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Archive for May 2013

DSC holds State of the Square meeting

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At Deli After Dark on Monday evening, several dozen attendees mingled over drinks for about 45 minutes, then Dedham Square Circle held its annual State of the Square meeting. The session served to mark progress made over the past year, recognize several individuals for outstanding service, re-elect a slate of officers and outline plans for the upcoming twelve months.
 
As a screen displayed images of people and names associated with the Square, President Susie McIntosh discussed the past year in the downtown district. “We’ve really made a lot of progress. The best is yet to come.” She added that the ‘Dedham Square Open for Business’ campaign was helping inform people that merchants are keeping their shops going even as the infrastructure improvement proceeds.
 
Executive Director Amy Haelsen discussed the Dedham Square Improvement Project (DSIP) in further depth. “The projected completion date is in October,” she said, noting that recent repair work has been done by NStar to replace gas mains but is not directly related to DSIP. Haelsen said the focus now will be on business recruitment, including pursuit of three new liquor licenses to attract additional restaurants. She said no specific locations for those prospective licenses have been determined. “We’re modeling after downtown Needham and Roslindale Square.”
 
Chairman Peter Reynolds talked of the past and the future. He recalled visiting nearby communities with Paul McMurtry eight years ago to learn about their downtowns. He praised Dedham Square for its beauty, then addressed the struggles independent merchants are facing. “Main Street is an endangered species,” he said, describing his visits to communities around America where people tell him, ‘ We don’t have a downtown, we have a strip mall.’ “The downtown needs to be protected,” Reynolds said. “We have to start letting the world know how amazing it is. Part of our mission is to put Dedham on the map. It’s a well-kept secret, a lot of people have told me that.” He said a new publicity effort would be launched around the theme ‘It’s All There in Dedham Square.’ He also lauded artist Kerry Hawkins for designing a new logo for the group.
 
McIntosh announced a selection of the comments for improvement made on the post-it notes, as she stuck them to a large board. Concepts included a place to play checkers/chess outside, a ‘Dedham Trail’ modeled on Boston’s Freedom Trail, a ‘Spooky Dedham’ tour at Halloween, more sit-down restaurants and retail shops, a women’s boutique, free public WiFi and  additional events for college students.
 
DSC then recognized seven individuals as Stars of the Square. They were Bob Desmond and Grady McGuire for their service at the Farmers’ Market, volunteer and merchant Gay Read, merchant Peter Levangie, James Joyce Ramble Director Martin Hanley, Dedham Square property owner Bob Schortmann and Selectman Mike Butler. Reynolds thanked auto dealer Ernie Boch Jr. for supporting the refurbishment of the gymnasium at Dedham Community House and the Ramble.
 
Several raffle prizes were distributed. They were a Dedham Square Circle cup with original logo won by Peter Smith, a Dedham Rocks t-shirt for Sarah Pope, two tickets to the Community Theatre for Kathy Schortmann, a gift certificate to Ron’s Gourmet Ice Cream for Leslie Griesmer, a gift certificate to The Blue Bunny to Vicky Kruckeberg, and one year membership or a fixed amount of research at Dedham Historical Society to Peter Levangie.
 
Reynolds closed the meeting with an appeal for all the attendees to spread the good news about the Square. “This is actually related to the past. This is worth saving, this is community. Let’s teach our children that this is important.”
 
The re-elected slate is: Peter Reynolds, Chairman; Susie McIntosh, President; Michelle Apuzzio, Vice President and Clerk; Russell Stamm, Treasurer; Board of Directors Adina Astor, Brenda Carlson, Steve Carlson, Ange Cavallo, Dawn Ide-Austin, Danielle Jurdan, Melanie King, Paul McMurtry, Diana Nicholson, Louise Reohr.
 
Shown here is Square Circle Vice President and Clerk Michelle Apuzzio speaking as President Susie McIntosh listens.

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Written by shiretown99

May 14, 2013 at 2:30 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Dozens enjoy Civic Pride Gala at MIT Endicott House

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On a warm spring evening on Friday, May 10, dozens of guests attended Dedham Civic Pride’s 9th Annual Spring Gala, held at MIT Endicott House. The event featured a buffet, hors d’oeuvres, a wine pull, a silent auction and a live auction conducted by Selectman Paul Reynolds. Several members of Dedham Square Artist Guild contributed items to the function, including Kerry Hawkins who provided photograph-posters and Dennis Stein, Marietta Apollonio and Sue Hoy who displayed works of art. Proceeds from the gathering benefited Friends of Dedham Civic Pride, the financial arm of DCP, which strives to beautify the town’s public spaces. 

Sponsors included Norfolk & Dedham Goup, Dedham Institution for Savings, Blue Hills Bank, Needham Bank, Dedham Health and Athletic Complex, Grogan & Company, Hope McDermott Real Estate, KW Insurance Agency, Roche Brothers, Stop and Shop Supermarket Company, Whole Foods Market Dedham, Bartlett Tree Service, BETA Group Inc., Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Dalzell Motor Co., Dedham Gas – Bridge Street Autobody, Dedham Veterinary Associates and Boston Veterinary Specialists, Donahue Real Estate Company, Eurotech Painting, Fed Corp, George F. Doherty & Sons Funeral Homes, JD Home Improvement, Keldara Salon and Day Spa, MacFarlane Energy, Roger and Michelle Marino, Michael McKenna Electric, McKinney Bros. Tree Service, National Amusements, NewBridge on the Charles, Nobles Day Camp, Perennial Garden Design, Printmaster Inc., Sandborg Plumbing, Schortmann Insurance Agency, Sign Language Signs, Soldevilla Lawn and Landscape, Supreme Development Inc., Vogt Realty Group, Walley Insurance, Law Offices of Winbourne Hampe & Sheehan, Anne Francis Photography, Fine Estates of Spain, Kim Ryan of Donahue Real Estate Company.

Shown here are DCP Co-President Amy Black and Member Kiki Trahon on the mansion’s patio.

Written by shiretown99

May 11, 2013 at 2:13 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Fire Departments of Dedham and Westwood honored by Selectmen

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At the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Thursday, May 9, the Fire Departments of Dedham and Westwood were recognized for successfully rescuing a 17-year-old male from a swamp off East Street on the night of Friday, March 1st.

Each member of the board praised the fourteen individuals – nine from this town and five from Westwood – involved in retrieving the victim through hundreds of feet of chest-deep water to save him from hypothermia. Selectman Jim MacDonald said he heard about the rescue on a dispatch radio as it was being conducted. “They really had a struggle on their hands. That individual was lucky he had professionals who are trained.” His colleagues on the board expressed similar appreciation for the efforts of the firefighters on that occasion and for their vital service to the public on a daily basis. 

The firefighters earned three awards: a certificate presented by Dedham Acting Fire Chief William Spillane, a commendation presented by Selectman Chairman Michael Butler, and a plaque presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance of Westwood Senior Branch Manager Patrick Powers.

The members of the Dedham Fire Department recognized were: Acting Chief Spillane, Acting Deputy Chief Jim Neilan, Fire Lieutenant Stephen Lynch, Acting Fire Lieutenant Michael Lessard, Firefighter Paul McLeish, Firefighter Jared Blaney, Firefighter Jerry Bradbury, Firefighter Stephen Burke and Firefighter Robert Spillane. In addition, five members of the Westwood Fire Department were congratulated for their assistance.

[Note: Three of the individuals honored were not present at the ceremony.]

Written by shiretown99

May 10, 2013 at 3:42 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Precincts 2-7, 1 split in Senate primary vote

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Stephen Lynch

Shown above: On election night last Tuesday at Moseley’s-on-the-Charles, with his wife Margaret by his side, Congressman Stephen F. Lynch concedes the Democratic primary to his colleague Congressman Edward J. Markey. 

by Ethan Faust

            Following up on the results of last week’s U.S. Senate primaries, The Dedham Times went to two cafes in the Square this week to ask people their thoughts on the April 30 election and the current campaign. Specifically, we were interested in the reasons why Dedham’s vote in the Democratic primary diverged from that of the state and many of its neighboring towns, whereas on the Republican side the town mirrored the commonwealth.

            In Dedham, US Representative Stephen Lynch received almost double the votes that the winner of the primary, US Representative Edward Markey, captured. But in some communities just a few miles away, Markey ran away with the Democratic tally. For the GOP, investor Gabriel Gomez won a narrow plurality over former US Attorney Michael Sullivan, with State Representative Daniel Winslow a distant third here. Gomez, in his first run for office since he was defeated in his bid for the Cohasset Board of Selectmen, earned a statewide majority.

            We caught up with Stephen MacDougall, a Dedham firefighter and resident of the Riverdale neighborhood, at Mocha Java on Tuesday morning. He explained his own position and analyzed the regional pattern. MacDougall noted Lynch had similar voting numbers to Dedham in towns like Norwood and Waltham, but that in Newton, Needham and Wellesley, the tide turned the opposite way.

            “It was kind of expected I guess. But I didn’t think the numbers were going to be like that. I didn’t think it was going to be that much of a shellacking.”  

            MacDougall also predicted a close race between Markey and Gomez. “Markey has a race on his hands more than you’d think with Gomez. I’ve already seen a lot of places where people had Lynch signs that now have Gomez signs. I noticed that right off the bat.”

            We spoke next with Jim DeCorsi of Roslindale, a retired union worker and Lynch supporter, outside of Mimi’s II Newsstand. He said he hadn’t yet decided on who to vote for in June. “The guy on the Republican side [Gomez] seems like he might be a pretty good candidate. I’m kind of on the fence, but I am disappointed Lynch lost.”

            Richard Walsh of Dover was working on his Blackberry over coffee at the bagel shop. He described Gomez as a worthy candidate because “he’s going to take a new approach, a purposeful approach. He doesn’t have that many years in politics and I think that will help the process.”

            Looking into the reasons behind why Dedham voted more like Norwood than like Needham and Newton, we examined data from the 2008 Massachusetts Census to try and find any trends. One evident result, which has appeared numerous times in prior local, statewide and federal races, is that Precinct 1 and Precincts 2-7 have distinct preferences, as Lynch handily carried six Precincts but Markey’s triumph in Precinct 1 was just as decisive.

            One notable pattern was the difference in the percent of residents aged 25 or older with a Bachelor’s degree or higher. In Dedham and Norwood the figure was around 35%, but in Needham and Newton those statistics were closer to 65%. That may not be a definitive reason for the voting distinctions, but it catches the eye.

            While the amount of registered Democratic voters are similar between these communities, they might be looking at issues from different sides of the coin, as per capita income also diverged. In Dedham and Norwood, the per capita income in 2008 was around $28,000, while in Newton and Needham it approached $45,000.

Written by shiretown99

May 8, 2013 at 1:35 am

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Enjoying Mother’s Day Tea at Allin Congregational Church

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On Sunday, May 5, dozens of ladies gathered at Allin Congregational Church for the sixth annual Mother’s Day Tea. Organized by Dedham Junior Woman’s Club (DJWC), the event was founded by Ellen Burns. Attendees – who included Peg Lexander, a member of the original DJWC – brought an assortment of refreshments such as diced fruit, sandwiches and pastries as well as brightly colored raffle baskets including a gardening kit, teddy bear and flower arrangements.

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Proceeds from the function benefit Women’s Lunch Place, a shelter in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood providing meals, clothing and other services to women in need. Mara Gorden, co-chair of the committee planning the tea, gave brief remarks at the luncheon’s start. She said, “We love having this event to celebrate the special women in our lives.”

 

Written by shiretown99

May 5, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized