By Dedham Square Circle
Sponsored by Needham Bank
Posted May 19, 2011
Welcome Back, Scoop Fans!
We did it! On Monday night, Town Meeting approved the funding for the Dedham Square Improvement Project, a comprehensive safety and streetscape project which will make much-needed and long overdue improvements to our historic downtown.
The Dedham Square Circle team has been working tirelessly for the last 6 years to bring this project to fruition, having led the quest for the $1.3 million state economic development grant to fund the project. The end result will a Square that will be safer, easier to navigate, and more beautiful to enjoy. These improvements will help the Square’s small businesses attract new customers and will provide a more welcoming environment for pedestrians and bikers. Commuters and visitors will benefit from improved traffic flow, increased parking and a Square that is finally accessible for people with physical disabilities.
Dedham Square Circle will continue to partner with the Town to plan for the start of construction next year and to ensure that the small businesses in the Square are not adversely impacted. This includes soliciting input from merchants on the construction schedule and reaching out to other communities who have undergone similar downtown projects to learn from their best practices. Although getting the project approved at Town Meeting was a huge step forward to turn these plans into a reality, our work has just begun!
We want to thank everyone who has supported this project since its inception including our DSC members, and the original contributors to our “Engineering the Future” campaign who helped to fund the engineering study of Dedham Square needed for the Town to apply for the state grant. They include Bob Schortmann /Schortmann Insurance, Friends of Dedham Civic Pride, Paul McMurtry /Dedham Community Theatre, Peter H. Reynolds, Needham Bank, Giorgio Petruzziello/Supreme Development, Frank Santo/Isabella, Peter Levangie/Wardle’s, Rob Naser/Garnett Realty Trust, Drs. Mary and Richard Scott and Roger and Michelle Marino. Without their generosity, this project would not have gotten off the ground.
We are also grateful to the residents and businesses who participated in our public input meetings to offer their ideas and suggestions on how improve the Square; to the countless friends of the Square who attended and spoke at public meetings, wrote letters of support, contacted their precinct representatives and came to town meeting to demonstrate their support; to State Rep. Paul McMutry for advocating on behalf of the project to the state; to Norfolk County Commissioners for their generous in-kind engineering services; to Town Administrator Bill Keegan and his dedicated staff, Asst. Town Administrator Nancy Baker, Economic Development Director Karen O’Connell, Director of Engineering Dave Field, Town Planner Rich McCarthy, DPW Director Joe Flanagan, Finance Director Mariellen Murphy and Members of the Board of Selectmen – Mike Butler, Sarah MacDonald, Paul Reynolds, Jim MacDonald and Carmen DelloIacono. It truly does take a village. Thank you all for investing in the future of Dedham Square, the heart and soul of our community. The best is yet to come!
Better Late than Never – The next time you see Mocha Java’s Linton Levy, wish him a happy belated birthday. The famous coffee barista celebrated his special day last week.
Creativity Center – Over 1,000 people from Dedham and surrounding towns came out for the first inaugural Dedham Open Studios last Sunday to browse original work by local artists. Over 50 artists showcased their work throughout Dedham Square at locations including the Dedham Community Theatre lobby, Mocha Java, Centre Deli, Paradise Café, The Dedham Exchange, Heart of the Square, nest, Dedham Square Country Store, Discover Music & Art, Maribu and The Blue Bunny. Another 40 artists set up shop at the Endicott Estate and in their home studios on Sunday. Dedham Square Circle was proud to be a sponsor of this wonderfully creative community-building event. Hats off to founder and organizer Jen Barsamian and her amazing group of volunteers for planning a spectacular event!
Warm Welcome – Please join us in welcoming another artist to the growing arts community in Dedham Square. Jason Bryant Parker, whose studio is on the second floor of the Wardle’s building, works as a storyboard artist for the children’s television series “CHUGGINGTON” which is now playing in the US on Disney's Playhouse Channel and around the world in 137 territories. You may have also seen his work in several of the murals throughout Newton Wellesley Hospital’s pediatric unit. Stop in to say hello and see some of his beautiful work . You can also view it online at www.wholeinthehead.com .
Big Countdown – Anticipation is building for the opening day of the fourth season of the Dedham Farmers Market, now less than a month away on June 15! Joining the market this year are some fabulous new specialty vendors including Swissbakers, a local bakery which specializes in European-style breads and pastries, John Crow Farm which will offer grass-fed beef, pasture-raised pork, lamb, goat and poultry and Dave’s Cape Cod Smokehouse which will sell smoked fish and meat. Also new this year are Burnin’ Love Sauces, featuring a variety of all-natural sauces for BBQ, meats, seafood and more, and Fastachi Nuts which will tempt you with their fresh roasted nuts and seeds. Returning to the market this year are Spring Brook Farm, Mac Arthur Farm, Freitas Farm, Neighborhood Farm, Lemon Thyme Farm, as well as Fior D’Italia, Clear Flour Bread, Foxboro Cheese Co. and Jordan’s Seafood. Mark your calendars and join in the hoopla for opening day. More details next issue!
Get in the Mood – The East Coast premiere of “Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer” the film based on Megan McDonald’s best-selling Judy Moody series which is illustrated by Dedhamite Peter H. Reynolds, will be at the Dedham Community Theatre on Saturday, June 4, at 9:30 a.m. Tickets are free by lottery. Lots of fun and festivities in store including a theatrical performance of the film at Fiddlehead Theatre and a parade. Visit www.dedhambluebunny.com for more details.
Square Resume – Did you know that long before managing the Deli After Dark, Matt Cawley worked at Mocha Java while in college and at Wardle’s while he was a student at Dedham High School? He even worked at the Registry of Deeds. Just another example of how it’s hip to be Square!