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Independent Thoughts: Hopkinton kicks off holiday season

by | Dec 2, 2019 | Featured, News

It’s become Hopkinton’s kickoff for the holiday season — a day filled with holiday-themed activities — and it’s almost upon us. Saturday, Dec. 7, is shaping up to be quite a busy day in town. The main attraction is the Holiday Stroll (see story, Page 10), featuring the new Holly Trolley to shuttle shoppers to various businesses in town between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Also that day, the Hopkinton Garden Club has its second annual Holiday Greens Sale from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the John Warren Masonic Lodge.

“Members have been gathering natural plant materials to enhance our arrangements, including seeds and pods from perennial gardens, pine cones and acorns,” explained the Garden Club’s Joan Luciano. “We’ll be cutting our own greens for arrangements with freshest greens possible.”

Over at Weston Nurseries, Santa and Mrs. Claus are scheduled to stop by between 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m., and there are a number of actives for children and families to enjoy.

Wrapping up the day is the Holiday on the Common event from 4-5 p.m. Put together by Hopkinton Parks and Recreation and the Hopkinton Girl Scouts, the event begins with caroling at 4 p.m. followed by a tree lighting and visit from Santa. Kids can drop off a letter in Santa’s mailbox, enjoy hot chocolate and cookies, and donate toys (safe and unwrapped) to the Toys for Tots program. Local Girl Scout troops will have bake sales and other fundraisers going on as well.

Hopefully all this goodwill will carry over to the Special Town Meeting two days later.

Post office could be extra busy

If you’ve got some holiday packages to mail, it would be a good idea to get to the post office early. That’s because the Cedar Street location (in the center of town) likely will be busier than normal following the indefinite closure of the Ashland Post Office on Nov. 20. All Ashland employees were transferred to the Hopkinton facility, and post office box services were transferred to Hopkinton as well.

In early October, following up on a complaint, it was determined that there was mold in the Ashland office’s basement. At that time, all basement employees were transferred to Hopkinton while the remainder stayed in Ashland.

The announcement in November did not cite a specific reason for the closure, but Ashland employees reportedly had expressed concern about the quality of the air they were breathing in the building, which was constructed in 1939 and has had some basement water issues.

Veterans saluted

As the liaison to the Veterans Committee, Select Board chair Brendan Tedstone gave a brief recap of festivities in town on Veterans Day.

“We had a really nice dinner and a good celebration for our veterans at the Woodville Rod & Gun [Club], as well as a wonderful ceremony at the Hopkinton Senior Center,” Tedstone said at the Nov. 19 Select Board meeting. “[State Rep.] Carolyn Dykema was there, and she was an absolutely wonderful speaker, as always.

“Many of our esteemed and revered veterans in town were there. Working your way through the crowd you get to hear tidbits of some of their stories. For me a bad day is sitting in 20 minutes of traffic getting to where I need to go. These guys were trying to find a way off the beach at Iwo Jima. It puts a lot of things in perspective.”

DPW tweaks trucks

Some people have noticed that the DPW has been changing Water Department vehicles to yellow, moving away from the blue that had been standard for some time and instead matching them to the Highway Department.

“The two colors goes back to a time when we had a separate Highway Department and a separate Water and Sewer Department,” DPW director John Westerling said. “So what we’re doing is unifying as the Department of Public Works all under one roof, all the same color trucks.”

Westerling added that there will be ”some sort of water insignia” affixed to the Water Department trucks so that people will be able to distinguish them.

And why yellow?

“The majority of the vehicles are yellow already. And yellow is a more noticeable vehicle,” Westerling said. “So, during emergencies, yellow stands out. Yellow is more symbolic of public works vehicles.”

Social Security scam hits home

Frankland Road resident Bob Foster sent a note suggesting a warning to fellow Hopkintonians about a social security scam being directed at senior citizens. Foster said he received a call on Oct. 30 from what appeared to be a Hopkinton phone number (435 exchange) notifying him of a problem with his social security account and requesting that he press 1 to learn how to resolve the problem (he did not).

Noted Foster: “It was, of course, totally false and an attempt to steal from me. The Social Security Administration does not contact people this way; several warnings have been sent out, accordingly, by the administration, but apparently there are still people gullible enough to get scammed since the thieves keep trying.”

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