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The Latest Somerville Neighborhood News show

Posted by a 11:48 am on July 16, 2014

Watch the Latest Newscast of Somerville Neighborhood News

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbfsnzuZSH4&feature=youtu.be
Somerville Neighborhood News is a community service production of SCATV.
Here is what the latest newscast will bring you: The Boston Globe says…


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Posted in Arts and Culture, Beat Reporter, Civic Action, Crime, Development and Zoning, Media, Neighborhoods and Squares, Video | No Comments »

Somervillians Support Fight for $15 Minimum Wage

Posted by a 5:40 pm on June 18, 2014

Somerville Neighborhood News is a production of Somerville Community Access Television, made by professional journalists, volunteers and staff. The half-hour news show has as its mission to provide a lively, informative newscast focusing on the events, issues…


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Posted in Civic Action, Civil and Human Rights, Consumer Money Saving, Economy & Poverty, Video, Workers' Rights | No Comments »

Two Tufts Student Protest Against Abuses

Posted by a 5:02 pm on May 9, 2014

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeODQuuSJpY

Somerville, MA, May 7, 2014 – Despite being distracted by exams and end of year ceremonies and activities, Tufts University students twice recently took to the streets and the Quad to protest policies…


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Posted in Civic Action, Civil and Human Rights, Investigative Reports, Neighborhoods and Squares, Schools and Youth, Tufts, Video, Workers' Rights | No Comments »

Somerville Neighborhood News Eps. 12

Posted by a 9:58 am on April 10, 2014

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTKImaueyOE&list=PLoFyRgrTeiKiZDYI67dRDhapNh2iu8VQI&feature=share
April 8, 2014 – Attend the Deanna Cremin memorial and hear from her sister, learn how Somerville is fighting against the overdose epidemic, visit the Irish Film Festival, learn about air pollution near Route…


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Posted in Announcements, Arts and Culture, Civic Action, Civil and Human Rights, Development and Zoning, East Somerville, Environment and Open Space, Housing, Investigative Reports, Neighborhoods and Squares, Politics, Schools and Youth, Union Square, Video, Winter Hill | No Comments »

Somerville Solicitor invokes “attorney-client privilege” to conceal PR strategy

Posted by a 5:29 pm on March 1, 2014

Redacted portions of at least one Somerville Official’s City Hall email that is in regional news lately (DigBoston and Somerville Journal) is revealed here. The City Solicitor insists that this text, outlining a PR strategy, is protected under “attorney-client privilege.”


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Posted in Civic Action, Civil and Human Rights, Public Records / FOIA Requests | No Comments »

Net Neutrality & Internet Access Panel @ Tufts

Posted by a 10:35 am on February 20, 2014

Do you know about Net Neutrality and do you care about the Future of Internet Access?

 
What does the future hold for Open

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Posted in Announcements, Arts and Culture, Civic Action, Events, Neighborhoods and Squares, Tufts | No Comments »

Fresh veggies go mobile! Support access to nutritious foods for our neighbors.

Posted by a 7:38 pm on November 21, 2013

 photo veggies_zps7e58118f.jpgThis summer I saw a story in the Globe that made me happy. Like many of you, I’ve heard about the neighborhoods that are entirely under-served by groceries…


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Posted in Civic Action, Consumer Money Saving, Economy & Poverty, Public Health & Safety | No Comments »

Union Square Transportation Data- Do Performance Measures Include Accessibility, Economic factors?

Posted by a 2:19 pm on August 12, 2013

What kinds of performance measures were examined prior to the recent announcement about Union Square’s upcoming transportation improvements?


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Posted in Accessibility, Civil and Human Rights, Comprehensive Plan, Development and Zoning, Economy & Poverty, Pedestrians, Public Health & Safety, Public Records / FOIA Requests, Seniors, Transportation, Transportation Projects, Union Square | No Comments »

(Free Movie) EMPOWERED: Power From the People

Posted by a 4:58 pm on April 3, 2013

Somerville Climate Action and Rep. Denise Provost present a free film,

Empowered: Power From the People

Tompkins County, NY is one of the cloudiest, least windy places in the country, and yet its residents…


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Posted in Arts and Culture, Civic Action, Environment and Open Space, Events, Video | No Comments »

Information request to Somerville Housing Authority

Posted by a 8:35 pm on December 10, 2012

The Community Access Project has submitted a public information request to the Somerville Housing Authority (SHA) to gain Access For All to its 2012 Annual Plan (which is currently online in inaccessible format); and, to gain a listing of the SHA program’s accessible project-based voucher sites and units.


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Posted in Announcements, Civil and Human Rights, Public Records / FOIA Requests, Special | No Comments »

Maxwell’s Green Entrance Signs/Walls on Lowell Street are Blocking the Sightlines to/from Community Path, despite almost half a million dollars in state Transit Oriented Development funding

Posted by a 4:47 pm on September 5, 2012

The Friends of the Community Path sent this letter to the George Proakis and the Planning Board on August 17, with no reply so far:…


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Posted in Accessibility, Bicycles, Civic Action, Crime, Environment and Open Space, Green Line, Magoun Square, Neighborhoods and Squares, Pedestrians, Public Health & Safety, Seniors, Transportation, Transportation Projects, Ward 3, Ward 5 | No Comments »

How did SOS determine principal arguments for each of the three MA Ballot Initiatives FY12?

Posted by a 5:00 pm on August 14, 2012

Prior to and on statewide Elections Day, the MA Secretary of State’s Office publishes arguments for and against every ballot measure that is placed before the voters of the Commonwealth.  In 2012, Massachusetts voters will…


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Posted in Politics, Public Health & Safety, Public Records / FOIA Requests, Special | No Comments »

Union Square Neighbors Rally for Affordable Housing

Posted by a 6:01 pm on July 12, 2012

A crowd of 80 Union Square residents and other Somerville supporters gathered last night to proclaim Union Square as the heart of diversity with their message: “We support an affordable, diverse Somerville: Let’s keep Union Square a place for everyone!”


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Posted in Civic Action, Development and Zoning, Economy & Poverty, Housing, Union Square | No Comments »

Brociner Justified in Calling Letter Patently Dishonest

Posted by a 10:45 am on June 22, 2012

Clearly, Curtatone dodged his responsibility to properly ensure the event was accessible for persons with disabilities. We deserve better from our mayor!


