Chelmsford Named in Top 100 Best Places to Live 2011 by Money Magazine Top 100 rank: 28 Population: 35,300Compare Chelmsford to Top 10 Best PlacesLocated between the charming (but expensive) town of Concord and the faded in -dustrial center of Lowell, Chelmsford offers a middle ground that appeals to many:a well-preserved historic community that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Single-fam -ily homes can be had for as little as $250,000, reasonable for the greater Bostonarea. The schools are strong. Kronos, a 3,000-employee software and servicescompany, is headquartered here. And Chelmsford has a newly built arts center thatoften hosts community events. --N.D.http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bplive/2011/snapshots/CS2513135.html QUESTION: How many cities and towns are there in the US? ANSWER: The number of incorporated town and cities is over 30,000 but defining the actual cities and towns from their metropolitan areas has a wide margin or error. In 2002, the National League of Cities put the total at 19,429 municipal governments in the US. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_cities_and_towns_are_there_in_the_US
Money honor keeps Chelmsford cheering Ranks No. 28 in second time on nationwide top-communities survey By Rita Savard, email@example.com 08/17/2011CHELMSFORD -- If theres a lot to like about Lowell, then Chelmsford residents are over the moon asMoney magazine gives the semirural suburb another nod on its prestigious list of the countrys bestplaces to live.Chelmsford ranks No. 28 out of 100 communities and is one of two in Greater Lowell to snag a place inthe top 30. Acton came in at No. 16."Its great news," said Town Manager Paul Cohen. "It shows that Chelmsford is still one of news,the most desirable places to live, not only in Massachusetts, but in the entire country.Thats something to brag about." about.This years list focused on smaller places that offer the best combination of economic opportunity, goodschools, safe streets, things to do and a real sense of community."Located between the charming (but expensive) town of Concord and the faded indus -trial center of Lowell, Chelmsford offers a middle ground that appeals to many; a well-preserved historic community that doesnt cost an arm and a leg," according to the leg,magazine.Single-family homes "can be had for as little as $250,000, reasonable for the Greater Boston area," theschools are strong, and a mix of old New England character, open spaces, arts, entertainment and com-merce all contribute to making the community one of the best places to live, added Money.Chelmsford first appeared on the list in 2007, ranking at No. 21. Even though the town took a slight dipin the ranks this year, Cohen said appearing on the list again only spells good things for the towns fu-ture."With the economic downturn, weve experienced a decline in home values and cuts toservices just like everyone else," he said. "But weve remained strong through all of it. else,Our schools are being well run and so is the community. Theres a great sense of com -munity pride here in town and it shows." shows.Other Massachusetts communities that made the list include Milton at No. 2 and Easton at No. 43.
Former political group becomes community organization By Monica Jimenez / Wicked Local Chelmsford GateHouse News Service Aug 13, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordChelmsford —Choose Chelmsford was born as a force to defeat effort to recall four selectmen. With that task complete,the group is being reborn, according to co-chair Stefani Bush. Following the defeat of the Aug. 2 recall, theformer political action committee has rechristened itself as a community group.Saturday evening on the Common, a Choose Chelmsford bakesale raised more than $1,300 to benefit the playground at SouthRow Elementary, whose PTO has been planning repairs foryears. Partisan rancor was a distant memory as neighbors andstrangers introduced themselves over cookies and cupcakes.Children played on the grass and climbed the monument.Choose Chelmsford also laid its famous “Vote No” campaign torest in a candlelight vigil Saturday night, with attendees lightingeach other’s wicks until everyone held a flame.“It’s a symbol of hope in the community and what wecan do together,” Bush said. together,“Each person has their own light to share with one another. We can make the communitybright again.” again. According to Bush, Chelmsford has seen dark days in the past year, with controversy about a new North Road building leading to an effort to oust most of the town’s executive board. But something unexpected was born from the ordeal, Bush said. The weekend before the re- call election, 30 to 35 residents volunteered daily to hold signs supporting the selectmen. “That’s unheard of in a political cam - paign. You never see it,” Bush said. “We it, had people who had never done any - thing political in their lives. We had people who were involved in the com -munity now getting involved in the politics, and then we had the political people. Theywere all different people from all walks of life.” life.Bush’s co-chairman Angie Taranto praised the plurality of the group in a speech Saturday.“The results [of the election] tellwhat Chelmsford is truly all about –people coming together to preservewhat makes this town great,” Taranto great,said.In the days ahead, Bush said ChooseChelmsford plans to help expand the vol-unteer base for the Open Space Stewards,who maintain the town’s protected land.Future gatherings on the Common mightdraw people who don’t attend town boardmeetings, Bush said, which will helpChoose Chelmsford reach more residentswith its message.The group will also invite the public to aninformational event September.
One thing Choose Chelmsford will no longer do, Bush emphasized, is politics. A new, separate group calledthe Truth Squad will combat campaigns that might harm the town by exposing the misinformation LINK to web pagebehind them, she said, but Choose Chelmsford will focus on developing and aiding community initiatives.Toward that end, the group plans to take down its “Vote No on Recall” page in a week, after supportershave had the opportunity to move over to its non-partisan Facebook page. Residents who voted for the re-call have already declared support for the new Choose Chelmsford , Bush revealed, and they have LINK to web pagebeen welcomed like anybody else. Taranto conveyed his hope that the spirit and momentum of the “Vote No” Choose Chelmsford would carry over to the new incarnation of the group. Bush suggested if the right choices are made, anything is possible. “You can choose to work together, to look past your differences and set them aside,” aside, Bush said. “We’re ready to move forward and do good.” good. Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved CHOOSE CHELMSFORD The TRUTH SQUAD Facebook Link Facebook link Photos by Eric Sciacca
South Row PTO Playground Fundraiser/Bake Sale : Choose Chelmsford Rally/VigilAugust 6 2011 Angie Taranto Janet Laurie Stefani Askenburg Myers Bush Alex Buck Alison Ludwig Jeff Apostolakes Mike Combs Bill Dalton Glenn Thoren Photos by Choose Chelmsford
Paul Haverty Diane & Roy Earley Elizabeth Twombly Alex Cole Susan Graves Timothy McIlvenna Tom Gilroy LeighAnn Sciacca Janet Dubner Evelyn Brad Thoren Rigby Candace Sam Chase Chase Phil Joanne Stanway Dennis Richard DeFreitas Donna Stanway Ready Ready Sara Kurland Jon Kurland Eric Andrew Sciacca GianninoRalphBush Sheila Danielle Pichette Evans Photos by Choose Chelmsford
Town halls groundbreaking ceremony held GateHouse Media, Inc. 08/04/2011The official groundbreaking for the renovation of both the Chelmsford Center for the Arts at Town Hall and the North Chelmsford Town Halltook place on Tuesday, August 2. Representatives from the Board of Selectmen, Community Preservation Committee, Chelmsford Center for the Arts committee, and TownManager Paul Cohen commemorated the beginning of the renovation of the Chelmsford Center for the Arts at Town Hall at 4:00 pm andthen were joined by representatives of the future community center at the North Chelmsford Town Hall at 4:30.Flanked by all the members of the Board of Selectmen, Chairman George Dixon said, "It will be great to preserve the history andmany of the memories of these great buildings. I am proud to have played a small part in getting the projects to thisstage. I am sure the restoration of these buildings will go a long way in helping reunite our great town." town. The Permanent Building Committee oversees the two projects, working with the architect Jennifer Hocherman of Bargmann Hendrie + Ar-chetype; the Owner’s Project Manager, Kevin Heffernan of Vertex Construction; and General Contractor O’Connor Contractors. Pat Mal-oney, co-chair of the Permanent Building Committee commented, “The construction and rehabilitation of Center and North TownHalls will incorporate all new finishes and energy efficiencies throughout and will revitalize these beautiful historicstructures to serve our community well into the future. We are very excited to finally be underway." underwayBoth projects, approved by Town Meeting, are funded by Community Preservation Act funds that may only be used for historic preservation,open space acquisition, or affordable housing. Both town halls are historic buildings owned by the Town of Chelmsford.Jim Lane has a unique position, as he is both a member of the Board of Selectmen and Chair of the Community Preservation Committee.At the ground breaking he said, "Chelmsford adopted the Community Preservation Act in 2001 and has utilized the statematched surcharge to purchase and permanently protect open space, create affordable housing and for historicpreservation. Our town halls were originally built to service the community and now, thanks to CPA we are able to re -store two of Chelmsfords most precious gems while creating construction jobs locally. Id say this is a good use ofCommunity Preservation Funds." Funds.The Chelmsford Center for the Arts in Town Hall is Chelmsford’s only public arts institution. When it reopens in 2012, it will include an ArtGallery, Artist-in-Residence studios, two performance spaces and rooms for meetings and rehearsals of arts groups, as well as classes andevents both public and private. Through a separate grant from the Community Preservation Fund, theatrical lighting will be part of the reno-vation, making it possible for the CCA to from a theatre group. Chelmsford TeleMedia has matched the grant by funding the installation ofthe sound and projection systems, including a state of the art Hearing Loop assisted listening system for those with hearing aids.Town Manager Paul Cohen said, “This is a perfect example of the benefits of the Community Preservation Fund. Theseprojects will enhance the community by providing a vibrant arts center in the Town Center and a community center inVinal Square.” Square Video of the beginning of the Center and North Town Hall Renovation Projects! CLICK HERE CCA Committee members Dacey Zouzas, Kit Harbison, Susan Julian Gates, Andy Rega, and Kathy Cryan-Hicks.
