Newstalk – September 27

On September 27, 2017, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

Next week, on Wednesday October 4, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Ward 3 Alderman Bob McWatters will be having a campaign get together and fundraiser at Sally O’Brien’s on Somerville Ave. The last time his opponent sent spies to monitor the event. Alderman McWatters is a good person. He’s being accused of taking money from developers, but maybe some unopposed candidates might want to stop spreading lies. They might find an opponent in two years that they might not like.


There’s still time, this week the The Somerville Police Department will be holding a golf tournament in memory of police officer William “Billy” Nolan, a great officer and wonderful family man who is remembered by many here in the city. The tournament will be held on Friday, September 29, at 7:00 a.m. for coffee. 7:45 board golf carts and 8 Shotgun start. Golfers are $150 and Dinner only is $50, to be held at the Hillview Country Club, 149 North St., No. Reading. If you’d like to participate and want more information contact Somerville Police Relief Association c/o Captain Michael S. Cabral, at the Police Department, 22 Washington St., Somerville 02143. If you’d like to help out by sponsoring, the cost is $100, send to same.


We noticed that there is a lot of hullabaloo about The Times making a whopping $100K from legal ads from the city since 2011. Yup we won’t deny it, but that works out to about $14K per year. Do we have to teach them how to do math? Simply divide 7 years into 100K and the answer is roughly $14K a year. Sorry guys, but that’s not even enough to pay a year’s printing costs. It seems like Mayor Joe’s opponent is also making a big deal out of $100K over 7 years. Maybe to them it’s a lot of money, but it doesn’t even come close to covering our expenses. After all, we print several thousand papers more than they do. Yeah, sure, we’re bought by the mayor with all those ads, which by law the city has to run somewhere. No, we’re not for sale at $14K, but maybe they are!


Happy birthdays this week to the following: Big happy birthday to Wayne Snow, a local guy who is a CPA. We hope he has a great day this week for himself. Happy birthday to a great local lady, Joan O’Meara. A nice lady married to husband Dan. We hope she has a great day and week on this, her birthday. Happy birthday to the director of the Somerville Homeless Collation, Mark Aston-Follansbee. A nice guy and a great advocate for the homeless here in the city. We hope he has a great day and week for his birthday. Happy birthday a young lady who grew up in East Somerville, Sue MacLeod. We hope she has a great birthday. To all others celebrating this week, we wish them a happy birthday.


We heard from a Cambridge resident recently – or maybe it was a Somerville resident from Ward 1, were not sure now – but we did check it out and appears that the following has been verified. As you know, Ward 1 Alderman Matt McLaughlin now has a full time job as aide to Cambridge City Councilor Carlone, where he will be required to attend the evening meetings of the councilors and committees and all the neighborhood meetings as well as any meeting his boss will want him to attend, never mind the day meetings they have over in Cambridge as Councilor Carlone’s aide. We again congratulate Matt on his new adventure over in Cambridge, but we do have to wonder how he’s going to fulfill his requirements here in Somerville as the Ward 1 alderman? You know, the aldermen are pretty busy here as well, with Board meetings themselves, committee meetings, and let’s not forget neighborhood meetings – and how about other board meetings like ZBA or Planning meetings? Lots of work, and rightfully so, that’s why they voted themselves a raise to just over $41K a year in Somerville. We know how busy the City Councilors are over in Cambridge, so how can he be in both places, same time? How can he do his job working for the good councilor over in Cambridge and serve the thousands of residents in East Somerville? Something the residents of Ward 1 will have to consider when they go to the polls on November 7, where they at least have a choice between Matt McLaughlin, the current alderman who is working over in Cambridge for City Councilor Carlone, or they can choose a lifelong resident, business owner, tax payer and – best of all – family man who has been committed to Ward 1 his entire life, Elio LoRusso. Just saying.


Oh, we almost forgot. We heard that Ward 1 Alderman Matt McLaughlin doesn’t like us here at Newstalk. He made it clear on election day, talking to many of the workers. Matt, if we say something that’s not true please let us know. We’ll be glad to retract it. Meantime, we heard that Matt is bragging that he has sponsored over 600 Board requests these past few years to various departments to get things done or to look into an item. We have a suggestion for you, Matt. You could pick up a phone and call the various departments directly and ask nicely or call the Mayor’s office. Better yet, we have that 311 system. With this system they follow up the progress of a request. Now, what is a Board order you ask? It’s an alderman’s request to a department to ask for something to be looked into or something to be fixed. Simply put, a resident calls the alderman and asks for tree branches to be cut back or for the DPW to look into a missing sign, street light out, driveway cut, rodents in the neighborhood, etc. Putting in Board orders looks good to the public, but nothing gets done. It is also not proven that anything was done, even if there was just a Board order. All this takes time and, frankly, sometimes “board orders get misplaced” – we do have a busy city. Just because you filed 300 or 600 Board orders it doesn’t mean that you’re getting things done, and you have to keep putting in orders on the same issue. Remember, it’s a red tape procedure that the order goes through. Plain and simple, the alderman doesn’t have time to do his job, which is basically to serve the residents of his or her ward in local issues. Again, this is where Matt fails. He’s on to other issues like state or federal. We have a simple question to the residents of Ward 1: ask yourselves and other aldermen who files 300 or 600 board orders, and why? Again, an order by an alderman means its goes through a bunch of red tape, when we have a 311 system that anyone can call and ask for something to get done – even Alderman McLaughlin, who should know the DPW’s extensions or various departments at City Hall. If not, Matt can call 617-625-6600 and ask for the department. Better yet, call 311 (one call does it all). But we know he won’t because only filing orders on the Board constitutes proof that something was done, even if it’s just a request.


All Attention lately is on the NFL over the kneeling down during the national anthem. So now the School Committee member from Ward 3, Lee Erica Palmer, sat down (you heard about it or saw it on local access TV). She actually sat down in her seat during the pledge of allegiance at the opening of the School Committee meeting this past Monday night. What a disgrace. A School Committee member showing distain for our country and flag during the pledge of allegiance. We heard she tried to pressure her friend on the School Committee to do the same but he wouldn’t do it. He wouldn’t be intimated by her actions. He and others had more courage. No wonder she is proving to be a very unpopular member of the School Committee. Regardless of whatever reasons she gives, it’s the pledge of allegiance and it is how all school and city elected officials open their meetings. It’s her job as a School Committee member to set an example for our students, especially those in the grammar schools that don’t understand the reasons why it’s being done. Is this the message you want her to send to the students of Somerville? If not, then on November 7, Election Day, don’t vote for her. Yes, she is unopposed, but you can vote blank and that will send a message to Ms. Palmer about her lack of patriotism. Maybe in two years she will have someone run against her that won’t push their personal opinions on others at the School Committee. Ask yourself why is she doing this now? Patriotism and love of country and service to those that have served in the military is the example we need to set for the children. Some NFL members chose to kneel during the national anthem. She chose to lower the bar, whereby an elected member of the School Committee sits down during the pledge. She should be ashamed. There is no excuse for sitting down as an elected official while the pledge of allegiance is being spoken by all her fellow members. Vote blank. She’ll see all the blanks and get the message.


We still insist that the Winter Hill Yacht Club needs to clean house of those that have criminal records. Triple and double worth repeating: notify our State Senator Pat Jehlen and both State Representatives Denise Provost and Christine Barber to look into the lease of the Winter Hill Yacht Club for Criminals. We hear that the club is not at all comfortable with the publicity regarding allowing convicted felons as members. Again, we can’t understand why the club who rents from the state that beautiful piece of land – which has a huge fence around it, not to mention a gate to keep out residents – can still occupy the premises. We understood that the lease with DCR states no criminals can be members, or is that the club rules? We get confused sometimes. We also understood that over 90% of the membership doesn’t even live here in the city and we know that many from the city have applied but must wait their turn. Maybe they don’t have a criminal record, might that be a reason that the club won’t open its membership? Just saying. There needs to be an investigation of their membership list and their applications. We raised this question before and we will keep raising it until the club cleans up its act. Don’t forget, some of us here used to be “Life Members” until the E board changed the rules. It seems like they always want to change the rules when it suits them. We think it would be good to see DCR revoke the lease and make it a public boat landing for the residents of our city. We’re for opening up the facility for public use by the residents of Somerville.


Join the Somerville High Class of 1987 30th Reunion for a night filled with fun and laughter, November 4, 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. at the Crown Plaza Hotel, 15 Middlesex Canal Park Drive, Woburn, MA 01801. Dinner and DJ included. Tickets: $55 pp. Please send online payments through Paypal to Cherie Dell’Anno, account name: Please make checks payable to: Cherie Dell’Anno and send to 16 Carson Ave, Wilmington, MA 01887. Email with any questions.


14 Responses to “Newstalk – September 27”

  1. Old Taxpayer says:

    People have the right to say what they want in this country. They can protest in peace and make their points. Showing respect for the flag and the pledge of allegiance is an honor. People of all races have died and and others have been severely injured for life and they have given their time to us regardless if the war or whatever was to our liking. In our household we will not be supporting anyone who disgraces our flag. Be it a public official or a sports star or whatever. We will not be purchasing any sports products of teams that dishonor the flag. We are so lucky here regardless of our faults past and present.

