Wellesley songwriter’s uplifting tune born from Boston Marathon tragedy

we will run again, stephen randallWBUR has revisited a story it did last May in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing that featured a Wellesley songwriter named Stephen Randall who penned a tune called “We Will Run Again.”

He told the NPR news station: “I was so inspired when I heard President Obama say, ‘You will stand. You will walk. You will run again,’ and as a songwriter I immediately got those words in my head and picked up my guitar and started writing.”

An interesting twist with this song is that Randall invited people to record themselves singing the chorus and to upload it to SoundCloud, an audio sharing website/app. The song now combines about 90 voices, including those of the Wellesley High School Keynote Singers.

You can download the song on Amazon, iTunes or Bandcamp, and all proceeds go to the One Fund Boston.

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Sundials of Wellesley

Sundials make for good photos, so we’ve been taking pictures of the ones we run across in Wellesley. The top one is from a courtyard at Wellesley College and next two are photos of the sundial near the Whitin Observatory at the college. The bottom two  are photos of the sundial at the Wellesley Free Library.

Know of any other public sundials in town? Not that most people in town don’t have watches or phones to tell the time, but still good to see the throwback time pieces around…

 

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MORE: North American Sundial Society

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Questions about Wellesley override, senior center land purchase on May 20 ballot

The Board of Selectmen have voted to call two special elections on May 20, 2014. Both questions will appear on the same ballot:

Question 1 (Referendum) – Shall the town vote to approve the action of the representative town meeting whereby it was voted to acquire the property at 494 Washington Street?
        Yes

        No

Question 2 – Shall the Town of Wellesley be allowed to assess an additional $3,345,000 in real estate and personal property taxes for the purpose of funding public education and general government, for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014?
        Yes

        No

All regular polling places will be open from 7 am to 8 pm, as follows:

- Precinct A            Bates School                                    116 Elmwood Road
- Precinct B            Sprague School                                  401 School Street
- Precinct C            Upham School                                    35 Wynnewood Road
- Precinct D            Schofield School                                        27 Cedar Street
- Precinct E            Fiske School                                            45 Hastings Street
- Precinct F            Dana Hall School (Shipley Center)               142 Grove Street
- Precinct G            Wellesley Free Library (Wakelin Room)   530 Washington Street (rear entrance)
- Precinct H            Wellesley High School                           50 Rice Street (east wing)
Absentee Ballots
Voters unable to go to polls due to absence from town or disability may apply for an absentee ballot.  
Applications must include the voter’s name and voting address and instructions as to where to send the ballot and an original signature. Family members may apply on behalf of others in the household. Applications may be mailed to 525 Washington St. Wellesley, MA 02482; faxed 781-237-5037; or pdf ([email protected]).

All absentee ballots must be voted in person at the clerks office  (after April 30) or mailed to voter. No absentee ballots can be hand carried out of the clerks office.

All applications must be received on or before NOON, May 19.  If the ballot is to be mailed please allow additional time for mailing. The ballots must be returned to the clerks’ office by close of the polls on May 20.

All absentee ballots are counted at the polling places on election day. 
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A look behind the scenes of the Swellesley Report

From OpenClipArtOne of my jobs at the Swellesley Report is to delete the spam we get.  Spam, as you probably know, is all that usesless email from people who want your attention.  At best, they just want to sell you something.  At worst, they want you to open up their messages, thus leaving your computer susceptible to viruses.

Typically in a 24-hour period, over 1,000 spammers vie for my attention, and it makes me sad, because these suitors do not wish me well.  They have goals: 1) they want to slow down my computer.  2) They are trying to send me political messages.  3) They are amusing themselves on my time, although I’ve never figured out what’s so funny,  Or, most nefariously, 4) they want to demonstrate a vulnerability in the software we use, and then smugly sit back and say, “You’re welcome,” as we scramble to clean up a mess they’ve made.

Fortunately, we have a crackerjack spam catcher on our side, so this cat-and-mouse game goes nowhere so long as I, the mouse, refuse to engage with the cat, ie:, the spammers.  What that means:  I never ever open spam, no matter how deeply discounted the Michael Kors bags claim to be, no matter how cute the kitty video must be, no matter how handsome and rich the Nigerian prince sounds.

Here’s how I do it: I log on to my computer, go to our site’s dashboard, and it’s always the same thing, “There are 1,574 (at least) comments in your spam queue right now.”

I don’t care how nicely they’re waiting in the queue.  Acting all British and well-mannered will get them nowhere with me, so no, I will not give each spam message my full attention in the order in which it was received.  Here’s my idea of equal attention to each spammer: with one keystroke I empty my spam mailbox. There.  Goodbye, spam.  And that’s that.

Admittedly, its hardly a “job.”  I hit a button and the spam disappears allowing me to move on to more important things like changing our Facebook cover photo or posting about the latest doings in town.  But it takes about 10 seconds for the process to occur, and in that time, more spam appears.  If I were OCD I would never be able to move on to the other stuff, I would just be stuck all day, deleting spam.

All this spam experience has led me to a few insights that I will share with you, along with some “best of” from the spam files:

Truth Number 1:  Spammers are friendly and complimentary

“I am going to go ahead and save this article for my sister to read later on tonight.  Keep up the superior work.” (There’s often a sister, a cousin, or a grandmother.  Spammers don’t want you to think they are some basement dweller with no family.)

“Great website you have here.  It’s difficult to find quality writing like yours nowadays.  I seriously appreciate individuals like you!  Take care!!”  (The double exclamation points are a nice touch.)

