Newstalk – November 7

On November 7, 2012, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

The elections are finally over and normality quickly comes back as of today. All of those  TV commercials, mailings,  plus those hated robo calls are over. A few months to go before the local city elections start. It’s great that they won’t be able to pay for TV ads, although they can advertise in The News.


Tonight, Wednesday, at the Holiday Inn on Washington Street, The annual Somerville Chamber of Commerce Dinner and Powderhouse Awards, starts at 6:30 p.m. A reception is followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. The special guests are State Treasurer Steve Grossman and our own Congressman Michael Capuano.


Well, it’s finally happened. Mayor Joe Curtatone signed a new city policy discouraging the use of the term or phrase “illegal immigrants” by any city official and municipal employees. Mayor Joe’s new policy here in Somerville reinforces the concept that all the people illegally living in Somerville have to be referred to as “undocumented.” So all your city employees and officials had better watch out. Let us know how you feel about this.


Mark the date of November 13 at the Holiday Inn here in Somerville for the Edith Chaille Memorial Transportation Fund of 600 Windsor Place, Somerville 02143. The Chaille Family of Green & Yellow Cab Company are having a fundraiser for senior transportation. Tickets are $20 with a Buffet and a DJ. All donations are gladly accepted.


Join the Little Sisters of the Poor on Highland Avenue for their Annual Christmas Bazaar to be held this Saturday, November 10. The hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.    Lots of items will be on sale including food and many surprises. It’s a great cause, so please go and do some shopping and help the Little Sisters and the elderly residents at the home.


Happy Birthdays to all our fans here in the ‘Ville and from the ‘Ville. To a fantastic lady who is well known here, we wish Paula Mackey a great day and week. Likewise to Linda Brown, another nice lady. Also Brian Raposo of the ‘Ville and Chris Keohan of CK Strategies, a political consultant. Theresa Fusco Boucher who works for Verizon also celebrates this week. A good friend, Susan Callahan, is celebrating her birthday this week. We wish her a great day. A special cousin to the Tauros, Jason Mesiti, we wish a great day. Happy Birthday to Ron Glejzer. And to Stephanie Morgado of the ‘Ville who works for Verizon we wish a great day for her.


Congratulations to Ray Zonghetti for receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Somerville Chamber of Commerce at the Dinner tonight. Ray is a lifelong resident and very dedicated to the city and especially to the Chamber. He is always giving of himself to this and many other charitable organizations here in Somerville.


Deputy Police Chief, and popular all around nice guy, Mike Cabral, along with his lovely wife Debbie, were recently blessed with the birth of their granddaughter Myah Marie Cabral, 7 lbs., to proud parents Michael and Ashley. Of course, this means that Gene Brune is now a Great Grandfather. Congratulations to everyone in the Cabral family.


What’s running through the minds of the good people up at City Hall in the Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development (OSPCD) department? There is serious talk that they want to redesign Beacon Street to only allow parking on one side of the street and dedicate the other side solely to bicycles with a bike path. Hello, is anybody thinking about the local businesses along that street who are struggling to survive as it is now with a resection on our heels, never mind taking away their parking? Bike paths are nice but let’s not go overboard here and this brainstorm idea should definitely be revisited and thought out.


A benefit fundraiser for our good friend Rick Barletta to help with his recovery from the horrific accident he went through where he sustained permanent injuries in a near fatal motorcycle crash this past May that has left him in a wheelchair. Friends and family members of Rick’s will be holding a benefit to help raise money to help with care for him and his family. Rick is a very strong willed person and has what it takes to overcome this tragic situation. His benefit will be held on Saturday, November 24, at the Winter Hill Yacht Club located at 78 Foley Street in Somerville at 6:00 p.m. A $20 cover charge will include admission, dancing, buffet, DJ, cash bar and a raffle to help Rick and his family with the cost of his care as he heals and tries gets rolling again. Any donations for the raffle would be greatly appreciated. Please contact, Jeaneen Barletta, at or Billy Tauro at (617)293-2016 or for more information.


