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Transportation News

There are numerous events related to transportation happening this fall! Whether you are unsure of what modes of transportation can get you or your loved ones to/from work, after school, or other activities, or you have suggestions for how to improve transportation, there is an event (and a survey) for you! Lexpress has also made some changes to its service.

Lexpress Schedule & Route Changes
Lexpress starts its fall schedule the last week of August. NEW this year is the addition of a 7:30AM route year-round. “We hope the addition of bus service at 7:30AM will allow people who need to commute to work a better time for making transit connections, whether they work in Lexington, Burlington, connect to The REV or to MBTA buses. Taking Lexpress this time of day may also be a good option for middle and high school students who miss their school bus,” said Susan Barrett, Transportation Manager.

The new Lexpress schedule also includes a pull-in to Emerson Gardens during the 10AM-2PM routes. Lexpress schedules and maps can be found at www.lexpress.us. Want real-time arrival information? Download the free RideSystems app for your smartphone or visit http://tracker.lexpress.us

FREE Special Saturday Lexpress Bus Service
Saturday, September 20th, 9:30AM-5:25PM
In honor of World Car Free Day, and in order to allow people of all mobility levels to attend transportation and other events on this day, there will be a special FREE Saturday, Lexpress bus service. The buses will operate on their usual schedule and routes, but with the first route leaving the Depot at 9:30AM and the last route starting from the Depot at 4:55pm and wrapping up just before 5:30PM. For more info on Lexpress call 781-861-1210 or visit www.lexpress.us

Transportation Open House
Saturday, September 20th, 10AM-Noon
Lexington Community Center, 39 Marrett Road
Come talk with staff from the MBTA Better Bus Project, Lexpress & Lexington Transportation Services, The REV Alewife shuttle, and bike and pedestrian groups. This is a great one-stop-shop event to find out more about how to commute, whether you are trying to get to work in another town, the grocery store, or home from after school activities! No sign-up required.
Please note that LEXPRESS will operate a special FREE Saturday service on this day between the hours of 9:30AM-5:25PM. Routes 1 & 2 travel to the Community Center door. The MBTA operates a combined 62/76 bus on Saturdays with a stop near Marrett Road on Massachusetts Avenue.

Lexington Tri-Town Transit Study
1st Community Meeting
Saturday, September 20th, 1:30PM-3PM
Cary Library, Large Meeting Room
The towns of Bedford, Burlington, and Lexington are currently evaluating the effectiveness of the transportation services operating in the three communities.  The Tri-Town Efficiency and Regionalization Transit Study is a joint effort to assess the overall mobility needs of the three towns and identify possible coordination opportunities that could enhance transit service and efficiencies through shared resources. You are encouraged to attend this public meeting to learn more about the study and to share your views. No sign-up required. Please note that LEXPRESS will operate a special FREE Saturday service on this day between the hours of 9:30AM-5:25PM. All six routes start and end at Depot Square, across from the library. The MBTA operates a combined 62/76 bus on Saturday which stops in Lexington Center.

SAVE THE DATE: You can save the date for the 2nd Community Meeting pertaining to this transit study in which the public can review and comment on recommendations for improving transportation. That event will take place on Monday, October 22nd from 7-8:30PM in Cary Hall. For any questions about the study or transportation, contact Lexington Transportation at transportation@lexingtonma.gov or 781-698-4820.

Please take the Transit Study Survey! If you live and/or work in Lexington, please take the transit survey. Input is welcome from people of all ages – students, seniors, adults. https://www.lexingtonma.gov/transit-survey

Senior Transportation Workshop
Wednesday, September 26th, 9:30AM-11AM
Lexington Community Center, 39 Marrett Road
This workshop is geared towards senior citizens or caregivers who are helping senior citizens consider options for transportation. We will have representatives available from different organizations to discuss travel training, MBTA, Lexpress, Lex-Connect, Uber/Lyft and more. Even if you have used one or more of these service, you are welcome to attend to learn about the full array of options! Light refreshments provided. Please sign up for this event in person or by phone at 781-698-4840.

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Hancock Church Launches New Year With Climate Sunday and Celebration

Rev. Mariama White-Hammond at MIT

Hancock Church
Sunday, September 9th
Climate Justice Service
10 AM
Climate Justice Conversation 11 AM
1912 Massachusetts Avenue
Lexington, MA

All are welcome!

Rev. Mariama White-Hammond serves as the Minister for Ecological Justice at Bethel AME Church in Boston and as a fellow with the Green Justice Coalition, a partnership of environmental justice groups. Recently, she served as master of ceremonies for the Boston Women’s March, which was attended by over 175,000 people.

Rev. Mariama is an inspiring speaker who is active in the fight against climate change.

She asks the questions “What kind of people are we? What kind of people do we want to be?”

And affirms what is possible, “We are so much better than who we are being right now.”

She asks us to consider how our addiction to fossil fuels might be affecting the health of our society, in the same way an addict might deny they have a problem, while destroying everything of value in their lives. She has suggested that perhaps we need to approach this problem as we would in helping someone with an addiction… and that both faith and healing are required.

