Newstalk – December 19

On December 19, 2012, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah from all of us here at The News to all our readers out there, both in the ‘Ville and all over the country. May one and all have a great Holiday season and a safe one, and may all our wishes come true.

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Tonight, December 19, the City of Somerville will be holding a public information meeting to discuss the conclusion of remediation work at the Conway Park/15A Bleachery Court site. The city will update the community on the activities related to managing any contaminated soils at the site that occurred during the construction of the new skating rink. The public will also have an opportunity to provide comments. The meeting will be held at the Somerville Public Library-Central Branch, located at 87 Highland Ave on December 19, beginning at 6:30 p.m. See the city’s website for more information: http://www.somervillema.gov.

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Tomorrow, Thursday the 20th, is the last day to buy a Christmas tree and wreath from the Full Circle/Next Wave student fundraiser. The lot is located at Foss Park near the MDC pool. Net proceeds will benefit the school’s Student Activities Fund.

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If you were unable to make the Illumination Tour last Saturday then you can pick up an  Illuminations Tour Map, and create your own self-guided tour, at Blue Cloud Gallery in Ball Square and Magpie in Davis Square. Maps are $3. All proceeds support the Somerville Arts Council’s public programming.

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Congratulations to now former Alderman Bill Roche for a long and distinguished career serving the residents of Ward 1 and, in fact, the entire city. He resigned last week and read his resignation to the board at the meeting. He was widely accepted as one of the best Aldermen here in the city, one who did a lot to bring about the recognition of Ward 1 as a great place to live and work. We wish him the very best in his future and, who knows, we probably will see him sometime in the future as a citywide candidate. He certainly was an Alderman who was and is respected throughout the city.

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Former Alderman Bill Roche recommended his successor as all others in the past have done. Maureen Bastardi, who served on the School Board, now leaves that board with an empty seat. She made no recommendation of anyone in Ward 1 to be appointed. We wish Maureen the best and hope she does well for everyone down in Ward 1.

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Now who will replace Maureen Bastardi? Very interesting, the process that is underway here. In the past, it’s always been at the recommendation of the one going out of office to propose their successor. Like Charles Ciano did when he resigned the School Board in the 70’s. Tom Taylor did it when he resigned and recommended Dot Gay in Ward 3, and recently with Stan Koty assuming the Alderman seats when recommended by outgoing Macaluso. Koty also recommended Sean O’Donovan to take his place on the school board. Now it appears if you want the seat, you submit your resume to the Superintendent of Schools, who then presents said resumes to the board to be voted on.    The school board should be an independent group of persons representing the children and taxpayers in each Ward. This process they are using can only serve to benefit the Superintendent or the majority of the school board who they want to see stand with them, and not be independent. Do you sense a conflict of interest here? The employee (in this case the Superintendent of Schools) being part of the process of picking his potential boss.    There are so many questions to be asked here. It probably would have been better if Maureen made her recommendation, as she stands to get re-elected to the Alderman’s seat, so shouldn’t the person have been selected by her? Now, this process will be watched and criticized. Since when is it required to submit a resume for elected office? And what is the basis for making the decision? Maureen should just have recommended someone or else have a special election to fill her seat. The other members of the school board – never mind the Superintendent – should not select from resumes. What do you think?

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A Christmas Birthday greeting this week to our newly elected Registrar of Deeds Ms. Maria Curtatone, who is going to be celebrating big time. We hear she sent out over a 1000 invitations to her inaugural at the Registry and is closing down her law office at the same time.

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Another well-known and highly regarded person celebrating their birthday this week is Somerville Police Captain Jim Polito, a real nice guy and dedicated to his job. We know he represents the Police Department as one of its best. Also this week, Keith Puopolo is celebrating, and to John Power, Electrical Inspector for the city. Our good friend Zack Wells, who lives here and works at Nuance Communications as an analyst, a good guy and sort of new to Somerville as well.

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We hear the Mayor is having his annual “Holiday Party” for the department heads here in the city tonight, Wednesday.

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DPW Commissioner Stan Koty is doing well and is back to work after his illness. We wish him the best of luck. He looks great, doesn’t he?

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We want to send a big “Hi” to a good friend, Cliff Clark, and to his mother, a great lady, Paula Clark. We wish them both and their family the very best Christmas. They both went through a lot this past year but in the end it all worked out for them. We also want to congratulate Cliff on his huge weight loss. He can certainly be proud of the loss, in spite of a challenging year for them.

 

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