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Hingham, Duxbury end in a 1-1 tie in boys soccer

Hingham and Duxbury played to a 1-1 tie Wednesday afternoon at Hingham High School.

Both teams went scoreless in the opening half. Hingham and Duxbury both earned decent looks at goals, but the score was 0-0 at the end of the first half.

The Boston Marathon has been canceled

Breaking News: Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said the city and Boston Athletic Association will work to hold the event virtually. Initially the race was moved from Patriots’ Day to September 14 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but on Thursday the event was canceled.

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School Committee Votes In Favor Of Selectmen’s FY21 Financial Management Plan Amid COVID-19 Concerns

On Monday afternoon after a brief discussion, the School Committee voted to adopt a financial proposal that was presented to them by the Board of Selectmen.  When a roll call of the seven members was taken, six School Committee members voted in favor.  Libby Lewiecki abstained from voting.  One change in wording suggested by Liza O’Reilly was incorporated into the FY21 Fiscal Management Plan.  The Selectmen were also present at the meeting.

Previously the Selectmen had identified two options to address an anticipated budget deficit due to the COVID-19 crisis.  One was to open the FY21 budget and make cuts.  Towns like Brookline and Natick have made budget cuts in conjunction with furloughing staff.  Another was to identify amounts within the $3.3 million fund balance (the Town’s “savings”) that could be used to offset the projected decline in revenues.  The Selectmen chose to explore the latter.  When the idea was brought before one of the Town’s financial advisors, she suggested incorporating financial management tools into the plan.

School Committee Chair Michelle Ayer described the tools that would be implemented.  “If revenues begin to decline,” she said, “these are the levers we will pull.”  The first, known as “Tier One,” ensures that departments focus on essential hires and essential capital projects only.  Departments will also be expected to manage non-personnel operating expenses.  Monthly forecast meetings and quarterly reports to the Advisory Committee will be set up to keep a running tab on progress.  A change of more than $500,000 would trigger “Tier Two.”  At that point, the School Department and the Town would share any reduction in costs with 60% of the cuts coming from the school budget and the remaining 40% coming from the municipal budget.

When describing the impact of adopting this approach, Selectman Mary Power summed it by saying that essentially the Selectmen and the School Committee intend to go before Town Meeting on June 22nd with a message for voters.  “We are saying if you give us 100% of our budgets and the revenue picture worsens,” she said, “we will give some of that money back.  We are telling Town Meeting to trust us.”

The Massachusetts Municipal Association announced on Friday that they expect the impact of COVID-19 to extend well beyond FY21.  “We are going to be dealing with the financial impact of this for several years,” said Mary.

Board of Selectmen Chair Karen Johnson said that the plan will be made available to residents on the Town website on Tuesday.

The School Committee also set up a finance subcommittee “to help John Ferris as he works through all things budget-related,” said Michelle Ayer.  She appointed Nes Correnti, Kerry Ni and Liza O’Reilly to the subcommittee and assigned Nes Correnti the chairmanship.

Hingham School Committee:

Michelle Ayer, Chair: mayer@hinghamschools.org
Carlos DaSilva, Vice Chair: cdasilva@hinghamschools.org
Kerry Ni, Secretary: kni@hinghamschools.org
Ed Schreier: eschreier@hinghamschools.org
Libby Lewiecki: llewiecki@hinghamschools.org
Liza O’Reilly: loreilly@hinghamschools.org
Nes Correnti: ncorrenti@hinghamschools.org


Kristen Arute can be reached at kristen@hinghamcurrent.com.

Mother’s Day at La Petite Maison

Nan Walsh has been the owner of La Petite Maison at 142 North Street for more than 20 years.  The store was originally half its size.  Then in 2009 they expanded and took over the corner space.  Nan loves being downtown.  “What we have is so special,” she said. “Having a real downtown that is so vibrant and precious.”

The shop sells a lot of soaps and fragrances.  When the pandemic started, Nan got creative and put together the “quarantine survival kit.”  It included an eye mask, a scented candle, a large bottle of liquid hand soap, a box of chocolates and hand cream, and it sold out very quickly.  “People were ordering it and sending it to their friends,” she said.

For Mothers Day, she has done something similar with a diffuser, soap and hand cream.  The store sells a lot of lingerie for Mother’s Day and currently has a sale where all sleepwear, robes and slippers are 25% off.  “Everyone wants to stay in their pajamas these days,” she quipped.  “That has been the gift of choice.”  A beautiful line of jewelry is also very popular.  “Statement pieces,” Nan calls them.

Many of the shop owners in the Square are part of the Hingham Downtown Business Association (HDA), a self-governing group that is “dedicated to making our downtown community a better place to do business, to work, to live and to visit.”  Nan is not only a member of the HDA, but she also serves on the Executive Board.  They have had to be mindful of the guidelines coming forward from the Governor’s mandates and have been working closely with Hingham’s Department of Public Health.

These mandates have forced the closure of stores like La Petite Maison, which means Nan has had to make modifications to the way she does business.  “I’ve put as much as I can in the windows,” she said. “That has really worked out well because people are out and about doing window shopping.”  When she is at the shop, she sees people walking by all the time “doing their social distancing with their masks on.”  People have also reached out and asked her to come up with groupings of things, to help choose the perfect gift.  “I am happy to do it,” said Nan. “To help them work within a budget.”

In addition to shipping orders, the store is also offering curbside pickup.  “I have a basket, so when I know a customer is coming the bag is placed in the basket with their name on it,” said Nan. “I would say 90% of people are doing curbside pickup.”  She is also doing local Hingham delivery.  Signs posted on the doors tell customers how to contact her via phone and email, and she is also getting the word out through social media.

Nan thinks that some of these new ways of doing business just might stay after the store is open again.  She has noticed that some people like the convenience of being able to place an order over the phone or by email and pick it up at their convenience.  “I can see that going forward,” she said, “but I also think there are other people who want to come out and visit the stores again.

Customers frequently tell her that they miss coming in and looking around, and they have been doing what they can to keep one of their favorite shops afloat, like purchasing gift certificates.  “My customers have been so loyal,” said Nan. “I am very happy and overwhelmed with the generosity of the whole community, and I’m so pleased that they’re continuing to support local businesses.  The community understands just how precious the downtown is.”

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Additional $4M to improve infrastructure on Route 3A approved by State

At the Harbor Development Committee meeting on Wednesday night, Route 3A Task Force member Deirdre Anderson announced that the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) approved a second round of funding for the Route 3A/Summer Street Rotary Project as part of its Transportation Improvement Plan for 2021-25.

Mother’s Day at La Petite Maison

Nan Walsh has been the owner of La Petite Maison at 142 North Street for more than 20 years. The store was originally half its size. Then in 2009 they expanded and took over the corner space. Nan loves being downtown. “What we have is so special,” she said. “Having a real downtown that is so vibrant and precious.” The shop sells a lot of soaps and fragrances.  When the pandemic started, Nan got creative and put together the “quarantine survival kit.”