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Itr september 19 2010

  1. 1. Photo by SCOOP
  2. 2. Calling foul Chelmsford residents battling plans for cell-phone tower By Andrea Gregory, 09/16/2010 CHELMSFORD -- Steve Leonard calls the large structure on his father's front lawn protest art. It is a Grim Reaper made of shredded tires, a pole that once held up an old basketball net and other materials he pieced to- gether and spray-painted black. The figure stares out at the Westford Street traffic, warning the community about the impact of cell-phone towers. Steve Leonard, who lives in a house on the lot behind his father, Ken, said his creation went up about a month and a half ago, about the same time the neighborhood began battling proposed changes to the water tank that serves as a base for Verizon and the town's public-safety communication system. The first proposal would have replaced the existing structure with a 20-foot, low-profile concrete water tank with a capacity of 300,000 gallons. It also included a separate structure for a 110-foot cell-phone tower that police and fire departments would piggyback off for its own use. Residents raised strong opposition to the initial plan. Since the old water tower is in need of extensive work or replacement, the Chelmsford Water District, which operates independently of town government, is seeking a solution that will work for all parties. "They are building this thing on top of me, and it was freaking me out," Steve Leonard said. "It kind of set out, my wheels in motion that I was not going to let this happen." happen. This week, residents received certified letters from the water district, informing them of an informational meeting Sept. 30 at 7 p.m., at the police station to discuss the latest proposal. The new plan calls for a pedestal tank with the tower back on top. The single structure would reach 100 feet. Leonard calls it an improvement but said the neighborhood still has concerns. The plan will need approval from the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals. The water district did not return phone calls, and Board of Water Commissioners Chairman Ronald Wetmore refused to comment on the upcoming meeting or on anything to do with the plans. Town Manager Paul Cohen said communication between the residents, and the water district is an important part of the process. He said the town saves a great deal of money under its arrangement with Verizon. And if Verizon were to leave the site, the town would spend "tens of thousands" of dollars annually to maintain the public-safety communication. Accompanying the Grim Reaper is a collection of anti-cell-tower signs. Within a month and a half, Steve's handmade signs have appeared throughout the neighborhood. He said he has made 170 of them so far. Driving through the area, it is clear that residents do not want a cell tower in their backyard. The old water tower is a steel structure that holds 250,000 gallons of water and is 77 feet tall. The top of the structure and the antennas already poke out from the treetops along the edge of Ken Leonard's property. "I am just looking to protect our 500 feet," Leonard said. feet, There are 26 homes within a 500-foot radius of the water tower. A bylaw prevents cell tow- ers from going up within 500 feet of a home. Glenda Sullivan has one of Steve's signs on her property. She said several residents have banded together and hired a lawyer. She said she fears allowing a cell tower or granting permission for Verizon to go back up on a new structure could open the floodgates for more carriers to come to the site and more towers to go up in town. "It is not just a neighborhood issue," she said. issue P hoto by SCOOP
  3. 3. Holiday furor rekindled: Chelmsford principals consider gift rooms ban By Rita Savard, 09/03/2010 CHELMSFORD -- Temperatures soared yesterday, but some parents felt the sting of winter early as controversy surround- ing an annual holiday school fundraiser lit up e-mail threads and social networking sites once more. The online dialogue began after a parent was told by one elementary school principal that principals in each of Chelms- ford's four elementary schools agreed on eliminating an annual gift-room fundraiser for the schools. Last year, a national media blitz placed the spotlight on the Byam School after it banned the sale of religious-themed holiday items at the event. The Byam ban drew fire from two parents who challenged the rule, but the School Committee ultimately upheld it. Superintendent Don Yeoman said yesterday that while nothing has been "etched in stone," the principals met Wednesday to discuss a variety of issues, including PTO fundraisers. Yeoman said the principals were concerned about the "negative impact" that some fundraisers had on children's learning time. "The principals were united, not only in their concern to protect time on learning to improve students' success," he said, "but also in their concern to support PTO projects." success, projects. A suggested alternative to the gift room was the creation of weekend seasonal festivals, Yeoman said. But several parents are concerned about the hit schools will take if the PTOs lose one of the year's biggest fundraisers. At Center School for example, the gift room is thesecond largest money-maker of the year, bringing in about $3,600 that goes toward enrichment programs for children, according to the PTO. "How sad that they just don't get it," said Debbie Dery, a Town Meeting representative for Precinct 6. "Have they it, ever heard the word compromise? How can we teach our children that sometimes they might have to give and take if the adults decide that they either have it all or nothing?" nothing? The gift rooms are typically set up in the first weeks of December and allow elementary school students to buy gifts for friends and family. Items for sale, such as T-shirts, pencils and matchbox cars, are usually donated by parents and cost about 25 cents to $2. Students can also have them gift-wrapped by PTO volunteers. Last November, parents Kathleen Cullen and Kathryn McMillan fought a ban on religious-themed items at the Byam gift shop that included Santa Claus, candy canes, menorahs and Christmas stockings. The mothers' challenge ignited a national media frenzy that caught the attention of several Boston talk-radio hosts and of Fox News host Bill O'Reilly. Cullen and McMillan, who have since enrolled their children in private schools, said yesterday that the country was out- raged because of a long-standing tradition of religious intolerance. With a new principal this year at Byam -- Jane Gilmore retired in June after 19 years -- Yeoman had an opportunity to "do the right thing; to endorse the models of the other schools," the mothers said in a written statement. "The other schools in town had inclusive, financially successful and joyful events for years. The parents were free to do as they wished. There was no problem in need of fixing," Cullen and McMillan said. fixing, Families, they added, "want to honor all faiths, to teach tolerance and acceptance." acceptance. Harrington School Principal Michael LaCava said yesterday that no decisions have been finalized. "We're all aware of what happened at Byam last year and we're evaluating what we did and what we're going to do," he said. "We (at Harrington) really do, haven't had a discussion with the PTO at this point." point. Colleen Stansfield, also a Town Meeting representative and member of the Planning Board, isn't sure an alternative fundraiser could be planned in time to replace the gift rooms. "Just getting the gift room together takes volunteers months of planning," planning, she said. Yeoman said he couldn't say for sure if the Byam controversy prompted discussion about halting the gift rooms. "What's really good about these principals getting together is that they all want to help Byam's new principal be successful," Yeoman said. "All of the successful, PTOs have a tradition of what they like to do. It's up to them to decide what works and what doesn't." doesn't.
  4. 4. ☆The Spirits did it all in one night ;) ITR facebook●9/13/10 It appears the "GIFT ROOM" is back on the agenda at least at the Center School. No confirmations on the other schools as of yet. Scoop ☆The Spirits did it all in one night PART 2 ITR facebook●9/14/10 At last night's PTO meeting for the Center School a new mom asked the ques- tion what is the "Gift Room" and was met with laughter from the crowd. I guess not everyone reads the papers or watches TV or listens to talk radio ;) The conversation continued with Diane Riley, gift room coordinator, asking to have a cultural table which seemed to be fine with all there including Center School principal Christopher Raymond. One mother commented that she thought that all the gift rooms were cancelled and Mr. Raymond said no, to which she replied "So it's back on?" "It was never off." Said the Principal All I can say is no matter what story they end up going to the public with is fine by me as long as it doesn't include the word "Cancelled". Enough said. Scoop
  5. 5. ☆ DR. YEOMAN RESIGNS ITR-facebook●9/14/10 In a statement read at the end of Tuesday night's School Committee meeting Dr. Yeoman announced his resignation from Superintendent of the Chelmsford school system effective in 60 days. "I think my work here is done and so now it's time for me to pursue other interests and opportunities. So tonight I am notifying you of my resignation effective in 60 days as re - quired by my contract." contract. CLICK HERE  FOR VIDEO OF RESIGNATION AND REACTION Chelmsford superintendent calls it quits By Staff reports Chelmsford Independent GateHouse News Service Sep 15, 2010 Chelmsford — School Committee member Evelyn Thoren expressed sadness and disappointment at learning that Dr. Donald Yeoman, the school department’s superintendent since 2007, is resigning, effective in 60 days. “I’m surprised, shocked and saddened,” Thoren said. “The School Committee has a lot of work ahead of it saddened, to fill his shoes.” shoes. Yeoman announced his resignation at the end of the School Committee meeting Tuesday night. Saying only that he felt his mission accomplished in Chelmsford, he offered few details. FOR MORE CLICK HERE Yeoman To School Committee: "My Work Here is Done" Chelmsford Public Schools' superintendent announces he will leave office in two months. By Robert Moreau | September 15, 2010 Chelmsford Public Schools will soon search for a new leader. Near the end of Tuesday night's School Committee meeting, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Donald R. Yeoman dropped a bombshell and tendered his resignation to come into effect in 60 days. "Three years ago the economy began to sharply slip, and for the past three years we have valiantly fought to protect the quality of our programs and our staff. After careful study and analysis, however, we have had to continually cut spending and cut staff to balance the budget," he said. budget, This was especially hard, he continued, as "we have had to say goodbye to long-time devoted staff members, critical members of our team." team. FOR MORE CLICK HERE Chelmsford schools chief Yeoman stepping down By Chris Camire, Lowell Sun 09/16/2010 "I've been working between 70-80 hours a week for three years, sleeping four-and-a-half hours a night," night, said Yeoman. "That gets to you." you In explaining why he decided to leave the district now, Yeoman cited several accomplishments he has achieved during his three-year tenure. He said MCAS scores are high, 100 percent of the high school's senior class graduated in June, and the quality of education has remained steady despite numerous staff cuts and increased classroom sizes. "Throughout my whole career I've taken school districts that need what I can do for them, such as pro - viding leadership and improving quality of education, and then I move on," said Yeoman. "I help districts on, improve." improve. FOR MORE CLICK HERE
  6. 6. Chelmsford school chief's resignation took officials by surprise By Andrea Gregory, 09/16/2010 CHELMSFORD -- Superintendent of Schools Donald Yeoman wrote his resignation speech just hours before reading it to the School Committee and the public. His resignation announcement at the end of Tuesday night's committee meeting shocked committee members who say they were given no indication it was coming. "I was very surprised on how he handled this in an open meeting," said committee member Evelyn Thoren. meeting "Usually, you have a heads-up when someone is going to resign. It just doesn't come out of the blue. We were all very stunned and surprised, disappointed that he is leaving." leaving. While committee members say the delivery stunned them, his decision was not a shock to everyone. "I was surprised at the timing, but not surprised that he wanted to leave," said committee member Janet leave, Askenburg. "Quite honestly, I think that he is exhausted." exhausted. Yeoman has seemed unhappy for quite a while and his relationship with some committee members appeared rocky at times, according to town officials who asked not to be named. Yeoman, 62, complained of long hours and a heavy workload and seemed to have lost the enthusiasm he brought to the job when he accepted it a little over three years ago, sources said. Having kept his plan to leave a secret, Yeoman read from his prepared statement when he addressed the room. He said he only told members of his administration moments before going into the meeting. The School Committee was left in the dark. Yeoman, whose salary this year is $169,538, resigned with 60 days notice. "I have been thinking about this for a while," he said yesterday. "All the things we hoped for, aimed for, we while, are achieving. When things are going well, it is time to move on and help someone else. This is ab - solutely the best time to leave." leave Just a few months back, Yeoman seemed very interested in staying in Chelmsford, Askenburg said. In June, he accepted a new four-year contract. Askenburg and fellow committee member Nicholas DeSilvio had voted against awarding the four-year contract. Askenburg said she wanted to grant him a one-year extension on his previous contract to complete his goals before offering a new con- tract. Yeoman said he believes his work in the Chelmsford school system is