Saturday, May 18, 2013
Recap and analysis of the week in state government.
Like pieces of a puzzle that don't quite fit together yet, the Big Three may have been separated at birth, but with each incremental step their destinies seem to grow more intertwined. No, we're not talking about those Big Three - Gov. Deval Patrick, Senate President Therese Murray and Speaker Robert DeLeo - though they play major character roles in this thickening plot. Instead, three bills have come to define the early months of the 2013 legislative agenda and resolutions on tax hikes, local road funding and the annual state budget continue to be elusive and dependent on one another. Patrick spent the early part of his week welcoming British Prime Minister David Cameron to Boston for a few quick meetings and a visit to the Copley …
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Replacement of the water main downtown will likely take all summer.
Residents and business owners beware downtown Hopkinton will be a construction zone for most of the summer. DPW Director John Westerling sent out the notice (attached to this article) warning residents that construction to replace the 125-year-old water main on Main Street will begin later this month. "Residents will be able to access their property and all businesses will be able to remain open during the construction," Westerling said in his letter. "The DPW and the contractor will make significant efforts to maintain pedestrian and vehicular access during construction." The contractor, Russo Bros. of Framingham, will be required to keep Main Street open as two lanes when possible during construction, although on-street parking while be…
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Everett officials have negotiated the first host community agreement with a casino developer for the greater Boston region. Milford has an active application, but no agreement yet.
Everett officials have completed the negotiation of a host community agreement with casino developer Wynn Resorts, of Las Vegas, becoming the first community in the greater Boston region to schedule a public vote on a resort casino. According to the agreement, the referendum will be June 22. [Editor's Note: See attached PDF for text of host community agreement.] Under the terms: Milford and Suffolk Downs in East Boston also have casino applications before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. In Milford, the Foxwoods Massachusetts casino is being pursued by a partnership including Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. The Suffolk Downs casino redevelopment is being pursued by a group including Ceasar's, of Las Vegas. The Suffolk Downs site…
Monday, May 13, 2013
Joe Markey and Mike Shepard of Hopkinton's Elementary School Building Committee are thankful the residents supported the next step in finding a solution to Center School.
Monday, May 13
Dear Editor, We would like to thank Town Meeting for the confidence expressed in the unanimous vote on Article 17, funding a feasibility study to address the constraints at Center School. Our goal on the Elementary School Building Committee is to develop a solution that will be actively embraced by the community; achieving this will require your continued active involvement. At our upcoming meetings we will focus on developing and publishing a timeline for community engagement, even as we await a formal project selection response from the MSBA. Thanks to your involvement, your confidence expressed at Town Meeting, and to the partnership to date with the Board of Selectmen and School Committee, we find ourselves at a favorable new starting…
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Don't forget to leave the food out.
Saturday, May 11
Information courtesy of National Association of Letter Carriers The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) conducts its 21st annual food drive to combat hunger this Saturday, May 11. Letter carriers collect non-perishable food donations on that day as they deliver mail along their postal routes. It is the nation’s largest single-day food drive, and is held annually on the second Saturday in May in 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam. Last year, letter carriers collected 70.7 million pounds of food donations along their postal routes, bringing the total to 1.2 billion pounds for the NALC’s food drive, which began in 1992. “We’re honored to be able to help …
Recap and analysis of the week in state government.
Massachusetts' problem is now Virginia's. After a macabre, around-the-clock stakeout of a Worcester funeral home this week by frenzied reporters and furious protestors, the remains of alleged Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev were secreted out of central Massachusetts and buried in a small Muslim cemetery in rural Virginia. No cemetery in Massachusetts, or public official for that matter, wanted Tsarnaev's body. And Gov. Deval Patrick just seemed relieved the tense standoff was over. "No. I have enough to do," Patrick said, when asked if he wished he had gotten involved to end the theatrics sooner. The April 15 attacks on the finish line of the Boston Marathon threw Beacon Hill policymakers off stride, quieting the raging debate …
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Scott Butera, CEO of Foxwoods Resort Casino, was among the panelists at a casino forum at Suffolk University's Sawyer Business School.
BOSTON — Suffolk University drew proponents and opponents of casino gambling to a single forum Thursday, including representatives from Milford and the proposed Foxwoods Massachusetts casino. Scott Butera, chief executive officer of Foxwoods Resort Casino, the dominant partner in the casino application for Milford, was a panelist, as were Steve Trettel, a co-chairman of of Casino Free Milford, and Milford Selectman Brian Murray. Butera described the Milford proposal in a powerpoint presentation, emphasizing that the $1 billion casino application would bring good paying jobs to the Milford region. He disputed opponents' contention that the average casino job would pay less than $35,000 a year, based on the Foxwoods casino record. "If our …
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Town Meeting voters agreed to allow the Board of Selectmen to look at leasing options for green energy.
The Hopkinton Sustainable Green Committee can chalk up a win after their article on the annual town meeting warrant was approved 109-33. Voters spent the better part of an hour discussing the merit and legitimacy of allowing the selectmen to enter a 20-year lease and power purchase agreement for a solar farm on the town's Fruit Street property. Henry Kunicki, Chairman of the Community Preservation Committee (CPC), argued that because nearly $500,000 from the CPC had been used to purchase the property as presented in the master plan if the land is subject to any other use that money should be returned. Town meeting voters did not agree. They voted down an amendment by Kunicki after speakers argued that the money had been intended to …
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Milford Selectmen on Monday listened to an update on newly retained consultants who will work on the town's behalf in analyzing the impacts of a proposed casino. The work must take place in a matter of months.
Operating under a timeline squeezed by the state Gaming Commission, Milford Selectmen were told Monday that a host agreement with a proposed casino developer would have to be completed by the end of August to meet the new deadlines. But the town's attorney handling the casino review said it could be done. "The timeline is tight, but I do think it's doable," said Kimberly Copp, a partner with the law firm Shefsky & Froelich. In an update for the board, she said the law firm had hired several consultants to work on the town's behalf. They include: Foxwoods Massachusetts, which hopes to build a $1 billion resort casino in Milford, will pay for the town consultants to review the impact of its proposed development. "They gave us no pushback," …
Hopkinton voters were asked last night what price they were willing to pay to protect the town in the event a casino gets approved for Milford.
As Foxwoods Massachusetts plans to establish a storefront in Milford, voters in surrounding towns are putting their money where there mouth is to prepare for mitigation. At the first night of Hopkinton's annual town meeting, voters were asked to approve $100,00 "to cover the legal and consulting expenses incurred in opposing the siting of a casino in Milford." While explaining the need for this money, which according to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission should be provided by the casino developers, Selectman Benjamin Palleiko said the developers have no obligation to provide the money in a timely manner. "This is not a lot of money for us to spend compared to the possible millions of dollars we could get in mitigation from the developers…