Arlington has finally earned street cred as the dining destination we’ve always known it could be. But let’s be honest, sometimes you just wanna go where everybody knows your name.
The newest addition to our eclectic assortment of restaurants is Common Ground Bar & Grill, in the Center. On a recent Friday the joint was positively jumping by 6 p.m. Maybe we all sensed that this was one of the last balmy evenings of Indian summer and the fabulous open frontage, for which folks usually have to go to Cambridge or the North End, was beckoning passersby on the brick Broadway plaza. Or maybe it was the parents’ night out during the Ottoson Middle School dance. But the '80s music was sending 99 Luftballons over Arlington Center, and everybody was having a ball.
The delightful hostess chirped, "Hi, Lori!" before I’d even seen her. She happens to be a neighbor of ours, but I got the feeling she greeted everyone as warmly. We immediately felt at home and tucked into a cozy booth on the far wall. Our foursome placed an order of fries with our drinks so we could snack and peruse the menu a bit while catching up.
The house special IPA was deemed terrific, though it’s still a mystery whether it was local. The beer menu was impressive, even if they were out of the Pretty Things selection from Somerville. My friend declared the South African Chenin Blanc a winner, and cocktail menu interesting enough.
In a case involving Arlington police, three people from Rhode Island face charges for allegedly taking young females from Boston to Rhode Island with the intent of forcing them into commercial sexual activity, the Rhode Island U.S. Attorney’s office said.
Ricky Wallace, 33, who also goes by the nickname "Justice," allegedly recruited two females, one of them under 18, on separate occasions between Aug. 18 and Aug. 25, federal prosecutors said in a statement reported Friday, Oct. 24, by The Boston Globe.
The two females were allegedly driven against their will by Kemont Bowie, 34, also known as "Daddy," and Raechyl Spooner, 20, also known as "Kitty," to Spooner’s house, where they were subsequently forced into prostitution, the statement said.
Many ifs are in play to decide the Middlesex Liberty League championship.
Arlington (5-1) plays Lexington (3-3) at home Friday, Oct. 24. If it can win and Woburn, playing at home, loses to Reading (5-1) -- a big if -- then all three will finish in a tie.
Head Coach John Dubzinski wrote Wednesday: "Huge game vs. Lexington this week. They are very good and this will be a big challenge for our program to finish the regular season 6-1."
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AFD Theatre’s 92nd season of the highest-quality community theater begins with the Tony Award-winning musical Avenue Q at 22 Academy St. The show runs for three weekends beginning Oct. 17 through Nov. 2, with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m.
Avenue Q is a laugh-out-loud musical that tells the story of a recent college graduate named Princeton who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. Together, Princeton and his neighbors struggle to find jobs, dates and their ever-elusive purpose in life. Although the show addresses adult issues, it’s about a place where puppets are friends, monsters are good and life lessons are learned.
After considerable back-and-forth, Rep. Sean Garballey, Democrat of Arlington, and his Republican challenger, Joe Monju, have debated.
Arlington political experts may want to search their memories to recall a time when candidates from both parties last faced off here.
The debate took place Thursday, Oct. 23, at ACMi, said James Milan, outreach coordinator for the cable-TV station.
It is available for TV viewing on the government channel Oct. 24 at 7 a.m. and Sunday, Oct. 26, at noon and 6 p.m.
Here is what led up to the debate:
Sean Harrington, chairman of the Arlington Republican Town Committee, issued a news release Monday, Oct. 13,
Some voters say they do not yet know the specifics about how the $1.1 million that is expected to be raised here will be used, and so they are leaning toward checking no on their ballots.
KEEPING WHAT'S OURS: A look at specifics Part 3
That view is made clear in a thoughtful post on Oct. 14 to the Arlington email list by Aram Hollman, who writes as a knowledgeable veteran about development issues.
"One reason many will vote against the CPA is very simple," he wrote. "They don't know what they will get for their increased spending! In general, as in Arlington's annual budget, we first identify items on which to spend money, then propose specific amounts for each. With the CPA, we ante up the money first, then leave it to a committee to decide how to spend it."
That is usually how paying for projects works. Hollman cites the town's elementary-school rebuild effort, which began in 1997. "The voters vetoed the initial $50 million proposal for all 7," he wrote. "Proponents then split the proposal in two parts. The deal was: Authorize spending to renovate 4 of 7 schools. If the money was spent well, then, as a matter of fairness, voters would be morally obligated to fund renovations of the remaining 3. It worked." One school remains to be renovated.
He draws a lesson for proponents: "Come up with a list of possible projects now, in advance of a CPA vote. Prioritize them. Run the list by the Finance Committee, see how well it matches their priorities (including high school renovations), and modify as needed.
"Then propose to the voters a CPA surcharge -- for specific projects. This can be done in a manner entirely consistent with the separate committee that authorizes CPA spending. Thus, the voters can decide whether they want to spend extra for those projects."
UPDATED to correct time: An information session about the Community Preservation Act is set for Sunday, Oct. 26, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., at 20 Westminster Ave., a Housing Corporation of Arlington property.
The Arlington CPA Committee will review the basics and respond to your questions. State Rep. Dave Rogers will be there to share some CPA-funded successes in the two other communities he represents.