By Edward B. Colby/Dedham Transcript
GateHouse News Service
Posted Jan 08, 2010 @ 07:00 AM
DEDHAM —With a new year underway, the Dedham Transcript talked to people around town about their hopes and vision for 2010. Here is what we heard.
Tom Arria, Dedham High School athletic director
“My biggest hope, as you can imagine, is that the vote go through positive for us on Jan. 19, and that we start construction on a new facility here,” Arria said. “That’s my biggest hope for the future.”
In the special election later this month, Dedham voters will decide whether to approve the $3.1 million in bond funding the town would need to renovate the Stone Park athletic complex, including the design and construction of a synthetic turf field for multiple sports and a new, full-sized track.
Arria added that he hopes the athletic teams continue to compete at a high level, and that Dedham gets as many teams as possible in position to play in the state tournament.
Amy Haelsen, Dedham Square Circle executive director
Haelsen said her most important hope for 2010 “is that we secure the state (Public Works Economic Development Program) grant funding for the Dedham Square improvement project. The investment in the Square is long overdue. It’s been over 50 years since any public investment has been made in Dedham Square, and the time is now.”
Haelsen also hopes for development of the Keystone Lot, and that “residents continue to support the small, independently-owned businesses in our town. They’re the lifeblood of our community, and they’re the ones that give back the most to our community.”
“Our goal in investing in the Square is really to put Dedham Square on a level playing field with Legacy Place,” she added. “We feel really confident that we can coexist, but we need to invest in the Square to be successful.”
Leonard Shwom, owner of A New Gopen Optical on High Street
Shwom, who opened his prescription eyewear shop in the heart of Dedham Square in August 2008, said he hopes Dedham Square stays the course after the opening of Legacy Place.
“It’s healthy, it’s sound, and we just have to do our thing. Changing that, I think, would be the worst thing to do,” he said of the Square. “Don’t chase the hot setup. Just do your own thing.”
Martin Hanley, race director of the James Joyce Ramble, in Mocha Java
“For a good number of jobs to come back, and for people to start feeling a little bit more secure in the leadership we’ve picked for the country,” he said.
Hanley said there is too much bickering and pettiness between political parties nowadays. “We’ve got to pull together, and we’re just not pulling together as a country right now to effect positive change.”
Steve Coan, insurance agent from West Roxbury, getting a haircut at Cost Cutters at the Dedham Mall
“See gas prices go down,” said Coan, who does a lot of volunteering and drives for that. “If gas prices keep rising, you have to cut back on other things.”
Ernie, making a burger at Centre Deli
He predicted “people are going to be in a little bit of a better mood by this time next year.”
Noting that the recession actually began in 2007, Ernie said that if things are not better by a year from now, “You’re going to be in trouble, I’m going to be in trouble, we’re all going to be in trouble.”
“You got to have an optimistic look,” he said. “It’s like figuring out how the Patriots are going to win without Wes Welker.”
Michael Butler, chairman of the Selectmen
“My hope for 2010 is that Dedham’s residents will continue to show great pride in their neighborhoods,” he said, “support local businesses and contribute their time and talent to the many civic, religious, educational and youth groups that make the town such a wonderful place to live.”