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516WVN #407: Conroy in U.S. Senate race

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  • waylandvoters1
    Jun 6, 2011
      Dear Wayland Voter,

      State Rep. Tom Conroy of Wayland has become the sixth Democrat seeking the nomination to oppose Republican Scott Brown for the U.S. Senate in 2012.

      Brown represented Wayland in the state Senate before defeating Attorney General Martha Coakley in a special election in 2010 to fill the seat vacated by the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. Before the Senate campaign he, like Conroy, was little known outside the Legislature and his own district.

      The 2012 race will attract national attention and financial support. Democrats believe that Brown, though popular, is vulnerable as a Blue State senator attempting to appeal to a broad spectrum of voters.

      Conroy, a risk management consultant and former U.S. Senate staffer, has already attacked Brown's economic positions and called attention to Brown's false claim that he had seen official photos of Osama bin Laden's corpse during a briefing. Conroy told State House News Service that the bin Laden gaffe was "another example of Scott Brown being too cavalier, on the edge of recklessness."

      The six candidates criticized Brown in speeches over the weekend at the state Democratic convention in Lowell.

      "Anyone here happy with Ted Kennedy's replacement?" Conroy asked the delegates. "So, I ask you, do you want to win back that seat for the people of Massachusetts?"

      Of the six, the best known is probably Alan Khazei, City Year co-founder and an unsuccessful U.S. Senate candidate in 2010. The others are Newton Mayor Setti Warren, activist Bob Massie, immigration lawyer Marisa DeFranco and Herb Robinson, a political newcomer from Newton. Conroy has the most state legislative experience of the six.

      Partly because declared Democratic candidates lack statewide name recognition, the Senate race has been making national news. Democratic political veterans including U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano and Warren Tolman have been mentioned, but haven't declared themselves. National Democratic figures have floated the candidacy of Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard Law professor now struggling against Republican opposition to become the first head of the the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She hasn't commented on the overture.

      Conroy has represented the 13th Middlesex District (Wayland, Sudbury and Lincoln) since 2006, when he unseated Republican Sue Pope, now a Wayland selectman.

      -- Michael Short

      RIVERFEST JUNE 11, 12

      In 1999, Congress designated 29 miles of the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord rivers as Wild and Scenic, in recognition of their "outstandingly remarkable" values for scenery, ecology, recreation, history, and literature. Not only do these rivers provide an outstanding scenic and recreational resource less than 20 miles from Boston, but they were the locale for the start of the American Revolution and the playground of the authors of classical American literature. The River Stewardship Council was formed under the National Park Service to advocate for and protect the rivers.

      RiverFest is an annual celebration of these rivers. It brings together more than 40 organizations sponsoring events in 11 communities from Framingham to Lowell . The main Wayland event is called the History Paddle. Brian Donahue, professor of history at Brandeis and expert on the history of the Sudbury and Concord Rivers, will meet paddlers with canoes or kayaks on Saturday, June 11 at 9 a.m. at the new Route 20 boat launch, built with the sponsorship of the River Stewardship Council. The fleet will paddle to Sherman 's Bridge (Sherman 's Bridge Road ) through the wide meadows that prompted the founding of Wayland and Sudbury with frequent stops to hear stories of a fascinating and sometimes lurid past.

      The RiverFest website at
      lists all events and their location. Or check Facebook ("SuAsCo RiverFest"). On the Sudbury side of the river, on Saturday from 10 to 2, Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge staff and Mass Wildlife's Angler Expert Jim Lagacy will teach children and adults how to fly-cast, spin-cast, and even tie their own fly. All equipment will be provided. On Sunday, at Sudbury Valley Trustees' Wolbach Farm, participants can learn about protecting Blanding's turtles (noon), who's hiding in vernal pools (1 p.m.), and snakes in New England and the world (2:30). Local artist and teacher Cecilia Sharma will display her students' watercolors inspired by the local rivers in the barn from 12 to 5.

      All events are free and open to the public.

      -- Mary Antes and Tom Sciacca


      Several Wayland residents have come forward, with approval from the Board of Public Works, to offer a "George Russell Appreciation Day" at the transfer station on Saturday, June 11.

      It is an opportunity for the community to thank George for all he has done to maintain the town's popular facility. A journal book will be available for customers to sign, write personal comments and wish him well on his retirement. A generous donation from Boos-Chan accountants (Jerry Boos and Paul Chan, Wayland) is making this event possible.

      On your way to or from the Sudbury River to celebrate RiverFest on Saturday, stop by the former landfill for a cookie and a chance to thank George.


      Hannah Williams Site Plan hearing continues Tuesday June 7 at the Planning Board at 7:35 p.m.

      Wastewater Management District Committee's rate setting hearing is Wednesday, June 8:

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      Wayland Voters Network
      Michael Short, Editor