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Waltham

A makeover for Waltham's Moody Street?

Posted December 19, 2008 07:21 AM

By Lisa Kocian, Globe Staff

Everything you need to know about saving downtown can be taught in college?

Quite possibly. An honors class at Bentley University has created a road map for reviving Moody Street in Waltham. Now the onus is on city and business leaders to follow through.
Over the last decade, Moody Street re-created itself as ‘‘Restaurant Row’’ for diners who come from all over the region to sample a variety of ethnic fare.

While eateries have been successful, many retail shops and service businesses are struggling, and vacancies are going unfilled. Despite the recession, Moody Street could be much more vibrant than it is, according to the Bentley report and there are several simple ways to accomplish that.

For starters, clean the gum and cigarette butts off the sidewalks, put up clear parking signs and readable meters, provide more trash receptacles, and consider actually clearing snow from the sidewalks so patrons might be able to get to stores. Store signs that are readable would also be beneficial.

FULL ENTRY

Details of crash that killed a Waltham woman

Posted December 18, 2008 11:58 AM

By Christina Pazzanese, Globe Correspondent

It was a routine Saturday morning, except for the black ice on the road.

Gianfranco Esposito said he was driving his girlfriend, Patricia Sciacca, from Malden to Newton-Wellesley Hospital, where she works as a medical assistant, and they took their usual shortcut along Nonantum Road.

Noticing icy road conditions en route, Esposito had just remarked to Sciacca how dangerous the ice could be for drivers when he spotted something out of the corner of his eye: a sport utility vehicle that had flipped over and was partially submerged in the Charles River.

Esposito slowed down his Dodge pickup truck, and then turned around to get a better look.

‘‘He said, ‘Oh my God, there’s a car in the water,’’’ said Sciacca, 23, who hadn’t noticed anything.

‘‘She didn’t believe me,’’ said Esposito, 24.

Esposito and Sciacca remained deeply shaken this week as they recalled stumbling on the scene of a one-car crash in Newton on Saturday that killed Lauren Tsai, a 26-year-old graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who lived in Waltham. It was at least the third fatal accident since 2006 along the narrow four-lane parkway that stretches from Galen Street near Watertown Square to Soldiers Field Road in Brighton.

State Police said Tsai was driving her 2002 Nissan Pathfinder westbound when she lost control of the vehicle, which struck the curb and skidded down the embankment into the river. Tsai was pronounced dead of her injuries at the scene.

State Police believe the crash occurred several hours before she was found, said spokesman David Procopio, and the cause remained under investigation.

Tsai had been at a Celtics game with her brothers and father earlier that evening and had dropped off her younger brother at MIT before heading back home to Waltham, said Timothy Condon, whose fiancee was a close friend of Tsai.

Tsai earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from MIT in 2004 and worked at Raytheon, according to an obituary posted Tuesday on the school’s website. She also played on the women’s basketball and field hockey teams. A brother, Michael Tsai, graduated from MIT in 2002 while another brother, Geoffrey Tsai is a senior there now, the site said.

A memorial service for Tsai is scheduled for Saturday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Rand Wilson Funeral Home in Hanover, N.H. A funeral is to be held in the Rollins Chapel at Dartmouth College on Sunday at 10 a.m., the website said.

Esposito said that at the scene of the crash Saturday, he tossed his cellphone to Sciacca, told her to call 911, and then scrambled down the steep river bank. ‘‘I said, ‘Is anybody in there?’ I didn’t know if it just happened or if it had been there all night.’’

With the driver’s side door under water, Esposito waded into the river to try to open the passenger door. That’s when he peered into the car, darkened by the cold water, and saw Tsai’s body.

‘‘There’s someone in here!’’ he called out to Sciacca, who was by then, almost in tears. ‘‘It was just too much,’’ she said. ‘‘I didn’t want to see it.’’

Stunned and not sure what to do next, Esposito said he ran back up the embankment just as a state trooper pulled up to the scene. The men raced down to the car, uncertain how many people might be trapped inside. Though it appeared she had been driving, Esposito said Tsai was not strapped in by a seat belt. ‘‘We just reached in and pulled her right out,’’ he said.

The two men struggled to climb up the steep embankment made slippery by wet leaves and twigs. Once there, a jogger who happened upon the scene offered his assistance just as a second state trooper arrived and began performing CPR on Tsai. But Esposito said it seemed clear that it was too late.

Sciacca said the sight of the woman really hit home. ‘‘I knew it was someone our age,’’ she said. ‘‘I was really upset.’’

State Police said police and fire departments from Watertown and Newton, as well as Mass. Highway, assisted troopers at the scene. The road was closed for about an hour.
Nonantum Road has long been known as a treacherous, and often deadly, riverside speedway.

In February 2006, a Waltham couple were killed when their minivan spun off the road and hit a pole by Water Street.

In June that same year, a Waltham man was killed after his motorcycle struck a van at the intersection of Nonantum Road and Galen Street.

Big development proposed on Waltham's Moody Street

Posted October 31, 2008 09:40 AM

A developer has presented the Waltham City council with a scaled-down proposal for a residential and retail development at the corner of Main and Moody streets in the heart of downtown.

Northland Investment Corp., a developer based in Newton, presented a plan Monday that calls for 230 apartments and retail space in two new five-story buildings. Three buildings would be razed to make way for the project, and an office building at One Moody Street would remain.

An earlier proposal by the same firm for 350 apartments was roundly rejected two years ago by both the council and the community.

A lawyer for Northland, Robert Connors, said one of the most important features of the project is that it will bring new residents to downtown. ‘‘We’ll bring people and life and vitality,’’ Connors said.

Many more people spoke in favor of the project than against it, but even supporters had questions and concerns. Several people said they were worried about traffic. Northland is proposing some road improvements, including a left-hand turning lane on Moody Street. Twenty-three of the apartments would be affordable.

Fred Kimberk, who said he owns much of the block on Main Street directly across from the proposed project, said he favored the project but offered several criticisms. He said the city doesn’t need more market-rate housing and the design of the red-brick facades needed needs improving.

Kimberk urged that the proposal be put on hold 90 to 120 days so the community has more time to weigh in. ‘‘It needs to be brought out into the light,’’ he said, citing the lack of details.

All but one building on the 4.5-acre site would be torn down to make room for two five-story buildings. One Moody Street, where Sovereign Bank is located, would remain. The buildings to be razed would be 702 and 716 Main St. and 55 Moody St.

Retail stores would go on the first floor of the new building facing Moody Street and next to Trinity Church. The other new building would face Charles and Moody streets.

The proposal also calls for green space, public seating, wider sidewalks, and underground parking.

The next stop for the proposed project is the Ordinances and Rules Committee of the City Council, which meets Monday night at 7 p.m. The Council has 90 days from Monday to decide whether to approve the project.

-- Lisa Kocian

Details, details ...

Posted September 11, 2008 09:15 AM

detail%20photo.jpg

NEWTON/REGION

Governor Deval Patrick has finally cracked the monopoly that police officers on paid road and construction details. Or has he?

Today's Globe West examines the issue of details and explores how it's not just local police officers, but also the cities and towns that they work for, who have powerful incentives to say "Thanks, but no thanks" to Patrick's bid to introduce flagmen on some road construction projects.

We also take a look at the amounts that some officers are getting paid for details, which they regard as legitimate pay for legitimate work but which critics decry as wasteful. As an added feature, we've also included a link to the complete list of detail pay for the Newton Police Department for the 2008 fiscal year.

Bentley students are wired ... and it's not just the lattes

Posted September 4, 2008 07:41 AM

Bentley College has been ranked No. 4 in the “Top 20 Wired Colleges” nationwide by PC Magazine and The Princeton Review.

According to a joint news release from the magazine and the test prep company, Bentley was lauded for having new computers (defined as less than a year old) in its computer lab and its common areas and for “putting a laptop in the hands of every freshman.”

Other area colleges making the list were Boston College at No. 6, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in Needham at No. 13, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which perhaps surprisingly came in at No. 20.

The number one “teched-out” campus in the country is University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the companies said.

-- Lisa Kocian

Turning the focus on hunger

Posted August 21, 2008 06:53 AM

The Massachusetts Medical Society has finished its program “Hunger in the Commonwealth” and has distributed the one-hour report to local cable television stations across the state for broadcast in September, according to society officials.

The report seeks to educate the public about the growing hunger problem in the state and to encourage people to take advantage of programs that can help them if they are not getting enough nutritious food, officials said.

hcamlogo.jpg The program will begin airing on Sept. 1
The program was a joint effort of the society, which is headquartered in Waltham; U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern, a Worcester Democrat; and Hopkinton’s public access television station, HCAM-TV.

The program will be broadcast on hundreds of local cable access stations and will also be available via web cast at HCAM-TV's web site beginning Sept.1.

-- Lisa Kocian

Sundays cool in Waltham in August

Posted August 1, 2008 07:25 AM

Waltham's two water spray parks, Lazazzero Park on Lake Street and Lowell Field, will have new Sunday hours now through Aug. 23.

Recreation Department Director Sandra Tomasello said that the two parks will be spritzing from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays, as well as during their regular hours of 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

-- Lisa Kocian

Want a little ground cinnamon or social action with that?

Posted July 25, 2008 10:00 AM

More Than Words, a nonprofit bookstore that aims to help at-risk youths, is launching a new café training program, to provide young adults with skills in business, food handling, and customer service.

The four-year-old bookstore/social enterprise seeks to empower youth “who are in the foster care system, court involved, homeless or out of school, to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business,” Executive Director Jodi Rosenbaum said in a press statement.

The Moody Street bookstore has helped over 70 youth “pursue their education, obtain jobs and develop plans for their transition to adulthood and self sufficiency,” Rosenbaum stated.

The new cafe will allow the nonprofit to expand training, from about 16 young people to about 24.

-- Lisa Kocian

Former radio host sentenced to life without parole for 2004 antifreeze murder of his wife in Waltham

Posted July 2, 2008 04:12 PM

A former radio talk show host was sentenced today to life in prison without parole for murdering his wife by giving her Gatorade and other drinks and food that had been laced with antifreeze.

James Keown was convicted today in Middlesex Superior Court in the killing of his 31-year-old wife, Julie, on Sept. 8, 2004, while the couple was living in Waltham. Judge Sandra Hamlin this afternoon gave Keown the mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.

Keown was arrested on Nov. 7, 2005, while he was on the air, hosting a radio talk show on KLIK-AM in Jefferson City, Mo.

Keown's wife, a registered nurse, started getting ill in May 2004 with symptoms that included vomiting, nausea, and slurred speech. She was originally diagnosed with gastritis. Four months later, her kidneys started deteriorating. She was being treated at Newton-Wellesley Hospital when she slipped into a coma and doctors discovered ethylene glycol, the poisonous substance found in antifreeze, in her system. She was given an antidote, but it was too late to save her life.

Prosecutors alleged Keown murdered his wife so he could collect a $250,000 life insurance policy. The couple had been married for eight years and moved from Kansas City, Mo., to Waltham in January 2004.

-- City & Region staff

Powerful storms knock down trees, cause flooding

Posted June 28, 2008 08:50 AM

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Mark Parsons returned to his home in Newton and found that a tree had been uprooted by yesterday's violent storm. NStar customers lost power - mostly in Newton, Watertown, and Waltham - largely because of trees or limbs falling on power lines.
(Globe staff photo by Essdras M Suarez)

REGION

A violent thunderstorm tore through Greater Boston yesterday afternoon, causing flash floods, pelting pedestrians with pea-size hail, knocking out power, and uprooting trees with wind gusts exceeding 55 miles per hour.

About 20,000 NStar customers lost power - mostly in Newton, Watertown, and Waltham - largely because of trees or limbs falling on power lines, said Kate Leonard, a company spokeswoman. Power was restored for most customers by the evening.

Lightning strikes set off fires in the penthouse of a seven-story Beacon Street building in the Back Bay and a three-family house on Pearl Street in Cambridge. Flash floods caused the eastbound lanes of Storrow Drive, near Kenmore Square, to be shut down, and a sink hole on Route 9 in Brookline forced a closure there.

Two-thirds of an inch of rain fell at Logan International Airport in roughly 30 minutes, said Bill Simpson, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Taunton. He said the low number can be misleading in characterizing the storm's ferocity. Wind gusts at Harvard Bridge topped out at 57 miles per hour.

"It's not how much rain falls," he said, "it's the intensity of the storm."

Stamp museum hopes to lick big-name competition as parents' pick

Posted June 10, 2008 10:12 AM

ParentsPicksLogo.jpg

WESTON

Proving that you don't have to have big-name affiliation or a multi-million dollar endowment to get noticed, the Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History has been nominated as one of three picks for the "Best Museum" category by a parenting website affiliated with the cable television's Nickelodeon channel.

GoCityKids.com says the museum, which is tucked away on the Regis College campus, may be worthy of a "Parent's Picks 2008" designation for families with older children in the Boston area.

Many of the museum's exhibits and events cater to children, who are each presented with a free packet of stamps to start a collection when they visit.

The museum faces some stiff competition, however, because the other contenders in the category are the Peabody Essex Museum and Harvard University's Museum of Natural History. The final winner will be determined by parents who use the web site, who are being asked to vote for their favorite online.

Parents can vote at the GoCityKids website until June 30.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Waltham's middle school world champ contender

Posted June 6, 2008 01:04 PM

In this corner: a 14-year-old Kennedy Middle School student who has earned the right to compete in the World Amateur Kickboxing/Karate Organization Jr. World Championship in Naples, Italy.

His opponent: the cost of traveling there to compete among teens from 60 other countries.

Zachary Johnson has been training at Perry's Tae Kwon Do Academy on Moody Street since the age of 4, and the academy is holding a June 13 dinner and silent auction to help him fulfill his goal of competing.

Academy Head Instructor Reggie Perry said that Johnson won the 125-pounds-and-under class divisions in semi-contact and continuous contact tae kwon do during the United States Team Trials in Warwick, R.I., in April. The world competition is in September.

The items up for auction include Red Sox tickets, a Wii Fit console, Celtics and Patriots memorabilia, and a membership to the Boston Sports Club's Waltham location.

The event begins at 6 p.m. at the academy, 308 Moody Street. Tickets are $15 per person and can be purchased by calling the academy at 781-891-4800 or visiting in person Monday through Thursday between 3:30 and 8:30 p.m.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Waltham Library director says family time is overdue

Posted May 28, 2008 07:10 AM

Tom Jewell, the director of the Waltham Public Library for the past 32 years, said recently that he is retiring in July to spend more time with his wife, children and grandchildren.

In a letter sent to members of the library's e-mail listserve, Jewell gave special thanks to the Friends of the Library for raising funds for improvements that the library wouldn't have been able to afford through its city budget alone.

"To have had the privilege of presiding over the revitalization and expansion of this wonderful institution has been deeply satisfying," he wrote.

Jewell said that the search is already underway for his replacement. Assistant Director Kate Tranquada was encouraged to apply for the post, the letter said, but she decided to remain in her current job.

The Library Trustees have set October as their target date for naming a new director.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Event for veterans will mix hot dogs, help

Posted May 3, 2008 08:30 AM

In a show of appreciation for those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Veterans Administration Heathcare System is sponsoring a family event in Waltham that will mix food, family fun, and information about the benefits, services, and educational and job opportunities available to veterans.

Military personnel who have served in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom and their families are invited to the event, which will be held on the grounds of the National Archives and Record Administration offices at 380 Trapelo Road on May 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Veterans and their families will enjoy a cookout, pony rides and an animal show, music, and free raffles with the grand prize of $1,000 or a 42-inch flat screen TV. Various local, state and federal agencies will also be there to provide information.

The event is not open to the general public. Anyone seeking more information is urged tocontact Diane LeBlanc at the National Archives at 781-663-0133 or 781-526-1137.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

The most disturbing sheen on a river since "Apocalypse Now"

Posted March 28, 2008 08:28 AM

The state Department of Environmental Protection has fined three Waltham businesses after receiving reports of "oil odors and an oily sheen" on the Charles River.

According to a March 26 news release from the agency, Pro Equipment Rental, Pro Waste Disposal, and Pro Cut, which are all run from a Calvary Street address, were found in violation of several environmental regulations involving solid waste management, air quality, hazardous waste management, storm water management, and improper storage and handling of materials containing asbestos.

The agency said Pro Equipment Rental will be required to assess possible soil and groundwater contamination and install measures to control catch basin run-off by June 30 and to pay a $23,020 penalty. Pro Waste Disposal, meanwhile, was hit with a $23,070 penalty and Pro Cut was fined $26,410, officials said.

The violations were found during an inspection in January of last year triggered by a witness who reported that the oily sheen on the river was coming from the companies' property.

--Stephanie V. Siek

Waltham school officials seek public help on superintendent search

Posted February 22, 2008 07:10 AM

WALTHAM

The first of 12 community meetings aimed at gathering input about the School Committee's search for a new superintendent is scheduled for next Thursday.

All the meetings are open to the public, but each will concentrate on a different "focus group" of constituents. From 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, the focus will be on input from staff at the elementary schools. At the 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. session, organizers are especially hoping for comments from elementary school parents and from members of the community in general.

Both of the meetings will be held in the MacArthur Elementary School's cafeteria.

Parents in the school district should expect to receive an invitation to these meetings early this week, School Committee Vice Chairwoman Susanne M. McIvor said. Parents, staff and other Waltham community members will also be asked to fill out a superintendent search survey on the back of the invitation. The survey is also available on the Waltham Schools website.

The committee is also looking for volunteers interested in serving on the Superintendent Search Committee, which consists of three School Committee members, two school faculty members, two school administrators, two parents of Waltham Public Schools students, a representative from the City of Waltham, and one community resident at large.

Interested persons should send their name, contact information, and brief statement of interest to Susanne M. McIvor, Head of the Working Committee, Waltham Public Schools, Superintendent's Office, 617 Lexington Street, Waltham, MA 02452. The information can also be sent via e-mail.

All submissions are due March 5 at 4 p.m. and applicants must be available for an orientation on March 11 at 7 p.m. More information can be obtained from the school department web site or by calling School Committee secretary Marian Parrella at 781-314-5401.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Developer: Polaroid Site not contaminated

Posted February 19, 2008 07:54 AM

WALTHAM

An executive of the development company that plans to build a 1.7 million square foot retail and office project on the site of the former Polaroid headquarters says that soil and groundwater contamination issues at the site have been remediated.

Chad Cooley, and assistant vice president for The Related Companies, recently told the city's Zoning Board of Appeals that Poloroid had been taking steps to eliminate contamination from its manufacture of film and chemicals for the last two decades. Cooley said the site was "closed out" as an environmental concern by state officials two years ago.

"There are no problems, and while we'll continue to monitor and to evaluate, Polaroid did a nice job," Cooley said.

The board has asked Related to provide proof of its environmental claims when their application for a zoning variance is brought up again on March 11.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Waltham erecting historic barrier against hasty demolitions

Posted January 21, 2008 07:18 AM

WALTHAM

An ordinance that would establish a six-month waiting period before a building with historical value can be demolished is awaiting Mayor Jeannette McCarthy's signature.

Local history buffs claimed victory last Monday, when the Waltham City Council approved the matter in a 10-4 vote. Councillors who voted in favor were Sarafina "Sally" Collura, George A. Darcy III, Joseph M. Giordano Jr., Robert S. Kelly, Robert G. Logan, Patrick J. O'Brien, Stephen F. Rourke, Thomas M. Stanley, Edmund P. Tarallo, and Robert J. Waddick. Voting against the measure were Councillors Gary J. Marchese, David H. Marcou Jr., Kathleen B. McMenimen, and Paul J. Brasco.

To be historically significant, the Waltham Historical Commission must find that the building is at least 75 years old and meets any of the following criteria:

* That it is listed or eligible to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places;
* That it is associated with a historical person or event or important in a general historical context, or;
* That it is historically or architecturally important in terms of style, construction method, period, or association with a recognized architect or builder.

After a public hearing, the commission decides if the building is "preferably preserved" and can then order the six-month delay. City officials and historical groups can then try to negotiate an alternative to demolition with the property owner.

If none is found, the city can then issue a permit for demolition.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Sal's is looking for a way back

Posted January 9, 2008 08:27 AM

salsrest.JPG
Sal's owner says he wants to reopen ... if the landlord wants to rebuild
(Globe staff photo by John Bohn)

WALTHAM

The remains of the Main Street building occupied by Sal's Family Restaurant before it was destroyed by a fire last summer have been torn down.

The restaurant's owner, Salvatore "Sal" Pinzone, said that heavy equipment began the demolition Monday. By Tuesday night, all that remained was a pile of dirt and debris and a pit where the basement once was, he said.

Pinzone did not own the building, and he's not sure if his landlord will rebuild.

"I don't know what they're gonna do there," Pinzone said of the building, which also housed a small grocery store, California Convenience. " I intend to call sometime in the near future and see what they're gonna build there. If it's commercial, I'd like to rent there, even if it's in a smaller space."

The property's owner, Harriet Goldman, could not be reached for comment.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

History is still unfolding in Waltham

Posted December 24, 2007 07:27 AM

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No visit to the Gore Place estate is complete without a stop at the Great Hall.
(Globe staff photo by Bill Polo)

WALTHAM

The stately Gore Place estate is one of Waltham's better known historical attractions, but few people realize that discoveries about the house, which was built in 1804, and its first owners, Christopher and Rebecca Gore, are still being made.

The Waltham Historical Society is sponsoring a lecture by Gore Place Executive Director Susan Robertson entitled "Gore Place - Recent Findings of Research in the Mansion." The talk is about some of the new archaeological, architectural and archival discoveries connected to the site.

The free lecture begins at 7 p.m. on Jan. 8 in the RTN Federal Credit Union building at 600 Main Street.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Time running short for Waltham school superintendent choice, official says

Posted December 12, 2007 03:59 PM

WALTHAM

Waltham School Committee Vice Chairwoman Susan R. Burstein said Wednesday that she is still waiting for her fellow committee members to return their performance evaluations for Superintendent Susan I. Parella.

The committee's last meeting of the year -- and Burstein's last as a committee member after being defeated in her re-election bid -- is Dec. 19. Ideally, the superintendent's evaluations should be finished prior to the start of the current school year, but this year, members said they'd been busy with staff and faculty contract negotiations.

At a meeting held Dec. 5, the members decided not to use an outside search firm to find the next superintendent. Parella's contract expires in August 2008 and it is unclear if it will be renewed. Burstein was the only dissenting vote on the motion.

Mayor Jeannette McCarthy, who also serves as chair of the School Committee, said in an e-mail that she was in favor of having an outside firm search for Parella's successor, but she does not vote in committee unless there's a tie.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Waltham mayor picks new police chief

Posted December 10, 2007 04:38 PM

WALTHAM

Mayor Jeannette McCarthy has asked the Waltham City Council to appoint Thomas M. LaCroix as chief of police, according to a letter to council dated Dec. 6.

LaCroix, who has been acting chief since August, has worked for the department since 1986. He was hired as a police officer, and rose through the ranks as a sergeant and lieutenant before being appointed to a captain's position in May. He also has a master's degree in criminal justice from Anna Maria College in Paxton.

City ordinances state that the City Council must wait at least seven days after the date of the mayor's recommendation before conducting an interview of the candidate, and must wait another seven days or more after that to vote on his or her confirmation. That means that the council's Committee of the Whole could interview LaCroix during its Dec. 17 meeting and approve his appointment by the end of the year.

The Council's last meeting of 2007 is Dec. 26.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Waltham fires up Community Preservation Act program

Posted December 3, 2007 10:31 AM

WALTHAM

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

A historic opportunity for Veterans Day

Posted November 12, 2007 06:57 AM

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WALTHAM

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

State: Waltham improperly brushed aside plowing referendum

Posted October 28, 2007 07:43 AM

WALTHAM

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

NY Yankees intern killed in Waltham crash

Posted October 24, 2007 10:11 AM

WALTHAM

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

Election season in Waltham: The School Committee candidates

Posted October 22, 2007 10:30 AM

WALTHAM/POLITICS

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.

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

Posted October 22, 2007 10:25 AM

Harold%20Walker.jpg
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

The Waltham candidates: Stephen Rando Jr. (incumbent)

Posted October 22, 2007 10:20 AM

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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

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

Posted October 22, 2007 10:10 AM

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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

The Waltham Candidates: Margaret M. Donnelly (challenger)

Posted October 22, 2007 10:05 AM

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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

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

Posted October 22, 2007 10:00 AM

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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.

Sevens are wild in Waltham police chief search

Posted October 16, 2007 11:16 AM

WALTHAM

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

Waltham recognizes firefighters' bravery

Posted September 27, 2007 09:49 AM

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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

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

Feeling lucky in Waltham

Posted September 21, 2007 12:25 PM

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

Watham to local restaurant: Park that piccata somewhere else

Posted September 20, 2007 09:40 AM

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WALTHAM

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

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

Posted September 17, 2007 04:56 PM

WALTHAM

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

Waltham officials open new accessible park

Posted September 14, 2007 06:40 AM

WALTHAM

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

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

Posted September 10, 2007 12:24 PM

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WALTHAM

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

Waltham groups say smarter voters make better citizens

Posted September 3, 2007 07:46 AM

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WALTHAM

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

Waltham mayor racing to fill election post before fall

Posted August 22, 2007 04:03 PM

WALTHAM

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

Historic car to finally park in Waltham birthplace

Posted August 19, 2007 08:06 AM

WALTHAM

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

Chief change

Posted August 17, 2007 11:05 PM

WALTHAM

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


Judge bars state from closing Fernald Development Center

Posted August 15, 2007 01:32 PM

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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)

WALTHAM

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.

Honoring memory and service in Waltham

Posted August 10, 2007 10:26 AM

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

Help leaving homelessness behind

Posted August 7, 2007 10:24 AM

WALTHAM

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

Two Brandeis students burned in lab fire

Posted July 30, 2007 11:53 AM

WALTHAM

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

Tea for Marybeth

Posted July 28, 2007 10:12 AM

WALTHAM

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

Lawyer to leave city employment, join City Council

Posted July 20, 2007 03:27 PM

WALTHAM

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

Fond memories, fat wallets

Posted July 20, 2007 02:04 PM

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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)

WALTHAM

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

Fire that destroyed landmark eatery was accidental, officials say

Posted July 19, 2007 07:09 PM

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(Globe staff photo by John Bohn)

WALTHAM

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

A family treasure in Waltham lost to fire

Posted July 16, 2007 12:26 PM

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(Globe staff photo by John Bohn)

WALTHAM

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."

Northborough-Southborough district to receive $2.35 million

Posted July 13, 2007 04:27 PM

NORTHBOROUGH-SOUTHBOROUGH

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

Early exit after 33 years for Waltham Police chief

Posted July 5, 2007 11:31 AM

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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.

WALTHAM

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

More weekend beach reading in Waltham this summer

Posted July 3, 2007 10:51 AM

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

WALTHAM

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

Waltham teacher charged in sexual assualts dies

Posted June 21, 2007 07:09 AM

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

WALTHAM

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

Gift to provide for Israel Studies center

Posted June 19, 2007 09:20 AM

WALTHAM

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

What to do with an old school?

Posted June 18, 2007 08:53 AM

WALTHAM

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

Local schools go green

Posted June 13, 2007 02:57 PM

REGION

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

Linking families with troops overseas

Posted June 9, 2007 10:44 AM

homelink.jpg

WALTHAM

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

Home improvement giant withdraws bid to skirt parking rules

Posted May 27, 2007 06:35 AM

loweslogo.jpg

WALTHAM/WATERTOWN

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

Of sunscreen and snowboards

Posted May 23, 2007 10:34 PM

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

WALTHAM

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

Waltham office building shows revitalized 128

Posted May 14, 2007 11:01 AM

WALTHAM

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

Wine sampling gone virtual

Posted May 11, 2007 03:07 PM

WALTHAM

"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

Anyone for a mancation?

Posted April 24, 2007 04:24 PM

mancation.jpg

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

WALTHAM

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

City woos expansion-minded Tufts-NEMC

Posted April 5, 2007 11:17 AM

WALTHAM

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

Scandalous behavior 150 years ago in Waltham

Posted April 1, 2007 05:10 PM

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."


Waltham company sells more military robots

Posted March 30, 2007 04:35 PM

WALTHAM

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

Waltham man to serve 20 years for marijuana trafficking

Posted March 29, 2007 04:58 PM

WALTHAM

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

A new view for Waltham gallery

Posted March 16, 2007 11:18 AM

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

US attorney presents Fernald report to judge

Posted March 8, 2007 05:11 PM

WALTHAM

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

The stars come out in Waltham

Posted March 7, 2007 10:39 AM

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

WALTHAM

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

Growing pains for Waltham?

Posted February 23, 2007 12:25 PM

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

Airplane snag wrecks winter break trip

Posted February 20, 2007 04:14 PM

WALTHAM

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

Carbon monoxide forces evacuation of Waltham restaurant

Posted February 2, 2007 03:40 PM

WALTHAM

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

Waltham institutions on the air

Posted January 26, 2007 02:00 PM

WALTHAM

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 booktv.org.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Polaroid site developer makes key filing

Posted January 25, 2007 08:09 AM

WALTHAM

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 mass.gov/envir/mepa.

-- Stephanie Siek

Carter speaks at Brandeis

Posted January 23, 2007 06:18 PM

WALTHAM

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 boston.com.

-- Globe Staff

Carter to speak at Brandeis today

Posted January 23, 2007 09:24 AM

WALTHAM

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.

AstraZeneca expansion will create 100 new scientific jobs

Posted January 22, 2007 01:29 PM

AZ.jpg

WALTHAM

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

Carter questions questioned

Posted January 22, 2007 01:05 PM

carterbook.jpg

WALTHAM

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

Truck smashes into Waltham house

Posted January 18, 2007 04:15 PM

WALTHAM

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

Worrying about your kids may affect your work

Posted January 17, 2007 02:30 PM

WALTHAM

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

How low is your mortgage rate?

Posted January 9, 2007 03:22 PM

WALTHAM

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

Lunch al fresco

Posted January 5, 2007 02:25 PM

WALTHAM/WELLESLEY

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.

They love "High School Musical"

Posted January 4, 2007 04:57 PM

WALTHAM

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

Considering the fate of Boston's City Hall

Posted December 26, 2006 12:54 PM

WALTHAM

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

Bentley men: A perfect 12-0 on court

Posted December 21, 2006 10:06 PM

SPORTS

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

Raytheon to sell business jet subsidiary

Posted December 21, 2006 09:12 AM

WALTHAM

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

Waltham rep pushes trans fat ban

Posted December 19, 2006 05:25 PM

WALTHAM

koutoujian.jpg

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

Archdiocese clears Waltham priest of abuse charge

Posted December 19, 2006 08:21 AM

WALTHAM

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

Clueless busdrivers in Waltham

Posted December 17, 2006 09:37 AM

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

Waltham man sentenced on insider-trading charges

Posted November 30, 2006 08:26 AM

WALTHAM

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

An herbal remedy for the flu

Posted November 27, 2006 04:04 PM

WALTHAM

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

Gay marriage may come to a vote

Posted November 20, 2006 02:54 PM

WALTHAM

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

Matsuzaka mania hits Waltham

Posted November 15, 2006 11:17 AM

SPORTS

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

Brandeis honors its namesake -- with a Warhol

Posted November 13, 2006 01:50 PM

WALTHAM

Warhol.jpg

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

Waltham among new suburban biotech centers

Posted November 12, 2006 09:39 AM

WALTHAM

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

How to win $500,000 revealed

Posted November 11, 2006 08:57 AM

WALTHAM

ogi.jpg

(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."

Waltham man sentenced for three bank robberies

Posted November 8, 2006 04:02 PM

WALTHAM

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

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

Posted November 8, 2006 12:41 PM

WALTHAM

ogi.jpg

(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.

Styron interview available on Waltham group's site

Posted November 3, 2006 05:56 PM

WALTHAM

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, familyaware.org, offers information on mental health resources and advice, as well as profiles of other families dealing with depression and bipolar disorder.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Lather. Rinse. Design a marketing plan.

Posted November 2, 2006 07:14 PM

WALTHAM

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

Celtics to get out the disinfectant

Posted October 28, 2006 10:37 AM

SPORTS

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

Waltham teacher's sex assault case advances

Posted October 26, 2006 03:11 PM

WALTHAM

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

Waltham man pleads guilty to fraud

Posted October 25, 2006 04:57 PM

WALTHAM

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


Forgotten remains interred in Waltham

Posted October 22, 2006 10:32 AM

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.

Waltham in the 1940s through a poet's eyes

Posted October 18, 2006 09:58 AM

WALTHAM

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 poetryfoundation.org 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

Tufts to move out of Waltham

Posted October 18, 2006 09:14 AM

WALTHAM/WATERTOWN

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

Brandeis student injured in fall

Posted October 18, 2006 09:13 AM

WALTHAM

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

The heart of a saint

Posted October 12, 2006 02:00 PM

WALTHAM

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(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

Museum looking to grow

Posted October 10, 2006 07:33 PM

WALTHAM

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

The boomerang effect

Posted October 2, 2006 04:28 PM

WALTHAM/NEWTON

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.

Guatemalan beauty

Posted September 28, 2006 02:14 PM

WALTHAM

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

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(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.)


Waltham woman killed in Quincy crash

Posted September 27, 2006 11:19 PM

WALTHAM

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.

Waltham crash update

Posted September 25, 2006 04:53 PM

WALTHAM

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

One killed in accident on Route 128 in Waltham

Posted September 25, 2006 09:16 AM

WALTHAM/REGION

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

A cold-blooded weapon

Posted September 23, 2006 09:30 AM

WALTHAM

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

The business of sports

Posted September 21, 2006 05:28 PM

WALTHAM

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

Well blow me down...

Posted September 20, 2006 10:04 PM

WALTHAM

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

Law firm opens technology office in Waltham

Posted September 15, 2006 11:31 AM

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

Sweet melodies in Waltham

Posted September 14, 2006 06:50 PM

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.

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BusinessWeek: Raytheon No. 7 in launching careers

Posted September 13, 2006 04:02 PM

WALTHAM

Waltham-based Raytheon Co. has won accolades from BusinessWeek magazine for being one of the 10 best places to launch a career.

Raytheon comes out No. 7 in the rankings that will be published in the Sept. 18 issue of the magazine, the company announced today.

"We work hard at retaining and attracting the best talent to our
organization," William H. Swanson, chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

Shared interests -- and living space

Posted September 3, 2006 10:01 AM

WALTHAM

Brandeis University in Waltham is one of a growing number of universities and colleges that are offering "thematic housing," the Globe reports in a front-page story today.

Brandeis offers two residence hall suites for students interested in "Justice, Service & Change." It also offers thematic housing for students sharing an interest in global affairs, health and wellness, and the arts.

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(Brandeis students Laura Mandelberg (left) and Jordan Frazes sat in Mandelberg’s room within the residence hall devoted to students interested in social justice, Globe Staff Photo by Evan Richman.)

Nepotism questions in Waltham

Posted August 31, 2006 11:57 AM

WALTHAM

Newly obtained documents reveal that Waltham's police chief and a deputy chief are at the center of allegations of nepotism and preferential treatment.

An independent factfinder last spring raised concerns that Chief Edward Drew and Deputy Chief Keith MacPherson provided preferential treatment to family members on the force.

The mayor had sent several matters in the report to the State Ethics Commission when the report was originally released in May. Both officers deny any wrongdoing. Globe West reports today.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Thermo Electron acquisition

Posted August 31, 2006 10:24 AM

WALTHAM

Shareholders yesterday approved Waltham-based Thermo Electron Corp.'s acquisition of Fisher Scientific International Inc., a $10.6 billion deal that pairs two New England firms trying to carve out a bigger share of the scientific lab supplies market.

The deal will grant shareholders of Hampton, N.H.-based Fisher two shares of Thermo common stock for each Fisher share.

-- AP

10-year-old boy injured

Posted August 27, 2006 09:18 AM

WALTHAM

A 10-year-old boy was seriously injured last night when he was hit by a van while crossing the street with his mother, according to city officials and media reports.

Mayor Jeannette McCarthy said she was at a concert near the scene when the child was struck at Lexington and Main streets sometime around 9 p.m.

She said police told her the child was conscious when he was taken from the scene to a Boston hospital but that his injuries were serious. She said she did not think police would charge the driver.

-- Globe City & Region Staff

From Waltham to Stockholm

Posted August 24, 2006 11:55 AM

WALTHAM

A Waltham-based public relations firm is expanding to Europe with a new office in Stockholm, Sweden.

Schwartz Communications, a 16-year-old agency with 200 employees, will open the Swedish outpost Nov. 1. The firm tapped Kristina Ebenius, a former executive at another agency in that country, to run its European office, the company said today.

--Keith Reed


Securities allegations

Posted August 23, 2006 06:29 PM

WALTHAM

Massachusetts Secretary of State William F. Galvin today charged a Waltham man and two other agents of broker-dealer firms with defrauding their clients, and said the firms failed to supervise the agents properly.

Galvin's civil action seeks to revoke the agents' licenses, compensation to victims, and a fine. First, he charged a former registered representative of Ameriprise Financial Services Inc., Shane A. Selewach of Hyannis, with selling fraudulent interests in a commodities hedge fund.

Second, Galvin charged an agent of Gateway Financial Agency Corp., Patricia Ann Palmer of Fiskdale, with selling about $663,000 in nonexistent certificates of deposit to Massachusetts residents.

Third, he charged that New England Securities Corp. failed to properly supervise an agent, Paul Surface of Waltham, who Galvin said steered clients to an Internet company that eventually failed.


-- Ross Kerber

Gabrieli in Waltham

Posted August 22, 2006 11:53 AM

WALTHAM

Gubernatorial candidate Chris Gabrieli made a campaign stop in Waltham yesterday. He met Michael O'Halloran, former Waltham City Council president, at EdenVale at Main, site of a mixed income townhouse project.

The Globe also reports today that a month before the Democratic primary Gabrieli has poured almost $7.5 million of his own money into his campaign, shattering the record set by Governor Mitt Romney in 2002.

Gabrieli is vying with Attorney General Thomas Reilly and Deval Patrick for the Democratic nomination.

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(Gabrieli and O'Halloran at the construction site, Photo by Jodi Hilton)

Help for new moms

Posted August 21, 2006 08:10 AM

WALTHAM

Sometimes new mothers need help. A Waltham-based program has become a national model for linking volunteers -- Visiting Moms -- with new mothers to support the mother-infant relationship, particularly after premature births or adoptions.

The program at the Center for Early Relationship Support at Jewish Family & Children Services currently has 80 volunteers serving 130 mothers, a story in the Globe's Living/Arts section reports today.

Visiting Moms director Debbie Whitehill says the help provided can be crucial.

"We know now from all kinds of studies that parenting challenges of any kind can lead to poor relationahips and therefore poor outcome in terms of cognitive, social, and emotional development," she said.

Counseling offered

Posted August 17, 2006 08:32 AM

WALTHAM

Waltham officials said crisis counselors will be available today and tomorrow at Waltham High School and the McDevitt Middle School for anyone seeking counseling after the arrest of Robert Dacey, 49, a middle school teacher who was arraigned Monday on charges of child rape, child enticement, and indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or older.

Counselors are scheduled to be at Waltham High School today from 9 a.m. to noon, and at the McDevitt Middle School from 1 to 4 p.m. Tomorrow, counselors will be available at the high school from 9 a.m. to noon and at the middle school from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

-- Globe City & Region Staff

Waltham fatality UPDATE

Posted August 17, 2006 08:25 AM

WALTHAM/WATERTOWN

I didn't see him," cried the tearful driver as he jumped out of his Ford pickup, witnesses said. His truck had struck a toddler moments earlier, knocking him to the ground and fatally injuring him, according to Waltham police.

Three mothers were loading their children in their cars at 9 a.m. when the truck came up Stearns Hill Road, which is within an apartment complex, police Lieutenant Joseph F. Brooks said.

The 22-month-old Watertown boy was the only person struck, Brooks said in a story by Ari Bloomekatz in today's City & Region section.

Waltham fatality

Posted August 16, 2006 03:56 PM

WALTHAM

A Watertown infant was struck and killed by a 2002 Ford pickup truck this morning at Stearns Hill Road in Waltham, police said.

Waltham Police Lieutenant Joe Brooks said police and fire responded to the scene, where they found the 22 month-old male lying in the road. The child's name was not released.

The infant and his mother were rushed to the Newton Wellesley Hospital in Newton, where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the truck was not injured. The accident is being investigated by the Waltham Police Accident Reconstruction Team.

-- Globe City & Region Desk

Ouch!

Posted August 16, 2006 07:17 AM

WALTHAM

A production of "Disney's Beauty and the Beast" by the Reagle Players of Waltham got a tough review from a Globe critic today.

Correspondent Michael Hardy wrote that three actors in the show were "astonishingly good" and if you closed your eyes you could almost imagine yourself on Broadway.

"The talent curve drops off rather precipitously after these three, although the rest give the performance their all," Hardy wrote.

Still, Hardy wrote, the Players must be doing something right, noting that they are in their 38th consecutive season -- and founder Robert Eagle is responsible for funding the installation of an air conditioning system in Waltham High's Robinson Theater.

"So if you still want to see the show, I have only three words: Be my guest," he wrote.

Waltham teacher's alleged sex trap

Posted August 15, 2006 01:16 PM

WALTHAM

dacey.jpg

Robert Dacey's bizarre sex trap required a wig and a blindfold, police say, tools that would be familiar to the longtime Waltham schools drama teacher known for elaborate stage plays. With those props and an outlandish ruse, police say, he lured two young boys into illegal sexual encounters at his home.

Dacey, 49, pleaded not guilty yesterday to two counts of child rape, two counts of child enticement, and a count of indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or older, Globe reporters John Ellement and Raja Mishra report in today's City & Region section.

The details of the charges stunned Waltham, especially the schools where he taught drama for at least a decade and coached basketball, football, and baseball. Students called him Dace.

``He was, like, the cool teacher," said a former student, Nicole Crowley, 18. ``That was Mr. Dacey."

Teacher arrest update

Posted August 14, 2006 12:54 PM

WALTHAM

Waltham teacher Robert Dacey, who Middlesex County prosecutors allege sexually assaulted three students, pleaded not guilty to a variety of charges this morning and was ordered held on $25,000 bail.

Waltham Police arrested Dacey without incident at his Waltham home at approximately 10:30 p.m. on Friday, prosecutors said. He was held over the weekend on $500,000 bail at the Waltham Police Department.

This morning, Waltham District Court Judge Gregory Flynn set the new bail and ordered that, if Dacey posts it, he will be on house arrest at the home of his sister with an electronic monitoring bracelet.

Flynn also held ruled that Dacey stay away from all schools, stay off the Internet, and refrain from contact with the alleged victims, their families, and with children under the age of 16.

Dacey is due back in court on September 11, for a status report, prosecutors said.

-- Ralph Ranalli

Watham teacher charged with rape

Posted August 14, 2006 09:48 AM

WALTHAM

A Waltham teacher and coach was arrested over the weekend and is being charged with sexually assaulting several male students, according to Middlesex County District Attorney Martha Coakley's office.

Robert Dacey, a 49-year-old Waltham man, is being arraigned this morning on two counts of rape of a child, two counts of enticement of a child and one count of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14.

Prosecutors charge that Dacey allegedly abused three male victims, one who is a former student in the Waltham Public School System, and two who are current students.

Dacey, who has been employed in recent years as a middle school drama teacher and as a baseball, basketball, and football coach at Waltham High School, is alleged to have repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted the first victim, who is currently 21 years old.

Prosecutors charge that the assaults took place over a span of several years in the late 1990s, beginning when the victim was 14 years old.

Dacey is also alleged to have sexually assaulted two other victims, who are both now 15 years old, at his home last year.

Prosecutors charge that Dacey became acquainted with all three victims as a result of his role as their middle school drama teacher and sports coach at the Waltham High School.

More details to come as they are available.

-- Ralph Ranalli

Pedestrian hurt in Waltham

Posted August 4, 2006 12:04 PM

WALTHAM

A woman with a driver's permit lost control of a car this morning in Waltham, striking a man in his 30s and pinning him against a wall, Globe City and Region reporter John Ellement reports on the section's breaking news blog.

The man was struck as he walked on Newton Street, according to Waltham police Captain William Stanton.

Stanton said the 6:45 a.m. incident is still under investigation. He did not immediately have the age of the driver but said a licensed driver was also in the vehicle at the time of the crash.

The man suffered serious leg injuries and was rushed to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Waltham man in N.H. crash

Posted August 3, 2006 02:49 PM

WALTHAM

A New Hampshire state trooper was injured when he was hit by a car driven by a Waltham man while helping remove a fallen tree from Interstate 95 in Greenland, N.H. during yesterday's storms.

State police say a car driven by 83-year-old William Dillion rear-ended a parked cruiser around 8:30 last night, sending the car out of control and into a group of troopers who were directing traffic and trying to remove the tree.

Sergeant James White was knocked off the road into trees along the highway. He was treated and released from Portsmouth Regional Hospital.

Dillon and his passenger were not injured, authorities said.

-- AP

More than words

Posted August 1, 2006 06:11 PM

WALTHAM

More than Words, a bookstore on Moody Street, is more than a place to buy books for the teenagers that run it - it's also a refuge, a place to learn management and retail skills and to earn money.

The youths that work here are part of TeenLEEP - a program for kids that are "aging out" of the state's foster care system, which basically turns them loose into the world when they turn 18.

And tomorrow, they'll get to have a talk with Department of Social Services Commissioner Harry Spence.

Jodi Rosenbaum-Tilinger, who founded the bookstore, said this is a private meeting that gives Spence's "constituents" a chance to ask him questions and talk about the positive impact of More than Words and TeenLEEP.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

Martin Gibbs, 83

Posted July 28, 2006 09:17 AM

WALTHAM

Martin Gibbs, a Brandeis biochemist described by family as a humble, witty, and charismatic man, has died. He was 83.

Mr. Gibbs, of Lexington, was an authority in his field, but also held family in the highest priority, a Globe obituary reports today.

Pool Progress in Sight?

Posted July 24, 2006 01:36 PM

WALTHAM


It's hot as blazes out there, but Connors Memorial Pool in Waltham remains closed for the fifth year in a row.

But some relief may be on the far horizon. Governor Mitt Romney recently approved $1.3 million for planning and engineering studies to help resurrect Connors, along with four other shuttered municipal pools in Attleboro, Brockton, Ludlow, and South Hadley.

Read more in this weeks's GlobeWatch West....

Real estate market

Posted July 23, 2006 09:27 AM

WALTHAM

A quartet of nice houses in Waltham is featured on the front page of today's Globe Real Estate section in a story about how the buyer's market has arrived in Massachusetts.

Three out of four of the houses featured have had their prices cut.

Buyers have "some great choices," Liz Kincannon, a sales associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Wayland, tells the Globe.

Lightning strikes thrice

Posted July 22, 2006 10:04 AM

WALTHAM

Lightning and high wind from thunderstorms caused problems around the area yesterday, the Globe reports today, including at least three lightning strikes in Waltham.

A four-story apartment building on Ridge Lane was struck, causing about $30,000 in damage to the first, second, and third floors. On Seminole Avenue, lightning struck the chimney of a single-family home, and the chimney was ``blown to bits," said Waltham Deputy Fire Chief Michael Quinn.


All roads lead to -- Waltham?

Posted July 21, 2006 03:22 PM

WALTHAM

Two real estate developers are proposing to build a connector to Route 128, largely with private financing, to resolve a traffic bottleneck in Waltham, one of the state's hottest commercial real estate markets and home to many technology companies and other major employers, the Globe reports today.

Sam Park and Co., along with a neighboring developer, the Related Cos., would contribute $14 million toward construction of a four-lane bridge that would connect the highway and the Route 117 area in Waltham, where the two companies are each proposing to build large mixed-use real estate projects. There currently is no direct way to access Route 128 from the Route 117 area.


-- Stephanie V. Siek

Swimming Pool Progress

Posted July 21, 2006 02:51 PM

WALTHAM


It's hot as blazes out there, but Connors Memorial Pool in Waltham remains closed for the fifth year in a row.

But some relief may be on the far horizon. Governor Mitt Romney recently approved $1.3 million for planning and engineering studies to help resurrect Connors, along with four other shuttered municipal pools in Attleboro, Brockton, Ludlow, and South Hadley.

Read more in this weeks's GlobeWatch West....

I Scream, You Scream... (For Sorbet)

Posted July 19, 2006 03:32 PM

WALTHAM

Main Street is about to get a new way to beat the July heat. Sebastian's Homemade Real Fruit Ice Cream and Sorbets is getting set to open its doors next week.

The shop is an extension of Cafe on the Common, 677 Main St., and will start by offering 12 flavors of homemade sorbet and ice cream.

How homemade is it? Ask the woman behind the counter who peeled dozens of kiwis by hand for the refreshingly fruity kiwi sorbet.

Sebastian's does not use pre-made ice cream bases, and everything is made from scratch, said owner Frederick Kimberk.

- Stephanie V. Siek

Jealousy alleged in slaying

Posted July 18, 2006 09:22 AM

REGION

A Waltham man allegedly hired a career felon to kill his estranged wife's boyfriend, prosecutors say.

Prosecutors say that James Brescia, 46, became obsessed with "eliminating" Edward Schiller, 39, of Framingham, and hired Scott Foxworth, 52, of Dracut, to do it.

Schiller was fatally shot on Jan. 13 in a parking garage next to his office in Newton.

Brescia and Foxworth pleaded not guilty to murder and conspiracy charges yesterday.

Brescia's lawyer, J.W. Carney Jr., tells the Globe today that his client had nothing to do with the killing, while Foxworth's lawyer had no comment.


As time ticks by

Posted July 16, 2006 11:48 AM

WALTHAM

Once upon a time, Waltham was known as the Watch City. But those days have long since ticked by.

An antiques and collectible column in the Orlando Sentinel today mentions the community's watchmaking past.

It says the Waltham Watch Co. in business, from 1854 until about 1957, made about 40 million watches.

Botched attempt

Posted July 15, 2006 12:02 PM

WALTHAM

A 42-year-old Waltham man is facing robbery, assault and resisting arrest charges in Pawtucket, R.I., where he met with spirited resistance during a gas station robbery, The Pawtucket Times reports today.

The newspaper reports that "easy money came hard" for Louis Callela.


OxyContin tracking

Posted July 14, 2006 11:44 AM

REGION

A local state lawmaker is pushing for more aggressive tracking of those who abuse prescription drugs and the doctors who prescribe them.

Rep. Peter J. Koutoujian, a Democrat who represents Newton, Watertown and Waltham, is chairman of the OxyContin Commission. He is calling for safer storage of prescription drugs, better education for teachers and parents about the dangers of OxyContin, and a statewide disposal program for unused pills.

"It used to be that years ago we raided parents' liquor cabinets for liquor," he says in a Globe story today. "Now kids are raiding parents' medicine cabinets for drugs."

Abuse of prescription drugs has been responsible for a 600 percent increase in opioid related deaths in the state between 1990 and 2003.

-- Erica Tochin

Francis E. Steckel, 83

Posted July 11, 2006 12:04 PM

WALTHAM

Francis E. Steckel, a former Waltham resident whose career as a medical illustrator spanned 45 years, has died. He was 83.

Mr. Steckel, who served in the Navy in World War II, thought it was great he could teach surgeons do surgery with his drawings, his son, Brian said.

"He lived his life for everyone else. Never asked for anything. Never swore, never drank. Never cheated, never lied. All he cared about was helping other people," his son said in a Globe obituary today.

In another obituary, Walter Patterson Gleason, whose career as an educator included stretches in the Natick and Weston schools, is also remembered.

Angel on campus

Posted July 10, 2006 01:52 PM

WALTHAM

There's an Angel on the campus of Brandeis University.

Ryan Angel has been hired as an assistant women's soccer coach at the Waltham-based school. In addition, Gabe Margolis has been named as an assistant on the men's soccer staff.

Angel, a 1997 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, served the last four years as head coach of the Rhode Island College women's soccer and lacrosse teams.

Margolis, a 2005 graduate of Wheaton College, has been an assistant at Boston University and Northeastern over the last year.

Athletic director Sheryl Sousa says the two new hires are "two quality individuals who bring a combination of enthusiasm and expertise in their fields to our staff."

No tenants? No problem!

Posted July 8, 2006 10:02 AM

WALTHAM

Can you say "risky"?

The commercial real estate market has rebounded in Boston's near suburbs so much that some developers are building office projects without having any tenants lined up yet.

Among the projects are two already underway in Waltham, including the two-phase $250 million Reservoir Woods on Winter Street in Waltham, a story in the Real Estate section reports today.

Developers say they're confident tenants will step forward in the hot Waltham market.

Vacation vetoed

Posted July 6, 2006 04:11 PM

WALTHAM

Just when they thought it was safe to lay out on that lawn chair...

In a move likely to send Waltham City Councilors scrambling back from vacation, Mayor Jeannette McCarthy has vetoed the creation of a controversial commercial zoning district near Totten Pond Road.

City Clerk Rosario "Russ" Malone said that he received the veto along with a related communication from the mayor to councilors on Monday, but that it had been signed June 30, just before the Independence Day holiday.

Councilor Robert G. Logan and other supporters of the ordinance, which narrowly passed June 26, will have to get an approval from two-thirds of the council's 14 members to override the veto, and they might need a special meeting to do it because they've adjourned for the summer.

Watch for more details in Sunday's Globe West.

-- Stephanie Siek

Raytheon acquires mission-simulation co.

Posted July 5, 2006 04:22 PM

WALTHAM

Military contractor Raytheon Co. of Waltham said today it bought privately held mission-simulation company Virtual Technology Corp.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Virtual Technology, which is based in Alexandria, Va., and employs 125 people, creates simulation programs used by the Department of Defense to train military and security personnel.

Raytheon is the nation's fifth-largest defense contractor, with 80,000 employees worldwide and 2005 revenue of $21.9 billion.

Raytheon shares fell 49 cents to $43.96 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. (AP)

Brian Camenker in the news -- again

Posted July 2, 2006 05:51 PM

NEWTON

Some critics say Brian Camenker of Newton and his Waltham-based group MassResistance are "bottom feeders" and on the "fringe."

Camenker tells the Associated Press in a story today that he believes he speaks for a lot of people when he criticizes what he sees as the homosexual "agenda" in the state.

"I don't think the powers-that-be in Massachusetts realize the emotion that this thing had gone way too far and it's got to stop. I don't think they have a clue," he said.

Slow and steady wins ...

Posted June 7, 2006 01:56 PM

My colleague, Lisa Kocian, and I were coming back from lunch at the new Guatemalan/Salvadoran cafe on Moody Street in Waltham on Tuesday afternoon around 2 p.m. [Look for my review of Guanachapi's in this Sunday's Globe West.]

Coming down Route 30 towards the Framingham line, we had to slam on the brakes -- a big, red SUV was inexplicably stopped cold, blocking traffic. We couldn't see anything in the way -- no pedestrians, no bicyclists -- no good reason at all to be stopped short.

Impatient to get back to the bureau, we sat there and griped. Finally, traffic started moving again and we saw what the holdup was all about. A huge turtle, with a shell the size of a loaf of bread, was slowwwwly crossing the road in front of us. He made it safely to the other side, and headed happily into the woods.

-- Erica Noonan

Waltham investigation

Posted June 6, 2006 05:01 PM

After an independent probe found evidence of nepotism, preferential treatment, and other possible misconduct within the Waltham Police Department, Mayor Jeannette McCarthy (cq) said she is taking unspecified action against employees named in the investigator's report.
The report did not suggest specific disciplinary action, but reccomended further investigation in several cases.
"I have followed up with each of the 35 issues in the report. That's all I'm going to say," McCarthy said Monday. Mayor McCarthy ordered the fact-finding report in response to "issues brought to [her] attention through personal conversations, anonymous letters, or other means," the letter accompanying the report states. Read more about the story in Thursday's Globe West. -- Stephanie Siek.

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