Chelmsford resident hopes to find permanent place for food pantry By Rita Savard, firstname.lastname@example.org 08/01/2011 www.lowellsun.comCHELMSFORD -- Sandy Donovan feeds thousands.For 18 years, the founder of the Chelmsford Community Exchange Food Pantry has helped keep the areas homelessand low-income families from going hungry. But last Friday, Donovan lost her longtime home in the old ChelmsfordTown Hall due to a renovation plan.The food pantry has been temporarily relocated to a large trailer behind town offices at 50 Billerica Road."I have no idea what the future will hold for the pantry, but Im not going to worry," said Donovan, 73. worry"Ive always said this is Gods pantry and God will take care of it. He always has." has.Donovan hopes the pantry can find a permanent home in the town center.She said the location is convenient for many who come for food via bus or on foot.Since it opened in 1993, the pantry was in the basement of the historic North Road Town Hall. The building is underconstruction and will eventually serve as a community space for the arts.There are no plans to house the pantry inside the renovated building, said Town Manager Paul Cohen."The food pantry is welcome to remain in the trailer that is located behind Town Offices," Cohen said. Offices,"Approval from the Historic District Commission would be required to relocate the trailer to the rearlot of the (old) Town Hall location." location.Donovan, who admits she is "feisty," plans to do some research on the matter.The food pantrys founder said she knows a thing or two about struggling to make ends meet.When she was a young mother of eight living in Michigan, her former husband was laid off unexpectedly.Her family income plummeted from $200 a week to $25."I hate peanut butter and jelly today because thats what we ate every morning for a quite a while," while,Donovan said. "But we survived." survived.In the early 1990s, Donovan was taking a course on hunger and homelessness at Middlesex Community College.She became a gadfly to town officials, some of whom werent immediately convinced that a pantry was needed inChelmsford.She was asked how many families in town were really in need of the service. She guessed about 450 and was right ontarget.Nearly 20 years later, Donovans operation has grown, servicing families in Chelmsford and beyond.She shops for groceries at local supermarkets and farms.Besides catering to special diets for the elderly and chronically ill, Donovan is known for her extras.She gives out toiletries and personal-hygiene products. She has helped pay for prescriptions and rent. Donovan hasalso helped pay utility bills, kept gas tanks filled and got cars repaired so some needy residents could make their pay-checks.Last month, she distributed 1,413 bags of food.Regular donors, including large fundraisers through local churches, have helped the pantry aid thousands of familiesover the years. Donovan said she would like to continue helping families from a permanent place in Chelmsford Center."If it wasnt for the support of this community, theres no way I could do what I do for people," people,she said.
Sandys Place The Lowell Sun Editorial 08/03/2011 www.lowellsun.comThe Chelmsford Community Exchange Food Pantry needs a new home and we implore town government and civicleaders to find one for this most worthy organization.Because of renovations to the Old Town Hall, the food pantry has had to relocate and wont be back. It is now servingthe public out of a trailer behind the town offices at 50 Billerica Road. Town Manager Paul Cohen said the pantry canstay there for as long it wants.Pantry founder Sandy Donovan, 73, is thankful for the towns offer but feels the organization would do better if it hadmore visibility and accessibility. Shed like to find a permanent home in the town center, which is served by public trans-portation.Donovans been running the food pantry for 18 years, and understands its value to townspeople whove fallen on hardtimes. There are 450 families who regularly turn to the pantry for assistance, she said. Last month, the pantry distrib-uted 1,413 bags of food, most of it donated by local churches, organizations and individual donors."If it wasnt for the support of this community, there is no way I could do what I do for people," said Donovan, who alsoshops for people on special diets and fills their bags personally.Sandy Donovan is a true Chelmsford resource and heroine. Shes kept the faith for years through good and bad eco-nomic times, always saying that God will provide. Its no different now, she said. "I have no idea what the futurewill hold for the pantry, but Im not going to worry. Ive always said this is Gods pantry and God willtake care of it. He always has." has.The food pantry has been a lifesaver to so many people and it would be a shame if it cant find a place to call its own.Cmon, Chelmsford, step up to the plate for Sandy Donovan and a compassionate cause. How about a spot at 9 NorthRoad? ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ - ASK THE MANAGERITR ● Wasnt the food pantry (Sandys Place) supposed to return after the Town Hall remodeling?Werent they to be temporarily relocated until that time?Town ManagerPaul Cohen ● The renovation plans for the Town Hall never included space assigned to the food pantry. That area of the building hasbeen converted into a handicapped-accessible main entrance. Since no churches or non-profit organizations offered space for the foodpantry, the Town provided a 12 x 60 handicapped-accessible, air-conditioned trailer behind the Town Offices. This provides more spaceand is in the town center. It has only been operational for a week. Since the Town Hall renovations will take a year, there is time to evaluatehow this new facility works out.
