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Local students honored by Middlesex District Attorney for avoiding drugs and alcohol

December 2, 2013 04:55 PM

About 85 middle school students in Middlesex County were honored for their leadership, judgment, and decision-making -- especially when it came to avoiding drugs and alcohol -- at an annual peer leadership conference hosted by the Middlesex District Attorney's office.

The conference, which was also hosted by nonprofit Middlesex Partnerships for Youth and the Massachusetts Interscholastic Association, was held Monday at the Nashoba Valley Technical High School in Westford. Students from nine local schools who were chosen as role models by school officials were recognized at the event, according to a statement from the district attorney's office.

The nine school districts include Bedford, Dover-Sherborn, Groton-Dunstable, Littleton, Lowell, Reading, Somerville, Weston, and Wilmington.

The event included a keynote address by Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, and a presentation by Interscholastic Association's "You Lead" program that supports and connects resources for young people choosing not to use drugs, drink alcohol or smoke tobacco.

“Our youth are under a tremendous amount of pressure whether it to be to fit in with their peers or to be academically or athletically successful,” Ryan said in the statement. “It is refreshing to see these youth who have made good choices in their lives and are committed to healthy living.

"This program is about supporting those who exhibit the confidence, maturity and strength to make positive decisions everyday and to help them continue to be a role model in their community.”

A similar event will be held next month for high school students, officials said.

For more information, visit the Middlesex District Attorney's website.

Special meeting set for Ashland water request

November 26, 2013 05:26 PM

Citing a "critical need for MWRA water" in Ashland, the Massachusetts Water Resources Advisory Board has scheduled a special meeting for next week.

The board reported Tuesday that Ashland has just notified both the MWRA and the advisory board of a request for a six-month emergency water supply connection to the MWRA system "due to lower than normal precipitation resulting in low groundwater levels at the Town's wells."

The advisory board said the request triggers a full vote of the board before Ashland can receive MWRA water.

The board is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4 at Newton City Hall.

- M. Norton/SHNS

Fun ways to celebrate Halloween west of Boston

October 20, 2013 12:27 PM

On the one hand, there is the kitschy Halloween beloved by small children, with silly or clever costumes, jack-o’-lanterns, and mountains of candy. On the other hand, there is the haunted-house fun of a good scare — be it from a gory costume or a spooky noise.

While traditional house-to-house trick-or-treating may still be the best way to spend Halloween itself, there are also any number of ways to explore the other dimensions of the holiday -- whether your preference leans more toward a walk through a graveyard or a craft activity.

Here some of the many ways to celebrate Halloween in communities west of Boston this year.

-- Halloween Walk and Tour of the Old Burying Ground in Lexington takes place Saturday (Oct 26) at 6:30 p.m. and leaves from the Depot Building, 13 Depot Square. Admission is $10 for adults and $6 for children, with discounts for Lexington Historical Society members. For reservations, more information, call 781-862-1703 or go to

-- Frightful Friday at Gore Place, 52 Gore St., Waltham, in its final installment this week, has tours starting at 7 and 8:30 p.m. Admission is $15 adults, $10 for ages 5 through 12 and Gore Place members. Capacity is limited. For tickets, call 781-894-2798 or visit

-- Murder at the Masquerade takes place at Merchants Row in the Colonial Inn, 48 Monument Square, Concord, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6:15. The ticket price, which includes a gourmet three-course dinner, is $69. For reservations, e-mail or call 978-371-2908, ext 544.

-- Spookapella, a concert by North Shore Acapella and guests, takes place Saturday Oct 26 cq/ts at the Center for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. The show begins at 8 p.m.; tickets are $22, or $20 for TCAN members. For tickets or information, call 508-647-0097 or go to

-- Halloween Open House at Dana Hall School of Music, 103 Grove St. in Wellesley, is next Sunday, (October 27)2-4 p.m. Admission is free, but reservations are encouraged; call 781-237-6542 or e-mail

-- Pumpkin Patch, a seasonal party held annually by the Sudbury Valley Trustees at Wolbach Farm on Wolbach Road in Sudbury, is scheduled for Saturday(Oct 26). Admission is free for SVT members; $2 per person for nonmembers, with a family maximum of $10. For more details, call 978-443-5588 or go online to

-- Decorate a Bag at Artbeat, 212A Mass Ave. in Arlington, Saturday (Oct 26)from noon to 7 p.m., and next Sunday (Oct 27) from noon to 5 p.m. Admission and supplies are free. For more information, call 781-646-2200 or go to

-- Halloween Family Day at the Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History, on the Regis College campus at 235 Wellesley St. in Weston, takes place Saturday (Oct 26)from noon to 4 p.m. For more information, call 781-768-8367 or go to

-- Welcome to Our [Halloween] Home at the Orchard House, 399 Lexington Road, Concord, offers a special after-hours tour Saturday scheduled for Saturday(Oct 26)from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m. Admission $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and college students, $8 for ages 6-17, and $4 for ages 2-6. A family rate for two adults and up to four youths for this event will be offered at $30. Space is limited; reservations can be made by calling 978-369-4118, ext. 106; for more information, go to

-- Tales of the Night at Massachusetts Audubon Society’s Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Road in Lincoln, takes place Thursday and Friday (Oct 24 and 25)from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets may be purchased in advance for $11 before Wednesday, Oct. 23, or after that for $13. Call 781-259-2218 or go to

Koutoujian raises $600K in bid to run for Congress

October 8, 2013 05:00 PM

In the race to succeed Edward J. Markey in the US House of Representatives, Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian’s campaign raised more than $600,000 in about three months, a sign of strength as the Oct. 15 special Democratic primary election looms.

From July 1 to Sept. 25, the Waltham Democrat’s campaign raised $610,000, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission, and ended that period with $690,000 in the bank.

The amount of money a candidate raises is a key and very public indication of the campaign’s health, especially so close a decisive election.

Koutoujian and six other Democrats are vying to represent the heavily Democratic district, which lost its Congressman when Markey became a US Senator.

Among the other contenders:

•State Senator Katherine Clark’s campaign pulled in $616,000 over the almost three-month time period, according to campaign manager Brooke Scannell. But that total included a $250,000 loan from the candidate, according to her federal filings. Clark’s effort had $386,000 in the bank on Sept. 25, Scannell said.

•State Representative Carl M. Sciortino’s campaign raised $266,000 during the July 1 to Sept. 25 reporting period mandated by the Federal Election Commission, and had $285,000 in cash on hand on Sept. 25, according to filings.

•State Senator Will Brownsberger’s campaign raised $215,000 during that period and had $239,000in the bank on Sept. 25, according to a campaign aide.

•State Senator Karen Spilka’s campaign raised $208,000 and had only $132,000 in cash on hand on Sept. 25, according to filings.

Also running in the Democratic primary are Paul John Maisano, who works in the construction industry, and Martin Long, an author.

The three Republicans battling for their party’s nomination in the Fifth District: actuary Tom Tierney; Harvard nanophysics researcher Mike Stopa; and businessman and lawyer Frank J. Addivinola Jr.

The special general election will be held Dec. 10.

Joshua Miller can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jm_bos.

Republican candidates in race to succeed Edward Markey in Congress answer questions

October 7, 2013 04:55 PM

Republican candidates in the Fifth Congressional District want to take a seat in the House of Representatives with various goals, including reducing the federal deficit and auduting the nation’s central bank.

Republicans Frank Addivinola Jr., Michael Stopa and Tom Tierney alternately found difference with the national party in approach, and in the party’s stance on taxes.

The three candidates were given one week to respond to questions posed by the News Service. A similar questionnaire was given to the Democratic candidates.

QUESTION: What area of federal government is most in need of reform, and what specific changes would you recommend to improve it?

ADDIVINOLA: The area of government most in need of reform is entitlements. Commonly, the media immediately jumps on a Republican who says this, and marginalizes him/her as a non caring politician. Nothing could be further from the case in my instance. I come from a working class family who worked for everything they had, and I have continually bettered myself through education and hard work. I’d be the first person to lend a hand to a single mother in need, or to reach out to a disabled person with a helping hand or help someone who is out of work or facing other difficulties of life. But no one is ever made more successful, nor is given the self respect needed to be happy, with a hand out. With failed entitlement policy we have created a seemingly permanent class of people who are dependent on government for the essentials of living and seem unable to take the step to personal success, abundance and gratification. We need to create performance based measures for our social welfare programs, to make sure that, by giving, we are really helping. In addition to saving taxpayer money in the long run and shrinking the overall footprint of our government, it will first and foremost create the steps in the ladder of personal success that people in need can utilize so we can become prosperous, caring and giving society.

STOPA: There are many possible answers to this question, but I would put the Federal Reserve at the top of the list and the reform that is necessary is that it be audited.

TIERNEY: The budgeting process is truly out of control. We continue to run up huge annual deficits and few in Congress are willing to do anything about it. It's much easier to "kick the can down the road" and stick future generations with the consequences. We need tax increases now and spending reductions now to solve this problem.

QUESTION: Where have you found disagreement with national Republicans? Please name an instance and explain why you oppose the consensus formed within your party.

ADDIVINOLA: I am most at odds with the National GOP, not in specific policy issues, but in our inability to reach consensus. From my perspective, that task is not conceptually that difficult. It should be evident that our constituents, both Republican, Independent, and mainstream Democrat would be very happy with a party that dedicated itself to reducing waste, fraud, abuse and duplication. It is clear that those same people would be happier with less government intrusion into areas of their lives that is not required to maintain the national security. We, on both sides of the aisle, have lost the confidence of the American people because we don’t address the issues that affect people’s everyday lives. Giving people “things” offers a short term benefit quickly forgotten. Affording people opportunity creates greater success and long term happiness. You cannot regulate opportunity, nor can you legislate innovation. Opportunity and innovation drive this economy, create jobs and provide the platform for individual success and overall happiness. We need to coalesce around these issues first.

STOPA: The question assumes that there exists a single voice of the Republican Party. Just as in life, there are many voices that make up the voice of this nation. And all of those voices must be heard. Nothing is more contrary to Democracy than a monolithic approach to problem solving. H.L. Menken once said that, “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." Republicans in Massachusetts expect certain positions from their leadership that may differ from those of Republicans in Texas. What every Republican should demand, what every American should demand, is leadership and courage of convictions.

My goal in Washington is to elevate the level of discourse. As Martin Luther King, Jr., once said, “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” This applies without regard to party lines or ideologies. The House of Representatives is a great deliberative body worthy of such an approach. My 19 years of marriage tell me that one should not expect to get everything we want out of a negotiation and that compromise is imperative. But that compromise is based upon mutual respect and solid conviction. It is a two way street. Name calling and gross characterizations may be useful to generate sound bites but it is no way to work together to resolve the great issues that face our nation and indeed the world.

TIERNEY: I disagree with the Republication insistence that the Bush-Cheney tax cuts should continue. Their enactment was a mistake since the expected "trickle down" never occurred - - the rich just got richer; the poor got poorer; and our annual Federal deficit and our accumulated National debt have just exploded out of sight.

We need two-step tax reform: First, we should return immediately to the Year 2000 Clinton-Gringrich tax rates; and Second, we need a complete re-write of the Internal Revenue Code.

Curt Schilling selling off memorabilia at his Medfield home Saturday

October 7, 2013 04:37 PM

Curt Schilling, the former famed Red Sox pitcher and failed video-game business owner, is selling off items from his Medfield home this Saturday.

The sale will be short on sports memorabilia, aside from some bobbleheads, baseballs, and a Schilling bathrobe, but offer the more mundane items of Schilling’s domestic life, including candlesticks and couches, a microwave and vacuum cleaner, and even artificial potted plants.

Schilling has sold his assets, including items from his celebrated baseball career, to satisfy creditors since his video game company, 38 Studios, collapsed into bankruptcy in the spring of 2012. The bloody sock worn by Schilling when he pitched for the Boston Red Sox in the 2004 World Series auctioned for more than $92,000 earlier this year.

Schilling has sold his assets, including items from his celebrated baseball career, to satisfy creditors since his video game company, 38 Studios, collapsed into bankruptcy in the spring of 2012. The bloody sock worn by Schilling when he pitched for the Boston Red Sox in the 2004 World Series auctioned for more than $92,000 earlier this year.

Saturday’s estate sale will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m in Medfield, , according to the company managing it, Consignworks, Inc. of Dudley.

When Schilling’s Providence -based video-game company went bankrupt, it defaulted on loan payments to the state of Rhode Island. To lure 38 Studios from Massachusetts, Rhode Island’s economic development agency had approved a $75 million in loans.

The agency is now suing Schilling and others arguing that it was misled. Neither Schilling nor his representatives could be immediately reached for comment.

Deirdre Fernandes can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @fernandesglobe.

Sen. Richard Ross gains another committee seat

October 2, 2013 06:03 PM

The workloads of the three remaining Republican state senators have grown since former Minority Leader Richard Tisei gave up his seat in 2010 to run for lieutenant governor and former Sen. Michael Knapik resigned this summer to take a job at Westfield State University.

Senate Minority Whip Richard Ross, who has no junior members to whip and already serves on 13 committees, this week picked up a new job, ranking member of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

Knapik used to hold that post, which placed him on budget bill conference committees and conferences with the House on other key bills.

A Wrentham funeral home owner, Ross already sits on 13 legislative committees.

In the 40-seat Senate, Republicans face logistical difficulties tending to their assignments. Hedlund, the assistant minority leader, sits on 12 committees and Tarr serves on 11.

By contrast, House Minority Leader Brad Jones, one of 29 Republican members of the House, does not serve on any committees. The Senate’s GOP ranks were five-strong back in 2010 when Scott Brown briefly served before giving up his seat to join the U.S. Senate, opening the path for Ross to fill his seat.

