Our roundup of the latest Wellesley, Mass., business news:
Forbes recognizes young Wellesley entrepreneur
Having virtual classes for college these days has made it easier for Shu to devote time to running Breaktime.
Here’s what he says about running the business during the pandemic: “COVID has certainly changed a lot for both our organization as a whole and for the young adults we work with. For Breaktime, we were a few weeks out from the grand opening of Breaktime Cafe (a coffee shop, community center, and transitional employer). We had to put that project on pause and quickly pivoted to creating purposeful transitional employment for young adults experiencing homelessness who work in our building and kitchen to address food insecurity (through preparing and serving/delivering meals and groceries to families around Boston). For our young adults, health and safety have definitely been a top concern. We work with all of the young adults who work at Breaktime to secure some sort of transitional housing (temporary housing that lasts a few months to a year, allowing young adults to build up stability in their lives). In many cases, these transitional housing programs have a requirement that residents have a job in order to get housing, so we can sometimes help to address this chicken-and-egg issue by coordinating the entry of young adults into transitional housing (at another program) and transitional employment (at Breaktime) simultaneously.”
Studs & Students ready for snow
A group of enterprising recent Wellesley High grads have joined forces on a landscaping business dubbed Studs & Students whose tagline is “We treat your lawn like the quad.”
The crew, all of whom have had experience doing some yard work in the past, includes Jared Diamond, PJ Genta, John Hillmer, and Henry Gould, with Teddy Guess as the honorary 5th member. They’ve pulled together gear from their families, and some of their own vehicles, to provide services.
The business got underway in April when the young men got sent home early from college due to the pandemic. They had a busy summer, with lots of mulching jobs. Most of them were back on campus during the fall, but they’re now back and ready to help with your snow removal needs over the next couple of months before heading back to school late next month.
“For the winter, we use shovels and a team of three to clear driveways and walkways, and find it very effective,” the team says.
How Wellesley’s internet speed stacks up
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) has published an interactive map of median internet speeds across the state, and guess which side of the Digital Divide Wellesley is on?
With a median speed of 141.08 megabits per second (Boston’s median speed is less than half that), Wellesley is easily among the state’s Haves when it comes to internet speed. Whether that’s enough if you’re in a household jammed with remote school and work devices…we can’t say. Though we can say that Weston actually blows Wellesley and pretty much everyone else away with a median download speed of 234Mbps
Sadly, The Swellesley Report’s download speed for our Verizon service is a measly 83 Mpbs, according to the speed test we took—and yet we still manage to pump out this stellar publication! We keep threatening to move to a higher tier, but the price…
MAPC dug into its data to show where the Digital Divide might be surfacing in the state, where speeds fall below the 50-100 Mbps most common across the state.
MLP touts hydropower deal
Wellesley Municipal Light Plant recently banded together with about two dozen fellow public power utilities in New England to make a large hydropower purchase that it says will cut customers’ bills and greenhouse gas emissions.
The deal begins in January and is for 10 years. MLP Director Don Newell says: “The terms of this deal are close to market power and is very competitive for non-carbon emitting energy. This is a lower price than other non-emitting sources, so it will help keep the WMLP customers at a lower rate, while getting us closer to our non-emitting goals.”
The deal was brokered through an organization called Energy New England with hydro
generator FirstLight Power.
The MLP says its participation in the contract will mean that close to 5% of its
energy portfolio will be supplied by this green resource. The WMLP figures to boast a 57% non-greenhouse gas
emitting portfolio by 2023.
Separately, Sustainability Wellesley was recently celebrating the MLP’s decision not to invest in a biomass contract related to a facility in Palmer, Mass. “In addition to controversy surround biomass as a renewable, there were concerns regarding social justice. The MLP Board opted to pass on this project,” Newell says.