[personal profile] ron_newman
The Somerville Republican City Committee (really, that's a thing?) has scheduled a "Citizens Against Sanctuary Cities" meeting for Wednesday, July 12, at 6 pm at the Somerville main library.

The organizers keep hiding and then re-showing the guest list. The last time it was visible, many of the people attending it or interested in it were people I know who are definitely not on their side.
[identity profile] prunesnprisms.livejournal.com
As previously noted in the community, the four moderators of your community here ([livejournal.com profile] ron_newman, [livejournal.com profile] surrealestate, [livejournal.com profile] cos, and [livejournal.com profile] prunesnprisms) have agreed that the community will be moving to this location at the hosting tool Dreamwidth, beginning May 1.

You may create a free account with Dreamwidth here. You may also choose to continue with OpenID from LiveJournal, but as has been pointed out in the comments below there's no single-login connection from Facebook or Google properties. Many of you will know already that this is a similar blogging site to Livejournal, maintained by former LiveJournal team members, and hosted in the US -- here is some recent information for new members posted by the team here.

While we don't plan to remove any content that's ever been posted here, we'd like to mark a line in the sand at which point we leave the top post on this community as a pointer to where we are now located. [livejournal.com profile] ron_newman has backed up the community twice to make sure all our older posts and comments are preserved. However, there is no way to continuously cross-post the community, and none of us will continue to push new posts over to Livejournal after May 1. In addition we will be removing posting access to this community over the next few days as well.

You can read more about the concerns regarding Livejournal as a platform here

Please join us in our new home!
[identity profile] prunesnprisms.livejournal.com
As previously noted in the community, the four moderators of your community here ([livejournal.com profile] ron_newman, [livejournal.com profile] surrealestate, [livejournal.com profile] cos, and [livejournal.com profile] prunesnprisms) have agreed that the current state of LiveJournal under its new hosting status and new terms of service are not one we would choose to continue discussion under.

Your community will be moving to this location at the hosting tool Dreamwidth, beginning May 1. You may create a free account with Dreamwidth here. You may also choose to continue with OpenID from Google or from Facebook. Many of you will know already that this is a similar blogging site to Livejournal, maintained by former LiveJournal team members, and hosted in the US -- here is some recent information for new members posted by the team here.

While we don't plan to remove any content that's ever been posted here, we'd like to mark a line in the sand at which point we leave the top post on this community as a pointer to where we are now located. [livejournal.com profile] ron_newman has backed up the community twice to make sure all our older posts and comments are preserved. However, there is no way to continuously cross-post the community, and none of us will continue to push new posts over to Livejournal after May 1.

You can read more about the concerns regarding Livejournal as a platform here

Your team of moderators are open to suggestions about the style of the community on Dreamwidth, as it has not been chosen recently and is probably not as up to date as it could be for mobile or other readability. Please feel free to share in the comments.

On a personal note, leaving Livejournal a few months ago, other than this community, was personally very difficult for me as I’ve been using this platform more than fifteen years. I do quite like Dreamwidth and had no problems migrating over. I believe in the leadership team’s statement of diversity and guiding principles. I really hope that those of you who are similarly conflicted about LJ and want to maintain an open community for us to have discussion about just any old thing happening in Davis Square will find us there.
[identity profile] gruene.livejournal.com
I'm not sure if you all have seen the new Live Journal terms of service, but in my mind, they seriously compromise the ability of this site to serve as a forum for our community: http://www.livejournal.com/legal/tos-en.bml

In short, Livejournal users are now governed by Russian law, and risk having posts removed or accounts deleted if they don't comply with it. Among other things, "Political solicitation" is now banned, meaning no more talking about Aldermanic or state legislative races. Any discussion of LGBT rights will require the "adult content" label to avoid running afoul of the "Gay Propaganda" laws of the Russian Federation.

While moving will certainly be disruptive, in the long run, I think it is essential if this is going to remain a home of free discussion of issues pertinent to Davis Square. I welcome your thoughts on this.

