Sunday, April 25, 2010

Turn Metal Into Food

On Saturday, May 1, from 9:00a.m. to 12:00p.m., the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church of Bridgewater will host a town-wide metal recycling event. The event will be held in conjunction with the Key for Hope Foundation, a local non-profit group whose sole purpose is to give back to the community and improve the lives of those in need. All proceeds from the recycling will be donated to the Bridgewater Food Pantry.

The metal pickup bin will be located in the church parking lot, adjacent to CVS on Plymouth St., just outside Bridgewater center. Volunteers will be on hand to help. Any items that attract a magnet (tools, pipe, refrigerators, air conditioners, file cabinets, fencing, keys, etc.), as well as some that do not (aluminum gutters) can be recycled free of charge. Both residents and non-residents are welcome. The event will be held rain or shine.

The event is sponsored by the church’s Green Sanctuary Committee. Green Sanctuary Churches are committed to creating sustainable lifestyles for their members as individuals and as a faith community.

For further information regarding the recycling event, please contact the committee at 508-697-6848.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Election Results Are In!

The results are in: (Winners are in bold/italics)

Selectman:
Berolini: 2904
Sullivan: 2334
Flynn: 2284
Morris: 2244

Yes on One: 2959
No on One: 2462

Yes on Two: 2080
No on Two: 2893

Ballot Question One Prevails.



Treasurer:
Linhares: 2582
Mahoney: 2251

Tax Collector:
Linhares: 2433
Mahoney: 2303

Recreation Commission:
Arrighi: 2935
Polk: 966
Marchetti: 815

Housing Authority:
Shionis: 2147
Wood: 1934

School Committee-Raynham:
Prewandowski: 2373
Pecora: 1594

Water & Sewer Commission:
Kane: 2563
DeChaves: 1923

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Community Garden in Bridgewater

Bridgewater State College and the Massachusetts Department of Corrections have entered into a license agreement whereby BSC, Bridgewater and the surrounding communities will be using prison land for a Community Garden. Dr. Arthur Lizie at BSC is the head of the Bridgewater Growing Spaces Community Gardens and has developed an application to obtain your 20 x 20 plot of garden for only $2o.

If you would like more information about the Community Garden or would like to obtain an application, please contact Arthur at 508.531.2170 or via email at alizie@bridgew.edu.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

ATC Elections Polls Are Closed

Thanks to all of the Around the Common readers who voted in this week's election poll. The results are in!

Board of Selectmen: Readers voted overwhelmingly to re-elect Christopher Flynn and elect Advisory Board Chairman Michael Berolini for the two open positions.

Recreation Commission:

Thomas Arrighi: 60%
James Polk: 35%
Eric Marchetti: 5%

Water and Sewer Commission:

Charles "Jud" Kane: 52%
Jose DeChaves: 48%

Housing Authority:

Martha Shionis: 57%
Jeffery Wood: 43%

Friday, April 16, 2010

Facts v. Fiction and the Ballot

(This column, the final in a series written by Town Government Study Committee member Bruce Langlan, is designed to provide information about the charters to Bridgewater residents who will vote April 24 as to the form of government they prefer. Residents are encouraged to submit questions and comments by e-mailing the Town Government Study Committee at: TownGovernmentStudy@bridgewaterma.org. Questions and comments will be answered directly or in a subsequent column. A program by the same name will also air on BTV.)


Fact vs. Fiction and the Ballot


This column will address a number of misconceptions circulating around town regarding the charters, and will also explain the ballot.


Misconceptions:

o Some think the Charters are tied to an override or give the Board of Selectman/Town Council the power to raise taxes. False. All override questions are decided by the voters who must approve any tax increase at the ballot. The only way for an override question to get on a ballot is by a vote of the Board of Selectman/Town Council. It is the same procedure currently in use today.

o Some think the Town Manager has unlimited power. False. All of the Town Manager’s personnel decisions must be ratified by the Board of Selectmen/Town Council. Examples are appointments to paid positions such as treasurer/collector, fire and police chiefs, etc. All appointments to boards and committees are first screened by a Citizens Advisory panel and are ratified by the Board of Selectman/Town Council. The Town Manager does have the latitude to transfer funds (up to $25,000) from departments and line items with the concurrence of the Finance Committee and Board of Selectman/Town Council. The Town Manager has an annual evaluation and his/her longevity in the position depends on how well the town is being managed not on how well he/she is satisfying a particular interest group.

o Some think the Town Manager will appoint all his/her cronies into paid and unpaid positions. False. The Town Manager’s success is based on how well the town is being managed and his/her tenure is not dependent on establishing a political base to be re-elected to the job. Competent and qualified individuals have to be appointed for the Town Manager to be successful and his/her reappointment depends on that success.

