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December 3, 2007

Waltham fires up Community Preservation Act program


For the first time, the Community Preservation Act Committee next Wednesday will begin reviewing applications for grants for historical preservation, open space or recreation and community housing projects.

This is the first year that the committee has had money to award, Waltham became a CPA community in 2005 and formed the committee a year later. The meeting will give applicants the opportunity to make a brief presentation about their idea.

Approved applications are forwarded to the City Council for appropriation within 20 days.

The committee will meet at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall in the City Council Chambers.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 10:31 AM
November 12, 2007

A historic opportunity for Veterans Day



Babe Ruth's draft card, the original "I Want You" Uncle Sam army recruitment poster, and other military treasures will be on display at the National Archives and Records Administration in Waltham in honor of Veterans Day.

The National Archives will also be offering a Nov. 13 class for amateur genealogists and military families entitled "Records Related to the 18th, 19th, and 20th Century Military Service" from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Participants will learn how to glean information about ancestors dating back to the Revolutionary War era.

Besides helping family with genealogical research, archivists are also always available to help veterans and their relatives gather information needed to claim veteran's benefits.

The archives, located at 380 Trapelo Road, are open Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. They're also open on the first Saturday of each month from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Nov. 13 class requires pre-registration, which can be done by either calling 866-406-2379 or 781-663-0144 or via e-mail.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 06:57 AM
October 28, 2007

State: Waltham improperly brushed aside plowing referendum


Traversing some commonly used streets in Waltham could be a lot more difficult this winter if a ballot question up for a vote on Nov. 6 doesn't pass.

A "yes" vote to the question would officially allow the city to clear private ways open to public use of snow and ice. A World War Two-era state law allows the city to do it, but officials apparently never put the issue to municipal voters as required and has been improperly plowing for the last 50 years.

The state Inspector General's office informed the city earlier this year that they'd have to put the matter on the ballot as soon as possible. Private ways affected include Worcester Lane, part of Second Avenue, and Summit Avenue.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 07:43 AM
October 24, 2007

NY Yankees intern killed in Waltham crash


A New Jersey man killed Sunday when an alleged drunk driver hit his car from behind on Route 128 in Waltham was an intern in the media relations office of the New York Yankees, team officials said.

The team identified the young man as Matthew Wasser, 22, of Bernardsville, N.J. Wasser was a student at the College of New Jersey, and was set to graduate this December with a degree in communications, officials said.

"A loss of this magnitude is impossible to put into words," Yankees Director of Media Relations Jason Zillo said in a statement released by Major League Baseball. "Matt will long be remembered for his boundless enthusiasm and uplifting, selfless spirit. The Yankees family reaches out to the Wasser family during this tremendous time of grief, as we keep his loved ones and friends close to our heart."

State police said that Wasser and the driver of the car, Christian N. Ighodaro of Hyde Park, were stopped in traffic in the northbound left lane about 2:50 a.m. when a car driven by a Templeton man struck the car.

Lawrence P. Laine of Templeton, who was uninjured in the crash, was charged with operating under the influence of alcohol, police said. Ighodaro was taken to the Lahey Clinic in Burlington with serious injuries.

-- Ralph Ranalli

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 10:11 AM
October 22, 2007

Election season in Waltham: The School Committee candidates


This is the first installment of three sets of candidate profiles for Waltham's School Committee, City Council At-Large, and Mayoral races in 2007. Today we examine the five School Committee candidates who are seeking three seats on the committee, which they will hold for one two-year term.

Each candidate's profile is followed by a short sound bite from the School Committee Candidate Forum held on Oct. 11.

Since 2001, the Waltham Schools have hired 40-50 new teachers each year mostly to replace retirees, according to a September interview with Waltham Assistant Superintendent Emile Rosenberg. Nationwide, districts face difficulties finding enough foreign language, math, science and special education teachers.

Listen to each candidate describe why they think teacher shortages are becoming more common, and what they think should be done to recruit and retain more qualified teachers.

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 10:30 AM
October 22, 2007

The Waltham Candidates: Harold "Jerry" Walker for School Committee (incumbent)

Harold "Jerry" Walker

Age: Will be 61 on Nov. 2

Family: Wife, Judith, and two adult daughters who attended Waltham Schools

Neighborhood: North Waltham

Education: Bachelor's degree in History from University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Master's degree in Education from Boston University

Occupation: Waltham High School history and social science teacher from 1968-2003, now retired.

Experience: School Committee member since 2003; founding member of Youth Opposed to Using (YOU), a student anti-drug and drinking group; Waltham Park and Recreation Board member since 2003; member of Waltham High School Evaluation Steering Committee for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation, 1973-75, 1983-85, 1993-95; Reagle Players Featured Performer appearing in more than 30 productions.

Key issues: Walker said he wants to find ways to encourage and enable teachers in Waltham to work through the ranks and become administrators. He thinks professional development offered to teachers should have more of a practical emphasis, and that successful master teachers within the district should be encouraged to share their methods. He also wants to make the School Department website a better tool for communicating policy, achievements and information about the schools.

What distinguishes him: "I think I wear a number of hats. Besides being a former educator, besides being a community person involved in things like the Park and Rec Board, and a parent and a grandparent... I am a stage performer, so that helps with interpersonal skills a great deal." He said his years as a teacher who created courses like AP History and Foreign Policy gave him insight into what makes an effective curriculum, and his experience as an evaluator of other school systems with NEASC helps him to better evaluate Waltham's schools.

Listen to an audio clip of Jerry Walker describing what should be done to recruit and retain more qualified teachers to Waltham.

-- Stephanie Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 10:25 AM
October 22, 2007

The Waltham candidates: Stephen Rando Jr. (incumbent)

Stephen Rando, Jr. (incumbent)

Age: 63

Family: wife Barbara, four adult children, one of whom, Julie Ranucci, is a Waltham High School teacher

Neighborhood: "fringes of Cedarwood"/West End

Education: Attended Cambridge Junior College and earned Bachelor's degree in History and Sociology from Suffolk University. Also earned a Master's degree in Education from Suffolk University.

Occupation: retired principal of Jonathan Bright Elementary School

Experience: 34 years as a teacher and administrator in the Waltham Public Schools; past supervisor of the Adult Basic and Civic Education Program (which oversaw teaching English and Citizenship to foreign-born students).

Key issues: Rando said he is especially concerned with health and safety issues. He'd like to look into having dental screenings reinstituted in the schools, strictly enforce the district's anti-bullying policy, encourage walk to school programs and recess as a way of battling obesity in schoolchildren, and better train teachers in how to deal with children who have experienced traumatic events like the death of a parent. More broadly, he wants to see if there's a way to expand the district's options for gifted students. He's also doesn't want electives like arts and music to be jettisoned in favor of MCAS preparation. "Rather than eliminating some of the fine arts areas, we me may have to look into making the day longer to provide academic support in some of the other subject areas."

What distinguishes him: Rando said that his range of experience in the schools, from teacher and principal to administrator, sets him apart. "I've been there, done it all. I've seen it from the administrative side and from the teacher's perspective."

Listen to an audio clip of Stephen Rando Jr. describe what should be done to recruit and retain more qualified teachers in Waltham's schools.

-- Stephanie Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 10:20 AM
October 22, 2007

The Waltham Candidates: Lisa Limonciello for School Committee (challenger)

Lisa Limonciello

Age: 39

Family: married to husband Thomas, they have two daughters, 8-year-old Sophia and 6-year-old Ava. They attend Henry Whittemore Elementary School.

Neighborhood: South Side

Education: After graduating from Waltham High, she attended the University of Massachusetts-Lowell for two years, studying child psychology.

Occupation: Merchandise specialist for the TJX Companies in Framingham

Experience: Co-president of Whittemore Elementary Parent-Teacher Organization since 2004, cofounder and board member of the Waltham Education and Beyond Foundation

Key issues: "My priorities this go around would be the MCAS [several] schools haven't met Adequate Yearly Progress, and that's really concerning to me. I know it's a tough test, and I know it's state mandated, but we really need to stop making excuses and put our department heads on notice and start making some hard changes, and not accept mediocrity." Limonciello said she also wants to make sure the committee finds ways to mitigate large class sizes before the start of the school year, by adding teachers, aides, or volunteers. She is emphatic for the need for a better School department website that provides information for parents and touts the district's achievements.

What distinguishes her: Her corporate background and ability to put efficiency and effectiveness over politics, she says. "Some of our school committee members want to play nice in the sand with everybody. but it's about running a business and doing right by the students, and not about who you used to work with, or who you were friends with. That's not important to me. My children and their education are what's important."

Listen to an audio clip of Lisa Limonciello discuss what should be done to recruit and retain more qualified teachers to Waltham.

-- Stephanie Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 10:10 AM
October 22, 2007

The Waltham Candidates: Margaret M. Donnelly (challenger)

Margaret M. Donnelly

Age: 65

Family: Single

Neighborhood: Roberts, near the Weston line

Education: Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Regis College, Masters of Education in Guidance Counseling from former Boston State College

Occupation: Middle school history teacher in Marlborough, now retired.

Experience: School Committee member 1993-2005, School Building Committee member 1996-present, Park and Recreation Board member 1996-2005, Massachusetts Association of School Committees' Legislative Advocacy Committee 1996-2006, Fundraising Coordinator for Funway Park at William F. Stanley Elementary School 2006-2007, Member of EDCO Collaborative Board of directors 2001-2005, Program Director for local AARP chapter 2001-present.

Key issues: "Now that we're finishing up the [elementary school buildings], we need to immediately start a plan for the High School renovation...We can make a plan and an application process to the [state] to get us in line to receive reimbursement. You need to be very proactive with that, or you just lose time, and time is money, with the inflation factor, and with the needs of the students at the high school. The student population has started to increase again - slightly, but there is an increase."

What distinguishes her: Donnelly said her experience with education policy-makers at the state and regional level gives her a unique perspective on things like state funding and MCAS.

Listen to an audio clip of Margaret Donnelly discussing what she would do to recruit and retain more qualified teachers for Waltham.

-- Stephanie Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 10:05 AM
October 22, 2007

The Waltham Candidates: Susan R. Burstein for School Committee (incumbent)

Susan R. Burstein

Age: 49

Family: husband Richard Scales, 5-year-old daughter, Abigail, who attends James FitzGerald Elementary School

Neighborhood: Warrendale

Education: Waltham High School, bachelor's degree in Public Administration from New York University

Occupation: Chief Budget Officer for City of Newton

Experience: Waltham School Committee member since 1999 and current vice chair, former Ward 7 City Councilor from 1992-1993. Before her current job, she was a budget director for the state Department of Transitional Assistance.

Key issues: "We've had, and I think will continue to have, turnover of some leaders and educators. and finding qualified people who understand the really diverse nature of the community has been and will continue to be important," she said. She also said that the need to improve MCAS and SAT scores is important, but that the city should not have to sacrifice its advanced arts and performing arts programs to do so. She wants to better communicate the district's achievements and improve the School Department website.

What distinguishes her from the other candidates: Burstein said it's her experience in the public sector that sets her apart - as a Newton budget official, a former city councilor, and a former state official - and as one of only two candidates with children currently in the schools. "I think it gives you, albeit somewhat anecdotal, experience and knowledge of what's going on on a daily basis; how information is being communicated to parents. It gives a unique opportunity to communicate with other parents and find out what their experiences are, because obviously experiences are not uniform. "

Burstein: Listen to an audio clip of Susan Burstein talk about what should be done to recruit and retain more qualified teachers to Waltham.

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 10:00 AM
October 16, 2007

Sevens are wild in Waltham police chief search


A seven-member selection committee will interview seven candidates this week for the post of Waltham's chief of police, Mayor Jeannette McCarthy said.

Of the seven candidates, four of whom are lieutenants in the department. McCarthy said a city ordinance allows lieutenants to be considered for the post if there are fewer than four internal applicants -- a situation created after a captain and deputy chief removed themselves from consideration last month.

McCarthy said she decided to allow all department lieutenants to apply after she learned that two of them had submitted applications. Captain Thomas LaCroix has been serving as acting police chief since August.

City Personnel Director Brenda Capello will serve as chairwoman of the committee, which also includes Waltham Council of Neighborhood Advocates president Doris Donovan, Council on Aging Director Marybeth Duffy, labor relations and human resources consultant Gerard Hayes, School Committee member Stephen Rando, attorney Soledad Valenciano, and Lynn Police Chief John Suslak.

The committee will give its recomendations on semifinalists for the job to McCarthy, who will make the final decision.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 11:16 AM
September 27, 2007

Waltham recognizes firefighters' bravery

Waltham firefighters have been honored by the city for their bravery in fighting this July 15 fire that destroyed a popular family restaurant and an adjacent convenience store.
(Globe staff photo by John Bohn)


Waltham City Councilors have unanimously approved a resolution commending the firefighters who responded to the July 15 fire that destroyed Sal's Restaurant and California Convenience on Main Street.

The resolution specifically praised Captain Anthony Capello and Firefighter Joseph L. Nelson, who were injured when one of the floors in the building collapsed into the basement, and the two men who rescued them, Lieutenant John R. Castellano and Firefighter Dwight J. Anderson.

The audience at city hall -- which included many fellow members of the department -- gave the four men a standing ovation at the conclusion of the vote.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 09:49 AM
September 21, 2007

Feeling lucky in Waltham


Eight affordably priced condos at the Wellington Crossing development off Trapelo Road are going up for sale by lottery.

Six of them are designated for Waltham residents, immediate relatives of Waltham residents, former residents, or employees of the city and emergency services providers. The other two are available to the general public. One-bedroom units priced at $219,900 and two-bedroom units are priced at $279,900.

Applicants are limited to a maximum household annual income of $46,300 for a one-person household, $52,950 for two people, $59,550 for three people and $66,150 for four people, officials said.

Applications and information packets can be picked up at Wellington Crossing, which is located at 106 Clocktower Drive. They must be turned in to Wellington Crossing by 5 p.m. on November 6, or mailed with a postmark no later than that date. Anyone seeking more information is urged to call the development's sales office at 781-899-3325.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 12:25 PM
September 20, 2007

Watham to local restaurant: Park that piccata somewhere else



The City Council has rejected a local restaurant's request to use the William F. Stanley Senior Center's parking lot after hours.

During a recent meeting, the councilors voted to place the matter on file and remove it from their agenda. The owners of La Campania, at 504 Main Street, had asked for permission to lease part of the senior center parking lot at 488 Main Street for customer parking on evenings and weekends.

Councilors, however, said that doing so could preclude the Council on Aging from holding events at those times. Some councilors also voiced concern that granting the request would set a precedent where private businesses would seek to use other city-owned lots for their exclusive use.

The city's Council on Aging also opposed the request.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 09:40 AM
September 17, 2007

Waltham man charged with sexually assaulting a 6-year-old boy


A Waltham man charged with sexually assaulting a 6-year-old boy is being held on $500,000 bail on Cape Cod. Police allege that 40-year-old John Cox assaulted the boy in a Hyannis hotel swimming pool locker room over a year ago.

Cox was arrested last Friday on a child rape charge after the Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab matched forensic evidence at the Hyannis crime scene to his DNA.

Cox, pleaded not guilty today during an arraignment in Barnstable District Court, is a Level 3 sex offender, considered the most likely to re-offend. he has two prior convictions.

The alleged rape occurred the morning of May 6th, 2006, when a Connecticut boy staying at the hotel was using the locker room. Police say Cox was not a guest at the hotel. The alleged victim gave police a description of his assailant.

-- AP

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 04:56 PM
September 14, 2007

Waltham officials open new accessible park


Capping off more than a year of planning and $177,000 worth of fund-raising, Waltham officials last week opened the new Funway Park playground at William F. Stanley Elementary School.

At a dedication ceremony attended by about 200 people, Mayor Jeannette McCarthy and the city's Handicapped Services Commissioner Jerry LeBlanc watched a crowd of shrieking children to overrun the space, which was designed to also accommodate children in wheelchairs.

Over the summer, donors managed to come through with the last $8,000 needed to add rubber surfacing to the playground, which was ready in time for the first day of school.

Susan McKinney, a member of the volunteer committee that organized to build the park, said that the only detail yet unfinished is the dedication area, which will contain a brass plaque, a garden designed by the Waltham Garden Club, and a shade tree. The committee hopes to have that finished by the end of the year or whenever they can finish the plantings.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 06:40 AM
September 10, 2007

They make clothing the old-fashioned way - they make it



Women's clothing retailer Bon Worth, one of a dying breed that still manufactures the clothes sold in its stores, recently opened a new branch in Waltham.

The store opened last week in the River City Shopping Center on River Street. The Hendersonville, N.C.-based chain focuses on comfortable casual clothing and coordinates for the "mature woman," said the company's regional manager, Marilyn Lakin. Lakin said the company continues to control run its own manufacturing plants in the U.S. and Mexico because it keeps costs low.

Most of Bon Worth's pieces retail between $8.99 and $49.99. Lakin said that At-Large City Councilor Sarafina "Sally" Collura played an important role in bringing the store to Waltham.

"I had never met the woman, but I spoke to her several times, and she begged me the next time I came to Massachusetts to do a side trip and visit possible store [locations] with her," Lakin said from her office in New Jersey.

Lakin said Collura is a long-time customer and had hosted fashion shows featuring the store's clothing on her cable access television show in the past. The store will host a ribbon cutting ceremony on Sept. 29 at 11 a.m.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 12:24 PM
September 3, 2007

Waltham groups say smarter voters make better citizens



With this year's mayoral election coming up Nov. 6, the Waltham League of Women Voters and the Waltham Alliance to Create Housing are making a push to educate local residents about voting and the election process.

WATCH Director of Organizing Darline Jeanniton said recently the goal is to make sure everyone realizes what an important stake they have in local ballots elections -- not just presidential elections. Jeanniton said the groups also want to reach out to naturalized citizens and native-born citizens who don't vote.

The two groups will present an educational program on Sept. 13 from 6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Chester Brook Learning Center, which is located at 22 Brookway Road off of Lexington Street. Light refreshments will be available and door prizes will be awarded.

WATCH is also planning a voter registration drive during Historic Waltham Days, which run from September 14 to 23, and Jeanniton said there are also plans to reach out to local ethnic churches and community groups to talk to members about how to register to vote.

Officials are urging anyone seeking more information to contact Jeannitton at 781-891-6689, ext. 206.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 07:46 AM
August 22, 2007

Waltham mayor racing to fill election post before fall


Mayor Jeannette McCarthy said she hopes to have a candidate to fill a vacant election commissioner's spot by the time City Council meets on September 10.

The city has four seats, one of which is filled by the city clerk. Two seats are reserved for Republicans, and two for Democrats. One of the Republican commissioners, Hope Johnson, passed away earlier this year.

McCarthy said she'll be interviewing potential replacements in the next couple weeks. Waltham's election for mayor and city councilors' seats will be held on Nov. 6.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 04:03 PM
August 19, 2007

Historic car to finally park in Waltham birthplace


It's been over a century, but an antique car manufactured in Waltham back in 1905 is returning to its roots.

The bright red Waltham-Orient touring car was built at the old Waltham Manufacturing Company on Rumford Avenue, and recently donated to the Waltham Museum by a collector in Florida, according to a press release from the museum.

The Waltham Museum will be naming a room after the donor, George Albright, who is considered an authority on Waltham-manufactured cars and bicycles. This model featured seating for five people, and a four-cylinder air-cooled engine with 16 horsepower.

The Waltham-Orient joins six other automobiles that are waiting to be housed in the Museum's new home at 25 Lexington Street.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 08:06 AM
August 17, 2007

Chief change


Captain Thomas Lacroix will serve as Waltham's acting Chief of Police for the next three months, Mayor Jeannette McCarthy announced Monday . Former chief Edward Drew retired in June.

Lacroix has been on the force since 1986, and was promoted to Captain on May 13 of this year in the department's 911 Division. McCarthy said he was chosen out of four semifinalists for the chief's position for his enthusiasm for the job and for community outreach programs.

The other three candidates, who are all members of the Waltham Police Department, are Capt. Donald Feeney, Capt. Donald Russo , and Capt. William Stanton.

McCarthy said the next step is to create a screening committee who will interview the semifinalists and forward their recommendation to her. She would then send her recommendation to the City Council for confirmation.

Lacroix can hold the acting chief designation for up to six months, but McCarthy said she wants to make a permanent appointment for chief within three months.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 11:05 PM
August 15, 2007

Judge bars state from closing Fernald Development Center

Joan Hanlon, a resident at the Fernald Development Center since the age of two, spends some time in the pool with staffer Linda Bonilla.
(Globe staff photo by Suzanne Kreiter)


A federal judge yesterday halted the state's plan to close the Fernald Development Center in Waltham, ruling that the profoundly mentally retarded residents who have lived there for decades must be given the opportunity to stay.

US District Judge Joseph L. Tauro found there has been a "systemic failure" by the state to consider the individual needs of longtime Fernald residents by pushing its plan to close state institutions and transfer residents to community-based group homes or smaller facilities, reporter Shelley Murphy of the Globe's City & Region staff reports today.

In a seven-page ruling, Tauro said he agreed with the results of a court-ordered investigation by US Attorney Michael J. Sullivan, who concluded in March that for some Fernald residents a transfer "could have devastating effects that unravel years of positive, nonabusive behavior."

Tauro said his ruling does not mean the state may never close Fernald, which currently houses about 185 residents.

"It does mean, however, that the Department of Mental Retardation must carefully assess the needs and wishes of each resident and provide a genuine and meaningful opportunity for their guardians to participate in their placement decisions," he wrote.

The state could now urge a federal appeals court to overturn Tauro's decision. It could continue to operate the facility as it is or choose to sell off part of the 190-acre property for development while continuing to care for remaining residents.

Juan Martinez, a spokesman for the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, said in a statement: "We are currently reviewing the memorandum and order issued by Judge Tauro today so that we may better understand them and decide how best to respond. In the meantime, the Patrick Administration has not made a decision on the future of Fernald."

Read more about Tauro's ruling in the online edition of today's Globe.

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 01:32 PM
August 10, 2007

Honoring memory and service in Waltham


The intersection of School and Lexington Streets will be named for John P. McGrath, a World War II and Korean War veteran, City Councilors unanimously voted on Monday.

McGrath, who died in 2003 as a result of injuries he recieved in those wars, was a lifelong Waltham resident. He recieved both a Bronze Star and a Silver Star for his service in the second World War, and a Purple Heart and a second Bronze Star after recieving disabling wounds in Korea. After the war he volunteered for organizations serving disabled children.

A plaque marking the intersection as First Lieutenant John P. McGrath Square will be dedicated in a ceremony September 15.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 10:26 AM
August 7, 2007

Help leaving homelessness behind


Leaving homelessness behind isn't always as easy as just moving out of a shelter.

COMPASS for Homeless Families has begun a series of seminars, called "Life After Shelter," at Sandra's Lodge in Waltham, a shelter that houses 70 mothers and children on any given day. The typical "emergency" stay lasts 444 days, and COMPASS director Lana Jackman says it can be easy for the women to sink into despair, and worry about what step to take next.

The talks focus on topics like financial literacy, navigating the healthcare system, career paths, home ownership, workforce skills and homeownership. The program is seeking volunteer speakers to give those seminars and share their personal experiences with participants.

"'Life After Shelter' has a lot of objectives in one sense, but it's really about telling the moms that this is a one-way street - once you turn this corner, you can't imagine the number of options available to you. So while you're still in shelter, you really need to be thinking about them," says Jackman.

Participation requires a one-night commitment; seminars occur Wednesday nights between Sept. 12 and Dec. 12 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Anyone seeking more more information is urged to contact Jackman at 781-862-4446, extension 203, or via e-mail.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 10:24 AM
July 30, 2007

Two Brandeis students burned in lab fire


Two Brandeis University post-doctoral students were burned in a lab accident Friday morning, the is reporting.

Officials said Waltham police and fire departments responded to a fire at the school just after 11 a.m. Police said a female student badly burned her legs, and when her male lab partner tried to help her, he burned his hands.

Both were taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment. The cause of the fire was unknown.

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 11:53 AM
July 28, 2007

Tea for Marybeth


The Waltham Council on Aging has a new director, Marybeth Duffy.

Before being appointed to the position, Duffy served as a geriatric social worker at Mount Auburn Hospital, and a medical social worker and director of social work at the now-defunct Waltham Hospital. She replaces longtime director Ruth Gately.

The Council is having a welcoming tea to introduce Duffy to area seniors on August 16, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Senior Center, 488 Main Street. Attendees can RSVP at 781-899-7228.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 10:12 AM
July 20, 2007

Lawyer to leave city employment, join City Council


Robert J. Waddick, who is running unopposed for the Ward 6 City Council seat he had previously occupied during the 1990s, has announced that he will resign from his post as one of Waltham's assistant city solicitors.

Waddick said his last day in the office will be July 27. His resignation will take effect on Aug. 10. He said his departure is not related to his city council bid, and that he was ethically permitted to hold both jobs.

"I made a decision to run for the Ward 6 seat only after I determined that I could serve as a city councilor and a municipal employee at the same time. The state law permits it," Waddick said.

Waddick's new job will be as assistant city solicitor for the city of Newton, an opportunity he said became available after he had decided to run for office.

Waddick has held his current position since 2006. Prior to that, he worked as an attorney for the city's Board of Assessors and Treasurer/Collector's Department for two years. He also served as David Gately's deputy mayor from 2000 to 2004, and as Ward 6 councilor from 1992 to 2000. He served on Waltham's school committee from 1986 to 1991.

"I'm looking forward to a new challenge in the city of Newton and looking forward to continued service to the city of Waltham on City Council," said Waddick. "This is my home, and this is where I'm going to stay and remain active in local affairs."

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 03:27 PM
July 20, 2007

Fond memories, fat wallets

There is apparently no truth to the rumor that the new Brandeis University fight song contains the term "cha-ching."
(Globe staff photo by Patricia McDonnell)


At least 31 Brandeis University alumni must have fond memories of their years at the Waltham campus -- they all made multi-million dollar gifts that contributed to a record-breaking year for fund-raising at the school.

The former students all made contributions of between $1 million and $10 million. In total, donors to the school contributed $89.4 million during the fiscal year that ended June 30, a 10 percent increase over last year's record-breaking tally.

Brandeis, founded in 1948, is the only non-sectarian Jewish-sponsored university in the United States.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 02:04 PM
July 19, 2007

Fire that destroyed landmark eatery was accidental, officials say

(Globe staff photo by John Bohn)


The fire that destroyed Sal's Family Restaurant last Sunday was accidental, the state Department of Fire Services has said in a press release.

Investigators believe the fire started in the basement area beneath the take-out counter, probably due to an electrical problem or natural gas leak ignited by any of several sources. The damage to the site was so severe that it would be "impossible" to determine exactly what caused the spark, the release said.

The fire also destroyed a neighboring store, California Convenience.

The Waltham Fire Department, the Office of the State Fire Marshal, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had spent most of this week combing through the charred debris by hand.

--Stephanie V. Siek

July 16, 2007

A family treasure in Waltham lost to fire

(Globe staff photo by John Bohn)


For 41 years on Main Street, the Italian immigrant served lunchtime workers and families seeking affordable dinners, like the elbow macaroni slathered with tomato and meat sauce for $4.95 that he sold as "American chop suey."

Salvatore Pinzone -- Sal to his customers -- catered to masses, except for Thanksgiving, when he cooked for his family.

Early yesterday, that legacy was reduced to blackened beams and broken glass, when a fire damaged much of Sal's Family Restaurant and a convenience store next door, at Newton Street, Globe correspondent April Yee reports in the online edition of the City & Region section.

Waltham Fire Chief Richard Cardillo said the cause of the fire, which was reported about 5 a.m. and claimed parts of the roof, was under investigation.

"What should my next step be at 79 1/2 ?" said Pinzone, who lives near the restaurant and in a rare occasion missed his 10 a.m. Mass. "So many people have been inconvenienced."

Several city residents, including Mayor Jeannette McCarthy, said they hope Sal's reopens.

"It's inbred," said McCarthy, who came with her family for the chop suey or fish and chips at least once a week. "This was a family restaurant."

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 12:26 PM
July 13, 2007

Northborough-Southborough district to receive $2.35 million


The Northborough-Southborough Regional School District will be paid $2.35 million as part of a settlement reached yesterday with Framingham-based Eastern Contractors Inc. and United States Fidelity and Guaranty Co., said a statement released by the district.

The district fired Eastern Contractors for nonperformance in December 2005 on a $60 million renovation project for Algonquin Regional High School after the project was delayed.

Eastern Contractors filed suit against the district in response. The district and the companies have now dropped all litigation in the dispute.

-- John Dyer

Posted by Martin Finucane at 04:27 PM
July 5, 2007

Early exit after 33 years for Waltham Police chief

Waltham Deputy Police chief Keith MacPherson gives the Waltham Devil Dogs Pop Warner team a pep talk. On Monday, MacPherson will take on a new duty: acting police chief.


With one simple sentence, Police Chief Edward J. Drew has ended 33 years of service with the city of Waltham - a week earlier than he had been expected to depart.

City Personnel Director Brenda Capello said that she received Drew's letter of resignation on June 29. The letter stated: "To confirm my previous conversations I am retiring as chief of police effective June 30, 2007."

Capello said she did not know why the date differed from the July 7 date for Drew's departure given to her by the city's retirement board.

The city ordinances state that when the chief of police is absent, the deputy chief, in this case Keith MacPherson, would perform the chief's duties. But MacPherson is on vacation until Monday, and the task now falls to Captain Donald Russo, the most senior of the department's captains.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 11:31 AM
July 3, 2007

More weekend beach reading in Waltham this summer

Ann Romney, Governor Mitt Romney's wife, reads during story time at the Waltham Public Library
(Globe staff photo by Essdras Suarez)


While other libraries are cutting back hours and laying off staff, Waltham Public Library officials have announced that they will be open on Sundays during the summer.

Library Director Tom Jewell said that beginning this Sunday, the library will be open and offering its full range of services -- making it the only one of the 35 public libraries that are part of the Minuteman Library Network to do so.

A survey done earlier this year found that library visits were heavy on weekends during the school year, and there was interest in extending weekend hours year-round, Jewell said. The new Sunday hours will be from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

"We're very excited about it," he said. "Other libraries, I know, have struggled, and we feel very fortunate that Waltham has - particularly through good fiscal management but also because we have a supportive business community - been able to maintain our hours."

Jewell, who has worked at the library for 30 years, said this is the first time in his memory that the library has been open on summer Sundays.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 10:51 AM
June 21, 2007

Waltham teacher charged in sexual assualts dies

Former Waltham middle school teacher Robert Dacey at his arraignment last August
(Photo by Cyrus Moghtader for the Boston Globe)


Robert Dacey , the former Waltham middle school teacher and coach suspected of sexually assaulting former students, died of a possible heart attack yesterday at an undisclosed Dedham location, police said.

Waltham police arrested Dacey in August and charged him with indecent assault and battery and rape of minors. Dacey was released on $25,000 bail, put under house arrest at a family member's home, and required to wear an electronic ankle bracelet. Last fall, a grand jury returned a 17-count indictment against him.

According to Corey Welford, spokesman for the Middlesex district attorney's office, Dacey had a status hearing last week in Cambridge Superior Court and was facing another hearing.

Waltham police Sergeant Brian Lambert said Dacey's attorney, Dino Colucci, notified the district attorney's office of Dacey's death. Waltham police confirmed it with Dedham police.

-- Globe City & Region staff

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 07:09 AM
June 19, 2007

Gift to provide for Israel Studies center


A $15 million gift from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation will establish an academic center at Brandeis University that focuses on the culture, history, language and society of Israel.

The Schusterman Center for Israel Studies aims to fill a gap in scholarship about the country beyond its role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to a Brandeis press release.

The center will train graduate level students as well as offering learning and teaching opportunities to faculty at other universities.

The donation represents the largest single gift ever bestowed by the foundation and one of the largest ever received by Brandeis.

The non-sectarian, Jewish-sponsored university hopes the Schusterman Family Foundation's donation will be the seed of a $30 million endowment by 2015.

- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 09:20 AM
June 18, 2007

What to do with an old school?


The City Council has approved a call for proposals to reuse the former Banks School building on Main Street, and it does not include several changes made last month to increase the ability of local nonprofit groups to enter the bidding process.

The city is putting the building up for lease so that it can be developed into affordable rental housing, a place providing services for the developmentally disabled, or a combination of those uses.

The version of the request for proposals that was passed at last Monday's meeting will rank submissions according to how much rent income the proposal would provide for the city.

The version drafted in May had established a point system for ranking according to three principles other than rent: the amount of affordable housing to be provided, the amount and quality of services to be provided to the developmentally disabled, and the inclusion of "green" or environmentally friendly building practices.

The Waltham Alliance to Create Housing had argued that using rent income as a primary criterion would put nonprofit organizations applying to use the building at a disadvantage.

David H. Marcou, Jr., the at-large councilor who chairs the council's Request for Proposals Committee, said that the city law department had informed them that ranking proposals in any other way would be subjective and therefore illegal.

- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 08:53 AM
June 13, 2007

Local schools go green


Several local schools won 'Green Team' awards from the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs following a program to reduce pollution and protect the environment.

The Globe West area schools honored were:

  • Berlin Middle School in Berlin
  • Fowler School in Maynard
  • Marion E. Zeh School in Northborough
  • Melican Middle School in Northborough
  • Beatrice H. Wood School in Plainville
  • James Fitzgerald Elementary School in Waltham
  • Hemenway School in Framingham
  • Mary E. Stapleton School in Framingham

Schools that won awards received recycling equipment to make their individual programs more effective.

-- Adam Sell

Posted by Martin Finucane at 02:57 PM
June 9, 2007

Linking families with troops overseas



The Raytheon Company has donated 100 computers to Operation Homelink, a charity that provides military families with computers that help them stay in touch with loved ones serving overseas.

Most service personnel have access to e-mail during their deployment, but that doesn't do much good when their families can't afford a home computer to communicate with them regularly, said the nonprofit organization's press release, and they end up using regular mail or expensive long-distance phone calls to stay in touch.

The donated computers are professionally refurbished, tested for problems, upgraded with a new operating system and software, and then shipped to the families.

The program has connected more than 2,300 families so far, and recently expanded to donate laptops to wounded soldiers and marines recuperating in military hospitals. Raytheon's computers will go to families of Massachusetts National Guard members.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 10:44 AM
May 27, 2007

Home improvement giant withdraws bid to skirt parking rules



The developers of a proposed Lowe's store at 20 Seyon Street want to withdraw their application for a special permit that would allow the home improvement giant to install fewer than the required number of parking spaces for the project.

The letter from Samuels & Associates' attorney Joseph M. Connors, Jr. asks Waltham's city councilors to let Lowe's withdraw the request without prejudice. The attempt to build a Lowe's on a lot overlapping both Waltham and Watertown has drawn criticism from neighbors who say it would attract more traffic than the area can handle.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 06:35 AM
May 23, 2007

Of sunscreen and snowboards

Ahh, summertime at Prospect Hill Park; sunbathing, concert-going ... snowboarding?
(Globe staff photo by Bill Polo)


The Prospect Hill Park Advocacy Group has come out against a local businessman's proposal to cover part of the Prospect Hill with a synthetic surface ski slope that could be used for skiing and snowboarding in warmer months.

"It is ... incompatible with the goals of the [park] master plan, it is incompatible with the operation of the summer camp, it is incompatible with wildlife habitat values, and it is incompatible with other year-round uses of the ski slope," said the volunteer group's chair, Gloria Champion.

Entrepreneur Michael Colomba's plan has already met with opposition from the Park and Recreation Board, who rejected it at a meeting last month. But supporters on the City Council such as At-Large Councilor Sarafina "Sally" Collura and Ward 1 Councilor Robert S. Kelly are trying to put it on the council's agenda, saying it would provide a unique recreation option and attract tourism.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 10:34 PM
May 14, 2007

Waltham office building shows revitalized 128


Employees of software company Pyxis Mobile Inc. remember feeling lonely in 2003 when they moved into Reservoir Place, a sprawling silver office building overlooking Route 128, the Globe reports today.

"You'd walk down the corridors, and you'd hear the echoes," recalled T. L. Neff, executive vice president of Pyxis, which makes software that puts financial data on BlackBerry mobile devices.

Today, he has plenty of company. Occupancy at Reservoir Place, a 530,000-square-foot building with a signature clock tower over its main entrance, has climbed to 92 percent after dipping below 70 percent in 2002 when the dot-com frenzy evaporated. The building's atriums are filled with young techies, some in shorts and polo shirts, sipping cups of espresso and tapping away on wireless laptops.

The scene is much the same elsewhere on the high-tech belt known as Route 128 West, a ribbon of highway running from Lexington to Needham through rolling hills studded with office parks.

-- Robert Weisman

Posted by Martin Finucane at 11:01 AM
May 11, 2007

Wine sampling gone virtual


"I lined up six bottles of wine, turned on my laptop, and entered the password that came inside the shipping box. So began a virtual wine tasting, streamed live on the Internet from Waltham," the Globe reports.

From my hotel here, three friends and I watched British sommeliers James Booth and Ben Llewelyn as they led a tasting from Gordon's Fine Wine & Liquors on Moody Street in Waltham. The password allowed me to create a screen name. It also gave us access to a chat room filled with other wine enthusiasts who'd ordered the same six bottles of wine.

Within minutes, approximately 100 participants, in groups of four to 14 from around the United States, were getting guidance from the sommeliers, tasting the wines, and typing madly.

-- Susan Chaityn Lebovits

Posted by Martin Finucane at 03:07 PM
April 24, 2007

Anyone for a mancation?


Where men are men -- Lee Glickenhaus of Brookline and friends on a mancation at Zion National Park in Utah
(Photo courtesy of Lee Glickenhaus)


Looking for a "mancation"?

Forbes magazine reports on the Waltham-based firm that offers ways for guys to create their own masculine getaways, often called "mancations" or "manscapes."

I'm In! helps users create gender-specific vacations, and recently published, in collaboration with a Boston market research firm, figures that say 20 million men spend $10-$12 billion a year on guys-only getaways.

The Globe's Don Aucoin earlier this year did a story on the phenomenon and was interviewed on NECN about it.

Correspondent Susan Chaityn Lebovits wrote a piece accompanying the article.

-- Adam Sell

Posted by Martin Finucane at 04:24 PM
April 5, 2007

City woos expansion-minded Tufts-NEMC


Mayor Jeannette McCarthy would like Tufts-New England Medical Center to build its first major suburban campus in Waltham, but the hospital isn't making any commitments yet.

Tufts-NEMC, based in Boston, is scouting sites in Waltham and Westwood, and hopes to strike a deal by summertime.

"We want to see where there's a community need and how we can complement what our physicians are already doing," said hospital spokeswoman Brooke Tyson Hynes.

McCarthy has lobbied hard to attract an acute-care hospital to the city since Deaconess Waltham Hospital closed in 2003, shuttering the city's only emergency room. "There is a definite need here," said the mayor.

Tufts-NEMC has also expressed interest in a site in Westwood, where a 4.5-million-square-foot housing, office and commercial complex is being developed near Route 1 and Interstate 95.

A location in the south suburbs could be particularly advantageous to Tufts-NEMC, which operates New England Quality Care Alliance, a physicians network with practices in Brockton, Weymouth, and Cape Cod.

-- Erica Noonan

Posted by Erica Noonan, Globe West at 11:17 AM
April 1, 2007

Scandalous behavior 150 years ago in Waltham

Here's a slice out of Waltham's past that was unearthed by the Yesterday's News columnist at the Press-Register of Mobile, Ala.

1857 -- "The gentlemen of Waltham, Mass., are said to be enjoying the luxuries of a female barber. She is young, pretty, smart, and of course has a keen way of doing business."

Posted by Martin Finucane at 05:10 PM
March 30, 2007

Waltham company sells more military robots


A Waltham company is preparing troops to send into battle, but these troops aren't human. They're robots.

Foster-Miller Inc. recently sent the U.S. military 1,000 robots, the AP reports.

These robots can sniff bombs and keep human soldiers out of harm's way.

-- Adam Sell

Posted by Martin Finucane at 04:35 PM
March 29, 2007

Waltham man to serve 20 years for marijuana trafficking


A Waltham man was sentenced yesterday in federal court to nearly 20 years in prison for marijuana trafficking, federal prosecutors announced.

Anthony Saunders, 43, was convicted of conspiracy to distribute marijuana. U.S. District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock ordered him to serve 19 years and seven months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, the U.S. Attorney's office announced.

Prosecutors said Saunders' mother, stepfather, and another man were also convicted in the case and sentenced to prison.

-- Adam Sell

Posted by Martin Finucane at 04:58 PM
March 16, 2007

A new view for Waltham gallery

Panopticon Gallery, which has illustrated its corner on Moody and Chestnut Streets with striking black and white and color photographs since 1999, will leave Waltham for its Kenmore Square gallery at the end of this month.

Owner and director Tony Decaneas said Panopticon will move into its existing satellite gallery inside the Hotel Commonwealth at 500 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston.

"What I'm going to miss about this place is the space. It's just a fabulous big open gallery, the type of place where you can really do installations," says Decaneas of the 435 Moody Street space. "We have to be a little more creative in the new space.... but this place will be hard to beat."

The gallery also specializes in restoring and printing old film and plate glass negatives, and their imaging and darkroom services will move to a new location in Hingham under the leadership of Paul Sneyd, the longtime darkroom manager.

Decaneas said that over the years the gallery has worked for museums, private collectors, and historical groups. His favorite work was making prints of Fenway Park while it was first being built, and the earliest known aerial photo of Boston after the Great Fire of 1872.

A moving sale is set for March 24, where Decaneas said buyers can find everything from old postcards to darkroom equipment to framing materials.

- Stephanie V. Siek

March 8, 2007

US attorney presents Fernald report to judge


Supporters and families of Fernald Development Center residents applauded when a judge walked into a federal courtroom yesterday to hear US Attorney Michael J. Sullivan present his report on a yearlong investigation that recommends that the beleaguered facility remain open, the Globe reports.

Extra chairs and benches to accommodate an overflow crowd were carried into the courtroom, where the mood was jubilant as Sullivan read his findings. The 27-page report, which was released Tuesday said, "Our office has concluded that some residents at Fernald could suffer an adverse impact, either emotionally or physically, if they were forced to move from Fernald."

Sullivan recommended that Fernald remain open to provide services to the "most vulnerable" people in the Commonwealth and that residents be allowed to stay there if they choose. The report gave the state good grades for maintenance of its facilities for the mentally retarded and for its handling of recent transfers from Fernald.

-- Emily Sweeney

Posted by Martin Finucane at 05:11 PM
March 7, 2007

The stars come out in Waltham

Roy Scheider at Brandeis with his 12-year-old daughter Molly
(Boston Globe photo)


Brandeis University's student film festival SunDeis featured two bonafide movie stars, WPRI reports.

Oscar winner Patricia Neal and Oscar nominee Roy Scheider were honored with lifetime achievement awards. The student film festival, run over two days, featured more than 50 student films.

-- Adam Sell

Posted by Martin Finucane at 10:39 AM
February 23, 2007

Growing pains for Waltham?


As thickly settled as parts of the city may seem, Waltham has the potential for even more growth.

In fact, planners say that under current zoning, an additional 5,700 housing units and nearly 3 million square feet of retail or office space could be built.

A neighborhood group fears that unchecked growth will gobble up open space, clog roads, and strain public transportation.

It's holding a public forum next week to pressure the City Council to adopt a draft master plan that it has been sitting on since last year.

The Waltham Council of Neighborhood Advocates, or WCONA, will present a panel discussion of the plan, featuring Waltham city planner Ted Fields, former Ward 3 councilor Michael R. Squillante, longtime neighborhood activist Herb Henderson, and Waltham planning director Ron Vokey.

The forum will be 7 p.m. Thursday at Waltham Government Center auditorium, 119 School St. For more information, call WCONA president Doris Donovan at 781-894-6936.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

February 20, 2007

Airplane snag wrecks winter break trip


Eighteen Waltham High School students were supposed to spend today strolling the Alhambra and practicing their Spanish with shopkeepers in the Spanish city of Granada.

Instead they and their two teacher chaperones are stuck at home. When they arrived for their flight Friday night, Delta Airlines had only 11 boarding passes for the group. The airline said the best they could do was offer the rest of the group a flight to Brussels, Belgium the next day, said Waltham High Spanish teacher Lisa Geaney

Geaney said the students had scrimped, saved and worked part-time jobs to cover the trip's $2,500 price tag and it frustrates her that they don't have anything to show for it.

"They're studying the language, they wanted to experience the culture, and really put to use what they were learning in the classrooms," said Geaney. "They do everything right, they follow the instructions given by Delta the entire evening, just so they [Delta] can say, 'Well, we don't have their seat.'"

Delta did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Erica Noonan, Globe West at 04:14 PM
February 2, 2007

Carbon monoxide forces evacuation of Waltham restaurant


A problem in the kitchen of an Indian restaurant on Moody Street in Waltham pumped a lethal amount of carbon monoxide into the eatery and forced the evacuation of the apartments upstairs, according to fire officials.

No one was injured, said a Waltham fire official.

The Jewel of India restaurant is located on the 300 block of Moody Street.

-- John R. Ellement and Megan Tench

Posted by Martin Finucane at 03:40 PM
January 26, 2007

Waltham institutions on the air


Waltham institutions are getting a lot of airtime this weekend on C-SPAN2's Book TV. Tomorrow, viewers can see former president Jimmy Carter at Brandeis University discussing his book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," at 3:30 pm, followed by Alan Dershowitz's response to Carter at 4:45pm.

On Sunday, Carter's talk repeats at 11 p.m. and Dershowitz's response is rebroadcast at 12:15 a.m. Monday.

Also featured on Book TV at 12 a.m. Sunday is a talk sponsored by Moody Street's Back Pages Books about Howard Zinn's book "A Power Governments Cannot Supress." If that's past your bedtime, all the talks are also viewable online at

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Martin Finucane at 02:00 PM
January 25, 2007

Polaroid site developer makes key filing


The New York-based developer that purchased the 120-acre site of the former Polaroid headquarters last summer has filed an environmental notification form with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Office.

The Related Companies made the announcement in a brief statement released this morning. The company said its plans for the Main Street site are still preliminary but will include both retail and office uses. Polaroid had used the property primarily for office space and chemical manufacturing.

The environmental filing, made earlier this month, allows the developer to move forward with involvement in a set of proposed traffic improvements at the Route 20 interchange of Route 128.

The privately financed project would extend and widen nearby Green Street so it can serve as a connector to Route 117. Related is partnering with Sam Park and Company, which wants to build a retail and office park on Green Street, to finance it. Federal funding has been allocated as well.

The public has until Feb. 12 to comment on the filing, which is posted on the MEPA office website at

-- Stephanie Siek

Posted by Martin Finucane at 08:09 AM
January 23, 2007

Carter speaks at Brandeis


Jimmy Carter, stepping to the podium to applause and a standing ovation, quipped to Brandeis University students and staff today that the school's invitation to speak there was the most exciting one he had received in nearly 30 years. It came in second only to the US Congress's invitation to deliver his presidential inaugural address, he said to laughter.

Then Carter, responding to criticism about his controversial book, "Palestine Peace not Apartheid," outlined the work he had done as president to bring peace to Israel and defended the use of the word, "apartheid" in the title.

Read more in the Globe's Local News Updates on

-- Globe Staff

Posted by Martin Finucane at 06:18 PM
January 23, 2007

Carter to speak at Brandeis today


Former President Jimmy Carter will speak at Brandeis University today about his controversial new book about Israel.

About 1,700 students, faculty and other members of the university community are expected to attend the forum this afternoon where Carter will discuss his book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid."

The book has caused a stir because of its criticisms of Israel. A university spokesman says a protest area has been set up near the hall where Carter will speak.

Posted by Martin Finucane at 09:24 AM
January 22, 2007

AstraZeneca expansion will create 100 new scientific jobs



British drug maker AstraZeneca PLC today announced a $100 million expansion of its Waltham facility to boost research and development of drugs that treat cancer and infectious diseases.

The expansion will create up to 100 new scientific jobs on top of the 400 employees who now work at the site.

Construction on the 132,000-square-foot expansion is expected to start within the next couple months and be completed by mid-2009. It will increase the Waltham facility to 382,000 square feet.

-- AP

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 01:29 PM
January 22, 2007

Carter questions questioned



About 1,700 students, faculty, and other members of the Brandeis University community will attend a university forum tomorrow afternoon to hear Jimmy Carter discuss his controversial new book about Israel, but their questions will be limited to those selected by a committee that invited the former president.

After weeks of furor over Carter's visit to promote his book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," students and faculty will be allowed to ask at most 15 questions, said members of the committee, composed of five faculty and one student sympathetic to Carter's views. They added that no follow-up questions would be allowed.

The committee has selected the questions -- which will follow a 15-minute speech by Carter set to begin about 4:30 p.m. -- from more than 100 submitted to a campus website posted about a week ago, said Gordon Fellman , a professor of sociology and member of the committee.

"It would be chaos to open the questions to all 1,700 people who want to ask questions," said Kevin Montgomery , 22, a senior majoring in politics who started a campus petition to invite Carter and is the student on the committee. "We've tried to represent all points of view. I would say roughly two-thirds of the questions challenge Carter, and about three are softballs."

