Archive

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 Change.org petition can be found here: bit.ly/2zFLtD8

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 Courtney@SomervilleLocalFirst.org.

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.
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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.

Sincerely,
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.




Monday, February 27, 2017

Update: Somerville Elections 2017: Who? What? Where? Why? (Mayor / Alderman Edition)



With candidates already announcing and rumors flying faster than drivers over the Lowell Street bridge, it's time to discuss the Who? What? Where? Why? for Mayor and Alderman seats, Election 2017. My information comes from late nights at Olde Magoun's, personal observations and unnamed sources.

Mayor: Word on the street is that Joe Curtatone is itching for a political opponent this year. Ready to knock some doors and spend some dough...Mayor Joe has been very open about wanting to defend his seat. The problem is that no one wants to run against him and the closest that someone is considering is 2019. The Mayor may get the summer off this year to attend fundraisers for other candidates.

Ward 1: With his St. Patrick's Day fundraiser coming up, Matthew McLaughlin is gearing up for another two years with no named opponent in sight. With other news sources noting poor meeting attendance, McLaughlin has some shaping up to do if he wants to retain his seat should someone challenge him. His weaknesses are spanning a spectrum beginning with not dressing appropriately for Board meetings observed by one At-Larger to having a more independent voice and not being so predictable with his voting. Hopefully, 2017 is the year he cuts the cord and buys a suit. Luck of the Irish to ya, Matt.

Ward 2: Maryann Heuston (and Bobby McWatters) flexed their muscles recently when it was suggested they have no appointing power to the Union Square neighborhood council leaving most of the attendees impressed with the case they both presented. Her increased email communications have some recipients wishing they were more consistent, but appreciative of the great information. At this time, no one has expressed interest in the Alderman's seat, however, don't be surprised if a local activist group convinces someone to pull papers.

JT Scott, owner of Crossfit Somerville, has softly announced his candidacy for Ward 2 Alderman. A formal announcement will be made soon according to JT.

Ward 3: Dubbed the "Constituent Alderman," Bobby McWatters has been doing quite a bit maintaining his visibility in the community. With tensions always present between him and the Ward 3 School Committee representative Lee Palmer, there will always be suspicion that she may be ready to replace her Monday night yawn fests with Thursday nights under the lights. In order for that to happen, she has to rebuild some burned bridges and reign in her condescending tone.

Ward 4: Could Tony LaFuente be throwing in the towel? The Somerville Times reported that he is not running this year citing personal reasons, but no confirmation has been published on his social media or website. Before the breaking news was leaked, Jesse Clingan threw his hat into the ring and is holding his first fundraiser this weekend. Featured as one of Scout Somerville's Top 40 Leaders, Jesse has been spending his time bringing awareness to the understanding of addiction and the conviction of Deanna Cremin's murderer(s). It will be interesting to hear his plans for Ward 4.

Ward 5: Mark Neidergang continues the streak of candidates filling up their bank accounts with March fundraisers, but it may be time wasted as, despite rumors, no one has stepped forward with plans to add their name on the ballot. He has gold in his hands with the development of his working neighborhood plan, but needs to put pressure on the administration to get some of the ideas implemented.

Ward 6: My apologies to Alderman Lance Davis, but I have heard very little positive feedback regarding his role as Ward 6 Alderman. I also spent a solid 30 minutes explaining why I wasn't interested in moving to run against him to a prominent Ward 6 resident who even offered to find me housing and host fundraisers. With interesting new tenants such as BFresh and a couple of marijuana dispensaries coming in on the heels of such major departures as Johnny D's and not so shocking departures like former Alderman Rebekah Gewirtz (I heard Newton is so pretty this time of year), Lance seems to be more of a meeting reminder than a stance-taker. Only time will tell if this Davis Square streetscape adjustment might shake him up enough to get the momentum going.

Ward 7: With Bob Trane enjoying retirement life, Katjana Ballantyne can rest easy knowing the rumors that the return of the Traniac are just that - rumors. No word from Camp Capuano, either. Katjana might be better off using her campaign skills to see if she can actually become President of the Board of Alderman in 2018.

At Large: Facebook can be the first indicator when a candidate is ready to run, but could it also be the reporter of a long-time member being ready to step down? A name change to his Alderman page got some constituents talking about Jack Connolly recently. After major surgery, could the man who found his political second wind after being defeated as a ward Alderman over a decade ago be ready to cross the finish line?

Bill White will die in the Aldermanic Chambers before he ever considers not running which is convenient because I heard he wants his wake to be held there.

