Club is joining forces with the town’s Recreation Department to host the annual Santa parade Sunday starting at 3:30 p.m. at at the Hillcrest Village on Rockwood Road. The parade will proceed along Main Street to the Norfolk Public Library, and the festivities will include a tree lighting ceremony at the gazebo, pictures with Santa at the library, and a performance by a local ensemble, the Inspiration Performing Troupe.
The Millis Public Library will host a holiday photo ornament workshop Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants can make a glass ornament featuring a personal photograph; bring a copy of the photo printed on regular printer paper using waterfast ink. The workshop is free and and registration is not required, although a specific time may be reserved. All other supplies will be provided. The library photocopier will be also be available for color copies. For more information, or to register for a time slot, call 508-376-8282.
The Department of Public Services is seeking standby snowplow contractors for the winter, to be hired on an as-needed basis to supplement the town’s regular response operation. Applicants should have at least a three-quarter-ton, 4-by-4 vehicle with an 8-foot plow, the ability to respond within one hour, and standard insurance. For more information, click on the “Snow stand-in package’’ link at www.townofmedway.org, or call the town department at 508-533-3275.
The Medfield Lions Club is holding its annual Christmas tree sale through Dec. 22 in the Shaw’s Plaza parking lot on Main Street. Trees will be sold Mondays and Tuesdays from 4 to 7 p.m., Wednesdays through Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Those who purchase trees can designate $5 of the purchase price to be donated to the Medfield Food Cupboard or the Medfield Animal Shelter. All profits from the tree sale go to charity; the Lions Club will also be donating about 20 trees to be distributed through the food pantry.
Franklin’s overnight parking ban during winter storms is in effect through April 15. The ban will be activated between 1 and 5 a.m. if snow, sleet or freezing rain is falling, or is imminent within 12 hours. During the ban, it is prohibited to park a motor vehicle on a public street or on any roadway open to the public. The measure is intended to allow police, fire, and emergency medical vehicles to operate without impediment during winter storms. For more information, call the Police Department at 508-528-1212.
The Friends of the Southern New England Trunkline Trail organization has received a grant from the state Department of Conservation and Recreation toward a number of improvements on the 22-mile recreational path. The agency is providing $22,000 to pay for cutting overhanging branches, trimming undergrowth, and regrading the trail surface in certain areas, as well as the creation of a development plan for the trail, which runs between Franklin and Douglas. The study would take stock of the condition of the trail and related structures, and prepare a three-year partnership strategy with the six host communities and the National Park Service to bring the trail to its full recreational potential. For more information, visit the town’s website, www.bellinghamma.org.