done. He said he has helped build a solid administra- tion, test scores are up, and he got to see 100 percent of last year's seniors graduate. School Committee members agree that his contributions have been beneficial. And several members acknowledge it has not been the easiest time to be a superintendent. "I would say that he has faced a number of challenges," said committee member Kathy Duffett. challenges, "It has been a challenging time." time. In Yeoman's first year, Chelmsford voters defeated an override and the Westlands Elementary School was forced to close, Duffett said. Also, Chelmsford school officials found themselves under the spotlight over a ban on religious holiday items at a Byam Elementary School fundraiser last winter that committee members say was a stressful situation for the district as a whole. "The nature of being a superintendent is your work is never done," said Duffett. done, "There are a lot of things that come up. I don't know how he dealt with that internally," internally, said committee member Angelo Taranto. "Education is noble work, but lots of other things interfere with education," said Yeoman. education He said he plans to rest, do some traveling and write a book on education. Although Yeoman is leaving Chelmsford, he is not calling it his retirement. He said he regularly re- ceives calls from headhunters and can picture himself exploring new options after a few months off. Calling himself a spiritual man, he said he turned to God for help with his decision to leave. "I pray about a lot of things. I prayed about this, and this is what I think God wants me to do," he said. "I just thought the timing was right." do, Superintendent Donald Yeoman
  7. 7. Yeoman expects next Friday to be his last day Kevin Zimmerman/Staff Reporter • Fri, Sep 17, 2010 Although Superintendent Donald Yeoman tendered his resignation with 60 days notice, he antic- ipates leaving his post next week. "If all things work out, next Friday will be my last day," Yeoman said. day, He plans to use vacation time to complete the remainder of the 60-day notice. Yeoman surprised many in town, including the School Committee, when he resigned at Tuesday night's meeting. But he believes after three years, he accomplished what he set out to do. "I promised a minimum of three years," said Yeoman. "Everything is as good as it years, can be. I believe you have to leave when you're on top." top He believes he has placed the best candidates in high-level administration jobs, including Frank Tiano, Donna Hussey, Anne Marie Fiore and Kathy McWilliams, who are prepared to keep the system successful and competitive. School Committee member Angie Taranto agrees. "I'm not that concerned," said Taranto. "He hired great people when he hired his concerned, cabinet. I think we're all in good hands." hands. Taranto said the School Committee is scheduled to meet Friday afternoon to discuss its next move. To date, the committee has not talked about an interim superintendent or how to conduct a search for the next superintendent. Yeoman said he does not plan to attend today's meeting, nor will he push the board to make any decisions about leadership. But he believes Assistant Superintendent Tiano is prepared to step into the top spot. "If you ask me, he is well qualified to lead any school district," said Yeoman. district, He may not be involved with the schools after next week, but Yeoman intends to stay in Chelms- ford where he and his wife have lived for more than three years. And he also believes the schools will be fine without him. "We've had to do so many changes in a hurry," said Yeoman. "All the work to make the changes have paid off. When you're on top, that's the time to move on." on
  8. 8. ☆☆☆SCHOOL DISTRICT PRESS RELEASE Tiano Named Acting Chelmsford School Superintendent by School Committee Chelmsford, MA (September 17, 2010) - Assistant Superintendent Dr. Frank Tiano will be appointed Acting Superintendent of Schools by the Chelmsford School Committee. During an executive session on Sept 17, School Committee members voted to appoint Tiano as the Acting Superintendent through Nov 13, 2010. Dr. Frank Tiano is currently Assistant Superintendent of Chelmsford schools, and recently cele- brated his tenth year of service in the Chelmsford school district. Tiano lives in Chelmsford and his experience includes serving as principal at both the Westlands Elementary and McCarthy Middle schools, and past district coordinator for special education. He has a bachelor's degree from Bentley College, a master's from Simmons College, and a doctorate degree from UMass Lowell. School Committee Chairman Kathy Duffett said of Tiano, “Dr. Tiano’s experience, commitment to excellence ineducation, and his love of Chelmsford will make this a smooth transition and the School Committee looks forward to working with him in his new role.”The appointment of Tiano follows the Sept 14th resignation of third-year superintendent,Dr. Donald R. Yeoman, who gave his contractual 60 days notice at Tuesday’s School Committee meeting. Although Yeoman’s last official day as Superintendent will be Nov.13, he is utilizing his unused vacation days, making his last day inside the administration offices Friday, Sept 24th. Tiano will act on his behalf until Nov. 13. Yeoman will workwith the administration to facilitate the transition. Chairman Duffett said, “We have an excellent administrative team in place who will smoothly guide our district through this transition period.”The School Committee also began preliminary discussions about perma- nently filling the superintendent position, and will meet over the next few weeks to develop a plan of action. “We’re not going to rush a decision. We’re going to gather information and care- fully look at all options,” added Duffett. “Because of our excellent team of educators and adminis- trators, we are able to take our time to ensure a decision is Dr. Frank Tiano made that is in the best interest of our schools and the Chelmsford community, for today, tomorrow, and years to come.” The Chelmsford School District serves 5,352 Pre-K through grade 12 students in seven schools, and is one of the state’s top performing school districts, regularly receiv- ing recognition for its commitment to excellence in educa- tion.
