Bollywood Cafe







A Taste of the Orient
Experience Indian cuisine at its most sensual. Our aromatic and flavorful dishes are artfully created to present you with a colorful, tasty and multi-textured dining experience. India is a mélange of many different peoples and cultures that have come together over the years and evolved into a vibrant culture that is unique. Indian cuisine draws its variety and strengths from all these different cultures and culinary influences and is characterized by its sophisticated use of spices and herbs to enhance and bring out flavor.

Owner and chef, Arvinder Singh, is a big fan of Bollywood – the world of Indian films and music. The film world of Bollywood creates an extraordinary audio-visual sensory experience that has captured the hearts of audiences everywhere. At Bollywood Café, he creates a culinary experience to capture your hearts and leave you with a taste that lingers and has you coming back for more.

Arvinder’s commitment and dedication has created a loyal customer base that extends from Bollywood’s home grounds in Lexington to beyond the Route 495 area.

“We first ate at Bollywood Café in 2001. Since then they have catered several events at our home. The food and service are always excellent” MN – Lexington Resident.

“Bollywood catered 3 company meetings for us in two years. Our people love the food and it offers a nice option.” SVP of large organization, Woburn.

  • Dine in or Take-out – seven days a week
  •  Free delivery in Lexington, Arlington and parts of Waltham, Belmont, Burlington and Woburn (min $25)
  •  We cater private parties, events and corporate meetings – call Arvinder Singh at (781) 267-5972


Share this:

CareZare – LHS Student Creates Caregiving App

Family Caregiving

There’s an app for that!








By Jane Whitehead

While most of his peers worry about college application deadlines, admissions and rejections, LHS senior Logan Wells, 17, has a different focus. He has a business to develop, following the launch in November 2017 of CareZare, an app he and family members created to streamline family caregiving, now downloadable from the App Store and Google Play.


Eric, Logan and Hallie Wells

When Logan’s grandmother, known in the family as “Nannie,” was diagnosed with dementia four years ago, the Wells family mobilized to provide the help she needed to stay safely in her own home. After taking the hard decision to remove her driver’s licence, Logan’s parents Hallie and Eric, with his aunt Lisa Wells, organized a roster of companions so that she could still go shopping and see friends, and not miss the three-mile daily walks that she loved.

The Wells family faced a challenge familiar to growing numbers of Americans. A joint study published in 2015 by the AARP Public Policy Institute and the National Alliance for Caregiving estimated that 39.8 million Americans are providing unpaid care to an adult relative, with carers spending an average of 24.4 hours a week on caregiving, often with negative effects on their own health, as well as on their professional and personal lives.

As Nannie’s condition advanced, and her need for more constant and more specialized care increased, Logan saw the dramatic impact on his mother, who with his aunt was the main care coordinator. “Her free time was gone – she was always contacting caregivers, getting updates from them, texting, making sure everyone was on the same page,” he said.

“When we first started,” said Hallie, who works full time for Lexington Public Schools, “there were pieces of paper all over Nannie’s house: the chore chart on the fridge, the calendar on the kitchen counter, the medication check-off.”

Logan saw that juggling the different record-keeping systems and dealing with multiple emails, texts and phone calls among the three professional and six family caregivers was a major source of stress. “You see the toll it takes on your parents,” he said. “It’s something that’s hard to ignore, something you want to improve.”

Not one to turn away from other people’s struggles – he’s also involved with teen suicide prevention efforts through Lexington Youth and Family Services – Logan started teaching himself programming from online tutorials so he could develop an app that would allow all the caregivers to coordinate and share information.

With help from his father, Eric, whose background is in technology, though not in programming, and input from his twin brother Devin and older sister Delaney, Logan produced a prototype app that was field-tested by his mother and aunt and tweaked according to their feedback.

Prompted by Delaney, the family developed their own terms for the different people involved in caregiving. The person receiving care is the “CareStar,” round whom everyone else revolves. The “CareCaptain” is the administrator or coordinator, “CareGivers” are family members, friends or hired care providers invited to join the “CareTeam,” that includes everyone involved, including the person being cared for.


Over two years, Logan developed the app to allow members of the CareTeam to post four different kinds of information: heads up alerts, calendar notifications, tasks, and daily journal entries. Now, when caregivers start their shift, said Hallie, “they look at the app and read the recent journal entries and heads up alerts, so if there’s anything significant, they can deal with that.”

A typical journal entry – completed by every member of the CareTeam at the end of a shift – may include observations of Nannie’s mood, activities like having coffee or browsing catalogs, any chores or tasks completed, and maybe a general assessment. “Lots of laughs, great day,” concluded one recent note.

“When we receive these journal entries at the end of the day,” said Hallie, “it’s such a beautiful snapshot – it doesn’t always go well, but all of this is data.” The journal record is a way of tracking and meeting changes in Nannie’s needs. When carers began to note that she was not getting dressed by 2:00 p.m. or that she was starting to resist taking showers, “that was a cue to change to someone skilled in dementia care,” said Hallie.

A recent heads up alert via text from the carer on duty notified the CareTeam that Nannie’s washing machine had started spurting water all over the floor, mid-cycle. Hallie could respond immediately, contact a local plumber, let the next carer know to expect his visit, and share his assessment with everyone. “In that moment we can try to problem solve and have a whole cast of characters get that information in a timely way,” she said.

Lisa Wells manages all her mother’s health care appointments – “her eye doctor, her dentist, the neurologist, primary care, lab tests, all of that,” – and she has found the app’s calendar feature invaluable. The information that used to be in her head, or on a piece of scrap paper, waiting to be transferred to the paper calendar, can now be immediately shared with the CareTeam. And when Nannie’s medications change, Lisa can post information about the new prescription once, in one place, rather than calling or emailing five different people.



















The CareZare App makes it easy to coordinate care for family members and the entire caregiving team.



Seeing how well the app performed in meeting their immediate family needs, Logan and Eric started to think bigger. “We started to think – we can build this so it’s useful to other people,” said Eric. “We felt there were opportunities to really promote team-based care at the family level,” he said, as well as focusing on the role of the CareCaptain, and giving that person maximum support.

As self-taught programmers, said Eric, both he and Logan recognized their limitations, and they engaged another father and son team, Bruce and Bradley Stuart, of Arizona-based Software Studio, as technology partners. They worked closely together to ensure the app’s functionality and security and the ability to scale it as more people start to use it.

Logan and Eric also sought input from professionals in senior care, running test groups at Brookhaven in Lexington, with workers and residents, and meeting families facing different care-related challenges, such as those with adult children with developmental issues. “Gaining those new perspectives and applying them to the app was invaluable,” said Logan.

To drive revenue from the app, said Eric, they considered different options – advertising, a one-off download fee, or a subscription model – and Logan favored the subscription model. Currently, CareZare is available for a 30-day free trial, with a monthly fee thereafter of $9.95 for each CareStar. “We’ll try it,” said Logan, and if we find it doesn’t work, we’ll adjust accordingly.”


“There’s so much to learn in doing a start-up like this,” said Eric. “There’s the caregiving side, then there’s how to build a business, how to build the product, how to keep focus, the marketing side – it’s such great fertile ground for learning.” Although it goes against the grain in a college-fixated town like Lexington, Eric and Hallie completely support Logan’s decision to spend a year focusing on CareZare after he graduates from LHS later this year.

“It’s definitely scary” not to be heading off to college immediately like most of his peers, said Logan, but at the same time it’s exciting to build on what he’s already accomplished – taking an idea from concept to marketable product, and learning a host of skills on the way, from programming to time-management.

He’s also keen to roll out new enhancements, including simplifying the design of the user interface, enabling the calendar to display Google and Apple calendars in the app, and – prompted by the recent snap of severe weather – providing updated weather information and warnings for caregivers.

With a background in hi-tech marketing, Logan’s aunt Lisa Wells is a valuable source of development ideas. She recently installed a Blink wireless home security camera system in her mother’s house, to monitor the night hours, and is encouraging Logan to incorporate notifications from that system into the app.

For now, though, she’s hoping that more people learn about the app and benefit from it. “It has been a godsend, honestly, from the communication point of view,” she said. “Before, you could spend half your day just calling people and trying to figure things out. I think my dad is up in heaven looking down, very proud of his grandson!”


Online Resources for Family Caregivers

American Association of Retired People (AARP):

The organizations below are listed on the website of the National Alliance for Caregiving:

Eldercare Locator
The service links those who need assistance with state and local area agencies on aging and community-based organizations that serve older adults and their caregivers.

Next Step in Care

Provides easy-to-use guides to help family caregivers and health care providers plan and implement safe and smooth transitions for chronically or seriously ill patients.

Lotsa Helping Hands
 A free caregiving coordination web service that provides a private, group calendar where tasks for which a caregiver needs assistance can be posted.
Expert-reviewed content includes advice from a team of more than 50 leaders in geriatric medicine, law, finance, housing, and other key areas of healthcare and eldercare.

Financial Steps for Caregivers
WISER (Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement)
Being a caregiver can affect both your short-term and long-term financial security, including your own retirement. For more information on planning for a secure retirement, please visit

Family Caregiver Alliance
A central source of information on caregiving and long-term care issues for policy makers, service providers, media, funders and family caregivers throughout the country.

Caregiver Action Network

Resources include a Peer Forum, a Story Sharing platform, the Family Caregiver Tool Box and more. CAN also provides support for rare disease caregivers at

Share this:

Lexx Restaurant Continues to Evolve

Lexx logo est 2004 (5)By Jim Shaw

As a community, Lexington continues to evolve on many fronts.  From real estate development and our public schools, to local government and commerce, the complexion of Lexington is changing.  There has been a great deal of discussion lately about the business mix in Lexington Center.  One of the most significant changes over the past ten or so years has been the increase in up-scale casual dining options.  While several new restaurants have opened in Lexington Center, Lexx Restaurant essentially paved the way and helped to put Lexington on the map as a destination for dining.

It must be said that Lexington is home to several very good local restaurants that have served this community well for many years.  Among them are Mario’s, Yangtze River, Dabin and Via Lago.  However, Don Rosenberg and Chris Bateman wanted to introduce the concept of an up-scale American fare menu with a casual atmosphere here in Lexington.  Towards that end, Lexx was opened in October of 2004, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Chris Bateman, Lexx co-owner and managing partner.

Chris Bateman, Lexx co-owner and managing partner.

Rosenberg, the son of Dunkin Donuts founder William Rosenberg, had previously established and operated Aesop’s Bagels for several years at the same location as Lexx.  Lexx managing partner/owner Chris Bateman explains the transition from Aesop’s to Lexx. Chris says, “I was original hired to be the general manager to help fix an opening that wasn’t quite perfect and run the restaurant the way a restaurant should be run. I came from Vinnie Testa’s where I saw the company grow from three restaurants to a chain of eleven restaurants.  I managed their Lexington location for five years before Don asked me to join him at Lexx.  I knew I wanted to work with Don.  He was a visionary and an entrepreneur with lots of experience.  I knew I could learn from him and help him bring structure and organization to Lexx.  Don had decided that it was time to shift concepts from Aesops’s Bagels.  He thought that Lexington needed an upscale casual restaurant that served cocktails and craft beer. Lexx ended up paving the way for Lexington to become a dining destination.”

Apparently, all did not go well when Lexx first opened.  Operations needed to be revamped and wait times needed to be reduced.  Chris explains that his first challenge was to right the ship.  He says, “In the beginning, the buzz about Lexx wasn’t so good.  People thought the waits were too long and they weren’t completely happy with the menu.  That was the real challenge.  Getting people here in Lexington to be open-minded about giving Lexx another opportunity.  Don and I had a long interview and he saw that I could bring the systems and operations that was needed at Lexx.  In the beginning, I spent a great deal of time in the community.  We wanted to partner with great community organizations like the Lexington Symphony and help other organizations.  In fact, each year we donate about $5,000 in gift certificates to local charitable organizations.  I think our sincere commitment to the community has helped to breed good will.”

Chris explains that while Lexx was always a good restaurant, it needed to go to the next level.  While he was good at operations, he wasn’t a trained chef.  So he set out to find one, and he did.  Chris says, “We were really never a chef driven establishment.  Over the years our menu has morphed with changes that we thought were good.  We wanted to move from being a good restaurant to a great restaurant, and now in year eleven I hired a chef that can help us achieve that goal.  Chef Jonathan Post was brought in because of his culinary prowess. He’s going to do great things here.  His new menu items have been off the charts. Our guests love them. I would honestly put his dishes up against any of the great Boston chefs.  So, I’m excited about what the future will bring.”

Working with a new chef can be an adjustment, but Chris decided to trust in the recommendations of his new chef.  Chris says, “From day one, we were focused on fresh, quality ingredients. But when chef Jonathan arrived six months ago, he was adamant that everything should be made from scratch.  Right down to the ketchup.  I know it sounds silly to be so concerned about ketchup, but Jonathan made the argument that ketchup can touch off allergies for sensitive people, and that making our own ketchup would illustrate our commitment to offering truly fresh food.  I was concerned because people have been using Heinz here for eleven years, but it only took three months to move people towards our fresh ketchup.  Now they love it, and it contains no sugars, preservatives or coloring.  It’s as fresh as it can be.”

After achieving the level of success that has sustained them over the last few years, Chris’ challenge had been about keeping regular customers satisfied.  He explained that their always seeking new ways to keep things fresh without letting go of what works.  He said, “I always said that we had to have enough items on the menu so people can visit us on multiple occasions.  During the week, if they want to stop by for a burger and a beer that’s great.  If a couple wants to come in on a Friday or Saturday night and have a more upscale meal, or if someone wants to have a business meeting here or celebrate a special occasion, we need to be able to have enough offerings.  One thing that I’ve noticed at other similar restaurants is their limited menu selection.  Often I’ll see only five or so entrees or only a couple of salads to choose from.  For us, we try to bill ourselves as the neighborhood restaurant with a great selection where you can spend as much or as little as you want.”

Chris continued, “The challenge for chef Jonathan is he’s always looking to introduce new things to the menu, but I say that our formula has always been to have a much broader menu.  We literally have guests who eat here six or seven times a week.  We have to keep our selections fresh, but consistent with a broad selection.  I know we can’t be all things to all people, but we have to try.”


Mediterranean Hummus _ Lexx-1

Mediterranean Hummus


Beet Salad


Lemon Bar

When asked about where he thought he’d be after eleven years in business, Chris was pretty confident that he has risen to the challenges he set for himself.  He says, “I think we’re about where I expected us to be after eleven years.  For me personally, I thought I’d only be here for a couple of years.  I wanted to put structures in place and get the place where it needed to be.  However, after the original chef left, I accepted the challenge of seeing just how good we could become.  As I said, I originally came on as the GM, but after a few years Don gave me equity in the company.  I then became managing partner, so now I’m one of the owners of the company. Don has now pretty much retired and has left 100% of the day-to-day operations to me. We talk several times a week about the business and how to always keep things fresh and interesting.”

Clearly, Lexx has become a staple for local dining.  It’s where you go to be seen and to see others.  Rarely do you go to Lexx without bumping into someone you know.  That’s a tribute to the success they have achieved and their commitment to the community.  When asked about the future Chris smiled and said, “I hope that our menu will grow and that we always seek to improve all facets of Lexx. We’ll always have our Lexx classics like osso bucco, the burger and our Moroccan stew, but the challenge has always been and will continue to be our focus on offering the very best food in a warm friendly atmosphere to our friends here in Lexington.”


Executive Chef, Jonathan Post

Chef Jonathan Post

Chef Jonathan Post

Executive Chef, Jonathan Post, by way of Nashville, Tennessee, brings his seasonal, locally-inspired, New-England-through-a-Southern-lens style to Lexx Restaurant’skitchen and hopes to make the next ten years there even more successful than the past decade.

It’s easy to glimpse the influence of the down-home cookin’ on which Jonathan was raised when he’s in the kitchen.  Whether it reveals itself in the myriad of pickles and preserves, or in the multitude of containers of bacon drippings and animal fat stacked in the cooler, there’s no doubt that Jonathan carries his heritage close to him like a tattered old wallet photo.  His simple, approachable food isn’t fussed over, just presented honestly with the ambition of doing justice to the raw product, and the people who cared for it.

The people responsible for his ingredients are never far from Jonathan’s mind.  Being in close contact with the farmers is a priority, as they are the ones who really dictate the menu.  Often, on the few days that he’s not in the kitchen, Jonathan is on his knees with his hands in the dirt, helping to transplant seedlings, or hand-weeding a bed of carrots.

In the decade that Jonathan has been in New England, he has been blessed to have spent time in the kitchens of some exceptionally talented chefs.  There was a several-year stint at Blue Ginger, the flagship restaurant of celebrity chef Ming Tsai, where he was exposed to exotic ingredients, but most importantly to the Asian philosophy of balance.  Jonathan was on the opening management team at 80 Thoreau, where he honed his attention to detail, refinement, and realized the significance of impeccable technique.  At Moody’s Delicatessen he was given the opportunity to witness, and absorb the knowledge of a master charcutier.  All of these experiences, among others, are visible in his approach and deliberation, and ultimately his food.

Jonathan is thrilled with the new opportunity to be heading up the kitchen at Lexx  Restaurant and just as eager to get to know all of his new neighbors.  So, even if he looks busier than a cat on a hot tin roof, be sure to stop by the kitchen and say hello!



Lexx logo est 2004 (5)

Click image for LEXX Menu

Lexx is located at 1666 Massachusetts Avenue in Lexington Center.  Call them at 781-674-2990, or visit them at for more information about their menu and hours of operation.


Share this:

The Inn at Hastings Park Earns Relais & Chateaux Distinction

The Inn at Hastings Park, exterior shot, winterLexington’s boutique inn is the only Boston area hotel welcomed to international prestigious hospitality association.

The Inn at Hastings Park is delighted to announce that it has been accepted into Relais & Chateaux, one of the world’s most prestigious hospitality associations. The Inn at Hastings Park is the first Boston area hotel to earn this distinction. There are only three other Relais & Chateaux hotels in Massachusetts: the Blantyre in Lenox, The Wauwinet in Nantucket and The Charlotte Inn in Martha’s Vineyard. Barbara Lynch’s restaurant, Menton, is Boston’s only Relais & Chateaux restaurant. Around the world, Relais & Chateaux has a network of 530 properties and restaurants in 64 countries.
“My family lived in London a decade ago, and when we vacationed throughout Europe during this time, we noticed that all of our favorite hotels were members of Relais & Chateaux,” said Trisha Perez Kennealy, the owner of The Inn at Hastings Park. “When my husband and I decided to open The Inn at Hastings Park, it became our top priority to earn the Relais & Chateaux distinction. We could not be happier about joining our new hotel and restaurant partners around the globe in representing this brand of distinction.”
The Inn at Hastings Park opened less than a year ago in February 2014. Located just steps away from the historic Lexington Battle Green made famous in the Revolutionary War and Lexington Center, The Inn consists of three lovingly restored antique buildings with 22 guest rooms. The Main House contains the restaurant, Artistry on the Green, which is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.
“I grew up in Luxembourg, and the style of hospitality that I experienced during my childhood is represented by the unique, smaller inns that populate Europe. Each of these hotels was small in size but grand in service, character and authenticity to its locale,” said Daniel Braun, the general manager of The Inn at Hastings Park. “The Inn at Hastings Park is reminiscent of these special hotels that I experienced during my childhood. Our staff at The Inn is dedicated to taking care of all guests with thoughtful and gracious service. To have our hospitality recognized by Relais & Chateaux is the highest honor.”

