State Rep. Sean Garballey, Democrat of Arlington and West Medford, and state Sen. James B. Eldridge, Democrat of Acton, have filed restorative-justice legislation for the 2015-2016 session. It creates an option for law enforcement and courts to refer juvenile and low-level adult responsible parties to a community-based program instead of or alongside other responses, including prison.
"This legislation will provide a creative solution which allows low-level offenders to directly repair the harm caused to those impacted by their crimes," Garballey said in a news release he issued March 30.
"It will alleviate the pressure on our already overcrowded prison system and save money over time. Most importantly, it demonstrates to the nation our Commonwealth’s commitment to compassion in mitigating criminal behavior over harsher 'by-the=book' punishments. I am pleased to have Senator Eldridge as my ally on this important legislation."
Arlington Police Chief Fred Ryan, who included restorative justice in his remarks during a Town Hall forum about race in February, said in the release: "This alternative to the traditional criminal-justice system is often mistakenly perceived to be soft on crime. It is anything but. Restorative Justice empowers victims and communities to effectively resolve the harm resulting from criminal acts, while also holding offenders accountable to repair such harm. Many thanks to Representative Garballey and Senator Eldridge for their work at advancing this important legislation."
UPDATED, March 30: Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine told selectmen at their March 23 meeting that work on the Mass. Ave. Corridor project is to resume the week of March 30. He said work will initially involve sidewalks on the north side, as contractors move toward Capitol Square.
He said a public meeting about the project will be held in early May.
Word on the Street : Mass. Ave. at heart of master plan
A town update March 26 says, in part, that "work for the first several months of construction will be similar to operations last summer and fall focusing on sidewalks, utilities and traffic signals. Milling and paving operations on Massachusetts Avenue are not expected to begin until later this summer.
"During the week of March 30, saw cutting along the north (left side when facing toward Cambridge) side of Mass. Ave. will begin where it left off at the beginning of last winter. Likewise, survey work will take place to allow for repainting of markings to direct further saw-cutting, curb-line relocations, and utility pole relocations.
"Beginning during this week, utility pole relocations by Eversource (formerly NStar) may get underway and continue through the three weeks covered by this look ahead. Weather permitting, sidewalk excavations, curb shiftin, and paving will start again in the area of Grafton Street/Mass. Ave. and progress toward Alewife Brook Parkway. Work by a utility crew will also take place to repair preexisting faults in the storm drainage lines under Mass. Ave.
CSV tops The Fam in annual 'fun-raiser'
Town Hall was a hive of activity Sunday, March 22, as hundreds of spectators swarmed in to cheer on 25 teams at Arlington Education Foundation’s annual trivia bee. More than 16 local businesses showed their support for public education in Arlington by sponsoring the event and donating a total of $6,900.
Victory was sweet for Team CSC, at left, a group of friends (Dana Simon, Marylou Carr and David Cleary) who won in a sudden-death pesticide round against The Fam (family members Rebecca Steinitz, Mara Steinitz and Sam Putnam).
The winning question? "What country won the gold medal in both men’s and women’s hockey at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi?"
Team CSC answered correctly, with Canada, and flew home with the coveted trivia bee crown.
Many teams donned creative hats and costumes. Thompson School’s team Green with Envy won the award for best costume with team members Jason Loeb, Eric Eddy and Peter Thompson clothed in bright green Spandex shirts and head coverings representing their school’s environmental stewardship culture.
In addition to testing their trivia knowledge, teams also had to prove their engineering know-how.
Back memorial for MacMurray, letters objecting to MBTA weighting, airplane noise
Selectmen have voted to support a motion to involve their board in the process of appointing four at-large members of the Community Preservation Committee.
The 5-0 final vote Monday, March 23, was to show overall board support for Town Meeting Article 11 following a rehearing of the issue.
