The Somerville/Medford News Weekly Favorite Birthday Photos of the Week

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Happy Birthday to a number of Villens celebrating their birthdays this week in the Ville! Happy Birthday to Darlene Hamel Brown, Teri Sannicandro Sullivan, Sheri Rios Graziano, Jim-Bob Farrell, Judy Gray, Tina McCarthy, Chris Whalen, Catherine Casey, Bridget Capobianco-Rios, Mido Anko, Lisa Brisbois Dyer (Lisa Grasso), Jeanne DiMuzio, Richard Byrne, Continue reading The Somerville/Medford News Weekly Favorite Birthday Photos of the Week

HEN TREATMENT AND CAGE-FREE STANDARDS


By Bob Katzen

The House and Senate approved and Governor Baker signed into law a conference committee version of legislation that would make changes and put Massachusetts in line with other larger egg-producing states that have put in place standards for hen confinement. In 2016, Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly passed Question 3 to prevent cruelty to pigs, calves and egg-laying hens. At the time it was the strongest law for farm animals in history but since then leading retailers, producers and other states mandated even stronger standards in the shift to cage-free conditions for hens. Supporters said the bill will ensure the Bay State adapts to the new science unavailable in 2016.

Senate sponsor Sen. Jason Lewis (D-Winchester) said the standard around the country for egg-laying hens has evolved, and Massachusetts is now an outlier, which could threaten the state’s supply of eggs. “Fortunately, the egg producers and animal welfare groups have come together to agree on this legislation, ensuring safe and humane conditions for egg-laying hens and affordable eggs for Massachusetts consumers,” said Lewis.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has lobbied against the bill. “Whether hens are given 1 or 1.5 square feet of space, the term ‘cage-free’ is still a scam.” said PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “These exploited animals are forced into a hellscape of crowding and chaos before they’re slaughtered and replaced by the next batch of doomed souls. PETA is launching an ad campaign in Boston exposing the suffering that hens will endure under this bill, and we’re urging the public to see through the egg industry’s lies and greed and go vegan.”

SENATORS WANT TO ABOLISH THE ESTATE TAX/DEATH TAX

By Bob Katzen

The Revenue Committee will hold a virtual hearing on January 12, 2022 on separate bills sponsored by Sens. Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton) and Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth) that would abolish the tax that the estate of a person with assets of more than $1 million is required to pay following their death before distribution to any beneficiary. Continue reading SENATORS WANT TO ABOLISH THE ESTATE TAX/DEATH TAX

STATE-CORPORATIONS MUST PAY HIGHER TAXES IF THE CEO’S SALARY IS MORE THAN 100 TIMES THAT OF THE MEDIAN WORKER’S SALARY

By Bob Katzen

The Revenue Committee held a virtual hearing that would require that an additional 2 percent tax be paid by publicly-traded corporations which pay the CEO more than 100 times the median worker’s salary. Continue reading STATE-CORPORATIONS MUST PAY HIGHER TAXES IF THE CEO’S SALARY IS MORE THAN 100 TIMES THAT OF THE MEDIAN WORKER’S SALARY

THE HOUSE AND SENATE: There were no roll calls in the House or Senate last week

By Bob Katzen

This week, Beacon Hill Roll Call reports on the number of times in the 2021 session each senator sided with Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and voted to sustain the governor’s 25 vetoes of items, mostly in the fiscal 2022 state budget. A vote to sustain means the senator supports Baker’s veto. A vote to override means the senator voted to fund the item despite the governor’s veto. Continue reading THE HOUSE AND SENATE: There were no roll calls in the House or Senate last week

Somerville Commits $9M in ARPA Funds to Childcare, Rental Assistance, and a Universal Basic Income Pilot Project

Additional $3 million for transit subsidies under consideration

SOMERVILLE, MA – Somerville’s outgoing and incoming Mayors jointly announced the City’s first major allocation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars today, dedicating $9 million in funding to childcare, rental assistance, and a Universal Basic Income pilot project. Continue reading Somerville Commits $9M in ARPA Funds to Childcare, Rental Assistance, and a Universal Basic Income Pilot Project

