The East Forest Park Civic Association Meeting, on Wed., Dec. 11 at 6:30 PM in the Holy Cross Meeting Room will address serious concerns in our neighborhood presented by Deputy Chief, Bob McFarlin, Officer Jim Gormally, Senior Citizen Specialist, and the City’s Sector H Team. Crime Watch techniques will be stressed to make residents watchful, informed, and observant enabling quick, accurate information to the police, fostering safety in our neighborhood. Day and night vigilance on the part of residents and reporting any suspicious activity to the Spfld. Police will prevent crime in our area. Neighbors, home in the daytime, watching out for working neighbors and neighbors, who return and are more active in the evening, watching out for their neighbors will bring needed safety for everyone.
Come hear about Cathedral High School’s future at this month’s Meeting on Nov. 13th, at 6:30 PM in the Holy Cross Church Meeting Room at 221 Plumtree Rd.
Diocesan representatives and Cathedral Administration will be sharing their future plans with our residents.
A Catholic Communications Corporation Site Thursday October 10, 2013
Regional News / National News / World News / Calendar of Events
Update on Surrey Rd.
Oct 7, 2013
Diocesan, school officials begin planning for Cathedral High future
(Iobserve file photos)
SPRINGFIELD – In the month since the tornado damage insurance settlement was announced, renewed planning for the future of Cathedral High School has quietly begun on many avenues.
Following the Sept. 10 settlement announcement by Springfield Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell, conversations between diocesan officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, better known as FEMA, were advanced, as was architectural planning for a facility on the Surrey Road site.
This occurred, while plans to address the tuition endowment fund also were started.
“The settlement answered one very important question, but has now left us with many courses of action, which each have their challenges, which must be balanced and carefully coordinated,” said diocesan spokesperson, Mark E. Dupont.
The first obstacle the diocese has faced involves its previously announced plans to demolish parts of the Surrey Road campus that have been deemed unusable for the future. “That plan has been slowed down so as to ensure we follow all FEMA guidelines and don’t inadvertently and adversely impact our claim,” Dupont said.
The diocese is being guided in making its claims to FEMA by Witt and Associates, a company with experience in submitting applications for FEMA funds. It has advised the diocese to carefully follow steps which include historic reviews and open bidding procedures.
The process is further complicated by the current federal government shutdown which has impacted FEMA operations. A planned meeting with FEMA officials next week will not take place if the shutdown continues.
Diocesan finance officer William LaBroad is overseeing both the FEMA application process and structural review for the diocese. He told iobserve it is a careful balancing act.
“We are looking at our available dollars from the settlement, the potential additional dollars from FEMA, and the needs for a facility on Surrey Road, while carefully considering the different levels of potential FEMA funds depending on which course of action we undertake,” he said. FEMA offers different types of assistance depending on the scope of reconstruction.
LaBroad would not say how much was potentially available through FEMA, except to indicate the amount could be considerable and important to a successful outcome. He also emphasized that any plan has to take into account St. Michael’s Academy Middle School, which resided in a section of the Surrey Road facility.
Diocesan officials met with CBT Architects from Boston, the firm hired after the tornado, to restart a discussion on what options are available given the damage and academic needs.
“As you start to plan you realize the dollars go quickly as the basic educational needs are addressed, so we need to be smart about what to keep and renovate, and what to demolish and re-build,” LaBroad said.
The second, and equally important challenge, lies with the bishop’s intention to base a final rebuilding decision on the success of the Cathedral High School community to raise significant funds for a Cathedral Tuition Fund. This effort is being jointly managed by CHS development staff and diocesan staff.
“Bishop has made it clear that if the future of CHS is to be viable it will require a significant tuition endowment fund,” Dupont said.
At the settlement announcement press release, Bishop McDonnell put out a challenge to the CHS alumni, especially those who were educated at little or no cost, to pledge a current year’s tuition, $9,300, to this fund. He cited lagging endowment and the need to help more families as important aspects of ensuring the future of the school.
“You cannot have essentially a new building and not enough students to pay the overhead and expenses, it’s simply not a viable solution,” said Dupont. “We’ve heard from many CHS alums in the last two years regarding the need to keep this high school opened, so there is no reason this campaign should not be successful,” he said.
School officials already have heard from a small number of donors interested in making that pledge, and they are selecting a steering committee which will guide a formal campaign for later in the year.
“Within days we had promises from inside and outside the diocese, which is a positive sign that this tuition campaign can be successful,” Dupont said.
Since the June 1, 2011 tornado, Cathedral High School has been operating out of a temporary facility at the former Memorial School in Wilbraham, which has options through 2015. St. Michael’s Academy Middle School has been consolidated with the elementary grades at the former Holy Cross School on Eddywood Street, not far from the Surrey Road location.
Citing the uncertainty around the government shutdown and its impact on FEMA decisions, neither LaBroad nor Dupont would estimate a date when a decision could be expected, only saying everyone involved knows time is of the essence.
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2014 FALL Membership Drive (Dues are $10)
A. Slate of Board of Directors: (11 Members)
Darlene Acchione, Dick Acchione, Mike Broska, George Cartier, Paul Edwards, Bettie Hallen, Beth Hogan, Sally Markey, Frank Ryan, Shawn Sheehan, and Ellen Walmer
B. Slate of Officers:
President: Francis Ryan, Vice- President: Beth Hogan, Secretary: Sally Markey, Treasurer: Richard Acchione
TOPIC: Lighted Sign for Seventh Day Adventist Church, 1118 Sumner Ave. corner of Roosevelt Avenue
20th Rays of Hope Walk: Sunday Oct. 20
City Councilor, Ward 7, TIM ALLEN Updates
THESE ARE 2ND WED. OF THE MONTH, AT 6:30 PM
IN HOLY CROSS MEETING ROOM, 221 PLUMTREE RD.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Sep 10, 2013
Springfield Diocese, Catholic Mutual announce resolution of claims related to 2011 weather events
(Iobserve file photo)
SPRINGFIELD – The Springfield Diocese and its insurance carrier, Catholic Mutual, have issued the following announcement regarding
damages caused to diocesan properties by weather related events in 2011:
“Today, Tuesday Sept. 10, the Diocese of Springfield and Catholic Mutual are pleased to announce an amicable resolution of all claims for tornado damage to Cathedral High School (CHS), St. Michael’s Academy (SMA), including the pre-school and middle school facilities, and the St. Michael’s Priests Residence building. In addition, other claims relating to damage to property owned by the diocese, including the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and St. Jude Mission properties in Springfield have been resolved as part of this agreement.
“When experts for Catholic Mutual and the diocese did not agree on the cost to repair damage from the June 1, 2011 tornado to the CHS/SMA Middle School building and other properties, the parties agreed to submit their disagreement to a reference procedure outlined in Massachusetts law to resolve such disputes. That process began in September 2012 and concluded in July 2013.
“Under the terms of this Settlement Agreement, within 30 days of its execution, Catholic Mutual will make a payment of $40 million. This amount will be in addition to the $19.9 million previously advanced to the diocese by Catholic Mutual and another $2 million paid directly by Catholic Mutual to Service Master for their initial clean-up services at the site. The diocese will add an additional $200,000 from insurance reserves.
“This settlement brings all disputes regarding property damage to a final conclusion, without the possibility of further legal challenges.
“Mike Intrieri, president and CEO of Catholic Mutual, stated that he is happy that the parties reached a complete and amicable conclusion.
“‘We are happy that the process led to this complete settlement without the need for further legal proceedings. We wish the Diocese of Springfield well,’” he said.
“Mark Dupont, secretary for communicationsof the Diocese of Springfield stated the diocese is thankful to Catholic Mutual for its efforts to resolve this matter and pleased that the reference procedure, while lengthy, ultimately led to a complete resolution of all differences between the parties.
“The diocese has already announced plans for partial demolition at the Surrey Road site.”
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In the next two weeks, residents of East Forest Park are invited to stop by the EFP Branch Library on Island Pond Road on Mondays, Wednesday afternoons or evenings or Fridays to vote on one of two sites for a proposed library - either at the lot next to Dryden Memorial School on Surrey Road or at the Nathan Bill Park on Plumtree Road. Voting will also be available on Tuesday, August 6, at the EFP Branch Library table when the neighborhood celebrates this year’s National Night Out from 6-8 PM.
After the success of last year’s even, we expect this year’s National Night Out to be bigger and better than ever, and we are so excited that you will be joining us this year. We have been working on the planing since Jan and we have some great events planned!!
We are still in need of volunteers and really use some additional help that day. Please email or call if you can help out. Thank you to the group of helpers who have already volunteered and have been in contact with us!! It is greatly appreciated.
We are looking help from our volunteers in EFP to:
1. Helping distribute flyers prior to the event – spread the word! We will provide flyers.
2. Set up prior and take down after event ( tables, chairs, stage, food, drinks, ice, condiments, etc) Trash Removal will be supplied by the DPW
3. Helping serve the food, drinks, ice, etc - and monitor food lines
4. We will have a Musical Petting Zoo – we need volunteers to help with the kids and clean the musical instruments for the children to try out.
5. Help communicate with the sponsors, lead them to the table and set them up in the Community Section.
It is greatly appreciated and Looking forward to a great event! E.F.P. Rocks!!
Beth Hogan, Lisa Decker and Kim Lee,
EFP NNO Committee 2013
Citizen Scientists Wanted to Monitor Backyard Birds:
Neighborhood Nestwatch Citizen Scientist Opportunity for Families in the Pioneer Valley
Ever wonder if the robins nesting in your backyard are the same birds that nested there last year? If they were color banded then you would know. Amazingly, many birds nest in the same place year after year. By joining the Smithsonian’s Neighborhood Nestwatch Citizen Science project, you can help scientists answer important questions about the birds in your own backyard.
The Smithsonian Institution partnered with the US Forest Service in 2012 to expand their Washington DC based Neighborhood Nestwatch project to the Springfield, MA area. We are recruiting participants for the 2013 season. Participation includes a mentored experience in which scientists visit your backyard once every summer to band birds and help you find nests. We will teach you how to keep track of “your” banded birds, collect nesting data and monitor year-to-year survival for scientific study.
Urban and suburban sprawl has had devastating impacts for wildlife habitat, adversely impacting song birds and increasing public isolation from nature. The data we collect from your yard will help us understand how rapid land conversion impacts backyard bird populations. By monitoring eight common backyard birds (Gray Catbird, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, Black-capped Chickadee, Song Sparrow, Carolina Wren, House Wren and Northern Cardinal) Neighborhood Nestwatch will provide scientific data and raise public awareness to aid in the associated goals of conservation and responsible growth.
If you live in the Pioneer Valley area (e.g., Amherst/Chicopee/Holyoke/Northampton /Springfield and surrounding towns) and interested in participating in this rewarding citizen science project, then please email Susannah Lerman: email@example.com or call: 413-545-5447.
Susannah B. Lerman, Ph.D.
Post Doctoral Research Associate
USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station
Department of Environmental Conservation
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003
ph: 413 545 5447