Newstalk – February 27

On February 27, 2013, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

The Mass DOT is having an informational meeting for the residents and abutters of the proposed Green line MBTA extension along Ball Square up to Tufts, The meeting is this coming Monday night, March 4 at 7 p.m., to be held in the St. Clements School cafeteria, 579 Boston Avenue, Medford.


Save the date to help preserve a big piece of Somerville History in our city. Did you know that the Masonic Lodge Hall located at 125 Highland Avenue (old Universalist Church building) was built in 1917 and designed by Robert Crane (lead architect of the old John Hancock building)?  In 1984 the Highland Masonic Temple Association purchased the property for the members of King Solomon’s Lodge AF & AM. Masons worldwide donate over $4 million dollars per day to help local charities and children around the world. The Highland Masonic Temple Association (HMTA) in Somerville is having a fundraiser to help pay down the mortgage at the 125 Highland Avenue lodge. Help to preserve the historic landmark building. The association for the members of the lodge is hosting a HMTA 1st Annual “Comedy Night” at Giggles Comedy Club at Prince Pizzeria located on Rt. 1 in Saugus on Wednesday, March 27 at 7 p.m. For $25 per person you will see three well-known comedians perform, enjoy all the pizza that you can eat, and participate in a silent auction. There will also be drawings and a surprise celebrity. It’s fun for the entire family, and everyone is welcome. More importantly, you will be helping to preserve the historic lodge building for generations to come. So come on all you Somervillens out there, please be a part of history and enjoy a fun night out at the same time. For more info and tickets, Facebook message Billy Tauro or call him at (617) 293-2016 or email him at and have a great night out with others from the Ville.


We were glad to hear from Benjamin Echeverria this past week. He was selected by the School Committee to fill the vacancy in Ward 1 back in January. Ben sent a letter of thank you to the School Board that was read this past Monday night at their meeting. In the letter he stated that for health reasons he was declining to take the seat. This illness came on suddenly and has thrown everything up in the air for him and his family. Ben is a good guy, going through some tuff times and we wish him well and speedy recovery. He’s a product of the school system here and would have been a good spokesman for the residents of Ward 1. He comes from a good Somerville family that has been active in many roles here in the city and hopefully Ben will once again become an active voice in the community.


We still think the selection process wasn’t as transparent and definitely not good for the residents of Ward 1, although everyone on the School Board made comments and personal pats on the back this past week on how wonderful each one was during this process. They spent two plus months wasting time and in the end voted to give the seat to Maureen Barstardi’s choice whom she suggested back in December, Steven Roix of Pinckney Street. Steve has said he will serve out the term left vacant and would be sworn into office immediately. We wonder if he’s going to run for the seat in September.


Speaking of Maureen Bastardi, now we hear that she just might have a primary race down in Ward 1 for her seat. There are rumblings going on about a name, McLaughlin, thinking of running. Elio LoRusso has made it well known he is in it to win it. Now let’s see if Ward 1 is going to have a candidate for School committee.


We hear that one of the Alderman At Large members might be leaving/resigning very soon for a job being offered at City Hall that would leave a vacancy. We also hear that Tom Taylor just might not run as well in Ward 3, and that some very interesting names have surfaced that might want to run if he steps down. Ward 5 will have a race in both Alderman and School Committee, and in Ward 7 it looks like it will be a rerun of two years ago of the two finalists.


We found it interesting that State Representative Carl Sciortino wasn’t even going to wait to see what happens between Congresman Markey and Congressman Lynch in their bid for a U.S. Senator’s seat. He’s come out early to make it well known he’s in the race for Congressman Markey’s seat. It appears that this may have ticked off a few other office holders from Medford through Malden and Melrose and beyond in that district. Carl probably thinks he’s scaring a couple of State Senators who are also eyeing to see if Markey gets elected Senator, but we hear he’s quickly making enemies.


