ITR● june 26 2010
Embed Size (px)
Transcript of ITR● june 26 2010
MMoooorreess mmeemmoorr iiaall cc lleeaannuupp
ddrraawwss aa ccrroowwdd ooff vvoolluunntteeeerrssBy Joanne Stanway
[email protected] Independent
Saturday was a wonderful day because I got to spend a few hours with about 75 terrific
people who came together to help restore the Cynthia Moores Nature Park behind West-lands’ school. I’m sure everyone walked away with similar hand blisters,dirty,wet feet andaching backs, feeling really great about what we accomplished so far.
Several high school kids showed up for community service hours. The pile of leaves theyand others raked from the woods was about the size of a city bus - same for the seperatepile of branches and sticks.
Ken Dews of RainStay gets the gold star for the day because he hauled away all thoseleaves to the Jones farm mulch pile(using Phil Jones’ truck) and used his wood chipper onall the branches,staying way past everyone else to get the job done.
The day started with School Committee member Kathy Duffett dropping off coffee anddonuts and Selectman Eric Dahlberg raking the first pile of leaves. Steward Bob Giuntabrought generators so volunteers could hook up belt sanders to remove graffiti on thegazebo.
Planning Board clerk Colleen Stansfield baked ribs and a big salad before helping clearout the woods. After seeing the event on Facebook,Donna Parlee of Parlee Farm droppedoff two heaping trays of fresh strawberries for the volunteers to enjoy.Others brought sand-wiches,cookies,paper goods and cold drinks to go along with the hot dogs I grilled at theend of the day.
Art Moores,Cyndi’s dad,said more than $600 has been raised so far toward the restora-tion, and Cyndi’s mom, Barbara said the park looks like it did more than 20 years ago.
Monday morning, School Superintendent Don Yeoman checked out the park, saying,“I’m so pleased with the progress.The underbrush is cleared,treesI’m so pleased with the progress.The underbrush is cleared,trees
trimmed,raking done and graffiti removed. The park is coming back to whattrimmed,raking done and graffiti removed. The park is coming back to what
the vision was in the beginning.the vision was in the beginning.”
Another clean-up will be planned to stain the gazebo,replace the roof shingles,fix all thebenches and plant flowers.More on this later.
Copyright 2010 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
ITR UPDATE:We have confirmation on a Eagle Scout Poject July 18 and 19 to repair benches and replacestone dust on the walk ways. The plan is to return the benches to the original locations and fixthe ones that can be fixed. A few have been broken and those will be swapped with the goodones in the back. The missing ones will be replaced with granite benches than can not be dam-aged. The second phase will be adding a new layer of stone dust to the trail.
On June 12th 2010, The Westlands came out in force to tackle the clean upOn June 12th 2010, The Westlands came out in force to tackle the clean up
of the Cynthia Ann Moores Nature Park. Led by Chelmsford Open Spaceof the Cynthia Ann Moores Nature Park. Led by Chelmsford Open Space
Stewardship's chief steward Phil Stanway and lead site steward Ken Dews.Stewardship's chief steward Phil Stanway and lead site steward Ken Dews.
Ken DewsKen Dews
Robert MooresRobert Moores
PHOTOS BY: Joanne Stanway, Laurie Myers, Bob Giunta and Roy Earley
Chelmsford Open SpaceChelmsford Open Space
Chief Steward Phil StanwayChief Steward Phil Stanway
Site StewardSite Steward
Roy EarleyRoy Earley
Ben LererBen Lerer
Cynthia AnnCynthia Ann
Moores awardMoores award
School 2006School 2006
Town of Chelmsford Celebration Committee
2010 Fourth of July ProgramSUNDAY July 4thd
6 PM Air Balloon’s Rear of Center Fire Station6 PM Air Balloon’s Rear of Center Fire Station6-8 PM Kiddies Train Rides Rear of Center Fire Station6-8 PM Kiddies Train Rides Rear of Center Fire Station
6-10 PM Art Festival Chelmsford Center for the Arts6-10 PM Art Festival Chelmsford Center for the Arts5-11 PM Country Fair Center Common5-11 PM Country Fair Center Common
5:30 PM Dance Unlimited Center Common5:30 PM Dance Unlimited Center Common6:30 PM Suburbanette Twirler’s Center Common6:30 PM Suburbanette Twirler’s Center Common
7-9 PM Chelmsford Community Band Center Common7-9 PM Chelmsford Community Band Center Common9-11 PM Band TBD Center Common9-11 PM Band TBD Center Common
MONDAY July 5th
7-10 AM Coffee Shop Universalist Church7-10 AM Coffee Shop Universalist Church8-3 PM Country Fair Center Common8-3 PM Country Fair Center Common
8:30 AM Flag Raising Center Common Flag Pole8:30 AM Flag Raising Center Common Flag Pole9:30 -1PM Art Festival Chelmsford Center for the Arts9:30 -1PM Art Festival Chelmsford Center for the Arts
9:30 AM Annual John Carson 2 Mile Road Race9:30 AM Annual John Carson 2 Mile Road Race10 AM 43rd Annual Fourth of July Parade10 AM 43rd Annual Fourth of July Parade
12 PM Chelmsford Business Association Drawing 12 PM Chelmsford Business Association Drawing Center CommonCenter Common
No Fire Work DisplayNo Fire Work Display
Former selectmen: North Road building not OKFormer selectmen: North Road building not OKKevin Zimmerman/Staff Reporterwww.chelmsfordmassnews.com
• Mon, Jun 14, 2010
The three surviving members from the 1978 Board of Selectmen have decided the time to remain silent on EpsilonGroup LLC's proposed 9 North Road office building has passed.
John Carson, Paul Hart and Joe Shanahan met with current Board of Selectmen Chairman George Dixon Friday todiscuss their recollections of the property's preservation restriction, which they signed with former land owner RodgerCurrie, and what it means for the proposed building.
"It was intended by us, Dr. Currie and the town that nothing would be there except what appears there now," saidShanahan. "We never thought anything could or would be built on that property. It's what we told the town to sell thisdeal. And it's been in place for 32 years now."
Because the Board of Selectmen signed the preservation restriction, Shanahan believes the current board has theauthority to enforce the restriction and to stop construction of the office building.
The other two surviving selectmen - Arnold Lovering died in 2008 and William Murphy died a few weeks ago - agreedwith Shanahan and submitted letters to Dixon to back up their claim.
"We all felt at the time that preserving open space in the town - particularly near the center - was vital to retaining itscharacter," Carson wrote. "The new owner, for reasons that are unclear to me, is attempting to violate it [restriction].For the good of the residents of Chelmsford - both current and future generations - you must step in and enforce whatI and four other selectmen agreed to in 1978."
In 1978, the town sold the Emerson House property to Rodger Currie as part of his plan to redevelop what was thenthe Central Savings Bank. Town Meeting voted to approve the sale. But part of the purchase agreement included thepreservation restriction.
Shanahan said the restriction was to assure Currie's plans would adhere to the proposal presented to town boardsand to Town Meeting to convince the town to rezone and sell the parcel.
Currie's plans included development of what he named Central Park in addition to restoration of the Emerson House.He also proposed building a "barn-like structure and silo," which would replace the ones the town tore down, to serveas the bank's drive-up teller.
"The main objective was to limit building on the property," wrote Hart. "Small buildings, such as a maintenance shed,would be allowed. No other buildings could be constructed on the property."
That was what Lovering told the Planning Board at its Oct. 25, 1978 meeting, said Shanahan.
"The [preservation restriction] agreement will be based on what Dr. Currie presented at Town Meeting," Lovering isquoted as saying in the meeting minutes. "There can be slight changes, but no major ones."
Although the 9 North Road issue is not new, Shanahan said he waited for the current and most recent Boards of Se-lectmen to enforce the restriction. But that didn't happen.
During the public hearings on the proposal, the Planning Board requested the previous selectmen to weigh in on therestriction. The selectmen did not respond.
Then Attorney Peter Lawlor, who represents an abutter appealing the Planning Board's approval of Epsilon's project,sent a letter to the selectmen asking the board to hold a public hearing on the matter. He did not receive a response,said Shanahan.
That's when Shanahan contacted Hart, Carson and Murphy.
