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YOUR VIEW: This site's only blog

  • Belmont Uplands

    Don't encourage fossil-fuel backers

    The following letter to the editor by Andrew Oram of Arlington was published in The Boston Globe under the headline "We can’t give fossil fuel advocates the encouragement" on Thursday, Nov. 20, and is republished with the author's permission: Among the many flaws that run through the editorial "Tie Keystone approval to bigger environmental goals" is the garbled message such a compromise conveys. Approving Keystone, which opens up markets for tar sands oil, would indicate that climate change is not so bad, and therefore would encourage fossil fuel advocates in their resistance to the urgently needed improvements suggested in the editorial. It’s like saying, “I’ll give you money for heroin tonight, but you have to check into a rehab center tomorrow, OK?” As Boston and countless others around the world face flooding, loss of livelihood, and other global warming disasters, we must not trivialize the crisis. This letter was republished Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. ...

  • Pondering out future

    Guide to town's master plan: Words in progress

    UPDATED, Nov. 17: This is a series of articles about Arlington's master-planning process. They were 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, 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. Subsequent parts of the series are published as each is available from the town's website: Part 2: Choices for future land use Part 3: Transportation Part 4: Economic ...

  • Public information logo

    Transparency: Soon you will have access to background of meetings

    When I was Advocate editor, in 1994-95, it was a quick walk from the news office at 5 Water St. to Town Hall on a Friday to get the large loose-leaf binder from the selectmen's office. It was chock-full of "treasures": appointments to be made, drain layers to be hired, parking requests (yes, they flowed to the board even then; as I recall, one was for Swan Place). Sometimes the binder contained more controversial matters. The office provided the information -- all of it potentially public -- as background for a newspaper covering an upcoming Monday night meeting. In those days, the weekly came out each Thursday on paper only. That background helped an editor or The Advocate's lone reporter understand issues. Reports using the background often aided, we hoped, the public understand once a story was reported. I remember wondering how much better it would be if a reporter -- or the public -- had direct access to the large binder. Now the public will, though the information from the ...

  • Polls logo

    Preelection poll: 62% favored Community Preservation Act

    YourArlington poll results: Your views The following are the results of all polls conducted on this Web site since 2007 -- 86 -- beginning with the one most recently concluded. All are unscientific and are limited by the options available. Despite this, they provide a snapshot of community opinion in this way: They aim to show how those responding feel about the question. If you have ideas for future polls, please let the publisher of this site know. From 8 a.m. Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 4, YourArlington published a poll asking how you expect to vote on the Community Preservation Act. Here are the results among 158 votes: ...

  • Film reviews logo

    Review: ‘Better Angels’: Young Abe has mom, film has Malick as guiding lights

    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 There’s little discussion as to what’s the emblematic cinematic portrait of a president as a young man. For the life of me, I can’t think of one resonating picture about George Washington and that famous cherry tree. When it comes to presidential hagiography, it’s ’ole Abe, reigning over the tumultuous time the country was nearly ripped in two, who gets the lion’s share of celluloid exposure – and rightfully so. John Ford’s “Young Mr. Lincoln” made in 1939 starred a fresh-faced Henry Fonda as the pre-White House incarnation ...

  • YA logo

    Your letters wanted ... about anything

    Do you have a passionate opinion about an Arlington issue? We know you have emotions, but can you support your beliefs with facts? The general election is over, but opinions don't stop. Let the public know what you think. Right here. You may submit letters of any length to YourArlington. You're not restricted by any word limit, as you are in The Advocate. You may send letter in three ways -- by email to sprague.bob [at],  or by a plain-text file copied and pasted at Send News or here >> ...

  • Arlington Avocado image

    Elected who? A data date with Kurt

    Kurt Fusaris of Arlington, author of the Avocado, takes his own inimitable look at the Nov. 4 general election and finds ... well, find out. Want a date with data? Fusaris is your man. Get every last number here >>  The links to this viewpoint was published Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. ...

  • Kathleen Bodie

    Super highlights upbeat school issues

    Bodie In her October newsletter to parents, guardians and community members, Superintendent Kathleen Bodie, addresses the following issues: -- Arlington students' high performance is evident in 2014 MCAS scores, with the majority of students scoring proficient or advanced. -- Among tools and planning support that help teachers use performance data to drive academic success are BaselineEdge and Edwin Analytics. -- Twenty-four students received National Merit Commended status in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program, and two students have qualified as semifinalists. They are in the top 3 percent of the about 1.5 million U.S. high school students who participated in the October 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. -- Two fall athletes scored Boston Globe recognition -- Captain Nick Rose and Frank Roche, both on the football team. Read the entire newsletter here >> This announcement was published Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014.  ...

  • Film reviews logo

    Review: ‘John Wick’: Russians wrong their hit man

    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 “John Wick,” the movie made by two stuntmen newly taking up the director’s chair (David Leitch, who’s been Brad ...

  • Film reviews logo

    Review: ‘Birdman’: Michael Keaton’s super return to screen has plenty of unexpected virtues

    This review is by Marc Levy, who is the editor and publisher of Cambridge Day, a YourArlington partner, where this was originally published. It is republished with permission. Growing old and becoming irrelevant is on everyone’s minds, probably more so for anyone who’d ever been somebody – even if it was for 15 minutes. Think of all those childhood actors in rehab. Think of Lindsay Lohan. Now what if you were an aging actor who played a superhero? That’s the jumping-off point for “Birdman,” which boasts the catchy subtitle, “The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance.” Michael Keaton, who not-so-coincidentally played Tim Burton’s “Batman” in the ’80s and ’90s, plays Riggan Thomson, a Hollywood actor who found fame as the star of the titled superhero franchise. Since its shelving some 20 years ago, he now seeks thespian cred by producing, starring in and directing a Broadway adaptation of Raymond Carver’s taut “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.” When we catch up with Riggan the ...

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