North Reading News

What’s the Buzz?

Posted by on Sep 15, 2017 in North Reading News | Comments Off on What’s the Buzz?

Due to a publication error, the print edition of our What’s the Buzz calendar was incorrect for September 14, 2017. The correct version is printed below: NORTH READING — Have you heard the latest buzz? Sharing your must-go-to event or upcoming meeting with our readers is easy. Simply email the pertinent details to: NRTranscript@RCN.com and we’ll do the rest. Deadline: Mondays at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14 • The O’Leary Senior Center will be hosting its annual “Apple Pie Social” today at noon. • Housing Authority meeting, Peabody Court community room, 12:30 p.m. • Cable Advisory Board, Room 5, Town Hall, 6:30 p.m. • Northeast Metro Regional Vocational School, Wakefield, School Committee meeting in school library, 7 p.m. • ZBA meeting, Room 14, Town Hall, 7:30 p.m. • Recycling Committee, Lunch room at Town Hall, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16 • North Reading Historical Society’s Apple Festival will be held on the grounds of the Rev. Daniel Putnam House, 27 Bow St., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Features local vendors and artists, famed apple pie baking contest, food, music, performances, kiddie games, pony rides, art raffle and an art silent auction. And, of course, there will be free tours of the historical buildings and North Reading-themed merchandise for sale. • Free Discover Girl Scouts Sing Along for any North Reading girls in K-12 and their families at Camp Rice Moody, 29 Rice Road, Reading, 3-5 p.m. Email Debbie Nearing with any questions, bcednearing@comcast.net. Monday, Sept. 18 • NRHS Back-to-School night • Nine-week adult yoga session begins, 6:30-7:45 p.m., Flint Memorial Library. Call Parks and Rec, 978-664-6016 to sign up. • Selectmen’s meeting, in Room 14, Town Hall, 7 p.m. • Open rehearsals, Ipswich River Community Chorus (formerly North Reading Community Chorale), Aldersgate UMC, 235 Park St., 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19 • Parents’ Night at the elementary schools • Community Planning Commission (CPC) meeting, Room 14, Town Hall, 7:30 p.m. • Secondary Schools Building Committee (SSBC) meeting, NRHS Distance Learning Lab, 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20 • Author and North Reading resident Delia Cabe speaks at Flint Memorial Library about her new book: “Storied Bars of New York” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21 • Ellie Dell Tribute, NRHS, 4 p.m., with guest speakers, light refreshments; public invited. Saturday, Sept. 23 • 100th anniversary celebration and open house of L.D. Batchelder School, 9:30–11 a.m.; speakers, student performances, guided tours and a trip down memory lane. • Parish fundraiser at St. Theresa’s Church for new sound system. Family-friendly games, D.J., food and more, 5-9 p.m. • North Reading Coffeehouse/Open Mic Night, Flint Memorial Library Activity Room, 147 Park St., 7 p.m.–10 p.m., free. Questions? Email Art Grossman at (abgrossman1@gmail.com) Sunday, Sept. 24 • 8th annual Veterans Dinner Social, Hillview CC, 2-6 p.m., with DJ, guest speakers. Tickets: $40 p.p. Purchase tickets at Town Hall by Sept. 18. Tuesday, Sept. 26 • Palliative care presentation by Dr. Karen O’Brien, M.D., of MGH, at St. Theresa Parish Hall, 63 Winter St., 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1 • Commissioner’s Cup, Hillview Golf Course, registration: 12:30 p.m.; shotgun start, 1 p.m.; Online registration: www.northreadingma.gov/parks-recreation. Wednesday, Oct. 11 • Screenagers movie: Growing up in the digital age, NRHS Performing Arts Center, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17 • Tribute honoring Dr. David Troughton, retired Superintendent of...