"Paul Hart, John Carson and I have not been in the same room together for the last 30 years," said Shanahan. "As aresult of this, the three of us got together to talk about this. We said, 'Hey, weare going to take a position on this' and ask the current board to look into this."
Shanahan said he does not plan to attend the next Board of Selectmen meet-ing and discuss this in open session. He would rather the selectmen schedulea public hearing on the matter to allow Epsilon Group the opportunity to argueits side.
On Monday, Dixon said he does not have a problem with putting a hearing onan upcoming agenda if it will resolve the question of the preservation restric-tion.
"I want all the facts to come out," said Dixon.
Chelmsford waits on ruling on Chelmsford waits on ruling on
9 North Road injunction9 North Road injunctionBy Chloe Gotsis/ Staff Writer
GateHouse News Servicehttp://www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsford/news/x1353756376/Chelmsford-waits-on-ruling-on-9-North-Road-injunction
Posted Jun 21, 2010 @ 06:29 PMChelmsford —The Chelmsford-based Epsilon Group acknowledged Monday that it will halt work on a controversial NorthRoad building until a judge rules on an injunction filed by a neighboring business aiming to block construc-tion.
Attorneys for the Epsilon Group and met with attorneys for Michael Sargeant, who owns a dental office andproperty neighboring the approved office building, for a case management hearing and to discuss the injunc-tion Monday in the state Land Court. Peter Lawlor, a former selectmen and Sargeant’s attorney, filed anemergency restraining order Friday, June 18, after he said he saw the Epsilon Group excavating branchesand marsh grass from the site of the planned 15,000-square foot office building.
But Philip Eliopoulos, a former selectman and lawyer, who is representing his father Michael Eliopoulos’ com-pany Epsilon Group said the work that was being done on Friday is following the order of conditions given bythe Conservation Commission in December.
“That’s the only work in the pipeline now,” he said.
Eliopoulos said that he and his father acknowledged in court Monday morning that there is no plan to do sitework at this time.
“We said that’s fine and we had no plan to do anything beyond what’s required by the order of conditions,” hesaid, adding that the Epsilon Group is at least several weeks away from pulling a building permit.
Lawlor said there wasn’t a hearing date scheduled on the motion because there wasn’t a building permitpulled but he said when he saw work being done he immediately filed the restraining order.
“On Friday, I learned they were going to be proceeding without a building permit to do that work and I filedthat motion for a restraining order, which is a request that the court take immediate action,” said Lawlor.
Epsilon Group has until Wednesday to file any opposition to Lawlor’s restraining order with the court. Epsilonis allowed to continue to do site work related to the preservation of the pond and eliminating growth aroundthe pond near the site. He said he expects the judge’s ruling by the end of this week.
But Eliopoulos said the building permit isn’t needed for the site work.
Lawlor has filed three lawsuits in Land Court to stop construction of the two-story office building. Lawlor filedtwo appeals over the Planning Board’s approval of the site and one over the Historic District Commission’sapproval.
Throughout the process Lawlor and Sargeant have been arguing that the plans do not comply with the town’spreservation restriction. But both the Historic District Commission and the Planning Board found it in compli-ance.
Land Court Judge Gordon Piper approved Lawlor’s motion Monday to allow the town of Chelmsford, specifi-cally the Board of Selectmen, as a defendant in the case.
The Selectmen will be meeting with Town Counsel in executive session after their June 21 meeting to discussthe matter and whether they will take an active role in the case.
The Board of Selectmen are the ruling party over the preservation restriction, which was offered 30 yearsago.
“I’m sure they are going to take a very close look at this,” said Lawlor.
Town Manager Paul Cohen said that despite the town’s new status as a defendant in the case it will still betaking a passive role in defending the case. He said the major expense burden will still be on the EpsilonGroup.
Copyright 2010 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
In Senate bid, Dahlberg's all inBy Rita Savard, [email protected]
CHELMSFORD -- Unseating an incumbent can be a laborious task.
That's why Eric Dahlberg quit his day job to campaign full time for the 3rd Middlesex Senate District seat, which has been held byLincoln Democrat Susan Fargo since 1996.
"I don't think you should do things halfway," said Dahlberg, a Republican who lives in Chelmsford. "The district desperately needs anew voice on Beacon Hill, somebody who's trying to advance the priorities of the district, who's responsive and checked in. I want tobe that person so I plan on giving 100 percent to campaigning."
Dahlberg is staring down two major obstacles in the race to Beacon Hill. First, he must beat fellow Republican and Chelmsford resi-dent Sandra Martinez in a primary election this fall.
He also has to make sure voters know his name in the district's eight other communities beside Chelmsford, including Bedford,Carlisle, Concord, Lexington, Lincoln, Sudbury, Waltham and Weston.
"Being an incumbent is a powerful advantage anywhere, but especially in Massachusetts where the decks have been stackedagainst (newcomers)," Dahlberg said.
In March, he left his job as an associate at the Health Connector, established in 2006 to implement the state's health-care reformlaw, to start knocking on doors.
"I've lost 15 pounds since I've been hitting neighborhoods in the district," said Dahlberg, who began his day at 6:30 a.m. yesterday inBedford Center, where he held his campaign sign before greeting constituents at Ken's New York Deli on Great Road.
Dahlberg describes himself as a moderate Republican, who's pro-choice and supports gay marriage. He has a bachelor's in historyfrom Dartmouth College and a master's degree in public policy from Georgetown University.
If elected, Dahlberg said he wants to help revitalize the state's economy and work with other members of the Legislature to hammerout a plan that would give cities and towns more control over health-insurance costs that are largely depleting municipal budgets.
"We want total 100 percent plan design authority," said Dahlberg, who is in the second year of his first term on the Chelmsford Boardof Selectmen. "Cities and towns should have the same privilege that the state itself enjoys when it comes to deciding health-insur-ance plans. Chelmsford alone would save hundreds of thousands of dollars with this plan, as would other communities, which ismoney that could be put back into the budget or given back to taxpayers in the form of property tax relief."
Through plan design, unions would still be able to negotiate the share of health premiums their members must pay but it would alsoallow municipal officials to determine the kind of plans, including the amount of co-pays and deductibles, that would be offered.
Dahlberg has also pledged to decline a state pension, limit his service to three terms, hold office hours in each district, never acceptcampaign contributions from special interest PAC's or lobbyists and respond to all constituent inquiries within one business day.
"I don't care what party you're in, what level of government you're at, or what issues get you out of bed in the morning," Dahlbergsaid. "The most important part of the job is staying in touch with the boss. When you're in the Legislature, your boss is the voters andwhen they contact you, you have got to get back to them."
New to local politics, Dahlberg beat incumbent Selectman Sam Chase in 2008 after launching a grass-roots campaign where hespent weeks going door-to-door, asking for votes.
His door knocking in the 3rd District has helped in Waltham -- the largest community in the district with 35,354 registered voters --where a Waltham city councilor switched her party affiliation to support him.
Diane LeBlanc changed her voting status from Democrat to unenrolled and pledged her support for Dahlberg during a discussionwith him on a Waltham local cable access TV show.
"I vote for the person, not the party," she said on camera, commending Dahlberg's efforts in meeting with residents and elected offi-cials in Waltham. "Eric is the right person for the job... I am particularly impressed with his commitment to meet with the mayor andthe members of the City Council at least twice a month."
Fargo has taken some criticism for being "inaccessible," and having the worst roll call attendance in the Senate, according to BobKatzen of Beacon Hill Roll Call, a news service that records voting and attendance for both the House and the Senate.
Fargo missed 67 out of 185 roll calls in 2009 and 22 roll calls out of 108 so far this year, BHRC reports.
Fargo, who said her absences were due to two major hip surgeries, said her health has improvedgreatly and shouldn't impede her future work in the Senate. She also said her firsthand experience asa patient over the past year has given her new insight on the health-care process that will have an im-pact on her future decisions about health-care policy.
"There's a lot of unfinished work that needs to be done and it's good work that benefits people," Fargosaid. "The major item is revitalizing the economy, economic vitality and job growth. I've already beentaking actions toward those priorities."
Dahlberg, if he can get past Martinez in the primary election this fall and if he's able to beat Fargo, saidhe wouldn't dream of holding onto the seat for another 14 years. (Martinez did not return a call for thisstory.)
"You get in, give 100 percent and get out," he said. "It shouldn't be a lifelong career. When it becomesone, politicians can get too comfortable and stop trying hard. I think the voters are tired of that mental-ity and next year, I'll bet the Legislature looks a lot different because of it."
Chelmsford resident walking for lung cancerChelmsford resident walking for lung cancerBy Chloe Gotsis/ Staff Writer
GateHouse News Servicehttp://www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsford/features/x767630370/Chelmsford-resident-walking-for-lung-cancer
Jun 11, 2010
Chelmsford —In her work as a biostatistician at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Chelmsford resident Susanne Dahlberg designsclinical trials for lung cancer therapies and oversees ongoing studies.
Dahlberg’s professional life is devoted to discovering a cure for the disease, which kills more people than breast, colonand prostate cancers combined. Last year, she decided to volunteer her personal time to fight the disease and beganworking with the National Lung Cancer Partnership.
On Sept. 26 Dahlberg, will hit the roads of Chelmsford with many others for the town’s first ever Free to Breathe walk.The walk, launched by the National Lung Cancer partnership, will raise money to for lung cancer research.
Q: So Suzanne, I know you are a biostatistician at Harvard, what exactly does that mean? What do you do on a dailybasis and how did you become interested in this?
A: A long time ago, I thought I wanted to go to medical school, but I quickly discovered in college that math was a lotmore fun for me, so I decided to major in it without knowing where it would lead me. Eventually, I started to think aboutapplying to graduate school and I remember the day I learned about biostatistics. I was surfing the Internet during acomputer training class at my old job, and I came across the description of biostatistics online — it sounded like an in-teresting mix of public health and statistics, a good fit for me given my previous interest in medicine. I immediately re-searched graduate programs and was lucky enough to be accepted to Harvard, where my thesis focused on thedevelopment of statistical models applied to a cancer study.
In my current position at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, I work on clinical trials and laboratory studies developing newtherapies for lung cancer and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. My role as a biostatistician is to design new trials, over-see the conduct of ongoing studies, and analyze the data upon study completion, all with the hope of discovering newdrugs that will improve the lives of cancer patients. I also help to review the scientific merit of new protocols for thecancer center as a whole. Every day on the job is different, filled with meetings, conference calls, and of course, com-puter work.
Q: How did you become involved with organizing the Free to Breathewalk this fall?
A: Free to Breathe is the national athletic event series launched bythe National Lung Cancer Partnership, which is the only lung canceradvocacy organization founded by physicians and researchers work-ing with survivors and advocates to increase lung cancer awarenessand research funding. I learned about this organization from theirpresident, Dr. Joan Schiller, with whom I work at my job. I am in mysecond year of volunteering for the National Lung Cancer Partner-ship, but this is the first Free to Breathe event that I have organized.It is a 5k fun run and walk, taking place in Chelmsford on September26, and people can register or donate online at www.FreeTo-Breathe.org.
Q: What do you think people should know about the disease that isn’twidely know right now?
A: Lung cancer kills more people than breast, colon, and prostatecancers combined. I think this statistic says it all. A lot of people thinkthat you have to smoke to get lung cancer, but this is not true. Morepeople who have never smoked die from lung cancer than do peoplefrom AIDS or liver cancer or ovarian cancer.
The reason why the disease is so lethal is that it is detected in theadvanced stage, after it has spread to other parts of their bodies, 85 percent of the time, and research for early detec-tion is desperately needed. In 2007, the National Cancer Institute estimated that it spent only $1,415 per lung cancerdeath compared to $13,991 per breast cancer death, $10,945 per prostate cancer death, and $4,952 per colorectalcancer death.
There are very few survivors to advocate for lung cancer, and because my family has lost relatives and friends to thisdisease, I want to show my support. Some people have asked me, "Why lung cancer?" as if to imply it's not cool tosupport this disease. And I say, "Why not?!" There's power in those numbers (that I mentioned above) and I think wehave a responsibility to help find a cure.
Copyright 2010 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
ASK THE MANAGERITR: What is the latest on the two Town Hall projects?
PC: The Town has solicited proposals for Owner's Project
Manager (OPM) for the Town Hall projects. Nine proposals were received. The applicants will be interviewed within a few weeks. A se-lection is expected by the end of July. Once the OPM is hired, the next step will be a soliciation for architecturaldesign services.
ITR: How is the new Alpha Road DPW project coming along?
PC: The Town is undertaking its due diligence on the 9 Alpha Road
site. This includes appraisals, inspection of the building roof, ventilation,electrical, fire alarm, concrete slab, and structural analysis. We havealso undertaken an Phase 1 21E environmental assessment of the site.Once all the appraisals and inspections are completed, the Town will ne-gotiate a sale price with the property owner.
Hopefully, this will be completed by the end of next month.
ITR: How long before Chelmsford sees it's first Billboard?
PC: Planning Board approval is required prior to the placement of billboards near the high school and near
Route 40. The applicant has not filed an application for a spcial permit with the Planning Board as of this time. It may be close to the end of this calendar year before a bill-
board is operational.
ITR: There has been talk about the building next to the Library (known as "The Pink House" before it turned yellow)
being torn down? Any truth to that story? What would be the plans for that site, if any?
PC: Initial discussions have taken place at Permanent Building Committee and Community Preservation
Committee meetings regarding the future of the Dutton House. The house was part of a land parcel that wasacquired over a decade ago for the expansion of the Adams Library. The other house that was located on the property at the time was moved to Ann's Way.However, there was no one interested in acquiring the Dutton House for $1 to relocate it to another property.
Over the past decade the condition of the Dutton House has deteriorated. Rather than continuing to quietlyignore the condition of the dwelling, it makes sense to see if the home can be preserved. Unfortunately, thePermanent Building Committee estimates that the cost to renovate the house into a public use is well over ahalf million dollars.
There has never been nor is there any identified municipal use of the property aside from the storage of booksfor the Friends of Library's annual book sale. The Adams Library needs the additional open space and park-ing that would become available if the Dutton House were relocated. This was the original intention when theTown acquired the property. The cost to rehabilitate the house for residential use would be considerably lessexpensive than for a public use.
No one wants to see the Dutton House razed. The intent is to save the house before demolition becomes the only alternative. The location would not be suitable for affordable housing, veteranshousing, a private business, or another use because the parking and other space required to support such ause would prevent the use of the much needed space for the library's operations.
Town Manager Paul Cohen
Chelmsford teachers protest Chelmsford teachers protest
lack of contractlack of contract
By Chloe Gotsis/staff writerGateHouse News Service
Jun 09, 2010
More than 170 Chelmsford teachers and educational staff picketed outside the Chelmsford PublicSchools Central Administration building while the School Committee met Tuesday night, protesting theirlack of contract for more than a year.
Kathryn Chamberlain, the president of the Chelmsford Teachers Union, said Tuesday the demonstrationwas meant to send a message: Teachers want to reopen negotiations after a long hiatus.
“This is the last School Committee meeting before the end of the school year and we would really like tohave a contract by the beginning of the next school year,” said Chamberlain.
Chamberlain said the union suggested dates to the School Committee that were not suitable for com-mittee members and the union is waiting to hear back on a date to reopen negotiations over the sum-mer.
“It is the desire of the School Committee to continue the negotiation process in good faith,” said Com-mittee Chairwoman Kathy Duffett.
According to Duffett, the two sides are working on getting together on dates to restart the talks.
Union members said they hoped the protest also built awareness among residents as well.
“This is by far the longest we’ve gone without a contract in the 12 years I’ve been a teacher in the publicschools,” said Steve McClure, a union member and teacher at the Parker Middle School.’
According to McClure, teachers planned the demonstration for more than a month.
Teachers were spread out over the lawn of the Central Administration Building on North Road in groupsholding signs and wearing Chelmsford Teacher Union buttons.
Shawn Flood, a field member from the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts, or AFT, a stateunion, was amongst the crowd of teachers Tuesday night. Flood said the AFT, which represents theChelmsford Teachers Union, became aware the negotiation process was stalling and was urged to stepin and help.
“Let’s get the ball rolling,” he said. “The negoti-ation teams haven’t been at the bargainingtable for a long time. We’re not trying to ruffletheir feathers now. We’re not sure if they’velost sight of that so we’re just trying to remindthem of that.”
