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  • 2015 AIFF logo

    Film-fest founders stretch between town, city

    I have supported the Arlington International Film Festival since it began, in 2010. I continue that support even after the founders announced last January they were moving the annual showcase of independent films from around the world to the Kendall Square Cinema, in Cambridge. That relationship didn't keep me from asking questions, as reflected in this January report about why the festival is moving.  Those questions and answers did not prevent me from being, in March, a financial supporter of the 2015 festival's poster contest.  But it's clear that organizers April Ranck and Alberto Guzman are walking a tightrope. They have taken the festival toward a potentially wider audience in the city next door while trying to keep their connections to the town. ...

  • Film reviews logo

    Review: ‘Black Souls': This dark mob family drama doesn’t go where you expect

    This review by Tom Meek 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. The three brothers in “Black Souls” lead very different lives: Luciano (Fabrizio Ferracane) runs the family goat farm in a remote village in the Italian foothills while Luigi (Marco Leonardi) and Rocco (Peppino Mazzotta) run mob operations in Milan. Luciano wants nothing to do with the new initiative and works tirelessly to steer his son, Leo (Giuseppe Fumo) away from it too. ...

  • Minteman High School logo

    Minuteman school plans advance, but what are their chances?

    First, some unsurprising news about plans to rebuild Minuteman High School, and then some opinions about that interspersed among the news nuggets. The Minuteman School Committee on Tuesday, May 19, endorsed construction of a new school as its "preferred option." According to a school news release, that option aims to address current facilities issues; creates an educational environment that best meets the needs of students, teachers and employers; and ensures continued accreditation. The committee also authorized Skanska USA, its project manager, to submit supporting documentation to the Massachusetts School Building Authority by June 11. The committee’s vote follows a May 11 recommendation, also expected, to build a new school from the Minuteman School Building Committee. ...

  • Arlington Cultural Council logo

    Arts survey open until June 30

    Elisabeth Taylor, who provides publicity for the Arlington Cultural Council, invites the public to take its triennial community input survey. First, some background ... Every three years the Massachusetts Cultural Council asks its 329 local Councils to seek community input about how to set grant-funding priorities. Over the past three years, the Arlington council has funded such engaging projects as "A Night at the Tower" by Luminarium Dance Company, "Chairful Where You Sit" by Arlington Public Art, the Winfred Rembert Artist-in-Residence program at Arlington High School and on May 16 "Art.Food.Community" with Arlington EATS. ...

  • Arlington Alive! Logo

    Block party: I'm a sponsor, and you?

    UPDATED, May 19: The Arlington Alive Summer Arts Block Party, to be held from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 20, offers opportunities to businesses for sponsorships and visibility. See news story >> If you are a musician, performer, artist, author or artisan and would like participate, or a business owner interested in available sponsorships, visit the party website or read below. YourArlington's publisher has paid for the $250 sponsorship and will have a table at the event plus some surprises. See you there. Here are the details for everyone: Press last year included three "best bet" picks in The Boston Globe, weeks of articles in The Arlington Advocate and a story promoting the event for two months at YourArlington.com. The Arlington Alive website featuring our sponsors' logos and links had more than 2,500 unique visitors and was linked to by more than 70 websites. ...

  • real estate logo

    'Prophet of property' reports numbers since May 11

    Adam Rosenbaum, a Realtor for Century 21 Adams, Arlington Heights, reports about properties in Arlington since Monday, May 11: On May 15, he reported that Arlington had 30 new listings. The breakdown is 20 singles, nine condos and one multifamily. Your fearless prophet of property predicts that 17 of 30 will have signed contracts by Wednesday, May 20.  For comparison, he reportes: 11 new listings in Belmont 16 new in Watertown 20 in Cambridge 28 in Somerville On May 14, he reported that he had again picked the exact number of new properties that have gone under agreement since Monday, May 4. He had predicted that 11 of 18 properties would have signed contracts by today. "And I was right, on the proverbial nose. Maybe I'll buy a couple of lottery tickets," he wrote. For a free market evaluation, contact Rosenbaum at 617-694-8553. An earlier perspective Grant Gibian, an Arlington Realtor who works for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, looks at Arlin ...

  • Art Rocks Spy Pond logo

    Spy Pond exhibit: ingenious, untaxing

    A REVIEW Precinct 15 member Sean Harrington complained on Town Meeting's last night May 11 that he pledged no allegiance to paying for public art with taxpayers' money. Except for using taxes, he gave no specific reason for his opposition to Arlington Public Art's seeking $12,000 to begin the process to place sculptures along Mass. Ave. in East Arlington. Western civilization has a long tradition of using public funds to pay for public art, dating long before the stars and stripes waved above our land. I suggest Harrington read some history. Better yet, and likely more convincing, go over to Spy Pond Park and see "Elements" -- works by 12 artists on display near the water's edge for all of May. ...

  • Feast of the East, 2008

    Artisans, vendors: 17th Feast of East wants you

    Diane Buxton, owner of Luv and Other Gifts in East Arlington, provided the following call to artisans and food vendors for the 17th annual Feast of the East, set for Saturday, June 13, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Calling all restaurants, food vendors, all artisans, crafters, buskers and community groups. All are invited to be part of Feast of the East, where restaurants, stores, artisans and community groups come together to celebrate East Arlington with food, music, art activities, entertainment and special promotions. Sell, sample, and promote your food products and services during this fun event. Sign up now to be included in all publicity. Applications are available here or can be picked up at Artbeat, 212A Mass. Ave., next to the Capitol Theatre. This appeal was published Saturday, April 25, 2015.  ...

