'No limit to what she can do'
                           Disease robbed Bella Tucker of her arms and legs, but not her spi...
Child offers a lesson
      in tenacity
By Joanne Stanway/correspondent
GateHouse News Service                            ...

THUMBS UP                                    ON NATURE PARK
                                                 The Lowell Su...
New plan to fix park for Moores
                     Chelmsford to clean girl's memorial
Family tours Chelmsford memorial
                                                           By Joanne Stanway/staff writer...
After meeting with Superintendent Don Yeoman at the park on Sunday May 23rd, Art Moores then met with
some of the resident...
Civics 101, or, “Don’t Talk Get Out and Do!” ( COSS Motto )
At the beginning of May an email was circulated about the Scho...
Stewards breathe new life into Chelmsford
                                             By Rita Savard, rsavard@lowellsun.c...
    Tom Christiano

A very successful Earth Day fair was held
at the Chelmsford Center for the Arts on May
8th. The overall theme of the event...
Chelmsford recieves Green Community
                                          status from state
$90 a tow? Chelmsford has a winner
                                              By Rita Savard, rsavard@lowellsun.com
Board wants school bus passes checked daily
                                                                     By Rita S...
Chelmsford School Committee OK's school choice
                           at CHS
      Only 5 weeks to go before his contract winds down,
             lets take a look at how it all beg...

As you approach the end of your contracted term, what do you feel
State Representative Jim Arciero kicked off
his campaign with a crowd of over 300 people at the
Westford Regency on May 18...
Pols spar on debate details
                                                        By Rita Savard, rsavard@lowellsun.com
Study suggests easing zoning requirements
                                            Kevin Zimmerman/Staff Reporter
Begin forwarded message:

From: Tom Christiano
Date: May 19, 2010 4:50:38 PM EDT
To: Jim Lane
Cc: "Roy Earley", ann mcguig...
Begin forwarded message:

From: "Belansky, Evan" <EBelansky@TownofChelmsford.US>
Date: May 20, 2010 9:36:12 AM EDT

Push to change zoning along
                    Route 129
                                                 Kevin Zimmerman...
Two Stop & Shop markets for town in the mix
                                      Kevin Zimmerman/Staff Reporter
Chelmsford assessing cost of hiring process
                                            By Rita Savard, rsavard@lowellsun....
Another lawsuit filed against North Rd. office plan

                                           Kevin Zimmerman/Staff Repo...
Concern over push to change CORI law
                             Supporters see help for former convicts; critics point t...
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  1. 1. 'No limit to what she can do' Disease robbed Bella Tucker of her arms and legs, but not her spirit By Rita Savard, rsavard@lowellsun.com http://www.lowellsun.com/ci_15101707 05/17/2010 CHELMSFORD -- Within 24 hours, 8-year-old Bella Tucker went from a carefree family Easter egg hunt in Chelmsford to fighting for her life in the emergency room at Boston Children's Hospital. Doctors said she had contracted a rare form of bacterial pneumonia, with a survival rate of about 10 percent. After five days of a medically in- duced coma, Bella pulled through. But not without a significant change to her body. Because of extensive tissue damage to her limbs, Bella underwent quadruple amputation surgery. When she awoke, she discovered that doc- tors had amputated her right arm to her elbow, her left arm to her mid-biceps, and both legs. As the blue-ribbon gymnast adjusts to her new body, her family said Bella is teachingthem the true meaning of determination. Her name means "beautiful." When she came into the world on Aug. 12, 2001, it was truly a gift for her dad, Richard Tucker. The father and daughter share the same birthday. Bella's aunt, Barbara MacGillvary, describes her niece as an angel with an edge. "She's a please and thank-you kind of girl, but don't try to cut her in line," MacGillvary says. "She won't have it." line, it. A combination of sassy and sweet, Bella is equally at home building forts in the backyard with her brothers as she is painting her nails with her little sister, Lola. Her love of gymnastics is wallpapered on the walls of her bedroom, where blue ribbons hang -- awards earned from competitions with her friends at Phantom Gymnastics in Londonderry, N.H. She was great at floor routines, MacGillvary says. Tumbles, flips and cartwheels. She was a spark of energy. Just like an 8- year-old should be. Then on April 4, Easter Sunday, Bella's energy began dwindling fast. The day was warm and sunny. But Bella told her dad she was feeling cold. "I brought her in the house and put a blanket over her," Tucker says. "But she wanted another one. When I put another blan - her, ket over her, she asked for another one." one. The local walk-in clinic was closed on the holiday. Bella didn't want to go to the hospital. Her fever was low, about 99 degrees, and just a week earlier, her cousin had strep throat. "She was healthy, and even healthy kids can catch the flu," MacGillvary says. "It didn't seem like anything to worry about." flu, about Tucker, who has his daughter every weekend, brought Bella home to her mom's house in Londonderry that night. When Tucker left, Bella fell asleep. About 5:30 a.m., her stepfather went to check on her and found her hands and feet were ice-cold. He rushed her to the local hospital in Derry, where doctors said she needed to be transferred to Boston Children's. When they heard she had to go by helicopter, Bella's family knew they weren't dealing with the flu. A team of specialists swarmed Bella in Boston. By the time Tucker arrived, he saw his little girl was "purple" from head to toe. What doctors first thought was meningitis was later diagnosed as streptococcus pneumoniae sepsis -- a rare form of pneumonia that stopped the flow of oxygen to her arms and legs. Doctors still can't say how Bella contracted it. "The scary thing is, it can happen to any child," Tucker says. child, But Bella asked her daddy: Why it was happening to me? "I'm not going to be able to do all the things I love to do," she told her dad. These are the moments in life that never make sense, Tucker says, no matter how many times you go over it in your head. But he told Bella, "God knew you were the strongest and that you could handle it." it. She has had five surgeries and will have three more. Before every one, she gives her dad a kiss and a smile. "She's the bravest person I know," Tucker says. know, Bella hasn't breathed another word about things she can no longer do. Says MacGillvary, "She pretty much has an attitude of 'Don't tell me what I can't do, show me what I can do.'" do. On Thursday, she was sending her mom a text message with her nose. She's eager to get out of the hospital and go back to her life. Her dad and her aunt say they won't be surprised to see Bella winning more ribbons someday and defying the odds. Because that's Bella. And her name means "beautiful." "There's no limit to what she can do," Tucker says. "She's keeping us strong." do, strong. Over the next several weeks, Enterprise Bank on Littleton Road in Chelmsford will showcase "Baskets for Bella." To help her family pay for med- ical expenses, a benefit concert will be held for Bella on Friday, June 4, at the Bunting Club, 449 Boylston St., Lowell. Donations can also be made to Friends of Bella, c/o Enterprise Bank, 185 Littleton Road, Chelmsford, 01824. For more information about Bella and to follow her progress and learn about future fundraising events, visit www.friendsofbella.org.