Some faculty and students, however, worry the screening and lack of follow-up questions will hamper a free exchange of views on the predominantly Jewish campus, where many hoped Carter would debate Alan Dershowitz , a professor at Harvard Law School who has criticized the former president's book.

"I think the format they've chosen is outrageous," said Morton Keller, an emeritus professor of history. "It's like a Soviet press conference."

You can read more about the debate over Carter's Brandeis appearance in the Globe City & Region section.

-- David Abel

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 01:05 PM
January 18, 2007

Truck smashes into Waltham house


The inhabitants of a Mayall Road home are seeking other shelter after a truck plowed through the house last night, police say.

Shortly after 7 p.m., the truck was traveling west on Candace Avenue when the driver struck a parked car and veered off the road, hitting the house, which sits at the corner of Mayall Road and Candace Avenue, said Lieutenant Richard Couture.

The driver was taken to an unspecified hospital with non-life threatening injuries, and an occupant of the home sustained a minor leg injury that didn't require hospital treatment.

The truck's driver, whose name is not being released, will be cited for having an expired driver's license, negligent operation and failure to keep to the right-of-way.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Martin Finucane at 04:15 PM
January 17, 2007

Worrying about your kids may affect your work


When you're worried about your kids being home alone, it could affect your work, according to a new study from Brandeis University.

Millions of parents wonder about the welfare of their school-age kids as they return to an empty home, and productivity in the workplace suffers, the survey said.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that parents scramble to try to find solutions for the problem of unsupervised youth.

"I can be sitting in a meeting with somebody in my office. I'll get an instant message or a phone call [from one of my sons]. You have to stop what you're doing. It does impact your work," said Helen Patrikis, a New York publicist.

-- Adam Sell

Posted by Martin Finucane at 02:30 PM
January 9, 2007

How low is your mortgage rate?


Even in the warmth that this winter has brought, who wouldn't want free heating for their home?

Daniel Quaroni of Waltham says he got such a good rate on his mortgage that it's the same as getting his heating bills free.

"You’re talking about a couple of hundred dollars a month," Quaroni told the New York Times, speaking of the rate he got for the loan on his $650,000 house. "That definitely impacts the bottom line."

With the money the Quaronis save on mortgage payments, they're able to afford other projects around the house.

Mortgage rates across the country are low, the Times reports. And these rates are sustaining the housing market, even when the prices on homes are astronomical.

-- Adam Sell

Posted by Martin Finucane at 03:22 PM
January 5, 2007

Lunch al fresco


Lunch with  Dad.jpg

How warm was it today? It was a day for outdoor cafes. That's how warm it was.

Susannah Pugh of Waltham, and her father, Jim Pugh of Wellesley, have lunch outside in downtown Boston today in this photo by Globe staff photographer David L. Ryan.

Posted by Martin Finucane at 02:25 PM
January 4, 2007

They love "High School Musical"


Disney's wildly successful "High School Musical" is scoring points with kids and parents alike with its positive message. The made-for-TV movie, which debuted a year ago, has spawned a live show that has been a veritable cash cow for its producers.

Deb Martou, a Waltham resident, brought her 8 year-old daughter to the show, which recently played in Manchester N.H. Martou estimates she's spent more than $500 on various "High School Musical" memorabilia, the Hartford Courant reports.

And the kids like to think that the story has an element of truth to it.

Rebecca Fainberg, 16, also of Waltham, exclaimed that the show is "the greatest thing ever."

-- Adam Sell

Posted by Martin Finucane at 04:57 PM
December 26, 2006

Considering the fate of Boston's City Hall


Karen O'Donnell of Waltham says Boston's City Hall isn't so bad.

She told The New York Times that she enjoyed the occasional concert and sports rally on the plaza, and worried that the gathering space could not be duplicated.

O'Donnell, 53, an electrician, was interviewed in the parking ticket line for a story on the debate over whether City Hall is a brilliant piece of architecture or an ugly, poorly designed building -- and what its fate should be.

-- Erica Tochin

Posted by Martin Finucane at 12:54 PM
December 21, 2006

Bentley men: A perfect 12-0 on court


There's plenty of holiday cheer for the Bentley College men's basketball team.

Senior center Jeff Holmes and freshman guard Jason Westrol combined for 36 points on 14-of-16 shooting as undefeated Bentley broke the record for the best start in the program's 44-year history with an 81-62 non-conference victory over visiting New Haven at the Dana Center on Thursday night.

Ranked fourth nationally in Division 2, the Falcons improved to 12-0, bettering the 11-0 start by the 1974-75 squad.

Holmes finished with 20 points and seven rebounds in just 20 minutes of play. Westrol followed with 16 points, the third straight game in which he’s improved on his career-best, and three steals. Holmes made eight of his nine field goal attempts, Westrol was six of seven, and both players made all four of their free three attempts. In the first 3:35 of the second half, Bentley opened up a 55-30 cushion. Sophomore guard Lew Finnegan of Lexington added 15 points.

Bentley resumes its Northeast-10 Conference schedule on Jan. 3 at Southern Connecticut State.

-- Craig Larson

Posted by Martin Finucane at 10:06 PM
December 21, 2006

Raytheon to sell business jet subsidiary


Waltham defense contractor Raytheon Co. early this morning agreed to sell its business jet subsidiary, Raytheon Aircraft Co. of Wichita, Kan., for about $3.3 billion to a new company formed by the Canadian private equity firm Onex Partners and the Goldman Sachs investment bank.

Raytheon said it plans to apply the proceeds from the divestiture, expected to total $2.5 billion after taxes, toward reducing its debt and increasing its stock repurchasing authorization.

-- Robert Weisman

Posted by Martin Finucane at 09:12 AM
December 19, 2006

Waltham rep pushes trans fat ban



Koutoujian speaking at an event last year
(Globe Staff Photo by Bill Greene)

Massachusetts is considering following New York City's lead and banning restaurants from serving artery-clogging artificial trans fats -- a move some lovers of greasy food are giving a thumbs-down.

State Rep. Peter Koutoujian, D-Waltham, co-chairman of the Legislature's Joint Committee on Public Health, filed a bill Tuesday to make Massachusetts the first state to impose the ban.

"It's basically killing people," Koutoujian said.

He said health officials have known about the "evils" of trans fat for years. He said two recent developments -- greater access to non-trans fat cooking oils and a move by some major restaurant chains to get away from trans fat -- now make a statewide ban possible.

-- AP

Posted by Martin Finucane at 05:25 PM
December 19, 2006

Archdiocese clears Waltham priest of abuse charge


The Catholic Archdiocese of Boston reinstated a Waltham priest yesterday after an investigation found no evidence to support a single allegation that he had sexually abused a minor about 20 years ago.

The Rev. Roger N. Jacques, former pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Waltham, was placed on administrative leave in October 2002 pending an archdiocesan review of the complaint.

Jacques was among 58 Boston-area priests who signed a letter questioning the credibility of Cardinal Bernard F. Law and asking him to resign after a string of priests were accused of sexually abusing minors.

-- AP

Posted by Martin Finucane at 08:21 AM
December 17, 2006

Clueless busdrivers in Waltham


"This week the passengers on the 505 bus were treated to rather clueless new drivers," wrote Mary-Ellen of Waltham in an e-mail we at first found hard to believe. But it's true.

"Last night (Dec. 12) on the 4:10 bus, the driver had no idea how to get to Waltham and back and had to be guided the entire way by kind passengers," she wrote.

Then the driver's directions flew out his open window. Rather than plug on, the driver stopped the bus and chased the wind-blown papers down the street, she wrote.

The following morning, the 8 a.m. 505 express bus out of Waltham "featured a different driver who treated passengers to a free ride if they were 'only going up Moody Street.' "

"I have to say that I resent having to subsidize nonpaying passengers," Mary-Ellen told the Starts and Stops column today. "I could find better uses for the $7 a day I spend to ride the 505 to Boston and back again."

T officials were astounded.

Completely unacceptable," wrote James Folk, the head of bus operations.

-- Mac Daniel

Posted by Martin Finucane at 09:37 AM
November 30, 2006

Waltham man sentenced on insider-trading charges


A hedge fund manager was sentenced in federal court in Boston on insider-trading charges, the offices of US Attorney Michael J. Sullivan and the FBI said.

Michael K.C. Tom, 37, of Waltham, was sentenced by US District Judge Reginald C. Lindsay to three years of probation, with the first six months to be served in a community confinement facility, federal officials said.

The charges arose from Tom's trading of Citizens Bank common stock and options based on a tip from a Citizens employee about the then-pending merger with Charter One Financial, officials said.

-- Chris Reidy

Posted by Martin Finucane at 08:26 AM
November 27, 2006

An herbal remedy for the flu


Now that flu season is upon us, many in Globe West are scrambling to get their flu shots. Judy Foreman, in the Health Answers column, writes that there are no scientifically proven alternatives to that pesky needle.

But then there is Steve Bernardi, co-owner of Johnson Drug in Waltham, who thinks herbal remedies can help. He favors Boiron's Oscillococcinum, made from duck liver, to reduce the duration and severity of the flu, Foreman reports today.

Johnson Drug also sells several products made from mushrooms meant to curb flu symptoms.

-- Erica Tochin

Posted by Martin Finucane at 04:04 PM
November 20, 2006

Gay marriage may come to a vote


Ken Repp of Waltham comments on the gay marriage issue in today's Globe, saying, "As soon as you go down the path of the majority voting on the rights of the minority, you're going down a dangerous path."

Repp has been married to his husband, Christopher Johnson, for 2 1/2 years.

The Globe reports that Governor Mitt Romney may be on his way out of office, but that doesn't mean he's letting the gay marriage issue rest.

Romney said he will ask the Supreme Judicial Court to order a statewide referendum on banning gay marriages to be put on the ballot.

Thousands of people signed petitions asking for the measure to be put on the ballot, but the Legislature has to approve it, and the measure hasn't found enough support among lawmakers.

