Black Lives Matter Vigil Sunday in Arlington

Arlington residents and town groups will stand in solidarity with all who feel that Black Lives during a vigil Sunday, Dec. 14, in Arlington Center.

The sidewalk vigil will be held at the four corners of Mass. Ave. and Pleasant Street from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

This vigil is organized by the Arlington Vision 2020 Diversity Task Group, Arlington Human Rights Commission, First Parish Unitarian Universalist, and other town groups and individuals committed to social justice.

Organizers say this will be a peaceful vigil in response to recent events nationwide, especially in Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, N.Y. It will not block traffic or pedestrians.

The Arlington Police Department will be present to ensure safety for all.

There is a possibility of re[pairs to traffic lights on the corner that day, and if it interferes with the vigil, organizers plan to move it to the space in front of Town Hall. Either way, we will still first gather under the maple tree in front of First Parish at 1:30 p.m.

Participants are welcome to bring their own signs or create signs from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the First Parish vestry (enter through the front door near Mass. Ave. and Pleasant). Supplies will be available.

Organizers will go over ground rules at 1:30 p.m. to ensure that this is a peaceful vigil that does not block traffic or pedestrians. Please gather under the maple tree in front of First Parish at 1:30 p.m., or join us later on the sidewalks of all four corners.

YourArlington.com

Cong. Clark Votes Against Ombnibus Spending Bill

Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-Melrose) released the following statement after voting against the omnibus spending bill that narrowly passed the U.S. House:

“This spending bill is a glaring example of the disconnect between priorities in Washington and the needs of families at home.

“The needs of our families didn’t make the cut, yet we are offering Wall Street and the ultra-wealthy another sweetheart deal. This bill fails to restore critical funding to education programs, transportation, and NIH research that was slashed under sequestration. Instead, it allows our hard-earned tax dollars to be the backstop for the risky Wall Street gambling that crippled our economy and cost millions of jobs. It also rewards the wealthiest Americans with exclusive political influence. This is a bad deal for families, our economy, and our future.

“One year ago tomorrow I was sworn in as a Member of Congress, and I told my colleagues that families in our district want to know that the issues they talk about around their kitchen tables are the issues we will talk about in Congress. Most of all, they want to know that because they work hard and play by the rules, they can have a fair shot. I continue to urge my colleagues to stop governing by crisis, stop the cynical posturing, and let’s get to work to create an economy that works for everyone.”

– InsideMedford.com

Interfaith Event Marks Anniversary of Newtown Tragedy

- Mia Benjamin

About a hundred community members, including civic and faith leaders, gathered at Medford City Hall on December 10 for a peace vigil commemorating the second anniversary of the Newtown, CT school shootings. The Reverend Noah Evans of Grace Episcopal Church led the event. He recalled first hearing about the shootings while visiting his son’s kindergarten classroom and the moment he realized how terribly commonplace school shootings have become. Mayor Michael McGlynn spoke about the devastating toll of gun violence, observing that more than 350 children and 23,000 adults have been killed in gun violence since Newtown. He also noted that Medford’s vigil joined events in 49 states around the country calling for an end to gun violence and spoke about his work with Mayors Against Illegal Guns.  

Following choral music by First Community United Methodist Church of Medford, Grace Church presented a display memorializing the twenty-seven women and children killed at Newtown. One by one, children read names of the young victims and placed candles by their photographs that occupied chairs at the front of the City Hall Council Chambers, while a speaker read brief memories of each person. Some of the children were the same age as the kindergarten and first grade victims whose names they announced. Adult volunteers followed the children and read the names of the six women who were killed protecting their students, as well as the name of the mother of the gunman.  

The event also featured speeches by city and district public representatives. Medford School Committee Vice Chair John Falco spoke about programs the Medford Public Schools have introduced to promote the safety and well-being of their students, including the development of emotional learning training. Christelle Nkera, a junior at Medford High School, talked about how her work as a teen intern for Team Medford has contributed to her sense of safety at school. State Senator Patricia Jehlen connected her reaction to the Newtown tragedy to the recent violent deaths of black youths Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Tamir Rice. Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan recounted meeting Michele Gay, the mother of Josephine Gay, a seven-year-old who was killed in the Newtown shootings. Ryan shared how Michele’s prayer on the day of the shooting inspires her to persevere in working for peace. 

