On September 27, 2013, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

shelton_webBy William C. Shelton

 (The opinions and views expressed in the commentaries of The Somerville Times belong solely to the authors of those commentaries and  do not reflect the views or opinions of The Somerville Times, its staff  or publishers)

My last column, “Dear hipster,” seems to have hit some nerves. Readers posted sixty comments on our website, many of them passionate.

But many also indignantly responded to things that I neither said nor intended. I attribute this to a combination of my own failure to communicate and a lot of defensiveness around the topic of gentrification.

Posters who disagreed with me often raised issues that are worthy of further discussion. Continuing that discussion, I want to make a few points.

The Welcome mat is out. Most ‘Villens I know do not reflexively resent newcomers. What resentment does occur is usually earned.

I’ve written many columns highlighting substantial contributions that those who choose to give of themselves make to our community. We are richer for their participation.

I did say that people who can afford to live here enjoy some measure of privilege. That is because Somerville is an exceptional city, and many who made it so can no longer afford to live in it.

Somerville was exceptional. Several people who posted wrote about the city they grew up in, its strong fabric of community, viable neighborhoods, healthy commercial districts, rich and interweaving social networks, voluntary associations, neighborhood socializing, neighborly cooperation, engaged politicians, effective constituent services, and rich opportunities for kids to play and associate.

A majority of people who owned businesses here lived in the neighborhood. A substantial portion of workers had jobs within Somerville, strengthening the bonds of community.

The city’s low rents, unpretentious community strength, and ethnic enclaves drew artists and a new wave of immigrants here. They in turn contributed to the city’s distinctive character.

The pain is real. Many of the people who made this city exceptional are feeling like strangers in their own town. Old Somerville and immigrant families appreciate the fine new bars and restaurants, but often can’t afford to dine there. Increasingly, they can’t afford to live here either.

A majority of newcomers with whom I speak, including those who are committed to being good neighbors and citizens, seem sincerely unaware of the depth of pain experienced by those who watch their beloved community slipping away. It’s difficult to understand how much is lost if you’ve never had it to lose. And if your sense of self relies more heavily on what you do and what you buy than on the relationships that you have nurtured and the friends and family that you grew up with, a severing of those relationships is proportionately less devastating.

Working hard (or smart) is not enough. Some comments suggested that Somerville’s dispossessed have suffered their fate because they are less virtuous. One attributed his own ability to live here to his dogged determination to study, work hard, pass the bar exam, and get a good job. He observed that, “Some people just don’t want to work hard (and smart)—that’s not my problem.” He also acknowledged that he would prefer to live in Beacon Hill or Back Bay.

There are plenty of people who work to exhaustion, but can’t afford to remain in their own community. As a class, the children of Old Somerville are ready and willing to work, but many are still economically squeezed out.

As with the nation, Somerville’s working middle class is gradually contracting. Immigrants are still coming to Somerville. Two or more families often live in two-bedroom apartments while they work two or three jobs. But when they achieve sufficient economic stability, they must rent in Everett, Revere, or Malden if they are to have a place of their own, diminishing Somerville’s vaunted diversity.

Working smart is not enough either. I know plenty of professionals who are concerned that, despite their good jobs and incomes, they too will never be able to afford a Somerville home and will eventually be priced out.

Some people posting comments suggested that gentrification wouldn’t be going on if ‘Villens weren’t eager to sell out and make a killing. That’s certainly true in some cases. But in others, folks on fixed incomes can’t afford the rising property taxes and cost of living.

Citizenship brings obligations as well as rights. Two themes that intertwine throughout our nation’s political and cultural history are a celebration of rugged individualism and a yearning for the community that untrammeled individualism makes impossible.

By “individualism” I don’t mean individuality. Groups that enjoy strong community can tolerate a much higher level of individuality in their members than groups that don’t. Instead, I mean the notion that we live only to fulfill our individual ambitions and that freedom equals the absence of interference or obligation.

In my last column I suggested that those of us who can still afford to live in Somerville at a time when many who grew up here can’t, enjoy some measure of privilege, and with privilege comes responsibility. I asked them to assume certain responsibilities, making clear that I was, “speaking only for myself.”

This infuriated some. They seem deeply offended by the thought that they should ask not what their community can do for them, but what they can do for their community. One wrote that “integrating” yourself in the community is fine if that’s your thing, but if not, “just live your life as you choose.”

One of many objections that I have to this attitude is what public goods economists call the “free rider problem.” Newcomers are often drawn to Somerville because of its authenticity, strong community, arts, amenities, and other special qualities. What created those assets was more than citizens just obeying the law and paying their taxes. People invested themselves in making a special place. The free riders who benefit from that special place without contributing to it degrade it and, over time, discourage others. I make no apologies for what is a social fact across societies and historical moments.

Buying authenticity kills it in the long run. I chose to address my last column to hipsters for specific reasons. The holy grail of hipster subculture is “authenticity.” Hipsters are drawn to artisanal crafts, locally grown food, indie bands and films, and authentic communities. Their means of acquiring this authenticity is to make it a commodity—to buy the authentic crafts, food, recordings and occupancy. Status comes from doing so before anyone else does.

In community, the commodities you choose aren’t a proxy for your identity because people know your virtues, your faults, and appreciate you for the whole of who you are. But as affluent consumers increasingly outbid each other to live in the authentic community, the neighbors, workers, artists, and artisans who created the authenticity are forced out, taking the authenticity with them. This is not a new phenomenon. When it happens, the locale is no longer hip, and the dedicated hipsters move on or are themselves priced out.

Gentrification doesn’t just happen. A number of commenters dismissed ‘Villens grief. One wrote, “This is just a case of a salty long-time resident not being able to grasp the fact that things change. Get a clue….” Another wrote, “Life isn’t fair. Get used to it.”

No, life isn’t fair. But the freedom, opportunity and justice that we enjoy were created by people who worked to expand the domain of fairness—by the freedom riders, not the free riders.

We don’t have to be passive consumers who select among a multiple choice of proffered commodities. Whether we are old Somerville, immigrant, or newcomer, we can be producers—of strong and interweaving relationships, livable neighborhoods, effective schools, just policies and community. Participation is the price of admission.

Gentrification is often portrayed as an inevitable outcome of blind economic forces. It is also the product of political policy choices. Whether wittingly or not, our city government is choosing policies that promote gentrification. That is the subject of a future column.


67 Responses to “P.S.”

  1. Matthew says:

    Well said Bill. The truth hurts – hipsters especially – they don’t like to be called out for what they are trying so hard to be. This combined with the fact that many hipsters who have lived in Somerville for five years or less have taken on full multi-generational ownership of the place – as if they walked these streets their entire lives. There is zero regard for the history and the people who grew up in Somerville.

    Somerville is a blank canvas for newcomers to do as they wish and that is exactly what they do. Hipsters do that, they show up and make it their own. Where as – depending on how you were raised – most people arrive in a new neighborhood and tread lightly and progressively lay claim over many, many years.

