Newton News: Newton Developing into Russian Enclave, and Special Education Trend in MA

Newton MA seal

Some interesting links on Newton:

Mass. suburb develops into a Russian enclave. The Mass. suburb that the article refers to is Newton!

Russian immigrants have become part of the character of the Boston suburb of Newton. More than 9% of people in the town report Russian ancestry, according to the U.S. Census, and residents say it is common to hear Russian spoken there. Newton’s Russian community also has set up schools and community centers to preserve its language and culture.


Report finds more low-income students in Mass. special education. Newton is not a low-income school district but special education is expensive so this is an interesting twist.

Students from low-income school districts in Massachusetts are about twice as likely to be placed in special education than those in more affluent districts in the state, a new report shows. The study’s findings are counter to the belief by some that more affluent families are driving a push for more accommodations and services for students. The study recommends districts work to prevent the over-identification of students for special education and strive to educate more students with disabilities in inclusive settings.

  • Seventeen percent of Massachusetts students are in special education programs — the second-highest rate in the nation.
  • …  many kids are identified as special needs students because they don’t get the help they need early on.



Go the F**K To Sleep. Seriously, Just Go To Sleep! New G Version.

Do you remember an old episode of Sex and the City where Carrie Bradshaw, desperate to meet Big’s ex-wife, meets with her to plug a book concept? Unfortunately, during her meeting, she discovers that Big’s ex-wife is a children’s book publisher. So she quickly makes up a story about a girl with magic cigarettes that can take her anywhere she wants to go. And the ex-wife says, “A picture book for ADULTS?! I LOVE it!”
Barbara, Mr. Big’s Ex-Wife: I didn’t know you were into children’s books.
Carrie: Well, who doesn’t love children’s books?
Carrie: [in her head] Five minutes of bodice-ripping material out the window. So, I did what any writer would do… I pulled an idea out of my ass.
Carrie: Well, my story’s about a little girl… named Cathy. Little Cathy.
Barbara, Mr. Big’s Ex-Wife: And what makes Little Cathy special?
Carrie: Well, um, she has these magic…
[looks at cigarettes in her purse]
Carrie: …cigarettes.
Barbara, Mr. Big’s Ex-Wife: She has magic cigarettes?
Carrie: Yes, “Little Cathy and Her Magic Cigarettes”. And whenever she lights up, she can go anywhere in the whole wide world. Like Arabia or New Jersey! Of course that’s going to be worked out.
Barbara, Mr. Big’s Ex-Wife: You want to write a children’s book about smoking?
Carrie: Yes, it’s a children’s book for adults.
Go the F**K to Sleep turns out to this imagined picture book for adults by Newton’s own Adam Mansbach and illustrated by Richardo Cortés. Sleep deprived adults with young children, that is. The language was … suggestive, to say the least.
Now there’s a clean version. A “G” rated version that you can actually read aloud to your kids…
The #1 Bestseller Go the F**k to Sleep
Now Available as Enhanced “G” Rated, Kid-Friendly Ebook—
Adam Mansbach and Ricardo Cortés reunite with Seriously, Just Go to Sleep, inviting the children themselves in on the joke. As parents know, kids are well aware of how difficult they can be at bedtime. With Cortés’s updated illustrations (including a cameo appearance by Samuel L. Jackson, who narrated the audio book version of Go the F*** to Sleep) and Mansbach’s new child-appropriate narrative, the book allows kids to recognize their tactics, giggle at their own mischievousness, and empathize with their parents’ struggles — a perspective most children’s books don’t capture. Most importantly, it provides a common ground for children and their parents to talk about one of the most stressful aspects of parenting.
Seriously, Just Go To Sleep, a more child-friendly version of the international bestseller and worldwide phenomenon Go the F**k to Sleep, is now available as an ebook from Akashic Books and Open Road Integrated Media.
Kindle version
To view any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

You Won’t Be Able To Guess Where This is From AND GIVEAWAY!

McDonald's bakery

Where do you think these tasty treats came from? Starbucks? A bakery cafe? Like these places, these scones, cheese danish, banana bread and muffins are made without any preservatives.

McDonald's Bakery,

Would you believe me if I said that …

They are delicious!

They are from McDonald’s!

As in Mickey D’s.

YES, YES, YES, the place with yellow arches.


But only in New England. And all day, not just for breakfast.


And the kicker? DRIVE THROUGH!