Prayers and song were offered by representatives from a wide range of local faith communities, including Wesley United Methodist Church, West Medford Baptist Church, Grace Episcopal, Sanctuary UCC, St. Francis and St. Joseph’s Catholic Churches, Tufts University Chaplaincy, and Temple Shalom Synagogue, among others. The vigil ended with attendees, holding electric candles, proceeding to the City Hall rotunda, and observing a period of silence which closed with a prayer.

Newtown vigil

Newtown vigil

Newtown vigil

Lady Mustang Track Team Opens Season with Win

The Medford High School girls track team opened the indoor season with a decisive 63-21 victory over Greater Lawrence Vocational Tech at Medford on Thursday.

The Lady Mustangs were lead by senior captain Tricia Healion, who was victorious in the 55M hurdles (10.7’s) and High Jump (4’8″). Healion also ran the first leg of the winning 4x400M relay team. Senior Kali Umlah was also a double winner, besting the competition in the 55M Dash(7.8’s) and Shot Put (25’1 1/2″).

Sophomore Amber Harbison placed first in the 300M (45.6’s) and second in the High Jump (4’4″), and also ran on the winning relay team. Senior Mary Donnelly won the 600M run (2:02) and was on the relay team. Senior captain Ariana Buelto earned first place in the 1000M run (3:40) and anchored the winning relay team.

Other strong performances were turned in by seniors Julia Mitrano (third place, Hurdles), Brianna Napoleone (third in 55M Dash), Daria Eshelman (second place in the 2 Mile), Damari Grossi (third in the Shot Put), Jasmine Bell (second place 55M Dash), Annie Fidelia (third place, 55M Hurdles), Francesca Viggiani (second place 1000M Run), Jasmine Dimaculangan (third place, 300M) and Gemma Pennucci (third place 1000M).

The next meet is at Somerville on Wednesday, December 17th.

- Information from Coach Jack Dempsey

Marks: Dog Park Coming to Medford Soon

dog in parkA longstanding dream of all city dog owners is, at long last, emerging from the shadows of uncertainty and into the daylight of reality.

I, together with a committed group of concerned residents, have joined hands with Mayor Michael J. McGlynn to lay out a blueprint for a first ever dog park in the city – a playground where canines will be able to romp and roam, while under the watchful eye of their owners.

Estimates of Medford’s canine population range anywhere between 6500 and 7000.

Already under consideration as an ideal setting for this site is Riverbend Park. Located at Hormel Stadium behind the McGlynn School, Riverbend is an acre and a ½ of land that is centrally located, boats ample parking, and is handicap accessible.

We feel certain that avid and loving dog owners will embrace the park not only for its appeal as a place where dogs can socialize, but as a meeting ground that brings together their owners in a common bond of interest.

As we approach this long neglected issue, we are challenged and honor bound that the taxpayers of Medford should not shoulder the cost and maintenance of the park.

Moving on a two pronged front, we are, at this moment, actively engaged in seeking private grant funding in order to develop the park itself. Sponsorships and additional private funding will fast track the establishment of a perpetual maintenance care fund.

Already at our disposal is $65,000 in city funds specially earmarked for just such a project. Private grant funds outside the city are likely to become available as they (already) have in neighboring communities.

As all hands pull together to bring substance and shape to this long held dream, it is our goal to make this vision a reality-a dream come true. And, who knows, perhaps the success of this park may spur interest in another.

We urge all residents interested in advancing this cause to log on to our website: www.paws4medford.org.

Michael J. Marks
Medford City Councilor
(781) -396 -5387

Girls Hockey Team to Kick off Season Saturday

2014-2015 captains

2014-15 captains Marykate Cullinane, Adrienne Porrazzo, Nicole Mortell, and Kayli Lanzilli. hotos by Judy Baruffaldi.

The Medford High girl’s varsity hockey team will be kicking off its regular season schedule Saturday. The 20 game schedule has the Lady Mustangs playing ten league games and 10 non-league games. Medford is a member of the Northeastern Hockey League which includes Beverly, Marblehead, Masconomet, Peabody, and Winthrop. The non-league games consist of three Middlesex League teams including Lexington, Watertown, and Woburn as well as Matignon and Shawsheen Tech. Each of the ten opponents are played twice. The schedule includes 12 games against teams that qualified for the MIAA state tournament last season.

Last season the Mustangs were Northeastern Hockey League South champions. Home games are played at LoConte rink.