  9. 9. People Turn Out for Master Plan Committee Meeting More than 50 residents voiced concerns about traffic and development yesterday. By Krista Perry 9/17/10 The Master Plan Committee will review concerns residents brought up last night at the committee's last public input session regarding the town's master plan. Committee Chairman Jim Lane said about 50 people showed up to listen to and submit ideas they would like to see in the document that will steer the direction of the town. "People were concerned about 280 and 284 Chelmsford St., which is near Anton's Cleaners and Market Basket," said Lane, adding the addresses could be used as a potential for residential redevelopment. Basket, Concerns about Chelmsford Street traffic congestion also came up at the meeting, Lane said, particularly regarding the planned Stop and Shop, the site of the old cinema, across from Mrs. Nelson's Candy House. "The site plan for Stop and Shop was approved several years ago and Market Basket has had an appeal in court to prevent this site from being developed. That appeal has since been settled and Stop and Shop can now build under the previously approved site plan," he said. " ... The master plan can't go back - plan wards and change an approved site plan for this parcel because their are traffic concerns today from the public perspective. We can only look forward." forward. Residents also said they would like to see a bylaw requiring buffer zones between residential and commercial or industrial businesses, Lane said. The Planning Board will hire a consultant to help write the bylaw, he said. Overall, Lane said the committee received positive feedback on the draft master plan. The meeting lasted a little less than three hours, he said. "People were receptive to its implementation," Lane said, adding there will be a Master Plan Implementation Steer- implementation, ing Committee. That committee will consist of two Planning Board members, Town Manager Paul Cohen, one Zoning Board of Appeals member, one Conservation Commission member, one Community Preservation Committee member, one Town Meeting rep- resentative and one resident, Lane said. Cohen will appoint both the Town Meeting rep and the resident to serve on the board, and selectmen will confirm those appointments, Lane said. This week, the Master Plan Committee will review all of the suggestions and modify the document. On Oct. 4, Lane will present the final document to the Board of Selectmen, and on Oct. 6, he will present it to the Planning Board. The Planning Board will vote as to whether or not they endorse the document, Lane said. "We'll also make a presentation at the Oct. 18 Town Meeting," said Lane. Meeting, ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ Local growth opponent Roland Van Liew speaks against one of 154 recom- mendations presented by the Master Plan Committee regarding changing heights on some industrial buildings to five stories. Thursday night's meeting was held at the Senior Center drew a crowd of about 50 residents. The docu- ment will next be presented to the Plan- ning Board for its review. Photo by Bob Joyce
  10. 10. Master Plan,Watchdogs and Van Liew, too ITR●9/19/10 At the final public meeting for the Chelmsford Master Plan Committee a crowd turned out to discuss the future of Chelmsford over the next 10 years. Topics included: traffic congestion, mixed development, 4 to 5 story office buildings along route 129 (near route 3), the bike path and the danger of zone creep in the Westlands. Among those residents to speak at the microphone was Roland Van Liew, Chelmsford’s local rich man with money to burn. For the past few years he has been the driving force behind town wide mailings criticizing town management for the way the town is run. More recent mailings have come in under the heading “Better Not Bigger” His latest round of mailings focused once again on North Road and the Eliopoulos project as well as an examination of the Master Plan draft. Sitting directly in front of Van Liew as he approached the microphone were the Master Plan Committee composed of Philip Eliopoulos who has been the brunt of Van Liew’s mailings. Also sitting on front of Van Liew, was George Zaharoolis who also sits on the Planning Board and whom Van Liew has issued a recall to remove Zaharoolis from his seat (along with Susan Carter and Ann McGuigan). Van Liew spoke to the committee about the overdevelopment of Chelmsford and how there is no need for it or for the need of 4 or 5 story buildings along route 129. Committee members said that these type of buildings need to be built to attract the way businesses operate in today’s economic climate. “I can see that you don’t agree me.” said Van Liew who submitted his written Master Plan analysis to the committee me. for testimony. Later on in the evening (after Van Liew left) Evan Belansky Chelmsford’s Community Development director approached the microphone and offered the committee his own testimony in writing to debunk all of Van Liew’s claims that were submitted. Turning to the Westlands, Town Meeting Rep Debbie Derry, who lives on Steadman Street, focused on the traffic conges- tion Chelmsford Street faces everyday along the corridor between route 495 and route 3. “We do not need more traffic there.” Referring to suggestions by the Master Plan Committee to re-zone properties there. in front of the Chelmsford Mall from residential to commercial. Town Meeting Rep Joanne Anderson who lives on Evergreen St. across from one of the Mall’s entrances also spoke of the traffic and wondered why it was necessary to re-zone this area. Committee members answered that the re-zoning would prevent the Mall from expanding one day all the way up to Chelmsford Street and then there would be no buffer zone be- tween residential and the front of the Mall. As far the Mall expanding that much up to the edge of Chelmsford Street maybe that wouldn’t happen a committee mem- ber said but if it did this re-zoning would give the residential neighborhood a buffer. Others felt these properties would all choose to put up commercial buildings that would start to creep up the residential side of Chelmsford Street and slowly eat away at the residential side till it exists no more. Marianne Paresky TM Rep also from the Westlands asked the committee “Have you ever heard of the Westlands Watchdogs?“ Watchdogs? The question was met with chuckles from the committee as well as those in the audience. We are well aware of the Watchdogs said one committee member. After the meeting and the following day another of the Westlands TM Reps spoke and wrote to Master Plan Chairman Jim Lane and Co-Chair Philip Eliopoulos about adding the verbiage “the residential side of Chelmsford Street shall al - ways remain residential” Lane responded with “I do not see a problem with this and will discuss with the residential committee next week.” And Eliopoulos followed with “I do think a statement to that affect is warranted and week. would help maintain that needed buffer for the neighborhood. Jim and I had talked about concerns of the Westlands earlier in the day so I cannot take all of the credit for this idea. He and I will bring this to the master plan committee at our next meeting and I am sure they will agree to put it in the final draft.” draft The Master Plan Committee will meet again this week to review all of the suggestions given that night and update the doc- ument. On Oct. 4, the final document will be presented to the Board of Selectmen and then to the Planning Board on Oct. 6. And Town Meeting will also have a presentation of the final Master Plan on Oct.18.
