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To the Editor,
This letter is in response to the components of a recent letter to the editor that addressed the governance and policies of the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant (WMLP). In that letter, the author stated that “Our Municipal Light Plant has been taken over by special interest groups” who are not operating in the best economic interest of the Town. Obviously, we completely disagree.
The WMLP is owned by the Town of Wellesley. Management reports to a Board consisting of the three members of the Board of Public Works who are selected in the Town elections, and two members who are appointed by the Select Board. By statute the Board has a fiduciary responsibility to operate the business for the benefit of the rate payers.
The WMLP is guided by its core principles and mission statement to provide safe, reliable, economic electric power in a sustainable and environmentally supportive manner. We believe that the environmentally beneficial programs that we pursue are not only beneficial to the world’s ecosystem, they are, flat out, good business. The balance of this letter will address some of those programs.
Beneficial Electrification – It is a prudent business strategy for our WMLP to seek to grow its revenue by capturing energy dollars that were previously paid to large, non-local energy companies. It is also a prudent environmental strategy to replace the direct burning of fossil fuel with WMLP’s 50% emission-free power that will continue getting cleaner over time. To effectively attract this additional revenue, there is an incentive to maintain low rates.
The Real Cost of Fossil Fuel – The upfront cost of fossil fuels does not embed the enormous cost of the climate catastrophes they are already causing. It is penny-wise and pound-foolish to consider this a bargain.
Net Zero Ready Buildings – The key for being “net zero ready” is a very tight building envelope that significantly lowers energy use and thus operating costs and emissions. It is also important for ensuring the building’s resilience during dramatic weather conditions. There is a sometimes a small up-front premium for this but it is a prudent business decision with long-term benefits.
WECARE – The WMLP created the WECARE program in response to a Citizen’s Petition (upon which the WMLP did not take a position) recommending an “opt out” voluntary program. It was approved by a large majority at Town Meeting. Any rate payer can opt out and not participate. These funds are designated to accelerate Wellesley emission reductions. For example, WECARE money will subsidize the cost of the Power Purchase Agreement for the solar farm on the roof of the Sports Center on Route 9 and most likely the solar installation at Hunnewell School. In both cases, the rate payers will contribute the equivalent of the average cost of power purchases, thus not putting pressure on rates. The voluntary WECARE money will fund the premium over this cost.
Redundancy – Redundancy can be achieved when a renewable energy source is paired with battery storage to form a microgrid. The WMLP is negotiating our first battery storage project. The technology and cost of backup storage are dynamically improving every year and will hopefully become widely installed in the coming years.
Solar Panel Recycling – As promised at Town Meeting, the Recycling and Disposal Facility has made an arrangement with a solar panel recycler and will now accept solar panels from residents for recycling.
Our safety and reliability statistics are stellar, and our rates are 25-50% lower than those of surrounding communities served by investor–owned utilities. We can continue to accomplish all of this while pursuing the goals—continually expressed by our constituents—to operate in a sustainable and environmentally beneficial manner.
Ellen Korpi, Chair, on behalf of the Municipal Light Board
Oak Street, Wellesley, MA 02482
The Wellesley Chamber Players, quieted during the pandemic, has announced plans for a series of concerts beginning on Oct. 24 at 3pm at Dana Hall’s Beveridge Hall (45 Dana Rd. in Wellesley).
The first program features:
- Schumann Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 63
- Brahms Piano Quartet No. 3 in C minor, Op. 60
Performers are Zenas Hsu, violin; Daniel Orsen, viola; Jonathan Swensen, cello; and Jayoung Kim, piano.
Suggested donations are $10/students, $20/seniors and $25/adults.
Further programming will be announced in the near future.
Wellesley, MA police log for the week of Aug. 31-Sept. 4:
On September 1, 2021 at 10:54 a.m. Officer Cunningham was on patrol when he observed a commercial truck with an uncovered load, broken taillight and no inspection sticker. He stopped the truck and spoke with the operator, and requested his license and the vehicle registration. A query of his information indicated there was an active warrant issued by Peabody District Court for motor vehicle related charges and that he did not possess a valid driver’s license. He was taken into custody, transported to the station, booked in the usual manner, afforded all rights and transported to Dedham District Court.
