May 312011

Groton’s Memorial Day parade dodged showers as it wound its way through town, pausing along the way for ceremonies honoring the town’s, and nation’s, fallen veterans.

Photos by Terry O’Neil and Caroline Poser. If you got some good photos, please send them in to expand the album! You can upload them or send them as an attachment to an e-mail.

May 272011

The Groton Country Club Golf Association is sponsoring a Flag Tournament the weekend of June 11-12. Partcipants can play on either day or both if they wish to do so.

In a Flag Tournament, each golfer is assigned a number, which is the combined total of par for the course (35) plus the golfer’s handicap. So, a golfer with a 22 handicap would be assigned the number 57 (35 plus 22). That golfer would then play the course until he or she has taken 57 strokes, then plant a flag at the spot where the ball landed on the 57th shot.

The Flag Tournament is open to women, men, seniors and juniors. You do not need to be a Groton resident or a club member to play. Golfers without handicaps will be assigned one on the day they play if they can provide their last three scores on any course.

The cost is $10, plus greens fees. Prizes will be awarded to winners in all divisions (Women’s, Men’s, Seniors and Juniors).

For tee times, call the Groton Country Club at (978) 448-2564. Entry forms will be available on the day you play.

May 272011

Eagle Scout Chase Harper and fellow scouts from Groton’s Troop 3 of the Boy Scouts of America moved from fund raising to construction last week, erecting two flagpoles that will be dedicated during Memorial Day ceremonies.

“I’m putting up two flag poles in Sawyer Common (Hollis and Martin’s Pond Roads) here in Groton. Those flag poles will be holding all the service flags of the armed services. The parks commissioner, Don Black, had a plan where there was a line between the poles and all the flags would hang right over the middle of the park,” Conklin said.

The two poles cost about $1500, Conklin said. So far, he has collected $1300 in donations and from fund raising car washes. He said people wishing to donate to the effort may call him at (978) 448-8210 or e-mail at

May 262011

(This Letter to the Editor is an open letter sent to the Central Fire Station Site Selection Committee, which has yet to decide whether, and how, to recommend potential fire station sites to the Board of Selectmen. The Committee’s next meeting is June 1 at 4 p.m. in Town Hall.

A vote to acquire the Sacred Heart Church lot as a fire station site is the only article at a Special Town Meeting scheduled for June 13 at 7 p.m. in the Middle School PAC. — Ed.)

To the Fire Station Relocation Committee:

We are writing in support of locating a new fire station on a portion of the GELD property on Station Avenue. We believe that construction of a new facility in that area offers advantages compared with other possible locations. Although the work of the Fire Station Relocation Committee has focused primarily on the physical attributes and cost implications of numerous potential sites, as the list is shortened, other town planning issues should now be considered.

We believe that one of the essential factors in locating any municipal facility is its relationship to other facilities. When town departments are in proximity to each other there is increased interaction among town personnel that can foster a sense of community and cooperation. When facilities are more dispersed, day to day interaction declines and departments can become more isolated and less connected with each other.

An important issue that has been raised against locating a new Central Fire Station on Station Avenue is that it will undermine the Station Avenue Plan that was adopted by the Town after much hard work. The premise of that plan was to encourage commercial activity, and new housing, in the Station Avenue area. The physical design of that plan was clever, creating a new focal location for new businesses at the end of Station Avenue. However, the underlying premise, that businesses would locate in an area well off Main Street, was always tenuous. Although this type of strategy, locating new business areas in pockets off main thoroughfares, is desirable from a planning perspective, commercial developers have always been skeptical.

The impetus for creating the Station Avenue design plan was the expected departure of GELD, which freed up enough land to allow a comprehensive design strategy for the area. The availability of the GELD property was critical to the design as it provided adequate land for the essential components of the plan to be built. Although we supported the original plan, now that GELD has decided to remain on Station Avenue, we believe that concept is no longer viable. However, the opportunity to use that area for municipal activities is now possible.

At a meeting of the Relocation Committee with GELD, the potential synergy of locating the Fire / Ambulance facilities adjacent to GELD was discussed, both in terms of reduced planning and construction costs and with respect to ongoing operations. We believe that similar long term advantages will develop in relationship to Town Hall.

GELD is asking for reimbursement of their costs for purchasing abutting properties in an attempt to facilitate the whole plan. While the Town is treating this as a purchase cost in its calculations, most Groton residents are both taxpayers and ratepayers, so the net costs and savings will essentially balance.

In summary, we believe that the opportunity to create a municipal area has presented itself, and the Town should take advantage. Good efforts went into creating the Station Avenue Plan, but conditions have changed and it is now time to move on. We should locate a new central fire station on Station Avenue and create a new plan to benefit the Town.


Bob and Becky Pine

May 242011

According to a release distributed by Groton Veteran’s Officer and parade adjutant Bob Johnson:

“Groton’s annual Memorial Day observance will be held on Monday, 30 May and will consist of a parade with ceremonies at the Main Street Common, Old Burying Ground, Groton Cemetery, and Sawyer Common. As always the parade honors veterans of ALL wars. We would like to invite ALL veterans to join us, whether in uniform or not. Veterans who wish to participate but are unable to march are asked to contact Dave Elliott at (978)448-6303 to arrange a ride in one of the vehicles in the parade.

Our Grand Marshall and primary speaker this year is a Groton resident Lt. Col. John Bruggeman, Inspector-Instructor of the 25th Marine Regiment. We will be joined at the Cemetery again this year by the Granite Statesmen Barbershop Chorus, 12-time Northeast District champions of the Barbershop Harmony Society [you can visit their web site at for more information about this group].

We will assemble on the grass of Legion Common at 8:30 a.m. with each unit gathering between numbered signs on the common and the Old Burying Ground. The order and sign number are in the separate “Order of March”.

At 8:50 a.m. the Groton Police Department will close School Street and all units will move into the street, retaining the order established on the Common, and we will start the parade promptly at 9:00 a.m. Parade vehicles and their riders will meet on the north side of School Street in front of Badger Funeral Home at 8:45 a.m.– drivers are asked to be in place absolutely no later than 8:40 a.m.. The parade will proceed out to Main Street, return to Legion Hall, move on to the Groton Cemetery with a stop at the Sawyer Common enroute, and return to Legion Hall. While we never know for sure how long the parade will take, we are usually back at Legion Hall by about 11:15 a.m.”

May 242011
Alan Holbrook With Alzheimer's Acvocates in Washington D.C.

Alan Holbrook (Center) With Alzheimer's advocates in Washington D.C.

WATERTOWN (May 23, 2011) — Alan Holbrook from Groton joined almost 700 advocates from across the nation at the Alzheimer”s Association”s Advocacy Forum, May 15-17 in Washington, D.C. Holbrook and other advocates attended seminars on Alzheimer policy issues and then took their own personal stories directly to state representatives and senators on Capitol Hill.

Holbrook is a member of the Massachusetts/New Hampshire Association”s Policy and Advocacy Committee and champions the cause of those dealing with younger-onset Alzheimer”s. This was his first trip to the annual Advocacy Forum. While there, Holbrook attended workshops on advocacy as well as meeting activists for Alzheimer”s disease from across the country. The trip culminated with the 37-member group from the Massachusetts/New Hampshire Alzheimer”s Chapter visiting their congressional delegations to ask them to support the Breakthrough Act to increase Alzheimer”s research funding and the Hope for Alzheimer”s Act to improve education about and detection of the disease.

“One of our top priorities is to increase Alzheimer research funding to help fight what could be a devastating situation for our nation,” said James Wessler, CEO/President of the Alzheimer”s Association, Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter. “If we do not find disease-altering treatments, 10 million Baby Boomers will develop Alzheimer”s.”

Currently, 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer”s. However, national funding for research has lagged behind other major diseases. The Advocacy Forum works on that issue and educate members of Congress about the impact of the disease.

“We are grateful to Alan and all those who took the time to travel to Washington,” said Wessler. “I encourage everyone who has been touched by the disease to get involved and follow the wonderful example set by Alan.”