o Some think that under the Charters the citizens will lose their voice. False. The Charters actually strengthen the voice of the citizen by guaranteeing them the right to speak at all Selectman/Town Council meetings. The Charters also provide mechanisms for individuals or groups to present petitions to the Board of Selectman/Town Council.

o Some think the Charters will increase the cost to run government. False. Mandating long-range financial and capital planning, appointing qualified individuals to paid and unpaid positions, requiring an annual audit, and having a common vision for the town will in the long term prove to be a more cost effective form of government. This fact has been documented across the country in numerous communities who have adopted Charters. Under both Charters the Board of Selectman/Town Council are unpaid and are elected.

o Some think the Charters will automatically reorganize town government, consolidate departments, and create a DPW. False. The Charters give the town the ability to reorganize, but any reorganization would need to be studied, debated, and voted by the Board of Selectmen/Town Council as to the benefits, efficiencies and cost savings.


The ballot contains two questions.

Question One changes the form of government to a nine member elected, unpaid Town Council (seven precinct councilors and two at large), which becomes the legislative branch of government, and an appointed Town Manager. Question 1 eliminates town meeting and the Board of Selectmen and creates a single executive authority, the Town Manager who manages the day-to-day operations of the town.


Question Two maintains Town Meeting and the Board of Selectman and appoints a Town Manager. The Town Manager is charged with managing the day-to-day operations of the town, but by statute his/her authority is shared with the Board of Selectmen.

You may pick the Charter you prefer and vote yes for it, while leaving the other question blank.

If you want change but are not sure which change is best, then you may vote yes on both Charters.

To maintain the present form of government (status quo) you would vote no on both questions or leave them blank.


For a question to prevail it must receive:

1. A majority of the votes cast. If 2,500 citizens vote, a question would have to receive 1251 votes at a minimum to prevail.
2. If both questions get a majority of votes, the question with the most votes prevails.


Each question is like a candidate and is counted separately. The candidate with the most votes wins. If neither receives a majority, then Bridgewater makes no changes to its governance structure.

Team Captains Needed for Relay for Life

Bridgewater- Every lap counts at the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life of Bridgewater, Lakeville, Middleboro. Join a Relay For Life team and take part in a celebration of cancer survivorship. Local residents are encouraged to join with their community and take steps to raise the vital funds needed to help find a cure for cancer. The next Team Captain's meeting is set for 7pm on May 17th on the upstairs floor of the Catholic Center at Bridgewater State College.


The Relay For Life of Bridgewater, Lakeville, Middleboro is currently seeking local residents to serve as team captains and/or team members. Relay For Life teams raise money by gathering sponsors to support their participation in the Relay. Teams of walkers keep a continuous presence on a local school track throughout the overnight event, walking in shifts to raise funds for the American Cancer Society programs. Anyone interested in finding out more about Relay For Life is welcome to attend the meeting.


A Relay For Life Committee meeting will also be held on April 26th at 7pm downstairs in the Catholic Center at Bridgewater State College. Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Committee Co-Chair, Monica Querzoli, at maquerzoli@comcast.com.


The Relay For Life Bridgewater, Lakeville, Middleboro is a community event bringing together teams of families, friends, religious groups, neighborhoods, and businesses, all with the goal of celebrating progress in the fight against cancer, remembering those lost to cancer, and helping fund research for the future. Residents from all surrounding towns are also encouraged to attend. The American Cancer Society's annual Relay For Life of Bridgewater, Lakeville, Middleboro is set for Friday June 18th through Saturday June 19th at Bridgewater Raynham Regional High School.


Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society's signature activity that takes place in thousands of communities nationwide. This unique, overnight, community event allows individuals from all walks of life to join in the fight against cancer. Funds raised benefit American Cancer Society programs of research, education, advocacy, and local patient services.


For more information about relay For Life, how to volunteer, or for more information about cancer, contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345 or online at www.cancer.org.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Candidate for Treasuer/Tax Collector Daniel Mahoney Launches Website


Daniel Mahoney, candidate for Treasurer/Tax Collector has launched a campaign website. Click here to check out the website.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bridgewater Academy Lions Wine Tasting Fundraiser

The Bridgewater Academy Lions Club invites you to attend a Wine-Tasting Event at Wine Palace in West Bridgewater on Thursday, April 29, 2010 from 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM. The Wine Palace is located at 793 West Centre Street (Route 106).

This special ticket event is to benefit the Bridgewater Academy Lions Club charities and will include a program of delicious wines to sample plus some assorted appetizers to complement them. Guests may participate in several fundraising raffles. In addition, a door prize donated by Wine Palace will be awarded to one lucky guest.

