All posts by thesomervillenewsweekly

POACHING

By Bob Katzen

Governor Baker signed into law a measure that would regulate poaching—the illegal hunting that harms or kills wildlife including fish, birds, mammals and endangered or threatened species. Other provisions elevate the fines and penalties for poaching; align Massachusetts poaching regulations with other states; and bring Massachusetts into the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, which helps states work together to prevent illegal hunting across state lines.
Continue reading POACHING

SOLDIERS’ HOMES MANAGEMENT (H 5106)

By Bob Katzen

Governor Baker signed into law legislation that will make major changes to the oversight and governance structure of the state’s veterans’ homes in Holyoke and Chelsea. The proposal follows the deaths of 77 veteran residents in 2020 as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak at the Holyoke facility. The measure elevates the Department of Veterans Services to a cabinet-level executive office with direct reporting to the governor and the ability to hire and fire superintendents. Continue reading SOLDIERS’ HOMES MANAGEMENT (H 5106)

STEP THERAPY

By Bob Katzen

The Senate 38-0, approved a bill that would limit the use of health care plan mandated prescription drug “step therapy” protocols and provide more exemptions to the mandate. Step therapy requires the patient to try less expensive options before “stepping up” to drugs that cost more. The House has approved a different version of the measure and the Senate version now goes to the House for consideration. Continue reading STEP THERAPY

BORROW $5 BILLION FOR STATE PROJECTS

By Bob Katzen

The House 153-0, Senate 39-0 approved and Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law most of a $5 billion bond bill that borrows money for hundreds of construction projects—the majority involving maintenance and modernization projects of buildings related to health care, higher education, information technology, workforce development, the environment and affordable housing. Many of the buildings are decades old. Baker vetoed several provisions including one that would have imposed a five-year moratorium on any prison or jail construction in Massachusetts.
Continue reading BORROW $5 BILLION FOR STATE PROJECTS

Somerville Council on Aging Press & Organizational Outreach

EVENTS

Bingo – Tuesday, August 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 30th at Ralph & Jenny Center starting at 10:00 a.m. and Thursday, August 4th, 18th and 25th at Holland Street starting at 10:00 a.m. Keep your eyes open for occasional Wednesday Bingos. Lunch available following Bingo. RSVP to Debby Higgins by calling 617-625-6600, ext. 2321 or email Debby at DHiggins@Somervillema.gov
Project Outlook, Low Vision Group- 3rd Thursday of each month (August 18th) from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Holland Street Center. Project Outlook is a group of residents with low or no vision who enjoy getting together for camaraderie and socialization. Project Outlook has been active for over 30 years. Come join in the conversation, we look forward to meeting you. For more information, please contact Claudia Ferro at 857-237-1801. Continue reading Somerville Council on Aging Press & Organizational Outreach

Letter from the Editor:Somerville Mayor’s and City Councilor’s Sideshow on “Where’s The Money Going?”

By William Tauro

What games are the city playing with our tax dollars at a time when crime is on the rise and the Somerville Police Department is short staffed with officers that are burnt out with guns and drugs all over the city .

Somerville Police Officer Dante DiFronzo was reinstated to return to work in June 2021.
Police Chief Femino wrote this letter to Dante in July 2021 ….
Clearly someone up in Somerville City Hall missed the memo a month prior. Continue reading Letter from the Editor:Somerville Mayor’s and City Councilor’s Sideshow on “Where’s The Money Going?”

Letter from the Editor: Why didn’t Somerville have a National Night out as well? Vote These Assholes Out!

By William Tauro

Why didn’t Somerville have a National Night out as well? Every other city in town across the nation celebrated it but not Somerville! Why? Does our mayor and city counselors hate the police that much? What have we become as a society? Please remember during the next election to get out and vote and do the right thing vote these morons out! We’ve become victims of our own vulnerability! Don’t just talk about it please do it for Somerville and it’s future! Vote these assholes out!

Real Life Somerville Police Stories and Updates

Arrest
22041832: On 7/1/22, there was an armed carjacking at 460 Mystic Ave. Through investigation, Detectives identified one of the individuals involved as Daniel VIVAS, 19, of Somerville. On 7/28/22, Detectives conducted surveillance and located VIVAS at the Florence Street Park where they proceeded to serve him with a search warrant. While searching his person, Detectives recovered a loaded Glock 29 firearm, six grams of crack cocaine and $1149 USC. VIVAS was arrested on firearm and narcotics charges as well as a Somerville warrant for armed carjacking and assault with a dangerous weapon.
Continue reading Real Life Somerville Police Stories and Updates

Letter from the Editor:Somerville Election Officials Still Scheming Now with the Next Election. Now Ditching the Trum Field Voting Location for the Armory

