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Monday, January 23, 2023

Honoring our Core Values: Supporting MAPS and the Somerville Media Center


As a 42-year resident of Somerville, I am excited for the future of this City and watching it reach its fullest potential through smart legislation and a modernized charter. As a member of “old school Somerville (Yikes!),” I also long for the continuation of those ingredients that have been deeply embedded in the soul of this City for decades. I realize the Goldilocks / perfect porridge expectation, but in this case, I truly believe it is possible.  

Recently, I was disheartened to learn that the home of MAPS and the Somerville Media Center a.k.a SCATV is currently in jeopardy. SCATV has led the way bringing Somerville-based television content into our living rooms and the thought that there is even the slightest delay in assisting them is just gross. From teaching children video editing skills to being there for every other nonprofit and business through their Community Lense series and other documentation this studio has provided – mostly for free – we owe them a hell of a lot more than this blatant arrogance surrounding their housing. The Somerville Media Center would never and has never let us down…why are we letting them down? Similarly, MAPS has been the eyes, ears and voices of our Portuguese speakers in Somerville and surrounding cities. How dare we not assist them and connect them to resources that guarantee their sustained success - precisely what they have been doing since they opened their doors.

Legislation was submitted through our City Council and was initially sponsored by Ward 2 City Councilor JT Scott, Ward 3 City Councilor Ben Ewen-Campen, and Ward 1 City Councilor Matt McLaughlin at their Thursday January 12th meeting of the whole. The resolution would eventually be sponsored by the entire City Council - they get it. 

With so many changes happening around us, we need a historical perspective now more than ever to ensure we don't repeat mistakes we made yesteryear. Abandoning the Somerville Media Center and MAPS is like abandoning our core values of maintaining the best City to work, play and raise a family. 

I encourage the administration to work with both of these nonprofits and find a home - expeditiously and thoughtfully - that best suits their needs and the needs of their constituents. 

Monday, August 31, 2020

Breaking News: Bull McCabe’s Says Goodbye!

The beloved Union Square pub just announced via Facebook that it will not be reopening:

"It is with a very heavy heart that I am writing to let you know that, after twelve years in Union Square, Bull McCabe’s will not be reopening. The last six months have taken an incredible toll on all of us, and while the restaurant/bar/music venue industry as a whole has been decimated, Mom-and-Pop shops like ours, especially, have been crushed. We’re a 780 sq.-ft music venue, not easily-aligned with social distancing, and we have been struggling to stay afloat for a long time. Legal battles, construction, an ever-changing neighborhood, and many other causes have made it increasingly difficult for us over the past few years. We’ve incurred a large amount of debt, and it is continuing to rise with no income to help knock it down. So, as much as I want to hang on and hope things will bounce back, I can’t afford to, financially or emotionally.
My family and I thank you all for your patronage, your support, your help, your love and appreciation, your smiles, your lyrics, your drum solos, ripping guitar licks, the heaviest of vibes, and your beautiful voices that helped make a tiny little bar in Somerville a staple in the Boston music scene. I am forever grateful.

I have always said, “Anyone can buy a bar, but it’s the people who make it.” I stand by that. The people. You, your friends, your family, all the incredible staff that we have been lucky to work with over the years, that’s the Bull McCabe’s Family, and I am proud to have been a part of something so incredible for so long. But, it’s time to go. I love you all!

Thank you for everything, especially my family and friends for all the continued support."
With all the love,
Brian Manning, and my parents, my business partners, Chris and Linda Whitney, without whom, none of this would have been possible.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Press Release: Covid 19 Testing Site to Move Out of Ward 5, Relocate in Assembly Square

As of Monday, July 20, the COVID-19 testing site previously located at the Somerville Hospital has moved to 133 Middlesex Avenue (near the former Kmart site) in Assembly Square. The testing site is part of a larger COVID-19 mitigation strategy by the City of Somerville in partnership with Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA). Patients can arrive at the site via vehicle, walking, or bicycle, and testing procedures will be the same as at the previous location:
  • Patients must have an appointment to be tested. To make an appointment, call 617-665-2928 (Mon-Fri, 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.). CHA patients can also use their MyCHArt account to set up an appointment.
  • Testing is free and insurance coverage is not a requirement, although CHA may ask for insurance information for administrative purposes. You will not be turned away if you do not have insurance.
  • You do not need to have symptoms to be tested.
  • Immigration status will not be checked.
  • Testing is available for anyone eight years of age and older.
  • Please bring a photo ID.
Patients will receive a phone call with their results, which could take up to five days to come in.

There is also a mobile testing unit that accepts patients at roaming locations throughout Somerville. To see the mobile site’s upcoming schedule visit the “Symptoms, Testing, & Medical Info” tab on or call 311. 

To make an appointment at the mobile testing site please call 617-682-0583 (English); 617-398-7770 (Spanish); 617-684-5625 (Portuguese); 617-735-5553 (Nepali); or 617-625-6600 ext. 2622 (Haitian Creole).

L'Optique Boutique to Bid Ball Square Goodbye

L'Optique Boutique, a eyewear shop in Ball Square, will bid goodbye to the City by July 31st owner Carol Tijan announced today in an email to customers. 

Specializing in pairing clients with the perfect pair of eyewear, L'Optique Boutique was a welcome neighbor in the Square as Carol occupied the space formally home to The Book Shop. The Book Shop closed its doors in 2015. 

Citing construction and Covid 19 as the reasons behind the closing, Carol promised to continue working with clients virtually and through pop-ups in the area once regulations allow. Please visit their website - - to set up your appointments and to find out pop-up details.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Gay is Here to Stay No Matter What the Word of God Has to Say

On Monday July 6, I was tagged in a Facebook post from dear friend Grover Taylor about a homophobic flyer that was not only passed out to visitors at Dilboy, but was directly handed to Grover's 8 year old daughter. The 🙄-inducing Tiger King pictorial illustration on the front leads to the reference of the usual homophobic suspects: Leviticus 18:21, Genesis 13:13, and Romans 1:32. So predictable.

Homophobia is present in the City of Somerville and last reared its ugly head years ago when I was serving in political office. As I, an almost 40 year resident of Somerville, watch this City slowly reprioritize its approach to responding to the needs of all that live, work, play and raise a family in these 4 square miles - this bullshit can go down the drain right along with racism, socioeconomic gaps and all the other muck of the swamp that's preventing us from establishing a Somerville that directly reflects the wonderful values of those who call this place home. The remaining pages are featured below if you're looking for a laugh.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Hirsch Out, Strezo In

City Councilor at Large Stephanie Hirsch confirmed this week that she will be stepping down from her seat in late April as her family prepares to move closer to family. The 5th place finisher, Ward 1 resident Kristen Strezo will be our new City Councilor at Large. This marks the first major political change under the 2014 Charter Change for City Council vacancies. You're welcome :)

Hirsch's announcement didn't come as a surprise as she hinted to it while running for re-election in 2019. She was first elected in 2017 during a groundbreaking overhaul of the political landscape in Somerville led by the Bernie Sanders inspired organization Our Revolution. The group did not endorse her in 2019. The group also took a pass on Strezo focusing instead on Mary Jo Rossetti, Will Mbah and Bill White.

Read Stephanie's statement here.
Read Kristen's statement here.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Weekend Demolition of Abutment at Broadway Bridge in Ball Square

MassDOT has released the following update on weekend construction in Ball Square.

Beginning at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, August 2, workers will begin preparing for the demolition of the old Broadway Bridge east abutment (next to the Dialysis Center at 645 Broadway in Somerville).  Actual demolition of the abutment will occur from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.  Overnight (from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Saturday and Sunday nights), concrete and steel debris will be loaded up and removed by truck along the railroad right-of-way.  Expect equipment noise and backup alarms at night.  Thumping from the use of four hoe-rams will be noticeable during the day.

