WILMINGTON, MA — Incumbents Greg Bendel and Kevin Caira, and challengers Rob Fasulo, Mark Maselli, Dan Murphy, and Suzanne Sullivan, are running for TWO three-year seats on the Wilmington Board of Selectmen.Wilmington Apple is asking the candidates multiple questions each week leading up to the April 27 Town Election.The latest question:Is the Town of Wilmington heading in the right direction? Explain.Below are the candidates’ responses, in their own words:Greg BendelDo I believe Wilmington is headed in the right direction? Yes, I do. Wilmington is a great place to live and we are fortunate to be able to offer something for everyone who lives here. Like many communities we do have challenges that we face. But, I believe that with the combination of a good Town Administration, countless volunteers and residents who are engaged in local government, we are prepared to face these challenges head on. First and for most Wilmington is a safe place for us to live thanks to the brave men and woman of our police and fire departments who work tirelessly day and night to keep us safe.For years Wilmington has taken a very fiscally conservative approach to budgeting which has resulted in a consistently strong bond rating, a healthy reserve in our rainy day accounts and we continue to be a great position when it comes to borrowing. Unlike most of the surrounding towns we have been able to offer many services to residents without additional fees such as free all day kindergarten, no fees for trash and recycling, no school transportation fees, no athletic user fees, top notch veteran, DPW and senior services in addition to a strong public school system.The current challenges we face are clear and I believe we have a plan to confront each one going forward. There are many areas in which we can improve on, and by working together and continuing to take proactive approaches to challenges, I’m confidant that we will keep moving forward successfully.Selectman Greg BendelKevin CairaYes, I believe the Town is headed in the right direction. I believe that everyone can agree that Wilmington is a great community in which to live and raise a family. The reason for this, in large measure, is that residents have readily volunteered their time and resources for the betterment of our community. We have been able to provide a wide range of quality programs and services without the imposition of burdensome fees. The Town continues to receive high marks both for its affordability and fiscal responsibility. The Town’s bond rating remains at its highest level, our tax rate is comparable and in some cases, lower than similar communities, and we have built a substantial operational and capital reserve to enable the Town to meet future needs without having to rely on prop 2 ½ overrides. Additionally, we have a low debt burden and we are among a small number of communities addressing long term liability issues such as employee retirement and other post employee benefits (OPEB).The town continues to improve on its provision of services in every facet of government including public safety, education and public works. We have been recognized on numerous occasions for the quality services provided by our library, veterans’ services, recreation, building maintenance and elderly services departments. An examination of the new fiscal year budget testifies to the Town’s solid financial footing and supports an expansion of important municipal services.Like all communities, the Town has many issues to deal with, but unlike many communities, the Town is well prepared to tackle these issues and to do so in the best interests of all Wilmington residents.Selectman Kevin CairaRob FasuloWilmington is a great community, if I did not believe that I would not have remained here my entire life nor would I have decided to raise three kids here. While the community is great our local government has issues that need to be addressed. Over the past year and a half we watched while the town was adamant on putting a detox in the middle of a neighborhood, only feet from a school bus stop and residential neighborhood that they were willing to violate Public Records laws to keep residents from seeing the true process that was taken. We have an $83 million dollar high school that was built with less capacity than its predecessor, our elementary school buildings are so out of date that they cannot put air conditioning units into classroom windows for our children. The town’s OPEB (Other Post Employment Benefits) account is more than $112 million in the red and the unfunded pension liability is approximately $78 million.Are we on the “right track”? These are real dollars that all of us homeowners are going to have to pay at one point or another. Eventually these bills will come due and how is the town going to pay them? With that said, developers are pocket zoning large parcels of land and the town hall knows this. Town officials are also negotiating with the developers on other projects outside of the public eye as we speak. 50 units off Butters Row (confirmed), 77 units (unconfirmed number) at Walpole Woodworkers, 57 units at the intersection of Woburn and Rte. 129 (confirmed). We won’t get into the rumored complexes on Rte. 62 in North Wilmington, Or the bus parking area on Rte. 129 or next to Burger King, or even Phase 3 of the hockey rink that I brought up at a previous selectmen’s meeting. So with all the current debt, after what’s already approved is built, we may now need to somehow make the high school larger, hire more school staff, police officers, fire personnel and apparatus, public works’ staff, and address the other school building needs. I also should mention the dwindling amount of “open space” left in town. When the undeveloped land the town has is gone, it’s gone forever leaving the future needs of the town to be filled by real eminent domain land takings.In the end when all of this is done, our taxes will be so high that they will exclude the possibility of many of our seniors remaining in town and our kids that would like to start their family here will be priced out of the possibility. The direction the town is in it’s growing too fast. When businesses grow too fast they typically fail, Wilmington will be no different and many of our residents that are here now, will not be able to remain. If we care about our seniors staying in town, or our children having the opportunity to remain here with their families we need to act now. Our town government should be advocating sustainable growth and not uncontrolled growth. It also should be working for the residents, not against.Rob FasuloMark MaselliAs a concerned member as this community, I would say no. There are too many empty retail lots and storefronts. Our population is growing fast, and I believe that the town may become overpopulated quickly and we will not be prepared for the consequences of that growth in the near future. There are not enough illuminated parks for the kids to play in after dusk and our youth programs are suffering a great loss in participation. The overall political moral of this town is down. Over the past few elections, voter turnout has been consistently low. We need to come together as a town to make decisions that will benefit all generations currently living here as well as future residents.Mark MaselliSuzanne SullivanI do not believe the Town is heading in the right direction. I think we lack vision and the amount of vacant commercial and industrial spaces is a reflection of that. The town hired a consultant, the Main St. Market Study, which advised that we create walkable outdoor spaces to try and draw people to our commercial property and instead the town proposes to have an affordable housing by-law that will actually eliminate open spaces on commercial mixed use lots opposite to what their own consultant advised. We have bought absolutely NO passive recreation open space since I moved here 30 years ago to preserve some quality of life. Yentiles, as wonderful as it is, is not enough and there is really nothing left. Due to the gentrification of Boston and the surrounding communities Wilmington will feel the crunch of the so called “housing crisis” and our own space will become even more important to the residents but there is no real effort by the Board to provide this benefit to the townspeople. I think we need to do better. I think it is possible to serve ALL the people if we make the commitment and work together toward this common goal. When I read the purpose of the Bylaw I do not see that we are fulfilling that intent.1.2 Purpose: “The purpose of this Bylaw is to implement the zoning powers granted to the Town of Wilmington under the Constitution and Statutes of the Commonwealth and includes, but is not limited to, the following objectives: to lessen congestion in the streets; to conserve health; to secure safety from fire, flood, panic and other dangers; to provide adequate light and air; to prevent overcrowding of land; to avoid undue concentration of population; to encourage housing for persons of all income levels; to facilitate the adequate provision of transportation, water, supply, drainage, sewage disposal, schools, parks, open space and other public requirements; to conserve the value of land and buildings, including conservation of natural resources and the prevention of blight and pollution of the environment; to encourage the most appropriate use of all land and water resources throughout the Town including consideration of the recommendations of any special studies and master plans for the Town; to preserve and increase amenities; and to preserve and enhance the development of the natural, scenic and aesthetic qualities of the community.”Suzanne SullivanDan MurphyNo response provided.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedBREAKING NEWS: Bendel & Caira Win Re-Election, O’Mahony Joins The BoardIn “Breaking News”SELECTMEN DEBATE RECAP: Bendel, Caira, Fasulo, Maselli & Sullivan Debate The Issues (with VIDEO)In “Government”VIDEO: Selectwoman Candidate Suzanne Sullivan Discusses Her Campaign With WCTVIn “Videos”
AL general secretary Obaidul QuaderRuling Bangladesh Awami League (AL) general secretary Obaidul Quader has said a working committee meeting of the party would discuss both the letters of chief justice Surendra Kumar Sinha this evening, Saturday.“We need to discuss both the letters [leave letter and letter to newsmen]. We’ve invited the law minister, Anisul Huq, who unequivocally said the chief justice was sick and sought the leave on health grounds, to the meeting,” Quader told reporters after attending a reception programme at the Viqarunnisa Noon School and College in the capital. Also the road transport and bridges minister, Quader went on to say, “We will take a decision in this regard in today’s working committee meeting.”The AL working committee meeting will be held with prime minister and AL president Sheikh Hasina in the chair at Ganabhaban this evening.While leaving his Hare Road residence for the airport to catch an Australia-bound flight on Friday night, chief justice Surendra Kumar Sinha dismissed reports of his ill health saying he is “”completely in good health”.He also told newsmen that he was going abroad temporarily to save the judiciary from blemish and will return shortly for the “sake of the country’s judiciary”.In the letter handed out to waiting newsmen at the main entrance of his official residence, Sinha said that he is embarrassed at the criticism levelled at him by the prime minister, ministers, and political leadership over a verdict.Earlier on 2 October, law and parliamentary affairs minister Anisul Huq claimed that chief justice Sinha applied for one month’s leave as he was suffering from different types of illness including cancer.Sinha along with his wife flew for Australia by a Singapore Airlines flight at 11:55pm Friday night. He left his residence around 10:00pm.