  11. 11. SAFETY TIPS: KNOW YOUR SURROUNDINGS AND DRIVE CAUTIOUSLY We do track the frequency & location of motor vehicle crashes throughout the town. For the past several years, our problematic areas have remained somewhat the same as far as crash data. Top problem locations include: 1- Drum Hill Road corridor & interchanges (includes all intersections on rotary) 2- Chelmsford Street corridor (from Central Square to Lowell line) 3- Billerica Road (from Central Square to Billerica line) 4- North Road (from Central Square to Princeton Street) 5- Littleton Road (from Central Square to Westford line) These locations are obviously prone to higher crash rates, as they are all main roads, with heavy volumes of traffic, & numerous intersections & commercial parking lots with traffic entering & exiting. As for specific intersections, crash data from 1/1/09 thru 8/31/10, shows the following locations being problematic: Billerica Road @ Rte. 3 Interchanges = 19 crashes Drum Hill Road @ Rotary = 12 crashes Drum Hill Road @ Parkhurst Rd. = 10 crashes North Road @ Princeton Street = 10 crashes Billerica Road @ # 228 Billerica Road = 9 crashes Chelmsford Street @ Dalton Road = 8 crashes Old Westford Road @ Davis Road = 8 crashes Littleton Road @ Hunt Road = 8 crashes Chelmsford Street @ Route 495 = 7 crashes North Road @ Rotary = 7 crashes Stedman St/Golden Cove Rd@Chelmsford Street = 5 crashes By reportable crashes, this includes crashes with personal injury or property damage over $1,000 that require a police accident report to be filed. Chief James F. Murphy Chelmsford Police Department 2 Olde North Road Chelmsford, Ma. 01824
  12. 12. The Chelmsford Open Space Stewards and many other volunteers gathered at the Crooked Springs Conservation site recently to fix the dam which needed some major repair work to get back to full functionality. Many sandbags were filled by hand to use in an area sur - rounding the dam, to help drain the Phil Stanway water surrounding the controlling pipe so that it could be completely repaired. Now, the water level at the Crooked Spring pond will be able to be properly monitored and controlled at all times. TC Jon Kurland Ken Dews Ken Dews Scott Venier Steve Roberts Alex Buck Santiago Rios Photos by Tom Christiano
  13. 13. Billboards at High School One Step Closer to Reality Balloons used to test sight lines from various locations. By Bill Gilman | September 12, 2010 They weren't calling attention to an end-of-summer tent sale, nor were they there to provide aerial views of the Chelmsford High boys' soccer game. The three balloons, including one in the shape of a small blimp, that drivers on Route 3 noticed off the side of the road were actually part of a test to gauge an acceptable height for one of two billboards to be built on town-owned land. The test was overseen by Mary Burns, a principal in Capital Advertising, the firm that won the con- tract to lease the two billboards, one of which will adjeacent to the high school football field and the other at Oak Hill near Scotty Hollow. "We put up three balloons. One at 75 feet (elevation above highway level), one at 60 feet and one at 35 feet," said Burns. "We'd like to have it at 75 feet." feet, feet. But to build at 75 feet, Burns' group will need approval from the Planning Board, as the current bylaw allows a maximum height of only 35 feet. Members of the Planning Board were in atten- dance at Saturday's test, viewing the balloons from various loca- tions to assess visual impact. The Planning Board meets again on Sept. 22. Burns said she is hopeful that the Planning Board will approve the additional height, despite the board's longstanding opposition to building any type of billboards on town land. "We hope so," she said. "We feel that (leasing billboards so, on town land) is something that will really benefit the town." town. Capital Advertising signed a 20-year lease with the town, agree- ing to pay a total of $132,000 anually to lease the two billboards. According to Burns, Capital leases 32 billboards from Boston to Chicopee. Members of the School Committee also attended the test, as well as a representative of OSI, a Geor- gia firm that constructs billboards. If the Planning Board does approve the additional height, Capital must still gain approval from the State Board of Outside Advertising. With winter on the horizon, construction may not begin until spring 2011. "Best case scenario is that we can start some time in November," said Burns. "Worst November, case is we build in the spring." spring. Burns said that given the Route 3 sign's proximity to the school, Capital has agreed to not sell adver- tising space to for the marketing of alcohol, smoking or other adult-oriented material. The billboards will be 14 feet tall and 48 feet long. It will be pie-shaped, so that the 48 feet is actiually divided into two 24-fet sections. One section will face north and the other will face south, said Burns.
  14. 14. Chelmsford has a fire chief nominee By Monica Jimenez/correspondent GateHouse News Service Sep 11, 2010 Chelmsford — Chelmsford Deputy Fire Chief Michael F. Curran will replace Jack Parow as Chelmsford Fire Chief on Oct. 1, provided the Board of Selectmen confirm Town Manager Paul Cohen’s appointment at their meeting on Monday, Sept. 13. Cohen said he does not anticipate issues with the selectmen’s confirmation. According to Cohen, Curran demonstrated significant leadership capability during the assessment exercises Wednesday. Cohen particularly noted his proficiency in human resource-related matters, his communication skills and the wealth of knowledge he drew upon. The assessment exercises on Wednesday ended ahead of schedule, Cohen said, which gave him the opportunity to infor- mally discuss the results with the panel of evaluators. Although he had allowed himself until the end of September to choose between the finalists, Cohen said he felt prepared to make a decision in time for Monday’s selectmen meeting based on Wednesday’s discussion, as well as on careful reexamination of the candidates’ information. “I went to bed feeling good and I woke up feeling good,” Cohen said. “I decided it was time to move forward.” Cohen said Wednesday’s assessment scenarios revealed a variety of strengths and weaknesses among the four candi- dates, but they were all “within the same cloud of capability” – in other words, they performed at the same high level. Cohen said the tests confirmed his belief that all the finalists were qualified for the job, and he explained that with everything equal, he prefers to hire from within the department in question. “It’s about familiarity,” Cohen said. “It’s about the experience, the culture, and the fit.” Curran has worked as a firefighter and held leadership positions within the Chelmsford Fire Department for 34 years, the past 14 of which he has spent as deputy chief of operations. On numerous occasions, Curran has served as acting fire chief in Parow’s absence. Cohen said he found Curran “capable” based on his performance in these positions, and emphasized the value of Curran’s experience actually running the department. Not only that, Cohen added, but promoting Curran would mean opening the deputy fire chief position for others. He suggested a current Chelmsford fire captain might become the new deputy chief, at which point the captain posi- tion would come open, resulting in a “spill-down” effect comparable to domi- noes. Cohen said it is important that Chelmsford firefighters be aware of the possi- bility of advancement within the department, especially because Parow was an external acquisition – his arrival from another town spilled no dominoes. Still, Cohen praised the assessment process that brought Parow to his posi- tion as fire chief, and that contributed to Curran’s selection as Parow’s suc- cessor. Cohen said he is “very pleased” with the “positive experience” the assessment center provided. “The fire chief isn’t holding the hose,” said Cohen. “He’s running the depart- Deputy Chief ment, and that means managing and giving guidance.” Michael F. Curran Copyright 2010 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved Deputy Curran approved by BOS as Fire Chief Staff reports • Mon, Sep 13, 2010 As expected, the Board of Selectmen unanimously endorsed the Town Manager's appointment of Deputy Fire Chief Michael Curran to be the next Fire Chief. Town Manager Paul Cohen reviewed the process he used in coming to his decision and then introduced the new Chief to the Board and the town. Curran, who was accompanied by his wife Gail at the meeting said, "I would like to thank the Board and the Town for this opportunity, and also the members of the department for their support." "I would also like to thank Chief Jack Parow for his leadership and support over the years, and finally thanks to my family without their support I would not be here today." Curran concluded. Upon exiting the room the Chief was congratulated by Police Chief Jim Murphy, several firefighters and friends. Chief Curran will begin his new duties on October 1 when Chief Parow officially retires.
