In-Town Report 9-20-09


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The latest IN TOWN REPORT, as prepared and edited by Roy Earley, a Town Meeting Representative from Precinct Six. Thank you Roy, for doing such a great job with this IN TOWN REPORT. It contains a great deal of information about current issues facing our town, and many video links to local TV shows and meetings, all contained in one convenient publication. This IN TOWN REPORT should be useful to anyone interested in the town of Chelmsford.
IN TOWN REPORT Table of Contents

* Bruce Freeman Rail Trail now OPEN
* Proposed 2 - unit 40B development on Fair Street - VIDEO
* 40B Info & alleged false developer cost statements
* "Politically Incorrect" TV Show - VIDEO - Selectmen Candidates
* "Town Talk" TV Show - VIDEO
* Friendship Park Cleanup - Photos
* State Reps do the Cooking - Photos
* Public Meeting & Brownfield Cleanup - Katrina Rd.
* Environmental News - Waste Collection
* Chelmsford School Bus Concerns
* Master Plan Committee Update
* Proposed Groton Road Asphalt Plant
* Sex Offender News & Info
* Chelmsford News & Notices
* FireStation & DPW Public Info Forum - Sept 29th 7:00 PM
* Info about proposed DPW & Firestation - Photos
* Annual Farm Fair, Sat. Sept. 26th, Noon - 4:00 PM
* Library Book Sale, September 25th - 27th
* Brush Drop Off, OCT 3, 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Thanks go out to everyone who volunteers to help keep Chelmsford one of the best communities in the State!

Tom Christiano
Town Meeting Representative
Precinct 9

Thurs 7:00 AM; Sundays 11:00 AM... Chelmsford Cable TV Channel 8

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In-Town Report 9-20-09

  1. 1. Steps & spokes: Rail trail opens By Karen Taylor Thu Sep 03, 2009 CHELMSFORD - The Chelmsford Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) is excited about the Aug. 29, ribbon cutting and grand opening of Phase 1 of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, part of the larger Bay Circuit Trail and Green- way. It has culminated after more than 20 years of planning and hard work by many organizations and individuals involved throughout the entire development of this wonderful recreational trail. The BPAC would like to thank all of those key organizations that made the trail possible for the residents of Chelmsford. This 6.8-mile section of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail from Cross Point Towers in Lowell, to Route 225 in Westford, is a wonderful multi-use trail beckoning all to enjoy this local treasure. If you, your family, or friends have the pleasure of an outing on the trail, the BPAC wants to remind users of some safety meas- ures to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time on the trail. If planning to driving to the trail to ac- cess it, be certain to park in a designated area, as many intersecting streets do not allow for on street parking. Designated parking areas in Chelmsford are located at the Old Town Hall, the Municipal Lot, Pond Street and Byam School, after school hours. Trail reminders for pedestrians · Keep to the right when possible. · Pets must be under the owner’s control at all times. Keep pets on a leash as a bike can come up from behind fast, and a loose dog poses a hazard. The leash should be no longer than 6 feet. Clean up after your dog. · If walking side by side, be aware of oncoming bikes or skaters approaching from both directions. Move to the right and fall in single file to allow safe passage. · If you hear an individual call out that they are passing from behind, stay to the right. Reminders for bikers and skaters · Bikers and skaters should yield the right-of-way to walkers. · Ride single file. · Call out and announce your intent when passing from behind. A polite “on your left” is sufficient. Keep in mind that pets and young children tend to quickly change direction without looking for oncoming individu- als behind them, and very well may not realize you are approaching from behind. · Wear protective headgear. Approved helmets are the law for anyone 16 years of age or younger. · Keep a reasonable and safe speed when using the trail. Bikers and skaters are responsible for staying in control at all times. · Dismount and walk bicycles across crosswalks. Reminders for all · Stop at all intersecting streets, look both ways and proceed only when safe to do so. · Obey all traffic control signs and signals, especially at larger intersections. · Be considerate to all trail “neighbors.” Stay on the designated trail, as much of the land on either side of the trail is privately owned. · Respect the wildlife around the trail. Do not damage, destroy or remove any portion of the habitat of any species of wildlife. · Carry out any trash you may accumulate along the trail. · If stopping along the trail, be certain to step to the side of the trail to allow other users to safely pass by. · Utilize designated signals at crossings in Chelmsford Center. We hope you enjoy the trail; a safe alternative to walking and biking on the roads.
  2. 2. Residents protest 40B plan for wetland area By Rita Savard, 09/15/2009 CHELMSFORD -- Charlie Whiting doesn't believe good things always come in small packages. Whiting, of 8 Arlington Road, and nearly two dozen others, packed into the selectmen's meeting last night to protest a 40B project they say is using the affordable-housing law to circumvent town bylaws to build on protected wetlands. Developer Glenn Kohl of Chelmsford has requested to construct a two-family Gambrel-style house located on Arlington Street. The 72,300-square-foot parcel is mostly wetlands. Kohl's attorney, Joseph Shanahan, said Kohl is seeking to build the two, three-bedroom units on 12,000 feet of upland. The 40B law gives developers the freedom to skirt local zoning regulations in communities where less than 10 percent of the housing stock is classified as affordable. Developers must agree to sell 25 percent of the housing units at affordable prices. Although building on wetlands is prohibited, the 40B law allows developers adding to a community's afford- able-housing stock some wiggle room. "Without 40B, you could never build anything on this lot ," Shanahan told selectmen. State Sen. Robert Hedlund, a Weymouth Republican, recently filed a bill to require 40B projects to meet local wetlands bylaws, following a proposal to build a project along Salt Marsh in Scituate. Shanahan told selectmen that towns that shoot down 40B projects based on local wetlands bylaws are typ- ically overruled at the state level in conjunction with the state law on affordable housing. A petition signed by 65 registered voters opposing Kohl's project was presented to selectmen last night. Whiting and others said even the "uplands" section of the parcel is visibly wet. "We were just up there today and were able to fill a bottle of water in that area that's supposed to be upland," Whiting said. "When you can do that, it's not right." upland right Shanahan said one unit would be rented at market rate for about $1,205, and the other at an affordable rate for about $883. Both units would count toward the town's affordable-housing stock. Kohl filed his application as a Local Initiative Program (LIP). Under an LIP, a developer works with town offi- cials and abutters in a cooperative manner to gain approval. In the end, a LIP is endorsed by the local mu- nicipality. Selectmen said they will revisit the proposal at their Oct. 5 meeting. CLICK HERE to hear from residents & abutters of the proposal
  3. 3. PROPOSED 40B SITE TOUR by Tom Christiano September 20, 2009 In an effort to better understand the proposed two unit 40B Glenn Kohl development off of Fair Street and Arlington Street, I was given a tour of the site by Precinct six Town Meeting Representative Colleen Stansfield. Colleen had toured this site previously with our Town Manager and Joe Shanahan (a representative of the developer). A few photos of the site are shown to give you an idea what this area looks like now. At the end of Fair Street there is a small fenced in town utility service area, as shown in one of the photos. The closest abutter's house, on 9 Arlington Street, is also shown, along with the grassy area next to this home which is owned by the town. The proposed new road and driveway would by located in that area. Colleen gave me a GIS map of this area (available on our town website CLICK HERE ) which shows that the largest portion of this proposed 40B site is designated wetlands, and the reminder of this particular par- cel is within the 50 foot wetlands buffer zone, which means that under our town zoning bylaws, no housing can be built on this land. That's why the owner of this property is pro- posing a 40B two unit development, as the 40B Law allows developers to build in areas not normally allowed under existing zoning by- laws, as long as at least 25% of the develop- ment is designated as affordable housing. This particular proposal is for rental housing, with one unit designated as affordable and the other unit as market rate. Photos By Tom Christiano
  4. 4. Submitted by John Belskis Another 40B option For those of you whose Town has yet to establish Inclusionary Zoning with perpetuity, I'd like to pass along two issues I raised at the 40B hearing. If your ZBA is engaged in a comprehensive permit situation, it could influence the process if you formally present that a State Law defines "affordable housing" with a stipulation that it must have a Registry of Deeds filing committing the affordable units to 45 years. This definition is found in MGL Ch 60 Section 1. As another item to be entered into the hearing, you may want to inform the ZBA that despite 40B regulations (they can't overrule State law) the Town's assessor must be made aware that per MGL Ch 59 Sec 52. any filing of tax base assessment must be based on its full and fair cash value, or his signing may make him subject to a perjury finding. As common practice, 40B affordable units are being assessed at the affordable price which is lower than the market rate valuations thereby detracting from the town's tax revenue. ************************************************************************************ As reported by Banker & Tradesman Attorney General Coakley John Belskis today filed suit against the Acton Developer for falsifying cost will be a guest on Politically Incorrect statements and profits. October 6th We have given Inspector General Sullivan similar examples and perhaps this could be the first of a number of suits. If this doesn't wave a red flag at predatory developers, I don't know what will. For those of you whose Town has had projects certified but not audited this shows tha documentation by the developer must be closely supervised as apparently certification is not sufficient to expose incorrect charges. ************************************************************************************* ************************************************************************************* AG sues builder of low-cost units Accused of padding profits By Christine McConville | Friday, September 18, 2009 Attorney General Martha Coakley is going after affordable housing developers for allegedly padding their profits on a controversial complex in Acton - the first legal action by a Massachusetts top cop since the state’s inspector general launched a probe of such projects five years ago. Coakley announced yesterday that her office filed a civil lawsuit against Crossroads Development LLC, a company controlled by James Fenton and Michael Jeanson that built a 12-unit complex at 244 Main St. in Acton. The suit, filed in Middlesex Superior Court, says the developers violated the state’s False Claims Act by falsifying cost statements and profits for the project. Inspector General Gregory Sullivan started probing potential abuses of the state’s Chapter 40B affordable housing law in 2004. He first raised questions about Crossroads in 2006, claiming Fenton and Jeanson inflated expenses and skirted the law’s profit limits. The probe prompted the town of Acton to sue the developers in October 2007 and demand a payment of $763,000. Sullivan issued a follow-up report on Crossroads a year ago and referred the case to Coakley’s office. Diane McGlynn, the developers’ lawyer, did not respond to a request for comment.
  5. 5. The 40-year-old Chapter 40B law encourages affordable housing development by relaxing zoning rules for developers who set aside a portion of the unit for lower-income residents. But the law also requires 40B developers to limit profits, generally to 20 percent of total project costs. Excess profits are typically required to be given to the community, for the creation of more lower-cost housing. “It’s extremely disturbing that money that could have gone to build more affordable housing lined developers’ pockets,” said Sen. Jamie Eldridge, an Acton Democrat. John Belskis, a critic of the Chapter 40B law who has questioned why state authorities haven’t cracked down on developers, said he was pleased by Coakley’s move. But he wondered why it took so long for Coakley, who recently launched a campaign for U.S. Senate, to take action on the inspector general’s probe. “I bet when they started getting into the paperwork, they didn’t have much of a choice,” he said. A Coakley spokeswoman said the AG’s office started its own investigation as soon as it received the referral from Sullivan’s office. Sullivan has said that unscrupulous 40B developers may owe Bay State communities as much as $100 million in ill-gained profits. In the Acton case, Sullivan began investigating the pair’s profit reports, which were submitted to the town in 2005. Sullivan’s team found that they bolstered costs by billing the project for carpeting that one of the partners installed in his private New Hampshire vacation home and by paying their own companies well above competitive rates for project work. Fenton and Jeanson’s legal troubles aren’t limited to Acton. In 2002, the neighboring town of Boxboro sued them for $2.4 million, saying they padded the books when reporting profits on Boxborough Meadows, another 40B development. The developers settled the case for $1.2 million. The developers are known for their charitable works. Last year, they were featured on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” reality TV show renovating a home for a disabled man and his family in Maynard. Article URL:
  6. 6. Politically InCorrect New Season, New Shows with Tom “The Godfather” Christiano Guests on the September 8th show include Jon Kurland - Candidate for Selectman Politically InCorrect Matt Hanson - Candidate for Selectman NEXT TIME ON Mary Frantz - Chairman - Finance Committee Tuesday 9/22 thru Sunday 10/4 Steve Roberts - The PROS and CONS of the Chairman - Old Town Halls Study Committee proposed new DPW facility and new Center Fire Station Matt Sheehan - Town Meeting Rep. Precinct 3 Guests to include : Topics : Jim Parrow - Fire Chief The two October 6th townwide ballot questions? (1) DPW facility purchase and construction, Jim Pearson - DPW Director at a cost of up to $13 million. (2) Fire Station headquarters facility design Mary Tiano - TM Rep Pct. 8 and construction, at a cost of up to $12 million. The local Option taxes, which are scheduled to go Debbie Derry - TM Rep Pct.6 Politically InCorrect into effect in Chelmsford on October 1st. Trouble at Varney Park? Tues & Weds 8:30 PM; CLICK HERE for Video of the entire show Thurs 7:00 AM; Sundays 11:00 AM Chelmsford Cable TV Channel 8
  7. 7. Dennis Ready’s Town Talk Paul Cohen talks with Dennis about the special election Octo- ber 6th involving the proposed DPW facility and new center fire station CLICK HERE for video clip Former Selectmen Philip Eliopoulos talks with Dennis about the political election season coming up. And also about the property his fam- ily has purchased next to the center fire station. CLICK HERE for video clip *********************************************************************** Submitted by Kathy Duffett - Scholl Committee member Support Chelmsford: Spend Locally Please join me on Thursday October 1st in showing support for our local business owners and our town. Local option taxes, an incremental increase on meals and hotel rooms will become effective in Chelmsford on that day. All revenue from these changes will go directly to Chelmsford and will be used to maintain local services; Chelmsford’s Fire, Police, Public works, and School System. Although the increase in the meals tax is very low, .75% or 75 cents for a $100 meal, many are worried about the potential impact to our local business owners. Chelmsford is a great town, and now is a perfect time to demonstrate that we are truly “One Town, One team”. Our Town Government needs the additional revenue to maintain services already severely effected by budget reductions, and business owners need to know that their restaurant can be successful in Chelmsford, now and in the future. Lets help each other. Simply stated, support Chelmsford and our business owners – spend locally! I am encouraging everyone to make a special effort on October first to support our own restaurants, coffee shops, deli’s and diners. (Keep in mind that the increase in a Duncan Donuts coffee is a penny!) Perhaps that is the day to pick up coffee on the way to work, meet friends for lunch, or have a relaxing dinner with family and friends. Personally, I plan on starting my day with a coffee at the Java Room. While enjoying any one of our great spots, wear something maroon, and let the proprietor know he can count on you. Kathy Duffett, 47 Thomas Drive, Chelmsford.
  8. 8. FRIENDSHIP PARK CLEAN UP 9/13/09 Photos by Phil Stanway
  9. 9. STATE REPS DO THE COOKING by Tom Christiano September 20, 2009 Last Monday there was a BBQ for Senior Citizens sponsored by two of our State Representatives, Tom Golden & Jim Arciero. It was held at the Chelmsford Senior Center on September 14th, 2009. Over 160 Senior Citizens stopped by to enjoy the BBQ with our State Reps and other town officials. In addition to State Reps Golden and Arciero, many other town and state leaders came by for a bite to eat, including: State Rep Cory Atkins...Town Manager Paul Cohen...Selectmen Clare Jeannotte, Pat Wojtas, Eric Dahlberg & George Dixon...School Superintendent Don Yeoman...State Senator Susan Fargo's Assistant Don Siriani (Senator Fargo just had hip replacement surgery and she is still recovering) ....School Committee member Angie Taranto....and Selectman candidate Matt Hanson (he helped with the cooking for everyone). Photos By Tom Christiano
  10. 10. Submitted by Evan Belansky From: "Belansky, Evan" <EBelansky@TownofChelmsford.US> Date: September 18, 2009 10:35:44 AM EDT To: "Roy (home) Earley" <> Subject: Chelmsford - 25 katrina Road - letter of support Roy: Hope you can help me out…… The Town will be submitting a grant for the brownfield clean up for 25 katrina Road. I would like a letter of support from the Westlands Watchdogs, as a community organization, if possible. We are also holding a public meeting –see attachment Thanks Evan TOWN OF CHELMSFORD PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE The Community Development Department will conduct a Public Meeting on Monday, September 28, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. at the Town Hall, 50 Billerica Road in Room 204. The purpose of the meeting will be to provide notice of the Town’s intent to apply for an EPA brownfields cleanup grant for the property located at 25 Katrina Road. The meeting will present the draft grant application, seek public comments and answer questions. Public comments on the draft application will be accepted at the meeting. Copies of the draft grant application will be available for public review at the hearing and are also available for review at the Community Development Office and on the town’s webpage. The meeting room is fully accessible and accommodations will be made for in - dividuals with special needs. KOHLS
