Ex-Wellesley school official at center of Newton plagiarism controversy

Newton Public Schools Superintendent David Fleishman, who has been fined one week of pay after sort of acknowledging that he didn’t credit Gov. Deval Patrick for contents of two graduation speeches delivered last month, used to be a Wellesley Public Schools administrator.

Credit: Newton Public Schools

Credit: Newton Public Schools

The Lion’s Roar, Newton South’s student newspaper, broke the story after a reporter recognized similarities between the Fleishman and Patrick speeches, and Newton’s school committee issued its findings this week.

Fleishman joined WPS in 2002 as an assistant superintendent, and stayed until 2005, when he was hired as superintendent of Chappaqua Central School District in New York. At the time, the Chappaqua’s school organization touted Fleishman’s accomplishments in Wellesley: “Fleishman helped to maintain Wellesley Public Schools academic excellence during a time of severe state budget shortfalls and was responsible for instituting several successful professional development initiatives. He was instrumental in the planning and design of a major renovation to the middle school and was commended on his close work with the community throughout the process.”

Newton hired Fleishman in 2010 to lead its schools.

As school administrators are finding these days, it’s tough to take shortcuts on their speeches. Mansfield’s superintendent recently resigned following a commencement speech plagiarism controversy.

And last year, a California school district trustee caught flak for grabbing liberally and without attribution a bunch of Wellesley High School teacher David McCullough, Jr.’s famous “You’re Not Special Speech,” .

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Stylish new Wellesley running apparel e-tailer Tracksmith touts shorty shorts & more

Vancortland-Short-Green-Front_001While  runners like myself prefer to embarrass our families and friends by donning the most stained and raggedy mismatched clothes possible when hitting the streets or track, new Wellesley “premium performance apparel” e-tailer Tracksmith is targeting a wholly different clientele with its stylish throwback shirts and shorts (including these skimpy ones that go for $60).

The venture-funded company ($1.6M in seed money) with a hare for an icon plays up the fact that most of its stuff is made in New England factories and that its offices are based in the town at the Boston Marathon’s halfway point — your very own Wellesley, Mass.!

But don’t think Tracksmith and its Ivy League-themed clothes for men are all style and no substance — some items include the sort of wicking material that serious runners have embraced to keep them cool and dry even in sticky weather. Prices range from $35 for a racing shoe bag to $65 for a singlet to $90 for some shorts.

GrayBoy-Rev_007Company CEO and Wellesley resident Matt Taylor has a background in running at Yale and marketing at Puma, while co-founder Luke Scheybeler’s track record includes co-founding a cycling fashion company called Rapha (the guy even has his own Wikipedia page).

The online retailer has made a slick debut in the press, lining up coverage to hit today from fashion watchers like Esquire, GQ and Maxim as well as from business and trends publications like the Boston Business JournalTechcrunch and Wired.

Meanwhile, no matter how much you beg, you will not find me running the Thanksgiving Day Wellesley Turkey Trot (registration opens Aug. 1) in these shorty shorts. Well, unless they make me significantly faster.

 

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Non-stop North 40 action in Wellesley

UPDATE: (July 23, 2014) The Save the North 40 outfit has begun really campaigning, offering up flyers and lawn signs.

The North 40 property that Wellesley College is looking to sell has suddenly become the hottest spot in town.

North 40 trails walk july 2014While community gardeners and regular visitors to the North 40 continue to do their thing, the area is being discovered by more and more people in town as various organizations seek to boost awareness.

The Wellesley Trails Committee on Saturday held the first of three guided walks it is hosting on the land this summer and drew 30 people, at least a third of whom had never been on the trails there. Walk leader Denny Nackoney answered questions about the pavement found on the property (former driveway for the dump that was there), trail maintenance and many other topics.

Separately, the Wellesley Natural Resources Commission this week is presenting its North 40 report, which makes a case for the town purchasing and protecting the land as part of its open space strategy. The report shows that 60% of Wellesley’s open space is privately owned, so could be developed some day. The report also includes the NRC’s wish list, which includes bike trails that could help keep commuters off of busy and dangerous Weston Road.

The North 40 Blog, citing a memo from the town, warns that excavators on behalf of Wellesley College will be digging up portions of the old landfill part of the property to find what they can find.

Some of the longtime and past residents of the Woodlands neighborhood, including many WWII veterans, would be among those with memories of the dump. The Townsman told their stories last week.

Finally, what would a controversial local issue be without some big-time rumors? A juicy one we heard over the weekend: that a certain very famous Wellesley College graduate with presidential aspirations and a desire to see her alma mater reap money needed to help fund an ambitious and pricey campus renovation might have nudged a certain Massachusetts attorney with bigger political aspirations to move the North 40 process along quickly in return for some campaign support in the not-too-distant future…

 

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Summer no time to snooze for Babson entrepreneurs

A program to help undergraduate and graduate students from Babson College launch businesses gives them professional and semi-private workspaces where they can share ideas among themselves as well as with faculty and established entrepreneurs. In return, the student businesses are encouraged to contribute a chunk of their equity position to Babson.

Here’s a quick look at the ventures, of which there is quite the variety:

Graduate Students

·         DARTdrones (Abby Speicher M’15) – provides the highest quality training, certification, and continued support for the drone pilots of fire and police stations.

·         Date My Wardrobe (Izi Aviyente M’15) –  a fashionable marketplace that allows women to rent high-end wardrobe items from other fashionistas in their city.