Try for yourself. I am giving away 4 coupons to try any pastry free. Just leave a comment to win.


Sharon Schindler’s Photography at Temple Reyim

Israel Photography Exhibit

by Sharon Schindler

Photography by Sharon Schindler beginning April 20th

Temple Reyim – 1860 Washington Street, Newton

Newton is one of those places that is filled with talented artists and writers – we’re lucky like that.  The very talented photographer and Newton resident Sharon Schindler has a new temporary exhibit and new permanent installation of gorgeous photos from her recent trip to Israel at Temple Reyim in Newton. Accompanying Consul General Shai Bazak‘s visit to Temple Reyim (Saturday April 21st at 9:30 am) local photographer, Sharon Schindler, will be displaying a collection of her photographs from a recent expedition to Israel in the Temple Reyim lobby. Her photographs capture the vibrant architectural details and the natural beauty of Israel. Sites include Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea, Safed and Caesarea.

To view more of Sharon’s work:




The artist also has created a permanent installation of three stunning photographs (donated by the artist and her family to Temple Reyim).


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BSO: New Sheriff in Town for Youth & Family Concerts, Family Concert April 21

Posted by on Monday, April 16, 2012 · Leave a Comment 

Boston Symphony Orchestra’s New Sheriff

What do you get if you cross Bill Cosby with Pastor Archibold Epps and teach them to conduct a first rate orchestra? Why, Thomas Wilkins, the new permanent Boston Symphony Orchestra Youth Concert Conductor.

Technically, he’s the Germeshausen Youth and Family Concerts Conductor. He makes classical music fun and accessible to kids and families while also relating the program to big ideas like perseverance, dreams and goals. And, all the while, he’s scampering up and down the aisles making everyone laugh. He’s truly a charismatic and entertaining performer!

The next Family Concert is “Notes in Bloom” is on April 21 at Noon. This is the final concert of the season.  Go here to purchase tickets.

Thomas Wilkins, BSO, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Youth and Family Conductor

Thomas Wilkins, Music Director

Thomas Wilkins is the music director of the Omaha Symphony, a position he has held since 2005. Additionally, he is principal guest conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and was recently appointed the youth and family concerts conductor for the Boston Symphony Orchestra.Past positions have included resident conductor of the Detroit Symphony, as well as the Florida Orchestra (Tampa Bay), and associate conductor of the Richmond Symphony (Virginia). He served on the music faculties of North Park University (Chicago), the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

Committed to promoting a life-long enthusiasm for music, Thomas brings energy and commitment to audiences of all ages. For his significant contribution to the children of Tampa Bay, the Pinellas County Music Educators Association named him 1998 Friend of the Arts and the Hillsborough County Elementary Music Educators recognized him as 1998 Music Educator of the Year.

During his conducting career, Thomas has been featured with orchestras throughout the United States, including the Dallas Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Houston Symphony and the National Symphony in Washington, D.C. He is also a frequent guest conductor of the Baltimore Symphony, the New Jersey Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Recently he debuted with the Utah Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Rochester (NY) and Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestras.

Thomas serves as a director at large for the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, and has served on the board of directors of such organizations as the Center Against Spouse Abuse in Tampa Bay, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Academy Preparatory Center for Education, both in St. Petersburg. Currently, he serves as chairman of the board for the Raymond James Charitable Endowment Fund.

A native of Norfolk, Va., Thomas earned his bachelor of music education degree from the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music in 1978. In 1982, he was awarded the master of music degree in orchestral conducting from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Thomas and his wife, Sheri-Lee, reside in Omaha with their twin daughters, Erica and Nicole.


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Boston Celtic Center Greg Steimsma Fundraiser for Young Audiences of MA!

Posted by on Friday, April 13, 2012 · Leave a Comment 

Please save Wednesday, April 25th, 7-9pm for what promises to be a memorable evening benefitting Young Audiences of MA!

Held at one of the hottest restaurants today, Lydia Shire and Jasper White’s Towne Stove and Spirits (named one of America’s Best New Restaurants of 2011 by Esquire Magazine), this social fundraising event is hosted by Boston Celtic Center Greg Steimsma, who will also perform as celebrity bartender for the evening.

Greg Stiemsma, Boston Celtics Centerimage CBS Boston

Sip, snack and shake it up with one of Boston’s newest favorite athletes in Towne’s luxurious Back Bay Room. Sports aficionados, philanthropists, socialites – and everyone in between – will be treated to complimentary wine and beer selections; hors d’oeuvres prepared by Culinary Director Lydia Shire; and many one-of-a-kind auction items and prizes.