Copyright 2010 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
Staffing changes in Chelmsford Public Schools
By Chloe Gotsis/ Staff WriterGateHouse News Service
Jun 16, 2010
Chelmsford —Chelmsford school officials are seeking to add three full-time positions to the district’s elementary schools without animpact on the budget.
The staffing move would bring back two elementary guidance counselors eliminated last year when the district madesharp staffing cuts; and add an early childhood teacher at the Harrington School. According to School SuperintendentDr. Don Yeoman, the department can add the positions at no cost through attrition and by combining and restructuringother positions.
“We’re changing titles, we’re moving people from building to building and we’re renaming jobs,” he said. “The statetold us to make all these cuts last year and some things worked out but this has not worked out and we’ve got to fix it.So we figured out a way to do it.”
In August 2009, the town cut $397,000 worth of personnel from the fiscal 2010 budget at a special Town Meeting, amove forced by mid-year state aid cuts.
Administrators discussed the staffing changes at the June 8 School Committee meeting. Yeoman and Frank Tiano,assistant superintendent for personnel, told committee members the move would lessen the burden on the two guid-ance counselors currently handling 2,000 elementary students.
“All the little support groups they used to run for a child in need are not happening as often or at all,” said Yeoman.“We have children that have lost their parents, their siblings, children that are going through severe depression or bat-tling diseases, children whose siblings may be drug addicts or deployed. It impacts not only their behavior and theschool but their learning now and for the future.”
According to Yeoman, hiring new guidance counselors will help the district comply with new state bullying legislation.In Yeoman’s mind, however, the most important benefit will be helping young children cope with problems.
The early childhood teacher at the Harrington School will assist with the additional special education children cominginto the district next year, Yeoman said.
The additional staff will give the district four elementary school guidance counselors, the number it had prior to the2009-2010 school year.
While no formal School Committee vote was taken on the measure, School Committee member Nick DiSilvio said theschool department should be cautious about filling any positions in anticipation of the 2012 budget. Town and schoolofficials are forecasting harsh cuts in 2012 due to the loss of federal stimulus money.
“Thank goodness we are going into 2011 in OK shape,” said DiSilvio. “But we need to be aware going into 2012 that’sgoing to change. If personnel are retiring we have to think carefully about replacing them. There’s just not going to beanymore funds.”
Committee members said they want to continue to discuss whether to fill the position for the executive director of in-formation and technology. Bruce Forster, the current executive director of information and technology, is retirin.
Tiano said the school department has received 26 interested candidates for the position, which it advertised at asalary $5,000 to $15,000 less than what Forster earns.
Yeoman said in a phone conversation Monday afternoon the district has not yet interviewed any of the candidates, butit will shortly. Yeoman said Forster is responsible for planning all long- and short-term technology improvements.
In part of the district’s effort to streamline, Carol Fredette, the director of special education for the school district, willbe moving to the Central Administration Office building and taking on the additional title of director of student services.
As part of her new job description, Fredette will be responsible for management of homeless children attending theschool district, said Tiano.
Yeoman said many administrators and employees in the central administration office will be taking on additional jobresponsibilities. This move is on top of the $236,000 worth of administrative cuts made last year.
“It’s like a Rubik’s cube on 12 levels,” said Yeoman. “It takes a lot of work to do this. We’ve been working on this planfor a year.”
Copyright 2010 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
Chelmsford Arts and Technology fund distributes money to teachersChelmsford Arts and Technology fund distributes money to teachers
By Chloe Gotsis/staff writerGateHouse News Service
Jun 09, 2010
Chelmsford —The Chelmsford Arts and Technology Education Fund Committee recognized nine local educators this week and awarded $4,725grants to enhance the teaching in the town’s schools.
Kirk Marshall, the chairman of the committee, announced the recipients of the seven grants for the spring to at Monday’s Board ofSelectmen meeting. The nine-member committee whittled down a pool of 19 applicants and chose the recipients for an array of proj-ects including music performance recording technology for South Row students and a guided reading book room for the Byam Ele-mentary School students.
“Just about every application was worthy of a grant, but we had monetary constraints and so we did our best to find projects thatwould reward the most amount of students in a unique way,” said Marshall.
This year’s participants are eager to put their money to use.
“I’m just so excited that we’ve been granted this,” said Melissa Gridley, ateacher at the Byam Elementary School, who along with her colleagueMarie O’Donnell was granted $750 toward a guided reading room. “We’vebeen wanting a reading room for a while. It’s just so great that Chelmsfordhas this [fund].”
Kristen Babson, a fourth-grade teacher at the Byam Elementary School,said the $750 grant she received along with her colleague Terry Driscoll fornon-fiction texts will allow each fourth grade classroom to have its own setof “The Last Great Race.”
“I’m really excited to get this non-fiction text,” she said “It will enable ourkids to be able to follow along with the text in a fun way while learningabout the Iditarod Great Sled Race and learning about non-fiction texts.We’re very grateful.”
Established in 1996 by Town Meeting, the ATEF strives to provide “supple-mental funding to support educational initiatives and projects that enhancethe curriculum of the Chelmsford public school district,” according to itsmission statement. In the 14 years since the fund was established the com-mittee has awarded more than 72 grants totaling more than $50,000.
In an effort to build an endowment, the committee does not give away all it has collected each year.
Of the nine members on the committee, School Committee members Evelyn Thoren and Angie Taranto, School Superintendent DrDon Yeoman, Tricia Dzuris, Glenn Doheerty, Beverly Barrett George Ripson and Colleen Stansfield, Thoren and Ripsom were found-ing members.
Chelmsford residents, business and corporations and those outside the community choose to donate each year. Residents alsohave the option of donating through an insert included in their real estate and excise tax bills. The fund’s bylaw states that grantmoney can not support any part of the school’s budget.
Over the years the grant money has supported events, equipment or programs for the school system. Applicants must be a schoolcouncil or a teaching staff member in the school district as a one-time expenditure. The School Committee as a whole may alsoapply but through the superintendent.
According to the town’s website, each year, the school technology director electronically mails an application to each teacher in theschool system.
The money awarded must be spent by the end of the academic year, ac-cording to the ATEF website. Sixty days after the grant is used, the recipi-ent must present a written report to the committee.
Other recipients for the spring 2010 grants include:
· Brenna Maguire and Lisa Thomas-Boyle who will receive $500 for usingnon-fiction text for proficient literacy at the Byam.
· Carol Bruell who will receive $750 for digital microscopy at ChelmsfordHigh School.
· Eric Linsner will receive $750 for band, digital recording technology forthe Parker Middle School.
· Jennifer Salmon will receive $650 for a multimedia projector for ParkerMiddle School students.
· Allison LaCasse will receive $575 for music performance recording tech-nology for South Row children.
The ATEF committee will be holding a “Wheel of Fortune” booth at thisyear’s July 4th celebration.
Copyright 2010 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
The Arts and Technology committee: Angie Taranto, Tricia Dzuris, Kirk Marshall, Evelyn Thoren, Beverly Barrett and Colleen Stansfield.
From Left to Right:
Lisa Thomas Boyle, Kristen Babson and Terry Driscoll, Melissa Gridley andMarie O'Donnell, Eric Linsner, Carol Bruell, Jennifer Salmon and Allison Lacasse
YYeeoommaann lloocckkeedd iinn wwii tthh 44 yyeeaarrss
By Rita Savard, [email protected]://www.lowellsun.com/ci_15356977?IADID
CHELMSFORD -- Superintendent of Schools Donald Yeoman locked in a four-year contract last night withChelmsford public schools, despite facing some opposition from two members of the School Committee.
In a 3-2 vote, the committee approved the new contract that provides no salary increase for the upcoming year,and will be reviewed after each year until 2014, to discuss the prospect of any future pay raise. Yeoman, amongthe highest-paid superintendents in the Merrimack Valley currently earns $169,538.
Additional changes include a $50,000 increase in Yeoman's life-insurance policy, bringing the new total to$100,000, and now includes a disability policy that mirrors what non-union employees are entitled to under theircontracts.
Kathy Duffett, Angelo Taranto and Evelyn Thoren approved the new contract, withmembers Nick DiSilvio and Janet Askenburg opposing.
Askenburg and DiSilvio both agreed it would be better to extend Yeoman's cur-rent contract for one year, and then discuss a new three-year contract if the su-perintendent could meet his goals and objectives as outlined by the committee.
"I am disappointed with only the length of the contract," Askenburg said. "The su-perintendent has got great leadership skills. But also as a leader, I'd like to seehim embrace accountability."
Looking over Yeoman's goals for the school district, Taranto said some of themwould take longer, including a five-year plan for all the town's schools.
Taking everything else into account, Taranto said Yeoman has helped improveteacher and staff morale, increased professional development opportunities andhelped bring up MCAS scores during the district's toughest budget years."That's what I'm looking at in my superintendent," he said. "I can't disregard all of those great things that havetaken place in our school system and it's because of him."
Thoren said it was not a lucrative contract, adding that it was extremely easy not having to deal with the annuities,including a car, that the committee had to tackle with Yeoman's predecessor, Richard Moser.
Chairwoman Duffett said she believes Yeoman will meet his long-range goals and also applauded him for helpingto maintain educational excellence in the town's public schools during challenging economic times.
Yeoman, she added, approached the school district a year ago and said he would not take a salary increase whilesome employees were losing their jobs due to budget cuts. It's been three years since Yeoman, who was hired in2007, had a raise, Duffett said.
In other business last night, the School Committee approved staffing changes for the new school year that will in-clude hiring two guidance counselors at the elementary school level, in a 4-1 vote, with DiSilvio opposing.
As the financial outlook for the district remains uncertain, DiSilvio cautioned against hiring staff that they could notafford. Askenburg also questioned hiring counselors over teachers, but Yeoman said it was necessary to giveteachers an avenue to get students the help they need.
If a student is having problems at home, a guidance counselor is specially trained to help a student with emotionaland behavioral issues, while a teacher is instructing kids and managing a classroom of about 25, Yeoman said.
Thoren added that the district's guidance counselors were dealing with 1,000 students each, possibly causingsome cases to fall through the cracks.
When asked what would happen if the school district was forced to cut jobs next year, Yeoman said the districtwould have to look at the 14.5 teaching positions that were spared previously through one-time federal stimulusmoney.
Mothers' plea to Chelmsford school board:
Act now to stop bullyingAct now to stop bullyingBy Rita Savard, [email protected]
"No child should be afraid of going to school." "No child should be afraid of going to school." - - Nick DiSilvio, Chelmsford School Committee Nick DiSilvio, Chelmsford School Committee
CHELMSFORD -- Their kids were losing sleep, becoming sick and withdrawn, allbecause they were afraid of being tormented at school.
Three mothers, delivering emotional accounts of their children's struggles toavoid harassment at the Byam Elementary School, pleaded with officials Tues-day night for a plan to deal with bullies.
"I expressed my concern time and time again, with the principalI expressed my concern time and time again, with the principal
and the superintendent,and the superintendent," said Michele Manzelli, who told School Commit-tee members her 10-year-old son was bullied throughout the past year atByam. "In most instances, I received no reply at all, and the ByamIn most instances, I received no reply at all, and the Byam
School was not prepared with a safety planSchool was not prepared with a safety plan."
Under a new state law, all schools must develop procedures for dealing withbullies by the end of December. But parents and some school officials areconcerned that the state's deadline might be too long to wait.
"There's no reason why we can't establish some basic proceduresThere's no reason why we can't establish some basic procedures
that ensure the safety of our kids before the start of the new school year,that ensure the safety of our kids before the start of the new school year," saidSchool Committee member Nick DiSilvio, who disclosed that he had dealt with his own son being
bullied at one of the town's schools. "No child should be afraid of going to school.No child should be afraid of going to school."
By the last day of school on June 17, Manzelli said her issue had not been re-solved. Parents Alison Ludwig and Elaine MacDonald also talked about thepain their children endured at the hands of bullies, and that this fall, their kids'tormentors will most likely move on to new victims at other town schools.
"That is what makes me the most angry,That is what makes me the most angry," said Mac-Donald, whose daughter had received several threateningnotes from another girl at Byam. "If someone is serial-If someone is serial-
bullying year after year, that's obnoxious. That'sbullying year after year, that's obnoxious. That's
what builds a climate of fear ... and there's nothwhat builds a climate of fear ... and there's noth--
ing to stop (the bully) from doing it again.ing to stop (the bully) from doing it again."
MacDonald also expressed her frustration that the school's aides were oftenspotted by children texting or talking on their cell phones during recess --when physical bullying often takes place -- instead of watching the students.
An angry DiSilvio told colleagues that there is no excuse for not replying to a concerned parent'sphone call or e-mail within 48 hours, and felt the school district shouldn't have to wait for a policyto establish timely correspondence.
"A parent wants someone to know their child is suffering and they want to knowA parent wants someone to know their child is suffering and they want to know
Nick DiSilvioNick DiSilvio
that something is being done about it,that something is being done about it," DiSilvio said. "They deserve a responseThey deserve a response
call or e-mail to assure them that their concern is being heard and the comcall or e-mail to assure them that their concern is being heard and the com--
plaint is being investigated. That call should happen within 24 to 48 hours.plaint is being investigated. That call should happen within 24 to 48 hours."
After the mother's request, the School Committee gave an update about its ongoing efforts tomeet the state mandate by December. Before a strategy is created, Superintendent of SchoolsDonald Yeoman said, the school district has to wait for the state to submit its set of regulationsunder the new law, which isn't due until Sept. 30.
Committee member Janet Askenburg recommended training administratorsand staff on how to respond to bullying cases before September. Yeomansaid it would be premature to train the entire school district without the regula-tions in place.
However, Yeoman said some training for administrators could take place be-fore the new school year.
Askenburg did request a public input session to help school officials betteraddress parents' questions and concerns, and other members agreed.
"It's important for us to hear what parents have to say,It's important for us to hear what parents have to say," Chair-woman Kathy Duffett said. "We're in it together.We're in it together."
Manzelli, who gave school officials a copy of a letter her son wrote, said allshe wants is some assurance that something will be done. She said thephysical and emotional abuse her son endured has cost the family severalthousand dollars for tutoring to make up for days he spent out of school,and has also made him more guarded, anxious and withdrawn.
Some of her son's friends, Manzelli added, stopped hanging around with him because theywere afraid the bully would retaliate against them.
"He name-called and harassed me everyday,He name-called and harassed me everyday," wrote the boy in his letter. "FistfightsFistfights
were happening during recess time ... I was intentionally hit in the face with awere happening during recess time ... I was intentionally hit in the face with a
speeding kickball. I know it was on purpose because he had made eye contactspeeding kickball. I know it was on purpose because he had made eye contact
with me prior to the kick. After that I went to the doctor and he told me I had awith me prior to the kick. After that I went to the doctor and he told me I had a
level-one concussionlevel-one concussion."
Yeoman said principals spend a large portion of their days investigating"all kinds of accusations.all kinds of accusations."
"Sometimes these investigations take time because there are aSometimes these investigations take time because there are a
lot of people involved in questioning and verifying informalot of people involved in questioning and verifying informa--
tion,tion," he said. "Once we decide on the facts, sometimes those inOnce we decide on the facts, sometimes those in--
volved don't like our conclusion or they disagree with us.volved don't like our conclusion or they disagree with us.
That's pretty common, but our investigations are based onThat's pretty common, but our investigations are based on
facts from both sidesfacts from both sides."
While DiSilvio understands that some time is required to sort through the facts, it shouldn't takethree months to respond to a parent or get children the help they need to feel safe at school.
"What's going to be the excuse if a child gets physically hurt?What's going to be the excuse if a child gets physically hurt?" DiSilvio asked."What is the district going to say -- I'm sorry I never got back to you? That's unWhat is the district going to say -- I'm sorry I never got back to you? That's un--
acceptable and we owe our kids more than that.acceptable and we owe our kids more than that."
Chelmsford teachers, school officialsset contract talks
By Chloe Gotsis/staff writerGateHouse News Service
http://www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsford/features/x1740776797/Chelmsford-teachers-school-officials-set-contract-talksJun 24, 2010
Chelmsford —On July 20, Chelmsford teachers are scheduled to sit down with administration officials and talkcontract.