Rev. Mariama works to help people of color and white folks get to know each other so they can begin working together on the intersecting issues of climate and environmental justice.

Recent studies have found that communities of color in Massachusetts averaged 7.5 times as many hazardous waste sites and 10 times the toxic chemical exposure as white communities. That pollution hurts Black and Hispanic children in Boston who are suffering 4 to 6 times higher rates of hospitalization for asthma than white children.

“People are hungry for spiritual homes that reflect what they are feeling in this moment,” Rev. Mariama says. If you are hungry, if you are feeling it is time to begin working together on both climate and justice, please come to Hancock Church on September 9th at 10AM.

 

 

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Rev. Liz Walker to Moderate Panel on Raising Anti-Racist Children

Liz Walker, broadcast journalist, member of the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame, former anchor of WBZ-TV evening newscasts for almost 20 years.

 

How does one talk to children about racism? What kinds of conversation benefit children at what ages? Do you avoid the topic because you worry about getting it wrong? What are the consequences of not talking about racism?

Coaches, teachers, librarians, parents, grandparents, guardians—really, everyone—play a role in shaping children’s understanding. The Rev. Liz Walker will moderate a panel discussion, “Raising Anti-Racist Children: Strategies for Success,” to shed light on these questions and more, on Sunday, October 21, from 2 to 4 pm. The full complement of panel members and the location are yet to be determined at press time.

Liz Walker is a minister, communications specialist, and activist who has traveled the world to promote cross-cultural and interfaith dialogue. She has been the pastor of the Roxbury Presbyterian Church since 2014, following studies at the Harvard Divinity School. Prior to that, she was the first Black woman to co-anchor an evening newscast in Boston, at WBZ-TV.

The “Follen Responds to Racism” team from Follen Church (Unitarian Universalist) in Lexington is planning the event in collaboration with other community groups. Interested in being involved? Contact Nancy Alloway at frr@follen.org.

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Quite The Spectacle!

 

THE TEMPTATIONS. Courtesy Photo

CARY HALL IN LEXINGTON, A 90-YEAR-OLD LANDMARK, HAS BECOME A PREMIER VENUE FOR MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT THANKS TO THE INSPIRED PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE TOWN AND SPECTACLE MANAGEMENT.

 

By Andrew Cook


Peter Lally is a busy man.

Busy is the name of the game when you’re managing Lexington’s Cary Hall and a slew of similar other venues spread throughout the New England region as president of Spectacle Management, the Lexington-based organization that books, markets, tickets and promotes a gamut of live events. On top of that, it’s summertime, and from the days of Elvis’ first shoreline shimmies, that also means it’s music season. Venues like the TD Garden and Gillette Stadium boast summer lineups this year that are reaching new heights and speeds with their ticket sales – and with superstar acts like U2, Harry Styles, and Kenny Chesney representing just a fraction of the A-listers who have bought (or will be bringing) their sold-out acts to the area for multiple-night-stands as the thermometer outside rises this summer, those sales numbers come as no surprise.

But Lally and his team at Spectacle Management have no interest in Ed Sheeran’s ticket sales; they give no thought to the astronomical crowds Jay-Z & Beyoncé will be drawing into the area come August. Their eyes are focused much closer to home.

Pete Lally in his Lexington office.

“The vast majority of this business is at smaller, more intimate venues,” says Lally, “stadiums can hold 60,000 people at a time, but most people are seeking a more personal experience. Our focus is giving audiences what I think is a much better experience than going to a stadium show. People who are going to see Taylor Swift or U2 or whoever at Gillette Stadium… to me, that’s like the worst possible way to go see a show. I mean, I know it can be fun, especially if it’s something like a big summer show where you can go tailgating, but what’s your musical experience going to be like there?”

Many heads will nod in knowing agreement to Lally’s argument: it’s one thing to listen to a favorite song in what can be intensely personal and private situations – the darkness of your teenage bedroom, for instance, while a formative album plays to you and only you via a pair of well-worn headphones – and another thing entirely to hear that same song blasted through building-sized speakers across football fields. And then, once the laser shows have faded and the mosh pits have emptied out, even the greatest concert in the world can be ruined by the experience of sitting for three hours in a line to simply make it out of the parking lot, knowing you still face an additional hour’s drive (or more) back to your driveway after that.

“It’s something we always hear the converse side of in Lexington,” says Lally, “where it’s like, “Oh wow, this is great! I can be home in ten minutes!’ A lot of our audience includes people who don’t want to sit in those Gillette Stadium parking lot lines for two hours after the show just to get out of there.” With every act Lally draws in closer to home, there’s also a tangible spike in the hosting community’s economic development as a result of concert-goers’ garage and parking lot fares, restaurant tabs at local eateries, and sales at local small businesses; it’s a more convenient, holistic, and most importantly, local alternative to the stadium show experience Spectacle Management has steered clear of.  Jim Shaw who publishes Lexington’s Colonial Times and serves as chairman of the board of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce agrees.  He says, “There is clear evidence that the Spectacle shows are having a profound impact on the local economy.  Several of Lexington’s restaurateurs have reported significant increases in business on the evenings where performances are taking place at Cary Hall.  In fact, Il Casale has told me that they often have three full seatings on a performance night rather than their normal two seatings.”

