Newstalk – November 28

On November 28, 2012, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

Spike’s Junkyard Dogs, Davis Square location will be closing this Friday, November 30.  Anyone looking for their Spike’s Junkyard Dogs fix should stop in by midnight on Friday.  For those customers that visit between now and Saturday, they will be given a coupon for a Free Hot Dog or Veggie Dog that may be redeemed at one of two other locations: 108 Brighton Ave., Allston or 1076 Boylston St. (corner Mass. Ave.), Boston. They thank everyone for their patronage in Davis Square and look forward to seeing everyone in Allston or the Back Bay.


2012 Holiday Events were announced today. The city’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place Thursday, December 6 at 5:30 p.m. on the City Hall Concourse, followed by a meet and greet with Santa Claus in the Somerville High School Highlander Café (atrium entrance). For the first time, this event will also include a ceremonial lighting of a Hanukkah Menorah, which will remain on the concourse throughout the season. The Christmas tree lighting ceremony will feature musical entertainment by the Somerville High School Band; the SHS Chorus and the Somerville Community Chorus; and El Sistema Somerville, the city’s new youth orchestra based on the international model. Special guest Santa Claus will be escorted by the Somerville Fire Department for the ceremony and will be available for photos following the tree lighting. All children attending the ceremony will also receive a gift from Santa.


Illuminations Trolley Tour is scheduled for Saturday, December 15, with tours departing from the City Hall Concourse beginning at 4:30 p.m. The 45-minute tours will showcase holiday light displays in our own Somerville. Tours leave from (and return to) Somerville City Hall where coffee, hot chocolate, and cookies are served. Entertainment at City Hall includes choral music, courtesy of the Somerville Community Chorus and craft activities for children. Trolley Tour tickets will be available at the Blue Cloud Gallery, 713 Broadway, beginning Tuesday, November 27. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children and seniors. For more information visit


Ward 1 ResiStat meeting will take place Tuesday, December 4 at the Cross St. Center, 165 Broadway at 7 p.m. Ward 4 will hold their meeting on Wednesday, December 5 at  Healy School cafeteria, 5 Meacham St. For more information, visit and click the “Meetings” tab. Or contact Denise Taylor at or 617-625-6600 x 2103.


The final two planning sessions of the city’s Somerville by Design initiative will be held on Wednesday, November 28 and Thursday, November 29 at the Center for Arts at the Armory at 191 Highland Ave. Somerville by Design is the City of Somerville’s latest community planning initiative, designed to help residents and business owners visualize positive change in their neighborhoods. SomerVision and Somerville by Design are results of funding through a Challenge Grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Sustainable Communities Program. Community members are invited to attend any or all of a series of events, as follows: Wednesday, November 28: Open Studio, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Public Meeting, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Thursday, November 29:  Open Studio, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Art Gallery, 4:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. A project schedule and materials are available on the City’s website at


Our condolences to the family and friends of Robert R. Sorabella, who passed away recently. Bob was very well known here as a teacher, then Vice Principal of the Western Junior High, and lastly before retiring as the Principal of the Lincoln Park School. A lot of fond memories over the years with this very nice man, who greatly influenced people and was someone you could look up to. He will be missed by a lot of people here in the ‘Ville.


Happy Birthday here in the ‘Ville to Karen MacLeod Fraser, formerly of East Somerville. The famous MacLeod family now lives in Methuen but has close ties here in Somerville. Rich Papaluca’s birthday is this week, as well as Nancy Winn’s. A big Happy Birthday to Charlene Harris, former Ward 4 School Board member, who recently told us she was happy working with the kids. She should be, she’s got a huge bunch here in the ‘Ville. Finally, little Maeve Craven, who is celebrating her birthday, and a big happy 75th to our good friend Joe Staples. Last year we wished him HB twice and Joe asked us to slow down the process by only saying it once this year. OK, Joe. Happy Birthday!


Contrary to a silly rumor, Elio LoRusso told us personally he’s not and would not ever run against the popular Ward One Alderman Bill Roche. We wanted to make sure that rumor doesn’t go any further.


Elio might not be running in Ward One, but we hear that the season has officially kicked off. Apparently, one local person who is challenging an incumbent alderman in Ward 5 had a fundraiser last night. From what we can hear from our sources, it wasn’t a big showing, but the usual suspects were present. You know, that funny group from the Progressive Democratic Social group? School Committeeman Mark is challenging Alderman Sean O’Donovan. We can’t figure out what record Mark is going to run on. His school committee record? Sean has done a lot for Ward 5. He hasn’t had it easy in his re-elections, but when all is said and done Sean knows how to get down to the real issues that represent what constituents are looking for in an Alderman. Look at Trum Field, Magoun Square and Ball Square for starters, not to mention all the neighborhood issues and meetings he’s attended and worked with the residents.


Sean Fitzgerald is having a sort of “reunion or get together” of all the City Hall staffers that served under former mayor Dot Gay, at Sally O’Brien’s in Somerville this coming Thursday, November 29 at 5:30 p.m. If you worked at City Hall drop in and say “hi” to Sean and a lot of old friends.


Vernon Street Open House Studios is  this weekend,  December 1 and 2. 12-6:00 p.m. at 6 Vernon Street Artist Studios.


Looking for gift ideas? This weekend there is plenty of places to visit locally. Here are just a few ideas to start with: Union Square Winter Craft Market will take place Saturday, December 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Union Square Plaza and inside Precinct Bar at 70 Union Square. Handmade gifts produced by local artisans. Artisan’s Asylum is holding its first Winter Open Studios on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m., 10 Tyler St, Somerville. It’s free, open to the public, and families are welcome. So come join the fun and bring your friends. More than twenty makers, crafters, jewelers, engineers and artists will be presenting at the event. Come tour collective workshops and individual studios, observe demonstrations, purchase unique artworks and talk to their creators. Enjoy dragons, robots, collages, and interactive computer-generated music installations. Watch welders and glassworker’s first-hand, and see jewelry being printed in 3D. Local is for Lovers Pop Up Market will take place Sunday, December 2 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave. Vendors and participants alike share a common mission, to support the local economy of Somerville with holiday shopping dollars. There will also be family friendly kids’ activities by Knucklebones and Herbstalk and music from Stainless.


So Hubway bike rentals has removed the 10 spots around the city. All are either off the streets or will be off by the end of this month. We hear that they will be back in the spring with four additional stations. We wonder how much revenue the city is collecting from them and how much revenue local businesses losing because of them.


Thank you to the many who sent in nominations for “Somerville News Person of the Week.” We’re going to re-start immediately after the New Year. If you’d like to nominate someone send your request by email to with the words “nomination of Person of the Week.” There are a lot of deserving individuals out there in the ‘Ville, and ask any of those already selected. They loved it.


Congratulations to Former Somerville Mayor Gene Brune for being bestowed the honor of being named Mayor Emeritus by Mayor Joseph Curtatone and the Board of Alderman. Emeritus means “one retired from professional life but permitted to retain as an honorary title the rank of the last office held of his office mayor.” Congratulations, Mayor Emeritus Brune!


23 Responses to “Newstalk – November 28”

  1. Danny Cafferty says:

    Why didn’t I get a Happy Birthday notice ?

  2. Danny Cafferty says:

    How come I didn’t get a Birthday Notice ?

  3. j. connelly says:

    Because honestly you have to be: (in order of importance)
    a] a politician
    b] a political bumkisser/hack
    c] someone who gets a contract with the city
    d] a developer buddy of “Lego joe”
    e] a political fundraiser “The envelope puhleeze”
    f] finally on a few occasions a really true decent person, who only get’s in print if….
    [a-e] of the above do not have the usual useless selp – praise crap to be put in print. Probably because they are on a vacation or taxpayer paid “nation wide” useless (vacation) search.
    There are plenty of honest non political citizens who deserve the ink instead of the “usuals” listed. The politicians get overly paid to work for the taxpayers, most of their stuff is no more than a political ad…let them pay for their space.

  4. Birthday Department says:

    Hey Jay,

    You left one out. Maybe if you try sending them your birthday request like everyone else did it might get printed?

  5. Ron Newman says:

    Mimi Graney of Union Square Main Streets has compiled a comprehensive list of all the open studios and other art and craft events that are happening all over Somerville this weekend, December 1-2. Take a look:

  6. j. connelly says:

    You mean that they (SN) are not psychic???…Damn, misinformed again, well that’s the last time I believe that PR guy @ city hall. Sending your name in isnt that like being kind of conceited???….then again look at our highest rankin “employee”, da mayor, he has his picture all over the place. I’m surprised he hasnt built a Lego “Batman” type light to have his picture in the sky at night…LOL

  7. Jim says:

    Re: Hubway

    At the Ward 7 Resitat meeting, the question was asked of the tranportation representative from City Hall…”What revenue was the city receiving from Hubway for prime locations throughout the city? We were told that the city was receiving no money. We were also told, if I understood the answer correctly, that the city provided Hubway $72,000. When the rep was questioned further, she said that Hubway is a new business and provides a “service” to the city. She also said that the city does not have a contract with Hubway for revenue, even if Hubway has a positive cash flow in the future. Is this the type of deal provided all businesses who provide a “service”?

  8. philb says:

    Hey guys, sorry to burst your bubble, but bicyclists spend money too, maybe more money, and please count the number of bicycles served by those parking spots and compare to the number of cars that can fit in there. I’m not sure why the city needs to provide them with money, but I’m definitely for providing them with parking spots.

    Also please stop pretending that pollution is a problem you can ignore.

    Please be intellectually honest with your statements.

  9. j. connelly says:

    So who’s getting the kickback for this sweetheart deal??
    Why isn’t the city, in these tight fiscal times charging Hubway??? Another SCAM (Somerville’s Corrupt Administration Manipulation) on the taxpayers. Evidently Lego & SOME members of the BOA are going to continue screwing the taxpayers and take care of their friend$.
    Seriously time for the U.S. Justice Dept to come back to Somerville and give SOME of the elected officials some confined vacation time.

  10. amen says:

    philb-i get the feeling being’intellectually honest’ means agreeing with you? the point is that vehicles have to pay for every space they use, every time they use it. you have to pay a tax to own a car here, a large fee to permit the car, and meter money whever you park the car. we’re told the meter prices and hours increase because we have to pay for road upkeep, etc. so why do we not ask that of bikeriders? also, important to always remember how many people cannot use a bike to do their work or care for their family. it’s not always a choice.

  11. A. Moore says:

    Sounds like all the businesess in Somerville need to go and get all the money back they and myself have had to pay as we service the people of Somerville but on a bigger scale. Free is a good price.

  12. Regarding Hubway revenue…

    Alta receives all of the revenue and, should the system turn a profit, split it 50/50 with Somerville. If Somerville wants to earn revenue, they need to highly encourage residents and employees to use the system and purchase an annual account as that’s the most profitable.

  13. MarketMan says:

    I wonder if the MBTA pays Somerville for all the bus stops that could have been parking spots. Anyone know the answer?

  14. j. connelly says:

    Hubway “Split it 50/50 with Somerville.” …That will never ever happen, as for the few who will use Hubway, it is for a short term use. Then delete the periods of winter months and when colleges end in the spring and usage will decrease, just like it does for the mayor’s parking meter usage survey on BeaCON St.

    No, the MBTA is tax exempt and pays nothing to the cities, instead the “T” assesses a “fee” (politicians favorite altenative word for TAX) to the cities for the “T”. None of the politicians over the years had the smarts to say…Well if the “T” has tax exempt land in our city we are exempt from paying the “T’s Annual Assessment to us. “Quid pro quo”?

    As long as the people stay home on election day and don’t vote EVERY election the politicians are going to suck the people dry.

  15. I don’t know the answer to that, no, MarketMan. It seems as though the MBTA has a lot of control over where stops are located as they have to be ADA compliant.

  16. A. Moore says:

    I doubt Hubway will be profitable. I looked at their prices and does not seem worth it at least to me. We have spare bikes and if we need to we would just take a cab if we get stuck. Would be way more cost effective. I guess we shall see in time.

  17. paul says:

    All of the bike haters that are on this website need to be accountable for the damage their ideas would do to the environment. You don’t just get to ignore that factor.

  18. I would like to see local businesses advertise if they are located near a Hubway Station. That could boost business, especially if the riders are coming from Boston or Cambridge.

    There was also a great article in the Boston Globe yesterday regarding Hubway and it’s desire to be year-round:

  19. SomMom says:

    Great idea re local businesses advertising if they’re near Hubway, Courtney!

    The Globe article profiled one student and one guy who works in finance (and used to use cabs all the time) who used Hubway regularly this past year. (The finance guy, who was overweight, lost a lot of weight in the process.)

    The advantage of Hubway is that the annual cost for 3 years is less than the cost of a decent bike (especially needed for those of us who aren’t that young any more and can’t bend over on our old bikes any more), plus you don’t need to worry about the bike getting stolen while it’s locked up (if you’re able to bike from one Hubway location to another). That being said, I worry about people using the bikes without helmets, and I myself did spring for an expensive bike, so I wouldn’t use Hubway –unless there happened to be one located near my house AND at the local stores I usually walk to (because I’m afraid my expensive bike would be stolen while locked up…).

  20. j. connelly says:

    Fact: There is more major damage done to the environment by the tall high rise bldgs in the cities than vehicle emission according to an environmental program on t.v. Plus a 10 year study on emissions where bikes were placed in service [according to federal government], showed that the bikes made no difference on impact to the environent. So all these people spouting off about bikes saving the environment is propaganda.

  21. Larry Black says:

    “All of the bike haters that are on this website need to be accountable for the damage their ideas would do to the environment. You don’t just get to ignore that factor.”

    We don’t hate bikes! We hate the bikers! :)

  22. j. connelly says:

    Yeh and no one is being up front or addressing the ? as to the liability factor. I addressed this to the BOA and no one answered…why??

    Because when somebody on one of these “Hubway” bikes, strikes a pedestian/child with the bike or damages property…”Hubway” gets a free ride and the taxpayers of Somerville get burnt and pay the bill thanks to Lego Joe and the BOA.

    Bikes need (like autos) to be insured and once the insurance companie$ lobby (& down the line they will) It will be law that all bicycles carry a license plate and insurance (& yes the little trikes too, teach them while their young…lol)

  23. Hubway has insurance and riders sign a waiver at rental time, ragardless of the length of time they are renting for.

    At the time I inquired about accidents (August), there was only one reported with no injuries.

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