Share AP Photo/Alexander ZemlianichenkoPersonnel work at the scene of a AN-148 plane crash in Stepanovskoye village, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Domodedovo airport, Russia, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. A Russian passenger plane carrying 71 people crashed Sunday near Moscow, killing everyone aboard shortly after the jet took off from one of the city’s airports. The Saratov Airlines regional jet disappeared from radar screens a few minutes after departing from Domodedovo Airport en route to Orsk, a city some 1,500 kilometers (1,000 miles) southeast of Moscow.Wading through knee-deep snow, hundreds of emergency workers searched a vast field near Moscow on Monday for remains of the 71 victims from the crash of a Russian airliner, and aviation experts began deciphering the jet’s two flight recorders.Investigators quickly ruled out a terrorist attack in Sunday’s crash of the An-148 regional jet bound for Orsk in the southern Urals. The air disaster has reignited questions, however, about the twin-engine plane that was developed jointly by Russia and Ukraine but phased out of production amid the political crisis between the neighbors.The model has a spotty safety record, with one previous crash and a string of major incidents in which pilots struggled to land safely. The carrier, Saratov Airlines, has grounded several other An-148s in its fleet pending the crash investigation.The plane crashed several minutes after taking off from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, and all 65 passengers and the crew of six were killed when the aircraft hit the ground and exploded in a giant fireball.The Investigative Committee, Russia’s top agency for looking into such disasters, said that before the crash, the plane was intact and there had been no fire on board. Officials would not speculate on possible causes.The plane’s fuel tanks exploded on impact, gouging a deep crater and scattering wreckage across 30 hectares (74 acres), according to the Emergencies Ministry, which used drones to direct the search. Pieces of the plane and human remains were buried in deep snow; some debris was found in nearby trees.Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich told a Cabinet meeting that emergency teams found both flight data and cockpit voice recorders, which will be significant to determining the cause of the crash. Investigators said they have started working on them.President Vladimir Putin put off a planned trip to Sochi and stayed in Moscow to monitor the investigation Monday. The Kremlin said U.S. President Donald Trump called Putin to express his condolences.Officials said the search for victims’ remains will take a week. The passengers ranged in age from 5 to 79, according to a list from the Emergencies Ministry. Most victims were from Orsk, where authorities declared Monday to be an official day of mourning.Saratov Airlines said the jet had received proper maintenance and passed all the necessary checks before the flight. The plane was built in 2010 for a different airline that operated it for several years before putting it in storage. Saratov Airlines commissioned it last year.The captain had more than 5,000 hours of flying time, 2,800 of them in an An-148, the airline said. The other pilot had 812 hours of experience, largely in that model.Another Russian operator that uses the plane, Angara, based in eastern Siberia, said it would keep flying them. The Defense Ministry and other government agencies that also use the aircraft haven’t grounded them either.President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine also has used that model of plane for some of his trips.The An-148, developed by Ukraine’s Antonov company in the early 2000s, once was touted as an example of Russian-Ukrainian cooperation, but it fell into trouble as relations between the two countries unraveled following Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.Most of about 40 such planes built under the cooperative agreement were manufactured by a Russian manufacturer in Voronezh, with Ukraine providing the engines and many other components.Its production in Russia was halted last year, and media reports indicated that some carriers, including Saratov Airlines, experienced a shortage of spare parts. Some airlines reportedly had to cannibalize planes to keep others airworthy.Alexander Neradko, the head of Rosaviatsiya, the state agency overseeing civil aviation, said it will make a detailed scrutiny of Saratov Airlines’ operations, but he added that the company had a decent record.Some regional carriers in Russia reportedly have cut corners on servicing aircraft.Pilot Andrei Litvinov told independent Dozhd TV that the government should help smaller carriers that are struggling to stay in business.“They are trying to save money on maintaining their planes to prevent going under,” he said.One An-148 crashed during a training flight in Russia in March 2011, killing all six crew members on board. Investigators blamed pilot error.In 2010, another An-148 operated by a Russian carrier suffered a major failure of its control system, but its crew managed to land safely.In September, one engine of a Saratov Airlines An-148 shut down minutes after takeoff, but it landed safely. And in October, another An-148 that belonged to a different Russian carrier suffered an engine fire on takeoff but also managed to land. Engine shutdowns have occurred on several other occasions.The last major airline crash in Russia occurred on Dec. 25, 2016, when a Tu-154 operated by the Defense Ministry on its way to Syria crashed into the Black Sea minutes after takeoff from Sochi. All 92 people aboard were killed. The investigation into that crash is ongoing, but officials have indicated it was due to pilot error.
In addition to loved son and brother, reliable friend, outstanding student, and published researcher, Howard University senior Cameron Davis Clarke can now add Rhodes Scholar to his list of great feats. “I didn’t even really believe it the first time when they announced it,” Clarke said of the moment when he first heard of his achievement—only a few minutes after the Rhodes interview on the weekend of Nov. 19.Howard University senior Cameron Davis Clarke. (Facebook Photo)The biology and community health double major seemed to be more surprised than his peers about the life-changing opportunity awarded to him.“It’s not that it’s not incredible, but Cameron is just as incredible you know?” said Ruby LeMorin, a Howard University senior political science major and one of Clarke’s good friends since their freshman year. “I feel like as a friend-group, none of us ever have doubts that Cameron can get done all of the goals that he has in his life.”Clarke is one of the 32 American college students selected for the 2017 Rhodes Scholars program. He is among seven students representing the Washington region selected to study at Oxford University in fall 2017.“Cameron’s very ambitious and he struck me as a very mature young man who was focused in terms of what he wanted to do” said Krista Johnson, Clarke’s faculty adviser at the Howard chapter of Globemed, a network of 58 university based chapters established in 2007 by students that aims to strengthen the movement for global health equity by empowering students and communities to work together to improve the health of people living in poverty around the world”.Since coming to Howard from Jersey City in 2013, Clarke has spent his undergraduate career demonstrating his hunger for world solutions through extensive study and activism. Clarke’s interest in medicine led to experiences such as his time as a field researcher at Ethiopia’s Bahir Dar University and as a Amgen Scholar at the National Institute of Health. The 21 year-old currently serves on the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. “Community health was a choice because I realized that health isn’t just about the state of disease, you have to take a holistic standpoint when you want to address any type of health issue” said Clarke. “So biology was sort of like for when I want to go into practicing medicine and the community health is for prevention and working in policy.”While growing up in Jersey City, Clarke attended Dr. Ronald E. McNair High School, one of the top performing public high schools in the country. Though reluctant at first, he eventually joined his older brother Malcolm Clarke at Howard University, where he continued building his academic development and produced strong friendships. After graduating from Howard next summer, Clarke will pursue a masters degree in primary health at the University of Oxford where he will study alongside 95 other world scholars for two years. “He’s like the friend that whenever you need something, he’s able to assist,” said Howard senior Kalen Kennedy. Kennedy and Clarke became friends their senior year at McNair and both came to Howard University as freshmen in fall 2013. “Like no matter what it is, which is kind of weird. He’s one of those people that’s kind of good at a lot of different things.”Clarke spoke of the importance of getting an early start in one’s educational development and not allowing fear to drive away opportunities. “I think a lot of times people tend to back out of things because they think it’s going to be overwhelming or it might be too much or they might not be able to handle it but the good thing about taking an opportunity is if it ends up being too much you can always drop out,” said Clarke. “If you never take it in the first place, then you never get the chance to see how much you’re able to do.”When he’s not studying, working or bicycling through Howard’s campus, Clarke said he enjoys writing.“I like to write. I think I’ve realized over the past seven semesters that writing is kind of therapeutic for me. I definitely like to write for myself and for audiences,” he said.Clarke joins prior Rhodes Scholars and Howard University alumni Mark Alleyne, Carla Peterman, and Marianna Ofosu
Forbidden Fruits is a story of six women who go on an unapologetic cathartic journey, enabling them to break through from psychological blocks of their past and find redemption.Taking on patriarchy, religion, spirituality, gender-roles, sexuality and sexual politics in society, they come to terms with themselves and battle their inner demons with humor, wit, sarcasm, love, tears, joy, and unabashed bitchery.Forbidden Fruit pushes not only artistic boundaries, but also cultural and socio-political ones. The six women are portrayed as tragically beautiful characters who are flawed, but embrace it with unapologetic candor. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Nothing is left untouched, for not only is the mystique of womanhood unveiled in more ways than one, but the play is peppered with numerous ‘truth bombs’ on a wide range of topics – from circumcision to orgasm.Zorian Cross is a award winning actor and playwright. His first original play, The Coming Out, not only became a local but also won him the Best New Talent award for acting and writing.The play went on to be performed in five different cities across the world, winning five awards in Bangalore and Sydney. Since then, he has penned seven original plays, all of which have been critically appraised at various workshops and performed as dramatised readings. With the aim of promoting original work and discovering and nurturing fresh talent, Zorian Cross plans to conquer the world one round of applause at a time. So mark your calender and head over!When: May 2 – 3Where: Akshara Theatre
Let a robot replace you. For years, this was iRobot’s pitch for the Roomba, its robotic vacuum cleaner. And for years it worked well, generating strong annual sales growth for the Massachusetts firm. There was only one problem: A sizable cohort of potential consumers didn’t believe it. These were people who valued an immaculate home. They worked hard at it. They didn’t think a robot could replace them. And they were right. It probably couldn’t.Related: How to Make the Right Sales PitchDwight Brown, senior VP of global marketing at iRobot, had been here before. His previous employer, Keurig, had a similar pitch: “‘You need a single-serve coffeemaker because it’s an easier way to make coffee,’” Brown recalls. This made technology the centerpiece of the pitch. Which made a certain sense — the tech was cool, and people who loved gadgets were into it. The thing was: Not everyone loves gadgets. “We very quickly learned that when you try to convince the consumer by starting the dialogue with the technology, you certainly attract some early adopters who are technically oriented,” Brown says of the initial approach, “but you may be missing the vast majority of consumers who are much more interested in hearing about the benefit.” Some people, after all, just weren’t looking for a new coffeemaker. But they were looking for a better coffee-making experience. So Keurig tweaked the pitch: “Great coffee, made simply.” It paid off. Keurig boomed.Related: The Surprising Online Marketing Method Most Consumers PreferWhen Brown joined iRobot three years ago, he saw a similar opening. “My initial hypothesis was that if we start focusing communication on the benefit, and not force the consumer to think about the robot as a replacement, we might open the doors to opportunity,” he says. Working with the Cambridge Group in Chicago, iRobot surveyed existing and prospective customers and discovered two things: 1. Existing customers were satisfied with the performance of the product. And 2. Prospective customers were aware of it but didn’t think it would work well enough to meet their standards.That meant that winning converts wasn’t about changing the product; it was about recalibrating expectations. “It’s not a technical issue; it’s a marketing issue,” Brown says. But to do that, iRobot had to better understand what the holdouts wanted. So it asked. The consumers it was targeting said that while they weren’t looking for a robot vacuum per se, they did want a cleaner home. And in an ideal world, they wanted their home to be cleaned every day; they were just too busy to do it themselves.That was the opening iRobot was looking for. It crafted a new pitch, “Cleaner floors every day — all at the push of a button,” and repositioned the product not as something that cleans for you but as something that cleans with you. Something that reliably frees you up from some mundane work and increases the baseline cleanliness in your home, without any additional effort on your part. In that formulation, Brown says, “the customer doesn’t even need to think about purchasing a robot.”Related: 3 Ways to Avoid Mediocre Marketing ContentThe initial feedback on this new approach was positive, and in the spring of 2015 iRobot launched a marketing campaign around it, including redesigned packaging, online and TV ads and in-store video displays. The early results were promising, and iRobot doubled down on the strategy for the holiday season — leading to a 46 percent bump in sales in the final quarter compared with the previous year. Three years in, the new message continues to resonate. Sales were up 17 percent in 2016 (propelled in part by the Roomba 650, which became the top-grossing vacuum cleaner in the U.S.), and, Brown says, “our early 2017 results appear very promising.” Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. This story appears in the July 2017 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » August 2, 2017 Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 4 min read