    I’m happy with Mayor Curatone’s efforts, but this boom, this prosperity, who is it for? We cannot say it is for Somerville, because the second that Green Line pulls into Union Sq everything that made that square what it is and was for decades is going to be wiped off the map.

    People are going to be priced out and people are going to cash out and sell their homes. I can see the overpriced rents and the Allston-Brighton vibe already. I am very torn.

    All I know is this, my anger only re-emerged when I saw a hipster drinking a bottle of beer named Slum Brew – apparently this is a play on the fact that Somerville was a slum – at least in the mind of the hipsters that drink this beer. I never knew that we lived in a slum. No matter, Somerville is just so freaking trendy now, who cares what it was like for the people who raised families there, who paid their dues and called it home for so many generations.

    I grew up in Union Sq in my grandmothers house, five generations lived in that home. My father was from Hudson Street, another five generations grew up there. I walk through Somerville and it doesn’t feel like home. I know that I’m not alone when I say this. The only thing left now is to rename the city.

    Again, let me emphasize, I love Joe because he loves Somerville. He leads with his heart, I just wish there was a stop button for the growth. Because I fear that we are at a point where Somerville is going to turn into a place that we barely recognize and not a soul who grew up there will be able to enjoy. With the exception of the property owners and slumlords that are cheering this light speed transformation on.

    Last thing, I think that it is important for me to give an example of why I feel the way that I do. A year or so before my grandmother who raised me died she took a walk up Vinal Ave, just a few yards away from the home she grew up in on Summer Street. Across from the field that used to an abandoned school that we all endured. The school my mother attended for 7th, 8th and 9th grade.

    My grandmother was sick at the time, but was unaware that she had cancer. She saw a beautiful public garden space and went to unlatch the gate to sit down – it was summertime. When she entered the public garden a woman who lived on Vinal Ave in a recently converted condo yelled down to my grandmother that the garden was for members of the Somerville Garden Club only. This woman, I will not give her name was a recent arrival to Somerville. She was a newb who was involved in all types of cool stuff around the city, the Arts Council, in city hall and more. A real go getter, staking her claim and making it her own.

    That is what hipsters do, they don’t know any better. They arrive, fall in love with a place and make it their own – with no regard. That is why I dislike what I see. My grandmother spent her entire life in a home that her father bought when he came over from Italy just a 30 second walk from the gate to that garden, but that day someone who didn’t know us, didn’t know the neighborhood or its history told her that she needed to be a member. I will never, ever f’ing forget that.

  2. Matt says:

    Bill, Thank you for the followup, I think you bring up a number of really critical points, first and foremost that Somerville, as a whole, is welcoming of people who want to be part of the community, this has been both my experience and that of many of my peers who came to somerville and wanted to stay here. Compared to today, yes the somerville of 50 years ago was exceptional, but it was not much different than many of the urban neighborhoods in and around Boston.

    The stories told and descriptions given have their parallels in neighborhoods like the Charlestown and Dorchester. As the economy changed and moved away from small and local and neighborhood towards big, cheap and anonymous all of our communities suffered. This is changing today and cities like somerville are at the epicenter of this change and the people that live and choose to live there are the reason for this change. It is the rejection of big-box consumerism that is restoring life to the city in the form of new community engagement, local first and a demand that is driving new businesses vying to open up in somerville after decades of decline.

    I disagree with your use of ‘authentic’ in your description of somerville – I can only assume you are trying to link the hipster ideal of authenticity to the attractiveness of somerville. Personally I don’t know how a city can be authentic or fake, but I will point out the reason why hipsters are one of the least like social groups is that their ‘authenticity’ is often (perceived as) contrived.

    Somerville is often considered attractive to people because it is a destination for arts, food and entertainment. It is relatively safe and has good transportation access, is close to other destinations for arts, food and entertainment AND jobs while continuing to be more affordable than comparable locations.

    Gentrification, like urban decay is largely wrought by regional economic forces and can be pushed or constrained by community action and political will. The region is booming and we are in the midst of an urban renaissance – people want to live in (often idealized) cities. In somerville it can be pointed out that the administration promotion of cultural activities and community resources like parks and festivals which often drive gentrification are balanced by increased subsidized housing requirements, and changes in zoning to increase the number of housing units available. However, while cultural activities are embraced by the population of the city (new and old) the counter balances are a constant source of contention (zoned building height, large low income developments etc.) I would have to say that the people who live here today are the biggest reason for the increased rate of gentrification in the city more than anyone else. I hope you consider this idea in your future column.

  3. gregtowne says:

    I was the person that responded to your colemn with, “integrating” yourself in the community is fine if that’s your thing, but if not, “just live your life as you choose.” and I stand by that. I am someone who has very much so integrated myself into Somerville and my neighborhood. I love this city and do my part whenever I can. That said, I will not judge those people who live here, pay their taxes, obey the law and do nothing to integrate themselves into the community.

    Public good economists and “the free rider problem”? Good grief! Does your pompous claptrap know no bounds?

  4. PixiePocahontas says:

    We have walked similar steps throughout our years in Somerville. Some of us call this place home while for many other recent arrivals it is only short lived monetary investment. Early on, I too was impressed with our current mayor, not so sure now. Thank you so much for your post. I was beginning to feel alone in my sentiments.

  5. PixiePocahontas says:


    I find many to be equally as mean spirited, offensive and entitled. How utterly disrespectful this woman was to your grandmother. Yes, clearly lacking manners and compassion towards an elder who was taking time to enjoy a once special place. Know that you are not alone in your well intended opinions. Next time you see Joe, you should share this story with him. Maybe he’d like to know how many phonies he’s got working for him. I have shared my concerns, but the floodgates are open now. They are in it for the money only, don’t give a damn about this place. It’s like how tourists treat our coastal communities. There is a very good reason why other towns refuse to bring “progress” to their streets, like mass transit and bike lanes, and I don’t blame them for keeping it out.

  6. phil says:

    There will always be a tendency to hate newcomers and blame them for your problems, be they Irish, African-America, or Jewish. Bill is following that tradition. If you tried to make friends with someone who you dislike because you didn’t grow up with them, and you don’t act hostile around them, you might find them to be friendly. But even if they are not, they don’t owe you anything. Please stop chanting, “this is our land, the only reason you live on it is because we let you”. It is pretty disturbing.

    Also can we please stop pretending that Somerville was a utopia? Maybe it was 50 years ago, but it wasn’t 25 years ago, it was a scary place to be. I’ve spoken to people who grew up at that time and they got out as soon as they could. The people left are the ones that were blind to that.

  7. ritepride says:

    Matthew, you wrote a beautiful piece and I hope that the woman who yelled out to your Grandmother gets the same treatment when she is the same age as your Grandmother.

    Change is nice to a certain point, but Somerville is a small community (4 sq miles, 60 % Tax exempt properties, Tufts, B&M, MBTA, etc.) Curtatone Development Group plans are trying to do genocide to the middle class/poor who live in Somerville by forcing them out for the flippers and the hipsters. Thus in the Master Plan, Tax Exempt Tufts will eventually take over the whole city. The mayor will get an honorary degree or professorship and the developers, with him will reap $$$$.
    and Somerville will be no more.

