The next show, Inherit the Wind, is a change for Verse and Vodka Theater.
Along with the humor and beautiful dialogue you've come to expect, the play brings drama to the forefront. This change inspired us to tell our audience more about the plays we present in a new section of our website called Director's Notes.
Verse and Vodka Theater returns to the Arlington Elks Lodge this February with the play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. The courtroom drama is a fictionalized Scopes "Monkey Trial," which tested a Tennessee law against teaching evolution in the schools. The playwrights used the setting along with humor and sharp dialog to argue for a person’s right to think and against McCarthyism. Performances are Feb. 12, 13, 19 and 20.
Romano takes out papers for board; 3 could seek 2 school seats
UPDATED, Jan. 31: Potential races for selectman and School Committee loom as Maria Romano has taken out papers for the former board and six-year member Jud Pierce has decided not to seek reelection for the latter.
Romano, in fifth potential run for selectman, took out nominating papers on Wednesday, Jan. 27.
Taking out papers for the school seat are James Doherty, a former longtime member of the Board of Assessors, and Len Kardon, a Finance Committee member who is active in school issues.
Kirsi C. Allison-Ampe, the other school incumbent, says she is seeking reelection to the three-year seat she has held since 2010 and took out nomination papers just before noon Friday, Jan. 15.
For Board of Selectmen, a three-year seat is open this year -- the one held by Kevin Greeley, who has served the board since 1989. He took out papers Jan. 19.
E. Arlington parent-group survey backs public schools using Gibbs
UPDATED, Feb. 4: The Lesley Ellis School, one of four organizations paying for space in the former Gibbs Jr. High since 1989, is considering an option to move to the building now occupied by Dearborn Academy, but no move is yet certain while Dearborn seeks a new location.
Ted Wilson, president of Schools for Children, said in a statement in response to inquiries by YourArlington that "such a move depends on finding and securing a suitable alternative for Dearborn Academy.
We have not secured such a space as of this moment, so no final decisions have been made, and the Board of Trustees continues its deliberations.
"All options remain on the table until we find and settle upon the best resolution for this school and for our organization."
As Schools for Children, which manages Lesley Ellis and Dearborn, decides how to move forward, a parent group has made public the results of a survey showing support from the 1,058 polled for returning the former Gibbs to classrooms.
For Arlington's Dan Leclerc, World War 1, also known as "The Great War," was not so great.
At a Jan. 27 meeting, the amateur historian and former Belmont selectman, offered the Retired Men's Club of Arlington this overriding synopsis -- how military generals can get lost in an image of themselves and become the cause of thousands of deaths.
Leclerc painted the picture of the magnitude of the war. In 1916, there were 500,000 casualties on each side on Western front. Combined casualties totaled 3.5 million people on the Russian front.
He told how the French tried to open a new front in the area between Soissons and Reims. The Germans settled opposite them on a 60-mile ridge line in a defensive network of old chalk mines.
French General Philippe Pétain ordered an assault, resulting in 40,000 French deaths the first day. The second day's assault had the same results.
At start of process that could take 5 years
The project to rebuild Arlington High School is in the state pipeline for funding, but it must clear a vote in May before moving ahead in earnest.
Reshaping the sprawling school, whose oldest sections date from 1914, is a complex challenge that could take five years.
"A wonderful decision .... Arlington has been invited into eligibility" by the state School Building Authority, Superintendent Kathleen Bodie told the School Committee on Thursday, Jan. 28. "We are going forward with the project."
Not immediately, though, said Bodie, who had attended the meeting of the state board the day before.
The School Department is sponsoring a forum for elementary parents focused on the PARCC assessment and the Common Core state standards in mathematics and literacy, set for Wednesday, Feb. 24, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Thompson School gym.
Parents will also learn about the district's plan for implementation of the paper-based PARCC assessment this spring.
Speakers include Matthew Coleman, director of mathematics K-12 and Linda Hanson and Tammy McBride, elementary literacy specialists.
Parents are invited to send questions regarding PARCC and the Mass. Common Core state standards to Dr. Laura Chesson at lchesson[@]arlington.k12.ma.us before the forum so that the administration is able to address questions, though there will also be an opportunity to ask questions following the presentation.
Last fall, the Massachusetts Board of Education voted to adopt a new state assessment (MCAS 2.0) that will be administered statewide beginning in the 2016-2017 school year in grades 3 through 8, replacing MCAS. This assessment will be based on the PARCC (Partnership for Assessing Readiness for College and Career) assessment, which many districts in Massachusetts have piloted over the last two years.
The Department of Secondary and Elementary Education (invited districts that have not been administering PARCC to choose to pilot PARCC this year in preparation for the implementation of MCAS 2.0 next year. In December, the Arlington School Committee voted to have the Arlington Public Schools administer the PARCC assessment in grades 3 through 8 this spring to provide our students with the opportunity to experience an assessment similar to the next generation state testing planned for spring 2017.
UPDATED, Feb. 3: Another day, another threat.
Arlington High School Principal Matthew Janger reports that students have returned to the school following a threat that appeared not to amount to sufficient risk. BostonGlobe.com reported threats at schools in Milton and Wakefield.
"We have swept the building with support from the police and fire department." he wrote in an email at 11:17 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2.
Arlington High was cleared following a bomb threat Tuesday, Jan. 19. That followed a threat to Arlington Catholic the preceding Friday. Lexington High received a robo-call threat Monday, Feb. 1.
Arlington has lost a man who was the heart of volunteerism here.
Roland E. Chaput, whose home overlooked the Robbins Farm Park he loved and served so well, died Saturday, Jan. 23. He was 82.
"Roly was the epitome of Arlington's impressive volunteer spirit," Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine wrote. "His many contributions and positive attitude will be sorely missed."
The news caught many by surprise. A number in Town Hall reacted with an audible "oh," after Moderator John Leone announced the passing Monday, Jan. 25, at the Special Town Meeting. Chaput had been a Town Meeting member for more than 44 years.
In the words of some who knew him, let us count the ways he will be missed:
-- Selectmen Joseph Curro Jr. told the board he was "devastated," noting Chaput's service on many town committees, including cochair of the town's 200th-anniversary celebration, in 2007. "He was such a kind man," whose vigor led him to climb all of the New Hampshire peaks 4,000 feet and higher.
Curro held up a copy of Legendary Locals of Arlington, a book about unsung heroes that includes photo of Chaput standing at the microphone in the selectmen’s chambers -- "the way I like to remember him," Curro said.
-- In his personal blog, Selectman Dan Dunn wrote: "Roly was a stalwart, a relentlessly upbeat, can-do volunteer who dedicated hours and hours to our community. I mourn his passing."