  2. 2. Child offers a lesson in tenacity By Joanne Stanway/correspondent GateHouse News Service Bella and Richard Tucker http://www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsford/topstories/x1560868274/Child-offers-a-lesson-in-tenacity May 19, 2010 Chelmsford — Eight-year old Bella Tucker is a typical kid, into gymnastics, singing and dancing. She likes to hang out at Chelmsford’s South Row playground and Friendship Park, play with her cousins at family cookouts and make funny videos on the computer. Her aunt Bar- bara MacGillivray says Bella has the ‘Tucker-wit,’ quick with a retort, sharp as a tack and always up to joking around. It’s a sunny personality that has never been more critical. Bella is recovering at Children’s Hospital in Boston after having both arms and both legs amputated on April 27 due to streptococ- cus pneumonia sepsis. She came down with a fever and chills on Easter Sunday following a family Easter Egg Hunt. Her dad, Richard, tried to take her to a local walk-in clinic; finding it closed, they went home. There, Richard, who grew up in Chelmsford and lives in town along with his mom, siblings, nieces and nephews, bundled Bella in a blanket and held her on the couch as the two watched cartoons.. Probably a cold or flu, he remembers thinking. Later that night, Richard brought Bella and her brother Josh, 10, back to Londonderry, N.H. where they live with their mom, Selen and several siblings. At 6:30 Monday morning, Richard got a call: Bella was rushed to Parkland Medical Center in Derry. Her fever had spiked and her hands and feet were cold. Within 45 minutes, Bella’s entire body turned purple. Doctor’s initially suspected meningitis and sepsis and treated Bella with powerful antibiotics before sending her by helicopter to Children’s. “There were four to eight doctors by Bella’s side at all times,” Richard said. “I’d like to give them props – we times, couldn’t ask for a better place for her to be.” be. Because Bella’s condition was so critical, she was given an experimental plasma exchange treatment using donor plasma that seemed to help. But the next day, Bella’s organs started to shut down and the terrifying diagnosis was made. “The doctor said, ‘I don’t want to sugar coat things. Bella is very, very sick,’” Richard remembered. sick, For two weeks, it was dicey as hospital staff fought to save Bella’s life. They won the battle, tissue damage to her limbs was ir- reparable. “It was a tough one to explain,” Richard said of the need to amputate both arms and legs. “We eased into it by telling explain, Bella her hands and feet were really sick and doctors were still trying to save them.” them. Although the amputations took place on April 27, Bella still undergoes weekly skin grafts; her sixth was Friday. But with each proce- dure, Bella handles things like a champ. When she is wheeled into the OR, Dad says, “I love you, Sweetheart” and she gives Sweetheart her parents a big smile and says, “I love you more.” more. Valerie McDermott, another one of Bella’s aunts said, “You can see on Bella’s face the way she processes information. She wanted to know where her hands and feet are now, and refers to what remains as her ‘non-hands’ and ‘non-feet’.” ‘non-feet’. Bella’s ‘Tucker-wit’ is as sharp as ever, which is a great sign that she is pulling through her ordeal. One day in the hospital, Richard’s cell phone chimed that it received a message, and Bella said, “You’re texting at a time like this?” Another time, this? when nurses were rolling her in bed, Bella quipped, “This is not what I was hoping for.” She also chides her father for eating for. the special brownies and cookies her grandmother Jean makes for her. (Last year, Bella was diagnosed with Celiac disease, meaning she’s allergic to gluten, found in wheat, barley and rye.) Bella’s positive attitude is infectious. She has made an impact on the medical staff at Children’s and has inspired help from the community. Already, her gymnastics group at Phantom Gymnastics in Hampstead, N.H. has donated a laptop computer with Dragon Naturally Speaking software that helps with voice-activated computer commands. They also accept donations for the fam- ily through the website at www.phantomgymnastics.com. People in Londonderry have raised about $10,000 for the family, and En- terprise Bank on Route 110 in Chelmsford is accepting donations with a Baskets for Bella raffle at the branch. Next week, students at Haverhill High School wellness class are selling silicon bracelets, having a food drive, and making cards and gifts for Bella. In addition to recovering from this critical illness, Bella is working with a tutor to help her to keep up with her third-grade class and prepare her for starting fourth-grade in the fall. Her family is also learning about rehabilitation facilities in Massachusetts and elsewhere where Bella will learn how to use prosthetics that will take the place of her arms and legs. Meanwhile, Bella’s Aunt Barbara said, “Although she definitely has days where she is in no mood to joke around or laugh, there are times - and they are becoming more frequent — when we see the ‘old’ Bella shining through.” through. Copyright 2010 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
  3. 3. VIDEO NEWS  REPORT ON THE ILLNESS THAT BELLA TUCKER CAUGHT CLICK HERE  FOR VIDEO VIDEO NEWS REPORT ABOUT BELLA  TUCKER CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO From Friends of Bella page on FACE BOOK On Easter Sunday over the course of 12 hours, 8 year old Bella Tucker went from enjoying an Easter Egg Hunt with her cousins to being med-flighted to Children's Hospital with a serious infection called Streptococcus Pneumoniae. She re- mained in a coma for five days but through the efforts of all the doctors and nurses at Children's Hospital survived the or- deal. However, not without extensive limb damage. On April 27th, Doctors had to remove all four limbs. Bella is still in urgent care and will be facing a long hospital stay and extended rehabilitation. Bella Tucker and her family are in urgent need for financial support to get through these trying times. Please attend one of our upcoming fundraising events or DONATE TODAY! Thanks, and please keep Bella in your thoughts and prayers as she begins her recovery process! WE LOVE YOU, BELLA! http://www.friendsofbella.org is run by Bella's dad, aunts, and friends in Chelmsford. Check out more fundraising events organized by Bella's mom and friends in Londonderry over at http://www.bellatucker.org !
  4. 4. THUMBS UP ON NATURE PARK The Lowell Sun http://www.lowellsun.com/editorials/ci_15097945 05/16/2010 The response to concerns over the dilapidated condition of a neglected memorial at the former Westlands Elementary School in Chelmsford is heartening and illustrative of the love 10-year- old Cynthia Ann Moores inspired during her short life. Moores was struck and killed by a car outside her home in 1986. Her family donated a gazebo and nature trail behind the school building, which Cynthia had attended, in her memory. After the school closed in 2008, maintenance of the memorial halted and the gazebo became a pop- ular location for teenage drinking and drug activity, according to police. School officials were considering razing the gazebo and replacing it with a large rock and plaque dedicated to Moores. However, thanks to an outpouring of support, that is no longer necessary. The Chelmsford Open Space Stewards, a volunteer group that has restored and maintains 14 sites in town, has stepped forward to offer its services. Phil Stanway, who oversees the stew- ards, said the group was ready to start the cleanup as soon as school officials gave the ap- proval, which they granted last week. Numerous other residents, and former residents, also offered to assist with the stewards' efforts. Residents' response to this problem is an example of their dedication to, and pride in, their community. It also shows that the love and concern they have for Cynthia Ann Moores will never die. CLICK HERE for a walk in the park Video by Roy Earley The Chelmsford School Committee reports on Westlands' Cynthia Ann Moores Park and hears from Phil Stanway CLICK HERE of the Chelmsford Open Space Stewardship Lowell Sun's Video interview with Cyndi Moores' Mother Barbara and sister Jane visiting the Moores Nature Park CLICK HERE
  5. 5. New plan to fix park for Moores Chelmsford to clean girl's memorial By Rita Savard, rsavard@lowellsun.com http://www.lowellsun.com/local/ci_15068536 05/12/2010 CHELMSFORD -- The friends and family of 10-year-old Cynthia Ann Moores proved last night that while time moves for- ward, memories are not forgotten. Packing into the School Committee meeting room, supporters trying to save a neglected memorial dedicated to Moores, who was struck and killed by a car outside her home in 1986, turned out with prepared speeches and comments. But in the end, they were not needed. All it took was one letter -- from the Moores family -- to sway school officials, who voted unanimously to let the Chelmsford Open Space Stewards restore and maintain a graffiti-covered gazebo and overgrown nature trail behind the former Westlands Elementary School, which was dedicated to Moores in 1992. But the Westlands Elementary School, where Moores was a student, closed in June 2008. And when the PTO disappeared so did maintenance of the park, offi- cials said. Over the years, the neglected gazebo has become a popular site for teenage drinking and drug activity, according to the police. Police reports indicated police were called to the area 20 times during the past year for vandalism and suspi- cious activity in the area. Concerned about public-safety issues, Chelmsford Superintendent of Schools, Don Yeoman had suggested to family members that the gazebo and benches on site could be torn down, and that a large rock bearing a plaque with Moores' image could be moved to the front of the building where it would be more visible and better maintained. In a letter to the superintendent, Moores' father, Arthur Moores, now residing in Florida, said he appreciated Yeoman's offer, but after long discussions with fam- ily and friends, "we are united in our wish to have the park remain in tact and hope that the efforts offered by many people in the community can restore it to its original purpose." purpose. Chairwoman Kathy Duffett said the School Committee had "e v e r y i n t e n t i o n o f a c c o m m o d a t i n g t h e family's wishes." Chelmsford Open Space Stewards is a volunteer group that has restored and maintains 14 sites in town, including Heart Pond and Russell Mill Pond, which required cutting down nine illegal hunting stations that had been built in trees around the property. The stewards mend fences, repair structures, paint over graffiti, pick up trash and conduct landscaping on open spaces. "We ar e h e r e t o h e l p," said Phil Stanway, a Chelmsford resident who oversees the stewards. "We know you're p trying a n d w e ' d l i k e t o m o v e f orward, we just need your OK." OK. Yeoman said Stanway's offer was "wonderful." wonderful. After learning that tearing down the gazebo was being discussed, neighbors and others who new Moores flooded the school department with calls and e-mails in protest. Following the School Committee's vote, Moores' mom, Barbara Moores, said she was touched by the community's efforts. "That's the way the Westlands community is," she said. is, "It's the way they've always been and I'm very thankful for it." it. A childhood friend of Moores', Matthew Shapiro, was headed to the park after last night's meeting to have a look around. He plans on helping with the clean-up. "Keeping the park means so much to the people who knew Cyndi," he said. "She was a very special person. It's Cyndi, sad that she's not with us any more but she will always be in our hearts and o ur spirits." our spirits.
