The 152nd Marshfield Fair opened last weekend, bringing back the exhibits, the 4-H animals, the award-winning produce and flowers, and the best of local crafts for all to see. What would a day at the fair be without fried dough and all the fun the midway rides have to offer? People from all over Plymouth County and beyond enjoyed the fair, that closes on Sunday after another successful season. If you haven’t been, don’t miss it. Their schedule is online at marshfieldfair.org
At 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 13, Plympton Public Library hosted an astronomy presentation put on by Barry and Carolyn Decristofano.
An engineer and lecturer at Northeastern University in Boston, Barry brings a collegiate approach to the study of astronomy.
Describing himself as a “hobbyist astronomer,” Barry says his passion for the science came about at a young age, citing his first memories of the stars from when he was just a small boy.
Carolyn works as a science educator, and has published several books related to astronomy and other STEM topics.
Together, the two delivered a learning experience to their audience by working in synergy. “It was awesome. He was awesome. Barry makes it fun,” said one of the attendees.
The presentation kicked off with a brainstorming activity, in which Carolyn asked the audience to shout out some different aspects of the universe that they had interacted with that day. The first few included, “rain,” and “clouds,” and these were followed up by some shout outs from the kids, the more notable were “cheeseburgers,” and “my hot wheels set.”
Following this activity, Barry asked the group to consider the things that come up when one is thinking about the night sky, and asked participants to draw these things. Among the most popular were drawings of the moon, and Jupiter.
Barry went on to introduce the concept of constellations, and provided the group with a worksheet depicting the night sky to design their own constellations out of patterns they see themselves. Participants were then called up to the front and asked to draw their self chosen patterns on the projector for the group to see. This introduced an important take home point from the presentation: everyone is free to interpret and enjoy the sky in their own way. The collection created by the entire group was then labeled “The Plympton Library Star Map.” After establishing an understanding of constellations, he then went on to provide historical insight into the concept, offering examples of many Greek constellations, such as Hercules, Scorpius, and others.
The discussion led up to the final activity of the evening, which was creating “big dipper finders,” a small paper device that can help one find the big dipper in the night sky in real time (which can be helpful for determining what direction is north). Along with the materials to build them, a guide for using these devices was handed out. The group struggled with the concept at first, but many managed to get a grasp on the idea.
This event marks the third astronomy-related visit to the Plympton Public Library for Barry. Once before, he gave another presentation similar to this, and has also set up a telescope on the lawn for stargazing, as well as to see views of the moon, jupiter, and more celestial objects. Following the end of this presentation, Barry & Carolyn gathered the opinions of the attendees about the best days and times, so a future presentation can likely be expected.
Although they trailed big late in the championship game, the Halifax 10U All-Stars rallied — and ended up taking home the crown.
The team hosted and defeated Norwell 9-7 on Sunday, Aug. 4 in the South River Baseball Minor Division Championship game, even though their chances of doing so were slim headed into the penultimate inning of action.
Down 7-2 to start the bottom of the fifth inning, Halifax rallied at the plate. They started things off by drawing a pair of walks and from there, their bats erupted. They knocked in seven runs on six hits and went up 9-7. The team then protected their lead on the mound in the top of the sixth inning to win the game.
“I have been coaching baseball for over 10 years now and have been with some great teams, but not like this one,” Halifax head coach Mike Nista said of this year’s team. “Every kid worked hard through the heat and played there best baseball today. I’m so proud and I’m going to miss it. I can’t wait until next year.”
The Halifax 10U All-Stars finish their season at 12-1. They went 9-1 in the regular season, earning the top seed headed into the playoffs. From there, they excelled. They got a first round bye and in the second round, they trounced East Bridgewater 12-0. In the third round of the tournament, they got revenge on Plymouth North, beating them 8-5. Previously, Plymouth North handed them their only loss of the season.
The championship team this season had a total of 13 players on it. They include: Marcus Wilson, Connor Martell, Jack Lynch, Max McEwan, Robert Crosby, John “JP” Palmer, Samuel “Bus” Laidlaw, Ryan Cyrus, Matthew Martell, Garrett Bodel, Tyler “T-Bone” Schmaling, Owen Graves and Brandon Nista.
In addition to Mike Nista, Scott Wilson and Steve Martell served as coaches for the team.
