The Stratton PTO is reaching out to help support one of a Stratton family whose home was recently hit by a fire. The family has six children, ranging in ages from 17 months to 14 years. They are housed in temporary arrangements provided by their church.
Laurie Henry, social worker at Stratton, has been in contact with the family, and they have expressed their appreciation in advance for any help at this time. In particular,
and Shop, Target, Market Basket, Walgreens, Burlington Coat Factory. Also, they have expressed a need for the following items:
- Gloves for the children: boy and girl, both 14; girl, 6; girl, 4; boy, 3; and boy, 17 months.
UPDATED, Dec. 17: As Christmas nears, Walter Locke appears to be everywhere.
The reincarnation of a Thomas Nast Santa, the Arlington resident, longtime chorus member and first-time actor plays a key role in "The Christmas Revels" at Sanders Theatre in Cambridge.
If you ride the T, you see the Arlington resident on ads as you grab a subway strap or on the side of passing bus.
You can hear him in this interview broadcast on ACMi, where he used to work.
Globe review, Dec. 16 >>
In its annual effort to explore a different culture and era through its music and holiday rituals, the Revels this year goes inside the "Crystal Palace," the remarkable glass building in Victorian London, erected for the Great Exhibition of 1851. A frenzied producer, cheeky street performers, a composer and a palace manager (played by Locke) merge in a scheme to produce a Christmas performance fit for royalty.
On the go? Can't decide what to do? Here's help (or more decisions to make) -- five things to consider doing this weekend, as suggested by Cambridge Day.
Yes, the website, a YourArlington partner, focuses on Cambridge, but its suggested events encompass an area within your reach. See the suggestions here >>>
The synthetic turf at Arlington High's Peirce Field, bearing the abuse of student cleats in various sports since 2006, is wearing out and may be reaching the end of its useful life.
So the School Department has resubmitted its capital request for replacing the field covering, at an estimated cost $500,000.
Routine testing in early September by Turf Prep of Woburn resulted in a report late that month showing a passing grade, but indicating the surface was "quickly approaching" the point where it needed to be replaced, Melissa Dlugolecki, AHS director of athletics, told the School Committee on Dec. 4.
"We are right there pushing that [failing number]," she said.
Asked by YourArlington why test results were not reported until December, Dlugolecki said the issue was raised this month because the School Committee was hearing about budget issues, and this is a significant one.
Asked in a follow-up email whether students playing fall sports -- football and soccer -- faced safety issues on the worn turf, she wrote Dec. 11: "Based on recent testing, Peirce Turf remains in compliance with the safety guidelines established by the Synthetic Turf Council. Results indicate that the surface needs replacing shortly to remain within their guidelines. Subsequently, the high school increased the plan of care for the turf field to support longevity of use."
With the news this week that the state will not consider for a year helping to pay for the rebuilding of Arlington High School, school and town leaders have to consider replacing Peirce Field's turf.
The town's Capital Planning Committee had put the matter on hold in the light of work expected in the next few years on Arlington High, but that work is now one year later.
Summary of requests to date as midyear cuts lurk on horizon
Principals and administrative leaders for public schools in Arlington are seeking to keep their highly touted educational system on course. With midyear state budget cuts looming, those involved may end up singing with the Rolling Stones: "You Can't Always Get What You Want." For now, they are trying.
Below is a summary of what each level of the town's school system wants -- from AHS to Ottoson to special education to elementary. These requests were presented without dollar figures, and School Committee Chair Bill Hayner has requested administrators to return with "bottom-line" specifics.
A chief unknown lies at the state level, where Governor Patrick has proposed midyear cuts, and House Speaker Robert DeLeo says he will resist reducing Chapter 70 funding to towns.
Cindy Starks, the School Committee budget subcommittee chair, says Arlington could see reductions in:
* Special-education reimbursement: "We are shielded a little about this," she wrote, "because we bank one year’s money and use it the next year, but this means we have less for next year."
* Metco: Margaret Credle Thomas, the director, "is already figuring out ways that we can make do with the smaller amount and what has to change to do that."
* Transportation: "I am not sure the amount or impact of this one as of yet, but this will definitely hurt Minuteman."
Here are the wish lists:
Real-state tax on single-family home to rise
UPDATED, Dec. 11: Arlington's tax rate is expected to decline, if the state approves numbers accepted by the selectmen on Monday, Dec. 8.
The rate for fiscal 2015 is $13.55 for each $1,000 of assessed valuation, down 24 cents from the current fiscal year.
For a home valued at $500,000, that means the new rate results in an annual property-tax bill $120 lower. In fiscal 2014, the bill for such a home would be $6,895. In 2015, it would be $6,775.
The 4-0 vote (Dan Dunn was absent) accepts the new rate as well as the recommendation to continue to tax only residential property.
These examples should not be interpreted to mean that property taxes will decline. In fact, they are expected to rise.
In unanimously supporting a plan to sell the town-owned former Disabled American Veterans Club at 1207 Mass Ave. at some point, selectmen on Monday, Nov. 24, heard the town manager suggest inviting those interested in using the vacant space for co-working.
Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine said that that when selectmen heard ideas about using the space, he was "inspired by the public."
The board's 5-0 vote approved recommendations from Chapdelaine. They are:
-- Issuing a request for proposals aimed at short-term tenancy. That would be an initial six-month lease, with the potential for one renewal no greater than 12 months; and
-- Filing a warrant article for the 2015 Annual Town Meeting requesting authorization to sell the property.
"This sale would be pursued in coordination with a potential lease, and not be executed until any such lease is completed," the manager's Nov. 20 memo says. "It is recommended that the proceeds from a sale be used to offset future capital needs."
Per previous discussions, the latter refers to using the money to help pay for rebuilding Stratton School and Arlington High School.
UPDATED, Dec. 15: An estimated 400 people joined residents and town groups most of whom embraced the theme "Black Lives Matter" during a vigil Dec. 14, on three of the four corners at Mass. Ave. and Pleasant.
Organizers promised a peaceful response to recent events nationwide, particularly in Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, N.Y., and that it would not block traffic or pedestrians.
That is how the rally came off, as police told attendees when they could cross the street, and participants followed their advice. With the sound of a horn, signaling the protest's end, rallygoers crossed Mass. Ave. and Pleasant wishing officers well. The officers did the same.
Before the vigil, as a crowd gathered under the maple tree at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, a series of speakers set the tone. One of them, the Rev. Mikel Satcher of Arlington, formerly of Trinity Baptist Church and now of Andover Newton Theological School, said: "Yes, black lives matter, but justice matters."