HomeWeekend Wrap-UpStrikes, ARPA, Upcoming State Primary: Weekend Wrap-Up

Strikes, ARPA, Upcoming State Primary: Weekend Wrap-Up

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WESTFORD — Welcome to the Sept. 4 edition of Weekend Wrap-Up. Here, we highlight the most important news you may have missed this week in Westford.

Westford Starbucks workers on strike through Labor Day Weekend

Starbucks workers in Westford, who originally voted to unionize on June 3 in an 11 to zero vote in favor, have voted to go on strike through Labor Day weekend.

The strike comes as two partners — what Starbucks calls its baristas — were fired from the Westford store on Wednesday. Workers allege their termination came without proper notice.

“So for them to be doing that is seen as retaliation, especially since we unionized back in June,” said Starbucks employee Madison Connors. “We had said that something needs to be done about this, so yesterday we organized a sickout, and we had 15 of 20 of our partners to vote to strike.”

She continued, “we told them it would be a three-day strike, and Monday we’re going back.”

September 11 memorial service to be held next weekend

A memorial service and remembrance event is planned to commemorate the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

This service marks the 21st anniversary of the attack, paying respects to the 2,977 men, women and children who lost their lives in the attacks at the World Trade Center, Pentagon and Flight 93.

Two Westford residents, Susan MacKay, 44 and James Hayden, 47 perished in the attacks as their separate flights departed Logan Airport the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

MacKay was aboard American Airlines Flight 11 which crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. A Westford Academy scholarship has been created in her name.

Hayden was aboard United Airlines Flight 175, which crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

Westford was one of a few hundred communities across the nation that received a portion of the World Trade Center, which stands near town Hall in Westford Center.

The ceremony will take place on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 9:55 a.m. The event will be held at the 9/11 memorial in the Public Safety Courtyard at 55 Main St.

Select Board receives partial ARPA disbursement, approves additional projects

The Select Board has approved a number of new American Rescue Plan Act projects as it awaits the remainder of its second round of funding from the federal government.

A complete list of recently approved projects can be found below.

  • $90,000 for assessment and addition of additional surveillance cameras within the schools.
  • $20,594 for active assailant training for the Police Department, Fire Department and Public Safety Communications Department.
  • $8,457.06 for supplemental funding for the purchase of a Chevy Silverado 3500 for the Facilities Department. This vehicle is to replace an older plow truck that is in disrepair. The funding was originally approved during a June 11 Town Meeting.
  • $1,539.20 for supplemental funding for a Ford Transit cargo van for the Facilities Department. The funding was originally approved during a June 11 Town Meeting.

The board approved $120,529.26 worth of projects in a unanimous vote. The town has a remaining balance of $1,146,732.56 in funding as of Aug. 23.

Select Board approves Indigenous People’s Day ballot language

The Select Board has approved proposed language to replace Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day on the Nov. 8 general election ballot.

The question was originally proposed during an Oct. 18 Special Town Meeting in 2020. Voters rejected a Citizen’s Petition 111 to 108 to rename the holiday, but referred the resolution to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee for further consideration.

Both the Select Board Chair Andrea Peraner-Sweet and Select Board member Tom Clay noted that residents should have the opportunity to decide on the question and return to the drawing board if necessary.

“We should put it to the people and see what they say. If we decide at a further date, depending on how the question comes out and what happens if we have further recommendations and considerations, then we can do that,” said Peraner-Sweet.

The question will appear on the Nov. 8 local ballot after a review from the town’s legal council.

UPDATED: Early Voting Ongoing for Upcoming State Primary

Early voting is now ongoing for the upcoming Sept. 6 primary election.

The state primary will be held on Sept. 6, but voters can cast their ballots in-person or by mail ahead of time, thanks to recent legislation that codified early voting and no-excuse mail in ballots.

Vote by mail is currently ongoing. The last day to apply for a vote by mail ballot is Monday, Aug. 29.

Those looking to vote in-person ahead of the primary can do so this week. Town Hall is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for in-person coting until Friday, Sept. 2.

As of Dec. 31, 2021, the number of precincts has been consolidated down to two polling locations, Westford Academy and Stony Brook School. Voters in precinct one, precinct three, precinct four and precinct seven vote at Westford Academy, while voters at precincts two, five and six vote at Stony Brook School.

Voters who wish to vote in-person on Sept. 6 must do so at their precinct. Voters that are unsure about their precinct should contact the Town Clerk’s office at 978-692-5515 or email at townclerk@westfordma.gov.

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Ben Domaingue
Ben Domainguehttps://www.clippings.me/bendomaingue
Ben Domaingue has previously worked at newspapers in New Hampshire and is the Managing Editor covering Westford. He’s passionate about community journalism, photography and hiking. Email him at bdomaingue@westfordcat.org.