Paul working for you.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Ideas for a fall weekend drive in Central Massachusetts

Ideas for a fall weekend drive in Central Massachusetts
The Kitchen Garden in Templeton is one place to stop on a weekend drive. (Photography/TOM RETTIG)               
 By Laura Porter

Trees place us in the world. Their bare lines sketch a stark outline against the winter's chilly sky. New buds, branches barely furred in green, promise bursts of color to come. Thick green foliage offers a shaded canopy at the height of summer's heat. And autumn? The fireworks of New England's fall foliage burn so brightly that it's easy to forget those red and orange leaves mean the end and not the beginning of something. Even driving along the busiest highway in October brings the season home, each bend in the road another vista worth a photograph.

Better yet is taking the time for a meandering Saturday drive. The russets and golds of the hills are a backdrop to your own exploration of the byways and back roads.

From hiking to biking to shopping, it's easy to find something to do — and even easier to find a place to kick back and do nothing, perhaps over a mid-morning omelet or a panini for a late lunch.

Heading out of Worcester on Pleasant Street past the airport, Route 122 leads past familiar territory at first: the center of Paxton and then the entrance to Rutland State Park.

Community Foundation distributes more than $290,000 in new grants

Community Foundation distributes more than $290,000 in new grants
Sunday, August 31, 2014

Community Foundation distributes more than $290,000 in new grants

FITCHBURG — The Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts has announced 23 grants totaling nearly $293,000 from its general endowment and a field of interest fund.

Seven grants made from the foundation's general endowment were awarded to the following:

•CASA Project Inc., Worcester, received $14,910 to provide advocacy for child victims in the court system in North Central Massachusetts.

•A $9,940 grant was made to Community Legal Aid Inc., Worcester, to help local families who are homeless move out of crisis and toward stability by providing free legal assistance to obtain shelter.

•L.U.K. Crisis Center Inc., Fitchburg, received a $16,898 grant for its North Central Runaway and Homeless Youth Network, which proactively reaches out to the young adult homeless population.

•To provide mentoring services to homeless families, Montachusett Interfaith Hospitality Network Inc. in Leominster received a $19,880 grant.

•A $3,979 grant to The Salvation Army, Athol Corps, will fund a safe haven to keep children physically active at critical times during the year.

•The Salvation Army, Montachusett Corps, based in Fitchburg, received a $9,940 grant to reduce juvenile crime by improving school attendance and grades.

•A grant of $2,982 will help the Sterling Council on Aging purchase 125 carbon monoxide detectors for elderly residents.

A fund established for environmental causes and animal welfare made seven grants to the following organizations:

•Friends of Sholan Farms Inc. in Leominster received $10,000 for developing the second phase of its master strategic plan.

•A $14,000 grant to Groton Conservation Trust will be used to reduce invasive species, with the goal of sharing best practices with surrounding communities.

•Just Understand My Potential Inc., Harvard, received $2,000 to help at-risk youths and young adults access the outdoor environment in a meaningful way.

•A $4,000 grant to the Massachusetts Audubon Society Inc. will be used for a science education program for Grades 3 and 4 teachers at Crocker Elementary School in Fitchburg.

•Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society, Salisbury, received a $10,000 grant to provide low-cost spay services for cats belonging to residents of Fitchburg, Gardner and Leominster.

•The completion of 25 new trails will happen for the Millers River Watershed Council Inc. in the Athol area, thanks to a $9,250 grant for their Upper Millers-Otter Blue Trails.

•At-risk youths will get vocational and educational experience through The Trustees of Reservations program, Leominster Regional Youth Conservation Corps, which received a $15,000 grant.

A fund established for organizational development made the following six grants:

Friday, August 29, 2014

Weekend Update!

Weekend Update!

Editor's Letter: Life of pie

Finnish bread and coffee can be found at The Kitchen Garden in Templeton, one of the stops on our fall weekend drive story.
(PHOTOGRAPHY/TOM RETTIG)
    
By Karen A. Webber
kwebber@telegram.com

Pie fixes everything.

If only it were that simple. Yes, a wonderfully warm slice of fruit pie and a steaming mug of coffee cure many ills. But what about the pie itself? Who puts pie-making in the simple category?

Our story about Lucy Parker, who spent years perfecting her pie-making technique and became a blue-ribbon baker, brought back memories.

When I was a kid, Saturday was baking day, and muffins, coffeecakes, turnovers and yes, pies, were favorite fare. A classic crust was made with sifted flour, a pinch of sugar, salt, Crisco and a bit of water. Once in a while I was allowed to smooth the dough with the rolling pin ("don't press so hard!") to form that not-so-perfect pie circle. Add the filling — apple being the favorite back then — and soon the aroma of cinnamon and sweetness filled the air.

Fast-forward to young adulthood.

Cause of Templeton fire investigated

Cause of Templeton fire investigated


By George Barnes TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
george.barnes@telegram.com


TEMPLETON — The cause of a fire that damaged a Victorian rooming house on Pleasant Street Friday night remains under investigation. 

Fire Chief Raymond LaPorte said one firefighter was treated for a minor wrist injury and another for dehydration in fighting the fire, which tore through the second and third floors of the house. He said the fire is under investigation by the state fire marshal's office and the Templeton Fire Department. 

Chief LaPorte said he was the first to arrive at the fire, about 6:30 p.m. Friday. The building is less than a quarter of a mile from the Baldwinville Fire Station and Fire Department headquarters, where the chief was working at the time. 

"When I arrived (the fire) was blowing out the windows," Chief LaPorte said. He said firefighters initially fought the fire from inside the building, but everyone was pulled out after loud cracking sounds were heard and a collapse was feared. 

Firefighters contained the fire mostly to the main part of the house, but the building was condemned by the town building inspector. 

Contact George Barnes at george.barnes@telegram.com. Follow him on Twitter @georgebarnesTG 

Sludge creates a stink in Gardner

Sludge creates a stink in Gardner

By George Barnes TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
george.barnes@telegram.com

GARDNER — That a stench often hangs in the air near the Gardner sludge landfill was not debated Monday night, but finding a solution is the challenge for city officials. 

Before any of the 18 people attending a Board of Health meeting Monday night spoke, Health Director Bernard Sullivan and Board Chairman Dr. Donald Miller both acknowledged the West Street landfill gives off unpleasant odors. 

"I can attest to a significant problem of noxious odors at the site," Dr. Miller said, adding that he and Mr. Sullivan visited the landfill earlier Monday to get a firsthand sniff at the problem. 

Mr. Sullivan said the landfill is behind the city's now closed solid waste landfill. He said when the landfill was operating there were regular concerns about odor. There were always problems with the smell of sludge at the sludge landfill, but it has grown worse recently. 

The sludge, he said smells like a mix of nitrogen and hydrogen sulfide. 

"The odor is something akin to a pig farm," Mr. Sullivan said. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014



Question of the week


How does the Town of Templeton, as in the taxpayers, end up receiving a bill for a document request made by a private citizen to a private company? At the BOS meeting on Monday evening, August 25, 2014, it was brought up that the town had received an invoice for an amount of money that was for a document request from Mr. Gerald Skelton. Apparently Mr. Skelton contacted ESC, a private company that had done the initial environmental paperwork for 252 Baldwinville Road. That was a building the town bought that was going to be turned into a town hall. Mr. Skelton had been a member of the select board as well as Chairman of the town hall building committee. But I am still puzzled at how Mr. Skelton could request a document from ESC but the bill for that document was sent to the Town of Templeton. I don't believe the question (s) were brought up as to whether Mr. Skelton had misrepresented himself to the company as a town official or if the company had assumed Mr. Skelton was still a town official. It would appear that Mr. Skelton failed to make clear he was requesting the document as a private citizen. Hopefully, it was made clear by the town to this company that Mr. Skelton is no longer affiliated with Town government. Whatever the case, it is good that someone was on the ball in the selectmen's office and this was caught and it was discussed at an open meeting. Most importantly, the taxpayers did not end up with the bill.

Potent painkiller found mixed with heroin in Worcester

Potent painkiller found mixed with heroin in Worcester
POLICE INVESTIGATE RASH OF OVERDOSES

Emergency personnel prepare to transport a reported overdose victim on Aug. 8. (T&G File Photo/PAUL KAPTEYN)   
By Scott J. Croteau TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
scott.croteau@telegram.com


WORCESTER — The rash of drug overdose deaths beginning this month in the city has ebbed, but police officials still don't believe heroin users are safe from possible deadly doses. Part of that concern could be the recent discovery of fentanyl found in some of the heroin on city streets.

A power pain reliever, fentanyl has been being mixed into heroin in different parts of the country and the results have been deadly.

While Worcester Police haven't said whether this new discovery played a part in the rash of heroin overdose deaths this month, the presence of fentanyl certainly adds concerns.

"It is something very recent, but we don't want to compromise the current investigation by speaking about it further," Police Chief Gary J. Gemme said. "It's the first time we are seeing it. It (fentanyl) is a very powerful substance."

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

CNN caught red handed covering up CDC medical genocide of African-American babies

CNN caught red handed covering up CDC medical genocide of African-American babies
Monday, August 25, 2014
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Tags: CNN, censorship, medical genocide

(NaturalNews) While CNN salivates over the news potential of an African-American teen being shot by a police officer, the network deliberately censors any news of the systematic medical abuse of African-American children by the CDC and the vaccine industry. That's the startling revelation which has now surfaced from recent events.

Following the explosive story of a key CDC scientist and whistleblower going public with his admission that the CDC committed scientific fraud to bury the truth about MMR vaccines causing autism, CNN has twice censored citizen journalists who posted well-cited stories on CNN's iReport website.

CNN has been aggressively monitoring its own website to commit content suppression actions as rapidly as possible, making sure any truthful reporting about the CDC, MMR vaccines and autism gets deleted as quickly as possible.

The first story posted on CNN's iReport site stayed up for 19 hours before CNN censors noticed it and ordered it deleted. By that time, it had racked up 17,000 shares and was starting to go viral. The author of that story contacted The Truth Barrier and explained how CNN content censors lied:

I wrote the CNN iReport. The producer contacted me and wanted to know how I know what I know. I gave her contact info for Hooker, and also for Thompson's attorney. I took her through the entire Hooker/Thompson timeline of events. I told her what else is coming soon. The producer said she was calling Hooker right away and that if they verified the story they’d put it back up. Hooker said they never called. The story is still down.