A public meeting is scheduled for Saturday, November 17, at 12:00 noon at the Winter Hill Yacht Club located at 78 Foley Street in Somerville directly next door to the Assembly Square job site behind the Big Kmart department store. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss and address any alleged potential hazards, concerns and harm that the dust particles from the Assemble Square Construction site can cause to your property as well as to your health. Representatives of the developer Federal Realty, EPA, City of Somerville and the Governor’s office were asked and are expected to attend. Neighbors, abutters and the general public are all invited to attend as well.


This Saturday night at The Burren, in Davis Square, the Somerville High class of 1987 will be meeting to celebrate their 25th reunion from 6-9 p.m.


Join orange leaf, America’ s Frozen Yogurt, this Saturday, Nov 10, for their Grand Opening event. There will be face painting, prizes and giveaways. The event runs from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. at 260 Elm Street. They will be giving away 25 free 8oz cups of Froyo every two hours starting at 11 a.m. Stop by, welcome them to Somerville.


Happy Birthday to Patrick Sullivan, who celebrated his 77th birthday on Saturday, November 3. Say a big “Hello” to him at the Little Sisters of the Poor on Highland Ave.


Happy birthday to our good friend Attorney Fred Diamond.


46 Responses to “Newstalk – November 7”

  1. placido123 says:

    Hey Jumpin Joe, Guess what loser, they ARE illegal. Trying to be politically correct because he must be eyeing higher office huh?

  2. Congratulations, Ray!

  3. BigSap1510 says:

    I agree with joe. These people have suffered enough. Lets not make them feel any worse about themselves. Once they have proper documentation,they will be outstanding citizens of our fair city. Cant we all just get along?

  4. Charlie says:

    “There is serious talk that they want to redesign Beacon Street to only allow parking on one side of the street and dedicate the other side solely to bicycles with a bike path.”

    The City is proposing removing parking on one side between Oxford St and Washington St, where the parking utilization is below 50%. This would allow for a cycle track to be installed on each side of the street, separating bicycles from vehicles. The City has done comprehensive parking study and is confident that the spaces that will remain can be managed in such a way to meet the needs of the local businesses and residents. It’s about making better use of the space. If we can create a separated space for bicycles AND still serve the parking needs with fewer better-managed spaces, why not?!

  5. Charlie,

    Quick question, is this parking study published? I’d be very curious to see it and the one done on Beacon Street (?), as well.

  6. Brian says:

    How “comprehensive” was the parking study? From this resident’s perspective, from Somerville Avenue to Forest Street, for example, parking utilization isn’t ever below 90 percent. On street-sweeping nights — which creates one night a week the situation this plan proposes to institute full-time — it’s incredibly difficult find parking spaces in the evening. How could they even do street-sweeping on the odd-numbered side if they eliminate parking entirely on the even-numbered side? There would be zero parking on either side of Beacon Street one night a week, which is completely untenable.

    And has anyone discussed the plan with the bikers who commute down Beacon Street? Would the bike track be wide enough for faster bikers to pass slower bikers at the most crowded commuting times? If not, how is that any safer?

  7. Harry says:

    This city is ridiculous now not calling criminals (illegals) what they are.

  8. Len says:

    The city’s plan for a dedicated bikeway on Beacon Street will prevent aaccidents, and increase ssafety for users of bicycles, motor vehicles and shoes. Seems a win for all.

    Bicycle users also SHOP at the stores on Beacon Street, though it’s mostly residential in Somerville.

  9. Andy says:

    You CAN’T reduce the parking on Beacon Street and pretend you can manage the spaces better. People live there and they need places to park and THEN you have the businesses on top of that. There’s a difference between making the street or the city bike friendly and making it car intolerant. Somerville Ave is now a disaster thanks to “improvements.” Beacon has been an alternate route. If you mess that up, traffic will be even worse. Beacon Street has been in need of a real paving job for some time now. Bike lanes would be helpful. Removing parking is harmful. Also, the proposal calls for the bike lane to be raised and essentially an extension of the sidewalk? That’s going to make for some nice crashes when people try to enter and exit driveways.

