Trash pickup next week is on its regular schedule. There will not be a delay. Also, residents may leave additional bags for pickup next week. This is being offered to help those residents that missed pickup after Christmas.
Trash pickup next week is on its regular schedule. There will not be a delay. Also, residents may leave additional bags for pickup next week. This is being offered to help those residents that missed pickup after Christmas.
Here's information from the Police Department on a deadly car accident that occurrred Friday morning. The Police are looking for any information relating to this tragic accident.
On December 30, 2011 at approximately 1:15 a.m., Wrentham Police Sgt. George Labonte and Officer Scott Ellis responded to a motor vehicle accident on Thurston St. near the intersection of Myrtle Street. When they arrived, they discovered a 1998 Buick Century, Mass. Reg. 44KE72 had left the roadway and struck several trees in the heavily wooded area.
Two occupants were entrapped in the vehicle. Wrentham Fire Rescue and Foxboro Fire Rescue responded at which time the operator of the vehicle, Wendy Eichenger, age 49, of 80 Main St., Foxborough, MA was extricated from transported to Rhode Island Hospital via med flight. The passenger, Robert David, age 50, of 1 Lake Street, Wrentham, MA was also extricated from the car and transported to Norwood Hospital where he died as a result of his injuries.
State Police Accident Reconstruction was notified and responded to the scene. The accident remains under investigation by the Wrentham Police Department. No charges have been filed at the time of this press release. Anyone with information concerning this incident is requested to contact Detective Lt. William McGrath or Sgt. George Labonte at the Wrentham Police Department, telephone number 508-384-6950.
The holidays have caused a little confusion regarding trash pickup. There are no delays in trash pickup either this week or next. Pickup days are the same as usual.
Wrentham Boy Scout Troop 131 will perform their annual Christmas tree recycling drive as a service project for Wrentham residents only. For a $10 donation, curbside pickup will be on Saturday, January 7th (raindate: Sun., Jan 8th). Please place your donation in an envelope. Seal the envelope and place it around the bottom of the tree with a rubber band. Make checks payable to "Troop 131" and place the tree on the curb near the street before 8 a.m. on Saturday, January 7th, 2012. For safety reasons, they cannot accept trees with tinsel, flocked trees, trees with nails, artificial trees, wreaths with metal shape wires, or trees with any other metal attached. Your donations are a critical part of the ability to provide a quality program, consistent with the high ideals of scouting. The Scouts of Troop 131 thank you for your support. Questions may be directed to 508-384-0457 or Alan.Plantamura@Verizon.net.
Wrentham Outlet Mall Guess Store Armed Robbery
On December 20, 2011 at about 9:20 p.m., Wrentham Police responded to an armed robbery at the Wrentham Outlet Mall.
After using duct tape to cover the employee’s mouths and bind their legs, the suspect forced one employee to empty cash drawers and then bound that employee with duct tape, placing him in the fitting room with the others. One employee sustained minor injuries and was transported to Norwood Hospital.
A piece of Wrentham's history will soon be leveled and covered with dirt and grass. The Tyco building, known around town as Crosby Valve will be demolished over the coming weeks since the company moved the Wrentham operation to Mansfield in 2010. Located in the center of town on Kendrick St., it once employed close to 650 people who patronized the local stores and lunch counters. "It's very sad," says Gail Pratt, member of the Board of Selectmen and also a former employee of Crosby value who work worked for five presidents in her 41 years with the company. "It was the biggest employer in town. We had a great reputation."
The first phase of the demolition has started. The areas around the manufacturing building as well as two small foundry buildings have been fenced off. The abatement of the property is currently taking place with the removal of regulated waste, heavy equipment and office furniture. The project schedule calls for this to continue through the middle of January. Once the pre-demolition work is completed the buildings will start to come down with work scheduled to be completed by the end of February or early March. The buildings will be destroyed using heavy equipment and excavators. There are no plans to use any explosives.
The buildings do contain asbestos and a firm has been hired to monitor the air quality throughout the area. Plastic sheeting will be used in all the windows as well. The ground soil has contaminants but this phase of the project is focused on the demolition of the buildings, removing the concrete slabs under the building and putting down top soil and planting grass. This is all scheduled to be completed by April. There will be limited soil excavation at this time.
Tyco has been working closely with all the Wrentham departments with different oversight on this project including the Board of Health, Police, Fire, Public Works, Building Inspector and the Historical Commission. The removal of the asbestos is being supervised by state agencies. A big concern for the town is keeping the water to the building operational as long as possible to maintain the sprinklers during the demolition. There has been coordination with the police since large trucks will haul the debris from the building off the property. "Tyco is a large company that is very concerned about their own visibility and has been proceeding in a very careful manner," says William Ketchum, Wrentham Town Administrator.
