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Friday, April 18, 2014

Somerville Open Studios Set for May 3rd & 4th


Somerville Open Studios will be celebrated on Saturday May 3rd and Sunday May 4th from 12-6pm with some studios participating in a Friday Night (May 2nd) Sneak Preview. 

Do check out all participating artists on the Somerville Open Studios website and stop by their space!
As always, I will be live tweeting from all the places I visit!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Word Around the Ward


It looks like everyone is considering a run for the seat left vacant by Carl Sciortino as phone calls are starting to be made around Wards 4 and 7. The word around the ward is that Ward 4 resident and former candidate for Somerville office, Marty Martinez is exploring the possibility of a run, but his new job has him a little apprehensive about making a definite decision. No formal confirmation from Camp Capuano, as of press time, but you can add one more name to the list as Erin DeBenedetto launched an official Facebook Page and Twitter Account for her candidacy on Monday which now brings the total to 4.

April 19th will see a unique approach to fundraising in one Somerville business district as Jerry Bowser, who had two friends lose a leg in last year's Boston Marathon tragedy will carry over 2,000 pounds in a wheelbarrow across Ball Square. The festivities begin at 2:00pm.

A big Happy Birthday is due to Ward 5 resident Maura Vogel, the beautiful wife of Courtney Koslow, who celebrated last Saturday! Happy Birthday, Maura! Also, Happy Birthday to Steve Buckley who celebrated yesterday.

Ward 5 also saw two of its favorite people, Paul Acciavatti and his wife Michelle, achieve their goal of home ownership in Vermont this past week. I would like to wish them the best and look forward to their home-warming this summer!

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed an article on the Green Line Extension I tweeted last week. For those who aren't on Twitter, be sure to read this great article courtesy of METRO Magazine.

Tomorrow, a Shine A Blue Light for Sean Collier event is being held where participants are only asked to Illuminate a porch light on the evening of 4/18 to remember the sacrifice of Officer Sean Collier, according to the Facebook Page. Ward 5 Online will be participating and highly encourage all of my awesome readers to do the same!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Albion Park to Close Beginning Monday April 28th



Albion Park will be closing on Monday April 28th to allow the installation of a new retaining wall and improvements to the lawn and water spray areas. Although the work will be focused on these three locations, the entire park will have to remain off-limits to users.

The work, which was discussed during the Fall ResiStat meeting, will be completed by May of this year. Albion Park will still be a Somerville Spring Clean Up location set for Saturday April 26th from 10:00am until 12:00pm.

During this time, be sure to visit other parks around the City including Trum Field and The Trum Field Tot Lot located on Franey Road. For a list of other parks, visit the City's Parks and Open Space page on their website.

Does Magoun Square Have Our Tailor and Dry Cleaner Back?

That what it looks like!

During my walk on Monday, I noticed that there was an Open sign in the window and it seems that it will offer the same services, but with different tenants. No pricing descriptions were available at the time, but I will keep you all updated as they become more established.

As I previously reported, Magoun Square lost the first tenants this past winter and, based on the comments below the story, the option was very appreciated by residents. I hope this new business finds the staying power!

MBTA Proposes 5% Fare Increase, Will Hold Community Meetings

The MBTA released their fare increase documents which show a proposed 5% increase in prices that could lead to $4 Million in revenue if approved. This increase falls in line with the transportation plan submitted by Governor Deval Patrick (Way Forward Plan) in January of 2013 according to the description.

A one-page summary has been provided that break the price increases down, showing how much each line will cost should this plan be approved. The changes would take effect on July 1, 2014 with no increase being proposed for The Ride.

There will also be numerous community meetings held to gather feedback about the proposed fare increases with the closest one to Somerville being held in Medford City Hall (Alden Memorial Chambers, 85 George P. Hassett Drive) on Wednesday April 30th from 6:00-8:00pm. Written comments will be accepted until April 30th via mail or email. 




Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lowell Street (Magoun Square) Station Area Plan Published on Somerville By Design Website


As I hinted previously, the draft of the Lowell Street Station Area Plan has been published on the Somerville By Design website and embedded below for you to read. You can also read/download it here.

Be sure to comment your thoughts below!


Legislative Matters to Meet on Thursday April 17th



The Committee on Legislative Matters will meet on Thursday April 17th to discuss a three item agenda. This meeting will begin at 6:30pm and take place in the second floor committee room of City Hall.

The agenda includes an Ordinance on Complete Streets submitted by Mayor Joe Curtatone (193587). The second item to be discussed is 194075: requesting that the City Solicitor review the language in the proposed amendment, referred to as Article VII, Complete Street Ordinance to Chapter 12 of the Code of Ordinances, for the purpose of limiting the city’s liability, according to the description.

Rounding out the agenda is 194076: requesting that the City Solicitor review the proposed amendment, referred to as Article VII, Complete Street Ordinance to Chapter 12 of the Code of Ordinances, as follows: Section (6) - to determine what happens when state guidelines change; and Section (7) - which may be ambiguous - to determine if the cost is proportional to the project and how the difference would impact the city. The last two items were submitted by former Ward 1 Alderman Bill Roche.

Monday, April 14, 2014

City of Somerville to Remember April 15th with Moment of Silence and Support Services



Courtesy of a press release issued by the City of Somerville...

Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone announced that the City of Somerville’s plan to honor the victims and families of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings, and to provide support services to all community members who should need them on the one-year anniversary of the tragic events in Boston, as follows:

· Beginning on Tuesday, April 15, American flags will be positioned at half-staff to honor all victims of the Marathon Bombings and its aftermath.

· On Tuesday, April 15, a moment of silence will be held at 2:50 p.m. We invite community members to pause at this time to remember all victims and families.

· On Tuesday, April 15, counselors and support staff from the City’s Trauma Response Network will be available at the Public Safety Building, 220 Washington Street, for any and all community members needing their services. Members of the public are also invited to visit the Public Safety Building for reflection, remembrances, or memorials throughout the day Tuesday. Counselors will be available during the following times on Tuesday:

o 7 – 9 a.m.

o 2 – 3 p.m.

o 5 – 7 p.m.

· On Friday, April 18, TRN counselors will be available at the Public Safety Building from 3 – 6 p.m. Community members are also welcome to visit the site for reflection, remembrances or memorials in honor of Sean Collier and other individuals and families affected by the events in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon:

During these times on Tuesday and Friday, please note that Residential Permit Parking enforcement will be relaxed in the immediate vicinity of the Public Safety Building to allow community members to visit the site. Parking meter enforcement will be in effect.

Six Homes Going for, like, Big Kid Money in the Ville

Curbed Boston is reporting that there are currently six properties that are about to close with an over $1 million price tag. Check out the article here! While you're at it, check out their whole Somerville section!

Veterans and Public Services Committee to Meet Tomorrow



The Veterans and Public Services Committee will be meeting tomorrow to discuss a 7 item agenda that includes the relocation of the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial and an update on the Memorial Day Parade for this year. The meeting begins at 6:00pm and will take place in the second floor committee room of City Hall.

The other items include:
· 195831: Discuss in Committee That the Dedication Committee name the corner of Tremont Street and Webster Avenue in memory of Vietnam War veteran Arthur J. Downey.
· 196154: Discuss in Committee That the Dedication Committee update this Board on the park dedication in honor of Joseph Mackey.
· 196381: Discuss That the Director of Veterans Services appear before this Board’s Committee on Veterans and Public Services to discuss street corner dedications and how the committee may help on veteran's issues.
· 196391: Discuss The Commission on Monuments, Memorials, and Dedications responding to #196154 re: a Park Dedication for Joseph Mackey.
· (ID # 8962): Discuss Director of Veterans Services responding to #196381 re: attending a Veterans and Public Services Committee meeting.

Central Broadway/Winter Hill Roadway to be Discussed at Community Meeting

The Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development invite residents, business owners and concerned citizens to an informational meeting on the Central Broadway/Winter Hill Roadway and Streetscape improvements project.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday April 16th from 6:30-8:00 PM in the Winter Hill Community School Cafeteria located at 115 Sycamore Street.

According to the Somerville by Design webpage dedicated to the project, "We’ll start with an overview presentation to explain the project process, followed by an open house where you can view maps of the area, learn about preliminary site analysis, ask questions of our project team of engineers, landscape architects, and planners, and give feedback on what you see as the vision for the future of Central Broadway in Winter Hill."

Winter Hill is no stranger to community meetings as it was paired with Magoun Square and researched by students of the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning in the Fall and Winter of 2012. Two community meetings were held in October and December to gather feedback from attendees and to present their final recommendations. This presentation is now available on the Somerville by Design website.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Come & Get Yer Rain Barrels!

Did you order a rain barrel as part of the City's collaboration with the Great American Barrel Company? You had until April 5th to order them and I wrote about it on March 27th. Ring a bell?

If you have just realized you did order one, get yourself down to 1 Franey Road (DPW Yard) and pick up your barrel! You have from 9am until 1pm to pick them up. 

If you are a Ward 5 resident, snap a photo and send it over to me for posting on the website! 

If you already own a barrel, be sure to let me know how you like it.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Road Race This Weekend




On Sunday, April 13 beginning at 11 a.m., the annual Shape Up Somerville and Recreation Road Race will take place beginning and ending at City Hall, 93 Highland Ave. Brief and temporary road closures may apply in the following areas as runners pass: 

Highland Ave. between Walnut St. and Willow Ave. 
Willow Ave. 
Broadway between Ball Square and Magoun Square 
Medford Street between Broadway and Walnut St., and 
Walnut St. 

The race is not expected to have significant impacts on traffic, however police officers will be stationed throughout the route to provide assistance where necessary. If you have any questions, please call 311 (617-666-3311).

Part of Magoun Square Business Block Up For Sale


A section of three storefronts in Magoun Square are up for sale according to a listing on the Property Sales Boston website.

Numbered two, the description reads, "NEW- Asking: 4.2 Million-Somerville/Medford border- 27,000 Sq Ft - Commercial- 3 Unit Retail/Warehouse building with 31,000 Sq Ft of land.
Green line T is coming to this area!! Building is Ready for development. 

Half of building is Somerville and Half is Medford. Brick building with concrete ceilings and steel supports/beams. Building has a partial rubber roof and majority is tar and gravel. Heat is gas forced hot air and electric. 

The building is currently occupied with 3 tenants but the owner is one of those tenants. Owners space is by far the largest using the large retail space and the majority of the warehouse. Owner will close his business or relocate. The other two tenants bring in 5,000/mo total. Old leases/small retail stores but obviously well below market rents."

The owner of the Office Liquidators did receive an offer on the property by the owner of Woody's Liquors, according to a source, a few years ago. Another offer was being considered by a group of Somerville and Cambridge artists two years ago, but was never proposed to the property owner.

The storefronts include (L-R) Woody's Liquors, Furniture Liquidators, and Pini's Pizza. The remainder of the block that include Wang's and On the Hill Tavern has a different owner listed on the Assessor's Database. The owner of the Furniture Liquidators is the owner of the three unit building.

The property is unique considering part of it is in Somerville with the back portion in Medford. This could prove to be tricky for a potential buyer. As of right now, nothing has been proposed to the Planning Department.

Please feel free to comment your thoughts below. Do you think the price of $4.2 Million is appropriate?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Word Around the Ward


The Somerville Brewing Company made the announcement this week that they will be opening a brewery and taproom in the Boynton Yards area of the City. 15 Ward Street will be home to a 1,500 square foot tap room in the next 5-6 months. Bottled Slumbrew deliciousness is available in local Ward 5 stores.

The City of Somerville always has job opportunities posted to their website if any of my readers are interested in working for the best city in Massachusetts!

KSS/Redgate, the developers of Maxwell's Green, are formally out of the running as the master developer of Union Square as the final four were announced this week by the Union Square Citizens Advisory Committee. The list includes The Abbey Group, Gerding Edlen, Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRIT) / National Development, and Magellan / Mesirow. The group still has a proposal for the Powder House School location which is being "recalibrated" according to Mayor Joe Curtatone.

Rain Barrel pick-up day is this Saturday from 9-1pm at 1 Franey Road. If you ordered a rain barrel, go get it! If you are a Ward 5 resident, take a picture and submit it in for posting.

On Saturday until noon, you can also drop off your Hazardous Waste for proper disposal in the DPW yard.

Yard waste pickup weeks begin on April 14th and runs until the first week of December. For more information on all this Green stuff, check out the 2014 Environmental Service Guide.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Board of Aldermen to Meet



The Board of Aldermen will be meeting tomorrow at 7:00pm in the Aldermanic Chambers of City Hall.

The agenda is posted on Somerville's Meeting Portal by Tuesday at 7:00pm per the Open Meeting Law. This portal also holds previous meeting minutes and videos.

This meeting is open to the public and all residents and/or concerned citizens are encouraged to attend, watch the meeting live on Channel 22 (Comcast) or Channel 13 (RCN), or streamed live on the internet.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

YUM Takes Over the Armory



The Welcome Project's annual YUM event at Center for Arts at the Armory on April 10, 2014 features the cuisine of some of Somerville's finest immigrant-run restaurants. Enjoy tastes from Turkey, Italy, India, Mexico, Nepal, the Mediterranean, Ethiopia, and Portugal. All YUM restaurants participate in the City's Shape Up Approved -- Eat Well program.

This year's event also features
Live music by Son Del Sol
A silent auction
The 2nd annual Intercultural City Award to
Regina Bertholdo, director of the Somerville Public Schools'
Parent Information Center and co-founder
of the Brazilian Women's Group.
Founder's Award to Suzanne Sankar

For more information visit www.yumsomerville.org. To buy tickets: http://welcomeproject.givezooks.com/events/yum-a-taste-of-immigrant-city-2014

Participating restaurants include:

Aguacate Verde: Mexican | Porter Square
13 Elm Street, Somerville MA 02143
Open Tue-Sat 11am - 9pm; Sun 10:30am - 7pm
Read about Aguacate Verde on the YUM Blog

Fasika: Ethiopian | East Somerville
147 Broadway, Somerville MA 02145
Open Mon-Thu 5:30pm - 10pm; Fri 5:30pm - 11pm; Sat-Sun 2pm - 11pm
Read about Fasika on the YUM Blog

Masala: Indian and Nepali | Teele Square
1127 Broadway, Somerville MA 02144
Open Mon-Sun 11am - 11pm

Istanbul'lu: Turkish | Teele Square
237 Holland Street, Somerville MA 02144
Open Tues 5pm - 10pm; Wed-Sat 11am - 10pm; Sun 11am - 9pm
Read about Istanbul'lu on the YUM Blog

Los Paisanos: Central American | East Somerville
62 Broadway, Somerville MA 02145
Phone: 617-629-3502
Read about Los Paisanos on the YUM Blog


The Neighborhood Restaurant: Portuguese | Union Square
25 Bow Street, Somerville MA 02143
Mon-Sun 7am - 4pm
Read about The Neighborhood on the YUM Blog

Sabur: Mediterranean | Teele Square
212 Holland Street, Somerville MA 02144
Phone: 617-776-7890
Read about Sabur on the YUM Blog

Vinny's at Night: | Italian
76 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145
Phone: 617-628-1921

Yak and Yeti: Nepali and Indian |
719 Broadway, Somerville MA 02144
Phone: 617-284-6227
Read about Yak and Yeti on the YUM Blog

Monday, April 7, 2014

Finance Committee to Meet on Wednesday



The committee on finance will meet on Wednesday April 9th at 6:00pm to discuss a 22 item agenda that includes various legislative items submitted by members of the Board of Aldermen, as well as, the Mayor.

· Approval of the Minutes of April 1, 2014
· 194503: Discuss in Committee That the Director of SPCD respond in writing within 30 days with a breakdown of all funds provided through the CDBG program, DIF bonds, "I Cubed Bonds" or the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and spent to fund work or purchase materials in connection with Assembly Square, whether by the City, the State, any agencies thereof, or by Federal Realty Investment Trust or any subsidiaries or related companies.
· 194831: Discuss in Committee That the Director of Finance provide this Board with a list of all contracts, purchase orders, or payments to vendors in excess of $25,000 for 2012 and 2013 (to date), whether funded through the budget or through grants, that were not publicly bid, with a brief explanation of why they were exempt.
· 195373: Recommend Requesting authorization to borrow $900,000 in a bond, and appropriate the same amount, to implement a comprehensive wayfinding plan.
· 195532: Recommend Requesting authorization to borrow $500,000 in a bond, and appropriate the same amount, for ADA Accessibility - Building Improvements.
· 195571: Recommend Requesting an appropriation of $500,000 and authorization to borrow that amount in a bond to retain a qualified planning and land use concern to develop a major plan change to existing Assembly Square Urban Renewal Plan.
· 195787: Discuss in Committee That the Purchasing Department purchase decibel meter readers for the use of the Police and Inspectional Services Departments.
· 195833: Discuss in Committee That the Director of Finance and the City Treasurer research the possibility of providing direct deposit pay stubs online to employees and determine the potential savings to the city by doing so.
· 196040: Recommend Requesting an appropriation of $93,500 from Unreserved Fund Balance ("Free Cash") to the DPW Buildings and Grounds Moving Services Account to clean out the Homan's Building and the Powderhouse School Building.
· 196145: Discuss in Committee That the Administration provide this Board with a copy of the recently executed 5 year partnership agreement with Tufts University, including all payments in lieu of taxes.
· 196164: Recommend Requesting an appropriation of $490,000, and authorization to borrow $490,000 in a bond, for a new HR and Payroll system.
· 196191: Discuss in Committee Conveying the partnership agreement with Tufts University.
· 196227: Discuss in Committee That the Director of Finance and this Board’s Committee on Finance review the attached article on Arlington’s “visual budget”.
· 196241: Recommend Requesting an appropriation of $200,000 from the Sewer Retained Earnings Account to the Capital Improvements Account for East Broadway drainage improvements.
· 196244: Recommend Requesting an appropriation of $65,820 from the Capital Stabilization Fund for the purchase of two Hurst Rescue Tool Systems for the Fire Dept.
· 196245: Recommend Requesting an appropriation of $47,500 from the Capital Stabilization Fund for the purchase of 4 thermal imaging cameras for the Fire Dept.
· 196248: Recommend Requesting an appropriation of $5,791 from the Capital Stabilization Fund for a dryer for firefighter protective bunker gear.
· 196265: Discuss in Committee Updating this Board with respect to Partners Healthcare at Assembly Row.
· 196288: Recommend Requesting the transfer of a parcel of land at 163 Glen Street to the Redevelopment Authority for neighborhood development.
· 196289: Recommend Requesting the expenditure of FY14 funds totaling $167.41 to pay an outstanding prior year invoice in the Police Department.
· 196320: Discuss in Committee That the Director of Finance submit to this Board, a report of all new appropriations from July 1, 2013 to date and identifying all new appropriations approved.
· 196327: Recommend Requesting a transfer of $4,000 within the Public Health Dept., from its Salaries Account to its Professional and Technical Services Account, to hire an emergency preparedness consultant.
· 196329: Recommend Retirement Board notifying this Board of intention to vote at a regular meeting on a Cost of Living Adjustment for eligible retirees for 2014.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Legislative Matters to Discuss Public Records Requests

The committee on Legislative Matters will discuss a Board of Aldermen submission by Ward Five Alderman Mark Niedergang, Alderman At Large William A. White Jr., Ward Four Alderman Tony Lafuente, Ward Three Alderman Robert J. McWatters, Ward Seven Alderman Katjana Ballantyne, Alderman At Large Mary Jo Rossetti, Alderman At Large Dennis M. Sullivan on Tuesday night concerning requests for public records.

Legislative item number 196362 is the only item on the agenda and requests that the City Solicitor appear before this Board to describe the process that the City uses in responding to requests for public records, including the fees charged and the justification for redactions, and how this comports with the requirements of state law, the Public Records Division of the Office of the Secretary of State and the practices of other communities.

The meeting will be held in the second floor committee room of City Hall and will begin at 6:30pm.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Somerville Local First to Host Mother's Day Market



With spring in full swing, it’s time to start thinking about Mother’s Day, which will be here before you know it! And there’s no better place to find the perfect gift to show a special mom in your life just how much you care than at Somerville Local First’s Local is for Lovers Mother’s Day Market.

The market, which is sponsored by ZipCar, takes place on Sunday, April 27, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Brooklyn Boulders Somerville (12A Tyler St.), is free and easily accessible by car or public transportation. All shoppers must fill out a waiver form for Brooklyn Boulders. Save time and fill it out online!

The Local is for Lovers Mother’s Day Market will feature 30 local vendors selling everything from jewelry and handmade soap to sweets and clothing.  Here is a full list of vendors:

Esoterica/Smileybabyhats Hats
Emrys
Somerville Soap Works
TaraFaeri
Secret Ships
13mL designs
The Bead Lady
Studio G
Melsy's Illustrations
Sprout Pencil
The Quilted Chuppah
Freebird Designs
Designs by EVFB
Photoclave
Yellow Sun Lisa
Batiz Jewelry
Moxie C Creations
Cuddlepill Designs

In addition to the many local artisans selling their crafts, the Local is for Lovers Mother’s Day Market will include a special appearance by the highly rated Bon Me food truck. It’s a rare chance to sample this delicious food right here in Somerville!

Local is for Lovers shoppers will be entertained by live music from David Tanklefsky and PA Trick. This is a very family-friendly event, so bring the kids and snap a new family photo in the photo booth with photographer Mike Barnes. Brooklyn Boulders Somerville will even have special Mother’s Day treats for attendees!

Vendors and shoppers at previous Local is for Lovers Market have raved about their experience and the Mother’s Day Market promises to be just as fun. Beth Rosa of Pink Pigeon Creations said, “The crowd was great, and with the focus on kids, there were lots of families and people buying gifts for people with families, which is exactly my market.” Shoppers have commented on the community feel of the markets, a place to gather and see friends while seeing some of the best local vendors around.