City of Somerville Distributes Free At-Home Rapid COVID-19 Testing Kits to Vulnerable Residents with Barriers to Accessing Testing

City of Somerville Distributes Free At-Home Rapid COVID-19 Testing Kits to Vulnerable Residents with Barriers to Accessing Testing

The City of Somerville received 16,650 free at-home rapid COVID-19 test kits from the state that are being distributed via various channels to Somerville residents who have limited access to testing, limited means to purchase at-home tests, and are at high risk of exposure. Continue reading City of Somerville Distributes Free At-Home Rapid COVID-19 Testing Kits to Vulnerable Residents with Barriers to Accessing Testing

Audit Identifies Issues with How Nonprofit Serving Vulnerable Populations Resolves Complaints and Manages Finances of Individuals in its Care

In an audit released today, the Office of State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump (OSA) found issues in how the Center for Human Development (CHD), a nonprofit that provides programs and services to vulnerable populations, resolves complaints for persons served by its group homes and programs and manages the finances of individuals in its care. Continue reading Audit Identifies Issues with How Nonprofit Serving Vulnerable Populations Resolves Complaints and Manages Finances of Individuals in its Care

Somerville/Medford Remembering Domenico Patania September 06, 1937 – December 21, 2021

DOMENICO’S OBITUARY
Mr. Domenico Patania, of Somerville, passed away suddenly on December 21, 2021, he was 84. Born in Augusta, Sicily, Italy he was the son of the late Maria (Morello) and Salvatore Patania. He came to the United States in the 1960’s and proudly became a US citizen in June of 1967. Continue reading Somerville/Medford Remembering Domenico Patania September 06, 1937 – December 21, 2021

Somerville Moves Inauguration Ceremonies to Virtual Events on January 3

Civic Celebration to Be Held in Spring

SOMERVILLE – Due to increasing public health concerns amid the current surge in COVID-19 cases locally and regionally, as well as the spread of the more infectious Omicron variant, Mayor-elect Katjana Ballantyne is moving Somerville’s January 3 Inaugural Ceremony to virtual and the reception will be postponed and transformed into a Civic Celebration in the spring. Continue reading Somerville Moves Inauguration Ceremonies to Virtual Events on January 3

IBEW Local 103 Joined by Congresswoman Pressley, Quincy Mayor Koch, Somerville Mayor-Elect Ballantyne and Boston Elected Officials Donates Toys to Local Families

 

Just in time for the holidays, IBEW Local 103 joined by elected officials donates hundreds of toys to local families across Greater Boston.

Continue reading IBEW Local 103 Joined by Congresswoman Pressley, Quincy Mayor Koch, Somerville Mayor-Elect Ballantyne and Boston Elected Officials Donates Toys to Local Families

The Somerville/Medford News Weekly Favorite Birthday Photos of the Week!

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Happy Birthday to Maureen Moniz, Lea Bowler-Hardy, Harold Moochie Medeiros, Keri-Lyn Florence (Keogh), Diane MacKay, Pat Frangolini, Kate Amanda Brown, Richard Senesi, Shannon Hickey Mahoney, Chris Dischino, Brian Caterino, Joseph Panciotti, Brian Pitcher (Bmanpitt), Heather Robichaud, Laura Whalen, Brendan Fletcher, Mary O’Brien, Continue reading The Somerville/Medford News Weekly Favorite Birthday Photos of the Week!

What Is The future of Cobble Hill Apartments? Present Day Cobble Hill

By Friends of Cobble Hill

(The opinions and views expressed in the commentaries and letters to the Editor of The Somerville/Medford News Weekly belong solely to the authors and do not reflect the views or opinions of The Somerville/Medford News Weekly, its staff or publishers)

While the much-valued quality-of-life at Cobble Hill Apartments hangs in the balance, representatives of the City of Somerville continue to ignore and avoid important questions asked by Cobble Hill residents. The most glaring common complaint is that city planners, including members of city council, have not explained to anyone’s satisfaction why they intend to build a public safety building contiguous to their residence at 90 Washington Street. Even worse, at no time did the City consult the community before choosing this location. Quite the contrary, the Planning Department leveraged, for the first time, a heavy handed urban renewal tactic known as a Demonstration Plan that legally allows the city to exclude from its decision making any form of public review and comment. Continue reading What Is The future of Cobble Hill Apartments? Present Day Cobble Hill

TELEMARKETERS MUST SHOW REAL PHONE NUMBER

By Bob Katzen

The Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee held a virtual hearing on a bill that would prohibit “spoofing,” a practice used by telemarketing companies to have a phony telephone number show up on a consumer’s Caller ID. The company’s intent is to deceive, defraud or obtain anything of value, including financial resources or personal identifying information, from the consumer. Current law only prohibits the telemarketers from preventing their phone number from appearing on Caller ID but doesn’t address the legitimacy of the phone number that appears on Caller ID. Continue reading TELEMARKETERS MUST SHOW REAL PHONE NUMBER

ALLOW CITIES AND TOWNS TO ESTABLISH A WATER BANK OR SEWER BANK

By Bob Katzen

The House gave initial approval to a bill that would allow cities and towns to create a water bank or sewer bank to offset the cost of new and upgraded water infrastructure projects. Communities would also be allowed to assess a fee on the project developer to offset the cost of the projects. Continue reading ALLOW CITIES AND TOWNS TO ESTABLISH A WATER BANK OR SEWER BANK

STATE’S $4 BILLION FOR COVID RELIEF AND RECOVERY

By Bob Katzen

Governor Charlie Baker, after vetoing several items, signed into law a $4 billion package which spends the $2.55 billion in federal money the state received from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and the $1.45 billion surplus left over from the state’s fiscal year 2021 budget on relief and recovery from the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past 18 months. The plan includes one-time investments in health and human services, education, housing, the environment including climate mitigation, economic development and jobs. Continue reading STATE’S $4 BILLION FOR COVID RELIEF AND RECOVERY

Real Life Somerville Police Stories: Jasard HARDMOND (Larceny, Removal of Theft Detection Device, Posess Burglarious Instrument)

The following is a brief summary pertaining to incident #21064365:

On Tuesday, December 14th, 2021, I, Officer Thomas Lambert was in full uniform while assigned to marked cruiser East-1 during the 8am-4pm shift. At approximately 10:22PM, I was dispatched to 460 Assembly Row (Polo) for a Larceny. Continue reading Real Life Somerville Police Stories: Jasard HARDMOND (Larceny, Removal of Theft Detection Device, Posess Burglarious Instrument)

Real Life Somerville Police Stories: George PIRPIRIS (Larceny) (Boston Warrants)

I, Officer Roger Desrochers, report the following summary of events based on direct interview with the persons named.

On Saturday, December 18, 2021, I, Officer Desrochers, was in full-uniform and assigned to marked cruiser 182(E2), and patrolling the East district, for the Somerville Police Department when at about 17:00 I was dispatched along with Officer Pavao(E3) to Target located at 180 Somerville Ave for a reported larceny. Continue reading Real Life Somerville Police Stories: George PIRPIRIS (Larceny) (Boston Warrants)

SOMERVILLE KIWANIS CLUB DELIVERS TOYS TO 150 HEAD START CHILDREN

SOMERVILLE – Over the past three days, members of the Kiwanis Club of Somerville have taken on the role as Santa’s elves, delivering wrapped toys to 150 children in Somerville and Cambridge who are part of the CAAS Head Start Program. The names, ages and gender of each child were sent to the Somerville Kiwanis Club where program chairman and head elf Jim Bowdring, and co-chair, Jillian Bowdring, divided the list amount amongst the member elves, who purchased and wrapped toys for the children. Continue reading SOMERVILLE KIWANIS CLUB DELIVERS TOYS TO 150 HEAD START CHILDREN

Somerville/Medford Remembering Herbert Vargas April 21st, 1941 – December 17th, 2021

Our sincere condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Herbert Vargas on his passing.

Herbert was such a wonderful person and good friends to so many of us here in and around Somerville and Medford where he will be sadly missed.

Obituary: Continue reading Somerville/Medford Remembering Herbert Vargas April 21st, 1941 – December 17th, 2021

Somerville/Medford News Weekly Speakup Line:SPS Warning Parents About TikTok Challenge

Dear Billy T and Somerville/Medford News Weekly Speakup Line,

This is a message that parents received from SOMERVILLE PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT

Dear SPS Parents/Guardians,
 
Earlier today, we were made aware of a troubling TikTok Challenge that has been shared widely this week across the country. The post threatens gun violence in schools across the country on Friday, December 17. The post has been circulating nationally and locally. Continue reading Somerville/Medford News Weekly Speakup Line:SPS Warning Parents About TikTok Challenge

The Somerville/Medford News Weekly Favorite Birthday Photos of the Week

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Happy Birthday to a number of Villens celebrating their birthdays this week in the Ville! Happy Birthday to Mary Agritha, Denise Bowers, Mary Lou Costante, Kenneth Yu Cheung Choi’s sister Forra, Ariana Baldasaro, Debbie Mahoney, Kimberly Pedersen, Denise H. Mancini, Theresa Connolly, Judy Vando Rogers, Kristen Wiltshire Czerwonka (Kristen Czerwonka), Danielle Westphal, Molly Quinlan, Mike Janedy, Celeste Sillari, Jon Nathan, Frank Novello, Holly Boyden Saulnier, Isa Paula Rossi Vieira, Jennifer Coneeny (Jenna), Carol Siciliano Bailey, Lisa Noviello, Cheryl Callahan, Continue reading The Somerville/Medford News Weekly Favorite Birthday Photos of the Week

PROHIBIT UNRELATED LEVEL 3 SEX OFFENDERS FROM LIVING TOGETHER

By Bob Katzen

Another measure before the Judiciary Committee that was also filed by Rep. Jones would prohibit Level 3 sex offenders, unless they are legally related, from “renting, residing or otherwise occupying a single-family dwelling or a unit in a multi-family dwelling with another level 3 sex offender.” Continue reading PROHIBIT UNRELATED LEVEL 3 SEX OFFENDERS FROM LIVING TOGETHER

Somerville Partners with Democracy Collaborative to Build Community Wealth

Collaboration supports the city’s Accelerating Reinvestment in our Communities program

Thursday, Dec. 8, 2021 – The City of Somerville, MA, announced today that it is working with The Democracy Collaborative, an economic policy research and development organization, to help the city design its Accelerating Reinvestment in our Community (ARC) initiative. Continue reading Somerville Partners with Democracy Collaborative to Build Community Wealth

Unspecified Somerville School Threat Emailed To Parents

Dear Families,
On Friday, December 10th, we were made aware of a concerning post on a student’s SnapChat account that included a non-specific threat. We notified the Somerville Police Department and, as a precaution, we also made the decision to keep students inside during their lunch periods. We did not put the school into any type of secure-and-hold as the threat was non-specific. Continue reading Unspecified Somerville School Threat Emailed To Parents

Kiwanis Club of Somerville Marine Corps Toys For Tots Luncheon

Photo: Kiwanis President Mernaysa Rivera-Bujosa and Program Chairman James Lynch display a couple of more than one hundred donated toys at the annual event.

SOMERVILLE_On Thursday, December 9th, the Kiwanis Club of Somerville were joined by members of the Somerville Lions Club and the Somerville Rotary Club for their annual combined luncheon meeting to support the Marine Corps Toys For Tots campaign. More than one hundred toys were collected by the members and brought to the lunch meeting. The toys donated today will be given to deserving children in Middlesex County. In addition, Program Chairman Jay Lynch came to the luncheon with a generous donation from the employees and customers from the Middlesex Federal Savings Bank. Continue reading Kiwanis Club of Somerville Marine Corps Toys For Tots Luncheon

Somerville/Medford Remembering Somerville Police Officer John “Jack” Leuchter

Our sincere condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of John “Jack” Leuchter on his passing.

John “Jack” Leuchter was a wonderful person who had many friends in Somerville and Medford where he will be sadly missed but will be never forgotten.

Obituary of John “Jack” Leuchter Continue reading Somerville/Medford Remembering Somerville Police Officer John “Jack” Leuchter

The Somerville/Medford News Weekly Favorite Birthday Photos of the Week!

Happy Birthday to Jimmy Veneziano, Letta Markopoulos, Paula Martin Leone, Jill Traficante Ardolino, John Colleran, Juliet Turner, Rui Pereira, Stephen Gustus, Naomi A. Kahn, Peter Anthony, Laura Murphy, Tina Zanelli, Cheryl Shannon, Susan Pfeifer (Susan farrell), Koni Palmisano, Kat Rutkin (Kat Terror), Brandon Toro (Nezze Neeze Ne), Kelly Bombino, Rita VanSteensburg, Laura Dupont Vellucci, Michelle Sousa, George Kelley, Tom Hagerty, Stacie Howe, Stacie Howe, Rene Payzant, Danielle Connell, Sharon Colleran, Continue reading The Somerville/Medford News Weekly Favorite Birthday Photos of the Week!

PROHIBIT TESTING FOR MARIJUANA USE WITHOUT CONSENT

By Bob Katzen

The Cannabis Policy Committee held a virtual hearing on legislation that would prohibit doctors and health care facilities from testing a patient for the presence of marijuana without first obtaining written consent from the patient. If written consent is given, the measure prohibits the release of the results to anyone except for the patient unless the patient gives written consent. Continue reading PROHIBIT TESTING FOR MARIJUANA USE WITHOUT CONSENT

BAKER SIGNS BILL REQUIRING SCHOOLS TO TEACH ABOUT GENOCIDE

By Bob Katzen

Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a bill requiring public schools to educate middle and high school students on the history of genocide. The measure also establishes a Genocide Education Trust Fund to help fund the teaching. The funds would come from the Legislature, private and public gifts and grants and revenue from fines imposed for hate crimes. Continue reading BAKER SIGNS BILL REQUIRING SCHOOLS TO TEACH ABOUT GENOCIDE

Somerville Remembering Somerville Police Officer Robert “Bob” Hickey

Our sincere condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Robert “Bob” Hickey on his passing.

Robert Hickey was an amazing and wonderful person who will be sadly missed here in Somerville by many.

ROBERT’S OBITUARY:

Hickey, Robert W. -58, Formally from Somerville died suddenly on December 3, 2021. Continue reading Somerville Remembering Somerville Police Officer Robert “Bob” Hickey

Kiwanis Club of Somerville Inducted Two New Members

Photo:L-R Recording Secretary and Inducting Officer James Lynch, Paula Vancini, Eugene Brune, James Bowdring, Jill Bowdring and Club President Mernaysa Rivera-Bujosa

SOMERVILLE_ On December 2nd, the Kiwanis Club of Somerville inducted two new members. Jill Bowdring, an Account Executive for Superior Promotions and Paula Vancini, the Principal at Vancini Accounting joined the ranks of local business leaders and active retired members to become Somerville Kiwanis members. Jill’s sponsor was her father, James Bowdring, who has been a member for 27 years. Continue reading Kiwanis Club of Somerville Inducted Two New Members

Somerville/Medford Newsweekly Speakup Line: ALL CONCERNED TO OPPOSE PLANNED PARKING REMOVAL ON COLLEGE AVE.FROM THE T STOP TO MORRISON AVE. (ON BOTH SIDES OF COLLEGE AVE. ) TO INSTALL BIKE AND BUS LANES

ACTION ALERT FOR DEC. 1ST CITY OF SOMERVILLE PUBLIC HEARING APPEAL MEETING @ 6PM VIA ZOOM TO ALL CONCERNED TO OPPOSE PLANNED PARKING REMOVAL ON COLLEGE AVE.FROM THE T STOP TO MORRISON AVE. (ON BOTH SIDES OF COLLEGE AVE. ) TO INSTALL BIKE AND BUS LANES

Back in July, the Somerville Traffic Commission voted to accept the recommendation of the City of Somerville’s Transportation Mobility Improvement Dept. to REMOVE parking on College Ave., especially from The Red Line T stop on College Ave (BOTH SIDES!) Continue reading Somerville/Medford Newsweekly Speakup Line: ALL CONCERNED TO OPPOSE PLANNED PARKING REMOVAL ON COLLEGE AVE.FROM THE T STOP TO MORRISON AVE. (ON BOTH SIDES OF COLLEGE AVE. ) TO INSTALL BIKE AND BUS LANES