Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Meet the Candidates Is Available Online

WAVM has the video of the Meet the Candidates night on their site. Here's a link.

People keep asking me about the candidates. I think watching the Meet the Candidates event is helpful. The only trouble with watching them is that you might want to judge them on their speaking ability, but a BOS member does not have to have public speaking as a qualification. 

Good luck to all our candidates and thank you to them for even wanting to serve on, what I feel, must often seem like a thankless job.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fine Arts Theatre Is Getting Close—They've Hired the High School Kids!

They really are getting down to the end here with the theater—I'm not kidding. You know it's close when they've actually hired the staff. That's right, over the last month local Maynard kids have been interviewed for the various jobs at the theater. And it was important to Steve Trumble that they be local because the theater impacts their community.

Like any new endeavor, there are bound to be hitches in the first few weeks. And everyone is new to this. So don't be surprised if the new staff flounders a little bit, gets something wrong, misses a step, or doesn't have some technical aspect right to start with. Be kind. Tell them they're doing a good job.

Let me also encourage this—let's applaud at the beginning of each movie, when those velvet curtains open up and we look around and realize that it has really, truly happened.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Jero Nesson, Manager of ArtSpace Maynard, Will Retire End of Year 2014

Jero Nesson last week announced to ArtSpace artists that he would be retiring from his position as ArtSpace manager in December of this year. Jero helped to found ArtSpace in 2000. Already in his seventies, he told his friends that he wants to take some classes, read more books, and do more walking. ArtSpace artists will miss him, but he promised to visit from time to time.

The ArtSpace board has hired Fred Batstone as the new Executive Director. Many of you would know Fred from the Outdoor Store. He has been one of the most active and involved board members since 2000 and he has served as the organization’s treasurer for the past seven years. Linda Spear will serve as Administrator in this job-shared position. Linda has a strong organizational and administrative background. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

You Used to Hit Your Knees at the Fine Arts Theater

Why am I showing you a toilet?
Before the Fine Arts Theatre was remodeled, if you went in the ladies room your knees would actually be touching the door of the stall. God help the poor mother who would need to go in and help her small child. It's one of the reasons I never used the bathroom there—too many horror stories. Well, I'm pleased to announce that the Fine Arts team made the wise decision to expand the stalls! (Insert tears of joy here.) It wasn't easy and nearly took a shoe horn, but there it is.

Side note: I was just using my iphone. The stall is really a comfortable normal size. My pic makes it look like there's six feet in front of the toilet.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Fine Arts Theatre Update: Steve Trumble Is Crazy

Yes, I said it—the man is cra-zy.

When I caught up with Steve Trumble to find out what was going on with the theater a couple of weeks ago, I kept finding myself shaking my head at him. "You're crazy," I finally said. He didn't deny it. 

As he showed me around, he talked to me about how much of the building had to be redone, all while trying to preserve the original character of the place. "It would have been cheaper to tear it down and build a new theater from scratch," he admitted. I don't doubt it. The same was true of the Maynard Public Library when it was redone, but we saved an old building, revitalized a neighborhood, and most importantly, got a really great library out of it. I think the same will be true of the Fine Arts Theatre. 

It's the cosmetic stuff that seems most obviously improved when you walk in, but those improvements are a drop in the bucket compared to the structural tsunami that has been the Fine Arts Theatre. All the stuff we can't see—new plumbing, new wiring, new heating systems, new roof... it's all there and so very important. "Nobody should have to sit in the theater with their coat on," he said to me. So many of us did though, grumbling under our breath as we pulled our hats down tighter. He told me about some of the bad things that they came across. For example, some key safety elements in the theater were connected to electricity using extension cords. That's just bad.

Fine Arts Theatre's new retro-styled carpet—love!
It seems that with this project lots of things went wrong. A wall would be opened, a floor uncovered, a ceiling inspected, and ta-da, a problem would be found. I've heard people say that maybe it was a sign; that maybe he was supposed to give up on it, or that the universe was sending him some kind of message. Sure, I suppose that would be one way of looking at it—a bit half-full, if you ask me. In talking to him about the whole experience, the feeling I get is that he is not a quitter—he's just not. He has the audacity to keep going in spite of all the problems, and I respect and appreciate him for it. 