This is an excellent opportunity to greet friends and support charity while tasting a wide variety of good wines you might not otherwise know. Event tickets are available now at $10.00 per person (minimum age 21). For tickets and more information, call or e-mail Lion Bev at 508.208.9349 or email her at benjy30@aol.com.

Friday, April 9, 2010

ATC Election Polls Are Now Open!

Check out Around the Common's Election Polls! This week we have featured each of the remaining races and are asking you to select who you plan on voting for. The offices are Bridgewater Housing Authority, Water & Sewer Commission, Recreation Commission and Board of Selectmen. For each of the races vote for 1 candidate other than the Board of Selectmen race where you will be voting for two candidates.

If you need information on any of the candidates, please check out the campaign websites for those candidates that have them under the Political Links portion of Around the Common.

Let the voting begin!

ATC Readers Vote: Paula Linhares for Treasurer/Tax Collector


Around the Common readers that voted in the most recent ATC poll expressed a desire to see Paula Linhares elected the next Treasurer/Tax Collector in the Town of Bridgewater. Here are the results:

Paula Linhares: 70%
Daniel Mahoney: 30%

Candidate for Board of Selectmen Paul Sullivan Launches Website


Candidate for Board of Selectmen Paul Sullivan launches campaign website. Click here to view his campaign website.

The Strength Studio to Launch Women's Run Club


The Strength Studio is going to be starting a women's run club for members beginning on Sunday, April 25th. Walkers and runners are welcome and the club will take place on Thursday evenings at 6 PM and on Sunday mornings at 8:30 AM. Each run/walk/jog will be 3 miles. Call or email The Strength Studio for more information.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

News Release: Aid for Both Storms

BOSTON, MA – The State of Emergency that Governor Deval Patrick declared last week in response to the March 29 storm that produced heavy rains, widespread road closures and major flooding has been terminated. In addition, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) affirmed that assistance will be available to residents and businesses impacted by both storms.

Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray signed the State of Emergency termination document on Monday morning, which demobilized the Massachusetts National Guard called to duty by the Governor to fill and transport sandbags to affected areas, direct traffic, conduct wellness checks and patrol areas with forced evacuations.

FEMA's announcement affirmed that the current Disaster Declaration for Individual Assistance will now apply to individuals and businesses impacted by both flooding events last month - March 12-15 and March 29-30.

"I am thankful to President Obama for acknowledging the impact the two storms and resulting flooding has created for most of the Commonwealth," said Governor Patrick. "We urge people to register with FEMA and apply for help, especially if you need assistance with housing, clothing, food, and other basic needs."

The assistance was initially authorized under a Major Federal Disaster Declaration requested by Governor Patrick on March 25 and issued by President Barack Obama on March 29 for the March 12-15 storm and flooding event. In the three days since the approval, 5,170 people have applied and FEMA inspectors have already started visiting homes of these applicants to make determinations quickly and get assistance to impacted homeowners and businesses.

"Communities across the Commonwealth were dramatically impacted by the two major storms that struck Massachusetts at the end of last month," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. "Governor Patrick and our administration appreciate the support and recognition by President Obama, who declared a state of emergency for Massachusetts last week as a result of these devastating storms. At this time, it is imperative that our residents learn of the resources and funding available through FEMA so that they can receive the proper assistance during this critical time."

The President's action makes Individual Assistance (IA) Programs available to affected homeowners, renters and businesses in a seven-county area - Essex, Middlesex, Worcester, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth Counties. State officials are reviewing data to see if any additional counties qualify to be added to the eligibility list.

IA Programs administered by FEMA and the Small Business Administration (SBA) include Individuals and Households Programs (IHP), Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Crisis Counseling, Legal Assistance, Tax Relief and Small Business Administration Disaster Loans.
Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can initiate the application process for assistance by calling the FEMA Teleregistration numbers:

1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired, or by registering online at www.fema.gov. The toll-free Teleregistration numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week until further notice.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is the state agency responsible for coordinating federal, state, local, voluntary and private resources during emergencies and disasters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. MEMA provides leadership to: develop plans for effective response to all hazards, disasters or threats; train emergency personnel to protect the public; provide information to the citizenry; and assist individuals, families, businesses and communities to mitigate against, prepare for, and respond to and recover from emergencies, both natural and man made.

For additional information about MEMA and Winter & Flooding Preparedness, go to www.mass.gov/mema. Follow MEMA updates on For additional information about MEMA and Winter & Flooding Preparedness, go to www.mass.gov/mema. Follow MEMA updates on Facebook and Twitter.