Nothing ever happens in Wellesley. Except it does.
We’ve enjoyed another full year of sharing your stories, breaking news and watching it go viral, and weaving in our personal adventures.
With the Swellesley Jrs. aging out of the Wellesley Public School system, Mrs. Swellesley turned her attention to The Swellesley Report as her full-time job. Our goal for 2020, our 16th year publishing, is to have Mr. Swellesley do the same.
Thank you to everyone who sent news tips and financial contributions to Swellesley in what has by far been our top year for readership and reader support. And huge thanks to all of our advertisers, who help to make Swellesley possible from a financial standpoint.
Swellesley highlights this year included:
- The silly but sensational tale of people swiping the Old Town Road signs in Wellesley, and the town deciding to stop replacing them until singer Lil Nas X fever dies down. Yes, this went viral, with everyone from CNN to the New York Times picking it up from here.
- Answering your questions about stinky streets, harder-to-use mailboxes, EEE mosquito spraying, measles, an abandoned $6.5M home, political signs, and Truly Yogurt’s change in ownership.
- The opening of the Boston Sports Institute, which generated one of the year’s feel-good stories–the introduction of sled hockey to town. Plus lots of new or refurbished sports fields in town, big upgrades on the way for the softball fields, and a brand new boardwalk with a vernal pool view.
- The ongoing school building plans, town hall renovations, possible Wellesley Square re-imagining, possible changes at Morses Pond, and all those housing developments. Plus the comings and goings of Wellesley town officials, including Wellesley Public Schools’ hiring of its first diversity director. Not to mention, Wellesley now has a Unified Plan.
- The Wellesley Veterans’ Parade, fireworks and other Wellesley’s Wonderful Weekend activities.
- Celebrating residents’ accomplishments in academics, the arts, business and sports. We tracked police and firefighter activity (including a fire at Hunnewell Elementary School). We helped to get the word out about community events and charitable endeavors. We mourned the loss of residents we loved or knew of and respected.
- The ins and outs for local businesses, with White’s Bakery, Loyal Companion and The Shade Store among newcomers, and Upper Crust, Village Market and Florijn among those leaving.
- More automation coming to town, including at Roche Bros. in the form of self-checkout lanes, and at Wellesley Free Library in the form of an automated book handling system. Town Meeting members even voted electronically the last time around. Based on what we saw at the excellent, every-other-year STEM Expo, more automation is on the way.
- Entertainment news, from a Wellesley resident being chosen to appear on “The Bachelor “TV show and to the release of “Knives Out,” a movie shot in part in Wellesley in 2108. And watch out Elton John.
- Babson College scoring a $50M donation, and moving its giant renovated globe to a new park as part of the school’s centennial celebration. Anita Hill spoke at Wellesley College.
- Bowing down to 2019 WHS seniors for pulling off a brilliant year-end prank designed to grab attention but not land anyone in jail or off a college’s acceptance list.
- We enjoyed the general weirdness and wonderfulness around here, from a reed pump organ being left at the Wellesley dump to the Thanksgiving Day football game skirmish that grabbed more attention than the Raiders’ strong season to a unique buck carving from a diseased tree on a residential lot.
On a more personal note:
- Mr. and Mrs. Swellesley followed their true calling as supermodels for a Wellesley Free Library photo exhibit.
- Mr. Swellesley and one of the Swellesley Jrs. educated and entertained throngs of students with their yo-yo spectacular at Wellesley High Seminar Day.
- Things got tense after Mr. Swellesley mistakenly brought library books to the dump.
- Mrs. Swellesley spoke or held court at locations including the Council on Aging.
- We were fortunate to have intern Lara Smith contributing throughout the summer.
- Mr. Swellesley showed his artistic side with an exclusive Pollen Art Exhibit.
- Mr. and Mrs. Swellesley melded minds with fellow independent online news publishers at a conference in Nashville, where the Grand Ole Opry gave us a shout-out.
- Mr. Swellesley survived a flying shovel.
- Mrs. Swellesley listened to her inner Marie Kondo, and our kitchen will never be the same (for a few months).
- Beyond Wellesley, we took you to Boston Calling, the Woods Hole Film Festival, and more.
We finished the year by ringing the Salvation Army bells in Linden Square to help raise funds for local initiatives. We saw dozens of people we knew during our shift, and thanked many we didn’t know, but they all reminded us of the magical stuff we have here.