Weekly News Roundup – 08/23/2020

Weekly News Roundup – 08/23/2020

Covid-19 Updates & Precautions Health Department supports state’s decision to require flu immunization for students • Health director laments uncooperative resident, seeks ‘solutions’ to basketball court closuresBoard of Health on basketball court closures: ‘Illegal activities represented a public health nuisance’Hopkinton-only Boston Marathon substitute race called offEarly voting for State Primaries – reminder & specimen ballots Town Meeting rescheduled to morning of Sept. 12 • School Committee: District supports teachers in reopening • HTA makes a public statement expressing concerns regarding ongoing negotiations • Planning Board keeps all articles, including solar map, on warrant for Town Meeting • Public Notice: Roadwork • Emergency Water Ban Declaration • Hopkinton Police Department’s Five Year Strategic Plan • Fire Department extinguishes brush fire off Frankland Road • Ritterbusch: ‘False rumor mill’ in town contributing to discord • India Day organizer welcomes apology: ‘It takes courage to admit one’s mistake’ • Select Board Actions Taken – 08/18/2020 • Planning Board Actions Taken – 08/18/2020 


Covid-19 Updates & Precautions

This page provides information, maps and resources about the coronavirus response in our local area.

Visit Hopkinton, MA – Coronavirus Response Hub

As of 8/21/20, Hopkinton’s Health Department is reporting 138 total confirmed COVID-19 cases; 3 of those cases are active, with 122 recoveries and 13 deaths. You can see historical tracking and updates on Hopkinton’s Community Impact Dashboard

The most recent update from Aug 21st includes:

Aug 21st Update

  • Primary Election – Voting info

The update from Aug 19th includes:

  • Annual Town Meeting
  • Massachusetts Department of Public Health COVID-19 weekly Public Health Report
  • Hopkinton Public Library

RELATED NEWS: 

Health Department supports state’s decision to require flu immunization for students

The state announced Wednesday that all children 6 months of age and older who are attending Massachusetts child care, preschool, K-12 or college will be required to have the 2020-21 influenza immunization by Dec. 31.

Health director laments uncooperative resident, seeks ‘solutions’ to basketball court closures

“Our goal is to be as thorough as possible,” he said. “If you’re not openly cooperating with the department it makes it next to impossible.”

Added McAuliffe: “It is the only instance so far where we’ve just had a failure to cooperate. We’re working with the [Department of Public Health] to figure out what our options are. … One out of over 1,000 cases, groups that we’ve worked with. I’ll take that as a win.”

Board of Health on basketball court closures: ‘Illegal activities represented a public health nuisance’

Crowds of players had been gathering at the courts nightly over the past few weeks to shoot around. Last Friday a group of high school and college players from outside Hopkinton showed up and played organized pickup games, which are not yet allowed under the state’s reopening plan.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs have designated Basketball as a high risk sport that has a requirement or substantial likelihood of routine close and/or sustained proximity or deliberate physical contact between participants and a high probability that respiratory particles will be transmitted between participants.

Hopkinton-only Boston Marathon substitute race called off

Tim Kilduff, executive director of the 26.2 Foundation, announced Tuesday that the proposed substitute Boston Marathon race for Hopkinton charity runners will not be held next month.

 

State Primary Election Information

There is a state primary election coming up and there are many ways to vote this year:

  • Absentee or Early Mail-In Voting
  • Early In-Person – Multiple dates at the Hopkinton Senior Center (See information in the headline below) 
  • In-Person on Election Day – Tuesday, September 1 at 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM at Hopkinton Middle School. Mask wearing as well as social distancing is required.

Click here for  details

 

Early voting (In-Person) for State Primaries – reminder & specimen ballots

This is a reminder that the new election law passed by the General Court and Signed by the Governor has significantly expanded early voting, by-mail and in-person.  Due to occupancy limitations at Hopkinton Town Hall (due to Covid-19), the Board of Registrars voted on 08/04/2020 to move early voting in person for the Primary to the Hopkinton Senior Center at 28 Mayhew Street.  Voters will not use the main entrance and will enter through the library door and will exit through the side door once they have voted.  Mask wearing as well as social distancing will be required.

