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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.


Written by shiretown99

May 14, 2013 at 2:30 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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