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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 TBMeek3.wordpress.com. 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 YourArlington.com. 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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SEPAC logo, 2011

As a special-education group says Arlington is missing out because its search for a top administrator has failed, Superintendent Kathleen Bodie expressed frustration about the limited pool of candidates squeezed by 17 districts seeking heads of special ed.

School Committee logo

"Regarding the recent search yielding no recommendation to hire from among the three finalists," Jerri Newman, who was speaking for SEPAC as its cochair, said during public participation Thursday, April 26, "we are disappointed and are concerned that there are flaws in the screening, search, and interview process which resulted in three finalists being selected and none found both suitable from the Superintendent's perspective, and willing to continue, from the finalist's perspective."

Newman asked the School Committee to appoint a neutral party to look into the process.

Bodie commented on a series of administrative positions that must be filled and three of the key searches that have not borne fruit but have had to be reopened.

As for the search for a director of special education, she said it began in December, initially drew few applications and was extended a month.

She noted that the three finalists had toured the schools in March and met the public. Their names have not been released.

Before deciding to reopen the search at a later time and have Kathleen Lockyer continue as interim director for another year, Bodie said a highly regarded applicant withdrew, a second had a contract renewed and the third was not made an offer.

Bodie said 17 districts in the region are seeking directors of special education.

Speaking about applicants for administrative jobs in general, Bodie said the "pool of people for these positions is not wide." She cited tightness in the market for school administrators that is expected to continue for the next five years.

Member Jeff Thielman asked whether a consultant may be need to aid in the current searches.

Bodie said one may be needed for the position of special-education director.

Committee members did not say whether they would follow up on Newman's suggestion for a neutral part to review school searches.

SEPAC cochair comments

The full text of Newman's comments:

"Regarding the status of the search for the director of special education, we have seen improvements in special education administration and team dynamics under the interim leadership of Ms. Lockyer, and speaking for myself personally here, I am very grateful for her leadership of the department. At the same time, SEPAC would have liked to have been able to move forward with several initiatives, which have been postponed in light of the lack of a permanent director of special education.

"Most recently we forfeited the spot reserved for parent leaders and two special-ed administrators from our district, to participate in a workshop offered by the Federation for Children with Special Needs, with support from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, on learning and applying collaborative leadership skills. In addition, we have not acted on an offer made almost a year ago for mediation and guidance from the Harvard Negotiating Team.

"Both of these valuable opportunities were offered to SEPAC and or the district free of charge.

"Regarding the recent search yielding no recommendation to hire from among the three finalists, we are disappointed and are concerned that there are flaws in the screening, search, and interview process which resulted in three finalists being selected and none found both suitable from the Superintendent's perspective, and willing to continue, from the finalist's perspective.

"This is the second screening and hiring effort which has resulted in no candidate among finalists, after many hours expended by staff and parents, at a time when we can ill afford to spend time that is not productive. We appreciate the Superintendent's efforts to include all stakeholders, but believe that the failure of these searches warrants careful analysis of the process to produce recommendations for changes moving forward.

"We respectfully request that the School Committee appoint neutral a party or parties, to be directed to solicit feedback from participants in the search and the meet and greet sessions, including parents and staff, and to solicit feedback from the finalists on the interview process, to expose any problems with the process that might have cost our district so much effort without producing a suitable candidate whom the Superintendent could present to the Committee.
Thank vou."

Updates about other searches

As for other searches, Bodie provided these updates:

-- AHS principal: Before calling off the search in February after it was extended a month and continuing Mary Villano as interim, she said the committee had no one it could recommend.

-- Stratton principal: Robert Spiegel, head of human resources, said 50 had applied. Among three finalists, Maureen Devlin, the top choice, was made an offer, which she considered and then said she had an offer from a private school in another state (here statements to parents is below). The search was reopened, and an ad was published in the Globe April 29. Bodie said she would appoint interim if this search is unsuccessful.

-- Assistant superintendent: The last of five finalists will meet the public April 30. A recommendation for one of those five is expected by May 4.

-- Director of math: Interviews of candidates continue.

-- Metco director: Steve Perreira is retiring in June after more than 30 years, and the School Committee voted, 6-0, in favor of a new job description.

Member Jud Pierce whether time after work hours could be arranged to meet candidates for any of these positions. Available times had been scheduled in the afternoon during work hours.

Spiegel called the request reasonable and said it is challenging to schedule times convenient for candidates and for the public.

"There are so few nights," Bodie said. "If interviews occurred at night, that would spread out the process." She expressed disappointment that few teachers had attended the sessions for assistant superintendent candidates.

In a statement to parents and guardians April 26, Bodie wrote:

"The result of the Stratton Elementary Principal search is that the position was offered to Maureen Devlin, whom we felt would be an excellent choice for Stratton.  Unfortunately, Ms. Devlin has informed us that she has chosen to accept an offer from a private school in another state and  I do not plan to offer the position to one of the other candidates.

"After much thought about what is in the best interest of Stratton, I have decided to re-open the search. My reason for re-opening the search is to be consistent with the way we conducted earlier searches this year, as well as to minimize administrative transitions. We extended the search time for another month both for the High School Principal and Director of Special Education. Unfortunately, the extra time did not result in a successful search, which may be the case for the reopened Stratton Principal search, though we hope for a different outcome.  Should we not find the right candidate for the position in this new search, my plan will be to appoint an Interim Principal for next year.

"The reopened Stratton position will be advertised in The Globe and other venues.  I hope that the members of the Search Committee will agree to continue their service on the Committee.  Should there be any openings, I will invite applications to participate on the Search Committee.

"My goal, as well as your goal, is to find the best person to lead Stratton Elementary School in the years ahead." 


This story was first published Sunday, April 29, 2012.

ZHEN RUAN CHUAN: May Photos

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