In early June, 170 teachers and educational staff protested the lack of contract on the lawn of theChelmsford Public School Central Administration building while the School Committee met inside.
Primary among their concerns: Stagnating salaries.
According to figures from the state Department of Education’s website, the salaries that teachersreceive at higher steps has fallen in recent years in comparison with other districts. Teachers with amaster’s degree at step 10 are making $63,787, while those in Westford are making $63,937 and$68,107 in Tewksbury.
“It’s a big problem,It’s a big problem,” said Chelmsford Teacher’s Union President Kathryn Chamberlain. “WhatWhat
people are missing is that in good times we still have not made cost of living inpeople are missing is that in good times we still have not made cost of living in--
creases and this has been over a many year period and my question is how longcreases and this has been over a many year period and my question is how long
can we continue to have pay increases that are less than the cost of living?can we continue to have pay increases that are less than the cost of living?”
Chamberlain said the union understands the town’s financial trouble and is sympathetic to thosedifficulties, but there are limits.
“Up until now many of the town’s financial emergencies have been met by whatUp until now many of the town’s financial emergencies have been met by what
they’ve done in the past which is increasing wages at less than the cost of living,they’ve done in the past which is increasing wages at less than the cost of living,”she said.
School Superintendent Dr Don Yeoman said that he is aware of the shift in the salary step scale,putting Chelmsford teachers lower than some other districts. But Yeoman pointed out the salariesdidn’t decrease. Rather, they have not increased as much as some other towns.
Yeoman said with the state of the economy he isn’t sure how the salaries will go up in comparisonto other towns.
“They would have to get a larger percentage increase then all the other towns andThey would have to get a larger percentage increase then all the other towns and
of course in this economy I haven’t seen too many going up much at all,of course in this economy I haven’t seen too many going up much at all,” he said.“There’s probably not someone going from step six on the scale to a 12.There’s probably not someone going from step six on the scale to a 12.”
Chamberlain also raised issue with the fact that teachers who have been teaching for more than 13years no longer get step increases or cost of living increases unless an actual raise is approved
“How long can you go on without a raise?How long can you go on without a raise?” she said. “If we are compared to otherIf we are compared to other
areas, our MCAS score show that we are doing an excellent job and our per-pupilareas, our MCAS score show that we are doing an excellent job and our per-pupil
expenditure is far below other communities like us.expenditure is far below other communities like us.”
The teacher’s stagnant salaries could also cause the town to lose out on hiring the best new teach-ers, Chamberlain said.
Copyright 2010 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
Another well attended "Support Our Town Coffee" was held at Rosie'sDiner in North Chelmsford recently. Members of the Chelmsford SchoolCommittee & Board of Selectmen were there, in addition to many TownMeeting Representatives & local residents. The main purpose for theseget togethers is to demonstrate support for our small businesses, how-ever they have also turned into a great way to get to know -- in a morepersonal way -- some of our fellow Chelmsfordians.
"Support Our Town Coffee"
Photo by: Steve Roberts
Nick DeSilvio,Tom Christiano,Peggy Dunn,Kathy Duffett,George Dixon Angie Taranto
@$*Politically IncorrectwithTom Christiano
The panelists on the 302nd POLITCALLY INCORRECTShow are: (l to r) Jon Kurland, Tom Fall, Tom Christiano,Joe Ready, Laura Lee & BobMorse. This show was tapedon May 25, 2010.
CLICK HERE to watch the show
POLITICALPOLITICAL JUNKIESJUNKIES with Tom Christiano
Guests: Congresswoman Niki Tsongas and State Rep Cory Atkins
CLICK HERE CLICK HERE for Congresswoman Niki Tsongas
CLICK HERE CLICK HERE for State Rep Cory Atkins
In Chelmsford community garden, a tribute to Westford firefighter's sacrifice
By Rita Savard, [email protected]://www.lowellsun.com/todaysheadlines/ci_15316110
The wail of the horn snapped Richard St. Onge to attention.
It didn't matter if he was in the middle of eating dinner with family, waiting on customers athis general store or sound asleep in his bed. He shot for his heavy boots and jacket beforeracing out the door, never knowing exactly what he was running into until he was in the thickof it.
A burning building. A child trapped in the cord of a garage door. A small plane crashed intothe woods.
"It was a dangerous job but he loved helping people," said Georgia Norton, who was mar-ried to the volunteer Westford firefighter. "Answering that horn was in his blood."
For more than 25 years, St. Onge's parents, Jeanne and George, operated the department'sdispatch call center out of their little white house on Boston Road. Walk out their front doorand you'd be standing in the driveway of the fire station.
It's why he chose to wear the uniform.
"He grew up watching these men race off to save people," Georgia said.
They'd leap on the back of a truck whizzing down a small, winding two-lane road, often getting into gear while en route.
In 1970, Westford was smaller, with about 5,000 residents and a volunteer fire department. That made it all the more scarywhen the calls came in, said Paullette Kalliger, St. Onge's sister.
"Most likely it was going to be for someone you knew, and that made my brother want to get out there even more," she said."Whatever he could do to help anybody, he did it. It's who he was."
But when the fateful blast of the horn echoed through Westford center on Dec. 5, 1970, the 29-year-old St. Onge answeredhis last call. On Saturday, the Chelmsford and Westford fire departments, family and friends will gather to remember theman who knew what it meant to "grow a community," by dedicating a public garden in Chelmsford in his memory.
It was the weekend after Thanksgiving. The Westford Fire Department had just received its annual shipment of Christmas trees.
The money raised from the holiday sale helped replace worn turnout gear, or purchase other equipment. St. Onge began his daysorting and setting up trees, then picked up his wife and 4-month-old daughter, Margo, for a visit to his parents' house.
"He was so happy to be a father," Norton said. "After eight years of marriage, we had a beautiful, healthy baby girl and he wasthrilled."
After visiting his parents, St. Onge took his wife and daughter on some of his meat deliveries. For years, he owned the General Storein Westford Center. It was one-stop shopping for everything from gasoline and the daily newspaper to fresh meats, dairy and pro-duce.
St. Onge's shop was a daily meeting place, where many would begin their day by picking up mail at the post office, then stop forsome groceries and a gab session.
Shortly before 4 p.m., St. Onge dropped his girls off at the house, then headed back to the station to finish sorting trees. First, hebrought little Margo by a friend's house to visit a pony.
By 4:30 p.m., St. Onge was back at the station when the call came in. The Chelmsford Fire Department needed mutual aid. His heartsank a little when he heard the name, Lewis Farm.
Walter and Betty Lewis were more than neighbors. They were longtime friends. Norton grew up playing with the Lewis kids.She was best friends with their daughter, Nancy Lewis.
"I had been on that farm more times than I can count," she said.
In 1957, when two hurricanes tore through the town in 10 days and the Lewises lost power, Norton's dad brought over atractor that Walter Lewis used to power up his milking equipment.
Nancy Lewis introduced St. Onge to his future wife at a 4-H dance when they were still in high school. The couple wedabout four years later, on Sept. 30, 1962. Norton was 19, St. Onge was 21.
St. Onge called his wife to tell her where he was headed.
St. OngeSt. Onge
"Those are the moments that fill you with dread," she said. "Richard knew Walter, I knew Walter. It wasn't just a stranger whosebarn was burning."
When he hung up, Georgia walked out to the front porch of the couple's Boston Road home. She could see the fire on the horizonof the night sky.
The two-story red barn off Robin Hill Road in Chelmsford was packed with hay and about two dozen animals.
Morris Thibeault and his brother Norman were working outside, unloading a bulldozer when they saw the flames. FarmhandsLeonard Dube of Nashua and Bob Wagner of Chelmsford were milking cows when the Thibeaults burst in shouting, "Let's get thecows out! The barn is on fire!"
The Thibeaults and another farm worker, Bruce Taylor of Westford, led some 85 cows to the safety of a nearby field.
St. Onge was one of the first men on the scene as the fire tore through two barns, a complex about 170 feet long and 90 feet wide.The 80-foot flames were visible from four miles away.
Norton listened closely to scattered chatter over a scanner. Firefighters, police and Red Cross workers poured in from Chelmsford,Westford, Lowell and Billerica.
Then the radio went silent.
"They didn't talk at all. They knew I'd hear it at my house," Norton said.