  11. 11. FLASHBACK : Katrina Road site eligible for state redevelopment loan GateHouse News Service Mar 16, 2009 Chelmsford MassDevelopment today announced that four municipally owned properties have been selected for low- cost loans of up to $2 million under the agency’s Brownfields Priority Project Program. The sites are lo- cated in Boston, Chelmsford, New Bedford and Springfield. Created in August 2006, the Priority Project Program designates high impact parcels to attract developer interest in reuse that would be viable but for environmental contamination. The selected communities are eligible for up to $2 million in low-cost, flexible brownfields remediation funding, $1.5 million more than the $500,000 available under standard program rules. The agency will release the remediation funds after a developer has been identified by the municipality. “The priority project designation is intended to support communities as they remediate and reposition prop- erties to attract investment from private developers,” said Robert L. Culver, MassDevelopment president/CEO. “The redevelopment of these high impact sites can lead to the revitalization of entire dis- tricts, and new economic opportunities across the region. I hope that those not chosen for priority status come back to us to learn about other financing options available through the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund.” The Town of Chelmsford site — Silicon Transistor Corporation Site, 25-29 Katrina Road: The town-owned, 3-acre site once housed the Silicon Transistor Corporation, a manufacturer of hermetically packaged semi- conductors for technology applications. The town recently secured a 43D expedited permitting designation for the site, and work is under way to assess environmental contamination present in the soil and an exist- ing 35,000-square-foot building. The town plans to complete a financial analysis and conceptual redevelop- ment plan for the property in fall 2009 with a $100,000 grant it received previously from MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development authority. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++!OpenDocument&Start=1&Count=5&Expand=1 EPA PROPOSES $114,262 FINE AGAINST CHELMSFORD CO. FOR VIOLATING HAZARDOUS WASTE LAWS Release date: 10/25/1999 BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a $114,262 fine against a Chelms- ford, Mass., company charged with six counts of violating federal hazardous waste laws. In a complaint filed recently, EPA's New England Office charged JapEnameLac Corp. with violations that in- cluded failure to conduct hazardous waste determinations; failure to train employees who manage haz- ardous waste and failure to label containers of hazardous waste. The complaint also charged the company, which does protective and decorative finishings, with failure to maintain adequate hazardous waste training records and failure to maintain a complete contingency plan to be used in case of an emergency spill or release. "In the future, we expect the company to do better. To begin with, we expect the company to determine the nature of its waste so that all hazardous waste produced there is handled according to the requirements of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act,@ said John P. DeVillars, EPA's New England Ad- ministrator. "Furthermore, JapEnameLac's repeated failures to train personnel and develop a continency plan have created a significant potential for mismanagement of hazardous waste. This too needs to be ad- dressed." The action stems from EPA inspections of the plant at 25 Katrina Road in June 1998 and July 1999. JapE- nameLac operations include coating, silk-screening and painting processes on metal and plastic products.
  12. 12. Chelmsford BOS talks trash Kevin Zimmerman/Staff Reporter 09.SEP.09 With about nine months left in the current contract, officials recently started to talk about one of the few services every Chelmsford resident uses -- trash collection. "Do we need an ad-hoc committee on solid waste or is this something the town manager can do?" asked Board of Selectmen Chairman Clare Jeannotte. do? Town Manager Paul Cohen suggested because of the "unique history of solid waste collection" in collection town, the board should form another committee to study the issue. " We need to educate the community about what the current practices are then develop a plan and implement it," said Cohen. it, In 2007, the Solid Waste and Recycling Task Force issued a report that urged the town to adopt a limit on the number of barrels a trash hauler would pick up. If residents went over the two-barrel limit, they could purchase specially tagged bags. Nothing happened with that report, said Cohen, because of the strong lobbying by residents who insisted a 1992 override vote was the final word on trash collection. According to Cohen, the town can proceed with trash collection in one of three ways: It could keep the current system; it could try to form a collective agreement with neighboring communities; or it could switch to a "real" pay-as-you-throw program. Jeannotte said no matter what a new committee decides, she wants it to honor the work that's already been done by the Solid Waste and Recycling Task Force. Selectmen also discussed the possibility of reinstating leaf pickup during the fall. "There are leaf pick-up groupies in this town," said Selectman Eric Dahlberg. town Once the town collects leaves, however, it has nowhere to take them, said Cohen. Jeannotte suggested dumping them at the town-owned Lewis property on Robin Hill Road, but that comes with its own problems. "You have to have something to deal with it , " said Cohen. "And there's a cost with that." that Other issues a new study would need to consider includes switching to a weekly recycling schedule and whether to expand services to businesses in town. Residents would also be surveyed about their preferences during a pub- lic input session set for sometime in November, said Cohen. "We want this bid in a February timeframe," said Cohen. timeframe
  13. 13. Crowded Chelmsford bus a concern By Rita Savard, 09/11/2009 CHELMSFORD -- A Chelmsford dad is trying to obtain copies of school-bus tapes after hearing his son's bus was so overcrowded that children were forced to sit on the floor. School officials confirmed that there were 16 extra students on bus No. 15, en route to the McCarthy Middle School on Tuesday, Sept. 1, but said the problem on that bus has since been corrected. Superintendent of Schools Donald Yeoman said an additional 72 students registering for the bus during the first week of school threw some routes into "a state of confusion ." "It created a domino effect, where we had to make changes," Yeoman said. "During the first couple changes of weeks of school, when you're dealing with many new changes, there's bound to be a little confusion." confusion School officials said they were very concerned about parents' complaints, but could not confirm that students had to sit on the aisle of the bus. Although cameras are present on some busses, not every bus is equipped with a recording device, they said. Parent Matthew Cilento said he personally observed students standing in the aisles while the bus was driving away, and would like to view any recorded video tapes to see just how many students were forced to sit or stand in the aisle that day. "When I learned the bus routes were being changed this year, I was hoping it might actually help solve what's been an ongoing problem for years," Cilento said. " Then on the first day of school years, there's another fiasco. I have zero confidence that they're going to cure the problem." problem. Cilento said he's even more angry about the situation because, "it's much more than a scheduling conflict. It's compromising our kids' safety." safety. A law enacted in 1998 prohibits students from standing on school busses, according to the School Transportation Association of Massachusetts. Before that, state law allowed kids to stand on the bus as long as the number of standing students didn't exceed 25 percent of the bus's seating capacity, and there were straps or other hand- holds provided. School Committee member Nick DeSilvio said in past years there have been problems with students arriving to school late because buses were late. DeSilvio said that not only were buses on time, they appeared to be level- loaded. The influx of last-minute students registering to ride the bus didn't help with making scheduling smooth, he added, and the committee is look- ing to enforce a stricter registration deadline by the end of June to set routes in July. Bus drivers should be checking passes, and above all, not driving the bus if there is no room for students to sit. "A bus driver cannot leave a child standing on a corner , " DeSilvio said. "But if there is no room for a student to sit, the bus driver has to call dispatch because the bus is not supposed to move under any circumstances . "
