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!
By Carol Meyer
Merchants, shoppers, and those driving and walking by the near-replica of the landmark 1859 Italianate-style Lincoln Building in Hingham Square are pleased to see that the fencing is down — a sure sign of progress!
"We're excited and looking forward to a grand opening possibly at the end of April hosted at Tosca," said Charlene Flynn of TLC Real Estate, who owns the building with Reuven Levy. "This will add even more vibrancy to downtown Hingham." The building is being praised by town officials and residents alike following a long development process.
The leases haven't been signed for the first-floor retail space yet, but Flynn confirmed that TLC and two high-end boutiques will be among the five businesses on the first floor. "We've been talking with a lot of different possible tenants, from high-end clothing boutiques to a gelato shop," she said.
There are four one-bedroom units on the second floor and two, two-bedroom penthouse units on the top floor.
The original building, which was slated for eventual demolition, was taken down after the roof collapsed following several heavy snowstorms in early 2015. The plans got the final okay from the zoning board of appeals in 2016.
Are you excited about this new addition to Hingham Square and looking forward to finding out what retail shops will be located there?
By Carol Meyer
The winter of 2015 is not easily forgotten! In all, about 100 inches of snow fell on Hingham. The result was the calling off of school for many days -- even school kids got tired of making snow angels and snow men and women in their yards -- the collapse of the roof and part of the third floor of the 1859 Lincoln Building in the heart of downtown Hingham, other collapsed roofs around town, lots of building leaks, and mounds of snow to shovel, plow, and walk through when trying to reach our front doors.
In early March 2015 Hingham Farmers Market organizers and vendors were wondering whether the snow would melt from the Bathing Beach parking lot before the planned early-May opening day -- fortunately it did!
That said, although February and March so far this year haven't been easy, here's a photo of the "farm" at the Bathing Beach -- where excess snow was stored that year -- taken by Wendell Davis in early 2015. He and his wife Linda of Baking with Joy are regular market vendors.
What stands out to you the most about that memorable -- and tough -- winter?
So looking back, this year hasn't been so bad -- at least not yet -- right?
by: Carol Meyer
There's nothing better to help chase away the wintertime blues than good music!
The Coffeehouse off the Square, located in the Old Ship Parish House in Hingham Square features well-known as well as budding performers -- from jazz and roots to bluegrass and harp music.
The Coffeehouse, which starts with an open mic at 8 p.m., provides a welcoming atmosphere to just relax, listen to good music, and enjoy a cup of coffee and dessert. Everyone is welcome!
Remaining performances this year from March through May on the third Saturday of the month include witty and engaging Irish singer-songwriter Robbie O'Connell; the multi-talented Eric Cornetta and Friends; and Ezekiel's Wheels, a lively and enjoyable Klezmer Band.
For further information visit http://oldshipchurch.org/coffeehouse-off-the-square.html
The booking committee is already lining up performers for the 2019-20 season. What kinds of live music would you like to see at the Coffeehouse and at other local venues?