For more detailed information on meeting notices and construction updates, please visit or email us at

For urgent matters, please call the GLX Hotline at 855-GLX-INFO (459-4636)

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

GLX Meeting Set for January 30th, 6:00 pm

A little bit of Green Line in my life,
Going alone cuz I have no wife,
May write a post for my one fan,
Got the info from Ryan cuz he's the man!

Who: MassDOT, City of Somerville
What: GLX Public Meeting
Where: East Somerville Community School Cafeteria
When: Wednesday 1/30/19 @ 6pm
Why: Because...why not?

Word on the street is that this will be a robust meeting and that all who are interested should make it a point to attend. Specifically, that street was Vernon Street because that's where I saw Ryan and he told me point blank that, "This will be a robust meeting and that all who are interested should make it a point to attend."

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Cedar St./Highland Ave. Intersection to Reopen Friday Evening

As of Friday evening, May 4, at approximately 4 p.m., the intersection will reopen to traffic. While the Cedar St. Infrastructure Project will continue, work within the intersection will be complete as of Friday evening and through traffic will be allowed at all times. If you regularly travel on Cedar St. between Highland Ave. and Elm St., please be aware that those closures may still be in effect over the coming weeks while the project team completes final utility work and repaving. More information can always be found at

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Somerville and Medford residents convene to improve Tufts' PILOT and Community Benefits

Approximately 30 people attended a conference on improving Tufts contributions to Medford and Somerville. The meeting was convened by Our Revolution Somerville and Our Revolution Medford and held at the Somerville Neighborhood School on Saturday, March 24.  

In addition to many residents from local community organizations and labor groups, Somerville Aldermen Katjana Ballantyne and Mary Jo Rossetti also attended.

Participants discussed what Payments In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) are and examples of PILOTs in other communities. Alderwoman Katjana Ballantyne talked about the City's relationship with Tufts and its role in regulating the scale/site of buildings but not their use. 

 Our Revolution member Susan Eldridge led a conversation about the current benefits the city and residents get from Tufts. Folks noted the limited education benefits for both school age and adult learners and the limited access to some facilities and playing fields. People also shared the impacts of having Tufts as a neighbor: the slow, but relentless expansion of the campus; the development of "campus villages" that site student housing within existing neighborhoods; the pressure students exert on housing prices; the secondary impacts of student housing via slumlords; the costs to the city of services provided to the campus; etc.

Participants divided up into three groups for in-depth discussion on issues of labor and housing, arts and education, and concerns of neighborhood abutters. After the groups reported back, conference goers set next steps to:

· Research the current state of Tufts student housing (increase over time; impact on market; where they live),

· Review other PILOT agreements,

· Contact members of the Board of Alderman to plan a public hearing on the issue, and

· Plan a rally at Tufts at the end of April. 

The next campaign planning meeting is at 5:00 PM on March 29 at the Somerville Public Library.

The organizing in Medford and Somerville for an increase in the PILOT and improved community benefits has already received a response from Tufts administrators! Check out their Op-Ed here:

Monday, March 5, 2018

GLX Meeting Cancelled!

The Green Line Extension Community Meeting planned for Wednesday, March 7 at Somerville High School has been cancelled due to anticipated winter weather conditions. MassDOT anticipates this will be a major storm. Details on a rescheduled Community Meeting will be forthcoming within a few days. Hopefully, a rescheduled date will allow for maximum public participation.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Upcoming GLX Meetings

The GLX Community Working Group is meeting on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the GLX Offices at 200 Inner Belt Road in Somerville. Ryan Dunn (Magoun Square) and Jen Dorsen (Ball Squre) are reps on the CWG. Look for their Facebook Pages and join the Google Group!

There is also a Community Meeting at Somerville High School (81 Highland Avenue) on Wednesday, March 7 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. where project officials will give a construction road map for the coming months. Parking at the High School is already being limited by construction, so consider public transit if you do not have a Somerville parking sticker!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Somerville Declares Snow Emergency

In accordance with the City’s Snow Emergency Procedures, Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone has declared a snow emergency for the City of Somerville to go into effect at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, January 3. Residents can begin moving their cars now to the ODD-numbered side of the street (unless signs posted on your street state otherwise).

Those unable to find parking on the correct side of the street may park in any municipal or school parking lot beginning at 8 p.m. Wednesday and may remain there for the duration of the emergency but must be moved within two hours of the end of the emergency. Please only move your car to a municipal lot if you have a flexible schedule and are able to move your car at any time with a two hour notice. Ticketing and towing will begin Wednesday at midnight for cars not moved to the ODD side of the street or to a municipal or school lot. Full snow emergency and snow removal policies may be found on the City’s website at

On Thursday, All schools and libraries will be closed, School and Recreation activities, and All City and School offices will also be closed. Trash pickup is still scheduled for Thursday, however due to the storm timing, crews from Russell Disposal must begin trash pickup at 6:00 a.m Thursday. Please put your trash and recycling curbside this evening to ensure it is picked up.

Residents are also reminded that property owners are responsible for removing snow and ice from sidewalks abutting their property within 6 daylight hours of the end of snowfall. Because of expected dangerous, extreme cold over the next few days, snow is likely to freeze and will be harder to clear. If possible, consider shoveling as soon as you can. Review cold weather safety tips at

Residents are encouraged to sign up for the City's alert system to receive notification by phone, email and/or text message in the event of emergencies or with important information for your neighborhood. Residents may also sign up for alerts by calling 311 (617-666-3311 from cell phones or outside the city). 

 Snow Emergency Policies:

A snow emergency may be declared whenever four or more inches of snow are predicted. City officials closely monitor storm forecasts through various means, and will use all available information to make an informed decision as swiftly as possible. Once a snow emergency has been declared, residents will be notified via multiple lines of communication, including:

Citywide alerts;

City Cable TV (Channel 22 for Comcast customers, Channel 13 for RCN customers) and Educational TV (Channel 15);

Local TV, radio and print media;

Postings on City social media feeds, including:


Twitter: @SomervilleCity; @311Somerville

City website:

Flashing blue lights activated at 22 key intersections in the City (when lights are flashing, a snow emergency is in effect).

Parking Regulations During a Snow Emergency:

Once a snow emergency goes into effect, vehicle owners have four hours (unless otherwise noted) to move their vehicles to the ODD-numbered side of the street (unless signs posted on your streets state otherwise), or they may be ticketed and towed. Municipal and school lots will be made available at no cost to residents during snow emergencies. Please also note that cars parked within 20 feet of an intersection are also subject to ticket and towing. It is important that vehicles only be parked on one side of the street and at least 20 feet from an intersection as noted above to ensure plows can make all roads accessible and safe, particularly for emergency vehicles.

SFD Brave Cold Fighting Richardson Street Fire

The Somerville Fire Department prevented further damage of a Richardson Street residence on Wednesday afternoon as they braved the cold and kept a basement fire contained after it spread to the first floor of a two-family home. No one was hurt in the incident that brought three trucks to the Magoun Square neighborhood after occupants of the home were attempting to thaw out frozen pipes - the only details available at this time. Cleanup crews remain on site and reports of rusty water are coming in from neighbors. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Press Release: Somerville Dem's Challenging State Committee

I'm not one to get involved with the Democrat / Republican he said, she said stuff, but this intrigues me... ~Courtney

Doing Their Part

Despite overwhelming super-majorities in both the Massachusetts House and Senate (90% and 84% respectively), the Massachusetts Democratic Party finds itself begging its membership to gather signatures for ballot initiatives directly linked to its own platform.