As for the cosmetic stuff... I suppose that's where my accusations of craziness really comes in. As we walked through the theater and he pointed out special things he has put in (retro carpeting, classic-movie posters, velvet ropes), I found myself asking him, "With all the money you're sinking into this place, how can you justify spending money on this stuff?!?" "These are all just little things, and you're missing the point," he said. It was after walking around the whole place that I finally realized what he was getting at. With each choice, he has not opted for what was the cheapest or easiest, but instead chose what was right for the theater. And what became clear is that Steve Trumble isn't just trying to make a movie theater, he wants to make a whole movie experience. I don't know if any other investors would have had the nerve to make the choices that he's made, but I do know that the theater has more value for the attention to detail that he's giving it.

People in Maynard and the surrounding communities grow restless, they are anxious to have the theater open. Steve is anxious, too. Soon the building inspector will stop finding areas that need correcting. But even when the inspections stop, I believe the theater won't open until Steve believes he has made the theater that he has set out to make, and that is a place that people will want to be. And someday soon, we'll be able to brag about this little gem in Maynard, and we'll forgive that it took so much time and effort to get it done. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Theme for the Maynard Christmas Parade 2014

Rotary decided last night the theme for this year’s parade is Musical Magical Christmas

MacDonald Apartments on Main St. to be Ready Around the First of the Year

As you may know, when I was at the Fine Arts Theatre on Sunday I met Melissa (the contractor for the theater). She's Jim MacDonald's daughter. I asked when the new apartment building on Main Street would be done and she said it would be sometime around the first of the year.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Meet Melissa

Let me introduce you to Melissa MacDonald. She is the contractor doing the majority of the work at the Fine Arts Theatre. Not only has she been busting her butt to fix every rotten, moldy, loose bit that has been uncovered at the theater, but she also looks like a superhero. I know she looks like a normal person in the photo, but I'm not kidding you! She is the first woman I have ever met who looks like she might be able to lift a building onto her shoulder and fly away with it. Okay, I'm a little prone to exaggeration, but if you met her, you'd want her on your team. And considering the amazing amount of work that they've had to do there, I think she's almost had to be a superhero.

Oh, and that guy in the picture; if you haven't seen him before, that's Steve Trumble, owner of Fine Arts Theatre Place. I'll talk more about him at another time. In the meantime, if you see Melissa around the theater, yell hello and tell her to keep up the good work!

(By the way, Melissa is also Jim MacDonald's daughter. Jim is the guy who has been building that large apartment on Main Street, so she comes from a family of builders.)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

So What's Up at the Fine Arts Theatre?

Everyone asks me that question. I had some answers for people, but not enough. (Rubbing my hands together) Now I have more!

Let me just say right now, the movie theater is going to be GREAT!

I met Steve Trumble, owner of the Fine Arts Theatre a while back at a Revitalize Maynard Collaborative meeting. I needled him about a few things, pointed out some stuff I didn't like, and told him I'd support the theater when I felt like I could believe in the project. He shook my hand. He told me he liked me.      He gave me his contact information—something he may come to regret. ;-)

Let me get to the point. I managed to meet with Steve on Saturday, October 4th. He talked to me for two hours, gave me a tour of the building, and answered all my crazy questions. I snapped lots of pictures.

People, there is just so much that if I do a single posting on the project I will 1.) overwhelm you, and 2.) never get to bed. So I'm going to take my information and my pictures, try to sort them out into categories, and then post them as separate posts.

I also managed to talk Steve into talking to me every two or three weeks to give me an update on how it's all going. He agreed. Let's see if I can keep the information coming.

I'll leave it at that for now. It's getting really late.

(On a side note, if you're interested in pitching in toward the digital projectors, here's a link for you.)

Erikson's sold?!? Apparently a total rumor.

When I heard this bit of scoop, my jaw dropped. I was told that Erikson's had been sold to Kimball Farm. Is your jaw dropping, too? Okay, take some deep breaths. It's not true. I contacted Erikson's via their Facebook page, and this is what they said:

"No we did not sell to Kimballs or anyone else. We will reopen for the 2015 season as Eriksons Ice Cream as we have been for 78 years."

We look forward to seeing them in their 79th year!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

"Maynard, the Town That Feels Like a Neighborhood" (my bumper sticker)

Maybe you've seen it or heard about it—my magnetic bumper sticker.