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Posted in Accessibility, Civic Action, Government Reform | No Comments »

Meeting cancelation rationale raises credibility questions

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

Check out Ken Brociner’s column


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Posted in Civic Action | 2 Comments »

Official Minutes of Official Meetings

Posted by a 9:52 pm on May 28, 2012

In my efforts to understand and follow the business of city government in Somerville, I have tried to view or download official minutes of official meetings of boards, departments, commissions and one Authority which are identified on the public minutes and meeting agendas page of the city website.…


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Posted in Civic Action, Politics | 6 Comments »

City Silences the Human Rights Commission with Obsolete Quorum Rule Instead of Fixing It

Posted by a 4:58 pm on May 17, 2012

Given the City’s clear interest in having a functioning HRC to protect the civil and human rights of Somerville residents, and given the difficulty with growing our membership, it makes little sense to have an out-dated quorum rule so high that it prevents us from meeting.


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Posted in Civic Action, Civil and Human Rights | No Comments »

Local Hacktivists Organize for Government Transparency

Posted by a 3:44 pm on May 5, 2012

My friend and Somerville hacktivist, Adam Friedman, recently alerted me to two new local transparency groups which both seem to have a strong Somerville focus and include another Somerville hacktivist Michael @Morisy (from the FOIA-made-easy site MuckRock).…


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Posted in Civic Action, Government Reform | No Comments »

Mayor Curtatone’s ACE Webpage for Responsiveness Data Late Again

Posted by a 3:15 pm on

The City’s transparency initiative has again fallen into neglect.…


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Posted in Civic Action, Government Reform | No Comments »

@SomervilleCity’s Retaliation Against Accessibility Whistleblower Casts Chilling Effect

Posted by a 9:09 pm on April 6, 2012

Last week, Mayor @JoeCurtatone retaliated against Somerville accessibility rights advocate Eileen Feldman after she blew the whistle on the City’s attempt to have the U.S. Surgeon General’s March 23rd health grant event held at the then-inaccessible Armory…


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Posted in Accessibility, Arts and Culture, Civic Action, Civil and Human Rights, Ward 5 | 7 Comments »

Why @311Somerville Does Not Track Loose Utility Wire Calls

Posted by a 11:24 pm on March 25, 2012

Here’s what I’ve learned so far via the following Twitter conversation (in chronological order):…


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Posted in 311 Requests, Government Reform, Public Health & Safety | 2 Comments »

Are City’s Senior Centers Fully Accessible?

Posted by a 12:36 pm on March 5, 2012

The following letter was submitted to the resistat blog on 3/5/2012 after its writer read David Dahlbacka’s announcement of upcoming HUD Plan hearing:…


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Posted in 311 Requests, Accessibility, All Ages, Announcements, Civic Action, Civil and Human Rights, Politics, Seniors | 1 Comment »

Current MaxPac Covenant Request via MuckRock.com

Posted by a 2:51 pm on January 14, 2012

A MuckRock.com public information request for a complete and current copy of the amended MaxPac covenant between Developers and City of Somerville is submitted, effective January 17, 2012.


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Posted in Public Records / FOIA Requests, Special | 1 Comment »

City’s ACE Webpage for Responsiveness Data Now 3 Months Stale

Posted by a 12:02 am on January 4, 2012

“We should not have to tell you we are doing well. We should be able to show we are doing well. And if we are falling short in some areas, then you should be able to see that too. ” – Mayor Curtatone, in his 7/15/2011 op-ed to the Somerville News announcing his new ACE program and stating a customer bill of rights.


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Posted in Civic Action, Government Reform | 4 Comments »

Trader Joe’s has Social Justice Problems

Posted by a 11:31 pm on December 8, 2011

Surely there are many Somervillians among the many patrons and fans of Traders Joe national (specialty) retail grocery stores. While of little comparison to the retail behemoth in the news these days, Trader Joe’s is not without its problems. The following notice may be of interest.…


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Posted in All Ages, Announcements, Civic Action, Consumer Money Saving, Events, Teens, Workers' Rights | No Comments »

Working Together to Improve Outcomes – My Comments on Charter

Posted by a 10:16 pm on December 6, 2011

Perspective on the proposed charter by Stephanie Hirsch, a Somerville parent and Director of SomerPromise, a joint effort of the City, Schools, on-profit providers, residents, Tufts, and the Somerville Housing Authority to increase coordination and to use data-informed decision-making to improve life outcomes for children in Somerville.


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Posted in City Finances, Civic Action, Education, Schools and Youth | No Comments »

Somerville, MA: Millions Wasted on Deficient Walkability Improvements

Posted by a 4:31 pm on November 2, 2011

Over 80% of Somerville’s new sidewalks and curb cuts, installed since 2004, are hazardous for people with various types of disabilities (one-in-five). These infrastructure improvements don’t even adhere to basic, standard building code. See a listing of the first 50 locations that the City of Somerville promises to re-do, equalling about $500K wasted the first time around- for starters.


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Posted in Accessibility, Civil and Human Rights, Development and Zoning, Environment and Open Space, Government Reform, Pedestrians, Public Health & Safety, Public Records / FOIA Requests, Schools and Youth, Seniors | 8 Comments »

FOI Request: Somerville’s Inclusionary Housing Units, 1991- present

Posted by a 8:51 pm on October 24, 2011

October, 2011:  The Somerville Community Corporation is organizing strategy sessions to get more affordable housing in Somerville by “strengthening our city’s inclusionary zoning ordinance.”

The Community Access Project has placed a FOI request to the…


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Posted in Accessibility, Civic Action, Civil and Human Rights, Development and Zoning, Economy & Poverty, Housing, Public Records / FOIA Requests, Special | 2 Comments »

FOIA to OSPCD: Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing?

Posted by a 6:34 pm on September 16, 2011

Disabled residents of Somerville experience disproportionate poverty, substandard housing conditions, and face pervasive exclusion, even in the city’s inclusionary and affordable housing opportunity programs. Today, a FOIA request was lodged to learn how four influential nonprofits guide the City to step up to its obligations to affirmatively further Fair Housing for economically disadvantaged residents.


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Posted in Accessibility, Civic Action, Civil and Human Rights, Development and Zoning, Government Reform, Housing, Public Records / FOIA Requests | 2 Comments »

Arts at the Armory Still Inaccessible To Thousands

Posted by a 6:49 pm on September 15, 2011

Although the City of Somerville is well aware that the Armory facility is still inaccessible at the entrance ramp, the Mayor continues to hold important events and meetings here. At the same time, the Architect and Owner continue to claim that various City Departments are refusing to accept an accessible design. Who’s benefitting from this back-and-forth?


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Posted in Accessibility, Announcements, Civic Action, Civil and Human Rights, Development and Zoning, Housing, Neighborhoods and Squares, Public Records / FOIA Requests, Ward 5 | 1 Comment »

UnSafe Routes to School, East Somerville Public Schools

Posted by a 1:42 pm on September 5, 2011

The Community Access Project did a reality check of the 2010 East Somerville Safe Routes 2 School Map. We found that less than 20% of the pedestrian features are even up to basic standard code. “Safe” is a misnomer.

These streets ain’t fit for walkin’.


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Posted in Accessibility, Civic Action, Civil and Human Rights, Development and Zoning, East Somerville, Economy & Poverty, Environment and Open Space, Neighborhoods and Squares, Pedestrians, Public Health & Safety, Schools and Youth, Transportation Projects | 2 Comments »

Curtatone Administration Not as Transparent and Open as Promised

Posted by a 1:26 am on July 28, 2011

As the following examples indicate, the Curtatone administration routinely ignores, delays, or over-charges for data sought under the state’s public records law, in contrast to what the Mayor calls an “open, transparent and efficient government”.…


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Posted in 311 Requests, Government Reform, Investigative Reports, Public Records / FOIA Requests | 5 Comments »

FOIA: Affordable Housing Waiting Lists for Somerville, MA

Posted by a 12:48 pm on July 24, 2011

Rising rents, increased privately-funded housing development, excessive rental burdens, and physically inadequate subsidized housing stock are contributing to Somerville’s transformation into an less diverse, more expensive place to live.


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Posted in Accessibility, Civic Action, Civil and Human Rights, Development and Zoning, Housing, Public Records / FOIA Requests | No Comments »

“Talented, civic-minded people” sought by City

Posted by a 5:31 pm on July 8, 2011

To evaluate city services, the city is asking for volunteers to sign up as “mystery customers” through ResiStat. City workers beware! Find out more from Somerville Patch at: http://somerville.patch.com/articles/wanted-undercover-agents-to-evaluate-city-services?ncid=M255…


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Posted in Civic Action, Uncategorized | No Comments »

IKEA Object of Social Justice Action

Posted by a 8:15 am on June 30, 2011

The following email was sent to me as a subscriber to Change.org. I have forwarded the body of the notice, and you will find the link to the online petition in the text of the story. It brings to mind the maxim that if it sounds too good to be true (as with the detente reached by parties to  Assembly Sq. development/IKEA), it probably is.…


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Posted in Announcements, Assembly Square, Civic Action, Development and Zoning, Economy & Poverty, Neighborhoods and Squares, Politics, Workers' Rights | 1 Comment »

350 Actions Challenge Kick-Off

Posted by a 12:19 pm on May 26, 2011

Join us for an evening of festivities, fun and film as we kick off our new campaign
to get 350 NEW actions to make Somerville a cleaner, greener, healthier place to live


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Posted in All Ages, Announcements, Civic Action, Environment and Open Space, Events, Media, Neighborhoods and Squares, Press Release, Public Health & Safety, Schools and Youth, Union Square | No Comments »

Trends in Parking Ticket Appeals: Uncovered

Posted by a 12:26 am on May 19, 2011

When Watertown, MA resident Mark Pickering received a parking citation during a visit to a friend in nearby Somerville, he figured a simple letter to the Office of the Parking Clerk would result in a scheduled hearing or a ticket dismissal. Instead, he received an anonymous note of rejection with an extra $5 fine. [See Mark's letter in the SJ : Parking ticket appeal system needs work]…


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Posted in City Finances, Public Records / FOIA Requests, Somerville By The Numbers, Traffic & Parking | 14 Comments »

FOIA Request- ADA ramps constructed in 2009

Posted by a 2:55 pm on May 17, 2011

A FOIA request was placed via Muckrock on April 7, 2011 for all documents related to new construction of 12 ADA ramps at 4 municipal locations.

On May 16, 2011, the City of…


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Posted in Accessibility, Public Records / FOIA Requests, Special | No Comments »

Spring ResiStat Meetings Start Monday, May 9, 6:30 p.m.

Posted by a 10:42 am on May 3, 2011

Neighborhood Meetings in Each of the City’s Seven Wards Start May 9

Meet with the Mayor, your ward and at-large aldermen, City officials, Somerville Police representatives, and your neighbors to get updates on City and Ward news and discuss the issues important to you. Each meeting will include a presentation as well as an open Q&A from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. where you can bring up your concerns and ideas. A Meet & Greet with light refreshments from 7:30 to 8 p.m. will follow and conversations can continue there. All locations are wheelchair accessible.…


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Posted in Announcements, Civic Action, Events, Neighborhoods and Squares, Politics, Ward 1, Ward 2, Ward 3, Ward 4, Ward 5, Ward 6, Ward 7 | No Comments »

The Battle for Summer Street

Posted by a 11:05 am on April 12, 2011

A pair of developers with a history of unfulfilled promises, bankruptcy and faulty construction have found a willing partner in the City of Somerville, which will soon enter the final phase of ushering their most embattled plans into reality.

 …


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Posted in Davis Square, Development and Zoning, Public Records / FOIA Requests, Ward 6 | No Comments »

Parking Ticket Appeals Story Update

Posted by a 11:24 pm on April 9, 2011

Following the last update on this story in late February, T&P Director Matt Dias offered and provided the requested data including a column indicating whether each ticket appeal was made online or not. Even better, the cost was $30 less than his original quote.…


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Posted in Announcements, City Finances, Public Records / FOIA Requests, Traffic & Parking | No Comments »

Have Your Say: Take Part in CAAS Community Survey

Posted by a 7:43 pm on March 20, 2011

“Your opinion matters,” Fischman says. “Please tell us your highest priorities for work to end poverty where we live. We will share the information with the City government and other community organizations so we can work together on the issues the community needs most to resolve.”


