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Newstalk – March 22

Coming up on Monday, March 27, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., a fundraiser for Ward 7 Alderman Katjana Ballantyne will be held at Sabur Restaurant, 212 Holland Street in Teele Square. Katjana has been a good alderman representing the residents of Ward 7 and the city. She is also very concerned and dedicated.

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March 22

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Our View of the Times – March 22

So, we may still be keeping our snow shovels handy for a while, considering the unpredictable weather over the past several weeks, but it’s still nice to know that springtime has officially arrived. We anxiously await the final thaw and balmier days ahead.

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Data Download with Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone

By Joseph A. Curtatone

Taking a closer look at notable city data—and interesting numbers.

7: That figure represents the number of cases of elevated blood lead levels in Somerville children in 2013 (the most recent year for which we have state health data). While even one case is too many, the encouraging news is that the number is down from 43 cases in 2001. The decrease can be attributed to many policies aimed at reducing the interaction between children and lead, particularly by eliminating it from paint used in homes. However, approximately 90 percent of homes in Somerville were built before 1978 when the federal government banned consumer uses of lead-containing paint, and potentially hazardous lead paint is still present in some residences. It’s crucial that we continue to prioritize reducing children’s exposure to lead until the number of cases becomes zero. The City of Somerville’s lead paint abatement program offers eligible homeowners, landlords, or tenants financial assistance with the removal of lead paint. For more information, contact Russell Koty at 617-625-6600 x2568 or rkoty@somervillema.gov.

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A world without jobs
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Part 1:  The crisis beyond the horizon
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By William C. Shelton

There will come a time in this Century when our political economy cannot provide what we think of as a “job” to half or more working-age people. By then, that system may no longer exist as we would recognize it.

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Newstalk – March 15

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, also known as Evacuation Day here in the Greater Boston area. We hope everyone has a great holiday and have a great time with all the celebrations going on in and around Boston. Here in Somerville we hear through the rumor mill that Liam at Sally O’Brien’s will be making sure that everyone who shows up Friday night will feel the Irish spirit and pride. We know that other well-known Irish pub’s here in the city will also be celebrating, so enjoy. But we’re going to Sally O’Brien’s because everyone knows your name and it’s all family.

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March 15

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Our View of the Times – March 15

It’s a tradition that most of us have a lot of fun with. Whether one is of Irish lineage or not, St. Patrick’s Day stands for a recognition of Irish and Irish American culture, and in many ways its resulting fusion.

The religious origins of the day have, for some, been obscured and often all but forgotten in favor of the prominent displays of the color green, eating and drinking, and numerous parades. The day has been celebrated on the North American continent since before the American Revolution, and is actually an official holiday in neighboring Suffolk County. Ask any of our Boston brethren and they would – to a single soul – be aware of this fact.

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You, the people: Why you should consider joining a city board or commission

By Joseph A. Curtatone

When President Lincoln stood in Gettysburg and said our government is “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” he probably didn’t realize we’d still be holding onto his words today. Nor could he have imagined all the ways we put the “by the people” part into action now. Whether you tweet, email or take part in a Facebook live Town Hall, the options for ways to tell your government what you want continue to grow. But there’s an old-fashioned opportunity that – despite being easy and highly effective – many overlook: joining a local Board or Commission. So consider this my invitation to you, the people: consider joining one of our boards, commissions, working groups, or task forces.

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MBTA mechanics and allies rally to protect taxpayers, workers, riders from further transit privatization

— Photos courtesy of IAM&AW Local 264

By International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM&AW) Local 264

A large crowd descended on MBTA headquarters in downtown Boston on Monday as transit mechanics rallied with allies to defend taxpayers, workers, and riders against the latest MBTA privatization scheme.

The MBTA mechanics were joined by community allies and elected leaders, including State Senator Marc Pacheco and State Representatives Mike Connolly and Michelle DuBois (each of whom spoke), and multiple rider coalitions. All in attendance were united in opposing new for-profit privatization aimed at outsourcing core MBTA bus maintenance services.

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