Plympton selectmen have scheduled a special town meeting for Dec.16 at 7 p.m. at the Dennett Elementary School, in order to allow the townspeople to vote on changes to the town’s by-laws regarding solar installations, among other things.
Schools in the Silver Lake District experienced a “modified lockdown” Wednesday in response to the active shooter situation in Plymouth.
Plympton Chief of Police Matthew Clancy told The Express the directive came in late Wednesday morning from Superintendent of Schools Joy Blackwood who was acting in “an abundance of caution.”
In Plympton, an officer and a cruiser were assigned to the school for the remainder of th school day.
Most students were likely not aware of the situation, Clancy said, and the only real change to their day was that there was no outside recess. At the end of the school day, students were dismissed and sent home in the usual manner.
Blackwood communicated to the schools and the towns’ police departments that with the uncertainty of the Plymouth shooters, keeping Silver Lake District students contained in a safe place seemed to be in their best interest.
There’s no comparison of the color of brilliant cranberries surrounded by a boom, to the color swatches claiming to be “cranberry.” We are so fortunate to have this amazing sight every autumn. It takes your breath away!
Susan Basile took these harvesting photos of the bog out in back of her home on Thompson Street, Halifax. At the left, berries that have been agitated from their vines float to the top of the flooded bogs, where they are rounded up with floating booms, bringing the berries to the vacuum where they are sucked up to be deposited onto the back of a waiting trailer truck.
Shanks Restaurant at the Halifax Country Club lit up the sky Sunday night as flames demolished the popular dining spot at 100 Country Club Drive in Halifax.
According to HFD Captain Jeffrey Cuozzo, an alarm was activated at 10:39 p.m. Halifax Fire Department responded and while en route were informed of fire coming from the building. When HFD arrived, heavy fire was showing from the rear of the restaurant and through the roof, according to Cuozzo’s report.
Tower 1 truck got a workout as crews attacked the blaze aggressively to bring the fire under control. A working fire protocol was initiated at the rear of the building and the call went to a third alarm through county control.
Responding towns included Kingston, Hanson, East Bridgewater, Bridgewater, Pembroke, and Onset.
The fire department also connected to the existing sprinkler system to help aid in extinguishing the fire. Multiple handlines, ventilation, and search crews were utilized to bring the incident to a close.
HFD succeeded in containing the blaze to the restaurant section of the building, saving the remainder of the structure.
The State Rehab vehicle assisted, and the State Fire Marshall was also contacted.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The Halifax Cultural Council is now accepting applications for the
Council’s Fiscal Year 2020 grant cycle. All applications must be submitted to the Halifax Cultural Council, 499 Plymouth Street, Halifax, MA 02338 no later than Tuesday, October 15.
Grant applications and other information are available on the Council’s web site:
http://www.halifax-ma.org/cultural-council, or applicants can apply
https://www.mass-culture.org/Halifax (click on the “Apply Now” tab).
This year, the Council’s priorities include an emphasis on
events in Halifax, but not just in the municipal centers, programs
related to nature, science, environmental education and the Town’s
history, programs for seniors, library patrons, people with
disabilities, families, and teens, and programs involving artists and
speakers from Halifax.
Applicants can obtain more information through the Halifax Board of Selectmen’s office at 781-294-1316.
The Halifax Collector-Treasurer will be issuing the first of the two property tax bills for Fiscal Year 2020 (the period from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020) in late September, 2019. Payment for this bill is due on Friday, November 1, 2019. The second bill will be issued by Wednesday, April 1, 2020 with payment due by Friday, May 1, 2020.
The property tax rate for Fiscal Year 2020 is $17.44. This is a 0.17% decrease from the tax rate in Fiscal Year 2019 which was $17.47.
The average value of a single-family home in Halifax increased from $335,124 in Fiscal Year 2019 to $344,453 in Fiscal Year 2020, an increase of 2.78%.
The annual taxes on an average single-family home went from $5,854.62 in Fiscal Year 2019 to $6,010.70 in Fiscal Year 2020, an increase of 2.67%.