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Posted in Civic Action, Economy & Poverty, Press Release | No Comments »

2/17 : Speak Out for Somerville Jobs at BoA Public Hearing on MaxPac

Posted by a 10:40 am on February 16, 2011

More than 50 Somerville residents signed a petition requesting a hearing by the Board of Alderman on union jobs and local hiring.

The hearing will be at 6:00 PM on February 17. There will be a short rally beforehand at 5:45 PM.…


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Posted in All Ages, Announcements, Civic Action, Civil and Human Rights, Development and Zoning, Economy & Poverty, Events, Politics, Ward 5, Workers' Rights | No Comments »

Towing Company Profiting from Public Land Use?

Posted by a 6:19 pm on January 21, 2011

Happy snow emergency! Do you know where your towing dollars go?


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Posted in 311 Requests, Beat Reporter, Consumer Money Saving, Environment and Open Space, Government Reform, Investigative Reports, Politics, Teele Square, Traffic & Parking, Ward 7 | 40 Comments »

Curtatone’s 2009 Campaign Finance Reports

Posted by a 10:17 pm on January 10, 2011

After obtaining copies of the most recent campaign finance reports for Somerville’s mayor and Board of Aldermen, Post Somerville has begun analyzing the data by putting it into spreadsheets.


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Posted in Public Records / FOIA Requests | No Comments »

Help Uncover Trends in Parking Ticket Appeals

Posted by a 7:41 pm on January 1, 2011

When Watertown, MA resident Mark Pickering received a parking citation during a visit to a friend in nearby Somerville, he figured a simple letter to the Office of the Parking Clerk would result in a scheduled hearing or a ticket dismissal. Instead, he received an anonymous note of rejection with an extra $5 fine.


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Posted in Government Reform, Investigative Reports, Public Records / FOIA Requests, Traffic & Parking | 3 Comments »

Labor and community groups petition Board of Aldermen for hearing on MaxPac jobs

Posted by a 4:58 pm on December 26, 2010

The groups fighting for the inclusion of local residents and union jobs on the proposed MaxPac development petitioned the Board of Aldermen on December 22 to hold a hearing on the Covenant language for union jobs that KSS Realty signed with the City of Somerville.


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Posted in Civic Action, Development and Zoning, Economy & Poverty, Politics, Press Release, Ward 5, Workers' Rights | No Comments »

Meeting of the Friends of the Community Path: Thurs, 12/9, 7pm

Posted by a 10:01 am on December 6, 2010

We will be prioritizing our action list this meeting. We are looking for new members to help us with our mission of extending the Community Path (along part of the future Green Line route) to the Charles River.
Meeting is at the VNA, 259 Lowell Street.


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Posted in Announcements, Beat Reporter, Bicycles, Civic Action, Environment and Open Space, Events, Green Line, MBTA, Neighborhoods and Squares, Pedestrians, Special, Trains, Transportation, Transportation Projects | No Comments »

A Tale of Two Public Records Requests

Posted by a 5:42 pm on December 5, 2010

This is the true story of how the City of Somerville stonewalled my request for public records and then went out of its way to satisfy a very similar request by BU’s New England Center for Investigative Reporting (NECIR).…


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Posted in City Finances, Public Records / FOIA Requests, Traffic & Parking | 5 Comments »

Picket line and rally for Somerville jobs

Posted by a 4:07 pm on November 28, 2010

Residents of Somerville concerned about the development of the old MaxPak paper factory where 199 units of new housing are being built will picket and rally for jobs at the entrance to the site (56-61 Clyde Street) in Somerville, MA on Thursday, Dec 2 from 6:00 to 9:00 AM.…


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Posted in All Ages, Announcements, Civic Action, Civil and Human Rights, Development and Zoning, Economy & Poverty, Events, Housing, Politics, Ward 5, Workers' Rights | 1 Comment »

Help discover the relationship between ICE and Somerville police

Posted by a 12:50 pm on November 21, 2010

Mayor Curtatone says the SPD won’t “assume the role of federal authorities in terms of immigration enforcement”, but this would mark a departure from how local police have been operating.


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Posted in Immigration, Investigative Reports, Public Health & Safety, Public Records / FOIA Requests | 3 Comments »

Campaign finance reports available online

Posted by a 6:49 pm on November 12, 2010

We at Post Somerville are excited to announce that, through a Freedom of Information Act request facilitated by MuckRock, the most recent campaign finance reports for the mayor of Somerville and members of the Board of Aldermen are now available online.


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Posted in Media, Politics, Public Records / FOIA Requests | 2 Comments »

How responsive is your Alder(wo)man? Your School Committee Member?

Posted by a 2:10 pm on

Our Alder(wo)men and School Committee Members are elected to represent us. In order to do that, they need to hear from us and let us know what’s going on at City Hall.  This gets me wondering if there’s a good way to score / track / rate them on how well they communicate with constituents. Perhaps you and I can come up with a set of criteria and then collectively keep tabs on how they’re doing.…


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Posted in Civic Action, Politics | 6 Comments »

Public Information request re: West Library Accessibility Study

Posted by a 6:01 pm on November 10, 2010

On October 5th, I submitted the following request to the Director of Somerville Historic Commission:

October 5, 2010

To: Brandon Wilson, Executive Director, Somerville Historic Preservation


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Posted in Accessibility, Civil and Human Rights, Public Records / FOIA Requests, Special | No Comments »

Where is the North Street Playground?

Posted by a 2:31 pm on November 9, 2010

Last night, I was the only member of the public to attend a City planning meeting for the renovation of the North Street Playground.


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Posted in Beat Reporter, Civic Action, Environment and Open Space, Schools and Youth, Teele Square, Ward 7 | 7 Comments »

Have you thought of running for elected office? Alderman? Mayor? Rep? Senator?