  • Suggested Study area. the area of impact extends well beyond the map's borders, making residents of adjacent areas stakeholders in the study process.

    Neighbors in Cambridge eye Alewife, development

    Suggested Study area. the area of impact extends well beyond the map's borders, making residents of adjacent areas stakeholders in the study process. The following post titled "Citywide Plan to Focus on Alewife Area First" was published by the Fresh Pond Residents Alliance and is republished with permission. The group has concerns similar to those opposing the plan at the 17-acre Mugar site in East Arlington: The citywide master planning process is now underway. The first step in the 3-year process is an RFQ (Request for Qualifications) for a scope of services and deliverables from the to-be-named planning consultant. The Community Development Department, which is overseeing the plan, released a draft RFQ and invited the community to send comments by May 8. Here are comments the FPRA officers submitted. Our comments address the Alewife Study, which has been promised as an early phase/first area of focus of the citywide plan. The final RFQ will be issue ...

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A crowded Town hall on Nov. 4, 2012. / Photo by Glenn KoenigA crowded Town hall on Nov. 4, 2012. / Photo by Glenn Koenig

U.S. Rep. Ed Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, responding to the massive damage inflicted by superstorm Sandy, was the host for a meeting about climate change on Sunday, Nov. 4, at Arlington Town Hall, which Markey described as an "emergency."

Markey and two other speakers issued a call for action to address the potential impact on the Bay State of future storms linked to climate change. The packed auditorium, estimated at first at 300 but revised to 487 based on a headcount from Markey's staff, included people from at least seven neighboring communities as well Arlington residents.

The speakers urged reframing climate change as not just an environmental issue but also a high-priority economic, health and national-security concern with local as well as worldwide effects.

In addition to Markey, speakers included Arlington resident Kevin Knobloch, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres, a "leading coalition of investors, environmental organizations and other public interest groups."

Compares Sandy to 9/11, BP spill

Markey said Superstorm Sandy sent us a powerful warning, creating an "educational moment … not unlike 9/11 [and] the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico."

He added, "What we learned from this superstorm [is that] our nation needs a bold plan of protection and prevention against the worst effects of climate change … not only in our country but around the planet."  The situation is urgent. We need to telescope the time frame in which we respond to climate change."

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Markey noted that in 1775 Paul Revere warned that the British were coming by sea. In 2012, the sea itself is coming. Had Sandy’s storm surge hit Boston, it would have inundated Faneuil Hall and parts of Back Bay and caused catastrophic damage to all our vulnerable coastal cities and towns.

The oceans are much warmer than ever before off New England. Warmer water supercharges storms as we’ve just seen this week. It also makes the oceans rise higher and sea level is rising faster along the Eastern seaboard than almost anywhere else in the world. 

Markey urges safety measures

Consequently, Markey believes we need better safety measures based on a realistic assessment of our infrastructure. This can only happen if we accept the reality of continuing sea level rise and growing climate instability with bigger and more destructive storms.
Markey noted that while some think we can’t afford the cost of responding to climate change, extreme weather events impose their own tax. Sandy’s will run to $50 billion, and that’s just one storm and one type of climate change disaster.

We will pay for climate change impacts one way or another, he said, and failure to plan and act rapidly increases long-term costs. It is time to "supercharge [this] issue to inject it into the national dialogue," he said.

Knobloch cites 1872 Boston fire

Knobloch drew a parallel between Sandy and the Great Boston Fire of 1872, which burned 65 acres of downtown Boston and led to massive infrastructure and policy changes to reduce fire hazard.

Massachusetts is extremely vulnerable to climate change, he said, and while our state is a national leader in climate-change response, there is long way to go. If we act, we are in a position to inspire other states, he suggested.

"Anger, frustration, passion here and across the country need to be unleashed," he said, if we are to take the necessary action in time.

Lubber cited Ed Markey's 25-year history of talking about climate change and called it "the greatest existential issue we all face."

Lubber calls issue "ghettoized"

Climate change, she said, has been "ghettoized as an issue for tree huggers" and turned into a partisan battle. Instead, we "must speak to this issue on all fronts."

Much of the world wonders why the United States has failed to grapple with climate change. If we continue in this direction, Lubber suggested, events such as Hurricane Sandy "can be the demise of our economy."

In 2011, U.S. insurers paid out $32 billion in claims for storm damage driven by climate change, she said. This year’s extreme drought across the middle of our country caused losses amounting to billions more.

Lubber pointed out that anyone who has an insurance policy or pays taxes pays twice for environmental disasters. Insurance rates go up, and in some cases insurance companies pull out. Ultimately, the government is the insurer of last resort, and then taxes go up.

According to Lubber, it’s time to recognize that this is a world crisis and, to Knobloch, the task now is to "swiftly reduce greenhouse gas [emissions] from every source."

Markey concluded that this is our generational challenge and it will require a marathon, not a sprint.

State Senator Kenneth Donnelly, Democrat of Arlington, opened the event, followed by state Rep. Jay Kaufman, Democrat of Lexington. Kaufman noted that only Markey could generate such a big turnout on 24-hour notice and that the large crowd spoke volumes as to the importance of the issues and the level of commitment among those present.

Former state Senator Mike Barrett, a Democrat running again for a seat after other endeavors, said that the top three issues he's encountered in campaigning this year have been jobs, economic concerns and climate change, in that order, with climate change running a very close third.

Helping to increase the audience were members of the First Parish Unitarian Church who were invited at walk over for the 11 a.m. event.


This story was published Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, and updated the same day with a revised crowd count.

The author is a member of Sustainable Arlington, and she is cochair of the Vision 2020 Standing Committee.

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