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  • PMA logo

    Local action pushes issue of corporate rights to state

    The following letter to the editor was written by Gina Sonder, who is the 2014 Arlington coordinator of Pass Mass Amendment, an effort to amend the state Constitution. The letter responds to an editorial in The Arlington Advocate titled "Stepping up for 'the people,' published Jan. 22, 2015.  A version of the editorial is online. I would like to bring your attention to a piece of legislation, filed in the Massachusetts Legislature by our own Senator Kenneth Donnelly and Representatives Dave Rogers as well as Paul Mark, which directly address corporate rights and money as speech. SD 1311 and HD 2599 were inspired by the language proposed by Pass Mass Amendment [PMA], a grass-roots citizens' ballot initiative petition committee. PMA proposes to amend the Massachusetts Constitution to clarify that: ...

  • When Town Hall is crowded ...

    Absent -- without voters' leave

    When Town Hall is crowded ... I reserve sustained applause for all Town Meeting members who show up to engage in public discussion and votes about Arlington's issues. As tedious and time-consuming as some of the discussion can be, your work toward a vote, and the vote itself, are welcome. Nay, more than that -- showing up is essential in our town's representative democracy. By far, the greatest majority of our elected Town Meeting members are present each spring Monday and Wednesday nights, from 8 until 11, at Town Hall. What about the persistent absentees? As documented in this news story about Town Meeting attendance, those who responded to questions about their absences have their reasons. ...

  • EALS logo

    Bikeway-Lake: Would a traffic light help?

      The following discussion, provided by Phil Goff and Chad Gibson, co-chairs of the East Arlington Livable Streets Coalition, was included in the group's Wednesday, Jan. 21, newsletter, titled "Will a traffic signal at the Minuteman/Lake St crossing improve or degrade safety?" For those who may not have heard, the town's venerable Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) has issued a preliminary study on the impacts that a new Lake Street traffic signal at the Minuteman pathway crossing would have on traffic flow and path user safety. TAC will summarize its analysis report to the Board of Selectmen (BOS) at the BOS meeting next Monday, Jan. 26, at 7:15 p.m. [Because of the blizzard, this meeting was rescheduled to Monday, Feb. 2, at 7:15 p.m.] The TAC report recommends that the BOS form a Design Review Committee to oversee the placement and design of a full traffic signal at the Minuteman Crossing, to be coordinated with the Brooks Ave. signal. The series of recom ...

  • Martin Luther King Jr.

    Review: How Arlington celebrates King's life

    One participant's view of a town tradition King My wife and I have been attending Arlington's celebration of Martin Luther King's life for two decades. We recall fondly the elbow-to-elbow affairs in the basement at the First Baptist Church. Pushed together with people you did not know but would soon come to know, the annual January occasions began the evening as neighborly get-togethers. After supper, we'd head upstairs to the sanctuary, and a choir would remind that the occasion was in part religious. After all, the slain civil-rights leader had been a preacher. So the evening called for the rhetoric of remembrance -- hopes sought, gains made, progress yet to occur -- and speakers rarely disappointed. Some even made news, as in 2006, when Deval Patrick spoke, foreshadowing the silky phrases we would hear after he became governor. Poet Afaa Michael Weaver recalls his younger years. In the years since the event moved to Town Hall, the committee that organizes the celebratio ...

  • Basketball logo

    Loser's view: What historic loss teaches

    As I write, the Spy Ponder boys are unbeaten after their first nine games. Many of their wins have been decisive. Enjoy the run while it lasts, and remember it well. I have no such memories. I played high school ball on a team that set a standard for appalling play. In two years, the teams on which I dribbled lost 34 times. A typical loss was 100 to 40 or so. A typical win? None really. We won twice, close games against the same "artistic" kids from New Hope, Pa. Why were we so bad? It was not for lack of effort. ...

  • Model UN logo

    Jazzy fund-raiser held as teen Model U.N. Group needs help

    The following was submitted by Julia Ruderman, a member of ARMUN for a second year, a resident of Arlington and a junior at Minuteman. The Arlington Regional Model United Nations Program (ARMUN) invited the public attend "An Evening of Festive Entertainment," held Saturday, Jan. 17, in the Fellowship Hall of Calvary Church, 300 Mass. Ave. The evening featured a local-youth jazz band led by vocalist Claire Dickson and bassist Dan Klingsman, joined as well by Ezra Morrison on Clarinet, Kevin LeFleur on guitar, Michael Morrissette on piano and Aaron Colonnesse on drums. ...

  • Film reviews logo

    Review: 'American Sniper': Clint’s a good shot, but what about man behind scope?

    This review by Tom Meek, a writer living in Cambridge, 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. It’s pretty amazing the quality of films Clint Eastwood has been belting out as he sails well past the octogenarian mark, not just because he’s making movies at that age, but because of the ambition and scope of those films. “Invictus” (2009) took on the shifting tides of apartheid in South Africa, “J. Edgar” (2011), the biopic of America’s long-standing top dick, spanned eras and presidential regimes as America was shaped during the mid-1900s – and then there was the ill-fated but well-intentioned musical “Jersey Boys” (2014) ...

