16 residents displaced; fund-raiser set up
UPDATED Jan 23: One women has died and another injured after an accidental fire in the seven-story Chestnut Manor early Saturday, Jan. 22, caused by an electric baseboard heater that either malfunctioned or was in close proximity to combustible items.
In a town news release, Fire Chief Kevin Kelley reports that the Arlington Fire Department responded to 54 Medford St., where a fire had started on the third floor. Fire officials were able to evacuate residents to a community room to keep them warm while crews suppressed the fire. The outside temperature at the time was 10 degrees.
WCVB, Channel 5, reported that a woman who lives on the third floor of the building called 911 at 4 a.m. and said a fire had broken out in her unit. Kelley said the fire spread, creating heavy flames and thick, black smoke inside the building.
Kelley told WCVB that a woman who lives in the unit where the fire started was transported to an area hospital for further medical evaluation. She is expected to be OK.
The fire chief added that another resident, a woman over the age of 65 who lives on the same floor, was found suffering from cardiac arrest in her unit. Emergency crews performed CPR at the scene and that woman was transported to an area hospital, where she later died of her injuries.
The victim's name is not being released until her family is notified and she is formally identified by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
The talk’s title, “The Kids are Alright,” echoed that of a classic-rock song by The Who and, more recently, of a feature film starring Annette Bening. It also describes the way most people, including children, continue to cope with the coronavirus pandemic that changed society in the first quarter of 2020.
That was the message of Michael Thompson, Ph.D, to more than 100 people attending his 90-minute presentation Thursday evening, Jan. 20.
Thompson, 74, an Arlington resident, has 50 years of successful professional experience helping youngsters. He began his career as a middle-school teacher and then became a clinical psychologist specializing in therapy with children, particularly boys. A father and grandfather, he is the author of seven books and a consultant to schools and summer camps around the world. See his website >>
His online talk held via Zoom was part of an educational series that began in the fall and is set to continue through spring.
Using an accessible, almost folksy tone during the program sponsored by the Arlington Public Schools, Dr. Thompson told listeners that most people find ways to live with the limitations, stress and uncertainty of the first pandemic in a century.
;UPDATED Jan. 21: Town Health and Human Services plans to resume offering Covid-19 rapid antigen, walk-in testing at Town Hall beginning 8 to 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 24, for the symptomatic and those exposed to the virus. See available days and times >>
Meanwhile, get your free, at-home Covid tests from the federal government >>
Flu vaccine clinic for those 6 months and older: Health and Human Services plans to provide flu vaccinations on Thursday, Jan. 27 at Town Hall. All 6 months and older are eligible to receive their vaccine. Times, registration information at arlingtonma.gov/flu.
The Select Board plans to meet with Verizon and Eversource representatives to discuss why 114 double utility poles in Arlington still don’t comply with state law concerning the replacement of existing poles.
Double poles occur when an old, damaged utility pole is tied to a new pole intended to replace the damaged one. They are an eyesore and can cause potential accessibility issues.
At its Jan. 10 meeting, board Chair Steve DeCourcey cited some progress – Verizon reports that the number of double poles in Arlington has decreased from 148 in October 2020 to 114 last October. But “questions remain on the completeness of this report,” he said.
ARPA could stand for Arlington Relief Payments Accepted.
Efforts by Deputy Town Manager Sandy Pooler, in concert with state and national organizations, have resulted in allowing Arlington to claim as much as $10 million in losses tied to federal rescue funds, called ARPA.
Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine explained at the Jan. 10 Select Board meeting that the ARPA rules have changed. Cities and towns with a population under 250,000 can now claim up to $10 million in losses without revenue justification. This gives Arlington more flexibility to apply these funds to the general fund, reducing the impending shortfall and providing a better result for the town.
Chapdelaine clarified Jan. 18 that "Sandy's efforts were a significant part of the advocacy work to get Treasury to amend their regulations," but the Massachusetts Municipal Association and the National League of Cities helped bring about this beneficial change. See Pooler's letter here >>
ARPA is a federal law that enables state and local governments to cover temporary operating shortfalls and enhance financial stability until economic conditions and operations normalize.
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