LexPride awardee in front of Visitors Center
Larry Freeman (left) and his husband, Charles, have been together for about 17 years. (Courtesy of Larry Freeman)

Hello, Lexington!

Good morning and welcome to this week’s LexObserver news roundup.

First, thank you SO much to those of you who have already donated to our 10-day summer crowdfunding campaign!! Any and all contributions directly support the reporting we can do. If you haven’t had the chance to give yet, please consider doing so – they’re tax-deductible…

Second, we have an update for you. Last week, we mentioned that our summer newsletters are going to look a little different. The summer solstice is just three days away (!), so today’s newsletter is the last regular Saturday weekly news roundup you’ll receive for a little while.

But, we’re not going anywhere – here’s what you can expect from us instead in the ~10 weeks until late August:

  • Biweekly features, usually on Thursdays: In lieu of weekly news roundups, we think this summer is the perfect time to slow down and spend a little more time on a few critically important stories in Lexington. That’s why we plan to publish three to five features about different community issues, which we’ll plan to send you in special newsletters roughly every two weeks, usually on Thursdays. We expect these stories to touch on beats including, but not limited to, environment, business and economic development, and historic preservation. If you want to know exactly what these features will be…you’ll just have to keep reading our emails 😉
  • Relevant breaking and/or major time-sensitive news as it arises: That said, we also don’t want to neglect time-sensitive local news developments if and when they arise – alas, the news cycle stops for no one…so we’ll still do our best to watch for, report on and send you major breaking stories and/or brief explanatory updates in individual newsletters on a case-by-case basis.
  • Two monthly digests of all our reporting: Tying all of this together, at the end of July and end of August, we’ll send you monthly digests that comprehensively summarize our reporting throughout each month. We hope that for those of you who step away from email for a bit during the summer (as you should!), these monthly roundups will help you stay abreast of what’s happening in town without taking too much of your time.

We’re really excited about spending more time on critically important stories about Lexington; this temporary schedule will give us the freedom and flexibility to go deeper on stories that matter to the town.

So, stay tuned for updates from us – especially on Thursdays – and thank you so much for sticking with us this year. We’ve come a long way – and that’s because of you. 

Now, this week’s news.

In this issue:

  • COVID-19 Weekly Update (See Below): Townwide, school cases decline.
  • Community Announcements (See Below): Public Forum on upcoming MBTA changes next Wednesday; three LexPride events this month; Dreamega comes to Lexington next weekend; Community Endowment of Lexington (CEL) announces latest grant recipients.

Center Goods on Waltham St. seeks to make everyday sustainability a little easier

Since opening Center Goods just over a month ago, local owner Erica Bouchard Rabins said she has seen enthusiasm from customers of all ages

Starting your own small business is not for the faint of heart in the best of times. Opening a store whose mission engages with multiple global challenges during a still-ongoing pandemic driving major supply chain snafus and other trials for brick-and-mortars? Erica Bouchard Rabins laughed. “Maybe a little crazy,” she said.

Keep reading

This week’s School Committee Recap: Introducing new principals at multiple schools; a new LPS DEI Curriculum

At last meeting of the academic year, School Committee members also discussed a continued projected surplus due to unfilled positions at end of FY22

Johnny Cole, Director of Equity and Student Support, summarized the broad brushstrokes of yearlong work by a Community Input Team to create the outlines of a new PK-12 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) curriculum for the school system.

Keep reading

COVID-19 Weekly Update

  • Lexington’s recorded townwide cases have declined for four weeks in a row. Last week, the Town had 104 new recorded COVID-19 cases as of June 9; this week, there were 88 new recorded cases as of Thursday.
  • At Lexington Public Schools, recorded cases decreased for the third week in a row (and, it’s the penultimate week of school!). As of Thursday, LPS had 41 staff or students absent who had tested positive, and 1 student on quarantine; last week, as of June 9, 68 staff or students were absent who had tested positive, while no staff or students were on quarantine.

Community Announcements

  • Public Forum on Upcoming MBTA Changes next Wednesday: Next Wednesday at 6 p.m., the MBTA will host a virtual Bus Network Redesign Public Meeting focused on the Minuteman & Metro North Area, which includes Lexington. You can find information about the current proposed changes for Lexington here and register for Wednesday’s meeting here, especially if interested in sharing feedback to inform the final network design.
  • Three virtual, free LexPride programs this month (From Valerie Overton, LexPride President): After a fabulous in-person LexPride festival last week, LexPride is offering three more free, virtual programs: Saturday Church film screening and discussion, a Juneteenth event to reflect on the many layers of what freedom means to people who are Black and LGBTQIA+, June 22, 7-9pm, register at https://tinyurl.com/2rac8y6c; Our Heroes and Impacts with True Story Theater, June 24, 7-8:30pm, register at https://tinyurl.com/33s4cch4; Rainbow Artists, starts June 27 (ages 8-11) or June 28 (ages 12-15), register at https://tinyurl.com/2u5d87sp.
  • Dreamega next Saturday (from Melanie Lin, CAAL Co-President): On Saturday, June 25, the second annual Dreamega Boston International Asian Music Festival will once again stop in Lexington on its four-town tour. The Lexington concert, which is organized by groups including CAAL and co-sponsored by several local community groups including the New Legacy Culture Center, JPLex, KOLex and IAL, will be held at the Visitor Center lawn starting 5:45 p.m. on Saturday, June 25. Dubbed the “Tanglewood of Lexington”, the family picnic concert is free and features many acclaimed local musicians. You will enjoy music from different genres by Asian and other musicians from top music institutes, as well as amateur musicians of all ages. Besides the many acclaimed Chinese musicians, the performances also include Indian “Blue Rain” band, Korean Musician Junhan Choi and Berklee Chinese Traditional Music Club. So pack a family picnic, come to meet your neighbors and enjoy this unique music experience on a cool summer evening. Doors open at 4:30 PM for outdoor cultural activities and free ice cream prior to the show. You can view a video intro of the performers here.
  • CEL announces latest round of grant recipients (from Kimberly Hensle Lowrence, CEL Media Contact): The Community Endowment of Lexington (CEL) Tuesday announced its 2022 Competitive Grant Recipients, all of which are town agencies and nonprofits focused in CEL’s four funding areas–arts and culture, community building, health and human services, and the environment. Recipients include English at Large, In Control Family Foundation, Lexington Historical Society, Lexington Housing Assistance Board, Lexington Monuments & Memorials Committee, Lexington Recreation & Community Programs, LexSeeHer, Northeastern University and LexObserver. You can learn more here.

That’s a wrap for today. Was this roundup useful to you? What do you want to see in this email next week? Let us know, and please ask your friends to sign up and DONATE too! Reach out to sophie@lexobserver.org with tips and questions anytime. As always, you can also check out and share our websiteTwitterInstagram and Facebook pages. Thanks so much for reading and have a great weekend!

With gratitude,
Nicco Mele, Sophie Culpepper, Erin Sandler-Rathe and the LexObserver Team

Edited by Lauren Feeney

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