Weekly News Update – 03/06/2022
Hopkinton COVID-19 update for March 3 • Health Services Vaccine Calendar • Masks now optional on Hopkinton school buses • Hopkinton – Additional energy assistance now available • School Committee roundup: Members seek to ‘strengthen the dialogue’ with help from consultant; security camera policy debated • HMS administration emails families with plan to combat ‘discriminatory behaviors’ in school • UCTC continues discussion about potential trail location • Select Board roundup: Tributes paid to Doyle; new police officer approved • Health director: PFAS detected in other water supplies in town • Fire ravages Mayhew Street home • Town Election Candidates 2022
Hopkinton COVID-19 update for March 3
The Hopkinton Emergency Management Group (HEMG), Town Leadership, Board of Health and Health Department met on Feb. 28 and March 1. Based on Hopkinton’s current improving COVID-19 metrics, high vaccination and improving booster rates, and the percentage of residents having recovered from the omicron variant, we have a number of new updates.
- Face Covering Mandate is Rescinded as of March 2
- Remote Meetings Policy
Updates to the Health Department’s March 2022 Vaccine Clinic Calendar have been made!
The state’s education commissioner, Jeffrey Riley, on Friday shared a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) update that masks are no longer required on school buses or vans for K-12 students and children in childcare programs. It was left up to individual schools and districts to decide whether or not to lift the requirements.
Hopkinton schools already went mask-optional Monday.
Hopkinton – Additional energy assistance now available
School Committee roundup: Members seek to ‘strengthen the dialogue’ with help from consultant; security camera policy debated
Amanda Fargiano supported the hiring of a consultant, noting that it would have been a good idea even before the issues that recently arose.
“I’m a thousand percent behind it,” she said. “I really wanted to do team-building last year. I think it’s always good. Given the pressures that we’ve been under — last year we welcomed two new members in the middle of a pandemic. We met so much. There was a lot of pressure.
Security camera policy debated
The committee discussed a proposed policy regarding the use of security cameras in schools, with Superintendent Cavanaugh explaining that the policy would in part serve to make families aware that the cameras are there.
Director discusses social emotional learning
Carla Burley, the district’s new director of social emotional learning, checked in to discuss the plan to implement a program in the schools.
Misc.: Additional positions approved
The committee unanimously approved three new positions, all of which are to be funded — at least temporarily — by IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) grants.
HMS administration emails families with plan to combat ‘discriminatory behaviors’ in school
Following the recent revelation that students at Hopkinton Middle School have made “racist comments to one another,” Hopkinton Public Schools Superintendent Carol Cavanaugh and HMS Principal Alan Keller reached out to the community to share their plan to combat the behavior.
The email indicated there was a school-wide assembly Monday morning “in which we discussed respect, civility and the role that each of us plays in our school community.” The administrators indicated speakers will be brought in to talk to students about bullying and better educate them.
UCTC continues discussion about potential trail location
The Upper Charles Trail Committee tried to get back on track at its meeting Wednesday night and revisited the debate over which option would be preferred to get from Milford to the Marathon School area.
The committee previously had expressed support for a route along Hayden Rowe Street (Route 85), although at the last meeting some members encouraged revisiting a plan to send the trail west of the Charlesview neighborhood after Town Engineer Dave Daltorio said Hayden Rowe likely would require a major makeover to accommodate the trail.
Select Board roundup: Tributes paid to Doyle; new police officer approved
At its meeting Tuesday night, the Select Board paid tribute to longtime Hopkinton High School teacher and coach Aubrey Doyle, who died Feb. 21 at the age of 90.
New police officer approved
Matthew LaTour was unanimously approved to be the town’s newest police officer.
A graduate of the State Police Municipal Academy, LaTour has been working as a police officer for the UMass Worcester Police Department, focused on the medical school and hospital. A Douglas High School product, he studied cognitive science at the University of Connecticut, graduating in 2020.
Misc.: Budget discussed
Town Manager Norman Khumalo and Chief Financial Officer Tim O’Leary led a presentation on the town’s budget. Special attention was paid to the overlay account where Hopkinton must hold tax payments from Eversource while the utility continues to file legal challenges to its assessments.
Health director: PFAS detected in other water supplies in town
Speaking at the Board of Health’s regular meeting, McAuliffe said elevated levels of PFAS (manmade per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) — previously detected in Well 6 of the town’s water supply off Fruit Street — have been detected in the water supplies for the Hopkinton Country Club, the Metrowest YMCA facility and the Village of Highland Park community (Wedgewood Drive area).
“The more we get into this, the more we realize that it’s in our food chain, it’s in the clothes that we’re washing, it’s in almost every part of our life,” he said. “And as we wash ourselves, our clothes, as we eat and drink, portions of the PFAS that we’re either ingesting or discharging from our toilets or our washing machines, it’s getting into the septic system and passing through. The thought is that it should improve as we stop using products that have PFAS/PFOS chemicals in them. And then it’s just a matter of how do we keep it out of our water system.”
Fire ravages Mayhew Street home
According to a Hopkinton Fire Department spokesman, firefighters arrived to find heavy fire showing from a second-floor porch on the left side of the home, with flames extending into the second floor and attic. A second and third alarm were struck because an aggressive attack on the fire required additional manpower to open up walls and ceilings and get at the deep-seated flames. The fire was under control at approximately 1:30 p.m.
HFD Chief Bill Miller said Wednesday that the cause appeared to be “careless disposal of smoking material.” It was under investigation by the Hopkinton Fire Department and the State Police Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit assigned to the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
Town Election Candidates 2022
Considering running for local office, but don’t know where to begin? To become a candidate a person must either obtain and submit nomination papers by securing the signatures of 50 Hopkinton registered voters by Tuesday, March 28, 2022 or a person may qualify by being the top vote-getter in one of the town political party caucuses, which are typically held in early April. Nomination signature papers are available from the Town Clerk’s office (18 Main St) starting January 18, 2022. Please email or call the Town Clerk’s office with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org 508-497-9710. Click on the name of any elected office listed below to read more about it.
There are three contested races this year (so far):
- School Committee
- Housing Authority