Week of May 14: Lexington News Roundup
Good morning and welcome to this week’s LexObserver news roundup.
It’s beginning to feel a lot like summer…we hope you’re reading today’s edition outside! LexObserver will be seeking out a giant ice cream cone this weekend (pistachio, personally) and encourages you to do the same.
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Without further ado, here’s this week’s news.
In this issue:
- New resident-commissioned tree report contends vast majority of 37 white pines can be preserved – with “conservation pruning.”
- Which businesses and nonprofits have received American Rescue Plan Act funding from the Town, and how are they using it?
- Next Tuesday is the deadline to register to vote in the upcoming debt exclusion to fund a new police station.
- This Week’s School Committee Recap: Updates on Math, Literacy/phonics K-5 pilots, Kidsborough registration.
- COVID-19 Weekly Update: Cases back up to triple digits in Town, at LPS.
- Community Announcements: Discovery Day is coming up May 28; Community Endowment of Lexington Announces Two New Grant Recipients; AAPI 5K Run ‘N’ Walk and Food Festival May 30.
New resident-commissioned tree report contends vast majority of 37 white pines can be preserved – with “conservation pruning”
Town is currently reviewing Applied Plant and Soil Scientist Norm Helie’s report
The Town is setting a time in the next week or so for arborist Thomas Brady and Applied Plant and Soil Scientist Norm Helie to meet to discuss their conflicting reports.
Which businesses and nonprofits have received American Rescue Plan Act funding from the Town, and how are they using it?
Grant awards for small businesses ranged from $6,000 to $25,000; for nonprofits, awards ranged from $5,000 to $10,000
All of the funding from these two grant programs has been allocated through three rounds of agreements, though some of the third-round agreements are still being processed.
Next Tuesday is the deadline to register to vote on the upcoming debt exclusion to fund a new police station
On June 6, voters will weigh in on authorizing tax increases to fund a long-delayed $32.4 million police station
“Appropriating $32.4 million,” in practice, will mean borrowing money to finance the police station; Lexington will need to raise property taxes until any such borrowing is repaid, which can only be done with the approval of voters.
And: New Committee leadership; half-days will continue to fall on Friday next year
During the first public comment period, LPS 5th grader Sofia asked the School Committee to make Eid Al-Fitr a school holiday to acknowledge and recognize her identity and culture while educating others.
COVID-19 Weekly Update
Cases back up to triple digits in Town, at LPS
- Alas, cases are squarely back in the triple digits in town, consistent with statewide trends. Last week, Lexington had 118 new recorded COVID-19 cases as of May 5; this week, 161 new cases were recorded as of Thursday.
- At Lexington Public Schools, cases rose significantly after last week’s hopeful decrease. As of Thursday, 150 students or staff were absent who had tested positive, while 5 staff or students were on quarantine; last week, as of May 5, 3 students were on quarantine, and 85 staff or students were absent who had tested positive.
- Discovery Day is just two weeks away (from Eric Michelson, Lexington Retailers’ Association President): Come celebrate spring at Lexington’s Discovery Day Street Fair in Lexington Center on Saturday, May 28 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.. Sponsored by the Lexington Retailers Association and hosted by over 95 of Lexington’s businesses and civic organizations, this event lets residents “rediscover” their town, and nonresidents “discover” the delights of beautiful and historic Lexington. Mass. Ave will be closed to vehicle traffic from Waltham St. to Meriam St., and you’ll be able to enjoy all of your favorite foods from all your favorite local businesses — not to mention entertainment for kids, live music for adults, and information and demonstrations from Lexington’s many civic groups. Come enjoy and learn about all this community has to offer! Find out more here.
- Community Endowment of Lexington Announces Two New Grant Recipients (from Kimberly Hensle Lowrance, CEL Co-Chair): The Community Endowment of Lexington (CEL) recently awarded two new grants from its discretionary fund to CALex (Chinese Americans of Lexington) and CAAL (Chinese American Association of Lexington). CEL’s $2,000 grant to CALex will help underwrite a series of banners featuring notable Asian Americans in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month. The banners will hang in the Town Center and Cary Memorial Library. CEL’s $4,000 grant to CAAL will fund A Bridge Across: Celebration and Promotion of Asian Culture and History, a series of events focused on Asian culture through activities related to art, food, and history during the AAPI Heritage Month and beyond. You can learn more here.
- AAPI 5K Run ‘N’ Walk and Food Festival on Memorial Day Weekend (from Melanie Lin, CAAL Co-President): We hope all interested residents will join us for the AAPI 5K Run ‘N’ Walk on May 30th in Lexington! To register, click here. After the run, come to celebrate a culmination of AAPI history, art, and food at the LHS Field House and enjoy AAPI sampling food, AAPI fun events, and family time…
That’s a wrap for today. Was this roundup useful to you? What do you want to see in this email next week? Let us know, and please ask your friends to sign up and DONATE too! Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with tips and questions anytime. As always, you can also check out and share our website, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages. Thanks so much for reading and have a great weekend!
Nicco Mele, Sophie Culpepper and the LexObserver Team
Edited by Bob Rotberg
Correction: The original version of the newsletter contained an outdated subtitle stating that “Cases decrease[d]” slightly at Lexington Public Schools.” The accurate subtitle is “Cases back up to triple digits in Town, at LPS.” LexObserver regrets the error.
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