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  • Foskett

    Revised long-range town plan adds ammunition for CPA opponent

    The following post was written by Charlie Foskett, at left, chair of the capital planning committee, vice chair of the Finance Committee and among the leaders of the committee opposing the Community Preservation Act: On Tuesday, Oct. 21, at a meeting of Arlington’s Long Range Planning Committee, Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine updated the town’s long-range plan, using the same assumptions used last April. His revised plan forecast a budget that had deteriorated from a FY2020 deficit of $12.8 million to a new FY2020 deficit of $14.2 million. Chapdelaine also presented a number of scenarios exploring lower forecasts; all involved riskier assumptions about lower health insurance cost growth and higher free cash positions -- or expense reductions. In any event, on an "apples-to-apples" comparison basis the town’s fiscal outlook plummeted by $1.4 million in six months. This growing deficit was largely driven by actual and forecast school enrollment growth. ...

  • Bob Sprague

    A senior citizen endorses yes vote on CPA

    I'm a senior. No matter the issue, those who hate taxes -- so who loves them? -- have long targeted one group: senior citizens. Arlington's population is senior-significant. Susan Carp, executive director of the Arlington Council on Aging, says: "We typically use the 2010 Census, albeit old. Our grants define senior as 60 years of age or older. For Arlington, that is roughly 22 to 23 percent" of the town's 42,000 residents.During the current debate about the Community Preservation Act, seniors have felt antitax arrows. Here are some sent flying by Dean Carman, who opposes the Nov. 4 ballot question, posted Oct. 13 at his blog >> "Of all the moving pieces in the CPA Tax legislation, the one I find reprehensible is how the CPA Tax legislation was specifically written to exempt seniors in hopes of preventing them from voting against it." ...

  • Coakley

    Letters supporting Coakley

    The following letter to the editor was submitted by Susan Webber of Arlington: I am writing this letter in support of Martha Coakley, who I hope will be our next governor. I have become enormously frustrated as I hear and read about Attorney General Coakley’s supposed lack of support for children in the care of the state. I worked at Germaine Lawrence School for five years, and can attest to her incredible support of the girls who were referred to us. Not only did she visit the school and meet with students, but she was enormously generous with her time and contacts, hosting our annual Women of Excellence Award breakfast, and helping out whenever we asked. She cared deeply for the troubled girls at Germaine Lawrence, and took personal interest in their success. This is the kind of governor we want and need—not someone who looks at the numbers, but someone who looks at the people! Please join me in voting for Martha Coakley. This letter was published Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. ...

  • Dan Dunn

    Dunn, Kaufman support preservation act

    The following letters to the editor in support of a yes vote for the Community Preservation Act were submitted by the yes campaign. The first is by Selectman Dan Dunn, at left, and the second by state Rep. Jay Kaufman: I strongly support the Community Preservation Act, and I encourage you to support it on Election Day, Nov. 4. You've surely read a dozen letters from both sides, so I will keep mine short. First: Arlington's expenses grow faster than our revenues. Proposition 2 1/2 keeps our revenue on a tight leash, and our expenses (insurance, salaries, etc.) grow faster than 2.5% in the long run. That means we need to periodically find new revenue, including the overrides we passed as a town in 2011 and 2005. Second: We will need additional revenue in the coming years, perhaps 2017-18. It will be necessary if we want to continue to provide town services and schools at their current levels. ...

  • Pondering out future

    Guide to town's master plan: Words in progress

    UPDATED, Oct. 27: 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 ...

  • Arlington Avocado image

    Avocado endorses … Falchuk for governor

    Kurt Fusaris, who writes The Arlington Avocado blog, originally published the following here >> Last spring, the Avocado jumped on board the Don Berwick for Governor bandwagon, and we went so far as to endorse him for the Democratic nomination. As we all know at this juncture, Berwick is not the Democratic nominee. Somehow he just never quite caught on. Berwick was a bold progressive and he offered real solutions to problems, especially concerning the reform of our health-care system. He advocated for single-payer, which no other Democratic candidate had done (at least not in as many words). Berwick is a pediatrician, an expert on health policy, and he has a strong record of achievement in the management, administration, and delivery of healthcare, having co-founded a few organizations dedicated to these causes. But Democratic primary voters did not choose him as their nominee. Instead, a paltry 16% of the electorate turned out on primary day and gave us Martha Coakley and Ch ...

  • CPA No group logo

    Why the CPA tax is bad for Arlington

    The following opinion piece was submitted by Bill Hayner, Steve Gilligan and Charlie Foskett. They are, respectively, the School Committee chairman; the town treasurer, tax collector and parking clerk; and vice chairman of the Finance Committee and chair of the Capital Planning Committee. The latter committee has not taken a position on ballot question No. 5. An edited version of these remarks was published in the Oct. 23 Advocate. This statement includes information not published there. A new and onerous tax will be in front of Arlington voters on Ballot Question #5 in the Nov. 4 election. The tax is being falsely presented by supporters as a solution to preserve our community, when in fact it diverts critical resources, increases the local tax burden and threatens fundamental community services.  There are four reasons why Arlington taxpayers should resoundingly reject Ballot Question #5 in November. ...

  • Film reviews logo

    ‘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. ...

  • AFD's 'Avenue Q'

    Review: Avenue Q stages in-your-face boldness, imaginative puppetry

    This review is by Susie Goldman of Arlington. Avenue Q -- continuing at the AFD Theatre through Nov. 2 -- is an imagining of the generation who grew up watching "Sesame Street" on PBS and what life is like for them after college. Surprising many, Avenue Q triumphed over Wicked and picked up the Tony for best musical in 2004, as well as winning Tony awards for best score and best book by a talented trio, Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx and Jeff Whitey. On opening night in Arlington, Friday Oct. 17, I wondered: ‘Can town residents handle the "in-your-face" boldness of Avenue Q?’ Set designer Brien Higgins successfully portrays a run-down urban section of brick apartment buildings with real doors sandwiched together. Besides the childlike graffiti on a brick wall, "A, B, C" and "1,2,3," is the phrase "Tough Love," a big tip-off of the harsh realities that the population of this gloomier than their "Sesame Street" counterparts face every day. ...

  • CPA Yes group logo

    Letters supporting adoption of Community Preservation Act in Arlington

    Yes committee logo Law has aided Concord The following letter to the editor was written by Richard Beinecke of Arlington: Please support the Community Preservation act vote in November. As the first chairman of Concord’s Community Preservation Act planning committee, I know the value of this act. There are many areas including historic preservation, acquisition of open space and recreation, and affordable housing that are difficult to fund under normal annual town budgets and that Arlington needs.\ This act gave Concord the ability to make important investments in all of these areas, often by combining Act funds with other sources. In a number of cases, we accumulated funds over a number of years to make this possible. All projects were thoroughly vetted by town committees and Town Meeting. Examples include the soccer fields along Route 2, several critical open-space purchases, affordable housing in an unaffordable town, improvements to Town Hall, and the refurbishing of the W ...

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POLL: Community Preservation Act

How do you plan to vote on the Community Preservation Act?

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