  6. 6. Family tours Chelmsford memorial By Joanne Stanway/staff writer GateHouse News Service http://www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsford/topstories/x1182279090/Family-tours-Chelmsford-memorial May 26, 2010 Chelmsford — On Sunday afternoon, Art Moores clearly felt the joy of his late daughter, Cynthia Ann. Walking through the nature park created in her memory behind the former Westland’s Elementary School with School Superin- tendent Don Yeoman, Moores smiled and spoke exuberantly about Cyndi who loved butterflies and flowers, lending people a hand, singing, dancing and playing the flute. Cyndi was killed when struck by a car in 1986. She was only 10 years old, but touched so many people. In 1992, the community came together to create the park in Cyndi’s name, and today, that same enthusi- asm has returned to restore the park. The center of controversy in recent weeks, the park and gazebo are worn down and in need of extensive repair and clean up. Police say the wooded, unlit site attracts young people engaging in drug use and sexual activity. As a result, Yeoman originally suggested removing the structure and relocating the memorial stone and plaque in front of the building that now houses the Com- munity Education Department. Yeoman waived a decision pending a visit from Moores, who now lives in Florida, and the wishes of Moores and his former wife Barbara who still lives in town. Meanwhile, the Chelmsford Open Space Stewardship, an Eagle Scout candidate, neighbors and the Chelmsford School Committee have rallied to save the park. “In the past few weeks, we have received hundreds of e-mails from people sharing stories about my daughter,” Moores said. “It’s unbelievable. The feeling is phenomenal.” daughter phenomenal. Dr. Yeoman, who understands personally what it is like to lose a child, said his main concern was the feel- ings of the family who might be distraught over the condition of the park. Happy to participate in the restora- tion, he still has some concern. “The town has to figure out what to do at night,” Yeoman said. “My first objective is safety. night, There have been drug needles, other paraphernalia, and condoms found here, and police received 20 reports of problems here just this year.” *** In Moores’ opinion, those problems would happen regardless of whether the park looked nice or not, and there is some evidence in town that maintaining wooded sites and having a daily presence dramatically re- duces illicit activity and keeps areas safe for town-wide use and enjoyment. The park originally had a nature trail, a central gazebo that served as outdoor classroom space, several benches, a wishing well (destroyed years ago), bird feeders (also destroyed or stolen), picnic tables (no longer there), lovely trees, bushes and flowers, and a plaque honoring the young girl. The landscape is shaped like a footprint, representing Cyndi’s footprint on the world. Funding for the restoration effort will rely largely on private donations. The town’s Youth Baseball League, which uses the adjacent field behind the school, is reportedly ready to make a generous donation and Moores is receiving money from family and friends. Many people have offered to volunteer, and the Chelmsford Open Space Stewards have planned the first clean-up day for Saturday, June 12. Donations can be sent to Chelmsford Town Hall, to the attention of Trish Dzuris. Checks can be made payable to the Town of Chelmsford Land Maintenance Fund with “Westland’s” written in the memo section. There was a fund established for maintenance when the park was originally created. Thirteen years ago the fund was dissolved and money was turned over to the school to be used for things like a television for the library, fixing up the main entrance, or toward the annual Citizenship Award. The plan is to start with re- pairs to the gazebo structure, walkway and benches this year, then work on beautification efforts next year. “This park is not about my daughter,” Moores said. “It’s about all the children who will use it. It was built for them to enjoy. Cyndi would be absolutely thrilled.” thrilled. Copyright 2010 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved ----------- ***In-Town ReportCORRECTION to Dr.Yeomans' story. In a email to the In-Town Report listing police calls to the Westlands park going back to 1994 Police Chief James Murphy stated that since January 2010 to May 1st there has been 3 calls for service to the park
  7. 7. After meeting with Superintendent Don Yeoman at the park on Sunday May 23rd, Art Moores then met with some of the residents interested in helping restore the park to it’s original glory. Chelmsford Open Space Chief Steward talked about the things that would need to happen for this work to get done. Also in attendence were the Chief Site Steward for the Cynthia Ann Moores Nature Park Ken Dews and Assistant Site Steward Roy Earley. Donations have started coming in marked specifically for the nature park and local businesses have stepped up to the plate like Jones Farms who has offered to take away all the leaves and compostable items once the initial clean up of the area takes place. Currently scheduled for Saturday June 12th (Rain Day June 13th) from 9 AM to 2 PM with a community cook out planned afterwards. CLICK HERE for ITR Video Report
  8. 8. Civics 101, or, “Don’t Talk Get Out and Do!” ( COSS Motto ) At the beginning of May an email was circulated about the School Department’s proposal to dis- mantle the Cynthia Ann Moores Memorial Park and Nature Trail, indicating that it had become an “attractive nuisance.” Given the way the park is set back with overgrown vegetation, it had be- come a hot spot for nocturnal, illicit transactions. With the closure of the Westlands School and with it the elimination of the WSA who had acted as stewards of the park, the park had fallen into disrepair with repeated vandalization of the gazebo, picnic tables, and benches. When news of this proposal circulated via email, it touched a nerve in many people for different reasons and the School Department’s office was flooded with emails and phone calls. Looking at what has transpired here in about three weeks time, provides some insight into the town we live in and the people who make up our community. The rallying call was sounded by those who knew what the memorial meant to Cindy’s family and the childhood friends who loved her. Then, Phil Stanway, who never met an open space he didn’t like, stepped up and offered the services of the Chelmsford Open Space Stewardship (COSS) to revitalize the park. School Committee and BOS members stepped forward and publicly questioned the proposal to close the park and supported finding an alternative solution. An Eagle Scout Troop offered to undertake many of the repairs as a scout project. And people throughout the Westlands neighborhood and beyond quickly stepped up and said, “You can count on me to preserve this park.” By mid-May we had a commitment from COSS, an agreement with the School Department and the town, and a roster of volunteers willing to roll up their sleeves to revitalize, monitor, and maintain this park. It has been a wonderful civics lesson in what a community can do together through an open dialogue, creative problem solving, and commitment to the greater good. If you would like to be part of this effort, you can help in many ways – by joining the clean-up “party” on June 12th from 9-2; by offering to participate in the neighborhood watch of the park; and/or by making an earmarked donation to the Chelmsford Open Space Stewardship via: Town of Ch e l m s f o r d L a n d M a i n t e n a n c e F u n d 2 30 North R o a d C h e l m s f o r d M a . 0 1 8 2 4 C /O Cynthi a A n n M o o r e s N a t u r e Tr a i l A n d P a r k es To find out more information about and follow the transformation of this park at: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/The-Westlands-Cynthia-Ann-Moores-Nature- Park/116903011679852?ref=ts Making our territory
  9. 9. Stewards breathe new life into Chelmsford By Rita Savard, rsavard@lowellsun.com http://www.lowellsun.com/lifestyles/ci_15157073 05/25/2010 CHELMSFORD -- It was once a place for illegal hunting and underage drinking. But thanks to the Chelmsford Open Space Stewardship, the Russell Mill Reservation and Town Forest on 100-101 Mill Road is now home to four miles of mountain bike trails, attracting tourists from Maine to Boston. The site is just one among 14 parcels in Chelmsford that the stewards -- a group of local volunteers ranging in age from children to seniors -- have transformed from problem areas into community recreational spots. "The people who volunteer believe we're invested in these properties," said Phil Stanway, who formed the properties, group with his wife, Joanne, in 2005. "We live in the town and we're proud of the town. We want to keep up our investments." investments. They work behind the scenes, clearing brush, picking up trash and planting flowers. If something is broken, the stewards are often first in line to say it can be fixed. Then they show up with trash bags and hammers, gallons of paint and a can-do attitude. "You can make a community," Stanway said. "And if you're not willing to go out and make your commu - community, nity, you get what you deserve." deserve. The group formed in November 2005 by residents who enjoy being productive and doing things outdoors. The first site they tackled was an old lime quarry in Chelmsford near an Interstate-495 rest stop. Four years later, what used to be a place that townspeople would whisper about is heavily traveled, Stanway said, with about 1.5 miles of trails. It's a nice loop designed for showshoeing and has a unique variety of flowers and plants. "A lot of places get bad PR and its undeserved," Stanway said. "It's all in how you look at a piece of land. undeserved, Once people feel safe about the sites, they will go there." there. It was two years ago when the stewards breathed new life back Russell Mill, which was known as one of the town's most notorious spots and was frequented by police. The stewards cut down nine illegal hunting stations, cleared away fire pits and hauled off several bags of trash and debris. For a while after the cleanup, the stewards still had to break up drinking parties at the site on weekends. But once the group commits to a site, it doesn't just walk away. "We continue to maintain the sites -- we're in it for the long haul," Stanway said. haul, The stewards donate their time for free, but often rely on generous donations from local businesses and residents. The materials to help renovate open spaces and to rebuild dilapidated structures, such as foot bridges and fences, are always in need. The next project the stewards are taking on is the renovation of a neglected gazebo and nature trail behind the Westlands School in memory of 10-year-old Cynthia Moores. The memorial, which was completed in 1992, was in danger of being torn down until members of the community rallied to save it. The Moores memorial was largely spared because of the stewards offer to refurbish it at no cost to the town. "We do it because we love our town, but it's also fun," Stanway said. "We get a wide variety of volunteers fun, from across Chelmsford. Whether it's fixing a bridge or clearing a trail, we're meeting new people and doing something constructive together that benefits us all." all. Work on the Moores memorial begins today, with a major cleanup following on Saturday, June 12. The stewards are look- ing for more volunteers and donations of materials. The group, added Stanway, could especially use granite from a local quarry for curbing. For more information, to donate or volunteer, call Phil Stanway at 978-273-1474, or e-mail Phil@thechelmsfordian.com. The Chelmsford Open Space Stewardship has transformed ... *Sunny Meadow Farm *Kent Farm *Heart Pond Beach *BB Wright *Red Wing Farm *Varney Park *Russell Mill Forest *Lime Quarry *Crooked Spring *Thanksgiving Forest *Deep Brook *Cranberry Bog *Bartlett Park *Westlands Park (beginning today)
  10. 10. !* POLITICALLY INCORRECT Tom Christiano with  CLICK HERE for Show The panelists on the 301st POLITICALLY INCORRECT Show are (l to r) Selectman Matt Hanson,School Committee Member Janet Askenburg, Host Tom Christiano, Chief Steward of Chelmsford Open Space Stewardship Philip Stanway & Chelmsford Center for the Arts Committee member Sue Gates This show was taped on May 11th, 2010. The topics discussed on this P.I. Show were: Matt Hanson's first month as a Selectman; Janet Askenberg’s first month as a School Committee Member; The Chelmsford Center for the Arts and the Old North Town Hall upcoming renovations; The Chelmsford Open Space Stewards upcoming activities and projects (Including the Westlands’ Cynthia Ann Moores Nature Park); This summer's Farmer's Market; The race for MA Governor and the current race for State Senator.