One of the beautifully appointed guest rooms at the inn.

One of the beautifully appointed guest rooms at the inn.

Share this:

Local Couple Creates “Lexington Soaps”

By Devin Shaw

Umesh Shelat

Umesh Shelat

In 2005 Umesh and Radha Shelat had a son. By the time he was two years old he had developed mild eczema. “We tried everything, over-the-counter products…commercial products. Nothing worked at all, it wasn’t severe but it was causing irritation, so my wife decided ‘I’m going to make my own soap’,” Umesh explained.

The homemade soap helped his son almost immediately, “It was very plain and non-fragrant—but it worked; the eczema was gone after two weeks,” Umesh told me. After that, she began experimenting with different fragrances and different essential oils. “We loved it,” he went on to say. “For about a year we just made it for ourselves. We started giving it away as gifts. Our friends liked it.”

Umesh comes from a business background; he has spent 20 years working in the investment industry on both the buying and selling side. He realized that there was potential with the soap they were making. “We thought, ‘We like it, our friends like it—maybe other people will like it?’”

Radha spent time perfecting her recipes. “We continued like that for a couple of years, and in 2012 we formed our company Lexington Soaps,”  Umesh said.

The chemistry of soap making is called saponification.  According to the soapmaking expert David Fisher from, saponification is an “exothermic (gives off heat) chemical reaction that occurs when fatty acids come into contact with lye.” Saponification, he explains, means “turning into soap” from the word, “sapo” the Latin word for soap.
A precisely calibrated recipe is crucial, because each kind of vegetable oil requires a different percentage of lye in order to fully saponify. The by-products of the saponification reaction are glycerin and soap. Radha comes from a highly technical engineering background that requires extreme precision. Her background has translated well into soapmaking. Said Umesh, “You have to be very precise. It’s very detailed oriented.”

“The first process involves combining butters and oil,” he explained. “Then you add a lye mixture to it that reacts with the butter and oil combination to create the soap.” The big vat of soap has to be poured immediately into specific molds. The saponification process takes 24 hours. Once that 24-hour process is complete there is not lye left. “The next day we take it out of the mold, cut it and stamp it. We let it cure for 4 weeks.”

Quality is very important to both Umesh and Radha. They had always wanted to have their own business and according to Umesh they regularly asked themselves, “What can we make that we feel is the best product out there—without mortgaging the house?” After discovering their ability to make high-quality soap they had an answer.

Umesh and Radha want to provide an outstanding product to the residents of Lexington. Umesh explained, “We live in this town of Lexington—and it’s a unique town. We have a product that is representative of what we love about Lexington. It’s a quality of life; the people that live here are the best at what they do. After living here for years, it occurred to me that we want to have a product that was consistent with the theme and the culture of the town on an intellectual basis—a high quality product for a high quality town. We realized by making soap we could deliver on that dream.”


cucumbermelon Shaving Soap
coconutlime BB Sage Shave Cream
Lexington Soaps makes a wide range of all natural products. Clockwise from top: Cucumber Melon Soap, Sandalwood Shaving Soap, Sage Lime Soap, Blackberry Sage Shaving Cream and Lavender Soap.Each soap is made from emollient rich butters and oils and delicately scented with essential oils. These handmade soaps are beautiful and make great gifts. Find them at Theatre Pharmacy in downtown Lexington and Santoro’s Ace Hardware in Bedford. Order direct from:

Umesh gave me a sampling of their soaps to try for myself. I was impressed. The fragrances are refreshing, but it is the moisturizing quality of the soap that is superior. “Our soaps are not super-high lather, and if you look at other high-end soaps they don’t claim to have a lot of lather either. We want to create tiny bubbles that will help moisturize the skin.”

The all natural ingredients are highly emollient. For example, the Cucumber-Melon soap contains real pureed cucumbers along with African Shea butter, canola oil, palm kernel oil, extra virgin olive oil, castor oil, distilled water, and cucumber melon essential oil.

The Lexington Soaps recipes have been developed with care to provide a gentle, luxurious experience. They also offer Body Butter, Lotions, Balms, Sugar Scrubs, Shaving Soaps and Cream as well as lip balm. The fragrances range from Cranberry Spice, Sage Lime, Oatmeal Honey to a White Tea and Ginger. “We have floral, herbal, citrus and woodsy fragrances. We follow a certain perfume pattern,” Umesh explained. There is an unscented soap for those who are sensitive to fragrance and rich and gentle goat milk soaps.


Spa Kit

The Lexington Soaps Spa Box makes a great gift.


Each soap is packaged in its own “drawer” for a lovely presentation.












The shaving products really delivered. I’ve been shaving since an early age and have incredibly sensitive skin. Since I often suffer razor burn, I am always on the hunt for great products. I have tried everything including an expensive line from Nordstrom and the exclusive Shaving Company brand. In every dimension, the Lexington Soaps products surpassed even the most expensive products I have tried. My skin was well moisturized, free of razor burn and the shave was incredibly close. My typical five o’clock shadow did not show up until much later which was an added bonus!

Umesh and I agree that shaving should be enjoyable. Lexington Soaps provides a shaving soap that is perfect if you use a brush while shaving; and if you do not use a brush you can use their shaving cream as I did. “The shaving cream is all oils and butters. It is emolliating and extremely moisturizing,” Umesh said.

