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Sean Marden running marathon for aquarium

March 1, 2014 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by the New England Aquarium Publicity Team: 

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Sean Marden, 24, ran in last year’s Boston Marathon when bombs exploded at the finish line. He was not injured and is not deterred about going back on April 21. He’s training now to run with the New England Aquarium where he works as a diver in the Giant Ocean Tank.
 
“Running the Boston Marathon last year I experienced both the highest and lowest points of my running career,” said Marden, 24, a Chelmsford native who now lives in Brookline. “Running for me has always been about overcoming both physical and emotional obstacles and coming together with fellow runners. I am very grateful that I have been given this opportunity and am looking forward to being a part of Boston's healing process.”
 
Marden is one of 25 runners on the Aquarium team raising money for its community outreach programs which bring tide pools and aquatic animals to 47,000 children in Greater Boston area day cares, schools, YMCAs, Boys and Girls clubs, and other centers. Team members are each raising $5,000. The Aquarium is an official charity in the 118th Boston Marathon. To sponsor Marden, click on: https://secure2.convio.net/neaq/site/Donation2?idb=0&df_id=3382&3382.donation=landing
 
This will be Marden’s sixth marathon in the last three years, and he is pleased to be running for the Aquarium this year. “At every race, I have witnessed ordinary people who overcome tremendous challenges,” he said. “Running long distances reminds us that through dedication and persistence it is possible to achieve seemingly unattainable goals. When I reflect on all of the tremendous challenges facing our oceans, I am optimistic that we can achieve the goal of making positive changes by investing long-term in our future.”
 
As an Aquarium aquarist, Marden scuba dives in the Giant Ocean Tank to feed and care for the 2,000 marine animals that live there. He is also an avid outdoorsman who enjoys rock climbing, slacklining, hiking, and backpacking.
 
Training in all the snow and cold has been challenging, but Marden has a surprising twist to his regimen: To run without socks. “A trick I have to keep my feet from freezing is to do some quick running in place or jumping jacks while I am inside prior to going out in the cold,” he said. “Doing this gets my feet really warm and then they retain that heat on my run. It sounds a little crazy but it works pretty well for me.”
 

Sean Marden running marathon for aquarium

March 1, 2014 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by the New England Aquarium Publicity Team: 

aquarmarat.jpg
Sean Marden, 24, ran in last year’s Boston Marathon when bombs exploded at the finish line. He was not injured and is not deterred about going back on April 21. He’s training now to run with the New England Aquarium where he works as a diver in the Giant Ocean Tank.
 
“Running the Boston Marathon last year I experienced both the highest and lowest points of my running career,” said Marden, 24, a Chelmsford native who now lives in Brookline. “Running for me has always been about overcoming both physical and emotional obstacles and coming together with fellow runners. I am very grateful that I have been given this opportunity and am looking forward to being a part of Boston's healing process.”
 
Marden is one of 25 runners on the Aquarium team raising money for its community outreach programs which bring tide pools and aquatic animals to 47,000 children in Greater Boston area day cares, schools, YMCAs, Boys and Girls clubs, and other centers. Team members are each raising $5,000. The Aquarium is an official charity in the 118th Boston Marathon. To sponsor Marden, click on: https://secure2.convio.net/neaq/site/Donation2?idb=0&df_id=3382&3382.donation=landing
 
This will be Marden’s sixth marathon in the last three years, and he is pleased to be running for the Aquarium this year. “At every race, I have witnessed ordinary people who overcome tremendous challenges,” he said. “Running long distances reminds us that through dedication and persistence it is possible to achieve seemingly unattainable goals. When I reflect on all of the tremendous challenges facing our oceans, I am optimistic that we can achieve the goal of making positive changes by investing long-term in our future.”
 
As an Aquarium aquarist, Marden scuba dives in the Giant Ocean Tank to feed and care for the 2,000 marine animals that live there. He is also an avid outdoorsman who enjoys rock climbing, slacklining, hiking, and backpacking.
 
