And the Survey says…….(Easter Egg Hunt Postponed to April 6th); Friends of Saxonville Annual Meeting

Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the survey. As you can see, the top two choices were to hold the hunt in the snow and postpone till April 6th. In the end, postponing it till April 6th won out, so that is what we’ll do. Everything will stay the same at this point (start time, etc).
Have Easter bunny hand out eggs this Saturday (at the park or at a house/driveway)
8.5%    4
Hold Easter Egg hunt in snow
27.7%    13
Postpone till Saturday, April 6th
57.4%    27
Cancel the event and hope for better weather next year
6.4%    3

II. Friends of Saxonville:

The 2013 Friends of Saxonville Annual Meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 9th in the Education Building of Edwards Church, 39 Edwards Street in Framingham.  The primary topic of the meeting is the Friends’ plan to restore The Athenaeum Hall for public use.  Please join us for light refreshments and discover how you can help restore the Athenaeum to its original purpose and stature.  This is a perfect opportunity for you to renew your membership or to join The Friends and offer strong support to this worthy community endeavor. 

For more information, visit www.saxonville.org or contact : John @ (508) 877—6771

Dave @ (508) 877-7034

Flyer.An.Me.2013.v5

ONA News: Easter Egg Hunt, Newsletter, Upcoming Events, Board News

I. Easter Egg Hunt

It’s that time of year again-  Peter Cottontail will be hopping down the bunny trail. With any luck the weather will cooperate and we can hold this next Saturday.

Day: Saturday, March 23rd

Time: The egg hunt starts promptly at 9 am so plan on arriving by 8:50.

Where: Reardon Park (meet at the basketball court)

Egg Drop-off: Please drop off 12 filled eggs/child between Monday, March, 18th and Friday, March 22nd (up till midnight if you need it). Please drop the eggs off at 3 Brownlea Road in the white bucket near the front door (Josh has been instructed to keep away from the chocolate hidden in the eggs).

RSVP: This is extremely important. Please email Josh by replying to this email to let him know the ages and number children participating in the hunt. This helps us hide the appropriate number of eggs in each age section.
Day of the hunt: In the past we’ve had some children only find a few eggs. The Easter Bunny will be at the hunt and will hand out eggs to those children that do not find many.

Volunteers to hide the eggs: We need a few volunteers to help hide the eggs. Please email Josh by replying to this email to let him know if you can help. It takes about 20-25 minutes to hide the eggs and we’ll meet at Reardon park around 7:45 to hide them.

II. Newsletter

The newsletter is making a comeback after a long hiatus. We are looking for all types of news to include in the newsletter. Please email Eliza at elizatwilliamson@gmail.com with any news you would like to include in the newsletter.

III. Another ONA business

I am Sandy Griffin from Chouteau Ave.
My friend and I have started up a business helping people in their homes set up and learn to use their apple devices. We are ready and willing to help anyone, but have especially noticed many senior citizens wanting to connect with their families through email, Facebook etc, but are baffled by the iPad or iTouch. We are ready to help them through that process, from choosing the right device, setting it up and training how to use it.
If you go to the website below you will see all that we have to offer.
Here is the website and my contact information.

www.LetsGetSetUp.com
email: Sandy@letsgetsetup.com
phone: 508-877-7215

IV. Upcoming Events

We’ll send more information soon, but wanted to get the following events on your radar:

* Green Up Day: End of April and it will coincide with the town wide green up day. There is, without a doubt, a large need for some green up in the ONA, especially on LaClede (near the park) and Lake Rd (near Saxonville Beach). Please reply to this email if you want to participate in green up day.

* ONA Yard Sale: Last year was such a huge success that we are going to try this on a yearly basis. We are aiming for early June to hold this event again. More info will be sent out in mid-late April.

V. ONA Board News

As most of you know, the ONA board is comprised of Amy Ferguson (and Andy by default), Eliza Williamson, Heather Klish and Josh Mulready.

