Archives for February 2014

Lexington Minute Men Drill

Share this:

New Academy Of Creative Arts Opens in Burlington


Dr. Joshi with students (l to r) Aryan, Sara, Naveen, Anaya, Tanvi, Shrihan and Arth.

Dr. Joshi with students (l to r) Aryan, Sara, Naveen, Anaya, Tanvi, Shrihan and Arth.

Many Lexington residents may recognize Dr. Java Joshi (and her stunning artwork) from the numerous Lexington arts events that she has participated in over the years from her successful exhibit at the Cary Memorial Library to Lexington Open Studios where she has served on the organizing committee and as an exhibitor.

Three years ago Joshi formed Joshi Creative Arts in Lexington to share her passion for the creative arts with children through teaching art to children from 3 to 18 years of age. Now she is taking her dream to the next level with the launch of the Academy of Creative Arts which will offer classes in art, jewelry design and dance. The inaugural event for this new Academy was held on January 9th in Joshi’s Burlington studio.

“The vision for our Academy is to provide an atmosphere where creativity is encouraged and fostered,” Dr. Joshi says. “We hope that the Academy of Creative Arts will become an institution of choice for any and all kinds of creative and performing arts.”

At the opening event, Dr. Joshi was surrounded by her students and their beautiful artwork. Joined by her husband Hetel, Joshi radiated excitement for this new endeavor.

Born in India, Java earned a Masters in Fine Arts and Ph.D. in Drawing & Painting from India. Java also graduated from the Arts Institute of Atlanta with a degree in Multimedia and Web Design.

IMG_0523 jj2 jj3

Children’s Artwork from the new Academy of Creative Arts in Burlington                             



Teaching Staff
Dr. Java Joshi-Art Instruction
Java (center) holds a PhD in Drawing and Painting from India and a Masters in Multimedia & Web Design from the Art Institute of Atlanta.
Irit Kaphzan Hamami-Jewelry Design
Irit (left) came to the U.S. fifteen years ago and taught Jewish Studies, but he passion for jewelry design grew until she decided to pursue it full time eight years ago. Since then she has exhibited her work in Lexington and Concord Open Studios. She hopes to combine her love of teaching and jewelry design in her classes.
Judith Ann Cooper-Observational Painting for Adults
Judith (right) taught in the Gloucester Public Schools for 29 years. She holds a BFA from BU in painting and education. Judith enjoys creating art from many different mediums.
Mona Mitra-Kathak Dance & Bollywood Fusion
(missing from the photo)
Mona is a classically trained dancer, with a “Vishared in Kathak with is one of the traditional Indian dances. She has been teaching Kathak and Bollywood Fusion in Boston since 2010.


Call – 612.888.ARTS (2787) | Email:

Address: 128 Wheeler Road, Burlington MA 01803

Share this:

Lexington Reads 2014!


Reads 2


Community Book

Community Book

2014 is a Year of Discovery at Cary Memorial Library, and so our Lexington Reads theme is Digital Me, an exploration of how science and technology affects our daily lives. In keeping with this theme, our Lexington Reads book  is Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better by Clive Thompson.


In Smarter Than You Think, Clive Thompson explores how the explosion of technology available to the average person is forcing us to adapt and change our behavior.  Featuring both experts and everyday people using these tools in new and unexpected ways, Thompson shows how humans are using technology to create real change. Whether it is students using technology to protest a factory spewing dangerous chemicals or a group of gamers collectively solving a problem that puzzled HIV researchers for a decade, Thompson demonstrates that great opportunities arise from the digital world. Along the way, he stressed the importance of keeping the best of our old ways of life while embracing the new tech that allows for such collaboration and communication.

Throughout the month of March, Cary Library will host a variety of programs focused on the ways technology has become created a “Digital Me.” As 2014 continues, we will continue to explore issues related to science and technology as part of our Year of Discovery. Please watch the library calendar and local media for more information. Please join us!

Stop by or call Cary  Library (781-862-6288 x250) to pick up or reserve a copy of Smarter Than You Think.