By William Tauro

We were just informed that they’re (Our idiotic City Councle) is considering changing the voting location to the Armory and that there will be no more voting at Trum Field location. What a disaster with parking and what a big inconvenience that will be especially be for the elderly. Continue reading Letter from the Editor:Somerville Election Officials Still Scheming Now with the Next Election. Now Ditching the Trum Field Voting Location for the Armory

POACHING

By Bob Katzen

The House and Senate approved and sent to Gov. Baker a measure that would regulate poaching—the illegal hunting that harms or kills wildlife including fish, birds, mammals and endangered or threatened species. Other provisions elevate the fines and penalties for poaching; align Massachusetts poaching regulations with other states; and bring Massachusetts into the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, which helps states to work together to prevent illegal hunting across state lines. Continue reading POACHING

NEGRO ELECTION DAY (S 2703)

By Bob Katzen

On July 22, Gov. Baker signed into law legislation establishing the third Saturday in July as Negro Election Day. The third Saturday in July this year was July 16 which had already passed by the time Baker signed the bill. So the day passed without it officially being Negro Election Day. The Legislature approved and sent the bill to the governor on July 14, just two days ahead of the 16th.
Continue reading NEGRO ELECTION DAY (S 2703)

PROHIBIT DISCRIMINATION AGAINST A PERSON WITH A NATURAL HAIRSTYLE

By Bob Katzen

Governor Baker signed into law a bill that would make Massachusetts the 18th state in the nation to prohibit any person or entity including educational institutions, workplaces and public spaces from implementing any policy that would explicitly target someone who wears their natural hairstyle. The measure defines natural hairstyle as hair texture, hair type and protective hairstyles including braids, locks, twists and other formations.
Continue reading PROHIBIT DISCRIMINATION AGAINST A PERSON WITH A NATURAL HAIRSTYLE

SOLDIERS’ HOMES OVERSIGHT BILL

By Bob Katzen

The House 153-0, Senate 40-0, approved and sent to the governor a bill that would make major changes to the oversight and governance structure of the state’s veterans’ homes in Holyoke and Chelsea. The proposal follows the deaths of 77 veteran residents in 2020 as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak at the Holyoke facility. A key provision would elevate the Department of Veterans Services to a cabinet-level executive office with direct reporting to the governor and the ability to hire and fire superintendents.
Continue reading SOLDIERS’ HOMES OVERSIGHT BILL

PUBLIC HEALTH SYSTEMS

By Bob Katzen

The House 153-0, Senate 39-0, approved and sent to Gov. Baker a bill that would accelerate improvements to local and regional public health systems across the state to address disparities in public health services by requiring the Department of Public Health to enshrine a set of standards for foundational public health services. The measure creates minimum public health standards for every city and town; incentivizes municipalities to share services; creates a uniform data collection and dedicates state funding to support local boards of health and health departments. Continue reading PUBLIC HEALTH SYSTEMS

SPORTS WAGERING

By Bob Katzen

The House 151-2, Senate 36-4, approved and sent to Gov. Baker a bill that would legalize sports betting on professional and college sports for Massachusetts residents over 21 years old. Betting on Massachusetts colleges and universities would not be allowed unless the school is playing in a tournament like March Madness. The betting would be regulated by the Gaming Commission, the same commission that regulates the state’s casino gambling.
Continue reading SPORTS WAGERING

REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE

By Bob Katzen

The House 137-16, Senate 40-0, approved and Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a bill designed to further protect reproductive health care and those who perform abortions in the Bay State. The measure specifically declares that both reproductive health care and gender-affirming care are rights secured by the constitution or laws of Massachusetts and would shield providers of reproductive and gender-affirming care and their patients from out-of-state legal action. The measure would ensure that patients over 24 weeks of pregnancy are able to receive an abortion in Massachusetts because of a grave fetal diagnosis that indicates the fetus is incompatible with sustained life outside of the uterus without extraordinary medical interventions and requires that those decisions are made between the patient and their treating physician. Continue reading REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE

Somerville/Medford News Weekly Speakup Line: Clarendon Hill Towers Petition

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

   I just spoke to you sent to you the Letter and Petition signed by Clarendon Hill Towers Tenants and other Citizens from Somerville and surrounding areas.
     Due to the MBTA’s arbitrary deadline for letters, etc. of July 31,(which falls on a Sunday) we made sure the Petition was sent in July 30th…same day mail postage (very expensive.) Continue reading Somerville/Medford News Weekly Speakup Line: Clarendon Hill Towers Petition

The Skating Academy Opens Fall Registration at Founders Memorial Rink on Aug. 3rd

The Skating Club of Boston’s The Skating Academy Opens Registration for Fall Classes on August 3rd

The Skating Academy Offers Classes for All Ages Across Nine Locations

BOSTON (August 1, 2022) – The Skating Academy, The Skating Club of Boston’s Learn to Skate USA program, will open their fall registration on Wednesday, August 3rd. As New England’s premier ice skating school, The Skating Academy offers top-quality instruction and small group ice skating lessons for children and adults using the Learn to Skate USA curriculum endorsed by U.S. Figure Skating and USA Hockey. Continue reading The Skating Academy Opens Fall Registration at Founders Memorial Rink on Aug. 3rd

Real Life Somerville Police Stories: (FIREARM, CARRY WITHOUT LICENSE, COCAINE, POSSESS TO DISTRIBUTE, DRUG VIOLATION NEAR SCHOOL/PARK) (Somerville Warrant)

The following is a brief summary to incident/investigation (s) #22041832/#22036749.

Members of the Somerville Police Department have been investigating an Armed Car Jacking that occurred at 460 Mystic Ave in Somerville Ma, on July 01, 2022. During the course of this investigation Detective Cicerone and I, were able to Identify two males that were involved in this incident. One male was identified as Daniel Vivas Miguel (DOB XXXX). I would note that Daniel Vivas Miguel is known to carry firearms. Continue reading Real Life Somerville Police Stories: (FIREARM, CARRY WITHOUT LICENSE, COCAINE, POSSESS TO DISTRIBUTE, DRUG VIOLATION NEAR SCHOOL/PARK) (Somerville Warrant)

MBTA REDESIGN – BUS ROUTES PROPOSAL PETITION

Residents of Clarendon Hill Towers
1374, 1370, 1366 Broadway
Somerville MA 02144

July 26, 2022

MBTA

Re: MBTA REDESIGN – BUS ROUTES PROPOSAL

The tenants of Clarendon Hill Towers, a 501 Unit, multi-family, low-income apartment community, as well as thousands of Somerville residents, strongly oppose the pending MBTA bus route eliminations and redesign proposal.

Clarendon Hill Towers is located adjacent to a thriving bus terminal. This terminal has been the main source of transportation for the multitude of Clarendon Hill Towers tenants. The diverse population of Somerville residents as well as the multitudes of people in surrounding neighborhoods and communities wholeheartedly support this terminal and its tried-and-true bus routes. Continue reading MBTA REDESIGN – BUS ROUTES PROPOSAL PETITION

Letter from the Editor: Why is the South Middlesex Registry of Deeds still partially shut down?

Our registrar is taking everybody for a ride on the taxpayer’s expense. It’s time for Maria Curtatone to leave office. “It’s time for Change!” Getting rid of two Curtatone’s for the price of one! Stay tuned!
Continue reading Letter from the Editor: Why is the South Middlesex Registry of Deeds still partially shut down?

Take a Survey About Parking & Curb-Use Policies A Somerville streetscape with a No Parking sign in the foreground

Last month, as part of the ongoing Citywide Parking and Curb-Use Study, the team leading the project shared a slate of proposed recommendations to better use curb space in Somerville. The recommendations include strengthening parking administration and operations, reallocating curb space, changing regulations to better manage parking demand, and revising the permit program. Continue reading Take a Survey About Parking & Curb-Use Policies A Somerville streetscape with a No Parking sign in the foreground

Somerville/Medford News Weekly Speakup Line: PSA to the RATS on See click fix and the Building dept who want to make demands to my mother a Senior with a disability who has lived in this home for over 50 years

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

PSA to the RATS on See click fix and the Building dept who want to make demands to my mother a Senior with a disability who has lived in this home for over 50 years:

1. The stuff I have on the sidewalk my mom who suffers from dementia mind you, called Waste Management not her fault they are short staffed and never picked this up. We had 2 pick up dates I made one for the 27th of July also. We did our part. Not my fault the city can’t do theirs.

2. My mother nor will any other Senior in this city pay a dime especially $300 a day, due to the Mayor and her administrations mismanagement of money. Continue reading Somerville/Medford News Weekly Speakup Line: PSA to the RATS on See click fix and the Building dept who want to make demands to my mother a Senior with a disability who has lived in this home for over 50 years

Good News, Star Market Project May Not Happen

By Arthur Moore

This would be a great thing for the people of Winter Hill as most never wanted this. What is really desperately wanted here regardless of what a council of large says is a store. Ocean State was the best chance we had of having something to help this area. I was told when the Star ended it was going to be multiuse property and no store was going in. Continue reading Good News, Star Market Project May Not Happen