If you want to treat your skin, especially if your skin is sensitive, summer is a great time to give these products a try. Sun, saltwater, insects and sweat can be a nightmare for delicate skin. Lexington Soaps products can be found at Theatre Pharmacy and Santoro’s Ace Hardware in Bedford. You can also purchase their products from their website

Share this:

New Academy Of Creative Arts Opens in Burlington


Dr. Joshi with students (l to r) Aryan, Sara, Naveen, Anaya, Tanvi, Shrihan and Arth.

Dr. Joshi with students (l to r) Aryan, Sara, Naveen, Anaya, Tanvi, Shrihan and Arth.

Many Lexington residents may recognize Dr. Java Joshi (and her stunning artwork) from the numerous Lexington arts events that she has participated in over the years from her successful exhibit at the Cary Memorial Library to Lexington Open Studios where she has served on the organizing committee and as an exhibitor.

Three years ago Joshi formed Joshi Creative Arts in Lexington to share her passion for the creative arts with children through teaching art to children from 3 to 18 years of age. Now she is taking her dream to the next level with the launch of the Academy of Creative Arts which will offer classes in art, jewelry design and dance. The inaugural event for this new Academy was held on January 9th in Joshi’s Burlington studio.

“The vision for our Academy is to provide an atmosphere where creativity is encouraged and fostered,” Dr. Joshi says. “We hope that the Academy of Creative Arts will become an institution of choice for any and all kinds of creative and performing arts.”

At the opening event, Dr. Joshi was surrounded by her students and their beautiful artwork. Joined by her husband Hetel, Joshi radiated excitement for this new endeavor.

Born in India, Java earned a Masters in Fine Arts and Ph.D. in Drawing & Painting from India. Java also graduated from the Arts Institute of Atlanta with a degree in Multimedia and Web Design.

IMG_0523 jj2 jj3

Children’s Artwork from the new Academy of Creative Arts in Burlington                             



Teaching Staff
Dr. Java Joshi-Art Instruction
Java (center) holds a PhD in Drawing and Painting from India and a Masters in Multimedia & Web Design from the Art Institute of Atlanta.
Irit Kaphzan Hamami-Jewelry Design
Irit (left) came to the U.S. fifteen years ago and taught Jewish Studies, but he passion for jewelry design grew until she decided to pursue it full time eight years ago. Since then she has exhibited her work in Lexington and Concord Open Studios. She hopes to combine her love of teaching and jewelry design in her classes.
Judith Ann Cooper-Observational Painting for Adults
Judith (right) taught in the Gloucester Public Schools for 29 years. She holds a BFA from BU in painting and education. Judith enjoys creating art from many different mediums.
Mona Mitra-Kathak Dance & Bollywood Fusion
(missing from the photo)
Mona is a classically trained dancer, with a “Vishared in Kathak with is one of the traditional Indian dances. She has been teaching Kathak and Bollywood Fusion in Boston since 2010.


Call – 612.888.ARTS (2787) | Email:

Address: 128 Wheeler Road, Burlington MA 01803

Share this:

DCU Donation to Aid Literacy Programs at Cary


Share this:

Ave Atque Vale

Michael Fiveash

Michael M. Fiveash, Ph.D.


Lexington’s Beloved Teacher Michael Fiveash


Michael M. Fiveash, Ph.D., was a classics scholar and beloved Mythology and Latin teacher at Lexington High School for thirty-eight years. He died at his home in Jamaica Plain on Thursday September 19, 2013. He was 67. His long career was filled with awards and accolades. He was celebrated as teacher of the year at LHS in 1983.

Dr. Fiveash retired from the high school in 2011. At that time we visited with Dr. Fiveash and Mme. Girondel who retired the same year. During that visit former students Ting Ting Shiue and Dan Choi, Class of ’05, stopped by the classroom just to visit with their former teachers. Ting Ting says she now realizes, “It wasn’t about the text or the material; it was about a lot more than that. A lot of the thing I took away from the class influences the way I think about what I want to do.” Dan Choi adds, “Obviously, we didn’t’ understand it at all then, but now we do. You didn’t just teach language and art. You taught us how to live life.”

Plans are currently underway for a memorial celebration in Lexington for January. When the date and time are finalized we will publish a notice in the paper. A scholarship is being planned in his memory to be awarded to a student planning to study the classics in college. Donations can be made to the Michael Fiveash Scholarship Fund, c/o Town of Lexington, 1625 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington, MA 02420 (attn: Board of Selectmen). An annual Fiveash award is also being considered to celebrate this outstanding educator.

For this special tribute we have asked several of “Doc Five’s” Lexington friends and colleagues for their remembrances of him: Fellow LHS Language Department (French) teacher and close friend Karen Girondel, former LHS Principal and friend Van Seasholes and new colleague, friend and Director of Lexington Community Education, Craig Hall. Additionally, former student Sonya Taaffe (LHS 1999) has kindly written a very special essay about her beloved teacher. Sonya went on from LHS to study the classics and to become a writer.


Karen Girondel

Karen Girondel




I am truly honored to have found myself in the same time and space as this amazing man. A couple of weeks before he died, he confided to me that he still didn’t understand what he did for so many people to say such wonderful things about him. I told him that he was simply himself and that he shared with all of us who he was and what he loved: the ancient world, music, poetry, art, books, the natural world and the Simpsons!

When he first came to Lexington High School, he thought he would not like teaching at a public high school, but it took only a couple of months for him to realize that this was where he belonged. He was surprised and very impressed by the caliber of both his students, so many of his colleagues and Cary Library.

His teaching quickly became legendary and the Latin program at LHS attracted students who didn’t care that the Latin courses weren’t designated as “honors” classes. He frequently had classes of thirty or more students clamoring to learn about the passive periphrastic so they could read Vergil in eleventh grade and Catullus as seniors.

Michael always incorporated art, maps and archeology into his teaching and embraced technology if it would help him share pictures and language. He received the first LEF grant for a display panel that connected his (ancient) Apple IIe to an overhead projector.

When we decided to retire, I knew he would miss teaching, so I suggested that he sign on to Lexington Community Education to teach the parents who had been begging for a night class in mythology. He did. And the parents of former student arrived in droves. (This was somewhat selfish on my part because I also wanted to finally have the time to study formally with him after decades of being in awe of his teaching.)

Over the past two years, Michael taught six different classes at Lexington Community Education and had a following of about 50 people who couldn’t get enough of his teaching. He wove language, philosophy, history, truth and beauty into the stories from the ancient Greeks and Romans. At the end of each course, they asked what the next class would be. He kept coming up with new classes and the “grownups” kept coming. One woman whose husband was in Michael’s classes confided to me that her husband had a “man crush” on him!

