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  • Donald M. Berwick makes a point July 28, 2014.

    Inside a packed Arlington home enthused for Berwick

    Donald M. Berwick makes a point July 27. Don Berwick has political problems, but you would not know about them from the energy generated Sunday, July 27, at an Arlington home, where an estimated 100 people crowded into every cranny to hear the doctor who would be governor. One issue is his standing in polls. Seeking the Democratic nomination in the Sept. 9 primary, he trails Martha Coakley and Steve Grossman, according to July numbers in The Boston Globe. By a lot. No matter, as those gathere ...

  • Arlington election logo

    4 ask you to vote for Berwick

    YourArlington welcomes letters to the editor from Arlington residents for all Massachusetts candidates whose election would have an impact on the town. Email them to sprague.bob at gmail.com. Here are four supporting Don Berwick, who is seeking to be the Democratic nominee after the Sept. 9 primary. World-class candidate Don Berwick is the kind of governor we need: A progressive in the mold of Elizabeth Warren.   At the "meet-and-greet Sunday, July 27, about 100 people showed up; and g ...

  • Film reviews logo

    Review: Discovering love in 'And So it Goes'

    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. Rob Reiner, a.k.a. “Meathead” an ...

  • Ken Donnelly, in 2007

    Why we voted against raising charter-school cap

    The following viewpoint was submitted by the Leila Gentile in the office of Senator Ken Donnelly, Democrat of Arlington. She wrote that following last week’s debate on charter schools, her office heard from many of constituents on both sides of the issue. This op ed explains the senators' reasons for voting against the bill. The opinion was written by Senators Patricia Jehlen, Democrat of Somerville, and Donnelly.On July 16, 2014, the Senate voted to defeat a bill that proposed to raise the cu ...

  • Janice Satlak-Mott, Dennie McCabe

    Stratton teacher says goodbye to community

    For 42 years, the kindergarten-1 class at Stratton School has been the "home away from home" for Janice Satlak-Mott. Now she is retiring. In a letter to the Stratton community Monday, July 21, the longtime teacher wrote:      "After a great deal of thought I have made the decision to retire from the Arlington Public Schools. For the past forty-two years Kindergarten-1 has been my home away from home and September my 'Happy New Year.' I have loved my work with the children ...

  • Joseph Monju

    Monju sees his role as fiscal watchdog for taxpayers

    Joseph Monju of Arlington, who is seeking to be the Republican nominee for state representative in the 23rd Middlesex, joined the “Yes on 1” organizers supporting the repeal of automatic gas-tax increases. On the one-year anniversary of the House voting to override the governor’s veto of the tax packages, passing a $500 million in tax increases, Monju helped roll out on the State House stairs what he sees a "the State House tab." It is a list of how he says Massachusetts state government has ...

  • Arlington Avocado image

    You don't say (or maybe you do) ...

    Kurt Fusaris offers a bite from his latest Avocado -- what Arlington residents say and don't say. You can subscribe to the Avocado via email. Until you do, read the skinny here >> This link to a viewpoint was published Thursday, July 17, 2014. ...

  • FAR logo

    Silver Maple Forest campaign launched

    The following information about the campaign was published at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Friends-of-Alewife-Reservation/120066318064571 Cambridge Day, July 17: Leslie prof says value of Silver Maple Forest outweighs condos See the video of the protest parade >>  1. Encourage State Senators Senator Jehlen and Senator Brownsberger to debate Environmental Bond Bill on Senate floor coming up with an amendment to include silver maple money (Will Brownsberger, Pat Jehlen, Dave ...

  • Happy artists at the Paint Bar in Newton.

    Night life in the Heights? Who knew? Art lounge coming

    Happy artists at the Paint Bar in Newton. Arlington Art Lounge aims to expand the idea. Three enthusiastic women plan to turn the former Savory Plate, at 1346 Mass. Ave., into Arlington Art Lounge. By September, you will be able to eat, drink -- and paint over 2 1/2 hours or so evening or weekend afternoons. Kim Bradshaw, Sheila Carme and Helen Galanopoulos got the thumbs-up from selectmen Monday, June 23, food a food license. They plan to return in July for a beer-and-wine license. "We're e ...

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 Wednesday July 30, 2014 |  3:12:55 p.m.
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Brigham co-owner John Mercer, right, chats with a customer, May 4, 2012Brigham co-owner John Mercer, right, chats with a customer on May 4 after reopening.

With more than $92,000 in back taxes owed, the state closed the last Brigham's in greater Boston on Tuesday, May 1, but it reopened three days later after its owners worked out a payment plan, avoiding auction of the Heights store.

Owners Steve Kupelnick and John Mercer, both of Arlington, said in an interview that they persuaded the state Department of Revenue that they could make a significant down payment and repay the $92,387 owed since, according to a DOR representative.

The co-owners dispute the amount of back taxes owed and say they owe "thirty-something-thousand."

They said they have put $10,000 down on the debt and promise to pay $2,000 a month.

At 1:40 p.m. Friday, two staffers, two reporters and two customers were in the shop, along with the owners, who had opened at 11 that morning. Later, another customer came in and bought a cup of ice cream with hot fudge, regaling all present about the wonders of the warm dark liquid.

Co-owner Steve Kopelnic explains.Co-owner Steve Kopelnick has a reason to smile."I drove all the way to Taunton yesterday," he said, hoping to get Brigham's fudge for a friend who is ill."

As Kupelnic answered reporters' questions in a booth, his partner weighed in with a nearly nonstop monologue, which ranged from the closing of the Belmont store in January after 80 years to the lengths the partners took to make a deal with the state.

He said getting the money involved borrowing on a house and life insurance.

On the table of the booth where Mercer spoke were rolls of pennies.

They said they opened the Belmont store in 2001 and became franchise owners of the Heights' store in April 2001.

"April Fool's Day," Mercer said, "our busiest day ever."

Kupelnick talked about the joys of serving ice cream. He called it "happy food."

On average, the DOR seizes from 60 to 80 businesses a year for delinquent tax payments, and about 25 to 30 percent of them go to auction. For now, this store does not appear to be among the latter.

Youths outside Heights Brigham's, March 30, 2012Teens can still meet outside Brigham's, but a payment agreement means they can go inside. / Photo by Benn Craig

At its height, Brigham's had more than 100 restaurants across New England. Founded in 1914 by Edward L. Brigham in Newton, the company in 1968 purchased Buttrick's in Arlington. Brigham's corporate headquarters remained on Mill Street until 2008, when the site was sold, and condos are under construction there now.

The groundbreaking for a 116-unit apartment community is expected to occur this month at the site of the former Brigham's Ice Cream headquarters, factory and restaurant after Wood Partners of Atlanta bought the site for $5.568 million.

For more about the Heights' Brigham's, see the May 3 Boston.com and an update May 4.


This story was first published Tuesday, May 1, and updated Friday, May 4, 2012.

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