“Can I simply say what a reduction it is to find somebody who really knows what they’re speaking about on the internet.” (Why thank you.  It is a reduction to find somebody who finally appreciates us.)

Truth Number 2:  Spammers need MY help

“Hey!  Do you know if they make any plug-ins to help with SEO?  I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords, but I’m not seeing quite good outcomes.” (At this point, I am supposed to enter into an exchange with the Spammer.  Never gonna happen.)

Truth Number 3:  Spammers want to help me score designer goods, cheap

I never thought I’d pity the purveyors of prestige products, but that day has come. Poor Nike, Ray-ban, Michael Kors, Vivienne Westwood, Dr. Dre, and Coach. If you ever wonder why these designer brands are so pricey, I’ll tell you why.  It’s because spammers across the globe are trying to rip them off, all day, every day.

Truth Number 4:  Spammers want to help me score drugs, cheap

“Nice blog.  I think good quality Vicodin does not show up on drug test.”  (Lately, it’s always Vicodin or Zoloft.  I wonder why Percocet recently fell out of favor with Spammers.)

Truth Number 5:  On the rare occasion that Spammers are negative, they are only saying that stuff for my own good

“The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it does not fail me just as much as this one did.” (I am cut to the quick.)

I talk a good game of swagger, but the truth is, I can’t help but take all that spam personally.  Because make no mistake, theses spammers are out to get me.  As I see it, each and every one of them wants to take down my site.  It wears on me that over 1,000 people want to do me harm every single day.  I just can’t compartmentalize it all.  For them, it’s just business.  For me, it’s death by 1,000 cuts.

I often find myself wondering, well, what could really happen?  What if I opened up just one teensy spam message, just to see what it was all about?  Then I remember the hapless souls before me who just had to try the forbidden.  Eve took a bite of that apple, and it was Paradise Lost.  Am I ready to jeopardize the paradise that is Swellesley?  Of course not.

Pandora opened the box, and out swirled the problems of the world.  Here at Swellesley, we like to think we’re SOLVING the problems of the world, not unleashing them.  If I opened up spam, I might think I was unlocking the secrets to deeply discounted designer goods, but in reality, I know in my heart that it would be all knock-off Louis Vuitton handbags made by child labor in a sweatshop somewhere.

No, I must resist that urge to behave like the toddler who touches the hot stove after repeated warnings.  I know spam would disappoint, or even hurt me.  So I just don’t go there.

And here’s the result.  All this spam that gushes over how fabulous we are, with their multiple exclamation points and their gratitude for our outstanding weblog, has turned me into a suspicious shrew who can’t take a compliment.  Now, when my husband says, “I like what you posted today,” I can’t imagine why he would say such an awful thing to me, his ever-loving wife.  ”What do you mean by that, ” I snap.  ”No, really, it was just great,” he assures me.  ”How could you?” I ask, as I run sobbing from the room.  I despise the high-maintenance blogger spammers have turned me into.

And so, my relationship with Spammers is destined to remain, as they say, complicated.  They’ll continue to send it. I’ll continue to delete it.  And here at Swellesley, we will blog on.

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How can Wellesley Whole Foods afford to slash prices this way?

 

 

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Wellesley fundraiser season in full swing

donation box fundraiser wellesleyWe’ve been getting hit up left and right over the past week or so to promote various fundraisers and charity events taking place in Wellesley over the next month or two. We’ve been putting them onto a separate fundraising events page. Here you go generous people…

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Parakeet found, Chihuahua mix lost in Wellesley

parakeet found in WellesleyWellesley animal control officer Sue Webb has put out the word that a young parakeet has been found in the Bates Elementary School area (Pine Plain Road), while a Chihuahua mix that recently moved here from Tennessee has gone missing (last seen near Wellesley Free Library and later, Weston Road near Rte. 9).

Contact Stray Pets in Need regarding the bird.

If you see the dog, please don’t chase it. Webb urges you to report sightings to Shirley 508-451-2519  and the police station so we can track the dog.chihuahua dog wellesley

RELATED: Stray Pets in Need

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Wellesley Middle School students run strong in Mini Marathon

Wellesley mini marathon 2014More than one thousand Wellesley Middle School students took to the streets Monday for the ninth annual Mini Marathon.  Under cloudless skies, runners navigated a nearly 2-mile course that wound through neighborhoods around the school and on to the Sprague playing fields.

More students than ever competed in this year’s race, which is organized by the WMS Fitness & Health Department and the PTO, and celebrates fitness and school spirit.

The top three boy and girl runners in each grade were recognized with finisher medals and every runner received a handmade inspirational medal donated by former middle school parent Marshall Randolph in memory of his daughter Hannah.WMS mini marathon girls 2014

2014 WMS Mini Marathon Top Finishers

6th Grade Girls  1. Ella Midura  2. Molly Jordan  3. Ellen McMahan

6th Grade Boys 1. Brendan Clare  2. William Manning  3. Ian Balaguera

7th Grade Girls  1. Kate Mullin  2. Brooke Guiffre  3. Nicole Beckett

7th Grade Boys  1. Austin Pineau  2. Owen O’Connor  3. Owen DeOliveira

8th Grade Girls  1. Kelcie Zarle  2. Olivia Vernon   3. Megan Krueger

8th Grade Boys 1. Max Perozek  2. Joey Bulson  3. Mitchell Gariepy

(Thanks to Stephanie Hawkinson for sending along the info and photos.)

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  • Upcoming Wellesley Fundraisers

    Upcoming Wellesley Fundraisers