  11. 11. A very successful Earth Day fair was held at the Chelmsford Center for the Arts on May 8th. The overall theme of the event was re- cycling, with many booths demonstrating how we can preserve our environment and protect the earth from excessive pollution. The gath- ering was organized by Kristy Medina, an ex- pert recycler. Phil Stanway Jennifer Ken Almeida Dews Bonnie Rankin Kristy Medina Ruth Canonico Photos by Tom Christiano
  12. 12. Chelmsford recieves Green Community status from state By Becki Harrington-Davis/ Staff Writer GateHouse News Service http://www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsford/newsnow/x1107440302/Chelmsford-recieves-Green-Community-status-from-state May 25, 2010 Chelmsford — Gov. Deval Patrick designated Chelmsford as a Green Community today along with 34 other cities and towns in the state. The designation entitles Chelmsford to apply for a share of $8.1 million in grants for green energy projects. “I am pleased to honor the vision and hard work of our first group of official Green Com - munities,” Patrick said in a press release. “These pioneers are notable not only for their commitment munities, to a cleaner, greener Massachusetts, but also for their diversity. From tiny towns to major cities and suburbs in all regions of the state, Massachusetts communities recognize the benefits, for the econ- omy as well as the environment, of making clean energy choices.” The Green Communities program stemmed from the Green Communities Act of 2008, designed to encour- age towns toward clean energy by meeting five guidelines: Adopting zoning bylaws for renewable energy fa- cilities, creating an expedited permitting process for those facilities, establishing energy use benchmarks and a plan to reduce it by 20 percent, purchasing fuel-efficient vehicles and adopting the Stretch Energy Code for new buildings. Chelmsford Town Meeting adopted the Stretch Code last month and the town’s zoning requirements already complied. The Energy Conservation Committee, along with Community Development Director Evan Belan- sky and Town Manager Paul Cohen worked toward the other requirements over the past year. Chelmsford officials submitted the town’s application in time for the May 14 deadline and were notified May 25 that it was accepted. The other communities on the list: Acton, Arlington, Athol, Andover, Becket, Belchertown, Cambridge, East- hampton, Greenfield, Hamilton, Hanover, Holyoke, Hopkinton, Kingston, Lancaster, Lenox, Lexington, Lin- coln, Lowell, Mashpee, Medford, Melrose, Montague, Natick, Newton, Northampton, Palmer, Pittsfield, Salem, Springfield, Sudbury, Tyngsboro, Wenham, and Worcester. The 35 accepted towns now have until June 4 to submit grant applications for green projects to the Depart- ment of Energy Resources. “With the help of Green Communities grant funding, they’ll be able to go further - saving energy costs for their residents, reducing the environmental impact of municipal opera - tions, and validating the Commonwealth’s reputation as a national clean energy leader,” En- leader, ergy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles said in a press release. Chelmsford and the other Green Communities will also each receive a Big Belly solar trash compactor next month and a certificate. Staff writer Chloe Gotsis contributed to this report Copyright 2010 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
  13. 13. $90 a tow? Chelmsford has a winner By Rita Savard, rsavard@lowellsun.com http://www.lowellsun.com/todaysheadlines/ci_15076602 05/13/2010 CHELMSFORD -- The highest bidder scored the town's new three-year towing contract, with a bid so high the competition is protesting. Offering up $90.25 per tow -- about $40 more than the second-highest bid -- Ferreira's Towing of Chelmsford was awarded the three-year contract beginning July 1, replacing the current contract holder, Christopher's Towing of Lowell. Selectmen approved Town Manager Paul Cohen's recommendation in a 4-1 vote, with Jon Kurland opposing. Kurland said he would have liked the board to wait until its next meeting before awarding the contract after the owner of Christo- pher's accused Ferreira's of not being honest in its bid application. "Everyone knows that there's a great deal of competition between the two companies," Kurland said. companies, "The owner of Christopher's Towing wanted a few more days to prove what he believed to be misstate - ments in Ferreira's bid application. Because the contract doesn't begin until July, I didn't see any detriment in holding off for the next two weeks." weeks. Kurland said he was also concerned that the bid was "so out of line with what other communities are getting," getting, that he wanted to make sure the board had all the information it needed to award Ferreira's the contract. Ferreria's bid will rank Chelmsford at the top in terms of how much a community makes back per tow. In January, Lowell awarded its latest round of two-year towing contracts to five towing firms. The highest bidder was Kazanjian's Garage, paying $36.18 per tow. Dracut also adopted the practice last year, rotating between the town's three tow companies and charging $40 per tow. Christopher's Towing, which was the highest bidder and was awarded Chelmsford's first revenue-generating tow contract in 2007 for $40 per tow, placed the second-highest bid this year at $50.01. It was followed by Stuart's of Lowell, which of- fered $36. State regulations typically limit the maximum base rate of an involuntary tow at $90. But Ferreria's said it was able to pay 25 cents extra back to the town due to the diversity of its company -- it also operates an autobody shop and a vehicle in- spection station, and is contracted out by other municipalities for large towing jobs, said Cohen. "Everybody in town is feeling the crunch right now from the recession," said Sharon Constantineau, a recession, Chelmsford resident and an employee at Ferreria's. "I'm feeling it in my tax bills as well. Our company has been around in Chelmsford for a long time and we wanted to give back to the community. We were happy to do it." it. But the owner of Christopher's Towing, Christopher Ferreira -- who is not related or affiliated with Ferreira's Towing -- al- leged at Monday night's Board of Selectmen meeting that there was "a lot of stuff in the bid that is misleading," adding that the company has been accused of overcharging its customers and that some employees have stolen items out of cars, among other charges. Mary Jo Glynn, owner of Ferreira's, told town officials she was shocked that her competitor was allowed to make such ac- cusations. Admitting that her company won't make much off the tows, she told town officials that her company's goal was to be a good partner with the community and obtain its business. "One could poke holes in either company's performance record," Cohen said. "Obviously there are very record, hard feelings between the two companies. It's what we saw here three years ago. No matter which one was the highest bidder, we were likely to have concerns raised." raised. Ferreira's, located in Chelmsford since 1973, previously held the town's towing contract, which it shared with a couple of other companies, for several years until the bidding process began. Cohen began the process of collecting revenue from towing companies when he took over as town manager. Chelmsford collected $38,740 in tow receipts in fiscal 2009. The added revenue from the new contract, Cohen said, will benefit the cash-strapped town, which tows an average of 750 vehicles per year. FOR RELATED STORY CLICK HERE Competitor: Tow firm's high bid is retribution for losing last contract
  14. 14. Board wants school bus passes checked daily By Rita Savard, rsavard@lowellsun.com http://www.lowellsun.com/local/ci_15085225 05/14/2010 CHELMSFORD -- As school officials gave the OK to retain a $200 bus fee this fall, some demanded a daily check of bus passes to make sure all riders have paid. "It's not fair to the people who have shelled out the money to ride the bus," said School Committee member bus Nick DeSilvio. "If drivers check the passes each day, people who don't pay can't have their kids riding the bus for free." free. With Chelmsford entering its third year charging a bus fee, School Business Manager Kathy McWilliams said the school district, "which isn't in the collection business" is still evolving its method for fee-based transportation. business McWilliams suggested quarterly checks for the new school year. Because daily checks of bus passes is not included in the school district's transportation contract, McWilliams said she wasn't sure if the district could require drivers to check passes daily. School Committee member Janet Askenburg, agreed with DeSilvio, saying that she wanted passes checked regularly in- stead of quarterly. "Basically it's telling parents that their kids can ride the bus for free except on that one day (of pass checks)," she said. checks), McWilliams said she would investigate the situation further to see if DeSilvio and Askenburg's requests could be accommo- dated. In the meantime, McWilliams reported that the $11 fee charged for parents who pay with a credit card will now be dropped to $3. The fee is a processing charge tacked on by the company, she said, and was lowered to encourage more parents to use their credit cards instead of paying by check. McWilliams said she was able to lower the fee by subsidizing it elsewhere. "We're still paying the whole ($11) fee, but I'm not paying for summer help in the office," she said. "So it office, evens out in the end." end. The Chelmsford School District began collecting a $200 bus fee in fiscal 2009, and generated about $480,000 for 3,945 students taking the bus. In fiscal 2010, the district made about $474,000. The School Committee approved McWilliams' suggestion of leaving the $200 fee in place, and capping the fee at $500 for families with three or more children. Bus registration for the 2010-2011 school year begins Tuesday. Parents will receive a telephone reminder Monday. A late fee of $35 will be charged beginning Aug. 31. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chelmsford school courtyard earns NWF designation By Joanne Stanway/ correspondent GateHouse News Service http://www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsford/topstories/x968916204/Chelmsford-school-courtyard-earns-NWF-designation May 14, 2010 Chelmsford — Last fall, with $600 from the Chelmsford Arts & Technology Education Fund, Byam Elementary School spruced up its cen- ter courtyard and made it an outdoor classroom for students. The emphasis: Providing a relaxing outdoor space where stu- dents can sit, reflect and stir creative energy, and to also engage students with a hands-on experience related to plants, birds and rainfall. Last week, the outdoor classroom received official certification by the National Wildlife Federation as a Wildlife Habitat, a nice honor that recognizes the effort of the school, the town, students and their families. Janet Askenburg, the newest School Committee member and a Byam parent who was involved in the restoration, gave a tour that includes birdhouses made from recycled materials, a solar-powered bird bath fountain, a wireless weather station, rain water collection tubes, trees and plants, a butterfly garden, a small amphitheater for sitting and learning and wood- pecker feeders. One of the birdhouses even has a close circuit camera that feeds to a monitor in the adjacent library where students can watch nesting and feeding as it happens. Principal Jane Gilmore, who has lead the school for 19 years, is proud of the effort and welcomes this new distinction of the courtyard as a habitat for wildlife. “This is a wonderful outdoor space that can be used for educational purposes. Teachers can pull the courtyard into all aspects of the curriculum – not just science, but also literature and art,” Gilmore said. art, To be certified, the courtyard at Byam School had to offer four basic elements for wildlife to thrive: food, water, cover, and places for wildlife to raise their young. Copyright 2010 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