The Massachusetts Democratic Party Platform, adopted at a convention in Worcester last June, clearly states: We demand living wages, benefits that support working families, and the right to organize and collectively bargain for all workers.

Last week, Chairman Gus Bickford sent an email to party members urging them to “do their part” in gathering 10,000 signatures to put Paid Family and Medical Leave (H.2172/S.1048) and the $15 Minimum Wage (H.2365/S.1004) on the 2018 Ballot. An odd request, considering the party has more than enough votes to pass those platform-plank bills and overcome a Governor’s veto.

In fact, the 190th Democratic-majority congress has enacted pay raises—for themselves. With “emergency law” H.58, their first act of 2017, Democratic House and Senate leadership gave themselves an extra $45,000 a year. When Governor Baker vetoed the bill, they easily overturned it. Since then, legislative leadership has refused to move on raising the wages of ordinary Massachusetts workers.

"It is shocking that party leaders are relying on rank-and-file members to pass ballot initiatives, instead of lobbying elected officials to simply pass the legislation that has already been written," says Jacob Kramer, member of the Ward 2 Somerville Democratic Committee, "Leadership’s lack of accountability to our platform is disgraceful."

In response to Massachusetts Democratic Party leadership’s calls for everyday constituents to “do their part” by gathering signatures for bills that could be passed by the legislature, a group of party members has responded in kind, with a letter to Party Chairman Gus Bickford, demanding that he does his part, by pressuring House and Senate leadership to legislate the party platform instead of forcing ballot initiatives and putting the burden on constituents.

"Last week's Democratic electoral wins across Massachusetts and the country were in large part thanks to the tireless work of thousands of grassroots organizations and activists," says Fenna Krienen, member of Somerville’s Ward 3 Democratic Committee and Our Revolution Somerville. "We've already been knocking doors and collecting signatures. We've been doing our part. Now we need party leaders to do the same."

The petition can be found here:

This Winter Season: Park Odd!

As snow season approaches, the City of Somerville reminds all residents that for winter season 2017-2018, the side of the street where snow emergency parking is allowed will change to the odd side. 

In 2015, the City instituted an annually alternating parking policy for snow emergencies, using odd-side-only parking for winter seasons that begin in an odd year and even-side-only parking for winter seasons that begin in an even year. Winter seasons begin in November and run until May of the following calendar year.

The City’s existing snow removal policy dictates that residents may park only on one designated side of the street during snow emergencies (unless otherwise posted), as plows push snow to the curb on the other side of the street. Any exceptions for designated streets will be posted with official roadside signage. For example, roads that have parking only on the even-numbered side of the street year-round will also park on the even side during snow emergencies.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Alderman Tony LaFuente Brings His Strong-Talk to Real Estate Answers with Donald Norton

Outgoing Alderman Tony LaFuente didn't hold anything back in a recent interview on Real Estate Answers with Donald Norton filmed in late October. The 6-year member of the Board of Aldermen did not disappoint and brought his popular strong-talk to the television screen alongside the 40 year Real Estate Veteran, Norton.

LaFuente, who once ran for Mayor against Joe Curtatone in 2003, sang the praises of the 14 year Mayor, some members of the Board of Aldermen and School Committee, but had some direct criticisms of Ward 5 Alderman Mark Niedergang and Ward 1 Alderman Matthew McLaughlin. For those of you playing at home, the hits against Niedergang should come as a surprise considering LaFuente was one of only two sitting alderman that endorsed Mark in 2013. The other was former Ward 6 Alderwoman Rebekah Gewirtz - now a proud Newton resident.

Although he is not running for reelection, don't think LaFuente will be leaving Somerville behind. Quite the contrary, actually. The Somerville businessman said he will be going "back to basics" and focusing on Flagraphics, but also hinted at starting a PAC and staying involved as an activist. He did warn, however, that "there are certain people on the board that I am going to expose - over the next 2 years - as frauds."