Amy has been serving on the board for a few years and though she stills enjoys volunteering in this capacity, she is ready to step aside for the next set of volunteers to lead the ONA forward. She and Andy will be helping with the Easter Egg Hunt but after this event they will begin to transition out of their roles on the ONA board. It goes without saying that both Amy and Andy are tremendous assets and we’ll miss their insight and contributions. Please be sure to take a moment to thank Amy and Andy when you see them.
 

Here is a brief look at what we are looking to do in the coming months (more details will be sent in the coming weeks):

* We are looking for volunteers to serve on the ONA board (treasurer, committee leaders for the annual BBQ, Welcoming Committee, Event Committee).

* We are working on a rough draft of a charter for the ONA. Once we have a working draft, we will form a committee to review the draft and come up with a final version for the ONA. We would like 2-3 people to help us with this.

* Resuming the annual meetings (1-2 per year)
 
Please reply to this email if you are interested in learning more about these opportunities.

Thank you,

The ONA board

Community Safety Meeting Recap; Easter Egg Hunt

Good morning,

Thank you to the neighbors that were able to attend the meeting last night. The head count was around 45, a great turnout for a Tuesday night.

I. Summary of the Safety Meeting

* Key point that cannot be stressed enough. If you “See Something, Say Something”. Call the police business line at 508.872.1212 with any suspicious activity. This doesn’t have to just involved robberies, it can be anything suspicious (ie large groups starting to gather at the park, at the beach or the end of Delmar near the path). Again, if you see something, say something.

* Case in point. A robbery had occurred at another residence in Framingham. A neighbor saw this robbery occur but instead of calling police, she followed the person to Walgreens. She confronted the person, told him what she saw, then headed home. She then called police but by the time they arrived the robber was gone. Moral of the story, call the police right away. Do not wait and do not chase the person down, only to let them get away.

* There are no suspects yet for the two robberies that have occurred in the neighborhood, however, they do have some evidence they are working with (shoe print).

* Keep a look out for people walking with clipboards or knocking on doors and not having a credible story. A neighbor recently had an encounter with a man that knocked on her door asking where Walgreens is. This may have been a person looking to see what houses were occupied and when someone answered, he made up a story.

*  The main items that are stolen during robberies are:

* Jewerly
* computers
* ipods
* game systems

Take a picture of your items and even write a description. This will give local authorities information that could lead to the recovery of your items. Stolen items are usually pawned and pawn shops are required to hold items for 30 days. Unfortunately this doesn’t always happen, but in many cases they do hold the items.

*  Postal workers are a great resource for the neighborhood. The police meet with them on a semi annual basis to go over crime data and to see if they have any information.

*  Neighborhood watches, crime watch signs, etc have not worked well in the past so it is not an option right now. The best option is to know your neighbors, know your neighborhood and to follow the instructions of see something, say something.

* A few websites that provide great information are:
Www.crimemapping.com
Www.ncpc.org
Www.crimepreventiontips.com
We will try to provide the power point presentation at a later date.

II. Easter Egg Hunt

Easter falls on March 31st this year so our Easter Egg hunt will be held on Saturday, March 23rd at 9 am. Please mark your calendars and hope that the snow is gone by then.

Please email us with any questions, comments or concerns.

Thank you,

The ONA Board

ONA Update: Recent Robberies

Good evening,

We hope that everyone is well and that you are staying warm during this cold spell. Be sure to keep an eye on neighbors, especially some of our senior neighbors during this cold weather.

It is also important to keep an eye on our neighbors, not as snoops, etc, but to make sure there is no strange activity taking place. Unfortunately two houses in the neighborhood have been robbed in the past week. The robberies are taking place during the day and items such as cash, ipods and laptops are being taken.

We do not have a formal neighborhood watch but it is probably in everyone’s best interest to keep an eye on your surroundings and report any suspicious activity to the Framingham Police. The best number to call is the business line at 508.872.1212.

A few other things to keep in mind are:

1. If someone is soliciting you should ask for a badge and proof they are allowed to solicit. Never let them in your house as they could be scoping out easy ways to enter your house when you are not home.