Mary Jo Rossetti will be holding a rally to launch her re-election bid this month at Orleans. Mary Jo has consistent communication with her listserv...something other Alderman may want to start mirroring.

Dennis Sullivan rolled through the City with his mobile hours and is always the darling of our Senior community, but persistent rumblings that he wants a change of pace have always followed him. Dennis?

Things seem pretty good with the At-largers, but they have two little problems right now in the form of Stephanie Hirsch and Will Mbah - both of which have announced - with Stephanie already executing canvassing efforts and setting up house parties. Will Mbah wants to shed light on economic development and affordable housing according to his recent introduction written by Bill Shelton. These are two very likable and viable candidates that should not be ruled out this campaign season.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Somerville Local First Hosts Holiday Marketplace on Sunday November 27th!


Join Somerville Local First and over 40 local vendors at Arts at the Armory on Sunday, November 27th for a day of local holiday shopping. The market runs from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and the Armory Cafe will be open!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Community Note: Hoyt-Sullivan Playground Community Meeting Sept. 29



Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, Ward 5 Alderman Mark Niedergang, and the Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development (OSPCD) invite all interested community members to a community meeting to review design plans for the renovation of Hoyt-Sullivan Playground. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 29, from 6 to 8 p.m., in the Community Room of the VNA at 259 Lowell St. City staff will present a plan for the new playground design that is based on community feedback, and will seek final input to be sure the design reflects the needs of the community. For more information, please contact Arn Franzen at 617-625-6600 ext. 2545, or AFranzen@somervillema.gov.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...Election Day!

That wonderful time of the year is two days away! Sample ballots have been posted for everyone's review and can be found on the City's Elections website. The Ward 5 ballot is available here for your convenience and because I love you.


Monday, June 20, 2016

Community Meeting on Hoyt-Sullivan Renovation Set for June 29th



Hello Hoyt Sullivan Playground Friends and Neighbors,

Please join us for a community meeting on June 29th to discuss plans for the upcoming renovation.

The City of Somerville Department of Parks and Open Space, and Ward 5 Alderman Mark Niedergang, are hosting a meeting with our team of landscape architects to discuss the proposed plans. Please join us. Your input is sincerely appreciated as we move the new designs forward.

Since our first meeting a year ago, we have acquired the necessary funding for the construction that we hope to start later this fall. We have been awarded a State Grant, secured Federal Community Development Block Grant funds, and were awarded Community Preservation Act funds, so have the ability build the park that will serve the community best.

We have also hired the landscape architecture firm Klopfer Martin Design Group (KMDG), to oversee the development of the new design, and we look forward to introducing them to you and reviewing the ideas that they have been developing.

Please join us on the 29th. We want to be sure our plans for the upcoming renovation reflect the needs of the community. English, Spanish, and Portuguese versions of the meeting flyer are attached above. Please share these with friends and neighbors that might be interested. The meeting will be Wednesday, June 29th at 6:30, at the Visiting Nurses Association Building in the third floor community room at 259 Lowell Street.

For more information, please contact Arn Franzen at 617-625-6600 ext. 2545, or AFranzen@somervillema.gov.

Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville or to attend meetings, should contact the City’s ADA Coordinator, Betsy Allen, at 617-625-6600 x2323 or BAllen@somervillema.gov.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Taste of Somerville Takes Over Davis Square on Wednesday!



Produced by the Somerville Chamber of Commerce Dining & Nightlife Group, the Taste of Somerville is a unique way to experience Somerville's dining and nightlife scene. Join us outside and under a pavilion with live entertainment at 50 Holland Street in Somerville's Davis Square on Wednesday June 15th from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Get your tickets!

Proceeds from this year's event will benefit Somerville CAN. Somerville CAN is a collaboration of 11 local organizations that work independently and in partnership to: feed the hungry, train and educate vulnerable youth, improve health and eliminate racism. Somerville CAN is fiscally sponsored by Community Action Agency of Somerville.

Somerville CAN Members include: Community Action Agency of Somerville, Groundwork Somerville, Boys & Girls Club of Middlesex County, Respond, Inc., Somerville Community Access Television, Somerville Community Corporation, Somerville Home, Somerville Homeless Coalition, Somerville Local First, Second Chances, The Welcome Project.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Magoun Square Food & Dance Festival Set for May 21st

Magoun Square is the place to be on Saturday May 21st as local business owners, artists and Gouners join forces for a music and food festival that will follow PorchFest - running from noon to 6:00 p.m citywide. 

Extending along Medford Street between Broadway and Lowell, this section of Magoun will be shut down to cars and opened up to families for business tours, face painting and dance lessons courtesy of The Self Expressions Center from 5-7 p.m. Rounding out the evening will be DJ Fadayz spinning tunes and an appearance by Pat & The Hats rocking some jams later in the night before the dance party commences. 

