WEEK AHEAD: Drought continues; storm pipes pass test; congrats to Rep. Sullivan; Verizon/Comcast complaints; fall sports tryout sked; Rt. 18 closure; meeting schedule

Sure, Abington may have received a couple rain showers over the past week, but we still remain deep in the jaws of a significant drought. Again.

An outdoor water ban remains in effect. No filling swimming pools. No grass watering. No slip ‘n slides. The drought combined with the oppressive Deep South-style heat means the local water bodies are just evaporating away. A quick look at Island Grove Pond or Cleveland Pond tells you that.

Of course, looking at Island Grove Pond isn’t pleasant these days. The pond’s persistant weed infestation has gotten worse making it even more difficult for fishermen and kayakers.

What we do know is that pollution isn’t a factor. The town is now required by federal and state stormwater pollution prevention regulations to semi-regularly test every outfall pipe in town for potential illegal tie-ins and dumping by residents and businesses. These pipes feed into the town’s network of rivers, streams, ponds, wetlands, and retention basins. DPW finished their testing this spring and the results were actually pretty good.

“None of the 262 outfalls where flow was found met the General Permit criteria that would categorize the outfalls as highly likely to contain illicit discharges from sanitary sources,” according to DPW Director John Stone.

The Island Grove Pond culprit is instead a nasty little invasive species called fanwort. It spreads aggressively and crowds out native plants. The pond is scheduled to be treated with an EPA-approved herbicide to kill off the fanwort in the near future


Beaver Brook Elementary School Assistant Principal Julia Thompson has been named the school’s interim principal while a search takes place to find a permanent school leader.

“I am proud to have the opportunity to lead our school as the new Interim Principal of BBES,” Thompson wrote in an email to families. “During my last three years as Assistant Principal, I have been fortunate to make many connections with our students and families and look forward to continuing those collaborative relationships this school year. I am excited to welcome our students and families back to school in the coming weeks as we plan and prepare for the most exciting time of the year.”

Dr. Christopher Basta, the former principal, has been tapped to become Abington’s new director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Thompson has been assistant principal since July 2019. She is a former second grade teacher and curriculum director for grades Pre-K-4 for the Bourne Public Schools. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, a Post Baccalaureate in Elementary Education from Bridgewater State University, as well as a Master of Education from Lesley University. 


Abington News offers best wishes to the town’s state representative, Alyson Sullivan, who got married this past weekend. Sullivan, who is finishing up her second term representing the 7th Plymouth District, tied the knot with George Almeida during a ceremony at the Omni Mount Washington Resort on Saturday.


The town committee charged with reviewing Abington’s contract with Verizon wants to hear from residents about problems with service. The town’s 15-year contract with Verizon expires next year and part of the renewal process includes the Cable Advisory Committee holding a public meeting to collect information about service quality. This doesn’t mean problems with billing or a router issue at an indivudal home but rather if there are entire sections of town not receiving the expected level of telephone, cable, and internet service. The meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday, August 9, at 7 p.m.


Turns out MassDOT has not forgotten about the Route 18 construction project, which is nearly done except for the new bridge going over the commuter rail tracks. The state will be closing Route 18 from Pond Street in South Weymouth to Pond Street in South Weymouth (the road curls back around!) for two weekends coming up. The first closures take place Friday, August 12 at 11:30 p.m., until Saturday, August 13 at 4 a.m., and then again from 10:30 p.m., on Sunday, August 14 through 4 a.m., on Monday, August 15. The same schedule will be in place the following weekend as well. During both weekends, vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle travel will be detoured using Pond Street (because it curls back around). MassDOT did not respond to an inquiry from Abington News asking what type of work will be taking place during the overnight closures, including if this involves final paving work.


The owner of a commercial building on Rt. 18 is asking permission to convert it into three housing units. Michael Ahern, who bought 700 Bedford Street in 2020, will appear before the Abington Zoning Board of Appeals Thursday night to ask for the special permit required to do so. Each unit would have two bedrooms, according to submitted plans. The property most recently was known as the longtime headquarters for the landscaping and engineering company led by Russell Wheatley. The board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Town Hall.


In another sign that the 2022-23 school year is fast approaching, the Abington High School Athletic Department has released its tryout scheduled for fall sports. Here it is.

SportHead CoachEmailFirst Day of Practice/Tryouts
FootballJim Kelliherabingtonhighfootball@gmail.com  August 19
CheeringKristin Gerhartkristingerhart@abingtonps.orgAugust 22
GolfTim Hilltimhill@abingtonps.orgAugust 19
Cross CountryMatt Campbellmatthewcampbell@abingtonps.orgAugust 22
Girls SoccerKate Caseykatecasey@abingtonps.orgAugust 22
Boys SoccerBrian Clausbrianclaus@abingtonps.org  August 22
Girls VolleyballJudy Hamiltonjudyhamilton@abingtonps.orgAugust 22

In addition, there will be a mandatory meeting for all athletes and parents on Wednesday, Aug. 24 at 6:30 p.m., in the AHS Auditorium. Meetings with the individual sport coaches will be held later.

The cost to play high school sports is $175, with payment due by the first game. In order to be eligible for fall sports students must have earned 25 credits last school year and passed 5 classes in Term 4

Fall athletic schedules are available online: https://arbiterlive.com/Teams?entityId=51



Griffin Dairy Farm Committee, 5:30 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes reports from the project manager and community gardens manager, as well an update on the new well.


Conservation Commission, 6:30 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes the 40B proposed for 0 Summer Street, 0 Hancock Street, McCue Circle, and 500 Chestnut Street.

Affordable Housing Trust Fund, 6:30 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes discussions with Habitat for Humanity, the town’s Master Plan, the Center School re-use plan, and accessory dwelling units/inclusionary zoning.

Cable Advisory Committee, 7 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes hearing any citizen complaints or comments on Verizon or Comcast cable service.


Zoning Board of Appeals, 7 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes hearings regarding 121 Highland Road, 1215 Bedford Street, 10 McCue Circle, 762/770 Washington Street, 402 Groveland Street, 4 Bayberry Road, and 700 Bedford Street.

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