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An imminent train wreck

Posted by at 11:46 am on March 4, 2015

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…

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Posted in Comprehensive Plan, Development and Zoning, Green Line, Housing, Jobs, Union Square | No Comments »

The city’s disastrous new housing goal

Posted by at 4:22 pm on January 15, 2015

The mayor has been making the rounds with journalists, community groups, and alderman. His message is that Somerville must do its fair share to meet the need identified by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council for…

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Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

Assembly Square betrayal?

Posted by at 7:20 pm on March 1, 2013

If you had an urgent need to get to Denver, would you begin by sailing east? Probably not. Most of us don’t pursue important goals by heading in the opposite direction.

But that is…

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Posted in City Finances, Politics | 1 Comment »

What we can learn from the School Committee’s selection process

Posted by at 10:39 am on February 20, 2013

Last month the School Committee chose a replacement for their colleague, Maureen Bastardi, who had been appointed Ward 1 Alderman. They did so through an open process that involved soliciting interest from potential candidates and…

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Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

IKEA’s Somerville Withdrawal Creates Opportunity and Risk

Posted by at 9:22 am on August 13, 2012

I’ve never met an IKEA representative I didn’t like. In negotiations they were honorable, and as companions they were enjoyable. But despite their many virtues, I’m glad they won’t be building a store in Somerville.

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Posted in Assembly Square, MBTA, Orange Line | No Comments »

Meeting cancelation rationale raises credibility questions

Posted by at 10:46 am on June 8, 2012

Check out Ken Brociner’s column

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Posted in Civic Action | 2 Comments »

Service Learning in Somerville?

Posted by at 12:02 pm on February 27, 2009

Students learn concepts in their classes and learn from practicing the concepts in their communities. The concepts guide and inform the practice; the practice illuminates and tests the concepts.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Drug Warriors Advocate Peace

Posted by at 5:15 pm on February 5, 2009

If you drive northwest on Mystic Avenue, not far past the Medford line you’ll pass a modest office building. One of its tenants is LEAP, an organization that is influencing opinion on drug policy across North America. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition’s members—current and retired law officers—propose a different way.

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Posted in Crime | 4 Comments »

Open Letter

Posted by at 10:33 pm on December 1, 2008

To the Charter Review Committee, I sincerely appreciated the opportunity to give testimony at your November 10th public hearing. I hope you are not discouraged that, from mildly to passionately, all but one person who spoke was critical of your preliminary recommendations.

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Posted in Government Reform, Politics | No Comments »

Calling all citizen journalists

Posted by at 9:49 am on August 26, 2008

You already know more about Somerville than the kids who spend a year or two reporting here and then move on. You have years of personal experience understanding one or more important civic issues. The Somerville News, Somerville Journal, and this humble forum can certain benefit from your insights. And more than any time that I can remember, providing a decent future for all Somerville’s citizens requires our fully understanding our present and the past that created it.

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Posted in Media | No Comments »

Somerville’s Changing Politics Part 3: The Portuguese

Posted by at 3:35 am on June 2, 2008

From the 1950s, through the 1970s, well over half of Somerville’s long-term residents permanently left the city. The first clearly identifiable group of newcomers who replaced them was Portuguese immigrants.

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Posted in Politics | 2 Comments »

Somerville’s Changing Politics: The Diaspora

Posted by at 10:47 pm on May 14, 2008

The attraction of Somerville’s affordable housing, Irish and Italian enclaves, and thriving industrial economy made it the most densely populated American city in the middle of the last century. Its 170 manufacturing plants provided wages sufficient to support a family, often with only one parent working.

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Posted in Politics | No Comments »

Somerville’s Changing Politics, Part 1

Posted by at 9:47 am on April 1, 2008

When a region’s climate changes over long periods, its ecosystems change as well. Woodlands can become grasslands, tundra or desert. This process involves prolonged conflict between differing plant and animal groups, and between how they change their environment by living and propagating. Even if they were conscious, they would not see themselves as at war, but rather merely doing what they can to survive.…

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Posted in Politics | 6 Comments »