2. Always lock your car doors, entry doors (front/back) and garage doors. Do not make it easy for someone to get to your possessions.

3. Let trusted neighbors know you’ll be away and ask them to keep an eye on your house.

4. To reiterate, please report any strange activities, either around your house, in the neighborhood or at the park. Call the police business line and give them details.

Please email us (Josh, Amy, Heather and Eliza) if you have any questions, comments or concerns. We’d like to hear any ideas you have for keeping the ONA safe.

Take care,

The ONA board

Copy of email sent on 10/2/12 (Upcoming Events)

Good morning,

Fall is here and with it brings many changes, including the impending loss of daylight, which for some reason also includes the lack of seeing our next door neighbors for the next few months. The ONA Oaktoberfest is a great way to connect with friends and meet some new neighbors (we’ve had a lot of turnover recently). The details for the Oaktoberfest and Neighborhood Caroling are at the end of this email.


I. ONA Website, Facebook Page and Twitter

We apologize for the lack of updates recently on the website. The busy summer schedule took over for all of us and with that, our website, facebook page and twitter account all fell victim to under utilization. All those venues are being updated now and we hope you check in on a regular basis to see what is happening in the ‘hood. Please visit our website at www.theoaksneighborhood.com/. You can use the website to connect to our twitter account and facebook page.

II. Community Safety

It can probably be stated that we live in a neighborhood that is a hidden gem of Framingham. Where else can you find a neighborhood that has a great neighborhood park, access to a lake, a beach, walking trails, a rail trail and major retail/highways within 1 mile? We all have to work together to keep our neighborhood a gem and that includes reporting any suspicious or odd activity happening at the park, at the lake or even at individual houses (ie car break ins, etc). You can contact any of the ONA board members if you are worried about reporting activity. Please be sure to keep cars locked at night, watch out for neighbors (especially those of frail health) and practice good personal safety.

III. Using the ONA email list

As we approach the upcoming elections it’s probably a good time to remind everyone that we do not use this email list for political purposes. We try to use this for anything that applies to ONA business (ie upcoming events, helping out a neighbor in need, community classifieds, those looking to pool resources to have a service performed, etc). If you have a question please contact the ONA board before sending an email.

IV. ONA Treasurer

We are still looking for someone to take over the treasurer duties for the ONA. If you are interested please contact Josh at jmulread@gmail.com (please include ONA treasurer in the subject line).

V. Upcoming Events (Oaktoberfest details; Neighborhood Caroling)

Oaktoberfest

Please mark your calendar for Saturday, October 20th from 2-5 pm @ Reardon Park.

The Rain date is Sunday, October 21st from 2pm- 5pm.

To make this day fun and eventful, we’ll need your help.  Please RSVP by Monday, October 8th or soonerWe will hold this event no matter what (unless mother nature plays a cruel trick like last October). The level of what we have at the event will be based on the number of RSVP’s. If we have enough RSVP’s then we will have the bounce house, cotton candy, etc. If the number of RSVP’s is low, then we will pare it down and have the BBQ portion and some games. We really want to have a kick butt party so please, please, please RSVP ASAP.

Please e-mail Eliza at elizatwilliamson@gmail.com with the number attending and what food item you will be bringing and if you will be available to volunteer. We’ll keep a running list.

Here’s what we need some help with:

·         A 6500KW generator to power the bouncy house and cotton candy machine.

·         3 -4 propane grills

·         Volunteers to do some cooking about 8 to 10 people to do half-hour blocks of cooking

·         Volunteers to monitor the bouncy house

.          Volunteers for set up and clean up

·         Appetizers, Drinks, Side Dishes, Desserts

·         Games the children can play

.         A face painter

If possible, a $20 donation from each family is requested to help off-set the cost of the slide and food. (Or $10 per couple, $5 per single) Payment can be made ahead of time to any of the four of us, or at the BBQ.