Here is a description of Ross's district:

Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex -- Consisting of the towns of Franklin, precincts 1 to 4, inclusive, and precinct 7, Millis, Needham, precincts A to C, inclusive, I and J, Norfolk, Plainville, Wellesley, precincts B, F, and G and Wrentham, in the county of Norfolk; the city of Attleboro, ward 1, ward 2 and ward 3, precinct A, and the town of North Attleborough in the county of Bristol; and the towns of Natick, precincts 6, 7, 9 and 10, Sherborn and Wayland in the county of Middlesex.

– M. Murphy/SHNS

Endorsements continue in race to replace Edward Markey in Congress

September 26, 2013 05:39 PM

EMILY’s List, a well-funded national group that supports women who back abortion rights, gave its full endorsement to state Sen. Katherine Clark on Sept. 20, after earlier giving her preliminary backing.

“Katherine Clark has an impressive record fighting for women and families in her community, and her effective leadership is exactly what Washington needs,” Stephanie Schriock, the group’s president, said in a statement.

The endorsement could be a financial boon to Clark in the final weeks of the campaign.
During the 2011-2012 election cycle, the organization raised more than $52 million, according to an EMILY’s List spokeswoman.

Other candidates have also picked up endorsements over the course of the campaign.

Among them: state Rep. Carl Sciortino won the backing of some liberal Congressmen, and state Sen. Karen Spilka and Middlesex Sheriff Peter Koutoujian gain the support of a number of organized labor groups and local elected officials.

But how much any endorsement actually changes the fundamental dynamics of a race can only truly be determined on the day voters go to the polls.

Applications sought for upcoming Miss India and Miss India Teen contest in Lexington

September 21, 2013 02:55 PM

The following was submitted by Ruchika Arora, State Director, Miss India and Miss India Teen-2013

Applications are invited to take part as a contestant in ‘Miss India and Miss India Teen’-2013. The pageant is designed for girls of Indian heritage and has been running in various states in USA for more than 20 years by India Festival Committee of New York. (a non-profit organization).

There is an opportunity for a possible moment of Titles, Tiaras, Sashes, Prizes, lots of pride as an Indian-American. Winner of Miss India category will receive $500 in cash and gift certificates, winner of Teen category will receive other rewards. The awards/recognitions are Winner, Runner up, Miss Viewers Choice, Miss Talented, Miss Photogenic. Winner goes to Miss INDIA USA. There will be one more contestant selected from each state who will also proceed to Miss India USA-2013.

The two categories based on age group are - Miss India (17 to 27 years) and Miss India TEEN (13 to 16 years).

First step is to write an email or call 978-866-8777 for questions. Entries have just opened and they are expected to close soon. Last date to send the application form is October 15, 2013. Please go to website to read and download the ‘Rules, Regulations and General Information’ and the ‘Application Form’. Also, do not forget to read ‘Why Miss India and Miss India Teen’ on the website.

The Glorious day will be November 9th, 2013 and a wonderful show with talented, beautiful contestants and number of performers will be held at National Heritage Museum, Lexington MA. Contestants will participate in Evening Gown and Indian Ethnic Dress rounds. The winner is decided after Question-Answer segment among selected five/seven finalists based on their scores from first two rounds.

It will be a day for all Indian-American girls to feel lots of pride about their heritage and a unique celebration of culture.

Our Inspirations:

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”


Ruchika Arora

State Director
Miss India and Miss India Teen-2013
(Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire)

Katherine Clark to air television ad in race to succeed Edward Markey in Congress

September 17, 2013 12:59 PM

State representative Katherine Clark will become the first candidate in the race to succeed Edward J. Markey in Congress to air a television ad when a 30-second spot launches tomorrow morning, a campaign official said Monday.

The campaign created two ads, emailed them to supporters, and asked them to pick one goes on air, according to the official.

Several hundred responded, opting for an ad entitled “Test” that features Clark and her mother discussing pay equity and women’s rights and accusing “Republicans in Congress” of opposing equal pay for equal work and birth control rights.

The ad will begin airing Tuesday morning on cable networks, with the campaign spending $65,000 on the first week of advertising. It plans to put more money behind the ad through the Oct. 15 primary, the official said.

The other ad features footage of Clark’s late grandmother.

Both ads appear designed to increase Clark’s appeal among female voters.

The other Democrats in the race are state Senators Karen Spilka of Ashland and Will Brownsberger of Belmont; Rep. Carl Sciortino of Medford; Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian of Waltham; Martin Long, an Arlington author; and Stoneham resident Paul John Maisano, who works in the construction industry.

The three Republicans running for their party’s nomination are actuary Tom Tierney of Framingham, Harvard nanophysics researcher Mike Stopa of Holliston, and businessman and lawyer Frank J. Addivinola Jr. of Boston.

Jim O’Sullivan can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @JOSreports. This post first appeared on the Political Intelligence blog.

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