Author, Clive Thompson

Author, Clive Thompson

Sunday, March 9th at 3pm
An Afternoon with Clive Thompson
Battin Hall in the Cary Building,
1605 Massachusetts Ave.

Author Clive Thompson will discuss how technology is making us smarter, empowering people across the globe, and solving seemingly impossible problems. With a growing number of smart phone users, almost everyone has a computer and a camera accessible at all times. How we use these tools can and should combine the best of the old way of life and the vast opportunities presented by technology.  In this discussion, Clive Thompson will explore the many positive ways technology is changing our lives and impacting the world around us.
Clive Thompson is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, Smithsonian, and a columnist for Wired. He has also maintained a science-and-technology blog, Collision Detection, since 2002 and speaks frequently on topics relating to the evolution and everyday use of technology.
Clive Thompson’s book Smarter Than You Think is this year’s Lexington Reads Community Book. Library copies of Smarter Than You Think may be reserved online or by calling 781-862-6288 ext 250. Copies of Smarter Than You Think will also be available for purchase and signing at the lecture. No registration necessary.



Saturday, March 1, 1-4PM   |   Cary Large Meeting Room

Explore the technological wonders of the past at our Retro Technology Fair! Technology isn’t only social media and big data—it is also rotary phones and manual typewriters! Everyday objects and iconic inventions will demonstrate how people entertained themselves and communicated before smart phones and streaming video. Bring the whole family and learn about the evolution of technology. Some objects may be available for hands-on demonstrations.




Wednesday, March 12
Cary Commons

Sick of the apps you always use? Looking for something new and fresh? Join us at Appy Hour and learn about the best apps for travel, photography, art, gaming, and more. This will be a social, interactive event, so bring your tablet or smartphone and be ready to discuss with your neighbors. Wi-fi is available throughout the library. No registration required




Garry Golden

Futurist, Garry Golden


Garry Golden
Sunday, March 31
Cary Hall | 3PM
What is the Future?

Join futurist Garry Golden as we look ahead to what the future holds for our digital selves. Technology changes so quickly—how can we adapt and change to integrate these technologies into our daily lives? Garry Golden will discuss how privacy, measurements of intelligence, and our relationship to our physical world might change. Golden is an academically trained futurist who speaks and consults on issues facing 21st century society, including those issues facing libraries. A short question and answer session will follow Garry Golden’s talk. No registration necessary.






Blogger, Author and Librarian, Jessamyn West

Blogger, Author and Librarian, Jessamyn West

Jessamyn West
Saturday, March 22
Cary Large Meeting Room
10:00 AM-Noon
All About Blogging Brunch

Join members of the Friends of the Library as they host this annual event! The All About Blogging Brunch gives blog lovers and computer rookies alike an opportunity to discuss the world of blogging while eating brunch. This year’s special guest is Jessamyn West, an author, librarian, and community manager of Jessamyn West lives in Central Vermont, where she works with small libraries with technology planning and implementation. She has maintained professional and personal blogs at and for over a decade, and speaks nationally on digital divide issues. We hope that all community members interested in communication and social issues attend; use of blogs is not required. Attendance is limited. Advance registration required.





Monday – Friday
4-5 pm in the
Cary Large Meeting Room

  • Monday, March 3
  • Word Processing
  • Tuesday, March 4
  • Websites you should know about
  • Wednesday, March 5
  • Facebook
  • Thursday, March 6Skype
  • Friday, March 7
  • iPhone and iPad/iOS7*

Lexington’s tech savvy teens will demonstrate how they use technology to keep in touch with friends and family, share photos and videos, and navigate the online world.  Each day teens will explain a new topic.

No experience is necessary. *You may bring your iPad or iPhone if you have one.

Teen Tech Seminars are presented by the Cary Memorial Library Teen Advisory Board. Please register for each day you wish to attend. Register by calling Cary Library at 781-862-6288 ext 250 or stopping at the reference desk.



Share this:

LHS Students Recognized in Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards

Forty Nine students from the Lexington Public Schools were recognized for their artistic excellence in the 2014 Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards.