Residents demand removal of road lines By Monica Jimenez / Wicked Local Chelmsford GateHouse News Service Aug 11, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordChelmsford —Opinions are divided over double yellow lines mistakenly painted on two Chelmsford roads.Some Robin Hill Road and High Street residents insist the lines be removed, arguing they discourage drivers from givingpedestrians enough space. But according to Town Manager Paul Cohen, removing the lines would be costly and ill-ad-vised without further study, while others insist the error actually promotes safety by discouraging passing.At the selectmen’s meeting Monday night, Robin Hill Road resident Jim Pinder presented a petition to remove the lines,signed by more than 40 people in his neighborhood. Pinder said the road is used by many joggers, bicyclists and par-ents with baby carriages and should not be marked like a main road.“If you leave the road looking like 110, people will drive like it’s 110,” Pinder said. 110,“Pedestrians are in mortal danger.” danger.According to Pinder, town officials have acknowledged the error but refuse to fix it.“We want you to represent us and work with the town,” Pinder said. town,“Our concerns are not being addressed.” addressed.Robin Hill Road resident George Hart called the lines an invisible fence forcing cars closer to pedestrians. Although theyare only painted markings, Hart suggested, drivers are conditioned not to cross those yellow strips. He added the newlypainted white line at the right of the road implied a bike lane; drivers might resent cyclists who crossed into “their” theirspace.In 21 years living on the road, Hart said, he has seen few cars passing each other and no justification for the lines.“The solution to a non-problem has created its own,” Hart said. own,According to Selectman Jon Kurland. this is exactly why the lines should be removed.“If we acknowledge an error was made, we should correct it,” Kurland said. it,He agreed with Pinder and Hart that it is a dangerous area to have double yellow lines. The road is narrow and winding,at times dark and foggy and sees more foot traffic than almost any other, he said.“I don’t want to come back here in a month saying there’s been a fatality on Robin Hill Road or HighStreet that could have been avoided,” Kurland said. avoided,But Cohen said it’s not that simple. Removing the lines would require pressure-washing, which would create the needfor a police detail because it cannot be done safely at night, or painting over the lines with the risk the black paint maycome off.Either way, fixing the perceived problem – itself characterized as a solution gone awry – could cause yet anotherdilemma. Cohen said removing these markings would satisfy the people who signed Pinder’s petition, but might prompta cascade of complaints about other roads inappropriately bestowed with lines. He suggested the real issue is not thelines but the process by which the town assigns and applies them, which bears further review before action is taken.“Rather than rushing in to throw good money after bad, we should step back and ask, ‘Overall, what’sthe thing to do?’” Cohen said. do?’Several selectmen agreed more information is needed. Selectman George Dixon said although board members have al-ready visited the streets, they should seek input from more affected residents, while Selectman Jim Lane said theyshould confirm the lines were a mistake before fixing them. Selectman Pat Wojtas emphasized ensuring the error isn’trepeated.Cohen said the decision should be made shortly. In the meantime, speed limit signs are scheduled to go up on the roadbefore school starts, and the idea of a road lines study will be explored.But some Robin Hill Road residents believethey have all Selectmen weigh inthe information they need. on Robin Hill Rd.“From watching the street, walking onit, living on it – we know what we’re CLICKtalking about,” about HEREPinder said. “It’s a danger.” danger.Copyright Robin Hill2011 ResidentsChelmsford speak at theIndependent. BOS meetingSome rights 8/8/11reserved CLICK HERE
Chelmsford town clerk a good fit By Rita Savard, email@example.com 08/11/2011 www.lowellsun.comCHELMSFORD -- Former Groton Town Clerk Onorina Maloney has been tapped to replace retiring Clerk Betty Delaney inChelmsford.Maloney, who worked in Groton from 2003 to 2007, and was appointed interim clerk in Natick from 2009 to lastyear, will take the reins from Delaney in mid-September."Shell be a great fit for Chelmsford," Town Manager Paul Cohen said. "She has the skills, experi - Chelmsford,ence and the personality for the clerks office, which is like the retail window into the com -munity."munity.While working as the clerk in Groton, Maloney lobbied for funding to restore and preserve several volumes ofthe towns historic records and meeting minutes that were disintegrating from age.The Board of Selectmen approved Cohens appointment Monday.Delaney is retiring after 39 years of service, having worked in the Town Clerks Office since 1972. Cohen said she will be sorelymissed."If youre looking for events and information about Chelmsford in general, shes the institutional memory ofthe community," said Cohen. "Its really going to be a major transition with her gone." community, gone New Chelmsford town clerk named By Monica Jimenez / Wicked Local Chelmsford GateHouse News Service Posted Aug 08, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordChelmsford’s new town clerk will be former Groton Town Clerk Onorina Maloney. The Chelmsford selectmen confirmed TownManager Paul Cohen’s appointment of Maloney at their meeting Monday, Aug. 8, agreeing on a start date somewhere betweenmid-September and early October.Comparing the choice to the Boston Red Sox’s choice of a new left fielder, Cohen said he is confident Maloney will be a worthysuccessor to departing Town Clerk Betty Delaney.Maloney served as town clerk in Groton and interim town clerk in Natick, Cohen said, and was praised by officials in both towns.Both towns are comparable to Chelmsford, Cohen added, particularly Natick, which has a similar population, number of votingplaces and representative Town Meeting.“Clearly the skills that she brings really will be applicable here in the town of Chelmsford,Cohen said.As a person, Maloney is also impressive and right for the job, Cohen said.“As an individual she is motivated and self-driven, an appropriate personality for the clerk’s office, which isthe retail window into the community,” Cohen said. “It’s the first stop in the building for many people and community,there’s a lot of personal exchange.” exchange.Cohen, Human Resources Director Jeanne Parziale and Public Works Director Jim Pearson unanimously decided to recommendMaloney after considering a pool of qualified applicants, Cohen said, including two Chelmsford candidates with no experience in aclerk’s office and four applicants with the experience, but from outside Chelmsford.Selectman Jim Lane remarked Maloney is arriving in Chelmsford along with electronic voting; Maloney said she is excited to helpimplement the practice. Selectman Pat Wojtas wondered if Maloney would improve the image of the clerk’s office, considering herbackground in image consulting. Maloney lightly replied the office’s image is good, part of what drew her to the position.Selectman George Dixon had only one question for Maloney.“Are you a left fielder?” he asked. fielder?Maloney assured the board she will be committed to her job.“I’m returning to my passion to be a town clerk and a public servant,” she said. servantShe added,“I look forward to serving and adding value to the town. It’s an absolute privi -lege to be here.” here.Maloney also thanked her soon-to-be predecessor for setting the bar high. The Town Manager introduces“I wish Betty Delaney a wonderful retirement, and thank her and her team for Ororina Maloney to the Selectmenoperating with the utmost integrity,” Maloney said. integrity, and to the town.Delaney came before the selectmen Monday night to thank her staff and town officials, past CLICK HEREand present, for their support during her 9 years as town clerk and 30 years in the clerk’s of-fice.“They make the process happen,” Delaney said. “They’re all part of a great team effort, and it’s been a pleasure happen,to be a small part of that.” that.Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
SUPER ThoughtsIn-Town Report: What is the latest update you can give folkson the outsourcing of custodians?FRANK TIANO: As you are aware, Aramark was hired to provide our custodial services. Theybegan July 1st which is late to start the work that schools need over the summer. The monthof July was spent hiring by the company while at the same time employing folks from otherAramark districts and outside contractors to keep the schools moving. As of this week,classrooms are completed in the elementary schools and high school and look great. For theremaining few weeks before school, their focus will be on the common areas and outside of theschools. All schools will be ready to open.ITR: Its been almost a year since you took over the reigns of the school system.How does it feel?FT: Feels great! I love what I am doing and am grateful to be doing it here in Chelmsford. I spenta lot of time last year really reaching out to people within and outside of the district. Obviously, Ididn’t get the opportunity to meet everyone, but am looking forward to engaging more peoplenext year.ITR: What was the worst part of your job in the last year and what was the best part?FT: Worst part of the job was the initial budget forecasts and going through the exercise of howto potentially reduce staff and programming while maintaining the instructional integrity that ourstudents deserve. There were many best parts last year, however, what I really enjoyed were theinterviews that I conducted as part of my Entry Plan. I had 39 interviews with over a few hundredpeople (one group was the entire South Row 3rd grade). I thoroughly enjoyed listening to peoplefrom students to teachers to business owners to seniors regarding their thoughts about theschool system. The anecdotal answers helped me learn far more than I ever could conductingonline surveys.ITR: What are your plans for the upcoming year andwhat can we look forward to in the 2011-2012 school season?FT: Working with the district and community regarding a 5-year strategic plan. I presented myoutline to the School Committee last spring, and we are ready to roll with it. I look forward to beable to share our direction with the district and the community at large.
