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!