Newstalk – March 25
Groundwork Somerville presents its 15th Anniversary Fundraising Gala and Volunteer Appreciation on Friday, April 3 from 7-11 p.m. at Cuisine en Locale, 156 Highland Ave. in Somerville. Celebrating all night with live music by The Ways and Means Committee, along with prizes, and amazing food.
Our View of the Times – March 25
So, we may still be shaking off our boots and rooftops after the record (and back) breaking winter storms that plagued our fair dominion 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.
Union Square redevelopment lacking long-term vision to meet community goals
In February, the City of Somerville’s plans for the redevelopment of Union Square took a hard turn in the wrong direction. The City’s master developer, US2, announced plans for the development of D2, a former metal scrap yard and future gateway into Union Square next to the planned Union Square Green Line station. US2’s plan calls for 525 units of housing for millennials in a first phase of development on this strategic block, which is among Union Square’s most important and commercially viable locations, while remaining silent on their intentions for other parcels in the Union Square Revitalization Area.
US2 Says Thanks, Somerville
We write to thank the community members, the City of Somerville, Mayor Curtatone and his dedicated staff, city consultants, and all of those who took part in the City’s recent design charrettes and prior visioning sessions and workshops, for your efforts to guide the future development of Union Square.
Urban agriculture is return to our roots – and investment in our future
By Joseph A. Curtatone
City and town leaders, legislators, urban farmers and others from across Massachusetts came together last Friday at the State House for a symposium on urban agriculture. The story of urban agriculture in Somerville may seem like a new trend, but it’s an idea with a deep history. Growing up in my neighborhood for example, we had families from Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Italy and other countries, who grew foods in their yards, shared it with their neighbors and supplemented their tables with what they had grown. I remember my mother having buckets out back in which she grew tomatoes. Today, Somerville still has backyard gardeners who hail from across the globe, but we also have new enthusiasts: foodies and locavores who prize local food that is healthier, fresher and more flavorful. As they bring new life and focus to the urban agriculture movement, they are actually returning our city to its roots—urban gardening and farming is part of our DNA. At the same time, with the educational, health, environmental and economic benefits that it brings, investing in urban agriculture is an investment in our future, too.
Letter to the Editor: Rezoning Deadline
The Friday March 27th deadline for written testimony regarding the Somerville Rezonng Ordinance is approaching. On Thursday March 3rd there was a public hearing on the Rezoning Ordinance. Since that time we have had the Somerville 3 day Charrette and a follow up meeting on Thursday 19.
Newstalk – March 18
We are saddened by the news that a good guy from Somerville passed away down in Florida. Tom Taylor, who served our city well and in particular the residents of Ward 3 over many years, is now resting in peace. The whole city knew he was going through a lot over these past couple of years, but he was very strong willed and, of course, his lovely Celia was by his side all the time, encouraging him and making him smile, creating more great memories together. The suffering is over and now is a time to celebrate the life he shared with us and all the good things he did. With that said, his wife Celia and his family would like to invite everyone to a “Celebration of Life” on Sunday, April 26 from 4-8 p.m. at the Somerville City Club, across from the Holiday Inn. All are welcomed to share with the Taylor family and friends the many good times and good things Tom did here in his beloved Somerville. Donations of food and beverages are greatly appreciated. There is a Facebook page set up for the “Celebration” (https://www.facebook.com/celia.taylor.505) to let the family know if you’re going.
Our View of the Times – March 18
The horrific collapse of part of the roof at the Brown School last week sent shock waves through the community and served as a wake up call that the structural integrity of some of our public buildings is far from sure and safe.
Studying how we can protect our people from highway pollution
By Joseph A. Curtatone
I am a statistic. I am one of many Somerville residents who face a higher risk for cardiovascular disease because of the car-centric planning that began reshaping our cities in the mid-20th century. We stopped planning for people and started planning for cars, resulting in the construction of I-93 and, near my childhood home on Prospect Hill, McGrath Highway. Our community eventually fought back and fortunately stopped the construction of the proposed I-695 Inner Belt Expressway—but it was too late to stop the consequences of those earlier poor decisions. More cars began traveling through our community. The traffic jams did not go away. And we saw higher rates of heart disease, asthma and other ailments in people living in the shadows of the highways. We know better now. We’re expanding public transit, and we’re making it easier and safer to walk and bike in Somerville. That said, I-93 is not going away, and though McGrath will eventually be lowered to become a ground-level boulevard, the cars will still cut through our neighborhoods. Fortunately, a group of dedicated people, including city officials, are working on solutions to protect our residents.
The road from Selma extends beyond the horizon
By William C. Shelton
On last Friday’s PBS News Hour Judy Woodruff asked Michael Gerson and Mark Shields what the recent racist episode at the University of Oklahoma has to “say about whether we can ever get rid of racism in this country.”
Until further notice…
I thought I had reached the end of the line back on May 18, 2013 when I tried to say goodbye to this column. Somehow I got a burst of inspiration and continued writing another 100 or so stories.
Newstalk – March 11
Somerville Pop Warner is hosting a Cookies and Cocoa Registration at Clarendon Hill Towers Wednesday (today) from 6-8 p.m. at the community room, 1374 Broadway. Somerville Pop Warner and Cheerleading registration for boys and girls, aged 5–15, by July 31. Fee: $20. Scholarships available. No child is ever turned away for inability to pay.