UPDATED: William F. Armstrong, founder and owner for the last 68 years of the Arlington ambulance company he built, died Friday, March 7, at age 89, his company announced. A news release said Armstrong died peacefully, surrounded by his family.
The leadership team at Armstrong told employees and community partners, "It is with deep sadness that we share the news of Bill Armstrong’s passing.
"Bill devoted his life to the advancement of EMS care, and to the professionals who serve Arlington and Greater Boston -- from the EMTs, paramedics, chair car drivers and family of staff at Armstrong Ambulance, to our partners at the police stations, fire houses, hospitals and the network of community healthcare professionals. Bill’s unwavering dedication and service to others throughout his 68 years here at Armstrong Ambulance was humbling.
"He led by example, and mentored all of us as we strove to achieve the high standards he set for our EMS profession."
Armstrong built his company from a single vehicle into a fleet of nearly 100, equipped with the most advanced equipment and technology, operating from its headquarters along Mystic Street. It had long been situated along Brattle Street, until building a new headquarters some years ago.
The head of student services for the Reading public schools who holds a master's degree in leadership from Harvard University has been recommended to direct Arlington's special-education department. The permanent position has not been filled for three years.
The School Committee on Thursday, March 6, welcomed Alison Elmer with some pointed questions.
"The No. 1 issue [with the department] is customer service," member Cindy Starks said. "Calls not returned, questions unanswered .... What would you do about it?"
Elmer didn't blink: She called for establishing sound policies and providing good communication, part of which means setting expectations. "Customer service is a delicate balance," she said. "In business, the customer is always right. In education, you have to understand what is driving a question."
Such exchanges with the public are "great conversations you have to have," she said.
Member Paul Schlichtman was direct: Why does she want to be special-education director?
Harry P. McCabe -- the longtime irascible voice and former moderator of Arlington Town Meeting, as well as a staunch supporter of services for senior citizens -- died Tuesday, March 4, in Boston. He was 85.
McCabe and Elsie Fiore represent the current "living history of Town Meeting," both having served for 52 years.
"We were always there," Fiore said in an interview March 6. "I think we hard near-perfect attendance" at Town Meeting.
Noting his crusty nature -- "something like mine," she said -- Fiore recalled McCabe's work with the Conservation Commission, where Fiore was a member, to preserve the Mt Gilboa neighborhood, where McCabe lived.
He was Town Meeting moderator from 1977 to 1989, immediately before John Worden, and a selectman from 1972 to 1975.
Kickoffs Sunday for Dunn, Tosi
UPDATED, March 7: Following the Feb. 14 deadline to return nomination papers for the 2014 town election, three races are underway for key offices -- for the Board of Selectmen, treasurer and School Committee.
After a drawing at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 6, the order of the ballot was established. The clerk's office reports:
AHS's Ellis to wrestle in regional tournament
UPDATED March 7: Two Arlington school teams remain in the MIAA tournament, and both play this weekend.
No. 18 Arlington Catholic girls' basketball (19-4) faces No. 7 Watertown (20-1) at 2 p.m. at the Tsongas Center, Lowell, on Saturday, March 8.
In the state semifinals Arlington Catholic girls' hockey (16-2-2), ranked No. 3, faces No. 10 Austin Prep (12-5-3) on Sunday, March 9, at 6:30 p.m. at Stoneham Arena.
AFD Theatre will be presenting "The Mai" by award-winning Irish playwright Marina Carr as its next production. Director Nancy Curran Willis and Production Manager Ginger Webb have announced the cast for the play, to be performed Feb. 28 through March 2 as well March 7 through 9.
Jenna Lourenco: Profile of an actress/scholar
Arlington-Belmont Chorale and Chamber Chorus presents its "Almost Spring" concert . at First Parish Unitarian-Universalist Church of Arlington, 630 Mass. Ave.The
The program conducted by Barry Singer:
"Mirjam's Siegesgesang" by Schubert, featuring soprano So Young Park, a PSA Young Artist Competition winner; "Como per me sereno" by Vincenzo Bellini; motets by Anton Bruckner and the world premiere of "Fireflies" by James Russell Smith, a local composer who is chair of composition at Berklee College of Music.
Resident's Town Meeting article seeks $410,000
Arlington's extracurricular fees, even after the School Committee worked to trim them in 2011, remain markedly high, and resident Bill Downing would like to cut them down to size.
For what parents pay for Arlington High football, "Bill Belichick should be coaching this team," he said, a comment that drew laughs from the School Committee on Thursday, Feb. 27.
Including the $425 cost of musical instruments in his pitch, he also said: "Young families are hammered by these fees."
ELECTION'S EARLY LOOK: Those who take out papers in races that may be contested in April respond to basic questions about themselves and Arlington.
Michael G. Buckley was the last candidate to take out papers for a contested race in the 2014 town election, but he is eager to make his mark in a second run for one of three School Committee seats, as four are running.
The 46-year-old social-studies department chair at Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School in Lexington ran last year and received 3,082 votes, the newcomer against two incumbents.
- Report spelling out state of Arlington High announced
- Lucy: A friend seeks a proper end
- Suspect in crash pleads not guilty; Scutra open
- Town Democrats to meet Thursday
- Master plan meeting on economic development March 20
- Cemetery issues go live, as selectmen urge no action
- Garballey seeking reelection; kickoff March 22 with Boston mayor
- What's next for Mass. Ave. Corridor: bids opened