  15. 15. Billerica 40B project back in the headlines By Monica Jimenez/staff writer GateHouse News Service Sep 14, 2010 Chelmsford — Aspen Apartments, the controversial 40B project on the Billerica/Chelmsford line was back in the spotlight Monday night. Bill Griffin of 9 Bishop St. offered Selectmen an update on the project, which abuts his home. Griffin said soil and water analyses at the site show high levels of bedrock, and there has been “ample evidence” of flooding off the property. Griffin said there has not been enough analysis over the past two years and that the matter is now time-sensitive, with a Billerica public hearing set for Oct. 13. In Griffin’s opinion, an independent, third-party review should be conducted with an eye to that deadline. In late January, a Land Court judge ruled in favor of a group of Chelmsford residents opposing the project. Attorney Dan Hill, who represented three Chelmsford residents in the land court appeal and about 50 residents throughout the public hearings, filed the motion, arguing Billerica’s Zoning Board of Appeals acted illegally by deferring judgment when it approved the final design of the 384 unit complex on Rangeway Road on June 30. “It’s a significant victory,” said Hill at the time. “It reaffirms what we’ve been saying all victory, along — that the ZBA was derelict.” derelict. Hill said the judge ordered the public hearing reopened after attorneys for both sides file a remand order, sending the case back to the ZBA. Hill said the Billerica zoning board rushed through public hearings. “It rushed in June of 2009 to close the hearing,” he said. “It should’ve kept the hearing hearing, open. But instead, it closed the hearing and issued a quick decision. There were a number of procedural irregularities.” irregularities. The development, proposed in December 2008, abuts Chelmsford and includes an emergency exit on State Street. The development’s main entrance was slated to be a 35-foot driveway near Curricu- lum Associates on Rangeway Road in Billerica. Hill said the Billerica ZBA approved the 384 units, 288 fewer units than originally proposed by the ap- plicant, K and K Developers, without seeing a final design plan for the scaled-down project. The ap- proved plan was for eight buildings, down from the 14 buildings originally proposed. The application was filed under the state’s controversial affordable housing law, Chapter 40B, which allows new developments to bypass local planning and zoning laws if 25 percent of the project is deemed affordable according to income guidelines. Copyright 2010 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
  16. 16. 40B VIDEO FLASHBACKS: Video Links: HILLSIDE GARDENS- WESTLANDS COMMONS 40B - Politically Incorrect pt.1 2007 HILLSIDE GARDENS- 40B - Chelmsford -Politically Incorrect Pt.2 "HILLSIDE GARDENS Or BUST" Selectmen Debates 3-5-2009 on Hillside Gardens 40B 40B - POLITICALLY INCORRECT With Tom Christiano - Chapter 40B in Massachusetts April 2007 STATE REP. WILLIAM GREEN ON 40B -11/29/07 40B - Tina Brooks (DHCD) put on the spot...11/29/07 REPEAL 40B - Inspector General testifies about the failures of the Chapter 40B Law REPEAL 40B : Fred Marcks talks 40B with Dennis Ready Repeal 40B - John Belskis on Tom Christiano's Politically Incorrect 10-06-09 Part 1 Repeal 40B - John Belskis on Tom Christiano's Politically Incorrect 10-06-09 Part 2 REPEAL 40B - John Belskis on In The Spotlight 8/12/10
  17. 17. Martinez wins 3rd Middlesex Senate; Fargo the next challenge By Staff reports GateHouse News Service Sep 15, 2010 Chelmsford — At about 10:45 p.m., Sandi Martinez’s campaign heard what it had worked months to hear: Her opponent, Eric Dahlberg, calling to concede the Republican nomination in the 3rd Middlesex Senate District. The race pitted two Chelmsford residents for the chance to face incumbent Susan Fargo, D- Lincoln in November. The night got off to a quick start for Martinez as she carried Chelmsford 1,693-1,099. "It feels fantastic. I'm a Chelmsford girl, it's my hometown, I was hoping I would win here," Mar- tinez said. Martinez also carried Concord, Waltham, Bedford and Lexington. She’s been campaigning for months, her latest effort to win in the general election. "If you don't work hard and plan for a huge turnout, you'll be unpleasantly surprised. We've worked hard for the past several months." For his part, Dahlberg expressed disappointment but seemed to revel in the experience. "I'm thrilled with the campaign we ran. I had a blast and met thousands of people I wouldn't oth- erwise have met," he said. He was pleased with the tone of the campaign and said he likely isn't done on the political scene. In Fargo, Martinez faces a familiar foe: The two met in the general election in 2006 and again in 2008. In 2006, Fargo outpolled her GOP rival 60-33 percent. In 2008, Fargo netted 63 percent, outpacing Martinez 47,663-28,616. Fargo, a Lincoln Democrat, has held the 3rd District seat since 1997. Copyright 2010 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
  18. 18. Three-way race for Board of Selectmen's spot Staff reports • Tue, Sep 14, 2010 With Tuesday being the last day to return nomination papers to the Town Clerk's office, three of the four potential candidates for the empty Board of Selectmen’s seat have qual- ified for the Nov. 2 ballot. Former Selectman Pat Wojtas, Master Plan Committee Chairman Jim Lane and resident Jerry Loew returned papers and had them certified by the deadline. Jim Murray, who ran last year, recently pulled nomination papers but failed to re- turn them in time to qualify for the election. The November election is being held in JIM  conjunction with the state-wide election for LANE governor and Beacon Hill legislators. Residents must be registered by Oct. 13 to PAT vote in the Nov. 2 election. WOJTAS The LOEW down on JERRY I am not connected to power concerns in Chelmsford My concern is for the quality of life for Chelmsford families I do not have financial backing but hope that my message resonates with the citizens who feel their voices are not heard I want to change the dynamics so that the citizens and not the developers are making the decisions about Chelmsford's land use I want my children and yours to get the best education possible in our public schools We can do better Jerry You can reach me at 978-808-8902 or Loew IT’S NOT EASY BEING GREEN POLITICAL COLUMN LOWELL SUN by Andrea Gregory 9/19/10 Having Missed the deadline to turn in papers for Chelmsford's coming selectmen's race has not stopped Jim Murray from thinking about running. Murray said he is considering a write-in or sticker campaign. He said he feel the current board is a little out of touch and that he could be the voice of reason. Right now Murray is trying to figure out how he would balance a busy work schedule with the duties of being an elected official. He said after he wroks that piece out, he would launch a social networking campaign. He identifies himself as Green Candidate.
  19. 19. Food pantry poised for move to new location Kevin Zimmerman/Staff Reporter • Tue, Sep 07, 2010 The Chelmsford Community Exchange food pantry has been housed in Old Town Hall's basement for almost two decades but is expected to be moved to a new location in the next couple of months. Officials expect to set up a trailer behind the Town Office Building on Billerica Road as a temporary pantry while the Old Town Hall is renovated. Food pantry Director Sandy Donovan realizes she can’t stay at the current site during construction, but she is concerned the town wants to make the move permanent. "For some reason or another, they want me out of there," said Donovan. "I need to be there, centrally located. We're established where we are." are. Donovan doesn't believe the town will spend money to set up a trailer with electricity and heat and then shift the pantry back to North Road. "We're getting ahead of ourselves," said Town Manager Paul Cohen. "They're (Permanent ourselves, Building Committee) interviewing architects tonight. She's going to get a couple months notice." notice. Cohen said neither the pantry nor the artists who rent studio space in the Old Town Hall can remain while work is being done. The project is expected to take about one year to complete. He also believes the Town Office Building provides food pantry clients with greater privacy than the current site. The town donates the space and pays the utilities for the pantry and intends to continue that practice with the trailer. Donovan worries about her safety being isolated behind the Town Office Building. "It's not a safe place," said Donovan. "It's a wooded area. And most of my hours there place, are at night." night. She would rather the trailer be placed at the end of the parking lot of the Old Town Hall, where be- tween the Center Fire Station and the nearby houses, there is always someone nearby. The town will not have control of the site while construction is going on, said Cohen. He also doesn't think the new location is isolated. "There are people here every night," said Cohen. "She's not a department of the town. night, She has to come over here." here. Cohen said the Board of Selectmen may award an architect contract at its next meeting. That will be followed by a design phase before any construction begins. "As soon as we get a schedule, we'll pass it on to the building tenants," said Cohen. tenants,
  20. 20. 2nd Annual Chelmsford Senior Cookout Hosted by the Chelmsford State Delegation t was partly cloudy on Monday, September 13th but inside there was an abundance of sunshine supplied by the 180 Seniors who attended the 2nd Annual Chelmsford Senior Cookout hosted by the Chelmsford State Delegation. Senator Fargo, Representatives Cory Atkins, Jim Arciero, Tom Golden and David Nangle had the pleasure of cooking, serving and talking to STATE the Seniors. The menu consisted of salad, ham- REPRESENTATIVE burgers, cheeseburgers and hot dogs with cake JIM ARCIERO at the end for anyone with a sweet tooth. As STATE the legislators made their way around the ta- REPRESENTATIVE bles, there were many topics discussed that TOM GOLDEN varied from state legislation to local concerns. STATE It was a great afternoon enjoyed by one and all. REPRESENTATIVE DAVE NANGLE A special thanks to Town Manager, Paul Cohen, Selectman, George Dixon, Angie Taranto and Tom Christiano for lending a helping hand. If you or any senior you know was unable to at- tend and would like to talk to their legislator, please do not hesitate to call the State House at 617-722-2000. STATE PAT WOJTAS   TOM CHRISTIANO  JIM LANE  REPRESENTATIVE JIM COREY ATKINS ARCIERO TOWN MANAGER PAUL COHEN GEORGE DIXON     SUSAN FARGO TOM GOLDEN ANGIE TARANTO   JIM LANE Photos by Pam Armstrong
  21. 21. POLITICALLY INCORRECT with Tom Christiano CLICK HERE for entire show The panelists on the 303rd POLITICALLY INCORRECT SHOW, recorded on SEPT 7, 2010, are: (l to r) Matt Sheehan, Peggy Dunn, "TC" Christiano, Sue Carter & George Dixon. TOWN TALK with Dennis Ready & Mary Gregoire Guests: Jim Lane CLICK Master Plan Committee HERE ---------- Planning Board for segment ---------- Selectmen Candidate PAT WOJTAS CLICK HERE Former Selectmen and for segment Selectmen Candidate
  22. 22. Extra Extras The Chelmsford Women Of Today & The Chelmsford Women Of Today T h e C h e lm s f o r d P u b lic L ib r a r y The Chelmsford Public Library P re s e n t: Present: T HURSDAY HURSDAY O c t o b e r 7 th October 7-9PM 7-9PM CHELMSFORD OPEN SPACES HELMSFORD PEN PACES BEHIND THE SCENES BEHIND THE SCENES P h il S ta n w a y , fo u n d e r o f th e C h e lm s fo r d O p e n S p a c e S te w a r d s h ip , w ill d is c u s s Phil Stanway, founder of the Chelmsford Open Space Stewardship, will discuss the locations, history, recreational options, and educational and family the locations, history, recreational options, and educational and family opportunities available within our town. With over 1000 acres of open space to opportunities available within our town. With over 1000 acres of open space to e x p lo r e , th e r e is m u c h to b e le a r n e d . T h is p r o g r a m is F R E E a n d o p e n to th e explore, there is much to be learned. This program is FREE and open to the public. It will be held at the Chelmsford Public Library public. It will be held at the Chelmsford Public Library 25 Boston Road in Chelmsford. 25 Boston Road in Chelmsford. Contact the library at 978-256 5521, ext. 109 or visit Contact the library at 978-256-5521, ext. 109 or visit 256- or for more information. or for more information.
  23. 23. DON’T GET CAUGHT!!! The Registry of Motor Vehicles no longer sends out reminders to renew your MA driver’s license. Are you do??? If you think you will need a reminder... the Registry of Motor Vehicles newest customer convenience — safe electronic notification services that will help you remember to renew your MA driver’s license or MA ID. With this free service you determine how the RMV reminds you by email, phone or text (SMS) message. The RMV has part - nered with Sendza, an outside firm that will deliver your auto - matic reminder * at no cost to you or the Commonwealth. To get started, you will need your Massachusetts license or MA ID number, date of birth, and your residential zip code so we can verify your information is in our database. RMV Reminder Service CLICK HERE
  24. 24. Jazz featured at The Paul Center Taste Extravaganza Acclaimed jazz vocalist Wendee Glick will be featured at the Paul Cen- ter Taste Extravaganza to be held Friday evening September 24, 7-11 PM, at the Elks Club, 300 Littleton Road (Route 110), Chelmsford. Accompanying Wendee will be Steve Heck on Piano and Bob Ullman on Guitar. Wendee is a singer with a strong stage presence, sense of humor, and ability to belt out a tune, even over a full big band orchestra. She can engage the audience in the up-tempo, or make them weep over a bal- lad sung with a "bell-like" quality. She has graced the stages of many a New England jazz club, and large venues such as Boston's Fleet Cen- ter and Hatch Shell, performing with top-notch musicians. Influenced by jazz legends such as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Anita O'Day, and June Christy, Wendee has developed a substantial following in the area, performing at such venues as Michael Timothy's, The Colonial Inn, The Sahara Club, Icarus Restaurant, The Black Olive, and The Acton Jazz Cafe. Food samplings at The Taste Extravaganza will be provided through the generosity of a variety of local food purveyors: The Java Room, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Café Madrid, The Meat House, Vincenzo’s Ris- torante, Hannaford, Moonstones, Amici’s Trattoria, Feng Shui, Sichuan Palace, Brickhouse Pizza, Centre Deli, Aprile’s European Restaurant, Omega Pizzeria and Grille, Nashoba Tech and Greater Lowell Tech Culinary Students, and Starbucks. The event is a fundraiser for The Paul Center’s mission to provide edu- cational and recreational experiences for children and youth with dis- abilities, similar to those their non-disabled peers enjoy. Tickets are $35.00 in advance, and $40.00 at the door (providing space is available). For reservations or further information, please call The Center, 978-256-4396, or email,
  25. 25. Friends Book Sale The annual Friends of the Library Book Sale is a sig- nificant source of funding for library programming, museum passes and many extras for Chelmsford patrons. The community's support through do- nations and volunteer hours is greatly appreciated. Congratulations to the Friends of the Library for another successful Book Sale!! The Friends 2009 Book Sale brought in $27,200 gross! 2010 Book Sale Dates and Times: Friday, Sept. 24th 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25th9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 26th 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. The sale will take place in the gym behind the Town Office building, 50 Billerica Road, Chelmsford
  26. 26. Pat Wojtas for Selectman Campaign party Friday, October 1,2010 6:00PM to 11:00PM A cash bar will be available, and refreshments will be served. Chelmsford Center for the Arts (a/k/a Center Town Hall) Donation $10.00
  27. 27. VOICES Of Involved Citizens Encouraging Safety Inc. Please join us at our third annual fundraiser COCKTAIL PARTY, SILENT AUCTION & DANCING DATE: Friday, October 15, 2010 TIME: 7:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. Doubletree Guest Suites 550 Winter Street Waltham, MA 02451 for reservations or more information contact Sandy DiBacco 508-541-6360 email: SPECIAL GUESTS Mark Lunsford, father of Jessica Lunsford & Child Protection Advocate Stacie Rumenap, President of Stop Child Predators, Washington D.C. Donation: $25.00 in advance $30.00 at the door PLEASE BRING YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY If you are unable to attend but would like to donate to our cause, donations can be made by clicking on Paypal or by sending a check made payable to: VOICES c/o Sandy DiBacco 51 Cleveland Street Norfolk, MA 02056 We are a 501(c) non-profit organization All donations are tax deductible
  28. 28. Every Thursday 2-6 pm through October 14, 2010 Learn more at Chelmsford, MA - September 26, 2010 This is the Inaugural Free to Breathe® 5K Fun Run/Walk in Chelmsford, MA. The event provides an opportunity for lung cancer advocates, survivors and the community to come together to raise awareness and support to fight this disease. 100% of the net proceeds from this event will benefit the National Lung Cancer Partnership’s re- search, education and awareness programs. What: Free to Breathe® 5K Fun Run/Walk When: September 26, 2010 7:00 a.m. - Event day registration opens 8:30 a.m. - Run/Walk begins Where: Chelmsford High School 200 Richardson Road N. Chelmsford, MA 01863 Registration Fees/Deadlines: Online: (closes Wednesday, September 22) $20 adult / $10 child (10 & under) Mail-in: (must be received by Monday, September 20) $23 adult / $13 child (10 & under) Event day on September 26, 2010: $25 adult / $15 child (10 & under) If you are interested in volunteering or sponsoring this event, please sign-up at the event website. You can also visit to learn more, register, or donate. All donations are tax deductible.
  29. 29. QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “As long as the world is  turning and spinning,  we're gonna be dizzy and  we're gonna make mistakes.” -  MEL BROOKS From the FARSIDE of CHELMSFORD
  30. 30. In-Town Report News Links: LOWELL SUN CHELMSFORD INDEPENDENT CHELMSFORDMASSNEWS.COM CHELMSFORD PATCH ITR on FACEBOOK link If you have friends, family or neighbors who would like to be added to this news distribution list just have them drop a line at ROY EARLEY Town Meeting Representative Precinct 6 In-Town Report: Creator,Editor,compiler, Designer,writer,photographer