CHAIR TimeIn-Town Report: What do you think were some of theaccomplishments made by the School Committeein the last year?Janet Askenburg: Our biggest accomplishment was the hiring ofFrank Tiano as Superintendent. Not only is he an excellent educatorand administrator, but he has enthusiastically embraced the needfor a Strategic Plan for our school system. This is critical in estab-lishing a roadmap for continuous improvement in our delivery of ed-ucation and in the efficiency and effectiveness of our operations andexecutive team.I am also proud of our efforts to more effectively communicate with the Chelmsford communityand to be more transparent. These efforts include facilitating public input sessions to listen tothe concerns of the community on school matters, launching a more user-friendly and informa-tive website, and utilizing our website to conduct a survey to get input from the community onproposed changes to the school calendar.ITR: What areas do you think the school committee maybe lacking inand could use improvement over the next year?J A: I believe the School Committee is functioning very well as a team. Each member brings dif-ferent experiences, expertise, and perspective to the School Committee. We are all committed toworking together toward the goal of providing an excellent education to all students and beingfiscally responsible. We are also committed to continuous improvement and will soon solicit,through a survey on our website, community feedback on how we are doing as a School Com-mittee.ITR: What are the goals/priorities of the School Committeefor the 2011-2012 school season?J A: These were approved at our August 16th meeting and are on the website athttp://chelmsford.k12.ma.us/ under the School Committee section.ITR: What personally would you like to see happen overthe next year in the school system?J A: As a parent I would like to see ... smart boards in every classroom, and updated computersand wireless networks throughout the school system. Integrating technology across the cur-riculum helps our teachers reach different types of learners and assists them in evaluating theirstudents understanding of the material, while also enhancing the learning process for the stu-dents. Without this advantage, our school system will never reach its full potential.
Custodial service outlines progress at Chelmsford schools By Monica Jimenez/Wicked Local staff writer GateHouse News Service Aug 17, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordChelmsford —Despite tarnished relations between the Chelmsford school district and custodians’ union, Chelmsfordschools will be spic-and-span for incoming students this fall. At the School Committee’s meeting Tues-day, Aug. 16, Bruce Griswold of Aramark, the new custodial services provider for the district, presented aprogress report indicating summer cleaning is finishing up on schedule.The School Committee recently voted to outsource the schools’ cleaning services to Aramark, whosecontract began July 1, over longstanding custodians’ protests the move would hurt them and cost the dis-trict in the long run.After being shown photos of gleaming Chelmsford school floors Tuesday night, School Committee mem-ber Mike Rigney said he was disappointed so few of the schools’ original custodians will be staying on –only four accepted Aramark’s offer of employment – and asked Griswold how he planned to train employ-ees and encourage them to stay.But in the interest of getting acquainted with the new team, Rigney asked Griswold to name the lead cus-todian at each school.“When parents go to school for the first time, there will still be a single face and refer -ence for that school,” Rigney said. “The community should get to know them a little.” school, little.Committee member Nick DeSilvio brought up a question of safety, pointing out when school alarms wentoff, longtime Chelmsford custodians often met public safety officers at specific locations and showedthem to the proper place in the building. Aramark employees should sit down with Chelmsford fire depart-ment leaders, DeSilvio said, so the transition is smooth.“We want to be absolutely sure our bases are covered,” DeSilvio said. covered,Griswold recounted his hiring process, explaining after most of the original school custodians declined tostay on, he got 13 temporary employees from a private provider to help with summer cleaning. Seven ofthe temporary employees have been hired full-time, and four to six custodians are still needed beforeschool starts.Griswold assured the committee Aramark will take good care of school buildings.“We’re trying to instill in employees a sense of detail,” Griswold said. “Cleaning isn’t just detail,scrubbing the floor and recoating it. It’s cleaning from top to bottom.” bottom.Although the new custodians are still getting up to speed on Chelmsford operations, School CommitteeChairman Janet Askenburg said she recently visited Parker Middle School and one thing is for sure –they’re doing a great job.“The floors have colors I’ve never seen before,” Askenburg said. “It really was a dramatic before,difference. I’m very impressed.” impressed.The feeling is mutual, Griswold suggested.“We’re excited to be a part of Chelmsford. I’ve met a lot of great people,” Griswold said. people,“I look forward to many years.” years.Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
School Committee Raises Questions About Custodian Retention, Screenings The School Committee last night received an update from Aramark regarding the custodians. By Krista Perry August 17, 2011 www.chelmsford.patch.comThe School Committee last night received an update from Aramark, vendor for the newly outsourced cus-todian positions, and raised questions about how employees are screeened and retention rates.Bruce Griswold, who manages the towns contract with Aramark, said 13 Aramark staff are working inChelmsford Public Schools along with 15 contracted employees.Griswold said he will retain seven of those employees when their contract with Aramark runs out shortly,so he will have to hire five or six more employees to work in Chelmsford before school starts.School Committee member Mike Rigney said only four employees who were original school custodianshave stayed on board with Aramark." ... That was not 100 percent that was talked about, its disappointing. The concern isthe community so Id like to hear you talk about your training and your plan for retentionfor the employees we have," he said. have,Griswold said Aramark does its best to empower and invest in its employees, which helps retention."I think that goes back to the culture that is in place ... a culture from top to bottom ofempowering and investing in employees and giving them a career path," he said. path,"That’s how you retain, you invest back into your employees." employees.Griswold also shared a training schedule with the committee, which included once a month sessions.During those sessions, custodians would learn about operating practices, safety issues, and anythingelse that comes up."Training is part of investing in your employees, developing your employees and its im -portant element to employee retention," he said. "Monthly training addresses different retention,needs and concerns, such as operation standards or safety issues and this calendar ischangeable (if) we identify issues we need to address throughout the year." year.Griswold also named the lead custodian for each building, noting that they would be a "familiar face" inthe district and those lead custodians report back to him.School Committee member Nick DeSilvio asked about the screening process for hiring the custodians. "We use a service called TrueScreen, its a corporate policy," he said. Employees must pass policy,a federal background check and a drug test, he said.Contractors, Griswold said, cannot legally be screened using TrueScreen but are still CORI checkedthrough the state.School Committee Chairwoman Janet Askenburg said she has been pleased with Aramarks perform-ance on the job so far."I was at Parker this morning and I was very, very impressed," she said. "Those floors have impressed,colors in them Ive never seen before, so thank you, it really was a dramatic difference.I’m impressed." impressed.The calendar for Aramark employee training will be posted on the School Department website, committeemembers said.
Chelmsford teachers turn down two days off By Monica Jimenez / Wicked Local Chelmsford GateHouse News Service Aug 18, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordChelmsford —Chelmsford teachers have turned down the offer of two days off from school for the purposeof preparing for the upcoming NEASC accreditation process, which happens every 10 years.Superintendent Frank Tiano reported the teachers union rejected the idea partly becausemembers see an inequity between the number of days off that high school teachers and ele-mentary teachers receive; they said they would only agree to the plan if pre-k through 12thgrade teachers also received the days off.Additionally, Tiano said, teachers felt the days would disrupt the beginning of the schoolyear, which already includes one professional day in September, two in October, and theColumbus Day holiday.School Committee member Nick DeSilvio criticized teachers’ choice.“These days are a gift, a positive thing. To not accept them seems almost fool -ish. It doesn’t make sense,” DeSilvio said. sense,School Committee member Evelyn Thoren pointed out teachers are at least being consis-tent; they have insisted on equity in days off in the past. Tiano said they are confident theycan do without the additional days. But DeSilvio was skeptical.“The way I see it, the union is jeopardizing our NEASC accreditation,” accreditation,DeSilvio said. He added, “Put the kids first. That’s all I have to say.” say.Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
Message from Kathleen McWilliams Business Manager Chelmsford Public SchoolsBUS PASS FEES: The bus fee is $200.00 per student with a family cap of$500.00.You dont pay any credit card processing fees online when paying.Students living less than 2 miles from their school in grades k-6 must pay a busfee. You can check your address using mapquest or google. All students in grades7-12 taking the bus must pay the fee regardless of the distance.If you do not wish to pay online, please send a check payable to Chelmsford Pub-lic Schools to CPS/Transportation, 230 North Road, Chelmsford, MA 01824. Allpayments must be received before obtaining your bus pass. If you are awaitingapproval for the Free & Reduced Lunch Program, please wait to receive your ap-proval letter, then bring it in to receive your pass.Please note: We CANNOT take credit/debit payments in the office.Note: There will be a $35 late fee charged to those who pay after August 31st.This will not be applied to those awaiting Free & Reduced Lunch approval.The bus passes will be available for pickup at the Chelmsford PublicSchools Central Offices on Tuesday, August 23 from 9AM - 3:30, Wednesday,August 24 from 9AM - 7:00PM, and Thursday, August 25 from 9AM - 3:30PM.Only paid and no fee passes will be available for pick up. Again, if you are await-ing approval for the Free & Reduced Lunch Program, please wait to receive yourapproval letter, then bring it to receive your pass.Thanks!!!Kathleen McWilliamsBusiness ManagerChelmsford Public Schools230 North RoadChelmsford, MA 01824978-251-5100 X 6913
Ask The ManagerIn- Town Report: Now that we will be having a fall Town Meet -ing what are some of the articles on the warrant that peoplein town might find an interest in?PAUL COHEN: There has already been some discussion and mediacoverage regarding the future use of the Towns 66-acre parcelknown as "Oak Hill". George Merrill has submitted a citizen petitionwarrant article to transfer the care, custody, and control of thisundeveloped land parcel to the Conservation Commission. Somemembers of the Board of Selectmen and Planning Board haveexpressed an interested in undertaking a comprehensiveassessment of the property, as called for in the Towns Master Plan,to identify other possible municipal uses for portions of theproperty. Town Meeting will also be asked to appropriate monies to re-open theSouth Chelmsford Fire Station. Since the lease agreements are expiring on the portion ofSunny Meadow Farm that are commercially farmed, Town Meeting Representatives will beasked to authorize a new lease period for up to 10 years. Authorization will also be sought tolease the Wotton Road land for agricultural purposes for up to 10 years, the Swain Roadlandfill as a solar farm for up to 20 years, and the new DPW building roof on Alpha Road fora solar farm for up to 20 years. The Planning Boards Zoning Bylaw Review Committee is ex-pected to recommend a handfill of articles to the Planning Board for placement on the TownMeeting Warrant.ITR: A fairly new Town Moderator, a brand new Town Clerk and a brand new electronicvoting system at Town Meeting, what kind of prep will go into preparing for this fallsTown Meeting to make sure it goes off with out a hitch?PC: The electronic voting equipment has been purchased. The Towns Information TechnologyDirector Ted Lutter is preparing the system for the Fall Annual Town Meeting. After Labor Day,Town Moderator Richard DeFreitas plans to issue draft electronic voting guideliens to the TownMeeting Representatives in advance of a public hearing that he will convene by the end of Sep-tember.ITR: Presidents give the State of the Union address, Governors, the State of the State,so for you I ask what is the the present State of the Town?PC: T h e Town of Chelmsford currently is in a solid position. Unlike the federal governmentwhicb recently received a negative outlook on its bond rating from Standard and Poors, thebond rating agency has upgraded the Towns rating to a positive outlook. We are awaiting theMassachusetts Department of Revenues certification of the Towns Fiscal Year 2011 balancesheet. It appears as though the Town just completed a very strong financial performance dur-ing this past fiscal year which will increase the Towns reserves to a level at the mid-point of its
target range of between 5% - 10% of the operating budget. This should lead to an upgrade inthe Towns bond rating from AA- to AA. Progress continues in the implementation of the TownsMaster Plan as evidenced by the numerous articles relating to the Master Plan that will appearon the Fall Annual Town Meeting Warrant. The Board of Selectmen has voted to proceed withthe implementation of Municipal Health Insurance Reform. This will restrain the growth in thecost to provide health care to employees and retirees. The Town plans to re-open the SouthChelmford Fire Station at the end of October. Capital improvements are underway at the twohistoric town hall buildings, the Byam School roof, and the replacement of the windows atChelmsford High School. A new proposal for the replacement of the deteriorated center firestation is expected to be brought to the 2012 Spring Annual Town Meeting.ITR: Last Month, there was a little bru ha ha over the Selectmen renewing your con -tract and giving you a raise 6 months premature of when the normal time would bearound January. They compared you to star athletes who have there contracts renewedearly to prevent other teams from picking them up.Since last month, the ITR has learned that the towns of Dracut and North Andover hadthere sights on you as a possible candidate for their Town ManagerAt the time the Selectmen could not reveal that this played into their decision to giveyou an early renewal. I guess the question I am getting at is this,Why stay? Two good sized towns seriously considering you for their manager?You have been under constant and steady attacks over the last 3 to 4 years.You probably could have pulled in a larger paycheck from either of the two towns.Why did you choose Chelmsford?PC: I love the Town of Chelmsford andenjoy every work day. The Town ofChelmsford is blessed with dedicated vol-unteers who serve on its elected and ap-pointed boards. The Town is alsowell-served by the professional, hard-work-ing personnel employed across the town atthe libraries, the school buildings, theTown and School Administrative Offices,the fire and police stations, and in the pub-lic works/facilities/cemeteries. There is areason why Money Magazine just rankedthe Town of Chelmsford as the 28th bestsmall town in America. The Town hastremendous resources such as open spacelands (maintained by the Open SpaceStewards), the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail,town beaches, etc. The administration inevery community has its critics. This isone component of living in a democracy.However, over the years, Town Meetingand the voters have expressed continuedoverall confidence in the Towns govern-ment.
OAK HILL Another chance at open space? ITR●8/13/11There will be two articles at this fall’s town meeting regarding the Oak Hill property (65+ acres) inNorth Chelmsford.A citizen petition submitted by Town Meeting Representative and Historical Commission memberGeorge Merrill to place the land into conservation status and the second a BOS article is to perform amaster plan study of potential uses (including conservation) of the land.The Board of Selectmen determines the order of the articles that appear on a Town Meeting warrant.Town Meeting may vote to take an article out of order.The Oak Hill property in North Chelmsford was a current topic on the In-Town Report Facebook page.The following info was supplied by David McLachlan (Conservation Commission)The parcel is approximately 65+ acres of land in North Chelmsford. Theland was acquired by the town a number of years ago from Ray Carye inlieu of taxes after he determined that it was unfeasible for him to develop.The parcel is land locked by parcels owned by others except for a accessfrom Ledge Road via a narrow 16 ft(?) right of way owned by the Town andfrom the Swain Road landfill. The landfill is under consideration for a solarfarm. This parcel is the largest open space parcel left and it is owned by theTown. The parcel abuts the Lowell Sportsmens club and has accessthrough unidentified ownership to the Deep Brook Reservation.Historically the parcel was used in part for a granite quarry and if you walk the parcel you can see
remnants of that activity. There are blocks of granite with drilling holes left in place. Today thereare a number of trails on the site that are being used by residents of Scotty Hollow and LedgeRoad.This parcel is presently zoned for a Bill Board overlooking Route 3, as is the abutting parcelowned by a church. The Master Plan recommended that a master plan for the site be developed.To date there has been a federal grant of $13,000 (?) spent on looking at the site for affordablehousing ( with a small "a") under the authority of the Chelmsford Housing Authority. That reporthas not been completed but my understanding is that it does not appear feasible due to access.I dont believe that the surrounding area in North Chelmsford lends itself to any amount of addi-tional traffic due to access and the layout of the residential roads.Although I was on the Master Plan and supported the master plan study of Oak Hill last winter, Ino longer support that step and believe it should be protected as open space Conservation land.Chelmsford has about 850 acres of open space under its authority, a relatively small amount bysome standards. Carlisle has a third of its land. I realize that we are not Carlisle but we shouldprotect more land.Access to the site as a Conservation Reservation could possibly be from Swain Road with a smallparking lot and trail to Oak Hill. It is a great site for passive recreation for people of all ages. TheConservation Commission has not voted formally in support but the sense of the whole board is tosupport the citizens warrant article.The Commission will have a public discussion at its next meeting on September6th. and vote on the issue.Town Meeting Representative and Planning Board member Colleen Stansfieldwrote regarding the property: Please be aware that once this land is given to the Conservation Commit- tee and becomes Chapter 97 Land, it will take a 2/3rds vote of the Legislature (Senate and House) to change even a small portion to be used for possible Town needs. It will be no longer up to the residents of Chelmsford. Please con- sider our towns possible future needs while considering this very important question. Open Space is certainly what I would like to see for some of this land, maybe even most of it, but there are other factors like affordable housing and a possible solar field that could benefit this community. Consider wisely and thoughtfully.Town Meeting Representative Laura Lee wrote regarding the property:Conservation makes sense....lots of historic sites there. Talk to GeorgeMerrill and chc. And other local towns are working to preserve their earlyhistoric sites starting this summer with historic planning.
