Arlington Town Hall had no clear ongoing diversity effort in October 2018, when a town police officer published harsh, racially infused comments in an official, statewide police journal.
Lt. Richard Pedrini was placed on leave, and, in 2019, then-Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine addressed the matter with restorative justice, a process requiring the officer to deal with representatives of those affected by his comments. Pedrini later returned to active duty with the police and, months after that, publicly apologized.
The controversy that followed spurred the birth of a citizen group, Arlington Fights Racism, whose leaders wanted the officer fired and viewed the restorative-justice process as ineffective. At the same time, the town manager instituted diversity training for all town employees.
Those educational efforts to address institutional bigotry are to continue this fall, Jillian Harvey told local public television station ACMi in an update (see ACMi video here >>). Harvey was appointed the town's first coordinator of diversity, equity and inclusion in 2020. Later, she was elevated to director.
Town Hall efforts to address inclusion are expanding. Harvey now supervises two employees whose roles represent firsts for Arlington.
$860k supports projects aimed at sustainable growth for Covid-affected industries; see list of amounts below
UPDATED Sept. 28: Twenty-two nonprofit organizations and small businesses in Arlington have been selected to receive a total of $860,900 in grants.
The town's Transformative Growth Grants Program, funded by American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and administered by the Department of Planning and Community Development, helps those affected by Covid-19 bring to life their vision for future growth.
The town announced the awards in a news release. Small-businesses and nonprofit organizations representing a variety of industries received grants for place-making, programming, facilities and infrastructure, news reporting, personnel or planning projects. Here are the recipients how much each received:
Opera tenor Alberto Profeta, known as the “Pavarotti of Sicily," will project his voice at the new Arlington High School auditorium at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29.
Sabato “Tino” D'Agostino, AHS director of band and orchestra, told YourArlington: “I was able to catch Maestro Profeta for this concert because I have known him for a while and I have also played with him (we just played in Chicago with him). He is an amazing singer.”
The event is free, but donations are accepted.
Presenting “famous Italian arias and songs,” Profeta will be supported by Maxim Lubarsky on piano; Salvatore DiFusco, guitar; Sergio Bellotti, drums; Guitano Zagami, percussion; and D'Agostino, bass.
Arlington Community Electricity (ACE) program, with a 24-month contract term beginning in November. Use of renewable energy is expected to increase, as are rates.The town has selected a new electricity supplier for the
More than 16,000 residents and businesses enrolled in the program can expect to see a change in price, and a new supplier, on their December electricity bill. This bill will reflect the November meter reading.
Under the new contract, the default percentage of extra renewable energy for the “local green” product will increase from 11 to 30 percent. Purchasing extra renewable energy through this product enables customers to contribute to increased renewable-energy development in the Northeast region. This increase is estimated to yield an additional 16.6 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable-energy use, enough to power 2,900 Arlington homes entirely on renewables.
UPDATED Sept. 27: The return of Town Day -- the 44th -- drew record attendance on a beautiful, blue-sky day, followed after dusk by 22 minutes of fireworks on Saturday, Sept. 17.
Town Day had not been held since 2019 because of the continuing pandemic.
Chamber of Commerce video >> | See photos here >>
The Arlington Town Day Committee, in a Sept. 27 news release, thanks all who helped make the return of Town Day 2022 a huge success, with the largest turnout in memory. In addition, an estimated 1,000 people visited the new wings at Arlington High School.
Held along Mass. Ave between Mill/Jason streets and Pleasant Street, Town Day presented a wide variety of activities and services and hosted more than 200 booths.
The town has launched its housing-stability program, providing as much as three months of rental and mortgage assistance to Arlington households that have a low or middle income and have been affected by the economic instability caused by Covid-19.
The assistance program is funded through the town’s allocation from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Additional information about the program is available at www.arlingtonma.gov/ARPA.
The program is open to Arlington renters and to those who own their home in Arlington.
Households with incomes at or below 100 percent of the area median income, as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, are eligible to apply.
To determine household income, see the table below. An expedited application process is available for those with incomes at or below 40 percent of the area median income.
Taking funds from nearly $8m contingency
UPDATED Sept. 28: Agreeing with the superintendent, the School Committee voted unanimously Thursday, Sept. 22, for the second of two choices presented to cope with the ongoing reconstruction of Arlington High School. “Option 2” was the more expensive choice but the one that would keep all AHS students on campus for full school days from the first scheduled instructional date of the 2023-24 school year.
“Option 2” will require the postponement of certain aspects of the construction, at an estimated cost of $1.2 million, all to be paid from the already established contingency fund of nearly $8 million. See both options here >>
“This is specifically the kind of thing that contingencies are built for,” said committee member Jeff Thielman, head of the building subcommittee. “The needs of the students are paramount.” Later, making the motion favoring option 2, he said that this choice is “not increasing the total cost of the project” and that “this is in the best interest of the students,” particularly freshmen.
A former employee of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra was sentenced in federal court earlier this month for possessing child pornography, U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins has announced.
David St. George, 75, of Arlington, was sentenced Sept. 14 to five years in prison and five years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay a $5,100 fee plus restitution payments of $3,000 to each of the victims. He initially pleaded guilty in March.
“Child pornography is not a victimless crime. It depicts child abuse. Plain and simple,” Rollins said in a statement. “Every single image or video of the material entails unspeakable harm and trauma inflicted upon an innocent child, and those who possess, distribute or view it not only break the law but more importantly revictimize these children with each act that sexualizes them.”
YOUR VIEW: Opinions: Medford St., AFD, ACMi, sources, poetry, Mugar, Alewife
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