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  • School vision logo

    New school year -- old educational questions

    Education. We pretend it begins for youngsters in September, when the leaves turn, but it continues through all of our season, every minute of every day, for everyone. Learning persists for two reasons -- human curiosity and technological change (you can't stop either one, but notice which is first). Shouldn't a third factor be classroom teachers? Good ones can have a lifelong effect, but our curiosity is the best guide, as technology draws us, often in too many directions, in the classroom that is everywhere. As Arlington schools open Tuesday, Sept. 2, what happens there is sliver of the educational story, albeit a key one for residents. Still, let's take a quick look at the new school year -- and then peer more broadly beyond it. ...

  • 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. ...

  • Arlington election logo

    Primary letters -- all welcome -- 8 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 eight supporting Don Berwick, who is seeking to be the Democratic nominee after the Sept. 9 primary. Send letters supporting any candidate in the primary. 'It's not just talk' Don Berwick, Democratic candidate for governor, speaks boldly about values and making Massachusetts a beacon for the nation. It’s not just talk -- he has met bold goals throughout his career.  Don is a creative leader with wise judgment and deep executive experience in complex bureaucracies, including as President Obama’s head of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, that vast $800 billion federal agency.  His vision includes single-payer healthcare for Massachusetts, and he is the one candidate who understands how to make that happen; and, why it must happen, as rising healthcare costs consume o ...

  • Film reviews logo

    Review, ‘Life of Crime’: Leonard’s crew back at shenanigans

    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. Elmore Leonard, the beloved master crime and western novelist, transcended seamlessly the divide between pulp and celluloid. His career is littered with great novels that became great movies (“Get Shorty,” “Jackie Brown” and “Out of Sight” to name a few), a smattering of original screenplays (“Joe Kidd”) and even took a few turns as producer. Cormac McCarthy might be his only peer. ...

  • Image of leaves

    Searching for an Arlington poet laureate: YOU?

    Are you a poet -- and you do know it? What have you written? Anything published? Inquiring minds want to know. Rumor has it that Arlington could have its own poet laureate, perhaps next year. Could that be you? ...

  • Arlington election logo

    8 ask you to vote for Berwick; letters for others welcome

    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 eight supporting Don Berwick, who is seeking to be the Democratic nominee after the Sept. 9 primary. Only candidate to oppose casinos   I write in support of Don Berwick for governor. I support Don because he is the only candidate for governor opposed to casinos. In a strong field of likable candidates, this is decisive for me. I saw the Detroit casino pull the life out of the Greektown neighborhood there, so that it looked like a bombed out war zone. ...

  • Chris Loreti, former Redevelopment Board member

    Loreti to seek Town Meeting article targeting assessors' fiasco

    Loreti The following opinion column by Christopher Loreti of Adams Street was first published in The Arlington Advocate, on Aug. 14, under the headline "It’s Time to Professionalize Arlington’s Board of Assessors." The full column, which includes a paragraph about YourArlington deleted from The Advocate's version, is republished here with permission. In January 2012, the state Department of Revenue provided to Arlington a “Town and School Finance Analysis,” which included several recommendations for restructuring town government. The report contained two recommendations related to the Board of Assessors. The first of these recommendations was that the town make the director of assessments position an appointment of the Town Manager instead of the Board of Assessors. The second was that the town consider changing the Board of Assessors from an elected to an appointed board. The actions of the Board of Assessors in recent months make it clear that the town needs to move forward w ...

  • Domestic-violence logo

    New law curbs domestic-violence reports: What about sexual-assault case?

    A new law, signed Aug. 8 by Governor Patrick, requires law enforcement to keep domestic-violence cases off public police logs initially, and the Arlington police department is complying. That means details about domestic violence reported to police are not immediately available to the media -- or to you. Had the law been in effect June 1, information about a sexual-assault case in East Arlington would have been delayed. Chief Fred Ryan reached out to area media outlets Aug. 12, alerting them about the law and asking for feedback. He explained: ...

  • 2014 Arlington Cal Ripken champs

    How about honoring this team, Arlington?

    The Arlington National U12 All-Stars baseball team did not win the 2014 Cal Ripken World Series, but the boys had one doozy of a ride. They had four wins in a row until they ran into a then-unbeaten Bronx squad and a heartbreaking, double come-from-behind 7-6 loss to a Florida team. No need to cry. What the team has done is remarkable. The town should recognize their on-the-diamond accomplishments, just as occurred in 2008, when an Arlington Cal Ripken team went to the Series. There was a parade down Mass. Ave. Officials spoke on the steps at Town Hall. It was August then, as it is now. You can read brief summaries about how the 2014 team played out in the Series here >> This is a story that The Advocate or Patch have yet to report. In the photo from left in rear are manager John Messuri, Coach Scott Jones, Spencer Friedman, James Santagati, Brendan Jones, Sam Theodore, Timothy Mazzei, Patrick Masci, Coach Rich Flynn; in front are Timothy Shaw, Jacob Ahern, Caden FitzPa ...

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 Monday Sept. 1, 2014 |  9:45:44 p.m.
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Officials are asking after allegations naming a deceased program director

UPDATED: Were you abused at the Arlington Boys' & Girls' Club? Authorities want to know.

Club leaders and police are asking after the disclosure William F. Sullivan allegedly abused children there between 1970s and 1990s. Known as "sully," he worked at the club from 1964 to 2002, when he died.

"The Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office, the Arlington Police Department, and the Club encourage anyone with any information about possible sexual abuse in any form and at any time related to the Club to contact the Middlesex District Attorney’s Child Abuse Unit at 781-897-8400 or the Arlington Police Department at 781-643-1212," said a new release issued Thursday, Feb. 7, by Derek Curran, executive director of the club.

Arlington Police Chief Fred Ryan told The Boston Globe that the alleged victims are now adults and would not disclose their gender. Ryan told newspaper that Arlington police launched its own investigation.

A letter from club officials accompanying the news release names Sullivan. The Globe story cites a June 2002 Boston Herald obituary as saying that Sullivan lived in West Roxbury and had been the club's program director.

A former member of the club brought an allegation to the club’s attention in late 2011, and the club said it hired someone to investigate before informing Arlington police of the allegations on Jan. 8.

Because Sullivan is dead, Ryan told The Globe that if information the club provided to police is true, there may not be any prosecutable crimes in connection with the allegations. He said police will make their own determination through their investigation.

In its letter to the community, the club said that even though the allegations being investigated concerned events that happened many years ago, the club has reviewed its policies and procedures to ensure that it is a safe place for children today.

The club hired a consultant to revise and enhance is policies and procedures for handling allegations of child abuse, and it expanded its background check policy for employees and volunteers.

Full text of letter to community

Here is the full text of the letter provided to media outlets by Curran; Stephen W. DeCourcey, president; Rachel H. Prindle, first vice president; and Stephen J. Cunningham, second vice president:

"We write with heavy hearts to inform you that the Arlington Boys & Girls Club announced publicly today that it has concluded an investigation concerning allegations that a former employee who was employed at the Club from 1964 to 2002 sexually abused children at the Club between the 1970’s and 1990’s. Before we explain how the allegations came to our attention, we want to stress that the employee, William Sullivan, is deceased and has not worked at the Club for more than a decade. Moreover, at no time during the Club’s investigation were your children at any risk associated with this situation. We are communicating with you to keep you informed, reassure you and humbly acknowledge that the trust you place in us is something we must earn every day.

"In late 2011, a former member of the Club brought an allegation to our attention. We are extremely grateful to this individual for coming forward. The Club took the complaint very seriously and promptly hired a third-party to conduct an independent investigation. In the course of the investigation, we were deeply troubled to discover that similar allegations of abuse had been made concerning Mr. Sullivan.

"At the conclusion of the investigation, the Club disclosed its findings to the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office and the Arlington Police Department and pledged our full continuing cooperation. The Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office and Arlington Police Department jointly formed the preliminary opinion, and so advised us, that it appears there are presently no prosecutable crimes that they can discern based on the information we disclosed. Nevertheless, given the nature of the allegations, the Arlington Police Department is conducting a follow up inquiry with which we are assisting. We encourage anyone with any information about potential sexual abuse in any form and at any time involving the Club to contact the
Middlesex District Attorney’s Child Abuse Unit at 781-897-8400 or the Arlington Police Department at 781-643-1212.

"The safety and well-being of your children is and has been our primary concern. To that end, even though the allegations at issue here concerned events that happened many years ago, the Club undertook a review of its policies and procedures to ensure that it is a safe place for children today. We hired a consultant to help us revise and enhance our policies and procedures for handling allegations of child abuse, including allegations made by adults of abuse from long ago. We have posted our revised complaint procedure on our website, and have reinforced and clarified our expectations of employees, volunteers, officers and members of the Club’s Board of Directors to report any such allegations, regardless of how old those allegations might be.

"We are also working with the organization Darkness to Light (“D2L”), a child abuse prevention organization, to help us identify and respond to allegations of abuse. This organization has already conducted a training program at the Club this past fall and we plan to continue to use D2L as an important resource going forward. The Club also implemented an improved whistleblower policy and expanded its background check policy for employees and volunteers. Further, the Club commissioned an inspection of the Club building by an engineering firm to ensure the Club is safe and to make recommendations for improvements, which the Club is implementing.

"In closing, we understand how troubling this news must be for all of you and assure you it has been deeply troubling for all of us. We are a community in which you place great trust and faith. We strive to ensure your children are provided outstanding services in a safe and nurturing environment. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of any assistance during this difficult period.


DID YOU KNOW "Sully": What were your experiences? Contact the publisher of this site and discuss publication of your comments. Your comments will not be identified with your name, but the publisher will ask for your name and how you know what you claim. If you agree to provide your name, that is your choice. Full names of sources in most news stories are preferable.


This story was published Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, and updated that day to reflect the correct years of the alleged abuse. The note above was added the next day.

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