Town Meeting Representative Debbie Dery wrote regarding the property: I do recall Pam Armstrong speaking at a BOS meeting last fall about this property. She had said that they had done a study years ago and that in order to build they would have to take property by eminent domain from Scotty Hollow and that they would need to build a bridge. She said that they had already spent thousands dollars on a study to develop this prop- erty. The time has come when we must take into consideration the escalat- ing traffic that seems to be increasing in certain areas in town. I am confused about the vote that we took at town meeting concerning our sew- erage capacity. I was of the understanding that we needed to approve a warrant article so that all residents would be able to have town seweragebefore we ran out of capacity. How can we continue to build and find businesses to fill our emptybuildings without sewercapacity?Our water bills always have a bond and what I would like toknow where is the ropertywater going to come from? Will we once again be forced to build an-other well? What is the advantage to build? We need to look at redevleloping existing property forour affordable housing rather than build new.Chelmsford Open Space Steward Andrew Giannino wrote regarding the property: I say we spend some money on a study to study a new proposal for a study to study if another study is feasible. Just give the land to conser- vation and hand the majority of the land over to the stewardship. in- stead of paying for more studies give the stewardship more money. I do think using a small portion of the land for a solar farm is a great idea. no residences, no need for an access rd except for what is there, let the town make some money off the land. How much would be the minimum needed for a solar farm? just some questions????In the end it all comes down to a vote at Town Meetingto which Dave McLachlan writes:Remember there are 3 parcels in North Chelmsford that may be developedin the next 10 years: development of the U of Lowell west campus; a com-muter rail station off Vinal Square toward Southwell Park, and Oak Hill. Itwould be a shame if all were developed with no conservation set asides.Oak Hill will happen first. Lets save this one. The others dont lend them-selves to conservation
Chelmsford citizens move for strict preservation on Oak Hill Monica Jimenez / Wicked Local Chelmsford 08/18/2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordA citizen petition article to place town-owned land off Oak Hill Road under state conservation hasput the 66-acre North Chelmsford parcel on the map once more. The article, submitted for consider-ation at fall Town Meeting, is at odds with an article from the Board of Selectmen requesting a studyof the land before anything is done.Mostly hills, woods and wetlands, the Oak Hill parcel serves as a scenic recreational area for resi-dents, according to Conservation Commission Chairman Dave McLachlan. Protecting the site topsthe list of Community Preservation Committee priorities, McLachlan said.“It’s within fairly close walking distance to the Deep Brook Reservation; it’s the lastlarge parcel of open space in Chelmsford; and we don’t have a lot of conservationland,” McLachlan said.land,The land also contains a granite quarry with slabs bearing drill holes from quarrymen long gone.Resident George Merrill, who submitted the citizen petition article with the signatures of 14 resi-dents, said the quarry may date back to before 1800 and could have immense value as an archae-ological site.As a developed site, Merrill said, the parcel would only drain the town’s resources. He listed the ex-penses of development: Performing a study, creating a road to access the site and building onrough land. If development consists of affordable housing – the Massachusetts Housing Partner-ship last year funded a feasibility study for six rental units at Oak Hill – the costs would be evenhigher, Merrill said.“Anything you do with the land is going to cost money and cause problems,” Merrill problems,said. “Saving the flora and fauna is important, but more important is saving the townmillions in the long run.” run.Merrill and McLachlan agree it would be best to officially designate the area as conservation land,making it impossible to use it for anything else without a special act of state legislature.“The timing is right and the public’s attention is on conservation,” McLachlan said. conservation,“I don’t think we’ll get another opportunity like this.” this.However, some believe the town should look before it leaps. In an article for fall Town Meeting, theBoard of Selectmen proposes funding a study of the land before deciding what to do with it.Selectman Jim Lane said at this point the article is just a placeholder, ensuring the option is broughtbefore Chelmsford representatives in the fall; the board has not yet discussed it. But he pointed outthe town’s Master Plan, which he helped update in a prolonged process ending late last year, callsfor a study of Oak Hill.“Nine dedicated people spent 20 months and came to this conclusion,” Lane said. “I’m conclusion,not going to throw it away.” away.Although many agree the rough terrain and lack of road access make development unfeasible —the town acquired the land in lieu of taxes partly because the owner deemed it unbuildable – Lanesaid this should be confirmed before proceeding.“It’s a very big, extremely complex parcel of land. It’s so big, the Master Plan com -mittee decided a study was needed to determine the best use for the town,” Lane town,said. “Maybe the study will find there are problems and it should be deeded to con -
servation, but we’ll at least have done our homework and done a good service tothe townspeople.” townspeople.The parcel may well qualify for Community Preservation funds, Lane pointed out – one potentialproject there is historical preservation, and affordable housing has not been ruled out.A proper study of Oak Hill is central to the town’s draft plan for affordable housing, according to Af-fordable Housing Plan Committee member Paul Haverty, who called the MHP’s study last year in-conclusive. The possible reward of finding a buildable corner on the Oak Hill parcel justifiesspending more time and money on analysis, Haverty suggested.“If the town doesn’t meet the requirement of 10 percent affordable housing, we’reliable to developers coming in to do 40B projects,” Haverty said. “The Affordable projects,Housing Plan is meant to create that percentage of housing and give the towncontrol over where projects go. Oak Hill might give us the best bang for our buck.” buck.A corner of land for housing, the rest for residents to enjoy – combining these pieces may solveChelmsford’s puzzle. The only way to be sure, according to Haverty and Lane, is to do the study.“We need to look at what’s the best use for the town holistically,” Lane said. holistically,McLachlan is also looking at the big picture, but a different one. North Chelmsford is fairly built outwith the exception of Deep Brook Reservation, he said, and the University of Lowell west campusis being eyed for further development – the Oak Hill Road parcel is one of the last green strong-holds in the area.McLachlan believes Oak Hill fits into a different pattern. Just as Russell Mill is maintained for bicy-clists, horseback riding encouraged in Thanksgiving Forest and wildlife protected off ConcordRoad, McLachlan said, Oak Hill would serve its own special purpose as conservation land.“If you walk the land, you see it lends itself to passive recreation. It’s a very nicevista toward both the east and west. You can almost see Boston on a clear day,” day,McLachlan said. “It’s very quiet even though it’s next to Route 3. It’s just a nice placeto get away from the bustle and it’s so big that you can get away.” away.According to McLachlan, the land offers peace – and according to Merrill, people should return thefavor.“It’s a wild place. It should stay wild,” Merrill said. “The best thing to do with the land wild,is to leave it alone.” alone.Chelmsford Town Meetingrepresentatives will vote onwhether to put the parcel underconservation or perform a study ofthe land at fall Town Meeting,provided both articles make it ontothe finalized warrant.Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent.Some rights reserved An old granite quarry on Oak Hill in Chelmsford.