These are things the average music fan might not be planning for when hitting that knee-jerk “purchase” button on the ticket vendor site of their choice… but Lally’s mind seems to have been naturally geared towards this more logistical side of the creative business right from the very beginning. A founding member of an informal after-school band with his friends in the fourth grade, Lally remembers that, “even in that little band, all through middle school and high school, I was always the one who had the greatest interest trying to find us gigs, trying to book us somewhere, and who wanted to work out the logistics side of it to get us performance opportunities. The other members were too, but I was always the most upfront about wanting to be involved in that piece of it.”

Lally played with this same band all through middle and high school, and later had his first taste of the sheer event a large-scale live show can be at a Van Halen performance at the Worcester Centrum in the mid-1980s. Encouraged by his parents, one a teacher and the other an accountant, to pursue this untraditional (many parents will read: risky) career path, Lally then moved from his native Southborough to the sunny shores of Miami for a degree in music business from the University of Miami, where he also earned a subsequent Masters in communications.

Judy Collins. PHOTO BY JIM SHAW

Peter Yarrow & Noel Paul Stookey. PHOTO BY JIM SHAW

“I had this realization [during that time] that a promoter is sort of the overarching figure behind all live gigs who makes it all happen, and I had a moment of ‘oh, that’s what I want to do. I want to be that person who does that.’” Armed with this new clarifying epiphany for his career ambitions and a headful of business acumen gained between afternoons on Miami’s hottest beaches to make it happen, Lally came back to Massachusetts’ colder shores, where he soon landed at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium as a marketing director. As one of the Merrimack Valley’s larger and more historic venues, the Lowell Auditorium was a better place for Lally to learn the ropes than he may have initially been expecting. “It was just a matter of me being very lucky and the timing working out perfectly. I jumped onboard over there thinking ‘alright, this is a relatively easy commute and I can just do a good job for the little while I’m here, while I figure out what I want to do in the next year or so.’ Fourteen years later, I was still there. I loved it.”

At the end of those fourteen years, however, and with the Auditorium’s future up in the air between new potential contract buyers, Lally’s entrepreneurial itch caused him to strike out on his own in 2013 and create Spectacle Management. Originally comprised of just Lally and a laptop out of his home bedroom, Spectacle Management now presides over eight local venues… including, most recently, a full-circle return to the Lowell Memorial Auditorium.  Lally explains, “ I moved the business to Lexington because we were excited to be part of Cary Hall and the community around it. Great shops and restaurants―it was a complete experience. We had to be there.”

“I moved the business to Lexington because we were excited to be part of Cary Hall and the community around it. Great shops and restaurants―it was a complete experience. We had to be there.”    -Pete Lally

Pete doesn’t take his responsibilities lightly. When he first arrived in Lexington he spoke to several organizations including the Rotary Club. He signed up at the Chamber of Commerce and quickly joined their board of directors. He was soon asked to sit on the chamber’s executive committee where many of the chamber’s initiatives begin. Pete is also a long-time member and vice-chair of the board for the Greater Merrimack Valley Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (GMVCVB). Shaw explains that he was impressed with Lally from the outset.  Shaw says, “I first met Pete when I joined the GMVCVB board. I knew quickly that Pete and I would become fast friends―we had so much in common―we both were committed to being involved in the community, and particularly interested in the impact of tourism and events on economic development. Pete first mentioned to me his idea about coming to Cary Hall, and being a Lexington Native I was excited. The idea of bringing these types of acts to Lexington was something that I had only dreamed about. But, Pete and his team from spectacle management actually made it happen. On more than one occasion I have jokingly said the arrival of Spectacle Management at Cary Hall is the ‘greatest thing since the American Revolution.’”

Lally receiving an award from the Lexington Chamber of Commerce. PHOTO BY JIM SHAW

One of the reasons that Pete’s able to book so many great shows is that he works with multiple agencies, and spends time in New York meeting with talent representatives. He has a keen insight into the process and knows that he has to keep the interest of his audience in order to expand his base. He explains, “Every show we learn more about what audiences like and dislike. We talked with a lot of agents who act as advisors for us. They let us know what talent is available, and when and what type of experience the artist is looking for. The challenge in New England is that there are lots of great venues to choose from.  From the beginning, our challenge was ‘what do we have to do to get Cary Hall to be a viable consideration when artists are choosing where to perform in Greater Boston Market?’”

Soon after the successful launch of Spectacle at Cary Hall, the shows were shut down for about 18 months while Cary Hall went under a $10 million renovation. Cary Hall is the home of the Lexington Symphony, and would now serve as a venue for world-class talent. The acoustical upgrades were an important part of the plan for helping to draw the kind of talent that Spectacle Management has been able to bring to Lexington.