The second story was removed far more quickly, lasting just two hours before it too was censored. The story "had garnered 20,000 views and 5,000 shares, before it was deleted," reports TruthBarrier.com.

CNN restores the second story with obvious intention of removing it again

Pipeline and Energy Updates

Gov. Patrick backs away from regional effort to expand natural gas capacity
Jon Chesto
Boston Business Journal
Gov. Deval Patrick has backed away from a plan that would raise money via a tariff on the power market here.     
The New England governors’ plan to impose a new tax on our electricity market to pay for natural gas pipeline construction was a bold proposal — one that’s never really been tried before — to solve our region’s natural gas constraint issues.

But without Massachusetts involved, it’s almost impossible to pull off.

Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration has decided to put its support for this massive infrastructure investment on hold. This decision follows the Massachusetts Legislature’s failure to approve Patrick’s “clean energy” bill, a bill that would have allowed utilities in this state to enter into long-term contracts for Canadian hydropower, with a goal of building new power lines into New England. The region’s governors, through the New England States Committee on Energy, had proposed a separate electricity tariff to help subsidize those power lines. Now, the future of both tariff proposals is up in the air.

Gov. Paul LePage in Maine tried to salvage the regional process, sending a letter last week to Patrick, imploring him to get on board with the project to bring more low-cost Marcellus Shale gas from Pennsylvania into New England. This is a huge economic issue in LePage’s home state: The operators of another pulp mill, this one in Old Town, just announced that it would close down, affecting nearly 200 jobs, in part because of high energy costs.

Narragansett Historical Society Meeting 8/27/14

Narragansett Historical Society Meeting


 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Scraptastic! IG questioned sale for Winchendon police HQ

IG questioned sale for Winchendon police HQ
Retired police officer Michael Young is opposed to the town of Winchendon's purchase of the former Winchendon District Court building on Central Street to relocate the police station. (T&G Staff / Rick Cinclair)  
By Paula J. Owen TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

WINCHENDON — As the town waits for construction bids to transform the former district court building into a police station, a state Inspector General report alleges the project was illegal from the outset.

The jury is still out as to whether the town can renovate the old Winchendon District Court on Central Street and make it code compliant with a $1.9 million budget. Town voters approved $2.75 million for the police station project, and $1.9 million is all that is left after the property was purchased for $835,000 from owner Elias I. Hanna.

Construction bids are due by 3 p.m. Sept. 18. However, some feel the project shouldn't have gotten to this point.

An 11-page, Dec. 24, 2013, letter from state Inspector General Glenn A. Cunha to the Winchendon Board of Selectmen said an investigation into the process used to acquire the building found the town violated procurement laws, did not provide for open and fair competition, was biased in favor of the old courthouse and resulted in a predetermined outcome.

The IG's office also sent the letter to the Attorney General's office. However, the IG did not refer the issue to the AG's office for an investigation, according to AG spokesman Christopher M. Loh, who was asked by the Telegram & Gazette if a referral was made.

Meetings week of August 25, 2014

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Meetings week of August 25, 2014

Monday 8/25/14

BOS                              Kamaloht                    6:30 pm
BOS E Session             Kamaloht                    8:00 pm

Tuesday 8/26/14

Planning                       Scout Hall                   6:30 pm


Thursday 8/28/14

Sr. Center                      Bridge St                   6:30 pm




Sunday, August 24, 2014


Massachusetts Inspector General opines on Winchendon Court House Purchase
    


        An article in Worcester Telegram which is about the purchase of an old court house building to be turned into a "new" police station certainly has a familiar ring to it here in Templeton. Paying too much for an old building, discussions and purchasing details out of public view, pre-determined outcomes, mold issues hidden or left off of discussion and other things written about in the article sound very much like a scenario played out  here with regards to an old manufacturing building that was put forth as a "new" town hall with paying too much and understating or under estimating the true costs of renovation. The one thing that comes through is these happenings are not unique to Templeton after all!




Templeton Town Coordinator

Anyone can look at the Templeton Annual Town Report of 1998 and find Town Meeting vote creating the position of Town Coordinator. Massachusetts General Law chapter 41, section 23C was referenced, which anyone can search out and see that chapter and section reads as follows "No person shall be authorized by vote of a town to act on behalf of the board of selectmen unless the vote provides that such person shall be appointed and may be removed by said board" I hope Ms. Skelton included that in her updated complaint. Also, Ms. Skelton had no employment contract and was an at will employee and it is  hoped Ms. Skelton in her updated complaint is not attempting an assault or limit on free speech thru intimidation and bullying by using the threat of or the actual use of lawsuits and MCAD complaints. Perhaps there are bloggers or citizens out there who could provide us with any information on whether Ms. Skelton collected any unemployment compensation after her dismissal and did this have any affect on the towns expenses, which would involve the spending of public money which should make this a public record. 

