Be someone's Valentine on Saturday, Feb. 13, at St. John's Episcopal Church Coffeehouse, whose featured singer-songwriters are Lara Herscovitch and Eric Kilburn.
Doors open at 7:15 p.m. for 7:30 concert.
For advanced ticket sales and more performer information, see www.laraeric.bpt.me.
Proceeds benefit the Arlington Food Pantry and affordable housing.
The legend above the graphics on the screen at the Senior Center was at once stark and obvious: "HOUSING PRICES ARE INCREASINGLY OUT OF REACH."
So was the supporting data provided by Jennifer M. Goldson, a planning consultant for the town: One in three households here spends more than 30 percent of their income on housing. Further, the sale price affordable to a median income in Arlington is about $310,000, but the median sale price of homes in town was $580,000 in 2015.
Can we address key issues about Arlington housing? Thirty-five residents, hunched in discussion over seven tables, tried.
In a "visioning" session Tuesday, Feb. 2, aimed at moving toward a town housing production plan in May, participants were encouraged to use "perfect-world thinking." Thus, they offered a wide-ranging list of options.
That list is expected to be refined against the glint of practicality at a second public session, in April.
After that, a proposed housing plan will go for approval to the Redevelopment Board and then selectmen. The plan was last updated in 2004 and is among the recommendations of the town's first comprehensive master plan, adopted a year ago.
For those who stayed to the end of the two hours, and most did, the scope of Arlington's housing problem became clearer, and residents, undaunted by depressing statistics, took their best shots at possible solutions.
UPDATED, Feb. 9: Arlington’s public and Catholic schools were closed Monday, Feb. 9, after snow was predicted to fall all day.
The town has declared a snow emergency and parking ban from 4 p.m. Feb. 8 to to 7 a.m. Feb. 9. Details >> They reopened Tuesday.
The National Weather Weather Service issued a winter-storm warning for heavy snow from 4 a.m. Monday until 7 a.m. Tuesday.
Six to 10 inches of accumulating snow is expected from this system.
Follow snow totals in Massachusetts here >> The servicd said that as of Monday night, 4.2 inches had fallen.
The principal at Arlington Catholic High School has been put on leave pending the outcome of an investigation, various media outlets are reporting, citing school officials.
In a note sent to parents Wednesday, Feb. 3, Vice Principal Linda Butt said the decision about Stephen Biagioni stems from allegations that took place after a Sunday detention at the school.
"We have no reason to believe at this time it involves allegations of sexual abuse," the letter said.
Biagioni has been a longtime administrator at the school. and students who spoke to FOX25 expressed shock.
The school said it would update the community once the investigation was finished.
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.