Training in all the snow and cold has been challenging, but Marden has a surprising twist to his regimen: To run without socks. “A trick I have to keep my feet from freezing is to do some quick running in place or jumping jacks while I am inside prior to going out in the cold,” he said. “Doing this gets my feet really warm and then they retain that heat on my run. It sounds a little crazy but it works pretty well for me.”
 

New construction phase begins at Chelmsford town center

February 19, 2014 10:00 AM
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The following was submitted by Watkins Strategies:

As construction crews began to demolish the exterior façade of the old Chelmsford Town Center, the mood was focused on the exciting transformation ahead for the former Stop & Shop/Marshall’s plaza at 18 Boston Road. 

In many ways, the taking down of the old façade marked a transition for the project development team towards reconstruction of the 8.5-acre 60,000-plus square foot site. 

Winstanley Enterprises, based in Concord, MA, purchased the site about 6 months ago and be-gan construction on the development in late-December.  Winstanley has committed $4.5 million in renovation costs to convert the site into a fresh, vibrant retail space. 

The new building exterior will feature a sophisticated, modern look highlighted by a brick façade, a clock tower, all new storefronts, pedestrian-friendly circulation, updated landscaping that includes removal of invasive plants and debris along Beaver Brook, a patio area for al fresco dining, and other ornamental features that will make the new Chelmsford Town Center a down-town destination. 

“This site has great potential, so we’ve made a strong commitment to transforming it into an at-tractive retail complex that will rejuvenate the downtown Chelmsford area,” said Adam Winstan-ley, principal of Winstanley Enterprises.  “We share the Town of Chelmsford’s enthusiasm and dedication to enhancing its downtown and making it a destination for dining, shopping, services, exercise and play. We began actively working on the renovation plans months before we pur-chased the center.  Now we’re excited to see visible signs that the project is underway, and look forward to our vision becoming a reality this year.” 

The transformation of the plaza, scheduled to be completed by the end of July, comes on the heels of a master plan that was recently unveiled by the Chelmsford Village Master Plan Com-mittee as well the recent approval by the  House of Representatives of $5 million to improve the town’s center. The master plan seeks to make the downtown area more user-friendly by improv-ing parking and pedestrian circulation, and to capitalize on the beauty of Beaver Brook by creat-ing a walkway for patrons and visitors.

“Winstanley’s Chelmsford Town Center represents a significant private investment and will set the stage for future private and public investments in the Center Village,” said Evan Belansky, Community Development Director for the town of Chelmsford.  “This project, which will feature high quality architecture and landscape components, has already resulted in attracting high quali-ty retail, restaurant and service businesses to the Center Village.”  
Recently signed leases at Chelmsford Town Center include Choice Fitness, an anchor tenant that will occupy 17,000 square feet of space, and NOBO Modern Japanese Restaurant & Bar, offer-ing Asian fusion cuisine.  Several other leases are under negotiation and will be announced as they are signed. Current tenants on the 8.5-acre property include CVS, Bank of America and Friendly’s.  Chelmsford Town Center will be managed by Winstanley Enterprises. 

Located off Route 3 and I-495, at the intersection of Boston Road / Route 4 and Summer Street, Chelmsford Town Center offers for lease prime retail suites from 1,200 to 10,000 SF in size. For leasing information contact Daniel Dori at Blackline Retail Group, 617-553-1840, or visit www.blacklinere.com

Since the early 1990s Winstanley Enterprises LLC has acquired in excess of 80 properties total-ing over 10 million square feet of commercial real estate. Winstanley currently owns and operates a portfolio of 43 real estate assets totaling approximately 5.5 million square feet and including industrial/warehouse, R&D, retail, biotech, and office uses. More information can be found at www.winstanleyenterprises.com.

Crews to begin Chelmsford town center façade demolition

February 8, 2014 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by Watkins Strategies:

WHO:  Adam Winstanley, Principal of Winstanley Enterprises 
Construction crews from Tewksbury-based Pinnacle Construction 
Blackline Retail Group, Exclusive Retail Marketer 
Winstanley Enterprises, Concord, MA-based Project Owners 

WHAT: The Project Development Team of Chelmsford Town Center are ready to begin the next phase of construction at the soon-to-be rejuvenated shopping center in downtown Chelmsford. 
As demolition crews begin to focus on removing the exterior façade of the former Stop & Shop and Marshall’s plaza on Boston Road, anticipation continues to build for the overhaul of this site as well as the master plan recently unveiled for Chelmsford Village. 
Having just completed the interior demolition of the plaza, crews will now start to remove the exterior façade of the building and continue to transform the facility into prime retail space. The new exterior of the building will feature a fresh modern look highlighted by a brick façade, a clock tower, all new storefronts, wide sidewalks to accommodate patio dining, retail friendly landscaping and other ornamental features that will make the new retail space a downtown destination. 

Several tenants recently signed leases at Chelmsford Town Center including Choice Fitness, an anchor tenant that will occupy 17,000 square feet of space and NOBO Modern Japanese & Bar.  Current tenants on the 8.5-acre property include CVS, Bank of America and Friendly’s.  Prime retail space is available and is being exclusively marketed by Blackline Retail Group. Chelmsford Town Center will be managed by Winstanley Enterprises. 

The transformation of the plaza, scheduled to be completed by the end of July, comes on the heels of a master plan that was recently unveiled by the Chelmsford Village Master Plan Committee as well the recent approval by the  House of Representatives for $5 million for improvements to the town’s center. The master plan seeks to capitalize on Beaver Brook by creating a walkway for patrons and visitors of downtown and also seeks to make the downtown area more user-friendly by improving parking and walking areas.

Chelmsford Town Center is a retail plaza located on Boston Road / Route 4 at the intersection of Summer Street off of I-495. Winstanley Enterprises purchased the property about six months ago and vowed to overhaul the shopping center and rejuvenate the downtown location. Winstanley Enterprises, based in Concord, MA, has a proven history as a leader in the real estate and development business.


 
WHEN: TUESDAY
FEBRUARY 11, 2014  
10:00 AM  

Visual will be construction crew performing demolition of building’s exterior façade. 
WHERE: 16 Boston Road 
Chelmsford, MA 

Congresswoman Niki Tsongas tours Chelmsford Water Analysis Center

February 1, 2014 10:00 AM
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Rep. Tsongas with Ed Somes, director of R&D Thermo Fisher, touring our Thermo Fisher Center of Excellence for Water Analysis in Chelmsford.

The following was submitted by the Thermo Fisher Scientific Water Analysis Center:

On Friday, Jan. 31st at 10:00 a.m. Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (D-MA 3rd District) toured the Thermo Fisher Scientific Water Analysis Center at 22 Alpha Road in Chelmsford. 

Our water analysis instruments are used by several water and waste-water treatment plants across Massachusetts to provide solutions for environmental water testing for contaminants and other emerging inorganic elements and organic compounds. 

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Thermo Fisher Center of Excellence for Water Analysis in Chelmsford pictured with (l to r)– Ed Somes, director of R&D Thermo Fisher ; Lisa Robillard, senior manager of marketing communications; Steve Fletcher, vice president/general manager, water analysis business; Rep. Niki Tsongas; Mark Dyment, director of global operations; Rick Jenkinson, Thermo Fisher government relations director.


Groton School students have an angelic connection with village in Tanzania

December 24, 2013 12:19 PM
A Village of Angels Connects Groton With Tanzania (via The Groton Line)

Christmas angels are a common Christian holiday theme … and it turns out Groton is an important hub of angelic activity, not just in December but all year ’round. Groton School student Lucy Brainard visited Tanzania two summers ago as part of a…

Increase in homelessness prompts a look at zoning changes at Beacon Hill hearing

December 18, 2013 05:48 PM

With more than 4,000 Massachusetts families living in motels or emergency shelters, a few lawmakers suggested Wednesday it’s time to look at the state’s zoning laws to encourage construction of more affordable housing.