  15. 15. Chelmsford School Committee OK's school choice at CHS By Chloe Gotsis/ Staff Writer GateHouse News Service http://www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsford/news/x991655314/Chelmsford-School-Committee-OKs-school-choice-at-CHS May 27, 2010 Chelmsford — The School Committee voted unanimously to opt in to school choice as a pilot program at Chelmsford High School for the 2010-2011 school year, allowing students from outside of the district to chose to attend the school. Hoping to bring the town some additional revenue, the committee revisited the issue at its May 25 meeting and ap- proved opting into the school choice program for ninth- and 10th-grade at CHS. The district will open its doors to no more than 12 students entering freshman year at CHS and no more than three students entering sophomore year. “Not only is the [new] revenue great,” said School Committee member Janet Askenburg. “But it’s a great opportunity to make a difference in some kid’s lives. I’m really proud if this passes.” Then School Committee member Kathy Duffetf initially suggested in February the committee research bringing the pro- gram to the high school as a revenue generating option. When the committee first discussed the topic in with CHS officials there were some concerns over special education students and funding. But School Business Manager Kathy McWilliams told the School Committee that when the dis- tricts chooses to accept school choice students, state education aid will increase. “It’s a misnomer to believe that,” said McWilliams, who was recently hired from the Pentucket school district. “If you have special education choice students you would get reimbursed. It will be factored into your Chapter 70, so you won’t miss out. I come from a school district that did school choice and their Chapter 70 went up.” McWilliams said that Pentucket had 135 slots open for school choice students from kindergarten through grade 12 in a district of about 3,500 students. But with little space available in Chelmsford elementary and middle schools and crowded kindergarten classrooms, the School Committee opted bring school choice only to the high school. CHS principal Anne O’Bryant gave a presentation to the committee at its Feb. 23 meeting on what she learned from speaking with other high school principals that participate in the program. O’Bryant said in February that she was con- cerned about class sizes at the high school if the district added the option at the high school. But School Superintendent Don Yeoman told the committee at its meeting this week based on projected enrollment the high school will be able to accommodate 15 additional students. Duffett, now chairwoman of the committee, told committee members that she studied enrollment at the high school and over the past several years enrollment at the high school has been declining with students opting to attend either the In- novations Academy or Nashoba Valley Technical High School. This year CHS has 1,586 students enrolled, down from 1,641 in the 2008-2009 year and 1,678 in the 2007-2008 school year. “A conservative projection would be a decline of about three percent,” said Duffett, adding that the 15 students would not requiring hiring new staff at CHS. “If you took 12 students in the choice program that would be about $60,000 worth of revenue. Fifteen students would be $75,000.” Duffett said that any new revenue the district generates from the program would be deposited in a revolving account, and could aid the district in coping with next year’s predicted harsh budget restraints. “It’s a predictable source of revenue which can off set our budget struggled,” she said. The school district is not responsible for transportation of school choice students to Chelmsford. School Committee member Nick DiSilvio said that if the program places any restrictions on students participating activi- ties such as athletics, the district should take note of that. But McWilliams said school choice students will be consid- ered Chelmsford students. Committee members noted that all open choice spots may not be filled next year. Copyright 2010 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
  16. 16. ☆ ITR FLASHBACK ☆ Only 5 weeks to go before his contract winds down, lets take a look at how it all began... Donald Yeoman is ready Matthew Modoono/ Staff Photographer to meet you New Superintendent Donald Yeoman meets Matthew Harkin, 9, and his parents Michael and By Andy Metzger/Staff Writer Joan, Thursday night during an GateHouse News Service open house at Westlands http://www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsford/news/education/x1919052283 Elementary School Oct 10, 2007 Chelmsford — In his first three months as the superintendent, Don Yeoman has met about 3,000 people. That should come as no surprise to anyone who has seen Yeoman interacting with a room full of residents. Far from a pragmatic, business-first administrator, the Indiana native loves to make small talk and find out how everyone is really doing. “I’m trying to meet people, and really trying to listen to their priorities, their values and their concerns,” Yeoman said. concerns, And according to some school employees, Yeoman has said a lot, just by reaching out and showing his interest. “I think he’s a super person. He comes right up to you; shakes your hand,” said Louie Gisetto, head custodian of the high school. hand, In his 14 years in Chelmsford, Gisetto had never had a meeting with all of the custodians and the superintendent. But Yeoman met with all the custodians, talked to them one on one and inquired about their families, Gisetto said. “He was asking questions. ‘What needs to be done?’” Gisetto said. done? Building bridges and making connections has been a hallmark of Yeoman’s roughly 30-year career in education. In the 1980s, Yeoman brought a Japanese language program to suburban Indianapolis, so that the students could talk to Japanese engineers. An assistant superintendent at the time, Yeoman got the idea from a friend who worked at one of the many General Motors factories. Yeoman has made a lot of friends over the years. This spring, while vacationing with his wife in Ketchikan, Alaska, Yeoman bumped into an English teacher, from Indiana. “Don?” the teacher said. Don? “And I said, ‘Richard?’” Yeoman said. ‘Richard? Yeoman has not met every teacher or staff member in Chelmsford yet, but he plans to. “He’ll stop to chat with you, even though you’re not a manager, or a principal,” said Ann Gardner, who works in the office at principal, Parker Middle School. “It’s so refreshing that he’s interested in knowing who we are.” are. And Yeoman does not limit his scope to those on the school department’s payroll. The superintendent has met with the Rotary Club, local ministers, and the director of the town’s charter school. “I’m the new guy in town, so I have to learn the history and the traditions of the community,” Yeoman said. “I’m having a community, great time.” time. The newcomer has made himself a presence at Chelmsford football games, and has started rooting for the local teams. He even has a Boston Bruins hat. “He told me he’d been to Fenway Park already. I thought that was a good start,” said John Mosto, who teaches math and physics start, at the high school. But beyond handshakes and hometown cheers, the town’s schools have made a positive impression on Yeoman. “This community has valued education for hundreds of years. It’s not just lately. Hundreds of years,” Yeoman said. years, Yeoman is thinking about putting together a show for Chelmsford TeleMedia to highlight the schools’ teachers and students. His enthusiasm has caught on with high school history teacher Maggie Tantraporn, who he hired this summer. “He has an idea that this is already a good school,” said Tantraporn. “Faculty, parents and students… even the greater com - school, munity can lead the school to become a great school.” school. But Yeoman’s plans for the schools are still in the early stages, he said. He still has a lot more people to meet and a lot more questions to ask. “I met him one day, and then I saw him a week later and he remembered my name,” said Dave Moriarty, who teaches math at the name, high school. Staff Writer Andy Metzger can be reached 978-371-5745 or at ametzger@cnc.com Copyright 2007 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
  17. 17. ASK THE SUPER SUPERINTENDENT DR. DONALD YEOMAN ITR : As you approach the end of your contracted term, what do you feel was your greatest accomplishment? DY: Improving student achievement, staff skill, and quality of programs in the midst of the worst economic downturn in our lifetime. ITR : On the other side of the tracks, what do you feel was your greatest failure? DY: I have devoted so many additional evening hours and weekends during these cata- strophic economic times in order to maintain the high quality of the school district, that I neglected my wife. It has been difficult to have a personal life. ITR : What has stood out to you the most about Chelmsford since moving here a few years ago? DY: We have great kids in our town who are well prepared and motivated to learn. Our staff is second to none, and our parent support and assistance is exemplary. Our town and our state continue to recognize and appreciate the value added to a person’s life by world class skills learned in the Chelmsford Public Schools. And what a beautiful town in which to raise a family. ITR : What would you like to see happen in the Chelmsford school system over your next 3 years? DY: I would like to be able to move the district to become the best district in Massachusetts as measured by student achievement.
