The personnel is largely different, but the goals remain the same for the Silver Lake High School varsity baseball team.
The Lakers lost 12 seniors to graduation following last spring when the team went 13-7 and made yet another MIAA Division 1 South tournament appearance. Now, it will be up to many younger players and varsity newcomers to lead the team this season.
The Lakers will be propelled by their starting rotation that does feature three returning varsity players: Nolan Hughes, Alex Heffernan and Michael Quigley. Each of them pitched well for the Lakers last season. Quigley threw a no-hitter in his first career varsity start last season, Hughes was a Patriot League All-Star and Heffernan is a four-year varsity player.
The challenges for the Lakers will include finding pitching depth and filling out their starting nine as they hope to contend for another Patriot League title; with Duxbury, Hanover and Plymouth South returning strong teams, it will be a challenge, as usual.
Cole Whidden and Jake Holmes should log some innings for the Lakers and the same could be said for Harrison Milbert, a freshman and first-year varsity player.
Hughes and Heffernan will both likely see time at first base when they are not pitching while Bobby Ohlson and Matt Bettle provide the outfield with some varsity experience. Will Cauchon’s bat will return to the lineup, seeing time at third base and as a designated hitter and Connor Burgess takes over behind the plate as the team’s starting catcher.
As of the start of this week, the Lakers were 0-2 on the season. They dropped their opening game against Xaverian 11-1 on Thursday, Apr. 4 and two days later, Barnstable beat them 5-0.
The Lakers next game is scheduled for Wednesday,
Apr. 16 on the road against Plymouth North (2:00 p.m. start time).
BLESS THIS HOUSE: Brian Austin, left, of the New England Carpenters Training Council presented veteran Paul Skarinka with a framed photo of a message from an apprentice inscribed on a partition stud blessing the family’s new home as his wife Jennifer looks on. (Photo by Tracy Seelye)
HANSON — Paul and Jennifer Skarinka received the keys to their new home on Tuesday, April 2. The occasion, exciting for any young couple, was different than most — is a mortgage-free, injury-specific house built through Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors for a veteran injured in action.
“It’s beautiful,” Jennifer Skarinka said. “It’s a dream home.”
“Wow,” Paul, a Plympton Fire Department firefighter-paramedic, said after his family, including children Lilliana and Noah, toured the house. “The carpenters, the Foundation, everyone did an incredible job and it was well worth the wait. It’s truly incredible.”
It was delayed a few months due to record-low temperatures, record flooding, microbursts that knocked out power for nine days, three nor’easters, delays caused by a moratorium following the Merrimack Valley natural gas explosions — and vandalism — but the Hanson community joined builders, trade union representatives and Allen to welcome Skarinka, 39, and his family to his new home.
Skarinka, an Army veteran who lost a leg and sustained severe injuries to his left arm when his unit came under attack on a mission in Sadr City, Iraq in September 2004, said he and his family are thankful for their new home and the help of Hanson police and fire departments after the project was vandalized over the winter.
“I’m just excited,” he said. “I was nervous about moving in — it looks so nice. We’re really going to enjoy this and take a minute to kind of sit back and relax, take it one day at a time and soak it all in.”
Jennifer Skarinka said the house means her husband will be able to find comfort at the end of his working day.
“There’s no more stairs,” she said. “Taking care of other people is strenuous on his body and he gets tired [by the end of his day]. Unfortunately, in the house we were at before, he couldn’t use his wheelchair. …Now he can wheel around without having to worry about bumping into things or getting stuck. It makes me happy that he can live a somewhat normal life.”
Allen, a five-time NFL Pro Bowler, said his foundation is a way to give back to those who defend our country.
“Someone told me a long time ago, you don’t have to have a uniform on to serve your country,” Allen said. “I feel like I’ve been blessed in my life with family and work and all that. I’ve gotten a lot from this country — the ability to be free and play football and live out my dreams — so I think it’s the least we can do to show our gratitude and pay our debts forward.”