Tuesday afternoon Halifax Police Chief Jao Chaves smiled as he accepted a check from Walmart manager Martin Disla to help fund a six-month trial for the Halifax motorcycle program. Chaves, who has been chief in Halifax for the past year, came from New Bedford where his department used motorcycles. Chaves has wanted to begin a motorcycle program in Halifax and got the go-ahead for a six-month trial from selectmen at an August meeting. Officer Michael W. Schleiff underwent 40 hours of intensive training, focusing on how to use the bike to help in various situations. Disla said that Walmart has helped in other aspects of its community outreach project with radar and protective vests for Halifax officers. With Walmart’s help, the motorcycle trial program will cost Halifax taxpayers nothing.
Both Plympton and Halifax first responders stood at attention while remembering those who were lost 18 years ago.
Plympton’s Fire Chief Stephen Silva led them out to the flag for a 10 a.m. service Wednesday morning.
Halifax Fire Chief Jason Viveiros led his department to the strains of bagpipes played by Nathan Campbell, the tolling of the bell by Firefighter Schindler, the reading of the 9/11 timeline detailing the flights of the three planes by Captain Cunngham, and the recitation of “The Firefighters’ Prayer” by Lieutenant Hogan.
Tolling the bell, Chief Viveiros explained, likely had its origins back in history when bells were necessary to communicate over a distance. Tolling four sets of five tones signals the death of a firefighter.
In Plympton, the bell ceremony was lead by Captain John Sjostedt. Firefighters Steve Galambos and Shannon Worton lowered the flag.
Plympton photos by Stephanie Spyropoulos
Halifax photos by Deb Anderson
BOSTON -The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) are urging residents throughout the Commonwealth to continue to take personal precautions to prevent mosquito bites as they announced additional aerial spraying for mosquitoes in areas of the state at critical and high risk for the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus.
MDAR is scheduled to begin aerial spraying this evening and continue into next week in parts of Middlesex, Worcester, and Norfolk counties. While aerial spraying is weather and equipment dependent, above-average evening temperatures this week are likely to permit the application.
Communities that are scheduled to be partially or fully sprayed over the next week include:
Norfolk County: Bellingham, Franklin, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, Medfield, Walpole, Wrentham, Foxborough, Sharon, Norwood, Westwood, Dover, Needham, Wellesley
Middlesex County: Ashland, Hopkinton, Holliston, Sherborn, Framingham, Natick, Wayland, Sudbury, Maynard, Stow, Hudson, Marlborough, Weston
Worcester County: Berlin, Boylston, Northborough, Westborough, Shrewsbury, Grafton, Upton, Milford, Hopedale, Mendon, Blackstone, Millville, Uxbridge, Douglas, Northbridge, Sutton, Millbury, Auburn, Oxford, Webster, Southborough, Bolton, Clinton, West Boylston, Worcester, Charlton, Dudley, Leicester, Harvard
As weather, temperature, and equipment conditions permit, plans for subsequent rounds of spraying will include critical and high-risk communities in the counties of Bristol, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire and Plymouth. Residents are encouraged to visit the DPH website at https://www.mass.gov/eee for the latest updates on spraying in their communities.
So far this season, Massachusetts has had seven human cases of EEE. One person has died. There have also been nine confirmed cases of EEE this year in animals, including eight horses and a goat.
There are 36 communities now at critical risk, 42 at high risk, and 115 at moderate risk for the EEE virus in Massachusetts. A map of the state’s current EEE risk levels can be found here.
“Even as temperatures cool, it’s vitally important for us to remember that mosquito season is not over and that we all need to continue to take steps to prevent mosquito bites,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “Use bug spray, wear long sleeves and pants to reduce exposed skin, and stay indoors from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active.”
“We continue to urge the public to protect themselves from this disease by using mosquito repellent and taking other precautions, and for those in high and critical risk areas, by rescheduling outdoor activities during evening hours,” said MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux. “In addition to these precautions, we will be conducting additional aerial spraying and supporting the use of truck-based ground spraying to reduce the numbers of infected adult mosquitoes left flying at this point in the season.”
Additionally, MDAR reminds horse owners to promptly vaccinate their horses to ensure proper protection from EEE. If your horse was already vaccinated this year, MDAR advises checking with your veterinarian about a booster. Previously vaccinated horses may quickly respond to a booster vaccine and readily develop protective antibody. Horses of unknown vaccination status should receive two vaccines the first year. Foals should be vaccinated as soon as they are old enough (3-4 months of age) and need a second booster vaccine for adequate protection.
Last month, MDAR conducted aerial mosquito spraying in parts of Bristol, Plymouth, Middlesex, and Worcester counties to help reduce the public health risk. Meanwhile local communities are continuing truck-mounted ground spraying for mosquitoes. Spraying for mosquitoes does not eliminate the risk of EEE transmission and the public is asked to continue to follow personal protection practices.
Residents can learn more about EEE and ways to protect themselves on DPH’s website here.
EEE is a rare but serious and potentially fatal disease that can affect people of all ages. EEE occurs sporadically in Massachusetts with the most recent outbreak years occurring from 2004-2006 and 2010-2012. There were 22 human cases of EEE infection during those two outbreak periods with 14 cases occurring among residents of Bristol and Plymouth counties.
EEE virus has been found in 400 mosquito samples this year, many of them from species of mosquitoes capable of spreading the virus to people.
People have an important role to play in protecting themselves and their loved ones from illnesses caused by mosquitoes:
Avoid Mosquito Bites
Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with an EPA-registered ingredient (DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535) according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.
Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours
The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning in areas of high risk.
Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites
Wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home
Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty unused flowerpots and wading pools and change the water in birdbaths frequently.
Install or Repair Screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.
Protect Your Animals
Animal owners should reduce potential mosquito breeding sites on their property by eliminating standing water from containers such as buckets, tires, and wading pools – especially after heavy rains. Water troughs should be flushed out at least once a week during the summer months to reduce mosquitoes near paddock areas. Horse owners should keep horses in indoor stalls at night to reduce their risk of exposure to mosquitoes. Owners should also speak with their veterinarian about mosquito repellents approved for use in animals and vaccinations to prevent WNV and EEE. If an animal is suspected of having WNV or EEE, owners are required to report to DAR, Division of Animal Health by calling 617-626-1795 and to the Department of Public Health (DPH) by calling 617-983-6800.
For the most up-to-date information, Q&As, and downloadable fact sheets about EEE in multiple languages visit the DPH webpage https://www.mass.gov/eee.
For questions about aerial spraying, contact the MDAR Crop and Pest Services at (617) 626-1700.
PLYMPTON – The Plympton Community Preservation Committee (CPC) is currently accepting applications for FY2020 funding. The deadline for completed applications is October 15.
Projects funded in prior years include a safe in the Town Clerk’s office to archive important historical records; installation of a chairlift and new insulation for the “Old Town House” building at 189 Main St.; a comprehensive drainage system to solve a chronic wet basement in the Plympton Library; funds to acquire and improve the 11 acre parcel on Main Street now known as Churchill Park which offers access to the abutting 87 acre parcel known as Cato’s Ridge thereby forming a large natural preserve with walking trails; improvements at Harry Jason Park to make it more accessible for family and recreational use; the installation of a chairlift in the Plympton Historical Society Building; renovation of the old Winnetuxet swimming hole into a recreational area; and facilitating the donation of O’Neil Marsh on Ring Road which offers additional access to Cato’s Ridge.
More recent projects include clapboard painting and window restoration and replacement at the “Old Town House”; repair and restoration of Town Green gazebo; creation of the 150 acre “Two Brooks Preserve” off Prospect Road; and funding for improvements to the playground at the Dennett Elementary School.
The CPC takes very seriously its responsibility to administer Community Preservation Act funds and is thrilled to have the opportunity to serve and improve the town through acquisition and protection of open space, historical preservation, community housing and increased recreational opportunities. New projects selected by the CPC for further consideration will voted on for approval at the 2019 Annual Town Meeting.
Project guidelines and applications can be found on the Plympton town website at http://www.town.plympton.ma.us/community-preservation-committee. Click on “Documents” at the left hand side of the web page to bring up the Plympton Community Preservation Plan which includes the application and criteria. The CPC Plan and application are also available at the Town House and at the Plympton Public Library. Questions can be addressed by contacting CPC Chair Mark Russo at Mrusso2@msn.com.