Somerville to Host “The Moving Wall” Vietnam Veterans Memorial, November 10-14

SOMERVILLE – Somerville has been announced as a host city on this year’s nationwide tour of The Moving Wall, a half-sized replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The Moving Wall has been traveling to cities and towns across the country for nearly forty years to give those who can’t get to Washington a chance to experience the power of the memorial. This fall, it makes its way to Somerville for the first time, setting up in the Mass General Brigham Great Lawn at Assembly Row (399 Revolution Drive), November 10-14. Continue reading Somerville to Host “The Moving Wall” Vietnam Veterans Memorial, November 10-14

Fishin’ With A Mission Medford MA

Hello All

The deadline for registration for the Fishin with a Mission Striped Bass Fishing Tournament is at 9 p.m. this Friday July 29th If you would like to register, please go to:

I would like to wish everyone good luck in the tournament and thank everyone that is participating. Also, I would like to thank everyone who has made donations to the My Little Buddy’s Boat Charity! This is a great cause so if you haven’t registered to fish there is still time left. Or if you would like to make a donation please send your donation to My Little Buddy’s Boat, c/o Mystic Wellington Yacht Club, P.O.Box 235, Medford Ma 02155
Continue reading Fishin’ With A Mission Medford MA

Somerville Police Firearms Recovered

On the morning of March 25, 2022, Officers Mackenzie Richardson, Alex Lorenti, Joseph Moreira and Detective Jason Costa were assigned to serve a Harassment Prevention Order and an Arrest Warrant to a male party residing at 32 Kent Street # 308. Prior to the Officer’s responding to Kent St. an operational plan was established. Detective Costa provided the Officer’s with information pertaining to the individual’s past violent criminal history and possession of firearms. Continue reading Somerville Police Firearms Recovered

Somerville Residents Fighting To Save Bus Routes

Click on link below to see video:IMG_0511

Thank you to the residents of Clarendon Hill Towers for your invite tonight to address the problems with the city and especially with the MBTA canceling multiple bus routes throughout the city! The worst part is that the city officials are allowing it to happen because they don’t care. Continue reading Somerville Residents Fighting To Save Bus Routes

Envisioning 90 Washington Street: Design Workshop

Mayor Katjana Ballantyne and the City of Somerville invite you to a design workshop for 90 Washington Street, a 4-acre site near the East Somerville Green Line station envisioned as the future home of a new Public Safety Building and a range of civic, commercial, and residential uses. This is the latest engagement event for the 90 Washington Street project, coming after a series of community meetings and listening sessions held earlier this year. At this workshop, participants can use LEGOs to design their ideal redevelopment of the site. Each model will be photographed and used with other feedback collected to inform a development concept for public review.
Continue reading Envisioning 90 Washington Street: Design Workshop

HOW LONG WAS LAST WEEK’S SESSION?

By Bob Katzen

Beacon Hill Roll Call tracks the length of time that the House and Senate were in session each week. Many legislators say that legislative sessions are only one aspect of the Legislature’s job and that a lot of important work is done outside of the House and Senate chambers. They note that their jobs also involve committee work, research, constituent work and other matters that are important to their districts. Critics say that the Legislature does not meet regularly or long enough to debate and vote in public view on the thousands of pieces of legislation that have been filed. Continue reading HOW LONG WAS LAST WEEK’S SESSION?

GOLD STAR FAMILIES

By Bob Katzen

The Senate approved an amendment filed by Veterans and Federal Affairs Committee chair Sen. John Velis (D-Westfield) that would repeal a current law that restricts Gold Star spouses from receiving their annuity if they remarry. The amendment would also increase from $2,000 to $3,000 the annual annuity payment that Gold Star parents and spouses receive annually from the state. Continue reading GOLD STAR FAMILIES

PROHIBIT DISCRIMINATION AGAINST A PERSON WITH A NATURAL HAIRSTYLE

By Bob Katzen

The Senate gave final approval to and sent to Gov. Baker a bill that would prohibit any person or entity including educational institutions workplaces and public spaces from implementing any policy that would explicitly target someone who wears their natural hairstyle. The measure defines natural hairstyle as hair texture, hair type and protective hairstyles including braids, locks, twists and other formations. Continue reading PROHIBIT DISCRIMINATION AGAINST A PERSON WITH A NATURAL HAIRSTYLE

ECONOMIC GROWTH AND TAX RELIEF

By Bob Katzen

The Senate 40-0, approved a $4.57 billion economic development and tax relief package.