Student artwork from grades 7-12 were selected by their schools, and many received Honorable Mentions, Silver Keys or Gold Keys. Of the 49 students whose works were selected, 29 Honorable Mentions, 9 Silver Keys and 20 Gold Keys were awarded. Gold Key Winners will be on display at Boston’s City Hall March 7 – March 30, 2014.

Following the close of the Massachusetts Regional exhibit, the selected Gold Key award winners from each national region will have their art works reviewed by a blue ribbon panel of judges at the National level in March. The National Jury will select “Gold Medal” National winners and call in their artwork to be exhibited in New York City during June. The National student awards ceremony will be held at Carnegie Hall in mid- June. Selected students will receive an invitation to this National event.

Raindrops-Emma Kaftan-Luckerman, grade 12

Emma Kaftan-Luckerman
Grade 12

A Meaningful Embrace_Colby Yee, grade 12, Gold Key

A Meaningful Embrace
Colby Yee
Grade 12


Convex Concave-  Elana Super, grade 12

Convex Concave
Elana Super
Grade 12

 Gold Key Winners will be on display at

Boston’s City Hall March 7 – March 30, 2014

Share this:

Saying Goodbye to Estabrook School

Principals 2

Estabrook Alumnus John Murphy

Estabrook Alumnus John Murphy

By Laurie Atwater

The mood was nostalgic as alumni and families took one last opportunity to stroll the halls of Estabrook School before its official closing on February 14th. The new building, which will open to students on February 24, is just a building, waiting for the memories of generations to come. The old Estabrook almost burst with the energy of 52 years’ of memories on Friday night as alumni, students, parents, teachers and friends reminisced and said goodbye.

Greeted by Principal Sandy Strach, folks grabbed from an abundant supply of Sharpies and searched for the perfect spot to sign their names. Was it the Library, the front office, the entrance of a very special classroom where they would leave their final tribute? According to principal Strach, it has been a “very sentimental time” for her and her fellow educators and administrators. “People have come from all over to say goodbye,” Strach said. “Alumni, teachers—it has been a multi-generational event with families that have attended the school for decades.” Indeed, the 52 year old structure has seen a lot of history.

Visitor and alumnus John Murphy who attended Estabrook from 1966-1971 recalled the day when his older brother along with all the other children were called into the auditorium and informed that President Kennedy had been assassinated. In fact, Murphy had memories every time he turned a corner and wistfully recalled that they were allowed to ride their bikes to school when he attended Estabrook. Estabrook has also become much more diverse over its 52 years. In his tribute next to the door to his 2nd grade classroom, Murphy scrawled a reference to how his class had voted for Hubert Humphrey over Richard Nixon in 1968.

Parents from many different cultures walked the halls with their children and took pictures. Fifth grade student Nicholas Tringale who is currently in Miss Silberman’s class and will transition to the new school, signed the wall with his mom Beverly who attended Estabrook from 1969-1975. Nicholas has mixed feelings about leaving his old school and his shiny green lockers! Nicholas will be happy to hear that all of the usable items from Estabrook will be re-purposed around the district where they are needed including the lockers. Several items will be contributed to the Lexington Historical Society: mid-century modern chairs and the original sign. Unfortunately, the much-loved mural was not able to be preserved, but it was photographed professionally and that photograph will be lovingly displayed as part of a special exhibit in the new school.

Back in the lobby, Principal Strach greeted family after family and at one point has a circle of Estabrook teachers around her with over 100 years in combined teaching time! Susan Orenstein taught Kindergarten, Elaine Hooper taught both 2nd and 3rd grade, Joan Pirrello taught grade 3 and Renée Sack taught 4th and 5th grade. Among them Len Swanton who went on to work with Carol Pilarski (who also attended) in the main office and has “great memories of this school.”

Principal Strach was not surprised by the outpouring of love for the school. “It doesn’t matter what decade they attended,” she said, “the ‘intangible’ at Estabrook is how much they were loved.” She describes it as “love balanced with progressive learning.” That is the quality that she is determined to foster in the new school as well. Principal Strach is excited that the new building is full of community spaces. “We’ve kept that as a priority.”

Strach is inspired by the rich history of Estabrook School and referred me to her speech at the groundbreaking for a little Estabrook education which I will share with you here:

Fifty-one years ago, when Estabrook School first opened its doors, it was famously known as the first team teaching school in the nation. For decades thereafter, professionals in education, research and architecture traveled worldwide to see the renowned Estabrook School in action. The school’s

progressive instructional vision, inspired by Harvard University and Lexington educators, was

complemented by an open and flexible architectural design. Cooperative learning, flexible multi-age learning groups and teacher leadership were the instructional cornerstones of the 1961 Estabrook School. These advanced best practices were not readily apparent in mainstream education until the 1990’s.


Excerpted from Principal Sandy Strach’s speech at the groundbreaking for the new Estabrook school


According to Strach the new school is designed to push the progressive learning model into the future while maintaining the vision of the past. The building itself will become a teaching tool as a LEED Silver building, it will be a living example to the students of environmental responsibility and stewardship. From the sustainable gardening practices and ecology education through the Big Backyard to a LEEDS Silver Curriculum created around the question: What makes Estabrook a green school?, Strach hopes to send informed citizens into the world. “By the time they graduate,” she says, “they will appreciate the evolution of ‘Green’ and can take it forward into the world.”

It’s part of what makes Estabrook such a special place Strach said—the “ecology” of the school where one person effects the other—the school itself is a metaphor for the community it holds so dear.


Share this:

DCU Donation to Aid Literacy Programs at Cary


Share this:

Sister City Fundraiser – French A Faire!


French A Faire
 FA_14Lexingtonians turned out to attend the fifth annual A French A Faire at the Lexington Depot building. Featuring French entertainment, wine, cheese, pâté, bread, chocolate and other tastings, French A Faire celebrates Lexington’s sister city relationship with Antony France.
The Tourism Committee is the official sponsor of the event as a part of LASCA (Lexington-Antony Sister City Association). This year Dawn McKenna and Kerry Brandin of the Tourism committee appointed Maureen Poole and Sandra Gasbarro to chair French A Faire. With about twelve volunteers, they pulled together another successful celebration!A French A Faire features a lively auction called by Paul O’Shaughnessy. This year the proceeds from the auction will be directed toward the completion of Antony Park on Massachusetts Avenue.The auction theme was “A Date with…” and featured special hosted experiences donated by Peter Kelley, The Liberty Ride, French Consul Fabien Fieschi, Heather Campion and Dan Fenn, Trisha Perez Kennealy, Brenda Nishimura, Paul O’Shaughnessy and Bill Poole, Tony Galaitsis, Chef Raymond Ost of Sandrine’s Bistro, and artist Dominique Boutaud.Attendees were pleased to greet Fabien Fieschi, the Consul General of France, Swiss Consul Dr. Felix Moesner and Haitian Consul Minister Marjorie Alexandre Brunahe.Lexington’s relationship with Antony, France dates back over 30 years and includes the Minute Men, artist community, school exchanges, and many friendships. Many Lexingtonians have traveled to Antony to enjoy the annual Wine and Cheese Festival there and Antonians have enjoyed Lexington hospitality most recently during the 300th celebration.To learn more about becoming a part of LASCA, visit the Town of Lexington Tourism Committee on the town website.


Share this:

Big Lex a BIG success!

By Mollie Garberg


Big LexThe fast falling snow over the Martin Luther King weekend didn’t phase Nikhil Basutkar, one of the 1073 debaters who had come from across the country for the Lexington Winter Invitational Debate Tournament or ‘Big Lex’ hosted by the Lexington Debate Team. Instead, he posted a picture of himself standing in it on Twitter captioned “Debating in the snow. #BigLex #Boston #PFD”

PFD refers to public forum debate, one of the three types of debates held at the tournament. Students at the tournament were prepared for Lincoln-Douglas and policy debates as well. Though none of the Lexington debaters competed, they spent countless hours organizing and volunteering as hosts to pull off the event which is their largest fundraiser of the year. Lexington parent volunteers pitched in too, doing everything from acting as greeters to cooking for the judges to housing 350 visiting debaters.

