North Reading News

Life lessons learned on the gridiron

Posted by on Nov 22, 2017 in Local Headline News, North Reading News, North Reading Transcript | Comments Off on Life lessons learned on the gridiron

Rotary clubs host Thanksgiving rivals at luncheon Published in the November 22, 2017 edition By DAN TOMASELLO NORTH READING — The annual Thanksgiving Day showdown between the Lynnfield and North Reading football teams has become a rite of passage for both schools as well as a highly anticipated event in the two towns. The same is true for the annual pre-Thanksgiving Day luncheon, which was hosted by the North Reading and Lynnfield Rotary Clubs at Kitty’s Restaurant on Nov. 15. North Reading Club President Mike Walbourne served as the master of the ceremonies during the luncheon. He said the two clubs do “a lot of great work” in their respective communities. “In the coming months, both the North Reading and Lynnfield clubs will be working on a food project,” said Walbourne. “We will be giving away over 15,000 meals along with 13 other Rotary clubs. It’s a great event to bring us together once again.” North Reading High School Principal Anthony J. Loprete paid tribute to retiring NRHS Band Director Eric Forman, who also served as Lynnfield’s band director prior to coming to North Reading. Forman was touched by Loprete’s tribute. “I have had the distinction of being on both sides of the field, with 10 years in Lynnfield and the last 19 in North Reading,” said Forman. “Thank you for including us.” Weidman: Developing mental toughness is critical Lynnfield football head coach Neal Weidman thanked the two Rotary Clubs for hosting the luncheon once again. He said the student-athletes from both towns are fortunate to attend high schools that care about students. “I hope they know how lucky they are to go to school in a community like Lynnfield and a community like North Reading,” said Weidman. “The community support for our schools and our kids has been really great. You guys are really lucky.” Weidman congratulated North Reading football coach Jeff Wall and the Hornets on a great season. He said the Hornets played a great game during North Reading’s 27-26 loss to Melrose in the Division 4 North semifinals. “I know how hard he works and how hard he works to prepare his players,” said Weidman. “I am not only impressed by their players’ ability, but I am always impressed with their organization and how prepared they are for their opponents. The division they were in this year was super tough, and the way they competed was very impressive.” Weidman said he’s also impressed by “how far the North Reading program has come.” “About 10 years ago, (both teams) were always hoping for our first or second win of the year,” said Weidman at the Thanksgiving Day game. “We have come a long way and I am really impressed with what they have achieved over the years.” Switching gears, Weidman congratulated his Pioneers on “another successful season.” He noted the Pioneers lost the Division 5 North championship by a score of 38-34 to Watertown. “It was a little bit tough for us,” said Weidman. “We really, really had to battle some adversity with the weather and playing a good opponent. The kids’ effort was great and the toughness they showed on (Nov. 10) impressed me.” Weidman congratulated the LHS cheerleaders for their successful season which included qualifying for states. “I would also like to thank the cheerleaders for their support,” Weidman...

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Transcript kicks off 28th annual CCS appeal

Posted by on Nov 22, 2017 in Local Headline News, North Reading News, North Reading Transcript | Comments Off on Transcript kicks off 28th annual CCS appeal

Published in the November 22, 2017 edition By MAUREEN DOHERTY NORTH READING — Thanks to the immense generosity of the readers of this newspaper, the Transcript has the good fortune to launch its 28th annual Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund this week in support of the year-round good works of Christian Community Service (CCS). All of the funds donated to the Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund throughout the holiday season directly benefit residents of North Reading who have fallen on hard times. In addition to running the town’s Food Pantry year-round, which serves between 100-120 clients per month, the volunteers at the non-profit CCS have been busy providing Thanksgiving food baskets to about 95 families in town and they’ll be delivering hot meals on Thanksgiving Day to over 20 shut-ins. They will then switch gears and begin focusing on helping to make the Christmas holiday more joyous for local youngsters in need with gifts of warm clothes and a few special gifts. But the dedication of these volunteers does not end with the holiday season. They continue to provide essential services and emergency aid to help families and individuals throughout the year, all of which is made possible by your donations. CCS is non-denominational and provides assistance to all clients without regard to one’s religious affiliation, if any. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. CCS automatically provides receipts to those who donate $250 or more. Tax receipt for donations of any amount will be provided upon request by the donor. The Transcript will acknowledge all donations in the newspaper each week. Checks should be made payable to “Christian Community Service” or “CCS,” not to the newspaper. They may be mailed to the Transcript at P.O. Box 7, North Reading, MA 01864. Those who wish to drop of their donations in person may do so at the North Reading branch of the Reading Cooperative Bank, 170 Park St. (next to Ryer’s Store). Let’s work together to make the 2017 Neighbor Fund drive the most successful it has ever...

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Town’s new tax rate $16.34 Single rate remains

Posted by on Nov 22, 2017 in Local Headline News, North Reading News, North Reading Transcript | Comments Off on Town’s new tax rate $16.34 Single rate remains

Published in the November 22, 2017 edition By MAUREEN DOHERTY NORTH READING — In fiscal year 2018, the town’s new property tax rate has increased slightly, to $16.34 per thousand of valuation. The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously Monday night to both establish this new tax rate and to keep the single tax rate in place for all classes of property – residential, commercial and industrial. The only two years during which the Selectmen set a split tax rate between property classes were 1985 and 1988. Splitting the tax rate does not generate new revenue, it only reallocates the levy burden, explained Debbie Carbone, the town’s chief assessor. The new tax rate is an increase of 21 cents per thousand of property valuation, or about one percent. It is considered an estimated tax rate until the state Department of Revenue certifies it. This means for the owner of an average house in North Reading, assessed at the FY18 value of $493,241, the tax bill will total about $8,060 annually. This increase in the tax rate follows two years of slight declines in the rate. The FY17 rate of $16.13 was a 28-cent per thousand decrease over the FY16 rate. However, the average value of a residential property in town for FY17 was $502,121 which created an average tax bill of about $8,100. State-mandated process The process of establishing a new tax rate each year is mandated by the state, as is the required property tax classification public hearing the board held on Monday night. During this process, in addition to maintaining the long-standing tradition of a single tax rate for all classes of property, the Selectmen voted against establishing a residential tax exemption of up to a maximum of 20 percent that would shift the tax burden within this classification from those with the lowest assessed values for their principal residence to the highest assessed properties that do not serve as the principal residence of those taxpayers. This is much more commonly done in communities where there are many vacation homes or rental properties, for example. Similarly, the Selectmen chose not to adopt the small commercial exemption of up to 10 percent to shift the commercial class tax burden from “eligible parcels” to “ineligible parcels” as the town does not really have the eligible parcels required under the statute. Per information compiled for the public hearing by Carbone, “eligible parcels” must have a valuation of less than $1M and must be owned by a business that employs fewer than 10 employees as certified by the state Dept. of Workforce Development–Division of Unemployment Assistance to the town’s Board of Assessors. • The Selectmen also officially recommended that the town’s Board of Assessors set the FY18 tax rate at $16.34 per every thousand valuation. • The Selectmen set the town’s property tax levy for FY18 at $49,006,144.19, slightly less than the maximum levy allowed under Proposition 2 1/2. • The board did not vote to allow a discount of up to 25 percent of the open space share of taxes because Carbone informed the Selectmen that the Board of Assessors has determined that the town does not have any classified open space land. Under this provision open space is very narrowly defined as “land that is maintained in an open or...

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PHOTO: Seniors enjoy a day of thanks

Posted by on Nov 22, 2017 in North Reading News | Comments Off on PHOTO: Seniors enjoy a day of thanks

Published in the November 22, 2017 edition

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Thanksgiving

Posted by on Nov 22, 2017 in North Reading News | Comments Off on Thanksgiving

Published in the November 22, 2017 edition Thursday is Thanksgiving and it can’t come fast enough. Alone among the major holidays, Thanksgiving has resisted the commercialization by the quick buck artists. Our crass modern culture has ruined everything from Presidents’ Day (car sales) to Christmas (take your pick). Thanksgiving survives more or less unscathed, a time for reunions, some football and home-cooked meals. Thanksgiving is the quintessential American holiday, born on these shores from genuine religious faith, mixed with gratitude and appreciation for all the gifts this land has to offer. The promise inherent in Thanksgiving is its ability to knit together the diverse tapestry of American society around a shared table. The tapestry may be looking a little frayed lately, but the country has been rough patches before and we’ll get through this too. More than any other day of the year, Thanksgiving is a day for family. It is a holiday about going home, with all the emotional freight that implies. It is a day for prayer and reflection and hope in the future. The Sunday after Thanksgiving is always the busiest travel time of the year as the airports and train stations are teeming with millions of travelers returning from family gatherings. We very badly need Thanksgiving. The act of getting together for a celebration of family and friends, kicking back and watching a little football and eating too much turkey and pumpkin pie is a deeply comforting ritual hard-wired in the American psyche. When the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags gathered for that first autumn feast 396 years ago, they could not have known they were on the verge of profound changes that would alter the course of world history. For us, their cultural descendants, our task must be to turn down the volume, stop shouting at each other and remember that the ties that unite us are far stronger than the forces that would tear us apart. This is the priceless gift of...

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North Reading Police arrest man for heroin possession following crash into pole

Posted by on Nov 17, 2017 in North Reading News | Comments Off on North Reading Police arrest man for heroin possession following crash into pole

Approximately 1,000 homes were without power for several hours Posted on: Friday, November 17, 2017 NORTH READING — Chief Michael P. Murphy reports that the North Reading Police Department arrested a man after he allegedly drove with heroin in his vehicle, cut across multiple lanes of traffic on a busy street and crashed into a utility pole, cutting power to 1,000 homes and forcing school buses to re-route. Jonathan Robbins, 36, of North Reading, was arrested and charged with: • Possession of a Class A substance (heroin) • Negligent operation of a motor vehicle • Marked lanes violation At approximately 1:40 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 16, North Reading police were dispatched to the intersection of Haverhill and North streets for a reported motor vehicle crash. Upon arrival, officers observed that a utility pole had snapped in half and was suspended in the air by its wires, and a badly damaged Honda Odyssey minivan within close proximity. The driver, later identified as Robbins, was taken into custody after a police investigation. The intersection, one of the busiest in town that serves as a primary route from Andover to Reading, was shut down during the investigation and removal of the vehicle. Power was cut off to nearly 1,000 homes in town for several hours while utility crews made repairs to the pole and wires. School buses and parents picking their children up from the Hood Elementary School had to be rerouted during the investigation, causing traffic congestion. North Reading police recovered a quantity of a powdered substance, believed to be heroin, from the vehicle during the investigation. “In this instance, we had a vehicle driving northbound on Haverhill Street, a well-traveled, busy roadway, when the driver inexplicably cut across several lanes of traffic, missed a turn near the intersection, and crashed into a utility pole, causing serious damage. Thankfully, no one was traveling southbound or walking on the roadway at the time, or we could have had a tragedy on our hands,” Chief Murphy said. “This is yet another example of a driver, allegedly with drugs in a vehicle, driving dangerously through a community. It’s a serious problem, and a byproduct of the drug epidemic facing our nation.” Robbins was held pending his arraignment on Friday, Nov. 17 in Woburn District Court. These are allegations against Robbins. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of...

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Veterans feted at traditional ceremonies

Posted by on Nov 17, 2017 in North Reading News | Comments Off on Veterans feted at traditional ceremonies

Published in the November 16, 2017 edition By MAUREEN DOHERTY NORTH READING — The town’s veterans were aptly honored for their role in keeping their country free and proud during their time of service at Saturday’s Veterans’ Day ceremonies. Moved indoors due to a biting wind and cold temperatures, those in attendance at the Batchelder School were treated to a fully decorated red, white and blue gymnasium created by the school’s entire third grade class for its own special Veterans’ Day assembly on Thursday. The stage was further enhanced by the Flags carried by the Patriot Guard Riders, which is a volunteer group of patriotic citizens, some of whom are veterans, some of whom are not, who upon invitation by families provide an honor guard at the funeral services of veterans. Veterans’ Services Director Susan Magner left no stone unturned, once again, in assembling a meaningful multi-generational ceremony of guest speakers, patriotic music, reverence and gratitude for those who have ensured the country remains the land of the free and the home of the brave due to their service to their country. NRHS senior Sam Barrette served as the Master of Ceremonies. Barrette was born on Edwards AFB in California and is the son of retired USAF Colonel John Barrette and Michele Barrette. A singer, swimmer, thespian and ultimate Frisbee enthusiast, he is currently working on his Eagle Scout project and has aspirations to enter the engineering field. Barrette noted: “This is an historic day and time of remembrance for those valorous Americans who continue to serve today and for those who have served with courage and conviction throughout the generations. Please remember to take time and reflect on the bravery and sacrifices our veterans have made and continue to pray for our warriors and those who continue to suffer from the physical and mental wounds of war.” Rev. Rachel Fisher, Pastor of the Aldersgate Church, delivered both the invocation and benediction. The NRHS Marching Hornets, led by Drum Major Emily Nearing and Assistant Drum Major Jessica Palazzolo, played a medley of patriotic tunes at various times throughout the ceremony, including John Philip Sousa’s “Washington Post” and “The Thunderer” and Harold Bennett’s “Military Escort.” The North Reading Police Honor Guard performed the Presentation of the Colors and stood at attention near the front of the stage while the audience was led in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance by North Reading Boy Scout Troop 750, Cub Scout Pack 731, Venture Crew 921 and North Reading Girl Scouts. A moving rendition of the National Anthem by vocalist Tamika Thurston followed. The winning essay written by NRHS graduate Anthony Tramontozzi on the topic “What the Flag Means to Me” in the 2017 scholarship essay contest sponsored by the North Reading Republican Town Committee (RTC) was read on his behalf by Jeff Yull, a member of the RTC. Two proclamations on Veterans’ Day were also read. Richard Stratton of the North Reading Company of Minit and Militia, read the proclamation by Gov. Charlie Baker, and Selectman Andrew Schultz read the town’s proclamation on behalf of the board. There was a full slate of guest speakers. Town Administrator Michael Gilleberto offered a special thanks to all of the town employees who are veterans or who continue to serve in the reserves. Selectman Kathryn Manupelli, State Rep....

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Playground crew recognized for raising over $100,000

Posted by on Nov 17, 2017 in North Reading News | Comments Off on Playground crew recognized for raising over $100,000

Published in the November 16, 2017 edition By MICHAEL GEOFFRION SCANNELL NORTH READING — Topping the agenda at Monday night’s School Committee meeting was the presentation of “Awards of Appreciation” to eight individuals in the Little School community who were instrumental in the fundraising and building of the Little School playground. Christine Molle, principal at the Little School for the past eight years, approached the PTO in September of 2015 and asked that they tackle getting a new playground. Then, as now, the PTO was made up of all women. A committee was formed. Elena DeAngelis was the chair and worked closely with Little School PTO Chair of Fundraising Kate Schulz. They began with $31,000 of previously raised funds. “We hosted several fun events over the two school years – movie day, family bingo, town-wide yard sales, a Little Laps Walkathon and a comedy night,” DeAngelis said. In the end the moms raised over $100,000. Four dads in the construction field stepped up during the planning phase. When it was time for construction they brought in the heavy equipment. They also provided valuable guidance to the many volunteers who helped on the weekend of the build at the end of April. Organizers met with various playground vendors, researched designs and interviewed staff and children. Molle said, “We wanted to give all children consideration, that is why we included ADA-compliant play structures.” The group had originally planned to build the playground in the summer of 2017 but were able to get it done in the spring with the idea that the fifth graders would then be able to enjoy it too. There had been a smaller playground at the school dedicated to a neighborhood child killed in 1996. “We re-dedicated it to Brianna Benenati, who died at the age of three. Her father visited from the West Coast in the spring and was thrilled to see the new design,” she said. Benenati’s grandmother and other family members came to the rededication. DeAngelis concluded, “What made the project easier was the widespread support from parents, staff, alumni, neighbors and businesses in town. One neighborhood even donated proceeds from their lemonade stand.” The awards presented by the School Committee thanked the eight for their “commitment and dedication to the Little School Playground Project.” In addition to DeAngelis and Schulz, Playground Committee members Jennifer Vant and Linda Emery were recognized by the committee Monday night along with playground construction crew members Virgilio Bancarotta, Chuck Malik and Tim Brewster. One of the recipients, Scott Curtice, was unable to...

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Early holiday deadlines

Posted by on Nov 17, 2017 in North Reading News | Comments Off on Early holiday deadlines

Published in the November 16, 2017 edition Because of the Thanksgiving holiday on Nov. 23, we need to move our deadlines ahead for both editorial and advertising copy. • The deadline to submit photographs, press releases and Letters to the Editor will be Friday, Nov. 17, at noon • The deadline to submit advertisements is also Friday, Nov. 17 noon. The Transcript will be publishing one day early next week and will include pre-game coverage of the 59th annual Thanksgiving Day football game between the Hornets and the Lynnfield Pioneer. The Transcript will be available in stores and mailed to our subscribers on Wednesday, Nov. 22. We wish everyone a great...

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PHOTO: Honoring father and son veterans

Posted by on Nov 17, 2017 in North Reading News | Comments Off on PHOTO: Honoring father and son veterans

Published in the November 16, 2017 editions

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