Veterans go through an application process and other veterans’ organizations “lead the way” to his program, Allen said. Skarinka also had the good fortune to be a friend of Alex Karalexis, a 1992 W-H graduate and Hanson native, who is executive director of Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors. Veterans have say in where they want their homes to be located and work with architects and designers in creating their homes.
Allen said the vandalism was horrible, setting the project back weeks and costing money.
“We haven’t had that issue before,” he said. “But I think the way the community reacted …”
“This has been a very special project and the community has been behind us from start to finish with all the hiccups that we had in between,” Karalexis said. “The high school football team raised money, local businesses raised money, had signs at the doors and things of that nature.”
The Skarinkas had originally planned on moving in for Thanksgiving or Christmas before the vandalism to windows in the home.
“All that did was galvanize the resolve of everybody who took part in this projects,” Karalexis said of the vandalism and natural disasters that delayed the move-in day. “It really made me proud to be part of this community.”
“This was a wonderful event this morning,” said state Rep. Josh Cutler, D-Duxbury, whose district includes Hanson. “It’s an amazing show of community for Hanson, but also the broader community, Homes for Wounded Warriors — all the folks who played a role in building this home. As other speakers have said, they built a home, but they also built a community here, that’s what’s most wonderful about this.”
Other Hanson officials present included Veterans Agent Timothy White, Town Administrator Michael McCue, Police Lt. Mike Casey, Fire Chief Jerome Thompson Jr., Deputy fire Chief Robert O’Brien Jr., Superintendent of Schools Jeffrey Szymaniak and Assistant Superintended George Ferro. Several officials from the Plympton Fire Department also attended, wearing their dress uniforms. Several representatives of building trades organizations also attended.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to help out a deserving veteran in the community,” said Harry Brett, of Hanson, business manager of the Plumber’s Union.
“It’s just an honor to be involved in something as meaningful as what this wounded warriors project is all about,” John Murphy, of Braintree, with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. It marked the first Jared Allen Foundation project undertaken in New England.
Brian Austin of New England Carpenters Training Council presented a framed photo of an inscription left by a second-year apprentice on an interior partition stud: “June 7 2018 — To our Warrior and his clan, Thank you for all you have done for our nation. It has been an honor to build this fortress for you all and may many great memories be made in this home. One nation under God.”
The inscription was discovered as repairs were being made two weeks after the windows had been vandalized.
“Minor road bump,” New England Carpenters Training Council representative Paul Gangemi, said of the vandalism to windows in the house. “The important ones they missed. It didn’t stop [us], we kept moving forward.”
The house featured five-foot-wide corridors and five-foot turnaround space almost everywhere inside. Gangemi said his organization had about three dozen volunteers from the council worked on the project.
“All the trades did a good job,” he said. “The painters were all apprentices — you go through that huse, it looks like a professional painter’s job.” rough the spread
In 1949, Jacqueline Steiner and Bess Lomax Hawes wrote the song made famous by the Kingston Trio about a man named Charlie stuck forever riding beneath the streets of Boston because he was a nickel short. Now, Charlie will have an even harder time coming up with his fare because the MBTA announced fare increases for the first time in three years last week.
Area riders can expect to pay more for their “T” trips beginning July 1. Local monthly commuter rail passes were hit hard by the hikes — increasing at a higher percentage rate than the overall system increase.
At a meeting of the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board March 11 the board approved an overall 5.8-percent increase in fares across the transit system after modifying a previous proposal tabled in January.
Bob Gray, a commuter from Duxbury, who disembarked from train 041 at Hanson Station said of the increase, “It’s more money,” but added, “It’s a good way to get into the city.”
Another rider, Shellie, of Pembroke, who works in Boston at a law firm and disembarked from the same train said, “Yeah, I’ll have to pay more … I’m not thrilled.”
The Whitman, Hanson and Halifax commuter rail stations are in fare zones five, six and seven, respectively.
One-way fares inbound or outbound to or from Boston will increase by 50 cents in each zone, from $9.25 to $9.75 or 5.4 percent in zone five (Whitman), from $10 to $10.50 or 5 percent in zone six (Hanson) and from $10.50 to $11 or 4.8 percent in zone seven (Halifax).