Visiting coaches and judges stayed at local hotels, and Whitson’s, the food service provider for the Lexington Public Schools, catered the event and provided nutritious meals for all the participants. Event Chairs Jean Birnberg and Sue Wilner said that local businesses were especially helpful and donated food, beverages and other services to help make the event successful. Some of the businesses that contributed were Wilson Farms, Taipei Gourmet, Prime Roast Beef, Royal India Bistro, Lexx, Neillios, Ruyi Restaurant, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts.

But the event was more than just a fundraiser for the team. Debate benefits Lexington students in many ways according to Sara Sanchez, Lexington high school’s debate teacher and program head. “Our society has a long history of celebrating great oratory and the presentation of ideas, which debate teaches kids to activate. Tournaments and competition provide a unique cumulative education experience that cannot be duplicated by tests/activities in the classroom. On an interpersonal level, it allows kids to challenge themselves academically in an innovative, head to head competition where their arguments are heard, evaluated and taken seriously by adults and educators who dedicate time to give them personalized feedback,” says Sanchez.

If you’d like to learn more and help support Lexington Debate, go for more information.


Mollie Garberg is a Lexington resident, debate parent and volunteer.



Share this:

Making History, Shaping Tomorrow


Alan and Gail Fields

Alan and Gail Fields

Library Enthusiasts Alan and Gail Fields Give Back


By Jeri Zeder

As a boy living in Brooklyn, New York, before the era of television, Alan Fields remembers visiting the Kings Highway Library with his mother every week and borrowing six books at a time. “The library was the first place we were entertained and educated. Even in high school, we would go to the library to get information to write book reports and papers,” he says.

Growing up in Williamston, North Carolina, Gail Fields also has fond memories of reading all the time in a home without television. But in the 1950s and 1960s, her small town of fewer than 6,000 residents was part of a segregated and reluctantly changing South. When faced with the prospect of integrating Williamston’s public library, town leaders decided to shut it down. Gail’s mother, Sylvia Levy Margolis, was the chair of the library’s board of directors. “It was my mother who worked and worked to make sure it became an integrated library,” Gail says.

“It was a ‘Profiles-in-Courage,’” Alan says.

“It really was,” Gail agrees. “I look back now and think she really put herself in a very dangerous position.”

On a trip back to Williamston recently, Alan and Gail visited the little town library, which has now become a vibrant resource for the entire community.

With their palpable affection for public libraries, and their appreciation for the community support that libraries depend on, Alan and Gail have become members of the Maria Hastings Cary Legacy Society, an initiative of the Cary Memorial Library Foundation. The Legacy Society recognizes donors who have provided for Cary Library in their estate plans. Alan and Gail joined the Legacy Society last year, when they named the Library Foundation as a beneficiary of their IRA—a quick and simple way to establish a planned gift to Lexington’s library.

“I think a lot of us do our estate planning early on, and then maybe do a little bit of adjusting. I’ve noticed as I’ve talked to people our age how many seem to be reworking things at this point. We decided this was a good opportunity to say, ‘Let’s let the library be part of our legacy,’” says Gail, who serves on the Planned Giving Committee of the Library Foundation.

Leaving an inheritance to their children is their first priority, but, Gail says, “I think that sitting on that committee got Alan and me thinking about our estate planning and how important it would be to think about the institutions that really mean a lot to us.”

Alan, an investment manager by profession, is a long-time member of Lexington’s Trustees of the Public Trusts, and serves as their chair. As a trustee, one of his responsibilities has been to manage Cary Library’s endowment. When it became clear in the late 1990s that the library building needed renovation, Alan was part of the initial group that established the Cary Memorial Library Foundation, a nonprofit corporation, as a fundraising entity. Gail joined the Building Campaign’s Steering Committee. The campaign raised $4.2 million of the $15 million renovation costs from generous Lexington citizens and businesses. When the building reopened in 2004, the Foundation transitioned to annual fundraising, a transition that Gail and Alan helped to shepherd as members of the Foundation’s board.

Voracious readers—books can be found in every room of their house, with stacks of them cued up on their family room coffee table (“I’m always about four books behind,” Alan confides)—Gail counts To Kill a Mockingbird as one of her most beloved books, while Alan cites the authors Herman Wouk and David McCulloch. They both love reading history and historical fiction.

Alan and Gail met when she was a student at Duke University, and Alan was living in the area as a young graduate of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “We ran into each other on the streets of Chapel Hill and had one of those what are you doing this summer conversations,” Gail recalls. She was looking for a summer job at the time and was planning on attending a conference in Pennsylvania. “And the next thing I knew, Alan had arranged for me to have a ride to the conference with him and a friend of my family’s. And then he had gotten a summer job for me. And then he sort of planned my life from there on,” she says, smiling.

After Gail graduated from Duke, they married. She taught high school English at Durham High School while Alan got his MBA at UNC.

The world has certainly changed from those earlier times. From card catalogues to microfiche to digital resources, Alan and Gail have been witnesses to, and agents for, change in the world of public libraries. Public libraries today are still important repositories of books. But they are also—and here is where Cary Library shines—institutions that do so much more. They make the indispensable internet available to all. They offer access, for free, to targeted, tailored, reputable information that’s otherwise paywalled and unavailable through Google. They provide bespoke reference services remotely as well as on-site. They bring communities together through imaginative programming and opportunities to create and learn. They broaden our cultural horizons. And they teach us how to navigate bewildering new technologies.

“Gifts like the Fields’ will make something possible for Cary Library at some moment down the road. With the way libraries are evolving, it may even be something that we can’t fully imagine today,” says Cary Library Director Koren Stembridge. “Alan and Gail’s gift speaks to their faith that Cary Library will continue to be essential to the intellectual, creative, and social life of Lexington. I am reminded of the wording of Mrs. Cary’s original gift to the town, ‘having regard for her native place and being prompted by a desire to increase the opportunities for culture among its inhabitants.’ The Fields’ gift reflects this spirit perfectly.”

Gail knows first-hand how Cary Library makes a difference, even to the point of changing lives. When she returned to graduate school in 1979 to become a social worker, just a few years after they had moved to Lexington, she relied on Cary Library for her studies and research. After graduation, she worked for Concord Family Services for twenty-two years, advancing from intern to executive director of the agency. “It was such a perfect fit,” she says.

Alan, meanwhile, has used his skills as an investment manager to found or further some of Lexington’s most beloved institutions, including, besides Cary Library, the Hayden Center and the Lexington Education Foundation. “I guess I basically have an entrepreneurial bent, and I extended that to organizations that I’ve been involved in,” Alan says. “I’ve used my skill set to really give back in a way that was easy for me to do.”

“One of the things that we feel very proud of is that our children have picked up on this idea of giving back,” Gail says. Their daughter Jacquelyn is active in her children’s schools, and their son Michael helped establish “Most Valuable Kids,” an organization that distributes unused sports-events tickets to underprivileged children.

“I grew up in a family where the dining room table was always covered with envelopes,” Gail says. “My mother was on every committee that there was. She was designated by the governor as a humanities awardee.”

Gail and Alan continue carrying these lessons forward by giving back to Lexington and to other communities that have touched their lives. Legacies, indeed.

Cary Library. Photo by Peter Lewitt.

Cary Library. Photo by Peter Lewitt.

Willing a Thoughtful Future
Legacy giving to Cary Library is a wonderful way to share your good fortune, fulfill your philanthropic goals, and enrich the life and culture of all the people of Lexington. Contact Kat Macdonald at the Cary Memorial Library Foundation, 781-862-6288 extension 322, or, to find out how you can leave a legacy gift through your will, IRA/retirement accounts, life insurance, or donor-advised fund. Or ask about establishing a charitable gift annuity to benefit Cary Library.

Share this: