Dave Atkins — October 20, 2013 - 11:36am
What are these strange new lines I am seeing on the newly-paved portion of Gay Street?
They're "sharrows," a type of shared lane marking (based on the words "share" and "arrow") intended to encourage bikes and cars to share the road. They ARE NOT speed bumps or warnings that drivers should attempt to avoid. But what's missing from this picture? Answer: the bike symbol! Apparantly the bike symbol is a $400 thermoplastic decal. The Ped Bike Committee is asking the DPW to consider stenciling the bikes to avoid confusion and also to post "share the road" signs.
I had a chance to ride up and down Gay Street today as I inquired about reappointment to the committee. Of course I also had an excuse to make use of the bike rack that has been in front of Town Hall for about 4 years now since the first MAPC grant-funded racks were installed in Westwood. Now, they are everywhere...the old dishrack style racks next to Thurston Middle School are gone and the newer green racks are multiplying at locations all over town.
Dave Atkins — October 20, 2013 - 5:45pm
It was a beautiful day to launch some rockets with the Cub Scouts!
Dave Atkins — October 19, 2013 - 7:15pm
A great day for soccer at Deerfield behind the new Library.
Dave Atkins — October 18, 2013 - 10:59am
A Level 3 sex offender has moved to Westwood. According to Westwood Police and the state sex offender registry board, Ralph A. Carlevale lives on Porter Street.
According to the state, Level 3 offenders have been determined to be at a high risk to reoffend and to pose a high degree of dangerousness to the public.
Based on a search of the online registry, Mr. Carlevale is the only registered Level 3 sex offender currently residing in Westwood.
The information in this post was verified with the registry at the link above and based on a flyer from the Westwood Police department. Personally, I have some reservations about these registries and the potential for a person to be unfairly treated based on preconceived ideas about what "sex offender" means. However, in this case, we are not talking about some guy who got arrested for some misunderstanding or prank. He was convicted twice: of rape and abuse of a child in 1971, and then forcible rape of a child in 1977.
Information contained in the Sex Offender Registry shall not be used to commit a crime against an offender or to engage in illegal discrimination or harassment of an offender. Any person who improperly uses Sex Offender Registry information shall be punished by not more than two and one-half years in the house of correction or by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by both such fine and imprisonment.
Dave Atkins — October 13, 2013 - 4:50pm
One of the things we find incredibly useful is the Hanlon Parent Directory. This small booklet--available when you pay your PTO dues--lists all the kids in each classroom with parent names and phone numbers. This year, John Cummings worked hard to pull it together in time for Curriculum Night.
What is so useful is that parents can see what they have in common. We can look down the list of addresses and see when our kids friends live nearby and if they have siblings in other grades. And for those of us who are not amazing extroverts and social connectors...it really helps remember people's names!
Dave Atkins — October 13, 2013 - 11:34am
The right column of WestwoodBlog has included a "newsfeed aggregator" since its inception, but I think this is one item I'll remove. I set up an automated script to pull in newsfeeds from all the local media I could find, filter for mention of "Westwood" and then display the links. That's why you see links to Patch and Westwood Press. There used to be links to Wicked Local and the Hometown Weekly but the feeds did not always work. YourTown--from Boston.com--had a Westwood section too and loaded feeds from this blog. And now there is another site, CommonPlace, that seems to provide a lot of the value this blog provided.
But I'm still not seeing much news that I care about. As these "hyperlocal" sites discovered, it is very hard to fill the pages every day with something new, and sooner or later, we end up with articles about other towns or data-based stories that just don't make sense (Do you wonder what part of Walpole has more Gen-X moms?). I think I'll replace the newsfeed with a box summarizing links to these other sites.
What I think matters here is more specific stuff...maybe a video of the upcoming Cub Scout rocket launch. And I would like to provide some updates about things like the Pedestrian and Bike Committee...little details like how and why the fog lines (white lines) on Gay Street between Thatcher and High Street were repainted to be exactly 11 feet from the center instead of the 11 1/2-12+ feet they are in other sections. I hear there is a video of a truck being disassembled by the East Street Bridge; if I can find that, I will post it here.
Dave Atkins — October 12, 2013 - 10:53pm
I had a little time tonight to take a look at the blog and play around with some things, but now it is kind of a visual mess. I think there's value in getting this started again, so bear with the appearance for awhile!
If you know anyone looking to move to Westwood who would like to rent a house...please encourage them to rent our house–it's been rented already! We expected to rent here for a year or more while we searched for a house and settled back into the community. Things have moved a lot faster than we planned, and we expect to be moving into our permanent home on Parker Street by Thanksgiving! So we kind of need to find someone to lease this house we signed a one-year lease for...
It's a great location here behind the School Street playground, on a dead-end street and only a 10-minute walk to the commuter rail.
Dave Atkins — September 23, 2013 - 8:21pm
On Saturday, October 5, hundreds of Westwood residents will race from the High School, down Clapboardtree, and up through the Maze to celebrate the start of Saturday's festivities on Westwood Day 2013. There is still time to pre-register and get one of the 200 t-shirts available to those who sign up early. All runners will recieve a Westwood Day admission pin.
Friday Night Football, Fireworks, Race Pick Up/Registration
The official kickoff for Westwood Day is Friday night, when Westwood High School faces rival Holliston for the football game at 7pm. Race bibs and t-shirts can be picked up from 6-7:30pm. This is a great opportunity to sign up for the race and avoid the last-minute rush on Saturday morning. After the game, fireworks will light up the skies over Flahive field.
Sheehan to Defend Trophy
The FREE 1-mile fun run begins at 10am and features a competition between Westwood Elementary Schools for the greatest participation. Last year’s winner, Sheehan Elementary, will attempt to retain the trophy which remains with the winning school until next year’s Westwood Day. The school with the greatest percentage of students participating in the race wins.
Dave Atkins — September 17, 2013 - 6:13am
As we get to know our new neighborhood, I am reminded every day of why we came back to Westwood. It's a friendly, welcoming town of families who have many of the same concerns and hopes for their kids. It's a place where you can send your kids to the playground to find their friends.
I introduced myself to one neighbor and she said, "Oh, you did the blog! I read that when I lived in Dorchester before moving to Westwood."
There is a lot of old, dated content here and I will be removing it or maybe starting over. Westwood Station is now University Station and it seems like things will eventually move forward and the dirt piles will give way to something people in the town can welcome. I can buy a six pack of premium beer at Roche Bros. and enjoy being carded every time.
Our running club continues to grow--in a bit of foreshadowing, I was quoted in this Globe article a while back about why I continued to come back to Westwood on Saturdays to run with the group. I'll post something separately about the upcoming Westwood Day 5K.
WestCAT is doing great stuff...the steady efforts of a committed board have succeeded in setting up local television with great plans for the future.
So I think I can find plenty of thigns to write about. Stay tuned for more...
Dave Atkins — August 27, 2013 - 12:59pm
My family and I have moved back to Westwood! We missed Westwood and are glad to rejoin such a great community. I turned this web site back on with all the content still here, but expect to remove and repurpose it in the coming