In January, 100 years after construction of the original building at Arlington High School began, the school administration plans to seek state funds to pursue a project unprecedented here -- reshaping the Mass. Ave. landmark. "There has never been…
Nearing the end of its first full-scale review of a proposed hospital merger, the Health Policy Commission on Wednesday approved two more full cost and market impact reviews of proposed hospital acquisitions in Winchester, Melrose and Medford.
The commission on Wednesday approved a preliminary report recommending a referral to Attorney General Martha Coakley and deeming Partners HealthCare System’s planned acquisition of South Shore Hospital and Harbor Medical Associates would increase costs without a substantial increase in health care system benefits and savings.
The commission then turned its attention to the suburbs north of Boston, approving a review of Partners’ proposed acquisition of Hallmark Health System and a review of Lahey Health System’s proposed acquisition of Winchester Hospital.
Hallmark operates Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Medford and Melrose-Wakefield Hospital in Melrose. Commission staff noted Partners’ plan calls for “significant restructuring of services at North Shore Medical Center” and said it “raises significant competitive concerns, including the potential of the resulting system to negotiate higher prices through increased bargaining leverage.”
HPC staff said Lahey became “more concentrated” when it merged with Northeast Health System and said an additional acquisition would raise similar “competitive concerns.”
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Malden City Councilor David D’Arcangelo might run for Sen. Katherine Clark’s former state Senate seat, though he said he is also recruiting others to try for the seat and evaluating other options.
“It’s such a short race and then you’ve got to run again,” D’Arcangelo told the News Service, referring to the April 1 special election, followed by another election in November.
He said, “Maybe there’s a November run rather than a run in April. We really need to try to make sure there’s a full marketplace of ideas, instead of just a steady diet of tax and spend.”
After long-time Republican Sen. Richard Tisei gave up the Senate seat to run for lieutenant governor in 2010, Malden City Councilor Craig Spadafora lost to Clark, of Melrose, in the 2010 race to replace Tisei in the Senate.
D'Archangleo said he's encouraged Spadafora to try again in the 5th Middlesex District. After winning a special Congressional election last Tuesday, Clark traded the state Senate for the U.S. House of Representatives.
D’Arcangelo also mentioned as potential GOP candidates Melrose Alderwoman Monica Medeiros and Melrose Republican David Lucas, who lost a bid for Clark’s former House seat in 2010.
“We want somebody who’s going to take it seriously who’s going to have the time to invest,” said D’Arcangelo, who said he is concerned what effect the back-to-back campaigns would have on his Archangel Communications business.
As a former aide to Tisei, who held the seat and the title of minority leader before Clark won it for the Democrats, D’Arcangelo said he would meet with the state party Tuesday to discuss his options. “Our system of government was not designed to work with just one party, and that’s what we have right now, unfortunately,” said D’Arcangelo.
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Voters in Malden, Melrose, Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield and parts of Winchester will head to the polls April 1 to choose a successor to former state Sen. Katherine Clark, who resigned this week following her election Tuesday to Congress.
The primary will be held March 4, according to the Associated Press.
The Globe reported earlier this fall that three of Clarks’ legislative colleagues, Paul Brodeur of Melrose; Christopher G. Fallon of Malden; and Jason Lewis of Winchester — said they are weighing runs for the Fifth Middlesex state Senate seat.
Lewis announced this week that he is in the race to fill Clark’s state Senate seat.
Elected to the House in 2008 and representing Stoneham and Winchester, Lewis issued a press release to announce he’s running. “I’ve learned that hard work, independent leadership, and a commitment to the concerns of local families can produce great results, and I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in the legislature these five years,” Lewis, a South Africa native, said in a statement. “We’ve had great success in Stoneham and Winchester and I’m looking forward to getting to know the families of Malden, Melrose, Reading, and Wakefield as we kick off this campaign for State Senate.”
Lewis is vice-chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Health and played a role in helping to create the state’s Prevention and Wellness Trust to fund community-based public health and wellness programs. Lewis and his wife Susan live in Winchester with their daughters, Sophie and Jessie. Clark on Tuesday won a special election and is scheduled to join the U.S. House on Thursday.
The special election to replace Clark in the Legislature is the latest in a long line of special elections held since last January. Additional specials are on the horizon as well, with Rep. Marty Walsh due to step down around the end of the year to be sworn in as the next mayor of Boston.
The House has not yet set a special election date to fill the seat formerly held by Donald Humason, who is now a senator after winning a special election to succeed former Sen. Michael Knapik.
Another special election is already underway in the district south of Boston formerly represented by Dan Winslow, who left the House for a private sector job. The winners of the upcoming special elections will represent their districts during an important stretch of the two-year session - formal sessions in 2014 are scheduled to run until the end of July - before likely ramping up their reelection machines for next November's regularly scheduled elections.
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As they head to the polls for a Special State Election to fill the seat vacated in the U.S. House of Representatives by Senator Edward J. Markey, Winchester voters on Tuesday also will cast ballots in a Special Town Election to decide the fate of the proposed debt exclusion to fund a comprehensive overhaul of Winchester High School.
The $129.9 million addition and renovation project is designed to address three critical issues for Winchester: increasing enrollment; an obsolete building infrastructure; and an educational program that is no longer supported by the physical layout of Winchester High School.
A town website describing the project is here.
If voters approve the debt exclusion for the high school, that project alone could add as much as $847 to the average annual property tax bill, already among the highest in the state.
During the past six years, the average property tax bill for a single-family home in Winchester, assessed in fiscal 2013 at $770,456, has increased 26 percent, from $7,803 in fiscal 2007 to $9,839 in fiscal 2013, state records show.
If voters approve the debt exclusion, a temporary property tax hike that lasts only as long as the debt incurred for the project, town officials would complete work on the high school by fall 2017.
The Massachusetts School Building Authority on Oct. 2 approved a grant of up to $44.5 million for the comprehensive rebuilding of Winchester High School, leaving the town responsible for the balance of $85.4 million.
John Natale, a vocal critic of the project, together with a small band of volunteers, is going door-to-door, handing out fliers to “every homeowner in Winchester,” urging them to vote against the debt exclusion. In all, the group is distributing about 7,000 fliers, Natale said.
“My principal objection to this project is that I’m against wasting money,” said Natale, 78, a retired electrical engineer who believes the high school’s shortcomings can be addressed without a major overhaul. He noted that under state School Building Authority guidelines, the current high school is 45,000 square feet larger than necessary to house even the maximum projected enrollment of 1,370 students.
“The proponents’ motto is ‘strong schools, strong communities,’ ” said Natale. “I agree with that, but we have it already. Winchester High School is an incredibly successful high school; a new building is not going to improve SAT scores.”
With less than a week to go before a special election, Congressional candidates Sen. Katherine Clark (D-Melrose) and Republican Frank Addivinola are set for their first televised debate.
New England Cable News announced Thursday morning that Clark and Addivinola will debate at 3 p.m. Friday and the cable channel will air the debate at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Rebroadcasts are planned for Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m.
The special election to fill the seat formerly held by Sen. Edward Markey is Tuesday.
Independent James Aulenti of Wellesley and Justice Peace Security candidate James Hall of Arlington are also on the ballot.
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Katherine Clark, the 50-year-old Democratic nominee for the Fifth Congressional District, is heavily favored in the Dec. 10 special election to succeed Edward J. Markey in the US House of Representatives.
Yet Clark, a state senator from Melrose, still faces one last test.
Her Republican opponent, Frank J. Addivinola Jr., a businessman and lawyer with six graduate degrees and conservative views on the Affordable Care Act, guns, gay marriage, and abortion, says he is going to win.
Katherine Marlea Clark
Born: 1963 New Haven, CT
Undergraduate education: St. Lawrence University
Profession: State senator
Self-described political views: Progressive Democrat
Personal life: Married with three school-age boys
Current residence: Melrose
Grocery store of choice: Market Basket
International adventure: Studied abroad in Nagoya, Japan, in 1983
Frank John Addivinola Jr.
Born: 1960 Malden, MA
Undergraduate education: Williams College
Profession: Doctoral student, teacher, lawyer, owner test prep business
Self-described political view: Smaller government, traditional Republican
Personal life: Married
Current residence: Boston
Grocery store of choice: Market Basket
International adventure: From 2002-2006, lived in Odessa, Ukraine, and ran a tourist-focused business there