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Chelmsford TeleMedia clarifies rules on ownership By Monica Jimenez / Wicked Local Chelmsford GateHouse News Service Aug 21, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordChelmsford —Chelmsford TeleMedia has formalized its distribution policy following the use of footage from Chelmsfordproducers’ shows during a recent selectmen recall campaign. According to TeleMedia Board of DirectorsPresident Kelly Beatty, the move has reaffirmed Telemedia’s commitment to the founding principle oflocal access television: Free speech.Question of ownershipTo back up its claims about town officials, the group Cheating Chelmsford provided clips of DennisReady’s “Town Talk” and Tom Christiano’s “Politically Incorrect” for online viewing. Meetings of townboards, including the selectmen, were also excerpted.“The question arose of whether someone could come in and request a copy of a show torebroadcast it or use it,” Beatty said. it,Telecasts of town business belong to the public and anyone may distribute them, he explained, butshows made by private producers are a different story. While it’s no crime to simply record these showsfor one’s own future viewing, per copyright law, a producer’s approval is needed before his or her showcan be screened for others or shared online.TeleMedia has always abided by this law, Beatty said — the studio is simply working to make producersmore aware of their rights. On TeleMedia’s standard form, producers now must indicate whether the stu-dio may freely hand out copies of their shows, or if they want to be consulted when someone requestsone. All TeleMedia producers are being informed about this change, Beatty said.The caveat is that this protection only extends as far as the walls of the studio. TeleMedia can provide orwithhold official DVDs, but it can’t stop anyone with a DVR from making and distributing homemadecopies. The studio has also started streaming some shows online, meaning in a few clicks, clips can beripped and reposted.And if shows are shared without authorization, it’s not TeleMedia’s place to do anything about it, Beattysaid. The producer, not the studio, has the right to a show — and with that right comes the responsibilityto defend it.Local access producers, usually new to the broadcast business, often know little about these lines in thesand. On the other hand, audiences can be quick to place the blame. For example, when technical diffi-culties caused the sound to cut out during a statement from the teachers’ union at a School Committeemeeting, the studio fielded angry calls from people who thought they had done it on purpose.“We are apolitical. We have no agenda,” Beatty said. agenda,Local access guardiansTeleMedia’s job, according to Beatty, is to educate and equip its producers — and then get out of theway. Some local access studios generate much of their programming themselves, requiring non-staff topitch a well-developed concept and come up with a crew before getting airtime. In contrast, Chelmsford’shometown channel is dominated by media novices armed with TeleMedia’s training, its volunteer crewmembers, its cameras and mics, and stories purely their own.Local access channels were established to allow anyone to produce and broadcast a show, Beatty said.He painted TeleMedia less like a gatekeeper holding the keys to the medium of television than aguardian protecting citizens’ right to express themselves.“It gets back to the reason we exist in the first place — so townspeople can come in,
produce their own show and do whatever they want to do, whether it’s reading poetryfor half an hour or playing in a rock band,” Beatty said. “Whatever they want, if it’s within band,legally permissible bounds, we’re legally obligated to tape and show it.”it.Far from shying away from the challenges of such free expression — teaching new producers, catchingflak for controversial content, controlling the proliferation of copies — the TeleMedia Board of Directors isseeking to expand the studio’s broadcast range. In the future, Beatty said, TeleMedia hopes to havemore rooms in the town offices wired for broadcast and more local viewers watching shows from out oftown.“The fact that we stream content makes it available to people who are not cable sub -scribers. This opens it up to places like Tewksbury, or California,” Beatty said. “We will California,eventually stream home football games live, so CHS alumni around the country canwatch them. We will reach the part of the town’s population that doesn’t necessarilycurl up in front of the TV at 7 p.m. to watch the Board of Selectmen.” Selectmen.Post-recall reflectionWith online clips from TeleMedia producers’ shows at the heart of the recent recall battle, Beatty said theboard felt it was time to clarify their copyright policy.But he added the commotion showed that people are invested in what’s going on.“A greater percentage of townspeople care, more so now than six months ago,” Beatty ago,said. “There was an incredible interest in who was being recalled and how town govern -ment works. The 9 North Road controversy put the spotlight on what some boards do —what their job is, who these people are, what motivates them, what qualifications theyhave. People are getting a better feeling of the number of people who work behind thescenes on behalf of town government.” government.And all this is being done through a television screen, Beatty said.“Back in the day, that meeting room would have been filled. Now, people stay home and watch,” Beattysaid. “We give them that vicarious presence in the room.” room.As for the unauthorized use of privately-produced programs, Beatty said, the answer is what it has al-ways been: That problem, like any given show, belongs to the producer.“Public access was legislated so people like you could have a vehicle to come in andproduce their own show,” Beatty said. “At the end of the day, we’re not responsible forwhat people come up with.” with. DirectorCopyright 2011 Pete PedullaChelmsford gets readyIndependent. for theSome rights taping of thereserved "Daceys Divas" show at the Chelmsford TeleMedia studio in the Master Control Suite. Ann Ring- wood/Wicked Local staff photographer
Chelmsford officials ponder possibility of composting facility By Monica Jimenez / Wicked Local Chelmsford GateHouse News Service Aug 20, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordChelmsford — A plan to bring a composting facility to town is fermenting in the minds of some Chelmsford officials as they struggle withthe problem of illegal dumping.More and more residents are abandoning piles of leaves and yard clippings on public land, according to ChelmsfordConservation Agent Thad Soule. The solution, says Chelmsford Recycling and Solid Waste Coordinator JenniferAlmeida, may be to provide a sanctioned place for people to upend their wheelbarrows.At the end of the month, Almeida plans to request funding from the state Department of Environmental Protection for astudy of possible composting facility sites in Chelmsford.“We generate it here, so it makes sense we would deal with it here,” Almeida said. “A local problem re -quires a local solution.” solution.Soule agreed the problem is local, endangering Chelmsford’s residents and the land, he said. Organic waste blocksstreams, compromising the town’s drinking water and forming pools where disease-carrying mosquitoes can breed.These accidental dams also cause floods that damage nearby property.Additionally, Soule said, the nutrient-rich waste promotes algal blooms and the growth of invasive species in local bodiesof water. Removing them costs the town money, Soule pointed out, as it did at Heart Pond this past June.A recent report by Soule lists 50 locations people have frequently used as dumping grounds in the past two years. Thelist includes reservations, ponds, highways, residential streets, land near the town offices, and school grounds. Occa-sionally the violations are reported, Soule said, but more often the organic heaps are left as unpleasant surprises forOpen Space Stewards.“Where there are private residences abutting conservation land, or conservation land is located at theend of a cul-de-sac, individuals — and in several neighborhoods, whole blocks — have created an‘understanding’ that it is OK to dump yard waste on protected open space,” Soule wrote in the report. space,A large part of the problem, according to Almeida, is there’s nowhere else to put it. State law prohibits disposing of or-ganic waste along with regular trash. Landfill space and incinerator capacity are limited and the state would rather notpay to truck away biodegradable trash.Chelmsford did offer curbside leaf collection starting in the 1990s, as Almeida recalls. By 2000, the town was picking upleaves three times in the spring and once in the fall. The waste was brought to the local licensed composting facility,Laughton’s Nursery, which also permitted residents to drop off their clippings themselves under its contract with thetown.Chelmsford TeleMedia clarifies rules on ownershipBut in 2006, Laughton’s closed and composting facilities in Woburn and Tewksbury turned out to be more expensive andtoo far away. The town discontinued its curbside collection service.Jones Farm now picks up leaves and clippings and allows residents to drop them off, requiring the use of special bagsavailable at the farm. The town holds a Brush Drop-Off Day, allowing those with proof of Chelmsford residence to dropoff brush and branches at the Community Tree, and discounted compost bins are also available for Chelmsford resi-dents.But Almeida estimates the town has sold only about 1,000 bins since receiving its DEP grant for the program in 1996.Even accounting for those residents who compost without a bin, she guesses only 10 to 20 percent of single-familyhouseholds engage in the practice.And overall, said Soule, incidents of illegal dumping have been on the rise. He remarked this country’s culture is partlyresponsible, as it gave rise to the compulsively clean lawn.“The suburban American ideal is the pristine, green lawn free of leaves and debris,” Soule said. “They debris,mow it, they fertilize it, they create all this waste, because you don’t want mess on your lawn. Andheaven forbid the neighbors see a compost bin in your backyard.” backyard.Although Almeida has accepted people’s distaste for debris and decay, she tends to agree with farmer Phil Jones, whohas spoken wistfully of a time when people weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. In between working with Soule andCohen to research illegal dumping and prepare her application to the DEP, she dreams of a faraway mountain just be-yond the pristine garden of herbs and the tidy little swing set a rich, warm heap of compost.“I would really like to get everyone putting their leaves and clippings and kitchen scraps in a pile,” pile,Almeida said. “The best solution is to have a compost bin in every backyard. That would be the mostlocal solution of all.” all.Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
The Neighborhood Files Town Organizes to Find Missing Dog Butterscotch, a local lab mix, has been missing since last Monday. By Ryan MacInnis August 16, 2011 www.chelmsford.patch.comButterscotch, a lab mix, only knew the smells and sights of her forever home for less than aday before wandering off from her new owners.Butterscotch is short, two or three years old and about 35lbs. Shes white and beige and herowner, Becky Wink, is desperate to get her back.Butterscotch has been lost since last Monday and has been recently spotted off Griffin Roadnear Route 225 in Westford.“I rescued her last Monday and took her home, washed her up and when I wentinside to get her food she jumped the fence,” said Wink. fence,Although Wink brought her back inside the gated yard, Butterscotch jumped the fence again,wiggling her way out of a collar leaving her owner upset and distraught.Now, the town is coming together to help find Butterscotch through social networking and onthe towns web site for lost pets.Many local followers on the web are offering thoughts and prayers for Butterscotch andsearching for the lab while they walk their own pets or go out for a drive.Wink said shes been chasing every lead that she can find.“If you see Butterscotch, do notapproach her,” said Wink. “She is her,a scared dog who will run awayif approached. Sit on theground with food and call hername and if she gets closeenough, grab a hold of her.” her.Her recent sighting in Westford isabout three miles from where she hadfirst escaped in South Chelmsford.Any information or sightings should bedirected to Becky Wink at978-390-3393.