Image banned in Russia as extremist below the fold )
[identity profile] lancedavisward6.livejournal.com
Please join Ward 6 Alderman Lance Davis (https://www.facebook.com/lancedavisforward6/) and community leader Thalia Tringo on Wednesday, March 29th at 6:30 P.M. at the office of Thalia Tringo Real Estate (128 Willow Ave) for a meeting to discuss the formation of a Davis Square Neighborhood Council. The intent is to facilitate the formation of a group comprised of and led by residents, property owners, business owners, and other stakeholders that will meet on a somewhat regular basis to discuss issues relevant to the Davis Square community. This initial meeting will an open conversation regarding the initial format for the group -- how it could be structured, how to expand participation, and anything else that might be relevant.  Please extend this invitation to any and all who might be interested.
[identity profile] lisa mayer

Come to an interactive and fun way to meet other families and try to answer this important question: How can our city (its housing, open space, transportation systems, and community organizations) help Somerville children and families achieve health and happiness?

When: Sunday, March 5, 2pm-5pm
Where: Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA 02143

Adults, teens, tweens, toddlers, and in between will have ways to express their thoughts. We will have interactive ways for attendees to learn about the challenges different residents face in Somerville, as well as to gain ideas on help to the environment.

Come, meet a friend, and share a thought about our city's future. There will be pizza for kids and drinks for adults.

About Stephanie Hirsch

Stephanie wants to make sure government runs well and meets everyone’s needs. She will work to preserve and create livable and inclusive neighborhoods and to reduce financial burdens on our households. Local government is a great place to test solutions to our country’s biggest challenges – and Stephanie wants to take on them all.

Stephanie will also work to build a strong community, across our different backgrounds. When we share stories and friendship, we can tackle the hardest responsibilities together.

Since 2004, Stephanie has helped the Mayor and Superintendent improve our city by starting programs like ResiStat and 311. These efforts have made our city more efficient and responsive. She has also volunteered in the schools and community and advocated for residents’ needs. She lives with her family and neighbors in Union Square.

Learn more about Stephanie Hirsch's campaign for Alderman at Large at: www.stephanieforsomerville.com/

[identity profile] intuition-ist.livejournal.com
Does anyone have any info on the duration of the roadwork in and around Davis? When combined with the roadwork around Porter Sq., the traffic has been a hairball of mythic proportions this week, and getting from Winter Hill to North Cambridge an exercise in frustration.

Relatedly, is there any way to get better coordination between Somerville road maintenance and Cambridge road maintenance?
cos: (gchat-zalice)
[personal profile] cos
On Thursday 5:30-7:30pm at City Hall:

http://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2016/07/26/police-plan-protest-black-lives-matter-banner-somerville-city-hall

    After Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone denied a request from a city police union to remove a Black Lives Matter banner from City Hall, the union announced it will hold a rally to protest the banner's "disrespectful" message, according to a release from the Somerville Police Employee's Association.


Personally I think their doing this will make lots of people trust them less, fear them more, and increase danger for everyone, including police. I wish they'd call it off.

Worth noting that the chief of police supports the mayor putting up the banner, and the union is initiating this protest, not the police department leadership, as far as I can tell.
[identity profile] jbcampbe.livejournal.com
Greetings Davisonians!

You may have heard rumors about the proposed West Branch Library Renovation Project and the tree and garden destruction it would involve. Here’s an overview of what’s going on:

The West Branch of the Somerville Public Library is in drastic need of renovation. All agree on that. However, the current project design also calls for the paving over of the gardens presently surrounding the building, replacing them with a “low-maintenance plaza space,” and the construction of a meeting room extension onto the existing building. Here is a link to the design plans:

http://www.somervillema.gov/sites/default/files/160229_Somerville%20WBL%20Community%20Meeting_FINAL.pdf

The plans for the present garden areas are disturbing. Over the decades, the Somerville Garden Club (which is not associated in any way with this opposition) has designed and maintained lovely gardens around the library and has planted several significant trees, including Somerville’s only Dawn Redwood, two Columnar Beeches, and a Fernleaf Beech, among others. All are rare and mature and are great landscape features.