Shop Local is for for Lovers this Mother’s Day to show mom how much you care about her … and your community!

Local is for Lovers Mother’s Day Market media contact:
Kat Rutkin, Executive Director
Somerville Local First

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Word Around the Ward


Craig Rourke, a local attorney, Taylor Barnard, a Senior at Tufts University and Christine Barber, Executive Board Member of the Progressive Democrats of Somerville, have pulled nomination papers for for the 34th Middlesex District seat in the state House of Representatives formally held by Carl Sciortino. Tomorrow will mark Sciortino's last day as he moves on to head up the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts. Sciortino made the announcement on March 25th. This are the newest names in a list that also rumors Joe Capuano, Keri Lorenzo and Mary Jo Rossetti to be considering a run. This should be a very interesting race to watch.

Hubway Bicycle Stations were activated yesterday and mark the beginning of another awesome season for the bike sharing company. Of course, I am very excited that a new station near Magoun Square at Trum Field was installed and would love users to send in pictures and comments for posting here on Ward 5 Online.

Daddy Jones Bar will be hosting a dinner party with Pennypackers, Angel's Envy Whiskey and Harpoon Brewery. Seatings are at 6:00pm and 9:30pm. Be sure to get tickets before they sell out!

Friday and Saturday late night MBTA service started last week. Be sure to check out which services are included before you make your late night plans.

Ward 5 Online and I, Courtney O'Keefe, would like to make a commitment to the friends and family of Deanna Cremin and keep the updated rewards poster on the main page of the website until the website ceases to exist or Deanna's murderer is brought to justice. Furthermore, I would like to encourage all of my fellow Somerville media representatives to do the same by putting this poster in a noticeable part of your website and/or printed material. Lastly, I encourage anyone who wants to see this murder solved, to use this poster as your social media profile picture always, or at least, during the anniversary of Deanna's death. Together, we can bring justice for Deanna.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Commitment to the Friends and Family of Deanna Cremin



Ward 5 Online and I, Courtney O'Keefe, would like to make a commitment to the friends and family of Deanna Cremin and keep the updated rewards poster on the main page of the website until the website ceases to exist or Deanna's murderer is brought to justice.

Furthermore, I would like to encourage all of my fellow Somerville media representatives to do the same by putting this poster in a noticeable part of your website and/or printed material.

Lastly, I encourage anyone who wants to see this murder solved, to use this poster as your social media profile picture always, or at least, during the anniversary of Deanna's death. Together, we can bring justice for Deanna.

Who is with me?

Mayor's Fitness Challenge Events End on Thursday


The Mayor's Fitness Challenge will take over the Central Library on Thursday April 3rd starting with Story Time for 3-5 year olds at 10:30am.

At 1:00pm, the library will host drop-in meditation and, as always, you are able to get Wellness Information and Fitness Bags at this location.

The Fitness Challenge events end with massages in the Aldermanic Chambers of City Hall courtesy of the Lincoln Technical Institute and Reiki demonstrations from 3:00-5:00pm.

Did you participate in any of these events? Be sure to email them over for posting on Ward 5 Online!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Land Use Committee to Meet on Thursday

The Land Use Committee will be holding a joint meeting/Public Hearing with the Planning Board to discuss legislative item number 196187: That the Zoning Ordinances are hereby amended at Section 5.2.5 to add two new subsections, to avoid creating adverse impacts on the stock of existing affordable housing, and to insure compliance with the objectives of the Somervision Plan.

According to the description, ""(i) Housing Impact. Will not create adverse impacts on the stock of existing affordable housing; and (j) Somervision Plan. Complies with the objectives of the Somervision Plan, including the mix between residential and commercial development and the construction of housing units that provide an appropriate mix of bedrooms." This legislation was submitted by Alderman At Large Bill White in January and is the only item on the agenda.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Mayor's Fitness Challenge Takes Over Brooklyn Boulders!



The Mayor's Fitness Challenge continues at Brooklyn Boulders tomorrow night from 6:00-9:00pm.

A coupon is needed to participate in the three hour open house and sneakers are mandatory.

Brooklyn Boulders is located at 12A Tyler Street and includes an Active Collaborative Workspace, Climbing Fitness Room, Yoga Studio, Weight Room, Fireplace Lounge, Saunas, and BKB Pro Shop.

For more information, call 311, visit the Facebook Page, or Website.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Finance Committee to Meet on Tuesday


The Finance Committee will be meeting tomorrow Tuesday April 1st at 6:30pm in the second floor committee room of City Hall. The ten item agenda includes the below listed legislation submitted by members of the Board of Aldermen, as well as, financial requests of the Mayor.

Among the items is a request for information on how donations for an American Youth Football League will be allocated and used. This football league has been the topic of many conversations since it was requested to be funded in the FY2014 budget last June. The City eventually withdrew its request from the budget, but have come up with other means of paying for the league. Tensions boiled over at a recent Youth Services committee meeting that saw the President of Pop Warner, Roger Desrochers, walk out in disgust. Ward 1 Alderman Matt MacLaughlin requested the information during the Youth Services meeting.

· 194500: Recommend That the Excise Tax Demand Fee be amended and adjusted from $30.00 to $5.00.
· 194845: Discuss in Committee That the Administration arrange for the climate change consultant, Seed Systems, to appear before the Finance Committee to discuss #194312, a requested appropriation of $24,000.
· 194970: Discuss in Committee That the Administration confirm that the city will contract for a crosswalk bump-out at Elm and Beech Streets in coordination with the City of Cambridge in 2014 and provide a detailed timeline on this process.
· 195157: Discuss in Committee That the Administration set up a program to reimburse all retirees on Medicare, 80% of their out of pocket contributions, on an annual basis.
· 195168: Discuss in Committee That the Library Director provide this Board with a timeline for accessibility improvements to the West Branch Library.
· 195179: Discuss in Committee That the Administration appear before this Board to explain the current status of the Clear Channel negotiations and the proposed locations of electronic billboards.
· 195216: Discuss in Committee That the Director of Capital Improvements and the Library Director provide this Board with timelines for renovations, repairs and improvements to both the East and West Branch libraries, including projected budget expenditures.
· 195734: Discuss in Committee That the Administration provide this Board with a breakdown of special events (festivals, concerts, road races, etc.), indicating if they are/were city sponsored and/or privately sponsored, and including city expenditures for each.
· (ID # 9085): Discuss That this Board’s Committee on Finance determine the use and allocation of all funds donated to the city for the American Youth Football League.
· (ID # 9123): Discuss That the Recreation Superintendent appear before this Board to provide an update of all expenditures for the current fiscal year.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Housing and Community Development Committee to Meet on Monday



The committee on Housing and Community Development will be meeting on Monday March 31st in the second floor committee room of City Hall to discuss a ten item agenda that includes the below listed items that were submitted by members of the Board of Aldermen. The meeting begins at 6:00pm.

· 194361: Discuss in Committee That the Director of SPCD prepare a written analysis for this Board comparing the 2010 federal census with the 2000 census and highlighting the important changes and potential impacts.
· 196188: Discuss in Committee That the Administration work with this Board to revise the Somervision Plan to provide more detailed goals with regard to affordable housing and the creation of a mix of housing units, especially those with more than 2 bedrooms, for long-term residents of all ages.
· 196221: Discuss in Committee That the Director of SPCD provide SomerVision updates twice a year, broken down by ward, showing progress made in residential, affordable units, jobs, public space, trips via transit, bike and walking, and development in transformative areas.
· 196287: Discuss in Committee That the Director of SPCD, the Planning Director, and the Housing Director appear before this Board for an update on raising the inclusionary housing ordinance to promote development of more affordable housing.
· 196344: Discuss in Committee That the Director of SPCD (ISD) and the Director of Health enforce Ordinance 12-8 regarding snow removal on Winter Street, near the dental office at the corner of College Avenue.
· 196345: Discuss in Committee That the Director of SPCD (ISD) provide this Board with a report on the number of snow related citations issued to date this calendar year.
· 196366: Discuss That the Director of SPCD submit a plan to create “Middle Class” housing.
· 196368: Discuss That the Director of SPCD submit a plan on the use of city owned properties as it relates to projected growth identified in the SomerVision Plan.
· 196369: Discuss That the Director of SPCD submit a SomerVision implementation and accountability plan as described within.
· 196370: Discuss That the Director of SPCD and the City Solicitor submit to this Board a proposal to impose institutional master plans.
· (ID # 9061): Discuss That the Director of SPCD (ISD) fine the owner of 100 The Fellsway and 95 Wheatland Street for all violations.
· (ID # 9062): Discuss That the Director of SPCD direct the owner of 95 Wheatland Street to secure the property and improve it so it is not a visual nuisance to the neighbors.
· (ID # 9067): Discuss That the Director of SPCD (ISD) update this Board on the site visit to 37 Jackson Road.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Mayor's Fitness Challenge Kicks Off Tomorrow!


Last Winter Farmer's Market Of the Season at Armory Tomorrow

The Somerville Winter Farmer's Market continues tomorrow at the Armory (191 Highland Avenue) from 9:30am until 2:00pm.

If you're looking for something particular, check out the market map to find exactly what you need and where they are located in the hall.

This is the last market for the winter season, but outdoor markets will be happening at locations around the City for your convenience.

According to the market Facebook page, there will be prize giveaways during the day-no purchase necessary as entering the market is all it takes to be entered into the contests. Prizes will include bags of mead, tee shirts, bags of food and more! Market administrators write, "Our final day celebration is such a fun way to say thank you to the vendors for another wonderful season. And we get to thank YOU with great prizes all day long. Vendor prizes include: bags of apples, flowers, bottles of mead, market tees, eggs, meat, bread, cheese, root veggies... All you have to do for a chance to win is walk in the door!"

Have Farmer's Market recipes or pictures of dinners to share? Email me and I'll post them here.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Want a Rain Barrel?

Somerville has you covered!

Somerville will be offering rain barrels at a discount price of $69 to residents through April 5th for pickup at the DPW Yard on April 12th from 9-11am.

These rain barrels "reduce runoff that can harm existing water sources and contribute to overflow in the city’s water system. Additionally, rain barrels can help offset water usage that, in New England, can increase by as much as 60% during the spring, summer, and fall seasons," according to a press release issued by the City. The barrels are provided by the Great American Barrel Company and come in the three colors you see in the picture.

To purchase, visit www.greatamericanrainbarrel.com, click on “Shop Local Programs,” and search for Somerville.

The Word Around the Ward


Street sweeping resumes on April 1st...and it can't come soon enough! On designated street sweeping days, vehicles must be moved to one side of the street, as noted on signs posted on each street. The penalty for not complying with street sweeping parking regulations is a $50 fine. Somerville residents may sign up to receive automatic email alerts through the “Somerville Sweeper” service by visiting www.somervillema.gov/sweeper, or by calling 311 (617-666-3311).

This will be the last week of the Winter Farmer's Market at the Armory as the outdoor season is about to commence! The market runs from 9:00-2:30pm!

The news that Carl Sciortino will be stepping down from politics and heading into the Executive Director's position of the AIDS Action Committee. Sciortino wrote, "I am writing to you to share some news. After serving in the legislature for over nine years, I have made the difficult decision to step down from the Massachusetts House of Representatives. I am excited to have accepted a position as the new Executive Director at AIDS Action Committee." Now that there's a seat open...Ready? Set? Go!

Family and friends will gather on the corner of Temple and Jacques Streets at 2:30pm this Saturday to recognize the 19th Anniversary of Deanna Cremin's murder. A moment of silence and brief speaking portion will occur just before a 4pm Mass at St. Ann's Church.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Board of Aldermen to Meet Tomorrow Night



The Board of Aldermen will be meeting tomorrow at 7:00pm in the Aldermanic Chambers of City Hall.

The agenda is posted on Somerville's Meeting Portal by Tuesday at 7:00pm per the Open Meeting Law. This portal also holds previous meeting minutes and videos.

This meeting is open to the public and all residents and/or concerned citizens are encouraged to attend, watch the meeting live on Channel 22 (Comcast) or Channel 13 (RCN), or streamed live on the internet.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Inside Magoun Square's Newly Renovated Salvation Army


Magoun Square's Salvation Army store has been renovated and is ready for their grand-reopening on Thursday April 3rd at 9:00am. Complete with some new, returning staff and over 8,000 square feet of retail space, the location will continue to serve as both a family store and a drop-off center, but with more merchandise.

The renovation, which started in November, included (will include) more efficient HVAC (and visually better), new energy efficient lighting, flooring, a proper back room, upgrades to ADA requirements, outside facade facelift (painting, new sign, stripping red paint on stone and bring out natural stone), and will end with the parking lot being repaved/striped. They also cleaned out catch basins and repainted parking lot side of exterior wall.

Lieutenant Joseph Swistak graciously allowed me to come by and photograph the space for today's pictorial. Very excited about the upcoming opening, Lt. Swistak mentioned that there will be new bins coming for after-hours donations that will sit on the side of the building and that hours of operation are set for 9:00am until 5:30pm Monday through Saturday for now. Extending the hours to 9:00pm is a possibility, but post-5:30pm foot traffic will determine whether the retail space will look to operate for the full 12 hour day.