The Alzheimer”s Association provides education and support for those dealing with Alzheimer”s and is the leading non-profit funder of research into causes, cures and an eventual treatment for Alzheimer”s. Offices are located in Watertown, Raynham, Springfield, and Worcester, MA and Bedford and Lebanon, NH. Information about Alzheimer”s is available at a 24/7 Helpline 800-272-3900 or

May 232011

The Nashoba Valley Technical School Committee voted recently to approve a policy recognizing the Military Community Covenant, a movement that has grown in momentum as local towns and businesses sign on to help make the lives of families of active-duty military personnel easier while their loved ones are away serving the country.

The school has adopted a discount program including its restaurant, salon, the Viking Village Mall gift shop, automotive and collision repair, athletic gate fees, and more. All will offer 10 percent discounts for the families of military personnel.

May 232011

Roses and Peonies

Roses and Peonies

The Gallery at Indian Hill presents “Signs of Spring,” a joint exhibit of realistic oil paintings in the “Boston School Style” by Mary Minifie of Groton and Mary Rose O’Connell of Billerica. On display thru June 25 at 36 King Street, Littleton, MA. Mon.-Fri., 10am–8 pm; Sat., 10 am– 5pm. Call (978) 486-9524 or visit

May 222011

Chase Duffy, who lived in Groton for almost five decades and served the community in multiple capacities, died May 16, 2011, at home on the same Indian Hill Road property she purchased in 1966. She was 87 and died of heart failure.

Mrs. Duffy was a 30-year member of the Groton Zoning Board of Appeals. She served for seven years on the Groton-Dunstable School Committee. She was president of the Friends of Groton Elders, a founder of the Groton Film Society, and a longtime member of the League of Women Voters and Groton Democratic Committee. She was a delegate to the State Democratic Convention in 2008 and served two terms on the Council on Aging. She was one of a group of local citizens who compiled and published a history of the town to commemorate its 350th anniversary in 2005.

To mark her 80th birthday in 2003, the town proclaimed Aug. 25 “Chase Duffy Day.” The 2011 Town Meeting was named in her honor.

Born Lillian Chase Johnson in Goldsboro, N.C., in 1923, she graduated from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and spent several years traveling and living in Latin America and Africa with her then husband James Duffy. She worked for a number of years as a manuscript editor at the University of North Carolina Press, Harvard University Press, Philips Academy’s Peabody Museum in Andover and Digital Press, the publishing arm of Digital Equipment Corporation.

Mrs. Duffy survived falling under a commuter train in Concord in the winter of 1978 by remembering a story her grandfather, a railroad conductor, had told of a fallen passenger he had witnessed cheat death by rolling to the deepest part of the rail bed as the train passed above.

Since retiring from Digital, she devoted her time to town affairs and local Democratic Party politics — when she was not enjoying the myriad visiting birds at her feeders, tending her garden, or following the fortunes of the Boston Celtics.

Mrs. Duffy is survived by her daughters, Amanda and Priscilla of Arlington; her son, David, of Cold Spring, N.Y.; and her grandchildren, Jackson and Samantha, also of Arlington.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 25, at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Groton.

In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to The Groton Conservation Trust, P.O. Box 395, Groton, MA 01450, or Friends of the Groton Elders, c/o Jean Temple, 130 Skyfields Drive, Groton, MA 01450.

May 212011

Work began on reconstructing the first floor of Legion Hall this week, after rotting floor joists failed during a Park Commission meeting March 9. Workmen began by removing layers of old flooring, including what appear to be the original 1869-era joists. The massive chestnut beams that supported the Chaplin School are still in good condition and will be left in place, carrying the marks of the original builders’ hand tools into another century of use. The Chaplin School was an elementary school that replaced several of the town’s one-room schoolhouses. It was renamed and rededicated as Legion Hall to serve veterans after World War I.

After the deteriorated flooring is removed, the crawl space will be partially filled and a new concrete floor poured. The new floor includes provision for radiant heating that can be installed later. The project will cost about $25,000, according to Tom Delaney, head of the town’s Department of Public Works, which is overseeing the construction. The project will take two to three weeks to complete.