  10. Meg says:

    People who “need” parking spaces on Beacon Street should find their own spaces and pay for them, just the way they pay for housing.

    Thousands of people live and work in Somerville by taking the bus, the T, walking, or biking to where they need to go. You don’t “need” a car to live in Somerville. Why is the city obligated to provide residents with space on to put a huge hunk of metal on every public street?

  11. Ray Spitzer says:

    I’m all for calling them undocumented illegal immigrants! Are we all set?

  12. Mary says:

    Meg, you must be a newbie from and outer planet with that comment on buying space to park a car.
    Each car that is registered in Mass and lives in the city or town within Mass pays a special little tax to that city or town called Excise tax…. that’s millions in dollars for revenue for each city and town that each car pays to park on the street, drive on the street and well even those that don’t park on the street pay it. Maybe we should have an excise tax for bikes?
    Please get and education and not be so closed minded as to think just because you don’t need a car to go from place to place, others do or might, depending on where they work. Its a shame that you actually will claim that you are a college graduate and you properly have a large job which your bosses should properly give an IQ test before hiring lame brains and self-centered people like you! Where and why do people like you move here from god knows where and make the dumbest statements ever?

  13. Mary says:

    so what do we call those poor people who came here legally and are paying and awaiting to become citizens? My parents came here from Europe legally from a lottery held, took the classes and paid money to become a citizen here.
    So you creep over a border in any other country and what is that called? Take for example Iran? or No. Korea?

  14. Ray Spitzer says:

    “so what do we call those poor people who came here legally and are paying and awaiting to become citizens? ”

    Mary, you call those people suckers, apparently! The thing to do is to sneak in illegally and then cut in front of the line by legitimate people.

  15. Charlie says:

    Yes, the parking study can be downloaded here. Link is in the upper right:

  16. Charlie says:

    Andy, I certainly understand your concerns. One big thing that came out of the parking study is that a significant number of cars parked on Beacon St during the day are people from other parts of Somerville (with resident permits) who are leaving their cars on Beacon St for the entire day. These are most likely people who work or study at Harvard, since when school was not in session these cars were not present.

    In addition, the parking in front of businesses is often occupied by Beacon St residents who don’t need their cars during the day. By changing the regulations on these spaces (for example to 2 hour parking during the day with resident permits only allowed overnight) those spaces would be available for customers during the day.

    The important question that needs to be answered is how many spaces does Beacon St need for businesses that do not have any off-street spaces (for customers and loading zones) and for Beacon St residents who do not have any off-street spaces. One of the good things about Beacon St is that there is quite a bit of off-street parking. Many of the houses have driveways and many of the businesses have parking lots. The owner of Shaw’s has been approached and has said that he has permission from the corporate office to rent out a portion of his parking lot to nearby residents or businesses who need extra parking.

    No one wants to make Beacon St more difficult for motorists, including the City, which is why they had a parking study done and why they are looking very thoroughly at the parking situation to make sure that if some parking is removed that everyone’s needs are still met. The installation of a cycle track would be a huge benefit and would attract even more bicyclists. Studies have shown that such improvements benefit local businesses since it brings even more potential customers to the street.

  17. Ray Spitter says:

    Good lord, the wingnuts are all out for REDUCING parking spaces. Why not just outlaw ALL cars on Beacon Street and make it a cycle and Kumbaya playground? Everyone bicycles, tricycles or unicycles in and then everyone gets together, holds hands and sings Kumbaya and touches one another inappropriately. It’s what the liberals want. Morons.

    The big question – and ultimately the one that will decide this is whether Joey can make any “cake” ($ or political) over this. If he can or thinks he can then you can bet we’re saying buh-bye to a lot of parking. This will be a hoot in the dead of winter when a lane of parking is gone and no one (well… at least no one with half a brain) is bicyclying.

  18. Harry says:

    My xbox just broke and my mom told me she won’t be replacing it. There is no meaning in life anymore…

  19. Brian says:

    “A significant number of cars parked on Beacon St during the day are people from other parts of Somerville (with resident permits) who are leaving their cars on Beacon St for the entire day.”

    Has that been determined in any kind of scientific fashion? Or was that just the prevailing theory? The theory is plausible, but I don’t know if you can base town policy just on a theory. What if that’s not where most of those cars are coming from?

  20. Charlie says:

    That was one of the findings of the parking study. The consultants noted which cars on Beacon St had Somerville permits and were parked all day but disappeared in the evening and overnight. In addition, when they compared the numbers of cars parked during the day on the street, between May and June they observed a 15% decrease (the difference being that in June nearby colleges were on summer break).

  21. Bill says:

    Ok, fine. I’ll give in to this administrations obsession with reducing vehicles and increasing bikes, with one request. TAX THEM! I, along with all Somerville residents, pay an excise tax and an ever increasing permit fee for the right to park my car in Somerville and use the roads. Along with that, when I park in the business districts I pay a meter for the right to use that space. Bikes pay nothing. How about putting meters on the bike racks that took parking spaces away in the city. That is only fair. If I want to park in Davis I have to rent that space. The bikes that are using a space on the street in the squares pay nothing. Also, they should pay an excise taxon the bike. It’s all about fairness, right Mr. Mayor? I am starting to smell a class action lawsuit by the car owners in Somerville. This is pandering to one group over another. That is not how a municipality is supposed to work. This administration is increasing fees while decreasing services. So, Mr. Curtatone, Mr. Champion you must read these or your minions do. How about a response as to the fairness question?

  22. Somerbreeze says:

    Mayor Joe has been shamelessly pandering to cyclists the past few years, relegating local pedestrians, motorists and merchants to bystander status.

    He pays lip service to pedestrian safety while he ignores bike enforcement with a cynical wink-wink, nudge-nudge.

    This circus will continue unless citizens step forward and demand an accounting, starting with a public hearing in City Hall:

    Are our tax dollars vis-a-vis traffic & parking being spent EQUITABLY?

    Why are certain constituents more adversely affected than others
    concerning traffic & parking?

    Why is there a continual LACK OF ENFORCEMENT, year after year?

    Time to step forward, fellow citizens, and put the brakes on this unequal and dangerous situation–call your local alderman and demand a public hearing!

  23. A Moore says:

    I believe bikes are in the minority here so they should be considered first over the rest of us. Would be nice if we could just go around and move houses to make room for all these extras to add to the streets that there is not enough room for. Back to the square peg in a round hole thing. And BTW, I do bicycle. But this is reality and funding is sure to dry up for much of this pretty soon. Does not take a genious to figure that out. Too much money for so little. Use some of this money for the homeless and underfed.

  24. amen says:

    Charlie- are you serious when you suggest residents PAY to rent parking? would you reduce their excise tax payments? And asking NOTHING of bike riders. you’re redesigning the whole city and burdening one group for a group that pays nothing and respects nobody. the damage to businesses already from permit parking and bike racks is ridiculous, and you just keep piling on. When the businesses close and the cars go away, you lose hundreds of thousands of dollars. Turn to the bikers then?

  25. Thankfully, I received my answer last night at the Ward 5 ResiStat meeting. The city is looking to decrease the amount of cars on Somerville streets, so expect more parking studies and elimination of parking availability. Not really going to comment on the idea, but am happy that I finally received confirmation.

  26. A. Moore says:

    In other words Courtney the older generation like me out of the city. We can’t get along without the car so we are targeted. I have already realized we are going to have to leave here due to the direction the city has taken. I will once my parents pass on. That’s the only thing keeping me here. It is just not tolerable any more. City is catering to a young professional crowd for the last few years. Blue collar workers are out now.

  27. Yes, this is true A. Moore, and I don’t support it. My parents are the same-car reliant and there should be more compromise on the City’s part.

  28. Somerville Bicyclist says:

    If you think we should keep encouraging biking in Somerville, please sign
    the petition and circulate it to as many people as you know!

  29. Boston Kate says:

    “City is catering to a young professional crowd for the last few years. ”

    I know, what the eff is with that? The Mayor is REgressive – we will never be a ‘primarily biking’ city. As you said, A Moore, what a waste of money. I’d like to see a return to the time when Somerville was not a necessarily desirable place to live. I’d almost like to see property values drop enough, to send all the newbies who bought homes/condos, and brought in their to-serve-the-few ideas moving somewhere else.

  30. Boston Kate says:

    @Somerville Bicyclist:

    Bite me, and circulate that, to everyone you know!

  31. Boston Kate says:

    “call your local alderman and demand a public hearing!”

    How about it, Tony?!

  32. At one point, Ward 3 Alderman Tom Taylor did submit an order through the Board of Aldermen requesting a public hearing. It was marked complete by the Committee on Traffic and Parking because a date was never scheduled and it was a few months old. I’d like to see him resubmit the order, wording it the same, because it involved parking issues surrounding business districts.

  33. A. Moore says:

    I have lived in this city for over 60 years now, it was nice city and very desirable to live here except for the last 20 years where it has gone downhill. This may be a nice place to live for other people, but no longer for the blue collar worker and many of the older citizens who have been here for many years. I am accepting this as so called progress and I know I won’t be able to stay here as I had planned.

  34. Ray Spitzer says:

    ” I’d almost like to see property values drop enough, to send all the newbies who bought homes/condos, and brought in their to-serve-the-few ideas moving somewhere else.”

    But, Kate, if values drop these people cannot sell and so they will not move! Hope that property value goes up instead! I don’t care, as long as rents stay sky high.

  35. MarketMan says:

    A. Moore: How many places do you think have remained unchanged for 60 years? Or put another way, do you think there are many places in this world where if you liked living there 60 years ago you would still enjoy living there today? Changes happen. Some good, some bad. And like always, good and bad is relative and in the eye of the beholder. I have only been in Somerville for 6 years (Boston metro for 7), and I like the direction the city is headed. I have my concerns of course, but overall, I think the changes are mostly in the right direction. I’m not a blue collar worker, so maybe that’s why I disagree with you. But to be honest, I don’t see too many changes that go against blue collar workers. Sure the real estate prices are high, but that’s not Somerville specifically. That’s the entire area. I think a more accurate picture would be that the *country* as a whole is no longer supportive of blue collar workers, and that’s the REAL problem.

  36. amen says:

    MarketMan if you ‘don’t see changes that go against….’ then you’re just not absorbing what people are trying to tell you. I suggest you give up at this point. I don’t think anyone’s protesting that cities change, don’t talk like we’re morons here. it’s fair to speak up when you’re being marginalized, has nothing to do with not liking change. I am car dependent – two jobs, elder parents, carrying stuff to work & getting them to appts. can’t do it on a bike. People like me are speaking up as we’re paying unfairly while a pampered few are getting, literally, a free ride.

  37. j. connelly says:

    AMEN to “amen”..right on target. All the people who are “true” Somerville citizens for decades. Put their blood, sweat and tears into making this city a nice place to live. Now have to put up with the transients and flippers who live here short term but want everything their way. Lego Joe taking care of his developer buddies and creating his hand picked commisions that are going to have more say than even the
    BOA and majority of citizens.

    If that is the case, lets just dump the mayor & BOA and hire a city manager with a 2 year [realistic pay] contract and if he/she does not do their job they are gone. politicians/hacks need not apply.

  38. Genoveffa Rossi says:

    What do you expect, Connelly, Lego Joe is from Italy, he knows how a real man rules! Benito Mussolini showed the way.

  39. A Moore says:

    I have been here over 60 years now. I liked the mix of business and residential which got us by quite well. Now a good portion of the city has tax free property and over the last 20 years has seen declining business from antibusiness leaders. They pay more taxes than residential. The direction it it taken will mean less money and more people rather than the balance of business(jobs too) here in the city.

    sure j. connelly, dream on. City manager? Loss of income to our leaders and ceo? What are you thinking?
    Take a leave of absence? You have been quiet for the last couple of weeks.

  40. j. connelly says:

    “A Moore” Absent not by choice. I wrote several items re: Say No to CPA ?. For a period of time until the elections were over, when I submitted them instead of the “Awaiting Moderation” along with my message…Everything just disappeared despite several attempts at resubmission. Evidently is was a Virus…possibly a CityHall polticohacko Motusoperandi Virus?
    Then after the elections my new entries started to reappear. Well you could be right…then again……

  41. Harry Dunn says:

    This city has totally gone off the deep end with these absurd roadraces/festivals every other weekend, and now this B.S. about getting rid of the parking on one half of Beacon Street. It’s so obvious who this administration caters to……It’s definately not the 15% of people in this city who are living BELOW THE POVERTY LEVEL, many whom are senior citizens and have dedicated their life working for this city, and this adminstration has the audacity to fight tooth and nail to give them a cost of living adjustment (C.O.L.A.), and let’s not forget that this city’s school system has ranked 118th out of 135 school systems within the state. It’s clearly obvious who this administration is catering to, all those who live here until there child is of school age and move back to where they came from.

  42. A. Moore says:

    j. connelly just a coincidence, a slight glitch in the software I am sure. Harry, it’s mostly just common sense lost at the higher levels. The last 20 years they have gone into some kind of trance and want to convert this city into some kind of metropolis. My thoughts of living here all my life have now gone away. I want out of here which I expect to do within the next 10 years. We are trying to decide where to go. The handwriting is on the wall. We are not wanted here and that is obvious. Look at the elected officials and the things that work on and promote. It’s nuts here. We have no one running with a tiny bit of common sense here. When the mayor gets done we will ahve a gazillion yuppie condos and tons of tax free buildings. Where do we fit in? Look at Maxwell Green, our combined incomes are less than the rents there. I get the hint.

  43. JMB says:

    I see nothing wrong with adding bike lanes to streets that can handle it. But many of our streets are too narrow to comfortably fit both bike lanes, a travel lane for cars, and at least parking on one side (see Willow Ave). Making sure our streets are safe for both bikers and drivers (and pedestrians) is definitely important. This Beacon Street “cycletrack” idea is not good; it will hurt local residents and businesses.

    Despite what the mayor wants, people will NOT be getting rid of their cars. Yes, they may commute to work by bike, but many of those people also own cars, even if they don’t drive them much. They need to park that car someplace. Until and unless we actually get the GLX/rail stops we’ve been hoping for, we cannot continute to pretend that they currently exist and that walking and biking by everyone is happening.

    Even if these stops DO come, people will still have cars. We live in a cold weather/snowy city. In January, people drive. They do not bike or walk (except for a few die hards). Seniors and the disabled will still drive, as it is difficult for them to walk or bike.

    We cannot continue to make this a bike-only city at the expense of drivers. A smart balance needs to be made, between bikers and drivers, new Somerville and old Somerville. The administration is running an old-school Somerville administration for only the benefit of only new Somerville.

  44. Bill says:

    No public hearing and no response from the administration. Shocking. They don’t care what the constituency thinks. They’ve made up their minds and are so arrogant they feel they don’t have to defend it.

  45. Cole says:

    2013 IS an election year sooooo why don’t we all make some changes!?!?

  46. JMB says:

    Cole – agreed. We’re in dire need of a change.

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