A monthly commuter rail pass will cost you an extra $19.50 in zone five (Whitman), up from $291.50 to $311 a month, an extra $22 in zone six (Hanson), up from $318 to $340 a month and an extra $19.50 in zone seven (Halifax), up from $336.50 to $360 a month.
This represents a yearly cost increase for a monthly commuter rail pass of $234 or 6.7 percent in zone five (Whitman), $264 or 6.9 percent in zone six (Hanson) and $282 or 6.9 percent in zone seven (Halifax).
The total yearly cost for a zone five pass will now be $3,732, a zone six pass will be $4,080 and a zone seven pass will be $4,320.
Local one-way bus fares, local monthly bus passes, reduced local bus and subway one-way fares and reduced monthly passes for seniors, TAP (those with disabilities), youth and students were spared the fare increase.
A local bus fare will remain $1.70, with a CharlieCard. A one-way subway ride will go up by 15 cents, from $2.25 to $2.40, with a CharlieCard.
The transit agency stated, “While the MBTA continues to focus on controlling costs and growing non-fare revenue, this increase, which is in line with the rate of inflation in the Boston area, is necessary for the Authority to continue making system investments to improve service.”
The MBTA website says that state law allows them to raise fares regularly but must limit those increases to every two years with no more than 7 percent for each increase. The MBTA has not raised fares since 2016. This increase is lower than the 6.3 percent increase originally proposed.
Inconsistency. It was a thorn in the Whitman-Hanson/Silver Lake high school girls’ hockey team’s side all season.
“We’ll play two really good periods and have one really bad period and every time we had a really bad period, it hurt us,” said fourth-year WHSL head coach Kevin Marani, whose team finished the winter 4-13-2.
The co-op’s youth played a large f
actor in its inability to string together a full three periods. Fifteen of its 19 skaters were either freshmen or sophomores. They dropped five games by two goals or less. Wins came against Stoughton (twice), Quincy/North Quincy and Shawsheen.
I said to the girls, ‘We’re so close. Once you start to win, it becomes a habit,’” Marani said. “We had a ton of one-goal games, two-goal games with an empty net.”
The Panthers did make strides from last season, doubling their win total, upping their points total from four to 10 and potting 62 goals as opposed to 31.
Back with WHSL after playing club hockey last season, junior captain Alyssa Murphy (Kingston) was a force on offense, netting 27 goals and dishing out 15 assists. She was in on 67 percent of the team’s tallies.
“She’s such a good talent,” Marani said. “Her talent speaks for herself. She was very unselfish, all about the team. Everything she does is team first. “
Sophomore Emily McDonald (Hanson) was second on the team with 15 points (6 goals and 9 assists). Not only did she play on the same line as Murphy, but she’ll serve as a captain with her next season as well.
“She’s another great kid,” Marani said. “She’s a leader. She is quiet girl that leads by example. She is probably the hardest working player on our team. Every practice she is there. She is exactly what we want from every single player. If we had 20 Emily’s we’d be very, very good.”
Surprisingly enough, Marani said the strength of the team was defense. To be strong on defense, you need a steady presence in net, and sophomore Kat Gilbert (Halifax) provided that, turning away 481 shots.
“Kat is becoming a real goalie,” Marani said. “She is one of the better goalies in the league and that is a big part because she was committed. A lot of her issues were concentration.”
Freshmen Lilly Ulvila (Kington) and Abby Powers (Kingston) provided the Panthers with a look into the future. The two combined for 11 goals and 10 assists.
Marani said he has the same expectations heading into the offseason as he did coming into this year.
“We should make the state tournament next year,” said the coach. “If we don’t, it’s going to be a disappointment.”
PLYMPTON — Plympton selectmen approved another volunteer town committee, Monday, March 11, 2019, which will be tasked with identifying and mapping public water sources as required by the state. The board also discussed how to best use the space that will be vacated in Town House when the police move to their new station next door, and a traffic-blocking gate on Heather’s Path in response to the North Carver Urban Renewal Plan.