Attorney General rules no Violation

Concerning an open meeting violation filed against the Town of Templeton, specifically against the Board of Selectmen by Dan Keeney, the Office of the Attorney General has notified the BOS that it has been determined by the AG that no Open Meeting violation occurred. The Attorney General of Massachusetts, which is the chief law enforcement office for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has made and issued a determination that the Templeton Board of Selectmen did not violate the open meeting law of the Commonwealth. The BOS had received more than one letter from an attorney representing Mr. Keeney on this subject and the subject of the dismissal of Dan Keeney, and this attorney was present at the meeting mentioned in the OML complaint. This is now one less issue the board has to deal with while moving forward.

Jeffrey Bennett

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Making death rays to end global warming


Making death rays to end global warming
By George Barnes TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
george.barnes@telegram.com


I am a great believer in alternative energy.

I like the way wind turbines and solar panels gather power that can be renewed, in a way that does not leave residual damage.

About the only thing wind turbines stir up is pollen, and that is already on the wind. Solar panels mostly do not stir up anything, at least those that have not been turned into death rays.

The death rays disturb me a bit.

An Associated Press article that ran this week in the Telegram & Gazette told an almost creepy tale of a solar plant in Ivanpah Dry Lake, California, in the Mojave Desert, that incinerates birds with what I see as death rays.

The plant uses large mirrors to concentrate the sun's rays toward a large water container that heats up to some incredible temperature, causing the water inside to turn to steam, which in turn creates power. It sounds like something the bad guy in a Syfy original movie would invent only to discover that it was causing the Earth to heat up to the point where volcanoes erupt and Godzilla emerges and stomps around Los Angeles. The planet is saved when it is cooled off by a global ice bucket challenge.

We must prepare ourselves for death

We must prepare ourselves for death
To The Editor: 8/13/2014

To The Editor:

Reading the article in The Gardner News about the names of deceased students being removed from the walls at Narragansett Regional High School made me think of a related mistake that many people make.

Failure to prepare for death, whether it be our own death or the death of a loved one. 

We all make preparations for even the smallest most inconsequential trip. 

If we need to head across town to buy a gallon of milk, we make sure we are suitably dressed and have enough money. 

We might economize and consider what other items to buy to prevent another trip in the near future. 

But when it comes to death, definitely one of life’s greatest trips many depart woefully unprepared.

BOS Meeting August 11, 2014


BOS Meeting August 11, 2014

Part 1 of the August 11, 2014 BOS Meeting

Part 2 of the August 11, 2014 BOS Meeting

The Town Administrator presented his report to the BOS. Work is being done on the Pro Forma tax recap sheet as well as revenue projections for FY 16. The revenue projections for FY 16 will guide the budget process, which will begin shortly.

Candidates for town accountant have been interviewed.

Work continues on town hall.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Updated Town Phone Numbers

NEW PHONE NUMBERS FOR TOWN OFFICES 2.0
Print out this list!! (Throw away the other one!)

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

 John Columbus, Julie Farrell and Doug Morrison, members of the Board of Selectmen in Templeton, take the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money for ALS also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The $25 challenge was issued by Templeton resident Brenda Hamel. In turn, the board members challenged the Phillipston Board of Selectmen to dump icy water over their heads. They have 24 hours to accept.

CREDIT: STEPHEN LANDRY



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Apologies for Narragansett murals/memorials

Apologies for Narragansett murals/memorials
Letter to the Editor: 8/20/2014

As Principal of Narragansett Regional High School, I am sorry for the way things were handled concerning the murals and memorials at NRHS.

I am in charge of the high school, and ultimately responsible for the decisions made on my watch, and the many results that occur from these decisions.

Please let me extend to the affected families, my deepest sympathy for your loss and the genuine pain you continue to endure.

I am sorry.

My hope is to learn from this experience and make the changes necessary to improve our communication, programs and service to students.

Shawn Rickan
Narragansett Principal


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

EMERGENCY MEETING of ESBC

Holly Cow Batman!

This free land ain't so free after all!


  Looks like it is back to the drawing board because the so called free land near crow hill may come with a hefty price tag, as in the millions of dollars. At the emergency meeting of the elementary school building committee held tonight, Tuesday, 8/19/2014, it was revealed that the committee will go before the BOS and ask for another RFP for land for the school because of the non reimbursable costs involved with the Crow Hill site are said to be in the 6 to 8 million dollar range. So now it looks like we go to MSBA and ask for more time. Might be time to toss in towel and start a new. Perhaps we could take another look at the Brooks site. Now I will make the point of karma and how it relates to the school district. Perhaps the school committee should have taken no for an answer on the last budget go round'. Perhaps the school committee should have worked for a 100K reduction in budget this year and perhaps the superintendent should have made nice with the transportation costs money? So, either Templeton residents pony up however much is required to buy land or we fix and upgrade the buildings we have and make do until we get things in order. I am betting a coat of paint at Templeton Center school would have gone a long way to help in this latest endeavor. Perhaps we could look at a member of the select board who is in real estate to assist in this matter, that person could do the leg work and searching in service to the town, sort of like volunteering! What ever happens, it looks like this storm is not going away anytime soon.

Jeff Bennett  

Monday, August 18, 2014

EMERGENCY MEETING

Elementary School Emergency Meeting

Tuesday August 19, 2014

6 pm

Central Office

"MSBA Submission" ??

