Once upon a time Hill-Roberts and Hyman Fine Elementary Schools had beautiful twin gym floors. They were original floors in 1975 when the school opened. But now those gyms, designed for 20-25 years, are pushing 45 years old! Municipal funding is the only way to fix these gyms, They are not eligible for Mass School Building state funding.

When I toured both schools in February, 2019, these gyms struck me as ugly, way beyond their usefulness and unsafe. They were both covered with large areas of brownish gunk. Children were trying to run on those floors! So I tried to slide onto the brownish area and came to an immediate halt. I couldn’t slide. Beanbags can’t slide along those floors, much less children!

I serve on the Capital Improvement and City Development Committee of the City Council. Therefore, my highest priority are the Hyman Fine and Hill-Roberts school gyms, listed at $75,000 for each new gym floor.

Since May I’ve been advocating with city officials, families who have children at both elementary schools, with Superintendent David Sawyer and several School Committee Members. I figured it would be a year long effort with uncertain results.

But I really didn’t care. I didn’t want to see any children get hurt. I figured our high school gym would have been fixed a long time ago. I’m not going to quit my crusade….. that’s just how I am.

Today I got a phone call telling me that the city administration is going to ask the City Council to approve the funds to replace both the Hyman Fine and Hill-Roberts school gyms.

It felt like an answer to my prayers.

Tomorrow I hope to take a photo of both current gym floors. I want you to see these floors.

I hope I’m still on the city council when these two floors are finally fixed. I want to throw a bean bag across the new floors…. slide on them myself… and watch the children running and sliding….. safely!

Politics is full of windy roads… help me make these new gym floors possible. All my best … Ty Waterman, City Councilor At-Large


Attleboro COA

Darlene and Madeleine, Attleboro Senior Center directors:

Thank you for producing this list of cooling centers in Mansfield, Foxboro and North Attleboro on July 20-21, 2019. I can assure Attleboro seniors and all other citizens of Attleboro that I would do the same thing if the weather got real hot again. We need to be humane and caring toward one another in weather related emergencies. Asking people to stay in their homes, especially if they are not in air conditioning, is not the only option to deal with excessive heat.

I am so thankful for Father Brown and the staff at LaSallette Shrine for opening their hearts and their Welcome Center to Attleboro and Norton residents on July 20-21.

Rep. Jim Hawkins, members of Centenary Methodist Church, and the Hebron Food Bank who provided food and drink were also instrumental in helping us run the cooling center.

This cooling center did not cost the city of Attleboro a dime as LaSallette covered the cost of air conditioning. But even if it did cost Attleboro money, we should still provide relief in extreme weather conditions.

All my best,
Ty Waterman, Attleboro City Councilor At-Large

Note: This is a copy of my response to a list of local cooling centers in North Attleboro, Mansfield, and Foxboro that were opened in those town facilities the hot weekend of July 20-21. If you want a copy of the list of local cooling centers I suggest contacting Darlene Young at the Attleboro Senior Center. Attleboro did not have an official cooling center so the LaSallette Shrine opened their hearts and their Welcome Center to anyone who was suffering in the heat. Mucho gracias.-Ty

On Fri, Aug 2, 2019 at 10:52 AM Darlene Young <coaad> wrote:

On the Trail with Ty

ON THE TRAIL WITH TY: Thursday, July 25th

GREAT NEWS this morning. Our terrific state senator, Paul Feeney, has procured a $22,000 state grant to purchase a gear washer for the Attleboro Fire Department, presumably to be placed into the South Attleboro station on Newport and Read. Soon we should have two gear washers in place, the first one has been hooked up in the Union Street Fire Station. Now, we need to purchase second sets of gear for approximately 25 more fire fighters in Attleboro. Many kudos to the fire fighters, Mayor Heroux, Senator Feeney, and my fellow City Councilors.

We are trying our best to protect our fire fighters. The very first door I knocked on in Ward 4A today reminded me of the danger all fire fighters live with. The senior citizen who answered sadly told me her husband, a retired Attleboro fire fighter, was suffering from cancer. Then her phone rang and our conversation ended. It was a sad visit.

At the end of my day, I met with another senior citizen who lives on Torrey Street, which had a serious natural gas leak in April. She told me that the Attleboro fire department helped her evacuate her home when the gas had covered much of her front yard and there was a risk of an explosion. She and her son were evacuated safely and the leak was safely contained. It was a scary evening but our fire department came to the rescue.

I will continue to be a strong supporter of the Attleboro Fire Department. Let’s keep our own fire fighters safe, too.

Jim Hawkins beat the heat!

A Postscript for beating the heat….invite state Rep. Jim Hawkins to your cooling centers! Jim hovered around the cooling station at LaSallette throughout last weekend, teased those without smart phones, ran around the parking lot, and invited folks to enter the inner sanctum and stay cool.

