Archive for the ‘opponents’ Tag

Mass Ave foe moves on

Eric Berger, a colorful critic of the Mass. Ave. Project, has “moved to Florida,” according to a notice posted briefly at the web site he once ran on behalf of the East Arlington Concerned Citizens Committee.

Florida

Web-site screen shot from earlier this month. The site has since been taken down.

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Selectmen’s Mass Ave letter rebuts, rebukes Question 1

letterheadMonday’s letter from the Board of Selectmen Selectmen to the Mass DOT did not skirt Question 1, the nonbinding referendum that asked about lanes on Mass. Ave.

In the letter, the Selectmen took aim directly at the measure, which passed by a vote of 4,334-4,097 on April 6.

The letter, signed by all five selectmen and Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine, calls the referendum a “false choice” that does “not have any legal effect” and achieved “a very narrow victory.”

Consequently, the signers say they “do not consider this to be a meaningful result.”

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Many stories in fire hose of Mass. Ave. public record

Here’s what one Grafton Street resident told the Massachusetts Department of Transportation about crossing Mass Ave.:

student_crosswalk_sign_2I would like to tell you a true story of crossing that street with my son when he was nine, and two other boys as I was taking them to the Hardy School in the morning.

I am an extremely safety conscious person and yet, at the other end, as we were approaching Sabatino’s, it just so happened that one of the three boys who was with me was hit by a car.
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Senator warns ‘Now or Never’ on Mass. Ave. funding

Senator Donnelly warns "we will lose this project" to other communities if we do not act this year.

Senator Donnelly, at February hearing, warns “we will lose this project” to other towns if we do not act this year.

Further delays in the Mass. Ave. Project could cost Arlington $6.8 million, State Senator Ken Donnelly warned today.

That alarm, two weeks before Arlington will vote on an oddly worded ballot question on Mass. Ave., was also sounded by the town’s Transportation Advisory Committee.

Writing in today’s Arlington Advocate, Donnelly lays out the worst-case scenario: an eleventh-hour attempt to revisit the design for Mass. Ave. would “leave insufficient time to redesign and meet the September deadline.”

In that case, Donnelly warns, “it is most likely that we will lose the 100 percent funding—$6.8 million—that has been allotted to fix Mass. Ave. in East Arlington.

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For the record: Strong community suport for redesign

Town Hall, June 22 2010: Seventh design meeting

Santyana said that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Is that why we have been invited to return to Town Hall on February 26 for another hearing on Mass. Ave.?

In any case, gentle reader, I have been spending time with the transcript of the 25%-design hearing held April 12 2011, and if you’d like to revisit that halcyon day, you can!

I hereby link to the transcript (191 pages including 6-page speaker index) and attachments (46 pages including 26 sign-in sheets), which I have obtained and parked online for your reading pleasure.

If that’s a bit more than you need right now, here is a quantitative summary and a few observations about process.

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Oddly worded Mass. Ave question qualifies for April 6 Ballot

A nonbinding referendum promoted by foes of the Town’s plan to rebuild Mass. Ave. in East Arlington has enough signatures to qualify for the April 6 ballot, according to Town Clerk Stephanie Lucarelli.

However, the measure is vague and contradictory and has no legal force. The Town finalized the three-lane design choice in 2009, and construction on the roadway is scheduled to begin this year.

The advisory question is as follows:

Shall the Town have four vehicular travel lanes on Massachusetts Avenue in East Arlington as currently practiced?

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Town Meeting rebuffs Mass. Ave. foes again

Town Meeting last night rejected two resolutions to stop the Mass. Ave. Project that would not actually have stopped the Mass. Ave. Project.

Mass. Ave. opponents rise to vote against sidewalk construction at Town Meeting in 2011.

The first resolution (Article 69) sought to repeal last year’s authorization of easements to rebuild sidewalks in East Arlington.

The second (Article 70) would have asked the Selectmen to put a nonbinding question about the project on the ballot in April of 2013, after construction was already in progress.

Both failed by wide margins.

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Muddled attempt to stop Mass. Ave. fails at Town Meeting

Vowing to stop the Mass. Ave. redesign, opponents failed to block a motion at Town Meeting upon which the fate of the project did not actually depend.

At the Arlington Diner

The motion, which passed by a lopsided vote of 135-32, authorizes the Town to take easements to facilitate the reconstruction of the sidewalks by allowing access to abutters’ land during construction.

Although these easements entail no transfers of land from private owners to the Town, any use of the Town’s eminent-domain powers requires an affirmative 2/3 vote of Town Meeting. Opponents mustered roughly half of the votes they would have needed to defeat the measure.

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Mass DOT takes comments

Advocates for and against the rebuilding of Mass. Ave. in East Arlington went into overdrive, and comments from the public went into overtime, at a sometimes-raucous project hearing at Town Hall on April 12.

Some 400 people came to the Department of Transportation hearing on the Town’s proposed design. 79 gave comments, and many more were turned away when the hearing adjourned at 10:40.

Arlington Town Hall on Tuesday night. Not quite to capacity, but very full.

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Petitions in boxes

Photo via Creative Commons license

April 12’s hearing on the Mass. Ave. project is the final public step before the state’s Highway Commissioner decides whether to fund the plan. But the Town has already hosted 7 public meetings to design it.

At one of these last July 22, Joe Connors announced the anti-rebuild East Arlington Concerned Citizens Committee had collected “over two thousand” signatures on a petition against the project.

In contrast to the group’s recent antics, this petition may be the most substantive thing the CCC has done.

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Criminal complaint alleges no crimes

As detailed in a previous post, the anti–Mass. Ave group last week filed a criminal complaint againt the Town that alleges no crimes, unless disagreeing with the opponent’s opinions is a crime.

With this stunt, rephrasing their old arguments as a criminal complaint, the opponents have fallen irrevocably into self parody. Fittingly, the Arlington Advocate broke the story on April 1.

I usually follow the convention on this blog of showing my personal opinions in red. I do so below, but really every other word should probably be red. If you only want my cub-reporter voice, stick to the news post; however, I am not making any of this up. Heck, I couldn’t.

You can read the complaint for yourself courtesy of the Arlington Advocate. But here are the highlights.

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Plan opponents slam town with criminal complaint

Foes of rebuilding Mass. Ave. filed a criminal complaint against the Town of Arlington last week for failing to accept anti-rebuild arguments.

Eric Berger’s lawyer, Michael Rossi, filed the complaint with the Public Integrity Division of the Attorney General’s office.

According to that office, the Division was established earlier this year to investigate and prosecute “cases of public corruption and fraud.” However, the 10-page complaint does not describe any crimes, just differences of opinion.

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