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Independent Thoughts: Residents support Jimmy Fund Walk

by | Oct 2, 2019 | Featured

Residents support Jimmy Fund Walk

For those who did not venture into the center of town during the early morning hours on Sept. 22, you might have missed the thousands of people here for the start of the annual Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk.

A number of residents were up and at the Marathon start line, walking to Boston to raise money for cancer research and treatment. The event has raised more than $135 million in its 30-year-history.

Sue Wheeler was one such person, walking with her team, Christian’s Hot Jamaican Chili Pepper Crusaders, for the ninth year in a row.

Wheeler’s son, Christian, was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 3 years old. His older brother, Ben, and some of Ben’s Boy Scout pals had the idea to start the Jimmy Fund Walk team.

Nine years later, a healthy 12-year-old Christian took part in the walk himself.

“For me, Walk Day is a chance to share my family’s story, honor my son and all of his little cancer buddies, and give back to Dana-Farber,” stated Sue, who had her own cancer battle when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014. “It’s a chance to prove to myself that I am still strong.”

Added Sue: “Raising money around town and walking a marathon are ways for every member of our team to feel like they are doing something to fight cancer.”


Traffic improvement update

The long-delayed traffic improvement project at the corner of Hayden Rowe and Chestnut Street still is not complete, with the cement barriers on the sides of the roads remaining in place and the new traffic lights dangling above the existing ones.

According to DPW Director John Westerling, Comcast will complete its wiring by Oct. 3, and then it’s up to Verizon to mobilize its wires. Verizon previously was the source of a long delay, town officials have said, with the company waiting months before telling the town some trees needed to be cut down or moved — work that was done early in the summer.

Westerling is hopeful Verizon will move more quickly this time.

“There is very little work for the town’s contractor to finish the project, so we are eager for Verizon to finish their work,” he said.


Coleman continues defense

Greyhound Friends founder Louise Coleman did not appear at last month’s public hearing before the Select Board regarding the kennel’s reopening, but she submitted a letter to the Select Board and various media outlets expressing her support.

Coleman continues to view herself as being unfairly portrayed as a wrongdoer, noting that she was not convicted in her court case. However, an agreement with the attorney general’s office — which accused her of mismanaging funds and failing to provide an adequate environment for the dogs in her care — bars her from taking on any official role with the organization. New Greyhound Friends president Caryn-Amy Rose agreed to a request from the Select Board to take legal action if necessary to keep Coleman off the kennel’s property.

Coleman has moved on to other projects, mainly speaking out in an effort to save greyhounds that she says are being mistreated and killed in China. However, she says people have been contacting venues where she has been scheduled to speak and pushing for her appearances to be canceled.

Coleman forwarded a letter from her lawyer, Dan Cappetta, in which he offers his support and welcomes the opportunity to address “what the case was actually about, and [Coleman’s] complete exoneration by the court.”

Stated Coleman: “While the past three years have been a nightmare, I am determined not to dwell on the past but instead move forward with resolve to continue my life’s work to be an advocate for the voiceless. I wish the very best for Greyhound Friends and its supporters, and hope those who still harbor ill will towards me can also move on to more productive endeavors. After all, it is the dogs who count at the end of the day, and I truly believe that helping them is what is important.”


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