Mr. Stiemsma’s dedication to community causes is one that has graciously traveled with him from Wisconsin to Boston, and we are proud to partner with him and Towne for this unforgettable night-with-a-cause.

Tickets are only $50, and are available at:

Buy them today, as they are selling quickly, and attendance is limited. Tickets will not be available at the door.

All proceeds from this event support Young Audiences of Massachusetts and its mission of initiating a life-long involvement in the arts by making the

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Missing BC Student, Franco Garcia’s Body Found in Reservoir, No Sign of Foul Play

Posted by on Thursday, April 12, 2012 · Leave a Comment 

Franco Garcia, missing Boston College student,

Yesterday, Franco Garcia’s body was found yesterday in the Chestnut Hill reservoir near Boston College and the bar where Franco was last seen.

The 21-year-old, who was studying chemistry and played clarinet in the symphony band, disappeared Feb. 22 after leaving a bar in Boston popular with college students. from CBS News

Garcia, 21, was last seen on Feb. 22 at approximately 12:15 a.m., inside Mary Ann’s bar on Beacon Street in Brighton, Mass. from Huffington Post

The reservoir is between the neighborhood the bar is in and the Boston College campus, where García planned to stay in a friend’s dorm the night he went missing. from Fox news

Maryann’s by Cleveland Circle. The Chestnut Hill Reservoir is to the left (see blue area).

Franco Garcia Update: Body of missing Boston College student found in reservoir, family says CBS News

View Larger Map

According to a message from my middle school principal where Garcia’s younger brother attends 6th grade with my daughter, there was no foul play suspected. Divers searched the reservoir for a week  when Franco first went missing on February 22nd but unsuccessfully.

 Body Believed to be that of BC Student

Boston College Student Found in Reservoir Fox News




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April Vacation Week Activities at Acton Discovery Museums!

Posted by on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 · Leave a Comment 

Acton Discovery Museum

Calendar of Events April 12 – 22

Discovery Museums Acton

Mixing in Math, April 12 & 17

Celebrate National Robotics Week with Robots and Brain Bots, Inc.!

April 12

Good Vibrations: Musical Instrument Exploration with Olin College, April 14

Write Your Own iPhone/iPad App! April 15

Spring Tree Walk, April 17

SMART Gals: Lost in Lexicon: An Adventure in Words and Numbers,

April 18

Suncatchers, April 19

Engineers’ Exchange with the Acton-Boxborough Robotics Team, April 19

Capillary-Action Butterflies, April 20

Music and Movement with Miss Carolyn, April 21

Tree Rubbings, April 22


Patriot’s Day/Public School Vacation Week

Both Museums OPEN 9 AM – 4:30 PM Monday, April 16 – Friday, April 20


All programs are free with admission except when noted otherwise.


Thursday, April 12

Mixing in Math: Pictures on a Page

10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Museum

Practice your counting skills as we read Eric Carle’s The Hungry Caterpillar and then create a collage using pictures of the objects you counted in the story. © 2008 TERC.

Thursday’s Tales

11 a.m. Children’s Discovery Museum

Join us for our weekly story time. We’ll bring the books; you bring your imagination!

Celebrate National Robotics Week with Robots and Brain Bots, Inc.!

Drop-in 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Science Discovery Museum
Meet Robots and Brain Bots Inc., the high school robotics team from Gann Academy in Waltham, winners of the 2011 FIRST Tech Challenge World Championship Inspire Award. The team will demonstrate their robot that flips crates, loads racquetballs, and lifts the crates in the air using a scissor lift. The Inspire Award is the most prestigious award given to a team that competes well on the field, has an innovative robot design, documents well in the engineering notebook, and does extensive community outreach.


Friday, April 13

FETCH!™ Rescue Mission

10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Museum

Listen to Eric Carle’s 10 Little Rubber Ducks and then design a hook to rescue the rubber ducks that have gone adrift. A preschool-level adaptation of this popular FETCH!™ activity. Sponsored by Middlesex Savings Bank, with additional support from Red Hat, Inc. © 2011 WGBH Educational Foundation.

FETCH!™ What’s the Buzz?

Drop-in 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Science Discovery Museum

What’s the Buzz? Make your own kazoo and try it out in our SoundLab exhibit! Sponsored by Middlesex Savings Bank, with additional support from Red Hat, Inc. © 2011 WGBH Educational Foundation.


