Newstalk – March 5
Did you know that Somerville is 172 years old this week? Monday, March 3 of 1842, we became a town. Yup, Somerville broke away from Charlestown 172 years ago. Guess you could say we were “townies” back before then and on March 3 we became Villens. The residents tried unsuccessfully to break away twice before becoming successful, losing the votes twice before becoming a town. Did you also know that in both votes that lost different names were proposed? The first one was going to be “Walford” if they had won. Then 20 years later (in 1822), they lost again and were going to call it “Warren” after Gen. Joseph Warren of Bunker Hill fame. Then, being persistent and wanting to govern the small town themselves, they became successful in 1842 and named the town “Somerville.” Thirty years later, we became a city. Our own local historian, Bob Doherty, is loaded with these facts, and we thought you’d want to know! So go out and wish yourself a happy birthday as a Villen. Although it’s 172 years ago, we look pretty good for our age, don’t we?
Our View of the Times – March 5
Raise your hand (metaphorically, at least; it would look strange to do so while reading the paper in print or online with others around you) if you’ve had to do the bowlegged John Wayne walk this very long winter trying to traverse over patches of sidewalk covered with ice and snow from homeowners or businesses that either made a half-hearted (to use a polite phrase) effort at shoveling or who just hoped global warming would do the work for them.
Community budgeting targets our values—and return on investment
By Joseph A. Curtatone
When I announced in my inaugural address that we would launch a new community budget process, which we held over the course of three public meetings last week, I said that when I submit a proposal to the Board of Aldermen, it will be our budget, reflective of what we as a community want to collectively accomplish. But what is a budget? It’s more than just an accounting spreadsheet. A municipal budget might be the clearest indication of what a community values. You can tell which communities value the arts and culture, getting kids active, keeping their community healthy, and listening to residents by which communities invest in those areas. We’ve been fortunate in recent years that, despite cuts to state aid and an economic downturn, we didn’t have to resort to slashing important community services like recreation and school athletics, like many surrounding communities. We even increased services in some areas. And though we have one of the most transparent and detailed budgets in the state, it’s the community’s needs that are important to us as a city, and we always strive for even more transparency and community input.
Mickey Finn’s: Menswear and much more!
Life in the Ville by Jimmy Del Ponte
In 2009, I did a story about shopping in Davis Square. Someone left this comment: “I had a relative, Hyman Kimmel, who owned a store called Mickey Finn’s in Somerville. Do you know how I could find more data about this store or the owner?”
I couldn’t find anything about Hymen, but I sure gathered a lot of info about Mickey Finn’s. It was one of my favorite stores in the square back in the ‘60s and ‘70s. We seem to recall that it was right next to the Smoke Shop.
Newstalk – February 26
Happy birthday to some of our Villens, both here and away from us. That includes our good friend Eamon Fee, who can be seen in the Ville almost all the time. What a great guy and fantastic contractor. Rod Kreimeyer of Best Pest is also celebrating this week, but he’s in Florida on vacation (long vacation). He’s another great Villen out of Davis. To a good guy and our friend Sean Fitzgerald, who is everywhere and very committed to Somerville and involved here as well, we wish him HB. And we can’t forget about Nancy Trane, the better half of Bob Trane, who is also celebrating this week. Happy birthday to Peter Miller, who is from here and has been very involved over the years. And to good friend and former Boston Globe person Debra Canzater of JP, who is a great lady and always has a big smile, we wish her happy birthday!
Our View of the Times – February 26
Not every abutter – not even every group of abutters – to a project has the time or resources to fight it in court if concerns are not addressed and resolved through the normal permitting and public-hearing process, which often stretches out over months and continuance after continuance. Sometimes going through the regular process ends with a compromise, a few redesigns and a decision that is not appealed (and even sometimes plans, as first presented, receive no objections).
Preventing gentrification needs a regional approach
By Joseph A. Curtatone
On March 4, the city, Somerville Community Corporation (SCC) and Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) will hold the third public forum on housing affordability in Somerville, to continue to strategize around a strong and effective housing agenda for the city. I hope you’ll attend, as there is plenty to talk about, like “Dimensions of Displacement,” the report that the MAPC produced with support from the city and SCC on potential gentrification along the Green Line Extension corridor.
Somerville’s Development Challenges: Affordable Housing
By William C. Shelton
In Somerville, we:
- Celebrate the diversity of our people, cultures, housing and economy.
- Foster the unique character of our residents, neighborhoods, hills and squares, and the strength of our community spirit…
Happy times at The Logan Post
Life in the Ville by Jimmy Del Ponte
A lot of us Somerville “old timers” remember The Logan Post #6800, which was located at 901 Broadway outside of Teele Square. Many of our parents belonged to the post and some of our grandmothers were Gold Star Mothers based there. Not only was it a veteran’s post, but they rented out the hall for functions. Many of us recall wedding receptions, anniversary parties, baby showers, christenings, Super Bowl parties, political parties and rallies (for winners and losers), Pop Warner events, Little League affairs, cheerleading practice, Christmas parties and reunions being held at The Logan Post.
Newstalk – February 19
Wednesday (tonight) from 6 to 9 p.m. is the 2014 SomerVillens Pop Warner Football and Cheer registration at the Mystic Learning Center, 530 Mystic Ave. All families are welcome to the second registration for the 2014 season. This is SPW’s 51st season. All boys and girls ages 5 (by July 31) to 15 are welcome. All children are put onto teams by age and weight to keep children safe. All SPW coaches are certified through USA Football, New England, and PWFC of Eastern Mass. All coaches and staff are CORI checked. A PSC (player safety coach) and EMT are always present. The season starts Aug. 1 and plays until November.
Our View of the Times – February 19
Tufts needs to commit to specifics with how it will use the building proposed to replace the Powder House School on Broadway.
In the second of a series of public meetings last week seeking community input on the building and how the open space near the site and the Tufts Administration Building (TAB) behind the current school on Holland will be designed and what recreational features will be included, a representative from Tufts said the university wanted to maintain flexibility with how it will use the new building.