Posted by a 3:53 pm on November 5, 2010

Some recent commenters on this blog have expressed an interest in running for an Alderman seat or for Mayor. Have you? For what office?  Why? What’s holding you back? Have  you been a candidate? Do you know someone whom you think would be a good candidate? Please share your thoughts with us.…


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Posted in Civic Action | 8 Comments »

No on Question 3

Posted by a 12:38 pm on November 1, 2010

Somehow, like magic, the tax cut will only cut funding for things we don’t like. We have been hearing this message since 1979, when Ronald Reagan was running for office. I was a lie thirty years ago, and it remains a lie today. Cutting taxes does not create more effective government.


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Posted in City Finances, Civic Action, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Help liberate Somerville’s mandatory financial disclosures

Posted by a 12:14 pm on October 28, 2010

By law, public officials in Massachusetts have to disclose a lot of information regarding where they receive their campaign funding from, and what they spend it on. These reports paint a vivid picture of who scratches whose back, and can help map political connections and motivations. Unfortunately, many of these reports are relatively inaccessible to the general public.


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Posted in Politics, Public Records / FOIA Requests | 2 Comments »

Rally for Jim Henderson on October 27, 2010- UPDATE!!!!!

Posted by a 5:38 pm on October 26, 2010

It was confirmed yesterday that Bill Galvin would rather hide away from the voters, and hope they blindly follow him again, than actually face questions from the people he is charged to serve.  GALVIN IS


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Posted in Civic Action, Events, Politics | 1 Comment »

Public Information Request: Municipal Master Facilities Plan

Posted by a 2:27 am on October 20, 2010

Submitted a Public Information request regarding the City’s Municipal Needs Analysis and the Municipal Master facilities Plan again this month (This is the 3rd request since August, 2009.).  Per M. Tintocalis, Principal Planner, Economic Development…


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Posted in Accessibility, Civic Action, Public Records / FOIA Requests, Special, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

2nd Annual Tina DeLellis Luncheon to Honor Past and Present Community Service

Posted by a 5:14 pm on October 13, 2010

The Somerville Homeless Coalition is hosting the 2nd Annual Tina DeLellis Luncheon on October 29 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., at The Highland Kitchen. The luncheon is held in memory of Tina DeLellis…


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Posted in Announcements, Civic Action, Civil and Human Rights, Davis Square, Events, Housing, Neighborhoods and Squares, Press Release | No Comments »

Rally for Homes for the Homeless 10/14

Posted by a 7:30 pm on October 8, 2010

Please come to a Sleeping Bag Rally (bring your sleeping bag & pillows to show that everyone needs a place to sleep)

Thurs, Oct 14, 6-7:30 PM

Outside City Hall

On Sept…


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Posted in Civic Action, Economy & Poverty, Events, Housing | 2 Comments »

Civic/Community Engagement

Posted by a 9:09 am on July 24, 2010

Harvard and Tufts try to help solve Somerville organizing and calendar problems


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Posted in Accessibility, Civic Action, Schools and Youth, Tufts | No Comments »

Rally for school custodians, Tuesday 6/22 @ 6 pm

Posted by a 12:19 pm on June 21, 2010

I would like to let people in Somerville and anywhere else know about a rally against the mayor and his wrong budget choices.

WHEN:  June 22, 2010 6 pm

WHERE:  City Hall, 93


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Posted in Announcements, Civic Action, Events, Schools and Youth, Workers' Rights | 4 Comments »

Monday: Legislators Listen about Revenue

Posted by a 10:48 am on May 5, 2010

The Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Revenue has been traveling the state on a Listening Tour to hear from the public their thoughts on tax policy in Massachusetts. The Somerville stop of the


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Posted in City Finances, Civic Action, Events, Politics, Press Release | No Comments »

How Many City Departments Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb, or Coffee and Accountability

Posted by a 8:15 pm on April 22, 2010

Before the emergence of Coffee Parties, we saw, locally, the advent of Somervillevoices.org, a courageous and worthy experiment in a 21st Century democratic, community- controlled public media forum, and of the much heralded, government- built Resistat program…


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Posted in 311 Requests, Civic Action, Davis Square, Pedestrians, Politics, Public Health & Safety, Traffic & Parking | No Comments »

4/23/10 MA Open Meeting Law Changes- Public Comments Due

Posted by a 9:16 pm on April 19, 2010

The AGO, through its Division of Open Government is requesting public comment on proposed alternatives to the notice posting requirement in the Open Meeting Law. Comment should be submitted by April 23, 2010.


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Posted in Announcements, Beat Reporter, Civic Action, Civil and Human Rights, Investigative Reports, Politics, Press Release, Special | 5 Comments »

FW Russell Trash Contract Reveals Options for Aldermen

Posted by a 12:27 am on April 7, 2010

Through a public records request, I recently obtained scanned copies of the City’s trash contracts with the FW Russell company. The fine print challenges the claim made at the March 2nd BOA Legislative Matters Committee meeting by former City Solicitor, John Gannon, that only the Mayor has the power to break a contract.…


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Posted in Investigative Reports, Public Records / FOIA Requests, Workers' Rights | 9 Comments »

Sarah Palin’s tea party in Boston, April 14

Posted by a 12:11 pm on March 30, 2010

Well, she doesn’t scare this citizen and I doubt she scares you, dear reader, but her sojourn into the birthplace of this here nation sure calls for a strong non-violent response.


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Posted in Civic Action, Civil and Human Rights, Events, Politics, Uncategorized | 88 Comments »

Public Records Request for FW Russell Contracts

Posted by a 11:57 pm on March 24, 2010

Residents have a right to know whether the FW Russell Company voided its contract with the City when it was found to have intentionally violated state wage and hours laws by AG Coakley’s office.


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Posted in Public Records / FOIA Requests | 2 Comments »

What’s Next For the Powder House Community School?

Posted by a 10:26 pm on March 18, 2010

What’s Next For the Powder House Community School?

WHY :       The City is moving ahead with plans to rezone and sell the Powder House School property.

