WEEK AHEAD: Villa to be honored, possible ban on door-to-door sales, rising COVID-19 numbers

For 75 years Martin’s Restaurant has been a North Abington staple. Once predominantly a bakery, it’s more of a restaurant these days, but it remains a key thread in the fabric of the community — particularly because of its owner, Fred Villa, who for years has quietly supported local causes. Earlier this year, for example, in the middle of the initial COVID-19 lockdown, Villa donated 40 breakfast sandwiches to senior housing residents.

“You never have to ask him twice. He’s always willing to put a good foot forward and help out,” said Council on Aging Director Suzanne Djusberg. “He’s really an amazing guy.”

Villa’s years of work will be recognized Monday night when the Board of Selectmen name him one of “Abington’s Best” — an award given out to those who help make this a great town (Editor’s Fact Check: Yes, Abington is a great town). Past recipients include Doug Ulwick, the Rev. Kristy Coburn, Billy Vegnani, the Abington Lions Club, Arky Vaughan, Jane Phillips, and Tom Lind. 

One of the Town Hall plaques honoring “Abington’s Best”

The selectmen’s meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. tonight, and will be broadcast live on Abington’s Community Access & Media’s government cable access channel (Comcast Ch. 15/ Verizon Ch. 24)

The board will also discuss possibly ordering a moratorium on door-to-door solicitations while a public health emergency remains in effect. Selectmen Chairman Tim Chapin said the board has received a couple complaints about the wisdom of allowing salespeople to knock on multiple doors every day, while people are being told to limit visitations with friends and family. Under current policy, solicitors need to be permitted through the Abington Police Department.  

COVID-19 UPDATE

Currently 50 Abington residents are in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19, and Health Agent Marty Golightly expects that number to rise in the days to come. The number had dropped to 25 last week, but spread among family members has pushed the total back up. And with Thanksgiving now four days in the past, Golightly said he’s expecting the numbers to climb. 

Contrary to conventional wisdom in some circles, the pandemic did not end the day after the election — in fact it has gotten significantly worse. Nationally, the country is experiencing a massive second (or third) wave of the virus. The 7-day average for new cases is more than 170,000, which is several multiples higher than the rate from earlier this spring. More than 89,000 people are currently hospitalized (also a record). And just last week, 2,300 deaths were reported in one day, which wasn’t a record, but still sad. 

Multiple vaccines appear on track to be distributed in the coming months, however, there’s a lot of time between now and then for people to make poor choices that puts the health of others at risk. 

“Stay at home if you don’t have to leave the house. And please stay at home when you’re sick or when you’ve been asked to quarantine. For some reason that’s still an issue,” Golightly said. “If you have any symptoms of any kind, stay at hoe and get a test. You don’t have to have a 108 degree fever … The common cold is not common this year.”

MEETINGS

MONDAY

Board of Selectmen, 6:30 p.m., town hall. Agenda includes naming Fred Villa Abington’s Best, discussing a moratorium on door-to-door solicitors, and making appointments to the Griffin Dairy Committee and Conservation Commission.

TUESDAY

Griffin Dairy Committee, 5:30 p.m., senior center. Agenda includes discussions around a well,  and a fence behind the community gardens.

WEDNESDAYAssessors, 11 a.m., town hall. Age

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