Come sample cuisine and sips from local restaurants including Daddy Jones Bar, PennyPackers, Modelo's Market Cafe and Olde Magoun's Saloon.

The event starts at 5:00 p.m. and ends at 10:00 p.m giving attendees plenty of time to make the rounds during PorchFest and end their day in Magoun for this first-time celebration!

Check out the Facebook invitation and please feel free to share with neighbors, friends, and listservs. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Second Community Meeting Set for Piro Printing Proposal

NOTICE OF NEIGHBORHOOD MEETING

THERE WILL BE A MEETING REGARDING THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT
483 Medford Street
formerly the Piro Printing building

(Proposed addition of square footage to a mixed-use commercial & three-unit residential building)

Dr. Mouhab Z. Rizkallah (owner and developer) will present current proposed plans and welcome comments.
SPONSORED BY
Ward 5 Alderman Mark Niedergang

WHEN: MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2016

TIME: 6:30 P.M.

PLACE: VISITING NURSE ASSOCIATION
259 Lowell Street, 3rd Floor Community Room

To have the plans emailed to you, contact ELUZAI AT THE BRACES PLACE: ELUZAI@BRACESPLACES.COM , (617) 616-5185













Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Warren Goldstein-Gelb Benefit Event and Medical Fund




Just about every non-profit organization in Somerville has joined forces to organize a benefit for Warren Goldstein-Gelb, an outstanding member of the community, and director of the Welcome Project in Somerville. Warren suffered a debilitating stroke in September, and his recovery process has left a long trail of bills to pay by his family.

Since 2006 Warren has been the Executive Director of the Welcome Project, a non-profit organization that has been instrumental in helping thousands of immigrants reach their full potential through educational, leadership, and support programs. Part of their mission is to “build the collective power of Somerville immigrants to participate in and shape community decisions.” By directing the Welcome Project, Warren has been one of the leading forces to make Somerville the extraordinary community it is. Let’s all come together now to support his family during this difficult time!

What: Food, beer, raffle & live music by local bands like the Country Hits

Where: Aeronaut Brewery, 14 Tyler Street in Somerville

When: Wednesday, February 3rd, at 5:00 - 7:00 pm

You can also contribute online at http://www.plumfund.com/medical-fund/warren-aid or send a check made out to Warren Medical Benefit Account, Rockland Trust, 399 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA 02144.

To RSVP or for more information, see also the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1517622951864907/

For questions, or if you'd like volunteer to support the event or contribute a raffle item, please contact: 
Lee Erica Palmer (781)330-1740 or LeeEricaPalmer@gmail.com

Monday, December 28, 2015

UPDATE: 231 Lowell Street Proposal to be Presented to ZBA on Wednesday January 20th

The Wednesday January 6th  20th meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals will have a proposal for 231 Lowell Street on its agenda and will take place at 6 PM in the Aldermen's Chambers of City Hall. Concerned residents are encouraged to attend and testify (up to 2 minutes in length) in support or opposition.

The developer is proposing a mixed-use development with 22 apartments (3 affordable) and two commercial units. There are four 3BRs, six 2+BRs (all larger than 1,000 sq feet), and the rest smaller apartments. There are a total of 31 parking spaces, 7 of which are tandem spaces. 

Current plans: http://www.somervillema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/151013_plans.pdf

Planning Staff report and recommendations: http://www.somervillema.gov/departments/planning-board/reports-and-decisions

The developer is Steven Caruso, Attorney Richard Di Girolamo, and Architects Peter Quinn Associates.


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Public Hearing on Affordable Housing Percentage Increase Set for Wednesday 12/9, 6pm

Please come to a Public Hearing this Wednesday Dec 9, 6 PM in City Hall on 20% inclusionary zoning for all new developments of 6+ units

This Wednesday, you can actively support more affordable housing in Somerville!  Come speak out for or just show up at a Public Hearing about an inclusionary zoning proposal to increase from 12 1/2% to 20% the percentage of apartments in new developments (minimum 6 units) that must be permanently affordable.  Anyone will be allowed to speak for 2 minutes to this joint meeting of the Board of Aldermen Land Use Committee and the Planning Board.  It is very important to show decision-makers in Somerville strong support for at least 20% of all new apartments being affordable. If you can’t attend, or prefer not to speak in public, you can email your comments to planning@somervillema.gov and BoardofAldermen@somervillema.gov