Spectacle Management under Pete’s leadership has grown to include multiple venues. Beginning at Cary Hall, his list of venues has grown to include the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, the Lowell Auditorium, Plymouth Memorial Hall, and he now runs the “Spotlight Series” on Cape Cod including venues such as the Tilden Arts Center, the Barnstable Performing Arts Center, the Whaling Church, and the Walker Auditorium on Nantucket.

Pete Lally speaking to the Rotary Club of Lexington. PHOTO BY JIM SHAW

“What we’ve done is build up a roster of venues that we can offer to agents,” explains Lally, “so we can see which ones would best match their artists. Rockport [the Shalin Liu Performance Center] seats 300, Cary Hall is over 800, Lowell seats 2800, and we’ve got pretty much the entire spectrum in-between. So if agents have an act where they come to us and say ‘hey, I’m bringing so-and-so into the Northeast, do you have a building that would work?’ we have a sort of menu we can offer them and say ‘alright, let’s find the best fit.’”

With his growing empire Pete is committed to staying in Lexington. Much of a staff has moved to offices at the Lowell Auditorium, however, he chooses to remain in Lexington where he feels he can get a better look at the overall landscape of producing these types of shows in the Greater Boston area. We talked about his first series in 2013. When he first proposed a series of concerts of Cary Hall, the list of artists included some heady names. Artists such as Judy Collins, The Canadian Brass, Manhattan Transfer, The Irish Rovers, and the legendary Mavis Staples. Pete referred to it as a “kind of a proof-of-concept” for himself and for the town. Pete said, “The town was curious as to how this would work and so was I. As it turned out the first five shows were very successful. The shows were popular in the community, and we knew it was just the beginning.”

Spectacle staff working the event on the night of the Cowboy Junkies concert. From left to right: Bailey Cabrera, Sophia Willinger, Dan Berube, Phil Campra, John Higgins, Eric Raneo and Susan and Ray Shay. Below, selling refreshments and merchandise as concertgoers mingle.   PHOTO BY JIM SHAW

With acts like Dennis DeYoung of STYX, Nils Lofgren (of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band fame), and Air Supply all making stops at Lexington’s Cary Hall over the next few months, and with other performances from the likes of Art Garfunkel and the Lexington Symphony making regular appearances, times are definitely good for Lally and his Spectacle team. He’ll readily admit, however (with a refreshing amount of honesty and frankness), that such is not always the case. “It’s not a great paid lifestyle,” he chuckles, “or CERTAINLY not at first, anyway. If this, or any art, becomes your chosen field and you’re right out of college, don’t ask your engineering or computer science friends what their paychecks are like compared to yours. You get there eventually if your luck holds, but it’s tough, y’know? In a lot of cases, it’s worth it to say to someone ‘Look, go take that engineering job you were offered and then play in a band on the weekend or something. Throwing yourself wholeheartedly into a lifestyle spent in dedication to music or any other art isn’t the only way you can scratch that inner itch for it. You can love music and not have to give up your life to it. Otherwise, you have to make a lot of sacrifices and compromise… you’re going to have to work a lot of weekends and holidays, and spend a lot of time away from where you normally would be otherwise if you’re starting or raising a family… and you never want it to be where that love of the thing that you started out with gets extinguished by all that. So it takes a bit of asking yourself what kind of balance you need, at a very early stage, before you get into it all. There’s no one right answer.”

 

 

Pete Lally with Livingston Taylor backstage at Cary Hall. PHOTO BY JIM SHAW

Perhaps not. Lally himself, at least, seems to have found his own right answer. As Spectacle grows its venue selection and capacity, celebrity clientele, and local prestige, family priorities still haven’t been swept aside. Far from it: Spectacle’s finance director is none other than Lally’s own father, who he says is the biggest kid on staff. Striking this delicate balance means that, no matter how demanding a touring act may be – Lally chuckles acknowledgement that there’s been a few celebrities of the “I only want green M&Ms in my dressing room!” variety over the years – or how many increasing logistical feats his expanding empire demands, he still retains the same love for the industry as he did when booking his fifth grade talent show all those years ago. “After 20 years of doing this, I’m still looking forward to the shows (and everything around them),” he says. “The artists get more zeroes in their paychecks, which is something I didn’t have in the fifth grade, but what keeps me around is that I still get that same thrill. It’s fun.”

 

Email:  Info@SpectacleManagement.net

Box Office: (877) 973-9613

Group Ticketing: (617) 531-1257 x2

https://www.spectaclepresents.com/cary-memorial-hall

 

Spectacle Management
4 Muzzey St
Lexington, MA 02421
 
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WWI Remembrance Planned in Lexington

During the fall of 2018, Lexington will be celebrating the end of World War I with expert panel discussions, carefully curated exhibits, the ringing of church bells, parades, youth essay contests, and even a gala dinner focusing on the music of World War I.