WHAT :    Join your neighbors to…


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Posted in Announcements, City Finances, Civic Action, Development and Zoning, Events, Neighborhoods and Squares, Schools and Youth, Special | No Comments »

Coffee with Carl

Posted by a 10:01 pm on February 20, 2010

Approximately fifteen people crowded around two small tables this afternoon at the Danish Pastry House in Medford to share their concerns and questions in a wide-ranging conversation with State Representative Carl Sciortino at his first district coffee hour of the year.  …


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Posted in Civic Action, Events, Politics | No Comments »

Davis Square Task Force Meeting

Posted by a 6:50 pm on February 14, 2010

Davis Square Task Force Meeting

Wed. Feb. 24, 7:00 PM

Tufts Administration Building (TAB)
169 Holland St.
Somerville MA (map)

This is the regular meeting of the Davis…


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Posted in All Ages, Announcements, Buses, Civic Action, Development and Zoning, Environment and Open Space, Events, Neighborhoods and Squares, Special, Trains, Transportation | No Comments »

Close out the Bad Accounts

Posted by a 10:05 am on February 11, 2010

Banks and Verizon need to be held to the kind of standards they use to torture their customers.


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Posted in City Finances, Civic Action, Economy & Poverty, Government Reform | 10 Comments »

Committee on Legislative Matters – Home-Rule Petition to Amend the City Charter

Posted by a 9:43 pm on February 8, 2010

Committee on Legislative Matters

Tues. Feb. 9 7:00 PM

Aldermen’s Chamber
Somerville City Hall
93 Highland Ave.
Somerville MA (map)

Agenda (PDF)

This is…


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Posted in All Ages, City Finances, Civic Action, Events, Government Reform, Politics, Special | 1 Comment »

Petition to Oppose the Senior Housing Zoning Amendment

Posted by a 4:45 pm on February 7, 2010


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Posted in Civic Action, Development and Zoning, Housing, Seniors | 10 Comments »

VOTE Today! For Martha Coakley!

Posted by a 9:05 am on January 19, 2010

In this close race, your vote counts more than ever!

Find your polling place here and then go vote while you can before 8pm…


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Posted in Civic Action, Events, Politics, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Young Somerville Advisory Group

Posted by a 9:20 pm on November 11, 2009

Are you a Somerville resident 21-35 years old? 

Do you have recommendations to offer to improve city services?

Are you interested in becoming more active in the Somerville community?

Are you interested…


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Posted in Civic Action, Events | 1 Comment »

All American?

Posted by a 6:47 pm on October 17, 2009

In RE: Joe Lynch on Joe’s Original Crosswalks

The situation you describe, Joe, in which the Magoun Square project consultant told you that cost is the reason that a principal location, one…


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Posted in Accessibility, Civic Action, Development and Zoning, Pedestrians | 1 Comment »

Don’t Miss The Somerville Electoral Forum

Posted by a 1:35 pm on October 4, 2009

As part of ‘Our Voices, Our Vote,’ a civic participation campaign, Centro Presente would like to invite you to an Electoral Forum (Oct 7, 6pm) to hear from local candidates on the issues of concern to the community of Somerville, to talk about how to increase civic participation in the city, and to educate ourselves about the next electoral process.


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Posted in Civic Action, Events, Politics, Press Release | 1 Comment »

garbage out, maybe not garbage in?

Posted by a 1:59 pm on September 27, 2009

I received this via email from Sean O’Donovan, my alderman, as a follow-up to a phone conversation about trash citation screw-ups.  Would it be useful for others to contact their aldermen as backup?…


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Posted in Civic Action, Government Reform | 8 Comments »

Climate Action Party!

Posted by a 9:49 pm on September 26, 2009

2 degrees of warming. 350 parts per million. Does it seem as though we are on track to achieve these? Are you concerned about the chance of passing a meaningful global climate treaty in Copenhagen? Do you want to have a say in the future of our planet? Come to our Climate Action Party! [October 3rd, 7 p.m.] We will broaden our local network of activists, strategize how to make our voices heard, and plan for the days between now and December.


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Posted in Announcements, Civic Action, Environment and Open Space, Events, Government Reform, Politics, Public Health & Safety | No Comments »

Towards a Safer and More Transparent Community : Crime Maps

Posted by a 8:48 pm on September 25, 2009

A new online tool exists to plot crimes on a searchable map. This would empower residents to know how safe their neighborhood is and where and what to watch to deter crime. It would probably catalyze neighborhood crime watches and make our streets safer.


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Posted in Civic Action, Crime, Public Health & Safety | 3 Comments »

Joe’s Original Crosswalks

Posted by a 1:23 pm on September 17, 2009

Q:  Why Didn’t the Rolling Somerville Pedestrian Cross the Road at the Crosswalk?

A:  Because the City of Somerville Deciders have been playing chicken with standards.

This photo essay will show 30 lost opportunities to create a safer community on Mayor Curtatone’s watch.


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Posted in Accessibility, Civic Action, Civil and Human Rights, Development and Zoning, Government Reform, Neighborhoods and Squares, Pedestrians, Public Health & Safety, Traffic & Parking, Transportation Projects | 20 Comments »

SeeClickFix or SeeClickIgnore? How effective is Somerville 311?

Posted by a 10:27 am on September 13, 2009

About a month ago, on Aug 16th, I submitted a 311 service request through the new SeeClickFix tool to repair a loose utility wire tied to the fence at Hodgkins-Curtin Park along Simpson Ave (see photo below). After an initial flurry of promises from a Somerville 311 rep to have the issue fixed asap, it was ignored. Today the wire is still there, menacing passers-by and testifying to the failure of the 311 system.…


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Posted in 311 Requests, Public Health & Safety | 6 Comments »

Aldermen Are More Than Just Overpaid 311 Technicians

Posted by a 8:14 pm on August 31, 2009

Almost half of the Aug 27th BOA mtg agenda (pdf) basically consists of 311 service requests like orders to fix potholes and sidewalks. The other half contains some interesting items including these highlights (emphasis added by me):

Note that Ward 7 Alderman Bob Trane was the only member to not have sponsored any items. The Aldermen each earn a salary of $24,521.03 in FY2010.…


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Posted in City Finances, Civic Action, Politics | 7 Comments »

August 31 Public Hearing on the Issue of Inter-District Choice

Posted by a 7:33 pm on August 28, 2009

On Monday, August 31, 2009 beginning at 6:45 p.m., the Somerville School Committee will conduct a public hearing on the issue of participating in the inter-district-choice program for the 2009-2010 school year. …


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Posted in Announcements, Civic Action, Events, Schools and Youth | 1 Comment »

350 Coast to Coast Kick-Off in Davis Square

Posted by a 1:26 pm on August 26, 2009

Sign a 350-ft. banner for a national climate change project – first stop Somerville! Send a message to the Obama administration
for strong global climate policy.