Somerville Little League Player Evaluations take place Saturday, March 2, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. at the Somerville High School Gym located at 81 Highland Avenue in Somerville. 2013 online registration is now open so register today at: In person registration at these venues: (no cost to SLL registered players) SLL baseball clinic Every Sunday, through  March 10, 12 – 3 p.m. at the Edgerly School Gym, 8 Bonair St. and Tufts/SLL baseball clinic Saturday March 9, 2–4 p.m. at Cousins Gym, 161 College Ave, Medford. Evaluations required for the following: New players to SLL wanting to play in the Minors or Majors, players moving from Farm to Minor or Minor to Major League. Evaluations are not required for T-Ball, Farm League, and players remaining in the same league as last season. For more questions and info please call (617) 849-8478 or email:


We hear that a proposed liquor store called McGrath Beer and Wine wants to open up in Somerville and would locate itself inside the Shaw’s located at 14 McGrath Highway, at the Twin City Plaza. We also hear that Ward 2 Alderman Maryann Heuston has concerns and agreed that the area around Twin City Plaza already has its fair share of liquor stores and is opposed to its opening for all the right reasons. But so isn’t the gentleman that owns Sav-Mor Liquors at 15 McGrath Highway directly across McGrath Highway, who said at the public meeting concerning the new store opening that he also objected to the proposal. He was also quoted in saying, “The controversy is that you want to put a liquor store at 14 McGrath, next to 15 McGrath. I don’t see anybody dying of thirst not being able to get across the street to my store.” We here at Newstalk, looking in from the outside, can see that the alderman is opposed for all the right reasons, like we said, but we are also hearing rumors out there that the owner of Sav-Mor Liquors might not want to operate his store during certain hours that would accommodate that area’s customer demands as the new proposed McGrath Beer and Wine’s scheduled hours would. So let’s get this straight, this guy at Sav-Mor is getting the benefit of the doubt by the alderman who is opposing the new opening that is also keeping a competitor from opening up shop across the highway from the existing liquor store, but the existing liquor store doesn’t want to accommodate his consumers with regular hours? Mmmmmm?  So why not just let the McGrath Beer and Wine come in and operate and meet the demands of his clientele in that area? More power to them we say, because some people just don’t get it.


Happy Birthday to a special Villen, Michael Gabriel Curtatone Chiaravalloti, who turned 8 years old this past Sunday. Wow, how time flies. It was just like yesterday when he was born. Michael’s mom, Maria Curtatone, was in “birthday party planning mode” all weekend long and made sure that her son had a fun birthday with all his little friends.


Also, we would like to wish a 27th Happy Birthday to our good friend Amanda Roderick. As her dad, our very good friend John Roderick, always says, “She will always be our ‘Little Butterball!’”


A special Happy Birthday to our good friend Tea Desmond! Tea is celebrating her 11th birthday here in the Ville this week. Happy Birthday greetings go out to our good friend, Somerville’s favorite exterminator, Rod Kreimeyer, who keeps us entertained all winter long with his Facebook fishing stories. Some longer than others, but all very interesting, especially the one about the yellow fish he once caught. Happy Birthday! A very happy birthday as well to Nick Bennett from England, who is married and raising his family here. A real nice guy. A big Happy Birthday to Debbie Farias Pereira. Happy Birthday to Kelly Bruno, a lifelong resident who works for ReMax. Toby McGuire is also celebrating this week. A nice guy. Another guy celebrating and who is responsible for a good many new homes built here in the city, we wish Eamon Fee a big Happy Birthday. Some notables and big shots this week  here in the Ville: Mr. Sean Fitzgerald who is celebrating this week and is also, by the way, a candidate for Alderman at Large.  Another notable here is the famous better half of Alderman Robert Trane, his lovely wife with a great smiling positive attitude, Nancy Trane, is celebrating – we hear her 29th – birthday – LOL. Peter Miller, a well known City Hall Board Member in the past and a developer, is celebrating.


Now you heard the story of when President Obama resided here in Winter Hill back in the 80’s and, of course, we were the ones that broke the story on his unpaid parking tickets back in 2007 when he was running.  But did you know that his lovely wife Michelle also resided here in Somerville while she attended Harvard?  We have the address but are currently checking it out to confirm that she did in fact live here in Somerville. We will keep you posted. Now, it seems we heard that Michelle Robinson resided here until about June of 1988 in Somerville, graduated from Harvard and moved back to Chicago where she got a job in a well known Chicago law firm. About August of 1988 President Obama arrived here in the city and resided in Winter Hill and after he graduated from Harvard moved to Chicago, where he also got a job with the same law firm that Michelle was working, that’s where they met.


