The week starts much different than last week.
Instead of unseasonably warm, sunny weather, temperatures have dropped and a Nor’Easter will swirl above us for the next 72 hours (more below).
More importantly, last week started without the knowledge Abington was about to become a bit player in an interstate tragedy.
A multi-state search party descended on the town Friday after evidence emerged that a missing 5 year old New Hampshire boy may have been buried in the woods off Chestnut Street. Plymouth County DA Tim Cruz confirmed Saturday that the worst had happened, and Abington’s northwest corner had now non-sensiclly become a crime scene.
There’s still so many unanswered questions: What happened to this little boy? How could a mother of six decide she didn’t need to tell people something happened to her child (allegedly)? And why was Abington chosen as a grave site?
Abington Police Chief David Del Papa – in just his third week on the job – said neither the boy’s mother or her boyfriend are known to local authorities. Social media sleuths haven’t come up with connections between the couple and this town. So again, why Abington? Frankly, this town has its own history of heart-wrenching tragedies to wrestle with going back a couple decades – we don’t need anybody else adding to our collective load.
Abington is a community of caregivers and it undoubtedly pains so many of us that no care could be given to this child. That we didn’t even know there was a child who needed our care.
It may be weeks or even months before the autopsy results come back and the investigation unravels what happened. Having those answers in hand won’t bring the boy back. But understanding the Why may help the healing and stop it from happening again.
Storm moves in tonight
For mental and spiritual reasons, this week’s big storm may be welcomed. Rain and water carries all sorts of symbolism: cleansing, absolution, rebirth, balance.
Like Longfellow wrote:
Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.
19th Century poetry may not help if Abington indeed receives 3+ inches of rain and 55+ mph gusts between now and Wednesday evening. With many trees still full of leaves, there’s a chance things could get messy over the next couple days. Town DPW crews have been out and about cleaning out storm drains in the past couple weeks. But please ensure the drain grates are clear of debris – otherwise the empty storm basins won’t be good for much.
Town committees to receive training
Town manager Scott Lambiase is expected to update Selectmen Monday night on his efforts to provide additional training and support for members of town committees. The recent controversy involving the Conservation Commission brought to the forefront the lack of uniform training and policies offered to the more than 100 people who serve on public boards. Lambiase, who is a former selectman and finance committee member in his hometown of Whitman, is finalizing a handbook of town policies for all committee members. He has also scheduled an Open Meeting Law training session on Nov. 16th for all elected and appointed committee members.
SEPAC hosting education session on students rights
The Abington Special Education Parents’ Advisory Council (SEPAC) is hosting a meeting to help parents understand what rights their students have. The presentation is entitled “Basic Rights: Evaluation and Eligibility” and it will be led by the Federation for Children with Special Needs. The session is next Tuesday, Nov. 2, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. It will be hosted both at the Abington Middle/High School Library, as well as virtually on Zoom. Login information will be e-mailed to registered attendees. The link to register is:
Board of Selectmen, 6:30 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes appointments to the board of health and conservation commission, and discussions about redrawn precinct maps and a possible donation of land off Linwood Street.
Board of Health, 6:45 p.m., Town Hall. Only agenda item is a joint meeting with the Board of Selectmen to appoint a new board member.
Affordable Housing Trust, 6 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes a discussion ainge hiring a consultant to examine housing opportunities, a first-time home buyers grant program, and CPA funding requests.
Community Preservation Act Committee, 7 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes a review of submitted projects.
School Committee, 7 p.m., Senior Center. Agenda includes reports from department directors.