Saturday, April 14

Build It!

All Day Children’s Discovery Museum

LEGO building for toddlers! Bring your imagination to build, stack, and sort using our enormous collection of DUPLOS. Construct your own architectural wonder or work together to build a museum-community sculpture.

Good Vibrations: Musical Instrument Exploration with Olin College 

Drop-in 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Science Discovery Museum

Experiment with vibration, waves, and frequencies to learn how musical instruments generate an amazing range of sounds. The dynamic Olin College Engineering Discovery Team will lead this energetic music workshop!


Sunday, April 15

Face Painting

10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Museum

Use your face or hand as a canvas for a colorful spring-inspired painting.

Write Your Own iPhone/iPad App!

Pre-registration workshop: 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Science Discovery Museum

Would you or your child like to learn how to write a cool game or application for the iPhone or iPad? Learn the basics of iOS programming from a local 12-year-old who taught himself and has a published app in the App Store used by thousands of students, teachers and educators around the world!  This workshop will provide a good overview of iOS programming and will walk you through the steps involved in writing and publishing a simple app.  Ages 10+.


Fee: $5 per person, a maximum of 2 children must be accompanied by an adult (this is not a drop-off program). Pre-registration and payment required by April 12th; please register and pay online at Registration will close automatically once maximum capacity is reached; please email if you are interested to be placed on a waitlist for a second class at 3pm on the same date.


Monday, April 16

Dinosaur Discoveries

10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Museum

Join the paleontology dig in our giant outdoor sandbox filled with sand, tools, and dinosaurs.


Tuesday, April 17

Mixing in Math: Treasure Hunt

10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Museum

Practice you’re directional skills as you use movement shapes to guide your family to the location of the buried treasure: our giant sandbox filled with gold coins. © 2008 TERC.

Spring Tree Walk

1 p.m. Science Discovery Museum

Spring brings buds and new leaves to all plants including trees. Find out about these massive plants on a walk around the grounds with beloved science teacher Frank Meehan. See the variation in bud shapes, sizes, and colors, and learn how to identify trees in your own backyard. Rain or shine; dress appropriately. Note: the walk is not handicap accessible.


Wednesday, April 18

Messy Masterpiece: Nature’s Paintbrush

10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Museum

Use a flower as a paintbrush to create a unique work of art.

SMART Gals: Lost in Lexicon: An Adventure in Words and Numbers

Pre-registration class

1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Science Discovery Museum

In this Lexicon Villages event, children and parents work together through a series of interactive stations representing math and language concepts from this award-winning book that combines learning and adventure.  Feed synonyms to a thesaurus, create sentences out of flower petals, discover pi, measure the museum in paces, make up your own words using Greek and Latin roots, try your hand at puzzling Tangrams, do a maze in a mirror, and more!

Meet the book’s author and get a sneak peak of the second book in the series, The Ice Castle, coming to stores August 2012, and leave with an autographed copy of Lost in Lexicon and a packet of even more activities to try at home. The SMART (Science-Math-Art) Gals Series is sponsored by The Ramsey McCluskey Family Foundation.

Instructor: Penny Noyce

Ages:   8 to 12

Fee:    $10 for members; $12 for non-members

Pre-registration required by April 16; please register and pay online at


Thursday, April 19


10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Museum

Collect an assortment of natural materials from the Museum grounds to create a dazzling collage to hang in a window at your home.

FETCH!™ Rescue Mission

Drop-in 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Science Discovery Museum

Can you meet Ruff Ruffman’s challenge? Design hooks that can grab different capsules out of the water. Sponsored by Middlesex Savings Bank, with additional support from Red Hat, Inc. © 2011 WGBH Educational Foundation.

Engineers’ Exchange with the Acton-Boxborough Robotics Team

Drop-in 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Science Discovery Museum
Meet a FIRST Tech Challenge robot and its designers from the Acton-Boxborough Robotics Team. Watch the robot maneuver, learn about the design process and competition, and participate in an engineering activity.


Friday, April 20

Capillary-Action Butterflies

10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Museum

Beautiful butterflies made by you! Decorate your butterfly’s wings, add water, and watch as the water mixes the colors (using capillary action) creating your own specially designed butterfly.


Saturday, April 21

Music and Movement with Miss Carolyn

1 p.m. Children’s Discovery Museum

Explore sound through singing and playing. Move, make music, listen, learn, and get a multi-sensory workout! Music improves your child’s memory, cognitive development, learning skills, and ability to express emotion. Plus, it’s fun! Miss Carolyn is a professional musician, serves as a faculty member at Indian Hill Music School, and has been a licensed Kindermusik Educator for 5+ years.


Sunday, April 22

Tree Rubbings

10 a.m. Children’s Discovery Museum

Explore the variety of trees in a section of woods adjacent to the Museum perfectly sized for young children. Use your fingers to feel the different textures of tree bark and create rubbings to capture the differences on paper.

FETCH!™ Toy Chemistry

Drop-in 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Science Discovery Museum

Stretchy and slimy toys are the best says Ruff Ruffman! See and feel everyday materials change as you combine them to create polymers! Sponsored by Middlesex Savings Bank, with additional support from Red Hat, Inc. © 2011 WGBH Educational Foundation.


About The Discovery Museums

The Discovery Museums are the children’s and science museums of Metrowest Boston, paired on a single campus in Acton, MA.  The Museums—the Science Discovery Museum and the Children’s Discovery Museum—serve families and schools from towns throughout the region, with a commitment to informal education that enhances classroom learning.  The hands-on, playful exhibits, developed by professional educators, inspire curiosity, exploration, experimentation and imagination.  The Discovery Museums combine manageable scale, convenient location and free parking to provide a fun and engaging experience where children and adults can discover their world together.

Hours and Admission

The Discovery Museums are located at 177 Main Street Acton, MA 01720. Tel 978-264-4200. All programs are free with admission: $11.00 adults & children, $10.00 seniors 60+, free for children under 1 and Members. Teachers are always free.

School Year hours

Children’s Discovery Museum: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tues – Sun

Science Discovery Museum: 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tues – Fri, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sat & Sun

Both Museums closed on Mondays.


For more information, please visit


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Book and Author Luncheon with Dennis Lehane and Mitchell Zuckoff

Posted by on Monday, April 9, 2012 · Leave a Comment 

Newton Library Book and Author, Mitchell Zuckoff, Dennis Lehane

The Friends of the Newton Free Library is hosting a book and author luncheon benefit event.

When: Friday, May 11, 2012 with a cash bar (wine) 11:00 am. Luncheon 12:00 pm. Speakers and Book Signing will follow the luncheon.

Where: Ballroom, Newton Marriott Hotel, 2345 Commonwealth Avenue at Route 128, Newton, MA

Dennis LehareDennis Lehare   Mitchell Zuckoff Mitchell Zuckoff

Who: Featured Speakers are Dennis Lehane, author of Moonlight Mile and The Given Day and Mitchell Zuckoff, author of Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II

Checks for $40 per person should be payable to

Friends of the Newton Free Library

Please mail your check(s) with the enclosed reservation form and a Self-Addressed, Stamped Envelope to

Book and Author Luncheon

PO Box 600533

Newtonville, MA 02460

Tickets and table assignments will be mailed 7 days before the event. Seating is limited; early reservations are recommended. Reservations received after May 4 will be held at the door. No tables or seats will be held without payment.

For more information, please email or call 617-213-0428.

To view any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

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L’Aroma Cafe is Now Serving Brunch!

Posted by on Friday, April 6, 2012 · 5 Comments 

L'Aroma Cafe Yoga Vinyasa Unheated Slow Flow Best Yoga Newton Boston Metro West Hola Yoga Bea Abascal Yoga for Curvy Women Curvy Yoga

Brunch is now served every Sundays from 9 am to 2 pm at L’Aroma Cafe and Bakery located in Newton at 15 Spencer Street, behind the West Newton Cinema.

Spinach Florentine Bake, $9

3 Buttermilk Pancakes with berry compote and creme fraiche, $7

Greek yogurt with Granola, Honey and Berries, $7

Farmer’s Omelet, American style omelet with beef bacon, mushrooms, peas and red potatoes, $12

BLTE on sourdough with mayo, beef bacon, lettuce and tomato, $9

Egg & Cheddar Sandwich on sourdough, $7

Buttery Brioche Grilled Cheese with tangy tomato bisque, $10

2 Delicate Crepes, choose up to 2 of the following toppings: strawberries, bananas, powdered sugar, chocolate, nutella, $9

Homemade Oatmeal with Berries and Cream, $6

Savory Miso Oatmeal with a poached egg and scallions, $6

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