Halifax resident Lauren Kizelewicz will be riding this weekend in the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC). PMC.org describes the event as “…an annual bike-a-thon that raises more money for charity than any other event in the country.” Since its founding in 1980, the PMC has donated $654 million for cancer research at Dana-Farber Institute. Riders choose from twelve different routes ranging in distance from 25 to 192 miles. Fundraising commitments range from $600 to $8,000. Every dollar raised by the riders goes directly to Dana-Farber.
Kizelewicz, who moved to Halifax last August with her fiancé, will be riding the two-day 192-mile course starting in Sturbridge and ending in Provincetown.
Kizelewicz grew up playing soccer for Brockton High School and currently plays co-ed intramural soccer at the Bridgewater Dome.
While this will be her first time riding the PMC, she has competed in the Falmouth Sprint Triathlon for the last seven years. The biking part of that event is only 10 miles.
“That’s pretty much the most biking I’ve done. I had never done over 20 miles before I just recently started training,” Kizelewicz explained. Kizelewicz, who works as a physical therapist assistant, said that finding time to train can sometimes be a struggle. Despite working full-time, however, she gets in several rides during the week with a longer ride on the weekend (in addition to some cross-training). She has also had to fight back after a recent setback. Kizelewicz, who said she is feeling good now, said, “I had a lapse in training because I had to have surgery but I started training again about three weeks ago.”
Kizelewicz said she was inspired to participate in the PMC by her friend Alicia Gay, who rode the 50-mile route last year. The friends plan to ride the longest route together this year. She was also inspired by another close friend Anthony DeRienzo who was diagnosed with stage 4 Burkitt Lymphoma a few years ago. DeRienzo is now cancer-free, but his battle left an impression on Kizelewicz. “That’s part of my motivation for riding. It’s just awesome what can be done for people who are going through that. I figured I would help a little bit.”
The PMC hopes to raise $60 million this year through the fundraising efforts of their riders. Kizelewicz and Gay have committed to raising $5,000 each this year and have already exceeded that goal. The friends were able to raise most of that money through a charity golf tournament they organized and held at River Bend Country Club in West Bridgewater this past June. Kizelewicz said they had about 20 teams golfing as well as several family members and friends that attended the catered event following the tournament. Several businesses sponsored holes at the “Riding for a cure Pan-Mass charity golf tournament” including Monstah Customs, Dellbrook JKS, Mutual Bank, Jeef Berkey, The Woodlands, Granite City, and Wells Landscaping Inc. In addition to those sponsors, several businesses including the Boston Red Sox and Massage Envy donated to the raffles that were held during the tournament. Kizelewicz said, “The golf tournament was a lot easier than we anticipated and everyone had a blast.” In addition to the money raised at the golf tournament, she also received donations through posts on her personal Facebook page as well as notices hung up at her work. Riders are given through October to meet or exceed their fundraising goals. Kizelewicz’s profile page can be found at http://pmc.org/LK0162 and her donation page can be found at https://donate.pmc.org/LK0162.
Logistically, the start is scheduled for 5:30 a.m. from Sturbridge Host Hotel. From there, Kizelewicz, Gay and others doing the two-day challenge will bike about 109 miles to Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Bourne. Riders have the option to stay in the dorms or find other accommodations. The finish for the longest route will be at Provincetown Monument on Sunday where family and friends are invited to join the finishers for a party.
Asked what advice she would give to future riders, Kizelewicz said, “In terms of training, I would say make sure you get in a couple of long rides of at least 50 miles before you enter into the race day. In terms of fundraising, try to do something that people will have fun at.”
She plans to ride the PMC again next year but with a wedding on the horizon, she says it is a decision that will best be made after this weekend.
The Halifax Beautification Committee wants to thank all who have participated in the “Adopt A Planter” program. Twenty seven planters have been distributed and can now be seen throughout the town, at the police station, the fire station, the library, Town Hall, the Water Department, the Post Office, the Congregational Church, Pope’s Tavern, the Brockton Store, Rockland Trust, Mutual Bank, and Morgan Power Equipment.
Special thank you to Tom Schindler, Erica Washburn, Kristen Barrows, Kathy Geisser, Stacy Varaou, Carmen LaRiviere, Laura Kinney, Friends of the Holmes Public Library, Barbara Brenton, Karen Salters, Amy Troup and Candy Kniffen for their special efforts in supporting this Halifax Beautification project.
Participants in this program provide and plant the plants, place the planters in agreed upon locations, and maintain the planters throughout the growing season.
The Silver Lake Regional School Committee held their close-out meeting Thursday, July 11. It was a brief meeting with fewer attendees than usual. Vice Chair Eric Crone took the meeting in Chairman Jason Fraser’s absence.
The first order of business was the appointment of a new treasurer for the district. The school committee agreed to add a treasurer last year after years of being asked to do so by auditors. The position was added to the budget at that time with a small stipend of 6-10 hours per month allotted.
Superintendent Joy Blackwood said that after speaking with Director of Business Services Christine Healy, it was decided that they would not renew the current treasurer’s one-year contract. The main duties of the treasurer are to transfer out funds and reconcile balances.
Former Silver Lake Business Manager and Superintendent John Tuffy applied and attended the meeting. Tuffy spent six years as the Silver Lake business manager and another eight as superintendent before retiring in 2015. From 2016-2018, Tuffy acted as an interim business manager for Cohasset.
Blackwood said, “Someone who we all know and love applied for the position. I think it is a perfect situation where it is one of the few times where I can say it is an absolute win-win. He knows our system inside and out and he’s absolutely trustworthy and I’m thrilled that he decided to apply.” Crone entertained a motion to appoint Tuffy as the new treasurer and it was passed unanimously. Crone addressed Tuffy and joked, “Welcome and thank you; you can never get away.”
Healy gave the committee an update on the budget. Regarding the operating budget, Healy said that a balance of $128,679.21 will eventually flow back to the excess and deficiency account. Healy addressed the areas where they had some “bumps in the road” including deficits for both substitutes and homeless transportation.
Another area that had a tough year was contract services including maintenance and buildings and maintenance and grounds. The expenses included the installation of new hot water tanks at the high school as well as improvements to the systems at the middle school that resulted in reduced humidity particularly during the hottest months of June, August, and September.
Regarding the work done at the middle school Healy said, “We got a call from the principal today saying it is amazing what it has done and actually some of the custodians have noticed when they’re working at night that it’s not nearly as humid and overwhelming as it has been.”
Any areas of deficit, however, will be made up for by areas of surplus. One of the largest areas of surplus is health insurance. Healy also gave an update on the revenue side of the budget. The revenues, which are made up of several things including Chapter 70 money, regional transportation money, shared costs, etc., will exceed the budget by $301,000. Regional transportation exceeded expectations by $123,000 and the district received the final payment on July 2. Another area that exceeded expectations was the net media agreement where the district received $114,000 in excess of what was budgeted. Other smaller, unbudgeted sources of revenue including interest totaled $113,000 that is then added to the increases and then that is added to what is not being spent in the budget.
Healy said, “If we look at all of that totally, we’ll be returning approximately $543,000 to our E & D account. That is if nothing changes as of right now.” School Committee member Leslie-Ann McGee made a motion to recommend that $128,679.21 be returned to the Silver Lake Regional School District revenue account. The motion was passed unanimously.
The committee briefly discussed the new calendar survey committee that would convene to discuss whether or not to survey constituents regarding changes to the school calendar. They also discussed the school start times committee whose purpose will be to do more research into what the state and others are doing regarding earlier start times. The issue is a hot button one as it affects clubs, sports, after school jobs, buses, family schedules etc.
School Committee member Paula Hatch gave an update on the Safety, Facilities, Fees and Revenue subcommittee meeting that took place just prior to the school committee meeting. Hatch said that the bids for the work that needs to be done on the roofs are due by July 18. The hope is to have substantial work completed on the repairs by October 1. The subcommittee also discussed how to better house warranty information going forward as it is not all currently stored in one easily accessible location. The new plan will be to scan documents and place them in Google Docs where everyone from the business manager to the custodians can access it.
Work will begin shortly to grade and seed the grass on the football practice field in order to improve the lawn and enable it to be used again.
Sandblasting and painting of the water filtration plant is also underway as it was recommended that it be done sooner rather than later to avoid further erosion.
Some important dates were also discussed prior to the adjournment of the meeting including new teacher orientation on August 23, the first day of school on August 28, and the next school committee meeting on September 12.
The always anticipated Annual Pet Show at the Holmes Public Library, 470 Plymouth St., Halifax, was held Monday, July 8, beginning at 6 p.m.
More than 20 entrants came to be seen and petted, representing several species of canines, rabbits, frogs, and even a chicken named, of course, “Chickie”!
Children’s Librarian Miss Stacy emceed the event, introducing each entrant with its person, allowing the audience to get a close-up look.
The Halifax-Carver U16 boys’ team attended the Massachusetts Tournament of Champions (MTOC) in Lancaster MA this past weekend as the champions from the Coastal League.
The twelve teams in their division were divided into three groups of four. Halifax-Carver were in a group with West Bridgewater, Franklin, and North Andover.
