Region – Clinton Savings Bank recently participated with Perkins, a human services agency based in Lancaster, in the 2014 New England Human Services Charity Golf Tournament. Held at Indian Pond Country Club in Kingston, the tournament ended with a drawing at which time Perkins was pulled as one of six winners and awarded a $3,000 prize. In addition to scoring funds for Perkins, the foursome played a good round of golf.]]>
Shrewsbury – The Shrewsbury Board of Selectmen adopted the increased tax rate for fiscal year 2015 during its Oct. 14 meeting as proposed by Christopher Reidy, principal assessor.
Reidy had prepared a report for the selectmen recommending a tax rate of $13.20 per thousand dollars of assessed value, an increase of 8.5 percent over the 2014 rate. The 2014 rate was 4.28 percent higher than that for 2013.
During the meeting, Reidy explained that the proposed $13.20/thousand rate includes a proposed excess levy capacity of $45,427. The 2015 rate proposal notes 9,235 single family homes in Shrewsbury, up just 45 homes from the 9,190 homes in 2014. The average value of a Shrewsbury home has risen to $381,043, up from $368,368 in 2014. Shrewsbury’s real estate is largely residential, with 87 percent of assessed value being homes. Commercial property accounts for just fewer than 8 percent of total assessed value, with industrial and other property adding just another 5 percent. Total assessed value of all properties is $4,946,815,287. In a unanimous vote, the board accepted the proposal.
In other business, Kristin Las, principal planner/economic development coordinator, presented an overview of progress on the redevelopment of the former Spag’s property on Route 9, now known as the Lakeway Commons. The latest plans call for approximately 100,000 square feet of retail construction, plus several restaurants, a movie theater, and 250 rental residential units, with up to 10 percent including three-bedroom residences. In addition, there will be a yet undermined number of townhouses built for sale.
Voters overwhelmingly approved nine articles at a Special Town Meeting April 29 to rezone the property on Route 9 so that Southborough-based developer, Grossman Development Group, LLC, may start the process of creating a mixed-use commercial/residential site on the approximately 20 acres.
Also during the board’s Oct. 14 meeting, a number of public hearings were held regarding licensing and changes of small business ownership. An application for alcoholic license transfer was approved for Buca’s Restaurants, Inc., and an application for a Common Victualler License was approved for Pepperoni Express, 344 Boston Turnpike.
Applications for a change in hours of operation were approved for Austin Liquors, Price Chopper, Grande’s Market, Hickey Town Liquors, Star Liquor, Turnpike Discount Liquor, and Edgemere Discount Wine and Spirits. The approval was for opening on Sundays at 10 a.m. rather than 12 p.m.
Letters from Leo P. Schiavone, 11 Tatum Road, and Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Carter, 48 Sias Ave., both urged the board to place stop signs and to limit parking along Tatum Road. No action was taken on this matter.]]>
Following the debates and newspaper articles, the general consensus from many sources see a win-win situation to a vote for the Baker-Polito ticket.
I especially like the commentary by Karen and Charlie regarding the time limits on public housing.
The approach suggested is very fair to all concerned. It motivates the families in the housing units to aspire to the American dream of a nice place to live, maybe eventually into their dream house.
Getting off public assistance whenever possible gives a hope and a direction to follow in reaching certain goals in life. Teaching people to fish rather than giving them fish is an old adage, but true.
I feel the philosophy and goals of the Baker ticket will bring Massachusetts to a new plateau.
Go Charlie and Karen!!
Voting the Charlie Baker and Karyn Polito ticket for governor and lieutenant governor Tuesday Nov. 4, is the only choice on the ballot to provide Massachusetts the proven, thoughtful leadership needed to create jobs, foster real Beacon Hill bipartisanship, control government spending and protect taxpayers.
Massachusetts cities and towns desperately need a chief executive truly committed to make state aid to cities and towns a priority, not just a hollow promise. In Shrewsbury over the last six fiscal years, state aid has never since exceeded or even equaled its 2009 level. Despite increasing rates of state revenues, the state’s commitment to local aid has been at a much lower rate, to the point that at the current rate of increase it won’t be until 2020 when Shrewsbury’s state aid equals what it was in 2009.
We need Charlie’s and Karyn’s experienced leadership to provide a great school to every child, to thoughtfully strengthen our communities and to compassionately help those in need. We need their leadership to work both sides of the legislative aisle to right the ship, to correct the well-documented current pattern of poor management oversight and direction of state agencies, and once again give us a state government to make us proud.
Please join us in voting for Charlie Baker and Karyn Polito for governor and lieutenant governor Tuesday, Nov. 4.
I am writing this letter in support of Stephen G. Abraham, candidate for reelection as the Worcester register of probate. As an attorney who focuses on estate planning and administration, I routinely work with various probate courts in the course of administering the estates of deceased clients. With an office in Westborough, I have occasion to deal with probate courts throughout the commonwealth, but gratefully, most of my clients live (and die) in Worcester County.