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Somerville Media Center Hosts Mayoral Debate

Held at the Somerville Media Center and moderated by John Keller, Mayor Joe Curtatone and challenger Payton Corbett squared off in the first and only debate between the two heavy-hitters. With just a little over 2 weeks until election day, the debate timing was impeccable. 

The stage setup, cinematography and Keller's performance as moderator were absolutely exceptional. The professional presentation of the debate added a level of sophistication that the Somerville Media Center and all involved with this project should be very proud of.

After much thought, I will not be expressing my overall take on the debate. I seriously considered giving grades to each candidate by the statement, but I didn't want to serve as a spoiler to those who have not viewed the video. Instead, I invite you to comment your thoughts below where I will respond, as well.

Enjoy the video and remember to vote on Tuesday November 7th!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

All Politics Is Local: Candidate Meet & Greet Hosted by Somerville Local First

Illustration by Amy Ward
On behalf of the Somerville Local First Board of Directors, I would like to invite members of the public to join us on Tuesday September 12th from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. for a candidate meet & greet. This event will be held at Workbar Union (31 Union Square) and light refreshments will be served.

With the Preliminary Elections right around the corner, it is important for us to have an opportunity to talk to those who are vying for leadership positions in our community. Candidates for Mayor, Ward Alderman, Alderman at Large and School Committee have been invited to attend. There will be a short speaking portion beginning at 7:30 p.m. where confirmed candidates will be introduced.

For candidates, this event is not for the faint of heart. Unlike fundraisers, candidates will not be given an opportunity to address the crowd, but rather engage in face to face conversations with attendees throughout the evening. This ain’t your mama’s candidate night ;)

While this event is free to attend, Somerville Local First is asking for a $10 donation to support our work and mission in the City of Somerville. We strive to bring awareness to our locally-owned, independent businesses and artists and encourage everyone to shift their shopping to help sustain our local economy. To ensure space and food, please RSVP by emailing

It is my hope that residents take advantage of this opportunity for conversation with candidates because at the end of the day - all politics is local!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Somerville Labor Coalition Announces Candidate Endorsements

Logo of The Somerville Labor Coalition

After hosting their candidate forum on June 27th at the Somerville City Club, The Somerville Labor Coalition has announced their endorsements for the 2017 elections. The endorsed candidates are as follows:

Mayor – Payton Corbett
Alderman At-Large – William A. White Jr.
Alderman At-Large – John M. Connolly
Alderman At-Large – Dennis M. Sullivan
Alderman At-Large – Mary Jo Rossetti
Alderman Ward 1 – Matt McLaughlin
Alderman Ward 2 – Maryann Heuston
Alderman Ward 3 – Bob McWatters
Alderman Ward 4 – Jesse Clingan
Alderman Ward 5 – Mark Niedergang
Alderman Ward 6 – Lance Davis

The SLC is comprised of Somerville Firefighters Association, Somerville Police Employees Association, Somerville Police Superior Officers Association, Somerville Municipal Employees Association, Somerville Dispatchers Local 888 SEIU and NCFO Local 3 School Custodians.

Candidates running for School Committee will have an opportunity to speak in front of SLC members at a later date according to the organization. Currently, there are races in Wards 1 and 2 with incumbents running unopposed in Wards 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.

On a personal note, I was honored to receive this endorsement when I served and ran for Ward 5 Alderman in 2013. I look forward to seeking their support when I run again in the future.

Courtesy of the Somerville Labor Coalition Facebook Page

Friday, June 16, 2017

Booze Cruise to Benefit Lyric's Champs, Inc Set for August 12th

Lyric’s Champs mission is to promote Autism Awareness, Acceptance and Education within our community so that those families affected by Autism can breathe a little easier knowing they and/or their loved ones are accepted within their own community and have every opportunity to succeed. Through increasing available supports, education, training and resources in our community our goal is to bridge the gap and grow understanding of autism and highlight the differences that make everyone a champ in our eyes.