Neighborhood Caroling

We brought this back to life last year and I think we can all agree that a little practice would have gone a long way :) We are going to do carol again this year and try to get at least one practice session in before going out. Please contact Josh at jmulread@gmail.com (please list neighborhood caroling in subject line) to register for this event. The goal is to have music selected in November and a practice in early December.

Thanks for taking time to get up to date on your neighborhood. As always, we welcome your feedback and any and all volunteers.

Eliza, Amy, Heather and Josh

Oaktoberfest: Saturday, October 20th from 2-5 @ Reardon Park

We hope everyone is enjoying the last gasps of summer and that back-to-school has gone as smoothly as possible! The results from our ONA fall event poll showed that the majority of respondents wanted the ONA Oktoberfest at Reardon Park to occur in October, so the official new date will be Saturday October 20th from 2pm to 5pm (because of it getting dark earlier we decided to push the timing back a bit). We are hoping this works for most of you and are crossing our fingers that mother nature will cooperate as well.

Details are below:

Saturday, October 20th

Rain Date: Sunday, October 21st

2 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Reardon Park

· At 2:00PM the festivities begin!

· The neighborhood association will fund the hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, rolls, plates, cups and flatware for the event.

· Bouncy House and cotton candy for the kids. (Please note that parents/guardians will be responsible for children using the bouncy house.)

To make this day fun and eventful, we’ll need your help. Please RSVP by Monday, October 1st or sooner. We would like to purchase the correct amount of food for the event. Please e-mail Eliza at elizatwilliamson@gmail.com with the number attending and what food item you will be bringing and if you will be available to volunteer. We’ll keep a running list.

Here’s what we need some help with:

· A 6500KW generator to power the bouncy house and cotton candy machine.

· 3 -4 propane grills

· Volunteers to do some cooking about 8 to 10 people to do half-hour blocks of cooking

· Volunteers to monitor the bouncy house

. Volunteers for set up and clean up

· Appetizers, Drinks, Side Dishes, Desserts

· Games the children can play

. A face painter

If possible, a $20 donation from each family is requested to help off-set the cost of the slide and food. (Or $10 per couple, $5 per single) Payment can be made ahead of time to any of the four of us, or at the BBQ.

Thanks for taking time to get up to date on your neighborhood. As always, we welcome your feedback and any and all volunteers.

Thanks everyone and hope you can join us,

Eliza, Amy, Heather and Josh

ONA Update: Thank you George; Need new treasurer; BBQ (need grills and a generator)

Hello, neighbors.

Lots to cover in this message! Please take a moment and read through about some important information.

A Special Thank You
Please join us in thanking George Dixon for all of his work on behalf of the Oaks Neighborhood Association. After many years of serving as Treasurer, he will be stepping down next month. George and his wife, Ginger, are moving to Maryland to embark on a new and exciting chapter in their lives. Not only has George been an active member of the ONA, he has been active and visible in the community with his involvement with Friends of Saxonville and for the town through his role as Town Meeting Member. Thank you, George!! You will be missed greatly and we wish you and Ginger all the best!!!

We now have big shoes to fill. The ONA is looking for a volunteer to step in to serve as Treasurer. This would entail keeping the membership list up to date and monitoring the bank account. Please let any of the co-presidents know by August 15 if this is something you might be interested in – or if you know someone who you think would be interested.

ONA Resources
Fundraising initiatives have purposely been kept on the minimum for the past several years. After reviewing our account status recently, co-presidents have determined it’s time to reach out to the membership to ask for additional financial support. Membership contributions have helped keep us afloat for a while, but additional monies are needed – and would be so greatly appreciated! – to ensure we can continue providing services to everyone. As you know, we are frugal with our funding resources, and the money we raise through membership fees and other contributions, is used to support:

·         Supplies for annual events like the Easter Egg Hunt, Halloween Party, ONA Yard    Sale, Summer BBQ, and other gatherings
·         Minimal costs for maintaining our new website
·         Minimal costs for maintaining our bank account
·         Occasional expenses for event or ONA-specific promotion/marketing

Please consider making a contribution – of any amount – to the Oaks Neighborhood Association. It will make a big difference. Any of our co-presidents will accept your donation, but you may mail directly to:

Amy Ferguson
22 Bellefontaine Ave.
Framingham, MA  01701

Membership Update
Please take a moment to review the  membership list at the end of this post and make sure we have you listed. We want to keep our records as up-to-date as possible and your help is appreciated. If you are not listed and you would be interested in becoming an ONA member (and we hope you are!), please use the attached membership form.