Selectmen Kevin Greeley urged the rehearing, saying selectmen recommendations for candidates were needed because the Community Preservation Act uses taxpayer money. Differences expressed at the March 9 board meeting appeared to have largely evaporated.
Two votes preceded the final one, following member Diane Mahon's request:
-- 5-0 to support Greeley's motion to include selectmen with the town manager in appointing members; and
-- 4-1, to have 45 days to establish the committee; Mahon, who was opposed, wanted 30 days.
For background about this issue, read Town Counsel Doug Heim's memo below.
In other business, the board approved, 5-0:
The Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC) honored Rep. Sean Garballey, at left, Democrat of Arlington and West Medford, and state Sen. John Keenan, Democrat of Quincy, with Legislator of the Year awards during its 37th annual legislative reception. House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, Democrat of Winthrop, and Senate President Stan Rosenberg, Democrat of Amherst, presented the awards.
A state representative since 2008, Garballey has led the effort in advocating for increased funding for Department of Developmental Services' (DDS) family support and respite services and DDS Day and employment services. He has also been the legislative sponsor in increasing budgetary support for Turning 22 and was successful in making sure that the program Best Buddies Massachusetts received state budget support.
Last legislative session, he also championed the Real Lives Bill, alongside Rep. Tom Sannicandro, Democrat of Ashland. Garballey serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing.
"I am both honored and humbled to be recognized as the Legislator of the Year," Garballey said in a news release. "I hope that this event will highlight not only the needs of an underserved population within our Commonwealth, but also the hard work of their family members, and the herculean efforts undertaken by those who work in this field."
Twenty works by students at Arlington High and Ottoson Middle School have won awards in the 2015 Scholastic Art Awards competition, including gold and silver key awards.
Lia Bernhard won multiple honors in the Scholastic Writing Awards.
The Arlington public school visual art department announced the 20 winners frpom two schools and said the competition is considered one of the most prestigious student art competitions at the state and national levels. Panelists look for works that best exemplify originality, technical skill and the emergence of a personal voice or vision.
Bernhard, a senior at Arlington High, earned a gold key, the highest honor, and three honorable mentions. She will continue to compete nationally. Donna Eidson sponsored her submissions.
Others Arlington writers honored were Sophie Fischer Frank, Cambridge Friends School, silver key; Olivia Takacs, gold key, and Alex Wheeler, honorable mention, International School Of Boston; and Gabriel Braunstein, Walnut Hill School, silver key, honorable mention.
At Arlington Catholic High School, Mahima Menghani of Waltham won a silver key writing award.
The following art teachers were involved in the Arlington public schools: David Moore, Nancy Muise, Annie Rebola-Thompson, Emmy Osterling, Alecia Serafini, Brian Corey and Polly Ford.
A 10th-grade Cambridge student who would like to be a filmmaker has won the fifth annual Arlington International Film Festival (AIFF) poster contest.
Naythan Lowe’s winning design -- he said it's his first effort with Photoshop -- will become the face of the 2015 festival, to be held in October at the Kendall Square Cinema after four years at the Regent Theatre.
Vicky Giannakas, manager of the Arlington branch of the Watertown Savings Bank, the main contest sponsor, presented Lowe with a $500 check at the Town Hall reception, attended by about 30 people March 12.
As the flash from cameras captured the moment, Lowe said, "After working for the first time with design software, my teacher asked me if I wanted to design a poster for the AIFF poster contest, and I said, "Sure!"
The Cyrus Dallin Art Museum's new Family ArtVenture program welcomes Arlington elementary students from the Hardy and Bishop schools to the museum to discover the art and life of Arlington’s celebrated sculptor.
This fun, hands-on program will be offered to the Hardy School on Sunday, April 19, and the Bishop School on Sunday, May 3, from noon to 4 p.m.
The museum will be open exclusively to families, teachers and administrators for free tours, art hunts and art-making activities. This fun, interactive program was developed in partnership with Arlington public schools to supplement the K-5 curriculum.