Daily Buzz | Garden Club Workshop on Native vs. Invasive Species Tonight
Plus, local businesses answer to Board of Health for tobacco sales to minors
Good Morning, Burlington!
Two local businesses appeared in front of the Board of Health yesterday evening to answer for selling tobacco products to a minor. Burlington Citgo and Binsky cigars both admitted to selling to a minor and have been issued a $1000 fine. Citgo will not be allowed to sell tobacco products and must remove them from the premises from Thursday through Saturday of this week; Binsky will close their store for these dates. Owners of both businesses were apologetic and have agreed to retrain their staff.
These sales occurred on May 1, when a contractor hired by the Board of Health sent a person under 21 into the stores to purchase these products.
School Committee Highlights
The School Committee agenda was packed last night; here are just a few highlights:
Unofficial Cost Estimates Presented
Representatives from the Ways & Means Committee came to present some unofficial and very rough possible cost estimates (and projected associated tax levies) for three different Fox Hill/Pine Glen building options. These numbers weren’t requested by the School Committee, and every School Committee member had something to say about them.
The conversation illuminated differences in opinion between School Committee members on this topic: Members Massardo, Simon, and Brooks pointed out many of what they consider to be flawed assumptions and asserted that we should wait for the numbers that come out of the feasibility study commissioned by the School Committee before presenting figures to the public, while members Monaco and Bond expressed their confidence in the spreadsheet presented by Ways & Means and their feeling that having imperfect numbers is better than not having numbers at all.
The Elementary School Building Committee will meet again next week, and the decision about which option to select will be made in late fall. There will be two more community forums on this topic—one in June and one in September, and by then we will have more solid estimates for cost and potential tax implications for the options that are investigated during the feasibility study. (Note that any of these numbers will only include Fox Hill and Pine Glen, but the high school is a very large area of need as well that will need to be addressed very soon.)
Read more about the ongoing conversations about building one or more elementary school.
MSMS Air Conditioning to be Repaired
During startup this year, it was discovered that some of the tubing in the chiller unit of the single air conditioning unit at Marshall Simonds were damaged. The district will repair this issue with existing funds, ensuring the air conditioner can work to its capacity and preventing catastrophic failure with up to a $1,000,000 price tag later on.
New Food Service Request for Proposals
If you’ve been around for a while, you know that the district went through a lengthy RFP process to find our current food service provider, Whitson’s. We’ve been using them for the last few months, with varying reviews from both staff and students. We only contracted with them through the end of the school year, though, and the School Committee planned to evaluate at the end of the school year whether we wanted to stick with them or find another provider.
However, state rules have changed, and school are now required to use a state-provided form to request proposals, which means we need to put out a new RFP regardless of our feelings about Whitson’s. That RFP is required to be posted for four weeks, so expect some discussion of this over the summer.
Speaking of the schools, yet unrelated to the School Committee meeting, the survey where you can let a group of 10th graders know your preference for half versus full days for professional development is still open. These results will be presented to some School Committee members and Dr. Conti.
Garden Club: Native vs. Invasive Plants
Finally, tonight the Burlington Garden Club will be hosting a presentation on native versus invasive plants. I neglected to highlight this talk in the Weekly, but it is certain to be fascinating, and I hope many of you are able to attend.
From the organizers: There are many benefits to adding native plants to your yard. They are better suited to the Massachusetts climate, use less water, and help attract pollinators. Invasive plants are non-native to our area, grow aggressively pushing out native plants, and threaten local environments.
This presentation will provide images of hardy native plants and local intrusive aliens with suggestions on how to eradicate the invasive species. The speaker, Suzanne Mahler, will bring live cuttings (if available) to help with identification. The event will be held in the Murray Kelly Room at 61 Center Street at 7pm. We look at forward to seeing you there. Please contact the club with questions.
Today in Burlington
Meetings and Events
8:30 AM - Planning Board Sculpture Park Subcommittee will discuss the Follow Your Heart sculpture, the upcoming Sketch-a-Sculpture event, and get an update on security cameras. (virtual)
3:30 PM - Memorial Day Flag Placement: volunteers of any age are welcome to aid in the placement of these flags. No registration necessary; just show up at 3:30 to one of these sites. (Chestnut Hill Cemetery and Pine Haven Cemetery on Bedford Street)
5:00-8:00 PM - Burlington Community Design Workshop - Visioning Workshop
5:30 PM - Board of Health Subcommittee - Nurse Position Discussion (Board of Health Conference Room - Room 236)
6:00 PM - Mental Health Book Club - What Made Maddy Run (library event; register)
7:00 PM - Burlington Garden Club hosts Native vs. Invasive Plants talk (see above). (61 Center Street, Murray Kelly Room)
Sports and Activities
Red Devils Baseball had a good night last night, beating Bedford in 8 innings with a score of 11-5. Our boys’ lacrosse team, however, did not fare as well and took a close 11-10 loss against Westwood.
Tonight, we have:
Coed Unified Basketball in Wakefield at 3:30.
Boys’ Volleyball in Somerville, with JV playing at 4:00 and Varsity at 5:30.
Girls’ Tennis in Melrose at 4:15.
That’s it for today. Have a great one!