TIDS ‘n BITS: Time capsules found; rescuers honored; Target building canopy; plastic bag ban revisited; hotel opposed


Back in 1990, when the town built the sprawling, wooden Beaver Brook Playground, five time capsules were buried on the site — one from each of the then-four elementary schools (Center, North, Woodsdale, and Beaver Brook) and one larger, townwide capsule. However, they were later moved from the original spot near the playground’s main entrance to a new location — but the exact location had grown fuzzy over the past 32 years. Contractors unearthed them this week while razing the wooden structure. (For the record, they were located in the ground between the large tire swing and the pump house) The capsules, which were made from what appears to be heavy-duty PVC, seem to have held up well — the only visible damage was caused by the excavator that stumbled upon them. Recreation Director Kelly Johnson said the Dyer Memorial Library provided a general accounting of what was placed in the capsules. She said the department is working on plans for a public unveiling soon. The old playground came down fairly quickly. All that’s left is large, sorted piles of pressure treated lumber, wood support beams, and well-used tires (see photos below). A new Beaver Brook Playground will be installed in the coming weeks.

Time capsules from 1990 found during the razing of the Beaver Brook Playground


Deputy Fire Chief Jack Glynn described it as the phone call no parent wants to hear: a 2 year old boy had been found at the bottom of a swimming pool. Thanks to a CPR-trained neighbor and fast reaction from the town’s first responders, the boy is alive and healthy.

Glynn, the Board of Selectmen, and Rep. Alyson Sullivan on Monday night honored those involved in the Aug. 15 rescue, including Savennah Mendez-Rodrigues, a 19-year-old neighbor who was home studying and sprang to action to help save the boy.

“That gave us a chance, it made a difference,” Glynn said about Mendez-Rodrigues’ resuscitation efforts.

Glynn and Sullivan also recognized the paramedics on duty that raced to the scene (Mike Concannon, Andrew Macedo, Capt. Brian Fogg, Anthony Conso, Ken Wright, Shawn Hardy, and Capt. Jarrod Driscoll), dispatchers from the Holbrook Regional Emergency Communications Center who kept the family on the phone until the fire department arrived, as well as Police Sgt. Aanton Lynch, who responded to the chaotic scene and rushed the distraught family to South Shore Hospital so they could be with the boy.

Glynn said the boy’s family chose not to attend the ceremony so they wouldn’t have to relive it, but that they were grateful to everyone who helped.

“[The boy] is doing great. He’s running around. He was home two weeks later,” said Glynn.

Fire Chief John Nuttall, who was out of town that day, in turn recognized Glynn who had command of the scene.    


Retail shopping patterns have changed, with more shoppers preferring to order their goods and wares online, pick them up in-person, and never actually stepping foot in the store. That’s why Target will be soon building a 24-car pickup area at its Centre Avenue location that will allow employees to hustle orders out to awaiting customers. The Planning Board on Monday gave the retail giant permission to build a 12-foot canopy that will provide cover for many of those 24 spaces. The new expanded pickup area will displace 36 existing parking spaces and the existing spaces currently reserved for pickups will be returned to general use. Planning Board members noted that the store’s lot still contains an excess of parking spots, even on high volume shopping days. A representative for the company said it will take between 3-6 months to fully build out the new pickup zone.    

Conceptual design of what the new pickup zone will look like at the Abington Target [Target image]
The new designated pickup zone would take up most of the middle parking aisle in the existing Target parking lot [Target Image]


Abington Town Meeting drew attention in 2019 when it voted to ban single-use plastic bags. However, Town Meeting will be asked later this month to reconsider its vote, based on rising trash disposal costs and new concerns that common alternatives are actually worse for the environment. Health Agent Chris Schultz said the two most common alternatives to the flimsy plastic bags — paper bags and heavier-duty plastic bags — weigh more and add to the town’s trash and recycling tonnage numbers. Analyses also show that manufacturing both of those alternatives leaves a bigger carbon footprint than the thin plastic bags, Schultz said. “The health department is not saying ‘Let’s all use plastic bags, they’re wonderful.’ We’re saying it’s costly and there’s a better way to go about this problem,” he said.

Shortly after Abington Town Meeting passed its ban, the South Shore Recycling Collaborative came out opposed to standalone plastic bag bans, and instead recommended that towns ban both single-use plastic and paper bags,  or require that paper bags be made from 100% recycled materials. The Board of Health has not yet taken a position on the proposed ban reversal; that discussion is expected to happen at its next meeting on Monday.


The Planning Board voted Monday night to urge the Southfield Redevelopment Authority to reject a 99-room hotel proposed for the corner of Route 18 and Shea Memorial Drive. The hotel, which would be part of the Marriott chain, would replace the green, landscaped entranceway with pavement, parking, and a 5-story structure right along Route 18. The Abington Planning Board does not have direct jurisdiction over the project, which is located in Weymouth, but it is able to provide input. The board recommended that the redevelopment authority relocate the project elsewhere on the site, even further up on Shea Memorial Drive, and instead preserve the property’s longtime signature entranceway. 

A rendering of the 99-unit hotel proposed for the corner of Rt. 18 and Shea Memorial Drive. 

Additional photos of Beaver Brook Playground deconstruction

[DISCLOSURE: The author is a member of the Abington Planning Board. His wife is a member of the Beaver Brook Playground Committee.]

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