  14. 14. Master plan committee collects input on transportation By Chloe Gotsis/ staff writer Chelmsford Independent GateHouse News Service Posted Sep 18, 2009 Chelmsford — Bike lanes, parking for Bruce Freeman Rail trail and improvements in busy town intersections are some of the changes Chelmsford residents say they would like to see in the town’s master plan. Thursday night’s session focused on transportation. It drew about 25 people, down from the session in early June focused on land use, zoning, housing and economic development. That June 3 session drew a crowd of 65. During the meeting, residents express a desire to see better parking for the rail trail and better traffic flow around the schools, among other issues. “At the high school there is unbelievable congestion,” said Karen DiDonarto. “Old Westford Road and David Road, that’s a really bad intersection. We can’t get in and out to get the kids to school on time because it’s so crowded.” crowded Tom Christiano said he would like to see bike-safety lanes on the town’s main roads. Doing that would dovetail with the rail trail and the overall push toward environmental friendliness. “Three or four feet, even one or two feet for [bike safety],” he said. “Whatever we can do to safety] facilitate more of a shoulder on the main roads on Route 27, Boston Road, Route 129 and Route 110.” 110. Master Plan Committee Chairman Jim Lane and other members of the committee expressed some disap- pointment with the turnout at the meeting. “These sessions are more for the residents,” said Lane. residents “It’s tough topics in terms of services, facilities and transportation.” transportation. Committee member Linda Prescott said she was disappointed in the evening’s low turnout. “We don’t know if it’s that people just don’t feel they have a lot to say on transportation,” transportation, said Prescott, who also serves on the Community Preservation Committee. “We certainly expected to have more feedback. Especially on [topics like] transportation and traffic.” traffic.
  15. 15. Monday's insurance meeting postponed for now Kevin Zimmerman/Staff Reporter 18.SEP.09 The joint meeting between the Board of Selectmen and School and Finance Clare Jeannotte committees to discuss employee insurance options scheduled for Sept. 21 has been postponed. BOS Chairman Clare Jeannotte originally planned the session so members of the boards could be provided with the history of insurance costs in town, what the current benefits are and what other options exist. “Health insurance is the No. 1 issue for this year,” said Jeannotte. year, “This was so all board members understood the choices. It made sense to bring in the School Committee and Finance Committee.” Committee. Union representatives did not see the meeting as an educational opportunity, but rather believed this was a way to turn public support against its members. “We view such a meeting as negotiating in public and a violation of good faith bargain - ing under M.G.L. Chapter 150E,” reps wrote in a letter received at Town Hall Wednesday. “As we 150E did at the August IAC (Insurance Advisory Committee) meeting, we want to make it clear, in no uncertain terms, that we oppose the holding of this event and feel that such an event will be counter-productive to any and all negotiations concerning health insur - ance.” Some Finance Committee members also questioned the timing of such a meeting. “Are you drawing a line in the sand?” Finance Committee member Jon Kurland asked Town Man- sand? ager Paul Cohen. “All the unions are saying are give us more time. Will this have a negative impact on your ability to negotiate?” negotiate? Chelmsford currently pays $10.4 million in employee and retiree health benefits. The state run Group Insurance Commission would cost the town $9.3 million. A comparable Blue Cross alternative would charge the town about $8.8 million. Both the alternative and GIC programs come with higher co-pays for most office visit, hospital stays and some procedures now completely covered. Kurland suggested it might make sense to delay the tri-board meeting until Jon Kurland mid-October when the tallies its September revenue collection and, as some have suggested, an- nounce 9C cuts to local aid. “It seems to me there is one person in this room that has to nego - tiate with all these people,” said Kurland. “Does it benefit him to tick people, off these people? The forum may be educational, but it doesn’t have to be next week .” On Thursday night, Jeannotte said she wanted to speak with the other four members of her board before changing Monday's meeting. Members of all three boards received an e-mail Friday morning saying the meeting was postponed and no future date had been selected.
  16. 16. On the Border Asphalt plant air quality stirs debate in Westford By Conrad Hinckley/Correspondent WESTFORD EAGLE Thu Sep 10, 2009, 08:49 AM EDT WESTFORD - An asphalt manufacturing plant at 540 Groton Road, proposed by Newport Materials, LLC and 540 Groton Road LLC, drew much discussion at the Planning Board meeting Tuesday concerning air quality and increased traffic. Representatives for the proposed plant said, “emissions are an important issue for consideration. We believe we have completed all of the data requested by the Board of Health and the Department of Public Health.” Ross Altobelli, Town Planner, said an ultimate decision on the proposed plant would require mobile sources of emissions (vehicles) modeling, a fugitive emissions study and a health risk assessment, which would require the hiring of a “well-known toxicologist.” Kelly Begia, Westford’s air quality consultant, said two air quality studies have been completed and are undergoing review. She expects an expanded model later this week. A major concern was raised by the board, as well as by townspeople regarding the nearby Miller School and the effect of pollutants on children. Speakers noted that asthma rates at the school appeared high and sought a comparison with other schools in the state. Green noted that Westford Schools has four years of health data. "We need that data." Another board member asked what constituted an acceptable risk of the additional pollution load. The issue of safety and increased traffic on the Groton Road was discussed. Representatives for the plant said that the bulk of traffic would “be seen between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.” Earlier stated concerns about increased traffic volume, crash rates and growth rates were raised. Green said, “More study is needed. [There are] some mitigation measures that could be advanced.” Westford’s traffic consultant stated that he did not foresee “excessive cueing or delays on Groton Road.” Representatives for the proposed asphalt plant’s neighboring community urged the Planning Board to “reconsider that this [proposal] falls under the zoning bylaws governing light manufacturing. It will be a perversion of the bylaws if it goes through.” “That question is under consideration. We need to wait for the Town Counsel to respond." The discussion was continued until the October Planning Board meeting.
  17. 17. A sign of revenue to come By John Collins, 09/19/2009 TYNGSBORO -- A newly erected 65-foot high bill- board on the northbound side of Route 3 will gen- erate more than $200,000 for Tyngsboro's general fund over the next 10 years, and will include a dig- ital message-board attachment for police to issue "Amber alerts," according to the billboard and property owner Walter Erickson. "We're excited about it. It's a win-win situation for us and the town," said Erickson, a Tyngsboro resi- dent and owner of Applewood Construction. "I can see towns up and down the highway looking at (copying the idea)." Erickson first approached the town's Zoning Board of Appeals two years ago seeking a variance to place a billboard on the seven-acre parcel he owns behind Makepeace Road, with 400 feet of frontage Route 3 northbound, just south of Exit 34. In exchange for a zoning variance, the deal Erickson struck with town officials calls for him to pay the town $20,000 annually for 10 years, and 2 percent of the advertising revenue generated by the billboard annually thereafter. Plus, the town will receive yearly property tax revenue from the land, which otherwise he would've left vacant, Erickson noted. "This was a unique piece of property on industrially zoned land that had some real difficult topography and wetlands issues. You couldn't put a building on it," said Erickson. The billboard is doubly good for the town, he added, "because it didn't have to spend any upfront money, or worry about maintenance. And it gets theproperty on the tax rolls." Selectman Robert Jackson, a former ZBA member, supported Erickson's billboard proposal from the start. "It's not uncommon to see when you drive around the country that people use billboards to raise revenue. Chelmsford is doing it. Lowell does it. We should do it, too," said Jackson. Jackson said the lengthiest discussions during the approval process focused on monitoring content. The variance granted by the ZBA includes a covenant stating that adult-oriented businesses or products may not be advertised on the billboard. "We wouldn't put anything up there that was offensive anyway," said Erickson, who has contracted with New York City-based Splash Media Group to solicit advertisers, and paste the content on both 720-square-foot panels of the V-shaped billboard. It should make Tyngsboro residents feel good to know they are sharing in the proceeds from the town's one and only highway bill- board "in perpetuity," said Selectman Rich Lemoine. "As a selectman and member of the Economic Development Committee, I view it as a tremendous opportunity to have that money coming back to us every year -- especially in these trying economic times." Erickson has obtained a permit from the Massachusetts Highway Department's Outdoor Advertising Board. As of Thursday, how- ever, he told The Sun the billboard construction project was incomplete. Electrical wiring and the digital message-board attachment still need to be installed and inspected, he said. Tyngsboro's new billboard is lagging slightly behind the construction schedule of another new billboard on the northbound side of Route 3 in Lowell, which was erected this summer by Alpine Butcher Shop owner Peter Doyle in back of his store at 963 Chelms- ford St. Although the city won't share in the ad revenues from the billboard, Doyle will have to pay higher property taxes, according to Assistant City Manager Adam Baacke. In Chelmsford, selectmen are backing the construction of two new billboards on Route 3 that residents will be asked to approve at Town Meeting on Oct. 19. Because both of the proposed billboards would be located on town-owned land -- at Chelmsford High School, and at Oak Hill near the Scotty Hollow townhouses -- the town stands to collect 100 per - cent of the estimated revenue of $90,000 per year. "We could see the billboards in place as early as next spring," said Town Manager Paul Cohen. In light of Chelmsford's looming billboard windfall, Jackson, Tyngsboro's freshman se - lectman, said he's open to discussions about possibly erecting a second revenue-gener - ating billboard on one of four existing town-owned parcels on the Route 3 corridor. But Lemoine said he'd be opposed to a second billboard. "Mr. Erickson's continued cooperation in giving back to the community was instrumental in getting this billboard idea realized, and thanks goes to everyone who was involved in the process. But right now I believe one sign on Route 3 in the town of Tyngsboro is as much as I want to see." said Lemoine.
  18. 18. Anger as man who raped boy in 1990 freed with no GPS By Lisa Redmond, 09/14/2009 CHELMSFORD -- Nearly two decades of pain and anger flow down the Lowell mother's face as she tear- fully recalls the night in 1990 when her 7-year-old son was kidnapped, held captive overnight and repeat- edly raped by Ralph W. Goodwin. "It was horrible,'' said the woman, who asked that her name not be used to protect the identity of her now- 27-year-old son. "My son's innocence was ripped away.'' The pain of that night and its aftermath have come back to haunt the mother, as Goodwin, now 47 and a Level 3 sex offender, was recently released from prison, after 19 years in custody, when a jury found he is no longer a sexually dangerous person. One mental-health expert testified that Goodwin, who is schizophrenic, is not dangerous as long as he stays on his medication. "I thought he'd be in prison forever,'' the mother said as she sat in a Chelmsford coffee shop. Goodwin, a Lowell resident, could not be reached directly for comment. The Sun tried to contact him through a family member but received no reply. The family's painful story began on the night of Feb. 3, 1990. CLICK HERE for the whole story ********************************* Q&A with a victim advocate LAURIE MYERS is the Co-founder of Community VOICES. VOICES offers advocacy, resources and educational information to community groups, individuals and community leaders, with the goal of raising awareness regarding sexual assault, child sexual assault, internet predators and missing and endangered children.
  19. 19. In-Town Report: How do decisions like the latest involving the GPS tracking systems no longer being used on sex offenders affect the work that you are trying to do? Laurie Myers: The SJC decision affects my work with victims because victims and members of the community find comfort in knowing probation and parole had an extra tool to help them monitor offenders. Massachusetts probation has no specific guidelines in the way they monitor sex offenders and consider a visit every two weeks to be “intensive” supervision. Sex offender management/supervision is the only way to prevent recidivism and GPS tracking is an extra set of eyes. It’s worth noting that the SJC decision still allows judges discretion for offenders sentenced before 2006. In-Town Report: In your opinion where or what is the State lacking in dealing with sex offenders? Laurie Myers: Massachusetts is in desperate need of sentencing guideline reform. Current sentencing guidelines set forth by the Massachusetts Sentencing Commission are inadequate and allow what amounts to a slap on the wrist. Many lenient judges use the guidelines as a justification for a light sentence and on the flip side, the guidelines sometimes prevents other judges from adding prison time above the recommended guidelines because they don’t want to make a statement that could be overturned.
  20. 20. ********************************* Town bylaw setting limits on where some convicted sex offenders may live. 08/19/2009 TOWNSEND -- Selectmen voted to hold a Special Town Meeting Sept. 1 to decide seven articles, including ---------------------------------------- Article 7 is a proposed bylaw setting limits on where some convicted sex offenders may live. "There was a citizen who was concerned about this issue and selectmen asked town council to provide us with a bylaw and the police chief was very interested in having a bylaw," Barnes said. Under the proposed bylaw, Level 3 offenders -- considered most likely to reoffend -- would be forbidden from living within 1,000 feet of the town library, any schools, day-care centers, parks, elderly-housing facilities or places of worship in the town. The bylaw would not limit their movements around town, just where they may live, Barnes said. Selectman Robert Plamondon is supporting the bylaw change. "Anything we can do to make people more accountable and help the police do what they need to do I'm in favor of doing," Plamondon said. "To me it's a public safety issue, I think it's a rea - sonable bylaw." ********************************* In-Town Report: Would a by-law like the one Townsend recently passed work for Chelmsford? Why or Why not? Laurie Myers: We are not currently supporting by-laws or legislation that would create residency restrictions in Chelmsford. It’s difficult to say exactly what would prevent these crimes, but we feel that adequate prison sentences, intensive probation/parole upon release and educating children and communities is the best way. We have never advocated against residency restrictions, but see it as a last resort. One of the biggest obstacles for communities that currently have residency restrictions is enforcement. Police departments are underfunded and many of these by-laws lack the language that would make them enforceable. We will continue to advocate for stronger laws to protect our communities and children with the hope that addressing the real problems will ease the frustration our town officials feel when they see that yet another sex of - fender has served little time in prison and is released into our community without adequate supervision. This is the first case being challenged in Massachusetts. It will be interesting to watch. Barnstable Patriot ACLU fighting town sex offender law CLICK HERE for Story
  21. 21. EXTRA EXTRAS ************ Dear Family and Friends: Community VOICES would like to invite you to our annual fundraiser on Thursday, October 8, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. (Doors open at 6:00 p.m. awards are at 6:45) at the Roma Restaurant, 29 Middlesex Street, Bradford, Massachusetts. We thought that we would try something new and exciting this year by having a comedy night. There will be three Boston Comedians there: Mike Donovan, Jim Colliton and Steve Guilmette. The donation is $25.00 per person. If you are coming to this event, we ask that you purchase your tickets in advance to help us know how many people will be attending. If the show is not sold out, tickets may be purchased at the door. Please come and enjoy the evening with us. You are invited to bring as many people with you as you would like, but please remember this show is for mature audiences only. If you are unable to attend, but would like to make a donation, that would be appreciated as well. Checks for the tickets and/or donations should be made out to Voices of Involved Citizens Encouraging Safety and mailed to: Sandra DiBacco 51 Cleveland Street Norfolk, MA 02056 You can also make donations through PayPal. Go to our website: and follow the links to the donation section. If you have any questions or would like to order tickets, please call me at 508-541-6360 or e-mail me at . As you know, without your continued support and contributions, we would not be able to achieve our goal. VOICES offers advocacy, resources and educational information to community groups, individuals and community leaders, with the goal of raising awareness regarding sexual assault, child sexual assault, internet predators and missing and endan- gered children. Thank you for all your help. Very truly yours, Sandy DiBacco, Treasurer/Fundraiser Chairperson Laurie Myers, President Debbie Savoia, Vice President Kris Silva, Secretary
  22. 22. Chelmsford Residents Only 2009 Seasonal Flu and Pneumonia Vaccine Clinic: Administered by the Chelmsford Board of Health This vaccine is for the regular yearly seasonal flu. The three viruses that it provides protection against are: A/Brisbane/59/2007, IVR-148 A/Uruguay/716/2007, NYMC X-175C B/Brisbane/60/2008 like virus THIS VACCINE DOES NOT PROVIDE PROTECTION AGAINST THE NOVEL H1N1 FLU Location: Chelmsford Senior Center Route 40, North Chelmsford Date and Time: Thursday, October 8, 2009 2:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. (This first clinic is limited to residents ages 65 or older and residents under age 65 with a chronic illness.) Date and Time: Thursday, October 15, 2009 2:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. (for all other Chelmsford residents ages 6 months +) For those ages 65 + Bring ALL of your HEALTH INSURANCE CARDS with you. If you have any questions you may call Sue Rosa, RN at the Chelmsford Board of Health (978) 250-5243 ***************************** Chelmsford Women of today Food Drive Come on down to Market Basket and donate food to help the Chelmsford Community Exchange Food Pantry. Shoppers will be given a suggested shopping list from which to purchase as many items as they are able and then, simply drop them off with the volunteers as they exit the store. Any monetary donations collected will be used to purchase items from the suggested list. We hope to see you at Market Basket , 288 Chelmsford St. on Oct 17 9am-3pm **************************** Submitted by Pat Maloney PUBLIC INFORMATION FORUM The public is invited to come to an informational session on the Fire Center Fire Station & DPWFacility Tuesday, September 29 at 7:00 pm Police Station - 2 Olde North Road Training Room -------------------------------------------------- Center Fire Station & DPW Facility Open Houses Thursday, September 24 - 5 PM - 7 PM Sunday, October 4 - 12 PM - 3 PM *****************************
  23. 23. Submitted by Pat Maloney
  24. 24. Submitted by Pat Maloney
  25. 25. Submitted by Pat Maloney
  26. 26. Submitted by Pat Maloney
  27. 27. The Fire Station Proposal: I was wrong By Sean Scanlon / Board of Selectmen 09/16/09 Simply stated, I’m writing to say I was wrong. Since my vote on the fire station project nearly two months ago, I’ve had a good deal of time to consider the proposal. The presentation has also improved since I first viewed it. I have always felt like a runner entering a marathon at lap 23 with this project, and while I appreciate the courtesy my fellow Selectmen offered me in pushing forward the board’s vote so that I could participate before being activated with the national guard, a few more weeks of thought on the matter has enabled me to understand a few things I could not previously justify. Given that there is still time before the public vote on October 6th, I hope you will afford me a moment of your time to share my thoughts. My initial apprehension about the fire department proposal was that I did not see the justification in a slumped economy for a station three times the size of our current one, given that manning levels have remained relatively unchanged for the past twenty five years. The problem with that argument is that manning levels have little to do with the building’s size requirement. I recently toured the station, and studied the plans for the proposal in greater detail. As is widely known, the basement ceiling is being held by wooden bracers. I did not realize netting also keeps pieces of concrete from falling on the heads of inhabitants. With an unusable basement, the equipment once stored in that space has been diverted to other areas of the building or to satellite stations where they are not centrally available if needed. Filling in the basement does not solve this problem. The floor plans for the new station are conservative. I paid particular attention to the size of certain administrative spaces because taxpayers should not pay for the luxury of even senior public offi- cials. The plan initially had a private bathroom for the Fire Chief, but that idea was scrapped. Now, despite my initial assumption, the Chief’s proposed office is roughly the size of his current one. This conservative use of space is carried throughout the plan. The demand for equipment storage is really where the proposed building gains its size. The current building is inadequate because, in essence, the equipment made for today’s job is larger and there is more required for a department fighting fewer fires and taking on more emergency management, fire prevention, and rescue functions. In the past, the town has had to custom order (at greater expense) at least one truck because the current garage doors are not tall enough for a standard truck’s cab. Admitting to being wrong is never easy, and there will inevitably be those who call me a “flip-flopper” on this issue. A good friend of mine once told me that a flip-flopper changes position to better their personal circumstance, regardless of actual belief. In telling you that I now support the fire station project, I do so because I believe it is a good solution to a problem that is not going away, and sitting in silence has weighed on my conscience. I view replacing the fire station the way a woman once explained replacing the roof of her home. She didn’t want to spend the money, but eventually knew that all the tar in a bucket would not save her roof. I encourage anyone who has not done so already to take advantage of the fire station tour offered on either September 24th or October 4th. After doing so, I am confident you will see the need for a new station is real. Thank you for reading.
  28. 28. Chelmsford Historical Society 5th Annual Farm Fair Saturday, Sept 26 Noon - 4:00 PM Barrett-Byam Homestead Rain Date: Sunday, Sept 27 Chelmsford Historical Society Farm Fair: The Chelmsford Historical Society is holding its sixth annual Farm Fair. Come and see what life was like in the rural farming village of Chelmsford in earlier times. The Barrett Byam Homestead Museum will be open for self-guided tours of the house, its military room and a recreated old -time general store. Chelmsford Historical Society members will be available to answer any questions you may have about the antique treasures you will discover within the homestead. Outside, there will be hay rides, pony rides and demonstrations of honey and cider making, as well as spinning, weaving, and farming techniques new and old. Local farm produce, penny candy for the children, Chelmsford Historical Society books and col- lectibles, and refreshments for all will be available for sale. Musical folk group “Two Cat Folk” will entertain throughout the day. This and much more are available to you for the day, admis- sion free- donations are gratefully accepted. ***************************** 2009 Book Sale The Chelmsford Friends of the Library Book Sale will take place in the gym behind the Town Office building, 50 Billerica Road, Chelmsford Friday, Sept. 25th 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26th 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27th 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. ***************************** Fall brush drop -off: Sat. Oct. 3, 2009 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Location: Community Tree 163 Billerica Road Bring brush and branches up to 6 feet long and up to 8 inches in diameter. Chelmsord residents only - bring proof of residency. Call 978-250-5203 for information.
  29. 29. "It's God's responsibility to forgive Bin Laden ... It's our responsibility to arrange the meeting!" - United States Marines Remembering September 11th 2001 CLICK HERE LEST WE FORGET
  30. 30. In-Town Report NEWS LINKS Lowell Sun Chelmsford Independent Kevin Zimmerman’s Chelmsford Mass News Boston Herald Westford Eagle Town of Chelmsford Website If you have friends, family or neighbors who you think would like to be added to this news update list just have them drop us a line at In-Town Report is on Facebook CLIICK HERE : For Back Issues of the In-Town Report CLIICK HERE : Roy Earley Tom Christiano Precinct 6 Town Meeting Representative Precinct 9 Town Meeting Representative