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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

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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.


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

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Lynch election night gathering set for Moseley’s

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poll workers

[Note: The following details were posted on the respective campaign websites and/or provided to The Dedham Times by the campaigns of the candidates for U.S. Senate in the special election on Tuesday, April 30.  All events start at or around 8 p.m., when polls close across the state]


Congressman Stephen Lynch: Moseley’s-on-the-Charles, 50 Bridge St., Dedham.

Congressman Edward Markey: Omni Parker House, 60 School Street, Boston.



Investor Gabriel Gomez: Red Line Inn, 71 South Main Street, Cohasset.

Former US Attorney Michael Sullivan: Emerald Hall, Morgan Ave. , Abington.

State Rep Daniel Winslow: Campaign Headquarters, 167 Milk Street, Boston.

Written by shiretown99

April 29, 2013 at 7:42 pm

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Community Theatre hosts ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’ exhibit

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On Thursday evening, April 25, Dedham Community Theatre (DCT) hosted the opening reception of a baseball-themed art exhibit titled ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame.’ Guests browsed two dozen works adorning the theatre’s lower level, which formerly housed the Museum of Bad Art. The ‘Baseball Challenge,’ marking the arrival of spring and celebrating America’s pastime, is sponsored by Dedham Youth Baseball and represents the first foray of Dedham Square Artist Guild from its space across High Street to DCT. The exhibit will run through May 18. 
Shown here are Kerry Hawkins, a co-founder of Dedham Square Artist Guild and Sue Hoy, a Dedham resident who is displaying an oil painting at the show. At far left is a diorama of Fenway Park by Dedham resident Maddie Friday, who plays on the Braves in the Minor League of Dedham Youth Baseball. At far right is a 16″ x 20″ photo on linen titled ‘Fenway Fantoms’ by guild member Melanie Guerra of Westwood, priced at $120.

Written by shiretown99

April 27, 2013 at 3:25 am

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Munchbach propels DHS girls lax with hat trick

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The Marauders hosted Framingham on Tuesday afternoon in less-than-ideal conditions at Veterans Field at Stone Park, and the Flyers prevailed 16-6 despite a hat trick by tri-captain Jodie Munchbach. Also for the hosts Geneva Driscoll scored twice and tri-captain Hayley Driscoll tallied once. 

Head Coach Jessie Koffman discussed the result afterward. “Playing outside in the cold and the wet weather doesn’t, I don’t think, bring out the best in any team. It was a bit sloppy on our end compared to our past game in Weymouth that we played which I thought was absolutely amazing. We did some good things. I think we worked very well on our ride, on pressuring their goalie when they were trying to clear the ball. Offensively we still need to work on getting better angles and taking better shots and not forcing it. But overall the hustle and all that stuff was there from the girls. So I think they played a decent game.”

With several victories already and a full month remaining in the regular season, DHS remains in the playoff hunt. Coach Koffman said, “We’re in D (Division) 3. The only other D-3 team (on our schedule) is Milton. We play them twice, and if we beat them once then we get to go to the state tournament, which would be a first which would be amazing for the program.” The first game against the Wildcats was originally set for April 19, and has not yet been rescheduled. The Marauders’ upcoming three games are on the road: at Walpole on Thursday, North Quincy next Monday and Braintree next Tuesday, all with 3:45 p.m. starts. Dedham’s next home game is slated for Wednesday, May 1 versus Quincy at 7 p.m.


Written by shiretown99

April 24, 2013 at 1:43 am

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Group holds candlelight ceremony in honor of marathon bombing victims

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On the evening of Friday, April 19, a small group of Church of the Good Shepherd members and other local residents gathered at Oakdale Common for a candlelight vigil to reflect on the tragedy at the Boston Marathon and in its aftermath. Organized by parishioner Patty Roberts and led by Rev. Noble Scheepers of the host church and Rev. Cheryl Kerr of Allin Congregational Church, the service featured songs and prayers in honor of those most affected. Rev. Scheepers serves on the Board of Directors of the Boston City Singers, a group with at least one young member who was severely injured by one of the bombs on Patriots Day.

Rev. Scheepers began the service as follows. “Thank all of you for coming out here and sharing with us this very important and touching and impactful commemoration of what we have endured and experienced this past week.” He led several prayers, and reflected on the resilience shown by the community at large. “I have to say to you this evening, as a very new person in this country, relatively new being here four and a half years, coming from South Africa that has experienced so much pain with its past persecutions, the kind of camaraderie, support and love, not just for the victims of this tragedy, but for the city, is something to behold.”

Rev. Kerr led call-and-response liturgy, and also read a selection from the Book of Exodus. The town’s poet laureate, Christopher Reilley, read a poem. The group joined together in songs such as ‘Peace, Perfect Peace,’ ‘O Soul, Are You Weary’ and ‘America the Beautiful.’

Written by shiretown99

April 23, 2013 at 5:15 am

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