·         GivItForward (Cody Gordh M’14) – allows people to create chains of giving with their friends and family, while giving back to those who are less fortunate.

·         SubSea Energy North America (Hans Olson M’14) – develops hydrokinetic technologies that harness power from ocean and river currents on an environmentally responsible basis.

Undergraduate Students

·         Instabuy (Christos Katsouris ’14) –  an app that allows consumer to make purchases directly at any store by scanning the item’s barcode.

·         Social Conch (Ronald Diep ’14) –  provides nonprofits with an efficient human resources management system and their volunteers and donors with greater clarity, choice, and certification of deeds achieved.

·         ThinkBoard (Hanson Grant ’16) – a clear adhesive that turns any wall, desk, door or other smooth surface into a dry-erase whiteboard. ThinkBoard is raising funds on KickStarter.

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Wellesley: No hobgoblins to see here

NRC meeting may 2014, Joan, Steve, Heidi, Rayna, Lise, Janet, Andy

 

 

 

 

 

Been meaning to post about this for a while: I attended a Natural Resources Commission in May at Town Hall to which I was invited to share my thoughts about lights going back up at the basketball courts near the high school. The courts were converted into a parking lot while the new school was being built and the deal was for the court and its lights to be returned after the project was done.

hunnewell basketball court july 2014While I didn’t end up speaking, plenty of others did for more than an hour in total, as Wellesley High students who were stuck there for a history class can attest. Well organized neighbors showed up to express their concerns about the lights and the seemingly non-stop activity in this not-long-ago “rural” area, which some compared now to busy parts of Cambridge and Newton. Lighted court supporters from Wellesley Youth Basketball shared their perspectives, too.

Hunewell basketball court scoreboardThe bright lights at the Hunnewell tennis courts and playing fields can be seen far and wide, often even when no one is using the facilities at night. This naturally bothers neighbors whose yards are polluted with light. Fortunately, newer light set-ups like at Reidy Field contain the brightness to the field and its immediate surroundings, and it’s newer and greener lights like this that are being targeted for the refurbished basketball courts (possibly along with light timers that users can operate), according to the Recreation Commission.

basketball court lightsThe highlight of the meeting for me came towards the end after one neighbor raised a concern that allowing lights back at the basketball courts might open the door for even more lights in the area, say permanent lights at the football field/track. That opened the door for the NRC’s Stephen Murphy (second from left above) to channel his best Ralph Waldo Emerson in response, no doubt shocking the students in attendance that they would ever hear Emerson quoted in real life. Murphy read a famous excerpt from Self-Reliance, including: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds…”

Murphy then added his own twist: “There are no little minds or foolish minds on the board.” In other words, just because lights are going up on the basketball courts soon doesn’t mean the board will allow them everywhere else.

Note: Ralph Waldo Emerson died in 1882. Basketball was invented in 1891.

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Annual Composers Conference coming to Wellesley

Composers ConferenceThe annual Composers Conference and Chamber Music Workshops come to Wellesley College July 20-August 3.

So, a bunch of talented composers and musicians will be in town, and the good news for the public is that they’ll be performing free shows over the next couple of weeks at 8pm in Jewett Auditorium. Here’s the schedule.

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Solar sightings in Wellesley

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I happened across a house at 11 Stanford Rd., in Wellesley Wednesday that appeared to have solar panels on its roof, and sure enough, I found out later in the day that it’s the latest supermodel that will be posing for you if you want to check out an open house-gone-solar on Aug. 2 from 10am-noon.

Another house, at 9 Crown Ridge Rd., is also going solar and will have its moment in the sun at an open house on Aug. 9 from 10am-noon.

The town’s sustainability movers and shakers have been pushing solar hard of late. Wellesley Dental Group is flashing its panels on Friday, July 18 from 10-11am.

MORE: Sustainable Wellesley

 

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Wellesley barefoot soccer event back to 24 hours

The 5th annual barefoot soccer event in Wellesley, which last year was cut to 18 hours, will return to its usual 24-hour format this year at Hunnewell Field on Washington Street.

wellesley barefoot soccerThe Aug. 16-17 event, backed by Wellesley United Soccer Club and co-sponsored by an outfit that will double every dollar raised, will support awareness and prevention of AIDS in Africa.

Register here – the first 300 to sign up get a T-shirt.

 

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Wild Wellesley Wednesday weather

Thanks to Wellesley resident Bill Shribman, who knows a thing or two about photography, for sending this video starring some spooky weather and his dog Nellie over at Kelly Fields near Bates Elementary School. Shribman wrote: “I think it felt more dramatic in person but you can really see the wind pick up and swirl upwards. Dogs can hear a storm coming but they still like tennis balls. Note Nellie’s signature diving recovery on the second delivery.”

Dog & Twister from WGBH Kids on Vimeo.

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Dunkin’ Donuts prices rise — not just in Wellesley though

Dunkin’ Donuts has raised prices a bit, as this sign from its Linden Street store in Wellesley informs patrons. And lest you think this is just another example of the Wellesley tax, it’s not. It’s a broader issue for Dunkin’, Starbucks, McDonald’s and other coffee retailers, which are feeling the effects of a coffee bean squeeze caused by a drought in Brazil.Dunkin Donuts sign, july 2014

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  • Upcoming Wellesley Fundraisers

    Upcoming Wellesley Fundraisers