By Carol Meyer
In response to a growing number of reports about the presence of coyotes in Hingham neighborhoods, town officials are taking steps to address what some residents say has become a crisis.
Animal Control Officer Leslie Badger is working with schools, neighborhood groups, and individual families to schedule educational sessions about coyotes and has been involved with coming up with an action plan for Foster School to deal with coyotes that live in the woods surrounding the school.
Coyote mating season was earlier this year, so young pups are around as well as adult coyotes. The increasing amount of development also plays a role.
Town officials have discussed possible solutions and have also contacted state agencies asking for information about pre-existing wildlife studies and the Environmental Police requesting a meeting with Hingham officials. "At that time, among other discussion topics, we plan to evaluate existing legislation and the pros and cons of any potential legislation [addressing this issue]," Assistant Town Administrator Michelle Monsegur said.
There are specific laws relating to trapping and also to shooting coyotes in the most extreme situations, thereby tying the hands of local animal control officers in how they are able to handle the overall situation and individual incidents.
Additional information about coyotes and also an online coyote sighting form are posted on the Hingham Police Department website at https://hpd.org/241/Coyotes. A coyote presentation and other details are available on the Animal Control Officer website. DO NOT call 911 or the police station business line to report seeing a coyote unless there is an emergency or immediate threat to humans.
Have you seen any coyotes? Why do you think there are so many around lately?
By Carol Meyer
There are a couple of changes in store for the Hingham High School Class of 2019 -- the ceremony will start at 10 a.m. rather than the usual 5 p.m., and all 279 graduates will wear red robes rather than the traditional red for boys and white for girls.
The time of the event was changed to avoid conflicts with the girls' and boys' track teams state championship meets.
The decision to go to all red robes was to promote inclusiveness among the graduating class and to do away with gender-based graduation robe colors in compliance with Massachusetts Department of Education directives.
Students had a say in the final decision. Some students and parents were unhappy with the change while others thought it was a good idea.
"The most inspiring thing about our class is our togetherness in spite of all of our individual differences," said Class President Billy Johnston.
Principal Rick Swanson had this to say about the graduating class: "You have already made big contributions to our school, and I’m sure you’ll continue to do so during your final time here at HHS. This entire community (not just your friends, classmates and parents, but your whole school, including your principal) is proud of you, and we’re all eager to support you as you move forward."
The ceremony will take place Saturday, June 1, at 10 a.m. on the turf field, weather permitting. Otherwise, it will be held indoors in the gym.
What is your favorite part of HHS graduation ceremonies?
The band music, the student speeches, seeing the graduates march across the field, or watching them accept their diplomas?
By Carol Meyer
The entire community is invited to attend Hingham's May 27 Memorial Day Observance, hosted by the Department of Veterans' Services and the Veterans' Council.
This is a way to show respect for those who have sacrificed their lives for their country before we head off for traditional family and neighborhood gatherings.
Town Moderator Michael Puzo will begin the ceremony promptly at 11 a.m. outside Town Hall or inside Sanborn Auditorium if it rains. This annual event is well-attended, with many families waving flags and dressed in patriotic colors.
The Principal Speaker will be Hingham resident, SFC Roger Knight, U.S. Army. The Hingham High School Band will perform patriotic music, and Student Athlete Nick Capodilupo will sing the National Anthem.
Town Clerk Eileen McCracken will read the names of those Hingham veterans who have passed since Memorial Day 2018. Wreaths will be laid in honor of all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice as the Bugler sounds Taps.
For full details visit the town website at hingham-ma.gov.
How do you celebrate Memorial Day? What's your favorite part of these annual ceremonies?
By Carol Meyer
There are two big changes to the Board of Selectmen -- new Chairman Karen Johnson and newly-elected board member Joseph Fisher, who are both excited about their new roles.
Fisher fills the seat formerly occupied by Selectmen Chairman Paul Healey, who did not run for re-election. Fisher admits he has big shoes to fill!
Johnson points to his experience on the Conservation Commission and most recently the Zoning Board of Appeals as a benefit to the town as Fisher assumes his new position.
In the recent town election, Janine Suchecki upseated longtime Housing Authority member Robert Keyes; Town Moderator Michael Puzo was relected after being challenged by Megan Burr; and School Committee incumbents Liza O'Reilly and Carlos DaSilva and Nancy "Nes" Correnti were also elected -- out of four candidates who ran for three seats on that committee. Joshua Ross was the other candidate.
What issues would you like to see the Selectmen, School Committee, and the Hingham Housing Authority -- which is overseen by the state but is based in the town -- address in the upcoming fiscal year? What in your opinion is going well and what issues need more attention? This is your town government, so let your voice be heard!
By Carol Meyer
It's finally spring, and Hingham Farmers Market organizers, vendors, and patrons are enjoying the new market season.
The 2019 market continues to operate from the Bathing Beach parking lot off Rte. 3A Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from May 4 through part of November.
Offerings include seasonal plants, flowers, fresh produce, bakery, cheese, poultry, beef, seafood, eggs, honey, artisan wares, and more.
"We're looking forward to another successful season," Market Manager Bill Marshall said. "We have some new vendors, plus our regulars will be back."
The volunteer Friends of the Hingham Farmers Market are always onhand to welcome patrons, answer questions, and to assist those who wish to participate in the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly referred to as food stamps) program, in which the market participates. New volunteers are welcome. Just stop by the Friends table at the market for more info or to sign up.
What is your favorite part of the market? Do you go there often with family and friends?
See you there!