The bill provides $500 million one-time tax rebates to an estimated 2 million eligible people. A $250 rebate would go, by September 30, to individual taxpayers and a $500 rebate to married taxpayers. Eligibility will be determined by annual income reported in 2021, with the minimum income required to be $38,000, and the maximum $100,000 for individual filers and $150,000 for joint filers. Continue reading ECONOMIC GROWTH AND TAX RELIEF

CHANGES TO GUN LAWS

By Bob Katzen

The House 120-33, approved an amendment that makes changes to the Bay State’s gun laws. The amendment was attached to a separate bond bill. The changes were proposed in response to a recent Supreme Court ruling in in New York Pistol and Riffle vs Bruen, that a state licensing authority could not ask applicants applying for a license to carry firearms to demonstrate they have a special need or proper cause to carry a firearm. The court also ruled that the licensing authority could not have unfettered discretion to decide whether that proper cause existed. Continue reading CHANGES TO GUN LAWS

SUSPEND RULES TO ALLOW IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION OF CLEAN ENERGY BILL (H 5060)

By Bob Katzen

The House 126-27, Senate 36-3, approved a motion to suspend the rules so that the House-Senate conference committee version of a clean energy bill can be considered immediately. Under the Legislature’s rules, all conference committee bills must be filed by 8 p.m. the day before they are up for debate and a vote so that legislators have ample time to read the measure. This bill was not filed until 12:11 a.m. on Thursday morning so without suspending the rules, the bill could not be considered until Friday morning.
Continue reading SUSPEND RULES TO ALLOW IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION OF CLEAN ENERGY BILL (H 5060)

Letter from the Editor:McGrath Highway Overpass Offramp Apparently Being Groomed to Reopen

By William Tauro

It looks like they are finally going to reopen the McGrath Highway Overpass offramp again after a long unexpected closure. The sudden closing of this offramp a few years ago was unexplained to this very day and was especially damaging to multiple local businesses in that area. Continue reading Letter from the Editor:McGrath Highway Overpass Offramp Apparently Being Groomed to Reopen

Audit Recommends Juvenile Court Department Improve Administrative Practices, Data Tracking

BOSTON – Today the Office of State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump released an audit of the Juvenile Court Department (JCD) in which the time period of November 5, 2018 through March 15, 2020 was reviewed. The intended scope was to examine the JCD’s pretrial diversion program and use of restraints during juvenile court proceedings. However, the Office of the State Auditor’s (OSA) objectives could not be thoroughly examined as the JCD lacked data to review. Continue reading Audit Recommends Juvenile Court Department Improve Administrative Practices, Data Tracking

HOW LONG WAS LAST WEEK’S SESSION?

By Bob Katzen

Beacon Hill Roll Call tracks the length of time that the House and Senate were in session each week. Many legislators say that legislative sessions are only one aspect of the Legislature’s job and that a lot of important work is done outside of the House and Senate chambers. They note that their jobs also involve committee work, research, constituent work and other matters that are important to their districts. Critics say that the Legislature does not meet regularly or long enough to debate and vote in public view on the thousands of pieces of legislation that have been filed. Continue reading HOW LONG WAS LAST WEEK’S SESSION?

THIS WEEK’S QUOTABLE QUOTES ON BEACON HILL

By Bob Katzen

“Taxpayers are experiencing the largest inflation spike in 41 years and our Statehouse leaders have a pile of money they could give back to help taxpayers with these high costs. Instead, they are choosing to hold onto the vast majority of the money and they even have the nerve to continue to push for their graduated income tax surcharge amendment which will increase the state income tax by 80 precent on some high-income earners and small businesses.”
—Paul Craney, spokesman for the Mass Fiscal Alliance. Continue reading THIS WEEK’S QUOTABLE QUOTES ON BEACON HILL

“CROWN ACT” – FORBID DISCRIMINATION AGAINST A PERSON WITH A NATURAL HAIRSTYLE

By Bob Katzen

The House and Senate approved a new version of a bill that would prohibit any person or entity including educational institutions workplaces and public spaces from implementing any policy that would explicitly target someone who wears their natural hairstyle. The measure defines natural hairstyle as hair texture, hair type and protective hairstyles including braids, locks, twists and other formations. Only final Senate approval is needed prior to the measure going to Gov. Baker for his signature. Continue reading “CROWN ACT” – FORBID DISCRIMINATION AGAINST A PERSON WITH A NATURAL HAIRSTYLE

PROHIBIT REVOCATION OF PROFESSIONAL LICENSES IF A PERSON DEFAULTS ON A STUDENT LOAN

By Bob Katzen

The House gave initial approval to legislation that would repeal current state laws which created professional licensure consequences for anyone who defaults on their student loan. Under existing law, a borrower’s state-issued professional or occupational certificate, registration or license can be suspended, revoked or cancelled if the borrower is in default on an education loan. Continue reading PROHIBIT REVOCATION OF PROFESSIONAL LICENSES IF A PERSON DEFAULTS ON A STUDENT LOAN

