Monday, March 31, 2014

Mishka's Coming Back to Maynard

Mishka is coming back to Maynard. Some of you may not have had the chance to know that this is actually news. She worked for years at the Boston Bean House before needing to head home to be with family in Colorado.

With her cheerful disposition and mad coffee skills, she was a wonderful asset to the Bean staff, and all of us long-timers are excited that she's coming home!

She should be back and at work in about a week, so stop in and see her or stop in and introduce yourself.

Maynard's Book Fest April 12th!

The Friends of the Maynard Library will host the 3rd Annual Maynard Book Festival on Saturday, April 12 at the library. In past years, the festival has celebrated the written word by presenting writing workshops and acclaimed authors including Margot Livesey, Roland Merullo, B.A. Shapiro, Gregory Maguire, Andre Dubus III and Richard Russo. This year’s festival includes exciting events for all ages.

At 10:30, George O’Connor, creator of the popular New York Times bestselling series The Olympians will speak. O’Connor merges compelling text and lively graphics to retell the stories of Greek mythology to young audiences. The sixth and latest novel in the series features the exploits of Aphrodite and the genesis of the Trojan War.

This year’s writing workshop will be led by poet Jennifer Barber (Given Away) who, through exercises and examples, will examine the role of syntax in poetry. The workshop begins at 11:30 and participants are invited to bring a brown bag lunch, as well as writing materials and two of their own poems. Space is limited, so those interested should register at the library’s Reference Desk or by calling 978-897-1010 x103.

The focus of this year’s panel discussion at 1:30 is the short story and other short forms. Panelists include Jennifer Haigh, whose acclaimed first story collection News from Heaven was published in 2014 after four previous novels. In her long career, Ann Hood has explored a wide range of literary styles, including the novel (The Obituary Writer), historical fiction for children (The Treasure Chest series), memoir (Comfort) and short stories (An Ornithologist’s Guide to Life). Most recently, she edited a collection of essays—Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting. C.B. Anderson is the author of award-winning short stories and essays; her first story collection River Talk will be published this month. The panel discussion will be led by Kate Burak, author of the novel Emily’s Dress and many short stories.

The finale of the festival will be a conversation between Rob Mitchell, founder of the Concord Festival of Authors, and Pulitzer Prize-winner Paul Harding. Harding is the author of Tinkers (2009) and Enon (2013), which follow members of the Crosby family as they traverse dying, grieving and personal tragedy. Listening to any craftsman talk about his work is fascinating, but authors are especially observant and thoughtful and imaginative, so this discussion is sure to be insightful and thought-

Each author event will offer a question-and-answer session, followed by an opportunity to have books signed by the authors. Porter Square Books will be on hand with books for sale. Light refreshments will be served. See for more details.

We're excited to have a special exhibit in the library's Roosevelt Room this spring. Called Made in Maynard, the show features selected works from 18 of the artists who have their studios at ArtSpace

. Maynard is so fortunate to have such a vibrant community of artists contributing to the cultural life of the town, and this exhibit is by and for them. To celebrate the artists and the show, ArtSpace and the Friends will host a reception from 5-7 pm on Thursday, April 10. Come enjoy the artwork and light refreshments with the artists.

There will be two great events for kids this year. First, for children who enjoy picture books, we'll be kicking off the installation of Maynard's new Story Walk. The idea behind Story Walk is to read a story as you walk around downtown, with each page of the book in a different shop window. For the inaugural story, Mr. Mark will lead a walking Story Hour starting at the library at 3:30 on Thursday, April 10. There's nothing Mark likes better than a good story (unless it's a parade!) and we're combining these into a single event.

For those of you who can't attend, the Walk will be up throughout April, and maps will be available for self-guided tours. We've had outstanding cooperation from downtown merchants and encourage you to stop in and shop as you read. Or read as you do your errands. Watch the library website for more information (coming soon).

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Real Maple Syrup Made in Maynard: Maynard Maple

I only found out that we have our own local maple syrup house right here in Maynard just a couple of years ago. And then only because the Boston Bean House was selling their products. Of course, being a local kind of girl, I had to get in on that action.

I had the pleasure of meeting Ron Kay, proud owner of Maynard Maple, when he came by to help me with a maple syrup question that I had. It was summer, and we had a nice conversation in the garden, but I kept noticing that his eyes were looking over my shoulder. He was eyeballing my trees. I didn't even know they were sugar maples. They sure are. He asked if I'd mind if he tapped them in late winter. "Of course not," I said. I know that tapping them doesn't hurt them, and I love helping local businesses when I can. So at the end of February, he came by to set up his gear.