11th Annual ONA Summer BBQ
Just a reminder that the ONA summer BBQ is a coming up, details are below.  Please RSVP to Josh at jkccmulready@verizon.net  with the number of people attending and what food item you will be bringing.  We are trying to get a head count so that we can plan of getting the correct amount of food for the BBQ and make sure volunteers aren’t all bringing the same food.

Hope you can join us!!

Saturday, August 25
Rain Date:  Sunday, August 26
3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Reardon Park

·         At 3:00PM the festivities begin!
·         Food served around 5:00PM
·         The neighborhood association will fund the hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, veggie burgers, rolls, plates, cups and flatware for the event.
·         We are working on getting the ice cream truck to swing by, so don’t forget to have some extra cash with you.
·         Water slide and Sno Cones for the kids. (Please note that parents/guardians will be responsible for children using the waterslide.)

To make this day fun and eventful, we’ll need your help.  Please RSVP by Monday, August 20th.  We would like to purchase the correct amount of food for the event.  You can e-mail Josh at jkccmulready@verizon.net with the number attending and what food item you will be bringing. We’ll keep a running list.

Here’s what we need some help with:
·         A 6500KW generator to power the waterslide and sno cone machine.
·         3 -4 propane grills
·         Volunteers to do some cooking about 8 to 10 people to do half-hour blocks of cooking
·         Volunteers to monitor the waterslide
·         Appetizers, Drinks, Side Dishes, Desserts
·         Games the children can play
·         If possible, a $20 donation from each family to help off-set the cost of the slide and food. (Or $10 per couple, $5 per single) Payment can be made ahead of time to Josh, or at the BBQ.

Thanks for taking time to get up to date on your neighborhood. As always, we welcome your feedback and any and all volunteers.

Look forward to seeing you soon and don’t forget to refer to our website for all sorts of ONA information!

ONA Co-Presidents
Amy, Josh, Eliza, and Heather

ONAList072012

ONA.MembershipFormSummer12

URGENT: CALLS SHOULD BE MADE TODAY- WEDNESDAY REGARDING PROPOSED (NSTAR) LEGISLATION

Hello Neighbors

Today through Wednesday of this week we all need to make calls to support pending legislation which has been filed in response to the NSTAR clear cutting. This is one of the most effective measures we can take right now in the continuing NSTAR battle.

OVERVIEW
Our three State Reps (Walsh, Conroy and Sannicandro) filed an amendment (Amendment 37) to house energy bill 4198 which would hold utility companies such as NSTAR responsible for the removal and cutting of trees. The amendment would also require utilities to replace any damaged trees and plants already cut by utility companies and it would require them to file their vegetation management plans with the State Dept. of Public Utilities for review every 4 years which would include public hearings prior to the plans being approved. (Language included below.)

PROCESS
This amendment has passed the house and right now it is in conference committee. We need to call the members of the conference committee and tell them why it’s important to support this. Tell them what has happened to our landscape and the method in which it has been done with little regard for safety, aesthetics, communications, etc. Make sure they know you understand and support the need for reliable power but it can and should be achieved with a balance between corporate responsibility and quality of life, etc., which is more likely with this vegetation management plan requirement included in the final bill. Calls are counted and they do make a difference.

The chairs of the committee that the bill came out of originally are Rep. John Keenan and Senator Ben Downing. The House number is H4225. The amendment regarding vegetation maintenance is in that bill and will hopefully put into the final version of the bill. Brian says it would be good to tell your personal stories. There is “nothing stronger than why/how the amendment will benefit the residents. Telling their story about what has happened to the neighborhood is an effective way to paint the picture of why it is important to them. The residents should be sure to mention that the amendment is in the House bill and has to do with the department of Public Utilities creating regulations about maintenance of vegetation lines.”

Representative John Keenan
State House, Room 437B
Boston, MA 02133
617-722-2263

Representative Kate Hogan
State House, Room 544
Boston, MA 02133
617-722-2637

Representative Matthew Beaton
State House, Room 167
Boston, MA 02133
617-722-2230

Senator Benjamin Downing
State House, Room 413F
Boston, MA 02133
617-722-1625

Senator Stephen Brewer
State House, Room 212
Boston, MA 02133
617-722-1540

Senator Robert Hedlund
State House, Room 313C
Boston, MA 02133
617-722-1646

For your information, here is the language of the amendment:

The department of public utilizes shall promulgate rules and regulations requiring transmission companies to file and the department to approve vegetation management plans. Said plans shall also be filed with any affected municipality. Said plans shall include landscape management provisions which encourage to the greatest extent possible, the use of native species plants and shall consider local terrain including soil conditions and visual impacts. Prior to department approval, affected municipalities may comment on said plans.

Municipalities may file a complaint with the department if the transmission company does not comply with the terms of vegetation management plan.

Vegetation management plans shall be reviewed every four years and prior to approval department shall hold a public hearing.

Transmission companies shall provide sixty days notice to affected abutters of the transmission lines, and said department, of actions to be performed pursuant to the vegetation management plan approved pursuant to this section. This notice shall also be sent to municipal officials of affected communities including but not limited to elected officials, selectman, planning board members, and conservation commission members. Transmission companies shall be exempt from the requirements of this paragraph in preparation for an imminent emergency exit.

In the course of maintaining reliability of power along transmission line right of ways, including easements covering private and public property, each transmission company shall restore deleteriously affected vegetation in the form of replanting of trees and other vegetation and shall complete stump grindings wherever trees have been cut to the stump such that the company partially restores the pre-vegetation management activity property value of affected property owners. This paragraph shall apply only to activity that has occurred after January 1, 2012 and prior to January 1, 2014 or the approval of a company’s first vegetation management plan filed in accordance with this section.

Audrey Hall
Framingham Town Meeting Member, Precinct 3
Member, Oaks Neighborhood Association
ms.audreyhall@gmail.com

Boston Globe Article: Nstar clear cuts trees near transmission lines

As NStar clear-cuts trees near transmission lines, communities resist

www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2012/07/18/nstar-clear-cuts-trees-near-transmission-lines-community-opposition-heats/HL51iknEtJkClG1iLb3frI/story.html

For more than 20 years, pine trees surrounded Ellen Sard’s Sudbury backyard. But in June her half-acre was transformed by crews clearing vegetation around high-voltage transmission lines for NStar.

In less than two hours, the pines she had planted were all chopped down.

“It was such a violation,” said Sard, who acknowledges that NStar has an easement on the property. Now, 22 stumps dot her backyard, and she has a clear view of the towering power lines.

Officials at NStar, which came under heavy criticism after widespread power outages last year, say clear-cutting around transmission lines is the only way to guarantee consistently reliable power. But communities are increasingly up in arms over the the utility’s integrated vegetation management program, launched in 2010. In Sudbury, tensions between tree cutters and residents ran so high that a police detail was called in to keep the peace.

“For them to come in and just clear cut — it’s like throwing the baby out with the bathwater,” said Michael Retzky, chairman of the Park and Recreation Commission in Needham, where officials vow to fight the utility’s plans. “It doesn’t make any sense.”

This year, NStar has cleared trees in Sherborn, Framingham, Natick, Wayland, and Sudbury. Now they are starting on a 17-mile stretch of transmission lines that runs from Southborough to West Roxbury.

