Monday, March 31, 2008

The Big Give Bridgewater

Sometimes in life things happen to change your life or perspective. Most or all of us have had situations\happenings in our life that we want to change but in the big picture we just assume that is the way it is going to be and there is nobody outside our window that can see what is going on in our world.

We see shows like Extreme Home Makeover, The Big Give and at the end of the day you feel really good about giving and caring what a difference it makes to do that for people in our lives.We have a saying in our household about getting MAD (Making a Difference) in with things that we do. It is about seizing the opportunity when you can make that difference and acting on it.

This is a story about a single mother we’ll call Sally, ( we would like to let her remain anonymous), who has three children that are great kids but she has trouble putting food on the table. This is a proud mom and a great mom and she needs a little bit of help. They receive about 90% of their food from the food pantry here in Bridgewater and are constantly struggling to make ends meet. There are so many other families out there who can’t afford oil for heat in their homes, right here in our town! Our caring and understanding can help Sally and her kids, and so many other families in Bridgewater.

We have been given an amazing opportunity from the N. Congregational Church to be a part of The Big Give here in Bridgewater. They have given me $100.00 as seed money to go out and help someone or a group and to make a difference in their lives!

I would like to start here at home, in my town and help someone out who could really use it. I have been in horrible situations in my life after my car accident and my husband had lost his job the month before and trying to support my family from a wheelchair. Thank God for the support of the community, family and friends who came out of the woodwork to help.

Whatever you would like to give, money, donations, gift cards, soda cans (I will recycle and use the money to go towards this fund!) anything at all. If you are needy yourself but could donate your time with a service, that would be great too! If you would like to help me with this cause I would love it, please contact me to jump on board!

I have until Sunday, April 6th to raise all that I can for this Big Give here in Bridgewater. Please feel free to pass this along to anyone and everyone. We can all make a difference, big or small it will be so worth it.

Thank you all in advance for you help!

Noelle Armstrong

508-245-9716, (cell), 508-697-9824 (home)
Click here to email Noelle

Five week ASL course to begin

A five week ASL course will be offered at the Conant Community Center in Bridgewater beginning Monday April 14th from 6-8pm. Students can expect to learn the fundamentals of ASL while gaining an insight into deaf culture.

Those working in our local communities as public servants will not be put on a waiting list. Students wishing to learn ASL with reasons not pertaining to deafness such as Autism , Downs Syndrome are also welcome to register. EMT/Paramedic Hours as well as Professional Development Points will be awarded according to state guidelines.

Class space is limited. Cost is $60.00 which includes all materials. To register, please contact Marianne Molinari 1-781-447-2470 or e mail her by clicking here.

Estabrook & Chamberlin Wins Best Bridgewater Insurance Agency

Congratulations to Estabrook & Chamberlin for winning Best Bridgewater Insurance Agency. The results are:

Estabrook & Chamberlin: 44%
Bearce Insurance Agency: 24%
Richard J. Nelligan Insurance Agency: 16%
Morse Insurance Agency: 12%
Altieri's Insurance Agency: 4%

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Interested in joining this year's 4th of July Parade?

The Bridgewater 4th of July Committee is currently looking for individuals, civic organizations and businesses to join in this year's 4th of July Parade. The parade has grown exponentially over the past few years and is a great way to showcase all that is good about Bridgewater!

If you are interested in entering the parade, please contact Paula Surrette by phone at 508.697.1147 or email her by clicking here.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Message From New Veterans Service Officer Roderick Walsh

After ten years service as the Veterans Service Officer for the Town of Bridgewater, Roger Fissette has retired to enjoy his family at this home on Cape Cod. I know that I speak for all when I wish well and say “thanks” for a job well done!

I was appointed by the Board of Selectmen to replace Roger, and will continue to provide the same professional assistance to Bridgewater Veterans and their families. It is my intent to have this column submitted on a monthly basis with information that may be helpful to you.

I am the point of contact for all of you who have questions of both the Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. At times it may seem overwhelming attempting to obtain assistance and or information. I hope that I can make the task less stressful.

I may be contacted at my office Monday though Thursday from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM. I am available at any other time upon your request. If you cannot come to the Town Hall I will meet you at your home and I intend to be at the Senior Center at least one afternoon every two weeks.

My office is located on the first floor of the Town Hall, 64 Central Square. As you enter the front door my office is the first door on your left. A handicap ramp is located on the School Street side with parking available for you.

Thank you for your service and I look forward to being of assistance to you.

