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Tree Lighting Spreads Holiday Cheer Merry festivities for families and friends surrounded the common. By Lucy Schultz December 5, 2011 www.chelmsford.patch.comPhotos by Lucy SchultzVisit Lucy Schultz Photography athttp://lucy.mixmox.com ☆ - Chelmsford 2011 Holiday Prelude VIDEO now On-Line CLICK HERE
TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS AND ALL THROUGH TOWN HALLNOT A CREATURE WAS STIRRING, THEY WERE ALL AT THE MALL,THE TAX BILLS WERE READY TO GO OUT WITH THE NEW YEAR,BUT THIS WOULD NOT BRING THE TOWNSPEOPLE GOOD CHEER.THE SELECTMEN WERE ALL SNUGGLED UP TIGHT IN THEIR BEDSWHILE VISIONS OF CHAIRMANSHIPS DANCED IN THEIR HEADS,ALL YEAR LONG THEIR BACKS WERE AGAINST THE WALLWONDERING VOTE BY VOTE WHO WOULD TAKE THE FALL.EACH MAILING THAT CAME THREW MUD IN THEIR FACETO MOST REASONABLE PEOPLE IT WAS A DISGRACE,THOUGH THE SUMMER EVENTS HAVE LONG GONE BYTHE COMING NEW ELECTION IS DRAWING NIGHAND EVEN THOUGH THE FIVE SELECTMEN STOOD SHOULDER TO SHOULDERTHROUGH ALL THEIR TRIBULATIONS (OKAY MAYBE JUST FOUR)IN TWO THOUSAND TWELVE IT’S THEIR TIME TO SOAR.SO STAND TALL MY SELECTMEN THERE IS MUCH WORK TO DOOAK HILL, A NEW FIRE STATION AND MORE ARE COMING TO YOUNO STRIPING OF SCENIC ROADS WILL GET IN THE WAYOF ALL THE SELECTMEN HAVING THEIR SAY.BUT JUST REMEMBER “WE THE PEOPLE” ARE MORE THAN JUST WORDSWHEN WE WANT YOU TO LISTEN DON’T THINK WE’RE ABSURDSO TAKE THIS ADVICE AS ELECTIONS DRAW NEARGIVE EAR TO THE PEOPLE, THEY SPEAK LOUD AND CLEARIF YOU THINK YOU KNOW BETTER, WELL THAN WATCH AND SEE, AND IF YOUR REAL LUCKYYOU MIGHT GET ANOTHER THREE.
ASK THEMANAGERITR:What does the town have to look forward to in 2012PAUL COHEN:The new year will bring some excitement with thescheduled June opening of the renovated Town Halland North Town Hall. The Chelmsford Center for theArts will offer a variety of artistic performances andhost artist studio space at the Town Hall in the center. The North Town Hall willserve as a community center with after school programs and other program offerings.The Town expects to explore grant monies to expand the services provided toresidents at the senior center. A proposal to address the needs for a new centerfire station will be brought to Town Meeting. The plan is to construct a new stationadjacent to the Town Offices. We will seek to establish a community garden inNorth Chelmsford on the Town-owned land located off of Wotton Street.This will be done in conjunction with a lease of the land for agricultural purposes.The Town will debut electric vehicle charging stations at the Adams Library andin Vinal Square. Work will continue on the underground utility project in the towncenter. I expect that a plan for the future use of the Oak Hill property will be broughtto Town Meeting.ITR:What things coming up in the next year do you feel will needa "caution sign" to go along with it?PAUL COHEN:We need to be cautious about the level of civic discourse in the community.2012 will bring Presidential, Congressional, State, and local elections.Due to the philosophical differences between the two major political parties and theeffects from a sluggish economy, a hard-fought national campaign is anticipated.This often includes a large amount of negative attack ads. A negative atmosphere atthe local election level tends to weaken the ties among people in the community.There are certainly issues to debate and discuss regarding the future directionof the Town of Chelmsford. However, a highly-charged atmosphere may tendto discourage people from seeking to serve the community as a Town MeetingRepresentative or as a town-wide elected official.ITR:What is your New Years wish for the town of Chelmsford?PAUL COHEN:I wish every resident a healthy and properous new year. I wish that we will continueto come together to meet the challenges and opportunities that arise. Chelmsford isa great town with so much to be proud of and with a great future. This is why theTown ranks so highly on the lists for desired places to live.
State closes probe on controversial Chelmsford project By Rita Savard, firstname.lastname@example.org 12/07/2011 www.lowellsun.comCHELMSFORD -- The State Ethics Commission has closed its investigation into the controversial 9 NorthRoad project.In a Dec. 1 letter signed by State Ethics Commission Special Investigator Katelyn Farago, Farago wrotethat the commission met in executive session on Nov. 18 and "based on a report submitted by the staff, thecommission voted to terminate this matter."Farago stated that the case is now closed. An identical letter was also addressed to Philip Eliopoulos,whose family owns the property and uses a section to house the familys law firm.Amid a fierce controversy surrounding the North Road construction, which led to the towns first recall elec-tion in history, Town Manager Paul Cohen wrote to the Ethics Commission in May, urging it to investigateallegations of corruption against Cohen and several selectmen.Local businessman Roland Van Liew, who funneled thousands of dollars into the recall effort, accusedtown officials of failing to uphold a 1978 preservation restriction on 9 North Road in favor of cronyism.Eliopoulos, a former selectman, was still on the board in 2009 when he represented his father, MichaelEliopoulos, during the transaction."Despite the claims against me and the campaign raised in town, it felt good to have myreputation restored in some way," Cohen said. "The claims were backed by no evidence." way, evidence.Cohen hopes the commissions finding "gives people reassurance that there was no ethicalcompromise and we can now turn the page and move on." on.The ITR helicopter hasreported a fight has brokenout over on North RoadOur camera’s are on thescene at theFarside of ChelmsfordCLICK HERE
Former Chelmsford Planning Board member returns to fill vacancy By Monica Jimenez / Wicked Local Chelmsford GateHouse News Service Dec 09, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordThe Board of Selectmen and the Planning Board voted to install Ann McGuigan as a temporaryPlanning Board member until the April town election, filling a vacancy created when Richard Mc-Clure resigned in October. McGuigan previously served as chairman of the board.“You know who I am, you know what I do, you know how I act. I’m a person of myword,” McGuigan told the board. “I believe I can step in and fill these shoes.”word, shoes.Planning Board alternate Nancy Arroway applied for the position, garnering some votes from Ann McGuiganPlanning Board members, but selectmen voted unanimously for McGuigan. Resident Chris Rosealso applied.Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reservedOak Hill Study Committee namedBy Monica Jimenez/Wicked Local staff writerGateHouse News ServiceDec 06, 2011www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordChelmsford —Five residents were appointed to a committee that will study land on Oak Hill. Phil Stanway, Fran Mc-Dougall, Paul Gleason, John Fielding and John Abbott will join Planning Board chairman Susan Carter,Conservation Commission member Beth Logan, Historical Commission member George Merrill andAffordable Housing Committee member John Edward on the committee, whose first meeting has beententatively set for Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012.Selectmen picked these individuals from among 11 applicants. The committee will report to the selectmenand their first move will most likely be to elect a chairman.Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
Chelmsford affordable housing document proposes multifaceted plan By Monica Jimenez / Wicked Local Chelmsford GateHouse News Service Dec 04, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordThe 2011 Affordable Housing Plan, unveiled last month, is 101 pages long. But the message underlying itsmyriad strategies and statistics is simple: As a community and a municipality, Chelmsford needs afford-able housing, and it’s time to start creating it.Summary of 2011 Affordable Housing PlanRental housing has become much more expensive in recent years. There is a shortage of affordablerental opportunities in Chelmsford, specifically units targeting 50 to 60 percent of median income.The average wait for families and singles is more than seven to ten years. For seniors, it is between sixmonths and five years. More than families and singles are on the CHA’s waiting list for housing and an-other 143 seniors are on the State Aided Public Housing Waiting List.Despite approving a total of 612 units since 2000, the Town has not been able to meet the DHCD’sPlanned Production thresholds. The 2005 Plan identified unmet housing needs and came up with strate-gies to meet it, but since then revisions to the zoning bylaw have not come to fruition; the identified needs,goals and preferred locations have not been considered during 40B approvals; and the gap between ex-isting and needed affordable housing has increased.According to DHCD, 966 units or 7.4 percent of Chelmsford’s housing inventory qualified as affordableunder Chapter 40B as of September 2009. To meet the 10 percent requirement, 332 new affordable unitsare needed in five years, which comes to 65 units per year.One concern is new housing units will cost the town more than they generate in revenue, but a 2009 studycommissioned by the town has shown affordable housing units have a lower per-unit fiscal impact typicallythan that of single-family homes. Connery Associates of Melrose, Mass., conducted a fiscal impact analy-sis on three Littleton Road properties – the Kensington, the Courtyard, and Woodland Square – and RobinHill Meadows, on Equestrian Lane. Results showed the first three were a net fiscal surplus for the town,while the net deficit at Robin Hill Meadows could be explained by a high student-per-unit ratio.The plan proposes strategies to produce new affordable housing mainly by building on publicly- and pri-vately-owned sites. The plan’s target is achieving the development of 65 qualified units per year for fiveconsecutive years starting in 2012 with about 75 percent being rental units and the remaining 25 percentownership. Of the seven planned production projects, six are projected to be permitted and producedwithin calendar years 2012 through 2016.