Water Study Committee
Another town committee, the Water Study Committee has been created by the vote of selectmen, on the recommendation of the Open Space Committee, in order to identify public water sources (wells) and map them, as mandated by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection.
Linda Leddy, chair of the Open Space Committee was before the board and said the town has been remiss in its obligation to map potential public wells and is “way under-sourced in terms of data and mapping.”
This data are required by the state in the case that Plympton should ever need to move to a public water supply in the future and is required by law of all towns that do not currently have public water supplies, she said.
The first step, she said, was to form the committee. They will then engage the professional services of a hydrogeologist to put together disparate data sets, although she doesn’t expect this to require major spending, she added.
The committee’s makeup is to be determined, however Selectman Mark Russo offered to sit on the committee as the selectmen’s representative.
Heather’s Path Gate
Carver planning officials irritated Selectman Christine Joy for not including a gate south of Heather’s Path in the latest plans for a proposed development of 1.8 million square feet of warehouse space to be constructed off Route 58 and Montello Street on the Carver-Plympton town line. The gate is intended to prevent truck traffic from cutting through Plympton on its way to Carver, forcing trucks to travel through Carver to the new development.
Carver officials and Plympton officials, spearheaded by Joy, have been negotiating to mitigate the effects of the planned construction on Plympton residents.
The development has been controversial since at least 2016, even including threats by Carver officials to take land of Plympton residents whose properties extend into Carver by eminent domain, a proposal that was taken off the table.
“We’ll see … we’ll wait and see what happens,” said Joy.
“If not a gate, something else,” she added, pledging to win a concession for Plympton residents.
Old police station space
Selectmen discussed the fact that, although it made Selectman Russo uncomfortable, they would have to forgo making final decisions on the way the old police station space will be used once the police department moves from Town House into their new quarters next door.
The warrant for annual town meeting needs to be closed March 25, not leaving enough time to fully explore what departments or committees should permanently occupy the space, let alone a full renovation.
Selectman Chairman John Traynor said that he’d like to see some load bearing walls removed, the space opened up, roughly renovated and temporarily occupied for the year until plans can be finalized. The board agreed.
One primary candidate for the space is the building department, where water currently leaks into their basement offices, which upset Traynor. The Council on Aging also seeks to use the space. Selectmen would like to see a conference room there.
Other selectmen’s news:
• Highway Surveyor Scott Ripley has identified a 2-foot by 2-foot hole in a small bridge north of the intersection of Winnetuxet Road and Main Street. He is applying for a grant to fund repairs.
• The town treasurer was voted to be the town’s “tax title custodian.”
• Assistant Town Clerk Patricia Detterman was appointed interim Town Clerk beginning March 21 as Town Clerk Tara Shaw will leave the post effective March 20. Detterman has drawn nomination papers to run as a candidate for the position.
• The slate of officers that will appear on the ballot in May for town elections was modified to include the position of Town Clerk, and to correct an error with library trustees so that they will continue to have staggered terms.
With various art media displayed throughout the Silver Lake hallways- this week students will observe and participate in a noticeably different method of creativity -in the form of tape art.
Founder of Tape Art Crew Michael Townsend carries over three decades of art experience and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design. Artist Leah Smith and Tape Art instructor also has over a decade in creating public art.
The pair generated inspiration with the SL students during a brief brain storming session prior to the application of the tape on Tuesday.
The students were encouraged to create and envision their story and then pairing up in groups they taped their portions of the story as it would unfold along the bare white wall.
Strictly pictorial each detail of the wall art was made of tape. Flowers, grass, lines both leading and finishing, cat ears, tiger bodies and a story unfolded about within various stages.
The green and blue artistry tape is easily removed and repositionable.
The idea of creating a scene together incorporates everyone. Coming into a space and seeing something new is exciting and when it is removed it will be missed and leaves room for new ideas to spring up, said Smith.
Several students stood on a table and stools to work on the top portions of the mural each had a shared task.
In recognition of March – Youth Arts Month this event was made possible by the generous support of the Kingston, Plympton and Halifax Local Cultural Councils and the SLRSD PTO.
Hannah Close Art teacher at the Silver Lake Regional High School was first introduced to the Tape Art Crew when she attended a professional development workshop in spring 2018. The event was hosted by the Massachusetts Art Education Association MAEA at UMass Dartmouth featuring the Tape Art Crew and led by two of the crew members.
Similar to the students the teachers at the workshop were given a prompt and coaching on how to manipulate the blue and green painter’s tape and all were paired in groups to create a temporary tape art mural.
‘The Tape Art Crew members posed thoughtful questions about imagery, communication and visual problems while we worked. The results were as exciting as they were varied,’ said Close.
Close who also spent class time Tuesday with the Tape Art Crew was excited about the opportunity to bring working artists to SLRHS because of the conceptual thinking, exposure to the media of temporary tape art murals and allowance for her students to develop visual communication skills. Her hope in what the students will gather from the experiences this week is: development of interpersonal and problem solving skills.
‘They work together to create large scale murals that will be shared by the whole school and community,’ said Close.
The Tape Art Crew hails from Rhode Island and has hosted their workshops all over the world. Internationally they have traveled, creating tape murals throughout the US, Hong Kong, Greece, and Tokyo.
HALIFAX — Halifax Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6258 commander David Walsh and fellow VFW members presented Halifax Fire Chief Jason Viveiros an award as winner of the Massachusetts round of the VFW National Public Servant of the Year award at the Halifax Board of Selectmen meeting Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019.
Viveiros honored with VFW award
Dozens of Viveiros’ family and friends, including his wife and parents, packed the Selectmen’s meeting room of Town Hall to surprise him Tuesday, and he appeared shocked by both their presence and the award, which highlights the achievements of emergency medical technicians, law enforcement and firefighter personnel.
He said he was “humbled” by the award and “lost for words,” which he said happens only rarely. He said that as a non-service member, he was honored by the recognition.
Walsh said that Viveiros will be recognized for the award at a ceremony later in the year in Boston by all the state VFW posts and then move on to compete nationally for the award.
The Selectmen and other town officials passed their congratulations on to Viveiros, and the mood was celebratory all-around.
Town contractor implicated in home-heating oil blending scandal
According to Town Administrator Charlie Seelig, recent reporting by WBZ-TV News has implicated Peterson Fuel, the town’s contractual heating fuel supplier, in blending higher-than-recommended levels of biofuel into Massachusetts home-heating oil customer’s tanks, an accusation the Worcester-based company denies.
Biofuel comes from renewable sources but blending too much in with fossil fuels can cause problems, some gradual, with many of today’s heating systems, according to the report and Seelig.
The town’s Director of Building Maintenance, Scott Materna, will have the town’s heating fuel tanks tested for their levels of biofuel, said Seelig, although the testing may take some time, because Peterson Oil has a contractual right to observe the testing and take samples of their own.
Seelig stated in a later phone interview that no damage to the town’s heating infrastructure from the contractor’s fuel has been discovered, so far.
Slowing down traffic with speed tables suggested
Seelig noted to the board, which took no action on the matter, that the Town of Swansea was using “speed tables” to slow down traffic in their community.
Speed tables, according to the National Association of City Transportation Officials, are traffic “calming” devices that are longer than speed bumps and flat-topped, with a height of approximately 3 inches and a length such that a vehicle’s entire wheelbase passes over. A speed table causes traffic to slow down, but not to the extent a speed bump does.
Although speed tables do slow traffic, common controversies with deploying the strategy include that they may damage vehicles and that they can slow down emergency vehicles.
Seelig said he has passed the suggestion on to the Traffic Study Committee to further look into the matter, “if indeed we have a speeding problem.”
Highway Department awarded half-a-million dollar grant
The Selectmen were pleased with the news that Steven Hayward, Highway Surveyor, had been awarded a $500,000 grant on Feb. 5 for the Highway Department, from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Highway Division’s Municipal Small Bridge Program in order to replace the Pine Street Bridge.
The board noted that it was not often that grants of this magnitude were awarded, and thanked Hayward for his hard work in obtaining the funds.