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School enrollment hits 2,494 on a smooth opening day

Posted by on Sep 14, 2017 in Local Headline News, North Reading News, North Reading Transcript | Comments Off on School enrollment hits 2,494 on a smooth opening day

Published in the September 14, 2017 edition By MAUREEN DOHERTY NORTH READING — The opening day of school on September 6 went off without a hitch despite a slightly higher tally of students reporting to the town’s five schools than had been projected. The first day enrollment figures of 2,494 students represents 41 more students than anticipated. The Class of 2018 still represents the highest number of students across the board, with 217. At the middle school level, grade 7 has the largest class, at 195, while at the elementary level, the fourth-graders represent the largest class at 204. But the biggest surprise came at the kindergarten level, with an enrollment of 179 (kindergarteners started school last Friday). Originally projected to be around 150, based on the birth rate of five and six years ago plus other demographic factors, such as the number of families moving into town with young children, the first indication that this number would be on the upswing came last February during the kindergarten screening process, Michael Connelly, the district’s Director of Finance and Operations, told the board. In total, the schools welcomed 1,135 students at the elementary level, from pre-K through grade 5; 548 students in grades 6, 7 and 8; and 811 students at the high school, which includes three post-graduates. “Honestly, I could not be more pleased with the opening to the new school year. All reports from the schools that I’ve received have been very positive,” Superintendent of Schools Jon Bernard told the School Committee Monday night. “I made the conscious decision on the first day of school to not be at the three elementary schools. As a former principal, I know there is a lot to do and I did not want to be in the way so I left them all alone,” Bernard added. However, on Thursday Bernard said he and the finance director spent a total of two hours visiting all three elementary schools. “There is lot of nice energy in the schools. A lot of work goes on in the summertime to prep for the opening day,” he said. On the Tuesday prior to opening day, which is the official start of school for all new and returning teachers, Bernard said he greatly appreciated the presence of all five School Committee members being in attendance as well as the welcoming comments School Committee Chairman Mel Webster made to the staff. “Your presence means a lot; that you take the time to come and be a part of that day. It is important to me, and it has meaning for the district,” Bernard said. “I’m really thankful not only for the folks that work for the district, but also for the students. My experience is that they clearly understand, no matter their age – pre-kindergarten, kindergarten – what their primary purpose is and why they are in school. Their parents are extremely positive and supportive,” the superintendent said, adding, “There was not a single bus issue reported to us. It was just a very good opening to the day.” “I really appreciated Peter Kane’s words,” commented Webster, referring to the new president of the union that represents the district’s faculty, the North Reading Teachers Association. “I thought he gave an excellent speech in terms of what he focused...

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One injured in early morning accidental fire at The Greens

Posted by on Sep 14, 2017 in Local Headline News, North Reading News, North Reading Transcript | Comments Off on One injured in early morning accidental fire at The Greens

Published in the September 14, 2017 edition NORTH READING — At 2:11 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 10, the North Reading Fire Department (NRFD) received a 9-1-1 transfer call from the North Reading Police (NRPD) followed by an automatic fire alarm reporting a fire in a residence at 4 Mid Iron Drive in The Greens condominium complex off Elm Street. NRPD reported heavy smoke with fire visible through a window. The duty crew of Captain Rick Nash, Deputy Chief Barry Galvin, and firefighters Vincent Zarella and Chris Hadley arrived on the scene and were able to knock down the fire within 10 minutes, according to a statement released by the Fire Department. “The recent increase in manpower funded by the ALS program allowed for one firefighter to hold the fire in check through a window while the remaining two firefighters forced entry and searched the residence. All residents made it out of the home prior to arrival of emergency personnel,” Galvin stated. “One of the residents received burns and smoke inhalation injury while escaping the fire. She was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital by Reading Fire Department paramedics,” he added. Middleton’s Fire Department also responded with an engine to assist NRFD on scene. Wilmington provided station coverage. NRPD along with the Massachusetts State Fire Marshal’s Office assisted in the investigation. The fire has been determined to be accidental. All units were clear at 6:29...

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Public comment welcome during OTM informational hearings Monday

Posted by on Sep 14, 2017 in Local Headline News, North Reading News, North Reading Transcript | Comments Off on Public comment welcome during OTM informational hearings Monday

Published in the September 14, 2017 edition By MAUREEN DOHERTY NORTH READING — The public is invited to comment on any of the proposed October Town Meeting warrant articles during the informational hearings being held at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Monday, Sept. 18. The warrant for the Monday, Oct. 2 Town Meeting includes 19 warrant articles and was signed by the board at its Sept. 5 meeting. The board will meet in Room 14 at North Reading Town Hall, 235 North St., at 7 p.m. and the informational hearing portion of the agenda will be discussed starting at 8 p.m. Any interested citizen is welcome to attend and participate in these hearings. The board holds these informational hearings prior to the fall and spring Town Meetings to foster greater public participation in the decision-making process that affect the town and its citizens. The information and concerns brought before the board by the public on these matters also enables the board members to make informed recommendations to the voters at Town Meeting. The approved October Town Meeting warrant is as follows: Article 1 – Hear and Act on Reports of Town Officers and Committees Article 2 – Prior Year’s Bills Article 3 – Transfer Funds to Capital Improvement Stabilization Fund Article 4 – Appropriate Money to Stabilization Fund Article 5 – Transfer Funds to Other Post Employment Benefits Liability Trust Fund Article 6 – Amend FY 2018 Operating Budget Article 7 – Fund Repairs to Town Buildings Article 8 – Fund Town Facilities Master Plan Article 9 – Appropriate Supplemental Funds for J.T. Berry/Lowell Road Property Article 10 – Appropriate Funds for Study and Design of Water/Wastewater Connection Article 11 – Authorize Intermunicipal Agreement with Town of Andover and Home-Rule Petition for Potable Water Article 12 – Fund Construction of Pump Station, Reading and North Reading Water System Improvements for MWRA Water Interconnection and Acceptance of Water from MWRA Article 13 – Authorize Intermunicipal Agreement with Town of Reading and Home-Rule Petition for Potable Water Article 14 – Authorize Article 97 Legislation for Potable Water Interconnection with Town of Reading Article 15 – Amend Code – General By-Laws – Social Host Responsibility Article 16 – Amend Code – General By-Laws – Betterment Assessments Article 17 – Appropriate Money for Special Counsel Legal Expenses Article 18 – Sale of Land – 8 Devens Road (Map 42, Parcel 71) Article 19 – Acquire Property for Public Potable Water Main: 100 Lowell Road (Map 14, Parcel...

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PHOTO: A future in law enforcement

Posted by on Sep 14, 2017 in North Reading News | Comments Off on PHOTO: A future in law enforcement

Published in the September 14, 2017 edition

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Saturday’s Homecoming Hustle 5K benefits FFBC

Posted by on Sep 8, 2017 in North Reading News | Comments Off on Saturday’s Homecoming Hustle 5K benefits FFBC

Same-day registrations accepted Published in the September 8, 2017 edition By MAUREEN DOHERTY EVERETT — It’s back! The Homecoming Hustle 5K fun run/walk to benefit Friends Fighting Breast Cancer (FFBC) will be held this Saturday, Sept. 9 at the Everett Recreation Center, 47 Elm St., Everett. Same-day registration starts at 7 a.m. prior to the shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. All are invited to this annual family-friendly event held in memory of FFBC co-founder Janet Connolly O’Neill, a former assistant principal of the Webster School in Everett, the city where she grew up, and a former School Committee member in North Reading, the town where she and her husband Mike raised their two children. This is a fun run/walk open to runners and walkers of all abilities, and kids are welcome. Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers in multiple age categories: under 18, 19-29, 30-39, 40-49 and over 50. The race-day registration fee is $20 for the professionally timed event, with a $5 fee for students. Only cash or checks accepted on race day. Make checks payable to FFBC. For more information, send an e-mail to friendsfightingbreastcancer@gmail.com or Homecoming Hustle coordinator Charles Obremski at: cobremski@everett.k12.ma.us. All proceeds from the race directly benefit groundbreaking breast cancer research at Boston’s Mass. General Hospital to fulfill Janet’s dream of grassroots research leading to a world without the scourge of cancer.  Founded in 1996, FFBC continues to be an all-volunteer non-profit organization headed by her daughter, Katie O’Neill Britton, who resides in North Reading, with support from members and friends throughout the area, including Wakefield, Melrose and Lynnfield. As a visionary donor to MGH Boston, FFBC reached $1 million in total donations to breast cancer research in 2014. In honor of this achievement, FFBC is included on the MGH Visionary Donor Wall, which was built in the hospital’s main entrance to celebrate the 200th anniversary of its founding in 1812. The names of over 500 nonprofits, like FFBC, as well as foundations, families and philanthropists who support MGH, are etched into this glass wall. It serves as a reminder to patients and visitors that there are people outside the hospital doing their part to eradicate insidious diseases like...

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PHOTO: Welcome to sixth grade!