They played two games Friday, losing the first game 3-1 to West Bridgewater. Cole Wright scored Halifax-Carver’s lone goal of the tournament after carrying the ball from the backfield to score unassisted. They went on to lose 3-0 to Franklin in the second match.
“That was the second game on the first day and our kids were just out of gas,” Coach Jim Coombe explained. The team fell 4-0 in their final game held on Saturday against North Andover, who went on to finish second in the entire division.
The various opponents all zeroed in on Halifax-Carver standout Gabe Pacheco, making it difficult for the team to get anything going. “The boys worked hard but we were just outmatched,” Coombe said. “A small town like us, we don’t even have tryouts, we take everyone we can. It’s tough but they did well.
They didn’t embarrass themselves in any way, shape, or form,” Coombe continued. Cape Ann United from the Essex League went on to win the entire division.
Despite placing last in their group, the team managed to enjoy themselves. “We all stayed in the same hotel. After the first day there after they had two games, you would think they would be tired but no, they took over the pool and were playing in the pool until 10 o’clock at night,” Coombe said laughing. Just being invited to attend the tournament is an honor as only the top teams from each league across the state are invited as well as a handful of wildcard picks. “It is a good learning experience,” Coombe said, “It’s a great experience just being there.”
BROCKTON — A third attempt to arraign former roofer Matthew Will, 37, of Pembroke, who formerly owned Five Star Discount Roofing in Halifax, on 18 fraud and larceny related charges failed Monday, June 25, 2019, because he was not medically cleared for transport to Plymouth Superior Court, Brockton, by state prison officials, according to a source close to the investigation.
Will, who was in the custody of the Plymouth County Sherriff’s department, was quickly transported to a state facility, the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in Jamaica Plain, that has a state Department of Corrections-run prison ward, following police and Sherriff’s Department serving a search warrant on Will’s Furnace Colony Drive, Pembroke, rental home.
During the course of the execution of the search warrant, Will was found to be hiding in his attic and dogs were used to extricate him from the attic. According to a source close to the investigation, he is recuperating from injuries sustained from the dogs, which the source says he wrestled with and eventually fell through a ceiling from his attic into his living room.
Will had been on a lengthy run from the law, following skipping a Falmouth District Court date, two separate high speed chases in central Massachusetts, one leading into Rhode Island, then being released on personal recognizance by a district court judge who had not been made aware of Will’s history by prosecutors — and fleeing again.
He has been in the hospital almost continuously since his arrest Thursday, May 9, except for one hearing where his court appointed attorney, Charlotte Tilden argued unsuccessfully for his release in Wareham District Court. He was returned to Shattuck Hospital, and remains there as of press time.
Will has been indicted on the charges.
A Plymouth County grand jury returned the indictments against Will charging him with one count each of larceny of property over $1,200 by single scheme, state building code violations, employer failing to have workers’ compensation, money laundering and being a common and notorious thief. Will was also indicted on seven counts of home improvement contracting violations and three counts each of forgery and uttering.
Prosecutors say Will targeted some more than 50 mostly elderly homeowners, beginning in July 2018 at Oak Point, a 55-plus community in Middleboro, when at least 15 individuals began reporting that Will had defrauded them out of funds ranging from $800 to $12,000 by starting contracting work and not completing it, or simply taking the funds and absconding.
Will has multiple cases in courts in Falmouth, Plymouth and Wareham District Courts and he has 50 or more victims across the state.
The alleged victims have lost at least an estimated $250,000 in total and have been found so far in Kingston, Duxbury, Brockton, Plympton, Wareham, North Easton, Hanson, Falmouth and Pembroke in addition to Middleboro.
A joint meeting was held June 13 between Union 31 and the various Silver Lake school committees. The meeting began with a reorganization of the Silver Lake Regional School Committee. A unanimous vote named Jason Fraser and Eric Crone to continue to serve as chair and vice chair respectively of the Silver Lake Regional School Committee. The committee also voted to keep Paula Hatch as secretary as well as naming Michael Antoine assistant treasurer. Later in the meeting, Antoine was also named chair of Union 31.
Silver Lake Regional Middle School Principal James Dupille introduced science teacher Kathy Benash who heads up the science club and NASA project at the school as well as several of her students. Benash explained that through the NASA sponsored initiative, students were tasked with inventing something that would help society. Four groups of students presented their inventions to the committees. Among them were an epi-case, a phone case which would hold an EpiPen, as well as an astro sleeve, which would enable astronauts that cannot speak to communicate with other astronauts through an armband with built in speakers, screen, and keyboard.
Benash thanked the committee for their support and expressed how proud she was of her students.
Fraser addressed the students saying, “As a fellow science teacher, I just wanted to comment that each one of your designs and ideas are applicable today. As you were describing how they would improve lives of others,
I was already thinking of other ways they could be implemented into the workplace and into the marketplace. You guys all have marketable ideas right now standing in front of us today.” Fraser added, “I want to buy your products right now.”
Principal Dupille thanked Benash, who is retiring, saying, “It’s teachers like you, and we have some great teachers in these schools, that make all the difference, I think. The opportunities that these kids get at the middle school are a lot more than I did when I was growing up. So, thank you for everything that you’ve done and good luck with the next chapter in your life.”
Benash responded saying, “I am very happy as I retire that these kids are going to eventually take care of us. They’re amazing, amazing children.”
Following the student presentations, the committees then turned their attention to the superintendent search. School committee member Laura Tilton put together a packet with data gathered thus far from the surveys that are open to Silver Lake students and faculty as well as residents of the three towns. Based on Tilton’s analysis of the data, financial management and curriculum development were of high importance to respondents. Other items that were considered important included strong communication skills as well as understanding and recognizing good teaching.
Silver Lake has hired the Massachusetts Association of School Committees to aid in the search. Executive Director Glenn Koocher attended the meeting to go over and make edits to a mockup of the literature which would be distributed to potential candidates. The committee agreed to make changes to the mockup to better align with the issues constituents have pointed out as being of high importance to them. Committee member Leslie-Ann McGee suggested changing selection criteria to KSA’s or knowledge, skills, and abilities. The other major changes requested and agreed upon by the committees centered around the desire for a more aggressive timeline than the one suggested by Koocher.
Of concern was that a sitting superintendent might need to give anywhere from a one to three month notice at their current job. The committees were also eager to ensure that the incoming superintendent’s start date overlap with the final month of current superintendent Joy Blackwood’s tenure to allow for training. According to Koocher the only date that would be immutable would be the closing date for applications. Originally scheduled for September 22 the committee voted to move that date to September 16. Other notable dates include selecting the candidate by early November with a start date set for January 1.
After adjourning all but the Silver Lake Regional School Committee, the meeting continued with a reorganization of the various sub-committees. Tilton, McGee, and Gordon Andrews were named to a new sub-committee, calendar survey, that would brainstorm adjustments to the school calendar and would serve as informational only as no formal votes would take place until presented to the school committee in its entirety.
School start time discussion continues
Also discussed was the sub-committee school start times. Crone mentioned that in the last few months he has been contacted by three separate sets of parents about concerns over school start times. Crone said that based on a Facebook group focused on the issue, there appears to be just as many parents and students against the change as there are for it. While the existence of the sub-committee was deemed necessary, it is unlikely that it will even meet. Fraser explained, “This is more of a statement to acknowledge that there is research stating that our students at the middle school and the high school would benefit from a later start time though we don’t currently have the resources or the resolve to make that a reality here in the district.” Fraser continued, “This continues to be a topic of much discussion and there are several more schools this year that will be adjusting their start times so it is something that we should keep on the radar.”
is a success
The success of the recent high school graduation was a source of laughs and good will during the meeting. Carl Pike of Kingston attended the meeting as a member of the public addressing the committee as follows, “I’d just like to take a quick minute to say that I was fortunate enough to attend both the high school awards ceremony and the high school graduation and I’d like to thank the school committee for the support and the leadership that they provide to our school systems. I thought that both of those occurrences were very well done and I think that a lot of times we hear people concerned about the funds that we spend on education; well there is two examples where we see what a great job we are doing and I for one, say thank you.”
Blackwood spoke fondly of the student tasked with introducing her at graduation. Graduating senior Joe Mirisola presented Blackwood with a diploma he designed for her to celebrate her time at Silver Lake.
Blackwood, who passed the diploma around, joked about how Mirisola had signed her diploma as he had given himself the authority.
Blackwood also told an anecdote about her decision to have herself and the teachers attending graduation sing a Jason Mraz song, Have it All, as a way of doing something special for the graduating class. Blackwood explained that she incorrectly assumed that the teachers’ microphones were turned on while, in fact, the only live microphone was the one she was singing into.
Laughing, Blackwood said, “I sang karaoke to over 1,000 people unintentionally but you have to have a sense of humor in life, right?”