12/13
@Masconomet
4:25pm

12/17
@Peabody
5:15pm

12/20
@Winthrop
1:30pm

12/22
vs Lexington
4:00pm

12/27
@Beverly
2:30pm

12/29
vs Watertown
12:00pm

01/03
vs Shawsheen Tech
2:00pm

01/05
@Woburn
6:00pm

01/07
vs Marblehead
5:00pm

01/12
@Watertown
4:00pm

01/14
vs Masconomet
5:00pm

01/17
vs Matignon
2:00pm

01/19
vs Winthrop
2:00pm

01/21
vs Beverly
5:00pm

01/24
@Shawsheen Tech
7:30pm

01/28
vs Marblehead
7:00pm

02/07
vs Matignon
2:00pm

02/09
vs Woburn
5:00pm

02/11
@Lexington
3:45pm

02/16 vs Peabody
2:00pm

Times subject to change

- Information from Assistant Coach Josh Glionna

MVTHS Culinary Arts Holiday Bake Sale December 19

gingerbread man

Save the date- the vocational school’s Culinary Arts program is holding its annual holiday bake sale on Friday, Dec. 19th from 8:30-11:30am in the main lobby at Medford High School.

The sale will feature delicious contemporary and traditional holiday baked goods and hand-dipped gourmet chocolates prepared by MVTHS Culinary Arts students.

All baked goods are prepared from scratch and are attractively packaged for gift giving or for the holiday table.

- Information from the MVTHS Culinary Arts Department

Medford Faith Communities to Join Nationwide Vigil to Remember Child Victims of Gun Violence Dec. 10th

In 2012 art students at Medford High School created a special art installation with twenty-six pairs of shoes donated by school staff to honor the victims of the Newtown, CT school shooting.

Event Marks the Second Anniversary of Sandy Hook Elementary School Tragedy

To mark the second anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, CT, and to remember the 23,000 Americans killed by guns since December 2012, Medford faith communities as well as individuals representing schools and other local groups, will hold a vigil on December 10, at Medford City Hall (85 George P. Hassett Drive Medford, MA), 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Medford’s event is held in conjunction with vigils across all fifty states in partnership with the 2014 National Vigil for Gun Violence Victims, National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend, and the Newtown Alliance.

The vigil at Medford, entitled “Building Pathways to Peace,” will include participation by children, choral music, a visual display dramatizing the results of gun violence, remarks by State Senator Patricia Jehlen and Medford School Committee Vice Chair John Falco, and readings by a diverse group of local faith leaders. It will close with a candlelight procession in front of Medford City Hall.

The Reverend Noah Evans, Rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Medford, one of the vigil’s organizers, remarked that “It’s urgent for us to keep the memory of Sandy Hook alive in our hearts, while acknowledging that gun violence is heartbreakingly commonplace throughout the nation. The impact on children, their families, and ultimately, everyone, has been devastating—so we must all take responsibility, here and now, for planting seeds of a culture of peace.”

Since the tragic assault in Newtown, CT, more than 350 children have died in gun violence—and during the same period, there has been nearly one school shooting per week.

- Submitted by The Reverend Noah H. Evans, Rector, Grace Episcopal Church

Wet, Windy Weather Coming to Medford, Area

- Allison Goldsberry

Strong winds and heavy precipitation are expected late Monday night and Tuesday, according to the latest forecast from the National Weather Service.

Currently, a wind advisory, winter weather advisory, and flood watch are in effect for the area. The wind advisory, in effect through Tuesday night, is warning of winds 15 to 25 miles per hour with 50 mile per hour gusts. The winter weather advisory has been issued due to freezing rain expected overnight into Tuesday morning. The flood watch is in effect through Tuesday night.

Mild temperatures forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday- in the mid to high forties- should limit the area’s precipitation to rain. The heaviest rain is expected Tuesday afternoon. Localized street flooding and high winds are anticipated to make Tuesday’s rush hour difficult and drivers are urged to plan accordingly.

Tufts Men’s Soccer Team Wins National Championship

Tufts men's soccer team

Tufts University’s men’s soccer team won its first national title with a 4-2 win over Wheaton on Saturday. The soccer team is Tufts’ third one to earn a national title in 2014; both the men’s lacrosse and women’s softball teams were also national champs last spring. More details are available on Tufts’ website. Photo by Kelvin Ma.

– InsideMedford.com