BOSTON — May 2 was Kick Butts Day on Beacon Hill. Youth from high schools across the state — members of the 84 Movement dedicated to reducing tobacco use among children and teenagers — gathered and met with legislators. Rep. Sean Garballey was host for the event.
Three Arlington high school juniors, Abi Hodgdon, Erika Siegel and Elizabeth Liakos, accompanied by pediatrician Dr. Carole Allen, participated and met with aides to Sen. Cindy Friedman and Rep. Dave Rogers, as well as with Garballey. The Arlington students were nominees for the 2019 Peer Outreach Award.
By the afternoon of Wednesday, May 2, the Arlington High School entrance was covered in a rainbow of chalk drawings and messages of solidarity created by AHS students. This artwork was created in response to a hate incident that same morning where a group of young men reportedly broke into the high school, causing damage to several areas inside and spray painting homophobic and anti-Semitic graffiti near the faculty parking lot at the back of the high school.
“I was disheartened to learn that a group of young men vandalized Arlington High School property with homophobic and anti-Semitic graffiti on Wednesday morning,” said state Senator Cindy Friedman, who represents Arlington. “These hate-filled acts are despicable and do not reflect the values of our community. Every student at Arlington High should be able to go to school without feeling threatened or unwelcome.”
In their latest effort to stem the opioid epidemic, Massachusetts lawmakers took a step Thursday toward establishing mandatory three-day substance use therapy for those in peril and requiring hospitals to stock buprenorphine or other medication to counter street drugs like heroin and fentanyl.
Senator Cindy Friedman, an Arlington Democrat and the committee’s cochairwoman, said she has concerns about some provisions — including the involuntary holds. A top priority for Friedman is making access to treatment easier, especially for people with both substance use disorder and mental illness. ‘Right now, it’s really tough to get access to treatment, especially if you have a mental illness,’’ Friedman said.
A host of factors affect access to treatment, said Friedman, who listed “insurance companies; rates we pay providers; how insurance companies determine who’s in a network, who’s not in a network; the kind of treatment that’s available for in-patient.’’
WOBURN – The long-awaited roadway reconstruction and related work, including traffic signals, on Montvale Avenue from I-93 to 400 feet just west of Central Street is moving along. The Mass. Department of Transportation (DOT) had solicited bids for project on April 3rd and are now reviewing the bids, including the certifying of the low bidder D&R General Contracting.
Key City officials such as Mayor Scott Galvin, DPW Superintendent Jay Duran, City Engineer John E. Corey Jr. and President Richard Haggerty of the City Council have been informed of the progress. And, major state officials representing Woburn such as Rep. James Dwyer, Jay R. Kaufman and State Senator Cindy Friedman have also been notified of the progress.
WOBURN – It is an early Saturday morning at NuPath’s headquarters on New Boston Street in Woburn. An army of volunteers, captained by NuPath’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Brett Reily, are putting the finishing touches on what has arguably been the best six weeks the Organization has ever seen in its fifty years of operation.
State Senator Cindy Friedman was one of several elected officials who ‘Walked the Walk’ and was left with a marked impression of the progressive goals on the organization. “It’s incredible that everyone here could engage at such a high level to raise that much money in such a short amount of time,” she said, looking out towards the crowd.
“All of you are the reason why (local and state elected officials) continue to fight and advocate for people living with disabilities to accomplish your mission of making life’s journey happier, healthier and more fulfilling.’”
On April 24, Massachusetts Center for the Book welcomed 30 students, grades 4-12, to a State House awards ceremony held in the Reading Room of the State Library. An Arlington student was among those honored. In Level 1 (grades 4-6), Amrit Chadha received honors for his letter to Rupi Kaur about “The Sun and Her Flowers.” A sixth-grader at Ottoson Middle School, Chadha also received State House citations and personal congratulations from both Sen. Cindy Friedman and Rep. Sean Garballey.
Representing the top 1 percent of participants from across Massachusetts, the honorees wrote letters addressed to an author, poet or playwright whose work had impacted them personally. Joined by family, teachers and librarians, the students were commended individually by their program judges and legislators. The top honorees in each of three grade levels will proceed to the national level of the competition.
LEXINGTON — Minuteman High School in Lexington received an award from the state for its students’ academic performance. Minuteman was recognized by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as a “Massachusetts Commendation School” for progress and narrowing proficiency gaps.
Gov. Charles D. Baker presented Dr. Edward A. Bouquillon, Minuteman’s superintendent, with a plaque during ceremonies held April 5 at the Statehouse. Bouquillon also received an Official Citation from the Massachusetts Legislature.
A host of dignitaries attended the event. Joining Bouquillon at the celebration were members of the Minuteman legislative delegation, including State Sen. Cindy F. Friedman, D-Arlington, and State Rep. Jay R. Kaufman, D-Lexington.
BURLINGTON — Students and adults did not agree when it came to the contested races in the town election on April 7. Town Clerk Amy Warfield said last week that the approximately 125 children participating in the annual Student Vote elected Joe Morandi and Nick Priest in the selectmen’s contest; the adults went with Morandi and Mike Runyan.
To that end, she would be interested in working with the schools to provide more civics education in the classroom. In fact, there is a bill before the state legislature to re-instate civics in the curriculum. Warfield said she hopes that Burlington’s State Rep. Ken Gordon and State Sen. Cindy Friedman would consider partnering with her to provide civics information in the schools.
LEXINGTON, MA – The Minuteman High School building project reached a major milestone Thursday, as the final steel beam was put in place. The “topping off” ceremony saw the 24-foot beam, signed by students, teachers, elected officials and well-wishers, put into place over what will become the new high school’s main entrance. Jack McCarthy, executive director of the Massachusetts School Building Authority, celebrated the workers on the project and singled out Ironworkers Local 7 for special recognition.
Also in attendance were state Sen. Cindy Friedman, state Sen. Dean Tran, Rep. Jay Kaufman, Rep. Jennifer Benson, town managers, select board members, area school officials, members of the Minuteman School Committee, the Minuteman School Building Committee, the school’s Program Advisory Committees, the Minuteman Futures Foundation and the Campaign for Minuteman’s Future.
Friedman praised state and town officials for keeping the project moving forward over the past 10 years. “We did it for all those people back there – all those kids,” Friedman said. “We are so proud of Minuteman.”
Town officials and state representatives celebrated National Community Development Week in Arlington on April 3. The event started at the Thompson School where attendees heard from CDBG Administrator Julie Wayman, Sen. Cindy Friedman, Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine, Selectman Joe Curro and Rep. Sean Garballey. All reflected on the importance of the program to the town and took pride in the community-based programs supported by the Community Development Block Grant program.
“The Community Development Block Grant program is a prime example of what government does really well,” said Friedman. “Through this program, we are able to improve the quality of life for Arlington residents and ensure that many individuals have an equal chance at success as well as the ability to live in an environment that meets their needs. I’m pleased to live in and represent a town that values the importance of community development and is committed to making a positive impact on our neighborhoods and residents.”