Selectboard logo, May 20, 2019 'John [Leone] recommended to have a remote-participation Town Meeting, and took all the appropriate steps.'
-- Town Counsel Doug Heim

UPDATED, April 16: The yearlong Covid-19 pandemic may be easing as more people are vaccinated, but the annual Town Meeting, starting April 26, will again be held via remote participation.

The Select Board voted unanimously April 5 to hold the series of session for a second time via Zoom teleconferencing combined with the ZPato remote-voting platform. That format was used at the special meeting in November-December. The 2020 annual meeting met outdoors at Peirce Field.

Two refresher training sessions will be held for existing Town Meeting members on this technology, and mandatory trainings held for new members, said Town Moderator John Leone.

“John recommended and requested to have a remote-participation Town Meeting, and took all the appropriate steps. He obtained the appropriate technical platforms and worked with the disability commission to ensure accessibility.

"He’ll also make sure to post the notice 10 days ahead of the meeting, and that the town clerk notifies the Attorney General’s Office, as required,” explained Town Counsel Doug Heim.

Mugar property cleanup April 24

On Saturday, April 24, from 8 a.m. to noon, the Arlington Police Department will coordinate a cleanup effort at Mugar Woods, which continues to be strewn with garbage and debris. The area, owned by the Mugar family, is near East Arlington’s Thorndike Field.

“It’s a good community effort to get people to join in this cleanup effort,” said board Chair John Hurd.

Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine said he had initially reached a Mugar family member, who expressed interest in the cleanup. “I then sent pictures of the trash, but have not yet heard back,” he said.

Homelessness issue addressed

The Police Department acknowledges the town’s escalation of concern over the people living in Mugar Woods, and the increasing amount of trash, said Chapdelaine.

“Police Chief Flaherty will meet with her team, along with the Health and Human Services Department in collaboration with the Somerville Homeless Commission, to develop a strategy. They currently provide services to those residing in Mugar Woods, but it’s becoming increasingly more challenging due to the greater number of people,” added Chapdelaine.

Read a related report here >>

Board member Diane Mahon said, “The Board of Health has been outstanding in dealing with this homeless population. Perhaps we can evaluate whether there are any steps or fines that the Board of Health can issue against the Mugars. Even if they don’t pay it, when we go to HUD or another state agency, we can say how unresponsive the Mugar family has been regarding this development.”

Toraya Restaurant at new site

Toraya Japanese Restaurant is moving to 795 Mass. Ave., site of the former Retro Burger & Ice Cream, as unanimously approved by the board. Until last May, the restaurant was at 890 Mass. Ave. for 20 years, before the building was demolished for a new mixed-use development.

Toraya will continue to serve lunch and dinner—offering such dishes as sushi, sashimi, makimono, bento boxes, tempura and noodles—and be open daily, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

“We happy you’re able to stay in Arlington,” said board member Steve DeCourcey to owner Shinji Muraki.

“No-parking sign” to be posted at 87 Pleasant

A “No Parking Sign” will be installed at 87 Pleasant St., in front of Wellington Street, as unanimously approved by the board.

This area, between the driveway and crosswalk in front of 87 Pleasant, is situated ahead of a crosswalk with no signal at an intersection that leads to multiple recreation fields and the Boys and Girls Club. Both are frequented by young children and their parents, and this sign will make a safer crossing environment, according to the Traffic and Parking Division of the Police Department.

“I’m glad to see this happening. There are other places in town where this could happen, and we’ll explore how to make the town safer in more locations,” said board member Len Diggins.

National Community Development Week held

April 5 – 9 is designated as National Community Development Week, as announced in a proclamation unanimously approved by the Select Board.

This honor celebrates the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, which provides annual funding so local communities can provide affordable housing and economic opportunities to low- and moderate-income people. 

Over the past 46 years, Arlington has received $56,591,974 in CDBG funds, according to the proclamation.

“This week we celebrate our community development block grants, and the great work they’ve done both for Arlington and across the nation. They’re a tremendous asset to our community,” said Chapdelaine.

On April 8, Arlington’s Food Link was the host for a virtual celebration to honor how the nonprofit has benefited from CDBG funds, added Chapdelaine. Food Link is a community organization that rescues fresh food, alleviates hunger, and contributes to environmental sustainability, according to their website.

April 12, 2021: Stand against racism, elevating AAPI voices held

This news summary, by YourArlington freelance writer Susan Gilbert, was published Wednesday, April 14, 2021, and updated April 16, to add time of Mugar cleanup.