  2. Vanta Black says:

    Same sad old demented newstalk. Always ass-backwards wrong on most every issue like this. So here’s your civics lesson: non-violent protest of social injustice is every American’s right, if not their duty, no matter what form it takes. You and every single jackass that chimes in support of your dumb, mean, racist rhetoric are as unpatriotic as possible. But what else could we expect?

  3. Nose says:

    I do not see on Matt’s FB page a graph of attendance at meetings? Why? Matt would be on the lower end – he misses more meetings than any Alderman running for reelection. The residents of Ward 1 should know this — I also agree with his new job (3rd position he interviewed for in Cambridge – why does he love Cambridge so much?) he wil miss many more additional meetings – not good.

  4. CAP says:

    That an Alderman has a day job is news? I haven’t heard any hullabaloo about how Bobby McWatters can’t be an effective alderman if he also works for the probation department. Or how Dennis Sullivan working for the state courts undermines his responsibilities in Somerville. Will we be hearing about that next?

  5. Lord Tennyson says:

    I’d like to suggest that there is a difference between ‘truly’ disgracing the flag (burning it, stomping on it, flying it upside down) and not standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. While I agree completely, that Ms. Palmer’s stunt was ill-advised, given her elected position, I do not consider the recent actions of professional athletes to be disgracing the flag in any way.

    There are many good citizens who truly believe that there is not always “liberty and justice for all” in this land.Refusing to mouth those words is neither a crime, nor a disgrace.

  6. Barbara Millicent Roberts says:

    Good for Lee, I’m proud of her. It takes a lot of courage these days to ignore these hypocritical flag-waving loonies and stick to one’s beliefs. She’s my hero today. The only blanks at play here are the one’s between the ears of her critics.

  7. Courtney O'Keefe says:

    One can easily see an Alderman’s attendance record by going on to the City’s meeting portal. Currently, Matthew has a 97% attendance record for Board of Alderman meetings ( When looking at the numbers, however, keep in mind that some committees meet more than others. For example, his percentage for meetings of the District Improvement Financing Governing Board is 50%. As a former Alderman, I know that this committee doesn’t mean that often, so he probably missed one of two scheduled meetings. I feel that other issues take precedence over attendance in this case.

  8. NMRN says:

    Ooooooh, all makes sense now. As a ward one resident I have called Ald Matt and waited, and waited, and waited, and nothing. A follow up call to ald Dennis and/or ald Jack produced immediate results. Each time Ald Matt took the credit as he did not know I called the effective aldermen also!

  9. beenthere/donethat says:

    Geez, give us a break. Two outspoken, solid, progressive Somerville residents, Matt and Lee, and all you can do is trash them? Hey, why not invite them to rebut – free speech and all that? And, btw, being on SSI these days, $14K is nothing to sneeze at. Well, for some of us less privileged types.

  10. BMac says:

    Yes, Matt brags about all he is doing but instead of attending meetings of the various boards, he sends notes. You also see him in very few of the other city wide meetings.

    Unless he hears there will be press.

  11. NMRN says:

    CAP, an Alderman having a day job is expected (Matt didn’t even have that for most of his time as an alderman) however Matt’s current position REQUIRES him to attend nighttime meetings. How is he going to do that and attend his nighttime Somerville meetings? Not possible. Courtney, as you know the trick is to show up for ‘roll call’ (attendance taking) and then leave. Matt is a master at that – check his attendance at the budget meetings after roll call – he left most of the meetings as he does with many of the regular meetings. Matt is a master at leaving meetings after he has been recorded as present! We need a FULL TIME alderman.

  12. Matt C says:

    Lee Erica Palmer has the right to sit down during the anthem as a form of protest, plain and simple. She is an elected official and her constituents will decide if they agree with her and we will see that at the polls. I do not find anything disrespectful about nfl players joining arms or taking a knee, It still reflects a solemn attitude towards the anthem while providing a peaceful protest.

    Perhaps people can reflect on their behaviors at church where you kneel during the most solemn parts of the service vs. standing and sitting.

  13. Paul says:

    The president of the boa should speak to Matt about his attending meetings

  14. Villenous says:

    I thought the pledge allegiance was stupid as a kid and I don’t see why adults bother with it at all. Honestly, reciting pledges and playing the anthem before meetings or at public events is just weird. Like, I know I’m not in Tajikistan.

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