The future of the site is still a question. The Wrentham Planning Department, and Economic Development Committee, has sent representatives to the meetings with Tyco. The hopes for the Town are the land will be sold to a developer. “We're going to start working to see what we have to do to encourage the redevelopment in a way that is compatible with Wrentham’s downtown,” says Ketchum.
Tyco has confirmed the property will be put up for sale. “We expect to have the property ready for sale sometime in 2013 after approvals by local and state agencies,” says company spokesperson Jennifer Albert.
Chairman of the Board of Selectmen Joe Botaish says the lost of Tyco to Mansfield was a big hit to the town. "It's a loss of revenue," he said. "The sad thing is we lost the business in the first place."
The original building was constructed by Winter Brothers Machine in the early 1900s. Winter Brothers manufactured taps and dies, mostly for the automotive industry. After World War II the business was sold to Crosby Valve which made steam valves and also created valves used in the U.S. Nautilus, the first nuclear submarine. The company was later purchased by Tyco Flow Control and the operations were moved to a $25 million plant in Mansfield in 2010.
Efforts have been made to preserve the historical aspect of the company. The Historical Commission was given a few small valves, an old toolbox, as well old artistic renderings of the property and other pictures. The group is also attempting to obtain old signs. The artifacts will be preserved and displayed at the Old Fiske Library. “Eventually we will find a way to setup a museum display,” says Greg Stahl, Chairman of the Historical Commission. “The valves we got are small enough to pick up and carry. They did make some as big as a pickup truck.”
Once the buildings are demolished the value of the property will decrease but the official reevaluation of the needs to be completed by the Board of Assessors. That is scheduled to happen in January. Ultimately, this will result in a smaller tax bill for Tyco Flow. "There is a value attached to the buildings. The Board of Assessors would have to look at it. I would suspect there is less value without the buildings," Ketchum says.
While the sound of pressure tests on new valves have not been heard around town in years the chapter on Crosby Valve never closed while the buildings stood. In the coming weeks that will change as the buildings will be dismantled and removed in truck load after truck load finally signaling the end to an era of Wrentham history. "It is bitter sweet to see it go,” says Pratt. “I don't know why we didn't keep them here."
She was only going to help for one year. The Pack needed someone to serve the refreshments at its monthly meetings and Larsen was happy to help since her nephew was an active Cub Scout. The plan was for the job to be handed off to someone as he crossed over into Boy Scouts. Her nephew is now 31 and many years removed from his Cub Scout days, but Larsen stayed on and has been helping for 20 years. "My nephew was in Cub Scouts and someone said, 'Would you do the refreshments for the scouts every month?" Larsen explains. "They asked me to do it for a year. I just never left."
The Pack gathered for its November meeting where awards were handed out to scouts for their achievements, and Larsen was secretly added to the schedule. Citations were sent from U.S. Senator Scott Brown's Office, State Senator Richard Ross's office, and the Board of Selectmen. Larsen received a 20-year service pin from the Boy Scouts of America that she'll wear on her uniform. The Pack also gave her a special plaque thanking her while scouts, young and old, attended to honor her. Known for playing the part of Santa's elf, she was given a poster of her dressed in the costume and all the current Cub Scouts signed it. She currently has it hanging in her house and all the signatures of the scouts really make an impression on her. "Every little Cub Scout signed it," she said. "How's that for something?"
The milestone almost went unnoticed. Not a person to talk about her own achievements and never seeking the spotlight, the leaders of the Pack didn't even know until Den Leader Chris Rankin asked, "How long has Dotty been with the pack?" After some digging through records it was soon realized she was about to hit a major milestone. "We didn’t know it was Dotty’s 20th anniversary," said Diana Zeller, the Committee Chair for Pack 131. "That’s how Dotty is. She doesn’t want the recognition. She didn’t say anything."
Larsen still serves the refreshment and is also the Pack's treasurer. The Pack's leaders were able to plan her award secretly since most of the work was done on email and she doesn't use a computer. "They kept emailing back and forth," Larsen says laughing. "They had a great time."
While Larsen's volunteering with the Pack started 20 years ago, she's not the first in her family to dedicate her time to scouting. Her mother was a den mother for years long after her own son left scouting. Her father also served on the Cub Scout Committee. "It runs in the family," she says.
