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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."

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Somerville Local First Harvest Fest Set for Saturday!



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

Community to Gather for Second Meeting on 231 Lowell Street Development


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).

Developer Steven Caruso, his Attorney Richard Di Girolamo, and Architect Peter Quinn will be in attendance to present the updated plans, as well as, answer resident questions. Plans are available online at: http://bit.ly/1OfrVFS. I have also exported the plans into images below.













Tuesday, August 4, 2015

SomerStreets Coming to Highland Avenue



SomerStreets is comig to Highland Avenue on Sunday. See the details tomorrow...

SOMERVILLE - Celebrate the season at “Seize the Summer,” the August installment of the City’s SomerStreets festival, on Sunday, Aug. 9, from noon to 4 p.m. between School St. and Lowell St. on Highland Ave. SomerStreets is the City of Somerville’s take on the internationally renowned Open Streets concept, closing busy city streets to vehicles, and opening them up for cycling, walking, dancing, running, and other modes of activity. Through SomerStreets, the City and its community partners aim to promote and encourage easy access to physical activity, fresh foods, and reconnecting with neighborhoods and businesses and their unique cultural elements in a thriving urban environment. 

Activities along Highland Ave. will include:

·         Live music including the Somerville Ukelele Club, School of HONK, and The Undercovers;
·         Explore a fire truck or ambulance;
·         Hockey, football, and other kids’ activities;
·         Skateboarding performance and free skate – bring your skateboards!; 
·         Drills with semi-pro Somerville Rampage Football; 
·         Craft vendors, and community vendors; 
·         Local restaurants and food vendors including Scoopsies ice cream;
·         Craft activities on the MUSCRAT bus;
·         And more!

To ensure public safety at the event, the following road closures and parking bans will be in effect. 

·         Highland Ave. (School St. to Lowell St.): Closed to all vehicular traffic 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; no parking 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. 
·         Belmont St. (Summer St. to Highland Ave.), Spring Hill Terr., and Sycamore St. (Highland Ave. to Madison St.) will become two way streets from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to allow access for abutters.
·         MBTA buses will be rerouted from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For locations of rerouted bus stops, visit MBTA.com.
All SomerStreets events will run from noon to 4 p.m., rain or shine. 
Remaining 2015 events include:
·         Strike Up the Bands @ SomerStreets: Sun., Sept. 20, Holland Ave.
·         Monster Mashed-Up @ SomerStreets: Sun., Oct. 18, Somerville Ave.
For more information, visit www.somervillema.gov, or www.somervilleartscouncil.org

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hey Adams Street Peeps, Hide Your Trash and Recycling Totes!

Residents of the Adams Street 60 block woke up to some serious criticism regarding the placement of their trash and recycling totes yesterday!

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. 


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

What's Up With the Old Piro Printing, Yo?

Want to know what's up with the old Piro Printing site? A community meeting has been set for Tuesday July 14th at 7pm in Daddy Jones Bar (that's a plus)! See the official flyer and renderings below. Feel free to comment your thoughts!



Saturday, July 4, 2015

Public Hearing Set for 515 Somerville Avenue Land Taking

There will be a public hearing hosted by the Finance Committee on Monday night to gather feedback on a request to take land at 515 Somerville Avenue. The meeting begins at 6pm and will be held in the Aldermanic Chambers of City Hall.



Friday, June 26, 2015

Filming in Magoun Square Begins Monday



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.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

240 Elm Street Closure Update




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.

Text of letter from Jason Ferris, Structural Engineer for Roome & Guarracino LLC

Michael,

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.

Thanks,
Jason Ferriss, PE
Structural Engineer

Friday, June 19, 2015

Cedar Street to Reopen Tomorrow June 20th



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

Raised Crosswalk at Community Path (Cedar Street) Construction Next Week


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

The Word Around The Ward


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?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

City Garners Great Ideas for Hoyt-Sullivan Playground


A great crowd of residents gathered on Monday night to offer their vision for Hoyt-Sullivan Playground located at 10 Central Street. The meeting was facilitated by Arn Franzen.

City officials revealed their pursuit of a federal grant in the amount of $400,000 to renovate the playground at the recent ResiStat meeting and followed up with this vision session to gather feedback from residents on what elements they loved about the space and what they would like to see added.

One issue that was repeatedly brought up was the need for lighting as nighttime safety concerns surround the playspace and have for many years. Preserving the beautiful tree canopy to ensure shade on hot summer days, including train viewing spots along fencing facing the tracks and sand/toddler space were all mentioned to Franzen. 

The City will be submitting their grant proposal in the coming months with a decision expected before the end of 2015. If approved, the City will have further design meetings and will eventually close the park down for up to 6 months for construction. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Word Around The Ward


There is some activity in some previously empty storefronts in Magoun Square. The former location of the tailor/drycleaner received an interior paint job and the window letter of the DeMata Hair Salon was scraped off this weekend. Also, the word around the ward is that King Of Wings is ready to fly on out of Somerville and that Modelo Bakery and Modelo Meat Market will be consolidating to one business.

More candidates have pulled nomination papers, but I have decided to wait until signatures are due on June 24th before listing the approved one here on Ward 5 Online. What we right now are possible School Committee races in Wards: 1, 3, 4 and possible Aldermen races for At Large and in Wards 3 and 6.

There will be a meeting on the upgrade of Hoyt-Sullivan Park next week as the City is looking to apply for a grant. I will publish meeting information as soon as it becomes available.

Be sure to use the hashtag: #SomerBliss when visiting your favorite businesses throughout the month of June as one of them could be recognized by the City of Somerville and receive a membership to Somerville business support organizations. The business does not have to be a bar/restaurant, so don't be shy about using the hashtag wherever you go in the Ville!

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!

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

Are you looking for a job? Would you like to work in Magoun Square? Float Boston is seeking a part or full time employee. Check out the job description...you get free floats!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Community Meeting on Hoyt-Sullivan Park Set for Monday June 8th, 6:30pm


All interested are invited to a community meeting to discuss ideas for Hoyt-Sullivan Park (15 Central Street) on Monday June 8th from 6:30pm to 8:00pm taking place on-site at the park. Should Mother Nature not be kind to us, please plan on meeting in the third floor community room of the VNA (259 Lowell Street).

For those of you playing at home, Alderman Neidergang and I toured Hoyt-Sullivan, as well as, Junction Park to brainstorm renovation ideas for both spaces. Although the discussion for Junction Park is still pending, the City would like our vision for Hoyt-Sullivan. The City had previously held meeting(s) about the green spaces in our City - a conversation that included these two Ward 5 gems.

Please feel free to share this post and/or the official meeting flyer below with anyone interested in participating in this exciting discussion. 

#SomerBlizz to #SomerBliss!

Throughout the month of June, use #SomerBliss when tweeting from your favorite Somerville business and you could earn them recognition from the City and a membership to local business support organizations! Check out the flyer below and feel free to share with friends, family, neighbors and on Facebook pages of favorite businesses!

Monday, June 1, 2015

I Can Fix That!


It has come to my attention that previously written articles are blacked out or, otherwise, unreadable. If you search a topic on Ward 5 Online and find that the article cannot be read, please fill out this form and I will fix it for you!

I will also be linking this form above for future findings! Thank you to my readers for bringing this to my attention! Unfortunately, template changes have negative effects on postings, but it's nothing that can't be adjusted pretty quickly.





Friday, May 29, 2015

Design Plan Presented for Cedar Street

30+ residents gathered in the third floor community room of the VNA on Monday May 18th to see design plans for Cedar Street that, officials are hoping, will slow vehicular speed, improve access to Cedar Street from side streets and improve road quality. 

Tom Bertulis of Design Consultants, Inc. accompanied by Wayne Keefner presented a set of permanent chicanes, one bump-out and one grooved patch to attendees, as well as, offering further data on the unique nature of Somerville that rounded out the presentation.

Presentation

The anticipated raised crosswalk in between the current Community Path and the Community Path Extension to Lowell Street will be installed in mid-June according to City Officials who also pointed out that money set aside by the MaxWell's Green Covenant has been not been utilized. Chicanes painted on Lowell Street were funded out of the City's Traffic and Parking budget and the raised crosswalk will be built with other monies. 

The presentation included a bump-out at the corner of Clyde and Cedar...a location that residents have complained about for many years. Concerns of parking loss due to the bump-out were quickly squashed as Bertulis informed residents that the size of the addition would not occupy space that a car is legally allowed to park in. It blocks cars from parking too close to the intersection, thus, blocking the view of those accessing Cedar Street. It was the hope of two resident, myself included, that the bump-out would be a green space maintained by the resident who suggested it. 


Permanent chicanes would be used to slow traffic down from Highland to Broadway and speed cushions would be placed on the corners of Franey Road to alert drivers taking the right to slow down. 

Residents near the bridge expressed their frustration over speeding cars, as well. The City plans on enforcing the speed limit at this location and are going to see if the implemented chicanes alleviate some of the volume, as well.

Chicanes are slated to be installed by this summer/fall during a period of time that sees Cedar Street getting a much needed repavement and sidewalk upgrade. City Officials also promised improved notification to residents and abutters when construction will commence.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Somerville Flea Season Starts Sunday!

The Somerville Flea 
Opening Day
Come on down and kick off the
outdoor season.
This Sunday, May 31st 

It's that time of year again! The Somerville Flea will kick off it's outdoor season on Sunday May 31st setting up shop on the corner of Buena Vista Road and Holland Street.

Live music will be provided by Dan Blakeslee, Ali McGuirk and the Somerville High School Orchestra (weather permitting).

The Flea starts at 10am and runs until 4pm. Can't make it? No problem, you can find the market here every Sunday until October 11th.

Monday, May 18, 2015

MassDOT Meeting on Lowell Street and Gilman Square Stations - Postponed

A meeting on the Lowell Street and Gilman Square stations, originally scheduled for this Thursday, has been postponed to Tuesday June 16th from 6 - 8pm in the Armory (191 Highland Avenue).

This meeting is important to see the latest designs for the stations planned for these locations, as well as, be updated on changes set for Lowell Street to improve safety.


MassDOT writes, "MassDOT and the MBTA are hosting two public meetings this spring to provide an update on the design of four stations of the Green Line Extension (GLX) project. Last fall updates were given on the first three stations of the project (Lechmere, Washington Street & Union Square) and these upcoming meetings will provide updates for the other four stations to be opened as part of the GLX project."

Friday, May 15, 2015

Cedar Street Repavement and Safety Meeting Set for Monday


Just a reminder that there will be a community meeting to discuss the upcoming repaving and safety of Cedar Street. 

The meeting will take place on Monday May 18th in the third floor community room of the VNA (259 Lowell Street) at 6:30pm.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Word Around The Ward


Alderman Jack Connolly announced a combined birthday fundraising event for the city’s fall election. The event is taking place on May 21, 2015 (5:30pm-7:30pm) at Tony C’s, the latest addition to the city’s hottest destination, Assembly Row, for the 2015 local election.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation and The City of Somerville Invites you to the second Public Information Meeting for the McGrath Boulevard Project Development on Thursday, May 28, 2015 from 6:30 – 8:30 PM at The East Somerville Community School Auditorium (50 Cross Street, Somerville).


The Ward 5 ResiStat meeting is set for Tuesday June 2nd at the Kennedy School. The meeting begins at 6pm with refreshments with a presentation, question and answer portion from 6:30 to 8pm.


Cedar Street will be discussed on Monday May 18th, 6:30pm, in the third floor community room of the VNA as the street is set to be repaved this summer.


MassDOT will be hosting a meeting on the Lowell Street and Gilman Square Green Line Stations this Thursday May 21st from 6-8pm at The Armory (191 Highland Avenue).

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Taco Party Coming to Ball Square!

Two of my favorite sources of information, Boston Eater and Facebook, have confirmed that Ball Square will be the home to Taco Party's brick and mortar! 

This is not the first time a food truck has found a home in Ward 5 as Pennypackers has occupied 513 Medford Street in Magoun Square since 2013.

Taco Party, who specializes in vegetarian tacos, will be opening up in the old Zing Wing's location (711 Broadway) in Ball Square joining the ranks of some serious amazing eateries for breakfast, lunch and dinner! 

For more information on Taco Party, check out their website and Facebook page!

Spring Book Sale coming up! May 15-17th



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

MassDOT to Host Meeting on Ball Square and College Avenue Green Line Stations



MassDOT will be hosting a meeting on the Ball Square and College Avenue Green Line Stations this Thursday May 14th from 6-8pm at Saint Clement's High School (579 Boston Avenue).

The notification reads, "MassDOT and the MBTA are hosting two public meetings this spring to provide an update on the design of four stations of the Green Line Extension (GLX) project. Last fall updates were given on the first three stations of the project (Lechmere, Washington Street & Union Square) and these upcoming meetings will provide updates for the other four stations to be opened as part of the GLX project."

City Officials Host Follow-Up Meeting on Lowell Street Safety

Close to 40 residents filled the third floor community room of the VNA on Monday night to review design plans to decrease speeding on Lowell Street, the urban connector of Highland Avenue and Medford Street. City officials, however, entered the meeting under the impression they were there to gather feedback and ideas from residents and business owners about their experiences navigating the street and short-term fixes to make the street safer. See the problem? It didn't take long for frustrations to come to a head as this miscommunication became very apparent to both sides. Going forward, I think it would be advantageous to better connect what the community is expecting to hear and what City officials are expected to present. Bringing this many concerned citizens together only to find out that meeting details have not been organized and properly stated is not fair to anyone involved. 

Keeping the meeting moving along, residents offered suggestions such as pedestrian lights on either side of the Lowell Street bridge to slow cars (before they get on the bridge) which would also allow safer crossing at the top. MassDOT officials made it very clear that they have no intention of putting a curb cut to allow cyclists and pedestrians to exit off of the sidewalk at the very top of the bridge citing safety issues. A representative from the Somerville Police Department backed up the MassDOT stance, pointing out that there was no need to travel from one side of the bridge to the other by crossing as users of the path have entrances on both sides. A suggestion of a Stop sign at Albion Street was quickly squashed due to laws that prevent the installation of such signs to "slow traffic down" because of increases in rear-end collisions. 


The question of how the $200K+ earmarked for traffic calming measures has been/will be spent was also brought up. Officials acknowledged that the painting of the chicanes may have been paid for out of these funds, but could not confirm. 

Some good news that came out of the meeting was the announcement that the extension of the Community Path could become available to the public as early as June 15th. Also announced was the 25% design phase of the Lowell Street bridge and that they are only 1 year away from design completion. Lastly, MassDOT did mention their plans to place crosswalks on both sides of the Lowell Street bridge, but no timeline on these installations was provided.

For those who want to see designs, MassDOT will be hosting a public hearing on the Lowell Street and Gilman Square Stations Thursday May 21st from 6-8pm in the Armory (191 Highland Avenue). MassDOT representatives said they would "take on the responsibility" of providing more concrete plans for Lowell Street at this public hearing. 

You can also find more information on the project, including past presentations and meeting minutes, on the MassDOT website.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Teen Empowerment Hosts 9th Annual Youth Peace Conference!



On Saturday, May 9th, 2015, the City of Somerville, The Somerville Police Department, Somerville Public Schools, and the Center for Teen Empowerment, Inc. will present Somerville’s Ninth Annual Youth Peace Conference at Somerville High School. I am writing to request your assistance in spreading the word about this important event amongst your friends and networks. The Conference will feature a highly sophisticated Teen lead show followed by a Mental Health focused community workshops from 12:30­-5:00pm.

Program Director Danny McLaughlin writes, "We are expecting some 600 Somerville teens to join us for this moving and inspiring event, which will feature a sophisticated stage presentation that addresses the root causes of youth violence, mental health and other issue using the arts—including skits, music, spoken word, song, and speeches. Through these youth ­led performances, we will address some of the major issues facing Somerville residents and explore how youth, adults, police, politicians, and community organizations can work together for a more peaceful community."

For more information on Teen Empowerment, check out their website: http://www.teenempowerment.org/

Friday, May 1, 2015

Land Use Committee to Hold Public Meeting on Zoning Overhaul



The Land Use Committee will hold a public meeting on the proposed zoning overhaul this Wednesday May 6th at 6pm in the Aldermanic Chambers of City Hall.

For those of you playing at home, Somerville zoning has not been updated since the 1990's. Members of OSPCD submitted a zoning overhaul to the Board of Aldermen for approval this past December after conducting a summer-long series of seminars, ward-based meetings and creating a website to gather public comment and zoning map ideas. The 300+ page document has a few more weeks to be considered before expiring and having to be re-submitted. 

For more information, please visit: www.SomervilleMA.Gov/Zoning and/or attend Wednesday's meeting