  18. 18. State Representative Jim Arciero kicked off his campaign with a crowd of over 300 people at the Westford Regency on May 18th. Jim thanked everyone who attended the party and help him perform his job as our State Representative. He gave a wonderful speech, mentioning how he had dreamed about being a State Representative since he was 18 years old. Precinct 9 TM REP Tom “Godfather” Christiano with Jim Arciero Michael Eliopoulos Precinct 5 TM REP Philip Eliopoulos and Precinct 5 TM REP Pat Wojtas Precinct 9 TM REP Jack Wang and Precinct 6 TM REP Marianne Paresky Scool Committee member Evelyn Thoren and Precinct 1 TM REP REP Fran McDougall Precinct 6 TM REP Precinct 7 Mike Combs TM REP Alex Buck and Selectman his Jon Kurland Son and wife Sara Anderson Selectman Matt Hanson Bridget Scrimenti and School Committee members and mother Marge Jim Arciero Angie Taranto, Nick DeSilvio and son Dominic Photos by Tom Christiano
  19. 19. Pols spar on debate details By Rita Savard, rsavard@lowellsun.com http://www.lowellsun.com/todaysheadlines/ci_15133230 05/21/2010 CHELMSFORD -- To debate, or not to debate? That's the question Eric Dahlberg's campaign wants fellow Republican Sandi Martinez to answer as the candidates for 3rd Middlesex Senate District seat start jockeying for a position on Beacon Hill. Dahlberg and Martinez, both Chelmsford residents, are vying for the chance to run against Sen. Susan Fargo, a Lincoln Democrat who has held the seat since 1996. But Dahlberg said his request to debate Martinez nine times -- at least once in each of the dis- trict's nine communities -- before the Republican pri- mary in September was stonewalled. Martinez said yesterday that she never declined to de- bate Dahlberg, and called his public request for nine debates before the state ballot has been set, and alerting the media to it, "nothing more than poli - tics as usual" and "political grandstanding." usual grandstanding. Before talking about a debate schedule, Martinez said her campaign plans to hold a series of Town Hall-style public forums to share her ideas with voters for solving the district's problems. "Intellectual and honest discussions happen after ideas are put on the table," she said. table, In a written statement to The Sun, Martinez reiterated the message her campaign manager, Michael Benn, sent to Dahlberg in a previous e-mail: "We will be in contact with you after Sandi, a 'Voice of the People,' holds her campaign series of Town Halls for the people o the district." district. Martinez said yesterday that she did not know when that discussion would take place because dates were still being set and the ballot has not yet been confirmed. Dahlberg said he was looking forward to debating sooner than later to try and bring discussions to each of the district's nine communities, which include Bedford, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Lexington, Lin- coln, Sudbury, Waltham and Weston. In his public request to Martinez, which was forwarded to local media, Dahlberg wrote, "I look forward to a series of not less than nine respectful, issue-oriented debates with you. My cam - paign team stands ready to work with yours to coordinate the details of such a debate schedule." schedule. Dahlberg said yesterday that his invitation wasn't political grandstand- ing, but an attempt at keeping his campaign open and transparent to the district's voters. "I'd love to debate Sandi, it's a great way to engage the vot ers and address the issues and concerns that matter most to them," Dahlberg said yesterday. "There are nine communitie them, in the district and each one is unique with its own set of is sues. I think it's important to give voters in each town an opportunity to ask the candidates questions." questions. Dahlberg said he also wanted to avoid a repeat of what happened at Bentley University in March, when Martinez canceled with the Young Republicans Club. Martinez said she had not been invited to a debate at Bentley, but rather, a meet-and-greet. She said that she learned about the change to a debat format from a Facebook message at the last minute. Dahlberg, 32, who is serving his first term on the Chelmsford Board of Selectmen, said he wanted to be clear that he looks forward to public discus sion with Martinez on the issues and is "eagerly" awaiting a phone call or e-mail from her campaign "so we can move forward with debate planning." planning. When asked if she wanted to debate before the Sept. 14 Republican primary, Martinez said her position has been stated and that "it's not a yes- or-no answer." answer "We're not saying we won't debate and we're not saying we will," said Martinez, 62, who owns and operates an information tech- will nology company and is trying to run against Fargo a third time. "What we're saying is once our ideas are out there, we'll discuss it." it.
  20. 20. Study suggests easing zoning requirements Kevin Zimmerman/Staff Reporter http://chelmsfordmassnews.com • Tue, May 18, 2010 As officials grapple with how to bring businesses to Chelmsford, a recent study suggests the town would benefit from easing some zoning requirements to encourage redevelopment of commercial sites. Concord Square Planning & Development Inc. suggests "the current zoning does not support Chelms - ford's redevelopment policy objectives.” objectives "The requirements for parking and loading and landscaping, while written with good intentions to protect adjacent residential uses, lack flexibility (without a special permit) and inadvertently encourage project designers to design for zoning compliance rather than what makes the most sense for the particular site and its situation." situation. Concord Square believes the solution lies in creating two overlay districts; one for existing commercial and in- dustrial sites of any size and in any zoning district and the other one for those small or undersized commercial parcels that cannot meet the "stringent site design standards of the zoning bylaws." bylaws. "This type of specialized zoning could serve as a model for redevelopment of commercial or in - dustrial properties throughout the town," Karen Cullen, Concord's principal planner wrote. town, In its study, Concord Square looked at commercial sites, Papa Gino’s at 29 Chelmsford St. and out-parcels of the Chelmsford Mall located at 271, 277, 279 and 283 Chelmsford St., and made recommendations on how to make these sites more attractive to redevelopers. Papa Gino's represents what Concord calls a "site layout that is fairly inflexible." inflexible. Under the current zoning, the site requires a 20-foot parking setback in the front and a 19-foot parking buffer area in the back and along the southwest property line. With some tweaking, said Concord, zoning requirements could be loosened, providing flexibility in site plan de- sign and putting some of the parking behind the building. For the four out-parcels at the Chelmsford Mall, Concord suggests allowing the side lot line buffer be decreased to zero. "We felt that this would reasonable considering the fact that the adjacent land uses are com - mercial," states the report. mercial, The study also looks into making changes to current parking requirements. One suggestion would look into allowing commercial abutters to share up to 10 parking spaces through a written agreement rather than a formal legal document. The study also recommends decreasing the number of parking spaces at commercial buildings. For example, Concord suggests reducing the ratio of parking to floor space at retail locations from the current one space for each 200 square feet, to one space for each 250 to 275 square feet. At offices, the current one space for every 200 square feet could be reduced to one space for every 350 to 400 square feet. Fast-food es- tablishments, which currently need one space for every 50 square feet, should be changed to one space for every 100 square feet, wrote Cullen. "Reduced required parking for many of these uses could be more consistent with commercial parking ratios in other suburban communities," wrote Cullen. communities, Other changes suggested include allowing up to 15 parking spaces in a dead-end aisle, currently no more than five spaces is allowed, and decreasing the screened buffer between residential and commercial lots from 30 feet to 15 feet. Master Plan Committee Chairman Jim Lane said his committee will review Concord Square’s report during dis- cussions that center on economic development.
  21. 21. Begin forwarded message: From: Tom Christiano Date: May 19, 2010 4:50:38 PM EDT To: Jim Lane Cc: "Roy Earley", ann mcguigan , Bob Joyce , Colleen Stansfield , Ed Roux <eroux@c21email.com>, Michael Raisbeck , "'S. George Zaharoolis'", Susan Carter , "Evan Belansky" Subject: Hi Jim - question Hi Jim: Could you tell me who asked for this "Concord" Company to do this new zoning study...and who paid for it? It seems to me that we need MORE parking spaces at places like the ginger ale plaza....brick house pizza...and the new cafe madrid plaza...not less, as they are apparently recommending, for future restau- rants in town. I don't think we should be cutting down our restaurant parking zoning requirements at all, based on the amount of times I had to go hunting for a parking place in town. Thanks, Tom -- CHRISTIANO PRODUCTIONS: POLITICAL JUNKIES SHOW: Thurs 7:30 PM Sundays 9:30 AM & Mondays 8:30 PM. POLITICALLY INCORRECT: Tues & Weds 8:30 PM; Thurs 7:00 AM; Sundays 11:00 AM Chelmsford Cable TV Channel 8 Begin forwarded message: From: Jim Lane Date: May 20, 2010 5:54:44 AM EDT To: "Tom Christiano" Cc: "Roy Earley", "ann mcguigan" , "Bob Joyce" , "Colleen Stansfield" , "Ed Roux" , "Mike Raisbeck" , "'S. George Zaharoolis'" , " Susan C. Sullivan", "Evan Belansky" Subject: Re: Hi Jim - question Hi Tom, Hope you are doing well! My understanding is Concord Square was funded thru a chapter 43d grant the town received for Katrina Road. Part of the criteria for this grant allowed for the town to select a few parcels for study related to zon- ing challenges. The community development department handled the process and selected the subject areas for study. Therefore It would be more appropriate for Evan to offer the specifics on why parcels were selected and what the parameters of the study consisted of. I am not certain that parking require- ments specifically related to restaurants in Chelmsford Center were the only part of this exercise? Hope you find this helpful. Jim
  22. 22. Begin forwarded message: From: "Belansky, Evan" <EBelansky@TownofChelmsford.US> Date: May 20, 2010 9:36:12 AM EDT Subject: RE: Hi Jim - question Tom: Attached is the Concord Square report. the Planning Board has already received it, however the Board has NOT yet discussed any portion of it or taken any positions. In addition, the Master Plan Committee has also received it. I anticipate that the PB will be beginning discussions on it within the next several meetings. The Master Plan Committee may choose to discuss it as part of the Economic Development Section. To your specific question / concern: Jim is correct. Although the study does recommend that parking require- ments should be reduced, the study was not specific to restaurants. Based upon your observations, I would agree that parking for restaurants may need to be viewed with a higher degree of sensitivity. As a side editorial comment, since I have been in Chelmsford, it has baffled me as to why there is such an obses- sion with parking on private property to the point where if someone has to hunt for a space that is viewed as a de- ficiency of the zoning bylaw or the Planning Board approval process. This fact is not a reflection on either, nor is it a red flag that the more parking is needed. It is merely a reflection that Chelmsford is home to a number of very successful restaurants. The key here is when and how does parking become a "public interest". Is a cus- tomer not being able to find a space a public interest? Or is the parking of cars illegally, such as in fire lanes and within public streets a public interest? Finally, the real solution with "parking challenges" does not rest with government, but the actual business and the property owner. For example, in any of the cases you cite, if the business owner thought that the lack of parking was a problem, then they could chose to relocate to a more appropriate location. if the property owner thought parking was a problem or did not want to lose a business they could explore means to have more parking such as physically expanding the parking lot or in these cases signing a lease agreement with an abutting property of off- site parking or even better yet using the nearby public parking lots. Evan the disclaimers below were submitted by Evan Belansky to go along with the printing of his email for the In-Town Report 1.Tom's original concern and my response were not findings and or recommendations of the Concord study. 2. Tom's original question / concern appears to have been based upon the online article and not a reading of the actual report. 3. my editorial comments have little or nothing to do with the report TO SEE THE REPORT  CLICK HERE Begin forwarded message: From: Tom Christiano <tchristiano@comcast.net> Date: May 20, 2010 3:01:11 PM EDT To: "Belansky, Evan" <EBelansky@TownofChelmsford.US> Subject: Re: Hi Jim - question Hi Evan: Thank you for sending the report to us all and for addressing my specific question and concern about parking at some of our local restaurants. I could be wrong of course, however I do think the lack of adequate parking at some of our local restaurants is of interest to the public and to the neighbors abutting those restaurants. It is also a public safety issue, to some extent, in that people would be required to walk across some very busy streets in the center of town, or on Chelmsford Street, if they have to go searching for parking else- where if the restaurant parking lot is already full. These are just some thoughts to consider as the boards review our zoning laws in the future. No need to reply to these additional comments of mine. I do appreciate your addressing my particular concern however, as expressed in my first email yesterday. Thanks again, Tom
  23. 23. Push to change zoning along Route 129 Kevin Zimmerman/Staff Reporter www.chelmsfordmassnews.com • Thu, May 20, 2010 Town officials believe the future of Chelmsford's economic development lies along Billerica Road near Route 3. So now the push is on for zoning bylaw changes to allow taller buildings and additional services for office workers in those facilities. "You're out there right now sitting in Kronos," said Town Manager Paul Cohen. "It takes a hike to get a cup Kronos, of coffee." coffee. Members of the Master Plan and Economic Development committees agree without adaptations to the current bylaws Route 129 will not live up to its potential. The current version of the Master Plan, dated May 12, includes language to recommend increasing the height of some buildings in the area. Currently, the maximum height is set at four stories or 45 feet. Changes recommended by the Master Plan would allow buildings up to six stories tall in lots along Route 129 from the Billerica town line to Alpha Road - providing these taller structures "do not negatively impact abutting residents." Committee members also agree with allowing amenities - such as coffee shops, dry cleaners or counter service eateries - in the area. "Some members are looking at adding amenities into existing buildings," said Community Development Di- buildings, rector Evan Belansky. "Others say that’s great but we do need to accommodate new construction." construction. Belansky said zoning could be crafted to limit the size of commercial development to 5,000 square feet or less. That would prevent a national restaurant chain from setting up shop. This push for business amenities comes following a recent meeting of town officials and commercial real estate brokers. These brokers, who do recon work for CEOs shopping for new offices, believe Route 129's largest deficit is a lack of sand- wich shops, banks and coffee bars amid the buildings. "The brokers seemed to say the business amenities relate to the first impression," said Belansky. "Moving impression, forward if we want to be competitive that means having amenities." amenities. Of course those plans come with another set of issues, possibly pitting long-time business in Chelmsford Center against potential newcomers on Billerica Road. "The board has had a tough time with this," said Chelmsford Business Association board member Jim Cullen. "We this, find it hard to believe a CEO would make a decision based on one dry cleaner." cleaner. Cullen and other CBA board members met with the Economic Development Committee earlier this week. For Cullen, it seems the change, while it may not hurt the bottom line of Center businesses, would smack of unfair prac- tices. "You look at Fishbones," said Cullen. "They spent a lot of money to create a business in the Center. They Fishbones, played by the rules. Now you're changing the rules." rules. Belansky reassured CBA members that the plan is not to turn Billerica Road into another Chelmsford Street. Instead, the Master Plan envisions limited commercial development to keep workers in town instead of having them flock to Billerica. He also said the type of Billerica Road business would complement not compete with what's already in the Center. Proposed lunch spots along Billerica Road would target people looking to grab a slice of pizza or a quick sandwich to take back to the office, said Belansky. Individuals looking for a sit-down business lunch would still need to travel to the Center. For Belansky, it comes down to keeping Chelmsford competitive with other Route 3 communities. "What type of business do you want?" asked Belansky. "If you want second- and third-tier businesses, want? there is no need for amenities. But if you want first-class businesses they expect a certain type of environment." environment.
  24. 24. Two Stop & Shop markets for town in the mix Kevin Zimmerman/Staff Reporter www.chelmsfordmassnews.com • Thu, May 20, 2010 It's not news that Stop & Shop is anxious to break ground at the Route 3 Cinema site for a new mar- ket, but lesser known is its interest in continuing to do business at the current Boston Road location. At this week's Economic Development Committee meeting, Town Manager Paul Cohen said officials from Stop & Shop have not ruled out opening a smaller store in the Center. "They may want to keep a store there," said Cohen. "Not a 60,000-square-foot one, but a there, smaller one. They think people from South Chelmsford may not travel over to East Gate." Gate. What happens to the Boston Road Stop & Shop is definitely on the minds of government and busi- ness leaders in town. Although CVS has met with Community Development Director Evan Belansky and Planning Board Chairman Ann McGuigan about a new store adjacent to the current Boston Road location, the phar- macy giant is holding off on the permitting process. "They are asking the same question," said Cohen. "Before they invest in a stand-alone question, building there, they want to know what is going into that site." site. Chelmsford Business Association Executive Director John Harrington said his group is also keeping an eye on the plaza. "We'd like to see a grocery store come in," said Harrington. "That is an anchor for that in area. What's going in there is a concern for us." us. Stop & Shop owns the Boston Road center and is not likely to lease the building to a competitor. Cohen said one scenario could have the Marshalls, which at almost 40 years old is showing its age, flip to the grocery store side while its spot is renovated. Then Stop & Shop might bring in a small store of its own. "Whether they choose to have a supermarket on that site, they see it as a premier re - tail site," said Belansky. "And the Master Plan Committee wants to see retails as part of site, that site and (also) residential (units) to bring people into the Center. We have made it clear that the town is interested in working with them." them. CLICK HERE for  See Related Story Planning Board gives Stop & Shop green light
  25. 25. Chelmsford assessing cost of hiring process By Rita Savard, rsavard@lowellsun.com http://www.lowellsun.com/local/ci_15164272 05/26/2010 CHELMSFORD -- Gone are the days of the regular sit-down job interview for public safety officials. In the quest for a new fire chief, Town Manager Paul Cohen seeks to follow the lead of several other municipalities statewide and outsource a panel of experts to help hire Chief Jack Parow's successor. The hiring method is called an assessment center, and it drops candidates in a series of real-life situations they'd face on the job to better gauge how the individual thinks on his or her feet. Going beyond a traditional interview and multiple-choice written exams, the assessment process brings in consult- ants with a background in fire-rescue and emergency management and throws potential hires into a mock work- place. From there, candidates must deal with day-to-day situations that could include anything from disciplining employees and delegating duties during an emergency situation to giving a presentation to town officials and prior- itizing voicemail and e-mail messages -- all under the watchful eye of the panel. The candidates are then evaluated on their reactions and professionalism. "It gives a much clearer picture of strengths and weaknesses instead of a straight interview," Cohen said. But at a cost of about $8,000 to $10,000, Selectman Eric Dahlberg said he needs a little bit more information be- fore making any decisions. "The price tag was a little eye-opening," Dahlberg said. "But it's a very stressful job with very important responsibil- ities, so I can understand the need to put candidates through that kind of rigorous testing to see how they per- form." Bedford, Framingham, Lexington, Reading and Tewksbury have all used assessment centers to see how public- safety officials can demonstrate the skills listed on their resumes. In Tewksbury, using an assessment center did face some public scrutiny when town officials limited its search to Tewksbury only. After initially having four internal police applicants, just Timothy Sheehan -- who was named chief last year -- showed up to take the actual test. The other three members of the department said it was their way to support Sheehan, who they felt had the best experience for the job. In the end, Tewksbury paid an assessment center $6,800 for the test. But Cohen said the Chelmsford fire-chief job will be opened up to outside applicants to broaden the pool of candi- dates. Cohen told selectmen Monday night that he would gather more information on several different consulting firms and bring the information back for the next scheduled meeting on June 7. Selectmen Chairman George Dixon said the assessment center approach sounds like an ideal way to leave poli- tics out of the hiring process. "I think it will alleviate a lot of internal pressure," Dixon said. "The consultants are professionals who are interview- ing people and placing them in public-safety jobs all the time. They don't have a dog in the fight, so they're looking at everybody from an entirely objective standpoint. Because of their experience, it also guarantees we'll get the person most capable of doing the job well." Assessment centers have been around in some form since World War I, when Ger- man officers were evaluating candidates for promotion over the course of two to three days. Just after World War II, the British Army's War Office Selection Board and the U.S. Office of Strategic Services used two-day-long simulations with psy- chologists to select future spies. AT&T was the first to put the practice into corporate use in the late 1950s. If selectmen approve hiring outside consultants to help select the next fire chief, Cohen said the town will place an ad for the position some time in June, and most likely begin the hiring process in July. Ultimately, Cohen said he would like to have a new fire chief appointed by September. Jack The salary range for the next chief is still being determined. Parow, who was hired Parrow as chief in 1994, made about $142,000 last year, including benefits and overtime. He plans to retire in October.
  26. 26. Another lawsuit filed against North Rd. office plan Kevin Zimmerman/Staff Reporter www.chelmsfordmassnews.com • Tue, May 25, 2010 On Tuesday, the town received notice that Boars Head LLC filed a second lawsuit against the Chelmsford Planning Board over approvals for Epsilon Group LLC’s proposed North Road office building. Peter Lawlor, Boars Head’s attorney, has asked the Land Court to annual the Planning Board’s decision and to remand the decision back to the board with instructions to deny the application. The lawsuit claims the Planning Board’s granting of the special permits during both hearings was unlawful “in that the Project, as approved, contains no fewer than four zoning violations.” These violations were all acknowledged and reported to the board by the Community Development Direc- tor Evan Belansky, contends Boars Head. Boars Head points to a lack of interior landscaping in the parking area, as is required by Section 195-44A of the town’s bylaw. “In order to issue a Landscaping Special Permit, parking areas with more than 10 spaces shall contain 150 square feet of planted area for every 1,000 square feet of pavement. A second violation, as claimed by Boars Head, has resulted with the lack of a buffer strip between the pro- posed parking area and the Center Fire Station. The third alleged violation relates to the nine parking spaces currently located behind the Emerson House. According to the lawsuit, Section 195-19 of the bylaw requires spaces to be laid out “in conformity with di- mensions and angles called for in the bylaw.” Boars Head believes the board’s approval in this matter is “without a legally tenable basis as it is in direct violation of the By-law, in that it purports to authorize the Project while its parking areas do not dimensionally comply with the By-law.” Boars Head also believes a fourth violation exists with the lack of any setback between the Emerson House parking spaces and the adjacent bank property. The lawsuit also revisits the Preservation Restriction that the Planning Board repeatedly said could not play a part in its decisions. When asking for a declaratory judgment, Boars Head states, the “Plaintiffs contend that the Project as ap- proved proposes the erection of buildings on the Premises that do not comply with the requirement in the Preservation Restriction that any buildings built be ‘small structures similar in nature and appearance to the farm out buildings that formerly existed on the site of the Emerson Farm.’” Boars Head also believes the proj- ect as approved violates Paragraph 8 of the Preservation Restriction because it does not “provide open- space conservation area and pond for the general benefit of the [In- habitants of the Town of Chelms- ford] and for the aesthetic improvement of the neighborhood and the Town.” Photo by Tom Christiano
  27. 27. Concern over push to change CORI law Supporters see help for former convicts; critics point to risks “We hear so much about stopping the pattern or cycle or sexual abuse, and the best this state can come up with is to pretend these violent crimes By Lisa Redmond, lredmond@lowellsun.com never happened? That's not public http://www.lowellsun.com/ci_15146243 05/23/2010 safety, that's public ignorance." - LAURIE MYERS TM REP PRECINCT 6 and co-founder of the Chelmsford-based victim-child protection group Community Voices BOSTON -- While some Boston law-enforcement officials applauded a legislative push last week to change a state law that allows employers and landlords access to the criminal records of job applicants and poten- tial tenants, some Lowell-area advocates have reservations. Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis, Lowell's former police chief, was one of several officials who attended a hearing at the Statehouse to urge lawmakers to change parts of the state's 1972 Criminal Of- fender Record Information (CORI) system to make it easier for former convicts to find jobs and housing. This will make it less likely that former convicts will commit new crimes, they said. The legislation, which would limit how long certain criminal records are accessible to the public, is supported by Gov. Deval Patrick and has been passed by the Senate. The House will debate the proposal soon. The changed legislation approved by the Senate would: * prohibit employers from eliminating potential employees because they have a criminal record. * allow misdemeanor records to be sealed five years after final disposition of a case, instead of the current 10, and felony records to be sealed in 10 years, instead of the current 15. The criminal records of convicted murderers and sex offenders would remain accessible to the public throughout the offender's life. * allow former convicts to review their criminal records at no charge, increase penalties for the deliberate misuse of such records, and create a new offense for using the records to harass former convicts. Laurie Myers, co-founder of the Chelmsford-based victim-advocacy group Community Voices, opposes the proposal. "This bill before the House further restricts criminal information by allowing offenders, in - cluding those with violent convictions, to have their records sealed," Myers said. "It also al - sealed, lows sex offenders who have been relieved of their obligation to register with the Sex Offender Registry Board by a judge to do the same. We hear so much about stopping the pattern or cycle or sexual abuse, and the best this state can come up with is to pretend these violent crimes never happened? That's not public safety, that's public ignorance." ignorance. But Lowell defense attorney David Singer disagrees. "I have worked with many persons in the commonwealth since 1993 who have been nega - tively impacted by their criminal records," Singer said. "People who have changed their be - records, havior from law-breaking to law-abiding often can't get a job or housing because of their past criminal behavior. They can't change their past, but have become honest and produc - tive citizens today.'' today. He noted that the legislation targets those people who have become good citizens and seeks to remove the stigmas of their past. He said the new law would also give those with criminal histories an incentive to stop breaking the law. "There is nothing in the legislation that is soft on crime," Singer said. "It simply allows past crime, behavior to take a back seat to a positive lifestyle. In the best of all scenarios, a person gets in trouble, is punished, and changes their behavior to conform with society. That's what this legislation addresses." addresses.