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Rotaries Launch Wings and Wheels

By Ann Needle

Starting June 6, vehicle lovers everywhere can enjoy a weekly feast of cars, planes, motorcycles — and food — right here in Stow at Minute Man Air Field.

Sponsored mainly by the Rotary Clubs of Nashoba Valley, Acton-Boxborough, and Maynard, the inaugural Wings and Wheels event will launch at dinnertime each Thursday throughout the summer, offering another opportunity to get out and enjoy the summer evenings. Other sponsors include pilots’ organization EAA #196, Friends of Minute Man Air Field, and Nancy’s Air Field Cafe.

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Survey and State Funding for Nashoba

By Ann Needle

At last night’s Nashoba District School Committee meeting, the district’s anticipated community survey results were unveiled, though any discussion of the potential impact of this information will not take place until June. With the last day of school a month away, the Committee also heard the latest state funding forecast for the district, elected its 2013/14 officers, and approved a meeting schedule for next school year.

The district survey was conducted this spring as part of Nashoba’s annual update of its District Improvement Plan. Topics focused on Nashoba’s communication efforts in several areas, along with respondents’ feelings on a wide range of possible changes in the district. Nashoba staff and residents of Stow, Bolton, and Lancaster were invited to fill out the two-part survey on the district web site. Of the 556 responses, the largest portion came from Stow, at 32%.

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Stow News Briefs

by Nancy Arsenault

A compilation of news items from around town, including the postponement of a Gun Safety Forum, New regulations for dog walkers at Stow Town Forest, Board of Selectmen meeting, a proposed land gift to the town and an update on the progress of the Delaney St. solar field.

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Nashoba Moves Beyond the Budget

By Ann Needle

With next year’s budget successfully voted in at all three Nashoba-member town meetings on Monday, the Nashoba School Committee continued to look toward next school year at their Tuesday meeting.

In a report on school council activity at Nashoba Regional High School, Principal Dr. Parry Graham focused on how the school has been working toward two major goals in its school improvement plan. Student Council Rep. Brendan McMullen outlined some of the steps taken regarding the first goal of better understanding and addressing safety concerns and perceptions. These included talking to the Bolton Police about the possibility of putting in a school resource officer, arranging an upcoming safety presentation for juniors and seniors by the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, and collecting data from other high schools on their safety set-ups.

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Markey and Gomez Win State and Stow

By Nancy Arsenault
The State Primary Election, held on Tuesday in conjunction with the Annual Town Election, saw 1831 voters cast their ballots, according to the unofficial results from the Stow Town Clerk’s office. Stow’s two precincts, representing the north and south regions of town, cast nearly identical votes for all the candidates across the board.

The town’s choice for United States Senator mirrored the state’s choice with Democrat Edward Markey winning Stow with 495 votes and Gabriel Gomez earning the Stow Republican nod with 167 votes.

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Schools Survey Performance and Preferences

By Ann Needle

At last night’s brief, 45-minute Nashoba School Committee meeting, members reviewed a summary of their individual evaluations of the superintendent for the year, and made plans to issue several surveys on how the schools are meeting the public’s expectations.

Reviewing new state criteria for rating school administrators, the Committee spent the past few months looking at how to revamp Nashoba’s ratings criteria. As part of the new rules — which will take effect next school year — the Committee also must shape those results into a formal, publicly-presented evaluation. Committee Chair Nancy Federspiel of Bolton cautioned that this means the format and content of Wood’s evaluation next year could be quite different.

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BoH Holds Dangerous Dog Hearing

By Ellen Oliver

With approximately 20 people, and two news crews, in attendance at Town Building Tuesday night, the Board of Health held a public hearing to determine the dangerousness of several Stow dogs. The hearing was a result of a complaint filed by a Boxborough man after he and his dog were injured during an altercation with the Stow dogs on March 2 while walking in the Delaney project.

David Barr and his border collie Stella were walking at the Delaney Wildlife Management Area on the Stow/Harvard line when they encountered the three dogs. Julianne North of Stow was walking two of her own dogs, a shepherd mix and a puggle, along with a boxer mix owned by North’s son, Jay Rappa, also a Stow resident. All four dogs were off leash, which is prohibited on the Delaney property, managed by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

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Nashoba Trims School Choice Program

By Ann Needle

After weeks of debate, the Nashoba School Committee voted last night to nix the school choice program in kindergarten through grade 8. The amount of debate over the topic throughout several meetings easily outpaced discussion devoted to the approved 2013/14 budget, which was the subject of an annual public hearing that started the meeting.

Once again this year, the Committee took up its annual option to review the standing school choice policy, which regulates how many out-of-district students can come to school here in different grades. The Committee finally voted to keep the program only at Nashoba Regional High School.

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Nashoba Panel Talks School Safety

By Ann Needle

Newtown and Columbine have become places all too familiar in many parents’ minds. Protecting children from incidents like the school shootings these towns experienced has become a very visible priority for law enforcement everywhere.

Last Wednesday, the Nashoba District hosted a public forum at Bolton’s Florence Sawyer School to discuss how administration is working with law enforcement to keep students safe, and how district families can help. The discussion panel, put together by the district, included school administrators and law enforcement from Bolton and Lancaster. Stow school administration did not attend, but answered questions in separate discussions.

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Nashoba Budget Passes, with Cuts

By Ann Needle

The Nashoba School Committee passed the proposed 2013/14 budget last night, minus about $443,000 in cuts agreed upon before the vote. Also taking center stage was another heated discussion over whether to scrap the district’s school choice program, and a look at how Nashoba is tuning up school security.

At the Committee’s request, at the last meeting administration laid out several levels of cuts it could make to trim the $49.1 million proposed budget. These cuts were placed in four tiers. Trimming a half-percent (tier 1) would mean, among other changes, tapping another $50,000 from the district’s free cash and cutting a planned technology position. Heavier cuts would come in the next three tiers, including reductions in existing staff.

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