  8. jon says:

    Phil, That’s the entire problem. You’ve talked to people who grew up in that time. Well I’m here to tell you that I’ve been here my whole life, almost 60 years, and it was never a scary place to live. You always felt safe walking the streets of Somerville. Noone ever felt unsafe on the streets, in fact, until the Red Line came to Davis Square. It changed everything, and not necessarily for the better.

  9. Bill Shelton says:

    Hey Matthew, for some reason, you came to mind as I was driving home tonight. I got home, and read your post. Spooky, since we haven’t spoken in–what–twelve years? My last memory of you was of your knocking back a shot at my house and then going off to work in military intelligence. Please get in touch.

  10. GregM says:

    It’s public goods economists, gregtowne, not public goods. The term “free rider” is used aptly in this column. Does your claptrap never know no bounds? And phil, could you work on your reading comprehension?

  11. JPM says:

    Bill you are stereotyping people who have moved in. No doubt you would up in arms if someone stereotyped women or minorities…so why do it here? Believe it or not, the people moving in are individuals.

    There are tons of places around the world which have changed completely. A good example is the East End of London – which was a poor white working class area which still had a lot of pride, community spirit and family value. The Labour party in the UK gutted it with mass immigration. It is no longer what it was.

    In this state alone we can think of numerous areas which have changed, from massively from Newburyport to Lawrence to Dorchester to Southie.

  12. JPM says:

    @Pixie – you have made a killing off gentrification. keep cashing those checks and complaining. Jeez…would you rather Somerville went down the economic tubes like Lawrence?

  13. JPM says:

    One attributed his own ability to live here to his dogged determination to study, work hard, pass the bar exam, and get a good job. He observed that, “Some people just don’t want to work hard (and smart)—that’s not my problem.” He also acknowledged that he would prefer to live in Beacon Hill or Back Bay.”

    @Bill. Well if you take it literally. I was merely making the point that there are places we can afford to live and those that we cannot afford to live in. Frankly, I would rather live in Somerville than Back Bay or Beacon Hill.Nobody has a right to live anywhere. If they own the home they live in, then nobody can make them sell. It’s no surprise that so many Somerville residents think that they are special and should get cheap nice housing at everyone else’s expense.

  14. As a priest from St. Anthony’s Parish had recently described, “The older parishioners have all passed away. The children who inherited the homes, sold when the market was high, moved to different towns. Those who continue to visit deeply regret their decision to sell and can no longer afford to move back to Somerville”. So there you have it, progress. An opportunity, turns tragic, the tree no longer has its roots.
    Both parents were members since the early 1960’s, dad much earlier, who helped pay for their heating bill during difficult economic times. The other members of the Dante Club, which dad belonged, also donated heavily to this parish, because it was their shelter from the storm.
    Unless people live through difficult times, they don’t really learn to appreciate the simple pleasures of life. My parents taught me that and other values, many which are absent in today’s culture. Sure it exists, but you have to look hard for it. Our family members were teamsters who worked in construction, helped supervise the building and renovations of our schools, drove trucks which distributed produce from Chelsea. The women stayed home and cared for children and elders.
    There are few meeting places now in our city where families and elderly can gather. St. Anthony’s Parish played a major role in my parent’s life, family members and their community of friends. They would gather on weekends to celebrate sacraments of children, weddings, holidays, and to mourn the loss of loved ones and friends. They gardened, shared their bounty of fruit, vegetables and wine. This was real a real community.
    Familiar names remain in the parish under saints carved by stained glass and golden wall hangings depicting biblical scenes. Some of those names are of family members I was too young to know where even there. It wasn’t something people talked about because they were humble and proud.
    They valued their families and friends before greed, status or perpetual lust for power. If they had money, they never bragged, if they had prestige, they used it to become leaders which earned them respect as people of true integrity. That is what gave them confidence and the ability to survive through the harshest of times. Each played a role and belonged to one big family who learned to accept the bad with the good, practicing tolerance and forgiveness, always forging ahead in the face of adversity and indifference.
    The names of their closest friends of Somerville who arrived at Ellis Island, escaping war torn Italy, I have traced back to my parents humble beginnings where new generations of them remain today. They are a real treasure to me, because their existence gives credence who I am and who my family was, in Italy and in Somerville.
    Members who frequent the parish today are mostly Portuguese, no longer Italian. However, the transformation is one of similar distinction —same faith and value system of previous Christians, who loved this parish. Although it remains a modest parish, its richness is measured members who understand the rare significance it holds. That is what makes it so valuable– one of the last standing icons of Somerville, in its true form, unaltered, untainted, and uncompromised.
    Like its loyal native flock, determined to persevere in the face of contradiction and conversion, it will continue to avoid the crude progressive wrecking ball. In the meantime, the vultures will continue to locate alternate hosts that are ripe to be galvanized and gutted by profiteering developers who lack real vision of progress—whose sole mission is to destroy all its authenticity, inner beauty and charm.
    When people move around from place to place, all those ties are broken. The fabric which kept them together was their sustainability and how they were able to survive famine, poverty and death. When someone was sick, a friend or loved one was always there to lend a helping hand. How much of that do we see today in our city? Our community is starving of this vital element we once had because the things which were once important, are no more. That is why it is so vital to have a community base in our city where everyone can feel welcomed. When we start to alienate each other –that is when we are no longer a community. We may as well be living on cold, isolated, barren crater as the Moon.
    Thanks, Bill. You more than made up for the last article. This one hit home for me. I really appreciate the soul searching effort you gave, it took guts.

  15. PixiePocahontas says:


    “A majority of newcomers with whom I speak, including those who are committed to being good neighbors and citizens, seem sincerely unaware of the depth of pain experienced by those who watch their beloved community slipping away. It’s difficult to understand how much is lost if you’ve never had it to lose. And if your sense of self relies more heavily on what you do and what you buy than on the relationships that you have nurtured and the friends and family that you grew up with, a severing of those relationships is proportionately less devastating”.

    I’m reminded of the scenes in Jaws between Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss, when Shaw asks him what he does for a living.

    Many families who can house flip never experience the investment of community involvement. I have first hand knowledge ex’s side of the family. They moved three times, each time buying a newer, bigger house in a different town, kids moved from prep schools, severing those ties. But honestly, they were so self serving, relationships just didn’t factor in. A friend would describe them as the enterprising Smith family. It was their way of life, if they felt making money and engaging in fierce competitive business practices comes before family and setting roots down, their right, but because working class can’t or choose not to does not back us less worthy. I feel it makes us stronger, because we learn to accept what we have and focus on what matters most. Their children are raised and have not gained any values of hard work or self respect. The parents were workaholics but obsessed with material possessions and competition among their suburban enclave which took up majority of their time. They got their security of this lifestyle from wife’s dad who was a CEO. Their second generation have done very little in terms of giving back to society or even their own family. Instead, they rely on alcohol to get them through the day and whatever is left from the CEO’s savings.

