Thursday Oct. 2, 2014 |  4:10:56 a.m.
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YOUR VIEW: This site's only blog

  • Arlington election logo

    Your letters wanted: candidates, ballot questions

    Do you passionately support a particular candidate for the November general election? Are you a champ for Charlie? Do you find Martha immeasurable? Do you have opinions about questions on the ballot? Do you have specific, fact-based reasons for your views? Let the public know. Right here. You may submit letters of support of any length to YourArlington. You're not restricted by any word limit, as you are in The Advocate. You're also not restricted by any time limit, as you are in the weekly newspaper. You may submit letter right up to April 6, though last-minute unverified claims will draw scrutiny. Tell the public why you're voting for Baker or Coakley -- or anyone else or any issue on the ballot. You may do so in three ways -- by email to [email protected],  or by a plain-text file copied and pasted at Send News or here >> All letters considered publishable will appear on Your View, this site's only blog. Letters will be reviewed for fairness, factualnes ...

  • Pondering out future

    Guide to town's master plan: Words in progress

    This is the first in a series of articles about Arlington's master-planning process. It was prepared by Barbara Thornton, who serves on the board of the Capital Planning Committee and the Maintenance Committee for Arlington. She and her family have lived in Arlington for over 25 years. Her children are graduates of AHS. She has earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and an MCP from Yale University, School of Art and Architecture. Her blog, AssetStewardship.com and twitter account @assetstewards report on civic tech, infrastructure, water, schools, public-private partnerships and related topics of concern to cities. Her interests include projects, which strengthen and nourish the important role local government plays in our society, in organizational change and in starting new business ventures. Arlington is developing a master plan that will reflect the visions and expectations of the community and will provide enabling steps for the community to move toward this vision o ...

  • Friends of Alewife Reservation logo

    The Lorax in us and protecting our silver maples

    David Landskov of Arlington sent the following reflection about the threatened Silver Maple Forest in Belmont, near Arlington and Cambridge. It was written by David Morimoto, an associate professor of biology and director of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Natural Science and Mathematics program at Lesley University. It was published by The Friends of Alewife Reservation. Landskov wrote: "I sent this because it captures the facts, the history, and the feelings that many of us have for the Silver Maple Forest. The SMF is an urban wild, a tiny sliver of a much larger area that was long ago called the Great Swamp. Now it is a connection point for wildlife that students and adults can periodically come and view. Visiting it has a spiritual value that David Morimoto captures in his Lorax piece. "The SMF is also an important part of water management for the surrounding area, parts of east Arlington included. Trees are vertical water storage -- they capture a portion of the he ...

  • Mouthing off

    Trio of issues: Which sing? Which hit sour notes?

    What, no opinion? About anything? Consider adding your thoughtful, honest voice to these three issues at the comment link below. Don't be shy. Sign your full name:     -- Finally, a report is out suggesting ways to fix the 52-year-old Stratton School. YourArlington published first, on Sept. 21 >> So why is there no option for a complete rebuild? Voters were told in the late 1990s that rebuilding was an option. What happened?     -- The Redevelopment Board, which oversees the Senior Center, has put the Council on Aging in control of programs and the majority of space. The nonprofit Senior Center, which has paid no rent, must bid for its diminished space. Is that the right thing to do? If it is, why? If not, why not?     -- Some cyclists consider the Minuteman Bikeway their velodrome and speed like lightning. Should the multiuse path have a speed limit? Should police have an increased presence there? This appeal for your opinion ...

  • Antitax logo

    Community Preservation Act: Don't ignore the costlier half of the story

    Dean Carman, a member of the Arlington Finance Committee and a Precinct 20 Town Meeting member, tells why he thinks Arlington should oppose the Community Preservation Act. His comments were published at his blog, votenocpatax.blogspot.com, under the title "The Quest to Increase Your Property Taxes by 50%!" They are republished with the author's permission. As I look back on the 2014 Town Meeting debate over the CPA tax and the speeches that were given, there’s one that continues to stand out it my mind, the speech by former Selectman Clarissa Rowe, one of the main proponents of adopting the CPA tax. The reason this speech stands out is because it was the ultimate half-truth politician speech. Masterful and effective because it highlighted points that Town Meeting would rally around, but omitting the half that would have doomed her presentation.  ...

  • Image of leaves

    From Menotomy to Fenway: What's Behind Installed Art

    Poet Jessie Brown and artist Adria Arch, both from Arlington, have an environmental installation on display at the Fenway in Boston following a similar work of art installed last May at Menotomy Rocks Park. Read a news story about the Boston work here >> Brown discusses both: Our Arlington installation was more playful, while the Fenway piece feels starker -- it's more compact, for a more sudden effect. But if you want to know why .... Adria approached me last year about collaborating for Art Rocks Menotomy. (We'd met crossing paths at the park, dog-walking, and at various town events.) ...

  • Dallin School logo

    Parent letter cites steps to address crowded kindergarten classes

    The following comments about space concerns at the Dallin School were presented at public participation during the Thursday, Sept. 18, School Committee meeting by Jessica Truslow-Trapotsis, a Dallin parent: Thank you for providing this opportunity to share my concerns. First, I want to thank you for your service. As an educator myself, I know well the commitment you have and continue to make to the Arlington community.Earlier this week, I sent a letter to Dr. Bodie and each member of the School Committee cosigned by 43 sets of Dallin School kindergarten parents. That letter served as a first step in what we hope will be an ongoing conversation with parents about growing enrollments, not just at the Dallin School, but town-wide as we understand that enrollment projections were significantly underestimated for the kindergarten class throughout the town. We not only have concerns about the educational environment this year, but also throughout our children's experience at the Dallin Sc ...

  • Film reviews logo

    Review: 'Last Days in Vietnam’: Understanding, insight in dark chapter

    This review by Tom Meek, a writer living in Cambridge, was originally published at Cambridge Day, a YourArlington partner, and is republished with permission. His reviews, essays, short stories and articles have appeared in The Boston Phoenix, The Rumpus, Thieves Jargon, Film Threat and Open Windows. He is a member of the Boston Society of Film Critics and rides his bike everywhere. You can follow Tom on Twitter @TBMeek3 and read more at TBMeek3.wordpress.com. Beyond slavery (and civil rights), the mistreatment of Native Americans and a woman’s right to vote, the Vietnam war might be the most ignominious stain on American history. ...

  • Town Day logo

    AN APPRECIATION: Town Day 2014 hears America singing

    The 2014 Town Day, continuing a tradition begun in 1976, had enough of an air of American "revolution" that would have made poet Walt Whitman proud. American singing? Varied carols were raised by myriad of voices on the Town Hall bandstand, near Robbins Library, by First Parish, near the Dallin Art Museum and at Uncle Sam Plaza. Hints of revolution? Those in tricorn hats at the Jason Russell recalled the bloody day in 1775, as did Angela Olszewski, as she helped unveil the town's first visitor center, aimed at including Arlington's role in America's fight for independence from Great Britain. Thousands of people thronged Mass. Ave. between Jason and Pleasant for five hours Saturday, Sept. 13, blew warm and cool, as the clouds of the moment, kept the occasion generally comfortable, unlike Town Days past. Glimpses of the day ...

  • Pondering Our Future logo

    Spaced out? Many artists, but resistant owners

    Does Arlington have the imagination to embrace co-working? The town is trying to find out and held a forum in June attended by about 30 people. Read a summary of comments from some of the attendees here >>  See what properties in town may be available here >> Following publication, Eric Love, present at the forum, provided a brief critique. His LARP Adventure Program, aims to spur imaginations. ...

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