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Newstalk – March 4

The Somerville Chamber of Commerce “Business After Hours” get-together is 5-7 p.m., Thursday, March 5, at Olde Magoun’s Saloon, 518 Medford St., Magoun Square. No cover, free appetizers, excellent networking, gift certificate drawing. RSVP with the name(s) and affiliation(s) for you and your guest(s) to smackey@somervillechamber.org.

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March 4

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Our View of the Times – March 4

powderhouse_viewOnce the snow has melted – or has been “eaten” by the dragon – a long laborious process still awaits those who care for the functioning of our city’s infrastructure.

Potholes in our streets and other types of damage caused by all the scraping, digging, and shoveling will have to be dealt with. Public buildings will need shoring up, their roofs checked and repaired where necessary, etc.

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Letter to the Editor: Green Space and Somerville’s Proposed New Zoning

Somerville is overhauling its zoning code. The current one dates back to 1926, with several revisions since. This is a rare opportunity for people concerned about the lack of green space in Somerville to make a difference. We need your help.

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An imminent train wreck

shelton_webBy William C. Shelton

The disappointment in the room was tangible last Wednesday night. Greg Karczewski, president of the Somerville Redevelopment Authority’s chosen Master Developer Partner US2, had just told Somerville residents that his firm intended to build 525 housing units for affluent young professionals on Union Square’s most strategic block.

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Newstalk – February 25

Tonight, Wednesday the 25th, the Board of Alderman will be holding a Public Hearing on the city’s snow ordinance before it is amended. This is your time to go to City Hall tonight at 7 p.m. and offer the Board your opinion, good or bad, on the snow ordinance. The ordinance calls for snow and ice removal no later than a few hours after a storm, with fines up to $200 from the city. Just think if they had enforced this ordinance over these past few storms? One has to wonder if it’s a “revenue” issue or…? Let your voice be heard!

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February 25

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Our View of the Times – February 24

powderhouse_viewWhat is it with certain properties in our fair city? Why do some of them seem to be so problematic in terms of finding their proper niche in our warp and woof?

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Letter to the Editor – February 26

Somerville Development Watch has proposed two zoning amendments, both of which discourage infill development in residential neighborhoods. One amendment limits the gross floor area increase during condo conversions to 15% instead of 25%. The other amendment attaches conditions to the granting of a special permit, for example requiring that the proposed use be appropriate for the site, without adversely affecting the character or value of abutting properties, or causing undue traffic, nuisance or hazard. Demonstrably factual objections from abutting owners, and the availability of adequate and appropriate city services for the proposed use would also be taken into account. A public hearing on these amendments will be held on Thursday March 5, at 6pm, at City Hall, 93 Highland Avenue, 2nd floor, Aldermanic Chamber.

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Zoning and inequality

parsons_webBy Philip Parsons

Income and wealth inequalities have become so stark that even Republican presidential candidates now feel obligated to take notice. But many Somervillians limit these concerns to rising housing costs.

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A broken T is a broken economy

mayor_webBy Joseph A. Curtatone

Not that it necessarily needs to be repeated, but our region is in the middle of extraordinary circumstances with more than seven feet of snow falling in less than four weeks. It’s already the second snowiest winter on record for the region, and the record 30-day snowfall that fell over the past month would be the third snowiest season all on its own. So we’re aware of the tremendous impact the weather is having on the region, and not just on MBTA service. That said, the problems on the MBTA are not the result of this winter’s storms. The choreography of these consequences began long ago. We have chronically underfunded this transportation system for two generations. The MBTA’s problems should be a wake-up call to all of us that our future prosperity, for the Commonwealth and every city and town, depends on the reliability of the T—and its expansion goals.

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Stop and smell the popcorn!

del_ponte_4_webLife in the Ville by Jimmy Del Ponte

This past Saturday, I had to retrieve one of my favorite scarves that I left at Burton’s Grill in Burlington. I decided since I was right there, I’d do a little shopping at the Market Basket in the same complex. (Thanks Burton’s for taking care of my scarf!)

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Newstalk – February 18

Many events and meetings were canceled this week due to the amount of snow. The committee meeting at City Hall to discuss the Snow Ordinance is now set for Wednesday, February 25 at 6 p.m. Also rescheduled is the proposed zoning ordinance, now set for March 5. The fundraiser and kickoff campaign for Alderman At Large Mary Jo Rossetti is reset for Monday, March 2 at Tony’s C’s in Assembly Row, beginning at 6 p.m.

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February 18

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Our View of the Times – February 18

powderhouse_viewSure, we’re tired of shoveling it, trudging through it, and even thinking about it anymore. What can often be a “winter wonderland” for most of us has turned into an apocalyptic nightmare for almost everyone these past few weeks.

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