“To bike lane or not to bike lane, that is the question!” Here’s another important date to save: Tuesday, March 5 at 6:00 p.m. at Argenziano School, located at 290 Washington Street. Mayor Curtatone, Ward 2 Alderman Maryann Heuston and the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development are hosting a follow-up meeting on the proposed Beacon Street reconstruction and streetscape project. Check out the city’s website for more info:


Our condolences go out to the family of Virginia (Mazzola) Tsunis, 85. A resident of Somerville since 1940, she died on February 16. Virginia was a wonderful woman and will be missed by many of her friends here in the Ville.


Congratulations to Joey and his lovely wife Krystal Baldasaro on the birth of their newborn daughter, Jadyn Marie Baldasaro, born yesterday (Tuesday) morning at 5:30 a.m. Baby Jadyn is granddaughter to our good friend, East Cambridge born, NH State Representative Al Baldasaro. We wish them all the best!


Transportation Secretary Davey will present “The Way Forward: A 21st Century Transportation Plan” followed by a discussion with local businesses and state officials. Transportation Finance Forum with Mass DOT Secretary Richard Davey, 5:30–7:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 6, at the Century Bank 400 Mystic Avenue, Medford. Free admission. RSVP with name(s) and affiliation(s)  Stephen V. Mackey, President/CEO. You can call the Somerville Chamber of Commerce at 617-776-4100 or email


Get well wishes to Ida Azzolino, who fell earlier this month and broke her leg. She, you’ll remember, recently celebrated her 100 birthday here in Somerville this past September. We wish her a speedy recovery and we are pleased to announce she’s doing good at the rehab center. She has a great sense of humor and can’t wait to be back on her feet.


The season for ice-skating is here. Come learn to skate or improve your recreational, figure or hockey skating skills. Classes are held at the Cambridge Simoni Rink on Gore St., with lessons starting on Saturday March 2 at 2:00 p.m. for a 6-week series. Also, at the Somerville Veterans Memorial Rink located on Somerville Ave., with lessons on March 3 for a 4-week series. The Learn-to-Skate classes, as featured on Chronicle, are for children ages 4 ½ and up and adults wearing either figure or hockey skates. Professional instructors teach beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. Come join the fun and advance your skills at the Cambridge and Somerville rinks, or at any of 10 other rink locations. To register for classes or to get additional information, please call the Bay State Skating School at 781-890-8480, or visit them online at Ice skate and feel great!


19 Responses to “Newstalk – February 27”

  1. Greg says:

    Rumor has it Tom Taylor is up to some old tricks…

  2. Ward 1 voter says:

    I don’t know any of those names as I am new to the city. I am a resident in Ward 1 I have recently learned and I intend to get more involved in this great community. Any info about the candidates? or know where I can find out more?

  3. Elio LoRusso says:

    To the ward 1 voter: My name is Elio LoRusso, and I have been a life-long resident of ward 1. I reside at 11 George St with my wife and soon to be 4 year old daughter. I own Somerville Ornamental Iron Work INC which has been in my family in East Somerville since 1969. I am running for ward 1 Alderman because I care and love the city that I call home. This is the gem of the city and gateway to the city.Many exciting things are happening from Assembly Square to the re-vamping of lower broadway.I care about our neighborhood which is a vital part of our community that is rapidly changing. We have many different ethnic groups in east Somerville which we welcome, because like my family who immigrated from Italy about 50 years ago, they care about the city they call home. In conclusion you can visit my website which is up and running as of this week and I would be happy to meet you and discuss my concerns and answer any question that you may have.

  4. Rogers Hammerstien says:

    Google is the only research tool you need. I’d be very excited to see (Matthew) McLaughlin throw his hat in the race. He is a very passionate community organizer and has a proven track record in the city, particularly with the city’s youth. He’s involved year round, regardless of if there’s an election. We could use some new blood up at city hall and Matt has the energy and enthusiasm to really represent East Ville to the fullest. I only wish I lived in the ward so I could vote for him.

  5. Ward 1 voter says:

    Thank you for taking the time to respond Mr. LoRusso. I will check out your website.

  6. JMB says:

    As someone who has met each of the candidates for Ward 1 Alderman (despite not being able to vote for them since I don’t live in Ward 1), any of them would be a great representative of the ward.

  7. Mr. Ward Four says:

    Rumour has it, rumour, rumour has it, rumour, rumour has it he ain’t got your love anymore.

  8. Sam says:

    “To bike lane or not to bike lane, that is the question!””