When we need the prompt and efficient processing of legal pleadings in the probate court, it is important to have court staff who are knowledgeable, efficient and helpful. Dealing with the court personnel headed by Stephen G. Abraham over the years has been a pleasure. I know that my clients can count on the prompt processing of paperwork so that their legal matters in the probate court can be concluded without delay. Of all the probate courts with which I deal, the Worcester Probate Court is a model of efficiency.
Given my frequent interaction with probate courts, it is comforting to know that the legal process will move smoothly in Worcester County. To ensure that this state of affairs continues, I strongly urge voters to reelect Stephen G. Abraham as register of probate.
Marvin S. Silver
The Westborough Cultural Council wants to thank all of you for another successful Arts in Common. There is no way we can thank everyone individually. There are our sponsors, the schools, the town, individual performers, artisans, school students, Explorers, businesses that donated to the Silent Auction, etc. Everyone helps and everyone profits. Once again we have money for grants from the state, the town, and from Arts in Common to grant to things that happen or begin in Westborough. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
The Westborough Cultural Council
Ellen Brezniak, senior vice president, customer operations at Constant Contact®, Inc. will present: “Engagement Marketing: Small is Powerful.” Constant Contact wrote the book on Engagement Marketing™ – the new marketing success formula that helps small organizations create and grow customer relationships in today’s socially connected world. This presentation is designed for small business owners looking to tap into and effectively leverage the secret competitive advantage small businesses have over their larger competitors.
The event will also highlight some of the local small businesses who have achieved success with the help of SCORE Mentors.
Tickets are $25.00 per person and include hors d’oeuvres and dinner. A cash bar will be available. To register for this event, visit www. worcester.score.org
Since 1964, SCORE volunteer mentors have assisted more than 10 million entrepreneurs in starting or growing their enterprises. For many entrepreneurs, small business ownership is the American dream. More than 12,000 SCORE experts offer free and confidential business mentoring and advice to small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs nationwide. For more information about SCORE, visit www.score.org.]]>
Hudson – A typical weekday for lifelong Hudson resident Lisa Schliker begins by waking up at 5 a.m. She instructs indoor cycling or spin at 5:45 three mornings a week. After reporting to a fulltime office job, she attends rehearsals nearly each of those evenings. Yet, she recently added another credit to her resume. Schliker is the new choral director of the River’s Edge Youth Chorus, a program of the River’s Edge Arts Alliance for ages 8 to 18.
“I love seeing people enjoy music,” she said. “They might struggle starting off, so you need to have faith in the group. When they get up and perform, then my job is done. It’s great to see how they grow.”
Schliker began pursuing an interest in music by joining her church’s children’s choir as soon as she reached the eligible age. There wasn’t a group comparable to the River’s Edge Youth Chorus in the area at the time, so she got involved in the Little Singers of Greater Boston based in Natick.
“My parents would drive me to Natick to find something similar to this chorus,” she recalled. “It’s nice to now have this here in the community.”
Her involvement in the performing arts grew while attending Hudson High School (HHS), where she graduated in 1990. Each of the four years she participated in the chorus and theatrical productions. As her mentor she credits Paul Johnson, who is now retired as HHS’s choral and drama director after 32 years.
She also performed in the Hudson Drama Workshop’s first two summertime musicals. Later, the Arts Alliance was formed and has since been producing the program as the Summer Drama Workshop.
Schliker earned a degree in music education at the Hartt School of the University of Hartford.
“The most valuable lesson I learned there was to always be flexible in your life,” she noted. “College allowed me to open my horizons and look at things from all different angles.”
She has since directed and sung with community choruses from Marlborough to Acton. Now, she sings with the River’s Edge Chorale, an adult program of the River’s Edge Arts Alliance, which rehearses at HHS and is directed by her mentor.
“Everything is very cyclical in the community,” she noted. “I’m nostalgic, so it’s very interesting to sit in the HHS chorus room with Paul Johnson directing.”
Since 1996, she has directed the adult choir of the First United Methodist Church of Hudson, which sings at its Sunday service.
“I love their enthusiasm,” she said. “With a church choir, I can go from having three singers one week to up to 15 the next week, so you need to have that flexibility of what pieces are going to fit the voices.”
Several years ago, Schliker accepted a challenge when the church needed a new hand bell choir director.
“I’d never even played hand bells and here I am getting ready to direct them, but it worked out well,” she relayed. “They’re giving up a night of their life to help me follow my passion, so I try to make it fun for them.”
She also directed the church’s children’s chorus, which disbanded about 10 years ago.
“It’s been so long since I’ve worked with kids, so I’m looking forward to seeing their bright, shiny faces and hearing their lovely voices,” Schliker said. “I’m also looking forward to the finished product for the Holiday Concert.”