Here's a picture of it. People have been asking about it and where they can get one, enough people that I seriously have to do the math and think about per piece costs. I think I need a real gauge for whether or not people want one. I'm not sure what the best way is to do this. If you got here via Facebook, could you leave a comment that you're interested in one? If you're not on Facebook, can you leave a comment at the end of this posting?

The cost will be somewhere between $10–$5 each, it all depends on the numbers and shipping costs. I may try to get them made by December. You may notice that it looks a little different from my first two—I've changed the type to black because I found the white type a little hard to read.

Here's how they came to be made: You already know that I love Maynard. Well, I was talking to someone who was either not from here or new to the town and I was trying to tell them why I felt like it was such a special place. I was dancing around ideas. I was talking about how towns are places that have buildings and land and stuff like that, and how we were really lucky that we have such a lovely accessible downtown area. Then I was saying that even though we have the downtown, what was really great about this place is the people with Maynard as a backdrop. I said something like, "In Maynard it's possible to know and connect with lots of people—it's kind of like a neighborhood."

And then I realized that that's exactly why I love it here, and I started thinking that other people probably felt the same way, but they just hadn't found those words yet. So I thought I'd make myself a bumper sticker and start letting everyone know what they already knew in their hearts.

Allow me to be corny now. This is truly a great place to live, and if you're one of the people living here and I'm lucky enough to know you, you've helped make this place what it is for me. Thank you.

Coming Soon to Downtown Maynard!

Rough sketch of a working logo
A group of ArtSpace Artists is forming a collective fine art and craft gallery in a downtown Maynard store-front location. They plan to be up and running for the holiday season and would love to have you come and check it out. If you get them your email address, they can keep you posted on goings on and news about the grand opening. (You can do that by getting me, Denise, your email address.)

Full disclosure; I'm happily involved with this project. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Speaker Specializing in Children's Anxiety to Speak in Maynard

I heard about this from a local Mom and thought I'd share.
Jessica Minahan, a specialist in anxiety and behavior for kids of all ages will be coming to Maynard on: Monday Oct 6 at 7:00 pm at the Fowler Auditorium!

She is heavily sought after by schools, parents and other organizations that work with children to teach her strategies on working with kids who show signs of anxiety, whether they are diagnosed or not. Members of the Maynard PTOs, the Maynard Family Association, and the Boys and Girls Club worked really hard to get her here, and she's coming. She will have copies of her book "The Behavior Code" available to purchase for $20 (a 40% discount)—cash only, please. Parents that have worked with her or heard her speak rave about her, and educators and schools are equally impressed.

This is a free event, and all are welcome to attend.

Practical and Effective Strategies for Children with Anxiety

By Jessica Minahan, M.Ed, BCBA

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that one in four thirteen-eighteen year olds has had an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. Without intervention, these children are at risk for poor performance, diminished learning, and social/behavior problems in school. Understanding
the role anxiety plays in a student's behavior is crucial and using preventive strategies are key to successful intervention. Effective behavior plans for these students must avoid the reward and punishment-based consequences from traditional behavior plans and focus instead on the use of preventive strategies and on explicitly teaching coping skills, self-monitoring, and alternative responses. As a result of this workshop participants will be able to easily implement preventive tools, strategies, and interventions for reducing anxiety, increasing self-regulation, executive functioning, and self-monitoring.


Jessica Minahan, MEd, BCBA, is a board certified behavior analyst and special educator and Director of Behavioral Services at NESCA-Newton (MA) (Neuropsychology & Education Services for Children and Adolescents), as well as a school consultant to client's nationwide ( Jessica has over sixteen years of experience supporting students who exhibit challenging behavior in urban public school systems. She is an adjunct professor at Boston University, a blogger on The Huffington Post, as well as the author of The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students, with Nancy Rappaport (Harvard Education Press, 2012) and author of The Behavior Code Companion: Strategies, Tools, and Interventions for Supporting Students with Anxiety-Related or Oppositional Behaviors (Harvard Education Press, 2014).

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Last Farmers' Market of the Season!

Time to close the 2014 season on the Maynard Farmers' Market. Come down and buy the last of the fresh produce for this season. While you're shopping, you can thank our vendors for coming out. Then bust out your dancing shoes for the band The Hip Swayers. I'll bring my chalk.

Let's see if we can make this a fabulous market finale!