Newstalk – January 28
On the political side of things, we will be having the local elections for Mayor, Alderman and School Board members this year. Two years ago some races had some contests and hopefully again this year that will happen. We think competition is great for everyone, in the private sector as well as the public sector. We hope more will decide to jump in and run for office. So far this year we have heard that Ward Three School Board member Adam Sweeting is not going to seek re-election, leaving it a wide open seat. The first rumor we heard about someone running was former candidate for mayor and Ward Three Alderman herself Ms. Suzanne Bremer is thinking about testing the waters. Others are also considering running for the vacant seat. Again, we hope all the wards have more than one candidate running for office.
Our View of the Times – January 28
Yes, we’re all more than a little bit sick of snow right now. Freezing fingers and aching lower backs from shoveling have taken their toll. It would be so nice to just sit back with a hot bowl of chili and a bracing beverage and ride the rest of it out in comfort.
Preserving and Enhancing our Commercial Corridors
Locally owned, independent business have long been ingrained into the economic fabric of the City of Somerville. With significant changes on the horizon, having a strong commercial-tax generating base is something that should be on the forefront of every conversation about Somerville’s future.
Three Members Urge Retirement Board to Divest from Fossil Fuel Companies
By Mark Niedergang, Peter St. Clair and Patricia Wild
We urge the Somerville Retirement Board to divest from all companies in the fossil fuel business. All three of us are vested members of the Somerville City Retirement System. We support divestment for two reasons: (1) We believe that our children’s and the City’s future is in peril if humankind does not drastically reduce our use of fossil fuels; and (2) we want to protect our retirement and our pensions. We believe that fossil fuel companies are poor investments that will not only generate less return than other, comparable stocks and bonds, but are becoming increasingly volatile and risky investments, likely in the future to lose money for the Somerville Retirement System.
Community needs to prioritize our mounting infrastructure needs
By Joseph A. Curtatone
As I mentioned in my State of the city address earlier this month, like most cities, we must address water, sewer and building infrastructure that was built for the 20th century—and is aging rapidly. We have a 143-year-old high school that has not been updated in almost three decades and a public safety building that began as an MBTA car barn almost a century ago. We have a sewer system that’s mostly just as old and an estimated sidewalk and pavement backlog that could cost upwards of $83 million. We have planned streetscape projects in Davis Square and Winter Hill that are needed for both public safety and for our economic health. In short: We have immediate and long-term capital projects that must be planned for. But if we are going to pay for these critical infrastructure investments in the least burdensome way, we must adhere to our principles of strategic planning and prudent fiscal management.
By William C. Shelton
Almost since it was converted from an MBTA car barn, Union Square’s public safety building has continually threatened the health of the first responders who work in it. When I first reported on this, eight police personnel had received cancer diagnoses, and two dozen out of 127 sworn officers carried respiratory inhalers—incidences far to high to be random.
From go-carts to golf carts
Life in the Ville by Jimmy Del Ponte
It seems like only yesterday me and my pal Charlie were pulling wheels off of a shopping cart that we found in the alley of Stop ‘N Shop in Davis Square to build a go-cart or, as we called it, a buggy. Now Charlie is in Florida tooling around in a golf cart and I’m still driving kids to school.
Newstalk – January 21
Happy Birthday this week to a few of our readers: Happy Birthday to good friend Ken Kotch, a great local family man who even though from NJ is still a good guy. Happy Birthday to local Attorney Bob Daut. We hope he has a great birthday for himself. Happy Birthday to Villen James Robertson, originally from East Somerville and now lives in sunny Florida. We wish him a good day.
Our View of the Times – January 21
The annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day reminds us of the importance of tolerance and embracing diversity in this modern age, just as it was in the days when Dr. King walked among us.
Let’s aim higher
By Joseph A. Curtatone
Excerpted and adapted from Mayor Curtatone’s State of the City address given on Monday, Jan. 19, 2015.
One of the many accolades we’ve earned together over the past decade and that we can rightly be proud of is “The Best Run City in Massachusetts.” But our community’s aspirations have always been more than simply having an efficient and effective government. We know that government can do more. It can change people’s lives for the better.
Cities cannot be led by mere managers, seeking the highest rate of return. As Robert F. Kennedy pointed out in 1968, our Gross National Product “measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.” Government has a critical role to play in the shaping the future of every person who lives in our community. When it comes to improving the lives of our people, government is not just an essential player—it is the essential player.
Let’s meet at The Bal–A-Roue
Life in the Ville by Jimmy Del Ponte
Originally published on October 6, 2010.
A big fat Hammond B-3 organ. Railings surrounding a wooden oval floor, and hundreds of kids on roller skates! The roller-skating rink was called The Bal-A-Roue, and if you grew up in Medford, Somerville or surrounding areas, you remember it.
Newstalk – January 14
Former Ward 1 Alderman James “Jim” McCarthy passed away suddenly from a heart attack today while being rushed to Somerville Hospital. Jim leaves behind his lovely wife Louise and three grown children and grandchildren. Our condolences to his family and many friends, he will be missed. Jim was very active locally in the politics, currently as the Treasurer of the Somerville Redevelopment Authority. Jim knew the city better than most and was the kind of guy you could have a conversation with and always walk away smiling. What a great and giving guy he was, for he truly loved Somerville, both past and present. He had a wonderful sense of humor and anytime you met up with him around the city he would always have something to say that would make you smile and feel good. Arrangements are going to be set after we go to press, but unofficially they are planning a wake at Doherty’s on Friday with Church services at St. Ann’s sometime Saturday. As soon as we can confirm arrangements we will post them.