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Posted in All Ages, Announcements, Civic Action, Environment and Open Space, Events | No Comments »

Public Records Request : 311 Service Requests

Posted by a 10:07 am on

to Jaclyn Rossetti <JRossetti(at)somervillema.gov>
cc Thomas Champion <TChampion(at)somervillema.gov>,
John Gannon <JGannon(at)somervillema.gov>
date Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 9:16 AM
subject Public Records Request : 311 Service Requests

Dear Public Information Officer Jackie Rossetti, (cc…


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Posted in 311 Requests, Public Records / FOIA Requests, Special | No Comments »

Public Records Request : Parking Meter Revenues

Posted by a 9:56 am on

In preparation for the parking tickets story, I have submitted the following request for public records to the City:

—————–

to Jaclyn Rossetti <JRossetti(at)somervillema.gov>
cc Thomas Champion <TChampion(at)somervillema.gov>
date Tue, Aug…


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Posted in Public Records / FOIA Requests, Special, Traffic & Parking | No Comments »

Public Records Request : Parking Officer Data

Posted by a 9:54 am on

In preparation for the parking tickets story, I have submitted the following request for public records to the City:

—————–

to Jaclyn Rossetti <JRossetti(at)somervillema.gov>
cc Thomas Champion <TChampion(at)somervillema.gov>
date Tue, Aug…


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Posted in Public Records / FOIA Requests, Special, Traffic & Parking | No Comments »

Public Records Request : Car Towing Information

Posted by a 9:51 am on

In preparation for the parking tickets story, I have submitted the following request for public records to the City:

——————

to Jaclyn Rossetti <JRossetti(at)somervillema.gov>
cc Thomas Champion <TChampion(at)somervillema.gov>
date Tue, Aug…


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Posted in Public Records / FOIA Requests, Special, Traffic & Parking | 7 Comments »

Public Records Request : Parking Ticket Appeals

Posted by a 9:47 am on

In preparation for the parking tickets story, I have submitted the following request for public records to the City:

——————

to Jaclyn Rossetti <JRossetti(at)somervillema.gov>
cc Thomas Champion <TChampion(at)somervillema.gov>
date Tue, Aug…


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Posted in Public Records / FOIA Requests, Special, Traffic & Parking | No Comments »

Public Records Request : Parking Ticket Data

Posted by a 9:43 am on

In preparation for the parking tickets story, I have submitted the following request for public records to the city:

——————

to Jaclyn Rossetti <JRossetti(at)somervillema.gov>
cc Thomas Champion <TChampion(at)somervillema.gov>
date Tue, Aug…


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Posted in Public Records / FOIA Requests, Special, Traffic & Parking | 8 Comments »

Tracking 311 Service Requests on a Map

Posted by a 12:22 am on August 18, 2009

See a problem, report a problem

The SeeClickFix tool on the Globe’s local Somerville website allows anyone to report and track 311 service requests on a map of the city.  You can even include a photo of the problem. All reported requests are visible to everyone, so it’s easy to view what others have submitted and add your support to those that you care about.…


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Posted in 311 Requests | No Comments »

Public Information Response from ADA Coordinator Raises Red Flag

Posted by a 3:23 pm on August 17, 2009

Thanks to SomervilleVoices for providing this venue to post our Public Information Requests -and to share the responses (or lack therof) that we receive.

Here’s one example of a PIR response that raises red…


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Posted in Accessibility, Civic Action, Civil and Human Rights, Government Reform, Investigative Reports, Public Health & Safety, Public Records / FOIA Requests | 12 Comments »

ResiStat Request for 311 Information

Posted by a 9:17 am on

I just submitted the following query through ResiStat’s public Q/A tool called SomerBlog:
What types of information are stored with each 311 request? (e.g. request, date + time of request / resolution, service…


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Posted in 311 Requests, Public Records / FOIA Requests | No Comments »

Evening of civility ends with abrupt rejection at Traffic Board Meeting

Posted by a 12:39 pm on August 15, 2009

Thursday’s event at City Hall was a far cry from the tense, emotion-high fracas that went down at the Traffic Commission meeting two weeks ago. The stately Aldermanic chamber was likewise filled with concerned Somerville citizens, but this time, the city’s controversial May 21 vote was the agenda.…


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Posted in Civic Action, Government Reform, Investigative Reports, Neighborhoods and Squares, Politics, Traffic & Parking | 3 Comments »

Recording of August 13 Traffic Board Meeting

Posted by a 7:18 am on

Click here to listen: link


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Posted in Civic Action, Traffic & Parking | 1 Comment »

8/18 Bike-tune up workshop

Posted by a 11:35 am on August 13, 2009

Get some bike tune-up help and tips with Ace Wheelworks

and learn how to get involved in the International Day of Climate Action on October 24th

with Somerville


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Posted in All Ages, Bicycles, Civic Action, Environment and Open Space | No Comments »

fighting city hall, garbage division

Posted by a 5:12 pm on August 12, 2009

So I get a trash violation citation in the mail — all but illegible & addressed to a misconception of my name — dunning me for $50 for putting out trash too early and in…


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Posted in City Finances, Civic Action | 11 Comments »

Somerville Actions to Support Rite Aid Workers

Posted by a 1:20 pm on August 10, 2009

Rite Aid warehouse workers in Lancaster, California need our support. Before workers voted to form a union in 2008, Rite Aid committed dozens of unfair labor practices. And since then, in an effort to prevent them from achieving a first contract, the warehouse workers have faced continuing anti-union terror.


