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  • PMA logo

    Local action pushes issue of corporate rights to state

    The following letter to the editor was written by Gina Sonder, who is the 2014 Arlington coordinator of Pass Mass Amendment, an effort to amend the state Constitution. The letter responds to an editorial in The Arlington Advocate titled "Stepping up for 'the people,' published Jan. 22, 2015.  A version of the editorial is online. I would like to bring your attention to a piece of legislation, filed in the Massachusetts Legislature by our own Senator Kenneth Donnelly and Representatives Dave Rogers as well as Paul Mark, which directly address corporate rights and money as speech. SD 1311 and HD 2599 were inspired by the language proposed by Pass Mass Amendment [PMA], a grass-roots citizens' ballot initiative petition committee. PMA proposes to amend the Massachusetts Constitution to clarify that: ...

  • When Town Hall is crowded ...

    Absent -- without voters' leave

    When Town Hall is crowded ... I reserve sustained applause for all Town Meeting members who show up to engage in public discussion and votes about Arlington's issues. As tedious and time-consuming as some of the discussion can be, your work toward a vote, and the vote itself, are welcome. Nay, more than that -- showing up is essential in our town's representative democracy. By far, the greatest majority of our elected Town Meeting members are present each spring Monday and Wednesday nights, from 8 until 11, at Town Hall. What about the persistent absentees? As documented in this news story about Town Meeting attendance, those who responded to questions about their absences have their reasons. ...

  • EALS logo

    Bikeway-Lake: Would a traffic light help?

      The following discussion, provided by Phil Goff and Chad Gibson, co-chairs of the East Arlington Livable Streets Coalition, was included in the group's Wednesday, Jan. 21, newsletter, titled "Will a traffic signal at the Minuteman/Lake St crossing improve or degrade safety?" For those who may not have heard, the town's venerable Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) has issued a preliminary study on the impacts that a new Lake Street traffic signal at the Minuteman pathway crossing would have on traffic flow and path user safety. TAC will summarize its analysis report to the Board of Selectmen (BOS) at the BOS meeting next Monday, Jan. 26, at 7:15 p.m. [Because of the blizzard, this meeting was rescheduled to Monday, Feb. 2, at 7:15 p.m.] The TAC report recommends that the BOS form a Design Review Committee to oversee the placement and design of a full traffic signal at the Minuteman Crossing, to be coordinated with the Brooks Ave. signal. The series of recom ...

  • Martin Luther King Jr.

    Review: How Arlington celebrates King's life

    One participant's view of a town tradition King My wife and I have been attending Arlington's celebration of Martin Luther King's life for two decades. We recall fondly the elbow-to-elbow affairs in the basement at the First Baptist Church. Pushed together with people you did not know but would soon come to know, the annual January occasions began the evening as neighborly get-togethers. After supper, we'd head upstairs to the sanctuary, and a choir would remind that the occasion was in part religious. After all, the slain civil-rights leader had been a preacher. So the evening called for the rhetoric of remembrance -- hopes sought, gains made, progress yet to occur -- and speakers rarely disappointed. Some even made news, as in 2006, when Deval Patrick spoke, foreshadowing the silky phrases we would hear after he became governor. Poet Afaa Michael Weaver recalls his younger years. In the years since the event moved to Town Hall, the committee that organizes the celebratio ...

  • Basketball logo

    Loser's view: What historic loss teaches

    As I write, the Spy Ponder boys are unbeaten after their first nine games. Many of their wins have been decisive. Enjoy the run while it lasts, and remember it well. I have no such memories. I played high school ball on a team that set a standard for appalling play. In two years, the teams on which I dribbled lost 34 times. A typical loss was 100 to 40 or so. A typical win? None really. We won twice, close games against the same "artistic" kids from New Hope, Pa. Why were we so bad? It was not for lack of effort. ...

  • Model UN logo

    Jazzy fund-raiser held as teen Model U.N. Group needs help

    The following was submitted by Julia Ruderman, a member of ARMUN for a second year, a resident of Arlington and a junior at Minuteman. The Arlington Regional Model United Nations Program (ARMUN) invited the public attend "An Evening of Festive Entertainment," held Saturday, Jan. 17, in the Fellowship Hall of Calvary Church, 300 Mass. Ave. The evening featured a local-youth jazz band led by vocalist Claire Dickson and bassist Dan Klingsman, joined as well by Ezra Morrison on Clarinet, Kevin LeFleur on guitar, Michael Morrissette on piano and Aaron Colonnesse on drums. ...

  • Film reviews logo

    Review: 'American Sniper': Clint’s a good shot, but what about man behind scope?

    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 It’s pretty amazing the quality of films Clint Eastwood has been belting out as he sails well past the octogenarian mark, not just because he’s making movies at that age, but because of the ambition and scope of those films. “Invictus” (2009) took on the shifting tides of apartheid in South Africa, “J. Edgar” (2011), the biopic of America’s long-standing top dick, spanned eras and presidential regimes as America was shaped during the mid-1900s – and then there was the ill-fated but well-intentioned musical “Jersey Boys” (2014) ...