Lyric’s Champs was founded by Eric and Linda Saulnier, proud parents of Lyric Champ and Crosby King.

Lyric was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in 2012 at the age of two and not long after inspired his parents to begin fundraising and organizing events and groups to help support, educate and spread awareness and acceptance of those individuals with Autism and other developmental disorders as well as their families within the community.

In 2015, Lyric’s Champs launched its first skating program, appropriately named “Lyric’s Champs Skating Club.” Our skating club provided a five week learn-to-skate program for kids with Autism and other developmental disorders in a sensory friendly environment with one-to-one instruction. Since 2015, the skating program has more than doubled in size, growing from 10 participants to 23 with over 25 volunteers.
Beyond the skating program, Lyric’s Champs has been able to raise proceeds through various fundraising events which were then used to benefit our community- including purchasing and donating 13 iPads to the Somerville Public Schools Special Education Department as well as donating thousands of dollars to the Boston chapter of Autism Speaks.

In 2017, Lyric’s Champs officially registered as a 501c3 charity, gaining federal and state tax exemption. This opens many new doors for the future of Lyric’s Champs and we’re beyond excited to see what the future holds!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Letter to the Editor: Invitation to Rally for Public Education by Lee Palmer, Ward 3 School Committee

Dear Editor,

On May 20, thousands of Massachusetts students, parents, and educators will rally at Boston Common in support of public education. As a mother of a first grader and a member of the Somerville School Committee, I look forward to taking part in this important demonstration to advocate for equitable access to quality education for all students, and to emphasize the need for less testing and more learning.

Because these fundamental values of access, high quality, and a commitment to real learning are fully supported by our city's Mayor and Board of Aldermen, Somerville has been extremely fortunate to have avoided funding cuts to education in our city in recent years. We have even steadily increased our funding for our schools and have made many significant gains as a result. Yet we still struggle with an unfair and outdated education funding formula from the state that disadvantages urban districts that are often unable to rely on tax increases to make up the difference.

Adequate funding makes possible things like smaller class sizes, critical school-based counselors for struggling students, and excellent health and wellness opportunities in our schools. This is especially important for low-income children who don’t have access to many necessary supports outside of school.

We cannot prepare our young people for personal and professional success through our public education system while simultaneously crippling that same system with a lack of funds and resources.

I hope you will join me on May 20 to make your voice heard in support of public education, in support of Somerville’s schools, and in support of our youth.

Lee Erica Palmer, Esq.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Award-Winning BBC Comedian and Top Boston Folk Acts Collaborate to Raise Funds for Kids with Cancer at Massachusetts General Hospital

British comedian Ben Ashenden (BBC Radio 4’s The Pin, Comedy Central’s Brotherhood, and Bridget Jones’ Baby) is running the 2017 Boston Marathon for the pediatric hematology-oncology program at MassGeneral Hospital for Children. He is joining forces for one night only with top local folk acts Dietrich Strause, Greg Liszt, Sean Trischka’s Corporate Punk, and Lula Wiles for a benefit concert at The Burren Backroom in Davis Square. The evening will feature collaborative performances by the musicians and Ashenden, as well as a raffle with prizes from twenty local businesses including Club Passim, the Friendly Toast, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Brattle Theater, and Otto Pizza. Every penny raised will go towards life-saving research and supportive programming for the cancer community at MassGeneral Hospital for Children.

The event will take place beginning at 7pm, Thursday, April 13th. Tickets are available. Tickets are $20 in advance, $24 at the door.

Businesses supporting the raffle include: The Friendly Toast • The Brattle Theater • Barrington Coffee Roasting Company • Beacon Hill Chocolates • Deep Ellum • Boston Homebrew Supply • Biyoshi Salon • Life Alive • Benefit Cosmetics • Treasured Hands • Club Passim • Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum • Otto Pizza • Beacon Hill Bistro • DeLuca’s Market.