Michael loved Lexington and the values of this town. On the day he died he talked about how LEF and LCE reflected those values and how much he appreciated that both organizations “gave us a chance” to do what we loved the most. Whenever we gave presentations to teachers about interactive white boards, he always began with a plug of appreciation to LEF in Latin and in French!



E. Van Seasholes

E. Van Seasholes




Van Seasholes first heard about Michael Fiveash from his son Brian. “He took this mythology course at Lexington High School and he kept raving about it.” To this day Brian says it was the best course he ever had and that’s saying a lot because Brian has been to some pretty top notch schools Van says.

At that time Van was serving as the Principal of Newton South High School. In 2001 he became both the interim Principal at Lexington High School and a colleague of Michael Fiveash. “He was a great colleague,” Van says. “He was supportive and willing to help people.” Even though he taught the most traditional classes, Seasholes says that Fiveash loved new technology and took it on very early. “He went way beyond preparing for his classes. It was very exciting.”

“He was one of the very best teachers I have known in my long career,” Van says with affection. He admired him so much that when Fiveash went on to his second career at Lexington Community Ed, Seasholes enrolled in his class! Talk about coming full circle. “He had a tremendous following in Adult Ed,” Van says, “He really knew his stuff. What a magnificent teacher.”

-Laurie Atwater interviewed Van Seasholes for this tribute





Director of Community Ed Craig Hall will not be replacing Michael Fiveash on his faculty. “We can’t fill that void,” he says of “Doc Fiveash.” Going forward Craig says they will try to honor his memory by hosting speakers, teachers and events that Fiveash would have liked, but there is no replacing the teacher that inspired a whole group of Lexington adult learners (many of whom had heard their children rave about his classes).

“Everyone was in love with Doctor Fiveash,” Hall says. “People resonated with the teaching and the teacher. There are two poles that have to happen for resonance to occur and Michael Fiveash created resonance every time he stepped before a classroom full of students.”

“He had such a way of teaching these myths and in turn helping students figure out their own mythic journeys,” he says. “It was heart to heart.”

Hall says that they had one student who would take the red eye from whatever location he happened to be working just to make it back in time for Fiveash’s class. “It meant that much! That’s a life being moved by something.”

Fiveash moved his LCE students through the force of his intellect and the nature of his caring soul. “He created a community in the classroom and people ended up knowing each other and caring about each other and looking forward to seeing each other each week,” Hall says.

He loved these ancient stories Hall explains. “These stories that speak to the essence of what it is to be alive. They needed to be remembered and championed! This wasn’t business for Michael; it was about something deeper and more human. Michael cared about his students and he was bringing them these stories that helped them to understand where they were, and how to go further. It’s very rare that you get to hear a grown man talking about things at that deep level. Very rare.”

Hall was always struck by Doctor Fiveash’s humility. “There was nothing superficial about Michael,” he says. “I think that is such a rare thing to come across. It’s remarkable. After he had brought the gods into the class room, he would ask, ‘was that alright?’” When Doc Fiveash was teaching Hall says, “The Greek gods were happy.”

-Laurie Atwater interviewed Craig Hall for this tribute


Sonya Taaffe photographed by Roger Gordy

Sonya Taaffe Photographed by
Roger Gordy






Sonya Taaffe graduated Lexington High School in 1999 and now holds master’s degrees in Classics from Brandeis and Yale. Her collected short fiction and poetry can be found in Postcards from the Province of Hyphens and Singing Innocence and Experience (Prime Books), A Mayse-Bikhl (Papaveria Press), and anthologies including Beyond Binary: Genderqueer and Sexually Fluid Speculative Fiction, People of the Book: A Decade of Jewish Science Fiction & Fantasy, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, and The Best of Not One of Us. She is currently senior poetry editor at Strange Horizons and once named a Kuiper belt object.


My high school Latin teacher, Dr. Michael Matthew Fiveash, died on September 19th, 2013. He had been diagnosed in June with neuro-endocrine tumors. I’d had no idea.

I hadn’t seen him in two years, since his retirement from Lexington High School. (No one except the new superintendent of schools was pleased to see him go.) I do not want to say that he was the reason I became a classicist, because I had wanted Latin ever since I knew it was a language, but I stuck out Latin I and its painfully repetitious lessons because everyone told me that Latin II–IV with Dr. Fiveash was worth the trouble and everyone was right. His classroom was Room 410 in the Greatest Block on Earth, with hubcaps over the blackboard and a poster of the Ministry of Silly Walks on the closet door. The Simpsons were everywhere. I do not remember the origin story of Snappy the rubber alligator, but the brittle Peeps that appeared each spring by the overhead projector were the sacred chickens such as Publius Claudius Pulcher once unwisely tossed overboard in 249 bce. Other classrooms had whiteboards, but Dr. Fiveash still worked in chalk, eraser, and hypertext stacks projected onto the pull-down screen from an ancient toaster Mac. The random sentence generator was stocked with the names of Fabio and Madonna and discreetly indelicate verbs. There was graffiti from the Carmina Burana in the corner of the blackboard the first time I walked in.

Because beloved teachers gather epithets like Odysseus, he answered to “Doc 5” and “Magister Quinquecineres” as well as the name on his diploma; he was accustomed to call his students victims and varmints, himself the village idiot, and exhort us to do our duty for Zeus and country. As Pontifex Maximus, he would sacrifice Twinkies to divine whether the day would be fas or nefas. (The day the gutted Twinkie revealed entrails of bright Red 40 was undeniably nefas. There was a pop quiz.) But I do not want to reduce him to a character, even if it’s perfectly true that he loved The Simpsons and had an entire shelf of terrible romance novels donated by students over the years because Fabio had posed for the covers. He was my mother’s age almost exactly, with thick brown hair and a creased catlike face and a baritone as mellow as a radio announcer’s, though he let the Boston in his accent show through now and then, as when he threatened to stomp somebody’s sorry ass. He had been a student of Albert Lord’s at Harvard, meaning that we were taught about Homeric epic and oral tradition as matter-of-factly as third-declension i-stems and poetic elision; we knew ourselves to be in descent from Milman Parry. We got, too, a small current of class rage with our classics, in the middle of affluent Lexington—he had come to Harvard from Boston Latin and was thirty years later still proud that his working-class hard study had stood its ground against the rich kids from prep schools, because it didn’t matter how they smiled down at him, he was reading the Iliad in Greek. I read my first Catullus with him. My first Vergil. I had to wait until college for Greek, but I memorized the first five lines of the Odyssey when he wrote them out on the board: he loved when his students asked him for more than the lesson plan. I learned the word liminal from him. And I learned Latin, so that when it came time for me to register for my first semester of classes at Brandeis, I tested directly into the complete works of Catullus. The poet had been the last thing I read for Latin IV, anyway: O dulces comitum valete coetus, longe quos simul a domo profectos diversae varie viae reportant.

