By: Carol Meyer
With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I decided to take some time to think about, and show appreciation for, the many blessings in my life.
As Thornton Wilder said, "We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures."
I'm grateful for our warm and comfortable home, beautiful seasonal flowers and plants, our three pets -- two Maine Coon cats and one much smaller Chihuahua who is constantly trying to hold his own! -- a job I love, my next-door neighbor and good friend who always comes to our rescue when we get locked out of our one bathroom -- last time a credit card did the trick! -- many kind and caring friendships and family relationships, including my two wonderful sons, Chris and Marc -- and newly-arrived this year, my beautiful granddaughter, Aida, who lives close by. (I'm Nan, NOT Grandma!)
These are only a few of the blessings that come to mind -- I could barely name them all if I had the space.
What blessings are you most grateful for in YOUR life?!
The eleventh month, the eleventh day, the eleventh hour . . . . That's the traditional date and time of Hingham's Veterans Day ceremony.
November 11 is much more than a day off from work. It's an opportunity for our entire town to honor military veterans -- all those who have served in the United States Armed Forces -- from Hingham, surrounding communities, and nationwide.
Our town's 2019 Veterans Day observance will take place Monday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. in Sanborn Auditorium at Town Hall.
The ceremony will be led by Town Moderator Michael Puzo, with rousing music by the Hingham High School band -- not to be missed! The key speaker will be Col. Wayne Libbey, US Army.
Then there will be a parade of the colors of the Armed Services to the veterans monument on the Town Hall lawn, followed by a brief commemorative wreath-laying ceremony.
Director of Veterans Services Keith Jermyn, USN, encourages citizens "to make every effort to attend and show your support for our nation's veterans."
There are greeting cards designed to thank veterans for their service, which is a nice way to honor veterans we know. Is there a special way that you and your family commemorate Veterans Day?
By Carol Meyer
Have you noticed the newly-installed Hingham Harbor history signs along the walking paths and public areas of the Inner Harbor, which stretches from Broad Cove to the Hingham Maritime Center?
"The idea is to convey what has happened at the harbor since 1635 . . . and to provide a generational conversation starter," Bruce MacAloney -- a member of the Harbor Development Committee subcommittee involved with bringing the project to reality -- said recently.
Each sign incorporates the town seal. They were funded by a Greenbush Historic Preservation Trust grant awarded to the Harbor Development Committee and the Bathing Beach Trustees.
The plan is for a total of between 10 to 15 weather-resistant signs to be installed leading up to Hingham's 400th anniversary in 2035.
The overall project was a cooperative effort among various town boards and departments, the Historical Society, volunteers, and interns. Visit hingham-ma.gov/HinghamHarbor for full details.
If you haven't seen the signs yet, why not take a leisurely fall walk along the harbor-front and experience them firsthand?!
By Carol Meyer
Be prepared! The long-anticipated single-use plastic bag ban will go into effect Nov. 1 in Hingham, joining nearly 100 other Massachusetts cities and towns that already have similar bans in place.
The ban relates to the thin plastic bags available at grocery stores and pharmacies but newspaper or dry cleaning bags.
The main message of the Hingham Cleaner Greener Committee is that while plastic bags are “convenient, recyclable, and part of everyday life,” only seven percent of them get recycled while the rest take many years to break down, resulting in what the committee calls "plastic bag pollution."
The committee recently handed out "Hey Hingham/Remember to bring your own bags!" reminder stickers to local businesses.
The Hingham Health Department will enforce the new regulation, with stores that are not complying subject to penalties that progress from a written warning to fines that escalate each day the violation continues.
"The Health Department worked with retailers on what product and checkout bags will be acceptable to offer customers," said Executive Health Officer Susan Sarni.
What do you think about this ban? Are you already well-stocked with reusable bags?
By Carol Meyer
There's no better way to celebrate fall than by joining in the Hingham Arts Walk fun!
The streets of Downtown Hingham will come alive with music, beautiful art, and tasty offerings from Thyme Traveling, Wahlburgers, Sadie Mae’s, and more.
Just follow the colorful balloons, which will be posted at all participating shops along the South, Main, North, and Water streets stretch down to the harbor to enjoy the full experience.
The date is Sunday, Oct. 20, from noon to 4 p.m., with more than 40 local artists and artisans presenting their work on the downtown sidewalks and in many of the shops and studios. Let's hope for great weather!
Kids will enjoy the Children’s Craft Market of Hingham, featuring handmade crafts fashioned by children and live music by young musicians. The market will be located on the tunnel cap by Winston Flowers from 12 to 1:30 p.m.
The Hingham Arts Walk is organized and funded by the Downtown Association with support from the artists and the Hingham Cultural Council. Admission is free. For more information check out the event map/guide on October 17 at participating locations or visit discoverhingham.org.
What do you like best about this annual event? Do you plan to attend this year? If so, what are you most looking forward to?!!
By Carol Meyer
Summer has just ended, but the South Shore Country Club management team is already looking toward next year.
A recent safety engineering report indicates that the pool and a portion of the maintenance facility underneath it are in such bad shape that they will need to be taken out of operation indefinitely is the word.
"Hingham will most likely be unable to open the town's only public pool next summer, with our maintenance facility also being compromised," Country Club Management Committee Chairman Christine Smith said. "As the safety of our employees and children is paramount, we need to find a solution quickly and thoughtfully."
Extensive testing has been done every year prior to opening the pool for the new summer season to ensure it was safe.
The pool, which is managed by Hingham Rec, is used by families and individuals, swim teams, and for numerous sports camps.
The Country Club Management Committee is requesting Community Preservation Act funding to pay for part of the planned new pool project, and a fundraising effort is underway by the Friends of South Shore Country Club.
The pool has been integral to the Club’s success "and is the only public pool where our children can learn to swim. In a town that is situated on the water, this is very important for our young families," said Friends President Warren Pelissier.
To make a donation, visit friendsofsscc.org
Do you and your family use the SSCC pool? If so, where would you go to swim and enjoy other water activities if the pool doesn't re-open next summer?
By Carol Britton Meyer
Community Preservation Act proposals for the current round of funding include a new World's End visitors center, purchase of the historic Benjamin Lincoln house, affordable housing, and 10 others.
Voters at next year's Town Meeting -- and that includes you! -- will decide which of the projects recommended by the Hingham Community Preservation Committee they would like to see move forward. The process has just begun for 2019-2020, and more information will be available.
In my view, the Benjamin Lincoln house proposal is of particular interest because the Lincoln family has lived in the house since the 17th Century and has agreed to take it off the market until the CPA process is complete. That's because the family doesn't want it to go into the hands of private owners, who could possibly change the inside of the house. The house would come with the contents, including a number of historic artifacts, and would likely be used as a learning center/museum.
Another proposal requests $650,000 for affordable housing under the Hingham Affordable Housing Trust -- an issue that 's on the minds of many Hinghamites as housing prices continue to escalate.
Others include creation of a Benjamin Lincoln Park on Station Street; upgrades to the popular Plymouth River Playground; South Shore Country Club improvements, including a new outdoor pool with a "bubble" for year-round use; an updated "Vision for the Inner Harbor" plan, and more.
It's interesting to note, said CPC member Vicki Donlan at a recent meeting, that Benjamin Lincoln is NOT related to Abraham Lincoln, as many people think!
Community Preservation Act funding comes from a 1.5 percent CPA annual taxpayer surcharge that Hingham voters adopted in 2000. The state matches a portion of the funds.
CPA funds may only be used for open space acquisition, historic preservation, community housing, and limited recreational projects.
The CPC will make its recommendations at the April 2020 Town Meeting, which has the final say.
So there's plenty of time to follow the process and think about which proposals you might support at next year's Town Meeting!
By Carol Meyer
Some 493 students are currently enrolled at Foster School and are looking forward to a successful new school year!
The Massachusetts School Building Authority paid a visit to Foster recently, which was an opportunity for school officials to express concerns about the building's deficiencies and their impact on the educational program and to assess its condition.
This is the third time the town has sought partial state reimbursement from the MSBA for what they say is a much-needed major renovation -- or an entirely new building.
The MSBA's decision on the town's third Statement of Interest is expected this coming December, and school officials remain hopeful that there will be good news this time around.
Any costs that would be incurred in excess of any grant approved by and received from the MSBA would be borne by the town and would require a Town Meeting vote before the project could move forward.
Quite a few Foster parents and teachers continue to express concerns about the condition of the building.
Have you or any of your children attended Foster? What are your thoughts -- would major repairs be enough or do you think an entirely new school is needed?
By Carol Meyer
Hingham Public Library Sunday hours resume Sept. 7 -- from 1 to 5 p.m. -- after being closed on that day during the summer months.
Fortunately, the resumed Sunday hours coincide with the start of the new school year, providing a quiet, comfortable setting for students -- and others -- to do research, write papers, study, read a good book, or just take a break from their busy schedules.
A reference librarian is always available to help you find what you need. If you can't find a particular book or other resource on the library's shelves, you can reserve them online at ocln.org -- which allows patrons to access materials from other local libraries. All you need is your library card!
In fact, the library is a great resource for patrons of all ages -- offering fun and educational activities and events for kids, teens, and adults. Check out the calendar at hinghamlibrary.org.
The library also features a landscaped courtyard, art galleries, a book store, and a cafe. What more could we ask for? Be sure to stop by soon!
Do you visit the library often? If yes, do you study, enjoy activities and events, or just take a break from the outside world there -- or all three?!
By Carol Meyer
When I posted how much I love summer to Facebook a few weeks ago, I expected everyone to "like" the post.
Who could possibly prefer snow to sunshine -- shoveling, pulling on heavy winter clothes and boots, unearthing the car, and the dirty snow that lines the streets soon after every snowfall to long and sometimes lazy days filled with sunshine, vibrant flowers, and trips to the beach, followed by long summer nights with crickets and peepers sounding their songs? And when it does rain, the grass is green and gardens flourish.
Well, was I mistaken. Even my own sister thinks I'm crazy! While some of my Facebook friends truly love summer best despite its often high temperatures as I do, others said they actually prefer the white stuff, including shoveling. And one or two posted that they really, really don't like summer!!!!
To each his or her own, but I intend to enjoy every last day of summer right up until September 22.
The only thing I can say is, I hope I don't hear any complaints from "those" people when winter arrives! Let's pick our favorite season and leave it at that.
In the meantime, I think almost everyone enjoys a crisp fall day!
What is YOUR favorite season?