Friday, March 10, 2017
Monday, February 27, 2017
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
Monday, September 26, 2016
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 , from , 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
Monday, June 20, 2016
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
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
Saturday, March 5, 2016
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Monday, December 28, 2015
Current plans: http://www.somervillema.gov/
Planning Staff report and recommendations: http://www.somervillema.gov/
The developer is Steven Caruso, Attorney Richard Di Girolamo, and Architects Peter Quinn Associates.
Sunday, December 6, 2015
Friday, December 4, 2015
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Sunday, November 8, 2015
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."
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Somerville Local First will be hosting their annual Harvest Fest this Saturday October 17th at the Armory! The event is made up of two sessions: savory and sweet!
Harvest Fest is Somerville Local First's major annual fundraiser. All event proceeds go towards SLF's operating budget to build and strengthen the local movement and local business community in Somerville all year long.
Tickets are still available, but are going quickly! Get yours while they last.
Thursday, September 10, 2015
A second community meeting on a proposed development at 231 Lowell Street will be held on Monday September 21st, at 6:30pm, in the third floor community room of the VNA (259 Lowell Street).
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
SomerStreets is comig to Highland Avenue on Sunday. See the details tomorrow...
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Notes taped to the totes are requesting that they be placed in the back of the building, so this particular neighbor doesn't have to look at them.
One neighbor wrote, "We're not sure who did it, but thought it was pretty funny - who does this sort of shit after high school, anyway?"
Neighbors are requesting that notes be submitted in for the creation of a Tumblr Feed. There might be enough content to for the feed as the neighbor noted that this is not the first time notes have been left.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Saturday, July 4, 2015
Friday, June 26, 2015
From Monday June 29 through Thursday morning, July 2, a production crew will be filming scenes for an upcoming movie in the Magoun Sq. area. For this work, parking restrictions will apply on Broadway between Medford St. and Cedar St., and you may notice large trucks and other vehicles in your neighborhood, though they should not cause any significant delays or other issues for residents in these areas at most times.
Filming will take place primarily inside a private business. However, beginning at approximately 8 p.m. on Wed., July 1, a small portion of Medford St., between Broadway and Lowell St., will be closed to all traffic until approximately 2 a.m. on Thurs. “No Parking” signs will apply beginning at 5 p.m. Detours for vehicles are as follows:
Cars traveling east on Broadway to Medford St. will be detoured onto Hinckley St. to Richardson St.
Cars traveling west on Medford St. will be detoured onto Central St. and Norwood Ave.
Cars on Lowell St. will be detoured at Vernon St. and Richardson St.
Somerville Police personnel will be stationed in these areas to assist with any traffic or safety issues.
If you have questions or concerns during this work, please contact Assistant Location Manager, Jeremy Fiske, at 508-864-6422.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Due to public safety concerns over a structurally compromised front exterior of the building at 240 Elm St. in Davis Square, Elm Street between Dover Street and Russell Street will be closed to all cars and there will be no access for pedestrians between Chester Street and Grove Street until further notice.
In the course of work to repair the parapet wall and façade of the building, a structural engineer from the firm Roome & Guarracino LLC, hired by the building’s owner, determined that “along [the Elm Street] wall, between the steel beam bearing piers, the masonry has been taken down below the roof framing level and no longer engages the wall with the roof diaphragm.” This unstable wall condition creates the risk that the front exterior wall could collapse onto the street and sidewalk below, the engineer concluded. The engineer also advised the building owner that masonry was being removed from the building’s façade on the Elm Street side of the building without shoring installed, and that the sidewalk should be closed during the installation of required shoring.
Upon being informed of these unsafe conditions, City inspectors ordered the closure of businesses within the structure and immediate vicinity, worked with Somerville Police and Fire to establish precautionary sidewalk and lane closures on Elm Street, and reviewed the site. Based on the engineer’s findings and subsequent review, the City closed all street lanes, the opposite sidewalk and nearby businesses to ensure public safety. These closures will remain in effect until the structure and area is deemed safe. Business owners and the public will be kept informed in real time on the situation. To review the advisory from Roome & Guarrancino LLC, please see below.
During the street closure, the following temporary detours and traffic pattern changes will be in place, however if at all possible, please seek alternate routes, particularly during morning and evening rush hour commutes:
· Highland Avenue between College Avenue and Grove Street will be temporarily converted to accommodate two-way traffic.