“Trees are the number-one cause of power outages,” said Michael Durand, spokesman for NStar. “As a utility, we have an obligation to do everything in our power to prevent them.”

Durand pointed to a massive Northeast blackout in 2003 that cut off power to nearly 50 million people in the United States and 10 million more people in Canada after high-voltage lines came in contact with tree branches in northeastern Ohio. That blackout, he said, is what inspired NStar’s new policy.

So far, communities have had no success stopping NStar, which holds easements for its rights of way and, like all utilities, is required by federal regulations to have a vegetation management plan to prevent power outages along transmission lines.

A measure requiring utilities to review such plans with the state Department of Public Utilities and affected municipalities is awaiting approval in the Legislature and could become effective early next month, said state Representative Denise Garlick, a Needham Democrat who worked on the measure.

The measure would strengthen the town’s ability to negotiate with NStar over mitigation and restoration, she said, but it would not legally bar NStar from continuing its work.

Last August, Tropical Storm Irene knocked out power for more than 500,000 NStar customers. Last October, more than 200,000 NStar customers lost power after a snowstorm — and many of those outages, said Durand, were caused by falling trees. The utility is currently facing the possibility of hefty fines over its response to the two storms after the Department of Public Utilities was flooded with complaints, according to a spokeswoman for the department. Some of those complaints, she said, concerned the utility’s failure to cut down trees that ended up falling into power lines.

Under NStar’s policy, no trees with the potential to grow higher than 3 feet will be allowed to remain under high-voltage transmission wires; no trees with the potential to grow higher than 15 feet will be allowed to remain in the border zone. The policy does not apply to lower-voltage distribution power lines that run along neighborhood streets.

Needham officials are pushing for a middle ground — selective cutting, for example — but NStar says that the only sure way to prevent large-scale outages is to take trees down completely. Cutting off the tops of trees, as the utility used to do, is no longer working, said Durand — it actually weakens trees over time and makes them more prone to toppling onto wires.

About 4 miles of high-voltage transmission lines run the length of Needham: The trees within 100 feet of them will be clear-cut.

The lines run along commuter rail train tracks, through neighborhoods and alongside town fields, like DeFazio Park. The tracks are elevated — town officials fear erosion if the trees anchoring the dirt are removed — and neighbors say the trees that will be cut serve as a buffer for neighbors from the sound, pollution, and view of the train tracks. Residents worry that the value of their homes will fall if the trees are chopped down.

“Right now, my house faces vegetation,” said Paul Kelly, an abuttor who lives near DeFazio. “If they do what they say, my house will face scorched earth.”

In Sudbury, selectmen voted symbolically earlier this year to declare a moratorium on NStar’s clear-cutting. “It didn’t didn’t have any teeth to it,” said Larry O’Brien, chairman of the board. “We don’t have the power to stop NStar.”

The police detail was called in to keep things calm as tree crews worked. Still, between the end of the workday on June 20 and the morning of June 21, someone vandalized tree-clearing machinery, causing $5,000 worth of damage, according to Sudbury Police Lieutenant Scott Nix.

The incident is still under investigation, he said.

In Wayland, Meadowview Road resident Robert Noa filed a lawsuit in Middlesex Superior Court to stop NStar from cutting down his trees.

It bought him a little time, but early this month a judge ruled that NStar’s easement does, indeed, grant the utility the right to clear his property.

“I want hot water and cold beer just as much as anybody else does, I really do,” Noa said. “I am not and never have been trying to prevent them from doing maintenance and tree work. But . . . their policy has been topping and trimming trees. And it has demonstrably worked.”

Still, Needham officials remain hopeful that they can persuade NStar to scale back. Garlick is working with NStar to plan a meeting so town representatives can lay out their case.

No one in town is disputing the need for reliable electricity, but town officials say that must be balanced against the fact that clear-cutting trees is too drastic a solution.

“Even if they have the technical authority to do what they’re proposing to do,” said Needham selectman Moe Handel, “I don’t believe they have the moral right to degrade the quality of people’s lives along a path that their transmission lines go through.”