The current design plan would remove all of these trees.

The proposed plan also raises a number of other issues:

First: it flies in the face of the City of Somerville’s policy of maintaining and acquiring new open green spaces. The past 20–30 years have been significant in the history of the city. The advocacy for green spaces, street trees, and gardening under Mike Capuano’s and Joe Curtatone’s terms as progressive mayors who actively encouraged the development of public green spaces and private gardens, has been a glorious period of renewal. Their advocacy of gardening contests and awards and their hiring of a city Senior Planner/Landscape Developer to help implement green plans and acquire new green areas have been tremendously revitalizing throughout the city.

All of these changes—including the development of the West and Main Branches of the Library—are as valuable a part of Somerville’s history as are the historical monuments and homes. These sites deserve preservation, and not an opportunistic “update” of a site which is a monument to the best changes brought about during the past years of Somerville history. The West Branch Library building was designed by McLean and Wright of Boston, and was built in 1906–09 with funding from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and the city. It is the city’s best example of Classical Revival architecture, also exhibiting Beaux Arts details that were then in fashion. It was the first branch library in Somerville .

Second: the projected concrete plaza area would not be low maintenance, as claimed, but would, rather, be much higher maintenance than the gardens have been. There are mulberry trees on adjacent lots that would cause considerable mess. And most of the garden maintenance is done by SGC members, aside from occasional mowing.

Third: the projected plaza would be redundant, since there is already a nicely paved plaza area across the street from the Rite Aid on Highland Ave.

Fourth: the tax burden ($6–8 million) would be substantial, especially at a time when the Green Line Extension and Somerville High School projects are placing additional tax stress on residents.

Fifth: the addition of a meeting/performance space intended to accommodate a hundred people would mean that dozens of people at once would need parking in the Davis Square area. Yes, the Red Line is right there, but many people don’t use the T and/or would be coming from other directions. Traffic and parking problems are already severe in the Davis area—we don’t need more.


Members of the Somerville and Davis Square communities in general and the library property abutters in particular are all opposed to the current design. All parties are in favor of renovations to the existing building—and would be happy to see additional funding granted to upgrade the library’s services. But we oppose any other alterations, except insofar as are needed to make the existing building ADA compliant.

We do appreciate the need for more meeting and performance space in Somerville. But the proposed addition wouldn’t even be good for these, since they would be squeezed into a site not fit for the purpose. Further cramming of the small library lot, increased parking demand, and a considerable tax burden on the residents of Somerville (just at the time when we’re about to be whacked with Green Line and High School project expenses)—all for a project of dubious value that the people don’t really want—all seem like a no-go.

The City Aldermen have received a great many emails and phone calls on this subject, and a community meeting has been scheduled for:

Wednesday June 1, 2016 @ 7:00 pm
TAB Building – 169 Holland Street. Second Floor

This meeting will review and discuss the renovation and scope of library program services in the historic structure. There will be discussion of the community’s preferred landscape alternative. The meeting will discuss the scale and viability of the proposed community room addition. The ultimate objective is a project that meets the goals outlined by the community and garners the support of direct project abutters.


Additionally, people who are interested in this issue should:

1. Make sure they’re on Steve Vitello’s (the Project Manager’s) email list (by calling or emailing him at svitello@somervillema.gov 617-625-6600 x5124).

2. Join the Facebook page created by Janet Campbell on this issue. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/120522718357131/)

3. Join the Google Group moderated by Ulysses Lateiner and Janet Campbell. (https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/somerville-west-branch-library-renovation).

We’ll make sure you’re up to date on what’s going on!
[identity profile] bshepardkim.livejournal.com
Explore food from around the world at the 7th Annual YUM: A Taste of Immigrant City on Thursday, April 14 from 7pm-9pm at Somerville Arts at The Armory. Enjoy delicious dishes from eight immigrant-owned restaurants, including cuisine from Mexico, Ethiopia, India, and more.

The evening will include a silent auction and raffle and the event will honor the work of Rep. Denise Provost and Elena Letona for their work in the community. All proceeds support the work of The Welcome Project which builds the collective power of Somerville immigrants to participate in and shape community decisions.

For more information visit
www.welcomeproject.org/YUM. To purchase tickets go to www.tinyurl.com/YUM2016. If you would be interested in volunteering please contact barbara@welcomeproject.org.

Event: YUM: A Taste of Immigrant City
Date/Time: Thursday, April 14 7pm-9pm
Location: Somerville Arts at The Armory 191 Highland Ave #1A, Somerville, MA 02143
[identity profile] phpanda.livejournal.com
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] phpanda at Charles River Alley cats and Tom Del Medico
Great article in Somerville Journal about local organiziations and people who support Somerville's feral cats. It sounds like Tom Del Medico spends  a lot of his own money to feed the cats. It sounds like Charles River Alley Cats helps at much as posaible with cost of neutering and other ways they can, Does anyone know how to reach him to contribute money to defer his costs to feed the cats?   I hope tthe animals  are able to finds spots to stay warm this weekend. Thanks to all the volunteers.
[identity profile] serious-noir.livejournal.com
My Google News sidebar just gave me pause:

City of Somerville’s survey finds people are happy living there

Study: Somerville residents fleeing high rents

This after coming home tonight from a meeting about affordable artists housing and the lottery for the Millbrook Lofts spaces.
Better odds than the politcally cowardly and regressive tax state lottery, I guess. And....  my landlord is finally planning to jack up my rent (though since my rent has been way below market rate, no fault to him, but it likely means it is time to move on. Waltham?).

Opps... TMI. Ah well. I lived in Wicker Park in Chicago when it was on the "cusp of cool" and then when it was cool. And then it peaked and many of us had tp move to Logan Square, Pilsen or wherever. Just how it goes.

Maybe Somerville Open Studios is a really, really BAD idea.... if artists want to keep living here ;-)

And the earlier link from Ron N. about the Lonely Planet story:
Somerville is one of the best places to visit in the country, according to Lonely Planet
[identity profile] andy wolf
For the past 2 years or more there has been an ongoing planning process about how to renovate Lincoln Park. This mixed-use area will have school playground space, green space, a softball field and an athletic field sized for U12 soccer. The controversy centers on the athletic field - turf or natural grass?

Recently the city announced that they would go with natural grass. This is a reversal of course for the city, and seems primarily based on neighborhood opposition to turf and desire for natural grass green space (the latest turf plan would be synthetic turf using organic in-fill, not the used tire turf that some folks have health concerns about).

My view is that the park has a lot of greenspace already, but Somerville lacks sufficient recreation space. This would be a lit field in a heavily populated area that could get tons of use and even provide some permitting income back to the city. Instead, only youth soccer will be allowed to use it, and then only sparingly, to protect the grass. Somerville does not have a good track record protecting natural grass fields (anyone check out Conway or even Hodgkins lately?), and I fear before long Lincoln park will be back to its current dustbowl status.

My kids will be too old to take advantage of the U12 fields either way, but I hate to see the city making this kind of mistake. Recreational space is at a premium and should be open to all in the city. If you agree, you can help by signing this online petition or reaching out to your alderman or the mayor's office. Thanks!
[identity profile] olszowka.livejournal.com
There is a CRITICAL public meeting coming up that volunteers from Zone Smart have been calling our members about this week. Many of you committed to attending, some of you did not pickup so this email is to tell you that YOUR PRESENCE IS NEEDED. Here are the details:

What: Somerville Zoning Overhaul Public Meeting on Neighborhoods - http://www.somervillema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2015-11-12%20Zoning%20Meeting%20Poster.pdf

When: Monday at 6:30pm (Please come at 5:30pm, an hour beforehand, if you can in order to get organized, handout buttons to wear, and maximize our impact)

Where: 259 Lowell Street at the VNA Community Room.