POACHING

By Bob Katzen

The Senate approved and sent to the House a bill that would regulate poaching—the illegal hunting that harms or kills wildlife including fish, birds, mammals and endangered or threatened species. Other provisions elevate the fines and penalties for poaching; align Massachusetts poaching regulations with other states; and bring Massachusetts into the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, which helps states to work together to prevent illegal hunting across state lines. Continue reading POACHING

$10.9 BILLION TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE PACKAGE

By Bob Katzen

The Senate 39-0, approved a nearly $11 billion transportation and infrastructure package that includes $1.375 billion for Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) modernization; $400 million for MBTA safety projects; $275 million for the East-West rail project; $1.27 billion for non-federally aided roads and bridges; and a provision that directs the MBTA and allows Regional Transit Authorities across the state to create a low-income fare program. The House has approved a different version of the package and a House-Senate conference committee will likely hammer out a compromise version.
Continue reading $10.9 BILLION TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE PACKAGE

REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE

By Bob Katzen

The Senate 40-0, approved a bill designed to further protect reproductive health care and those who perform abortions in the Bay State. The measure specifically declares that both reproductive health care and gender-affirming care are rights secured by the constitution or laws of Massachusetts and would shield providers of reproductive and gender-affirming care and their patients from out-of-state legal action.
Continue reading REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE

$4.2 BILLION ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PACKAGE AND TAX CUTS (H 5077)

By Bob Katzen

The House 154-0, approved and sent to the Senate a $4.2 billion economic development package. The bill provides $500 million one-time tax rebates to an estimated 2 million eligible people. A $250 rebate would go, by September 30, to individual taxpayers and a $500 rebate to married taxpayers. Eligibility will be determined by annual income reported in 2021, with the minimum income required to be $38,000, and the maximum $100,000 for individual filers and $150,000 for joint filers. Continue reading $4.2 BILLION ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PACKAGE AND TAX CUTS (H 5077)

Medford-City is Asking for Community Feedback on How to Spend COVID-19 Federal Stimulus Funds

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding Can Be Used to Address Systemic Public Health and Economic Challenges

(MEDFORD)—The City will be distributing surveys to engage and solicit feedback from the public on where to invest federal COVID-19 response funding as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn announced.
Continue reading Medford-City is Asking for Community Feedback on How to Spend COVID-19 Federal Stimulus Funds

Somerville Hiring Polling Place Workers for 2022 Election Cycle

Learn more at an Info Session on July 28

The City of Somerville is hiring polling place workers for the upcoming 2022 election cycle. Hundreds of poll workers will be needed this year to conduct a successful election. Interested residents are encouraged to attend an information session on Thursday, July 28, to learn more.
Continue reading Somerville Hiring Polling Place Workers for 2022 Election Cycle

Join the Municipal Scholarship Committee

Somerville’s Municipal Scholarship Committee is seeking to fill one vacancy for a three-year term, and all Somerville residents are invited to apply. This committee awards scholarships to high school graduates to use toward their higher education expenses. Funding for the scholarships comes from voluntary contributions made by Somerville taxpayers. Continue reading Join the Municipal Scholarship Committee

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Starts July 16

Starting Saturday, July 16, the new 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline will be available 24/7, 365 days a year in Massachusetts and across the country. 988 is a direct three-digit phone line to trained National Suicide Prevention Lifeline call takers. With an easy to remember number like 988, the Lifeline hopes to reach many more people in emotional crisis and connect those to services if needed.
Continue reading 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Starts July 16

Somerville Enters New Fiscal Year with Historic Investments Planned for Youth, Affordable Housing, Sustainability, & More

$293 million FY23 budget delivers on urgent needs and lays foundation for longer-term progress across all departments

Major investments include largest increase in history for Somerville Public Schools, nearly $8.3 million for affordable housing, and $1 million for participatory budgeting Continue reading Somerville Enters New Fiscal Year with Historic Investments Planned for Youth, Affordable Housing, Sustainability, & More

Somerville/Medford Remembering Denise Donahue Foscarota

Denise Donahue Foscarota, born on April 22, 1966, passed peacefully at home with her family by her side on July 16, 2022 at the age of 56.
Denise was truly loved by all who knew her. Cherished daughter of the late Philip C. and Sandra Donahue, Denise was the beloved wife of John Foscarota and loving mother to son, Richard Foscarota of Somerville, MA. She was a dear sister to Philip R. Donahue and wife Janice, Mark Donahue and wife Maureen, and Keith Donahue and a special godmother to Renee Marzullo and Jessica Colleameno. She was a loving aunt to Renee Marzullo, Patrick, Connor, Julia, John, Paul, and Rachel Donahue, Kayla and John Foscarota, and Emily Hight. Denise will be deeply missed by the many aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws and lifelong friends who all loved her dearly. Continue reading Somerville/Medford Remembering Denise Donahue Foscarota