The fall season of the youth chorus will culminate with the Holiday Concert to be presented Sunday, Dec. 14, at HHS. The concert with also feature the River’s Edge Chorale and the River’s Edge Community Band.
For more information, visit upwitharts.org.
Hudson – Over 200 friends, relatives and other supporters gathered Oct. 18 for the third annual Miles and Smiles for Michaella, a 3.2-mile walk beginning and ending at Morgan Bowl.
It was an occasion to remember Michaella “Kayla” Walsh Libby, a 2010 Hudson High School graduate who died unexpectedly in 2012 at age 20. While majoring in public health at the University of Maryland (UM), she tutored inner-city children with Kids Power in Washington, D.C., and raised funds for the UM chapter of Students Helping Honduras (SHS).
Inspired by her love of fashion, nine brave women and four good-natured men donned stilettos prior to the walk for a 50-yard, high-heeled dash. Also, a shorter walk called “Michaella’s Mile” was introduced this year. A raffle with donated items raised additional funds. New or gently-used soccer equipment was collected for a new program to help Honduran youth stay out of gangs.
Proceeds go to the Michaella Walsh Libby Scholarship Fund, which is awarded to students who share her interest in community service or will major in a health-related field. Contributions are also given to Kids Power and SHH.
UM students went to Honduras and built a school, which is dedicated in memory of Michaella.
For more information about the scholarship fund, visit michaellawalshlibby.com. To learn more about how Michaella’s parents are continuing her mission, view “Libby Family Visits SHH” at youtube.com/watch?v=vOofj1WGVe4.
Photos/Ed Karvoski Jr.]]>
Hudson – State Rep. Kate Hogan, D-Stow, was first elected to represent the 3rd Middlesex District during the 2008 recession. Now in her third term with an improving economy, Hogan is grateful that state funding became available to assist her district and beyond.
“This term, we were able to provide a lot more resources,” said Hogan, who is being challenged in this November’s election by Paddy Dolan, R-Maynard. “I was involved with legislation that gave Hudson and surrounding communities victories in everything from transportation funding to continuing our state and region’s economic recovery.”
As chair of the Elder Caucus, Hogan said, “For this session, I’m the proudest that I was able to get the Senior SAFE program passed and into the budget.”
Senior SAFE was officially launched at a gathering in March with local and state officials at the Hudson Senior Center. Among the attendees was State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan with whom Hogan worked to establish the program.
“It will be critical in saving lives,” she said. “For me, the program came out of deaths in my district’s senior community from fire, smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning.”
The program was modeled after Student Awareness of Fire Education (SAFE) for children under 18, which reduced fire-related deaths within that age group by 71 percent. Senior SAFE provided grants to 205 fire departments statewide to offer safety education.
Funding for roadwork in Hudson this year was sponsored by state Sen. Jamie Eldridge, D-Acton, and secured by Hogan in the House of Representatives budget.
“We met with town officials and asked what projects have been lagging so that we can play catch-up in terms of maintenance and repair,” Hogan explained.
This included $4 million for the revitalization and reconstruction of Main and South streets, where many of the town’s locally-owned small businesses are located.
“It makes it easier to come in and out of the downtown area,” Hogan noted. “It really is economic development when you’re making it a priority to get folks to shop locally.”
Another $1 million was expended to replace the aging Cox Street bridge, which was a safety concern because of its proximity to the Hudson Fire Department Headquarters.
State Rep. Danielle Gregoire, D-Marlborough, joined the Hogan and Eldridge delegation to secure $5 million for the reconstruction of the roadway connecting Routes 290 and 495, which crosses the Hudson and Marlborough town line.
“It’s an important exit for Hudson and its businesses, and needed an upgrade,” Hogan said.
Hogan found another way for her district to benefit through the accessibility of these highways. She reached out to the 495/MetroWest Partnership and authored the 495/MetroWest Suburban Edge Community Commission, which aims to ensure that edge communities participate in and benefit from state initiatives and resources.
“When you begin a process, a commission is the best way because you’re pulling together all the experts,” Hogan noted.
A suburban edge community is defined as a municipality with a maximum population of 35,000 that is not adjacent to a gateway city. There are 31 eligible communities in the partnership’s service area including Hudson, Northborough, Southborough and Westborough. Massachusetts currently has 26 gateway cities including Worcester.
Co-sponsoring this amendment were 14 state representatives including Matt Beaton, R-Shrewsbury; Tom Conroy, D-Wayland; Carolyn Dykema, D-Holliston; and Gregoire; as well as three senators including Eldridge and Michael Moore, D-Millbury.
Hogan hopes the collaboration will help secure additional funds and resources to the towns within her district consisting of Hudson, Bolton, Maynard and Stow.
“By creating the larger 495/MetroWest region, it will be easier for us to have a bigger voice in the legislature,” she said. “On the state level, if we can clearly articulate what our towns need to move forward, then it helps us become sustainable and ready for the 21st century.”