The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 20, 2009

News from surrounding towns

The following news items were extracted from material available online at www.wickedlocal.com.

Schools

Acton to see changes in administrative bonuses – Many members of the Acton School Committee expressed their objection to the practice of giving bonuses in the range of $25,000 to $30,000 to administrators who tender their resignation after having served for more then 10 years in the district. The same members insisted that this money should be used to serve the needs of the students instead. Those in support of this long-standing policy are willing to accept changes as long as it only impacts new hires. (“School Committee to weigh administrative bonuses”, March 6)

Addressing underage drinking with the use of breathalyzer – Westford Academy Principal Jim Antonelli presented the School Committee with guidelines for using a breathalyzer to measure alcohol content in high school students. This test was considered mandatory to discourage students from consuming alcohol prior to any school-sponsored event, such as school dances. There will be clear signs posted on the building warning the students that they could be subjected to a breath test should they show signs of intoxication. If tested positive, the parents would be notified and the student would be given a five-day suspension. (“Student alcohol tests approved,” March 13)

Town

Acton town budget settled for 2010 with minimal impact. With revenue decreasing, the focus is on cost-cutting measures to stay true to the three-year budget plan which accounted for only a “3% annual increase, instead of the typical increase of 5% to 6%.” The Acton Leadership Group, spearheading the planning, is reviewing several options to reduce the cost; some ideas are to consolidate elementary schools and share police administration with Boxborough. In addition union employees are approached with proposals to reduce pay raises or benefits. (“Three-year budget plan could lead to service cuts,” March 10)

Taxiway rehabilitation at Hanscom debated. Save Our Heritage, a local advisory group in Concord raised their concern regarding Massport’s decision to include Hanscom’s two rehabilitation and maintenance projects to the state list of potential “shovel-ready” projects to gain federal stimulus fund of up to $9.725 million. They questioned Massport’s judgment to invest in luring corporate jet traffic, which has seen a decline for a few years. The group believes that Massport is being insensitive to the environmental impact to the neighboring historic areas. (“Shovel-ready” projects at Hanscom Field raise debate,” March 10)

Business

Big Blue basing new facilities in Littleton and Westford. IBM is consolidating all of its facilities in Massachusetts into two centralized locations in Littleton and Westford. The MassLabs facility in Westford will serve its clients and sales channel, while the Littleton site will serve the technical and support staff. The two facilities will have frequent shuttle buses to allow for staff interaction. This modern eco-friendly building will be completed in three phases, with parking preference given to employees who drive a hybrid car or ride a bike to work. (“IBM begins move into Littleton facility,” March 13) ∆


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