Firearm Recovered From Somerville Shooting Incident

On Wednesday, July 13, 2022, the Somerville Police and Cambridge Police Department, working collaboratively, served two search warrants at the homes of Ibrahim Barry, 18, Cambridge, and Craig Smith, 20, Cambridge, in furtherance of an investigation of a Somerville shooting incident that occurred on February 20, 2022 at 500 Mystic Avenue in Somerville. Continue reading Firearm Recovered From Somerville Shooting Incident

The Welcome Project (TWP) is one of 140 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 to $500,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s $25 Million Grant Program

The Somerville-based organization was chosen from a total of 580 applicants during a competitive review process. It will receive $100,000 over three years.
The Welcome Project builds the collective power of immigrants to participate in and shape community decisions through programming that strengthens the capacity of immigrant youth, adults, and families to advocate for themselves and influence schools, government, and other institutions. Continue reading The Welcome Project (TWP) is one of 140 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 to $500,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s $25 Million Grant Program

Somerville COA Press & Organizational Outreach

EVENTS

Bingo – Tuesday, July 5th, 12th, 19th & 26th at Ralph & Jenny Center starting at 10:00 a.m. and Thursday, July 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th at Holland Street starting at 10:00 a.m. Keep your eyes open for occasional Wednesday Bingos. Lunch available following Bingo. RSVP to Debby Higgins by calling 617-625-6600, ext. 2321 or email Debby at DHiggins@Somervillema.gov Continue reading Somerville COA Press & Organizational Outreach

HOW LONG WAS LAST WEEK’S SESSION?

By Bob Katzen

Beacon Hill Roll Call tracks the length of time that the House and Senate were in session each week. Many legislators say that legislative sessions are only one aspect of the Legislature’s job and that a lot of important work is done outside of the House and Senate chambers. They note that their jobs also involve committee work, research, constituent work and other matters that are important to their districts. Critics say that the Legislature does not meet regularly or long enough to debate and vote in public view on the thousands of pieces of legislation that have been filed. They note that the infrequency and brief length of sessions are misguided and lead to irresponsible late-night sessions and a mad rush to act on dozen s of bills in the days immediately preceding the end of an annual session.
Continue reading HOW LONG WAS LAST WEEK’S SESSION?

THIS WEEK’S QUOTABLE QUOTES ON BEACON HILL

By Bob Katzen

“These toxic chemicals don’t belong anywhere, let alone in food packaging. Kudos to Rhode Island for taking this important step to protect the public from PFAS. I hope Massachusetts will soon become the next state to act.”
— Ben Hellerstein, state director for Environment Massachusetts, on Rhode Island’s passage of a new law banning PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) in food packaging. Supporters say that PFAs are dangerous chemicals which have been linked to a wide variety of health problems including immunosuppression, low birthweight, liver disease and testicular and kidney cancer. Continue reading THIS WEEK’S QUOTABLE QUOTES ON BEACON HILL

$56 MILLION FOR FAMILIES OF VICTIMS OF HOLYOKE SOLDIERS’ HOME

By Bob Katzen

Senate 39-0, approved $56 million in funding for the families of the victims of the COVID-19 outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home. The Senate has already approved the measure and only final approval is needed in each branch before the measure goes to the governor for his signature. Continue reading $56 MILLION FOR FAMILIES OF VICTIMS OF HOLYOKE SOLDIERS’ HOME

Davis Station Accessibility Improvements – July 18

The Somerville Council on Aging is hosting a meeting with the MBTA about accessibility and amenity upgrades at Davis station. The MBTA plans to install a new elevator at the Holland St. entrance and replace the elevator at the College Ave. entrance, among other updates. The project team will give a presentation, then attendees can ask questions and share feedback. Continue reading Davis Station Accessibility Improvements – July 18

Apply for the ARPA Advisory Committee by July 29

Mayor Ballantyne is putting together an American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Advisory Committee. The Committee will review the results of the ARPA community engagement process and work with the Mayor to create broad guidelines for how Somerville will use its once-in-a-generation ARPA funding. ARPA funds are intended to support an equitable and prosperous recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading Apply for the ARPA Advisory Committee by July 29

Get Your Fresh Fruits & Veggies at the Somerville Mobile Farmers Market

Illustrated fruits and veggies on the Mobile Farmers Market logo
The Somerville Mobile Farmers Market is now open for the season, selling fresh, local produce through October 15. This week, pick up a colorful array of veggies including yellow squash, green beans, kale, onions, carrots, and much more. 
Continue reading Get Your Fresh Fruits & Veggies at the Somerville Mobile Farmers Market

Somerville/Medford News Weekly Speakup Line:Councilwoman Strezo Called Out for Ignoring Cobble Hill Residents Re: 90 Washington St. City Plan

Dear Billy T and Somerville/Medford News Weekly Speakup Line,
Please post to letter addressed to Councilwoman Strezo for her ignoring of Cobble Hill Resident’s reaching out to her for help.

Dear Councilwoman Strezo:
 
I am resending my email with the entire string of email exchanges I have had with the City concerning our advocacy for Cobble Hill.  It should come as no surprise to anyone on this distribution that there remain important questions that continue to be ignored.  They will continue to be asked at every resident meeting with public officials. 
 
Respectfully,
 
Evelyn Ortiz

Subject: 90 Washington Street/coffee hour
  Continue reading Somerville/Medford News Weekly Speakup Line:Councilwoman Strezo Called Out for Ignoring Cobble Hill Residents Re: 90 Washington St. City Plan

Somerville Municipal Scholarship Committee Seeks One Member

Open Positions: One
Term: Three years
The City of Somerville seeks one new member for the Municipal Scholarship Committee, and all Somerville residents are invited to apply. Applicants must be Somerville residents. Boards and commissions offer an opportunity for residents with a range of experience, skills, expertise, and perspectives to share their talents and insights with their community. Continue reading Somerville Municipal Scholarship Committee Seeks One Member

State DEP Issues New Guidance on Alerting Public of Hazardous Water Quality Following Rainstorm

Per State Regulations, City is Installing New Signage and Issuing Reverse 911 Notification to Warn Public of Hazardous Water Quality After Significant Rainstorm

(MEDFORD)—In accordance with new Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection regulations on combined sewer and sanitary sewer overflow notifications, the City of Medford will be installing permanent signage at all public access points to the Mystic River informing the public of potentially hazardous water conditions following significant rainfall. Continue reading State DEP Issues New Guidance on Alerting Public of Hazardous Water Quality Following Rainstorm

ArtBeat Returns to Davis Square July 16

ArtBeat, the Somerville Arts Council’s annual multicultural arts showcase, returns to Davis Square on Saturday, July 16 (rain date: July 17). Now in its 36th year, ArtBeat features an eclectic mix of music, dance, theater, food, performance, and activities. Come enjoy nearly 100 vendors and community groups, two stages of music, and a dance showcase at the Somerville Theater, all inspired by this year’s theme: Rise.
Continue reading ArtBeat Returns to Davis Square July 16

11 Affordable Homeownership Opportunities: 60 Cross Street East & 109 Prospect Street

SOMERVILLE – Mayor Katjana Ballantyne and the City of Somerville Housing Division are pleased to announce 11 income-restricted condominiums for sale to eligible, first-time homebuyer households through the City’s Inclusionary Housing Program. Six units are available to households making at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI), and five are available to households making between 81% and 110% AMI. Continue reading 11 Affordable Homeownership Opportunities: 60 Cross Street East & 109 Prospect Street

Apply to Serve on Somerville’s ARPA Advisory Committee

Open Positions: 15

Term: August 17 through September 14, 2022

Mayor Katjana Ballantyne is building an ARPA Advisory Committee, and all Somerville residents are invited to apply. The ARPA Advisory Committee will be a diverse group of 15 constituents who will work with Mayor Ballantyne to co-create broad funding guidelines for Somerville’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) program. These guidelines will be used by: ARPA staff, to solicit and judge applications; the public, to have a transparent view of how this once-in-a-generation funding source will be spent in their community; and project applicants, to understand the City’s priorities for project funding. Continue reading Apply to Serve on Somerville’s ARPA Advisory Committee

SPD & SFD Deliver Baby Roadside

On June 14th at around 11PM the Somerville Police were on Washington St doing a follow up on an incident. As the officers were doing this, a pickup truck pulled over and a man got out to talk to the officers. His wife was in labor and was about to give birth. Quickly switching roles from law enforcement to medical aid, Lt. Vivolo, Officer Reece, and Officer Dylan Lambert assisted this expecting mom. Lt. Vivolo tried to get her comfortable and assessed her current status, while Ofc. Reece called for an ambulance, reassured her, and got information from the husband. They were on their way to Mt. Auburn Hospital, but realized they weren’t going to make it. Continue reading SPD & SFD Deliver Baby Roadside

Real Life Somerville Police Stories: (Utter False Check, Check Forgery, Receive Stolen Property)

On Tuesday, June 28, 2022, I, Officer Jorge Morel, was working patrol during my assigned 8 AM to 4 PM shift in full uniform. In the West District cruiser #186. At approximately 12:07 PM, I was dispatched to 399 Highland AV Rockland Trust bank for a report of a party trying to cash a stolen check. Officer Ryan Sullivan Responded as a backup. Continue reading Real Life Somerville Police Stories: (Utter False Check, Check Forgery, Receive Stolen Property)