  • Rotary Club logo

    Brrrr: but it's a good cause Saturday

    Want to receive a photo of School Committee Chairman Bill Hayner in a Speedo freezing his tush off? You can, if you donate to a worthy cause -- eradicating polio. "Remember, everyone who sends a donation gets a picture of me coming out of the water," Hayner write in an appeal seeking donations. He adds with tongue in cheek: "If it is a substantial donation, I won't send the picture." Hayner is among those supporting Rotary District 7930 of Arlington, participating in its fifth annual Polar Plunge on Saturday, Jan. 31, at Long Beach in Gloucester at 11:15 a.m. ...

  • YA logo

    Your letters wanted ... about anything

    Do you have a passionate opinion about an Arlington issue? We know you have emotions, but can you support your beliefs with facts? The general election is over, but opinions don't stop. Let the public know what you think. Right here. You may submit letters of any length to YourArlington. You're not restricted by any word limit, as you are in The Advocate. You may send letter in three ways -- by email to sprague.bob [at] gmail.com,  or by a plain-text file copied and pasted at Send News or here >> ...

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Town Meeting logo

Session No. 6:  Meeting OKs historic signs, dissolves

In the shortest meeting in years in terms of the number of sessions, the 2013 edition concluded its business Wednesday, May 8, as it debated a $20,000 appropriation for historic signs for 20 minutes before approving it.

For more, see humor from the Avocado as well as notes by Wes Beal, Christian Klein and Dan Dunn. | Official votes

Session No. 5:  $300,000 transfer to school budget shot down

A request from Precinct 13 member Stephen Harrington to transfer $300,000 to the school budget, in part to reduce fees for athletics, was rejected in a decisive standing vote on Monday, May 6.

The budget for Minuteman Tech was approved, as was a fuind for special education.

The Arlington Avocado weighs in.

For more, see notes by Wes Beal, Christian Klein and Dan Dunn. | Official votes

Session No. 4: Financial matters slow pace

Session No. 4 of the 2013 annual Town Meeting on Wednesday, May 1, addressed financial issues, and the pace slowed.

Members approved Article 25, an exemption on personal property, which amounted to $3,100 in total revenue. They discussed at length budgets under Article 31. For more, see notes by Wes Beal, Christian Klein and Dan Dunn. | Official vote

Beal commented before the meeting >>

Session No. 3: Self-serve gasoline ban continues

The annual Town Meeting on Monday, April 29, voted to retain the bylaw banning self-serve gasoline after the proponent said he had changed his mind about limits on the ban.

The meeting moved to lower overnight parking fees as well as pay for an amount (still to be decided) for the public art fund. The meeting reached Article 31, the budgets, and adjourned early so they could be considered Wednesday, May 1.

For more, see notes from Christian Klein,Wes Beal and Dan Dunn. | Official votes

Before the meeting, Wes Beal offered his views >>

Session No. 2: Leaf-blower plan passes, bottle-ban shot down

At a Special Town Meeting held Wednesday, April 24, a measure that leaf-blower supporters called a "compromise" and opponents called an "evisceration," was supported, 113-95.

An article proposing to ban plastic water bottles was defeated by voice vote. Brought by three Arlington High School students, the measure was the first ever presented to Town Meeting by students.

For more, see notes by Christian Klein, Wes Beal, Bob Sprague and Dan Dunn  | Official votes

Before the votes, Beal had some thoughts >>

Session 1: E-voting, medical-marijuana moratorium supported

Town Meeting, at its first session Monday, April 22, approved a year's delay on situating a medical-marijuana dispensary in Arlington Center and supported a move to electronic voting at future meetings.

Finance Committee Chairman Al Tosti described the $10,000 appropriation to pay for voting devices a lease, allowing the town to evaluate the system for a year.

For more, see notes by Christian Klein, Dan Dunn and Wes Beal | Official votes

Town Meeting underway: Dunn views town's state

The annual Town Meeting began at 8 p.m. Monday, April 22. Selectmen Chairman Dan Dunn presented the State of the Town Address.

The warrant (agenda) for this year's meetings is online at arlingtonma.gov/townmeeting.

Among the issues to be considered are those involving leaf blowers, plastic water bottles, fees for overnight parking and medical marijuana.

Read the reports to Town Meeting here >> 


Unofficial info Truepersons.comTwitter, Dan Dunn's blog | Official info (town website)

Video icon Watch Town Meeting on TV in April. Arlington Community Media (ACMi) plans to air Town Meeting live every Monday and Wednesday evening on the Government channel until the session ends and replays throughout the week. Please visit ACMI's website for channels and replay details at arlingtonstudio.com.

All precincts invited to post meetings

This information was published Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, and updated May 10.

Zhen Ren Chuan: January Photos

  • 1ZRC

    Adults practicing Bagua Yue.

  • 2ZRC

    Emile and Lucas (Juniors) get their belts.

  • 3ZRC

    Iron Palm and Speed Bag training.

  • 4ZRC

    Jasmyn (Children's age group) gets her Belt.

  • 5ZRC

    Juniors during Deep Breathing.

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  • 6ZRC

    Nick passes his 6th Stripe Test.

  • 7ZRC

    Rivka passes her 2nd Stripe Test.

  • 8ZRC

    Vivek gets his belt (Advanced Children).

  • 9ZRC

    Zhen Ren Chuan wants to hear from you. Click here >> This photo series is an advertisement.

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