On Friday, August 1, Halifax kids turned lemons into lemon “aid”! The aid is for Halifax Open Play Space, known to all who love it as “HOPS”. The kids set up lemonade stands throughout Halifax and turned in their proceeds to the HOPS fund to help purchase new playground equipment. Friends of HOPS have been enthusiastically fund-raising with canisters at town meeting, Hop for HOPS road race, lemonade stand at Halifax in Lights, and in September will host a meat raffle, “Chops for HOPS”. Chairman of the HOPS committee Jonathan Selig says that they have raised almost $50,000 toward their $200,000 goal, and hope to have their thermometer set up soon so townspeople can watch them as they work toward it
HALIFAX — The Boston Bruins have teamed up with libraries across the state to encourage kids and teens to keep reading over the summer.
“We were excited to have the Red Sox World Series trophy here last year,” said library director Laurie Cavanaugh. “And we’re looking forward to welcoming Bruins mascot Blades to the library next week.”
Blades will be joining young readers in story time and a special craft. Marie Coady of the Holmes Public Library was instrumental in having the library be selected for a Bruins visit, by successfully applying on behalf of the library.
To encourage children and teens to keep reading over the summer Bruins players, including Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, and Dougie Hamilton, have helped libraries develop Favorite Books of the Boston Bruins, a recommended reads list that also include librarian picks for the best hockey books. Charlotte’s Web and The Giving Tree are favorites of Daniel Paille, Johnny Boychuk likes The Hobbit and Gregory Campbell recommends To Kill a Mockingbird. The booklist is available at mass.gov/libraries.
The Bruins offer prizes for children and teens selected from a pool of candidates who demonstrate outstanding reading involvement. Among the prizes is the opportunity to greet members of the Boston Bruins as they get ready to take the ice during a Bruins home game. Last summer, Abigail Ford, a teen from the Holmes Public Library, won game tickets from the B’s Tickets for Teens contest.
HALIFAX – The Company H Puppet Show has become an annual summertime tradition for young children and their families in the Holmes Public Library community. Held each year at the Great Hall inside Halifax’s Town Hall, this free family puppet show is put on by Company H, a troupe of talented teenagers led by youth services librarian Marie Coady, who has a background in theatre arts. Now in its fourth year of productions, this year’s show, “Puppets, Puppets, Puppets,” features troupe members Ali Farina,14, Emily Hickey, 14, Kate Hickey, 12, John McCarthy, 14, and Patrick McCarthy, 14, all of Halifax, and will be held on Thursday, August 14, at 11 a.m.
Company H is sponsored by the Sandra LaCivita Children’s Arts Fund of the Holmes Public Library, endowed by gifts in memory of LaCivita, a longtime resident of Halifax who passed away in 2010. The Sandra LaCivita Children’s Arts Fund continues her legacy of enriching the lives of children through the arts. During her lifetime, she tirelessly promoted the performing arts, raising money and securing grants for arts and cultural programs in the Halifax schools and in the town.
Each year, Mrs. Coady shows her new group of enthusiastic teen volunteers the basics of puppetry, set design, scriptwriting, and staging during a series of weekly summer workshops.
Ali Farina, 14, has been part of the Company H Puppet Troupe from the beginning and is in her fourth year. “I like doing the puppets because all the kids in the audience really like it and get into it, and it’s fun to watch them having fun,” she said at a recent rehearsal. Ali has also been a library volunteer at children’s events such as the Pet Show and Dance Party.
Fourteen-year-old Emily Hickey, a student at Silver Lake Regional High School, is in the troupe for her third year. “As you can tell, we’re a very comedic bunch,” she said, as the troupe jokingly argued as they assembled the puppet stage for rehearsal. “This is a great way to vent all that comedy you have bottled up inside you.”
John agreed, saying, “It’s a bunch of fun making a show for people who appreciate my puns.”
To see photos from previous years’ Company H performances, visit holmespubliclibrary.org/CompanyH.html
Non-profit to purchase property, faces hurdles at Town House
By Mike Melanson
PLYMPTON – A new non-profit organization plans to open a recovery house on Brook Street and wants to use town property for a September fund-raiser to benefit recovery programs.
Brook Retreat is a five- to nine-month residential spiritual retreat dedicated to helping addicts and alcoholics recover through the immediate and rigorous application of the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, although the retreat is not affiliated with AA.
It was founded in May by Tom Rielly, Michael Goedicke, and Joe Carroll, all recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of alcoholism and addiction, according to the retreat website www.thebrookretreat.com
On Wednesday Aug. 6, selectmen Chairman Mark Russo said the Brook Retreat needs permission from police, fire, Board of Health, highway surveyor and selectmen to hold a fund-raiser walk on Sept. 27.
The Board of Health took no action on the request on Tuesday, Aug. 5, and had questions about the walk route and the credentials of the food caterers, he said.
Russo said he met two young men in their 20s associated with the Brook Retreat who went through recovery programs and want to offer it to others. They seemed earnest and like they have their act together, he said.
Russo said they are moving forward with plans to buy a house at 55 Brook St, and plan to close this month.