    “No, life isn’t fair. But the freedom, opportunity and justice that we enjoy were created by people who worked to expand the domain of fairness—by the freedom riders, not the free riders”.

    My parents were true freedom riders, which they instilled in me and I pass along to my children. No family is perfect, but we had very few free riders.

  16. PixiePocahontas says:


    My checks go to my mortgage and my salary goes to bills and upkeep. unless you own and rent in Somerville you don’t have a clue. I will never sell, they can keep going up on the taxes, water, rents, I will always find a way to survive. This home needed a great deal of work when I aquired it and I made the decision to dig in my heels and fight the fight to preserve what is rightfully mine.

    Do you live in distressed property which is paid for? Or are you one of those slumlords who cashes those checks to be able to live in Florida so you can forget your responsibilities? We have plenty of those around here, some who even work for the city and lawyers who won’t even secure a front door lock to a tenant who must live with an open door or pay for it themselves. There is enough blame to go around, but these landlords give the rest of us a bad name. I don’t blame other natives for packin up and leaving Dodge, but I’ll be damned if anyone will force me out of own home. They’ve got a long wait and when I’m gone, they’ll have to deal with my children who won’t budge either.

  17. PixiePocahontas says:

    Any word on those indictments yet? I have a feeling those illegal condos might just have put a dent in a their 10 million dollar condo enterprise. What goes around comes back around. I will be happy to see the day when all this will be a thing of the past. The difference between us and them is we work for our homes and our families, they don’t. One day, they will get bored of this place and find another city to rape, it’s just how they get their kicks and profits. Similar to what Romney does with Bain–mergers, acquisitions while ruining millions of lives. A true humanitarian, a Christian man who opposed hospice care in his neighborhood because it would lower his home values. These are the people who own condos in our city, for profit only while dictating how it has to be. Well none of us locals signed up for this bullshit master plan. Someone mentioned the banks are again offering fraud loans so they can continue to deceive millions more of unsuspecting homeowners. I hope people have learned these loans are a trap with no exit, only many years of saddled debt. When the working class are burdened with debt, the can never escape because the job market is trashed and gone oversees. After studying this assault on the American people, I know the best course of action is preservation and cutting back, time again to dig in and brace for another economic storm. The more wars they wage, the more we lose. But the greed will continue by those who claim they made it the honest way.

  18. Matt says:

    “Well none of us locals signed up for this bullshit master plan.”

    You can work to change it, complain about it or let it happen. The challenging part for you is that is is certainly and uphill battle as so many have arrived or are trying to come because of that plan – good, bad or indifferent.

  19. A,Moore says:

    I expect things to change and it won’t be as nice as it was years ago. Been here for close to 70 years now. I enjoyed being able to walk to everything one needed from groceries to clothes all of which were nearby. It was a great walkable city. I have never like Joe and dislike him more then ever for his lack of vision for the city. We needed a balance of commercial and housing. Stores we can get our goods without going to another city. Lack of help for the elderly here, even making it hard for them to get around here in their remaining years. We had 2 hospitals at one time. There was so much here. Maybe some just can’t visualize or understand what it like. Not dumping large amounts of people into big buildings. There is so much more to making it a neighborhood. Making it a place for familes is another thing that ticks me off about Joe, we are gearing the city mostly for one type of person. The city should be working for all types. I have no problem getting along with the lawyer up the street or the painter on the other side of the street or the elderly people next to me.

  20. PixiePocahontas says:

    I will work to change it and align myself and support those who will commit to keep affordable housing in Somerville. When Bill mentions policy changes, that is what needs to be addressed.

  21. A.Moore says:

    Before I start I have always disliked Joe from the start and still do more than ever. When you have a plan for the city it should incorporate all. You can’t gear a city for one type of persona nd forget about the rest. Your job is to be mayor to all the people of Somerville. I know changes are either going to be good or bad and will most likely force me out of here but that’s life. But we needed some common sense in building here. You can just just shove thousands of people into big buildings and call that progress. Example. I have been here for over 70 years. Back then we could walk out our door and within easy walking distance we could get just about anything we needed to live on without leaving the neighborhood, never mind the city. Those that were not here probably have a hard timem seeing this picture. We don’t have that walkable city any more. Most everything we want or need we have to leave the city. If you are going to put up these structures to hold large amounts of people you have to have the commercial part that goes with it, meaning shopping and jobs for all walks of life here. This mayor does not see this or wants to. It is a shame what he does for the elderly here who have been here their whole lives. Making it impossible for them to get around here and survive here. I get along with most everyone here, the lawyer up the street, the painter accross the street, the elderly next door. We have a lot of elderly here in Winter Hill and there is nothing here for them and anything purposed here just does more to make their life here unbearable. As much as WHole Foods is wanted here Market Basket is also very much needed for those of us without that income than can afford it. Restaurants for all types, like afordable family ones we can enjoy wihtout haveing to leave the city just to have a family dinner. And so much more.

    BTW, is anyone else having trouble posting here? I have written this 3 times and it does not get posted. I do not use foul language or call people names. I have now learned to make a copy even though it days awaiting moderator.

  22. How about being woken up at 6 a.m., on a Sunday morning by drunken, disorderly living in an absentee landlord property? This has been going on steadily for 3 years, by young adults. One other neighbor was up throughout the night and having their door bell rung by a cab who got the wrong house, meant for the party attack next door. Even when confronted, they give you attitude. I’m told the landlords in the area are contracting their properties to Tufts and TPD will show up to break up the parties, but from what I know, this problem will never be truly enforced because the city relies too much on their drunk and disorderly million dollar gold mine of Davis Square, The parents call the deans, and it’s just business as usual. The property is run down and the party is always out doors. I don’t believe they are Tufts students, but if they were, we will never know. Their rant back to me last summer when I went out there at 2 a.m. to ask them to keep it down, “It’s summer time, Davis Square is a happenin’ place, we are college students trying to have a good time, what’s the big deal”? My response, “The big deal is we have to get up for work five days a week and don’t want to listen to your BS all night long”. Seriously, folks, why are people in this city tolerating this behavior? I would love to know just how many absentee landlords we have in Somerville and how many are owner occupied. Post incidents of drunken/destruction of property, etc., and fine landlords who allow this to continue. Their unkept properties pose a potential hazard to surrounding homes and bring down the neighborhood. Falling free branches destroyed a new car last winter during one of the blizzards. Same house, same absentee landlord. I ran over with construction tape and a black trash bag so he could tape up his back window which shattered. He wanted to know who was the owner–I told him to ask the renter and wished him good luck.

  23. ritepride says:

    Yes some parents need to be committed, paying 50K+++ for their kids to attend Tufts so the kid can either O.D. on drugs or be so drunk they have alcohol poisoning.

    Weeknights arent as bad as Friday & Saturday nights when the fire apparatus and ambulances you pay taxes for, to be there when you need them are tied up at Tax exempt Tufts providing services thus placing taxpayers in the area in harms way as you wait for a fire truck from the other end of Somerville or an ambulance from Everett/ Chelsea to respond because of Tax-Exempt Tufts draining the services you pay for.

    Shame on the mayor & BOA fro not making Tufts pay in either in lieu of taxes (like Harvard [$ 8 million] and MIT [$8 million] pay Cambridge each year), or a user fee every time each police car, fire truck, ambulance, street sweeper, DPW, etc., responds to their property.

  24. ritepride says:

    “A.Moore” “always disliked Joe”, great article, I am 100% in agreement with you. Give the people who reside in the area what they want. I think his thinking he is a CEO has gone to his ego. Though CEO could be Cheesy, Extravagant, Obnoxious. As for posts, yes I have had it happen on several occasions, I guess our writings strike a nerve. Then again it could be the new owners of the Somerville Times have connections with the Curtatone Development Group. Though they should at least email you and give a legitimate reason as to why they did not print it….maybe they have a CEO attitude too….lol

  25. PixiePocahontas says:


    Each post is delayed pending review by moderator. You might try sending the editor an email. Do they not show while being reviewed? You should send a message stating that just above your text.

    I spoke directly with one of our reps who agrees that our elderly have not been taken care of for a long time now. All you state is true. There are no affordable places left to shop or eat dinner with family. We must drive to other neighboring towns or further.

    Although this problem is also going on in other towns, Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, also areas of Boston, I believe we are seeing the worst of it because its coming in all directions: assembly, teele, davis, cedar, som ave, beacon, craigie, union, broadway, and tufts area- all simultaneously.

    I am convinced it is a direct result of two previous occurrences -suburban flight due to devastating losses and gains on Wall Street, winners and losers and developers who have benefited greatly by millions who have lost homes. This is no accident, it’s intentionally and systematically done as another way to concentrate wealth and power. Stockmarket crash of the 20’s, S&L loans, ENRON and dot.com, mortgage crisis. What are the common threads? Devastation of financial loss upon the working/middle class and concentrated acquired new wealth.

    As some mentioned having to leave because they can’t afford to live here, the upper middle class who made bad investment decisions or were just outright robbed by shady WS brokers and firms, have also had to cut their losses and move elsewhere. I know of several stories of people this happened to which others have shared, some living on the north shore.

    They give up the second homes, primary residence, yacht and golf club memberships, 3 expensive toy cars and head to the city.
    In many cases, have invested in Somerville condos so their college kids get to stay there for free. In my opinion, the money is from questionable sources as stated by testimony by hearings on Madoff, (wiki H. Markopolis), much of it, but would need to be traced back.

    Hang in there and call your senator and reps office. There are some who will still help, but you must be persistent.

  26. Matt says:

    Ritepride you have a great idea, billing people for the services they use/waste. If someone calls in a noise complaint, and the cops agree then the owner of the property should be billed for the cost of that service be it tufts or a private owner.

  27. PixiePocahontas says:

    rite pride,

    Right again. As long as tuition is paid and Davis Square bars remain full, everyone looks the other way. One former TPD admitted that he left due to what you describe, the hypocrisy and sheer arrogance of refusing to hold students and parents accountable. There are more important matters to attend to- a Davis Square hotel for student parents and visiting faculty, as well as more expansion of Tufts owned and tax free housing courtesy of the Powerhouse School committee, where one member a city official who happens to have family graduates and close personal friends within the faculty. Did I mention who is also an insurance agent.

  28. Somerbreeze says:

    Tufts will not crack down on their butthead off-campus students who continually disrupt and degrade West Somerville neighborhoods with their late night booze fests, vandalism and general mayhem (trust me, I’ve suffered thru their happy HS!)…

    The Administration (& the B of A) gives Tufts a pass on neighborhood disruptions, due to some City Hall backroom handshakes, while the Tufts administration slickly rolls out their Residential Pacification Unit
    cleverly, cleverly.

    And, as ritepride has pointed out, Tufts gets a jolly free ride from City services, many times over…

    Look behind the Curtain, if you can/ And view the charging Jumbo With A Plan!

  29. PixiePocahontas says:

    Hey breeze,

    I’ve been dealing with my own midnight till dawn frat house wanna-be’s for the past three years. I went over and broke it up, early a.m., neighbors came out to join me. They had been woken up by the cabbie at 4:00 a.m., who got the wrong house. A couple with small kids who admit this goes on all the time.

    Home of an absentee landlord, are we surprised? The hosts could audition for dawn of the dead. I suspect drugs and alcohol, not sure anyone works. That’s the name of the game, kids grow up and get tossed out without preparation for the real world. No respect for self or anyone, always expecting a free ride. While mom and dad are off in Florida, we get to babysit. Don’t-cha love it?

  30. PixiePocahontas says:


    If I may make a suggestion, filter sensitive content and repost. You should consider a memoir, people need to read stories to gain perspective. Hardest job in the world, hats off. Some are not pro-pol, lessons learned by others who dared to cross that line in the pavement. You may want to check out “Legends of WH”, the rn was a dear friend.

  31. Ancient Villen says:

    I miss the days when people established genuine relationships. Nowadays, it’s all about “me”, and how I can get more for myself, screw everybody else. Without genuine human contact and compassion, what we get is a soulless society that has no future. Somerville is a small example of what has been happening all over the place, really.

  32. bostonkate says:

    Tufts had their annual Community Day, yesterday. I imagine they pat themselves on the back, for this eachyear.

  33. MarketMan says:

    PixiePocahontas: Your posts are getting harder and harder to follow. You seem to be pulling events from all over and relating them together in ways that make no logical sense. suburban flight due to wall st?? What?! So people are losing money and forced to sell everything to live in the city and that’s why Somerville prices are forcing out the working class?? What??

  34. A,Moore says:

    Bostonkate, that is to make up for all the free stuff they get from us every year. So I asume this means we are eeven now.

    Pixie, I do get the awaiting moderation thing, then it disappears. I did email them. I doubt if they did it on purpose as they have usually printed everything here. The forum always has been open even on some I thought should not have been allowed. I appreciate it and keep my posts clean and without name calling to enjoy this priviledge even though some on here may not want to hear my coments.

  35. Brunhilde Gartenzwerg says:

    Please don’t inhale the Pixie dust.

  36. PixiePocahontas says:

    Market man,

    They say our economy is bust and millions still out of work, yet developers and suburbanites continue to pay cash for Somerville condos, even over bidding up to $40k, so where does all the cash come form? Has anyone been paying attention to thousands of foreclosed properties that get bought back by same bank that sold the phony loan, couldn’t produce the note, yet buy the property for a third of the loan? Times that by 100, 1000, 10,000, while robo-lenders go into receivership by another fraudulent lender so the illegal fleecing continues. Many realtors know when properties are ready to be foreclosed they buy at a huge discount. All dirty money, but lawyers make it legal. Ask a reputable journalist that’s been following these stories for years. Same will happen again and again, it’s how they are able to acquire land and distressed properties for condo building.

    Is that you somerville sleaze? I saw they deleted your comment of early today. Good try. Has your readership been scared off by the sleaze? Is that why you decided to join us?

    How’s that DPW job coming along, did you ever get a call back? Lights and lanes, it’s a sure thing.

    You know what they say about sleeping dogs.

  37. PixiePocahontas says:


    We do like to hear your comments. There were two comments that disappeared early this morning before 8:00 a.m. Not sure why, but one was directed at me by somerville sleaze whose been fanning the flames at the pols, like we need more Howie Carr’s.

    The liberals and their backers will do anything to break this city in half so they can take over completely. This is really complicated and not sure anyone knows what to believe anymore, but the stories circulating have many people talking and none of it good. I’ve spent a lot of time putting this together and I agree there are a great deal of questions which need answering.

  38. Brunhilde Gartenzwerg says:

    Ooo-ooo-ooo! Liberal conspiracies! Clarity emerges from the Pixie dust. Shhhhhhh. Say no more…

  39. “I hope the aldermen stand tall,” Monagle said. “It’s certainly going to impact how I vote.”

    Read more: http://www.wickedlocal.com/somerville/news/x1868832013/Tufts-plan-for-Somervilles-Powderhouse-Community-school-questioned#ixzz2gU37nVaS

    “I sat on a “citizens zoning committee” when Tufts was planning on placing dorms all along the blvd thus devalueing the nearby homes so Tufts could buy them up and create more Tax Exempt Tufts owned property.

    The “citizens zoning committee” created a “buffer zone” they stopped Tufts from doing that. We also came across Tufts “Future Goals” which showed on a map of West Somerville illustrating Tufts plan to take over a large areas, (whole city blocks) of streets and homes for future expansion.

    There are several “Realty Agencies” that are “fronts” that buy up property for Tufts so the citizens/neighbors are not aware of what is happening till it is a done deal. They had maps, aerial photos, etc of West Somerville showing their planned take over. (sort of reminds you of Hitler & his Gestapo)

    Thus voting for anyone with any affiliation with Tufts University for a position in city government is an anti citizen vote. so WATCH OUT for those Pro Tufts PDS’rs and their friends when elections take place”.


    (comment listed below article)

  40. Hello Som Sleaze, aka Brun–

    What took you so long? Not very polite slamming the tweet on my face, not sure what your beef is, but maybe you have your reasons. Sounds like a hidden agenda, care to elaborate? Some of us are conflicted, can you possibly understand? When you grow up in a place that is riddled with dysfunction from decades of poverty, what do you expect? Why are the working class always put under the societal microscope, when white collar criminals get to fleece for another day at WS? Brokerage firms, Hedgefund brokers, fraud banksters and all the rest?

    Sure we don’t like what goes on, but there are other people involved who are not being held accountable, do you know who they are? Why not print them in the papers, too?

    At the end of the day, we’ve got two choices–stay with the current administration and all it’s baggage, or surrender to the liberal movement which is much worse for our local community. Starbucks will be on every block, no grocers, only mini-museums and art festivals, absent of cars for thousands of bikes, In the end, it’s all about the same thing–MONEY and POWER. I for one would like to see that scumbag lawyer on WH go down in flames along with the other cretin who has been swindling homes from little old ladies for years and getting away with it. He was my ex’s lawyer, so I have my own beef with him, dragging our son on the stand when he was a teen to attempt to have him testify against his own mother. Judge Heffernan didn’t take too kindly to SO’s tactics and in the end looked like a complete fool. At least I left with my dignity but left emotional scares on our son. The judge told him not to come back and dismissed the case. I could tell this wasn’t the first time the judge had to deal with his obvious sleazyness. Just know that I have fought to keep what is rightfully mine and will continue to do so and God help anyone who tries again to steal it away or try any other underhanded tactics. Answer me this–when a so called professional esq. attempts to turn a multiple family into condos, but there is no paperwork involved, only cash transactions, leaving the owner without the rights to their property, even if they occupy one condo–how exactly is that legal?

  41. Somerbreeze says:

    Hey Brunhilde–Take a long walk off a short pier….

  42. Brunhilde Gartenzwerg says:

    Well. These characters may be cheapjack thugs, but at least they’re completely up front about it. Gotta give ’em that.

    True colors.

  43. MarketMan says:

    Pixie: still confused. I think you need to slow down and organize your thoughts a bit more.

  44. MarketMan,

    What are you confused about? I’m a native girl who has seen a lot going on in this city. It’s important that we as a community have our concerns addressed. If you get out and talk to people, you would be amazed at what they will share. From when someone posted that our elderly are shopping at WH Walgreens because they can’t get across McGrath Highway to shop at Stop & Shop, I was done making excuses for why this administration is doing such a crappy job. Once people in power begin to believe they are beyond reproach, it’s only a matter of time that the rest begins to unravel. Let’s just say I’m someone who cares too much about the innocent people of our city who are so undeserving of being completely abandoned. It was never as bad as it has become and I hope one day those who have created these serious problems will regret their short-sightedness and how sub-human they have become– treated the people so badly, who once believed in them. “Money is not everything”, should be tattooed on their foreheads. I’m hear to tell you that there was a time I could have been a wealthy woman but I chose to remain in the city in which I was born, remain close to family. I have no regrets in my decision. I watched my parents struggle to keep this place for decades, without owing a nickel to a bank or the city. For over 83 years to be exact, along with about 5 other family members scattered throughout this town. What some will never learn, is that money is fluid, it comes and it goes. Relationships are what matters because if done right–they can last a lifetime and will bring you more than what money could ever buy. I still meet with high school friends who are the best people I know, we haven’t changed in 20 years, makes me realize I’m so fortunate to have what so many still wish for–that is why I have been writing. I want people to know that the local community is being misunderstood. It’s the developers we don’t want, not the newcomers who are just looking for a place to live. Our city will be completely transformed in 5-10 years, barely unrecognizable. I have friends who are elderly and are barely getting by–neighbors I’ve known since I was a child. Another friend has a child who is disabled and struggling to find adequate housing. My own children who cannot afford to live on their own, so they continue to save and work, so one day they can live elsewhere. They know that they can’t ever afford a place of their own in the town they were born and they don’t want to live anywhere else. But one day, they may return to the home in which they were raised and that is all I’m trying to accomplish. Is that so terrible? Why should any of us give up without a fight to remain in our homes? I find it outrageous that anyone imply our property is not our own–it is, anyone who claims this is obviously part of the “movement” to force Somerville natives who are not a member of the inclusive club–out. Don’t you see how morally wrong that is?

    I found this in the SomNews archives–tell me what you think:
    Are you beginning to see the bigger picture?

    “The city’s hands are covered in mud on this one,” he said.
    Trant’s effort blocked an underhanded plan concocted by city officials to seize the home, sell it to a known third party at auction, and then inflate the asking price for the state, who would have to buy the home and knock it down when construction for a Green Line train station began, he said.
    Leutcher said City Solicitor John Gannon stated at Trant’s disciplinary hearing that he was disappointed Trant was buying the home, because the location was being eyed as a possible train station and the purchase would complicate the Green Line extension. At the time, the home had accumulated over $25,000 in fines for various violations and was in danger of being seized by the city, Leutcher said.
    “The reason Scott Trant is in trouble is he got in the way of the city taking this property and flipping it to the state for an inflated price,” he said. “He screwed up their deal.”

  45. PixiePocahontas says:

    But when a sleazy undertaker of union square owed the city far more, that was swept under the rug. Due to their expansive union sq project which includes a new city hall, SPD, the sleazy undertaker will get his undeserved profits as well. While our schools crumble. In ten years, I predict we will have no schools, possibly one Montessori for those who can afford it.

  46. amen says:

    amen to that–Pixie, you’re all over the map, and if I may offer constructive criticism–your posts are so long and rambling that I just can’t read them. tie it all up in a neat little bundle, and your point will be made, and more importantly, it’ll be read.

  47. Dr. No says:

    All the earmarks of medicated bipolarism.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.


  48. There is nothing wrong with having a passionate stance on what is plaguing our city. I’m sorry you find it a burden to read my posts. Maybe you should resort to “Dick and Jane’s see spot run”. It’s easier to try to put labels on people who are trying to uncover the truth. The media has pointed to clues, yet are pathetically inept in carrying out complete exposure. In this case there is too much at stake. This is what happens when corporations are in charge. The developers have taken over our city. You can rationalize this anyway you like, it’s still the same fundamental issue. I suggest picking up a copy of William Worthy’s book, “The Rape of Our Neighborhoods…….”. It’s cheap on Amazon.com. Then you can ask the city administration why they are allowing Tufts to make plans for further expansion into West Somerville.

    This is no surprise, bullies don’t like to be called out on their mistakes and who they really are–power hungry-profiteering cowards. Anyone who rejects decisions made by the imperialist benefactors will be ignored, shunned and discredited. Why do you think the aldermen have disassembled? Because there is so much love? I don’t mind being on that side of the fence. At least I can look at myself with pride, not one who has forsaken all the rest, unlike those who have abandoned the elderly and working class families.

    Just ask the old woman on Mystic Ave./Moreland Street, who went into the hospital and came home to find her home condemned. The same town official who has been listed as “indicted” for his shady $10 million real estate dealings and sloppy illegal condo re-zoning, was the benefactor of that property. What a surprise. After researching the officer who supposedly tried to swindle property from an elderly couple, what do you know–there is another back story that got swept under the rug.

    “The city’s hands are covered in mud on this one,” he said.
    Trant’s effort blocked an underhanded plan concocted by city officials to seize the home, sell it to a known third party at auction, and then inflate the asking price for the state, who would have to buy the home and knock it down when construction for a Green Line train station began, he said.
    Leutcher said City Solicitor John Gannon stated at Trant’s disciplinary hearing that he was disappointed Trant was buying the home, because the location was being eyed as a possible train station and the purchase would complicate the Green Line extension. At the time, the home had accumulated over $25,000 in fines for various violations and was in danger of being seized by the city, Leutcher said.
    “The reason Scott Trant is in trouble is he got in the way of the city taking this property and flipping it to the state for an inflated price,” he said. “He screwed up their deal.”


    (don’t forget the 400+ comments describing the love they have for the admin)

    This guy happened to be my neighbor for years. I remember him as a student at Tufts. I never understood this story and thought there was something more sinister behind it. Now we know–Green Line Extension. It was still a fresh idea at the time, not as it is now. Some people get a pass, where others won’t. Every family has their problems, no one is perfect. Those who pretend to have wonderful lives are delusional and just hide their dirty laundry better than most. I continue to be repulsed by these stories in the paper and in other online media. And I will continue to write to my representatives who also know what is going on, but I’m sure they have a hard time dealing with it as well. They, unlike this administration actually work hard doing their job, like helping their struggling constituency with problems such as finding a place to live, learning how to cope with a disabled family member and making sure they are getting what they need, helping an elderly resident adjust to shrinking services and rising costs. Instead, this administration is self-serving, working only to plan for the next Booze, Clowns and Arts Fest, while everyone else is wondering how to get through the daily grind of low paying part-time jobs just to make the rent.

    Time to do an audit by the state or federal government. Let’s find out where the money is really going and who’s family members have been getting a free pass.

    Let’s also demand the fires be fully investigated by an impartial team of experts who will put an end to the Arson.

  49. Would this be simple enough?

    From another site, comes up when you google “gentrification” of Somerville, (source is somerville.patch article: ‘class divide in Somerville)

    LSG March 28, 2013 at 06:49 PM

    “Calling what’s going on a split between the creative class and the service class doesn’t change the nature of the class struggle any more than it makes suit-wearing, paper pushing corporate drones actually “creative.” The working class/lower middle class is shrinking as wealth continues its upward migration. What’s left of it is being forced out of places like Somerville as real estate developers gobble up every square foot of housing they can buy and jacking the rents for what they already own. The truly creative class can be found among those who are mostly in the service industry – musicians, artists, inventors, writers who are also doing day labor or tutoring or house painting or other tasks for the wealthy”.

  50. TimesReader says:

    PixiePocahontas: This may not be received well, but have you thought about counseling? Your posts here and on Somerville Patch give the impression that you are carrying around a lot of distrust and paranoia–more than what most people experience, and more than what’s grounded in real circumstances. Your voice is heard and valued, but it is clouded by statements that seem increasingly irrational and non-nonsensical to others. I hope that you can take some time for self-reflection and that you consider reaching out to counseling resources that might be able to help. Be well and take care of yourself.

  51. murt says:

    brainwashed by the sleaze

  52. TimesReader,

    Aside from your impression of what my comments are trying to relay, how does that diminish the fact that our city is entrenched in ongoing corruption, conflict of interest and experiencing a complete corporate takeover, leaving the working class powerless and without a place to live?

    Once you answer that question, I think your audience will be better informed to make their own decision as to who may be dealing with a serious mental impairment.

  53. TimesReader says:

    Pixie: I think the audience has already made up their minds and aren’t nearly as diplomatic about it as I’m trying to be:

    “Slow down and organize your thoughts a bit more” – MarketMan

    “All the earmarks of medicated bipolarism” – Dr. No

    “You make so many nasty overgeneralized comments about others” – Somerville_Burning

    “You are constantly unkind, misleading and not much more than a puddle of contrived authenticity who on occasion likes to talk about her right to say what she wants pointing at the 1st amendment.” -Matt

    “Please don’t inhale the Pixie dust.” – Brunhilde

    “Somerville Girl, your statements get more myopic and absurd as this conversation, which I think is mostly with yourself, goes on.” – kshugrue

    “Wow SomervilleGirl, you crazy.” – Shedward Weeks


  54. X-Slacks says:

    It’s been the same thing over and over lately. Four or five malcontents who keep claiming that the city is full of corruption. And not one single shred of evidence can be presented. This one who keeps spamming it up with the muddled mega-posts is classic. Keep making accusations without facts to back them up and people will tend to believe it. Not. This could be a place where intelligent, informed discussion takes place. Instead it’s overrun with this nonsense. Disgusting.

  55. gregtowne says:

    you weren’t expecting that response were you timesreader. pixie’s response was quite lucid if you ask me.

  56. emir says:

    1. Pleaz don’t pick on Pixie, her writings R very interesting. B’sides, how creepy-sleazy to point fingers regarding mental hlth issues- who doesn’t have a bit o’ that?
    2. anyone agree that Brun sounds an awful lot like a prior city spokesperson with the initials TC? He seems to be very concerned that his joeyboy may be falling outa the pouch.
    3. what’s with the “somervilletimes”, where’s the article explaining that, anyone?
    4. above all (but still the last word here): Bill’s mastery to stir the people is well proven.

  57. PixiePocahontas says:


    Looks like the goon squad has arrived.
    7 words, how am I doin – there’s 4 more.

  58. X-Slacks says:

    Lucid? Well, that’s debatable. But in the spirit of generosity let’s tentatively concede that. Now, what about proof of all these crazy accusations? None exists, as you handful of kooks who spam it up here know very well. So, let’s put it more simply: either put up or STFU. Peace/Love.

  59. PixiePocahontas says:

    Hey Lacks,

    “This could be a place where intelligent, informed discussions take place”.

    Intelligence requires independent thought.
    Being informed is subjective. Always better to step away and see things objectively. It might be painful at first, but in the long run you will be helping the person who matters most.

  60. ritepride says:

    “Let’s also demand the fires be fully investigated by an impartial team of experts who will put an end to the Arson.”
    Remember Boston in the 70’s when they found that a whole bunch of fires were hitting one particular neighborhood that one developer was buying up?

  61. X-Slacks says:

    Oh, lordy. I’ve been quoted by The Lucid One. Goosebumps.

    Problem is, your response is typically muddled and essentially meaningless.

    “Intelligence requires independent thought.” – A statement of no real meaning, other than making the implication you are the independent thinker and those who disagree with you are not. Pure narcissism.

    “Being informed is subjective.” – A completely incorrect statement. Facts are facts, and are not “subjective” at all. But this is a clear tip-off on your methodology. You and your ilk rely on the premise that factual information is subject to personal interpretation. Thus your distorted misinformation is presented as factual.

    “Always better to step away and see things objectively.” – The one thing here we can agree on. Trouble is, your brand of “objectivity” consists of relentlessly pushing an agenda that is intended to do nothing but perpetuate misinformation and unprovable accusations. Practice what you preach.

    You have been asked to present proof of the corruption and malfeasance you accuse the city administration of. You can’t do it, so the never-ending onslaught of hot air only serves to make you and your cohorts look all the more ridiculous the longer it goes on.

    In short, you lose.

    Now, as said before, either put up or…

  62. PixiePocahontas says:

    Somerville Files 1-4, source Dig Boston.
    It’s all you need to know.


    Something tells me you’re on the city payroll. If so you cannot be objective, same for lots of people. I get that. A narcissist is self-absorbed, without empathy for others, sociopathic tendencies. i posses none of those traits. however there are others who do.

    There are plenty of posters who are independent thinkers and therefore intelligent because they choose to ttake the risk of making up their own mind and have the courage to pursue the truth regardless of becoming and outsider. Some of us remain neutral and vote for the person not the clan. But we all know power changes some people while others fear abandonment for their challenging views.

    Subjectively informed: if you chose to allow people with bad motives to influence your decisions, then you are allowing them to keep you blinded by facts. I find facts will surface on their own, it takes vision to see what others see and not allow yourself to be clouded by poor judgement

  63. PixiePocahontas says:


    Mucho kudos to Bill, agreed. I had been following those stories you mentioned and post did sound like a lawyer type who was attempting some lame ass form of disciple. Does anyone know who Dr. Mrs. McCarthy? Oh well, no matter, don’t want to get them riled up again.

    I wonder if posing a few questions may be easier on the mind.

    Why did the Phoenix stop the presses permanently just as it announced a full story about Somerville?

    Next, why did one Scout leave the paper after writing articles casting shadows of alleged back room dealing regarding Somerville RE? Especially glaring, the sought after property of VFW on Campus of Davis. What makes a “fire trap” suddenly a dangerous liability? Answer: “The Developer wants it”.

    Anytime there’s a problem, you know who to call, Geronimo!

  64. X-Slacks says:

    Crazy. Scattered. Muddled. And I suppose you actually think you answered my call for proof of your accusations. That’s how out of it you are.

    I’m no city employee or anything even close to it. No connections. No conspiracy.

    I’m just someone who gets outraged when batsh*t crazies like you spam discussion forums like this one. It makes normal, well-adjusted people shy away. Which suits your purpose just fine, no doubt.

    I know you won’t stop. Never expected you to. The important thing is that you have been called on it and shown to be a fraud.

    Everyone but your handful of fellow crazies sees through it.


  65. Rat Pack says:

    No evidence of corruption? Look at any of the large developments in the city. Properties pushed through, owned by elected officials. Projects approved despite not having completed, signed paperwork on file, files that disappear from the building department, or are changed after being placed on file, PB and ZBA that vote on projects despite being totally clueless about such simple things as state fire codes. Projects approved that don’t conform to zoning. I could go on and on. This city allows developers to do whatever they want. You can’t tell me there isn’t some form of quid pro quo.

  66. PixiePocahontas says:


    A be-wit-lass I was at the time, during those 70′ fires. Would you post an archived link or add a bit more information so I can find it online? If I find it on my own, I will let you know so don’t worry if you don’t have it.

    Well, whatever the cause of 17 fires since June to date, you will be certain that majority if not all will go to a developer. Maybe used to make way for GLE, trains. The way insurance companies drag their butts in paying honest homeowners to file legitimate claims? But maybe easier if a town official is also an insurance salesman. When homeowners lose rents due to unoccupied apartments, does insurance cover that?

    More signs posted listing, “new luxury condos coming soon”, just a block away, I see more demo signs, never seen before. Looks like more are cashing out.

  67. Start at 3:10 if you get bored….

    “rumors of investigations…….rumors of corrupt developers”

    “there is a movement to get rid of online comments …..what will the Somerville News, do”?

    Any suggestions as to where this idea has originated?

    A few other traits I forgot to add to poster “Lacks” on the true definition of narcissism–

    They must continually feed on an endless supply of adoring fans who keep telling them how wonderful they are–even when evidence of their unethical behavior would prove otherwise. Also referred to as megalomania, they cannot cope with criticism of any kind, therefore they do their very best to avoid, exclude, discredit and punish anyone who would attempt to expose them.

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