Roderick Walsh, Veterans Service Director
(508) 697-0908

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Central Square Boutique Hosts Weekend Event!

This weekend bring a friend and you both receive $5 off a purchase of $25 or more or $10 off a purchase of $50 or more Thursday~March 27th open until 7, Friday~March 28th and Saturday~March 29th.

Come check out our new spring and summer handbags, hats, scarves, beach wraps and jewelry. We have some great new home accents lines and of course an awesome bead collection with new fun colors. Webkinz’s are also buy two get one half off.

Book a ladies night and your entrance is free~you pay for just the cost of the beads. Book a birthday party for 10 or more and the birthday girl is free.

Also, guess how many beads are in the jar and if you are the closest you win a beautiful bead stretch bracelet.

Central Square Boutique is located at 25 Central Square in Bridgewater.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Natural Resources Trust of Bridgewater to Hold Annual Meeting

The Natural Resources Trust of Bridgewater will be holding a meeting this coming Friday, March 28th at 7:00 p.m. at the Bridgewater Polish Club. Refreshments will be served and a raffle featuring both hand crafted items and other special prizes will be held.

Long-time NRTB volunteer and past President Kitty Doherty will be honored. Four new members will begin 1st terms on the Board. This meeting is open to the public and all are more than welcome to attend.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Bridgewater Stickers to Raise Funds For Bridgewater

Around the Common is pleased to announce that we are releasing for sale brand new Bridgewater stickers. These popular oval stickers are the ideal way to show your support for the town of Bridgewater and highlight that Bridgewater is a great place to live, work and visit!

Around the Common will donate all proceeds from the sale of these stickers to various charities throughout Bridgewater changing from month to month. For the month of April, all proceeds from the sale of the stickers will go to the Bridgewater Public Library. The cost of the sticker is $5.00.

If you own a business in town and would like to order a bulk amount of these stickers for resale at your establishment, please contact us and we will work out a deal for buying in bulk.

If you are interested in buying one of these stickers, please email Kevin
by clicking here.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Castaways Wins Best Bridgewater Watering Hole

Congratulations to Castaways Bar & Grille for being voted Best Bridgewater Watering Hole!

The votes were:

Castaways: 45%
Emma's: 21%
The Riviera: 9%
Tony's Cantina: 9%
The Polish Club: 4%
O'Brien's: 4%
The Citizens Club: 2%
Our Place (Bogart's): 2%

Gearing Up For the Education Job Market

Bridgewater State College will hold a Gearing Up For the Education Job Market event for teacher candidates. This event will take place on March 26th from 4:00-6:30 PM in the Rondileau Campus Center. For more information, please call 508.531.1328.

Happy Easter from Around the Common

Around the Common wishes you and yours a very Happy Easter.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Message from Selectman Candidate Marilee Kenney Hunt

The following post is not to be construed as an endorsement or lack thereof of any candidate running for Selectman.

After listening to Bridgewater Board of Selectman (BOS) Chair, Mark Oliari, present his long anticipated plan for Bridgewater’s fiscal recovery on Tuesday March 18, I congratulate him on providing excellent theater. Following a carefully calculated script, he notified the public of his intention to roll out his plan several weeks ago and, knowing how desperately Bridgewater wishes a miraculous answer to its fiscal dilemma, guaranteed himself the largest possible audience. If nothing else, we should commend him for great timing and brilliant politics.

After a staged re-run of the $5,000 gifts to the Senior Center and High School library from the developers of the 40R project at Waterford Village, the BOS Chair announced that his personal family foundation was giving a $1,000 donation to the school's library. (By the way, was there any process to determine the recipients of the $10,000 donation from the Waterford Village developers? If the money was given to the town, I cannot recall a town meeting vote to determine the disposition. If it was a private gift from the developer to the B-R library and Sr. Center, why wasn’t it personally delivered?)

Is anyone else becoming a little jaded watching Mr. Oliari flaunt his money in the town’s face when others are, as he himself pointed out, feeling the effects of the recession? I do not envy his money, find fault with his choice in charities or contend that he does not have every right to do with his money as he chooses. I do, however, object to use of the Selectmen’s Chair position to spotlight private, personal, charitable acts.

As a finale to Tuesday’s meeting, with his audience gathered in anticipation and primed with the warm up performance of his magnanimity, Mr. Oliari revealed his long range plan to save Bridgewater—on the backs of town and school employees. His soothing and confident assurances that the plan will cause no lay-offs and “no give-backs” are hollow rhetoric .Simple mathematics disproves the fact that 1%, 1.5% and 2% increases for employees in 2010-2012 will “not require give-backs.” Health insurance costs alone exceed those percentages.

I find it hypocritical that a successful businessman would ask people of lesser means to bear Bridgewater’s fiscal burden. That is not leadership; that is unconscionable.

Marilee Kenney Hunt
Candidate for Selectman

Thursday, March 20, 2008

St. Basil's Chapel to Host Easter Evening Mass

There will be a 5:30 P.M. Mass on Easter Sunday at Saint Basil's Chapel on Park Street at Bridgewater State College.

Having an evening Mass should be a convenience for those with up and down work schedules like nurses, fire fighters and police officers or for those traveling for the holiday!

All are welcome!

For more information, please call (508) 531-1346.

Citizens for a Better Bridgewater Candidates Night

Save the date for a candidates' night sponsored by Citizens for a Better Bridgewater. The CBB's candidates' night will focus solely on candidates for the Board of Selectman.

What: Board of Selectmen Candidates' Night Debate
When: Sunday, April 6 from 7 to 9 pm
Where: St. Thomas Aquinas Parish Center

Have a question for the candidates? Submit it to the CBB by clicking here.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Easter Sunrise Service

The Bridgewater Council of Churches announces their Easter Sunrise Service.

Date: Sunday, March 23rd
Time: 6:30 A.M.
Location: Hanson Farm 600 Pleasant Street, Bridgewater

The celebrant, Reverend Tim Benson of Central Square Congregational Church will be joined by clergy from several other parishes.

A collection will be taken and given to Saint Paul's Table and Father Bill's & MainSpring

Following the service there will be a breakfast at Bridgewater United Methodist Church at 35 School Street. All are welcome!

For more information contact (508)697-9165 or (508)807-0801

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bridgewater Police Association Annual Fundraiser

The Bridgewater Police Association is asking Bridgewater businesses and residents to help them with their annual fundraiser to support so many of the great projects and events that the BPA takes on each year.

The Bridgewater Police Association note that, "Your donations in the past have made it possible for The Association to contribute to local scholarships, youth programs, social and civil groups that have requested our support, as well as providing for the reinstatement of the Police K-9 program and training simulator."

Around the Common fully supports the Bridgewater Police Association and joins with them in asking for your assistance to the BPA for this year's drive. If you can donate, no matter how small or large it may be, please make a check payable to Bridgewater Police Association and mail it to P.O. Box 611, Bridgewater, MA 02324.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Your Design Studio is Ready to Design Your Website

Your Design Studio, a web business operated out of Bridgewater, is ready to assist Bridgewater residents and businesses with their web design needs. Since the business is locally owned, Your Design Studio knows what it takes to design a successful website that will accurately and professionally give your business a competitive advantage against the competition.

Your Design Studio has completed several websites for Bridgewater related organizations and businesses. Some of them include:

S&B Mechanical

Thorson Restoration & Construction, LLC

Citizens for a Better Bridgewater

And our good friends and advertiser Estabrook Vending!

Please support local business and contact Your Design Studio for your next web design project. Tell them you saw them on Around the Common!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

What Kind of Retailer Do Bridgewater Residents Want?

Certainly, some great responses came in about what kind of retailer Bridgewater residents would like to see open shop here in Bridgewater. The results are:

Sit Down Chain Restaurant (Applebee's, Outback, TGI Fridays): 34%
Other: 30%
Movie Theater: 22%
High end coffee shop (Starbucks, Seattle's Best)L 4%
Those that like Bridgewater's business base: 4%
Printing/copy shop (FedEx Kinkos/UPS Store): 3%

The responses of those that are looking for something else were resounding. Several residents all agreed that they would like to see a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods Market in town.

Here are some of the other responses:

*"A LOCAL BAKERY!! (especially one that sells good desserts and hearty
sandwiches)and/or a central business that provides a venue for local chefs, growers, and bakers, maybe even tradespeople and craftspeople the opportunity to sell their stuff without hoping consumers will make several different stops at several different locations. A sort of a co-op. "Local" is the way to go. Helps the environment, the local economy, and adds character to a town (by avoiding the big chains).

*We need a Mom & Pop hardware store. Home Depot might be good if I was renovating my kitchen, but for window shades, keys and a thing of spackle I want to go to a small store where the clerks know me and my neighbors say "hi" in the aisles.

*I would like to see more restaurant choices, an organic food store (like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's), and, yes, a Starbucks. That said I selected "other" as whatever retailer or business we can bring to Bridgewater I would like to see a commitment to sustainability: use of renewable energy, green business practices/philisophy, etc. This is an economic no-brainer as a number of businesses have realized the economic advantages of going green, as well as the impact from society.

*The business we need in town is a Trader Joes!!!!! PLEASE! And a Panera Bread. And perhaps a Whole Foods. And then down on Route 18 near the Middleboro line we need a HANNAFORDS!!!! Ugh this town needs a lot!

*What about clothing stores-Old Navy, Steve & Barry and electronics, like Best Buy

Friday, March 14, 2008

Bridgewater Academy Lions Antiques, Crafts and Flea Market

Date: Saturday March 14, 2008
Time: 9AM to 2PM
Location: M.G. Williams School (200 South Street)

Bridgewater Academy Lions announce an antiques, crafts and flea market. The market will feature something for everyone including antiques, collectibles, jewelry, crafts, quilts, toys, Hannah Montana items, household items, books and more!

There will also be a cafe featuring snacks and membership information on how to join the Bridgewater Academy Lions.

Admission is $1 per person and children under 12 are free. All proceed will benefit both community and Lions charities.

For more information, please call 508-697-9443.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

BSC Distinguished Speaker Series: Terry McMillan

Novelist, columnist, editor

Tuesday, March 25, 7-8:30 PM
Book Signing, 8:30-9 PM
Rondileau Campus Center, Large Ballroom

Terry McMillan’s literary career was launched with the publication of her 1987 novel, Mama, which went on to earn a national book award by the Before Columbus Foundation. Her second novel, Disappearing Acts, was published in England and Holland in 1990 and later became available in paperback.

Her next work, Waiting to Exhale, appeared on The New York Times Best Seller List in 1992, where it would remain for 38 weeks. Ms. McMillan co-wrote the sceenplay for the movie, which was released in December 1995. The following spring, How Stella Got Her Groove Back was published and remained on The New York Times Best Seller List for 21 weeks. It, too, was made into a major motion picture.

A Day Late and a Dollar Short followed in 2001, and her most recent novel, The Interruption of Everything, was published in 2005. Not limiting herself to writing, Ms. McMillan edited Breaking Ice: An Anthology of Contemporary African-American Fiction and Breaking Ice: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Writers.

Ms. McMillan has been a guest columnist for The New York Times “Hers” column and has reviewed books for The New York Times Book Review, Atlanta Constitution and Philadelphia Inquirer. The three-time Fellow at Yaddo Artist Colony and the MacDowell Colony has been a visiting professor of English at the University of Wyoming and Stanford University, as well as associate professor of English at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Born in Port Huron, MI, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of California at Berkeley and attended the MFA Film Program at Columbia University. Ms. McMillan divides her time between Northern California and New York.

Admission is free to Bridgewater State College Distinguished Speaker Series presentations, but tickets are required. To reserve tickets, call the President’s Office Events Line at 508.531.6123

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bridgewater 4th of July Grant Contest

The Bridgewater 4th of July Committee is currently holding an email campaign at Hamburger Helper Hometown Helper. If the Committee receives enough votes and if they can get enough people to email (similar to what the Badgers successfully accomplished with the Friday Night Lights contest) they can receive $5,000 in grant funding to go toward the costs for the 4th of July celebration.

Please visit the Hometown Helper website and vote for Bridgewater!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Selectman Candidate Mike Demos Launches Website

Selectman Candidate Mike Demos has launched a campaign website.

To view his website, please click here.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

This week's poll: What Kind of Retailer Would You Like to See in Bridgewater?

We often times hear that Bridgewater does not have the right kinds of businesses or simply does not have enough businesses. Candidates for town offices frequently run on "bringing more business into Bridgewater."

This weeks poll is to gauge what kind of retailer you, the citizens of Bridgewater, would like to see here in town. Though certainly the list is not as expansive as it could be, if you have thoughts of your own or if you vote for "Other" please email what business you would like to see in town to the site administrator by
clicking here.

At the conclusion of the voting period, we will post the results of the pre-generated options, but will also include a list of responses that you have emailed in. (We will not use names) This will ensure that the broadest range of opinions has been reached.

The Chatta Box Wins Best Asian Cuisine in Bridgewater!

Congratulations to The Chatta Box for winning a resounding victory as Best Asian Cuisine in Bridgewater. The Chatta Box won with 68% of the vote! Congratulations to the other restaurants that also received votes:

The Chatta Box: 68%
Mee King: 28%
Imperial Chinese Restaurant: 2%
King Garden: 2%

Friday, March 7, 2008

Bridgewater Little League Mothers

The Bridgewater Little League & Senior League will be looking for volunteers for the upcoming season to assist in the snack bar. The Bridgewater Little League Mothers will be holding a meeting on March 13th at 7:00 PM at the Bridgewater Vets Club. (Meeting room is upstairs).

Please come to find out how you can help the season be successful.

If you are interested in helping out this year, please email Margie Tufts by
clicking here.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Fundraiser Dinner for Selectman Candidate Marilee Kenney Hunt

  • What: Fundraiser Dinner for Marilee Kenney Hunt, Candidate for Selectman
  • Where: Polish Club
  • When: Friday March 14; 5-8 PM
  • Cost: Suggested donation: $10

Schedule: Dinner 5-8; Chinese Auction (many lovely items); Male Bonding Band 6:30; Guest soloist, Rebekah Hunt; Candidate presentation by David Flynn; Question and Answers 7 PM

For tickets or more information call 508-697-3681 or e-mail through

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

St. Patrick's Mass, Dinner & Dance


The Bridgewater Knights of Columbus Council No. 488 invite all Bridgewater residents to a mass in honor of St. Patrick offered in memory of all deceased K of C members and their families. The mass will be held this Saturday at 5:30 PM at St. Thomas Church and will be celebrated by Father Joseph Raeke.

There will be a dinner and dancing event held immediately following the mass with the Noel Henry Irish Show performing. Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased at St. Thomas Rectory between 8 AM and 4 PM.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Bridgewater Little League Try-Outs

The Bridgewater Little League announces the following try-out schedule.

Major League try-outs will be held on Saturday, March 8th at the Kelly Gym at Bridgewater State College from 1:00PM to 3:00PM. This is only for the Major League (Ages 10 through 12).

You are only required to attend one try-out session, so if you have already attended one of the other two try-out sessions there is no need to attend this one.

There will also be Senior League Registration (Ages 13 through 15) during the try-out session from 1:00PM to 3:00PM.

Pediatric CPR Course

Date: Thursday, March 6th
Time: 6:00-9:00 PM
Location: Conant Community Health Center

This course focused on pediatric CPR is taught by American Heart Association Instructors from Healthcare Educational Resources. You must pre-register for this event and the cost is $35. To register, please call 508-697-5800 or visit

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Bridgewater Savings Bank and Harbor One Credit Union Win!

Congratulations to Bridgewater Savings Bank and Harbor One Credit Union for being voted Best Bank in Bridgewater. These two banks tied with 22% of the vote.

Bridgewater Savings Bank: 22%
Harbor One Credit Union: 22%
The Community Bank: 13%
Bridgewater Credit Union: 11%
Citizens Bank: 9%
Rockland Trust: 6%
Sovereign Bank: 6%
Mayflower Bank: 4%
Mechanics Cooperative Bank: 2%

Bridgewater Democratic Town Committee Seeks New Members

The Bridgewater Democratic Town Committee is hosting a membership drive seeking out new members to join the BDTC. In order to join, you must be a Bridgewater resident and a registered Democrat.

The BDTC meets once a month on the second Tuesday of the month and takes part in advancing Democratic candidates on both a local, state and national level. Meetings consist of guest speakers from across the state, discussion about politics, discussion about town events and is a great way to share one night a month with fellow Democrats.

In the past, the BDTC has also hosted Foxwoods Bus Trips and Bowl-a-Thons.

The annual membership fee is $20.00. The next meeting will be on March 13th at 7PM at the Polish Club on Spring Street, should you wish to visit as a guest.

If you are interested in joining or learning more about the Bridgewater Democratic Town Committee, please email the BDTC by clicking here.

B-R Music Boosters Meeting

The Bridgewater-Raynham Music Boosters will meet on March 10th at 7PM in the cafeteria at Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School. The meeting will focus on upcoming events that the music department will be hosting and all parents are invited to attend.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

March 8th: BTV 9 Access Board Meeting

On March 8th at 3PM there will be a meeting of the BTV Access Corporation Board of Directors helf at the BTV Channel 9 studios on Spring Street. The election to the Board of Directors will take place at this meeting.

Current members that are up for re-election include Peter Murray, Bob Ladd and Jabbar Al-Obaidi.

Anyone that is currently a cable subscriber in Bridgewater can attend the meeting and most only bring a copy of last month's cable bill to the meeting.