“I hope the young men come in sometime to meet us. They seem like pretty nice young men,” he said.
Russo said they face hurdles inside and outside of the Town House, and they might face resistance from residential neighbors to a recovery house.
Selectmen will need more information on the fund-raiser, he said.
Selectman John Henry said the proponents in seeking permission for the recovery house should start at the beginning, and that selectmen should send them a letter saying they should start with zoning and work from there.
Lake Street logs
Selectman Colleen Thompson said she looked into complaints of a log pile near or in the road layout on Lake Street across the street from the Silver Lake chapel.
“I talked to the police department. They’re not happy with it, but they don’t see anything especially wrong with it. It’s not on a sharp curve. It’s not a threat to drivers,” she said.
Thompson said the highway surveyor indicated that the location needs to be surveyed and that it would cost $400 to recover the existing highway bounds and another $400 to have it staked.
Henry said he looked at it and the way the logs are stacked, they would not roll into the road. Thompson said some people are concerned that the logs could be an attractive nuisance, and that kids might climb on them.
Henry and Thompson said the property owner is a nice guy. Thompson said the owner has a mill there and tried to help someone by hiring them to dispose of the logs, but they left for another job.
Selectmen agreed to write a letter to the owner saying the board has received complaints, the logs should be removed as soon as possible, but that board would take no action.
Invasive maple tree
Selectmen voted, 3-0, to ask the tree warden to take down a maple tree that blocks a flag at half mast on the town green.
Russo said Plympton had three options: Trim the problem tree, cut the tree down, or reconsider the whole thing.
Russo said he favored trimming the problem tree.
Henry and Thompson said people still would not be able to see the flag at half mast even if the tree was trimmed. They said they favored taking down the tree.
Russo said the trees are planted symmetrically. Henry said taking out one tree would not raise too much concern. Thompson said trimming one side of a tree would look funny.
Getting priorities straight
Selectmen Wednesday discussed board priorities to present during a meeting of all boards and all departments to be held Aug. 25.
Russo presented a draft document listing 13 selectmen priorities and projects and assigning board members to lead the charge on each one.
Henry would work on seeking new revenue for the town and public safety building exploration.
Thompson would work on external communication, internal communication, an employee handbook, and regional partnerships.
Russo would work on promoting hospitable Town House ambience, encouraging volunteerism, updating bylaws and master planning, negotiating a Comcast license for Plympton and joining a regional community TV studio, a state Department of Revenue review of operations, and land use administration improvements.
Thompson or Russo, or both, would work on board and committee policy and procedure manuals.
Selectmen planned to discuss sending a letter to the boards and departments on Monday Aug. 11 asking them to develop a list of their priorities and be prepared to make short presentations and answer questions at the all-hands meeting Aug. 25, and to ask them what they would like to see come out of that meeting.
Selectmen are scheduled to meet again on Monday, Aug. 11, with an executive session for contract negotiations and an ongoing legal matter at 5:30 p.m. and open session at 6 p.m.
Town to get equipment and channel
By Mike Melanson
PLYMPTON — Plympton selectmen planned to consider voting when they meet Monday Aug. 11 to write a letter to support, in principle, forming a non-profit community TV corporation in partnership with Carver and Halifax.
Selectmen on Wednesday Aug. 6 met with members of the Carver and Halifax boards of selectmen, the Halifax Cable Advisory Committee and officials with Carver Community Access Television to discuss a proposed framework for a shared public, educational and government access corporation and studio.
The framework was drafted by Peter Epstein, an attorney who negotiated Halifax’s license renewal with Comcast and has been hired by Plympton to negotiate a similar agreement with the cable company.
Under the proposed framework, residents of Carver, Halifax and Plympton would have equal studio rights.
The shared access corporation would operate three public, educational and government access channels. Each town would have its own educational and government access channels. The towns would share a public access channel.
Halifax would get satellite location equipment, including playback for Halifax educational and government programming, the control unit for robotic cameras for selectmen coverage, and camcorders. The equipment would be the corporation’s responsibility.
The towns would have proportional representation on the corporation’s board of directors. Carver would have three to five directors. Halifax would have two or three directors. Plympton would have one or two directors.
The joint access corporation would continue to operate from its current studio location at Carver Middle High School at first, subject to permission from the Carver school superintendent. It could stay there, or relocate to a mutually agreeable new location in Carver if approved by a super-majority vote of the directors.
Selectman John Henry said he opposed the merger.
The corporation would be funded by surcharges on Comcast subscriber bills.
Henry said he is not sure where selectmen get the authority to add the surcharge without people being able to opt out.
“Town Meeting should fund it, not cable subscribers,” he said.
Henry looked at his cable bill and said, “Too much money.”
Russo said he had some of the same philosophical concerns, but selectmen were assured by counsel that federal statutes allow it.
“I’m ready to go full speed ahead,” he said. “I’m just one, but I hope we can move forward with all due haste.”
After the meeting, Selectman Colleen Thompson said, “It’s important that our public meetings are televised for those who can’t get to them.”