Visit www.hinghamfarmersmarket.org for more information.
by: Carol Meyer
Mark your calendar for the annual Taste of Hingham celebration that will take place along Main Street in Hingham Square Saturday, May 18, from 12 to 3 p.m.
This event, sponsored by the Hingham Congregational Church, Eat Well, Inc., and the Hingham Downtown Association, benefits local charities and is an opportunity not only to sample delicious offerings but also to shop locally, go to a movie, or stop by the Hingham Heritage Museum at Old Derby either before or after the event.
On the must-taste list are signature dishes, ice cream, sweets, and savories from 30 of Hingham’s finest restaurants, markets, and shops.
Enjoy live music, free horse-drawn hayrides, and fun for all ages at this 16th annual street fair to benefit the Hingham Food Pantry and other South Shore charities.
A favorite part of the festivities is casting votes for Hingham’s favorite chowder or soup; entree of the year; Hingham’s Appetizer; Sandwich/Burgers/Pizza; Vegetarian Delight; Baked Sweet Treats; and Hingham’s Favorite Desserts.
For more details and ticket information, visit https://discoverhingham.com/taste-of-hingham/.
What's your favorite part of this celebration? If you've never been to a Taste of Hingham event before, will you attend this year?
By Carol Meyer
There are three races for the Saturday, April 27, town election -- Town Moderator, a three-way race for four School Committee seats, and Housing Authority. Be sure to exercise your right to vote!
Voting hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., allowing everyone time throughout the day to vote their choices. Town Clerk Eileen McCracken is predicting about a 20 percent turnout.
The races are:
* Town Moderator (one-year term) -- Incumbent Michael J. Puzo and Megan M. Buhr.
* School Committee (three-year term) -- Four candidates for three seats: Incumbents Carlos A. F. DaSilva and Elizabeth "Liza" Reed O'Reilly and Joshua Ross and Nancy "Nes" Correnti.
* Housing Authority (five-year term) -- Incumbent Robert D. Keyes and Janine A. Suchecki.
Several candidates are running unopposed.
Here are the polling locations:
* Precincts 1-4 - Hingham High School, 17 Union St.
* Precincts 5-6 - Hingham Middle School, 1103 Main St.
* Precinct 5A - The Oakleaf Clubhouse Building, 300 Linden Ponds Way
Do you plan to vote in this town election and if so, why do you think it's important to vote?
See you at the polls!
By Carol Meyer
Due for the most part to the controversial water company acquisition warrant article on the April 22 Town Meeting agenda, larger-than-usual crowds are expected.
Plans are in place to accommodate nearly 4,000 voters -- first at the High School, 17 Union St., and if necessary in the Middle School Auditorium, 1103 Main St., which has 700 seats. The usual attendance is fewer than 800 per session.
Town Meeting is set to begin on Monday, April 22, at 7 p.m. at the High School. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. (an hour earlier than usual) to allow participants to check in early and to find a seat.
In addition to the business carried on at Town Meeting, there's the social aspect of connecting with neighbors and friends you may not have seen for awhile before the meeting is called to order.
"We will use multiple venues within the high school, including one room for guests of the meeting. "Hingham’s commitment to open town meeting is an essential element of our community’s character," Town Moderator Michael Puzo said. Please read the warrant carefully before the meeting and be ready to take part in the decision-making process that is open town meeting."
A copy of the warrant -- you can't miss the bright lime-green cover! -- was mailed to every household in Hingham. Be sure to review it carefully so you can attend Town Meeting as an informed voter. Every vote counts!
Are you a seasoned Town Meeting attendee? Or will this be your first Town Meeting? Are you looking forward to the experience?
By Carol Meyer
The snow has melted, the birds are singing, the sun is shining, the days are longer, and crocuses are pushing their way through the earth. Spring has arrived!
Following a long winter -- although it really wasn't that "bad" -- let's get outside and enjoy all that Hingham has to offer -- its parks, picnics at the bathing beach with a bathhouse and concession stand in the works, and the many spring offerings that make life fun -- from the Old Ship May Breakfast and Second Parish Arts Festival to the Taste of Hingham celebration and other fun events -- all coming up soon. In the meantime we can breathe a sign of relief and welcome spring with open arms!
What is your favorite springtime activity or favorite place to go to just relax?
The April 22 Town Meeting is fast approaching! Among the many warrant articles for voters to decide are eight related to Community Preservation Act proposals, ranging from affordable housing opportunities to improvements to the Plymouth River School Playground. CPA funding comes from a tax surcharge approved by Hingham voters in the early 2000s and may only be used for affordable housing, open space acquisition, historic preservation, and certain recreational projects.
This year's proposals -- recommended by the Hingham Community Preservation Committee -- total $725,546 million. Town Meeting has the final say.
* $300,000 toward potential affordable housing opportunities;
* $29,921 to stabilize the Old Ordinary Museum and the Annex at 21 Lincoln Street;
* $60,000 for the Rec Commission to conduct a comprehensive study of the town's athletic fields and tennis and basketball courts;
* $11,651 to restore the mechanisms of six bells in the Memorial Bell Tower;
* $120,000 for additional funding to complete the Bathing Beach bathhouse/concession stand;
* $24,445 to be used by the School Committee to rehabilitate/restore the Plymouth River School Playground;
* $19,528 to continue restoration and conservation of veterans' markers and monuments in the Liberty Plain Cemetery;
* $50,000 for the CPC's administrative fund.
Which of these projects will you support at Town Meeting, or do you think all of them are worthy of funding? Every vote counts, so mark your calendars for April 22!