During a legislative oversight hearing to examine a rise in homelessness, Sen. James Eldridge, co-chair of the Housing Committee, said most people agree that housing people in motels and hotels is not a solution for homeless families, but said there is not enough affordable housing available to prevent the problem.

The Department of Housing and Community Development spends roughly $1.1 million a week on shelter, a figure that ticked up when the number of homeless families began rising over the summer despite increased spending by the Legislature and the Patrick administration to address the problem. The number hit an all-time high in October when 2,038 families were housed in emergency shelters. It has hovered around the same since, according to DHCD.

“The alternative is those families would be literally living on the streets,” Eldridge, a Democrat from Acton, said during the hearing.

If the state wants to solve the homelessness crisis, there needs to be more federal and state funding for construction of affordable housing, Eldridge said during the hearing.

Many suburban communities place restrictions on affordable housing that contribute to the homelessness problem, with some prohibiting construction of multi-family units, Undersecretary of Housing Aaron Gornstein told lawmakers on the committee. “There is a tremendous need for more multi-family housing,” he said.

“We do need to build more housing, more affordable housing, as well as more market rate housing,” Gornstein added.

Rep. Kevin Honan (D-Brighton), House co-chair of the committee, wanted to know if the rise in homelessness was a national problem, and what other states were doing to create affordable housing solutions. Gornstein said during a national conference this past summer housing officials from around the country talked about how they were all seeing a “significant increase” in the number of homeless.

In November 2012, Gov. Deval Patrick announced a goal of creating 10,000 multi-family units each year. As of October 2013, there have been 6,268 building permits pulled for multi-family homes, compared to 3,777 during the same time in 2012, according to DHCD.

Eldridge asked if 10,000 units were not enough to address the problem. Gornstein described the figure as “ambitious.”

Affordable housing is expensive to build, and the federal government has walked away from building housing projects during the Reagan administration, advocates said.

Currently 100,000 people are on a waiting list for federal Section 8 affordable housing assistance, according to Peter Gagliardi, executive director of HAP Housing, which provides housing assistance to people in Hampshire and Hampden counties in western Massachusetts.

Gagliardi said the state is facing a systemic problem that is much larger than the 4,000 people currently in shelters and motels. There are 200,000 people in the state living at the federal poverty level and at risk of losing their homes, he said.

Rep. Denise Provost (D-Somerville) asked Gornstein how much affordable units cost to build. He estimated total development costs somewhere around $300,000 per unit.

Rep. Matthew Beaton, a Republican from Shrewsbury, asked if the state took steps to significantly increase subsidized housing would there be unintended consequences on market rate housing. Gornstein said he did not think it would create an issue.

Gornstein said the state cannot solve the problem alone. He said one of the major challenges has been the recent increase in the number of families needing emergency shelter.

Nationwide, states are seeing a surge in homelessness driven by the recent recession and foreclosure crisis, according to Gornstein. Massachusetts is not alone in facing the problem that necessitates an aggressive approach on several fronts, he said, including affordable housing and job training.

“We need a good strong federal partner to be able to produce even more units of affordable housing,” he said.

David Hedison, executive director of the Chelmsford Housing Authority and CHOICE INC. – a non-profit subsidiary of the Chelmsford authority - said many communities cannot afford land to build affordable housing. Expensive land means municipal officials need to think more creatively about ways to build, including regional projects or borrowing, he said.

He added communities cannot rely on private developers to build much-needed affordable housing.

About a year ago, Hedison said he pretended to be a homeless person looking for an affordable unit. He called building managers at a development that received tax credits and other state assistance to build a certain number of affordable units. The building managers told him they were not accepting any names for the wait list – it was full.

The following week, he visited the development and introduced himself as the executive director of the Chelmsford Housing Authority. He told them his mother needed an affordable unit. He was told they had three available, he told lawmakers.

Hedison said public housing officials are held accountable, and “anyone receiving dollars to create affordable units also needs to be held accountable.”

Other advocates said policymakers need to solve the underlying problems that create homelessness, like job training and education.

Chris Norris, executive director of Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership, said the Patrick administration’s two-year-long HomeBASE program worked by keeping thousands of families in homes. However, there was not enough job training available to keep low-income people afloat.

“Families were housed for two years. We did that effectively. Not many of them saw their incomes increase,” Norris said.

For example, 15 families who lost their HomeBASE rental assistance dropped out of job training because they lost their homes and were forced to move, according to Norris.

There were approximately 5,400 families enrolled in the state's HomeBASE rental assistance program that started to roll off the program. The assistance is scheduled to end for all recipients by June 30, 2014. Since July, assistance already ended for approximately 3,000 families. DHCD is issuing 500 state rental assistance vouchers under the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) so some of those families have housing, Gornstein said.

Altia Taylor, 30, is a single mother who will soon be forced to leave her apartment in Dorchester because her HomeBASE assistance came to an end in November. After Jan. 31, she has no idea where she and her 15-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son will live.

“I don’t really know what my next steps are,” she told reporters after testifying before the committee.

Taylor said the HomeBASE program helped her for two years by giving her family stability after they lived in shelters. She is now waiting to hear from the Boston Housing Authority about her application for a permanent place to live.

Before the oversight hearing began, Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker outlined his plan to move families living in motels into more permanent housing within his first year in office if elected.

His short-term plan calls for sending “multi-disciplinary assessment teams” to work with families in hotels and motels to develop a plan to stabilize their living situations. He also called for better communication between state agencies to assist families on the brink of homelessness, greater flexibility for regional public and private agencies, and “sensible” changes to state laws and regulations that he says push people into homelessness.

Middlesex DA pushes for domestic violence bill after Jared Remy case

December 14, 2013 10:02 AM

Months after her office was criticized for its handling of a domestic violence case that ended in murder, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan is pushing legislation that increases penalties on defendants with a history of violence and in cases where the victim is a household or family member.

Ryan testified before the Joint Committee on Public Safety Thursday in favor of a bill (H 3242) that broadens the aggravated assault and battery statute when the defendant has previously been convicted of certain crimes, including violating a restraining order. The bill, entitled “an act relative to protecting domestic violence victims from repeat offenders,” was filed by Rep. Carolyn Dykema, a Democrat from Holliston.

The legislation also increases penalties for a defendant on an assault and battery charge who violates a judge’s order not to contact the victim as a condition of release on bail. Currently, a defendant is subject to increased penalties only when the assault and battery occurs in violation of a restraining order, according to Ryan.

“Right now the legislation does not provide for violation of the court order, a stay away order, to be an aggravating factor. This bill would remedy that,” she said. “This bill would say that if you have been ordered by the court to stay away from the victim and you, in fact, violate that order, commit an assault and battery, that will be an aggravating factor. It just increases the number of aggravating factors.”

The legislation gives prosecutors more tools to recommend higher sentences, and gives judges more discretion in sentencing, without creating mandatory minimum sentences, Ryan said.

Ryan is pushing for passage of four domestic violence bills, according to a spokeswoman. “It is part and parcel of a broader review of domestic violence legislation to increase penalties and discretion in sentencing that began when the DA took office,” spokeswoman MaryBeth Long said.

Ryan testified before lawmakers in July on a handful of bills, including one to create a new crime of strangulation and strangulation with serious bodily injury. In October, the Senate passed a domestic violence bill that included the strangulation measure. The bill is awaiting action in the House.

In August, the Middlesex District Attorney’s office was criticized for how it handled the case against Jared Remy, who was in court on an assault and battery charge two days before he allegedly killed his girlfriend, Jennifer Martel, a case that has spurred a reexamination of laws intended to prevent domestic violence.

Remy was arrested for allegedly slamming his longtime girlfriend into a mirror, and the DA’s office was publicly criticized for not asking a judge to continue to hold him, based on a past history of domestic violence charges, or ordering him to stay away from Martel following his arraignment.

In the wake of Martel’s murder, House Speaker Robert DeLeo asked Attorney General Martha Coakley to partner with him in looking at the state’s restraining order laws.

Dykema, who filed the bill in January, said abusers often have a history of violence before the domestic violence incident that should raise a red flag.

The bill recognizes if the defendant has a past history of violent behavior, they would be eligible for increased penalties on the domestic violence charge, Dykema said.

Dykema told the News Service the issue hit close to home for her after a Westborough mother was murdered in a domestic violence incident several years ago. After the woman’s death, she worked with former Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Leone, and then Ryan when she took office, Dykema said.

One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, Dykema said.

“The most frustrating thing I hear from the public when you read these tragedies in the paper, there is a clear history of violence. People ask themselves, and I ask myself, why weren’t we able to recognize this…to discern the clear signs. This (bill) allows us to recognize those past patterns of behavior.”

State Sen. Barrett joins committees on health, adoption, early edication

December 12, 2013 12:40 PM

State Sen. Mike Barrett, a Lexington Democrat who also represents Waltham and other nearby communities, has been named to three committees specializing in health disparities, adoption costs, and early education access, according to a statement from his office.

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State Sen. Mike Barrett
He was recently named to the Health Disparities Council, the Early Education and Care Commission, and a newly-created task force on the adoption process in Massachusetts. The Health Disparities Council, created in 2006, looks for solutions to health care inequalities. The council includes hospitals, insurance companies, community health centers, and the Massachusetts Medical Society, among others. Originally charged with examining racial and ethnic disparities, the council included people with disabilities earlier this year after Barrett pushed for it, according to his office. Representatives noted that he also serves as Senate chair on the Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities. His office, citing the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, said that 13 percent of disabled Massachusetts residents report getting to a doctor is prohibitively expensive, compared to 6 percent of people without a disability. That gap is small relative to other states, but Barrett said in his statement that more can be done. When people with disabilities do get to the doctor’s office, Barrett said, they face further challenges: Earlier this year, a survey of more than 250 specialists in major American cities found that fewer than 10 percent of offices had disability-friendly equipment, such as height-adjustable examining tables, and most lacked specially-trained employees, the statement said.

“On the whole, people with disabilities smoke at a higher rate and have higher obesity numbers,” said Barrett, a healthcare IT specialist by profession, in his statement. “When you dig deeper, you’ll see this population also has a harder time seeing doctors due to high costs.”

Barrett has also been appointed to a newly-formed adoption task force which will recommend ways to reduce costs and delays in the adoption process. The task force, led by children and families department commissioner Olga Roche, will consult with chief justices of the probate and family and juvenile courts to come up with solutions.

Adoption expenses consist of home study and legal fees, among other costs, Barrett's office said.

Barrett will also serve on the recently-created Early Education and Care Commission, which will study early education's high costs and care services, and look at ways to expand access.

Citing the nonprofit Early Education for All, Barrett's office said 40 percent of pre-school aged children in Massachusetts are not enrolled in an early education program.

“Sixteen percent of kids who aren’t reading at a proficient level when they finish third grade end up not graduating from high school on time,” Barrett said. “We should be investing in their future from an early age.”

For more information, visit Barrett's legislative page.

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Follow us on Twitter: @yourtownwaltham, @jaclynreiss

Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

Groton to auction fire vehicles, other surplus equipment

December 4, 2013 06:25 PM
Psst … Wanna Buy A Fire Truck? How About a Fire Station? (via The Groton Line)

Art Campbell | The Groton Line If you’re dreaming of getting a fire engine as the perfect holiday gift — a real fire engine, mind you — not a toy, your dreams could come true Tuesday December 10. If you dream a little bigger and you’ve been…

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