To me, Maynard is about people and connections, so it makes sense that the syrup coming from our little hamlet is a blend of sap from the trees in many of our neighborhoods.

Nashoba Valley Extract Co. will be selling Maynard Maple's offerings at the Maynard Farmers' Market this year. So while you're checking out NVE's homemade extracts, you can now add a little maple to your purchase.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Maynard Clock Tower will Shine a Light on Autism this April!

For immediate release: March 24, 2014
Clock Tower will Shine a Light on Autism this April!

On Tuesday, April 2nd families and friends of people who are impacted by Autism will join
together in front of Clock Tower Place to watch the town clock turn blue to raise
awareness of Autism in the community. Adding itself to the list of international
landmarks including The Sydney Opera House, The Empire State Building, and
many more, Clock Tower’s blue lights will be a symbol in Maynard that the town
supports our community members who are impacted by Autism. Autism is a
complex neurobiological disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate
and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by behavioral
challenges. Light It Up Blue is an international campaign created by the
organization Autism Speaks.

The event was initiated by Maynard High School student, Jae Mannion who has
Asperger’s Syndome, a type of Autism. In 2012 Jae along with the Whalen family
of Stow raised money to pay for the plastic tube covers for the 48 lights, which
light the clock every evening. Kevin Whalen, owner of Stow Ace Hardware, has
helped support Jae in his efforts. Kevin and his wife Melissa Whalen have a son,
Ty, who has a severe form Autism.

Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 110 children; one in 70
boys in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public
health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown. The mission of Autism
Speaks is to change the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum
disorders. The organization is dedicated to funding global biomedical research
into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for autism; to raising public
awareness about autism and its effects on individuals, families, and society; and
to bringing hope to all who deal with the hardships of this disorder.

The Community is invited to the to watch the clock turn Blue at 7:00pm on
Wednesday April 2nd in front of Clock Tower Place. Following the clock lighting
will be a puzzle cake party with representatives from SEPAC and Autism Speaks
to provide information and support!

Residents are encouraged to Light their Houses Up Blue by purchasing a blue
light for their home at Stow Ace Hardware! Maynard and Stow students are
encouraged to wear blue to school on April 2nd.

For more information, please visit the following website
Or contact Danielle Mannion at or Maribel Rueda at
maribel rueda join the Facebook Group Light It Up

Oriental Delight to be Torn Down

I just heard that Oriental Delight is going to be torn down. That's why they chose it to conduct the Fire Departments rescue training. I wonder what it's going to be.

Souled Out Artists Storytelling Event at ArtSpace Maynard

I'm part of a local writing group, Souled Out Artists. We meet monthly and hold local storytelling events a few times a year. We're hosting one tomorrow, March 29th at ArtSpace Maynard, (7pm in the gallery). There are just a few tickets left, and they'll likely be bought at the door unless they get bought in advance. The show is called, "It's Not a Secret Anymore."

When I try to describe what we do, the best I can come up with is that we're a bit of a cross between The Moth and This American Life. A lot of our pieces are memoirs, but there's some pretty great fiction making it into the mix. Somewhere in the mix, audience members are going to find something that they connect with. The pieces range from insanely hilarious to painfully tragic, and everywhere in between. 

I'm really proud to be associated with this group of very talented short-story writers. The group consists of:
Steven Bogart
Sarah Coletti
Kevin Connolly
Ana Hebra Flaster
Anthony Martignetti
Nivi Nagiel
Ted Page
Karen Russell
Denise Shea (that's me)
Paul Trainor

Monday, March 17, 2014

Maynard Fire Department Conducting Rescue Training 3/28

From the desk of Chief Anthony Stowers:
Maynard Fire Department Conducting Rescue Training
The Maynard Fire Department will be conducting a Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) Drill on March 28th, 2014, at the former Oriental Delight Restaurant on Waltham Street. Please do not be alarmed if you see multiple firefighters and fire trucks in the area that day. RIT is used when firefighters become trapped, injured or unconscious at a fire. This training will involve participants from Maynard, Concord, Acton, Stow, Lincoln, Shrewsbury and other area departments.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Want to Learn About the Maynard Schools?