Text on photo: “Welcome Home to the Service Men from The World War … Battle Green … Lexington, Mass … June 14th, 1919” COURTESY PHOTO

By E. Ashley Rooney

Once the United States declared war on Germany in April 1917, public debate about the country’s role in the conflict died down.  Patriotic loyalty now pervaded the country.  Here in Lexington, 305 residents served; five were women. The eight men who died are commemorated in Cary Hall. Under the plaque (see photo below) in a locked drawer is a time capsule with a scroll bearing the names of the 305 Lexingtonians who served and another scroll with names of those Minutemen who protected us here at home.

Over 189,000 Massachusetts men and women served in the US Armed Forces with some serving in other Allied forces. Many died during the conflict: 5,775. Others died soon after the war from their wounds or exposure to poisonous gas or disease.

During the fall of 2018, Lexington will be celebrating the end of World War I with expert panel discussions, carefully curated exhibits, the ringing of church bells, parades, youth essay contests, and even a gala dinner focusing on the music of World War I. (See the Schedule of Events on page 25.)

In Lexington the soldiers were welcomed home on the Common, greeted by a sign that read “Welcome home to the Service Men from the World War, Battle Green Lexington, Mass. June 14th 1919.” In all, 305 Lexington residents served with eight not returning. COURTESY PHOTO

Many of these events will take place during  October and the Veterans’ Day weekend of November 10 -11.

THE GREAT WAR

With the outbreak of war in Europe in 1915, the United States adopted a policy of strict neutrality. President Woodrow Wilson declared that the country should remain “neutral in fact, as well as in name.” Nevertheless, by 1915, tales of atrocities in Belgium along with the sinking of the Lusitania, which resulted in the deaths of 128 Americans, began to turn the tide of public opinion against Germany and her allies.

On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson requested a joint session of Congress to declare war against Germany to “make the world safe for democracy.” In declaring war on Germany, he cited German submarine attacks on merchant and passenger ships in the North Atlantic as well as the so-called “Zimmerman telegram,” in which German Foreign Minister Arthur Zimmerman promised Mexico the return of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona as a reward for allying with Germany if the U.S. entered the war.

The war was nearly three years old and mired in a bloody stalemate when the United States joined its French, Italian, Russian and British allies. Locked in trench warfare across much of Western Europe, the opposing forces suffered huge casualties for minimal territorial gains. To overcome the challenges of trench warfare and gain an advantage over the enemy, new and deadlier weapons such as poison gas, tanks, airplanes, submarines, and flamethrowers were introduced although their efficiency was often far from that desired.

The impact of the United States joining the war was significant. The additional firepower, material resources, and U. S. soldiers helped to tip the balance of the war in favor of the Allies.

The 26th Infantry, nicknamed the Yankee Division, was the first full U.S. unit to deploy overseas after the United States entered the war. Almost entirely composed of guardsmen from Massachusetts and the other New England states, the unit was sent to Europe as part of the American Expeditionary Forces. It saw extensive combat in France and fought in six campaigns. In the History of the Yankee Division, General Edwards wrote, “No division had harder service, no division was longer in the line or gained more distance or fought off more attacks than the Yankee Division.”

Thousands of Army recruits were processed and trained at Camp Devens in central Massachusetts, while recruits for the Navy were processed through the Boston Naval Shipyard.

Six destroyers left Boston on April 24, 1917, and arrived at the British naval base at Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland on May 4. The second group of destroyers left on May 7 to join in escort duties and patrol for German U-boats. From then on, the port of Boston and its navy yard would become one of the principal points of departure for troops, arms, and supplies to Britain and France.

Several dozen military installations and activities were established in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts National Guard also mobilized Company L, 372nd Infantry Regiment composed of African American soldiers from Boston and Cambridge.

THE HALIFAX CHRISTMAS TREE FOR BOSTON

The Massachusetts State Guard, the state militia that replaced the National Guard serving in France, recruited women to serve as nurses, marking the first time women served in the militia. State Guard medical personnel were among the first to reach Halifax Nova Scotia to aid survivors and the overall relief effort after a devastating explosion killed and injured thousands on December 6, 1917. In December 1918 the city of Halifax shipped a large Christmas tree to Boston as a token of thanks for their help in recovery from the disaster. In 1971 the tradition was revived to celebrate the special bond between cities, and each year since the official Christmas tree on Boston Common has been gifted by the people of Nova Scotia. The tree is lit in the Boston Common throughout the Christmas season.

When the Massachusetts National Guardsmen landed in France, they faced brutal fighting conditions and horrific new weapons of war “It was the Guard’s finest hour,” said Brigadier Gen. Leonid Kondratiuk, chairman of the Massachusetts World War I Centennial Commission and official historian for the Massachusetts National Guard. “They were available, organized quickly and went over there quickly.”

HERE IN MASSACHUSETTS

Back home, hundreds of factories in the state manufactured weapons, clothing, shoes, and equipment for both American and Allied armies. Many women entered the workforce, and, for the first time, women were allowed to enlist in the US Armed Forces. Individual citizens and patriotic groups joined the war effort purchasing war bonds, collecting metal for reuse, planting Victory Gardens, and sending letters and parcels to troops overseas. And everyone knew about the Battle of Verdun, Somme, Belleau Wood, the Gallipoli Campaign, and the Spring Offensive.

The American government wanted Americans not just to enlist, but also to buy war bonds, grow food, and eat less meat, wheat, and sugar. The Wilson administration embarked on a propaganda campaign to get Americans to make sacrifices and join in the war effort. With radio in its early stages and Twitter decades away, artists provided colorful posters to spur a reluctant population to not only support the war effort but to make sacrifices. Here in Lexington, we grew Victory Gardens, saved fats for the manufacturing of explosives, observed Meatless Mondays and Wheatless Wednesdays and purchased Liberty Bonds and war stamps.

World War I changed Massachusetts, the nation, and the world. Rapid wartime social change brought political transformations such as the 18th Amendment (ratified 1919) to the Constitution prohibiting alcohol, the 19th Amendment (1920) giving women the right to vote, and Daylight Savings time. The United States emerged from the war as the world industrial leader.

One hundred years later, The Lexington Historical Society, Lexington Minutemen, Veterans Association, and Lexington Field and Garden Club have joined with the Town Celebrations Committee, Cary Library, Colonial Singers and the Tourism Committee to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

 

Schedule of Special Events to Celebrate WWI in Lexington:

 

 

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CareZare – LHS Student Creates Caregiving App

Family Caregiving

There’s an app for that!

 

 

LEXINGTON HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR LAUNCHES APP TO REDUCE STRESS AND ISOLATION OF CAREGIVING FOR FAMILY MEMBERS

By Jane Whitehead

While most of his peers worry about college application deadlines, admissions and rejections, LHS senior Logan Wells, 17, has a different focus. He has a business to develop, following the launch in November 2017 of CareZare, an app he and family members created to streamline family caregiving, now downloadable from the App Store and Google Play.

AN APP FOR THE HOME TEAM

Eric, Logan and Hallie Wells

When Logan’s grandmother, known in the family as “Nannie,” was diagnosed with dementia four years ago, the Wells family mobilized to provide the help she needed to stay safely in her own home. After taking the hard decision to remove her driver’s licence, Logan’s parents Hallie and Eric, with his aunt Lisa Wells, organized a roster of companions so that she could still go shopping and see friends, and not miss the three-mile daily walks that she loved.

The Wells family faced a challenge familiar to growing numbers of Americans. A joint study published in 2015 by the AARP Public Policy Institute and the National Alliance for Caregiving estimated that 39.8 million Americans are providing unpaid care to an adult relative, with carers spending an average of 24.4 hours a week on caregiving, often with negative effects on their own health, as well as on their professional and personal lives.

As Nannie’s condition advanced, and her need for more constant and more specialized care increased, Logan saw the dramatic impact on his mother, who with his aunt was the main care coordinator. “Her free time was gone – she was always contacting caregivers, getting updates from them, texting, making sure everyone was on the same page,” he said.

“When we first started,” said Hallie, who works full time for Lexington Public Schools, “there were pieces of paper all over Nannie’s house: the chore chart on the fridge, the calendar on the kitchen counter, the medication check-off.”

Logan saw that juggling the different record-keeping systems and dealing with multiple emails, texts and phone calls among the three professional and six family caregivers was a major source of stress. “You see the toll it takes on your parents,” he said. “It’s something that’s hard to ignore, something you want to improve.”

Not one to turn away from other people’s struggles – he’s also involved with teen suicide prevention efforts through Lexington Youth and Family Services – Logan started teaching himself programming from online tutorials so he could develop an app that would allow all the caregivers to coordinate and share information.

With help from his father, Eric, whose background is in technology, though not in programming, and input from his twin brother Devin and older sister Delaney, Logan produced a prototype app that was field-tested by his mother and aunt and tweaked according to their feedback.

Prompted by Delaney, the family developed their own terms for the different people involved in caregiving. The person receiving care is the “CareStar,” round whom everyone else revolves. The “CareCaptain” is the administrator or coordinator, “CareGivers” are family members, friends or hired care providers invited to join the “CareTeam,” that includes everyone involved, including the person being cared for.

FIELDWORK

Over two years, Logan developed the app to allow members of the CareTeam to post four different kinds of information: heads up alerts, calendar notifications, tasks, and daily journal entries. Now, when caregivers start their shift, said Hallie, “they look at the app and read the recent journal entries and heads up alerts, so if there’s anything significant, they can deal with that.”

A typical journal entry – completed by every member of the CareTeam at the end of a shift – may include observations of Nannie’s mood, activities like having coffee or browsing catalogs, any chores or tasks completed, and maybe a general assessment. “Lots of laughs, great day,” concluded one recent note.

“When we receive these journal entries at the end of the day,” said Hallie, “it’s such a beautiful snapshot – it doesn’t always go well, but all of this is data.” The journal record is a way of tracking and meeting changes in Nannie’s needs. When carers began to note that she was not getting dressed by 2:00 p.m. or that she was starting to resist taking showers, “that was a cue to change to someone skilled in dementia care,” said Hallie.

A recent heads up alert via text from the carer on duty notified the CareTeam that Nannie’s washing machine had started spurting water all over the floor, mid-cycle. Hallie could respond immediately, contact a local plumber, let the next carer know to expect his visit, and share his assessment with everyone. “In that that moment we can try to problem solve and have a whole cast of characters get that information in a timely way,” she said.

Lisa Wells manages all her mother’s health care appointments – “her eye doctor, her dentist, the neurologist, primary care, lab tests, all of that,” – and she has found the app’s calendar feature invaluable. The information that used to be in her head, or on a piece of scrap paper, waiting to be transferred to the paper calendar, can now be immediately shared with the CareTeam. And when Nannie’s medications change, Lisa can post information about the new prescription once, in one place, rather than calling or emailing five different people.

The CareZare App makes it easy to coordinate care for family members and the entire caregiving team.

SCALING UP

Seeing how well the app performed in meeting their immediate family needs, Logan and Eric started to think bigger. “We started to think – we can build this so it’s useful to other people,” said Eric. “We felt there were opportunities to really promote team-based care at the family level,” he said, as well as focusing on the role of the CareCaptain, and giving that person maximum support.

As self-taught programmers, said Eric, both he and Logan recognized their limitations, and they engaged another father and son team, Bruce and Bradley Stuart, of Arizona-based Software Studio, as technology partners. They worked closely together to ensure the app’s functionality and security and the ability to scale it as more people start to use it.

Logan and Eric also sought input from professionals in senior care, running test groups at Brookhaven in Lexington, with workers and residents, and meeting families facing different care-related challenges, such as those with adult children with developmental issues. “Gaining those new perspectives and applying them to the app was invaluable,” said Logan.

To drive revenue from the app, said Eric, they considered different options – advertising, a one-off download fee, or a subscription model – and Logan favored the subscription model. Currently, CareZare is available for a 30-day free trial, with a monthly fee thereafter of $9.95 for each CareStar. “We’ll try it,” said Logan, and if we find it doesn’t work, we’ll adjust accordingly.”

GAP YEAR CHALLENGE

“There’s so much to learn in doing a start-up like this,” said Eric. “There’s the caregiving side, then there’s how to build a business, how to build the product, how to keep focus, the marketing side – it’s such great fertile ground for learning.” Although it goes against the grain in a college-fixated town like Lexington, Eric and Hallie completely support Logan’s decision to spend a year focusing on CareZare after he graduates from LHS later this year.

“It’s definitely scary” not to be heading off to college immediately like most of his peers, said Logan, but at the same time it’s exciting to build on what he’s already accomplished – taking an idea from concept to marketable product, and learning a host of skills on the way, from programming to time-management.

He’s also keen to roll out new enhancements, including simplifying the design of the user interface, enabling the calendar to display Google and Apple calendars in the app, and – prompted by the recent snap of severe weather – providing updated weather information and warnings for caregivers.

With a background in hi-tech marketing, Logan’s aunt Lisa Wells is a valuable source of development ideas. She recently installed a Blink wireless home security camera system in her mother’s house, to monitor the night hours, and is encouraging Logan to incorporate notifications from that system into the app.

For now, though, she’s hoping that more people learn about the app and benefit from it. “It has been a godsend, honestly, from the communication point of view,” she said. “Before, you could spend half your day just calling people and trying to figure things out. I think my dad is up in heaven looking down, very proud of his grandson!”

 

Online Resources for Family Caregivers

American Association of Retired People (AARP): https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/

The organizations below are listed on the website of the National Alliance for Caregiving: www.caregiving.org

Eldercare Locator

www.eldercare.gov/Eldercare.NET/Public/Index.aspx
The service links those who need assistance with state and local area agencies on aging and community-based organizations that serve older adults and their caregivers.

Next Step in Care
www.nextstepincare.org

Provides easy-to-use guides to help family caregivers and health care providers plan and implement safe and smooth transitions for chronically or seriously ill patients.

Lotsa Helping Hands
www.lotsahelpinghands.com
 A free caregiving coordination web service that provides a private, group calendar where tasks for which a caregiver needs assistance can be posted.

Caring.com
www.caring.com
Expert-reviewed content includes advice from a team of more than 50 leaders in geriatric medicine, law, finance, housing, and other key areas of healthcare and eldercare.

Financial Steps for Caregivers
WISER (Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement)
Being a caregiver can affect both your short-term and long-term financial security, including your own retirement. For more information on planning for a secure retirement, please visit

www.wiserwomen.org.

Family Caregiver Alliance
caregiver.org/node/3831
A central source of information on caregiving and long-term care issues for policy makers, service providers, media, funders and family caregivers throughout the country.

Caregiver Action Network
www.caregiveraction.org/

Resources include a Peer Forum, a Story Sharing platform, the Family Caregiver Tool Box and more. CAN also provides support for rare disease caregivers at www.rarecaregivers.org

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2018 Minuteman Cane Award

Nominees are currently being sought for the 2018 Minuteman Cane Award. Do you know a person who is at least 80 years of age, a 15 year resident of Lexington, actively involved in the community and an inspiration to others (while exhibiting a creative approach to life through a choice of either a second career, a hobby or volunteerism)?
If so, consider nominating them for this award. Nomination forms are available at the Community Center, the Town Clerk’s Office in Town Hall; and in Lexington Center at the following locations: Michelson’s Shoe Store, Theatre Pharmacy, Wales Copy Center, and Cary Library. The form is also available on the Town website at: www.Lexingtonma.gov. This outstanding award is presented on Patriots’ Day after the Morning Parade during the ceremonies on the Battle Green.
Completed forms should be submitted to Minuteman Cane Committee, c/o Lexington Community Center, 39 Marrett Road, Lexington, MA 02421 by NOON, Wednesday, March 28, 2018.

For more information, contact the Minuteman Cane Committee by calling Marie Hill at 781-760-9148.

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Father’s Death Leads to Search for Meaning The Legacy of World War II

Walter Carter

Monday, November 13

Cary Memorial Library lower level meeting room,

Hosted by the Lexington Veterans Association

The public is invited for coffee and conversation at 12:45 p.m. with the program beginning at 1:15 p.m.

 

Walter Carter was a young boy in Huntington, West Virginia when his father, Norval Carter, a small-town doctor, was killed by a sniper while tending to a wounded soldier, 12 days after landing on Omaha Beach on D-Day. As an adult researching his father’s life, he wrote a memoir about his father, then spent years thinking, writing, and speaking about the meaning and the changing views of World War II.

Walter wrote a memoir about his father, then spent years thinking, writing, and speaking about the meaning and the changing views of World War II.

As a young person, Carter held a simplistic view of the war. “It was a good war and the Americans were the good guys”, he recalls. “Some nasty people got aggressive and America had to stop them and set the world right.” After years of interacting with fellow members of the American WWII Orphans Network, helping veterans secure their rightful benefits as an officer of the 29th Division Association, or escorting high school and college students to the Normandy beaches as a board member of Normandy Allies, Carter gradually came to realize that the war was much more complicated and nuanced.

“We weren’t totally the good guys,” Carter continues, “America didn’t do it alone. The casualties and destruction suffered by America were only a small fraction of the war’s total devastation. We made some mistakes and committed some atrocities. There were race and desertion issues. Rather than keeping score, a more useful way to look at the war is to ask, what would the world have looked like if Germany had won?”

After receiving a degree in history from Swarthmore College, Walter Carter earned two masters degrees, one in international relations from Tufts University and one in economics at the University of Rochester. His professional career included service as Instructor in Economics at Hobart College, Senior Economist with Charles River Associates, and, until his retirement in 1999, Economist, Vice President and then Principal with a unit of the McGraw-Hill Company. An accomplished amateur trombonist, Mr. Carter performed with the Newton Symphony Orchestra for 40 years and served as President of the Symphony’s board.

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New Lexington Historical Society Executive Director Erica Dumont is Set to Make History

By E. Ashley Rooney

Lexington Historical Society
Executive Director Erica Dumont

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF LEXINGTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO APPOINT ERICA DUMONT THE NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Erica Dumont brings enthusiasm, nonprofit leadership experience, and passion to her new position. She sees the future of the Lexington Historical Society (LHS) as being vibrant, relevant in the community, and a center of learning both for families in town and beyond.

One of the opportunities she sees is that the town of Lexington is significant on both a local and national stage. “Where some historical societies struggle to find relevance in their community, the Society has the advantage of operating in the town where the first battle of the American Revolution took place, so there is national and global interest in the town, and an opportunity for the LHS to capture that interest,” Dumont says. Moreover, given that there are over 300 years of history in Lexington aside from the historic battle, Lexington Historical Society also has lots of options for local programming and exhibits to attract visitors.

One avenue of growth, Dumont sees, is more extensive family programming. What about a spinning bee she asks, (adding that this idea came from our programming director), a farming program focusing on Lexington’s agricultural past, an instructional program on colonial clothing and food, or perhaps a program on life in Lexington during WWII? With new families moving to town every day, the opportunity to educate, engage and inform newcomers and the community as a whole about the many facets of Lexington history should be an ongoing project.
Dumont has been the Executive Director of the Wellesley Historical Society since 2013. She says that LHS differs from Wellesley in that it is larger, has a broader reach, and has a focus on historical interpretation.

Her first position after graduating from Salem State University was working at Old North Church. Since then, she has been fascinated with early Revolution history, and LHS fit right in. Currently, she is completing her MA in History at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.

Dumont looks forward to partnering with other organizations in Lexington and beyond to have a broader community impact. “I feel that partnering with organizations in Boston would allow us to capture the attention of tourists and museum goers and. hopefully, increase visitation to Lexington’s historic sites.”

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