View Details for hours at the Senior Center

Specimen Ballots for all parties:

Republican

Democratic

Libertarian

Green-Rainbow

 

Town Meeting rescheduled to morning of Sept. 12

Town Meeting has been rescheduled to be held outside Hopkinton High School under a tent at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12, with a rain date/continuation date of Sunday, Sept. 13.

Originally scheduled for May 4, Town Meeting previously was twice rescheduled. It had been set for Sept. 21 prior to Tuesday night’s Select Board vote.

View Article

RELATED RESOURCE: 

Town clerk provides more Town Meeting details – View Hopkinton Hangout Hour – August 19, 2020

 

School Committee: District supports teachers in reopening

With the return of Hopkinton teachers scheduled in just 10 days, the district and the Hopkinton Teachers Association (HTA) are working hard to finalize a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for fall reopening. On Thursday, August 20, 2020, Superintendent Dr. Carol Cavanaugh shared with the Hopkinton School Committee a few of the accommodations the district is making to support the teachers and their families during this pandemic, as well as some supporting data.

View Article

RELATED NEWS: 

HTA makes a public statement expressing concerns regarding ongoing negotiations

Although statements are not typically issued during negotiations, and are even more rarely issued without notice to the party with which one is bargaining, the Hopkinton School Committee has chosen to do so. Therefore, the Hopkinton Teachers Association feels compelled to respond to the School Committee’s statement so that the community is given full transparency into what has been offered to Hopkinton educators and of the concerns that still linger in our minds, one week prior to our scheduled return to school.

View Statement by HTA

 

Planning Board keeps all articles, including solar map, on warrant for Town Meeting

The Planning Board voted Tuesday against withdrawing any of its seven articles, including the oft-discussed Commercial Solar Photovoltaic Overlay District map, that are on the warrant for the newly rescheduled Town Meeting on Sept. 12.

The Select Board had requested articles that are not essential for operation of town government be removed so that Town Meeting could focus on financial items and move quickly. After some discussion, the Planning Board voted 7-1 against removing the solar map article.

View Article

 

Public Notice: Roadwork

Road reconstruction is scheduled for Elm St from Lumber St Ext to the dead end on 8/23 – 8/29. Work hours will be 7pm-5am. Dates may need to be extended depending on the weather conditions.

View Notice

 

Emergency Water Ban Declaration

Due to severe drought conditions within the Town and your location within an area that contributes to the Public Water Supply, the Board of Health is requesting your assistance to reduce your water use and follow the requirements of the Town of Hopkinton Department of Public Works Outdoor Water Ban.

No outdoor water use unless for safety reasons, the production of food and fiber, the maintenance of live stock or to meet the core function of a business.

View Notice

 

Kramer defends work with Mass. Bail Fund following calls for her resignation from Planning Board

During the public comment portion of Tuesday’s Select Board meeting, four individuals called for Planning Board member Muriel Kramer to step down due to her volunteer work with the Massachusetts Bail Fund.

According to its website, the Massachusetts Bail Fund — its motto is “Free them all” — posts bail “so that low-income people can stay free while they work toward resolving their case, allowing individuals, families and communities to stay productive, together and stable.”

The fund has been receiving heavy criticism for bailing out some individuals charged with violent crimes, including a convicted sex offender who was charged with raping a woman weeks after being released.

View Article

 

Hopkinton Police Department’s Five Year Strategic Plan

The mechanisms that bring the opinions of the public, town officials and leaders, and our officers to the forefront in regards to the future of this department were a combination of surveys, focus groups, direct interviews, peer reviews, a literature review, and a facilitated community discussion. A comprehensive public survey was delivered on-line through a variety of platforms. Results were received over a four-month time period. The completed returns numbered 450, and it was considered a representative sample by a demographic analysis, making it generalizable across the town.

View Document

 

Fire Department extinguishes brush fire off Frankland Road

Thursday’s fire, on forested land behind the former Liberty Mutual building, now owned by Seaboard Solar and designated for a solar array, affected about an acre, according to HFD personnel. Lt. Gary Daugherty led the HFD crew’s effort to contain and extinguish the blaze, spending about three hours at the site.

View Article

 

Ritterbusch: ‘False rumor mill’ in town contributing to discord

“The Hopkinton charter clearly states that we welcome all races, ethnicities, religions, abilities, gender identifications and sexual orientations,” Ritterbusch said during the public comment portion of Tuesday’s Select Board meeting. “I don’t think that’s how it felt at first on Saturday, and as a town we need to recognize that we can do better going forward.”

View Article

 

India Day organizer welcomes apology: ‘It takes courage to admit one’s mistake’

After reading Sunday’s apology from Rich Yurewicz, the Hopkinton motorcyclist who disrupted the India Independence Day celebration at the Town Common on Saturday morning, South Asian Circle of Hopkinton board member Meena Kaushik said she is “relieved that we could solve this amicably.”

In his apology, Yurewicz said he was under the impression that the American flag at the common was going to be lowered and replaced by the Indian flag. Yurewicz explained that his father died fighting for the United States in the Vietnam War, and respect for the American flag is part of his “core values.”

View Article

 

Select Board Actions Taken – 08/18/2020

6:25 PM PLANNING BOARD APPOINTMENT – Applicants are: Francis DeYoung, Kelly Karp, Jared Pray, and Curtis Smithson.

The Select Board and Planning Board jointly appointed Francis DeYoung to the Planning Board, to a term expiring at the 2021 annual town election. (13-0)

6:40 PM ANNUAL APPOINTMENTS – Personnel Committee – Garry Russell and Barbara Kessler

The Select Board appointed Garry Russell and Barbara Kessler to the Personnel Committee, to terms expiring 6/30/2023. (5-0)

6:45 PM FY 2021 BUDGET UPDATES; 2020 ANNUAL TOWN MEETING – The Select Board will consider 2021 budget updates. The Select Board will discuss the Sept. 12, 2020 Annual Town Meeting, including any reduction in the required quorum and review the draft Annual Town Meeting warrant and motions.

  • The Select Board approved the FY 2021 Budget as presented. (5-0)
  • The Select Board voted to reconsider its vote on June 16, 2020 to delay the Annual Town Meeting to September 21, 2020. (5-0)
  • The Select Board rescheduled the Annual Town Meeting to September 12, 2020 at 9:30 AM. (5-0)
  • The Select Board voted to deliberate at its meeting on August 25, 2020 about a possible reduction of the quorum required for the 2020 Annual Town Meeting, such reduction being authorized by Sec. 7 of Chapter 92 of the Acts of 2020, and, further, to request the presence of the Town Moderator for that deliberation as he is required, pursuant to Sec. 7 of Chapter 92, to approve any such reduction. (5-0)

7:20 PM TOWN MANAGER REPORT

  • a. Main Street Corridor Project Update.
    b. Hiring Freeze Exception Request

The Select Board allowed the hiring of a Firefighter/Paramedic and a Lieutenant in the Fire Department, and a Water Division Foreman and a Water Technician in the Department of Public Works. (5-0)

MATERIALS FOR THIS MEETING:

View Full Article

 

Planning Board Actions Taken – 08/18/2020

AGENDA ITEMS & ACTIONS TAKEN (UNOFFICIAL):

  1. Discussion and vote about whether to keep Town Meeting Articles sponsored by the Planning Board on the Warrant for Annual Town Meeting or withdraw some or all of these articles. The Board took two votes:
    1. The first being to withdraw the Solar Overlay Article on the warrant, which failed with a vote of (7-1-0), resulting in the keeping of the article on the Warrant.
    2. The second vote was for the remaining articles as a slate which was voted (4-4-0),resulting in the slate of remaining articles also kept on the Warrant.  Vote 4/4 Simple majority so the vote to keep articles on the warrant carried

JOINT PLANNING BOARD / SELECT BOARD MEETING

  1. Joint Meeting with Select Board to appoint new member to the vacant seat on the Planning Board

Candidates:

  • 1) Francis DeYoung 9 votes, appointed to the position
  • 2) Kelly Karp  2 vote
  • 3) Jared Pray 1 vote
  • 4) Curtis Smithson 1 vote

MATERIALS FOR THIS MEETING:

View Full Article 

 



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