-- Erica Tochin

Posted by Martin Finucane at 02:54 PM
November 15, 2006

Matsuzaka mania hits Waltham


Members of Red Sox Nation are no doubt excited by the prospect of the Sox signing high-priced Japanese phenomenon Daisuke Matsuzaka -- and a Waltham eatery is jumping on the bandwagon.

Jake's Dixie Roadhouse, at 220 Moody Street, says it will donate half of the proceeds from sales of its teriyaki wings (served with grilled pineapples, $7.95) to help defray the cost of acquiring Matsuzaka. Red Sox fans who are eager to help out the team can do their part by loosening their belts.

-- Erica Tochin

Posted by Martin Finucane at 11:17 AM
November 13, 2006

Brandeis honors its namesake -- with a Warhol



To mark the 150th anniversary today of the birth of its namesake, Brandeis University will not read one of the influential opinions written by the revered U.S. Supreme Justice. Nor will the Waltham school trace the impact of Louis D. Brandeis' most famous phrase in his pursuit of open government, that sunlight was the "best disinfectant."

Instead, Brandeis will be remembered by a tribute from an artist better known for cans of Campbell's tomato soup and silkscreen images of Marilyn Monroe's face against turquoise, blue, green, and lemon yellow backgrounds.

The high point of the university's year-long celebration of Brandeis tonight will be a 40-inch by 40-inch acrylic and silkscreen enamel portrait by the avant-garde master, Andy Warhol.

-- Andrew Ryan

Posted by Martin Finucane at 01:50 PM
November 12, 2006

Waltham among new suburban biotech centers


Life sciences companies repelled by Cambridge's high rents are landing in Lexington, Woburn, and Waltham, where vacancies are high and rents about 30 percent lower, Globe NorthWest reports today.

Since 2004, Cambridge's biopharmaceutical industry, anchored by Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research Inc., has been recovering from the economic downturn of the early 2000s, when many companies closed up shop.

Today, real estate analysts say, top-shelf space for larger companies is tightening in the Cambridge market, and certain suburban markets are poised to attract the less-endowed, smaller start-up companies, or those with a maturing work force ready for a less urban setting.

"The Route 2 corridor really became a life sciences corridor in the suburbs," said Robert Richards, president of Richards Barry Joyce & Partners , a Boston-based commercial real estate company. "We are running into more and more companies who are saying, 'We don't need to be in Cambridge. . . . We want to be a world-class suburban site.' "

-- Joyce Pellino Crane

Posted by Martin Finucane at 09:39 AM
November 11, 2006

How to win $500,000 revealed



(The well-prepared Ogas considers the $1 million question)

They picked the wrong guy -- and they ended up losing $500,000 because of it.

Waltham's Ogi Ogas, who won $500,000 on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" reveals how he did it in a fascinating first-person story today in the Globe's Living/Arts section.

It turns out that the Boston University graduate student used his research training in the Department of Cognitive and Neural Systems to win. Ogas says his academic advisers are investigating learning, memory, and decision-making -- and that came in handy.

And when you get that chance to phone an expert friend to help you with a question? It helps when that friend is a fellow BU student sitting by a computer loaded with special software algorithms to search the Web for the answer.

In the end, all of Ogas's special training couldn't give him the confidence to answer the $1 million question, so he passed on it and ended up walking away with $500,000.

He said he had guessed the correct answer but just couldn't be sure. When the answer came up on the screen, he said, "I felt like my heart had been clawed out of my chest."

Posted by Martin Finucane at 08:57 AM
November 8, 2006

Waltham man sentenced for three bank robberies


George A. Sarro, III, 34, of Waltham, was sentenced yesterday to five years and three months in prison after robbing three banks in the Boston area, the U.S. Attorney's office announced today.

Over a span of eleven days in September of last year, Sarro robbed a Citizens Bank in Waltham, a Sovereign Bank in Saugus and an East Boston Savings Bank. He was ordered by a judge to pay $7,976 in restitution to the banks.

His prison sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release, prosecutors said.

-- Erica Tochin

Posted by Martin Finucane at 04:02 PM
November 8, 2006

OK, Ogi! Waltham man wins $500K on game show



(Ogi Ogas ponders the million-dollar question)

A Waltham graduate student didn't make a million dollars in the "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" game show, but he did walk away with $500,000.

Ogi Ogas decided to pass on answering the million-dollar question and thus held onto his $500,000 in previous winnings. If he had gotten the million-dollar question wrong, he would have only gotten $25,000, a spokesman for the show said in a statement.

The 35-year-old Boston University student told the Globe in yesterday's Names column that the experience had been "a lot of fun."

The million-dollar question on the show that aired today? "Which of these ships was not one of the three taken over by colonists during the Boston Tea Party? A) Eleanor, B) Dartmouth, C) Beaver, D) William."

The answer was D. Ogas said several times he thought the answer was D, but he was not confident enough to make it his final answer.

Ogas couldn't be reached by telephone today.

Posted by Martin Finucane at 12:41 PM
November 3, 2006

Styron interview available on Waltham group's site


The late Author William Styron and his wife discussed their journey through his depression and treatment with a Waltham group.

William Styron, who died of pneumonia Wednesday at his Martha's Vineyard home, was best known as a novelist and the author of "Sophie's Choice."

He also battled depression in the last three decades of his life.

In 2001, he and his wife Rose talked to the Waltham-based organization Families for Depression Awareness about their experiences with diagnosis and treatment. The interview is posted on the group's website.

"When you are in this ghastly mood disorder, you don't think you're going to recover. The absence of hope is almost universal," Styron said.

Rose, who was his primary caretaker during two depressive episodes which resulted in hospital stays, says the closeness of their family helped them weather the lowest points.

Families for Depression Awareness is dedicated to helping families recognize and deal with the mood disorders of a loved one. Their web site,, offers information on mental health resources and advice, as well as profiles of other families dealing with depression and bipolar disorder.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Martin Finucane at 05:56 PM
November 2, 2006

Lather. Rinse. Design a marketing plan.


Bentley College of Waltham disclosed details today of a new interdisciplinary approach that will have one marketing class going beyond Sales Pitch 101 and logging some time in the chemistry lab.

The idea is for the class is to design a marketing plan for a shampoo they helped create, according to Perry Lowe, senior lecturer of marketing.

Lowe is working on the project with Bob Wallace, an associate professor of natural and applied sciences; to ensure that marketing students don't wig out in the unfamiliar environment of the lab, Robert Leonard of Leonard Hair Transplant Associates of Newton is providing some business-world guidance, Bentley said.

"This project reflects Bentley's commitment to providing students with hands-on experience," Lowe said in a statement. "We're taking them well beyond the course books."

-- Chris Reidy

Posted by Martin Finucane at 07:14 PM
October 28, 2006

Celtics to get out the disinfectant


The Boston Celtics said yesterday they have "a bacterial infection issue" and they'll be professionally cleaning their practice facilty in Waltham and at the TD Banknorth Garden.

The infections that have sidelined Paul Pierce (left middle finger) and Delonte West (second toe on right foot) were apparently no coincidence, the Globe sports section reports today.

Coach Doc Rivers said no other players have shown symptoms. Pierce, who had half his nail removed Tuesday to treat the infection, returned to practice after missing the final two exhibition games

Posted by Martin Finucane at 10:37 AM
October 26, 2006

Waltham teacher's sex assault case advances


A long-time Waltham drama teacher and coach who faces child rape charges had his case transferred today to Middlesex Superior Court.

In indictments issued Sept. 29, Robert Dacey, 49, is accused of luring two current students to his home on several occasions last year and of sexually assaulting a third student in the late 1990s. Dacey, who taught drama at McDevitt Middle School and was also an assistant football coach, allegedly persuaded the two current students that he wanted them to test out a female masseuse, then blindfolded them and put on a wig to assault them.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Today, his $25,000 bail was kept, along with the conditions that require him to remain under house arrest with electronic monitoring and to stay away from schools, any children under 16, and the Internet.

-- Maria Cramer

Posted by Martin Finucane at 03:11 PM
October 25, 2006

Waltham man pleads guilty to fraud


A Waltham man has been convicted in federal court of defrauding more than 50 people in an investment scheme, the US Attorney's Office and the FBI said today.

Mark R. Conway, 45, pleaded guilty Monday to an information charging him with 13 counts of mail and wire fraud, government officials said.

As a managing partner of a hedge fund, Conway made numerous misrepresentations to investors, including promises to follow a specific strategy, then abandoning it without informing them, said the government, which noted that 54 people invested $25 million with Conway based on his misrepresentations.

Upon detection of the fraud, the government seized $14 million from the fund and determined that $5 million was missing.

US District Court Judge Patti B. Saris has scheduled sentencing for Jan. 24; Conway faces up to 20 years in prison, government officials said.

-- Chris Reidy

Posted by Martin Finucane at 04:57 PM
October 22, 2006

Forgotten remains interred in Waltham


About 40 people attended a simple Catholic service yesterday at Calvary Cemetery in Waltham in which the remains of 1,238 people were buried.

The men, women, and children had been buried behind St. Joseph Parish in Roxbury between 1850 and 1868. But the cemetery was forgotten and allowed to turn into a vacant, weed-grown lot, the Globe's City & Region section reports today.

Church officials said they felt a sense of duty to build a proper burial ground for the remains.

"It's really wonderful. Now I know they're at peace and they can have a little dignity," said Kate Ronan of Brookline, who believes her great-great-grandfather, Thomas Dwyer, was among those buried at St. Joseph's.

Posted by Martin Finucane at 10:32 AM
October 18, 2006

Waltham in the 1940s through a poet's eyes


In her poem, "At the Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic," poet Gail Mazur remembers how she and her friend would hop on the bus in Auburndale to go into Waltham to steal vanishing cream and hair curlers.

She also writes about a man she encountered in the doctor's office, who talked about his 40 years working at a Waltham watch factory.

Mazur's poem is analyzed and appreciated by fellow poet Samantha Myers at the website.

Here's a short excerpt. Myers estimates that Mazur's memories date to the late 1940s:

... I don’t remember Watch City
as beautiful the year I was eleven,
when Merle and I rode the Grove Street bus
to Moody Street to shoplift haircurlers
and Pond’s Vanishing Cream, nickel items

at the Waltham Woolworth’s. It was
an old factory town, wooden triple-deckers,
water rats swimming in the oily river.
Merle and I didn’t risk a furtive life
of crime in our well-kempt Auburndale

where we thought we were well-known,
and canoers paddled the same Charles River
past our homes. And I still wonder
what could have vanished when we rubbed
the mystery elixir on our silky cheeks? ...

-- Erica Tochin

Posted by Martin Finucane at 09:58 AM
October 18, 2006

Tufts to move out of Waltham


In a cost-cutting move, Tufts Health Plan will leave its Waltham headquarters next year and consolidate operations in Watertown, where most of the insurer's 1,800 employees already work.

About 500 employees will be moved to ``under utilized space" at 705 Mt. Auburn St. in Watertown, where Tufts occupies 426,000 square feet of a 440,000-square-foot building, the company said. The move comes in the midst of a layoff affecting fewer than 100 employees. The health insurer is also eliminating 50 unfilled positions.

``This is another move that shows us to be effective and cost-efficient," Patti Embry-Tautenhan, a Tufts spokeswoman, told the Globe. ``We are being responsible stewards of our resources."

-- Jeffrey Krasner

Posted by Martin Finucane at 09:14 AM
October 18, 2006

Brandeis student injured in fall


A sophomore at Brandeis University was seriously injured last night when he fell from the elevated first-floor window of a campus dormitory, said Dennis Nealon, spokesman for the university.

The male student from Houston suffered multiple lacerations and was transported by ambulance to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

-- Globe City & Region staff

Posted by Martin Finucane at 09:13 AM
October 12, 2006

The heart of a saint



(The heart of St. John Vianney, on display at a church in Merrick, N.Y. last weekend)

When St. John Vianney, the patron saint of priests, died in 1859, his heart was removed because it was thought to be incorrupt. It remains a venerated relic within the Catholic church.

Tomorrow the Archdiocese of Boston will host the sacred relic at St. Mary's Church, 133 School St., Waltham.

Beginning at 4 p.m., there will be a procession of the relic into the church, followed by a prayer. At 6 p.m., there will be a talk on the saint's life, followed by a Mass at 7 p.m. The ceremonies will end with a prayer at 10 p.m. led by Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley.

The event is open to the public. The Archdiocese is also planning private events today at St. John's Seminary in Brighton for clergy and another public event Saturday at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston.

More information is available here.

-- Erica Tochin

Posted by Martin Finucane at 02:00 PM
October 10, 2006

Museum looking to grow


Waltham museum.jpg

The Waltham Museum is moving to its first dedicated space in its 35-year history, but president Al Arena says it's still not enough room to accommodate all the relics and treasures of the city's history.

The museum has spent the past year renovating the first floor of the old police station at 25 Lexington Street, and will move in by the end of the year. Arena said the organization will definitely respond to the city's request for proposals to lease the second floor of the station and two vehicle bays in a neighboring building.

"We've got to have the whole building, for security reasons," said Arena. "The first floor is smaller than what we have now - we can't fit all the exhibits in there."

Among the items Arena hopes to one day include are some of the antique cars made by the Waltham-based Metz automobile company, which manufactured cars from 1903 to 1908. Arena also said that the museum is only about $20,000 short of the $250,000 fund-raising goal they set last year.

They hope to make up some of the difference at a giant yard sale this Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 750 Main Street, next to the main Post Office.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Martin Finucane at 07:33 PM
October 2, 2006

The boomerang effect


They were kind words, bipartisan words, and certainly not the kind that State Representative Peter J. Koutoujian, whose district includes Waltham and part of Newton, thought would come back to bite him.

Yet Koutoujian found himself yesterday among quartet of Democratic lawmakers who, after being featured in the latest television commercial of Republican gubernatorial nominee Kerry Healey, called on the lieutenant governor to remove the ad. The lawmakers said the ad gives the false impression that they had endorsed her, writes Lisa Wangsness of the Globe City & Region section.

The ad shows the lawmakers at a bill-signing ceremony last month, during which they heaped praise on Healey for helping to pass legislation extending the statute of limitations on sex crimes.

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 04:28 PM
September 28, 2006

Guatemalan beauty


Carolina Palma was extremely lonely when she moved here from Guatemala. Without any English, the 17-year-old moped around the Waltham apartment she shared with her brother.

So when she got the chance to compete in a beauty pageant with other girls from her native country, she jumped at the chance. There are similar pageants across the region for girls of Hispanic origin, but this is the only one for girls of Guatemalan descent.

The pageant attempts to create awareness of Guatemalan culture for many girls who knew nothing about the country which their parents grew up in, Globe North reports today.

-- Erica Tochin


(Palma waits along with other contestants for the Senorita de Guatemala de Massachussetts pageant to begin at Club Lido in Lynn recently. Globe Staff Photo by Essdras Suarez.)

Posted by Martin Finucane at 02:14 PM
September 27, 2006

Waltham woman killed in Quincy crash


Mildred Romkey had a birthday to celebrate.

Her nephew, Timmy, had just turned 39, and Romkey, a 77-year-old grandmother of three, drove from Waltham to pick up him and her sister for lunch Wednesday.

But as she pulled up to her sister's house in Quincy and got out of her sport utility vehicle, it began to roll backward. Romkey was caught in the open driver’s-side door and dragged with the car, which rolled down the hill about 100 feet and into an embankment.

Romkey ended up under the car and was crushed to death as her horrified sister and nephew looked on, police and Romkey’s niece, Lisa Worth, said Wednesday. ‘‘We’re just in shock,’’ said Worth, according to a story by Maria Cramer of the Globe's City & Region staff.

Police said they believe that either the emergency brake of Romkey’s Nissan Xterra failed or Romkey did not put the car in park. ‘‘Most likely, it was operator error, but it’s still under investigation,’’ said Patrolman Jim Flaherty, who arrived at the scene Wednesday on Winthrop Avenue, near Beale Street.

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 11:19 PM
September 25, 2006

Waltham crash update


The person killed in this morning's crash was on Route 128 in Waltham was a 24-year-old Newton woman, police said. The one-car accident closed two northbound lanes of the road for almost three hours, according to Andrew Ryan of the Globe's City & Region staff.

Police identified the victim as Nicole M. Helm. According to a police report, Helms was not wearing her seatbelt when she lost control of her 1995 Honda Civic at about 6:20 a.m. The car flipped several times and came to rest on its roof. Helms was thrown from the car and died at the scene, police said.

Her husband, Thodore G. Helms, 36, was riding in the car and suffered minor injuries. He was transported by the Waltham Fire Department to Lahey Clinic in Burlington for treatment, police said.

The accident remains under investigation, police said.

-- Andrew Ryan

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 04:53 PM
September 25, 2006

One killed in accident on Route 128 in Waltham


One driver was killed in a multi-car crash on Route 128 in Waltham this morning, according to broadcast reports.

Several vehicles collided in the northbound lanes at the Route 20 on-ramp around 6:15 a.m., according to WBZ-TV. One car flipped, and the driver was ejected and killed.

Two left lanes have been opened northbound, according to WBZ radio, but the accident has caused major delays in both directions on the highway.

-- Michael Grillo

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 09:16 AM
September 23, 2006

A cold-blooded weapon


This is not your friendly, helpful robot.

Foster-Miller, a Waltham-based company, has developed a machine-gun-equipped robot, named Sword. The robot was recently certified as safe for use in the armed forces.

Clearly, these are not machines to be messed with.

"Sometime in the coming months, chances are that we'll be seeing TV reports that an armed remote-controlled robot has been used in anger for the first time," Foster-Miller general manager Bob Quinn told the New Scientist.

-- Erica Tochin

Posted by Martin Finucane at 09:30 AM
September 21, 2006

The business of sports


Bentley College is introducing a new internship program to let high school students get their feet wet in the world of sports business.

The Waltham school is sponsoring five one-month internships at Major League Baseball teams in five cities. The students will work in marketing, promotion, media and other front-office areas for the Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox and San Francisco Giants.

To apply students must submit a 50 to 100-word essay explaining why they want the internship via the teams' individual web sites. Bentley and the teams will jointly judge the essays based on originality, creativity, passion, interest in business and clarity, according to a statement.

Current high school students ages 13 through 18 are eligible. The application deadline is October 15 and winners will be notified next February.

-- Keith Reed

Posted by Martin Finucane at 05:28 PM
September 20, 2006

Well blow me down...


These are not the salad days for Popeye's favorite vegetable.

Spinach has disappeared from supermarket shelves and restaurant tables since it was linked to at least 130 cases of E. coli across the nation.

Among those taking precautions is Moody Street eatery Jake's Dixie Roadhouse, where the nutrient-packed green has been temporarily removed from the menu. The mesclun mix in their salad is now spinach-free, and baby arugula has taken its place in a dish of grilled chicken with roasted pears, bacon and bleu cheese.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Posted by Ralph Ranalli at 10:04 PM
September 15, 2006

Law firm opens technology office in Waltham


Law firm Foley Hoag LLP has opened a new office in Waltham focused on serving start-up firms in the technology-heavy Route 128 corridor.

Foley dubbed its office the "Emerging Enterprise Center", a nod to its mission of doing more than providing legal advice to companies. Instead, a team of lawyers will also consult companies on copyright issues, venture capital and organize forums with other business groups.

“A lot of times these companies need a lot more than just legal services. They need these connections and a few individuals who wear a few different hats. These companies need to do a lot on a shoestring," said Beth Arnold, a Foley attorney involved with the new office.

-- Keith Reed

Posted by Martin Finucane at 11:31 AM
September 14, 2006

Sweet melodies in Waltham


Fifties pop icon Patti Page will return as the guest of the Reagle Players for two shows this weekend.

Page favorites from the supper-club days include "Doggie in the Window," "Old Cape Cod" and "Allegheny Moon."

She'll perform with the modern-day successors to the harmonizing Mills brothers, led by John Mills III, the son of one of the orginal brothers, the Globe West Arts column reports today.


Posted by Martin Finucane at 06:50 PM
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