Other Selectmen’s news:
• Halifax resident Richard Crespi, 26, was sworn in as a Permanent Intermittent Police Officer for the Halifax Police Department in front of his family. His oaths of office were administered by Town Clerk Barbara Gaynor, and his badge was pinned by his sister, Samantha Crespi.
• Town Administrator Charlie Seelig said he has already begun the process of contacting all necessary contractors and vendors resulting from the Special Town Meeting warrant articles, which all were approved the night before.
• Kimberly King was interviewed by the board and appointed to the Council on Aging.
• Steven Littlefield, who has often served informally in the role of Assistant Veterans’ Agent, was officially appointed to that role.
• The Board of Selectmen will next meet Tuesday, March 12, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. in the Selectmen’s Meeting Room of Town Hall.
In their final home game of the season, the Silver Lake High boys’ hockey team clicked on offense, defense and in net. As a result, they trounced Blue Hills 7-2 on Saturday, Feb. 16, improving to 7-10-4 on the season.
Kevin Cardarelli led the way, putting up a hat trick. In addition to his three goals, senior captain David Marani had a pair while Andrew Johnson and Cameron Cavicchi each found the back of the net as well. Plus, Nicholas Solari dished out a team-high three assists in the win. Freshman Grady Sullivan picked up the win in net and once again gave the Lakers exactly what they needed.
The game was also senior night for the Lakers which means they honored their five seniors prior to the game. This season, such names include: Sean McNeilly, Ryan Sullivan, senior captain Alex Heffernan, Marani and Johnson.
The win was also crucial for the Lakers as it kept their playoff hopes alive. While the Lakers will not win 10 games this regular season, beating Blue Hills put their record against fellow Div. 3 opponents on the season at 3-4-1. This meant that if they won their bout against Rockland on February 20, they would earn a spot in the MIAA Div. 3 playoff bracket thanks to the Sullivan Rule. This also explains how the team made the playoffs in each of the past two seasons.
This season, the Lakers scoring effort has been spread out. Headed into this week, their top-three scorers had the exact same point total on the year. Marani, Heffernan and Cardarelli had each put up 23 points apiece. Plus, Johnson was just behind them with 21 points.
That said, the Lakers will have to replace three of their top four scorers on offense next season but in terms of defense and goaltending, they will be loaded with experience.
Shannon Murphy, from the Blue Hills Trailside Museum, kept her audience in rapt attention as she told the tales of various tails at the Plympton Public Library on Saturday. Shannon brought the program Nature Tales: Habitatsto her listeners, young and older.
Shannon is pictured with the Museum’s Broad-winged Hawk. Miranda Bloom of the Trailside Museum in Milton explained that they don’t name their resident wildlife to remind people that these are wild animals, and not pets. “This is particularly applicable to the Broad-winged’s story, because that is part of how he came to us,” she told The Express.
“All of the animals that reside at the Blue Hills Trailside Museum are not able to be released into the wild for one reason or another, whether it be because of injury or imprinting. In this hawk’s case it was due to imprinting. He was found by a family as a baby and kept as a pet until they learned it is illegal to keep wild animals in captivity. The family tried to release the hawk back into the wild but it didn’t know how to catch its own food by that point. “
“He kept returning to their deck,” Bloom continued, “allowing other birds to peck his head, injuring him, while he waited to be fed. After being rehabilitated he was brought to the Museum and now helps with our education programs.”
The Blue Hills Trailside Museum is operated in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. It is the interpretive center for the state-owned Blue Hills Reservation and features a natural history museum and outdoor exhibits of native wildlife. The animals on display – including Snowy Owls and a River Otter – have been rescued and would not survive in the wild.
It is located at 1904 Canton Ave., Milton and is open Thursday through Sunday, and Monday holidays, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Outdoor exhibits are open daily from dawn to dusk.
To learn more about the Blue Hills Trailside Museum and its programs, go to https://www.massaudubon.org/get-outdoors/wildlife-sanctuaries/blue-hills-trailside-museum .