UPDATED, Sept. 30: To celebrate resident Dr. Stanley Sagov’s 47 years as a medical practitioner ― serving patients, learners and colleagues ― the Select Board unanimously proclaimed Sept. 19, 2021, as Dr. Stanley Sagov Day in Arlington.
Board Chair Steve DeCourcey read a proclamation honoring Sagov, who recently retired from his Arlington practice, at the Monday, Sept. 27, Select Board meeting.
“Dr. Sagov has been a leader and contributor to Mount Auburn Hospital and the surrounding community . . . and has taught and mentored hundreds of medical students and residents,” states the proclamation. Read it here >>
Board member John Hurd, a former patient of Sagov’s Family Practice Group, on Water Street, praised the great group of doctors, nurses and staff. “This is a well-deserved honor of a life well lived.”
“I appreciate his service, not only to his patients, but to all those he trained,” said board member Diane Mahon.
Board to send letter about airplane noise to Massport
The Select Board is expressing concerns about Logan Airport’s new flight patterns to the Massport Community Advisory Committee. The board voted, 4–1 (Len Diggins voted no), to send this letter.
“We are disheartened by the denial by the FAA to support departure flight track dispersion that the community has been advocating for. We do not seek to move all concentrated flight path noise to other communities. Instead, we seek to share the noise burden equitably,” the letter states. Read the letter and memo here >>
Before 2013, all flights were managed by air-traffic control. The planes were spread out fairly randomly, and Arlington got little traffic. Now, however, the new flight tracks are all done by computer, and Arlington has two concentrated flight paths directly over the town, especially East Arlington. However, there should be a way to come up with a way that’s more equitable, explained Padraig Martin, Arlington’s lead health-compliance officer.
“Local communities are asking for dispersion to make it more equitable. Our proposal doesn’t change the flight paths much; it just shifts them further north, so there’s not a lot of relief. However, a bunch of residents not previously affected will now have a higher noise level.
“The FAA’s rational for doing this is that it improves safety at the airport,” said Martin.”
On Oct. 6, the Massport advisory committee plan to meet again and decide how to vote on this proposal.
Board member Eric Helmuth said, “If it’ll make things worse for people in our community, it’s worth asking again.”
Diggins disagreed: “Safety is a big deal, but being louder in Arlington makes it less loud in other areas.”
Residents continue to express concern over proposed precinct reduction
During the meeting’s open forum, several people voiced their disapproval of Arlington’s recommendation to reduce the number of precincts from the current 21 to 16, after strong sentiment was aired at the Sept. 13 meeting.
Rebecca Gruber, Precinct 8 meeting member, said: “I plead for transparency regarding reducing the number of precincts. The goal is to improve diversity and equity in representation, but I see no evidence. The efficiency of running elections, and reducing the complexity of the town clerk’s job, is no reason for the confusion that will ensue.”
Elizabeth Dray, Precinct 8 meeting member, said: “It’s crucial to redraw the precinct boundaries without having all Town Meeting members run again, and causing complete chaos with over 200 names on the ballot. It’s no more fair and equitable than what we already have. I ask to make public all aspects of the unfairness and exclusivity. If this claim cannot be supported, then I ask the Select Board to keep the 21 precincts.”
Beth Melofchik, Precinct 9 meeting member, added: “I’m concerned with the chaos, and the integrity of elections and democracy. The objectives of efficiency and saving money are confusing, and I don’t see the merits of that.”
Holiday market at Uncle Sam Plaza
Town officials hope that holiday shopping will be easier with a weeklong pop-up holiday market to be held between Thanksgiving and Dec. 23 at the town visitor center on Uncle Sam Plaza, Arlington Center.
“It’s also a business-recruitment effort to fill some of the town’s vacant storefronts,” said Ali Carter, Arlington’s economic-development coordinator. “We received interest from 58 vendors.”
Helmuth said, “This is a creative, fresh, out-of-the box idea.”
“It’s a great idea, and might be an opportunity to fill some vacant storefronts,” said DeCourcey.
Diggins said, “It’s a good way to reach out to the community to enhance diversity.”
2025 celebration committee created
And the festivities continue!
Arlington—along with neighbors Lexington, Concord, Carlisle and Bedford—plan to celebrate America’s Revolutionary War 250th anniversary in April 2025.
The Select Board unanimously approved creating a celebration committee, and Hurd will provide specifics at a later meeting.
“We have to start getting our plans to the federal government to start this 2025 Patriots Day weekend celebration. We need an entity that’s tasked to put together a plan, and we have a specific set of guidelines of what that’ll look like. It’ll be good for Arlington to showcase our incredible historic places, which are often overshadowed by neighboring towns,” said Hurd.
Mahon said she’s “happy to support this,” and Helmuth suggested involving the town’s historical society.
DPW facility renovations continue
Michel Rademacher, director of public works, updated the board on the construction progress of the $44 million project to reshape the DPW at 51 Grove St.
“We’re renovating the existing buildings in two phases. Phase 1 involves renovating at an accelerated rate to enable the IT department to move out of the high school. We started in earnest in late spring, and expect to be completed by late summer/early fall 2022,” Rademacher said.
“The emphasis has been on Building A, which is going very well. We’re ensuring due diligence in our health and safety plans. Our project contractor has enlisted an industrial hygienist to oversee all excavations and monitor the site, ensuring the workplace is safe. We’ve been demolishing concrete walls, and getting the infrastructure down so it doesn’t pose a risk for environmental concerns.
“Building B is being completed renovated. We’re ensuring a significant amount of due diligence in testing the soil, so that when we get into the actual excavation, we won’t need to further test it.
“Unfortunately, we’ve already received news that steel for the new building is being delayed, which will delay the production of steel and other materials. We were initially hoping for an August move-in date, but are now looking at the end of October.”
Helmuth said, “I’m glad that the safety plans have been given lots of thought and care.”
“This is exciting to see plans again to refresh our memories or what we’ll see there,” said Hurd.
Helmuth appointed designee to Affordable Housing Trust Fund
Board member Helmuth was unanimously approved as the board’s designee to Arlington’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
Helmuth, delighted with his appointment, said, “I got interested in this when I was involved with the Community Preservation Act committee.”
Alcohol, marijuana store license requests extended to Oct. 29
The deadline to request new alcohol and marijuana store licenses was extended to Oct. 29, as unanimously approved by the board.
“We originally had package store licenses available for application Aug. 1 to 27, and then have a hearing on Sept. 13. We’re now amending that date to open receipt of package store licenses immediately and close on Oct. 29, and schedule any competition for that license at the next Select Board meeting [Nov 8],” said Town Counsel Doug Heim.
“Similarly, our original plan for the host community agreement process for marijuana retail licenses was Sept. 13 to Oct. 15. We’ll now be open Oct. 1 through 29, and then hear those applications at either the Nov. 8 or Nov. 22 Select Board meeting. We don’t anticipate a lot of new applicants, and will likely see some applicants we’ve seen before,” added Heim.
July 20, 2021: Progress update on $44M project to reshape DPW
This news summary by YourArlington freelancer Susan Gilbert was published Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021, and updated Sept. 30, to add alcohol, marijuana licenses.
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