Notice to all Town Meeting Representatives ITR●8/19/11The following is a "Preliminary" set of regulations to be discussedat the upcoming open public hearing in September sent in byDick DeFreitas (Town Moderator).However, the Moderator is charged with coming up with theregulations to be be presented. The adoption of which will bedone in consultation with the BOS and the Town Clerk after theopen hearing and prior to the actual implementation. Dick DeFreitasDick DeFreitas is only following the mandates of the By-law, butwanted to give Town Meeting Representatives a "heads up" sothat they come prepared for the hearing. Dick will be available toanswer questions via email: firstname.lastname@example.orgELECTRONIC VOTING GUIDELINES...Richard E. DeFreitas, Town Moderator ELECTRONIC ROLL CALL... Motions and Amendments require full disclosure. Names and Votes will be displayedand recorded. ELECTRONIC TALLY... Procedural Votes only require a tally. Names need not be displayed. Only the total countwill be recorded... unless the Moderator decides the vote is crucial and requires full disclosure. One or more large screen displays will be used to display Electronic Roll Call votes. Both Electronic Roll Call andElectronic Tally results will be fed to a separate display for the Town Moderator and Town Clerk. The Electronic Roll Call votes shown on the large screen(s) will show both the individual rep votes by precinct andthe tally by precinct and the totals. The Electronic Tally will only show the totals. System will calculate 2/3 vote requirements for both Electronic Roll Call and Electronic Tally based on the "yea"and "nay" votes. Moderator and the Clerk will verify the result. Electronic Roll Call will require up to 30 seconds Electronic Tally will only require up to 15 seconds. Moderator will start and stop the voting process. System will allow a quorum count at the start of Town Meeting and any time a "point of order" is raised for a quo-rum count. System will allow for, and record the following... "yea". - in favor of motion or amendment "nay" - opposed to motion or amendment "present" or "abstain" - not voting and not a part of 2/3 vote. If no selection is made, it will be recorded as not voting. Any challenge to the electronic vote must be made before the next article is read... Seven (7) Reps can request a hand count. Forty (40) Reps can request a roll call vote. If the challenge count varies from the electronic count, the physical count will prevail. The electronics results willstill be posted and noted as overturned by the challenge. Both physical and electronic counts will be recorded. The results of each vote taken will be posted on the Towns web site for all to see and will be saved in perpetuity.
Police Awarded Grant for Extra Patrols The grant is for pedestrian, bicycle and moped safety. August 18, 2011 www.chelmsford.patch.com The following was submitted by Chelmsford Police.The Chelmsford Police Department has recently been awarded a $7,500 grant forPedestrian, Bicycle and Moped Safety Enforcement from the Executive Office of Pub-lic Safety and Security.As a result of this grant award the Chelmsford Police Department will be assigningextra patrols at various times and locations.Officers will be conducting high-visibility traffic enforcement of the major crosswalkareas located throughout town with a major concentration on the center area. Extrapatrols will also be assigned to the Bruce Freeman Bike Path during this enforce-ment. The main goal of the entire program will be to increase compliance with the varioustraffic laws by motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and scooter riders. The police department urges motorists to follow all traffic laws, obey the rules of theroad, and drive defensively during this busy time of the year. Chief James Murphy
Chelmsford School bus passeswill be available for pickup at theChelmsford Public Schools Central Offices onT uesday, August 23 from 9AM - 3:30,Wednesday, August 24 from 9AM -7:00PM,and Thursday, August 25 from 9AM -3:30PM. Only paid passes will be available for pick up. The Chelmsford Senior Center is offering a Zumba Program on Thursday Afternoons from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Socialize while getting fit! The cost is only $5.00 per session. Shown here are: Left to right. Barbara Carroll, Carol Elder, Pat Egan, MaryAnn Ryan, Theresa Feely, and instructor Leslie Janis. To sign up, call the Chelmsford Senior Center at 978-251-0533. To receive a bulletin of Senior Center News, call the recep- tionist at 978-251-0533, the fee is $7.00 for home delivery. The Show of Hope Benefit Concert aims to raise funds for and awareness about Mitochondrial Disease, a progressive and life-threatening neuro-muscular disease. Mitochondrial Disease has no proven treatments and no cure. For more about Mitochondrial Disease, see umdf.org. September 23rd, 2011 ♪ 7-11pm Lowell Memorial Auditorium ♪ Lowell, MA 50 East Merrimack Street Lowell, MA 01852 A night of music, raffles, and making memories with: Liz Longley (www.lizlongley.com) Air Traffic Controller (www.airtrafficcontrollermusic.com) Stefani Bush (www.hoperisingmusic.com)
Chelmsford Farmers Market Vendors Bring You The BEST Bagel Alley Brewed Awakenings Fior DItalia Pasta and Cheese Fox Barn Farm Golden Girl Granola Got-Thyme-to-Cook Idle Hour Farm Jones Farm La Bella Dolce Bakery Where: Chelmsford The Farmers Market Committee would also Monadnock Berries/Hill Orchard Common like to invite you to Parlee Farm join the facebook group Shady Pine Farm "Friends of the Chelmsford Farmers Market" Surfing Goat Soap When: Every Thursday, Every Volunteer Hour Counts!! Please email Sweet Lydias email@example.com to help July 7 - October 6, 2011 out 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM Lost Pets Animal Control Officer Erik Merrill 978-256-0754 CLICK HERE TO REPORT A LOST PETStill Looking for Butterscotch...8/11/11Lost Cat! Vicinity of Westford Street and Longmeadow.Small male gray cat with a crooked tail. Must find! Lara Smith firstname.lastname@example.orgFind Butterscotch Monday ran from Coach Rd to Elm St Wed. nightsighting on Old Lowell Rd in Westford near 4HGrounds and have not had any sightingstoday.(8/11/11) Number to call Becky at 978-390-3393FACEBOOK PAGEFIND BUTTERSCOTCH
QUOTE OF THE WEEK : “What is truth?”- Pontius Pilate
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 ROY EARLEY Town Meeting Representative Precinct 6 In-Town Report Westlands Watchdogs Open Space Steward