Dear Editor,I am opposed to the elimination of any train stops. The tax payers of Wilmington pay the MBTA $518,000 per year to have the two train stations in Wilmington. I believe the people of Wilmington deserve full service at both stops. The train in North Wilmington does not have to block the road known as Rte. 62 / Middlesex Avenue. This was absolutely shown when I took the train from Lawrence to North Wilmington and asked to get off the first car so the train did not block the road. A further indication of this can easily be explained by simply understanding that the same train leaves North Station to come to North Wilmington and clears the road to let passengers off. We need to work to make the lives of Wilmington residents easier and more convenient. People who need to get toward and to Boston for work or an appointment to see a doctor deserve all stops to remain at North Wilmington.My advice and proposal to Wilmington officials is to position public safety vehicles on the other side of the tracks ahead of the scheduled stops. I also wanted to add that a garage bay at the D.P.W. and Brown’s Crossing locations could be designated for an emergency vehicle without the need for an expensive substation construction project.With regard to the proposed detox site at 362 Middlesex Avenue, I believe the State should take this property by eminent domain for the purpose of building a train station with senior housing above it and an eatery/cafe. Seniors and commuters can have a place to dine while waiting to take the train.The opioid problem is a State problem that needs a State solution. Many cities and towns are in the process of suing the opioid manufacturers. I believe it would be a beautiful thing to see a settlement with the opioid manufacturers that included giving us a state of the art treatment and recovery center on the grounds of the Tewksbury State Hospital. The State’s opioid addiction problem solution: funded by those who are alleged to have known that the opioids were addictive and sold them anyway.Unfortunately, our Selectmen have failed to negotiate with the owner’s of 362 Middlesex Avenue for an alternative development that eliminated the detox facility. We now have a law suit filed against the Town of Wilmington that could have been averted. It is time for the community to unite for truth and unite for change. It is also time to eliminate conflict of interest on the Board of Selectmen by electing new members who will fight on behalf of the community. Solutions are needed that improve people’s lives.Sincerely,Kevin MacDonaldCandidate for the Board of SelectmenLike 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… RelatedLETTER TO THE EDITOR: Selectman Candidate Kevin MacDonald Says Town Should Hire A Grant WriterIn “Letter To The Editor”SELECTMEN NEWS: Town Comes Up With Fix For North Wilmington Commuter Rail StationIn “Government”SELECTMEN NEWS: Board Grapples With Whether To Eliminate 5 Daily Stops At N. Wilmington Commuter Rail StationIn “Government”
By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent@StacyBrownMediaFor many, the words of a senior scientist who said physics “was invented and built by men,” stung. The words earlier this month of Professor Alessandro Strumia, who was suspended from working with the European nuclear research center, Cern, served as a reminder of the great accomplishments of Katherine Johnson, who recently turned 100.Celebrate indeed. Strumia also claimed in his controversial comments that physics is “becoming sexist against men.”Katherine Johnson’s work at NASA’s Langley Research Center spanned 1953 to 1986 and included calculating the trajectory of the early space launches. (Photo: NASA Sean Smith / Wikimedia Commons)“Let’s celebrate our sister leader, Katherine Johnson,” NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., said this week. “We’re reminded,” Chavis said, “of Johnson, who hand-crunched the numbers for America’s first manned space flight – a feat that finally got its Big Screen acknowledgement just two years ago. Katherine Johnson’s historic contributions to the evolution of applied mathematics and aerospace science epitomizes her genius to overcome the scientific challenges of her generation.”“Today, African American women in particular should be inspired by the example of Katherine Johnson in STEM career fields,” Chavis said. “The NNPA salutes Johnson’s transformative legacy that is no longer hidden.”The recipient of the 2015 National Medal of Freedom who was also recognized by People Magazine in 2016 as one of the 25 Women Changing the World, Johnson enjoyed a brilliant 33-year career at NASA. That portion of her life story was featured on the big screen in “Hidden Figures,” the award-winning movie, starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe.In an earlier interview, she told NNPA Newswire that she missed working. “I’d go back now,” she said.After leaving her teaching job in 1953, Johnson began working for NASA, “hand” calculating the trajectories for several space missions, including for the famed space flight of Alan Shephard, the first American in space, and the trajectory for the famed 1968 Apollo 11 flight to the Moon.“I’d do them over if I had to. I’d do anything for anyone,” she said.At an early age, Johnson developed enviable math skills that are recounted on the NASA website in featured piece titled, “The girl who loved to count.” “I counted everything. I counted the steps to the road, the steps up to church, the number of dishes and silverware I washed … anything that could be counted, I did,” Johnson said.“I entered college, I was 15. I was going to be a math teacher because that was it. You could be a math teacher or a nurse, but I was told I would make a good research mathematician and they had me take all of the courses in the catalogue,” she said.When Astronaut John Glenn went to the moon, Johnson said her “Hidden Figures” crew acted as the computer for the mission. She said calculating everything involved in the flight became like a geometry problem.“I felt most proud of the success of the Apollo mission. We had to determine so much. Where you were, where the moon would be and how fast the astronauts were going,” Johnson said.“We were really concerned but the astronaut had to do it just as we laid it out. I was looking at the television and hoping that we were right,” she said.Born in 1918 in West Virginia, Johnson was a research mathematician, who by her own admission, was simply fascinated by numbers, according to her biography posted by NASA. By the age of 10, Johnson was a high school freshman – an amazing feat in an era when school for African-Americans normally stopped at eighth grade.Her father was determined that Johnson would have a chance to meet her potential. “He drove the family 120 miles to Institute, West Virginia, where I could continue my education through high school,” she said.An achiever at the highest level, Johnson graduated from high school at 14 and from college at 18.By 1953, the growing demands of early space research meant there were openings for African American “computers” (a term that held a different meaning at that time than it does today) at Langley Research Center’s Guidance and Navigation Department – and Johnson found the perfect place to put her extraordinary mathematical skills to work.Glenn requested that she personally recheck the calculations made by the new electronic computers before his flight aboard Friendship 7 – the mission on which he became the first American to orbit the Earth.She continued to work at NASA until 1986.Her calculations proved as critical to the success of the Apollo Moon landing program and the start of the Space Shuttle program as they did to those first steps on the country’s journey into space, according to NASA.Still, Johnson said the book, the Academy Award-nominated movie and her celebrated work with NASA aren’t her greatest accomplishments.“Just staying alive is the greatest accomplishment,” she said.