“Un-planned” production will also count toward the town’s quota, and the plan proposes the continuedguidance and approval of appropriate comprehensive permits, or those issued under MGL Chapter 40B.The 2010 Master Plan supports introducing housing and mixed use development in areas within VinalSquare, Village Center, Route 110 and Technology Drive, but leaving the zoning alone in strongly com-mercial and industrial areas of town. Other areas to avoid are identified in the 2010 Open Space andRecreation Plan, which calls to protect high-value properties like those adjacent to water districts, alongwetlands or connecting wildlife corridors.Finally, the plan suggests the town take affordable housing into its own hands in smaller ways. Preservingthe Town’s existing supply of affordable housing is important, the plan suggests, and can be done by re-taining expiring units, preventing the foreclosures of other units, and approving helpful tax exemptionsthrough home rule petition. For example, the town of Hamilton approved property tax exemptions for in-come-qualifying seniors. Policies that can be implemented in 2011 also include using housing vouchersand creating affordable units from non-affordable stock and illegal apartments.More notably, the plan proposes zoning bylaw revisions that would gradually increase Chelmsford’s af-fordable housing supply. The town’s few RM districts have little capacity for creation of new units; the Ac-cessory Dwelling Bylaw does not adequately meet the needs of today’s families; and although unitseligible for inclusion in the state’s Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHI) must have a 30-year deed restric-tion keeping units affordable, Chelmsford’s current density bonus provision in the RM zones provides foronly a 10-year deed restriction.
Cornerstones of 2012-2016 production planSOURCE: 2011 AFFORDABLE HOUSING PLAN.Land off Oak Hill RoadSize: 66 acresOwner: Town of ChelmsfordCurrent Land Use: Capped landfill with DPW salt barn, vacant landDetailsPromoted by the Affordable Housing Committee as the best opportunity for the town to meet planned pro-duction on its own terms. Rezoning to Planned Residential Neighborhood Overlay District would be re-quired. This would create a new residential neighborhood with a mix of housing types and unit types with aprimary focus on seniors and family housing. Significant natural open space and recreational amenitiesare also envisioned. The site is pre-planned for a total of 195 units, 146 rentals and 49 ownership, units tobe phased in over three calendar years between 2013-2015.Due to environmental constraints, the presence of ledge, proximity to a landfill, and challenges associatedwith providing adequate access and infrastructure capacity, further research and due diligence is neededand ultimately a significant capital investment will be needed.233-273 Littleton RoadSize: 17.5 acres totalOwners: Chelmsford Auto Court, Spiro Vrouhas, Charles HillmanCurrent land use: Retail, office building, three-family ranch house, apartments, vacant land.DetailsLocated along a mixed-use corridor with a good deal of existing 40B development, these six parcels areowned by several private owners and would require land assembly to maximize planned production via40B or local zoning actions. Rezoning to a moderate density multi-family district, is recommended toachieve the pre-planned total of 120 rental units with a mix in the number of bedrooms. Due to nearbywetlands, the highway and the adjacent asphalt plant, special design and layout consideration will be re-quired. The intent of this project is to create general rental housing opportunities serving moderate-incomeresidents.280-284 Chelmsford StreetSize: 1 acre totalOwner: Bu CuongCurrent land use: Vacant, formerly two single-family housesDetailsLocated at the transition of a commercial and single family, these two parcels are under common owner-ship. These parcels are pre-planned for a total of 12 one-bedroom rentals for seniors via 40B or local zon-ing actions. Rezoning, to a senior housing district, is recommended. Due to being located at adjacent tosingle family and at the gateway to the Westlands, special design, layout and architectural considerationswill be required. The intent of this project is to create specialized senior housing opportunities for low andvery low incomes.276-282 Mill RoadSize: 15 acresOwner: DJ Realty Trust, MTC Construction LLC, McCrnsky, Lothar Fuschs.Current land use: Existing houses, retail, vacant landDetailsLocated within the Rt. 129 economic development center and near the Rt. 3 corridor, these three parcelsare privately owned and therefore would require land assembly to maximize planned production via 40Bor local zoning actions. Rezoning, to a moderate density multi-family district is recommended to achievethe pre-planned total of up to 150 rental units consisting of one and two bedrooms. Due to steep slopesand ledge, some special design and layout considerations will be required. The intent of this project is tocreate a strategic rental housing opportunity, serving low to moderate incomes, which will complement theproximity to the highway and businesses.Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
Roland Van Liew still continues to churn out mass emailings and postal mailings to the throngsthe only difference now is the leaders in the town no longer choose to ignore them.For several years they have kept quiet and chose to not pay them any attention figuring itwould just go away and it cost them dearly for doing so.And it cost the tax payers.Now the “TRUTH SQUAD” led by Selectman Jon Kurland takes on each mailing or emailingthat is sent out by Van Liew head on and tries to set the record straight.Why the name the TRUTH SQUAD you ask?Because the Justice League of America and The Avengers were already taken CLICK HERE to vist the TRUTH SQUAD website
It takes a lot of training to be that jolly CLICK HERE CLICK HERE for some Ch ri s tm a s Magic DIE HARD 12: Die Hungry for ChristmasFrom the Farside of Chelmsford CLICK HEREcomes a heartwarming family classic.☆ - It will give youz guys a warm feelingdeep down as you sitz with da Familyaround da fire. I give it three thumbs up-George DixonMartinScorsesesRagingRudolphCLICKHERE
Chelmsford petitioners: Fence makes bad neighbors By Monica Jimenez / Wicked Local Chelmsford GateHouse News Service Dec 11, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordA petition to remove a new fence blocking stairs to the Ginger Ale Plaza has received more than 100 sig-natures from disgruntled Chelmsford residents, but the owner of the plaza maintains it’s necessary to pro-tect businesses in the plaza and their customers.The fence was installed last month across the stairs, which lead to the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail and theBrickhouse Pizza parking lot. According to CLM Realty and Trust, which owns Northern Bank and Trust(Ginger Ale tenant), the stairs allow Rail Trail cyclists to steal parking spaces from Ginger Ale Plaza cus-tomers.“Without exception, all the tenants in the plaza have complained vociferously,” said CLM vociferously,Realty trustee Jim Mawn. Mawn said the stairs, built in the spirit of community friendliness and at the trust’s expense, were meant to give Ginger Ale customers ac- cess to a park-like area beyond the plaza’s retaining wall. He acknowl- edged the plaza is fullest at noon- time and dinnertime, indicating many of the cars belong to diners at Bertucci’s and the Java Room, but he said many should be all.According to Mawn, Rail Trail cyclists did not stop using the lot despite warnings delivered in person, lefton their cars, and posted on large signs. The fence was a last resort, he said.“[The staircase] has really caused a problem despite every reasonable effort to policethe plaza,” Mawn said. “We understand the desire to create a harmonious feeling in the plaza,community, but we’re not sure what a reasonable solution is to dissuade people fromusing the lot.” lot.However, resident Susan Gates, who startedthe petition to remove the fence, and SelectmanMatt Hanson said the fence creates an impres-sion of unfriendliness toward the community.Petition signers agreed.“This town has to be about a better qual -ity of life,” posted Pamela Elrod Sunday. life,“This fence is an insult and is ridicu -lous.”lous.In a post a week ago, Warren Wein said thesame, suggesting there is a better solution tothe parking situation.“Embrace the community and it will paymany dividends,” Wein said. dividends,Other signers have suggested it blocks not the people trying to leave the plaza, but thosetrying to get in.
“I use the trail regularly and visit the Java Room via the stairs,” posted Bryan Leary on the stairs,change.org petition a week ago. “Blocking this access is a poor solution and will hurt localbusinesses in the Plaza.” Plaza.“Way more people come up the stairs to spend than down to ride,” ride,posted someone identified only as RC.But there are no stipulations about the use of the stairs, according to Town Manager Paul Cohen, and thetown has no grounds for action.“The town is not taking any formal action with respect to this matter,” Cohen said. “The in - matter,stallation of the fencing by the property owner/manager does not violate any zoning by -laws or the terms/conditions of any permits pertaining to the lawful use of the privateproperty.”property.Garvin said for this reason, BPAC has declined to make an official statement opposing the fence. But headded its installation contradicts the town’s goals. A Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan now in the workswill aim to make the town more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly, Garvin said, which will necessitate thehelp of local businesses — especially those near the rail trail.“It is the position of BPAC that in general, the environment for pedestrians would bebest served by the Town promoting enhanced pedestrian connections, particularlyaround the Town center,” Garvin said in a statement Friday. centerAccording to Mawn, until someone proposes a better solution to the parking problem, the fence will stay.“We have worked very hard to try and create a good atmosphere for the folks who use thetrail and the plaza,” Mawn said. “We appreciate people’s concerns, and we always have an plaza,open mind.” mind.Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
Court dog brings calm to crime witnesses By Rita Savard, email@example.com 12/11/2011 www.lowellsun.comCHELMSFORD -- Sometimes small gifts have the biggest impact.For victims advocate Laurie Myers, hers came in the size of a bespectacled half-pint, about 3 feet tall.Gavin McGee was only 3 when he lived through an event that would trau-matize most adults. Awakened by screams in the night, he climbed out ofbed to discover his father strangling and stabbing his mother, 31-year-oldChristine McGee, to death.At 6, Gavin found himself in Lowell Middlesex Superior Court, a key wit-ness in the trial that ultimately convicted his father, Jeffrey McGee, of first-degree murder, and sentencing him to life in prison. Gavin McGee, 8, gets a kiss from Wena,Knowing what its like to testify in a courtroom full of strangers, Gavin a 2-year-old service dog that will startwanted to do something to help kids like him, and adults, feel more com- working inside courtrooms in January.fortable. Last month, he received $100 through a fundraising event in mem- Wenas presence is designed to calm and comfort victims and witnesses ofory of his mother. He donated all of it to Myers to put toward a black Lab violent crimes as they are faced withnamed Wena, who will become the first service dog to work with victims of testifying in court. SUN / Tory Germannviolent crime in local courts beginning next month."Im just an animal lover," said Gavin, now 8. "I think Wena will help people a lot. Shell help them lover,feel relaxed, not so nervous." nervous.Myers, executive director of the Chelmsford nonprofit Community Voices, is hoping for the same."The calming effect that these highly trained dogs have is huge," Myers said. "Theres been so huge,much research done on the subject. Just taking the time to pet a dog can instantly lower bloodpressure and relax a persons breathing." breathing.For victims, a courtroom can be an intimidating place.All eyes are on them. A black-robed judge looks down. A defendant sits just a few feet away, while lawyers try toextract the most excruciating details."If a child or any person is in that situation, theyre feeling very helpless," said Ellen Torop, north- helpless,east program manager of Canine Companions for Independence, a service-dog organization that matched Myerswith Wena.Disassociation often takes hold of kids who testify."Its a natural defense, where they shut down and lose contact on the stand," Torop said. "The stand,dogs presence alone can accomplish a lot because theyre nonjudgmental and very welcom -ing. It can help them relax, calm down and build trust between them and whoever the handleris. That trust can bring them to the point where they can return to the situation and testify." testifyA tireless advocate for victims rights, Myers has worked with dozens of individuals and families over the years.But in a Lowell courtroom in March 2010, she witnessed "true bravery" shell never forget."It wasnt a superhero in a movie, or any of the heroes weve been programmed to look up to," to,Myers wrote in a letter that was published in The Sun.Gavins head was barely visible from the witness stand, but he held the same air of confidence as the many pro-fessionals before him.He was questioned by a lawyer about the things in his world that meant something to him. His grandparents. Hispets. His interest in wrestling."But one thing was clear throughout," Myers said. "His size was no measure of his strength." throughout strength.
His voice never faltered. He spoke clearly and lovingly about hismother and he told the court who was responsible for her death andhow his life changed forever.Myers was in close contact with Gavin, who now lives with his grand-parents in Dracut, throughout the ordeal.On Nov. 20, the four-year anniversary of his mothers death, Gavinmet Wena and donated the money in memory of his mom.Myers cant get through talking about it without the words gettingstuck in her throat."Hes such a sweet boy," she said. boy,Gavins grandmother -- and Christines mom -- Jill Plouffe, saidGavins big heart is much like his mothers. Christine still smiles backat her through Gavins happy face. Crime victims advocate Laurie Myers, right, gotWhen Gavin met Wena, he handed the dog the envelope containing $100 in help from 8-year-old Gavin McGee to sehis money. Wena took it in her mouth, then handed it to Laurie. cure "Wena," a black lab who will be used in courtr ooms beginning next month to help comforts and calm those who are required to testify in cases"I love Wena," Gavin said. Wena, involving violent crime. SUN / TORY GERMANNA few kisses from the canine showed the feeling was mutual.Wena will not only assist victims in the courts, shell also be providing her special brand of pet therapy in thecommunity. Myers is bringing her along to meet with a support group for parents of murdered children on Tues-day."Wena will be another way for us to offer support and comfort to victims of violent crimes," crimes,she said. Four-legged friend comes to Chelmsford By Monica Jimenez / Wicked Local Chelmsford GateHouse News Service Dec 16, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsford“The most advanced technology capable of transforming the lives of people with disabili -ties has a cold nose and a warm heart,” reads the homepage of Canine Companions for Independ- heartence (CCI).A new Chelmsford resident named Wena has the nose, the heart, and a dedicated partner in the form ofLaurie Myers, director of the Massachusetts victim advocacy group Community Voices. A 2-year-oldLabrador and golden retriever mix, Wena moved into Myers’ home last month, ready to start work as thefirst courthouse dog in the state.Myers’ Dogs Making a Difference program is modeled after Courthouse Dogs, which has placed caninesin more than a dozen states, including California, New York, Texas and Hawaii. These dogs comfort youngvictims of crime by trotting alongside them through courtrooms, curling up at their feet in the witness boxand visiting them at home after the legal proceedings are over.“I’ve worked with victims for years. I’ve seen the stress they’re under,” Myers said. under,“The court process can be stressful, especially for victims who have not been involvedwith the system. Kids respond to the calming effect of an animal.” animal.