  • Rotary Club logo

    Brrrr: but it's a good cause Saturday

    Want to receive a photo of School Committee Chairman Bill Hayner in a Speedo freezing his tush off? You can, if you donate to a worthy cause -- eradicating polio. "Remember, everyone who sends a donation gets a picture of me coming out of the water," Hayner write in an appeal seeking donations. He adds with tongue in cheek: "If it is a substantial donation, I won't send the picture." Hayner is among those supporting Rotary District 7930 of Arlington, participating in its fifth annual Polar Plunge on Saturday, Jan. 31, at Long Beach in Gloucester at 11:15 a.m. ...

  • 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 >> ...

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School calendar logo

The 2013-14 school calendar, continuing the annual exercise in balancing allotted time slots over a year among competing groups, has received a unanimous vote from the School Committee but far from wholesale agreement.

School Committee logo, Jan. 23, 2013

Before the 7-0 vote Thursday, June 13, committee members expressed concerns, some on behalf of parents, and the superintendent expressed her own: more time for teacher support.

"We have heard from elementary parents regarding early release," Superintendent Kathy Bodie said, noting that such days have increased to 13 from 11.

That increase, as well as the times of parent conferences drew discomfort from committee Chairman Jud Pierce and member Kirsi Allison-Ampe, both of whom have children attending the public schools.

"I will vote for this," Allison-Ampe said, "but it puts a burden on families."

Member Bill Hayner urged for more creative ways to address the competing needs.

Pierce agreed with both of his colleagues, expressing a general a general concern "about how we break up our year."

He said it "tough on families" to face a schedule for December parent conferences that have them at 11:15 a.m. on a Friday and at the same time the following Tuesday.

See the 2013-14 calendar here >>

Pierce said he would like to see a survey of teachers about what they want.

He also wanted to know why Arlington High School's graduation has been changed from Sunday to Saturday.

Here is a list of key changes in the calendar for the next school year:

    -- Teachers return before Labor Day, on Aug. 28 and 29. In the past, they have returned after Labor Day.

    -- The first day of school for grades one through 12 is the day after Labor Day, Tuesday, Sept. 3. In the past, the first has been the Thursday after Labor Day, but this year that Thursday is Rosh Hashanah, and schools will be closed.

    -- The first day for kindergarteners is Monday, Sept. 9.

    -- Early release days for elementary end at 1 p.m. on these dates:

        Oct. 8, Nov. 19, Jan. 14, Feb. 25 (lunch will be served)

    -- Early release days at all levels end at 1 p.m. on these dates: 

       Sept. 24, Oct. 22, Jan. 28, March 25, April 8, May 20 (lunch will be served)

    -- Professional-development day (no school), Nov. 1

    -- Arlington High School conferences, 6 to 8 p.m., Nov. 20 and 25

    -- Elementary grades kindergarten through fifth grade conferences, 6 to 8 p.m., Dec. 4 and 12

    -- Ottoson Middle School conferences, 6 to 8 p.m., Dec. 5 and 11 

    -- Early release for elementary and Ottoson conferences, Dec. 6, 11:15 a.m.

    -- Early release for parent conferences at all levels, Dec. 10, 11:15 a.m.

    -- AHS graduation, Saturday, June 7

Legal-services subcommittee continued

In other business, the School Committee voted, 7-0, continue the temporary legal services review subcommittee. There was no discussion.

Member Kirsi Allison-Ampe, subcommittee chair, said she made the motion because the panel's report could not be completed this month, in the light of one scheduled full committee meeting in June.

The motion asked to "continue the temporary Legal Services Review Subcommittee, as allowed by Policy BDE, for the purposes of examining the expenditures on legal services; documenting legal needs around special education disputes; and performing other work as appropriate. Scope of examination is to include the current fiscal year, and as far back in time as the Legal Services Review Subcommittee feels it needs to analyze for useful comparisons. Subcommittee is to deliver a report by the first meeting in October 2013, or earlier."

The subcommittee dates to May 2008 and was formed in part to review the performance of Stoneman Chandler & Miller, the School Committee's longtime law firm, in connection with its advice in the dismissals of Stavroula Bouris, until August 2007 the principal of Ottoson Middle School, and teacher Charles Coughlin. The paired filed a lawsuit in 2010, and the case scheduled for trial this fall.

In October 2010, the School Committee voted unanimously to continue using Stoneman Chandler for some legal services, but with a different attorney than it has long used, and decided to employ a separate lawyer as labor counsel, one who already advises the superintendent.

This story was published Tuesday, June 18, 2013.

Zhen Ren Chuan: January Photos

  • 1ZRC

    Adults practicing Bagua Yue.

  • 2ZRC

    Emile and Lucas (Juniors) get their belts.

  • 3ZRC

    Iron Palm and Speed Bag training.

  • 4ZRC

    Jasmyn (Children's age group) gets her Belt.

  • 5ZRC

    Juniors during Deep Breathing.


  • 6ZRC

    Nick passes his 6th Stripe Test.

  • 7ZRC

    Rivka passes her 2nd Stripe Test.

  • 8ZRC

    Vivek gets his belt (Advanced Children).

  • 9ZRC

    Zhen Ren Chuan wants to hear from you. Click here >> This photo series is an advertisement.

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