Globe, Nov. 19: Charters suspend more
The statement was dramatic, as were the accompanying statistics: Precinct 13 Town Meeting member asked during public participation at the Oct. 23 School Committee meeting, “Did you know that an African-American student is 11 times more likely than a white student to suffer an out-of-school suspension in the Arlington Public Schools?"
He presented federal statistics from 2011, provided by Arlington's the school administration, supporting his case. Read his full statement here >>
"Some might claim that these are harsh accusations," he said at the meeting. "I don’t want to believe that any one of you is racist or is intentionally formulating policy that is discriminatory."
Superintendent Kathleen Bodie addressed the numbers Thursday, Nov. 13, to the School Committee. She noted an error in the statistics originally reported to the U.S. Department of Justice and added that preliminary current numbers show a decline in the number of out-of-school suspensions.
Remember when at rocked Menotomy Rocks Park? That was on a blowy day last May.
Remember when a mural gracing Spy Pond was unveiled? That was in December 2012.
Put the two together, and you get ... art rocking Spy Pond.
The Board of Selectmen has served notice that the opening of the warrant for the annual Town Meeting for 2015 begins Tuesday, and closes .
During this time, articles for the warrant, which is Town Meeting's agenda, can be submitted to the Board of Selectmen's office, second floor, Town Hall.
.The warrant-article submission packet, which includes instructions, is available at the Board of Selectmen's office and online at arlingtonma.gov/townmeeting.
Public comments sought through Dec. 1; hearing in January
UPDATED, Nov. 14: How do you wrap your arms around Arlington and try to shape its future? Lots of people, from an informed citizens' committee to Town Hall planners, are trying.
They made public their draft plan to about 30 people at the Senior Center on Thursday, Nov. 6. Among the recommendations, listed in no particular order (see the complete list at the link the complete, 171-page draft plan):
-- A town facilities manager, an administrator, possibly in the Department of Public Works, who would keep track of buildings and maintenance issues;
-- Address the large number of private ways and find solutions to make them public, so they could be maintained;
-- Deal with what those who devised the plan see as an overuse of special permits to address zoning issues;
-- Fashion a comprehensive plan for the length of the Mill Brook; and
-- Make zoning changes that would encourage more than one use (for example, residential and commercial or industrial) and "unlock business" development through greater building density.
UPDATED, Nov. 18: Work continues but is winding down for the season after beginning in July on the first phase of the $6.84 million Mass. Ave. project, starting at Pond Lane and heading toward Cambridge. Ground was broken July 29, as shown in photo-animation at left by Adam Auster. Worked reached Capitol Square a month later.
A description of what residents and business can expect was presented, followed by comments from 27 residents at the project kickoff at the Thompson School on Monday, June 16.
Town update Nov. 18:
Rebuild slowing for 2014
With the temperature falling and the days getting noticeably shorter, the rebuild is moving toward wrapping up its activities for 2014. At this point, no new areas of sidewalk will be opened, as the consistently cold temperatures are nonconducive to concrete pours. Some minor tie-in work for this water main remains to be accomplished after chlorination and testing; however, this will be accomplished during daylight hours.
During the week of Nov. 17, excavation, backfilling and temporary paving for new signal conduit will take place. Likewise, excavations for new traffic signal mast arms will continue. Assuming favorable weather conditions, on Nov. 20 and 21, there will be daytime water shutdowns for the relocation of fire hydrants. Any impacted property owners will receive 48 hours advance notification. Sawcutting for next spring’s sidewalk reconstruction will also take place throughout the project area. Residents and abutters should be advised that this is sawcutting only. No new sections of sidewalk will be taken out of service between now and next spring.
A two-vehicle collision that sent an SUV into a home where propane was stored resulted in injuries but no harm to students.
An Arlington public schools' sport utility vehicle was headed from Lexington to Arlington via Route 2A when it was struck by another vehicle about 12:10 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20. The collision caused the Arlington vehicle to exit the roadway and crash into a building on Lowell Street in Lexington, an Arlington news release said.
New England Cable News reported the vehicle struck a propane tank and caused a leak, which has since been mitigated.
With expectations high, the Arlington High School cross-country team on Tuesday, Nov. 18, headed to Franklin Park to support senior Joe Hazelton as he competed in the state championship.
A week before, he qualified for the competition with a sensational race at the divisional meet in Wrentham.
"I was ready to have the race of my life," Hazelton said. "With the support of my team, I knew I could get a good place in the meet."
The state Department of Environmental Protection has reached two settlements, totaling $55,100 and $7,187, respectively, with J.P. Noonan Transportation Inc. of West Bridgewater in connection with damage and Clean Water Act violations after a 9,600-gallon home-heating oil spill into the Mystic River on May 31, 2013.
The spill occurred on Route 60 in Arlington when an oil tanker truck crashed while going around a rotary on the Mystic Valley Parkway. As a result of the crash, the 10,000-gallon compartment of the tanker was breached, dumping nearly all of its contents onto the roadway, which then flowed into storm drains and subsequently into the nearby Mystic River, a state news release said.
Emergency response crews from Arlington, Medford, other nearby towns, MassDEP and a private contractor hired by Noonan were able to contain and clean up nearly all of the oil that spilled in the following days and weeks.
"The recovery of the Mystic River and its continued protection will not be set back by this unfortunate incident," said MassDEP Commissioner David Cash. "The NRD Trust will use the settlement to directly assist in repairing the damage done to natural resources there, and the funds will help MassDEP continue our important work protecting the environment from a host of hazardous materials."
Mystic River Watershed Association Executive Director EkOngKar Singh Khalsa said in the release Friday, Nov. 14:
UPDATED, Nov. 13: Various news outlets were reporting Tuesday, Nov. 11, that an Arlington 16-year-old reported last seen on Oct. 31, Halloween, had been found safe.
The outlets did not provide an official source for the information. On Thursday, Nov. 13, Capt. Richard Flynn did. He wrote in response to questions from YourArlington:
"On November 11, 2014, during the course of our investigation into this case, we developed information on a possible whereabouts of Samantha George. With this information we contacted the Stafford, CT, Police Department, who located the missing teen. Samantha George was subsequently transported back to Arlington by the Arlington Police Department."
Samantha George, at left in photo provided by police, seen on Halloween wearing a black skirt, flowery corset, black knee-high stockings and a black long-sleeve cardigan sweater, police said in a news release Monday, Nov. 10.