Archives for February 2013

Harvard Historian Jill Lepore to Speak in Lexington

Jill Lepore

By Judy Buswick

This March, Lexingtonians will be delving into the story of America – a chosen theme investigating how American writers have impacted our history.

Whether it’s “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow or “Poor Richard’s Almanack” by Benjamin Franklin, a story and a backstory are there for the reading. Seeking to probe American history as part of the 2013 Lexington Reads program, the book suggested for a community-wide reading is The Story of America: Essays on Origins (Princeton University Press, 2012) by Harvard historian Jill Lepore. Filled with essays meticulously researched and thoroughly documented, yet first appearing in “The New Yorker” sans footnotes, this latest book by Lepore ties original works with today’s understanding of them, showing us many literary works that have affected Americans and American history. Fiction and political speeches are both analyzed. Stories range from 1607 and the lies or truths told by John Smith about the founding of Jamestown, up to the 2008 inaugural address of Barack Obama, who said, ”This union may not be perfect, but generation after generation has shown it can always be perfected.”

Opening the Cary Library series of programs on “The Story of America” theme, Professor Lepore will speak on Saturday, March 2, 2013, at 8 p.m. at Cary Hall (1605 Massachusetts Ave., next to the police station), about how American democracy is entwined with the history of its publications. Sponsored by the Cary Lecture Series and supported by the Cary Memorial Library, this special event will offer a preview look at Lepore’s upcoming book (Book of Ages), due to be released in September. The title of her program will be “Dear Brother: The Life and Letters of Benjamin Franklin’s Sister.” Free tickets have been mailed to all Lexington households; additional tickets are available at the Town Office Building or Cary Memorial Library.

Speaking by phone, Lepore explained that her Cary Hall lecture had been drawn from her research on Jane Mecom, Benjamin Franklin’s younger sister. As the youngest son and the youngest daughter in a family of 13 children, these two were close and wrote extensively to one another over their long lives. “They were both great letter writers,” noted Lepore. Actually, the prodigious Franklin wrote more letters to Jane than to anyone else, Lepore added. In the 1930s and 1940s, it was historian Carl Van Doren who collected the letters of both Jane and Benjamin; thus, “He saved her story,” praised Lepore. Van Doren won the 1939 Pulitzer Prize for his biography Benjamin Franklin (Viking Press, 1938). As Lepore will explain in her lecture, Jane had a difficult life, out-living 11 of her 12 children and struggling with poverty. When Franklin provided her with a house in Boston’s North End on Unity Street, she was proud of her own home and took great care of it, acknowledged Lepore. Knowing her beloved house would be looted, Jane was forced to flee Boston after the Battle of Bunker Hill. Sadly, this house, the only property Franklin ever owned, was demolished years later to improve the sightlines along the Paul Revere Mall. The house and another identical home next door were built by the brick maker who provided bricks for the Old North Church. The brick maker’s house still remains and might someday become a destination for tourists seeking Franklin’s presence in Boston, surmised LePore.

In The Story of America: Essays on Origins, Lepore examines Franklin’s earliest writing, including Poor Richard’s Almanack, and mentions that in 1767, before Franklin had signed the Declaration of Independence, “his sister Jane asked him for a copy of everything he had ever published. ‘I could as easily make a Collection for you of all the Pairings of my Nails,’ he answered.” Lepore pointed out that few have written more or done more than Franklin to shape the history – the story – of America.

Lepore writes, “Democracy in America was not established with the stroke of a pen, in 1776, when members of the Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence.” Our form of government “was neither inevitable nor swift,” she states. As the stories in Lepore’s book show, with each President or “contest of opinion” came new interpretations and new written insights. Her book includes chapters on Charles Dickens and his visits to America, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his friendship with Charles and George Sumner, Edgar Allan Poe, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and many other fascinating writers from our past. Many writers interweave through chapters helping link the stories about our literary influences. Speaking about her separately written essays, Lepore noted that she wrote them “because I wanted to try to explain how history works, and how it’s different from politics.” When compiled, they add up to a new look at American history, a view that is more than the sum of the parts.

The last chapter focuses on inaugural speech writing – from that of George Washington to Barack Obama’s first speech. President-to-be Garfield, like most Presidents, read the inaugural speeches of those before him, confiding in his diary how difficult was the writing task. Lepore confides, ”Reading Lincoln left James Garfield nearly speechless.” He considered not even trying to write such an address for fear he wouldn’t succeed. The problem with a political speech’s content, length, poetry, hyperbole, and rhetoric come under discussion pertaining to particular presidents. Readers will find not only some insights on the content and political intent of written inaugural addresses, but also such personal tidbits as who was “the first inaugurée to wear pants instead of knee-breeches” (John Quincy Adams); who was first to give his speech on television (Harry S. Truman); who first broadcast the speech on the Internet (Bill Clinton); and who was first to be “YouTubed” live (Barack Obama). This final chapter of the book is representative of the engaging content that will lead to discussions on many levels. Invoking LePore’s last line, “Enough said.”

Jill Lepore has had a fair share of literary success. Since 1998, she has authored seven non-fiction books and co-authored a novel. Her book New York Burning: Liberty, Slavery and Conspiracy in Eighteenth-Century Manhattan (Knopf, 2005) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History. Since 2005, she has been a staff writer for The New Yorker. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and many scholarly reviews.

Besides being a professor of American History at Harvard, she is the chair of Harvard’s History and Literature program, which offers an innovative and rigorous approach to interdisciplinary scholarship by teaching writing and critical thinking skills that are invaluable in any profession. The Cambridge resident serves on the boards of the National Council for History Education, the Society of American Historians, and the National Portrait Gallery.

Copies of Professor Lepore’s book, The Story of America, will be on sale at the Cary Hall lecture. The author will attend the library’s annual Lexington Reads Book Discussion Brunch on Saturday, April 6th at 10 a.m. where advanced registration is required.  For more information, stop by or call Cary Library: (781-862-6288 x250).


Judy Buswick is the author of a quilter’s biography (Sally Palmer Field, New England Quilter). See Judy’s Website at

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Lexington CommUNITY’s 20th annual MLK Day Celebration

The crowd marches from the Lexington Battle Green to Cary Hall

By Laurie Atwater

Each year Lexington CommUNITY sponsors a march and program to celebrate Martin Luther King Day. This committee has been working together in Lexington for many years to bring issues of diversity and social justice to the forefront of community discourse. Committee members Claudia Lach, Larry Link, Charles Martin, Brenda Prusak, Yukari Watanabe Scott, Jill Smilow, Sam Zales and Helen Cohen always deliver a provacative and thoughtful presentation to honor this important national figure.

On Sunday, January 20th, Lexington CommUNITY presented its 20th annual community commemoration of Martin Luther King Day. The theme: Diversity in Lexington’s Schools: Looking Back, Looking Forward. Along with community members, the event was attended by Superintendent of Schools Paul Ash, School Committee member Margaret Coppe and Selectman Hank Manz.

According to CommUNITY member Jill Smilow, the committee chose this theme as part of the overarching 300th anniversary in Lexington to celebrate the public schools and the progress that they have made on diversity issues. Smilow, who began working with No Place for Hate years ago, has seen great progress in Lexington over time. From Lexington’s early embrace of the METCO (Metropolitan Council for Education Opportunity) program, to solidarity with same-sex couples and their families in the Lexington schools, Lexington has sought to be a welcoming place for all. Although Smilow acknowledges that there is much work to be done, she said that the CommUNITY committee really wanted to “showcase the fact that there is a lot being done and a lot has been accomplished in the schools.”

METCO Scholar Malik Alfred with his family

Smilow noted that the MLK Day panel was made up of educators who have received the Sharyn Wong-Chan and Sara Harrington Diversity Award. The award is presented each year by Lexington’s Diversity Task Force to educators that embrace and promote cultural diversity in the schools. Smilow credits the Chinese American Association of Lexington (CAAL) for underwriting the award each year which comes with a cash prize. Participating on the Sunday panel were Ann Kim Tenhor, a technology specialist at LPS elementary schools, Lexington High School guidance counselor Melissa Buttaro and former dean William Cole, who is now a social studies teacher at LHS. Also participating in the special program was Malik Alfred, a 2012 METCO Scholar.

THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF DIVERSITY After a performance by the Bowman School fifth grade chorus, conducted by music specialist Martha Rodgers, Assistant Superintendent of LPS Human Resources Bob Harris opened the program. He shared with the audience a fact they may have been surprising—Dr. King actually visited Lexington in 1963 and spoke to a group of Lexington residents.

Harris went on to discuss the changing demographics of the Lexington public schools saying that in the past few decades the percentatge of minority students in the Lexington Public Schools has almost doubled. In 1963 LHS was almost 100% white. Lexington High School is now 62% White, 33% Asian and 5% Black. The increase in diversity has come predominantly from an influx of Asians—Chinese, Indians and Koreans.

Lexington is an affluent suburb that has been inching its way forward from insular to decidedly more inclusive. We’re still predominately white—just not as white as we were 10 years ago.

Each era has seen changes that are peculiar to the times. In our modern era, the largest influx of new residents came post WWII with the development of the highway system and the new found wealth of the working class. Affordable entry level homes in Lexington and surrounding suburbs made it possible for working class families and to escape the city for the green grass of the burbs. At the same time academics moved to Lexington and settled in progressive neighborhoods like Moon Hill, Peacock Farms and Five Fields, and this trend continued bringing with it an increasing focus on education and the schools in town. With these new residents came a measure of economic diversity that was enjoyed in Lexington throughout the sixties and seventies, but little non-Caucasian ethnic diversity

After the Immigration Reform Act of 1965 made is easier for Asians to immigrate to the U.S., the Asian population began slowly to grow in Lexington. The explosion in biotech, sciences and high tech have attracted many Asian immigrants to Boston for its universities and high tech jobs and that has converged with Lexington’s increased focus on excellent schools. Highly educated Asian families come to the Boston area for education and well-compensated work in technology and the sciences. They in turn want to pass on a good education to their children and are attracted to Lexington for its school system. This has led to a pattern of in-migration that is less economically diverse, but more culturally diverse. To address the increasing diversity in the Lexington schools, the district is seeking to increase the ethnic diversity of its staff which is currently 92.7% white.

Bowman School fifth grade chorus, led by music specialist Martha Rodgers

In his remarks Harris pointed to the challenges around hiring teachers with more diverse ethnic backgrounds in the suburbs, saying that “there is a perception among many minority teachers that suburban school districts are entirely white.” He also said that diversity among accredited teachers in Massachusetts is still very low making it difficult to recruit new teachers. Still, the goal is serious and Lexington has chosen to participate in an innovate program to increase their success. That program is called Today’s Students Tomorrow’s Teachers (TSTT). Together with Arlington, Andover and Brookline, Lexington will enroll five students in an intensive mentoring program for prospective teachers. After completing the program at the high school level, students receive a 50% reduction in college tuition to enroll in a program to receive their degree and teaching accreditation. Once students graduate and receive their license, they are eligible for a job in one of the participating districts.

This is just one in a long history of efforts to embrace and celebrate diversity in the Lexington schools. Each of the panelists made a short presentation to the assembled audience and talked about their experiences with diversity issues in life and in the Lexington schools.

Panel members Ann Tenhor, Bill Cole and Melissa Buttaro

ANN KIM TENHOR Ann Kim Tenhor, who is a graduate of Lexington High School and an Instructional Technology Specialist in the Lexington schools, remembered her youth in Lexington in the 70s. She said that she felt that Lexington really celebrated individual differences and that really stuck with her. When she went to college she realized that other students hadn’t had the same experience where they were from. She jokingly said that she was “shocked” to find out that all other schools didn’t host “a multi cultural potluck dinner!” Throughout her career Ann knew that she was always seeking to recreate her Lexington experience where she says “we discuss and share!” In the schools she is proud to create differentiated learning to address the needs of every student. “Everyone has something to share and something to learn,” she said.

BILL COLE Bill Cole, also an LHS grad, was used to being in places where white folks were in the minority. His family moved around a lot before they settled in Lexington in 1968. Cole said that in his 1981 LHS graduating class METCO students were being accepted into top echelon colleges like Brown, Duke and Harvard.

Fast forward to 2007 and Cole was a Dean at LHS when former Diamond teacher Vito LaMura released his report, “The Achievement Gap in the Lexington Public Schools” which was generated in response to evidence that Lexington’s METCO students were performing at lower levels than their classmates.

Following up on one of the numerous observations and recommendations in the report, Superintendent Ash created the Achievement Gap Task Force (which later became the Equity and Excellence Committee) and Dean Cole joined. Cole then helped to organize and run a new mentoring program called METCO Scholars which was modeled on a program he had found in Shaker Heights, Ohio. “We’re currently working with our fourth cohort,” Cole explained to the audience. And while he labels their success as “fairly modest over the years” he also said that “we’re aiming high, but not taking any of the smaller objectives or ripple effects for granted.” All in all Cole said that he feels the METCO Scholars program has really helped METCO students to get “over the hump” in terms of “respective and productive behavior and achieving at a higher level.” Now in the classroom full time Cole is inspired by his students. “I think the Lexington High School Community has incredible diversity of thought,” he said. “I’m incredibly proud of what we are doing in the school.”

MALIK ALFRED METCO Scholar Malik Alfred would make anyone proud. Malik is a second generation METCO student—both his mom and his aunt attended Lexington schools!

Lexington has been part of Alfred’s life since the 2nd grade when he started on the demanding path of a METCO student. He said, “My experience in METCO has been a great one,” but he admitted that it wasn’t easy. Getting up every day at 5AM to catch a bus to Lexington was not easy. “It was challenging coming to Lexington from the Boston Public Schools,” he said. “At that age I knew that it was different—[there were] definitely less people in my class that looked like me.”

Alfred talked about feeling “a little out of place and alone,” but went on to say that as he became more involved in the community “Lexington opened my eyes to…different races and nationalities and lifestyles.”

Alfred also talked about how important it was for him to have the “help and support” of his mother, saying that he was “so blessed and thankful for her.” METCO parents sacrifice tremendously to have their children participate in the program.

Also important to Alfred were his host families over the years and especially Kim Hogan his host “mom” while he was in high school. “She’s honestly the most non-judgmental person,” he said and thanked her and her family for helping him succeed.

Currently Alfred is attending Dean College and studying criminal justice. “I want to make a name for myself in the criminal justice field,” he said. “I have a dream and that’s my dream.”

MELISSA BUTTARO Lexington High School guidance counselor Melissa Buttaro said she “found her niche” when she came to Lexington. After several less than satisfying assignments in other districts, she was invited to interview for a position at the high school and said, “I’ll never forget walking across the quad and seeing a rainbow flag hanging in the window above the main entrance in the old health teacher’s office, “safe zone” stickers were visible, my interview committee was diverse and the questions they asked me included issues of diversity.”

Butarro has been involved in diversity groups everywhere she has worked and is currently GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) adviser at LHS. She reflected on her own awareness of diversity issues by saying, “Being female, I observed discrimination against girls as long as I can remember.”

As a strong advocate for the GLBTQ community at the high school, she has known her share of controversy but is thankful for the “unwavering support and encouragement” that she has received from the district. Buttaro ended her comments by stating: “We are always trying to do more…it is humbling work. I love it!”

Moderator and longtime CommUNITY member Jill Smilow

PROVOCATIVE QUESTIONS In the final moments of the program audience members came to the microphone to ask questions and made several astute observations.

A young Lexingtonian who attends a private high school in Cambridge said that Lexington was a “stark contrast [less diverse] to my community in Cambridge.”

Another audience member who was involved in the fair housing movement in Lexington in the 1960s observed that “We’ve got a lot of Asian families and a lot of Indian families, but I don’t even think there are as many black families [in Lexington] as we had in 1960.”

A gentleman with a daughter of mixed race expressed concern over the “self segregation” that he sees among the high school students. He said that he sees it downtown and in the pictures in the yearbook—Asian students with other Asian students, blacks kids with other black kids and white kids with other white kids. In classes they are together, but they are separate when they socialize. “I was most struck by it walking through the high school cafeteria—Commons I and Commons II,” he said.

The answers to these questions and observations are vexing. How do we make Lexington more attractive for black families? How can we encourage more economic diversity in our community? Are diverse groups just coexisting or are they truly engaging with one another? As the program closed Jill Smilow encouraged people to reach out to someone new. She commented, “The work is not done, but it’s happening. It’s also imperative.”

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Make a plan to deal with Winter Moths Before Spring Arrives!

The infestation of Winter Moths this fall could become a serious problem in the Spring. Winter moths were introduced to New England from northern Europe and continue to cause serious defoliation of many of our deciduous trees. Adult moths fly high into the branches of trees at this time of the year to lay eggs that will hatch tiny caterpillars next spring. Winter moth continues to be a serious problem because there is no natural predator to keep it in check. If you noticed moths flying around your home during the fall months you should consider contacting an arborist to develop some type of control strategy for the spring. There are several environmentally safe spray options that are most effective when applied early in the lifecycle of the caterpillars.

My best advice in dealing with what nature has in store for us is to be prepared for the worst and if anything less happens you will not be disappointed. After what we have experienced during the past year I think most will agree that global warming is probably not a conspiracy theory. Hurricane Sandy is fresh on everyone’s mind but just think about what we’ve been through in the past 12 months. Snow in October 2011, record warm winter 2011 – 2012, record heat during the summer with severe drought conditions for most of the country. I believe that hurricane Sandy was the largest storm in recorded history. It’s not what might happen, it’s what is happening here and now!

Hazard tree evaluation is probably the hottest topic to date in the field of arboriculture. The truth is that trees can fail under extreme conditions and when they do they can cause power outages, property damage and personal injury. The good news is that many disastrous situations involving trees can be avoided with proper evaluations and care by trained arborists. If we cut down every tree within 100 feet of our homes because we were afraid of them we would have a sad existence. Of course such drastic measures should not be necessary when more people understand the value of inspecting trees in close proximity to our homes and power lines.

Backup generators are also an excellent idea if you don’t have one already. It is your responsibility to keep the wires from the telephone pole to your house clear of tree branches but trees can take down the main wires that run parallel to the street and when this happens there is nothing you can do but wait until utility crews repair them. Having a generator at your home can make your wait time much more pleasant.

Call a licensed electrician for advice about a generator that will work best for you and always consider a Massachusetts or International certified arborist trained to provide hazard tree evaluations.

Foti Landscape and Tree Service

30 Fairbanks Road,

Lexington, Ma 02421, Ph: 781.861.0505,





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e-Life Advisor: Choosing a Tablet

Charlie Hoover


Helpful information regarding your Electronic life- all the computers, smartphones, tablets, home entertainment and internet tools you rely on to be productive and entertained.

Stephen from Lexington asks, “I’m thinking of getting a small tablet of some kind but I don’t know which one to get. My wife loves her iPad but I’m not sure I need one that big or that expensive. I really just want to have a good screen to read books, check email etc. I’ve been looking at either the Kindle Fire or the iPad Mini. If I go for the cheaper one will I regret it?”

Well Stephen this is a great question! It’s also pretty subjective but I’ll start off by saying that you wouldn’t regret getting the Kindle Fire. As smaller tablets go it’s a very well designed device. You’ll have access to pretty much every major app you could want as well as a direct link to Amazons catalogue of books, movies, TV shows and physical goods. If you’re mostly focused on the books though, I would recommend looking at the standard Kindle Paperwhite. It won’t run apps but you’ll be hard pressed to find a better reading experience anywhere.

On the Apple side of things we have the new iPad Mini which is their first foray into the smaller tablet arena. As such while it’s a very beautiful device, it doesn’t completely fit into the existing lineup yet, mostly due to its lack of what Apple calls ‘Retina’ resolution for the screen. If you’re already deep in the Apple ecosystem then it may be worth considering though, especially if you’ve purchased a ton of apps or content through iTunes already. In general you’re better off spending the extra money for the full sized iPad Retina since you’ll be getting more for your money and a better reading experience.

If it’s a matter of getting the most for your money, I’ll recommend something you might not have heard about: The Google Nexus 7. It’s a 7” Android tablet that’s a fantastic compromise between the Kindle Fire and the iPad Mini. It’s fast, cheap, and can run almost any of the 700,000 apps in the Google Play store. It’s only real down side is the lack of a decent camera but if that’s not your priority it’s going to be your best value. Whatever you decide to go with let me know if you’re enjoying it!


Charlie Hoover is a Senior e-Life Technologist at Geek Housecalls of Lexington.

If  you have an e-Life problem or concern of your own, you can contact me via email ( ), Facebook or Twitter (@elifeadvisor). I look forward to helping you! For those of you, who want more information about windows 8 or new tablets, visit our blog

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Parenting Matters: Complex Sibling Relationships


Patti Grant, LICSW

If sibling rivalry is an issue that affects your household, you may understand how stressful it can be for everyone in the house to bear. You may be at a loss to know how to stop the fighting, or question whether they shouldn’t just, “work things out.” Let’s first take a look at the basis for sibling rivalry.

Tension between siblings can run in a few different forms. One form that is most common is that siblings tend to look at each other as equal even if their age is not. This may come out as, “Why does she get to have a phone?” or, “Why can’t I stay out that late?” School-age kids especially may be very black and white in their thinking about fairness, such as when they see parents giving preferential treatment to a younger sibling (such as greater physical affection).

A second form of tension stems from individual temperaments. These temperaments, including mood, disposition and flexibility, as well as their unique personalities play a large role in how well siblings get along. For example, if one child’s disposition is to be okay with close proximity, but another child delineates their personal space, it can lead to conflict. “But that’s my side of the couch!” Does this sound familiar?

Another form of tension can stem from kids that have special needs, either emotionally or medically. The child who isn’t sick may resent the amount of the parent’s attention that this sibling needs. This child may also not be able to verbalize this feeling well, and it may come out in a way that makes it hard to address, such as, “Why does he always get everything he wants?” Maybe this is a phrase you tend to hear that leads to tension for everyone.

The final form of tension that can impact siblings is their role models. The way that parents-and other close family members-resolve problems and conflict sets a strong example for their kids. If family members tend to yell, call names and isolate themselves, siblings are likely to do the same. However, if family members can work through conflict in a way that’s healthy and respectful, it increases the chance that the children will adopt the same tactics.

So what do you do when the fighting starts? Whenever possible, don’t get involved. If the siblings can work things through in a productive way without your help, that will be the best for their self-esteem and problem solving development. You also risk been seen as taking sides whenever you step in, based on past experiences of the children or simply even the timing of when you step in. However, always intervene in a situation where you feel they might become violent with each other.

If and when you do decide to step in, try to resolve problems with your kids, not for them. Following are some suggestions to follow when stepping in.

Separate kids until they’re calm (as well as yourself). Unless everyone is calm, fighting can resume and the problem solving cannot.

Take the focus off blame, as focusing on who’s to blame only exacerbates fighting. This can be done by encouraging each child verbalize their concerns, one at a time.

Voice your own concerns for their fighting, such as how you feel like family life could improve, or how you’re concerned they’re going to hurt each other.

Ask them to come up with a mutually agreeable and feasible solution that addresses all the concerns. Be careful to throw out solutions that won’t be likely to have follow through, or ones that don’t consider all of the concerns.

Support solutions that children come up with, check their follow through and come back to the table to talk if the solution is attempted and it doesn’t help resolve the original concerns.

There are also some simple techniques that can be used every day to help kids get along. An important one to use is to explain to the child that, “equal is not always fair, and fair does not always mean equal,” in that each child gets what he or she needs, and sometimes one child may need more than another. Another important technique is to set ground rules for behavior. Tell the kids that if an argument starts, they must keep their hands to themselves, and yelling, cursing or name-calling, as well as abuse to objects (slamming doors or throwing things) are not allowed. Explain to kids that they are not responsible for getting angry, but they are responsible for their behavior.

You can also be proactive in getting involved in each of your children’s interests, and make sure you give each child some one-to-one time on a consistent basis. Make sure each child has their own space to do their own thing, either to take space quietly, go outside, or enjoy activities with peers without their sibling tagging along. Tell your kids that you love them both, without limits.

It’s also important to have fun as a family as well. It can be as simple as throwing a ball together or playing a board game, something that establishes a peaceful time that you can all relate as a time that everyone got along well. Also keep in mind that the fighting may be for attention, and if you leave the situation, it may remove the incentive for fighting.

If fighting is occurring daily, you can hold family meetings weekly or daily to review the ground rules and work on solutions to resolve conflicts, as outlined in the bullets above. If children frequently fight about the same issue, it’s a sign that a collaborative approach is needed, with parents modeling problem-solving behavior.

In a small percentage of families, the conflict between siblings is so severe that it disrupts daily functioning, such as the children’s ability to go to school on time or attend extra-curricular activities. Fighting can be so severe that it can affect kids emotionally or psychologically. In these cases, please do seek help from a mental health professional. If you have any questions about your children, you can also speak to their pediatrician, who can help you assess whether you and your family might benefit from seeking out professional help or refer you to local behavioral health specialists.


Patti Grant, LICSW

(617) 606-7450

Private Practice:

Newton: 44 Thornton Street, Newton,

Lexington: The Liberties, Suite #11, 33 Bedford Street, Lexington, MA 02420

Copernican Clinical Services:  “We Help People Change”

Phone: (617) 606-7450

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LHS PTSA March Forum

Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Time:7:00 – 9:00 PM

Location: LHS Media Library (Room 147)

Speaker: Dr. Ryan Madigan, BU Center for Anxiety & Related Disorders

Topic: “Identifying, Understanding and Coping with Stress & Anxiety: Strategies for High School Students and their Parents”

As a follow-up to last year’s presentation, Dr. Ryan Madigan will return to discuss stress and coping strategies, specifically for high school students and their parents. During this forum, Dr. Madigan will discuss:

Understanding helpful and unhelpful stress and anxiety

Identifying when anxiety becomes a problem and different types of anxiety disorders

How to cope with stress and anxiety in school and at home

Demonstrating how to implement each coping strategy through activities and interactive discussion

Relevant resources in the area and how to find the best care

Talking to teens about the role substance abuse plays in symptoms of anxiety.

Dr. Madigan is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Boston University Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders and is a Visiting Instructor at Wellesley College. He received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers University and completed his internship at Harvard Medical School/Children’s Hospital Boston in pediatric psychology. Internationally known, the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders specializes in evidence-based assessment, treatment and the scientific investigation of anxiety and mood disorders.

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Our Story In Comics!

Author Bentley Boyd. Courtesy photo.

Almost two years ago, resident Sandy Kahn shared an idea: how about a comic book about Lexington’s history in honor of the 300th? Kahn suggested her friend, comic book author-illustrator Bentley Boyd, an artist with more than 25 titles ranging from “War for Independence” to “Jamestown Journey” and “American Symbols.” Flash forward, and his latest work “Lexington Then and Now” is arriving at Town Hall this month.

When the idea for a comic book to integrate local government and history arose, Jessie Steigerwald brought it to the attention of Barbara Manfredi and the League of Women Voters of Lexington. They agreed the book could highlight the importance of Lexington’s Town Meeting and promote civic education. Nancy Corcoran-Ronchetti helped connect the Town Meeting Members Association to the project, and they generously joined the Chinese American Association of Lexington and the LWVL to fund the book.

The theme of the book also dovetailed with two ongoing initiatives: new curricular units for Social Studies to highlight local history in preparation for the 300th and a rejuvenation of Mock Town Meetings in the Lexington schools. Carol Pilarski, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Assessment, Jane Hundley and Matt Mehler worked on these school projects with support from the Lexington Education Foundation.

This month, Mock Town Meetings are taking place in 8th grade Social Studies classrooms. Students are using the Boyd book as part of the unit, and are invited to a town-wide 8th grade Mock Town Meeting on March 16th. Boyd will also be in town, visiting schools and playing a part in LexCelebrate! events.

The project drew on talents and support from many dedicated volunteers: historians, librarians, members of Town Meeting, the Town Clerk and her office, members of the Board of Selectmen and 300th volunteers known as the “300th Book Team”. “We know that readers will have comments to share, and we welcome them,” Steigerwald smiles, “as historians, we are trained to know that history is the story of change over time – and the passage of time reveals new information about the past. It will be exciting to see how readers react, to learn what they notice, and we hope we have contributed a lasting work for the shelves at Cary Library and the book shelves in homes across town.”


Lexington Then and NowAvailable at Town Hall and at LexCelebrate!:

Illustrated by Bentley Boyd.

Meet the author at LexCelebrate

An illustration from the book.

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LEXCELEBRATE! Author’s Panels March 16th






















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The Mass Memories Road Show Comes to Lexington

Get out your favorite photos and make them a part of Lexington’s history. Whether they are stored in an album, in a shoebox in the attic, or on your smartphone, the Mass. Memories Road Show allows individuals to decide what should be recorded in this chapter in Lexington’s history. What will you bring to LHS on March 16th? Polly Kienle, project coordinator, has already heard people share a long list of favourite photo subjects: prom photos, baby pictures, snapshots from book groups, and images from work!

As part of LexCelebrate! Incorporation Weekend, the Mass. Memories Road Show is coming to Lexington thanks to Kienle’s successful application. What is MMRS? Think “Antiques Roadshow” but with a wonderful public history twist… everyone is invited to bring up to three photos that help tell your Lexington story, they will be scanned (you keep your originals) and volunteers will help record your story. Your images and memories are documented as part of the history of our town and the state of Massachusetts.

Kienle confirms that the photos can be “old – new – yours – your family’s – as long as they are meaningful to you. While you are visiting, you can have your own ‘keepsake photo’ taken, and receive advice from professional archivists and historians on dating and caring for family photo collections.”

Kienle invites individuals and community groups across town. She emphasizes that, “Every resident’s personal story is a part of Lexington’s story. MMRS will bring together Lexingtonians of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds in one place at one time. We hope that both the event and the digital archive will make our community stronger.”

Carin Casey, the 300th Anniversary Image Curator, is excited about the event: “Kienle’s idea, to combine MMRS with our town’s 300th, provides a way to connect everyone. It’s a great honor for Lexington to be selected to participate in this grant-sponsored program. She worked hard to put together an application and groups across town enthusiastically sent in support letters.”

Casey, an archivist by profession, observes: “This project gives residents the authority to set down town history. We want to see what is important to each individual. Maybe it is a special day at the Town Pool, or a graduation. MMRS is great complement to the Image Archive: it’s a one-day community event, while the Archive is a long-term virtual project. What unites them is their embrace of the 300th motto, ‘We Are Lexington’.”

“Over the course of the weekend of March 16th and 17th, the town is invited to explore Lexington’s ‘roots and branches,’” says Betty Gau, co-chair of the LexCelebrate! Committee.

“The idea is to uncover the origins of our community, and the ways we have branched out and grown into a vibrant, diverse place since 1713. MMRS is a really active, participatory way to share in this spirit of adventure and inquiry,” Gau continues.

To date, the state-wide project has digitized more than 4,000 photos and stories from across the state, creating an educational resource of primary sources for future generations. This online digital archive is available at:

The MMRS is based in the University Archives & Special Collections Department at the Joseph P. Healey Library, UMass Boston and is co-sponsored by Mass Humanities.

More information on Lexington’s Mass. Memories Road Show and LexCelebrate! Incorporation Weekend can be found at the Lexington 300th Anniversary Celebration website:

Questions about participating in Lexington’s Mass. Memories Road Show can be addressed to project coordinator Polly Kienle at

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