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Posted in Announcements, Civic Action, Events, Workers' Rights | 2 Comments »

Aug 13 Public Hearing on Parking Changes

Posted by a 4:30 pm on August 8, 2009

This public hearing will be convened by the Traffic Board in the Aldemanic Chamber at City Hall. I initially noticed this in Deb Filcman’s Aug 7 SJ blog post.  For background about the parking changes, visit the SPARC blog , check out the just-posted video of the 7/27 interview on SCAT’s Progressive Voices of SPARC-co-founder Courtney Koslow,  or see the recent articles on Somerville Voices/Journal/News.…


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Posted in All Ages, Announcements, City Finances, Civic Action, Events, Traffic & Parking | No Comments »

First official Somerville Weatherization Barnraising!

Posted by a 3:07 pm on August 7, 2009

Take action on climate change, learn skills, and build community! · Help to weatherize a Somerville house · Learn skills you can take back to your own home · Decrease carbon-emissions · Make new friends. … Here’s your chance to make a difference and learn something in the process…


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Posted in Announcements, Civic Action, Environment and Open Space, Events, Housing | 4 Comments »

Attend town hall meetings and get active!

Posted by a 8:56 pm on August 5, 2009

How do we get the silent majority of residents in Somerville — most in this city are either blue-dog, conservative or liberterian — more active and attend city meetings to voice our displeasure with the…


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Posted in Civic Action, Politics | 45 Comments »

Permit-Only Parking Under Fire at Traffic Commission Meeting

Posted by a 9:28 pm on July 30, 2009

It seems as if the Somerville Traffic Commission has a sticky situation on it’s hands. I attended the regularly scheduled Somerville Traffic Commission meeting at the Tufts Administration building this evening, and from what was printed on the agenda, I expected a fairly run-of-the-mill session. But the 75-odd residents who packed the TAB cafeteria had a different agenda in mind…


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Posted in Civic Action, Investigative Reports, Neighborhoods and Squares, Politics, Traffic & Parking | 4 Comments »

ResiStat Enters the Blogosphere Inconspicuously

Posted by a 8:58 am on July 28, 2009

I am excited to see that the City has launched SomerBlog: “the open community forum associated with the Somerville ResiStat program.”. Started on July 14th and managed by ResiStat’s Stephanie Hirsch, the blog adds to the City’s growing array of online communications with residents which started with CTY emails and Google email groups targeted by ward and demographics. …


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Posted in Civic Action | 9 Comments »

Radical Organizing Methods Workshop this Sunday at CAAS

Posted by a 3:20 pm on July 15, 2009

We will look at what makes a radical organizing method by examining winnability, strategy/tactics, coalitions, spirituality, building a majority movement, role of political education, and the effectiveness of well known organizing methods such as 1-1’s, story-telling, relationship-building. The format will be group discussion.


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Posted in All Ages, Announcements, Civic Action, Events | 4 Comments »

Fund Our Communities, Reduce the Military Budget

Posted by a 2:30 pm on June 25, 2009

We’re working on educating the public about the incredible amount of money spent on weapon systems, and the need to get the government to redirect that money to basic human needs, such as jobs, education, housing, and health care. … and that’s where you can help. We’re going to ask the Board of Aldermen of Somerville to endorse the campaign. As preparation for that, we’re asking you to call your alderman/ woman to urge their endorsement of this campaign.


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Posted in Civic Action, Economy & Poverty, Government Reform, Politics | 33 Comments »

Support the Welcoming MA Resolution at the School Cmte Mtg

Posted by a 11:59 am on June 21, 2009

Hello my name is Clivia Camara I am a youth member of the Welcome Project.  As a supporter of the Welcoming  Massachusetts Campaign I’m forwarding this information hoping to see you at this such important meeting as part of your support to the Welcoming Massachusetts Compaign and the immigrant  youth of Somerville.…


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Posted in Announcements, Civic Action, Events, Immigration | 1 Comment »

Freedom of Information (furthering investigative journalism)

Posted by a 8:31 am on June 12, 2009

These are my notes from the great Freedom of Information conference, held at the Boston Globe, 5/1/09 (Bill Shelton was there and had taken part in the planning of it as a member of the sponsoring New England First Amendment Coalition) As an aside, I will say I’ve already used www.pipl.com a bunch of times since the conference and the information that comes up is frequently quite interesting!…


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Posted in Public Records / FOIA Requests | 1 Comment »

Save Our Somerville: An Interview with Matt and Mark McLaughlin About Harnessing Anger and Grief to Fight Displacement and Speak Out for More Adequate Resources for Addressing Drug Addiction

Posted by a 7:34 am on June 10, 2009

[kml_flashembed movie="http://blip.tv/play/AYGC4AqD4zE" width="320" height="270" wmode="transparent" /]


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Posted in Civic Action, Schools and Youth | No Comments »

A Graduation Celebration you won’t want to miss

Posted by a 8:51 am on June 3, 2009

Please join The Welcome Project on June 7 for a graduation celebration for some special people from cultures and countries all over the world. These are the students in our youth language interpretation and adult language learners programs who have just completed a year’s worth of learning as language interpreters and English language learners.


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Posted in Arts and Culture, Civic Action, Civil and Human Rights, Economy & Poverty, Immigration, Schools and Youth, Teens | No Comments »

Forum on Gentrification and Displacement

Posted by a 8:09 pm on May 12, 2009

Forum on Gentrification and Displacement!
Thursday, May 14th, 6 PM
Elizabeth Peabody House
277 Broadway (at Broadway & Grant Street) Somerville, MA


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Posted in Announcements, Civic Action, Development and Zoning, Economy & Poverty, Events, Housing, Neighborhoods and Squares, Politics | No Comments »

10 Days to Go! Submit your Comments about the use of $772,044

Posted by a 2:29 pm on May 4, 2009

The City of Somerville, as an Entitlement Community, receives millions of Federal dollars from HUD each year from the Community Development Block Grant, Emergency Shelter Grant, and HOME programs.  These monies must be spent on…


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Posted in Accessibility, City Finances, Civic Action, Civil and Human Rights, Economy & Poverty, Government Reform, Neighborhoods and Squares, Politics | 3 Comments »

Spring Clean Up

Posted by a 11:28 pm on April 25, 2009

The rain date is Sunday, May 10th. For information on where to go in your neighborhood, see: http://www.somervillema.gov/newsDetail.cfm?instance_id=144

Saturday, 5/9, 10:00 a.m., Locations throughout the City…


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Posted in Civic Action, Events | No Comments »