I don’t have to worry that I didn’t let him know, at the time, how much he mattered to me. I drew cartoons for him: on my exams, on quizzes, on notecards. I discovered historical novels and brought him copies; I dedicated fiction of my own to him. Years after I had fallen out of touch with anyone else from high school, I came back to tell him that I was reading Greek, reading Akkadian, singing in an opera; I wrote him a terrible poem and he was kind enough to accept it. So there’s that.

But I would have written to him in the spring, if I’d known he was ill; I can send these memories to his family, but I can’t tell him again and finally that he changed the course of my life, even if I know that in thirty-eight years of teaching I was not the only one. (He was always threatening to quit teaching and take up a peaceful life as a long-haul trucker, as facetious a dream as his designation of favored students as “wretched toads.”) I didn’t even know he loved Tolkien until my senior year, I knew so little about the things he liked outside of the ancient world. He was married twice. He had children. He read my name at graduation and hugged me as he handed me my high school diploma. “No longer liminal, child,” he said. After the aimless, waiting, neither-here-nor-there week between end of classes and graduation, it meant something: it was ritual. The dead cross over and are in another state, more settled than that of the dying. With him, I read of Aeneas in the underworld, trying to hold Creusa, feeling her fall like a shadow or a breath of wind through his arms. I had not imagined my teacher disappearing, then or ever, into that darkness with her.

Share this:

Managing Resources & Making a Profit

By E. Ashley Rooney with Photos by D. Peter Lund


The new culvert paid for by the Lexington Composting Facility.  The spoils or the material dredged from the former culvert is now being transformed at the facility. Courtesy of D. Peter Lund

The new culvert paid for by the Lexington Composting Facility. The spoils or the material dredged from the former culvert is now being transformed at the facility. Courtesy of D. Peter Lund

Once upon a time, the Town of Lexington had a dump on Lincoln Street. Today, it has a recycling facility, which transforms waste into valuable products that are sold throughout the region. As a result, the Lexington Composting Facility not only makes a profit, it diverts materials from the waste stream. Robert Beaudoin, Superintendent of Environmental Services, projects that for this fiscal year the facility may exceed $500,000 in total revenues.

Businesses, contractors, and other towns come to purchase compost and other products at the 60 Hartwell Road facility. Our yard waste now resides as beautiful loam in Lincoln, Cambridge, in the reconstructed Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, and even Foxboro Stadium! Lexington residents and contractors dump leaves, grass and soil at the facility, which then transforms the material into high-demand products. The contractors pay; we can use it for free.

Although nonresidents pay to purchase the compost, topsoil, and super loam in bulk and pay to dump yard waste, Lexington residents can take for free the wood chips deposited from the tree service companies or the compost that is screened at 2.5 inches (in other words there are small lumps and bumps in it). During the holiday season, you will see residents looking through the brush pile for holly branches and pine boughs. A local Lexington sculptor finds wood to carve there. The Lexington Field and Garden Club uses loam from the facility to pot plants for its annual sale.

Robert Beaudoin, Superintendent of Environmental Services, points out that Lexington is not only managing its resources, it is taking waste products in, transforming, and selling them. Lexington Public Works Director, William (Bill) Hadley, was recently named to the National Top Ten Public Works Leaders of the Year list. He said, “Over the past five years, Robert and Kerry Weaver, crew chief at the facility, have dramatically improved the overall management of materials at the site and have enhanced the services. Because of these enhancements, revenues have increased allowing us to replace a failed culvert, purchase a Cat Loader, and hire a new employee.  This was all done with no money from the tax levy.”

The town has developed a major profit-making facility, and those involved in operating it are still seeking new uses.


Crew captain Kerry Weaver is turning over the leaves and grass left by Lexington residents with a front-end loader. Courtesy of D. Peter Lund.

Crew captain Kerry Weaver is turning over the leaves and grass left by Lexington residents with a front-end loader. Courtesy of D. Peter Lund.

Within the Commonwealth, more than one million tons of food waste and other organic material are disposed of every year by food processors, large institutions, and residences. Approximately 100,000 tons of organics are recycled or composted each year, but the state has set a goal of diverting an additional 350,000 tons per year by 2020. This material, which comprises about 25 percent of the state’s solid waste, consumes valuable space in our landfills and creates greenhouse gases. A cutting-edge green technology is anaerobic digestion (AD), which can convert organic materials into clean renewable energy and valuable fertilizer.

Currently, there are six AD facilities now in use in Massachusetts and a few AD units used by commercial food processors. The Hartwell facility is considering the possibility of an anaerobic digester. The selectmen will hold public hearings on the subject later this summer.


Massachusetts’ households generate a great deal of toxic waste every year in the form of common cleaners, paint products, automotive materials, mercury-containing devices such as fluorescent lights and thermostats, and numerous other items. Much of this waste could end up in landfills or contaminate surface water. To address this problem, the facility holds eight household hazardous waste collections – many more than other towns. More than 40,000 cars have passed through since 1998.

The waste is processed and screened extensively. This pile of compost tailings filled with rocks, tree branches, plastic bags and old tennis balls is what remains.  Courtesy of D. Peter Lund.

The waste is processed and screened extensively. This pile of compost tailings filled with rocks, tree branches, plastic bags and old tennis balls is what remains. Courtesy of D. Peter Lund.

Bill proudly showed off the Homeland Security cache contained in the facility as part of Northeast Homeland Security Planning Region (NERAC), overall strategy to effectively provide emergency resources for the entire Northeast Region. The cache contains equipment that municipalities cannot usually afford to buy on their own, such as multiple large lighting towers, variable electronic message boards, or large numbers of cots, sandbags, or barricades. Because Lexington stores the equipment, it can use it for free when needed. The town of Lexington has used some of this equipment during hurricanes and other emergencies.