On September 2, 2021 at 11:56 a.m. Officer Rosenberg was dispatched to the lower falls area for a report of a male party who had stolen cigarettes from a gas station and left when confronted by an employee. The male party was located across the street. Officers attempted to speak with him about the theft but he was uncooperative and attempted to run away from them. He was taken into custody, transported to the station, booked in the usual manner and transported to Dedham District Court.
On September 4, 2021 at 5:45 p.m. Officer DeBernardi was dispatched to Worcester Street for a report of an erratic operator. There were multiple people who called the Emergency Communications Center stating that the gray pickup truck was unable to maintain its lane of travel and had struck the guardrail several times. Officer DeBernardi encountered the operator, after he pulled into the driveway of a residence on Cliff Road. He indicated he had been operating the vehicle. The driver was unsteady on his feet, his speech was slow and slurred. He agreed to take some reasonable tests of balance and coordination to determine if he was able to safely operate a motor vehicle. He was unable to successfully pass those tests. He was taken into custody, transported to the station, booked in the usual manner, afforded all rights and released on personal recognizance.
On August 30, 2021 at 6:44 a.m. Officer Fritts was dispatched to Sprague School Field maintenance shed for a report of past vandalism to the shed. An employee of the Town of Wellesley Facilities and Maintenance Department showed Officer Fritts some new graffiti that appeared to be written in pen on the Francis Road side of the building. The vandalism occurred sometimes between August 27th and August 30th. There are no suspects at this time.
On August 30, 2021 at 5:09 p.m. Officer Harris spoke to a male party who stated his Range Rover was stolen from his driveway on August 29th and was recovered in Methuen. He believed the door was locked when the vehicle was taken. The garage door opener and vehicle registration were taken from the vehicle. Officer Harris is investigating.
On August 31, 2021 at 8:41 a.m. Officer Collins spoke with an employee of the Wellesley Recycling and Disposal Facility about a road rage incident that had occurred a short time earlier where the male operator of a white Volkswagen Jetta attempted to throw items at him two times. He believed the operator may have felt that the trash truck cut him off while he was driving. Officer Collins was able to identify the vehicle involved and operator. He did not wish to speak about the incident. Officer Collins issued him a citation for littering.
On August 31, 2021 at 6:12 p.m. officers were dispatched to a business on Washington Street for a report of a customer causing a disturbance. The customer and 2 store employees were arguing when officers arrived. Officers spoke to the parties involved and learned that there was a dispute about payment for items and whether an item previously purchased that was damaged could be returned. One of the store employees stated during a struggle over the merchandise the customer dug her fingernails into her arms. There were visible red marks on her arm. The customer agreed to pay for one of the items and they were advised the dispute about the other item being damaged was a civil matter. The customer will be summonsed to Dedham District Court for Simple Assault and Battery.
On September 1, 2021 at 6:41 p.m. officers were dispatched to a business on Washington Street for an unruly customer who refused to leave the premises. Upon arrival the officers spoke with the business employees and customer. The customer had purchased a first time customer discount on Groupon for services despite being a return customer. The salon told her she could not use the Groupon. The customer demanded they refund her the money for the services at which point they advised her she had paid Groupon for the services not the salon. The customer was given a verbal no trespass order by the employee and a pre-existing credit on her account with the salon will be refunded to her.
On September 2, 2021 at 4:25 p.m. officers were dispatched to a residence for a report of a water problem in the residence. The basement had flooded and while there the officers and fire department personnel observed that the house was in disarray and the gas would need to be shut off due to the water in the basement. The female party did not wish to leave the residence. A report was filed with the State Elder Affairs Office who advised the female party should be transported to the hospital and they would find temporary housing for her once she was released from the hospital.
On September 3, 2021 at 2:35 p.m. Officer Shore spoke with a female party regarding identity fraud. She stated an unknown individual used her personal information to open a credit card account in May of 2020 and she received a notice in the mail in August stating the credit card account was overdue. She called the credit card company and advised them she did not have an account with them. She had also reported the issue to the credit reporting bureaus and requested a watch be put on her accounts and to dispute the charge. There are no suspects at this time.
On September 3, 2021 at 10:30 p.m. Officer Dixon was dispatched to a residence on Dunedin Road for a past breaking and entering into the residence. It appeared someone has forced entry through a basement window and opened several cabinets and drawers. Detectives responded to process the scene. The incident is under investigation.
On September 3, 2021 at 11:34 p.m. Officer Scopa spoke to a male reporting party regarding a PayPal account that had been hacked. He stated that an individual he had met on social media had somehow hacked his Facebook account and replaced his account information with his own and then he believed the individual was messaging his contacts requesting money. He stated he also received an invoice for $28.99 from PayPal. Officer Harris advised him to notify his contacts that his account had been hacked and to block the account. The reporting party had already notified PayPal about the fraudulent activity. He was advised to monitor his credit and contact Officer Scopa if he noticed anything suspicious.
SPONSORED CONTENT: We stopped in to tour The Langham, Boston, and after two years of renovations the changes are nothing short of jaw dropping. From top-to-bottom the former Federal Reserve Bank of Boston building, approaching its 100th birthday, leads the way in casual grace, American style, and European elegance. Located in the heart of the city, The Langham is your first stop for a weekend of luxury, and the New Langham, New Experience Package is the way to get it done in style.
The accommodations don’t feel like “rooms”—they feel like you’ve discovered the perfect spot for your own pied-à-terre. Book one of The Langham’s multi-level loft suites. We know you love the kids, but after a full day exploring Boston, there’s something to be said for a little family distance. Picture this: You’re upstairs in the spacious second-floor master bedroom, relaxing on the king-sized bed, a full-sized, luxurious bath mere steps away. The kids are downstairs enjoying the 65” LED HD-television. There’s even a first-floor powder room, so no pounding up to the loft to use your bathroom. With amenities like this, it’s possible you could achieve an uninterrupted hour of me-time. Oh, and of course there’s a TV up in the loft for the adults.
When dinner time rolls around, there’s no need to start family arguments by trying to build consensus. The Fed, located at street level, is the spot. With its sophisticated atmosphere, The Fed feels like a special night out, yet the vibe is relaxed and welcoming. On The Fed’s menu expect classic bar snacks and shareable dishes for all such as a customizable seafood tower with oysters, lobsters, prawns, shrimp, and scallops; a charcuterie board; classic burgers; and more. Don’t skip dessert—the Boston Cream Pie is not to be missed. Inspired cocktails and craft beers are available for the adults, of course. In addition to the cozy indoor seating, there’s a bustling sidewalk terrace scene.
All this is only 14 miles from Wellesley making The Langham your perfect, private Boston “getaway spot.”
250 Franklin Street Boston, MA 02110
SPONSORED POST: The Wellesley Square Merchants’ Association is getting ready for two big days of the all-new Parents Day Out, a time when everyone can enjoy specials offered by participating merchants in the Square. On Friday, September 17 and Saturday, September 18, many of the area’s stores will offer discounts and deals, so make sure you stop by and shop, dine, and enjoy Wellesley Square. Swing by Linden Square, too—lots of merchants there are also getting in on the fun.
Adjacent to Parents Day Out, on Wellesley Green (between Town Hall and the post office), the Wellesley Mothers Forum will be showing everyone a good time at their Fall Carnival on Saturday, 10am-noon. The fun will include a magic show, balloon twister, bouncy house, story time with Wellesley author Lisa Rogers, and more.
All this and free parking on both days starting at 10am, thanks to the Town of Wellesley. Look for the 2-hour free street meters marked with hoods, and the signs in the Town-owned lots offering 2-hour free parking. NOTE: the 2-hour limit will be enforced, and parking fees WILL apply at any 4-hour and 10-hour meters, and private parking lots.
Details of special offers will be posted here on Thursday. In the meantime, here’s a list of participating merchants: