A New Hampshire man who has worked for the Arlington DPW has been indicted on charges of secretly videotaping women in a public restroom in Arlington.
A Middlesex County grand jury has indicted Joseph Hennessey, 53, of Salem, on charges of photographing or videotaping a person in a state of nudity (four counts) and with interception of oral communications.
Police Chief Frederick Ryan said in a news release: "We commend the women who were victimized for working with our detectives on this investigation. On the spectrum of privacy invasion, this is as bad as it gets."
District Attorney Marian Ryan said in the release, "People need to act on their instincts because usually when they sense something isn't adding up they're correct. In this case, the employee saw something out of place, noticed a man acting suspiciously and then called police. The employee stopped a situation that was an extreme example of an invasion of privacy."
The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) will not be including Arlington High School into the funding process for the current fiscal year but invites the town to apply for next year.
In an email to the high school community Tuesday, Dec. 16, Principal Matthew Janger reported news, which he called "disappointing."
The Dec. 12 letter informing Arlington from John McCarthy, the agency executive director, said the state had received 108 statements of interest about school-building projects from 72 districts.
"Given the needs we experience and the work we have done to document those needs," Janger wrote "this is hard news for many of us. It's important for us to remember the wonderful educational work and community that we have maintained, in spite of our aging facility."
Janger continued: "This is not altogether surprising news, as few schools appear to be accepted on their first request. We plan to update and resubmit our proposal this April. As for our timeline, this news moves the first possible start date for a construction project back to 2018."
Driver may have thought entry was drive-through
A Salvation Army bell ringer soliciting donations was injured Tuesday, Dec. 16, when a car crashed into the front door Walgreens in Arlington Heights.
The bell ringer suffered a leg injury and was brought to a local hospital for treatment, police said.
A preliminary investigation indicates that the driver may have mistaken the front door/awning of the drug store for a drive-through window.
The driver, an 87-year-old male from Arlington, will be cited for operating to endanger.
Arlington police also filed an "immediate threat" notification to the Registry of Motor Vehicles, asking the state Department of Motor Vehicles to review the driver's right to have a license.
UPDATED, Dec. 17: As Christmas nears, Walter Locke appears to be everywhere.
The reincarnation of a Thomas Nast Santa, the Arlington resident, longtime chorus member and first-time actor plays a key role in "The Christmas Revels" at Sanders Theatre in Cambridge.
If you ride the T, you see the Arlington resident on ads as you grab a subway strap or on the side of passing bus.
You can hear him in this interview broadcast on ACMi, where he used to work.
Globe review, Dec. 16 >>
In its annual effort to explore a different culture and era through its music and holiday rituals, the Revels this year goes inside the "Crystal Palace," the remarkable glass building in Victorian London, erected for the Great Exhibition of 1851. A frenzied producer, cheeky street performers, a composer and a palace manager (played by Locke) merge in a scheme to produce a Christmas performance fit for royalty.
Representative Jay Kaufman's award-winning, public-policy forum, Open House, tackles the taxes you pay in return for the services rendered in "How Do We Know We're Getting Our Tax Dollars' Worth?" The forum, the fourth of the 20th season, is set for Thursday, Dec. 18, from 7 to 8 p.m., at the historic Depot, 13 Depot Square, Lexington Center.
Joining Representative Kaufman will be Mark Fine, the director of the municipal planning department at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, a regional planning agency serving the people who live and work in the 101 cities and towns of Metro Boston.
Before joining the agency, Fine served as the managing director of the Office of Commonwealth Performance, Accountability and Transparency, a newly created office within the Executive Office for Administration and Finance. In that role, he led the state's MassResults performance-management initiative and sought to improve the transparency of state spending and performance information through new online tools.
UPDATED, Dec. 15: An estimated 400 people joined residents and town groups most of whom embraced the theme "Black Lives Matter" during a vigil Dec. 14, on three of the four corners at Mass. Ave. and Pleasant.
Organizers promised a peaceful response to recent events nationwide, particularly in Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, N.Y., and that it would not block traffic or pedestrians.
That is how the rally came off, as police told attendees when they could cross the street, and participants followed their advice. With the sound of a horn, signaling the protest's end, rallygoers crossed Mass. Ave. and Pleasant wishing officers well. The officers did the same.
Before the vigil, as a crowd gathered under the maple tree at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, a series of speakers set the tone.
One of them, the Rev. Mikel Satcher of Arlington, formerly of Trinity Baptist Church and now of Andover Newton Theological School, said: "Yes, black lives matter, but justice matters."
Bonie Bagchi Williamson, co-chair of the town's Arlington 2020 Diversity Task Force, read a famous plea by Martin Niemöller, a prominent Protestant pastor who opposed the Nazis:
UPDATED, Dec. 16: Arlington police seek a suspect in an alleged sexual assault that took place Sunday, Dec. 14, Cambridge city line, believed to have taken place between 2 and 3 p.m.
"This suspect allegedly attacked a woman in broad daylight, and we are asking anyone who may have heard or seen anything to please come forward and assist police in capturing this dangerous felon," Chief Fred Ryan said in a news release.
The incident was reported to have taken place on the Arlington/Cambridge lines in a wooded area near the Route 2 underpass and behind the Alewife Brook Reservation.
The possible time frame of the incident was when many officers were at Mass. Ave. and Pleasant for the well-attended vigil.
The sketch with this story was put together by Officer Ian Spencer of the Lincoln Police Department, and police say it is a very good likeness of the suspect.
Tug-of-war over 3- or 5-year contract
Police Chief Fred Ryan has been selected to lead the MBTA police force, the State House News Service reported Friday, Dec. 12.
A report by Andy Metzger says members of the board that would make the hire want more limits on the contract before approving the appointment.
"I'm honored to have been offered the job, and I look forward to ironing out the details," Ryan told the News Service.
The Arlington native would take over for Paul MacMillan, who was appointed chief almost seven years ago and has spent 31 years in the department. MacMillan retired Nov. 1.
Ryan was appointed chief of the Arlington police in November 1999.
Chairman John Jenkins raised concerns about the length of the contract offer that MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott described to the state transportation board on Thursday, Dec. 11, but told the News Service he had no qualms with the selection of Ryan, describing him as an "outstanding candidate."
It's a joyful problem, as the number of relatives attending holiday gatherings grow -- what to do about too many gifts?
An Arlington woman has found an answer: Use crowdsourced funding to aid the Jimmy Fund.
"I wanted to know what more we might do," Jamie Mendelsohn said. "We have everything we need and others don't. So how do we get together as a group and [address] that?"
She sought out to donation site DreamFund and targeted a longtime effort that battles cancer. The disease has affected members of her extended family, and, as it happens, Mendelsohn's grandfather, Irving Shapiro, led a group that founded the Jimmy Fund, in 1947.
Every year, Mendelsohn said in an interview Dec. 10, family members descend for the holidays to celebrate, an annual event for her since childhood. But the numbers are on the increase. In the photo at right, 24 people of all ages smile (Jamie is hiding on the left behind the white-haired man).
One result? "Too many presents," Jamie said, wondering, "How do you get them under control?"