Newstalk – January 9

On January 9, 2013, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

The new year is off to a good start. The State of the City Mid-Term Address by the Mayor was a positive note, at least. A lot of things will be happening in the city, especially down in the eastern part.


One candidate has emerged down in Ward 1, sort of officially/not officially, if you get what we mean. Lifelong resident and businessman Elio LoRusso has been making all the moves down there, calling people, lining them up and getting commitments. We hear he’s in it to win it, with an official announcement to be made soon. Maureen Bastardi, newly appointed Alderman in Ward 1, will be doing the same, we hear. And there just might be one more person who is considering running, but for now that person has asked not to be named.


The Ward 1 School Committee vacancy is looking more and more like a farce. Resumes will be gathered and then reviewed by the Superintendent of Schools and submitted to the full board for a vote. The school committee’s gang of 6 all from other wards are going to select who will represent Ward 1 on the Board from a list of resumes submitted by the person’s potential boss? We hear that Mark Niedergang, Ward 5 School Board member, is leading the charge on this one. What’s so transparent about submitting a resume, and to whom? What criteria are they looking for? Kids in the school?  Taxpayer? Involved resident? Or maybe one of the friends of other members that agree and will potentially vote with others on the School Board? Or just maybe the Superintendent might be protecting his job by going through the resumes and making sure he has a vote there to continue his contract? Why not just do what has been done for decades and vote on Ms. Barstardi’s recommended candidate, who knows more about Ward 1 than the person leaving?


While we’re talking about the School Department, rumor has it that some sneaky behind the scenes things are going on about the choice of Errico Studios continuing its 75 years of distinguish service of being the school’s studio. We hear that the guy that used to work for Errico and who took the school’s pictures has left. Now we hear that a friend in high places in the School Department has convinced everyone to change from Errico Studios. It’s also been overheard that they wanted to drop Errico Studio and work with the guy’s new company. What a shame, 75 years of distinguish service the Errico Family has given here in Somerville. We also hear that this move isn’t sitting well with some members of the School Board, but maybe the Superintendent is feeling his oats because they recently voted to extend his $200K contract. Errico Studio has given a lot back to the city, and the Erricos have been a positive and productive family as well. Finally, we heard that when some people complained the front office referred to it as none of their business.


Well known activist Marty Martinez purchased a condo in Ward 4 back in September of 2010. Will he run in Ward 4, or will he and others talk another Board member of the Somerville Community Corp. into running? It seems like either one or two from that Board of Directors chose to run for ward elections. In Ward 5, Mark the Shark (DJ name we hear from his Tufts days) Niedergang is out there to run against popular Alderman Sean O’Donovan. He’s said to be calling even long time supporters of Sean to get them onboard with his campaign. Don’t be surprised to see Ward 7 Alderman Bob Trane being offered a job somewhere, and if that happens Ward 7 will open up. The At-Large race has Sean Fitzgerald running, so with the four in office he will make five. We will keep you posted on what we hear out there.


Happy Birthdays this week to some of our fans here and around the ‘Ville: Danny Kallis of the Arts at the Armory Café, Janene Donnelly, John Caruso, Marie DiMille Miele, as well as Ginny and Chuck Roche. Big Happy Birthday to Somerville Police sergeant Joe McCain and Officer Carlos Melo. Also, to old time Somerville guy Dominick Silvestri Jr. of the sign company in Magoun Square. And to popular guy around the city, Kevin O’Donovan, and our good friend and former Winter Hill lady, Teresa Rodriquez who was married last year. To all a very Happy Birthday!


Condolences to the Baldasaro family on the recent passing of Joeann Baldasaro this past week. She was a friend to many here in Somerville, and she will be missed. Ms. Baldasaro was an inspiration and a dear friend.


Rumor has it that another building is about to become vacant. We heard through sources that CitiBank in Winter Hill was closing its doors, possibly by the end of January. How sad for those that work there, but also for Winter Hill. Yet another vacant place that brings down the community. Hopefully, the new Alderman Tony Lafuente is on top of what’s going on on the Hill.


Somerville’s own brothers, Adon Goodpaster, 11, and Alek Goodpaster, 10 put their Pokémon trading card skills to the test on several dates in December during the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) City Championships in Somerville, MA, Nashua, MA, Medford, MA, and Hadley, MA. After a full day of head-to-head battles, Adon and Alek were crowned City Champions in the Junior and Senior Divisions, earning them each City Championship trophies and Championship Points which count toward them potentially earning an invitation to the 2013 Pokémon World Championships in Vancouver, BC.


Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, Ward 6 Alderman Rebekah Gewirtz, and the Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development (OSPCD) invite all interested community members to an informational community meeting to discuss upcoming renovations to Kenney Park (located at the corner of Highland Ave. and Grove St.).  The meeting will be held at Ciampa Manor, 27 College Ave., tonight, Wednesday, January 9 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.  All are welcome to attend.  For more information, please contact Luisa Oliveira at 617-625-6600 ext. 2529, or


Word has it that the city’s Executive Director of Communications Tom Champion is resigning his post once again. We wish him well in his future endeavors.


16 Responses to “Newstalk – January 9”

  1. A. Moore says:

    Citibank is going in March. Mot sure if it was the 1st or the 15th. Some of the tellers do not have any job lined up for the future. At least since I last spoke to them.

  2. Ron Newman says:

    I never understood why Citibank came to Winter Hill in the first place (or to anywhere in Massachusetts, for that matter). Hopefully something more useful will move in.

  3. j. connelly says:

    Champion keeps a comin & a goin….perhaps he’s been listening to Paul Revere’s whispered chants of “The Feds are comin!..the Feds are comin!

  4. j. connelly says:

    Last thing the citizens need in elected office is a “placement” from Anti-neighbor Tufts University. In these “tough fiscal times” a large endowment RICH Tufts University should be paying in lieu of taxes to Somerville like Harvard/MIT do for Cambridge. Alderman Sean O’Donovan has done well for his constituents and should remain to continue representing them.

  5. A. Moore says:

    I think it will be a hard sell there Ron. Went from movie rentals to Citibank. Plus Brunnelos(spelling) and all the ones before them. The only thing that hangs in there is Walgreens. I would have thought with parking the old Bickfords would be a good sell. Just change the windows so it looks open. Place always looked like it was closed. So many empty places here.

  6. Somerbreeze says:

    J. connelly, I’ll bet dollars-to-doughnuts that the Powderhouse School will get sold to Tufts–and yet another desirably-located major Somerville property will get taken off the tax rolls….

  7. Ron Newman says:

    Winter Hill’s commercial district on Broadway feels neglected and tired compared to East Somerville, which benefits from a strong Main Streets organization.

  8. j. connelly says:

    Ron is right. Winter Hill’s commercial district and its residents are neglected. The same efforts taken for Magoun Square should be done for Winter Hill. The mayor’s selfish wrongful take on (“he will decide”, not the citizens) what businesses come into the city… is wrong.

    The Star market has become a loitering area for some, instead of a prosperous business area serving the citizens. Evidently if it is not benefitting the Curtatone Development group, then nothing for the true benefit of the citizens will be done.

  9. A. Moore says:

    Somerbreeze, I had expected it to be some kind of condo thing. But we shall see. I am told the building is in good shape and i don’t know why we can’t put it to good use here.

    I think Winter Hill and East Somerville will develop over time as Assembly gets going. High income professionals have been buying into East Somerville while the prices were cheaper. This will greatly effect the neighborhood. Living in East Somerville was pleasant 50 years ago. Low income and everyoe pretty much knew each other and we got along just fine. The people who want to be part of it and can’t afford it will may end up buying into those areas or those who don’t want the apartment type living of a large building. My area which was a working people area is changing over to the higher income professional people and it will be a complete change in time.

  10. This is true, Ron. East Somerville has really vibrant ethnic places that I loved when I participated in the Foodie Crawl. Clearly, a great job by ESMS.

  11. Hillson says:

    It’s a shame Ocean State Job Lot wasn’t allowed to open up in the old Star Market building. They are good stores with great buys that employ people and generate tax revenue.

    The problem is politicians. We could have had this store perhaps, or an Olive Garden at Assembly Mall. With few exceptions politicians are dealers in deceit.

  12. A Moore says:

    Hillson, to make the change from supermarket to Ocean State Job Lot would take a year or more to change the zoning. I had asked about this. Medford just said go ahead so they got them. Besides, the powers that be want that property to be mixed use as I was told. The politicians are just doing what’s best for us because they know what we want and it’s their vision. Guess we being their employers means nothing.

  13. Dicky Bird says:

    But A. Moore we can jab and jibe and needle them, get under there skin and just have fun doing it as we know the written word scratches untill you have the thousand cuts.

  14. Hillson says:

    I am not sure if there would be a need to change the zoning at the old Star market site to allow Ocean State to come in as A Moore says. Star market was a retail store as is Ocean State. It is zoned for business, so I don’t see a zoning issue; I see a political issue.

    The Ocean State store in Medford is situated in the building that used to be the Super Stop and Shop and was a bowling alley(Holiday Lanes) many years ago.

    The issue isn’t zoning; it’s the typical Somerville politics under the current and past administrations. Government isn’t the solution, goverment is the problem in many cases.

  15. A. Moore says:

    Dicky Bird in theory it sounds fine. I have this funny feeling that they may be just ignoring us.

  16. j. connelly says:

    Yes “Somerbreeze”, Non Tax Paying Tufts has always wanted the school so they could have a cut through from Packard Ave to the Western Jr High site a.k.a. the TAB (Take A Bldg) Bldg.

    They were driving across the sidewalk adjacent to the Powderhouse Sch and out via the handicap ramp to cross Broadway till people complained and then a jersey barrier was put in place to aid in hindering that Public Safety hazard created by vehicles leaving the TAB Bldg by non neighbor friendly Tufts University.

    But you may be correct as after all this is Somerville the All America City…Da Envelope Puhle.e.e.e.z.z.!

Leave a Reply