Posted by on Sep 7, 2017 in North Reading News | Comments Off on PHOTO: Welcome to sixth grade!

Published in the September 7, 2017 edition

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Selectmen unanimously support negotiating with Andover on water pact

Posted by on Sep 7, 2017 in North Reading News | Comments Off on Selectmen unanimously support negotiating with Andover on water pact

Published in the September 7, 2017 edition By MAUREEN DOHERTY NORTH READING — What a difference two weeks makes! With a collective sigh of relief, North Reading’s Board of Selectmen voted unanimously Tuesday night to accept Andover’s latest offer and continue investigating whether it makes better sense to stick with Andover as the town’s water supplier and scrap plans to join the MWRA. The relationship between the two towns had all the makings of a messy divorce back on August 21, but after Tuesday’s vote the two towns appear to be heading down the aisle for a renewal of vows that could solidify the union between them for the next century. With a 3-2 split simmering in the background and an ultimatum issued Aug. 21 for Andover to come to the table within a week with a signed commitment detailing this renewed partnership, negotiations continued to be led in private workshop meetings by Selectmen Bob Mauceri and Steve O’Leary, Town Administrator Michael Gilleberto, and the town’s water department and professional consulting firm of Wright-Pierce with their Andover counterparts to reach the current accord. Andover came through with a 4-1 vote Aug. 28 that took care of the most pressing concerns, including an agreement to reimburse the town for the nearly $1M already spent attempting to tie into the MWRA via a connection in Reading. Mauceri was happy to report Tuesday night that Andover has committed to pay the town 10 equal payments of $95,300 per year until that $953,000 debt is repaid. Another negotiation reached is to pursue a means to provide the town of Reading with an assurance of a water supply redundancy, just in case one is ever needed, if something happens with that town’s water agreement with the MWRA. Also gone is the dreaded five-year buyout clause that could have been deployed by either side at any point in the 99-year lease – provided the exiting party agreed to pay a penalty of five years’ value of the contracted water amount. Selectmen Chairman Mike Prisco pointed out that a clause such as that would have no place in a contract between the two towns “if we are going to have a true partnership.” Andover’s willingness to let that clause die on the vine was an indication to the North Reading selectmen that the current partnership with Andover exists on more solid footing today than when that clause came about. Other agreements concern the water rate Andover will charge the town, which will be 95 percent of the cost of the lowest tier Andover will charge its own residents, and extensions of current agreements between the two towns plus a commitment to work together in all other aspects of the required permitting process at the state and local levels. Selectmen in both towns will have to convince their own Town Meeting voters that this deal makes the most fiscal sense and that the science behind the data proves the plan is possible – that the water supply from the Merrimack River, from which Andover gets its water, is truly legitimate. Andover also understands that it must give North Reading the flexibility to keep the MWRA option on the back burner and shifting focus away from completing that transition in order to investigate the Andover connection more in...

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Punch list for secondary schools on track for completion this fall

Posted by on Sep 7, 2017 in North Reading News | Comments Off on Punch list for secondary schools on track for completion this fall

