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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Week in Review, October 30

Photo credit - Brian Thompson
We cover some of the top stories of the last week with some new perspective.

We also anticipate some of the stories you will see in the week ahead.

Car Crash

This extremely sad story could have been much worse. News of the medical progress of the injured students has been sketchy, honoring the privacy of the families, but we get the idea that there is improvement. We should be thankful that they survived the crash given the obvious high speed involved and that 3 of the 4 were not wearing seat belts.

A lot has been said about the involvement of school committee member Terri Serra but we must resist the temptation to declare guilt before the facts are all known. The police must do their job well and then we will see.

Our collected articles on this topic can be seen here. Looking ahead to the next week, we expect to hear a police report on whether alcohol was directly involved in the crash.

Affordable Housing

Being behind on my to-do list, I just reported on the October 19 Affordable Housing meeting last week. That article has received more comments than most, probably meaning that we owe our readers more research and analysis on this topic.

We are anxiously awaiting the proposal for changes in the state law which Tom Gentz has refused to describe. We plan to get information to our readers as soon as the Town permits. The Affordable Housing Commission members have been promised they would receive it in time to study it before their meeting on November 2.

Chimney Fires

Charlestown Fire responded to the second chimney fire of the season and I whined about homeowners who risk their property and lives in this article. Action can be slow for the Fire Department sometimes in Charlestown and  responding to real emergencies helps keep our skill level high. But we hate to see property lost and people injured.

Planning Commission

Last week Will published part 2 of his opinion piece on Planning Commission reform. (Part 1 was here.) Similar to Affordable Housing, this is a topic where we probably owe our readers more analysis of the specific powers and responsibilities of the Planning Commission.

And specific points like the pros and cons of staggered terms or electing versus appointing Commission members are difficult ones, where your Progressive Charlestown contributors probably hold a diversity of opinions (demonstrating that we don't speak from the same prepared script).

Will's Part 3 will be published tonight.

Charter Revision

It hasn't been a news item yet but a Committee has been formed to look at revisions to our Town Charter. They are getting to the point where the public is making proposals to the committee so their meetings should become interesting soon. A meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 1, at 7 pm in the town hall Council chambers.

Where was the wind?

The worst of the weather missed us, though I didn't feel too relieved driving the fire truck (713) in the worst of the snow at 3 am. The snow was never really a threat for us; the worry was the wind and that seemed to be a no-show. For one, I'm glad that I can write blog articles without listening to a generator!