The facility also contains the shooting range for the police and an area to contain any impounded cars.


The facility also partners with other DPW departments, saving money for the town. For instance, it grinds up stones and makes material that can be used by the highway department. It is currently storing a large hill of soil from the Estabrook project. It redid the culvert on its access road leading to the wetlands with its own money rather than increasing our tax burden. When streets or sidewalks are repaired or redone, all the spoils are reprocessed and reused.

Kerry Weaver and his staff work hard to maintain the cleanliness of the 28-acre site. Kerry, who has been with the facility for 17 years, is the one who tracks down the contractor who tosses his cigarette pack out the window or the resident who dumps his garbage in the grass pile.





Share this:

Take a Walk on the Warm Side

Exterior thermoscan done by Sagewell, Inc.

By Heather Aveson

One click of the curser and there it is – my home in all its fluorescent orange and blue glory. My house is one of the thousands in Lexington and Arlington that has been thermal scanned by Sagewell, Inc. as part of a Mass. Department of Energy Resources (DOER) program to encourage homeowners to take advantage of energy saving programs offered through mass save™.

Seeing where the leaks are is the first step in making your home, and mine, more energy efficient and comfortable during both the winter and summer. And it’s the first step in saving money through rebates, zero interest loans and “free stuff.”

Overall, I’m pretty happy with what I see. I bought this post-war cape three and half years ago. It’s reassuring to see all that blue on the walls, roof and door. But the windows are another matter. The bright yellow means there’s moderate heat loss in those areas. And I’d have to agree. It’s always drafty around the windows, even though they’re all double paned replacement windows. Hmm.

Next step, call Next Step Living for a free energy assessment. Next Step Living is a mass save™ participating Home Performance contractor. They will come in a do a no cost energy audit of your home. During the 2 – 3 hour audit areas of air leakage are identified, the furnace or boiler, water heater and gas range are safety tested, and recommendations are made for improvement. Two other really important things about the energy assessment – you get lots of free stuff to get you started saving money and, this is very important, it qualifies you for any of the rebates and incentives offered by mass save™. I’m going to repeat that because it’s really important. You must have an energy assessment done to qualify for the rebates or incentive programs offered by mass save™.

Energy Advisor Brian Fehlau is already at work when I show up for our appointment. He is taking outside dimensions of the house and making notes about the structure. We come inside and go over the assessment. Brian says it really covers three areas; a health and safety check, free stuff and opportunities to improve energy efficiency.

We go over my wish list. No there aren’t any programs that cover storm windows or leaky sliders. But, as we walk around Brian points out gaps between the molding and the windows that are letting cold air in. That’s an easy fix. Fill them with caulking and much of the draft should disappear.

There is rebate program that may help with boosting air conditioning to the second floor and save me money. Brian asks if I’ve ever thought about a heat pump. Not in New England I say. Having lived in the south I remember heat pumps as only moderately effective in extreme temperatures. Brian assures me that the technology has really improved and the pump works with the existing heating system during those really cold spells. Before the assessment is even over, Next Step Living has helped me set up an appointment with a climate control advisor to find out more about the possibility.

We walk around the house with an infrared thermal camera checking for wall insulation and heat loss. The walls look good. The crawl spaces along the roof line look good. Poking his head into the attic space Brian sees some loose and roll out fiberglass insulation. But there’s room for improvement. Air sealing the unheated attic space will cut down on heat loss, especially around the chimney. Open space around the chimney allows warm air to escape all the way from the basement up into attic. By air sealing around the chimney all that warm air will stay in the living space. And, it’s free. And by air sealing the attic it means the program will also provide sweeps on the bottom of all my exterior doors. For free.

Score two for savings.

In the basement Brian checks the efficiency of the boiler. 85%, not bad, but I make a note to call my oil provider for a cleaning and tune up. Brian checks the

Brian measure flue gasses on the boiler. Safety checks are one of the most important parts of an energy assessment.

draw of the flue and the carbon monoxide level around the burner. Flue gasses are 26, pretty good, anything over 100 fails. And the carbon monoxide is 00, just what he wants to see. Brian tells me these tests are probably the most important part of the assessment, and when he finds a problem, “because it’s a safety issue nothing else can get done until these issues are addressed.”

He also turns down the thermostat on my hot water heater. It’s been set at 144º and should really be around 120º.Savings.

From here we go into the attached garage, it’s under the chilly family room. Although previous owners sealed off the garage doors and added just a window and door, it’s still a cold space. Copper piping running through the space sends hot water into a secondary baseboard on the second floor. With no insulation the water in those pipes is cooling down pretty quickly, and because I rarely use those baseboards they could even freeze.

This is another easy, inexpensive fix. Enough foam pipe insulation tubing to insulate all the pipes costs me six dollars at Home Depot. And it takes about 15 minutes.

Score More savings.

Brian discovers that the ceiling of the garage, under the family room has no insulation. Taking care of that should make curling up on the couch much cozier. mass save™ will cover 75% of the cost of insulating the space.

BIG savings.

As we come to the end of the assessment Brian replaces one showerhead with a water saving head, I have programmable thermostats, but if you don’t they’ll be installed right at the assessment, absolutely free. Then we come to light bulbs. Full disclosure? I don’t like compact fluorescent light bulbs or CFL’s. I don’t like the color of the light, I don’t like the way they have to warm up and I don’t like the way they can buzz when you dim them. But I want to keep an open mind so we try them in the recessed kitchen lights. No, I still don’t like them. So Brian installs them outside and in storage areas where I don’t have to spend much time with them.

In my defense, I rarely use my electric dryer and my thermostat never goes above 66º. Call incandescent bulbs my energy vice.

We sit down and go over everything we saw. He prints out a report on the spot, complete with projected savings, recommendations and associated costs. For me the only improvement that would incur a cost is insulating the garage ceiling. The 75% rebate puts my cost at $189. Sign me up.

More savings. More comfort.

Overall, I’d say the energy assessment was a great success. Did I get everything on my wish list? No, but I learned a lot, found out how to solve several of the issues myself and have help making improvements I’d never touch on my own.

mass save™ rebates and incentives change from time to time. If you have an assessment and don’t get everything on your wish list, check back now and then at for information on current programs.

I just did and found out there are substantial rebates on energy efficient pool pumps.


Share this: