This is a bi-weekly column providing an annotated list of Web sites that may be of interest to the community. Each column will list sites that belong to a particular category: search engines, art, online newspapers and magazines, health and medicine, history, business and economics, etc. or sites relevant to a particular season, for example, skiing or gardening. Most sites will be non-commercial. To make it easier to access the sites, each bi-weekly column will be posted on the Town of Winchester's Web site so that the sites can be accessed and bookmarked without having to be typed. Previous columns will be archived at the Winchester site, also.
The Town of Winchester Web site has been on-line for over five years. This unofficial site, the product of a volunteer effort, contains hundreds of pages and thousands of links of interest to the Winchester community. Within the site are dozens of subsites that include the Business Directory, Public Library, Jenks Senior Center, Winchester Hospital, Town Government and Services, Town Events, Town Calendar, Town History, Sports and Recreational Facilities, Schools, Clubs and Organizations, and Houses of Worship. The Winchester site is also a portal - a directory of Web resources, a facility to search for other sites, weather information, transportation and map information, and more. A portal is a starting point for entering the Web, a collection of general interest bookmarks, so to speak. From the Winchester site you can link to information as varied as this week's tidal predictions for Chappaquiddick Island, news and editorials from the Frontier Post, published in the Pakistani town of Peshawar near the Afghan border, the ski conditions at Mt. Sunapee in New Hampshire, or today's weather in Nome, Alaska.
Winchester Web Site
The home page of the Town of Winchester unofficial Web site. This page contains a linked table of contents to reach all the subsites providing community information, links to general subjects (entertainment, health and medicine, science and technology, government, news and media, for example), local weather, a search engine to search both the entire Web or the Winchester Web site, and a display of official U.S. time.
My original concept of a Winchester Web site was that of a virtual town hall where one could obtain meeting schedules, town documents (zoning laws, regulations, ordinances, etc.), fee schedules, board and committee memberships, links to town department Web sites, town meeting minutes, financial and budget reports, vote results, job postings, and other items that would normally require a trip to the Town Hall, Monday through Friday, 8-4. All this information would be available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Over the past five years, I have not been successful in convincing the town of the utility of such a site even though, or maybe because, I offered to implement the site at no cost to the town. Nevertheless, I have continued to develop a site that provides some of the functionality of a virtual town hall - lists of elected and appointed officials, links to the few town department Web sites that exist, department telephone numbers, a street directory, maps, transportation routes, links to state and federal resources, and the few documents that I have been able to obtain after appealing to Town Hall.
The unofficial Winchester schools' site that I started three year's ago. This site is incomplete because of my inability to convince the School Department to provide me with timely information. However, you may find some useful links to Winchester school Web sites, some e-mail addresses, MCAS results, school calendar, and educational resources.
The unofficial Winchester Library site. This site has been developed with the cooperation of the library staff and provides general information about the library (hours of operation, descriptions of resources and services, and links to lists of audio-visual materials and periodicals, for example), Minuteman Library links, frequently asked questions or FAQs (about special services and programs, museum passes, etc.), What's New, and a virtual reference room (links to information resources on the Web).
The unofficial Winchester Hospital site. This site provides a general description of the hospital and its facilities and programs, links to dozens of medical sites including on-line medical information, on-line books and journals, government health institutes, and the official Winchester Hospital site.
A complete on-line version of the very comprehensive Winchester's League of Women Voter's Handbook of Town Government, Services, and Education (1997 version).
Links and telephone numbers of use to newcomers to Winchester - water & sewer emergencies, police and fire department, board of health, public works department, hospital, utilities (telephone, electricity, gas, and cable), and more.
Local history, history of the Middlesex canal, historical photographs, link to the Winchester Historical Society Web site, and several articles by Ellen Knight.
The Web equivalent of the local Yellow Pages that serves as an on-line classified shopping guide and professional directory.
Winchester's sister city is Saint-Germain-en-Laye, situated about 1/2 hour from Paris, France. The site describes past and future activities of the Jumelage, Winchester's sister city organization, and provides links to French newspaper, magazine, museum, and tourist information Web sites.
Winchester Star Columns
These are archived bi-weekly columns that have appeared in the Winchester Star since January, 2001. They are annotated lists of Web sites that belong to specific categories: skiing, search engines, health and medicine, newspapers and magazines, movies, weather, gardening, sports, maps, genealogy, photography, culinary arts, art museums, local tourist attractions, museums, transportation, government, education, fall foliage, foreign affairs, libraries, automotive, scams and hoaxes, law, and taxes.
Sports and Recreation
Provides a description of local facilities, links to regional facilities, and a link to the Winchester Recreation & Community Education Web.
When he is not updating the Town of Winchester Web site (www.winchestermass.org), Martin Zombeck can be found at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, where he is a physicist. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.