Meetings week of August 18, 2014

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Meetings week of August 18, 2014

Monday 8/18/14

Conservation                             4 Elm St                   7:00 pm

Wednesday 8/20/14

Assessors                                    2 School St.            2:00 pm
ET CDBG Meeting                    Kamaloht                6:00 pm

NRSD School Committee          Phillipston              6:30 pm
     
Thursday 8/21/14

Sr. Center                                    Bridge St               6:30 pm

Friday, August 15, 2014

Templeton Arts and Crafts Festival


Saturday August 16th  10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Sunday August 17th 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Fun for everyone!

Free Parking and Admission
Visit the Historical Society!





 

Save the Date... August 20th!!

Save the Date... August 20th!!

The NRSD Committee will have a School Committee meeting in Phillipston on August 20, 2014 at 6:30 pm. 

A quick recap :

 School committee and superintendent, with the help of "Gansett Greatness", use the "nuclear option" 603 CMR 41.05  to turn FOUR NO Votes  into a Yes Vote and rip over $500,000 out of Templeton's operating budget for FY 14.

 At May 2014 Annual Town Meeting a substitute motion was made to reduce Templeton's minimum contribution by $100,000 due to the anticipated increase in state funding for regional transportation. No compromise from School committee chair or town meeting for this substitute motion. The reasoning behind this motion was the Town has just voted to layoff and reduce town employees - AGAIN!  The question was posed why isn't the school budget reduced as well.

The school committee allegedly votes to allow the school superintendent Ms. Miller to reduce both Templeton's and Phillipston's assessments  if the state increases regional transportation. The governor  signs the state budget. The state increases regional transportation. The school superintendent Ruth Miller refuses to lower Templeton and Phillipston's assessments.

Templeton BOS vote to pursue the option of reducing Templeton's minimum contribution to Narragansett Regional School District according to Annual Fiscal Year Waivers To Educational Reform Spending Requirements and Minimum Required Local Contributions.  

NRSD administration remove the names on murals that have been dedicated to students who have died.

Preliminary estimates for Templeton Elementary School  Building range from a low of $43 million to a high of $49 million. The new school will be built on land adjacent to the Templeton Developmental Center.

*****************************************
 From the Worcester Telegram 8/15/2014

 State boosts school bus funding for regional districts

By Debbie LaPlaca CORRESPONDENT

DUDLEY — Regional school districts statewide will see an estimated 26 percent bump in state funds for busing costs, which represents 90 percent of the promised 100 percent reimbursement.

State Sens. Richard T. Moore, D-Uxbridge, and Stephen M. Brewer, D-Barre, met Thursday with regional school officials from southern Central Massachusetts to announce an $18.7 million increase in state funding for regional school transportation.

The state's fiscal 2015 budget, approved by Gov. Deval L. Patrick last month, increased regional school transportation funding from last year's $51.5 million to $70.2 million this year.

"This will be a great help for next year's budget to reduce what our towns pay toward transportation," said William J. Trifone, finance director for the Dudley-Charlton Regional School District.

The state law that governs public schools was amended in 1952 with the promise of 100 percent state reimbursement of busing costs for regional school districts.

"The incentive to regionalize was to get the full transportation reimbursement," Mr. Moore said. "That hasn't been met yet, but bringing it to this level of funding is something to celebrate."

In recent years, state reimbursement dropped with the declining economy; from 89.9 percent in fiscal 2008 to 66.4 percent last year.

The most significant drop occurred when it went from 85.7 percent in 2009 to 57.7 percent in 2010.

This year's push for the 26 percent increase was led by the two senior senators, who represent 18 regional school districts, Mr. Brewer said.

Mr. Moore serves as Senate president pro tempore. Mr. Brewer is chairman of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, and this year served as co-chairman of the State Budget Conference Committee.

"Ninety percent is a gold standard of where we would like to go," Mr. Brewer said.

The announcement comes months after most regional school budgets have been adopted.

For Dudley-Charlton Regional, 90 percent reimbursement is $564,935 more than the 66.6 percent that was anticipated when the budget was adopted.

Mr. Trifone said it is too early to say how the unexpected money will be used but he will formulate a plan for school committee approval.

For Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School in Charlton, the 90 percent represents $231,875 more than what was budgeted.

Bay Path Business Manager Dean Iacobucci said the budget was adopted with a projected 65.2 percent reimbursement, based on the governor's budget numbers released in January.

The additional state funds, he said, will be used to offset the cost of transportation this year, which is higher than what was estimated for a new three-year transportation contract.

Also attending the meeting at Shepherd Hill Regional High School in Dudley were representatives from Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School, Tantasqua Regional School District/Union 61, Southern Worcester County Regional Vocational School District, Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School and Dudley-Charlton Regional.
 

 

State boosts school bus funding for regional districts

State boosts school bus funding for regional districts
By Debbie LaPlaca CORRESPONDENT

DUDLEY — Regional school districts statewide will see an estimated 26 percent bump in state funds for busing costs, which represents 90 percent of the promised 100 percent reimbursement.

State Sens. Richard T. Moore, D-Uxbridge, and Stephen M. Brewer, D-Barre, met Thursday with regional school officials from southern Central Massachusetts to announce an $18.7 million increase in state funding for regional school transportation.

The state's fiscal 2015 budget, approved by Gov. Deval L. Patrick last month, increased regional school transportation funding from last year's $51.5 million to $70.2 million this year.

"This will be a great help for next year's budget to reduce what our towns pay toward transportation," said William J. Trifone, finance director for the Dudley-Charlton Regional School District.

The state law that governs public schools was amended in 1952 with the promise of 100 percent state reimbursement of busing costs for regional school districts.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Missing Gardner man found in Leominster

Missing Gardner man found in Leominster
Sentinel & Enterprise
Gardner police officers, along with a bloodhound from the Worcester County Sheriff's Office, search along Route 68 near the Hubbardston line Monday for a missing man who was found later in Leominster. SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE / Jim Marabello

LEOMINSTER -- A man who had been missing from Gardner since Sunday night was found in Leominster on Monday afternoon, Gardner police said.

Roger Guy, 45, a resident of the Templeton Developmental Center in Baldwinville, was reported missing Sunday, about 2 p.m., according to Sgt. John Czasnowski. He was found after someone spotted him on Commercial Road and Mechanic Street in Leominster.

The person recognized Guy from a photo posted with a story on sentinelandenterprise.com, police said.

State grab after death is shocking

State grab after death is shocking
By Dianne Williamson
dianne.williamson@telegram.com


The siblings of Dennis Perry say the state made a "fatal error" in judgment that led to the violent death of their brother, allegedly at the hands of a resident who had no business living at the Templeton Developmental Center.

Now, just as the family learned that Dennis' alleged assailant has been indicted by a Worcester County grand jury, they received another shock: Any money they could recoup in a civil suit would likely be seized by the state.

Last fall I recounted the story of Dennis, a gentle, happy 64-year-old who was born with a developmental disability and lived for more than 40 years at the center, a state-run facility for the mentally handicapped. On Sept. 16, his family was notified that he "fell" and hit his head in the dairy barn; he died 12 days later.

Three weeks after the injury, police arrested Anthony Remillard, 22, of Worcester, a volatile man who had been sent to Templeton over the objections of prosecutors while awaiting trial on arson charges. Two staff members told police that Remillard deliberately shoved Dennis into a boiler at the barn, in a swift and unprovoked attack.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Nestlé decides it does want Wekepeke water - December 20, 2007

Nestlé decides it does want Wekepeke water - December 20, 2007
Tests show source is underground

By Karen Nugent TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

CLINTON —  If all goes according to plans, Nestlé Waters North America could be bottling spring water from the Wekepeke aquifer in Sterling by this time next year.

A summary of hydrogeological test results from a 200-acre section of the 600-acre aquifer, which is owned by Clinton, was presented to the selectmen last night. Jay Billings of Northeast Geoscience, a hydrogeologist working for Nestlé, said a 15-day pump test done in September shows the water is, in fact, from underground springs.

He said the water chemistry demonstrated good quality and the water level is stable; however, the yield was lower than expected.

“It’s about 60 percent of what we hoped to get,” Mr. Billings said.

Little oversight as Nestle taps Morongo reservation water

Little oversight as Nestle taps Morongo reservation water
Ian James, The Desert Sun

CABAZON – Among the windmills and creosote bushes of San Gorgonio Pass, a nondescript beige building stands flanked by water tanks. A sign at the entrance displays the logo of Arrowhead 100% Mountain Spring Water, with water flowing from a snowy mountain. Semi-trucks rumble in and out through the gates, carrying load after load of bottled water.
(Photo: Photo illustration by Michael Snyder/ The Desert Sun )   
The plant, located on the Morongo Band of Mission Indians' reservation, has been drawing water from wells alongside a spring in Millard Canyon for more than a decade. But as California's drought deepens, some people in the area question how much water the plant is bottling and whether it's right to sell water for profit in a desert region where springs are rare and underground aquifers have been declining.


Residents petition for removal of fluoride from water in Topsfield

Residents petition for removal of fluoride from water in Topsfield
Jeffy Demeter is petitioning to have fluoride taken out of Topsfield water. Wicked Local Photo / Kathryn O'Brien

Posted Aug. 8, 2014 @ 10:35 am

BOXFORD
By Anna Burgess
aburgess@wickedlocal.com

Topsfield resident Jeffy Demeter believes there is a toxin in the water—fluoride.

Demeter is part of a growing coalition of people in Massachusetts, and throughout the country, who are questioning the addition of fluoride to public water supplies. Fluoride has been in the Topsfield water supply since 1953, when  Town Meeting voted to add it because of its oral health benefits. Today, the compound is still used topically by dental professionals, but Demeter likens it to a poison when ingested regularly.

Three years ago, she began learning about the possible negative effects of fluoride, and this summer she took action in her hometown.

"I thought, there’s no better time than now," Demeter said. "This issue has to be decided by local governments. That’s how it got into the water, and that’s how we’re going to take it out."

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Promising News - Tax Title Review

Promising News - Tax Title Review

At last night's BOS meeting, Town Administrator, Bob Markel provided the board with an update on the tax title proceedings:
 
"There are 125 tax titles that total   $1,417,948.25 (when including the interest and fees listed on the report).



Of this list, it appears that 22 of the tax titles totaling $549,704.92 or 39% of the total relate to the American Tissue Mills situation so are unlikely to sell at a tax title sale although we should discuss this further to make sure that Tallage understands this situation in more detail.



Of the remainder, Tallage would likely bid on between $300K - $500K of the current tax title list if Templeton were to have a tax title sale.  Remember that 30-40% of the tax titles that you publish for sale are likely to redeem or enter into a payment agreement prior to the actual sale so the total eligible pool to bid on dwindles as tax titles redeem or are removed prior to sale.  Please also note that we have only done our initial desktop underwriting and we would still conduct our legal, title, environmental, bankruptcy and on the ground market work if Templeton decides to move forward with a tax title sale.

Save the Date... August 20th!!

Save the Date... August 20th!!

There is going to be an East Templeton neighborhood meeting on August 20th at 6PM at Kamaloht to discuss the proposed infrastructure improvements to ET village. The meeting will be a great time for residents to learn about the proposed work and speak with the project team. Resident input makes the projects more successful and is critical if the town has hopes of grant funding.


The engineer for the Back Bay Project, Dan Lawrence from Weston & Sampson, will join me to discuss the project with those in attendance. I hope to also have representatives from TMLW, Highway, Sewer, and the BOS/TA there as well.

TMLW is sending out surveys this week to all households who did not respond to the initial survey this winter. John Driscoll included mention of this meeting in his cover letter so we are hoping for a good turnout.

Michael Pingpank, Senior Project Manager
Community Opportunities Group, Inc.

1 Million Hits and Counting

1 Million Hits and Counting

Paul Cosentino, Sr started this blog in 2011 because of "wrongdoings" in the Town of Templeton. Some of the "wrongdoings" have been addressed BECAUSE of this blog. There are still 4 "wrongdoings" that were sent to the state for an investigation:

Investigation by Attorney General Citizen Petition

To see if the Town will vote to petition the General Court for special legislation as set forth below; provided, however, that the General Court may make clerical or editorial changes of form only to the bill which shall be within the scope of the general public objectives of this petition, or take any other action relative thereto:

Monday, August 11, 2014

Meetings week of August 11th


Meetings week of August 11th

Monday 8/11/14
BOS                            Kamaloht               6:30 pm
Recreation                  Kamaloht               6:30 pm

Tuesday 8/12/14
COA                             Scout Hall            1:30 pm
Planning                       Scout Hall            6:30 pm

Wednesday 8/13/14
Housing Authority       Bridge St              4:00 pm

Thursday 8/14/14
Cemetery & Parks         Scout Hall           6:30 pm
Sr. Center                       Bridge St            6:30 pm

August 16 + August 17th
On the Common
Templeton 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Message from the Town Accountant

Message from the Town Accountant
From:     accountant@templeton1.org (accountant@templeton1.org) You moved this message to its current location.
Sent:     Fri 8/08/14 4:07 PM
To:     kcrobinson7@gmail.com (kcrobinson7@gmail.com); J Driscoll (jdriscoll@templetonlight.com); 'Diane Haley Brooks' (dianehaleybrooksselectwoman@gmail.com) (dianehaleybrooksselectwoman@gmail.com); jfcolumbus@gmail.com (jfcolumbus@gmail.com); Julie Farrell (j_farrell@hotmail.com) (j_farrell@hotmail.com); treasurer@templeton1.org (treasurer@templeton1.org); Holly Young (hyoung@templeton1.org) (hyoung@templeton1.org); townadministrator@templeton1.org (townadministrator@templeton1.org); Doug Morrison (dem270@comcast.net) (dem270@comcast.net)
Cc:     kwebster kwebster (kwebster@templetonlight.com); Dana Blais (snowfighter4@verizon.net) (snowfighter4@verizon.net); 'Gregg Edwards' (gmefromces@aol.com); stewy5@comcast.net (stewy5@comcast.net); jbelliveau jbelliveau (jbelliveau@templetonlight.com); Thomas Berry (tberry@templetonlight.com)

John,
I am restating my May 12th offer. I will work with the Light Department to help it obtain a bond rating separate from the Town. I know the industry contacts to get this done. If you want to do it yourself, please contact Mary Carney at First Southwest at (508) 797-3035, who is cc'ed here. Mary is the person who can get it done for you.

I want to straighten out some information you have below. The Town's bond rating was removed only because it could not provide FY 2013 audited financial statements within Moody's evaluation window. The rating removal is not a reflection of the "Town's handling of all matters financial," but rather a reflection of how difficult it is for the Town to obtaining an audit firm and schedule the audit. To prove that the Town's handling of its financial matters is improving, please remember that the Town floated your department's cashflow needs last month. With this help, your department did not need to obtain a revenue anticipation note, nor did we charge your department interest for this service.
Past Town Reports


Templeton Annual Town Report of 1998, on page 30, the report of the commissioners of Templeton Municipal Light plant states "municipal utilities are community owned and operated and state laws & regulations governing utilities have always given local officials the control over most utility affairs."

