By Carol Meyer
Derby Street corridor improvements to address ongoing safety and capacity issues have been in the works since 2018, with a targeted completion date of Spring 2020.
The reconstruction project includes intersection improvements, new sidewalks, and new traffic signals at both the Route 3 north- and southbound expressway ramps. Of top priority is making the 0.8-mile corridor more pedestrian- and bicyclist-friendly. The state is expected to pick up most of the roughly $5 million tab.
Derby Street is classified as an urban minor arterial providing access to Routes 3 and 53 in Hingham and Weymouth. The primary land use along the Derby Street corridor is stand-alone businesses and commercial enterprises.
The Town of Hingham has set a priority on further commercial development in South Hingham to increase the tax base, with the least impacts to residential properties as possible.
Through a separate project, improvements to the tricky Gardner/Derby/Whiting Street intersection are also in the works, with a projected completion date of Fall 2020.
Do you think this project will help attract more commercial uses to the area? Do you think that doing so is a good idea?
By Carol Meyer
I admit to ordering quite a few things online for convenience sake and for savings.
That said, I also frequent the downtown CVS, Artisans in the Square for many birthday and holiday gifts, and other Hingham Square and surrounding shops and restaurants, along with several stores at the Derby Street Shops.
While there is still plenty of summer left to enjoy — after all, it stretches until Sept. 23! — it is nearing the time for back-to-school shopping.
Quite a few people on facebook are aware of my protests about back-to-school signs that were posted in mid-June in some chain stores, but it’s now mid-August and it’s time to start stocking up on school supplies, cool back-to-school outfits, and healthy snacks. Shopping local not only supports local businesses but it also saves gas. So let’s shop local whenever we can!
What are your favorite places to shop in Hingham? Do you usually shop local?
By Carol Meyer
Attention, boaters and other harbor-users! The Town of Hingham dredges the Hingham Inner Harbor mooring basin every 10 years to maintain safe-water depth, which means it's up for dredging again starting this year. Ten years go by fast!
"We anticipate this project will require the entire dredging window, from October 1 to January 31, 2020," Harbormaster Ken Corson said recently.
Lt. Governor Karyn Polito recently visited Hingham to announce the awarding of a $2 million Massachusetts Dredging Program grant to the town, which allows the project to move forward. Corson attended the ceremony.
In anticipation of the start of this project, all boats and moorings must be removed from the mooring basin before Oct. 1, or earlier depending on individual marinas. Town pier floats will be removed from the water by September 27. Due to dredging operations, navigation in the mooring basin will be restricted beginning October 1.
An estimated 62,000 cubic yards of sediment will be removed, which will restore all-tide access to the town's more than 230 public moorings, among other benefits.
Be sure to stop by one of the Bathing Beach parking lots or other areas around the harbor to catch a glimpse of the dredging equipment once the project is underway -- quite a sight to see!
Do you boat in Hingham Harbor? What makes it so special?
By: Carol Meyer
Be sure to stop by to see for yourself the recently-completed historically-themed mural on the side and back of the Hennessy News Building on North Street -- a true work of art and labor of love!
Well-known Hingham artist Susan Kilmartin designed the mural, and she and and talented art students from Hingham High School and the South Shore Charter School in Norwell -- with guidance from their art teachers -- brought the project to reality.
Special thanks goes to Hennessy News owner Joe Ierardi for his willingness to allow the artists to paint the historic scenes on the building.
The mural depicts colonial life circa 1840 on Hersey Farm in Hingham. The toy and box factory -- which had been locked up and hidden by vines and vegetation -- was recently uncovered and found to be completely intact by members of the Hersey family (still in residence on the farm). The toys and tools inside were also intact after 100 years.
The cost of the paint and other supplies the students used throughout the project was covered by Greenbush Historic Preservation Trust grants. The purpose of this fund is to preserve and maintain historic assets and streetscapes along the Greenbush commuter rail right-of way and the surrounding area to enhance downtown Hingham. (The back of Hennessy's News abuts the tunnel cap.) "I'm very grateful for this grant," said Kilmartin, who donated her time to the project.
Have you seen the mural yet? What do you think it adds to downtown Hingham?
By Carol Meyer
There are plenty of fun summertime activities to enjoy right here in Hingham without having to travel far at all.
There's golfing and swimming at South Shore Country Club; sailing and rowing at Hingham Maritime Center; swimming and picnicking at the Bathing Beach; experiencing farm life at the 75-acre Weir River Farm on Turkey Hill; and learning more about the town's history at The Heritage Museum at 34 Main Street; among dozens of other activities.
The Hingham Farmers Market at the Bathing Beach is the place to go Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lots of summertime activities for all ages are also offered at Hingham Rec, Hingham Community Center, and South Shore Conservatory.
You might also want to add the Bare Cove Fire Museum and the nearby South Shore Model Railway Club to your summer "to do" list.
And to top off a summer filled with fun activities, the Launch at Hingham Shipyard is hosting free live outdoor concerts and movies Thursday and Friday evenings in July and August, weather permitting, in the amphitheater behind Hingham Beer Works at 18 Shipyard Drive. Bring lawn chairs and blankets! Movies are shown on Thursdays and start at dusk. Musical performances begin at 7 p.m. Friday evenings.
Do you spend a lot of time in Hingham during the summer? What's your favorite summertime activity?
By Carol Meyer
Last year The Trustees of Reservations were granted permission to make changes to the World's End parking and circulation pattern and to add a not-yet-completed Visitors Center.
A large group of World's End-area residents attended a recent joint Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board hearing to review the current situation -- including parking -- following the above changes as part of a required look-back.
A tiered approach to programming was also part of the approval to prevent overlapping of events in response to some residents' continuing concerns about on-street parking in the surrounding neighborhoods, especially during high attendance events.
Another public meeting will be held next fall, when more information about visitor- and associated traffic-count statistics during peak visitor times will be presented.
Some residents say despite the changes there are still times when visitors park in their neighborhoods instead of inside the park and question the number of events that have been held there since the changes.
Despite the challenges, World's End offers many recreational opportunities -- including walking along the peninsula’s miles of trails or just relaxing and reading a book with views of spectacular vistas. Whatever you decide to do, please consider the surrounding neighborhood when finding a parking space!
Do you visit World's End? What's your favorite activity to do there?
Are you finding it a challenge to get your kids to pick up a book this summer? Hingham Public Library can help!
There's still plenty of time for kids and teens of all ages to get onboard with the library's summer reading program, designed to have fun while reading.
"A Universe of Stories!" is a great way to keep younger kids motivated to read during the summer months, with fun prizes in the offing. Families are invited to stop by the library to register, pick up a copy of the summer program booklet, and stock up on books.
Sixth-graders and above have their own exciting summer reading program. No sign-up necessary -- just pick up a pamphlet at the Children's Desk, check out the "rules," and start reading. Teens can earn a variety of prizes by doing simple things -- checking out a book, writing a short book review, or attending a fun library program.
Don't miss out!
What was your favorite summertime reading book when you were a child? Are your kids participating in the library's summer reading program this year?
By Carol Meyer
Hingham celebrates the Fourth of July in a big way!
The traditional Fourth of July parade, which attracts thousands of spectators from Hingham and far beyond, will step out as usual from Hingham High School -- rain or shine --July 4 at 10 a.m. Let's hope for sunny weather, or at least no rain!
The parade, with a "Celebrate Hingham's Natural Beauty" theme, will feature Hingham's own Uncle Sam, colorful floats, marching bands, Scouts, more stilt-walkers than ever before!, and various organizations and youth groups.
However, the Hingham Lions Club annual spectacular fireworks display and family celebration at the harbor were canceled due to the need for more volunteers. It's hoped that members of the community will step up and offer their assistance so the fireworks can continue in 2020 and in years to come.
The Hingham Rec Road Race from the Hingham Middle School and the Hingham Lions/Kiwanis Club pancake breakfast on Hingham Centre Common before the parade draw large numbers of runners and pancake lovers and are both happening as usual this year.
Check out the Hingham town website’s (hingham-ma.gov) July 4th link for more details.
What is your favorite part of Hingham's Fourth of July celebration? Are you participating this year?
By Carol Meyer
A developer is proposing a three-story commercial/residential building at 25 and 33 Central Street behind the Hingham Community Center that will include eight condos, a business use on the ground floor, and a 23-car garage within the ground level of the building. The popular Krigsman Yoga studio has the option to continue to operate at this site.
The developer, Respond Ventures, LLC, is expected to go before the Historic Districts Commission sometime in July to present the plan for an advisory design review "to help maintain the flavor and character of the downtown area," HDC Administrator Andrea Young said.
In a brief written description of the work provided to the HDC, the developer said the condos will provide "an attractive alternative" for empty-nesters who wish to live in downtown Hingham. The development will incorporate "green" building features.
The Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals will also hold a hearing(s) about the proposal.
What do you think?
By Carol Britton Meyer
The Hingham Bathing Beach is a great place for summer fun!
While the projected opening day for the new multi-purpose bathhouse -- which includes a snack shop and a maritime-themed community room -- has been delayed from early summer to around Labor Day, there's still plenty to enjoy at this beautiful location.
The Hingham Farmers Market operates from the parking lot Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. There's also a new brick walkway and the usual spectacular views of the harbor. The Bathing Beach is also a great place for boating, swimming, relaxing in the sunshine, having a picnic, or running along the harborfront.
The end result for the bathhouse will be worth the wait, those overseeing the project say, complete with cedar shingles, a cupola, and a deck. The site work began some time ago. Once the modulars arrive -- hopefully in late June or the first week of July -- construction will take place during the rest of that month and into the first half of August. When all the work is completed, there will be an additional 34 parking spaces.
The concession stand, which will be operated by Greg Acerra d.b.a. Fireking Baking Company, will be a big draw. "It will be a high-class operation," Bathing Beach Trustee Chair Alan Perrault said.
What's your favorite activity at the Bathing Beach? Do you think the new bathhouse/concession stand/community room will be a big draw?