When asked why she's still helping out the Cub Scouts, the answer is clear. The scouts. Today as she walks around town she might not remember their names, but she can tell when a scout or former scout recognizes her. Their eyes light up and they give her a smile or a wave. "I love the kids," she says. "Their eyes just sparkle when they see me. I know when a Cub Scout is looking at me."
A life-long Wrentham resident, Larsen still lives in the home in which she was born. For years she drove a cab around town, and later took a job at Wal Mart where she still puts in three days a week. Not a person to stay still, she works a few hours at the Town Hall, she's active with the Senior Center and works Thanksgiving and Christmas time at the Wrentham Food Pantry. Recently, she started spending two Fridays a month at the Purrfect Cat Shelted in Medway. She also dons the elf costume for the Town's annual tree lighting.
Zeller says Larsen bring so much to the Pack. Her years of service provide continuity that keeps the Pack moving forward. She's there to help new leaders but, more importantly, she is there to help the kids of Wrentham. "She is a very giving person," says Zeller. "She means the world to us. She has been the driving force to keeping this Pack alive."
Larsen has no plans on slowing down and will keep serving the refreshments to Wrentham Cub Scouts. "I love it," she says. "I just enjoy it. It's better to give than to receive."
It would be hard to call Wrentham a powerhouse of girls hockey, but a foundation is being built in the area for the sport. Four years ago, King Philip Regional High School started a varsity girls hockey team thanks to the dedication and desires of players and parents. Today, the program is closer to being fully funded and continues to grow and improve (see KP Girls Ice Hockey Ready for Fourth Season). King Philip Walpole Youth Hockey, which is open to players from the surrounding area, has always welcomed girls onto its teams but, starting next year, there will also be teams just for girls. This is in addition to other programs nearby that provide opportunities for girls to skate at all levels. “There is a greater interest in girls programs and girls playing hockey in general than in the past,” says Terry Sullivan, President of KP Walpole Youth Hockey.
The reason for the growth is hard to pinpoint. Some speculate that the Bruins’ success has made it popular this year while others point to one simple fact about playing hockey, kids love it. If you ask Wrentham 9-year old Marin Cormier (pictured) why she wanted to try hockey it all started watching her dad and brother play a pickup game on the pond at Joe’s Rock. “I really like to skate and it’s fun to stick handle,” she says. Cormier, who has been skating since she was 6 years old, plays for the Massachusetts Spitfires, an all girls team out of Iorio Ice Arena in Walpole.
The popularity for Girls hockey has never been higher. The number of female players has grown steadily throughout Massachusetts and across the country.Currently there are over 65,000 female players registered with USA Hockey, the national governing body for the sport. The past season saw a 6.5 % growth for female players with the biggest percentage being with girls age 6 and under and ages 7-8. For girls in Massachusetts, in 2010-11, the growth numbers were the strongest in the country.
If growth is the good news to girls hockey, the bad news is retention. Since 2000, the retention of players 8 and under is declining. Twenty percent play one season before dropping out, and 43 % of players drop out by age 9. Over 54% of the girls ten and under drop out while 60 % will leave the game by age 12. This being the case, growth was still seen at all ages for female hockey except players aged 15-18. “Growth in Mass looks strong but we need to work on retaining them in the sport for more than 1-2 years,” says USA Hockey’s Michele Amidon, Regional Manager American Developmental Model, and a former General Manager of the Women’s 2010 Olympic Team.
USA Hockey is working hard to address the problem by encouraging age appropriate training, fostering local female competition, and recruiting female coaches to get involved in youth hockey. Amidon says USA Hockey’s focus is on growing younger players and then retaining them in the game to impact the 13-19 year old numbers. “We are growing at a good rate but imagine if we can continue to retain a percentage of the 54% we historically were losing.”
One effort that may help grow the numbers at least locally is the plan to offer an all girls teams through KP Walpole Youth Hockey. Next season, the youth hockey program will field teams in the Middlesex Yankee Conference Girl’s Hockey League. “Last year we put out feelers for a program and we got quite a lot of interest,” says Sullivan. “We were tempted to try and field teams for this season, but the logistics didn’t work out.”
This is good news for Paul Lyons, head coach for the KP High School Girls Varsity team. Out of the 17 girls on the team, only 5 had any hockey experience before joining the team. The others are learning as they go and he thinks KP Walpole Youth hockey’s efforts are important. “We’ll have a little feeder program and we need it,” he says. “I have girls who never skated before joining a varsity hockey program. I give them a lot of credit.”
But the future is in the hands of young girls starting the sport now. Like Cormier, Wrentham’s Livi Bruno (pictured at top of the page) plays for the all girls Spitfires and started playing when she was 6 years old. Why did she hit the rink? “Because my dad talked me into it and it sounded like fun,” Bruno says. Today she likes everything about the game and doesn’t care who’s on the ice with her, whether it’s other girls or boys. She’s simply a hockey player who likes to play the game.
The benefits are many. While an expensive sport to play, the time commitment the hours traveling to practices, games and tournaments can be valuable to parents and children. “It is good family time in the car and at the rink,” says Joe Bruno, Livi’s Dad. “It’s worth it.”
There is also the social aspect. At the young ages even on co-ed teams the players on hockey teams do develop strong bonds from their hours together and there are few concerns about playing with boys and girls. According to Sullivan, the boys don’t view the girls on the team any differently. “They’re another hockey player,” he says. “They look at them as teammates.”
Amidon says there are very little differences between boys and girls physically between the ages 8 through 12. In some cases girls actually grow and mature faster than boys at those ages. But once the teen years hit the physical difference can be more noticeable on the ice. Some girls can certainly play with boys at the age and hold their own she says. “Playing boys hockey is not the best option for all girls,” she says. “They may not get the playing time, leadership training and social needs to keep them in the game and developing at the appropriate rate if she is playing on an all boys team.”
Cormier is enjoying her time on the Spitfires. “I talk to just about everyone,” she says. “It is important to me that there is at least one or two other girls on my team. I like being on a girls team better."
To learn more hockey for girls and women read Amidon's blog post "What Sports, Like Ice Hockey, Can Do For Females".
The news that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Las Vegas Casino mogul Steve Wynn were hoping to make Foxboro home to one of the new casinos in Massachusetts caught the attention of officials from surrounding communities including Wrentham. Reportedly, the process to determine whether or not Foxboro gets a new casino will be long, and officials from Wrentham are using that time to evaluate the potential impact to their communities.
Wrentham's Town Administrator William Ketchum intends to work with the surrounding communities to better understand the proposal and its implications. He says he plans to make sure if the proposal moves forward that Wrentham is protected as best it can from a statute within the legislation which does offer some mitigation to surrounding towns. "The statute isn’t specific on what the mitigation might be," Ketchum says. "It could be funding, infrastructure improvements, or perhaps reconfiguration of traffic patterns to protect residential areas. There are probably an infinite variety of things. And we haven’t identified all the factors that will affect Wrentham."
To understand the full implications of the casino proposal, Ketchum asked the department heads for Planning, Police, Fire, and Public Works to detail their thoughts on what a Foxboro casino might do to Wrentham’s services and infrastructure. "I asked that they respond to me their view of impacts, and what would be necessary to mitigate the impacts," Ketchum said. "This will address issues of traffic and infrastructure. There may well be other impacts, but we’ll get into those later."
State Representative Dan Winslow was in support of casino legislation but pushed for more local approval. "A key aspect to my support was the requirement that any casino plan receive local approval," Winslow wrote in an email. "I believe that a casino is better-suited for an urban environment, rather than Foxboro, and I hope the voters do not approve a casino in Foxboro."
Winslow is concerned that a casino in Foxboro would have a negative impact on the character of Foxboro and all area towns would have to deal with an increase in crime, drunk driving, drug dealing, prostitution, decreased property values, and an influx of workers and their children into the school. "Urban settings already address many of these issues without consequence," Winslow wrote. "If located other than Foxboro, our area citizens still will have the benefit of job creation and state revenue without the damage to our local towns' characters. My teenage children currently spend hours at the Patriot Place Mall, which is a very family friendly. Add a casino and the denizens of casino life, and you'd have to be a fool to allow your children to spend time at Patriot Place."
The statute within the gaming legislation gives towns the ability to reach agreements with the casino license applicants for mitigation payments. The Gaming Commission has the power to declare a pending offer from the applicant to be reasonable. "While we certainly could expect more money for police and traffic safety, we'll have a more difficult time proving the wear and tear on our roads, the influx of drunk drivers, and other consequences," Winslow wrote. "So we'd get paid, but we'd still have the consequence. In Foxboro, the impacts would be even worse: lots of money to live in a town that people from Foxboro won't want to live in."
Foxboro residents are scheduled to hear a presentation on the Kraft and Wynn proposed casino at a January 10th Special Town Meeting. For now, Wrentham residents will have to wait to see the outcome. Even if Foxboro voters eventually decide they want the casino, a five-member commission will decide which developer will win the casino licenses in three separate regions of the state. The Foxboro proposal will compete against a proposed casino in East Boston at Suffolk Downs.
(Click Letter to the Editor: A Voice Against a Foxboro Casino to read Wrentham's Marc Fandetti view on the casino proposal.)