Published in the September 7, 2017 edition By DAN TOMASELLO  NORTH READING — Two years after North Reading Middle School 2.0 opened its doors, remaining work on the secondary schools is on schedule to be completed later this fall. During last week’s School Committee meeting, Superintendent of Schools Jon Bernard said the secondary schools’ access road was recently repaved after the drainage system was repaired. “There was a request to infrared the seams to strengthen them,” he explained. “That work was completed on August 11.” Bernard said the grass area adjacent to the media center will be hydroseeded in September. The superintendent, along with School Committee Chairman Mel Webster, Secondary Schools Building Committee (SSBC) Chairman Chuck Carucci, Town Administrator Michael Gilleberto and representatives from the owner’s project manager PMA, architect Dore and Whittier and general contractor Gilbane reviewed the remaining punch list items during a recent meeting. “It was a very productive meeting that lasted about two hours,” said Bernard. “We reviewed the 26 remaining items on the punch list. The most significant number was attributed to warranty paperwork items Dore and Whittier is seeking to provide to us. There is a commitment by Gilbane to have everything wrapped up by September 15.” In an interview with the Transcript, Bernard said the one item that will be completed after September 15 is delivering extra fabric rolls for chairs in the performing arts center. He said the fabric has been ordered and will be delivered in October. “There is no work to do, but if the chairs’ fabric ever gets worn or damaged, we would able to replace it,” said Bernard. “It’s year four in the building, and we haven’t had any issues.” During last week’s meeting, Bernard said, “there are about five items that require physical labor other than just paperwork.” “I am encouraged with the progress that has been made,” Bernard said, adding, “Having PMA, Dore and Whittier and Gilbane in the same room as us was certainly a prudent thing. As we look to the next SSBC meeting on September 19, I feel right now a level of assurance that we will be able to move forward at that meeting and identify anything that is outstanding.” Webster agreed. “The commitment was to have everything done by September 15 except for that one item,” said Webster. Webster said the largest remaining item that needs to be addressed is fixing a couple of drains outside of the superintendent’s office that “aren’t draining correctly.” He also said the DPW needs to review two manhole covers. Landscaping to be addressed Bernard said there are also some landscaping issues that need to be addressed. “There are roughly 30 landscaping items between trees and grasses,” he said. According to Bernard, contractors have completed work on the tennis courts. He asked boys’ tennis coach Mark Bisognano to evaluate the work. “(Bisognano) seemed pleased with it,” said Bernard. Parking lot repairs due Webster said school officials are looking to have the high school’s parking lot repaired. “That was discussed briefly,” said Webster. “It’s not on the punch list. But many of us have been out there and there is definitely some work that needs to be done before the winter because the cracks that we have are going to expand significantly.” Bernard concurred. “Something has...

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Bathroom/concession project at NRHS to begin Sept. 18

Posted by on Sep 7, 2017 in North Reading News | Comments Off on Bathroom/concession project at NRHS to begin Sept. 18

Published in the September 7, 2017 edition By DAN TOMASELLO NORTH READING — The Arthur Kenney Field bathroom and concession stand project is scheduled to begin later this fall, Athletic Facilities Committee (AFC) Chairman Mel Webster said at last week’s School Committee meeting. Townspeople approved the bathroom project at June Town Meeting. Town Administrator Michael Gilleberto informed the Transcript the town signed a $650,000 contract with Construction Dynamics, Inc. of Clinton recently. “The project will construct restrooms and a concession stand in a modular building at the site of the existing concession stand,” said Gilleberto. “The designer is CBI Consulting.” In an email sent to the Transcript, Webster said the company that will be constructing the building is United Concrete Products, Inc. of Wallington, Connecticut. “They will be providing a pre-manufactured building that will be delivered to the site in four pieces and will be placed on the foundation with a crane,” said Webster. Gilleberto said construction of the facility will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 18, when site work is completed and the old concession stand is razed. He said site work and the installation of utilities is slated to be completed by December 1. According to Gilleberto, the modular building will be installed in January. “Everything will be completed inside,” added Webster. “All of the fixtures and everything. They will just drop it in and then it has to just be connected.” Gilleberto said the project will be mostly completed by March 15, just prior to the spring sports season, with the exception of paving. Webster said local officials “were told by the contractor that they will not be able to complete final paving of the area until after April 15, which is usually when pavement plants open in this area.” “The building and everything else, however, should be completed and should be usable for the spring 2018 season,” said Webster. During the project’s kickoff meeting in early August, Webster said representatives of Construction Dynamics commented that “they hoped to get the first shovel in the ground in mid to late September and hoped to have all the infrastructure work done by late October, early November.” “It was a very good meeting,” said Webster. “We have another meeting scheduled for September 12.” Exterior painting options were presented by company representatives during the meeting as well, according to School Committee Vice Chairman Jerry Venezia. “They have the regular pressed concrete, which is painted,” said Venezia. “We could paint it green or whatever color. And then they had a pressed concrete with a design on (it). They then showed us a pretty good example of a brick veneer that would come close to matching the team building that is already down there. It’s really nice.” Webster added, “most of the contingency funds we have are going to be related to site work” and electrical work. “If we don’t spend a lot of that contingency money on either site work and electricity issues, we should have enough funds for the brick facing,” Webster explained. “The brick facing would look great. But if we can’t do that with the money we have for the project, we are not going to ask for more money.” Options for concession sales during construction Webster noted that both Parks Director Marty Tilton and Parks and Recreation...

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