Fred Berman, a Ward 5 resident and expert on affordable housing, wrote a terrific 1½-page letter that sums up what this new zoning aims to do and why it is so important now: http://somervillecityma.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_LegiFile.aspx?Frame=&MeetingID=2146&MediaPosition=2318.622&ID=12737&CssClass=

You can see a petition with 511 signatures and the official zoning amendment proposal here: http://somervillecityma.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_LegiFile.aspx?Frame=&MeetingID=2146&MediaPosition=2317.622&ID=12711&CssClass=

Friday, December 4, 2015

Arts at the Armory Continues Efforts to Soundproof Main Hall

From the Armory... "It's your last chance in 2015 to help us work towards our $50,000 goal to soundproof the Performance Hall.  Soundproofing will allow us to bring in an even wider arrange of musical and theatrical events.  Concert #4 in the series features a stellar lineup:  Vapors of Morphine, The Weisstronauts, and David Johnston.  Tickets are $12-advance ($10 students) or $15 at the door ($12 students).  Get YOURS -- or make a donation -- here.​"


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Public Hearing on Economic Inequality Set for Thursday December 10th, 7pm



Somerville's Board of Aldermen have scheduled a public hearing on Dec. 10 at 7:00 PM on the problem of growing economic inequality and the merits of passing new legislation at the state level to help address it.

At the hearing, the Board of Aldermen (and other invited elected officials) will be asked to support passage of the following bills currently being considered by the state legislature:
       Paid family and medical leave to ensure workers are not forced to choose between work and the well-being of their children and other family members.
       A Constitutional Amendment creating an additional tax of four percentage points on annual income above one million dollars for new investment in quality public schools, affordable higher education, and improvements in public transportation.
       A living wage for employees of big box retail and fast food companies so that people who work full-time for large, profitable corporations can earn a living wage of $15 an hour.
       Elimination of the subminimum wage for tipped workers, providing restaurant workers with the same hourly minimum wage as workers in all other industries in Massachusetts.

The public is invited to attend and be heard!  The hearing will be in the Aldermanic Chamber, 2nd floor at Somerville City Hall, 93 Highland Ave. on Dec. 10 at 7:00 PM

Good Jobs Somerville gathered over 200 signatures from residents calling for the Board of Aldermen to hold the hearing. 

"Our main objective is simple: we want the City of Somerville to formally recognize that economic inequality is a growing problem and to support a number of state initiatives that address some of the causes of inequality: low wages, underfunded education and transportation, and the need for paid family leave," said Jesse Clingan, a Good Jobs activist from Ward 4 who helped lead the signature drive.

In addition to Good Jobs Somerville, the public hearing is supported by: Immigrant Service Providers Group/Health, Building and Construction Trades Council of the Metropolitan District, New England Regional Council of Carpenters, Restaurant Opportunities Center, Somerville Community Corporation, Somerville Municipal Employees Association, SEIU Local 32BJ, SEIU Local 888, Tufts Labor Coalition, UFCW Local 1445, Heat and Frost Insulators Local 6, Welcome Project. 

Good Jobs Somerville is a group of local labor and community activists working together for the good jobs our community needs. For more info, please contact: Rand Wilson at (617) 949-9720, or email: goodjobssomerville@gmail.com

Sunday, November 8, 2015

It's ResiStat Time!

Ward 5's Fall ResiStat meeting will take place tomorrow, Monday November 9th, from 6-8pm at the Kennedy School (5 Cherry Street).

The City of Somerville writes, "ResiStat neighborhood meetings are back. Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone invites residents to the Fall 2015 ResiStat Community Meetings, a twice-yearly effort to share the latest City news and neighborhood updates directly with residents and gather their feedback. ResiStat is more than a great way to get an overview of what’s happening specifically in your neighborhood as well as citywide. The social time before and after the meetings also offer an easy opportunity to talk one-on-one to the Mayor, your Aldermen, and City staff and police—and to connect with your neighbors. (We serve pizza and kid-friendly, healthy snacks to make it more fun to come and chat.)

Seven neighborhood meetings, one in each ward, will be held in the coming weeks. (See schedule below.) Mayor Curtatone, ward and at-large aldermen, members of the Somerville Police Department, and City staff will discuss issues important to residents and there’s always a lively Q&A where residents can pose questions directly to the Mayor and Aldermen. Topics will range from crime and safety reports by cops on your neighborhood beat, neighborhood improvements such as road and park projects, to a review of citywide issues ranging from Green Line Extension updates to Union Square planning news, and the opioid crisis.

Refreshments will be served at a meet-and-greet before each meeting. Interpretation into Spanish, Portuguese, and Haitian Creole will be provided."