· Vehicles traveling east on Holland Street may take a right onto Dover Street, or continue onto Highland Avenue.
· Vehicles traveling west on Highland Avenue may continue onto Holland Street, or right onto College Avenue. Cars will not be permitted to turn left onto Dover Street.
· Vehicles traveling into Davis Square on College Avenue may only right onto Holland Street. Cars will not be permitted to travel straight onto Dover Street nor take a left turn onto Highland Avenue.
Somerville Police will be stationed in this area to assist with detours, and message boards will be placed in Teele Square and at the Powder House Rotary.
MBTA buses that normally stop at Elm Street and Chester Street—Routes 87, 88, 89, 90, 94, and 96—will stop in front of the Citizens Bank building at 212 Elm St. For more information please check the MBTA’s Service Alerts page at mbta.com/rider_tools/transit_updates.
Jason Cohen, Jim Logue and myself just met on site to review the shoring on the Chester St side of the building. We find the shoring methodology acceptable, except for three missing towers on the first floor level where there are towers directly above and directly below. It is essential that the tower legs transfer load directly through to towers below all the way down to the basement. Jim Logue is aware of these locations. I also pointed out to him where we’d like two additional post shores in the basement. Once these are adequately installed, we will come out for another inspection and sign off prior to further demolition proceeding.
We also observed that masonry is being removed on the Elm St side of the building where no shoring has been installed. Also, the sidewalk directly below and Dunkin Donuts remains open to the public. We did not authorize for masonry removal to proceed on this side of the building prior to shoring and feel that it currently presents a dangerous condition. Along this wall, between the steel beam bearing piers, the masonry has been taken down below the roof framing level and no longer engages the wall with the roof diaphragm. Not only does this result in an unstable wall condition, it also results in weakening the stabilization of the piers supporting the steel girders. These piers had already been deemed precarious as were and we did not want to exacerbate their condition prior to the roof and floor framing being shored. In addition, debris is falling while the demolition is in progress. I understand there is another level of staging platform below, but is this considered an overhead protection system that is completely sealed off while open to the public below? We urge that no further demolition of this wall commence until its shoring is completed and signed off on and the sidewalk and Dunkin Donuts is closed to public traffic.
Jason Ferriss, PE
Friday, June 19, 2015
Looks like work has been completed on Cedar Street as the City announced today via their reverse-311 system that the street will be open for traffic tomorrow.
In order to construct a raised crosswalk on Cedar St. at the intersection with the newly expanded Community Path, the section of Cedar St. at the Community Path was closed to all traffic starting Monday June 15th with work completing today.
Saturday, June 13, 2015
In order to construct a raised crosswalk on Cedar St. at the intersection with the newly expanded Community Path, the section of Cedar St. at the Community Path will be closed to all traffic from Mon., June 15, through approximately Fri., June 19. Work will be conducted between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.; however, this section of Cedar St. will remain closed at all times during this time period to allow the structure to properly set. Please follow posted detour signs.
The newest section of the Community Path between Cedar St. and Lowell St. is expected to open in July.
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Kudos to the City for bringing back (and improving) on the green coloring of the bike lanes by Trum Field and in other parts of the City. Looking good...and safe!
It was great to see candidate for Alderman At Large Steve Delani at the Hoyt-Sullivan Playground community meeting on Monday night. Steve asked some great questions and it was nice to see a candidate show some interest in the renovation of Hoyt-Sullivan.
As I reported before, some of my readers are finding articles that suffered during years of template changes on Ward 5 Online. Please feel free to identify the URL's of the articles, so I can go back and fix them. A form has been provided in the tabs for your use!
Budget deliberations have begun and there's no rumors surrounding target departments. Last year, Recreation was almost cut completely and the Council on Aging was threatened with a financial hit (it was not approved, thankfully). It is Election season, so don't expect incumbants to make stupid choices this year.
Somerville Local First is hosting their annual Prom with a 1950's: Back to the Future theme on June 26th at 8pm in Cuisine En Locale (156 Highland Avenue). Get your tickets here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1611109
Pat's Towing is now occupying the space that formerly held our tailor/dry cleaner in Magoun Square. Uh...welcome to the neighborhood?