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  • Mass. Ave. Corridor logo

    Planting an idea: Sidestepping Mass. Ave. project

    Unfinished planters in Capitol Square, May 26, 2015. Finished planters awaiting plants in from front of Giles. Is your business directly affected by the sidewalk work underway as part of the Mass. Ave. project in East Arlington? If so, YourArlington provides a way to get customers to move around the obstacles and head into your business. We see those planters going in. We see the lack of pavement. We feel your pain. While this project affects you, please send information about your business for publication at this link >>  That includes name, address, information about any sale and contact information (name, phone or email). Put "Sidewalk issues" in the email's subject line. Some Capital Square businesses with news blurbs published under this program include Artbeat, 13Forest and Drum Connection. What about yours? Stay up-to-date about the Mass. Ave project here >>And here >>  This promotional announcement was published Thursday, May ...

  • 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 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 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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            Melissa Dlugolecki, new athletics
                 director at Arlington High.
Melissa Dlugolecki, new athletics director, Arlington High School.

Her enthusiasm is immediate, like the sound of a crowd shocked by a walk-off home run. Her goals aim high. At 30, Melissa Dlugolecki wants to be a coach of coaches.

In an interview, the new director of athletics at Arlington High School talked about who she is becoming by pointing to those who have inspired her.

"I still have a softball full of quotes he wrote out when I was 13," she said, referring to a gift from Steve Simoes. Now at Holy Cross, he was a coach and teacher when Dlugolecki played at Hopkinton High.

"It is sitting in my new office in Arlington, and despite the different phase of my life, the same philosophies apply. He fostered an environment of self-discovery, support, goal-setting and working hard to achieve each goal.

"He isn't a Patriots fan, but his messages were parallel to many of [Coach Bill] Belichick's: Do your job, work hard and ignore the noise. He also taught me not to focus on statistics or records but rather experiences and performances. He always noted that the statistics and records will work themselves out if you do all the important things right -- he was correct."

In the 50-minute interview in her AHS office, Dlugolecki, who played field hockey and softball, followed Simoe's advice: She shied away from stats and favored lessons learned.  

Examples of lessons learned

Asked to describe some, she recalled that field hockey was the better teacher. That team, after struggling at .500, improved her senior year (she was a team leader), while softball was strong (she played center field).

Playing through loss helps teach the value motivating others weather adversity.

She recalled scoring two goals in last two minutes of a field-hockey match in a come-from-behind win.

Lesson learned? "... [T]o see the game all the way through."

It meant overcoming the short-term thinking characteristic high schoolers, a trait bound to help an athletics director.

At Providence College, inspiration came from her field-hockey coach, Diane Madl a former Olympian whose attitude she called "relentless."

Beyond the playing field

The lessons Dlugolecki has learned go beyond challenges on the playing field.

At Providence, she worked at the Michael Carter Lisnow Respite Centerin Hopkinton, which cares for those with disabilities, from infants to adults.

In a summer program, she taught elementary students not to shy away from the unknown -- including autism, blindness, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy.

In 2005, she ran the Boston Marathon to raise money for Respite clients, receiving much support from Providence College.

At the school's all-sports gala banquet that spring, she received Jane Thompson Humanitarian Award, named for a former champion swimmer who overcame cystic fibrosis.

After college, she first worked for TJX in Framingham and then as a residential counselor at the Kennedy-Donovan Center in Foxborough. She ran two group homes for adult women with disabilities.

But she missed coaching and in 2008, began teaching in Holliston. There, she served in educational leadership positions, including volunteering to help develop schoolwide rubrics to measure 21st-century learning expectations, leading a redesign of the student advisory program and serving on the Teacher Technology Advisory Committee.

Since 2009 at Holliston, Dlugolecki was the assistant athletics director and a special-education teacher.

In Arlington, she began work this month in a position that has been redefined as full time in the wake of the dismissal in March of Edward "Ted" Dever.

Vision of director position

Asked to describe her vision of a director of athletics, she took a deep breath and began ticking off aspects of the challenge:

"To be visible, to love working with kids, to enjoy sports, to be a solid communicator, to establish standards and expectations."

On that score, she cited an Arlington sports acronym, ICARE, which stands for (from the AHS handbook):

• Integrity,
• Communication,
• Accountability and responsibility,
• Respect, and
• Effective teamwork and cooperation

Beyond those hopes, Dlugolecki searched for word that would give shape to her vision: The AD, she said, "needs to trust coaches and empower them .... There is no one set of model for coaching. You need to find a style."

Her plans for the position include establishing a captains' counsel. Captains of all sports will meet and establish rapport with each other and with her.

"They have to feel comfortable coming to talk with me," she said.

She would like to see captains "police the program," maintain high standards and practice leadership.

She admitted she would miss teaching and coaching, adding: "The athletics field will be an extension of the classroom."

Working on her master's in education at Framingham State, she is a registered administrator through National Interscholastic Athletics Administrators Association (NIAAA) and is awaiting certification.

The salary range for the position was described in April as $78,000 to $88,000. She will start at the beginning of that range.

As the new director of athletics gets to know the captains of Arlington High School teams, passing along -- and receiving -- lessons in leadership, you can expect to see the cloud that has hovered over the program since last August clearing.

June 12: Holliston coach named director of athletics at AHS

This story was published Monday, July 22, 2013.


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