Why: To show the Aldermen that we demand removal of the "no more than 4 unrelated" restriction from the zoning code. It raises housing costs by forcing bedrooms to stay unrented, it increases environmental burden by forcing new development, it makes most Co-op housing illegal, and it is unfair to home owners and tenants alike.

How Can You Help:
1. PLEASE CONFIRM WHETHER OR NOT YOU CAN ATTEND. If you can make it to the 5:30pm meeting (or anytime before 6:30pm) please indicate that as well.
2. Spread the word. Go to our Facebook Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/497731313721533/ and share the event with others, and click "Going"

This ordinance will change when we unite and demand that it does, and we will never have a better opportunity than this overhaul. Please come out Monday night and join us.

Zone Smart Somerville
No More Than 4 Unrelated Is Outdated
www.zonesmartsomerville.org
[identity profile] theresahome.livejournal.com
Hi Everyone,

My friend, Stefanie, lost a very importance bracelet today in Davis, which has a lot of sentimental value. A generous reward is available. Stefanie can be contacted at 857-258-0355 or slwilson12987@gmail.com. Thanks for your help!

Theresa

[personal profile] ron_newman
Erin Butcher, artistic director of Maiden Phoenix Theatre Company, posted a long essay to Facebook about her experience producing The Winter's Tale outdoors in Powder House Park this summer. I am reposting it here with her permission, because we live here and this shouldn't be happening to people in our community.

Musings from our Second Season Part 1:
Why I will never do another All- Female outdoor show again.

My company’s second season has come to a close. We produced 2 all- female shows: The Winter’s Tale by Mr. Shakespeare and Miss Penitentiary by Laura Neubauer. These shows were put up quite close to one another time-wise which made for a very high stress few months. And now that it’s over I have a bit of time to reflect, think about what I learned, and plan our next step.

One thing I know for sure.

I am never producing another outdoor All- female show again. Ever. And neither should you.

Let me explain.... )
[identity profile] aurewl.livejournal.com
There are a few easy-to-miss posts near the Cedar St. part of the bike path advertising a lighting opinion survey. I followed the link and found this:

"Recently the City of Somerville installed new lighting on the Somerville Community Path between Willow and Cedar. SolarOne Solutions partnered with Somerville to win the Innovate Mass Grant Award that largely funded this project. Solarone is using the installation as a "living lab" to develop networked lighting solutions that can effectively manage solar lighting in adverse environments and track the available power stored in each system. An important part of the project is hearing from you.  Please take a moment to share your  experience."

The new lighting they are talking about is the LEDs which so far I've noticed between Willow Ave and Lowell St., and also over by the park near Woodbine. Here is the link to fill out the survey if you have opinions on the new lighting: www.solarone.net/lights

I am also generally curious what other people think of the lights. I find them to be way too bright.
[identity profile] bobobb.livejournal.com
After reading some of the recent posts here, I wanted to ask...

I moved to Davis Square area in 2005. It seemed to me that gentrification had already happened. Is that people's sense? Was I a gentrifier? Did it happen since then and I wasn't paying attention? I'm sort of perplexed it is coming up in discussions in the recent election because it seems like this happened a long time ago.

Appreciate you being patient with my ignorance. Welcome people's thought though.
[identity profile] somergirl80.livejournal.com

Somerville High School
In front of the gym entrance.
6:15pm Sept 15, 2015

We have lost so many loved ones to the evils of drug and alcohol addiction here in Somerville. About a year ago I was looking at my friends old Somerville Little League picture and a lot of those kids are no longer with us. Most of us have lost friends and even family or at least know people struggling.

SOA held a vigil last year and is holding another this year. They will have resource tables and a sign up sheet to add names to the list before they read them out. There will be bagpipes and a slideshow. Come out and pay respects and learn more about the epidemic.
I hope to make it again this year last year's was beautiful.

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