    This is obnoxiously misleading. “Cycle track” =! bike lane

    Standard bike lanes are likely going to be part of the Beacon Street plan regardless, because there’s no room for a raised cycle track to run the whole length of the road – the Academy of Arts and Science wall that can’t be torn down. It’s the cycle track that’s causing the controversy, not “bike lanes.” A bike LANE is part of the street level and defined by paint per MA general law. A “raised cycle track” is not and is more or less an extension of the sidewalk in the case of the Beacon Street design being proposed by the city despite what its proponents will tell you and the current proposed design guarantees pedestrians will be walking in it daily.

  9. 617 says:

    Yeah a cycle track and a bike lane are night and day. I think a cycle track is a terrible idea for a few reasons but most importantly it will kill so much parking over there on Beacon Street. No cycle track!!

    As far as the possible three way Aldermans race goes well if in fact Matt McGlaughlin does enter the race for Ward 1 he will be most likely to get my vote. I’ve seen him in action in the community and I believe his motives are pure and righteous. I don’t know much about Mr. LoRusso or what’s he done in the community and Maureen well….

  10. Alain Keefe says:

    I do live in Ward 1. And I’ll be voting for Elio – he’s a fixture in East Somerville. We need more people in city hall who are invested in their community. Good luck, Mr LoRusso.

  11. Virginias Cousin says:

    Hey wasn’t Virginia who died in this week’s Newstalk COA Director Cindy’s ‘CASH COW’? What is she going to do now? Staty tuned for part 2 of last year’s “Saga of greed!”

  12. Hound Dog says:

    Well Mr. Keefe you got one of those in Ward 4 and he is so invested? when he attends.

  13. Ward 1 voter says:

    Alain Keefe, I’m just curious what you mean by invested? You mean because Mr. Lorusso owns a home and a business in Ward 1? Is that what makes him “invested” in the community? or has he been involved in a lot community events or happenings? Does that mean folks would consider us renters are any less invested in where our children grow up? I just moved to Massachusetts and I’m just trying to figure out how the local politics work.

  14. Mr. Ward Four says:

    No surprise with two-face Carl. He’s been talking out of both sides of his mouth for years. I won’t get involved in this race, no I mean I won’t get involved in that race, no I meant I won’t get involved in the other race.

  15. j connelly says:

    Your “Poll” is incorrect…”Which area in Somerville do you like to visit to shop or eat?” Teele Sq “automatically” gets 80+ starting points for having “Angelina’s” which has been around since 1954 according to the workers there.

  16. Joan G's Ghost says:

    Hey (Virginias Cousin), We daughters of the elderly ladies here in Somerville are all asking the same thing, will COA Director Cindy have to finally move out of Virginia’s home that she has been dwelling so much over now that Virginia has died or did she have poor little old Virginia sign her money and her life away on the dotted line so that COA Director Cindy or a straw in Cindy’s name will end up owning her home now? If thats true, thats pretty rotten for our fellow seniors and the reputation of this corrupt city who allowed her to move in and stay there in Virginias private home right under everyones noses after the many lengthy investigations last year and now this if she did! Does anyone know? Does anyone care? I’m not going to let my dad get mixed up with Somerville and it’s COA cast of thieves anylonger and we are pulling him out of the group before cindy goes after our dads home. Does anyone care to look into this in the system for fraud? Is the mayor blind?

  17. j connelly says:

    I am truly sad to hear of Captain Richard “Dick” Amber’s passing. He was a great and generous man. He volunteered thousands of hours serving the Somerville citizens on the Somerville Auxiliary Fire Dept. Out at all hours into the night pumping out flooded cellars of peoples homes so they could have get back their heat. Working at fires assisting the Somerville Fire Dept. and illuminating night crime scenes with lighting to assist the police.

    He had compassion and sincerity for people and was a great officer in the S.A.F.D. Many of the members he trained over the years moved on to become career fire fighters. He volunteered his services for over thirty
    years. There will be no great ceremony or political appearances, as he was a volunteer. One of many who serve on either the Auxiliary Fire or Auxiliary Police forces in Somerville.

    Those of us who knew him will never forget. God Bless him and thank you to his family for sharing him with us all those years.

  18. catch her says:

    So looking forward to hear more on that no good Cindy!! She has to have something on someone very important in the city to have been able to get away with everything she has done!!

  19. COA Director flying low under radar says:

    Very interesting info on COA Dr going on again, but never really stopped. She’s flying low under the radar to avoid detection but coming out soon by iteam.

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