Page 32, statement of cash flows: For the purpose of the statement of cash flow, the light dept. considers only unrestricted cash on deposit with the town treasurer as cash & cash equivalents.
Taxes: The department is exempt from income taxes and property taxes but pays amounts in lieu of taxes to the Town of Templeton. So why fight so hard against an agreement?  Why be so against the term PILOT or payment in lieu of taxes?


The more you look, read and hear, the more you see how much the Templeton Municipal Light and Water Plant is tied to the Town of Templeton so why would the commissioners fight so hard to keep say a water dept. budget out of the hands of town meeting yet complain that town bond rating or lack there of is affecting their (water dept.) borrowing power?


Supposedly, from May 2011 to July 2014, Templeton Light has received $501,676.00 back from Brodie Mountain thru wind renewable energy credits and all of this "cash" has been put back into power supply costs as credit against the project's capacity costs. I read that as no real money has changed hands and as capacity costs go up, those credits are worth less and less which is kind of like buying stock and rather than paying a dividend to the stock holders, the company just issues you a few more shares of stock and either the stock price goes down or the costs to manger your port folio goes up, meanwhile you are on food stamps. Take those wind credits in the form of cash and use the funds to pay Town of Templeton a PILOT in the form of $165,000.00 per year and thank you very much for your support!

Jeffrey Bennett

Friday, August 8, 2014

Weekend Activities

Weekend Activities

Senior Center Work Bee beginning at 9 am Saturday!


Narragansett Historical Society is open on Saturday!





Templeton Light & Water Credit Woes


After sending an email to John Driscoll about this issue, I received a reply with some good information and some puzzling info as well. One line in particular which reads "it is too bad that we have had to wait to hear from you, a former selectmen, on this matter rather than one of the acting five." Now the original email sent out from John Driscoll to many officials including all five current sitting selectmen and not one email reply or other communication from active members of the select board. And no, I did not contact any of the five to check this so I am taking Mr. Driscoll's word as I do not see any reason for him to not be other than honest with me on this issue. I know Templeton has a town administrator but he is not full time so someone needs to answer or address or attend these meetings.


Templeton light apparently has options to borrow and in the email response from Mr. Driscoll, the forming of a cooperative was mentioned which I thought was odd because at a selectmen meeting earlier this year, former Templeton Light General Manager Sean Hamilton stated at a BOS meeting that the wind turbine behind the high school was funded or financed under section 47c of MGL c 164. Section 47c covers municipal electric cooperatives so if Mr. Hamilton is/was correct, then there should be no need to form a cooperative because that would seem to have already been done. Perhaps this can be done and dissolved as many times as needed? Mr. Driscoll also stated that Templeton Water has no options like Light has so Templeton Water has no borrowing options which is probably good because I recall the commissioners saying they (the water dept.) has no funds for infrastructure anyway, which is why CDBG grant monies were used to pay for all the water work in back Bay using Templeton chapter 90 money as seed money to get the CDBG grant monies to start with. That is on of the puzzling things about the Templeton Water commissioners going to town meeting and claiming their big independence from the town. You don't get to okay our budget but we use your highway money to replace our water mains. But Dana does things right over there!

One other thing that came up was the use of the town's bond rating to borrow money for the construction of the Light building on Bridge Street. Templeton light went to town meeting and received town meeting approval to borrow 1.5 million dollars for a new 12,000 sq. ft building. Two bids were received in the amount of 1.9 million dollars and one at $2,420,448.00 so Templeton Light accepted the low bid then withdrew $400,000.00 from the MMWEC working capital account to get the 1.9 million needed. (see annual town report 2003, page 27 & 28  submitted by then light general manager Gerald Skelton and commissioners Dana Blais, Gregg Edwards & Sean Hamilton) Now I suppose if Templeton had saved all it's free cash over the years, we would have had a very nice nest egg to use to build a brand new Town Hall  but we did not. Think where you may have seen a 12,000 square foot building and 1.9 million dollar figure before? That project was going to end up costing around 3.8 million dollars. Yep, the ole 252 Baldwinville Road to a town hall project.

Jeff Bennett

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Changes to memorials causes stir in 'Gansett

Changes to memorials causes stir in 'Gansett 
Administration says removal of student names part of initiative to curb teen suicide
Eryn Dion
News Staff Writer

  TEMPLETON — Last week, Jessica Beaudoin’s mother took a trip through the halls of Narragansett Regional High School to help a family member enroll their child in the district’s School Choice program.

While in the building, she also wanted to take a detour and revisit the mural dedicated to her son Jared McPherson, whose life was tragically cut short during his sophomore year when he suffered an embolism as a result of a childhood illness.

For all intents and purposes the mural appeared untouched – the portly bear Baloo from “The Jungle Book” still lounging against a palm tree with a yellow bookbag, the famous quote from Disney’s adaptation still hanging in the air.

But then Ms. Beaudoin’s mother discovered something was missing.

An off-white splotch was visible where her son’s name had once lovingly been painted, leaving an empty space directly beneath the quote “Whenever great deeds are remembered in this jungle, one name will stand above all others: our friend …”

Jared’s name was not the only one removed, as several other murals around the school dedicated to students who passed away had also recently been touched up in the same way.