The smoke was thick. St. Onge took too much of it into his lungs and collapsed. Red Cross worker Walter Hedlund and Chelms-ford police Officer Marc Burlimacki tried to resuscitate him, but he was pronounced dead on the way to St. Joseph's Hospital inLowell.
Because of the firefighters' efforts, the majority of the cows and the Lewis home, which was connected to the barn, were saved.
Norton was sitting with family, still hoping for a break in the eerie silence on the scanner. There was a knock on her door. Standingon her porch was a group of policemen, a firefighter, in-laws and a member of the clergy. They somberly moved into her kitchen.
"How did it happen?" she asked.
"It was the silence," she now says. "You just know."
Dairy farmer Walter Lewis was 1,000 miles away when his barn was leveled, on his way to a Farm Bureau meeting in Texas.
Lewis was devastated by the news.
"Everyone knew Rich. He was very involved in the community," Kalliger said.
St. Onge was a founder of the Westford Little League, chairman of the Westford Blood Bank and was active in promotingthe town's Ambulance Fund.
The day of his funeral was gray and cold. Hundreds came from near and far to honor him.
The funeral procession drove by the firehouse. His boots and coat sat in the driveway, in front of a firetruck.
A church bell tolled as St. Onge's coffin was carried to St. Catherine's Cemetery on the Company 1 engine, the sametruck he drove to friends' and neighbors' houses on several occasions to put out fires or answer medical calls.
Westford firefighter David Christiana never met St. Onge. But it didn't stop him from spearheading an effort to have a me-morial built in Westford that included St. Onge's name in 2002.
"He represents practically every firefighter that serves today," Christiana said. "Times have changed, technology is moreadvanced, things are different. But the reason why most firefighters do what they do is the same. It's because they'redeeply connected to their community and they want to help."
A new barn was built to replace the one the fire had destroyed on Robin Hill Road. But a year after the fire, Walter Lewisofficially retired from farming and started a new career as director of animal health for the state.
Lewis visited Norton at her new home in Utah, right before he died at age 83.
"My brother had meant a lot to him," Kalliger said. "I know he felt very bad about what happened."
The Lewis family, like St. Onge, put their hearts into their community. In 2007, the Lewis grandchildren sold the family'sSunny Meadow farmland to the town of Chelmsford on the condition that it remain open space.
Last year, it became a community garden. On Saturday, at 10 a.m., a new handicapped-accessible section at the farm on168 Robin Hill will be named after St. Onge. The public is invited.
Westford is much bigger today than it was in 1970, Kalliger said. So is Chelmsford. But not too big to forget the man whoput his family and neighbors first.
In their garden, his memory still grows.
The Richard St. Onge The Richard St. Onge
Accessible CommunityAccessible Community
Garden DedicationGarden Dedication
June 19 2010June 19 2010Photos by Photos by
Tom ChristianoTom Christiano
Phil & Deb JonesPhil & Deb Jones
Jack ParrowJack Parrow
Open SpaceOpen Space
Chief StewardChief Steward
Jon KurlandJon Kurland
Matt HansonMatt Hanson
ACCESSIBLE COMMUNITY ACCESSIBLE COMMUNITY
GARDEN DEDICATIONGARDEN DEDICATIONby Tom Christiano
An accessible garden was dedicated to FirefighterRichard St. Onge at the Chelmsford Sunny MeadowFarm on June 19th. Mr. St. Onge died fighting a barnfire at this same location many years ago. Firefightersfrom Chelmsford & Westford stood at attention through-out the dedication ceremony in honor of his bravery. Hissister, Paulette Kallagher, and many other family mem-bers also came out to the garden to pay tribute to theirbeloved hero, and to unveil the accessible garden signwith his name on it. All of the Chelmsford Selectmen at-tended this event, along with our Town Manager, PaulCohen, and many Chelmsford & Westford residents.
Speakers at this ceremony included: Art Hen-nessey (Boy Scoutmaster), Paul Cohen, PhilStanway (Lead Open Space Steward),George Dixon (Selectmen Chairman), JackParow (Fire Chief), Elmer Bartels (past com-missioner of MA Rehabilitation), Ralph Hickey(Chelmsford ADA Coordinator), a WestfordSelectman, and the Pastor of the North Con-gregational Church. Bagpipers played mov-ingly as we all remembered the extraordinarycourage of FireFighter Richard St. Onge.
Photos by Photos by
Tom ChristianoTom Christiano
John KivlanJohn KivlanRev.Rev.
Master Plan looks at easing zoning bylawsMaster Plan looks at easing zoning bylawsKevin Zimmerman/Staff Reporterwww.chelmsfordmassnews.com
• Thu, Jun 24, 2010
The latest draft of the Master Plan recommends bylaw changes to encourage redevelopmentand to simplify the special permitting process.
Chelmsford's zoning bylaws have not been modified since 1998. For the most part, they do notaddress issues related to redevelopment of a site, said Master Plan Committee Chairman JimLane.
"We need to modify the zoning bylaw so it is structured to redeveloping,We need to modify the zoning bylaw so it is structured to redeveloping," saidLane."At a minimum, revisions should include allowing for reduced setbacks andAt a minimum, revisions should include allowing for reduced setbacks and
providing greater flexibility in terms of parking and landscaping requirements,providing greater flexibility in terms of parking and landscaping requirements,"reads the Recommendations section of the Master Plan draft.
Planning Board members discussed the land use and zoning section of the Master Plan draft ata work session Wednesday night.
The Master Plan recommends establishing a Redevelopment District along Littleton Road fromHunt to Chamberlain roads to promote mixed-use development of commercial and residential;creating mixed-use overlay zoning districts in Vinal Square, North Chelmsford's mill complexes,Chelmsford Center, Chelmsford Street from Central Square to Fletcher Street and on Technol-ogy Drive; and revising zoning bylaws to allow construction of five- or six-story buildings on Bil-lerica Road from the town line to Alpha Road.
When the discussion of increasing building heights first came up, Lane said the Master PlanCommittee checked with fire, police and water departments to ask if they had concerns overpublic safety or water pressure issues."We wanted to make sure they did not have any problems,We wanted to make sure they did not have any problems," said Lane. "The answer from all was, No.The answer from all was, No."
Planning Board member Ed Roux questioned why the increased heights would be limited to aRoute 129. He suggested the entire "Golden Triangle," the area bordered by Billerica, Turnpikeand Mill roads, be included."You are trying to control it but it is so small (an area) and there are only soYou are trying to control it but it is so small (an area) and there are only so
many parcels that could benefit,many parcels that could benefit," said Roux.
Lane said the committee wanted to ensure zoning changes did not bring increased traffic toneighborhoods or put six-story buildings across the street from homes."We also didn't want mid-rises all over townWe also didn't want mid-rises all over town”, said Master Plan Committee and PlanningBoard member George Zaharoolis.
But it also plays into the Master Plan's goal of creating specific areas of town that are zoned toencourage redevelopment.That would be coupled with a recommendation to modify the specialpermitting process for redevelopment projects. Currently, if a plan fails to meet zoning require-ments in areas of landscaping, parking and setbacks, a developer can apply for a special permitfor each bylaw not met.
The Master Plan draft recommends changing the process so only one consolidated special per-mit would be needed. Community Development Director Evan Belanksy said all of this wouldhelp the town attract redevelopment projects.
"If there is an area in town that has a reduced standard and has more flexibilityIf there is an area in town that has a reduced standard and has more flexibility
with expedited permitting, we can market that,with expedited permitting, we can market that," said Belansky. "We can say, 'We canWe can say, 'We can
get you what you need to get it done.get you what you need to get it done.'"
FRANKFRANK ly Speakingly SpeakingSteadman Street, residential zoning, Steadman Street, residential zoning,
home business? commercial business? ZBA.home business? commercial business? ZBA.O’Brien sues town in land court!O’Brien sues town in land court!
We’ve been down this road before.
And now an update on Frank O’brien on his “compliance” business andwhere he is at in suing the town to get what he wants.
Chelmsford business owner Chelmsford business owner
considering dropping considering dropping
Land Court appealLand Court appeal
By Chloe Gotsis/Staff writerGateHouse News Service
Jun 25, 2010 Chelmsford —
A Westlands resident, who formerly ran a medical equipment testing business out ofhis garage to the dismay of his neighbors, is mulling over his options before his leaseon commercial space in Lowell runs out August 11.
