Here are photographs taken on Friday, Saturday and Sunday this past weekend by Marsha and me. Click on thumbnail to see larger version. Contact me (email@example.com) if you need a higher resolution version.
If you'd like to hear music along with your video, turn up your sound. If you hate opera, you might want to turn down your sound.
With his permission, I am forwarding a message originally composed by Sanjay Padaki, a Town Meeting Member from Precinct 8, and forwarded to me by Edith Sandy. This message urges people to remember to vote tomorrow in the Special Town Election concerning Debt Exclusion. I have added a little bit concerning the wording of the question. I have also made sure that nothing in this message advocates for one or the other side of this issue. The facts are all here for you to make your decision.
Tuesday May 3rd is an important day for all residents of our town. You may have seen the yard signs, read the newspaper articles and received mail regarding the debt exclusion vote on that day.
I am including some additional information and links below that you might find useful before you cast your vote.
1. What is this vote about?
Lexington schools are overcrowded. One element of the plan to address this issue is to add new capacity at both the Diamond and Clarke middle schools. Tuesday's vote is asking town citizens whether they would be willing to raise property taxes in order to pay for the renovation and addition of space at these school buildings. The exact wording of the question that is being voted on is:
QUESTION 1: Shall the Town of Lexington be allowed to exempt from the provisions of proposition two and one half, so-called, the amounts required to pay for the bonds issued in order to pay costs of (i) conducting master planning, design, renovation and additions to elementary and secondary school facilities, including the acquisition and installation of modular classrooms, and (ii) undertaking additions, remodeling, reconstructing and making extraordinary repairs to the Jonas Clarke and William Diamond Middle Schools, located at 17 Stedman Road and 99 Hancock Street, respectively, including the payment of costs of architectural and engineering services, original equipment and landscaping, paving and other site improvements incidental or directly related to such additions, remodeling, reconstruction or repair?
Yes _____ No _____
The warrant for this election can be seen in its entirety at http://www.lexingtonma.gov/sites/lexingtonma/files/uploads/warrant-debt_exclusion-final.pdf
2. Why is there a vote?
Property taxes normally increase at the rate of 2.5% every year (the so called Prop Two and a Half). The exact value of the property tax increase is dependent on the assessed value of your home. By law, any debt or borrowing that is needed beyond the 2.5% requires a majority vote by the town citizens.
3. How much does the town need to borrow?
The town needs approximately $71.7 Million to fund these projects
4. What exactly are we spending this money on?
The town engineers made a presentation at Town Meeting which describes the proposed work. This document can be found here:
5. How much will my property tax increase by?
The Town Selectmen have done an impact analysis for a house of median value ($786,000) which can be found here:
The charts that are relevant to the May 3rd vote are on Pages 3 & 4. Page 3 shows the tax increase over the next 10 years if the YES vote succeeds (normal 2.5% rate + additional debt). Page 4 shows the tax increase over the next 10 years if the NO vote succeeds (normal 2.5% rate).
6. Will there be other similar increases in property tax in the future?
There are several other capital projects at various stages of development. A key one is the rebuilding of the Hastings Elementary School which has been approved for state MSBA funding. Over the next months and years, these projects will be progressed and will likely result in another debt exclusion vote. The total estimated impact to taxes of all the projects (including the middle school renovations) can be found on Page 1 of the report above.
7. Have Town Meeting Members voted on this issue?
Town Meeting voted 152-2-4 (For-Against-Abstain) in March to approve this article. However, by law, this article requires an additional vote by the entire town.
8. Where can I find more information?
Both the YES and NO campaigns have websites which discuss the pros and cons of this article.
YES Campaign: http://yes4lex.org/
NO Campaign: http://lexvote.org/
This is a very important vote and the effects of it will be felt for many, many years by the town residents.
I encourage you to read and make an informed decision.
Don't forget to vote on Tuesday!
Over the years, I have created many websites. Here is a list of my most recent ones.
Please click below right for more ...
360º Still Panorama
Drag your mouse on the image and move left or right. Try looking at the ceiling by moving your mouse up.
Family Hannukah Party, December 6, 2015 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA
360º Full Motion Video Panorama
Make sure you click on the > to start the video. Then drag your mouse left or right on the video. The video clip is short so I have looped it so that you can get the idea of moving around the video. You can also zoom the video, although the resolution isn't so great then.
I have been writing on the Internet for many years. Recently I have settled on Weebly as the platform of choice. Here is a list of other places I have written blogs in the past:
On the day when I had my best results with my Hubsan X4, flying it in a large field in front of the William Cullen Bryant homestead, I also lost it. Sigh.
I started flying at about 3:30pm. I had two flights where each time I could get the drone to climb but it kept going away from my, not just rising above. I am not skilled enough with the controller to understand all of the motions needed to reverse its current direction, and so in both cases it kept going the direction it started in. Not that I wasn't able to change its direction, but that I couldn't change it in the right direction. In each of the first two cases, I managed to bring the drone down a medium distance from me.
Each time I have flown the X4 I have managed to gain more confidence, so progress has been made.
The last time I flew it, the wind had picked up -- so in addition to not being able to control it in calm air, I had the added problem of more confidence and less control because of the wind. And, once I understood that I had lost control (or felt over confident that I could regain control) I didn't land it. I could have. But I didn't, thinking that if I could just keep it up there, I could bring it back to a place where I coud land it. It also didn't didn't help that the drone drifted into a spot right in line with the Sun, so I lost sight of it. By this time, it was too late even though I knew it was still up there. But, rather than doing anything else, I just turned the throttle down and turned off the controller -- knowing that it was unlikely that I could find it -- and sure enough, after 15 minutes of searching in the easy places, I called it a day.
My friend, Henry Houh, founder of Einstein's Workshop has teamed up with a guy who created a 3D matrix of cameras (over 100) that is able to take three dimensional photographs of large objects -- in this case, people. Here are 6 models Henry and Co. made of our family. Truly amazing. The next amazing thing is that Henry is going to arrange for some of these models to be printed in 3D, resulting in 6" figures of the four of us.