Cool Hand Jim was definitely serving his people last weekend. He would have waved a fan in front of your face if you were getting hot!

Seriously, Jim was helping people stay cool all weekend. Thanks, Hawk!

Cool Hand LaSallette:

To residents of Attleboro (and also Norton folks): Last weekend about 15-20 citizens of Attleboro and Norton sat in comfort during the blazing hot hours of 10 am thru 5 pm, both Saturday and Sunday. One man left in mid-day, called us back so he could return, was picked up, and then asked to go to the hospital after 5 pm. I hope he is feeling much better by now.

While the towns of Seekonk and North Attleboro had cooling stations, the city of Attleboro felt that citizens should stay home and sit by their air conditioners…. or go to the city pools. That was fine for many of us. But seniors don’t always go to pools and they don’t always have air conditioners. As a matter of fact, lots of people don’t have AC’s. Massachusetts now has summer heat more like Maryland used to have.

Granted, we had a small group at LaSallette this past weekend, but we were very comfortable. The notice was short, with a brief article in Saturdays paper, plus hourly messages on the radio and TV advertising LaSalette Shrine’s cooling center throughout the weekend.

I am proud of the five city councilors who collaborated on very short notice to help Father Brown set up and staff the cooling center. I was delighted to welcome several people from Norton, including their emergency weather team. I was also very proud of the volunteers from Centenary Methodist Church that provided sandwiches, water, watermelons and delicious deserts to tide us over. Talk about short notice… these kind church folk found out about the cooling center on Saturday morning and shared from the free food they served community folks at the 11 am meal on Saturday.

One thing is certain in life…. weather will get stifling hot again! If need be, the city council will rise to the occasion and help out again, too. The kind people of LaSalette will open their doors again as well…. and food will once more be provided within our beautiful city. We will get the word out quicker next time the weather turns nasty. So get your cribbage boards, bring your movies and books, count on interesting conversations and protect yourself from the stifling heat of summer.

Thank you to everyone who made the weekend bearable…. I trust you were safe by your own air conditioners or enjoying the pools….. but some folks need to be brought to the cool breezes inside LaSallette’s Shrine.


To all of Attleboro:

You are invited, should you feel overheated this weekend, to enter the LaSallette Shrine via the Welcome Center. You will find cool air, a warm welcome, and relief between 10 am and 5 pm this Saturday and Sunday.
Bring you friends, a good book, enjoy a movie in the afternoon and get away from the heat wave. Be good to yourself and stay safe and healthy.

Attleboro’s City Council appreciate Father Ted Brown and the LaSalette Shrine team for opening their doors wide this weekend. Be good to yourself and stay comfortably cool. Our City Councilors will be checking in to see if you are doing well.

If you see this blog please spread the word to friends and neighbors. Stay healthy and cool.

On The Trail With Ty


I went out to visit some of my supporters from last years special election today. This is the best part of being a city councilor. Today I sat down with an 82 year old man who lives with his cat along Oak Hill Ave. I’m at my best when I’m listening… and he wanted me to come inside and listen. His family has all moved on and live elsewhere. He’s watched the world change mightily in the 60 some years he’s lived in his home. He remembers when Oak Hill seemed more like a dirt pathway than the busy thoroughfare it’s become today. He remembers walking thru Capron Park to go to the old high school.

He still gets out sometimes and likes to help the veterans by transporting them to the VA Hospitals for appointments. Sometimes he checks in with Joe at the Senior Center and really appreciates the help he gets down folks at the Larson Center, especially with his income taxes.

We relaxed at the kitchen table, while the cat purred on his backside underneath the table. This is the same cat he rescued outside when she was just a kitten. Now they are the best of old friends.

But mostly he enjoyed sharing memories while shaking his head about the changes in this fast-paced world all around him. I discovered that he has a small income and advised him to check on the possibility of getting $700 off his property tax bill. He wasn’t complaining about his taxes.

My friend believes in good education and supports the new school. He simply pulls his belt a little tighter and survives on social security and a small savings account. He wishes for the old days when life was slower, when he was working among friends, and living with his wife and children. He isn’t feeling sorry for himself…. but he does miss the old days.

When I finally had to leave he thanked me for knocking and listening to him. "It’s good to have someone look in on me", he said. Then he noticed my bicycle, gave a big smile and waved as I pedaled away.

I hope he goes down to city hall and gets his $700 tax abatement. But I’m not sure he thinks he deserves it and he might not even bother.

My new friend is old school. He’ll get by somehow. He always has. Without complaining.


Ty WatermanTyWaterman1918
508-455-1918 – Home