Frank O’Brien, who owns a medical equipment testing business, O’Brien ComplianceManagement, said he is exploring permanently renting out commercial business spacein the Greater Lowell area in an e-mail Thursday to many of his neighbors. O’Briensaid in the e-mail that if he is successful in this plan he anticipates notifying the stateLand Court, where he filed an appeal of a January decision by the town’s ZoningBoard of Appeals denying him a special permit for his home business, and droppingthe case.
“We'll be making a final decision in mid-July,” said O’Brien in the e-mail.
O’Brien told his neighbors that he is planning on keeping 12 Steadman St., the former site of his business as well, ashis residence.
“Should I finalize a commercial space, it will no longer be my business address,” he said. “You’ll see this change onthe business website.”
The business owner began renting out a small commercial business space on Steadman Street in Lowell after his ap-peal for his home business was denied. But when he noticed his business taking a hit in ts first quarter earnings aftermoving his business he sent a letter to five of his Westlands neighbors in hopes they would support a compromiseand allow him to move his business back to his garage. O’Brien also reached out to the ZBA hoping for a settlement.
But he has received little movement on either.
He ran his business out of his Steadman Street home without permission from the town for about a year, until signsadvertising an open house caught the attention of some of his neighbors. A concerned group of neighbors brought thematter to the attention of town officials and Building Inspector Scott Hammond, who notified O’Brien he was in viola-tion of zoning bylaws last fall.
O’Brien had four employees, including himself, who were working out of his garage until October. But under thetown’s home occupation bylaw if a special permit is granted, O’Brien is only allowed one em-ployee, who does not live in the home.
At a hearing before the ZBA in January O’Brien’s neighbors voiced their concerns about increas-ing traffic in the area from O’Brien’s equipment testing business. The board voted 4-1 to deny hisappeal.
Copyright 2010 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
“Frank O’BrienFrank O’Brien
ChangesChanges in Chelmsford's trash programs startin Chelmsford's trash programs start
July 1July 1The Lowell Sun
Starting July 1, there will be several changes in Chelmsford's trash and recycling programs. Thesechanges are being adopted to reduce the town's trash-disposal costs and to encourage recycling andwaste reduction.
Since 2005, Chelmsford residents have done a great job with waste reduction, when they generated morethan 16,000 tons of trash. But in the past few years, they have not broken 13,000 tons. That 3,000-ton re-duction will save the town more than $220,000 in disposal costs this year alone.
Recently, however, the steady decline in Chelmsford's trash tonnage has hit a plateau. With the revivingeconomy, residents can expect to see trash tonnages begin to creep up again. They need to be proactive,by making sure they're keeping trash to a minimum in order to keep disposal costs down.
So, what's changing in July? First, Chelmsford will have new contractors to collect trash (Allied Waste)and recyclables (IPR). This is a big change, since the town has had its current contractor for 10 years. Soplease be patient as the new haulers learn the town.
As for Chelmsford's recycling program, the new hauler will be doing "single-stream" collection. Thismeans that as of July 1, residents will be able to put all of their recyclables (paper, flattened cardboard,bottles and cans) out for collection together in the same recycling barrel or bin. While you may continue tosort and separate your recyclables if you like, as of July 1 it will not be required.
Also, cardboard will no longer need to be bundled -- as of July 1 you will simply need to flatten boxes andcut large pieces down so they can be easily handled by the collection workers. Then, put flattened boxesunder or in between the recycling containers so that it stays in place.Starting July 1, residents will be able to use barrels up to 64 gallons in capacity for their recyclables (notfor trash) and as always, recycling stickers are available at the town offices to mark barrels.
Recycling barrels may not weigh more than 50 pounds when full.
On the trash side, starting July 1 the trash limit goes from four (4) 32-gallon containers to two (2) 32-gal-lon barrels or bags per week. Any household trash in excess of that amount will need to be in official townoverflow bags, which will be available mid-June for $2 each in sleeves of five. The following Chelmsfordlocations are planning to carry the bags: Agway, North Chelms-ford Hardware, Hannaford, Stop & Shop and Walgreens.
Residents will still be able to dispose of one burnable bulk itemper week (mattresses, stuffed furniture, etc.). Residents of proper-ties on shared driveways and of multifamily properties with curb-side collection will need to mark their barrels and set them outseparately from those of other households so that it will be clearthat each household is within the trash limit. The Recycling Officewill have barrel stickers available for residents of multifamily prop-erties who are concerned the hauler will not recognize their prop-erty as a multifamily.
Detailed information on the changes will be included in the up-coming "Chelmsford Recycles" flyer that will come out in June. Inthe meantime, if you need additional information please contactthe Recycling Office at 978-250-5203 or go towww.townofchelmsford.us/Recycling-Department.cfm.
Chelmsford CommonChelmsford Common
Every Thursday, Every Thursday,
July 8 - October 14,July 8 - October 14,
2:00 PM to 6:00 PM2:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Please consider serving on a Town Committee
CCll iicckk hheerreefor a current list of vacancies
☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆Lifeguards on duty from 10 am - 6 pm Lifeguards on duty from 10 am - 6 pm
at Freeman Lake and Heart Pond at Freeman Lake and Heart Pond
beginning 6/26 - 8/29beginning 6/26 - 8/29
Chelmsford Cultural CouncilChelmsford Cultural CouncilCall to Artists!Call to Artists!
The Chelmsford Cultural Council is issuing a call to artistsThe Chelmsford Cultural Council is issuing a call to artistsfor illustrations inspired by "Chelmsford" the poem on thefor illustrations inspired by "Chelmsford" the poem on thehistory of Chelmsford written by Tom Ryan. The poem washistory of Chelmsford written by Tom Ryan. The poem was
commissioned by the Cultural Council for the Town'scommissioned by the Cultural Council for the Town's350th anniversary in 2005. 350th anniversary in 2005.
Click here for details and application.Click here for details and application.
Deadline for entries - Friday, May 21, 2010 at 5 p.m.Deadline for entries - Friday, May 21, 2010 at 5 p.m.
S U M M E R J A Z Z A T T H E C C AS U M M E R J A Z Z A T T H E C C A
JOIN US FOR SUMMER JAZZ!
Saturday, June 26, 7-9 pm, Veteran's Memorial Auditorium
$10 at the door
MMOOVVIINNGG FFOORRWWAARRDD aatt tthhee CCCCAA
The musicians of Moving Forward are masters of their art, each professionally trained withyears of musical experience, they are the premier jazz quintet of the area. Their music is up-lifting with a unique voice that is ideal for any occasion.
Now featuring a vocalist and a new drummer, Moving Forward is making a comeback in theLowell and Boston music scenes. Keep your eyes and ears open for more to come from thisincredible group!
Band:Dayna Brown: VocalsJared Holaday: SaxophoneDan Sakkinen: GuitarMaxxx Lewis: BassMike Dettorre: Drums
QUOTE of the WEEK:
Ev'ry heart beats trueEv'ry heart beats true'neath the Red, White 'neath the Red, White and Blue,and Blue,
~~George M. CohanGeorge M. Cohan
You have to train them young CLICK HERECLICK HERE
CLICK ON PHOTO
As we head towards our 1000th subscriberAs we head towards our 1000th subscriber
If you have friends, family or neighbors If you have friends, family or neighbors
who would like to be added to this who would like to be added to this
news distribution list just have them drop us a line atnews distribution list just have them drop us a line at
In-Town Report News Links:
ROY EARLEYROY EARLEYTown Meeting Representative Precinct 6In-Town Report:Creator,Editor,compiler,Designer,writer,photographer
TOM CHRIISTIIANOTOM CHRIISTIIANOTown Meeting Representative Precinct 9In-Town Report:Contributing writer,photographer,consultantand In-Town distribution
*********************CHRISTIANO PRODUCTIONS:POLITICAL JUNKIES SHOW:
Thurs 7:30 PMSundays 9:30 AM & Mondays 8:30 PM.
POLITICALLY INCORRECT:Tues & Weds 8:30 PM;
Thurs 7:00 AM; Sundays 11:00 AMChelmsford Cable TV Channel 8