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Independent Thoughts: Perfect time to consider environmental concerns

by | Apr 9, 2020 | Featured Front Page, News

Resiliency starts here logo

When the town scheduled a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) listening session for March 24, it was before the coronavirus pandemic turned the community upside down.

In hindsight, the timing was appropriate. Because while the session (held online) focused on environmental concerns, many of the issues addressed are pertinent to our current situation.

The theme of the project is “Resiliency starts here,” a play on the town’s “It all starts here” slogan inspired by the connection to the Boston Marathon.

Principal planner John Gelcich and sustainability project planner Amanda Kohn led the presentation, which followed up a workshop held in December.

Kohn talked about global environmental issues that could lead to problems in Hopkinton, and addressed what we can do to be prepared, including having a plan for sheltering in place, expanding public transportation and pickup services that cover low-income, elderly and youth, developing an ability to offer virtual classes to students during extreme weather, and creating a senior assistance program to provide services such as transportation, lawn care and snow shoveling.

“Everything that we’re going through right now ties in, so this is timely,” commented Dawn Alcott, Hopkinton’s Director of Youth and Family Services.

Kohn explained that the four hazards considered the most important to focus on are:

— Extreme temperatures

— Thunderstorms, heavy precipitation and flooding

— Drought

— Severe storms (wind/snow).

The highest-priority action items started with making sure upcoming projects take these concerns into consideration and focus on incorporating nature-based solutions and climate projections.

“Some of the ongoing projects, such as the Main Street improvements and stormwater upgrades, are eligible candidates for this, and it makes sense to implement some of these actions immediately,” Kohn said.

The video of the session is available on the HCAM website. Following a survey that ended in early April, a draft report will be available on the town’s website this month and available for further public comment.

More information also can be found at the state’s website.

HS sports season shortened again

While college spring sports have been canceled, there still is hope that high school teams will have something of a season. The latest plan from the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association is to start tryouts/practices May 4, the day students are scheduled to return to school, start games on May 11, play 8-12 games, then have a postseason that ends June 27. Teams that fail to qualify for the postseason or are eliminated in an early round will be allowed to schedule additional games in June.

Hopkinton High School athletic director Rich Cormier had a teleconference with spring captains on April 1.

“I’m incredibly impressed by their positivity & leadership during these difficult circumstances and all the creative ways they are remaining connected as teams,” Cormier tweeted. “Hopefully we are all back together again on 5/4!”

PJB auction moves online

Project Just Because’s annual Shamrock Shindig was canceled last month due to the coronavirus pandemic, dealing a blow to the food pantry, which relies on events such as this to fund its services.

However, organizers were able to put together an online auction, featuring a number of creative and useful items.

The auction ends on Thursday, April 9, at 9 p.m. For more information and to view the items, visit 32auctions.com/ShamrockShindig2020.

Family Day set for Sept. 19

Hopkinton Family Day, a community event featuring live entertainment, games and activities along with food trucks and capped off by a fireworks display, will return this fall. The event is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19 — five days after the rescheduled Boston Marathon.

The day is supported by many generous local businesses and residents. Town organizations, nonprofits, clubs and businesses in town provide the free activities.
For more information, including on how to participate or become a sponsor, visit the Friends of Hopkinton website at friendsofhopkinton.org or email FriendsofHopkinton@gmail.com.

Hang out with HCAM

HCAM is doing its part to keep everyone informed and entertained during the pandemic. The station’s newest offering is the Hopkinton Hangout Hour, which airs weekdays from 2-3 p.m.

Check out the HCAM gang as they talk to community members about what is happening in Hopkinton. Guests during the first couple of weeks included Health Department director Shaun McAuliffe, Hopkinton Public Schools Superintendent Carol Cavanaugh, and Mental Health Collaborative executive director Abby Rosenberg.

Send us your photos

Hopefully you’ve had a chance to check out the Independent’s new website (HopkintonIndependent.com), where you can find news, features and daily updates.

One of our goals is to have more community interaction. So, if you have any good photos of family — including pets — finding creative ways to pass the time during the pandemic, send them along and we will post them. Email them to editor@HopkintonIndependent.com.

Editor’s note: This story appears in the April 8 print edition of the Hopkinton Independent.


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