Wena was the best of the bunch at the CCI center in Malden, N.Y., said Myers, who worked with a few dif-ferent dogs during her two-week training. Once just an unruly puppy with a fear of open staircases, thesedays Wena refrains from barking, scratching and gobbling food left lying around, and confidently respondsto more than 50 commands, including retrieving objects, turning on lights and laying her head on people’slaps.Currently Myers is teaching Wena to color, which involves fetching a large crayon and turning her headfrom side to side to fill in an outline on an easel — although if she had her way, Wena would probablyspend most of her days playing soccer.“You’d think she must like tennis balls or one of the usual squeaky things,” Myers laughed. things,“No — she had a soccer ball.” ballWhen she wasn’t trying to resuscitate a ball gone flat from too much use, Myers said, Wena was earningher CCI nickname of “Wiggly Wena” for the frantic way her back end waggles when someone makes Wenaeye contact with her. But although the young dog is friendly, she’s also gentle and quiet, which is impor-tant for her work soothing victims.Wena is not the first working dog in Chelmsford. A golden retriever named Greta has been a fixture in theChelmsford Housing Authority (CHA) senior communities since 2005. Provided through the National Edu-cation for Assistance Dog Services (NEADS), Greta accompanies her handler, CHA Supportive Serviceshead Loriann Gatta, on rounds through Chelmsford’s senior housing buildings.Like Wena, Greta is a friendly, playful dogwith puppy-like qualities, but when herwork vest goes on, she’s all business.Quiet and docile, Greta turns lights,fetches things and provides comfort forelderly or disabled individuals with limitedmobility. She and Gatta renew theirNEADS training every year to maintainGreta’s finer skills, which according toCHA Deputy Director Connie Donahue in-cludes helping people answer phonesand reacting to what appears to be amedical emergency.More than that, according to CHA directorDavid Hedison, Greta is part of their orga-nization’s family. She is quickly recog-nized and warmly welcomed when sheappears on the grounds.“She is a celebrity,” Donahue said. celebrity,Just like Greta travels the distance be-tween a wheelchair and a light switch orphone, Myers said Wena fills a gap in thecriminal justice system: She gives youngvictims something lawyers, judges andguardians sometimes cannot provide.For a clue, Myers pointed to the meaningof Wena’s name: “Happiness.” Happiness.“Dogs offer people a kind of com -fort humans can’t,” Myers said. can’t, Wena, a two-year-oldCopyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights Labrador/Golden retriever mix.reserved Matthew Modoono Wicked Local staff photographer
Chelmsford Dog Park plans take shape By Monica Jimenez / Wicked Local Chelmsford GateHouse News Service Dec 02, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordChelmsford —Plans for an off-leash dog park at Roberts Field are moving forward. The Chelmsford DogAssociation (CDA) presented a first draft of their presentation at a public meeting Tuesday, Nov. 22.Unlike the CDA’s first public meeting about the park, which brought a handful of residents and abutters tothe intended site, the only attendees Tuesday night were the people planning the project. They used thetime to discuss and fine-tune their proposal.The dog park is planned for the wooded, overgrown area behind Roberts Field at the corner of Old West-ford Road and Westford Street. Since their first meeting, the CDA has walked the site with town Conser-vation Agent Thad Soule and revised the shape of the intended park from an octagon to more of an oval.The changes were made to accommodate the nearby wetlands.According to CDA president Vivian Merrill, other details are coming into focus. They are considering limit-ing use of the park to people who are more than 14 years old, because smaller children may not be ableto control larger dogs. Some neighboring dog parks have similar restrictions, Merrill said.The CDA is also discussing how to safely move from the parking lot to the park without interfering with theyoung athletes who use Roberts Field in warmer seasons.Some people voiced concerns about the park at the CDA’s first meeting about the park. Residents ofThomas Drive and Old Westford Road who live near the site raised concerns about dogs fighting, makingnoise and leaving waste that might contaminate nearby wetlands. They also worried about the kids whoplay in that area.But the CDA looked at more than a dozen pieces of land before Soule suggested this one, according toMerrill, who said dog park must not be too isolated or too near schools and houses. Plans for a park havebeen in the works for years. Additionally, the CDA plans not just to put a fence in, but to improve sur-rounding areas by cleaning up overgrown vegetation and performing regular maintenance.The site will be fenced in two phases to give the CDA time to get funds together. Merrill said they willbegin applying for grants once the plan solidifies.The next steps will be to hold another meeting at the end of January, and perhaps go before the Board ofSelectmen with a proposal in March 2012. The CDA will also need approval from the Conservation Com-mission. Construction on the park may begin in April 2012.Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
Dixon to Run for Second Term as Selectman By Krista Perry December 14, 2011 www.chelmsford.patch.comBoard of Selectmen Chairman George Dixon officially announced Monday night he will seek asecond term on the board. He made the announcement at the taping of Carmen Christianos cableaccess TV show "Politically Incorrect."Dixon said he put a lot of thought into the decision."There have been tough times, but Ive met so many people. Ive lived here my wholelife and the people just get better and better ... Its just a lot of fun," he said. "I was fun,thinking about not running but I just like it too much. If Im not (re-elected) Ill bedisappointed but Ill have to accept it." it.Dixon said he likes the day-to-day challenges being a selectman brings - even when the challengesincluded facing a recall election in August."I tried not to let it bother me, but it did bother me," he said. "And people have the me,right to question. Im just glad we were able to prove (the voters) correctly." correctly.Through the tough times - including an unexpected resignation from former selectman SeanScanlon and a controversial 9 North Road vote in which former Selectman Eric Dahlberg recusedhimself, leaving only three voters for the decision on a five-member board - Dixon said he hisbiggest job was "holding the board together.""I want to let people know that Im serious about it and I want it. I hope the nextthree years are as much fun as the last fewyears, even though there are difficult timesand bumps in the road but I think the town,under the circumstances, we’ve done fairlywell," he saidwell, Top priorities for Dixon include finding a solution tothe deteriorating Center Fire Station issue, andlooking for a way to secure more athletic fields forthe towns youth programs and student athletes."Id be happy to serve," he said. "Im opti - serve,mistic about the future of the town and Idlike to be a part of it." it.Dixons term on the Board of Selectmen is up inApril, as is the seat held by Pat Wojtas. Wojtas,who won Scanlons seat after he resigned, hasalso said she will seek a second term on theboard. George Dixon photo by Krista Perry
N O W W H AT ? ? ?The Master Plan Committee as well as the Affordable Housing Committee hadbig dreams for the old stop and shop area to help revitalize the center of town.Even the best laid plans of mice and men often go astrayITR:Do you know what Stop and Shop has planned for the old Stop and Shop site now that their new storeis up and running on Chelmsford Street? How have discussions gone between the town and theowners of the old site on Boston Road?Town Manager Paul Cohen:Town officials have been in communication with Stop & Shop officials regarding the future use of the BostonRoad plaza. Company representatives have informed us that they are exploring the best use for the propertyand that no determinations have been made as to its future use.FACEBOOK CHATTER:David McLachlan: Rumor has it that Stop&Shop doesnt intend to do anything with their old site in the center otherthan rent it out to another box store.Debra Leblanc: it would be great if Wegmanns went there.Meredith Kent: I thought there were bigger plans for that .to bad. It really could use a face lilft ..Peggy Dunn: I hope that is only a rumor. If true, it is devastating news. I would like to see us acquire the site.Jon Kurland: It will NOT be a Wegmans or any other Supermarket since that would compete with their new store.Debra Leblanc: to bad because we need a store on that side of town.Cori Rose: David, I think that the town and its residents have alot of influence in terms of deciding what can and will gothere and both will use that influence to ensure that what replaces S&S is in the best interest of our community. It is im-portant to remember that S&S canot succeed in its new location without our support and patronage. They should be intel-ligent enough to recognize this and do what is required to work with town staff to meet our needs. If they are not we willneed to provide our reps with the backup they need to initiate the needed change.
Paul Haverty: Dave, I truly hope that is not the case. We have an opportunity to re-shape the center of our town for thebetter, I would hate to see it wasted on simply shoehorning in replacement tenants.David McLachlan : Cori, I wish you were right but we can only do what the zoning bylaws and building code says we cando. Does anyone know any executives at S&S who we might reach out to as a group?Jon Kurland: David - Believe me, we have tried to reach out to everyone there. Paul and Evan have been trying to workwith them for the better part of a year. Frankly the response we have gotten is disappointing.Peggy Dunn: I would like to reach out and touch them and acquire the land!Frances T. McDougall: Has anyone asked Joe Manganaro about this rumor? I will the next time Im down there. I wouldhave asked while I was there today. Wheres the rumor coming from. Every time Im in CVS there is a different rumorcoming from the clerks. They have been very busy at the old store every day cleaning or what ever. Workers are therewhen ever Im at CVS.Jeff Hardy: Hopefully this will become a great opportunity to enhance the area, but lets not start the "they didnt do what Iwant, so they dont care about the community stuff" I mean my gosh folks, nothing has happened and we are already cre-ating anomosity.David McLachlan: Its not a matter of "they didnt do what I want so they dont care about the community". This area is abig deal to the revitalization of Center Village and I would hope they would want to get some citizen input as part of theirdeliberation rather than "its my property an Ill do what I want". Unfortunately I hear it may be the latter. Lets see if there isa way to at least get them to listen first before they act.Jeff Hardy: Well Dave it is their property and they take the risk of any decision, if it doesnt work out is the communitygoing to come to the rescue? Lets not make comments based on rumorsVivian Nerrill: I would be happy if a Savers moved in. And a Harbor Frieght tools, so my husband can ditch me while Ishop. Or I can ditch him. Works either way, really. I know its not the mixed use scenario a lot of people were hoping for,but at least the parcel wouldnt be empty.Dale Schultz: what is it that we want them to do with it?Sheila Pichette: More green space is sorely needed.Dale Schultz: much as i would also like to see more open space preserved, I seriously doubt they will knock down thebuilding and make open space out of it... Harbor Freight Tools would be great!Lori Ipdlthrfriam McDonald: When I cash in tonights winning lottery ticket I will earmark some of my winnings, purchasesaid building, and turn it into a park.Chuck Crannell: That would be disappointing if the site remained as is. Its a shame it was never developed with any sen-sitivity to the center of Town to begin with. Even worse if it remains that way. Im curious, whats the history of that site andhow ti was developed to be what it is? What used to be there? Its intriguing considering the age of the houses across thestreet, the library, proximity to the stream, etc.Timothy McIlvenna: I would love to see a company come in to do a Lazer Craze or Jump on In type franchise. Or aMovie house-dine in place. We need more places for Chelmsfordian families to go for fun and the birthday party industryshould take a look!Peggy Dunn: @Chuck - there was a large house, similar to the yellow house on the corner of Summer St, located whereFriendlys is now. There was a stone wall running along Boston Road and a marshy area behind where the Marsalls bldgis. I believe there was another house in there also. I would have preferred to keep that as opposed to what is there now.Elaine Kerr: As much as I like green space, something that would bring in jobs and tax revenue would be better.
Report: Fiscal squeeze to continue for cities and towns By Kyle Cheney/State House News Service GateHouse News Service Dec 07, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordBoston —Rocked by the economic downturn of the last few years, Massachusetts cities and towns have seen their budg-ets gored by cuts to local aid and may be forced to cope with revenue shortages for “the foreseeable future,” ac-cording to a reportissued Wednesday by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.Over the last two years, municipalities saw their toughest fiscal stretch since 1992, according to the report, thefoundation’s 41st annual assessment of municipal financial data. Revenue grew by 1.2 percent over the twoyears, with cuts in state aid and local receipts forcing cities and towns to depend more heavily than ever on prop-erty taxes, which supported 56.5 percent of local budgets, the report said.The report could carry ramifications as the Patrick administration prepares to unveil a fiscal 2013 budget in Janu-ary. After rising by nearly $2 billion in fiscal 2011, state government tax collections have continued to grow thisfiscal year, leading to speculation about increases in local aid and services, even though administration officialshave sought to tamp down clamoring for additional spending. But municipal officials have ripped a succession ofcuts to local services over the past few years.Asked Tuesday about whether positive economic signs warrant a local aid increase, Boston Mayor ThomasMenino swiped at lawmakers.“Do I expect the state to give me local aid?” Menino said. “Are they going to make up for the $100 million I lostover the last six years? Alright, next question.”Property taxes grew 3.8 percent in 2011, the report concluded, the smallest annual increase since the implemen-tation of Proposition 2½ — a voter-approved policy that limits property tax hikes to 2.5 percent per year, unlessresidents vote to override the cap.The report also found that local aid from Beacon Hill – the second largest source of revenue for cities and towns– has slid $534 million since fiscal 2009, with the bulk of cuts landing to unrestricted aid.Local receipts, the third largest source of municipal revenue, fell for the second straight year, with declines inmotor vehicle excise tax collections and investment income, which plummeted to $33.4 million in fiscal 2011 afterreaching $118.9 million in 2009.Local receipts, according to the report, would have fared worse were it not for local option meals and sales taxesbacked by the Legislature in 2009. As a result of that legislation, according to the MTF report, more than 140cities and towns have approved the local meals tax increase, generating $61 million, and 89 cities and townshave adopted the local hotel tax increase, generating $126 million.In addition, municipal employee pensions and benefits are poised to consume a greater share of local budgets inthe coming years.“The constraints on municipal revenues heighten the urgency of addressing the escalating costs of employeeand retiree benefits,” said Michael Widmer, president of the business-backed foundation, in a statement accom-panying the report.The report also concluded that a new law curbing certain collective bargaining powers of municipal unions ispoised to generate budget savings “well in excess” of a $100 million estimate in its first full budget cycle.But a $13 billion pension liability collectively facing cities and towns and a $25 billion liability for retiree healthcare could crush local budgets in the upcoming years, according to the report.“Only a handful of communities have a plan to begin funding these liabilities, making it a near certainty thatbroad reforms and painful budget decisions will be necessary in the future,” according to the report.Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
Chelmsford receives positive financial audit report By Monica Jimenez / Wicked Local Chelmsford GateHouse News Service Dec 07, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordChelmsford — Karen Burke of Melanson & Heath presented the company’s fiscal year 2011 financial auditreport Monday night, telling selectmen results were positive. This is the first year this firm has done theaudit for the town.According to the firm, Chelmsford’s unrestricted net assets decreased by $6 million this year due to a $7.6million increase in unfunded Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) obligations, but this is commonamong Massachusetts communities. The town’s unreserved funds increased by $900,000 this year, whichBurke said is good and consistent with past years.The town has $109 million outstanding in long-term debt, but is on track to pay 76 percent of that, or $83million, during the next 10 years. Burke called this a rapid payout, which credit rating agencies view favor-ably.“It’s a positive thing to see a community pay off their debt that quickly,” Burke said. quickly,Burke presented two suggestions for improvement: Reconcile sewer-related receivables more frequentlyand invest in accounting software rather than continuing to use unwieldy spreadsheets. Town ManagerPaul Cohen and Town Accountant Darlene Lussier said they are already working on these things.Selectman Jon Kurland said the good news from Melanson & Heath is testament to the caliber of peopleworking for Chelmsford.“We’re really very fortunate to have such talented people in charge of our finances,” finances,Kurland said.Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
Budget forum outlines road ahead for Chelmsford By Monica Jimenez / Wicked Local Chelmsford GateHouse News Service Dec 14, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordChelmsford — $107.6 millionWhat it is The projected FY 2013 budget.What it was last year $104.7 million.Projected increase in the budget $2.9 millionExplanationThe town’s revenue is expected to increase by about $2,935,211, with roughly $2.7 millionmore being received in property taxes; about $200,000 being collected in local receipts; withstate aid projected to stay the same.The town’s expenditures are projected to increase by only $2,325,000. Factors include recentreform legislation, which is expected to limit the increase of municipal health insurance costs to$500,000; the schools’ budget, which is estimated to go up by about $1.4 million; and the gen-eral government budget, estimated to increase by about $875,000.Projected 2013 revenue exceeds estimated 2013 expenditures by $610,211, meaning a level-services budget will most likely be proposed in January 2012, when the selectmen, SchoolCommittee and Finance Committee reconvene for a more detailed budget discussion.Quotes“There are still some uncertain factors, but it’s a start, and we can get thingsgoing.”going.— Town Manager Paul Cohen“Everything coming in is very strong and favorable. We will continue to monitorexpenditures, but we see no major issues on the expenditure side, either. We’relooking very good.” good.— Town Accountant Darlene Lussier“We are on track to repay our long-term debt rapidly, which is a very productivepolicy for the town.” town.— Finance Director John Sousa“We can clearly see revenue sources changing, driven by the loss of state aidand the loss of real dollars, which has hurt us as a community. But the avail -ability of local receipts will help offset this moving forward.” forward.— Town Manager Paul Cohen“Yes, the property tax is increasing in Chelmsford, but it’s increasing every -where in the commonwealth. We’re slightly behind the trend.” trend.— Town Manager Paul Cohen“If this were two years ago, I would be a little more conservative, but at thispoint, I’m trying to shoot for the middle of the road.” road— Town Manager Paul CohenCopyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
National Grid Receives Heat From Locals Over Snowtober By Brandon Schillemat 12/16/11 www.chelmsford.patch.comThe public just cant understand why it took National Grid more than a week for power to be restored following an October29 snowstorm.Chelmsford and Westford town officials and residents met at the Tyngsboro High School for a state-held public hearingwith National Grid on Thursday evening. The meeting was specifically regarding to the company’s efforts during the Octo-ber 29 nor’easter, dubbed “Snowtober” by locals. The hearing was the last of five public hearings conducted by MassDPU, or the Department of Public Utilities, as part of an investigation into National Grid’s response to the power outages.On hand was Chelmsford Town Manager Paul Cohen, as well as members of the Chelmsford Board of Selectmen. West-ford’s Town Manager Jodi Ross was also in attendance. The Assistant Attorney General, Jim Stetson, represented the of-fice of the state’s Attorney General.National Grid’s CEO Marcy Reed spent time before the hearing speaking to residents in attendance. Reed read a pre-pared statement to open the hearing, in which she outlined National Grid’s response to the power outages during thestorm. She told the assembly that she was proud of the work of National Grid’s employees.“Our employees are committed to serving our customers and worked tirelessly to restore electricalservice,” she said. She also acknowledged that National Grid had learned “lessons” from the October snowstorm.service,One of these lessons was the way National Grid kept towns up-to-date on repairs and power restoration. A liaison wasappointed during the storm cleanup to inform towns about National Grid’s process.“We are … looking at how we can improve our communications with our communities,” she said. communities,State Representative Jim Arciero, representing the towns of Littleton, Chelmsford, and Westford, urged National Grid towork with municipal leaders to “find solutions moving forward for our state and towns.” He said that it was Na- towns.tional Grid’s responsibility to ensure confidence in rate payers that they were doing all they could to restore power and todo it in the quickest way possible.“I’m afraid that National Grid failed on both these counts in this particular instance,” he said. instance,Chelmsford Board of Selectman member Jon Kurland told the audience that in Chelmsford, “priority sites” such as towngovernment buildings, police, schools, and fire were often the last to receive power.He said he couldn’t remember the last time trees were trimmed in town and disagreed with National Grid’s president,who, according to Kurland, was happy that power was restored to most homes within five days.“To me, that is a major failure,” he said. “It’s clear to me that National Grid does not take its public trust failure,seriously. They have been negligent at best, or indifferent at worst.” worst.Westford’s Town Manager, Jodi Ross, reported that Westford had 85 percent power outages for three days. She also toldthe assembly that 30 roads had to be closed in Westford due to downed wires and branches; 15 main roads remainedclosed for almost a week.“I seriously do not know if there was even one crew the first couple days of the storm,” she said. Ross storm,also took issue with the lack of updates that the town and residents received from National Grid.“Communications that residents received from National Grid were unacceptable,” she said. “My town has unacceptable,no faith in National Grid.” She mentioned that Westford is exploring the possibility of switching to a different electric- Grid.ity provider.Both town officials and residents of affected towns also offered suggestions as to what steps the DPU could take to en-sure a better response in the future. Many suggested fines on National Grid for each infraction to its ERP, or EmergencyResponse Plan. Others suggested changing to buried power lines, or that the DPU force National Grid to revamp its infra-structure, ERP, and funds diverted to tree trimming.The DPU will continue collecting evidence from National Grid and expert witnesses. The State Attorney General alsoplans to make recommendations after testimony from the 5 hearings are processed.For those looking to contribute to the investigation into National Grid’s response, the DPU is accepting written statementssubmitted by the close of the business day, Thursday, Dec. 22.DPU Contact:617-305-3500DPU.Administration@state.ma.usSnowtober dumped several feet of snow in Middlesex County and resulted in power outages that lasted for as long as 8or 9 days in some areas. The storm was classified by National Grid as a Level 5 event, an event the company expects tooccur once every 8-10 years.During the outage, about 420,000 customers were without power in Massachusetts, according to National Grid. 50 per-cent of National Grid customers saw their power restored by Tuesday, and 90 percent of customers had power restoredby Friday.
National Grid plans to attend Chelmsford selectmen meeting By Monica Jimenez / Wicked Local Chelmsford GateHouse News Service Dec 16, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordNational Grid representatives will attend the Chelmsford Board of Selectmen’s meeting Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 to discussthe impact of an October snowstorm that left more than 80 percent of the town without power, some for nearly a week.National Grid sent word this past week that they accept the board’s invitation to the meeting, which was sent at the end ofNovember. In their letter to National Grid’s Customer Care and Community Management director, selectmen mentionedmore than 15,000 residential and commercial Nation Grid customers lost power after the snowstorm.“The Chelmsford Board of Selectmen would like to address National Grid’s preventative measurestaken as well as the over all emergency response and communication from National Grid to the townduring this outage,” read the letter. Specifically, the board asked for a post emergency update, plans for preventative outage,maintenance in the future – especially regarding tree trimming – and answers for questions related to the outage.Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved Health-reform bill could save Chelmsford $500G By Rita Savard, firstname.lastname@example.org 12/16/2011 www.lowellsun.comCHELMSFORD -- A slow economic recovery has officials bracing for another lean budget year, butofficials say the states municipal health-care reform bill will help save Chelmsford half a million dollarsin health-insurance costs.After adopting the reform bill in August, and gearing up to reach an agreement with the towns PublicEmployment Committee on Monday, Town Manager Paul Cohen said the town will enter a Blue Crossplan equivalent to the states Group Insurance Commission health plan.The town is staying with Blue Cross because the GIC rates are actually higher for what Chelmsford canget with Blue Cross, based on individual rating experience, Cohen said.The new insurance agreement will take effect June 1, a month before the start of the new 2013 fiscal year,which begins July 1.Under the municipal health-care reform bill, cities and towns have more flexibility to make changes inco-payments, deductibles and other aspects of employee health insurance outside the collective-bargainingprocess.The plan allows municipalities to shift their workers into the states Group Insurance Commission or anotherlower-cost plan after a month-long discussion period with unions. The reform is supposed to save cities andtowns $100 million in a year.Chelmsford officials worked closely with unions in the spring to negotiate about $800,000 in health-caresavings for the current year. Under the current years premiums, the town would have saved $1.5 million.But health-care premiums will increase by $8.18 percent July 1, resulting in a $500,000 savings instead,Cohen said.Chelmsford is projecting a $107.6 million budget for fiscal 2013, an increase of about $2.9 million.Cohen said the town does not anticipate a deficit or any cuts in the year ahead."Things are stable. We believe the worst is behind us," Cohen said. "Its not a great period. us,But were able to meet a level-service budget without any gaps." gaps.Property taxes comprise 75 percent of the towns revenue for its operating budget. During the past five years,fiscal 2006 to 2011, the average single-family property-tax bill has increased $739, or 15.76 percent, from$4,688 to $5,427.Cohen stressed that the amount of Chelmsfords average single-family property-tax bill has fallen from 63rdin fiscal 2006 to 69th in fiscal 2011, showing that growth in the towns property-tax levy has lagged behind anoverall statewide increase.While savings in health-insurance costs help, a bigger problem still lies ahead."This is a step in the right direction, but the issue of controlling the overall skyrocketingcost of health care is something else," Cohen said. "You cant continuously have 10 and 15 else,percent rate increases in health insurance. Even plan design cant solve that problem." problem.
Chelmsford Public School www.chelmsford.k12.ma.us/ Announcements: Theater Department Wins Second Place in Glee Give a Note ContestCongratulations to theCHS Theater Department, who won secondplace in the Glee Give a Note Contest.The $10000 prize will pay for a much neededstorage shed for the Theater Department cos-tumes, props and other theatrical equipment.Thank you for voting!
ITR: ASK THE SUPE Frank TianoWhat do you look forward to the most for the school system in 2012?FRANK TIANO:I look forward to completing our strategic planning process. We havebeen working on the needs assessment portion of this process since Julyand will be finishing it before the New Year. We have been collectingand analyzing qualitative and quantitative data to define emergingthemes of our strengths and weaknesses. This process will help us devisea 5 year plan that we will share with staff, students, parents and theentire community to ensure that we are transparent with our goals andeducational path. Having everyone rowing in the same direction is vital when it comestime to steer the ship.Several of the data processes that we have used include a comprehensive review of ourexisting initiatives; a thorough examination of academic data and trends; a survey ofour parents, staff, students and community members; a comprehensive site visit of eachof our schools; and an analysis of focus group interviews completed by me last year as partof my Superintendent’s Entry Plan. Those interviews included parents, students, staff, andcommunity organizations.I also look forward, as I do every year, to watching our students engage in a variety ofathletic, artistic, theatrical and musical activities throughout the school year.ITR:What do you fear the most for the school system in 2012?FRANK TIANO:Other than the capricious nature of the economy, I am quite optimistic about our schooldistrict in 2012. Our programming and initiatives have been and will continue to head inthe right direction in terms of meeting students’ needs academically and socially.We have a strong sense of pride as a school department and have a staff that is dedicatedto growing and improving every year. I am continuously amazed at the support we havefrom parents and the community at large as well.ITR:What is your New Years wish for the town of Chelmsford?FRANK TIANO:I wish that the folks in town continue their unwavering support of making Chelmsford agreat place to live and raise a family. The collaboration between volunteers (elected orotherwise), businesses, community organizations, and town departments is the backboneto our success.Also on a personal note, as the person responsible for determining whether or not to haveschool during inclement weather, I wish for gentle, predictable weather patterns through -out the New Year!!TheSchool Committee hashappy feet over theholiday season.CLICKHERE
HaHa pp H pp H an y y an Happy Hanukkah from the uk uk BOARD OF SELECTMEN CLICK HERE ka ka h hA Very young JON KURLAND explains the 8 days ofHanukkah in this rare video find CLICK HERE
Brownies Make Christmas Cards for Troops December 8, 2011 www.chelmsford.patch.comChelmsford Brownie Troop 75030 recently made over 100 Christmas cards to send to Holi-day Mail for Heros, a program run by the Red Cross which sends cards to American military,veterans, and their families who may be far from home during the holidays.Front row: Samantha Schena, Caroline Pitts, Kaitlyn Kelley. Middle row: Hannah Michaud,Allie LoCoco, Lindsey Sciacca, Elisabeth Earley, Erica Torpey.Back row: Julia Pitts, Mia Beauchesne, Isabel Windolski, Jillian Schena, Ashley Clark. Miss-ing from photo: Ruby Collins.
Around The Rotary CHELMSFORD ROTARIANS HONOREDThe Chelmsford Rotary Club honored two members at their recent holiday party (Saturday).Marilyn Curry was presented with the prestigious Paul Harris Award for outstanding service toher community as a member of Rotary. She, and her husband, Simon, are long-time clubmembers who have supported club projects andheld important positions in the club. Also honoredwas Sheila Hardy. Sheila has been an active,loyal, hard-working Rotarian and her husband,Gerald, has also been a strong supporter of theorganization Marilyn Curry and Simon Curry Gerald Hardy, Sheila Hardy, Bob WaskiewiczDebbie Callery,` Fundraising Coorrdinator for the MerrimackValley Food Bank, was presented with a substantial check atMondays Meeting of the Chelmford Rotary Club. The money willbe used to provide needed support during this holiday season,when demand is exceptionally high. Dennis Mullin (Rotary Pres.) and Debbie Callery (MVFB)PERSICHETTI HONORED BY ROTARYThe Chelmford Rotary Club held its annual holiday concert and luncheonat the Chelmsford Radisson recently (Monday). After a delicious luncheon,Gary Persichetti, Director of Public Buildings for the Town of Chelmsford, was named to receive the clubs "Service AboveSelf" Award. The award, one of the highest that the club bestows, honors individuals who provide service to the commu-nity that goes well beyond what is reasonable to expect.Persichetti is highly regarded and well respected in the community because he is exceptionally knowledgeable, communi-cates very well, and has accomplished a great deal under his leadership. The town buildings have or will soon have newroofs; quality heat and ventilation systems; efficient windows and doors; and up-to-date electrical and plumbing systems.Chelmsford has become a leader among "green communities in Massachusetts. Persichetti has saved the town an esti-mated $4,000,000 by obtaining a number of grants and practicing sound business practices. He also serves on the En-ergy Conservation Committee, the Permanent Building Committee and the Emergency Planning Committee.Away from work, he can be seen at Chelmsford High School football games and other community events with his wife,Margaret, and his son, Paul. He is very active at St. Margarets Church. He has served on the Parish Finance Counciland the School Advisory Board. He has also been a Eu-charistic Minister for some 30 years. In summary, whether atwork or in the community, Gary Persichetti gives 100% effortand is well deserving of being recognized for his "serviceabove self.After the award presentation, holiday music was provided bya variety of music groups from Chelmsford High School.Coral groups were under the direction of Mr. Carl Rondina.Orchestral groups were directed by Ms. Comeau and bandgroups were conducted by Mr. Matthew Sexauer.Many of Mr. Persichettis friends and co-workers were in at-tendance as were his parents, Ray and Alice Persichetti; hiswife, Margaret; and his supervisor, Town Manager PaulCohen. He received an inscribed clock and a small financialgift from club members as a token of their appreciation. Dennis Mullen,Gary Persichetti, Margaret Persichetti, Alice Persichetti and Ray Persichetti
Citizens of the Year Announced Carmen Christiano last night announced the 2011 Chelmsford Citizens of the Year on his local TV show "Politically Incorrect." By Krista Perry December 14, 2011 www.chelmsford.patch.comLocal TV Host Carmen Christiano, along with town historial Becky Warren, LeadOpen Space Steward Phil Stanway, Town Meeting Rep. Angie Taranto and TownManager Paul Cohen last night announced the 2011 Citizens of the Year.The annual awards have been given by town volunteers annually since 2006.The winners are:1. Sheila Pichette. A longtime Town Meeting Rep and a former School Commit-tee member, Taranto recognized Pichette as someone who always steps up to lenda hand. Pichette is a member of the Finance Committee and she most recently lenther time to work on the Master Plan Comittee2. Deb Taverna. Taverna serves as president of the Garrison House Association,as well as president of the Chelmsford Garden Club. Cohen also recognized heralso a member of the Affordable House Planing Committee. Traverna helps in or-ganizing the annual Arbor Day ceremony in town. 3. Michael Riley, John Smith, and Kenneth Dews. These three volunteers all Smith Dewsreceived a Chelmsford Green Citizen of the Year award as recognized by LeadOpen Space Steward Phil Stanway. Stanway said Riley, Smith and Dews all helpthe towns open spaces by donating the use of their equipment. Without these threeresidents, Stanway said Red Wing Farm, the winter ice skating rink and Snowtobercleanup wouldnt have been possible.4. Carol and Fred Merriam. Town historian Becky Warren recognized this couple Merriamfor being active in the Chelmsford Historical Society. Carol Merriam has been presi-dent of the society for almost two terms. Her husband Fred has worked hard by herside and now works as the societys information technology person, who helps toshare information and research the history of Chelmsford can do so electronically.Fred is also the webmaster of the Chelmsford Historical Commission.5. Madeleine Needles. Needles is a longtime member and is the current presi- Needlesdent of the Friends of the Chelmsford Public Library. According to Library DirectorBecky Herman, Needles "has been a leader and a driving force" behind the library,especially for the annual book sale and organizing One Book Chelmsford.
WN with Dennis Readyand Mary Gregoire ☆ - Town Talk : Pat Wojtas talks town☆ - Town Manager Paul and re-election.Cohen stops by to talk ☆- Town Talktaxes, Oak Hill and other CLICK HERE George Dixon talks aboutlight weight subjects running for re-election & Dick DeFreitas talks about life as the town moderator ;)CLICK HERE CLICK HERE Round table Mana ger’s T own ☆ - Everything you ever wanted to know about property taxes but were afraid to ask With your Town Manager Paul Cohen Guests: Frank Reen - Chief Assessor John Sousa - Finance Director CLICK HEREPolitically Incorrectwith Carmen Christiano”Citizens of the Year” awards are handed outby presenteesPaul CohenPhil StanwayBecky WarrenandAngie TarantoAnd special appearanceby George DixonCLICK HERE
Chelmsford Winterfest Fun in the Snow in Chelmsford, MASchedule of EventsFriday, February 3, 20125:30 -7:30 p.m. Friday Night Lights: Night Snow Shoeing at Russell Mill ForestJoin the Chelmsford Open Space Stewards and the New England Mountain Bike Association for a special edition of “Fri-day Night Lights.” We meet at the main parking lot of Russell Mill Soccer Fields at 5:30 p.m. and explore the over 6 milesof snowshoe trails on the 120 acres of town conservation land that stretches along Russell Mill Pond. Groups are brokenup by ability from slow enjoyable walks to ones that will give even the best athletes a challenge. Hot chocolate and lightsnacks will be waiting in the parking lot when groups return. Bring your own snowshoes and a night headlamp. Like allChelmsford Open Space events, this is free and family friendly.7:30 – 10:00 p.m. WinterFest/One Book Kick-off Community Social at the Chelmsford LibraryBeat the Winter Blues-Warm up to Reading! This popular community social held after-hours at the main library is also thekick-off for the annual “One Book Chelmsford” town-wide reading campaign. The hot blues music of “Kid Pinky and hisRestless Knights” will help to warm the evening! Local restaurants and bakeries will provide their best comfort foods -things like macaroni and cheese, chicken pot pie, pot roast or beef stew, chili and cornbread, soups, fried chicken, shep-herd’s pie, meat loaf, amercan chop suey, hot dogs and baked beans, spaghetti and meatballs. Warm up with hotchocolate, mulled cider and then finish the meal with comforting desserts! And as in past years, Harrington’s Wines &Liquors will make it possible for us to sell beer and wine.Watch this page for a list of our participating restaurants. For thisyear’s One Book program we will be reading the works of Geraldine Brooks and Tony Horwitz, both Pulitzer prize-winningauthors. (They’ll be visiting Chelmsford on Saturday, May 12th!) You can pick up their books at this Social! Check the Li-brary’s website for details on the One Book program www.chelmsfordlibrary.org/onebookWinterFest ArtWalkCentral Square storefront window displays created by local artists to help celebrate WinterFest andChelmsford (startsJan. 22; winners announced Feb. 3 at WinterFest kickoff celebration at the Library.)Saturday, February 4, 20128:00 -10:30 a.m. Central Co-Op Nursery School Pancake Breakfast and Silent AuctionCome one and all for great pancakes, eggs, bacon and lots more at the Central Congregational Church at 1 WorthenStreet.!!!9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Outdoor Activities at Roberts FieldIce Skating, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and hot refreshments sponsored by Boy Scout Troop 77.9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Winter Rest at First Parish ChurchWarm up and fill up with bagels and muffins in the early hours (We’re hoping to have First Parish’s famous homemade“holy donuts” -hot out of the oil); hot beverages and juices to wash them down. Lunch will be served from 11:30 until 2:00.We will serve soups and sandwiches as well as hot dogs and chili. Hot and cold drinks will be offered throughout the day.We’ll have live music and possibly Karaoke. We are planning on a crafts corner to make Valentine cards etc. to help theWish Projects’ Valentines Day Cheer up (for homebound Senior citizens). Proceeds will benefit the outreach efforts of theFirst Parish Unitarian Universalist Church of Chelmsford. Warm up at this annual retreat, fortify yourself from the cold andsatisfy yourself with hot drinks, food, live music and lots of fun!9:30 a.m. -5:30 p.m. Chelmsford Cultural Council’s Photo Exhibit at the Chelmsford Public LibraryView the entries to the Chelmsford Cultural Council’s annual photography contest. To submit an entry, visit the Council’swebpage at ChelmsfordCulturalCouncil.com and download an application. (Deadline for submissions: 5 p.m. Saturday,Jan. 21, 2012.)
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Community Ice Rink & WROR RadioPlease join the volunteers of the Community Ice Project and WROR radio for music and fun at the new Community IceRink on Chelmsford Street. Free public skating from 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Frosty the Snowman will be paying a visitfrom 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. along with samples from 3-Every-Day and Wild Harvest.11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Malt Shop, Girl Scout Troop 215 – Central Baptist ChurchTake a break from the outdoor festivities with this beloved annual tradition at Chelmsford’s Winter Fest sponsored by GirlScout Troop 215.. The Pink Ladies Malt Shop will run from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on February 6 at the Central BaptistChurch, 9 Academy Street in Chelmsford. Get ready for the return of poodle skirts, hula hoops and doo-wop! The tastymenu will include grilled cheese sandwiches, hot dogs, ice cream sundaes, frappes and root beer floats. Retro gamesand trivia will keep customers entertained as the Girl Scouts from Chelmsford Troop 215 dish up service with a smile!1 p.m. MacKay Welcomes Sparky’s PuppetsSparky will return to the MacKay Library to help us celebrate WinterFest with “Stories from Snowy Lands.” This is a won-derful drop-in family program for all ages.2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Exhibit/ReceptionThe Chelmsford Cultural Council’s Annual Photography Contest/Exhibit opens at the Chelmsford Library with a reception.Music and refreshments.Noon - 5 p.m. Chowder Fest, Free Family Fun and Entertainment at the Senior CenterCome out of the cold and enjoy some hot, delicious food, entertainment and great FAMILY FUN! Free kids games andprizes, balloon twister, juggling sticks, magician and caricature artist. Lots of give-a-ways! For Sale: Clam, Corn and FishChowder, hot dogs & pizza, apple crisp, ice-cream, baked goods, popcorn and candy! Donations for all activities are ap-preciated!Sunday, February 5, 20129 a.m. – 3 p.m. Outdoor Activities at Roberts FieldIce skating, cross country skiing, snowshoeing at Roberts Field. Boy Scout Troop 77 will be serving up hot refreshments.Noon – 1:15 p.m. Snow Shoeing at the Lime QuarrySponsored by the Chelmsford Open Space Stewardship. The Lime Quarry Snow Shoe trail is 1.5 miles long and de-signed for the sport (lots of ups and downs). Bring your own snow shoes and a smile. If no snow, we will offer a winterwalk at the site. For information on the Quarry and the Stewardship visit www.theChelmsfordian.com1:30 – 2:50 p.m. Free Public Skate at the Chelmsford ForumLet them know you are a WINTERFEST PARTICIPANT and you can get Free Skate Rental Also!2 – 4 p.m. Winter Nature WalkThe Chelmsford Land Conservation Trust will be sponsoring a Winter Nature Walk on Sunday, February 7 at the ArcherMeadowbrook Reservation at the dead end on Fenwick Drive (off Route 4). At the end of the walk there will be a bonfireand s’mores at Skunk Island. Bring all the children you can find! Organizers respectfully request that you leave your dogat home.All times and events are subject to change. You can link to the WinterFest Webpage from the Library’s website(www.chelmsfordlibrary.org) or the Town Offices website (www.townofchelmsford.us)
Going, going, gone!!!Pick up a Chelmsfordopoly Game before theyre gone!We haveabout 75 left,emailCathyPoissonatsouthrowschool@yahoo.comwe can get it to you!Stop and Shop, Zesty’s Pizza, and WestonNurseries each have some left, but they arelimited so please call first!Remember 100%of the proceeds godirectly to the SouthRow SchoolPlayground Fund!Dont miss out!Call now!
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From the FA R S I D E o f C h e l m s f o r d Si n ce 2 012 m ar ks t h e be gi ni ng of t he e nd a t le ast a cco rd i ngt o t h e M a y a n c a l a n d e r.Af t e r c ar ef u l st u dy t h e I TR h as c om e u p w it ht op 1 0 l is t o f th i ngs to lo ok f o r i n 2 01 2 t ha t si g nal w e ar e in th e e nd t i m es.To p 1 0 t h i n g s i n 2 0 1 2 t h a t w i l ls i g n i f y t h e E n d o f t h e Wo r l da s w e k n o w i t ( in Chelms ford) as read by our Town manager Paulie Cohen CLICK HERE
In-Town Report News Links: LOWELL SUN CHELMSFORD INDEPENDENT CHELMSFORD PATCH ITR on FACEBOOK linkIf you have any comments or suggestions on the In-Town Report write Roy at email@example.com CLICK HERE ROY EARLEY Town Meeting Representative Precinct 6 In-Town Report Westlands Watchdogs Open Space Steward