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Posted by fberman at 10:20 pm on March 25, 2013
The effort to leverage development at Assembly Square that generates meaningful jobs and tax revenues for the city has been long and hard. Construction of a new Orange Line station is ongoing evidence of our progress. We should not squander that effort. It would be unfortunate if a big box supermarket were to occupy the 130,000 square feet right next to that station, taking the place of much more beneficial office development or R&D, and denying the city the jobs and tax dollars we so desperately need. But that is just what could happen if a zoning amendment under consideration by the BOA is passed as written. Please urge the BOA to oppose the amendment as written and modify it to preserve the higher density requirements that make Assembly Square Somerville’s most important source of future jobs and tax revenues.
Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »
Posted by fberman at 12:46 pm on December 1, 2010
Following Alderman White’s assurance that the Board was only voting for the DIF and not on the actual bonds to fund the DIF, the Somerville Board of Aldermen voted 9-1 (Alderman Gewirtz dissented; Alderman Trane recused himself) to move the proposed Assembly Square DIF to the full Board for a vote at the Special Meeting scheduled for this Thursday. …
Posted in Assembly Square, Beat Reporter, Development and Zoning | No Comments »
Posted by fberman at 12:36 pm on November 29, 2010
The Mystic View Task Force has sent a letter to the City urging delay in voting on the proposed Assembly Row DIF. While we believe that a DIF may be the best available mechanism for moving forward on Assembly Square development, we are concerned that the proposed DIF puts a disproportionate share of risk on the City and fails to adequately hold the developer accountable. Please join us at Tuesday’s Finance Committee meeting (Nov. 30 at 7pm at City Hall) to support our call for a delay in the decision on the DIF to allow time for adequate analysis and the opportunity to negotiate a better proposal.
Posted in Assembly Square, Beat Reporter, Development and Zoning, Neighborhoods and Squares | 4 Comments »
Posted by fberman at 10:53 pm on March 1, 2010
Aldermen will hear from City Solicitor John Gannon tonight (Tuesday, March 2 at 8pm in City Hall) about the City’s options for terminating the new five year contract with Russell Disposal, in the wake of the Attorney General’s announced settlement agreement “… to resolve allegations that the company violated the Massachusetts Wage and Hour Laws.”
Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments »
Posted by fberman at 9:44 pm on February 16, 2010
I believe that both the premise for the Ordinance and the approach that it takes are wrong.
Posted in Development and Zoning, Housing, Seniors | 1 Comment »
Posted by fberman at 2:03 pm on October 14, 2009
If you’re on the fence about attending Sen. Pat Jehlen’s forum on expanded State gambling tomorrow night (Thurs. Oct 15 from 7-9pm at Century Bank, 400 Mystic Avenue in Medford), at which State Sen. Sue Tucker and State Rep Kathi-Anne Reinstein will debate the issue, here are some reasons why you should come, and why this really is a big deal.
Posted in Economy & Poverty, Government Reform, Politics, Public Health & Safety | 2 Comments »
Posted by fberman at 7:34 am on June 10, 2009
[kml_flashembed movie="http://blip.tv/play/AYGC4AqD4zE" width="320" height="270" wmode="transparent" /]
Posted in Civic Action, Schools and Youth | No Comments »
Posted by fberman at 3:04 am on June 1, 2009
At next week’s Mass. Democratic Party Issues Convention (Saturday, June 6 in Springfield), opponents of legalizing predatory slot machine gambling in Massachusetts will mount an effort to pass a Resolution “oppos[ing] the legalization of slot machines and any similar efforts to promote addictive and predatory gambling as a means of raising public revenues.” (The full Resolution is printed at the end of this posting.) WE NEED YOUR HELP collecting delegates’ signatures.
Posted in Politics | 6 Comments »
Posted by fberman at 3:01 am on February 23, 2009
On March 3rd, the Somerville Board of Aldermen will hold its hearing on the proposed Condo Conversion Ordinance. If you are a Somerville homeowner, you know that the Libertarian, Cambridge-based Small Property Owners Association (SPOA) — which mailed letters to every Somerville homeowner — is seeking to derail that legislation by disseminating inflammatory and baseless claims about how passage will result in plummeting property values and escalating property taxes.
Posted in Development and Zoning, Government Reform, Housing | 18 Comments »
Posted by fberman at 5:29 pm on February 1, 2009
PDS Vice Chair Rachel Heller sent around information about the Democratic Party Caucuses scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 5th (see below). Readers may be wondering “Why bother to go to an “issues” convention … or to the Caucus where delegates are elected? Here are my thoughts on why it’s worth our time.
Posted in Government Reform, Politics | 1 Comment »
Posted by fberman at 11:37 pm on December 29, 2008
Madeleine Masters, Planning Director with the Somerville Office of Strategic Planning & Community Development emailed an announcement about the upcoming meeting on the Union Square Open Space and Recreation Plan, which will be held on Tuesday, January 6th at 6:30 p.m. in the Aldermanic Chambers at City Hall.
Posted in Development and Zoning, Environment and Open Space, Neighborhoods and Squares | No Comments »
Posted by fberman at 2:21 am on December 1, 2008
If you’ve been waiting to submit your written testimony to the Charter Advisory Committee, now’s the time. If you haven’t reviewed the Committee’s preliminary recommendations, check them out here. Here are my thoughts:
Posted in Government Reform | No Comments »
Posted by fberman at 8:56 am on November 13, 2008
This past Monday, the Charter Advisory Committee held a public hearing … Perhaps the most frequent themes of testimony were · Opposition to the appointment (instead of election) of School Committee members · Filling Vacancies on the BOA / Instant Runoff Voting as the means of
Posted in Government Reform | 5 Comments »
Posted by fberman at 8:49 am on
In April 2008, Mayor Curtatone convened a Charter Advisory Committee “to examine the City of Somerville’s current municipal charter and make recommendations aimed at modernizing city government.” (snip) After a series of meetings between June and early November, the Committee held a public hearing on Monday, November 10 to present and receive comments about its preliminary recommendations…
Posted in Government Reform | No Comments »
Posted by fberman at 2:30 am on November 6, 2008
In anticipation of next week’s public hearing on Charter Reform, Fred Berman and Bill Bumpus interviewed local activist Bill Shelton, who favors a City Manager form of government, as compared with our current “Strong Mayor” form of government…..
Posted in Government Reform, Politics | 2 Comments »
Posted by fberman at 7:43 am on July 4, 2008
Sustainable Somerville — a nascent network of community organizations working to make/keep Somerville a great place to live, work, and play — is sponsoring a Sustainability Scavenger Hunt at ArtBeat (Saturday, July 19th in Davis Square), to show how the common thread of sustainability connects the work of the
Posted in Arts and Culture, Development and Zoning, Environment and Open Space, Housing, Uncategorized | No Comments »
Posted by fberman at 2:00 am on April 30, 2008
Warren Goldstein-Gelb, director of the Welcome Project, has asked for help in getting the word out about the need for volunteers this Saturday (May 3) in rebuilding the community garden at Mystic Housing, which was a casualty of the Somerville Housing Authority’s need for space for a maintenance shed.
Posted in Environment and Open Space | No Comments »