The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of September 26 to October 3, 2019

Welcome to the New Winchendon Courier!

Burton Gould Jr. Honored for Service to Winchendon Housing Authority with Dedication of Hyde Park Gazebo

Dozens of town officials, residents and two legislators assembled at Winchendon's Hyde Park on Saturday morning to dedicate the new Hyde Park gazebo in honor of long-time Winchendon Housing Authority Board member Burton Gould Jr.

As Gould's brother David and son Jeff looked on, Gould was presented with a certificate of recognition from the Senate of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by state Senator Anne Gobi. A commemorative stone marker next to the attractive gazebo was unveiled as attendees applauded.

Gould was first appointed to the Housing Authority Board in 1962 by former Winchendon Selectman Donald E. Duplease, who was in attendance at the dedication to shake Gould's hand. Gould has been serving on the WHA Board ever since, nearly 60 years.

Over that time, WHA has grown to serve the entire community. It owns and manages more than 300 units of housing in town, and has helped "whole generations" of families, including seniors and disabled persons. WHA receives federal funding from Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and state support from the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Thanks in part to state Representative Jon Zlotnik and state Senator Anne Gobi, state housing funds have recently been increased by some $8 million, the largest increase in nine years.

David Connor

David Connor and the new gazebo

Burt Gould

Burton Gould praises the WHA team

Jon Zlotnik, Anne Gobi and David Connor

Rep. Jon Zlotnik, Sen. Anne Gobi and David Connor speak

WHA Executive Director David Connor praised PowerOptions, a non-profit consortium which funded construction of the gazebo through a $10,000 grant. Connor described how PowerOptions assisted WHA in negotiating energy prices after energy companies were deregulated in the 1990s. Because of PowerOptions, 80 percent of the electricity used by WHA facilities is "green energy" produced by solar.

Meg Lusardi, Executive Vice President of PowerOptions, described how WHA's grant application "rose to the top." The gazebo, similar to that at the Ipswich housing center, is there for every resident to use and enjoy. Lusardi said that PowerOptions offered the grant to mark their 20th anniversary working with non-profits, and they received more than 100 applications.

Winchendon Town Manager Keith Hickey, Senator Anne Gobi and Representative Jon Zlotnik spoke brief words of appreciation for Gould's long service to the community, and for WHA. Gould himself thanked the staff and Board members of WHA for everything they've done and continue to do for the town of Winchendon.

Following the ceremonies, attendees were invited to the Hyde Park Community Room for refreshments.

Gazebo Plaque Keith Hickey, Anne Gobi, Burton Gould and Jon Zlotnik
Commemorative marker at the gazebo
Town Manager Keith Hickey, Sen. Anne Gobi, Burton Gould and Rep. Jon Zlotnik

Winchendon Fall Town Meeting set for Monday, October 28

Fall Special Town Meeting will convene on Monday, October 28 at 7:00 p.m. in the Murdock Middle/High School Auditorium. 3 Memorial Dr., Winchendon.

The warrant and an accompanying Powerpoint presentation have been posted to the Town of Winchendon website and may be viewed online or downloaded at these links:

Warrant (PDF)

Presentation (PDF)

The Warrant includes twenty articles.

The Courier will be discussing some of the proposed articles in more depth as we gather additional information. In the meantime, we urge readers to look at the warrant and presentation slides.

No Vaping in Winchendon!

As reported in The Gardner News, the Winchendon Board of Health has been unusually responsive to the September 24 banning of "vaping" products in Massachusetts by Governor Charles Baker.

Winchendon Health Agent James Abare immediately called the nine Winchendon businesses that are licensed to sell tobacco products and informed them that the products must be removed from sale. Board of Health members visited businesses, including Cumberland Farms, to verify that they were in compliance. Most towns in the Commonwealth are lagging far behind Winchendon in reacting to the ban.

"I am proud of our board for being very proactive and voting down the request for the creation of a tobacco license to create a vape shop” in Winchendon, Board of Health member Keith Kent told the Gardner News, referring to a vote at the Board's November 5, 2018 meeting (PDF).

The state-wide ban remains in effect for four months, until January 25, 2020.

Vaping is an activity that utilizes a battery-powered device to deliver a psychoactive substance as an inhaled hot vapor or mist. E-cigarettes or tobacco vaping devices deliver nicotine, the addictive component of tobacco. Nicotine is more physiologically addictive than cocaine and so toxic, gardeners know it as one of the most effective pesticides available. Some smokers have switched to e-cigarettes as a way of cutting down on smoking, similar to using a nicotine patch. Marijuana devices deliver the active component of marijuana, THC. THC can help manage pain and anxiety, and marijuana vaping devices are sometimes used by patients for medical reasons.

Vaping has been controversial since it was introduced; there have been serious accidents with defective devices overheating or exploding. In the past year, a number of deaths have been linked to vaping products that apparently were contaminated. An unexplained sharp increase in vaping-related deaths and illnesses has been reported in the last month. Concern over these led to Governor Baker's ban.

Stone-Ladeau Funeral Home

Winchendon Subway