Save the Date! On Saturday, March 29th, 10 AM to 11:30 AM, everyone is invited to join in a Celebration of Maynard Schools at Maynard High School , Tiger Drive. This exciting event is being presented thanks to a collaboration between Maynard Public Schools , Maynard Education Foundation, Maynard Family Association and the Boys & Girls Club of Assabet Valley.
From 10 – 10:30 AM, tours of Maynard High School will be conducted by Maynard High School Students.  From 10:30 –11 AM, there will be a presentation for parents that will highlight the wonderful, competitive offerings being provided by the Maynard Public Schools, from pre-kindergarten through high school. From 11-11:30 AM, refreshments will be served and parents will have an opportunity to ask follow up questions of Maynard school professionals and receive additional information about the specific schools.
Bring your kids! Childcare will be available at this amazing event for children ages 2+.  The Boys & Girls Club of Assabet Valley's professional staff and Maynard High School students and teachers will offer this service free of charge. Toddler/pre-school aged children will be engaged in a classroom set up just for the little ones. The gymnasium will offer structured games and activities for children in grades K+.  For more information on childcare or to sign your child(ren) up, please contact Wendy Allegrone-Leslie at Reservations are greatly appreciated for planning purposes.
Although new residents and parents of children ages 0-grade 4 are especially encouraged to attend this information packed event, we hope that all residents, young and old, will take advantage of this opportunity to come and learn more about Maynard Public Schools.
Schools are the heart of every community and this is an opportunity to learn all that Maynard's schools have to offer!  Questions about the event may be directed to  Hope to see you there!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Things Aren't Always Great Around Here

Businesses come and go. People come and go. Sometimes when it all happens at the same time around here, it can be pretty disheartening. This week was one of those weeks.

So here's the scoop: Town Planner, Eric Smith, has put in his resignation. He's a really great guy with a lot of energy, and I think he was a great asset to the town. So sorry to see him leave. Peyton's River's Edge restaurant has closed. I swear that location is cursed—every restaurant there has failed. The space is just too large. But I did hear that an Auto Zone would be taking its place, so the location won't stay empty. The church on the corner of Summer and Main Streets is going to be trying to sell their building. Art and Soul, after many years of business, will be closing. I heard that our fire department might be trying to regionalize with Stow to try and save money.

I forget that this happens, so when it does, when a bunch of stuff comes at once, it really hits hard.

I wait for spring and for more good news.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Our Local Movie Theater is Coming to Life!

The Fine Arts Theatre has been busy with renovations, but slow on blog posts, but they had a good one this week, with lots of pictures. Check out this great photo that I snagged. They were really good about preserving the original artwork! Local citizens from Maynard and surrounding towns can't wait to get back in there and see the amazing progress!

On a related note, The Fine Arts Theatre is going to be moving their fundraising efforts over to Kickstarter on March 23. If you haven't contributed yet and have a reason, you can go to their Facebook Page and let them know. It's in their best interest to understand what the issues are. Ask away!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Rave Reviews for ACME Theater's Latest Production

I heard today that ACME theater, over at ArtSpace Maynard, is currently performing and amazing play called "Coyote on a Fence". ACME's a small local theater company, and they're often putting out some fantastic works. I'm going to go and try to check it out myself.

Coyote on a Fence
By Bruce Graham

Directed by Dave Sheppard
Performance Dates: February 28, March 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22 at 8pm and March 16 at 3pm. 
Adults $18 and Seniors/Students $16. 
Can one be innocent though proven guilty? Acme Theater explores this complex issue in the New England community theater premier of Bruce Graham's award-winning drama, Coyote on a Fence. This brave and gripping drama is inspired by a true story:  Convicted murderer John Brennan, a man with a proud, self-centered streak, is in denial about his role in the beating death of a drug dealer.  His new cell mate is Bobby Reyburn, white supremacist with mild developmental disabilities, is uneducated, and prone to fits of outrage. Bobby is on Death Row for committing a heinous racially-motivated murder. This shocking and heartfelt drama delivers on many levels as both await their fate, challenging our own feelings, prejudices and preconceived ideas. 
Note: This production features adult themes and language and racial remarks.
Jason Myatt as John Brennan
Nick Bennett Zendzian as Bobby Reyburn
Kimberly McClure as Shawna DuChamps
Andrew Boncoddo as Sam Fried

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Another 129 Parker Meeting Tonight

This meeting is a continuation of the ongoing discussions around the property development at 129 Parker St. (By the way, this sketch is from some early proposals, so don't go thinking this is the latest thing.)

Wed, 3/5 7pm - 129 Parker St Committee Meeting, lower level Town Hall
At the meeting, the Committee will continue its deliberations on its draft recommendations, and may vote its recommendations at that time.